Is Ignorance Blissed?

Professor and Philosopher Mr. Joginder Singh Puri, United States, was a great personality and most knowledgeable person, I ever met in my life. Unfortunately, I could not get multiple chances to meet him, but whatever chances I got, all were memorable and in my mind so far. His speeches transported me to another world. The first time, I met with him in Delhi, it was a small introduction, but when he came to Lucknow, my home town, I got the chance to spent time with him for two days. One day in Lucknow and another day in Kanpur.

When he was leaving for the United States via Delhi, I still remember the day, I was the last person, who got a chance to talk to him face to face.

My question was very simple but complicated: I never try to hurt anyone intentionally, but always got hurt by others. Why?

He always used to hold a white shawl around him. He smiled and open his shawl with both hands, and told me to enter inside. I did not want to left the chance to embrace him. He was a father figure to me. He answered in a soft voice just near my ears. “Don’t be too good with others, as a result of you become bad for yourself”. After a pause, he whispered, “But I am sure, you can not be able to practice this in your whole life, because you are different from others”

I am feeling no shame, to say that, he was correct because till today, I am trying to practicing his first statement in my life and every time I failed to do so, and his second statement becomes true.

Below mentioned two statements, which can change anybody’s life, I heard from his speech the very first time in Delhi.

  1. One who knows that he knows, he knows not
  2. One who knows not that he knows not, how can he learn?

It is a Persian saying with 4 meaningful lines, but I think life could get a new meaning, if anybody, compelled himself to accept only these two lines mentioned above.

First point is describing clearly, that nobody in this world is perfect. And if anybody thinks that, messages go directly to him that just wait another person is coming behind you, to prove that you are wrong.

The second point is interesting, where the author clearly mentioned, if you do not know that you are living in dark, then you do not know the values of light, so before started thinking out of the box, you need to understand what is in the box.

What you don’t know, can’t hurt you? Now you can see that the second point has another positive aspect. But this directs us towards the complexity of relationships.

Before coming to this subject, I want to touch an interesting topic here. My office is on the 13th floor and I can see direct traffic from huge glass windows. One day I was having my cup of tea and standing there. Traffic in all four lanes is running continuously, all are moving properly. I could realize that all are running on the same road, and there is no conflict, because, all are obeying traffic rules, running their vehicles in the discipline.

As an observer, I can see that half of the traffic is moving in the right direction and half of the traffic is moving to the left direction, but actually, both are in the RIGHT direction. There is no surprise in it. This is the same road, but the movement of the traffic could be the opposite side, one way is wrong for one person, which is the right way for others. What if the right direction vehicle driver thinks that the left direction traffic is going wrong? And left direction vehicle driver thinks the same. Does it impact? No, because from their point of view, both are correct and as well as both are wrong also.

So, What is the takeaway from this? The same statement can have multiple meanings because our viewpoint could be different from person to person. In a particular class, teachers or preachers can give you the same lecture. but the takeaway could be different.

A butcher is allowed to give death to certain creatures if he has a professional license but what if he murdered a man, the viewpoint differs again here. Army person can kill hundreds of enemy persons, but if he killed any civil person, the viewpoint differs.

There are a lot of people, who says that if we are addicted to drinking, drugs or cigarette, what harm in it? Your viewpoint is different and then ours, we are right and you are wrong. My request to everyone is very loud and clear. Give me one benefit of consuming this? By giving the lame excuses of STRESS, you are only trying to find the escape route because you know yourself very well that if addiction is controlling you, you yourself better know the consequences. Smoke in or smoke out cannot solve your issues. You have to find the source of stress and find the route to resolve this. Please don’t give lame excuses to themselves.

Today you are participating in a rat race, and do not want to lag behind, so accepting it as a status symbol and you are trying to use addiction against earning money or status. The day is not far away when you will realize your mistake. Diseases will burn your today’s earning. So the future is: “Status” will burn, “Money” will burn, “Health” will burn, “Relationships” will burn and at last, You will be burned. Then what’s left, ASHES only. So your journey starts with ashes and ends up with ashes. Smoke will merge with smoke.

Now I return, to the point of the complexity of relationships. Do we need to avoid the truth and apply ignorance? I think yes, not all, but definitely in some cases. Willful Ignorance or willful blindness can resolve a lot of issues.

If I know the truth and also know that if the truth comes out, there would be massive chaos, don’t you think I need not disclose it? There are thousands of other ways and different timing to disclose it. I should wait until then. Sometimes lingering on the issue, provides marvelous solutions.

Truth is always bitter, but if you will say without appropriate words, without proper timings, only you will be blamed.

When I was studying at my graduation, I attended a class from my economics professor, Mr. N.K. Mishra. He pointed out a very beautiful point, which I never forget and always use in my day-to-day life. He wrote on the blackboard that “Old Currency throws out the new currency from circulation”. Frankly speaking, I could not understand the value of this sentence then. But when see it in practice, I understand that most corrupt people in the system, throw an honest person out of the system.

I do not want to use the “Corrupt” word here for any specific community. My intentions relate it to all the spheres or areas of life, where our thought and our ideas have already been junked up badly. It needs purification of Ideas, purification of our thoughts.

Do we know, why people give a milk bath to the huge status of their GODs, which wastes hundreds of liter of milk? No, even I don’t know. We do not need to send purification messages to our idols, instead we need to purify our ideas, our thoughts.

Inventions are always for the benefit of mankind, but, we always able to find its disaster side. For example, Can a missile starts without manual intervention to kill thousands in a single shot? You will say yes, it can be programmed to an automated setup. Agreed, but who is behind it to set up as automated. Obviously, an only single idea generated in anybody’s mind to kill thousands. So missile is not bad, its invention is not bad, its application is also not bad. How, when, where and whom against it is planned to use, could be bad, because here IDEA is bad, that thought is bad. Intentions are slaves of our ideas, and this needs purification, obviously.

A beggar, who was blind, sits near the pedestrian road, where hundreds of people crossroad daily, but nobody extends his support to him. Hardly he could get enough money to survive. A lady used to go to the office from the same route, always give some money to him. One day she picked up his board and read aloud “I am blind, please help me”. She thought a while and in the back of the board, she wrote something and left for her office. The next day she was passing by and saw enough money in front of the board. She started smiling and left for office.

What else she wrote on the board? How this change happened? Simple, she reverse the perception of the thought. She wrote “It is a beautiful world, but i can not see it”.

People want to be positive, want to hear positive, want to speak positively. You know why? Because they do not have guts to hear the truth. This only depends on the perception to see the situation? Why can’t we accept that negativity is also a part of our lives. We need to overcome, that’s all. To ignore negativity and only hear positivity slogans, is not going to solve the problem.

It is a very old story when electricity was not reached in all villages. In one of the villages, as soon as the sun sets, people picked up the vessel from the kitchen and starts throwing darkness from his house to the roadside. Whole night all the members of the family have to practice daily the same thing. As soon as the sun rises, they all start to cheer up and give congratulations to each other that they win. They have thrown out darkness from their house Now the darkness is out for the day.

This is the height of ignorance. They need only one candle to remove the darkness, but to get that candle, they need the light of knowledge. The same practice is going on nowadays in the whole world. We do not want to hear straight forward truth, but yes, if the truth comes with beautiful packaging of fake stories, it is always welcome.

I am not sure, why should we ignore the truth? We should realize that all roads going upwards, coming downwards also. If you will throw a ball upward with your strongest power, even then it will come down. Earth has gravitational power.

The same happens to us. Whatever heights we can grab in our life, status, money, power, etc. At last, the earth will bring us down and we will be buried down to the earth only. So can you see any reason to become a balloon for some days with malpractices?

At last, I will say only one thing, that, not always, but occasionally in some of the circumstances, to accept ignorance is bliss, but only, if and if, you have knowledge that you know the ignorance, and you have a proper plan to tackle this in the future.

Just remember “To kill ignorance, you should know that you know the ignorance, else before you can kill it, it will kill you”

Thanks for reading…..

Bye bye and take a good care of you, your family, your relatives and friends and your near and dear ones.

Neeraj Bhatia

Email ID: neeraj.bhatia@aaradhyagroups.com

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