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Division Of True Knowledge Is Not Possible – It Is Only An Imagination From The Bodily Standpoint – Hindu Saints

In the context of Hindu philosophy, particularly as discussed by saints and scholars, the statement "Division of true knowledge is not possible – it is only an imagination from the bodily standpoint" emphasizes the unity and indivisibility of true knowledge or wisdom. Here’s an expanded explanation:

Unity of Knowledge

  1. Non-Dualism (Advaita): Many Hindu saints and scholars, especially those aligned with Advaita Vedanta, emphasize the concept of non-dualism, where all of existence is seen as one unified reality. In this view, knowledge (jnana) is also non-dual and indivisible. The perception of divisions in knowledge is considered an illusion (maya) arising from our identification with the body and mind.

  2. True Knowledge: True knowledge, in this philosophical framework, refers to the understanding of the ultimate reality or Brahman, which is formless, infinite, and beyond all dualities. This knowledge is not subject to division because Brahman itself is an undivided whole. It is the realization that the individual self (atman) and the universal self (Brahman) are one and the same.

Bodily Standpoint

  1. Illusion of Division: From the perspective of the body and the ego, we tend to see the world in dualistic terms—subject and object, knower and known, teacher and student. This dualistic perception extends to knowledge, leading us to categorize it into different types, such as direct and indirect knowledge, theoretical and practical knowledge, etc.

  2. Imagination and Maya: Hindu saints often teach that these divisions are products of maya, the cosmic illusion that makes the one reality appear as many. This illusion is tied to our bodily existence and our senses, which perceive diversity and multiplicity.

Knowledge is Knowledge

  1. Homogeneity of Knowledge: In the ultimate sense, knowledge is seen as homogeneous and seamless. It is a direct apprehension of truth, which is the same for everyone who realizes it. Saints argue that in the state of true wisdom or enlightenment, the distinctions we make in ordinary life fall away.

  2. Practical Implications: While in everyday life we might need to distinguish between different kinds of knowledge for practical purposes (e.g., scientific knowledge vs. spiritual knowledge), these distinctions are provisional and not reflective of the ultimate nature of reality. They are tools for functioning in the world but do not capture the essence of knowledge.

Teachings of Hindu Saints

  1. Scriptural References: Hindu scriptures like the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and works of various saints often reinforce the idea that true knowledge transcends all divisions. For instance, the Upanishads declare "Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma" (All this is indeed Brahman), pointing to the underlying unity of all existence.

  2. Saints' Realizations: Saints like Adi Shankaracharya, Ramana Maharshi, and others have experienced and taught this non-dual reality. They describe their realization as a state where the distinctions between self and other, knowledge and ignorance, dissolve, leaving only pure awareness.

In conclusion, the assertion that "Division of true knowledge is not possible – it is only an imagination from the bodily standpoint" encapsulates a profound aspect of Hindu spiritual teaching. It highlights the ultimate unity and indivisibility of true knowledge, which transcends all apparent distinctions created by the mind and senses. This perspective encourages seekers to look beyond superficial divisions and to realize the oneness of all existence.