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Great Saints are said to have lot of powers which come for their meditation. Like god Sai Baba removing out the intestines and cleaning them, and Sri Madvirat Pothuluri Veerabrahmendra Swamy telling the future etc.

My question is, do they know everything? I mean, physics, chemistry, maths, computer science, future, astrospace etc? Can they answer 'any' question related to those?

Scientists are conducting lot of researches, sending spacecrafts into other planets spending lot of money. I think that the great saints have answers for all those that the scientists are intended to find out.

  • once you realize Brahman, your true self, the divine essence in all beings, the God, the reality, then everything else is known to you. For more information about this, you can refer to Patanjali's Yoga. But the Master who has realized the Truth usually reveals only to His closest disciples, rather than to the world. This is because every soul has come here to Earth for a specific mission, to learn, decreed by its own karma. The saints know that the best way to help such souls is to allow them to search for themselves, until the time comes. When the time is right, everything shall be revealed. – Sai Nov 11 '14 at 16:44
  • @Sai "once you realize Brahman, your true self, the divine essence in all beings, the God, the reality, then everything else is known to you. For more information about this, you can refer to Patanjali's Yoga." Are you saying the Yoga Sutras preach Advaitam? The philosophy of the Yoga Sutras is a theistic version of Kapila's Samkhya philosophy, not Advaita Vedanta. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 11 '14 at 18:00
  • @keshav no I am basically saying that to find out what all super-powers/knowledge one can gain once reaches God, attains realization, or unites with Bhagavan (whatever variant of school you belong to), you can refer those Sutras. I am not interested in classifying Yoga Sutras into any philosophy. While you say (I neither agree nor disagree) that these present a theistic version of Samkhya philosophy, other saints have also interpreted these texts in an Advaitic way (Paramhamsa Yogananda, for instance). in my opinion, its classification purely debatable, but essence remains useful for everyone. – Sai Nov 11 '14 at 18:10
  • @Sai I'm shocked that Paramhansa Yogananda thinks that the Yoga Sutras support Advaita Vedanta. Vyasa's Brahma Sutras, the defining text of the Vedanta school, specifically says "Hereby is refuted Yoga." See Chapter II Section I Sutra 3 here: advaita.it/library/brahmasutras2.htm But yeah, I agree that the meditation techniques and the like from the Yoga Sutras can be useful for Vedantins. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 11 '14 at 18:23
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    Patanjali followed the Samkhya philosophy. Basically, there is no God in the Samkhya philosophy. Swami Vivekananda said that the Vedanta was built on the Samkhya philosophy. He said that the Vedantic philosophers simply put the finishing touches on the house that had already been built by the Samkhya school. The methods and practices of Yoga expounded by the Samkhya school are still practiced by Vedantists. – Swami Vishwananda Nov 12 '14 at 15:02
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Here is one perspective about 'knowing everything' based on some scriptural statements:

I don't think the saints, mystics or bhaktas would know everything in the sense you have described. Only the Supreme Lord knows everything. The sages can know as much as He allows them to know for their service to Him. We see in Bhagavatam/Mahabharata that Arjuna had so many powers but on an occasion, right after Krishna left the planet, Arjuna says this (copied from here):

I have the very same Gandiva bow, the same arrows, the same chariot drawn by the same horses, and I use them as the same Arjuna to whom all the kings offered their due respects. But in the absence of Lord Krsna, all of them, at a moment’s notice, have become null and void. It is exactly like offering clarified butter on ashes, accumulating money with a magic wand or sowing seeds on barren land.

Commenting on this vers Srila Prabhupda says:

As we have discussed more than once, one should not be puffed up by borrowed plumes. All energies and powers are derived from the supreme source, Lord Krsna, and they act as long as He desires and cease to function as soon as He withdraws.

So the powers the yogis, siddhas or any one else can work only when He permits. The fact that Lord Krishna knows everything is confirmed in the Gita 7.26:

O Arjuna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know everything that has happened in the past, all that is happening in the present, and all things that are yet to come. I also know all living entities; but Me no one knows.

However it is also said, Yasmin vijnate sarvam evam vijnatam bhavati: If we undertand Him we will understand everything. What He gives us depends on how much and with what intent one surrenders unto Him. That He says in the Gita 4.11:

ye yatha mam prapadyante

tams tathaiva bhajamy aham

As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly.

So the conclusion is the Supreme Lord knows everything and we can know as much as we understand Him and as much as He allows us to know.

Regarding saints having answers to what scientists are trying to findout:

We hear about airplanes, inter planterory travel, traveling on sun-rays, brahmastra and many other mystical things in our Vedic literature. Science is about yantra (mechanical) but the yogic methods are more subtle and function with mantra (mental/verbal). While these existed and exist today the goal of scientists and the saints are generally the opposite. The scientists want to make this material world a comfortable place for sense enjoyment. It says in Gita 'duhkhalayam asasvatam' that material creation is temporary and a miserable place. The essence of Gita is to remind us this human life is meant for self realization and surrender unto the Supreme Lord. Eternal bliss is a by-product of that self realization. So it is natural that our saints emphasized more on spirituality while keeping the material needs to a minimum (needs verses wants). That is why we see that even though the saints were highly intelligent and possessed many powers they didn't care to exhibit them because their goal is non-material. Helping humans escape of millions of births of suffering is more important than giving some sense pleasure in this one lifetime.

  • That means saints have answers for what scientists are trying to find out? – user12458 Nov 12 '14 at 10:19
  • Some people treat some saints as incarnations of Lord Krishna etc. Do they also have limited knowledge? Some saints say some philosophies, on what basis they are confident that their philosophy is right, if their knowledge is limited by Lord Krishna and though they know that their knowledge is limited by Lord Krishna? – user12458 Nov 12 '14 at 10:23
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    @JavaTechnical, you seem to have lot of good questions. Yes, if saints want they can do much than what scientists are trying to do. The eight mystic siddhis are available to great mystic yogis and elevated devotees as well. – srinivasacarya dasa Nov 12 '14 at 18:12
  • @JavaTechnical, No, Vishnutattvas are all knowing. Who is Vishnutattva can be ascertained only from the evidence of sastras as elucidated by bonafide teachers. However as we see in Srimad Bhagavatam if Krishna wants He can even hide stuff from Balarama, His first expansion. When Brahma stole Krishna's calves and friends Krishna Himslef expanded into all the calves and cow-herd boys. Balarama detected it only after some time. – srinivasacarya dasa Nov 12 '14 at 18:13
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    Good answer, but following part is not necessary: The scientists want to make this material world a comfortable place for sense enjoyment. You should think like, scientists are doing their Karma/Duty to the way they can serve the world. Since some of the invention leads to betterment of material world doesn't imply that it leads to attachment. We should realize that without them, you couldn't have answered this post sitting so far. – iammilind Aug 2 '15 at 2:43
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They do not know 'everything'. Swami Vivekananda said that a realized soul knows the essence of Reality; it does not mean that he knows every particular aspect of It's infinite manifestations. To know clay does not mean that you know every form of clay. To know Brahman is to know everything as One without a second - without manifestation. To be conscious of the One, you cannot be aware of the many, and vice versa. He said that if you are seeing the rope as a snake, you only see the snake and not the rope. When you see the rope, you no longer see the snake. You cannot see both at the same time. Likewise if you see Brahman, you no longer see the world of maya; and vice versa.

He also said that for a man who practices continence and meditation, it is very easy to concentrate on a subject and learn it very quickly.

A knower of Brahman looks on knowledge of this world as an intelligent man of this world looks on the play of small children. He knows it is all foolishness and just play of no consequence. Or he looks on it as a man may look on the struggles of some ants; it is nothing compared to the knowledge of Brahman.

  • But as they have the power to ask the Supreme being about a particular thing, they can get the knowledge they want. For example, if we ask a great saint to solve some physics problem, if he agrees, he can get the solution by asking the Lord. Am I right? – user12458 Nov 15 '14 at 17:20
  • 'if he agrees..', As this answer says, that would be too trivial. A physics problem is too trivial compared to understanding the nature of reality. It only looks big from a scientific search perspective. He wouldn't have to ask the Lord. He could apply his mind and acquire the knowledge like any of us, only faster. The questions that great saints dwell on are in a totally different domain from questions of science. Science, for instance, doesn't bother too much about the fundamental why of creation, the philosophical aspect, as much about the how or the specific whys of this and that. – Whirl Mind Nov 23 '16 at 15:01
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Great saints can know everything if they want to. The potential is there. When the word 'Sarvagyaata' or Omniscient is used, it indicates a potency to know everything. Although, they choose not to intervene too much in the mundane aspects, unless required.

"The avatar role-plays with deliberate and voluntary self-limitation. The avatar has infinite knowledge which he can choose to access, though ordinarily he does not, or else does so selectively"

--Excerpt from the book 'Being Different'

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