Three fish caught – or bought?

1001 Tales Discourses

“You have to catch hold of your inner light with your own awareness. Other than that there is no way,” says Osho.

Fish Ulamsari Mas Bali Batik

You all know people of great learning, great knowledge, but in whom deep down, there is no light; they don’t radiate a blissfulness. In fact, their studies make them serious. Rather than making them light, they make them burdened. They know too much without knowing anything and it becomes a great tension in their being, because actually they know nothing but they have accumulated so much information. People worship them, people respect them, so they cannot accept the fact that all our knowledge is superficial. It has not grown within our own being, it has no roots in us. All these flowers have been purchased from the marketplace. They have not grown in our own being.

I have heard about a man who had gone fishing.

The whole day he tried and could not get a single fish. Now he was worried about his wife so he went to the fish market and purchased three beautiful big fish, but on a condition. The fisherman who was selling those fish could not understand the condition which was very strange, and it was the first time he had come across such a thing.

The man was ready to pay the price, whatsoever the fisherman was asking, but the condition was that he had to throw the fish and the man would catch them. The fisherman said, “There is no problem. I will throw, you catch, but I don’t understand… what is the point of it?”

The man said, “You don’t understand but I don’t like to lie. When I go home, my wife will ask how many fish I have got. I will show the three fish I have caught with my own hands. I want to be exactly true.”

Such a man can deceive his wife, but can he deceive himself? And is this really true or just a falseness covered with the name of truth? And that is the situation of all your so-called learned people. They have caught fish, not from the lake but from a fisherman and his shop in the market, and they have certainly caught them. But they themselves know that they have not caught, they have purchased – and truth cannot be purchased.

You have to catch hold of your inner light with your own awareness. Other than that there is no way.

Osho, Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master, Ch 3 (excerpt)

Image: Balinese Batik Art Ulamsari mas

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

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