Friday, November 25, 2011

Modes of Knowledge

"That knowledge by which one undivided spiritual nature is seen in all living entities, though they are divided into innumerable forms, you should understand to be in the mode of goodness.
That knowledge by which one sees that in every different body there is a different type of living entity you should understand to be in the mode of passion.
And that knowledge by which one is attached to one kind of work as the all in all, without knowledge of the truth, and which is very meagre, is said to be in the mode of darkness”………..Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18:20-22

At the outset the three modes of knowledge are expressed in these verses but it is difficult to comprehend the meaning when one operates purely in the rational level.

Let us analyse the various terms that are used in these verses.

In the first verse, Lord Krishna talks of the type of knowledge by which the “Undivided spiritual nature” of all creation or manifestations, which to the senses appear to be “divided into innumerable forms”, can be comprehended. This he calls "knowledge of Goodness".
The division into different forms is at the thought level or mental level. Ever since our birth we are constantly bombarded by imagery to which names and meanings are assigned by the collective consciousness of every other human beings we come across. This includes parents, siblings, teachers, friends, partners and elders. Humans are indoctrinated by this knowledge which is so external and yet so intimate and universally confirming that we imbibe this distorted knowledge without a second thought.

The rational self awareness which is the unique identity of human kind is its own undoing. We fail to understand what we are made up of. We do not move beyond these external inputs and the sensory images and their assigned meanings. Our reality is gridlocked in the intricate mesh of evolutionary consciousness. We fail to understand that we are in an evolutionary journey wherein the ascendancy of consciousness is the sole driving force. The ambience which has been provided including the faculty of the body and mind is hijacked by the mind to assume that the body and the environ, which are only an integral vehicle of transportation for the more subtle but the very essence of our existence, the spirit or Divine consciousness, is the only reality that exists. This lack of this knowledge results in duality wherein self awareness gives rise to an all powerful ego which in turn externalizes all other mode of existence into an object classification.

The next verse talks of this type of knowledge resulting in duality as the mode of passion. Various forms such as minerals, plants and animals are also vehicles or embodiments of Divine consciousness but the mode of passion which assign a superior role to the human form through the human ego and the ego mind differentiates all other forms as inferior to the human. This is a pure operation of the mind rooted in duality resulting from conditioned imagery.

Finally when we are locked on to the mode of attachment as possessors and enjoyers of all created forms for the sole purpose of human pleasure and survival, we operate in a knowledge which can best be categorized as a “mode of darkness”.

The universal truth that everything is a manifestation of the Divine form is difficult to comprehend through the knowledge derived through a rational process conditioned by classical sciences. Whether it be physical reactions such as forces acting upon matter and their resultant reactions or chemical processes or biological processes at the cell or DNA level or the observable processes at the cosmic scale, when we utilize a linear Newtonian analysis we hit a road block. Fortunately today the understanding of nature at the most fundamental level or closer to the Plank scale (10-35 metre) reveals that there is a universal energy field that connects us all across space-time and leading physicists, biologists and cosmologists agree that we are having a peep at the universal consciousness field which is the fundamental constituent of all that is manifest as matter.

The Vedic seers gained this knowledge through an intuitive route but in this Yuga of ascending consciousness when we are fortunate to be living, science is also conforming this great Truth.

This is the “knowledge by which one undivided spiritual nature is seen in all living entities, though they are divided into innumerable forms”

Love to you all

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