I read very amazing sanskrit verse once, which spoke about 5 qualities that a student must have. In fact one of us is a student in our life, this is why we should possess and try to cultivate these five qualities.

 

Kak chesta bako dhyanam

Shwan nidra tathaiwa cha

Alpa hari,grihtyagi

Vidyarthi pancha Lakshman.

 

Vidyarthi, Vidya means knowledge and arthi means one who deserves knowledge, all of us, should possess panch lakshanam, these five characteristic feature and qualities.

The first one kaka chesta means a craw and chesta means effort, so Kakachesta means the effort of a craw. All of us in childhood read the story of a craw, who was extremely thirsty and was flying around looking for some water. The craw found a pitcher of water. As the craw landed itself on the rim of the pitcher and looked inside at the contents, he found there was water, but the water was at the bottom of the pitcher and there was no way the craw drink water by putting is beck inside. The crow started thinking what should be done and it came across a brilliant idea. It started looking around and started picking up its back tiny pebbles and putting them inside the pitcher. Pebble by pebble by pebble, the craw kept working hard until the level of the water Rose way up to  the rim of the pitcher and the craw quenched it’s thirst. Kakachesta refers to the patients, hardwork and the effort of the craw. Yes, if we have to work on our lives, if we have to truly bring out what is within outside, we have to go through some painful sharpening of kakachesta, hard work and don’t they say, that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary, that is because ‘S’ comes before ‘W’.

The second quality of Vidyarthi is baka dhyanam. Bako dhyanam  means the intense focus of crane, when one looks at the crane standing on the leg completely focused into the waters, the crane with one pointed attention is looking at the waters as the fishes are swimming inside the waters.The crane will allow the tiny, the small fish to swim around and not to be satisfied with them. It will allow the small fishes to go around and swim around. The crane will focus and wait for the big fish to come. If the crane settles with the small fish. It will loose the big fish and the crane wants the big fish, it has to allow the small fish to pass by and go around.

 

Similarly in life, when you want to focus what is important, we should allow the small things to pass by. We shouldn’t distracted by the little things, sometimes there will be interpersonal issues and conflicts, sometimes there will be health crisis, sometimes there might be a financial crisis, so many things keep happening in life, let the small things pass by and focus on what’s important to.

The third quality of a student or Vidyarthi is Shwan nidra. Shwan means a dog and nidra means sleep. Shwan Nidra means sleep of a dog or to be more precise the alertness of the dog. All of us have seen actually, when a dog is sleeping although the eyes are closed, the dog is very alert to the surroundings around it. Even if walks very very slowly, the dog will immediately open its eyes. All those who want knowledge in their lives and want to pursue that is meaningful in life have to practice the quality of alertness. Although we may have eyes closed, doing, not literally, doing what we are doing in our lives we should don’t miss out to be alert to the world around us. There is a lot to learn in this world from people, from objects, from situations, from surroundings. We will only learn when we are alert. 

The fourth quality that a Vidyarthi must possess is alpahari. Ahar in Sanskrit means food and alpa means less, so literally, alpahari means that a Vidyarthi, one seeking knowledge should eat less. Now this is not what is implied by this world though. We have varieties of ahar, like for example, for our tongue we have food, that’s the ahar. For our ears, we have sound, that’s the ahar, music, talks. For our eyes, sights, people, beautiful panoramic scenery is the ahar. So for each of the senses, there is ahar and when this verse search that a Vidyarthi should be Alpahari, It means we should be very careful of what inputs what we give to our senses, because whatever inputs we give to our senses actually go and make a very deep indelible impression on our psyche, on our inner systems ; in Sanskrit that is called Sanskara. Sanskara means that indelible impression that sensory inputs leave on our minds. We give Sony inputs from our sensors and their lives a very indelible mark, sometimes unbearable mark on our consciousness and our minds. Therefore, when we talk about alpahari, it means we should be very careful to choose those sensory inputs which are of value and those things that we want our mind space to be filled with.Do not subject yourself to unwanted things in the world around us, which will go and occupy  your precious mind space, which should not be taken by unwanted less valuable and less priority things. Your mind space is meant and reserved for the most important and valuable things.

The fifth thing or the fifth quality that a Vidyarthi must possess is grihatyagi. Griha means home, tyagi means to give up, live in the ancient eastern world of India, students would leave their home at an early age and go to study under their teachers or gurus in the school which word called Gurukul. Grihatyagi means leaving home, to go in pursuit of knowledge. In its real implied sense, grihatyagi doesn’t mean leaving home, it means living our comfort zone. If we living in our comfort zone our home represents a comfort zone. So if we are going to live in our comfort zone, there is no question of pursuing that which is of true value.

Therefore, grihatyagi refers to coming out of comfort zone, which is what no pains no gains means and five qualities:

 

1-Kaka chesta- the effort of a craw

2-Bako dhyanam-the focus of a crane

3-Shwan nidra-the alertness of a dog

4-Alpahari-giving the right inputs to our senses

5-Grihatyagi-coming out of the comfort zone

 

Zones are painful but no pains no gains

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