Bhaktivinod Thakur has written a song “Vidyara Vilase”. This song is taken from the book Saranagati (Section: Dainya Song 2). Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that we often consider material knowledge of the highest order without knowing the reality. We get so engrossed in material pleasures that we become blind. Material knowledge is the output of maya. It is of no use and worthless. Taking the shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Krishna will help us get rid of material anxieties.
vidyara vilase, katainu kala,
parama sahase ami
tomara carana, na bhajinu kabhu,
ekhona sarana tumi
podite podite, bharasa barilo,
jnane gati habe mani’
se asa biphala, se jnana durbala,
se jnana ajnana jani
jada-vidya jata, mayara vaibhava,
tomara bhajane badha
moha janamiya, anitya samsare,
jivake koraye gadha
sei gadha ho’ye, samsarera bojha,
bahinu aneka kala
bardhakye ekhona, saktira abhave,
kichu nahi lage bhalo
jivana jatana, hoilo ekhona,
se vidya avidya bhelo
avidyara jwala, ghatilo bisama,
se vidya hoilo selo
tomara carana, bina kichu dhana,
samsare na ache ara
bhakativinoda, jada-vidya chadi,’
tuwa pada kore sara
1) With great enthusiasm I spent my time in the pleasures of mundane learning, and never worshiped Your lotus feet, O Lord. Now You are my only shelter.
2) Reading on and on, my hopes grew and grew, for I considered the acquisition of material knowledge to be life's true goal. How fruitless those hopes turned out to be, for all my knowledge proved feeble. Now I know that all such erudition is actually pure ignorance.
3) All the so-called knowledge of this world is born of the flickering potency of Your illusory energy (maya). It is an impediment to the xecution of devotional service to You. Indulgence in mundane knowledge verily makes an ass of the eternal soul by encouraging his infatuation with this temporary world.
4) Here is one person who has been turned into such an ass, who for so long has carried on his back the useless burden of material existence. Now in my old age, for want of the power to enjoy, I find that nothing at all pleases me.
5) Life has now become agony, for my so-called erudite knowledge has proven itself to be worthless ignorance. Material knowledge has now become a pointed shaft and has pierced my heart with the intolerable, burning pain of ignorance.
6) O Lord, there is no treasure worth seeking in this world other than Your lotus feet. Bhaktivinoda abandons all his mundane knowledge and makes Your lotus feet the sum and substance of his life.