NO SCRIPTURIST EVER VAUNTS OF HIS LEARNING

A LEARNED brahmana once went to a wise king and said, "I am well-versed, O king, in the holy scriptures. I intend to teach you the Bhagavata. The king, who was the wiser of the two, knew well that a man who had really studied the Bhagavata would seek to know his own Self rather than go to a king's court for wealth and honour. So the king replied: "I see, O brahmana, that you yourself have not mastered that book thoroughly. I promise to make you my tutor, but first learn the scripture well." The brahmana went on his way thinking "How foolish it is of the king to say that I have not mastered the Bhagavata, seeing that I have been reading the book over and over all these years." However, he went through the book carefully once more and appeared again before the king. The king told him the same thing again and sent him away. The brahmana was sorely vexed, but thought that there must be some meaning in the behaviour of the king. He went home, shut himself up in his room, and applied himself more than ever to the study of the book. By and by, hidden meanings began to flash into his mind and the vanity of running after the bubbles of riches and honour, kings and courts, wealth and fame appeared to his unclouded vision. From that day forward he gave himself up entirely to attaining perfection by the worship of God, and never thought of returning to the king. A few years after, the king thought of the brahmana and went to his house to see what he was doing. Seeing him, now radiant with Divine light and love, he fell upon his knees and said: "I see that you have now realised the true meaning of the scriptures. I am ready to be your disciple if you will kindly condescend to make me one." (204)