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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 3
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Chapter 4: I Am a Drunkard

It is the ego that feels hurt, it is the ego that feels competitive, in a constant struggle. It is the ego which is ambitious and wants to be higher than others, wants to be somebody special. It is the ego which starts feeling jealous, possessive - because the ego can exist only with possessions. The more you possess, the more the ego is strengthened; without possessions the ego cannot exist. It leans on possessions, it depends on possessions. So if you have more money, more power, more prestige, a beautiful woman, a beautiful man, beautiful children, the ego feels immensely nourished. When possessions disappear, when you don’t possess anything at all, you will not find the ego inside. There will be nobody who can say “I.”

And if you think this is your love, then certainly your love will also disappear. Your love is not really love. It is jealousy, possessiveness, hatred, anger, violence; it is a thousand and one things - except love. It masquerades as love. Because all these things are so ugly, they cannot exist without a mask.

An ancient parable:

The world was created, and every day God was sending new things to the world. One day he sends Beauty and Ugliness to the world. It is a long journey from paradise to the earth. The moment they arrive it is early morning, the sun is just rising. They land near a lake and both decide to have a bath because their whole bodies, their clothes, are so full of dust. Not knowing the ways of the world - they are so new - they take their clothes off; utterly naked, they jump into the cool water of the lake. The sun is rising, people start coming.

Ugliness plays a trick: when Beauty goes swimming far away into the lake, Ugliness comes onto the bank, puts on the garments of Beauty, and escapes. By the time Beauty becomes aware that “People are arriving and I am naked,” she looks around: her clothes are gone. Ugliness is gone and she is standing naked in the sun, and the crowd is coming closer. Finding no other way, she puts on the clothes of Ugliness and goes in search of Ugliness so that the clothes can be changed.

The story says she is still trying to find. But Ugliness is cunning and goes on escaping. Ugliness is still in the clothes of Beauty, masked as Beauty, and Beauty is moving in the clothes of Ugliness.

It is a tremendously beautiful parable.

All these things are so ugly that you cannot tolerate to be with them even for a single moment if you see their reality. So they don’t allow you to see the reality. Jealousy pretends to be love, possessiveness creates a mask of love - and then you are at ease.

You are not befooling anybody else but yourself.

Mulla Nasruddin was passing by the side of a cemetery. He saw a grave; on the grave there was a stone and on the stone was written: “I am not dead - I am only fast asleep.”

Mulla had a belly laugh. He said, “You are befooling nobody but yourself.”

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