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How much do we really know?

Art is long, life is short. Who said that? Longfellow, I think. It is literally true. Knowledge in any field is infinite. Life is finite. Hence, it is our moral responsibility to give credit to the people who were founders of the path of Knowledge. That is the only way to repay our debt to them.

Dharmaraja poses many questions to Bhishma, who was lying on the bed of arrows. He answers by giving references to the previous scholars as to how they answered similar questions. He never claims credit for himself anywhere, but quotes his predecessors’ answers, thus giving credit to their knowledge. Such a great man that he was, he did not have any ego; then why should we? These days, people claim their research findings as their own knowledge.

In sciences like Astrology, there is nothing that anyone can discover newly. It is enough if we can properly understand what already exists. So, here is my advice to the scholars. Please remember the treatises and the authors of those treatises and give them proper credit while writing articles. If possible, quote the verses. This is one way of paying our debt to the sages who are our ancestors. Besides, this practice fosters research into literary works, which in turn increases knowledge. It will reduce our ego. It will help clear our debt towards our sages.

All rights reserved. This article has been translated by Lakshmi T, which was originally posted in on January 28, 2009. The content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher.

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