Osho on Sufi Stories – I have often told a Sufi story. A man renounces the world, his wife, his home. He is young and he is going in search of a master. Just outside his village under a tree, an old man is sitting. The sun is just setting, and darkness is descending. The young man asks the old man, “You look as if you are a traveler; you certainly don’t belong to my village.
I am a young man and I am in search of a master. You are old; perhaps you have come across a master in your journeys, and will be kind enough to help me with some directives, some guidelines — because I am feeling at a loss, where to go.” The old man said, “I will give you exact details. The master looks like this” — and he described the face of the master, the eyes of the master, the nose of the master, the beard of the master, his robe. ”
And he sits under a certain tree” — and he described the tree. And he said, “You will find him; just remember these details. Whenever you find a man who fulfills these criteria, you have found your master.” Thirty years passed. The young man became old, tired. He never came across anybody fitting the description given by the old man. Finally he gave up the whole idea of finding a master: “Perhaps there is no master anywhere.”
He went back to his village. And as he was entering the village, under the same tree… It was sunrise, there was more light. The old man had become very old. The last time they had met he must have been sixty; now he was ninety.
And because for thirty years the man had been looking for certain eyes, a certain nose, a certain beard, a certain robe, a certain tree…. As he saw the tree and he saw the old man he said, “My God, so you were describing yourself! Why didn’t you tell me? Why did you force me to travel unnecessarily around the world for thirty years searching for you, while you were sitting here?”
The old man said, “First throw out all your tantrums and your anger; then I will tell you the truth. Thirty years ago you were too young. The time was not right; it was sunset, darkness was descending. And you were in such a hurry to go in search, that if I had told you that I was the master you would have laughed and said, `This is strange that you are sitting just outside my village!’ And you cannot blame me because I explained every detail, but your eyes were looking far away.
You were listening to me, but you were not looking to see that I was describing my eyes, my nose, my beard, my robe, that I was describing the tree under which I was sitting. You were not ripe. “These thirty years have not gone to waste; they have matured you. Now you can recognize me. Just look; it is sunrise, the right time. And it is not the beginning of your journey, you had already given up. I am meeting you at the end of thirty years of long, arduous effort.
That which you can get cheap you cannot recognize. You had to pay these thirty years and all the troubles that you went through just to be mature enough to recognize me. “I could have told you on that day too — but it would have been pointless, and you would have missed me. “And you think you have been in trouble for thirty years?
Just think about me — for thirty years I have been sitting under the same tree, because I described this tree. I have not left it for a single day because I was aware that any moment you might come, and if you didn’t find me here I would have been proved to have spoken lies. I have been sitting here for thirty years continuously — day in, day out; summer, winter, rain, but I have been sitting here.
And you see I am old. I was worried that if I died before you came back, it would be a tragedy. So I have been trying to somehow cling to life — because as far as I am concerned there is nothing left; I have realized myself. Life has given everything that it can give. I have been sitting just for you.” The story is strange, but significant. It takes time to realize that which you are.
Osho on Sufi Stories – I will tell you a Sufi story. Mulla Nasruddin has applied for a job on a ship. He is being interviewed, and the captain and the high officials of the company are asking questions. The captain asks, “If the waters are in a turmoil, and the wind is blowing very strong and there is a danger of the ship being upturned or swayed into a direction it does not want to go, what are you going to do?”
He said, “Simple, I will throw out an anchor.”
The captain said, “That’s right. But suppose another storm comes up; what are you going to do?
He said, “Nothing else; I will throw out another anchor.”
The captain said, “It is right, but suppose a third storm comes up. What are you going to do?”
He said, “The same! I will throw out an anchor.”
And the captain said, “But from where are you getting these anchors?”
And Mulla Nasruddin said, “From where are you getting these storms? From the same place!”
Osho on Sufi Stories – I have told you the story of a Sufi mystic. One night in Baghdad, the king heard somebody walking on the roof of his palace. He shouted, “Who is there? And what are you doing there?”
The man was not a thief. Without any fear he said, “Don’t shout, that may disturb other people’s sleep. It is none of your business. I am looking for my camel. My camel is lost and it is time for you to go to sleep.”
The king could not believe what kind of madman could be on the roof of a palace searching for his camel. He called the guards and they searched all over the place but could not find the man. And the next day when he was sitting in his court he heard the same voice again; he recognized it.
The king immediately said, “Bring that man in,” because he was arguing with the guard in front of the gate that he wanted to stay in the caravanserai.
And the guard said, “You will be getting into problems unnecessarily. This is the palace of the king; this is not a caravanserai.”
The man said, “I know it is a caravanserai and you are just a guard. Don’t bother me. Just let me go in. I want to discuss the matter with the king himself. If I can convince him that this is a caravanserai then I will stay. If he can convince me it is not a caravanserai, then of course I will leave. But I won’t listen to you; you are just a guard.”
And just at that moment the message came from inside, “Don’t stop that man. We are in search of him; bring him in.”
The Sufi mystic was called in and the king said, “You seem to be a very strange fellow. I recognize your voice. You were the man on the roof searching for your camel and now you are calling my place, my home, a caravanserai.”
The man laughed and said, “You seem to be a man of some understanding. It is possible to talk with you. Yes, it was me who was looking for the camel on the roof of the palace. Don’t think that I’m insane. If you can look for blissfulness sitting on a golden throne, if you can look for God while continuously conquering and butchering and burning living human beings, what is wrong in searching for a camel on the roof of the palace? You tell me!
“If I am inconsistent you are also not consistent. And what right have you got to call this place your home, because I have been here before and on the same golden throne I have seen another man sitting. He looked just like you — a little older.”
And the mystic said, “When are you going to die? They also believed that this is their home. I have argued with your grandfather. Now the poor fellow is in the grave. I have argued with your father; that poor fellow is also in the grave. Now I am arguing with you and someday I will come back again and I will be arguing with your son and you will be in a grave. So what kind of home is this where people go on changing? It is a caravanserai. It is just an overnight stay, and then one has to go.”
The king was certainly not an ordinary man. He stood up and told the mystic, “Forgive me, I was wrong. You are right. You can stay as long as you want. I am going in search of my real home. This is not my real home.” This world is only a caravanserai.