|One night the poet, Awhadi of Kerman (a very great Muslim poet) was|
sitting on his porch bent over a vessel. Shams-e-Tabrizi, a great Sufi
mystic, happened to pass by.
Shams-e-Tabrizi looked at the poet, at what he was doing.
He asked the poet, 'What are you doing?'
The poet said, 'Contemplating the moon in a bowl of water.
Shams-e-Tabrizi started laughing, with an uproarious laughter, a mad
laughter. The poet started feeling uncomfortable; a crowd gathered.
And the poet said, 'What is the matter? Why are you laughing so much?
Why are you ridiculing me?'
Shams-e-Tabrizi said, 'Unless you have broken your neck, why don't you
look directly at the moon in the sky?'
The moon is there, the full moon is there, and this poet was sitting
with a bowl of water arid looking into the bowl of water at the
reflection of the moon.
Seeking truth in scriptures, seeking truth in philosophies, is looking
at the reflection. If you ask somebody else how you should live your
life, you are asking for misguidance, because that man can only talk
about his own life. And never, never, are two lives the same. Whatsoever
he can say or impart to you will be about his own life -- and that too
only if he has lived. He may have asked somebody else, he may have
followed somebody else, he may have been an imitator himself.
Then it is a reflection of a reflection. And centuries pass and people
go on reflecting the reflection of the reflection of the reflection --
and the real moon is always there in the sky waiting for you. It is your
moon, it is your sky, look directly. Be immediate about it. Why borrow
my eyes or anybody else's eyes? You have been given eyes, beautiful
eyes, to see, and to see directly.
Why borrow understanding from anybody?
Remember, it may be understanding to me. But the moment you borrow it,
it becomes knowledge to you -- it is no more understanding.
Understanding is only that which has been experienced by the person
himself. It may be understanding for me, if I have looked at the moon,
but the moment I say it to you it becomes knowledge, it is no longer