Vidya and Vinayam in Sanskrit mean proper education and humbleness/humility respectively. It is expected that proper education shall give and inculcate a sense of humility and humbleness in the seeker.
Vidya here is holistic education, the right education of the body, mind, and soul. One often sees higher ‘operating levels’ and a sense of entitlement in the educated around. The confidence that almost borders on arrogance are not uncommon to be found in the ‘highly educated’ these days. Then are we desiring a counter-intuitive possibility by expecting Vidya and Vinayam to co-exist? The answer is simple and straight; our wisdom of the ages clearly defined and pronounced hierarchy in human accomplishments.
Rousseau is quoted as ‘Man is born free..’. We know that institutions and conditioning matter. Interpreting the freedom and rights of man from Sanatana Dharma’s wisdom indicates that humans may pursue anything if they are not bridled by the levers of ‘values’. It is said that Aahara, Nidra, Bhaya etc. are common to both humans and animals. If the instinct is the same, possibly the response to that instinct too may be similar. Often we find that the unrefined human response to the above basic instincts is similar to animals.
However, the right education and conditioning may bring humaneness to the surface. Then the responses shall be qualitatively different from that of animals. What trains and helps humans stand apart is the right education, the ‘Vidya’.
Vidya-empowered humans are intellectually and often instinctively superior to others. If the right ‘values’ won’t restrain such, their actions may become potentially damaging and the outcomes collectively worse. It may be an instance of a few micro gratifications leading to macro deprivation.
Unsustainable Charwaka shall be proven right! Hence, there is a need for humility/humbleness on the part of the educated so that empathy comes to the fore and helps one take sustainable decisions.
Our traditional wisdom doesn’t approve of such an arrogant ‘sense of entitlement’. It tells us that the ‘Vidya’ (holistic education) has to give one ‘Vinayam’ (humility/humbleness). It is the ‘Vinayam’ that gives one the ‘Patrata’ (eligibility) to seek or expect any. Recognition and money shall follow to enable one to pursue ‘Dharma’. Eventually, it is ‘Dharma’ that gives one ‘Sukham’.
(Dr. S. Ainavolu is a professor at VPSM, Navi Mumbai. Views expressed are personal. You can find more articles at: https://www.ainavolu.in/blog)