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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   This, This, A Thousand Times This: The Very Essence of Zen
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Chapter 15: The Vastness of This

Everything is happening on its own. Only the insanity of man makes him concerned and worried, makes him almost mad running after power, position, domination. But even the richest man of the world is poorer than these bamboos surrounding Buddha Hall because these bamboos are enough unto themselves and the richest man is still hungry.

Before I enter into this dialogue, I would like to tell you a small story:

A beggar knocked on the doors of an emperor. Early morning.it was even a little dark; the sun had not yet come over the horizon. The emperor was coming out for a morning walk in his beautiful garden; otherwise it would have been difficult for the beggar to make an appointment with him. But there was no mediator to prevent him.

The emperor said, “What do you want?”

The beggar said, “Before you ask that, think twice!”

The emperor has never seen such a lion of a man. He has fought wars, has won victories, has made it clear that nobody is more powerful than him, but suddenly this beggar says to him twice, “Think what you are saying, because you may not be able to fulfill it!”

The king said, “Don’t be worried, that is my concern. Ask what you want. It will be done!”

The beggar laughed. The emperor could not understand the laughter.

The beggar said, “You see my begging bowl? I want it to be filled! It does not matter with what, the only condition is that it should be filled, it should be full. You can still say no, but if you say yes, then you are taking a risk.”

The emperor’s time to laugh has come, because a beggar’s bowl.and he is being asked with a condition! He told his premier to fill the beggar’s bowl with diamonds, so that he could know whom he is asking.

The beggar again said, “Think twice.”

And soon it became apparent that the beggar was right, because the moment the diamonds were poured into his begging bowl, they simply disappeared. More diamonds, more emeralds, more rubies.the king had tremendous treasures but within hours everything was gone and the begging bowl was empty.

The word spread like wildfire in the capital; thousands of people arrived to see this miraculous incident. When the precious stones were finished, the king said, “Bring out all the gold and silver, everything! My whole kingdom is at stake, my whole integrity is challenged.”

But by the evening everything had disappeared into the beggar’s bowl and there were only two beggars left - one used to be the emperor.

The emperor said, “Before I touch your feet and ask your forgiveness for not listening to your warning to think twice, just please tell me the secret of this begging bowl.”

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