Kiran Krishnan
2 min readSep 15, 2021


3 pots and 3 types of listeners. Which type of pot are you?

According to Buddhist teachings, there are three types of faulty listeners as exemplified by three faulty pots and in order to progress in life , one needs to overcome these faults. It also possible that an individual may be all of the pots at varying proportions depending on the situation.

Pots: Inverted, leaky and dirty
  1. Inverted pot

The inverted pot is the pot which is kept upside down. Nothing can go into this type of pot. The person who behaves like an inverted pot is zoned out most of the times when someone is giving information or instruction. They are mostly uninterested in living life in a productive manner and live life in “come what may” attitude. Only at the time of action or adverse situation do they realize their weakness. An egotistical person can also behave like an inverted pot, as the thought process is that “One knows all”. According to Buddhist teaching to overcome being an inverted pot , one needs to understand one’s weakness first and put efforts to self motivate. As far as the ego maniac is concerned, it is required to shed the “ego”.

2. Leaky pot

If inverted pot doesn’t allow any information, leaky pots don’t absorb any information. You may see them nodding their heads and saying yes always but no information gets absorbed by them. “Information in” is equal to “Information out” is the case with leaky pots. It is also possible that this person absorbs only partial information which is equally worse as no information as can misinform due to incomplete understanding. To overcome this, Buddhist teaching advise to always reflect after something is heard. In this way the information is held and is not lost.

3. Dirty pot

Unlike the leaky pot which doesn’t absorb any information, dirty pot is a dangerous one as this person absorbs information with the intention of how it can be manipulated against someone for ones own benefit or advantage. The information goes in, but since there is dirt inside, it gets polluted. The person wants to absorb the information to exhibit ones intellectual prowess or to belittle someone. With this person even if nectar is poured in, it gets polluted due to malicious intent. According to Buddhist teaching to overcome this one needs to purify thoughts by contemplation as it is thoughts which become words and actions.

Closing thoughts:

Which type of pot are you? All of us may be any of these three pots as it is a very common human frailty. Maybe we already know which type of pot we are and are overcoming it with efforts. Well done!



Kiran Krishnan

Life enthusiast; Seeker; Renaissance man; Life long student ; Self taught scientist.