When the Shoe Fits
YOU CANNOT PUT A BIG LOAD IN A SMALL BAG, NOR CAN YOU, WITH A SHORT
ROPE, DRAW WATER FROM A DEEP WELL. HAVE YOU NOT HEARD HOW A BIRD FROM
THE SEA WAS BLOWN INSHORE AND LANDED OUTSIDE THE CAPITAL OF LU? THE
PRINCE ORDERED A SOLEMN RECEPTION, OFFERED THE SEA BIRD WINE IN THE
SACRED PRECINCT, CALLED FOR MUSICIANS TO PLAY THE COMPOSITIONS OF SHUN,
SLAUGHTERED CATTLE TO NOURISH IT. DAZED WITH SYMPHONIES, THE UNHAPPY SEA
BIRD DIED OF DESPAIR. HOW SHOULD YOU TREAT A BIRD? AS YOURSELF, OR AS A
BIRD? OUGHT NOT A BIRD TO NEST IN DEEP WOODLAND OR FLY OVER MEADOW AND
MARSH? OUGHT IT NOT TO SWIM ON RIVER AND POND, FEED ON EELS AND FISH,
FLY IN FORMATION WITH OTHER WATERFOWL, AND REST IN, THE REEDS?
BAD ENOUGH FOR A SEA BIRD TO BE SURROUNDED
BY MEN AND FRIGHTENED BY THEIR VOICES! THAT WAS NOT ENOUGH! THEY KILLED
IT WITH MUSIC! WATER IS FOR FISH, AND AIR FOR MEN. NATURES DIFFER, AND
NEEDS WITH THEM. HENCE THE WISE MEN OF OLD DID NOT LAY DOWN ONE MEASURE
As a thing you will remain unfulfilled
because you have to be a person, an authentic person. You have not to be
a thing, not to be a husband, because to be a husband is a thing; you
have not to be a wife, because to be a wife is to have a utility. Just
be a flower, then you can love. But there is no need to be a husband, no
need to be a wife. You can share, but there is no need to advertise. A
flower flowers; it does not need any advertisement. If somebody partakes
of its pleasure and happiness, it is okay; if nobody passes by the spot,
it is also okay. When you flower for yourself, everything is okay,
nothing is wrong. When you are for somebody else, just waiting in a
showcase, labelled, priced, catalogued, advertised, you will never reach
to a fulfillment because a thing is a dead thing, only a person is
Be alive, and be a person. And this you can never be if you go on
copying. If you remain on the monkey mountain you will never be the
real, you will continue to be the false. Drop all falsities,
exhibitions, displays. Just be yourself, ordinary and unique, and
fulfill your destiny. Nobody else can do it for you. You can absorb me,
you cannot follow me. I never followed anybody, I had my own path. You
will have your own path. You will move on a path on which nobody has
ever moved and nobody will move on it ever again.
In the spiritual world no footprints are
left. It is just like the sky: a bird flies -- no footprints are left,
nobody can follow. Just take a delight in me, be happy with me and you
will absorb. And that will become a light within you and that will show
you the path. But don't copy, don't believe or disbelieve, don't be
head-oriented. Don't be a monkey -- be a man.
YEN PU'I BECAME A DISCIPLE OF A SAGE TO GET RID OF EVERYTHING THAT
MADE HIM OUTSTANDING. HE RENOUNCED EVERY PLEASURE. HE LEARNED TO HIDE
EVERY DISTINCTION. SOON, NO ONE IN THE KINGDOM KNEW WHAT TO MAKE OF HIM.
THUS THEY HELD HIM IN AWE. ……
And Tao says, that when nobody knows what to make of you -- you are so
ordinary that nobody knows what to make of you, nobody knows any utility
for you, you cannot be used, you are so ordinary, without any talent --
then, they say, the real mystery reveals itself through you. Then you
become a real mystery. When you cannot be used you become god like. What
is the meaning? Whenever you are used, you become a thing; whenever you
cannot be used, you become a person.
A person is not a utility; a thing is a utility. If somebody asks you:
Who are you? You say: I am a doctor. What do you mean? It means that
society is using you as a doctor. It is a function, not a personality.
It is not your person, not your being, it is a utility -- society is
using you as a doctor.
Somebody is a carpenter, somebody else is a shoemaker. Is this your
being? Or just a utility in society? Society is using you as a thing,
and the more valuable your use, the more society will value you. But if
you drop all talents, if you become just ordinary, and nobody knows what
to do with you, nobody can use you, you have gone beyond society. Now
you are no longer a thing, you have become a person. And this does not
mean that you will not do anything, you will, but nobody will use you.
You will 'do' on your own, it will be your flowering. A rose flowers,
not for those who will pass, not for those who will see, not for those
who will smell the fragrance. No! It flowers on its own. A man of Tao
flowers on his own. He is like a rose, he is not a utility. And a man
who has not known his innermost being is always like a thing, always on
display in the window of a shop; always waiting for somebody to come and
use him with all his certificates, distinctions, talents; always crying:
Come and use me, make me a thing. I am a most valuable thing, you will
never get any thing better than me. Come and use me! This is your whole
And if this is your cry, you will become a thing.
A man of Tao drops all distinctions, he burns all certificates, he
destroys all bridges, he remains in himself, he becomes a flower. And
this flowering is purposeless -- it has no utility. Many are benefitted
by it, but it is not for them, it is for one's own self. He has attained
his own destiny. Then there is fulfillment.
WHEN THEY RETURNED HOME, YEN PU'I BECAME A DISCIPLE OF A SAGE TO GET
RID OF EVERYTHING THAT MADE HIM OUTSTANDING.
Look... all that we do in our life is learn how to become outstanding.
How to be first in class, first in the university, how to get the gold
medal, how to be a Nobel Prize Winner, how to be outstanding in some way
or other -- anything will do.
Once Mulla Nasrudin knocked at the door of the manager of a great
circus, and he said: You have to look at me, I have a terrific act! I am
a dwarf. The manager looked at Nasrudin. He was six feet two inches
tall, and he was saying: I am a dwarf! So the manager said: What are you
saying? You seem to me six feet two inches tall! Nasrudin said: Yes,
that is right; I am the longest, tallest dwarf in the world.
The mind goes on finding ways and means to be outstanding. If you
cannot be anything else, at least you can be the tallest dwarf. But be
something, somebody. The whole education, culture, civilization teaches
you to be outstanding, and Tao says: Don't be outstanding, drop all that
is outstanding; just be ordinary, just be simple. Easy is right; to be
ordinary is to be right, because to be ordinary you will be easy. If you
want to be extraordinary, outstanding, you will always remain uneasy and
tense because you have to prove something. You have to convince others,
and your whole life will remain always indecisive. With indecision there
will be a wavering inside, a trembling.
WHEN THEY RETURNED HOME, YEN PU'I BECAME A DISCIPLE OF A SAGE. He
didn't bother whether the Prince had taken his own advice to his heart
or not. The Prince continued the same, the old, but Yen Pu'i changed his
whole existence; he became a disciple of a sage. And if you want to
change your life you have to become a disciple, because alone it is
really difficult, alone it is almost impossible. You need the help of
someone who has known. You need to trust in someone who has gone ahead
Discipline means to learn from someone, to surrender to someone, to be
receptive to someone; not to follow and imitate, but just to absorb his
understanding so your own inner flame is lit; just to come to a lighted
flame so that your own flame is lit. Then you can move on your own, then
you have become a universe unto yourself. But before that it is very
difficult to find, difficult to move, difficult to reach the right path.
Near a sage many things become possible -- many impossible things
become possible because a sage is the only miracle in the world. He
lives in the body and he is no longer the body, he is here with you and
no longer with you, he touches you and yet a vast, infinite distance
exists between you and him. A sage is the only miracle. If you live
around him, just silently, just absorbing, drinking his wine, soon you
will feel the miracle and that it has started to change you.
It is just like when you are ill, you go to Switzerland. What can
Switzerland do? But the whole climate is healthy, in that healthy
climate your disease cannot persist. Your disease needs support and
there is no support for it, so it falls, without support it falls.
Near a sage, you have changed your climate. You live with people who
are ignorant just like you, you live in a climate, a milieu, then you
come near a sage -- you have changed the climate, you have come to the
Himalayas, to the Alps, to Switzerland. Now the climate is different,
now he is not going to support your illnesses. He will by and by take
away all supports. Without the supports the illness fails. And when
there is no illness, your own health flowers.
All that needs to be done is to remove the illnesses -- health is
already there, it is not to be given to you. Only remove the illness and
health flowers. Near a sage, the climate changes. But you have to be
open. If you go to Switzerland, and you have iron, steel armour around
you, you will not be changed because your steel armour will carry its
own climate within. Go to a sage without any armour, without any defense
-- that is what the meaning of surrender is.
Love makes you equal. An egoistic person cannot love because love
equalizes. There are only two forces that equalize: one is love, another
is death. When you love a person you have become equal to that person.
And if you really love, in that moment of love, you will feel that the
whole existence is equal, nobody is inferior and nobody is superior.
Everybody is unique, different, but nobody is inferior, nobody is
In love you feel a communion with the whole existence, everything
becomes equal, equally valuable. And death is a great equalizer. When
you die all distinctions drop, and a dead Hitler is just like a dead dog
-- no difference. Can you see any difference between a dead dog and a
dead Hitler, or even a dead Buddha? No distinction can be made, the body
is just the same: dust unto dust. And those who can love can become, and
feel, an equality with the whole existence -- even with rocks.
If you are in love, you will feel a vibration that everything is
equal, even a rock is as equal as you. Then there is no death because
then you cannot die -- you have felt such a unity with existence. This
unity will continue. The form will disappear, the body will be no longer
there, but the inner most unity will remain. In new waves you will
arise, in new trees you will flower, in new beings you will dance, but
you will continue.
This is one of the most paradoxical things -- that you are unique and
yet one with the existence. This paradox cannot be explained, you have
to experience it. You are unique and yet one with the existence.
Nobody lives like kings, they are always on display, on the throne.
And they want to make it clear to everybody that nobody is like them.
They create a distance between ordinary mortals and themselves -- a gap.
You cannot go and put your hand on a king's shoulder. No! He will feel
offended: What are you doing? Are you saying that you are similar to me?
You will be killed.
It is said that Hitler never allowed anybody to put a hand on his
shoulder. Never! Not a single friend. Nobody was allowed to use his name
Hitler, he was to be called Fuehrer. Nobody was allowed to use his
proper name because that would show friendship. He never loved any
woman, because it is very difficult to love a woman and not to make her
equal to you. It is impossible. And women are so intelligent and
cunning; if you love them they will not only try to be equal, they will
try to be superior -- and they can prove it. He never loved a woman. He
had some relationships, but never a love relationship -- just sexual.
And he would treat the woman just like a servant, not only a servant,
but a slave.
He lived with a woman for many years, and one day a small incident
happened. The woman wanted to go and see her mother, her mother was ill
and in hospital. And Hitler said: No! He was very dictatorial; if he
said no, he meant it. The woman thought that she wouldn't discuss the
matter any more, when Hitler went to the office she could go just for a
few minutes and see her mother and come back. There was no problem.
Hitler went to the office. The woman went to see her mother and came
back before Hitler returned. At the gate he enquired if his girl friend
had been out. She had been out. He enquired if she had been to the
hospital. Then he went in and without asking anything, he killed her,
shot her dead immediately. What type of love is it when only slaves can
A man of Tao moves absolutely without identity. Why? Because if you
show talent then people cannot forgive you. People can forgive fools,
but they cannot forgive wise men. That is why Jesus was crucified,
Socrates was poisoned. You feel so utterly inferior before a Jesus or a
Socrates, how can you forgive them! It is natural, you will make a
concerted attack. You will all make a concerted attack to kill that man.
Then you will feel that a burden has been thrown.
A Jesus is so superb -- if he just stands by your side you feel
inferior. He has to hide himself. This teaching is very basic. And the
Prince told these words to his companion, Yen Pu'i.
WHEN THEY RETURNED HOME, YEN PU'I BECAME A DISCIPLE OF A SAGE TO GET
RID OF EVERYTHING THAT MADE HIM OUTSTANDING. HE RENOUNCED EVERY
PLEASURE. HE LEARNED TO HIDE EVERY DISTINCTION. SOON NO ONE IN THE
KINGDOM KNEW WHAT TO MAKE OF HIM. THUS THEY HELD HIM IN AWE.
Many things: this man, Yen Pu'i, was really a wise man. He didn't
bother about who had given the message to him. He didn't bother about
the vehicle, he simply took the message.
Remember this... you always bother about the vehicle. If I say
something to you, you start thinking about me, if this man is reliable,
if this man has attained what he says. First you would like to be
convinced about me -- but that is impossible. What I am saying, look at
that -- forget me completely. It is my business whether I have attained
or not, it is none of your business. Why are you concerned about it?
Whatsoever I am saying, if you feel the fragrance of it, try the
medicine, not the doctor. Don't be concerned with the doctor, be
concerned with the medicine because finally it is the medicine that is
going to cure you. And it is possible to find the right medicine even
from a quack doctor. The opposite is also possible: it is possible to
find the wrong medicine from a right doctor. The real thing is the
medicine. This man, Yen Pu'i, must have been a very wise and intelligent
man, otherwise he would have thought This fool, this fool of a Prince,
he is giving me advice and he himself lives with distinction, lives an
Once it happened that the emperor heard
about Chuang Tzu from some
source, and the rumour was that he was a very wise man. So he sent his
prime minister in search of him. But where to find him? He had no home,
no address, he was a wanderer. Chuang Tzu used to say that if you stay
in one place it is difficult to hide, people will start suspecting.
Because you have something, they will suspect, and by and by they will
become aware. So before they become aware leave them otherwise you will
be in trouble. So he was a constant wanderer -- no address, no home.
Where to find him?
But they tried, when the emperor orders it has to be tried. They asked
many Taoist teachers: Where can we find Chuang Tzu? They said: Very
difficult, nobody knows. He moves like the wind, unknown, like a cloud,
whereabouts unknown. But you go, and if some villager says that there is
a man here who is absolutely ordinary, then catch that man, he may be
Chuang Tzu. And they found him in that way. In a village some people
reported: Yes, there is a man who has just come to this village,
absolutely ordinary. You cannot find a more ordinary man than he. When
asked where he was, they said: He is fishing on the bank of the river.
They went there and said to Chuang Tzu: The Emperor has enquired about
you; and we have been searching for you. Would you like to come to the
court? Would you like to become a member of the court -- advisor to the
Chuang Tzu said: Wait, and let me think. And the next day, when they
came to ask him, he was not found in that village; he had escaped.
People had suspected, they had come to know.
Once Mulla Nasrudin came to me, very excited. He said: Now you have to
help me I asked him: What is the matter? He said: I feel terrible, it is
awful. Recently I have been developing an inferiority complex. Help me!
Do something! So I said: Tell me something more about it. Why are you
developing an inferiority complex? He said: Recently I have been feeling
that everybody is as good as I am. Whenever you show your talent you are
showing that the other is not as good -- and the other will be offended.
Remember, the Prince is offended just by a monkey swaying in the
If you show your distinction, if you say that you are something, if
you try to prove your talent in subtle ways, everybody will be offended.
And they cannot forgive you, they will take their revenge. With every
man of distinction the masses take revenge. It may be that Jesus was
crucified because the masses could not tolerate his superiority -- and
he was superior. They could not tolerate this man of quality. He was
extraordinary, they had to kill him. Athens could not tolerate Socrates.
He was rare -- one of the most unique minds ever born, so penetrating
that there is no comparison. Athens could not tolerate him, everybody
Chuang Tzu says: Don't rely on talent when you deal with men. Remain
hidden! It has to be remembered that a Taoist master has never been
crucified or poisoned. Never! Because they never rely on talent. They
never say that they are distinct from you. They never say that they are
higher than you, more divine than you, holier than you, no. They never
say anything. They behave in such a way that everybody around them will
feel that they are superior to them.
Chuang Tzu himself lived such an ordinary life and such a beautiful
life, that nobody even suspected that here was a man of very
extraordinary dimensions. He would pass through villages, and the
villages would not even become aware that Chuang Tzu had passed.
Sometimes teachers are left behind and disciples move fast and reach
the goal. Because you can give good advice to others it doesn't mean
that you have attained that truth.
This is good. The advice is beautiful and Tao says the same thing. Tao
has the same teaching but not with the same mind as the Prince. Chuang
Tzu has put the teaching in the Prince's mouth but the Prince is just
like a scholar, a pundit, who shows the words but who has not lived it
through. It is not a live experience; it is just a doctrine. The Prince
must have heard it from somewhere, from some Taoist source, because this
is one of their keys.
YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED? THIS ANIMAL ADVERTISED HIS CLEVERNESS, HE
TRUSTED IN HIS OWN SKILL. HE THOUGHT NO-ONE COULD TOUCH HIM. REMEMBER
Don't display, don't exhibit, otherwise you will cause unnecessary
troubles, you will invite unnecessary problems. You may even get so
involved in it that it may prove your death.
DO NOT RELY ON DISTINCTION AND TALENT WHEN YOU DEAL WITH MEN.
This advice came from the mouth of the Prince. The friend was really a
wise man because he wasn't concerned whether the Prince himself followed
what he was saying. And it SHOULD happen in life that you are not
concerned, you should simply take the advice and become changed.
But you are concerned.
What is the use of thinking about the bottles? Just take the content.
What is the use of asking about the container? Just taste the contents,
and if the contents are good, forget the container. This Prince was in
the same position as the monkey, even worse, but he uttered one of the
secrets of Taoist teachings. He may have read about it, he may have been
taught it, and suddenly the situation provoked his knowledge. So he said
to the companion: Don't display! Don't become an exhibitionist,
otherwise you will be in trouble. And don't rely on distinction and
talent when you deal with men. Why? Because every man is an egoist. If
you depend on your talent you will be in trouble because you will create
enemies. If you depend on distinction you will be in trouble because all
around you there will be enemies. Nobody wants you to be superior to
Is it a victory? It is not a victory at all, it is not even diplomacy.
Even ordinarily, if we fight a warrior, we give a weapon to the other.
He must have a sword, he must have the same protection. They were all
protected. But an unprotected innocent animal had been killed.
The Prince is foolish, but look at his advice even from our
foolishness we go on feeling that we are wise. What did he say? He said
to his companion, Yen Pu'i: 'YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED? THIS ANIMAL
ADVERTISED HIS CLEVERNESS, HE TRUSTED IN HIS OWN SKILL. HE THOUGHT NO
ONE COULD TOUCH HIM. REMEMBER THAT! DO NOT RELY ON DISTINCTION AND
TALENT WHEN YOU DEAL WITH MEN!'
This is one of the subtle things to be understood. We are always wise
if we have to advise others but when we are in the same trap, with the
same problem, the same crisis, we are not so wise. If somebody else
comes to you with a problem, you will give him good advice and the
advice may be right. But if you have the same problem you will not be
able to give yourself the same advice. Why? Because when it is somebody
else's problem you are detached.
This Prince told his companion: 'YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED? THIS ANIMAL
ADVERTISED HIS CLEVERNESS, HE TRUSTED IN HIS OWN SKILL. HE THOUGHT
NO-ONE COULD TOUCH HIM. REMEMBER THAT! DO NOT RELY ON DISTINCTION AND
TALENT WHEN YOU DEAL WITH MEN!'
He could see the foolishness of the monkey but he could not see the
foolishness of what he had done. And, as I feel, he had done a more
foolish thing than the monkey.
He had also advertised his skill, he had also shown his talent, and
not only with men but with monkeys too. He displayed who he was: he was
not an ordinary man, he was an extraordinary Prince. He was no ordinary
mortal. And then he gave this advice to his friend: DO NOT RELY ON
DISTINCTION AND TALENT WHEN YOU DEAL WITH MEN. But the advice is right.
And it happened, as it happens many times, that the friend took the
advice and it transformed his whole being. The Prince remained the same.
So if you can learn, you can learn from fools also. If you cannot learn,
even a Buddha is useless, you will not learn. And sometimes it happens
that the people who advise you remain the same. If you can learn you can
Only man is foolish, the most foolish animal, because he will never
believe' that the weaker will be defeated and that the stronger will be
victorious. It is ordinary arithmetic that the stronger will win, so why
fight? There is no need. Hitler can bark at Stalin, Stalin can bark at
Hitler and they can both call their mathematician and count who has the
most airplanes, the most bombs. Within minutes the thing can be settled
-- then you just show by your tail. No need to go to war, because a war
will only prove what can already be done on a table -- that is, who the
strongest is. Why such a wastage, such a wastage of human beings?
But no, it is impossible. Human beings are such egoists that even the
weaker thinks that somehow he is going to win. No animal deceives
himself so much. Mock fights are there just to judge who is stronger,
then it is finished. You will say of a dog who puts down his tail, that
he is a coward. No, he is not, he is simply intelligent. He is weak, so
what is the need to get into a fight? It is proved, and it is proved
innocently without any bloodshed. The same thing is going to be proved
even through a fight. Why go to war unnecessarily?' This is more
AT THIS THE PRINCE ORDERED HIS ATTENDANTS TO MAKE A CONCERTED ATTACK.
Look at the foolishness! Just to kill a monkey a concerted attack is
needed, many men attacking the monkey from all sides. IN AN INSTANT THE
MONKEY WAS SHOT FULL OF ARROWS AND FELL DEAD. And the Prince must have
felt very good, he had done something. But look at the foolishness -- a
concerted attack by so many people, and with the Prince there must have
been at least a hundred attendants. A hundred men killing a monkey and
then feeling good, victorious. The monkeys must be laughing at what you
THE MONKEY WAS SHOT FULL OF ARROWS AND FELL DEAD. THEN THE PRINCE
TURNED TO HIS COMPANION YEN PU'I.... And look how even in our
foolishness we prove that we are wise! This Prince had killed
unnecessarily and in no way could this be called a victory. Just to kill
one monkey took a concerted attack of a hundred persons with arrows; and
the monkey was without any weapon, naked, with no protection.
The monkey and the Prince are both in the same boat.
THE PRINCE SHOT AN ARROW AT THE MONKEY, BUT THE MONKEY DEXTEROUSLY
CAUGHT THE ARROW IN MID-FLIGHT. The Prince is more violent than the
monkey because the monkey's display is simply to ask: Why should you
kill me? But man is more violent than any animal.
There is a zoo in Tokyo -- if you ever go to Tokyo, never miss the
zoo. Go there! All sorts of wild animals are there, hundreds of cages,
and there is a last cage on which there is a notice board: 'The Most
Dangerous Animal of All'. But the cage is vacant, empty. If you look --
and you will look -- for the most dangerous animal of all, you will find
him, because there is a mirror.
The monkey was innocent in his ego. Animals have their egos but they
are still innocent, not so violent. But man is violent, man seems to be
the only violent animal. Tigers kill, lions kill, but just to eat, never
otherwise. Man kills not only to eat, he enjoys killing. Hunting is a
game for him. He will simply kill to kill -- and no animal in the world
kills his own brothers and sisters, no! A lion will not kill another
lion, a monkey will not kill another monkey. Man is the only animal
which kills other men. There is an in-built protection in every animal;
zoologists say that every animal carries an in-built mechanism not to
kill the same species. But it seems that something has gone wrong with
man, he kills his own species. There is nothing like war in the animal
world, although individuals fight. Animals have more understanding. If
two dogs fight, sooner or later, within minutes, they come to an
understanding. Man never comes to an understanding; unless he kills,
there seems to be no solution. Even dogs are more intelligent. If two
dogs bark, show their teeth, jump at each other, that is just a show,
they are trying to feel the pulse, who is the stronger. It is a
mock-fight. They have not yet started and when one feels that he is not
so strong then he knows it is futile to fight. He simply shows with his
tail -- stop! And then the thing is finished, they have come to an
understanding. A hierarchy is established -- the stronger will of course
win, so why go through a fight unnecessarily?
THE PRINCE SHOT AN ARROW AT THE MONKEY, BUT THE MONKEY DEXTEROUSLY
CAUGHT THE ARROW IN MID-FLIGHT.
AT THIS THE PRINCE ORDERED HIS ATTENDANTS TO MAKE A CONCERTED ATTACK.
Because this monkey seemed to be much too arrogant, very egoistic.
Look... the Prince can see the ego of the monkey but he cannot see his
own ego. And this is happening all over the world. In every
relationship, you can always see the ego of the other, but you cannot
see your own -- and the other one goes on seeing your ego. This is a
story written by a man, just think if a monkey had written the story, it
would have been absolutely different. Just think, a Chuang Tzu amongst
monkeys writing this story.... Then he would have written that the
Prince was very arrogant, stubborn and unnecessarily violent -- because
the monkey was not doing anything wrong, he was just enjoying himself.
Why should the Prince be offended? Why should he have felt that this
monkey had to be killed? That prince must have been a very, very
egoistic person. He tried to kill, and the monkey was simply defending
himself, nothing else.
If you look at the story from the standpoint of a monkey it will be
totally different, but the base is the same and this always happens. A
man of wisdom always looks at every problem from the other's point of
view also. You cannot be wise if you have only one point of view.
Sometimes try to stand in others' shoes and just look from there.
Many couples come to me, wife and husband, and there are great
problems, the greatest, because that is the basic unit of life. Much
tension, much ego, much falsity goes on and on and on, and it becomes a
hell. Couples come to me and I always suggest that for one day they try
the other's role: let the wife become the husband and the husband become
the wife. For twenty-four hours try the other's role and then it will be
very easy to understand the other. Even in a one-hour dialogue play the
other's role and reply from the other's point of view and you will feel
One must be flexible enough to see what the other is feeling at that
moment. The husband comes home and he says something and he feels very
innocent, but the wife feels offended. He can't understand what is
happening, he has not said anything. Just meditate a little, be in the
wife's place, think that you are the wife and the husband comes in and
says the same sentence. How would you feel? Immediately you will be able
to understand why the wife is feeling that way. And if you can
understand the other, you will be able to understand yourself more. The
other always sees that you are an egoist. You never see it, you are
blind to yourself.
The Prince was also blind. He could see that this monkey was trying to
display but he couldn't see why he himself was feeling offended. Let him
display -- monkeys are monkeys, let him enjoy; he is not doing any wrong
to anybody, just jumping from one branch to another, swaying, playing a
game. Let him play. Why was the Prince so concerned? He felt that he was
being insulted, that this monkey was trying to say: You are nothing, I
am unconcerned. You may be a prince of men but monkeys don't bother
about you. And I also am a prince and you are nothing before me. Can you
sway like me from one branch to another?
It is said that when Darwin discovered that man evolved from monkeys,
somebody retorted: First ask also the monkeys. I am also of the opinion
that if we ask the monkeys they would not say that man is an evolution.
He is a fall -- a fall from the monkeys. Look... monkeys are stronger
than you, they can do a few things that you cannot do. They are much
happier than you, they enjoy life more than you. So what have you gained
through your evolution, your mechanical gadgets, your weapons, your
atomic bombs? Why do you think it is an evolution, a growth, a
development? Ask the monkeys, they will laugh and they will say that you
are fools. You cannot even walk on all fours. You cannot climb a tree
like a monkey.