No Water No Moon 02

Second Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - No Water No Moon by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

There is an old tradition in some Japanese Zen temples that if a wandering monk can win an argument about Buddhism with one of the resident monks, he can stay the night. If not, he has to move on.

There was such a temple in northern Japan run by two brothers. The elder brother was very learned, and the younger brother was rather stupid, and he had only one eye.

One evening a wandering monk came to ask for lodging. The elder brother was very tired as he had been studying for many hours, so he told the younger brother to go and take the debate. “Request that the dialogue be in silence,” said the elder brother.

A little later the traveler came to the elder brother and said, “What a wonderful fellow your brother is. He has won the debate very cleverly, so I must move on. Good night.”

“Before you go,” said the elder brother, “please relate the dialogue to me.”

“Well,” said the traveler, “first I held up one finger to represent Buddha. Then your brother held up two fingers to represent Buddha and his teaching. So I held up three fingers to represent Buddha, his teaching, and his followers. Then your clever brother shook his clenched fist in my face to indicate that all three came from one realization.” With that the traveler left.

A little later the younger brother came in looking very distressed. “I understand you won the debate,” said the elder brother.

“Won nothing,” said the younger brother, “that traveler is a very rude man.”

“Oh?” said the elder brother, “Tell me the subject of the debate.”

“Why,” said the younger brother, “the moment he saw me, he held up one finger insulting me by indicating that I have only one eye. But because he was a stranger, I thought I would be polite, so I held up two fingers congratulating him on having two eyes. At this, the impolite wretch held up three fingers to show that we had but three eyes between us, so I got mad and threatened to punch his nose – so he went.”

The elder brother laughed.
All debates are futile and stupid. Debate as such is foolish because no one can reach the truth through discussion, through debate. You may get a night’s shelter, but that’s all. Hence the tradition.
The tradition is beautiful. For many centuries, if you ask for shelter in any Zen monastery in Japan, you have to discuss. If you win the debate, you can stay for the night – this is very symbolic – but only for the night. In the morning you have to move on. This indicates that through debate, logic, reasoning, you can never reach the goal, only a night’s shelter. And don’t deceive yourself that the night’s shelter is the goal. You have to move on. In the morning you have again to be on your feet.
But many have deceived themselves. They think that whatsoever they have attained through logic is the goal. The night’s shelter has become the ultimate. They are not moving, and many mornings have passed. Logic can lead to hypothetical conclusions, never to truth. Logic can lead to something which approximates truth, but never to the truth.
And remember, that which approximates the truth is also a lie because what does it mean? Either something is true or not true; there is no in-between. Either something is true, or it is not true. You cannot say that this is a half-truth; there is nothing like that – just like there cannot be a half-circle because the very word circle means the full. Half-circles don’t exist. If it is half, it is not a circle.
Half-truths don’t exist. Truth is the whole, you cannot have it in fragments, you cannot have it in parts. Approximate truth is a deception, but logic can lead only to the deception. You may have a shelter for the night, just to retire, relax, but don’t make it your home. By the morning you have to move again, the journey cannot end there. Every morning it will begin again and again. Relax in the logic, in the reasoning, but don’t remain with it, don’t become static with it – and continually remember that you have to move.
The tradition is beautiful. So one thing to be understood about the tradition and the meaning; it is symbolic. Second thing: all discussions are foolish because through the mood of discussion, you can never understand the other. Whatsoever he says is misunderstood. A mind which is bent on winning, conquering, cannot understand. It is impossible because understanding needs a nonviolent mind. When you are seeking how to be victorious, you are violent.
Debate is violence. You can kill through it, you cannot revive through it. You cannot give life through it, you can murder through it. Truths can be murdered through debate, but they cannot be resurrected. It is violence; the very attitude is violent. Really, you are not asking for the truth, you are asking for victory. When victory is the goal, truth will be sacrificed. When truth is the goal, you can sacrifice victory also.
And truth should be the goal, not victory, because when victory is the goal you are a politician, not a religious man. You are aggressive, you are trying somehow to overpower the other, you are trying somehow to dominate and domineer. And truth can never become a domination, it can never destroy the other. Truth can never be a victory in the sense that you have overpowered the other. Truth brings humility, humbleness. It is not an ego-trip – but all debates are ego-trips. So debate can never lead to the real; it always leads to the unreal, the untruth, because the very phenomena that you are after, victory, is stupid. Truth wins, not you, not I. In discussion you win or I win, truth never wins.
Real seekers will allow the truth to win both. Debaters are asking that the victory should belong to me, it should not belong to the other. In truth, there is no other. In truth, we meet and become one. So who can be the winner, and who can be the loser? In truth, no one is defeated. In truth, truth wins, and we are lost. But in discussion I am I, and you are you; really there is no bridge.
How can you understand the other when you are against him? Understanding is impossible. Understanding needs sympathy, understanding needs a participation. Understanding means listening to the other totally, only then does understanding flower. But if you are discussing something, debating, arguing, reasoning, you are not listening to the other, you only pretend that you are listening. Deep down you are preparing, deep down you have already moved to the next step – when the other stops, what you are going to say. You are getting ready to refute him. You have not listened to him, and you are trying to refute him!
Really, truth is not significant in a discussion, in a debate. So debate is never a communication, and it is impossible through debate to come to a communion. You can argue, and the more you argue… You fall apart. The more you argue, the bigger the gap is, it becomes an abyss; there can be no meeting ground. That’s why philosophers never meet, pundits never meet: they are great arguers. An abyss exists. They cannot meet with the other – impossible.
Only lovers can meet, but lovers cannot be in a debate – they can communicate. That’s why there is so much insistence in the East for shraddha – trust, faith. If you argue with your master, the gap widens. Then it is better to move; then let this master be a night’s shelter, but move. Being with him will not lead you anywhere, the gap will widen. If you are argumentative, then the gap cannot be bridged. It is impossible. Trust means sympathy; trust means you are not arguing – you have come to listen, not to argue. You have come to understand, not to debate. You have not come to win; rather, you are ready to lose.
A real disciple is always in search of being defeated by the master. That is the greatest moment in the life of the disciple when he is completely destroyed and defeated. Not that the master is going to win; he is going to be defeated, the disciple is going to be defeated. And when the disciple is there no more – completely defeated, disappeared – only then is the gap bridged, the abyss is gone, and the master can penetrate you.
Hence, it happened: Jesus was wandering all over his country, but all the disciples that he could gather were simple men, not a single educated person, not a single scholar. Not that there were not scholars; there were great scholars at that time. Jews were at the peak of their glory, that’s why they could produce such a son as Jesus. Jesus was the culmination. Jesus could happen – that shows that the Jews touched their peak. Never again would they reach to such a peak. There were great scholars, great debates were arranged. The Jewish synagogue was the seat of learning, a real university. People would travel from all over the country to discuss, to debate, to argue, to find; but it was an argument. Not a single scholar followed Jesus.
Really all the scholars were unanimously agreed that this man should be destroyed. All the scholars, learned people, were ready to kill this man. Why? – because this man was against argument. He was pulling at their very base; the whole structure would fall down. This man was saying something against reason. He was talking about faith, he was talking about love, he was talking about how to create a bridge between two hearts.
Debate is between two minds, two heads; love, communication, trust, is between two hearts. He was opening a new route – of friendship, of discipleship, of growth. He was thinking in terms of a totally different dimension – the quality was different. He was saying, “Put aside your scriptures. Your bibles are not needed, because they are only words.” The scholar, the pundit, couldn’t tolerate it. Jesus was crucified.
He could only find simple people: a fisherman, a woodcutter, a shoemaker – simple men. All his disciples, except Judas, were uneducated. Only Judas was really a cultured, refined gentleman, and he sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. This cultured, refined Judas betrayed him, and Jesus knew that if anybody could betray him, it was Judas. Why? – because the heart can be betrayed only by the head. Love can only be betrayed by logic; nothing else can betray.
So this is the second thing to remember before I enter the story; that through logic, through the head, argumentativeness, you become alien, strangers to each other; the bridge between is lost. How can you reach to the truth when you cannot understand the other, when you are not even capable of listening to him, when your mind goes on and on inside arguing, fighting? You are violent, aggressive. This aggression will not help.
So all debates are futile, they never lead anywhere. Even if you feel that a conclusion is reached, the conclusion is forced; it is not reached through discussion. You can silence the other, but conviction never comes out of it, never. And I say it categorically: never. If you have some logical tricks, you can silence the other. He may not be able to answer you. You know more than he knows. You know more tricks than he knows. You can put him in a corner through words and reasoning, and he is unable to answer. But this is not the way to convince him. Deep down he knows that, “Some day I will find more tricks and put you right in your place. Right now I cannot answer. Okay, I accept defeat.” He is defeated but not won over.
And these are two different things. When you win a heart, he is not defeated – he is happy. He is victorious in your victory, he participates. It is not your victory – truth has won, and you both can celebrate. But when you defeat a person, he is never won over; he remains the enemy. Deep down he is waiting for the right moment when he can assert himself.
No debate can become a conviction. And if conviction is not reached, where is the conclusion? The conclusion is forced, it is always premature. It is just like an abortion, it is not a natural birth. You have forced – a dead child is born or a crippled child, who is going to remain crippled, weak and dead his whole life.
Socrates used to say, “I am a midwife, I help natural birth.” A master is a midwife. He is not going to force because a forced birth cannot be a real birth. It is more like death and less like life.
So a master is never argumentative. And if sometimes he appears to be argumentative, he is just playing with you – and playing for a certain reason. Don’t become a victim. He is playing for a certain reason; he can be argumentative just to find whether your argumentativeness is aroused or not. If it is aroused, you have missed. If you can listen to his argumentativeness without becoming argumentative, he will not play the game with you. He has to look within you. You may be consciously listening, unconsciously argumentative. Then he has to bring your unconscious up so that you can become aware of it.
Sometimes a master will look as if he is aggressive, as if he is bent upon defeating you. But he is never bent upon defeating you – just defeating your ego, not you; just to destroy your ego, not you. And remember: the ego is the poison, it is destroying you. Once the poison is destroyed, you will be free and alive for the first time. And the abundance of light will happen to you for the first time. He is destroying the disease, not you.
Sometimes he may have to be argumentative. There have been masters who were very argumentative. It was impossible to defeat them, impossible to play the game of words with them. But they were just helping to bring your unconscious up, so that you can become aware whether your faith is true or not.
It happened…

A Sufi, Junnaid, was living with his master. And the master was so argumentative that whatsoever you would say, he would immediately negate it. If you would say, “It is day,” he would say, “No, it is night” – and it was really not so, it was day.
Whatsoever Junnaid would say, he would always find that the master would negate it. And he would simply bow down his head and say, “Yes, Master, it is night.”
One day the master said, “Junnaid, you have won. I couldn’t create argumentativeness in you. And I was so obviously false that anybody who had never argued anything would say, “What foolishness. It is day. There is no need to argue, it is so obvious.” And still you said, “Yes, Master, it is night.” Your trust is deep. Now I will never be argumentative with you, now I can talk truth because you are ready.”

When the heart says yes totally, then you are ready to listen. And only then the truth can be revealed to you. If even a slight “no” remains within you, the truth cannot be said to you, because that “no” will destroy the whole thing. The “no,” howsoever small, is powerful, very powerful; then the truth will be said, but it will not be revealed to you. The “no” will hide it again.
That’s why I say all debates are futile. And that’s why I go on repeating again and again that the whole effort of philosophy has been useless. It has not reached any conclusion – it cannot reach.
I will tell you one story, then I will enter this Zen anecdote.
Once it happened…

A great prime minister of a very great emperor died. The prime minister was rare, very intelligent, almost wise, very cunning, shrewd, a great diplomat, and it was very difficult to find a substitute. The whole kingdom was searched. All the ministers were sent to find at least three people; then the final decision will be taken, and one of them will be chosen.
For months the search was on. The whole kingdom was searched; every nook and corner was searched. Then three people were found. One was a great scientist, a great mathematician. He could solve any mathematical problem, and mathematics is really the only positive science – all sciences are its branches – so he was at the root.
Another was a great philosopher, he was a great system-maker: out of nothing he could create all. Just out of words, he could create such beautiful systems – it is a miracle, only philosophers can do it. They have nothing in their hands; they are the greatest magicians. They create God, they create the theory of creation, they create everything – and nothing is there in their hands. But they are clever artisans of words: they join words together in such a way that they give you a feeling of substance – and nothing is there.
And the third one was a religious man, a man of faith, prayerfulness, devotion. And the people who were searching for these three men must have been very wise because they had found these three.
These three represent the three dimensions of consciousness. These are the only possibilities: a man of science, a man of philosophy, and a man of religion – these are the basis. A man of science is concerned with experiments: unless something is proved through experiment, it is not proved. He is empirical, experimental; his truth is the truth of experiment.
A man of philosophy is a man of logic, not of experiments. Experiment is not the question; just through logic he proves, disproves. He is a pure man, purer than the scientist because the scientist has to bring experiments in, then the laboratory comes in. A man of philosophy works without a lab – just in the mind, with logic, with mathematics. His whole lab is in his mind. He can prove and disprove just through logical arguments. He can solve any riddle, or he can create any type of riddle.
And the third is the religious dimension. This man does not look at life as a problem. Life is not a problem for a religious man. It is nothing to be solved, it is something to be lived.
The religious man is the man of experience, the scientist is the man of experiment, the philosopher is the man of thinking. The religious is the man of experience, he looks at life as something to be lived. If there is any solution, it will come through experience, it will come through living. Nothing can be decided beforehand through logic, because life is greater than logic. Logic is just a bubble in the vast ocean of life, so it cannot explain all. And experiments can be done only when you are detached, experiments can be done only with objects.
Life is not an object, it is the very core of subjectivity. When you experiment, you are different; when you live, you are one. The religious man says, “Unless you are one with life, you can never know it.” How can you know it from the outside? You may go about and about, around and around, but you will never hit the target. So neither experiment, nor thinking, but experience; simple, trusting – a man of faith.
They searched, and they found these three men, and then they were called to the capital for the final judgment. The king said, “For three days rest and get ready. On the morning of the fourth day will be the examination, the final. One of you will be chosen, and he will become my prime minister – the one who is proved to be the most wise.”
They started working in their own ways. Three days were not enough! The scientist had to think of many experiments, and work it out – who knows what type of examination there is going to be? So he couldn’t sleep for three days, there was no time: and there was his whole life to sleep once he was chosen, so why bother about sleep? He would not sleep, he would not eat – there was not time enough, and many things were to be done before the examination.
The philosopher started thinking, many problems were to be solved: “Who knows what type of problem is going to be asked?” Only the religious man was at ease. He ate, and ate well. Only a religious man can eat well because eating is an offering, it is something sacred. He slept well. He would pray, sit outside, go for a walk, look at the trees, and be thankful to existence because for a religious man there is no future, and there is no final examination. Every moment is the examination, so how can you prepare for it? If something is in the future you can prepare, but if something is right now, here, how can you prepare for it? You have to face it. And there was no future.
Sometimes the scientist said, “What are you doing? Wasting time – eating, sleeping, praying. You can do your prayers later on.” But he would laugh, and he would not argue; he was not a man of argument.
The philosopher would say, “You go on sleeping, you go on sitting outside in the garden, you go on looking at the trees. This is not going to help. Examination is not a child’s play, you have to be ready for it.” But he would laugh. He believed more in laughter than in logic.
And on the morning of the fourth day, when they started for the palace for the final examination, the scientist was not even in a position to walk. He was so tired with his experiments, as if all his life had oozed out. He was dead tired, as if any moment he would fall and go to sleep. His eyes were sleepy, and his mind was troubled. He was almost crazy.
And the philosopher? He was not so tired, but he was more uncertain than ever because he’d thought and thought and argued and argued, and no argument can become the conclusion. He was muddled, in a mess, he was a chaos. The day he had come, he could have answered many things, but now, no. Even his certain answers had become uncertain. The more you think, the more philosophy becomes useless. Only fools can believe in certainties. The more you think, the more intelligence comes to you, you can see that these are all just words, there is no substance. Many times he wanted to go back because this was not going to be of any use. He was not in the right shape. But the scientist said, “Come on! Let us try. What are we going to lose? If we win, it is okay. If we don’t win, it is okay. But let us try. Don’t be so discouraged.”
Only the religious man was walking happily, singing. He could hear the birds in the trees, he could see the sun rising, he could see the sunrays on the dewdrops. The whole life was such a miracle. He was not worried because there was no examination – he would go and face the thing, he would simply go and see what happens. And he was not asking for anything, he was not expecting, he was fresh, young, alive – and that’s all. That’s how one should approach existence; not with readymade formulas, not with readymade theories, not with many experimental research works, not with many PhD’s. No, it is not going to help. This is the way one should go – singing and dancing to the temple. And if you are alive, then whatsoever comes you can respond to it because response is through life, it is through the heart, and the heart is ready when it is singing, when it is dancing.
They arrived. The emperor had made a very special device. They were taken into a room where he had fixed a lock, a mathematical puzzle. Many figures were on the lock, but there was no key. Those figures were to be fixed in a certain way: the secret was there, but one had to search for it and find it. And if those figures were fixed in a certain way, the door would open. The emperor took them in and said, “This is a mathematical puzzle, one of the greatest ever known. Now you have to find the clue – there is no key. If you can find the clue, the answer to this mathematical problem, the lock will open. And the person who comes out of this room first will be chosen. So now start.” He closed the door and went out.
Immediately the scientist started working on paper: many experiments, many things, many problems. He watched, observed the figures on the lock. There was no time to lose, it was a question of life and death. The philosopher closed his eyes, started thinking in mathematical terms what to do, how this puzzle can be solved. The puzzle was absolutely new.
That is the problem with the mind: if something is old, the answer can be found, but if something is absolutely new, how can you work it out through the mind? The mind is quite efficient with the old, the known, the routine. Mind is absolutely inefficient when the unknown faces it.
The religious man never went to the lock, because what can he do? He does not know any mathematics, he does not know any experimental science. What can he do? He just sat in a corner. He sang a little, prayed to God closed his eyes. Those two others were thinking, “He is not a competitor at all. In a way it is good because the thing has to be decided between us two.” Then suddenly they became aware that he had left the room, he was not there. The door was open.
The emperor came in, and he said, “What are you doing now? It is finished. The third man is out.”
But they asked, “How? because he never did anything.”
So they asked the religious man. He said, “I was just sitting. I prayed, and I was just sitting, and a voice said within me, ‘You fool, just go and see. The door is not locked.’ And I just went to the door, it was not locked. There was no problem at all to be solved, so I went out.”

Life is not a problem. If you are trying to solve it, you will miss it. The door is open, it has never been locked. If the door was locked, then scientists would find the solution. If the door was locked, then philosophers may find a system to open it. But the door is not locked, so only faith can go – without any solution, without any readymade answer. Push the door open and get out.
Life is not a riddle to be solved, it is a mystery to be lived. It is a deep mystery to trust and allow yourself to enter into it. No debate can be of any help – with somebody else, or with yourself inside the mind – no debate. All debates are futile and stupid.
Now we will enter this beautiful story:
There is an old tradition in some Japanese temples that if a wandering monk can win an argument about Buddhism with one of the resident monks, he can stay the night. If not, he has to move on.
Arguments can give you this much – a night’s shelter, but that’s all.
There was such a temple in northern Japan run by two brothers. The elder brother was very learned, and the younger brother was rather stupid, and he had only one eye.
Two types of people are needed to run a temple: a learned person and a very stupid one. And this is how all temples are run – two types of people: the learned who have become the priests, and the stupid who follow them. This is how every temple is run.
These stories are not just stories, they are indications to particular facts. If stupid people disappear from the earth, there will be no temples. If learned people disappear from the temples, there will be no temples. A duality is needed for a temple to exist. That’s why you cannot find godliness in a temple – because you cannot find it in a duality.
These temples are inventions of the clever people to exploit the stupid. All temples are inventions – clever people exploiting… They have become the priests. Priests are the most clever people, they are the greatest exploiters, and they exploit in such a way that you cannot even revolt against them. They exploit you for your own sake, they exploit you for your own good. Priests are the most clever because they spin theories out of nothing: all the theologies, all that they have created – tremendous! Cleverness is needed to create religious theories. And they go on creating such big edifices that it is almost impossible for an ordinary man to enter into those edifices. And they use such jargon, they use such technical terms that you cannot understand what they are talking about. And when you cannot understand, you think they are very profound. Whenever you cannot understand a thing, you think it is very profound – “It is beyond me.”
Remember this: Buddha speaks in a very ordinary language which can be understood by anybody. It is not the language of a priest. Jesus speaks in small parables – any uneducated man can understand it – he never uses any religious jargon. Mahavira talks, gives his teachings, in the language of the most ordinary and common people.
Mahavira and Buddha never used Sanskrit, never, because Sanskrit was the language of the priest, the brahmin. Sanskrit is the most difficult language. Priests have made it so difficult – they have polished and polished and polished. The very word sanskrit means polishing, refining. They have refined it to such a pitch that only if you are very, very learned can you understand what they are saying, otherwise it is beyond.
Buddha used the language of the people, Pali. Pali was the language of the people, of the villagers. Mahavira used Prakrit. Prakrit is the unrefined form of Sanskrit; Prakrit is the natural form of Sanskrit – no grammar, not much. The scholar has not entered yet, he has not refined the words so they become beyond common people. But priests have been using Sanskrit, they still use it. Nobody understands Sanskrit now, but they go on using Sanskrit because their whole profession depends on creating a gap, not a bridge – in creating a gap. If the common people cannot understand, only then the priests can survive. If the common people understand what they are saying, they are lost because they are saying nothing.

Once Mulla Nasruddin went to a doctor – and doctors have learned the trick from the priests: they write in Latin and Greek, and they write in such a way that if even they have to read it again, it is difficult. Nobody should understand what they are writing. So Mulla Nasruddin went to a doctor, and he said, “Listen, be plain. Just tell me the facts. Don’t use Latin and Greek.”
The doctor said, “If you insist, and if you allow me to be frank, you are not ill at all. You are just plain lazy.”
Nasruddin said, “Okay, thank you. Now write it in Greek and Latin, so I can show it to my family.”

The clever have always been exploiting the common people. That’s why Buddha, Jesus and Mahavira were never respected by brahmins, scholars, clever ones because they were destructive, they were destroying their whole business. If people understand, then there is no need for the priest. Why? – because the priest is a mediator. He understands the language of God. He understands your language. He translates your language into the language of God. That’s why they say Sanskrit is dev-bhasha, the language of God: “You don’t know Sanskrit? – I know, so I become the intermediate link, I become the interpreter. You tell me what you want, and I will say it in Sanskrit to God because he understands only Sanskrit.” And of course you have to pay for it.
These are the two types which are needed for a temple. There was such a temple…run by two brothers. The elder brother was very learned, and the younger brother was rather stupid, and he had only one eye.
What is the symbolism of one eye in this story? A stupid person is always one-pointed: he never hesitates, he is always certain. And a learned person is always dual: he hesitates, he continuously divides himself into two. He is always arguing within, a dialogue continues inside; he knows both the sides.
A learned man is duality – two eyes. A stupid man is one-eyed – he is always certain, he has no arguments, he is not divided. That’s why, if you look at a stupid person, a stupid person looks more like a saint than a learned man. If you look at a saint, he will have something similar in him also – of the stupid, of the fool. The quality differs, but something is the same; the label differs. The fool is just on the first rung, and the saint is on the last rung, but both are at the ends of the ladder. The fool does not know, that’s why he is simple, one-eyed. The saint knows, that’s why he is simple. He is also one-eyed; he calls it the third eye. The two eyes have disappeared into the third. He is also one-eyed – one. He is a unity, and a fool is also a unity. But what is the difference?
Ignorance also has an innocence about it, just like wisdom has an innocence about it. The learned is just in between: he is ignorant and thinks he is wise. This is the division of the learned man: he is ignorant and thinks he is wise. He is neither at this level nor at that, he hangs in between. That’s why he is always in tension. An ignorant man is relaxed, a wise man is relaxed. The ignorant man has not started his travels, he is at home. The wise man has reached the goal, he is at home. The learned is in between, seeking shelter in some monastery – even for one night, it is okay – he is in wandering.
Buddhist bhikkus have been wanderers, and Buddha has said, “Be a wanderer until you reach. Be a wanderer. Not only inside but outside also, be a wanderer until you reach. Don’t stop before.” When you have reached, when you have become a siddha, a buddha, then you are allowed to sit.
Ignorance and wisdom have a quality about them which is similar – that is innocence; neither is cunning. Sometimes it has happened that a man of godliness has been known as a foolish man, a fool – God’s fool. Saint Francis is known as God’s fool. He was! But to be God’s fool is the greatest wisdom possible because the ego is lost. You don’t say that you know, for you aren’t a fool because you don’t claim knowledge. If you don’t claim, who is going to accept that you are a knower? Even if you do claim, nobody accepts. You have to hammer it on others’ heads. You have to make them silent, argue it. When they cannot say anything, then with a grudging heart they accept that maybe, maybe you are. But they will always say, “Maybe.” They will keep the possibility open that some day they can deny it.
And if you don’t claim, who is going to accept you? And if you say yourself, “I am ignorant, I know nothing,” who is going to think that you are a knower? People will accept immediately if you say, “I don’t know.” They will accept it immediately; they will say, “We knew it before. We accept it, we totally agree with you that you don’t know.”
God’s fool! If you read one of the great novels of Dostoevsky, then you will feel what this God’s fool means. Dostoevsky always has in his many novels one character who is the God’s fool. In Brothers Karamazov he is there. He is innocent, you can exploit him. Even if you exploit him, he will trust you. You can destroy him, but you cannot destroy his trust – that is the beauty.
What happens to you? If one man deceives you, the whole of humanity becomes the deceiver. If one man deceives you, you have lost your trust in man – not with this man, but with the whole of humanity. If two or three persons deceive you, you make the judgment that there is no man worth believing. All trust is gone.
It seems that you wanted from the very beginning not to trust, and only these two or three people have given you the excuse. Otherwise, you will say, “This man is not trustworthy, but the whole of humanity? I don’t know, so I must trust unless the contrary is proved.” And if you are really a trusting man, you will say, “Not only is this man totally untrustworthy this moment, this man was untrustworthy, but the next moment who knows? Because saints become sinners, sinners become saints.”
Life is a movement. Nothing is static. At this moment the man was weak, but in the next moment he may gain control and will not deceive again. So the next day he comes, you will believe him again because this day is different, this man is different; the Ganges has flowed so much, it is not the same river.
Once it happened…

A man came to Mulla Nasruddin and asked for some money. Nasruddin knew this man, knew well that this money was not going to be returned, but it was such a small sum that he thought, “Let him take it; even if he is not going to return it, nothing is lost. So for such a small sum, why say no?” So he gave him the money.
After three days the man returned. Nasruddin was surprised. It seemed impossible, it was a miracle that this man had returned. After two or three days, the man came again and asked for a big sum. Nasruddin said, “Now! Last time you deceived me.” He said, “Last time you deceived me – now I am not going to allow it again.”
The man said, “What are you saying? Last time I returned the money.”
He said, “Okay, you returned it, but you deceived me because I never believed that you would return it. But this time, no. Enough is enough. Last time you behaved contrary to my expectations. But enough; now I am not going to give it to you.”
This is how the cunning mind works.

One was ignorant in this temple – a simple man, one-eyed, certain. One was a learned man, and the learned man is always tired because he is working so hard over nothing. So busy without business, he is always tired.
One evening a wandering monk came to ask for lodging. The elder brother was very tired as he had been studying for many hours…
You cannot find a learned man not tired. Go and look! Go to the pundits of Kashi and look. Always tired, always tired, working so hard with words. Remember, even a laborer is not so tired because he is working with life. When you are working only with words, futile words, just with the head, you get tired. Life is invigorating! Life rejuvenates! If you go in the garden and work, you perspire, but you are gaining more energy, you are not losing. You go for a walk, and you gain more energy because you are living in the moment. If you just close yourself in your study with words, with words you go on thinking and thinking and thinking – it is such a dead process, you will be tired. A learned man is always tired. A fool is always fresh, a saint is also always fresh. They have many similar qualities.
…so he told the younger brother to go and take the debate. “Request that the dialogue be in silence,” said the elder brother.
Because he knew that his brother was stupid. So silence is golden if you are stupid, and silence is golden if you are a saint also. If you know something, you will remain silent. If you don’t know, it is better to remain silent.
A wise man becomes silent because he knows, and whatsoever he knows cannot be said. A fool has to be silent because whatsoever he says he will be caught. A fool can deceive if he is silent, but he cannot deceive if he speaks because whatsoever comes out of him will bring his foolishness. This learned brother knew well that this younger brother was not a man of words, was a simple man, innocent, ignorant, so he said, “Request that the dialogue be in silence.”
A little later the traveler came to the elder brother and said, “What a wonderful fellow your brother is.”
This other man must have also been a learned man, and if a fool is silent, he can defeat a learned man. If you speak, you will be caught because then you enter into the world of the learned man. With words you cannot win.
This other man was also a learned man, a man of words. It would have been very difficult for him to remain silent and debate. How to discuss? If you are not allowed to speak, just use gestures, the whole thing becomes dumb, and your whole cleverness is lost because if you are not allowed to speak… That is your only efficiency. So if a learned man is to remain silent, he can be defeated by a fool also because his whole efficiency is lost – it belonged to words.
In silence he is a fool – this is the meaning. That’s why pundits will never be silent, they are always chattering. If nobody is there, they are chattering with themselves, but they are chattering. They go on talking and talking and talking, within and without, because through this talking their efficiency grows greater and greater, they become more and more proficient. But if they encounter silence, suddenly all their art is gone. They are more stupid than a stupid man. Even a stupid man can defeat them. They are out of their professional world, they are simply switched off. He must have been in very great difficulty.
He said,
“What a wonderful fellow your brother is. He has won the debate very cleverly, so I must move on. Good night.”
If you encounter a learned man, remain silent. Face him with gestures. You will defeat him because he knows nothing about gestures, he knows nothing about silence. Really it is very difficult for him to remain without words. The traveler immediately thought that he had been defeated – he must move on and reach another monastery before it is too late and find a fellow who can debate with him in words, intellectually.
Gestures are alive; when you move your hand, your whole being moves it. When you look with your eyes, your whole being pours through them. When you walk, you walk as a whole man. Your legs cannot walk by themselves, but your head can go on spinning and spinning by itself. The head can become autonomous. No other part of the body can become autonomous. So if you want to study a man, don’t listen to what he says. Rather, look how he behaves, how he comes in the room, how he sits, how he walks, how he looks. Look at his gestures, they will reveal the truth.
Words are deceivers. We talk not to reveal but to hide. So be silent and look at a person – how he stands, how he sits, how he looks, what gestures he is making. Body language is truer than your head language. And body language is very, very natural; it comes from the very source, so it is very difficult to deceive through it. You may be saying something, but your face goes on saying something else. You may be saying, “I am right,” but your eyes, your very manner, the way you are standing, says that you know you are wrong. You may be showing through your words that you are confident, but your whole body gives a tremble and shows that you are not confident.
When a thief enters, he enters in a different way. When a liar appears, he appears in a different way. When a man of truth walks, he walks differently. He has nothing to hide, he has no reason to deceive. He is true, his walk is innocent. Just do something that you have to hide, then watch yourself – your body will say everything is different. Even while walking you are hiding something. Your stomach is strained, you are alert, your eyes are looking everywhere to see if somebody is looking or not, whether you are caught or not. Your eyes are sly, they are not pools of innocence – cunning. Watch your body movements, they will give you a truer picture of yourself. Don’t listen to words.
This I have to do continuously. People come to me with all sorts of deceptions. I have to look at their gestures, not at what they say. They may be touching my feet, but their whole gesture is showing ego, so that touching of feet is useless. They are manipulating it. They are not only deceiving me, they are deceiving themselves. Their whole gesture says, “Ego!” and whatsoever they say through words is humbleness.
You cannot deceive through the body; your body is truer than your mind. And all the religions which have been invented by the priests say to you, “Be against the body, and be with the mind” – because a priest lives in the mind, exploits through the mind. With the body it is impossible to exploit; the body is authentic. Centuries of inauthentic living have not been able to destroy the authenticity of the body. The body remains authentic, it shows clearly who you are.
“He has won the debate very cleverly, I must move on. Good night.”

“Before you go,” said the elder brother, “please relate the dialogue to me.”
He must have been puzzled. How could this stupid brother of his be clever? What has happened? He is a perfect fool – how could he discuss, how could he debate, how could he have won? So he asked,
“Before you go, please relate the dialogue to me.”

“Well,” said the traveler, “first I held up one finger to represent Buddha.”
Because a man of learning, even while he is making gestures, uses gestures as words because he knows only one language. If he kisses his beloved, inside he will say the word kiss. This is foolishness; you are kissing, there is no need to repeat “kiss” inside, but he will. You watch yourself: while making love, you will say inside, “I am making love.” What nonsense! Nobody is asking you. Nobody is there to be told. Why do you go on repeating? Whenever you do something, why do you verbalize it? Because without verbalizing, you are not at ease. You are at ease only with words. With God you cannot be at ease. With the word god, it is okay – that’s why a man of learning will go to the temple, to the mosque, to the church; there also he goes on chattering. He will chatter with God – but words.
Søren Kierkegaard has said, “When I first entered the church, I used to talk. I used to say things, complain, pray. But then, by and by, it felt foolish. I am talking to him, and I am not giving him any chance, any opportunity for him to talk to me. And it is better to listen; when you are before God, it is better to listen.” So he dropped talking. By and by, he dropped all prayer. He would just go into the church and sit silently, but in his silence there were also words inside. He was not using them outside, but inside they were revolving.
So by and by, he had to drop the words inside also – only then does listening become possible. Then you enter a totally different dimension of listening, of passivity, of receptivity. You become a womb. Then you can receive the truth – then you are not talking, then you are not aggressive. Only then is existence working, and you are allowing him to work. Then he became absolutely silent; then he stopped going to the church.
Somebody asked, “Why? Why have you stopped going to church?”
He said, “Now I have learned what church means; it only means to be silent and to be listening. That can be done anywhere, and it is better to do it somewhere else because many other people go there to the church chattering. They disturb me. It is better under a tree. It is better under the sky.”
The church is greater there, more natural. And if you have to be silent, then existence is everywhere. If you have to talk, then go to the temple. But if you have to be silent, why go anywhere? It is everywhere, but you cannot be silent. You do something, and you repeat it inside. You feel hunger, and you say, “I am hungry.” Is it not enough to feel hunger? Unless you say it, you are not at ease; you have become addicted to words.
This man, a learned man, must have been really a perfectly learned man:
“Well,” he said, “first I held up one finger to represent Buddha. Then your brother held up two fingers to represent Buddha and his teaching.– the dhamma.”
A man who cannot use a gesture without words will interpret the other’s gestures also in words. Now look at the link. What is happening? And you will also link the other’s gesture to the same way you interpret your own words.
He was thinking, “This finger, one finger represents…” A finger represents nobody. A finger is enough unto itself. A finger is just a finger. Why make it a representative? It is not representative of anybody. And the finger is so beautiful, why should it represent anything? But the mind always loves secondhand things. The finger is not enough, it must represent somebody.
If you look at a flower, you cannot look at the flower directly; immediately it must represent something. So you say, “Looks just like my wife’s face.” Even the moon you say, “Looks like my beloved’s face.” What nonsense! The moon is the moon. And this man, when he looks at his beloved’s face, will say, “Looks like the moon.” Neither the moon is enough unto itself, nor the beloved’s face is enough unto itself. And everything is enough unto itself. Nobody is representing anybody.
Everybody is representing only himself. Everyone is original, unique. No one is a carbon copy. When you say the finger represents Buddha, Buddha has become the original, the finger has become the carbon copy. No! This buddha cannot allow it. I cannot allow it! The finger is so beautiful not representing anybody. And if you think your finger represents Buddha, then the other’s two fingers will represent Buddha and his dhamma – his teaching. Because you understand the other not by listening to the other, you understand the other by listening to your own mind. You interpret the other. When I say something, never believe that you have heard the same. When I say something, you hear something, but that is not related to me; it is linked with your own thought process.
His thought process was, “This finger represents Buddha.” Then when the other put up two fingers, he was blissfully unaware what he meant. You cannot understand the other if you have words inside because then everything links with your word, with your thinking process, and then it is colored. The traveler thought that he is saying two things are there, not one: Buddha and his dhamma – his teaching, his law.
“So I held up three fingers…”
– look at the link inside.
You are not communicating with the other at all. You are communicating with yourself. This is what madness means. Madness means not relating to the other, just going inside and linking your new moment with the past, the new experience with the past – interpreting, coloring it.
“So I held up three fingers…” – because if he says, “Buddha, dhamma,” I will say, “Buddha, dhamma, sanghaBuddha, his teaching, and his followers.”
There are three – these are the three Buddhist shelters. When a bhikku wants to be initiated, becomes a bhikku, he says, “Buddham sharanam gachchhami – I go, I take shelter in Buddha. Dhammam sharanam gachchhami, I take shelter in the teaching. Sangham sharanam gachchhami, I take shelter in the sangha, in the followers of Buddha.” These are the three shelters, the three jewels of Buddhism.
But this man is not looking at what the other man is doing – totally unrelated! – so he raised three fingers.
“So I held up three fingers to represent Buddha, his teaching, and his followers. Then your clever brother shook his clenched fist in my face to indicate that all these come from one realization.” With that the traveler went.

A little later the younger brother came in looking very distressed. “I understand you won the debate,” said the elder brother.

“Won nothing,” said the younger, “that traveler is a very rude man.”

“Oh!” said the elder brother, “Tell me the subject of the debate.”

“Why,” said the younger brother, “the moment he saw me, he held up one finger to insult me on having only one eye.”
You understand according to yourself: you read a book, you understand only that which you already know. And you listen, but you interpret with the past, your past comes in. A man with one eye is always aware of the wound. He is carrying a wound; everywhere he is looking for the insult. Nobody is worried about you, but if you have a feeling of inferiority, then you are looking for somebody who is going to insult you. You are certain about that, and then you will interpret. The other may be saying, “Buddha”; you will see he is showing that you have only one eye. Nobody is bothered with your eyes, but we interpret according to our understanding.

One man reached Bayazid, a Sufi mystic, and asked him a question. He said, “Come back after one year because right now you are ill. Your inside is in a turmoil, and I cannot utter the truth because you will not understand it – you will misunderstand it. So for one year try to be healthy, silent, meditative and then come back. If I feel that you can listen, then I will tell you. Otherwise, go to somebody else.”
The man listened, went away. For one year he made every effort to be healthy, silent, peaceful, but never came back again.
So Bayazid inquired, “What happened to that seeker?”
Somebody said, “We asked him, ‘Why are you not coming?’ He said, ‘Now there is no need to come because I can understand from here, where I am, what Bayazid can say.’”

This is the paradox: when you are not ready, you ask, but then nothing can be said to you. When you are ready, you don’t ask, but only then something can be said to you.
If you are one-eyed, you are always looking for insults, and if you are looking for insults, you will find them – this is the problem. If you are looking for something, this is the misfortune: you will find it. Not that anybody is insulting you; you will find it. So don’t look for such things, otherwise you will find them everywhere.
Somebody will laugh – not at you, because who are you? Why do you think yourself to be the center of the world? This is an egoist trend. You are passing down a street, and somebody laughs, and you think they are laughing at you. Why at you? Who are you? Why do you take it for granted that you are the center of the whole world? Somebody laughs – laughs at you; somebody insults – insults you; somebody is angry – angry against you.
In my whole life, I have not met a single person who was angry at me. Many people were angry, but nobody was angry at me because I am not the center of the world. Why should they be angry at me? They are angry – that is something linked with their own being, not with me. I have come across people who were even violent to me, but they were not violent to me. This violence was coming out of their past; I was not the cause of its origination. I may be the excuse, but I was not the cause. But an excuse – if I was not there, somebody else would have done the same; somebody else would have become the victim. So it is just coincidental that I was there.
When your wife gets mad at you, it is coincidental that you are there. Escape! And don’t think too much that she was angry with you. She was angry, you were there, that’s all. She would have been angry at the servant, at the child, at the piano, at anything!
Everybody lives through his own past. Only buddhas live in the present. Nobody else lives in the present.
This man thought, “Okay, so he is showing that I have only one eye. He is rude. He is insulting me, having only one eye. But because he was a stranger, I thought I would be polite.
But the moment you think you should be polite, you are not polite. How can you be? – the idea has entered: if you think the other is rude, you have become rude. It is not a question now because the very idea “the other is rude” is because your rudeness has come up. Through your rudeness the other appears rude, you have colored the other. The other is showing his finger representing Buddha, he has not even looked at your eye. He is not concerned, he just wants shelter.
A Buddha…and the interpretation: “He is showing that I have got only one eye; he is rude.” When you think about someone that he is rude, look back: you are rude. That’s why you interpret it.
But why are you rude? – because your rudeness is a way of protecting your wound. Those people who are rude are always suffering from feelings of inferiority. If a person is not in any way burdened with a complex of inferiority, he will not be rude. Rudeness is his protection. Through rudeness he protects his wound. He says, “I will not allow you to touch my wound. I will not allow you to hit me.”
He protects, but protection becomes projection. He thinks that you are rude, only then can he be rude. This is a way to be rude. First you have to prove that the other is rude, and still your ego says, “I will try to be polite.”
When you are polite, your politeness is nothing but a façade. Inside rudeness has entered. Sooner or later it will explode.
“But I thought because he was a stranger, I would be polite, so I held up two fingers to congratulate him on having two eyes.”
This is just false. How can you congratulate any person if you feel insulted? If you have one eye and the others have two, how can you congratulate? Deep down you can be jealous. How can you congratulate? How can congratulation come out of jealousy? But all your congratulations come out that way. It is a polite way, it is culture, etiquette. If you are defeated by someone, even then you congratulate him for his victory. What falseness! If you were such a person, you would not have fought at all. When you were fighting, you were the enemy, and now you are defeated, and you go and congratulate him. But deep down there is jealousy, you are boiling, you would like to kill this man. You will try – in the future, you will see!
But society needs etiquette. Why does society need etiquette? – because everybody is so violent. If there were no etiquette, we would be at each other’s throats continuously. Society has to create barriers. You should not be allowed to be at each other’s throats continuously, otherwise life would be impossible.
But you are at each other’s throats continuously. Your etiquette, your culture, your civilized ways, manners are just to hide the fact. They don’t allow a real civilization to happen. A false thing – that’s why every ten years a great war is needed in which all etiquette, all manners, all morality are thrown away, and you can run at each other’s throats without any guilt. Then killing becomes the game; the more you murder, the greater you are. The more you are rude, the greater a warrior you are.
And back in your country, you will be received as heroes; Pad-mabhushan, Mahavirchakra, the Victoria Cross will be given to you. You will receive medals. For what are these medals given? To become barbarous, to become murderers; and because you have been a great murderer, this medal is given to you by your country. And we call these countries civilized – and murderers are recognized, murderers are appreciated. But only mass-murderers; individual murder and you will be in jail, that cannot be allowed. Only sometimes when the whole society goes mad, that is war; everything is put aside, your real nature is allowed. That’s why everybody feels happy when there is a war. It should be otherwise – nobody should feel happy when there is a war. But everybody feels happy because now you are allowed to be animals. You always wanted to be that. Your culture, your etiquette, your manners are just polished ways to hide the animal behind.
This man said:
“…so I held up two fingers to congratulate him on having two eyes. At this, the impolite wretch held up three fingers to show that we had but three eyes between us…”
Whatsoever you do, your wound will come in. The other is saying, “The three jewels of Buddha,” but for you it is just the wound coming back. You tried to be polite, you tried not to be rude, you even tried to congratulate. But you are you, your mind continues.
Now he is showing three fingers. Again your mind comes in and says, “This wretch! He is saying that we have three eyes between the two of us.” Again he is showing that you have one eye. Now this is too much. Now it is enough!
“…so I got mad and threatened to punch his nose – so he went.”
He was mad from the very beginning. Before they ever met he was mad because you cannot create madness if it is not already there. You can only create things which are already there, your creation is not out of nothing. It is only that an unmanifested state becomes a manifested state. Anger is there, you need not create it. Somebody becomes the excuse – it comes up. You are not angry at him, he is not the cause. You were carrying the anger – he has become the excuse. Madness is inside; nobody can make you mad if you are not mad already. But we always think that somebody makes us angry, somebody makes us depressed, somebody makes us this and that.
Nobody makes you anything. Even if you are left alone, you will be mad, you will be angry. Even if the whole world disappears, there will be moments when you will be sad, there will be moments when you will be happy, there will be moments when you will be angry, there will be moments when you will be very forgiving – although there is nobody.
It is your inner story that unfolds. This is what a man of understanding comes to realize – that the whole thing is an unfoldment of me. You just give me the opportunity, the situation, but the whole thing is an unfoldment of me.
A seed falls on the ground, sprouts, a tree starts growing. The soil, the air, the rains, the sun, are all just giving the opportunity, but the tree was hidden in the seed. You carry the whole tree of your unfoldment; everybody else becomes the opportunity. Whenever anything happens, don’t look out, look within because the thing as it is happening is linked with your past, not with the person here.
“…I got mad and threatened to punch his nose – so he went.”

The elder brother laughed.
The elder brother could see both standpoints. He could see that the learned wanderer never talked to this man, never gestured to this man. He could see this stupid brother never understood what was gestured. They remained untouched – the abyss was there, no bridge. They debated, they concluded. One was defeated, one has become victorious, and they never met – not for a single moment. He laughed.
This laughter can become enlightenment. This laughter can become a profound understanding, a transformation. If this laughter is not about the stupidity of this brother or the stupidity of that wanderer, if this laughter is about the whole situation: how the head functions, how two heads can never meet, how two pasts can never meet, how two minds always remain separate – there is no way for them to meet and mingle into each other. If he laughs at the whole situation, not at this brother or at that learned wanderer – because if he laughs at this brother or at that learned wanderer, this laughter cannot become enlightenment, he will remain the same – but if he laughs at the whole situation: how the mind functions, how the mind argues, how the mind goes on within itself, never moving out, how the mind is always closed, it is never open, how the mind is just an inner dream, a nightmare…
If he understands that, this laughter will become a shattering. The pail, the whole pail will fall down, the water will flow out – no water, no moon.
Enough for today.

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