The greater the sinner, the greater the saint


It is reported that one Hassid, a rabbi, Baal Shem, was visited by a woman. She was about seventy, her husband was eighty, and now, by and by, was becoming a virtuous man. His whole life he had been a sinner so she had come to give her thanks that he had finally converted her husband — which was impossible as he had been a sinner his whole life. But now he was turning so she was very thankful to Baal Shem. She had always been a pious lady, never wavered, never went wrong, always had been on the right track and always thinking that heaven was just waiting to welcome her, and always knowing well that this husband of hers was going to hell. So she said to Baal Shem, “There can be hope now- even my husband may reach heaven.”Baal Shem laughed and said, “The greater the sinner, the greater the saint.”

The woman became sad and said, “Then why didn’t you tell me before? You should have told me forty years before.”

The greater the sinner, the greater the saint. This woman will be in such hell if she finds her husband in heaven. These so-called virtuous people have created hell; otherwise, out of divine abundance, hell cannot exist. Saints will receive for they come in the morning; sinners will receive and they may have come in the evening. Everyone is going to receive. It is a gift.

I am here, not as a business but as a gift. But you are so afraid and fearful. You can understand business; you know the terms; you cannot understand a gift, you don’t know the terms. You can understand if you have to fulfill some condition. If nothing is required of you, you are simply at a loss.

All expectations belong to the mind, all disciplines belong to the mind, all so-called saintliness and so-called sin belong to the mind. When there is no mind, there is no sinner and no saint, and the gift simply showers on you.


Osho – “A Bird on the Wing”

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