The woman said, “Don’t be worried. Looking at the parrot I can say with authority I will change him. I have even changed my husband – what is this parrot? You don’t know my husband…don’t be worried; I know how to change people. And after a few days I will invite you – the same parrot will be reciting the Koran, the Bible, the Gita.”
The man said, “I don’t believe it, but it is up to you.”
She purchased the parrot. All the way home he remained serious, religious, not a single sign of any mischievousness. In fact when he would see women he would close his eyes; he was almost a saint.
The woman said, “That shopkeeper seems to be lying. This parrot is not only religious, he is a saint! He closes his eyes when a woman passes by.” She was very happy to find it.
She put the parrot in the place where her old parrot used to be – the old parrot had died – and she covered it with a bedsheet. She wanted to surprise her husband, that she had found a treasure.
And the husband came home, looking very religious, very serious. She uncovered the parrot and the parrot said, “Hello, Nasruddin! You are really great – every day new girls, new houses. Where have you found all these girls and women? – really beautiful!”
Nasruddin was a customer of the prostitute, an old customer. The wife was thinking that she had cured him. Yes, when he came into the house he was very serious, he started reciting the Koran – but the parrot exposed him badly. Not only him, he exposed himself too!
The woman was very angry. She said, “Why have you been so serious all along, and looking so religious, and closing your eyes when you saw women? You cheat! And I had to pay almost three times more than for an ordinary parrot because I thought you were so spiritual.”
The parrot said, “You don’t know business. I am coming from a place where one has to pretend to be a saint and behave like a sinner. And you can ask your husband why he is looking so serious, so religious, so saintly.”
Man is capable of deceiving others, and of deceiving himself.
The ignorant man does not want to be found ignorant, he wraps as much knowledge as possible around himself – and knowledge is available very cheap.
The first step towards real spirituality is to drop all hypocrisy, all the knowledge that is not yours – “The ignorance that is mine is far more valuable than the knowledge that is not mine. At least it is mine, authentically mine.”
And here is the danger: when a person moves towards being spiritual, this phase comes when suddenly he is utterly naked, bereft of all knowledge. The mind tries hard – “What is the use of being ignorant? Collect all the garbage that you have left. Now you have not only the garbage, the old; you have something new also to proclaim – that you have become spiritual.”