What’s the Point of YOUR Acquiring So Much Knowledge? Tell Me!

Posted: November 8, 2009 in Change Others, Discipline, Effort, Sadhana

Swami Rama, “Once when I was teaching about life and death, a swami quietly came in and sat with my students. I thought that he was a beginner, so I treated him as I treated the others. I was annoyed because he only smiled, constantly smiled, while the others were very conscientiously taking notes. I finally asked, ‘Are you listening to me?’

“He said, ‘You are only talking, but I can demonstrate mastery over life and death. Bring me an ant.'”A large ant was brought. He cut it into three pieces and separated them. Then, he closed his eyes and sat motionless. After a moment, the three parts moved towards each other. They joined together and the revived ant scurried away. I knew it was not hypnosis, or anything like that.

“I felt very small before that swami. And I was embarrassed before my student because I only knew the scriptures without a first-hand understanding and mastery of life and death.

“I asked, ‘Where did you learnt that?’

“He said, ‘Your master taught me.’

“At that, I became angry with my master and immediately went to him. Seeing me, he asked, ‘What happened? Why are you once again allowing anger to control you? You are still a slave to your violent emotions.’

“I said, ‘You teach others things which you don’t teach me. Why?’

“He looked at me and said, ‘I have taught you many things but you don’t practise. That is not my fault! All these achievements depend on practice, not just on verbal knowledge of them. If you know all about the piano but don’t practise, you will never create music.  


“Knowing is useless without practice. Knowing is mere information. Practice gives direct experience which alone is valid knowledge.’ “

(pgs. 135-136, Chapter on ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ from Swami Rama’s “Living with the Himalayan Masters”)

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