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Buddha And The Knotted Handkerchief

All seeming appearances are superficial, for the base, the consciousness, remains unchanged.

Buddha once while about to deliver a sermon to his disciples, took out his handkerchief. He looked at it with his disciples also eagerly looking as to what the master was about to do with it. He then made five knots in it and put forward two questions to his disciples,

“Is the handkerchief the same one that I had before?"

and

“What should I now do to unknot it?"

A disciple said that the handkerchief is the same one. There are only certain apparent appearances in the form of knots. Despite the knots, its inherent nature continues to be the same.

Buddha said that this was the case with human minds as well. The essence remains the same, as ever pure and free. It is without any knots deep down and shines as consciousness. He thus pointed out that the consciousness remains the same despite seeming appearances which are akin to knots. When one is enlightened, all the knots disappear.

To the second question as to how the knots can be removed to realise the mind's essential nature, another disciple said, “We will first have to know how you have knotted the kerchief . Unless we know the procedure, we will not be able to unknot it, as the reverse process of the procedure will be the way to remove the knots"

Buddha then explained, “ Yes, you will first have to know, how you have entered into bondage and how you are conditioned in bondage. The reverse process of it will bring about liberation"

Osho explains that all conditioning aspects like attachment, anger, expectation, greed etc can be removed by non-conditioning aspects like detachment, compassion, non expectation, contentment etc. This in turn bestows liberation from bondage.

Story first published: Thursday, March 25, 2010, 12:41 [IST]
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