It seems to be a fallacy all over the world that just because you are born, you know how to live. This is not right. To be born is one thing. To know the art of living and of living fully is totally different. Birth is only an opportunity – you can make it or mar it. Birth is not equivalent to life. Almost everybody thinks that birth is equivalent to life, so it is bound to become a drag – just breathing, eating every day, going to sleep, waking up in the morning, going to the same office, the same files and the same routine. For idiots it is perfectly okay, but for anybody who has some intelligence it is bound to become a drag. Because he can see: what is the point? Why after all am I living? If tomorrow is again going to be just a repetition of today, as today has been a repetition of yesterday, then why go on living? What is the point of unnecessarily repeating the same circle, the same routine, the same happenings?
But the fallacy is in the fact that you have accepted a wrong concept, that birth is life. Birth is only an opportunity. Either you can learn to live a beautiful life or you can just drag yourself toward the graveyard. It is up to you. There are people for whom life is a drag, and there are people for whom even death is a dance.
I want to say to you that if you make your life an art, your death will be the culmination of the art – the highest peak, a beauty in itself.
There are millions who are in the same position with the same question. They don’t know why they are living and they don’t know if there is any point in dying either. Life is futile – how can death appear to be significant? So they are afraid of suicide also, because if life is such – just a dark hole – death is going to be even worse.
One day I saw Mulla Nasruddin with his gun, a rope, and a tin of kerosene oil. I said, “Where are you going, Mulla?”
He said, “Enough is enough. I was just coming to say good-bye to you. I am going to commit suicide.”
I said, “But so many arrangements?”
He said, “You know me, I am a perfectionist. I don’t take chances. I have made every arrangement.”
I said, “Can I come just to watch, and just to wave when you are disappearing in smoke?”
He said, “You can come.”
So I went with him and sat on a rock by the side of a river. He made the arrangements very efficiently. On a branch of a tree, which was hanging over the river, he tied the rope by which he was going to hang himself.
I said, “Mulla, that’s enough.”
He said, “I don’t believe it. Unless I have done everything, no loopholes should be left.”
He put his neck into the rope, poured the kerosene oil over himself.
I said, “Mulla, is it going to be real?”
He said, “What do you think?”
He lit a match, set fire to himself, and before jumping from the tree, he fired the gun – the last resort – at his head. But that’s where everything went wrong – the gun missed the mark and cut the rope and he fell into the river. Naturally, the fire was finished, and he started swimming!
I said, “Mulla, what are you doing?”
He said, “What to do? I know how to swim.”