A STORY ABOUT FLAWS AND IMPERFECTIONS
This is a story from the ancient times. There was a Gurukul in India with hundreds of students. Students (shishyas) lived in the Gurukul from childhood till the time they became adults. Then they would leave the Gurukul to find their way in the world and live their life.
When the study of any student in the Gurukul was over, the teacher or Guru bid them goodbye after the ending of the education and gave them a secret gift for their life's journey. (something like a historical version of 'convocation').
The Guru had a special student, who was brilliant and sincere. The Guru loved him like a son and the student respected the Guru like a father.
When this student's training ended, the Guru was extremely pleased with him and gave him a piece of glass as a farewell present along with his virtuous blessing. In reality, the glass was a magical device which could reflect the inner thoughts and feelings of any person.
On receiving the Magical Glass, the student was extremely excited. He pointed it towards his Guru. He was shocked by what he saw. The Guru had various flaws and negative traits in his heart: he was materialistic, had pride within himself and was of vexed temperament.
Since childhood, the student had looked up to his Guru and worshipped him above all else. The student became extremely dejected. He had always believed that his Guru was perfect, but he wasn't. The student just could not believe that his Guru had so many shortcomings. Quietly, he bid goodbye to the Guru and other students and started his journey towards his village, completely disheartened.
Once he reached home, his parents showered him with love and attention. Their son had finally grown up into a fine young man! The student was also very happy to see his parents and meet his childhood friends.
Now, he took the glass and used it to see the inner thoughts of his parents and friends. Again, he was completely shocked!
Everyone he had known all his life – his parents, his family, his friends, all of them had so many shortcomings and weaknesses. None of them was perfect!
He was deeply unhappy with the glass. What was supposed to be a gift, turned out to be a curse. That entire night, he could not sleep.
The next morning, he journeyed back to the Gurukul with the glass to return it for once and for all.
His Guru was surprised to see him back so soon. He enquired if everything was ok. The student touched the Guru's feet and said: 'Sir, with the help of this Magical Glass, I could see the inner thoughts of everyone. I must confess to you that I even peeked into your thoughts. Everyone I know and love: you, my parents, family, friends, all have so many flaws. This has taken away my peace of mind. Please tell me what to do.'
The Guru smiled. He simply picked up the magical glass and pointed it towards his dear student. The student was left astonished by what he saw. He himself had various flaws like jealousy, greed, selfishness, etc.
The Guru explained to him lovingly, 'My child, I gave you this glass to see your own flaws and work upon them; to improve your life. But you went around and used it to see flaws in other people. If you had used this to see your own flaws rather than those of others, you would have changed your life instead of becoming frustrated with other people's shortcomings.
The student realized his mistake. He thanked his Guru for the final lesson and again bid farewell. He decided to work on himself and correct his own flaws.
The biggest weakness of us humans is that, we spend more time dwelling upon flaws that other people have, rather than looking within ourselves.
The Magical Glass teaches us that no one, absolutely no one; parents, teachers or friends, is perfect or free from flaws. But constantly thinking about that is only going to bring us pain.
Before blaming others, we should look into ourselves first: doing this will make our lives smoother and our relationships better. Even when we are having a fight or an argument with someone, we should first try to look at our own mistakes, and only then respond.
This is the lesson from the story of the Magical Glass of the Gurukul.
Did you like this story? What did you learn from it?