Chapter 5: Right-Knowledge
Then what is pratyaksha, then what is direct cognition? Direct cognition can only be when there is no mediator, not even the senses. Patanjali says then it is right-knowledge. This is the first basic source of right-knowledge: when you know something and you need not depend on anybody else.
You transcend the senses only in deep meditation. Then direct cognition becomes possible. When Buddha comes to know his innermost being, that innermost being is pratyaksha, that is direct cognition. No senses are involved, nobody has reported it, there is no one like an agent. The knower and known are face to face, there is nothing in between. This is immediacy, and only immediacy can be true.
So the first right-knowledge can only be that of the inner self. You may know the whole world, but if you have not known the innermost core of your being your whole knowledge is absurd, it is not really knowledge; it cannot be true because the first, basic, right-knowledge has not happened to you. Your whole edifice is false. You may know many things.if you have not known yourself all your knowledge is based on reports, reports given by the senses. But how can you be certain that the senses are reporting rightly?
In the night you dream. While dreaming you start believing in the dream, that it is true. Your senses are reporting the dream - your eyes are seeing it, your ears are hearing it, you may be touching it. Your senses are reporting to you, that’s why you fall under the illusion that it is real. You are here.it may be just a dream. How can you be certain that I am speaking to you, in reality? It is possible it may be just a dream - you are dreaming me. Every dream is true while you dream.
Chuang Tzu once saw in a dream that he had become a butterfly. And in the morning he was sad. His disciples asked, “Why are you so sad?”
Chuang Tzu said, “I am in trouble. I have never been in such trouble before. This puzzle seems to be impossible, it cannot be solved. Last night I saw in a dream that I have become a butterfly.”
The disciples laughed. They said, “What is there? This is not a riddle. A dream is just a dream.”
Chuang Tzu said, “But listen, I am troubled. If Chuang Tzu can dream that he has become a butterfly, a butterfly may be dreaming now that she has become Chuang Tzu. So how to decide whether I am now facing reality or again a dream? And if Chuang Tzu can become a butterfly why can’t a butterfly dream that she has become a Chuang Tzu?”
There is no impossibility, the reverse can occur. You cannot rely on the senses. In dreams they deceive you. If you take a drug, LSD or something, your senses will start deceiving you; you will start seeing things which are not there. They can deceive you to such an extent that you can start believing things so absolutely that you will be in danger.