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Shiva Jnana – Pati Jnana – Knowledge Of Brahman In Saiva Siddhanta

Shiva jnana or Pati jnana is the knowledge of Brahman in Saiva Siddhanta. Knowledge of the world, knowledge of the self and knowledge of God (Ishwara) are the three kinds of knowledge in Saiva Siddhanta. Here, knowledge of Ishwara is Shiva jnana or pati jnana. Shiva jnana (knowledge of Shiva) is also known as Vi-jnana or the highest wisdom.

Pashu jnana, or the empirical knowledge of the self, and pasha jnana, or the knowledge of bondage, are not knowledge at all. The self’s empirical knowledge, slurred as it is by impurities, should be abandoned. Knowledge of Shiva, Pati jnana, arises when Shiva and his intelligence pervade the atman (self). And when Shiva dwells in the self, the latter cannot think and act in terms of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. Hence, it is clear that without Ishwara’s intelligence, the self’s intelligence by itself cannot intuit him.

Shiva as the ‘sat’ is beyond demonstrative knowledge, and hence any object of the latter type of knowledge is ‘asat.’ Shiva can be known only as informed by pati-jnana, which is non-demonstrative, self-luminous, and intuitive in character. Here the being’s intelligence is through and through permeated by Shiva’s intelligence. So pashu jnana is preliminary to pati-jnana, which is self-luminous, revealing both itself and others. All doubts of the being regarding itself are removed by the Lord’s revelation. Three metaphysical entities postulated in Saiva Siddhanta – pati, pashu and pasha – are eternal, a demonstration of ishwara-chit-shakti (the innate creative power of Ishwara). The jiva-chit-shakti (consciousness of the self) shines like Shiva-Shakti, when the mystical sivananda anubhuti (bliss of union with Ishwara) takes place in the being.