Only a pure mind can retain knowledge
Gurumaa gave another pertinent example to further elucidate the point. Two students came to a master to learn the sitar; the master asked for more fees from the one who already knew how to play the instrument and less from the one who knew nothing at all. When questioned, the master explained that it would take more time and effort on the master’s part to make the student unlearn what he (student) already knew rather than teaching someone afresh. Similarly, if our minds are pure and unpolluted, the Guru’s knowledge sinks in and takes root but impure, cluttered minds will not be able to retain it.
Describing the ancient gurukul system in detail, Gurumaa explained that such a system offered a very comprehensive education for overall growth and development. At the tender age of eight years, the child used to came to his Guru. Guru then used to teach everything – from spiritual disciplines like meditation, sewa, mantra chanting, serving saintly people to academics knowledge. The sattvic environment further gave them a very solid base of religion with right values. By the time the children used to reach the stage of adulthood, their minds were mature and equipped with the necessary foundation for the householder’s life. They would marry, have children and earn a livelihood, putting into practice all the knowledge they had received. In later years, they would return to their Guru after discharging their household obligations and take up sanyas if they so desired.
Sadly, these days we spend years pursuing academic qualifications but totally neglect the realm of the spirit, which is where we should be investing maximum time and energy.