A Beggar In Heaven ?
It happened once that a very rich man died on the same day a beggar in the town also died. The name of the beggar was Lazarus. The rich man went directly to hell and Lazarus directly to heaven. The rich man looked up and saw Lazarus sitting near God, and he cried to heaven, ‘It seems that something has gone wrong. I should be there and this beggar Lazarus should be here!’
God laughed and he said, ‘Those who are last shall become the first, and those who are first shall become the last. You have enjoyed being first enough, now let Lazarus enjoy a little.’
And the rich man was feeling very hot — of course in hell you don’t have any air-conditioning yet — burning hot. He was feeling very thirsty and there was no water. So he again cried and said, ‘God, please at least send Lazarus with a little water, I am feeling very thirsty.’
And God said, ‘Lazarus was thirsty many times, nearly dying at your door, and you never gave him anything. He was dying, hungry at your door and there was a feast every day, and many were invited, but he was always chased away from the door by your servants because guests were coming, powerful guests, politicians, diplomats, rich men, and a beggar standing there would look awkward. Your servants chased him away and he was hungry, and the people who were invited were not hungry. You never looked at Lazarus. Now it is impossible.’
And it is said Lazarus laughed.
This became a deep story for many many Christian mystics to ponder over. It became just like a zen koan, and in monasteries Christian mystics have been asking again and again why Lazarus laughed.
He laughed at the absurdity of things. He never knew that a nobody like Lazarus — a leper, a beggar, would ever enter heaven. He could never believe that this had happened. And he could not believe the other thing either — that a rich man, the richest in the town, should go to hell. He laughed.
And Lazarus still laughs. And he will laugh when you die also: if you are a somebody he will laugh, because you will be thrown out. If you are nobody, just ordinary, he will laugh because you will be received.
In this world, because egos exist, all valuations belong to the ego. In the other world, the other dimension, valuation belongs to egolessness. Hence Buddha’s emphasis on no-selfness — ANATTA. He said, ‘Don’t even believe “I am a soul” because that too can become a subtle ego. Don’t say “AHAM BRAHMASMI — I am Brahma, I am the ultimate self.” Don’t say even that, because the I is very tricky. It can deceive you. It HAS deceived you for many many lives. It can go on deceiving you. Simply say “I am not” and remain in that NOTNESS, remain in that nothingness — become empty of the self.’
One has to get rid of the self. Once the self is thrown away, nothing is lacking. You start overflowing and blossoms start falling on you.
Osho – “And the Flowers Showered”