The treasurer had no idea what had happened. Nobody fills beggars’ bowls with diamonds. And the beggar reminded the treasurer, “Remember, unless the begging bowl is full, I am not going to move from here.” It was a challenge between a beggar and a king.
And then there followed a very strange story. As diamonds were poured into his begging bowl, the moment they were poured in they would disappear. The emperor was in a very embarrassed state. But he said, “Whatever happens, even if my whole treasury is gone, I cannot be defeated by a beggar. I have defeated great emperors.” And the whole treasury disappeared. The rumor reached the capital, and thousands of people gathered to see what was happening. And they had never seen the king in such a trembling, nervous breakdown.
And finally, when nothing was left in the treasury and the begging bowl was still as empty as it was before, he fell to the feet of the beggar and said, “You will have to forgive me, I did not understand. I have never thought about these things. I did my best, but now…. I don’t have anything else to offer you. And I will think that you have forgiven me if you can tell me the secret of your begging bowl. It is a strange begging bowl – just a few diamonds would have filled it. It has taken the whole treasury.”
The beggar laughed and he said, “You need not be worried. This is not a begging bowl. I found a human skull and out of the human skull I made this begging bowl. It has not forgotten its old habit. Have you looked into your own begging bowl, your own head? Give it anything and it will ask for more and more and more. It knows only one language: more. It is always empty, it is always a beggar.”
On the horizontal line, only beggars exist, because they are all rushing for more, and because the more cannot be fulfilled – not that you cannot get to a position you want, but the moment you get it, there are higher positions. For a moment maybe a flicker of happiness, and the next moment, again the same despair and the same race for more. You cannot fulfill the idea of more. It is intrinsically unfulfillable. And this is the horizontal line, the line of more and more and more.
What is the vertical line? Of being less and less and less, to the point of utter emptiness, to the point of being nobody. Just a signature – not even on sand, but on water. You have not even made it and it has disappeared. The man of the vertical line is the authentic sannyasin, who is immensely happy in being nobody, immensely happy with his inner purity of emptiness, because only emptiness can be pure; who is absolutely contented with his nakedness, because only nothingness can be in tune with the universe.