Knowlegde is power


I’ve been wanting to write for a long time now. My children have been forcing me to write… but it never happened for two years now. Finally, my daughter-in-law said “I always learn something from your mails and stories, why don’t you write in a blog! We set up a site way back in November 2012, which forced me to write… I spent two months wondering what to write… and finally settled for an interesting thought and observation I have.

I’ll start with a small advice which was passed on to me by my departed father: old men are wise and that too fathers are always wiser, right? His advice was about education vs. wealth. As an Indian I have grown up looking at the pictures of gods and goddesses all my life. I am sure most of you know that Goddess Saraswati is the goddess of education and knowledge and Goddess Laxmi is the goddess of wealth. I wonder how many people really thought of or glanced at the depiction of both of them in either the Vedic symbolism or in the Indian philosophical perspective. Vedas are one of the oldest books known to mankind, yet they are also relevant and even modern in its thoughts, that can cater to the unending quest of the human mind. There is meaning for everything if one really wishes to learn, everything is given for a certain reason with certain inner meaning.

Take for example Goddess Laxmi. The goddess of wealth stands on the lotus with wealth (gold coin to be precise) falling from her hand. Wealth provides comfort, luxury & material enjoyment for the body. On the other hand Goddess Saraswathi, the goddess of words, knowledge and inspiration, clad fully in pure white sits gracefully either on a rock or on lotus playing her veena (lute). In Sanskrit the word ‘Sara’ means ‘essence’ and ‘swa’ means ‘self’. Thus Saraswati means ‘the essence of self’. She is known as the awakener of the consciousness to right thinking or right states of mind. She represents intelligence, consciousness, cosmic knowledge, creativity, education, enlightenment, music, the arts, eloquence and power. While Goddess Laxmi represents material wealth related to body and senses, Goddess Sarswati represents the purity of thought, word and deed.

A deeper meaning is that knowledge and education is like a rock which once gained cannot be moved. They are solid foundation that, rain or shine, sits like the rock. It’s a permanent gift one can give to oneself. No matter how hard one may try, they will not be able to steal it from you. Wealth on the other hand, is fickle. Like how with every passing wind, the lotus standing on water will sway from side to side, wealth always sways unsteadily. Unless one is really careful, it’s difficult to hold on to the wealth. In an instant, wealth can be blown away. Over the years I have seen people born with a silver spoon losing their money in a short span of time. However, a few years of hard work and dedication to education will reap healthy benefits in the longer run.

Moral of the story is: Give primary importance to education: It is the true key to success. I remember my son when he was in first or second standard singing his school anthem will full gusto “Knowledge is power! Knowledge is power! (I don’t think he understood the meaning back then) An education can also help you to manage your wealth.

I know one might say Bill Gates is a school dropout. Well there is only one Bill Gates out of 7 billion in the world right? Unless otherwise you are pretty sure that you are born in the right place at the right time with right luck, (did you check your horoscope this morning?), give the highest importance to education. That’s what I have been preaching my children all along!!

Na chor haryam, na raaj haryam, na bhratra bhajyam na cha bharakaari,
vyaye krate vardhate eva nityam, vidhya dhanam sarva dhan pradhanam

Meaning: The wealth that cannot be stolen, neither abducted by state, nor can be divided amongst brothers, Neither it is burdensome to carry, The wealth that increases by giving, That wealth is knowledge and is supreme of all possessions.

11 thoughts on “Knowlegde is power

  1. A really eye opener! Love your perspective on education and I recall one of your sayings…”Knowledge is the one thing u will carry to your grave that no one can take away from you”.

  2. Truley Knowledgable … a very simple proper depiction of our old traditional symbols… and a lot to understand behind …. Thanks a lot for sharing..& expecting more from you .. 🙂

  3. A very well written article. May I add something to education and intellect, Viveka (wisdom and clear understanding) is also most important…..Keep up the good work.!

  4. You are one of the very few whom I’ve come across who has delved into the true meaning beneath the symbolic depiction of our deities. The wealth of knowledge you have, should indeed be shared ; wonder what took u so long to start a blog; after All knowledge only increases when shared!
    Luking forward to more such pearls of wisdom !

  5. Both knowledge and education are used synonymously but still they have a difference between them and also correlated to each other.
    Education is a formal process of gaining knowledge (by learning books etc.) whereas knowledge is informally acquired through life experiences. Education needs institutions for learning while knowledge is gained by itself or is self driven. Education grows with age while knowledge is free to be acquired from surroundings and has no age limit. (That’s why children are more knowledgeable than elders nowadays!!!)
    Bill Gates might be a school dropout and thus less educated, but surely knowledgeable. Formal education is good, but having knowledge is real power.
    One must acquire and apply knowledge with discrimination for the good of mankind. Knowledge that is dominated by ego can destroy the world (e.g. knowledge of nuclear weapons). The answer to the question how one will attain knowledge which is devoid of ego, lies in our vedas, which you subtly mentioned in the beginning of your post. We Indians have stopped learning vedas a long time ago and our power (of knowledge) started diminishing from there itself.
    Expect more of your knowledge on vedas in your upcoming posts…

  6. Just wondering as to what took you so long to start the blog.. Keep writing and sharing knowledge….Looking forward for more.


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