Saturday, July 04, 2009

Lesson for my child : Curiosity

Humans are curious about variety of phenomena in our daily lives: rains, fires, hurricanes/ storms, waves, tides. It also applies to things that we can not experience using our senses: clear sky, ocean depths, stars, Sun, Moon, etc.
  1. Throughout their existence humans all over the planet have asked questions about things that were around them: their surroundings, our planet, the cosmos, the origin of all the things, and where were all going to end. वेद, or the Vedas called them पंचमहाभूत, or the five elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Sky. Everything is made of them. It is not important if Vedas were correct or not, what matters most is that, humans thought of the cosmos. The surrounding natural elements and cosmos on the larger scale made an impact on those early Hindu thinkers.
  2. Those Hindu thinkers related various phenomena as manifestations of those five elements. This is characteristic of humans: we relate seemingly disparate phenomena using fewer logical elements. At one level, we should understand that those associations are not real, but they allow us to comprehend phenomena in an organized manner; and if the exercise is successful, we can predict certain things using those associations.
  3. Curious human will observe and think about apparent patterns. This is most crucial for the survival of species: food resources, predicting natural phenomena (predicting tides is crucial for fisher-folk, rains are important for farming).
  4. This curiosity also leads to betterment of lives:
-- waves/ tides and fishing
-- rains and paddy farming
-- diseases and micro-organisms

Here is a true story of a Goan boy who was bitten by a snake. The snake was of harmless kind, although very similar to poisonous adder snake in its appearance. A Tantrik was summoned by parents to `cure' their boy of the poison. No wonder, the boy was fine after the Tantrik performed his rituals. It so happened that the boy was bitten by a snake again, however, this time by a real poisonous adder. His parents preferred the Tantrik once more, however, all his rituals took precious time away. The boy died the next morning.

The story is important, in that one has to be curious and understand that poisonous snake alone cause harm. As far as we can make out patterns on the snake-back, we are safe, else we face grave consequences. The same goes for the rest of the nature.

Life is precious and there are no guarantees. However, curiosity and learning allow us to survive in this world better, and also make it a richer experience.


NiteSkyGirl said...

WWWWWWWWOOOWW just amazing ! beautifully , expressively written!

myopic astronomer said...

hey niteskygirl,
read on, there is more to follow.