TAMASO MA JYOTHIRGAMAYA
This is the true prayer—the seeker’s admission of his sense of limitedness and his heartfelt cry for assistance in transcendence. It is not a prayer for the things of the world. It is not a pray for food, shelter, health, partnership, riches, success, fame, glory or even for heaven. One who recites this mantra should realize that such things are full of holes, soaked in pain and, even in abundance, will forever leave him wanting. It should be in this full understanding that one should turn to this prayer.
The essence of each of this mantra is: “O, Guru, help me free myself from my sundry misunderstandings regarding myself, the universe and God and bless me with true knowledge.
Now what exactly is true knowledge?
Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya—means “Lead me from darkness to light.” When the Vedas refer to darkness and light, they mean ignorance and knowledge, respectfully.
This is so because ignorance, like darkness, obscures true understanding. And in the same way that the only remedy for darkness is light, the only remedy for ignorance is knowledge. The knowledge spoken of here is again the knowledge of one’s true nature. I think the ultimate knowledge is the knowledge of oneself, the true knowledge of oneself with one’s surroundings, one’s knowledge from one’s own true and unprejudiced observations etc. The first step towards knowkedge is the understanding that Knowledge is different from Information.
As we are transitioning from the information age to the knowledge age, we also have to start thinking about the transition in to knowledge age and ask ourselves” Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”
Difference between Knowledge and Information
The human mind’s content is based on the kinds of things that one interacts with on a daily basis. Many a time people perceive things based on either what they have seen, experienced, heard, read, learned or inferred after some experimentation.
These perceptions are then categorized in the mind as data, information, knowledge, understanding or wisdom. Unlike wisdom information is as a result of what the brain has recorded in the past.
.All perceived knowledge or information derives from human experience and/or human reason. We may attempt to accumulate this perceived knowledge or information through pragmatism, coherence, correspondence, etc, but absolute knowledge can never be attained with this tools. We, as humans find it difficult to distinguish our perceived knowledge from absolute knowledge. Our knowledge fails to transcend into the realm of the absolute. Because information we acquire is relative and often conditional, it can not exceed mere conjecture.
Information being practical knowledge is relative and not absolute.
True knowledge is not relative and is absolute.
Information of course is needed for our day to day existence and for exist in this practical world. But we should build up our information on the strong foundation of true knowledge. Without that strong foundation our construction of information can be shaky which will again lead to prejudices and preconceived notions. These
prejudices and notions need not be absolutely true. In my opinion this will make the world a pandemonium of evils the fruits of which we are already bearing.
But the strength of the strong knowledge as the foundation for information will help us to create a generation of optimistic, practical, enthusiastic to face the life individuals who can call a spade a spade. Knowledge reflects the understanding of Universal Truths or basic laws or patterns. Knowledge is based on values, meaning systems and understanding unpredictability and uncertainty are parts of life. This knowledge itself can strengthen the minds of our youngsters and which inturn will bring down the rate of suicides and terroristic attitudes injected in them through the injection of wrong information from their surroundings.