The adage, "Simple Living and High Thinking", implies that cultivation of mind is compatible only with a simple and austere style of living. In other words, an austere mode of life is more conducive to higher reaches of thought and con¬templation.
In Indian context, it does not require much effort of imagination to under-stand the implications of this quotation. From the time of antiquity, India has been a home to an unbroken line of sages and Rishis who led a life of austerity and contem¬plation in their Ashrams located in the forests, on the banks of some holy rivers.
They spent their life meditating on the mysteries of nature, cultivating the qualities of head and heart and passing on their knowledge and skills to the royalty and the common people alike without charging any fees and feeling contended with whatever their pupils could give them in Guru Dakshina.
They lived in mud huts, kept a few cows for milk and cultivated a small piece of land for meeting their needs for food. Since their worldly cares were few and whatever these were could be taken care of by the king or the common householders, they could devote most of their time to studies of the scriptures and various branches of knowledge. That explains the richness of their thought and profundity of their philosophy left to posterity in the Upanishads and Shastras. These Rishis of the antiquity were embodiment of Simple Living and High Thinking.
Every act of man costs time and energy. Time spent in accumulating wealth is not available for cultivating the mind by reading or contemplation. What is our life, but the sum total of hours, days and years? Time once gone cannot be recalled. It is up to man to put it to any use he likes.
It is a common spectacle to see even very well- meaning people spending major part of their life in earning money. Many of them admit that money is a means to an end but they want to accumulate plenty of it so that they do not feel the want of it in their...
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