The knowledge in holy scriptures is like a huge sea. For a man with busy life it will not be possible to read and understand everything. He must act like a swan i.e. attain what is useful and leave the rest.

– Chanakya

You Idiot

I have heard: A person got a doctorate degree in agriculture from Delhi University. As the final examination for his degree, he was sent to a village to do a complete report of a farm to test whether his knowledge was practical or not. He made a report on everything: how many trees, the size of the crop, how many acres in the field, the size of the crop that so many acres of field produced, how much seed was sown, what crops were sold. He made all the calculations, but he was not able to understand one thing. The farmer was laughing at his way of working and did not help him at all. He said, “You are a well-informed person.”

Then looking at a tree the student said, “This tree is in such a state that I don’t think it will give any apples this year.”

The farmer replied, “I am also certain that it will not give any apples because this is not an apple tree.” In this way the farmer was laughing at the student’s statistics.

There was a goat in a hut, an old goat with a long beard. The young man had never gone out of the university. He had learned his agriculture through books; he had spent his life in the library of the university so he could not recognize the animal. And it had a beard! He asked, “Who is this?”

The old farmer said, “You tell me who he is. You are a knowledgeable person. I am only a poor farmer, how can I know?”

The student sent a telegram to the university and in it he wrote a description of this goat: he is old, he has a beard; please tell me who he is.

The information came, “Idiot, he is the farmer! You are not even able to recognize him?”

He is old; he has a beard … so the registrar thought that it must be the farmer. He thought that the student was not even able to recognize the farmer – it was too much!

One life is lived through books; one life is of the experiences of living. From books you can get ideas, not understanding. Understanding is gained by the good and bad experiences of life. That is the difference between knowledge and wisdom, between thinking and understanding. But Sahajo says that if the ultimate could be known through understanding alone, then all the old people would have known it. If the ultimate could be known by thinking, then all the thinkers would have known it. But neither the old people seem to have attained it; nor do young people seem to have attained it. Then a third thing is needed.

“I have seen, by thinking and understanding.” Thinking was used, understanding was used, but both served their purpose for this seeing.

A master doesn’t give you thoughts. Or if he gives thoughts, he gives them to help you to open your closed eyes. Nor does the master give you understanding – but if he gives understanding he gives it to support you so that you can open your eyes. The essential point is to open your eyes.

The eye that sees the world is different from the eye that sees the divine. So howsoever articulate you may become in understanding and knowing the world, you will not be able to know God with these same eyes. It is a different dimension. And something can happen only if your eyes open.

Don’t keep reaching for the stars because you’ll just look like an idiot stretching that way for no reason.

– Jimmy Fallon


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