Chapter 1

mati-srutä-vadhi-manahparyäya-kevaläni jnänam (9)

Mati, shruta , avadhi, manahparyäya and kevala ‑ these five are the types of knowledge (cognition). 9

The varieties of knowledge are: sensory (empirical) , Scriptural (articulate), clairvoyant, mind-reading (telepathy) and omniscient (perfect) knowledge. 9

The way samyak-darshana is defined, samyak-jnäna is not defined. Because as soon as samyak-darshana is attained, all knowledge becomes samyak-jnäna.  It can well happen that a particular soul is devoid of samyak-darshana but it never happens that it is devoid of knowledge; thus this soul must possess some knowledge and the same is turned into right‑knowledge or samyak-jnäna as soon as samyak-darshana makes its appearance.


So the only difference between the knowledge of the form of samyak-jnäna and that of the form of not‑samyak-jnäna is that the former is accompanied by samyaktva while the latter is devoid of the same ‑ that is, the latter is accompanied by mithyätva (i.e. the quality opposed to samyaktva).

The discrimination between samyak-jnäna and not‑samyak-jnäna is made here from a spiritual view‑point and not from the point of view of the science of logic. Per the science of logic, the knowledge may be valid but it is not used for making spiritual progress and, therefore, it is not‑samyak-jnäna.


Mati Jnän ; Sensory (Empirical)  knowledge (cognition) is the knowledge derived through the senses and the activities of the mind; is gained through the senses and/or the mind's ability to comprehend what is sensed.

Shrut Jnän ; Scriptural (Articulate) knowledge refers to conceptualization through language; is derived through language, symbols, signs, listening (e.g., words which are symbols of ideas, gestures,..). Objects which are known through Mati Jnän are known in more specific details in Shrut Jnän.

The above two knowledge; mati & shrut; are mentioned side by side, as these are governed by the relation of cause and effect.  This is mentioned later, 'Scriptural knowledge is preceded by sensory'.

Difference between Mati Jnän & Shrut Jnän: 1) Both types are derived through the senses and the activities of the mind but it involves language, words and its meanings in case of Shrut Jnän. While the language, words and its meanings are absent in Mati Jnän. 2) Mati Jnän involves only the objects of the present time while Shrut Jnän involves the objects of all three times, past, present and future. 3) Shrut Jnän is purer than Mati Jnän. 4) In case of Shrut Jnän, one needs the teachings of spiritually advanced persons in addition to the help of all senses and mind. 5) One can acquire Mati Jnän without Shrut Jnän but Shrut Jnän is always preceded by Mati Jnän.

Avadhi Jnän ; Clairvoyance refers to the perception of things (matters) that are out of the natural range of the senses, is the psychic knowledge about matters which can be directly experienced by accomplished souls without the medium of senses or mind.  Here it involves the knowledge of objects which can be seen by eyes (Rupi padärtha) and are limited by substance, area, time and condition (actuality) (Dravya, kshetra, käl and bhäv). Avadhi means limited (maryädä). It ascertains matter in downward range or knows objects within limits. In humans, clairvoyance is acquired through spiritual discipline whereas, for the inhabitants of heaven and hell, it is inborn (explained later). Clairvoyance is also possible, in moments of hardship, for beings that are not human but possess five senses and a mind.

Manah-paryäya Jnän ; Mind-reading (telepathy) is the act of seeing the objects (the modes) of another's mind.  This knowledge is only acquired by ascetics at a high level of spirituality; is the knowledge of the ideas and thoughts of others.  Here, the knowledge involves objects which have form, color, etc and that are located in mind and is limited by substance, area, time and condition (actuality) (Dravya, kshetra, käl and bhäv).

Keval Jnän ; Omniscience refers to knowledge of all substances in all their modes: past, present and future, unlimited as to space, time and object.

Indirect knowledge is mentioned before direct knowledge, as it is easily intelligible.  These are heard by, familiar to and experienced by all beings; for these are mostly attained by them.  Their subdivisions are mentioned later.

tat pramäne  (10)

ädye paroksham   (11)

pratyaksham anyat  (12)


(10) These five varieties of knowledge constitute approved means of knowledge (valid, pramäna ). Pramäna is divide into the two classes of approved means of knowledge (valid, pramäna )  the indirect (mediate, acquired,  paroksha ) and direct (immediate, innate,  pratyeksha ). Here Pratyeksha = Prati + Aksha = By + Soul.

(11)  The first two varieties of knowledge, Sensory (Empirical, Mati Jnän )  knowledge (cognition) and Scriptural (Articulate, Shrut Jnän ) knowledge are indirect (acquired,  pratyeksha  ) knowledge.

(12 )  The remaining three varieties of knowledge are instances of direct (innate,  pratyeksha  ) knowledge.

That knowledge which originates without the aid of the sense‑organs and manas (i.e. the internal organ) and on the basis of the capacity of a soul alone is pratyaksha  or direct.


On the other hand, that knowledge which originates with the aid of the sense‑organs and mind (manas) is paroksha  or indirect.


The power of knowing is direct (innate, pratyeksha  ) to the soul but this power is partially, though never completely, qualified by the karmic particles.

These sutras classify the varieties of knowledge according to two classes of the approved means of knowledge, -indirect (acquired, mediate, pratyeksha ) and direct (innate, immediate, paroksha)

As well as including Sensory (Empirical, Mati Jnän )  knowledge (cognition) and Scriptural (Articulate, Shrut Jnän ) knowledge, the indirect (acquired, paroksha)  category includes scriptural knowledge which is articulate by the teacher.  Scriptural knowledge is authentic because it derives from the pure and perfect knowledge of the Jina (omniscient teacher) who revealed it.

What is wrong if connection or the senses were pramäna?  If connection were pramäna, then there would be no knowledge of infinitesimal, concealed and remote things.  These cannot be contacted by the senses. Hence there would be no omniscience.  If the senses also were considered as pramäna, it would result in the same defect or fallacy.  The range of the senses such as the eyes is small, and the objects are endless.

Sensory knowledge and scriptural knowledge arise in the soul through the senses and the mind in the presence of light, teaching, etc.  Hence these are called indirect.  And comparison, verbal testimony, etc. are included under these alone.

The remaining three varieties of knowledge, clairvoyance (Avadhi Jnän ), mind-reading (Manah-paryäya Jnän ) and omniscience (Keval Jnän ), are considered direct (innate, pratyeksha)  because they exist independently of the senses, mind and words.  Clairvoyance and mind-reading result from partial suppression and partial elimination of the relevant karma.  Strictly speaking, only omniscience is perfectly innate because it alone arises out of the total elimination of knowledge-covering karma and therefore knows everything, past, present and future.

All categories of knowledge, other than omniscience, are accompanied by ignorance due to the constant rise of knowledge-covering karma.  Karma exists simultaneously in three states: (1) eliminated, (2) partially eliminated and partially suppressed, and (3) rising.  From the first two states comes knowledge (albeit limited).  From the third state, rising karma, comes ignorance, either as absence of knowledge or misinformation.

So all categories of knowledge, other than omniscience, are a mixture of knowledge and ignorance.  To have absolutely eliminated all knowledge covering karma is to be omniscient.