Dubai: A. Parthasarathy, a 94-year-old Indian philosopher, will host a virtual ‘Vedanta Fest’ on Saturday on the need to develop the intellect to fight “the virus of baneful emotions”.
Affectionately known as “Swamiji”, Parthasarathy, who still plays cricket, will host the free online ‘Q&A’ event on the YouTube channel ‘VedantaFest TV’ from 5.30pm to 6.45pm (UAE time) on Saturday. Residents can register on vedantafest.org for free to attend the virtual event.
The event will be held under the patronage of Shaikh Nahayan Bin Mubarak Al Nahayan, Minister for Tolerance and Coexistence, who will be introducing Swamiji. The event is supported by the Consulate General of India, Dubai. Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Dubai, will be one of the questioners at the online event. Friends Of India (FOI) are also supporting Vedantafest.
Need for direction
Vedanta is an ancient Indian philosophy about the self. During Vedanta Fest, Parthasarathy, also known as the “Go-Getter’s Guru”, will discuss how COVID-19 is not the only virus gripping the globe today. “The world is inflicted not just with the COVID virus, but also with the virus of attachment and aversion, greed, envy, lust and jealousy and a host of other baneful emotions. The virus is virtually bringing havoc to the human race. There is a dire need for human beings to develop the intellect and use it to control, direct their emotions towards self-development,” he said.
Intellect vs intelligence
The intellect is too often confused for intelligence, leading to its underdevelopment, Parthasarathy warned. “Even the intelligentsia have stopped thinking, enquiring. They seem quite complacent with merely obtaining information, knowledge from external sources ... People the world over lack intellectual development. They operate on feeling and emotion of the mind rather than reason and judgement of the intellect. Such irrational approach to life bereft of logic and reason has led humans to perennial strife and struggle, antagonism and destruction all over the world. To have emotions is a virtue, but it will be a grievous error to let them interfere with your intellectual judgement.”
He pointed out that intelligence is built in by gaining information and knowledge from external sources, but no amount of intelligence can build intellect. “The intellect is the faculty to think, to reason, to judge, to decide on the pros and cons of life. The capacity to question, enquire and not to take anything for granted. You will have to develop your intellect all by yourself. No external agencies can achieve that for you,” Parthasarathy added.
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Succumbing to greed
“The world today is in a state of chaos due to the perversion in human development — all intelligence and no intellect. That explains why even highly educated businesspersons, professionals and scholars become alcoholics, rave with foul temper, succumb to greed and are stressed with worry and anxiety.”
Parthasarathy is founder of Vedanta Academy, a scientific and industrial research organisation in India.