International Folk Tales: Learning to Act
Once, there was a very a bright and intelligent student. He was on a mission to acquire more and more knowledge. One day,he came to know about a great Zen teacher. He wanted to acquire a great deal of knowledge on every subject and ......
Once, there was a very a bright and intelligent student. He was on a mission to acquire more and more knowledge. One day,he came to know about a great Zen teacher. He wanted to acquire a great deal of knowledge on every subject and so he decided to meet the teacher. He traveled for a great distance and finally reached the Zen teacher’s house.
On meeting the teacher, he fell on his feet and said, “Master, please teach me whatever you know about the world.” The master smiled and said,”Welcome son, I shall teach you whatever I can.” He enquired about the student and learnt all about him and the knowledge he had gained.
During the evening, he asked his assistant to serve tea to both of them. A tray was brought with two cups and saucers and a big pot of tea. The student got up to serve tea to the master, however the master did not let him do so and asked him to remain seated.
The master then asked the student to pick up a cup, so that he could serve tea.The student did as told. The master started pouring tea into the cup. After a while, the cup was filled with tea, but the master continued pouring more tea into the cup. It gradually started overflowing. But the master did not stop even then. The student was surprised and asked him, “Why are you pouring more tea into the cup? It cannot hold anymore.” The master looked at him and smiled.
“My dear student,you are just like this cup. You already have enough knowledge. If you try to acquire any more, it will simply overflow and get wasted like this tea. So simply practice the knowledge you have gained and you will be content with yourself.”
The student realised that it’s not just obtaining knowledge, but practicing it the right way that makes a man wiser.
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