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Chapter 5: Is He Dead?

Once I was traveling with Mulla Nasruddin. At a station, at a stop, a newcomer came into the compartment - he may have known Nasruddin. He said, “Hello.” They greeted each other and then he said, “How are you, Nasruddin?”

Nasruddin said, “Fine! Absolutely fine!”

Then the man said, “And how is your wife?”

Nasruddin said, “She is also fine, thank you.” “And how are your children?”

Nasruddin said, “They are all very well, thank you.”

I was surprised. When the man left at another stop, I asked Nasruddin, “What is the matter? - because I know well that you don’t have a wife, you don’t have any children.”

Nasruddin said, “I also know - but why create an argument?”

Many times buddhas have nodded to you, just not to create any argument. They have remained silent just not to create any argument. They have not said much, but whatsoever they have said has created enough argument around it. You are like that. You will weave theories, you will spin philosophies, and you will get so engrossed in them that you will completely forget that the ocean is just near. You will completely forget that the ocean exists.

Philosophers completely forget what life is. They go on thinking and thinking and thinking and going astray, because mind is a distance from the truth. The more you are in the mind, the farther away you are from the truth; the less in the mind, the nearer. If there is no mind, even for a single moment, you have taken the jump - but then you become one with the ocean.

So the first thing to remember is, if it is a question created by you, not relating to the existential mystery of the universe, then it can be answered. Really, only mathematical questions can be answered. That’s why mathematics is such a clear-cut science, because the whole thing is created by man. Mathematics does not exist in the universe, that’s why mathematics is the purest science - you can be certain about it; you have created the whole game.

Trees are there, but not one tree, two, three trees, four trees - numbers don’t exist there. You create the numbers, you create the very base, and then you ask, “How many? If two are added to two, what is the conclusion, what is the result?” you can answer “Four,” and that answer will be true because you have created the whole game, all the rules: two and two make four. But in existence that is not true because in existence no arithmetic exists - it is a wholly man-made affair. So you can go on and on and create as many mathematics, as many arithmetics, as you like.

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