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Chapter 3: A Rolling Stone

The rose has to offer its fragrance, and so does the marigold. The marigold need not become a rose, it cannot. The marigold has to bloom in its own way; it has to offer itself. That offering will be accepted - only that offering is accepted which comes from your innermost core, which has roots in you.

So Zen or Sufi, you have to feel. And there is no hurry. Go on feeling. One day, suddenly, everything falls in tune, everything comes together, and the vision opens.

The story:

A wandering seeker saw a dervish in a rest-house and said to him, “I have been in a hundred climes and heard the teachings of a multitude of mentors. I have learnt how to decide when a teacher is not a spiritual man. I cannot tell a genuine Guide, or how to find one, but half the work completed is better than nothing.”

The man must have been deeply rooted in negativity, in negation. He could have easily become a follower of Buddha, but not a Sufi. He had a philosophic bent of mind. Doubt was his style, skepticism was his system of thought. That is not the way of the Sufi.

Each word of the story has to be understood, because these are not just stories but parables. You cannot change a single word. If you do you will change the whole texture, the whole flavor, the whole meaning of the story.

Sufis use these stories in such a way that they have many meanings. They can be understood on many levels.

A wandering seeker.

A seeker is always a wanderer. Those who really want to seek remain with a master, they don’t wander. The one who goes on wandering is curious, greedy. He wants to know as much as he can. Hence, he cannot stay with one master. And these things are such that unless you stay with one master, in deep intimacy, with great love, you will not grow roots. You will be a rolling stone which gathers no moss. You can go on rolling and rolling forever, but you will not be enriched by your wanderings. In fact, the more you wander, the more impoverished you will become because life is wasted, time is wasted.

This is not the way of satsang. Sufism depends very much on the intimacy with the master. If you go on transplanting a tree from one place to another place continuously, you will kill the tree. When will it grow its roots? You have to leave it in one soil for a long enough time. If it is a seasonal flower, it’s okay; it comes within weeks, and then it is gone within weeks. But if it is a Cedar of Lebanon which has to live for thousands of years and which has to rise high in the sky and whisper with the clouds, then transplanting it again and again is harmful, is killing it. It is murderous.

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