We often argue and question the very basis of algorithms, theorems, cases and philosophies that we learn. Though questioning is good as it clarifies one’s doubts and helps to develop a better understanding of the concept while developing or presenting your case, but what if questioning and arguments are just to be argumentative and far away from real content. Doubting the intelligence of your seniors, teachers and Gurus for the sake of an argument is not appreciated. Every person gains knowledge through the means and resources available at the time. He develops his intelligence based on the knowledge gained through very means he often questions. Raising objections at a philosophy, a word of wisdom in order to identify or establish a new knowledge is rational thinking. Whether others accept it or mock it should be left to the good thinking of every individual.
Recently I saw a movie where a middle-aged man, after facing deceit and frustrated from highly opinionative people and stereotypes, decides that he will only believe in what he has seen with his own eyes. He decides that he will not allow any person to frame his opinion about anything. He will only believe what he can see or experience. It not that this argument is premature or childish but it definitely is unconventional.
About 2000 years back when some people declined to follow the ancient wisdom of the Vedas, people called them Nastik. Vedic philosophers believed in six methods of acquiring knowledge i.e. pramanas (epistemological methods).
These were namely Pratyaksa praman (perception), Anuman praman (inference), Upamana praman (comparison and analogy), Sabda praman (word or testimony by experts or guru), Arthapatti praman (postulation) and Anuplabdhi praman (non-perception, cognitive proof). Some schools of wisdom accepted only one of the pramanas while others accepted two or three. But one thing was clear, lesser pramanas you follow, more Atheist/ Free thinkers /Rational/ Practical/ Materialist/ Hedonist you are. They developed a school of thought which rejected the principles of Karma, reincarnation, afterlife, supreme soul and religious rites. Despite criticism from mainstream ritualist and thinkers, these rationalists, commonly known as ‘charvaks’, have maintained their say till date. They never opposed the quest for knowledge but they simply questioned the methods of knowledge acquisition. Some concepts redefined by charvaks are now catch phrases for new generation as it suits their generation. Heaven: “a state of mind where a person lives as he chooses without control of another person”; Hell “a state of mind where a person lives subject of other’s rule” are often treated as foundation of modern psychology.
Rationalist all over the world have done wonders in term of science and innovation. They dared to move away from standard practices or rituals, faced heavy criticism but they continued on the path of knowledge discovery. Thinkers like Kabir and Osho, scientists like Newton and Da Vinci, and reformers like Raja Rammohan Roy never tried to meet the conventional philosophies, rather they tried to develop new ones. They tested existing theories on the contemporary scenario and tried to draw their own inferences, tried to identify the relevance. They opposed it if they found it irrelevant and disturbing.
There are many ways in which we learn, there are many ways in which we see our surroundings. But do we actually see? Do we actually learn? Is it possible to learn in our own way, the way we want to see? Objective of learning is to develop the eye which sees all, inside and outside. Or rather inside from outside.
Just food for thought. Your suggestions and comments are welcome. Show me the path.
JAGAN INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT STUDIES
3, INSTITUTIONAL AREA, SECTOR-5, ROHINI
(NEAR RITHALA METRO STATION), DELHI-110085.
TEL.: 011-45184000, 45184001, 45184002