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Learn as long as you breathe

Rajyogi Brahmakumar Nikunj ji


Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever… Mahatma Gandhi

Learning is a continuous process, right from the time we are born till the day we die. Irrespective of whether we want to or not, we can’t stop this process as without it there is no existence of life. Our whole life is a bundle of experience and in turn an education, where we all are in an ever learning mode, at every moment and everywhere. Our mind is always at work; observing, analysing and storing right from the time it started functioning. As conscious beings, having sense-organs (also known as five doors of knowledge), by virtue of our very nature, we cannot remain without creating perception. Our ears are always open, so we are constantly listening. The words that go through our ears to our brain are like lessons which we receive constantly. Similarly we see the whole world through our eyes which also results in learning good things as well as bad. The electrical impulses which we receive through our skin or taste-buds, reach our brain which in a away is also a kind of learning. However one must understand a fact that all the above mentioned processes of learning takes place by virtue of awareness or consciousness that is present in our brain without which learning is next to impossible.

Majority of us spend a lot of our time in classrooms acquiring new knowledge and ideas. However, once we complete our studies, we feel the education phase of our life is finally over and now it’s time for us to go out into the world to attain the highest level of success. But doesn’t this sound too casual and an odd idea? That only a quarter of our lives should be devoted to learning, and then we should simply rest on our laurels for the remaining part of our life? It is said that learning never exhausts the mind, then why do we restrict the process of learning until we are pursuing formal education?  Just because you’ve finished your formal education, doesn’t mean that your education is over! It’s quite an erroneous conception, but unfortunately majority of us have absorbed it subconsciously.  It is only a dead body that ceases to participate in the process of learning and not the ones who resonate with life.

Our life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us enlightened, even though many a times it is hard to realise this. We must always remember that the setbacks and grievances that we endure help us march onward. Hence, we must always make it a point to learn something about everything and everything about something. Throughout our journey of life, we constantly learn certain lessons that result in the formation of sanskaras according to our karma. Hence, if believe that learning is unavoidable process whereby we are constantly learning good or bad things that result in good or bad sanskaras that in turn lead to happiness or sorrow, then we will never say that we have no time or no interest in learning. Likewise, if we know that our sanskaras go along with us life after life, then we will be more careful in learning good things and in giving up bad things because education seems to be an elixir that can bring us a healthy mind and body along with a lasting fruitful life.

In the present day life, nobody is perfect so far as goodness and virtues are concerned. Hence, it cannot be denied that we all need to be enlightened and we urgently need to improve the quality of our thoughts, speech and action. Since we cannot avoid learning, even if we wish to, why don’t we then learn to inculcate moral values, virtues or good qualities within us so that we may make progress towards perfection? Why do we wish to carry a heavy load of rubbish on our heads? Why do we want to delay our march towards our goal? What do we gain by making lame excuses, saying that we have no time or that we are not interested? What is it that we are really interested in? Are we interested in our downfall, decay or doom? In sinking and drowning deep down in the quagmire of vices, evils and mud? Remember, the more we delay, the worse will our condition be and more difficult will it be to rectify our ways. The process of learning, as was said earlier, is ceaseless and continuous and hence someone has rightly said “we learn everyday and shed the ego and the perception that I know everything”. Hence we cannot stop it even if we try our best, putting all our might into it. So why don’t we remain alert and follow the right path that saves us from tragedies, traumas, tensions and turmoil of life? The answer lies within us.


(Sadhguru is a prominent spiritual leader.)

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