By Kamlesh Tripathi
Once upon a time there lived a renowned scholar in the forest who had many bright shishyas (pupils). They were under his aegis for a long period of time, and were eager and impatient to learn the rare talent of Brahmagyan (divine knowledge) from their Guru; considering they had acquired enough mastery on other issues and what was left was only the divine knowledge.
They were somewhat suspicious, thinking the Guru was not keen to teach them Brahmagyan the way to paramsukh (supreme happiness) for reasons best known to him. Somewhat, dissatisfied these shishyas were now desisting to move as per the guidance of their Guru and had started putting pressure on him for teaching them Brahmgyan. Their logic was, when they had surrendered themselves completely at the Guru’s feet, then why wasn’t the Guru teaching them the coveted talent that was the way to supreme happiness.
One day the guru called all his shishyas and said, ‘don’t be under the impression that I don’t want to share Brahmagyan with you. But I only want to say that you all are not ready for it as of now. There is no point in pouring amrit (elixir) in a vessel which has many holes because the entire nectar will just flow out. Before pouring the nectar we need to close all the holes.’
Upon hearing Guru’s words all the shishyas started whispering amongst themselves. The oldest out of them got up and said, ‘Gurudev we don’t agree to your logic that we are not ready for Brahmagyan yet. For many years we have been staying with you and we have carried your message and teachings to many places. People know us as your representative and even you have praised us for our work in the past. Besides Brahmgyan what else is left for us to attain? Your words are creating doubts in our minds, that you don’t want to share this divine knowledge with us, which is the only way to attain supreme happiness.’
Guru for a moment went quiet as it saddened him, thinking his pupils were not humble, and on the contrary arrogant. He thought this distance between the pupils and the Guru will only weaken them and give them a feeling of defeat, and on the contrary nearness to Guru will increase the feeling of self respect.
After a little while the Guru said, ‘dear students, possibly; I was wrong when I thought you all were not ready for Brahmgyan. I guess you all are adults, knowledgeable and ready for the divine knowledge. But I want to take a small test of you all.’
After saying this he took out is basket of fruits and distributed one fruit to every shishya and requested them to hide it in such a place that when no one is watching they could eat it.
All the pupils were a little surprised at this unusual and simple request of the Guru but since all of them were determined to learn Brahmagyan they decided to carry out his the instructions at any cost. They accepted the order of the Guru. After sometime all the shishyas returned with the belief that they had successfully obeyed the orders of the Guru. Leaving aside one who was a continuous laughing stock, and considered a simpleton in the entire group and many didn’t even consider him in their league.
Guru was eagerly waiting, and with a lot of inquisition he asked about how they ate the fruit without anyone noticing them. Everyone narrated their success story.
Then, was the turn of the simpleton, who was often ridiculed by his fellow students. Upon orders from the Guru he came forward on his wobbly legs with the fruit in his hand to tell his story. Guru displayed anger and said, ‘I had asked you to eat the fruit. Everyone obeyed my orders then why did you not have the fruit? What is the reason tell me?’
Shishya said, ‘’Gurudev I wanted to obey your orders but I had no place to hide. You had instructed to have this fruit when no one is around. But wherever I went I felt I am not alone and God is around me, as you only told us God is omnipresent. Because of this I could neither hide myself nor the fruit. Kindly therefore forgive me because I could not pass the test.
‘No, my child, only you have passed in the exams. All the other shishyas only counted on the physical presence. They forgot about the omnipresent God who watches every action of ours and is a witness to all our deeds. When they don’t understand omnipresent God, how will they be blessed with Brahmagyan? Only you could recognise that supreme existence and that is why only you are entitled to receive the supreme divine knowledge—Brahmagyan.’
This story is from the purans (religious texts) which highlights the point that we should only desire for something when we are capable of handling it. Guru knows when he has to bless his shishyas and when they would be capable enough to learn Brahmagyan the way to supreme happiness.