Chaitanya Keerti writes in the Deccan Chronicle on May 16, 2014 on Zusia, a Hassidic mystic.
Osho considers Zusia, a Hassid mystic, as one of most humble mystics this world has known. There’s a very beautiful story about Zusia, who was a man of prayers and a very sensitive human being.
It is said that once he was going into the hills and he saw many birds caught by a man in a cage. Zusia opened the cage and freed the birds. The man who had encaged the birds asked, “What have you done?”
Zusia said, “Birds are meant to fly.” But the man thought otherwise and became infuriated. He gave Zusia a good beating. This did not provoke any anger in Zusia. He kept laughing, rather enjoying being beaten. After a while, Zusia asked, “Are you done with the beating, or would you like to continue?”
The man was speechless! And then Zusia started singing. He was happy to see birds flying in the sky. He was beaten and yet it didn’t hurt. Zusia was happy that he could still thank God. There was no complaint. Zusia knew how to transform anger into compassion. He had a very unique way of praying. In the time of death, when he was praying, tears were flowing down from his eyes.
Somebody asked him, “What is the matter?” Zusia said, “I am dying and soon I will face God. I am scared of answering God’s questions. If God asks, ‘Zusia, why were you not a Moses?’ I will say ‘Lord, because you didn’t give me the qualities of Moses!’ and there will be no problem. If he asks, ‘Why were you not like Rabbi Akiba?’ I will tell him ‘Sir, you never gave me the qualities of being an Akiba, that’s why.’ But if God asks, ‘Why weren’t you just Zusia?’ then I won’t have any answer; then I will have to look down in shame. That’s why I am trembling and these tears are flowing.”
“During my entire life, I tried to become Moses or Akiba or somebody else, and I completely forgot that He wanted me to be just Zusia and nobody else. Now I am trembling because I am afraid. If He asks this question, what am I going to answer? I have missed being myself while imitating others.”
This kind of humbleness is what made Zusia unique.
Swami Chaitanya Keerti,
editor of Osho World, is the author of Osho Fragrance
Illustration by Osho News