The chief disciple crying over his Master’s death

1001 Tales Discourses

“Perfectionism is a kind of inhuman ideal. You cannot think of Buddha crying,” states Osho.

Buddhist monk

Perfection, the idea of perfection, is an ugly idea. A perfectionist is a neurotic. Perfectionism is a psychological disease. {…}

Life is a flow. Imperfection is beautiful. Be total, and never strive for perfection. What is the difference? When I say, ‘Be total’ I mean that whatsoever you do, do it totally, not perfectly – these are two different dimensions. You have been taught to be perfect.

For example, if you are angry the perfectionist will say, ‘This is not right. Drop anger.’ Anger cannot be allowed in a perfect human being; a perfect human being cannot be angry.  […]

Perfectionism goes on denying all that is human. Perfectionism is a kind of inhuman ideal. You cannot think of Buddha crying, you cannot visualize tears coming to Buddha’s eyes.

It happened that a great Zen Master died, and his disciple – the chief disciple – started crying. Thousands of people had gathered and they had all believed that this disciple had attained to enlightenment. And now he was crying. So a few of them told him, ‘This doesn’t look good. It goes against your prestige. People think that you have become enlightened, and you are crying! What will they think about you?’

The disciple said, ‘I can drop being enlightened, but I cannot be untrue.’

They said, ‘But you have been telling us that the soul never dies. So if your Master is still there, why are you crying?’

The disciple said, ‘I am not crying for the soul – the soul is eternal – but I am crying for his body. His body was so beautiful, and it will never be again. Can’t I even cry for it? I will never see my Master’s body again!’

Now the traditional Buddhist will not accept this – that an enlightened person can cry. These are the perfectionist ideals. You have to take away all that is human – then what is left behind is just a marble statue.

Osho, Sufis, the People of the Path – Talks on Sufism, Vol 1, Ch 10, Q 2 (excerpt)

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

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