How humble one should be?

a poem by Rajaram Ramachandran, India - poetry writer, author, poet

"Oh boatman of this Ganges river,
Will you please take me over
To the other side of the flooding river,
For me to deliver a Veda lecture?"
Enquired a learned Pundit.

"Yes Master, I'm blessed twice,
You're God-sent, it's so nice
Of you for giving me a chance
To do this humble service,"
Replied the boatman.

The boat tore the water,
Moving slowly in the river,
And the Pundit started his prayer,
For an onward journey safer.

Their talk, on the way, went like this
For any listener so curious:

Pundit: "Do you know Rig Veda?"
Boatman: "No, Sir."
Pundit: "Then, quarter of your life is lost."

Pundit: "Do you know Sama Veda?"
Boatman: "No, Sir."
Pundit: "Then, half of your life is lost."

Pundit: "Do you know Yajur Veda?"
Boatman: "No, Sir."
Pundit: "Then, three-fourth of your life is lost."

Pundit: "Do you know Atharva Veda?"
Boatman: "No, Sir."
Pundit: "Then, your entire life is lost."

Boatman: "Sir, do you know swimming?"
Pundit: "No, boatman."
Boatman: "Then, your entire life is lost,
As a hole is sinking the boat,
Down to the river bed bottom,
And to the shore let me swim."

While the boatman swam safely ashore,
The Pundit was swept away in the river.
Education hasn't softened the Pundit,
Nor it saved him from the sinking boat.

How much one has learned in his life?
Yes, one measure of hand-full-sand.
How much one should learn in his life?
Oh, one full measure of the world.

Every one may know something.
But none may know everything.
Even an elephant that walks steady
May have its legs slip one day.

So take not pride on what you know.
Search for the knowledge yet to know,
For there's no limit for an age to learn,
Also act according to what you learn.

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