I have heard: a man was afraid to enter a graveyard. His house was on the other side of the graveyard, so he had to cross it every day. He was so afraid that he wouldn’t come out of his house at night; by dusk he would return home, trembling.

Finally a sadhu took pity on him. He told him, “stop worrying about it and take this charm. Always keep this charm tied to your wrist; then no ghost or spirit can brother you.”

It worked, by tying the charm on his wrist his feat of Ghosts disappeared, But now a new fear a caught hold of him: What if the charm got lost? Naturally, that charm had protected him from ghosts….. now he could cross the graveyard in the middle of the night with no fear. There had never been ghosts there – it was only his own fear. The charm released him from that fear, but he was caught in a new fear, of losing the charm. He took the charm with him when he went to bathe, checking again and again to see that he had it. He was terrified now that while he slept at night someone would open the charm, someone would steal it. The charm became his life.

The fear continued in the same way – if not of ghosts then of losing the charm. Now if someone substitutes something else for the charm, what difference will it make? – this man is not going to change his fearfulness.


Just changing the object for fear will not help.