In Arabia there has been a woman, a Sufi mystic, Rabiya al-Adabiya…
Sufis are one of the best products of all the religions. There is no comparison. And in Sufism there is no one compared with Rabiya al-Adabiya. She is at the very top. A Sufi woman who was known for her very eccentric behavior. But in all her eccentric behaviour there was a great insight.
One of the great Sufis was Hassan. He was a very respected saint. I am reminded of one incident…
Just to make it clear to you, Rabiya is far above even the great masters.
Hassan is a great master, has a following of thousands. He was staying at Rabiya’s house, and as usual, in the morning he wanted to read the holy Koran. But he had not his own copy with him so he asked Rabiya for her copy. Rabiya gave him her copy.
Hassan said, “Rabiya, somebody has destroyed your Koran.”
As he opened it, he was surprised that in many places Rabiya had edited it – which is very much against Islam. The Koran is the last message of God, and Mohammed is his final messenger. Now there is not going to come any other message. Nobody can edit the Koran; nobody can change anything. And Rabiya had even crossed out a few words, dropped a few paragraphs – she had simply cut them out…!
Rabiya said, “Don’t be stupid, nobody can touch my KORAN. What you are looking at is my doing.
Why should somebody destroy my Koran? All that has been done is done by me. I had to do it. For example, just look at the page you are at.” There was a sentence that said, “When you come across the Devil, hate him…” Rabiya had cut out this one word, “hate him,” and had written “love him.”
Hassan said, “But Rabiya, this is God’s message; you can’t change it.”
She said, “It doesn’t matter whose message it is, it is against my experience. Since I became aware of myself, there is only love left. Even if the Devil comes in front of me, I cannot do anything but love him. And this is my copy of the Koran! It reflects me. It has to be according to me and my experience. Hatred has completely disappeared from me, so I am helpless. I cannot follow this sentence.
“Even if God comes to tell me, I am going to argue against it, because this is not my experience. And I can say with authority that there comes a moment when you are pure love. Then whoever comes in front of you, you simply can look with love. You can share your love; you can radiate your love. It does not matter who the person is, whether it is God or the Devil. Even if you are sitting alone, a man of realization radiates love, although there is nobody to receive it. It is simply the nature of enlightenment.”
Rabiya said, “All that I have is love; hate has disappeared. The moment hate disappeared from me I had to make changes in my book of the holy KORAN. If you have not changed it, that simply means you have not arrived to the space where only love remains.”
Hassan had to agree. He said, “I had never thought in that way.”
It is one of the most fundamental things to understand. People ordinarily think that forgiveness is for those who are worthy of it, who deserve it. But if somebody deserves, is worthy of forgiveness, it is not much of a forgiveness. You are not doing anything on your part; he deserves it. You are not really being love and compassion.
Your forgiveness will be authentic only when even those who don’t deserve it, receive it. It is not a question of whether a person is worthy or not. The question is whether your heart is ready or not.
The people who don’t deserve, the people who are unworthy, don’t make any difference to the man who has come to the space of forgiveness. He will forgive, irrespective of who receives it. He cannot be so miserly that only the worthy should receive it. And from where is he going to find UNforgiveness?
This is a totally different perspective. It does not concern itself with the other. Who are you to make the judgment whether the other is worthy or unworthy? The very judgment is ugly and mean.
I know Rudolph Hess is certainly one of the greatest criminals. And his crime becomes even a millionfold bigger, because in the Nuremburg trial with the remaining companions of Adolf Hitler — who killed almost eight million people in the second world war – he said in front of the court, “I don’t repent anything!” Not only that, he also said, “And if I could start from the very beginning, I would do the same thing again.” It is very natural to think this man is not worthy of forgiveness; that will be the common understanding.
Everybody will agree with you.
But I cannot agree with you. It does not matter what Rudolf Hess has done, what he is saying. What matters is that you are capable of forgiving even him. That will raise your consciousness to the ultimate heights. If you cannot forgive Rudolf Hess you will remain just an ordinary human being, with all kinds of judgments of worthiness, of unworthiness.
But basically you cannot forgive him because your forgiveness is not big enough.
I can forgive the whole world for the simple reason that my forgiveness is absolute; it is non-judgmental. I will tell you a small Tibetan story which will make the point absolutely clear to you.
A great old master, worshiped by millions of people, refused to initiate anyone into disciplehood. His whole life, consistently, he was asked by kings, he was asked by very rich people, he was asked by great ascetics, saints, to be initiated as his disciples, and he went on refusing. He would always say, “Unless I find a man who deserves it, unless I find a man who is worthy of it… I am not going to initiate any Tom, Dick, Harry.”
He had a small young boy who used to cook food for him, wash his clothes, fetch vegetables from the market. The boy himself had become slowly, slowly old and for his whole life he had been listening to the old man, who had lived almost one hundred years, and without exception the denial: nobody is worthy! “I will die,” he said, “without initiating anyone, but I will not initiate anyone who is non-deserving.”
People became tired, frustrated. They loved the man, the man had immense qualities, but they could not understand his very stubborn attitude — no kindness, no compassion.
But one morning the old man woke up his companion, who himself had become old, and said to him, “Run immediately down the hills to the marketplace and tell everybody that whoever wants to be initiated must come soon, because this evening as the sun sets I am going to die.”
His companion said, “But what about worthiness?… I don’t know who is worthy and who is not worthy. Who have I to bring?”
The old man said, “Don’t worry at all. It was only a device, because I myself was not worthy to initiate anyone, but it was against my dignity to say so. So I chose the other way round. I was saying, `Unless I find somebody worthy enough, deserving enough, I am not going to initiate.’ The truth is, I was not worthy to be a master. Now I am, but the time is very short. Only this morning as the sun was rising, my own consciousness has also risen to the ultimate peak. Now I am ready. Now it does not matter who is worthy and who is unworthy. What matters now is that I am worthy. Just go and fetch anybody! Just go and make the whole village aware that this is the last day of my life, and anybody who wants to be initiated should come immediately. Bring as many people as you can.”
The companion of the old man was at a loss, but there was no time to argue. He ran down the hill, reached the marketplace and shouted all over the village, “Anybody who wants to become a disciple, the old man is ready now.”
All kinds of strange people went to the cave of the old man, and his companion was feeling so embarrassed at the kind of people he had brought: one is a criminal, one’s wife is dead, that’s why he thinks, “It is better… now, what else to do?” Somebody has gone bankrupt and was thinking to commit suicide; now he thinks that this is better than suicide.
The companion of the old man was feeling very embarrassed, “How will I present this strange lot when that old man has refused kings, saints, sages, who have come with deep earnestness to be initiated? And now he is going to initiate this gang!” He was even feeling ashamed, but he entered and asked, “Should I call the people? — eleven have come.”
The old man said, “Call them quickly, because it is already afternoon. You took so much time, and you could fetch just eleven people?”
His companion said, “What can I do? It is a working day; it is not a holiday. I could only get these. All are absolutely useless; even I could not initiate them. Not only that they are not worthy — they are absolutely UNworthy. But you insisted to bring somebody; nobody else was available.”
The old man said, “There is no problem. Just bring them in.” And he initiated them all.
Even they were shocked. And they said to the old man, “This is strange behavior. All your life you have insisted that one has to deserve to be a disciple. What happened to your principle?”
The old man laughed. He said, “That was not a principle, that was only to hide my own unworthiness. I was not yet in the position to be a master. And I cannot cheat anyone, I cannot deceive anyone; hence I have taken shelter behind a judgmental attitude, that unless you are worthy, you will not get initiation.”
Obviously, nobody is worthy. Everybody has their own flaws, weaknesses; everybody has done things that they never wanted to do. Everybody has gone astray. Nobody can say that they are absolutely pure; everybody is polluted. So, when the old man insisted, “Unless you are worthy don’t come back to me,” nobody argued with him; he was right. First, they have to be worthy!
On the last day, he said to those eleven disciples, “I bless you and initiate you. It doesn’t matter whether you are worthy or not, but for the first time I am worthy. And if I am really worthy, just my presence is going to purify you. My worthiness of being a master is going to make you a worthy disciple. Now I don’t have to depend on your worthiness. My worthiness is enough.“
“I am just like a rain cloud; I will shower all over the place — on the mountains, on the streets, on the houses, in the farms, in the gardens. I will shower everywhere, because I am too burdened with my rainwater. It does not matter whether the garden deserves… I don’t even make any distinction between the garden and the rocks. I will simply shower out of my abundance.”
If your meditations bring you to the state of a rain cloud, you will forgive without any judgment out of your abundance, out of your love, out of your compassion.
In fact, I would like to make the statement that the man who is unworthy deserves more than the man who is worthy. The man who does not deserve, deserves more, because he is so poor; don’t be hard upon him. Life has been hard upon him. He has gone astray; he has suffered because of his wrong doings. Now don’t you be hard on him. He needs more love than those who are deserving; he needs more forgiveness than those who are worthy.
This should be the only approach of a religious heart.
Osho, The Sword and the Lotus – Talks in the Himalayas, Ch 17, Q 1 (excerpt)
Osho: The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here Chapter #24 Chapter title: The only way to be is not to be Q 2. (excerpts)
I wish, may we strive to be a RAIN CLOUD and shower all over the place.
HAPPY DEEPAVALI AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR !!!
पूछेगा जो ख़ुदा तो ये कह देंगे हश्र में
हाँ हाँ गुनाह किया तिरी रहमत के ज़ोर पर ……………….अज्ञात
pūchhegā jo ḳhudā to ye kah deñge hashr meñ
haañ haañ gunah kiyā tirī rahmat ke zor par ……………………UNKNOWN
Will tell God if He will ask me on doomsday,
Certainly yes, I have sinned on the strength of your mercy.
“Tu Jhoom, jhoom jhoom…” Please listen to this amazing sufiyana number by Naseebo Lal and Abida Parveen on Coke Studio. Loving it. Coke Studio | Season 14 | Tu Jhoom | Naseebo Lal x Abida Parveen – YouTube