How do we acquire the knowledge that makes us free to achieve great success in life?

How many times have you felt that you are not free and want to break all shackles? In those circumstances, you are not able to give your 100% and feel suffocated. You work harder and harder with increasing level of inefficiency. It may end up in total burn out situation.

To achieve great success in life, we need to break all shackles so that all our efforts are directed towards productive activities. The shackles we experience in life are a by-product of limited knowledge.

How do we acquire the knowledge that makes us free to achieve great success in life?

The mind collect the input through five sense i.e. seeing, tasting, listening, touching, and smelling. The intellect analyses the information and decides what action to be taken. Our memory and ego also play an important role in knowledge acquisition. Past impressions (memory) and extent of our attachment to those impressions (ego) colour the incoming information, resulting in a unique interpretation of the given situation. That’s how we acquire new knowledge and if this knowledge is too much influenced by our experience and our pride can become a shackle in our path of success.

What is the source of all knowledge? Just a few decades ago there was no internet in the world, a couple of centuries ago there were no automobiles. One thought came to someone’s mind about the TV and a few years later; it gets manifested in physical form.

What is the source of thought? How the thought arises in mind? It has been beautifully explained in Upanishad. It says, when the mind and the memory get agitated, a thought arises. We all know that the mind gets input through five senses i.e. seeing, tasting, listening, touching, and smelling. When the mind is active through five sense and triggers something in the memory, a thought arises. If there is no memory related to the input information, no thought can arise in mind. It clearly indicates that human consciousness (memory is part of it) is the store house of all the knowledge. It is only our limited knowledge (ego) that inhibit us to access the ocean of knowledge.

How to overcome this limitation? Attempts to understand ‘What is this?’ without understanding ‘Who am I?’ often ends up in wrong knowledge (colored by past impression and ego). The more we try to acquire knowledge, the more it gets mysterious! Knowledge is inherent in the consciousness but to experience that knowledge, we need to deep dive in through meditation. The meditation helps in going beyond the memory and the ego.

I will continue this discussion in my next blogs…


  1. Yoga Sara Upanishad – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
  2. Various talk by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the public forums (The founder of the Art of Living organisation).

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