Atma-Vidya (Sanskrit) [from atma self + vidya knowledge] Knowledge of the self; the highest form of spiritual-divine wisdom, because the fundamental or essential self is a flame or spark of the kosmic self. "Of the four Vidyas -- out of the seven branches of Knowledge mentioned in the Puranas -- namely, 'Yajna-Vidya' (the performance of religious rites in order to produce certain results); 'Maha-Vidya,' the great (Magic) knowledge, now degenerated into Tantrika worship; 'Guhya-Vidya,' the science of Mantras and their true rhythm or chanting, of mystical incantations, etc. -- it is only the last one, 'Atma-Vidya,' or the true Spiritual and Divine wisdom, which can throw absolute and final light upon the teachings of the three first named. Without the help of Atma-Vidya, the other three remain no better than surface sciences, geometrical magnitudes having length and breadth, but no thickness. They are like the soul, limbs, and mind of a sleeping man: capable of mechanical motions, of chaotic dreams and even sleep-walking, of producing visible effects, but stimulated by instinctual not intellectual causes, least of all by fully conscious spiritual impulses. A good deal can be given out and explained from the three first-named sciences. But unless the key to their teachings is furnished by Atma-Vidya, they will remain for ever like the fragments of a mangled text-book, like the adumbrations of great truths, dimly perceived by the most spiritual, but distorted out of all proportion by those who would nail every shadow to the wall" (SD 1:168-9).
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Called by Purucker the last of the seven jewels, the keynote running all through this jewel of wisdom being how the One becomes the many.