Knowledge is not just information it is something special and more than information. But today’s society considers useless information as knowledge and tries to get it by any unethical means. Knowledge is not just a degree certificate which can be obtained by any unethical means. Thus the education system (schools-colleges) is institutions that impart knowledge to human beings. But nowadays it is just serving information. It is very important to understand what kind of knowledge we need. True knowledge teaches the lesson of living life to the fullest. Knowledge is not a dry, cumbersome, boring statistic or a science puzzle. Knowledge is the peace and tranquility. knowledge is an endless stream of confidence. Knowledge is instinctive, simple and self-evident. Western world considers the concept of knowledge little differently than eastern world. In the Eastern world, knowledge is a special and unusual understanding or information which can lead the life to salvation. Incomplete knowledge causes death, an example of which is ABHIMANYU. The knowledge acquired in the wrong way does not bear fruit in spite of any devotion and high character which is exemplified by KARNA. The firm determination, full energy, regular practice and concentration are the real and best knowledge. Which EKLAVYA has accomplished by hand alone. Knowledge means knowing. That is why Vedas are the main source of knowledge in Hinduism. The Vedas also mean knowledge or knowing because without knowing, that is, without knowledge, it is almost impossible to achieve success in all the pursuits of human life (Dharma, ARTHA, Kama and MOKSHA). So the main foundation of religion is knowledge, without which neither human life can be successful nor the proper formation of society. That is why God has given every living being the gift of senses through which every living being can acquire knowledge and gradually achieve the goal according to his power. Man continues to acquire knowledge through his five senses i.e. word, touch, smell, color (vision) and taste for life. But often the question arise what is knowledge? What is the difference between knowledge and information?
“The most common meaning of knowledge is to know but in fact knowledge is an extremely high level of understanding, where every pain of life comes to an end.”
“Only when information is properly evaluated does it become true knowledge.”
“All knowledge that is conducive to the soul is knowledge.”
“Knowledge is not just literacy but a tool of peace, in which every doubt of life is resolved.”
“Knowledge is not just a matter of discussion, argument or talk, it is a matter of experience.”
“At the highest stage of knowledge, man sees God in every living being and the whole world feels divine.”
“Through knowledge, life gets answers to three questions, who am I? Who is the creator of me and the universe? What is nature or the cycle of creation? Thus information of soul, supreme soul and nature means knowledge. ”
as per our understanding if knowledge means to know, then the first question arise what is to know? The answer is truth. What is truth? The answer is – “That which is eternal, everlasting and immortal. According to Hindu culture, God is only the truth because God is the only eternal and unchanging one so all that except God is mere information. There is nothing left to know after knowing the Supreme Being. Only supreme soul or divine power is eternal and exists in every age. General knowledge (G.K) changes over time but true knowledge is eternal which never changes. There is a fundamental difference between information and knowledge. Information means general knowledge and true knowledge means special and extraordinary knowledge, knowledge of God or spiritual knowledge which can also be understood in terms of PARAVIDHYA and APARAVIDHYA. Information means APARAVIDHYA (general knowledge or ordinary knowledge) and knowledge means PARAVIDHYA (specialized knowledge or spiritual knowledge) the differences between information and knowledge can be explained as follows.
1) Information is general information which is useful for earning money but not for the welfare of the individual or society. E.g. Knowledge of sociology, economics, sports, political science, mathematics, science, biology, physics, chemistry, different languages, etc. is just general knowledge, information. Through which life can be made easier and money can be obtained but liberation can never be achieved. While knowledge is a special kind of understanding by which a person realizes that he is not a body but a soul. Moreover, the soul and the body are different which is combined only due to karma i.e. Death only happens to the body. So that it is not a cause for mourning.
2) Information ( APARAVIDHYA) takes life away from God as too much information produces ego in life which builds a wall between soul and supreme soul. This information is a kind of ignorance or false knowledge which makes one understand the world as true and eternal, which is actually impermanent whereas knowledge ( PARAVIDHYA) is the means to reach God.
3) Information increases illusions. Accurate understanding of any of the mysteries of the universe cannot be obtained by information. Even today, after many scientific researches, science has revealed that 70% of the information of the universe is not yet available to us which is known as dark matter. While knowledge has the solution to all the mysteries of the universe. After receiving it, nothing is left to know. All questions are answered automatically. Nothing remains unknown in knowledge.
4) Information is the burden, due to information burden and ego of a human being increases. As he gathers more information, he begins to perceive himself as being smart, intelligent, and superior to others, and demeans others. In addition, an informative person becomes the doer which creates many problems in life while knowledge reduces the burden and ego of human beings. Because he realizes that the doer is only God. I am a common tool of God or just a mediator. So there is no such thing as ego. Thus no burden rests on his shoulders, even with success or failure he never feels proud or depression because he is not doer of anything.
5) There is no element of experience in information. E.g. just by knowing how many centuries SACHIN has scored in a cricket match, one cannot be consider as wise or knowledgeable of-course his G.K. can be consider good but there is no experience in this. G.K. is nothing but gathering of information which is in no way conducive to life. Only when information is properly evaluated does it become true knowledge. Knowledge is a matter of experience, not discussion. After attaining true knowledge, man automatically bows before the Almighty.
6) Only money, prestige and position can be obtained through information but true peace of mind or happiness cannot be obtained. Tools of happiness can be bought but happiness cannot be obtained while knowledge provides true happiness, joy and peace to human beings. That is, only through knowledge can a person live a happy, peaceful and successful life.
7) Information makes a person arrogant, rude, aggressive and understands that others are inferior to him. I.e. increases demonic qualities. Whereas after acquiring knowledge man becomes very polite, humble and contented. Everyone is respected.
8) Information increases human suffering as it makes life arrogant and indiscipline. Because he thinks that what he is doing is right because he is a sage, how can he do wrong, while knowledge has an end to every pain. Knowledge is the solution to every problem.
9) There is no need for faith in gathering information while the process of knowledge begins with faith in God because without God’s grace, the attainment of true knowledge is not possible. Knowledge is the fruit of God’s grace more than manhood.
10) Information is the subject of discussion or argument by which a person proves himself to be intelligent while knowledge is the subject of experience. After its realization, human beings are mostly become silent. He likes to speak less.
11) After getting information, a person understands himself as God means something special because he thinks that there is no one as intelligent as me whereas through knowledge man sees God everywhere, in everyone. A person’s “self” or “ego” disappears after gaining knowledge. He starts thinking that he is nothing and God is everything.
12) Information makes a person unethical and violent, that is what today’s education has done. While knowledge develops qualities like brotherhood, love, empathy, kindness. The person becomes nonviolent.
13) Information produces so many vices in man that he goes back and forth between birth and death. While a person is liberated from pain through knowledge, he can be liberated from all bondage and attain salvation.
14) Information is just a mugged-up knowledge while true knowledge is obtained from the service of guru, Achieved by deeds and devotion.
15) Information makes a person unethical, corrupt and worthless. He does not hesitate to hurt others in his selfishness while discipline, ethics is multiplied after enlightenment. As if unknowingly he does not hurt anyone or do anything wrong because his conscious bites him.
16) Information can answer very limited questions while knowledge has the answers to every question.
Man has been searching for knowledge, truth or God for ages. Because for ages he has been confused by certain questions, suffering and he has been trying for years to find the answer.
But the answers to all these questions cannot be found without God’s grace, those questions are such as
1) what is eternal and what is impermanent?
2) What is real and what is false? 3) What is soul and supreme soul?
3) Who am I?
4) What is life?
5) What is my existence and
6)what is my need in the entire universe?
7) What is the purpose of life?
8) Why does every living thing get a different vagina?
9) Who created this universe?
10) What is there to gain and what is there to give up in life?
11) What is death?
12) Is death of the body or of the soul?
13) If death is of the body then why death occurs?
14) If death belongs to the soul, why does it die?
15) If the soul is immortal then where does it go after the death of the body?
16) What is salvation? Is it possible?
17)And if possible how to achieve it?
18) Are body and soul the same or different? If different, how did it meet?
19) Is there really a supreme soul?
20)If so, what is its role?
21) Is there any way to reach God?
22) What is the need to reach God?
23) How does it get? And is that what we really want?
24) Are heaven and hell reality? If so, where is it?
When the correct answer to all such questions is found, it is said that knowledge has come in the true sense. Such knowledge must bring life closer to God. Such knowledge is the foundation of scriptures and the mythology also provide detailed understanding of the means or ways of acquiring such knowledge. We’ll look at that again sometime so that the article doesn’t get too long. Because the word limit in the article is very important and the subject of the tools of enlightenment is a bit long
director in-charge and associate professor, HKBBA college