†††††††† Anantaraman is a young Executive with affluent salary and perks. He has to go on a week-long tour for the company. He gets his car serviced by a trusted mechanic and test out its performance in the city. The vehicle cruises like a boat and he is gratified with its condition as he sets out on his journey. After three hours, the car comes to a grinding halt. Anxiously Anantaraman presses the starter again and again; and then he tries pushing the vehicle too, but all to no avail. There is not the slightest response from the engine, there is no other vehicle in sight and the mid-day sun is beating down on his head. The stranded executive curses his fate before he proceeds to curse the mechanic, the car-manufacturer and his own company. Let us, for the nonce, leave him there in the sweltering heat!

Bharat is also an Executive in the same firm and he had been Anantaramanís classmate. He too has to travel but in a different area. Bharat prepares the car even as Anantaraman did. He is driving along cheerfully, singing a film-hit at the top of his voice. (He can indulge in this luxury only in unhabited territory, for otherwise there would be angry protests from all around!) Bharatís car too comes to a sudden halt on its own but he is not bothered one bit. From the sound he had gauged the problem; he gets out of the car, opens the bonnet, unscrews and rubs a wire-end, refixes it and returns to the steering wheel. The vehicle, like a satisfied cat, shoots onward. During the entire operation restart, Bharat did not stop his singing.


A and B were in identical situations but how was it that the latter could overcome the crisis, whereas the former was bogged down in it?


The answer is simple dear Watson: B had learnt not only driving but mechanism too, whereas A knew only how to start and steer.


Most of us are in Aís plight when confronted by the problems of day-to-day living even, because we had equipped ourselves for the Art of living only and had omitted to learn the Science of living. Should not a good driver learn mechanism too, if he hopes to be master of his own vehicle.


It is not as if the leaders in society are not aware of the lacunae in the educational curriculum as constituted at present. Did not a learned Judge of the High court say recently in deep anguish that the system of formal education stops with development of intellect and imparting of professional skills and as a consequence, the future of the society itself is bleak?


The problem is that leaders in all the fields of human endeavour, viz. Education, Politics, Trade and Religion are not themselves equipped to devise a remedy. And so the social ills continue and proliferate. Violence is on the increase, crimes go unchecked and indiscipline is rampant as much on the roads as in institutions of all grades and brands.


Are we to be helplessly watching the deterioration of standards in all walks of life; and are we to bequeath to our sons and daughters a world worse in every way than it was when we inherited it? Has not Avvaiyar, the philosopher-poet of Tamil Nadu said in one of her quatrains that dying would be far, far better than living in unrelieved misery?


By our own effort, let us evolve a science that would enable us to live in peace and happiness for the rest of our sojourn on this our planet Earth. That indeed would be the Science of Sciences.


The research has to begin here and now. On birth we found ourselves on the Earth and we have to compulsorily live out our allotted span of time. Does the journey of life have a purpose at all and does it have a specific destination? "Yes", says Poet H.W.Longfellow (of all persons!) :


"Tell me not in mournful numbers

That life is but an empty dream;

Life is real, life is earnest

And the grave is not its goal.

Dust thou art and to dust thou returnst

Was not said of the Soul".


The questions are before you in black and white and their articulation cannot be ignored. Do your homework and come up with your own answers before we resume the quest.


(Excerpt from Sage TGNís Lecture)

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