Volume 15 - Issue 07
July 2017
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Posted on: July 08, 2017

An Earnest Disciple


"The Guru is the Teacher who removes the fundamental ignorance, which hides the knowledge of this truth from us." – Bhagawan Baba.

A young man in quest for knowledge came to know of a learned guru. He went up to the cottage of the guru and knocked the door. A stern voice asked, "Who is it?" The young man made an about-turn and came back. The next day he thought of going back to the guru's cottage. As before, he knocked at the door. A voice asked, "Who are you? Where have you come from?"

The boy came back without uttering a word. The following morning, found him knocking the door again. A voice queried, "Who are you? Where have you come from? What do you want?" Sadly the boy retraced his steps and returned.

On the fourth day, this dejected young fellow made his way up the steps of the cottage to find the door open. Without knocking, he went inside. He found a peaceful looking man, sitting cross legged on the floor. He was meditating.


Quietly the boy sat down, a few steps away from him. Sometime later, the guru slowly opened his eyes and his gaze fell on the youngster. He smiled and said, "So you are the one who has been coming here for the last three days. Why didn't you come in?"

The youngster said simply, "You asked me, who I am, where I came from and what I wanted. These are the questions I am trying to find the answers to. I came to you to ask you these questions. I did not have the answers to them, so I went back. Today I found the door open, so I took the liberty of walking in. Can you help me to find the answer to these questions?"

The guru got up and embraced the boy. He said, "Just as a seeker is in search of a guru, a guru is also in search of the genuine seeker. I am so happy to have you here. It would be a pleasure to teach you!"

Sometimes we think spirituality lies in complex esoteric questions and mind boggling debates. But it all begins with these unassumingly simple questions, 'Who am I? Where do I come from? What do I seek in this world?' But it isn't the questions themselves that lead to a spiritual quest, but the sincere despondency that backs them.

In His own playful way Swami would drive home this lesson when it came to His students. He would pull up a student and ask him, “Boy, where do you come from?” Students who have witnessed such interactions before would know what is the 'correct' answer to give. The student would reply, “Swami I come from You.” Then, faking a stern expression Swami would say, “Hey!” The boy unnerved by Swami's pretence would then blurt out the name of his home town. Swami would then, out of His love, use the opportunity to explain that the answer was indeed right, but it was not backed by conviction. That sincerity and earnestness, what is referred to as 'Shraddha', is the most important quality for a disciple. Especially it is important to acknowledge honestly what we don't know.

For a successful spiritual journey one needs a true Guru. As Sant Kabir says, “Guru bin kaun batave bat, bada vikat yama ghat (Without the Guru, who can show the path? The way is dreadfully difficult.)” But the sincerity of the student is equally important if not more.

We all are indeed fortunate that the Lord who is the goal has Himself adorned the role of our Guru too. But this rare opportunity can be completely utilised only if we place at His feet our offering of Shraddha. May each of us strive to offer Him this Guru dakshina on this sacred occasion of Guru Poornima day.

You keep asking everybody, “Who are you?” But you do not ask yourself, “Who am I?” Am I the body, am I the mind, am I the intellect, am I the chittha, am I the senses? When you say, ‘my body’, you are different from the body. Body is like a water bubble, mind is like a mad monkey. Do not follow the body, do not follow the mind.

- Divine Discourse delivered in Kodaikanal, 14 April 2006

- Story sent by Ms Priya Tandon

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