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I want to tell you a story, if you don’t mind. There were three robbers, three thieves, who came upon a man in a lonely place in the forest. And the first thief said, “This guy is of no use for us, let’s kill him and take all his stuff.” And the second robber said, “There’s no need to kill him, lets just tie him up, bind him tightly, throw him in a ditch and take all his stuff.”
And that’s what they did. They threw him in the ditch, they tied him all up, they bound him, they stole all his goods and possessions and they made off.
The third thief walked down the path some way, and he started to feel very much remorseful. He started to think, “that poor guy is lying in a ditch all battered and bruised and bound, let me go back and help him.” And that’s what he did, he went to find the victim, and he attended to his wounds, and he unbound him. And he put him on his own horse and led him out of the forest towards his own village.
And the victim said to him, “You have been so kind to me, please come to my village and come to my house, and let me demonstrate my appreciation to you.” And the thief said to him, “I can’t go to your village.” “Why not?” “Well, the police are going to ask me why I was with the robbers in the first place.” And he disappeared. He ran away.
Now the first thief was tama guna. He says, “This guy is of no use for us, let’s just kill him.” The second thief was raja guna. He said, “No need to kill him, just tie him all up, bind him securely, throw him in the samsara, in the ocean of worldliness, where he will have all kinds of miseries.” The third thief was sattva. He says, “No, let me attend to your wounds, let me free you, let me show you the way to go home. But, I can’t go into your village. I can’t go to your house because I too am a thief.”
Sattva only shows the way to go home, he can’t go home with you. Sattva still binds you to the world in activity. To go into the house you have to be nirguna, without any quality. Not trying to do good, not trying to do evil, not trying to do anything. You become nirguna, and then you can go home.