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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 9
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Chapter 9: The Monkey in the Forest

The bus departed, and a fly flew onto the shoulder of the Greek. He simply slapped it away. The fly then flew over to the rabbi’s shoulder and he did the same. The fly then flew over to the Palestinian. The Palestinian immediately grabbed the fly and ate it.

A second fly flew into the bus and exactly the same thing happened: the fly landed on the Greek, the Greek slapped it away over to the Jew, the Jew also slapped it away, and finally it landed on the Palestinian who grabbed it and ate it.

At this point, the Greek and the Jew both looked at the Palestinian in amazement.

Sure enough, a third fly flew into the bus. It flew over to the Greek and was slapped away. It flew over to the rabbi and this time the rabbi grabbed the fly, went over to the Palestinian and asked, “You want to buy a nice fly?”

Rabbi or no rabbi, a Jew is a Jew! If there is some business he is not going to miss it.

You are living in dreams. Your priests, your rabbis, your monks, your nuns, your bishops, your popes, they are all living in the same sleep. Maybe your dreams are a little bit different from each other, but the quality of the dream is the same.

Why do you dream? - because there are so many desires unfulfilled, and to live with unfulfilled desires is painful. In dream you try to fulfill them; in dream you create a false feeling of fulfillment. Hence your dreams show much about you: what your desires are, what you want to become. But if you want to become anything in life, you are asleep.

The man who is awake knows there is nowhere to go, nothing to become. He is already that which he ever can become. Seeing the grandeur of his being, desires wither away on their own accord. You are not even expected to drop them; they drop by themselves, like dry leaves falling from the trees.

If you sleep, says Buddha, desire grows in you..

Remember: desire grows only when you are asleep, unconscious, unaware, unmeditative. And this is natural. It grows.. like a vine in the forest. And whatsoever you do in this sleep is going to be wrong, remember. You can become an ascetic, you can fast, you can pray, but your prayers will be wrong.

Hence, Buddha never says pray; he says meditate. What can you pray? You will always pray for something; it will be a desire. You can go to the churches and the temples and listen to people’s prayers, and you will be surprised: they are always asking and asking. Their prayers are superficial. They had not gone there to thank God; their prayers are not full of gratitude but full of complaints. They want more and they are ready to pray. Their prayer is nothing but buttressing: they praise the Lord; they hope that this buttressing will help their prayers to be fulfilled. And behind the prayer there is a desire.

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