Sunday, January 8, 2017


“To attain knowledge, add things every day…

To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” 

Lao Tzu

To me, a man with his ‘degrees’ is only that – a man with degrees!

Every day I come across men and women who have acquired multiple university-degrees and the world around us prefers to hail them as ‘highly qualified’ or ‘highly knowledgeable’…

I disagree with the world’s way!

When can a person be called ‘highly qualified’ or ‘highly knowledgeable’? To me, when his academic degrees are supplemented by his supple mind and a sensitive heart… I would call a person with a supple mind and a sensitive heart ‘highly qualified’ or ‘highly knowledgeable; even if he hasn’t walked through the corridors of a college…

Degrees, without a heart, only breed monsters in our society… Arrogant bullies! They cause more damage to society… While those who do not possess academic qualification but possess ample sensitivity, trust and compassion… yes, they serve the society.

In fact, our great academic degrees tend to distance ourselves from our ‘less fortunate’ fellow-beings… Further, we also tend to play God. Knowledge is complete only when we realize deeply how ‘small’ and ‘insignificant’ our knowledge is… when we realize that there are higher principles governing our lives… and, no matter how qualified we are, eventually, only the higher principles will take care of all affairs in life… The more we trust this process, the lesser burdened our lives will be.

On last Sunday, in our Tai Chi class, Kannan narrated this story…

Two young disciples had just completed their learning under a great Master. They had harnessed the mastery over many things… By the power they had gained, they could command the Sun to give more sunshine and the skies to give more rains… So, while they were bidding farewell, the Master gifted each of the disciples a sapling of olive tree. “Plant it and see that it grows well,” said the Master.

The first disciple, on reaching home, planted the olive sapling in his backyard. Every day he went near the sapling to offer it the right kind of attention… When it was dry, he used his freshly gained power to bring in rain… when it was cloudy, he evoked his power to bring in more sunshine… Still, as time went by, the little olive tree died. 

One day, when the Master came to check what had happened to the saplings gifted by him, this disciple complained, “Sir, I used all the powers you had bestowed upon us… but the olive sapling died.”

Then, the Master went to check with his second disciple. “What happened to the olive sapling I had gifted?” he asked.

“Sir, there it is,” the second disciple said pointing to a tall, strong olive tree.

“How did you go about it?” the Master asked.

“Honestly sir, I just planted it, took some basic care when needed… and, then, I left the sapling alone... I knew it would grow well, one day!”

What is the use of our knowledge power if our hearts do not know how to trust the Universe? Yes, all will be taken care of, eventually... and all will manifest only according to the laws of Higher Power…

Kannan wanted to tell me, that it is a fool who thinks the Olive Tree is where it is because of him!


Pic.: Anil Bedi


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