Who is wise?

Dritharashtra asks Vidura how he can identify a wise man. Vidura answers that there are many qualities a wise man has, and that these help identify him, said Kidambi Narayanan, while explaining Vidura's advice to Dritharashtra. A wise man knows what he is capable of doing. He never attempts something he knows he is incapable of doing. He never mourns his losses in life, for he knows that no amount of regret will get him back what is lost. He is not upset by danger. He is not bothered by mockery. He is not taken in by flattery. Whatever he has studied he conveys boldly, fearing none. The wise man is not arrogant on account of his learning.

An unwise man spends like a millionaire, even if he is poor. An unwise man is lazy and does not want to work in order to acquire wealth. He desires wealth, but will not work for it. He who betrays his friends is also an unwise man, according to Vidura. A person, who is always suspicious, is also an unwise man.

He who does not worship his family deity and he who goes to another person's house, uninvited, is unwise. A person, who gives advice, when his counsel has not been sought, lacks wisdom. He who is in the wrong, but criticises others for his mistakes, is unwise. A proud man is unwise. He who refuses to share his food with others is unwise, according to the Vidura niti.

A wise man never makes hasty decisions. He never takes decisions by himself without consulting others. Inputs from others are important when decisions are made, because others may see a problem from a different angle and their perspective will also help. A man should not walk alone, but should be in the company of fellow human beings. It is unwise to remain awake, when everyone else is asleep.

Education does not necessarily make a man wise. The cuckoo lays its eggs in a crow's nest. The crow thinks the eggs are its own. But once the eggs are hatched, the little cuckoo birds fly away. In the same way, a man may think that his education will always be of help to him. But if he has been unwise, then his education will abandon him. In other words, his education will be of no benefit to him in his old age.

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Printable version | May 14, 2022 7:17:03 am |