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Sa Vidya Ya Vimuktaye - that which liberates is knowledge

Knowledge or vidya gives power, pleasure, and honor. Both science and spirituality enrich us with knowledge, but that knowledge is superior, which leads us to liberation. Liberation from physical, mental, and external bonds is attained through the control of external nature with the help of science; while liberation from internal bonds is attained through ethics and religion. Hindu scriptures say: ‘Sa vidya ya vimuktaye; that which liberates is knowledge.’


But the main role of knowledge is to free us from all these bondages: fear, doubts, inadequacy, and uncertainty. Total knowledge is apara and para, lower and higher, according to the Mundaka Upanishad.

Despite the assertion that spiritual knowledge is higher, it is emphasized that cultivating both of them (science and spirituality) is required for our full-fledged development. The former knowledge is about doing, while the latter is about being.

It is basically a way of developing a holistic way of life — living a mature and balanced life and achieving the integration of personality. It is a way of turning away from a ‘having mode’ of life to a ‘being mode’ of life.

Experience is present in both science and spirituality; but two additional features such as moral and psychological transformation are required in spirituality, but are optional in science. It is possible to be simultaneously immoral and scientific, but it is impossible to be simultaneously immoral and spiritual.

Truth is the regime of both science and spirituality; they have mutual kinship, although the roads they follow are different. Science is objective knowledge while spirituality is subjective knowledge. The former is of the external world while the latter is of the internal world of our body-mind complex.

Article titled ‘The Science in Spirituality’ Gopal C Bhar

Source – Prabuddha Bharata – April 2017 Issue