215 – Sharing Knowledge

National Integration Through Thirukkural And Sanskrit

Sharing of Knowledge

Knowledge is, understanding acquired through education, information and experience, processed with intelligence. It can be acquired through reading books, listening to  people and from observing things around.

People, who have reached greater heights in acquiring knowledge, spent their entire life time in understanding the nuances and complexities of their object of study.  During the process, they have constructed, deconstructed and reconstructed numerous hypotheses to validate their understanding. Some have used the knowledge so acquired for their personal gains. At the same time, history is replete with instances where people who acquired such knowledge were willing to share them with others. They never thought of making money out of their knowledge.

Swami Vivekananda says “The gift of knowledge is a far higher gift than that of food and clothes; it is even higher than giving life to a man, because the real life of man consists of knowledge.”

The following three are examples of people who shared their knowledge for public good.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, after his term of presidency in 2007, decided to dedicate rest of his life to interact with the youth of the country in order to motivate them to build a strong India. He travelled to remote corners of the Country and gave over 1500 lectures and addressed over 2 Crore students.

Jagadish Chandra Bose, a renowned scientist, made extensive research on remote wireless signaling and radio signals. He did not patent his inventions. He believed that instead of trying to gain commercial benefit from his inventions, he should make them public in order to allow others to further develop on them. Bose declined an offer from a wireless apparatus manufacturer for signing a remunerative agreement. Bose also expressed strong views on monetizing knowledge.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee -inventor of the World Wide Web is another person who fundamentally changed how we see the world. The first website was built in 1991, and from there on the internet was developed. But Berneirs-Lee put no patent on his idea and decided that his invention should be freely available.

Thiruvalluvar in his couplet 215 suggests that the wealth of a learned person which is utilized for social benefits is similar to a river which is full of water from which people can quench their thirst.

ஊருணி நீர்நிறைந் தற்று உலகுஅவாம்
பேர்அறி வாளன் திரு

Ooruni neer-nirain dhatru ulagu-avaam
paer-ari vaalan thiru

பரிமேலழகர் உரை:

உலகு அவாம் பேர் அறிவாளன் திரு – உலக நடையை விரும்பிச் செய்யும் பெரிய அறிவினை யுடையவனது செல்வம், ஊருணி நீர் நிறைந்தற்று – ஊரின் வாழ்வார் தண்ணீர் உண்ணும் குளம் நீர் நிறைந்தாற் போலும். (நிறைதல் என்னும் இடத்து நிகழ் பொருளின் தொழில் இடத்தின் மேல் ஏற்றப்பட்டது. பாழ் போகாது நெடிது நின்று எல்லார்க்கும் வேண்டுவன தப்பாது உதவும் என்பதாம்.).

Sanskrit Translation by Shri S.N. Srirama Desikan

ஜலபூர்ணதடாகேன ப⁴வந்தி ஸுகி²னோ ஜனா: |
லோகோபகாரிணோ பா⁴க்³யம் லோகஸௌக்²யம் ப்ரயச்ச²தி ||