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The Broken Tusk is the website of Daniel McKenzie who writes in the context of traditional Advaita Vedanta—an ancient and venerable wisdom tradition that is a proven means for understanding the nature of experience. Dan's writing includes essays, short stories and books on various topics related to Vedanta and how it relates to modern life. Dan lives in California with his family.

About the Broken Tusk

The name "The Broken Tusk" comes from Indian mythology and the story of Ganesh. There are a few myths about how Ganesh broke his tusk, but the one that is most often told is that Ganesh broke off his own tusk while taking dictation from Veda Vyasa (the great compiler of the Vedas and author of the epic, the Mahabharata which contains the Bhagavad Gita). The agreement made was that Vyasa would recite the Vedas (or the Mahabharata, depending on which version of the story) from beginning to end and that Ganesh would follow along without pausing. As it so happened, the pen that Ganesh was using to write down the scriptural verses began to wear away and become dull. Honoring his agreement, Ganesh found no other alternative than to break one of his tusks and continue the writing without missing a word.


As with all mythology, the image of Ganesh carries a lot of symbolism. His broken tusk represents the Self as being non-dual. Ganesh breaking one of his tusks upon hearing the Vedas (scripture) shows that the words of the Vedas shatter one's dualistic perception regarding the nature of existence. Thus, The Broken Tusk is dedicated to the "word mirror," as Vedantic scripture is sometimes referred to, and the ancient and venerable tradition that allows us to see our true nature.

A little about Vedanta...

Vedanta isn't a religion or a philosophy, and even "spirituality" doesn't quite fit it. Vedanta is an objective analysis of our experience that is indifferent to historical, cultural or personal point of view. The word "Vedanta" signifies both the knowledge found at the end of the Vedas (Upanishad) as well as the knowledge that ends the search for knowledge. The knowledge that Vedanta teaches is special because it is the knowledge which, once known, renders everything else as good as known. Vedanta's premise is that only through knowledge can one free themselves from the beliefs that keep them from knowing their true nature.


Vedanta has been referred to as the science of consciousness or "Self-knowledge" because it uses impeccable logic to reveal the nature of consciousness. Although derived from India, Vedanta belongs to no one country or entity and uses a proven methodology for arriving at the truth. However, its goal isn't so much to show the truth, as to eliminate that which obscures it.

Vedanta's teaching is timeless and is just as applicable today as it has been for thousands of years. While the teachings by themselves can appear obtuse, with proper guidance, discipline and a desire to know, one can obtain the freedom they seek


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