CHENNAI: While education may provide knowledge and skills for a livelihood it may not help individuals to handle the vicissitudes of life that cause stress and strain. But the know how for living a purposeful life now and hereafter is available in the scriptures, for the truths expressed therein provide a veritable instruction manual for life. The deeper significance of the scriptures that has real value is not easily caught even when studied, just as many get carried away by the colour or fragrance of a flower and fail to realise the honey in it, pointed out Swami Parthasarathy in a discourse. Spiritual edification is gained only when one probes the teachings in full earnest. Those in whom the thirst for liberation persists will attain the ultimate truths of life.

In the Bhagavad Gita, to Arjuna's query about true knowledge, Lord Krishna explains in great detail the basic truths that have already been expressed by sages and seers in various hymns and in the Upanishads. The human being is a unique combination of the infinite and the finite. The significant "knowing principle" that is within each one as the Atman (Soul) is to be seen as distinct from the body.

The body is the field (Kshetra) and the soul is the knower (Kshetrajna). The discrimination between the nature and constituents of the field including the gross and the subtle aspects and the identity of the knower is regarded as the highest kind of knowledge, for this awareness removes delusion regarding the true nature of the world and the individual.

The body is the field because a man sows seeds of action and reaps their fruits. The knower of the field is the self who watches what takes place within this body including the mental and physical modifications. At the universal level the Lord is the knower who is aware of the field in everybody. Realising the ephemeral quality of the field, the body and the universe, and the immortal nature of the soul leads to detachment towards worldly objects.

The index of spiritual progress rests in the ability to appreciate the splash of divinity in each and every object that reflects God's greatness.