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Three Doors to Knowledge

by T.N. Dhar 'Kundan'

We are all eager to have knowledge in mundaneterms and enlightenment in spiritual terms and for this we try various methods and tread various paths. There are three doors to this seeking of knowledge and enlightenment as very clearly laid down in the Bhagavad Gita in the following verse:

Tadviddhi pranipaatena pariprashnena sevaya
Upadekshyanti te jnanam jnaninas-tattvadarshinah

(Seek that enlightenment by prostrating, by questions and by service; the wise, the seers into the Truth will instruct you in that knowledge.)

These three doors are ‘Pranipata’ or prostrating, ‘Pariprashna’ or questioning and ‘Seva’ or service. The first door is prostrating or making complete surrender. This involves ‘Shravana’ or reading the scriptures and listening to the words of wisdom from the knowledgeable. It presupposes an unflinching faith in the master ‘Guru’. There should be no problem in knocking at this first door. The very fact that we have entrusted the steering of the boat of our life in the hands of our teachers should see us through this first door. The sincerity of our reverence towards them and our unwavering faith will leave no option before them but to come to our rescue.

The second door is questioning and removing doubts. This is one of ‘Manana’ or deliberation. Whatever we read and hear has to be mulled over and deliberated so that we assimilate what we are taught. In doing so many doubts will spring up and many queries will be there in our mind, for which we shall need clarifications and expositions. When the teacher or a preceptor is present physically we are in direct contact with him and can ask him to clarify our doubts but when he is not present we have to act like Ekalavya. We have to meditate on his picture or a photograph or simply invoke his presence in our mind. In so doing we shall have the benefit of his constant guidance. As we go on with our deliberations, the doubts will get clarified and the queries will get answered.

The third and the final door is service. This is in the form of ‘nidhidyasana’ or dedication. In other words we have so far deliberated on all that we have read and heard. During this deliberation whatever clarifications we needed we have obtained. Now our mind is clear as to what we have to do in order to get mundane knowledge and spiritual enlightenment. Now the only thing that remains is to put it in practice and experience in actuality. Or to put it in a scientific terminology, the science that we have learnt is to be tested and applied in actual practice. This is very important because pure sciences are meaningless unless applied in the form technology. Shri Krishna has also stated in the Gita that ‘Jnana’ or knowledge must be supplemented by‘vijnana’ or practicals in order to make the knowledge‘Ashesha’ or absolute. He tells Arjuna,

 

‘Jnanamte’ham savijnanam idam vakshyami asheshatah,

yat jnatva nehi bhuyoh jnatavyam avashishyate 

– I shall give you knowledge together with its application, after knowing which nothing further remains to be known’.

Once we gain knowledge and get enlightenment after going through these three proven doors prescribed in the Gita, we shall attain supreme bliss.

To put it in the words of Swami Vivekananda, ‘divinity will manifest in our personality in all the three aspects of thought, word and deed ‘vichar, vaani, karma’. If we are sincere God will shower His grace on us and lead us on the path of righteousness. 

Source: Har-Van

T. N. Dhar Kundan's Articles

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