Knowing, Visualising, Entering

NGC 2775
The spiral pattern shown by the galaxy in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is striking because of its delicate, feathery nature. These “flocculent” spiral arms indicate that the recent history of star formation of the galaxy, known as NGC 2775, has been relatively quiet. There is virtually no star formation in the central part of the galaxy, which is dominated by an unusually large and relatively empty galactic bulge, where all the gas was converted into stars long ago.

NGC 2275 is classified as a flocculent spiral galaxy, located 67 million light-years away in the constellation of Cancer.

Millions of bright, young, blue stars shine in the complex, feather-like spiral arms, interlaced with dark lanes of dust. Complexes of these hot, blue stars are thought to trigger star formation in nearby gas clouds. The overall feather-like spiral patterns of the arms are then formed by shearing of the gas clouds as the galaxy rotates. The spiral nature of flocculents stands in contrast to the grand design spirals, which have prominent, well defined-spiral arms. Maya is strong; the immediate illusion is that there is a star in the centre of this galaxy. Here, we look to Jnatum, Drashtum, Praveshtum – Knowing, Visualising, Entering.


In addition to knowledge derived from the sacred texts, one should gain wisdom through experience. Knowledge without personal experience is futile. Wisdom lodged within us will be of no avail if it is static. It will only assume the form of mere scholarship. If such learning is brought within the ambit of practice it is creditable. Acquiring and hoarding of wealth will be of no avail if it is not consecrated and spent for the welfare of the world. Similarly mere acquisition of knowledge from books is a futile exercise. Knowledge becomes blessed only when it is translated into actions which promote the good of humanity. This translation of knowledge into experience is possible only when one passes through the three stages of Knowing (Jnatum), Visualising (Drashtum) and Entering (Praveshtum).

First, one must learn about the precious truths contained in the sacred texts from veterans in the field. When you learn about them you naturally take an interest in them. Then you develop an urge to visualise those truths at any cost. This is the first stage of Knowing.

In the second stage, you carefully peruse, examine and collect such sacred texts wherever they may be available. You read and directly visualise them. With great perseverance you enquire, comprehend and enjoy them. Thus you derive some satisfaction that you have discerned certain profound truths. This is the second stage of Visualising.

It is not enough if you make progress in the first two stages. You must experience what is known and seen. By entering the arena of experience, one should feel complete identification with the Ideal. If one lies down after having consumed food it will cause indigestion. However, if one consumes daily the requisite quantity of food and undertakes some physical work it will be digested and, converted into blood, will offer nourishment. In the same manner, we should translate into experience and action what we have known and seen, by assimilating it and utilising it for the progress of our country as well as for the welfare of humanity.

It is easy to memorise passages from books and deliver lectures. Knowledge acquired merely through the reading of books is bookish knowledge. This is quite an ordinary type of knowledge. What has been heard, seen and understood should be put into practice at least to some extent. This is the stage of Entering. (Bhagavad Gita 11:54) (Sathya Sai Vahini 21)

 

NGC 7049
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of NGC 7049 in the constellation of Indus, in the southern sky. A family of globular clusters appears as glittering spots dusted around the galaxy halo. Astronomers study the globular clusters in NGC 7049 to learn more about its formation and evolution. The dust lanes, which appear as a lacy web, are dramatically backlit by the millions of stars in the halo of NGC 7049. Credit: NASA, ESA and W. Harris (McMaster University, Ontario, Canada)

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