That is Vidya (Jnanam) Which Liberates

Oct 21, 2013
It removes distances and melts differences. It ends conflicts and confusions... No wars, no blood-shed...

Mom    :  A happy New Year, my dear Anand.

Anand :  A very happy New Year to you, Mom.

Mom    :  Do you know Anand, what enlightened persons wish on the New Year’s morning ?

Listen  :  Oh Lord ! may all of mankind be happy; may all of mankind be healthy; may all of mankind experience prosperity; may none in the world suffer. Peace, Peace, Peace.

Our wise elders always wished the well-being of the entire world. Their approach was holistic. They always aspired and prayed for universal happiness.

Anand :  How great and noble they were, Mom ! Our teacher of Sanskrit taught us a very beautiful prayer yesterday.

Mom    :  What is that prayer ?

Anand :  Asato ma sadgamaya; tamaso ma jyotir-gamaya; mruturma amrutam gamaya. Om Shantihi, Shantihi, Shantihi...

Mom    :  Anand, it’s a universal prayer for enlightenment and prosperity. Your teacher must have told you the meaning of that prayer.

Anand :  Yes, Mom. Lead me from unreal to real; lead me from darkness to light; lead me from death to immortality. Om-Peace, Peace, Peace...

Mom    :  Do you know what is real and unreal ? What is darkness and light ?

Anand :  No, Mom. Please tell me. I am eager to know and understand it. This light must be different from the sunlight. What is real I see before my eyes.

Mom    :  This light is different from the sunlight. It is the light of learning (knowledge). Man has been in search of light from the darkness of ignorance. What is real is your Pure Self. All else is relative, changing, temporary adjustment. You are immortal. Didn’t your teacher tell you : “Dost  thou art to dust returnest was not spoken of the soul ?” So you are immortal. It’s the body that dies. It is burned or buried underground and dust returns to dust. You believe that you are a body. But it’s a false belief. You are not the body. You are separate and different from your body.

Anand :  But Mom ! I don’t feel nor do I see that I am separate or different from my body.

Mom    :  Yes, you don’t feel it but it’s a fact that you are separate from your body. Look here, What is this ?

Anand :  A pencil.

Mom    :  What is this ?

Anand :  A watch.

    :  Now tell me whose pencil and watch are these ?

Anand :  They are mine.

Mom    :  Are you this pencil ?

Anand :  Certainly not. It’s so obvious.

Mom    :  Are you this watch ?

Anand :  No, I am not.

Mom    :  Whose body is this ?

Anand :  It’s my body.

Mom    :  So, you are not this body. It’s your body. This body gets old and dies. People burn or bury the dead body. What is yours is not you. You are the Pure Soul. Therefore, you don’t die. The soul is not born either. It is immortal.

Anand :  I am not this body. Whatever is mine is not me. I am the Pure Soul.

Mom    :  This is a great prayer. Man prays for knowledge, light and immortality. It’s a holistic prayer. Our great poet Tagore tells us that the ‘World is our school and Nature our book.’

Anand :  Yes, Mom. What a vast school this world and what book ! I have to read the book of Nature. I am a learner in the vast school of the universe. Mother earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, the birds, insects and trees, the mountains and the rivers, the seas and the clouds ! How beautiful is the universe ?! All should love and worship mother Nature.

Mom    :  So, this invaluable knowledge inspires you to live in harmony with Nature(Universe). This is true learning-knowledge that liberates : ‘Sa Vidya ya Vimuktaye’, wise people say.

Anand :  Mom, certainly, this education is a training to be a man who learns to live in harmony with the universe. This knowledge is more important than all the wealth that, at times, fattens one’s ego and brings about his downfall.

Mom    :  Now you’ll understand that your teacher is your guide. He teaches you the art and science of healthy, blissful living. In olden times a Guru(teacher) helped his disciple to grow and realise his potential.

Anand :  With my teacher’s guidance and help, I can realise what is hidden in me. He is certainly a torch-bearer.

Mom    :  And it’s your teacher who brings home to you that you are the Pure Soul, immortal, invisible...formless. All creatures are Pure Souls, outward packings differ. But Dada Bhagavan says, ‘Bhagavan is sitting in the hearts of all creatures.’ This is the right address of Bhagavan(God).

Anand :  I must love all, hate none. I must avoid quarrels and clashes. I must help all. We are all members of a very large family, living on this earth, under the same sun... Love is free from bondage. Love is God !

Mom    :  The enlightened persons all over the world loudly declare that this earth is our family. All nations, though geographically divided, are members of a global family–‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.’ Love is the only panacea for all the ills of the world. Therefore, all nations, without any distinction of rich or poor, white or black, must live in harmony and peace.

Anand :  Then only, Mom, can we live in peace and happiness, without any fear, on this earth. Knowledge, right understanding brings us together. It removes distances and melts differences. It ends conflicts and confusions... No wars, no blood-shed... Really ‘Vidya’(Knowledge) teaches us about our basic unity and oneness. Differences are apparent only. We must love one another or we’ll perish. This New Year, Mom, we must remember this human science of love–religion of love.

Mom    :  Now, you must have understood the value of education, teacher and school in the world. You have to know who you really are. You have to be humble. Then you can help yourself first and the people around you afterwards. You can wipe others’ tears. But, now you know that there are no others now, as all are Pure Souls in different outward packings.

Anand :  This then is the aim of all learning. This is the goal of life : to realise the Pureself. Then can I see the whole world innocent as a new born babe. This is our culture and spiritual tradition. Knowledge is light that liberates. How true and happy and beautiful this world would be then, Mom ! All people of the world, a large universal family knit together with the golden thread of love, truth and compassion.

Mom    :  Just as a gardener, who knows that the vast banyan tree lies hidden in the seed ready to sprout, the (Guru), man of self-realisation, well-versed in religious scriptures, understands the hidden spirituality in the student and lovingly helps it sprout naturally. Such is our healthy (Guru-Shishya) teacher-student (Param-para) culture tradition. Listen carefully how both the Guru and the disciple recited the prayer for removing obstacles so that the Guru can successfully impart higher knowledge to the disciple. Om (Bhagavan) May He protect us both. May He cause us to enjoy(The Supreme). May we both work with great energy. May our study become brilliant. May we not hate each other.

Om...Peace, Peace, Peace...

We had a very healthy tradition of Guru-disciple relationship.

- Vishnu Pathak