A Japanese Emperor went to a Zen Master…

1001 Tales Discourses

“A real man of understanding never renounces anything. He simply understands: ‘Nothing is there to possess, so how can I renounce?'” says Osho.

Zen monastery

I told you that a child learns ‘mine’, ‘me’, ‘you’, ‘I’. Now, you can move to the opposite and you can say, “Nothing is mine.” And you can say that there is no ego in you, and you don’t possess anything; ‘me’ exists not, and you are also a divine form, a form of the formless. But if it is just moving to the other extreme then nothing is gained. If it is an understanding from the middle, then something is gained. But from the middle you will not say, “I don’t possess anything,” remember it. This is possible only if you still think that something can be possessed. One day you think you can possess, another day you deny and you say, “I don’t possess anything. I renounce.” But in your renunciation also there is possession. How can you renounce the world if you don’t possess it?

A real man of understanding never renounces anything. He simply understands: “Nothing is there to possess, so how can I renounce?”

It is said about a Japanese Emperor that he renounced his kingdom and went to a Zen Master. He bowed down at his feet and said in tremendous humbleness, “I have renounced the kingdom.”

The Zen Master said, “Then it is better that you go and possess it again, claim it again. It is better that you go.”

The Emperor was very disturbed. He said, “What do you mean? I have really renounced it.”

The Master said, “If you have really renounced it, then how can you say that you have renounced it? – because real renunciation is simple understanding that nothing belongs to you. There is nothing to renounce.”

Osho, The Discipline of Transcendence – Discourses on the forty-two sutras of Buddha, Vol 4, Ch 3 (excerpt)

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

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