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Chapter 5: The Ultimate Evolution of Mind

The king’s son went to the old master in the mountains. He said to the master, “I have been sent by your disciple, the king.”

The master was very old, older than his father. He said, “I remember that man. He was really an authentic seeker. I hope you will prove to be of the same quality, of the same genius, of the same totality, of the same intensity.”

The young prince said, “I will do everything.”

The master said, “Then start cleaning in the commune. And remember one thing - that I will be hitting you at any time. You may be cleaning the floor and I may come from the back and hit you with my stick, so be alert.”

He said, “But I have come to learn about awareness.”

The master said, “This is how you will learn.”

One year passed. In the beginning he was getting so many hits every day, but slowly slowly he started becoming aware. Even the footsteps of the old man.he might be doing anything - howsoever absorbed in the work, he would become immediately aware that the master was around. The prince would be ready. After one year the master hit him from the back while he was deeply involved in talking with another inmate of the ashram. But the prince continued to talk and still he caught hold of the stick before the stick could reach his body.

The master said, “That’s right. Now this is the end of the first lesson. The second lesson begins from tonight.”

The prince said, “I used to think that this was all. This is only the first lesson? How many lessons are there?”

The old man said, “It depends on you. The second lesson is that now I will be hitting you while you are asleep, and you have to be alert in your sleep.”

He said, “My God. How can one be alert in sleep?”

The old man said, “Don’t be worried. Thousands of my disciples have passed through the test. Your father has passed through the test. It is not impossible. It is difficult, but it is a challenge.”

And from that night he was getting hit six times, eight times, twelve times in the night. Sleep was difficult. But within six months he started feeling inside himself a certain awareness. And one day when the master was just going to hit him, with closed eyes he said - “Don’t bother. You are too old. It hurts me; you are taking so much trouble. I am young, I can survive these hits.”

The master said, “You are blessed. You have passed the second lesson. But up to now I have been hitting with my wooden staff. The third lesson is that now, from tomorrow morning, I will start hitting with a real sword. Be alert! Just a moment of unconsciousness and you are finished.”

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