NEW DELHI: Giving mythological lessons to defence scientists, defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said the ancient sages of the country were "probably great scientists".
Parrikar also asked the scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) to learn from "rishis" the art of being humble and overcoming jealousy and anger.
Underscoring the need for educated people to be humble, the defence minister said the "rishis" of yore were "probably great scientists".
Parrikar, who was speaking at the the 39th Directors' Conference of DRDO here, said he would not like to get into a controversy whether "rishis" were scientists or spiritual.
Before he spoke about "rishis", Parrikar said he would like to touch on an issue which should not be taken in a wrong sense. "I always believe that power enhances with restraint and education enhances with humility."
Giving the example of mythological rishi Dadhichi, Parrikar said he provided Indra with "vajra" (a mythical indestructible weapon).
"They say that he made it out of his bone but I think he would have probably done some scientific research to develop a metal which provided that kind of superior technology. So you can classify him into a scientist. But the major difference that I find in those days and today is that rishis had control over ego, control over anger. These are very important for an educated person," Parrikar said.
The minister said education does not have any value if it does not come with integrity.
"For a educated person, to have humility is one of the most important virtue. I think the scientist community should choose to make it part of their overall behaviour and set up. This one aspect ... I see many tussles. Politics is done everywhere but is also being sometimes played in a wrong sense. I understand you have high aspirations," he said.