Sunday, April 3, 2011

How To Learn


Swapan Adhikari, A rickshaw puller from Calcutta: In the year 1975 the Ramakrishna Ashram, Belurghat, West Bengal, felicitated one Sri Swapan Adhikari, a local rickshaw puller, for his remarkable commitment to the promotion of education. Every year for the past twelve years, Swapan had been single handedly arranging for distribution of books and writing materials to the poor students of the town. On 3rd Jan 2005 about 200 students received materials worth Rs. 40,000 in the presence of the District Magistrate and the District Social Welfare Officer.

Sometime in 1984 Swapan had accidentally discovered an envelope containing Rs. 4,300 while clearing his rickshaw. Despite his best efforts with the local police and the panchayath, he could not trace the owner. So he decided to purchase note books for the local poor children. When he went to the school and distributed the notebooks, the radiating joy on the faces of the children deeply touched his heart. He himself had studied only up to 4th Standard but he thought that if he could help poor children to get educated, they could stand on their own feet and come out of poverty. That was the beginning of his mission. Each day he would keep Rs. 50 from his daily earnings to maintain his three member family and would set aside the rest towards his pet project. At the end of the year he would visit the local schools to get a list of children who needed financial help.
He and his family voluntarily embraced frugal living so that they could bring joy to many more students.
In helping others to get their education, Swapan has shown what True Education is.

Novel Way of Spreading Vivekananda’s Message: A. Selvam, a roadside vegetable seller of a remote village near Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, not only sells vegetables but contributes his own mite in spreading the gospel of Swami Vivekananda.
On the heaps of brinjals, beans and other vegetables which he sells on the walkway of an over bridge, he puts up an attractive white plastic board with a quotation from Swami Vivekananda written on it in Tamil. Many curious visitors ask him as to what the board contains and Selvam explains to the extent he knows. It all started when Selvam was gifted a book in Tamil on the teachings of Swami Vivekananda by one of his customers about five years back. Selvam read the book in his free time and found that these ideas should reach the others as well. Thus began his humble mission.
Every day he spends about 30 minutes in choosing and writing one saying of the Swamiji. It attracts quite a few who visit to look at the day’s quote, even as they select the vegetables for purchase.
A class 3 drop-out, Selvam, 41 years, also relates the life and message of the Swamiji to his kids at home.
Vedanta Keasri, June 2008

Guru Nanak and the Two Villages: Once the Sikh teacher Guru Nanak was traveling accompanied by a disciple called Mardana. They came across a village where the people were inhospitable. The two holy men were given neither food nor shelter. On leaving the village, Guru Nanak said “May this Village always be here!”
Soon after they came to another village where the villagers were extremely hospitable, kind and looked after their guests very well. On leaving the village, Guru Nanak said “May this village disappear and its people scatter all over the earth!”

Mardana was astonished. “Sire” he said to the Guru, “When you left the last village you wished it well. Now when you leave this great village where the people have tried to make us happy and comfortable, you wish that it disappears. Is it not strange?”
“Not at all!” replied the Guru with a smile. “When I left the good village I wanted its inhabitants to spread all over the world to shed sweetness and light. And when I forsook the bad one, I expressed the wish that its meanness of spirit might ever be confined to a small place”

Miranda’s eyes opened wide in admiration for the wisdom of his revered teacher.

Be Like a Pearl Oyster: There is a petty Indian fable to the effect that if it rains when the Swati Nakshatra is in ascendance and a drop rain falls into an oyster, that drop of water becomes a pearl
The oysters know this and they come up when the star Swati shines and wait to catch the precious rain drops. When a drop falls into them, the oysters quickly close their shells and dive down to the bottom of the sea, there to patiently develop of the drop of rain into a pearl.
We should be like that oyster. First hear, then understand and then leaving all distractions shut your minds to outside influence and devote yourself to developing the Truth within you.
One should be patient and ready. The magic moment of illumination may come at any time.
It is believed that a pearl oyster commences making of a pearl only when a drop of pure rain water falls into its mouth when the star Swati is in ascendance. And not otherwise. The moment is most important when Truth unfolds itself which requires patience. --Swami Vivekananda

B.M.N. Murthy

Fw: Article No.538--How to Learn and Make Others Learn [Midweek Miscellany ][
Created: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 8:45 PM


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