Two Types of Knowledge the Vedas Give Us 3/9/2011 12:00:00 AM
The Vedas give us two types of knowledge, both of which are unavailable for us to arrive at with our usual means of knowledge, and both of which types of knowledge are beneficial for us to know.
The first type of knowledge is knowledge of the creation and how it works. The Vedas tell us of the existence of Ishvara and the orders that govern the whole. They tell us about dharma and karma, about those deeds which will have beneficial results (puNya), and those deeds which will not (pApa). They tell us about rebirth and the existence of heaven realms. They describe to us those rituals we can do in order to attain desired results, and also certain types of prayer.
All of the above we cannot arrive at with our usual means of knowledge. The first portion of the Vedas gives us knowledge of those things which will enable us to live and good and happy life, both here and hereafter.
The second portion of the Vedas, the Upanisads, also known as Vedanta, gives us knowledge of something else. This portion gives us the knowledge of who we in fact are and what this entire creation is. They lead us to the recognition that 'I am the Whole.' The entire manifest reality has for its being my Self alone.
We cannot arrive at either of these two types of knowledge on our own, and both of them are beneficial for us. The type of knowledge which the first portion of the Vedas gives us is considered to be in the realm of 'belief,' in that we cannot know if all that is described therein is really true, yet to my mind anyway, logic supports it.
We can know and recognize 'I am the Whole.' All of this which appears to be dual has as its reality my very being alone.
So the Vedas give us two types of knowledge, neither of which we can arrive at on our own, and both of which are beneficial for us to know. The first helps us to live the best life that we can in the changing world of experience, and we accept the words with faith, because with an individual limited mind we cannot know how all of duality is working in detail. The second type of knowledge (Self-knowledge) we can know directly and without a shadow of a doubt. Initially we accept the words with faith pending understanding, and when the understanding arrives we know, we know directly and absolutely that 'I am the whole.' There is nothing that truly exists other than 'me.'