The Qualifications for Knowledge

The Qualifications for Knowledge

 Amma - Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

Children, everyone views the world according to his own level of maturity and understanding. Only one who is properly qualified will experience an object as it is and be able to properly use it. Someone who is colour blind cannot really enjoy a rainbow. A person with a severe cold cannot enjoy the fragrance of flowers. In order to understand any subject of study or to participate in any field of action, one requires the basic qualifications.

According to their qualifications, students are categorised into three groups: superior, ordinary and inferior. A superior student is one who easily grasps the knowledge and can immediately put it into practice. A good example are prodigies who easily master music or other artforms in childhood. If a normal person works hard, with extreme concentration, he can also attain mastery. However, some students, even if they try very hard, may fail. Such people may require a few more births to acquire the qualifications. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual mastery. Moreover, if one is truly unqualified, even if he is offered the opportunity to learn he will waste it.

Once a scholar was travelling through a forest when a tiger attacked him. A forest-dweller saw this and drove the tiger away and saved the scholar. The scholar desired to give something to the forest-dweller for saving his life, but he didn’t have any money with him. The one thing he did have was his pet parrot. The parrot knew all the scriptures by heart. The scholar loved this parrot as much as his own life. Still, out of gratitude, he gave the parrot to the forest-dweller.

After returning home, with a tinge of sorrow, the scholar often thought about the parrot: “Giving away that parrot, who had mastered all the scriptures, was a really bad idea. Let me go back to the forest, give the forest-dweller some money and take back the parrot.” Thinking thus, the scholar returned to the forest. It took him a long time to locate the forest-dweller, but finally he did. “How is the parrot?” he excitedly asked.

The forest dweller responded, “It was very tasty.”

Despite the parrot’s scholarship, to the forest-dweller the parrot was just a meal.

We must learn to recognise the value of every field of knowledge and science. Only then will we give it the importance and respect it deserves. If we discover we are not fully qualified for a field of study, we needn’t abandon it. We should be patient and make a resolve to focus harder and practise more. We can then attain our goal, even though it may take a long time.

Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi