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Chapter 3: The Search for Nirvana

At four o’clock he was standing in front of his house. He looked at it very carefully. What had happened to the church? Where had it disappeared to? Then he remembered that to light the cigarette he had changed the direction of the horse. He had started smoking, and the horse had started going towards his house.

This is just the difference in changing the direction. Any small incident like lighting a cigarette can be the reason for changing the direction. Then a friend can become an enemy and an enemy can become a friend. You can turn to the west from the east, or turn from the east to the west. Any small incident - one becomes bankrupt or the wife dies or a child dies - can make a person renounce the world and become a sannyasin. These incidents are of such little value as lighting a cigarette, but they can change the direction. But this type of renunciation will be false. This renunciation will be full of hatred and not full of understanding. It will have a sense of failure, agony, and will be devoid of understanding and freedom.

There is another type of renunciation in which the direction is not changed. You don’t turn your back towards the world, you look at the world carefully, attentively, and in looking at it carefully, the world disappears. In that understanding, in that state of meditation, we realize that all the relationships of the world are meaningless. Then we don’t create any new relationship with the world - until now our relationship with the world was that of attraction, but now it will be of detraction; until now we were running towards the world and now we start running away from the world in the opposite direction.

No, this type of detachment is wrong. This becomes the new disease and you have to get rid of it also. This is not health. This is just like a sick person who has recovered from his illness, but has become dependent on the medicines. He carries his medicines with him wherever he goes; he is not ready to give them up.

Buddha used to explain this situation by narrating the story of the five stupid men who crossed the river in a boat, and then carried the boat on their heads. People asked them why they were doing so. They said, “We are very grateful to this boat. We crossed the river because of it, so now how can we give it up? We are not ungrateful.”

They carried the boat to the market on their heads. People said, “This boat has taken you across the river, but now it has become a load for you which you will carry on your head all of your life and you will not be able to do anything else.”

The so-called sannyasins, mahatmas and saints, whom you know - if you look at them carefully you will find them carrying a boat on their heads! They gave up attachment, but caught hold of detachment, because they aroused the opposite of attachment.

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