Knowledge is Elusive

abstractAs I read through Vedic Scripture, I see every sentence as elusive, so easily slipping through the fingers of the reader.

Better to understand one line, than to memorize many. Yet understanding is not a set of concrete thoughts or perspectives…  it is a place… of unending humble reflections within… without edges, without handles, ungraspable, yet full.

Consider the following:

Never be idle in your studies.”  – Taittireeya Upanishad 1.11

What does ‘studies’ mean here?  Isn’t every moment an ardent study for the wise, regardless of what they are doing?  ‘Laughter, play, frivolity, or earnest academics… it doesn’t matter.

Isn’t no moment a study for the unwise, regardless of what they are doing?

Yet to not be idle does not mandate effort.  It is the path of joy.  Everything is profound, beautiful, and fascinating for the wise.  The greatest emotion is fascination.  Fascination is the root of all positivity in life.  It makes the world spin around.

“Willed by whom does the directed mind go towards its object?” – Kena Upanishad

The only possibilities here are dharma, karma, or some combination of the two.
Action established in Being or action determined by karma.

Indeed, Dharma, in its truest sense is freedom.  Yet some think of Dharma as bondage.

The ‘whom’ that directs the mind is the Self, if Dharmic.
The ‘whom’ that directs the mind is the Lord of Karma, if not Dharmic.
Dharma is the freedom of living ones true nature. Karma is that which shrouds ones nature. The confused often blur the two.
The number of such knots people tie themselves in is without limit.

Here is another example.  If asked the question to what degree you are free, the wise person knows that question cannot be answered and thereby is free.  Upon hearing the response of the wise, the unwise may choose not to answer the question and thereby considers himself free.

The beauty of knowledge ultimately lies in its elusive nature.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.


  1. Beautiful Blog. It makes me think of one of my favorite quotes, and this quote makes me think of Maharshi.
    Jai Guru Dev!

    “The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.” James Michener

  2. This blog is somehow giving me a great sense of peace. Thank you.

  3. Dave’s quote from James Michener is what I keep striving for, just hadn’t noticed it in words.
    Dharma still appears illusive to me…I want to work towards everything I do to be working and playing at the same time and nobody, but perhaps myself, will know the difference. This will be now and thru enlightenment.
    Today was a struggle between both and this blog created a peaceful heart again. Thanks

  4. All morning I have been enjoying conversations with clients and a couple of staff members. The topics have been lighter yet still within the nature of this blog. My main question to them was,”How do you really “know” anything for sure. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to have these conversations with so many people and more thankful for my guidance from you Brahmarshi which enables me to have them with a much greater degree of clarity and a much deeper sense of humility.
    Lifetimes of gratitude

  5. Brahmarshi, every time I get ahead of myself, so to speak over the years, your response to me has been in short, Neti, Neti, Neti. A tough answer to swallow, but, what I really need to hear. These last two blog entries have resonated as not only the same message, but also a calming balm on my eternal questioning. Possibly the questions I have been asking for lifetimes. I would so much like to meet with sometime soon. I would love to be in your presence. I am trying to plan a weekend in the spring to make a pilgrimage to Mount Soma.

  6. Path of joy… Fascination…
    I love these insights
    Thank you

  7. I appreciate you stepping us through reflecting on two verses from the Upanishads. I find it most difficult to even decently reflect on the Upanishads. You could continue with Upanishads verses and I would be very happy. Thank you for doing this.

  8. Each evening before going to sleep, I read a few Khanda of the Upanishads. During the day I find myself mulling over one “passage” or another and usually find a moment when I can plug a concept or two into my experience. For the most part, it is OK for nothing to “fit” since, in actuality, there is a spot in me that knows making something fit, or applicable, is more than likely intellectualized and, in effect, diminishes the original intent. My filters are my filters and I am relieved to know I know that.
    Having completed my first home read of the Khandogya Upanishads, I read the following in the Talvakara Upanishads just now.
    The Pupil says” “I do not think I know it well, nor do I know that I do not know it. He among us who knows this, he knows it, nor does he know that he does not know it.”

    And so I sit here scratching my head and find nothing!!!