Hindu World

Seeking Knowledge

Knowledge is power and is also the mantra to success in any sphere of life. That also applies to a person seeking enlightenment and liberation. Hinduism calls it a journey to realise your own self, ie. self realisation. Without appropriate knowledge, you are often not clear of your own goals and thus not certain of the path that you need to embark upon. If the goal or purpose is not clear, the path and direction too cannot be so. Most of us deeply desire to reach somewhere, but are ignorant of what our goal is. Our subconscious prods us, but we are often not conscious of what we desire to pursue. The interplay of innumerable desires in our fickle mind and the attachment they breed, only confuses our mind, such that while we wish to achieve something, we have no clarity of our goal with precision. In such a restless state of mind, many of us run, tirelessly, unaware of the goalpost we seek. When it comes to spirituality, this confusion is much more. The pleasures of the world hopelessly allure us, and put us in a never ending cycle of what the scriptures call, ‘the opposites’. The opposites are the alternates of pleasure and pain, that we continuously face. So while we are attached to the charms of the world, the transitory/fleeting pleasures torment us and finally compel us to seek respite from them. It is an interesting battle between the subconscious that wants to pull us away from this transitory phenomena of sukha and dukha, and the conscious mind which only wants to drag us into it, deeper and deeper.

It is only when an  abiding sense of indifference builds in an agonized mind, that a person gets clarity of his goal, viz to get away from these opposites and achieve eternal bliss. The quest for knowledge begins here. A sense of curiosity about your goal and its path dawns and the urge to seek a guru, who will guide you and pilot your journey, takes grip of you. This indifference to the worldly pleasures, does not mean sanyas from it. It only means a change of attitude to the worldly goodies that you have been attached to. While so far you were like a landlord, with a deep and desperate sense of ownership and possession, now due to indifference, you are a tenant, aware that the world is transient and thus enjoy it with no sense of ownership or possession. You now walk on the path, enjoying the beauty around, with no intention to own it. Thus while earlier you were deeply attached to worldly objects,  that you were desperate to own, now you enjoy them as the infinite blessing of Bhagwan, made available to you for a temporary period. By giving up such desires/attachment, a person is now in control of his mind and senses, such that he is ready to assimilate and practise the spiritual knowledge that he now seeks. He is now focussed on his goal of seeking knowledge, apart from practising compassion, self discipline, self study and meditation. His thirst for knowledge has now taken concrete shape, as he ventures out in search of a guru, who like a raft on a river, will take him across to eternal bliss.

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