They who worship ignorance enter into darkness
They who worship knowledge enter into greater darkness
andhaÌ tamaÕ praviÙanti ye'vidyÀmupÀsate,
tato bhÓya iva te tamo ya u vidyÀyÀÌ ratÀÕ.
The first line is easy to understand and logically acceptable , everyone knows if you worship ignorance, you will enter darkness..
The second line is difficult to comprehend much less accept ..... if you worship knowledge, how do you enter greater darkness? It is so counter intuitive.
Let us spend some time understanding the second statement.
When you are pricked by a painful thorn in your feet. You sometimes can use a larger thorn to pull the small thorn out of your flesh. Do you then hang on to the larger thorn after you extract the smaller one? No, you throw it away right. So it is with knowledge. You use the larger thorn of knowledge to pull out the smaller thorn of ignorance, Then you throw both away. So why at some point of time does knowledge have to be thrown away?
Let us examine another analogy. As Buddha once said, “You use the boat to cross the river, but once you have crossed the river, you dont carry the boat on your head after you cross the river. You have to leave it behind, and start walking”.
So how does this have anything to do with worshiping knowledge which pushes you to greater darkness?
The key to understanding this sentence is Understanding the word ‘worship’ and a deeper understanding of the concept termed ‘ knowledge’.
‘Worship’ implies as certain infatuation. A deep honor accorded to an object. It implies an unquestioning belief in the object of worship.
You have also to develop a deeper understanding of the concept called knowledge, the dangers of focussing on acquiring knowledge for knowledges sake. Not to forget the dangers of holding on to knowledge.
All knowledge is memory committed to your brain about lessons learnt from a past event or of the sequence of the event itself, whether you acquired it a second ago or years ago, the instant you get knowledge, its a memory committed to occupying your mind space , and as every second passes, it becomes a deeper part of the past . In as much as you are born you are closer to death every second, knowledge starts to become more and more information stored about the fast receding past. The more you acquire knowledge. 1) The more you have stored past memories 2) The more brain space you have eaten 3) The more the stuff in your brain is getting dated. ( it could perhaps be of current use, but like everything has an expiry date in this universe, so does knowledge. It is like a perishable food product. If not consumed after some time it has to be thrown away). Sooner or later all the knowledge that you have will be useless.
So where does this leave us with the oft quoted term ‘timeless knowledge’. Hindu Yogis and Buddhists understand and define extremely well the four laws that govern the coming apart of all human constructs, which includes knowledge
The universe is the living present, although eternal and timeless. The only constant is change although perhaps at varying speeds for different phenomenon or objects. This by definition means, we can never completely define or completely comprehend the present moment by knowledge which always uses the past as a refrence. At the most it is an approximation for the receiver to comprehend. As explained as soon as you acquire knowledge within seconds, it’s already becoming a memory of a receding past.
Knowledge and memories may serve well in a gross real world as some sort of a guidance or reference to operate in the current moment. A man’s life is a very limited span, even then only a small fragment of your knowledge will be used over your entire life span. Most of it will be obsolete and useless within a few hours, days, years, decades or your lifetime
Self realization and the higher levels beyond that, is more timeless than the gross world the average person lives in, the brain is very small and limited. Its capacity is only that much in its ability to handle tasks at the gross level of existence.
You have a choice,………..You can either use this limited brain as a tool to process pure awareness of the greater timeless universe in real time, or, as a library overloaded with dated knowledge and records of a constantly eroding and changing mundane earth, eating up the extremely limited storage capacity of your brain. Which would you choose?
One of the dangers of believing only knowledge is going to lift you to greater heights of realization, is that, with that belief you will focus on, and acquire more and more of dated information i.e. knowledge. This quickly leads to a situation where the person starts to feel ‘knowledgible’ and walks around with a puffed up chest and a bloated head . Sometimes they do pretend to be humble , as respectable books (and the do read many) reminded them to be humble. A forced pretended humility is paraded for others to see, yet deep inside they feel they are superior as they are more ‘knowledgeable’.
One of the dangers of feeling you know more is, you can’t accept there are other points of view in the universe, which may perhaps be superior or bluntly not agree with yours. .Even when you hear that view, you are driven by a voice within your head that says that the other point of view is invalid and/or inferior to yours . You then reach a catch 22 of ‘I am more knowledgeable, therefore my point of view has to be right, and because it’s right I am more knowledgeable ’. The irony is lost to such people that they could be completely lost in their own whirls, not an inch closer to the truth in their complete lifetime.
This excessive pride which when acquired, is frequently expressed as, ‘I/we know more. Yours/Theirs is an inferior knowledge’. Over time their mind looses its ability of evolve further as it goes round and round its own limited pools of information. The mind then evolves another self preservation mechanism by defending the limited information it has, against attack from other information that threatens its existence.
Frequently you see such people spend the rest of their lives marking time in the same place with their sense of anxiety and restlessness growing, followed by aggression. An unreasonable sense of frustration builds up and they become even more hostile to other points of view.
Another frequent phenomenon “worshipers of knowlege “ display in the very early stages in their path. When they acquire a bit of knowledge and the ego is suitably armed to impress others, they receive adoration. This further bloats their ego. The bigger their Ego grows, the harder to accept new knowledge that threatens the knowledge they already possess, especially if it comes from a perceived rival. This leds to a situation where they shut themselves off forever from progress or growth. They dig themselves into a corner where they get locked wit their over bloated ego, completely unable to move or progress.
These the yogis term as the dangers “WORSHIPERS of knowledge” commonly suffer. Knowledge is a rudimentary tool to start to understand the universe.So use it as an instrument, understand its limitations and be happy to let go of what you have , not something to retained at all costs , treasured or worshiped.
If you want to understand the universe as seers do, The universe is too big for this small human brain to store and to process and store that much ‘knowledge’.
In short , the Universe (or Bhraman) as yogis call it can never be completely comprehended or captured by knowledge alone.
So how do Yogis and Seers comprehend the universe, if knowledge is so limited in nature ?
The only way the universe can be comprehended is by achieving complete emptiness of mind. The mind is so empty of its own machinations, that it becomes a mirror to the universe. A complete stillness where one cant differentiate between consciousness and non consciousness. Its called reaching zero point or shunya of thought and brain activity, also called bindu state. All knowledge has to be shut down and becomes completely pointlessness at this time. The moment you think. The brain has a ripple, and you only see the drama of your own ego play . Like a self shot movie where you are the hero in your own production. Only in that stillness the personal ego and the ‘I’ will die. When that “I”, which is a artificial construct of the ego ceases to exist, will the universe start to be reflected in the still transparent mind.
Just the same way that you are able to see the universe through a reflective telescope , where the better the smoothness and reflective capacity of the mirror, and the magnification of the objective observing lens , the better the resolution of the image in the telescope. In just the same way , the more silent and unruffled the brain is the better it is as a mirror. And the more focused the mind is, it’s like an objective lens with a better magnifying power. Both bring a greater resolution to everything around you in the entire universe.
If you have completely understood this analogy, you will see knowledge plays no part in observing and understanding the universe. In fact the more you hold on to it dearly, the greater the hindrance to seeing and understanding the universe as it is.
Zero state of activity of the mind or brain is not as some people believe a comatose state, it’s in fact in a strange paradox is called the super alert or Samadhi state (trancendental state). Your consciousness expands to infinity hyper awareness when it’s not bound by your personal human ego.
The nature of the mirror is that it always shows live information and all that it sees. The mirror does not hold historical data, like we just established knowledge does.
That is why I always laugh inwardly when I hear people say, His knowledge is flawed mine is right. The process of acquiring an understanding of the ultimate subtle truth is not through books or other traditional sources , but a killing of the ‘I‘ that leads to a direct observance of the manifest and unmanifest universe in real time.
In even more advanced states , the observer disappears and the observer and the observed merge into that oneness or void or shunyatam (the final stable state beyond all illusion, beyond illusory gods, illusory heavens or hells too) as the Hindus label it and emptyness as the Buddhists labeld it many centuries later. The observer and the observed become one. (there is some debate on this subject)
When you approach and live in this expanded consciousness with no thought, itt’s not your creation or thought you are watching, but the universe operating in real time. No language has been invented to explain this state of silent observance where the awarness has expanded to infinity. Knowledge cannot compete with it. Words or language can’t explain it
Only fools from different belief systems argue, what we think is right, what you think is wrong. The universe does not play different shows for different people of different beliefs. Its not a cinema theater where you choose to see the show you want or write the script you want. Anyone with constant meditation, and right intention and continuous sadhna, gets a ticket to the same show. Its silly for mortals who can barely fight off sleep, hunger and bowl movements to comment on extremely realized souls, saying, people from that belief system will go that far, we will go further . Realized souls at such levels irrespective of a belief system are beyond the artificial constructs of all religions or narrow philosophies. They dont need a philosophy, They are watching a live show of the universe dance and play in real time. And remember, there is only one show.
Realized souls just see all humanity as individuals divided between ‘realized’ or ‘yet to be realized’ and have compassion for all irrespective. Special compassion is reserved for the non-realized, but sincerely striving.
Another falacy ‘worshipers of knowledge’ frequently fall into is the quagmire of debate. Do observers of the universe have to prove a point through debate? Can a debate change the nature of reality? Can there be more than one reality? Does a debate prove the nature of truth or the vocal skill and dexterity of the debater to weave words?
All yogis and gurus from all traditions, have constantly repeated, the enormous universe is beyond the human mind to comprehend logically through Knowledge.
It is very very essential therefore to understand knowledge is a limited tool and to understand its limitations.
Knowledge is essential in limited amounts to survive in the gross states of samsara, but never believe its sufficient to take you through to an understanding of the subtle states of the Universe, or to higher states of realization.
Finally, true knowledge comes in constant meditation and silent contemplation. That is why hindu and buddhist yogis, shut themselves off from the world. Neither the Brahmin in the Temple will acquire complete knowledge reading sanskrit texts or the monk reading endless books.
Ultimate knowledge is experiential.
This was written with deep love and a desire to end what I see and observe when I see people of one school of thought/religion start to pass judgements on another. Such ‘worshipers of knowledge’ have neither complete knowledge of their path, much less the others. Yet they indulge in endless debates which are completely futile.
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