Chapter 2: The Attitude of a Disciple
When science divides things on the outside, it means that the brain is also divided on the inside. So the logical side of man’s brain develops, but all the other parts remain undeveloped.
Again, brahmavidya is different from this. Brahmavidya does not divide existence, hence it also does not divide the mind. The existence outside is one, so the one within who knows this also becomes one. When inside you begin to see the whole existence as one, your mind also becomes one. It is in this oneness of the mind that the knowing which does not push ignorance back, but destroys it, is born. This knowledge must certainly be of a different kind.
If you go and ask Mahavira or Buddha or an Upanishadic seer, “I have a toothache. What medicine should I take?” they will not be able to answer your question, because a toothache means you have divided the pain. This is a toothache, this is a headache, this is a pain in the legs, and in this way you even divide the pain. Yes, if you ask Mahavira, “I am in pain. What should I do?” only then can Mahavira answer you. But if you say you have a stomachache, Mahavira will have no answer for that. Then you will have to ask science, where everything is based on division.
For a Mahavira or a Buddha, all things are undivided, indivisible. If you ask how to abolish pain as such, not a particular pain, then Mahavira will be able to tell you how to do it. But if you ask how to cure a particular illness, Mahavira will not be of any help. If you ask how pain in life can disappear, Mahavira will be able to say something about this.
Buddha has called himself a physician. He has said, “I am a physician not of diseases, but of the disease. I am a physician for the whole suffering of life.” Buddha cannot just remove your individual diseases, but he is ready to cut the very root of dis-ease. His knowing is a unity, an all-encompassing phenomenon.
Whatsoever Buddha has known about existence and about himself is not through division and analysis, but through synthesis. A scientist can give you advice about how to get rid of pain, but he himself is unable to go beyond pain. He helps you to get rid of your thousand pains, but he himself remains surrounded by a thousand kinds of pains. Mahavira or Buddha cannot give you anything to get rid of any of your individual pains, but they themselves have gone beyond all pain - and they can tell you how you too can go beyond pain.
So brahmavidya is the effort, the discipline, to know the divine, the whole cosmos, the whole existence as one unitary whole. When you begin to know existence as one, a oneness is also created within you. The whole mind becomes integrated, and this integrated mind is what peace is, this integrated mind is what silence is. This integration of the mind is the cessation from within of all the waves and all the ripples.