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Book Name: The Great TranscendencePrevious     Next

rest is all perversion. The child arrives like a fresh flower, there is not even a scratch on his consciousness. He does not know anything. But the child's capacity to know is pure. He is like a mirror on which nothing is reflected yet, but the mirroring capacity is total and pure. Later on there will be many reflections; knowledge will increase but the capacity to know will go on decreasing. Because that emptiness will become full of words the emptiness will cease to exist. It is as if the reflections on the mirror go on sticking to it and do not disappear from it. Then, the mirror's capacity to reflect will go on decreasing.

A child is born; he does not know anything but his capacity to know is pure. That is why children learn quickly and old people learn with difficulty. It is so because the old person's capacity to learn has become less -- he has had enough of everything. A lot has been written on his slate; his paper is no longer blank now. For writing something new, the paper has to be made blank all over again.

You can attain truth only if you can become again like the newborn child. So the arrival of the child in this world is the first birth, and the second birth is when sainthood is born in him. Whosoever goes through the second birth is dwija, twice born, and he is the real brahmin.

The scriptures say that all are born like sudras, untouchables. It is very rare that someone becomes a brahmin. Most of the people are born like sudras and die like sudras.

Who is a brahmin? Not the one who knows the Vedas, because anyone can know the Vedas. Not the one who has memorized the scriptures because anyone can memorize scriptures. Memorizing the scriptures is just memory, not true knowledge. Only he is a brahmin who knows Brahma.

You have come here. You may not know that your coming here is actually the quest for being a brahmin -- the quest to know Brahma.

Shankara wrote the first verse of this sweet song when he was passing through a village and saw an old man memorizing the rules of grammar. He felt pity for this old man who was on his death bed -- he had wasted his whole life and he was now wasting the last moment too.

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