To have knowledge is ignorance, to be free of knowledge is wisdom — Rumi

Acharya Prashant
7 min readMay 2, 2020

Do you think that I know what I’m doing.
That for one breath or half-breath I belong to myself?
As much as a pen knows what it’s writing,
or the ball can guess where it’s going next.

~ Rumi

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

Acharya Prashant: (Reading the poem)

That is the state of the liberated one. We often think that the liberated one is a knower; that he knows a lot; that he has some special knowledge, that is the way we refer to him. Gyani — the knower! That again is just an image, a stereotype.

The liberated one is actually a non-knower. He knows nothing, he is totally free of knowledge, totally innocent of knowledge.

The Gyani (knower) really has no Gyan (knowledge). And you can be called a gyani only if you are totally free of gyan.

If you still have knowledge then you are just ignorant.
To have knowledge is ignorance.
To be free of knowledge is wisdom.

The Liberated one, as the verse says, knows nothing. He knows as little about his actions, as the pen knows what it is writing. The pen acts just like an instrument; the pen has no free will. The liberated one too, has no free will. He becomes just an instrument in the hands of the divine.

Not acting as per his decisions, not acting as per his convenience. He lets decisions happen through him. When decisions happen through you, they are spontaneous. When you decide then you weigh, you analyze, you criticize, you take time. The liberated one responds spontaneously.

So, the image of the liberated one, as an all knowing one, is a misleading image. In fact, the liberated one is first of all liberated of knowing anything. We find it important to know; we find it important to gather knowledge. The liberated one knows nothing. For him, there is no insecurity and hence no need to store knowledge. He lives in surrender, not in memories. Are you getting it?

Are you getting it?

Acharya Prashant