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Spiritual Knowledge Vs Religious Knowlege


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Spiritual Knowledge Vs Religious Knowlege

Knowledge is of two types. Simply hearing the greatness and qualities of the Lord belongs to the plane of mind only and this is the religious knowledge. By such knowledge, you will develop devotion to the Lord. Such knowledge is like fertilizer to grow the plant (devotion). But doubts and repulsions caused by jealousy and egoism are like insects, which attack the plant. The fertilizer cannot kill the insects. Therefore, the plant does not grow and does not become strong. When the Lord conduct tests, this plant falls on the earth by the powerful wind. If the insects are killed the plant will become a huge strong tree and will not even shake. Only pesticide can kill the insects. This pesticide is the spiritual knowledge, which alone can kill the insects. Both the fertilizer and the pesticide are chemicals. Thus, both religious and spiritual knowledge belong to Jnana Yoga only. Both should simultaneously exist as said in Gita (Bodhayantah Parasparam, Kathayantascha…).


Bodha refers to spiritual knowledge and Katha refers to religious knowledge. When the qualities of Krishna were heard by Rukmini from sage Narada, she developed devotion by such religious knowledge. The good qualities and the beauty of the Lord are the religious knowledge, which attracted her. But she also heard that Krishna was a thief of butter and danced with Gopikas in Brundavanam during nights. This is the bacterial insect that attacks the devotion. Sage Narada gave her the spiritual knowledge also, which killed the insect. She came to know that Gopikas were sages, who requested the Lord for liberation from all worldly bonds like money, husband etc. By steeling the butter, their bond with money was cut. By attracting their minds through dance, their bonds with their husbands were cut. Krishna never repeated this anywhere with anybody. Since, their bonds were cut, He never returned back to Brundavanam and never repeated this with Gopikas. The Lord inside the body of Krishna is Infinite Ocean of bliss and does not require any external object for receiving happiness. Thus, the religious knowledge belongs to the external human body only and this spiritual knowledge belongs to the eternal Lord present in the body.


The external human body perishes like the shirt, but internal Lord is eternal like the person who wears the shirt. Religious knowledge belong to “flesh” or the human body (Manusheem Tanum….) and the spiritual knowledge belongs to the “God” or the Lord who entered the human body (Asritam..). Unless we have the knowledge of both, the external and internal items, your devotion cannot be eternal. God or Lord is the name of the internal item. Jesus, Krishna etc., is the name of the external human body. These, external names are given only when those bodies appeared. But the name of internal item, which is God or Lord, existed even before those bodies appeared. The name, which generated along with the generation of a human body, must end when the body perishes. But the eternal name continuous forever. If this spiritual knowledge is understood, all the quarrels between all the religions will disappear.


For the generation of the devotion, the external body and its qualities are required like the fertilizer. If you put the pesticide without the fertilizer, the seed is killed without any germination. Similarly, if you develop only the spiritual knowledge without the religious knowledge, there is no devotion in your heart. The unimaginable God can never develop devotion in your mind. You cannot even think about God. You can never serve the God. Therefore, the devotion can never be generated. The seed will never germinate. The Advita scholars have lot of pesticide but not even a trace of fertilizer. The seed of devotion is killed by such pesticide and therefore they can never enjoy the fruit of the tree finally. Gita is a mixture of both fertilizer and pesticide. Upanishads are pesticide (Nirgunam). Ramayanam, Bhagavatam etc., are the fertilizer (Sagunam). Both are equally important. Without religious knowledge the devotion can never be even generated and without the spiritual knowledge the devotion can never grow. Therefore, it is meaningless to think of the importance of devotion without the help of knowledge. Sankara stressed on the knowledge and Ramanuja stressed on devotion. Both are equally important and essential.


At Thy Lotus Feet His Holiness Sri Dattaswami


Anil Antony



Universal Spirituality for World Peace


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