There are two types of understanding and bases for knowledge - the knowledge of the worldly things (Sansaar ka Gyaan), or the knowledge of the energy and light beyond the worldly (Parmaatma ka Gyaan)
The worldly things are also are called padarath/ materials. All knoweldge about it exists outside of us.
The knowledge of Parmaatma/energy beyond the worldly exists inside us.
Seeing & Listening
The knowledge outside of us is also called science (Vigyaan). The knowledge inside of us is Brahmgyan or Dharam.
A scientific aptitude requires very keen eye. Who looks in and through things and builds the knowledge about every aspect of it. A blind man cannot be a scientist. If one cannot look at material things, how will he or she research it?
Similarly, the one who cannot ‘hear/ listen’ will lack the Brahmgyaan..will lack access to Dharam.
The worldly knowledge is resting on the analysis of the eye. Through the eyes, the mind breaks up material and does detailed research. By doing this the scientists have now reached the element of “Atomic and Subatomic particles”
Putting things together inside through shabad; a Brahmgyaani has reached to Parmaatma.
For a scientist there is nothing more basic element than Atoms and say there is nothing beyond it. All new research that is being done is an extension of the this basic knowledge of Atom.
For a Brahmgyaani there is nothing more basic and root than the all pervading light and energy of Parmaatma and nothing beyond it.
The Brahmgyaani has the knowledge of Parmaatma by his/her power of listening and the Scientist has the knowledge of the Atom by his/her power of seeing.
ANECDOTE: How sorrows and comforts affect our power of listening
It is said that one who is too happy and comfortable and one who is too sad and in discomfort have difficulties in assessing our true situation. Some are out of balance due to too much dukh, sadness and some because of too much sukh, comforts.
Here is a small anecdote from the ancient Indian war epic Mahabharata.
Arjuna, a great warrior and one of the five brothers of Pandava clan, brought his dead son Abhimanyu to Shri Krishna. Abhimanyu was killed by tricking & trapping him in a Chakravyuh (a special arrangement of soldiers around the warrior, that Abhimanyu could not come out of).
Arjuna, was so completely sad & heart-broken that he asks Shri Krishna to bring Abhimanyu back to life. Arjuna says that complete darkness has set upon me.
Shri Krishna understood that any knowledgable answer in this time of sorrow will not bring Arjuna anything. It is difficult to console or make someone understand by ‘knowledgable answers’; who is pushed away from his/her center by complete sorrow or even by complete comforts.
To be influenced by knowledge one needs to be in the center - neither complete in sorrow or dukh nor complete in comforts & sukh.
Just like if the chords of a musical instrument are too tight, the pitch will be too high that it will be difficult to sing, or if they are too lose, there will be no music coming from it. They must be rightly balanced.
Shri Krishna thought that whatever I say now, Arjuna will not be influenced by a knowledgeable answer, meaning he will not be ready to listen. For it, a balanced state (of mind) is required.
Lessons for Arjuna
S. Krishna gave Arjuna a golden bowl and asked him to fill it from the nearby lake. Arjuna had a bleak hopefulness with this, perhaps thinking that an accomplished being like Shri. Krishna may perhaps use his divine powers to bring Abhimanyu back to life. Arjuna ran and filled the bowl with water from lake and brought it back.
He asks Shri Krishna to wake Abhimanyu up.
Listening this, Shri Krishna aks Arjuna to go and pour back the water from where he got it. Arjuna gets a bit surprised. But being in such sorrow and having the bleak hope in things, he went back and poured the water in the lake again.
Arjuna now asks Shri Krishna to wake Abhimanyu up. Shri Krishna nods ok, but first asks Arjuna to now bring back the same water that he just poured out in the lake. Not another, the exact same water.
Arjuna, caught in this remorse of his son, says, please do not joke with me. That water is now merged with the lake.
Shri Krishna says, I am not joking with you, but you are joking with me. You cannot bring the same water from the bowl that you merged in this small lake. This universal energy is like a great ocean and the spirit of Abhimanyu, is like a small drop in it. How could I bring it back as his spirit is merged with this universal energy.
Arjuna kneels down on Shri Krishna’s feet and says, now I have understood dear one. Shri Krishna says you did not understand, it is that the ‘curtains of sorrow’ have been removed. Now you can clearly see the reality.
Both deep sorrows and extreme comforts are curtains that blind us.
The one who cannot ‘Listen’ cannot become a saint. The one who cannot ‘See’ cannot become a scientist.
The Saints in Upanishads say
“Srutva Dharamang Vijaanaati”
Only by Listening, Dharma becomes accessible
In the holy scripture Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji
“Nanak Bhagta Sadaa Vigaas
Suniai dukh paap ka naas
Suniai Ishar Brahma Indra”
By truly listening, the sorrows will be dispelled. By truly listening, the powers of detachment/bairaag of Ishar (Shivji), the knoweldge of Brahma, the nectar & depth of your senses like of Indra, will descend upon you.
The whole saadhna/practice of Dharam is based on hearing.
…to be continued