Archimedes relaxing in his bathtub

1001 Tales told by the Master Discourses

“The answer comes in a moment of relaxation,” states Osho.

Archimedes first inventor of astute comparison / balance and weight / through the outflow of water

Unless you enquire on your own you will never find what life is all about, what truth is, what these tremendous moments are, like when one becomes a disciple, when one finds a master…. You will never know those moments of ultimate rejoicing. You will never run in the street naked, shouting, “Eureka! I have found it!”

Archimedes was puzzled for months because the king had told him, “If you are really a scientist you should find out one thing. Somebody, another king, has presented me with a crown of gold. I want to know whether it is pure gold, or if there is some mixture in it. Is any other metal mixed in with it? And I don’t want the crown to be cut. I don’t want you even to touch it. You have to find the answer without spoiling the beautiful present.”

For months Archimedes was troubled: how to find out? If he were allowed to cut a little piece of the crown it would have been possible to find out whether other metals were mixed in or not. When a question remains continuously with you for twenty-four hours, it takes you, by and by, close to the answer. The answer comes in a moment of relaxation. The question is a tension, but you can get the answer in relaxation only if the tension has been to its uttermost climax.

It had been so for months, and the king was asking every day. Archimedes was starting to feel embarrassed: a well-known scientist cannot find such a small thing? People had started laughing at him. He could not sleep, he could not do anything – only one question…. That day, relaxing in his bathtub – which was full of water, completely full – as he sat in the tub, naturally some water flowed out to make a space for him. And something clicked in his mind. He weighed the water that had flowed out, and he found the principle. If pure gold is put in water, then a certain amount of water will come out. If some other metal is mixed in it, then a different amount of water will come out, because that certain metal will not have the same effect on water as the gold if it is pure.

Now the crown need not be destroyed; it has just to be put in water, and another piece of pure gold of the same volume can be put in water and you can see how much water comes out from both. If it is exactly the same then the crown is of pure gold; if it is not, then there is a mixture. The finding was not something great. He had not found a master, or truth; he had not realized himself. He had not entered into nirvana. But such a small finding…. The question is not of small or great; the question is of finding yourself. The joy comes from finding, not what you find.

Archimedes jumped out of his bathtub, ran out of his bathroom, and rushed into the street shouting, “Eureka!” A crowd followed him. They thought, “We were always thinking this man is crazy, now he has gone completely crazy; naked, he is going towards the palace!”

He reached the court naked, shouting “Eureka, I have found it!”

The king said, “It seems you must have found it. But where are your clothes?” That moment Archimedes became aware that he was naked.

The king said, “Your coming naked shows that you must have found it, because when someone finds something it is such a joy. Who cares about clothes? Who remembers about manners? You need not say anything to me; just your coming in this way has given me proof that you must have found it.”

Osho, From the False to the Truth, Ch 1, Q 1 (excerpt)

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

Comments are closed.