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Book Name: The Dhammapada - The Way of the Buddha, Vol 6Previous     Next

can play upon you.

It happened in Baghdad:

A man was brought to the caliph, because the man had declared that he was the new messenger of God. The caliph was irritated, annoyed, and he said, "You must be mad, because Mohammed is the last messenger of God and there is not going to be anybody else. The message has arrived in the Koran. Yes, before Mohammed there had been other messages, but all those messages were fragmentary because man was not ready and ripe. Mohammed has brought the full message; now there is not going to be any other messenger in the world. You bring yourself to your senses; otherwise you will have to suffer for it!"

The man was thrown into the prison for seven days, tortured, beaten, starved. After seven days the caliph arrived. The man was bound to a pillar, bruised, wounded. The caliph said, "Now you must have come to your senses. What do you say now?"

The man laughed and he said, "All the torture and all the suffering that have been imposed upon me simply prove that I am really the messenger, because when God was sending me to the world he warned me that 'My messengers have always been tortured.' And I was doubting, 'Why are people not torturing me if I am the real messenger?' You have proved it! God was right, there was no need to doubt."

The caliph was at a loss -- what to say to this madman? But suddenly another man who was also bound to another pillar started laughing hysterically. The caliph asked him, "Why are you laughing?"

The man said, "This guy is a cheat -- because I am God myself, and I have never sent this man to the world as my messenger!"

That man had been imprisoned one month before, declaring himself God.

Mohammedans are very fanatic; they can't allow -- sometimes even when it is the truth. When al-Hillaj Mansoor declared, "ANA'L HAQ! -- I am God himself!" it was a truth, he was not dreaming. But he was crucified. When Sarmad, another Sufi mystic, declared, "I am God!" his head was cut off. And these people were not dreaming. But it is very difficult from the outside to decide who is dreaming, who has gone mad, who is imagining, and who is declaring the truth. Because

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