Faith

Vedanta jnana

The Vedas provide both worldly or the objective type of knowledge as well as the transcendental kind of knowledge. In a discourse, Swami Omkarananda, who passed away on May 10, drew attention to many salient features of the Vedas which are the primary source of all knowledge. The term Veda is derived from the root ‘Vid’, which means knowledge or jnana. Since knowledge is infinite the Vedas too are infinite. Another characteristic of the Vedas is that they are ‘sabda pramana.’ This means that the Veda sabda in the form of utterances, sounds and words carries significant meaning and thereby it becomes the instrument that provides knowledge. So the Vedas are synonymous with knowledge.

A human being assimilates knowledge of the immediate world around through the senses such as the eye, the ear, etc, which serve as instruments for providing knowledge. It is also true that what one knows is limited and that there are many areas of knowledge still to be known. In the Gita, Krishna makes it clear that true jnana is spiritual wisdom and is totally different from any kind of the objective knowledge that most of us are familiar and even proficient in. Sage Narada confesses to Sanatkumara that though he is well versed in all kinds of scriptural knowledge he still feels a thirst for something else.

Sanatkumara affirms that only ‘Self knowledge,’ the ‘atma tatva,’ is the source of all knowledge that is worthwhile. The Mandukya Upanishad also confirms that the sages and rishis of yore have realised the self through constant meditation and contemplation of the all pervading Brahman and enter into Him. So, they are always full of joy and remain tranquil and unperturbed. But faith and belief in the word of scriptures is indispensible for assimilating the spiritual jnana. This knowledge confers inner harmony and peace not only to the individual beings but is beneficial to all.


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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 6:51:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/vedanta-jnana/article34552383.ece

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