5 Habits of Highly Effective Students

5 Habits of Highly Effective Students

I read a very amazing Sanskrit Parnassus once, which explains about 5 qualities that a student has. In Fact, each one of us is a student in our life, and this is why we should possess and try to evolve these 5 Habits of Highly Effective Students.

काक चेष्टा, बको ध्यानं, स्वान निद्रा तथैव च
स्वल्पहारी, गृहत्यागी विद्यार्थी पंच लक्षणं।

– A Sanskrit Parnassus

Kaak cheshta bako dhyanam.Swan nindra tathaiwa cha Swalpahari, grihtyaagi, Vidyarthi panch lakshnam

-English translation

Vidyarthi, Vidya means lore and arthi means one who desires lore.Vidyarthi, one who desires lore, all of us, should possess Panch Lakshanam. These 5 characteristics are features and qualities.The first one, Kak Chestha, Kaka means a Crow and Chesta means Efforts. Kaka = crow + chesta = Efforts.

1. Kaag Chesta (Perseverance of a Crow)

All of us in infancy read the story of a crow, who was extremely thirsty and was flying around looking for some water. The crow found a ewer of water. As the crow landed itself on the brim of the ewer and looked inside at the contents, he found there was water, but the water was the very bottom of the ewer and there was no way the crow could drink water by putting its beak inside. The crow started looking around and started picking in its beak tiny pebbles, and putting them inside the ewer pebble by pebble, the crow kept working hard until the level of the crow quench its thirst.  Kaka chesta refers to the fortitude, hard work and effort of the crow.

Yes Friends, If we have to work on our lives if we have to truly fetch out what is within the outside. We have to go through some painful sharpening of kaka chesta hard work, and they don’t say that the only place where success comes before work in the dictionary is because ‘S’ comes before ‘W’. 

2. Bako Dhyanam (Concentration of a Swan)

Bako dhyanam means the intense centre of a stork. When one looks at the stork standing on one leg completely focused on the waters, the stork with one-pointed attention is looking at the waters as the fishes are swimming inside the waters. The stork will allow the pickaninny, the little fish, to swim around and not be satisfied with them. It will allow the little fishes to go around and swim around. The stork will focus and wait for the big fish to come. If the stork settles with the little fish, it will lose the big fish, and if the stork wants to big fish, it has to allow the little fish to pass by and go around.

Similarly in life, when you want to focus on what is important, we shouldn’t be distracted by little things, sometime there will be interpersonal issue and conflicts, sometimes there will be a health crisis, sometimes there might be financial crises, so many things keep happening in life, let the small things pass beyond the focus on what’s important

3. Shwan Nindra (Light Sleeper like a Dog)

Shawan means a dog and Nidra means sleep. Shawan Nidra means sleep of a dog, or to be more accurate the alertness of the dog. All of us have actually seen, when a dog is sleeping although the eyes are closed, the dog is very alert to the surroundings around it. Even if there is a little sound or even if someone walks very very slowly, the will instantly opens its eyes. All those who want lore in their lives and want to pursue that meaning in life have to practice the quality of alertness. Although we may have our eyes closed, doing what we are doing in our lives, we shouldn’t miss out to be alert to the world around us. There is a lot to learn in this world from people, from objects, from situations from surrounding, we will only learn when we are alert.

4. Alp-ahari (Light Eater)

Ahar in Sanskrit means edible and alpa means less so literally, alpahari means that a Vidyarthi, one seeking knowledge should eat less.Now, this is not what is implied by the word through, we have varieties of ahar, like for example, for our tongue we have food, that’s the ahar. For our eyes, sights, people, beautiful panoramic scenery is the ahar. So, for each sense, there is ahar. And when this parnassus says that a Vidyarthi should be alpahari. It means we should be very anxious about what inputs we give to our senses. Actually, go and make a very deep indelible impression on our psyche, or pour inner systems in Sanskrit that is called Sanskara. 

Sanskara means that indelible Ingram that sensory inputs leave on our minds. I tell you, we give so many inputs through our senses and they leave a very indelible mark, sometimes an unerasable mark on our consciousness and our mind. Therefore,  when we talk about alpahari. It means we should be very anxious to choose those sensory inputs which are of value and those things that we want our mind space to be filled with. Do not subject yourself to undesirable things in the world around us, which will go and occupy your unpriced mind space, which should not be taken by undesirable, less valuable and less priority things.Your mind space is meant and reserved for the most important and precious things. out of our comfort zone, which is No Pain No Gain.

5. Grih Tyagi (Less involvement in Home matters)

Griha means premises, tyagi means to give up, leave. In the ancient eastren world of India, students would leave their home at an early age and go to study under their teachers or gurus in the school which was Gurukula.  Grihatyagi means leaving home to go in pursuit of knowledge.it is real implied sense, grihatyagi doesn’t mean leaving home. It means leaving our comfort zone. 

If we live in our comfort zone our home represents our comfort zone. So if we are going to live in our comfort zone.there is no question of pursuing that which is of true value. Therefore, Grihatyagi refers to coming out of our comfort zone.


  1. Put efforts like a Crow
  2. Focus on your goal like a stork
  3. Stay alert like a dog
  4. Always give the right input to your senses
  5. Leave your comfort zone.

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