There once lived a saint so good, the angels came from heaven to wonder how a man could be so godly. The saint went about his daily life diffusing virtue as the stars radiate light and the flowers give off sweet smell, without being aware of it.
His day could be summed up by two words — he gave, he forgave — yet these words never passed his lips. They were expressed in his ready smile, his kindness, forbearance and charity.
The angels said to God, “Lord, grant him the gift of miracles.”
God replied, “First ask him what it is that he wishes.”
So the angels asked the saint, “Would you like the touch of your hands to heal the sick?”
“No,” answered the saint. “I would rather God do that.”
“Would you like to convert guilty souls and bring back wandering hearts to the right path?”
“No, that is the angels’ mission. It is not for me to convert.”
“Would you like to become a model of patience, attracting men by the luster of your virtues, and thus glorifying God?”
“No,” replied the saint. “If men should be attracted to me, they would become estranged from God.”
“What is it that you desire, then?” asked the angels.
“What can I wish for?” asked the saint, smiling. “That God gives me his grace; with that would I not have everything?”
The angels said, “You must ask for a miracle, or one will be forced upon you.”
“Very well then,” said the saint. “May I do a great deal of good without ever knowing it.”
The angels were perplexed. They took counsel and resolved upon the following plan: every time the saint’s shadow fell behind him or to either side, so that he could not see it, it would have the power to cure disease, soothe pain, and comfort sorrow.
So when the saint walked along, his shadow, thrown on the ground on either side or behind him, made arid paths green, caused withered plants to bloom, revived dried-up brooks, gave fresh color to pale children, and joy to unhappy men and women.
Thus the saint simply went about his daily life as before, diffusing virtue as the stars radiate light and the flowers give off scent, without being aware of it. The people, respecting his humility, followed him silently, never speaking to him about his miracles. Soon they even forgot his me, and called him ‘The Holy Shadow’.
This is the ultimate goal the holiest and wisest humans seek, taught Osho. They are no longer their own center — God becomes their center. Having sacrificed their ego, they can no more utter “I”. They are not powerful, not virtuous, not even religious any more.
And through the tremendous emptiness within them, the divine spirit flows through unhindered, uninterrupted, untouched. They belong to God, they become His shadow.