The Boy Who Sold Wisdom Lesson Summary and Explanation in English Class 8th


The story ”The boy who sold Wisdom” is about a clever boy named ’Nagendra’ who was an orphan. One day he thought of setting up a shop and sell wisdom to earn money.He hung a board over his shop which said ‘Wisdom for sale’. He called out that “All kinds of wisdom for sale! Reasonable prices!”. The people laughed at him because they could not see anything in his shop.

One day the son of Gupta,Babu,came to the shop of Nagendra. Being a foolish boy, Babu did not understand wisdom and thought it was a type of commodity. He asked Nagendra what it would cost per kg. Nagendra replied that he did not sell wisdom by weight, but he sell it by quality. Babu put down a nickel and asked Nagendra to give him a nickel’s worth of wisdom. Nagendra wrote, “It is not wise to stand and watch two people fighting” on a piece of paper and gave it to Babu.Gupta, Babu’s father scolded him for wasting money on a useless thing and went back to Nagendra to return back the money. Nagendra said he would return the money if Gupta would return his wisdom. He further told Gupta to sign a document saying that “Your son should never use my advice and that he will always stand and watch people fighting”. Not understanding the future consequence of signing the bond, Gupta agreed to the condition and thought that it had been easy for him to undo his son’s foolish bargain.

Plot twist

A fews days passed.The king of that land had two queens who hated each other and quarrelled amongst each other. Their maids also hated each other. One day the two maids went to the same shop and wanted to buy the same pumpkin. After few moments, they both started fighting with each other. Babu, who knew that he could not use Nagendra’s advice of wisdom, went there and stood watching the quarrel. The two maids saw him and each of them asked him to be her witness. Each of them sent word to Babu after reporting the matter to the King and Queens. They even threatened to get his head chopped off if he did not speak in their favour. Being scared and confused,Babu and Gupta went to Nagendra and asked for his wisdom. Nagendra took five hundred rupees and advised Babu to pretend as if he was insane so as to escape from this tough situation.When the king sent for him, Babu went to the court. He behaved as if he was mad. When questions were asked he uttered words,which were senseless. The king lost his patience and sent him away. Gupta was worried that his son had to behave like a mad boy always. If not, the king would find out the truth and punish him. So, he again seeked help from Nagendra. Nagendra took another five hundred rupees from them. He advised Babu to go to the king when he is in a good mood and tell him the truth. Babu followed his instructions and was ultimately saved from the danger.

Triumph of Wisdom

The king, who came to know about Nagendra, sent for him and asked him if he had any wisdom to sell. Nagendra replied he had plenty of wisdom and would sell it to the king for a hundred thousand rupees. The king paid him the money. Nagendra wrote on a paper “Think deeply before you do anything” and gave it to the king. The king was so delighted by the advice that he made it his motto and engraved on his cups and plates. After a few months the king fell ill. The minister and one of the queens had been planning to kill the king. They bribed the doctor and asked him to poison the king’s medicine. The doctor mixed poison in the medicine and brought it to the king in a golden cup. The king lifted the cup and saw the words engraved on it. He looked at the medicine thoughtfully for a long time.

Being nervous, the doctor thought that his crime had been noticed. He fell at the king’s feet and begged for mercy. The king, who came to know about the conspiracy, banished the doctor and awarded death sentence to the minister and his queen. He realised that Nagendra’s advice had saved his life. He made Nagendra his minister and honoured him with wealth.