Then another brother followed and the same happened. And then the eldest brother, Yudhisthira, went to the lake in search of water, and in search of his brothers to see what had happened to them.
Four brothers were lying there on the bank, and the moment he stepped in the water he heard the same voice: “Answer these questions, otherwise you will also be dead. And if you can answer, not only will you be alive, you can also drink from the lake, and the same water will make your other brothers alive. Just sprinkle the water on their faces. But first answer my questions. And the first question is: What is the most significant factor about man?”
And Yudhisthira said, “The most significant thing about man is that man never learns.”
He was allowed to drink the water, and he was allowed to revive his brothers.
In fact, this is one of the most important facts about man: that man never learns. You may become very knowledgeable, but you never learn. Knowledge and learning are different. Knowledge is borrowed: it is parrot-like; you cram it, it fills your memory; your brain becomes a computer. Learning is totally different. Learning means learning through experience, never repeating the same mistake again, becoming more and more mindful, alert, aware.
And this is the message of this Sufi story. Something in you continuously frustrates you, and unless you catch hold of it and destroy it, whatsoever you do will be futile. Whatsoever you do, you will do, and it will be futile. That factor within you which continuously frustrates has to be dropped, has to be destroyed completely, burned.
You may have observed – the observation may not have been very keen and deep and penetrating, but you must have observed – observed in a mistlike state of mind, vague, shadowy, with a smokescreen, but you must have observed that you continuously commit the same type of mistakes again and again. What a misfortune! You cannot even invent new mistakes. What an unoriginal, mediocre state of mind – mm? – you cannot even think of new mistakes to commit. You go on committing the same mistake. You are like a broken gramophone record; it goes on repeating the same line again and again and again. It becomes a transcendental meditation: Ram, Ram, Ram. It goes on and on.
Your life is a TM, a broken gramophone record. Have you observed that you go on committing the same mistake? – in your relationships, in your love, in your friendship, in your business, you go on committing the same mistake again and again. And you go on hoping that this time things will be different. They will never be – because you are the same. How can things be different? You are hoping against hope. But stupid is the mind, it goes on hoping and knows well, deep down, that this is not possible because you will frustrate it.