May 3, 2005
Recognition of the Genius
The world values not potentials but actually usable results. The discovery of electricity or the internal combustion engine is of no use to the common man until it comes to him as a bulb that burns or a motor that runs. Because he is a common man, he expects a result comprehensible to the common man. When Shakespeare wrote ‘Hamlet’, those who saw the drama or read the play saw the genius of the writer in it. Great poets create poetry, but may not know the process by which they arrived at the result. Theoretically, one is not qualified to know unless he transcends Mind. The rightness of the process is expressed in the right result. A man may have substantial knowledge of the process but may not be able to produce the results. The world will not grant him credibility. The world is not right, but it is understandable.
Srinivasa Ramanujam was a genius in mathematics. No one around him was able to know what he wrote in his Notebooks, but everyone believed he was great. After a prolonged, bitter, personal struggle with fate, life and a poor social infrastructure, he was invited to England where many people acknowledged his original worth. He met with one problem there. Ramanujam produced the result. The mathematical community in Cambridge demanded proof and refused to validate his contribution in its absence. This is a problem we need to look at. Nowadays doctors know how exactly many medicines act on the body. They do not have that precise knowledge for every cure they administer. But, because of that, the medicine is not discarded. There are people who can multiply a ten-digit number by another number and give the answer in a few minutes. They do it mentally. The Western materialism laughs at it and calls it derisively, “some calculating boy”. It is true that such a capacity in a person is of no use to the community. It is another thing not to accept that capacity unless its process is explained and ‘proved’.
Here is an example everyone can appreciate. When banks were started, if one million pounds was deposited, they issued bank notes for three million pounds. Now, bankers say 9 million pounds are issued. No one can explain how the extra 8 million pounds are real money. Any precise logical explanation will make us understand that the extra 8 million pounds is unreal money. But, we don’t find it unreal money. When we go to the market, that money buys things as real money buys. Do we refuse to use bank credit? If there are ten steps in a process, he who skips all the nine steps in between is nine times more intelligent. It was Hardy who supported Ramanujam. He was the one who helped him from the beginning to end. He was the only one. Without Hardy, there was no Ramanujam. Hardy was a thorough going materialist who refused to accept Ramanujam’s results without proof. If one calls himself a scientist or one who seeks knowledge, it behoves him to explain things. If a magician produces a result, is it not the duty of the scientist to explain it instead of demanding an explanation of the magician? He who produces the result is far better than the one who demands an explanation.
The world is continuously developing. But no one in this wide world knows how to explain all the developments that have taken place. Those who developed the world are great men of accomplishments, even if they have not explained how they accomplished. Experience comes first, knowledge follows. It is never the other way about. The great minds of knowledge should not speak the language of the common man. If there is a phenomenon, it is right one should try to understand it in its own terms. It is not rational to demand an explanation in terms of the mind that is trying to understand. Electricity can be explained in terms of how it is generated and how it produces light. At its introduction all over the world, people asked, “Where do you pour the oil?” Electric light cannot be explained in terms of oil, wick and lighting. To demand such an explanation is not wise. That way, one will insist on his own ignorance. It is a pity the greatest minds of today in many fields, at least most of them, speak that language.
Mind can accomplish first and then learn slowly after some centuries. It does not wait to understand. Accomplishment without understanding is a process of learning. Once the understanding dawns, accomplishment rises to a far higher level. Rama Avatar carried arms and fought the incarnation of Evil. Krishna Avatar, being an Avatar of a higher order, fought and won the war without carrying arms. But he was on the battlefield, guiding every movement personally. The Supramental Avatar had a still higher knowledge. It could act on the entire world. It could send the Force to the battlefield without Himself going to the war front. And He could explain His PROCESS. He explained it in the greatest possible detail in The Life Divine. There He explains the birth of Mind, Life and how acts originate and accomplish themselves. To explain an act of Mind, one needs to transcend Mind.
Ramanujam was a genius which means he was of the intuitive Mind. He could produce the results of a genius. To explain how he did it, he must rise above Intuition. He must go to the Overmind and be a Krishna. Even then, the rules of life will not always permit him to speak out what he knows. Some can be explained. Others, if he tried to explain, would not take form in his mind and would become infructuous. No one who is not at the level of Ramanujam would be able to know all that he has produced. Genius in India is there in a great measure. In Ramanujam it was on the surface. He had to fight bitterly against life for its recognition. Now its potentials in India are great. To bring it to the surface, India needs to change its attitude to its heritage. That changed attitude will bring in a very helpful climate for the buried genius to surface. What is buried in the national atmosphere will emerge only when its value is fully recognised. Superstitious beliefs will not help bring it to the surface. Two things are important.
1. Education must shift from memorisation to thinking.
2. Utter mental truthfulness.
The nation today is not Westernised but Americanised. Every country is like that. To train the Mind to value Western life values or the lifestyles of America is to write oneself off from a higher opportunity. American schools foster thinking. It is a great value. They think in terms of practical utility. That way, what thinks is the body. It will make a man dynamic and efficient, but will not make him a thinker. They foster voracious reading. Their slogan is ‘Early Readers are Future Leaders’. That is true. Even that will be a great gain for our schools, but NOT for those who seek mental development. Reading, extensive reading, makes the mind understand widely, but PREVENTS it from developing the faculty of thinking. A mind so developed will ask for proofs after seeing the results. How can thinking be developed? If there is a school where it can be demonstrated, the world can understand it. I have not known any school anywhere in the world started for the purpose of fostering original thinking. Should such a school be founded, the moving spirits there will ORGANISE non-thinking academic practices popular with the parents and children. It is difficult to train teachers for that purpose. Still, the possibility is in the atmosphere of India.