VBT – Meditation 66.5

Only Your Manifestations

Remember this, they are not honoring and dishonoring YOU. They cannot do either because they don’t know you; they cannot know you. Even if you are not aware of yourself, how can they be? They have their own formulas, they have their theories, they have their measurements and criteria. They have their touchstones and they say, “If a man is such and such we will honor him, and if a man is such and such we will dishonor him.” So they act according to their criteria, and you are never near their touchstones – only your manifestations.

They can call you a sinner one day and a saint another. They can call you a saint today, and the next day they may go against you, stone you to death. What is happening? They come in contact with your periphery, they never come in contact with you. Remember this, that whatsoever they are saying, it is not about you. You remain beyond; you remain outside. Their condemnations, their appreciations, whatsoever they do is not really concerned with you, just with your manifestations in time.

I will tell you one Zen anecdote. One young monk lived near Kyoto. He was beautiful, young, and the whole town was pleased. They honored him. They believed him to be a great saint. Then one day everything turned upside down. One girl became pregnant, and she told her parents that this monk was responsible. So the whole town turned against him. They came, and they burned his cottage. It was morning, and a very cold morning, a winter morning, and they threw the child onto the monk.

The father of the girl told him, “This is your child, so take the responsibility.”

The monk simply said, “Is it so?” And then the child started weeping, so he forgot about the crowd and began caring for the child.

The crowd went and destroyed the whole cottage, burned it down. Then the child was hungry and the monk was without any money, so he had to go to beg in the city for the child. Who will give him anything now? Just a few moments before he was a great saint, and now he is a great sinner. Who will give him anything now? Wherever he tried, they closed their doors in his face. They condemned him completely.

Then he reached the same house – to the house of the girl. The girl was very much distressed, and then she heard the child weeping and screaming, and the monk standing there just saying, “Don’t give anything to me, I am a sinner. But the child is not a sinner; you can give milk to this child.” Then the girl confessed that just to hide the real father of the child, she had taken the name of the monk. He was absolutely innocent.

So the whole town turned around again. They fell at his feet, started asking his forgiveness. And the father of the girl came, took the child back with weeping eyes, tears rolling down, and he said, “But why did you not say so before? Why did you not refuse in the morning? The child does not belong to you.”

The monk is reported to have said again, “Is it so?” In the morning he had said, “Is it so? This child belongs to me?” And in the afternoon he said, “Is it so? This child doesn’t belong to me?”

This is how this sutra has to be applied in life. In honor and dishonor, you must remain “THE UNSAME SAME.” The innermost center must remain the same, whatsoever happens to the periphery. The periphery is bound to change, but you must not change. And because you are two, the periphery and the center, that is why opposite, contradictory terms have been used: “BE THE UNSAME SAME…” And you can apply this technique to all opposites: in love and hate, poverty and richness, comfort and uncomfort, or in anything, remain “THE UNSAME SAME.”

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