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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 7
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Chapter 7: The Silence of a Song

The foolish person can become silent. It may deceive many, they may think, “He has arrived.” But he is simply hiding his foolishness, his stupidity, his unconsciousness behind a beautiful facade of silence.

An ancient Sufi parable says:

Four persons decided to go into silence. They moved into a cave; they wanted to live in silence for three months, because they had heard so much about it - they had become so much intrigued. They were so ambitious to gain something out of it. It was not understanding that had brought them to the cave. It was greed, it was desire, ambition.

Hence within minutes everything was exposed. Just within minutes the first man said, “I wonder whether I have put the candle out or not? It will be a sheer wastage, there is nobody in the house.”

The second one said, “You fool! You have spoken! And we have taken the vow of silence.”

The third one laughed and said, “You are a greater fool! If he had spoken, what was the need for you to speak?”

And the fourth one said, “Thank God, I am the only one who has not spoken yet.”

Just by being silent nothing changes, you remain the same. Transformation comes through awareness. Awareness brings a silence of its own, very alive, throbbing with eternity, full of a song. It is not sad and not serious because it is not dead, it has a dance to it. It is tremendously beautiful, it is positive, existential. It does not make you just a hollow thing. It makes you so full that you start overflowing with joy. You become so fulfilled that you cannot contain your contentment within yourself, you have to share it. You become a cloud full of rainwater. You have to shower it.

But out of a hundred so-called seekers, it is only once in a while that a rare seeker comes to know the difference between the real silence and the unreal silence. How can the fool within you be dropped by being silent? Yes, it will not be expressed, but it will be there. In fact it will become more and more powerful - unexpressed it will accumulate energy. And any moment, any opportunity, and you will show it; you will be unable to hide it forever.

It was discovered in an apartment building, that exactly fifty apartments were rented by Jewish families and fifty by Christian families. Word got around and thereafter, for years, whenever a Jew moved out, another Jew rushed into his place, and likewise the Christians. Thus the balance was maintained. Once, however, the Jews were faster than the Christians and the numbers became unbalanced - fifty-one to forty-nine. After that the Christians started moving out until at last the building was ninety-nine percent Jewish.

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