Questions from friends.
I used to think that religious feelings were something great, something exciting and extraordinary which happened to only very sensitive people. Being with you, I feel very fine and tender love that makes me feel happy and whole and free. It’s such a simple and ordinary feeling that my mind tells me there must be something greater and more intense. Is this again my ego, or is there more to it?
The mind is always asking for more, It is a beggar.
I will tell you an ancient parable…
A beggar knocked on the doors of the palace. By chance the king was just coming out for his morning walk in the garden, so he himself opened the door. The beggar said, “It seems to be a fortunate day for you.”
The king said, “For me or for you?”
The beggar said, “By the end of the day it will be decided. I am a beggar and I ask only one thing. I have got this begging bowl; can you fill it up – with anything you like?”
The beggar looked a little strange. His eyes were those of a mystic; his speaking was not that of a beggar but of an emperor. His whole aura was of tremendous authority. The king ordered his prime minister to fill the beggar’s bowl with gold coins, so that he would remember that he had knocked on the door of a king, and that he was fortunate. The beggar laughed.
The king said, “What is the matter?”
He said, “By the evening everything will be decided.” His behavior was strange but very attractive too. He was a beautiful man.
And then the trouble started. As the prime minister brought a bag of gold coins to fill the bowl, they all disappeared, and the bowl remained empty. More coins, more coins…all the coins that were in the treasury were brought, and they all disappeared. The whole town gathered there and the news spread like wildfire.
The king said, “Whatever the case, bring all the diamonds, rubies, emeralds, but fill the beggar’s bowl.” But everything disappeared in it and the bowl remained as empty as ever.