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36. On the Value of Study 

(Sunday evening, December 31, 1972)

 

Right now we are in the process of learning many languages. Today we study German; tomorrow we study Sanskrit; the day after that we study French. We also have classes in Chinese, Japanese, and maybe Vietnamese. If someone can teach it, we will teach it. If you know other languages, we can also study them and learn more. At the very least, you should know “yes” and “no” in those languages, because those terms will come in handy. You shouldn’t refuse to learn, thinking this is not part of spiritual practice. Actually, studying languages is also part of practice. It drives away your other false thoughts. If you didn’t pursue a course of study, you would engage in confused thinking, suddenly running off to the heavens and suddenly boring in the earth. Your fantasies might take you off to have a chat with the Jade Emperor; at other times you might go and visit King Yama. These are all confused thoughts. If you can study something, you will acquire certain abilities that will help you to propagate the Buddhadharma in the future.

 

(Timely Teachings page 306)