acquisition of knowledge and gaining of wisdom

Related imageConfusion arises when you do not understand the fundamental difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is what you acquire from an external source. Wisdom is that which you gain through your own efforts in digesting the knowledge received.A guru (spiritual teacher) can give you knowledge, but not wisdom. Knowledge loads you with information. Wisdom brings about a transformation of your personality. You gain knowledge through śravaṇa, listening, which includes reading. Undigested knowledge merely weighs down on you like bars of gold on a mule’s back. Knowledge remains useless to you until you digest it, assimilate it, make it your own. The process of assimilation is through manana, reflection. By careful thinking, analysis and contemplation knowledge seeps in. Your personality absorbs it. It becomes a part of you. Knowledge then metamorphoses into wisdom. Mere knowledge does not cause you to live those principles in your life. But upon gaining wisdom you will live it. It automatically translates itself into action. Therefore, there will always be an interim period of time between acquisition of knowledge and gaining of wisdom. During that period the old vāsanās continue their course. No restraint or restriction will change that. Kṛṣṇa educates you on this truth of life. You ought not to feel disillusioned when you find no improvement in your behaviour after acquiring knowledge. In fact, once you understand the concept of wisdom you should never feel discouraged when your spiritual practice does not show immediate results. On the contrary, this ought to inspire your efforts to absorb the knowledge gained and start living it. Ironically, what appears pessimistic actually gives an optimistic boost to the spiritual practitioner.


Bhagavad Gita
A. Parthasarathy

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