Experience becomes our best teacher when we experience the Best Teacher

As the common saying goes, experience is the best teacher. But, then, we see so many people who just don’t seem to learn even from experience.

Like many sayings, this saying about the teaching potency of experience conveys a broad truth that needs 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 deeply inside us. And that’s not undesirable because we would otherwise 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 insight in the course of life or more precisely through the course of life comes not just by the theoretical knowledge we may have accumulated, but by a somewhat mystical presence of mind that enables us to recollect and apply that 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 in the universe which is ultimately meant to function like a university.

By practicing bhakti-yoga, when we experience the greatness and the sweetness of Krishna, we get such a taste for that divine experience that we seek to regain that experience repeatedly, 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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