Once a disciple went to a preceptor and requested him to impart to him the Brahma-Jnana (Supreme knoweldge of self). The Guru gave him a mantra and asked him to recite it continually without any selfish desire. The Guru told him that after he had done this whole heartedly for a year he could come and receive the Brahma-Jnana.
The disciple came back after a year duly carrying out with devotion the instructions of the preceptor. The disciple had a sacred bath and was on his way to the preceptor. Unaware of the presence of the disciple, a maid was sweeping the hermitage premises and the dust from the ground fell on the young man. Immediately, he lost his temper, as he felt that his purity after a sacred bath had been sullied by the dust that fell on him. He was angry with the maid for allowing the dust in fall on him.
The disciple went in and offered his salutations to the Guru and said, “Guruji! I have been waiting for a year to secure your grace. The time is now ripe for realising it. I am eager to receive the Supreme Knowledge from you.” The preceptor said’ “You are not yet competent to receive that knowledge. You have the qualities of a snake. You got angry with a girl who unwittingly caused some dust to fall on you. How can Brahma-Jnana be imparted to one who has not even this amount of forbearance? Go back and practice the sadhana for one more year.”
At the end of the second year, when the disciple was about to come to the hermitage, the preceptor instructed the maid to see that as she swept, all the dust fell on the disciple, she let the dust fall on the disciple in full measure. Enraged at her conduct, the disciple went to beat her but refrained from doing so. He then went into the hermitage and paid his respects to Guru. The Guru told him, “You have not yet acquired the competence to receive the knowledge. You are exhibiting the qualities of a dog. Come back after ridding yourself of these animal qualities.”
At the end of the third year, the disciple was coming to the hermitage after a sacred bath. Carrying out the instructions of the Guru, the maid poured some dirty water on the disciple. The latter calmly offered his obeisance to the maid and said, “Mother! My salutations to you. You have helped to strengthen my forbearance so that I can be worthy of the preceptor’s grace.” Without getting angry with her, he told her that he would be always grateful to her for what she had done to him. When he went in, the Guru welcomed him and said, “Son! Today you have become eligible to receive the Brahma-Jnana.” The preceptor imparted the Brahma-Jnana and filled him with bliss.
For spiritual transformation, the qualities that are needed are kindness, love, forbearance and compassion. People today have forgotten these sublime qualities because they have lost the fear of sin, ceased to love God and do not observe social ethics. When the mind is filled with good thoughts, such as truth, love, forbearance and compassion, one’s life is filled with peace and serenity. Love, Respect, Tolerance, Mutual Co-operation and Forbearance. These must flow from your heart to each and everyone.