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Appendix II 


Ignorance and knowledge are the two extremities of the same thing. Up to a certain extent it is termed as ignorance, after that it turns into knowledge. They are like the two poles of a magnet. Thus avidya (ignorance) has no existence without vidya (knowledge) and vidya without avidya. If one is there the other must also be there. That means when the veil of ignorance is torn off, avidya and vidya are both gone. Thus avidya covers the entire sphere included in both avidya and vidya. That is the state of tam which is beyond both. It is in true sense the state of realisation - where there is neither avidya nor vidya. What is it there then? Neither of the two - a state of perfect latency, not-knowingness, or complete knowledgelessness which may roughly be denoted as the state of ignorance just as it is at the age of infancy. Ignorance is in fact the highest pitch of knowledge. That comes to mean that we start from the level of ignorance and finally end in a state of higher ignorance (or complete ignorance s I call it). The sphere of knowledge (in the popular sense of the term) is only an intermediary stage. Really so far as it is the sphere of knowledge, it is all ignorance in true sense.

Can that which dawns after the veil of ignorance is torn off, be ever expressed as knowledge? Certainly not, though one does call it so in the outer sense taking into view the two opposites. Does it cover the sense of knowledge? No: knowledge implies awareness of that which is beyond self. Realisation means merging or oneness with the Absolute. In that case no question of knowledge can ever arise. What that may then be - knowledgelessness - not knowingness - ignorance or what? In short it must be something like that, though it may well nigh be impossible to express it in words. Complete ignorance, as I have put it, may however be nearest to appropriateness.

One on the divine path is supposed to be marching from darkness to light. Let darkness be avidya (as it is commonly represented) and light vidya. Natural Path does not have light for its goal. It is but an intermediary stage, which we pass through during our march to the Ultimate, which is neither light nor darkness but beyond both. Thus do we start from avidya (ignorance) and pass through vidya (knowledge) on to that which is neither avidya nor vidya but beyond both. What word can denote the exact sense of that which is neither light nor darkness or which is neither avidya nor vidya? Is there any word for that in the world vocabulary? None, for sure. Let it therefore be, as I say, 'complete ignorance' different from its crudest state of preliminary ignorance.