If someone gives you a flower and you take it in your hand to give the same to some other person. That some other person may again want to give the flower to some other person and the process goes on. But the flower, in the process of being handed down from person to person, will have caught the smell of different hands touching it. The flower, thus acts as the transfer of your own smell (rather than the transfer of the fragrance of the flower) from one man to another man and in this whole process what you will come to see that the original fragrance of the flower gets lost and is nowhere.

Since a flower is known by its own unique and typical fragrance. And when that particular fragrance is found missing in it, then it becomes difficult to distinguish it from the rest of the flowers. The flower (as seen from the above description) remains no longer the original flower as the one that was transferred from hands to hands. And if the flower has passed through a thousand hands, it will carry the scent of all those hands. And also if the flower were to come back to its first owner, he would never be able to recognize as the same flower that he handed down to other people. The essence of the flower known by its real owner would be lost by the touch of a thousand hands. It will not look the same as when that real owner gave it to others, but will have fallen into pieces, its petals scattered here and there. People will have to stick on other petals to complete the flower before they bring it back to me

Similarly, all the religious books (like the flower) are the utterances of different highly spiritually evolved gurus of the gone periods (handed down to the future generations from time to time). But now it is thousands and thousands of years since these words were spoken. Much has been deleted and much has been added- either intentionally or intentionally. Another very interesting thing is that when you read a book, you interpret the words written in your own way. It is you who reads and you who interprets, and your interpretation cannot be more than you; it cannot transcend your own understanding. You will attach your own meanings to the words. The original concept and the gist of the book will get lost completely in the process.

All the religious books and scriptures are the expressions of the gurus, but these gurus are not present today. And the words inscribed in them have lost the purity they had when they were first uttered, because those who (our ancestors) collected them, of necessity, combined and mixed them with their own thoughts- this they could not help. Though it was not done on purpose, it is certain that it happened.

If I tell you something with instructions to repeat it to your neighbor, you are bound to lose something and add something to what I said. The mode of speaking will change. Even if you use exactly the words I used, your preferences and the emphasis will be different from mine. When you speak, your experience, your knowledge, your understanding will creep into the words.

So the book cannot become your guru, rather you become your guru to the book! You have not learned the scriptures, rather you begin to teach the scriptures; thus you find thousand of interpretations. Look at the holy books of different religions and you will come to reason out that each and every book has got many commentaries as given by different commentators. No original message will you find in them but only particularized commentary suited to the current people and current time. Whosoever reads them take their own meanings and leave the original message altogether. So, the truth lies even further away. The gurus or the sages who wrote such holy books must have reported something else and it is we who interpreted something else- far from the original meaning. Then thousands of years elapse while we have all the commentators, each claiming to elucidate it out of his own understanding. By then each word acquires infinite meanings, and the religious books become meaningless. Whatever you put in has become a new edition.

By Osho

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