The knowledge born of awareness of the Ultimate Reality is one of the different types of Spiritual Power or siddhis outlined in the Vibhuti Pada (Book III) of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. In Sanskrit, this type of knowledge is referred to as Vivekam-Jnanam.
To better understand what this sutra implies, allow me to explain what the words Vivekam and Jnanam means.
Vivekam or Viveka means intuitive discernment and is one of the two components of memory, which is a faculty of knowledge. It’s like some kind of a funky sorting mechanism which gets hold of thoughts and intuitions, arranges them, separates their lower mental elements from their higher mental elements, corrects their false extensions, false limitations, misapplications and then assigns them their right application, right extension, and right limitation.
Jnanam or Jnana means knowledge. It is the power of direct and divine knowledge which works independently of the intellect and senses or uses them only as subordinate assistants.
By gaining divine knowledge (Jnana) that is of intuitive discernment (Viveka), one begins to know the difference between the false and the ultimate reality. One also starts to understand existence itself and all the appearances of the world that puzzles the mind.
Anyway, I think we can have a better understanding of this by taking a look at Sutra 53 of the Vibhuti Pada.
“Ksana-tat-kramayoh samyamad vivekajam jnanam”
"Knowledge born of awareness of Reality by performing Samyama on moment and (the process of) its succession."
— I.K. Taimni, The Science Of Yoga
"Focusing with perfect discipline on the succession of moments in time yields insight born of discrimination."
— Chip Hartranft, The Yoga-Sûtra of Patañjali
"From perfectly concentrated Meditation on the divisions of time and their succession comes that wisdom which is born of discernment."
— Charles Johnston, The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali: The Book of the Spiritual Man
The corresponding energy center for this is the Crown Chakra. However, the sutra specifically states that knowledge born of the awareness of ultimate reality can be attained by performing Samyama Meditation on the process which produces Time.
Patanjali uses the term Ksana-Tat-Kramayoh for this process, so let’s try to understand what this means by studying the root words Ksana and Kramah.
By the way, the word Tat means “that” or “these”, so I think there’s no need to elaborate on “Tat” part.
Ksana means “moment” in Sanskrit. In Yogic philosophy, they say that Time is not a continuous phenomenon but is composed of these extremely short periods that are quite distinctive and separate from one another. It’s like the individual images in a movie (motion picture) that we call “frames”. Metaphorically speaking, these frames serve as the “fundamental unit” of time which is very hard to discern because its nature is very hard to pin down. For example, try to imagine the smallest hypothetical subatomic particles. Everything we see around us is composed of these subatomic particles though we cannot directly observe them using our eyes. The very essence of time, they say, is something like that.
The Hindu myths propose that Ksana is the 90th part of a thought, the 4500 part of a minute, the 75th part of a second, during which from 90 to 100 births and as many deaths occur on this earth. If you contemplate on this idea, you’d realize how small your life’s period here on Earth is compared to this fundamental unit of Time. Of course, those who are so enmeshed by the illusion of this material world might say that myths should be taken with a grain of salt. But those who explore the inner realms, which belong to mind and spirit, do not easily dismiss such stories.
When you go inside a theater to watch a movie and look at the projection on the screen amidst the darkness of the large room, do you see separate images popping up? You don’t, right? That’s because the frames move at the rate of 24 frames per second, which is so fast that your brain can only recognize the continuous motion of the images. It is said that Time, somehow, works the same way and this process in which the moments (Ksana) move in a steady flow is called Kramah. Kramah means “sequence, flow, or succession.”
The reason why we cannot see the Ultimate Reality is because Time restricts our experiences. We are unable to investigate the fundamental unit of time because our senses are enclosed in the field of time and our minds are fixed on the false impression created by it.
When perfect meditation is achieved on the process of this movement of time, consciousness begins to see the illusion as if investigating each unit of time under a microscope or ending the movement of a motion picture to see the individual frames, and thus becomes aware of the Ultimate Reality. Following this, one gains the ability to distinguish and differentiate all things (next article).
|Omnipotence & Omniscience: Mastery Of All States Of Existence||Intuitive Discernment: Ability To Distinguish or Differentiate All Things|