The Three Sources of Right Knowledge

Posted on by Teo Siew Yong

Do you know there are three sources of right knowledge?

In Yoga Sutra Verse 7th, Patanjali gave us the three sources of right knowledge: Direct Perception, Inference and Competent Evidence constitute right knowledge. If one were to read this sutra without the right context from an enlightened consciousness, he or she will not be able to grasp the underlying truth behind this sutra.

I have the great fortune to hear the Yoga Sutra from a living incarnation, Paramahamsa Nithyananda (fondly known as Swamiji) who not only shared the sacred secrets of this sutra but also gave the techniques to experience this sutra. In Yoga, it is absolutely important that you catch the right Guru. By having the right Guru, I can say 99.9% of the work is done because he will be constantly reminding you of your original divine state. You only have to remember, reclaim and live it. That’s all. Instead of wasting time experimenting from the wrong knowledge and create more and more stupid bondage for yourself.

Swamiji told us that direct perception means the perception, when your five senses are fresh, alive and pure, gives you the ability to grasp the reality as it is without any perversion or tiredness. If your senses are tired, overworked, overwhelmed, they cannot give you the right perception because you will be reacting from your incompletions and patterns. What would happen? You are likely to end up picking a fight or argument with someone or thinking how to get out of there quickly. To keep our senses constantly in its peak capacity, He taught us the power of authentic listening, Yoga and Pancha kriyas for purification of the body and five senses so that we are constantly ready to have direct perception.

The second way to gain right knowledge is by the cognition that happens through the senses. Cognition means when you perceive through the five senses, you analyze and process the information internally and take it to a logical conclusion and finally you make a decision. Swamiji went one more step further by gifting us a powerful Science called Science of completion which purifies the mind by removing all the past hangovers which is nothing but a cloud of ignorance. Next he revealed that 4 tattvas or spiritual principles of Integrity, Authenticity, Responsibility and Enriching.  When we live these four tattvas, we awaken the four powers: Vaak Shakti (power of words), Mano Shakti (power of thinking), Prema Shakti (power of feeling), Atma Shakti (power of living). The entire intellect becomes so sharp for the flowering of right cognition.

The third way to gain right knowledge is the competent evidence which means the words of an enlightened Master. All the words of an enlightened master, whether you perceive it with your senses or not, whether you cognize it through your mind or not, are right knowledge. The words that come out of an enlightened master are straight, complete right knowledge. However, in modern day, humanity can only accept that perception through the five senses and cognition through the five senses is right knowledge, but they don’t believe the words of an enlightened Master can be a source of right knowledge. People constantly demand proof and they don’t have the patience to wait till the Master comes to the conclusion and give them the experience. An enlightened Master is one who has already experienced it and he is trying to teach you in the language in which you will understand which takes time. You just have to be patient for the transfer of knowledge to happen naturally. Patanjali says “The words of an enlightened Master are a way to gain right knowledge. Till you experience it, respect His words and go with them, they will become your experience.” If you are intelligent enough to do a little research, you will notice that all the traditions which accepted the words of an enlightened Master as a source of right knowledge, they lived ecstatically and radiated enlightenment.

To recap, the direct perception without perversion of senses, inference from right cognition and competent evidence from the words of an enlightened Master are the three sources of right knowledge. Catch it! Namaste 😀

  • Source – 108 truths of the Yoga of Enlightenment by Paramahamsa Nithyananda.

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About Teo Siew Yong

Teo Siew Yong draws from over a decade's worth of experience in the Vedic healing arts of Yoga and Mediation to share the sacred knowledge and experiences of self healing and self discovery with people who are ready to look within.