Faith

Preceptor and disciple

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Astudent who is not attuned to the scriptures cannot appreciate what is taught in them. Faith is a crucial factor. Determination to learn is another. It deals with an area where none can be certain about what is being talked about. It has to be gained froma guru who has access to the wisdom that is deemed as the secret of secrets. Yama, king of death and dharma, faces a dilemma when young Nachiketas stands before him and asks to be imparted this knowledge, pointed out Sri Goda Venkateswara Sastrigal in a discourse. Yama has been generous with boons to the boy, little realising that it will put him in a fix. Yama, a self-realised soul and endowed with this secret knowledge, knows that he cannot impart it to all and sundry. Luckily for both the preceptor and the student, the basic hurdles are absent. The topic chosen to be learnt is known only to this preceptor. No one else is eligible to impart this. The student is equally qualified. He is well versed in scriptures, has faith in them, and is keen to knowan important truth about which there is no certain viewand even the celestial beings are not sure at all. Yama tests Nachiketas and tempts him with all available allurements. But the young boy is steadfast about what he wants. Yama is impressed by this and, in the spirit of a true teacher, is genuinely happy to instruct a worthy student, a rarity indeed. “To many it is not given to hear of the Self. Many, though they hear of it, do not understand it. Wonderful is he who speaks of it. Intelligent is he who learns of it. Blessed is he who, taught by a good teacher, is able to understand it.”

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 1:32:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/Preceptor-and-disciple/article14628826.ece

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