IT was a classroom in one of the schools in Kolhapur. The teacher had given to the students some problems to solve in arithmetic. After some time he heard a murmur going on among the students. They were grumbling as those sums were taken from a lesson which was not taught in the class. So the students were unable to solve them.

The teacher too realised his mistake. But, he saw Gopal, one of the intelligent boys in the class, quietly writing on in his answer-book. He went close to him and saw that Gopal had fully and correctly solved the sums. “Oh, you have solved all the sums intelligently before they were taught to you. Well done, Gopal. Go and take your first rank on the bench,” the teacher said.

Gopal stood up and humbly said, ‘Sir, I did not solve these sums by my own intelligence. They were taught to me by one of my cousins who had come to Kolhapur last week. Arithmetic is his pet subject. He had taught me these very sums and that is why I could solve them. I do not deserve the first rank.”

The teacher was very much pleased with Gopal’s love of truth. He had refused to accept any credit or praise which was not due to him.

This boy was no other than Gopal Krishna Gokhale, the great social reformer whom Mahatma Gandhi respected as one of his “Gurus.” Gokhale founded the Servants of India Society which is well-known today for its valuable services to the poor, the suffering and the backward classes in our country.


  1. Why was the teacher pleased with Gopal’s words? (i) Why should we not accept credit or praise which is not due to us? (ii) What would happen if we accept it?
  2. What do you learn from the three stories on “Truth is God”?
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