Saturday, 23 January 2010


Damned Devotee

by Anthony de Mello

The devotee knelt to be initiated into discipleship. The spiritual teacher whispered the sacred words (a mantra) into his ear, warning him not to reveal it to anyone.

"What will happen if I do?" asked the devotee.

Said the guru, "Anyone you reveal the mantra to will be liberated from the bondage of ignorance and suffering, but you yourself will be excluded from discipleship and suffer damnation."

No sooner had he heard those words, than the devotee rushed to the marketplace, collected a large crowd around him, and repeated the sacred mantra for all to hear.

The disciples later reported this to the spiritual teacher and demanded that the man be expelled from the monastery for his disobedience.

He only smiled and said, "He has no need of anything I can teach. His action has shown him to be a guru in his own right."

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