Learning

“Learning”. This word always make me miss my mom. Don’t worry she is very much alive and kicking {our butts whenever she feels, we ( my siblings and I) deserve it.} Yet this word is a part of my childhood imprints. ‘Learning….’ Being an Avid reader I practically devoured books as a child. With non-satiated curiosity, books were my friends, philosopher and guide; heck somewhat addiction too.
And one day when I was around nine year old my mother asked ‘What do learn from all these books you read?’ I was slightly puzzled. OK I learn so much. That was the generic idea so I did not know what she meant and  was slightly puzzled. Oh My God ! Not like text books ! We already made to learn there. Here we enjoy. (Going inside my mind.) She said,‘Here is a story about a little boy.’ I am always unable to resist a good  story so, I got hooked.

And here it goes. In Mahabharata ‘The epic’ there were five brothers(Princes) and there are 100 cousins (Princes again). It is about the royal family of Kuruvansh. The Pandavas and Kauravas. This is the story of the eldest brother Yudhishtir amongst those five. They all were given a full chapter of ‘Shubhashitani’ means ‘Sayings:- Which contains some principals of life’; to learn by heart.

 
Next day their Guru asked ‘So who all had finished the task I gave yesterday ?’ All happily cheered,’me – me’. Their Guru was pleased, however, he saw that little Yudhishtir was very quite and standing in a corner. He went  to him and asked him as well. He was considered the most sincere and serious student. His manners and grace were also impeccable. He simply said “I could learn only two lines of the whole chapter.” Guru was surprised and he said “How is that?! Those who do not study very sincerely, even they have memorised it all and you are telling me you have learned only two lines !!” 

 His answer was again “yes”. Guru ji was growing angry now, and asked,”Only two lines! That’s a shame what were you doing and why did you not read it completely?” ‘I did’, answered the child. “I read it again and again and again but could not manage to hold more than two lines.” By now Guru ji was properly angry. He reminded him that how in being the eldest he is the heir to the throne and how it’s his responsibility to be the best since it can-not be otherwise. It was simply unacceptable. His answer was equally calm. “Please forgive me Guru ji but, I could only learn two lines.” By now Guru ji was fuming in rage and he picked up a branch of tree kept as a ruler to basically use as a pointer while teaching, and now he asked him to open his palm and started the unthinkable. By now all the other princes had also gathered around as it was something new which had never happened before. They were all shocked and some of them ran inside the palace and fetched the patriarch of their clan, their grandfather Bhishma.

He came and got the whole narration of the incidence. This puzzled him as well, given the brilliant track record of the eldest prince. So this time ‘he’ asked the child. By now the child’s face was red and he started to look angry and frustrated. So to the same question he answered “Pitamah – (Grandpa) I thought I learned two lines but it seems I could manage to learn just one.”  Now Bhisma asked gently – “Please explain what do you mean. The great future Dharmaraj {One who always understood the nitty- grities of Dharma – (‘one’s capacity to understand and perform his/her duties in exact and accurate way with full justice’)} “Yudhistira answered”, “The two lines I have learnt were”:- 


1. Always speak truth.

2. Do not let anger hold your head. 

“However, now that I am feeling very angry I think I am capable of learning only one line so far which is ‘Always speak truth.’

Every one was stunned and in complete awe. Guru ji (The teacher) was speechless.(This is the story before great Dronacharya became their Guru (Full time teacher.)

Once the story finished my mother said “Do you understand it ? It means no matter how much you read or how many things you memorise; Only what we implement in life is the real learning. So, if you find one line from your whole book to implement and to follow through in your life, then the time and energy given to that book is worth it.” 


It has been with me since then; Learning is only what we implement. The rest  is collected data, which tends to only give inflated egos. 

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