Self-Wisdom – In Gita Verse 4.37 As a blazing ﬁre turns ﬁrewood to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the ﬁre of knowledge burn to ashes all reactions to material activities.
Krishna tells in this verse that when the person becomes self-realized, wise, his all reactions of knowledge – interpretations, judgements, attachments – will be burned.
In my Bhagavad Gita Verse 2.10, I wrote how Buddha directed Kissa Gautami, to drop her attachments for his only son, not by sermon, knowledge, but directing her to get mustard seed, when she went to all the houses she realized that her misery was because of her attachments.
Krishna tells Arjuna if you take action from your own self-realization, your wisdom, in that fire self-realization, the ﬁre of knowledge burn to ashes all reactions to material activities.
Knowledge and wisdom are not synonymous. Wisdom is a totally different dimension. Wisdom means: what you have heard, you have also realized it through your own experience. You have also lived it. What you have heard has become your realization and your experience.
Knowledge can be stolen, knowledge can be destroyed, contrary arguments can be given against your knowledge. But there is no way to take away your wisdom. No logic can destroy your wisdom; wisdom rises above all arguments.
You touch fire and find that your hands get burned: now if all the scholars of the world were to tell you that fire is cool and give arguments for it, you would say, “Keep your arguments to yourself. I have touched fire and I have experienced that my hands were burned.’
Nobody can influence you against your own experience, but anybody can influence you against your knowledge because knowledge has no roots within you.
In many Indian forests there is a particular yellowish creeper called amarbel. This creeper has no roots of its own, but it spreads over the other trees. It depends totally on them for its food and nutrition. It exploits them. It has no life-source of its own, it has no contact with the earth. Knowledge is like the amarbel. What you call scholarship is also like the amarbel: it has no roots of its own, it has no connection with the sources of life-energy. It has no penetration into experience.
Wisdom is like a tree whose roots have reached very deep into the earth and have found the hidden sources of water. Such a tree can live on its own, it is not dependent on the others. A scholar always lives on the authority of others. He says. “It is written in the Gita, therefore it is true. It is written in the Koran, therefore it is true.” He says, “Mohammed has said it, therefore it is true” – but he does not have any treasure of his own experience.
The enlightened one says, “This is my experience, hence it is true. And if the Koran, Bible, Gita and Vedas are against it, then they must be wrong. There is no way for my experience to be wrong. My own realization is above all scriptures.”
That is why it is said that the ultimate Veda, the ultimate knowledge, is hidden within. Only the people who have no experience, no realization of the inner, depend on the outer knowledge. The ultimate master is hidden within. One has to depend on the outside master only as long as one has not yet come into contact and communion with one’s own inner master.
Krishna is guiding Arjuna to take the action from wisdom, which will burn all the knowledge to ashes.