Osho on Innocent Prayer

Discussion in 'Real Life Stories' started by Aum, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. Aum

    Aum New Member

    Osho : I have told you the beautiful story by Leo Tolstoy. The archbishop of the old Orthodox Church of Russia – it is a story set before the revolution –became very much worried when many people from his congregation started going towards a lake. There were three villagers on a small island in the lake who sat under a tree, with thousands of people who thought they were saints. In Christianity you cannot be a saint on your own account. The word saint comes from sanction. You have to be sanctioned by the church that you are a saint; it is a certificate.

    It is such an ugly idea that the church can give you a certificate that you are a saint. Even a man like Francis of Assisi, a beautiful man, was summoned by the pope: ”People have started worshiping you like a saint, and you don’t have any certificate.” And that’s where I feel Francis missed the point. He should have refused, but he knelt just like a Christian and asked the pope, ”Give me the certificate.” Otherwise he was a nice man, a beautiful man, but I don’t mention his name because he acted in a very stupid way. This is not the way of a saint.

    I don’t need anybody’s certificate for my enlightenment or for my buddhahood. I declare it! I don’t need any body’s certificate. Who can give me the certificate? Even Gautam Buddha cannot give me the certificate. Who gave him a certificate? But the idea of ‘saint’ in English is very wrong. It comes from sanctus. So the archbishop of Russia was very angry: ”Who are these saints? I have not certified anybody in years. Where have these saints suddenly arrived from?” But people were going and the church was becoming more and more empty every day.

    Finally he decided to go and see who these people were. So he took a motorboat and went to the island. And those three villagers... they were uneducated, simple people, utterly innocent, and the archbishop was a powerful man; next to the czar he was the most powerful man in Russia. He was very angry at those three villagers and told them, ”Who made you saints?” They looked at each other. They said, ”Nobody. And we don’t think we are saints, we are poor people.”

    ”But why are so many people coming here?”

    They said, ”You have to ask them.”
    He said, ”Do you know the orthodox prayer of the church?”
    They said, ”We are uneducated and the prayer is too long, we cannot remember it.”

    ”So what prayer do you say?”
    They all looked at each other. ”You tell him,” said one.

    ”You tell him,” said another. They were feeling embarrassed.

    But the archbishop became more and more arrogant, seeing that these were absolute idiots, ”They don’t even know the prayer. How can they be saints?” So he said, ”Anybody can tell me. Just say it!” They said, ”We are feeling very embarrassed because we have made our own prayer, not knowing the authorized prayer of the church. We have made our own prayer, very simple it is. Please forgive us that we did not ask your permission, but we were feeling so embarrassed we did not come.

    ”Our prayer is – God is three and we are also three, so we have made a prayer – ‘You are three and we are three, have mercy on us.’ This is our prayer.”

    The archbishop was very angry: ”This is no prayer. I have never heard this kind of thing.” He started laughing.

    Those poor fellows said, ”You teach us what the real prayer is. We thought it was perfectly alright: God is three, we are three, and what more is needed? Just have mercy on us.”

    So he told them the orthodox prayer, which was a long prayer. By the time he ended, they said, ”We have forgotten the beginning.” So he told the beginning again. Then they said, ”We have forgotten the end.”

    The archbishop was getting angry and irritated. He said, ”What kind of people are you? Can’t you remember a simple prayer?”

    They said, ”It is too long and we are uneducated, and such big words. We cannot... You just be patient with us. If you repeat it two or three times perhaps we will get the knack of it.” So he repeated it three times. They said, ”Okay, we will try, but we are afraid that it may not be the complete prayer... some things may be missing... but we will try.”

    The arrogant archbishop was very much satisfied that he had finished these three saints and he could tell his people, ”They are idiots. Why are you going there?” And he left in the boat. Suddenly he saw that behind his boat those three people were running on the water, coming after him. He could not believe his eyes; he rubbed his eyes. By that time they had reached the side of his boat, standing on the water. And they said, ”Just one time more, we forgot.”

    But seeing the situation: ”These people are walking on water and I am going in the motorboat,” he said, ”You continue your prayer. Don’t bother about what I have said to you. Just forgive me, I was arrogant. Your simpleness, your innocence is your prayer. You just go. You don’t need any certificate.”

    But they insisted, ”You have come so far. Just one time more... We know we might forget it, but one time more so we can remember it.”

    But the archbishop said, ”I have been repeating that prayer my whole life, and it has not been heard. And you are walking on water, and we have heard only in the miracles of Jesus that he used to walk on water. This is the first time I have seen the miracle. You just go back. Your prayer is perfectly alright!”

    The prayer was not the thing because there is nobody to hear it, but their utter innocence and trust transformed them into totally new beings, so fresh, so childlike, just like rose flowers opening in the early morning sun in all their beauty.

    Now that the arrogance was dropped, the archbishop could see their faces, their innocence, their grace, their blissfulness. They returned back on the water, running hand in hand, and reached their tree.

    Source: "God is Dead, Now Zen is the Only Living Truth" - Osho

Share This Page