A man came to Bayazid and said that he had fasted and prayed for thirty years and yet had not come near to an understanding of God.
Bayazid told him that even a hundred years would not be enough.
The man asked why.
“Because your selfishness is working as a barrier between yourself and the truth,” said Bayazid.
Truth is not veiled. It is not hidden. It is always just in front of your eyes. If you miss it, it is not because of it, but because your eyes are closed. The veil is not on the face of truth: the veil is on you. And not only one – many, millions of veils.
If truth were hidden then one Buddha, one Mohammed or one Zarathustra would have been enough. Once uncovered, everybody would have known it. It would have been just like it is in a scientific discovery – you need not discover it again and again. Albert Einstein discovers something – it becomes a common property. Then every schoolchild knows about it, it need not be discovered again. Once discovered, it is discovered.
But what happens? A Buddha discovers, a Mohammed discovers again – you will have to discover it again. What is the matter? The matter is this: that the veil is not on the truth – otherwise, one man would have unveiled it and everybody would have realized it – the veil is on you. So everybody has to unveil himself, and truth has to be discovered again and again by each and every one of you. It can never become a common property. It can never become a collective truth. It will remain individual.
But why are your eyes closed? There must be some great investment in them, in the closed eyes. There is, and that has to be understood. If it is just a matter of opening the eyes then why don’t you open them? Who is holding you back, who is preventing you? Truth is naked, absolutely nude. That is the nature of truth – you can call it God – and it is just in front of you and it has always been so. But why don’t you open your eyes? There seems to be a great investment.
It happened once: A woman was brought to me. She was a very beautiful person. Her husband had died, and they had been married for only three months. They had loved each other tremendously, against the whole society, the whole world. They had left everything just for their love – and suddenly the husband died. It was too much for the woman, the poor woman. She remained with closed eyes for three days, she wouldn’t open them – because deep down she knew that if she opened her eyes…the husband is dead, the corpse is there. People tried to persuade her, they did everything, but she would not open her eyes. And she would go on saying, “My husband is not dead. Who says my husband is dead?” They couldn’t wait any longer: the body had to be burned.