Knowledge is light
Taki-takining sevaka guna vidya /
Smarta-visaya rvang puluh ing ayusya /
Tengah i tuvuh san-vacana gegon ta /
Patilaringatmeng tanu paguroken // (Nitisastra, V: 1)
[A devout seeker of knowledge should be focused in searching for knowledge and acquisition of skills. Having sufficient knowledge and skills at about 20’s of age, s/he should get married. When reaching half of age, s/he should try to understand spiritual teachings and the released of self from the body should be learned from a Guru (enlighten spiritual master)]
To live a proper life one should have some knowledge and skills. One can imagine how business of life is to be run when knowledge/skills are absent from him/her; it is like a night without the moon, the day without the sun. Life is bright and full of hopes when one has some knowledge. On the contrary, life is dark and hopeless when knowledge is absent from him/her. Such knowledge is equated with light or torch to dispel the darkness. Knowledge is only possible through learning in which knowledge/skills are being transferred or practiced/learned. Its emphasis is more on the process of acquisition rather than the outcome. In the on-going process, not only physical, intellectual domains are trained but also discipline and ethics are exercised. On the overall process, the presence of a Guru is important. Through spiritual master (Guru) knowledge is transferred to next generation in unbroken line. The achievement of goal of life in whatsoever simple it is can be only obtained though knowledge and/or skills. Knowledge refers to cognition whereas skills to practical purposes. The later cannot be performed without prior knowledge. And, both are important in life irrespective of the type of knowledge is searched for. Due to its importance in life, one should learn it through the process of teaching and learning either accomplished in school or society, formal or non-formal.
The best time to learn any knowledge and acquire skills is on his/her 20’s of age. It is the time of sharp mind. Completing education, one is supposed to be mature, physically and mentally, one is ready to enter the next stage of life, i.e. householder (Grahasta-ashrama) in which s/he will have children and perform other duties. In house-dweller life there are so many duties that should be performed either domestic or public which all needs knowledge and skills. In searching any knowledge, one should be concentrated, firmed, diligent and self-discipline. When one is spiritually mature – at about 50 years of age – s/he should be aware of the highest goal of life, i.e. Moksa (liberation). And, s/he should be ready to leave the worldly enjoyments and ready to enter the next stage of life, i.e. Vanaprastha (forest dwelling) and Sanyasin (seclusion). For this purpose, s/he should approach a spiritual master (guru), who will be able to guide him/her in spiritual path. A real spiritual master (guru) knows the art of living since s/he is a realized person. This shows that life should be well-planned in the frame of Catur-asramas [(Brahmacharya (student hood), Grahasta (house-dweller), Vanaprastha (forest-dwelling) and Sanyasin (seclusion)] otherwise, life is just for fun hankering for sensual enjoyments. In whatever stage of life one leads, knowledge – irrespective of its kinds- is needed***