Who Cares? by Ramesh S. Balsekar

The desire for enlightenment once drove an earnest and highly determined individual to spend several years in the company of a spiritual teacher. During these years he proved himself a devoted disciple who was totally committed to the attainment of spiritual realization.

When the time came for him to leave and return to his native place, his guru made him promise that he would write every month, reporting on his spiritual progress. The disciple gave his promise and received his guru’s blessing. They said their farewells and parted.


The disciple had been gone just over a month when his first letter arrived:

“I am experiencing the Oneness with the Universe,” he wrote.

The master said nothing, but crumpled up the letter and dropped it in the bin.


The next month’s report came promptly and stated:

“The Divinity present in all things has been revealed to me. I behold It in a flower, in a stone, in the very air, everywhere.”

Again the master read the letter, crumpled it up and tossed it into the bin without a word.


For four months the letters arrived regularly. In his third message the disciple declared:

“The mystery of the One and the Many has been revealed to me. I now know and truly comprehend there is no difference between you and me or anything else.” Once read, this missive also ended up in the guru’s waste-paper basket. In the fourth letter the disciple said, “No one is born, lives or dies, because there is no one who exists.”

This letter too was read without comment and followed its predecessors, slipping with a rustle into the trash.


After the fourth month, however, no further letters arrived. No letter in the fifth month, no letter in the sixth month, no letter for a whole year! As the time passed and brought no news, the master became increasingly curious as to what had happened with his beloved disciple. Eventually, he wrote to him inquiring about his spiritual progress, and reminding the disciple of his promise to keep him informed.

Some time later, the guru was handed a letter addressed in a familiar hand. It was from his distant disciple. The guru opened it and read, [and laughed out loud] with obvious delight. His attendant disciples were puzzled as to what had prompted this outburst of joy. Beaming gladly, the guru passed them the letter.

They saw that it contained just three words, and the three words were:

“Enlightenment? Who cares!”




The above writing reprinted with permission. The piece was originally published in the book by Ramesh Balsekar, titled “Who Cares?” (for which transcripts of the daily talks were also provided).

Some of Ramesh’s last talks are also available here if interested.

Official website for Ramesh Balsekar

3 Responses

  1. This reminds me of a “pointer” from Meher Baba: Forgetfulness of this world makes one a pilgrim; forgetfulness of the next world makes one a saint; forgetfulness of self means realization; forgetfulness of forgetfulness is Perfection.

    December 28, 2011 at 10:36 pm

  2. lol.
    That’s beautiful!!

    December 29, 2011 at 2:35 am

  3. Great story – it reminds me of a story you may have heard – but just in case –
    There once lived a king who wanted to develop spiritually so he brought a dervish to his palace. There the king questioned the dervish about how he could develop spiritually and the dervish told him that the only path to perfection wa sto renounce his earthly possessions and live the life of a dervish himself. The king thought it over and decided to take the dervish’s advice. Early one morning, the king – dressed now in the clothes of a dervish – set out with his new mentor to begin his new life. They had not travelled far when the dervish suddenly realised that he had forgotten his bowl. The dervish was very distressed and insisted they return to the palace so he could collect his bowl. The king laughed as he realised his mistake. “I,” said the king, ‘Was willing to forsake my entire kingdom for enlightenment on your advice and it turns out you weren’t even willing to forsake your bowl.”
    Attachment is a slippery creature!

    December 29, 2011 at 7:04 pm

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