Once upon a time there were two beggars who begged together and ate exactly the same food everyday. One had two bowls and the other had just one. The beggar with two bowls divided his food into bitter and sweet. He could do so because he had two bowls, one to collect bitter food, one to collect sweet food. The man with one bowl naturally mixed the bitter and sweet together. As time passed, the beggar with two bowls grew thinner and thinner, while the beggar with one bowl remained healthy. At last, the beggar with the two bowls saw his death approaching, and asked the other in desperation about his vitality and vigor.
The second beggar replied, “You divided the bitter from the sweet, and so believed in the importance of taste. You liked the sweeter one and hated the bitter one. The importance of taste did not allow the food you took to sustain you with its inner life. But I had only one bowl and so I have been mixing the bitter and the sweet together, for whatever I have been given to eat, I have taken simply as food, and it has yielded its nourishment to me.
The first man rose up from his deathbed, picked up one of the bowls he had and dashed it to pieces, and in the one bowl that remained he ate the food gratefully and became healthy again.
This is a beautiful story. If you divide outside, you will be divided within too. If you divide existence between God and Devil, consciousness and unconsciousness, heaven and hell, this division is bound to create a division in you. You will be split into two, you will lose your togetherness, you will fall apart. Your vision is your being. If your vision itself is divided, how can you remain united? Start looking at everything as one, because whatsoever you see, you become. Once you start eating in one bowl, the sweet and the bitter both, you are nourished, because the contradictions are not contradictory, they are complementary.
Diwali is around the corner. Indians around the world are celebrating Navratras, fasting over the name of God, won’t eat meat, won’t consume alcohol for ten days. All of it seems like a vicious circle to me. Fasting is not natural, it is forced. Eat when you feel like, eat what you feel like, what is the harm in this? Not wanting to eat is a different scenario, not allowing to eat is stupid. It happens in animals as well, but they don’t believe in fasting, they don’t have a philosophy of fasting. Move with your feeling, not by the rule. That is what I would call the real life.
I fast too, at times. I force myself to stay hungry and that is not to please any unseen God. I fast because I want to cleanse my system, that’s all! I am not against fasting, I am against the philosophy of fasting. Don’t make a rule that every Sunday you have to fast, or you won’t eat meat or eggs every Tuesday and Thursday. Be natural. To be in tune with nature is to be religious, at least to me. Living naturally will make you free. But, I see that people are afraid of freedom. People are afraid of knowing life deeply. People are afraid to love, afraid of the unknown. Freedom is not for sick people, freedom is for those who are mad.
Everyone lives a closed life, lives in his own world. There is not one world around us, there are as many worlds as there are minds. Each mind has its own world and is closed. Sometimes we come in close contact with other worlds, but that is only on the periphery. The mind is a wall around us. It is a transparent wall made of thoughts, prejudices, theories, scriptures and that’s why we are not aware of it. We live behind this wall, and whatsoever we see and feel is not the fact, but the interpretation of the mind. It is an interpretation because everyone doesn’t agree with us. Some people absolutely disagree. It is the main reason for creating divides among people. Those who think alike, stick together, others just part ways because their mind doesn’t allow them to accept the fact, it forces interpretation on them and they follow it naturally.
The reality is one. It is neither agreeable or disagreeable, it just is. There is no question of comparison or argument over reality. All divisions are of the mind. We say someone is good, someone is bad. We think of someone as a friend and someone as an enemy. All projections, all interpretations. Interpretation has caused all the wars in the world so far, it has caused genocides, religious divides. Do not interpret, do not fall in the trap your mind is creating. Let the truth reveal itself naturally, and accept the reality, because reality was and will always be singular, completely agreeable. Life is real, life is agreeable, whatever happens to us is agreeable.
The greatest secret of life is that life is a gift. We do not deserve it in the first place. It was not our right, it was given to us, we have not earned it. Merely understanding this clears a thousand concepts. If life is a gift, then all that belongs to life is going to be a gift. Happiness, love, friendship, peace, all that is beautiful is going to be a gift to us from life. We cannot deserve it in any way and we cannot force existence to make us happy or loving.
Life moves in circles, not direct. The Earth moves around the sun. The sun moves around a greater sun. Galaxy moves, the whole universe moves, in rounds. Seasons move in a round. The whole of life is circular, it never moves direct. It is not like an arrow that goes direct to the target, and arrow is man’s invention. In life there is nothing like an arrow. An arrow is man’s violent mind. The arrow is in a hurry, but life is not in any hurry at all. Life is a loafer, it hangs around. Life creates a baby and takes nine months, so much time it wastes, nine months for a baby!
But it is not only with babies, with flowers, trees, mountains, birds, even with the blade of grass, life takes infinite care and time. It feels life has no idea of what time is, life is timeless. To live life fully is to shun time, break the clocks, tear apart the calendars, don’t be in a hurry or you’ll bypass life. Life is always wandering here and now, and you will always be going there and then. You will always be like an arrow and life is not an arrow.
(This article marks a halt in ‘Being Series’ which I started in June this year. I feel the need to write on various other topics which cannot be covered in ‘Being Series’. I believe it will be a refreshing change for some folks who feel bored because of my continuous stand against society & religion. Thank you readers and keep pouring your love and feedback as always.)