(From Book Jaiva Dharma) - Types of knowledge

Hare Krishna -
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Krishna and to all of his pure devotees and aspiring devotees.

Digambara: Some people say that society is advancing with the increase of knowledge in the world, and eventually it will be like heaven on earth.

Advaita: That is simply fantasy. It is quite extraordinary that people have faith in this, and it is even more bizarre that others have the audacity to propagate such a view without actually believing it themselves. There are two types of knowledge: paramärthika knowledge relates to eternal truth, while laukika knowledge relates to this transitory world. Paramärthika knowledge does not seem to be increasing; on the contrary, in most cases knowledge has been corrupted and deviated from its original nature. Only laukika knowledge seems to be on the increase. Does the jiva have an eternal relationship with laukika knowledge? When laukika-jïäna increases, people’s minds become distracted by temporary material pursuits, and they neglect the original spiritual truth. I firmly believe that the more laukika-jïäna increases, the more duplicitous a civilization becomes. This is a great misfortune for the living beings.

Digambara: A misfortune? Why?

Advaita: As I said before, human life is very short. The jivas are like travelers at an inn, and they should use this brief span of life to prepare themselves for their ultimate destination. It would be sheer foolishness if travelers staying in an inn were so caught up with improving the conditions of their stay that they forgot their destination. The more one’s involvement with material knowledge increases, the more one’s time for spiritual matters dwindles. I am convinced that material knowledge should be used only as much as it is needed to maintain one’s livelihood. There is no necessity for excessive material knowledge and its companion, material civilization. For how many days will this earthly glitter remain?

Digambara: I see that I have fallen into the clutches of an unyielding renunciant. Then does society serve no function?

Advaita: That depends upon the composition of a particular society. The function served by a society of Vaisnavas is highly beneficial for the jivas, but a society of non-Vaisnavas, or a society that is merely secular, serves no advantageous function for the jivas.

Please forgive me for any offence or inconvenience.
Jai Sri Radha Madhav Ki Jai!!
Source: Jaiva Dharma (Srila Bhaktivinoda Thäkura)

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