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Chapter 3: What Binds You Is the Lust for the Unlived Life

Then the youngest of them spoke. He said, “The problem we are all facing is that he does not have a fixed destiny. There is an alternative destiny - and that is a very rare case such as we have never come across. It is expected that we should tell you what is going to happen to him. But he has an alternative destiny - two destinies: either he will become a world conqueror, a chakravartin, or he will become a renouncer of the world. They are extreme polarities, and we have not been able to find which one is weightier; they are of equal weight.

“So we cannot say anything definitively. All that we can say is that these are the two alternatives: either he will become the greatest emperor the world has known, or he will become one of the greatest enlightened persons the world has known. In any case he will be one of the greatest persons. But whether he will be a beggar or an emperor is beyond our understanding and our science.”

The king was also puzzled; this was his only son. He had conquered new lands, he had made a very big kingdom - and the only successor has an alternative destiny..

He asked the astrologers, “Help me. Advise me what should be done so that he never renounces the world, but conquers the world. That has been my dream my whole life. He is going to be the fulfillment of my dream. He is my child - he has brought my dream in his heart. Just tell me how to prevent him from renouncing the world.”

They all suggested, with ordinary logic.and ordinary logic destroyed the whole thing. They said, “Surround him with as much luxury and comfort as possible so he never feels the miseries of life. Gather around him the most beautiful girls so he never feels any sexual deprivation. Make beautiful palaces for him in different places of your kingdom for different seasons, so that he never feels that it is too hot or too cold or too much rain.” They went into every detail as to how his life should be guided: even dead leaves should be removed in the night from his gardens - he should never see a dead leaf, because one never knows, he might start asking what happened to the leaf.

“He should never see a leaf which is becoming pale, old, ready to die. In the night, all the flowers which are going to die soon should be removed. No old man, old woman should be allowed to enter into his palaces. And whenever he passes on the roads, arrangements should be made that he never comes across a dead body or a sannyasin.”

All these preparations were done, and the old king managed everything that the astrologer had said. But the ordinary logic is not the only logic. There is a transcendental logic which they were not aware of.

I would not have suggested this. I would have told him, “Let him live like an ordinary human being. Let him strive for comfort; don’t give it to him. Let him strive to find a beautiful woman - don’t just gather women like cattle around him. Let him know the pains of desire and longing and passion.” Perhaps he would never have renounced the world, because he would never have come to know the world in its reality so soon.

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