Swamiji continues his exposition of the deep enquiry of Shaunaka and the qualities that adorn this ideal householder. His humility, desirelessness and keenness in seeking left Sage Angiras in no doubt about his fitness to receive the Supreme Knowledge.
Swamiji discusses the two kinds of knowledge presented in the Upanishad which are to be acquired by a seeker—The inferior knowledge (Apara Vidya) and the Superior knowledge (Para Vidya). He analyses in detail the inferior knowledge which includes all the Vedas, its auxiliary disciplines, phonetics, rituals, grammar, etymology, astrology, astronomy etc.
Swamiji helps us understand that this inferior knowledge, which encompasses the entire gamut of objective knowledge, is actually processing our mind and intelligence through various disciplines. Through this, the mind gets integrated, expanded, uniform, freed of fragmenting attitudes and selfishness so that the mind comes closer and closer to the Soul.
Through this fascinating analysis of objective knowledge, Swamiji gives us a glimpse of the Superior knowledge (Para Vidya) by which the undecaying, imperishable Truth is actualized.
Shlokas Discussed: (1.1.4 and 1.1.5)
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Narayanashrama Tapovanam, an Ashram located in Thrissur, Kerala, embodies the unique tradition of Guru-shishya Parampara, disseminating Brahmavidya (Science of Self-knowledge) through regular classes, satsangs, and above all, through learning in the association of a realized spiritual master.
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Those days, there were many rats staying in various pockets of the tiled roof. My room had a very low ceiling and I could even touch the roof tiles. At night, I would see big, big rats running around just near me.
I got back to my daily chores, but the scene remained in my mind – the old man’s wrinkled face, his gleaming eyes, the contentment he enjoyed, his refusal to accept more than ‘his minimum needs’! How many of us can take such a stand?
Bhakti is not so much in the worship with flowers, garlands, lamps or incense sticks. Neither it is in chanting His names and praises. It is verily in living and acting according to the wish of the Lord, pleasing Him, imbibing qualities and attitudes that He wants us to imbibe.