The cost of knowledge

Jagannathan Mahadevan jagan at CCWF.CC.UTEXAS.EDU
Sun Feb 10 18:00:20 CST 2002

On Sun, 10 Feb 2002, Anand Hudli wrote:

> Having just completed a course on prANAyAma and meditation, I was struck
> by a comment that the teacher made: "I could have taught all this free of
> cost. But if I did, then no one would take it seriously."
> Is it not usually the case that we tend to ignore things that are
> given out free of cost but make some commitment to things that require
> us to pay? Yet we criticize those institutions that sell books on
> advaita, etc. We say they are trying make a profit.

This is probably true.

> Imagine what would happen if all of Shankara's works were delivered
> to your doorstep at no cost. Would you make an attempt to read them?

Shankara's work cannot be delivered at our doorstep. Shankara's works are
a part of the tradition, where the student learns from the teacher
directly and not through correspondence courses.

> Or, imagine you were paying for subscription to a list such as this
> one? Would you not then take the time to read each or most messages
> and respond whenever necessary?

Does the above mean that currently members of the list do not read or
respond to messages that are meaningful? Or that the members are currently
taking the "teaching" or "knowledge" lightly? :)

> It is ironical. The best things in life are free. Yet, when they
> are presented to us free of cost, we do not value them.

True in a general sense!

> Anand


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