The scripture thrown into the fire

1001 Tales told by the Master

“All talk is to prepare you for silence, and only in silence can the truth be given.”

fire place

All that is spoken is just a hint. Nothing is spoken in it. It is just a net, a fisherman’s net, so that those who live in their heads can be caught.

Once they are caught, the use of language is finished. Then their heart starts throbbing. Then a communion – not communication, a communion – happens between the Master and the disciple, then their hearts start beating in the same rhythm.

Then they breathe in the same rhythm. No need to say anything then. Then everything is understood without being said.

All talk is to prepare you for silence, and only in silence can the truth be given.

It happened to another Zen Master who was dying. He called his most beloved disciple and said, “Now the moment has come, and I must give you the scripture that I have been carrying long; it was given to me by my Master when he was dying; now I am dying.”

He pulled out a book, a book he had been hiding under his pillow. Everybody knew about it but nobody had ever been allowed to look into it. He was very secretive about it. When he went to the bathroom he would carry the book with him, nobody had ever been allowed to see what was in the book; and everybody of course was curious, tremendously curious.

Now he had called this disciple and said, “The last moment has come and I have to give you the scripture that was given to me by my Master. Keep it! Preserve it as carefully as possible – protect it so that it should not be destroyed. It is a valuable treasure. Once lost – lost for centuries.”

The disciple laughed and said, “But whatsoever has to be attained I have attained without this scripture, so what is the need? You can take it with you.”

The Master insisted.

The disciple said, “Okay, if you insist then it’s okay.”

The book was given to him – it was a winter evening, very cold, and the fire was burning in the room – the disciple took the book and without even looking at it he threw it into the fire.

The Master jumped and said, “What are you doing!”

And the disciple shouted even more loudly, “What are you saying! To preserve a scripture?”

The Master started laughing, he said, “You passed the examination. Had you preserved it you would have missed! And there was nothing in it, to tell you the truth, it is completely empty. It was just to see whether you have become capable of understanding silence, or if you still cling deep down to words, concepts, theories, philosophies.”

All philosophies, all that can be said, are just like the porch of a palace. […]

All words at the most can become porches; they lead you towards the inner temple; but if you cling to them then you remain in the porch – the porch is not the palace. Lao Tzu is saying something which is just like a porch, a door. If you understand it, you will drop all words, language – in fact the whole mind.

Where you leave your shoes in the porch, you should leave your mind also. Then only you enter the innermost shrine of being.

Osho, Tao: The Three Treasures – Talks on fragments from Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Vol 3, Ch 5

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

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