140 Monday Musings – The Book will find you
The Confucious saying 'When the student is ready, a teacher appears' has stayed with me for many years now. At different points of time, I have found inspiration and solace in his timeless statement. The notion of each one of us being eternal, permanent and restless students in search of meaning, some meaning that will uplift us from the mundane to the sublime has been a recurring theme through my own restlessness. Much as we dislike the classical and popular image of a student, as someone who is being forced to study against his free will, the reality is that there is a learner lurking right there in each one of us.
Most lives are the relative struggle about hiding or revealing, shackling or liberating, denying or acknowledging, suppressing or encouraging the learner in us. I find it ironical and tragic in a lot of ways, that the literal meaning of the word Taliban is students - the pursuit of learning, the exact meaning of the word Sikh - meaning disciple, in the pursuit of learning. Much of human life is the story of the life being ready to learn, to reach the ripe stage and state, where a magical teacher shall appear. All human struggles and its resultant angst are only up to that point.
It is a common expression in our country on the matter of pilgrimages, that it’s only when He wills, will you be able to undertake the blessed journey. The concept of 'abhi bulawa nahi aay hai' is an often heard one, betraying the same thought - the God will allow His darshan, only when the devotee is ready or has earned it. How many times we have heard the angst of people of a lifelong desire to visit a holy shrine, but for strange reasons of coincidences, not being able to make it, despite no limitations of resources. Guess the pilgrim was not ready.
The real progenitor of this piece is a thought that I have been ruminating on for some time now, which is crystallizing as I write this. We may know of many books and buy many of them - but every book has a time, just right for the reader to devour its pages. You may hold the book for years, try reading it much as you want it, but will not be able to finish, assimilate or internalize it, till you are ready. Buying a book is a sign of your material ability, borrowing it is a sign of your credit ability, but till you are intellectually or spiritually able, in the truest sense of the word, to assimilate the worth of its meaning, comprehend the expanse of its treatment, appreciate the finesse of its nuances, the book will elude you for some strange reason or the other. While you may keep reminding yourself that you have not found time to read it, the reality is that you are not ready yet, and the book has not called you, yet! You may not know it, the book does.
And just on the lines of the Confucius prediction, the moment you are ready, the book will find you.