Chapter 4: The Supreme Knowledge
The sage Sankriti then said to the sun god:
O Lord, please teach me the supreme knowledge.
The sun god said:
I shall now explain to you this most rare knowledge, upon the attainment of which you will become free while yet dwelling in this body. See in all beings the Brahman, who is one, unborn, still, imperishable, infinite, immutable and conscious; so seeing live in peace and bliss. Do not see anything except the self and the supreme. This state is known as yoga.
Rooted thus in yoga, carry out your deeds.
The mind of one who is thus rooted in yoga gradually withdraws from all desires, and the seeker feels blissful while engaging himself each day in meritorious acts. He has no interest whatsoever in the contrary efforts of the ignorant.
He never betrays the secrets of one to another,
and he occupies himself solely with lofty deeds.
He performs only such gentle acts as do not disturb others. He fears sin and does not crave any self-indulgence. He utters loving and affectionate words. He lives in the company of saints and studies the scriptures. With complete unity of mind, speech and action he follows them. Seeking to cross
the ocean that is the world,
he cultivates the above-mentioned ideas. And he is called a beginner,
one performing his preliminaries. This is called the first stage.
The sage Sankriti then said to the sun god: O Lord, please teach me the supreme knowledge.
The Upanishads know only the supreme knowledge. What is this supreme knowledge? And why is it called supreme? The Upanishads call that knowledge supreme which is not gathered from without, which is not gathered at all. You cannot be educated in it, it cannot be taught; it happens within, it flowers in you.
The first distinction to be made is that there is knowledge which can be taught. The Upanishads call that knowledge lower knowledge. Precisely, they call it avidya - ignorance with information - because that which can be taught to you remains in the mind, it never reaches exactly to you. You remain untouched, your center remains untouched, your being is not in any way changed, transformed. Only the mind collects it, only the brain cells collect it, so it is the same as when we feed a computer - in the same way your mind is fed.
From the very childhood you have been taught many things. They have not reached you, and they will never reach you. The mind gathers them, the mind becomes filled with them. And the mind is so complex that in a single mind all the libraries of the world can be fed; a single head can contain all the knowledge that exists in this world - but the Upanishads say you will not become knowing through that. It is mechanical, consciousness is not needed for it. If even a computer can do it, then it is not worth it.