Maharishi Raikya ran a Gurukul, imparting education to scores of students who came to him in the quest of knowledge. However, his son Yavakirti was not very enthusiastic about receiving education, for which hundreds of students knocked the doors of his father’s Gurukul. In fact he was averse to it.

Not that Yavakirti did not want to acquire knowledge. He wanted to be like his father, but did not want to study for it. His obstinate mind suggested him to undergo penance, perform yajnas etc. or to adopt other such practices, to please the God, to receive the boon of knowledge. In short, he was adamant about acquiring knowledge, without working hard in studies.

Maharishi Raikya tried to persuade him, all in vain, that it was education that separated humans from animals. He even tried to reason out with him, explaining him that penance, yajnas, meditations and worship etc. were important and had their own significance, but they were not meant to be the substitutes for studying hard. He also tried to drive forth the point that all these means could provide enormous power and strength, but without true knowledge and education, such strength and power were meaningless. However, adamant as Yavakirti was, he chose to ignore the sound advice of his father. He still wanted to adopt all means, except studying, to achieve his goal – of acquiring knowledge.

Yavakirti, used to go to a river nearby to take bath every morning. One fine morning, he saw an aged Brahmin, sitting at the riverbank, hurling fistfuls of sand into the river, and chanting “Om Namah Shivay”, alongwith every fistful thrown.

Next morning Yavakirti saw the same sight again- the brahmin throwing sand into the river alongwith chantings of “Om Namah Shivay”. Yavakirti was curious but did not say anything. However, he could not hold himself back, when he saw the same sight on the third morning too. This time he approached the Brahmin. “Sir, may I ask you why you are throwing sand into the river, with chantings of Om Namah Shivay?”

“I am making a bridge over the river”, replied the Brahmin busy throwing sand, without even looking at Yavakirti.

Yavakirti was amused. “Don’t you see the swift current of the river?” He said laughing aloud, “It will not let this sand stay. Do you really think that your chanting will help in making a bridge out of fistfuls of sand?”
“Why not?” said the Brahmin, cool and composed.

“Look”, replied Yavakirti. “There is a method for doing anything. You can succeed in your work only if it is done in the right way, with the right method. You better stop dreaming about making a bridge the way you are doing.”

The brahmin’s face beamed with joy. “You are right my dear. I am glad that these words emerge from your mouth. Now just think about yourself. Do you think you can acquire knowledge through rituals, penance, chanting and meditation alone, without any hard work and study? To acquire knowledge you will have to sit at the lotus feet of your Guru, and study hard. As you rightly said, you can succeed in your work only if it is done in the right way, with the right method.

The Brahmin was none other than Devraj Indra himself, disguised as a Brahmin.

Yavakirti was taken aback. He had realised his mistake, and his life was transformed. Immediately he went his father and joined other students- to acquire knowledge through hard work.

Do you also really want to be ‘the learned one’? Then study with dedication, with sincerity, all the year round. There are many students who fritter away the whole year playing around and making merry, thinking that they will start studying at the end of the year. But at the end of the year the examination blues make it impossible for them to study.

Result- they appear in the examination without studying and then pray frantically to God, “Oh God help me solve my questions, help me score good marks- at least 80 percent- plea….se !!!!!”.

How ridiculous. Is it possible to score good marks without any studies? Prayers do help, but only to the extent of helping you concentrate. You must pray, but only for the power to concentrate, for the ability to work hard – not for reward without any work.

If you want to earn money, then you will have to develop the ability of understanding your business and proceeding ahead, with the advise of experts and well wishers, in pursuing your business according to your financial capacity. You can’t simply sit idle, achieve nothing and then blame others for your failure. Never expect success through worship of God alone- without doing any work.

For maintaining a healthy body, we will have to follow the appropriate health rules – diet, exercise and relaxation etc. We have no right to complain about ill health, while ignoring our physical health due to over work or even over-studying.

To maintain harmonious family atmosphere, all the family members will have to spend quality time together every day, including sharing each other’s thoughts, taking meals together to the extent possible, and also praying and meditating together every day. Without the feeling of togetherness, disharmony is bound to prevail in the family. You will have to learn to mediate appropriately in order to nurture peace of mind, will power or ability to achieve, anything. You will have to seek refuge at the lotus feet of the sadguru with devotion and consecration, in order to comprehend the method of concentrating your consciousness at a certain point.

Always remember that there is a method for doing every thing. Comprehend that method. If you do not succeed, look for the root cause of that failure. Awaken the power within through meditation. Develop the ability to understand the cause and the method, through meditation.