Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Aparoksha Gynana

Jai VijayaRaya !!!
Jai VyasaRaya !!!
Jai Bedi Anjaneya !!!

There are a lot of abstract concepts and technical terms, which can be illustrated with help of example. I’m limiting the scope to the concept of “Aparoksha Gynana” only.
I want to take the worldly example of Music for this illustration
1) What is Paroksha Gynana?
Let’s say a senior AIR Class I singer is Paroksha Gyana;
i.e. a person who knows all the raagas; one who can sing effortlessly; one who conciously hits every note in the raaga in sur, etc. Technically perfect singer.
2) What is Aparoksha Gynana?
A “Pandit” or “Ustad” level is Aparoksha Gynana; one can experience God in their performance. It just mesemerizes you and transports you somewhere.
Both are established, well trained and perfect singers; but there is a difference between them. One has to conciously maintain his sur, taal, pronounciation etc.
Whereas the other even when he is overcome with emotion; his singing is perfect.
Purundara Dasa, Vijay Dasarau and the Dasa Parampara are all Aproksha Gynani’s all their songs are compositions are instantaneous; on the spot overflow of emotions.
Their structures however are extremely complex. There has to be a x number vowels, y number of consonants, z number of letters per line. It has to be in meter, in raga etc.
All this while maintaining the meaning, referencing scriptures and conveying the emotion. This type and calibre of compositions are possible only with Aparoksha Gynana.
Now let us take practical examples; for Aparoksha Gynana Sadhana.
Let us say I’m a pathetic besura singer; aspiring to be an Ustad, what is my roadmap ?
First step is daily practice or riaz (Sandhyavandana)
Develop an ear for music (Listening to Shastras)
Making sure I practice more and more (Increasing japa, tapa, vrata, dharma)
Never leave daily riaz. (Sandhyavandana)
Take care of the following things
- not eating outside food that will harm my throat (eating only Satvik food)
- making sure I don’t expose my throat (taking care of health)
- not showing off (niyama)
- until the voice gets accustomed to a specific style of singing. Not trying too many things (Maintaining discipline)
- Hear lots of high quality songs
- Maintain contact with other aspirants in music ( Satsang )
- Increasing practice hours
- Learning new ragas (more Gynana gives more range, more ananda, more confidence )
After years and years of practice, a stage comes when Paroksha Gynana is achieved. But practice does not stop; the intensity increases.
Now nothing else matters, just being immersed and surrounded by music is sufficient.
[ With Gynana, all material desires are cut down, vairagya and bhakti increase tremendously. ]
Now during a performance, if a few notes are missed; people will accept it saying the overall performance is good, minor things don’t matter.
[ While doing a dharma karya, minor lopas are ignored ]
But these small mistakes should not be tolerated while learning; learning has to be practiced with perfection.
If we hear some besura on tv, what do we do? Change channel immidiately.
When we don’t tolerate imperfections in singing, why we should we tolerate in pooja?
When we are inviting God, why be lethargic and anything goes attitude.
I hope this clears the concept of Sadhane and Aparoksha Gnana. I have maintained a very general and broad outlook for this explaination.
More technical details to follow. I want to close this article with the statement.
Paroksha Gynana sadhane is in our hands, keep doing this sadhane.
Aparoksha Gynana is the fruit which is granted by Shri Hari alone.

Bedi Anjaneya antargata Sri Krishnarpanamastu,


  1. excellent post Hrishikesh, brought about the concept of aparoksha gnana very nicely to people who had vague understanding of it.


  2. Namaste graghave,

    Thank you for the encouragement...

    Naham Karta, Hari Karta !!!

    I always try to relate, music and spirituality concepts because it is the closest thing that can be commonly understood by all.

    For ex. "Modern Science" says a result must be repeatable to be true; if the mantra has shakti, then the mantra that works for one must work for another. (Result has to be repeatable)
    Science will prove that because the result is not repeatable it cannot be true.

    The music analogy for this is, just because you have the lyics, the instruments, the voice doesn't mean a person cannot sing (Again not repeatable) However this does not mean it's not scientific that the song is not melodious because it's not repeatable.

    Now another dimension gets added Siddhi (Mantra or Gyana). There is no science definition for melody, passion or ecstatic feeling of music; similarly spirituality is very much Science (just like music) but just cannot be defined accurately within the restrictions of "modern science".

    Jai Bharateesha,