9# Gyan – The Wisdom Which Liberates

Shlok

tatkarma yanna bandhāaya sā vidyā yā vimuktaye| āyāsāyāparaṁ karma vidya’nyā śilpanaipuṇam||1-19-41|| —śrīviṣṇupurāṇe prathamaskandhe ekonaviṁśo’dhyāyaḥ

That is action, which does not promote attachment; That is wisdom which liberates [one from bondage] All other action is mere [pointless] effort/hardship; all other knowledge is merely another skill/craftsmanship.

Above words are the wonderful Sanskrit shlok couplet which clearly sing the glory of the wisdom. It clearly says acquiring wisdom is the only action which does not create attachment to this material world only liberates one from all the bondage and one’s prejudices, negativity, ignorance greed and so on. Taking hardship for other material things is aimless and which will never satisfy your hunger only will create the attachment to them. Without wisdom all acquired information and knowledge is pointless.

From the birth to around 4-5 years of human life, the humans start to learn basic life skills like eating, walking, speaking, thinking, socializing etc and values like empathy, love, care etc. The most skills they learn, are from home and the environment around from own experiences.

As human grows,He/she goes to any external educator like schools. That shapes the discipline, responsibility, accountability, analytical skill, imagination and so on in the human. Still the hunger for wisdom differ the person from another.

The education, information, knowledge and wisdom are unique and different facets of the human learning process.

Education is the formal learning process which person may have to go through regardless of the interest.

Information is the set of facts which you know when someone need to or have to know about something or someone. It is need and interest driven learning.

Knowledge is the combination of different facets of the learning. Deep understanding derived due to own or someone’s experiences from formal or informal education and the application of the information in the life situations.

Wisdom is the ability to apply education, information, knowledge, values, common sense, intuition, belief and experience while responding to particular life situation. By using wisdom makes you happy about the decisions you have taken and problems you have solved. This is the best possible ability can be derived from all the learning human can obtain from various forms. Customised wisdom applied on the particular life situations.

Wisdom

In Hindu ancient scriptures and texts, the four Ashram (phases) and Purushartha (meaning/goal of existence) of the life are described. The average human age was divided in 25 years’ phases. The Ashram and Purushartha divided into 25years each.

Human Age (Years) 0 to 25 26 to 50 51 to 75 75 till Death
Ashram Brahmacharya (Being the Celibate Student) Gruhastha (Married Family Man) Vanprastha (The Hermit in Retreat) Sanyasa (The Wandering Recluse)
Purushartha Dharm (Acquiring the Wisdom) Arth and Kam (Acquiring Wealth and Pleasure) Arth and Moksha (Acquiring Wealth and Liberation) Moksha (Acquiring Liberation)

It clearly supports acquiring the knowledge into first phase of the life when a person generally has good memory and grasping capacity; fresh mind without worldly set rules; good imagination power and no household worries, which enables him/her to learn and acquire knowledge about future opportunities, threats, duties and responsibilities in the life.

Asking questions “why” and “how” of the information is the key to get deep dive into the information. “Why we are learning this? Or why this information is required?” will give an insight of the need and “How can you use the information or education to solve the problem or get things done?” will allow to think the application of the acquired information. When a human remembers and relates the “why” and “how” of information used in various situations in the life which is called life experiences, the mind slowly transforms the information into the knowledge.

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The school system of ancient India called Gurukul, which literally means living in the teacher’s domain, was set up for students who were required to live and study in teacher’s house being a part of their family by learning 14 Vidya (Techniques) 64 Kala (Art forms). Even all royal children were expected to live the life of celibate student which was not different than any other student. The main aim was to teach them reality of the life if future prince may have to face. Ram-the prince of Ayodhya is the prime example of the princely student who learnt and experienced all the hardships and reality of the life during the phase of student life made him aware with the ground reality of human life which is considered knowledge. When he destined for his 14 year exile period, he could concentrate on his Tapa (effort to achieve self-realisation,which can be considered as wisdom) than his discomforts which were quite opposite to his royal luxury. This shows how acquired knowledge enables a knowledgable prince into the ideal rule upholding king can be worshiped as a god.

Acquiring the knowledge and turning into the wisdom takes time,persistance and patience. By being exposed to various life changing experiences and then doing Chintan (thinking or meditating) on those experiences by using acquired knowledge.Finally wisdom floats like butter(Wisdom) floats by churning the curd (Knowledge) .The wisdom is not easy to achieve as that requires a person should have some prerequisites like education, information, knowledge, values, common sense, intuition, belief and life experiences and many more things. Hence getting wisdom in first two phases of the life is hard because human is acquiring all the prerequisites unless the person is passionate about it.

May goddess Saraswati give you wisdom and liberates from all the matrial bondage.

P.S. Dedicated to my son-Avyukt’s first day to school.

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