Read this article to learn about the existence of Brahman!
In Samkara’s philosophy, the main proof for the existence of Brahman is the spiritual experience.
But as a philosopher, Samkara has tried to advance systematic arguments to prove the existence of Brahman. Of these the main are the following:
1. Proof from Scriptures:
Samkara has developed his philosophy on the basis of the Upanishads, Gila and Brahman Sutra. Hence the verses of these scriptures are the greatest proof for admitting Brahman as the Ultimate Truth. Samkara has called himself a commentator, and not a philosopher. He has tried to give systematic form to the sayings of all the Upanishads.
The great sentences like, “I am Brahman”, “All is Brahman” etc., scattered in different Upanishads are proofs of the concept of Brahman in Advaita philosophy. The scripture is the proof of the existence of Brahman, and Brahman is the eternal source of the scriptures. In the sequence of time. Brahman precedes the Vedas, while in the epistemological sequence the Vedas precede Brahman. Hence, there is no fallacy of circular reasoning here.
2. Etymological Proof:
Brahman is a substratum of the universe, since, as Samkara points out, “it is according to the root Brh.” The root Brh refers to evolution. Hence, literally speaking, Brahman means all transcending existence. Like the ontological proof of western philosophers, Samkara has tried to prove the existence of Brahman by the literal meaning of the word. It goes without saying that Deussen wrongly said that there is no such proof in Indian philosophy. By attributing infinity and other similar qualities to Brahman, Samkara has referred to its literal meaning.
3. Psychological Proof:
After giving the etymological proof, Samkara has said that being the self of all the existence, Brahman is known to everyone. Deussen calls this a psychological proof. But Samkara emphasizes the above statement further and points out that every man feels the existence of his own self and no one is ignorant of it thus, it becomes a complete scientific argument, since; it not only points out to positive evidence but also negates all evidence in opposition.
4. Teleological proof:
The world is so systematic that its origin cannot be admitted as material. Hence, the very system of the universe is a proof of its conscious cause—Brahman.
5. Regresses ad infinitum by not admitting Brahman as the original cause:
According to the Upanishads, the world has no beginning. It is the reflection of the Ultimate Reality. This Ultimate Reality is the original cause of Brahman. If it is asked what is the cause of the Brahman, it will be subject to the fallacy of regressing to infinity, since the question of the cause of cause will always arise.
Hence, the existence of Brahman as the Ultimate cause of the universe is self- proved.
6. The proof of immediate experience:
The intellectual proofs regarding the existence of Brahman are only helpful in understanding him intellectually. But beyond the mind, intellect, and senses, the only valid proof for the existence of Brahman is immediate experience. By immediate experience all dualism disappears and one realise the non-dual Brahman. It is the object of spiritual practice.
It is not proper to try to understand the entire Advaita philosophy by means of reason alone. It is only after direct experience that one may grasp the essential meaning of Vedanta. It has been rightly said that Vedanta cannot tell us what Brahman is but only what Brahman is not. Brahman is described so that one may not take it to be a nihil. According to the Upanishads, Brahman is an object of experience and the intellect should not reason about it. Hence, the saying that “Silence is Brahman”.