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Pashu Jnana In Saiva Siddhanta

Pashu Jnana is the level of knowledge in Saiva Siddhanta.

Saiva Siddhanta classifies knowledge as threefold

  • Pasanjnana – knowledge of worldly phenomena
  • Pashu Jnana – knowledge of the self
  • Patijnana – knowledge of Shiva.

The first one is the lower knowledge, the second higher knowledge and the third the highest. The jiva-chit (atma) Shakti (potential power) enables the self to enter into objects through the mind and senses, but into objects through the mind and senses, but such knowledge is limited and conditioned.  But Pashujnana or the knowledge of the self, is different from the knowledge of the internal organs. Through its cognitive instruments, the self obtains discursive, demonstrative and finite knowledge, as compared with infinite, unconditioned and unlimited patijnana, which leads one to liberation and kinship with Shiva.

The self knows through the constraints of its intellect and egocentricity. So Shiva cannot be known by the atma through its cognitive instruments. The atma must progress further and attain Patijnana, Shiva knowledge through His Ishwara Chit Shakti (potential energy), which alone will earn one’s inseparable union with Shiva. The atma’s intelligence is informed by Shiva’s intelligence and so it is preliminary to the intuition of Shiva by the atma. The atma has a two-fold obligation before it – one, to annihilate the defilement caused by the pasajnana (impurities) and second, to look at everything through the eye of Shiva’s grace. So it is imperative on the part of the self to strive hard for attaining patijnana (liberating wisdom) so that the limited knowledge of the self will then be transformed into the realization of Shiva’s grace, leading to wisdom.