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The subject of today’s discourse is “The Faculty of Knowledge”.

In the mechanical sphere, knowing, or the functional side of knowledge, occurs with the perception of special types of reflections and refractions, but in the psychic sphere, it occurs as a result of the subjectivization of objectivity or objectivities.

For example, if a particular type of vibration hits an object or plate it meets some resistance and may get reflected or refracted, as in the case of an echo; or a certain portion of the vibration may pass through the plate. In the mechanical stratum, knowledge, or the faculty of knowledge, is thus attained. But in the psychic stratum, knowledge involves the subjectivization of any external objectivity or objectivities. We take an external object inside ourselves, be it an elephant, a horse, a vocalized word, a touch, or anything else with which we come in contact in the outer world, and assimilate it in our psychic existential “I” feeling. This is the process of knowing – it is something related to the psychic sphere. So, knowledge has two aspects – first, the aspect of reflections and refractions, and secondly, the psychic aspect; that is, the process of attaining knowledge in the psychic sphere.

The word jiṋána (knowledge) is derived from the Sanskrit root verb jiṋá (to know). In very ancient Sanskrit, which is otherwise known as the Vedic language, this root verb jiṋá was not very popular. Perhaps you know – especially those of you who study philology, or deal with the science of phonetics and vocabulary – that a language in its infancy starts with a very limited vocabulary. Later, the more the community using this limited word-stock advances in different spheres of practical life, the more enriched the vocabulary becomes, but if that community lacks the will to advance, their vocabulary will not grow. The ancient Vedic language, which was originally spoken in central Russia by the Aryans, gradually developed as the Aryans moved from country to country, undergoing innumerable experiences and realizations as they went. The natural outcome was the enormous development of their vocabulary. In that ancient dialect, the root verb jiṋá was not in common use; another verb, vid, was used.

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Kośa means Ádhára or base.

Kośa means Ádhára or base. Are the Saptaloka (seven spheres) and paiṋcakośa (five sheaths) separate from the Átman (soul)? Is the relation between them that of the container and the contained? If we say; – Eko Brahma Dvitiiyanásti. (There is only one Brahma and no other), then of Ádhára and Ádhrta, which is Brahma and which is not? If either the container or the contained is considered as Brahma does that mean that the other is not Brahma? If it is argued that Saptaloka and Paiṋcakośa are the base of Brahma, then the existence of some other entity outside of Brahma has to be acknowledged. For instance, suppose there is a person in a house. The house and the person exist separately. The house is the container and the person is the contained. Hence, the house is separate from the person. In the Paiṋcakosá, Átman is the contained and the Kośa is the container. Clearly the container must be bigger than that which it contains. There is nothing bigger than Paramátman; hence it cannot have a container. Should we then consider that the Saptaloka and the Paiṋcakośa do not exist? Yes, for the Saptaloka is included in Brahma. Their aggregate is Brahma. The Jiiva is included in the Paiṋcakośa. There is a subtle difference between the Jiiva and Brahma. In the Jiiva there are two types of “I” feeling – one is its mind created by Máyá, and the other is [[its knowledge-filled state – the reflected expression of Paramátmá Himself – that is, its (the jiiva’s) jiivátmá.]] Jiivátman is the real “I” feeling of Jiiva or unit soul. Of the seven spheres, Brahma is unaffected only in the Satyaloka and in the remaining six Lokas, Brahma is affected by Máya. It can also be explained in this way, that the six Lokas are created within Brahma which itself pervades the expressed universe as imperishable Brahma. Brahma has no base. Excepting Satyaloka, the remaining six Lokas are created within Brahma, in the very midst of Brahma. Is it the case then that the light is different from its original source? The Saptalokas are its evolution – these are the manifestation of Brahma – the relationship is not that of the container and the contained. The difference between the Jiivátman and Paramátman exists only so long as there is the “I” feeling of the unit soul. (Jiivabháva).

What is the relationship between Jiivátmán and Paramátman? What is Jiiva (unit soul?) The base of the physical body is the Kośas. Here, the base is bigger than that which is based upon it. The KámamayaKośa is bigger than the AnnamayaKośa. Then the ManomayaKośa is bigger than the KámamayaKośa. The AtimánasKośa is bigger than even the ManomayaKośa. The VijiṋánamayaKośa is larger than this. The HirańmayaKośa is bigger than the VijiṋánmayaKośa and the biggest of all is the Satyaloka. All of these aspects are limited to the unit soul and all of them are its bases. Now, what is the relationship between the base and the based? The relationship is that of a subject and an object. For instance, the physical body is the object of enjoyment and the mind is the enjoyer. That is, our body is the object of enjoyment of our mind and the mind remains attached to it. The body is the base of the mind and the mind is intimately attached to its base.

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