Friday, May 18, 2012

Pocket knife & sword

A pocket knife is enough to commit suicide.
But you need a sword to kill someone else.

-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa

Above quote may look somewhat negative.

But, Sri Ramakrishna used this to illustrate a very important point. That is, you see, many times we grasp some profound truths without much difficulty. Some sudden insight occurs like in  epiphany and one or more doubts that have been hounding for ages get cleared in a moment. But try communicating the same to someone else. You need a lot more knowledge and skills to teach it to others effectively. It also requires that the other person is also ready to know such a truth.

So in this context Sri Ramakrishna used the above analogy to say that with a simple pocket knife one can commit suicide and end his life but to kill someone else you need a sword.

There is another important aspect to this. When we understand some important truth, it may appear as simple. We may ourselves wonder how we managed to understand something so complex so easily. Be happy that you did. Be happy that you have grown to that extent. Be happy that over many life times you have prepared yourself for that moment.

Then do not stop there. Try to learn as much as possible about the truth that has been just revealed to you. There have been several wise people before us who have not only learned a lot about such insights but also have taken time to write about  them so that we can use that knowledge to explain to others.

Sri Adi Shankara's 'Updadesha Sahasri'  is one such book. 'Thousand teachings' is written so that a teacher can use it as a teacher's manual to anticipate questions from a good student and answer them well.

Cheers!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.