Within a couple of days the conch shell drove the man crazy. It would coax the man to ask for something. The man would start looking sideways, because he knew that once you open your mouth this evil shell will have you in its trap. Speak, and you will be in the trap – and then it becomes difficult to drop out of its noose, then it goes on harassing you: “Would you take thirty-two? Would you take sixty-four?” And there is no give and take whatsoever.
The same is the picture with meditation and the ego. The ego is a mahashankh, the great conch shell. No matter how much you achieve, it wants more. The numbers go on increasing, the race goes on becoming faster, and man never reaches that place where he can say, “Okay, now here is the destination.” The destination always remains a mirage, always the same distance away. There is a lot of journeying, but it reaches nowhere. The hustle and bustle is tremendous. And because the whole world is involved in this hustle and bustle, there is great struggle too – and neither does the mind want to accept that so many people can be wrong.
People rarely take the time to sit down for meditation
Did you pay attention to one word, buddhu? It is derived from the word buddha. If someone sits down with closed eyes for meditation, people call him “buddhu,” the village idiot: “Did you see this buddhu? He is trying to become a buddha!” You set out to become a buddha, and you end up only a buddhu. “And even if you attain yourself,” the ego asks – it is very logical – “even if you attain yourself, what is the big deal in this attainment? You had never lost yourself in the first place. Attainment is about something that is far away. What is there in attaining that which you already are?”
And it sounds logical; it appeals to the intellect. That which is already with me, which is with me since birth, which is my very nature – what the hell is there to attain? It is wasting time! Let us go and attain something that is far away. Let us go to the moon. Let us climb Mount Everest.
What must the taste be of climbing Everest? What taste must Edmund Hillary have had standing on top of Mount Everest?
The story I have heard is…it does not sound believable, but my heart wants to believe it…
When Edmund Hillary arrived with Tensing on the top of Everest he saw that a saint was already there puffing on his chillum. Edmund Hillary hit his head – it had all been for nothing. Before Hillary, some one hundred expedition groups had failed and some had died. Some couldn’t even be traced as to what had happened to them, in what snow blizzards they had vanished forever. It was an arduous journey. After tremendous difficulty, Hillary had somehow reached – and this baba saint was there, puffing on his chillum. This was too much!