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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

Be quick to do good.

Mind will tell you continuously, “Postpone it. There is always tomorrow. Why be in such a hurry? You can do it tomorrow.” And the tomorrow never comes. The person who postpones any good act for tomorrow is postponing it forever; he will never be able to do it. If you postpone it today, you are learning a habit of postponing. Today you say, “Tomorrow.” You are creating a pattern of life, a style of life. Tomorrow will come as today again and the habit will say, “We will do it tomorrow.”

I have heard an ancient parable:

A man worshipped God for many, many years, and one day God appeared to him.

He asked only for one thing. He said, “Give me something - that’s why I have been worshipping you - something which can fulfill all my wishes. Whatsoever I ask should be fulfilled, immediately.”

God gave him a seashell, a beautiful seashell, and he said, “You ask anything from this seashell and immediately, instantly, it will be fulfilled.”

He tried - it was so. He was immensely happy. He asked for a big palace and it was there. He asked for beautiful women and they were there, and he asked for good food and it was there. Since that day he lived in absolute luxury.

But one day everything got disturbed. A sannyasin, a wandering monk, stayed with the man. The wandering monk said to him, “I have heard about your secret, but that is nothing. I have also worshipped God, far longer than you, and you are a householder, I am a monk - of course he was more gracious to me. He has also given me a big seashell. Look at this seashell. This is double the size of your seashell.”

It was. And the monk said, “Whatsoever you ask, the seashell gives you double. If you ask for one palace it makes two palaces for you. It always gives you double.”

Man’s greed is such that the man became greedy. Now one seashell was enough; he could have asked twice or thrice, there was no problem. But a greedy man is blind - greed is blind. He became infatuated.

He told the monk, “You are a monk, you have renounced the world, give your seashell to me and you can have my small seashell. For your purposes that is enough. I am a householder.”

So the seashells were exchanged. Early in the morning, after taking the bath, the man worshipped and asked the seashell to give him one lakh rupees. The seashell said, “Why one lakh? I can give you two lakhs!”

The man was immensely happy. He said, “Good, give me two lakhs.”

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