The Boatman and the Scholar

Once a scholar was crossing a river in a canoe along with the boatman. They spent a while in a conversation.

During the conversation, the scholar named different Holy books and asked the boatman if he had read any of them. The boatman said no. The scholar remarked, “You have wasted half your life, if you have not read these Holy books!”

As their conversation was going on, the canoe sprang a leak and water rapidly entered the canoe. Seeing this, the boatman urgently asked the scholar, “O learned man, can you swim?” The scholar replied, “I have read many books on swimming and know a lot about it, but I have never tried swimming.” The boatman commented as he prepared to swim, “Then your whole life has gone waste. The boat is about to sink!”

Moral: Dear friends, the scholar had just read about swimming, but had never actually tried to swim. So, when it came time to swim to save his life, he could not do so. All the things he had read about swimming were of no use to him, because he had no practice or experience in swimming. Similarly, to be able to find God in this life, it is not enough to just read books about God, Saints and Their glory. We have to actually practice what the books and Saints have taught.

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