Understanding the difference between knowledge and understanding is very simple. There is a Mr. Shashi in office. He is a well-known guy amongst his circle of co-workers. Everyone finds him intelligent and his knowledge about various topics of the world is exceptional. Moreover, that is what his colleague, Miss Tina thinks who is attracted to him because of his knowledge. Everyone including his boss considers Shashi as very knowledgeable person. Be it the topic of religion, literature, politics, sports, films, finance, environmental issues, etc. Ask him or engage him in any of these discussions and you would be left awestruck.
On the other hand, we have Mr. Nitin who is a very gentle and calm. Not outspoken but something mysterious in his entire being is sensed. A very matured human being he seems. Ask him or take his review on any topic and his reply will be quite unusual and different. Sometimes you would scratch your head as in what does he really mean when he explained that.
One questions had 2 answers and both were right!
A simple question was asked to both of them and this is what they had to say. When Mr. Shashi was asked to explain about a few lines from the Bible, “Until and unless you become childlike, you cannot enter into the heaven”. Shashi replied, “That is from the Bible. Simple. Only children, listen attentively. Only children have the right to enter into heaven after death. So the children who have died are surely to enter into the heaven right away. We need not regret their departure.”
We asked the same question to Mr. Nitin. He pondered over it for a while and said, “There is a deep meaning hidden in those lines. Entire ancient scriptures are like metaphors. Until and unless you become childlike which means whatever your age is, until you get back to or possess the qualities of a child i.e. Innocence and unconditioned mind, which means you live without any fix and firm attitude. You just go with the flow like children, then your life on this earth itself will become like heaven. There is no heaven as a physical place on any other planet. Heaven is here and hell is here, depending on our mind and attitude!”
Difference Between Knowledge & Understanding
The reason behind their completely contrasting answers is that both of them exist on a different level of knowledge and understanding. Shashi has very powerful memory but he really does not understand things deeply. He just “knows” them. Shashi read them somewhere, sort of memorized them and then whenever any discussion happens regarding it, he just speaks based on his memory power. He does not really UNDERSTAND it. Whereas Nitin understands things well. He questions himself, ponders over it and comes up with a genuine, easy to understand answer. Never has he taken any idea or topic for granted.
The point is until and unless I travel to any place all by myself and experience it practically, there is no point in talking about it. For example, when someone asks me how is Australia? I can read and know about Australia. But going there physically and experiencing it is different. Thus, there exists a vast difference between knowledge and understanding. Knowledge is when you KNOW something because you read it, saw it, heard it and said it. Understanding is when you know and then experience it all by yourself and then talk about it.
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