The Master taught that one reason people are so unhappy is that they think there is nothing they cannot change.

He especially enjoyed the story of the man who says to the shopkeeper "This transistor you sold me is excellent for quality of sound; but I want it exchanged for one that has better programmes."

"What is it you seek?"

"Peace" said the visitor.

"To those who seek to protect their ego true Peace only brings disturbance."

And to a religious group that came to gawk at him and ask for a blessing, he said with a roguish smile "May the peace of God disturb you always!"

Back from a journey the Master told of an experience he thought was a parable on life:

During a brief stop he walked to a neat-looking lunch counter. There were delicious soups and hot curries and all sorts of tempting dishes.

He ordered a soup.

"Are you from the bus?" a matronly attendant asked. The Master nodded.

"No soup."

"Hot curry with steamed rice?" asked the Master, puzzled.

"Not if you're on the bus. You can have sandwiches. It took me all morning to prepare that food and you have no more than ten minutes to eat it. I won't let you eat food that you don't have the time to relish."

There was nothing pompous about the Master. Wild, hilarious laugher prevailed each time he spoke, to the dismay of those who were solemn about their spirituality - and themselves.

Said one disillusioned visitor "The man's a clown!"

"No, no" said a disciple. "You've missed the point: a clown gets you to laugh at him, a Master gets you to laugh at yourself."

"How does one learn to trust in Providence?"

"Trust in Providence" said the Master "is like walking into an expensive restaurant without a cent in your pocket and eating dozens of oysters in the hope of finding a pearl to pay the bill!"

It scandalized the disciples that the Master had such little use for worship.

"Find yourself an object of veneration" he used to say, "and you piously distract yourself from what is essential - awareness that leads to love."

And in self-defense he would cite Jesus scorn of those who cried "Lord, Lord" and were quite unaware of the evil they were doing.

He once offered a banana to an awe-stricken visitor who so venerated the gift that he hardly knew what to do with it.

When the Master was told of this he said characteristically "Tell the silly ass to eat it."