The Different Levels of Perception

radhanath swami According to the Vedic system there are five ways of acquiring knowledge. The first is ‘pratyaksha’ which means through direct perception of the mind and senses. But that is very faulty! Another is ‘paroksha,’ which means indirect knowledge, receiving and understanding from higher authorities who know more than us. The third stage is ‘aparoksha.’ After we receive that knowledge, we apply our senses to those teachings and we gradually get some understanding and some realization. The next step is ‘adhokshaja,’ which means revealed knowledge, knowledge that is beyond the mind and beyond the senses that is revealed through Guru, sadhu and sastra, the Holy Scriptures or through divine revelation. And the perfection is ‘aprakrita,’ which means transcendental knowledge and realization of the spiritual essence of life. Sometimes ‘aprakrita’ is also called ‘divya pratyaksha’ where we can actually perceive the presence of God everywhere and in everything with our spiritual senses, where we can actually perceive and participate in the beautiful pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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