The magical begging bowl
When you desire something, your joy depends on that something. If it is taken away, you are miserable; if it is given to you, you are happy. But only for the moment! That too has to be understood. Whenever your desire is fulfilled it is only for the moment that you feel joy. It is fleeting, because once you have got it, again the mind starts desiring for more, for something else.
Mind exists in desiring; hence mind can never leave you without desire. If you are without desire, mind dies immediately. That's the whole secret of meditation.
A beggar knocks on the door of an emperor; it is early morning. The emperor was coming out for a morning walk in his beautiful garden; otherwise it would have been difficult for the beggar to have an appointment with him. But there was no mediator to prevent him.
The emperor said, "What do you want?" The beggar said, "Before you ask that, think twice!" The emperor has never seen such a lion of a man; he has fought wars, has won victories, has made it clear that nobody is more powerful than him, but suddenly this beggar says to him, "Think twice of what you are saying, because you may not be able to fulfill it!"
The king said, "Don't be worried, that is my concern; you ask what you want, it will be done!"
The beggar said, "You see my begging bowl? I want it to be filled! It does not matter with what, the only condition is that it should be filled, it should be full. You can still say no, but if you say yes, then you are taking a risk."
The emperor laughed. Just a beggar's bowl... and he is being given a warning? He told his premier to fill the beggar's bowl with diamonds, so that this beggar would know who he was asking.
The beggar again said, "Think twice." And soon it became apparent that the beggar was right, because the moment the diamonds were poured into his begging bowl they simply disappeared!
The word began to spread like wildfire in the capital; thousands of people arrived to watch. When the precious stones were finished the king said, "Bring out all the gold and silver, everything! My whole kingdom, my whole integrity is being challenged." But by the evening everything had disappeared and there were only two beggars left--one used to be the emperor.
The emperor said, "Before I ask your forgiveness for not listening to your warning, please tell me the secret of this begging bowl."
The beggar said, "There is no secret. I have polished it, made it look like a bowl, but it is a human skull. You go on pouring anything into it and it disappears."
The story is tremendously meaningful. Have you ever thought about your own begging bowl? Everything disappears--power, prestige, respectability, riches--everything disappears and your begging bowl goes on opening its mouth for more. And the "more" takes you away from this. The desire, the longing for something else takes you away from this moment.
There are only two kinds of people in the world: the majority are running after shadows; their begging bowls will remain with them till they enter their graves. And a very small minority, one in a million, stops running, drops all desires, asks for nothing--and suddenly he finds everything within himself. 3rd October 2013 From India, Coimbatore