Chapter 5: Your Purity Is Absolute
The fifth saying:
Jesus said to them:
If you fast you will beget sin for yourselves; and if you pray you will be condemned; and if you give alms you will do evil to your spirits.
And if you go into any land and wander in the regions; if they receive you, eat what they set before you, and heal the sick among them.
For what goes into your mouth will not defile you, but what comes out of your mouth, that is what will defile you.
This is a very strange saying, but very significant also. It looks strange because man is not real, he lives in falsity. So whatsoever he does, it is going to be false.
If you pray you will pray for the wrong reasons; if you fast you will fast for the wrong reasons, because you are wrong. So the question is not what is right to do, the question is how to be right in your being. If your being is right, then whatsoever you do will be right automatically; but if your being is not right, not centered, not authentic, then whatsoever you do, it is going to be wrong.
Finally everything depends not on what you do, but on who you are. If a thief goes to pray his prayer is going to be wrong, because how can prayer be born out of a heart that has been deceiving everybody: stealing, lying, harming? How is prayer possible out of the heart of a thief? It is impossible. The prayer can change you, but from where will the prayer come? It will come from you. If you are sick, your prayer is going to be sick.
Mulla Nasruddin once applied for a job. In the application he mentioned many qualifications. He said, “I stood first in my university, and I was offered the vice-presidency of a national bank. I refused because I am not interested in money. I am an honest man, a true man. I have no greed, I’m not bothered about the salary; whatsoever you give me will be okay. And I love work - sixty-five hours per week.”
When the superintendent who was taking his interview looked at his application, he was surprised and said, “Lordy! Don’t you have any weaknesses?”
Nasruddin said, “Only one: I am a liar!”
But that one covers all. No need to have any other weakness, one is enough. There are not many weaknesses in you, you have only one weakness; out of that one all are born. And you have to remember your weakness, because it is going to follow you wherever you go like a shadow; whatsoever you do, it is going to color it.