Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
16th March 2011
Man feels proud of the knowledge he has and feels humiliated if he is ignorant through the lack of it. Man and woman strive hard and burn the night candle to accumulate as much knowledge as they possibly can.
The expression book-worm is bestowed on those who spend most of their time in the library during their academic life. Knowledge is put down to hard work done by the individual.
It is interesting to note that the gathering of knowledge, as in a library, has attracted the same respect and discipline in its adherents for silence or its practice that occurs in holy places, such as temples and churches.
When did knowledge begin? No man can answer this question with certainty, for he would require knowledge to know its origin. Nevertheless, it is obvious that every generation inevitably has more knowledge than the previous one, but less than the next.
The present-day knowledge is highly sophisticated and there is no room for doubt about this fact. What does this mean? It only means that knowledge had a very humble beginning.
From this beginning, man has now reached out to the furthest realms of the planetary system and to the lowest levels of the earth and the seas to expand his knowledge of the universe which he inhabits. Life has made this expansion embedded in the process of evolution and sophistication.
Knowledge makes man believe it has designed and created means of adapting his needs to the influences of nature. Knowledge, it appears, has taken steps to design human beings, not to mention animals and plants, to his own template and so it appears to man. Knowledge, furthermore, makes man believe he can control birth and even manage death.
Such is the intelligence of life that it enables man to make fundamental alterations to his environment, or so he believes. Considerable sums of money are dedicated to this cause, particularly in cases where the provision of nature is deemed unsatisfactory or hostile.
But can man determine when knowledge began? He certainly cannot; for the same reason he cannot determine when life began. Life must have been present for the first man to begin to live his life in it. If life was not present before man, he could not have come to live in it.
Similarly, man can never know when knowledge had its humble beginning. Initially, he just made sounds as animals did. Sound slowly transformed into words as a process of evolution, just as it did to man.
Man could not have made this transformation of sound into words happen for, in order to do so, he would have needed knowledge of sound, which he did not have.
So, evidently, knowledge happened to man and he did not make it happen. Its beginning would definitely have been rudimentary, and it has evolved and sophisticated to the knowledge which it is to this present day and will continue to sophisticate eternally.
Man makes sounds in this present day just as he did in primitive times. These sounds have transformed or sophisticated as knowledge, and so he cannot take credit for knowledge. It belongs to life and life alone.
The amount of knowledge every man has is his lot: he can neither increase it nor decrease it. If it is meant to increase, it will, and if it is not meant to, it will not.
Every man will come to have the knowledge he or she is meant to have.
Every fruit grows up from earth and has its amount of taste. Every flower grows up from earth and has its own amount of fragrance. Every river has its own amount of water flowing in it.
Every man too is born from earth and will have precisely the amount of knowledge he is meant to have. He does not make the fruit ripen or the flower blossom. He does not make the river flow; neither can he make knowledge happen.
Every aspect of life has sophisticated every moment to the present day and will continue to do so eternally – and this includes knowledge. However sophisticated knowledge may be, its existence is illusory, for it appears real only in the past and not in the present.
The present is the moment ‘now’ in which time does not exist. Life is, therefore, timeless and thoughtless and knowledge-less. The moment is eternal; it spontaneously, uncontrollably and unpredictably projects an auditory illusion of knowledge.
Knowledge is a sophistication of life and not man-made. Knowledge is an auditory illusion of sound, a miracle of life, just as everything in life is a miracle.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright 2010 V. S. Shankar