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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Reflections on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet
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Chapter 4: Until the Hour of Separation

The very mention of priestesses makes it clear that Almustafa is talking about those golden, ancient days when there was no question of whether one was man or woman; even a woman could be a priestess. Man had not yet become male chauvinistic. The woman was still free, had equal opportunities.

I am reminded of a beautiful, historical fact. In the most ancient book in existence, Rig Veda, there is a woman - Gargi. The emperor of the country used to have a great gathering every year of all the wise ones, men or women, to discuss the meaning of life. And he used to give the winner one thousand beautiful cows, their horns covered with pure gold, studded with diamonds.

Yagnavalkya was one of the greatest teachers in those days, but he was not a master. And this has rarely happened again. Gargi was a mystic, and a master. She was not interested in the reward, but Yagnavalkya and thousands of others reached early in the morning and the discussion started. Yagnavalkya was so confident of his victory that when he arrived. He arrived late, just like any politician. And he came with five hundred disciples, just to show the emperor “I am not coming alone. These other people who are discussing don’t have any following.” He must have been a good showman.

And his confidence, that he was going to win, shows his ego. You have seen how Almustafa says “And how can I be confident in sharing my truth, my experience?” Those who know, hesitate. Only idiots don’t hesitate, because to hesitate you need some intelligence. And where the ultimate is concerned, mind is so small - you cannot be confident.

Another great seer, Mahavira, used to answer a single question in such a strange way; nobody else has ever done it. A question needs one answer, but Mahavira would give seven answers, contradicting each other.

You ask him, “Does God exist?”

And his word was: “Perhaps - shayot, maybe.”

This “perhaps,” this “maybe” is not coming out of ignorance. It is coming out of the infinity of the word God and the smallness of the mind which is going to express it. It can only express one aspect at one time. So he had a seven-fold logic. Aristotle is just a child in comparison to Mahavira, and Aristotle is the father of Western logic. But his logic is two-fold - yes or no. But life is a rainbow; you cannot be so certain as to say yes or no: perhaps yes, perhaps no.

So first, Mahavira would say “Perhaps yes. But wait, this is only one aspect; language is very poor. Perhaps no. But wait. Perhaps both yes and no. But don’t come to a conclusion. Perhaps yes and indefinable, perhaps no and indefinable. Perhaps yes and no both and indefinable.”

This is the quality of a man who wants to give you all the possible aspects. And God cannot be confined into a single word; hence he has added “indefinable.” “Still, there are many more aspects but I don’t want to confuse you.” He has already confused you!

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