Parable: The Master and the Disciple


Disciple Funnyguts went to visit Master No Worth.

Bowing before his teacher, the disciple beheld him with great reverence and humility, and said:

“Master – I am very ignorant. I know very little about anything, and my mind is very simple and slow. Won’t you please accept me as your pupil, so that I can learn to be a great sage like you?”

Master No Worth regarded the Disciple with a ferocious gentleness.

“Why come to me?” He asked. “I know even less than you do!”

Disciple Funnyguts thought about this for a few moments and then said:

“Because, one day, I hope to know even less than both of us combined.”

The Master was greatly pleased by this. He bowed to his student, descended from his throne, and gave him a present.

“Please accept this gift. It is an acknowledgement of my respect. In it are contained many treasures. These treasures encompass everything you will need to succeed on your spiritual path.”

The student was so excited that he rushed back to his chambers, lit some incense, bowed to a statue of the Buddha, and, with great joy and felicity, he set about opening the box.

Once he had removed its lid, the Disciple expected his eyes to be near-blinded by the glistening, mysterious treasures he anticipated finding inside. But, once he opened it, he found there was nothing inside the box – it was just an empty box.

The Master sneaked up behind his pupil, and with great compassion said:
“My gift to you is emptiness. Keep it, treasure it, and never lose it. If you can keep it close to you at all times, then you will never want for anything.”