12. Of him who has merely read the Veda.
Nor is there any force in the argument that knowledge is only auxiliary to work because works are enjoined on him who possesses knowledge. For the text which refers to the man 'who has read the Veda' enjoins works on him who has merely read the texts, and reading there means nothing more than the apprehension of the aggregate of syllables called Veda, without any insight into their meaning. A man who has thus mastered the words of the Veda apprehends therefrom that it makes statements as to works having certain results, and then on his own account
applies himself to the enquiry into the meaning of those declarations; he who is desirous of work applies himself to the knowledge of works; he who is desirous of Release applies himself to the knowledge of Brahman. And even if the injunction of reading were understood as prompting to the understanding of the text also, all the same, knowledge would not be a subsidiary to works. For knowledge, in the sense of the Upanishads, is something different from mere cognition of sense. In the same way as the performance of such works as the Gyotishtoma sacrifice is something different from the cognition of the true nature of those works; so that vidyâ, which effects the highest purpose of man, i. e. devout meditation (dhyâna, upâsanâ), is something different from the mere cognition of the true nature of Brahman. Knowledge of that kind has not the most remote connexion even with works.