I have heard: Mulla Nasruddin was staying in a hotel. A telegram had arrived from home and he was in a hurry to catch the train. He rushed. But when he reached downstairs and looked at his luggage the umbrella was missing. He had to go up to the room again and by the time he reached the fourteenth floor the room had already been given to somebody else — a newlywed couple.
Although he was in a hurry and he might miss the train if he lingered there a little longer, the temptation was great. So he looked through the keyhole to see what was happening.
A newlywed couple — they were also in a hurry, they had already waited too long; the marriage ceremony and the church and the guests and all that — somehow they had got rid of all of them and they were lying naked on the bed, talking sweet nothings. And the young man was saying to the woman, “You have such beautiful eyes. I have never seen such beautiful eyes! To whom do these eyes belong?”
And the woman said, “To you! To you, and only to you!”
And so on, the list went on. “These beautiful hands, these beautiful breasts,” and this and that — this went on and on. And Mulla had completely forgotten about the train and the taxi waiting downstairs. But then suddenly he remembered his umbrella. When the list was about to be completed, he said, “Wait! When you come to the yellow umbrella, that belongs to me.”
People are unconsciously doing many things. If they become conscious these things will drop.
the only thing constant is change
There is one Russian story, a small story. In a village a man, a young man, is called an idiot by everybody. From his very childhood he has heard that, that he is an idiot. And when so many people are saying it — his father, his mother, his uncles, the neighbors, and everybody — of course he starts believing that he must be an idiot. How can so many people be wrong? — and they are all important people. But when he becomes older and this continues, he becomes an absolutely sealed idiot; there is no way to get out of it. He tried hard but whatsoever he did was thought to be idiotic.
That is very human. Once a man goes mad he may become normal again but nobody is going to take him as normal. He may do something normal but you will suspect that there must be something insane about it. And your suspicion will make him hesitant and his hesitancy will make you suspicion stronger; then there is a vicious circle. So that man tried in every possible way to look wise, to do wise things, but whatsoever he did people would always say it was idiotic.
A saint was passing by. He went to the saint in the night when there was nobody about and asked him, “Just help me to get out of this locked state. I am sealed in. They don’t let me out; they have not left any window or door open so that I can jump out. And whatsoever I do, even if it is exactly the same as they do, still I am an idiot. What should I do?”
The saint said, “Do just one thing. Whenever somebody says,’Look how beautiful the sunset is,’ you say, “you idiot, prove it! What is beautiful there? I don’t see any beauty. You prove it.’ If somebody says,’Look at that beautiful rose flower,’ catch hold of him and tell him,’Prove it! What grounds have you to call this ordinary flower beautiful? There have been millions of rose flowers. There are millions, there will be millions in the future; what special thing has this rose flower got? And what are your fundamental reasons which prove logically that this rose flower is beautiful?’
“If somebody says,’This book of Leo Tolstoy is very beautiful,’ just catch hold of him and ask him,’Prove where it is beautiful; what is beautiful in it? It is just an ordinary story — just the same story which has been told millions of times, just the same triangle in every story: either two men and one woman or two women and one man, but the same triangle. All love stories are triangles. So what is new in it?”‘
The man said, “That’s right.”
The saint said, “Don’t miss any chance, because nobody can prove these things; they are unprovable. And when they cannot prove it, they will look idiotic and they will stop calling you an idiot. Next time, when I return, just give me the information how things are going.
And next time when the saint was coming back, even before he could meet the old idiot, people of the village informed him, “A miracle has happened. We had an idiot in our town; he has become the wisest man. We would like you to meet him.”
And the saint knew who that “wisest man” was. He said, “I would certainly love to see him. In fact I was hoping to meet him.”
The saint was taken to the idiot and the idiot said, “You are a miracle-worker, a miracle man. The trick worked! I simply started calling everyone an idiot, stupid. Somebody would be talking of love, somebody would be talking of beauty, somebody would be talking of art, painting, sculpture, and my standpoint was the same:’Prove it!’ And because they could not prove it, they looked idiotic.
And it is a strange thing. I was never hoping to gain this much out of it. All that I wanted was to get out of that confirmed idiocy. It is strange that now I am no longer an idiot, I have become the most wise man, and I know I am the same — and you know it too.”
But the saint said, “Never tell this secret to anybody else. Keep the secret to yourself. Do you think I am a saint? Yes, the secret is between us. This is how I became a saint. This is how you have become a wise man.” This is how things go on in the world.
Once you ask, What is the meaning of life? you have asked the wrong question. And obviously somebody will say, “this is the meaning of life” — and it cannot be proved.
Osho – “ From Personality to Individuality”
have a great day
“Who is the best swordsman?” asked a warrior of his master.
“Go to the field near the monastery,” his master answered. “There is a rock there. I want you to insult the rock.”
“But why would I do that?” the disciple asked. “The rock will not respond.”
“Well, then attack it with your sword,” the master said.
“I won’t do that, either,” the disciple answered. “My sword would break. And if I attack the rock with my hands, I’ll injure my fingers and have no impact on it. That wasn’t what I asked. Who is the best swordsman?”
“The best is the one who is like the rock,” said his master. “Without unsheathing a sword, it demonstrates that no one can conquer it.”
I have heard an ancient Sufi parable:
Two disciples of a great Master were walking in the garden of the Master’s house. They were allowed to walk every day, morning, evening. The walking was a kind of meditation, a walking meditation — just as Zen people do walking meditation. You cannot sit for twenty-four hours — the legs need a little movement, the blood needs a little circulation — so in Zen and in Sufism both, you meditate for a few hours sitting and then you start meditating walking. But the meditation continues; walking or sitting, the inner current remains the same.
They both were smokers. They both wanted to ask for the permission of the Master, so they both decided, “Tomorrow. At the most, he will say no, but we are going to ask. And it doesn’t seem such a sacrilegious act to smoke in the garden; we will not be smoking in his house itself. “
The next day they met in the garden. One was furious — furious because the other was smoking — and he said, “What happened? I also asked, but he simply flatly refused and said no. And you are smoking? Are you not abiding by his orders?”
He said, “But he has said yes to me.
“This looked very unjust. And the first said, “I will go and immediately inquire as to why he said no to me and yes to you.”
The other said, “Wait a minute. Please tell me what you had asked.” He said, “What I had asked? I had asked a simple thing, ‘Can I smoke while meditating?’ He said, ‘No!’ and he looked very angry. “
The other started laughing; he said, “Now I know what is the matter. I asked, ‘Can I meditate while smoking?’ He said ‘yes.’”
It all depends. Just a little difference, and life is totally something else. Now, there is a great difference. Asking, “Can I smoke while meditating?” is just ugly. But asking, ” Can I meditate while smoking?” — it’s perfectly okay. Good! At least you will be meditating.
Life is neither misery nor bliss. Life is an empty canvas, and one has to be very artistic about it.
have a zen filled day
It is reported in the life of a great Sufi mystic, Farid, that a king came to see him. He had brought a present for him: a beautiful pair of scissors, golden, studded with diamonds — very valuable, very rare, something unique. He brought those scissors to present to Farid. He touched Farid’s feet and gave him the scissors; Farid took them, looked at them, gave them back to the king, and said, “Sir, many many thanks for the present that you have brought. It is a beautiful thing, but utterly useless for me. It will be better if you can give me a needle. Scissors I don’t need: a needle will do.”
The king said, “I don’t understand. If you need a needle, you will need scissors too.”
Farid said, “I am talking in metaphors. Scissors I don’t need because scissors cut things apart. A needle I need because a needle puts things together. I teach love. My whole teaching is based on love — putting things together, teaching people communion. I need a needle so that I can put people together. The scissors are useless; they cut, they disconnect. Next time when you come, just an ordinary needle will be enough.”
Osho – “Uno Mystica”
have a zen filled day
There is a story that when the great library of Alexandria was burned, one book was saved. But it was not a valuable book, and so a poor man, who could read a little, bought it for a few coppers. It was not very interesting, yet there was a most interesting thing in it. It was a thin strip of vellum on which was written the secret of the “touchstone”.
The touchstone was a small pebble that could turn any common metal into pure gold The writing explained that it was on the shores of the Black Sea lying among thousands and thousands of other pebbles which looked exactly like it. But the secret was this: the real stone would feel warm, while ordinary pebbles are cold. So the man sold his few belongings, bought some simple supplies, camped on the seashore, and began testing the pebbles.
This was his plan: he knew that if he picked up ordinary pebbles and threw them down again because they were cold, he might pick up the same pebbles hundreds of times. So when he felt one that was cold he threw it into the sea. He spent a whole day doing this, and they were none of them the touchstone. Then he spent a week, a month, a year, three years… but he did not find the touchstone. Yet he went on and on this way: pick up a pebble, it’s cold, throw it into the sea… and so on and so on. Just visualize the man doing it for years and years and years — pick up a pebble, it is cold, throw it into the sea… from morning to evening, for years and years.
But one morning he picked up a pebble and it was WARM — and he threw it into the sea. He had formed the habit of throwing them into the sea, you understand, and habit made him do it when at last he found the touchstone, poor fellow.
That’s how mind functions. Trust is a touchstone. Very rarely do you find a man in whom you can trust. Very rarely do you find a heart who is warm, loving, in whom you can trust. Ordinarily you find pebbles which look like the touchstone, almost alike, but all are cold. year in, year out, from the very childhood: you pick up a pebble, you feel it, it is cold, you throw it into the ocean.
have a great day