Once upon a time, a master was greatly impressed by the services of his disciples after the completion of his education. When the disciple was about to leave, the Master gave him a mirror as a blessing. It was not any ordinary mirror; it was a magic mirror that had the ability to show the true thoughts of any person's mind and heart.
The disciple was very happy to receive the mirror as a blessing. He thought, why not check this mirror before leaving? Thinking this, he turned the mirror toward his master. He saw that bad qualities like attachment and arrogance were clearly visible in his master's heart. The disciple got shocked seeing this. "My master himself is full of so many demerits! The master whom I considered as a person without any bad qualities, but the mirror showed him something else," thinking this, the disciple got very sad. It was an amazing instrument to check others' minds, so he started to check people wherever he went. He checked many of his friends and acquaintances by placing the mirror in front of them. He found that one or other bad quality was present there; it was visible in everyone's heart.
This experience made him even more sad. He kept thinking, "Why is everyone in the world so bad? They are not what they appear to be." He somehow reached home with a sad heart. After reaching home, he used the mirror on his parents. His father had a great reputation in society, and his mother was also kind. He kept the mirror in front of them. He saw that even his parents were not completely free from flaws.
The disciple thought that the whole world was running on falsehood. Everyone has bad qualities in their mind. This made him even more restless. When it became unbearable for him, he picked up the mirror and walked toward the monastery. He reached there and went straight to his master and stood in front of him. Seeing him restless, the master guessed everything. The disciple humbly said to the master, "Master, with the help of the mirror given by you, I saw that there are many bad qualities in everyone's heart, and everyone has different bad qualities. I have not seen any pure-hearted person yet. I am sorry to say that I saw faults in you and in my parents too. This has made my mind extremely restless. Is there no person with a pure heart in the entire world?"
Listening to this, the master laughed and turned the mirror to our disciple. Seeing the result, the disciple was stunned. He saw that every corner of his mind was filled with bad qualities like attachment, hatred, arrogance, anger, and greed. There was no such part of his mind or heart which was pure. Then, the master said to him, "My son, I gave you this mirror to improve your life by seeing your bad qualities, not to find the bad qualities of others. If you had spent this much time in improving yourself as you spent in seeing the bad qualities of others, your personality and life would have changed for good by now."
If we see it in our lives, we will find that the magic mirror in the story is nothing else but our intelligence, which we use to see ourselves and others. In our lives, we encounter different people who have their own strengths and weaknesses. However, we often use our intelligence to find and expose the faults of others without realizing our own flaws. We forget that we are not perfect either. When we point a finger at someone, three fingers point back at us.
Just like the disciple in the story who was eager to reveal the flaws of others but failed to see his own shortcomings, we also tend to ignore our own mistakes while focusing on the mistakes of others. The master was wise, that's why he explained that the mirror was meant for self-improvement, not for fault-finding. In the same way, we should use our intelligence to look within, find our flaws, and work on them instead of being quick to judge and criticize others. We should use our energy to become a better person.
The story teaches us a valuable lesson that we should focus on our own growth rather than constantly comparing ourselves with others. By doing so, we can improve our character and personality and become humbler and more compassionate. The story also reminds us that everyone is a work in progress, and we should respect and appreciate the diversity of life. The real magic of the mirror is not in showing the faults of others but in transforming ourselves into better human beings.