The ancient question of humankind about what came first… Knower or the known, which one is first?
In this excerpt from the Bhagavad Gita, In the Light of Kashmir Shaivism (Chapter 4, commentary to verse 26), Swami Lakshmanjoo answers this essential question by quoting a verse from the spanda śastra.
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Spande’pi, in spande śastra also, spanda . . .
The author of spanda is who?
Vasugupta. The author of spanda is Vasugupta. Vasugupta is the author of spanda śastra.
. . . in spanda also it is said:
B.G. video CD 563.09 ch4 (37:07)
‘bhoktaiva bhogyabhāvena sadā sarvatra saṁsthitaḥ’ // 2, 4.
(comm. to śloka B.G. Chpt 4, śloka 26.)
It is bhokta who has become bhogya. Bhoktyadi, knower has become known; known is not separate from the knower. This is the manifestation of knower that known is known. Known is known. Known is known is the manifestation of knower. Otherwise if the manifestation of knower would not be there then known could not be known. It would remain unknown . . . what?
SWAMIJI: Known would remain unknown to everybody.
JONATHAN: So you have to have both.
JONATHAN: You have to have known and knower … to unite them.
SWAMIJI: (Laughing . . . !) Yes.
JOHN: So, which one is first?
SWAMIJI: No, no, knower. It is the act, it is the manifestation of knower that known has taken place. It is not both.
JOHN: So you have pramātṛi (subject), and then pramāṇa (cognizer) and then…
SWAMIJI: And prameya (the object).
JOHN: . . . prameya. So pramātṛi and pramāṇa are knowing and perceiving.
SWAMIJI: Pramāṇa and prameya are the manifestations of the knower.
JOHN: Of known.
SWAMIJI: Knower, knower.
JONATHAN: So without knower nothing can exist.
SWAMIJI: No, without knower. Knower is the hero, hero in this drama, predominant hero.
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