We have from kaTha upaniShad:
नायमात्मा प्रवचनेन लभ्यो न मेधया न बहुना श्रुतेन । — I-ii-23, kaTha upa
Meaning: Atman (brahman) cannot be attained by the study of the Vedas, or by intelligence, or by much hearing of sacred books.
Shankara’s special treatises too make that point abundantly clear declaring:
न स्नानेन न दानेन प्राणायमशतेन वा ॥ — verse 13, vivekacUDAmaNi
Meaning: Neither sacred baths nor any amount of charity nor even hundreds of breathing exercises can give us the knowledge about Self.
अविरोधितया कर्म नाविद्यां विनिवर्तयेत् | — verse 3, Atmabodha
Meaning: Any action cannot destroy ignorance, for action is not a negator of ignorance. Continue reading