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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava Part 2 and 3 > Vol 2 Abhidheya > Empiric Knowledge

67-Empiric Knowledge 


1.How is jnana defined?


Jhana is also a particular form of karma but in the mode of goodness. (Commentary on Bhagavad-gltd 3.2)


2. What kind of knowledge and renunciation do devotees accept?


Knowledge and renunciation are not counted among the limbs of devotional service because they make the heart rock-hard. However, devotional service is smooth and sublime. Therefore, the knowledge and renunciation that arise from devotional service should be accepted. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 20)


3. Can one attain pure knowledge as long as one is inquisitive?


Material knowledge consists only of physical knowledge. Our original knowledge is actually transcendental knowledge. Transcendental knowledge when perverted becomes material knowledge. The twenty-four material truths put forth by Sarikhya philosophy are entirely material. When knowledge   of these truths is refined through samddhi, it awakens transcendental knowledge. This transcendental knowledge is scientific. As long as one is inquisitive, one is still under the clutches of ignorance. Destruction of ignorance and the awakening of scientific, transcendental knowledge take place simultaneously. Receiving such knowledge and learning to relish it is called devotional service. (Sajjana Tosanl 11/10)


4. What kind of jndna do Vaisnavas condemn?


The knowledge usually condemned by Vaisnavas is not pure knowledge. Vaisnavas condemn that material knowledge by which the materialists try to ascertain the inconceivable Absolute Truth. If thieves are told that human beings are nonsense, this does not mean that all human beings are nonsense; it means that certainly the thieves are nonsense.

(Sajjana Tosanl 11/10)


5. What kind of jndna does devotional literature condemn?


Considering loving devotional service and pure knowledge as equal, impure knowledge has been condemned in the devotional literature. Pure knowledge is never referred to as jndna-kdnda.

(Caitanya-siksdmrta 5/3)


6. What is pratyag and parag-caitanya ?


Caitanya is of two kinds, pratyag and parag. When Vaisnavas are absorbed in prema, internal knowledge (pratyag-caitanya) arises. When a Vaisnava's absorption in prema is broken, he returns to his external senses and parag-caitanya arises. Parag-caitanya is not cit but a shadow of cit. (Prema-pradlpa, Ninth Ray.)


7. Can human knowledge measure the Supreme Lord's pastimes?


Human knowledge is most insignificant. If one tries to measure the prowess and pastimes of the Supreme Lord, one will certainly fall into illusion. (Sajjana Tosanl 8/4)


8.What is the difference between knowledge of impersonal Brahman and knowledge of the Supreme Lord?


Knowledge of impersonal Brahman is just a branch of knowledge about the Supreme Lord. (Caitanya-siksdmrta 5/3)


9. Where does kaivalya or Brahman exist?


Kaivalya is the demarcation line between the world of limitation and the transcendental world. (Sri Brahma-samhitd 5/34)


10. What is the fate of those who follow the jndna-kdnda system?


The followers of jndna-kdnda, who are entangled in the conception of merging into the existence of Brahman, practice false renunciation in order to destroy their individuality. They achieve nothing in this life or in the next. They simply waste their life while contemplating indirect thoughts. (Caitanya-siksdmrta Chapter 8)


11. What is the danger in trying to go to Goloka through jnana or yoga?


There are ten tridents in ten directions that prevent and disappoint those who are aspiring for entrance into Goloka through meditation without Krsna's grace. Conceited people who try to reach this region through the paths of yoga (meditation) and jndna (empiric knowledge) are baffled in their attempts, being pierced by the ten tridents.

(Sri Brahma-samhitd 5/5) 


12. Who are the demigods and demons? What is the difference between their goal of life and the process to achieve it?

The devotees of the Supreme Lord are the demigods, and those who are envious of the Supreme Lord are the demons. Just as there is always a principle of opposition between the demigods and the demons, similarly, there is a principle of opposition between their sadhana and sadhya. The sadhana of the demons is to torture the devotees and to kill cows and brdhmanas, and their sadhya is to attain liberation. The sadhana of the devotees is devotional service, and their sadhya is love of God. Those who endeavor to achieve liberation necessarily take shelter of dishonest sadhana in the form of cultivating impersonal knowledge, like the nondevotees. (Commentary on Brhat-Bhdgavatamrta)