Saturday, October 31, 2009



The Art of Learning

A Story



Dear Reader, let me tell you a story, maybe apocryphal, about a scholar who had thoroughly studied the Bhagavad Gita for many years, considered himself an expert, travelled far and wide delivering discourses on the teachings of the Gita and was widely acknowledged as an authority on the subject.

The scholar’s ultimate desire was to deliver a discourse on the Bhagavad Gita at Benares which was the sanctum sanctorum of wisdom and learning.

So he went to Benares and started giving sermons on the teachings of the Gita.

On hearing of the scholar’s erudition and fame, the King of Benares invited the scholar to deliver a discourse on the Bhagavad Gita in his court.

All the wise men of Benares assembled to hear the Scholar.

Just as the scholar started to speak the King interrupted him and told him to read the Bhagavad Gita one more time in the evening and deliver his discourse the next day.

The Scholar was furious but he had no choice but to comply with the king’s wishes.

As he read the Bhagavad Gita with full concentration in the evening the scholar found some new meanings in the Bhagavad Gita and updated his speech accordingly.

Next day the same thing happened – the moment the scholar began to speak the King interrupted him and told him to read the Gita once more and then come the next day to give his lecture.

And again as the Scholar read the Gita he comprehended some new wisdom – something he hadn’t perceived before.

So he incorporated his new findings and proceeded to deliver his talk.

Once again the same thing happened – the king interrupted him and told him to again read the Gita once more before he gave his discourse.

And once again, while reading the Gita that evening, the scholar discovered some new wisdom in the Gita.

This cycle went on for days and days till the scholar realized how ignorant he was and how much more there was to learn from the Bhagavad Gita that he gave up the idea of delivering the discourse and decided to totally devote his entire life and focus his full efforts on the study of the Bhagavad Gita.

Days passed, and suddenly one morning, when the scholar was deeply immersed in his study of the Bhagavad Gita, the King went to the scholar’s house, sat before him with folded hands and requested the scholar to enlighten him about the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2009

Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

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