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Osho on Baal Shem Tov Stories

Osho - It is not known that even in the very traditional, orthodox Judaism there have been a few utterly enlightened masters -- even some who have gone beyond enlightenment. One of them is Baal Shem Tov. I cannot forgive myself for not including him, and there is nobody to whom I can ask forgiveness.

Baal Shem Tov. Tov was the name of his town. His name simply means 'Baal Shem from the town of Tov'; so let us call him simply Baal Shem. I have spoken about him because when I was speaking about Hassidism, I have not left anything essential unspoken. I have spoken of Tao, of Zen, of Sufism, of Hassidism. I am not a man of any tradition so I am free to move in any direction I decide to. I don't even need a map. Let me remind you again:

Coming in,
going out,
the waterfowl
leaves no trace behind,
nor it needs a guide.

Baal Shem Tov has not written any treatise -- treatise is a dirty word in the world of mysticism -- but he told many beautiful stories, so beautiful that I would like to relate one of them to you just as an example so you can taste the quality of the man.
A woman comes to Baal Shem. The woman is childless; she wants a child. She bugs Baal Shem continuously saying, "If you bless me everything is possible. Bless me please. I want a child."

Finally, tired -- yes, even Baal Shem can get tired of a nagging woman -- he says, "Do you want a boy child or a girl?"
The woman was tremendously happy; she said, "A boy, of course."

Baal Shem said, "Then listen to this story. My mother was also childless, and she bugged and nagged the rabbi of the town continuously to bless her. Finally the rabbi said, 'First bring me a beautiful cap.' My mother," Baal Shem said, "made a beautiful cap and went to the rabbi."

The cap was so beautiful that Baal Shem's mother said, "I don't want anything in return, just to see you in this cap is so beautiful. I am tremendously gratified. You are not obliged to me, I am obliged to you. Thank you, rabbi."
"And my mother went away. That's how she became pregnant," Baal Shem said, "and I was born."
The woman said, "Great. So tomorrow I will come with a beautiful cap."

The next day she returned with a very beautiful cap. Baal Shem accepted and did not even say "Thank you." The woman waited and waited, then she said, "What about the child?"
Baal Shem said, "Forget all about the child! The cap is so beautiful, I am obliged to you. I must say thank you to you. Do you remember the story I told you? The woman did not ask anything in return, that's why she conceived a child, and a child like me" -- like Baal Shem.

"But you have come with the desire to get something. Just because of this cap do you want a child like Baal Shem? Forget all about it," he said, "and don't come again -- ever."

There are many things that can be said only through stories. Baal Shem has said the fundamental: Do not ask and it shall be given. Do not ask -- that is the basic condition. The Hassidism that arose out of Baal Shem's stories is the most beautiful flowering that has ever happened. Jews have done nothing comparable to Hassidism. Hassidism is a small current, but is still alive, still flowing.

Source - Osho Book "Books I have Loved"

Related Links:
Osho on Martin Buber
Osho on Baal Shem Prayer to God

Martin Buber Books loved by Osho
Osho - God loves laughter, God loves cheerful people
Osho on Martin Buber idea that prayer is an I-Thou dialogue
Osho on Hassidism - Hassidism means the art of disciplehood
Osho - Hasidism is not a path of meditation, it is a path of prayer
Osho - Why do Hasids exclude women from their religious practices

Osho on : Bodhidharma, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Dadu, Diogenes, Gorakh, Guru Nanak Dev, Hakim Sanai, Meera, Sahajo, Sarmad

Osho Stories on: Diogenes, Naropa, Rabia, Ramanuja, Shirdi Sai Baba

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Osho on Baal Shem Tov Stories