Once Buddha was asked, “Can a buddha lie? Can a man who is enlightened, lie?” Buddha said, “He has to – because he will have to devise maps. Maps are lies – lies in the sense that they are not truth. They are indications towards truth. Once you have reached, you will throw away the map. It was just useful.” So Buddha has defined truth in a very novel way. He says, “That which is useful is true.” His definition is very pragmatic, practical, very scientific. So is the attitude of the naqshbandis.
An ancient parable, a famous naqshbandi parable, is that of a father who called his children out of a building which was on fire. When they ignored him, he called them to come and get the toy cars he had brought for them – whereupon they came running. He did not have any toy cars but he saved his children’s lives.
Now he lied. The children, small children, must have been playing inside the house. They must have become too involved in their play to see that the house was on fire. But the father was outside and he saw the danger and he called them. He shouted. “Come out!” But they were so involved in their game that they didn’t listen. He invented a lie. He said, “Look! I have brought the toy cars that you have always wanted. So many, and so beautiful! Come on and take your toy cars!” And they all came running out. There were no toy cars, the father was lying – but he saved their lives.
Now this is a design, this is a naqshbandi, this is a device. It is neither true nor false, but it is useful, tremendously useful. Will you say that when the father lied, he committed a sin? – because all religions say, “Be true. Speak the truth.”
It happens many times, because you are all children and the house is on fire and you won’t listen. You are so involved in your games. Somebody is involved in money games, somebody in politics, somebody in something else. People are so much involved. To their very end they will remain clouded by their dreams and desires.
And the house is constantly on fire. Because you are living in death, the house is constantly on fire. Any moment you will be gone. But you are so much into your games that the master has to devise something.
A man used to come to a great saint and he would always ask, “Sir, one thing puzzles me. You are so innocent, so pure, how is this possible? Suspicion arises in my mind that maybe you simply pretend. In this world of corruption, how can one be so pure and innocent and so virgin? How can one avoid being corrupted by the world? Maybe deep down you still carry the same thing but on the surface you have maintained it, you have maintained it well.”
One day the man came. He again started to say the same thing. And the master said, “Listen, there is something more important to be said to you. Just show me your hand.” He looked at his hand, became very sad, closed his eyes and started to cry. The man said, “What is the matter? Why are you crying, Sir? I have never seen you crying.”