Page 4 of 5Or you know the story of the tenth traveler? When the ten travelers went out to travel – and they were all idiots – and they had to swim a river in their journey, they crossed and said, "We hope everybody crossed over.
There were ten of us, weren't there. Well, Okay, let me count. We've got to be smart in these travels here. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Oh my God, we've lost one man – drowned!" And the other one said, "Oh my goodness, you must not be counting right. Let me count. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Oh my good God, which one is lost?" "No," the third one said. "Let me count." And all of the ten counted, and each counted nine.
And they sat there crying in grief for the lost companion. And somebody passed by and said, "What is the matter? Why are you people crying? What happened?" And they said, "We lost one person. Ten of us left, and now there are only nine." And he said, "Really, only nine? Let me count." So he counts, "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten." He says, "Where did the tenth one come from?" And the one who counted was the tenth, that's the one you are.
There is a story in the great Vedantic tradition given by the great
Shankara. So we start searching for this spiritual self. But the one who is doing the searching is the very spiritual self. So also, we go around looking for our fulfillment through another female or our fulfillment through another male. But the attributes, the qualities, the virtues and the beauties that we contain within ourselves, when they are fully discovered, then we become self-sufficient and self-dependent.
And the fragrance that the male looks for in the female is right within himself. The fragrance that the female looks for in the male is right within herself, like the legend of the musk deer who is now a very, very rare creature in the high Himalayan mountains, and is on the verge of extinction – hunted down for its musk. And the legend has it that this musk deer in a certain season, wanders around in the mountains from valley to valley and hilltop to hilltop maddened, crazed, intoxicated by this smell, searching everywhere for the source of this intoxicating smell. He wanders, crazy, searching for this smell of musk that is coming from a gland near his own navel. And for that very smell, he is hunted down. Because others know that the musk is in him, and he does not know.