Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Question: What is ‘elimination of false knowledge’ that Ramana Maharishi talks of when he says, “The individual is miserable because he confounds the mind and the body with the Self. This confusion is due to wrong knowledge. Elimination of wrong knowledge is alone needed. Such elimination results in Realization.”
So the question is — what is the knowledge that should be eliminated?
Acharya Prashant: All knowledge that we have, comes from the world. The world gives us knowledge in various forms, ways, structures, fields. But whatever be the structure of the knowledge that is provided to us by the world, there is one underlying theme always common in all knowledge coming to us from the world through our senses.
What is that common theme?
The common theme is, “Knowledge can be had only from the world and the knowledge is possible only about the world. All objects of knowledge are present in the world.” So, the world keeps on asserting that the world and knowledge are one.
It does keep the possibility open that one may not keep complete knowledge about the world, yet it maintains the strong identity that all knowledge is always about the world.
And when I say world, I also include the body, the mind and that is apparently right also. Go into your mind and see whatever you know, in whichever field: is not everything about something in the world? You may know Geography, then you know of mountains and rivers of the world. You may know Polity, then you know about the countries, systems and constitutions of the countries, and all of these are in the world.
You may know Physics, then you know a lot about the properties of the matter, in the world. You may know this and that. Your range of knowledge may be broad, the fields may be diverse, and there may be a lot of depth in your knowledge. But one thing is certain; whatever you know is about the world.
So, the world has taught you many things. Along with everything that the world has taught, the world has been parallely teaching one common thing that the world is the only possible object of knowledge, and that if the world is not there, then…