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January 10, 2017 | posted in HR | posted by : Manappuram Finance
Let me begin with a story.

There was once a Monk who had through his Master, learnt everything that could be learned. He memorized all the Scriptures and all the science available in his time. He became proficient in them, he became a great scholar; his fame started spreading all over the country.

When there was nothing else to be taught, the master said, ”You have known all that can be taught by me. Now you can go out in the world and come back after learning something new.” The monk was confused. What could he possibly learn from the outside world that could not be taught by his Master. However, he did not wish to question the wisdom of his Master and decided to learn something new for himself. His journey carried him through a forest and he was not ready for the sight that he was to face.

What an astonishing sight!’ cried the Monk. In the forest place he had come across a fox that had no legs. ‘How can it possibly live?’ he wondered, ‘for it looks healthy enough.’

Suddenly his senses made him aware of a Lion who was coming upon the scene. He quickly climbed a tree and watched in awe what happened next. The lion had killed a deer. It dropped the carcass near the fox, ate its fill, and then went off, leaving bits of the meat behind. Quickly the fox ate the lot.

‘Even more astonishing!’ gasped the Monk. He couldn’t believe what he had seen. So, next day he again came out into the forest and again hid on the tree. The same thing happened. The lion appeared with a freshly killed deer, ate what it wanted, leaving portions of the meat for the fox to finish.

‘It’s a sign from God!’ the Monk said, for I have learnt something new. ‘From now on I, too, will rely, like the fox, upon the generosity of the Creator. This was one thing that my master had not taught me and I need to put it to practice and share the results with my master’.  He soon found himself a dark corner against a wall and settled to wait.

‘God will provide,’ he said to himself.

He sat there for several days and neither friend nor stranger went near him. More days passed. He grew thinner and thinner until his veins and skin were stretched like harp strings on his bony frame.

At length, when he was almost too weak to move, he pleaded a group of people to lead him back to his school before he would die, for he wanted to tell his master that though he had learnt something new, it could not be applied in practice.

As soon as he was brought to the school, the master and the other disciples took him and cared him back to health. After he was well and was able to speak, his teacher enquired what the matter was.

The Monk poured out his story. ‘Now tell me,’ he said when he had finished, ‘surely that was a sign from God? For I had only imitated what I had learnt’
‘Of course it was,’ replied the holy man, ‘but how could you be such an idiot? Why didn’t you see that you were supposed to imitate not the fox but the lion?’

There is so much to learn from this simple story. The two most important learnings that I would like to point out are:

i)          There is never a time in life where one can assume that he has learnt everything. Learning never stops.
ii)         How to make the right choice when putting the learning to practice is also a learning in itself.

This story also reminds me of the couplet by Kabir in which the poet says: ‘If here before me stand both my Guru (teacher) and Govind (the almighty), I’d first prostrate before my Guru, because it is He who revealed to me the Govind!’    
Manohar K Nair
Vice President – HRM Training

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