Self Awareness the First Pathway to Growth: There was one great master, a sage, Nagarjuna. A thief came to him. The thief had fallen in love with the master because he had never seen such a beautiful person, such infinite grace.
The thief asked Nagarjuna, “Is there some possibility of my growth also? But one thing I must make clear to you: I am a thief. And another thing: I cannot leave it, so please don’t make it a condition. I will do whatsoever you say, but I cannot stop being a thief. That I have tried many times–it never works, so I have left the whole sport. I have accepted my destiny, that I am going to be a thief and remain a thief, so don’t talk about it. From the very beginning let it be clear.”
Nagarjuna said, “Why are you afraid? Who is going to talk about your being a thief?”
The thief said, “But whenever I go to a monk, to a religious priest, or to a religious saint, they always say, ‘First stop stealing.’”
Nagarjuna laughed and said, “Then you must have gone to thieves; otherwise, why? Why should they be concerned? I am not concerned!”
The thief was very happy. He said, “Then it is okay. It seems that now I can become a disciple. You are the right master.”
Nagarjuna accepted him and said, “Now you can go and do whatsoever you like. Only one condition has to be followed: be aware! Go, break into houses, enter, take things, steal; do whatsoever you like, that is of no concern to me, I am not a thief–but do it with full awareness.”
The thief couldn’t understand that he was falling into the trap. He said, “Then everything is okay. I will try.” After three weeks he came back and said, “You are tricky–because if I become aware, I cannot steal. If I steal, awareness disappears. I am in a fix.”
Nagarjuna said, “No more talk about your being a thief and stealing. I am not concerned; I am not a thief. Now, you decide! If you want awareness, then you decide. If you don’t want it, then too you decide.”
The man said, “But now it is difficult. I have tasted it a little, and it is so beautiful–I will leave anything, whatsoever you say. Just the other night for the first time I was able to enter the palace of the king. I opened the treasure. I could have become the richest man in the world–but you were following me, and I had to be aware. When I became aware, diamonds looked just like stones, ordinary stones. When I lost awareness, the treasure was there. And I waited and did these many times. I would become aware, and I became like a buddha, and I could not even touch it because the whole thing looked foolish, stupid–just stones, what am I doing? Losing myself over stones? But then I would lose awareness; they would become again beautiful, the whole illusion. But finally, I decided that they were not worth it.”
Self Awareness the First Pathway to Growth teaches the need to reflect and be conscious of ourselves. Self awareness would make us grow of all ill behaviours.