CLASSIFICATION OF KNOWLEDGE

 Knowledge is classified into immediate and mediate (pratyaksa and paroksa) (Pr.  224).  Avadhi, manahparyaya and kevala are the three kinds of immediate which may be called extraordinary and extrasensory perceptions.  They are called immediate (pratyaksa) knowledge, because these are acquired not through the medium of senses.  Avadhi is clairvoyance.  It is direct knowledge of material things even at a distance of space or time.  It is called ‘avadhi’ or ‘limited’ because it functions within a particular area and up to a particular time.  It cannot go beyond spatio-temporal limits.  Manahparyaya is telepathy, direct knowledge of the thoughts of others.  This is also limited by spatio-temporal conditions.  Kevalajnana is omniscience.  It can be acquired by the person who is devoid of all types of passions and this Kevalajnana becomes cause of liberation.  It is beyond spatio-temporal conditions.  Paroksa or mediate knowledge is divided into Mati or Abhinibodhaka and Sruta.  These are acquired by the soul through external agencies.  Mati is ordinary cognition obtained by means of sense-perception, and Sruta or testimony is derived from Scriptures or authority.  Thus these are five kinds of right knowledge.  Besides these five kinds of right knowledge, we have three kinds of erroneous knowledge, and vibhangajnana-limited direct erroneous knowledge.  Thus knowledge is classified into eight kinds, five of them are right knowledge and latter three are erroneous knowledge (Pr. 225).  These are known as eight kinds of determinate knowledge (Pr.  194-5).

 Consciousness is the chief characteristic possessed by soul.  Darsana and Jnana are the two manifestations of concisousness.  Darsana is the first stage of cognition where we are only aware of an object.  It is known as indeterminate knowledge or formless (anakara upayoga) which is of four kinds : Caksurdarsana-darsana caused by sight, acaksurdarsana-non visual cognition, avadhidarsana, limited direct cognition and Kevaladarsana-Perfect darsana.  The difference between the Darsana and Jnana is that in the former, we have simple apprehension, perception of generalities of things, while in the latter we have conceptual knowledge.  Again in the former details are not perceived, while in the latter the details are clearly known.  Thus Darsana is called indeterminate while Jnana is called determinate.

 

 

Introduction

INDEX