Washing the Dirty Pot

25 Oct


A few days ago, Rinpoche was relating to a number of tasks to a few of us. Midway, he told us this incredible story of the Mahasiddha who lived by the river Ganges. The Mahasiddha observed this aristocratic Brahmin coming down the terraced ghats and performed his ablutions in the river every day. He would wash himself thoroughly before engaging in his rituals. The Brahmin seemed content and happy that he was ritually clean after a bath in the river Ganges.

One day, the Mahasiddha approached the Brahmin and asked him, “Why do you wash yourself in the river?”

“Well, I wash myself to be clean for puja,” the Brahmin replied haughtily.

The next day, the Mahasiddha found a pot and collected feces and pee from a nearby latrine and brought it to be washed next to the Brahmin. The Mahasiddha only wash the outside of the pot without spilling the contents. The Brahmin was alarmed and he asked the Mahasiddha, “What use is it to wash the outside of the pot when the contents is so dirty?”

“Well, that’s just like what you do every day. You wash your body clean but your inside remains dirty.”

The Brahmin was initially offended but he realized the wisdom of the Mahasiddha’s words. He begged for teachings and became a devoted student of the Mahasiddha. The moral of this story is not about giving up personal hygiene but not to hang on to appearances and to develop a cleaner mind that is free from ‘dirty’ or deluded views that make us selfish and worldly people.



2 Responses to “Washing the Dirty Pot”

  1. Wah Ying October 25, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    The Mahasiddha is skillful, compassionate yet direct in helping the Brahmin in realizing the deeper meaning of spiritual practice. This is a good story and reminder for everyone, not limited to spiritual practisioners. It applies to worldly life as well. I thank Rinpoche and Pastor David short yet good teaching. 🙂

  2. Jim October 25, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing Pastor David.

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