Isha Upanishad - Super school - Auroville

Track Running Isha Upanishad 803

You ignore your personality, you assume the personality of Savitri and you recite as if Savitri herself is speaking. Your recitation is perfect. Actually all the directors would like their actors and actresses to arrive at this concentration, it's a great power. So your ignoring is a power, it's not a deficiency but it's a power. Capacity to exclusively concentrate upon object is the power of knowledge itself. When you know yourself and when you know Savitri's words, you know both and yet deliberately you forget yourself. And you concentrate upon Savitri, as if you are Savitri. It's a great power of knowledge. It's one of the qualities, it is one of the merits of your consciousness that you can concentrate so well, as to forget yourself completely.

In this way you find that ignorance is the power of knowledge, it is not the absence of knowledge. It is absence of knowledge but a power of knowledge. That is to say knowledge denies to itself its knowledge, it is the power of knowledge, which is called self–limitation. Ignorance is a self–limitation of knowledge. It's a power itself, having a capacity to limit itself. Take for example; a child asks you a question, you know the answer quite well. But you know that this answer, which you know, will not be understood by the child, then how do you answer that question. You know the answer very well, you know that the child will not understand, what you understand. Then you make a formula, which is not exactly translating your knowledge but it will limit your knowledge, and give the formula which is understood by the child. This is because you limit deliberately. You know the full answer. When you asking me a question, I know much more than what I'm telling you. It is true I have many things to say but at present I'm not saying everything that I know in answer to this question. But I know that this will be understood by you. So I'm giving you that answer, which is the correct answer but not the whole answer. I deliberately, I have many other things to say in my mind but I'm not telling you because it'll be too much of a dose. Immediately, I'm developing little by little at this stage. As your mind develops further, I can say something more.

Every good teacher basically, exercises this kind of a movement, he knows but limits it and expresses something that is limited, and by that limitation his work is effective. If I really want to explain something then I know at what level, at what degree, I should answer certain questions. A good teacher is one who knows how to limit his knowledge and to be able to complicate according to the receptivity and according to the consciousness in which you are living. If you are asking a question now and I begin to answer in Sanskrit language, you won't understand anything. I know Sanskrit, I can answer you in Sanskrit but if I give you that answer, I know it will not be understood by you. So the fact that I'm not speaking to you in Sanskrit is my self– limitation. I'm limiting, am not answering in Sanskrit, this is a power. Therefore, I am ignoring my knowledge and concentrating only upon that which is acceptable in our dialogue. My ignoring is my capacity. Supposing I was not able to ignore all that I know. The moment you put a question, there would be a downpour so many things being said, all at the same time, which is an incapacity. If I have a real capacity, I should be able to control in the right manner. If you are a good charioteer and the horses are running. If you are a good charioteer, you will know when to restrain the horse and when to allow the horses to run, as they like. It's not a weakness of the charioteer, if he restrains. It’s a great capacity of the charioteer to restrain the horses, if he allows the horses to run and cannot control it’s a weakness. So, we are allowing the knowledge to flow just like that, is one power. It can be, it should be, but also to restrain, it is also a power. This is exactly the relationship between knowledge and ignorance.

 Ignorance is the power of knowledge, it is the power by which knowledge restrains its expression in order that the work at hand is done effectively. That is why the opposition between knowledge and ignorance is not correct. Ignorance is not opposed to knowledge. Ignorance is a limitation, self–limitation of knowledge that they are not contradictory of each other. This is the basic idea to be remembered, when we discuss the question of knowledge and ignorance, vidya and avidya. This is only the preface of what I wanted to say, the basic idea, and the basic understanding of what is knowledge and what is ignorance. Remember that we have said that there is only one reality.

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