The Fire of Knowledge Purifies
The tenth teaching is working with knowledge. Knowledge is of two kinds: speculative knowledge and operative knowledge. The two constitute the two wings of knowledge. They supplement each other and enable the student to walk into the realms of light. Knowledge is uplifting. Knowledge shows the desirables and undesirables in oneself. Knowledge helps to know what ignorance is. Knowledge also helps to see the dark areas within one’s personality.
If you know that there is an insect under the bed sheet, you would take care to eliminate it. If you do not know, you would have the sting of the insect when you sleep on the bed. You cannot complain about the sting of the insect. It is its nature to sting. It is for us to notice it and eliminate it. Likewise, every personality with the help of the light of knowledge can find the undesirables. Practices can be picked up to eliminate them. The process of elimination suggested by the teachers is different from the process that a man of the world knows. For example, men of the world want peace and don’t want war. They want to be healthy. They don’t want ill-health to attack them. Not wanting something by itself does not eliminate the undesirable. If you wish to be peaceful, you need to change your inner attitude of covetousness, competition, aggression and will to power. As long as they exist in the human beings, wars keep happening at smaller or larger scales. Likewise, if you wish to have good health and not fall sick, there is a rhythm of life relating to food, work and sleep. There is a rhythm relating to food, there is a rhythm relating to work and a rhythm relating to sleep. This rhythm has to be adapted to.
Peace or health or wealth are desired by all. Desiring by itself would not get what we want. There are techniques that one has to adopt to be fit enough to receive what has to be received. The operative knowledge enables us to establish right relationship with one’s own body and mind. It enables cooperation between the self and the personality. When such cooperation is worked out, one is said to be a yogi. In the sense, he presides over his personality and does what has to be done. Yoga imparts operative knowledge. It enables a friendly cooperation within oneself. Operative knowledge also extends to imparting knowledge of right relation with the five elements of nature and with the three kingdoms inferior to man. It also gives knowledge of cooperation from mineral, plant, animal and the five elements. The operative knowledge further extends to impart the knowledge on how to gain cooperation of the seven planetary principles as well as the twelve sun signs. It would help further to gain cooperation of the ten directional energies, such as East, West, North, South, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, Northwest, Above and Below. Operative knowledge also helps to gain cooperation of the Super Soul, called the Universal Soul. The field of operative knowledge is vast.
Operative knowledge demands regular practice in the given procedure. The knowledge comes to the student as information, and when it is worked out in oneself it transforms into operable knowledge. It is nothing to speculate about it. It is for practice. Knowing about it by way of information does not make one knowledgeable. For example, if one knows from a writing how mango fruit tastes, that knowledge does not give the taste of mango. When mango fruit is eaten the real knowledge of its taste is known through experience. Today many have much information and they speak out the same without experiencing themselves the information that they have gathered. They are like parrots.
A parrot can be taught a small divine poem. It repeats the poem, but it knows not what it is repeating. Likewise, there are many speakers all over the world speaking loud of the information that they read or that they hear. But they themselves do not know the information by way of personal experience. Information does not materialise as knowledge unless it is practiced and realised.
Another example: If you read the sentence ‘be good to all’, it is information, for in the next moment can one be good to all? Information is not knowledge. It has to be lived through daily operation. One has to submit oneself to the instructional teachings, practice them for long years, meet the challenges relating to it, and come out triumphantly. Then that teaching is realised. Listening and reading information cannot be the basis for teaching. At the best it can be lecturing. Lecturers are different from Teachers. Teachers are those who go through four steps:
- They receive information of operational knowledge.
- They submit themselves to the related operation.
- They live the related knowledge.
- They teach to those who seek such knowledge.
It is experience that speaks through them. They are not reproducing what is already written. They re-present it with the freshness of their experience. Therefore the teaching is magnetic and fulfilling.
To summarise, the knowledge that gives instructions need to be practiced and realised. Such knowledge is operative knowledge. It helps in daily life. The second category of knowledge is speculative knowledge. Speculative knowledge informs one of cosmogenesis, the cosmic intelligences, the formation of cosmos, the laws of alternation, pulsation, periodicity, the laws of light and darkness, the laws relating to radiation, vibration and materialisation, the laws relating to formation of central sun, clusters of solar systems, formation of planetary bodies, purposes of comets etc., etc. This knowledge by its sheer vastness uproots the student from his localisation.
Every person thinks of himself and his activity, which seem very great to him. However great a person’s activity is, it is insignificant in relation to the activity of the cosmos. When he knows the cosmos and the work that is happening in the cosmos, in the solar plane, in the planetary plane, his work compared with them becomes little, meaning nothing. So, even great works of great emperors and great kingdoms become insignificant in the context of cosmic activity. This would help the student not to blow himself up, not to live in the glamour of his work. It does not constitute even a particle of the whole. The scriptures say that our planet Earth in its size is that of a mustard seed in relation to the whole cosmos. Imagine how significant a person on that mustard seed sized planet is. Speculative knowledge helps every person to get rid of the ego of personality, the pride of personality. In the context of the cosmos he is nobody and his activity is insignificant. When one gets into astronomy, already one feels the futility of one’s own activity. Speculative knowledge prevents one from trumpeting one’s activity, for it is such a micro-activity. How much do we care about the activity of a fly, of a mosquito and such other very small beings? Do we care at all? But to the flies, mosquitoes and other insects their activity is very big to themselves. Speculative knowledge helps to move out of all illusion and be with the Truth. Is this not important to us, the little men of Earth?
The operative knowledge enables one to be a soul. The speculative knowledge enables one to be humble and participating in the grand plan. Therefore the instruction of the Lord.
… to be continued