This beautiful story of “The Man of Salt” is part of Osho’s discourses titled “And the Flowers Showered”. This particular story is from discourse number 5. The transcript of this discourse is available on this link – Osho And The Flowers Showered: Is he dead?
The Man of Salt story
I will tell you one anecdote Ramakrishna loved to tell. He used to say: Once it happened that there was a great festival near a sea, on the beach. Thousands of people were gathered there and suddenly they all became engrossed in a question — whether the sea is immeasurable or measurable; whether there is a bottom to it or not; fathomable or unfathomable? By chance, one man completely made of salt was also there. He said, ‘You wait, and you discuss, and I will go into the ocean and find out, because how can one know unless one goes into it?’
So the man of salt jumped into the ocean. Hours passed, days passed, then months passed, and people started to go to their homes. They had waited long enough, and the man of salt was not coming back.
The man of salt, the moment he entered the ocean, started melting, and by the time he reached the bottom he was not. He came to know — but he couldn’t come back. And those who didn’t know, they discussed it for a long time. They may have arrived at some conclusions, because the mind loves to reach conclusions.
Once a conclusion is reached, mind feels at ease — hence so many philosophies exist. All philosophies exist to fulfill a need: the mind asks and the mind cannot remain with the question, it is uneasy; to remain with the question feels inconvenient. An answer is needed — even if it is false it will do; mind is put at rest.
The language differs
Another short excerpt from the same discourse about how the language changes when you experience the truth for yourself and the rest of us cannot understand.
Says Jesus, ‘Truth liberates.’ Have you seen anybody being liberated by theories?
Experience liberates, yes, but theories about every experience? No, never! But the mind is afraid to take the jump, because mind is made of the same stuff as the universe; if you take the jump you will be lost. You will come to know, but you will know only when you are not.
The salt man came to know. He touched the very depth. He reached the very center but he couldn’t come back. Even if he could, how would he relate…? Even if he comes, his language will belong to the center, to the depth, and your language belongs to the bank, to the periphery.
Subbu, our dearest friend always would quote a Tamil saying “கண்டவர் விண்டிலர்; விண்டவர் கண்டிலர்!” Which translates to “Those who know the truth, cannot/will not say it. Those who keep saying about Truth, haven’t known the truth”.
Guess that’s a one line explanation of this blogpost. Can’t add anything more.
கண்டவர் விண்டிலர்; விண்டவர் கண்டிலர்! Kandavar Vindilar; Vindavar Kandilar !