Frankness is an essential element of studentship1 min read

Shri Shankara Acharya’s Vakyavritti Verse  9

The disciple said: “O Lord, I do not yet fully understand the meaning of the words ‘I am Brahman’. Will you be gracious enough to enlighten me so that I may grasp the meaning of the whole sentence?”

Commentary

Frankness on the part of the disciple is an essential element of studentship. To give an impression of understanding when the holy truth is inadequately understood is not becoming. There are people who like to say: “I understand; yes, I know‘, whereas in fact they have hidden doubts, and are unconvinced of the meaning of the great sentences. Such people cannot obtain real benefit from the knowledge imparted by the teacher. The life of a disciple is based on perfect frankness. It is said in a Persian proverb: “A disciple should be naked, as it were, before the master”.

In this verse the disciple brings out a difficulty o and does not hide ,his ignorance of the real meaning of the truth contained in the great sentence. To say: “I do not believe it” is more than stupid; it is dangerous. The man who is so hot-headed and has such erroneous ideas had better withdraw himself from the circle of discipleship.

Nobody is eager to convince a sceptic unless he humbly applies for enlightenment. “Lord, I do not understand it” – this is the right spirit which evokes from the gracious heart, of the teacher the real response in the form of light.

Shri Shankara Acharya’s Vakyavritti Verse  10