And the third person among them was totally naked. He did not wear even a loincloth, but he always carried a naked sword in his hands because he was afraid that somebody would snatch away his wealth. He was always afraid of thieves.
These three discussed the situation among themselves.
The first one gazed with his blind eyes far away into the sky. There was not a single ray of light in his eyes, but he said, “I can see that far away, hidden behind the mountains our enemies are coming towards us, danger is close. Not only can I see that a certain race of people are coming to attack us, but I can also tell their number. The danger is close at hand and we need to prepare ourselves.”
The deaf man turned his ears in the direction where the blind man was looking. Neither did the blind man have sight nor did the deaf man have hearing. The deaf man said, “I can hear them, I can hear their footsteps. Not only that, but I can also hear what they are saying. And not only this, I can also hear the secrets in their hearts which they have not yet told to anyone. I can hear what they are saying and I can also hear what they are not saying. The danger is great.”
The naked man jumped up and he began to brandish his sword. He said, “I certainly know why the enemies are attacking. Their eyes are focused on our wealth. We may die, but we have to protect our wealth. And there is no need to be worried – that is what my sword is for!”
This is a very ancient story. Whenever I have read it I have found it to be rich and beautiful. There are great insights hidden in it, it is very meaningful.
You will find these three people in everyone. We have called man purush. “Purush” means a great city. Purush comes from the word pur. Pur means a city. Man is a city. He has great desires, great longings, the net of his desires spreads far beyond the horizon, but in a way they are no bigger than what can be held in a fist. Great dreams arise in him, dreams of touching the sky, but they are no higher than the height of an onion. And in this city there are millions and millions of living beings – in one person there are billions of living cells – but if you count them you will find only three. You are acquainted with the names of the three: the first is called desire, the second is called greed and the third is called attachment. And if you look deep inside them you will find that, as the Hindu trinity disappears and only the ultimate remains, in the same way, if you look into desire, greed and attachment you will find that they are the three forms of fear itself. You will find that fear is hidden in all three.