3rd Step Path of Knowledge
3rd step Gnana Yoga- Path of knowledge
Though one often begin on this path by reading scriptures and listening to the wise, the knowledge flows from within by the grace bestowed by the Master. Love and devotion only allows the knowledge to follow. The steps to practice knowledge is Sravana, Manana and Nididhysana. Sravana means 'to listen' includes all methods of perception. For Sravana you need to have interest. Once you are interested you are able to perceive. Manana means pondering over which has a little less effort. Once you have perceived, Manana begins. Nididhyasa is again effortless, It becomes part of you, a result of Sravana and Manana. Without Sravana manana is not possible, without Manana Nididhyasa is not possible.
Love and devotion moves a person from inaction to action and matures to selfless action when driven by knowledge kindled by Master. Knowledge helps to arouse selfless action to a well channelized selfless action where Love becomes the appetizer, knowledge as the main course and service becomes the exercise. Without love and service knowledge muddles. Without a Master knowledge of knowledge becomes incomplete and we may not even know what step should be taken to advance in knowledge. The more the knowledge one has and not in order give rise to all sorts of confusion.
The knowledge gained by reading or hearing without Sravava and Manana only may give rise to the ‘I know it’ attitude which feeds the ego and can be an obstacle in the path of knowledge. It is through love and knowledge one can pierce through the darkness of ignorance. Secondly one of the biggest challenges faced by everyone is the lack of integration between the body and mind. Intellect recognizes the right actions but the body and mind refuses to follow that path. Also in some cases, in spite of inner heart saying that something is wrong, we tread that path we face huge resistance because of lack of coordination conscious choice decision and intention.
So first listen(Sravana), then contemplate on it (manana), then make it your own experience (Nididhyasana), Then that becomes wisdom. The wisdom or experiential knowledge, on the other hand, kindled by Master brings surrender and devotion in our life. This cycle of Sravava, manana and Nididhyasana continues. The free will the power of this virtuous cycle makes it possible for you to experience the wisdom.
Thus the path of knowledge becomes the experiential knowledge of the self! This is the true and highest knowledge! The main practices of knowledge are study and meditation. Study includes the culmination of Sravana and Manana. Nididhyasana happens in Meditation. Without Meditation, forget about Knowledge, life becomes a mess. Knowledge organizes life. Knowledge disciplines life with determination and commitment!