KNOWLEDGE – The Legacy

The legacy called KNOWLEDGE

Recently, I saw the Hollywood movie “Lucy”. Although the main focus of the movie is on the “ten percent of brain” myth, a closer evaluation will reveal its foundation on Acharya Shankar’s philosophy. I liked the central tenet of the movie which is that you have knowledge, all of us have knowledge and that we need to pass it on so that the future generation can build on it and in turn pass it on! I recommend this movie to you if you are interested in deep philosophical questions like the origination of the universe, the purpose of existence, etc.

Our worldview is a product of the knowledge left behind by our ancestors. I believe that there should be no restrictions on propagation of beliefs, faiths, religions, sciences, philosophy or any other domain of knowledge because the present scenario of the world around us is a result of the accumulation of all past knowledge.

Knowledge is liberation. Knowledge is the way towards ultimate freedom. Knowledge is a responsibility.

We need to keep on developing/progressing as a human race both materially and spiritually because that is the only way towards the Infinite/God/Almighty. If you believe in reincarnation, then propagating knowledge further will not only help others but help you as well because then you will receive this knowledge and build on it, you will build on it in successive lives till you attain the ultimate truth i.e. God. Who knows what you know today was propagated by you yourself in your past life.  All knowledge is a step towards the Infinite (God), all creatures striving for eternal happiness or pleasure are in reality striving towards attainment of God. All life is directed towards the One whether consciously or unconsciously. The great Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo affirms the fact that sooner or later we will arrive at the divine destination, we can choose to expedite it through our knowledge.

Every field of knowledge has its domain. For science, it is the material domain. For religion, it is the transcendental domain. So we must not impose restrictions on any religion. Everyone has a right to their views. We cannot force our views on others. Even Gautama Buddha stated this fact to his disciple. He said you must not become hostile towards anyone just because his/her views do not match yours. If you were in his/her position, if you would have lived his/her life, even you would have believed what you are now opposing. You can only debate and propagate your views but NOT force them on anyone. The use of force doesn’t expand faith, it reduces faith. Some religious extremist groups force others to convert to their faith, “Convert or die.” But faith is a choice of the heart that can’t be forced. Though force may compel some to mouth a faith-pledge, that doesn’t constitute the change of heart at the heart of true faith. Brute force reduces faith from a matter of the heart to a matter of the lips. That fanatics celebrate as religious victories converting others to such reduced faith shows that they grossly overrate the externals of their faith. Might they have never known the essence of faith: its security and sweetness? Might they be masking their inner emptiness by outer aggressiveness? Sadly, all traditions have been guilty, to greater or lesser degrees, of such superficiality. Those who resort to force to convert simply expose their intellectual and experiential bankruptcy. There are both positive and negative stages in every religion. Every religion either goes through a process of reformation and realigns itself according to the contemporary times or perishes. Intolerance and extremism towards religions is no solution for a perfect world. An open, liberal and tolerant approach needs to be adopted. No matter what you believe in, you should share your views with the world because your thinking, your philosophy, your mindset is not entirely your own. It is a gift left behind by our ancestors.

Frankly, I am no great philosopher or academician but all I am saying is that if there is one thing I am sure of out of all the ontological, teleological, metaphysical questions that remain unanswered even to this day, it is that passing on your knowledge: your science, your faith, your beliefs, your practices, your opinions, your biography, etc. is the only tangible way towards the ultimate knowledge/truth.

There should be no restriction on any kind of knowledge no matter how contradictory to the popularly accepted views. The strongest example that I can cite to validate this view of mine is that before the Renaissance set in Europe, all scientific theories and discoveries were regarded heresies, and now you can yourself observe the distance we have covered riding on science and technology. The Church did not believe in either the earth revolving around the sun or the earth being spherical. That is now past. What is today will also become past. Our life is a simple blip/blink in the vast annals of evolutionary history. We can choose to immortalize our being by working towards the upliftment of society.

It is rightly said in Indian philosophy that the first step towards knowledge is to acknowledge the fact that you don’t have knowledge. What you may know may be entirely wrong, also it may be entirely correct or it may be partially correct. You must have an open mind at all times. You must be open to learn new things, new knowledge. Learning is the step towards knowledge and knowledge is the step towards liberation.

Like all philosophies, I am fully aware that there will be criticisms of this philosophy of mine and I welcome it with open arms for that is again also the step towards knowledge and evolution! I am fully aware that my views may change over time but the central theme of this post i.e. sharing of knowledge is something I am a firm believer of and it is an unchangeable infallible truth in this changeable impermanent momentary world.

Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (“the world is one family”)

-Ancient Indian Sanskrit Proverb

To attain knowledge a man must read ten thousand books and travel ten thousand miles.

-Ancient Chinese Proverb

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“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

― Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

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-Ribhu V.

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