Is there something like “too much spiritual knowledge”?
All who worship what is not real knowledge, enter into blind darkness: those who delight in real knowledge, enter, as it were, into greater darkness.
This is excerpt from Ishavasya Upanishad, what struck me was that people who worship worldly knowledge are far better than Spiritual people who worship the real knowledge. These spiritual people get into deeper darkness than worldly people. Gurudev explained somewhere so beautifully that even the detergent needs to be washed off, and the purpose of knowledge is to UNLEARN. To me, this is like a warning , not to even get stuck in too much spiritual knowledge, Guruji also said that the cup needs to be empty for the truth to be experienced/sink in. Scholars would still be having the theoretical knowledge of reality but not the experiential.
Please enlighten based on your experience how to walk this One more razor edge in spiritual evolution. How does a spiritual seeker UNLEARN while LEARNING?
You correctly termed it as a ‘razor’s edge’ I have noticed several different people through the years of teaching this knowledge. Gyana has so many flavors.
Knowledge for a beginner: It helps a newcomer on the path to immediately get grounded. The awesome combination of meditation and knowledge works like magic to help somebody understand himself. Such a person grows spiritually at an exponential speed. Mostly, intellectuals get attracted to Knowledge at the beginning of their spiritual journey.
Knowledge for an intermediate: Some one must have started on the path, some time ago but due to lack of exposure or interest in knowledge, he keeps wobbling on the path. He keeps dropping in and out. Weekly follow up is just entertainment value for some people. But when such a person stumbles upon knowledge, he finds an oasis in a desert. Therefore, knowledge is a mandatory requirement for somebody who has not become established by meditation and satsang. He suddenly starts growing roots when he finds knowledge. That is why Guruji has all these in AOL.
Knowledge for an expert: Some people have read many books, visited many Gurus, basically done a lot of spiritual shopping. They may recite the shlokas from the scriptures like parrots but they usually have not grasped their meaning due to the lack of a master. The moment they find this knowledge explained so simply by Guruji, they are hooked, Initially, because it satisfies their ego, but slowly and surely Guruji’s magic charms them and they have no idea when they fall into deep Love with him because of the way he clarifies their understanding.
Risk management: Now when all these three types of people grow in knowledge, there is a risk after a while. After learning a lot, at a subtle level they start feeling “Oh, I know it”. This is the biggest block to experiencing Moksha! So how to manage this risk? A wise one, always reminds himself, that “I am not this body, I am not this mind, I am not this intellect that is getting purified with this knowledge, I am not this ego even. It is this ego that is the cause of all this bondage in the first place. It is this ego that says “I know”, Neti, neti, neti!” Just this self reminder, keeps him afloat. For such a wise one, there can be no hurdles on the path! He keeps moving – Charetveti! Charetveti!
Is there something like “too much spiritual knowledge”? Even after listening/watching Ashtavakra, Patanjali, Narada, Upanishads, etc I do not feel like I know enough. I cannot imagine there can be a point for anybody to feel “I know it all”. Is it something I need to be wary about?
You are absolutely right! There is nothing like too much knowledge. But there is a state like ‘too much ego with very little knowledge’. Only a person who is not knowledgeable will have the ego of “I know”. Ashtavakra says “knowledge, knowing and know-er” are not separate. They are all ONE! One who has not attained this wisdom, his knowledge is just at the information/data level. It has not yet become his own experience. It is still Prabhava not Swabhava gyana! The wise person always remembers that the consciousness is so miraculous, infinite, unfathomable. He is always in awe of this wonderful manifestation of Brahman! How can such a person even feel “I know it all”? For such a person, knowledge opens the doors to WONDER/AMAZEMENT! Wonder is nothing but another form of LOVE for the divine! This is the step where the Gyaani moves into devotion and gets converted into a Bhakt!
There is nothing to be afraid of, there is nothing to fear…. remember fear is a making of the mind! You are in a beautiful state of “I don’t know”…….. just be in that!
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