The Elusive Nature of Knowledge

benchConsider the following Vedic quote:

Richo akshare parame vyoman yasmin deva adhi vishve nisheduh,
Yastanna veda kim richa karishyatiya it tad vidus ta ime samasate.
(Rig Veda, 1.164.39)

This essentially means that the knowledge of life (Vedic Knowledge) is rooted in awareness of the Transcendental level of life. It then points out that without awareness of that level, the meaning of Vedic literature slips through ones fingers. It asks the question, “If a person is not established in the transcendental level of life, what use are the verses of the Veda to him?” In other words, knowledge of life is not found in the memorization of facts, verses, or words. It lies deeper. It is more elusive. Repetition of wise words does not mean a person is wise. Wisdom lies deep within.

Now consider the following Vedic quote:
  To the enlightened brahmin all the
  Vedas are of no more use than is a
  small well in a place flooded with
  water on every side.
  – Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 46

Combining these verses can be viewed as a perplexing problem. The unenlightened cannot comprehend the Veda so what use is it to them? The enlightened already understand the Veda so they have no need for it. They already have ‘it’ so what use is it to them?

Just as these verses say, the resolution lies not in the surface but in the depth. Comprehension lies in the depth… in the transcendental level. It points out that ultimately a knower of Veda is not one who has memorized the texts or chants or Sanskrit language. A knower of Veda is one whose awareness is established in the transcendental level of life, even if he has never even read a single word of Vedic literature.

Of course, if ones relationship with the Vedic texts is wise, they can be used as a catalyst to assist one in awakening to the transcendental level. On the other hand, if the relationship is not wise, one may consider himself to be a knower of Veda, even a Vedic scholar, simply because the verses have been memorized. Consider the Vedic texts to be elusive Secret Doctrines. But understand that they are not secret because they are hidden away. They are secret because even after one reads and memorizes them, they remain a secret to that person.

Of course, the enlightened find great joy in reading the Vedic literature. They rest in the beauty, insight and knowledge of the words. They also find them of great value in assisting others to awaken to the transcendental level of life. Do not sell yourself short. The truth of the Veda dwells within you as You! You are a divine being. Spiritual growth means awakening to that… awakening to your true nature… the Truth that is found in the depth of Vedic Knowledge… the Truth of your Divine Nature.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.


  1. This blog reminds of a Brahmarshi saying, “Reading all about weight-lifting does not make you buff.” It isn’t just Vedic literature, but everything that has any connection with spirituality that people seem to latch onto. They modify outward behavior while ignoring the path to the Final Frontier (another Brahmarshi term), i.e. their own enlightenment. I hear good intentions all day long. I suppose I spout them myself. But ultimately I do know that I must meditate and act, meditate and act, meditate and act. We are so blessed to be guided in the only journey that really matters.

  2. For me, hearing the Bhagavad Gita in Sanskrit, and not understanding on a thinking level what is meant….feels like it goes to a place of remembrance and a different kind of under standing. Though the commentary is beautiful and enlightening, for me, nothing beats the rhythm, the sound, the waves. It is like an ocean of knowledge cascading over me, then reverberating inside of me.

  3. Two lovely comments … Gaining knowledge is not so much about learning new facts as it is about gaining deeper in-sights into the facts you already know.

  4. I came back in to read this morning before rounding. It really is so amazing! I am thinking of a lot of things before roundng.

    Still unsure of sound becoming light. I am trying to understand that, and it is becoming an exercise in jogging my brain. Is it like the light of awareness?

    How language can either bond is or separate us. When you immerse in a culture, learning the language seems to do something to your brain. It seems to lead to a deeper understanding of how the culture thinks? But Mantras, they seem a whole different level. It seems passport to a whole nother place that roots everything.

    That whole secret knowledge thing blows my mind! I am such a product of western culture. Resting into Knowledge was very foreign to me, never mind resting into myself.

    When you study the Veda, will an Observer only be able to cognize or understand it from one facet of the diamond? Do you just keep turning the diamond and learn deeper levels? Is one peek in a facet of the diamond more useful? Or the most useful is what serves the reality of the moment, and a person who is evolved just Knows how to approach the diamond in that moment?

    Jai Guru Dev.

  5. Very beautiful blog and comments. We are so very fortunate…
    Jai Guru Dev

  6. Hi Donna,
    I assume all those questions are rhetorical. If not, they can be addressed in class and/or over time. Then again, they have all already been addressed, or at least the dots are there for you to connect. Isn’t it beautiful how there is no end to this knowledge. One point, one question, leads to the next in a wonderfully interconnected endless array of knowledge. Thus is the grandeur of creation. All born of the one thing that IS… consciousness interacting with itself… all done with mirrors.

  7. Rereading my response to Donna, I trust it was clear. I love the questions, but the responses would require more than can be done in a comment. Keep your comments coming Donna. They’re great.