Gurdjieff – The Whacky Master

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Great Masters / Storytelling


Gurdjieff was an enlightened mystic born in Russia, but his teaching was so mystical and irrational that the world would not have understood him directly. Sadhguru tels the story of the rascal Guru.


Duration: 5 min


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Gurdjieff – The Whacky Master

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

Different masters have employed different kinds of methods to destroy the will of the people around them. One person who was very significant in a situation like this is Gurdjieff. Gurdjieff was an early 20th century spiritual master who became very famous in Europe. So, he was a wacky, wacky master. He just really gave works to people – all kinds of things.

Ouspensky, who was a great mathematician, became his disciple. Because of Ouspensky, Gurdjieff became popular, because Ouspensky wrote books on Gurdjieff. He was very well- known, popular, great speaker of that time.

One thing that happened was, when Gurdjieff was speaking in various cities in United States, Ouspensky was travelling with him. Those were still the railroad years, or railroad time in North America, where people travelled by train. And they were traveling in a train, and in the dining car, the pantry car where they were dining, suddenly Gurdjieff started behaving like he is drunk, started throwing things around. He took a glass of wine and poured it on a lady, and everybody was furious, people want to beat him up, but Ouspensky is protecting him, “The man is enlightened.” Gurdjieff acts like a drunkard, and roars, and abuses everybody, throws things around. Then the guard, or whoever the security who is there, tell him, “Either you get him back into his cabin, or we will throw him out.” Ouspensky physically has to wrestle Gurdjieff into the cabin, and the moment he comes into the cabin, he just sits very quietly.

Like this, he went about creating extreme situations for Ouspensky, where the kind of person Ouspensky was, a very well-educated, cultured, scholarly person, Gurdjieff was just impossible to handle.

Why I’m saying this is, if you have the depth of experience in you, it’s so simple to keep yourself aside, otherwise you can’t keep yourself aside. It needs either too much love, or trust, or a depth of experience within the person.

Either work to sharpen your awareness, which is a harder job, it takes incessant application, it doesn’t happen overnight. But love can happen immediately. Yes? This is the reason why devotion has been stressed everywhere around the world, always people talked about love in every religion and every spiritual path, because if you are willing, it can happen instantly. But your awareness, your wisdom, even if you are willing, it will not happen instantly. It needs work – that you have to earn, it is not going to just come like that. But love can happen instantly, that’s the advantage of emotion.

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