My thoughts, as I learn and unlearn things while trying to make sense of this mad and bad world.

Saturday, 28 April, 2012

Top Secret!

If people where asked what is the most important thing to know in the world, their replies would cover a vast spectrum.  Possible answers include, but are not limited to, things like knowing your passion or knowing that life should be led with humility and goodness.  There can be uncountable replies to this question – but in the end, all replies will only be human speculation and opinion.  So what is the correct answer to this question?  Is there something that can be tagged as ‘the most important knowledge’ and if there is, then what is it?  How do we get to it and take advantage of it?  The answer was revealed long ago by Sri Krishna to Arjuna.  In the Bhagvad Gita, verse 9.4 it has been said –

maya tatam idam sarvam, jagad avyakta-murtina
mat-sthani sarva-bhutani, na caham tesv avasthitah

Meaning, by Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.

The most important thing for us to know is that God cannot be perceived with our material senses.  Our imperfect senses, when functioning under the influence of materialism and maya, are unable to sense the presence of the Lord around us.  To truly understand His all-pervading presence, we have to engage in devotional service under proper guidance.  Even though He is not visible to the naked eye, everything rests on Him.  His energy pervades everything in the material world.  He is omnipresent and is the Supreme – the cause of all causes.  While His energy exists in everything that exists in the material and spiritual world, He is not contained in anything.  He is transcendental to everything around us, and the motive of our existence is to be His eternal servants.

Not everyone has the vision to appreciate the importance of this knowledge.  Most people are informed in external knowledge (or knowledge of the material world).  Only the people who are walking the path of self-realization and are trying to figure out their relationship with the Supreme are well positioned to understand this confidential information and its importance.  Sri Krishna confirms the importance of this knowledge in verse 9.2 –

raja-vidya raja-guhyam, pavitram idam uttamam
pratyakshavagamam dharmyam, su-sukham kartum avyayam

Meaning, this knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.

Not only does the Lord share the most confidential knowledge with us, he also offers us clues about the qualities that we need to imbibe to best understand his message.  In verse 9.1, He mentions –

idam tu te guhyatamam, pravaksyamy anasuyave
jnanam vijnana-sahitam, yaj jnatva moksyase ’subhat

Meaning, The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most confidential knowledge and realization, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence.

To best understand His teachings, we have to aspire to be like Arjuna.  We have to accept the fact that we are not masters of anything.  We have to submit to the Supreme.  We cannot be envious of the Lord.  We have to be humble and bow our heads, in reverence, and seek His blessings.  This is the most important knowledge for the human race because this is what will allow us to go back to GodHead and relieve us from the miseries of material life.  

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