OSHO: God’s presence & Snake’s ear – An Analogy
I am reminded of one thing.
In India, for thousands of years, the snake has been worshipped. There are snake charmers all over India who play a certain tune on a special kind of flute, and snakes start coming out of their holes almost intoxicated with the tune. They dance in front of the snake charmer who is playing on his flute.
When Britishers came into India for the first time, they could not believe it, because they had come with the idea — scientists had found — that snakes don’t have any ears. But what to make of this? If they don’t have any ears — and certainly they don’t have any ears, in their physiology ears are missing — but they are hearing music; not only hearing it, they are dancing to the tune of it. And not just one snake, all the snakes are affected by certain tunes, and they all dance according to the tune. And they have no ears!
It was reported back to England: “How can we say that they don’t have any ears? – because certainly they hear the music. Not only do they hear, they under stand; not only do they understand, they follow it.” It took long research to find out how, because certainly they don’t have any ears. The scientists were puzzled: without ears you cannot hear. But it was a solid a fact — and it was happening all over India, no just in one place.
Every year in India there is a month when spring comes; in that month there is a day devoted to the snake. It is the most beautiful time: the flowers, the fragrance, and the air — everything is vibrant with youth, beauty, color. One day is devoted to the snake. Nobody kills the snake because the snake is thought to be almost divine, and they are given milk, they are worshipped, and they dance all over the country. In each village you will find places with tents, crowd gathered, snakes dancing.
Finally the scientists discovered that the snake has no ears but that its whole skin is sensitive to sound. It has no specific organ for hearing, but the vibrations of music touching its skin give it a certain feel, and it starts moving, dancing, swaying. It is not hearing — or I would like to put it in a different way: it is hearing with its whole body.
This is a stupid thing to say — that the snake is not hearing because it has no ears like you. The reality is that you have only very small ears, and the snake’s ears are spread all over the body. That would be a more scientific and logical way of saying it: that it hears with its whole body. Naturally it hears far better than you, far deeper than you.
It risks its life, because coming out of the holes is dangerous, but it is not afraid. When the music calls it, then there is no fear in it. Then amidst the crowds it comes, moving; and remember, because it is not afraid, it never attacks. And on this particular day it has never been heard that any snake attacked anybody. Even cobras, the very dangerous snakes, are dancing in the marketplaces. They are wild people; but anger and fear are connected. If they are afraid then immediately they can strike back. But they are not afraid. They have forgotten all fear, anger — everything. They are in a self-forgetfulness, so intoxicated with the music that they risk their life.
In the same way existence hears. It has no ears; it has no personality, no eyes, no hands. That’s why I say there is no God. But I don’t say there is no godliness. In fact I deny God because I want you to understand godliness. Because of God, people have completely forgotten the reality of godliness. It is a quality spread all over existence. Don’t expect God to be in your own image — that He has ears, and eyes, and nose, and mouth. Don’t be stupid.
This whole existence is alive.
And this aliveness I call godliness, divinity:
No person, but only a presence which is overflowing.
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