Knowledge Management Principles — Through Indian Proverbs!

Knowledge Management Principles — Through Indian Proverbs!

by Madanmohan Rao
Editor, The KM Chronicles
http://twitter.com/MadanRao
Moscow (via Skype!); July 11, 2012

I had the honour and delight of speaking at the KM Russia 2012 conference today – via Skype videocall (and hopefully in person next time)! The topic as requested by the organisers was most unusual – explain some principles of knowledge management through Indian proverbs and quotations!

I had shared some of these during my presentation at the KM Asia 2010 conference in Singapore, where I met Vadim Chiriaev, the organiser of KM Russia. Here are some of the proverbs and quotations I read out and explained, ably translated into Russian in real time by the lovely Olga Smirnova (if you would like to read more, please see my tweets and book at: http://twitter.com/IndianProverbs http://IndianProverbs.in http://bit.ly/TU12l):

Studying is sweat, but knowledge is sweet.
– Tamil proverb
An old patient is better than a new doctor.
- Kannada proverb
To lose is to learn.
- Hindi proverb
Iron and knowledge will get spoiled if they are not used.
- Malayalam proverb
You cannot cook rice well by just dreaming about rice.
- Tamil proverb
A half-truth won for ourselves is worth more than a whole truth learned from others.
– S. Radhakrishnan
In the house of the wealthy, even morons are considered intelligent.
- Punjabi proverb
When the student is ready, the master appears.
- Buddhist proverb
It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom.
- Mahatma Gandhi
Knowledge is of no use in the absence of right conduct, conduct is of no use in the absence of right knowledge.
- Jain proverb
A good teacher must himself be a fellow traveller in the exciting pursuit of knowledge.
- S. Radhakrishnan
Truth can be stated in a thousand different ways, yet each one can be true.
- Swami Vivekananda
Through zeal, knowledge is gotten; through lack of zeal, knowledge is lost.
- Buddha
One’s knowledge is only a handful of sand, there is still an ocean of knowledge to learn.
- Tamil proverb
He who gives advice should also be able to follow advice.
- Punjabi proverb
It is better to be criticised by a wise man rather than be praised by a fool.
- Sindhi proverb
The knowledge of truth brings with it power.
But if the power be mixed with arrogance, it slides back into ignorance.
- Mahabharata
The end of all knowledge must be building of character.
- Mahatma Gandhi
Experience is as important for knowledge as education.
- Tamil proverb
Think of yourself as if you were the only unenlightened person in the world. Everyone else is your teacher.
- Buddha
All the knowledge in the world is no good if it deserts a person in the hour of need.
- Ramayana
Throughout my life I have gained more from my critic friends than from my admirers.
- Mahatma Gandhi
There is no one who knows everything, there is no one who knows nothing.
- Telugu proverb
Where there is a surfeit of words there is a famine of intelligence.
- Marathi proverb
A second of help is better than hours of advice.
- Tamil proverb
Learning is a treasure no thief can touch.

Learning is as hard to digest as iron.
- Hindustani proverb
There are lessons to be learnt from everyone. The wise person realises this.
- Ramayana
We must become the change we want to see in the world.
- Mahatma Gandhi
Knowledge is of no avail if you cannot control your tongue.
- Kabir
Wisdom comes after being ruined.
- Kannada proverb
Learning acquired in youth is an inscription in stone.
- Hindi proverb
Those with little knowledge keep showing it. Those who know all are calm.
- Hindi proverb
A good teacher must know how to arouse the interest of the pupil in the field of study.
- S. Radhakrishnan
Wisdom is the daughter of old age.
- Hindi proverb
Knowledge is not something to be packed away in some corner of our brain.
- S. Radhakrishnan
When anger comes, wisdom goes.
- Sanskrit proverb
Experience is the mother of all knowledge.
- Hindi proverb
Known is a drop, unknown is an ocean.
- Tamil proverb
The one who teaches is the giver of eyes.
– Tamil proverb

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