Knowledge that is inert can’t make us alert
Suppose the knowledge about road signs that we studied for getting a driving license has become inert within us. It has gone so much to the background of our consciousness, that we are no longer aware of it. Suppose we see a road sign which indicates a rail crossing ahead, and we need to stop. We don’t recognize that sign and we rush into that railway and meet with an accident.
The road sign is meant to make us alert, but the knowledge, if it was inert inside us, then it can’t make us alert. Similarly for us, when we are practicing spiritual life, we need to have spiritual knowledge in the forefront of our consciousness, not in the background. It needs to be active, not inert. If we just theoretically know, “The worldly temptations will lead to misery,” when temptations come, that inert knowledge won’t protect us.
We need to have the knowledge active, means that we need to do something actively with that knowledge. Firstly, it means when we eagerly hear it. While hearing, we are active to understand what is being spoken. After hearing we try to recollect it, we try to share it with others, we try to analyze and realize it by comparing it with our real-life experiences. Then that knowledge stays with us constantly.
Krishna tells us in Bhagavad-gita (16.24) that spiritual knowledge is primarily meant to guide us for making decisions in our life. We have to apply that knowledge and by associating with devotees who have this knowledge active in their consciousness, the knowledge will become active in our consciousness too.
Thus as the inert knowledge becomes active, it will make us alert, not only protecting us from danger, but taking us ultimately beyond all danger to his supreme abode.