The Importance of Right Knowledge
by Jayaram V
Do you know whether your knowledge is helping you and guiding you rightly or obstructing your progress?
Knowledge is the compass of life. It gives you the vision to know, to anticipate, and prepares you for the events in your life. Your knowledge gives you the power and the ability to be and to become what want to achieve in your life. You are endowed by Nature with a great tool, your mind, which can accumulate knowledge and process it, which you can use to your best advantage. However, not all are able to use it effectively because of various inhibiting factors.
The problem with the knowledge is, it cuts both ways. Therefore, to put the knowledge to right use, you must know whether you have the right knowledge and whether you have the right conditions for using the knowledge. The same fact holds true for every action in your life. If you have dreams and goals, you must know whether they are right for you and whether you have the right means to reach them. To expect otherwise is to lose direction in your life and lose your way.
Knowledge is important. You cannot deny that. Even to make simple decisions in your life, you need knowledge. You need it to make your way through the forest of life, negotiating the dangers, and reach your desired destination. Whether you pursue spiritual goals or material goals, you require right knowledge.
However, like any other tool you use in your life, you cannot just do with any knowledge or any type of knowledge. You must have right knowledge and know which knowledge is required to reach your goals. You should also know how to use such knowledge and when to use it. You must also have the discretion to know its limitations and what you cannot do with it . There are many barriers to right knowledge, such as the following.
3. Attraction and aversion
4. Wrong influences in life
10. Past life samskaras
The distinction between knowledge and ignorance is very thin. Ignorance is not absence of knowledge but absence of right knowledge. You may possess knowledge, but if it does not serve the purpose or help you to realize your goals, you cannot consider it a right knowledge. Therefore, intelligence is also important to know which knowledge you require, when to use it, how to use it and when to keep quiet. If you are not careful, or if you lack discretion, you may end up accepting ignorance as knowledge.
Today a lot of ignorance is in circulation. We have many misconceptions about ourselves, our lives, goals and Wellbeing. These misconceptions are created either by vested interests, who want to divert our attention to inconsequential matters or exploit our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. In most cases, the dangers are not apparent until we are exposed to them.
The best way to arrive at right knowledge is through self-study and introspection. If you have more knowledge and information, you are more likely to make better decisions. With right knowledge, you develop the ability to discern things. We already have a vast amount of knowledge accumulated through generations of wise people who lived in the past and left behind their wisdom as teachings. This vast reservoir of knowledge can help us to cultivate right knowledge and discernment.
When the Buddha suggested right living on the Eightfold Path, he did not invent new knowledge. He pointed to a value system, or a system of morality and humanity that was rooted in the wisdom of the ages. He reinvented it to make his followers to cultivate discernment and know the difference between the right and wrong approaches to life. Without knowing such distinctions, you cannot make much progress in any field.
The same holds true for yoga. The traditional yoga system begins with a reference to the Yamas and Niyamas. They are based on the wisdom of the past. If you perform certain actions and if you avoid performing certain actions, your suffering mitigates and you become ready for the inner transformation. It is the message. The rules and restrictions prescribed in classical yoga are important for establishing the mind in equanimity and stability and let the inner Self come to the front and surface itself.
A disturbed mind is a suffering mind. So is the case with the human body. Therefore, the knowledge of yoga is geared to create right conditions within ourselves for peace and inner harmony. Yoga is not about doing asanas and meditation. It is about silencing the mind and the senses, so that you can experience that state of your consciousness, which usually remains hidden behind the activity of your mind.
Right knowledge is important to make right decisions, choose right goals and pursue right methods in your worldly life. Today in many countries people are pursuing wrong goals and making wrong decisions about their careers lives, beliefs, lifestyles, the products they use, the religions they practice, the values they uphold and the relationships they build. A lot of it can be attributed to lack of pure common sense, and absence of discretion. When you do not have knowledge, you will choose wrong leaders, pursue wrong ideologies, make wrong turns in your life and end up in situations you may dislike. Therefore, pay attention to the knowledge you have and whether it is the right one for you. Are you ready for the journey of life? Do you have the right knowledge? Have you learned to use your discretion and make right decisions? Think about these. If you do not have the right knowledge, you will be stuck in the forest of your life.
May God bless and protect you
Seth Kelly Curtis