Genius is mentioned as a great natural ability, whereas common sense is indicated as the practical wisdom. The first quality helps in gaining prominence and publicity, whereas the second one imparts worth and success to the human beings. Genius is a rare trait, whereas common sense is found to be the rarest virtue.
Genius without Common Sense:
Most of us have heard the story of a scholar and a boatman. There lived a learned scholar who had mastered many branches of learning such as physics, chemistry, math, astronomy, economics, politics etc. Once he came to the banks of a river for reaching the other side. After boarding a boat he started enquiring the boatman about his educational qualifications. The boatman replied that, the only art he learned in his life was rowing the boat and swimming in the river. The scholar felt a great pity for that ignorant boatman and remarked that, by not learning academic subjects, he had wasted the maximum part of his life. When the boat reached the midstream of the river, it started to rain heavily. Now the boatman enquired the scholar, whether he knew swimming. The scholar replied that, in his busy life of a vast learning, he had no time left for such silly activities. Then the boat-man told him about the impending danger that, the boat would drown in the river due to the heavy down pour, and the only art needed to save the life is swimming. Consequently the scholar of great erudition became one with that swollen river. This anecdote clearly shows that even a great genius cannot achieve success, without adhering to common sense or practical wisdom. Theoretical knowledge may succeed in impressing the masses, but it cannot help in achieving real success. Genius can be the view of life, but common sense is the real way of successful life.
Common sense is Uncommon :
Just by hearing the term “Common Sense:, one may think it to be most ordinary and a general quality of the human beings. But, the fact is that, the most uncommon trait of the human beings is called as common sense. A strange feature of this world is that , “All that glitters is not gold, all that matters is not told”. Accordingly, the markets are flooded with apparently useful items, but really worthy objects are very rare to be found. Similarly, the universities are supplying heap of knowledge to the students, but very little of it may be of real help in achieving spiritual success. Many are living a directionless life in this world. Even after developing centuries of secular civilizations, exploring of the cosmic nature, inventing millions of high-tech devices, unfortunately, most of the human beings have not learnt to live like real human beings. Many of them have never heard about the real success of human life. It is quite easy and simple to be truthful in thought-word and deed, whereas for telling a lie, one has to adopt diplomacy, hypocrisy, manipulation, wickedness and deception. It is an astonishing fact that, simple truthfulness is a rare quality of the human beings. Crookedness in thought-word and deed is generally followed by the ordinary human beings. Thos who are hypocrites to themselves how can they become true to others? Those who are not truthful in their thought-word and deed are nothing but two-legged beasts.
Men & Monkeys :
Putting forth his theory of evolution, Darwin expressed a myth that men have come from monkeys. No kind of practical proof is available for this fanciful theory. Darwin’s fore fathers might have been monkeys. It is generally perceived that men are becoming worse than monkeys by discarding the age-old culture of spiritual righteousness. The perverted human beings are engaged in harmful selfishness, misguiding materialism, vulgar life styles, violent dealings, discriminate egotism, hypocritical relationships, unrealistic thoughts, useless superstitions, foolish atheism and diabolical fanaticism. This due to the net result of the absence of common sense. The most important issues like , the purpose of life , the human situation, the final goal, the real duty of life, nature of God, identification of the self, the ultimate welfare, the path of Universal well being, all these are not discussed in our academic studies. Without knowing anything regarding these burning issues, our educated brothers and sisters think themselves as intelligent and successful. Should it be called as genius, development, self-deception or self-annihilation ? If our learning cannot save us from degradation and downfall, how can we become superior to animals?
Success through Common Sense:
We have heard the story of competition between the wind and the sun, in the matter of removing the upper cloth of a villager. When the wind blew fiercely and tried to blow off the cloth, the villager wore it still more tightly and the wind failed to accomplish the task. When the turn of the Sun came, just by increasing the temperature, the Sun made the sweating villager to remove his upper cloth. The sun simple used his common sense to win the competition. In another example, when the master gave his soiled clothes to his servants and advised them to clean them by applying heat, a foolish servant took the clothes near naked fire and got them burnt. The wise servant inserted the clothes into the boiling water and got them safely cleaned. This is the victory of common-sense. While beating a snake, one should see that the stick is not broken and the snake is killed. While chastising your children, see that they are truly reformed without a feeling of retaliation and revenge.
Adopt Common sense with Genius:
The famous scientist Sir C.V. Raman expressed that, more than genius, what is needed for success is a fresh outlook towards the problems. This is known as common-sense. Sir Issac-Newton discovered the law of gravitation due to hi sheer common sense by seeing an apple falling from a tree and being attracted by the earth. Although genius is a great quality it should accept the guidance of common sense for achieving success, just like the cooperation between a blind man and a lame man. The fact is that, common sense can acquire genius, but mere genius cannot create common-sense. In this regard one should know that , “ What a man has, may depend on others, whereas what a man is depends upon himself. “ Genius may depend upon the materialistic knowledge, whereas common sense depends upon one’s own spiritual enlightenment. The great personalities like Albert Einstien, Thomas Alva Edison, Sir Vincent Churchill etc had faced failure in their academic lives. It is only the common-sense coupled with commitment, sincerity, endeavor and tenacity made them successful and renowned.
Common Sense Penetrates and Succeeds:
If a physician knows thousands of medicines, without knowing precisely as to which medicine should be given to which patient, can any patient trust such a theoretical doctor ? If a student memorizes an entire text book of his study, without knowing the appropriate answers for the various questions, can he become successful? All your special sense will fail, if you do not have common sense. Sage Dattatreya had accepted twenty four guides in his life to derive worthy knowledge from them. These guides were such as the five great elements (earth, water, fire and ether), sun, moon, a child, a girl, a python etc. Out of his purified intellect and common sense, he had learnt great teachings from them, which are exemplary to all the seekers of the truth. If we apply a fresh and unbiased outlook towards the human life, we can understand the following facts. Nobody born in this world at his or her own desire. No one dies at his or her own choice. During the lifetime, everyone is free to conduct his activity, whereas the reward is ordained only as decided by God. This being the clear fact, how stupid it is to deny God and engage in senseless atheism ? This world is foreign land for the living beings who have come here from some unknown region and shall depart for some other unknown abode after spending a brief period of earthly existence, comparable to the short halt of travelers in an inn. The mundane world is called a san ocean of suffering. The first and the foremost duty of the human beings should be to cross this ocean of mortality to reach the shore of immortality. If the human beings remain attached to the mundane world in the name of secularism, materialism, politics etc., they cannot come out of the dangerous chain of births and deaths.
The Boat and the Water:
Over indulgence in selfish worldliness by misguided people results in all kinds of social unrest and national disintegration. An enlightened person of clear common-sense can never engage in worldliness. Such a noble person lives in this world, just as a boat in water. The boat should never allow water to come inside. The material objects should be accepted, just to satisfy our immediate needs. One should eat only to the extent of his appetite. Anything more or less shall create uneasiness. In this regard, Lord Krishna advises us in the Gita to be balanced in our habits of eating, enjoying, working, sleeping and waking to avoid sufferings. One has to endure the natural cycles of gain and loss, heat and cold, sorrow and joy, ups and downs, victory and defeat etc by putting greater stress on spiritual welfare. Those who care only for temporary benefits like sense gratification, physical gains and entertainments are liable to neglect the spiritual aspect of eternal welfare. The individual soul in its pure existence transcends the limitations of time and space. The worldly existence under the spell of space, time, birth, death, ageing, rebirth, hunger, thirst, poverty, disease, violence, suffering etc, is a matter of punishment for the fallen jiva souls, who have discarded the service of Eternal Master, with a vanity of enjoyership. These jives are hurled down to mundane sphere of maya, which inflicts constant grief, fear and death. Although the jives get degraded due to their association with matter, they can be reformed by the help of holy company which is capable of uplifting the sincere jivas from their fallen condition. The external energy of the Supreme Lord which deludes the erring jives is maya, who is also the supplier of material ingredients. The materials of this mundane world are perishable and submit to the scrutiny of measurement. All the measurable physical and chemical qualities like height, weight, temperature, illumination, acidity, area, volume, hardness etc indicate the relative nature of maya, which constantly changes from time to time, place to place and from person to person. The experiences like pleasure, pain, sorrow, grief, bliss, happiness, anxiety, tension, fear etc do not come under the process of measurement, as they are related to the spirit. The mundane matter is finite and measurable. The spirit being transcendental, it cannot be measured or perceived in physical laboratories. God is absolutely infinite, therefore neither perceivable, nor measurable by the human senses. The individual spirit is infinitesimal, therefore it is beyond the perception of empiric science.
The World Appears As “ THAT WHICH IS NOT”:
Matter is physical, while spirit is non-physical. As the life transcends the laws of chemistry and physics, they are irrelevant in the research on life. The worldly knowledge gained through sense-perception is apparent and eclipsed. It never allows the living beings to have any kind of true knowledge of anything. For example, when you see an object of red color, you think that the object to be red. But the reality is that, the red surface which you are seeing is just anti-red. When the sunlight falls on that surface, it sucks all its friendly colors like violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow and orange. As it hates the red color, it gives the red back to you, who wrongly see that non-red surface as red one. In this manner, every object of this world appears to the living beings as quite contrary to the reality. The worldly beings are thus deceived by their defective senses and also due to the perverted vision. As long as a jiva soul remains under the influence of the relativity of maya, it remains incapable of knowing anything about the absolute reality. The investigating scientists complain that the nature is cunning, as it does not allow to be investigated thoroughly. These poor scientists forget that, their own brains too are cunning since they are the part and parcel of the mundane nature. The triple qualities of nature known as Sattva (mixed goodness), Rajas (passion) and Tamas (ignorance) influence the living beings and create misguidance. They act like opaque spectacle, red spectacle and black spectacle to distort the vision of the living beings. The heart of an ignorant person is like a dirty and turbulent water surface which reflects highly distorted and mutilated images. The heart of a passionate person is like a polluted water surface of ripples which reflects broken images. The heart of mixed goodness is relatively better than the other two, yet that too is incapable of producing correct pictures about the reality. Only when the human heart transcends these triple qualities and achieves the state of pure goodness( Shuddha Sattva), it becomes capable to reflect the absolute reality. This is possible only through the spiritual virtue of devotional process, acquired in association with a pure devotee of the Supreme Lord.
Absolute Truth is Transcendental:
The defective understanding of the human-beings under the spell of triple qualities creates variations in the perceptions and ideologies of the various human beings, resulting in differences and contradictions. Devotional performance uplifts the human life by imparting clear vision and spiritual wisdom. Absence of this divine wisdom results in various problems and controversies. Those who do not possess practical wisdom or common-sense, tend to subscribe to the negative trends like atheism, fanaticism, hatred, violence, superstition, cruelty, quarrel, intolerance, selfishness and duplicity. Common sense acquired through spiritual wisdom prompts the jives to adopt sincerity, honesty, truthfulness, enthusiasm, devotion compassion, uprightness etc.
Spiritual Revelations are Flawless:
Vedic knowledge or the spiritual revelations transcend the time, space and the triple qualities of the phenomenal nature, hence they are absolutely perfect and free from the four-fold defects known as , – inadventure, blunder, inadequacy of the senses and tendency for deception. All the material, empiric and academic information is misleading due to these four fold inherent defects. Therefore, the empiric knowledge has no merit in understanding the spirit.
Relativity of Sense Perceptions:
Every student of science knows about the limitations of our sense organs. Our ears can hear sounds ranging from 20 cycles per second up to 20,000 cycles per second. We cannot hear infra sound and ultra sound. Our eyes can respond only to a very small band spectrum of light. We cannot see below infra red rays and above ultra violet rays. Similarly we cannot see X rays etc. Any object which is very small or very big, most closer or most far way from the eyes cannot be seen by us. Certain animals and birds are capable of seeing during darkness, as their visions have different band spectrums. Similarly certain creatures can perceive high frequency sounds which we cannot hear or feel. It is often noted that many birds and animals receive prior intimations regarding the earth quakes and natural calamities, then they start behaving strangely. Certain household animals get prior information about the impending death of the house people which makes them to cry strangely.
Limitation of the Senses:
A human being has two eyes which will help him in determining the distance between himself and the seen objects. As the human eyes are situated on the same plane a person can see only in one direction at a time. Our two ears which are situated in opposite sides can hear the sounds of various directions. God has given us two eyes and two ears, but only one mouth and a single tongue, as he wants us to see a lot, hear a lot, but eat a little and to speak a little. Vision of the human eyes can cover only about 70 to 80 degrees of angle. Neither we can see simultaneously in both the sides, nor at the back side. A fish has better privilege to see around except at tits tail end. This fish vision may cover almost 240 degrees angle. Therefore, the wide angle lense in photography is known as the fish-eye-lense. The creator God Brahma has four heads in four directions to see his entire creation simultaneously.
Occult Vision through Herbs:
Regarding the special perceptions of birds as well as the miraculous powers of the herbs, the following incident provides some amazing information. The event was narrated by a muslim saint who lived in Madras, who was a knower of occult science and a person of international fame. It was about a gentleman of Delhi who was maintaining two parrots in a cage. In due course of time one of the parrots became afflicted with some eye complaint and subsequently stopped eating and sleeping. Seeing such a condition of the bird, the owner kept the cage open, so that the parrots may freely fly away to the forest. What he observed was that, the healthy parrot alone flew out of the cage and after some time it brought some herbal stick and began to apply it to the diseased eye of the other parrot. Within a few days the sick parrot regained its sight and became all right. Both the parrots then left the cage and flew out to the forest. Latter the owner found the herbal stick in the cage and kept it in his turban. When he went out on a walk, he found some strange looking persons speaking strange language. He understand that they were from some other world on an unusual mission. In the mean time the herbal stick fell down and lost. Consequently the strange vision disappeared.
Insignificance of Empiricism:
The cosmic universe is so vast and so wonderful that, empiric scientists discover only a little about it and think themselves as very great. In comparison with the endless ocean of divine wisdom, the materialists are as small as frogs jumping in a dried up well. The endless cosmic universe along with its billions of wonders is just a part of the uniquadrangular majesty of the Supreme Lord. The divine abode is the tri-quadrangular majesty which is the seat of grieflessness, fearlessness and immortality. A person of true common-sense absolutely surrenders to the Supreme Lord in association with the holy souls, by discarding the false ego of becoming a foolish genius of this grievous and fearful mortal world.
Faith in God is Natural:
Faith in God is a natural virtue of human beings. In the absence of a clear perception about God, the ignorant masses worship various prominent objects like sun, moon, mountains, trees, rivers etc. Our Bharat Bhumi is a holy land where the spiritual knowledge manifested in the form of the Vedas, Upanishads, Vedanta Sutra, Puranas, Gita, Srimad Bhagavatham etc. These divine texts disclose the entire range of phenomenal and transcendental knowledge. Here in you can find perfect answers for all the un-answered basic questions of human life. Discarding such an exalted divine treasure, most of our people are groping in darkness to collect materialistic ignorance from foreign countries. These people are more unfortunate than pennywise-pound fools. This country, which was once upon a time the world –teacher of super excellence, due to the neglect towards spiritual values, ha snow become a beggar for the rejected refuse of the foreigners. Due to the foolish attitude of our fallen masses, the harmful atheism and injurious fanaticism discarded by the foreigners are safely thriving here to befool and engulf the larger sections of the society. Although the evils like sophistry, diplomacy and falsehood may succeed temporarily in suppressing the natural human faith in God, the real nature of the human beings cannot be suppressed forever. The readers may just note the teaching of the following anecdote. A rationalist professor once had an occasion to deliver a lecture on the subject “there is no God”. For the purpose of substantiating his theory, he prepared elaborate arguments and instruction material. While proceeding to the lecture hall, he came across a small temple, where he stood silently for a minute with folded hands, praying for the success in the ensuing lecture. For a person fallen on the ground , the ground itself is the shelter for getting up. Similarly, without the grace of God, neither you can deny God, nor you can have your next breath. If the human beings lose their sense and common sense, who can save them ?
Foolish materialists do not believe in the existence of the spirit which is the basis of life. At the same time, they are very greedy for collecting material wealth and enjoyments. This type of stupidness is known as gaining the world and loosing the soul. When a person dies, the spirit leaves the body. All the chemicals, hormones, enzymes and other ingredients of human body are known to the medical science. In the absence of the spirit, even by administering all the known biological ingredients, you cannot make the dead alive. When the individual spirit is so valuable, how foolish it is to discard the spiritual welfare and to live a worthless life ! One should take due care of all the three constituents , namely body, mind and spirit. While body and mind are temporary, spirit is the eternal entity. The really wise people are those, who strive for acquiring the eternal spiritual treasure known as the “Divine Love”. This is the message of pure common sense.
Society is Like a Mirror:
Man is a social being. Progress of an individual is closely related to his social environment. Social welfare is possible, only when all the individual members are worthy, honest, responsible, wise, noble and courageous. If a persona tries to acquire wealth and enjoyment by depriving others, it finally results in digging one’s own grave. By the application of common sense we can understand that, the society is just like a mirror. If you want to see a pleasing picture in the mirror, certain conditions have to be fulfilled. Similarly, if you desire for your progress, welfare and prominence in the society, you have to fulfill certain personal an d social obligations. A clean and perfect mirror reflects a nice picture, when the person standing in front of the mirror is good looking, well dressed and is in pleasant mood. When there is darkness you cannot see your image. Likewise, an ignorant society does not reflect your worthy gestures. A broken mirror, uneven mirror, soiled mirror and faded mirror shall not reflect anything as is. If the person standing before the mirror is angry, ugly, dirty, ill dressed and restless, even a clean and perfect mirror cannot project any pleasing picture.
If you desire to form a pleasant environment and sensible society, everyone in your society should be honest. Everyone should strive for the progress of the entire society. Everyone should possess self-control, simplicity, service, wisdom, generosity, friendliness, kindness, austerity, enthusiasm, alertness, love of truth, hatred of evil, endeavor for special progress, uprightness, responsibility, gratitude, devotion, dutifulness and courage. At the same time, one should discard the negative qualities like lust, anger, greed, pride, envy, enmity, hatred, selfishness, violence, discrimination, duplicity, cruelty, laziness, falsehood, atheism, fanaticism, wastage etc. Just as your picture is reflected in a mirror, your personality gets reflected in the society. If you help the society, the society will help you. If you clean up and reform your society, you can live a clean life. If you save the society from downfall, the society too shall save you from downfall. If you work for the affluence of the society, you can remain as an affluent member of the society. If you deceive the society, the society too shall deceive you. If you deprive the society, the society too shall deprive you. Its is the holy duty of everyone to work for the progress and welfare of the society and of the nation.
Various Kinds of Reflections:
The society which is not well cultured is just like an uneven mirror, which reflects disproportionate and deformed pictures. A disunited society of internal controversies is like a broken mirror which reflects mutilated pictures. A worthless society is like a dirty mirror which fails to reflect anything. Only when you act like a noble man, you can expect nobleness from the society. Every mirror has a natural defect known as lateral inversion, due to which you see your left side as the right side and your right side as the left side. Likewise, the society too has certain inherent defects in reciprocating your feelings and sentiments. You have to tolerate it in good spirit. When a mirror is kept flat on a ground, the highly situated objects in the sky are seen as the very low lying in the mirror; the lowly situated object in the sky appears as a highly placed one. This phenomena indicates the reciprocation between the spiritual abode and the mortal world. The highest spiritual sentiment of amorous love appears here as the low type of relationship. The lowest spiritual sentiment of peace or neutrality appears here as the object of highest attainment. Therefore, everyone in this world aspires for peace after facing failure and unrest in the dealings of conjugal love, parental affection, fraternity and servile sentiment. In fact this world is a perverted reflection of the spiritual abode.
Spirit and the Matter, Similarity & Distinction:
As the amorous love is the highest principle of relationship in the divine abode, all the living beings on this earth have a great attraction and fascination for conjugal love. At the same time there is an unnatural factor in the worldly relationship, which make sit despicable. In the amorous love of the spiritual platform, the Supreme Lord alone is the Absolute Enjoyer or the Male personality, whereas all the individual spirits are the female partners or lady-love. Lord Krishna the Supreme is served by millions of milk maids in the eternal goloka Vrindabana. In this perverted reflection of this world, some individuals are the male enjoyers, whereas some others are the female, enjoyed entities. In fact, it is against the spiritual constitution of the individual souls to become enjoyers or the Lords. This shameful worldly act is just like a street beggar acting like a monarch. The amorous love of divine abode is eternal, all blissful and most agreeable. Whereas the conjugal love of this world is polluted due to selfishness, lust, envy, competition, sedition, dissatisfaction, victimization, suppression, harassment, quarrel, divorce, dowry, death etc. Here men and women often seen fighting to assert their rights and superiority, without being able to meet both the ends. Both the events like, men thinking women as their enjoyables and women thinking themselves as the enjoyed of someone of this world are against the original spiritual principle of devotional service and divine love.
Serve the Real Master:
As per the moral code, when the husband of a chaste lady proceeds on a long voyage apart from home, the wife maintains austere vow and everyday worships the picture of her husband. During this worship, suddenly if the husband returns back from the journey and reaches home, the chaste wife should cut short her picture worship and she should affectionately welcome and serve her husband. Similarly, for the chaste ladies, their worldly husbands are the pictures of God. When the call comes from God to serve him, the chaste wife should immediately engage herself in the service of the real husband(the Supreme Lord) by stopping the worship of the picture(worldly husbands). Those who do not understand this secret cannot claim to be worthy or chaste. The hearts of living beings also are compared with mirror. Lord Chaitanya instructed to clean this mirror by the help of chanting Divine names. Thus the purified heart reflects the spiritual reality to bestow self-realization and God-realization. Robber Ratnakara chanted the Divine Rama names and turned out to be a great saint Valmiki.