The Dirty Kamandelu

The Dirty Kamandelu

A rich man went to the hermitage of a great sage. He said to the sage, “Oh revered one! Give me the knowledge of the Para-Brahma, I have very limited time and I have snatched these few days out of my busy schedule with great difficulty. Please tell me about the Almighty so that I can have the understanding of the Eternal Bhagwan. The sage smiled kindly and said, “Alright, come tomorrow.”

The man came early next day. He waited there expectantly all day. Every time the Sage would look his way, his heart would jump for he thought that the time had come that the sage would talk to him and disclose the eternal secret of God to him. The day drew to an end. No luck. The sage departed to his resting area saying, “Come tomorrow.”

The man came the next day looking his best in a new silken kurta and dhoti, his hair combed neatly, his face beaming expectantly. This day too passed.

The following day also the man waited and waited and waited. On the fifth day the man mustered up some courage and went up to the sage. “Oh revered one,” he said, “I have been waiting all these days for you to talk to me and disclose the truth about God to me. But you have not so much as looked my way. Now I have to go back to the city to attend to my work. Please come to my house sometime and give me some time to talk with you alone.”

The sage smiled and said, “Alright, I plan to visit your city anytime after the tenth of this month. I shall visit you while I am there.” The man went back to work but he was counting the days. On the tenth of the month he got his house cleaned till it shone. He got special food prepared in the hope that the sage would drop by. That day too went by. There was no sign of the sage. Another five days passed in waiting and preparing for the sage to come. On the sixth day the sage knocked at the door. The man was overjoyed to see the sage. He welcomed him and offered him food. The sage extended his kamandalu and said, “Just put it into this.” The man was about to pour kheer into the kamandalu when he noticed that there was some cow-dung in the kamandalu. He said, “Oh venerable one! Give the kamandalu to me. Let me wash it. It is not clean. How can I pour kheer into this soiled utensil?”

The sage looked at him straight in the eyes and said, “Son, I too could not have poured knowledge into the dirty vessel of your heart, I had to wait for you to clean it with yearning for the Lord. Knowledge of God cannot be given to one whose mind is cluttered with worldly thoughts. I had to make you go through this period, to cleanse your heart so that it may become worthy of being the residence of the Lord. Come, you are now ready for knowledge.”

Knowledge of God cannot be acquired in a hurry. It is something that we learn and carry with us over many births. It may not be imminent but the knowledge is there within us; in our sub-conscious mind. When we yearn for God, the layers of ignorance get removed from the knowledge that lies within us. No Guru tells us anything new. The Guru just helps us to unwrap and discover what is already there within us. We just have to learn to concentrate on the inner self and we can find God!