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Realm of Knowledge


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Nanak calls the second division the realm of knowledge. Religion exists. The day you recognize this you attain knowledge. Religion is -- only you have closed your eyes to it. The sun is shining, only you have closed your eyes to it. The sun is shining, only you have closed your doors and windows; the lamp burns, but you stand with your back to it. It is pouring outside, but you are afraid to get wet, so you hide yourself in some dark cave. Religion is going on all the time but you have kept yourself away -- somewhere far away.

To come back, to return and retrace your steps, is called Knowledge. Every man will have to come back. Man is capable of going far. The animals, the plants, the birds have no religion, for they do not have the ability to go outside of nature. Whatever they do is within nature's law. They do not have the sense even to wander. Wandering requires a little intelligence. You need at least a little courage to go wrong; and you need some awareness to step off the path. This much man has, but then to come back to the path you need more awareness.

So the animals are in their right place, for they cannot wander.

This is not a very laudable state of being; it is actually a helplessness. The average man has a little intelligence. He can wander; therefore, he has gone astray. Then there are those who attain buddhahood, like Nanak and Kabir. They have the highest awareness at their command; they have come back. What the animals have naturally you have to attain through your sadhana, through your spiritual practice. Buddha also returns to the point where the plants always are. The same supreme bliss that the plants enjoy is attained by Buddha but there is a basic difference between the two: Buddha is completely aware of the bliss that rains on him, whereas the plant has no awareness of the bliss that rains on it.

Nature is unconscious, whereas the buddha-purusha is naturally in full awareness. We are between these two. Nature is not conscious; in nature happiness and joy are natural but the knower, the enjoyer of this happiness is absent. It is just as if you are unconscious while jewels are raining all over you. It makes no difference to you whether it is raining stones or raining jewels. Then if you open your eyes you become aware of the endless bounty that has rained on you. Buddha has attained only what was so readily available to the stones; he returns to the same place. But this coming back is an absolutely new happening. The place is the same, the rocks are the same; the very tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment is also where Buddha is. And this is bound to be, for God is hidden in every grain, every particle. But what is the difference between the Bodhi Tree and Buddha? There is a vast difference. The place is one, but the difference is infinite! The difference is that Buddha is experiencing this bliss in full consciousness; in full wakefulness he feels the infinite glory. The same glory pours on the tree but the tree is oblivious of it. The same glory rains on you also, but you have chosen to stand with your back to it. The trees face towards Him but they cannot know Him. You can know Him but you have turned in the opposite direction! The day you take a full turn, the day your eyes rest on His glory, you shall know. This knowing Nanak refers to as knowledge.

The realm of knowledge is man's attainment. Religion will be even if there is no man left on earth, but knowledge cannot be. Existence has tried to seek knowledge through man; therefore, man is the peak of creation. You do not know how many possibilities of glory are readily available to you. God wishes to become awake through you; He wishes to awaken from within you.

In nature God is dormant. In man he has stirred. He wants to awaken in man. In nature there is the dark, moonless night and deep slumber. In man the moment of dawn has arrived. If you miss, you will remain in the dark night. If you open your eyes and see, you will also be like Buddha, Nanak, Kabir; until then you will suffer.

Understand the eternal principle: if you do not become what you could become, you will suffer; if you become what you should have become, your life will be filled with bliss. Bliss means fulfillment -- the attainment of that which you had the power to attain. Until the tree that lies dormant in the seed attains its full growth and bears flowers and fruit, a tension always remains inside. If you die without singing the song you were born to sing, you will die in sorrow. You shall have to be born again and again in order to sing this song for nature does not accept things in halves. The day you are complete, total, you will be accepted. Therefore, the Hindus say, "He who is perfect is not born again." He has sung his song and attained his bliss. The stream has met the ocean and there is no reason for him to come back. You return again and again because you fail every time. Nature sends you back again and again, for nature is in no hurry. It has infinite time at its disposal.

I have heard: Two people were traveling in a train. One was from Bombay and the other from rural Bihar. The Bihari gentleman asked, "What is your name, kind sir?"

"Veenu," replied the Bombayite. "And what is yours?"

"Sri Sri Satyadev Narayan-Prasad Sinha."

The Bombayite's eyes almost popped out of their sockets. "Such a long name!" he exclaimed.

"Well, you see," explained the Bihari, "we are not Bombayites.

We have enough time at our disposal for such names."

God is not a resident of Bombay. He has plenty of time. Nature is in no hurry. You may fall a thousand times; you may prove worthless endless times, and nature will patiently push you back here. But you will suffer endlessly until you succeed. Unless and until you have sung your song, unless and until you have fulfilled your destiny, you will not be accepted. There is only one sorrow, one anguish, that this existence does not accept you but turns you back again and again. Once you are accepted, you are immersed in it and then there is no return. Nanak calls the second division the realm of knowledge -- to know what is with full awareness.

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