The master, the gardener, and the guest

The Master, the Gardener, and the Guest

By Osho

The longing of the mind is to be extraordinary. The ego thirsts and hungers for the recognition that you are somebody. Somebody achieves that dream through wealth, somebody else achieves that dream through power, politics; somebody else can achieve that dream through miracles, jugglery, but the dream remains the same: “I cannot tolerate being nobody.” And this is a miracle– when you accept your nobodiness, when you are just as ordinary as anybody else, when you don’t ask for any recognition, when you can exist as if you are not existing. To be absent is the miracle. ~Osho

This story is beautiful, one of the most beautiful Zen anecdotes, and Bankei is one of the superb Masters. But Bankei was an ordinary man.

Once it happened that Bankei was working in his garden. A seeker came, a man in search of a Master, and he asked Bankei, “Gardener, where is the Master?” Bankei laughed and said, “Wait. Go in through that door, and inside you will find the Master.” So the man went round and came inside. He saw Bankei sitting on a throne, the same man who was the gardener outside. The seeker said, “Are you kidding? Get down from this throne. This is sacrilegious, you don’t pay any respect to the Master.” Bankei got down, sat on the ground, and said, “Now then, it is difficult. Now you will not find the Master here … because I am the Master.”

It was difficult for that man to see that a great Master could work in the garden, could be just ordinary. He left. He couldn’t believe that this man was the Master; he missed. Everybody is afraid of being nobody. Only very rare and extraordinary people are not afraid of being nobody –a Gautam Buddha, a Bankei. A nobody is not an ordinary phenomenon; it is one of the greatest experiences in life–that you are, and still you are not.

That you are just pure existence with no name, with no address, with no boundaries… neither a sinner nor a saint, neither inferior nor superior, just a silence. People are afraid because their whole personality will be gone; their name, their fame, their respectability, all will be gone; hence, the fear. But death is going to take them away from you anyway. Those who are wise allow these things to drop by themselves. Then nothing is left for death to take away. Then all fear disappears, because death cannot come to you; you don’t have anything for death.

Death cannot kill a nobody. Once you feel your nobodiness you have become immortal. The experience of nobodiness is exactly the meaning of nirvana, of nothingness, of absolute undisturbed silence, with no ego, with no personality, with no hypocrisy–just this silence… and these insects singing in the night.

You are here in a way, and still you are not. You are here because of the old association with the body, but look within and you are not. And this insight, where there is pure silence and pure isness, is your reality, which death cannot destroy. This is your eternity, this is your immortality. There is nothing to fear. There is nothing to lose. And if you think anything is lost–your name, your respectability, your fame–they are worthless.

They are playthings for children, not for mature people. It is time for you to be mature, it is time for you to be ripe, time for you just to be. Your somebodiness is so small. The more you are somebody, the smaller you are; the more you are nobody, the bigger. Be absolutely nobody, and you are one with the existence itself.  ~Osho

Copyright © 2010 Osho International Foundation

Many blessings to you,


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