Cracked Pot

Cracked Pot - Radhanath SwamiHuman nature is that everyone essentially wants to love and be loved. If we show affection people open up and we can disarm them of their prejudices against us. – Radhanath Swami

A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he used to fetch water. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. The walk from stream to his house was long and the cracked pot arrived only half full. For two full years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house.

The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made but the cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfection. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out. Because of my flaws, even though you do hardwork, you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? Because I have always known about your flaw, I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house!

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots but the key is to check if our attitude is like the water bearer or that of the proud pot. If we notice only cracks in others and fail to recognize their unique abilities, we will not only make the other person feel miserable but also make our own lives miserable. But inspite of our differences when we learn to appreciate each other, the relationship grows to a deeper level and life together becomes more beautiful. When we learn to look for only the good in others and appreciate it, we empower them to do good and look for good in us as well as others. Radhanath Swami believes that truly appreciating the other overlooking his/her flaw is a divine quality, it means overlooking our own egoistic tendencies and looking for purity in the other person and inadvertently we purify ourselves.


Look at the Himalayan Mountains

HimalyasThe nature of the mind that’s not finding inner fulfillment is that it makes insignificant things seem so important — Radhanath Swami. 

Things that are practically meaningless we sometimes interpret as so meaningful. Fights, arguments and even divorces are often based on these trifling things. Radhanath Swami explains in this connection. “If there is a little hill in front of your house and that’s all you have ever seen, it seems gigantic.” As long as we don’t focus our consciousness on higher principles, unimportant things are important, at least they seem that way. Radhanath Swami, continuing his analogy of being overwhelmed by a little hill, says, “But if you look at the Himalayan Mountains, then that little hill is insignificant because you have seen something greater.” We have to see something higher in life. “Krishna is great, devotion is great, and the satisfaction of Bhakti is great. When we have some connection to that, some experience with that, then all of these little things we see it for what it is worth. Otherwise, things that really has nothing to do with us, nothing to do with reality, obsess us, possess us, rule over us and cause us to fight, to battle, to become envious and angry. We can only overcome these things when we experience something higher. That’s the real solution.”

The stage of perfection is called trance, or samadhi, when one’s mind is completely restrained from material mental activities by practice of yoga. This is characterized by one’s ability to see the self by the pure mind and to relish and rejoice in the self. In that joyous state, one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness and enjoys himself through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of greatest difficulty. This indeed is actual freedom from all miseries arising from material contact.’ (Bhagavad Gita 6.20-23)