Isha Upanishad - Super school - Auroville

Track Running Isha Upanishad 904

You polish your ideas, all images, all forms, polish them more and more, so this eighth verse summarises all that has been said before but in different terms, in a much more explicit way. Now onwards there is the process in detail by which this reality can be realised, there can come about self–realisation. So let us read number 9, 10 and 11. These three verses go together because we are introduced now the two words in Sanskrit the words are vidhya, this all of you must learn because there is no other alternative it's a Sanskrit word which has to be understood, vidhya and other word is avidhya, is ignorance. vidhya is knowledge, avidhya is ignorance. It speaks of something very stark something very blunt very shocking but very true. It says that if you follow ignorance you enter into darkness but if you follow knowledge you enter into greater darkness is a very stark this is the important point if you follow the knowledge you go into greater darkness so let us read it.

“Into a blind darkness they enter or follow after the Ignorance, they as if into a greater darkness who deviate themselves to the Knowledge alone.

We shall come back to it to understand this riddle.

Other, verily, it is said, is that which comes by the Knowledge, other that which comes by the Ignorance; this is the lore that we have received from the wise who reveal That to our understanding.”

You see the question was, what is the process by which we come to self–realisation and this is the riddle which is put before us.

Now comes the next one.

“He who knows That as both in one, the Knowledge and the Ignorance, by the Ignorance crosses beyond death and by the Knowledge enjoys Immortality.”

Now let us try to understand these three sentences which are extremely difficult to penetrate.

Let us try to understand what is the meaning of knowledge and ignorance. First of all, knowledge to begin with means one thing at least and that is the light by which they knower knows the object this is the simplest definition of knowledge. Knowledge is the light by which they knower comes to perceive understand possess know the object. There is the knower there is the known there is the subject there is an object. There is a light by which the subject comes to perceive the object or know the object is there is no light there is only darkness. So that light by which they knower comes to know the known is knowledge it is light but this Upanishad says if you follow knowledge you come to greater darkness, of course if you follow ignorance you come to darkness that is of course said also into dark blindness the enter who follow the ignorance. But into greater darkness as it were they enter who follow knowledge. There is one short phrase those who follow knowledge alone vidhyam ratah, ratah means absorbed only in vidya, now what is ignorance, ignorance is not the total darkness there is a difference between inconscience and ignorance, inconscience is a complete darkness, this verse does not speak of the pursuit of inconscience it speaks of the pursuit of ignorance. Ignorance is a state in which there is a tendency to ignore in the complete inconscience there is no question of ignoring at all because there is no attempt to know anything but in ignorance there is a part attempt to know and that part knowledge ignores totality.

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