Does Understanding come from knowledge?

Acharya Prashant
9 min readJul 7, 2021

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, I am seeking peace, and for me, peace is important. But, I always find myself in many other choices. Why does it happen?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Once you have said that peace is important for you, the choice has already been made. The question is: Do you always say that peace is the utmost? Here you are starting from already an absolutely perfect point; is that the point you usually start from? When you are in the market and in the mall and at a wedding, is that the choice you have made “Peace is the utmost and I shall have peace at any cost”? That is not a choice you make very often. First of all, make that choice, and after that, even this much of a story won’t be needed. Once that choice is made, then the one you have chosen takes care of you; but first of all, make that choice. Here you are narrating a story as if the choice is certain, as if you are already and always choosing Truth and peace, is that so? Is that the fact of our life? Make the right choice and after that, you won’t need a narrative.

Q: Acharya Ji, if I am not making that choice, it is because — while I have read and understood that this peace is infinitely superior than other ways, I understood that academically, but I don’t have experience, but this looks more tangible to me.

AP: It’s very simple, knowledge comes only till the guest room of your house. There can be no intimacy there. You can have a bit of an introduction, you may know the demographics and all the superficial details about someone, but the very fact that you have stopped the person at the drawing-room means that no real union is going to happen. Knowledge is not a thing of the heart and knowledge implies distrust if you see. Otherwise, why would you barricade someone from getting into the interiors of your house? Why would you say, “Here, right at the entrance is your place”? That’s knowledge.

Do you understand intimacy? In knowledge, there is no intimacy. You see, freeze this moment. Just sit as you are. As the kids play “Statue!” so Statue! Now, there are two kinds of listeners. One, who starts contemplating when they hear something, as you are doing right now. And then there are others to whom…

Acharya Prashant