As we approach Guru Purnima on July 9, we look back at the historical tradition of this nation which revered the Guru – a culture which is unfortunately almost lost in modern times. Guru Purnima was cherished throughout the country in the past and was seen as a possibility to receive Grace. To revive this culture, we present a collection of inspiring stories from the lives of Gurus past, narrated by Sadhguru, which illustrate the unique methods each Master employed to bring transformation to disciples.

In this installment, Sadhguru describes how Matsyendranath conveyed an important message to his disciple, Gorakhnath, in an unexpected way.

Sadhguru: There is a story about Matsyendranath and Gorakhnath. Matsyendranath, a great yogi, is generally referred to as an incarnation of Shiva. It is not that Shiva was born again. We say he is an incarnation because in terms of his knowing and capability, he is not very different from Shiva. After all, we are interested in Shiva for the qualities he possesses, not for the man. Matsyendranath was very close to that, so people said he is Shiva himself. Gorakhnath was his very close disciple, who later became a legend by himself – one of the most well-known yogis in the country. Gorakhnath did a phenomenal amount of work across the subcontinent. There is almost no one in India who has not heard of him.

Crystal Clear

Matsyendranath was walking with Gorakhnath, and they had just crossed a small stream. Matsyendranath sat down under a tree and said, “Get me some water.” Gorakhnath ran for the water. If his guru asks for water, Gorakhnath wants to offer it in a moment; so he ran. He found that the little stream had been crossed by a few carts just then and the water was muddy. So he came running back to his guru and said, “The water is muddy in that place. Just ten minutes away there is a river, I will go there and get the water.” Matsyendranath said, “No, get water from the same stream, from the same spot.” “But it is muddy.” “I want water from the same stream, from the same spot and I am thirsty.” So Gorakhnath again ran to the stream and it was still very muddy. He did not know what to do, and again ran back to his guru. Matsyendranath again said, “No, I want water from that stream.” Not knowing what to do, he went back again. Then, he found that the water was a little clearer. So he waited. Five minutes went by and the water became as pure as can be. He brought the water – bursting with ecstasy, jumping with joy – and gave it to his guru. Matsyendranath kept the water aside and did not drink. He was not thirsty.

Gorakhnath is the kind, if you tell him to do a mantra ten times, he will do it 10,000 times. He is always on the go. Whatever you tell him, he will do it with great fervor, which is a great quality, but now a time had come for him to move into another space. So Matsyendranath was conveying a message: “You have done all the running around and intense activity very well, but now a time has come. Just wait. It will become crystal clear.”

Sound is essentially in your mind. Whatever sound may be happening, if you are asleep, it does not matter. Only if you are a bad sleeper it is a problem, otherwise what does sound mean to you when you are in deep sleep? The entire murky mind is simply because of the sounds that you generate, which take the shape of words, and you attach meanings to meaningless sounds. Just wait. It will once again become crystal clear. If all the sounds die down, if you stop attaching meanings to the words, if everything falls down, then it will be crystal clear, soundless.

Editor’s Note: Celebrate Guru Purnima by joining the Satsang with Sadhguru at Isha Yoga Center. Register to join in-person or via live webstream at your local Isha Center or at home.