Chapter 4: The Supreme Knowledge
So the first thing: supreme knowledge is that knowledge which happens to you but cannot be taught. The second thing: all knowledge is about something other than you - supreme knowledge is absolutely about you. Or, it may even be wrong to say that it is about you. It is not about, because whatsoever it is about is about something other than you. It will be better to say that it is you, not about you.because many things can be taught about you. It can be asked, “Who are you?” Someone can say, “You are Brahman, you are the divine, you are the absolute, the soul, atman.” But this is about you; this is not supreme knowledge - somebody else is teaching it to you.
When you become knowledge, when you become the knowing center, when your very consciousness becomes the door, then supreme knowledge has happened to you. Mathematics is about something, physics is about something else, chemistry about something else, psychology is about the mind - supreme knowledge is you. No university, no school is of any help. Directly, nothing can be done about it, only an indirect help is possible.
The sage Sankriti then said to the sun god: O Lord, please teach me the supreme knowledge.
He is asking an absurd question: Please teach me the supreme knowledge. It can-not be taught - but that’s how a disciple has to reach the master. The disciple cannot know that there is something which cannot be taught; every disciple has to come to the master and ask to be taught. It is absurd for the master, because he knows it cannot be taught, but every seeker thinks that everything can be taught - even the supreme knowledge can be taught.
It happened in Upanishadic days that one young boy, Svetaketu, was sent by his father to a gurukul, to a family of an enlightened master, to learn. He learned everything that could be learned, he memorized all the Vedas and all the science available in those days. He became proficient in them, he became a great scholar; his fame started spreading all over the country. Then there was nothing else to be taught, so the master said, “You have known all that can be taught. Now you can go back.”
Thinking that everything had happened and there was nothing else - because whatsoever the master knew, he also knew, and the master had taught him everything - Svetaketu went back. Of course with great pride and ego, he came back to his father.
When he was entering the village his father, Uddalak, looked out of the window at his son coming back from the university. He saw the way he was walking - very proudly, the way he was holding his head - in a very egoistic way, the way he was looking all around - very self-conscious that he knew. The father became sad and depressed, because this is not the way of one who really knows, this is not the way of one who has come to know the supreme knowledge.
The son entered the house. He was thinking that his father would be very happy - he had become one of the suprememost scholars of the country; he was known everywhere, respected everywhere - but he saw that the father was sad, so he asked, “Why are you sad?”