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Chapter 7: The Treasure Which Endures

Before we enter this sutra of Jesus, many more things have to be understood. Who is the wise man? - the one who is ready to lose all for the one. And who is the fool? He who has lost himself and purchased ordinary things, who has sold the master and filled his house with useless things.

I have heard, once it happened:

A friend of Mulla Nasruddin became very, very rich. And when somebody becomes rich he wants to go back to his old friends, old neighbors, old village, to show what he has attained. So he came from the capital to his small village. At the station he met Mulla Nasruddin and he said, “Nasruddin, do you know, I have made it! I have become so very, very rich, as you cannot even conceive! I have a palace with five hundred rooms, it is a castle!”

Mulla Nasruddin said, “I know a few people who have houses with five hundred rooms.”

The friend said, “I have two eighteen-hole golf courses, three swimming pools and acres and acres of greenery!”

Nasruddin replied, “I know one man in the other town who has two golf courses and three swimming pools.”

The rich man said, “In the house?”

Nasruddin said, “Listen, you may have made much money, but I have also not done too bad: I’ve got donkeys, horses, pigs, buffaloes, cows, chickens.”

The other man started laughing and he said, “Nasruddin, lots of people have donkeys, horses, cows, chickens.”

Nasruddin stopped him in the middle and said, “In the house?”

But whatsoever you get - whether it is eighteen-hole golf courses, three swimming pools and five hundred rooms, or donkeys, horses and cows - whatsoever you can get outside will not make you rich, because really the house remains empty, you remain empty. Nothing enters the house, these things remain outside because they belong to the outside: there is no way to put them in. And poverty is within. Had it been outside, then there would have been no problem.

If you had felt the emptiness outside, on the periphery, then it could have been filled by houses, cars, horses or anything. But the emptiness is felt within, you feel meaninglessness within. It is not that you don’t have a big house that is creating the trouble, it is that inside you feel totally meaningless: why do you exist? Why this whole trouble of being in existence? Why be alive? Where is it leading?

Every day in the morning you wake up again to go; and nowhere to go! Every day in the morning you get dressed, but you know by the evening nothing is reached, no goal is achieved. Again you fall asleep, again in the morning the journey starts: the whole meaningless business of it. Inside you go on feeling empty, there is nothing. So with outside things you can at the most deceive others, not yourself. How can you deceive yourself?

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