Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Puzzle (Answer)

Wow. Received so many replies and comments on “Puzzle” - mostly through personal emails… more than any other article. I guess suspense creates a curiosity and the human mind quickly wants to know all the answers.  

I guess the author of this puzzle was right when he/she added on that picture that ‘90 % got it wrong’. Many people, except two or three, got it wrong in the first try but came back with another answer after looking at it carefully again. 

Most people got it wrong first time - including myself - not necessarily because of miscalculations but because “oops, I didn't notice multiplication sign”. 

That is how the mind works. Just after seeing five + signs, mind gets conditioned and quickly assumes that the next would also be a plus and miss seeing the x sign. 

Just imagine, how quickly our mind gets conditioned after seeing something only five times repeatedly, what would happen if we hear something from a hundred or thousand - ten thousand or one hundred thousand people, over and over again?

Since our childhood, our mind has been getting ‘conditioned’ by the parents, teachers, friends and other influential people who were around - including our surroundings. The religion and the cultural background in which one is brought up, also has a great impact on one’s mind. The first thing all sages and mystics have been telling us, is to become free from any ‘Pre-conditioned’ thought and ideology. 

There is a famous Zen story. 
A renowned learned man went to see a Master, to learn the ways of spirituality. The Master welcomed him and asked him to take a seat. A disciple placed two cups of tea and a kettle before them. The master looked at the visitor and asked him to pour some tea into his cup. The visitor was surprised. The cup was already filled and the Master must have seen it too. 
“There might be a catch” the visitor thought, “Perhaps it’s a test of obedience”.
So he picked up the kettle and started pouring tea in the already filled cup, which was now flowing over the rim and spilling on the table. 
The Master was amused. 
“What are you doing?” he asked. 
“Obeying your order, Master”, he said.
“But you know you cannot add any more when the cup is already full.”
“Yes Master”
“Then how can your mind learn the new ways when it is already filled with the pre-conditioned concepts?

Go and free your mind first – then only you will be able to see the Reality.

         ‘Rajan Sachdeva’ 

Note: As many already knew, my concern was not about the correct mathematical answer to the puzzle ......Anyway, the correct answer from the experts was 22


  1. Great Article. Thanks for Sharing and explaining the meaning behind.

    I think mathematical answer should be 17 (2+5x3) :)

    1. Dhan Nirankar Ji, great post Rajan Ji.
      Ravi ji, baksh dena, there were 4 swords in the last equation so it was 2+(5x4)=22
      All other equations only had 3 swords :)

  2. You are right JI .. The presumptions, pre decided notions and not noticing all make us to go wrong. Very nice lesson JI

    Kind Regards

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