Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Brahman cannot be expressed in words

Sri Ramakrishna: "A man had two sons. The father sent them to a preceptor to learn the Knowledge of Brahman. After a few years they returned from their preceptor's house and bowed low before their father. Wanting to measure the depth of their knowledge of Brahman, he first questioned the older of the two boys. 'My child,' he said, 'you have studied all the scriptures. Now tell me, what is the nature of Brahman?' The boy began to explain Brahman by reciting various texts from the Vedas. The father did not say anything. Then he asked the younger son the same question. But the boy remained silent and stood with eyes cast down. No word escaped his lips. The father was pleased and said to him: 'My child, you have understood a little of Brahman. What It is cannot be expressed in words.'


"Men often think they have understood Brahman fully. Once an ant went to a hill of sugar. One grain filled its stomach. Taking another grain in its mouth it started homeward. On its way it thought, 'Next time I shall carry home the whole hill.' That is the way shallow minds think. They don't know that Brahman is beyond one's words and thought. However great a man may be, how much can he know of Brahman? Sukadeva and sages like him may have been big ants; but even they could carry at the utmost eight or ten grains of sugar!


"As for what has been said in the Vedas and the Puranas, do you know what it is like? Suppose a man has seen the ocean, and somebody asks him, 'Well, what is the ocean like?' The first man opens his mouth as wide as he can and says: 'What a sight! What tremendous waves and sounds!' The description of Brahman in the sacred books is like that. It is said in the Vedas that Brahman is of the nature of Bliss — It is Satchidananda.


"Suka and other sages stood on the shore of this Ocean of Brahman and saw and touched the water. According to one school of thought they never plunged into it. Those who do, cannot come back to the world again.


"In samadhi one attains the Knowledge of Brahman — one realizes Brahman In that state reasoning stops altogether, and man becomes mute. He has no power to describe the nature of Brahman.


"Once a salt doll went to measure the depth of the ocean. (All laugh) It wanted to tell others how deep the water was. But this it could never do, for no sooner did it get into the water than it melted. Now who was there to report the ocean's depth?"

From the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

2 comments:

ShastriX said...

Thank you,;IMHO, this is one of the best chapters in the Gospel, the Master's Visit to Vidyasagar.

The best thing is about is that it comes so early (Chapter 3) in the Gospel and one is hooked to this wonderful book.

INDIASPIRITUALITY said...

Yes,

It is a conversation (probably updesha) when the Sri Ramakrishna visits to Vidyasagar. Whole book is filled with nector of immortality.

Aum
INDIASPIRITUALITY

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