You can read the previous part here: Chapter 8
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In previous chapters of the Gita, we had spoken about wisdom, enlightenment, meditation, and much more. But those are not the only things that the Gita has to offer us. The next thing that it is serving up for us is the knowledge of jnana and vijnana. These will free us from all evil if we attain it, Lord Krishna says.
There are three major types of wisdom: intellectual knowledge, jnana, and vijnana. According to the saint Ramakrishna, intellectual knowledge is knowing that two sticks can light a fire. Jnana is applying the knowledge and making the fire. But vijnana is cooking food on the fire and eating it.
Of these, intellectual knowledge is knowing about something, or “bookish knowledge”. It is what many people either give too much or too little importance to.
I’ve heard people argue both ways for bookish knowledge. Teachers are often huge fans of it, how much ever they attempt to persuade the students otherwise. After all, like in math problems, nobody really buys sixty watermelons and divides them up between twelve friends.
To the haters of bookish knowledge, the ones that say that they are “street smart”, how are you going to start a fire without knowing how to? Bookish knowledge is important, though the trend seems to be to pass it off as useless. People seem to think they’re “cool” if they have no bookish knowledge and are street smart. While the opposites are “nerds” and are practically untouchables. But the street smart “cool kids” aren’t cool. They’re almost always, a) bullies and b) stupid.
Lord Krishna then goes on to talk about karma. There are three types of karma. The first kind is what is known as “instant karma”. I can’t tell you just how many times I’ve heard that irritating phrase! Mostly being shouted at someone else, either on the soccer pitch, track, football field, or basketball court (tennis players are normally very sportive). To them, it means “revenge”.
The commonly known definition of instant karma (often pronounced as “kaarma”) is essentially an instant reaction. Say I’m playing one-on-one basketball against some random guy (let’s call him Tom). Tom fouls me to score a basket, so I foul him right back and score a basket. This is often accentuated with a yell of “instant karma!” as the word is a battle cry.
Surprisingly enough, that truly is the correct definition of “instant karma”. Well, now let’s move on to the next type. We can call it the Type B Karma.
Type B Karma can be like an embarrassing situation in front of your friends – it comes back to haunt you, and only you. I recall an unpleasant incident involving Fanta from the vending machine outside of my school several years ago. I forget the exact details, but I still remembered it. But only I remembered it. The others stopped caring about it after a grand total of one day.
In other words, Type B Karma is the past deeds that you have done that will come back to you. You may be tripped by a stranger one day, and get a scrape on your elbow. Then, you may remember that one month ago, you had caused a stranger to trip and get a scrape on their elbow. That’s how karma works.
The third kind of karma is the thing that you are doing right now. Its effects may come back to you in the future. You can change this type, and prevent it from turning into toxic karma. So, what are you doing right now?
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You can read the next part here: Chapter 10