The story Three Questions has been written by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. It is based on moral values. This post is precisely about Three Questions Class 7 Line by Line Explanation. In this post, I will discuss with you Line by Line Explanation of the Short story Three Questions for students for JKBOSE and NCERT. In my previous post, I discussed Three Questions Class 7 Summary and Question Answers with you. Let’s get started with this post.
Three Questions Class 7 Line by Line Explanation
The Chapter “Three Questions” is about a king who was of the thought that he would never fail if he knew the answers to three questions. He announced the large sum of money as a prize for anyone who would answer the questions but nobody was able to answer the questions. Finally, he decided to seek advice f a hermit, who was known for his wisdom and he found the answers.
The thought came to a certain king that he would never fail if he knew three things. These three things were: What is the right time to begin something? Which people should he listen to? What is the most important thing for him to do?
Explanation: The opening paragraph of the story tells us about a king who had a thought in his mind. He felt he would never fail in his kingdom if he gets to know those three things. Those three things were answers to these three questions.
- What is the right time to begin something?
- Which people should he listen to?
- What is the most important thing for him to do?
The king, therefore, sent messengers throughout his kingdom, promising a large sum of money to anyone who would answer these three questions.
Many wise men came to the king, but they all answered his questions differently.
Explanation: The king wanted to know the answers to these three questions. He did not get the answers in his court or palace so he announced the questions in his kingdom with help of his messengers and promised to pay a huge sum of money as a reward to anyone who would answer these questions correctly. So many wise came to answer the questions and answers them differently in their own way but the king was confused as their answers were not similar and so he was not satisfied with their answers.
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.
Explanation: The king got different answers to his questions. In reply to his first question, (What is the right time to begin something?) some wise men suggested that the king should prepare a timetable and follow it strictly to perform every task on time. They said it was the only way by which he could do everything on time. Some wise men opposed this by saying that no one can decide the right time in advance to do something. They suggested the king observe all the things going around in his kingdom and do whatever he feels necessary for his kingdom. There were some wise men too that king needed a council of wise men who will him to act at the proper time. They thought that the king alone cannot decide the correct time for every action. They suggested the king have help and guidance from the council of wise men in this matter.
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.
Explanation: Some wise men suggested another answer to the first question. They were of opinion that there were certain things which were urgent and needed immediate redressal. The decisions in such urgency should be quick and it can’t wait for the decision of the council of wise men. They felt that to decide the right time to start a task we must know about the future and only magicians could do the task of looking into the future. So they advised the king to seek help from them.
In their answers to the second question, some said that the people most necessary to the king were his councillors; others said, the priests. A few others chose the doctors. And yet others said that his soldiers were the most necessary.
To the third question, some said science. Others chose fighting, and yet others religious worship.
Explanation: In reply to his second question (Which people should he listen to?) some said that the councillor was the most important man for the king and he should listen to them. Some other wise men said that the king should listen to the priests because they were holy men and had deep knowledge. Few wise men said the king should listen to the doctors while some said that soldiers were the most important person for the king and he should listen to them.
In reply to his third question (What is the most important thing for him to do) some wise men said science, some chose to fight and some others said religious worship.
As the answers to his questions were so different, the king was not satisfied and gave no reward. Instead, he decided to seek the advice of a certain hermit, who was widely known for his wisdom.
The hermit lived in a wood which he never left. He saw no one but simple people, and so the king put on ordinary clothes. Before he reached the hermit’s hut the king left his horse with his bodyguard and went on alone.
Explanation: The king found different answers from different wise men for his questions and got confused over this situation. He was not satisfied with the answers of the wise men and cancelled the reward. Now he decided to seek the help of a hermit who was very famous for his wisdom in this matter.
The king decided to meet the hermit and ask him those three questions and sought answers for them. The hermit lived in a small forest and had never left the place. The hermit would see and meet simple people in his life so the king dressed as an ordinary man and left to meet the hermit. When he reached the hut of the hermit, he left his horse and his men and asked them to wait for him and he went alone to his hut.
As the king came near the hermit’s hut, he saw the hermit digging the ground in front of his hut. He greeted the king and continued digging. The hermit was old and weak, and as he worked, he breathed heavily.
The king went up to the hermit and said, “I have come to you, wise hermit, to ask you to answer three questions: How can I learn to do the right thing at the right time? Who are the people I need most? And what affairs are the most important?”
Explanation: When the king reached the hut, he saw the hermit digging the ground in front of his hut. When he saw the king, he just welcomed him but continued his work. He kept on digging the ground. The king noticed that the hermit was old and weak and while he was working, he was breathing heavily and he was tired.
The king approached the hermit and told him the reason for his visit. He sought the answers to his three questions from the hermit.
The hermit listened to the king but did not speak. He went on digging. “You are tired,” said the king. “Let me take the spade and work in your place.”
“Thanks,” said the hermit, giving the king his spade. Then he sat down on the ground.
Explanation: The hermit listened to the questions asked by the king but did not respond. He continued his work of digging. The king felt for the hermit because he was too weak to perform the task of digging. The king said to the hermit you got tired and tell him to let him do the digging for the hermit.
When the king had dug two beds, he stopped and repeated his questions. The hermit gave no answer, but stood up, stretching out his hand for the spade, and said, “Now you rest, and let me work.”
But the king did not give him the spade and continued to dig.
Explanation: The king started digging and after digging two beds he stopped and repeated his questions in the hope that he may get answers for them because he had worked hard for the hermit. He was surprised to know that hermit did not reply to his question but he stood up, stretched out his hand and asked for the spade instead. He showed no interest in the king’s questions. The king refused to return the spade to the hermit and continued digging with the hope that the hermit may answer his question after looking at his hard work for him.
One hour passed, then another. The sun went down behind the trees, and at last, the king stuck the spade into the ground and said, “I came to you, wise man, for an answer to my questions. If you can give me no answer, tell me so and I will return home.”
“Here comes someone running,” said the hermit.
Explanation: After two hours, it was getting evening by then. The sun had set and finally, the king pushed the spade into the ground as he was getting angry, he said to the hermit that he had come to the hermit for answers to his questions. He asked the hermit if he cannot give answers to his questions tell him that he will return home. He did not reply to his question but pointed to a man running towards them.
The king turned around and saw a bearded man running toward them. His hands were pressed against his stomach, from which blood was flowing. When he reached the king, he fainted and fell to the ground. The king and the hermit removed the man’s clothing and found a large wound in his stomach. The king washed and covered it with his handkerchief, but the blood would not stop flowing. The king re-dressed the wound until at last, the bleeding stopped.
Explanation: The king turned around and looked towards the direction in which the hermit pointed he saw a bearded man running towards them. He also found that the hands of the bearded man were pressed against his stomach and blood was oozing(flowing) out of his stomach. After he reached the king, he became unconscious and fell to the ground. The king and the hermit both ran to help him. They removed the clothes from his body and found a large wound on his stomach. The king cleaned the wound and covered it with his handkerchief but the blood would not stop flowing from the wound. The king kept redressing the wound of the man until the bleeding stopped.
The man felt better and asked for something to drink. The king brought fresh water and gave it to him. By this time the sun had set and the air was cool. The king with the hermit’s help carried the wounded man into the hut and laid him on the bed. The man closed his eyes and lay quiet. The king, tired from his walk and the work he had done, lay down on the floor and slept through the night. When he awoke, it was several minutes before he could remember where he was or who the strange bearded man lying on the bed was.
Explanation: The wounded man felt relieved after they dressed his wound. He asked for something to drink. The king brought fresh water for him. By this time, it was dark outside and the air was cool. The king and the hermit carried the wounded man and took him inside the hut of the hermit and laid him on the bed. The bearded man closed his eyes and rested for some time. The king was also got tired due to his walk to the hermit’s hut, the work of digging for him and treating the hermit. He lay on the floor, fell asleep and slept there throughout the night. When he awoke, it took him two or more minutes to remember where he was and who the bearded man lying on the bed was. It showed how tired the king was.
“Forgive me!” said the bearded man in a weak voice, when he saw that the king was awake.
“I do not know you and have nothing to forgive you for,” said the king.
Explanation: When the bearded man found the king awake, he apologised in his weak voice. The bearded man was a stranger to the king. He said that he did not know him and the reason why the man was apologising
“You do not know me, but 1 know you. 1 am that enemy of yours who swore revenge on you because you put my brother to death and seized my property. I knew you had gone alone to see that hermit, and I made up my mind to kill you on your way home. But the day passed and you did not return. So, I left my hiding place, and I came upon your bodyguard, who recognised me and wounded me. I escaped from him but I should have died if you had not dressed my wounds. I wished to kill you, and you have saved my life. Now, if I live, I will serve you as your most faithful servant and will order my sons to do the same. Forgive me!”
Explanation: The bearded man told he may be a stranger for the king for he knows the king very well. He told the king that he was his enemy and had vowed to take revenge on the king because he had sentenced his brother to death and also seized his property. He also told the king about his plan to kill him. He planned to murder the king when he would return and he even hid. But when the king did not return, the bearded man got confused by this and left his hiding place.
He met the bodyguard, who recognised the man and knew that he was the king’s enemy. The bodyguard attacked him and wounded him. The bearded man escaped from the bodyguard but he should have died due to injury but survived because of the king and the hermit. The bearded man told the king that wanted to kill him, but got saved by the king. This changed his heart and he realised that the king was a nice person. He declared himself to be the king’s most faithful servant, someone the king can always trust. He promised that he would order his sons to do the same. Then he apologised again.
The king was very happy to have made peace with his enemy so easily and to have won him over as a friend. He not only forgave him but said he would send his servants and his doctor to look after him, and he promised to give back the man his property.
Explanation: The was very happy to have made friends with his enemy so easily. He forgave the man and promised him that he would send his servants and doctor to take care of the bearded man and also that he would give back his property, which he had seized earlier.
Leaving the wounded man, the king went out of the hut and looked around for the hermit. Before going away, he wished once more to get answers to his questions. The hermit was on his knees sowing seeds in the beds that had been dug the day before. The king went up to the hermit and said, “For the last time I beg you to answer my questions, wise man.”
Explanation: After the conversation, the king left the wounded man (the bearded man) inside the hut. He came out and looked out for the hermit. He wanted to ask the three questions once more to get the answers to his questions. The king decided that if the hermit would not answer this time, he would return home. When saw the hermit he was on his knees sowing seeds in the beds that the king and the hermit had dug up the previous day. The king went to the hermit, repeated the three questions and requested him to answer his questions.
“You have already been answered!” said the hermit still bending down to the ground and looking up at the king as he stood before him.
“How have I been answered? What do you mean?”
Explanation: The hermit finally replied to the king that his questions have been answered already. It confused the king and shocked him. He asked the king how he had been answered.
“Do you not see?” replied the hermit. “If you had not pitied my weakness yesterday and had not dug these beds for me, you would have gone away. Then that man would have attacked you and you would have wished you had stayed with me. So, the most important time was when you were digging the beds. And I was the most important man, and to do me good was your most important business.
Afterwards, when the man ran to us, the most important time was when you were caring for him, because if you had not dressed his wounds, he would have died without having made peace with you. So, he was the most important man, and what you did for him was your most important business.
Explanation: The hermit explained what he meant. He explained that if he (king) would not pity his weak and tired body, he would not have dug the beds for him. He would have gone away and may have got wounded or killed by the bearded man. At that time the king would have decided to stay with the hermit. Hence, the most important time then was when he was digging the beds for the hermit. The most important person was the hermit himself and the most important business then was to be helpful and nice work to the king towards the hermit.
The hermit then uses another example to make the king understand. Afterwards, when the bearded man came running toward them, the most important time was when the king took care of him because if the king wouldn’t treated him, he would have died without making peace, and friendship with him. At that time the most important person was the bearded man and treating him was the king’s most important business.
“Remember then, there is only one time that is important and that time is ‘Now’. It is the most important time because it is the only time, we have any power to act.
“The most necessary person is the person you are with at a particular moment, for no one knows what will happen in the future and whether we will meet anyone else. The most important business is to do that person good because we were sent into this world for that purpose alone.”
Explanation: The hermit told the king to remember that the most important time for anyone is “Now” It means the most important time is the present time because at that moment we have the power to act. We can decide at present which will decide our future.
He further said that the most important person for anyone is the person whom he/she is with at a particular time because we know nothing about the future nor do we know if we will meet the person again or not. And finally, the most important business is to do good to the person whom he/she is with because it is the only purpose we have been sent to this world by God.
That’s it for Three Questions Class 7 Line by Line Explanation. Hope you liked it.