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boomarangEverything that you or I do comes back to us in this Lifetime. One way or the other. You are kind to people. Kindness pervades your Life. You let down someone. And someone lets you down in return. You touch a Life with love, compassion and care. And people touch your Life the same way.

Osho, the Master, tells us this other story that highlights the same learning. There once lived a very skilled blacksmith in ancient Rome. His name and fame had spread to far-off nations. His creations were selling like hot-cakes, in far-off marketplaces. Gradually, an enormous amount of wealth began to gather at his doorsteps. One day, Rome was suddenly invaded. The invaders demolished Rome, and captured the top hundred citizens. Amongst the top hundred citizens, the blacksmith was one. All of them were handcuffed and chained, and were taken and left on a faraway hill to die or await their execution. Among the 100 prisoners, 99 were crying. Only the blacksmith seemed to be calm and composed. He knew that the moment the soldiers abandon him in the hill, he would easily unlock the handcuff and the chains. He had that skill. So, the moment the soldiers abandoned him and left the first thing he did was to look at the handcuffs and chains that imprisoned him. He was shocked with what he saw. With his handcuffed hands he started beating his chest and began to wail in remorse. What did he see in the handcuff and the chains? A very strange thing which he had never imagined he would ever see in his Life! He had a habit to emboss his signature on whatever he created. And that is what he saw on those chains and handcuff, his own signature. They were his creations, which had got sold in some far-off marketplace, and eventually had come back to him through the invaders. Now, for the first time he became nervous and paranoid. He knew it was impossible for him to unlock himself, because he had never created anything weak. He was well acquainted with his creations. He had always designed and created the strongest and the best objects. Obviously, he had never imagined or dreamt that that the handcuff and the chains he had created, would one day imprison him. Osho teaches us the moral of this story thus: “No man ever foresees the fact that the chain and handcuff he has been creating, will be the very chain and handcuff of which he’ll be ultimately held captive. No man ever dreams that that the cobwebs he has been weaving are the very webs that he will eventually get entangled in, in his Life.”

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Great story by Osho.

 

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A king in Japan sends his son to a mystic, to a master, to learn awareness. The king was old. And he said to the son, “Put your total energy into it because unless you are aware, you are not going to succeed me. I will not give this kingdom to a man who is asleep and unconscious. It is not a question of father and son. My father has given it to me only when I attained awareness. I was not the right person, because I was not his eldest son, I was his youngest son. But my other two brothers, who were older than me, could not attain.

“The same is going to happen to you. And the problem is even more complicated because I have only one son: if you do not attain to awareness, the kingdom is going into somebody else’s hands. You will be a beggar on the streets. So it is a question of life and death for you. Go to this man; he has been my master. Now he is very old, but I know that if anybody can teach you, he is the man. Tell him, `My father is sick, old, can die any day. Time is short, and I have to become fully aware before he dies; otherwise I lose the kingdom.’”

A very symbolic story too: If you are not aware, you lose the kingdom.

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The king’s son went to the old master in the mountains. He said to the master, “I have been sent by your disciple, the king.”

The master was very old, older than his father. He said, “I remember that man. He was really an authentic seeker. I hope you will prove to be of the same quality, of the same genius, of the same totality, of the same intensity.”

The young prince said, “I will do everything.”

The master said, “Then start cleaning in the commune. And remember one thing — that I will be hitting you at any time. You may be cleaning the floor and I may come from the back and hit you with my stick, so be alert.”

He said, “But I have come to learn about awareness….”

The master said, “This is how you will learn.”

One year passed. In the beginning he was getting so many hits every day, but slowly slowly he started becoming aware. Even the footsteps of the old man… he might be doing anything — howsoever absorbed in the work, he would become immediately aware that the master was around. The prince would be ready. After one year the master hit him from the back while he was deeply involved in talking with another inmate of the ashram. But the prince continued to talk, and still he caught hold of the stick before the stick could reach his body.

The master said, “That’s right. Now this is the end of the first lesson. The second lesson begins tonight.”

The prince said, “I used to think that this was all. This is only the first lesson? How many lessons are there?”

The old man said, “It depends on you. The second lesson is that now I will be hitting you while you are asleep, and you have to be alert in your sleep.”

He said, “My God. How can one be alert in sleep?”

The old man said, “Don’t be worried. Thousands of my disciples have passed through the test. Your father has passed through the test. It is not impossible. It is difficult, but it is a challenge.”

And from that night he was getting hit six times, eight times, twelve times in the night. Sleep was difficult. But within six months he started feeling inside himself a certain awareness. And one day when the master was just going to hit him, with closed eyes he said — “Don’t bother. You are too old. It hurts me; you are taking so much trouble. I am young, I can survive these hits.”

The master said, “You are blessed. You have passed the second lesson. But up to now I have been hitting with my wooden staff. The third lesson is that now I will start hitting, from tomorrow morning, with a real sword. Be alert! Just a moment of unconsciousness and you are finished.”

Early in the morning the master used to sit in the garden, just listening to the birds singing… the flowers opening, the sun rising. The prince thought, “Now it is becoming dangerous! A wooden stick was hard, difficult, but it was not going to kill me. A real sword….” He was a swordsman but he was not given any chance to protect himself; only awareness was going to be his protection.

An idea came to his mind: “This old man is really dangerous. Before he starts his third lesson, I would like to check whether he himself can pass the third test or not. If he is putting my life at risk, I cannot allow him to do it without checking whether he is worthy of it or not.” And these were only thoughts that he was thinking lying down in his bed; it was a cold morning.

And the master said, “Come out of your blanket, you idiot! Do you want to hit your own master with a sword? Feel ashamed! I can hear the footsteps of your thoughts… drop the idea.” He had heard. Nothing was said to him, nothing was done to him.

Thoughts are also things. Thoughts also, while moving, make sounds, and those who are fully alert can read your thoughts. Even before you have become aware of them, they can become aware of them.

The prince was really ashamed. He fell at the feet of the master and he said, “Just forgive me. I am really stupid.”

But because it was a question of a sword, a real sword, he became aware of everything around him, even his own breathing, his heartbeat. Just a small breeze passing through the leaves, a dead leaf moving in the wind, and he was aware. And the master tried a few times but found him always ready. He could not hit him with the sword because he could not find him unconscious, unalert. He was just alertness. It was a question of death — you cannot afford to be anything but alert.

In three days’ time the master could not find a single moment, a single loophole. And after the third day he called him and told him, “Now you can go and tell your father — and this is the letter from me — that the kingdom is yours.”

Awareness is a process of being more and more awake.

Osho – “The Osho Upanishad”
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Sharing this wonderful article from Mr. Frank M. Wanderer PhD.

The Human Mind is a wonderful masterpiece that has immense potentials. Most of the potentials, however, remain unused at most people, since it is not us who are in charge of things, our Mind takes control of us. Our Mind is rushing through life with us like a car running without a driver, causing us constant suffering and sorrow. But if we were able to control our Mind, our life would change completely. This mad speeding would change into a beautiful, creative dance, giving us happiness, instead of pain. The question is therefore, how we are able to take control over our Mind?

The Nature of the Mind

In order to control something, we first need to know the thing concerned¸ so we must know our Mind so as to be in charge of it. The most important thing we need to about our Mind is that it is not something that exists separately, individually, like some inanimate object. The Mind is not an object–it is a process. The process of constantly streaming thoughts. This stream of the thoughts is what we perceive as the Mind. When these thoughts disappear, the Mind disappears with them, as the two are only able to exist together. The very basic nature of thoughts is that they are in a constant move, and this motion, almost automatically, creates the Mind.

A characteristic feature of our Mind is that it keeps roaming, wandering; it operates in something like an automatic mode. Thoughts come and go all the time. If we attempt to suppress them, it is only possible with considerable efforts, and even then to a short time only. In most of our waking time, our Mind wanders either in the past or in the future, in our thoughts we deal with our experience of the past, offences we suffered in the past, or with our future plans, goals and fears.

Another characteristic of our Mind is that it constantly evaluates things. It means that we do not simply live through our experiences, but we also categorize them as good or bad. We judge everything that happens to us and everybody we meet in our lives. This permanent categorization may easily lead to a distorted perception of the world, as we evaluate our new experiences in these categories. If we find an experience negative, we will tend to keep–and reinforce–that category for similar experiences in the future. Our perception will therefore be selective, and we will only accept the stimuli that reinforces our categorization, and we tend to ignore those that fall outside our usual categories.

The third important characteristic of the Mind is that it permanently produces stories. These stories often have a disastrous end. For instance, I suddenly try to remember whether I locked the door of my home or not. The Mind immediately fabricates a whole story around the idea: I did leave it open, a burglar came, my valuables have been stolen, and the police, instead of chasing the thief, will harass me with their questions. We often experience the ends and emotional consequences of these stories. Another type of stories deals with us, who are we, what are we like, what we should do or should have done. The entirety of these stories comprises our personal histories.

A Foolish Game

Most people tend to identify with their thoughts and personal histories, that is, with their Minds. A lot of us are not satisfied with what we are, and we would like to have a better and more beautiful personal history. That is why we create a mental image of our desired personal development, and the ways of making the work of our Minds more effective.

In order to achieve the mental image we ourselves have created, we embark on a foolish game, as we attempt to bring our Minds under our own control, and be the masters of our own development. Since we do not know the nature of the Mind, this venture is destined to failure right from the beginning.

This game is foolish, since in fact one half of the Mind attempts to bring the other half under control. Our Mind itself deems our own mental image of our personal development good. At the same time, this half of the Mind deems the other half, the one we wish to change, bad. Mental images fight against each other, trying to overcome each other, using the weapons of selective perception and story fabrication. The struggle goes on, with changing luck, all through our lives. Sometimes we believe that we are making some progress, we are improving, and a few weeks, months or years later we drop into the abyss of despair.

A lot of us play this foolish game all through our lives, because we are unable to recognize the simple fact that a Mind is unable to overcome itself. We may, perhaps, with the utmost effort, suppress what we believe is bad in us. That is, however, just a virtual victory, leading us to virtual calm and personal development, because when our power declines, the suppressed forces break out again, destroying all the temporary results that we achieved previously, washing away the results of our personal development.

The Freedom of Tolerance

Now we can see that the way leading to our control over our Minds does not lead through suppressing them. It is not possible to control the Mind in the ordinary sense of the word. Partly because it only exists in its functions and operation, and partly because there is nobody to control it. One half of the Mind, as we have seen, does not control, only suppresses the other half.

In order to be able to control our Minds, we must step outside of them. This statement may sound surprising to a lot of us, since we tend to fully identify with our Minds and their operations. As long as this identification is strong, we shall not be able to step outside the crazy dance of our Minds; we will have to merely suffer its consequences.

Nowadays, however, more and more of us begin to realize and experience that we are more than our Minds, more that our thoughts and emotions, and the personal history these thoughts and emotions build up. Our attention is no longer completely engaged by telling our personal history and identifying with that personal history, and we become more and more sensitive to the deeper dimensions of our life. We also begin to notice the breaks between thoughts, and we begin to turn towards these gates leading beyond the Mind.

In these breaks between thoughts, Mind does not work, it is not there–it simply vanishes. What is left there is the alertly watching Consciousness. If we are able to take roots in that alert Consciousness, we recognize that this watching alertness is tolerant with the Mind and its operations. We shall see that there is nothing wrong with thoughts, nothing wrong with the operations of the Mind. It is not necessary to struggle against the Mind, as it is not an enemy, only an instrument that, without control, tends to function chaotically.

We only have a chance to know the true nature of thoughts and the functions of the Mind if we detach ourselves from them, keep a distance, and do not consider them as enemies. They will reveal their secrets to the alert Consciousness, watching with affection, and we will see the subtle shades of the Mind, the games it plays and the dreams it evokes.

Controlling the Mind

This tolerant, alert, watching attitude to the functions of the Mind will give us the ability of stopping our thinking effortlessly. Once thinking has been suspended, the continuous stream of thoughts stops, the Mind itself disappears and stops working.

Now we shall not seek our own identity in an identification with the Mind, since we have found our real center, our real self, our alertly watching Consciousness. We will be aware that thoughts and the Mind have not really disappeared, they are still there, only in a dormant state. Our attitude to thoughts and the Mind will entirely change at that moment. We think when necessary, and we do not need the Mind, we put it aside. The Mind no longer dominates our life, it is not more than an obedient tool that we use or not use as we please.

That is when we realize how wonderful an instrument the Mind is, and now we are able to use it for its original purpose. And the purpose of the Mind is to serve as a means of connections, to connect us to the world to each other. Through the Mind, used with alert Consciousness, creative energies are released to the world, and create a wonderful harmony there.

Reference>>  Frank M. WandererThe Revolution of Consciousness: Deconditioning the Programmed Mind

Dynamics of Ego


This story was shared to me by my wonderful friend Anto Wilson.

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There was a pile of stones near a palace. Some kids were playing out there and one of them picked a stone and tossed it towards the palace. The heap of stones was downwards, and a stone began to rise up to the sky. Stones also have the desire to travel to the sky. Wherever there is Ego, the desire to visit the sky is born. When the stone started to rise upwards, it was filled with joy. And it said haughtily to the stones lying down, “Folks, I’m going to travel to the sky”.

Pay a little attention to its words! It said I’m going to travel to the sky. It was thrown but it said, “I’m going”. This was not the actuality, the stone was not going, it was thrown- an unknown child’s hand had thrown it, but he said, “I’m going”.

There seems a little difference in these two things- ‘I am thrown’ and ‘I am going’. These two things seem alike. The difference seems to be slight, but the difference is huge – there is much more gradual difference – same as that between ego and no-ego. Ego was born. When I’m going, while going is being done by me, then I have become something specific. Stones, those which unable to go towards the sky are futile, became nobodies. I have become somebody; to be something is born. The rest that lying down, are nothing, they could not fly in the sky, they don’t have power; I am not common, I have become extraordinary, someone special.
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The stone rose up. The stones below became green with envy. But the denial was of no worth, the stone was just going upwards. Also difficult it was to state that it was lying; the fact was evident that it was going. Then the stone rose up and hit the window pane of the palace. And by the hit the glass was shattered. When stone hits the glass, the glass is shattered, this would be. Stone does not break glass; it is the nature of glass. The two clash and the glass is shattered. But when the glass was shattered, the stone laughed and said, “Stupid! Don’t you know, what comes my way, I crush!

The glass was shattered, not by the stone. The stone didn’t require any effort to shatter the glass, not even a little bit. The glass was just shattered. The glass, as it has to be, like his nature, knocked down. It was not broken by the stone. But the stone said, “I crush!”

The ego speaks the same language. Nobody come in my way, otherwise I will crush! Glass fragments would have been left crying. They also have wanted to say something, but there was no room for them. And it was not even lie, the glass was broken. How can anybody say that it was wrong.

The stone fell down on Iranian carpet of the palace, invaluable carpets were spread in the palace. The stone felt relief and said, “Seemingly, the people in this house are very sane. It looks like the news of my arrival is already broken, carpets etc. are distended.” People of the house had not even an iota of doubt that a stone could approach there. The Iranian carpets were not laid there to welcome the stone. But the stone said – and who would refuse to the stone, there was not anyone – the stone said in his mind, “Of course, the people at home did know that I am to come. And why not, I am no ordinary stone but which flies in the sky. Naturally, they would arrange for my reception.”

And then a guard would have heard the sound of breaking glass, he came in rushed, he picked up the stone in his hand. The stone said in its language, “Thank you very much; I am very grateful. It appears that the palace’s owner is honored by holding him in his hand. The guard was about to throw the stone but the stone thought that the owner is thus honored.

The ego thinks within just itself and live; it only reinforces itself within and keeps on becoming strong. It is a process, going on within, that gradually keep on making itself strong. The stone is just going to strengthen its ego. All the facts are going to become its nutrients- facts that had nothing to do with its ego at all. The guard lifts up the stone and throws down. But the stone did not say that it is being hurled out of the palace. When one is thrown back from a palace, does one ever say that he has been thrown? He says, “I relinquished the palace.”

The stone also had in his mind that enough I’ve stayed in your palace; take care of your palace! I miss home, I miss friends. Be with your palace! Maybe your palace good! But that thing is even different. To live under the open sky, moon and stars – That bliss is of its kind! I am back.

The stone was being thrown down, but it said, “I’m going back.” When he began to fall back down to the pile of stones, the below stones were just gazing. With the return and the fall, the stone said, “Friends, missed you a lot! There were organized ceremonies and receptions in the large and larger palaces, the big and bigger emperors were honored by the hand shake. But no! I felt so much homesick that I have to make my mind to be back. The stones would have presented garlands, must have revered and likely have said that you are an incarnated one among us, the salt of the earth, the great soul, we are blessed to be born in your times. You must write your autobiography so that the children could be benefitted; they can read and learn from your life.


Osho on Buddha’s enlightenment
43-The-Enlightenment

Buddha tried for six years continuously to know what the divine is, and it cannot be said that he left anything undone. He did everything that is humanly possible, even some things which seem humanly impossible. He did everything. Whatever was known up to his day he practiced. Whatever methods were taught to him, he became a master of them.

He went to all the gurus that existed in his time, to everyone. And whatever they could teach, he learned, he practiced. And then he said, “Anything more, Sir?” And the guru said, “Now you can go, because all that I could give you I have given, and I cannot say, as I say in other cases, that you have not practiced. You have practiced. This is all that I can give.” Buddha said, “I have not known the divine yet.”

With each guru this happened. Then he left all the gurus. Then he invented his own methods. Continuously, for six years, he was in a struggle of life and death. He did everything that could be done. Then, at last, he was so tired of doing, so deadly tired, that one day when he was taking his evening bath in the Niranjana River near Bodhgaya, he felt so weak and so tired that he could not come out of the river. He just clung to a root of a tree and a thought came to his mind, “I have become so weak, I cannot even cross this small river. How will I be alive to cross the whole ocean of the world? I have done everything, and I have not found the divine. I have only tired my body.”

He felt that he was on the verge of death. At that very moment he felt that he had done everything, and now there was nothing to do. He relaxed, and new energy came upon him because of his relaxation. All that was suppressed through those six years flowered. He came out of the river, he felt just like a feather, a bird’s feather — weightless. He relaxed under a Bodhi tree.

It was a bright fullmoon night. Someone came — a girl, a shudra girl named Sujata. The name shows that the girl must have been a shudra because to have the name Sujata means she has not come from a higher caste. Sujata means wellborn. She had promised the Bodhi tree to pay it some homage daily, so she has come with some sweets.

Buddha is there — tired, pale, bloodless, but relaxed, absolutely unburdened — and it is a fullmoon night with nobody around. The girl, Sujata, felt that the deity of the tree had come to receive her homage. Had it been another day, Buddha could have refused. He would not rest in the night, he would not eat any food. But today he was totally relaxed. He took the food, and he slept. This was the first night after six years that he really slept.

He was relaxed with nothing to do. Then there was no worry. There was no tomorrow even, because tomorrow exists only because one has to do something. If one has not to do anything, then there is no tomorrow. Then the moment is enough.

Buddha slept, and in the morning, at five o’clock, when the last star was withering away, he was out of the sleep. He saw the last star disappearing, with no mind, because when you have nothing to do there is no mind. The mind is just a faculty for doing something, a technical faculty. No mind, nothing to do, no effort on his part, indifferent to whether he was alive or dead, he just opened his eyes, and he began to dance. He had come to that knowing to which he could not come through so many efforts.

Whenever someone would ask him how he achieved, he would say, “The more I tried to achieve, the more I was at a loss. I could not achieve. So how can I say I have achieved? The more I tried, the more I was involved. I could not achieve. The mind was trying to transcend itself, which was impossible. It is just like trying to be a father to yourself, just trying to give birth to yourself.”

So Buddha would say, “I cannot say I achieved. I can only say I tried so much that I was annihilated. I tried so much that any effort became absurd. And the moment came when I was not trying, when the mind was not, when I was not thinking. Then there was no future because there was no past. Both were always together. Past is behind, future is in front; they are always conjoined. If one drops, the other drops simultaneously. Then there was no future, no past, no mind. I was mindless, I was I-less. Then something happened, and I cannot say that this something happened in that moment. I can only say that this was always happening, only I was not aware. It was always happening, only I was closed. So I cannot say I have achieved something.”

Buddha said, “I can only say I have lost something — the ego, the mind — I have not achieved anything at all. Now I know that all that I have was always there. It was in every layer, it was in every stone, in every flower, but now I recognize it was always so. Only I was blind. So I have lost my blindness; I have not achieved anything, I have lost something.”

If you begin with the divine, then you begin to achieve. If you begin with yourself, then you begin to lose. Things will begin to disappear, and ultimately you will disappear. And when you are not, the divine is — with all its grace, with all its love, with all its compassion, but only when you are not. Your nonexistence is the categorical condition. For no one can it be relaxed. It is categorical, it is the absolute. You are the barrier. Fall down, and then you know. And only when you know, you know. You cannot understand it, I cannot explain it to you. I cannot make you understand it. So whatever I am saying, I am not saying anything metaphysical. I am only trying to show you that you must begin with yourself.

If you begin with yourself, you will end with the divine, because that is your other part, the other pole. But begin from this bank. Do not begin from the other, where you are not. You cannot begin from there. Begin from where you are, and the more you will go deep, the less you will be.

The more you will know yourself, the less a self you will be. And once you have come to total understanding about yourself, you will be annihilated, you will go into nonexistence, you will be totally negative — not. And in that not, in that total negation, you will know the grace which is always falling, which is always raining down from eternity. You will know the love which is always around you. It has always been, but you have not paid any attention to it. Be annihilated, and you will be aware of it.

From “I Am the Gate” By Osho


All my life I have suffered due to my ego, about which I know but I do not know. Sometimes I think that the below statement gives idea why I preferred to have my own blog. I can only wish that it is not true, though deep down I have this fear.

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The people with the largest egos are the ones who’ve never even heard of ego. They don’t understand this particular aspect of themselves that takes things personally, always has to be the best and doesn’t take kindly to criticism.

The ego can be like a focal point in a lens which focuses all experiences and converge them into a single point. The ego is what allows us to say “I’m sitting in a chair” as oppose to “This large mass is on that chair”. It lets us compare our external experience with our thoughts and identity, essentially the core behind all personal experiences. The ego performs a vital role.

The ego, our sense of self or the social shell in which we have constructed is constantly being test by friends, family, and society. On the contrary, it is also always being reinforced and confirmed by friends, family and society. The idea that you have to become “someone” is the root of suffering. This belief is ingrained into every child’s brain and the child grows up with a fighting mentally of having to always “make” it in this world.

Story of Swetketu and his Ego
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There is the story of Swetketu. In ancient India. Swetketu, son of great saint Uddalak, went to study in a hermitage. For twenty five years he was a student. He memorised the four Vedas by heart.

Similarly he had memorised the Six books of Philosophy and the eighteen Puranas. Not only this he by-hearted other books of religion including the Bhagwatgita and various Upanishads. He was immensely knowledgeable, a mobile book of reference, a living library.

However, this made him proud of his accomplishments. He became ego incarnate. Humility was merely a word in the dictionary for him. After completion of his education, he left the hermitage and went home. There he saw his father sitting in his humble hut. As the hut was small, one had to bend and bow his head to enter it. Swetketu’s arrogance and ego didnot consider bending and bowing, as becoming
of his learned status. So he sought the entrance to be broken and enlarged to enable him to enter the hut without having to bend or bow. His father, Rishi Uddalak knew that his son had become too proud of his bookish knowledge. The weight of all the books he had by hearted was preventing him from being humble. So, the Rishi asked
his son as to what all he had learned. Swetketu, proud of his learning, recounted that he had learned and memorished all Vedas, Upnishads, Purnas, Gita and books of philosophy. He further stated that there remained nothing more for him to learn as he had byhearted all the scriptures. He added that whatever learning the Guru had to impart, he had acquired all that. “I know everything.” On this the Rishi asked his son, whether he knew the one thing by which one knows all the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas etc. Swetketu didnot know answer to this question and replied as such truthfully. He was sorry that despite twenty five years of intense learning he didnot know that which is the key to all learning. He was extremely sad for this lack of
knowledge. While returning after completion of his studies, he thought that he could easily impress his father with his knowledge and lord over all others in his fathers hermitage. Alas he didnot have answer to the very first question asked by his father.
As, Swetketu could not reply his father’s only question despite all his learning, he felt frustrated and left for his Guru’s hermitage. He felt that all his reading was meaningless. He told the Guru that despite his having been taught the four Vedas, eighteen Puranas, all Upnishads, the Gita etc, he was not able to answer his father’s
question. He charged his Guru that he didnot teach him answer to the father’s question, but had said that the study was complete. All his pride had come before a fall. “I have gulped all my pride” he said to the Guru.
He who knows does not speak, and he who speaks does not know; this is the travesty of knowledge. We should only keep in mind that “I know that I donot know”. This should be thought and stated with humility.

For Swetketu it was disgraceful to have accepted defeat. So he returned and told the Guru. “You did not teach me anything. You have cheated me.” The Guru said, “I know this much only. I also donot know the answer to your father’s question, I was hoping that you will sit at the feet of your father and he will teach you all that you wish to
learn. But you were proud of your knowledge and arrogant too. You forget about all your knowledge. Go home and sit at the feet of your father.

Swetketu returned home, with all humility he bent in a bow and entered his father’s hut, paid regards to his father with folded hands and accepted his folly. Then he requested his father to impart him knowledge.

The only way to gain knowledge is to approach the Guru with all humility. One should accept that he knows nothing, he is ignorant and seeking knowledge. If a pot is full upto the brim, then nothing can be added into it. But if a pot is empty, anything can be put inside it. The humility makes a person an easy acceptor of knowledge. Unless a person bends low, he cannot jump high.


Story by Rabindranath Tagore
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There is a great temple with a hundred priests to look after it. One night the chief priest went to bed and dreamed that God has sent word that he will visit their temple the next day. He did not believe it, because it is difficult to come across people who are more disbelieving than the priests. He did not believe his dream for another reason, too. People who trade in religion never come to believe in religion. They only exploit religion, which never becomes their faith, their truth.

No one in the world is more faithless than one who turns faith into a means of exploitation. So the chief priest could not believe that God would really this temple. The priest had never believed in such things, although he had been a priest for long years. He had worshipped God for long and he knew that God had never visited his temple even once. Each day he had offered food to God, and he knew that he had in reality offered it to himself. He had also prayed to God every day, but he knew well that his prayers were lost in the empty sky, because there was no one to hear them.

So he thought that the message was not true, it was just a dream, and a dream rarely turns into a reality. But then he was afraid, too, lest the dream should come true. At times what we call a dream turns into a reality and a reality as we know it proves to be a dream. Sometimes what we think to be a dream really becomes a reality. So the chief priest ultimately decided to inform his close colleagues about his last night’s dream. He said to the other priests, ”Although it seems to be a joke, yet I should tell you about it.

Last night I dreamed that God said that he would visit us today.” The other priests laughed and they said, ”Are you mad that you believe in dreams? However, don’t tell others about it; otherwise they will take you to be crazy.” But the head priest said, ”In case he should come, we should be prepared for it. There is no harm if he does not turn up, but if at all he comes, we will not be found wanting.” So the whole temple and its premises were scrubbed, washed and cleaned thoroughly. It was decorated with flowers and flags and festoons.

Lamps were lit and incense burned. Perfumes were sprayed and every kind of preparation made. The priests tired themselves out in the course of the day, but God did not turn up. Every now and then they looked up the road, they were disappointed, and they said, ”Dream is a dream after all; God is not going to come. We were fools to believe so. It was good that we did not inform the people of the town; otherwise they would have simply laughed at us.” By evening the priests gave up all hope, and they said, ”Let us now eat the sumptuous food cooked for God.

It has ever been so: what we offer to God is consumed by us in the end. No one is going to turn up. We were crazy enough to believe in a dream. The irony is that we knowingly made fools of ourselves. If others go mad, they can be excused, because they don’t know. But we know God never comes. Where is God? There is this idol in the temple; it is all there is to it. And it is our business, our profession to worship him.” And then they ate well and went to bed early as they were tired. When it was midnight a chariot pulled up at the gate of the temple, and its sound was heard.

One of the sleeping priests heard it and thought that it was God’s chariot. He shouted to others, ”Listen friends and wake up. It seems he, whom we expected all day, has arrived at long last. The noise of the chariot is heard.” The other priests snubbed him saying, ”Shut up, you crazy one. We have had enough of madness all through the day, now that it is night let us sleep well. It is not the sound of a chariot, but the rumblings of the clouds in the skies.” So they explained the thing away and returned to their beds. Then the chariot halted at the gate, and someone climbed the steps of the temple and knocked at its door.

And again one of the priests woke up from sleep and shouted to his associates, ”It seems the guest has arrived whom we awaited the whole day long. He is knocking at the door.” The other priests berated him as they had done with the first. They said, ”Are you not crazy? Won’t you allow us to sleep? It is just the dash of winds against the door and not a knock of a caller.” So they again rationalized and went back to their beds. The next morning they woke up and walked to the gates of the temple.

And they were astounded to see a few footprints on the steps of the temple. Surely enough someone had climbed them during the night. And then they noticed some marks of a chariot’s wheels on the road, and there was now no doubt at all that a chariot had arrived at the gate in the night. And strangely enough the footprints on the steps were absolutely uncommon and unknown. Now the priests burst into tears and fell down and began to roll on the ground where the chariot had halted. And soon the whole village was at the temple’s gates.

Everybody in the crowd asked with bewilderment, ”What is the matter?” The priests said, ”Don’t ask what the matter is. God knocked at the door of our temple last night, but we rationalized everything. We are now damned. He knocked at the door and we thought that it was the flapping sound of the winds. His chariot came, and we thought that it was the rumble of thunder in the sky. The truth is that we did not understand anything. We only explained them away, because we wanted to enjoy our sleep.”

God knocks at every door. His grace visits every home. But our doors are shut. And even when we hear a knock we immediately rationalize it and explain it away. In the old days they said that ”A guest is God”. There is a slight mistake in this maxim. The truth is that God is the guest. God is waiting as a guest at our doorsteps, but the door is closed. His grace is equally available to all. Therefore don’t ask whether one attains through his grace; one attains through his grace alone. And as far as our efforts are concerned, they are a help in opening the door, in removing the hurdles from the way. When he comes, he comes on his own accord.
zen