“A king used to go every night into the city for a round to see how things are going – of course, in disguise. He was very much puzzled about one man, a young, very beautiful man, who was always standing under a tree naked by the side of the street, the same tree every night.
Finally, the curiosity took over, and the king stopped his horse and asked the man, ”Why don’t you go to sleep?” And the man said, ”People go to sleep because they have nothing to guard, and I have such treasures that I cannot go to sleep, I have to guard them.”
The king asked, ”Strange, I don’t see any treasures here. Where is your treasure?”
The man laughed. He said, ”You will not understand. My treasure is within me. And the more I am aware– whether it is day or night – the deeper I am reaching into myself.”
It became a routine thing for the king to stop every day, because the man was beautiful with magnetic eyes, with an invisible aura. The king was touched and whatever he said made the king think over it for hours. The king became so much attached and interested in the man that he started feeling that he was really a saint, because awareness and love and peace and silence and meditation and enlightenment, these are his treasures which he is guarding; he cannot sleep, he cannot afford sleep. Only beggars can afford….
The story had started just by curiosity, but slowly, slowly the king started respecting and honouring the man, almost as a spiritual guide. One day he said to him, ”I have always been thinking of ﬁnding a master but I never found one. I cannot leave you. I invite you to come with me to the palace. You will have all that you need. But why stand? – that does not suit the master of the king. From this moment you are the master of the king. Although I know you will not come with me to the palace, but I think of you, day in, day out. You come to my mind so many times, I would love it if you can become a guest in my palace.”
The king was thinking that he will not agree – he had the old idea that saints renounce the world – but the young man said, ”If you are missing me so much, why you did not say it before?”
And the man jumped on the king’s horse and asked the king to walk by his side: ”Let us go to the palace.”
The king thought, ”This man seems to be something!” – naked, he was sitting on the horse, and the king had to walk for the ﬁrst time in his life…. ”And what will the guards of the palace say when they see us?”
But the man said, ”You don’t be worried about the guards or your wife or your children; nobody can interfere. I will declare myself: I am your master.”
The king became suspicious, ”What kind of saint is he? – so easily ready. But now it was too late, he had invited him. He gave him his best room in the palace which was preserved only for rare guests, other emperors. And he was thinking the man would refuse, that he would say, “I am a saint, I cannot live in this luxury.” But this stranger accepted all the best facilities – better than the king. He made it a point, that ”I am the master of the king, and it will be insulting to the king that the master has something less than the king.” The king gave everything that was needed and the man lived in immense luxury. But he did not say anything like what the king was expecting. He said, ”Very good.”
The king could not sleep the whole night, and he thought, ”It seems this fellow has deceived me; he is not a saint or anything.” Two, three times he went to look from the window – the saint was asleep. And he had never been asleep, he was always standing under the tree. Now he was not guarding.
The king thought, ”I have been conned. This is a real con man.”
The second day he ate with the king – all delicious foods, no austerity – and he enjoyed the food.
The king offered him new clothes, worthy of an emperor, and he loved those clothes. And the king thought, ”Now, how to get rid of this fellow?” Just in seven days he was tired, thinking, ”This is a complete charlatan, he has cheated me.”
On the seventh day he said to this strange fellow, ”I want to ask a question.”
And the stranger said, ”I know your question. You wanted to ask it seven days before, but just out of courtesy, manners, you kept it repressed – I was watching. You wanted to say it even before I left my tree. You wanted to say it when I accepted your invitation. Why did you wait so long? You are unnecessarily suffering. I can see you have become sad. You don’t come to me anymore. You don’t ask the great metaphysical, religious questions that you used to ask me when I used to live under the tree. I know – but why did you waste seven days? That I can’t see. You should have asked immediately, and things would have been settled then and there. I know what you want to ask, but ask!”
The king said, ”Okay. My question is, now what is the difference between me and you? You are living like an emperor, but you used to be a saint. Now you are no longer a saint.”
The man said, ”Get the horses ready! We will go for a long morning ride on the horses, and I will choose the right place to answer it.” They went out, and the king many times reminded him, ”How far are we going? You can answer.”
They crossed villages and they continued. The king asked again and again, “Now what is the point of going on any further? Why not answer now?”
The saint said, “Wait a little. I am in search of the right spot where to answer.”
Finally they reached to the river which was the boundary line of his empire. The king said, ”Now we have come to my boundary. The other side is somebody else’s kingdom. This is a good place to answer.” The saint said, “That’s what I have been searching for. Now I am not going back. Are you coming with me or are you going back?”
The king said, “But I want to ask only one thing. Now what is the difference between me and you? You are living more luxuriously than I am! And I have to work and I have to worry and I have to carry all kinds of responsibilities, and you have no work, no worry, no responsibility. I am feeling jealous of you! And I have certainly stopped coming to you, because I don’t think there is any difference between me and you. I live in possessions, but you live in more possessions than I. Every day you demand, ‘Bring the golden chariot! I want to go for a walk in the country. Bring this and bring that!’ And you are eating delicious food. And now you have stopped being naked, you are using the best clothes possible. Then what is the difference between me and you?”
The king said, ”Where are you going?” He said, ”My treasure is with me. Wherever I go, my treasure will be with me. Are you coming with me or not?”
The king said, ”How can I come with you? My kingdom, my palace, my whole life’s work is behind me.”
And the saint said, “Now you see the difference? But I am going and I will not look back even once. I was in the palace, I lived with all kinds of possessions, but I was not possessive. You are possessive. That is the difference. I am going.”
He undressed, became naked, gave the dress to the king, and said, “Keep your clothes, your horse and be happy again.”
Now the king realized that he had been foolish: this man was rare, a rare gem. He fell at his feet and he said, “Don’t go. Come back. I have not understood you yet. Today I have seen the difference. Yes, that is true sainthood.”
The stranger laughed and he said, ”Now, do you see the difference? I can stand naked under a tree, or I can live in a palace like an emperor because my treasure is within me. Whether the tree is there or the palace is there makes no difference. So you can go back; I am going into the other kingdom. Now your kingdom is not worth remaining in.”
The king felt repentance. He touched the feet of the stranger and said, ”Forgive me. I was thinking wrong thoughts about you. You are really a great saint. Just don’t go, and leave me like this; otherwise this wound will hurt me my whole life.”
The stranger said, ”There is no difﬁculty for me; I can come back with you. But I want you to be alert. The moment we reach the palace, the question will again arise in your mind. So it is better – let me go. I can give you some time to think. I can come back.” He continued…
”To me it makes no difference. But to you it is better that I should leave the kingdom; it is better. In this way at least you will think of me as a saint. Back in the palace you will again start doubting, ‘This is a con man.’ But if you insist, I am ready. I can leave again after seven days when the question becomes too heavy on you.”
The more the saint insisted on going, the more the king insisted on him coming back. But the saint said, “Once is enough. I have seen you are a stupid person. I can come, but the moment I say ‘I can come,’ I can see in your eyes the old ideas coming back: ‘Maybe he is cheating me again. Maybe this is just an empty gesture, giving me the clothes and saying that he is going, so that I become impressed again.’ If I come you will be miserable again, and I don’t want to make you miserable.”
Remember the difference: the difference is not in possessions, the difference is in possessiveness. A simple person is not one who possesses nothing, a simple person is one who has no possessiveness, who never looks back.
This has to be understood: you may not have any possessions yet you may be possessive. Possessiveness can exist without possessions. If that is so, then the opposite is also true: non-possessiveness can exist with all kinds of possessions. One can live in the palace and yet be totally free of it.
There are values which are intrinsic; they are part of your being – to discover them is the real discovery. And there are things outside you– to waste your life in collecting them is the most idiotic act one can do. But that kind of act is respected, because the society lives on the outside.
Your individual is within you, and your individual is capable of becoming a source of eternal ecstasy. It is purposeless. To understand the purposelessness of great values, and to live them, is the way of the sannyasin.
Osho: The Razor’s Edge: CHAPTER 15. ONE COIN, TWO SIDES Q 2 (Excerpts)
तूट ना जाए माला कभी प्यार की
वर्ना ये अनमोल मोती बिखर जायेंगे ।
आप मानो ना मानो ख़ुशी आप की
हम मुसाफिर हैं, कल अपने घर जायेंगे ॥
Tut na jaaye maala kabhi pyar ki
warna ye anmol moti bikhar jayenge;
aap maano na maano khushi aap ki
hum musafir hain, kal apane ghar jayenge.
This necklace of love shouldn’t be broken
else these priceless pearls will get scattered
its up to you to believe it or not
we are travelers, tomorrow will go back to our origin (homes)
This song has always enchanted me whenever I sing or listen to it. One of the best from Gulzar saab and of course that of RD and Kishore da. Film “Parichay” (1972). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjvLyBgv6Hg