Knowledge, Truth and Love - a synthesis
Be it East or west. Truth is one. All the seers of truth arrived at the same conclusion although in different words and different languages. They had identity of views as they experienced and revealed the same truth.
The Greek Philosopher Socrates said, ‘Ignorance is a great sin.’ That means in order to get rid of the sin, one has to cultivate knowledge by the light of which ignorance could be dispelled and consequently chances of sins eliminated. Thus by focusing on the malady of ignorance, he also focused on the need for knowledge. With his worn out clothes and emaciated limbs he was moving from street to street discussing philosophy. His expressions about knowledge and truth enraged the influential class. False charges were planted against him, he was convicted and ultimately had to gulp hemlock, a poison.
Almost during the same period that is 6 th century B.C. Lord Buddha, the Light of Asia, had appeared in the Eastern Horizon who laid emphasis on Truth and non-injury.
Buddha envisioned sorrows and sufferings everywhere. Sorrow is entangled with birth and death. Sorrow is there with decay or disease. Sorrows according to him follow every one just as the wheels of the bullock cart follow the hooves of the bullocks.
According to him, the first truth is – There is suffering. Second, there is a cause behind the origin of suffering. Third, suffering which has come shall also go. Suffering which has started off must come to a close. Fourth, there is a cause for the suffering, which has rolled up. There is also a cause for its cessation. Once the cause is known the sufferings shall vanish. Once the cause is diagnosed, the effects can also be controlled.
Pointing to the cause, he stated," Craving is the cause of sufferings." Annihilation of cravings will lead to cessation of sufferings. Annihilating cravings means extinguishing the fire of desires. That is the state of Nirvana . Hence Lord Buddha’s first discourse at Sarnath is known as the Fire Discourse.
Jesus emphasized on Love. Love thy neighbour as thyself. Even when he was being nailed to the Cross, he prayed to the Lord to pardon the wrongdoers as they did not know what they were doing. This was the climax of his demonstration of his spiritual height.
In a nutshell, Socrates represented knowledge and truth; Buddha represented Truth and non-injury (love); Jesus represented Love and Forgiveness.
Sadguru Sri Sri Arjun (1933-1989), the spiritual master from Orissa appreciated and realized the essence of these three apparently diverse discoveries. He accepted the three masters as his Guru and drew inspiration from the essence of their teachings, synthesized and synchronized those in line with the Vedanta philosophy.
He propounded Dibya Darshan or the Philosophy Divine which mainly focuses on consciousness/ knowledge, Truth, Love/ bliss over and above his other concepts like theory of Change, theory of colors, Theory of rebirth etc.
Going deep into the concept of knowledge, he said, knowing the truth is knowledge. Not knowing the truth is ignorance. Knowledge is that which helps us understand and explain things. But consciousness is at the sub-stratum of knowledge. Hence knowledge and ignorance are but manifestations of consciousness.
Truth is eternal. It is beyond time space and causation. Hence true knowledge is- ‘knowing that truth which is none other than Pure Consciousness’. According to the Vedic scriptures, the Brahman is the Supreme Truth. He is ‘satyam, jnanam, anantam’ (i.e . truth, knowledge and infinity) Brahman is also described as Sat-Chit-Anand, which means Existence, Knowledge and Bliss . Man craves, for he does not know that truth is very much within as the self. That means man desires or hankers after material objects due to ignorance. He gets himself embroiled in chains of sins and sufferings. He said, "Ignorance is the cause of sufferings."
Instead of cursing darkness of ignorance it is desirable that the candle of knowledge be enkindled. By lighting a candle the thickest of darkness accumulated for years also can be dispelled at once. All coverings will be unraveled and truth will spontaneously shine out. The illusory effects of ignorance will disappear. Once the truth is attained the seer finds himself in an ocean of consciousness which is an indivisible and homogeneous entity. His individuality gets lost and he becomes one with the Being.
All apparent diversities shall vanish. He will see the same self everywhere in every thing. Atmavat sarva bhutesu. Love becomes the rule rather than exception. Love is not a deliberate choice or preference but a logical or natural culmination for a knower of truth. The result of this is bliss i.e. complete cessation of sufferings. While defining love Sadguru Sri Sri Arjun says, ‘Unconditional self surrender is love.’ It is the highest state of any spiritual practice. The vision gets automatically changed. He says, "Live not a dull and drab life. Containing that Divine Ocean of love nectar in yourself, profusely pour out the same over the creation. Behold! The entire creation is flooded with nectar and you will thus be merged one day with the Supreme Bliss by getting a taste of the love nectar. That is but the true goal of life."
He further added," Oh mankind! Forgetting your true self and mistaking this stage as your abode and unreal role as your self, how long will you continue to be tortured in the frying cauldron of lust and greed, pride and prejudice?
Arise! Enkindle the flame of awareness within. Get ready to return to your peaceful immortal and heavenly abode and regain your eternal true and pure self. Then only you will free your self from all miseries and fears. Remember! You are the immortal and emancipated soul. You are indeed the Knowledge Absolute, Truth Absolute, Love Absolute and Bliss Absolute."