“The paths leading man to god or Truth are said to be many. I will speak only of the shortest. It is to recognize God as the Self in you and then to find Him out. What is the distance then between you and God, between you and yourself? Ah, there is no distance at all, a full Zero! Yet, how dare you say to find God and Truth is hard?’’ 

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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In general, “aparoksha” is a superior kind of knowledge than “paroksha”. In paroksha or inferential knowledge, there will be scope for doubt. It might be challenged by superior reasoning or later experimental results. But, aparoksha is a direct experiential knowledge leaving no scope for doubts.

When aparoksha knowledge is there, paroksha becomes redundant. You know that you are. Can any extent of reasoning make you believe that you are not? If I prove by logic that you don’t have mind or you don’t have emotion, will you accept? So, to establish the truth of the mind, emotions, thoughts, or the “I” in us, why should we look for reasoning or inference? Thus the mind and intelligence are “aparoksha” knowledge, they cannot be felt by the senses, nor are they inferential.

Now, both aparoksha and paroksha knowledge can be of two kinds : Laukika (worldly) and Paramaarthika (about the supreme Truth, the Atma and Paramaatma). Everybody has the knowledge of his “I” which is associated with the ego. That is also an aparoksha knowledge, but it is “loukika”. For that no inferential analysis is necessary.

But, nobody knows that the “I” in reality is the same as the Paramatma or Brahman; that it is One and immortal; that it is never touched by birth or death or any change. Our laukika aparoksha knowledge of the “I” does not reveal to us this truth about our own Soul, the “I”. Rather, the apparent reality of the plural world prevents such revelation.

So, to understand this dimension of our Soul, we take to various kinds of reasonings (discrimination or viveka), like “atma-anatma-viveka” or “chit-jada-viveka”, or the three states of being. Sustained rumination and analysis along these lines consolidates the inference more and more, i.e. consolidates our paroksha knowledge of the true Soul or the supreme Reality. This is Paramaarthika paroksha.

Crystallization of this paroksha knowledge through introspection and purification of our mind, makes us ready for the aparoksha knowledge of the Soul (paramaarthika aparoksha). Once the aparoksha dawns, the paroksha becomes redundant. Of course, it still has its role for explaining and revealing the truth to other seekers.

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