Jnaneshvar's Amritanubhav

Chapter Three:

Absolute Knowledge

"In the Third Chapter, Jnaneshvar attempts to expose the error of confusing rela6ve knowledge with the absolute Knowledge, which is synonymous with the Self"

"In the Shaivite philosophical tradition, the subtlest level at which thought emanates from that perfect Knowledge is called 'Para', corresponding to the subtlest body of man, the supra-causal body. This IS where all thought-impulses begin.

''At a less subtle level, called 'pashyanti', which corresponds to the causal body, the thought takes form.

"And at the level called 'madhyama', corresponding to the subtle body, the thought is fully formulated and may be heard within.

"This thought is then uttered at the gross level, called 'vaikari', and emitted as speech. These are the four levels of speech; they are the consecutive degrees of expression of relative, or dualistic, knowledge. But this knowledge is not the absolute Knowledge; it is but a pale and dim reflection."

It is true that these four levels if speech
Are, conducive to soul-liberation,
But with the destruction of ignorance,
These also are destroyed.

Ignorance, while it remains,
Is the cause of false knowledge;
And when it vanishes,
Is the cause of true knowledge.

But, living or dead,
This ignorance entangles the individual
By binding him
With either slavery or a false sense of freedom.

If freedom itself is a kind of bondage,
Why should the word,’ freedom’ be given to it?

In the Shiva Sutras,
Has declared that knowledge itself is bondage.

If the Self, which is pure Knowledge itself,
Requires the help of another knowledge,
Would that not be like the Sun seeking help
Of another light?

When ignorance, being utterly dejected,
Enters the fire of Consciousness
Along with her organs,
Nothing remains hut the ashes of knowledge.

So, also the knowledge
That swallows everything' other than Itself
Is merged in the ultimate Reality
But remains as knowledge.

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