Thursday, November 19, 2020


The word Jnâna means knowledge. It is derived from the root Jnâ — to know — the same word from which your English word to know is derived. Jnana-Yoga is Yoga by means of knowledge. What is the object of the Jnana-Yoga? Freedom. Freedom from what? Freedom from our imperfections, freedom from the misery of life. Why are we miserable? We are miserable because we are bound. What is the bondage? The bondage is of nature. Who is it that binds us? We, ourselves.(IX, 208)

Knowledge - True Nature of the Human Soul

Vedantic and other philosophers of the Indian schools hold that knowledge is not to be acquired from without. It is the innate nature of the human soul and the essential birthright of every man. The human soul is the repository of infinite wisdom; what external agency can illuminate it? According to some schools, this infinite wisdom remains always the same and is never lost; and man is not ordinarily; conscious of this, because a veil, so to speak, has fallen over it on account of his evil deeds, but as soon as the veil is removed it reveals itself. Others say that this infinite wisdom, though potentially present in a human soul, has become contracted through evil deeds and it becomes expanded again by the mercy of God gained by good deeds. We also read in our scriptures various other methods of unfolding this inborn infinite power and knowledge, such as devotion to God, performance of work without attachment, practicing the eightfold accessories of the Yoga system, or constant dwelling on this knowledge, and so on. The final conclusion, however, is this, that through the practice of one or more or all of these methods together man gradually becomes conscious of his inborn real nature, and the infinite power and wisdom within, latent or veiled, becomes at last fully manifest. (IV – 430-32)

Swamiji wrote an article on ‘Knowledge: Its Source and Acquirement’ for the Bengali Udbodhana on 12th February 1899. The above words are quoted from that article. 
If our mind is a treasure house of knowledge why that knowledge cannot be made to manifest? This question needs to be answered. In the above we can find the answer. Our own misdeeds originating from our ignorance have created a lot of bad samskaras in our mind. Just as a smoke coated chimney cannot bring out the light within, so also when the human mind is tarnished with evil samskaras, this infinite knowledge remains covered. Through good deeds when good thoughts are awakened and through the mercy of God this knowledge expands and starts manifesting itself. One who practises karma, bhakti, jnana, yoga slowly turns into a jnani.  

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