Philosophical Views and Certain Knowledge

Ravisankar Mayavaram msr at ISC.TAMU.EDU
Wed Mar 17 10:25:30 CST 1999

1) Why do you want to preach or advocate to others? Is it not
imporant to learn and practice, before one attempts to explain or

2) It is simple to be truthful and honest. One has to be clever
to be otherwise. If someone asks you why are you doing a certain
thing or reading a certain book, you can tell the true reasons. I
see no difficulty in that. You will face difficulty and have to
be clever only if you want to sound intelligent and smart.

> When bringing up the ideas of Vedanta in contexts outside this mailing
> list, I have occasionally been met with the response, "Have you
> experienced this yourself, or are you just spouting the ideas of
> others?" with the clear implication that it is presumptuous and
> fraudulent to offer as true ideas that I have not verified in my own

What is the problem in telling your friend, I cam across
something called advaita-vedanta, it sounds plausible to me, I am
trying to learn more and understand better because I think it
will help me.

> experience. Even here in the list, I have seen the statement, "Those who
> know do not speak, and those who speak do not know."

Does shruti says this? If is just based on a Tamil proverb
"kaNdavar vindilar viNdavar kaNdilar, either it has to be
reinterpreted or dismissed.  I believe that shrI shankara knew
and explained it in the best possible way. This is my faith. Now
I can question the author of that saying, on what basis does he
say that "Those who know do not speak, and those who speak do not
know." It sounds pretty irrational to me. There may hundreds of
people who speak without knowing. But what prevents one who knows
from speaking?

> What is our most appropriate, humble, and above all honest stance in
> this regard? If we didn't accept Advaita as at least plausible and

Most honest stance is to speak truth. Not coat it with rational

> potentially true, then why would we even participate in the list? But,
> on the other hand, where is the boundary line between accepting
> something as hypothetically true in order to investigate it further and
> seek direct verification, and dogmatically advocating ideas that to us
> are merely second hand and largely unconfirmed? And as individuals, how

Problem comes because you want to advocate. Otherwise, it would
not arise.

> do we gain enough assurance of the truth of ideas that we have not yet
> personally verified to justify spending a lifetime, or even several
> lifetimes, in their pursuit? There must be some latitude in this regard,
> since if only the end result can justify the entire endeavor, then how
> would we ever
> begin?

I see no difficult in practising/learning something which you
find reasonable and want verify it further.  How else will you
progress?  If you want your friend or colleague applaud you for
that and say that you are smart, then it may be difficult.

Hope I did not offend you by my questions. Your post was very
helpful to me. It clarified some of my thoughts which I choose
not to express.

with respects,


minalochani pAshamochani shive pAhi shive pAhi

"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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