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  • Writer's picturePremanandhan Narayanan

The Importance of Discernment and Wise Focus in Life

Once Swami Vivekananda was waiting for a boat to cross a river. Many other people were also waiting for a boat it includes another Saint. that Saint was curious to know Swami Vivekananda as he has not met him before, so when he approached he came to know that it was Swami Vivekananda the swami ji who spoke at the Chicago conference.

He told Swami Vivekananda just because you speak foreign language it does not mean you have more wisdom. Swami ji was quite, he asked what did the saint has accomplished over the years. He said I can walk on water and even demonstrated that and he proudly said it took 20 years of practice to attain this skill.

Swami Vivekananda said you have wasted 20 years of life time to master a skill, which can be easily achievable by using a boat. Instead you could have used your 20 years life to uplift the common masses by giving the knowledge to the masses about the Hindu dharma.

You basically lack wisdom that is why you wasted 20 years of your life time in learning a skill which we can use a boat instead.

The actual wisdom is to know where to focus and where not. The story mentioned highlights an important aspect of wisdom, which is the ability to discern what is truly valuable and where to focus our time and energy.

In this story, the Saint had spent 20 years of his life learning a skill that had limited practical value - walking on water. While this skill may have been impressive, it did not serve any useful purpose and did not benefit anyone else. Swami Vivekananda, on the other hand, had dedicated his life to sharing the knowledge of Hindu dharma with others, which could bring about real positive change in people's lives.

This story emphasizes that true wisdom lies not in mastering impressive but ultimately useless skills but rather in identifying what is truly valuable and focusing our time and energy on achieving it. The Saint in this story had wasted his time and effort learning a skill that could easily be replaced by a boat, while Swami Vivekananda had dedicated his life to a cause that could bring about real change in society.

In our own lives, it is important to cultivate this same sense of discernment and wisdom. We must identify what truly matters to us and focus our time and energy on achieving those goals, rather than getting sidetracked by impressive but ultimately meaningless pursuits. Only by doing so can we hope to lead fulfilling and meaningful lives that benefit not just ourselves but also those around us.


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