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Is it so? A beautiful story narrated by Osho. A young monk lived in a village in Japan. He was very famous, and had great reputation. The whole village worshiped and respected him. Songs were sung all over the village in his honor. But one day everything changed. A young girl in the village became pregnant and gave birth to a child. When her family asked her whose child it was she said it was the child of the young monk.
How long does it take for admirers to become enemies? How long? It does not take even a short while because inside the mind of an admirer condemnation is always hidden. The mind just waits for a chance, and the day admiration ends, condemnation begins. Those people who show respect can change in one minute to being disrespectful. The people who are touching a person's feet can within a moment start cutting the same person's head off. There is no difference between respect and disrespect - they are two faces of the same coin.
The people of the whole village attacked the monk's hut. For a long time they had been showing respect to the monk but now all the anger that they had suppressed came out. Now they had the chance to be disrespectful, so they all ran to the monk's hut and set it on fire and threw the tiny baby at him.
The monk asked, "What is the matter?"
The people shouted, "You are asking us what the matter is? This child is yours! Do we have to tell you what the matter is? Look at your burning house, look within your heart, look at this child and look at this girl. There is no need for us to tell you that this child is yours."
The monk said, "Is it so? Is this child mine?"
The child started crying so he started singing a song to make the child silent, and the people left him sitting by his burnt-out hut. Then he went to beg at his usual time, in the afternoon - but who would give him food today? Today every door he stood in front of was slammed shut. Today a crowd of children and people started walking behind him, teasing him, throwing stones. He reached the house of the girl whose child it was. He said, "I may not get food for myself, but at least give some milk for this child ! I may be at fault, but what is the fault of this poor baby?"
The child was crying, the crowd was standing there - and it became unbearable for the girl. She fell at the feet of her father and said, "Forgive me, I lied when I gave the name of the monk. I wanted to save the real father of the child, so I thought of using the name of this monk. I don't even have any acquaintance with him."
The father became nervous. This was a great mistake. He ran out of his house, fell at the feet of the monk and tried to take the baby from him.
The monk asked, "What is the matter?"
The girl's father said," Forgive me, there has been a mistake. The child is not yours."
The monk replied, "Is this so? Is the child really not mine?"
Then the people of the village said to him, "You are mad! Why didn't you deny it this morning?"
The monk said, "What difference would it have made? The child must belong to somebody. And you had already burnt one hut - you would have just burnt one more. You had enjoyed defaming one person, you would have enjoyed defaming one more. What difference would it make? The child must belong to someone - it could also be mine. So what is the problem? What difference does it make?"
The people said, "Don't you understand that everybody condemned you, insulted you, humiliated you very much?"
The monk answered, "If I had been concerned with your condemnation, I would have been concerned about your respect also. I do as I feel right; you do whatever you feel to be right. Until yesterday you felt it right to respect me so you did. Today you felt it right not to respect me so you didn't. But I am not concerned with either your respect or your disrespect.
The people said to him, "Gentleman, you should have realized that you would lose your good reputation."
He replied, "I am neither bad nor good. I am simply myself. I have dropped this idea of good and bad. I have dropped all concern in becoming good because the more I tried to become good, the more I found that I became bad. The more I tried to escape from badness, the more I found that goodness was disappearing. I dropped the very idea. I became absolutely indifferent. And the day I became indifferent, I found that neither goodness nor badness remained inside. Rather, something new was born which is better than goodness, and which does not even have a shadow of badness about it."