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Knowledge - Jnana


When the time of creation came, preparations commenced, currents flowed out, vibrations intensified, formation of knots (granthis) started, momentum gathered, churning process set in and actions and reactions began and continued till objects began to assume individual forms. The process of creation thus came into full swing. Animate and inanimate objects began to come into existence. In course of time all the objects came to light and the universe was formed.

The activity, which had started, went on developing till finally the idea of inactivity, which lay at the bottom of motion, began to surge up. It formed the basis of all philosophical speculations. Mental aspirations leading to the search for the higher started from this point and became the foundation of religion. The activity, which had already sprung up in us, reminded us of its non-existent state. When we thought of it we hit upon the previous state of inactivity. In this way activity reminded us of inactivity and the inactivity explained to us the meaning of activity. Thus the two opposites came to our view. When the first stage of activity came to view, it seemed to be quite akin to the state of motionlessness.

But now having been acquainted with momentum and undergone its pleasing effect to a great extent, the thought of search for peace began to creep up in our mind by itself. When we started the search, our attention was transfixed upon calmness, which we understood to be somewhat more pleasant. But so far we knew not what it actually was nor had we any taste of it. Experience promoted our understanding and we began to feel that it is undoubtedly something worth achieving, though we had not experienced it as yet. This is what may be presumed as the preliminary level of jnana** or know-ledge. People may, however, call this understanding as true knowledge but actually it amounts only to recognition that there is a state known as peace or tranquillity. This is generally the level of a common man where he gets enlisted as gnani (agnostic) merely for the reason of knowing so much. That is the only significance of jnana (knowledge) in the eyes of a common man.

**Jnana - The word in the ordinary sense means knowledge, which may be of different kinds, physical, mental, material or spiritual. In the spiritual sense the term is applied so vaguely that often it becomes very difficult to understand its true significance. The range it covers extends from the baser level of common understanding to higher level of inner enlightenment. This gives rise to a lot of confusion and misunderstanding. A man who has learnt a few scriptures, another who can argue and assert things on the basis of his book knowledge, still another who recites every moment set phrases like 'aham brahmasmi I am Brahma' etc., claims to be a gnani or the enlightened and is accepted as such by the masses, irrespective of his real inner state. Jnana in the real sense refers to the inner condition of the mind, which an abhyasi develops during the course of his pursuit, while passing through different spiritual states at different knots or granthis. Jnana is in fact the realisation of the conditions prevailing at each knot. Now since the knots are innumerable, the knowledge gained is also different according to the level of approach of the abhyasi. Thus it is almost meaningless to call one a gnani without defining his level of approach or the limit of knowledge realised by him. This is the main point, which is meant to be elucidated to the readers through the contents of this little book.

How this came about is not difficult to understand. The connecting link between the animate and the inanimate is its root. A poison and its antidote are mostly found adjacent to each other. When we are in the state of inanimation it is but natural to think of animation because it is at the base of the inanimate and both states are interrelated. Now the first thought that flashed across the mind was to proceed towards animation, which constituted our very first step towards growth. It is a matter of fact that our vision fails to apprehend a thing situated at a very high or a very low level. But since man occupies the middle position, the medium state or samavastha came to his lot. What can that middle point in us be? It is only the heart and it is at this point that the connecting link between the animate and inanimate is most clearly felt. This is the reason why meditation on heart is very useful. Now either we ourselves thought of it or the environments pushed us that way, anyhow we leaned towards animate consciousness. But so long as the sense of consciousness lingers, the idea of worldliness exists and this the pseudo seers have called as jnana or knowledge.