Osho on Rabia parable
Osho  – I have heard about a very great Sufi mystic woman, Rabia al-Adawia. One evening, people found her sitting on the road searching for something. She was an old woman, her eyes were weak, and it was difficult for her to see. So the neighbours came to help her.


They asked, ‘What are you searching for?’
Rabia said, ‘That question is irrelevant, I am searching. If you can help me, help.’

They laughed and said, ‘Rabia, have you gone mad? You say our question is irrelevant, but if we don’t know what you are searching for, how can we help?’

Rabia said, ‘Okay. Just to satisfy you, I am searching for my needle, I have lost my needle.’

They started helping her — but immediately they became aware of the fact that the road was very big and a needle was a very tiny thing.

So they asked Rabia, ‘Please tell us where you lost it — the exact, precise place. Otherwise it is difficult. The road is big and we can go on searching and searching forever. Where did you lose it?’

Rabia said, ‘Again you ask an irrelevant question. How is it concerned with my search?’
They stopped. They said, ‘You have certainly gone crazy!’
Rabia said, ‘Okay. Just to satisfy you, I have lost it in my house.’
They asked, ‘Then why are you searching here?’

And Rabia is reported to have said, ‘Because here there is light and there is no light inside.’
The sun was setting and there was a little light still left on the road.

This parable is very significant. Have you ever asked yourself what you are searching for? Have you ever made it a point of deep meditation to know what you are searching for? No. Even if in some vague moments, dreaming moments, you have some inkling of what you are searching for, it is never precise, it is never exact. You have not yet defined it.

If you try to define it, the more it becomes defined the more you will feel that there is no need to search for it. The search can continue only in a state of vagueness, in a state of dreaming; when things are not clear you simply go on searching. pulled by some inner urge, pushed by some inner urgency. One thing you do know: you need to search. This is an inner need. But you don’t know what you are seeking.

And unless you know what you are seeking, how can you find it? It is vague — you think it is in money, power, prestige, respectability. But then you see people who are respectable, people who are powerful — they are also seeking. Then you see people who are tremendously rich — they are also seeking. To the very end of their life they are seeking. So richness is not going to help, power is not going to help. The search continues in spite of what you have.

The search must be for something else. These names, these labels — money, power, prestige — these are just to satisfy your mind. They are just to help you feel that you are searching for something. That something is still undefined, a very vague feeling.

The first thing for the real seeker, for the seeker who has become a little alert, aware, is to define the search; to formulate a clear-cut concept of it, what it is; to bring it out of the dreaming consciousness; to encounter it in deep alertness; to look into it directly; to face it. Immediately a transformation starts happening. If you start defining your search, you will start losing your interest in the search.

The more defined it becomes, the less it is there. Once it is clearly known what it is, suddenly it disappears. It exists only when you are not attentive. Let it be repeated: the search exists only when you are sleepy; the search exists only when you are not aware; the search exists only in your unawareness. The unawareness creates the search.Yes, Rabia is right. Inside there is no light. And because there is no light and no consciousness inside, of course you go on searching outside — because outside it seems more clear.

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