Patanjali Yoga Sutra —तारकं सर्वविषयं सर्वथाविषयमक्रमञ्चेति विवेकजं ज्ञानम्॥3.55॥

Tārakaṃ sarvaviṣayaṃ sarvathāviṣayamakramañceti vivekajaṃ jñānam

Vivekajñānam (jñāna born of viveka) is liberating (mokṣadāyaka) and helps the yogi to get insightful, supreme knowledge, thus enabling him to understand anything, everything in time and space instantly.

Śaṅkarācārya says in Viveka Cūḍāmaṇi, the steps of learning are:

1. śravaṇa: Though the literal meaning is listening, it includes the input of information through all the five sense organs. This forms a very important step in our learning process. If the pot is upside down nothing can be put inside; if it is leaking whatever is put would not stay, if it is polluted whatever is put will be contaminated. Let us say, you have heard or read about Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad. At the end of this first stage, i.e., śravaṇa, you should be able to say, ‘yes, now I know what Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad says; but I am not clear, I am not convinced’.

2. manana: Repetitive recollection of input information along with rational verification, reasoning, deep investigation, reflection and logical checks to have clarity and one tries to live up to that. That means, at the end of this second stage, you will be able to say ‘Yes, I got it, now I am convinced with the message given by Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad; there are no doubts in me. But I don’t think I am enlightened. I don’t think I can truthfully claim that I am Brahman’.

3. nididhyāsana: Exact meaning of nididhyāsana is meditation. Having complete clarity of the input information, based on reasoning, now, the knowledge is time tested and ready for application. By having digested such a knowledge, sādhaka is now having experiential practice through meditation and becomes the embodiment of that knowledge itself and can meditate on the same. Thus at the end of this third stage, the sādhaka says, ‘yes, I am convinced that I am Brahman’.

It is interesting to note that Br̥hadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad uses different terms for śravaṇa, manana and nididhyāsana:

1. Pāṇḍityam (for ṣravaṇa): Pāṇḍityam means scholarship. Having accessed the source of knowledge (Praṁāṇa i.e., Upaniṣad), one gets the scholarship. Hence śravaṇa is pāṇḍityam.

2. Bālyam (for manana): Bālyam is childhood or gaining strength. Because बाल्यस्य भाव बाल्यम्। or बलस्य भाव बाल्यम्। It is understandable that during childhood the energy level or stamina level will be very high. Because of constant munching the sādhaka gains in strength in what is heard or read. Hence bālyam is equivalent to manana.

3. Mouna (for nididhyāsana): Having convinced with the message of Guru or scripture, now sādhaka becomes silent to contemplate and to experience through meditation/mouna/ nididhyāsana.

If an ordinary man can acquire knowledge bit by bit, in the above-mentioned sequence, Patañjali says, yogasādhaka with glorious knowledge of yoga transcends all these natural steps of learning and can comprehend any knowledge instantaneously in time and space. He can know anything and everything just by a wish, which can take him to the ultimate spiritual union as a reward for his profound meditation.

तेषां सततयुक्तानां भजतां प्रीतिपूर्वकम्।

ददामि बुद्धियोगं तं येन मामुपयान्ति ते॥१०.१०॥

Teṣāṃ satatayuktānāṃ bhajatāṃ prītipūrvakam|

dadāmi buddhiyogaṃ taṃ yena māmupayānti teGītā 10.10

I bequeath insightful, discerning wisdom to those who are ever engrossed in unending devout spiritual union with Me, by which, such sādhakas attain Me (as their final destination).

The jñāna derived by śravaṇa is not tāraka. But it is born of one’s Viveka. is In this sūtra Patañjali says, Vivekajñānam (jñāna born of viveka) is liberating (mokṣadāyaka) and helps the yogi to get insightful, supreme knowledge, thus enabling him to understand anything, everything in time and space instantly.

Lord śrī Kr̥ṣṇa says, यज्ज्ञात्वा नेह भूयोऽन्यज्ज्ञातव्यमवशिष्यते॥गीता ७.०२॥ Meaning: Knowing that nothing else remains to be known in the world.

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