The concept of “I’m Brahman,” or “aham Brahma asmi” is much debated because of its self-styled declaration of God. The Upanishads make it clear that as long as there is no self-realisation, a person has no right to identify himself with Brahma. (Brhad. 4:4:23). Indian philosophy teaches that man is essentially divine. In Upanishadic language man is “Amrutasya Putrah” or the son of immortality. That way man has every right to identify his soul with the Over-soul or the universal soul.
Max Muller makes it more explicit when he says: If people conceive God as a kind of Jupiter, or even as a Jehovah, then the idea can only be considered blasphemous… But after the Deity had been freed from its mythological character, the human mind, whether in India or elsewhere, had once realised the fact, that God was all in all, that there could be nothing besides God, that there could be one Infinite only, not two, the conclusion that the human soul also belonged to God was inevitable. “Brahman” is finally posited as the uncaused cause, both formal and material. The enquiry seems to be more logical than empirical. “Brahman” needs to be defined, illustrated, made comprehensible. We have a number of metaphors to explain the nature of Brahman in relation to human experience, as the source of being, as the sustenance of becoming.
Since it is the logical limit of human thought, explaining the nature of this Entity generates contradictions. It is formless yet sustains forms, it is without attribute and yet it generates all attributes of all the things and objects. It is the knower and the known. All such definitions point up to the fact that the ultimate reality partakes of all the attributes and yet remains unqualified. The concept of Brahman is not derived from any empirical investigation of the grounds of existence, rather the quest is conducted according to the principles of logic.
Causality as a form has been common to all logical undertakings whether the philosopher seeks to explain the nature of the world, the structure of the universe or the functions of existence. The principle of causality remains the main plank and conceptual basis for all scientific investigations. Similarly, science in search of the ultimate form of matter has arrived at the equivalence of mass and energy which in more vitalistic language can be represented as matter and life. Upanishadic concept of Brahman is the limit of Being and becoming, the process of genesis that supplied its own material. In a sense the seers had to begin their teaching with their first discourse on the origin of the world and the origin of life. They had little knowledge about the topography of the visible universe.
But the pursuit of ultimate reality led them to the concept of Brahman which means encompassing, creative urge, and infinite potentiality as well as the manifest actuality. In the dawn of civilization, this search seems thoroughly logical and provides a key to the formation of discourse. The students were taught how to think on very abstract issues and as such Upanishadic texts provide the training ground for logical reflection. The educational importance of this discourse cannot be underestimated though the out come may not be so gratifying.