KRISHNA Tarangam

A Political and Sciences Website

Knowledge versus Science

Krishna talks about vigyan, without which gyan is useless!
By Vivek Sharma


You must have wondered at some point of  your life knowledge itself is insufficient to deal with situations. But, why? Because, we still believe knowing as the final essential element of human life.

Here we go wrong. Knowledge is the primary ladder of human excellence but it is not the last one. It is useless after sometime. So, in order to understand a few terms in the right perspective, we will have to get a little deeper. The usually mixed up words are gyan and vigyan— They can be roughly translated into English as knowledge and science. 


What is knowledge?


Your brain is constantly receiving  pieces of information from all around, irrespective of the fact, whether you are conscious of it or not. Let us presume a human being just out of the cave, seeing the brilliant sun from the thickset canopy of trees for the first time. The sun has always been there. But, the moment it comes into the purview of the human brain, it becomes information which evokes the desire to know it more till your desire is satisfied. This event leads to the process ‘to know’ and the sun becomes the object of knowledge and the knower gets focused on it till he gathers all information about the sun. Say for instance, the sun is light, the sun is fire, the sun is hot, the sun vanishes in the clouds, rises in the east, sets in the west etc. Then comes the factual part—how the sun is important, how it is relevant to the entire creation, how day and night cycles, weather cycles on the earth are interlinked so on and so forth. This is called gyan, which is the factual consequence of your action “to know”. Everything settles as energy within you. It converts your entire system into a response—expression of this energy to other objects. Everything that you observe, do and think is only under that response. Here the format of information is converted into executive energy (kriya shakti) called gyanagni. In fact, it is the kinetic form of gyan—ready to be used. But, when it is not used, it converts back into gyan. Therefore, the sun  with its relevance to you is called information—soochna, which literally means a piercing pinch (सूचना = सूच (pierce) + युच् (which does it).  What the sun is is the  information. What the sun does is called gyan. And how to  use the sun and convert its energy into electricity is called vigyan. Therefore, vigyan is nothing but the best possible application of gyan. Your use of the sunlight for your daily activities can also be called vigyan if you use it creatively without upsetting your surroundings. You only know when there is a pinch—soochna, something strikes you. Apple is falling daily. But, when it hit Newton’s head, it pinched him and he got into the activity of knowing after a surprise. This knowing led him to anusandhan (research, to ascertain the fact behind  the fall of the apple—the gravitational force). The consequence is called gyan. But, how to use this gravitational force is vigyan. Our rishis had discovered various utilities of this force and had developed many ways to use it. One of them was flying from one place to the other without wings—they called it vimanvi means anti- and maan means measure. That means the machine which can defy the measure of gravity is called viman. They applied the viman vigyan even to the individual levels. Just to give you a glimpse. What is the measure of an individual? His understanding of who he is —his ego. By countering his ego, he flies high in the skies, can travel through the space…For that the rishis had understood how ego - memory complex gives rise to the entire body- mind system. This ego-memory complex works like a gravitational force in the body. Therefore, vigyan is what is taught by Krishna. Vigyan is the way to use gyan as a tool to excel in all the dimensions of life. As long as you use gyan after a word, it is only the factual aspect of the consequence of knowing. Adhyatmgyan, Brahmagyan,  all these fall in this category of gyan.  They are  the consequence of knowing. That is all. But, when it is used as a tool to achieve something, it is called adhyatma vidya, brahma vidya etc. Now we have a new term here, vidya. What is it? A particular aspect of applied and proven vigyan is called vidya. A particular way of using the gyan of cooking is called pakvidya. A collection of such vidyas is called shaastra.  Using the shaastra to counter a challenge, adversary, enemy or a situation, in a competitive environment, it becomes shastra—a weapon to prevail and dominate. Therefore, vidya is not knowledge, it is the proven way to use the gyan in a particular way. Therefore, vidya is nothing but a specific use of vigyan.


Why do we need vigyan?



Krishna answers it in the most scientific way in the Bhagwad Gita, discourse 9, shloka 1.

ज्ञानं विज्ञानसहितं यज्ज्ञात्वा

 मोक्ष्यसे अशुभात्।।

It means, "( I am revealing to you the most secret O the Pure One) the gyan with vigyan, knowing which you would be free from what you perceive is negative and inauspicious."

What does it all mean? It means gyan is useless without vigyan. But, when we practise gyan, implement it, it becomes vigyan. What does vigyan do? It sets you free from whatever is restricting you—a negative moment, a negative situation, social, mental, spiritual, all.

Therefore, mere knowing, mere gyan is not worth having if it is not accompanied with vigyan, its practical usage!

Whatever you perceive through the senses is called the Veda, known, gyan. When you implement the Veda, it becomes Vigyan, a tool to achieve excellence in personal and social spheres of existence. 

Now many erudite fellows may argue and get upset with the sentence that Veda is nothing more that the consequences of the sensory effort! Don’t get upset! Read what Krishna says in Discourse 2, shloka 45.

त्रैगुण्यविषया वेदा निस्त्रैगुण्य 


निर्द्वन्द्वो नित्यसत्त्वस्थो 

निर्योगक्षेम आत्मवान्।।


In a nutshell, it means the three-dimensional world is the object of the Veda. Cross it, O Arjuna, and become the ever free! Free from what? From the duality (द्वन्द्व). What it is like? Getting established in the Cosmic Continuity (नित्यसत्त्वस्थो), which is beyond the effort to procure and preserve (निर्योगक्षेम). 


Here Krishna is stating the fact. This gyan, that is veda, is good for nothing if it keeps you bound to the dualities and the effort to procure and preserve the procured. Implementation of gyan is, to go beyond, the three-dimensional world of limitations and getting established in the Cosmic Continuity. This is vigyan. For getting established in it will keep your head and shoulder above the world of sensory perception. Does it mean destroying the sensory world? No. It means getting into the driver’s seat and using the body, the sensory system, etc the right way. 


You can’t do without vigyan

Go Back


Blog Archive

YOU ASK Comments

Fundamentally explaining.
Jai Sri Jee

....electrons orbiting around the nucleus form the elemental mind. The five senses in their elemental form are five elements. So everything, including the matter and man, are but various forms of Intelligent Energy. They come from It and merge back into it. This is even happening at the galactic level. A galaxy is nothing but stars (like senses) pulled towards its energy centre....

Wow, wow wow.
Jai ho..

Jai ho....

Jai ho! Jai ho! Jai ho !