That fanatic village did not give them shelter, did not give them food, did not even allow them to drink from their well. It was a desert country and it continued to happen for three days. They were sleeping in the cold night in the desert – shivering the whole night – hungry, thirsty, rejected, condemned. And in one last village they were even stoned. Somehow they survived by escaping.
But the master continued his prayer, just the same as he had been doing it in his mystery school: “How much you have given to us! Your compassion is infinite – and you know our poverty. We cannot give you anything except our heartfelt gratitude.”
Now this was too much. Three days: no food, no shelter, cold nights in the desert…. The disciples could not tolerate it – Junnaid is going a little too far! One of the disciples said to him, “At least for such days, drop this last part.”
Junnaid said, “You don’t understand. God has given us these three days as a fire test. His compassion is infinite: he was just trying to see whether our trust is also infinite or not, whether our trust has some conditions. If you had been received by these three villages, welcomed, given good food, shelter to rest…” because Mohammedans very much respect people who are going for a holy pilgrimage “…then you would have agreed with my prayer – because until now you have never disagreed. For the first time God is giving me the opportunity to show that it is not only on good days that I am grateful; whatever happens, my gratefulness will remain unwavering. Even in my death I will be dying with the same words on my lips.”
A humble man lives an unconditional life of gratitude – not only gratitude to God, but gratitude to human beings, to trees, to stars, to everything.
Being shy is another way of the ego. It has been converted into something almost ornamental. A person who feels shy, particularly women in the East, are thought to be very graceful because they are so shy – but they are shy because it is thought to be great.
In the West, this shyness is slowly, slowly disappearing from the women because it is no longer thought to be of any value. It simply shows a long tradition of slavery. The modern woman in the West has thrown it away because it was also a binding chain, and for liberation it needs to be broken.
What are the moments when you start feeling shy? Those are the moments when somebody praises you. Those are the moments when somebody says, “You are so beautiful!” And you know that it is not true; there are not so many beautiful people around. But almost everybody will come across an idiot who will say, “You are so beautiful!” And then a shyness comes – because you know it is not true, but it is very ego-fulfilling.
You can try. You can tell the ugliest man or the ugliest woman, “My God, the world has not yet discovered the mystery of you! You are so beautiful that even Cleopatra would have been nothing in comparison to you.” And even the ugliest woman will not deny it. In fact she will say, “You are the only person who has the sensitivity.”