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Vedanta is a means of knowledge

Vedanta claims that the conclusions that I have about myself are wrong and I am here and now the fullness I am seeking through all my life pursuits. How can I know what is the real nature of myself?

What are the means that I have at my disposal to know things in this world? Perception and inference. Perception is the basic means at my disposal and can be divided into seeing, hearing, sense of smell, taste and touch. Through my eyes, I can have access to the sphere of the colors and forms. With my ears, the sphere of sounds, with my nose, to the different odors, and so on. These basic means can be enhanced through various instruments. For example, a telescope to enable me to know a remote star located at several light years away from me or a microscope to know the structure of the HIV virus, to which I can have no access with my naked eyes. With inference and deductive reasoning, which also draw their data from perception, I am able to gather knowledge about what constitutes the domain of science and all disciplines of knowledge, from medicine to chemistry, and computer science to quantum physics.

Then what about the knowledge about this I, myself, the subject? Are these means of knowledge of any use to me to know myself? No, because I, the knower is employing these different means of knowledge to know what is different from me, what is an object separate from me the subject who knows them. They are therefore inadequate to give me access into myself.

One can ask a question, is not psychology the adequate means to acquire knowledge about myself? No, because psychology also draws its data from perception, and builds its different theories and therapies with the help of different forms of reasoning. The knower uses a specific form of perception called witness perception to observe and know his/her emotions, thoughts, dreams, etc. and their influence on ones behavior. The existence of unconscious and its dynamics is arrived through these observations and inference drawn from the observations.

The sphere of operation of perception, inference, etc. is therefore restricted to what can be objectified by me, the knower. How can I have knowledge about myself, the knower himself 5? I need an appropriate means of knowledge. Vedanta presents itself as an independent means of knowledge in the form of words that reveals the true nature of I 6 . Words of Vedanta no doubt need perception (my ears to be heard). On the other hand, words can be used to communicate or describe objects or concepts that are known through perception and inference. Here, we are talking about Vedanta as a means of knowledge in the form of words which like a mirror can make me see the nature of myself by looking into their meaning. Vedanta says also that the nature of myself cannot be arrived at by other means of knowledge like perception or inference, because "I" can never be objectified 7.

If Vedanta is a means of knowledge, like any other means of knowledge, it must reveal things that can not be known through other means of knowledge. For example, what eyes can reveal, ears have no access to. Second, being a means of knowledge, what it says must also not be contradicted by any other means of knowledge 8. If any piece of knowledge can be contradicted by another, then it is not valid anymore as it can be negated, like in science any theory is held to be right until somebody contradicts it. If what Vedanta says is true, then it can be tested against any contention or theory or philosophy . Vedanta does not ask us to believe in what it says. It is only asking us to see what it reveals until we have any reason which disproves what it says . That means any doubts that we have, Vedanta refutes them by using logic and showing their untenability. This way, Vedanta poses the most incredible challenge that human reasoning can be confronted to. 

Further, since Vedanta reveals the true nature of I, which is not something away from me in time and space, it gives me direct knowledge. If an object is a way from me in time and space, words can give me only indirect knowledge like an animal unknown to me or even heaven. For example, the existence of heaven is a non verifiable belief for me and I have no way either to prove or to disprove in this life its existence or my going to it. I will have to wait for the after life if there is one! Unlike this type of indirect knowledge, Vedanta speaks about I that is neither totally unknown nor it is fully known to me 9 even though it is not clearly known at the same time. I know perfectly that I am, without using my perception or inference. That means I don't need any means of knowledge to know that I am. Therefore, I am self-evident. However, the precise nature of I is not clear. Vedanta is a means of knowledge to know true nature of I. Since I am always present, words of Vedanta give direct knowledge that can be verified by me

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