बोधः स किम् स्यात् परमार्थ बोधः ।
बोधस्य बोध्यस्य च सम्श्रयम् स्वम्
विजानतस्तद् द्वितीयम् विनश्येत् ॥—१३
bodhaH sa kim syAt paramArtha bodhaH
bodhasya bodhyasya cha samshrayam svam
vijAnatastad dvitIyam vinashyet—13
बोद्धारम् = knower आत्मानम् = oneself; अजानतः = of one who knows not; यः बोधः = whichever knowledge (other than self knowledge); परमार्थ बोधः = highest knowledge; स्यात् किम् = is it; बोधस्य बोध्यस्य च = of knowledge and the object of knowledge; सम्श्रयम् = basis; स्वम् विजानतः = for one who knows oneself; तद् द्वितीयम् विनश्येत् = for that (person) the two are negated.
Is any knowledge( other than self knowledge) the highest when the knower knows not oneself? For the one who knows oneself, the basis of the knowledge and the object of knowledge, the two are negated.
The munDaka upaniShad talks of two kinds of knowledge, aparA vidyA and parA vidyA. Any knowledge dealing with the world of duality falls in the category of aparA vidyA. It binds a person and is finite giving only finite results. On the other hand parA vidyA, which is self knowledge, liberates. It is the non dual absolute reality.
A person might have many degrees and awards, yet that does not mean he has the highest knowledge, since all the knowledge he carries is of the world of duality alone. He still is deluded about his own true nature. Till that ignorance goes, he has not attained the highest. The Upanishad talks of nArada muni, who was adept in all kinds of worldly knowledge, yet was on the quest for the highest. aparA vidyA can yield only so much. One can know oneself as the whole only thought parA vidyA(self knowledge).
Any knowledge has a triad – knower, known and the knowing. Suppose one knows Mathematics. Here, the person is the ‘knower’; the known is Mathematics; he ‘knows’; that is the act of knowing. Similarly, we can add up any number of knowledge. In all of them, there is a knower, the known and the knowing. The basis of it all is the Atma, the consciousness without which the mind is incapable of knowing. Hence, the knowing is taking place due to me the consciousness. All the different knowledge are due to me, the awareness. This awareness alone am I. Such a conviction occurs only on the destruction of ignorance. This destruction of ignorance of one’s nature is self knowledge. Once this happens, one knows oneself as the whole and the divisions of knower and known are falsified.