What do you `Know’?

It is said in the Vedas that God exists in the form of `Existence-Knowledge-Bliss’ (Sat-Chit-Ananda).  We have seen already what the word `Bliss’ means. Today we will look at the `knowledge’ aspect of God.

It is said that knowledge is God. Since we feel that we know many things, some of us may get confused about which of their knowledge is God. I would like to clarify today that all of us really know only one thing. Then, that one thing has to be God meant in the Vedas.  The word knowledge implies completeness. Once you `know’ something, thats about it. There is no possibility of knowing it more. If we can know more about it later than how can we know it now? At best, we can only say that we understand it partially. So the first thing to observe is Knowledge is complete, not half done, half baked or open to improvement. Knowledge as a word is so much abused that we have forgotten this meaning of this word and have started using it in our daily life without much thought. However, our mistakes do not change its meaning! So when we want to understand the Knowledge form of God, we must first comprehend its real meaning.

Now that we understand that in knowledge there is no chance of improvement, let us look at our `knowledge’ and see if if anything that we know satisfy this requirement. Look at your knowledge of English (say). There is always a chance that you come across a new word today or tomorrow. Even if you memorize the entire Dictionary, there is a chance that the words are changed in some area and the same word means different things in different countries. So it is virtually impossible to say that our understanding of any language is complete. It can never be. Because the language itself is evolving. Everyday new words are getting added so no knowledge would be complete.

Apply the same logic to all your so called `knowledge’. You think you know how to wear an underwear! But do you know how many millimeters away it is from your navel?   Is it the same everyday?!! I mean we have not understood even the stupidest thing like that. Let alone understanding any person in your life. And yet we have been claiming knowledge of many things.

In this regard, there is a wonderful story about the famous disciple `M’ (Mahendra Nath Gupta) of Sri Ramakrushna Paramahans. The very first time M met Ramakrishna Paramahans, he was asked whether he was married. When M replied `Yes’. Ramakrishna Paramahans replied `oh my God, he is married!’. Then he asked `Do you have any children?’ M’s heart was pounding when he meekly replied ` Yes, I have three children.’ Ramakrishna Paramahans kept quiet for a long time. Then he asked `Never mind, how is your wife? A good wife can help her husband in knowing God.’ To this M replied `She is OK. But she doesn’t `know’ much’. Immediately Ramakrishna Paramahans said `And you think you `know’ a lot is it?’ At that time M didn’t know that there is only one knowledge. He thought that collection of data is called knowledge. But he came to `know’ the real meaning of `knowledge’ after he spent time with Ramakrishna.

Just like M we also think in our life that our knowledge is superior to others. Little do we know that there is nothing in this life we can claim knowledge of. Well, almost nothing. There is one thing that we know. This one thing, we can never improve upon, nor we can get rid of it. This knowledge is `the feeling that I am alive’.

The actual form of your body etc also you do not know. Do you know how many hair do you have? Have you ever seen the small of your back? Have your licked your elbow? (There is one girl in this world who has done that!! She has a 30cm long tongue, its in the Guinness Book of World Records!). So the thing is, we really Know only one thing and that one thing is `the feeling that I am alive’. The rest is incomplete. Even the knowledge that you are a man or a woman is open to improvement, change. Sometimes you are more of a man or less of a woman (as the case may be!).  And this knowledge is common to all living beings. Whether it has a body of an ant, a man, a tree or a dog, this awareness of one’s existence can not be denied to anyone.

This is why Vedas have proclaimed that God exists in everyone. From the Lord Brahma to the smallest blade of Grass is penetrated by God. He is Omnipresent they say.  So if we want to know the meaning of God as knowledge, he has taken this smallest of all forms, totally intangible, beyond all our senses and then He has come to all of us. We exist and this feeling of existence (that we have taken for granted) is what the God is all about. Rejoice! In this way, there is no difference between the most virtuous amongst us and most heinous sinner amongst us. All are the images of this very abstract God to which our modern people (who are so full of scorn of idol images) are attracted to. But if you want the abstract version of God, are you capable of handling this reality? That there is no difference between you and the most dirty beggar on the street?

If you do not see this equality and still proclaim that idol worship is for fools, the greatest joke is on you! Wake up and face the reality that we are not really ready to give up Idol worship. Just because we have collected a certain amount of data and a collection of fancy words, we are not really matured enough to see equality in all. It is the great saints of this world like Jesus Christ, Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Dnyaneshwar who are capable of really giving up idol worship and the rest of us are yet to reach that stage.  It is great to `know’ what `knowledge’ means but how many of us can really use this knowledge?

More on it in the next entry. Till then, keep thinking.

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One Response to “What do you `Know’?”

  1. The art of meditation -II « Echoes In Mind Says:

    […] is better than others does not mean that it is complete. This point was raised earlier in my post `What Do You Know‘. So applying this logic to our stress we see that if we understand fully the reason for our […]

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