Osho on Sufi Master Hakim Sanai
Osho: 'The Hadiqa' is the essential fragrance
of the path of love. Just as Sosan has been able to catch the very soul of
Zen, Hakim Sanai has been able to catch the very soul of Sufism. Such books
are not written, they are born. Nobody can compose them. They are not
manufactured in the mind, by the mind; they come from the beyond. They are a
gift. They are born as mysteriously as a child is born, or a bird or a rose
flower. They come to us, they are gifts.
So first we will enter into the mysterious birth of this great book 'The
Hadiqa' : The Garden. The story is tremendously beautiful.
The Sultan of Ghazna, Bahramshab, was moving with his great army towards
India on a journey of conquest. Hakim Sanai, his famous court-poet, was also
with him, accompanying him on the journey of this conquest. They came
alongside a great garden, a walled garden. That is the meaning of Firdaus:
the walled garden. And from Firdaus comes the English word ‘paradise’. They
were in a hurry; with a great army the Sultan was moving to conquer India.
He had no time.
But something mysterious happened and he had to stop; there was no way to
avoid it. The sound of singing coming from the garden caught the Sultan’s
attention. He was a lover of music, but he had never heard something like
this. He had great musicians in his court and great singers and dancers, but
nothing to be compared with this. The sound of singing and the music and the
dance – he had only heard it from outside, but he had to order the army to
stop. It was so ecstatic.
The very sound of the dance and the music and the singing was psychedelic,
as if wine was pouring into him: the Sultan became drunk. The phenomenon
appeared not to be of this world. Something of the beyond was certainly in
it: something of the sky trying to reach the earth, something from the
unknown trying to commune with the known. He had to stop to listen to it.
There was ecstasy in it – so sweet and yet so painful, it was heart-rending.
He wanted to move, he was in a hurry; he had to reach India soon, this was
the right time to conquer the enemy.
But there was no way. There was such strong, strange, irresistible magnetism
in the sound that in spite of himself he had to go into the garden. It was
Lai-Khur, a great Sufi mystic, but known to the masses only as a drunkard
and a madman. Lai- Khur is one of the greatest names in the whole history of
the world. Not much is known about him;
such people don’t leave many footprints behind them. Except for this story,
nothing has survived. But Lai-Khur has lived in the memories of the Sufis,
down the ages.
He continued haunting the world of the sufis, because never again was such a
man seen. He was so drunk that people were not wrong in calling him a
drunkard. He was drunk twenty-four hours, drunk with the divine. He walked
like a drunkard, he lived like a drunkard, utterly oblivious of the world.
And his utterances were just mad. This is the highest peak of ecstasy, when
expressions of the mystic can only be understood by other mystics. For the
ordinary masses they look irrelevant, they look like gibberish.
You will be surprised to know that the English word ’gibberish’ is based on
a sufi mystic’s name, Jabbar. It is because of Jabbar’s utterances that the
English word ’gibberish’ has arisen. But even Jabbar was nothing compared to
Lai-Khur. To the ignorant, his utterances were outrageous, sacrilegious,
against tradition and against all formalities, mannerisms and etiquette –
against all that is known and understood as religion. But to those who knew,
they were nothing but pure gold.
He was available only to the chosen few, because only very few people can
rise to such a height where he lived. He lived on Everest – the Everest of
consciousness, beyond the clouds. Only those who were fortunate enough and
courageous enough to climb the mountain were able to understand what he was
saying. To the common masses he was a madman. To the knowers he was just a
vehicle of God, and all that was coming through him was pure truth: truth,
and only truth. He had made himself deliberately notorious.
That was his way of becoming invisible to the masses. Sufis do that; they
have a very strange method of becoming invisible. They remain visible – they
remain in the world, they don’t escape from it – but deliberately they
create a certain milieu around them, so that people stop coming to them.
Crowds, curious people, stupid people, simply stop coming to them; the Sufis
don’t exist for them, they forget all about them. This has been an ancient
method of the sufis so that they can work with their disciples.
You can see it happening here. You are my Sufis. I am almost invisible to
the people who live in Poona. I am here and not here: I am not here for
them, I am here only for you. I am invisible even to the neighbors here.
They see and yet they don’t see, they hear and yet they don’t hear. Lai-Khur
had made himself deliberately notorious. Now, can you find a more notorious
man than me? And it is so good: it keeps the foolish away. He was now
visible only to the perceptive.
A master, if he really wants to work, if he means business, has to become
invisible to those who are not authentic seekers. That is what Gurdjieff
used to do. Gurdjieff must have learnt a few things from Lai-Khur. Gurdjieff
had lived with Sufi masters for many years before he became a master in his
own right. And when I have finished this story you will see many
similarities between Gurdjieff and Lai-Khur.
Lai-Khur called for wine and proposed a toast ”to the blindness of the
Sultan Bahramshah.” Now, first the great mystic called for wine. Religious
people are not supposed to drink wine. It is one of the greatest sins for a
Muslim to drink wine; it is against the Koran, it is against the religious
idea of how a saint should be. Lai-Khur called for wine and proposed a toast
”to the blindness of the Sultan Bahramshah.”
The Sultan must have got mad. He must have been furious – calling him blind?
But he was under the great ecstatic impact of Lai-Khur. So although he was
boiling within, he didn’t say a thing. Those beautiful sounds and the music
and the dance were still haunting him, they were still there in his heart.
He was transported to another world. But others objected, his generals and
his courtiers objected. When objections were raised, Lai-Khur laughed madly
and insisted that the Sultan deserved blindness for embarking on such a
”What can you conquer in the world? All will be left behind. The idea of
conquering is stupid, utterly stupid. Where are you going? You are blind!
Because the treasure is within you,” he said. ”And you are going to India;
wasting time, wasting other people’s time. What more is needed for a man to
be called blind?”
Lai-Khur insisted: ”The Sultan is blind. If he is not blind then he should
go back to his home and forget all about this conquest. Don’t make houses of
playing-cards, don’t make castles of sand. Don’t go after dreams, don’t be
mad. Go back! look within!” The man who has eyes looks within, the blind man
looks without. The man who has eyes searches for the treasure within. The
man who is blind rushes all over the world, begging, robbing people,
murdering, in the hope that he will find something that he is missing.
It is never found that way, because it is not outside that you have lost it.
You have lost it in your own being: light has to be brought there. Lai-Khur
insisted that the Sultan was blind. ”If he is not, then give me the proof:
order the army to go back. Forget all about this conquest, and never again
go on any other conquest. This is all nonsense!”
The Sultan was impressed, but was not capable of going back. It must have
been the same situation as had happened before, when Alexander the Great was
coming to conquer India, and another mystic, Diogenes laughed at him. And he
said, ”Why? For what are you going on such a long journey? And what are you
going to gain by conquering India, or by conquering he whole world?”
And Alexander said, ”I want to conquer the whole world so that finally I can
rest and relax and enjoy.”
And Diogenes laughed and said, ”You must be a fool – because I am resting
now!” And he was resting, relaxing on the bank of a small river. It was
early morning and he was taking a sunbath, naked on the sand, He said, ”I am
resting and relaxing NOW, and I have not conquered the world. I have not
even Thought of conquering the world. So if you are conquering the world and
trying to become victorious just to rest and relax, it looks absolutely
meaningless, because Id am resting without conquering anything. And the bank
of this river is big enough, it can contain us both. Rest here. Throw away
your clothes and take a good sunbath and forget all about conquering!
”And look at me: I am a conqueror without conquering the world. And you are
The same must have been the situation with the Sultan Bahramshah, and Lai-Khur
must have been again the same type of man. In this world there have been
only two types of people: those who know, and those who don’t know. It is
the same drama played again and again, the same story enacted again and
again. Sometimes it is Alexander the Great who is playing the blind person
and it is Diogenes who tries to wake him up. Some other time it is Lai-Khur
who is trying to wake Sultan Bahramshah.
Alexander said, ”I am sorry. I can understand your point, but I cannot go
back. I have to conquer the world; without conquering it I cannot rest.
Excuse me. And you are right, I concede it.” And the same happened with
Bahramshah. He was sad, ashamed, shy. But he said, ”Excuse me, I have to go,
I cannot go back. India has to be conquered. I will not be able to rest or
sit silently until I have conquered India.”
Then a toast was called ”To the blindness of Hakim Sanai” – because he was
the next most important person with Bahramshah. He was his adviser, his
counsellor, his poet. He was the wisest man in his court, and his fame had
penetrated into other lands too. He was already an accomplished poet; a
great, well-known wise man. Then a toast was called ”to the blindness of
Hakim Sanai,” which must have given the great poet a considerable jolt.
There were even stronger objections to this on the grounds of Sanai’s
excellent reputation, his wisdom, his character.
He was a man of character, a very virtuous man, very religious. Nobody could
have found any flaw in his life. He had lived a very very conscious life, at
least in his own eyes. He was a man of conscience. More objections were
raised. Because maybe the Sultan was blind, he was greedy, he had great
lust, he had great desire to possess things, but that could not be said
about Hakim Sanai. He had lived the life of a poor man, even though he had
been in the court. Even though he was the most respected man in Bahramshah’s
court, he had lived like a poor man – simple, humble, and of great wisdom
But Lai-Khur countered that the toast was even more apt, since Sanai seemed
unaware of the purpose for which he had been created; and when he was
shortly brought before his maker and asked what he had to show for himself
he would only be able to produce some stupid eulogies to foolish kings, mere
mortals like himself. Lai-Khur said that it was even more apt because much
more is to be expected from Hakim Sanai than from Sultan Bahramshah. He has
a greater potential and he is wasting it, wasting it in making eulogies for
He will not be able to face his God; he will be in difficulty, he will not
be able to answer for himself. All that he will be able to produce will be
this poetry, written in praise of foolish kings like this blind man,
Bahramshah. He is more blind, utterly blind. And listening to these words
and looking into the eyes of that madman, Lai-Khur, something
incredible happened to Hakim Sanai: a satori, a sudden enlightening
experience. Something died in him immediately, instantly. And something was
born, something utterly new.
In a single moment, the transformation had happened.
He was no longer the same man. This madman had really penetrated his soul.
This madman had succeeded in awakening him. In Sufi history, this is the
only case of satori. In Zen there are many cases; I have been talking to you
about those cases. But in the world of Sufism this is the only case of
satori, sudden enlightenment – not methodological, not gradual; in a shock
Lai-Khur must have been a man of tremendous insight. Hakim Sanai bowed down,
touched the feet of this madman and wept tears of joy that he had arrived
home. He died and was reborn. That’s what a satori is: dying and being
reborn. It is a rebirth. He left the Sultan and went on a pilgrimage to
Mecca. The Sultan was not willing, he was not ready to allow him to go. He
tried in every way to prevent him: he even offered his only sister in
marriage, and half the kingdom, to Hakim Sanai. But now all was meaningless.
Hakim Sanai simply laughed and he said, ”I am no longer a blind person.
Thank you, but I am finished. This madman has finished me in a single
stroke, in a single blow.”
And he went on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Why? Later on, when he was asked he
said, ”Just to absorb, just to digest what that madman had given me so
suddenly. It was too much! It was overflowing, I was overwhelmed; it had to
be digested. He had given me more than I was worthy of.”
So he went to Mecca on a pilgrimage, to meditate, to be silent, to be a
pilgrim unknown to anybody, to be anonymous. The thing had happened, but it
had to be absorbed. The light had happened, but one has to get accustomed to
it. And when he became accustomed to the new gestalt, to the new vision, he
came back to Lai-Khur and presented him this book, THE HADIQA. That’s what
he wrote on the way back from Mecca. He poured his experience, his satori,
into this book. These words are saturated with satori.
This is how this great book was born, like a child is born, mysteriously;
like a seed becomes a sprout, mysteriously; like a bird comes out of the
egg, mysteriously. Like a bud opens early in the morning and becomes a
flower, and the fragrance is spread to the winds. Yes, this book was not
written. This book is a gift from God. This book is a gift from God, and a
gratitude from Hakim Sanai to that strange madman, Lai-Khur.
Source: from book “Unio Mystica, Volume 1 “ by Osho
Osho on :
Gorakh, Guru Nanak
Osho Stories on:
Shirdi Sai Baba
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