November 21, 2017

Sustenance and nourishment for our minds

Encouragements and efforts have been made for youths to develop reading habits since their salad days. Building libraries, holding literary talk shows and opening book fair festivals and book-stalls are opportunities for the public to have access to literature, in bringing about the development of probing knowledge from books and literature. Here, opportunities mean making necessary arrangements so that people will have opportunities to read and have access to good books.
The simplest answer to the question as to why we should read is “for knowledge.” In fact, in the three “lokas” or worlds (viz., the world of living beings, the world of material things and the world of mental phenomena, in Pali they are Thatta Loka, Awkatha Loka and Thinkhara Loka) in which we are living abound with things we have already known or otherwise. As for knowledge of human-beings, persons with a scanty knowledge excel totally naïve ones, and likewise much knowledgeable ones are better off than those who have less knowledge. Accumulation of knowledge is the basic aim of education; an educated person has a better change of accumulating wealth and gaining a better position in society. Reading is the best and quickest way to acquire knowledge. Books and literature, sources of knowledge are likened to a treasure trove of knowledge.
Reasonable answers to the question why we should read include becoming a skilled and qualified person. Wisdom closely follows knowledge, giving good reasoning, judgment and ingenuity. A person who can differentiate the good from the bad, advantage from disadvantage and truth from falsehood automatically becomes the person who will bring about benefits for their society and the world. By upgrading the capacities and skills of individual citizens, we can one day hope to have a country of citizens who possess information and skills for creating wealth and nation building.
This type of country will have qualified citizens for national development and prosperity. In such a situation, we would be ready to build a prosperous and Democratic Federal Republic.
We came to know that the advanced and well-developed countries have millions of erudite people. They—students, company staff and the people spend most of their valuable hours reading, in cars, trains, cafes, etc. They read books to broaden the scope of their knowledge and to keep pace with the developments of science and technology, in areas such as ICT – Information and Communications Technology, new technologies to tap renewable sources of energy and more efficient and economic methods of preserving our environment.
Our people are by their innate nature desirous of knowledge and intellectual accomplishments.
The majority of the Myanmar people being Buddhists follow the teachings of the Buddha and he teaches us to seek Truth (Sacca) and Wisdom (Vija). He also teaches us that it is harder to control the negative emotions (such as anger, greed and ignorance) within oneself than to conquer our enemies in battle. We used to say, “Read books worth reading at homes, and just as he becomes an erudite person, his uncivilized wife can be made more civil through frequent hearing of his erudition. Good books and literature being nourishment and sustenance for our minds, we should select and read good books for improving our information, knowledge and wisdom.

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