The Right Guru – A Zen Story
Summary: Sadhguru narrates a short Zen story. He explains the hidden message in it. Normally, we choose friends who will support our limitations. But when you seek a spiritual master, you should be willing to break your limitations. You don't seek a master to hear pleasant things about yourself. Sadhguru says - "Guru or a master is there to destroy the falsehood in you."
article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org
The right guru - a zen story
Story: Zen Masters Yutang and Dayu accepted an invitation to instruct a major official interested in Zen. Master Yutang addressed the official, “You are a naturally intelligent and receptive man. I think you will make a fine student of Zen.”
In contrast, the other master Dayu exclaimed, “You’ve got to be kidding. This lamebrain may have a high position but he wouldn’t know Zen if he was hit over the head with it.”
Then the major official said, “After listening to your two honorable opinions I have decided what to do.”
In the end, not only did the official not build a temple for Yutang, he built one for Dayu and studied Zen with him.
Sadhguru: Normally when you choose friends, you choose those who support your limitations. You will always choose those kind of friends with whom your ego is comfortable. You seek a spiritual master not because you want to hear pretty things; you seek him because you want truth. You want to see the creation and the basis of creation just the way it is, not the way you think it is. Above all, a Guru or a master is there to destroy the falsehood in you. That is why I always say, if you sit with me and feel uncomfortable, you want to run away but you cannot run away, you keep coming back, then you have found your Guru. One who does not point out your limitations is not your Guru. To keep you comfortable, you can get married – you do not need to go to a Guru.
Guru or a master is there to destroy the falsehood in you.
You go to a Guru because you want to break your limitations, not to establish your limitations. The master who says, “You are great, you are wonderful,” is obviously looking for your money. A Guru is a friend who constantly punctures your ego. Others are friends who constantly pump up your ego. Saying pretty things about people is very easy but the real work of a Guru requires the necessary compassion to point out limitations with the risk that it may earn anger, hatred or wrath, in return. A master takes the risk of losing friendship because he is truly concerned about your wellbeing.
This official is wise because he recognized that. He knows where his wellbeing lies. He is not taken by flattery and pretty words. That is good!