There is very interesting chapter in The Life Divine, it’s called the Problem of Will, Problem of Life one full chapter is given on the problem of life and he points that out the problem of life in human beings is knowledge and Will are divorced from each other. There has been a division between knowledge and will and that is the problem of life. We are all in the state of division. As a result what we will is not backed by knowledge, what is known is not translated into will and that is why all the problems of life ultimately if you analyse, you take any problem of life, you will find that problem arises from – when does one not understand? You know Mother has written very often teachers have the habit of telling children: Oh! You won’t understand, when you’ll grow up, you’ll understand not now and Mother said this is not a good answer. If you cannot explain to the children it is your fault, not the child’s fault. It means that the teacher has not really, properly made his effort, so when you say there is something which you don’t understand then I want to make an effort. So allow me to make an effort. First when the words are difficult, the meanings of the words are not clear, when the concepts are not clear or else when the contexts are not clear. When the words are difficult, when the meanings of words are not clear then concepts are not clear, when context is not clear and can you think of any other context in which you don’t understand. Now Torbean even if you are sitting that far, tell me which of these reasons do you feel present when this statement – meanings are not clear, right. Meaning of the word virtue and the word knowledge, right? Meanings of these two words are not clear.
So let us now deal with these two questions. What is the meaning of virtue and what is the meaning of knowledge? I’ll first give one meaning then others can give other meanings and then try to arrive at a clear meaning. First, the meaning of the word virtue, virtue is a state of mind or it is an expression of the state of a mind. Let us take an example of a state of mind, an expression of the state of the mind. I take a state of mind which is called forgiveness and that expression of that state is to forgive. Now tell me, is the meaning of forgiveness clear? What is the meaning of forgiveness? Forgiveness is regarded as a virtue; it’s an example of a virtue, – the state of mind and then when you forgive somebody, an act of forgiveness. So state of mind of forgiveness gives rise to an act of forgiveness, expression. Now what is forgiveness, let us understand what is forgiveness? We use these words very often but sometimes we don’t think about these words, sometimes we don’t understand the words which we use or we are not very clear, one of the best examples of the state of forgiveness is Christ on crucifixion; you have heard the story of Christ, have you? Christ was on crucifixion, he was nailed on the cross. You can see the pain when somebody or one is nailed, feet and the hands and the crown of thorns on the head. He was sentenced to death in this fashion. Why was he sentenced? You know the story of Jesus; can you tell me why he was sentenced? Because he brought a new concept namely that of love and that was not liked by many people but actual story if you read according to the story he was accused of claiming that he was the king, he had declared I am the king. He had spoken to people I am the king. So those who did not like him because he had brought this new concept of love, they picked upon this sentence and said: Christ Jesus has declared that he is the king. Many people loved him very much; large number of people loved him. Crowds and crowds used to come to listen to him but there were others who were threatened that their authority and as a result they were trying to find out how Christ, how Jesus can be eliminated, this was their mental condition they wanted to get rid of Jesus, so that this new concept does not come up and their authority is not affected – this was the idea. Then they picked up this sentence that was spoken by Jesus: ‘I am the king’. Now what was wrong in saying I am the king? Supposing you say, I am the king, is there something wrong in it? So you must understand the condition in which people were living at that time, to understand why this sentence was extremely difficult to bear on the part of the authorities. When Jesus was living at that time the area where he was living – Nazareth, Jerusalem, Palestine these were parts of the Roman Empire and Roman Empire was ruled by Roman emperor. So only one person can claim that he is the king and that is the Roman Emperor, the only king, if anybody else says I am the king then it contradicts the power and authority of the Roman Emperor. So nobody else can claim that he is the king, surely Jesus was not the Roman Emperor and yet he said I am the king therefore his enemies made a complaint to the representative of the Roman Empire and said here is a man who is claiming that he is the king and thus he is the enemy of the Roman Emperor therefore he should be eliminated this in simple terms was the argument. And when Jesus was asked is it true that you are claiming that you are a king, he said: ‘I’ve spoken the truth’ that was his answer. Now he was speaking not of being the king of the Roman Empire but his doctrine was: I am the son of God and the son and the father are one and the father that is God is the king of the world therefore I am the king that was the meaning that he had in his mind when he spoke these words: I am the king. So when Jesus said, I have spoken the truth before the judge when he said these words there was of course a lot of argument, what is the truth etc, etc but ultimately the decision that was taken was, so he was asked to wear a crown of thorns he was asked to carry his cross on a high altitude, he had to climb up, then cross was fixed and Jesus was nailed. You can imagine the pain when one is nailed alive and he bled, he was bleeding, the blood ran out of his body. Now in that difficult moment he made a prayer. So imagine the condition of his consciousness, he made a prayer: Father forgive them (he spoke about those who were crucifying him) and he said: Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing, for they know not. They do not know, he himself was in a state of forgiveness. His mind was serene he had no anger towards those who were crucifying him, on the contrary he wanted that they should be forgiven and the reason he gives is very important – for they know not what they are doing, they don’t know what they are doing therefore they deserve to be forgiven. So his understanding was that they are doing a wrong thing. It is true that they are doing a wrong thing but they are doing wrong thing because they do not know what is right; meaning thereby that if they knew what was right they wouldn’t do it. It’s an illustration of ‘virtue is knowledge’, if they knew what was right they wouldn’t do it. Now this is a state of forgiveness in which even when wrong is done to you, you want that wrong is wiped out that is the state of forgiveness. The state of forgiveness is a state in which there is a wish that what is wrong is wiped out, is annulled, does not exist anymore. This is the definition of the word forgiveness, a genuine state of consciousness in which there is an utter sincerity that the wrong which has been committed is wiped out that is the state of forgiveness. Jesus had this state constantly present in his consciousness. You have heard very often the expression ‘forget and forgive’. When you use the word forget means – whatever has happened, let it be wiped out, don’t take it into account. When you are genuinely convinced that what you have done was wrong then this stage automatically comes up in your consciousness. When somebody has been hurt genuinely because of your fault, you should not have done it, you have become angry with somebody and afterwards you realise: Oh! I should not have been angry, it was wrong on my part to have been angry then the person with whom you were angry you go to him and say: please forgive, forget and forgive. This forget is, wipe it out, wipe out what I had done to you, then it’s cleaned as it were. Forgiveness cleans up the evil, it no more exists. Just as with the coming of light, darkness disappears. Similarly with the state of forgiveness and with the act of forgiveness, if it a genuine forgiveness then that act is wiped out. This is one of the great examples of a virtue. A virtue is a state of consciousness in which an evil is said to be wiped out. This is a good example of virtue, right? In general you may say: ‘A virtue is a state in which all that is hurtful, all that is untrue is wiped out. Just as light is a state in which darkness cannot exist, similarly virtue is a state in which anything that is hurtful, anything that is untrue, anything that is crooked, twisted cannot exist.
Now what is knowledge? This is another term. The word virtue you have understood now we come to the word knowledge. What is knowledge? It is also a state of consciousness, just as virtue is a state of consciousness; similarly knowledge is also a state of consciousness. A state of consciousness in which what is true is known as true that is the definition of knowledge. A state of consciousness in which what is true is known as true. Knowledge is a state of consciousness in which what is true is known to be true. Now the question is what is truth? The simple answer is that which exists is true. The question is what does exist? The answer is all that we see around exists. Now Socrates and Plato did not accept this answer this is the important point. All that we see around do not fully exist; all that we see around are particulars. I see this tree which is only a particular tree that I see. If somebody says what is it that exists and I say: look this tree exists then Socrates and Plato would say it is only a partial existence, apart from tree many other things also exist. If you say what exists, you say tree exists his answer is it's only a partial answer. The tree is only a partial existence, only a particular thing that exists; it’s not the whole that exists. So Socrates and Plato said that only the totality can be said to be existing. Anything that is particular, is only partially existing only the totality fully exists, they used also the word universal. Only the universal exists, particulars are only partially existing. Now comes a farther statement which is very important.
Now repeat this sentence ‘knowledge is a state of consciousness in which what is true is known to be true. What is true that which exists is true? What fully exists, – universal fully exists therefore knowledge is a state of consciousness in which the universal is known as universal. When you know a particular, Socrates and Plato said: this knowledge of a particular should not be called knowledge, it should be called opinion. Opinions are always partly true and partly false therefore opinions cannot be treated as knowledge.
Now the whole thing isn’t very clear the whole doctrine which I now state again in the following words. (Writing on the blackboard)