Gyan – Knowledge

The word 'Gyan' is from the root 'Gya' to know. The word 'know' in English is another form of it. Ordinarily, knowledge of writing or reading is considered sufficient and great emphasis is laid upon acquiring it. But such knowledge is merely a development of the intellect. 

True knowledge or apprehension is, however, an altogether different function and is of the human spirit. There is a mention of both knowledge and science in the Bhagavad Gita. The One imperishable creative Power pervades the perishable things of the world and realisation of this basic fact is described as knowledge; while knowledge of the perishable things created by the eternal Lord is called science. It is said in the Gita VI-8,  that a man with knowledge and science and practising yoga sees the Lord in all living creatures and sees all living beings in the Lord.

While knowledge and contemplation of material things, both of which are the functions of the mind, may be necessary for a discriminating understanding of the ideal objective, one has still to make an effort to gain that spiritual insight which comes only when the mind and intellect are stilled.

The Gurus do not consider reading or writing or thinking as real knowledge. They regard Shabd, Sound, and Naam, Name, Sach, Truth, and Kirtan, Internal Music, as knowledge. The inner melody or music, which is always resounding in every heart and is present everywhere, is also called knowledge by them.

The Master's Word is knowledge and apprehension; It is very sweet; one gets It only by the Grace of the Master; only the rare and fortunate ones taste of It.

 Gauri M3, 162-3

In the Naam is contained the Master's wisdom; it is through the Naam one attains it. Yea, he alone attains it who is blest by the Lord, and who repairs to the Master's feet.

 Suhi M4, 759-4

Deep and serene is the ocean of Truth; knowledge and meditation do not find it. No one can fathom its depths.

Basant M1, 1188-14

Knowledge and vision are the Melody, and it is indescribable. It is like a fruitful green tree, which gives immense shade.

 Sri Rag M1, 59-8

The Gurus say that there is light in this knowledge. Guru Amar Das, the third of the ten Sikh Gurus, describes the 'knowledge' of the Master as the 'Eternal Light of the Heart'. It is conducive to constant devotion, which is the real benefit of Naam.

Knowledge is imparted by the Master; it eternally enlightens the heart. His writ runs far and wide, even the kings submit to it. The disciple practises devotion day and night, and obtains the True Naam of the Lord.

 Sorath M3, 600-11

Guru Arjan Sahib, the fifth Sikh Guru, says in this connection that when the knowledge of the Master reveals itself, it illumines the heart. The mind becomes satisfied and calm when it drinks the nectar of Naam, and it also becomes fearless.

The knowledge of the Master revealed itself; the heart was enlightened and all was Light. The mind drank the nectar and was satisfied; it became fearless and was stilled.

 Gauri M5, 09-7

In making spiritual progress, the Master's knowledge enables one to see the Light of the Inner Suns and Moons.

Fire, meadows, forests and oceans, suns and moons, all are found in the body; they know not this secret.

Basant M1, 1171-14

This knowledge is helpful everywhere, both inside and outside. It is behind the veil of the mind, and it is found in the Sukhman, Royal Vein inside every human being.

Knowledge imparted by the Master helps both inside and outside; adherence to it eradicates all ills.

 Asa M5, 398-19

The Master gives the light of understanding, and reveals within the Lord's infinite treasures; understanding brings release from the world. Oh Nanak! he alone to whom He is kind obtains it; he is truly honoured.

 Vadhans M3, 593-12

When the mind is illumined by the light of knowledge, it gains immense wealth by possessing the priceless Name.

 Maru M4, 1069-14

Come, let us go to Sukhman, that land of calm, unruffled by passions; let us sit there and enjoy a drink of great rarity, with sweets of knowledge and mahua flowers of meditation, brewed in faith with the water of the mind.

Kabir, Ramkali 969-6

This knowledge leads to release from birth and death, and no one but the Master possesses it. No one has ever obtained or will ever obtain it without a Master. Its development is a matter of practice, and its secrets can only be had from one who has himself practised it.

Oh brother, no one but a Master can give you this knowledge; even so will Brahma tell you, or the sages Narad and Vedvyas.

 Sri Rag M1, 59-7

The pitcher holds the water; without the pitcher it will not stay in one place; thus knowledge holds the mind still, and knowledge comes from the Master.

Dev Gandhari M5, 532-11

Oh friendly souls! There can be no knowledge without a Master; a thousand efforts of frantic zeal will not be helpful to meet the Lord.

Asa War M1, 469-16

No one ever found the Name of the Lord, no one ever met the Lord without a Master. This is the quintessence of knowledge; he who meditates on the Lord acquires the qualities of the Lord.

 Maru Var M3, 1093-7

This is the greatest boon conferred by the Master. When the mind is stilled by means of simran (repetition of holy names) and meditation, the true knowledge reveals itself. There are very few persons in the world, however, who do this practice. Persons full of lust, anger and pride remain without it. All the desires subside on getting it. One comes to know everything, whether manifest or hidden. He comes to know the three worlds. All his sins and sufferings are done away with. He gains release from this world and conquers death. He transcends all defects. It is easy to see that this cannot be done by means of external knowledge.

Knowledge is to the soul, what ornaments are to the bride. Adorned with it the soul feels worthy enough to approach the Lord. The mind is like an elephant, and the Master is like its driver. When the mind is goaded by knowledge, the elephant of the mind does not get out of control. This knowledge, which is Shabd or Naam or Bani, the Word, connects the soul with the Ultimate. When one gets this knowledge, one is freed from birth and death.

When this knowledge is revealed in the heart, the benefits of all other kinds of knowledge, contemplation, meditation and austerities are obtained.

He cherishes the unknowable, he cherishes the incomprehensible, the Lord dwells in his heart, he gets both knowledge and apprehension. Oh Nanak, the mind is imbued with the Lord's Naam. It has found an easy way of serving the Lord.

 Asa M1, 356-4

He who realizes the Lord unknowable, has achieved the perfection of all knowledge, contemplation, meditation and austerity. Oh Nanak, when the mind is imbued with Naam, it attains to the state of Sehj (Oneness with the Supreme Lord), thus serving best the Master's behest.