Spiritual Questions and Answers with Radhanath Swami

Ignorance isn’t bliss… Radhanath Swami tells why..?

By on April 13, 2011 in Insights with 103 Comments

Knowledge & IgnoranceQuestion to Radhanath Swami: Do the scriptures say that one should
 cultivate ignorance along with knowledge? If yes, can you explain?

Radhanath Swami : Isoponishad as elaborate on this point by 
explaining that one must simultaneously cultivate knowledge and 
ignorance. *What does that mean to
cultivate Ignorance?* It means to understand what ignorance is? It does not
mean to become ignorant. Isoponishada says you should cultivate ignorance,
so that doesn’t mean one should have good time in the mode of ignorance t 
cultivate ignorance. Rather, we should understand the nature of ignorance.
What is ignorance and how it is keeping us bound to the concept of misery,
the bodily concept of life.

We have to understand that there is a single energy but that energy
 manifests differently according to the receptacle. Consider the example of
 electricity coming from the powerhouse. The same current of electricity in
 one receptacle manifests itself as extreme heat for cooking and for another 
receptacle that same electricity is manifesting itself as freezing cold. Now
is there any difference in electricity. It is the difference between who is 
receiving the electricity. It is not that the electricity is hot or cold.

So similarly this material energy is essentially spiritual. Lord’s spiritual
 energy in the form of Durga is the keeper of the prison of material
existence. In fact the Sanskrit word Durga means prison. Now Durga is not
 material. She is the spiritual energy of the Lord but she is acting in such
 a way that she is revealing herself to those who are in ignorance by the
 three types of miseries of material existence, adiatmika, adibhautika, and
adidaivika. Miseries cause by one’s own body and mind, miseries caused by
other living beings and miseries caused by natural disturbances
respectively.

We may utilize our intelligence to somehow counteract the miseries of 
material existence like miseries caused by one’s own body i.e. diseases but
we fail to do so. We may cure one disease but we will get another one.
 First, there was Small pox, then bubonic plague, then tuberculosis, then
Cancer and now AIDS. Has ever been a time in modern history that there was
not a disease that at that time was incurable. Why, because our Karma is to
die of a disease that’s incurable.

For one who is in ignorance that person is always suffering. But for one who
 has knowledge understands that the so called pleasure and pain, honor, 
dishonor and happiness and distress are all the temporary manifestations of
 Krishna’s material energy.

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