Doing Sums for Teacher

A landlord had hired a tutor for his son, who was weak in mathematics. The tutor gave the boy lots of sums to do, but the boy would continually whine that the tutor must show him how to add the sums first. The boy was so indulged by his wealthy parents that he could not bear to do anything difficult alone; for any slightly troublesome task he was used to calling in a hireling. The teacher would reply, “No, if I do them, then how will you get any practice?”

When on his lunch break the boy complained to some friends in a voice purposefully loud enough to be heard by the tutor: “Now just consider this: Father has hired this tutor for 250 rupees a month plus another 250 for food and clothing–500 rupees a month! And inspite of earning so much, that tutor cannot even add these sums. Now I have to do them! What’s the use of his being employed at this house?”

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This story reveals the mentality of the pseudo-devotee who calculates the material benefit he gets from acts of devotion to the spiritual master. Only when there is a chance for him to enjoy some name, fame, wealth and prestige as a result is he enthusiastic; if it is just “work”, he’s not. But he should realize that even “work” given by the spiritual master is for his own good, just as the dull work of adding sums is for the good of the student.


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