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The Learned Pandit
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Sri Ramakrishna needs no introduction to Indians. Through his renowned disciple, Vivekananda, Sri Ramakrishna's name was introduced to the west. He believed that the supreme power is one, call it Krishna, Christ or Allah. To convince himself of this he adopted Christianity and Islam successively and practiced each of them with great faith and devotion. According to him the experience of ecstasy of joy and closeness to the almighty is exactly the same, be it Hinduism, Christianity or Islam,or any other religion.
His teachings were as simple as his life and were often illustrated with stories.In the next few months I will narrate some of his popular stories to stir your heart. They are witty but full of wisdom.


One day several men were crossing the river on a ferry boat. One of them was a learned Pandit. The Pandit decided to discuss the Hindu scriptures with a fellow passenger in order to pass the time and show off his knowledge. So he turned to one of them and began,I presume you have read the Upanishad? The passenger humbly replied,"No Sir,I have not!" You didn't! said the Pandit in surprise. A quarter of your life has been wasted! But then you must have read Shashtras!the Pandit continued. No Sir, I can't say that I have!the passenger replied,feeling quite distressed. Well then half of your life is wasted! said the Pandit arrogantly. What about the six systems of Hindu philosophy? asked the Pandit in a final effort to begin an intellectual discourse. I am afraid I haven't even heard of them, Sir! the passenger replied. Not heard of them? Then, my friend, three-fourths of your life is wasted. Just as the Pandit said this, he found the boat suddenly began to pitch in increasing violent waves. It is going to capsize! Jump overboard and swim to the shore! The Pandit looked terrified.Don't you know how to swim? the fellow passenger asked. No,I never learnt swimming! the Pandit moaned. You never learnt swimming! Then your whole life is gone, Panditji the passenger replied smugly as he jumped out of the sinking boat.

So,knowledge derived from books is not enough. One must acquire practical learning too.

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