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Chapter 17: Such Is This Mystery

.by all vedanta.

Wherever, at whatever time, at whatever place, and under whatever circumstances it has been realized, it has always been realized through vedanta, that state which is beyond knowledge, which is the cessation of knowledge. This is the comprehensive meaning of vedanta, the state which is beyond knowledge.

But as man is, and as the mind of man is, we still come across people who claim to be vedantins - adherents of vedanta. Nobody can be a vedantin, this is sheer foolishness. Nobody can be a vedantin because vedanta is not an “ism,” a doctrine, a dogma. Any “ism” is again a scripture, a Veda. So if someone says he follows vedanta he is absolutely mistaken, because where there is still a following, how can knowledge have been dropped? To be a follower as such belongs to knowledge, so no one is a vedantin, a follower of vedanta. And when I say this, what I mean is that no one can make an “ism,” a theory out of it. Whosoever tries to do that has not understood it, he has missed the point; he has missed the real thing. The very meaning of vedanta is: no “ism,” no theory, no scripture, no knowledge. How then can you become its follower?

In fact to enter into this state every theory, every scripture, every principle has to be left behind. Even the most ancient scriptures are to be abandoned. Then we can say that such a man is in the state of vedanta - but he is not a vedantin, a follower. He has entered into the state beyond knowledge, this much can be said, but he cannot say that he is its follower. This would be an inconsistency, the very meaning of the word would be lost.

I am this brahman known by all vedanta,
the state beyond knowledge.

“I am that which the sages realized when they dropped all their knowledge.” What the sage is proclaiming is a proclamation from ultimate reality. One may think that this proclamation is very egoistic: “I am that, which has been known by all vedanta, the state beyond knowledge!” No, not at all, there is no trace of ego anywhere. The sage is only saying: “Now I am talking about that reality, that ultimate reality which cannot be approached through knowledge. “I dwell” is possible where only pure “isness” can enter; where knowledge becomes a barrier, where knowledge is a disaster, where knowledge is an obstruction, where knowledge creates disharmony, where knowledge creates restlessness - I dwell there, where not even a ripple of knowledge exists.”

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