Gyan: Questions that May Never be Answered
Aditi Maheshwari-Goyal
GYAN KA GYAN by Hriday Narayan Dikshit Vani Prakashan, 2019, 296 pp., 415.00
October 2020, volume 44, No 10

Gyan ka Gyan is a multi-nodal intervention in the academy of Vedic studies, or Vedic ontology to be precise.  The Vedas, Rigveda, Samveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda, in that order, are one of the most ancient sources of knowledge. From the four Vedas essentially created from Sruti (what is heard), Samhita (the hymns), Brahmanas (ritual explanations), Aranyaka (forest treaties) and Upanishad (philosophical treatises) develop the paths that set learning in motion.  It is the systematic assembly of ideas in the form of Upanishad and their epistemological transformation through ages that informs the prime concern of Gyan ka Gyan.

The author, Hriday Narayan Dikshit studies the Kathopanishad & Ishopanishad, Prashna Upanishad and Mandukya Upanishad to underline their scientific fervour towards defining the concept of knowledge and process of its attainment. He rhetorically cautions the reader right in the first five pages of the book to watch out for the signs that differentiate knowledge from being ‘prachin’ (ancient)  to  ‘pichda’ (backward) in the society (and literature) around us. Both the concepts may appear familiar prima facie, but according to the author the latter clearly lacks scientific objectivity of the former. Of course, we learn through this warning that the author is not only a Vedic scholar but also the statesman who believes in history and its critique—primarily through the self and secondarily, through the society.

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