There is a Sufi story…

A rich man died. He was not only rich; he was wise also, which happens very rarely. His son was only ten or twelve years of age, so he made a will in which he wrote to the elders of the village, the pancahyat. He proclaimed in that will, “From my property, whatsoever you like the most, you take; then you give it to my child.” The will was as clear as the sunrise.

The five elders divided the whole property. All that was of worth, they divided among themselves. Nothing was left except a bit which was useless. No one was ready to take that, so it was given to the child. But the old dying man had given a letter to the boy also, which he was to open when he came of age. So when he was of age he opened the letter in which his father had written, “The elders may, of course, interpret the will in their own way. When you are of age, give it this interpretation. This is my interpretation, this is what I mean to say: Take all that you like most, and then, all that you like most, give it to my child.”

The son produced the letter before the elders. They never conceived of any such meaning, so they had divided everything amongst themselves. They returned the whole thing, because now the meaning was clear, and the boy was ready. And the father had also written: “It is good that they should interpret in their own way until the time for you to take it comes, because if I give it to you directly, before you are of age, it will be destroyed by these elders. Let them protect it as their own property until you are ready to take it over.” And they had protected it as if it were their own.

Whenever there is a partial surrender, you will interpret any message, any commandment, any order to you, in the way which appeals to you most. In your sleep, you will make it meaningful through your sleepy mind. So unless one surrenders totally, the responsibility cannot be taken. And when one surrenders totally, the total responsibility comes to the master, to the awakened one. Then it is total.


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