(HH Kadamba Kanana Swami, SB 1.12.26, Melbourne, Australia)
To be wise is different from being intelligent because wisdom means that one knows the goal of life whereas intelligence means that one is able to analyze the situation and calculate advantage. Of course, intelligence without wisdom is not favourable at all. Such intelligence is only causing havoc and disturbance and in one sense, it’s not intelligence. It’s not intelligent when one acts in way that causes disturbance. Like modern man is kind of looking upon historical man as not so developed.
I mean, now we have the best standard of education we ever had, now we have the best and most sophisticated standard of life we’ve ever had. Now we know more answers to questions than mankind ever knew before. Now, coincidentally, mankind is at its peak of civilization and we just happen to take birth now. We can see that actually our knowledge is very vast, nowadays we know so much, like a continent of knowledge but our continent of knowledge is a drifting continent of knowledge, that means we are gaining knowledge on one hand and losing it on the other side. Who knows the science of herbs like our ancestors did?
I was sitting in a dentist’s chair and the dentist was about to remove a bad tooth. I was thinking that it says in the Bhagavatam that there is a herb and if you just touch this herb to the tooth then all bacteria will go. And I thought, if only I had this herb!? Meanwhile dentist was putting on rubber gloves and getting ready for his activities… what to do!? I don’t know what that herb is.
So, simple things like that are forgotten, all forgotten. So, it’s not that now we are so knowledgeable and previously they did not know anything. They knew so many things then that we don’t know now. And like this, we have not made any progress. Knowledge has simply shifted to another area, that’s all. In fact, our culture is certainly not at the height of intelligence because there is little wisdom in our culture.