Monday Musings – 19 – Learning

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Lessons taught by Satyakama Jabala

Satyakama Jabala learnt and realized Brahmam from his favorite guru Gautama despite being an illegitimate child. Gautama and Satyakama taught us lotz of new learnings.

Don’t ignore this story as a fantasy of Bulls, Birds and Fire speaking. Lots of learning from the story published in the last episode

Learning needs nothing but passion

Satyakama Jabala had nothing, no royalty, no lineage, no resources but plenty of pure passion to learn. He achieved what he wanted to learn propelled by passion.

I started this discussion thread with the story of Ekalavya who had the ultimate passion to learn archery. There is one more popular character in Mahabharatha who similarly had nothing but the passion to learn. Yes, I am talking about Karna.

Karna taught us that if you are passionate to do something, you will always find a way to succeed. He had to face many challenges in his life – was abandoned by his mother Kunti, fought discrimination all his life, was rejected by society, discarded by Guru Drona, insulted by Draupadi. He could not get an illustrious teacher to teach him archery. But his passion to learn led him to Lord Parashurama who taught him archery and other divine skills. He became a great warrior, equivalent or even more powerful than Arjuna.

Karna is a perfect example of how one can achieve passion despite all the hurdles and challenges life throws at us. He inspires us to work towards our goals no matter how difficult situations we come across in our life. If we are honest and dedicated to our goal, we will conquer all the difficulties and will eventually reach the goal.

Don’t hesitate to ask anything legitimate

Satyakama had the doubt that he could be ridiculed for aspiring to learn from Gautama at his ashram. He had no hesitation to try and no inhibition to ask him. Never hesitate to ask if you feel it is your legitimate right. You would never know. Ridicules can be converted to rewards; brickbats can become bouquets.

Truth will set you free

Jabala taught his son Satyakama to say the truth boldly if questioned about his lineage. Being on the side of truth will set you free from the pressures of the challenges. Truth gives peace, liberation.

Learning starts with Self Realization

Self-Realization is the first learning. What is Self-Realization?

Self-Realization is fulfilment of one’s own potential. Self-realization is learning the truth of who we are, what we are — the realization that we are not the physical body, the physical form that we believe ourselves to be, but the energy within that physical form that gives us life.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience nor are we spirits having a human experience. We are embodied Souls imprisoned by the ego, mind, and body.

Experiential Learning

What is this crazy idea of giving some odd weak cows and asking that the size of the herd be increased to 1000 instead of teaching skills?

This is nothing but experiential learning. What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning (EL) is, quite simply, learning by doing. Experiential learning is a powerful way to help people identify changes required to their skills, attitudes and behaviours, then implement those changes for better transformation.

In EL, the measure of success therefore moves beyond acquisition of facts, and instead creates lasting behavioural change, the development of skills and behaviours to respond to different situations, and an ability to apply this knowledge.

Satyakama learnt a lot in his lonely stay with his herd of cows, benefited from experiential learning.


“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” 
– Benjamin Franklin


You can learn from anything, anyone

Can a bull, fire, swan speak? The idea here is to make us understand that learning can come from unexpected quarters in our life. One who keeps eyes and ears open will learn.

Life is full of lessons. Enjoy the experience and learn on daily basis

“People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”

Even the most short-lived encounters or relationships, have something to teach us, and something for us to learn from. Even situations that seem wholly negative, and that upset us, actually have a lesson in them, if we allow ourselves to step back and think about what that might be. Many times, these lessons come from unexpected sources, or sources we were not aware of at the time. If we are willing to stop and think about the reason something happened, why we were hurt by someone, or why something someone did in passing made us feel uneasy, we can often find that message buried underneath.



Management and Leadership Topics covered in the previous posts

  1. The right attitude — Ch 1Ch 2  Ch6 Ch10  Ch11  Ch14  Ch15  Ch18
  2. Governance — Ch 3  Ch4  Ch7  Ch13
  3. Leadership — Ch 5  Ch 8  Ch10 Ch14  Ch15
  4. Management — Ch 7  Ch13  Ch16
  5. Intelligence & Wisdom — Ch 9  Ch10  Ch11  Ch14  Ch15  Ch16
  6. Happiness & Success — Ch10  Ch14 Ch15  Ch18

Disclaimer: The views/opinions expressed in this article belong to the author. is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in the article.



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