The long line

1001 Tales Discourses

“Nothing is small in itself and nothing is big in itself. It is all comparative,” states Osho.

Birbal and Akbar

It is said that in the great Emperor Akbar’s time there was a great wise man, Birbal.

One day the great Emperor came into his court, drew a line on the wall and said to his courtiers, ’You have to do something. Find a way to make this line that I have drawn on the wall smaller – but you are not allowed to touch it. It has to be made smaller without touching it.’

It looked impossible. How to make it small if you can’t touch it?

You could make it small by touching, by reducing it.

And then came Birbal and he drew another line just below it, a bigger line, without touching the first line, and it became small – comparatively, relatively.

What is small? Nothing is small in itself and nothing is big in itself. It is all comparative.

Osho, Sufis, the People of the Path – Talks on Sufism, Vol  1, Ch 9

Image credit Sreejith R. Kumar (iIllustration and photo); thehindu.com

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

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