The Moment of the Seeker: The Parable of Rabi’atul Al Adawiya

What are you searching for? That which you are searching for is already within you. Religion is the search for that which is already the case. Religion is the search for that which is already the reality.

If you go further away from yourself you will know less and less and you will think you are knowing more and more. Scriptures you will know, words you will know, theories, and you can go on spinning and you can go on weaving more and more out of these words and you can make palaces in the air, but they cannot be more than airy, abstract — they don’t exist, they are made of the same stuff as dreams. Thoughts and dreams are made of the same stuff — they are ripples on the surface of an ocean; they have nothing substantial in them. If you want to know the truth come back home.

I always say seek and you will miss, don’t seek — and find, because the very effort to seek means that you have taken it for granted that it is not with you already. From the very beginning your search is doomed. One day, seeking, searching, accumulating knowledge, the fact will strike home that you are a fool, that it would have been better before going into the vast world to seek, to have looked inside.

Again a small parable of Rabia Al. Adawia:  One evening, the sun was setting and the neighbourhood found her searching for something on the street — an old woman, everybody loved her; of course everybody thought her a little crazy, but she was a beautiful person — so they all rushed to help her and they asked, What has been lost? What are you searching for? She said: My needle. I was doing some needlework and I have lost my needle. Help me! You are so kind! So they all engaged in the search.

Then one man, seeing the fact that the street was so big and the needle was such a small tiny thing and that unless they exactly knew where it had been dropped it would be almost impossible to find it, came to Rabia and said: Tell us exactly the spot. Rabia said: Don’t ask that because in fact I have not lost it outside my house, I lost it inside.

They all stopped searching and said: Crazy woman! Then why are you searching here outside in the street when you have lost it inside the house?

Rabia said: THERE is much darkness. Here is a little light, how can you seek when there is darkness? And you know I am poor, not even a lamp with me. How can you seek when there is darkness? So I am seeking here because still a little sunlight is left, and still something can be done to search.

The people started laughing. They said: You are really crazy! We know that in darkness it is difficult to search, but then the only way is to borrow a lamp from somebody and search for it there.

Rabia said: I never thought you people were so wise. Then why do you always SEEK outside? I was just following your ways. If you are so understanding why don’t you borrow a lamp from me and search inside? I know there is darkness…

This parable is meaningful. You search outside: there is a reason — because inside everything is so dark. You close your eyes and there is dark night, you cannot see anything; even if something is seen it is nothing but a part of the outside reflected in the inner lake — thoughts floating which you have gathered in the marketplace, faces coming and going, but they belong to the outside world. Just reflections of the outside, and vast darkness One becomes afraid. Then one thinks it is better to seek outside, there at least there is light.

But that is not the point. Where have you lost your truth? Where have you lost your being? Where have you lost your God? Where have you lost your happiness, your bliss? Better it will be before you go to the infinte maze of the outside world, better it will be to first look within. If you cannot find there then it is all right — you go and search outside. But that has never happened. Whoever has looked within has always found — because it is already there — only a look is needed, a conversion, a returning of consciousness. Just a deep look.

Source – Osho Book “”Tao : The Three Treasures, Vol3”



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