The Company Of Great Persons.

We had a house-guest the last two days. He is my son’s friend, and had come to Pune to finalise a place to set up residence. He normally lives in Mumbai and some family related matters has made it an imperative that he shifts to Pune.

During a couple of long sessions of discussions on wide ranging subjects, I learnt some new things from him as he claimed he did from me too. For me, I learn new things from the world of Management every time some one younger comes along and spends some time with me and this one was such an occasion. From my side, I was able to give some information about India’s economy, development and politics to him, information that I have acquired through my reading habits and discussions with a wide circle of friends that I am blessed with.

He left early yesterday morning but, before he left, he came near me, bent down, touched my feet and took my blessings as traditionally Indians are taught to in their childhood. This is a practice that due to Westernisation and urbanisation has more or less disappeared and I was touched by this traditional way of taking leave by this young man. He said that he believed in the Guru Shishya Parampara and considered his time with me as between a teacher and a student and said that he looked forward to more such meeting in the future once he settles down in Pune.

I was touched by this gesture and respect / affection shown by this young man. The experience led me to some reflection on the information that I shared with him and concluded that I am blessed with the association of a number of very smart and erudite people in my life. I called one of them to share this experience and conclusion and he promptly and cheerfully shared this message through WhatsApp!

Company Of Great Persons.

महाजनस्य संसर्गः कस्य नोन्नतिकारकः I

पद्मपत्रस्थितम तोयं धत्ते मुक्ताफलश्रियम II

Mahaajanasya samsargah kasya nonnathikaarakah. 1

Padmapathrasthitham thoyam dhatte muktaaphalashriyam. 2

Company of great persons is always beneficial.

A drop of water on lotus leaf appears like a pearl, thus gaining
a status similar to that of pearl.

This is to thank all those great persons in my life.

Education.

education

There are as many definitions for ‘education’ as there are people interested in some aspect of it. My own is simple and one that I have found to be effective.  Education is learning to learn.

My own education followed more or less that definition after the initial schooling was over. Post school achievements for me were all autodidactic, except for my Masters Degree, which by an accident I acquired by attending regular classes in an institution of learning.

And, this is the important point that I wish to drive home in this post, the Bachelor’s Degree and the Masters Degree that I acquired, in my humble opinion, equipped me for getting admission to the institute of management and getting a job via campus recruitment respectively, AND NOTHING ELSE of practical value, except that both enabled me to learn how to learn.

Post my professional qualification my employer took great pains to train me to be an effective manager and to this day I acknowledge that debt as being a greater one than my other academic achievements.

And more importantly for my life, the education that I received in our traditional way of the Guru-Shishya Parampara in learning Vedanta from a remarkable teacher and his teacher, has enabled me to live a peaceful and productive life.

All these would not have been possible for me had I not been prepared for learning to learn, by a very remarkable system of grounding called the Montessori method of primary education in my childhood.

Having shared my own experiences, I would simply add that I am appalled at what happens now in our country in the field of education, particularly in the higher levels where we are producing graduates and post graduates who are unemployable.  There are some notable exceptions to this rule but they are the ones that select the cream from the hordes that are churned out in the system by a highly competitive selection procedure.  For the rest, the less said the better.

I am glad that my own life is at its last stages where I don’t have to compete to learn anything.

This topic was suggested by Shackman for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently six of us write on the same topic every Friday.  I hope that you enjoyed my contribution to that effort.  The five other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaMaxi, and Shackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!