The 4 Mahakavyas or Great saying of Advaita Vedanta are as follows:
- Prajñānam Brahma (प्रज्ञानम् ब्रह्म) - "Insight is Brahman," or "Brahman is insight” - (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda)
- Ayam Ātmā Brahma (अयम् आत्मा ब्रह्म) - "This Self (Atman) is Brahman" - (Mandukya Upanishad 1.2 of the Atharva Veda)
- Tat Tvam Asi (तत् त्वम् असि) - "That essence (tat, referring to sat, "the Existent" are you" - (Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 of the Sama Veda)
- Aham Brahmāsmi (अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि) - "I am Brahman - (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 of the Yajur Veda)
The above sayings can all be learnt verbally very easily.
Meaning on one hand learning the Mahakavyas and the philosophy is easy, but to actually experience the Mahakavyas and realise their truth is a different case and requires enormous energy. A realised advaitic teacher can be felt as a highly energetic presence (with Brahmatejas).
Thus, have traditional advaitic teachers said that learning Advaita philosophy only at the word level (merely mugging up the Mahakavyas without understanding/experiencing the truth) is useless?