There was a potter. He made beautiful pottery and sold it to support his family. His son was 14 years old. He went to school and helped the potter on his holidays and learned to make pottery himself. When the potter’s son used to make clay pots, he would ask his father, ‘Look father, it’s done right.’ The potter would look at the vessel made by the son and then reply, ‘Yes, it is fine, but if you check it once, the deficiency will be removed.’
After listening to his father, the son would once again check the vessel and give it shape. And the potter would say every time, ‘If there is any deficiency, check it and correct it.’ Every time the son followed his father’s advice and shaped the pot once again. Thus years passed by making pot after pot and the son became adept at making pottery like a potter, yet every time he made a new pot he would ask his father, ‘Is father all right…?’ And even after all these years, the potter said, ‘There is a little bit left, come and check.’ He would give the same answer and the son would check and shape it once again.
Now the art of the potter’s son had flourished and he was getting more money for the pots he made. One day the son made a very beautiful big pot and as usual he showed it to his father and asked, ‘Father is it alright…’ The potter replied the same as every time, ‘A little less. Check it and correct it…’ After hearing this answer, the son checked the pot and shaped it correctly and said, ‘Father, you are missing a little each time.
Check it as you say never say it is right…’ said the potter, ‘Yes son, I have no doubts about your skill but it is also a fact that no work can be without a single flaw or defect because we human beings. And when we begin to believe that there can be no shortcoming or defect in my work, pride stops our progress. Any work can be done better and for that it is necessary to be vigilant and keep checking the work done again and again then we can move forward doing better work than before. Our progress stops.’ The potter explained the guru mantra of success to his son.