Raise Knowledge and Destroy Ignorance (April 2023)

Our journey in life involves both acquiring what is beneficial for us and eliminating what is detrimental to us. There is one crucial thing we need to acquire that will attract all auspicious things towards us, and one thing we need to eliminate that will eliminate all pains and sufferings from our lives. These two things are Knowledge and Ignorance, respectively. This is what the eightth principle of the Arya Samaj teaches us and is the topic for this month’s assignment.

अविद्या का नाश और विद्या की वृद्धि करनी चाहिये।
We should aim at dispelling ignorance and promoting knowledge.

According to Swami Dayanand, knowledge is the awareness of things as they truly are. It is the ability to understand the world around us based on facts, evidence, and reasoning. Ignorance, on the other hand, is the lack of knowledge or the belief in things that are not true. It is the inability to understand reality and distinguish it from illusions or falsehoods.

With knowledge, we can gain insights into ourselves and the world around us. Knowledge enables us to make informed decisions and choices that bring positive outcomes in our lives. For example, acquiring knowledge about healthy eating and exercise can help us to maintain good physical health. Similarly, learning about managing finances can help us make wise investments and avoid financial troubles.

On the other hand, ignorance can lead to pain and suffering. When we lack knowledge, we might make poor decisions that lead to negative consequences. For instance, if we lack knowledge about the harmful effects of drug abuse, we might become addicted and suffer physical, emotional, and social consequences. Similarly, if we lack knowledge about the dangers of strangers, we might become easy targets for predators who can cause us harm. It is crucial for us to educate ourselves about ignorance and the risks stemming from it.

In nutshell, acquiring knowledge and eliminating ignorance are the most significant steps we can take towards personal growth and well-being. By acquiring knowledge, we can increase what is right for us and by eliminating ignorance, we can eliminate what is wrong for us. Ultimately, these two steps can bring us closer to living a fulfilling and prosperous life.

The below section is a bit advanced; so, it is captured for senior kids (and interested adults):

Ignorance can often be deceptive, and it can appear as knowledge to those who lack the ability to discern between the two. This deception can lead to individuals making decisions that are not based on facts and evidence, but rather on assumptions and opinions. It is therefore important to be careful in identifying ignorance that tries to fake itself as knowledge.

To differentiate between ignorance and knowledge, we must first understand what constitutes pure knowledge. Pure knowledge is based on facts, evidence, and sound reasoning. It is unbiased and not influenced by personal opinions or biases. To acquire pure knowledge, we must seek guidance from credible sources such as scriptures, experts, scholars, and learned people.

One way to acquire pure knowledge is by studying the scriptures. Scriptures are a reliable source of knowledge as they have been compiled by learned individuals who have studied and analyzed the subject matter extensively. These scriptures contain valuable insights into various aspects of life and provide guidance on how to live a fulfilling and prosperous life.

Listening to an accurate interpretation of scriptures from a credible expert is another way to acquire pure knowledge. Experts who have studied the subject matter extensively can provide valuable insights into the deeper meaning and purpose of the scriptures.

Discussing with scholars and learned people is also an excellent way to acquire pure knowledge. Scholars and learned individuals possess extensive knowledge and experience in their field of study. Engaging in a discussion with them can provide valuable insights and perspectives that can help us understand the subject matter better.

In conclusion, ignorance can often masquerade as knowledge, and it is essential to be careful in identifying the difference between the two. To differentiate between ignorance and pure knowledge, we must seek guidance from credible sources, including scriptures, experts, scholars, and learned individuals. Acquiring pure knowledge is essential to living a fulfilling and prosperous life and making informed decisions based on facts and evidence.

In this month’s assignment, kids are expected to…

  • Read the eighth principle in Hindi and English
  • Explain the meaning of the principle in details
  • Share examples of how they see their life benefiting with the acquisition of pure knowledge
  • Share examples of how they see their life benefiting with the elimination of ignorance
  • Explain how ignorance can be deceptive and what one can do to identify it (for senior kids)
  • Share a closing statement stating their resolution and path forward

As always, I am looking forward to hearing the insightful descriptions and interpretations by our Hawan kids. Make us proud!

Harsh Mendiratta 🙏🏼