Chapter 2: A Boundless Drop to a Boundless Ocean
“It is unprecedented,” death said. “Never is anyone informed by death beforehand. It does not come with an appointment; it simply comes and you are no more. But you have been such a beautiful man and such a nice king, loved by millions of people. You have never invaded any country, you have never gone to war. You have done no violence to anybody. Just thinking of this, for the first time I am going against my own discipline. I am informing you. You have almost a whole day to protect yourself - do something!”
No one can sleep after such a dream. The king immediately asked his security to be on alert. He had an old servant who was almost like his father, because his father had died very early and this servant had raised him and protected his empire and, when he was of the right age, crowned him as the king. Naturally, he called the old man.
He said, “I have seen such a dream. I have tightened security measures. What else can be done? Time is very short, I have never seen time moving so fast.”
The old man said, “Security measures will not help. If death can enter even your dreams, what can these people do to prevent it? It is better that you immediately call all the wise people of the country, astrologers, philosophers, learned scholars, great priests. Seek their advice. I’m just an old servant.”
Immediately all the wise people from the capital were gathered. They came with their scriptures and they started arguing with each other. Night was gone, the sun had risen. And once the sun has risen, the sunset is not very far away. And all those wise people - philosophers, astrologers and others - were so much engaged in argumentation, in criticizing each other’s view that the old servant said to the king, “Leave these people. They have never come to any agreement in centuries! No two philosophers have ever agreed on any point. They have come with these big scriptures; they will take centuries. They all have their own hypotheses, theories about death. My suggestion is, let them discuss. Take your best horse - and you have the best horse in the world - and escape from this palace as fast as possible. Don’t stop until sunset has passed and you are still alive.” The idea was appealing.
It is said in a proverb in Tibet: Why do dogs bark at each other continuously, day in, day out? The proverb says these are philosophers; from their past lives, they have not forgotten yet - barking at each other. They know only barking. And strangely enough, they bark at the moon. Now what concern have dogs with the moon? They are not astronauts. But they are discussing the beauty! To us it is barking, but that is their language.
They always bark at people who are in uniform - policemen, postmen. Strange people - why should they bark at poor postmen, policemen, sannyasins? They are absolutely against uniformity. They cannot agree on anything, and uniformity shows agreement. That’s why I have withdrawn. Why unnecessarily trouble poor dogs? If you are not in uniform, the dog will not pay any attention. You don’t mean anything, you are not a philosophical question. Once you are in uniform, then it is impossible for the dog not to disagree.