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In reply to the first question, some said the king must prepare a timetable, and then follow it strictly. Only in this way, they said, could he do everything at its proper time. Others said that it was impossible to decide in advance the right time for doing something. The king should notice all that was going on, avoid foolish pleasures, and always do whatever seemed necessary at that time. Yet others said that the king needed a council of wise men who would help him act at the proper time. This was because one man would find it impossible to decide correctly, without help from others, the right time for every action.
But then others said that there were some things which could be urgent. These things could not wait for the decision of the council. In order to decide the right time for doing something, it is necessary to look into the future. And only magicians could do that. The king, therefore, would have to go to magicians.
Many wise men gave different answers to the questions. For the first question, the opinions were:
  1. Prepare a timetable and follow it strictly - so that everything can be done at the proper time.
  2. It is not possible to decide all things before doing.
  3. The kind should observe what is going on; avoid silly mistakes - and do what is appropriate at the necessary time.
  4. The king should have a council (a group of wise people chosen to make rules and to give advice) - the council can help him to decide, as one man cannot take decisions separately.
  5. There may be urgent matters which needed quick decision - in such times council may not be useful.
  6. It is good to know about the future, so the king should hire magicians who can look into the future.
 wise men.png
Many wise men gave answers, but all were different!
Meanings of difficult words:
CouncilA group of wise people chosen to make rules and to give advice.
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). Honeycomb. Three Questions - Leo Tolstoy (pp. 7-13). Published at the Publication Division
by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.