Ignorance, Liberation and Perfection (Auroville) - Audio-3, 13 Feb 2002

Now the train is moving from the village to Bombay, our young friend Anak is watching the landscape as the train is moving forward. He is watching, his elder friend whose name is Videsh and he's seen that within on and on and on and on in the running train and he's full of admiration. He finds that Videsh is not like him, because when he writes he writes one sentence then he should take a pause, then is to think then he writes another sentence, whereas this young man goes on writing on and on and on and on page after page full of admiration, then, when he finishes writing, let us say one hour, then Videsh turns to him and says you are feeling all right and he smiles. Then he says: how are you able to write so fast page after page, so with the smiles and says it is a result of hard work when I was as young as you are, I used to take a lot of time to write it, but then I practised on and on and on and on and on untiringly. So if you want to write like me, you have to work on and on and on and then say you have to remember two things when you want to be a good writer and he gives two important words.

You should be original in your writing and you should be full of novelties in your writing. I should write down these two words because they're very important. You should be original and you should be full of novelties in your writing. Frankly, our friend Anak did not know the meaning of the first word original. What is the meaning of original? Yes, you're the only one who does it. Yes, it's saying true thing. Yes, not common, excellent. I think each word which you have spoken is important: not common, the true thing, which is not said by anybody else, you are the only one to say. It is all the four words are correct. When you see the true, the true is always at the origin, therefore, that which comes from the origin is original. In fact, that is the most correct answer to the question that which comes from true that which comes from the origin is original, but because many people are not able to reach the true thing and only a few people can reach. Therefore, it is not very common. So this answer is also correct. Original is that which is not common, since very few people can do. It means that it is something true to yourself and nobody else, so this answer is also correct and in the same way, original things are always new. So anyway, our friend Anak came to learn this new word original.

You should have originality, you should be original and you should be able to say things in a new way, novelty. He was greatly struck and then he began to ask him how to be original. So we just told him in order to be original you must know what others have done. First of all find out what others have done, then, having known what others have done, you have to find what others have not done and when you do what others have not done, then your writing is original, fine and how about novelty? So Videsh told him novelty has to do something with style.

Now style is a new word that came in his mind. Now what is style? Do you understand the meaning of style? Yes, looks! Yes, the way something is. Good, very nice. Style is not only merely the way of doing, it is little more than that. It’s not only a fashion. There should be a match between what you want to say and how you want to say, when the two meet together, when the two match together, that is called a style. Supposing you want to describe in a drama a man of the old time where people used to have long hair and they used to bind their upper hairs in a bun. So if you are enacting a drama, you want to describe the man of the ancient times, but supposing you keep the hair as you are having now, it's not style. You should describe the way in which the old people at the ancient times used to comb their hair. It should be appropriate to that time. You want to describe sorrow, sadness. Supposing you want to describe sorrow? How do you describe sorrow? What a pity! When you want to express laughter, the expression should be like laughter. That's called style. What you want to say, and the way you say when the two match together, it is called style. So Videsh gave him three words during the short time of talking: original, novelty and style.

And this young boy began to reflect, then he remembered his sister Shweta. The train is still going on. It will take 24 hours for the train to arrive at Bombay. It’s a very far off place. So now he began to write a letter to his sister because he was missing her very much and he said I miss you very much. I remember you very much and always he used to tell his sister all his inmost ideas. Whatever happened to him, we used to tell her so he says before I left, I went to our grandfather and I could not have the time to tell you my talk with the grandfather, so I am now telling you through this letter. When I went to the grandfather, I felt very sad because his eye were full of tears. You know our grandfather is a brave man and to see tears in the eyes of a brave man, they moved me very much and I told him: why are the tears in your eyes? So he said I shall miss you very much, but before you go, I want to tell you have here all the facilities of a library of laboratory, even all astronomical things you could see very easily. Maybe when you go out, you may not have all the facilities, maybe that you will have many more facilities, even greater facilities. I do not know, then he told me a story. The grandfather told him a story, a short story, a very short story. That story was from the Upanishad. The day before yesterday I told you you the word Upanishad. Yes, he said I’ll tell you a story from the Upanishad.

There was a very great learned man. His name was Narad n-a-r-a-d, his name was Narad, very learned man and he went to a teacher and the name of the teacher was Sanat Kumar. Upanishads has many stories. If you want to read some good stories, you read some Upanishads you'll find some very nice stories, short stories. One of the stories is concerning Narad, a great learned man and Sanat Kumar, the teacher. So the story says that Narad went to Sanat Kumar and said I want to learn, a learned man asking the teacher, I still want to learn. So the teacher says, but you are a very learned man. Why do you want to learn? What do you want to learn? He says still, I want to learn. So the teacher says tell me first what you already know, so he gave a long list of all the kinds of studies, he knew about the earth, about the water, about the sky, about the fire, he knew the Vedas, he knew many sciences, astronomy and grammar and medicine, so many things he knew. So he gave a long list of all the things that he knew. He said. why do you want to learn more? What more you want to learn, and why do you want to learn? So he said I want to learn because I have still sorrow in my heart. It’s a very important statement. I know so many things, but I still have sorrow in my heart and I want to have that knowledge by which sorrow can be removed. Then Sanat Kumar said I am very pleased with you. You may have so many books with you, so he told his grandson, look you have seen so many books in our library. You may think that you have learned so much, when you go out you will still learn much more, but do not imagine that you still have the knowledge. He said that all that you've learned so far is ignorance. I told you I’m going to tell a story of ignorance, liberation and perfection. Right.

So now the question is: what is ignorance? And I am now telling you first answer which is given here. This is the first time that Anak learned that even if you have read so much, even if you know so much, you are still ignorant. Why? Because so long as your have sorrow in your heart, you are still in the ignorance. This is the mark, so long as your sorrow in the heart remember, you do not have the knowledge. So he wrote to his sister, our grandfather told me this short story when I was leaving and he said my child you will learn a lot when you go out, but remember do not think as yet that you are free from ignorance. Remember that you have knowledge only when there is no shadow of sorrow in your heart. He said everyone in the world around excepting a few people, they have some kind of sorrow in their heart. Everyone feels: O, I have not yet done what I should have done, or there is still something remaining to be done, O I want to do this, O he succeeded, I failed. What should I do? I don't know where to turn. Everyone is in this world is in some kind of pain, some kind of a sorrow. Sorrow comes from ignorance. Therefore, until you gain a state where there is no sorrow, remember you have no knowledge. You may have information. I will explain further. The grandfather explained, you may have information, you may have ideas, but you have no knowledge. You may have information, you may have ideas, but you may not have still the knowledge. Then he says I want to ask the grandfather: what is information, what is ideas, what is knowledge? but I had no time. I could not ask him this question. When you get time with the grandfather, please ask him and write to me what he has to say about what is information, what is ideas, what is knowledge. He said, I am now full of this question in my mind and I will post this letter as soon as I reach the next station and my address in Bombay is the following and ask the grandfather and send me the reply as soon as possible.

So he finishes the letter. In the meantime I will ask you also to think about this. What is information, what is ideas and what is knowledge we shall discuss this question tomorrow, because let us Shweta receives the letter, she will ask the grandfather and maybe she will be able to answer the question. Then we shall see what answer is received. Till that time you see keep this question in your own mind: what is information, what is ideas and what is knowledge?

But in his mind now he began to think about what is ignorance and his grandfather had told him the story of Sanat Kumar, who told his pupil Narad: so long as there is sorrow in the heart you do not have the knowledge you have ignorance. It's a very big question: what is ignorance. Fine. In the meantime now he turned to his friend who was sitting by his side and he was still writing on and on and on, and then he asked him. Why are you writing so much? So he said: look, I am the editor of a big journal called Creativity. So he said what is creativity? To create something. Yes. to make something. To invent. Good. There are two words. There is a difference between productivity and creativity, you produce something and you create something. To prepare something is only preparing for creation, it is only an effort, but not creativity. It will be creativity, but not necessarily. What is creativity? To make something new. Good. To make up a form. I can produce a chair, but if I give a form to the chair, then there is creativity. That is creation. Form is important for creativity, whenever you can give a form where you can make an image. It's not only manufacturing.

So let us see anyway, I am the editor of Creativity and I have to write a lot every day. I have to write letters. I have to write articles. I have to make comments. I have to make criticisms, so I have to write a lot. So he said, how can you do so much of work? You don't get tired? He said. yes, it requires a lot of labour, but you have to be practising all the time, when you practice a lot, then you don't get tired so soon. He said you should have a real ambition to do something in the world, to become great again.

New words have come – ambition and to be great. I'll write down these two words, because these are very important words. Anyway. he said that you should have ambition and then he asked himself do I have ambition to ask this question to himself. Do I have ambition? Do I want to do something? It was a new idea in his mind because the way in which he was living in life there was so much of simplicity, so much of richness, so much of leisure, so much of love, so much of affection. So he was very happy. In that state of happiness he had no ambition, he asked himself have I ambition and he found that he had no ambition. He had stood first, but it was not his ambition to stand first.

He was ambitious because he wanted to know if he had ambition in himself, so he was ambitious.

It’s good, I'm very pleased with your answer. But he thought that he had no ambition. You should be with him to tell him: look, you have a vision, but he did not realise because his life was so happy, when your life is simple, when life is rich, when you have a lot of pleasure and a lot of love and affection from all sides. He was very happy, but now a new idea entered into his mind. I should have ambition and when this idea entered into his mind, there was a bombardment in his mind. You can see that this straight journey was a very important journey, as he was moving little by little, new ideas were coming up into his mind and his mind was as if it were in a turmoil, like a storm was rising in his mind: originality, novelty, information, knowledge, ignorance and now ambition and to be great. All the ideas were all swimming in his mind for some time. He was very quiet and the train was just moving on and on and on. His friend was busy all the time. So he hardly any time to talk to him. It was night after some time. The train was still running, but unlike on other days, today was the first day when he had no sleep.

Ideas were still swimming: how to become original. So he said unless I read everything in the world how can I be original. Now what a tremendous pressure on the mind, imagine unless I read everything else, all that has been written so far, how can I do it? It was a tremendous pressure on his mind if somebody says be original and if there is not a wise friend near you to explain to you the process by which you can become original. What happens? This is what happened to this young boy. Unless I read everything in the world, I cannot be original. And then put a great sorrow in his heart and he decided now when he goes to Mumbai he will read everything, then he can become original. Then he was asking this question: how to have ambition? To be original itself is an ambition, we concluded. Yes, I want to be original, and that is ambition, good. I want to write something new as fast as my friend is writing. These three ideas were running in his mind the whole night, and he had no sleep. By morning time you could see that this young boy who was all the time fresh and cheerful and happy, now he had become quite sorrowful, full of uncertainties. His mind had become clogged, something was ahead before him, which it was impossible to realise immediately: how to read everything in the world so far, that he can produce something original. His mind was blocked, so in the morning when he got up, he was waiting to ask a question to his friend. The train was still running and he asked his friend. It was a very interesting question. As the result of the whole night's deliberation yet come to a question: how to study everything?

It's a very easy question in a way, but this was a new question in his mind. He was studying all the time, he had come first in the examination, but now the question was how to study, because he wanted to read everything now. The question was how to study everything? So this is a new question: how to study everything? Is there a way of studying everything? Can you think of it? He asked this question of how to study everything? So his friend said, it's a very interesting answer that he gave: to study anything you should first collect in your mind, all the ideas you have without studying. This was his first piece of advice. If you are asked to study something, then you collect all the ideas you have before studying. If I ask you the question: what is a tree? Now, if you study the tree, you will have some answer but before studying whatever answers come to your mind, you first collect them and write them down. Then you find out whether the ideas that you have are sufficient, whether anything is still incomplete, and if there is something incomplete, then you open a book and ask as to how to fill up that is incomplete. Good, so far, so good.

But now the big problem arose in his mind. You remember this. Young boy was a very bright boy, very intelligent boy, very serious boy, and a sincere boy. He was a budding thinker, a budding philosopher. So now you can see that now a new germ has started in his mind and he's asking the question: what is matter? all over the world you see and he found there is one thing which is common in all the things around and what is it, matter. You know the meaning of matter? This is the question that he began to ask in his mind. What is matter, why did he get this question because everything that he saw around he saw everything was matter. His body is matter, the train was material. The trees that were passing were also all material, the grounds and landscapes that he was seeing was all matter. So this was the question which came to his mind. What is matter?

Now can anybody answer the question: what is matter? I’ve got five answers. Good. I’ll start from here. Anything that occupies space. Excellent. Matter is everything that occupies space. It is solid, liquid and gas. Excellent. Anything that you can sense. Excellent. Time is matter, excellent. Time that you cannot see with your eyes is also matter. This is what Einstein said: time that you cannot see is the fourth dimension of matter. Yes, matter is that which you find all around. I think you should write down all these answers, because each one of these answers is correct. So now you have collected all the ideas that you have with regard to matter.

This is the way of study. Before you study matter, you have collected all the ideas. So he corrected all his ideas. I did not tell you, but now you have told me these answers, and these are his answers in his own mind. He has studied physics already to some extent, so he knew what was matter and he gave all these answers. Write down all these answers, that which occupies space, then that which you can sense that it is all around, that which is in the state of either solid or liquid or gas and matter is time. Excellent. All these are good ideas. Any left out? I think I’ve connected all the ideas.

Now we start study. This is the beginning of study. What is study? You begin, you collect all the ideas you have so far which he collected now and he says now, let me see what is matter. Then it took a piece of dust which was in the compartment of the train. It’s also matter, a particle of dust is matter. Right? He took up a particle of dust and he asked if I break it further, what will remain? Supposing there's a particle of dust and you break it and you get small pieces then he said: let me break further, then what happens? Yes, yes, molecules, yeah good! Then atoms! You have got atoms. You have got molecules good. Now you break further. This was his question, he's now studying matter, imagined in his own mind, the train is running, but his mind was full of questions. Yes, neutrons and protons, good. Now you break further. That was his question. You break further. And now his mind was blocked. He was tired, he was starting the study of matter, and this was his first experiment. Take a particle of dust and break it and break it and break it and break it and the mind was blocked by this time.

The train was now entering into Bombay central Bombay central is a big station in Bombay and, as he entered Bombay central, normally when you see a new place, you feel excited you want to see all around, but here this young boy he had many many ideas in his mind such a big occupation in the mind, he remembered Narad, Sanat Kumar information, ideas, knowledge, originality, novelty and now new questions about creativity, about style and then these new questions about matter. He was not able to come to a conclusion. There was no joy in his heart in seeing Bombay, a city which excites everybody, many storeyed buildings and trams and buses and humdrum of life, hustle and bustle. The boy didn't feel anything at the time. His mind was full of these questions in his mind. His mind was stunned.

You know the meaning of stunned? When you are stunned, what happens? When you become immobile, when you are stuck. Yes, his mind was paralyzed. This is very important. A young boy coming from jodhpur, a small village, coming to Bombay, his mind is now stunned. There is no joy, no excitement, no fun. The mind is full of questions. He has no answer and his mind is stunned. Videsh who is with him, now takes him in a taxi and goes to his house. This is a huge house. He was living in a big house in Bombay which is a very huge house. This house is called White House. The whole colour was white, beautiful. If you go to Bombay, you go to Malabar Hill, it's a beautiful place near the sea. Bombay is situated on ocean, on the bank of an ocean and on the ocean there are three places which are very beautiful: one is called Malabar Hill that is on a hill near the ocean. Second part is called Chowpatty, it is the middle part of the bank of the ocean and on the third part, is the queen's necklace. A beautiful round is called queen's necklace. So if you stand at the ocean's bend, you can see these three things simultaneously. One day if anybody has a picture of Bombay, you can show the picture of Bombay and you'll see this beautiful crescent. Now this house was located on Malabar Hill, so the car went up to the hill and stopped at a huge building which was on it, there it was written on it: the White House, beautiful house. Now, tomorrow we shall see this White House, all right, let's see what it contains and how the boy now moves forward. All right.