in the 1897, swami vivekananda was staying at cossipore. one day many pundits came to meet swami vivekananda with the intention of having an philosophical discussion.
swami vivekananda was not only the chief disciple of enlightened mystic sri ramakrishna paramhansa. but he had also became well known in india, because of his famous speech in “parliament of the world’s religions” in chicago in 1893
all the pundits were well versed in sanskrit language. at that time the ability to speak in fluent sanskrit was considered to be a matter of pride for scholars and pandits. if a person is well versed with vedas or an acclaimed swami then it is expected from him to know sanskrit well. that time most ancient books were available in sanskrit language only. sanskrit is the most refined, scientific and beautiful language. one word has many meanings in sanskrit. so it is important to see the context in which the word is used in sanskrit language to get its implied meaning. e.g. the word ‘kāla’ means time as well as death
swami vivekananda also knew sanskrit well. the visiting pandits starting discussing the philosophical matters with him in sankrit. so swamiji also spoke with them in sanskrit. but at one occasion, swamiji made a grammatical mistake in the spoken sanskrit language. he used the word ‘asti’ instead of ‘svasti’. this made the pandits laugh. swamiji quickly accepted his mistake and the discussion went on.
in the end of discussion, pandits were convinced of the swami vivekananda arguments and they accepted his view points on their intellectual query.
after the pundits left, swami vivekananda explained the whole philosophical discussion to the disciples. he also told about the fact that they laughed at him because he made a small grammatical mistake. swamiji said that as he had stayed for a long period of time away from india. so he has not got a chance to speak in sanskrit for many years. so its natural to make one or two mistakes. after that day disciples started speaking with swamiji in sanskrit only.
swamiji also said that in the west no one would have made a fuss of the small grammatical mistake. instead they would have given more importance to the point which he was asserting. pointing at the mistake deviates the attention from the real topic. swami ji also said that in our country “all the fighting is going on over the husk, nobody searches for the kernel within”.
editor note : it seems that all the visiting pundits wanted to test swami ji capability as a scholar and as a swami. the small grammatical mistake was the only occasion they got to bring swamiji down. but it made no difference to swami vivekananda and he accepted his mistake humbly.
moral of the story is that we need to focus on the essential and not on the mundane things. every one has to find out the essential seeking of his life. otherwise life will be wasted in realizing futile goals like name, money, house and so on.
one has to look deep into the things and see what is the essential quality which always remains with you and you carry it in your next life also. truth, consciousness, love, compassion, sharing are the higher qualities of life. a sincere seeker is one who always focus on realizing the ultimate truth of life.