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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 4
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Chapter 3: Be Quick to Do Good

The seashell said, “Why two lakhs? I can give you four lakhs.”

Now the man was a little puzzled, disturbed. He said, “Okay, give me four lakhs.”

The seashell said, “I will give you eight lakhs.”

And so on, so forth it went on - but nothing was given! Promises and promises.and whatsoever he asked, the promise was doubled. He rushed to catch hold of the monk because in the morning, early morning, he was to leave. He had already left..

This is a beautiful parable. That’s how mind functions: the seashell of the monk - tricky. It always goes on giving you great promises, but tomorrow, not today. And tomorrow never comes. And, slowly, slowly, hoping becomes your very life, just hoping and waiting. And death comes.and no hope is ever fulfilled.

Mind is very much afraid of doing good. Why is mind afraid of doing good? For two reasons. One: to do good is non-nourishing to the mind; mind is nourished by doing evil, by doing bad. For example, if you say no, mind is strengthened; if you say yes, mind is not strengthened. Hence mind is never interested in saying yes to anything. Mind is basically atheistic. It enjoys saying no; no is its power. Negativity is its food; it eats negativity. Positivity is its death.

Try to say no and you start feeling powerful. Whenever you say no, whenever you can manage to say no, you feel powerful. Whenever you have to say yes you feel humiliated, as if something has been done against yourself. To say a total yes is to destroy the mind totally, and to remain in a total no is to remain in the mind, in the ego.

The ego is another name of the mind. The ego is the center of the mind; non-ego is the center of your being. At the very core of being there is no idea of “I”; but in the center of the mind, I, I, I.. The only noise that goes on is that of the ego. The more you say no, the more you can feel your ego. “No” defines your ego.

Watch - and you will see the facticity of what I am saying. I am not propounding any theory; it is a simple statement of a fact of life. Observe - it is not a question of believing or not believing - observe and you will know. Say yes, feel yes, and suddenly there is no ego.

The greatest good is saying yes to existence and life. That’s what religion is. And the greatest no is saying no to God, to life, to existence; that gives you great power, but power to the ego.

In fact, the ego is so cunning, the mind is so clever, that even religious people are deceived by it. Religious people go on saying no to life. They try to say yes to God, but the mind persuades them, “How can you say yes to God unless and until you have said no to life? Say no to life!”

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