Can Knowledge Become A Barrier to Wisdom?

The original meaning of Vidya is Gyaan or wisdom obtained in the presence of an Awakened or a Bodhi. An education that provides a blissful life experience and at the same time liberates us from our miseries can be called wisdom (Vidya). Today, the education being imparted across the globe unknowingly has been increasing and elevating the forces of ignorance (Avidya). Imparting and receiving an education was always considered as a divine liberating experience, hence offered to the Goddess Saraswati, the dispeller of ignorance. But today, in the Kali Yuga, what may be sold as education in the name of Vidya could be driving us towards Avidya. Education has become a commercial commodity and is viewed as a mere give and take. It’s plainly consumption of outside knowledge restricting individuals to cultivate inner wisdom.


Knowledge and wisdom are of completely opposite natures. Knowledge is externally accumulated information but wisdom is a state of being cultivated through one’s inner self or the awakened consciousness. Vidya is AtmaGyaan (wisdom of the self), and it is meant to liberate us from the detrimental effects of Karma, greed, desires, attachments, and time. The kind of education which increases our bondage to the material world and entangles us more to suffering drives us towards ignorance (Avidya). Vidya is conscious of what is required for the body to liberate and will always guide us towards the release of Bhogas for the betterment of life experience.


Additionally, there is nothing wrong with consuming knowledge or reading lots of books. The problem occurs when one’s attention is completely grabbed by it, restricting one’s inner growth and potential to prosper. Such a person sees and understands the outside knowledge as the ultimate truth, which could stop him/her to move beyond the realms of ‘simply knowing’ to the realm of ‘actually experiencing’ it. Intellectual understanding when backed up by the experience of the mind, body, and soul would corroborate as wisdom. After awakening and connecting with a Bodhi, wisdom which is required for our growth, automatically begins to flourish within, such is the power of Awakening. For it to be an automatic phenomenon, one has to learn to drop the external knowledge for the internal to thrive. This is easily taken care of when one has immense faith, certitude, and surrenderance towards the Guru Tattva. Many on the path of BodhMarga are experiencing this automatic phenomenon. When they first began, many of them had a clean slate when it came to the spiritual understanding of scriptures, but after Awakening, they are experiencing the real essence of scriptures without even reading them.


The secret to allowing this Gyaan to flourish is very simple. Science has proven that we become like the people we spend most of our time with. Exposure to a stressful environment quite often, a person has a higher chance of developing a lifestyle disease. Similarly, according to Epigenetics, putting ourselves into an environment that tunes us to wisdom easily is a way to align with our spiritual purpose. Traditionally, seekers enmassed in large numbers, in Satsangs, and even today its significance can be prolifically felt all over the world. Especially in the West, in countries like the United States, Germany, etc. it’s become quite a popular phenomenon. Satsang is a divine experience, where several, having a common seeking, come together to touch the inner truth (Satya ke sang). This allows us to connect with the essence of the most powerful source of all creation – the force of the Guru Tattva facilitating a continuous showering of wisdom and inner growth. Personally, the experience of a Satsang is often analogous to the experience of getting drenched under a fresh grace-like waterfall in the forest or walking bare feet in a garden full of freshly bloomed love-like flowers. You will find yourself easily letting go of your pasts and miseries, melting away in the ambrosia of oneness and Ananda. We encourage all to attend weekly live Thursday Satsangs available on the BodhMarga Foundation Youtube channel to experience it yourself!


Jai Gurudev

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