The Need for a Brake

It was a busy morning in a city school. With hasty parents leaving semi-awake children, the morning classes had just commenced.


A school teacher asks her class,

“Why do you think we need a brake in a vehicle?”


The student in the first row stands up and hurriedly blurts out,

“To stop! A brake is required to bring the vehicle to a stop”


Another hand sprung up from somewhere in between,

“A brake can help us control the vehicle”


A third student, a bit patiently rose up and said,

“We need a break to negotiate our vehicle, especially across tricky curves and risky bends”


The teacher absorbed the responses, each of them right in their own way. But still she expected something more. After half a minute, when she was almost certain that there were no new ideas from her class, a student stood up unassumingly and said eagerly,


“I think I need a brake to ride my bike as fast as possible”


The teacher smiled. She got the response she was hoping for.


A brake in a vehicle is not merely to bring it to a stop or to negotiate turns. Its utility is profound as it gives the driver the belief to ride as fast as possible. It is a system that invokes trust and reliability.


Our life is also a vehicle with us at the forefront. Whether we see it or not, we all are driving our lives at a certain speed. In our journey we often get surprised, travelling through bumps, slipping through potholes and sometimes we run the risk of crashing into an accident. A brake is essential, without which a vehicle is incomplete and unqualified for use.


This brake system in the fold of Sanatan Dharma is filled by the Guru, a teacher. A teacher not only helps to impart knowledge but stands by as a source of strength in our everyday lives. His presence will not merely help us manage and negotiate the troubled road ahead, but also give us the strength to keep moving, with confidence, zest and hope.

– Written by Karthik Sundaram based on Swamiji’s talk.