An Aged Student
Sikaki was a skilled artist an artisan. With great expertise and interest, he made such a nice and beautiful inkpot that it could be presented to the king. He expected that, appreciating his artistic skill, the king would encourage him as far as possible. So, with countless hopes and thousand of desires, he presented that inkpot to the king. In the beginning the king was very impressed by his artistic skill but afterwards an unpleasant event occurred that caused an extraordinary change in Sikaki’ s life and way of thinking.
When the king was observing the skilled artistry of the beautiful inkpot and Sikaki was lost in the world of thoughts, the people informed that a scholar-literary person or jury is about to enter the court. As soon as the scholar entered, the king got so much absorbed in welcoming and talking to him that he forgot Sikaki and his skilled artistry. This incident caused an adverse and deep effect on the heart of Sikaki.
He realized that now he would not receive the encouragement he had expected and all his desires and hopes are useless now. But Sikaki’s high spirited mind did not allow him to be in peace, so he started thinking as to what should he do. He decided to do what the others have done and go on the same way that the others have gone (uptill now). Therefore, he decided to search for his lost hopes in the world of knowledge, literature and books. Although for a wise man who has passed the days of his young age, it was not easy to study with young children and to start right from the preliminary stage. But he did not have a choice . After all whenever the fish is taken out of water, it is fresh.
Worse than that, in the beginning he did not find any sort of interest in himself regarding reading and writing. Perhaps spending a long time in artistic works and handicraft was the reason for stagnancy in his scientific and literary talent. But neither his advanced age nor lack of capability, none of these could change his decision. With great enthusiasm and zeal for attaining knowledge, he strictly got busy with his studies, until another incident occurred:
The teacher who was teaching him Shafi’e jurisprudence (fiqh Shafi’e), taught him this lesson: “The teacher believes that the skin of a dog becomes clean (tahir) after tanning.” Sikaki repeated this sentence a lot of times so that at the time of examination he should be able to succeed. But when he was asked to answer this question, he said: “The dog believes that the skin of a teacher becomes clean after tanning.”
The audience upon hearing this answer started laughing. It was clear for everybody that this old man is absolutely incapable of reading and writing. After this incident Sikaki not only left the school , but he left the town and went towards the Jungle. By chance, he reached the foot of a mountain, where he saw that the water is falling drop by drop from the top and due to the continuous falling of water, a hole had been formed in that hard stone.
He reflected for sometime, a good idea crossed his mind like lightning. And he said: “Maybe my heart is not ready to accept (knowledge) but it is not harder than this stone. It is impossible that continuous studying and hard work would be ineffective.”
Therefore, he came back and with hard work, he got busy in the attainment of knowledge. As a result he was reckoned as one of the popular scholars of his time.
You never be too old to learn something new.
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