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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Spiritual Questions & Answers > 2007 QnA Swami Gaurangapada > Mundane Knowledge

Title: Mundane Knowledge

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2007-03-11 19:20:33


Song by Seventh Goswami Shrila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura:



vidyara vilase, katainu kala,

parama sahase ami

tomara carana, na bhajinu kabhu,

ekhona sarana tumi


1) With great enthusiasm I spent my time in the pleasures of mundane learning, and never worshiped Your lotus feet, O Lord. Now You are my only shelter.



podite podite, bharasa barilo,

jnane gati habe mani'

se asa biphala, se jnana durbala,

se jnana ajnana jani


2) Reading on and on, my hopes grew and grew, for I considered the aquisition of material knowledge to be life's true goal. How fruitless those hopes turned out to be, for all my knowledge proved feeble. Now I know that all such erudition is actually pure ignorance.



jada-vidya jata, mayara vaibhava,

tomara bhajane badha

moha janamiya, anitya samsare,

jivake koraye gadha


3) All the so-called knowledge of this world is born of the flickering potency of Your illusory energy (maya). It is an impediment to the execution of devotional service to You. Indulgence in mundane knowledge verily makes an ass of the eternal soul by encouraging his infatuation with this temporary world.*



sei gadha ho'ye, samsarera bojha,

bahinu aneka kala

bardhakye ekhona, saktira abhave,

kichu nahi lage bhalo


4) Here is one person who has been turned into such an ass, who for so long has carried on his back the useless burden of material existence. Now in my old age, for want of the power to enjoy, I find that nothing at all pleases me.



jivana jatana, hoilo ekhona,

se vidya avidya bhelo

avidyara jwala, ghatilo bisama,

se vidya hoilo selo

5) Life has now become agony, for my so-called erudite knowledge has proven itself to be worthless ignorance. Material knowledge has now become a pointed shaft and has pierced my heart with the intolerable, burning pain of ignorance.



tomara carana, bina kichu dhana,

samsare na ache ara

bhakativinoda, jada-vidya chadi,'

tuwa pada kore sara


6) O Lord, there is no treasure worth seeking in this world other than Your lotus feet. Bhaktivinoda abandons all his mundane knowledge and makes Your lotus feet the sum and substance of his life.


Q. by Chandrika: Does the word jnana as referred to in Bhagavad Gita only refer to mundane knowledge about the material world or does it refer to all types of knowledge? Is knowledge about the spiritual world different from jnana?


Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:


Gyana or Knowledge is basically of 5 types:


(1) A-gyana or misused knowledge when it is used for satisfying one's mundane senses.


(2) Ku-gyana means the worst kind of offensive knowledge which is practiced in an effort to become God or one with Him. It is like borrowing a knife from someone and then try to murder him with that. God gives us all knowledge and then we claim it is ours and use that same knowledge to try to become God and fruitlessly attempt to dislodge the real Lord from His position as God.


(3) Brahma Gyana or speculative knowledge of analysis used in an effort to differentiate matter from spirit and to understand the impersonal aspect of God.


(4) Paramatma Gyana or the knowledge of the yogis who want to understand the four-handed Paramatma Vishnu form of the Lord in the heart by deep meditation.


(5) Bhagavad Gyana or the topmost knowledge of the Supreme Person Bhagavan Lord Gauranga-Krishna which is practiced through Bhakti Yoga and chanting the Holy Names of the Lord to engage in the pure unalloyed service of the Lord.


(6) Nityananda Gauranga Bhagavad Gyana is the most sublime and effortless even among Bhagavad Gyana but is very rarely understood or practiced by souls. This is the most superior knowledge of knowledge that Lords Nityananda Gauranga are Bhagavan Themselves and Their mercy is the only means to attain Shri Shri Radha Krishna or to attain the mercy of any other incarnation of the Lord.


99.99% of the people of this world practice the first three kinds of knowledge and thus fruitlessly and perpetually transmigrate in this material world. Shri Bhaktivinoda Thakura is hinting at these three kinds of knowledge in his above song.


The last three kinds of knowledge are very very rare in ascending order and they are aspired for by those supremely pious souls who are nearing the completion of their stay in this painful material world of birth and death.


Bhagavad Gita is spoken by the Lord Himself so there is no tinge of the first three kinds of knowledge in the Gita.


There is so much to write and explain but this should be enough for now.