prithaktvena tu yajjnyaanam naanaabhaavaanprithagvidhaan |
vetti sarveshu bhooteshu tajjnyaanam viddhi raajasam || 21 ||

 
But, know that knowledge to be raajasic which, in all things, understands various kinds of different entities as distinct.
 
prithaktvena : distinct
tu : but
yat : which
jnyaanam : knowledge
naanaabhaavaan : different entities
prithagvidhaan : various kinds
vetti : understands
sarveshu : all
bhooteshu : things
tat : that
jnyaanam : knowledge
viddhi : know
raajasam : raajasic
 
Bollywood movies used to have a formulaic plot regarding two brothers separated at birth. Many times they would confront each other, and even try to kill each other, until the moment when someone told them that they were brothers. Within a second, the two brothers would reconcile their differences, join forces, and confront their common enemy. From an external and sensory standpoint, nothing changed. Only their knowledge became saattvic, since they now knew that they had their mother in common.
 
According to Shri Krishna, that knowledge which agrees with the report of the senses, which sees distinction between our self and the world, which sees divisions and separateness, that knowledge is raajasic. Everything is taken at face value. Saattvic knowledge, on the other hand, sees unity in diversity. Now raajasic vision is necessary from a vyavahaaric level, a transactional level, otherwise daily life would not be possible. If a businessman viewed everyone as his own self, he would not be able to survive. But if he maintained the attitude of business with his family, his knowledge would be confused and mixed up.
 
Most of us, it is safe to say, possess raajasic knowledge. We see our body as a unit separate and distinct from everyone else. Each person has a different aatmaa, a different self. Raajasic knowledge stays at the level of naama roopa, of name and form. It is easier, even enticing, to think at the level of name and form than to think at the level of what’s common between the names and forms. A slightly evolved version of raajasic knowledge takes the entire family unit as one entity. Whenever a good happens to our brother, it is as if that good has happened to us. When our parents suffer a loss, we suffer with them.

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