A scholar was touring around the world, gathering immensely treasured pieces of literature. On his journey he came on the bank of a river and there was no bridge to cross it. Looking around he saw at a boatman. He said to the boatman, “I am a great scholar from middle-east. Would you row me across the river?” The boatman agreed to fiery him to the other side. The journey was long and slow. The scholar was bored. “Boatman,” he called out, “Let’s have a conversation.” Suggesting a topic of special interest to himself, he asked, “Have you ever studied phonetics or grammar?”

“No,” said the boatman, “I’ve no use for those tools.”

“Too bad,” said the scholar, “You’ve wasted half your life. It’s useful to know the rules.”

Later, as the boat crashed into a rock in the middle of the river, the boatman turned to the scholar and said, “Pardon my humble mind that to you must seem dim, but, wise man, tell me, have you ever learned to swim?”

“No,” said the scholar, “I have never learned swimming. I had been busy doing much more important things.”

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“In that case,” said the boatman, “you’ve wasted all your life. Alas, the boat is sinking.”

Moral: The scholar’s theoretical knowledge was of no use to him. Similarly, to be able to cross this vast ocean of worldly life and experience happiness through it, one should practice Spirituality and not just acquire  knowledge.


The Scholar and the Boatman – Moral Stories

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