While our jewels and money can be stolen, the only wealth that cannot be stolen is knowledge, said Goda Venkateswara Sastrigal. This is true even of knowledge that only helps in worldly matters. So how much more true it would be of spiritual knowledge can be imagined. If we keep donating the money we have, the money at our disposal gets depleted. But when knowledge is imparted to others, our knowledge grows. Teaching others what we know helps us go through the matter over and over in our minds, and this helps us think more clearly. So we get clarity of thought by teaching. Education involves four stages. We must first read the text. We must then think about what we have read, so that we are clear about the subject. We must then use it in our lives, and also teach others what we have learnt.
Even at the end of the great deluge when all else is gone, a man's knowledge remains intact. When a man dies, who goes with him? None. Not even his dearest relatives. But his knowledge goes with him. We hear of prodigies who amaze us with their abilities; they are people who are able to recall at a very young age what they studied in a previous birth. Then we might ask, why is it that a few are prodigies, while the rest are not? This is due to our prarabdha karma. It is our karma that decides whether we will recall in childhood what we learnt as adults in a previous birth.
Gnanis have no regard for material possessions. If one's wealth is as huge as the whole world, it is like a drop of water to the gnani. What makes a man good looking? Not adornment. Not bathing in aromatic compounds. Not lustrous hair. A man's speech is his ornament. And one acquires pleasant speech through practice. A man's speech will follow him into the next birth. A man's beauty is his education; such a man's joy is evident on his face. Just to see him gives one mental peace.
We might think the gnani is poor. But his wealth is hidden. Wherever he goes he is respected and welcomed. Even after a gnani dies, his fame still lives on. The praise an educated man gets is genuine. The wealthy are praised, because people expect something from them.