September 30, 2019

The market is a great teacher

Amit Trivedi
Owner, Karmayog Knowledge Academy

The market is a great teacher

One of the most popular parts of the epic Mahabharata was the time when the war was about to begin. The greatest Pandav warrior, in fact, the greatest archer of those times, Arjun develops cold feet on seeing his friends, and relatives on the opposite side. He is not sure if he should fight them. After all, he could see his great-grandfather, his guru, his brothers, his friends. Arjun went through a weak moment. Remember, Arjun was not weak, by any stretch of imagination. He was in a weak state of mind, or he was passing through a weak moment.

In such a case, what does he do? First he drops his bow – the Gandiva, and declares that he does not want to fight. His friend, and his charioteer, Bhagwan Krishna explains him in a friendly manner that he should give up such thoughts and focus on the task at hand. However, when he is unable to get out of the mindset, he surrendered to the Lord.

Amit Trivedi

In the above shloka, Arjun accepts his limitations and seeks help from the God. The last line in the above shloka means, “I am your student, please guide me. I surrender to Thee.”

When he accepted his vulnerability and surrendered to Lord Krishna, he got the sermon in the form of Bhagvad Geeta.

If we do not, out of overconfidence or arrogance, accept our vulnerability, we do not surrender to the market. In the process, we lose the opportunity to learn from the larger wisdom of the market.

The current market downturn is showing the soft underbelly of many experts. You can see how so many experts have started panicking. And as it happens often, the “so-called” experts start panicking much before the investor does.

By the way, we are not saying whether the current slowdown is for real or not. This is not an analysis of (or even a commentary on) the current economic situation. This is about human psychology – how we think and react to the external environment. It is about how we get swayed by our own mind.

In order to learn something, the most essential quality is to identify the right teacher, and to surrender to the same.

In the entire battlefield, it was only Arjun who got the supreme knowledge. Ever wondered, why? He was the only one who had the dilemma and went to the teacher seeking answers, and then he accepted the student-teacher relationship.

Many of us in the financial markets maybe Arjun in our fields, but we must realise that the market is much bigger – in Mahabharata, Arjun was the greatest warrior, but Lord Krishna was greater. And those of us who are yet not Arjun of our own fields, we better realise that and accept that. The market is always ready to teach the student, who is willing. And the market is always a good teacher, as it has the collective wisdom of so many.

In order to get the profound wisdom of Bhagvad Geeta, Arjun had to accept the superiority of the teacher, and offer a complete surrender. Think about it!

2 Thoughts to “The market is a great teacher”

  1. Trupti Muralidhar says:

    What an enlightenment. A perfect sync of current situation with that of mythology really makes you start thinking. Always thankful to Amit Trivedi for his thought provoking knowledge sharing through trainings and his quality books.

  2. Nitin Soni says:

    Amitji is Krishna of IFAs & Investors.

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