Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sages & Pundits

I was explaining to a colleague why I was sitting at my desk chatting with him, at 5 a.m. CST (my time in Texas) which was 3.30 p.m. in his location, Bangalore.

I start work between 4.30 and 5 a.m by choice, because I wake naturally around 3 a.m. every morning, frequently a little earlier. Starting early also means I can finish up early, most days, and I get to miss most of the traffic.

It has been years since I heard an alarm clock and while I will try to sleep in until 4 or 4.30 a.m. at the weekends, if I can - I will always wake around 3. Even when daylight savings time hits us, twice a year, my internal clock doesn't skip a beat and I wake at 3 by the clock, irrespective of the adjustment. Fortunately I absolutely love those early morning hours when my world is quite.

Most Westerners tease me about this peculiar behavior and accuse me of keeping 'Irish time' no matter where in the world I happen to be located - and it is true that when I am in Ireland, I tend to wake at about 3 a.m. CST, rather than GMT and I have very little difficulty adjusting to time differences when I travel.

My Eastern friend declared with delight that I must be a sage or a pundit. Now, I thought I knew the meaning of the term 'sage' but the term pundit in Western circles appears to have lost it more mystical and acceptable meaning. To me a pundit was someone who was somewhat sleazy - being more a political or even bookies tipster, so I looked up the true meaning of both words and felt somewhat complimented- I will interpret 2. below 'a learned man' - to be referencing 'mankind' as a whole rather than specifying gender in this instance. Particularly as one of my most revered people, Gandhi is quoted as saying:
“To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man's injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man's superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?"

Having searched for a more Eastern definition of sage or pundit, I came across this site which has a wealth of information on Hinduism: "... sages had understanding of things and places which normal people like you and I could never even imagine..." and "... had complete understanding of everything in this world and the heaven..."

I started my quest feeling somewhat complimented, and while my quest to find more information on Hinduism will continue, I find myself feeling very highly complimented. That is praise indeed even if that praise is not entirely deserved.