Tao Te Ching – Lau-tzu on What is an Enlightened Master

Tao Te Ching Teachings

The Wisdom of Lau-tzu


Today I would like to share with you a chapter from the great Tao Te Ching, the book which is the only trace of it’s author, the profound and infinitely wise Lau-tzu.  The chapter I will share with you below, speaks towards what an enlightened master is.  Many people wonder what an enlightened man (women) would be like?  I suspect their presence would be like a gentle breeze, and your interaction like encountering the open sky, for those who understand know the True Non-Dual nature of Reality and know how to not interfere with it.


This is perhaps the best way to understand the enlightened mind.  One that is able to behold Reality without poking at it in any way.  One that is in complete harmony with the moment and free of any self absorption.  Let’s see how Lau-tzu’s Tao Te Ching describes such a Master.

Book: Tao Te Ching 

Author: Stephen Mitchell

Chapter 38

The Master doesn’t try to be powerful;
thus he is truly powerful.
The ordinary man keeps reaching for power;
thus he never has enough.

The Master does nothing,
yet he leaves nothing undone.
The ordinary man is always doing things,
yet many more are left to be done.

The kind man does something,
yet something remains undone.
The just man does something,
and leaves many things to be done.
The moral man does something,
and when no one responds
he rolls up his sleeves and uses force.

When the Tao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost, there is morality.
When morality is lost, there is ritual.
Ritual is the husk of true faith,
the beginning of chaos.

Therefore the Master concerns himself
with the depths and not the surface,
with the fruit and not the flower.
He has no will of his own.
He dwells in reality,
and lets all illusions go.

In harmony with the Tao,
the sky is clear and spacious,
the earth is solid and full,
all creatures flourish together,
content with the way they are,
endlessly repeating themselves,
endlessly renewed.

When man interferes with the Tao,
the sky becomes filthy,
the earth becomes depleted,
the equilibrium crumbles,
creatures become extinct.

The Master views the parts with compassion,
because he understands the whole.
His constant practice is humility.
He doesn’t glitter like a jewel
but lets himself be shaped by the Tao,
as rugged and common as a stone.


Analysis of Tao Te Ching

The above excerpt is so full of profound wisdom that I don’t know which parts to not highlight .  So I am going to leave it for you to contemplate and digest.  Perhaps is there is anything I would say it would be to learn to go with the flow.  That is the secret to being in sync with His will.

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5 replies
  1. manju
    manju says:

    Dear Anmol,
    God bless you,
    Thanks for your inspiring emails. Suggest more pranayam to cure deafness .I need your help.Thank
    you for your kindness


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