1001 Tales Discourses Featured — 04 February 2019

Osho says, “In each situation, watch. When you fail, it is God, it is fate … you don’t want to take the responsibility because it hurts the ego. But when you succeed, it is always you – it is never God, never fate…”

Indian noble with bow and arrow

A great Sufi story:

Mulla Nasruddin took his disciples to an exhibition. Many things were going on at the exhibition. At one place people were staking much money and trying to shoot arrows to reach a certain target. Mulla gathered his disciples and he said, “Come, and I will show you something.” That is the Sufi way of teaching the disciples. He took the bow and the arrow – a great crowd gathered: “A Sufi Master with his disciples – something is going on!” People were very silently watching. With great show, Mulla shot the arrow… it fell very short, it never reached the target. The crowd started laughing. Mulla said, “Stop! Don’t be foolish.” He turned to his disciples and said, “Look, this is what happens when you live with an inferiority complex. This is how the person who suffers from an inferiority complex will act – he will never reach the target; he will fall short. His whole heart is not in it.”

The crowd became silent: “Yes, there is a lesson in it.”

Next arrow… and it simply went far ahead, it left the target behind. That was also a failure; the crowd started laughing again. And Mulla said, “Be silent! You don’t understand these secrets.” He turned to his disciples and said, “Look, this is how a man who thinks himself very superior behaves. He will never reach the target. He runs so fast that he will bypass the goal, and he will not stop at the goal. He is too confident. He is also unbalanced.”

The crowd again became silent: “Yes, there is a lesson.”

And Mulla tried the third time… and the arrow went directly into the target. Now the crowd was silent and waiting for what Mulla was going to teach to his disciples.

He went to the owner and demanded the money. The owner said, “Why?”

He said, “This is me! The first was the arrow of a man who suffers from an inferiority complex; the second the arrow of the man who suffers from a superiority complex – and this is Mulla Nasruddin’s arrow. Where is the money?”

This is what we go on doing. In each situation, watch. When you fail, it is God, it is fate, it is society, circumstances… a thousand and one names. But the simple phenomenon is that you don’t want to take the responsibility because it hurts the ego. But when you succeed, it is always you – it is never God, never fate, never circumstances, never your cunning strategies, no. It is simply you, your talents, your genius, your intelligence. It is always you when you succeed.

Watch the ego, and don’t feed it. It dies if you don’t feed it. If you stop feeding it, it starves to death.

Osho, The Fish in the Sea is not Thirsty – Discourses on the Songs of Kabir, Ch 2, Q 3 (excerpt)

Series compiled by Shanti
All excerpts of this series can be found in: 1001 Tales

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