Chapter 1: Beyond the Changing
Once it happened that he was traveling and for three days they were refused shelter because they were thought to be heretics, they were thought to be anti-religious, rebellious. They were not given food, not even water, and no shelter. For three days, hungry, thirsty.
And the third day when he was praying, again he was saying to God, “Thank you! How I can repay you? I feel so grateful! “
Now it was too much His disciples said, “It is time to say something!” They said, “Wait - just a moment! For what you are thanking? For three days we have been hungry, thirsty, no shelter, in the desert, at the mercy of wild animals. For what you are being thankful?”
And the Sufi laughed and he said, “You don’t understand - this is what I must have needed for these three days! God always gives to me whatsoever I need. This must have been my need, otherwise he would not have given it to me. I am thankful for it. He always takes care. He does not bother what I desire; he always gives what he feels is right. I am thanking him.three days fasting, three days no shelter, three days the open sky with stars in the desert, sleeping in the desert, and no wild animal has attacked us. And why you are looking so sad? It must have been our real need!”
This is trust, and this is the joyful attitude. This is real sannyas!
Continuing to act in the world,
one may aspire to be one hundred.
Continue to act in the world, and now remember: one may aspire to be one hundred. It does not mean only a long life. Of course, that too it means, because Upanishadic seers were not against life; they wanted to live long and live joyously, so it was perfectly good - that meaning is perfectly right.
Aspire to live long and aspire to live deep, and aspire to live intensely and passionately - perfectly right! - but don’t forget the symbol of one hundred. That is its true meaning, the higher meaning, the invisible meaning.
.one may aspire to be one hundred.
Even living and acting in the world you can become one. Those two zeros of this world and that, those two zeros of the body and the soul, those two zeros of the changing and the unchanging, can meet and merge into one even while you are acting in the world, so there is no need to renounce.
Thus, and only thus, can a man be free
from the binding influence of action.
Not by renouncing action but by acting in such awareness, in such deep meditativeness, one becomes free of action and its binding effects.