Knowledge is not necessarily power

shira's picture

Average: 4.8 (8 votes)

"Knowledge is power" told us our parents over and over again. Naturally, they wanted to convince us to be good students, to go to college, to go to university.

But knowledge is not always power. Actually, in most cases, knowledge is weakness.

When knowledge breeds fear or desire, it is a weakness. When it eliminates fear or desire, it is power. That simple! Isn't it so?

Now go and recall all types of knowledge you have ever encountered and reevaluate each based on whether it is a weakness or power.

This understanding alone will lead you to the powerful knowledge and distance you from the weakful one.

shond's picture

Also, how we use the knowledge - our reactions

Interesting article.

More than whether knowledge itself is power or weakness, it is what we do with the knowledge that is so, our reaction to the knowledge, the link that leads from the knowledge to desire/fear or desirelessness/fearlessness. After all, knowledge by itself is neither powerful nor weak.

So when scanning knowledge, we should also work on the reactions and this way when we discover weakful knowledge we can transform it to powerful knowledge without touching it but rather by touching our reaction to it.

For example the knowledge item: "I could be fired from work" can lead to a reaction of terrible fear "that I will be unemployed and have no money" which is weakening but if I process this fear and eliminate it the knowledge itself was used constructively to cope with that fear which means it turned into a powerful knowledge.

shond | Sun, 01/17/2010 - 08:04
Surya Kumar Mishra's picture

The exercise ................


Surya Kumar Mishra | Thu, 03/24/2011 - 05:10
tiru's picture

Spiritual knowledge

In the spiritual context, book knowledge that results from a fear of boredom, reading or going to workshops as a way to pass time can be considered as weakening knowledge because it reinforces the fear of boredom instead of coping with it and weakening it this way.

I would also add that false knowledge is also weakness because Ultimately, only truth can systematically do so. Knowledge must be truthful to be considered knowledge. Admitting that something I know is not sure to be truth is enough to turn it into a powerful knowledge.

tiru | Mon, 01/18/2010 - 14:51
Surya Kumar Mishra's picture

knowledge and power

We have read in many books that Knowledge is Power.
People say as a human being is able to control an elephant, he is more knowledgeable and powerful.
People say that knowledge is the father (root) of power.
Now if you have knowledge, and you utilise in the proper perspeectives, you are spiritually powerful.

But please remember: as some scriptures say:
Shun knowledge after it is acquired !!!
Please think over it.


Surya Kumar Mishra | Sun, 05/09/2010 - 13:27
Azeemi's picture

K v/s W

“Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.” (Quote)


Azeemi | Mon, 05/10/2010 - 13:12
Surya Kumar Mishra's picture

knowledge power

there is no jugglery between knowledge and wisdom. this is with refernce to vedantas. let us not coin words to expose our english speaking power.
this is why we say knowledge leads to ego.
so shun knowledge.
here it is with reference to spirituality.

Om tat sat !!!

Surya Kumar Mishra | Mon, 05/10/2010 - 13:29
joejo's picture

Knowledge & Understanding

Namaste Mishraji,

I am posting a quote from ADVAITA BODHA DEEPIKA a book highly recommended by Ramana Maharshi to elucidate what Mr Azeemi meant

M.: To reject the five sheaths and names and forms of
objects as something inexpressible, only superimposed on the
Reality, illusory to practise that the substratum, i.e., Brahman of Being-Knowledge-Bliss is the Self and to realise It as ‘I am Brahman’ with the resulting Supreme Bliss of being the Brahman, is the ‘fruit’ of this knowledge.

This is what is meant by wisdom or understanding & if applied rightly & with the grace of Atman (Almighty) leads to realisation of Brahman.

Mere knowledge of scriptures is called knowledge in common parlance like technological knowledge and helps us find a job whereas understanding or wisdom helps us scale those dizzy heights & therefore prepares us for the life of man as opposed to a beastly life of senses.

joejo | Mon, 05/10/2010 - 14:59
Azeemi's picture

True Knowledge only disarms

True Knowledge only disarms man of all weapons of the self or ego. In all holy-sacred-spiritual-divine scriptures revealed to the chosen ones by God Almighty, it is evident that knowledge or knowing is only about God. A person enjoys the journey and sight seeing enroute to the destination or to his/her beloved, but once lays his/her eyes on the beloved, all the pain, suffering, effort or loss is forgotten. To be rewarded by God with God HIMSELF is the purpose and objective of our lives.

Sir Surya-Kumar-Mishra, I was not contesting against anyone here with my poor english skills. I merely quoted some english author. Sorry to have angered your calm self and densified your sublime auras. ;) Yes Indeed, Om-Tat-Sat!!!

Sir Joejo: very generous of you to spiritually advocate on my behalf. Thank you.

With much love and respect,

Azeemi | Mon, 05/10/2010 - 20:10
Surya Kumar Mishra's picture

knowledge wisdom

Good thought.
many a people say that "book knowledge" is no knowledge.
ved vyas would not have written books, if he had believed in such sayings.
But he has written, so people say shastras means the works of Ved Vyasa.
Let us read these shastras and also practise for God realisation. (basically all the vedantas, Brahmasutras etc. if we have time).
pondering on knowledge or wisdom may not lead us to achieve our goal.
God bless you !!!

Surya Kumar Mishra | Tue, 05/11/2010 - 13:48
Mohan Singh's picture


Any information that generates negativity is not knowledge.It can be called ignorance.We must therefore fill our mind with what makes us strong and powerful. Nice!

Mohan Singh | Sat, 04/16/2011 - 11:10
shishmanidov35's picture

Usually the opposite is true

Whether information generates negativity or positivity in the mind has nothing to do with the question if something is knowledge or not.

For many minds, love and compassion generate negativity and restlessness - so what? does it mean that they are not knowledge?

Using a rifle to kill people unfortunately makes many poeople happy and positive - so it is knowledge?

For many alcohol, drugs and wild sex make them strong and powerful - so what?

The funny thing is that the opposite is true.

Usually what makes your mind restless and negative has some seed inside from the behind that makes your mind fear from it. Otherwise why should your mind be negative towards it?

And things that make our mind strong and powerful are those who reinforce the mind's addictions and conditioning.

Don't be afraid from those things that weaken your mind and make it negative. Do not run away - on the contrary, stick only to those things, observe your mind's reaction, inquire why they make your mind negative and you will advance. This is the real knowledge, not running away or suppressing negativity.

shishmanidov35 | Sat, 04/16/2011 - 14:38
jasdir singh jaura's picture

This understanding alone

This understanding alone will lead you to the powerful knowledge and distance you from the weakful one.

Knowledge is kowledge it can be true or false for others, but its always true for the knowleger until the knowledger relize it as false.


Knowledge can never be powerful or weak :)

Everything belongs to him, He's ingrained everywhere -- so to whom to say worse -- As there's nothing other than him... Loll

jasdir singh jaura | Thu, 05/03/2012 - 11:17
happy's picture

Experience proves the

Experience proves the opposite like it or not, as described in the op...

happy | Mon, 05/07/2012 - 07:48
jasdir singh jaura's picture

Friend Happy.

Friend happy,

This reply is above my level of understanding, Or truely what is your message, Or what you really want to say.


jasdir singh jaura | Mon, 05/07/2012 - 08:06
happy's picture

Sorry for being too brief. I

Sorry for being too brief. I meant that personal experience proves that some knowledge strengthen us and some weakens us. It is a legitimate and even productive approach to sort knowledge in that way.

happy | Mon, 05/07/2012 - 08:11
jasdir singh jaura's picture

Information is ment by any knowledge.

Information is not ment by any knowledge.

One says we have to die one day, So don't care for anything just enjoy the life.

The anotherone says, we have to die one day, So be carefull and try to learn the real motive of life and always try to lead a correct life.


jasdir singh jaura | Mon, 05/07/2012 - 09:02


Knowledge means to know something about other things. it is to collect information which may give fear, fearlessness or both or so and so ......

NIDHI PARKASH | Sun, 05/06/2012 - 17:32
jasdir singh jaura's picture


Actually.. I was just responding on the concept of "Type of knowlegde's".
As per OP there are two type of knowledge's POWERFULL and another one is WEAK.

jasdir singh jaura | Mon, 05/07/2012 - 06:57