From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Vijñāna literally means ‘special knowledge’.

This word has been used in several senses. In the Bhagavadgitā[1] it means experience of the higher truths. The purāṇas use the word to indicate fourteen kinds of vidyās or areas of knowledge such as the Vedas, Vedāṅgas, Mīmāṅsā and the purāṇas. It may also mean arts and sciences like architecture, iconography and any other specialized field. Vijñāna is also interpreted as memorizing a treatise and understanding it thoroughly.


  1. Bhagavadgitā 18-42
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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