Bucket full of holes

Today I’d like to begin with a little story. Once a man was seeking to become wiser. So he was searching for a wise man. He searched, and he searched, and finally he found a wise man. So he approached the wise man with great respect, and he said to the wise man, “Could you please make me wise? And give me wisdom?”

So the wise man said, “Certainly, I’d be happy to. But first, I have to water my crop. So will you please come with me to the well, where I’m going to draw water to water my crop. And I have one condition. My condition is, whatever you see, don’t say anything. Just be quiet. After I have finished watering my plants, I will teach you wisdom.”

So the man thought to himself, “This is very good—all I have to do is be quiet, watch him water his plants, and I will become wise, because he will teach me wisdom!” So, he went with the wise man; the wise man threw the bucket in the well. And he said to the man, “Now, just be quiet. Don’t say anything. Let me finish watering my crop, my plants….”

Pulled the bucket out—and the bucket was full of holes. So the wise man pulled, pulled, pulled, pulled it out; got to the top. The bucket became empty! So, he threw the bucket down in the well again.

So this man is thinking, “Hmm. Is he really so wise? Doesn’t he know that his bucket is full of holes? How is he going to water the plants—because every time he brings the water up, it’s empty.” Then he said, “But! All I have to do is be quiet—and he will give me wisdom.”

So then the wise man threw the bucket down again and he pulled it out. And by the time he pulled it out, the bucket became empty—and no water! This time he cannot resist. He says to the wise man, “Excuse me. Don’t you know that your bucket is full of holes? And it cannot hold anything?”

And the wise man said, “So is yours. All I asked you for is to be quiet. That’s all I asked you for. You saw my bucket full of holes, but you didn’t realize that your bucket is also full of holes. You would not be able to contain any wisdom.”

But what stops it from manifesting? Because the bucket is full of holes. Every single consideration is given: what is good; what is bad; what is right; what is wrong. Everything in this world is judged, but the reality is never given a chance to manifest.

The reality of this life is not about other people; it is about you.

– Prem Rawat