Chapter 4: A Very Deep Balancing
The Bible has awe in it - the quality of putting your mind completely at a stop - but that you will have to reach directly. The missionary, the priest, the bishop destroy it because they start interpreting. They put their minds in it and their minds are mediocre. It is as if you are looking at a tremendously beautiful thing from the mind of a very stupid man. Or you are looking into a mirror that is broken, completely broken - it has gathered rust, nothing can be mirrored perfectly - and you look in the mirror and see the moon, distorted. That’s how it has been happening.
The Bible is one of the greatest events in the world - very pure, purer than the Bhagavadgita because the Bhagavadgita is very refined. The people who created it were very cultured and educated, and of course whenever a thing becomes very refined it becomes ethereal, unearthly. The Bible is rooted in the earth. All the prophets of the Bible are people of the earth. Even Jesus moves on the earth; he is the son of a carpenter, uneducated, not knowing anything about aesthetics, poetics - nothing. If he speaks poetry, it is because he is, not knowing it at all, a poet. His poetry is raw and wild. Jesus has something of the peasant in him: wisdom but not knowledge. He is not a man of knowledge; no university would be willing to confer an honorary degree on him, no. He wouldn’t fit at Oxford or Cambridge; he would look very foolish in the gowns and clown-like caps. He would look very foolish, he wouldn’t fit. He belongs to the earth, to the village, to ordinary, plain people.
Just the other night I was reading a small story, an Arabian story.
A man died. He had seventeen camels and three sons and he left a will in which, when it was opened and read, it was said that one-half of the camels should go to the first son, one-third to the second and one-ninth to the third.
The sons were nonplussed - what to do? Seventeen camels: one-half is to go to the first son - is one to cut one camel in two? And that too won’t solve much because then one-third has to go to the second. That too won’t solve much: one-ninth has to go to the third. Almost all the camels would be killed.
Of course they went to the man of the town who was most knowledgeable: the Mulla - the pundit, the scholar, the mathematician. He thought hard, he tried hard, but he couldn’t find any solution because mathematics is mathematics. He said, “I have never divided camels in my life, this whole thing seems to be foolish. But you will have to cut them. If the will is to be followed exactly then the camels have to be cut, they have to be divided.” The sons were not ready to cut the camels. So what to do? Then somebody suggested, “It is better that you go to someone who knows something about camels, not about mathematics.”
So they went to the sheikh of the town who was an old man, uneducated, but wise through experience. They told him their problem. The old man laughed. He said, “Don’t be worried. It is simple.” He loaned one of his own camels to them - now there were eighteen camels - and then he divided. Nine camels were given to the first and he was satisfied, perfectly satisfied. Six camels were given to the second - one-third; he was also perfectly satisfied. And two camels were given to the third - one-ninth; he was also satisfied. One camel was left. That was loaned. He took his camel back and said, “You can go.”