Chapter 6: The Touchstone of Truth
People come to me and I tell them, “Meditation cannot go deep as long as you continue desiring. As long as you expect to attain something - bliss, God, soul - meditation will not go deep, because thinking of attaining is greed. It is ambition, it is politics. It is not yet religion.” They say, “Okay, we’ll meditate without expecting anything, but we will attain, won’t we?”
There is no difference. They are ready to stop desiring because, “You say this is the way to attain, so we won’t think of it - but still, we will attain it, won’t we?”
You are not able to rid yourself of greed. Hearing Ashtavakra many people will very quickly accept that it has happened. If it could happen so quickly.and it is not that there is much of a barrier to it happening. The only barrier is the foolishness of your desiring. The happening is so near!
Ashtavakra is right - it has already happened. But only when all desire for attaining disappears then this, “It has happened already,” will be understood. Then you will know from your totality that it is attained. But at the moment it is just an intellectual game: “If a great master like Ashtavakra said it, it must be right.” You are hurrying to believe. Your belief is impotent. Without doubting you have quickly accepted it. In this country the habit of doubting anything written in scriptures has disappeared. If it is in the scriptures, it must be right.
One day Mulla Nasruddin came carrying a very handsome umbrella. I asked him, “Where did you get it? Such fine umbrellas are not made here.”
He said, “My sister sent a gift.”
I said, “Nasruddin! You have always said that you don’t have any sisters.”
He replied, “It is true.”
Then I said, “Yet this gift is sent by your sister.?”
He said, “If you don’t believe me: here, it is written on the handle, ‘A gift for my beloved brother, from your sister.’ I was coming out of a restaurant and these letters on the umbrella - I thought, it seems I do have a sister.
“When it is written it has to be believed. And perhaps there is some sister or cousin.. And religious people have always said you should take every woman except your wife as your mother or sister.”
When something is published - and in the scriptures.. Belief in the written word is very strong. When you tell someone something, he asks where it was published. If you say where, he will believe what you said. It is as if there is some power in writing. Say how ancient it is - people will accept it. It is as if truth is somehow related to age. Who said it? Ashtavakra? Buddha? Mahavira? - then it must be right.
From your side you haven’t made any effort to wake up - not a tiny bit. Someone said it, you believed it - and such convenience: you have attained without doing anything!