The welcoming words of Fateh-pur Sikri

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Zarathustra has said, “Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the superman. He is a bridge and you should not make your house on the bridge…”

Fateh-pur Sikri ruins

The earth and the sky meet nowhere. The moment you reach to the point where the horizon was, the horizon will have receded farther away. The distance between you and the horizon will always remain the same, without any change. And this is the beauty of life, that it goes on growing, and it knows no end; that it goes on living and knows no death – that it is eternity.

But this eternity is possible only if man’s longing always goes beyond himself, that he is always thinking: How to transcend? How to be farther away from the animal, and closer to God, if there is any God? That’s why Zarathustra has said, “Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the superman. He is a bridge and you should not make your house on the bridge – the bridge is to be passed over.”

One of the great emperors of India, Akbar, had a great dream which remained unfulfilled. But it is good to have great dreams, even if they remain unfulfilled. In fact, only small dreams can be fulfilled; the greater the dream, the lesser is the possibility of its fulfillment.

He wanted to create a new capital for India, the most beautiful city in the world, unique in every manner. The whole city was to be a piece of art; not just one palace, but a whole city of palaces. He started working on it when he was very young. Thousands of workers, architects, stonecutters, continued to work for fifty years to make the city.

It is still there, incomplete; it’s name is Fateh-pur Sikri. It is a ghost city – nobody has ever lived there because it was never complete. Akbar died and his successors thought it too costly a dream. Akbar almost emptied his whole treasury and they were not interested.

You enter the city through a bridge which passes over a beautiful river, and Akbar wanted some beautiful sentence welcoming people who would be entering the city. There was only one entrance. He asked his people to look into books, into scriptures of all the religions and finally they found in Zarathustra the sentence:

“Man is only a bridge; one should not make his home on it; it is something to be passed over.”

In Fateh-pur Sikri, this is the first sentence that welcomes you.

Osho, Zarathustra, A God That Can Dance – Talks on Friedrich Nietzsche’s ‘Thus spoke Zarathustra’, Ch 5, (excerpt)


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

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