There is a huge amount of information and knowledge available today. We can easily access data on any subject under the sun without much effort. Simple information, facts and figures is data. Data is collected and organised according to subject. It is very useful referencing tool. When the collected information is collected and digested, it becomes knowledge. Right application of knowledge is wisdom and common sense. When knowledge is put to practical use, it should be done taking into account the laws of society, goodness of mankind and universal laws. Knowledge should not be applied to practical use without an eye at the consequence. If we do so, we will suffer from the misuse of knowledge.
Knowledge about fire and finance is available easily and can be understood. When this knowledge is used with commonsense and wisdom, fire helps to cook, warm a person and give light and heat and finances multiply and grow and provide income and wealth for personal and social expansion. When fire is used without proper knowledge or without regard to consequence, it burns down everything in sight and wipes out the area. What remains is a handful of ash. When we play with finances without regards to consequence, we can create evil or great loss and pain for ourselves and others. When we acquire knowledge, we should also go within ourselves and contemplate the right use of knowledge and its consequences. Wise use of knowledge will benefit us and mankind. Without wisdom of proper use of knowledge, we lose perspective and can lose our grounding. The story below illustrates this truth:
Four friends lived in a village. Three of these four friends were well versed in esoteric sciences and tantra but had no common sense. The fourth friend was not learned in scriptures or tantra but had a great deal of common sense. He had knowledge of what was good or bad for him and was practical in his approach towards life. One day, the three learned men decided to travel and make use of their knowledge to earn money. They let the fourth fellow travel with them even though he was not learned because he was a childhood friend.
The friends travelled and went from town to town displaying their skills in order to earn money. Once they had to cross a dense forest. While resting at noon, they saw a heap of bones lying under a tree. Looking at the bones, one of the learned friends said: Let us use this opportunity to test our skills. These are the bones of a certain animal. Let us use our knowledge and bring this animal back to life.
The first friend used his skills to assemble the scattered bones into a skeleton. He chanted a mantra and ordered all the bones to come together and form a skeleton. When the skeleton was ready, the second friend used his skills and with chants of some mantra commanded flesh and blood to fill the skeleton and skin to cover it up. Now the animal looked like a lifeless lion.
As the third friend was about to chant a mantra and breathe life into the lifeless body of the animal, the fourth friend shouted: Stop! This looks like the body of a lion. If you give him life, he will attack us and kill all of us. The other friends were angry and shouted at him: You fool! Shut up! This is a rare opportunity to test our skills and knowledge. Do not make us lose it.
When the third man began to chant mantra to give life to the lifeless lion, the fourth man leaped up and climbed a tree as fast as he could. The others laughed at him. The chant of the third friend worked and the lion came to life. He sprang up and killed all the three learned men. The fourth man waited for a while and when it was safe, climbed down and went back to his village.
Knowledge for sake of knowledge has no value. Knowledge should have practical value which makes our life easier and more efficient. Mere book knowledge of scriptures is not enough. Practical practices like SitaRam Mantra and Meditation that bring about noticeable positive changes in our life are necessary.