By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Apara-vidya, AparA-vidyA, Aparaa-vidyaa
- Parā - The higher
- Aparā - The lower
Only spiritual wisdom that gives a direct experience of the imperishable Brahman, the Absolute, is classed as parā and all other branches of knowledge, whether they are sacred or secular, are relegated to the lower plane as aparā-vidyā.
Another Upaniṣad which is equally revered and perhaps even more ancient, the Chāndogya, gives a much longer list starting from the Rgveda and ends with magical sciences. By implication, these vidyās have to be classed under aparā.
- Mundaka 1.1.4, 5
- Chāndogya 7.1.1-3
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore