- Translated by Prof.S.F.N.Chelliah
Food, of course, is necessary for all living human beings. But with the point of view of human life, man needs food also for his brain, as he is the greatest of all living beings. Many of the human beings, it appears, live just to eat. Only a few eat just to live. Did man invent all the machines to spend all the fuel? Not at all. He invented the fuel only after inventing machines to operate them. In the same way, life is not meant for eating, but food is meant to supply enough fuel for the functioning of the body.
The growth brain is very essential for the brain to send orders to different parts of the body now and then and to operate and sharpen the sixth sense namely reason and experience.
Brain here means, mind and knowledge. In order to grow plants, many kinds of agricultural activities have to be performed. Brain requires food for human being not only to live for himself but also for others. In order to sharpen our thinking, books that impart knowledge are very necessary. Therefore we must hold it as an important duty on our lives to read books and should make it a habit to read regularly.
The more we move with good friends, our friendship is not cloyed. So also, the more you read books again and again, they give more and more knowledge, increasing the taste for it and enlarging informations. Many in our houses allot a separate room for prayer and waste that space. Not content with this wastage, they frequently visit temples and festivals. Many do not seem to realize that a space for keeping and reading books is much more necessary than a prayer room which is a treasure of knowledge.
Even if there is not a separate room, there can be atleast an almerah in a house to keep the books in tact. Some are in the habit of keeping very valuable books in a show case in the house as luxury items and such books are never read by anyone. There ought to be atleast an almerah in a house, to keep the books that have been read. There are common libraries for those who cannot afford to buy books. They can go there and read. Where there is a will, there is a way!
In every house there is a separate shelf where we keep medicines. We should treat books also in the same manner. The chinese proverb says,"Books are like medicines that cure us of our ignorance". Like the medicine shelf, people should regard the shelf for the books when they build new houses.
If you want to shorten your long journey, complete reading a good book. We will not suffer from feeling the length of time; the travel tedium will not hinder us. The depth of the ideas in the book shall hold you in contentment.
I came across an information yesterday. In America that claims to be a developed country and a big brother to nations, a statistics about the reading habits of the Americans were published to the shock of everyone. The Book Sellers Association of America mentions that about 80 percent of the Americans last year neither purchased books nor read any. The families that never turned to any of the bookstalls were 70 percent. 58 percent of them have never read a book after high school education. It is better for America if it doesn't globalize this abominable habit of not reading!
Therefore let us read and read. The revolutionary poet Bharathi Dasan has sung in a poem "Read the book; read in the morning; read in the evening and read always."
Read this also! The plants that are insufficiently manured and the minds that are insufficiently sharpened suffer from under – growth.