Teaching Story - The thief
by Life Positive
I am a thief. And I cannot leave it, so please don't make it a condition. I will do whatever you say, but I cannot stop being a thief."
Nagarjuna said, "Why are you afraid? Who is going to talk about you being a thief?
The thief replied, "But whenever I go to a monk, priest or a religious saint, they always say, “First stop stealing.’”
Nagarjuna laughed and said, “Then you must have gone to thieves, otherwise, why should they be concerned? I am not concerned!”
The thief was very happy. He said, “Then it is okay. It seems that now I can become a disciple. You are the right master.”
Nagarjuna accepted him and said, “Now you can go and do whatever you like. Simply follow one condition. Be aware! Break into houses, pilfer, steal; do whatever you want, but do it with complete awareness.”
The thief agreed and said, “Then everything is okay. I will try.”
After three weeks he came back and said, “You are tricky—when I become aware, I cannot steal. If I steal, awareness disappears. I am in a fix.”
Nagarjuna said, “I am not a thief
therefore I shall not talk about stealing. If you want awareness, then you decide. If you don't want it, then too you decide.”
The man said, “I have tasted awareness, and it is so beautiful — I will leave anything for it. The other night I broke into the king’s palace. I opened the treasure. I could have become the richest man in the world – but when I became aware, diamonds looked just like ordinary stones. When I lost awareness, the treasure was there. And I did it many times, but could not even touch it because the whole thing looked foolish, stupid — just stones. I thought, “What am I doing? Losing myself over stones? Finally I decided that they were not worth it."
From Awareness: The Key to Living In Balance by Osho.
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