A.The definition of shravaNa is the consistent systematic learning of Vedanta from a competent live teacher for a prolonged length of a time.
B.Suppose I am sitting in a pitch dark room and I cannot see anything. I am unaware of the existence of any object, since it is pitch dark. If someone calls me from outside and asks me if I am there in that dark room – what should be my answer? I cannot say ‘I do not see anything here; it is pitch dark. Therefore I do not know if I am here or not’. Should I say ‘I believe I am here’? Or should I say, ‘I can hear you, therefore I must be here somewhere’? How do I know, or what is the means of knowledge (pramANa) for me to know, that I am there and I am conscious? Do I have to see myself (perception) to know myself? Do I have to experience myself to know myself? Is it a belief that I am there because the scriptures say that I am there?
No means of knowledge is required to know that I am there or that I am a conscious entity. I am a self-evident and self-conscious entity, which Vedanta calls aprameya. (prameya is a thing to be known, or an object for a ‘pramANa’; aprameya means I am not an object for any pramANa.) In fact all pramANa-s, including Veda pramANa are validated by me since I am there and I am a conscious entity able to validate them. A Self-existent and self-conscious entity need not be known or experienced.
C.Only through renunciation one can attain liberation says Vedanta (tyAgenaike amRRitatvamaanasuH).
It is not physical renunciation of objects as some wrongly assume (although that does helps), but mental attachments to objects (as ‘I am this’ - ahaMkAra and ‘this is mine’ - mamakAra). I can only negate that which I am not; I cannot negate the true self that I am, since I have to be there even to execute negation. Hence what remains, after all negations are accomplished, is the negator, I, who cannot be negated. I cease to be even a negator, when all the negations are accomplished – I just remain as I am.
D.That which appears to be real but is not really real is what is called mithyA and the power that makes it look like real, even though it is not real, is called mAyA.
E.Next, where is the creator now, after creating the Universe? The creator cannot be inside the creation or outside the creation. He cannot be outside the creation since any outside would also have to be created; then that outside would be inside the creation. Hence there is no outside of the creation. He cannot be inside the creation either. In fact anything inside the creation cannot create this entire universe. In addition, if He were inside, He would be limited by the creation. Hence, he can neither be inside nor outside the creation. The only alternative is that He and the creation cannot be separated. Not only is he the material and intelligent cause, it also follows that he is inseparable from the creation. If the creation is infinite, He has to be infinite too.
F.The intelligent cause can only be a conscious entity while the material cause can only be an inert entity. In the case of the Universe both causes rest in one, just as in the creation of a spider’s web, both the intelligent and the material cause are one: the spider. But in the case of spider, the web becomes separate from the spider. In the case of the Universe, Vedanta says that the creator cannot be separated from the creation, since he is all-pervading, omnipresent or antaryAmin, in-dweller of everything.
Reference & Courtesy: An introduction to Vedanta by Dr.Sadananda