Educational Stories: Think for Yourself Part 1

An educational story about a disciple who cannot think without his master, his encounter with an elephant and the importance of understanding.


Some time ago, in the jungle, but still within easy walking of a large village, lived a hermit known as Charu. He was reputed to be wise scholar and a very able teacher, in consequence of which many of the young men of the village, going to him 1st for advice, became in time his pupils and eventually his disciples.

Charu taught them of God and of the scriptures, telling them that He was to be found everywhere and in everything, and that nothing in the universe exists apart from Him.

He was particularly fond of speaking in praise of the simple life lived by men who chose to become hermits, away from all the noise and strife of the world.

As he taught, his disciples would sit at his feet, dwelling upon his every word, and accepting all that he said without question.

Among them was a youth named Chakrapal, the most obedient and docile of them all. Such was his humility and modesty, that before long he began to depend entirely upon his master's word for all his actions, ceasing entirely to form any judgment for himself, and never taking a course which did not fit in with something he remembered the hermit to have said.

This frequently brought trouble upon him, as you will soon see.

The disciples were in the habit of going each day to a nearby river for a morning dip, and upon one such occasion, having bathed, they were returning together to the hermitage, when they observed a large elephant advancing towards them with great speed, his trunk raised high in the air.

The mahout, who was goading the beast on with his trident, called out to them, "Run quickly, or he may pick you up with his trunk and dash you to death!"

At this they scattered, hiding behind bushes and intending to come together again farther along the path. But Chakrapal did not run. He asked himself, "What would my wise master say about this? What would he do? Often he has said to us, 'God brings good to man, and not evil. God is in everything.' That being so, God, who is in this great elephant, will do me no harm."

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