Knowing, Realizing, Vedanta, Siddhanta

Trilogy Commentary, Merging with Siva, Lesson 156


Experience by intuition is what Gurudeva means by realizing. Realizing the inner light, balikana. Knowing your Self means realization. The book is within you. Jnana means bringing out wisdom from the within. Our Saiva Siddhanta tradition, combines Vedanta and Siddhanta. We want to be monistic theists, ,advaita Ishvaravadins. Thayumanavar: "Oh thou, the Siddha Elite of Divine Light that hath reached the Vedanta-Siddhanta accord high!"

Master Course Trilogy, Merging with Siva, Lesson 156.

Unedited Transcript:

Good morning everyone.

Reading this morning from Lesson 156 from Merging with Siva, which relates to the idea of Vedanta and Siddhanta which comes up toward the end here.

"One who performs japa properly will realize what he knows. You see, japa opens up the inner mind and focuses the energies of certain chakras, which are consciousness encased within the psychic nerve ganglia of the nadi network..."

Sounds like a 'Gurudevaism', hmm? There's a lot packed into those sentences. But this idea is important to understand I think, before we read more.

"One who performs japa properly will realize what he knows...".

So what is the difference? What is the difference between knowing something and realizing something, right? That's Gurudeva saying: There's a difference.

Well we can know something on a couple of levels, for example, the basic level is we could memorize: What are the three perfections of God Siva? One, two, three. Okay, we memorized it. Congratulations. That's a form of knowing. Memorizing. If you were asked: Well, explain the differences between the three perfections of God Siva and you were actually able to do that, explain clearly how this one differs from this one and differs from that one, that's using reason. We're knowing something and we understand it through a deeper level than memory, right? We can explain it back to someone in a reasoning way. That's still not realization. Realization is we've experienced it and said another way, we, we have an understanding of it that's coming from inside or coming from our intuition. So experience by intuition is what Gurudeva means by realizing.

Take another example: Balikana is the basic form of inner light. When we visualize a tree and we take away the tree, the light that remains is called balikana, right? In Shum. But if you know the definition balikana means the inner light when images are removed. That's knowing what balikana is but realizing it is to be able to sit in meditation, visualize the tree, take away the tree and you're actually seeing the inner light of balikana which as Gurudeva describes is like a moon-like glow. It's not really brilliant.

The moon was out this morning. How many saw the moon this morning? Up early enough. Not quite full yet but still quite beautiful in terms of how it brightens up the whole sky.

So moon-like glow. So is that clear, the difference between knowing and realizing? We can know by memorizing, we can know by being able to explain it through reason. But, realization is we experience it or we have an intuition into what it means.

A nice quote on that, relates to that, from Yogaswami:

"Books become necessary only when knowing your self is not possible."

That's a good one right? So, knowing your Self means realization. Only when you can't realize do you need to read a book and read someone else's realization as Gurudeva would say. Gurudeva wasn't very much, didn't have a lot of patience for reading other people's realizations. He'd rather realize something himself and write it down.

I liked what, I opened up Yogaswami the other morning and that's what the told me: "Books become necessary only when knowing your self is not possible."

That's the idea of jnana in our tradition. Jnana means divine wisdom, jnani is someone who has divine wisdom. In some traditions that is very much related to the study of books. So, not faulting that, just saying it's a different tradition. Study books can lead to deep realization. It's called jnana yoga. But in our tradition, we don't need the book. The book is within you. And jnana means you are bringing out wisdom from the within. So jnani in our tradition is someone who goes deeply enough within to bring out the knowledge and of course that knowledge is within everyone. It's not just within him or her. It's within each individual.

That was the first sentence. I may have to skip ahead here. It's kind of past my time I think. I wanted to talk about Vedanta Siddhanta. I'll jump forward to that paragraph.

"...In short, there are two kinds of Hindus--a majority who worship in the temples without a philosophical background and those who do have such a background and take part in their religion, discussion of the higher knowledge and meditation upon it, feeling no need for the Gods of for temple worship. The Panchakshara Mantra, Aum Namah Sivaya, the center of the Vedas, is the link between the two, between Siddhanta and Vedanta, because it makes the mind realize what it knows.( That's what we're talking about. Second use of that phrase.) Every Siddhantin knows a little about Vedanta and disregards it. And every Vedantin knows a bit about Siddhanta and disregards it. Through chanting Aum Namah Sivaya, finally you will realize what you know, including what you previously disregarded, and that blends the two--makes the whole person. The purusha becomes satisfied living in the physical body. The jiva becomes Siva..."

So that's a specific use of Vedanta-Siddhanta that Gurudeva uses and sometimes other writers use. In that sense Siddhanta is referring to temple worship and Vedanta or Theism and Vedanta is referring to the Monism or the higher philosophy when you put the two together like that. In other words, as Tirumular says the Theism, theistic understanding, to acquaint Siddhanta with Theism is the common Saiva's lot, something like that. So B. Natarajan translated that. So this is using Siddhanta in the theistic or dualistic sense and Vedanta in the monistic sense. So, it's saying we want to combine the two, we want to be monistic theists. An Advaita Ishvaravadin, right? Monistic theists in Sanskrit. Advaita Ishvaravadin.

And it shows what is needed. I was talking about that before, remember, I gave my example of the satsang I held in southern California when I had just come from the BAPS kumbabishekam of their temple in Chino Hills and was all filled with theism. Jai Swaminarayan, you know. Lots of theism there and then we attended the satsang and there was a number of devotees of the Chinmaya mission there cause they knew the group and they're of course are the monists. So I was saying well ideally we'd mix the two. They had both theism and monism together at all times but of course most groups are either theistic or monistic but, and most Hindus are either theistic or monistic as Gurudeva's pointing out. But it's important for the theistic, those who are involved in temple worship, to gain a deeper understanding of monism and it's important for the monists to understand the greater, to deepen their understanding of theism. That's what Gurudeva's trying to tell us here.

Found a quote from Thayumanavar which ties these ideas together, what specifically are the ideas, the ideas are knowing verses realizing. And that book knowledge by itself is just knowing, it's not realizing; we need to go deeper than that and that Vedanta-Siddhanta ideally are a one whole. So he puts it all in one stanza.

"Of a certain, of a certain are they the goodly ones that have learning none..."

Sounds like Chellapaswami--"We know not!" In other words if you think you know, there's a higher stage still, because the highest realizations can't be explained. So if you can explain your realization you know it's not the highest one. Very simple.

So he's saying: "Of a certain, of a certain are they the goodly ones, that have learning none... (Meaning they've realized something that's beyond learning.) ...What shall I speak of my fate. My intelligence, who, though learned, is possessed of wisdom none? If the good people say: The jnana path of liberation is the exalted one, I argue that the karma path is all important. If someone argues, karma is the important path, I turn round and say that jnana is all important. If one learned in Sanskrit comes to argue, I speak of the exalted truths expounded in Tamil. If pundits learned in Tamil similarly come I smatter a few slokas in Sanskrit. Thus, confusing all, establishing nothing decisive, will this learning ever lead to mukti? Oh thou, the Siddha Elite of Divine Light that hath reached the Vedanta-Siddhanta accord high!"

Isn't that beautiful?

Have a wonderful day.

Photo of  Gurudeva
It is the older folk, the wiser folk, the experienced elders, who have lived longer and therefore can see further, to whom youth should be listening.
—Gurudeva