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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Having something is not wealth. Knowledge of having it is.

ಇರವು ಸಂಪತ್ತಲ್ಲ, ಇರವಿನ ಅರಿವು ಸಂಪತ್ತು
Lets look at it this through an example: Many a times it so happens that we go out to buy something in the bazaar, and not being aware of the money in our pocket, we return home to take the money which we think we might have forgotten to take it along.. I mean let's be honest, it happens. But, the thing is, even though we had the money in our pocket, we could not utilize it. This is obviously the outcome of not being aware (that is, having no knowledge) of the money in our pocket. Hence, even though we had the resource, it was of no use because we had no knowledge that we had that resource with us all the time.

Even our lives are like this. We have so many things with us that we are just not consciously aware of. Take 'time' for example. We have it all the time, as we speak of it, as we think of it and as we move in it femtosecond by femtosecond. It is an irrefutable fact that we also depend on it. But we can use it to improve ourselves, only when we know that we have time. When the knowledge of existence of time is realized do we begin to start thinking to utilize it and thereby act on this thought, or else, the time that is there becomes like a wind flowing past a mountain. When the knowledge of this wind is known, we can put it to better use, in a way something like, make a wind mill to harvest energy, or dry our clothes, etc. Hence, having something is not wealth. Knowledge of having is.

Now, let's look at what "wisdom" has to say about it all. Wisdom is the accumulated usable practical knowledge a mind gathers in time, and it is deduced from a variety of methods such as scientific observation and theoretical deductions, philosophical inquiries, devotional and spiritual inquiries, and more importantly learning from the existing body of knowledge. Knowledge is everywhere. It is both inside and outside of us. It is available in two forms. In open form and in closed form. The closed form of knowledge is that, to acquire which, we have to apply conscious efforts and its only source is from within. The open form of knowledge is that, to acquire which, we have to apply conscious efforts and its source is not from within but general material knowledge which can be grabbed by learning and observation of the surroundings. Even a cat has knowledge and even a dog has. It can put it to use, only when it knows that it has knowledge. A cat eats because of its subconscious knowledge that if it has to live, it has to eat. Similarly we are more careful while crossing a busy street because of the accumulated conscious knowledge that, if are not, then we are more likely to meet with an accident and put our lives and others life at risk. When a person trained as a physicist is made to operate medically, he will not succeed because he does not have the knowledge of it. But lets say, if he is so unaware of the in-existence of the required medical knowledge with him to perform the task, and if he still proceeds on with the task, things will not turn up pretty. Hence, the first thing one ought to do is to assess the quantity and quality of the knowledge available with him. Hence, 'knowing of having' is important. Only when we know about that which we have with us, can we use it. Or else, it will just be with us, but of no practical use.

Now, let's look at the bigger implications: We human's have the huge body of knowledge and wisdom contained in a vast vast literature. Literature such as modern scientific and mathematical knowledge in the form of publications, theories, etc, ancient but yet ever modern literature such as the vEdAs (apaurushIya knowledge), the purANAs, the dAsa sAhitya, the inumerable shAstrAs, bhagavat gIta, the upanishads, and not to forget such immeasurable and highly valued and revered works such as nyAya sudha, tarka tAMDava, mahAbhAratha tAtparya nirNaYa and gItA bhAshya by shrI MadhwachArya, parimaLA and  on and on and on.... But what is the use of having all this knowledge, unless we put it to good use such as betterment of our inner and outer existences?.......

A more important aspect to realize through experience is the knowledge of presence of shrI hari. If we do not experience his presence by having knowledge of it, but go out in the market called paMchabouthika prapaMcha, even though he is ever present in our hearts and even though our and everything's very presence and existence is totally dependent on him, his presence will serve no good to our existence, in that our state of existence will not and cannot improve. But what good is it to be a human if we strive not to improve. Hence, knowledge of his existence is quintessential to even try to see him. Seeing him is the true wealth. Hence, having something is not wealth but knowledge of having it is.

- Sunil Anandatheertha (inspired by the words of my mAnasika guru vidyAvAchaspathi shri. "Dr. bannanMje gOviMdAchArya (padma shree)(ಇರವು ಸಂಪತ್ತಲ್ಲ, ಇರವಿನ ಅರಿವು ಸಂಪತ್ತು) "

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