Centenary Year of Veda Vachaspati Pandit Motilal Shastri Seminar on Veda Vijnana
Opening Remarks by Rishi Kumar Mishra
For a seminar to mark the centenary year of Veda Vachaspati Pandit Motilal ji Shastri; Veda Vijnana is the most appropriate topic. Because Shastri ji and his Sameeksha Chakravarty guru Pandit Madhusudan Ojha ji are pioneers in the exposition and elucidation of Veda Vijnana – a term generally translated in English as Vedic Science. However, several issues arise from the use of the term 'science' for Vijnana.
Some well-meaning scholars of the Vedas have attempted to 'prove' that the Western achievements of modern science are nothing new. That several modern scientific invention/can be located within Vedic texts.
But this is not what Ojha ji and Shastri ji tell us. The Vijnana of the Vedas expounded in their works is vastly different from modern western science.
To comprehend the true meaning of the term Vijnana, these two great teachers advise the student to first break it down into its literal connotations. The syllable Vi, used as a prefix to the word Jnana, is capable of conveying three meanings: special (Vishesh) knowledge; the variety (Vividham) of knowledge; and also perverted knowledge (Viruddham). Negative or perverse knowledge is indicated by the word Ajnana and special knowledge is conveyed by the word Jnana.
Vijnana Means 'variety of knowledge' or, to be more exact, the knowledge of variety.
The knowledge of how this variegated and diverse universe is subsumed into one fundamental source in jnana.
And the knowledge of how that one source grows into a diverse, plural world of great variety is the field of Vijnana.