SARASWATI  SOCIETY
THE ART OF DEVOTION TO SELF KNOWLEDGE

PHILOSOPHY

When asked “Are you wise?”  Pythagoras answered “No -  but I am a lover of wisdom!“ In the Greek language “philos”=love and “sophos”=wisdom. Hence the word philosophy was born by Pythagoras and in this respect it is said that he was the first person to use the word.  For the Greeks the formula of knowledge combined with love was new at that time. However, there had long been sages further East who used a similar approach through the ancient Vedanta teachings.

What is this approach?  It is the combination of the two fundamental aspects of human life -  the need to love and the search for Truth. This harmonious blending of knowledge and devotion has never been more beautifully portrayed than in the Bhagavad Gita, where the Divine Sage Shri Krishna instructs His beloved pupil Arjuna. This universal teaching, from the Indian sub-continent, has inspired most traditional religions on Earth.

The teaching in the Gita can be viewed as showing a person how to act in life when the compell-ing forces emanating from the intellect are moderated by the cleansing effects of true emotion. This it teaches with a completed description of all the governing factors in our lives, which make up the full spectrum of human experience. It is a complete encyclopedia in the search for Truth.

It is without doubt that Pythagoras encountered this ancient teaching during his sojourns away from his native home in Samos.  This is evident in the principles which he employed to govern the groups which he formed.  This way of approaching self development has been handed down successfully into the present century. (See Dr. Prosser quote 5)

The human being is most highly developed when the intellectual and emotional centers are both equally and fully developed.  This leads to the possibility of an evolved state of being with no internal barriers, often referred to as “wisdom”.  This is the goal of true philosophy. Only those who have reached the goal understand the various levels of being which are available to mankind. Due to the high level of being which they enjoy, they are able to guide seekers to that final goal.