Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Difference Between Knowing and Doing


An eminent Confucian scholar, nearly eighty years old, was said to have no equal in learning and understanding. Then a rumour arose that, far away, a new doctrine had been developed and it had deeper knowledge than he did. The old scholar could not stomach this.
     “Let us settle the issue, one way or the other,” he said to himself.
     Despite his age, he set out on the arduous journey alone. After months on the road, he arrived at his destination, introduced himself and relayed the purpose of his visit.
     His host, who was the master of the new Zen school, merely quoted: “To avoid doing evil, to as much good as possible – this is the teaching of all the Buddhas.”
     On hearing this, the Confucian gentleman flared up. “All the trouble I took to come here, was it just to listen to a little jingle that every toddler knows by hear? Are you mocking me?”
     The Zen master replied… “I am far from mocking you. Certainly, every toddler knows this verse. However, not every man can live up to it.”

Implication of the story :- If knowledge by itself were of utmost value, the greatest scholar on this planet would be a well-equipped library. For effective, valuable and successful living, one must action this knowledge for the good of oneself and of others.

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