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Chapter 4: The Tolling Bell

The servant could not understand. He said, “What opportunity is there? He will simply kill me! I don’t know even how to hold the sword, and he is one of the champions. It will be just a game to him.”

The master said, “That is the point. He will think you are just a servant; what can you do? He will not be afraid of death; he will not be thinking that there is no tomorrow. He will still have tomorrow and the future. He will be in the ordinary sleepiness.

“You will not be. You don’t have any tomorrow, you don’t have any future; this is the moment. And you have nothing to lose. You are going to die, so why not be total and give him a good fight? And don’t be worried about whether you know swordsmanship or not. Use this moment with total intensity.”

Meanwhile, the whole neighborhood had gathered. The servant came. The warrior, of course, was totally on the ordinary level of sleepiness - it was just a joke for him to kill that man.

But it was not a joke for the servant; it was a question of life and death. He fought so furiously, so totally, that the master started retreating. He had never seen - he had been fighting his whole life - but he had never seen such a fighter! All those warriors whom he had faced were all living in the ordinary reality, as asleep as he was; there was no fear that the future is finished or tomorrow is not going to come.

But for the servant everything has come to an end, so why not do your best? He knew nothing of the art - but when the end is there who cares whether you are doing right attacks or wrong attacks? And that made the warrior even more afraid. He knew how to fight with people who knew the art - but this man knew nothing. He was simply hitting him on this side, on that side, without understanding anything about what he was doing! But he was total and intense, because this moment is the last moment and he does not want to hold on to anything. For what? - because the next moment is death.

So he was fully awake - his whole being was total and integrated - and he defeated the master. He did not kill him, but the master fell. And as the servant was putting his sword on the master’s chest he asked, “Now what do you want? I have always loved you, I cannot kill you. But do you accept defeat or not?” And for the first time in his whole life the warrior accepted defeat.

Thousands of people witnessed the scene. They could not believe that an ordinary servant has managed it. And not only that he was victorious.in that very moment he dropped the sword and told his master, “Now I am no longer your servant; I have found my way. I am grateful to you, I will always remain grateful to you; it was because of you that I became awake.”

He became an enlightened man. In that moment he tasted the fullness of being, the very peak of being.

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