I Am That 07

Seventh Discourse from the series of 16 discourses - I Am That by Osho.
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The first question:
Can an enlightened person be wrong? This refers to what you told us about J. Krishnamurti, who keeps on saying that one does not need a master, which is actually not right. Please comment.
An enlightened person can never be wrong. Neither is J. Krishnamurti wrong, but he never considers the situation that you are in. He considers only the space in which he is, and that freedom is part of enlightenment.
The enlightened person has reached the highest peak of consciousness, his abode is on Everest. Now it is his freedom to speak according to the peak, the sunlit peak where he is, or to consider the people who are still in the dark valley, who know nothing about the light, for whom the peak of the Everest is only a dream, only a perhaps. This is the freedom of the enlightened person. Krishnamurti speaks in terms of where he is.
I speak in terms of where you are, I consider you because if I am speaking to you, you have to be taken into consideration. I have to lead you toward the highest peak, but the journey will begin in the dark valley, in your unconsciousness. If I talk about my experience, absolutely inconsiderate of you, I am right but I am not useful to you.
An enlightened person is never wrong, but he can be useful or he can be useless.
J. Krishnamurti is useless! He is perfectly right, about that there is no question because I know the peak and what he is saying is certainly true – from the vision of the peak. Those who have arrived, for them the journey becomes almost a dream phenomenon. For those who have not arrived the journey is real, the goal is just a dream. They are living in two different worlds. When you are talking to a madman you have to consider him, if you don’t consider him you cannot help him.

Once a madman was brought to me. He had this crazy idea that one afternoon when he was sleeping, a fly had entered his mouth. And because he used to sleep with his mouth open, nobody could deny the possibility. Since then he was very much disturbed because the fly was roaming inside him, jumping inside him, moving in his belly, going to his bladder, circulating in his bloodstream, sometimes in his head, sometimes in his feet. And of course he could not do anything because he was continuously occupied, obsessed with the fly.
He was taken to the psychoanalysts and they said, “This is just in your mind, there is no fly. No fly can move in your bloodstream, there is no possibility. Even if a fly has entered, it must have died. And now six months have passed, it cannot be alive inside you.”
He listened, but he could not believe it because his experience was far more solid. He was taken to the doctors and everybody examined him and they did everything, but finally they would say, “It is just a mental thing. You are imagining.” He would listen to what they were saying, but he could not trust because his experience was far more certain than their words.
His family brought him to me as a last resort. The man was looking very tired because he was being taken to one person, then to another, then all kinds of physicians: allopaths and homeopaths and naturopaths; and he was really tired. In the first place the fly was tiring him, and now all these “pathies,” medicines. Everybody was insulting him – that was his feeling. They were saying that he was just imagining. Is he a fool or is he mad, that he will imagine such a thing? They were all humiliating him – that was his feeling.
I looked at the man and I said, “It is so clear that the fly is inside!”
For a moment he was puzzled. He could not believe me because nobody had said that to him – because nobody had considered him. And they all were right and I was wrong – there was no fly, but the madman has to be considered.
And I said, “All those fools are just wasting your time, you should have come here first. It is such a simple thing to bring the fly out, there is no need to bother. Medicines won’t help – you are not ill. Psychoanalysis will not help – you are not crazy.”
And immediately he was a changed man. He looked at his wife and said, “Now what do you say? This is the right man,” he said, “who really knows. And all those fools were trying to convince me that there is no fly. It is there!”
I said to him, “It is simple – we will take it out. Lie down.”
I covered him with a blanket and told him to keep his eyes closed and said, “I will do some mantra, some magic, and we will bring the fly out. You just keep quiet so that the fly sits somewhere. Otherwise the fly is continuously running – where to catch it?”
He said, “That looks logical. I will keep absolutely still!”
And I said, “Don’t open your eyes. Just remain silent, breathe slowly, so the fly settles somewhere, so we can catch hold of it!”
Then I rushed into the house to find a fly. It was a little bit difficult because I was trying that for the first time, but finally I succeeded – I could get a fly in a bottle. And I came to the man, I moved my hand on his body, and I asked him, “Where is the fly?”
And he said, “In the belly.”
And I touched the belly and I said, “Of course it is there!” And I convinced him that I perfectly believed in him and then I uncovered his blanket and showed him the fly.
And he said to the wife, “Now see! Give this bottle to me, I will go to all those fools and take all the fees that they have taken from me. I have wasted thousands of rupees, and all that they did was they told me I am mad. And now I don’t feel the fly anywhere because it is in the bottle!”
He took the bottle and he went to the doctors.
One of the doctors who knew me, came to see me. He said, “How did you manage? Six months a fly can live in the body? And that man has taken his fee back from me because he was making such a fuss that I said, ‘Better give it back to him!’ And he proved that he was right!”
I said, “It is not the point who is right.”

Gautam the Buddha defines truth as that which works. This is the most ancient pragmatic definition of truth: that which works. All the devices are truth in this sense: they work. They are only devices. The Buddha’s work is upaya. Upaya exactly means device.
Meditation is an upaya, a device. It simply helps you to get rid of that which you have not got in the first place: the fly, the ego, the misery, the anguish. It helps you to get free of it, but in fact it is not there. But it is not to be told…
Krishnamurti has been doing that. He has been telling crazy people that the fly does not exist and you don’t need any doctor. I say to you the fly exists and you need the doctor. Because just telling you that the fly does not exist is not going to help you at all.
For thousands of years you have been told the ego does not exist. Has it helped you in any way? There have been people who have said, in this country particularly, that the whole world is illusory, maya, it does not exist. But has it helped India in any way? The true test is there: whether it has helped, whether it has made people more authentic, more real. It has not helped at all. It has made people more deeply cunning, split, schizophrenic; it has made them hypocrites.
All the religions have done this because they don’t consider you. And you are far more important than the ultimate truth because the ultimate truth has nothing to do with you right now. You are living in a dreamworld, some device is needed which can help you to come out of it. The moment you are out of it, you will know it was a dream – but a person who is dreaming, to tell him that it is all dream is meaningless.
Have you not observed in your dreams that when you are dreaming it looks real? And every morning you have found that it was unreal. But again in the night you forget all your understanding of the day – again the dream becomes real. It has been happening again and again, every night the dream becomes real, every morning you know it is false, but that knowing does not help. In the dream one can even dream that “This is a dream.”
And that’s what has happened in India: people are living in maya, deeply in it, and still saying, “This is all maya.” And this talk too is part of their dream, it does not destroy the dream. In fact it makes the dream more rooted in them because now there is no need to get rid of it because it is a dream! So why get rid of it? It does not matter.
In a subtle way all the religions have done this, they have talked from the highest peak to the people for whom that peak does not exist yet. The people are living in darkness, and you go on telling them that darkness has no existence. It is true – darkness has no existence, it is only the absence of light – but just by saying to people that darkness has no existence is not going to bring light in.
That’s what Krishnamurti is doing. It has been done by many people, Nagarjuna did it – Krishnamurti is not new, not at least in the East. Nagarjuna did it. He said, “Everything is false. The world is false, the ego is false, nothing exists. Because nothing exists you are already free. There is no need for any meditation, there is no need for any master. There is no need to find out any device, strategy, technique because in the first place there is no problem. Why go on looking for solutions? Those solutions will create more problems, they are not going to help.”
Nagarjuna did it; before Nagarjuna, Mahakashyap did it, and it has been a long tradition. Zen people have been saying the same thing for centuries. Krishnamurti never uses the word zen, but whatsoever he is saying is nothing but Zen – simple Zen.
Zen says no effort is needed, nothing has to be done. When nothing has to be done, what is the need of a master? – because the master will tell you to do something. Nothing has to be done. What is the need of the scriptures? – because the scriptures will tell you to do something, to know something. Nothing has to be done. Nothing has to be known. You are already there where you are trying to reach.
And I know this is true, but to talk about this ultimate truth to people who are living in tremendous darkness is futile.
No enlightened person can ever be wrong, but only few enlightened persons have been of help. The majority of enlightened people have been of no help at all, for the simple reason that they never considered the other.
In fact, George Gurdjieff used to say, “Don’t consider the other.” It was one of his basic teachings: “Don’t consider the other. Just say what is absolutely true.” But the absolute truth is truth only when experienced, people are living in relative truth.
My approach is different from Krishnamurti’s. I know that one day you will come to that point where nothing is needed – no master, no teaching, no scripture – but right now the scripture can be of help, the methods can be of help, and certainly a living master can be of immense help.
The function of the master is to give you that which you already have and to take away that which you don’t have at all.

The second question:
Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, etc. certainly were enlightened masters. But Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and whatsoever has developed from them, have not much to do with the ideas of the masters. Osho, I am sure you are an enlightened master too, but what can we do, or what at all is possible to do, to prevent Oshoism?
Hermann, nothing can be done at all, and don’t waste your time. Whatsoever has happened was natural. Christianity was bound to happen, it was inevitable. When a man like Christ walks on the earth he will leave footprints on the sands of time, and people will worship those footprints. Christianity is nothing but worship of the footprints, it leads you nowhere. But it is bound to happen.
It is as inevitable as the birth of a child bringing death in; you cannot avoid death. If the child is born, death is going to happen. And of course we have known that so many people were born before and so many people have died, so when your child is born you may try to do something so he need not die. That is impossible – birth brings death.
When a living master is there, sooner or later the master will be gone and there will be a dead teaching left. That dead teaching becomes Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism; it will become Oshoism too. Nothing can be done about it – in fact, your very concern is the beginning of it, even the fear. That means Christianity has not happened yet, but the anti-Christian has arrived.
I am alive! Oshoism will happen when I am gone, but to you it has already happened and you are trying to find ways to prevent it. And why should you bother? Who are you to decide for others? You are not a sannyasin, you are not part of my commune, you have no communion with me, you have not tasted of the wine that is available here – and you are worried about others, that these people will worship the bottles when the wine is gone! [At this point a cuckoo bursts loudly into song…]
Look! It always happens exactly at the time – even the birds agree with me. The bird was saying, “Hermann, you are a fool!” Drink right now! Who are you to bother about the future? And why should you prevent people from Oshoism? If they want it, then that is their business. Why you should take the responsibility? Why should you prevent people from their freedom? If they want to worship something dead they are entitled to it!
But to me you are far more foolish than those people. At least they will be worshipping a bottle – and you are missing the wine! Drink the wine and leave the bottle. If people want to play with the bottle they will play, they are collectors. There are collectors who collect bottles of wine, and sometimes it helps too.
I have heard one case…

In the First World War two brothers separated. The father divided all his property because he was getting old and he was worried about the younger son – because he was a drunkard and he will destroy the whole thing, and even the eldest son will suffer because of the younger. So he divided them equally.
And a miracle happened. In the First World War the value of money went so low – as it always does in wartime, things become very costly and money loses its purchasing capacity. The drunkard had a habit of collecting bottles. He finished all the money, he drank and he enjoyed. And the other son was so miserly that he was clinging to the money that he had got, but money was going down every day.
And the miracle was this: a moment came when the money became almost useless, almost valueless, and the younger son sold all his bottles and he had more money than the elder brother. He enjoyed the wine and he sold the bottles. And the elder was a fool – he was just clinging to the money.

Life is very mysterious and the ways of God are very strange. God is always for the drunkards! He loves these crazy people.
If you really feel that I am an enlightened person, then what are you doing here? Drink out of my enlightenment! Others are drinking. And I don’t think that you think that I am enlightened because the way you say: “Osho, I am sure you are an enlightened master too…”
You are not sure. When people are not sure, only then they use the word sure. If you are sure, then take the jump in! Then why are you standing on the bank? And while the river is alive, do something so that you can quench your thirst. And leave it to others.
Oshoism is bound to happen – I am not worried about it. It is a natural phenomenon. Don’t become obsessed with it. Christianity has happened, Buddhism has happened, Jainism has happened, Hinduism, Mohammedanism, all kinds of “isms.” They are not unnatural, otherwise they would not have happened.
There are people who can connect themselves only with dead masters – and you seem to be one of those people, you can also connect with dead masters. Now you are so concerned about Jesus, Buddha, Krishna because they are dead. Now a few are Christians – they are concerned with the dead. Now a few are anti-Christians – they are also concerned with the dead.
Bertrand Russell has written a book: Why I Am Not a Christian. Why bother about it? There are people who are writing books why they are Christians and there are people who are writing books why they are not Christians. Both are wasting their time!
Friedrich Nietzsche became so obsessed with anti-Christianity that in the last years of his life, when he went mad, he started signing his name as “Antichrist Friedrich Nietzsche.” Friedrich Nietzsche became secondary, that anti-Christ attitude became more primary. And he was not really anti-Christ, he was only anti-Christian, but when you start moving in a certain direction, if you are logical, you will reach the logical end. This was the logical end. First he started condemning Christianity, and then slowly, slowly he found that Christianity is a byproduct of Christ, so naturally he started condemning Christ, and for everything! Sometimes he would go to such absurd lengths to condemn Christ and he would find such rationalizations, such excuses, that one has to say one thing, that he was really imaginative and really logical.
For example, Jesus at the last moment prays to God on the cross, “Forgive these people my father, because they know not what they are doing.” It is one of the most beautiful utterances, but Friedrich Nietzsche became so obsessed with anti-Christianity that he cannot accept even such a beautiful statement. And if you are not interested in accepting anything as beautiful, if you are bent upon finding something wrong, you can always find it. He found something wrong even in this. He said, “This means Jesus thinks only he knows and everybody else is ignorant.”
Look at his approach. Jesus is praying to God, “Forgive these people. They are crucifying me only because they know not what they are doing.” Friedrich Nietzsche condemns it – even this beautiful statement is condemned. He finds a logical reason that this shows only an egoistic approach: “I know, and all these people are fools, ignorant. They know not, so forgive them.” This asking, praying to God to forgive the people, is an egoistic approach; it is not love, it is ego, according to Friedrich Nietzsche.
Jesus has said, “If somebody slaps you on one cheek, give him the other too.” Now this is one of the greatest statements ever made by anybody, of tremendous beauty, of deep love, of nonviolence – but Friedrich Nietzsche condemns it. He says, “This is humiliating to the other person. This is insulting the other person’s integrity, his humanity. When somebody hits you on one cheek and you give him the other you are showing him, ‘Look how saintly I am, holier-than-thou, and you are just an animal.’ You are insulting him!” Nietzsche says it will be far better to hit him back because that means you have accepted him on equal terms; you are not lowering him. And if you listen to his logic you can find there is something in it.
Logic is a game, it can be played from both the sides. Logic is a prostitute – it can be with anybody, whosoever is ready to pay.
Nietzsche remained concerned against Christianity and against Christ his whole life. Now this is sheer wastage. There are people who are praying to Christ and there are people who are condemning Christ, but both are concerned with the dead person. And if you are concerned, I think praying is far better than condemning because the person who is praying may get something out of it, but the person who is condemning is not going to get anything out of it.
My approach is that if you happen to meet a Jesus, a Buddha, a Krishna, don’t miss the opportunity. And don’t become concerned about others – respect them. They have their own life and they have to decide about it. And millions will always decide to be with a dead master because that is convenient, comfortable. A living master is always uncomfortable, inconvenient.
Just think of yourself being with Jesus when he was alive, there were a thousand and one difficulties…

One day Jesus was a guest in a house and Mary Magdalene came – and she was a prostitute. She started washing Christ’s feet with a very costly perfume, with a very costly oil. Judas could not tolerate it – he was a socialist. He is the real founder of communism in the world; Karl Marx, etcetera, are just offshoots.
He immediately said to Jesus, “This is not right! This perfume, this perfumed oil is so costly that if we sell it we can feed all the poor of this town for at least three days. This is sheer wastage – you should not allow such wastage. A man like you should immediately stop.
“Secondly” – now he is far more religious than Jesus – “a prostitute should not be allowed to touch your feet, it is prohibited. A man like you, a man of God, should not allow a prostitute to touch him.”
Jesus said, “Look at her heart. Thousands of people come to me, but rarely I see such love, such surrender. How can I say to her, ‘Don’t touch me.’ That will be ugly!”
Now to be with this man who is going against the whole tradition of religion is dangerous. To be with this man who is allowing the woman to destroy a precious thing that can feed the poor people…and what does Jesus say? Jesus says, “When I am gone the poor people will still be with you, so there is no hurry, you can feed them later on. While the bridegroom is here, celebrate!”

Now, will you be ready to say yes to Jesus? Immediately your rational mind will say, “This is not right! He is not concerned about the poor people at all. He is not concerned about the tradition of the sages at all. He is very unsocialistic, he does not understand anything of economics, he is not compassionate to the poor.”
Do you think Mother Teresa of Kolkata would have agreed with him? Impossible! She would have said, “This can help many orphans. We can open a school for the poor children or we can purchase medicine for the ill, and what are you doing?”
Do you think Jesus could get a Nobel Prize? I don’t think – impossible. You would rather agree with Judas – he is more rational, more socialist than Jesus.
To be with Buddha would have been difficult for you because to be with Buddha means surrender, total surrender. The ego has to be put aside.
It is very easy to be with dead masters because to be with dead masters is very nourishing to the ego – that you are a follower of Jesus, follower of Buddha, follower of Krishna. But to be with Krishna would have been really impossible – he had sixteen thousand wives! Would you agree with this man? What kind of enlightened man is this Krishna? Sixteen thousand wives! And they were not all married to him – many he had stolen – they were married to other people. How can you agree with this man?
And he persuaded Arjuna to go into war, and the reasons that he gave were, “The soul is eternal, so don’t be bothered. You can kill – the soul is not killed, only the body, and the body is dead anyway. So there is no violence involved because the soul is immortal and the body is mortal. You are only separating the immortal from the mortal, there is nothing wrong in it – just separating the essential from the nonessential.”
Do you think you would have agreed?
That’s why people create Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Mohammedanism – it is easier, very easy because then you can manage the dead master according to your ideas. You can put your ideas in his mouth, you can ignore the ideas that go against you, you can interpret, manipulate, rationalize; you can do thousand and one things because the master is no longer there.
So many people need dead masters, that is their need. And remember one economic law: wherever there is demand there will be supply. Because people need dead masters, that’s why the Pope is needed – a representative of a dead master. The Shankaracharya is needed – a representative of a dead Shankara. Ayatollah Khomeiniac is needed – a representative of a dead Mohammed. People need, that’s why these things happen, and nothing can be done about it.
My concern is not at all about the future. I accept the way things are, they cannot be otherwise. My insistence is while I am here, if you are really interested in transforming your life, then the opportunity is available. Don’t miss it.

The third question:
I always feel that I have to ask you a lot of things. I feel a burden inside. But every time I form a question it looks ridiculous and stupid.
It is ridiculous and it is stupid – you are perfectly right in not asking. And even if you ask, do you think I answer? I never answer any question, I simply destroy the question! It is not answering it, it is destroying it. It is hitting the question from all sides. It is a kind of murder: murdering the question, and, if possible, the questioner too! So nothing is left because if the questioner is left he will again ask.
You see here are five thousand people. Many are killed already! They don’t ask, they have understood that I never answer any question. I just play around the question a little bit, and if you are acquainted with me and I know that you will not escape, then I start hitting you. If I think you will escape, then for a few days I behave very politely!
I never answer anything. I am an ancient Jew…

Once a rabbi was asked by a Christian priest, “Rabbi, will you please give me a straight answer to a plain question? Why is it that the Jews always answer a question by asking one?”
The rabbi reflected for a moment, then replied, “Do they?”

The prosecutor was questioning a Jewish witness.
“Do you know the man who has just testified?”
“How should I know him?” said the Jew.
“He said you borrowed five thousand dollars from him. Did you?”
“Why should I borrow money from him?” said the Jew.
Visibly annoyed, the judge interrupted, “Why do you answer every question put to you with another question?”
“Why not?” said the Jew!

In a lawsuit for damages the Jewish lawyer for the plaintiff had long experience with juries. He gave force to his words by all kinds of body movements, waving his arms, hammering with his fists, his face expressing a raging storm of feelings. Finally he sat down, his voice drained, his body exhausted.
The defense counsel arose, who was also a Jew, and began to mimic his opponent. He swung his arms freely in front of the jury, twisting and distorting his face, pointing with fingers, tearing his passion to tatters – without ever uttering a word.
After a few minutes he smoothed his hair and straightened his tie and said quickly to the jury, “Now that I have answered every argument of my learned opponent, let me discuss with you the facts in this case.”

You see my hands go on making all kinds of gestures? That is just an old Jewish tradition!
You ask, “I always feel that I have to ask you a lot of things.” Everybody feels that because the mind is like a tree. Just as on a tree leaves grow, on the mind questions grow. And my effort here is not to prune the leaves because pruning simply makes the foliage thicker. My effort here is to cut the roots, the very roots, so the tree dies.
Everybody comes here with a lot of questions, but whether you ask them or not they are worthless. I answer them just to keep you engaged here, to keep you occupied. And side by side the real work goes on; in meditations, in therapy groups, I have put people to cut your roots. I go on answering so that you feel that your philosophical inquiry is satisfied, and you remain occupied with questions and answers. And I have put my people…meanwhile they are cutting your roots. Sooner or later your roots are gone, then the leaves disappear of their own accord.
When all questions disappear, the answer is found, never before it. The answer is never found by questioning; the answer is found by dropping all questions, questioning as such because the answer is your own experience of silence, joy, godliness. That is the answer. Unless that is found, questions will go on arising.
But it is good that you yourself have started feeling that “Every time I form a question it looks ridiculous and stupid.”
All questions are ridiculous and stupid.

The fourth question:
In the Mahabharata, Yudhishthira was asked a question: “What is surprising?” (kim ashcharyam) by a yaksha. If you were in his place, what would be your answer?
The most surprising thing in life is that nobody seems to be surprised! People take life for granted; otherwise everything is a mystery, everything is simply amazing. It is a miracle that a seed becomes a tree, that as the sun rises in the morning the birds start singing. It is a miracle! Each moment you come across miracles and still you don’t look surprised. This is the most surprising thing in life.
My answer would have been that people take life for granted – this is the most surprising thing. Only children don’t take it for granted. That’s why children have beauty, a grace, an innocence. They are always living in wonder, everything brings awe. Collecting pebbles on the seashore or seashells… Watch the children, with what joy they are running, with what joy they are collecting – just colored stones, as if they have found great diamonds; collecting flowers, wild flowers, and look into their eyes; or running after butterflies, watch them. Their whole being, each cell of their body is mystified. And that’s the most important quality that makes life worth living.
The person who loses his quality to be surprised is dead. The moment your surprise is dead, you are dead. The moment your wonder is dead, you are dead. The moment you become incapable of feeling awe, you have become impotent.
To be born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad is the quality that makes life worth living – not only worth living, but worth dancing, worth celebrating.

An old farmer visited a circus for the first time. He stood before the dromedary’s cage, eyes popping and mouth agape at the strange beast within. The circus properly began and the crowds left for the main show, but still the old man stood before the cage in stunned silence, appraising every detail of the misshapen legs, the cloven hoofs, the pendulous upper lip, and the curiously mounded back of the sleepy-eyed beast.
Fifteen minutes passed. Then the farmer turned away in disgust. “Hell!” he exclaimed. “There ain’t no such animal!”

Rather than feeling surprised people would like to deny: “There ain’t no such animal!” That makes you at ease again, otherwise a restlessness arises in you.

I have heard about a general, a great military general who was posted in Paris. One morning he took his small son to the garden, just for a morning walk. He was very happy that the child was so fascinated by the statue of Napoleon mounted on a horse, a big marble statue. The child said, “Daddy, Napoleon is so beautiful, so great! Can you bring me every day when you come for a morning walk, just to have a look at the great Napoleon?”
The father, being a general, was very happy that the child is also becoming interested in people like Napoleon: “This is a good sign. Sooner or later he will also become a great general!”
After six months he was transferred, and he took his son for the last time to the garden so that he could say good-bye to Napoleon. And the son went there, tears in his eyes, and he said to the father, “I have always wanted to ask one question, but I become so fascinated with the great Napoleon when I come to the garden that I always forgot to ask the question. Now this is the last day and I would like to inquire. Who is this guy, always sitting on top of poor Napoleon?”

I was reminded of this story just a few days ago. In a press conference, Morarji Desai was asked, “If people want you to become the prime minister of India again, will you be ready?”
And he said, “Yes, if people want me to ride on a donkey, even then I will be ready.”

I was reminded about this story. There will be a problem: how will people know? “Who is this guy riding on poor, poor Morarji Desai?” And how will they make a distinction who is who?
That’s why in India, in a marriage procession when the bridegroom goes to the house of the bride, he rides on a horse. A small child asked his father, “Why does the bridegroom always rides on a horse? Why not on a donkey?”
The father said, “You don’t understand. If he rides on the donkey, then how is the bride going to find who is the bridegroom? A donkey riding on a donkey will be very difficult to make distinctions!”
Morarji Desai riding on a donkey! It will be a really great joy to see a donkey riding on a donkey!

If you look at life you will find everywhere immense surprises.

He was fifty and had spent the best years of his life with a woman whose constant criticism had driven him mad. Now, in poor health and with his business on the verge of bankruptcy, he made up his mind. He went to the dining room, fastened his tie over the chandelier, and was about to end it all. At that moment his wife entered the room.
“John!” she cried, shocked at the scene before her. “That is your best tie!”

A young man vacationing in the upper Midwest woods decided to write to his girl, but having no stationery with him, walked to the trading post. The attendant was a young, well-stacked girl with a sensual appeal.
“Do you keep stationery?” he asked.
“Well,” she smiled, “I do until the last few seconds, and then I go wild!”

Just look around!

A soldier disembarked in New York after two long years abroad and was met by his beautiful wife.
Alone at last in their room at the hotel, they were disturbed by the sudden clamor in the corridor and a cry of “Let me in!”
The rattled soldier jumped out of bed and panted, “It must be your husband!”
His distracted mate reassured him. “Don’t be foolish!” she said. “He is thousands of miles away somewhere in Europe!”

One just needs a clear perspective, and each moment you are in for a great surprise.

She was very nearsighted and very pretty, but too vain to wear glasses on her honeymoon and unable to wear contact lenses. When she returned from her honeymoon, her mother immediately got in touch with the oculist. “You must see my daughter at once,” she pleaded. “It is an emergency!”
“There is nothing to be excited about,” he reassured her. “She is nearsighted, that’s all.”
“That’s all?” repeated the mother. “Why, this young man she has got with her is not the same one she went on her honeymoon with!”

The only thing that is most surprising is that you don’t look surprised. And this is how your life becomes a life of boredom, a life of sadness.
Bring your surprising quality back as you had it in your childhood. Again look with those same innocent eyes. Dionysius calls it agnosia, a state of not knowing, and the Upanishads call it dhyana, samadhi, a state of not knowing. It is not ignorance.
Ignorance and knowledge belong to the same dimension: ignorance means less knowledge, knowledge means less ignorance; the difference is of degrees. Agnosia, samadhi, is not ignorance; it is beyond both ignorance and knowledge. It is a pure state of wonder. When you are full of wonder, existence is full of God.

The last question:
I spent thirteen years in different nuns' convents, and was born in a family composed of one priest, two nuns, one monk and one missionary. With such a number, any jokes you tell about these people provoke a healing laughter for which I am grateful. Could you tell us some more good ones?
This is really surprising – such a great family, and you still survived! Not only that, you have arrived here! That’s what makes me hopeful about humanity, that’s why I never lose hope.

Two men met at a bar and struck up a conversation. After a while one of them said, “You think you have family problems? Listen to my situation. A few years ago I met a young widow with a grown-up daughter and we got married. Later my father married my stepdaughter. That made my stepdaughter my stepmother, and my father became my stepson. Also my wife became the mother-in-law of her father-in-law. Then the daughter of my wife, my stepmother, had a son. This boy was my half-brother because he was my father’s son, but he was also the son of my wife’s daughter, which made him my wife’s grandson. That made me the grandfather of my half-brother. This was nothing until my wife and I had a son. Now the sister of my son, my mother-in-law, is also the grandmother. This makes my father the brother-in-law of my child, whose stepsister is my father’s wife.
“I am my stepmother’s brother-in-law, my wife is her own child’s aunt, my son is my father’s nephew – and I am my own grandfather. And you think you have family problems!”

Feel grateful to God, to be born in such a family is rare. It is a unique opportunity!

A Catholic nun in a small residential hotel complained to the desk clerk that the man in the adjoining room kept annoying her with indecent songs.
“You must be mistaken,” replied the clerk politely “Mr. Pritchard never sings any songs.”
“I know,” replied the Catholic nun, “but he whistles them.”

Grandma was in her eighties. She tired easily, had little appetite, and was sometimes confused mentally. Her son called the doctor, who arrived shortly and was shown up to Grandma’s room. Half an hour later he came down.
“There’s no need to worry,” he explained. “I have given her a thorough examination and there is nothing really wrong with her except her age. She will be all right.”
Son and daughter-in-law, much relieved, went upstairs to see her. “Well, mother,” asked her son, “how did you like the doctor?”
“Oh, so that was the doctor?” she said. “I thought he acted rather familiar for a clergyman!”

The young couple moved from their small town to the big city, leaving behind family and relatives, mostly elderly. Their young son still continued to include them in his nightly prayers. One night he seemed to have forgotten Uncle Joseph. Strangely enough, the next day they learned that Uncle Joseph had passed away.
Some months later he again skipped a name in his prayers – Aunt Mary. The next day they learned that Aunt Mary had passed away.
Thereafter they listened most carefully to his nightly prayers to discover if any blessings were left out. Sure enough, several weeks later, after “God bless Mommy” he omitted “God bless Daddy.” This panicked his father, who did not dare go downstairs all night or even leave the bedroom, but stayed in bed worrying about his child’s supernatural powers of prophecy.
The next morning they got word from their former hometown that their friendly priest had died.

And the last:

A salesman is forced to share a room with a rabbi in a crowded hotel. He enters the room and finds the rabbi kneeling in a corner, rocking on his heels while murmuring his prayers.
“Hi!” says the salesman. “I’m your new roommate.”
The rabbi nods without interrupting his prayers.
“Well then, which bed shall I take?”
The rabbi points to one bed, continuing to pray.
The salesman nervously unpacks his bag, then all of a sudden says, “Say, rabbi, do you mind if I bring up a girl?”
The rabbi, still praying, holds up two fingers.

Enough for today.

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