Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
The Netherlands

23th April 2017


“Superficial and deep”

The common belief of everyone with knowledge is: Knowledge can be borrowed from others or from books. Everyone believes this because everyone sometimes borrows material things temporarily, which they may not have.

In the case of material things that are borrowed, the borrower cannot claim it to be their own. Everyone understands that material things that are borrowed do not belong to them and need to be returned to the rightful owner.

But, in the case of immaterial things, such as knowledge that is borrowed from others or from books, the borrower can claim it to be their own, because no one can claim to have lent it or prove that they have lent it.

The wise with wisdom, however, do understand that knowledge is neither borrowed nor can it be lent. It only appears that it can be borrowed to superficial understanding of life and conveniently claim it as their own.

It is impossible either to borrow or lend knowledge, even in the present days, because it is impossible to prove that knowledge was borrowed by the first man who had knowledge, because the first man could not have borrowed knowledge.  

This implies that life evolved knowledge to the first man who had knowledge and life continues to evolve knowledge, even to the present day man as well. The present day man, however, believes that knowledge can be borrowed, but the belief is not the truth.

The first man in whom knowledge evolved understood the knowledge because understanding, which is an inherent characteristic of intellect, evolved as well in him. Since man does not control evolution, it is apparent that the understanding of knowledge happened to man and the knowledge cannot be other than what it is.

Knowledge is, therefore, neither borrowed nor can it be lent. It is what it is at any moment of life. If what knowledge is at any moment of life is due to superficial understanding that has evolved, imitation of other’s knowledge or wisdom as their own also happens.

Now if deep understanding of knowledge happens to man that it has evolved in him, man becomes honest and imitation of knowledge or wisdom that anyone has does not happen to him or her.

Man begins to admit that he does not know wisdom and is at ease with whatever knowledge that he or she has. This deep understanding is the door for wisdom to happen.

Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2017

Editor’s Note:
The concept of borrowing and lending and its practice have been well known in the daily transactions of men and women in every generation. In this context, the poet Shakespeare gave this advice: 
‘Neither a borrower nor a lender be
For loan oft loses itself and friend.’
The wisdom of the wise, as gifted in this article, shares their deep understanding of this transaction that takes place in the lives of each one of us. There is no loss.
Julian Capper

German Translator’s Note: 
Children imitate the conduct of their parents and others. However they become totally unique as everybody is totally unique in every moment. They seem to borrow this from one person and that from another, however, if the borrowing would be real, where could the first man on earth have loaned his knowledge from? Dr. Shankar helps us to ponder deeply in every corner of the mind. The illusion of borrowing is no exception and is presented here with clarity. 
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany. 

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