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Vidyā

Vidyā (Skt.) or vijja (Pāli). ‘Knowledge’, the total and integral knowledge which precedes and comes after the incomplete non-knowledge (avidyā) or ignorance which binds people to the wheel of transmigration (saṃsāra). Vidyā penetrates māyā and thus enables us to apprehend all things (however apparently different) as they really are. In Hinduism, it is of two types: (i) apara-vidyā, lower knowledge, acquired through intellect; (ii) para-vidyā, higher, spiritual knowledge, leading to enlightenment and liberation (mokṣa).

Vidyā is defined more precisely than jñāna, which also means knowledge. There were originally four branches of vidyā: trayī-vidyā, knowledge of the triple Veda; ānvīkṣikī, metaphysics and logic; daṇḍa-nīti, the art of government; and vārttā, or agriculture, trade, and medicine. A fifth, ātma-vidyā, the knowledge of the ātman, was added later.

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Vidya

Vidya

In Theosophy, the knowledge by which man on the Path of Life can discern the true from the false and so direct his efforts correctly by means of the mental faculties which he has learned to use. It is the antithesis of avidya (ignorance). Both terms are borrowed from Hindu religious philosophy.

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