Wisdom Literature

Topics: Tanakh, Book of Proverbs, Bhagavad Gita Pages: 2 (461 words) Published: October 31, 2012
Wisdom isn’t bound to specific authorities or contained within political boundaries. The Egyptian Instruction of Amenemope shares a section with the Hebrew Book of Proverbs. Hippocrates’ Aphorisms was probably studied at the Academy of Gondishapur in Persia in the sixth and seventh centuries. The wisdom shared in most of these texts share some similarities. As it can be observed in the above given excerpt, humility and honesty are morals which even the Bhagavad Gita denotes. Wisdom is not bound to specific cultures or authorities but while certain sayings are the building blocks of wisdom the rest may differ. The book of job is a good example of such difference. It is a wisdom literature but since it is a story which imparts religion mostly, its morals differ from what a normal society has for years considered good manners. The book of job is a justification of suffering when it is given by God. The morals prescribed by the all the five books i.e. Book of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs are part of the Old Testament and hence their morals are married with the religion. In the Bhagavad Gita or the Epic of Gilgamesh for example the wisdom imparted is not dependent on religion. In the epic of Gilgamesh, we learn that arrogance, greed and immortality are things man should not have. The Bhagavad Gita imparts the importance of compassion and sacrifice, but also emphasizes that keeping a clear mind requires a healthy body and diet. Such things are not tied to one specific religion and are universal in nature. The Book of Job also teaches us about patience as can be evinced in current society which often uses the saying – “patience of Job.” Wisdom literature is addressed especially to the individual rather than to the whole of society in attempt to arouse change in an entire social order. The institution of wisdom is still active in modern day and old texts such as the Bhagavad Gita are still referred to for their moral codes in India. The Indian...
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