Experience and Knowledge

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue May 4 13:42:39 CDT 1999

On Mon, 3 May 1999, Parisi & Watson wrote:

> Are you really saying that reading about or being told about Brahman is
> superior to actual experience? I must misunderstand your meaning since,
> in that case, what would be the point of spiritual practice? We could
> just read the Upanishads, attend lectures, and let it go with that. As I
> say, I'm sure I misunderstand.

Whoops it looks like I made the same mistake I'm urging other people not
to make and that is assuming that reading or hearing is some how less of
an experience.  What I meant to say is even when you are "feeling"
something, in order to make sense of it, you need to use language, even if
you're only talking to yourself.

The necessity of spiritual practice or sadhana is this.  Just knowing the
words is important but not enough. The difference between hearing an opera
as a sublime musical experience as opposed to just a fat lady screaming
dends to a great deal on the musical training of the listener.
Similarly, to hear the mahavakyas of the Upanishads is one thing but to
really understand them requires sadhana.  In the chandogyopanishad is
given the story of Indra the devaraja and Virochana the Asuraraja who both
heard the brahmavidya and came to opposite conclusions due to their
respectively divine and demonic natures.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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