Higher and Lower Knowledge

Higher and Lower Knowledge

Shaunaka, a great householder, once approached Angiras in the prescribed manner and asked, “My Lord, what is that, knowing which, everything becomes known?”

Angiras then said to him, “Two kinds of knowledge are to be gained, as indeed the knowers of Brahman declare – higher (para) and lower (apara).”

Of these, the lower consists of the [4 Vedas and 6 Vedanga]. The higher is that by which the imperishable is known.

– Mundaka Upanishad 1.1.3-5, Katz & Egenes translation

Studying by Stefano Mortellaro
Studying by Stefano Mortellaro

Para means beyond or before, ie: the absolute. Apara means not beyond.

Thus Angiras is recommending a study of the primary Vedic texts and transcending all that (going beyond, para) to discover our true nature.

Without the direct knowledge of being and culturing our deeper nature, the texts remain concepts in the mind. Reading them just grows our concepts.

With transcendence, we discover our true nature within and come to live it. The texts can then come alive. The sage’s understanding gives us language and context for our unfolding.

Without the texts, we can live enlightenment but may be challenged to communicate it or get misled by our own impressions. This is particularly true after a shift when we can feel complete and done.

With the understanding of the sages and our own direct experience, we gain the full value of our own unfolding.

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  1. Judi Henry

    Hi, David. Just wondering why I often get “Invalid WP token!” when I try to rate the various blogs. At first I thought it only happened on my IPhone, but today I purposely got on here to give you my usual 5 thumbs up, and am greeted by the same response. “Inquiring minds want to know.” Thanks & have a happy day! Judi

    1. Hi Judi
      Thanks for mentioning it. Looked it up and it’s a conflict between WordPress security and the page cache. The latter helps pages load faster but the security blocks older cached pages (they then have an ‘invalid token’). I changed the settings on the cache. That should help.

  2. Judi

    Just tested it for this blog and was able to rate it: 5 star, just like you. Thanks for the speedy response. May your day be filled with Awareness, Peace, Light, Love and Joy. ( I just finished meditating, so that should work. 🙂

  3. Tyler

    Hi David. Thank you once again for the fantastic posts. I was just wondering if you had any recommendations in regards to books one could add to their library beyond yours and Lucia Lorn’s which I already have and greatly cherish. Ever Grateful!

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