The cost of knowledge

Ram Chandran rchandran at COX.RR.COM
Sun Feb 10 20:53:04 CST 2002


Let me make my observation with the same economic perspective as a
practicising economist. One of the favorite quotation that the economists
make is the following: 'There is no such thing called free-lunch" The subtle
 truth behind this message, nothing comes free of costs! One has to take
efforts to get the full benefit of anything that appears available as free.
The dollar or rupees that we pay to learn is the compressed expression of
those efforts. In the olden times, the teachers put lots of efforts to teach
the students and students paid their 'Gurudhakshana'after completing their
studies. The Gurudhakkshana is not necessarily in monetary terms but by
other means. Money or material goods were never demanded by the Guru but the
Gurus expected something in return that is everlasting. Most the times,
knowledge was passed from Gurus to many generations through the students.

Now a days, the term Gurudhakshana always refers to payment by dollars or
rupees!  Many Acharyas (Shankara Mutt for example) do not want to get
involved in the money collection efforts and are mostly handled by the
institutional bureaucrats. Voluntary donations do not come often and
spiritual institutions find it difficult to conduct their services.
All spiritual institutions have no alternative but to state fees for
conducting classes. A majority of the spiritual non-profit organizations
only charge the minimal (just to cover the costs) to keep them distinct from
profit oriented institutions.

warmest regards,

Ram Chandran

On Sun, 10 Feb 2002 07:29:49 -0800, S. V. Subrahmanian
<svsubrahmanian at YAHOO.COM> wrote:

>Being interested in economics as a science, I have the following to add to
>observation.  Economics is more of a behavioural science rather than an
>objective science like physics or chemistry.

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