“This story is not true… because nobody is allowed to speak of Khidr directly. The inner guide is so subtle that it cannot be expressed in words.” (Part 4)
One afternoon when he was baling wool, Khidr appeared to him and said, “Leave that work, walk to the city of Mosul, and use your savings to become a skin merchant.”
This is what goes on happening here. Madhuri works in the library. Suddenly one day she receives the message, “Leave the library. Go to some other work.” If trust is there, there will be no anger, no disturbance, because here you are not to be in the library or to be in the kitchen, or to be in this or that. All those are devices! You are here to learn the ways of trust.
“Leave that work, walk to the city of Mosul, and use your savings to become a skin merchant.”
Now he had never been a skin merchant, but he obeyed.
That is the definition of a disciple: one who simply obeys.
In Mosul he became known as a skin merchant, never seeing Khidr while he plied his trade for three years. He had saved quite a large sum of money, and was thinking of buying a house, when Khidr appeared and said, “Give me your money, walk out of this town as far as the distant Samarkand, and work for a grocer there.” Mojud did so.
It will happen to you too, many times – this story is your story. You are living in the world of a Sufi. That’s why I said listen to this story as deeply as possible, let it sink in!
Now he had collected a large sum of money, and naturally he was thinking to purchase a house. And for three years he had not heard from Khidr at all. The moment you start thinking of purchasing a house – that means the moment you start thinking of settling – the Master comes and unsettles you. If he had not thought about the house Khidr might not have appeared yet. But the moment he had the money, the possibility to become a householder, to purchase a house and settle forever…
With a Master you can never settle forever in anything. The Master has to go on changing you. The moment you feel now your roots are getting deep into the soil, you will be uprooted. The moment you feel, “Now I have learnt this work and I am doing it efficiently,” your work will be changed – because that is not the purpose when you live in a Buddhafield. The purpose is to constantly keep you insecure so one day you learn the beauty of uncertainty, so one day you forget about settling and the very pilgrimage becomes your goal. When the journey itself is the goal, then your life is the life of a sannyasin.
Khidr appeared and said, “Give me your money…”
Now he had earned, worked for three years continuously, and all the hopes are destroyed. And not only is the money taken away, he is ordered to walk as distant as possible, to the faraway distant Samarkand, and work for a grocer there.” Mojud did so. Presently he began to show undoubted signs of illumination.
That is natural. If you trust so much, how long can you remain dark? If there is such trust, such immense trust, how long can you remain ordinary? Extraordinary things started to happen around him.
Presently he began to show undoubted signs of illumination.
He became luminous – He healed the sick, served his fellow man in the shop during his spare time, and his knowledge of the mysteries became deeper and deeper.
And he had not been taught anything! See the whole point of it: he had not been taught anything, he had not been given any information, still his insight into the mysteries was growing. Not only that, he had himself become mysterious. Now people were healed by his touch, now people could see something surrounding him, an aura. Now when people came to him they could feel they were close to a very, very cool energy. They came with a thousand and one worries and suddenly those worries disappeared. Sitting by the side of Mojud they started feeling something of religion. Deeper mysteries were happening.
Remember, knowledge, information, are all borrowed. True religion never happens as knowledge but as revelation. Knowledge is man’s effort to know about reality. Revelation is God’s not man’s. Whenever somebody is trusting enough, God reveals Himself, He opens His mysteries.
Those mysteries are not opened because of your curiosity, those mysteries are opened because of your trust. Knowledge comes out of curiosity, wisdom comes out of revelation.
Now, the fragrance started spreading.
Clerics, philosophers and others visited him and asked, “Under whom did you study?”
Now that’s always what the foolish person asks: “Under whom did you study?” The clerics, the theologians, the philosophers, the professors, the learned people, the scholars – they know only one way of knowing, that is knowledge. “From whom have you got this knowledge? Who has informed you? Who has been your teacher?” They don’t know that there is a very, very diametrically opposite way of knowing, the real way of knowing: nobody gives you any knowledge, you simply become more and more silent, receptive, more and more feminine and soft, and suddenly things start being revealed to you from some unknown energy. There is no teacher. Life itself becomes the teacher.
Mojud said, “It is difficult to say under whom I have studied. I have not studied under anybody. I have not studied at all, I am not a learned man! It has happened, certainly. I have come to know certain things, but I don’t know from whom, who has been penetrating my being, from where the beyond has penetrated me. I don’t know anything.”
“It is difficult to say…”
His disciples asked, “How did you start your career?”
He said, “As a small official.”
Now that is irrelevant. They are not asking how he started earning his bread. They are asking,, “How did you start becoming a great saint?”
But he says, “That I don’t know. All I know is that I was a small official in a town. I would have ended as an Inspector of Weights and Measures.”
Then the disciples tried to poke:
“And you gave it up to devote yourself to self-mortification?”
“No, I just gave it up.”
See the point. If you give something in order to get something, this is not renunciation. If you renounce the world to get into heaven this is not renunciation. This is a simple bargain. You are being cunning and clever and calculating.
He says, “No, I just gave it up. There was no reason really to give it up. In fact… it was almost mad to give it up. I was hankering to achieve something. I have not given it up for anything; I simply gave it up.”
They did not understand him.
Because without motivation, how can you do anything? Trust knows how to do without motivation.
People approached him to write the story of his life.
He became famous, by and by.
“What have you been in your life?” they asked.
Listen to his answer. It is one of the most beautiful.
“I jumped into a river, became a fisherman, then walked out of his reed hut in the middle of the night. After that, I became a farmhand. While I was baling wool, I changed and went to Mosul, where I became a skin merchant. I saved some money there, but gave it away. Then I walked to Samarkand where I worked for a grocer. And this is where I am now.”
Now what kind of spiritual life is this?
“But this inexplicable behavior throws no light upon your strange gifts and wonderful examples,” said the biographers.
“That is so,” said Mojud.
He agrees perfectly: That is so. He is also puzzled, because he has not specifically done anything to become spiritual. To do anything specific to become spiritual is a sure way to lose it. Spirituality is a gift. It comes to those who trust. It happens to those who love, and who love immensely, and who love without motivation. It happens to the courageous. It happens to those who have a great longing to live dangerously.
So the biographers constructed for Mojud a wonderful and exciting story: because all saints must have their story, and the story must be in accordance with the appetite of the listener, not with the realities of life.
That’s how all the stories of the world have been created. Jesus is not born out of a virgin; that is a story created to fulfill the appetite of the listeners. Jesus has to be special, only then will people feel happy – their Master is special. So all the world religions go on fabricating stories, fictions. Those are not true. They are there to fulfill your appetite: “How can Jesus be ordinarily born out of a woman’s womb? How can Jesus be sexually born? He has to be extraordinary.” And the reality is that Jesus was one of the most ordinary persons, so was Buddha, so is Krishna.
But if you go into their stories, nobody is ordinary. Miracles abound. Things that should not happen and cannot happen, happen. Those stories are just fabrications to fulfill your desire for sensations. Behind those stories the real lives have been lost.
The really extraordinary person is one who lives utterly ordinarily, because how can you live extraordinarily if your ego has disappeared? The moment the ego is gone you will be living a very ordinary life. The Zen Masters say, “We chop wood, we carry water from the well. How marvelous! How wondrous!” Chopping wood? Marvelous? Carrying water from the well? Wondrous? Yes, it is so.
So the biographers created stories about Mojud. That’s what they have been doing down the ages, through the ages – all falsifications. You don’t know the true Jesus, you don’t know the true Buddha.
My whole effort here is to bring you the truth, their true stories. That’s why I am offending everybody. Jains are offended by me because I talk about Mahavir as he was, not according to their fictions. They are hurt. Their fictions are that Mahavir never perspired – in a country like India! – that once a snake had bitten Mahavir, and instead of blood, milk came out of his body. If instead of blood, milk flows in your body, soon it will become curd.
It is so foolish! But one has to create these stories, one has to make one’s Master superb. Mahavir never pissed, never defecated. He must have stunk like hell. But these are stories, and so is the case with every great Master. The biographers fulfill your appetite. They see that your sensation-mongering is satisfied, but then all becomes false.
Christians are angry with me because I talk about Christ as if he is man. He IS, but all men are divine, so he is divine! All animals are divine, so he’s divine. His being divine is nothing special. It is the very, very ordinary quality of existence. The existence is full of God, overflowing with God, stuffed with God.
Mohammedans are angry. Hindus are very angry.Why are these people angry with me? Their anger is that I am destroying their fictions, and they have become too attached to their fictions. Remember, if you want to see truth, you will have to be able to destroy all fictions. Never believe in any fictions, because it is only truth that liberates.
And nobody is allowed to speak of Khidr directly. That is why this story is not true.
And now the beauty of the Sufis… they say even this story is not true, because nobody is allowed to speak of Khidr directly. The inner guide is so subtle that it cannot be expressed in words, so whatsoever is said is only symbolic.
That is why this story is not true. It is a representation of a life.
It is simply symbolic, a parable. It simply indicates something. It is a pointer.
This is the real life of one of the greatest Sufis.
The real life is only represented figuratively, symbolically, metaphorically. This story is not to be understood literally. It is a story of trust. It has not happened exactly like this, it need not happen exactly like this. It is just a representation.
If you remember this you will have a glimpse of the real life of trust. And we are trying to live this parable here. This is your story. Get into this story – not only the words of it, but into the meaning of it. And live this story. Only by living it will you know it.
Osho, The Wisdom of the Sands, Vol 2, Ch 1 (part 4 of 4)
Images from a special edition, with illustrations by Ma Prem Pujan
Mojud: The Man with the Inexplicable Life
An Ancient Sufi Story with Commentary by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
Ansu Publishing Company, Portland, Oregon, USA, 1988