Qualities for earning wisdom
“Present day education teaches only information,
But not even an iota of virtue.
What beneficial fruit can emerge from
A million forms of education, devoid of values?”
Students! All worldly knowledge changes with time and deludes your intellect. For this reason, ancient sages dedicated their lives to the acquisition of the indwelling spirit, which is changeless and illumines the intellect. Some qualities are necessary for earning such wisdom:
1. Welfare of others: Desire the welfare of all beings by engaging in actions that benefit others. We should cultivate a readiness to serve. Your education should equip you better to render service. Then you will evoke true respect from others.
2. Awareness: Students should excel in all forms of knowledge. This is also called ‘awareness’. You should understand and experience all angles of a situation. Worldly subjects grant you competence within a narrow scope. You perceive situations with a limited outlook. If you were asked what this (handkerchief) is, you would say “piece of cloth”. This answer shows one’s restricted worldly knowledge. With broader vision, you identify it as a handkerchief. Spiritual knowledge is complete and enables one to grasp all fields of knowledge. This is ‘total awareness’.
3. Development of virtues: The student must also embody every virtue. Traditionally, these are the three qualities of creation (purity, activity and dullness). Indeed, virtue is the union and balance of these three qualities. In practice, it is very important to disregard the faults of others and to express your own divinity. This is a true quality illustrating purity. This trait is crucial for students, and it is the source of all virtues. That which inculcates such virtue alone can be called education. Modern educational systems impart information but not virtues.
Without human values, you cannot deliver the fruits of your learning to society. Therefore, cultivate human values. Of these, truth is the most important, truth is god. Some people went to Buddha and argued about the existence of God. Buddha told them, “All these disputes are a waste of time. Truth, right action and non-violence are the same as God. Therefore, worship God as the form of truth first, speak the truth. Practise righteousness, observe non-violence.” Non-violence can be defined as the regulation of human life along moderate and beneficial paths.