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Home >> Spiritual Leaders  >> Relevance of ancient Indian scriptures: All knowledge is memory
 
All knowledge is memory

Relevance of ancient Indian scriptures: All knowledge is memory

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Now, in practical life, if you need to lead a stress free, happy life, put all your energy into work when you work. When you come home after work, learn to consciously put away all that has been working in your mind, and let go of all the tensions. Divert your mind to something creative and relaxing and see how you rejoice by yourself, by not being dependent on any external factor. This is the meaning of ‘let go and rejoice’.

Now, as the Upanishads proceeds, it deals with very important questions. One of them that concern us today is the question of knowledge. The Upanishads makes a very strange or contradictory statement. It says, he who worships ignorance enters into darkness while he who worships knowledge enters into greater darkness.

Now, the first part is easy to understand. He who worships ignorance enters into darkness. we all know that. We are taught from childhood, you must study, you must understand, you must have knowledge, you must not be ignorant, because, if you are ignorant, you will be in darkness. Ignorance is darkness. Fine, that’s understood.

The other aspect that is even more important and serious can be found out if we examine what knowledge means.


Now, what is the meaning of saying that he who worships knowledge enters into greater darkness? You have to look at it very carefully. First, let us look at the aspect where a person who has a certain level of knowledge in a particular subject, having understood that much is filled with the pride of that knowledge and, therefore, closes his mind to looking beyond the limited knowledge he has acquired. Naturally, he enters into greater darkness because his mind is closed. Now, the other is, since his mind is closed, he does not get any new knowledge for he interprets all the new knowledge that comes based only on the knowledge that he has already acquired till that time. Now, that is one aspect.

The other aspect that is even more important and serious can be found out if we examine what knowledge means. You know what knowledge means? Suppose, I say I have to study something, and I am going to get a particular knowledge, what do I do? I try to understand that particular thing or subject and, having understood it, it is stored in my memory, ready to be recalled at short notice, at any given moment. Let’s say, not even short notice. This is the process. When I say I have knowledge of something, it means I have understood it and I have put it in my memory. It’s stored in my mind, ready to be recalled at any given moment. That’s called knowledge, be it scientific or religious.

Now, the question is, is there any knowledge that is not stored in our memory? None. That means all knowledge is memory; and, if all knowledge is memory and memory is something from the past, you cannot have a present memory. Memory is always of the past.

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