Two Boys at Monasteries.

There is a Zen story:

Two monasteries existed side by side and both the masters had small boys to run errands. Both the boys used to go to the market to fetch things for the masters — sometimes vegetables, sometimes other things.

These monasteries were antagonistic towards each other, but boys will be boys. They would forget the doctrines and meet on the way and talk, enjoy. It was really prohibited to talk — the other monastery was the enemy.

One day, the boy from the first monastery came and said to his Master, “I am puzzled. As I was going to the market, I saw the boy from the other monastery and asked him, `Where are you going?’ He replied, `Wherever the wind blows.’ I was at a loss as to what to say; he puzzled me.

The master said, “This is not good. Nobody from our monastery has ever been defeated by the other monastery, not even a servant, so you must fix that boy. Tomorrow, ask again where he is going. He will say, `Wherever the wind blows,’ so you say, `If there is no wind, then?’ “

The boy couldn’t sleep the whole night. He tried and tried to conceive of what would happen the next day; he rehearsed many times. He would ask and the other boy would respond and then he would give his answer.

The next day he waited on the road. The other boy came and he asked, “Where are you going?” The boy said, “Wherever my feet lead me.”

He was at a loss as to what to do. His answer was fixed; reality is unpredictable. He came back very sad and said to the master, “That boy is not trustworthy. He changed and I was at a loss as to what to do.”

So the master said, “Next day when he answers, `Wherever my feet lead,’ you tell him, `If you are crippled and your legs are cut off, then?’ “

Again he couldn’t sleep. He went early to wait on the road. When the boy came he asked, “Where are you going?” And the boy said “To fetch vegetables from the market.”

He became very disturbed and said to the master, “This boy is impossible: he goes on changing.”

This boy is your mind. You prepare it again and again to face life, and again and again it fails because no readymade answer can be of any use. Life is inconsistent, life is not reliable at all. The boy asked: Where are you going now? The other boy said: I am going to the market to fetch vegetables. Now what to do?

Never move in life with a readymade answer otherwise you will never meet life. You waste time in preparing, getting ready, and then you waste time after you have missed the life.

It happened; Mark Twain was going back home with his wife after delivering a lecture at a university. His wife said – because she was not there to hear him, she had come just to take him home – she asked: “How was the lecture? “Mark Twain looked at her and asked: “Which lecture are you talking about? The one that I prepared or the one that I delivered or the one that I would have liked to deliver – which lecture?”

You prepare something, something else you deliver, something else you would have liked to deliver, and the time is wasted– and meanwhile the life is flowing by. And you go on collecting garbage.

Then you are afraid of death – otherwise death would be a beautiful rest. One would be ready to relax; you lived your day, you loved, you lived, you delighted, you celebrated, now the moment has come, the evening has come, and you would like to rest. And if the whole wills you will be back again in the morning: fresh, young, capable of living again… but that is not your worry.

So don’t be bothered about the goal. The first step is the last also. The beginning is the end. This moment is all. A journey of a thousand miles begins at one’s feet.

Don’t be worried about the goal, just enjoy, delight in taking the first step; and the second step will come out of the first, and the third will follow. You need not worry about it. Let the morrow take care of itself. Don’t think of the morrow. Enjoy! This step is beautiful! And enjoy it so much that the means itself becomes the end.

This has to be understood, otherwise you will be always missing, because you will be tired on the journey, and you will be dreaming about the goal; and how can a tired journey reach a celebrating goal?

Can you see the simple mathematics? How can a tired journey reach a celebrating goal? Because the goal will come out of the journey. It will really be the total of the whole journey. If I have lived the goal in each step, if I have celebrated the goal in each step, only then will I reach the goal where I can celebrate it in totality.

But if you somehow drag yourself – you are not bothered what is happening right now, you are looking for the tomorrow, the goal, then you may reach, but the goal will be as dusty as the journey. The goal is not OUT THERE, it depends on you. You have to change your quality of experiencing.

Life is that boy. Reality is not a fixed phenomenon. You have to be present, spontaneously in it — only then will the response be real. If your answer is fixed beforehand you are already dead, you have already missed. Then tomorrow will come but you will not be there; you will be fixed in the yesterday, that which has passed.

All the minds which are too verbal are fixed like this. Go to a pundit, a scholar, and ask, “What is God?” Before you have asked he will start answering. Your question is not answered because even before you had the question this man had the answer. The answer is dead; it is there already, it has just to be brought from the memory.

This is the difference between a man of wisdom and a man of knowledge. A man of knowledge has ready-made answers: you ask and the answer is already there. You are irrelevant, your question is irrelevant. Before the question, the answer exists; your question simply triggers the memory.

If you go to a man of wisdom, he has no answers for you; he has nothing ready-made. He is open, he is silent. He’ll respond but first your question will resound in his being, not in his memory. Through his being the response comes; nobody can predict that response. If you go the next day and ask the same question, the response will not be the same.

Once it happened that a man tried to judge the Buddha. Every year he would go and ask the same question. He thought, “If he really knows then the answer will be always the same. How can you change the answer? If I come and ask, `Is there God?’- if he knows he will say yes or he will say no, and next year, I will come again and ask.”

So for many years the man came and he became more and more puzzled. Sometimes Buddha would say yes, sometimes no, sometimes he would remain silent, and sometimes he would simply smile and not answer anything.

The man became puzzled and said, “What is this? If you know, then you must be certain, your answer fixed. But you go on changing. Once you said yes then you said no. Have you forgotten that I asked this question before? Once you even remained silent and now you are smiling. That is why I have been coming with the gap of a year — just to see if you know or not.”

Buddha said, “When you came for the first time and asked, `Is there God,’ I answered.

But my answer was not to the question, it was to you. You have changed, now the same answer cannot be given. Not only have you changed, I also have changed. The Ganges has flowed much; the same answer cannot be given. I am not a scripture to be opened and the same answer found there.”

A buddha is a living river, and a river is ever flowing. In the morning it is different – it reflects the gold of the rising sun. The mood is different. In the evening it is different, and when the night comes and the stars are reflected in it, it is different. In the summer it shrinks; it floods during the rains. A river is not a painting; it is a live force.

Remember, life is always uncertain. Everything dead is certain; life is always uncertain.

Everything dead is solid, fixed – its nature cannot be changed; everything alive is moving, changing – a flow, a liquid thing, flexible, able to move in any direction. The more you become certain, the more you will miss life. And those who know, know life is God. If you miss life, you miss God.

Act spontaneously. If there is discomfort in the beginning allow it to be there; don’t hide it and don’t suppress it – and don’t imitate. Be childlike but don’t be childish. If you are childlike, you will become a great saint; if you are childish, you will become a great, knowledgeable person.

Osho: A Bird on the Wing Chapter #5 Chapter title: Master of the New Monastery (Excerpts)
Osho: Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 3: CHAPTER 9. BEGINNING AND END (Excerpts)

अगर फ़ुर्सत मिले पानी की तहरीरों को पढ़ लेना
हर इक दरिया हज़ारों साल का अफ़्साना लिखता है ……………..बशीर बद्र
(*तहरीर=लिखावट // *अफ़्साना=कहानी)

agar fursat mile paanī kī tahrīroñ ko paḌh lenā
har ik dariyā hazāroñ saal kā afsāna likhtā hai …………….Bashir Badr
(*tahrīr = writing // *afsāna = story)

If you get time just read the writings on water
every river is narrating stories of a thousand years.

Once again, the trio of Gulzar Saab, Pancham da (RD Burman) and Kishore Kumar created this magical song for the film — GOLMAAL (1979)….reminding us of the fact that the life is a living river, and a river is ever flowing. Life is always uncertain…. Enjoy this song.
(1301) Aane Wala Pal Jane Wala Hai | Kishore Kumar | Gol Maal 1979 Songs । Amol Palekar, Bindiya Goswami – YouTube

9 thoughts on “Two Boys at Monasteries.”

  1. Was reminded of this…
    ‘Observation without evaluation is the highest form of human intelligence.’ – J Krishnamurti

    Like watching a movie without deciding if it’s good or bad, just watching 🙂

  2. Sitting at the KGA Golf club range, the reading just opened the mind to lush green ahead and blue sky above.
    Thanks Rajiv for sharing.
    So much wisdom in this and what stayed with me is ‘ tired journey does not lead to celebratory win”
    Life is what is happening now and one must enjoy it. Loved the reading. Looking forward to next

  3. Vijayan Gangadharan

    Beautiful statement . Very simple but true and carries a lot of meaning !!! There are lots of people who are uncertain and worried if answers change they will be judged differently . This says it all

  4. The article provokes deep thinking. Wisdom is to select which piece of knowledge will be applicable / useful each time.
    Just like the boy I wonder now what the next blog would be about !
    In the end, a nice song !

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