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Chapter 16: When It Is Ripe, the Heart Opens

This won’t work today. The simplicity, the innocence, is no more there. The master cannot do any such thing, even though he sees that this will help, that this can bring you instant realization; but still he cannot do it because it will be illegal, criminal; and instead of you becoming enlightened, he will be enchained. And he will not have any answer before the court.

Those days were different, the people were different. It was the childhood of mankind. In that innocence it was impossible not to become enlightened if you desired it; just the longing and you would have found the right man - they were all around, all over the earth.

Today they have disappeared. Their methods are no more applicable. Man has come to maturity, and he has gained a certain maturity but he has lost something far more valuable - and that is innocence.

There is also a maturity which grows in innocence, but that is a totally different thing. The maturity that man has got today he has got against innocence; he has become more cunning, he has become more clever - not intelligent.

Another master had a big monastery and he had a pet cat. And the monastery had two wings, right and left. Just in the middle was the cottage of the master. And there were one thousand sannyasins - five hundred living on one side, five hundred living on the other side. And they all loved the cat of the master. Once, the master was out; when he came home, there was a great turmoil because both the wings were claiming that the cat belongs to their wing. And they were fighting.

The master came. They became silent. The master took his sword, and called all the monks from both the wings and said to them, “If you can say or do something which shows your realization then the cat’s life will be saved; otherwise, I am going to cut it in two, and half the cat will go to the right wing and half the cat will go to the left wing so there will be no more conflict.” There was great silence. Nobody had expected this, and nobody could find any word or any way to show his realization.

The master waited for five minutes and he said, “It seems there is nobody who can come out and claim his realization. So the responsibility of murdering the cat is not mine, it is yours.” And he cut the cat in two, and gave half the dead cat to one wing, the other half to the other wing. It was a very sad affair.

And just then Sosan, a disciple who had gone to preach in another town, returned. People said, “Sosan, something very strange has happened. We were fighting over the cat - we should not have done it. And the master caught us fighting about it. And he gave us a chance to save it, but nobody could manage to declare his realization in some act, in some word, in any gesture. So finally he cut the cat in half. The poor cat is dead. She was so beautiful. Now what are we going to do with this dead cat divided into two?”

Sosan said, “Wait. I will see the master.”

He went directly and slapped the master. The master laughed and said, “Sosan, if you had been here just ten minutes before you could have saved the life of the cat.”

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