Sri Rajen Vakil
The Attitude of 'I Know'
It's April Fool’s Day today. Let us try and understand what the Fool within us represents. The Fool is that aspiration for freedom and understanding of the mystery of life that lies dormant within. It is a symbol of the awakening of intuition or rising above our logical mind.
In the Srimad Bhagwad Gita, Arjuna continuously argues with Sri Krishna. At one point he is empty of all arguments and he realises and tells the Lord that he knows nothing, is his disciple, and pleads to him to show him the path of shreya (welfare). It is only after this emptying out that the immortal wisdom of the Gita is spoken. What is this feeling of Nothingness?
Within all of us is a pattern that comes up automatically. Whenever people are talking, we want to enter the conversation and give our opinion. This comes from a deeply embedded attitude - 'I Know'.
Through a long period of self-observation, we work with this attitude. While watching a cricket match, when a player strikes out, we immediately go into a description of how he should have played - 'I Know'. We meet somebody who's ill and tell him what he should have done to avoid his predicament - 'I Know'. If somebody is discussing politics and we say he should be more open about his views, it's again the 'I Know' attitude in action.
This attitude pervades every aspect of our lives. When our wife or son says something, we immediately start giving advice. This attitude of 'I Know' has to be observed over a long period of time. It has to be starved of nourishment. Every time it pops up, we must pause and not feed it. A time will come when we are free of it. For the first time, we will feel the emotion, 'I do not Know'.
This is the beginning of Nothingness. Now we are the Fool who knows nothing but is open and receptive to everything. This is the deep symbolism of April Fools' Day. The Fool lives on in the world and in all relationships, but is totally free of them.
Happy April Fools' Day.