I have heard about a great warrior in Japan, a samurai, a very famous swordsman: One night when he came tired after the whole day’s fight in the fields and he was just going to fall into bed, he saw a rat. And the rat was looking at him ferociously! The samurai tried to kill the rat with his sword. He was one of the best swordsmen known, but somehow he missed. He hit many times, he broke his sword, and he could not kill the rat. He became really afraid: ”The rat seems to be very mysterious. This is no ordinary rat!”
He started, perspiring – he had never perspired. He had been a fighter his whole life and now a rat had defeated him. He ran out, asked his wife what to do. The wife said, ”You are a fool! You need not kill a rat. Have you ever heard of anybody killing a rat by a sword? You just take our cat inside.” And the cat was brought inside. It was no ordinary cat, it was the great warrior’s cat. She was also trained in many things; she was one of the most famous rat-catchers.She came with all her art, with all her skill.
She tried, but the rat was really extraordinary. He jumped exactly into her eyes! And the cat escaped out. She had never seen such a rat – attacking the cat?! And she was also trembling like the warrior. The warrior said, ”This is too much!” Then the king’s cat was called. She was a master cat, very well-known all over the country; of course, she was the king’s cat. The king’s cat came and she was also defeated by the rat. She went in, tried hard, used all her skill, but the rat was just too much.
Then the king’s cat suggested a cat she knew who was not famous at all. ”You have tried with famous cats, now you try with an ordinary one… just ordinary, plain ordinary.”
The warrior said, ”But what can a plain, ordinary cat do?”
The king’s cat said, ”You just try. I know this cat. She is so ordinary, she does not know a thing. The whole day she sleeps. But there is one thing about her: cats know, the whole country’s cats know that she is very mysterious. The mysterious thing is that she knows nothing about rats, rat-catching, the art, the technique, the methodology, the philosophy – she knows nothing; she has never been to any school or college or university. She is a plain, ordinary cat, but rats are so afraid of her!
Wherever she sleeps, no rat ever enters that house! Just her presence is enough. And she goes on sleeping, and nobody knows when she kills and how she kills.
”Once I went to that cat and I asked, ’What is your art?’ She simply looked at me, and she had no words to say, and she closed her eyes and went to sleep. And I woke her again and asked, ’What is your art?’.
She said, “I don’t know. I am a cat, that’s enough. A cat is a cat and IS MEANT to catch a rat. What art? What nonsense are you talking about?”
The cat was brought, and the samurai was not very hopeful because she was really very ordinary, just like any vagabond cat.
She came in, and without any skill she simply went in, caught hold of the rat and brought it out. All the cats gathered together and asked her, ”What is your art?” And she said, ”I don’t know any art. I am a cat! Is not that enough?”
That’s what I mean by being natural. Meditation will happen if you are natural – even before enlightenment. Meditation is your natural blooming; meditation is not something like an art, skill, performance. No, not at all. You need not go to any school to learn it. But you have been spoiled. Rats have been around you too much, and you have become afraid of the rats – not only afraid, you have started learning how to catch these rats. You have become very skillful, artificial; you know the know-how and that is your trouble. Your knowledge is your trouble.
You have become very skillful, artificial; you know the know-how and that is your trouble.
Your knowledge is your trouble.