Chapter 14: Conscious Dying
So Hassan stopped him and said, “My boy, will you answer me one question? From where has this flame come into this candle?” He was asking a very metaphysical question, and he was certain that the boy would be caught in his net. But the boy did something, and Hassan couldn’t forget the incident his whole life.
The boy laughed and blew out the candle, and he said, “Now it has gone just before your eyes. Tell me where it has gone. If you can tell me where it has gone, I will reply to you from where it has come. And it has gone just before your eyes.”
Hassan fell down at the feet of that child and said, “Forgive me. I don’t know anything, but I am filled with knowledge. I don’t know even this much, where this flame has gone, so what else can I know? You are my teacher. You have taught me much. You have taught me my ignorance.”
When Hassan became enlightened, the first gratitude he expressed was towards this boy, this unknown boy. He thanked that unknown boy, so his disciples asked, “Whom are you thanking?”
He said, “There was a boy in a certain village who taught me my ignorance by blowing out a candle and asking where it had gone. He was my first real teacher, because all other teachers simply taught me more and more knowledge. He was the only one, and the first, who taught me my ignorance. And only because of him did I become aware that my knowledge is false. And when your knowledge is false and you know it, only then can you progress towards an authentic, real knowledge -knowing.”
This sutra says contentment is visarjan, contentment is dispersion. When you are contented totally, now you are out of the birth cycle. Now you will not be reborn again, because only desire is reborn, not you. And because of desire you have to follow; you become a shadow of your desire. The desire moves ahead and you move behind. Now there is no desire, and you need not move at all. One is freed from the wheel of rebirth, from samsara. This is what liberation is.
Disperse yourself through dispersing your desires. Attain the center of being through contentment. Contentment is centering in oneself, unmoving, still, silent.