Greatest archer……A STORY………….OSHO
A man in China became the greatest archer. He asked the king, 'Declare me as the greatest archer of the country.' The king was just going to decide and declare him when an old servant of the king said, 'Wait, sir. I know a man who lives in the forest who never comes to the town. He is a greater archer. So let this young man go to him and learn from him for at least three years. He does not know what he is demanding. He is like a camel who has not yet come across a mountain.
Archers don't live in the capitals, the real archers are in the mountains. I know one, and I know for certain that this man is nothing.'Of course, the man was sent. He went. He could not believe that there could be a greater archer than him. But he found the old man and, he was! For three years he learned from him. Then one day, when he had learned everything, the thought arose in him that, 'If I kill this old man, then I will be the greatest archer.'
The old man had gone to cut wood and he was coming back carrying wood on his head. The young man hid behind a tree, waiting to kill him. He shot an arrow. The old man took a small piece of wood and threw it. It struck the arrow and the arrow turned back and wounded the young man very deeply.
The old man came, took out the arrow, and said, 'I knew this.
I knew that some day or other you were going to do this.
That's why I have not taught you this secret. Only one secret I have kept for myself. There is no need to kill me, I am not a competitor. But one thing I must tell you — my Master is still alive, and I am nothing before him. You will have to go deeper into the mountains. He is a man of one hundred and twenty years, very old — but while he is alive, nobody can pretend and nobody should even think of declaring. You must be with him for at least thirty years. And he is very old, so go fast! Find the old man!'
The young man traveled, now very desperate. It seemed to be impossible to become the greatest archer in the country. He found the old man. He was very ancient, one hundred and twenty years old, completely bent, he could not stand upright. But the young man was surprised because there was no bow, no arrow, with him. And he asked, 'Are you the old man who is the greatest archer?'
The old man said, 'Yes.'
'But where are your bow and arrows?'
The old man said, 'Those are playthings. Real archers don't need them once they have learned the art. They are just devices to learn; once you have learned, you throw them. A great musician will throw his instrument because he has learned what music is. How to carry the instrument is foolish, childish.'
And the old man said, 'But if you are really interested in becoming an archer, then come with me.'
He took him to a precipice. A rock was there overlooking a very deep valley. The old man went ahead of the young man and stood just at the very edge. With a slight trembling he would topple down into the valley. He called the young man to come close to him. He started perspiring, he started trembling, it was so dangerous to be there.
At just two feet away he said, 'I cannot come that close.' The old man started laughing and he said, 'If you tremble so much with fear, how can you become an archer? Fear must disappear totally, with no trace left behind.'
The young man said, 'But how can it be? I am afraid of death.'
The old man said, 'Drop the idea of death. Find someone who can teach you what a deathless life is and you will become the greatest archer — never before.'
Fear creates trembling; fear creates thinking. Thinking is a sort of inner trembling. When one becomes unwavering, the flame of consciousness remains there, undistracted, untrembling.