Chapter 29: Stillness, Calmness and Serenity
Death says, “But you are too young. Your time has not come and your father has no right to give you. When your time comes I will come myself. You took such a long journey unnecessarily and then you have been fasting. Even I feel sad for you. What can I do for you? You just tell me - I will allow you three wishes. You can have all the money that you want, you can have a great kingdom if you want, if you have any desire for a beautiful woman, you can have her. Whatever you want, just say and I will do it.”
Nachiketa says, “If I am a king, will you come or not?”
And Death says, “Strange questions you are asking. I will have to come one day finally, whatever you are, whether a king or a beggar.”
He says, “Then there is no point in asking for a kingdom. And certainly death will be the same for the richest man. So there is no point in asking for money. Since you are going to come, I don’t see any point in asking anything of the world. I will ask you only one question: When you come, am I going to die really or is it just a facade? Am I just going to change bodies like houses? You have to tell me the truth.”
Death is at a loss, because this is his secret. But the promise has been given, so Death says, “It is very difficult for me to answer you, but I have to be truthful to such an innocent inquiry. I have never killed anyone. I have simply changed their old, rotten bodies, their old, rotten minds and given them new bodies. And there are a few who have lived so totally and so consciously that they don’t need to come back into the world as a separate entity. They don’t get another body again. To them I give the whole of existence to disappear into. They will be in this cosmos not as separate units, but one with the whole.”
This is one of the most beautiful stories - very significant. The proverb I told you which says, “The master is death,” here shows the reverse: “Death becomes the master.”
And Nachiketa says, “Then there is no problem. I don’t have to be afraid of you. You are just a fiction and nothing else. Those who are unconscious believe you are a reality; those who are conscious know that you are a fiction, just an appearance.”
For over thirteen years now, you have been ignoring me. What I could never fully grasp is that what you ignored was my neediness, greed and all kinds of garbage. For my part, though I have been physically close to you, I have managed in my ignorance and fear to keep a certain distance. Really I have been ignoring you.
Osho, from the first day I knew I was yours. But I was, and still am, a coward and an idiot.
It is again Anand Rakesh. In the first question he was ready to die. But it was an “if” question. Now he is far more real. Now he is exposing his thirteen-year-long, strange, insane behavior.