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Life & Desire to Live.

As we are going through Covid-19 Scare and searching for answers/resolutions almost desperately, I am reminded of this beautiful story from Osho's preaching on various occult subjects in book of Hidden Mysteries which can be helpful for all of us. Here it is - 

Mahavira was passing through a village with his disciple, Goshalak, who later became his opponent, when they came across a small plant. 

Goshalak said to Mahavira, ”Listen, here is a plant. What do you think: Will it grow enough to produce a flower, or will it die before it can flower? What is its future?”

Mahavira immediately closed his eyes and sat in front of the plant. Goshalak cunningly said, ”Do not evade the issue. What will happen by closing your eyes?” He did not know why Mahavira had become silent and closed his eyes, and that he was looking for the essential. It was necessary to go deep down into the being, into the soul of that plant. Without doing so, it was not possible to say what would happen.

After a while, Mahavira opened his eyes and said, ”This plant will survive to flower.” 

Goshalak immediately pulled the plant up by its roots, threw it away and laughed derisively. There was no better way to falsify the statement of Mahavira?

Mahavira had nothing more to say now, because Goshalak had uprooted the plant and thrown it away as a challenge. He was laughing, Mahavira was smiling, and they continued their journey. 

It began to rain heavily. There was a storm and for seven days continuously torrential rains fell, so they were not able to go out for seven whole days. When the rains had subsided and they were returning, on the way they reached the same spot where seven days previously Mahavira had closed his eyes to know the inner being of the plant. They saw that the plant was again standing with its roots well below the ground. Due to the heavy rains and winds the earth had become wet and loose, and the roots of the plant had dug in. 

Mahavira again closed his eyes and stood by the plant. Goshalak became very embarrassed – he had uprooted and thrown away that plant. When Mahavira opened his eyes, Goshalak said, ”I am surprised and confused. I uprooted this plant and threw it away, and it is growing again.”

Mahavira replied, ”It will survive to flower. I closed my eyes to see the inner potentiality and condition of the seed – whether it was capable of taking root again even though it was uprooted, whether it was suicidal or not, whether it had a strong instinct or desire for death. If its instinct was suicidal it would have used your help to die. I wanted to see whether it was yearning to live – if it was determined to live, it would live. I knew that you were going to uproot it and throw it away.”

Goshalak asked, ”What are you saying?”

Mahavira said, ”When I was looking into the inner being of the plant with my eyes closed, I also saw you standing by, determined to uproot it. I knew that you would uproot the plant – that is why it was necessary for me to know the inner capacity of the plant to live, how much self-confidence and will
power it had. If it was waiting to die and looking for an excuse, your excuse would be enough for it to die; otherwise, the uprooted plant would take root again.”

Goshalak lacked the courage to uproot the plant again; he was afraid. Previously Goshalak had gone laughing to the village; this time, Mahavira marched ahead with a knowing smile.

Goshalak then asked, ”Why are you laughing?”

Mahavira said, ”I was watching, just thinking about your capability – whether you could uproot the plant a second time or not.”

Goshalak said, ”You could see whether I would do it or not?”

Mahavira replied, ”It was nonessential. You might have uprooted it, you might not have uprooted it. But it was essential and unavoidable that the plant still wanted to live. Its whole being, its whole vitality, wanted to live. That was essential. What was nonessential was your throwing it away or not, and that was dependent on you. But you have proven weaker and less determined than the plant. You are defeated.”

Humanity will live as long as it has desire to live. 


Swami Premanand Bharti

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