Experience becomes our best teacher when we experience the Best Teacher

As the common saying goes, experience is the best teacher. But we see so many people who don’t learn from experience; they keep repeating the same mistakes. 

Most sayings convey broad truths that need to be contextually qualified and nuanced. Experience is the best teacher in the sense that it teaches more effectively than merely hearing or observing; what we undergo, that goes much deeper inside us. 

Still, we go through so many experiences in life. Not all of them go equally deep inside us. And that’s not undesirable because otherwise we would get totally overwhelmed. We need to know which experiences to bounce off us and which to bind to us – that too is a lesson we can learn from experience. 

This discerning capacity is essentially about learning on the move. And such learning during the course of life comes not just by the theoretical knowledge we may have accumulated; it comes by a somewhat mystical presence of mind that enables us to recollect and apply that theoretical knowledge to our life’s situations. 

Such insights, intuitions and inspirations often come from a divine source, the indwelling manifestation of God within our hearts (Bhagavad-gita 15.15). And we can increase our receptivity to such inner guidance by cultivating a devotional disposition toward God, Krishna. He is the universal teacher, guiding us in a universe that is ultimately meant to function like a university. 

By practicing bhakti-yoga, when we experience Krishna’s greatness and sweetness, we delight in that divine experience. And that taste is so relishable that we seek it again and again, through our various life experiences. That’s how we seek the divine in our experiences and learn to gain divine insights from such experiences. 

 

Think it over:

  • How is experience the best teacher?
  • Experience is the best teacher – why does this saying need to be nuanced? 
  • How is God the Best Teacher?

 

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10.10 To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

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