There was a man who owned thousands of sheep, and he was always in trouble because the sheep would go astray and they would become the victims of wild animals. So he asked a wise man, and the wise man suggested, "Keep watchdogs." So he had a hundred dogs to keep watch on the sheep. They would not allow the sheep to go out, and if any sheep tried to go out they would kill it.
By and by, they became so addicted to killing that they started to murder the sheep -- they became dangerous. So again the man came to the wise man and said, "It has become dangerous, the protectors have become murderers." It always happens -- look at your politicians: they are the protectors, the watchdogs, but once they are powerful they start killing.
The wise man said, "Then there is only one way. I will come." So he came, and he hypnotized all the sheep and told them, "You are awake, alert, completely free. Nobody is your owner." Then those sheep remained in that hypnotic state, and they would not go anywhere. They would not escape because this was not a prison, and they all believed that they were the owners, masters of their own selves. Even if some sheep was killed by the master, they would think, "This is her fate, not mine. Nobody can kill me. I have an immortal self and I am totally free, so there is no need to escape." Then there was no need for watchdogs, and the master was at ease because the sheep were hypnotized, they lived in a semi-sleep.
A very rich man was dying and he called me to be near him when he died, so when i was there. At the last moment he opened his eyes and he told his son - that that had always been in his mind, he had told me many times: he was worried about his son because he was a spendthrift and he loved material things, and this old man was a religious man. The last word he said to his son was, "Listen: money is not everything and you cannot buy everything with money. There are things which are beyond money, and money alone cannot make anybody happy."
The son listened and said, "You may be right, but with money a person can choose the sadness of his own liking - it may not purchase happiness but you can choose the sadness of your own liking, you may be miserable in your own way."
A man found the truth.
A little devil came running to the old devil and asked him, "What are you doing here?"
The old devil was smoking a cigarette. He said, "My son, cool down. What is the matter?"
The little devil said, "You are sitting here, and one man has found the truth! Our whole business is at risk!"
The old devil said, "Sit down. Take a cigarette. My people have already reached there."
The little devil said, "But I am coming from there, and I have not seen any devils!"
The old devil said, "Devils are not needed, my people have reached there. They are the priests, they are the rabbis, they are the popes, they are the shankaracharyas, they are the imams. They have reached there, and they will organize the truth, and once the truth is organized, it is finished! They will surround the man, and they will not allow the people to approach the man. They will interpret the man, and in their interpretation the truth will be lost.
A very Old story: it happened that a saint and a prostitute lived together, they were neighbors. The saint was very famous. Then they died, and they had died on the same day. Death came and started trying to take the saint to hell. The saint was surprised, because the prostitute was taken on the road towards heaven. So he siad, "What is this? There seems to be some misunderstanding. I am the one who should be led towards heaven - this is a prostitute".
Death said, "We know, but now if you want we can explain it to you. there is no misunderstanding. These are the orders, that the prostitute has to be brought to heaven and the saint has to be thrown into hell".
The saint said, "But why?". Even the prostitute could not believe it. She said, "Something must be wrong. Must I be thrown in heaven? He is a saint, a great saint. We worshipped him. Take him to heaven".
Death said, "No, that's not possible, because he was a saint just on the surface, but he was thinking continuously of you. When you would sing in the night, he would come and listen to you. He would stand just near the fence and listen to you. And millions of times he would like to go to see you, love you: millions of times he dreamed fo you. He was continuously thinking about you. On his lips was the name of God; in his heart was the image of you".
The same ws true with the prostitute from the opposite direction. She was selling her body, but always thinking that she would like to have a life like this saint who lives in a temple. "How pure he is!" She dreamed about the saint -- the purity, the saintliness, the virtue that she was missing. And When her customers had gone, she would pray to God, "Next time don't make me a prostitute again. Make me a worshipper, make me a meditator. I would like to serve in the temple."
Many times she thought to go into the temple, but was thinking that she was so much in sin, it was not good to enter the temple: "The place is so holy and I am such a sinner." And many times she wanted to touch the feet of the saint, but thinking that that would not be good: "I am not worthy enough to touch his feet." So when the saint would pass, she would just collect the dust on the road from where the saint passed, and she would worship that dust.
An American tourist visiting Baal Shem the Haasidic mystic remarked on the bareness of the room and the house in general.
"Where is your things, your luggage, your furniture maan?"
"Where's yours?" asks Baal Shem
"Oh I am only travelling" replies the American
"So am I" replies Baal Shem.
Buddha reaching a village with his followers, is standing and watching some children in the backyard making some sand castles. As is usual the children are defending their castles from enemies(their pals) and with complete concentration building and adorning their castles ( have you see the sheer absorbence of children in their play). On their mother's call from the house, all run away kicking the sand castles, the same castles over which many a war was fought, kicking them and merging them in the ocean of sand and do not even look behind.
Buddha "Life is not much more than that"
If you're looking to find the key to the Universe, I have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is - there is no key to the Universe. The good news is - it has been left unlocked.