One must study the Vedic scriptures to advance in spiritual consciousness and devotion to God. Merely going to Temples does NOT help anyone to advance in devotion to God. It is the knowledge of Lord Krishna (God) and following His instructions (Bhagavad-Gita) that will help one to advance in devotional service unto Him.
- Degradation is due to lack of knowledge.
- Ignorance is negligence.
- Degradation is due to not knowing what is right and what is wrong.
- Engaging in sinful activities is due to not knowing what is sinful and what is not sinful.
- Lack of knowledge is ignorance, regardless of how many times one goes to Temples.
- Ignorance leads to degradation and birth in lower species.
- Souls in human bodies fall down to the animal kingdoms due to ignorance.
- Humans become atheistic due to lack of knowledge.
- Humans become uncivilized due to lack of knowledge.
- Humans follow evil ideologies and become evil due to ignorance.
- Human suffering is the result of ignorance.
- Not being ale to describe God is proof of gross ignorance.
- Believing that nobody has seen God is proof of gross ignorance.
- Thinking we are the body is the animal level thinking.
- Humans who have no knowledge or little knowledge are easy targets for deception from those who are in complete ignorance of God.
1. The below verse summarizes the result of ignorance and knowledge.
“Knowledge is the cause of liberation and ignorance is the cause of bondage to material life.” (Uddhava Gita).
2. Gaining knowledge is more important than giving up material attachments.
“The sacrifice of knowledge is greater than the sacrifice of material possessions.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 4.33)
3. Only those with knowledge will see everything properly.
“The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 5.18)
4. It is with knowledge that one will realize what is right and what is wrong.
“…with knowledge of the sin, engage in these acts?” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 1.37-38)
5. Only those who have knowledge will realize we are the soul and not the body.
“One who is in knowledge knows that the self slays not nor is slain…” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 2.19)
6. It is knowledge that will free one from karma (bondage of works).
“Thus far I have declared to you the analytical knowledge of sāṅkhya philosophy. Now listen to the knowledge of yoga whereby one works without fruitive result. O son of Pṛthā, when you act by such intelligence, you can free yourself from the bondage of works.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 2.39)
7. Those with less knowledge are patients of materialism.
“Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas…” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 2.43-44)
8. Those who have knowledge will not become attached to materialism.
“He who is without attachment, who does not rejoice when he obtains good, nor lament when he obtains evil, is firmly fixed in perfect knowledge. ” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 2.57)
9. Those with knowledge will clearly see what is right and what is wrong. Those with no or very little knowledge will not see anything with clarity. They will have doubts.
“One who is able to withdraw his senses from sense objects, as the tortoise draws his limbs within the shell, is to be understood as truly situated in knowledge.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 2.58)
10. Those in knowledge will not engage in sense gratification, which leads to sinful activities.
“One who is in knowledge of the Absolute Truth, O mighty-armed, does not engage himself in the senses and sense gratification, knowing well the differences between work in devotion and work for fruitive results.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 3.28)
11. Lack of knowledge leads to materialism and thus attachment to material life with suffering.
“Bewildered by the modes of material nature, the ignorant fully engage themselves in material activities and become attached. But the wise should not unsettle them, although these duties are inferior due to the performers’ lack of knowledge.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 3.29)
12. Envy is the result of ignorance.
“But those who, out of envy, disregard these teachings and do not practice them regularly, are to be considered bereft of all knowledge, befooled, and doomed to ignorance and bondage.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 3.32)
13. It is knowledge that purifies and not any rituals.
“Being freed from attachment, fear and anger, being fully absorbed in Me and taking refuge in Me, many, many persons in the past became purified by knowledge of Me—and thus they all attained transcendental love for Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 4.10)
14. It is knowledge that will elevate one by becoming free from sense gratification.
“One is understood to be in full knowledge whose every act is devoid of desire for sense gratification. He is said by sages to be a worker whose fruitive action is burned up by the fire of perfect knowledge.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 4.19)
15. Only those with knowledge can see the truth and only they can help others to come out of darkness.
“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 4.34)
16. It is knowledge that will free one from karma (bondage to material life).
“As the blazing fire turns firewood to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge burn to ashes all reactions to material activities.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 4.37)
17. The giving of knowledge to others is the highest service unto Lord Krishna. One can only give if they have it themselves.
“For one who explains the supreme secret to the devotees, devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me. There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 18.68-69)