Wise men say that ‘knowledge’ is most important. ‘Knowledge’ is nothing but acquired information that has been stored in the mind or in other words, MEMORY. Well, there are many factors that critically affect memory. Here are two verses from the Bhagavad Gita in which, Bhagavan Krishna teaches Arjuna the importance of memory and the factors that imperil it :
Srimad Bhagavad Gita 2:62 + 2:63
ध्यायतो विषयान्पुंसः सङ्गस्तेषूपजायते |
सङ्गात्संजायते कामः कामात्क्रोधोऽभिजायते || २ ६२ ||
dhyaayato vishayaan pumsaha
sangas teshu pajaayate
sangaat sanjaayate kaamaha
kaamaat krodho ‘bhijaayate (Gita 2:62)
A person who thinks of sense objects develops an attachment for them. From this attachment desires are born and from desires, anger is born.
क्रोधाद्भवति संमोहः संमोहात्स्मृतिविभ्रमः |
स्मृतिभ्रंशाद् बुद्धिनाशो बुद्धिनाशात्प्रणश्यति || २ ६३ ||
krodhaad bhavati sammohaha
sammohaat smrti vibhramaha
smrti bhramshaad buddhi naasho
buddhi naashaat pranashyati (Gita 2:63)
Anger gives birth to delusion and this delusion results in confusion of memory. When memory is confused, intelligence is destroyed and from the destruction of intelligence, the person perishes.
Therefore learning something is of no use unless it is stored in MEMORY. But of what use is memory when a person is unconscious or even simply asleep? Let us try asking a super genius scientist who is asleep, some basic question on the subject he is good at and see what he says. A person who is in deep sleep can’t even hear you, let alone understand your question and answer it. This is because when one is asleep, it is only the subconscious mind that is awake maintaining vital bodily functions while the conscious mind sleeps.
Therefore, knowledge is totally dependent on consciousness or rather, on being conscious.
Knowledge is actually the ability to access and process previously acquired and stored information in the mind. Even the most intelligent, rich or powerful person, while asleep, or when not conscious, is of no use to anyone including himself or herself. But simply being awake and being conscious of the fact that one is alive and kicking does not suffice; one needs philosophy. Philosophy means love of wisdom and wisdom means the ability to think and act using knowledge. There we go again. It’s always about knowledge and knowledge depends on the consciousness of the person.
Since time immemorial, in every group of people, there were invariably at least one or two guys that thought differently. They wanted to lead. In order to lead the group, these people used various techniques. Some of them even claimed to be messengers or representatives of some fictitious God and so on. Others used these stories even decades after the so called ‘messengers’ died and created new religions and ruled entire continents. Such power mongers played around with the consciousness of people and convinced them, or rather, brainwashed them by disturbing their natural power of reason. This shows that consciousness also means having the power of reason. However, having the power of reason means neither blindly believing nor vehemently opposing known theories or facts but patiently listening and trying to understand the reasoning behind existing philosophies.
The fact remains that however clever and knowledgeable one may be, the moment he or she loses consciousness or the power of reasoning, all that knowledge and wisdom are futile.
Ultimately it’s about consciousness – or the knowledge of Krishna which has also been taught and promoted as Krishna Consciousness by certain organisations. In layman’s terms this can be described as the knowledge of being one with the eternal system, respecting and following its rules.
A person who drives on the left side of the road in a country following Right Hand Traffic cannot escape the law by claiming ignorance. This is because ignorance is not always bliss. Similarly the law of Karma is absolutely fair and claiming or even feigning ignorance is no way to get out of a bad Karmic cycle. Balancing it is a must. The sooner the better as it can save people some hundreds of births and deaths until Moksha or the end of cycle of death and rebirth.
In order to be able to do the right thing, one needs to be conscious and this consciousness lasts, until God or Karma allows it. A weak heart, hypertension and hypotension, lack of sufficient oxygen, skipping a couple of meals, embolism, a fall from the stairway or any one of innumerous factors may jeopardise consciousness anytime, anywhere.
I have experienced coming back to consciousness after some days in intensive care units of hospitals. It was only after regaining consciousness that I realised I was alive during those dark days and that I did not know I was alive, simply because I was unconscious.
- Let us be thankful for every breath, for every heartbeat, for every morsel of food and above all, for every single second of consciousness.
- Let us use every moment possible while we are conscious, to love and respect mother nature.
- Let us experience her beauty and express our gratitude to her by doing our small bit to protect her, at least by not disturbing her. It is she that gives us air, water and food but for which we would not be alive and conscious at all.
To her we will all return the last day of our life and at that moment of departing, our entire life will be nothing more than a filmstrip of memories.
But it is consciousness that will let us ‘watch’ the film of our life in our mind, when we travel out of the body. Being conscious of mother nature tunes our consciousness with the Super Consciousness which is personified in the form of Bhagavan Krishna.
We cannot choose but we can only hope and pray, depending on which of the two we may wish for – to be or not to be conscious, during our final journey out.