No One To Take Responsibility – A Hindu Spiritual Story by Osho

There is a Hindu story in India… The oldest book on the life of Rama is written by Balmik. Balmik was a robber, thief, murderer — everything that you can conceive of he had done. That was his only profession. Uneducated but a tremendously powerful man, just on the highway he would be waiting for people, and anybody who was caught had to give everything; otherwise he was finished. Balmik’s family was living in luxury — he was bringing so much every day.

One day it happened that one beautiful saint, Narda, who was always carrying his ektara — a simple musical instrument, with only one string, that had become his symbol — singing and playing on his ektara he was passing, and Balmik caught hold of him. But he was still singing and playing on his ektara.

Balmik said, “Are you mad or something? Can’t you see me, can’t you see my sword? Give me everything that you have!”

Narda said, “You have caught a beggar; I have only this ektara. And that too I am not going to give easily, because what will you do with this? But if you want it, I can give it to you. If you want my life I can give that too. But before I give you anything, I want to ask one question to you.”

Balmik said, “Question? What question?”

Narda said, “You go home, ask your wife: you have been killing people, robbing people — is she ready to share the responsibility of it. Ask your father, your mother, your son, your daughter. Are they willing to share the responsibility of what you are doing?”

Balmik had never thought about such a thing; he was an uneducated man. He said, “I have never thought about it. They must share the responsibility. I am doing it for them.”

Narda said, “I will be here. Don’t be worried, you can just tie me to the tree so I cannot escape.” He was tied to the tree and Balmik rushed to his home and asked his wife. His wife said, “I have nothing to do with your responsibilities. It is your responsibility to feed your wife; how you do it I have no concern for.” And the same was the response of everybody.

Even the mother said, “It is your responsibility to take care of your old father and mother. Now how you are doing it — that you have to work out. We have not told you to kill people and rob people; you are doing it on your own. We are simply not responsible for any of your acts.”

Not a single man in his house was ready to share responsibility. He was shocked! He went back, untied Narda, touched his feet and said, “I have been my whole life a wrong person. Is there any possibility for me to get rid of all that I have done?”

Narda said, “There is no problem. You stop doing it, because the people you are doing it for are not even ready to take responsibility for it! And I will teach you my song. My song is very simple; I simply repeat the name of Rama. It is so simple, no education is needed. You sit under the tree and repeat, `Rama, Rama…’ as long as you can, and you will be transformed — because intrinsically your innermost core always remains pure. It is only the layers on it which can be dropped.”

After a few months Narda came back and he was surprised: Balmik was sitting there under the tree. Narda had been his whole life repeating the name of Rama, the Hindu God, but nothing like this had happened to him. Balmik was surrounded by an aura of light. Just going close to him you felt a tremendous silence, a great rejoicing.

Osho – “Beyond Psychology”