The Holy month of Bahman (Pahlavi Wahman) is here. In Avesta, Bahman is referred to as Vohu (good) Mana (mind), similar to Sanskrit Vásu Mánas. It is through Vohu Mana that wisdom can be acquired. Hence, in this Holy month of Bahman let’s celebrate the spirit or essence of Wisdom.
Wisdom is our true wealth in life. It is wealth that does not diminish no matter how much we share it. It cannot be stolen either. Someone can steal our knowledge or intellectual property. However, our wisdom can only be shared at our own discretion. It cannot be stolen!
HW Charles, author of ‘The Money Code’, says: “Wisdom is really the key to wealth. With great wisdom, comes great wealth and success. Rather than pursuing wealth, pursue wisdom.”
Knowledge Or Wisdom? Two popular sayings sum up the difference between knowledge and wisdom: ‘Knowledge is knowing what to say. Wisdom is knowing when to say it’; and ‘Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in the fruit salad.”
While knowledge is about knowing, it is wisdom that helps us put what we know to the right or best use. Knowledge is simply knowing that a sharp knife can cut. However, while a surgeon uses a sharp knife to heal, a thief uses it to threaten or to wound. Wisdom is about having the right perspective and using sound judgement based on knowledge that is acquired. In other words, wisdom is about making the right choices.
Source Of Wisdom: According to a Pahlavi text known as Mēnōg ī Khrad (Spirit of Wisdom), all wisdom universally flows from Ahura Mazda – the epitome of cosmic wisdom. Such is the nature of the universe created by Ahura Mazda that it neither punishes nor blesses us. It simply responds to the choices we make, in thought, word and deed. If we think positively, that’s what the universe reflects in return. What we put into the universe returns to us like an echo. Therefore, we must choose wisely what we put out into the universe by way of our thoughts, our words and our deeds.
According to Zoroastrian theology, one way to acquire wisdom is through the daily practise of purity – physical, mental and emotional. The essence of Vendidad, Fargard (chapter) 10, verse 18-19 is simple, yet clear: “Make thy own self pure, O righteous man! Anyone in the world can win purity for his own self, namely, when he cleanses his own self with good thoughts, words, and deeds.”
Innate And Acquired Wisdom: The Pahlavi Handarz texts speak about two types of wisdom – ‘Innate wisdom’ and ‘Acquired wisdom’. Innate wisdom is said to be the source of ‘gut feeling’, ‘instinct’, ‘intuition’, or ‘creative inspiration’. When a new positive thought or creative idea just occurs, that is our innate wisdom. One way to get in touch with our innate wisdom is through deep reflective thinking. Acquired wisdom, on the other hand, comes through experience, which can be a mix of successes and failures encountered through the journey of life. Experience is acquired through exercising our choices.
Wisdom Is Choice: Wisdom is about making the right choices. Yasna 30:2 (Ahunavaiti Gatha) states: “Hear with your ears the best things; look upon them with clear thought, for decision between the two Beliefs, each man for himself“.
Indeed Ahura Mazda (Cosmic Creative Wisdom) through Asho Zarathustra’s enlightened mind, conveys to us that each one of us must first “think before we believe” – be it our own or someone else’s’ thoughts, words or actions. Thanks to the internet, we are overburdened today with ‘information overload’. Not all the information one searches and finds on the internet is real or true. Therefore, knowing how to navigate the internet wisely and choose what to believe or reject becomes a matter of wisdom.
So, What Is Wisdom? Chapter eleven of Mēnōg ī Khrad affirms: “Wisdom with which there is no goodness, is not to be considered as wisdom; and skill with which there is no wisdom, is not to be considered as skill.” Chapter twenty-five of this sacred text also tells us that there is wisdom in being content… “Among the rich he is poor who is not content with that which is his, and suffers anxiety for the increase of everything, and among the poor he is rich who is content with that which has come to him and cares not for the increase of anything.” Thus, to be content is to be happy.
The final or chapter (sixty-three) of Mēnōg ī Khrad tells us that wisdom lies in being grateful under all circumstances and wishing happiness for everyone. The text says: “Gratitude is greater and better than every good work and requires no special effort for its performance.”
To conclude, wisdom lies in living with gratitude and contentment. Let us have the wisdom to celebrate this Holy month with gratitude. If we choose to shift our focus towards gratitude, it will usher feelings of happiness and gratitude will help us to overcome difficult times more quickly and easily. If we choose to appreciate all the ways in which life has been kind to us, we will attract more positive experiences, joy and abundance. In like manner contentment will ensure a state of satisfaction with the current situation and not let us take for granted what we have right now.
Being content does not mean lack of ambition or becoming stagnant. Being content simply means doing one’s duty as best as one can do it and remain ‘purpose driven’ rather than ‘result or outcome driven’!