[As condensed and retold by Swami Tapasyananda]

Knowledge as the Goal of Life: 
Knowledge is the goal of mankind, not pleasure, as man mistakenly thinks. Pleasure and pain, happiness and suffering are our teachers. Through their impact on the mind, character develops. Often it is suffering that helps the development of character more than happiness. It acts as a fraction that brings out the inner fire.

All knowledge is inherent in man. It does not come from outside. All external factors are only stimulations that help its manifestation. Like fire in a piece of flint, knowledge exists in the mind. Work, with its consequences of enjoyments and sufferings, is the friction that brings it out. Every mental and physical activity is like a blow administered to the soul, by which fire is struck, as it were, from it, and its power and knowledge are made to manifest. This is the nature and function of Karma in its widest sense.
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