From time to time a beautiful story you told us more than a year ago comes to my mind.
It is about a young man who set out to look for truth, and after some failures was given the task of looking after some cows. Starting with just a few of them on the mountains, he had not to come back until he had succeeded in raising one thousand of them. Years went by, until one day the man heard the cows talking to him, saying, “We are one thousand!” Eventually he returned to the valley, where people could hardly distinguish the man from the animals.
Often, simply by recalling this story, tears come to my eyes. There is so much beauty and freshness in the end of the story, that for a few moments it brings my being to a standstill.
Osho, I would love to hear you telling this story again and again: “We are one thousand! We are one thousand!”
Osho, what is the meaning this small tale is carrying? Why do these few words fill me with awe and tears? Would you kindly comment?
The story is one of the most ancient stories of the heart, of the world beyond words – of knowing, not of knowledge, of utter innocence as the door to the divine. The story contains the very essence of meditativeness. It has many dimensions, many implications, and it is no wonder that it fills you with tears of joy. Those tears are indicative that the story has touched your heart, your very being, that you have tasted it although you don’t understand what it is. You have felt its beauty, its glory, its depth, but you find it hard to explain to yourself what it is that you have found.
You have found a world of magic, mystery and miracles.
I would love to tell you the whole story. It needs to be told thousands and thousands of times because each time you will find some new fragrance, some new sweetness, some new height, some new door opening, some new sky with new stars. And there are skies beyond skies.
I used to live in a place…I lived there for twenty years, in Jabalpur. Its ancient name was Jabalipur; it was named after a great mystic and seer of the Upanishads, Satyakam Jabal. And this story is concerned with Satyakam Jabal.
Satyakam was a very inquiring child. He did not believe in anything unless he had experienced it. When he became a young man – he must have been nearabout the age of twelve – he said to his mother, “Now it is time. The prince of the kingdom has gone to the forest to join the family of a seer. He is my age. I also want to go, I also want to learn what this life is all about.”
The mother said, “It is very difficult, Satyakam, but I know that you are a born seeker. I was afraid that one day you would ask me to send you to a master. I am a poor woman, but that is not a great difficulty. The difficulty is that when I was young I served in many houses – I was poor, but I was beautiful. I don’t know who your father is. And if I send you to a master, you are going to be asked what the name of your father is. And I am afraid they may reject you.
But there is no harm in making an effort. You go and tell the truth in the same way I have told the truth to you. Many men have used my body because I was poor. Just say that you don’t know who your father is. Tell the master that your name is Satyakam, your mother’s name is Jabala; so they can call you Satyakam Jabal. And as far as the search for truth is concerned, who your father is does not matter.”
Satyakam went to an ancient seer in the forest, and sure enough the first question was, “What is your name? Who is your father?”
And he repeated exactly what his mother had said.