Knowledge vs Wisdom in ‘Upanishads’

Kumar Rupakheti

Wisdom, sapience, or sagacity is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. Wisdom is associated with attributes such as unbiased judgment, compassion, experiential self-knowledge, self-transcendence and non-attachment, and virtues as ethics and benevolence. It is the body of knowledge and experience that develops within a specified society or period.

Most people think that wisdom and knowledge are the same things but they are two different sides of the same coin. Knowledge is nothing but the facts known by a person whereas wisdom is the combination of experience and knowledge, with the power of applying them or soundness of judgement in a person. Knowledge is information of which someone is aware. It is also used to mean the confident understanding of a subject, potentially with the ability to use it for a specific purpose. Wisdom is the ability to make correct judgements and decisions. It is an intangible quality gained through our experiences in life. The primary difference between the two words is that wisdom involves a healthy dose of perspective and the ability to make sound judgements about a subject while knowledge is simply knowing. Anyone can become knowledgeable about a subject by reading, researching, and memorizing facts. So, ‘knowledge is knowing what to say, but wisdom is knowing when to say it.’

Hindu scriptures describe different paths to salvation. The Hindu scriptures called Upanishads describe two types of knowledge – the ‘lower’ knowledge, which is the understanding of the phenomenal world, and the ‘higher’ or spiritual knowledge, which is knowledge of the ‘Supreme Self’ beyond duality. The Upanishads encourage us to acquire both types of knowledge. The lower knowledge includes the sciences, mathematics, and even an understanding of philosophy. It also includes knowledge of righteous actions.

The higher knowledge is attained when the understanding of the ‘Supreme Self’, which is the experience of being one with the Supreme Being, pervades one’s mind and consciousness at every moment – whether walking, asleep, or dreaming. Wisdom arises naturally as one climbs the ladder of higher knowledge, and it keeps growing.

One Comment

  1. Oriental philosophy is more vast and useful than western philosophy ,it is well accepted fact by westerners as is our pride that we are grown up in estearn or oriental culture,but the more important is how we are addapting this.For instance there is very simple tale of a boatman and a so called genuine hindu shcholar ,who was so proud with himself learning hundreds epic books ,and he was thinking that there is no academic knowledge that he doesn’t know.The scholar was reternig to his village after completing his acedemic degree,on the way he had to cross the river,he was waiting to the boatman who was returning from otherside of the river,when the boatman returned form other side ,did welcome the scholar in his boat respectfully.the boat man was sailing the boat ,the scholar started to ask irrelevant questions from his epic book ,but the poor boatman could not answered any of them correctly,then the scholar said to him look i asked you many questions but you answered none of them correctly ,now it’s your turn ,you also ask me ,i will answered all correctly.then the boat man said to the scholar ,respected scholar ,you know everything but to quench my curiosity ,just say me ,”what is a boatology ?”‘.and immediately jumped down to the river and started to swim.But the scholar did know to swim and started to cry and said to the boat
    Man” boat man ,now I realized upto know i did not know anything thing applicable for my life ,it was my illusion only ,you are more greater than me”.so my point here is simple ,” we are rich in our philosophy but it makes vast difference ,how we are materlizing ?????.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

सम्बन्धित समाचार

Back to top button