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The Miracle of Trust – A Zen Buddhist Spiritual Story by Osho

Marpa heard about a master. He was searching and he went to the master, he surrendered to the master, he trusted totally. And he asked the master, “What am I supposed to do now?”

The master said, “Once you have surrendered to me, you are not supposed to do anything. Just believe in me. My name is the only secret mantra for you. Whenever you are in difficulty, just remember my name and everything will be all right.”

Marpa touched his feet. And he tried it immediately — he was such a simple man. He walked on the river. Other disciples who had been with the master for years could not believe it — he was walking on the water!

They reported to the master that, “That man, you have not understood him. He is no ordinary man, he is walking on water!”

The master said, “What?”

They all ran towards the river and Marpa was walking on the water, singing songs, dancing. When he came to the shore, the master asked, “What is the secret?”

He said, “What is the secret? It is the same secret that you have given to me — your name. I remembered you. I said, `Master, allow me to walk on water’ and it happened.”

The master could not believe that his name…. He himself could not walk on water. But perhaps… he had never tried.

But it would be better to check a few more things before he tries. So he said to Marpa, “Can you jump from that hill?”

Marpa said, “Whatever you say.” He went up on the hill and jumped, and they were all standing in the valley waiting — just pieces of Marpa will be there! Even if they can find pieces of him, that will be enough — the hill was very high.

But Marpa came down smiling, sitting in a lotus posture. He came just under a tree in the valley, and sat down. They all surrounded him. They looked at him — not even a scratch.

The master said, “This is something. You used my name?”

He said, “It was your name.”

The master said, “This is enough, now I am going to try,” and the first step in the water, he sank.

Marpa could not believe it when he sank. His disciples jumped in and somehow pulled him out. He was half dead. The water was taken out of his lungs… somehow he survived.

And Marpa said, “What is the matter?”

The master said, “You just forgive me. I am no master, I am just a pretender.”

But Marpa said, “If you are a pretender, then how did your name work?”

The pretender said, “My name has not worked. It is your trust. It does not matter who you trust — it is the trust, the love, the totality of it. I don’t trust myself. I don’t trust anybody. I cheat everybody — how can I trust? And I am always afraid to be cheated by others, because I am cheating others. Trust is impossible for me. You are an innocent man, you trusted me. It is because of your trust that the miracles have happened.”

Whether the story is true or not does not matter.

One thing is certain, that your misery is caused by your mistakes and your bliss is caused by your trust, by your love.

As told by Osho in “Beyond Enlightenment”

What is the Meaning / Moral of the “The Miracle of Trust” Story?

In the tale of Marpa and the master, we are reminded of the power of surrender. Marpa, in his simplicity, surrenders completely to the master, trusting in the guidance offered. This surrender is not passive but an active choice to let go of the need to control and to place faith in something greater than oneself. Through Marpa's surrender, we are reminded of the transformative power of releasing our attachments and allowing divine guidance to lead the way.

The story also illustrates the potency of belief and intention. When Marpa invokes the master's name with unwavering faith, miraculous events unfold. This highlights the profound truth that our beliefs and intentions shape our reality. By aligning ourselves with higher truths and holding steadfast to our intentions, we can manifest miracles in our own lives. The power of belief is a potent force that can move mountains and transcend limitations.

Furthermore, the tale underscores the importance of trust in spiritual growth. Marpa's trust in the master's guidance allows him to transcend the laws of nature and perform seemingly impossible feats. Trust opens the door to divine grace and enables us to tap into the limitless potential of the universe. When we trust in the wisdom of the divine and surrender to its guidance, we can navigate life's challenges with grace and ease.

The story also serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of spiritual ego. The master, despite his lofty title, lacks the humility and genuine spiritual authority of Marpa. His attempt to perform miracles based on egoic desire rather than genuine trust and surrender leads to his downfall. This reminds us that spiritual authority is not conferred by titles or outward displays but by the purity of one's heart and the depth of one's trust in the divine.

Moreover, the tale speaks to the transformative power of innocence and purity of heart. Marpa's innocence and childlike trust serve as the catalyst for miracles to occur. His simplicity cuts through the complexities of the ego and opens the door to divine grace. This highlights the importance of cultivating innocence and purity of heart in our spiritual journey, allowing us to access higher realms of consciousness and experience profound spiritual growth.

Additionally, the story underscores the interconnectedness of trust and love. Marpa's trust in the master is rooted in love and devotion, and it is this love that catalyzes the miracles that unfold. Love is the highest vibration that transcends all barriers and unites us with the divine. When we approach life with love and trust, we align ourselves with the flow of divine grace and invite miracles to manifest in our lives.

Ultimately, the tale reminds us that the path to spiritual awakening is paved with trust, surrender, and love. It calls us to release our attachments, surrender to divine guidance, and trust in the power of love to transform our lives. By embodying the qualities of trust, surrender, and love, we can walk the path of miracles and awaken to the infinite potential that resides within us.

Personal Reflection Questions

Spiritual stories are an opportunity to reflect on your own life. Here are 10 questions you can use to go deeper with the teachings in this story:

  1. Reflect on moments in your life when you have experienced surrender. How did it feel to let go of control and place your trust in something greater than yourself? What insights did you gain from these experiences?
  2. Consider the power of belief and intention in shaping your reality. Have there been times when your beliefs and intentions manifested tangible outcomes in your life? How can you harness the power of belief to create positive change in your life and the world around you?
  3. Explore the concept of innocence and purity of heart. What does it mean to approach life with innocence and childlike trust? How can you cultivate innocence in your own heart and allow it to guide your spiritual journey?
  4. Contemplate the significance of trust in your relationships and spiritual growth. How has trust played a role in deepening your connections with others and with the divine? How can you cultivate trust in yourself and in the universe to navigate life's challenges with grace and resilience?
  5. Consider the idea of spiritual ego and its potential pitfalls. Have there been times when your ego has hindered your spiritual growth or led you astray? How can you cultivate humility and genuine spiritual authority in your own life?
  6. Reflect on moments of divine grace and miraculous occurrences in your life. How did these experiences deepen your faith and trust in the universe? How can you remain open to the flow of divine grace and invite miracles to manifest in your life?
  7. Explore the interconnectedness of trust and love in your spiritual journey. How does love serve as a catalyst for trust and surrender? How can you cultivate love in your heart and allow it to guide your interactions with others and with the divine?
  8. Contemplate the lessons of forgiveness and redemption inherent in the story. How did Marpa's forgiveness of the master lead to his own spiritual growth and transformation? How can you cultivate forgiveness in your own life and experience greater freedom and peace as a result?
  9. Consider the role of authenticity and integrity in your spiritual journey. How does living in alignment with your values and beliefs contribute to your sense of purpose and fulfillment? How can you cultivate authenticity and integrity in every aspect of your life?
  10. Reflect on the deeper truths and universal principles embedded in the story. How do the themes of surrender, trust, forgiveness, and love resonate with your own spiritual journey? How can you embody these principles more fully in your daily life and experience greater harmony, joy, and fulfillment as a result?