[Sunrise Stories] The Wisdom of the Empty Cup

Discover the transformative power of humility and openness through the story of Arjun and Guru Raghav, as they explore the ancient parable of the empty cup and its profound lessons.

[Sunrise Stories] The Wisdom of the Empty Cup

Thursday April 27, 2023,

2 min Read

Once upon a time, in a quaint little village nestled in the heart of India, lived a wise old man named Guru Raghav. Word of his wisdom and knowledge had spread far and wide, and many traveled from distant lands to seek his guidance.

One day, a young scholar named Arjun arrived in the village, eager to learn from Guru Raghav. Arjun was a bright and ambitious man who had studied various subjects and mastered them all. He was proud of his knowledge and accomplishments, and he believed he could learn everything the guru had to teach in a short time.

Guru Raghav, being a wise and observant man, sensed Arjun's arrogance as soon as they met. Before beginning their lessons, he decided to share a simple story to help Arjun understand the importance of humility.

"Arjun," said Guru Raghav, "let me share with you the story of the empty cup. Once, a learned professor came to a Zen master to learn about Zen. The master served him tea, pouring it into the professor's cup until it was full. But he didn't stop pouring. The tea overflowed and spilled onto the table, and yet the master continued to pour."

Arjun listened intently, curious about where the story was going.

"Finally, the professor could no longer hold his silence. 'Stop!' he cried out. 'Can't you see the cup is full? It can't hold any more tea!'"

"The Zen master smiled and replied, 'Just like this cup, your mind is full of your own ideas and opinions. Unless you first empty your cup, you cannot learn anything new.'"

Arjun pondered the meaning of the parable, and as he did, the truth slowly dawned upon him. He realised that his pride and arrogance were preventing him from truly learning and growing.

From that day on, Arjun approached his studies with Guru Raghav with humility and an open mind, like an empty cup. And as he did, he found that he was able to absorb the wisdom of the guru and continue his journey toward enlightenment.

And so, the story of the empty cup taught Arjun an invaluable lesson – to always keep his mind open and receptive, like an empty cup, ready to be filled with new knowledge and experiences.