YAKSHA asks the question:
raajan! kena cha buddhimann?
(O King! How does a person become wise)
buddhimaan vriddha sevayaa
(By serving the elders, one become wise)
(Yaksha Prasna from the epic Mahabarat)
Collection of quotes that highlights the personality of elders
From Ramayana (Ayodhya Kanda)
Vasishta urges Rama to grant the prayer of Bharata that Rama may return to Ayodhya and become the king. Rama replies that the command given by his father cannot be disregarded.
se te aham pitur aacaaryaH tava caiva param tapa |
"O, Rama the tormentator of the enemies! I am the spiritual Preceptor to your father and to you too. In obeying my words, you will not transgress the path of the virtuous."
yan maataapitarau vR^ittam tanaye kurutaH sadaa |
"The good, which a father and mother do, by giving whatever they can, to their son constantly, by putting him to sleep, rubbing his body with oil etc, nay, by speaking kindly to him every moment, and even by nourishing him, can never be wholly requited."
sa hi raajaa janayitaa pitaa dasharatho mama |
"The command laid upon me by King Dasaratha, my father, who begot me, cannot therefore be disregarded."
From Mahabharatha (Yaksha Prasna)
In Mahabharatha there is an instance when Dharmaraja the eldest Pandava prince answered some questions put by a Yaksha (a celestial and divine person with divinity) and the answers given by Dharmaraja prove him as the embodiment of wisdom.
Answers to two questions highlight the importance of elders
Yaksha: By study of which science man becomes wise?
Yudishthira: By association with great and elders in wisdom that he gets wisdom
Yaksha: What is higher than sky?
Thirukkural expounds various aspects of life and is one of the most important works in Tamil. This is a collection of 1330 Tamil couplets organised into 133 chapters. Each chapter has a specific subject ranging from "ploughing a piece of land" to "ruling a country". The couplets 441 to 450 explain the importance of associating with Greats (read Elders's Help)
A near English translation is as follows:
Verse 441 Value and secure the friendship. Of the virtuous, mature and wise
Verse 442 Seek them who can remove present ills And prevent those to come.
Verse 443 The rarest of rare things is to seek and secure The friendship of the great
Verse 444 The greatest strength is kinship With one greater.
Verse 445 A king's ministers are his eyes To be chosen with care
Verse 446 No foe can do anything to one Who has fit counsel and acts right.
Verse 447 Who can injure a king who employs Men who can rebuke his royalty?
Verse 448 A king unguarded by trenchant counsel Needs no foes to come to grief.
Verse 449 There can be no gain without capital And no stability unpropped by wise counsel.
Verse 450 Foregoing good counsel is tenfold worse Than facing an army alone.
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter - Mark Twain
Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional - Chili Davis
Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been -- Mark Twain
To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old - Oliver Wendel Holmes
To know how to grow old is the master work of wisdom and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living - Henri Amiel
Youth discusses; middle age conserves; old age preserves - Martin H Fischer
The secret of genius is to carry the spirit into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm - Aldous Hurley
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art - Eleanor Roosevelt