आगे दौड़ पीछे छोड़ (September 2021)

Have you heard someone saying “आगे दौड़ पीछे छोड़“? Do you understand its meaning and the context in which it is stated? Understanding its meaning and then putting it in practice is this month’s assignment.


Unlike the majority of other proverbs and idioms, there is no close equivalent of this saying in English. A literal translation is ‘Run ahead, leave behind’. Also, despite having words like दौड़ and छोड़, this saying is not related to sports either. What it means is that in our enthusiasm to acquire and grow, we must not stop caring for what we already have. As we run to grab new, we might be able to acquire it. But, if in running towards latest or new (आगे दौड़) we lose what we already had (पीछे छोड़), we may come out net negative in this end. And, that is the key message of this month’s assignment.


This saying is applicable in several dimensions of life. Be it aspiration for monetary gain, incessant need to make new friends to expand one’s circle, or endless reading to gain surface level scriptural knowledge, this mistake can trip us. For instance, those who gamble and place their current possessions at risk often end up losing all. Also those who are eager to form new friendships but forget to nurture their existing and old relations often end up having no genuine friends at all. And, interestingly, this blind spot is not limited to material endeavors only. Even spiritual seekers do fall prey to it. If a person is continuously reading big scriptures and listening to spiritual talks but is not putting the lessons of previous learnings into practice, the new knowledge will not help him with spiritual gains.


For students (i.e., our Hawan kids), this saying has even deeper and relevant meaning. As a student learns new lessons and concepts, they must continue to revise and practice all they have learnt before. It may not be always obvious, but new knowledge is always better assimilated when one has a strong and deep understanding of the prior knowledge.


Are there other aspects where this saying applies? I am sure there are several more. As a part of this month’s assignment, the hawan kids will share what they understand by the saying “आगे दौड़ पीछे छोड़”, why this saying is important in life, and where they see the relevance of this saying from their own point of view. If they have any real examples, it will be even better.


As always, I am looking forward to interesting and illuminating aspects shared by our hawan kids. Make us proud!



Harsh Mendiratta