It happens to many people: the moment they become interested in some sort of religion, meditation, prayer, immediately the mind tells them, “What are you doing sitting here silently? The world needs you; there are so many poor people. There is much conflict, violence, aggression. What are you doing praying in the temple? Go and help people.”
How can you help those people? You are just like them. You may create even more problems for them, but you cannot help. That’s how all the revolutions have always failed. No revolution has yet succeeded because the revolutionaries are in the same boat.
Your own light is not burning and you start helping others. Your own inner being is in total darkness and you start helping others. You yourself are suffering and you become a servant of the people.
You have not passed through the inner rebellion and you become a revolutionary. This is simply absurd, but this idea arises in everybody’s mind. It seems so simple to help others.
In fact, people who really need to change themselves always become interested in changing others. That becomes an occupation, and they can forget themselves.
Once an old revolutionary and social worker was staying with me. I asked him, “You are completely absorbed in your work. Have you ever thought if what you really want happens, if by a miracle, overnight, all that you want happens, what you will do the next morning? Have you ever thought about it?”
He laughed — a very empty laughter — but then he became a little sad. He said, “If it is possible, I will be at a loss as to what to do then. If the world is exactly as I want it, then I will be at a loss for what to do. I may even commit suicide.”
These people are occupied; this is their obsession. And they have chosen such an obsession which can never be fulfilled. So you can go on changing others, life after life.
Who are you?
This is also a sort of ego: that others are hard upon each other, that they are stepping on each other. Just the idea that others are hard gives you a feeling that you are very soft. No, you are not. This may be your way of ambition: to help people, to help them to become soft, to help them to become more kind, compassionate.
Kahlil Gibran has written a small story:
There was a dog, a great revolutionary one might say, very articulate, he went around the capital telling every other dog of the town that ”Your only problem is that you unnecessarily go on barking. This disease of barking has been preventing your enlightenment. Look at me: I never bark. Just because of your nonsense barking we are not growing. You waste your energy by barking unnecessarily.” A postman passes, and suddenly…a policeman passes, a sannyasin passes…. Dogs are against uniforms, any sort of uniform, and they are revolutionaries. They immediately start barking.
From the morning till late in the night he made a round to every dog until they accepted that he was enlightened, and there was no doubt about it. They felt ashamed, but what to do? – a dog is a dog!
Whenever a dog sees somebody in uniform, he cannot resist barking…. The dog, just as he sees the uniform, is immediately against the person. He seems to be a great freedom lover; this uniform represents slavery. There must be some philosophy in the minds of the dogs, because they take so much trouble – they get tired from barking.
The leader used to tell them, “Stop this! Don’t waste energy, because: this same energy can be put into something useful, creative. Dogs can rule the whole world, but you are wasting your energy for no purpose at all. This habit has to be dropped. This is the only sin, the original sin.”
Because they could not stop barking, they had to accept the non-barking dog as the enlightened one. He is almost the Gautam Buddha of the dogs, his achievement is great: ”We are all proud that you are born amongst us; we will worship you. We will remember you, we will teach our children about the golden days when you were alive. But forgive us, we try hard. The more we try hard not to bark, the barking comes more forcibly.”
The dogs were always feeling that he was perfectly right; logically, he was right: why do you go on barking? And much energy is wasted; one feels tired. Again the next morning one starts barking, and again by the night one is tired. What is the point of it all? They could see the leader’s meaning, but they also knew that they were just dogs, poor dogs.
The ideal was very great and the leader was really a reveller — because whatsoever he was preaching he was doing. He never used to bark. You could see his character: that whatsoever he preached he practiced also.
But by and by, they got tired of his constant preaching.
One full moon night… and dogs are also against the moon; nobody knows why. In fact, in all the languages there are words for mad people. In English ‘lunatic’ is synonymous with mad people, a mad person. But in its root meaning ‘lunatic’ means moonstruck; ‘luna’ means the moon.
In Hindi the same is the situation: the madman is said to be chaandmara (चांदमारा), killed by the moon. The moon drives people mad; it drives even the ocean mad. Poets get affected, painters get affected. Most of the people who commit suicide do it on a full moon night; more people go insane on a full moon night.
So if dogs bark the whole night, nobody can condemn them – they have something of the poet, something of the madman, some aesthetic sense, some feeling of the ocean. But they cannot tolerate the full moon, and because we don’t understand their language, we call it barking. Who knows, they may be reciting poetries praising the moon… perhaps their barking is their way of prayer…
One full moon night all the dogs decided that there is a limit to being condemned continuously: ”That enlightened dog is too much. You bark, and suddenly he comes. He goes on hiding here and there, watching dogs. This full moon night make a commitment: we may die but we will not bark. And we will not open our eyes so we don’t see the moon.”
That night they decided — it was the birthday of the leader — and they decided, as a gift, that at least on that night they would resist the temptation to bark. At least for one night they would respect the leader and give him a gift. He could not be happier than this. All the dogs stopped barking that night. It was very difficult, arduous. It was just like when you are meditating, how difficult it is to stop thinking. It was the same problem. They stopped barking, and they had always barked.
And they were not great saints, but poor ordinary dogs. But they tried hard. It was very, very arduous. They were hiding in their places with closed eyes, with clenched teeth, so they would not see anything, they would not listen to anything. It was a great discipline.
There was such silence as there had never been. The dog Buddha went around the town– he did not even meet a dog. All the dogs had disappeared… what happened? – and on a full moon night; this was the greatest time of his preaching. But the dogs had disappeared into dark corners behind houses, hiding. They were afraid that if they saw the moon, then commitment or no commitment, they could not resist. They knew…! They were aware of their weakness and their frailty, so it was better they were lying down quiet in darkness, behind houses. But this Buddha was very much concerned, ”What has happened…? Has every dog died?”
The leader walked around the town. He was very puzzled: “To whom to preach? Whom to teach now? What has happened?” — complete silence. Then suddenly when midnight had passed, he became so annoyed, because he had never really thought that the dogs would listen to him. He had known well that they would never listen, that it was just natural for dogs to bark. His demand was unnatural, but the dogs had stopped. His whole leadership was at stake. What was he going to do from tomorrow? because all he knew was just to teach. His whole ministry was at stake. And then for the first time he realized that because he was constantly teaching from the morning till the night that’s why he had never felt the need to bark. The energy was so involved, and that was a sort of barking.
But that night, nowhere, nobody was found guilty. And the preacher-dog started feeling a tremendous urge to bark. A dog is, after all, a dog. Then the moon started rising higher. And for the ﬁrst time – because the preacher Buddha was always concerned with teaching the other dogs, he had no time to see to the sky– he saw the moon. The whole sky fell down. Then he went into a dark lane and started barking. There was such barking – That day he realized that because of his continuous teaching there was no time to bark. And you cannot do both the things together: barking and talking. He was badly ashamed … fallen from the heights.
When the other dogs heard that somebody had broken the agreement, then they said, “Why should we suffer?” The whole town started barking. Back came the leader and said, “You fools! When are you going to stop barking? Because of your barking we have remained just dogs. Otherwise, we would have dominated the whole world.”
The story is very signiﬁcant. If alone you cannot be silent, then while leading a group your silence is just an avoidance of your inner noise. And when you are occupied with others’ problems, you tend to forget your own problems. First, settle those problems, because that is your first, basic responsibility.
You are focused on other people’s problems, so you yourself become hidden behind. Silence is authentic only when you are alone and no thought arises in you. And in fact, this should be a teaching to you. Be more and more meditative, because this is the only criterion.
If you don’t go to your saints, I say to you they will be in the same position as the saint of the dogs. They will rush and do things against that which they have been teaching you. Just give them a little chance. But you are continuously worshipping them. There is always a crowd around them. It is so fulfilling. Politicians come to be blessed by them for their elections – presidents, prime ministers. And what is their qualification? Their qualification is that they are anti-life. I teach you life, love, laughter.
Everybody wants to be a leader, everybody wants to dominate, to direct, to guide, it does not matter whether he knows what he is advising people. What matters is that his advice makes him feel good – that he is a wise man. It makes him feel good that so many people are looking up towards him to be guided. And naturally, you have understood the point that when you become involved with the problems of other people you forget your own problems.
If you have attained silence, you have the right to tell others to be silent. If you have solved your problems, then you are capable of helping those who cannot ﬁgure out how to get out of the mess they have made their lives.
Osho: The Beloved, Vol 2 Chapter #8 Chapter title: I’m Just Being To You Q 5 (Excerpts)
Osho: Om Shantih Shantih Shantih: CHAPTER 2. AN OPEN FUTURE WITH NO REVERSE GEAR (Excerpts)
अजीब शोर मचाने लगे हैं सन्नाटे
ये किस तरह की ख़ामोशी हर इक सदा में है ………………आसिम वास्ती
ajiib shor machāne lage haiñ sannāTe
ye kis tarah kī ḳhamoshī har ik sadā meñ hai …………………..ASIM WASTI
the silence has started making weird noises
what type of stillness is there in every echo?
Whenever I listen to this song, while it is hilarious, it has subtle traces of sarcasm. I quite relate it to myself and to the reflection of the mankind as we can see. (266) Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani | Title Track | Juhi Chawla, Shah Rukh Khan | Now Available in HD – YouTube
5 thoughts on “Barking Dogs & us.”
Very true. Mein bheetar gayee, main bhi tar gayee
वो तो अपनी एक आदत भी ना बदल सका,
ना जाने क्यूँ उसके लिए अपनी ज़िंदगी बदल दी
Wow. A lovely blog once again. Yes. We are good to see what others must do but not with self. Let us learn to BE the change we seek. And if that change is profound and is worthy it will become infectious and others will follow on their own. Knowing without transformation is nothing but excess load of data in our heads. It does nothing. This empty non experiential teaching is another form of barking.
Thanks once again. Love to read your wisdom. 🙏🙏
Very deep and reflective. Lots to learn on self focus and self improvement.
Well penned thoughts Rajivji. Good Morning & have a nice day