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Chapter 26: Nobody Is a German

So I affirm materialism, I affirm spiritualism, because to me your body and your soul are not two separate existences. Matter and spirit are just two aspects of one energy. I accept the whole of life, body and soul, matter and spirit, this world and the beyond all together as one single organic whole.

To me the really holy man is one who accepts the whole without denying anything. The materialist denies the spirit. The spiritualist denies matter. Both are in some way denying. Neither is a holy man. The holy man is one who accepts the whole without any denial. The whole orchestra of existence - different instruments, but they are all playing the same music, the same significance, the same glory.

You are saying, “Enjoying life seems to be the only thing I do.” Nothing is wrong in it, it is a good beginning. But soon you will get fed up with it. How long can you enjoy the mundane things of existence? Just try to enjoy anything, then repeat it.

I have told you the story of Mulla Nasruddin. He was appointed the adviser of the emperor; it is a Sufi story.

The first day he was sitting with the emperor at his dining table and the cook had made stuffed bhindis. The king liked them very much and Mulla Nasruddin said, “Your liking is supported by all the wise people of the past. Those who know about vegetables say that bhindi is the ultimate in vegetables; it cures all diseases; it keeps you healthy, young; it gives you a longer life. It is very good that you like it.” The cook heard everything. He thought, “My God, I never thought that bhindi was such a miraculous thing.”

So, next day he prepared bhindi again, and Mulla Nasruddin praised it again. On the third day he again prepared bhindi. On the sixth day the king threw the plate away and shouted at the cook, “Have you gone mad? I am bored with this bhindi. Can’t you find any other vegetable? Have I to live my whole life eating bhindi?”

And Mulla Nasruddin immediately said, “There are many critics who say that bhindi is very dangerous to life, to youth. It brings many kinds of diseases. Old age comes sooner and death is a tremendously painful thing.”

The king said, “And up to now you have been praising it. It is because of your praise that the poor cook has been cooking it every day. And now suddenly you have changed.”

Mulla said, “Listen, I am your servant. I am not the servant of bhindis. I don’t know anything about bhindi. But if you like bhindi, I will appreciate it. You pay me, I am your servant. If you throw the plate away, I will condemn it.”

Just look at your enjoyments. You fall in love with a woman or a man. How long does it remain? Before the honeymoon is over it is finished. Now you are wondering how to get out of it. Your enjoyments cannot give you a meaningful life, they are very superficial. I am not against them; that you have to remember. Once in a while bhindi is okay, but to think that it is all is dangerous.

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