What is Knowledge? -

What is Knowledge?

What is Knowledge?


In Katha Upanishad Chapter 2, Verse 5, it says:

ya i̱mam madhva̍daṁ ve̱da̱ ā̱tmāna̍ṁ jīva̱m anti̍kāt |

ī̱śānam bhūta̍-bhavya̱sya̱ na̱ tato viju̍gupsate | e̱tad vai tat

 We are madvadah – one who lives their life based on deservership, focusing on the fruits of their action. However, we can become the isha of bhuta and bhavya- knowers of the past and the future.Once we look closely (antikat) at who we are, we find that we do not need to protect ourselves from anything- we become FEARLESS. 

Prince Arjuna now knows that he wants to go beyond the jiva and jagadisvara, and finally realize the limitless Brahman.


Question 31: What is prakriti (Matter)? Answer: That which is Experienced

Question 32: What is purusha (Spirit)? Answer: The Experiencer

Question 33: What is kshetra (Change? Answer: That which is Useless.

Question 34: What is kshetrajna (the Changeless)? That which is Useful

We must shift away from identifying with matter and change, to being an observer of matter and change. 

In Chapter 2, Prince Arjuna shifts his focus and grows into being a disciple. Instead, develop a personal relationship with the Spirit and the Changeless.


Question 35 (Chapter 13, Verse 1):

 “Prakriti (Matter) and Purusha (Spirit), also the Kshetra (the Field) and Kshetrajna (the Knower-of-the-Field), Knowledge and that which ought to be known –these, I wish to learn, O Keshava.”

Answer 35 (Chapter 13, Verse 12):

“Constancy in Self-knowledge, perception of the end of true knowledge—this is declared to be ‘knowledge’, and what is opposed to it is ‘ignorance’.”

Bhagavan Krishna begins His response in Verse 8, where He explains that the known and the knower are different- so then, when the body or mind are agitated, why do we identify with that agitation? The distinction is not our anubhuti (experience), and our knowledge is the summation of our values, described in verses 8-12.

8. amanitvam:  humility, to be obedient to the higher

9. janma-mṛityu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣhānudarśhanam: non-attachment and understanding towards birth, death, old age, disease and sorrow

10. nityaṁ cha sama-chittatvam iṣhṭāniṣhṭopapattiṣhu: perpetual balance towards the attainment of what you want and what you don’t want

11. vivikta-deśha-sevitvam aratir jana-sansadi: enjoy being by yourself and in quietude

12. artha-darśhanam: a steadfast passion for being a full-time seeker

At the end of Chapter 15, Bhagavan describes Prince Arjuna as anagha (the one who is pure) and bharata (the one who revels in knowledge).Thus, for the one who is pure, they will revel in knowledge. 

Practical Question: What is knowledge? 

Practical Answer: Purity

Reflection: What is needed for the constant remembrance of this knowledge, even in the face of adversity?

One must check in regularly with their artha-darshanam, or purpose.

Group Reflection:

Cultivating determination and inspiration by being perpetual and purposeful. 

Perpetual means doing daily sadhana and cultivate daily reminders to lead us to development. 

Purposeful means being intentional in the present, to simplify and priori-task, so that we can identify and admit our grief and open our hearts to the guidance of Bhagavan.

Individual Reflection:

Self-knowledge, or atma-vidya, comes from self-inquiry and reflection. Through sincere sadhana, we can go beyond our perceptions, feelings and thoughts and realize our true nature- joy. 

Unless we emulate Prince Arjuna and become disciples, all we have is knowledge with no experience of inner and peace and joy. 

“It is not enough to go through the book, but the book must go through you”- we must LIVE the Gita, not just KNOW the Gita.

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The Chinmaya Mission Northwest Indiana Center was established in 2002. It has now evolved into an organization serving the entire Indian community in Northwest Indiana. Chinmaya Mission is an excellent opportunity for spiritual learning.

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