The True Sage 09

Ninth Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - The True Sage by Osho.
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A story called:
True Wisdom
One day the Rabbi of Zans
was standing at the window and looking into the street.
Seeing a passerby, he knocked on the windowpane
and signed to the man to come into the house.

When the stranger entered the room, Rabbi Hayyim asked him,
“Tell me, if you found a purse full of ducats,
would you return it to its owner?”
“Rabbi,” said the man, “if I knew the owner
I should return the purse without a moment’s delay.”
“You are a fool,” said the Rabbi of Zans.

Then he resumed his position at the window,
called another passerby, and put the same question to him.
“I am not such a fool as to give up a purse full of money
that has come my way,” said the man.
“You’re a bad lot,” said the Rabbi of Zans,
and called in a third man.

He replied, “Rabbi, how can I know
on what rung I shall be when I find the purse,
or whether I shall succeed in fending off the evil urge?
Perhaps it will get the better of me
and I shall appropriate what belongs to another.
But perhaps God, blessed be he,
will help me to fight it and in that case
I shall return what I have found to its rightful owner.”
“These are good words,” cried the zaddik.
“You are a true sage.”
Man is a machine. He is born, lives, loves, dies, but not as a man. He is born, lives, loves, dies just like a machine: he is not conscious. Everything happens, he is not the doer. He has no will of his own but he believes that he is the doer, he believes that he has willpower, a will of his own. He believes that he is. This is the greatest stupidity possible, the base of all ignorance. He never becomes aware of the true situation because of this belief.
Man, ordinarily, is only in two states: asleep with closed eyes and asleep with open eyes, and continuously an undercurrent of dreaming goes on.
To say, “I am” is not true in the ordinary state of humanity because there are many “I”s within you. You don’t have a single “I,” you don’t have a single center of reference. One mood comes and goes, another mood comes and goes, and with each mood, a separate “I” dominates you.
When you are angry, it is not the same “I” as it was when you were in love. A totally different personality takes possession of you. Many times you suspect it, many times you have been angry and said, “In spite of myself, I was angry.” What do you mean when you say “in spite of myself”? Then who was angry? You have suspected rightly that the “I” that you are ordinarily identified with was not in power. Somebody else, a vagrant “I,” a vagabond “I,” an unusual “I” dominated you.

Just a few days before, a sannyasin came to me and she was very happy that she had fallen in love and that she had found a love. She was ecstatic, asked if I would give her a Tantra technique so that she could move into deeper orgasmic states of love.
I looked into her and I said, “Wait for seven days. Next time you come, bring your lover with you.”
She came after a week, but she said, “We have quarreled and separated.”
So I asked, “What about the Tantra technique? I am ready to give it to you.”
She said, “But now I have no lover.” And she was so sad and so depressed, and not even suspecting what had happened.

When you fall in love, you believe in it, you think something permanent has happened in your being. Then you are sad, then you believe that. You are such a great believer you never suspect for a single moment that these are moods and they pass just as clouds pass in the sky, and they go on flowing just like a river flows. Nothing is permanent in you. How can you say, “I am”? That will be a falsity. To assert, “I am,” is to say a lie; you cannot say it. You are many “I”s, a thousand and one egos within you, a crowd, a multiplicity; you are poly-psychic.
You are just like a wheel. Think of a wheel of a bullock cart moving: one spoke comes up, then it goes down, another comes up, then too is on the way down; and the wheel goes on moving and every moment a different spoke comes up. You are like a wheel: you go on moving, and there are many spokes which you call “I”s. When one “I” comes up, you get identified with it. When you are angry, you don’t see that anger is like a cloud surrounding you. You become one with it, the mood takes total possession of you, you are possessed by it. Then it is not good to say, “I am angry.” It would be better if you say, “I am anger.” When love possesses you, you become love. Don’t say, “I am in love.” You are love.
You get so identified with the mood that your separate identity, your separate being is no longer there. This goes on continuously from the moment you are born to the moment you die. You become a young man and you think you are young – and you know that the body is changing every moment. Then you become old and then you think, “I am old.” In youth you were jubilant that you were young, full of energy. In old age you are sad and depressed because now the energy has gone. While alive you think you are the body and when death comes, then you say, “I am dying.” Whatsoever happens you become identified with it.
This is the state of affairs of a humanity which is fast asleep. That’s why it cannot be said that you are man yet. You are a mechanism. The man will be born within you when you become conscious of the whole mechanism and don’t get identified – when you can see anger coming, you can see anger surrounding you, you can see anger all around you and yet you remain a watcher on the hill.
Go on watching: a cloud has come, there is a fog all around, but remain separate. You know well, “I am the knower and not the known.” You know well, “I am the witness and not the witnessed.” You know well that infinite distance exists between you and that which surrounds you. It may be touching you, but infinite distance exists because the known can never touch the knower, the seen can never touch the seer. The seer transcends, the seer is the very transcendence.
Just a few days before I was telling you that there are three ordinary types of man. Man number one is identified with his body; man number two is identified with his feelings, emotions; man number three is identified with his mind, thinking, thoughts – and all three are asleep. Their sleep may be different. One sleeps in the body, another sleeps in the emotions, the third sleeps in his thoughts, but the sleep is the same and the quality is of unconscious stupor.
Then there is the fourth man, man number four: he becomes alert. He watches his body but is not identified with it, he uses his body but is never lost in it. He remains aloof, detached, distant. He uses his feelings. Many times he is surrounded by his feelings but he is never overpowered. He remains separate; thoughts are there, the mind goes on functioning and creating thoughts, but man number four remains alert. Body, mind, heart – they all function. They function even better than they otherwise function in you because there is no disturbance from the innermost being. But the innermost being remains aloof. This is man number four.
Man number four is what I mean by a sannyasin. There is no need to go anywhere. Wherever you are become aware, and then and there sannyas starts functioning. It is not a question of changing places, it is a question of changing the inner attitude. You remain in the body but you know now that you are not the body. And once the number four is there, man is born.
You are born only with a potentiality to be a man, you are not born as a man. You are only born with the capacity to become a man. You can become, you may not become; you can miss the whole point, you can go on round and round and never reach and penetrate the center of your being. But if awareness arises and you become watchful, man is born. Hindus have called this state dwij, the state of the twice-born.
The first birth is through the parents, mother and father. The second birth is through awareness. That is the real birth because the first birth will culminate in death, the second birth never culminates in death. So the first birth is a birth only in name; in fact it is a way to death.
You have been dying since the day you were born. One day the whole process will be completed, so your birth was nothing but entry into death. You may take seventy years, eighty years to reach but you have been walking toward death every moment of your life. Only when you are twice-born, dwij, when the next birth has happened and man is born within you, man number four – suddenly you know there is no death.
Death exists only with identification. If you are identified with the body, you will die because the body is not you. It has to be left some day. You cannot remain in it forever and forever, it is a passing phase. It is just a milestone, not the goal: you can rest a little while under the shade of a tree but one has to go.
You can get identified with the emotions but then there will be death, and you know it. The body dies once in seventy years, emotions die every day, every moment. You love a person and then there is a death: you don’t love, the mood has gone, you feel a subtle death happening. You were friendly with a person, now the friendliness has disappeared – a death. Every moment you die in your emotions, and thoughts are even faster in dying. You cannot keep a single thought in your mind for a few seconds; it is trying to escape. Try; just try to keep one single thought for a few minutes. It will not be there, it is already gone; it is trying to escape.
Mind is dying continuously every moment. The heart is dying continuously every hour, the body is also dying continuously but a continuity remains for seventy, eighty years. These three are the identifications.
The fourth consciousness arises when you are not identified. One more thing about this…
There are four ways to reach godliness. One is to make an effort through the body to reach; that’s what Hatha yogis have been doing. It is not a true way. Something can be achieved through it because finally the body also belongs to existence, but it is not your totality. Gurdjieff has called this “the way of the fakir.”
You can see in India many fakirs and you may also be impressed by their attainments. They attain to certain powers; for example, you can come across a fakir who has been standing for ten, twenty years continuously. He has never allowed his body to rest, to sit down or to sleep. He has been standing. Even if he has to sleep, he sleeps standing. Now his body has become almost rigid, paralyzed. Now it cannot move, the flexibility is lost. But you will see certain powers in him because he has attained to a very lower kind of will.
To stand for ten years continuously needs will. Just try for ten days then you will know, just try for ten hours and you will know, just try for ten minutes – not moving, just standing – and you will know that. A thousand and one problems arise and the mind says, “What are you doing? Drop this whole nonsense. Everybody is enjoying and what are you doing just standing like a fool?”
Ten years not moving, a certain will – of course, a very lower kind of will concerned with the body, very materialistic – but a will arises. The man attains to a certain crystallization, he can do a few things. He can heal, he can touch your body and a healing power will be possible to flow toward you through his body. He can bless, he can curse, and whatsoever he says will come to pass because a man who has remained ten years standing has attained to an intensity. If he says something, those words become very potential and powerful, atomic; they carry energy.
If he curses you, the curse is going to happen, if he blesses you the blessing will be there. But this man himself will remain on a very low rung of being. If you look into his eyes, you will not see intelligence. He will be a stupid type of saint, nothing of the higher, but a crystallization of the lower will be there. You can feel certain vibrations around him, very powerful, but not of intelligence, not of awareness – not of meditation but of concentration.
He can live long: a hundred years, two hundred years will not be very difficult for him because his body will follow him; whatsoever he wants to do with the body he can do. But it is nothing of the spiritual, it is nothing of the religious. If you try through the body, you are trying the lowest possibility within you.
If a fakir is fortunate, then he may get the guidance of a master who can pull him out of his body; otherwise he will die deep in his body. And next life everything is lost again because unless something is attained in consciousness, it cannot be permanent with you. The body will change; whatsoever you have attained with this body will be lost with the next.
You may be a Mohammed Ali but you cannot carry the body to the next birth. This body will be left here. You may be a beautiful man, you may be a beautiful woman, a Cleopatra, but this body has to be left here and all that has been attained through the body and with the body will be lost. Unless the fakir is fortunate enough to come under the guidance of a master, he cannot be pulled out of his body. In India, it has been one of the compassions of the masters.
You must have heard…

There are ancient stories that in India masters used to travel all around the country. On the surface it looked as if they were great intellectuals: a Shankaracharya, a Ramanuja, a Vallabha, a Nimbark, a Buddha, a Mahavira. On the surface it looked as if they were going to convert people. That was just a superficial thing; deep down they were doing many things. One of the most important things was to look after fakirs, to go from town to town because those fakirs couldn’t come to them. They were so deep-rooted in their bodies and they had lost all intelligence. They were not bad people. They were ignorant but powerful, and if their power could be released they could suddenly jump to a higher rung of their being.
Meher Baba, in this age, did such a work. He traveled all around the country for years just looking after fakirs. Wherever he would hear of a fakir – a good man, a very good man, but ignorant – he would go to bring him out of his stupor.

Then there is the second. Gurdjieff has called it “the way of the monk.” You can call it the way of the devotee, bhakti marg. The first is Hatha yoga; the second is bhakti marg, the way of the monk.
The way of the monk is to move toward the divine through feelings: prayer, crying, weeping, in a deep love, affection, in deep thirst to move toward godliness. This type of man gets involved in the emotions. He achieves a greater stage, a higher stage than the first, the fakir, but still he is caught. Somebody is needed to bring him out of that also.
Then there is the third way, the way of the yogi, one who works through the intellect, who works through thinking: the way of the philosopher, intellectual. He attains still a higher stage but then he gets caught. All three get caught.
Only the fourth goes beyond and is never caught. That’s why Gurdjieff has called his path “the fourth way.” It is significant to understand because the Hasid path is also the fourth way. Hasidism, the Hasidic approach also belongs to the fourth.
Body, feeling, mind all have to be transcended and one has to become just alert, alert to all that happens within and without. The only key for the fourth way is to be mindful, to be aware, to witness, to see into things and not get identified.
Now listen to this story. This beautiful story belongs to the fourth way.
One day the Rabbi of Zans
was standing at the window and looking into the street.
Seeing a passerby, he knocked on the windowpane
and signed to the man to come into the house.

When the stranger entered the room, Rabbi Hayyim asked him,
“Tell me, if you found a purse full of ducats,
would you return it to its owner?”
A very simple question, but not so simple. The man was deceived by the simplicity. “Tell me, if you found a purse full of ducats, would you return it to its owner?”
The man must have thought that the rabbi is asking a moral question – that’s how he was deceived. The rabbi is not asking a moral question. A really religious man is never bothered about morality because morality is nothing but a game. One has to play the rules of the game because one has to live with many people. The morality is because you have to relate with so many people. It has nothing to do with your essence; it has something to do with your relations.
For example, if you alone are on the earth and you find a purse full of ducats and gold and money, will it be immoral to keep it? If you are alone on the earth, then the question of morality–immorality does not arise. If you are alone on the earth, can you be a thief? It is impossible because to steal you need somebody else to be there, to rob you need somebody else to be there. If you are alone on the earth, you cannot be a thief, you cannot be a robber. If you are alone on the earth, can you lie? It is impossible. To whom will you lie? To lie, somebody else is needed.
Morality is always in relationship, and religion is something that you do with your aloneness. So the rabbi is not asking a moral question. He is asking a very important, significant question about your inner being.
He asked: “Tell me, if you found a purse full of ducats, would you return it to its owner?” The formulation is moralistic. That’s how the man was deceived. He said:
“Rabbi,” said the man, “if I knew the owner,
I should return the purse without a moment’s delay.”
That’s how everybody is: if it is a theoretical question there is no problem, you are always moral. In theory everybody is moral. The question arises only when a thing becomes really real.
Sometimes you even become immoral in theory…

I used to know a man in my village; he was a doctor but he had failed as a doctor, his practice had not been good at all. He had always been poor. His whole personality was such that nobody would think that he was a doctor. A doctor has to look a doctor, his appearance is significant. He was a very tiny man, ill-looking.
Sometimes I would send somebody to him and the people would think, “He is not the doctor, he is the pharmacist.” And they would ask, “Mr. Pharmacist, where is the doctor?” Of course he would get very angry.
It was certain that it was difficult for him to succeed as a doctor so he used to waste his time on crossword puzzle contests. He was always enthusiastic that “this time” he was going to get one lakh rupees, two lakh rupees, three lakh rupees… And every month it would be so, and when the date would go by he would forget about it, and again he would start working on new crossword puzzles.
One day – I was just joking with him – I said, “Look, you have been working so hard. At least for one year I have been watching you and you have not won any prize. It seems it is not in your fate. Do one thing: join my fate with yours.”
He said, “How can it be joined?”
I said, “Tell me one thing. How much will you donate to me? If you get one lakh rupees, how much will you donate to me?”
He started thinking – a poor man – he closed his eyes and he said, “Okay. Fifty percent.” It was hard to say fifty percent, it was too much – fifty thousand rupees!
I said, “Okay, agreed. Now it is certain. You go ahead. Now my fate is also aligned with you. You are going to get it.”
In the night, near about twelve o’clock he knocked on my door and he said, “Listen, fifty thousand is too much and I cannot sleep. It seems that this time it is going to happen and you have hooked me. You never said this before; it seems you have some idea that this time it is going to happen. It is not a question of your fate being aligned with mine. It seems you have some suspicion that it is going to happen, and I am also feeling absolutely certain it is going to happen this time. Please, fifty thousand will be too much.”
So I said, “Okay. You suggest.”
He said, “Ten thousand will do.”
I could see even ten thousand was too much – for a poor man who has never had ten thousand rupees for himself it is too much. I said, “Okay. That will do.”
Next morning he was back again, very depressed, but now feeling a little ashamed also, and he said, “Please forgive me, excuse me, but I thought and thought and thought, but ten thousand… And I am a poor man, you know; ten thousand is too much.” He had not won anything, it was just a dream.
I said, “Then what do you propose?”
He said, “This time, let me have it completely. Next time, whenever I will get, whatsoever you say I will give you but this time it seems so certain.”
I said, “Okay, you have it. But then don’t complain to me later on because now I am no longer aligned with your fate.”
Then he became afraid. By the evening he was back. He said, “Just as a token you can have one rupee so that you are with me. Otherwise I have become afraid: maybe I am not going to get it again.”

The mind is so greedy and you don’t know the greed. When you are thinking, just imagining, you become absolutely moralistic; everybody is good. You have been angry and then you repent, and in repentance everybody is perfectly beautiful. You say, “Never again will I do this.” But you don’t know yourself what you are saying. You don’t know that this is what you have been saying your whole life. Every time you have been angry you repented and said, “Never again!” And again and again and again. You have not been even watchful enough to see the whole absurdity of it.
If you are really aware, first you will drop repentance because you know the foolishness of it. You have repented many times, nothing happens.

A man was here who was a very angry man, he was continuously angry. He told me, “I don’t want God, I don’t want any meditation. Just bring me out of my angry state. I repent and nothing happens. I have taken all sorts of vows but nothing happens. What to do?”
I told him, “Do one thing. First renounce repentance, that now, from now onward you will never repent. Be angry but never repent about it.”
He said, “How is that going to help? Even repentance has not been of any help and if I don’t repent, I may become even more angry.”
I said, “You leave it to me. First leave repentance.”
After a week he was back and he said, “It is impossible. I cannot leave repentance. Whenever I become angry, it follows like a shadow. It is automatic.”

The whole point to see is that you don’t have any will. The whole point to see is that you have not been alert about yourself; you don’t know who you are. All your promises are going to be false because you don’t know who the one who is promising is. How can you promise? How can you fulfill the promise? One mood promises and by the time fulfillment comes that mood is no longer there, some other mood is prevalent, and the other mood has not even heard about the first mood.
In the evening, you decide, “Tomorrow morning, at four o’clock I am going to get up, and this time I am really going to get up!” But you don’t know the mood that will be there at four o’clock in the morning. This is evening. This is not four o’clock in the morning; you can easily believe that you have a will.
Next morning, four o’clock, and somebody within you says, “What nonsense – this is the time to get up? It is so cold and it is raining. And it is so beautiful to have a little more sleep.” You are not feeling rested, and you have completely forgotten, and you turn over and you take a good rest.
When you are drinking your tea in the morning, you are repenting. Now you are condemning yourself, “What type of man am I? I had decided to get up at four – then why did I change it?”
Now that is a third state, a third rung, a third spoke on top. You may decide again because in the morning it is so easy to decide, but in the night again the thing will change. And you have been doing this continuously for your whole life and you have not become aware yet!
The Rabbi said, “Tell me, if you found a purse full of ducats would you return it to its owner?” A theoretical question, nothing is at stake. You have not found the purse and you don’t know about yourself at all.
The man said, “Rabbi, if I knew the owner I should return the purse without a moment’s delay.”
As if the question is only of knowing the owner. The man says, “If I knew the owner, I would return it immediately. But if I don’t know the owner, then it might take a little time to find the owner.”

In Mulla Nasruddin’s town there is a tradition that if somebody finds something he has to go into the market and loudly shout three times: “I have found this thing.” If it belongs to somebody, the owner can claim it and it is his.
One day he found a diamond. He went to the marketplace, he shouted thrice, then came back home.
The wife said, “Where have you been?”
He said, “I had found a diamond and the tradition says one has to go to the marketplace. That’s why I have been there.”
The wife said, “Is this the time to go – in the middle of the night, when everybody is fast asleep? And you really shouted three times?”
Nasruddin said, “Yes, I shouted but very quietly. In fact I could not hear it myself. I mumbled because a beggar was sleeping there and I was afraid he might jump up and claim it. But I have followed the rule. Now there is no trouble. We can have this diamond.”

“Rabbi,” said the man, “if I knew the owner I should return the purse without a moment’s delay.” Just think, that’s what you might have said. Nothing is at stake, there is no purse, nothing. You can be moral so cheaply.
This man is saying, “If I knew the owner, there would be no trouble. I would go immediately and give it to him. If there was some delay, it would only be because the owner is not known, not because of me.”
Just think about it, put yourself in the place of that man: would not the same answer have been yours? Nothing is at stake and the rabbi would feel very good and blessed that you are a moral man.
“You are a fool,” said the Rabbi of Zans.
Why call such a moralistic man a fool? Why does the rabbi say, “You are a fool”?
The rabbi is saying, “You are not aware of what you are saying; you are not aware of yourself. You have passed your whole life and you don’t know anything about your own being, the greed hidden behind, the possessiveness, the ambition, the ego, the lust. You are a fool.”
Who is a fool? – whoever is not aware of himself.
Then he resumed his position at the window,
called another passerby, and put the same question to him.
“I am not such a fool,” said the man,”
as to give up a purse full of money that has come my way.”
The second man says, “I am not a fool," but his definition of foolishness is totally different than the definition of the rabbi. And sometimes words deceive because they are the same.
The rabbi said to the first man, “You are a fool because you are unaware of yourself.”
The second man says: “I am not such a fool as to give up a purse full of money that has come my way.” Now, for this second man, foolishness has a totally different dimension and meaning. He says, “When you come across money, if you are wise, you will escape with it as immediately as possible so that nobody comes to know about it.”
“I am not a fool. I am not a simpleton,” he is saying. “I am not deceived by all this moralistic nonsense: that you give it to the owner, that if it doesn’t belong to you it is not yours, that you will suffer in hell, or if you give it you will be awarded in heaven. I am not a fool.”
The second man is an ordinary, worldly man, but in a way better than the first because whatsoever he is, he knows it. At least he has a little glimpse of his own being and he knows, “I am not a fool.” He is a cunning man, clever, calculating. The first was a simpleton, he was just as the other: if the real situation was there, the first would behave just as the second would behave, but the first believes that he is a moral man.
This is the difference between your so-called religious and irreligious people. This is the only difference: the religious goes to the temple, to the church, to the mosque, prays, talks about God, carries scriptures, rituals and looks very religious, but whenever there is an actual situation he behaves as irreligiously as anybody else, sometimes even more so.
Just look – India is a good example. The whole country thinks it is religious. In fact the country thinks this is the only country which is religious. They go on bragging about it. They think that they are the religious leaders of the world, and the whole world should come and bow down to them, and they should guide the whole world as far as religion, God, spirituality is concerned. But if you look into their lives you will not find more materialistic people anywhere else.
This is my observation: people coming from the West are less materialistic than people who live in India. On the surface they may look materialistic; they may not have any pretensions about being religious, but they are less materialistic, they cling to things less.
Indians are simply mad. They cling to money, to houses, to things, and at the same time they go on pretending and bragging that they are religious people, they don’t believe in matter, they believe in God. They go on saying that this whole world is illusion but you cannot get a single pai out of them; it is impossible. Why has this happened?
These are the two types. The first type is the image of the Indian, the second type is the image of the Westerner. The Westerner knows that he is not a fool; if he gets the money, he will take it; it is simple, like that. The Indian will say no, he will not touch it, and deep down already he has started to plan what to do if he gets the money – on the surface one thing, deep down another thing. That’s the only difference between your so-called moral people and immoral people: the moral people are hypocrites.
“I am not such a fool,” said the man, “as to give up a purse full of money that has come my way.” In a way the second man is more sincere because he says the truth, “I am not such a fool. I am not going to give that purse to anybody. If it has come my way it is mine. I am going to have it.” He may look immoral, but is more sincere. And finally sincerity helps, not morality. At least this man knows his cunningness.
The first man is absolutely unaware of his cunningness; he believes in his innocence. When you believe in your innocence and you are not innocent, you are in great danger; you are a fool because you are believing in something which is not there. It is better to be a plain, worldly man than to be a hypocrite and religious man. It is good to be sincere even if your sincerity reveals things which are not good, because once you know you can transcend them. If you don’t know, they hide behind you. Your enemies are just in your unconscious and they can grab you any moment. To know the enemy is better than not to know because then something can be done.
“You are a bad lot,” said the rabbi, and called in a third man.
He said, “You are a bad lot,” but he didn’t say, “You are a fool.” You are not good, that’s true, but you are not a fool. The first man is not good, but he is a fool also because he does not know his own inner cunningness.
He called the third man and asked the same question. The third man replied:
“Rabbi, how can I know
on what rung I shall be when I find the purse…?”
This man is really aware of the whole situation. He says he cannot promise; he knows himself, he knows his own deceiver, he knows his own cunningness, he knows his evil moments. He knows the inner conflict that will arise when the purse will be found. He is really aware. “Rabbi, how can I know on what rung I shall be when I find the purse…?”
“I may be in a religious mood, I may not be because moods happen and I am not the master. I have no will of my own. A certain mood possesses me and then I behave accordingly. I am a machine – what can I promise, how can I promise? You are asking me an absurd question.”
“…how can I know
on what rung I shall be when I find the purse,
or whether I shall succeed in fending off the evil urge?”
“I know my evil urge also, and I don’t know if maybe the evil urge will be too much and I will not succeed in fending it off by myself. Maybe it is not too great, but I cannot say what will happen. It is unpredictable. I know my past: many times similar things have happened and the evil urge was too strong and I could not be victorious and I had to give up. Who knows?”
“Perhaps it will get the better of me
and I shall appropriate what belongs to another.”
The question is not about now. It is a theoretical question but this man makes it real. The question is not about the purse, the question is about your own awareness. Are you aware of what you will do? One who is aware will know well that nothing can be said.
The first was absolutely unaware, the second was aware but identified with his cunningness, the third is aware but not identified with his evil urge. This is to be understood: the first is in absolute unconsciousness. The second is a little awake but he has not used his awareness to go beyond; rather he has used his awareness to become cunning: he is identified with his evil urge. He says, “I am not a fool.” What he is saying is, “I am clever and cunning, I am not a fool;” he is identified with cunningness. The third man is not identified with either. He says, “I don’t know. Nothing can be said certainly.”
“Perhaps it will get the better of me
and I shall appropriate what belongs to another.
But perhaps…”
…and this is the point to be understood, the very center of this story:
“But perhaps God, blessed be he,
will help me to fight it…”
“Because I know myself. Alone I cannot fight, alone I will be defeated. It is possible only through his grace. If I am left alone, there is every possibility I will be defeated by the evil urge. I know myself, I know my strength – it is nothing. It is good if the question is theoretical, but when the practical problem arises I know myself. I have been defeated many times when I was alone.”
“But perhaps God, blessed be he,
will help me to fight it and in that case
I shall return whatever I have found to its rightful owner.”
What is he saying? He is saying, “If existence helps, only then I will return it, otherwise not.” What he is saying is this: if I return it, I have not returned it, but existence has returned it. If it happens at all, it will happen through it, not through me.
This is the quality of a religious man: even his virtues are not his, even his virtues he is not identified with, even his virtues are through existence: its grace, its gift – because otherwise your virtues will become your ego. Whenever a virtue becomes an ego, the sin has already been committed; then it is no longer virtuous, it is already corrupted and poisoned.
“But perhaps God, blessed be he,
will help me to fight it and in that case
I shall return whatever I have found to its rightful owner.”
“Those are good words,” cried the zaddik.
“You are a true sage.”
The fourth state of consciousness: he is not identified anywhere, not even with virtues.

Bodhidharma traveled from India to China. The emperor came to see him; he touched Bodhidharma’s feet and the first thing he uttered was this: “I have made so many temples, so many Buddhist ashrams. Millions of bhikkus, Buddhist sannyasins, are fed by me, supported by me. I have changed the whole country into a Buddhist world. All these virtues… What do you think, sir, I am going to gain through them? What will be the benefit? What will be the award?”
Bodhidharma looked at this Emperor Wu and said, “You will fall into the seventh hell.”
The emperor could not believe it because all other monks, saints – so-called – were saying, “You are earning such virtue, punya, that you are going to be received into the ultimate nirvana,” and this man says “seventh hell”!
Emperor Wu said, “Have you gone mad? What are you saying? Are you aware?”
Bodhidharma said, “I am aware of what I am saying and you can rely on me: you will go to the seventh hell.”
“But why?” the emperor cried. “I have not done anything wrong.”
Bodhidharma said, “It is not a question of doing wrong or right. The question is the very ego that you have done something. You should thank God, thank Buddha, blessed be his name; it is through his grace something has happened. Don’t be the doer, please don’t you come in because the ego has to go to hell, and if you are egoistic you will have to follow it. You are not going to hell but the ego has to go to hell, and if you are identified with it you will have to go. Nothing can be done about it, no virtue can save you.”

“Those are good words,” said the zaddik. “You are a true sage.” Who is the untrue sage? – he who thinks that he has been doing so many virtuous acts, so many austerities, fasting, chanting: he who thinks that he has been living a religious life and thanks himself: “It is me.” He is the untrue sage.
The true sage always feels whatsoever happens, happens through existence’s grace. He does not come in anywhere. The true sage is based in awareness, rooted in awareness. And this is what awareness should bring to you: you will not promise. Who can promise? And you will not say with certainty, “I am going to do this or that.” You will say, “Nothing can be said. I know myself, how fragile my will is, how weak my crystallization is. I am a crowd and I have many “I”s. One “I” may promise but by the time the actual moment to fulfill it comes, another “I” may be dominant.” If you promise, you become a liar.
I have seen lovers promising each other that they will love each other forever and forever, and not knowing anything about the next moment – not knowing anything about what they mean by “forever and forever.” If they are a little alert, they will say, “It feels, in this moment, this is a truth of this moment. In this mood it feels as if I will love you forever and forever, but nobody knows about the next moment.” That’s why lovers always prove deceivers to each other and in the end they think that they have been cheated because they both promised things which they cannot deliver.

A man asked Buddha, “Sir, give me some guidance. I would like to serve humanity.” Buddha looked deeply into him; the man must have felt very uneasy because Buddha went on looking and looking and the man started perspiring and said, “Sir, what are you doing? If you can, give me some hints; otherwise why are you staring in my eyes?”
Buddha said, “I was looking to see whether you are or not – and you are not. Who will serve humanity? You don’t exist at all: you are a momentary bubble, you have just a momentary existence – king for the moment, enthroned for the moment. Next moment you will be gone and somebody else will be the king. Who will serve humanity? It will be good if you first try to find out where you are, who you are.
“First be and then there is no need to ask me because whenever one is, compassion flows; if you are, compassion follows. To be is the only thing that has to be done. And how can you be if you go on being deceived by your own ego, desires, moods, thoughts, feelings?”

The zaddik is right. He says, “You are a true sage because you have simply stated the truth. You are not trying in any way to deceive me or yourself. You simply stated, ‘I cannot believe in myself. I have believed in the past, and the belief proved wrong. I know my lust: the evil urge can be very strong and I may not be able to fend it off by myself. The only hope is if God, blessed be his name, helps me. I am corruptible; only if the source which is incorruptible helps me… I am cunning; only if the source which is innocent, virgin, helps me, showers on me… Only then.’”
It happened…

Saint Theresa, one of the greatest women who ever lived, was going to build a church. She was a poor woman. The whole town gathered and she said ecstatically, “A great church has to be built here on this spot.”
The people said, “Good. Your dreams are good but where is the money to come from?”
Saint Theresa pulled just two small coins from her bag and she said, “Don’t be afraid. I have got money.”
Just two small coins. People laughed, they said, “We always knew that you are a little too innocent. These two small coins – you cannot even purchase a brick and you are thinking to make a great church?”
Theresa laughed and she said, “Yes, my hands are small, my coins are small, but you don’t see – God is with me! Two small coins plus God – everything is possible.”
On that spot stands a great church, one of the most beautiful. Two small coins plus God…

God means infinity, God means all.
“Blessed be his name,” said the man. “I cannot promise anything on my own but if he wills, then everything is possible. I may be very small and the evil urge may be very great, but if he helps then there is no problem. My small strength – nothing, in fact – plus all, that will do.”
Said the zaddik: “You are a true sage.” So, the true sage has to begin from the fourth state of mind, that is consciousness. Then the door opens.
Once you attain to the fourth, existence is available to you and you are available to existence. Then the door opens. Up to the third the door is closed and you can do only one thing: become aware. Up to the third you cannot do anything, beyond the fourth you need not. This has to be remembered. Up to the third you are unconscious and you cannot do anything, your life is mechanical. Beyond the fourth you need not; existence is available, it starts doing. Then you ride on its tide, it takes you.
So the only thing that can be done and that should be done is to become more and more aware and alert and conscious.
Walk, but make walking a meditation; walk knowingly. Breathe, but let your breathing become a constant meditation – breathe knowingly. The breath going in, watch it; the breath going out, watch it. Eat, but eat with full awareness: take a bite, chew it, but go on watching. Let the watcher be there in every moment, whatsoever you are doing. Going to sleep, lie down on the bed and watch. Falling into sleep, go on watching, go on watching.
In the beginning, sometimes you will be lost and the watching will disappear and the sleep will take possession. By and by one day you will see sleep taking possession and your awareness is still there. When you can see your sleep, you have seen the whole situation of humanity. Then by and by sleep takes possession but you are still alert. Deep down, somewhere a flame goes on burning. The night may be dark all around but the flame goes on burning: the whole night you sleep, and still you are not asleep.
That’s the meaning of Krishna’s saying to Arjuna in the Gita, “Ya nisha sarvabhutayam tasyam jagriti samyami – that which is a night to all, even there the yogi, the samyami, the one who has become a master of oneself, remains alert, awake.” The body sleeps, the heart sleeps, the mind sleeps, but you remain alert because you are nothing else but alertness. Everything else is a false identification.
Awareness is your nature, body is your abode. Mind is a computer; awareness is you, is your very being.
Sat-chit-anand has been our definition of the ultimate truth. We have used three words: sat, chit, anand. Sat means true, truth, being; chit means consciousness, aware, alert; anand means bliss.
Be – and the only way to be is to be aware. Once you are aware, bliss follows. Sat-chit-anand is your innermost core of being, and it is nothing to be attained, it is already there. It has only to be discovered, uncovered. It is your hidden treasure.
The zaddik is right because the man is alert. The first ray of alertness has penetrated his being: he has become the true sage. I would like you to become sages. I would not like you to become saints.
Saints are virtuous people, good; they belong to the first category that has been trying to be good, moral, virtuous, righteous, pious. I would not like you to be saints. I would like you to be sages. To be a sage has nothing to do with morality, virtue. I am not saying that a sage is not virtuous; I am saying he is not concerned with it; it follows as a consequence. The sage has not been practicing it; a practiced virtue is not virtue at all. A practiced virtue is just on the outside, painted. You may have practiced it hard so it has created a crust around you; but deep down you remain the same.
The saint is against the sinner, the sinner is against the saint. The first man can become the saint, the second man can become the sinner. The third man is the sage.
The sinner is one who is identified with his bad qualities, with his evil urges. The saint is one who is identified with his good urges: virtuous, pious. A sage is one who is not identified. The sinner thinks himself the Devil incarnate, he thinks of himself in terms of sinning more and more. He thinks that is his cleverness. The saint thinks that his cleverness is to practice virtue: to become innocent, not to do anything that is bad. Then he gets more and more identified with the good.
A sage is not identified at all. A sage is a state of non-identification: neither this nor that, neti neti. He says, “I am neither this bank nor that. Rather, I am the river: neither the saint nor the sinner, neither good, nor bad.” The sinners live in a sort of hell and the saints imagine themselves in a sort of heaven. And the sage? – moksha is for him, absolute freedom is for him. He is freed from all duality.
The secret key and the only key is awareness. For it you need not go to the Himalayas, you need not go anywhere; your life gives you enough opportunities to be aware.
Somebody insults you. Listen to it in full awareness and you will be surprised that the insult is no longer an insult; you may even smile, it does not hurt. It hurts only when received in unawareness. Somebody praises you, appreciates you. Listen with alertness and then nobody can persuade you to do foolish things, nobody can bribe you, nobody can buttress you; flattery becomes impossible, you will smile at the whole nonsense.
Listen, watch, be aware, and by and by a different quality of being arises in you which is neither body, nor feelings, nor thought. A different pillar of flame starts gathering within you, becomes more and more crystallized. And as this awareness becomes crystallized you will feel more and more, for the first time, that you are the feeling of being, and then moods will become more and more irrelevant. They will come and go but you will remain unperturbed. The climate will change around you but you will remain unchanged. Whatsoever happens without will not in any way change your within. The within remains absolutely pure and uncorrupted.
I will tell you a story…

A German thinker, Herrigel, was in Japan. He was sitting for dinner with his friends and his master, whom he had invited. Suddenly, there was an earthquake. They were on the seventh story of the building. The whole building started shaking, everybody started running down the stairs, there was chaos. Herrigel himself ran toward the door. It was automatic. In such situations nobody thinks what to do. Everybody behaves like a robot. That is the meaning of “man is a machine.”
But suddenly because there was so much of a crowd and he couldn’t find the way, he remembered at the door, he remembered for a single moment, “What happened to the master, whom I had invited?”
He looked back. The master was sitting on his chair, the same way, but now he had closed his eyes – not a ripple of fear on the face, not a ripple of disturbance, as if nothing had happened.
It was so magnetic, the presence of the master, the uncorrupted presence – the aroma that surrounded him, the climate that he created around, the space in which he lived that moment – that Herrigel says, “I was magnetized. I don’t know what happened. I simply came back and sat by the side of the master. By his side I felt absolutely secure, as if nothing can happen.”
The earthquake came and went. The master opened his eyes and started to speak from the same place where he had to stop because of the earthquake.
Herrigel said, “I have completely forgotten what you were saying before. It seems centuries have passed and I am completely disoriented. Please, I am not in a situation now to understand what you are saying. Sometime later; let me get settled. But one thing I would like to ask: When we all were running away, why didn’t you move?”
The master said, “I also moved, but I moved in a different direction: withinward. You were running without, I was also running, but within because I know there is no shelter without. The earthquake was all over – where were you running? Just running cannot help. I entered into my being, and there no earthquake has ever penetrated. I moved to a space within myself where no disturbance ever penetrates, where silence is absolute, stillness is ultimate. I also ran, I also sought a shelter – but in the right direction.”

If you are trying to be aware, you are moving in the right direction. Sooner or later you will become the true sage.
Don’t try to practice virtue. Practice only one thing: awareness. Virtue follows it, just as the shadow follows you. Virtue is a consequence. Once you enter your own being and become rooted there, centered there, all, all happens because all the doors are open: existence is open to you and you are open to existence.
Let me repeat again: up to the third stage you cannot do anything because you are not, beyond the fourth you need not do because existence’s grace has become available. You do only the fourth: please be aware and you are entering into the temple.
Let me repeat the whole story again:
One day the Rabbi of Zans
was standing at the window and looking into the street.
Seeing a passerby, he knocked on the windowpane
and signed to the man to come into the house.

When the stranger entered the room, Rabbi Hayyim asked him,
“Tell me, if you found a purse full of ducats,
would you return it to its owner.”
“Rabbi,” said the man, “if I knew the owner
I should return the purse without a moment’s delay.”
“You are a fool,” said the rabbi.

Then he resumed his position at the window,
called another passerby, and put the same question to him.
“I am not such a fool as to give up a purse full of money
that has come my way,” said the man.
“You are a bad lot,” said the rabbi, and called in a third man.

He replied, “Rabbi, how can I know
on what rung I shall be when I find the purse,
or whether I shall succeed in fending off the evil urge?
Perhaps it will get the better of me
and I shall appropriate what belongs to another.
But perhaps God, blessed be he,
will help me fight it, and in that case
I shall return whatever I have found to its rightful owner.”
“Those are good words,” cried the zaddik.
“You are a true sage.”
Enough for today.

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