It is something to theoretically know something. It is totally something else to apply it practically.
This is part of the life long education that one goes through.
This principle also applies in the programming world.
One can know all the algorithms and theories. However applying these concepts in practical problems is what differentiates good programmers.
Humans have evolved to realize that performing certain actions which are tough in the present moment, but lead to great rewards in the future. Also, it has been observed that hankering after results also leads to several problems.
Hence performing actions without the anticipation of results appears to be the best approach.
As Krishna delineates the three ways to perform actions, penances etc, he categorizes those actions performed for their own sake as belonging to the the Sattvika category.
aphalākāṅkṣhibhir yajño vidhi-driṣhṭo ya ijyate
yaṣhṭavyam eveti manaḥ samādhāya sa sāttvikaḥ
This can be roughly translated to:
That sacrifice which is offered by men without desire for reward as enjoined by the ordinance (scripture), with a firm faith that to do so is a duty, is Sattvika or pure.
– Bhagavad Gita 17.11
During the time of Gautama Buddha in Ancient India, there were a few republics along with kingdoms, forming the Mahajapadas. There appears a widespread impression today that the Buddha went against tradition.
In reality, for most of his life, after having been born in the Shakya capital of Kapilavastu, he lived most of his life in the major kingdoms of his day. He was patronized by the kings of his day, including Bimbisara, the king of Magadha.
Perhaps the Buddha favored practicality by choosing to live in the kingdoms, which offered security and a relatively peaceful environment?
There is a common saying that “Man does not live by bread alone”. This indicates that people require something else higher than the basic needs to live. Once the basics (food, shelter, clothing) are covered, being inspired by beautiful art, poetry, literature, architecture etc is absolutely crucial for a society and individuals in a society to thrive.
In programming, the designing of external APIs is a crucial piece. Understanding the nuances and coming up with a good user-friendly design is crucial.
Safety drives much of the decisions taken by most people. The word safe is ultimately derived from a Sanskrit root word “sarvah” that means whole. It indicates the idea that being whole and intact is one of the main drivers behind most actions undertaken by humans across the generations.
In terms of easing usage and development of software, having great documentation is crucial.
It cannot be emphasized enough.
Providing good examples and usage guides is always a great help.
In terms of international influence in the fields of culture and spirituality, few ancient figures come close to Buddha. It is interesting to note that among all the founders of sects, most information is available for the Buddha because of the written records available from his time.
Behind many major historic events can be a few turning points. It is difficult for many contemporaries to know this. Also, people studying history will debate for long about these “turning points”. It appears that such things are difficult to know.
With the evolution of the human mind, the possibility to transcend the base nature of human existence appeared possible with the help of knowledge.
prakāśhaṁ cha pravṛittiṁ cha moham eva cha pāṇḍava
na dveṣhṭi sampravṛittāni na nivṛittāni kāṅkṣhati
udāsīna-vad āsīno guṇair yo na vichālyate
guṇā vartanta ity evaṁ yo ’vatiṣhṭhati neṅgate
This can be roughly translated to:
O Arjuna, The persons who are transcendental to the three guṇas neither hate illumination (which is born of sattva), nor activity (which is born of rajas), nor even delusion (which is born of tamas), when these are abundantly present, nor do they long for them when they are absent. They remain neutral to the modes of nature and are not disturbed by them. Knowing it is only the guṇas that act, they stay established in the self, without wavering.
– Bhagavad Gita, 14.22-23