THE SEARCH FOR KNOWLEDGE
The search for knowledge is incumbent upon every human being.
Education and diligent study for elevates and ennobles the human person.
The most important knowledge is spiritual wisdom--the Way or the
Dhamma--which not only enlightens the intellect but also elevates the
spirit and fosters a good will. When a person finds a deep truth, it
awakens an emotion of inner joy, because that truth corresponds with what
is already within his or her original mind.
The search for knowledge is an obligation laid on every Muslim.
Islam. Hadith of Ibn Majah and Baihaqi
A good, all-round education, appreciation of the arts, a highly trained
discipline and pleasant speech; this is the highest blessing.
Buddhism. Sutta Nipata 261
Confucius said, "Broaden your knowledge of the Classics, restrain it with
ritual, and you are unlikely to deviate from the Way."
Confucianism. Analects 12.15
There is no greater wealth than wisdom; no greater poverty than ignorance;
no greater heritage than culture.
Islam (Shiite). Nahjul Balagha, Saying 52
When Confucius was going to Wei, Jan Ch'iu drove him. The Master said,
"What a dense population!" Jan Ch'iu said, "When the people have
multiplied, what next should be done for them?" The Master said, "Enrich
them." Jan Ch'iu said, "When one has enriched them, what next should be
done for them?" The Master said, "Instruct them."
Confucianism. Analects 13.9
Nahjul Balagha, Saying 52: Cf. Lamentations Rabbah, Proem 2, p. 1035.
A disciple in training will comprehend this earth, the realm of death and
the realm of the gods. A disciple in training will investigate the
well-taught Path of Virtue, even as an expert garland-maker picks flowers.
Buddhism. Dhammapada 45
The Master said, "A gentleman can see a question from all sides without
bias. The small man is biased and can see a question only from one side."
Confucianism. Analects 2.14
There are three things that occasion sorrow to a superior man [who is
devoted to learning]: If there be any subject of which he has not heard,
and he cannot get to hear of it; if he hear of it, and cannot get to learn
it; if he have learned it, and cannot get to carry it out in practice.
Confucianism. Book of Ritual 126.96.36.199
The parents of a child are but his enemies when they fail to educate him
properly in his boyhood. An illiterate boy, like a heron amidst swans,
cannot shine in the assembly of the learned. Learning imparts a
heightened charm to a homely face. Knowledge is the best treasure that a
man can secretly hoard up in life. Learning is the revered of the
revered. Knowledge makes a man honest, virtuous, and endearing to
society. It is learning alone that enables a man to better the condition
of his friends and relations. Knowledge is the holiest of holies, the god
of the gods, and commands respect of crowned heads; shorn of it a man is
but an animal. The fixtures and furniture of one's house may be stolen by
thieves; but knowledge, the highest treasure, is above all stealing.
Hinduism. Garuda Purana
Does not wisdom call,
does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights beside the way,
in the paths she takes her stand;
beside the gates of the town,
at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud;
"To you, O men, I call,
and my cry is to the sons of men.
O simple ones, learn prudence;
O foolish men, pay attention.
Hear, for I will speak noble things,
and from my lips will come what is right;
for my mouth will utter truth;
wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are righteous;
there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
Dhammapada 45: Cf. Verses on the Perfection of Wisdom which is the
Storehouse of Precious Virtues 14.7-8, p. 735.
They are all straight to him who understands
and right to those who find knowledge.
Take my instruction instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than choice gold;
for wisdom is better than jewels,
and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
Judaism and Christianity. Proverbs 8.1-11
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men
generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him.
Christianity. James 1.5
[God] gives wisdom to whom He will, and he to whom wisdom is given has
truly received abundant good. But none remember except men of
Islam. Qur'an 2.269
What thing I am I do not know.
I wander secluded, burdened by my mind.
When the Firstborn of Truth has come to me
I receive a share of that selfsame Word.
Hinduism. Rig Veda 1.164.37
Mencius said, "A gentleman steeps himself in the Way because he wishes to
find it in himself."
Confucianism. Mencius IV.B.14
He who imbibes the Dhamma abides in happiness with mind pacified; the wise
man ever delights in the Dhamma revealed by the Noble Ones.
Buddhism. Dhammapada 79
When they listen to that which has been revealed unto the Messenger, you
see their eyes overflow with tears because of their recognition of the
Truth. They say, "Our Lord, we believe. Inscribe us as among the
Islam. Qur'an 5.83
Proverbs 8.1-11: Wisdom is personified here, and in Proverbs 8.22-23, p.
151; Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines 7.1, p. 152; and Sirach
24.26-27, p. 806. Cf. 1 Corinthians 2.6-10, p. 538. James 1.5: God is
the ultimate source of wisdom, and he who doubts is invited to bring the
matter before God in prayer. Cf. Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith 2,
pp. 598. Qur'an 2.269: Cf. Proverbs 9.11, p. 796. Rig Veda 1.164.37:
This is the cosmic law as imparted by a teacher.
As the heat of a fire reduces wood to ashes, the fire of knowledge burns
to ashes all karma. Nothing in this world purifies like spiritual wisdom.
It is the perfection achieved in time through the path of yoga, the path
which leads to the Self within.
Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 4.37-38
Those who see Truth and speak Truth,
Their bodies and minds become truthful.
Truth is their evidence, Truth is their instruction,
True is the praise of the truthful.
Those who have forgotten Truth cry in agony and weep while departing.
Sikhism. Adi Granth, Sri Raga, M.3, p. 69
The end and aim of wisdom is repentance and good deeds.
Judaism. Talmud, Berakot 17
True learning induces in the mind service of mankind.
Sikhism. Adi Granth, Asa, M.1, p. 356
Bhagavad Gita 4.37-38: Cf. Laws of Manu 5.109, p. 728; Narada Dharma Sutra
1.210, p. 159; Sifre Deuteronomy, pp. 494-95. Berakot 17 and Asa, M.1:
Cf. James 3.13-18, p. 798; Book of Certitude, 69, p. 798; Precepts of
Divine Learning, p. 798.