Clarity and knowledge

Words are like the address and clarity is like the rabbit.
Clarity and knowledge

Mountains remind us of unflinching commitment

Seas, of tranquil depths beneath the turbulent surfaces

River brings in my cognition the flow of change

Wild wind introduces me to the surprise of life

Lighting across the sky shows me my inner light

Mother Nature! You are the best library and laboratory of life,

Oh, Mother Nature you are the true fountain of my life

Lord Shiva represents Vidya Shakti; it means having clarity in understanding. Vidya is a profound word. For the time I will use the word clarity. Many understand vidya as knowledge.

One of the Shiva Sutras declares ‘gnanam bandhanam’. It says one’s knowledge is bondage. People’s knowledge becomes their bondage because it is only words. But the words are not the things. The description is not the described is the famous statement of Jiddu Krishnamurti. The word water is not water; the word gulab jamun is not gulab jamun. Most people have knowledge as words and only words.

It is very important to understand ‘gnanam bandhanam’ clearly. Most people feel that they possess knowledge because they can quote verses from the scriptures. It is so because one has verbal knowledge, or word meaning for the words is not the thing. So, Lord Shiva says one’s knowledge is binding in such a background of understanding.

Vidya, therefore, means clarity. When you drive, you have to navigate and see where the traffic goes. Similarly, in life, all of you have to worship clarity and not knowledge. And for that, you should be intelligent and know how to listen to words as you are reading them.

Whenever you get confused in listening, be happy. Because it is confusion that leads to clarity. Clarity becomes your strength and hence Vidya Shakti.

Please understand that the words that I quote are not clarity. The words are not the meaning. The word is only an indicator indicating the indicated, which is other than the indicator. The word is only the pointer pointing to the pointed, which is other than the pointer. Therefore, don’t catch the words, catch the meaning. The meaning cannot be caught by words.

There was a trader who sold rabbits. One day he gave a rabbit to his servant and said, “Go and deliver the rabbit to a lady and bring the cash in return. Here is the address.” The servant, while going through a crowded marketplace, happened to collide with a man coming from the opposite direction. He fell and the rabbit escaped.

The servant merely stood, watching the rabbit running away. The onlookers said, “Hey, you idiot! Run and catch the rabbit!”

But the servant said unperturbed, “So what, if the rabbit ran away? Where will the rabbit go? I still have the address given by my boss safe with me.”

Words are like the address and clarity is like the rabbit.

Hence, if you listen or read superficially, if you use only your external ears, you will only be able to get words and their sounds. You have to use your inner ears to the meaning coded into the words and hence you go further deep. Only a still deeper person will get the significance of what he or she hears. Hence there are deeper levels of reading or listening.

The ability to delve deep into matters below the surface is something you should develop with respect to every action performed and every object present around you.

Please join the ongoing Shivaratri Utsav till March 7 and the live Zoom celebration on March 8. Email: Swami Sukhabodhananda is an international management, spiritual & corporate guru.

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