Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday asked the scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to take lessons from India's ancient sages as they were "probably great scientists".

Speaking at the 39th Directors' Conference of DRDO, Parrikar asked the scientists to learn humility and the art to overcome jealousy and anger from "rishis" of the ancient times.

While referring to ancient sages as "great scientists", Parrikar said that he does not want a controversy whether "rishis" were scientists or spiritual saints, PTI reported. "I always believe that power enhances with restraint and education enhances with humility," he said.

During his speech, Parrikar referred to mythological Rishi Dadhichi -- who, Parrikar said, gave a vajra (a mythical indestructible weapon made out of his own bone) to Indra. He added that the vajra could simply be a metal object developed after scientific research.

"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.

Parrikar once again urged the scientists to become humble as it is the "most important virtue".

"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.