You are on page 1of 11

Wisdom versus Knowledge

If a person has been taught much knowledge does this make him
wiser? What if the question were asked reversed. If a person is
considered to be wise, is this because he has been taught a lot of
knowledge? If the former question was to be answered without the
latter being asked it might make more sense. However, if thought out
thoroughly, to be wise may not necessarily mean to have been taught
a lot of knowledge. Wisdom doesn’t come straight from knowledge, nor
does knowledge come from wisdom. An iota of information that one
feels has some sort of importance or value, something that can be
carried on through life is considered wisdom. But information with non
of this can be considered straight knowledge. In Inge Bell’s essay she
emphasizes the importance of wisdom versus knowledge and why
wisdom needs to be stressed more than knowledge. In today’s
education system however, this concept of wisdom being a better
value and a more important value doesn’t seem to matter. The
education system today mainly consists of the teachers just teaching
and the students just learning. Basically, the all knowing teacher fills
the facts into the blank minded student, than the student in one form
or another regurgitate

This study investigated the connection between wisdom as a body of
expert knowledge about the meaning and conduct of life and indicators
of affective, motivational, and interpersonal functioning. Structural
equation analyses showed that individuals higher on wisdom-related
knowledge reported (a) higher affective involvement combined with
lower negative and pleas-ant feelings, (b) a value orientation that
focused conjointly on other-enhancing values and personal growth
combined with a lesser tendency toward values revolving around a
pleasurable life, and (c) a preference for cooperative conflict
management strategies combined with a lower tendency to adopt
submissive, avoidant, or dominant strategies. These findings
corroborate the theoretical notion that wisdom involves affective
modulation and complexity rather than the predominant seeking of
pleasure and also a joint motivational commitment to developing the
potential of oneself and that of others.

A poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson once said, “Knowledge comes, but
wisdom lingers." In never heard of him or his saying, but I do not
totally agree with what he said. I believe you have to understand what
the words actually mean first.

Knowledge means a range of information or understanding. While
wisdom means the quality of being wise: good judgment. It also means
learning knowledge, so I wonder what Lord Tennyson meant by his
quote, " Knowledge come, but wisdom lingers." Maybe he meant that
knowledge is something that just comes to you either in teachings or
naturally and wisdom will still be there after your gone. But if wisdom
is knowledge learned. Then the correct way to see it as knowledge is
there for you to use it, and if you use it will become wisdom. But
maybe some knowledge should not be considered wisdom.

BUT, HERE, in my discussion, I have kept aside the concept of God and
eternity. If we go by the dictionary, knowledge is simply information
and the awareness acquired through experience or education or it is
the sum total of what is known. On the other hand, wisdom refers to
the quality of being wise or a body of knowledge and experience. In
this context, wise implies, ‘having or showing experience, knowledge
and good judgement’ So, as usual, the dictionary fails to clearly
differentiate between the two, but we all know a word in the context of
dictionary and in the context of its practical use always differs a bit. It
is quite normal.

In the religious arena, there is always a tendency to place wisdom
above knowledge. The following quote of Swami Prabhavananda
reflects this view: “The sage must distinguish between knowledge and
wisdom. Knowledge is of things, acts and relations. But wisdom is of
Brahman (Supreme reality) alone and beyond all things, acts and
relations. He abides forever to become one with him is the only

In a general sense too, we can say that wisdom is superior to
knowledge because knowledge is communicable but wisdom must be
gained from experience. Moreover, wisdom is a lifelong experience.
One must seek knowledge to awaken wisdom. The more we know, the
more we realise how much we do not know. The wiser we grow, the
more wisdom we believe is yet to be discovered.

Knowledge acts as a messenger who calls one to wisdom, but this by
no means can be regarded as equivalent to wisdom. Wisdom is
experiential; it is a truth one recognizes in the external world that
already exists in the internal one. Wisdom teaches us what works and
what does not. Knowledge teaches us to use our senses, to observe
and evaluate things or events around us and our predecessors with a
proper way of recording. With a perfect blend of knowledge and
wisdom in our lives, we can eliminate fear; we can make our lives

But, we, the common people, rarely spend a second to think of all
these things. For us, information is knowledge and knowledge is
wisdom, as it was said long ago by TS Eliot,
“Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”
We tend to forget that information is just a collection of data and
knowledge is ranked higher than information and wisdom sits almost
one light year above knowledge. Here lies the perfect recipe for

With our so-called modern way of thinking and mechanical lifestyle, it
seems that we are happy with the way things are. But in the process,
we have stopped loving ourselves; now we fall in love only with our
ambitions and desires and of course deadlines. It has been a long time
since human beings last fell in love with their soul and with
We do not have enough time to recall that we are lost between the two
words, viz, ‘win’ and ‘defeat’. We have forgotten the art of living life to
the fullest, enjoying our feelings and respecting our emotions. We now
think that our lives are on the fast lane, but in the process, we are
limiting ourselves to the information level only; we do not want to go
beyond it. Such readymade thinking is right food for a society which
just eats, lives and dies. But for the real, moral and spiritual uplift of
human being, the most evolved creature on this planet, we must
realise the difference between information, knowledge and wisdom
and then act accordingly.

We are not born just to earn, eat, enjoy and die. Our lives should have
some meaning. For that a certain level of wisdom and a perfect blend
of knowledge and wisdom are mandatory. But here is the bottom line:
Wisdom does not come in sealed packets; it has to be earned through
free, fair and higher standard of thinking. Winning always does not
matter but what we have done to win matters most, ie, gaining wisdom
always does not matter, but the process matters most.

Following is the text of the President's address to the nation on the eve of the 55th
Republic Day:

Dear Citizens, on this important day on the eve of 55th Republic Day of India, I am
indeed happy to greet all the billion citizens of our country, including those living abroad.

I also greet the members of the armed forces and paramilitary forces who guard our
frontiers on the land, the sea and the air and also internal security forces. I would like to
share some of my thoughts for evolution of a beautiful India, combining economic
prosperity and a value system drawn from our civilizational heritage.

Indian economic scenario:
The Indian economy shows a very robust and consistent growth, indicated by the recent
8.4 per cent GDP growth in the second quarter of 2003-2004. Our foreign exchange
reserves have crossed the $100billion mark and are continuously rising.

The rupee is steady, the middle class resurgent and domestic buying power is on the rise.
This has made our economy one of the fastest growing in the world. The time has come
for these economic benefits to reach speedily the rural population through development
programmes such as Providing Urban amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) and interlinking
of rivers.

Also Read Economists all around the world predict that by the year
2020, the world economic scenario will be completely
Ensure peace, progress will
different from what it is today, and that India will occupy
follow: Kalam
the pride of position.

Rural India too must shine: Indian industries in certain sectors have matured to be
Kalam very responsive to national and international needs and
have shown steady growth in spite of earlier adverse
President to honour 494 predictions.
armed forces personnel
Interest rates from the banks need to be more proactive to
stimulate the growth of the right type of small, medium
scale industry and agro food-processing industries. The
combination of entrepreneurship education in schools and colleges, hassle-free flow of
venture capital and evolution of a good market will give additional momentum for
national growth transforming India into a competitive and beautiful nation.

Dear citizens, for the next five years, with certain progress behind us, the challenge we
have, is to launch a major thrust for attaining national prosperity. We should convert the
present opportunity and work towards giving our future generations, a competitive nation
which has the following characteristics.

Profile of a Competitive India:
A Nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, peaceful and happy.
A Nation where the rural and urban divide has reduced to a thin line.
A Nation where there is an equitable distribution of energy and quality water.
A Nation where agriculture, industry and service sector work together in symphony,
absorbing technology thereby resulting in sustained wealth generation leading to higher
employment potential.
A Nation where education is not denied to any meritorious candidates because of societal
or economic discrimination
A Nation which is the best destination for the most talented scholars and scientists all
over the world
A Nation where the best of health care is available to all the billion population and the
diseases like AIDS/TB, water borne diseases, Cardiac diseases and Cancer are extinct
A Nation where the governance uses the best of technologies to be responsive,
transparent, easily accessible and simple in rules, thereby corruption free
A Nation where poverty has been totally alleviated, illiteracy and crime against women
are eradicated and the society is un-alienated.
A Nation that is one of the best places to live in, on the Earth and brings smiles to a
billion faces
These are the ten dimensional transformations needed for a competitive India and we
have to work for.

Peace in the offing:
For continuing our mission of national development and economic growth in our sub-
continent, peace is a paramount ingredient. Most nations have realized that low intensity
proxy wars, deterrence-based build-ups and real wars are too expensive distractions from
the perceived visions of development.

The development of the society also weans away its people from destructive activities of
alienation, leading to celebration of peace-makers.

When guns are silent
Flowers blossom on the earth
Fragrance engulfs good souls
Who created beautiful silence
India will always be grateful to the successful peacemakers

Towards Unity of minds:
Dear citizens, when I assumed office on 25th July 2002, I addressed the need for unity of
minds becoming one of the focused missions for our nation.

Recently fifteen gurus, acharyas, swamijis, maulavis, reverent fathers, spiritual leaders,
devotees and the representatives of many religions met at Surat [ Images ] in the presence
of His Holiness Acharya Mahaprajna and deliberated for two days and took vital
decisions to ensure religions graduate into a spiritual force.

Also, they have declared that the nation is bigger than any leader or individual or an
organisation. They had collectively evolved five inter-religious projects for
implementation. The Nation's best wishes to our spiritual leaders and their mission of
transforming religions into a spiritual force.

Challenges Before Us:
Also certain challenges before the nation are to be addressed collectively in the
immediate future to facilitate faster pace of national development.

Service to Society:
Our scientists should become civic scientists and contribute towards societal
transformation, civic means concerning or affecting the community or the people.

In the new capacity, scientists step beyond their campuses, laboratories, ministries and
institutes and move into the centre of their communities to engage in active dialogue and
action with their fellow citizens.

They should ask themselves a question, how their knowledge can make an impact on the
common man's life. Our civil servants and others in the service sector should become
fearlessly people-friendly have a positive attitude, and provide responsive, proactive,
transparent and unbiased administration and service to the billion people.

Primary Education:
Assent has been accorded for the 86th Constitution Amendment Act - Right to Education
Bill for children between the age group of 5-14 years. Urgent action is needed for
providing suitable school infrastructure and appointment of good teachers for running the
schools for providing quality education to children blended with modern technologies of
e-learning and tele-education.

While doing so, a review of the syllabus is also required to prevent overloading of the
children for ensuring blossoming of their creativity.

Protecting the Brand Image of Higher Education:
The nation's vision of developed India requires greater thrust to scientific and
technological advancements. All our IITs, IIMs have graduated as world class brand
institutions in addition to the century old premier institution - Indian Institute of Science,

These characteristics must be preserved and nurtured. We should also encourage
universities to become cradles of higher learning and research, contributing generation of
high skilled global human resource force.

Examination Reforms:
Often, we have witnessed that many important national examinations have been the target
of attack by a select group of corrupt individuals who undermine the very fabric of
secrecy and transparency of the conduct of these examinations.

While we should deal with such individuals with sternness to protect the image of our
national selection system and the quality, we should also find technological solution that
can ensure tamperproof examination system.

Agriculture and Agro Food Processing:
With farmers in focus, farming technology as their friend, and food processing and
marketing as partners is indeed the second green revolution. From now on to 2020, India
would have to gradually increase production to around 400 million tonnes per annum.
This increase will have to be done under the reduced availability of land from 170 million
hectares to 100 million hectares and with reduced water availability, using technological

Institutions of Pharmaceutical sciences and Pharma industries need to evolve an
integrated and comprehensive National Pharma Vision to meet the challenges of design
to drug development, production and marketing. The major challenge before the pharma
community is to prevent the entry of spurious drugs and eradicate its presence in the
With our self-reliance in our space programme, it is we entered the global market
aggressively. The exploration of the moon through 'Chandrayaan' and keeping our sight
on Mars [ Images ] will electrify the entire country, particularly young scientists and

Modernisation of our armed forces with force multipliers is indeed progressing to meet
national security needs. Defence technology has led to the development of long-range
missile systems and supersonic cruise missiles, Light Combat

Aircraft, Electronic warfare systems, radars, under-water sensors, combat vehicles and
armaments. The Indo-Russian joint venture programme - BrahMos - is one of the leading
examples of development, production and marketing of state- of-the-art missile system.

Our power generation capacity of 100,000Megawatt has to be tripled by the year 2020. In
addition to power generation from conventional sources, we need to enhance power
generation capacity through non-conventional energy sources to attain power security.
Also, the present nuclear capacity of 2700 Megawatts should be enhanced to more than
20,000Megawatt by 2020.

Desalination plants can be co-located with proposed nuclear power plants for converting
sea water to drinking water. We need to establish large solar farms of 800 to
1000Megawatt capacity to augment energy availability.

S&T Growth:
Every academic institution and R&D organisation is a reservoir of knowledge.
Technology will also spin off to societal products, which are cost effective, high-quality
and available to the people in time. Thrust is required in Nano-science and biotechnology
to achieve leadership in these areas in the coming decade.

Scientists and technologists must undertake a health mission - Let my brain remove the
pain. The scientific community must realize that competitiveness can come only by
integrated mission driven programmes partnered by academy, R&D organisations and

Civic Awareness:
The status of environmental cleanliness is one of the indicators of development of a
nation. As a nation, we have to keep our environment clean and tidy. This is essential for
better health conditions of all the citizens and also for presenting a wholesome and
aesthetic atmosphere for us, and also tourists. It is essential that we keep all our places of
worship and rivers clean and tidy to preserve their innate divinity. Each one of the States
may promulgate appropriate local laws for promoting harmonious environment in their

Election Manifesto:
The general elections for 14th Lok Sabha will take place in 2004. I was thinking what
could be the manifesto of the competing political parties for the election. India has more
than 540 million people who are 25 or below. India is a nation of youth.

During my interactions with the youth of our country, two aspects came out very clearly.
One is that the young have a passion, self-respect and dream to live in a developed India.
Second, they want to live in a corruption free India.

I can see these two are glowing in their eyes. I am also convinced that we should build
developed India in a time bound way to prevent instability in the society.

Hence the manifesto of the political parties has to take into account their aspirations and
designed to meet the dreams of the young and be resonant with their aspirations with
identified missions and action plans. Every political party must clearly state its vision,
action plan and approach for achieving a developed India and how fast they can realize
these missions in quality and quantity.

Voter's Responsibility:
Every citizen has got a role to choose the right representative for Parliament and
legislatures, whose vision is that of national development and who has concern for his/her
constituency and the people.

The right to vote is the greatest power given to you by democracy, so that you can
reinforce further democratic values.

I would like to appeal to all eligible voters to exercise their franchise without fail, fear or
favour. A large voter turn out will be the first step towards realization of a developed
India, and the second step would be to become enlightened righteous citizens.

Movement by Young Citizens:
Which is the starting point, for the character evolution in the nation? Dear citizens, let me
share with you an incident, which took place somewhere in Nagaland.

I was talking to a group of 600 persons consisting of young children, their parents and
teachers. The topic I selected was the knowledge society, foundation for a developed

One boy who was studying in 10th class, asked: Mr President, tell me is it possible for a
nation to get transformed into a developed country, when there is corruption everywhere?

This question greatly upset the many faces of the experienced generation. I said the
question is beautiful and I must answer.

Fortunately, the boy's parents and teachers were sitting by his side. I asked both: Do you
have an answer?

They said: Mr President, he shouldn't have asked such a question, which is beyond his
age. Please ignore it, sir.
How can I ignore such a valuable mind? I must answer. My answer was the following:
We can create any number of laws in the country. No law can remove corruption fully.
However there are only three members of the society, who can remove corruption. I call
it as a 'Three dimensional action' plan. Who are these three members? They are father,
mother and elementary school teacher.

In this connection, I would like to recall a famous statement from a Vedic Guru, who
said: You give me a child for seven years - after that, no God or devil can change the

That is the power of the teacher.

My dear young friends, when you hear my national broadcast, please ask yourself a
question, what can be the greatest contribution that the youth can give without disturbing
their academic pursuit. You have to commence a silent revolution for removal of
corruption by rightly reforming those who go against righteousness in your families.

You all must endeavour to make the home you live, beautiful and righteous. You
definitely have the power on your parents to do so, with love and affection.

Dear Citizens, now I would like to administer an oath for the youth which I would like
the youths to repeat with me now, wherever you are. Are you ready?

Ten point oath for the youth of the nation:
I will pursue my education or work with dedication and I will excel in it
From now onwards, I will teach at least 10 persons who cannot read and write to do so
I will plant at least 10 saplings and shall ensure their growth through constant care
I will visit rural and urban areas and permanently wean away at least 5 persons from
addiction and gambling
I will constantly endeavor to remove the pain of my suffering brethren
I will not support any religious, caste or language differentiation
I will be honest and endeavour for a corruption-free society
I will work for becoming an enlightened citizen and make my family righteous
I will always be a friend of the mentally and physically challenged and will work hard to
make them feel normal, like the rest of us
I will proudly celebrate the success of my country and my people

India is very fortunate to have 540 million youth out of a billion people. We are doing
well in agriculture, our industry is on the upswing and our performance in the services
sector is also equally good. Time has now come for us to make our country righteous.

Righteousness comes out of good character. The evolution of good character leads to
harmony in home. Harmony in home leads the people of the State to become enlightened
citizens. Enlightened citizens will make planet Earth a peaceful world.
Let us rededicate ourselves on this occasion of the 55th Republic Day to work towards
making India a prosperous, happy and secure nation, with a smile on its billion faces.
Almighty, the God is with us.

DISHONEST INDUSTRIALISTS, scandalous politicians and corrupt IAS, IRS, IPS
officers have deposited in foreign banks in their illegal personal accounts a sum of about
$ 1500 billion, which have been misappropriated by them. This amount is about 13 times
larger than the country’s foreign debt. With this amount 45 crore poor people can get Rs
1,00,000 each. This huge amount has been appropriated from the people of India by
exploiting and betraying them.

Once this huge amount of black money and property comes back to India, the entire
foreign debt can be repaid in 24 hours. After paying the entire foreign debt, we will have
surplus amount, almost 12 times larger than the foreign debt. If this surplus amount is
invested in earning interest, the amount of interest will be more than the annual budget of
the Central government. So even if all the taxes are abolished, then also the Central
government will be able to maintain the country very comfortably.

Some 80,000 people travel to Switzerland every year, of whom 25,000 travel very
frequently. “Obviously, these people won’t be tourists. They must be travelling there for
some other reason,” believes an official involved in tracking illegal money. And, clearly,
he isn’t referring to the commerce ministry bureaucrats who’ve been flitting in and out of
Geneva ever since the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations went into a

Just read the following details and note how these dishonest industrialists, scandalous
politicians, corrupt officers, cricketers, film actors, illegal sex trade and protected wildlife
operators, to name just a few, sucked this country’s wealth and prosperity. This may be
the picture of deposits in Swiss banks only. What about other international banks?

Black money in Swiss banks -- Swiss Banking Association report, 2006 details bank
deposits in the territory of Switzerland by nationals of following countries:

Top five

India---- $1456 billion
Russia---$ 470 billion
UK-------$390 billion
Ukraine- $100 billion
China-----$ 96 billion

Now do the maths - India with $1456 billion or $1.4 trillion has more money in Swiss
banks than rest of the world combined. Public loot since 1947: Can we bring back our
money? It is one of the biggest loots witnessed by mankind -- the loot of the Aam Aadmi
(common man) since 1947, by his brethren occupying public office. It has been
orchestrated by politicians, bureaucrats and some businessmen. The list is almost all-
encompassing. No wonder, everyone in India loots with impunity and without any fear.

What is even more depressing in that this ill-gotten wealth of ours has been stashed away
abroad into secret bank accounts located in some of the world’s best known tax havens.
And to that extent the Indian economy has been stripped of its wealth. Ordinary Indians
may not be exactly aware of how such secret accounts operate and what are the rules and
regulations that go on to govern such tax havens. However, one may well be aware of
’Swiss bank accounts,’ the shorthand for murky dealings, secrecy and of course pilferage
from developing countries into rich developed ones.

In fact, some finance experts and economists believe tax havens to be a conspiracy of the
western world against the poor countries. By allowing the proliferation of tax havens in
the twentieth century, the western world explicitly encourages the movement of scarce
capital from the developing countries to the rich.

In March 2005, the Tax Justice Network (TJN) published a research finding
demonstrating that $11.5 trillion of personal wealth was held offshore by rich individuals
across the globe. The findings estimated that a large proportion of this wealth was
managed from some 70 tax havens.
Other Articles by Ramesh C. Manghirmalani

• Google Plans Its Own Operating System
• Global Entrepreneurship Form of social responsibility
• Terrorism, not just India's problem any more
• Blaming Indians for the crisis
• If offshoring evolves and grows, India will grow too

more >>

Further, augmenting these studies of TJN, Raymond Baker -- in his widely celebrated
book titled ’Capitalism’s Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free Market
System’ -- estimates that at least $5 trillion have been shifted out of poorer countries to
the West since the mid-1970. It is further estimated by experts that one per cent of the
world’s population holds more than 57 per cent of total global wealth, routing it
invariably through these tax havens. How much of this is from India is anybody’s guess.

What is to be noted here is that most of the wealth of Indians parked in these tax havens
is illegitimate money acquired through corrupt means. Naturally, the secrecy associated
with the bank accounts in such places is central to the issue, not their low tax rates as the
term ’tax havens’ suggests. Remember Bofors and how India could not trace the ultimate
beneficiary of those transactions because of the secrecy associated with these bank
accounts? IS THERE ANY ONE WHO WOULD SAVE INDIA ?God... No No No, even he