Chapter 7: Raw, Cooked, Burnt
Godliness is this whole, the totality of all that is. Hence prayerfulness can only be a silence. You cannot address godliness. Prayerfulness can only be an utter silence.
If you are silent now, it is a prayerful moment. This is what prayerfulness is all about. When everything stops - no thought moves in your head, your breathing slows down, a moment comes when there is almost no breath. In that state of silence you connect, you are plugged in with reality. You are no longer separate; you are one. That oneness is prayerfulness.
Now the sutras:
A ruby, there, is just a piece of stone(
Where? What does Hakim Sanai mean by “there”? - the silence that I was talking about. When you are utterly silent, in prayerfulness, in samadhi, a ruby, there, is just a piece of stone - your whole way of looking at things changes. When there are desires clamoring in your mind, even an ordinary stone can look like a ruby. You can project your desire on an ordinary stone. You can create an illusion that it is very precious.
Otherwise, when you are not possessed by desires, what is a ruby? - an ordinary stone. All diamonds are nothing but ordinary stones. Just think, if one day the Third World War happens and the whole of humanity disappears from the earth, will there be any difference between a stone and a diamond? Will there be any difference at all between the great Kohinoor and the pebble by the side of the road? There will be none. That means the difference is created by man, is projected by man. It is a manufactured difference. It is something in man’s mind. If man disappears then there will be no rubies and no pebbles, then they all will be the same. Then the Kohinoor cannot demand a special privilege.
It happened once, a Zen master used to live in a forest, and the king of the country came to pay a visit to him. And he had brought many presents, a beautiful robe studded with diamonds - very valuable, the most valuable robe that the king had. He presented the velvet robe.
The master accepted it, but then immediately gave it back and said, “Please take it back.”
The king felt offended. He said, “This is a present from me. Will you not oblige me by accepting it? I will feel very rejected.”
The master said, “It is not the question of my obliging you. If you insist, I can keep it here. But I must tell you one thing. I live here all alone, there are no human beings. So who will appreciate this robe? I live here with the deer and peacocks, and sometimes the lion comes, and all those animals will laugh at me. Don’t make me a laughingstock, please take it back. They will all laugh; they will think that now in this old age I have become foolish.