[Advaita-l] An anecdote

Ryan Armstrong ryanarm at gmail.com
Sat Mar 31 17:55:53 EDT 2018

Dear Sreenivasa Murthy
Thank you for a beautiful anecdote - one to which there is an affinity.
This could be the fundamental point - who do I BELIEVE that I am.
The sruti says:
अहं ब्रह्मास्मि - I am Brahman
This I know, because I have read and ingested this information.
But in saying "I know" in this way, I have betrayed my belief that I am the
person who knows, and my lack of belief that "I am Brahman"

The English word "Knowledge" is used to translate both the Sanskrit roots
vid and jnaa.
Vid conveys the type of knowledge that can be learned, but jnaa seems to me
to be more of the type of knowledge which I would describe as:
"That which, in the present moment, enters the being through the senses and
provides all required information about that moment, in that situation, at
that time"
This is direct knowledge and is brought about by the manas performing the
solitary duty of presenting the appearance of sense-objects via the senses
to the buddhi.
Usually it wanders - I have experienced its contemplation of how "holy I
can become" while studying scriptures - which prohibits the correct
functioning of mind, and thus gives a distorted view of reality.
In the Chandogya Upanishad, Uddalaka asks his son who had learned all of
the Veda over 12 years:
येनाश्रुतꣳ श्रुतं भवत्यमतं मतमविज्ञातं विज्ञातमिति
By what does the unheard become heard, the unthought become thought, the
unknown become known?
When Shvetaketu does not have an answer, he requests instruction.
After not only the high instruction of his father, but also after the
practice of austerities directed by his father he is told the words :
तत्त्वमसि - that thou art.
In his honesty, he says "Please instruct me again O Blessed one"
This goes on a few times, each time Uddalaka presents an allegory and each
ends with the statement:
स य एषोऽणिमैतदात्म्यमिदꣳ सर्वं तत्सत्यꣳ स आत्मा तत्त्वमसि
That which is this subtle essence, all this has got That as its Self. That
is the Truth. That is the Self. That thou art!
Finally, within himself, he understands - he knows who is is.
Not a mental concept form of knowledge, but the direct realisation of his
own nature - and the nature of all that is presented by the senses in every

This knowledge is not achieved through learning, but by the stilling of the
This cannot be achieved by anything, since it is already fully complete.
It is what you already are...

ॐ तत् सत्

On 31 March 2018 at 16:48, sreenivasa murthy via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Dear friends,Pranams to you all.
>    Please permit me to share a very interesting anecdote .
> Quote; " I actually had some guy thatcame to my meeting one time, he came
> and he said, “I’ve been into Vedanta forthirty years. I know everything.
> I’ve read everything. I’ve studied everything.I don’t need anymore
> knowledge.” He said, “I seem to be missing one littlepoint, a little
> something.” He says, “It’slike I know everything about it. I just don’t
> know what it is.”            [John Wheeler : Transcriptions]
> Unquote.What is the reason for such a situation?
> With respectful namaskars,Sreenivasa Murthy
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Ryan Armstrong
+27 82 852 7787
ryanarm at gmail.com

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