Vidya Daan (Hindi: विद्या दान, Sanskrit: VidyaDaanam, विद्यादानम्) is the sharing or passing of information/Knowledge. Literally translated it means Knowledge charity.
Living is learning, and the things learned should be shared and passed on, for a society to move forward. From times imemorial, Knowledge has been passed on form father to son, uncle to nephew, from Guru to Bhramacharya, etc. As this Flow of Knowledge continues to accumulate through generations, it becomes richer and richer. And the destruction of this flow leads to the setback of centuries of progress. Since creativity builds on the past, if there is nothing to create from, there will be almost nothing to create at all! It would be like reinventing the wheel.
With the advent of Copyright and other forms of Intelectual Property, Knowledge has become private property to be owned, sold and bought. The concept of Intelectual Property has now restricted the flow of Knowledge to only those who can pay for it, and therefore become an obstruction to the flow.
But, a virtue is still a virtue:
- अन्नदानं महद्दानं विद्यादानं ततः परम् |
- अन्नेन क्षणिका तृप्तिः यावज्जीवं तु विद्यया ||
The giving of food (अन्नदानं) is a great type of charity (महद्दानं) . But the giving of knowledge (विद्यादानं) is even greater than that (ततः परम्).
The satisfaction (तृप्तिः) obtained from food (अन्नेन) is only momentary (क्षणिका), while that gained from knowledge (विद्यया) lasts lifelong (यावज्जीवं).
“ A person who does not share is not only selfish, but bitter and alone”