The sannyasin said, “Nobody has the power or the courage to force a sannyasin to go anywhere.”
The soldiers were shocked. They were the soldiers of the mighty Alexander, and a naked sannyasin dared to talk to them like this? They said, “Don’t say that again, or you will lose your life.”
But the sannyasin said, “Nobody can take away a life that I have already dropped on my own. Go and tell your Alexander that his power may conquer everything, but it cannot conquer those who have already conquered themselves.”
Alexander was amazed! The words were strange, but significant too because he felt that he had found the sannyasin that he had been searching for. Alexander himself went, naked sword in hand, and he told the sannyasin, “If you don’t come, I will cut off your head.”
And the sannyasin answered, “Do it! And just as you will see that you have cut the head off this body, I also will see that the head has been cut off the body. I will also see it, I will also be watching this happening. But you will not be able to kill me, because I am the watcher.” And he went on, “I also will see that the head has been cut off – so don’t be under the wrong impression that you can hurt me in some way. I am beyond the point where anyone can hurt me.”
This is why Krishna has said, “That which fire cannot burn, which an arrow cannot pierce, which a sword cannot cut, that is-ness, that being is within us. The integrated being which fire cannot burn and an arrow cannot penetrate is within us.”
The awareness of that being and the dropping of the identification with the body, the dropping of the feeling that you are the body, is bodilessness. But you will have to do something to drop the identification. You will have to learn how to drop it. And the more pure the body is, the more easy it will be to drop the identification with the body. The more the body is in a state of purity, the more quickly you can become aware that you are not the body. This is why body purity is the basis and bodilessness is its ultimate fruit.
How can you learn that you are not the body? You will have to experience it. If standing, sitting, sleeping and waking you try to remember, if there is a little right-mindfulness, if there is a little awareness of the functions of the body, you will have taken the first step towards creating emptiness.
When you are walking along a path, look deeply inside yourself and you will see that there is someone in there who is not walking. You are walking, your hands and feet are moving, but there is something within you which is not walking at all, which is just watching you walk.