Sunday, March 9, 2008
Forest Of Words
Shankara compares the plethora of scriptures to a ‘trap of words which is akin to a forest in which the hapless mind wanders’. To mistake mere scriptural knowledge to realization is a grave error. Reading is of almost no use except if it results in an earnest inquiry which leads to clear insight. Usually reading mystic philosophy is intellectual entertainment at best and a major impediment at worst. It is ironical that I am writing this since whoever reads me would be committing the very error I am warning against! Not that what I write springs from any real knowledge. It is like a movie that criticizes cinema. Many of the greatest mystics like Ramakrishna were illiterate. They wanted only the inner language of bliss. If my history is correct, Nanak asked his tutor to teach him that knowledge which would liberate rather than mundane subjects that would bind. My own experiences are limited but the spark they have ignited in me would one day burn all ignorance like a mountain of hay. At one time reading may have helped me but it’s a major impediment now. Discussing mysticism and writing about it are also ego-driven delusions. I wish I could concentrate on solitary meditation but it seems I have a few bridges to cross.