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Wealth vs knowledge

Last updated: 30 March, 2011
Radha Prathi

The time has come when we must try to resolve the oldest ever debate which happens to involve two representative goddesses of the Indian pantheon - Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and Saraswati, goddess of knowledge and learning.

Though great debaters invariably conclude that the virtues of the goddesses complement each other and one cannot exist without another, a casual look at the world around us seems to present a different picture.

The moneyed are preferred in just about every walk of life. People are eager to feed the well fed at functions and on special occasions. Patients, students, clients, consumers, no matter who they are, are served only when the bills are paid. The "haves" can jump queues at points of transport, government offices and even in places of worship while the ones with lighter purses watch with pursed lips.

Study of Utopia, Marxism, Rama Rajya, Gandhism, equality, has been rendered theoretical.† Occasional earnest outbursts of protests, bans, showdowns and philanthropy to rectify the situation have proven to be placebos.

A closer analysis of the situation will reveal that the people who are victims of this economic imbalance are sometimes mute or violent participants in society not because they are merely helpless or they cannot react any better in the circumstances. On the other hand, they are guided by practical common sense, in other words "Knowledge" that they have to co-exist in the world of moneyed sharks. They understand that if peace and harmony has to prevail, there is no point in ruffling the feathers of the bigwigs who are capable of harming them uncannily.

Yes, money wields power over humanity; but it is the knowledge of this fact that is helping the world function. Money can buy material things but can never let us enjoy the goods unless we have a clear conscience. We must learn the art of living by Truth and Compassion as we are endowed with superior senses. If we overlook this basic fact neither Lakshmi nor Saraswati can salvage us from the doldrums we have gotten ourselves into.


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