Sages of the New Covenant
Immediately after my speech at the 8th International Conference on Peace & Non-violent Action in Jaipur, the former Vice Chancellor of the Vidhyabharati University, asked me: “In Indian tradition, we revere the knowledge; then how could eating the fruit of Knowledge could be sin?” It was a good question; but he did not have the time and patience to listen to me. But I know why he said so, as Kapil Muni advocated Snaky / Sankhya Marg (way of knowledge) tofulfil the purpose of human existence.
There is subtle difference between the knowledge that is referred in the Bible and the knowledge actually implied in Indian tradition. In Indian tradition, it is misnomer to construe that the knowledge that is referred in Indian tradition is the knowledge in astronomy, astronomy, Vedic mathematics, Medicinal knowledge about the plants, Philosophy, Economics and Politics. These are worldly knowledge. In Indian Tradition, most of the Worldly knowledge is coupled with spirituality, as they learn everything from a Guru; and guru is invariably, spiritual people; and most of the time Vedic mathematics are confused with the scriptures. Worldly knowledge is nothing to do with the spiritual knowledge.But some choose the path of Snaky / Sankhya, by acquiring all the worldly knowledge and great acharyas came into being with their schools called ashrams and were teaching knowledge. This knowledge resulted only in more wars, exploitations and created a cultural divide, which later emerged into caste system and people were forced to perform menial job under their Dharm of birth. The reason for all chaos in this society was due to the Snaky / Sankhya school of spiritual path, which is why King Solomon had said the following:
"For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow." (Ecclesiastes 1:18)
In the Indian Tradition, the true spiritual knowledge is about knowing the Self – Who is he / she? Why is she / he is in this world? In a nutshell, according to Indian Tradition, the true spiritual knowledge is: SLEF AWARENESS; in the parlance of Swami STHEVANANDA it is being ‘conscious of the Immanuel within us ’.
In what way it is different from the biblical spiritual knowledge that Adam and Eve had received from the Tree of Knowledge? Hardly any difference; but the way we were made to understand is different. By eating the Fruit of Knowledge (an allegorical symbolism), the spiritual knowledge Adam and Eve, received was: Human Beings were NOT Created in the likeness of God.
The True spiritual Knowledge that GOD HAS CREATED HUMAN BEING IN THE LIKENESS OF GOD, became a-Sat (untruth) in the garden of Eden by listening to the talk of the Serpent.
If we could classify spiritual knowledge into good knowledge and bad knowledge, then the spiritual knowledge Adam and Eve received in the Garden of Even comes under the category of bad spiritual knowledge.
In the 70s, the Prime Minister of India Mrs Indira Gandhi planted a particular kind of tree called – kubabul to make India green. These trees grow very easily to make the anyplace look like a forest. She was amazed by the quick growth of this particular tree and she ordered that the tree KU-babul (Ku means bad) be called SU-babul (su means good / holy). Under the social forestry scheme all over the place, wherever empty space was there, this tree was encouraged to be planted. While I was working for Trichy Steel Rolling Mills, as a HRD in-charge, I planted thousand saplings of this true prevent the smelting smoke of steel scraps polluting the nearby companies in 1987. Later scientist have found that this particular tree sucks more ground water and lowers the ground water table, very drastically and special efforts were made to uproot the trees. Whether it was called Subabul or Kubabul, the truth is: BABUL’s nature is KU (bad). Similarly the fruit from the tree of a-Sat (untruth) was bad and eating the bad fruit – BELIEVING THAT HUMAN BEINGS WERE NOT CREATED IN THE LIKENESS OF GOD - BECAME THE SIN, in the Judaic, Christian and Islamic parlance; which is why, while talking about the New Man, Paul says as follows:
“and (you) have PUT ON THE NEW MAN WHO IS RENEWED IN KNOWLEDGE ACCORDING TO THE IMAGE OF HIM (God) who created him (Adam).” – Colossians 3:10
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Sages of the New Covenant