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Chapter 1: From Dependence toward Truth

During his sojourn at a village, a fakir was approached by its people who asked: “Will you not come to our temple, and tell us whether God is or is not?”

The fakir replied: “God? What has that got to do with you? Go, do your work. No one has anything to do with God. If it were so, this world would be a different place altogether. Then this world would not be so ugly, so vile, so arrogant. If we had any purpose with God, we would have made a different world altogether. No, we have no interest in this direction, nor do those who sit in temples. The priests, the sadhus, crowds of sannyasins and gurus that have gathered together in his name, not even they have any interest in God; nor those that offer flowers and break coconuts on the temple walls. If God meant anything to us, this would have been a different place altogether. Go, do your work; what business have you with God? Do not waste your time.”

But the people would not leave him: “Today is a holiday, please do come.”

Said the fakir: “So that is it: Now I understand. Because today is a holiday, you have time to spare for God. Man cannot sit without work, so when he has nothing to do, he thinks of God, and he tells his beads. So today is a holiday? Alright I shall come. But what will I tell you about God? For nothing could ever be said about God up to now. Those who said, made a mistake. Those who know, remained silent. I would be foolish if I said anything, for that will prove that I do not know. And you insist that I go with you? All right I will.”

They went to the masjid. There was a big crowd there. Crowds create illusions. It appeared as if people were eager to know about God. So the fakir said, “Since so many of you are eager to know about God, may I ask you: Do you believe in God? Does God exist?” All the people lifted their hands in acquiescence - they knew God is and believed in him.

“Then the matter ends there,” said the fakir. “Since you are convinced that God is, there is no need for me to say anything. I must go back.” And he left.

The people were nonplussed. They did not know what to do! Since they had raised their hands in favor of his existence, they could not possibly turn around and deny him. And who knows? Do you? But if anyone asks, you too will raise your hand.

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