When knowledge, power do not bring success


B.K. Sheilu

Many people feel they are powerful, they know their strong points, but success eludes them. They are knowledgeable and have agreeable qualities, such as being loving and peaceful, yet they are not always content. They are also disciplined and diligent, but they fall short of their goals.

The reason for this is that they do not know how to use their knowledge and abilities at the right time in the right manner. As a result, their sterling qualities produce ordinary achievements. They may have excellent resources, but since they cannot use them effectively, they fail to get the expected benefits.

How do we learn to use our resources? For that we need the power to discern. If we do not have good discernment, we jump into situations that are best avoided, or step back when it is time to act.

Accurate discernment requires a clean and clear mind – one that is free from ego or any other vice, and also from the burden of past mistakes, which can cause guilt, fear, and low self-esteem.

That which is pure is clear. In the absence of purity, there is clutter and confusion in the mind, arising from the pulls and pressures exerted by vices, which do not allow the intellect to become clean. This inner cleanliness is a prerequisite for greatness.

Knowing how to use one’s resources properly comes from practice. Merely having knowledge and appreciating its value is not enough. That is like acquiring something valuable and then locking it away.

Accumulating resources and not using them, the way some old people keep a bundle of wealth hidden away while living in poverty, does not help. The satisfaction of knowing or having something pales in comparison to that which comes from using those resources for the self and others.

It is said that donation does not diminish wealth – the universe gives you even more. Similarly, one’s knowledge and powers grow with use, and one feels more fulfilled by the happiness that comes from doing something worthwhile.

The experience of using resources hones one’s power of discernment, and eventually one develops the ability to use the right power at the right time in the correct way.

This saves us from being deceived at a time of need, which in turn saves us from sorrow.