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The Art of Dying

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The Art of Dying
Talks on Hassidism
Talks given from 11/10/76 am to 20/10/76 am
English Discourse series
10 Chapters
Year published: 1978
The Art of Dying
Chapter #1
Chapter title: The Art of Dying
11 October 1976 am in Buddha Hall
Archive code:
Video: No
89 mins
LIFE is in living. It is not a thing, it is a process. There is no way to attain to life except
by living it, except by being alive, by flowing, streaming with it. If you are seeking the
meaning of life in some dogma, in some philosophy, in some theology, that Is the sure
way to miss life and meaning both.
Life is not somewhere waiting for you, it is happening in you. It is not in the future as a
goal to be arrived at, it is herenow, this very moment -- in your breathing, circulating in
your blood, beating in your heart. Whatsoever you are is your life, and if you start
seeking meaning somewhere else, you will miss it. Man has done that for centuries.
Concepts have become very important, explanations have become very important -- and
the real has been completely forgotten. We don't look to that which is already here, we
want rationalisations.
I have heard a very beautiful story.
Some years ago a successful American had a serious identity crisis. He sought help from
psychiatrists but nothing came of it, for there were none who could tell him the meaning
of life -- which is what he wanted to know. By and by he learned of a venerable and
incredibly wise guru who lived in a mysterious and most inaccessible region of the
Himalayas. Only that guru, he came to believe, would tell him what life meant and what
his role in it ought to be. So he sold all his worldly possessions and began his search for
the all-knowing guru. He spent eight years wandering from village to village throughout
the Himalayas in an effort to find him. And then one day he chanced upon a shepherd
who told him where the guru lived and how to reach the place.
It took him almost a year to find him, but he eventually did. There he came upon his
guru, who was indeed venerable, in fact well over one hundred years old. The guru
consented to help him, especially when he learned of all the sacrifices the man had made
towards this end. 'What can I do for you, my son?' asked the guru. 'I need to know
the meaning of life,' said the man.
To this the guru replied, without hesitation, 'Life,' he said, 'is a river without end.' 'A
river without end?' said the man in a startled surprise. 'After coming all this way to find
you, all you have to tell me is that life is a river without end?'
The guru was shaken, shocked. He became very angry and he said, 'You mean it is not?'
Nobody can give you the meaning of your life. It is your life, the meaning has also to be
yours. Himalayas won't help. Nobody except you can come upon it. It is your life and it is
only accessible to you. Only in living will the mystery be revealed to you.
The first thing I would like to tell you is: don't seek it anywhere else. Don't seek it in me,
don't seek it in scriptures, don't seek it in clever explanations -- they all explain away,
they don't explain. They simply stuff your empty mind, they don't make you aware of
what is. And the more the mind is stuffed with dead knowledge, the more dull and stupid
you become. Knowledge makes people stupid; it dulls their sensitivity. It stuffs them, it
becomes a weight on them, it strengthens their ego but it does not give light and it does
not show them the way. It is not possible.
Life is already there bubbling within you. It can be contacted only there. The temple is
not outside, you are the shrine of it. So the first thing to remember if you want to know
what life is, is: never seek it without, never try to find out from somebody else. The
meaning cannot be transferred that way. The greatest Masters have never said anything
about life -- they have always thrown you back upon yourself.
The second thing to remember is: once you know what life is you will know what death
is. Death is also part of the same process. Ordinarily we think death comes at the end,
ordinarily we think death is against life, ordinarily we think death is the enemy, but death
is not the enemy. And if you think of death as the enemy it simply shows that you have
not been able to know what life is.
Death and life are two polarities of the same energy, of the same phenomenon -- the tide
and the ebb, the day and the night, the summer and the winter. They are not separate and
not opposites, not contraries; they are complementaries. Death is not the end of life; in
fact, it is a completion of one life, the crescendo of one life, the climax, the finale. And
once you know your life and its process, then you understand what death is.
Death is an organic, integral part of life, and it is very friendly to life. Without it life
cannot exist. Life exists because of death; death gives the background. Death is, in fact, a
process of renewal. And death happens each moment. The moment you breathe in and the
moment you breathe out, both happen. Breathing in, life happens; breathing out, death
happens. That's why when a child is born the first thing he does is breathe in, then life
starts. And when an old man is dying, the last thing he does is breathe out, then life
departs. Breathing out is death, breathing in is life -- they are like two wheels of a bullock
cart. You live by breathing in as much as you live by breathing out. The breathing out is
part of breathing in. You cannot breathe in if you stop breathing out. You cannot live if
you stop dying. The man who has understood what his life is allows death to happen; he
welcomes it. He dies each moment and each moment he is resurrected. His cross and his
resurrection are continually happening as a process. He dies to the past each moment and
he is born again and again into the future.
If you look into life you will be able to know what death is. If you understand what death
is, only then are you able to understand what life is. They are organic. Ordinarily, out of
fear, we have created a division. We think that life is good and death is bad. We think
that life has to be desired and death is to be avoided. We think somehow we have to
protect ourselves against death. This absurd idea creates endless miseries in our lives,
because a person who protects himself against death becomes incapable of living. He is
the person who is afraid of exhaling, then he cannot inhale and he is stuck. Then he
simply drags; his life is no longer a flow, his life is no longer a river.
If you really want to live you have to be ready to die. Who is afraid of death in you? Is
life afraid of death? It is not possible. How can life 4e afraid of its own integral process?
Something else is afraid in you. The ego is afraid in you. Life and death are not
opposites; ego and death are opposites. Life and death are not opposites; ego and life are
opposites. Ego is against both life and death. The ego is afraid to live and the ego is afraid
to die. It is afraid to live because each effort, each step towards life, brings death closer.
If you live you are coming closer to dying. The ego is afraid to die, hence it is afraid to
live also. The ego simply drags.
There are many people who are neither alive nor dead. This is worse than anything. A
man who is fully alive is full of death also. That is the meaning of Jesus on the cross.
Jesus carrying his own cross has not really been understood. And he says to his disciples,
'You will have to carry your own cross.' The meaning of Jesus carrying his own cross is
very simple, nothing but this: everybody has to carry his death continuously, everybody
has to die each moment, everybody has to be on the cross because that is the only way to
live fully, totally.
Whenever you come to a total moment of aliveness, suddenly you will see death there
also. In love it happens. In love, life comes to a climax -- hence people are afriad of love.
I have been continuously surprised by people who come to me and say they are afraid of
love. What is the fear of love? It is because when you really love somebody your ego
starts slipping and melting. You cannot love with the ego; the ego becomes a barrier. and
when you want to drop the barrier the ego says, 'This is going to be a death. Beware!'
The death of the ego is not your death. the death of the ego is really your possibility of
life. The ego is just a dead crust around you, it has to be broken and thrown away. It
comes into being naturally -- just as when a traveller passes, dust collects on his clothes,
on his body, and he has to take a bath to get rid of the dust.
As we move in time, dust of experiences, of knowledge, of lived life, of past, collects.
That dust becomes our ego. Accumulated, it becomes a crust around you which has to be
broken and thrown away. One has to take a bath continuously -- every day, in fact every
moment, so that this crust never becomes a prison. The ego is afraid to love because in
love, life comes to a peak. But whenever there is a peak of life there is also a peak of
death -- they go together.
In love you die and you are reborn. The same happens when you come to meditate or to
pray, or when you come to a Master to surrender. The ego creates all sorts of difficulties,
rationalisations not to surrender: 'Think about it, brood about it, be clever about it.' When
you come to a Master, again the ego becomes suspicious, doubtful, creates anxiety,
because again yhou are coming to life, to a flame where death will also be as much alive
as life.
Let it be remembered that death and life both become aflame together, they are never
separate. If you are very, very minimally alive, at the minimum, then you can see death
and life as being separate. The closer you come to the peak, the closer they start coming.
At the very apex they meet and become one. In love, in meditation, in trust, in prayer,
wherever life becomes total, death is there. Without death, life cannot become total.
But the ego always thinks in divisions, in dualities; it divides everything. Existence is
indivisible; it cannot be divided. You were a child, then you became young. Can you
demark the line when you became young? Can you demark the point in time where
suddenly you were no longer a child and you had become young? One day you become
old. Can you demark the line when you become old?
Processes cannot be demarked. Exactly the same happens when you are born. Can you
demark when you are born? When life really starts? Does it start when the child starts
breathing -- the doctor spanks the child and the child starts breathing? Is life born then?
Or is it when the child got into the womb, when the mother became pregnant, when the
child was conceived? Does life start then? Or, even before that? When does life start
It is a process of no ending and no beginning. It never starts. When is a person dead? Is a
person dead when the breathing stops? Many yogis have now proved on scientific
grounds that they can stop breathing and they are still alive and they can come back. So
the stopping of the breathing cannot be the end. Where does life end?
It never ends anywhere, it never begins anywhere. We are involved in eternity. We have
been here since the very beginning -- if there was any beginning -- and we are going to be
here to the very end, if there is going to be any end. In fact, there cannot be any beginning
and there cannot be any end. We are life -- even if forms change, bodies change, minds
change. What we call life is just an identification with a certain body, with a certain
mind, with a certain attitude, and what we call death is nothing but getting out of that
form, out of that body, out of that concept.
You change houses. If you get too identified with one house, then changing the house
will be very painful. You will think that you are dying because the old house was what
you were -- that was your identity. But this doesn't happen, because you know that you
are only changing the house, you remain the same. Those who have looked within
themselves, those who have found who they are, come to know an eternal, non-ending
process. Life is a process, timeless, beyond time. Death is part of it.
Death is a continuous revival: a help to life to resurrect again and again, a help to life to
get rid of old forms, to get rid of dilapidated buildings, to get rid of old confining
structures so that again you can flow and you can again become fresh and young, and you
can again become virgin.
I have heard.
A man was browsing through an antique shop near Mount Vernon and ran across a rather
ancient-looking axe. 'That's a mighty old axe you have there,' he said to the shop
owner. 'Yes,' said the man, 'it once belonged to George Washington.' 'Really?' said
the customer.'It certainly stood up well.' 'Of course,' said the antique dealer, 'it has had
three new handles and two new heads.'
But that's how life is -- it goes on changing handles and heads; in fact, it seems that
everything goes on changing and yet something remains eternally the same. Just watch.
You were a child -- what has remained of that now? Just a memory. Your body has
changed, your mind has changed, your identity has changed. What has remained of your
childhood? Nothing has remained, just a memory. You cannot make a distinction
between whether it really happened, or you saw a dream, or you read it in a book, or
somebody told you about it. Was the childhood yours or somebody else's? Sometimes
have a look at the album of old photographs. Just see, this was you. You will not be able
to believe it, you have changed so much. In fact everything has changed -- handles and
heads and everything. But still, deep down, somewhere, something remains a continuity;
a witnessing remains continuous.
There is a thread, howsoever invisible. And everything goes on changing but that
invisible thread remains the same. That thread is beyond life and death. Life and death
are two wings for that which is beyond life and death. That which is beyond goes on
using life and death as two wheels of a cart, complementaries. It lives through life; it lives
through death. Death and life are its processes, like inhalation and exhalation.
But something in you is transcendental. THAT ART THOU...that which is
But we are too identified with the form -- that creates the ego. That's what we call 'I'. Of
course the 'I' has to die many times. So it is constantly in fear, trembling, shaking, always
afraid, protecting, securing.
A Sufi mystic knocked at the door of a very rich man. He was a beggar and he wanted
nothing but enough to have a meal.
The rich man shouted at him and said, 'Nobody knows you here!' 'But I know myself,'
said the dervish.'How sad it would be if the reverse were true. If everybody knew me but
I was not aware of who I was, how sad it would be. Yes, you are right, nobody knows me
here, but I know myself.'
These are the only two situations possible, and you are in the sad situation. Everybody
may know about you -- who you are -- but you yourself are completely oblivious of your
transcendence, of your real nature, of your authentic being. This is the only sadness in
life. You can find many excuses, but the real sadness is this: you don't know who you are.
How can a person be happy not knowing who he is, not knowing from where he comes,
not knowing where he is going? A thousand and one problems arise because of this basic
A bunch of ants came out of the darkness of their underground nest in search of food. It
was early in the morning. The ants happened to pass by a plant whose leaves were
covered with morning dew. 'What are these?' asked one of the ants, pointing to the
dew-drops. 'Where do they come from?'
Some said, 'They come from the earth.'
Others said, 'they come from the sea.'
Soon a quarrel broke out -- there was a group who adhered to the sea theory, and a group
who attached themselves to the earth theory.
Only one, a wise and intelligent ant, stood alone. He said, 'Let us pause a moment and
look around for signs, for everything has an attraction towards its source. And, as it is
said, everything returns to its origin. No matter how far into the air you throw a brick it
comes down to the earth. Whatever leans towards the light, must originally be of the
The ants were not totally convinced yet and were about to resume their dispute, but the
sun had come up and the dew-drops were leaving the leaves, rising, rising towards the
sun and disappearing into it.
Everything returns to its original source, has to return to its original source. If you -
understand life then you understand death also. Life is a forgetfulness of the original
source, and death is again a remembrance. Life is going away from the original source,
death is coming back home. Death is not ugly, death is beautiful. But death is beautiful
only for those who have lived their life unhindered, uninhibited. unsuppressed. Death is
beautiful only for those who have lived their life beautifully, who have not been afraid to
live, who have been courageous enough to live -- who loved, who danced, who
Death becomes the ultimate celebration if your life is a celebration. Let me tell you in this
way: whatsoever your life was, death reveals it. If you have been miserable in life, death
reveals misery. Death is a great revealer. If you have been happy in your life, death
reveals happiness. If you have lived only a life of physical comfort and physical pleasure,
then of course, death is going to be very uncomfortable and very unpleasant, because the
body has to be left. The body is just a temporary abode, a shrine in which we stay for the
night and leave in the morning. It is not your permanent abode, it is not your home.
So if you have lived just a bodily life and you have never known anything beyond the
body, death is going to be very, very ugly, unpleasant, painful. Death is going to be an
anguish. But if you have lived a little higher than the body, if you have loved music and
poetry, and you have loved, and you have looked at the flowers and the stars, and
something of the non-physical has entered into your consciousness, death will not be so
bad, death will not be so painful. You can take it with equanimity, but still it cannot be a
If you have touched something of the transcendental in yourself, if you have entered your
own nothingness at the centre -- the centre of your being, where you are no more a body
and no more a mind, where physical pleasures are completely left far away and mental
pleasures such as music and poetry and literature and painting, everything, are left far
away, you are simply, just pure awareness, consciousness -- then death is going to be a
great celebration, a great understanding, a great revelation.
If you have known anything of the transcendental in you, death will reveal to you the
transcendental in the universe -- then death is no longer a death but a meeting with God, a
date with God.
So you can find three expressions about death in the history of human mind.
One expression is of the ordinary man who lives attached to his body, who has never
known anything greater than the pleasure of food or sex, whose whole life has been
nothing but food and sex, who has enjoyed food, has enjoyed sex, whose life has been
very primitive, whose life has been very gross, who has lived in the porch of his palace,
never entered it, and who had been thinking that this is all life is. At the moment of death
he will try to cling. He will resist death, he will fight death. Death will come as the
Hence, all over the world, in all societies, death is depicted as dark, as devilish. In India
they say that the messenger of death is very ugly -- dark, black -- and he comes sitting on
a very big ugly buffalo. This is the ordinary attitude. These people have missed, they
have not been able to know all the dimensions of life. They have not been able to touch
the depths of life and they have not been able to fly to the height of life. They missed the
plenitude, they missed the benediction.
Then there is a second type of expression. Poets, philosophers, have sometimes said that
death is nothing bad, death is nothing evil, it is just restful -- a great rest, like sleep. This
is better than the first. At least these people have known something beyond the body, they
have known something of the mind. They have not had only food and sex, their whole
life has not been only in eating and reproducing. They have a little sophistication of the
soul, they are a little more aristocratic, more cultured. They say death is like great rest;
one is tired and one goes into death and rests. It is restful. But they too are far away from
the truth.
Those who have known life in its deepest core, they say that death is God. It is not only a
rest but a resurrection, a new life, a new beginning; a new door opens.
When a Sufi mystic, Bayazid, was dying, people who had gathered around him -- his
disciples -- were suddenly surprised, because when the last moment came his face
became radiant, powerfully radiant. It had a beautiful aura.
Bayazid was a beautiful man, and his disciples had always felt ar aura around him, but
they had not known anything like this; so radiant.
They asked, 'Bayazid, tell us what has happened to you. What is happening to you?
Before you leave us, give us your last message.'
He opened his eyes and he said, 'God is welcoming me. I am going into his embrace.
He closed his eyes, his breathing stopped. But at the moment his breathing stopped there
was an explosion of light, the room became full of light, and then it disappeared.
When a person has known the transcendental in himself, death is nothing but another face
of God. Then death has a dance to it. And unless you become capable of celebrating
death itself, remember, you have missed life. The whole life is a preparation for this
This is the meaning of this beautiful story.
His whole life had been just a preparation, a preparation to learn the secrets of dying.
All religions are nothing but a science -- or an art -- to teach you how to die. And the only
way to teach you how to die is to teach you how to live. They are not separate. If you
know what right living is, you will know what right dying is.
So the first thing, or the most fundamental thing is: how to live.
Let me tell you a few things. First: your life is your life, it is nobody else's. So don't allow
yourself to be dominated by others, don't allow yourself to be dictated to by others, that is
a betrayal of life. If you allow yourself to be dictated to by others -- maybe your parents,
your society, your education system -- your politicians, your priests, whosoever they are -
- if you allow yourself to be dominated by others you will miss your life. Because the
domination comes from outside and life is within you. They never meet.
I am not saying that you should become a no-sayer to each and everything. That too is not
of much help. There are two types of people. One is an obedient type, ready to surrender
to any and everybody. They don't have any independent soul in them; they are immature,
childish, always searching for a father-figure, for somebody to tell them what to do and
what not to do. They are not able to trust their own being. These people are the greater
part of the world, the masses.
Then there are, against these people, a small minority who reJect society, who reject the
values of the society. They think they are rebellious. They are not, they are only
reactionaries. Because whether you listen to society or you reject society, if society
remains in either way the determining factor, then you are dominated by the society.
Let me tell you an anecdote.
Once Mulla Nasrudin had been away for a while and arrived back in town wearing a long
beard. His friends naturally kidded him about the beard and asked him how he happened
to acquire the fur-piece. The Mulla with the beard began to complain and curse the thing
in no uncertain terms. His friends were amazed at the way he talked and asked him why
he continued to wear the beard if he did not like it. 'I hate the blasted thing!' the Mulla
told them. 'If you hate it then why don't you shave it off and get rid of it?' one of his
friends asked.
A devilish gleam shone in the eyes of the Mulla as he answered, 'Because my wife hates
it too!'
But that does not make you free. The hippies, the yippies and others, they are not really
rebellious people, they are reactionaries. They have reacted against the society. A few are
obedient, a few are disobedient, but the centre of domination is the same. A few obey, a
few disobey, but nobody looks at his own soul.
A really rebellious person is one who is neither for society nor against society, who
simply lives his life according to his own understanding. Whether it goes against society
or it goes with society is not a consideration, it is irrelevant. Sometimes it may go with
the society, sometimes it may not go with the society, but that is not the point to be
considered. He lives according to his understanding, according to his small light. And I
am not saying that he becomes very egoistic about it. No, he is very humble. He knows
that his light is very small, but that is all the light that there is. He is not adamant, he's
very humble. He says, 'I may be wrong, but please allow me to be wrong according to
That is the only way to learn. To commit mistakes is the only way to learn. To move
according to one's own understanding is the only way to grow and become mature. If you
are always looking at somebody to dictate to you, whether you obey or disobey makes no
difference. If you are looking at somebody else to dictate to you, to decide for or against,
you will never be able to know what your life is. It has to be lived, and you have to
follow your own small light.
It is not always certain what to do. You are very confused. Let it be so. But find a way
out of your confusion. It is very cheap and easy to listen to others because they can hand
over dead dog mas to you, they can give you commandments -- do this, don't do that.
And they are very certain about their commandments. Certainty should not be sought;
understanding should be sought. If you are seeking certainty you will become a victim of
some trap or other. Don't seek certainty, seek understanding. Certainty can be given to
you cheap, anybody can give it to you. But in the final analysis you will be a loser. You
lost your life just to remain secure and certain, and life is not certain, life is not secure.
Life is insecurity. Each moment is a move into more and more insecurity. It is a gamble.
One never knows what is going to happen. And it is beautiful that one never knows. If it
was predictable, life would not be worth living. If everything was as you would like it to
be, and everything was certain, you would not be a man at all, you would be a machine.
Only for machines is everything secure and certain.
Man lives in freedom. Freedom needs insecurity and uncertainty. A real man of
intelligence is always hesitant because he has no dogma to rely upon, to lean upon. He
has to look and respond.
Lao Tzu says, 'I am hesitant, and I move alertly in life because I don't know what is going
to happen. And I don't have.any principle to follow. I have to decide every moment. I
never decide beforehand. I have to decide when the moment comes!'
Then one has to be very responsive. That's what responsibility is. Responsibility is not an
obligation, responsibility is not a duty -- it is a capacity to respond. A man who wants to
know what life is has to be responsive. That is missing. Centuries of conditioning have
made you more like machines. You have lost your manhood, you have bargained for
security. You are secure and comfortable and everything has been planned by others. And
they have put everything on the map, they have measured everything. This is all
absolutely foolish because life cannot be measured, it is immeasurable. And no map is
possible because life is in constant flux. Everything goes on changing. Nothing is
permanent except change. Says Heraclitus, 'You cannot step in the same river twice.'
And the ways of life are very zig-zag. The ways of life are not like the tracks of a railway
train. No, it does not run on tracks. And that's the beauty of it, the glory of it,.the poetry
of it, the music of it -- that it is always a surprise.
If you are seeking for security, certainty, your eyes will become closed. And you will be
less and less surprised and you will lose the capacity to wonder. Once you lose the
capacity to wonder, you have lost religion. Religion is the opening of your wondering
heart. Religion is a receptivity for the mysterious that surrounds us.
Don't seek security; don't seek advice on how to live your life. People come to me and
they say, 'Osho, tell us how we should live our life.' You are not interested in knowing
what life is, you are more interested in making a fixed pattern. You are more interested in
killing life than in living it. You want a discipline to be imposed on you.
There are, of course, priests and politicians all over the world who are ready, just sitting
waiting for you. Come to them and they are ready to impose their disciplines on you.
They enjoy the power that comes through imposing their own ideas upon others.
I'm not here for that. I am here to help you to become free. And when I say that I am here
to help you to become free, I am included. I am to help you to become free of me also.
My sannyas is a very paradoxical thing. You surrender to me in order to become free. I
accept you and initiate you into.sannyas to help you to become absolutely free of every
dogma, of every scripture, of every philosophy -- and I am included in it. Sannyas is as
paradoxical -- it should be -- as life itself is. Then it is alive.
So the first thing is: don't ask anybody how you should live your life. Life is so precious.
Live it. I am not saying that you will not make mistakes, you will. Remember only one
thing -- don't make the same mistake again and again. That's enough. If you can find a
new mistake every day, make it. But don't repeat mistakes, that is foolish. A man who
can find new mistakes to make will be growing continuously -- that is the only way to
learn, that is the only way to come to your own inner light.
I have heard.
One night the poet, Awhadi of Kerman (a very great Muslim poet) was sitting on his
porch bent over a vessel. Shams-e-Tabrizi, a great Sufi mystic, happened to pass by.
Shams-e-Tabrizi looked at the poet, at what he was doing. He asked the poet, 'What are
you doing?'
The poet said, 'Contemplating the moon in a bowl of water.'
Shams-e-Tabrizi started laughing, with an uproarious laughter, a mad laughter. The poet
started feeling uncomfortable; a crowd gathered. And the poet said, 'What is the matter?
Why are you laughing so much? Why are you ridiculing me?'
Shams-e-Tabrizi said, 'Unless you have broken your neck, why don't you look directly at
the moon in the sky?'
The moon is there, the full moon is there, and this poet was sitting with a bowl of water
arid looking into the bowl of water at the reflection of the moon.
Seeking truth in scriptures, seeking truth in philosophies, is looking at the reflection. If
you ask somebody else how you should live your life, you are asking for misguidance,
because that man can only talk about his own life. And never, never, are two lives the
same. Whatsoever he can say or impart to you will be about his own life -- and that too
only if he has lived. He may have asked somebody else, he may have followed somebody
else, he may have been an imitator himself. Then it is a reflection of a reflection. And
centuries pass and people go on reflecting the reflection of the reflection of the reflection
-- and the real moon is always there in the sky waiting for you. It is your moon, it is your
sky, look directly. Be immediate about it. Why borrow my eyes or anybody else's eyes?
You have been given eyes, beautiful eyes, to see, and to see directly. Why borrow
understanding from anybody? Remember, it may be understanding to me. but the
moment you borrow it, it becomes knowledge to you -- it is no more understanding,
Understanding is only that which has been experienced by the person himself. It may be
understanding for me, if I have looked at the moon, but the moment I say it to you it
becomes know.ledge, it is no longer understanding. Then it is just verbal, then it is just
linguistic. And language is a lie.
Let me tell you an anecdote.
A chicken farmer, dissatisfied with the productivity of his flock, decided to use a bit of
psychology on his hens. Accordingly he purchased a gay-coloured, talking parrot and
placed him in the barnyard. Sure enough, the hens took to the handsome stranger
immediately, pointed out the best tidbits for him to eat with joyous clucks, and generally
followed him around like a bevy of teen-age girls following a new singing star sensation.
To the delight of the farmer even their egg-laying capacities improved.
The barnyard rooster, naturally jealous of being ignored by his harem, set upon the
attractive interloper, assailed him with beak and claws, pulling out one green or red
feather after the other. Whereupon the intimidated parrot cried out in trepidation, 'Desist
sir! I beg of you, desist! After all, I am only here in the capacity of a language professor!'
Many people live their life as language professors. That is the falsest kind of life. Reality
needs no language, it is available to you on a non-verbal level. The moon is there; it
needs no bowl and no water, it needs no other medium. You have just to look at it; it is a
non-verbal communication. The whole of life is available -- you just have to learn how to
communicate with it non-verbally.
That's what meditation is all about -- to be in a space where language does not interfere,
where learned concepts don't come in between you and the real.
When you love a woman don't be bothered about what others have said about love,
because that is going to be an interference. You love a woman, the love is there, forget all
that you have learned about love. Forget all Kinseys, forget all Masters and Johnsons,
forget all Freuds and Jungs. Please don't become a language professor. Just love the
woman and let love be there, and let love lead you and guide you into its innermost
secrets, into its mysteries. Then you will be able to know what love is.
And what others say about meditation is meaningless. Once I came upon a book written
by a Jaina saint about meditation. It was really beautiful but there were just a few places
by which I could see that the man had never meditated himself -- otherwise those places
could not be there. 3ut they were very few and far between. The book on the whole,
almost ninety-nine per cent, was perfect. I loved the book.
Then I forgot about it. For ten years I was wandering around the country. Once in a
village of Rajasthan, that saint came to meet me. His name sounded familiar, and
suddenly I remembered the book. And I asked the saint why he had come to me. He said,
'I have come to you to know what meditation is.' I said, 'I remember your book. I
remember it very well, because it really impressed me. Except for a few defects which
showed that you have never meditated, the book was perfectly right -- ninety-nine per
cent right. And now you come here to learn about meditation. Have you never
He looked a little embarrassed because his disciples were also there. I said, 'Be frank.
Because if you say you know meditation, then I am not going to talk about it. Then
finished! You know. There is no need. If you say to me frankly -- at least be true once --
if you say you have never meditated, only then can I help you towards meditation.' It was
a bargain, so he had to confess. He said, 'Yes, I have never said it to anybody. I have read
many books about meditation, all the old scriptures. And I have been teaching people,
that's why I feel embarrassed before my disciples. I have been teaching meditation to
thousands, and I have written books about it, but I have never meditated.'
You can write books about meditation and never come across the space that meditation
is. You can become very efficient in verbalising, you can become very clever in
abstraction, in intellectual argumentativeness, and you can forget completely that all the
time that you have been involved in these intellectual activities has been a sheer wastage.
I asked the old man, 'How long have you been interested in meditation?' He said, 'My
whole life.' He was almost seventy. He said, 'When I was twenty I took sannyas, I
became a Jaina monk, and those fifty years since then I have been reading and reading
and thinking about meditation.' Fifty years of thinking and reading and writing about
meditation, even guiding people into meditation, and he has not even tasted once what
meditation is!
But this is the case with millions of people. They talk about love, they know all the
poetries about love, but they have never loved. Or even if they thought they were in love,
they were never in love. That too was a 'heady' thing, it was not of the heart. People live
and go on missing life. It needs courage. It needs courage to be realistic, it needs courage
to move with life wherever it leads, because the paths are uncharted, there exists no map.
One has to go into the unknown.
Life can be understood only if you are ready to go into the unknown. If you cling to the
known, you cling to the mind, and the mind is not life. Life is non-mental, non-
intellectual, because life is total. Your totality has to be involved in it, you cannot just
think about it. Thinking about life is not life. beware of this 'about-ism'. One goes on
thinking about and about: there are people who think about God, there are people who
think about life, there are people who think about love. There are people who think about
this and that.
Mulla Nasrudin became very old and he went to his doctor. He was looking very weak so
the doctor said, 'I can say only one thing. You will have to cut your love-life to half.'
The Mulla said, 'Okay. Which half? Talking about it or thinking about it?'
That's all. Don't become a language professor, don't become a parrot. Parrots are
language professors. They live in words, concepts, theories, theologies, and life goes on
passing, slipping out of their hands. Then one day suddenly they become afraid of death.
When a person is afraid of death, know well that that person has missed life. If he has not
missed life there cannot be any fear of death. If a person has lived life, he will be ready to
live death also. He will be almost enchanted by the phenomenon of death.
When Socrates was dying he was so enchanted that his disciples could not understand
what he was feeling so happy about. One disciple, Credo, asked, 'Why are you looking so
happy? We are crying and weeping.' Socrates said, 'Why should I not be happy? I have
known what life is, now I would like to know what death is. I am at the door of a great
mystery, and I am thrilled!I am going on a great journey into the unknown. I am simply
full of wonder! I cannot wait!' And remember, Socrates was not a religious man; Socrates
was not in any way a believer.
Somebody asked, 'Are you so certain that the soul will survive after death?' Socrates said,
'I don't know.'
To say, 'I don't know' takes the greatest courage in the world. It is very difficult for the
language professors to say, 'I don't know'. It is difficult for the parrots. Socrates was a
very sincere and honest man. He said, 'I don't know.'
Then the disciple asked, 'Then why are you feeling so happy? If the soul does not
survive, then...?' Socrates said, 'I have to see. If I survive there can be no fear about it. If I
don't survive, how can there be fear? If I don't survive, I don't survive. Then where is the
fear? There is nobody there, so fear cannot exist. If I survive, I survive. There is no point
in getting afraid about it. But I don't know exactly what is going to happen. That's why I
am so full of wonder and ready to go into it. I don't know.'
To me, this is what a religious man should be. A religious man is not a Christian, or a
Hindu, or a Buddhist, or a Mohammedan. All these are ways of knowledge. A Christian
says, 'I know.' And his knowledge comes from the Christian dogmas. The Hindu says, 'I
also know.' And his knowledge comes from the Vedas and the Gitas and his dogmas. And
a Hindu is against the Christian, because he says, If I am right, you cannot be right. If you
are right, then I cannot be right.' So there is great argument and there is much dispute and
much debate and unnecessary conflict.
A religious man, a really religious man -- not the so-called religious people -- is one who
says.'I don't know.' When you say 'I don't know' you are open, you are ready to learn.
When you say 'I don't know' you don't have any prejudice this way or that, you don't have
any belief, you don't have any knowledge. You have only awareness. You say, 'I am
aware and I will see what happens. I will not carry any dogma from the past.'
This is the attitude of a disciple, the attitude of one who wants to learn. And discipline
simply means learning. A disciple means a learner, one who is ready to learn, and
discipline means learning.
I am not here to teach you any dogmas; I am not imparting any knowledge to you. I am
simply helping you to see that which is. Live your life whatsoever the cost. Be ready to
gamble with it.
I have heard about a business man. He was walking from his office to a restaurant for
lunch when he was stopped by a stranger who said to him, 'I don't think that you
remember me, but ten years ago I came to this city broke. I asked you for a loan and you
gave me twenty dollars because you said you were willing to take a chance to start a man
on the road to success.'
The business man thought for a while and then he said. 'Yes, I remember the incident. Go
on with your story.' 'Well,' remarked the stranger, 'are you still willing to gamble?'
Life asks you the same question again and again and again: 'Are you still willing to
gamble?' It is never certain. Life has no insurance to it; it is simply an opening, a wild
opening, a chaotic opening. You can make a small house around you, secure, but then
that will prove to be your grave. Live with life.
And we have been doing that in many ways. Marriage is man-created; love is part of life.
When you create marriage around love you are creating security. You are making
something which cannot be made -- love cannot be made legal. You are trying to do the
impossible, and if, in that effort, love dies, it is no wonder. You become a husband, your
beloved becomes a wife. You are no longer two alive persons, you are two functionaries.
The husband has a certain function, the wife has a certain function: they have certain
duties to fulfil. Then life has ceased to flow, it is frozen.
Watch a husband and wife. You will always see two persons frozen, sitting side by side,
not knowing what they are doing there, why they are sitting there. Maybe they have
nowhere to go.
When you see love between two persons, something is flowing, moving, changing. When
there is love between two persons they live in an aura, there is a constant sharing. Their
vibrations are reaching to : each other; they are broadcasting their being to each other.
There is no wall between them, they are two and yet not two -- they are one also.
The husband and wife are as far away as it is possible to be, even though they may be
sitting by the side of each other. The husband never listens to what the wife is saying; he
has become deaf long ago. The wife never sees what is happening to the husband; she has
become blind to him. They take each other absolutely for granted; they have become
things. They are no longer persons because persons are always open, persons are always
uncertain, persons are always changing. Now they have a fixed role to fulfil. They died
the day they got married. Since that day they have not lived.
I'm not saying not to get married, but remember that love is the real thing. And if it dies
then marriage is worthless.
And the same is true about everything in life, about everything. Either you can live it --
but then you have to live with this hesitation, not knowing what is going to happen the
next moment -- or you can make everything certain about it.
There are people who have become so certain about everything that they are never
surprised. There are people whom you cannot surprise. And I am here to deliver to you a
message which is very surprising -- you will not believe it, I know. You cannot believe it,
I know. I am here to tell you something which is absolutely unbelievable -- that you are
gods and goddesses. You have forgotten
Let me tell you an anecdote.
Harvey Firestone, Thomas A. Edison, John Burroughs and Henry Ford stopped at a rural
service station on their way to Florida for the winter. 'We want some bulbs for our
headlights,' said Ford. 'And by the way, that is Thomas Edison sitting there in the car, and
I am Henry Ford.'
The fellow at the service station did not even look up, just spat out some tobacco juice
with obvious contempt. 'And,' said Ford, 'we would like to buy a new tire if you have
any Firestone tires. And that other fellow in the car is Harvey Firestone himself.'
Still the old fellow said nothing. While he was placing the tire on the wheel, John
Burroughs, with his long white beard, stuck his head out the window and said, 'How do
you do, stranger?'
Finally the old man at the service station came alive. He glared at Burroughs and said, 'If
you tell me you are Santa Claus I will be damned if I don't crush your skull with this lug
He could not believe that in one car Harvey Firestone, Thomas A. Edison, John
Burroughs and Henry Ford were travelling. They were all friends and they used to travel
When I say to you you are gods and goddesses you will not believe it because you have
completely forgotten who is travelling within you, who is sitting within you, who is
listening to me, who is looking at me. You have completely forgotten. You have been
given some labels from the outside and you have trusted those labels -- yoUr name, your
religion, your country -- all bogus! It does not make any sense if you are a Hindu or a
Christian or a Mohammedan if you don't know your self. These labels make no sense at
all except that they may be of a certain utility. What sense does it make whether you are a
Hindu, or a Christian, or a Mohammedan, or an Indian, or an American, or Chinese? How
does it make sense, how does it help you to know your being? All are irrelevant --
because the being is neither Indian, nor Chinese, nor American; and the being is neither
Hindu, nor Mohammedan, nor Christian. The being is simply a pure 'is-ness'.
The pure 'is-ness' is what I call God. If you can understand your inner divinity you have
understood what life is. Otherwise you have not been able yet to decode life. This is the
message. The whole life is pointing at one thing, continuously -- that you are gods. Once
you have understood it, then there is no death. Then you have learned the lesson. Then in
death gods will be returning back to their homes.
The whole life...just a training for how to go back home, how to die, how to disappear.
Because the moment you disappear, God appears in you. Your presence is God's absence;
your absence is God's presence.
The Art of Dying
Chapter #2
Chapter title: Confusion is my Method
12 October 1976 am in Buddha Hall
Archive code:
Video: No
93 mins
The first question:
Question 1
DON'T accumulate anything whatever: power, money, prestige, virtue, knowledge, even
the so-called spiritual experiences. Don't accumulate. If you don't accumulate you are
ready to die any moment, because you have nothing to lose. The fear of death is not
really fear of death; the fear of death comes out of the accumulations of life. Then you
have too much to lose so you cling to it. That is the meaning of Jesus' saying: Blessed are
the poor in spirit.
I don't mean become a beggar, and I don't mean renounce the world. I mean be in the
world but don't be of the world. Don't accumulate inside, be poor in spirit. Never possess
anything -- and then you are ready to die. Possessiveness is the problem, not life itself.
The more you possess, the more you are afraid to lose. If you don't possess anything, if
your purity, if your spirit is uncontaminated by anything, if you are simply there alone,
you can disappear any moment; whenever death knocks on the door it will find you
ready. You are not losing anything. By going with death you are not a loser. You may be
moving into a new experience.
And when I say don't accumulate, I mean it as an absolute imperative. I'm not saying
don't accumulate things of this world but go on accumulating virtue, knowledge, and so-
called spiritual experiences, visions -- no. I am talking in absolute terms: don't
accumulate. There are people, particularly in the East, who teach renunciation. They say,
'Don't accumulate anything in this world because it will be taken away from you when
death comes.' These people seem to be basically more greedy than the ordinary worldly
people. Their logic is: don't accumulate in this world because death will take it away, so
accumulate something that death cannot take away from you -- accumulate virtue,
PUNYA; accumulate character, morality, knowledge; accumulate experiences, spiritual
experiences, experiences of kundalini, meditation, this and that; accumulate something
that death cannot take away from you.
But if you accumulate, with that accumulation comes fear. Each accumulation brings fear
in the same proportion...then you are afraid. Don't accumulate and fear disappears. I don't
teach you renunciation in the old sense; my sannyas is an absolutely new concept. It
teaches you to be in the world and yet to be not of it. Then you are always ready.
I have heard about a great Sufi mystic, Abraham Adam. Once he was the Emperor of
Bokhara, then he left everything and became a Sufi beggar. When he was staying with
another Sufi mystic he was puzzled because every day the man was continuously
complaining of his poverty.
Abraham Adam said to him, 'The way you abuse it, it may be that you have bought your
poverty cheaply.' 'How stupid you must be!' the man retorted, not knowing to whom he
was talking, not knowing that Abraham was once the emperor. He said, 'How stupid you
must be to think that one buys poverty.'
Abraham replied, 'In my case, I paid my kingdom for it. I would even give away a
hundred worlds for a single moment of it, for every day its value becomes more and more
to me. No wonder then that I give thanks for it while you lament it.'
The purity of the spirit is the real poverty. The word 'sufi' comes from an Arabic word
'safa'. Safa means purity. Sufi means one who is pure in the heart.
And what is purity? Don't misunderstand me, purity has nothing to do with morality.
Don't interpret it in a moralistic way. Purity has nothing to do with puritans. Purity
simply means an uncontaminated state of mind, where only your consciousness is and
nothing else. Nothing else really enters into your consciousness, but if you hanker to
possess, that hankering contaminates you. Gold cannot enter into your consciousness.
There is no way. How can you take gold into your being? There is no way. Money cannot
enter into you r consciousness. But if you want to possess, that possessiveness can enter
into your consciousness. Then you become impure. If you don't want to possess anything,
you become fearless. Then even death is a beautiful experience to pass through.
A man who is really spiritual has tremendous experiences but he never accumulates them.
Once they have happened he forgets about them. He never remembers, he never projects
them into the future. He never says that they should be repeated or that they should
happen again to him. He never prays for them. Once they have happened they have
happened. Finished! He is finished with them and he moves away from them. He is
always available for the new, he never carries the old.
And if you don't carry the old you will find life absolutely new, incredibly, unbelievably
new at each step. Life is new, only the mind is old; and if you look through the mind, life
also looks like a repetition, a boring thing. If you don't look through the mind.... Mind
means your past, mind means the accumulated experiences, knowledge and everything.
Mind means that through which you have passed, but on to which you are still hanging.
Mind is a hang-over, dust from the past covering your mirrorlike consciousness. Then
when you look through it everything becomes distorted. Mind is the faculty of distortion.
If you don't look through the mind you will know that life is eternal. Only mind dies --
without mind you are deathless. Without mind nothing has ever died; life goes on and on
and on forever. It has no beginning and no end.
Accumulate, then you have a beginning, and then you will have an end.
How to prepare yourself for death.... When I say 'how to prepare for death', I don't mean
preparing for the death that will come in the end -- that is very far away. If you prepare
for it you will be preparing for the future and again the mind will come in. No, when I
say prepare for death, I don't mean the death that will come finally, I mean the death that
visits you every moment with each exhalation. Accept this death each moment and you
will be ready for the final death when it comes. .
Start dying each moment to the past. Clean yourself of the past each moment. Die to the
known so that you become available to the unknown. With dying and being reborn each
moment you will be able to live life and you will be able to live death also.
And that's what spirituality is really all about: to live death intensely, to live life
intensely; to live both so passionately that nothing is left behind unlived, not even death.
If you live life and death totally, you transcend. In that tremendous passion and intensity
of life and death, you transcend duality, you transcend the dichotomy, you come to the
One. That One is really the truth. You can call it God, you can call it life, you can call it
truth, samadhi, ecstasy, or whatsoever you choose.
The second question:.
Question 2
The questioner says, 'At times you seem to intend to confuse us'. No, you have not
listened to me well. I am always confusing, not only at times. Confusion is my method.
What I am trying to do by confusing you is to uproot you from your mind. I would not
like you to have any roots in the mind in the name of love or in the name of meditation or
in the name of God. Your mind is very cunning. It can thrive on anything; on meditation,
on love, it can thrive. The moment I see that your mind is thriving on anything, I
immediately have to uproot you from it. My whole effort is to create a no-mind state in
you. I am not here to convince you about anything. I am not here to give you a dogma, a
creed tolive by. I am here to take all creeds away from you because only then will life
happen to you. I am not giving you anything to live by, I am simply taking all props away
from you, all crutches.
The mind is very clever. If you say, 'Drop money' the mind says, 'Okay. Can I cling to
meditation?' If you say to the mind, 'Renounce the world' the mind says, 'Okay. Can I
now possess spiritual experiences?' If you say, 'Renounce the world' the mind says, 'I can
renounce the world, but now I will cling to the idea of God.'
And nothing is a greater barrier to God than the idea of God.
The word 'God' has become a great barrier, the belief in God has become a great barrier.
If you want to reach to God you will have to drop all ideas about God, all beliefs about
God -- Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan. You will have to be absolutely silent,
unclinging, not-knowing. In that profound ignorance God reveals himself to you -- only
in that profound ignorance.
My effort is totally different from your effort. What you are doing here is diametrically
opposite to what I am doing here. My effort is to create a profound ignorance in you, so I
will have to confuse you. Whenever I see that some knowledge is being gathered, I
immediately jump on it and destroy it. By and by you will learn -- being close to me you
are bound to learn -- that it is futile to accumulate because this man will not leave you in
peace. If you cling to something he is going to take it away. So what is the point? One
day you will simply listen to me, not clinging, not making any belief out of it, not
creating a philosophy, a theology out of it -- simply listening as you listen to the birds, as
you listen to the wind passing through the pines, as you listen to the river rushing towards
the ocean, as you listen to the wild roar of the ocean waves. Then you don't create a
philosophy, you simply listen.
Let me be a wild ocean roaring in front of you, or a wind passing through the trees, or
birds singing in the morning. I am not a philosopher, I am not imparting knowledge to
you. I am trying to point to something which is beyond knowledge.
So the moment I see that you are nodding, the moment I see that you are saying, 'Yes,
this is true', the moment I see that you are accumulating something, immediately I have to
jump upon it and contradict it to confuse you. Confusion is my method, I am doing it all
the time. I will not leave you to rest unless you drop that whole effort of philosophising,
unless you start listening to me without any mind, out of the sheer joy of it, as you listen
to music. When you start listening to me in that way then you will never feel confused.
You feel confused because first you cling to something, then in the next step I destroy it.
You feel confused. You were making a house and again I come there and destroy it.
Your confusion is in fact created by yourself. Don't create that house then I cannot
destroy it. If you create, I am going to destroy. If you stop creating houses -- card-houses
they are -- if you stop creating houses, if you say, 'This man will come and destroy,' if
you simply wait and listen and you don't bother to make any house to live in, then I
cannot confuse you. And the day I cannot confuse you will be a great day of rejoicing for
you. Because that very moment you will be able to understand me -- not by your intellect
but by your being. It will be a communion, not a communication. It will be a transfer of
energy, not of words. You will have entered into my house.
I will not allow YOU to create any house because that will be a barrier. Then you will
start living in that house and I am trying to bring you into my house. Jesus says to his
disciples, 'In my God's house there are many mansions.' I also say to you, 'I am taking
you on a journey where a great palace is waiting for you.' But I see you making houses by
the side of the road and I have to destroy them otherwise your journey will be destroyed
and you will never reach the goal. You start worshipping anything. You are in such a
hurry, you are so impatient, that whatsoever I tell you, you simply grab it.
I am not going to allow it to happen. So, be alert. If you are alert there will be no need to
confuse you. In fact, if you are alert, whatsoever I do I cannot confuse you. The day you
can say, 'Now, Osho, you cannot confuse me. Whatsoever you say I listen, I rejoice in it,
but I don't make any conceptualisation' is the day I cannot confuse you. Until that
moment I am going to confuse you again and again and again.
The third question:
Question 3
Sex is more closely related to birth than to death. Birth is out of sex; birth is a sexual
phenomenon. Naturally, sex is also closely related to death -- but as a by-product.
Because birth is out of sex, death is also going to be out of sex. Hence the nonsensical
idea arose in the East that if you remain celibate, if you remain a BRAHMACHARY, if
you go beyond sex, you will never die -- you will become an immortal. That is foolish,
because death is not something that is going to happen in the future, it has already
happened with birth. You cannot avoid it. You can indulge in sex or you can indulge in
celibacy, it is going to make no difference.
Mulla Nasrudin had completed his hundredth year, and a few journalists came to
interview him. He was the first citizen of his town who had become a centenarian. They
asked how he had attained to such great age.
He said, 'I never touched wine, I was never interested in women. That must be the reason
for it.'
Immediately something in the next room fell very loudly and there was a racket. The
journalists became very alert. They said, 'What is going on?'
Mulla said, 'It must be my Dad. It seems he is again running after the maid, and he seems
to be drunk.'
The old man must be one hundred and twenty-five. Mulla had said, 'I have attained to this
age because of celibacy and because I never touched any wine. I have remained away
from women' but here is his father still rushing, drunk, trying to catch hold of a woman.
Death had already happened the moment you became incarnated in the body. The
moment you entered the womb, death had already happened. Your clock, the clock of
your life, can run only so far -- seventy years, eighty years -- it depends on a thousand
and one things. But your clock can only run so far. It makes no difference how you live
your life. Death is going to happen. Death cannot be avoided.
The questioner has asked: As SEX IS CLOSELY RELATED TO DEATH WHAT IS
The first thing is that birth and death are both related to sex, but just by becoming celibate
you are not going to transcend death. Death has already happened in birth, there is no
way to transcend it. It is going to happen because in fact it has already happened. It is
only a question of time unfolding. You are rushing towards it each moment.
So don't try to be celibate just to avoid death because that again is fear. The people who
try to become celibate are afraid of death, and one who is afraid of death can never know
what death is, can never know what deathlessness is. So don't be afraid.
And celibacy can only be spontaneous. You ask: WHAT IS THE MEANING OF
SPONTANEOUS CELIBACY? Celibacy can only be spontaneous, there is no other type
of celibacy. If it is not spontaneous, it is not celibacy. You can force it. you can control
your sexuality, but that is not going to help. You will not be celibate, you will be only
more and more sexual. Sex will spread all over your being. It will become part of your
unconscious. It will move your dreams, it will become your motivation in dreams, it will
become your fantasy. In fact, you will become more sexual than you ever were before.
You will think more about it and you will have to repress it again and again. And
whatsoever is repressed has to be repressed again because victory is never complete.
There is no way to destroy sex by force, by violence. There is no way to control and
discipline it. The people who have tried to control and discipline it have made the world
very pornographic. Your so-called saints have a very pornographic mind. If a window
can be created and a hole can be made in their heads, you will be able to see just sex,
pornography. it is bound to be so. It is natural.
Never enforce any celibacy on yourself. Try to understand what sexuality is, go deep into
it. It has a tremendous beauty of its own. It is one of the profoundest mysteries of life.
Life comes out of it -- it has to be a great mystery. Sex is not sin; repression is a sin. Sex
is very natural, very spontaneous. You have not done anything to have it, it is inborn, it is
part of your being. Don't condemn it, don't judge it, don't fear it, don't fight with it.
Simply go into it more -- more meditatively. Let it happen in such silence, in such deep
acceptance, that you can know the very core of it. The moment you penetrate to the very
core of sexual orgasm you will see sex is losing its appeal for you, you r energy is
moving in a higher plane, you are becoming more loving and less sexual. And this
happens spontaneously.
I am not saying become more loving. I am saying that if you go deep into the mystery of
sex, love arises out of it naturally. You become more loving and sexuality becomes less
and less and less. And one day there is just a pure flame of love, all the smoke of sex has
disappeared. The crude energy of sex has been transformed into a more subtle perfume --
the perfume of love.
Then I will say go deep into love. If you go deep into love, again you will come to the
very core of it. And in that moment prayer will arise. That too happens spontaneously. In
sex you are more concerned with the body; in love you are more concerned with the
psyche; in prayer you suddenly become concerned with the soul. These are the three
possibilities hidden in the seed of sex. And when sex has disappeared into love and love
has disappeared into prayer, there is a spontaneous celibacy.
The Indian term for it is very beautiful. It is BRAHMACHARYA. The word literal!y
means 'living like a God'. BRAHMACHARYA means living like a God. The whole
energy is just prayer, the whole energy is just grace, a gratitude, a benediction. One
becomes absolutely divine.
But I am not saying that sex is not divine. It is the seed. Love is the tree, prayer is the
flowering. Prayer arises out of sex energy. You have to be grateful towards it, you have
to respect it. Sex should be respected because everything is going to happen out of it. Life
has happened out of it; death is going to happen out of it; love, prayer and God are going
to happen out of it. Sex carries the whole blueprint of your destiny. To me, sex is not just
sex, sex is all.
So if from the very beginning you take an 'anti' attitude you will be missing the whole
journey of life. And you will get involved in a fight which leads nowhere, you will get
involved in a fight in which your defeat is certain. You cannot defeat sexual energy
because in sexual energy God is hidden, in sexual energy love and prayer are hidden.
How can.you defeat it? You are very tiny and sexual energy is very universal. This whole
existence is full of sexual energy.
But the word 'sex' has become so condemned. It has to be taken out of the mud. It has to
be cleaned.A temple has to be made around it. And remember, celibacy can only be
spontaneous, there is no other type of celibacy. It is not a control, it is not a discipline; it
is a tremendous understanding of your energies and their possibilities.
The fourth question:
Question 4
In the first place I am a nobody.
Now listen to the question again. YOU SAID NOBODY SHOULD DICTATE WHAT
YOU SHOULD DO WITH YOUR LIFE. Don't surrender to me because I dictate to you.
But if you feel like surrendering, what can I do? If you feel like surrendering, it is your
feeling. If I am dictating to you to surrender to me, don't listen to me. But if your heart is
dictating, then what are you going to do? If I tell you to be available to me, don't listen at
all. But if your own understanding says, 'Be available to this man', then be.
And here there is nobody. If you look deeply into me you will not find anybody there.
The house is empty, the whole space is yours, just for the asking. I am just a space. The
man you see here sitting in the chair died long before. There is no entity who can dictate
anything to you.
Just last night one woman seeker was saying, 'I would like to do what other sannyasins
are doing, but I cannot surrender. I cannot lose my freedom. I have lived in many
confinements from my very childhood, in many disciplines. Now I am afraid to get
involved in another imprisonment.' I said, 'Don't be worried. I confer freedom upon you,
an absolute freedom.'
Sannyas is freedom. If you understand rightly, it is absolute freedom.
And the woman understood the point because I said, 'Now you are afraid that you may
get into another trap. But are you aware that your ego itself can become the trap, and the
greatest of all? You have lived within many other commitments and you found they all
became imprisonments -- but your own ego can become the imprisonment. When you
surrender to a nobody he cannot imprison you, and the very danger of your own, ego
becoming an imprisonment for you also disappears. When you surrender to me you are
not really surrendering to me, because I am not here. And I'm not enjoying your surrender
at all -- whether you surrender or not makes no difference to me. In fact, when you
surrender to me, you surrender yourself. You don't surrender to me. You simply
surrender your ego. I am just a device, an excuse. It will be difficult for you to go and
surrender to the river, or to the sky, or to the stars -- it will be very difficult and you will
look a little ridiculous. So I pretend to be here just to help you so that you don't feel
ridiculous. You can put you r ego here. There is nobody to receive it and nobody to be
happy about it, but it helps.
Buddha used to call such things devices -- UPAYA. It is just a UPAYA, a device to help
those who cannot put their egos down unless they find some feet. I make my feet
available to you, but inside there is nobody.
The fifth question:
Question 5
You must be hankering for it. I have not called you swami to be swami for others. The
word 'swami' means lord. Don't hanker for others to call you lord. I have called you
swami just to indicate your path -- so that you become lord of yourself. It is not to make
others slaves to you, it is just to make a master of you. The word 'swami' is intended for
self-mastery. So don't feel frustrated if nobody calls you swami. In fact, if somebody calls
you swami, be alert, because there is danger. You may start thinking that you are a
swami, you may start thinking that you are some holy man or something. Don't carry that
type of nonsense. I am not here to make you holy or saintly or anything.
You ask why I give you these religious titles, because they seem absurd. They are. Really
my whole intention is to make you so ridiculous, so absurd, that others laugh at you and
you-can also laugh at yourself. That is the whole trick in it.
And for another purpose also I call you swami. I give you these religious titles because to
me the profane and the sacred are not two separate things: the profane is the sacred, the
ordinary is the extraordinary, and the natural is the super-natural.
God is not somewhere away from the world. God is in the world, immanent. That's my
whole approach...that everything is divine as it is. The old concept of a religious man is
that he is anti-life. He condemns this life, this ordinary life -- he calls it mundane,
profane, illusion. He denounces it. I am so deeply in love with life that I cannot denounce
it. I am here to enhance the feeling for it.
When I give you these religious titles I am not making you in any way superior to others.
Don't carry any idea of 'holier than you', don't carry any idea of that sort. That is stupid.
I give you these orange clothes. These clothes have been used for centuries down through
the ages for a specific purpose -- to make a demarcation between the ordinary life and the
religious life. I want to dissolve all those differences. Hence I give you these robes and I
don't take you away from life.
You will be sitting in ordinary life, working in ordinary life, walking in ordinary life. You
will be in the marketplace, you will be in the shop or in the factory, you will be a
labourer, a doctor, an engineer. I am not making you special in any way -- because that
very desire to become special is irreligious. And I have given you these robes to destroy
the whole concept completely. That's why the traditional sannyasins are very much
against me.
I am destroying their whole superiority. Now sooner or later there will be no distinction.
My swamis are growing so fast that the old traditional swamis will be simply lost in the
jungle of my swamis. And people will not know who is who. That's the purpose behind it.
I want to make religious life ordinary life, because this is the only life there is. All else is
just an ego trip. And this life is so beautiful, there is no need to create another life
superior to it.
Go deeper into it, move deeper into it, and profounder depths will be revealed to you.
This ordinary life is carrying tremendous possibilities. So I don't want you to become
religious in the sense that others are not religious. I want to drop all distinctions between
the profane and the sacred, between the holy and the unholy. It is a great revolution. You
may not even be aware of what is happening.
And if the traditionalists are against me, I can understand. I am destroying their
whole'holier than you' attitude.
That's why I have chosen the orange particularly. That has been the traditional dress for
sannyasins. But I have chosen only the dress nothing else is there in you -- nothing else of
the traditional discipline. There is just awareness, a love for Life, a respect for life, a
reverence for life. I have given you the orange robe, but the day I see that now the
traditional distinction has been destroyed, I will free you from the orange robe. There is
no need then. But it will take time because they have been creating the distinction for
You cannot conceive of what is happening. When an orange-robed sannyasin walks with
his girlfriend on the street, you cannot conceive what is happening. It has never happened
in India, not for ten thousand years. People cannot believe it -- and you are expecting that
they should call you swami? It is enough that they are not killing you! You are destroying
their whole tradition. A sannyasin was one who would never LOOK at a woman.
Touching was out of the question -- and holding the hand, impossible! That was enough
to throw him into hell.
I have made you a totally new kind of sannyasin. It is a neo-sannyas. And behind
whatsoever I am doing there is a method. You may be aware of it or not. I want to
destroy the whole traditional attitude. Life should be religious and religion should not
have any life. The distinction between the marketplace and the monastery should not be
there. The monastery Should be in the marketplace; the divine dimension should become
part of everyday life.
Somebody asked Bokoju, 'What do you do? What is your religious discipline?'
He said, 'I live an ordinary life. That is my discipline. When I feel hungry I eat, and when
I feel sleepy I sleep.' Yes, this is exactly how it should be.
The questioner was puzzled. He said, 'But I don't see anything special in it.'
Bokoju said, 'That is the point. There is nothing special.'
All hankering for the special is of the ego.
The questioner was still puzzled. He said, 'But this is what everybody else is doing --
when hungry they eat, when feeling sleepy they sleep.'
Bokoju laughed. He said, 'No, when you eat, you do a thousand and one things also. You
think, you dream, you imagine, you remember. You are not there Just eating. When I eat,
I simply eat. Then there is only eating and nothing else. It is pure. When you sleep you do
a thousand and one things -- you dream, fight, have nightmares. When I sleep I simply
sleep, there is nothing else. When sleep is there, there is only sleep. Not even Bokoju
exists. When eating is there, there is only eating. Not even Bokoju exists. When there is
walking, there is only walking -- no Bokoju. There is walking, simply walking.
This is what I would like you to become. Be ordinary, but bring a quality of awareness to
your ordinary life. Bring God to your ordinary life, introduce God into your ordinary life.
Sleep, eat, love, pray, meditate, but don't think that you are making or doing something
special. And then you will be special. A man who is ready to live an ordinary life is an
extraordinary man. Because to be extraordinary, to desire to be extraordinary, is a very
ordinary desire. To relax and to be ordinary is really extraordinary.
The sixth question:
Question 6
Now, not only do I give you absurd answers, you have started asking absurd questions.
Why is this life so mysterious? How am I supposed to know? It is so! It is simply a fact, I
am not talking about theories. I'm not saying that it is my theory that life is mysterious --
then you could ask why. It is simply so. The trees are green. You ask why. The trees are
green because they are green. There is no question of why.
If you can ask why and the question can be answered, then life will not be a mystery. If
the why can be answered, then life cannot be a mystery. Life is a mystery because no
why is relevant.
MYSTERIOUS? Now you make me feel guilty, as if I am responsible for life having no
beginning and no end. It should have. I agree perfectly with you, but what to do? It has
no beginning and no end.
I have heard.
Mulla Nasrudin was saying to one of his disciples that life is like a woman. I was
surprised, so I listened attentively to what he was saying.
He was saying, 'The man who says he understands women is bragging. The man who
thinks he understands them is gullible. The man who pretends to understand them is
ambiguous. The man who wants to understand them is wistful. On the other hand, the
man who does not say he understands them, does not think he understands them, does not
pretend to understand them, does not even want to understand them -- he understands
And that's how life is also. Life is a woman. Try to understand life and you will become a
mess. Forget all about understanding. Just live it and you will understand it. The
understanding is not going to be intellectual, theoretical; the understanding is going to be
total. The understanding is not going to be verbal; it is going to be non-verbal. That is the
meaning when we say life is a mystery. It can be lived but it cannot be solved.
You can know what it is, but you cannot say what it is. That is the meaning of mystery.
When we say that life is a mystery, we are saying that life is not a problem. A problem
can be solved. A mystery is that which cannot be solved. Insolubility is unbuilt. And it is
good that life cannot be solved, otherwise what would you do then? Just think of it. If life
is not a mystery and somebody comes and explains it to you -- then what will you do?
There will be nothing left except to commit suicide. Even that will look meaningless.
Life is a mystery; the more you know it, the more beautiful it is. A moment comes when
suddenly you start living it, you start flowing with it. An orgasmic relationship evolves
between you and life, but you cannot figure out what it is. That's the beauty of it, that's its
infinite depth.
And yes, there is no beginning and no end. How can there be any beginning to life and
any end to life? Beginning will mean that something came out of nothing, and end will
mean that something was there and went into nothing. That will be an even bigger
mystery. When we say life has no beginning we simply say it has always been there. How
can there be a beginning? Can you mark a line and say that at this moment life started, as
Christian theologians used to say? Just four thousand years before Jesus Christ, they say,
life started on a certain Monday. Of course, it must have been in the morning. But how
can you call it Monday if there was no Sunday before it?And how can you call it morning
if there was no night before it? Just think of it.
No, you cannot make a mark, that is foolish. It is not possible to mark a line because even
to mark a line something is needed. Something is needed to precede it, otherwise
demarcation is not possible. You can mark a line if there are two things, but if there is
only one thing how can you mark a line? The fence around your house is possible
because there is a neighbour. If there is no neighbour, nothing beyond your fence, the
fence cannot exist. Just think of it. If there is absolutely nothing beyond your fence, your
fence will fall down into nothing. How can it exist? Something is needed beyond the
fence to hold it.
If on a certain Monday life started, a Sunday is needed to precede it. Otherwise the
Monday will fall, topple down and disappear. And in the same way there is no possibility
of any end. Life is, life simply is. It has been, it will be. It is eternity.
And don't start thinking about it. Otherwise you will be missing it, because all the time
that you waste in thinking about it, is simply waste. Use that time, use that space, use that
energy to live it.
The seventh question:
Question 7
Because I know your ego will like it very much if I called it the art of growing. The art of
dying comes like a shock.
Let me tell you an anecdote.
One day Mulla Nasrudin saw a crowd gathered around the town well. A Moslem priest
with a huge turban on his head had fallen into the water, and was calling for help. People
were leaning over and saying, 'Give me your hand, Reverend, give me your hand!' But
the priest didn't pay attention to their offer to rescue him. He kept wrestling with the
water and shouting for help.
Finally Mulla Nasrudin stepped forward: 'Let me handle this!' He stretched out his hand
towards the priest and shouted at him, 'Take my hand!' The priest grabbed Mulla's hand
and was hoisted out of the pond.
People were very surprised and asked Mulla for the secret of his strategy. 'It is very
simple, ' he said. 'I know this miser would not give anything to anyone, not even his hand.
I know this miser would not give anything to anyone, so instead of saying, "Give me your
hand" I said, "Take my hand, your Reverence." And sure enough, he took it.'
I know you would like it to be called the art of growing. Then your ego would feel
perfectly good. 'So it is a question of growth; so I am going to remain and grow.' That's
what the ego always wants.
I have knowingly called it the art of dying. Meditation is the art of dying. Then your ego
will be shocked.
And it is also truer to cal I it the art of dying, because you r ego is not going to grow, your
ego is going to die in meditation. These are the only two possibilities: either your ego
goes on growing more, it becomes stronger, or, it disappears. If your ego goes on
growing and becomes more and more strong, you are getting more and more into the
mud. You are getting more and more into fetters, you are getting more and more into the
imprisonment of it. You will be suffocated. Your whole life will become a hell.
The growth of the ego is a canceric growth. It is like cancer, it kills you. Meditation is not
growth of the ego, it is death of the ego.
The eighth question:
Question 8
When I say 'to die' I really mean: live intensely; I really mean: live passionately. How can
you die unless you have lived totally? In total life there is death, and that death is
beautiful. In a passionate, intense life, death comes spontaneously -- as a silence, as a
profound bliss. When I say 'to die', I am not saying anything against life; in fact, if you
are afraid of death you will be afraid of life also. That's what has happened to the
A man who is afraid of death will be afraid of life also, because life brings death. If you
are afraid of the enemy and you close your door, the friend will also be prohibited. And
you are so afraid of the enemy that you close the door; the enemy may enter so you close
the door for the friend also. And you become so afraid that you cannot open for the
friend, because who knows? The friend may turn out to be the enemy. Or, when the door
is open, the enemy may enter.
People have become afraid of life because they are afraid of death. They don't live
because at the highest points, peaks, death always penetrates into life. Have you watched
this happening? The majority of women have lived a frigid life -- they are afraid of
orgasm, they are afraid of that wild explosion of energy. For centuries women have been
frigid; they have not known what orgasm is.
And the majority of men suffer because of that fear too -- ninety-five per cent of men
suffer from premature ejaculation. They are so afraid of orgasm, there is so much fear,
that somehow they want to finish it, somehow they want to get out of it.
Again and again they go into love-making and there is fear. The woman remains frigid
and the man becomes so afraid that he cannot stay in that state any longer. The very fear
makes him ejaculate sooner than is natural, and the woman remains rigid, closed, holding
herself. Now orgasm has disappeared from the world because of the fear. In the deepest
orgasm death penetrates; you feel as if you are dying. If a woman goes into orgasm she
starts moaning, she starts crying, screaming. She may even start saying, 'I am dying.
Don't kill me!' That actually happens. If a woman goes into orgasm she will start
mumbling, she will start saying that 'I am dying! Don't kill me! Stop!' Amoment comes in
deep orgasm where ego cannot exist, death penetrates. But that is the beauty of orgasm.
People have become afraid of love because in love also, death penetrates. If two lovers
are sitting side by side in deep love and intimacy, not even talking.... Talking is an
escape, an escape from love. When two lovers are talking that simply shows they are
avoiding the intimacy. Words in-between give distance -- with no words distance
disappears, death appears. In silence there is death just lurking around -- a beautiful
phenomenon. But people are so afraid that they go on talking whether it is needed or not.
They go on talking about anything, everything -- but they cannot keep silent.
If two lovers sit silently, death suddenly surrounds them. And when two lovers are silent
you will see a certain happiness and also a certain sadness -- happiness because life is at
its peak, and sadness because at its peak death also comes in. Whenever you are silent
you will feel a sort of sadness. Even looking at a rose flower, if you are sitting silently
and not saying anything about the rose flower, just looking at it, i n that silence you will
suddenly feel it is there -- death. You will see the flower withering, within moments it
will be gone, lost forever. Such a beauty and so fragile! Such a beauty and so vulnerable!
Such a beauty, such a miracle and soon it will be lost forever and it will not return again.
Suddenly you will become sad.
Whenever you meditate you will find death moving around. In love, in orgasm, in any
aesthetic experience; in music, in song, in poetry, in dance -- wherever you suddenly lose
your ego, death is there.
So let me tell you one thing. You are afraid of life because you are afraid of death. And I
would like to teach you how to die so that you lose all fear of death. The moment you
lose the fear of death you become capable of living.
I am not talking against life. How can I talk against life? I am madly in love with life! I
am so madly in love with life, that because of it I have fallen in love with death also. It is
part of life. When you love life totally how can you avoid death? You have to love death
also. When you love a flower deeply, you love its withering away also: When you love a
woman deeply, you love her getting old also, you one day love her death also. That is
part, part of the woman. The old age has not happened from the outside, it has come from
the inside. The beautiful face has become wrinkled now -- you love those wrinkles also.
They are part of your woman. You love a man and his hair has grown white -- you love
those hairs also. They have not happened from the outside; they are not accidents. Life is
unfolding. Now the black hair has disappeared and the grey hair has come. You don't
reject them, you love them, they are a part. Then your man becomes old, becomes weak -
- you love that too. Then one day the man is gone -- you love that too.
Love loves all. Love knows nothing else than love. Hence I say love death. If you can
love death it will be very simple to love life. If you can love even death, there is no
The problem arises because the questioner must have been repressing something, must be
afraid of life. And then repression can bring dangerous outcomes. If you go on
repressing, repressing, one day you will lose all aesthetic sense. You lose all sense of
beauty, sense of grace, sense of divinity. Then the very repression becomes such a
feverish state that you can do anything which is ugly.
Let me tell you a beautiful anecdote. Chinmaya has sent this. He sends beautiful jokes!
This marine is sent to a distant island outpost where there are no women, but there is a
large monkey population. He is shocked to see that without exception his fellow marines
all make love with the monkeys. And he swears to them that he will never get that horny.
They tell him not to be closed-minded. But as the months passed by, the marine can hold
out no longer. He grabs the first monkey he can and gets caught in the act by his buddies,
who start laughing their heads off.
Surprised, he says to them, 'What are you guys laughing at? You keep telling me to do it!'
They answer, 'Yeah, but did you have to pick the ugliest one?'
If you repress, the possibility is that you may choose the ugliest life. Then the very fever
is so much that you are not in your consciousness. Then you are almost in neurosis.
Before the repression becomes too much, relax, move into life. It is your life! Don't feel
guilty. It is your life to live and love and to know and be. And whatsoever instincts God
has given to you, they are just indications of where you have to move, where you have to
seek, where you have to find your fulfillment.
I know that this life is not all -- a greater life is hidden behind it. But it is hidden
BEHIND it. You cannot find that greater life against this life; you have to find that
greater life only by indulging deeply in this life. There are waves on the oceans. The
ocean is hidden just behind the waves. If, seeing the turmoil and the chaos, you escape
from the waves, you will be escaping from the ocean and its depth also. Jump in, those
waves are part of it. Dive deep and waves will disappear, and then there will be the depth,
the absolute silence of the ocean.
So this is my suggestion for the questioner. You have waited long, now no more. Enough
is enough.
Let me tell you an anecdote, an old Italian joke.
The Pope's personal waiter was delivering His Holiness' breakfast, when he slipped and
threw the food all over the floor. 'Godammit!' he screamed as he fell.
His Holiness came out of the door of his room and said, 'No cursing in here, my son. Say
instead, Ave Maria.'
The following morning as he attempted to deliver His Holiness' breakfast, the waiter
slipped again, throwing the food on the floor. 'Godammit!' screamed the poor man.
'No, my son,' said the Pope. 'Ave Maria.'
On the third day the waiter was trembling with fear, but this time he remembered. 'Ave
Maria!' he yelled out as soon as he started falling with the breakfast on the floor. 'No!'
exclaimed the Pope. 'Godammit! This is my third day of skipping breakfast! Enough is
It is your life. There is no need going on skipping breakfast every day. And Ave Maria
twice is good, but when it comes finally, it is Godammit!
The last question:
Question 9
Everybody is a piece of rock. Unless you attain to your uttermost glory, you are bound to
be a piece of rock. But nothing is wrong in being a piece of rock. The piece of rock is
nothing but God fast asleep, snoring.A piece of rock is God asleep. Nothing is wrong in
the piece of rock, it has to be awakened. Hence, I have given you sannyas.
Sannyas is nothing but an effort to wake you, an effort to shake you, an effort to shock
you into awareness. Sannyas is nothing but an alarm.
EVEN THIS I DON'T DARE TO REALISE -- that I am a piece of rock in the middle of
the mountain -- I DREAM INSTEAD.
That's how the rock avoids its own growth, the rock avoids its own future -- by dreaming.
Dreaming is the barrier. By dreaming we are avoiding the reality, by dreaming we avoid
the real. It is our escape. You don't have any other escape. This is the only escape route --
When you are listening to me, you can dream also. Sitting here you can have a thousand
and one thoughts roaming around in your mind. You can think of the future or of the past.
You can be for and against what I am saying, you can argue, you can debate with me
inside yourself. But then you are missing me. I am a fact here. You need not dream here,
you can just be here with me. And tremendous will be the result of it.
But we go on dream ing. People are dreamers, and that is their way. When they are
making love to a woman, they are dreaming; when they are eating, they are dreaming.
When they are walking on the road -- they have gone for a walk in the morning, the sun is
rising, the day is beautiful, the.people are getting up, life is coming back again -- they are
dreaming. They are not looking at anything.
We go on dreaming. Dreaming functions as a blindfold, and we go on missing the reality.
Because those are your possibilities. The rock can fly; the rock can grow wings. I myself
was a rock one day. Then I started growing wings, sol know. I know your possibility, you
may not know it. Hence I talk about the rivers, the ocean and the sky. The rock can
become a flower, the rock can become a river, the rock can become the ocean, the rock
can become the sky -- infinite are your possibilities! Your possibilities are as many as
God's possibilities. You are multi-dimensional.
That's why I go on talking about the rivers and the ocean and the sky. Some day or other
a great thirst will possess you, a new passion will arise for the impssible and you will be
able to fly into the sky. It is yours, claim it! You only look like a rock. Rocks also only
look like rocks. If they make a little effort, if they shake themselves a little, they will find
wings are hidden there. They will find infinite possibilities opening, doors upon doors.
But dreaming functions as the barrier. Being a rock is not a problem: being too much in
dreams is the problem. Start dropping dreams. They are futile, meaningless, a wastage
and nothing more. But people go on dreaming, go on dreaming.... By and by people start
thinking that dreaming is their only life. Life is not a dream and dreaming is not life.
Dreaming is avoiding life.
Let me tell you an anecdote.
On his seventy-fifth birthday, Turtletaub rushed into a physician1s office. 'Doctor,' he
exclaimed, 'I have got a date tonight with a twenty-two-year-old girl. You gotta give me
something to pep me up.'
The M.D. smiled sympathetically and supplied the old man with a prescription. Later that
night, out of curiosity, the medical man phoned his elderly patient, 'Did the medicine
help?' 'It's wonderful,' replied Turtletaub. 'Seven times already.' 'That's great,' agreed
the doctor. 'And what about the girl?' 'The girl?' said Turtletaub. 'She didn't get here
Don't go on dreaming, otherwise you will miss the girl. You will miss life. Stop
dreaming, look at that which is.And it is already in front of you. It is already around, it is
within and without. God is the only presence if you are not dreaming. If you are
dreaming, then your dreams occupy your inner space. They become the hindrances for
God to enter into you. This dreaming we call maya. Maya-means a magic show, a dream
show. When you are not dreaming, when you are in a state of no-dream, the reality is
The reality is already there, you are not to achieve it. You have only to do one thing: you
have to put aside your dreams. And you will no longer be a rock, you can fly with me to
the very end of the sky.
Receive my invitation, receive my challenge. That's what sannyas is all about.
The Art of Dying
Chapter #3
Chapter title: Walking the Tightrope
13 October 1976 am in Buddha Hall
Archive code:
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92 mins
EXISTENCE is paradoxical; paradox is its very core. It exists through opposites, it is a
balance in the opposites. And one who learns how to balance becomes capable of
knowing what life is, what existence is, what God is. The secret key is balance.
A few things before we enter into this story.... First, we have been trained in Aristotelian
logic -- which is linear, one-dimensional. Life is not Aristotelian at all, it is Hegelian.
Logic is not linear, logic is dialectical. The very process of life is dialectic, a meeting of
the opposites -- a conflict between the opposites and yet a meeting of the opposites. And
life goes through this dialectical process: from thesis to antithesis, from antithesis to
synthesis -- and then again the synthesis becomes a thesis. The whole process starts
If Aristotle is true then there will be only men and no women, or, only women and no
men. If the world was made according to Aristotle then there will be only light and no
darkness, or, only darkness and no light. That would be logical. There would be either
life or death but not both.
But life is not based on Aristotle's logic, life has both. And life is really possible only
because of both, because of the opposites: man and woman, yin and yang, day and night,
birth and death, love and hate. Life consists of both.
This is the first thing you have to allow to sink deep into your heart -- because Aristotle is
in everybody's head. The whole education system of the world believes in Aristotle --
although for the very advanced scientific minds Aristotle is out of date. He no longer
applies. Science has gone beyond Aristotle because science has come closer to existence.
And now science understands that life is dialectical, not logical.
I have heard.
Do you know that on Noah's ark, making love was forbidden while on board?
When the couples filed out of the ark after the flood, Noah watched them leave. Finally
the tom-cat and the she-cat left, followed by a number of very young kittens. Noah raised
his eyebrows questioningly and the tom-cat said to him, 'You thought we were
Noah must have been Aristotelian; the tom-cat knew better.
Love is a sort of fight, love IS a fight. Without fight love cannot exist. They look opposite
-- because we think lovers should never fight. It is logical: if you love somebody how can
you fight? It is absolutely clear, obvious to the intellect, that lovers should never fight --
but they do. In fact, they are intimate enemies; they are continuously fighting. In that very
fight the energy that is called love is released. Love is not only fight, love is not only
struggle, that's true -- it is more than that. It is fight too, but love transcends. The fight
cannot destroy it. Love survives fight but it cannot exist without it.
Look into life: life is non-Aristotelian, non-Euclidean. If you don't force your concepts on
life, if you simply look at things as they are, then you will be suddenly surprised to see
that opposites are complementaries. And the tension between the opposites is the very
basis on which life exists -- otherwise it would disappear. Think of a world where death
does not exist.... Your mind may say 'then life will be there eternally', but you are wrong.
If death does not exist life will simply disappear. It cannot exist without death; death
gives it the background, death gives it colour and richness, death gives it passion and
So death is not against life -- the first thing -- death is involved in life. And if you want to
live authentically you have to learn how to continuously die authentically. You have to
keep a balance between birth and death and you have to remain just in the middle. That
remaining in the middle cannot be a static thing: it is not that once you have attained to a
thing -- finished, then there is nothing to be done. That is nonsense. One never achieves
balance forever, one has to achieve it again and again and again.
This is very difficult to understand because our minds have been cultivated in concepts
whiCh are not applicable to real life. You think that once you have attained meditation
then there is no need of anything more, then you will be in meditation. You are wrong.
Meditation is not a static thing. It is a balance. You will have to attain it again and again
and again. You will become more and more capable of attaining it, but it is not going to
remain forever, like a possession in your hands. It has to be claimed each moment -- only
then is it yours. You cannot rest, you cannot say, 'I have meditated and I have realised
that now there is no need for me to do anything more. I can rest.' Life does not believe in
rest; it is a constant movement from perfection to more perfection.
Listen to me: from perfection to more perfection. It is never imperfect, it is always
perfect, but always more perfection is possible. Logically these statements are absurd.
I was reading an anecdote....
A man was charged with using counterfeit money to pay a bill. At his hearing, the
defendant pleaded that he didn't know the money was phony. Pressed for proof, he
admitted: 'Because I stole it. Would I be stealing money that I knew was counterfeit?'
After thinking it over, the Judge decided that made good sense, so he then tossed out the
counterfeit charge. But he substituted a new charge -- theft. 'Sure, I stole it,' the
defendant conceded amiably. 'But counterfeit money has no legal value. Since when is it
a crime to steal nothing?'
No one could find any flaw in his logic, so the man went free.
But logic won t do in life. You cannot go free so easily.
You can come out of a legal trap legally and logically because the trap consists of
Aristotelian logic -- you can use the same logic to come out of it. But in life you will not
be able to come out because of logic, because of theology, because of philosophy,
because you are very clever -- clever in inventing theories. You can come out of life or
you can go beyond life only through actual experience.
There are two types of people who are religious. The first type is childish; it is searching
for a father-figure. The first type is immature; it cannot rely upon itself, hence it needs a
God somewhere or other. The God may exist or not -- that is not the point -- but a God is
needed. Even if the God is not there the immature mind will invent him, because the
immature mind has a psychological need -- it is not a question of truth whether God is
there or not, it is a psychological need.
In the. Bible it is said God made man in his own image, but the reverse is more true: man
made God in his own image. Whatsoever is your need you create that sort of God, that's
why the concept of God goes on changing in every age. Every country has its own
concept because every country has its own need. In fact, every single person has a
different concept of God because his own needs are there and they have to be fulfilled.
So the first type of religious person -- the so-called religious person -- is simply
immature. His religion is not religion but psychology. And when religion is psychology it
is just a dream, a wish-fulfillment, a desire. It has nothing to do with reality.
I was reading....
A small boy was saying his prayers and concluded with this remark, 'Dear God, take care
of Mommy, take care of Daddy, take care of baby sister and Aunt Emma and Uncle John
and Grandma and Grandpa -- and, please God, take care of yourself, or else we're all
This is the God of the majority. Ninety per cent of the so-called religious people are
immature people. They believe because they cannot live without belief; they believe
because belief gives a sort of security; they believe because belief helps them to feel
protected. It is THEIR dream, but it helps. In the dark night of life, in the deep struggle of
existence, without such a belief they will feel left alone. But their God is THEIR God, not
the God of reality. And once they get rid of their immaturity, their God will disappear.
That's what has happened to many people. In this century many people have become
irreligious -- not that they have come to know that God does not exist but only because
this age has made man a little more mature. Man has come of age; man has become a
little more mature. So the God of the childhood, the God of the immature mind, has
simply become irrelevant.
That is the meaning when Friedrich Nietzsche declares that 'God is dead'. It is not God
that is dead, it is the God of the immature mind that is dead. In fact to say that God is
dead is not right because that God was never alive. The only right expression will be to
say that 'God is no more relevant'. Man can rely more upon himself -- he does not need
belief, he does not need the crutches of belief.
Hence people have become less and less interested in religion. They have become
indifferent to what goes on in the church. They have become so indifferent to it that they
will not even argue against it. If you say, 'Do you believe in God?' they will say, 'It's okay
whether he is or not, it doesn't make any difference, it doesn't matter.' Just to be polite, if
you believe, they will say, 'Yes, he is.' If you don't believe, they will say, 'No, he is not.l
But it is no more a passionate concern.
This is the first type of religion; it has existed for centuries, down the centuries, down the
ages, and it is becoming more and more outmoded, out of date. Its time is finished. A
new God is needed -- who is not psychological; a new God is needed -- who is
existential, the God of reality, the God as reality. We can even drop the word 'God' -- 'the
real' will do, 'the existential' will do.
Then there is a second type of religious people for whom religion is not out of fear. The
first type of religion is out of fear, the second type -- also bogus, also pseudo, also so-
called -- is not out of fear, it is only out of cleverness. There are very clever people who
go on inventing theories, who are very trained in logic, in metaphysics, in philosophy.
They create a religion which is just an abstraction: a beautiful piece of art work, of
intelligence, of intellectuality, of philosophising. But it never penetrates life, it never
touches life anywhere, it simply remains an abstract conceptualisation.
Once Mulla Nasrudin was saying to me, 'I have never been what I oughta been. I stole
chickens and watermelons, got drunk and got in fights with my fists and my razor, but
there is one thing I ain't never done: in spite of all my meanness I ain't never lost my
Now what kind of religion is that? It has no impact on life.
You believe, but that belief never penetrates your life, never transforms it. It never
becomes an intrinsic part of you, it never circulates in your blood, you never breath it in
or breathe it out, it never beats in your heart -- it is simply something useless. Ornamental
maybe, at the most, but of no utility to you. Some day you go to the church; it is a
formality, a social need. And you can pay lip service to God, to the Bible, to the Koran,
to the Vedas, but you don't mean it, you are not sincere about it. Your life goes on
without it, your life goes on in a totally different way -- it has nothing to do with religion.
Watch...somebody says he is a Mohammedan, somebody says he is a Hindu, somebody
says he is a Christian, somebody says he is a Jew -- their beliefs are different but watch
their life and you will not find any difference. The Mohammedan, the Jew, the Christian,
the Hindu -- they all live the same life. Their life is not at all touched by their belief. In
fact, beliefs cannot touch your life, beliefs are devices. Beliefs are cunning devices
through which you say 'I know what life is' -- and you can rest at ease, you are not
troubled by life. You hold a concept and that concept helps you to rationalise. Then life
does not bother you much because you have all the answers to all the questions.
But remember... unless religion is personal, unless religion is not abstract but real, deep
in your roots, deep in your guts, unless it is like blood and bone and marrow, it is futile, it
is of no use. It is the religion of the philosophers not the religion of the sages
When the third type comes in...and that is the real type, these other two are the
falsifications of religion, pseudo dimensions. cheap, very easy, because they don't
challenge you. The third is very difficult, arduous; it is a great challenge; it will create a
turmoil in your life -- because the third, the real religion says God has to be addressed in
a personal way. You have to provoke him and you have to allow him to provoke you and
you have to come to terms with him; in fact, you have to struggle with him, you have to
clash against him. You have to love him, and you have to hate him; you have to be a
friend and you have to be an enemy; you have to make your experience of God a living
I have heard about a small child -- and I would like you to be like this small child. He
was really smart....
A little boy was lost at a Sunday school picnic. His mother began a frantic search for him,
and soon she heard loud sounds in a childish voice calling, 'Estelle, Estelle!'
She quickly spotted the youngster and rushed up to grab him in her arms. 'Why did you
keep calling me by my name, Estelle, instead of Mother?' she asked him, as he had never
called her by her first name before. 'Well,' the youngster answered, 'it was no use
calling out "Mother" -- the place is full of them.'
If you call 'mother' there are so many mothers -- the place is full of them. You have to
call in a personal way, you have to call the first name.
Unless God is also called in a personal way, addressed with the first name, it will never
become a reality in your life. You can go on calling 'father' but whose father are you
talking about? When Jesus called him 'father' it was a personal address, when you call, it
is absolutely impersonal. It is Christian but impersonal. When Jesus called him 'father' it
was-meaningful; when you call 'father' it is meaningless -- you have made no contact, no
real contact with him. Only experience of life -- neither belief nor philosophy -- only
experience of life will make you able to address him in a personal way. Then you can
encounter him.
And unless God is encountered you are simply deceiving yourself with words...with
words which are empty, hollow, with words which have no content.
There was a very famous Sufi mystic, Shaqiq was his name. He trusted God so deeply, so
tremendously, that he lived only out of that trust.
Jesus says to his disciples, 'Look at those lilies in the field -- they Labour not and yet they
are so beautiful and so alive that not even Solomon was so beautiful in all his glory.'
Shaqiq lived the life of a lily. There have been very few mystics who have lived that way
but there have been people who have lived that way. The trust is so infinite, the trust is so
absolute that there is no need to do anything -- God goes on doing things for you: In fact,
even when you are doing them he is doing them; it is only that you think you are doing
One day a man came to Shaqiq accusing him of idleness, laziness, and asked him to work
for him. 'I will pay you according to your services,' the man added.
Shaqiq replied, 'I would accept your offer if it weren't for five drawbacks. First, you
might go broke. Second, thieves might steal your wealth. Third, whatever you give me
you will do so grudgingly. Fourth, if you find faults with my work, you'll probably fire
me. Fifth, should death come to you, I'll lose the source of my sustenance. 'Now,'
Shaqiq concluded, 'it happens that I have a Master who is totally devoid of such
This is what trust is. Trust in life then you cannot lose anything.But that trust cannot
come by doctrination, that trust cannot come by education, preaching, studying, thinking
-- that trust can only come by experiencing life in all its opposites, in all its
contradictions, in all its paradoxes. When with in all the paradoxes you come to the point
of balance, there is trust. Trust is a perfume of balance, the fragrance of balance.
If you really want to attain to trust, drop all your beliefs. They will not help. A believing
mind is a stupid mind; a trusting mind has pure intelligence in it. A believing mind is a
mediocre mind; a trusting mind becomes perfect. Trust makes perfect.
And the difference between belief and trust is simple. I am not talking about the
dictionary meaning of the words -- in the dictionary it may be so: belief means trust, trust
means faith, faith means belief -- I am talking about existence. In an existential way
belief is borrowed, trust is yours. Belief you believe in but doubt exists just underneath.
Trust has no doubt element in it; it is simply devoid of doubt. Belief creates a division in
you: a part of your mind believes, a part of your mind denies. Trust is a unity in your
being, your totality.
But how can your totality trust unless you have experienced it? The God of Jesus wont
do, the God of MY experience won't do for you, the God of Buddha's experience won't
do -- it has to be your experience. And if you carry beliefs you will come again and again
to experiences which don't fit the belief, and then there is the tendency of the mind not to
see those experiences, not to take note of them because they are very disturbing. They
destroy your belief and you want to cling to your belief. Then you become more and
more blind to life -- belief becomes a blindfold on the eyes.
Trust opens the eyes; trust has nothing to lose. Trust means whatsoever is real is real -- 'I
can put my desires and wishes aside, they don't make any difference to reality. They can
only distract my mind from reality.'
If you have a belief and you come against an experience which the belief says is not
possible, or, the experience is such that you have to drop the belief, what are you going to
choose -- the belief or the experience? The tendency of the mind is to choose the belief,
to forget about the experience. That's how you have been missing many opportunities
when God has knocked at your door.
Remember it is not only you who are seeking truth -- truth is also seeking you. Many
times the hand has come very close to you, it has almost touched you, but you shrugged
yourself away. It was not fitting with your belief and you chose to choose your belief.
I have heard a very beautiful Jewish joke.
There is a joke about a vampire who flew into Patrick O'Rourke's bedroom one night for
the purpose of drinking his blood. Remembering the stories his mother told him,
O'Rourke grabbed a crucifix and brandished it frantically in the vampire's face. The
vampire paused for a moment, shook his head condolingly, clucked his tongue, and
commented genially in the purest Yiddish, 'Oy vey, bubbula! Have you ever got the
wrong vampire!'
Now, if the vampire is Christian, good! You can show the cross. But if the vampire is
Jewish. then what? Then 'Oy vey, bubbula! Have you ever got the wrong vampire!'
If you have a certain belief and life does not fit with it, what are you going to do? You
can go on showing your crucifix -- but the vampire is a Jew. Then he is not going to take
any note of your cross. Then what are you going to do?
Life is so vast and beliefs are so small; life is so infinite and beliefs are so tiny. Life never
fits with any belief and if you try to force life into your beliefs you are trying to do the
impossible. It has never happened; it cannot happen in the nature of things. Drop all
beliefs and start learning how to experience.
Now this story.
A few things about Hasidism. First, the word 'hasid' comes from a Hebrew word which
means pious, pure. It is derived from the noun 'hased' which means grace.
This word 'hasid' is very beautiful. The whole standpoint of Hasidism is based on grace.
It is not that YOU do something -- life is already happening, you just be silent, passive,
alert, receiving. God comes through his grace, not through your effort. So Hasidism has
no austerities prescribed for you. Hasidism believes in life, in joy. Hasidism is one of the
religions in the world which is life-affirmative. It has no renunciation in it; you are not to
renounce anything. Rather, you have to celebrate. The founder of Hasidism, Baal-Shem,
is reported to have said, 'I have come to teach you a new way. It is not fasting and
penance, and it is not indulgence, but joy in God.'
The Hasid loves life, tries to experience life. That very experience starts giving you a
balance. And in that state of balance, some day, when you are really balanced, neither
leaning on this side nor leaning on that side, when you are exactly in the middle, you
transcend. The middle is the beyond, the middle is the door from where one goes beyond.
If you really want to know what existence is, it is neither in life nor in death. Life is one
extreme, death is another extreme. It is just exactly in the middle where neither death is
nor life is, where one is simply unborn, deathless. In that moment of balance,
equilibrium, grace descends.
I would like you all to become Hasids, receivers of grace. I would like you to learn this
science, this art of balance.
The mind very easily chooses the extreme. There are people who indulge: they indulge in
sensuality, sexuality, food, clothes, houses, this and that. There are people who indulge --
they lean too much towards life, they fall down, they topple. Then there are people, who,
seeing people toppling down from the tightrope of existence into indulgence, falling into
the abyss of indulgence, become afraid; they start leaning towards the other extreme.
They renounce the world, they escape to the Himalayas. They escape from the wife, the
children, the home, the world, the marketplace and they go and hide themselves in
monasteries. They have chosen another extreme. Indulgence is the extreme life;
renunciation is the extreme death.
So there is some truth in Friedrich Nietzsche's comment upon Hinduism -- that Hinduism
is a religion of death. There is some truth when Nietzsche says that Buddha seems to be
suicidal. The truth is this: you can move from one extreme to another.
The whole Hasidic approach is not to choose any extreme, just to remain in the middle,
available to both and yet beyond both, not getting identified with either, not getting
obsessed and fixated with either -- just remaining free and joyously enjoying both. If life
comes, enjoy life; if death comes, enjoy death. If out of his grace God gives love, life --
good; if he sends death, it must be good -- it is his gift.
Baal-Shem is right when he says, 'I have come to teach you joy in God.' Hasidism is a
celebrating religion. It is the purest flowering of the whole Judaic culture. Hasidism is the
fragrance of the whole Jewish race. It is one of the most beautiful phenomena on the
Hasidism teaches life in community. It is a very communal approach. It says that man is
not an island, man is not an ego -- should not be an ego, should not be an island. Man
should live a life of community.
We are growing a Hasidic community here. To live in a community is to live in love; to
live in a community is to live in commitment, caring for others.
There are many religions which are very, very self-oriented: they only think of the self,
they never think of the community. They only think of how I am going to become
liberated, how I am going to become free, how I should attain moksha -- MY moksha,
MY freedom, MY liberation, MY salvation. But everything is preceded by MY, by the
self. And these religions try hard to drop the ego but their whole effort is based on the
ego. Hasidism says if you want to drop the ego, the best way is to live in a community,
live with people, be concerned with people -- with their joy, with their sadness, with their
happiness, with their life, with their death. Create a concern for the others, be involved,
and then the ego will disappear on its own accord. And when the ego is not, one is free.
There is no freedom of the ego, there is only freedom FROM the ego.
Hasidism uses community life as a device. Hasids have lived in small communities and
they have created beautiful communities, very celebrating, dancing, enjoying the small
things of life. They make the small things of life holy -- eating, drinking. Everything
takes the quality of prayer. The ordinariness of life is no longer ordinary, it is suffused
with divine grace.
This is the difference. If you see Jaina monks sitting, you never see any brotherliness -- it
is not possible. The very approach is different. Each Jaina monk is an island, but the
Hasids are not islands. They are a continent, a deep brotherliness.
Remember it. The community I would like to grow here should be more like the hasidim,
less like Jaina monks, because a man alone, confined to himself, is ugly. Life is in love,
life is in flow, in give and take and sharing.
You can go to a Jaina monastery or a Jaina temple where Jaina monks are sitting -- you
can just watch. You will see exactly how everybody is confined to himself; there is no
relationship. That is the whole effort: how not to be related. The whole effort is how to
disconnect all relationship. But the more you are disconnected with community and life,
the more dead you are. It is very difficult to find a Jaina monk who is still alive. And I
know it very deeply because I was born a Jaina and I have watched them from my very
childhood. I was simply surprised! What calamity has happened to these people? What
has gone wrong? They are dead. They are corpses. If you don't go near them already
prejudiced, thinking that they are great saints. if you simply go, observing without any
prejudice, you will be simply puzzled, confused. What illness, what disease has happened
to these people? They are neurotic. Their concern about themselves has become their
Community has completely lost meaning for them -- but all meaning is in community.
Remember...when you love somebody, it is not only that you give love to them -- in
giving, you grow. When love starts flowing between you and the other, you both are
benefitted. And in that exchange of love your potentialities start becoming actualities.
That's how self-actualisation happens. Love more and you will be more; love less and
you will be less. You are always in proportion to your love. The proportion of your love
is the proportion of your being.
Can you think of any saint pipe in hand?
Ordinary life has to be hallowed, has to be made holy, even a pipe. You can smoke in a
very prayerful way. Qr, you can pray in a very unprayerful way. It is not a question of
what you do...you can go into the temple, you can go into the mosque, but still you can
pray in a very unprayerful way. It depends on you; it depends on the quality you bring to
your prayer. You can eat, you can smoke, you can drink, and you can do all these small
thingS, mundane things, in such gratitude that they become prayers.
Just the other night a man came. He bowed down and touched my feet. The way he was
doing it was, I Could see, very unprayerful. He was an Indian so he was doing it just out
of duty, it seemed. Or he was not even conscious of what he was doing -- he must have
been taught. But I could feel, I could see his energy was absolutely unprayerful. And I
was wondering why he had come. He wanted to become a sannyasin. I never refuse but I
wanted to refuse him. I thought for a moment what to do. If I refuse, it doesn't look good
-- but the man was absolutely wrong. Finally I said, 'Okay, I will give you sannyas' --
because I cannot refuse, I cannot say no. I find that word very difficult to use.
So I gave him sannyas, and then everything became clear. Immediately after sannyas he
said, 'I have come to your feet, now help me. I am posted' -- he is in the army -- 'I have
been posted somewhere in Palanpur. Now, Osho, with your spiritual power, help me to be
transferred to Ranchi.'
My spiritual power has to be used for his transfer to Ranchi.
Now what type of concept does he have of spiritual power? Now everything was clear.
He was not interested in sannyas -- that taking sannyas was just a bribery. He must have
thought that if he asks for the transfer without sannyas it won't look good. So first
become a sannyasin and then ask.
Just to THINK in these terms is unprayerful, unspiritual. And that man thinks he is very
spiritual. He says he is a follower of Paramahans Yogananda and the way he said it was
so egoistic, he felt so good, so superior -- 'I am a follower of Paramahans Yogananda; I
am a disciple. And I have been working on myself for many years...and that's why 'I want
to go to Ranchi.' Ranchi is the centre of Paramahans Yogananda's disciples.
Now this man is absolutely unspiritual. His whole approach is unspiritual, unprayerful.
The point that I want to make clear to you is this: that it does not depend on what you
DO. You can touch my feet in a very unprayerful way -- then it is meaningless; but you
can smoke and you can do it in a prayerful way and your prayer will reach to God.
It is very difficult for people who have very fixed concepts about religion, spirituality, but
I would like you to become more liquid. Don't have fixed concepts. Watch.
Yes, only in deep friendliness can something be asked. And only in deep friendliness can
something be answered. Between the Master and the disciple there is a deep friendship. It
is a love affair. And the disciple has to wait for the right moment and the Master has also
to wait for the right moment; when the friendship is flowing, when there is no hindrance,
then things can be answered. Or even, sometimes, without answering them, they can be
answered; even without using verbalisation the message can be delivered.
In fact, that is the answer of all those who know. 'How should I know?' 'How to serve
God? You are asking such a great question, I am not worthy to answer it,' said the
Master. 'How should I know?'
Nothing can be known about love; nothing can be known about how to serve God -- it is
very difficult.
First he says, 'How should I know?' First he says that knowledge is not possible about
such things. First he says that he cannot give you any knowledge about such things. First
he says that he cannot make you more knowledgeable about these things -- there is no
way. But then he tells his story.
A story is totally different to talking in terms of theories. A story is more alive, more
indicative. It does not say much but it shows much. And all the great Masters have used
stories, parables, anecdotes. The reason is that if you say something directly, it kills
much. A direct expression is too crude primitive, gross, ugly. The parable is saying the
thing in a very indirect way. It makes things very smooth; it makes things more poetic,
less logical, closer to life, more paradoxical. You cannot use a syllogism for God, you
cannot use any argument, but you can tell stories.
And the Jewish race is one of the richest races on the earth for parables. Jesus was a Jew
and he has told a few of the most beautiful parables ever uttered. Jews have learnt how to
tell stories. In fact, Jews don't have much philosophy but they have beautiful
philosophical parables. They say much; without saying, without hinting anything directly,
they create an atmosphere. In that atmosphere something can be understood. That is the
whole device of a parable.
First he said, 'How should I know?' First he simply denies knowledge of any possibility
of knowing about it. A philosopher says, 'Yes, I know' and a philosopher proposes a
theory in clear-cut statements, logical, mathematical, syllogistic, argumentative. He tries
to convince. He may not convince but he can force you into silence.
A parable never tries to convince you. It takes you unawares, it persuades you, it tickles
you deep inside.
The moment the Master says, 'How should I know?' he is saying to them, 'Relax, I am not
going to give any argument for it, any theory for it.And you need not be worried that! am
going to convince you about something. Just enjoy a little parable, a little story.' When
you start listening to a story, you relax; when you start listening to a theory, you become
tense. And that which creates tension in you cannot be of much help. It is destructive.
A parable has an atmosphere, a very homely atmosphere -- as if your grandmother is
telling you a story when you are falling asleep. Children ask, 'Tell us stories.' It helps
them relax and go into sleep. A story is very relaxing and does not create any pressure on
your mind; rather, it starts playing with your heart. When you listen to a story, you don't
listen from the head -- you cannot listen to a story from the head -- you listen from the
head you will miss. If you listen from the head there is no possibility of understanding a
story; a story has to be understood from the heart. That's why races and countries which
are very 'heady' cannot understand beautiful jokes. For example, Germans! They cannot
understand. They are one of the most intelligent races of the world but they don't have
any good stock of jokes.
A man was telling a German -- I have just overheard this in the ashram -- a man was
telling a German that he had heard a very beautiful German joke.
The German said, 'But remember, I am a German.'.
So the man said, 'Okay, then I will tell it very, very slowly.'
lt is very difficult. Germany is the country of the professors, logicians -- Kant, Hegel, and
Feuerbach -- and they have always been thinking through the head. They have cultivated
the head, they have created great scientists, logicians, philosophers, but they have missed
In India we don't have many jokes; there is a great poverty of spirit. You cannot find a
specifically Hindu joke, no. All the jokes that go on in India are borrowed from the West.
No Indian joke exists. I have not come across any. And you can rely on me because1
have come across all the jokes of the world! No Hindu joke, as such, exists. What is the
reason?Again, very intellectual people. They have been weaving and spinning theories;
from Vedas to Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan they have been just weaving and spinning
theories and theories and they have got into it so deeply that they have forgotten how to
tell a beautiful story or how to create a joke.
The Rabbi started telling this story -- the disciples must have become relaxed, must have
become relaxed AND attentive. That's the beauty of a story: when a story is told you are
attentive and yet not tense. You can relax and yet you are attentive. A passive
attentiveness arises when you listen to a story. When you listen to a theory you become
very tense because of you miss a single word you may not be able to understand it. You
become more concentrated. When you listen to a story you become more meditative --
there is nothing much to be lost. Even if a few words are lost here and there, nothing will
be lost because if you just have the feel of the story you wi 11 understand it, it does not
depend so much on the words.
The disciples must have relaxed, and the Master told this story.
Now, this sentence is very pregnant --
JESUS says many times to his disciples, 'Come unto me if you want life in abundance. If
you want life in abundance, come to me.' But life in abundance happens only to people
who go beyond birth and death, who go beyond the duality, to the other shore. The other
shore, the other side, is just symbolic of the transcendental. But it is just a hint. Nothing is
particularly said, just a hint is given.
And then the story moves on.
Now these are the two types of people.
The first simply got safely across. Ordinarily we would like to enquire how to go on a
rope. A tightrope stretched over a chasm -- it is dangerous. Ordinarily we would like to
know the ways, the means, the method, how to go. We would like to know how? The
technique -- there must be a technique. For centuries people have walked on tightropes.
But the first one simply walked without enquiring, without even waiting for the other.
This is the natural tendency: to let the other go first. At least you will be able to watch
and observe and that will be helpful for you. No, the first simply walked. He must have
been a man of tremendous trust; he must have been a man of undoubting confidence. He
must have been a man who has learnt one thing in life: that there is only one way to learn
and that is to live, to experience. There is no other way.
You cannot learn tightrope-walking by watching a tightrope-walker -- no, never. Because
the thing is not like a technology that you can observe from the outside, it is some inner
balance that only the walker knows. And it cannot be transferred. He cannot just tell you
about it; it cannot be verbalised. No tightrope-walker can tell anybody how he manages.
You ride a bicycle. Can you tell anybody how you ride it? You know the balance; it is a
sort of tightrope-walking, just on two wheels straight in one line. And you go fast and
you go so trustingly. If somebody asks what the secret is, can you reduce it to a formula,
just like H20? Can you reduce it to a maxim? You don't say, 'This is the principle, I
follow this principle,' you will say, 'The only way is for you to come and sit on the bike
and I will help you to go on it. You are bound to fall a few times and then you will know
the only way to know is to know.' The only way to know swimming is to swim -- with all
the dangers involved in it.
The first man must have come to a deep understanding in his life -- that life is not like a
textbook. You cannot be taught about it, you have to experience it. And he must have
been a man of tremendous awareness. He did not hesitate, he simply walked, as if he had
always been walking on a tightrope. He had never walked before; it was for the first time.
But for a man of awareness everything is for the first time, and a man of awareness can
do things -- even when he is doing them for the first time -- perfectly. His efficiency does
not come out of his past, his efficiency comes out of his present. Let this be remembered.
You can do things in two ways. You can do something because you have done it before --
so you know how to do it, you need not be present, you can simply do it in a mechanical
way. But if you have not done it before, and you are going to do it for a first time, you
have to be tremendously alert because now you don't have any past experience. So you
cannot rely on the memory, you have to rely on awareness.
These are the two sources of functioning: either you function out of memory, out of
knowledge, out of the past, out of mind; or you function out of awareness, out of the
present, out of no-mind.
The first man must have been a man of no-mind, a man who knows that you can simply
be alert and go on and see what happens. And whatsoever happens is good. A great
The second is the majority mind, the mass mind. The second wants to Know first how to
cross it. Is there a method to it? Is there a technique to be learnt? He is waiting for the
other to say.
The other must be a believer in knowledge. The other must have been a believer in others'
Many people come to me. They say, 'Osho, tell us. What happened to you?' But what are
you going to do about it? Buddha has told it, Mahavir has told it, Jesus has told it -- what
have you done about it? Unless it happens to you it is futile. I can tell you one more story
and then you can join that story also in your record of memories, but that is not going to
Waiting for others' knowledge is waiting in vain because that which can be given by the
others has no worth, and that which is of any worth cannot be given and cannot be
Even though he had crossed he still said, I don't know anything but this....' Because, in
fact, life never becomes knowledge; it remains a very suffused experience, never
knowledge. You cannot verbalise it, conceptualise it, put it into a clear-cut theory.
'This much only can be said: that there were two extremes, left and right, and
whenever I felt that I was going too much towards the left and the balance was getting
lost, I leaned towards the right. But again I had to balance because then I started going
too much to the right and again I felt the balance was getting lost. Again I leant towards
the left.'
So he said two things. One, 'I cannot formulate it as knowledge. I can only indicate. I
don't know exactly what happened but this much I can give as a hint to you. And that is
not much; in fact, you need not have it. You will come across the experience yourself.
But this much can be said.'
Buddha was asked again and again, 'What has happened to you?' And he would always
say, 'That cannot be said but this much I can say to you -- I can say in what circumstances
it happened. That may be of some help to you. I cannot tell about the ultimate truth but I
can tell how, on what path, with what method, in what situation I was when it happened,
when the grace descended on me, when the benediction came to me.'
The man says,
'That's all. Nothing much to it. That's how I balanced, that's how I remained in the
middle.' And in the middle is grace.
The Rabbi is saying to his disciples, 'You ask how we should serve God?' He was
indicating with this parable: remain in the middle.
Don't indulge too much and don't renounce too much. Don't be only in the world and
don't escape out of it. Go on keeping a balance. When you feel that now you are falling
into too much indulgence, lean towards renunciation, and when you feel that now you are
going to become a renunciate, an ascetic, lean back again to indulgence. Keep in the
On the road in India you will find boards saying 'Keep to the Left' -- in America you will
find 'Keep to the Right'. In the world there are only two types of people: a few keep to the
left, a few keep to the right. The third type is the very pinnacle of consciousness. And
there the rule is 'Keep to the Middle'. Don't try it on the road but on life's way keep to the
middle: never to the left, never to the right. Just to the middle.
And in the middle there will be glimpses of balance. There is a point -- you can
understand, you can feel it -- there is a point when you are not leaning to either extreme,
you are exactly in the middle. In that split-second suddenly there is grace, everything is in
And that's how one can serve God. Remain in balance and it becomes a service to God;
remain in balance and God is available to you and you are available to God.
Life is not a technology, not even a science; life is an art -- or it would even be better to
call it a hunch. You have to feel it. It is like balancing on a tightrope.
The Rabbi has chosen a beautiful parable. He has not talked about God at all; he has not
talked about service at all; he has not really answered the question at all directly. The
disciples must have themselves forgotten about the question -- that's the beauty of a
parable. It doesn't divide your mind into a question and an answer, it simply gives you a
hunch that this is how things are.
Life has no 'know-how' about it. Remember, life is not American, it is not a technology.
The American mind, or to be more specific, the modern mind, tends to create
technologies out of everything. Even when there is meditation the modern mind
immediately tends to create a technology out of it. Then we create machines, and man is
getting lost, and we are losing all contact with life.
Remember, there are things which cannot be taught but which can only be caught. I am
here, you can watch me, you can look into me and you will see a balance and you will see
a silence. It is almost tangible, you can touch it, you can hear it, you can see it. It is here.
I cannot say what it is, I cannot specifically give you techniques how to attain to it. At the
most I can tell you a few parables, a few stories. They will be just hints. Those that
understand will allow those hints to fall into their hearts like seeds. In their time, in the
right season, they will sprout and you will understand me really only on the day you also
experience the same that I am experiencing. I have crossed to the other shore, you are
shouting from the other side, 'Tell me, friend, how did you manage to cross?' I can tell
you only one thing,
Keep to the middle. Keep continuously alert that you don't lose the balance, and then
everything will take care of itself.
If you can remain in the middle, you remain available to God, to his grace. If you can
remain in the middle you can become a Hasid; you can become a receiver of grace. And
God is grace. You cannot do anything to find him, you can only do one thing: not stand in
his way. And whenever you move to an extreme you become so tense that that very
tension makes you too solid; whenever you are in the middle, tension disappears, you
become liquid, fluid. And you are no longer i n the way. When you are in the middle you
are no longer in God's way -- or let me tell you it in this way: when you are in the middle
you are not. Exactly in the middle that miracle happens -- that you are nobody, you are a
This is the secret key. It can open the lock of mystery, of existence to you.
The Art of Dying
Chapter #4
Chapter title: Let It Be So
14 October 1976 am in Buddha Hall
Archive code:
Video: No
102 mins
The first question:
Question 1
THE human mind tends to convert every experience into a question. That is a very
destructive step. Please avoid it. Here near me the whole purpose is to know that which
is not knowable, to know that which is not expressible, to know that which cannot be put
into words. When it starts happening, don't make a problem out of it, don't create a
question out of it -- because your very questioning will become a stopping. Then your
mind will have started something else and you are distracted.
When it starts happening, enjoy it, love it, be nourished by it, savour it, dance it, sing it,
but don't make a question about it. Just be it. And allow it total space. It will grow. It
needs space in you to grow.
Don't be in a hurry to make a theory out of it. Theories are very dangerous. They can kill
the child in the womb. The moment you start thinking in terms of analysing, knowing
what it is and what it is not, comparing, labelling, you are moving towards an abortion.
You will miss something that was going to grow -- you killed it. Don't be suicidal, don't
be analytical, just allow it. Feel its presence -- but not with the mind. Feel its presence
with your totaility. Let your heart be open to it and it will grow.
And in that very growth, by and by understanding will come. Understanding is not going
to come through analysis, through thinking, through brooding, through logic.
Understanding is going to come by deeper and deeper experience.
You say something has happened to you through me but it is something which is
inexpressible. Let it be so. Be happy. You are blessed. When something inexpressible
starts happening then you are on the right track, you are moving towards God, the
ultimate mystery. Whenever you have something within you which you cannot
understand, that simply shows something bigger than you has entered in you -- otherwise
you could have understood it, you could have figured it out. Something bigger than the
mind has penetrated you, a ray of light in the dark soul, a ray of light in the dark night of
the mind. The mind cannot comprehend it; it is beyond its understanding. But not beyond
understanding, remember. Beyond the understanding that is possible for the mind but not
beyond understanding -- because there is understanding which is not of the mind: the
understanding of the total organ, of your total being, of your totality.
But that comes not by analysis, not by dissection; it comes by absorbing the experience.
Eat it! That which is inexpressible has to be eaten by you. Jesus says to his disciples, 'Eat
me.' That's what he means: eat the inexpressible, eat the unknown. Digest it, let it
circulate into your blood. Let it become part of you. And then you will know. And the
knowing will arise as suddenly as the experience has arisen.
Now a ray has entered in you. Allow it to become part of you -- only then will you
understand it.
This understanding is not the understanding you have been acquainted with up to now.
You have known only the mind and its ways. It labels things very immediately.
Whenever you ask what this is, what are you asking really? You see a bush and a flower
and you say, 'What is this?' Somebody says 'a rosebush' and you think you have
understood. Somebody has just uttered a word 'rose' and you think you have understood.
But if you don't know the name you feel a little disturbed. That unknown flower
confronts you, challenges you. You feel your prestige is at stake. Because that unknown
flower continuously says, 'You don't know me, so what kind of knowledge is yours? You
don't know even me?' The flower goes on hitting hard at you and you start feeling
disturbed. You want to know so that you can finish with this challenge. You go to the
library, you look at the books, at the Encyclopedia Britannica; you find out what the
name of this rose is. It is 'rose' -- okay, you have labelled it. Now you can be at ease.
But what have you done? Just by putting a word to the rosebush do you think you have
understood it? You have lost an opportunity of understanding. You have lost a great
challenge. Because remember well -- the name 'rose' is given by man to the rosebush, the
rosebush does not know the name at all. If you talk about the rosebush to the rosebush,
the rosebush will not understand it. What are you talking about? What nonsense are you
talking about? The rosebush has no name as far as the bush itself is concerned -- the
name is given by others, given by people like you who cannot tolerate the unknowable
The unknowable is such an uneasy thing, it creates so much discomfort. You see
somebody; you say, 'Who is this man?' And then somebody says he is a Chinese, or an
African, or a Japanese, and you feel at ease. What have you known? Just by saying that
he is a Chinese.... There are millions of Chinese -- eight hundred million -- and no other
Chinese is like him. In fact, nothing exists like THE Chinese. There are millions and
millions of Chinese -- each individual is unique, different; each has his own signature, his
own being. What have you understood by labelling a man as a Chinese? But you feel at
What religion does he belong to? He is a Buddhist. Another label has come into your
hand. You know a little more now. To what party does he belong? He is a communist.
Still a few more labels you gather -- and then you think you have known the man.
Is knowledge as cheap as the mind thinks? Labelling is not knowledge. Labelling is a
way to avoid the opportunity that was open. You could have known the man if you had
got involved with him. You could have known the rosebush if you had meditated alone
with it, if you had allowed its fragrance to enter into your nostrils and into your heart; if
you had touched it with love. If you had had a communion with this rosebush you might
have known something.
I don't say you can know the rosebush totally. If you can know a single rosebush totally
then you have known the whole universe -- because in the single rosebush the whole
universe is involved: the sun and the moon and the stars and the past and the present and
the future. All time and all space is converging on that small roseflower. If you can know
it in its totality you will have known the whole universe. Then nothing is left behind.
Each small thing is so great.
And when something like an unknown flower starts blooming within you, don't be in a
hurry to dissect it; don't put it on the table and cut it and start looking for the ingredients.
Enjoy it. Love it. Help it to grow. A grace has descended upon you. You have become a
That is the meaning of Hasid -- grace.
The second question:
Question 2
No, I will not say anything about those techniques -- because Hasidism is absolutely non-
technical. The whole approach is non-technical. Hasidism has no technique -- just a sheer
joy in life.
Hasidism is not a path of meditation, it is a path of prayer. Prayer has no technique.
Meditation can have millions of techniques because meditation is a scientific approach to
inner reality. Hasidism is not a science, it is an art. Hasidism does not believe in
techniques but in love.
Remember well, the technological mind is a mathematical mind. The mind of the lover is
non-mathematical; the mind of the lover is the mind of the poet. Love is a romance, not a
technique. Love is a dream. not a technique. Love has a totally different approach to life.
Hasidism has no techniques; it has no yoga, no Tantra in it. It simply says: trust life, trust
God, and whatsoever has been given to you, enjoy it. Enjoy it so deeply and with such
gratitude that every ordinary thing becomes hallowed, becomes holy, each small thing in
life becomes sacred. Transform everything into a sacred thing -- the profane disappears
when you bring your energy of love, grace, gratitude.
Love is not a technique, so nobody can teach you how to love. And if you come across
books which say that they can teach you how to love, beware of those books. If you once
learn the techniques of love you will never be able to love again. Those techniques will
become a barrier. Love is a natural spontaneous phenomenon. Even animals are loving --
they don't have Kinseys and Masters and Johnsons and they are achieving orgasm
perfectly, without any scientific help. They don't have any sex therapists and they don't
go to any guru to be taught how to love. It is an inborn quality. Each being born brings it
with himself.
There are a few things which you bring with your birth. A child is born...nobody can
teach the child how to breathe. If it depended on teaching then nobody would be able to
be alive, because time would be needed to teach the child. He would first have to be sent
to school, taught language, disciplined, and then finally, after at least seven, eight or ten
years, we would be able to teach him how to breathe -- he doesn't understand even the
word 'breathe'. No, it doesn't depend on any teaching. The Child is born with the capacity
to breathe; it is inborn. It is as inborn as a flower on a bush. It is as inborn as water
rushing towards the ocean -- naturally.
The moment a child is born the whole being of the child hankers, becomes hungry for
breath -- not knowing what is happening because he has never breathed before. Nobody
has ever taught him, he has never done it, he has no experience about it -- it simply
In exactly the same way, one day, at the age of fourteen, the child starts feeling a
tremendous attraction towards the other sex. Nobody has taught it; in fact, teachers have
been teaching against it. The whole human history seems to be a teaching against
sexuality. against sex energy. Religions, cultures, civilisations, priests and politicians --
they have all been teaching how to suppress sex. But still it cannot be suppressed. It
seems it is impossible to suppress it.
It is a natural phenomenon. It arises. It arises even when you are against it -- see the truth
of it. Even when you are against it, it arises in spite of you. It is bigger than you. You
cannot control it. It is natural.
Hasidism says that if a man starts living a natural life, one day, suddenly, love of God
arises as naturally as love for the woman or love for the man arises; as naturally as
breathing arises after birth. That precious moment cannot be managed; you cannot plan
for it, you cannot prepare for it, there is no need. You simply live a natural life. Don't
fight with nature, float with it, and one day suddenly you will see that grace has
descended on you. A tremendous urge has arisen in your being, a new LOVE towards
existence -- call it God. Because when love arises, existence becomes personal. Then it is
no more 'it'; it becomes 'thou'. Then it is a relationship between 'I' and 'thou'.
Hasidism simply says don't be unnatural and prayer will be born on its own accord. It has
no techniques. And that's the beauty of it.
If you have missed the natural flowering of prayer -- then techniques are needed.
Meditation is a substitute for prayer; it is second to prayer. If you have missed prayer
then meditation is needed but if prayer has arisen in you then there is no need for any
meditation. Prayer is spontaneous meditation; meditation is prayer with effort. Prayer
with technique is meditation; meditation without technique is prayer.
Hasidism is the religion of.prayer, that's why in Hasidism there is no renunciation. A
Hasid lives the natural life that God has conferred on him. Wherever God has placed him,
he lives, he loves; he enjoys the small pleasures of life. And once you start enjoying the
small pleasures, the total cumulative effect is a great bliss in your being.
This has to be understood. Don't wait for some great bliss to descend on you. It never
happens. Great bliss is nothing but small pleasures accumulating in your being. The total
of all the small pleasures is the great bliss. Eating, enjoy it. Drinking, enjoy it. Taking a
bath, enjoy it. Walking, enjoy it. Such a beautiful world, such a beautiful morning, such
beautiful clouds...what else do you need to celebrate? The sky full of stars...what more do
you need to be prayerful? The sun rising from the east...what more do you need to bow
down? And amidst a thousand and one thorns a small roseflower arises, opening its buds,
so fragile, so vulnerable, yet so strong, so ready to fight with the wind, with the lightning,
with the thunderings. Look at the courage...what more do you need to understand trust?
Techniques are needed when you have missed these small openings towards God. If you
go on looking in the small openings, the total effect is a great-door. And suddenly you
start seeing what prayer is. Not only seeing, you start living it.
Hasidism is a totally different approach to Tantra. And Hasidism is far superior to any
Tantra, because it is the natural Tantra, it is the natural way. It is the way of Tao.
But the mind is very cunning. The mind wants to manipulate. The mind wants to
manipulate even the relationship of love; the mind wants to manipulate even the
mysterious phenomenon of prayer. The mind is a great controller. The obsession of the
mind is to control everything, not to allow anything beyond control -- hence technique.
The mind is always asking for techniques and the mind goes on planning for every
If you plan for every possibility, if you manage for everything on your own, you never
give a chance to God to penetrate you, to take control onto his shoulders. You never
allow Bod to help you. You think you have to be independent; you think there is no other
way than self-help. You remain unnecessarily poor.
A small child was playing around his father who was sitting in the garden. And the small
child was trying to pull up a big rock. It was too big and he could not do it. He tried hard.
He was perspiring.
The father said, 'You are not using all your energies.'
The child said, 'Wrong. I am using all my energy. And I don't see what more I can do?'
The father said, 'You have not asked me to help. That too is your energy. I am sitting here
and you have not asked me to help. You are not using all your energy.'
A man who lives through techniques may think he is using all his energies but he has not
asked for God's help. A man who is simply meditating with techniques is a poor man. A
Hasid is tremendously rich because he is really using all his energy. A Hasid is open; a
technique-oriented mind is a closed mind. It goes on planning everything. Even if your
plans are fulfilled you will not be happy, because they are your plans. They are as small
as you are. Even if you succeed you will be a failure; even in your success you will have
the taste of frustration. Because what will you get? Or, if you fail, you will of course be
frustrated. When you fail you are frustrated, but when you succeed then you are frustrated
Open yourself to the divine. You live naturally; not trying to improve, not living through
ideas, not living through moral disciplines -- just living a natural life. Nature should be
your only discipline, and whatsoever is natural is good because that's how God wills it to
be, wants it to be. If you can accept your life with such gratefulness, that this is how God
wants it to be.... If he has given sex to you, he has given sex to you -- he knows better.
You need not try to enforce any celibacy on yourself. An enforced celibacy is ugly, more
ugly than a natural sex. And if you accept natural sex you will find that beyond a certain
point natural sex becomes natural celibacy. Then BRAHMACHARYA arises. Then you
start living in a totally different way.
But it comes floating with the river of life.
Do you see? A river descends from the mountains, moves thousands of miles, then one
day disappears into the ocean. If the river were a great thinker, and it started thinking,
'This is going downwards. I should not do that. My abode is on the mountains. A river is
first just snow peaks of the Himalayas -- there is my abode. And I am falling. This is sin.
Falling down in a glacier, moving towards the earth, from the height of the heaven....' If
rivers were thinkers they would go crazy, because this is going down, descending into
hell. But rivers are not thinkers, they are very fortunate. They accept it. It was God's will
to be on the hilltop, it is his will now to explore the depths.
And a person who really wants to know the height has also to know the depth, otherwise
he will not be able to know. Depth is the other part of the height. The higher the peak of
the mountain, the deeper the valley. If you want to know the tree, you have to know the
roots also. The tree goes upwards and roots go downwards. And the tree exists between
this: the upward movement and the downward movement. This is the tension that gives
life to the tree.
The river moves, trusting, not knowing where she is going -- she has never gone before
and she has no road map available, no guide to guide. But she goes trusting: if this is how
it is happening it must be good. She goes singing and dancing. And then one day every
river -- whether it runs towards the East or whether it runs towards the West or the South
or the North, it makes no difference -- every river finally, eventually, reaches the
ultimate, disappears into the ocean. In the ocean she has attained the final depth.
Now the journey is complete. She has known the peaks of the Himalayas, now she has
known the depth of the ocean. Now the experience is total; now the circle is complete.
Now the river can disappear into nirvana; now the river can disappear into moksha.
This is what liberation is.
A Hasid lives like a river. He trusts. A man who is too obsessed with technique is a non-
trusting man, a doubting man. He cannot trust in life, he trusts in his own techniques.
I have heard a very beautiful anecdote. Bodhi has sent it to me.
A gorilla collector was anxious to collect some more gorillas, so he went to Africa. Soon
he found himself in the hut of a Great White Hunter. 'And how much do you charge for
each catch?' asked the collector. 'Well,' said the Hunter, 'I get five hundred dollars tor
myself, five hundred dollars for that little pygmy over there with the rifle, and five
hundred dollars for my dog.'
The collector couldn't figure out why the dog should get five hundred dollars, but being a
practical man he reasoned that fifteen hundred dollars was reasonable and he didn't care
how it got divided up.
On safari the Great White Hunter spied a gorilla up a tree whereupon he climbed up the
tree and hit the gorilla over the head. As the gorilla fell to the ground, the dog ran over
and grabbed it by the testicles with his teeth, rendering it motionless. Meanwhile the
Hunter climbed down the tree, brought a cage over, and pushed the gorilla in it.
The collector was flabbergasted. He said to the Hunter, 'This is simply fantastic! I have
never seen anything like it in my life! You are certainly earning your five hundred
dollars, and that dog -- well, what can I say? -- he's simply terrific. But that pygmy with
the rifle -- he doesn't seem to be doing a thing.'
The Hunter said, 'Don't you worry about the pygmy. He earns his money.'
So on and so forth it went, catching gorilla after gorilla, until finally he came across a
gorilla who had been watching the whole proceedings. The Hunter climbed up the tree,
and just as he was about to bash the gorilla over the head, the gorilla turned and bashed
him first.
As the Hunter was falling from the tree, he yelled to the pygmy, 'Shoot the dog! Shoot the
Now this is the technique-oriented mind. It arranges for everything, for every possibility.
It does not leave a loophole in the system.
A religious man cannot live in such a planned way, it is not possible. He has to leave
many loopholes for Bod to enter in. In fact, if you understand rightly, a religious man is
one who plans nothing -- because how can we plan? and what are our capacities for
planning? We are limited. We have a small light of intelligence but it is too tiny. Trusting
it totally creates a very mediocre life. The vast never enters into this mediocre life; the
infinite never enters into this mediocre life; the endless never enters into this mediocre
Hasidism is a very revolutionary step -- a great risk is involved. The risk is in dropping
the mind which seems to be our only security; dropping the mind which seems to be our
only certainty; dropping the mind which seems to be our only capacity. And then trusting
the no-mind -- call it God; trusting existence, not trusting oneself. Hasidism is a great
The third question:
Question 3
I can understand and appreciate your difficulty. I am talking about too many Masters and
too many paths and too many doors -- and it is natural that you may start getting
But you can get confused only if you cling to my words. If you don't cling to my words I
am saying the same thing again and again and again even though the words may be
different and I may be using different approaches. And when I use any approach, any
path, I am totally with it. Then I don't care about anything else. Even things that I have
said before, I don't care about.
When I am talking about Hasids, I am a Hasid.And then I am totally involved in it. That's
the only way to reveal its secret to you. If I remain uninvolved, if I remain without any
passion, if I am just a spectator, a professor, just explaining things to you, it won't give
you the insight that is Intended, it won't give you the vision. Then you will collect
information and you will go home -- you will become more knowledgeable, but not wise.
So whenever I am speaking about any Master or any path or any scripture, I am totally in
it, my involvement is absolute. In those moments nothing else exists for me because I am
in a passion, I am passionately in love with that teaching.
Of course, I can understand your difficulty, because when I say passionately that
Hasidism is the way, you become disturbed because one day I was saying Tantra is the
way, another day I was saying Zen is the way, and another day I was saying Tao is the
way. So now what is the way?
When I am talking about one way, I am that way. Don't cling to my words, listen to the
wordless message. And if it hits your heart, if it sings in your heart, then you have found
your way. Then forget everything I have said before or whatsoever I am going to say in
future. Then you need not worry. You have found your key. Now you can open the lock.
I will go on talking because I am talking for millions. When you have found your key,
enjoy whatsoever I say but don't again and again get disturbed by it. You have found your
key, now I must talk for somebody else who has not yet found his key. When you have
found your peace, your silence, your bliss, you have got what you were needing, but there
are many others who have not got it. I will be talking for them and I will be using all the
For example, when I am talking on Hasidism it may hit your heart deeply and your love
may arise for this path. My passion may inflame you. That's why I speak with passion. If
I speak with indifference as professors do.... I am not a professor. When I am speaking on
Hasidism I am a Hasid rabbi. It is my path then that I am talking about. It is not
somebody else's path that I am describing to you, it is my path that I have travelled, that J
have loved, that I have known, that I have tasted. I am talking about my own experience,
and if it hits and something clicks in your heart and prayer becomes your path, then
forget whatsoever I am saying, then you need not reconsider again and again.
If it has not happened then you have to consider. If it has not happened then don't worry
about it, forget all about it, I will be talking about something else, I will be opening
another door. Maybe that is the door for you. But when you have found the door then
don't be worried about other doors that I will be opening because all the doors lead to the
same. Don't you be worried that you should enter THIS door -- maybe Osho is going to
open another bigger and golden door. But they are all the same.
And the door that you have fallen in love with is the golden door for you. Now there is no
other door if you have fallen in love with this door. And you will find others entering
from other doors but when you reach to the very centre of existence, you will all be
meeting there in tremendous love and brotherhood. Somebody will be a Hasid and
somebody will be a Zen monk and somebody will be a Tibetan lama and somebody will
be a Sufi and somebody has come through sitting silently and somebody has come
dancing -- but in deep brotherhood at the centre all seekers meet.
I know it is very difficult. If you start choosing two Masters you will be in conflict. Never
choose two Masters -- one is enough, more than enough.
When Mulla Nasrudin was dying he called his son, told him to come close and said to
him, 'My son, I have one thing to say to you -- even though I know you will not listen,
because I didn't listen to my own father when he was dying. He told me, "Nasrudin, don't
chase women too much." But I could not resist; the temptation was too much. And I got
involved with one woman, another woman....' He married nine women -- the maximum
that the Koran permits.
And he said, 'I have created a hell. I suffered much. I know you don't listen but still I am
saying it, because now I am departing and there will be no chance to say it to you. I know
you will fall in love with women but at least remember one thing from your old man: My
son, one at a time, one at a time. At least do that much.'
One at a time. If you fall in love with two women at a time, what does it show? It shows
you have a split personality. You are schizophrenic, you are not one, you are two. If you
fall in love with three women at a time then you are three. And there are people who fall
in love with any woman they see. Whosoever is passing, suddenly they are in love. Every
woman is their love object. They are a crowd. You can count how many persons live in
you by counting how many women you fall in love with simultaneously. That's a very
beautiful way to measure how many persons live in you, a very easy criterion.
But to fall in love with one woman makes you a unity, gives you a unison, you become
total. You become sane because then there is no conflict.
I have heard.
The bride and bridegroom stepped into the hotel elevator and the pretty girl operator said,
'Hello, darling' to the bridegroom. Not another word was spoken until the couple alighted
at their floor, when the bride exclaimed, 'Who was that hussy?' 'Now, don't you begin
anything,' said the bridegroom quite worriedly. 'I'm going to have enough trouble on my
hands explaining you to her tomorrow.'
Even to fall in love with two women is dangerous -- but to fall in love with two Masters
is a million-fold more dangerous. Because the love of the woman may be only of the
body, so the spirit goes only that far. Or at the most, the love of the woman may be of the
mind, and the spirit goes only that far. But the love of the Master is of the soul and if you
fall in love with two Masters your soul will be dividing, you will be totally disintegrated
you will start falling in parts, you will not be able to remain together. You will simply
lose all shape and all form, all integrity. And the whole point in being with a Master is to
attain to integration.
Once you fall in love with a Master, remain. I am not saying that even when you are
disillusioned remain with him. When you are disillusioned, he is no more your Master.
Then there is no point in remaining with him. Then seek another.
But never be with two Masters in your mind simultaneously. Be decisive about it --
because this decision is no ordinary decision, it is very momentous. It will decide your
whole being: its quality, its future.
The third question:
Question 4
That's true. My whole effort is to trick you in; to trick you in for something you have
never desired.
A disciple and the Master are in a great conflict; a great struggle goes on. And the
disciple can win only if he is unfortunate. If the Master wins it the disciple is blessed,
very fortunate. The struggle is because the disciple has come to the Master for wrong
reasons -- maybe he has come to seek some sort of spiritual ego. He has failed in life;
money, power, prestige, respectability, success in the marketplace, ambitions in the
political world -- he has failed there. He could not attain to the very peak of his egoistic
journey; he could not become a president or a prime minister -- now life is running out of
his hands and he wants to be somebody. It is very, very uncomfortable to remain a
Finally people start seeking and searching into the dimension of religion. There it seems
easier. There it seems easier to attain to a certain ego, a certain crystallisation of the ego.
At least you can become a Rajneesh sannyasin -- so simple. And you can feel great. You
can feel that you have become special.
The so-called religious people are trying to attain something which they have not been
able to attain in the world -- sometimes they try by austerities, asceticism. Somebody
fasts for days together, he becomes special -- nobody can fast that much. He may be a
masochist, he may be a self torturer -- he has to be. Or he may be suicidal. He has to be.
But he starts getting respect from people -- he is a great mahatma. He fasts so much; he is
against the body, he is against comfort. He can lie down on a bed of thorns, or he can
stand for years.
Or he can sit on a pillar in the desert for years -- just sitting there on a pillar. Very
uncomfortable. He cannot sleep, he cannot rest -- but then he attracts people. Suddenly he
has become very important. Even those prime ministers and presidents that he wanted to
become and failed to, start coming to him because they think that if such a great ascetic
can bless them, they can rise more in the world of power. He feels very gratified,
contented. Now the ego is at the supermost. Even kings and prime ministers and
presidents are coming to him.
The disciple comes for wrong reasons. Or a disciple comes to attain a certain sort of
peace because he is in much turmoil. Why does he want to attain to peace? He wants to
attain to peace so that he can work out his ambitions in a better way.
Just the other day I was looking at an advertisement of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's
Transcendental Meditation. It promises everything: a good job, proficiency in your work,
health, mental health, physical health, longevity; everything that a man can desire, it
promises. It is a long list. Economic, spiritual, social, physical, psychological -- all these
benefits -- just for sitting for twenty minutes and repeating something stupid. Coca-cola,
coca-cola -- or something like that.
So simple! That's why it is said that you should not tell your mantra to anybody --
otherwise they will laugh! It has to be kept private. If you say to somebody that I repeat
coca-cola, coca-cola, they will think you have gone mad. So a mantra has to be kept
absolutely private. You will keep it private anyway because it will look so absurd to tell it
to anybody.
Just twenty minutes repeating any nonsense word and you get so many benefits? It
appeals to the mediocre mind immediately. This Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's meditation is
neither meditation nor transcendental; it is simply an effort to exploit the gullible, to
exploit the people who are searching and seeking for everything, searching for a panacea,
searching for a remedy.
When you come to a real Master he says there is no remedy, he says there is no panacea.
And he does not say that he will make you peaceful and healthy and this and that and
then you can go into the world and rush after your ambition in a more efficient way. No,
he will say you are disturbed, you are in a turmoil BECAUSE of the ambition. Drop the
ambition. A real Master can only promise you that he will take away your ambition, he
will take away your ego. He can only promise that he will kill you. You have come to be
protected, you have come to attain to some security, you have come to find some props --
but a real Master is one who takes your props, prop by prop, away from you. One day
you simply collapse. And in that very collapse, out of the ashes, arises a new being. That
new being has nothing to do with you. That new being is so new it is discontinuous with
you. It has no past, it has no future, it has only a pure presence, herenow.
The question is from Krishna Radha. She is right. YOU ARE REALLY
MISCHIEVOUS. I am. So beware of me. And if you can escape in time, good. Otherwise
how long can you cling in the porch? If you have entered the porch it is not very far from
the house.
And the porch is also imaginary because the house has no floor, no roof, no wall -- how
can such a house have a porch? Just think about it. The porch is just imaginary.
I help you to see the porch so you can at least enter the porch -- then the journey becomes
easier. I sometimes promise you things which you ask for, simply to help you to be here a
little longer. Your very understanding will tell you by and by that you were asking for
foolish things. And then one day suddenly you will find that the porch has disappeared
and, of course, that the house had never existed.
But the house that has no walls to it and no roof and no floor is the house of God --
because the very sky is its roof and the very earth is its floor and the no-boundaries are its
Yes, I am not taking you into any house which has boundaries because then that house
will prove again another imprisonment, it will be another prison. Maybe a little more
comfortable, a little more decorated, maybe furnished in a little more modern way and a
modern style, but still a prison.
My house is a house of freedom. It is exactly what Radha says -- YOUR HOUSE HAS
GRABBING A PILLAR. Look again. The pillar exists not. Because you want to grab,
you believe in the pillar. Look again. Open your eyes. There is no pillar and there is no
point in grabbing. Relax. Let go. And suddenly you disappear and you become the
infinity, you become the space. That is what God is -- space, no boundaries.
My house is the house of God, it is not a man-made temple.
I have heard an anecdote.
Two office workers had a drink or two at a midtown bar after the labours of the day. One
offered a third round, but his friend refused, saying he'd better get home and explain to
his wife. 'Explain what?' asked the friend. 'How do I know? I'm not home yet.'
Don't go on standing in the porch. You will not know by standing in the porch. Come
home. disappear in this infinity that I am making available to you. Only then will you
know. And there is no need for any explanation then, no need for any theory then, no
need for any rationalisation then -- because the experience itself is self-evident proof.
You have lived in small houses and small dark cells up to now and you cannot believe
that one can live in such absolute freedom. You have lost the capacity to be free.
That capacity has to be relearned, that capacity has to be reclaimed. I am not here to
discipline you, I am not here to give you principles -- my whole effort is to give you an
unprincipled Life, a spontaneous, undisciplined life. The only gift that I can present to
you is freedom. And freedom has no walls to it, it is as infinite as the sky. Claim the
whole sky -- it is yours.
The fifth question:
Question 5
I don't see any intelligentsia here -- except blessed fools.
Maybe the questioner can be excluded -- Pundit Swami Yoga Chinmaya. He can be
excluded. But otherwise I don't see any intelligentsia here.
There is a very strange saying of Mohammed -- that heaven is mostly occupied by fools.
When J came across it even I was surprised. I had never expected Mohammed to be so
revolutionary. A tremendous saying! What does he mean by it -- that heaven is mostly
occupied by fools'? But by and by, looking at you, I felt that he was right! Here also it is
mostly occupied by fools.
Let me explain to you how many types of fools there are. The first: one who knows not,
and knows not that he knows not. The simple fool. Then the second: one who knows not
but knows that he knows. The complex fool, the learned fool. And the third: one who
knows that he knows not -- the blessed fool.
Everybody is born as a simple fool -- that is the meaning of 'simpleton'. Every child is a
simple fool. He knows not that he knows not. He has not yet become aware of the
possibility of knowing -- that is the Christian parable of Adam and Eve.
God said to them, 'Don't eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge.' Before that accident of
eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge, they were simple fools. They knew nothing. Of
course, they were tremendously happy, because when you know not, it is difficult to be
unhappy. Unhappiness needs a little training; unhappiness needs a little efficiency to
create it; unhappiness needs a little technology. You can not create hell without
knowledge. How can you create hell without knowledge?
Adam and Eve were like small children. Every time a child is born an Adam is born. And
he lives for a few years -- at the most four years, that time is becoming less and less every
day. He lives in paradise because he knows not how to create misery. He trusts life; he
enjoys small things -- pebbles on the shore, or seashells. He gathers them as if he has
found a treasure. Ordinary coloured stones look like KOHINOORS. Everything
fascinates him -- the dew-drops in the morning sun, the stars in the night, the moon, the
flowers, the butterflies -- everything is a sheer fascination.
But then by and by he starts knowing: a butterfly is just a butterfly. a flower is just a
flower. There is nothing much in it. He starts knowing the names: this is a rose, and that
is a champa and that is a chameli and this is a lotus. And by and by those names become
barriers. The more he knows, the more he is cut off from life as such. He becomes
'heady'. Now he lives through the head, not through his totality. That is the meaning of
the fall. He has eaten of the tree of knowledge. Every child has to eat of the tree of
Every child is so simple that he has to become complex -- that is part of the growth. So
every child moves from simple foolishness towards complex foolishness. There are
different degrees of complex foolishness -- a few people only matriculate, a few people
become graduates, a few become post-graduates, a few become doctors and Ph.D's --
there are degrees. But every child has to taste something of knowledge because the
temptation to know is great. Anything that is standing there unknown becomes
dangerous, a danger. It has to be known because with knowledge we will be able to cope
with it. Without knowledge how are we going to cope with it? So every child is bound to
become knowledgeable.
So the first type of fool necessarily, out of necessity, has to become the second type of
fool. But from the second the third may happen or may not happen, there is no necessity.
The third is possible only when the second type of foolishness has become a great burden
-- one has carried knowledge too much, to the extreme; one has become lust the head and
has lost all sensitivity, all awareness. all living; one has become just theories and
scriptures and dogmas and words and words whirling around in the mind. One day, if the
person is aware, he has to drop all that. Then he becomes the third type of fool -- the
blessed fool.
Then he attains to a second childhood; again he is a child. Remember Jesus saying, 'In
my kingdom of God only those who are like small children will be welcomed.' But
remember, he says LIKE small children, he does not say small children. Small children
cannot enter; they have to enter the ways of the world, they have to be poisoned in the
world and then they have to clean themselves. That experience is a must.
So he does not say 'small children' he says those who are like small children. That word
'like' is very significant. It means those who are not children and yet are like children.
Children are saints but their sainthood is only because they have not yet experienced the
temptations of sin. Their saintliness is very simple. It has not much worth in it because
they have not earned it, they have not worked for it, they have not yet been tempted
against it. The temptations are coming sooner or later. A thousand and one temptations
will be there and the child will be pulled in many directions. I am not saying that he
should not go in those directions. If he inhibits himself, represses himself from going he
will remain always the first type of fool. He will not become part of Jesus' kingdom, he
will not be able to fill Mohammed's paradise -- no. He will simply remain ignorant. His
ignorance will be nothing but a repression, it will not be an unburdening.
First he has to attain to knowledge, first he has to sin, and only after sin and knowledge
and disobeying God and going into the wildness of the world, going astray, living his
own life of the ego, will he become capable one day to drop it all.
Not everybody will drop it all. All children move from the first foolishness to the second,
but from the second only a few blessed ones move to the third -- hence they are called
blessed fools.
The blessed fool is the greatest possibility of understanding because he has come to know
that knowledge is futile, he has come to know that all knowledge is a barrier to knowing.
Knowledge is a barrier to knowing so he drops knowledge and becomes a pure knower.
He simply attains to clarity of vision. His eyes are empty of theories and thoughts. His
mind is no Longer a mind; his mind is just intelligence, pure intelligence. His mind is no
longer cluttered with junk, his mind is no longer cluttered with borrowed knowledge. He
is simply aware. He is a flame of awareness.
Tertullian has divided knowledge into two categories: one he calls ignorant knowledge --
that is the second fool, the ignorant knowledge. The pundit knows and yet does not know,
because he has not known it as his own experience. He has listened, memorised; he is a
parrot, a computer at the most.
Just yesterday I received a letter from a sannyasin, Ninad, from America. He says, 'Osho,
I am very happy. And in the office where I work the computer every morning welcomes
me. The computer says, 'Swamaji, Namaste."' Now he is very happy. And he knows well
it is a computer which is saying, 'Swamaji, Namaste.' There is nobody. But even the word
makes him happy. He knows it is just a machine -- there is nobody, there is no heart in it.
Nobody is saying it.
When a pundit says something he is a computer. He says, 'Swamaji, Namaste.' It is
parrot-like. Tertullian says this is the knowledge which is really not knowledge, but
ignorance in the garb of knowledge, ignorance in the disguise of knowledge. It is a fall, a
fall from the childhood innocence. It is a corruption. It is a corrupt state of mind.
Cunning, clever, but corrupt.
Then, Tertullian says, there is another type of knowledge WhiCh he calls 'knowing
ignorance'. This is when a person drops all knowledge, theories, looks directly, looks into
life as it is, has no ideas about it, allows reality as it is, encounters reality immediately,
directly, with no knowledge about it, faces and encounters reality, allows that which is to
have its flowering. He simply listens to reality, looks into reality -- and he says, 'I don't
know.' He is the child Jesus talks about -- he is not really a child, he is like a child.
And I say, 'Yes, blessed are the fools because they shall inherit all the blessings of God.'
From the first, the second is automatic; from the second, the third is not automatic. From
the second to the third the leap has to be a decision -- that's what sannyas is. You decide
that you have had enough of knowledge; now you would like to be ignorant again, you
would like to be a child again, reborn. I am a midwife here. I can help you to become
And remember, unless you have attained to the third, your whole life is a sheer wastage.
Adam disobeyed God. Every Adam has to disobey. Adam fell from grace. Every Adam
has to fall. Adam ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Every Adam has to become
knowledgeable, it is a natural process. I have come across thousands of parables but
nothing to compare with this parable of Adam's fall. It is the most pregnant parable ever.
That's why I come to it again and again with new meanings, it goes on revealing new
And when Adam turned into Christ he became the third type of fool. Christ is the third
type of fool -- the blessed fool. What Adam did, Christ undid. Christ returns back in
tremendous obedience, innocence.
The rabbis, the Jewish religious people, the priests of the temple of Jerusalem, they were
learned fools. They could not tolerate Jesus. The learned fools are always disturbed by
the blessed fools. They had to murder him because his very presence was uncomfortable;
his very presence was such a pinnacle of peace, love, compassion and light, that all the
learned fools became aware that their whole being was at stake. If this man lived then
they were fools, and the only way to get rid of this man was to destroy him so they could.
again become the learned people of the race.
Socrates was killed by knowledgeable people; Mansoor was killed by other
knowledgeable people. There has always been a great conflict whenever the third type of
fool arises in the world. All the pundits gather together; their whole business is at stake.
All that they know, this man says is foolish. And they also know deep in their hearts that
it is foolish because it has done nothing for them. No bliss. no benediction has come out
of it. They are as they always have been -- their knowledge has not touched their hearts,
has not become a transformation at all. They know it deep in their hearts, that's why they
become even more uncomfortable. They want to destroy such men because with the very
possibility of such a man they are nobodies. Without Jesus they were the great priests of
the temple; with Jesus suddenly they were nobodies. In the presence of Jesus there was
God himself and all the priests felt their glory had been taken away.
From the second to the third only very courageous people take the jump. It is a quantum
leap. Religion is only for the very courageous, in fact, for dare-devils. It is not for
A few anecdotes....
The elderly man who liked his drink, but was also learned and bookish, was hauled
before the bar of justice in a country town. 'You're charged with being drunk and
disorderly,' snapped the judge. 'Have you any reason why sentence should not be
pronounced?' 'Man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn,' began the
prisoner in a flight of oratory. 'I am not so debased as Poe, so profligate as Byron, so
ungrateful as Keats, so intemperate as Burns, so timid as Tennyson, so vulgar as
Shakespeare, so....' 'That'll do,' interrupted the judge. 'Ninety days -- and, officer, take
down those names he mentioned and round up those guys also. They're as bad as he is.'
Now the judge is the first type of fool and the judged is the second type of fool. And the
earth is mostly inhabited by these two types of fools. The third type -- a Jesus, a Buddha -
- rarely happens.
The Indian term for fool IS BUDDHU -- it comes from Buddha. When Buddha
renounced his kingdom and many, many people started following him, the whole country
was in a turmoil. People started saying to others, 'Don't be a BUDDHU, don't be a fool,
don't follow this man.' People started calling those who followed Buddha, BUDDHUS.
He is a BUDDHU, he is a fool, because he renounced the kingdom. Who else would
renounce a kingdom? People hanker, desire, dream for the kingdom, and he has
renounced it -- he must be a fool.
The third type is a very rare phenomenon. But it happens. And if you are courageous
enough you can take the jump.
The second anecdote.
When somebody tells me that he did the best he could and I figure that it was not good
enough, I put this fellow in the same class as the motorcycle cop who stopped a motorist
and started to write a ticket. 'Officer,' this motorist protested with great indignation, 'I
was not speeding! You are permitted to go fifty miles an hour, and I was only going
forty.' 'I know that,' the motorcycle cop answered defensively, 'but I can't catch up with
the really fast ones.'
The third fool is very fast. Where angels fear to tread, there too he goes unheeded. The
third fool is very fast, that's why I call h is leap the quantum leap. The third fool rushes
out of sheer courage and energy. The second fool is not so courageous. He goes on
collecting pieces from here and there. He does not have that much courage or that great a
speed. He borrows knowledge -- rather than knowing it himself, he borrows knowledge.
That way it is cheaper and he can purchase it wholesale.
If you want to know reality directly, it is very arduous. It asks for total sacrifice. The
second fool only tries up to a certain limit. The limit is: if he can get knowledge cheaply
he is ready, but if there is anything to be put at stake then he recoils back.
Be courageous. Unless you have infinite courage you will not be able to become the third
type, the blessed fool.
And the last anecdote.
Ordinarily nobody remains in the first state, that is only a theoretical state. Everybody has
to pass out of it, more or less -- the difference is of degrees, of quantity but not quality.
So people are almost always found in the second category. From the second to the third,
wherever you are, remember this rule....
Don't have a closed mind. Be like the old maid who caught a burglar in her room. He
pleaded with her, 'Please, lady, let me go. I ain't never did anything wrong.'
The old maid answered him, 'Well, it is never too late to learn.'
And that's what I would like to say to you. If you are in the second category' if you think
you are the intelligentsia, then it is never too late to learn. Knowledge you have enough,
now learn knowing. Knowledge clutters the mind as dust gathers on the mirror.
Knowledge is not knowing -- knowing has a totally different quality and flavour to it. It
has the flavour of learning.
Let me tell you the distinction. Knowledge means that you go on gathering information,
experience, categorising, memorising, learning means you don't gather anything, you
simply remain available to what is happening or is going to happen. Learning is a state of
open mind. The more you know, the more you become closed because then you cannot
avoid the knowledge that you have, it always comes in-between.
If you are listening to me and you are a knowledgeable man, a pundit, then you cannot
listen to me directly simply. You cannot listen to me. While I am speaking, deep inside
you are judging, evaluating, criticising -- there is no dialogue, there is a debate. You may
look silent but you are not silent, your knowledge goes on revolving. It destroys
everything that I am saying. It distorts. And whatsoever reaches you is not the real thing,
whatsoever reaches you is only that which your knowledge allows to reach to you.
A learning mind is one which listens attentively with no interference from the past, which
is just an opening, a mirror-like phenomenon, which simply reflects whatsoever is. If you
start learning, you will attain knowing. And knowing will help you to see that you don't
know at all. A person who has come to know reality becomes aware of his ignorance --
he knows that he knows not. In this knowing, ignorance is the mutation, the
transfiguration, the revolution.
So take a jump from the second state of foolishness to the third state of being a blessed
fool. All my blessings are for those who are blessed fools.
The Art of Dying
Chapter #5
Chapter title: Peasant Wisdom
15 October 1976 am in Buddha Hall
Archive code:
Video: No
93 mins
CONSCIOUSNESS has two dimensions: one is that of having and the other is that of
being. And there are only two categories of human beings: one who is struggling hard to
have more and more, and one who has understood the futility of it and has changed their
life into the other direction, the direction of being. These people are trying to know who
they are.
In the world of having you only believe that you have something, but really you don't
have anything. You come alone empty-handed and you go alone empty-handed. And all
that happens in-between is almost like a dream. It appears to be true, while it is there it
appears to be real, but once it is gone then you understand that nothing was really
happening. The reality has remained untouched by your dreaming. The world of having is
nothing but a world of dreaming.
The religious person is one who has become aware of the futility of it all. You cannot
have anything except yourself. And all that you have, except yourself, is a deception. It is
an illusion. And, in fact, that which you have possesses you more than you possess it. The
possessor finally becomes the possessed. You-think you have so many things -- riches,
power, money -- but deep down you are being possessed by those same things, you are
being encaged, enchained, imprisoned by those same things.
Look at the rich people. They don't possess riches -- they are as poor as any other poor
man in the world, they are as beggarly as any other beggar. In fact, whatsoever they
possess possesses them. They are burdened by it.
So the first thing to be understood is that these are the two doors: having, being. If you
are still lost in the dream of having, you are in the world. You may be sitting in a cave in
the Himalayas, that makes no difference -- the world is still there because the world is in
the very desire to possess. And nobody has ever possessed anything.
Only one thing can be possessed and that you already have with you -- your own self,
your own consciousness. But to have that being one has to work hard. You cannot get to
it easily. First you will have to detach yourself from the world of having. That will be
almost like a death because that's where you have got identified -- you are your car, your
house; you are your bank balance. And when you start awakening out of this dream you
start feeling as if you are disappearing because all your old identities start disappearing.
One identity disappears, one part of you disappears. There is emptiness left behind.
When all your identities disappear -- and simply you are left, there is only pure space --
as pure as life, as pure as death. Nothing else is there. That is your being. Only that being
can be possessed because it is already there. You can possess only that which is already
there, you cannot possess anything else. All desiring is desiring for the futile. It leads
only into frustration.
Ordinarily, even when people become religious, they go on thinking in terms of having --
possessing heaven or possessing the pleasures of heaven -- but still they go on thinking in
terms of having. Their heaven is nothing but their projected desire of having everything.
All that they have missed here they would like to have in the after-life. But it is the same
The really religious person is one who has become aware of the futility of desiring, of the
impossibility of having anything here in this world or thereafter in the other world. You
can only possess yourself. You can only be the master of your own being. If you are not
trying for that.... It is hard work, there is no shortcut to it; notwithstanding what Timothy
Leary says, there is no shortcut to it. Acid, drugs, are not going to help you there. That is
very cheap, it is very cunning. It is a chemical deception. You want to get into the world
of your innermost being without any effort. It is a dishonesty. Without earning it you
want to possess it.
When a Mahavira possesses it he has worked hard for it; when a Baal-Shem possesses it
he has worked hard for it. He has sacrificed his whole being for it. His whole being has
become just a prayer, a devotion, a sacrifice to the divine. He is not there, he has simply
offered himself totally. Then he possesses. Or a Kabir or a Zarathustra...they have all
worked the hard way. The hard way is the only way. There exists no shortcut.
But man has tried to invent shortcuts always, in many ways. The drug trip is the latest
invention of the cunningness of the human m ind. Just by taking a tablet or injecting a
certain chemical into your body you think you can become a Buddha, you think you can
attain to that total possession of your being. You will simply become a slave of-the
chemical, not the master of your being. Now there will arise a craving for the chemical --
more and more, again and again. Bigger and bigger quantities will be needed. Soon you
will be a wreck, soon you will be a wasteland, soon you will be deserted by all that is
beautiful and true and all that is divine. But the lure is there. The human mind thinks it
can find some shortcuts.
You may all remember certain dreams. I n dreams, if you are travelling in the train, you
skip many stations. You are\\in London and then suddenly you are in Tokyo -- you skip
the whole journey. The unconscious continually craves for shortcuts. In dreams it is okay
but in real life it is not possible -- you cannot skip any stage and you cannot skip any
station on the way. Howsoever fast you go, there is no way to skip anything.Faster or
slower, it eventually does not make any difference. But you have to go all the way and
you have to go the hard way.
Acid and drugs have always lured man. It is nothing new. It is as old as man himself -- in
the Vedas they used to have SOMA. In India they have continued to use drugs down the
centuries -- charas and ganga and opium -- they have tried everything. Now the madness
is spreading all over the world. Now people are trying to find a shortcut -- a very easy
and cheap thing -- that you can possess, that you can just swallow. Samadhi cannot be
swallowed. And God is not a chemical phenomenon; you have to earn it, only then can
you have it.
Then there are others -- there are other methods also. It is not only drugs that are a
shortcut, there are other methods also. They all guarantee you that, with very little effort,
in fact with no effort at all, you can reach to the goal -- for example, just chanting a
mantra a few minutes every day. Chanting a mantra can only dull your mind; all
repetition dulls the mind, makes you silly and stupid. If you simply go on chanting a
mantra, it kills your sensitivity, it creates boredom, it brings a sort of slumber to your
consciousness -- you become more unconscious than conscious, you start slipping into
sleep. Mothers have known always that when a child is restless and cannot go to sleep
they must sing a lullaby. A lullaby is a mantra. The mother repeats something again and
again and again and the child feels bored. The constant repetition creates a monotonous
atmosphere. The child cannot escape anywhere -- the mother is sitting by the side of the
bed and repeating a lullaby. The child cannot escape; the child cannot say, 'Shut up!' He
has to listen. The only escape available is to go into sleep. So that he tries -- to avoid this
lullaby and to avoid this mother.
The mantra works in the same way: you start repeating a certain word and then you create
a monotonous state for yourself. All monotony is deadening; all monotony dulls you,
destroys your sharpness.
It has been tried in many ways. In the old monasteries all over the world -- Christian.
Hindu, Buddhist -- in all the monasteries they have tried the same trick on a bigger scale.
The life of a monastery is routine, absolutely fixed. Each morning you have to get up at
three o'clock or five o'clock, and then the same circle starts. Then you have to do the
same activity the whole day for your whole life. This is spreading a mantra all over your
whole life, making a routine.
By and by, doing the same thing again and again, a person becomes more like
somnambulist. Whether he is awake or asleep makes no difference, he can simply go on
making the empty gestures and empty movements. He loses all distinction between
sleeping and waking.
You can go to the old monasteries and watch monks walking in their sleep. They have
become robots. Between when they get up in the morning and when they go to sleep,
there is no distinction -- the territories are overlapping. And it is exactly the same every
day. In fact, the word 'monotonous' and the word 'monastery' come from the same root.
They both mean the same.
You can create such a monotonous life that intelligence is not needed. When intelligence
is not needed you become dull. And when you become dull, of course you start feeling a
certain sort of peace, a certain silence -- but it is not real, it is pseudo. The real silence is
very alive, throbbing. The real silence is positive; it has energy in it, it is intelligent,
aware, full of life and zest. It has enthusiasm in it.
The false silence, the pseudo silence, is simply dull. You can see it. If a stupid person is
sitting there -- an idiot, an imbecile -- you will feel a certain silence around him; it is the
same silence as you can feel near a cemetery. He has a space around him which is very
dull. He seems to be very indifferent to the world, not in contact at all, disconnected; he is
sitting there -- like a lump of mud. There is no vibration around him of any life, of any
energy; there is nothing streaming around him. This is not real silence. He is simply
When you come close to a Buddha, he is silent because of his intelligence, he is silent
because of his awareness, he is silent, not because he has forced himself to be silent, he is
silent simply because he has understood the pointlessness of being disturbed in any way.
He is silent because he has understood that there is no point in being worried and there is
no point in being tense. His silence is out of understanding. It is overflowing
understanding. When you come near a Buddha you will have a totally different fragrance
-- the fragrance of consciousness.
And not only will you feel a freshness, a breeze around him, you will feel that you have
also become more alive, aflame. Just by being close to him your own inner being is lit; a
lamp starts burning within you. When you are close to him, with just the very affinity, the
closeness, you suddenly feel you are no longer so depressed. His presence is pulling you
out of the mud in which you had established yourself perfectly. His very presence is
uplifting -- you will feel life, love, compassion, beauty, reality.
A person who goes on chanting a mantra and living a monotonous life of routine is dead;
he just goes into the gestures and motions because he has to. And he has done the same
things so many times that there is no need to be alert about it -- he can do it in his sleep.
He has become very efficient, but his efficiency simply means that he has become
mechanical. That's why he is silent. You will see this type of silence if you come across
people who practise Transcendental Meditation. They have stilled themselves by
repeating a certain mantra; they have forced their mind to keep quiet. But this is cheap
and you cannot get the real with such cheap measures.
The real becomes available only when you work for it with your totality.
But remember, I am not saying that the real becomes available by your work...there is a
paradox i n it. You have to work hard, you have to work in a total, passionate way and yet
you have to remember that it does not happen by your work alone. It happens by grace.
That is the message of Hasidism.
You work hard -- it never happens without you working hard, that is certain; it happens
only when you have worked hard, but that only creates the situation for it to happen. It is
not like cause and effect. It is not that you heat water to a hundred degrees and then it has
to evaporate -- it is not like that. It is not a natural law; it has nothing to do with the world
of gravitation. It is a second law, a totally different law -- the law of grace. You work
hard, you come to a hundred degrees, then you wait there -- throbbing, expectant, alive,
happy, celebrating, singing, dancing. You wait there at the hundred-degree point. It is a
must, you must come to the hundred-degree point -- but now you have to wait, you have
to wait patiently, lovingly. When the right moment comes, when your work is complete
and your waiting is also complete, then the grace descends. Or, you can say that the grace
ascends -- both mean the same because it comes from the deepest core of your being. It
looks like it is descending because you have not known your innermost core up to now. It
seems as if from somewhere above it is coming to you -- but it really comes from
somewhere within you. The within is also the beyond.
Hard work is needed to attain to grace but the real thing finally happens only because of
grace. This is a paradox. It is difficult to understand it. Because of this paradox millions
of people have lost their-way. There are a few who say -- and they are very logical, their
logic is impeccable -- there are a few who say that if it comes only by their effort then
why bother about grace and God? If it happens only by their effort, then okay, they will
make all the effort, they will make it happen. So they don't talk about grace or God. They
will miss, because it never happens only by your own effort.
Then there are people who say that if it happens only by grace and never happens by our
own effort, then why bother? We should wait -- and whenever God wills it, it is going to
They both miss. One misses because of egoism -- 'Only my effort is enough. Only I am
enough' -- the other misses because of laziness, lethargy. Both miss.
The one who arrives home has to follow the paradoxical path. This is the paradox: 'I have
to work hard, not only hard, I have to put myself totally at the stake -- only then will I
become capable of receiving grace. But it happens through grace. A moment comes when
I have done all that I can do and then I pray that now no more is possible from my side,
now something is needed from the other end, now you also do something.' And God
starts working on you only when you have done all that you could have done. If
something is still lacking and a part of your being is still not involved, then God cannot
come to your help. God helps only those who help themselves.
This is the paradox of the Hasid. He works hard and still he trusts that the ultimate
flowering is going to be only by His grace, by God's grace.
And it is beautiful. We are very small. Our effort cannot create much. Our fire is very
small -- by this fire alone we cannot set the whole existence aflame. We are just drops.
We cannot create oceans out of these drops. But if the drop can drop into a deep prayer,
the ocean becomes available. When the drop relaxes, it becomes capable of containing
oceans in itself. It is small if you look only at its periphery; it is tremendously vast if you
look at its centre.
Man is both, man is a paradox. He is the tiniest particle of consciousness, an atom, very
atomic, and yet he contains the vast. The whole sky is contained in him.
So first these two languages have to be understood: the language of having and the
language of being. And you have to change your gears from the language of having to the
language of being.
Let me tell you a few anecdotes.
A Japanese high official confronted his daughter, 'I have been told that you are going out
on dates with a foreigner. Furthermore, he is an American soldier, and what's more, he is
The girl shot back, 'What schmuck told you that?'
Now the word 'schmuck' tells everything. There is no need for anybody to say anything
The person who knows only the language of having has a totally different quality to his
being: the way he walks, the way he sits. the way he talks, the words that he uses, the
words that he avoids using, the people he mingles with and the people that he avoids, the
places that he visits and the places that he does not visit -- everything indicates
something. Even single, ordinary words indicate something. Even if he comes to a
Master, a man who is always trying to have more and more and more can be seen, by the
way he comes, by the desire With which he comes. Even if he surrenders, in his very
surrender you can find his language.
A man came to see me. By the way he came, I could see that he was absolutely
indifferent towards me. It was so clear, it was so loud. He was not flowing towards me,
he had no flow in his being; he was a stagnant pool of energy.
I was surprised. I wondered why he had come to me. And then he started talking about
God. The word 'God' was simply irrelevant on his tongue. It made no sense. He was
speaking some language which he did not know how to use. I was waiting, because there
must have been something else behind these words about Bod. He was saying, 'I want to
realise God and I want to realise myself.' But by the way he was saying it and by the way
he was expressing it, it was absolutely clear that he had not come for these things. Maybe
just to be polite towards me or just to start a dialogue, he was using these props.
And then by and by he said, 'I will come one day and become a sannyasin also.'
So I said, 'If you have come, and you are a seeker, and you want to realise God, then why
waste any more time? As it is, you have wasted enough already.' He must have been
almost sixty-five. He said, 'That's right. But right now I am contesting the election.' There
was a by-election going on. 'So I have come for your blessings.' I said, 'Then why did you
waste so much time talking about God, talking about the soul, talking about meditation?'
Indians are very proficient about such things -- just by tradition they have learned these
words. These words are in the air, they have caught them. They don't have any roots in
their being, they just float in their heads. These words exist in them without any roots,
and unrelated to them.
I said, 'Why did you waste so much time talking about God and the soul? You should
have said the real thing in the beginning.' He was a little embarrassed. And I told him,
'From the very beginning I was wondering why you have come to me -- because you
were coming towards me and yet you were not coming towards me. Your language was
clear and loud. You were sitting here and yet you were not sitting here and I could see
that your presence was false, only physical. And I could see the politician in you; in fact,
you were talking about God as a political strategy. It was your politics.'
There are those people who say, 'Honesty is the best policy.' Even honesty they have
made into a policy. Policy means politics. 'It pays to be honest,' they say. So honesty is
also a useful instrument to earn more money, to earn more prestige, to be more
respectable. But how can honesty be a policy? Just to say such things -- that honesty is
the best policy -- is to utter a profanity. It is almost saying that God is the best policy, or
that meditation is the best policy, or that love is the best policy.
If your language is of having, you can use God and meditation and things, but they will
be just garbs, masks, and something else will be hidden behind them.
'I'm afraid it's bad news,' said the doctor to the husband of a nagging wife. 'Your wife
has only a few hours left to live. I hope you understand there's nothing more to be done.
Don't let yourself suffer!' 'It's all right, Doc,' said the husband. 'I've suffered for years --
I can suffer a few more hours!'
People have different languages. Even if they use the same words they don't use them
with the same meaning. Listen to the meaning and never listen to the words. If you listen
to the words you will never understand people. Listen to the meaning -- the meaning is a
totally different thing.
The woman lion tamer had her beasts under perfect control. At her summons, the fiercest
lion came meekly to her and took a piece of sugar out of her mouth. The circus crowd
marvelled -- all except one man, Mulla Nasrudin. 'Anybody could do that,' he yelled
from the audience. 'Would you dare to do it?' the ringmaster yelled back scornfully.
'Certainly,' replied Nasrudin, 'I can do it just as well as the lion can.'
Whenever you are listening, listen to the meaning. Whenever you are listening to a
person, listen to his whole personality -- and you will immediately be able to see whether
the person lives in the dimension of having or in the dimension of being.
And that will be very helpful for your own inner growth and your own change of gears.
Just watch people. It is easier to watch people than to watch yourself, in the beginning,
because people are more objective, and there is a little distance between you and them.
And you can be more objective about people because you are not involved in them. Just
watch. Make it a point.
Buddha used to say to his disciples, 'Watch everybody passing by; coming and going in
the streets, watch people. See exactly what is happening -- Don't listen to their words
because they are very cunning, they have become very deceptive. When somebody is
saying something, listen to his face, to his eyes, to his being, to the gesture, and you will
be simply surprised how, up to now, you have lived only with words. A person may be
saying, 'I love you' and his eyes may be simply denying it. A person may be smiling with
his lips and his eyes may be ridiculing you, rejecting you. A person may be saying 'Hullo'
and holding your hand, and his whole being may be condemning you.
Listen to the language of the body, the language of the gesture -- the language behind the
language. Listen to that meaning.
And first become alert about it in others. Let everybody who comes to you be an
experiment of awareness. Then by and by you will become able to watch yourself. Then
turn your whole flood of life upon yourself; then use the same with yourself. When you
say to somebody 'I love you' listen to what you really are saying -- not these words.
Words are almost always fake.
Language is very tricky and can garb things so beautifully that the container becomes
very important and you lose sight of the content. People have become very sophisticated
as far as their surface is concerned but their innermost co-re remains almost primitive.
Listen to the centre of the circumference. Go into each word.
First others have to be watched, then watch yourself. And then by and by you will see
that there are a few moments when you also move into the dimension of being. These
moments are the moments of beauty, the moments of happiness. In fact, whenever you
see that you are feeling very happy, you have corrie in contact with the dimension of
being -- because there is no other happiness possible.
But if you don't observe it accurately, you may misunderstand it. You are sitting with a
woman you love, or with a man you love, or with a friend, and suddenly you feel a deep
well-being arising in you, a deep joy -- for no reason at all, for no visible cause. You are
just aglow. Then you start finding causes outside: you think maybe it is because the
woman is sitting by your side and she loves you so much. Or it is because you have met
the friend after so many years. Or it is because the full moon is so beautiful. You will
start finding causes.
But those who have become alert in listening to their heart, to their real meanings, will
not be looking for causes outside. They will look inside. They have come in contact with
their being. Maybe the woman you loved functioned as a situation, as a jumping-board,
and you jumped into yourself.
It is difficult to jump into yourself when there is some antagonism outside. You have to
be outside then. When somebody loves you, you can drop all defense measures, you can
drop all your strategies, you can drop your politics, you can drop your diplomacy. When
somebody loves you, you can be vulnerable; you can trust that he or she is not going to
take advantage of you, that you can be defenceless and you will not be killed and
crushed, that you can be defenceless and the presence of your friend will be soothing, it
will not be poisoning you. Whenever there is a situation where you can leave yourself
defenceless and you can drop your strategies and your armours, suddenly you are in
contact with your being -- you have moved from the dimension of having to the
dimension of being. Whenever it happens, there is happiness, there is joy, there is
rejoicing. Even if it is only for a split second, suddenly the doors of heaven are open. But
again and again you lose it because you are not aware. It happens only accidentally.
Remember, a religious person is one who has understood this accidental happening and
who has understood the innermost key of it. And now he does not move into his
dimension of being only accidentally, he has the key -- and whenever he wants to move,
he opens the door, he unlocks the door and goes into it.
This is the only difference. In ordinary happiness and the happiness of a religious person,
the only difference is this: that the religious person has become capable of moving any
time, any place, into his being. Now he knows the direct route and he does not depend on
outside props.
You depend too much on outside props. Sometimes you are in a beautiful house; it feels
good. You are travelling in a beautiful car -- the car is humming and everything is going
beautifully -- it feels good. In that feeling you start coming closer to your being. But you
misunderstand; you think it is because of this car so you have to possess this car. Maybe
the car functioned as a situation but the car is not the cause. Maybe a beautiful house
functioned as a situation but it is not the cause.
If you think it is the cause then you move into the world of having; then you must have
the most beautiful car -- you have to have it. Then you have to have the best house, you
have to have the best garden, you have to have the best woman and the best man. And
you go on collecting and collecting and collecting and one day suddenly you recognise or
realise that your whole life has been a wastage. You have collected much but you have
lost all sources of happiness. You got lost in collecting things. The basic logic was that
with whatever you felt good and happy, that thing had to be possessed.
Listen to me...that thing need not be possessed. You just watch what is happening inside
you and you can start having that happening without any outside help. That's what a
sannyasin does. It is not that you have to have all, that you have to possess all, but you
have to remain alert that you cannot possess ANYTHING in this world. All that you
possess can function only as a situation -- it is not the cause. The cause is inside. And you
can open the door without any outside prop, at any time, in any place, and you can go in
and you can rejoice.
You are no longer attached. You can use things, they are useful....I am not against things,
remember. Neither are the Hasids against things, remember. Use things but don't believe
that things can cause you happiness. Use things, they have a utility, but don't believe that
they are the goals. They are not the ends, they are only the means. The goal is within you,
and the goal is such that one can move directly into it without any outside help. Once you
know it, you become a master of your being.
This -- whatsoever I am saying -- has to be experienced by you. Just by my saying it and
just by your listening to it and understanding it intellectually, it is not going to help much.
Mulla Nasrudin refused the cow-puncher's command to drink, for three reasons. 'Name
them!' roared the terror of the town. 'First,' said the Mulla, 'it is prohibited in my
religion. Second, I promised my grandmother on her death-bed that I would handle not,
touch not, taste not, the accursed stuff.' 'And the other reason, the third?' insisted the
bully, somewhat softened. 'I have just had a drink,' said Nasrudin.
If you only listen to me, if you only understand me intellectually and never experiment in
your own inner lab of consciousness, whatsoever I am saying will remain just in your
head. It will never become a lived experience.And unless it becomes a lived experience it
is worthless knowledge, it is junk. Again you can start collecting knowledge, then again
you are into the same trip -- the dimension of having. And you can go on collecting as
much knowledge as is available. It is one of the misfortunes of modern man that so much
knowledge has become available. It was never so.
The thing that has proved the greatest calamity for modern man is the tremendous amount
of knowledge which has become available. It was never available before. A Hindu used
to live with Hindu scriptures; the Mohammedan used to live with Mohammedan
scriptures; the Christian used to live with the Bible -- and they were all secluded and
nobody went into the other's world of knowledge. Things were clearcut; there was no
Now everything is overlapping and a tremendous amount of new knowledge has become
available. We are living in a 'knowledge explosion'. In this explosion you can start
gathering information; you can become a great scholar very cheaply, very easily, but it is
not going to transform you at all.
Again, remember, knowledge belongs to the dimension of having; knowing belongs to
the dimension of being. They look alike but they are not. Not even are they not alike, they
are diametrically opposite to each other. A man who goes on collecting knowledge goes
on losing knowing. Knowing needs a mirror-like mind -- pure, uncorrupted. I am not
saying that knowledge is useless. If you have your knowing, clear, mirror-like, fresh, you
can use your knowledge in a tremendously useful way. It can become beneficial. But the
knowing has to be there in the first place.
Knowledge is very easy; knowing is very difficult. For knowing you have to pass through
many fires. For knowledge nothing is needed -- as you are you can go on adding more
and more knowledge to yourself.
A gay man-about-town, long on charm but short on cash, surprised his friends by his
sudden marriage to an extremely ugly woman whose only virtue was her well-padded
bankroll. After the marriage, his friends were doubly mystified by his insistence on
taking his wife everywhere with him. 'I can understand your marrying that painfully
ugly woman for her money,' one of his close friends remarked frankly, 'but why do you
have to bring her with you every time you go out?' 'It's simple,' the husband explained.
'It's easier than kissing her good-bye.'
It is easier to have knowledge, very cheap, costs nothing; it is very difficult, arduous, to
attain to knowing. That's why very few, very rare people try to meditate, very rare people
try to pray, very rare people ever make any effort towards knowing what truth is. And
whatsoever you have not known on your own is meaningless. You can never be certain
about it. The doubt never disappears; the doubt remains like a worm underneath,
sabotaging your knowledge. You can shout loudly that you believe in God but your
shouting does not prove anything. Your shouting only proves one thing: that there is
doubt. Only doubt shouts loudly. You can become a fanatic believer but your fanaticism
simply shows one thing: that there is doubt.
Only a man who has doubt within himself becomes a fanatic. A fanatic Hindu means one
who does not really trust that Hinduism is right. A fanatic Christian simply means one
who has doubts about Christianity. He becomes fanatic, aggressive -- not to prove
anything to others, he becomes fanatic and aggressive to prove to himself that whatsoever
he believes he really believes. He has to prove it.
When you really know something, you are not a fanatic at all. A man of knowing, one
who has come to know even glimpses of God. glimpses of his being, becomes very, very
soft, sensitive, fragile. He is not fanatic. He becomes feminine. He is not aggressive. He
becomes deeply compassionate. And, by knowing, he becomes very understanding of
others. He can understand even the diametrically opposite standpoint.
I have heard about a Hasid rabbi.
He was saying, 'Life is like a river.
A disciple asked, 'Why?'
The Rabbi said, 'How can I know? Am I a philosopher?'
Another day the rabbi was saying, 'Life is like a river.'
Another disciple asked, 'Why?'
And the rabbi said, 'Right you are. Why should it be?'
This is tremendous understanding. No fanaticism. A man of knowing attains to a sense of
humour. Let this always be remembered. If you see someone who has no sense of
humour, know well that that man has not known at all. If you come across a serious man,
then you can be certain that he is a pretender. Knowing brings sincerity but all
seriousness disappears. Knowing brings a playfulness; knowing brings a sense of
humour. The sense of humour is a must.
If you find a saint who has no sense of humour, then he is not a saint at all. Impossible.
His very seriousness says that he has not achieved. Once you have some inner
experiences of your own you become very playful, you become very innocent, childlike.
The man of knowledge is very serious. The man of knowledge always carries a serious,
gloomy atmosphere around him. Not only does he carry a serious atmosphere, he makes
anybody he comes into contact with, serious. He forces seriousness on them. In fact, deep
down, he is worried that he does not know anything. He cannot relax. His seriousness is a
tension. He is anguished. He knows that he knows only for its name's sake, he knows that
his knowledge is all fake -- so he cannot laugh at it.
Now listen to it.
The rabbi said, 'Life is like a river
And a disciple asked, 'Why?'
And the rabbi said, 'How can I know? Am I a philosopher?'
And another day the rabbi said again, 'Life is like a river.'
Another disciple asked, 'Why?'
And the rabbi said, 'Right you are. Why should it be?'
You see the non-seriousness? You see the tremendous sense of humour?
Hasidism has created a few of the greatest saints of the world. And my respect towards
them is immense because they are not serious people. They can joke and they can laugh -
- and they can laugh not only at others, they can laugh at themselves. That's the beauty. If
you go on collecting knowledge, you can have a great amount of knowledge but it is not
going to be of any help when the need arises. You can go on throwing it around and
showing and exhibiting it, but whenever the need arises and the house is on fire you will
suddenly see you have forgotten all that you knew -- because you never knew in the first
place. It was just in your memory.
Wherever there is an emergency situation...for example, when a person is dying. He will
forget all his knowledge. In that moment he will not remember that the soul is immortal.
That was advice for others. In that moment he will not remember that he is going back to
God -- and that one should go happily and dancing. In that moment he will start clinging,
to life; all his knowledge will be gone.
I used to know a very learned man, a very intellectual man, famous all over the country.
He was not only learned, he was a follower of J. Krishnamurti. He used to come to see
me sometimes and he would say that there is no need for any meditation -- Krishnamurti
says so.
I used to listen to him and laugh. He would ask me, 'Why do you laugh whenever I say
these things?' I told him again and again, 'I listen to YOU, I don't listen to what you say.
Your being gives me a totally different message. If there is really no need for meditation,
there is no need for scriptures, there is no need for any methods, there is no need even for
prayer -- and you have understood it, then this would have transformed you totally.' He
would answer seriously, 'That's right. I have understood intellectually but some day I will
understand it nonintellectually also. I have taken the first step, the second will be
Then one day his son came running to me to tell me, 'Father is very ill, it seems like a
heart attack and he remembers you.' So I rushed to him. He was lying on the bed
repeating Ram, Ram, Ram. I shook his head and I said, 'What are you doing? Your whole
life you said there is no meditation -- what are you doing repeating Ram, Ram, Ram...?'
He said, 'Now don't disturb me at this moment. Death is at the door. I am dying. Who
knows? Maybe God is. And who knows, maybe the people who have always said
remember his name and he will forgive you, are right. This is no time to create a debate
or an argument; let me repeat it.'
For forty years he had not said a single mantra, but now, suddenly, forty years of
knowledge is discarded. It is of no use -- in this dangerous situation when death is there,
he forgets Krishnamurti completely. He becomes again an ordinary Hindu. It was okay
for an ordinary Hindu villager to repeat Ram, Ram -- he can be forgiven -- but this man?
He had written books, he had lectured all over the country, he had helped many people to
drop their mantras and to drop their meditations and their scriptures. And now suddenly
he is repeating a mantra.
But he survived the heart attack and he came to see me after two or three months -- and
again he was back to his knowledge. I said, 'Now stop your foolishness. Death will come
again and you will repeat Ram, Ram, Ram. So what is the point of it all?'
A very rich old man had remained a bachelor. Now he was nearing seventy-five. Then
suddenly a friend, a married friend, convinced him that he should get married. 'You
should not miss this pleasure,' he said.
So he decided to get married. Because he had so much money he immediately found a
beautiful girl. Off they went on their honeymoon.
He took the married friend and his wife with him as guides in this new exploration. The
next morning they met in the motel at breakfast. The friend had given him every bit of
information about sex and how to make love and what to do and what not to do. 'What a
fantastic time I had last night,' said the married man. 'We went to bed last night. My wife
was eager, I was eager and we had a marvellous night of love. What about you, old man?'
'Oh, my God!' said the old rich man. 'I forgot clean about it!'
After a whole life of bachelorhood, even if somebody guides you, tells you things and
you memorise them, they don't have any deep contact with your being -- they simply
float above your head. They don't touch you.
The old man said, 'Oh my God! I forgot clean about it!' Seventy-five years of sleeping
alone creates a mechanical habit of its own.
If you go on accumulating knowledge, it creates a habit; it never gives you any
knowledge but it gives you a habit, a habit for accumulating more, a very dangerous
habit. Even if you come across a Buddha or a Jesus, you will miss, because there also you
will be accumulating. You will be taking notes inside the mind -- 'Yes, this is right,
worthy of being remembered.' Your accumulation will become bigger and bigger but you
will be just a dead museum, or, a museum of dead things.
And the more you are concerned with this 'having knowledge', the less will be the
possibility for the real knowledge to be there; the knowledge that comes by knowing
being, by BEING, will be missed.
Remember, the mind is nothing but that which you have collected up to now. The mind is
all that you have inside your being. Beyond the mind is your real being, beyond having is
your real being. Outside you have collected things; inside you have collected thoughts --
both are in the dimension of having.
When you are no longer attached to things and when you are no longer attached to
thoughts, suddenly -- the open sky, the open sky of being. And that's the only thing worth
having and the only thing that you can really have.
Now the story.
A tremendously significant saying. Maybe the peasant hasn't meant it in such a
significant way but the rabbi took it in that way. It was a precious stone. Out of that
ordinary peasant.... He may not have meant it the way the rabbi understood it -- you
understand only in the way that YOU can understand.
The old man must have meant it in the ordinary way. He was saying that in this life you
can have only that which you have worked for. There is no other way. One has to work
hard to have something.
That is the experience of an ordinary farmer. The farmer was not a king; a king can have
much that he has not earned by his own labour.
A very great, rich man was once asked by a poor man, 'What is the best way to get rich in
the world?'
The rich man said, 'The best way is to find the right parents.'
You can have much without ever having earned it if you were clever enough to find the
right womb. Very few people are that clever. They simply rush into any womb available!
You can rob, you can cheat, you can exploit...there are a thousand ways. But the farmer.
the peasant, really lived by his own earning. He was not a king, he was not a politician,
he was not a rich man -- whatsoever he earned, that's all he had.
The farmer must have said it in the very ordinary sense, but look at the beauty of it.
Whatsoever you hear, you hear from your dimension. The rabbi heard it in a totally
different way. It became a very illuminated saying in his being. It was a simple, ordinary
statement, but the rabbi was in a deep meditation, the rabbi was in his other dimension --
the dimension of being.
When you are in the dimension of being, small things, ordinary pebbles, become precious
stones. Ordinary things take on so much colour, become so colourful. Ordinary events
become so psychedelic...it depends on you, on your vision.
This is true. In the innermost world it is absolutely true -- although it may not be so true
in the outside world. In the outside world there are a thousand and one ways to be
dishonest, to cheat, to rob, to steal, to exploit. In fact, in the outside world the workers
don't have much, only the cheaters. The cunning people have much. Those who work
don't have much. Those who don't work, they have much.
But in the inside world the statement is absolutely true. You cannot have anything there
in your being that you have not earned. And it is earned the hard way; there are no
shortcuts. So don't try to cheat God.
A man who is deluded by having things, loses all opportunities of attaining to the state of
I have heard.
A husband took a shot at his mother-in-law, so she brought charges against him. 'You
were drinking,' said the judge, 'so I must tell you something. It was liquor that inflamed
you. It was liquor that made you hate your mother-in-law. It was liquor that got you to
buy the revolver to shoot her. It was liquor that made you go to your mother-in-law's
house, point the revolver, pull the trigger and fire. And note, it was liquor that made you
miss her!'
It is the same story, the same liquor. Throughout your whole life it is your ambition to
have that functions like the liquor. So watch it. Beware of it. That is the only illusion in
the world.
One day when you go, then you will realise -- but then it will be too late.
I have heard about a man.
He went to Florida with his wife, and became fascinated by the spectacle of eight horses
chasing each other around a track. He and his wife bet heavily, and after a few days they
had only two dollars left between them. But he was a hopeful type and he convinced his
wife that everything would be all right if she let him go out to the track alone.
A friend drove him out. There was a forty-to-one shot in the first race, and he decided to
bet on it. The horse came in.
In every race the man backed the long shot, and in every race he won. By the end of the
last race he had over ten thousand dollars, and he decided to press his lucky streak. On
the way back to the hotel he stopped off at a little gambling club and ran his stake up to
forty thousand on the roulette wheel. One more play, he decided, and he would leave. He
put the entire forty thousand on black.
The wheel spun. The croupier announced, 'Number fourteen, red.'
The man walked back to the hotel. His wife called him from the verandah. 'How did
you make out?' she asked eagerly.
The husband shrugged: 'I lost the two dollars.'
In the end, when death comes, the whole game of thousands and thousands of dollars,
achieving this, attaining that, becoming this, becoming that, the power, the prestige, the
money, the respectability -- nothing counts. Finally you have to say only, 'I have lost my
In running, rushing into the dimension of having, only one thing happens -- you lose your
being. Life is a great opportunity, a great opportunity. In fact, there are millions of
opportunities in it to attain to yourself, to know who you are. But that comes the hard
way. You have to work for it.
Don't try to borrow. Nothing can be borrowed in that inner world. And don't try to
become just knowledgeable. Attain to a clarity, attain to a vision where no thought exists
in your mind. This is the hardest thing in the world. To drop thoughts is the hardest thing
in the world, the greatest challenge. All other challenges are very small. This is the
greatest adventure that you can take and those who are courageous, they accept the
challenge and go into it.
The greatest challenge is how to drop the mind, because only when the mind ceases, the
God can be. Only when the known disappears, the unknown can be. Only when there is
no mind, no you, nothing of you left, suddenly there is that which you have been seeking
forever and forever. God is when you are not. This is the hardest thing to do.
The last anecdote.
Rabbi Grossman and Father O'Malley were seated beside each other at a banquet.
'Have some ham,' offered the priest. 'I'm afraid not,' answered the rabbi. 'C'mon, try
some,' the priest encouraged. 'It's real good!' 'Thanks, but I don't eat that kind of meat
because of my religion.' 'It's really delicious!' said Father O'Malley five minutes later.
'You oughta try this ham, you'd like it!' 'No thank you!' replied Rabbi Grossman.
After dinner, the two men shook hands. 'Tell me,' said the Jewish clergyman, 'do you
enjoy sex with your wife?' 'Oh, Rabbi, you should know I'm not allowed to be married,'
said the priest. 'I can't have sex!'
'You ought to try it,' said the rabbi. 'It's better than
That's all that I can say to you. You ought to try the state of no-mind, the state of being. It
is better than all the worlds put together.
The world of being is the only real world, the world of truth. And unless you have come
to it, you go on wandering in foreign lands. You can never come home. You come home
only when you have come into the innermost core of your being -- which is possible. It is
difficult, but not impossible; arduous, but not impossible. It is difficult certainly, but it
has happened. It has happened to me, it can happen to you.
But don't cling to cheap remedies. Don't try to cheat, chemically or otherwise. Don't try to
borrow knowledge. Don't go on accumulating.
It is already there, accumulations only hide it. It is already there. Once you stop
accumulating and you drop all the junk you have accumulated inside you -- that's what
your mind is, the junk. If you drop that junk, suddenly it is there in its absolute purity, in
its absolutely beauty, in its absolute benediction.
A wise man, the wonder of his age, taught his disciples from a seemingly inexhaustible
store of wisdom. He attributed all his knowledge to a thick tome that was kept in a place
of honour in his room.
The sage would allow nobody to open the volume.
When he died, those who had surrounded him, regarding themselves as heirs, ran to open
the book, anxious to possess what it contained.
They were surprised, confused and disappointed when they found that there was writing
on only one page.
They became even more bewildered, and then annoyed, when they tried to penetrate the
meaning of the phrase that met their eyes.
It was: 'When you realise the difference between the container and the content, you will
have knowledge.'
Let me repeat it: 'When you realise the difference between the container and the content,
you will have knowledge.'
The container is your consciousness, the content is your mind. The container is your
being, the content is all that you have accumulated. When you realise the distinction
between the content and the container between the mind and the being, you will have
knowledge. In a single split moment, when you remember and you recognise that you are
not the content, you are the container -- there is a mutation, there is a revolution. And that
is the only revolution there is.
The Art of Dying
Chapter #6
Chapter title: Why No Women?
16 October 1976 am in Buddha Hall
Archive code: 7610160
Video: No
74 mins
The first question:
Question 1
Pratima has asked the question. It is very relevant, and has to be understood. The first
thing to remember, to always remember, is never to judge the past by present standards.
That is not compassionate. For example, when Hasidism was arising, to allow women
into a religiously ecstatic dance would have been impossible. Not that Hasidic mystics
were not aware, not that they would not have liked to allow it -- they would have loved it
-- but it was impossible. Even Buddha was afraid to initiate women into his order.
What was the fear? Was he an orthodox person? No, you cannot find a more
revolutionary mind, but he insisted for many years on not allowing women into his order.
No, the reason is to be found somewhere else.
A religion has to exist in the society. If the society is too much against a certain thing,
even the founder has to make a few compromises. Otherwise the religion as such will not
exist at all. Society is not in a condition of perfection, society is not yet as it should be,
but a religion has to exist in this society, in the framework that this society allows it.
Revolutionaries try to go a little further than the boundary, but even they cannot go too
far. If they go too far they will be uprooted.
For example, I have no objection if you go naked when meditating. I have no objection.
In fact I will support it, because clothes are part of the repressive culture. I know it, but
still I have to insist on you not being naked in the meditations. Because that creates such
trouble that even meditation becomes impossible. That will be too much. To destroy the
whole possibility of meditation just for clothes or nudity would be foolish. It would have
been good if I had been able to allow you to be absolutely free -- free from clothes also.
But then society would not allow us to exist at all, and we have to exist in society. So we
have to choose the lesser evil.
Or, take the question of drugs. I am not in support of drugs, but I am not against them
either. I am not in support of Timothy Leary, I don't think that you can attain samadhi by
drugs -- about that I am absolutely certain. No one has ever attained samadhi by- drugs,
notwithstanding what Aldous Huxley and others say. It is too cheap, and through
chemicals there is no possibility to attain the ultimate. But I am aware that drugs can help
in a certain way. They can give you a glimpse; they cannot give you the reality, but they
can give you a glimpse of the reality, and that glimpse can become a breakthrough. That
glimpse can uproot you from your past and can send you on a search for the real. If you
have seen God, even in your dream, your whole life will be transformed. Of course, the
God in a dream is a dream, but the next morning you will start looking into the world --
where can you find this phenomenon that has happened in your dream?
Many people start their journey towards God, truth, samadhi, because they have had a
certain glimpse somewhere. Maybe through drugs, maybe through sexual orgasm, maybe
through music, or sometimes accidentally. Sometimes a person falls from a train, is hit on
the head and he has a glimpse. I'm not saying make a method of that! But I know this has
happened. A certain centre in the head is hit by accident and the person has a glimpse, an
explosion of light. Never again will he be the same; now he will start searching for it.
This is possible. The probable is no longer probable, it has become possible. Now he has
some inkling, some contact. He cannot rest now.
I am not for drugs, I am not against drugs. But still, in this community, in my commune,
drugs cannot be allowed. Politicians have never been very intelligent and one should not
expect too much from them. In fact, only stupid people become interested in politics. If
they were intelligent they would not be in politics at all.
So just for some ordinary, small thing the whole movement cannot be destroyed. That
would be foolish. After a hundred years my attitude that drugs cannot be allowed in the
Ashram will be thought anti-revolutionary. Naturally, I know it is anti-revolutionary. So
let it be here on the record.
The Hasidic Masters knew it well. It is inhuman, anti-revolutionary. not to allow women
to participate in ecstatic religious ceremonies, in ecstatic dances. But that society was
very much against it. Because of this the whole movement would have died. So they had
to prohibit it.
Buddhism died in India. Do you know why? It was because Buddha finally allowed
women into his order. He himself is reported to have said, 'My religion would have lived
at least five thousand years, but now it will not live more than five hundred, because I am
taking a very great risk.' Just allowing woman into his order was such a risk that Buddha
said, 'The life of my religion is reduced by four thousand, five hundred years -- at the
most it will last only five hundred years.' And it happened exactly that way. For only five
hundred years Buddhism lived, and that life was also not at the climax. not at the
optimum. Every day the life was slowing down, every day death was coming closer and
closer. What happened?
The society. Society has long been male-oriented. To allow women into a religious order
was to destroy the old hierarchy, the superiority of man. Even a man like Mahavir, a very
revolutionary man, is reported to have said that women cannot enter moksha directly as
women. First they will have to be born as men and then.... So no woman has entered into
the Jaina moksha, into nirvana, directly as a woman. First she has to change her body,
take a male shape and form, and then she can enter.
Why should Mahavir say this? Society, the politics of the country, the priests and the
politicians, they were too chauvinistic. Some compromise was needed, otherwise they
would not allow anything. Mahavir lived naked, but he himself did not allow any women
to go naked because the society was not ready to accept even him in his nudity. By and
by people accepted him, grudgingly, reluctantly, but to accept the idea that women could
go naked would have been too much.
And because Mahavir said, 'Unless you leave everything -- even clothes -- unless you are
as innocent as a child, as you were on the first day you were born, you cannot enter into
my kingdom of God,' he had to say that women Could not enter directly. If he had said
that women could enter directly then a few courageous women would have come forward
and would have thrown off their clothes also -- would have become naked. Just to avoid
nude women he had to make a very false statement, untrue. And I know he knew that it
was untrue -- I know because I make many untrue statements. But we have to exist in a
society, in a particular state, i n a particular confused state, in a particular neurotic state.
If you live with mad people you have to make a few compromises. If you live with mad
people at least you have to pretend that you are also mad.
Narendra is here. His father went mad thirty or forty years ago. He escaped from the
house. After a few months he was caught in Agra and put into jail with mad people all
around. There was a special jail in Lahore, only for mad people. He said that for nine
months everything went okay because he was also mad. After nine months, just by
accident he drank a whole jug of phenoil -- a mad man -- he found it in the bathroom and
he drank it. That gave him vomits, nausea, diarrhea. Because of that diarrhea he was
throwing things out for fifteen days continuously, and his madness disappeared then the
real problem began, because he was amongst mad people. Now for the first time he
became aware of where he was -- somebody was pulling his leg, somebody was hitting
him on his head, and people were talking and dancing. And he was no longer mad. Those
three months when he was not mad and was living with mad people, were the most
painful; they were deep anguish and anxiety. He couldn't sleep.
And he would go to the authorities and he would say, 'Now let me out because I am no
longer mad!' And they wouldn't listen because every mad person says that -- that he is no
longer mad. So that was not proof. He had to comploete his sentence of one year.
He told me that he could never forget those three months; they were a continuous
nightmare. But for nine months he was perfectly happy because he was also mad.
You cannot conceive of what happens to a person when he becomes a Buddha or a Baal-
Shem in a country, in a world, which is absolutely mad. He is no longer mad but he has to
follow your laws, otherwise you will kill him. He has to make compromises. Of course he
cannot hope that you will make compromises with him. You are not in a state in which
you can think. But he can think. Only the higher can make compromises with the lower,
only the greater can make compromises with the lower, only the wise person can make
compromises with stupid people.
So it happened that women have never been accepted. It is only just in this century, very
recently, that women are coming out of the dark night of the past history.
I have heard.
It happened that when Golda Meir was Prime Minister of Israel, Indira Gandhi, Prime
Minister of India, went to Israel. And when Indira Gandhi visited Israel she was
welcomed by Golda Meir.
After seeing all the historical sights, Mrs. Gandhi said, 'I would like to visit a synagogue.'
'By all means,' answered the Israeli Prime Minister.
Two weeks later, Mrs. Gandhi stood before her cabinet. 'What did you learn in Israel?'
asked one of the members. 'Many things,' answered the Indian Prime Minister. 'But
most of all I learned that in Israeli synagogues the men pray on the first floor and the
Prime Ministers worship in the balcony.'
Two women, but she thought that prime ministers worship in the balcony and men on the
Once a thing settles it is very difficult to change it, even for a prime minister. Even for a
prime minister it is difficult to change the traditional way.
The Hasids were a new way, but rather than destroying the whole movement they chose
to go with the society and its rules and its regulations. At least let the message reach to
men. If it cannot reach to women right now, later on it will -- but at least let the message
be rooted on the earth.
I am existing here in a very alien and strange world. I would like to give you many things
but I cannot, because you yourself will resist. I would like to make you aware of many
things in your being, but you will be against me. I have to go very slowly, I have to be
very roundabout; it cannot be done directly.
Just see. I have done what Pratima was enquiring about in relation to Hasidism. I have
done It. In my community, men and women are no longer separate. That's why Indians
have stopped coming to my Ashram. They cannot come. When they used to come, their
questions were more or less all concerned about what type of Ashram this was -- men and
women mixing and meeting, holding each other's hands, going together? Even after
meditations hugging, kissing each other? What type of things were these? This is not
They used to come to me and say, 'This is not good, this should not be allowed. Osho,
you should interfere.' I never interfered because to me there is nothing wrong -- man and
woman should not be made in any way distinct. They are not separate, nobody is higher
and nobody is lower. They are different but equal. Difference is beautiful, it has to be
there. The difference has to be enhanced, but the equality has to be saved. And to me,
love is a way towards God.
I didn't listen to them. By and by they disappeared. Now only very courageous Indians
can enter here. Now only a few Indians can enter here, those who have no repressed mind
in them, who are post-Freudians -- only they can enter here. But Inida as a whole is pre-
Freudian. Freud is still unknown in India. Freud has not yet entered into the Indian soul.
But I have done it. And I am a Hasid, so you can forgive the old Hasids. Time was not
ripe at that time; even now it is very difficult. I have to encounter difficulties every day.
For every small thing there are difficulties. Those difficulties could be avoided if I
behaved in an orthodox way. I cannot behave in an orthodox way -- because then there is
no point in my being here, then I could not deliver the message to you -- and I cannot be
absolutely revolutionary because then there would be no possibility of something
happening between you and me.
And I am not in any way interested in being a martyr because that too seems to me to be a
sort of masochism. People who are always seeking to become martyrs are not really
aware of what they are doing -- they are seeking suicide. I am not a martyr. I love life, I
love all that is implied in life, and the original Hasid Masters were as much in love with
life as I am. That's why I have chosen to talk about them. When I choose to talk about
some path, I choose it only because it appeals to me tremendously.
The Hasids were not people who wanted to become political revolutionaries. They were
not reformists. They were not trying to reform the society, they were trying to bring a
mutation to the individual soul. And they had to exist in the society. Remember that
But then what happens whenever a tradition gets settled? Now Hasidism is a settled
tradition, now it itself has become an orthodoxy. Now the time is ripe. If the community
exists in New York -- a Hasidic community exists in New York -- now the time is ripe,
but now they themselves have become orthodox. They have their own tradition. they
cannot go against Baal-Shem. And these people who are now Hasids are not really
Masters, they are simply followers of the followers of the followers.
You are here with me. You are face to face with something original. When you tell it to
somebody else it will not be the original. You have heard it from me, then you will tell it
to somebody else and much of it is lost. And then that person goes to somebody else and
delivers the message. Again much is lost. Within a few years, within a few transfers, the
truth is completely distorted, only lies are left. And again a revolutionary movement
becomes an orthodox tradition.
The second question:
Question 2
I can do that but there will be much trouble.
Let me tell you an anecdote.
St. Peter returned to the new arrival waiting impatiently outside the gates. 'I can't find
your name,' he reported. 'Would you please spell it for me?' The man did so, and St. Peter
left to check his reservation lists again. In a few moments he returned, 'Say, you are not
due for ten ears. Who is your doctor?'
If I cut your head off, then St. Peter will ask you, 'You are not due for many lives. Who is
your guru?'
It cannot be done by another. It is not something that can be done from the outside. In
fact you also cannot do it. You have to grow into it. It is not something that you can do or
force, it comes through deeper understanding.
The dropping of the head is one of the most difficult things because you are identified
with the head. You are the head! Your thoughts, your ideologies, your religion, your
politics, your scriptures, your knowledge, your identity -- everything is in your head.
How can you drop it? Just think of dropping the head. Then who are you? Without the
head you are nobody.
You have to grow into understanding. When you can grow a new head above this head,
only then can you drop this head. That's the whole effort of meditation -- to help you
grow a new head, a new head which does not need thoughts, does not need ideologies;
which is pure awareness and enough unto itself; WhiCh needs no external influence to
live; which lives from its own innermost core. When you have grown a new head, the old
will be dropped very easily. It will drop on its own accord.
If I force anything upon you, you will resist it, you will become afraid, you will be
scared. And nobody wants to die. It is a great art to be learned.
I have heard.
It was the day of the hanging and as Mulla Nasrudin was led to the foot of the steps of the
scaffold, he suddenly stopped and refused to walk another step. 'Let us go,' the guard
said impatiently. 'What is the matter?' 'Somehow,' said Nasrudin, 'those steps look
mighty rickety. They just don't look safe enough to walk up.'
He is going to be hanged, but those steps look 'mighty rickety' -- not safe enough to walk
on! Even at the moment of death a person goes on clinging -- to the very end. Nobody
wants to die, and unless you learn to die you will never be able to live, you will never be
able to know what life is. A person who is able to die is a person who is able to live,
because life and death are two aspects of the same coin. You can choose both or you can
drop both, but they both come together in one parcel, they are not different things.
Once you are afraid of death you are bound to be afraid of life. That's why I am talking
about this Hasidic approach. The whole approach consists of methods, ways and means
of how to die -- the art of dying is the art of living also. Dying as an ego is being born as
a non 'ego; dying as a part is being born as a whole; dying as man is a basic step towards
being born as a God.
But death is difficult, very difficult. Have you watched it? Except man, no animal can
commit suicide. It is not possible for any animal even to think about committing suicide.
Have you thought about it? Have you heard of any tree committing suicide, any animal
committing suicide? No. Only man, man's intelligence, can make it possible that a man
can commit suicide.
And I am not talking about ordinary suicide -- because that is not really suicide, you
simply change the body -- I am talking of the ultimate suicide. Once you die the way I am
teaching you to die, you will never be born again in life. You will disappear into the
cosmos, you will not have any form any more, you will become the formless.
I have heard.
The man was charged with trespassing on the farmer's property and shooting quail. The
Counsel for Defense tried to confuse the farmer. 'Now,'he asked, 'are you prepared to
swear that this man shot your quail?' 'I didn't say he shot them,' was the reply. 'I said I
suspected him of doing it.' 'Ah, now we are coming to it. What made you suspect this
man?' 'Well,' replied the farmer, 'firstly, I caught him on my land with a shotgun.
Secondly, I heard a gun go off and saw some quail fall. Thirdly, I found four quail in his
pocket, and you can't tell me them birds just flew in there and committed suicide.'
Only man is capable of committing suicide. That is the glory of man. Only man can be
capable enough to think that life is not worth living, only man is capable enough to
reflect that this life is simply futile. Ordinarily when people commit suicide, they don't do
it because they have understood life's futility, they do it only because they have
understood THIS life's futility -- and they are hoping that in another life somewhere else
things will be better.
The spiritual suicide means that a man has come to understand that not only THIS life is
futile, but life as such is futile. Then he starts thinking of how to get rid of being born
again and again, how to get rid of getting into the tunnel of the body and of being
confined and encased; then he starts thinking of how to remain absolutely free without
any form. This is what moksha is, this is what liberation is -- or you can call it salvation.
A man can never be happy in the body because it is such a confinement. All around are
walls; you are forced into a prison. It does not look like a prison because the prison walks
with you -- wherever you go it goes with you, so you don't feel that it is like a prison.
Once you have known a life without the body, once you have become capable of getting
out of the body -- even for a single split moment -- then you will see how you are
confined, how you are imprisoned.
The body is a bondage, the mind is a bondage, but, you have to understand -- I cannot
force you free. Remember one thing: you can be forced into bondage from the outside,
but you cannot be forced into freedom from the outside. Somebody can force you into a
prison cell, but nobody can take you out of a prison cell. If you want to remain in a prison
cell, you will find some other prison cell somewhere else. You may escape from one
prison, but you will get into another -- from the frying pan into the fire. You can easily
change your prisons, but that doesn't make any difference. That's what everybody has
been doing for millennia. Each life you have been in a prison -- sometimes a man,
sometimes a woman, sometimes black, sometimes white, sometimes Indian, sometimes
Chinese, sometimes American. You have moved in all the forms possible.
When people come to me and I look into them, it is surprising how many forms they have
moved in, how many bodies, how many shape$ they have lived in, how many names and
religions and countries...and still they are not fed up. And they go on repeating the old
circle again and again.
Remember one thing more. Just as I said to you that suicide is absolutely human, no
animal commits it, the same is true about boredom. Boredom is absolutely human. A
buffalo is never bored, a donkey is never bored -- only man, only a highly evolved
consciousness. If you are not bored with your life, it simply shows that you live in a very
low state of consciousness.
A Buddha is bored, a Jesus is bored, a Mahavira is bored -- bored to death! Just repetition
all around and nothing else. Out of boredom comes renunciation. A man who is bored
with the world becomes a sannyasin. The search is not for another world, it is for an end
of the search. It is suicide, total, ultimate.
The third question:
Question 3
My whole purpose here is to push you towards death, to push you into the abyss of the
unknown, to push you into zero experience. We in India call it samadhi. It is a zero
experience -- where in a way you are and in a way you are not; where you are empty of
all content, just the container has remained; where all writing from the book has
disappeared, just the book remains, empty. That's the real Bible, the real Veda. When all
writing has disappeared and the book is absolutely empty; when all the content, all the
thoughts, mind, emotions, desires, have disappeared and there is only a pure
consciousness, empty of all content -- this is what I call the abyss.
YOU SAY YOU ARE MY PEAK, MY EVEREST.... Yes, that's true, but the peak will
come only later on. First comes the abyss. I am also your abyss. Let me tell you one very,
very beautiful anecdote. Listen to it very, very attentively, and later on when you are
sitting silently at home, meditate over it.
A man went to a ranch to buy a horse, pointed at one and said, 'My, that's a beautiful
pony right there. What kind is it?' 'That's a palomino,' said the rancher. 'Well, any
friend of yours is a friend of mine. I would like to buy that pony,' said the man.
The rancher replied, 'I gotta tell you, sir, it was owned by a preacher-man. If you want the
horse to move you say, "Good Lord"; if you want the horse to stop you gotta say,
"Amen."' 'Let me try that horse,' said the buyer.
He mounted and said, 'Good Lord.' The horse promptly moved out and was soon
galloping up in the mountains. The man was yelling, 'Good Lord! Good Lord!' and the
horse was really moving. Suddenly he came to the end of the cliff, and panic-stricken he
yelled, 'Whoa! Whoa!' That didn't work and then he remembered and said, 'Amen!' The
horse stopped right on the end of the cliff.
And wiping his brow with relief, the man said, 'Good Lord!'
Lord' and then all else will happen on its own accord.
The fourth question.
Question 4
I would like to ask it every day, every moment. Gan you hear me? But just out of
politeness I don't ask it. That day the mike failed and I could gather courage. But
remember you lied to me. When I said, 'Can you hear me?' you said, 'No.' You lied. If
you had not heard my question how you could answer it? -- Again because of politeness I
remained quiet. I had to.
A young lady went to Mulla Nasrudin for advice. She said to the Mulla, 'Should I marry a
fellow who lies to me?' 'Yes, unless you want to remain unmarried forever,' said
I have to accept you liars as my disciples because there;s no other way, unless I decide to
remain a master without disciples. You lied to me absolutely that moment. You had heard
me, you immediately said, 'No.' Not only did you like my asking you, 'Can you hear me,'
I also loved your answer.
The fifth question:
Question 5
It always takes place.
Truth cannot remain long on the earth; it comes and it disappears. If you are available it
hits you, and then it is gone. You cannot hold it on the earth. The earth is so false and
people are so engrossed in their lies that truth cannot remain here long. Whenever a
Buddha walks on the earth, truth walks for a few moments. When the Buddha is gone,
truth also disappears. Only the footprints are left and you go on worshipping the
footprints. The footprints are not the Buddha, and the words uttered by the Buddha are
just mere words. When you repeat them they are just words, they mean nothing.
It was Buddha who was the meaning behind the words. You can repeat exactly the same
words, but they will not mean the same, because the person behind the words is no longer
the same.
The Hasidim were a choice community when Baal-Shem was there. When he walked on
the earth, the Hasidim were one of the most beautiful communities on the earth -- they
flowered. A Master is needed, a living Master is needed. Only in a living Master's
presence does your innermost bud open, blossom.
After Baal-Shem disappeared, there was only a tradition left. What he said, what he did,
the legends about him, are many. And then people go on repeating them, people go on
imitating them. These people are bound to be false.
But this is natural so don't be angry at them. Once I am gone from here this community
will not be so joyous, cannot be. It is just natural. Then the words will be there and
people will be repeating them and they will try to follow them religiously, but there will
be effort. Right now there is no effort. You are simply flowing with me. Right now it is
spontaneous, right now it is a love affair. Then it will be a sort of duty to be fulfilled. You
will feel an obligation.
You will remember me. You will want to live the same way, but something very vital
will be missing -- the life will be missing. Whenever a Master departs, only a dead corpse
of his teaching remains.
So always seek a living Master. A dead Master is of no use -- because a dead Master
means nothing but a dead teaching. Always seek a living Master. But it is very difficult
because people's minds are very slow. By the time you come to recognise somebody as a
Master he is gone. This is the difficulty. By the time you recognise that Jesus is a Master,
Jesus is no longer there. Then there are only Christians, then there are churches, then
there are the Pope and the priest, and they catch hold of you.
Yes, Hasidism has become orthodox but the Hasids were not. They were a living religion,
a very living river.
I have heard:
A rabidly anti-Christian Jew was on his deathbed. All the family were gathered round as
he gasped 'Fetch a priest
They were all thunder-struck but his wife said to their eldest son, 'Go on, it is his dying
wish. Fetch a priest.' So the son fetched a Catholic priest, who received the old man into
the Church, gave him the last rites and left.
The eldest boy, with tears in his eyes whispered to his father, 'Dad, all your life you have
brought us up to believe that the Church of Rome is anti-religious. How come in your last
moments you can bring yourself to join them? You are a Jew, and you have always
believed in the Judaic tradition. How can you do this at the last moment?'
And with his last breath the old man muttered, 'Another one of the bastards dead.'
He converted himself to be a Catholic so that a Catholic dies in the world. 'Another one
of the bastards dead!'
People always become that way because they live through the mind. Mind is a tradition.
I have heard. 'Is your grandfather a religious man7' asked the young co-ed of her date.
'He's so orthodox,' replied the boy, 'that when he plays chess he does not use bishops, he
uses rabbis!'
The ego functions in a very traditional way. To be revolutionary, one needs to be beyond
the ego. And it is not that you can do it once and forever, you have to do it every moment
again and again, because the ego goes on closing in on you, it goes on caving in on you.
Each moment that you pass through, whatsoever you have lived, whatsoever you have
experienced, becomes your ego. You have to discard it. Renunciation is not once and for
all. You have to renounce every moment; whatsoever is gathered you have to renounce.
Only then renunciation remains a revolution. And not only do you have to renounce
ordinary things of the world, you have to renounce ordinary ideologies also -- Jewish,
Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan. You have to renounce thoughts so that you can remain
in a pure mirrorlike reflection. Then your consciousness can remain undisturbed,
uncoloured by any thought, you can see into things directly and your consciousness is not
distracted or distorted by any prejudice.
Once a tradition settles, once a religion is no longer revolutionary, you start interpreting it
in your own ways. Then you don't bother what Buddha meant, then you start reading your
own thoughts into Buddha's assertions. Then you don't bother what Krishna says, you go
on reading into the Gita whatsoever you want to read. Then perversion settles. That's why
I insist again and again: if you can find a living Master, be with him -- because you
cannot distort a living Master. You will try! But you cannot distort him because a living
Master can stop you from distorting his message. But a dead book, a scripture -- Holy
Bible, Holy Koran, Holy Gita -- what can they do? They may be holy but they are
completely dead; you can do whatsoever you want to do with them. And man is very
cunning and very clever.
When aged Fennessy collapsed on the street, a crowd soon gathered and began making
suggestions as to how the old fellow should be revived.
Maggie O'Reilly yelled 'Give the poor man some whiskey.'
No one paid any attention to her and the crowd continued shouting out suggestions.
Finally Fennessy opened one eye, pulled himself up on an elbow, and said weakly, 'Will
the lot of ye hold your tongues and let Maggie O'Reilly speak?'
Whatsoever we want to hear, whatsoever we want, becomes our scripture, becomes our
interpretation. People are rigid. So whether they are Hasids or Buddhists or Sufis or Zen
Buddhists does not matter -- people's minds are rigid. Wherever they belong they create
rigidity there. You can move from being a Hindu and you can become a Christian, or
from Christian you can become a Mohammedan, but it will not make much difference
because you will remain you. And you will do the same by being a Christian, you will do
the same by being a Mohammedan or by being a Hindu. What ideology you believe in
does not matter much. The real thing that matters is you, your consciousness, your state
of consciousness.
You are here with me. Your children, the next generation, will believe in me simply
because their father or their mother believed in me. They will not have any direct contact
with me. They will simply believe; it will not be trust, it will be just a mental thing, a
formal thing.
It happens that sometimes the children come and when the mother takes sannyas, the
child also wants to take sannyas. The child does not know what he is doing, where he is
moving; he is just imitating the mother. The mother has come on her own but the child
has come just as a shadow. For the mother I have a totally different meaning, for the child
I have no meaning at all. If the mother had gone to another Master, the child would have
been initiated there. If the mother had become Mohammedan or Christian, the child
would have become Mohammedan or Christian.
There is no relevance for the child, it is not significant for the child -- and it may become
part of his ego that he is a sannyasin. Later in his life he may wear orange, may wear a
mala, and he will do the formal thing, but he will be as ordinary a mind as there are all
over the world. And he will do with his belief what the ordinary mind has always been
prone to do: he will become rigid about it, fanatical about it. He will start declaring that
HERE is truth and nowhere else.
When you declare that only your belief is true and all else is false, you are not concerned
with truth at all. You are simply concerned with the assertion of your ego. It is an ego
declaration, 'MY country has to be right, MY religion has to be right. Wrong or right,
MY country has to be right, MY religion has to be right -- because it is MY religion.'
Deep down it is my 'I' that has to be right.
The sixth question:
Question 6
There you missed. You should have been laughing. Correct your dream. Next.time don't
commit that mistake.
The seventh question:
Yes, a million, million times, yes. Let this be your guide. You just allow the Divine and
he will start singing through your flute. Don't hinder his way.
Only one thing is needed -- don't hinder God. It is not a question of God playing on your
flute or not. It is only a question of whether you will allow him or not. If you allow him,
this very moment the song begins. If you don't allow him and you go on praying, 'Play on
my flute,' then it is never going to begin.
Man has nothing else to do but surrender -- in deep trust, in deep love. Don't be a doer,
just surrender. Let there be a let-go.And whatsoever you have asked, I say yes, a million,
million times, yes.
The eighth question:
Question 7
It is impossible to survive THIS joke. The laughter that I am teaching to you is something
that is going to destroy you completely. The laughter that I am teaching to you is very
destructive, it is a crucifixion. But only after this destruction is there creation. Only out of
chaos are stars born and only after crucifixion is there resurrection.
No, you will not be able to survive this laughter. If you really allow it, you will be
drowned by it, you will disappear and only laughter will remain. If YOU laugh then the
laughter is not total. When there is only laughter and you are not, then it is total. And
only then have you heard the joke that God is telling.
Yes, this whole cosmos is a joke; Hindus call it LEELA. It is a joke, it is a play. And the
day that you understand, you start laughing, and that laughing never stops. It goes on and
on. It spreads all over the cosmos.
Laughter is prayer. If you can laugh you have learnt how to pray. Don't be serious; a
serious person can never be religious. Only a person who can laugh, not only at others but
at himself also, can be religious. A person who can laugh absolutely, who sees the whole
ridiculousness and the whole game of life, becomes enlightened in that laughter.
No. You ask: PLEASE TELL ME, WILL I SURVIVE THIS JOKE? No, if you have
heard the joke you cannot survive. If you have not heard, then it is very unfortunate
because you will survive.
The last question and the most important:
Question 8
Now don't be afraid. I am not going to give you a long talk, a ninety-minute talk, no,
because I know the answer. When you don't know the answer you have to give a very
long answer. You see, that's why I go on talking so long. When I don't know the answer I
have to talk very long. In my talking you forget your question. But when I know the
answer there is no need. And I know the answer. I happen to know the answer.
How I came upon the answer -- about that I must tell you something.
One day -- just a few days ago -- Vivek asked me this question early in the morning:
'Why do Jews have long noses?' I settled in my chair, in my posture. I made my towel
comfortable, looked at the clock and I was just going to start a great discourse on the
philosophy and the physiology of the Jewish nose. But then she became apprehensive and
afraid. Naturally -- because once I take off, then it takes ninety minutes at least for me to
land on the earth. So she said, 'Stop! Stop! I happen to know the answer! You need not
give me the answer!'
I was very shocked because I was already on the way. In a hurried way she said, 'Because
the air is free!'
It is a beauty. I loved it. It explains everything. The Jews have long noses because the air
is free!
The Art of Dying
Chapter #7
Chapter title: The Treasure
17 October 1976 am in Buddha Hall
Archive code:
Video: No
92 mins
LIFE is a search, a constant search, a desperate search, a hopeless search...a search for
something one knows not what. There is a deep urge to seek but one knows not what one
is seeking.
And there is a certain state of mind in which whatsoever you get is not going to give you
any satisfaction. Frustration seems to be the destiny of humanity, because whatsoever you
get becomes meaningless the very moment you have got it. You start searching again.
The search continues whether you get anything or not. It seems irrelevant what you have
got, what you have not got -- the search continues anyway. The poor are searching, the
rich are searching, the i!l are searching, the well are searching, the powerful are
searching. the powerless are searching, the stupid are searching, the wise are searching --
and nobody knows exactly what for.
This very search -- what it is and why it is there -- has to be understood. It seems that
there is a gap in the human being, in the human mind; in the very structure of the human
consciousness there seems to be a hole, a black hole. You go on throwing things into it,
and they go on disappearing. Nothing seems to make it full, nothing seems to help
towards fulfillment. It is a very feverish search. You seek it in this world, you seek it in
the other world; sometimes you seek it in money, in power, in prestige, and sometimes
you seek it in God, bliss, love, meditation, prayer -- but the search continues. It seems
that man is ill with search.
The search does not allow you to be here and now because the search always leads you
somewhere else. The search is a projection, the search is a desire: that somewhere else is
what is needed, that it exists but it exists somewhere else, not here where you are. It
certainly exists, but not in this moment of time; not now, but somewhere else. It exists
then, there, never herenow. It goes on nagging you; it goes on pulling you, pushing you,
it goes on throwing you into more and more madness; it drives you crazy and it is never
I have heard about a very great Sufi mystic woman, Rabia al-Adawia.
One evening, people found her sitting on the road searching for something. She was an
old woman, her eyes were weak, and it was difficult for her to see. So the neighbours
came to help her.
They asked, 'What are you searching for?'
Rabia said, 'That question is irrelevant, I am searching. If you can help me, help.'
They laughed and said, 'Rabia, have you gone mad? You say our question is irrelevant,
but if we don't know what you are searching for, how can we help?'
Rabia said, 'Okay. Just to satisfy you, I am searching for my needle, I have lost my
They started helping her -- but immediately they became aware of the fact that the road
was very big and a needle was a very tiny thing.
So they asked Rabia, 'Please tell us where you lost it -- the exact, precise place.
Otherwise it is difficult. The road is big and we can go on searching and searching
forever. Where did you lose it?'
Rabia said, 'Again you ask an irrelevant question. How is it concerned with my search?'
They stopped. They said, 'You have certainly gone crazy!'
Rabia said, 'Okay. Just to satisfy you, I have lost it in my house.'
They asked, 'Then why are you searching here?'
And Rabia is reported to have said, 'Because here there is light and there is no light
The sun was setting and there was a little light still left on the road.
This parable is very significant. Have you ever asked yourself what you are searching
for? Have you ever made it a point of deep meditation to know what you are searching
for? No. Even if in some vague moments, dreaming moments, you have some inkling of
what you are searching for, it is never precise, it is never exact. You have not yet defined
it. If you try to define it, the more it becomes defined the more you will feel that there is
no need to search for it. The search can continue only in a state of vagueness, in a state of
dreaming; when things are not clear you simply go on searching. pulled by some inner
urge, pushed by some inner urgency. One thing you do know: you need to search. This is
an inner need. But you don't know what you are seeking.
And unless you know what you are seeking, how can you find it? It is vague -- you think
it is in money, power, prestige, respectability. But then you see people who are
respectable, people who are powerful -- they are also seeking. Then you see people who
are tremendously rich -- they are also seeking. To the very end of their life they are
seeking. So richness is not going to help, power is not going to help. The search
continues in spite of what you have.
The search must be for something else. These names, these labels -- money, power,
prestige -- these are just to satisfy your mind. They are just to help you feel that you are
searching for something. That something is still undefined, a very vague feeling.
The first thing for the real seeker, for the seeker who has become a little alert, aware, is to
define the search; to formulate a clear-cut concept of it, what it is; to bring it out of the
dreaming consciousness; to encounter it in deep alertness; to look into it directly; to face
it. Immediately a transformation starts happening. If you start defining your search, you
will start losing your interest in the search. The more defined it becomes, the less it is
there. Once it is clearly known what it is, suddenly it disappears. It exists only when you
are not attentive.
Let it be repeated: the search exists only when you are sleepy; the search exists only
when you are not aware; the search exists only in your unawareness. The unawareness
creates the search.
Yes, Rabia is right. Inside there is no light. And because there is no light and no
consciousness inside, of course you go on searching outside -- because outside it seems
more clear.
Our senses are all extrovert. The eyes open outwards, the hands move, spread outwards,
the legs move into the outside, the ears listen to the outside noises, sounds. Whatsoever is
available to you is all opening towards the outside; all the five senses move in an
extrovert way. You start searching there where you see, feel, touch -- the light of the
senses falls outside. And the seeker is inside.
This dichotomy has to be understood. The seeker is inside but because the light is
outside, the seeker starts moving in an ambitious way, trying to find something outside
which will be fulfilling.
It is never going to happen. It has never happened. It cannot happen in the nature of
things -- because, unless you have sought the seeker, all your search is meaningless.
Unless you come to know who you are, all that you seek is futile, because you don't know
the seeker. Without knowing the seeker how can you move in the right dimension, in the
right direction? It is impossible. The first things should be considered first.
So these two things are very important: first, make it absolutely clear to yourself what
your object is. Don't just go on stumbling in darkness. Focus your attention on the object
-- what you are really searching for. Because sometimes you want one thing and you go
on searching for something else, so even if you succeed you will not be fulfilled. Have
you seen people who have succeeded? Can you find bigger failures anywhere else? You
have heard the proverb that nothing succeeds like success. It is absolutely wrong. I would
like to tell you: nothing fails like success. The proverb must have been invented by stupid
people. Nothing fails like success.
It is said about Alexander the Great that the day he became the world conqueror he closed
the doors of his room and started weeping. I don't know whether it really happened or
not, but if he was even a little intelligent it must have happened.
His generals were very disturbed. What has happened? They had never seen Alexander
weeping. He was not that type of man, he was a great warrior. They had seen him in great
difficulties, in situations where life was very much in danger, where death was very
imminent, and they had not seen even a tear coming out of his eyes. They had never seen
him in any desperate, hopeless moment. What has happened to him now -- now when he
has succeeded, when he is the world conqueror?
They knocked on the door, they went in and they asked, 'What has happened to you?
Why are you crying like a child?' He said, 'Now that I have succeeded, I know it has been
a failure. Now I know that I stand exactly in the same place as I used to be in when I
started this nonsense of conquering the world.And the point has become clear to me now
because there is no other world to conquer anymore -- otherwise I could have remained
on the journey, I could have started conquering another world. Now there is no other
world to conquer, now there is nothing else to do, and suddenly I am thrown to myself.'
A successful man is always thrown to himself in the end and then he suffers tortures of
hell because he wasted his whole life. He searched and searched, he staked everything
that he had, now he is successful -- and his heart is empty and his soul is meaningless and
there is no fragrance, there is no benediction.
So the first thing is to know exactly what you are seeking. I insist upon it because the
more you focus your eyes on the object of your search, the more the object starts
disappearing. When your eyes are absolutely fixed, suddenly there is nothing to seek;
immediately your eyes start turning towards yourself. When there is no object for search,
when all objects have disappeared, there is emptiness. In that emptiness is conversion,
turning in. You suddenly start looking at yourself. Now there is nothing to seek, and a
new desire arises to know this seeker.
If there is something to seek, you are a worldly man; if there is nothing to seek, and the
question 'Who is this seeker?' has become important to you, then you are a religious man.
This is the way I define the worldly and the religious.
If you are still seeking something -- maybe in the other life, on the other shore, in heaven,
in paradise, in moksha, it makes no difference -- you are still a worldly man. If all
seeking has stopped and you have suddenly become aware that now there is only one
thing to know -- 'Who is this seeker in me? What is this energy that wants to seek? Who
am I?' -- then there is a transformation. All values change suddenly. You start moving
Then Rabia is no longer sitting on the road searching for a needle that is lost somewhere
in the darkness of one's own inner soul. Once you have started moving inwards.... In the
beginning it is very dark -- Rabia is right. It is very, very dark because for lives together
you have never been inside -- your eyes have been focussed on the outside world.
Have you watched it? Observed? Sometimes when you come in from the road where it is
very sunny and the sun is hot and there is bright light -- when you suddenly come into the
room or into the house it is very dark because the eyes are focussed for the outside light,
for much light. When there is much light, the eyes shrink. In darkness the eyes have to
relax. A bigger aperture is needed in darkness; in light a smaller aperture is enough.
That's how the camera functions and that's how your eye functions. The camera has been
invented along the lines of the human eye.
So when you suddenly come from the outside, your own house looks dark. But if you sit
a little while, by and by the darkness disappears. There is more light; your eyes are
For many lives together you have been outside in the hot sun, in the world, so when you
go in you have completely forgotten how to enter and how to re-adjust your eyes.
Meditation is nothing but a re-adjustment of your vision, a re-adjustment of your seeing
faculty, of your eyes. In India that is what is called your third eye. It is not an eye
somewhere, it is a re-adjustment, a total re-adjustment of your vision. By and by the
darkness is no longer dark; a subtle, suffused light starts being felt.
And if you go on looking inside -- it takes time -- gradually, slowly, you start feeling a
beautiful light inside. But it is not aggressive light;it is not like the sun, it is more like the
moon. It is not glaring, it is not dazzling, it is very cool; it is not hot, it is very
compassionate, it is very soothing, it is a balm.
By and by, when you have got adjusted to the inside light, you will see that you are the
very source. The seeker is the sought. Then you will see that the treasure is within you
and the whole problem was that you were seeking for it outside. You were seeking for it
somewhere outside and it has always been there inside you, it has always been here
within you. You were seeking in a wrong direction, that's all.
Everything is available to you as much as it is available to anyone else, as much as it is
available to a Buddha, to a Baal-Shem, to a Moses, to Mohammed. It is all available to
you, only you are looking in the wrong direction. As far as the treasure is concerned you
are not poorer than Buddha or Mohammed -- no, God has never created a poor man. It
does not happen, it cannot happen -- because God creates you out of his richness. How
can he create a poor man? You are his overflowing, you are part of his being, how can
you be poor? You are rich, infinitely rich, as rich as God himself.
But you are looking in the wrong direction. The direction is wrong, that's why you go on
missing. And it is not that you will not succeed in life, you can succeed, but still you will
be a failure. Nothing is going to satisfy you because nothing can be attained in the outside
world which can be comparable to the inner treasure, to the inner light, to the inner bliss.
Now this story. This story is tremendously meaningful.
The first thing to be under stood about the story is that he dreamed. All desiring is
dreaming and all dreaming takes you away from you -- that is the very nature of the
You may be sleeping in Poona and you may dream of Philadelphia. In the morning you
will not wake up in Philadelphia, you will wake up in Poona. In a dream you can be
anywhere; a dream has a tremendous freedom because it is unreal. In a dream you can be
anywhere: on the moon, on Mars. You can choose any planet, it is your game. In a d ream
you can be anywhere, there is only one place you cannot be -- that is where you are. This
is the first thing to be understood about the dreaming consciousness. If you are where you
are, then the dream cannot exist, because then there is no point in the dream, then there is
no meaning in the dream. If you are exactly where you are and you are exactly what you
are, then how can the dream exist? The dream can exist only if you go away from you.
You may be a poor man and you dream about being an emperor. You may be an ordinary
man and you dream about yourself being extraordinary. You walk on the earth and you
dream that you fly in the sky. The dream has to be a falsification of reality; the dream has
to be something else than reality.
In reality there is no dreaming, so those who want to know the real have to stop
In India we have divided human consciousness into four stages. We call the first stage the
ordinary waking consciousness. Right now you are in the ordinary waking consciousness.
What is an ordinary waking consciousness? You appear to be awake but you are not. You
are a little bit awake, but that little bit is so small that it doesn't make much difference.
You can walk to your home, you can recognise your wife or your husband, you can drive
your car...that little bit is only enough for this. It gives you a sort of efficiency -- that's all.
But it is a very small consciousness, exhausted very easily, lost very easily. If somebody
insults you it is lost, it is exhausted. If somebody insults you, you become angry. You are
no longer conscious. That's why after anger many people say, 'Why did I do it? How did I
do it? How could I do it? It happened in spite of me.' Yes, they are right -- it happened in
spite of you because you lost your consciousness. In anger, in violent rage, people are
possessed; they do things they would never do if they were a little aware. They can kill,
they can destroy; they can even destroy themselves.
The ordinary waking consciousness is only 'waking' for name's sake -- deep down dreams
continue. Just a small tip of the iceberg is alert -- most of the thing is underneath, in
darkness. Watch it sometimes. Just anywhere close your eyes and look within: you will
see dreams floating like clouds surrounding you. You can sit on the chair any moment of
the day, close your eyes, relax, and suddenly you see that the dreams have started. In fact
they have not started, they were continuing -- just as during the day stars disappear from
the sky. They don't really disappear, they are there, but because of the light of the sun you
don't see them. If you go into a deep well, a very deep, dark well, from the dark well you
can look at the sky and you will be able to recognise a few stars -- even at midday. The
stars are there; when night Comes they don't reappear, they have always been there, all
twenty-four hours. They don't go anywhere, the sunlight just hides them.
Exactly the same is the case with your dreaming: it is just below the surface, just
underground it continues. On the top of it is a little layer of awareness, underneath are a
thousand and one dreams. Close your eyes any time and you will find yourself dreaming.
'That's why people are in great difficulty when they start meditating. They come to me
and they say, 'This is something funny, strange. We never thought that there were so
many thoughts.' They have never closed their eyes, they have never sat in a relaxed
posture, they have never gone in to see what was happening there because they were too
engaged in the outside world, they were too occupied. Because of that occupation they
never became aware of this constant activity inside.
In India, the ordinary waking consciousness is called the first state. The second state is
that of dreaming. Any time you close your eyes you are in it. At night you are
continuously in it, almost continuously. Whether you remember your dream in the
morning or not is not of much importance, you go on dreaming. There are at least eight
cycles of dreaming during the night. One cycle continues for many minutes -- fifteen,
twenty minutes; then there is a gap; then there is another cycle; then there is a gap; then
again there is a cycle. Throughout the whole night you are continuously dreaming and
dreaming and dreaming. This is the second state of consciousness.
This parable is concerned with the second state of consciousness. Ordinarily all desires
exist in the second state of consciousness, the dreaming state. Desire is a dream and to
work for a dream is doomed from the very beginning, because a dream can never become
real. Even if sometimes you feel it has become almost real, it never becomes real -- a
dream by nature is empty. It has no substance in it.
The third state is sleep, deep sleep, SUSHUPTI. In it all dreaming disappears -- but all
consciousness also. While you are awake there is a little awareness, very little; when you
are dreaming, even that little awareness disappears. But still there is an iota of awareness
-- that's why you can remember in the morning that you had a dream, such and such a
dream. But in deep sleep even that disappears. It is as if you have completely
disappeared. Nothing remains. A nothingness surrounds you.
These are the three ordinary states. The fourth state is called TURIYA. The fourth is
simply called 'the fourth'. TURIYA means 'the fourth'. The fourth state is that of a
Buddha. It is almost like dreamless sleep with one difference -- that difference is very
great. It is as peaceful as deep sleep, as without dreams as deep sleep, but it is absolutely
alert, aware.
Krishna says in his Gita that a real yogi never sleeps. That does not mean that a real yogi
simply sits awake in his room the whole night. There are a few foolish people who are
doing that. That a real yogi never sleeps means that while he is asleep he remains aware,
Ananda lived with Buddha for forty years. He asked Buddha one day, 'One thing
surprises me very much; I am intrigued. You will have to answer me. This is just out of
curiosity but I cannot contain it anymore. When you sleep at night I have watched you
many times, for hours together, and you sleep in such a way that it seems as if you are
awake. You sleep in such a graceful way; your face, your body -- everything is so
graceful. I have seen many other people sleeping, and they start mumbling, their faces go
through contortions, their bodies lose all grace, their faces become ugly, they don't look
beautiful any more....' All beauty has to be managed, controlled, practised; in deep sleep
it disappears. 'And, one thing more,' Ananda said. 'You never change your posture you
remain in the same posture. Wherever you put your hand in the beginning, you keep it
there the whole night. You never change it. It seems that deep down you are keeping
absolutely alert.' Buddha said, 'You are right. That happens when meditation is perfect.'
Then awareness penetrates your being so deeply that you are aware in all of the four
states. When you are aware in all four states dreaming absolutely disappears, because in
an alert mind a dream cannot exist. And the ordinary waking state becomes an
extraordinary waking state -- what Gurdjieff calls self-remembering. One remembers
oneself absolutely, each moment. There is no gap. The remembrance is a continuity.
Then one becomes a luminous being.
And deep sleep is there but its quality changes completely. The body is asleep but the
soul is awake and alert, watchful. The whole body is deep in darkness but the lamp of
inner consciousness burns bright.
This story says:
After many years of great poverty it is natural that one should start dreaming about
treasures. We always dream about that which we don't have. Fast for one day and in the
night you will dream about food. Try to force celibacy upon yourself and your dreams
will become sexual, they will have a quality of sexuality.
That's why psychoanalysis says that the analysis of dreams is of tremendous import,
because it shows what you are repressing. Your dream becomes a symbolic indication of
the repressed content of your mind. If a person continuously dreams about food, about
feasts, that simply shows that the person is starving himself. Jaina monks always dream
about food -- they may say so, they may not. If you fast too much you are bound to dream
about food. That's why many religious saints become so afraid of falling asleep.
Even Mahatma Gandhi was very afraid to go into sleep. He was trying to reduce it to as
little as possible. Religious people make it a point to try not to sleep for too long -- four
hours, five hours at the most. Three is the ideal. Why? Because once your need of bodily
rest is satisfied your mind starts weaving and spinning dreams. And immediately the
mind brings up things which you have been repressing Mahatma Gandhi said, 'I have
become a celibate as far as my waking consciousness is concerned, but in my d reams I
am not a celibate.' He was a true man in a sense -- truer than other so-called saints. At
least he accepted that in his dreams he was not yet celibate.
But unless you are celibate in your dreams you are not yet celibate, because the dream
reveals whatsoever you are repressing during the day. The dream simply brings it back to
your consciousness. Dreaming is a language, a communication from the unconscious
which is saying, 'Please don't do this to me. It is impossible to tolerate. Stop this
nonsense. You are destroying my natural spontaneity. Allow me, allow whatsoever is
potential in me to flower.'
When a person represses nothing, dreams disappear. So a Buddha never dreams. If your
meditation goes deep you will immediately find that your dreams are becoming less and
less and less. The day your dreams completely disappear and you attain to clarity in your
sleep -- no clouds, no smoke, no thoughts; simple, silent sleep, without any interference
of dreams -- that day you have become a Buddha, your meditation has come to fruition.
Psychoanalysis insists that dreams have to be understood because man is very cunning:
he can deceive while he is awake but he cannot deceive when he is in a dream. A dream
is truer...Look at the irony. A dream is more true about you than your so-called waking
consciousness. Man has become so false. man has become so fake that the waking
consciousness cannot be relied upon -- you have corrupted it too much. A psychoanalyst
immediately wants to go into your dreams, he does not want to know about your religion,
he does not want to know about your philosophy of life, he does not want to know
whether you are a Hindu or a Christian, an Indian or an American -- that is all nonsense.
He wants to know what your dreams are. Look at the irony -- your dreams have become
so real that your reality is less real than your dreams. You are living such a pseudo-life,
inauthentic, false, that the psychoanalyst has to go to your dreams to find a few glimpses
of truth. Only your dreams are still beyond your control.
There are people who try to control dreams also. tn the East methods have been invented
to control dreams. That means you are not even allowing the unconscious to convey any
message to you. You can do that too. You can cultivate dreams if you work hard. You
can start planning your dreams. You can give a story to your own unconscious to unfold
in your dreams. If you do it consistently, every day, by and by you will be able to corrupt
the unconscious.
For example, once a devotee of Krishna stayed with me. He said, 'I always dream of
Krishna.' I asked him, 'How do you manage it? A dream is not something that you can
manage. What method have you tried?' He said, 'A simple method which my guru gave to
me. Every night when I go to sleep, I go on thinking and thinking about Krishna,
fantasising. After three years of continuously practising fantasy while falling asleep, one
day it happened. Whatsoever I had fantasised continued in my dream and it became my
dream. Since then I have been having tremendously religious dreams.'
I said, 'You just go into the details -- because you may have managed the story but the
unconscious will be sending messages in the story itself, the unconscious can use your
story to send its messages.' He said, 'What do you mean?' I said, 'You simply give me the
content of your dream, the detailed content.'
And he started telling me. It was absolutely sexual. Krishna was his lover and he had
become a male gopi, a boyfriend. The content was homosexual. And they were dancing
together and kissing and hugging and loving each other.
I said, 'You have changed the figure, but the content still remains. And my understanding
is that you are a homosexual.' He was very much disturbed and shocked. He said, 'What
do you mean? How have you come to know about it?' I told him, 'Your dream is a clear
He started weeping and crying. He said, 'From my childhood I was never attracted to
women, I was always attracted to men. And I thought that it was good because women
would distract me from my path.'
The homosexual content had entered into his religious story. Krishna was nothing but a
homosexual partner. He became very disturbed and that very night the dream disappeared
and a purely ",homosexual dream entered. He said, 'What have you done to me?' I said, 'I
have not done anything. I have simply made your message clear to you. You can
fabricate a story but that doesn't matter, the ';inner content remains the same.'
Just see. Go to a person who is not religious. You will find nude pictures of women in
Indian homes, in bachelors' homes. These people are not religious. But go to a religious
man. He may have beautiful pictures of gods and goddesses but just look at the content,
at the detail of it. Whether it is a film actress or whether it is a goddess makes no
difference. Just look at the breasts! They will indicate exactly the same content. The story
is different. Somebody has a picture of a goddess on his wall and somebody has Elizabeth
Taylor or somebody else's picture, or Sophia Loren -- but it makes no difference.
Whether you call her a goddess or you call her a film actress makes no difference. Look
at the detail and you will see what that man is hankering after.
You can manipulate your dreams, you can destroy the purity of your unconscious's
messages but still the unconscious will go on giving you messages. It has to. It has to
scream to you because you are destroying your own nature, your own spontaneity.
Poor men always dream of kings' palaces and kings' treasure and things like that. If you
have very rich dreams it simply shows that you are a poor man. Only very rich people
dream of becoming sannyasins -- a Buddha, a Mahavir. Living in their palaces they had
dreams of becoming sannyasins, because they were fed up with their success. Success
was finished for them, it had no charm, it had no allurement, it had no fascination any
more. They thought now that a poor man's life is a real life and they started to seek
somewhere else where they were not.
But the dream always goes somewhere else. The rich man thinks that the poor man is
living a real life, and the poor man thinks that the rich man is living a real life. But the
fallacy is the same: they both think, 'Real life is somewhere else where I am not.
Somehow I am always excluded from the real life -- somebody else is enjoying it. Life is
always happening somewhere else. Wherever I go, life simply disappears. Wherever I
reach for it I always find emptiness.' But it is always happening somewhere else. Life
seems to be like the horizon, it is just ahead somewhere. It is a mirage.
And remember, if a dream recurs too many times it almost starts looking real. Repetition
makes things real.
Adolf Hitler wrote in his autobiography 'Mein Kampf' that if you go on repeating a lie it
becomes real. Repetition is the key. And he should know. He practised it. He is not
simply asserting something theoretical, he practised it the whole of his life. He uttered
lies, absolutely absurd lies, but one thing he insisted on -- he went on repeating. When
you go on repeating some lie again and again and again it starts becoming real, because
the mind starts getting hypnotised by it.
Repetition is the method of hypnosis. Repeat anything and it becomes engraved in your
being -- that's how we are deluded in life. If you repeat, 'This woman is beautiful, this
woman is beautiful...' if you go on repeating it, you will start seeing beauty in her. It may
be there, it may not be there, it doesn't matter -- if you repeat it long enough it will
become true. If you think that money is the goal of life, go on repeating it and it will
become your goal of life.
That's how all advertising functions: it just goes on repeating. The advertiser believes in
the science of repetition; he simply goes on repeating that this brand of cigarette is the
best. When you read it for the first time you may not believe it. But next time, again and
again -- how long can you remain an unbeliever? By and by the belief will arise. And the
belief will be such that you may not even become conscious of it. It will be subliminal, it
will be just underneath consciousness. One day suddenly, when you go to the store and
the store-keeper asks what brand of cigarette you need, you will say a certain brand. That
repetition worked. It hypnotised you.
That's how religions have been functioning in the world -- and all politics depends on it
too. Advertise, go on repeating to the public, and don't be bothered whether they believe
or not -- that's not the point. Hitler says there is only one difference between a truth and a
lie: the truth is a lie that has been repeated very often. And man can believe any lies.
Man's gullibility is infinite. Man can believe in hell, man can believe in heaven, man can
believe in angels, man can believe in devils, man can believe in anything! You just go on
And there is no need to argue. An advertisement never argues -- have you observed the
fact? There is no need to argue. The advertisement simply persuades you, it never argues.
An arguer may not be able to convince you but a person who persuades you, who simply
goes on throwing soft suggestions at you, not direct arguments.... Because when
somebody argues with you, you may become defensive, but if somebody simply goes on
hinting at certain things, not in any direct way, just supposing, you are more prone to be
convinced by it.
Dreaming functions in that way; a dream is a salesman. A dream simply goes on
repeating itself. It never argues, it simply insists on being repeated. And, often repeated,
one starts believing in it.
In the world there is much competition. Every place is guarded and every object has to be
fought for -- it is not easy. This is something very strange. In this world nothing is
meaningful and yet for everything you have to fight. Nothing seems to be significant but
there is much competition, much conflict. Everybody is rushing towards it, that creates
the trouble -- it is not that there is something in it. There is nothing in it but everybody is
trying to rush towards it. Everybody is hankering for everybody else's place that's why
the world is so crowded.
In fact, it is not as crowded as it seems. Look...we are sitting here, everybody is sitting in
his own place. This place is not crowded at all. But if a frenzy suddenly takes hold of
your mind and everybody starts trying to reach another's place, then this place would be
crowded. Right now you are sitting religiously; in that situation you would be rushing at
each other politically. Right now you are satisfied with your place and you are not
hankering for anybody's place -- at least not in Chuang Tzu auditorium. But if you start
pushing yourself into other's places, others will become defensive, they will start pushing
you. A fight, a war, will ensue.
Why are there so many wars in the world? The reason is that everybody is trying to have
another's territory. And the other may be trying the same thing. He may be looking at
That's what many people are doing. Very few succeed. many simply walk around. But
they go on doing it. Even if you cannot succeed, your desires, your hopes, are
continuously there. At least you can go to the place, near the palace, and you can walk
around. The whole day, from morning to evening he was walking around -- that's what
many people are doing, waiting for some miracle to happen. Someday there may be no
guards, someday may be a holiday, someday there may be a possibility to dig...one waits
and one goes on waiting. It never happens but one' s whole life is wasted in waiting.
it is a beautiful story -- and very true. That is how it is happening in life. You are looking
somewhere else for that which is already there within you.
Rabbi Eisik bowed, thanked the man, traveled home.... This is the journey of religion:
traveling back home. And a man who has understood life always pays his respect towards
life because it has shocked you out of your dreams. He is not against life; he simply
knows that he has nothing to do with life, he simply knows that he was searching in a
wrong direction.
Life has always been compassionate, life has been telling you again and again that you
can find nothing here -- go back home. But you don't listen.
You earn money, and one day money is there -- then life says to you, 'What have you
got?' But you don't listen. Now you think you have to put your money into politics, you
have to become a prime minister or a president -- then everything will be okay. One day
you are a prime minister, and life again says, 'What have you got?' You don't listen. You
go on thinking of something else and something else and something else. Life is vast --
that's why many lives are wasted.
But don't be angry at life. It is not life that is frustrating you, it is you who are not
listening to life. And this I call a criterion, a touchstone: if you see a saint who is against
life, bitter against life, know well he has not understood yet. Otherwise he will bow down
to life in deep respect and reverence, because life has awakened him out of his dreams.
Life is very shocking, that's why. Life is painful. The pain comes because you are
desiring something which is not possible. It doesn't come from life, it comes from your
People say that man proposes and God disposes. It has never happened. God has never
disposed of anything. But in your own proposition you have disposed of something
yourself. Listen to God's proposition, keep your own proposition to yourself. Keep quiet.
Listen to what the whole is willing -- don't try to have your private goals, don't try to have
your private desires. Don't ask anything individually -- the whole is moving towards its
destiny. You simply be part of it. Co-operate. Don't be in a conflict. Surrender to it. And
life always sends you back to you r own reality -- that is why it is shocking.
It shocks you because it doesn't fulfil your dreams. And it is good that life never fulfils
your dreams -- it always goes on disposing, in a way. It gives you a thousand and one
opportunities to be frustrated so that you can understand that expectations are not good
and dreams are futile and desires are never fulfilled. Then you drop desiring, you drop
dreaming, you drop proposing. Suddenly you are back home and the treasure is there.
The treasure had always been waiting there under his stove. In the same room he dreamed
that the treasure was somewhere near the palace of the king in Prague. In his own room,
in his own house, it was just there waiting to be dug up.
This is very indicative. Your treasure is in your own being -- don't look for it somewhere
else. Ali palaces and all bridges to the palace are meaningless; you have to create your
own bridge within your own being. The palace is there; the treasure is there.
God never sends anybody into this world without a treasure. He sends you ready for
every situation -- how can it be otherwise? When a father sends his son on a long journey
he makes every preparation. Even for unexpected situations the father provides. He
makes all provisions.
You are carrying everything that you need. Just go into the seeker and don't go seeking
outside. Seek the seeker, let the seeker be the sought.
Because of this, Rabbi Eisik built the house of prayer. It was such a tremendous
revelation, such a tremendous experience -- 'God has put the treasure where I have
always lived. I was poor because of myself, I was not poor because God wanted me to be
poor. As far as he is concerned I was a king, always a king.' Because of this
understanding he made a prayer house, a temple, out of this treasure. He used it well.
Whenever somebody comes to his innermost treasure, prayer arises -- that is the meaning
of the story. He made a house of prayer called Reb Eisik's Shul. Whenever you
understand the grace of God, the compassion, the love, what else can you do? A great
prayer of thankfulness rises into your being, you feel so overpowered by his love,
overwhelmed. What else can you do? You simply bow down and you pray.
And remember, if you pray to ask for something, it is not prayer. When you pray to thank
him for something, only then is it prayer. Prayer is always a thanksgiving. If you ask for
something then the prayer is still corrupted by desire. Then it is not prayer yet -- it is still
poisoned by dreaming. Real prayer happens only when you have attained to yourself,
when you have known what God has given to you already without your asking for it.
When you realise what you have been given, what infinite sources have been given to
you, a prayer arises You would like to say to God, 'Thankyou.' There is nothing else in it
but a pure thank you.
When a prayer is just a thank you it is a prayer. Never ask for anything in a prayer; never
say, 'Do this, do that; don't do this, don't do that.' Never advise God. That shows your
irreligiousness, that shows your lack of trust. Thank him. Your life is already a
benediction, a blessing. Each moment is such pure joy, but you are missing it, that I
know. That's why the prayer is not arising -- otherwise you would build a house of
prayer; your whole life would become that house of prayer; you would become that
temple -- his shrine. His shrine would burst from your being. He would flower in you and
his fragrance would spread to the winds.
It does not happen because you are missing something. And you are missing not because
of him, you are missing because of yourself. If you desire, and you think that the treasure
is somewhere else, you move into the future. The future is needed because you desire; the
future is a by-product of desiring. How can you project desire in the present? The present
is already here, you cannot project any desire in it, it does not allow desire. If you desire,
the present has already gone; you can desire only in the future, only in the tomorrow.
This has to be understood. Desire is always in the future but the future is never there. The
future is that which is not, and desire is only in the future. And desire comes out of the
past which also is not. The past is gone and the future has not yet come. Desire comes out
of the past because you must have known what you desire in the past somehow. How can
you desire something which is absolutely new? You cannot desire the new. You can only
ask for a repetition. You had some money, you will ask for more -- but money you know.
You had some power, you ask for more -- but power you know. Man cannot desire the
unknown. Desire is just a repetition of the known. Just look at it. You have known it and
you are not fulfilled, so you are asking for it again. Do you think you will be fulfilled? At
the most you can ask for more quantity, but if one rupee is not fulfilling, how can a
thousand rupees be fulfilling? If one rupee is unfulfilling, ten thousand rupees will be ten
thousandfold more unfulfilling -- that is simple logic. If one woman has not fulfilled you,
then ten thousand women are not going to fulfil you. If one woman has created such a
hell then ten thousand women...just think! It is simple arithmetic. You can solve it.
You can ask only out of the past and into the future and both are non-existential. That
which exists is the present. This very moment is the only moment there is. You cannot
desire in it, you can just be in it. You can just enjoy it.
And I have never come across a person who can be miserable in the present. You will be
surprised. Many times people come to me and they say that they are very miserable and
this and that, and I say to them, 'Close your eyes and find out right now whether you are
miserable or not.' They close their eyes, then they open their eyes, and they say, 'Right
now I am not miserable.'
Right now nobody is miserable. There is no possibility. It is not allowed by the nature of
things. This very moment are you miserable? This very moment? You may have been
miserable a moment before, okay -- that is right. Or you may be miserable a moment
afterwards -- that too is allowed. But this very moment, between these two non-
existential moments, are you miserable? Nobody has ever been.
This moment is always pure benediction; this moment is always one of joy, of
tremendous delight; this moment is God's moment. The past is yours, the future is yours,
the present is God's. We divide time into three tenses -- past, present, future -- but we
should not divide it in that way. That division is not right. Time can be divided between
the past and the future but the present is not part of time, it is part of eternity. God has no
past, remember, you cannot say God was. God has no future -- you cannot say God will
be. God has only one tense -- present. God is. God always is. In fact, God is only another
name for the 'isness' of existence. Whenever you are also in the moment, whenever you
are also in this 'isness', you are happy, blessed. A prayer arises. You become a shrine.
You will become Reb Eisik's Shul, you will become a prayer house.
Zaddik means the Master. The word 'zaddik' comes from a Hebrew root which means: the
pure, the purest, purity itself. The Zaddik means the Master -- who has attained to his
'presentness', who is no longer in the past and no longer in the future, who is just
herenow, who is just a presence. To be in the presence of a Master is to be in the presence
of a presence. That's all. And to be in the presence of a Master can help you to be present
because his presence can become infectious.
But Rabbi Bunam says, 'There IS something you cannot find anywhere in the world, not
even at the Zaddik's....' He says that there is something which you cannot find anywhere,
not even in the presence of a Master. But don't feel hopeless -- there is nevertheless a
place where you can find it.
That place is you, and that time is now. In fact, the Zaddik's, the Master's, effort is
nothing but to throw you to your 'presentness', to make you available to God, or, to make
God available to you.
This 'presentness' cannot be taught but it can be caught -- hence the value of SATSANG,
of being in the presence of a Zaddik, of a Master, of a guru. Just to be there doing
nothing.... In fact, a Master is not doing anything. He is just there. A Master is a prayer, a
constant thankfulness. With each breath he is thanking God -- not verbally, his very
breathing is a thankfulness; with each beat of his heart he goes on saying thank you. His
thank you is not verbal, it is existential. His being is prayer. To be in the presence of such
a man may help you to have some taste of prayer. That taste will start a new journey in
your life -- the inward journey.
You have been seeking for centuries, for millennia, and you have not yet found. Now, let
the seeker be the sought. You have traveled outside for so long that you are very tired,
very exhausted.
Jesus says, 'Those who are tired, those whose burden is heavy, they should come to me. I
will give them rest.' What does he mean? He simply means, 'Come to me. I am at rest. Be
close to me. Have a taste of it.' And that very taste will turn the tide and you will start
moving inwards.
You are here with me. Have a taste of my being. Don't just listen to my words, listen to
me. Taste me. And then suddenly you will be here and now, and you will be turning
inwards and you will not ask for anything and you will not desire anything and you will
not have any movement into the future and you will not have any clinging with the past.
And then this moment is liberation, this moment is enlightenment.
The Art of Dying
Chapter #8
Chapter title: A Child on the Seashore of Time
18 October 1976 am in Buddha Hall
Archive code:
Video: No
The first question:
Question 1
90 mins
TO be frank with you -- which usually I am not -- I don't know who I am. Knowledge is
not possible here where I am. Only the knower is left, the known has disappeared; only
the container is left, the content is no more.
For knowledge to exist, a great division is needed in reality -- the knower and the known.
Between the two, knowledge happens. The known is a must for knowledge to happen.
The space I am in is absolutely undivided and indivisible. Knowledge is not possible. So,
to be exact, I don't know.
And I would like you also to come to this innoCent ignorance, to this state of not-
knowing. Because the state of not-knowing is the highest state of knowing; not of
knowledge, mind you, of knowing. And this knowing is content-less -- it is not that you
know something, there is nothing to know. You simply are. I am, but I don't know who I
am. All identities have disappeared -- just a tremendous emptiness is left behind.
I call it emptiness because you are full of identities -- otherwise it is an absolute presence,
not an absence. It is the presence of something which by its very nature is a mystery and
cannot be reduced to knowledge.
So I don't know who I am, but I am tremendously content in this not-knowing. And
whosoever has come to this door of not-knowing has laughed at all knowledge and the
stupidity that goes on in the name of knowledge. Knowledge is mediocre. To be in the
state of not-knowing is intelligence, it is awareness -- and it is non-ccumulative. Each
moment that which happens disappears, it leaves no trace behind, no existential trace.
One comes out of it again pure, again innocent, again like a child.
So I am a child on the seashore of time, collecting seashells, coloured stones. But I am
tremendously fulfilled. I know not who I am because I am not. When I say 'I am not' I
mean that that 'I' no longer has any relevance. I use the word -- obviously I have to use it
and there is nothing in the word to be against -- but it is no longer relevant to my inner
world. It is still of use with you but when I am alone I am not. When I am with you, then
this word 'I' has to be used as a communicative device. But when I am alone I am not.
Aloneness is there, amness is there, but the 'I' is not. So who should know, and whom?
First I told you that the content had disappeared, now I would like to tell you -- because
the more you get ready and receptive, the more I can tell you -- that the container has also
disappeared. The container is meaningful only with the content -- without the content
what is the meaning of the container? The content and the container are both not there.
Something is, tremendously is, absolutely is, but there is no name to it In love you call
this space Bhagwan and in deep respect I also call it Bhagwan.
Just the other night I was reading a letter in 'Current'. The letter-writer asked me who
appointed me as Bhagwan. Now, Bhagwan cannot be appointed. If somebody appoints
somebody as Bhagwan then the appointer will be the Bhagwan, not the appointed. It is a
recognition, it is a realisation. Bhagwan simply means that all that we call wordly is no
longer there -- that's all. The desire to possess, to be possessed, the desire to accumulate,
the desire to cling, the desire to be, the libido, the lust for life, has disappeared. When the
smoke of the desire disappears and only the flame remains in its purity, who is going to
appoint? Who is there to appoint? It is not an appointment. Or, if you love the word very
much, then I will say, 'It is a self-appointment.' But that too is not very meaningful. It is a
The letter-writer wants me to say who. Nobody can decide who I am. This is my
declaration. Only I know what has happened within me; nobody else can know it. Unless
you also come to that state of divine being -- the state is hiding behind you; any moment
you become courageous enough to enter it, you can -- then only will you recognise me,
not before it.
I also call this space, in tremendous respect, Bhagwan. The word 'Bhagwan' is very
beautiful. The English word 'God' is not as beautiful. 'Bhagwan' simply means: the
blessed one. That's all. The blessed one.And I declare myself to be the blessed one. And I
declare it only so that you can also gain heart and you can also strive for it; so that my
presence can become a dream in you; so that my presence can invoke a journey in you; so
that my presence can create a fire in you -- a fire that will burn you and through which
you are going to be reborn true. A fire that is going to destroy you, annihilate you utterly,
and yet out of it you will come absolutely new, with no identity, with no name, with no
I have declared myself Bhagwan because I would like you also to come to this
recognition. You have forgotten the language. Somebody must exist in front of you as a
reality, not as a concept, not as someone in the scriptures. Krishna exists in the Gita,
Christ exists in the Bible -- they may have been, they may not have been, nobody can be
I am just here, confronting you. If you are courageous enough to open towards me,
suddenly a sprout will start coming into being in your seed; you will start growing in an
unknown dimension. To make that dimension available to you I declare myself Bhagwan.
This is nobody else's business.
But I can declare myself Bhagwan only because I am not. Only one who is not can call
himself the blessed one.
If YOU are, you remain miserable, your very being is your misery. Hell is not somewhere
else -- hell is the confined state, hell is the miserable state when you live with the 'I'. To
live with the ego is to live with hell.
You ask me, WHAT TYPE OF PLAY ARE YOU PLAYING WITH US? Certainly, it is
a play. I am not serious. And if you are serious, there is not going to be any meeting with
you.-Seriousness does not cross my path at all. I am absolutely non-serious. This is a
play. And I would like to call this play 'the mad game'.
The word 'mad' I have coined so: 'm' stands for the master and 'd' stands for the disciple.
The master-and-disciple game! It is a mad game! I am an expert in being a Master. If you
are also ready to become a disciple, here we go!
And it is none of anybody else's business. It is a game between me and you. If you decide
to be a disciple, as I have decided to be a Master, then we can play the game. And those
who have decided to be disciples are enjoying it tremendously!
Once you decide to be a disciple, you enter into another world -- a totally different world
of the heart, of love, of trust. Then it is a play. You are not serious but still you are very
sincere. Never misunderstand seriousness for sincerity. Sincerity is very playful, never
serious. It is true, authentic, but never serious. Sincerity does not have a long face, it is
bubbling with joy, radiating with an inner joyousness.
Rojoice that I am here! If you decide to be a disciple, then only can you understand what
I am doing here, then only can you understand this mad game, this madly mad game. It is
a play; in fact, it is the ultimate game in life. You have played many other games, this is
the last. You have played being a lover, being a friend; being a father, being a husband,
being a wife, mother, brother, being rich, being poor, being a leader, being a follower --
you have played all the games. And only those who have played all the games can play
this game, because they will be mature enough to play it.
This is the last game. After this game, games stop, game-playing stops. Once you have
played the game rightly -- the Master-disciple game -- by and by you come to a point
where all playing disappears. Only you are left -- neither the Master nor the disciple
exists there. This is just a device.
Between the Master and the disciple -- if the rule of the game is followed rightly --
devotion arises. That is the fragrance, the river that flows between the two banks of the
Master and the disciple. That's why it is so difficult for the outsider to understand. But I
am not interested at all in the outsider understanding it, it is a very esoteric game. It is
only for the insiders, it is only for mad people. That is why I not interested even in
answering people who are not insiders, because they will not understand. They do not
have that attitude of being in which understanding becomes possible.
Just see. If two chess-players are playing and you don't know what chess is, and you start
asking questions, they will simply say, 'Shut up! First you go and learn the game. It is a
complicated game.'
And chess is nothing when you start playing THIS mad game! Your whole life -- your
emotions, your feelings, your intellect, body, mind, soul, everything -- is involved, is at
stake. It is the last gamble.
So only those who are insiders can understand; outsiders will always feel uncomfortable
about it. They don't know the language.
I am not here to play the game of a priest; I am not here to play the game of a prophet. In
fact, the prophet is nothing but the politician in disguise. The language of the prophet is
the language of the politician -- of course, in the name of religion. The prophet is
revolutionary; he wants to change the world, the whole world, to his heart's desire. I have
no plans for changing the world. It is perfectly good as it is and it is going to remain as it
is. All the prophets have failed. That game is doomed to be a failure.
I am not a priest because I don't belong to any religion; I simply belong to religion as
such. I am not a Jew, I am not a Hindu, I am not a Mohammedan, I am not a Jaina -- I
don't belong to any religion. So I am not a priest, I am not a preacher. I simply love pure
Let me tell you an anecdote.
Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg had scrimped and saved to put their eldest son through college. At
last they had the money and decided to send him to a fine, highbrow Eastern boarding
school. They saw him off on the train and tearfully bade him farewell.
A few months later he returned home for the Christmas holidays. The parents were
overjoyed to have their son, Sammy, back with them. The mother greeted him with,
'Samelah! Oh, it's so good to see you.' 'Mother,' replied the son, 'stop calling me
Samelah. After all, I'm a grown man now, and I do wish you would refer to me as
She apologised and asked, 'I hope you only ate Kosher foods while you were away.'
'Mother, we are living in a modern age, and it's preposterous to hang onto the old world
traditions. I indulged in all types of food, and believe me, you would be better off if you
did too.' 'Well, tell me, did you at least go to the synagogue to offer a prayer of thanks
The son replied, 'Really, do you honestly feel that going to a synagogue when you're
associating with a large percentage of non-Jews is the proper thing to do? Honestly,
Mother, it's unfair to ask it of me, really.'
At this point Mrs. Goldberg, fighting back anger, looked at her eldest son and said, 'Tell
me, Samuel, are you still circumcised?'
I am not interested in whether you are circumcised or not. I am not interested in whether
you are a Jew, a Hindu, a Christian or a Mohammedan. To me that sort of thing is sheer
stupidity. I am not teaching you any religion. My whole effort, or my whole play here, is
to make you aware of the reality as it is; to make you aware of the fact, not to give you
any fantasy about it; to make you aware of the truth, not to give you any theory about it. I
am not a theoretician, I am not a theologist. In fact, theology has killed God, and so many
religions have created such confusion in the minds of people that, rather than helping,
they have been harmful and poisonous. Rather than helping people to be religious, they
have created great politics in the name of religion -- great violence, conflict, hatred has
been 'created in the name of religion.
To me, religion simply means a dimension of love. I am here to show you the beauty of
life, the grandeur that surrounds you. From that very grandeur you will have your first
glimpses of God.
I am here to seduce you into a love of life; to help you to become a little more poetic; to
help you die to the mundane and to the ordinary so that the extraordinary explodes in
your life. But this is possible only if you decide to become a disciple.
Sannyas is a great agreement, a covenant. When I initiate you into sannyas, I am
initiating you into the world of my play. And if you are ready to go with me, great doors
are waiting to be opened fo r you. But those doors are not of the mosque, of the church?
of the gurudwara, of the temple -- those doors are of life itself. Life is the only shrine of
God and to be playful about it is the only prayer.
AND HOW LONG WILL YOU PLAY? It is not a question of time. If you decide to be a
disciple, it can go on and on -- in the body and out of the body, with the mind, without
the mind, in life and in death, within life and beyond life. This game is an eternal game,
that's why I call it the ultimate game. Those who decided to play with Christ, they are still
playing; on new planes, in new plenitudes it continues. Those who decided to play with
Buddha are still playing. The game is so beautiful. so eternal, who wants to stop it?
I may not be here in the body but that will be a loss only to those who are not close to me,
that will be a loss only to those who were not courageous enough to be with me. When I
have gone out of the body it is not going to be a loss to you if you have really been a
disciple. The game will continue. I Will remain available, you will remain available. It is
a question of the heart, it is a question of consciousness. And consciousness knows no
time; consciousness is beyond time, consciousness is timelessness.
So the question is meaningful from some outsider -- but then I will not answer it. The
question is meaningless from an insider -- and only then can I answer it. If you are an
insider you know that there is a beginning to this play but no end to it. You have entered
into something which is going to last forever.
OSHO PLEASE EXPLAIN. A game has to be played, not to be explained. If you explain
it, it loses all charm. Come, be a partner. Get involved in it.
There are a few things which cannot be explained -- in the very explanation they die. For
example, a joke cannot be explained. That's the beauty of a joke: either you understand it
or you don't understand it. If you ask, 'Please explain,' it cannot be explained. If
somebody explains it and it becomes completely clear to you, no laughter will come out
of it. Because it is when the joke suddenly dawns on your being that there is laughter;
when there is a jump, a quantum leap, then there is laughter. You were going along on
one plane, the story was moving along on one plane, then suddenly an unexpected turn
which you could not have imagined, happened. That very turn -- which you could not
have imagined happening -- gives it beauty. That very turn shocks you. That very turn
releases the tension that was building up. You were going along in suspense -- 'What is
going to happen? What is going to happen?' -- and everything was just ordinary and then,
suddenly, there is an extraordinary turn to the story. The punch-line has to be a sudden
turn. Then the built-up tension relaxes and you start laughing. The tension is released,
explodes. But if somebody explains to you, dissects the Joke logically, explains
everything to you and then you understand it -- then the joke disappears. The joke has to
be enjoyed, not understood.
This whole world is a cosmic joke. If you try to understand it you will miss...that is how
philosophers have always been missing. They have been trying to solve it, they have been
trying to look for clues. It has no clues. It is a sheer mystery. It has no keys and no locks.
It is available if you are available. But a mind which wants to understand it becomes
tense and becomes unavailable.
Don't try to understand life. Live it! Don't try to understand love. Move into love. Then
you will know -- and that knowing will come out of your experiencing. That knowing
will never destroy the mystery: the more you know, the more you know that much
remains to be known. Life is not a problem. To look at it as a problem is to take a wrong
step. It is a mystery to be lived, loved. experienced.
In fact, the mind which is always after explanations is an afraid mind. Because of great
fear he wants everything to be explained. He cannot go into anything before it is
explained to him. With explanation he feels that now the territory is familiar, now he
knows the geography, now he can move with the map and the guidebook and the
timetable. He is never ready to move in an unknown territory, uncharted, without a map,
without a guide. But life is like that. And no map is possible, because life goes on
changing. Every moment it is now. There is nothing old under the sun, I say to you.
Everything is new. It is a tremendous dynamism, an absolute movement. Only change is
permanent, only change never changes -- everything else goes on changing.
So you cannot have a map; by the time the map is ready it is already out of date. By the
time the map is available it is useless. Life has changed its tracks. Life has started playing
a new game. You cannot cope with life with maps because it is not measurable. And you
cannot cope with life with guidebooks because guidebooks are possible only if things are
stagnant. Life is not stagnant, it is a dynamism, it is a process. You cannot have a map of
it. It is not measurable, it is an unmeasurable mystery. Don't ask for explanations.
That's why although I answer when you ask questions -- because this is part of the
agreement of this mad game: you will ask and I will answer -- you should never take my
answers as explanations. They are not. They are simply introductions to the mystery,
prefaces to the mystery, seductions to the mystery. They are not really answers.
My answers are not answers; my answers are simply to help you to come out of your
questions and to start living. An answer is an answer when it simply explains your
question and you are satisfied that you have now got some information which you were
needing and your question is no longer there. Now the place that the question was
occupying is occupied by the answer. My answers are not answers in that way. They will
help you to drop the question but they are not going to answer the question. And once the
question is dropped you will find no answer occupying its place. There will be no answer.
My whole way of answering is such that I answer and yet I never answer. I answer so that
you don't feel offended -- your question has to be respected so I respect it -- but I cannot
answer it because life has no answers.
And this I call maturity of mind: when somebody comes to the point of looking at life
without any questions, and simply dives into it with courage and fearlessness.
The second question:
Question 2
Dreams are unreal but so is your life. Dreams are unreal but that is what your life is. Your
life is just a dream because you are fast asleep. Can't you hear yourself snoring?
You are fast asleep. Whatsoever you call your life is just a dream seen with open eyes.
You see two types of dreams: one with closed eyes, one with open eyes. But both are
BEFORE MAHAVIRA'S BIRTH. Your reading is a dream, your hearing is a dream.
Whatsoever you have heard about Mahavira has nothing to do with Mahavira. It is your
And just look -- Mahavira's mother dreamed of nine white elephants. First it is a dream,
then it is a dream about a white elephant. A dream is a dream! White elephant? The story
is beautiful; it says that life is just like a Chinese box -- a box within a box. It is just like
an onion. You peel it, there is another layer; you peel it, another layer -- box within box.
First, Mahavira's being born is a dream; then, being born out of a mother is another
dream. Then the mother dreams. And the mother dreams about white elephants! Look at
the whole absurdity of it.
Then there are stupid people who start analysing these dreams and make much fuss about
it. Jainas say that whenever a TEERTHANKARA is born, a particular series of dreams
has to happen to the mother. And if those dreams have not happened, then the man is not
a TEERTHANKARA. So all the mothers HAD to dream -- remember. Twenty-four
TEERTHANKARAS have been born in India, and all the mothers of the
TEERTHANKARAS had to repeat the same dream. It is a must, it is a legal thing -- you
cannot avoid it! If you don't dream, your son cannot be a TEERTHANKARA. When my
mother started dreaming I said, 'Stop! There is no need. I am not going to fulfil any legal
and formal things. There is no need to dream about white elephants. You can rest.'
Foolish people go on finding foolish things, but they decorate them very well. You ask
what it means. It means nothing. It simply means that you are more interested in dreams
than you are in reality.
People are not interested in Mahavira as such. If Mahavira's mother had forgotten to
dream these dreams, Jainas would have not accepted him as the twenty-fourth
TEERTHANKARA. That was one of the most important things to be decided. You may
not know it but there were a few other people who were also claiming that they were
TEERTHANKARAS. In the time of Mahavira there were eight persons who were
claiming that they were TEERTHANKARAS and it was a great problem how to decide,
because no criteria existed. So people had to invent such foolish criteria. It was only
Mahavira's mother, the story says, who dreamed these dreams. Goshalak's mother erred.
Poor Goshalak suffered for it. Mahavira's mother must have been very clever; she must
have planned everything very beautifully. At least Mahavira's astrologers must have --
the mother died immediately after giving birth. In fact, I don't see that she ever told
anybody because she died immediately. But that too is a point. Jainas say that when a
TEERTHANKARA is born, the mother dies immediately. They have made things very
difficult for the mother. Mahavira's mother's death must have been a pure accident.
Goshalak's mother lived. These things are not allowed. Goshalak suffered because his
mother lived. Mahavira's mother died. These are foolish criteria. They don't see Mahavira
directly, they are looking for other indications.
When Jesus was there, Jews were asking certain questions, because he had to fulfil the
prophesies in the Old Testament. Were they fulfilled or not? Jesus was there in reality,
standing before them, but they were not concerned about Jesus, they were concerned
about the prophesies in the Old Testament. If they were fulfilled, then he was the right
man; if they were not fulfilled, then he was not the right man. How foolish can humanity
be? Jesus is there -- but that is not proof of anything, no. And Jews denied him because
they thought he had not fulfilled all the criteria. They had to crucify him because they
thought he was just a charlatan, a deceiver; he had not fullfilled all the prophesies.
And Christians go on proving that he has fulfilled them. Now it has become just a verbal
game of argumentation, of logic. The reality is completely forgotten.
Look at the real. If Mahavira is there, Mahavira is there whether the mother dreamed of
white elephants or black elephants. Whether she dreamed or didn't dream doesn't matter;
whether she lived or died doesn't matter. These are all irrelevant things. If Mahavira is
there, look directly. His presence will be enough proof. And if it is not enough proof then
there is no need to bother about other proofs. Then what can other proofs do?
The questioners have only dreams, they don't yet have a real life, so by answering their
questions I will be pulling them out of their mud of dreams. I am not interested in their
dreams, I am interested in the consciousness that is dreaming. That consciousness is not a
dream. It is dreaming, it is in a dream, but it is not a dream. It is a reality, and it has to be
pulled out of the dreaming state.
So I go on using whatsoever devices are needed. If sometimes I feel that analysing the
dream may help you to come out of it then I analyse it. But remember always and always,
I am not interested in the dream, I am not a psychoanalyst. But if I feel that by dissecting
the dream I will be able to make you aware that you are not the dream, that you are the
witness to it, then I dissect it. The reality is not in the dream, the reality is in the dreamer
-- and the dreamer has to be awakened. I function like an alarm clock.
The third question:
Question 3
Yes, to a limited extent it can be of great help -- but remember, only to a limited extent.
Otherwise people are such that first they waste their time in dreaming, then they waste
their time in enacting the dream in the waking state; then they waste their time on some
psychoanalyst's couch talking about their dreams -- and the psychoanalyst analyses them.
Then the dream becomes too important. That much importance should not be given to
There is a great need of a shift of the consciousness from the content to the container. For
a time being, dreams can be used. Enacting them will be useful. If in the night you have
seen a dream, then enacting it in the morning can be of tremendous help because in the
night you were asleep. The dream was there, the message was there, the message was
delivered by the unconscious, but the conscious was fast asleep. So it was as if you were
drunk and somebody called you and you took the phone somehow, and you listened, but
you cannot remember exactly what the message was because you were drunk. The
message was delivered, the unconscious delivered a certain message -- that's what a
dream is: a packaged message from the unconscious that you are doing something wrong,
that you are moving against nature, that you are going against me, that you are going
against yourself. It is a warning from the unconscious that enough is enough, stop! Come
back home, be natural, be more spontaneous. Don't be lost in social formalities and
moralities and don't become a fake. Be real.
The message is delivered but you are asleep and in the morning you cannot even
remember anything exactly. Have you watched it? When you wake up in the morning, for
a few seconds some fragments of the dream float in the consciousness -- just for a few
seconds, not more than thirty seconds, or at the most sixty seconds, one minute. Then
they have gone. You have washed your face, taken a cup of tea; finished with the night,
you don't remember now. And even when you awake in the morning, only very, very
fragmentary things are there. And those too are the tail parts of the dream. When you
dream, you dream in a certain way: you started the dream at five o'clock in the morning,
then you went into it, and at six o'clock you woke up. That was the end part of the dream
-- it is as if you were seeing a film and you were only awake at the end part. So you
remember the end part of the dream, not the beginning. not the middle. Then you have to
go upstream. If you want to recollect the dream you have to move in the reverse order, as
if you are reading a book backwards. It is very difficult.
And then, one thing more. When you are conscious you again start interpreting the dream
content, you don't allow the whole message to be received. You will drop many things. If
you have murdered your mother in the dream, you will drop it. You will not remember it,
you will not allow it to become conscious. Or, at the most, you will allow it to be there in
a very deep disguise: you have murdered somebody else. Or, if you have lived in a
community which values non-violence very much, you may not even remember that you
murdered -- that part will simply disappear. We listen only to that which we want to
listen to.
I have heard.
As he lay on his deathbed he spoke, 'Sara, I want you to know before I die that Ginsburg
the tailor owes me two hundred dollars, and Morris the butcher owes me fifty dollars, and
Klein next door owes me three hundred dollars.'
His wife turned to the children and said, 'What a wonderful man your father is. Even
when he's dying he's got the brains to realise who owes him money.'
The old man continued, 'And Sara, I want you also to know that I owe the landlord a
hundred dollars.'
To which the wife cried, 'Ho ho, now he's getting delirious.'
Whatsoever you want to hear is right, otherwise 'ho ho!' Then immediately you become
You will remember the dream, now the mechanism has to be understood. The dream is a
message from the unconscious to the conscious because the conscious is doing something
which the unconscious feels is unnatural. And the unconscious is always right, remember;
the unconscious is your nature. The conscious is cultivated by the society, it is a
conditioning. The conscious means society inside you. It is a trick of society. The
conscious is doing something which the unconscious feels is too much against nature, so
the unconscious wants to give a warning. In the morning, when you remember, again you
will remember from the conscious, again the conscious will interfere. Whatsoever is
against it, will not be allowed; whatsoever is sweet will be allowed. But that is not the
point. The bitter part was the real message.
But try it. What they do in psychodrama can be useful. Rather than remembering a
dream, re-living a dream is more useful. And -they are different. When you remember,
you remember from the conscious; when you re-live, you re-live from the total. In re-
living there is more possibility that the unconscious will again be able to give some
For example: you dreamed during the night that you were walking on a road. You go on
walking and walking and walking and the road never ends. The non-ending road creates
tremendous fear in you because with anything non-ending the mind cannot cope, the
mind becomes afraid. Non-ending? It looks very boring. You go on, you go on, you go on
-- and the road is non-ending. You become tired, you become frustrated, you are fed-up,
you fall down -- but the road goes on and on. You have limitations and the road seems to
be unlimited.
If you dream such a dream.... Many people dream about it because there is a message in
it. The famous Russian author, Maxim Gorky, used to dream it many times. He said that
in his life it was one of the most important dreams -- it was repeated almost every month.
It must have had a great message otherwise it wouldn't have been repeated. And it was
repeated -- that simply shows that Gorky never understood it. Once you understand a
dream, once the message is delivered, the dream stops. If a dream is continuously
repeated, that simply shows that you have not understood it, so the unconscious goes on
knocking at your door. It wants you to understand it.
Remembering is one thing -- you can close your eyes and remember the dream and it will
be as if you are seeing a film, a movie. Re-living is totally different. You create the whole
situation, you visualise the whole situation. It is not a dream on the screen, you re-live it.
Again you are on the road. Look around. Close your eyes when you remember it, look
around. What type of road is it? Are trees there or is it a desert? What kind of trees? Is the
sun there in the sky or is it night? Visualise it, stand on the road and visualise it and let it
be as colourful as possible -- because the unconscious is very colourful. The conscious is
just black and white, the unconscious is very psychedelic.
So let it be colourful. See the glory of the trees, the colour of the flowers, the brightness
of the stars. Feel the road, the touch underneath the feet. Feel the road -- rough, smooth,
dead, alive? Every road has its own individuality. Smell. Standing there, smell. What type
of smell is it? Has it rained just now and a delicate smell from the earth is arising? Or
have the flowers bloomed and the fragrance is there? Feel the breeze; feel whether it is
cool or warm. Then start moving -- as if you are moving in reality. It is not on the screen
of the memory, you are re-living it. And through this sensitivity of taste, touch, air, feel,
coolness, warmth, greenery, colour; it again becomes real. Again the unconscious will
start giving you messages. They can be of tremendous value.
But there is a limit to it. Try to understand in this way but always remember that whether
the dream is seen in the night or re-lived in the day, it is a dream. And below the
unconscious -- or beyond the unconscious -- is still another door of your being that has to
be opened.
Freud and the Freudians think that man ends with the conscious and unconscious. Man
does not end with the conscious and unconscious, there is a super-conscious-element
also. And that is truer.
So, don't think that the conscious is the only mind. Before Freud it was thought that the
conscious was the only mind. When Freud introduced the concept of the unconscious for
the first time, he was laughed at, ridiculed, because people said, 'What nonsense! How
can mind be unconscious? Mind means consciousness. If it is unconscious, it is not mind;
if it is mind, it is conscious.' Of course, their grammar was right and their language was
true -- but existentially they were wrong. And Freud by and by became victorious. Truth
always wins.
Now another layer has to be introduced into the world of psychology -- that layer is of the
super-conscious. Psychologists will again be against it. They will say, 'What nonsense
you are talking! You are bringing religion into psychology. Somehow we have got rid of
religion and now you bring it in again from the back door!' But you cannot get rid of
religion -- religion is not something accidental, it is very essential. You have to recognise
it. And you have to recognise its claims.
Man is conscious, unconscious and super-conscious. Man is a trinity -- that is the
meaning of the old concept of the trinity in Christianity, Judaism. In the East we have the
concept of trimurti -- three faces of God, three faces of being. Man is a triangle. The third
has to be remembered.
A USEFUL METHOD? Yes, a useful method but with a limited possibility. And rather
than remembering, emphasise re-living.
TRUTH. Certainly, but only the first step. There are many people who become lost in the
first step and then they never take the second. Then the first is useless. Unless the second
happens, the first is meaningless. Only with the second does the first become relevant.
And only when you have achieved the goal does your journey becomes relevant.
Otherwise it remains irrelevant; the relevance is transcendental.
So, first re-live your dreams. It will be helpful, it will make you more alert. And then,
even in your dreaming, even while you are re-living, or when you are awake, walking on
the street, in an ordinary waking state, start seeing yourself as a witness not as a
participant. As a watcher. The watcher, the observer, the seer, the witness, is the real step
which leads you into reality. It is beyond dream.
The dreams can be helpful so that the grip of the dreams on your mind is loosened, but
the real step is only when you have started becoming watchful. Try it the whole day.
Whatsoever you are doing, remember that you are the watcher. Walking...remember that
the body is walking, you are the watcher. Eating...remember that the body is eating, you
are the witness. If it spreads all over your day, one day, suddenly, you will see that in the
dream also the watcher has a little possibility. And when you can also remember that 'I
am just the watcher' in the dream, then dreams disappear. Then, with the disappearance of
the dreams, a new consciousness arises in you. That consciousness I call the super-
consciousness. And that consciousness is the goal of the psychology of the Buddhas.
The fifth question:
Question 4
Let me tell you an anecdote. 'Help me,' the man demanded of the rabbi. 'I have a wife
and twelve children and I cannot support them. Every year my wife gives me a new child.
What should I do?' 'Do?' screamed the rabbi. 'Haven't you done enough?'
You ask me WHAT SHOULD I DO TO COME CLOSER TO YOU? Your doing is not
going to help -- because by doing, you become more of a doer and the doer feeds the ego
and the ego is the barrier between me and you. By non-doing you will come closer to me,
not by doing. Not by will-power can you come closer to me, only by surrendering. Only
when you recognise that nothing can be done, and you are helpless and you relax,
suddenly you will find that you have come close to me. When you surrender you come
close to me.
The mind goes on asking 'What should I do?' If you do something, that very doing will
not allow you to move away from the ego.
Let me tell you another anecdote.
Old man Ginsberg was disgusted with his family. He told them that he was leaving them
and going to Japan.
The boys asked, 'Papa, how will you get there?'
He said, 'Don't worry, I'll row there.'
They walked him to the dock and without their father seeing, tied a very long rope to his
row boat. He bade them all farewell and started rowing towards the horizon. They let him
stay in the boat all night, but when the sun began to rise they became nervous about his
well-being. There was a tremendous fog and the old man and the boat were not visible.
The old man had been rowing away all night when suddenly he heard a voice in the
distance shouting, 'Abe Ginsberg, are you all right?'
He turned towards the voice and shouted, 'Who knows me in Japan?'
Now he thinks that he has reached Japan just by rowing the whole night, and the boat is
tied with a long rope. He has not gone anywhere. If you want to come close to me by
doing something then you may have a little or a long rope, but you will remain tethered to
the shore, you cannot go far away.
By doing, nobody can come close to a Master. By doing, you can attain things in the
world but by doing you cannot attain anything in God -- only by non-doing, by a
tremendous receptivity, passivity. You just leave it to me, you just enjoy being here. You
dance, you sing, you celebrate. You forget this nonsense of coming closer and you will be
coming; by your dance, by your singing, by your rejoicing, you will be coming close to
The question is from Priya. She has asked today, but three weeks ago I gave her a
message to go and dance every day. Her question has come today but it reached me three
weeks ago. It may have reached to her self today, to her own conscious it may have come
today -- but three weeks ago I suddenly felt that a deep desire to come close to me was
arising in her unconscious, so I sent her a message to go and dance. And she is dancing,
and believe me, she is coming closer.
By your dance, by your laughter, by your joy, you come close to me -- because in dance
you relax, the doer disappears. In singing you are lost. Whenever you are lost I can
penetrate your being; whenever you are there then it is difficult, because you are closed.
The sixth question:
Question 5
Then why are you asking? In your question there is a motivation. You want me to say,
'Good boy. You are absolutely right. It is you who are going to obtain enlightenment and
not the others, because you have no motivation.' This is the motivation in asking the
But remember, you cannot deceive me. Your words cannot deceive me. Your words
cannot hide the motivation. Why are you asking me to comment? If you are really
enjoying being here, no comment is needed. If you are really in love with me, it is enough
-- nothing else is needed. In love there is no question, it is a non-questioning attitude.
But you want me to say, 'This is the true way. You are on the right track. Soon
enlightenment is going to happen to you and others who are here with motivation are
going to miss.'
Let me tell you an anecdote.
A Jewish couple found themselves in Florida unable to find a room in a hotel. The only
place left to stay in was a hotel that was notorious in its policy of not allowing Jews.
The husband turned to his wife and said, 'Becky, you keep your big mouth shut; not one
word is to come from your lips. Leave it to me. You'll see, I'll talk good English, the man
at the desk will never know and we'll get a room.'
Sure enough, they walk up to the desk, Dave asks for a room, the hotel clerk gives them
the key to the room, and they are set.
Becky says, 'Dave, it's so hot, maybe we can go down to the pool for a swim?'
Dave says, 'Okay, but, remember, not one word is to fall from your mouth.'
They walk down to the cabanas. Dave signals the cabana boy and he sets up chairs and
towels for them.i
Becky turns to Dave and asks, 'Now can I go into the pool?'
He answers, 'Okay, but remember not a syllable must you utter.' Becky goes over to the
edge of the pool and sticks one toe into the water, which is icy cold, and before she
realises what she is doing, she yells, 'Oy vay!' whereupon everyone at the pool turns on
her. Without blinking an eye she adds, 'Whatever that means.'
But you cannot deceive. Howsoever you put it, it will show. Motivation is a thing you
cannot hide. There is no way to hide it; there is no language to hide it. Motivation simply
Now, let me tell you this. This motivation may not be very conscious to you, you may not
be very aware of it, but it is there. And I am not saying that something is wrong in it, I am
not trying to make you guilty about it. Always remember one thing: never feel guilty
about anything.
It is natural to come with a motivation, nothing is wrong in it. It is absolutely natural to
come with a motivation, otherwise how else will you come? Without motivation, only a
madman can come here. Without motivation, how can you come? You must have some
motivation to learn meditation, to have a more silent life, to learn about love, to have
more loving relationships, to know what this life is all about, to know what death is, to
know if there is something beyond death. Without motivation you cannot come to me.
So I accept it absolutely and you have to accept it -- you have come to me with
It is my work here to help you to drop the motivation. You come with motivation -- that's
your work, without it you cannot come. Then starts my work: to help you to drop the
motivation. Motivation brings you close to me but then motivation itself becomes the
obstacle. You have to come with a motivation and then you have to learn to drop it. And
when you drop it, suddenly you are not only close to me, you are one with me -- because
closeness is still a distance. In closeness also there is a distance. Howsoever close you
are, you are distant. The real closeness is only when all distance and all closeness
disappears -- you are simply one with me, I am one with you; when we only appear as
two, but we are not.
Become conscious of your motivation in asking this question and that will help you to
drop it. Consciousness helps you to drop it. Anything you become conscious about starts
slipping out of your hands. You cannot cling consciously, you cannot be angry
consciously, you cannot be greedy consciously, you cannot be motivated consciously.
Consciousness is such a mutation, it brings so much light into your being that darkness
simply disappears.
So the only thing to remember is: don't be worried about others' motivations, that is none
of your business. If they are motivated, they will suffer for it, they will create their own
hell. You simply don't be concerned with it, you simply go on looking at your own
motivations, you simply go on penetrating deeper and deeper into why you are here.
And never feel guilty if you have found a motivation. If you come across a motivation, it
is natural. But when I say it is natural, I don't mean that it has to be there forever and
ever. It is natural but it has to go. When it goes, something super-natural starts happening.
If you are not aware about it and if you go on hiding it, then it will never go.
And this may be a trick of the mind -- looking for motivation in others. You may be using
others as scapegoats. It is one of the great psychological truths about the human mind that
whatsoever you want to hide within yourself you start projecting onto others. Whenever
you start seeing something in somebody else, remember it as a message. Go immediately
withinwards -- it must be there. The other is functioning only as a screen. When you see
anger in others, go and dig within yourself and you will find it there; when you see too
much ego in others, just go inside and you will find ego sitting there. The inside functions
like a projector; others become screens and you start seeing films on others which are
really your own tapes.
The last question:
Question 6
A great insight has happened to you, a great realisation. Let it sink deep, let it become a
constant awareness.
No face is yours. All faces are false. Once you had the face of a lion, once you had the
face of a donkey, once you had the face of a tree and once the face of a rock. Now you
have the face of a man -- or a woman, ugly, beautiful, white, black.
But you don't have any face. Your reality is faceless. And that facelessness is what Zen
people call the original face. It is not a face at all.
When you were not born, what face had you then? When you die, what face will you
carry with yourself? This face that you see in the mirror will be dropped here; it will
disappear into the earth -- dust unto dust. You will go faceless just as you came faceless.
Right now you don't have any face, the face is just a belief -- you have believed in the
mirror too much. And when you have come to realise this facelessness, you have seen the
face of God.
The Art of Dying
Chapter #9
Chapter title: 'I see what I need to see'
19 October 1976 am in Buddha Hall
Archive code:
Video: No
88 mins
SPIRITUALITY is not a question of morality, it is a question of vision. Spirituality is not
the practising of virtues -- because if you practise a virtue it is no longer a virtue. A
practised virtue is a dead thing, a dead weight. Virtue is virtue only when it is
spontaneous; virtue is virtue only when it is natural, unpractised -- when it comes out of
your vision, out of your awareness, out of your understanding.
Ordinarily religion is thought of as a practice. It is not. That is one of the most
fundamental misunderstandings about religion. You can practise non-violence but you
will still remain violent, because your vision has not changed. You still carry the old
eyes. A greedy person can practise sharing, but the greed will remain the same. Even the
sharing will be corrupted by the greed, because you cannot practise anything against your
understanding, beyond your understanding. You cannot force your life into principles
unless those principles are of your own experience.
But so-called religious people try to practise virtue -- that's why they are the most
unvirtuous people on the earth. They try to practise love and they are the most unloving
people on the earth. They have created all sorts of mischief: wars, hatred, anger, enmity,
murder. They practise friendship but the friendship has not flowered on the earth. They
go on talking about God but they create more and more conflict in the name of God. The
Christian is against the Mohammedan, the Mohammedan is against the Hindu, the Hindu
is against the Jaina, the Jaina is against the Buddhist -- that's all they have been doing.
There are three hundred religions and they have all created fragments in the human mind;
they have not been an integrating force, they have not healed the wounds of the human
soul. Because of them humanity is ill, because of them humanity is insane -- and the
insanity comes out of one thing. That has to be understood as deeply as possible because
you can also go in the wrong direction. The wrong direction has a tremendous appeal,
otherwise so many people would not have gone in it. The appeal must be great. The
magnetic force of the wrong direction has to be understood, only then can you avoid it.
You can try practising anything you like and you can remain opposite to it.
You can try practising anything you like and you can remain opposite to it. You can
enforce a sort of stillness upon yourself: you can sit silently, you can learn a yoga
posture, you can make the body still, as if it is without movement, you can make the body
like a statue. And by repeating a mantra or by repressing the mind continuously for a long
time, you can enforce a certain stillness upon your being -- but it will be the silence of the
cemetery, it will not be throbbing, alive, kicking. It will be a frozen thing. You can
deceive others but you cannot deceive yourself and you cannot deceive God. You have
got it without any understanding; you forced it upon yourself; it is a practised silence.
The real silence arises out of the understanding: 'Why am I not silent? Why do I go on
creating tensions for myself? Why do I go on getting into miserable patterns? Why do I
support my hell?' One starts understanding the 'why' of one's hell -- and by that very
understanding, by and by, without any practising on your part, you start dropping those
wrong attitudes that create misery. Not that you drop them, they simply start
When understanding is there, things start changing around you. You will love but you
will no longer be possessive. It is not love that creates trouble. If you ask your so-called
saints, they say it is love that creates trouble. That is an absolutely false statement. It is
based on a deep misunderstanding of the human love-life. It is not love that creates
misery -- love is one of the greatest blessings, a benediction. It is possession that creates
misery. Possess your beloved, your friend, your child, and you will be in misery. And
when you are in misery those religious people are there waiting by the corner. They jump
upon you. They say, 'We told you before. Never love, otherwise you will be in trouble.
Drop out of all love situations, escape from the world.' And of course it appeals because
you are already seeing it happening to you. It is now your own experience that they are
right -- and yet they are not right and it is not your experience. You never analysed the
phenomenon that has happened, you never analysed that it is not love that has tricked you
into misery, it is possessiveness. Drop possessiveness, not love.
If you drop love, of course the misery will disappear, because by dropping love you will
be dropping possessiveness also -- that will be automatically dropped. The misery will
disappear but you will never be happy. Go and see your saints. They will be a proof of
what I am saying. They will never be happy.
They are not unhappy, that is true, but they are not happy either. So what is the point? If
happiness does not arise by dropping unhappiness then some mistake has been
committed. Otherwise it should be natural. You say, 'I have lighted the candle and the
darkness is still there.' Either you are befooling yourself or you are dreaming,
hallucinating, about the candle. Otherwise it is not possible -- the candle is burning bright
and the darkness is still there? No, the darkness is certain, absolute proof that the light has
not entered yet.
When unhappiness drops, suddenly there is happiness. What is happiness? Absence of
unhappiness is happiness. What is health? Absence of disease is health. When you are not
unhappy then how can you avoid happiness? When you are not unhappy how can you
manage not to be happy? It is impossible. It is not in the nature of things. It is against the
arithmetic of life. When a person is not unhappy suddenly all his sources are alive; a
dance arises in his being; a joy rises in his being. A laughter bursts forth. He explodes. He
becomes a Hasid, a Sufi. He becomes a presence of divine ecstasy. By seeing him you
will see God -- a glimpse, a ray of light. By visiting him you will be visiting a shrine, a
sacred place, a TEERTHA. Just by being in his presence you will be suffused with a new
light, a new being; a new wave will arise around you and you can ride on that tidal wave
and go to that other shore.
Whenever there is really a dropping of unhappiness, happiness is left -- nothing else is
possible. One is simply happy without any reason, without any why.
But your saints are not happy, your saints are very sad; your saints are not living, your
saints are dead. What has happened? What calamity? What curse? A mis-step. They
thought that love had to be dropped and then there would be no misery. They dropped
love -- but the misery was not happening because of love, the misery was happening
because of possessiveness.
Drop possessiveness! In fact, convert the energy which is involved in possessiveness into
love-energy. But that cannot be done by enforcing anything -- a clear vision is needed, a
So the first thing I would like to say to you is: spirituality is not the practising of any
virtue, spirituality is the gaining of a new vision. Virtue follows that vision; it comes on
its own accord. It is a natural by-product. When you start seeing, things start changing.
In life there are three things -- one. the objective world, the world of things. Everybody is
able to see that. We are naturally capable of seeing the objective world. But this is only
the beginning of the journey. Many have stopped there and think that they have arrived.
Of course they have not arrived so they are miserable.
Beyond the objective is the opening of another world -- the world of the subjective. The
objective is the world of things, objects; the objective is the world of science,
mathematics, physics, chemistry. The objective is very clear because naturally we are
born perfectly able to see the objective.
The subjective has to be explored; nobody is born with a vision of the subjective. The
subjective has to be explored; one has to learn what it is; one has to taste it by and by and
move into it by and by. The world of music, poetry, art -- the world of any creativity -- is
the world of the subjective. The man who starts moving inwards becomes more poetic,
more aesthetic. He has a different aroma around him, a different aura.
The scientist lives with things; the poet lives with persons. The scientist is not at all
aware of who he is, he is simply aware of what surrounds him. He may be able to know
about the moon and about Mars and about the stars far, far away, but he is completely
oblivious of his own inwardness. In fact, the more he becomes concerned with faraway
things, the more and more he becomes oblivious of himself: He remains almost in a sort
of sleep about himself.
The poet, the painter the dancer, the musician, they are closer to home. They live in the
subjective -- they know they are persons. And when you know you are a person, suddenly
you become capable of looking into other persons. For a poet even a tree is a person,
even animals are people; for a scientist even a man or a woman is nothing but an object.
A scientist looks at a man as if he is also just an object. And if he is not aware of his own
inwardness how can he be aware of the inwardness of the other?
When I use the word 'person' I mean that there is an inside which is not available to
outside observation, analysis, dissection. There is a rock, it has no inside; you can break it
and you can see everything. If you break a rock, nothing is disturbed, nothing is
destroyed. Even if it is in pieces, it is the same rock. But if you break a person, something
of tremendous value immediately disappears. Now you are left with a dead body, and the
dead body is not the person. The rock broken is still the same rock, but the person is no
longer the same person. In fact, the person broken is not a person at all. On the dissection
table of a surgeon you are not a person, only when a poet touches you and holds your
hand do you become a person.
That's why people hanker for love. The reason for the hankering for love is nothing but
this: you would like somebody to see that you are a person, not a thing.
You go to the dentist, he is not worried about you -- he is simply interested in your teeth.
Even if I go to the dentist -- I see him...what a miracle! He is not interested in me, he just
looks at my teeth. I am there, sitting in his chair, he is completely oblivious of me. A
great space is available just in his room but he will not even look at me -- that's not his
concern. He is only interested in the teeth, in his own technique. His knowledge of the
objective world is his only world.
People hanker for love because only love can make you a person, only love can reveal
your inwardness to you, only love can make you feel that you are not just that which is
apparent from the outside. You are something more; you are something totally different
to what you appear to be. The reflection in the mirror is not your totality; the reflection in
the mirror is just the reflection of your surface, not of your depth. It says nothing about
your depth.
When you come to a scientist, or a person who is absolutely absorbed with the objective
dimension, he looks at you as if you are just the reflection in the mirror. He does not look
at you, he looks around you. His approach is not direct, his approach is not intimate --
and you feel something is missing. He is mistreating you because he is not accepting your
personality. He is treating you as if you are a thing. He is doing things but he is not
touching you at all; you remain almost non-existential to him.
And unless somebody touches you with love, looks at you with love, your own
inwardness remains unfulfilled, unrecognised -- that is what the need to be needed is.
The subjective is the dimension, the inward dimension, of poetry, song, dance, music, of
art. It is better than the scientific dimension because it is deeper. It is better than the
objective dimension because it is closer to home. But it is not yet the dimension of
religion, remember. There are many people whose mind is obsessed with the objective --
when they think about God, God also becomes an object. Then God is also outside. Ask a
Christian where God is and he will look upwards, somewhere in the sky -- outside. When
you ask a person where God is and he looks somewhere else than within himself, then he
belongs to the non-religious dimension. People ask, 'What is the proof of God?' Proofs
are needed only for a thing. God does not need proof. If I love you, what is the proof? For
poetry there is no proof, for chemistry there is. But poetry exists. And a world without
chemistry would not be very much worse, but a world without poetry would not be a
human world at all.
Poetry brings meaning to life, the unproved brings meaning to life -- the proved at the
most makes you comfortable. God is not an object and cannot be proved. God is more
like music. It exists, certainly it exists, but there is no way to grab it. You cannot have it
in your fist, you cannot lock it into your treasury, there is no way.
Love exists but you cannot possess it. If you try to possess it, you belong to the objective
dimension and you are killing love -- that's why possession is destructive. If you possess
a woman, if you say, 'She is my wife and I possess her' then she is no longer a person.
You have reduced her to be a thing and she will never be able to forgive you. No wife has
ever been able to forgive her husband; no husband. has ever been able to forgive his wife
-- because both have reduced each other to things. A husband is a thing, a wife is a thing,
and when you become a thing you become ugly -- you lose freedom, you lose
inwardness, you lose poetry, you lose romance, you lose meaning. You become simply a
thing in the world of things. Utility is there -- but who lives for utility? Utility can never
be satisfying. You are being used, how can it be satisfying? Whenever you feel you are
being used, you feel offended. And you SHOULD feel offended, because it is a crime to
use somebody and it is a crime to allow somebody to use you. It is a crime against God.
But there are people who try to use God also. When you go and you pray for something
you are trying to use God. You don't know what prayer is, you don't know what love is,
you don't know what poetry is, you don't know the subjective realm at all. Your prayer, if
it has a motivation in it, a desire in it, is ugly. But we find -- we are very cunning people -
- we find ways and means.
Let me tell you an anecdote.
A minister, a priest and a rabbi were discussing how they decided what part of the
collection money each retained for personal needs and what part was turned into their
respective institutions. 'I draw a line,' said the minister, 'on the floor. All the money I
toss in the air. What lands to the right of the line I keep, to the left of the line is the
The priest nodded, saying,' My system is essentially the same, only I use a circle. What
lands inside is mine, outside is his.'
The rabbi smiled and said, 'I do the same thing. I toss all the money into the air and
whatever God grabs is his.'
We even go on playing tricks with God. In fact, God is also our invention, a very cunning
invention. It is also somewhere there -- and you can pray to him, you can ask things from
him, you can find security in him, consolation, comfort. It is a security measure, a sort of
other-worldly bank balance. But it remains an object.
God is not an object -- that's why Mohammedans, Christians, Jews have all tried not to
make any image of God. That is very symbolic and meaningful because when you make
an image of God it becomes objective. Let God remain without any image. But it has
remained without an image only in theology. Whether you have made an image of God or
not, it makes no difference; your mind, if it is capable of moving in the objective
dimension, will treat God as an object. Even a Mohammedan turns towards Mecca for his
prayers; that becomes an image. Even a Mohammedan goes to Mecca to kiss the stone;
That becomes the image. The Black Stone of Mecca is the most kissed stone ever. In fact,
it is very dangerous to kiss it now -- it is unhygenic.
But whether you make any image of God or not, if the mind is objective, your idea of
God will be objective. When you think of God you start thinking of high heaven, the
uppermost boundary of the sky. God is THERE. If you ask a truly religious person where
God is, he will close his eyes and go inwards. God is there, inwards. Your own being is
divine. Unless God is immanent in you, unless God is immersed in your being, you are
carrying an image. Whether you have made an image of wood or of stone does not matter
-- you can make an image with thinking, thoughts, ideas. That too is an image -- made of
a subtler material, but still an image.
Man remains the same unless he changes his dimension. Somebody is an atheist; he says,
'There is no God because I cannot see him. Show me and I will believe.' And then
someday he comes to have an experience, a vision, a dream in which he sees God
standing there. Then he starts believing.
In the Gita, Arjuna, Krishna's disciple, goes on asking again and again, 'You go on
talking about him but I cannot believe unless I see.'Now, what is he saying? He is saying,
'Let God be objective then I will believe.' And Krishna concedes to his desire. I am not
happy with that -- because to concede to this desire means to concede that the objective
dimension is capable of seeing God. The story says that Krishna then revealed his reality,
his vastness; he revealed God. Arjuna started trembling and shaking. He said, 'Stop!
Enough! I have seen!' He saw Krishna expanding and becoming the whole universe; and
in Krishna stars were moving, the sun was rising and the moon and planets and the
beginning of the world and the end of the world and all life and all death was there. It was
too much; he could not bear it. He said, 'Stop!' And then he came to believe.
But this belief does not change the object, this belief does not change the objective
dimension. He did not believe because he could not see; now he has seen so he believes --
but the God remains in the objective world, the God remains a thing. I am not happy with
Krishna for doing this. It should not be done. It is conceding to a foolish disciple's desire.
The disciple needs to be changed from his dimension; he should be made more
But we remain the same -- we go on changing forms but we remain the same.
I have heard.
The funeral was over. Still sobbing, Goldberg, the new widower, followed his late wife's
sister-in-law into the waiting limousine. As the big car passed through the cemetery gates
the sister-in-law was horrified by Goldberg's hand which was slowly but passionately
creeping up her leg. With her body still wracked with sobs of bereavement, she screamed,
'Goldberg, you monster, you fiend, you animal! My sister is not yet cold in her grave.
What is the matter with you!'
In a voice shaking with emotion, Goldberg replied, 'In my grief do I know what I am
People remain the same in their grief or in their other moods -- they remain the same.
they don't change the dimension.
So this is the first thing to understand: you need a shift from the objective to the
subjective. Meditate more and more with closed eyes about your emotions, about your
thoughts. Look deeper into the inner world, the world that is absolutely private to you.
The objective is public; the subjective is private. You cannot invite anybody into your
dreams, it is not possible. You cannot say to your friend, 'Tonight come into my dream,'
because the dream is absolutely yours. You cannot even invite your beloved who may be
sleeping just on the same bed, who may be sleeping just by your side, hand in hand. But
you dream your dreams and she dreams her dreams. Dreams are private. The subjective is
the private; the objective is the public, the objective is the marketplace. Many people can
watch one thing, but many people cannot watch one thought, only one person can -- the
person to whom the thought belongs.
Remove your consciousness more and more towards me private. The poet lives a private
life; the politician lives a public life. Mahatma Gandhi used to say that he didn't have any
private life. That means he must have had a very poor life. A private life is a rich life. The
politician's life is there to be watched by everybody: on the TV, in the newspapers, in the
street, in the crowd. The politician only has a public face. When he goes home he is
nobody. He loses all face.
You have to find your private face. The emphasis should be more on the private than on
the public. And you should start learning how to love the private -- because the private is
the door to God. The public is the door to science but not to religion, not to God. The
public is the door towards arithmetic, calculation, but it is not the door to ecstasy, to love.
And enjoy things which are very private: music, poetry, painting. Zen insisted on
calligraphy, painting, poetry, gardening -- something that is absolutely private, something
that you live from the in towards the out, something that rises as a wave in the innermost
core of your being and spreads outwards.
The public life is just the reverse: something rises outside and faces in towards you. In a
public life the original, the source, is always outside. Your centre of being is never within
yourself, It is always outside. That's why a politician is always afraid of the outside --
because his life depends on the outside. If the people don't vote he will be nobody.
But that doesn't make any difference to a painter or to a poet. Nobody purchased Vincent
van Gogh's paintings. During his whole life not a single painting was sold, but that didn't
matter; he enjoyed himself. If they sold, good; if they did not sell, good. The real prize
was not in their being sold and appreciated, the real prize was in the painter's creating of
them. In that very creation he has attained his goal. In the moment of creation he becomes
divine. You become God whenever you create.
You have heard it said again and again that God created the world. I tell you one thing
more: whenever YOU create something you become a small God in your own right. If
God is the creator then to be creative is the only way to reach him. Then you become a
participant, then you are no more a spectator.
Van Gogh, appreciated or not, lived a tremendously beautiful life in his inner world --
very colourful. The real prize is not when a painting is sold and critics appreciate it all
over the world -- that is just a booby prize. The real prize is when the painter is creating
it, when the painter is lost in his painting, when the dancer has dissolved into his dance,
when the singer has forgotten who he is and the song throbs. THERE is the real prize,
THERE is the attainment.
In the outside world you depend on others. In the public life, in the political life, you
depend on others, you are a slave. In the private life you start becoming a master of your
own being.
Let me insist and emphasise it because I would like all of my sannyasins to be creative in
some way. To me, creativity is of tremendous import. An uncreative person is not a
religious person at all. I am not saying that you all have to be van Goghs -- you cannot. I
am not saying you all have to be Leonardo da Vincis or Beethovens or Mozarts; I am not
saying you all have to become Wagners and Picassos, Rabindranaths -- no, I am not
saying that. I am not saying that you have to become a world famous painter or poet or
you have to win a Nobel prize -- if you have that idea, again you fall into politics. The
Nobel prize comes from the outside; it is a booby prize, it is not a real prize. The real
prize comes from inside. And I am not saying that you are capable -- all are not capable
of becoming Picassos. And there is no need either, because too many Picassos would
make a very monotonous world. It is good that there is only one Picassos and it is good
that he has never been repeated, otherwise it would become boring.
But you all can become creators in your own way. It does not matter whether anybody
comes to know about it or not, that is absolutely unimportant. You can do something out
of love -- then it becomes creative. You can enjoy something while you are doing it --
then it becomes creative.
While I am talking to you Astha is cleaning my bathroom and my room. I enquired of her
if she would like to drop this work and come to the talk. She said, 'Osho, cleaning your
bathroom is enough for me.' It is a creative act, and she has chosen it out of love. And
certainly she is not missing anything. Whether she listens to me or not is not the point. If
she loves cleaning the bathroom, if she loves me, it is a prayer. You can be here but you
may listen to me or you may not listen to me. She is not here but she has listened to me.
She has understood me. Now the work itself becomes worship. Then it is creative.
I would like to remind all of my sannyasins again and again: be creative. In the past the
majority of the religious people proved to be uncreative. That was a calamity, a curse.
Saints were simply sitting doing nothing. That is not real religion. When real religion
explodes into people's lives, suddenly much creativity explodes also.
When Buddha was here a great creativity exploded. You can find proofs in Ajanta,
Ellora. When Tantra was an alive religion a great creativity exploded. You can go to Puri,
Kanorak, Khajuraho and see. When Zen Masters were alive they created really many new
dimensions -- out of small things, but very creative.
If you are uncreative it simply means that you must have practised your religion, you
must have forced yourself into a certain pattern, and you have got blocked, frozen in that
pattern. A religious person is flowing, streaming, river-like; seeking, exploring, always
seeking and exploring the unknown, always dropping the known and going into the
unknown, always choosing the unknown for the known, sacrificing the known for the
unknown. And always ready. A religious man is a wanderer, a vagabond; into the
innermost world he goes on wandering moving from one place to another. He wants to
know all the spaces that are involved in his being.
Be more creative. Dance, and don't bother whether somebody likes your dance or not --
that is not the question. If you can get dissolved into it, you are a dancer. Write poetry.
There is no need even to show it to anybody. If you enjoy it, write it and burn it. Play on
your flute or guitar or sitar. You must see our tabla-player, Bodhi. How meditatively he
plays on his tabla! That's his meditation. He is growing: going into it, dissolving, melting.
The subjective is the realm of all art and creativity. These are the two ordinary realms of
The third, the really religious, is the transcendental. First is the objective -- the objective
is the world of science, second is the subjective -- the subjective is the world of art; and
third is the transcendental -- that which goes beyond both; is neither objective or
subjective; is neither out nor in. In it both are implied, in it both are involved but yet it is
higher than both, bigger than both, beyond both. The subjective is closer to the
transcendental than the objective, but remember, just by being subjective, you don't
become religious. You have taken a step towards being religious, a very important step,
but just by being subjective you don't become religious. You can find poets who are not
religious, you can find painters who are not religious...religion is more than art, more
than songs.
What is this third? First, you start looking into your thoughts. Drop the public world and
move into the private: look into your dreams, your thoughts, your desires, your emotions,
your moods and the climates that go on changing inside you, year in, year out. Look into
it. This is the subjective.
Then the last and the ultimate jump: by and by, by looking into thoughts, start looking
into the looker, the witness, the one who is watching the thoughts.
First move from things to thoughts, then from thoughts to the thinker. Things are the
world of science, thought is the world of art and the thinker is the world of religion. Just
go on moving inwards. The first circumference around you is of things, the second of
thoughts, and the third, the centre, your very being, is nothing but consciousness. It is
nothing but a witnessing.
Drop things and go into thoughts; then one day thoughts also have to be dropped and then
you are left alone in your purity, then you are left absolutely alone. In that aloneness is
God, in that aloneness is liberation, moksha, in that aloneness is nirvana, in that aloneness
for the first time you are in the real.
The objective and subjective are divided; there is a duality, a conflict, a struggle, a
division. The person who is objective will miss something -- he will miss the subjective.
And the person who is subjective will miss something -- he will miss the objective. Both
will be incomplete. The scientist and the poet both are incomplete. Only the holy man is
complete; only the holy man is whole. And because he is whole I call him holy.
By 'holy' I don't mean that he is virtuous, by 'holy' I mean that he is whole. Nothing is
left, everything is involved. His richness is whole: the subjective and the objective both
have dissolved into him. But he is not just the total of subjective and objective, he is
more. The objective is without, the subjective is within and the religious is beyond. The
beyond comprehends both without and within and yet is beyond.
This vision is what I call spirituality: the vision of the beyond.
A few more things. In the world of the objective, action is very important. One has to be
active because only action is relevant in the world of things. If you do something, only
then can you have more things; if you do something, only then can you change in the
world of objectivity.
In the world of subjectivity...inaction. Doing is not important, feeling is. That's why poets
become lazy. And painters -- even great painters and great poets and great singers, they
have bouts of activity and then again they relapse into laziness. The subjective person is
more sleepy, dreamy, lazy; the objective person is active, obsessed with action. The
objective person always needs to do something or other, he cannot sit alone, he cannot
rest. He can fall asleep -- but once he is awake he has to do something. The subjective
person is inactive. It is very difficult for him to move into action. He enjoys the world of
fantasy -- and that is available without action. He does not have to go anywhere, he has
just to close his eyes and the world of dreams opens.
The religious person is the meeting of the opposites: action in inaction, inaction in action.
He does things but he does them in such a way that he never becomes the doer. He
remains a vehicle of God, the passage -- what the Chinese call wu-wei, inaction in action.
Even if he is doing, he is not doing it. His doing is very playful, there is no tension in it,
no anxiety, no obsession about it. And even when he is inactive he is not dull; even when
he is sitting, or Lying down and resting, he is full of energy. He is not lethargic, he is
radiant with energy. Because both the opposites have come to a meeting and to a higher
synthesis in him, he can act as if he is in a non-doing state and he can remain in a non-
doing state but still you can feel the energy, you can feel a vibe of tremendous activity
around his being. Wherever he moves, he brings life to people. Just by his presence dead
people become alive; just by his touch dead people are called back to life.
Like Jesus.... When Lazarus died, Jesus was called. He went to the grave where Lazarus
was kept and he called out, 'Lazarus, come out!' And the dead Lazarus came out and said,
'I am here. You called me out of death. I am here.'
A religious person is active -- not because he is doer, a religious person is active because
he has infinite energy available. A religious person is active -- not because he has to do
something, because he has an obsession to do, not because he cannot relax, but because
he is such a pool of energy that he has to overflow; the energy is too much and he cannot
contain it.
So while sitting silently.... You can see Buddha sitting silently under the Bodhi tree but
you will see energy playing around him, a great aura of energy.
A beautiful story is told about Mahavir -- that wherever he moved, for miles around life
would become more alive. And he was an inactive man. He would simply stand or sit
under a tree, for hours, for days, but for miles life would start throbbing with a new
rhythm. It is said that trees would bloom out of season; trees would start growing faster
than ever; dead trees would start producing new fresh leaves. Whether it happened or not
is not the point, it maybe just a story.But it is very indicative, it is very symbolic. Myths
are not symbolic things, myths are very meaningful symbols. They say something.
What does this myth say? It simply says that Mahavir was such a pool of energy, such an
overflowing of energy, such an overflowing of God, that wherever he was, life would
move faster. A speed would happen to all the existence around him. He would not be
doing anything but things would start happening.
Lao Tzu has said that the greatest religious person never does anything, but millions of
things happen through him. He is never a doer but much happens through him. He simply
goes on sitting and yet the impact of his being on the world of affairs is tremendous.
Nobody may ever come to know about him -- he may be sitting in a cave in the
Himalayas so you never know about him -- but still your life will be affected by him
because he will be vibrating. He will give a new energy, a new pulse to life; he will
impart a new pulsation to life. You may not come to know about him but you may have
been benefitted by him.
The opposites become complementaries in a religious being. The day and night meet and
dissolve their conflict; the man and woman meet in the religious person and dissolve their
conflict. A religious person is ARDHANARISHVAR -- he is half man, half woman. He
is both. He is as strong as any man can be and he is as fragile as any woman can be. He is
as fragile as a flower and as strong as a sword. He is hard and he is soft and he is both
together. He is a miracle, he is a mystery. Because opposites meet he goes beyond logic,
his being is paradoxical. He is alive as nobody else is alive and he is dead, more dead,
than the dead who are in the graveyards. He is dead in a way and alive in a way --
together, simultaneously; he has known the art of dying and the art of living
In ordinary life with the ordinary mind everything is divided into its opposites, and there
is a great attraction for meeting with the opposite: the man seeks the woman, the woman
seeks the man -- the yin-yang circle. In a religious man all search has stopped -- the man
has found the woman, the woman has found the man. In his innermost core the energy
has come to a point where everything has dissolved into oneness, into non-duality,
ADVAIT. All opposites become complementaries; all conflicts dissolve and become co-
operation. Then you have come home, then there is no need to go anywhere, then there is
nothing to be sought, nothing to be desired. This state is the state of God. God is a state,
God is not an object. And God is not even a person, because God is neither objective nor
subjective. God is transcendental.
If you are in the objective I will say, 'Seek the subjective -- there is the God.' If you are in
the subjective, I will say, 'Now go beyond. There is no God in the subjective. God is
beyond.' By and by one has to go on eliminating, by and by one has to go on dropping.
God is when there is no object and no subject, when there is no thing and no thought,
when there is no this world and no that world. When there is no matter and no mind, God
is; God is neither matter nor mind. In God both exist. God is a tremendous paradox,
absolutely illogical, beyond logic. You cannot make an image of God in wood or in stone
and you cannot make an image of God in concepts and ideas. When you dissolve all
images -- when you have dissolved all in/out, man/woman, life/death, all dualities -- then
that which is left is God.
Now this story.
The eyes that see only the outside are blind. They are not really eyes yet. They are very
primitive, rudimentary. The eyes that see withinwards are more real. The Rabbi was
right. He said, 'Now there is no need to restore my eyes, because although I cannot see
objects now I don't WANT to see them anymore. And the world that I need to see, I can
see. It is good that blindness happened to me because now I am no longer disturbed and
distracted by the other world of objects.'
It has happened many times. Milton became blind -- and all his great poetry was born
only after he became blind. At first he was very much shocked, naturally. He lost his eyes
and there was no way to restore them. He thought his whole life was finished. He was a
good poet, already famous. And, of course, a poet thinks, 'Without eyes, how can you see
the trees and how can you see the moon and how can you see the river and the wild
ocean? And without eyes how can you see the colour of life? Of course, your poetry will
become very poor. It will lose colour.' But Milton was wrong. He was a religious man
and he accepted his blindness. He said, 'Okay. If God wills it that way, then that has to be
so.' He accepted it. And by and by he became aware of an infinite new world becoming
available: the world of inner thoughts. He became subjective. Now there was no need to
see outside so all his energy was available.
Have you seen blind people? On their faces you will always see a certain grace. Even
ordinary blind people look v3ry graceful, very silent. They don't have any of the
distraction of the outside world.
Scientists say that man lives through the eyes; almost eighty per cent of his life is
involved with his eyes. Eighty per cent! Only twenty per cent is distributed to other
senses. You live eighty per cent of your life through the eyes. That's why when you see a
blind man a great compassion arises in your being. You don't feel that much compassion
for a dumb or deaf person, no, but for a blind person great compassion arises. You feel,
'Poor fellow. Eighty per cent of his life is not there.'
Eyes are very important. The whole scientific search depends on the eyes. Have you ever
heard of any scientist who was blind? It is impossible. A blind person cannot be in
objective research -- it becomes difficult. But there have been many blind musicians,
blind singers; in fact, a blind person has tremendous qualities of the ear which a man with
eyes cannot have, because eighty per cent of his energy is no longer being wasted by the
eyes. That energy shifts to his ears. His ears become very, very receptive and sensitive.
He starts seeing through his ears. Hold a blind man's hand and you will be surprised. You
will find a very alive touch -- a touch you will not find in people who have eyes. Hold the
hand of a blind man and you will feel a warmth flowing towards you, because the blind
man cannot see you, he can only touch you. His whole energy moves into his touch.
Ordinarily you touch with your eyes. A beautiful woman passes by -- you look. You have
touched her through the eyes. You touched her whole body -- and without offending her
and breaking no law. By and by you forget completely what touch is.
Eyes have become monopolies -- they have taken many energies from many sources. For
example, the nose. Eyes are very close to the nose. The eyes have taken the whole energy
from the nose. People don't smell. They have lost their smell power. Their noses are dead.
A blind person smells. His smelling capacity is tremendous. When you come close to him
he knows your smell; he recognises you by your smell. He touches you; he knows you by
your touch. He hears your sound; he knows you by your sound. His other senses become
alive. And he is very graceful, because the eyes create much tension.
When Milton became blind, first he was shocked but-then he accepted -- he was a
religious man. He prayed to God and he said, 'Thy will be done.' By and by he was
surprised that it was not a curse, it was a blessing. He became aware of infinite colours
inside. It was a psychedelic world. Very subtle nuances, very beautiful dreams started
opening up for him. And all his great poetry was born when he became blind. He was a
good poet but not a great poet, but when he became blind he was no longer a good poet,
he became a great poet. Good poetry is just so-so -- luke-warm. Maybe you cannot find
any fault in it but that's all. Great poetry has a penetrating energy in it; great poetry is a
revolutionary force; it has an impact strong enough to shake the whole world, to change
the whole world.
It has happened many times. If, when a certain person has suddenly become blind, he can
accept it, that very acceptance gives him a new world. The objective disappears, the
subjective opens its door. And the subjective is closer to the transcendental -- that's why
all the meditators close their eyes.
Have you observed? All women close their eyes when you make love to them; men never
close their eyes. They are foolish. The man wants to see the woman when he is making
love to her. He would like to have the light on so he can see. And there are many foolish
people who have mirrors in their bedroom. Not only would they like to see the woman,
they would like to see all the reflections around. And there are a few who have fixed
cameras in their room -- automatically taking pictures -- because if they miss something
right now, later on they can see it!
But women are still not that foolish. I don't know about liberation women -- maybe they
are doing the same thing because they have to compete with everything, whatsoever it is.
They may be making love with open eyes -- but then they will miss something. Men
make love in the objective dimension, women make love in the subjective dimension.
Women immediately close their eyes because it is so beautiful inside, what is there to see
outside? When you are moving in love energy, melting, flowing, and an orgasm is
opening inside you, it is there that reality has to be looked at. The man is just foolish, he
is just looking at the body; the woman is more understanding, she is looking at the psyche
-- a higher standpoint.
But still it is not religious. It is artistic, aesthetic, but still not religious. When you become
religious, then the Tantra attitude arises. Then you don't see with open eyes, you don't see
with closed eyes you simply see the seer! You are not worried about the experience, you
look at the experiencer, you look at the witness. Then love becomes Tantra. Whether it is
a man or a woman who is moving into the dimension of Tantra, he or she is not interested
in what is happening; rather, he or she is more interested in the witness who is watching it
all. Who is this witness? And when the energy is exploding in such a natural,
spontaneous realm it is better to watch. Just be a watcher on the h i 11. Forget about you r
being a man or a woman, forget about your being in the body, forget that you are a mind
and just be a witness -- and then you have become transcendental. Tantra is
And this dimension has to evolve in all your ordinary life situations. Whatsoever you do,
you can do in three ways: objectively, that is the scientific way, the Western way; or,
subjectively, that is the Eastern way, or, the religious way, the transcendental way, in
which East and West meet and dissolve. The religious way is neither Eastern nor
Western. The West is scientific, the East is poetic; the West thinks in terms of history, the
East thinks in terms of myths, PURANAS; the West is more concerned about what reality
is, the East is more concerned about the fantasy about the reality, the dream about the
reality; the West is more concerned with the conscious mind, the East is more concerned
with the unconscious mind. But religion is beyond both. Religion is of the super-
conscious mind, the transcendental mind -- it is neither Eastern nor Western.
Just as man and woman meet, so East and West meet. West is more male, East is more
female; West is more will, East is more surrender. But religion is both, and beyond.
Certainly a great religious statement -- it's enough, more than enough, if you can see the
seer. If you can see the seer. If you can be your consciousness, your awareness, that's
enough. All is available. You have become a God, nothing else is needed.
Strive for that state of being. If you are coming from the West, struggle for it; if you are
coming from the East, surrender for it. If you are coming from the West, will it; if you are
coming from the East, be passive, wait for it.
And if you are my sannyasins, who don't belong to the East or to the West, then drop all
duality, be non-dual. Drop all division. Just be individual.!f you belong to me then you
belong to the transcendental. That is the whole meaning of being initiated by me. I bring
you the transcendental, I bring you the ultimate, I bring you that which cannot be seen on
the outside, that which cannot be seen on the inside but you can become that because you
are already that.
The Art of Dying
Chapter #10
Chapter title: Just a Hotch-potch
20 October 1976 am in Buddha Hall
Archive code:
Video: No
96 mins
The first question:
Question 1
THE real synthesis will be the disappearance of East and West. It will not be a meeting.
In the real synthesis the East will not be there and the West will not be there. That's what
yesterday I called the transcendental.
East and West are polarities. If you try to synthesise them -- take something of the East
and something of the West and make a hotchpotch out of it -- it will be a compromise and
not a synthesis. It will be mechanical, not organic. You can put things together -- that is a
mechanical unity -- but you cannot put a tree together, you cannot put a human being
together. The unity of a tree grows, it comes from its own innermost core and it spreads
towards its circumference. It arises in the centre. A mechanical unity can be put together
from the outside: you can put a car or a clock together; but the clock has no centre to it,
the car has no centre to it -- the car has no soul. That is the meaning when we say the
clock has no soul...it means it has no centre of its own. It is a unity put together from the
outside. It works; it is utilitarian.
But a tree, a bird, a human baby -- you cannot put them together. They grow. Their unity
comes from their innermost core. They have a centre.
A compromise is a mechanical unity' a synthesis is an organic growth. So whatsoever is
happening right now in the name of EST, TM, Arica, is a sort of mechanical unity.
And mechanical unity has its own dangers. The greatest danger is this: the East has
developed a great insight into religion and the West has developed a great insight into
science. When a Western person starts searching in the East, his attitude is scientific. He
can understand only that which is scientific in the East -- try to understand this. And the
East has not developed any scientific attitude; Eastern science is very primitive and
rudimentary. When a religious person goes to the West from the East he looks into
Western religion which is very rudimentary, very primitive. And he can understand only
the religious language.
So when somebody from the East approaches the West, he approaches the West from the
weak point in Western growth. And when somebody comes from the West to the East he
approaches the East from the weakest link in its growth.
Now what is happening? East and West are meeting in Arica, EST, TM, and other so-
called spiritual movements -- and just the opposite to what was expected is happening. It
is not Eastern religion meeting Western science, it is Eastern science meeting Western
religion. It is an ugly affair.
You must have heard.
A French actress told George Bernard Shaw that she would like to get married to him.
Bernard Shaw inquired why.
She said, 'The logic is simple. I have a tremendously beautiful body. Look at my face, my
eyes, my form -- it is perfect. And you have a beautiful intellect, the greatest intelligence
ever. Our child will be a beauty: your brain and my body.'
George Bernard Shaw said, 'I am afraid things can go wrong. Our child may have my
body and your intellect.'
This is what is happening!
He declined the offer to marry. He said, 'It is dangerous. There is no certainty about it.'
Of course, George Bernard Shaw had a very ugly body -- and actresses have never been
known to have any intellect. Intelligence is a strange phenomenon to actresses, otherwise
why would they be actresses in the first place?
EST, Arica and TM are just by-products of the marriage between George Bernard Shaw
and the actress. Things have gone wrong. This is not a synthesis, this is a compromise, a
hotch-potch. And it is very dangerous.
A great synthesis is needed. That synthesis will not come through movements, it will
come only through a few people who attain to that synthesis in their souls. It is not a
question of reading the Bible and reading the Bhagavad Gita and finding out the
similarities and making a synthesis out of it -- that would be a mechanical unity. But
many people have done that.
Dr. Bhagwandas has written a very scholarly book: 'The Essential Unity of all Religions.'
The whole thing is silly. Read the Koran, read the Veda, read the Bible, read the
Dhammapada, find the similarities -- it is very easy to find similarities -- but in fact the
Koran is beautiful only because of those things which are not in the Gita.The beauty is in
its uniqueness. When you find something...as Mahatma Gandhi has done, he read the
Koran and found things which were similar to the Gita. He was looking for the Gita in the
Koran. It was unjust to the Koran; it was not good manners either because he was
imposing some alien element on the Koran. And whatsoever was not similar to the Gita,
in tune with the Gita, he would forget about. He would forget that it existed in the Koran.
And that which was dropped is the uniqueness of the Koran.
The same can be done by a Christian. He can look into the Gita and find something which
satisfies his Christian mind -- then he is looking for the Bible in the Gita, but the Gita is
beautiful only where it is not at all similar to the Bible. There is its uniqueness. Beauty is
in uniqueness; similarities become cliches, similarities become meaningless, similarities
are monotonous. The Himalayas are beautiful because they have something unique that is
not in the Alps. And the Ganges is beautiful because it has something that is not in the
Amazon. Of course, both are rivers, and there are a thousand and one things similar, but
if you go on looking for similarities you will live in a very boring world. I am not in
favour of it.
I will not tell you to look into Eastern scriptures and into Western scriptures and to find
some sort of compromise, no. I would like you to go into your innermost being. If you go
beyond the object, you have gone beyond the West; if you go beyond the subject, you
have gone beyond the East. Then the transcendental arises and THERE is the synthesis.
And when it has happened within you you can spread it without also. The synthesis has to
happen within human beings, not in books, not in dissertations, not in Ph.D. theses. An
organic unity is possible only in an organic way.
This is what I am doing here. I am hammering you to make you to go beyond the
objective and beyond the subjective. I am not telling you to make subjective and
objective meet inside you, because that meeting will not be able to bring the higher into
existence. You have to go beyond. The humanity of the future has to go beyond East and
West; both have been only half, both have been lop-sided. I am neither for East nor for
West, I am for a total world, a world that is whole.
But it is natural in a way -- Arica, EST, TM -- it is natural in a way. Because the common
humanity, the ordinary human mind, always tries to find cheap methods, short-cuts.
People are not really interested in the ultimate truth, they are interested at the most in a
convenient, comfortable life. They are not really interested in being alive and being an
adventurer, they are really afraid of all adventures. They want to put things together in
such a way that things become comfortable and one can live comfortably and one can die
comfortably. Comfort seems to be the goal, not truth.
And everybody has his own prejudice. The Christian, the Hindu, the Mohammedan, they
all have their prejudices. They are very deep-rooted. You can talk about love but that is
always superficial.
Let me tell you an anecdote.
The distraught young man was perched on the fortieth-floor ledge of a mid-town hotel,
threatening to jump. The closest the police could get was the roof of an adjacent building
a few feet below. However, all pleas to the man to return to safety were of no avail.
A priest from the nearest parish was summoned and he hastened to the scene. 'Think,
my son,' he intoned to the would-be suicide in a very loving way. 'Think, my son, think of
your mother and father who love you.' 'Oh, they don't love me,' the man replied. 'I am
jumping.' 'No, my son, stop!' cried the priest with great love in his voice. 'Think of the
woman who loves you.' 'Nobody loves me. I am jumping,' came the response. 'But
think, still think, my boy,' the priest implored. 'Think of Jesus and Mary and Joseph who
love you.' 'Jesus, Mary and Joseph?' the man queried. 'Who are they?'
At which the point the cleric yelled back, 'Jump, you Jew bastard, jump!'
All love disappears immediately. All talk of love is just superficial; all talk of tolerance is
intolerant deep down.
People say, 'Tolerate each other.' What do you mean when you say, 'Tolerate each other'?
It is already intolerant. The very word 'tolerance' is ugly. When you tolerate somebody,
do you love him? When Hindus tolerate Mohammedans, do they love them? When
Mohammedans tolerate Hindus, do they love them? Can tolerance ever become love?
Tolerance may be political but it is not religious.
One who wants to know the truth -- the truth that is beyond all polarities: man/woman,
East/West, good/bad, heaven/hell, summer/winter -- one who is interested in knowing, in
enquiring into the truth which is beyond all dualities, has to drop all his prejudices. If he
still carries his prejudice, that prejudice will colour his mind. To know truth you need not
be a Hindu, you need not be a Mohammedan, you need not be a Christian, you need not
be a Jew -- to know truth you have to drop all this rubbish, you have to be just yourself.
You need not be Indian, you need not be American, you need not be English, you need
not be Japanese, Chinese. To know truth you have just to be immense, huge, vital, alive,
loving, enquiring, meditative...but with no prejudice, with no scripture, with no concepts,
with no philosophy. When you become completely nude of all that has been taught to
you, when all the conditionings have dropped, then suddenly there is the highest truth --
and that highest truth is a synthesis unto itself, you need not synthesise. It is an organic
unity. And from that altitude you can laugh at all the nonsense that goes on in the name
of religion, in the name of tolerance, in the name of love, in the name of churches and
temples and mosques.
The revolution has to happen within you; it has not to be introduced into the world.
Because only YOU are alive -- society is dead, society is just a name. Only YOU have
something of the soul. The synthesis has to happen there. The synthesis has not to happen
in Poona or in New York or in Timbuktu or in Constantinople, the synthesis is going to
happen within you, within me. And each individual has to become a great experiment
towards that synthesis. But remember, when that synthesis arises, you will not be able to
say whether it is a synthesis between East and West, between Mohammedan and
Christian, between Hindu and Jaina. No, you will immediately be able to see it is a
transcendence. Synthesis, real synthesis, organic synthesis, is a transcendence -- your
altitude has changed, you are standing on the highest peak. From there you look.
Whatsoever we look at, whatsoever we see, is not very important. The important thing is
where you stand. If you are clinging to the East, whatsoever you see in the West will be a
Just the other day I was reading a newspaper. Someone had written an article against me.
The article asked how Americans can understand religion. They cannot, so my whole
effort is a wastage. This is the Indian chauvinist mind. The Indian thinks that nobody can
understand religion except the Indian. And this is not only so with the Indian, this is so
with everybody. Everybody deep down carries this nonsense -- that we are the chosen
few. This idea is very destructive. It is not a question of being American or Indian; truth
has nothing to do with all these labels. Truth is available to anybody who is ready to drop
all these labels. Truth is understood only when you are neither -- American nor Indian nor
Hindu nor Christian. Truth is understood by a consciousness that is no longer clouded by
any conditionings, which is no longer clouded by the past. Otherwise we go on seeing in
things only that which we can understand.
I was reading a very beautiful anecdote....
The family managed to bring the patriarchal grandfather from Hungary and he came to
his daughter and her family.
The old man was fascinated by New York and all it had to offer.
One day his grandson, Yunkel, took him to the zoo in Central Park. Most of the animals
were familiar to the old man. However, they came to the cage where the laughing hyena
was confined and the old man became curious. 'Yunkel, in the old country I never
heard of an animal that laughed.'
Yunkel noticed the keeper standing nearby and approached him. 'My grandfather
recently came from Europe. He says they don't have any laughing hyenas there. Could
you tell me something about it so that I can in turn tell him?'
The keeper said, 'Well, he eats once a day.'
Yunkel turned to his grandfather and said in Yiddish, 'He eats once a day.'
The keeper continued, 'He takes a bath once a week.' 'He bathes once a week.'
The old man listened intently.
The keeper added, 'He mates once a year.' 'He mates once a year.'
The old man shook his head thoughtfully. 'All right. He eats once a day, he bathes once
a week, but if he mates only once a year, why is he laughing?'
Now this old man is not so old. His mind is still clinging somewhere -- to his youthful
days. His mind is still sexual. He cannot understand why the hyena is laughing if he
mates only once a year.
There are people who cannot understand that happiness is possible in any way other than
sex. There are people who cannot understand that there is any bliss beyond sex. There are
people who cannot understand that there is any happiness except in food. There are
people who cannot understand that there is any happiness except in big houses, big cars,
much money, power and prestige. It is impossible to understand beyond your own
standpoint -- people remain confined within their own standpoints. That is the real prison.
If you want a synthesis you have to drop all the imprisonments, you have to drop out of
your cages. They are very subtle cages and you have decorated them for a long time; you
may have even started loving them. You may have forgotten completely that they are
prisons; you may have started thinking that they are your home. A Hindu thinks
Hinduism is his home, he never thinks that it is a barrier. All '-isms' are barriers. The
Christian thinks that Christianity is the bridge; he never thinks that it is Christianity that
is not allowing him to reach to Christ. The church is not the door, it is the wall, the
barrier, the China Wall.
But if you have lived with this wall for too long, for centuries, if the mind has become
accustomed to it, you think of it as a protection, as a shelter, as security. And then you
look at other people; from your cell in the prison you look outside. Your presence in the
cell corrupts your vision.
Come out under the sky and under the stars -- and synthesis will take care of itself. You
need not synthesise East and West, you are simply to go beyond these standpoints. Move
to the transcendental and there is synthesis.
The second question:
Question 2
The flower is open. I suspect your nose is closed.
Your nose has to be opened and you have to reclaim the capacity to smell. You may have
lost the sensitivity to smell. You have lived so long in lies that when you come across
truth you cannot recognise it. Even truth has to come to you -- if truth wants to be
recognised in the garb of a lie. You cannot see it directly. You have learned how to look
sideways -- you never look directly, your look is never immediate. You are always
wavering this way or that and you are always losing the fact.
I am here. This is the flower I am talking about. I am your future. That which is going to
happen to you has happened to me. If you cannot smell then don't blame the flower --
blow your nose.
But that is difficult for the ego; the ego is always ready to deny, it is never ready to
transform itself. The ego can say there is no God; it cannot say, 'Maybe it is because I
have got so many blocks that I cannot feel God.' The ego can deny that there is a flower
but it cannot recognise the fact that it has lost the capacity to smell.
Hence there are so many people who deny God. It is easy to deny God, it is comfortable
in fact -- because if there is no God you need not bother about your nose, you need not
work upon your being. If there is no God then there is no work, then there is no growth,
then there is no search. You can be lazy you can drown yourself in lethargy. If there is no
God then there is no guilt.
I am against guilt -- the guilt that has been created by the priests -- but there is a different
type of guilt which is not created by the priest.And that guilt is very meaningful. That
guilt arises if you feel there is something more in life and you are not working hard to get
to it. Then you feel a guilt. Then you feel that somehow you are creating barriers to your
own growth -- that you are lazy, lethargic, unconscious, asleep; that you don't have any
integration; that you cannot move towards your destiny. Then a guilt arises. When you
feel that you have the possibility and you are not turning it into actuality then a guilt
arises. That guilt is totally different.
I am not talking about the guilt that priests have created in humanity: don't eat this
otherwise you will feel guilty; don't do that otherwise you will feel guilty.... They have
condemned millions of things, so if you eat, if you drink, if you do this and that, you are
surrounded by guilty feelings. I am not talking about that guilt -- that guilt has to be
dropped. In fact, that guilt helps you to remain where you are. Those guilty feelings don't
allow you to know the real guilt inside. They create so much fuss about small things: you
eat in the night and the Jains create much fuss -- you are guilty, you are a sinner. Why
have you eaten in the night? Or, you have divorced your wife or your husband and the
Catholics create a guilty feeling in you -- you have done something wrong. It was not
wrong to live with the woman and continuously fight, it was not wrong to destroy the
woman and destroy yourself, it was not wrong to destroy the children -- just between the
two of you they were being crushed, their whole life was conditioned in a wrong way....
No, that was not bad, but if you get out of that marriage, if you get out of that hell, you
feel guilty.
These guilt feelings don't allow you to see the real spiritual guilt which has nothing to do
with any politics, with any priesthood, with any religion or church. That guilt feeling is
very natural. When you see that you can do something and you are not doing it, when you
see how potential you are but you are not changing that potentiality into actuality, when
you see that you are carrying tremendous treasures as seeds which could bloom, and you
are not doing anything about it and you are just remaining in misery -- then you feel a
great responsibility towards yourself. And if you are not fulfilling that responsibility, you
feel guilty. This guilt is of tremendous import.
I am here; the flower is here. In Zen they say that the flower does not talk but I would
like to contradict that. I would like to say to you the flower talks too, but one thing is
needed: you need the capacity to hear, you need the capacity to smell. The flower has its
own language. He may not talk in the language that you understand, but your language is
a very local language. The flower speaks the universal language.
I am here; look into me, feel me, try to imbibe my spirit in you, let my flame come closer
to you. Any moment there can be a jump -- my flame can jump and Light your unlit
candle. Just come close, come close...and when I say come close I mean be more and
more in love. Love is the only closeness there is; love is the only intimacy there is. It is
not a question of physical closeness, it is a question of inner intimacy. Be open to me, as I
am open to you; be available to me, as I am available to you. Don't be afraid, you have
nothing to lose...except your chains.
The third question:
Question 3
The only problem with sadness, desperateness, anger, hopelessness, anxiety, anguish,
misery, is that you want to get rid of them. That's the only barrier.
You will have to live with them. You cannot just escape. They are the very situation in
which life has to integrate and grow. They are the challenges of life. Accept them. They
are blessings in disguise. If you want to escape from them, if you somehow want to get
rid of them, then a problem arises -- because if you want to get rid of something you
never look at it directly. And then the thing starts hiding from you because you are
condemnatory; then the thing goes on moving deeper into the unconscious, hides in the
darkest corner of your being where you cannot find it. It moves into the basement of your
being and hides there. And, of course, the deeper it goes, the more trouble it creates --
because then it starts functioning from unknown corners of your being and you are
completely helpless.
So the first thing is: never repress. The first thing is: whatsoever is the case is the case.
Accept it and let it come -- let it come in front of you. In fact, just to say 'do not repress'
is not enough. If you allow me, I would like to say, 'Befriend it.' You are feeling sad?
Befriend it. Have compassion for it. Sadness also has a being. Allow it, embrace it, sit
with it, hold hands with it. Be friendly. Be in love with it. Sadness is beautiful! Nothing is
wrong with it. Who told you that something is wrong in being sad? In fact, only sadness
gives you depth. Laughter is shallow; happiness is skin-deep. Sadness goes to the very
bones, to the marrow. Nothing goes as deep as sadness.
So don't be worried. Remain with it and sadness will take you to your inner-most core.
You can ride on it and you will be able to know a few new things about your being that
you had never known before. Those things can be revealed only in a sad state, they can
never be revealed in a happy state. Darkness is also good and darkness is also divine. The
day is not only God's, the night is his also. I call this attitude religious.
It becomes subtle if you want to get rid of it. Then, of course, it protects itself, it hides in
the deepest corners of your being. It becomes so subtle and so garbed that you cannot
recognise it. It starts coming under different names. If you are very much against anger
then anger will arise under a different name -- it may become pride, it may become ego, it
may become even a religious pride, it may become even pious. It may hide behind your
virtues, it may start hiding behind your character. Then it becomes very subtle because
now the label is changed. It is playing something else's role but deep down it remains
Let things be as they are. This is what religious courage is: to allow things as they are.
I am not promising you any rose garden -- thorns are there, roses also. But you can reach
the roses only when you have passed the thorns.
A man who has never been sad cannot really be happy. It is impossible for him to be
happy. His happiness will be just a forced gesture -- empty, impotent. You can see it on
people's faces when they laugh: their laugh is so shallow, it is just painted on their lips. It
has no relationship with their heart, it is absolutely unconnected.
It is just like lipstick -- the lips look red and rosy but that redness does not come from the
redness of the blood. It is good if lips are red, but the redness should come from
aliveness, from your blood cells, from your energy, vitality, youth. No, you paint your
lips -- they look red but it is ugly. Lipstick is ugly. And you will find only ugly women
using it. What does a beautiful woman have to do with lipstick? The whole thing seems
to be absurd. If your lips are red, vital, alive, what is the point of painting them? You are
making them ugly and false.
Your happiness is also like lipstick. You are not happy and you know you are not happy,
but you cannot accept the fact because that would be too shattering for your ego. You --
and not happy?! How can you accept it? Maybe you are not happy inside but that is your
own problem, you must not express it, you are not to say the truth. For the world you
have to keep a face, you have to maintain a personality. So you go on laughing. Watch
people's laughter and you will immediately see which laughter comes from the heart.
When the laughter comes from the heart you can immediately feel a different vibe -- an
overflowing. That man is really happy. When laughter is just on the lips it is empty. It is
just a gesture; nothing is behind it. It is a facade.
The man who cannot laugh deeply is the man who has repressed sadness -- he cannot go
deep because he is afraid of sadness. Even if he goes deep into his laughter, there is a fear
that sadness may surface, may bubble up. He has to be always on guard.
So please, whatsoever the situation is, start allowing it. If you are sad, you are sad. This is
what God means for you -- at this moment at least he wants you to be sad. So be true...be
sad! Live this sadness. And if you can live this sadness a different quality of happiness
will arise in you -- it will not be a repression of sadness, it will be beyond sadness.
A person who can be patiently sad will suddenly find that one morning a happiness is
arising in his heart from some unknown source. That unknown source is God. You have
earned it if you have been truly sad; if you have been truly hopeless, desperate, unhappy,
miserable, if you have lived in hell, you have earned heaven. You have paid the cost.
I was reading a joke.
Mr. Goldberg came home from the office unexpectedly and found his wife in bed with
Mr. Cohen, the next-door neighbour.
Distraught and angry, he ran next door and confronted Mrs. Cohen. 'Mrs. Cohen!' he
cried. 'Your husband is in bed with my wife.' 'Calm down! Calm down!' Mrs. Cohen
said. 'Look, don't take it so hard. Sit down, have a cup of tea. Relax.'
Mr. Cohen sat quietly and drank his cup of tea. It was then that he noticed a little glint in
Mrs. Cohen's eye.
Coyly she suggested, 'You want a little revenge?'
And with that they withdrew to the couch and made love. Then they had another cup of
tea, then a little more revenge, a little more tea, more revenge; more tea....
Finally Mrs. Cohen looked at Mr. Goldberg and asked, 'How about another revenge?' 'I
will tell you, Mrs. Cohen,' said Mr. Goldberg quietly, 'to be truthful, I aren't got no hard
feelings left.'
Whatsoever the situation, if you are sad, be sad; if you are in a revengeful mood, take
your revenge; if you are jealous, be jealous; if you are angry, be angry. Never avoid the
fact. You have to live it, that is part of life's progress, growth, evolution. Those who
avoid, remain immature. If you want to remain immature then go on avoiding, but
remember, you are avoiding life itself. Whatsoever you are avoiding is not the point, the
very avoiding is an avoidance of life.
Confront life. Encounter life. Difficult moments will be there but one day you will see
that those difficult moments gave you strength because you encountered them. They were
meant to be. Those difficult moments are hard when you are passing through them but
later on you will see they have made you more integrated. Without them you would never
have been centred, grounded.
The old religions all over the world have been repressive; the new religion of the future is
going to be expressive. And I teach that new religion...Let expression be one of the most
fundamental rules of your life. Even if you have to suffer for it, suffer. You will never be
a loser. That suffering will make you more and more capable of enjoying life, of rejoicing
in life.
The fifth question:
Question 4
It is very difficult to give up bad habits. Good habits are very easy to drop.
Who has ever heard of any man or woman capable enough to give up a bad habit? And if
religion has become your bad habit, or sannyas, you are blessed, you are fortunate. If I
am your bad habit then you are fortunate. I would never like to become a good habit to
you, no, because a good habit can be dropped very easily!
Let me tell you an anecdote.
St. Peter, concerned about the state of affairs in America, sent his most dependable and
conservative disciple, St. Theresa, to look over the situation and give him a personal
report. She stopped first in New York and phoned at the end of three days to say that
things were even worse than they had feared. 'Let me come home,' she begged. 'No,'
said St. Peter. 'Finish the job. Go on to Chicago.'
She called him again from Chicago with an even more dismal tale. 'It is a mess of
corruption,' she reported sadly. 'Sinners on all sides. I can't take any more of it. Allow me
to return to heaven.' 'Patience and fortitude,' consoled St. Peter. 'They tell me
Hollywood is worst of all. Have a look around out there and then you can come home.'
Two weeks went by, then four weeks went by, then six weeks went by without further
word from St. Theresa. St. Peter, beside himself with anxiety, was about to turn the case
over to the celestial F.B.I. when the phone finally rang and the operator said, 'One
moment, please. Hollywood calling.'
And then a sweet voice came over the wire, 'Hullo, Peter darling! How divine! This is
I would not like you to become St. Theresas. Even if you go to Hollywood, Hollywood is
not going to corrupt you because I have corrupted you finally, utterly. I am a bad habit.
And nobody can make a good habit out of me because good habits are not reliable. At the
drop of the hat, good habits disappear. Let religion be your bad habit; let meditation be
your bad habit. Yes, it is perfectly good -- let me be your whisky-coke.
The sixth question:
Question 5
That is not your problem. That is my problem. How am I going to protect you from
myself? That is my problem.!t is none of your business.
One thing I can say...Let me say it through an anecdote.
Life was over. His wife had left him and taken the children. He had lost his job. The bank
had just foreclosed the mortgage on his house. He decided the only thing left for him to
do was to jump off a bridge and kill himself. He walked to Brooklyn Bridge, climbed as
high as he could and was just about to jump when he heard a voice down below,
"Don't jump! I can help you.'
He yelled back, 'Who are you?'
To which the voice replied, 'I am a witch.'
Curious, he climbed down and there before him was an ugly old crone. She looked at him
and said, 'I am a witch and if you do as I say I will grant you three wishes.'
He thought to himself, 'Things can't be any worse so what do I have to lose?' So he said,
'All right. What do I have to do?'
She said, 'Come home with me and spend the night.'
He went with her to her hovel and she commanded him to make wild love to her. With
great effort he accomplished all her bidding and finally fell asleep in a completely
exhausted state. When he woke up there was the ugly old woman standing in front of
He said, 'Now that I have done your bidding old witch, you must keep your part of the
bargain and grant me my three wishes.'
The hag looked at him and asked, 'How old are you?'
He replied, 'Forty-two.'
The old woman sighed, 'Do you mean to tell me that you still believe in witches?'
Listening to me for so long, do you tell me you still believe in Osho?
My whole effort is to take all the props away from you, all beliefs, Osho included. First I
pretend to give you help...because that is the only language you understand! Then by and
by I start withdrawing myself. First I take you away from your other desires and help you
to become very passionate about nirvana, liberation, truth. And when I see that now all
desires have disappeared, there is only one desire left, then I start hammering on that
desire, and I say, 'Drop it because this is the only barrier.'
Nirvana is the last nightmare. You cannot go back because once you have dropped those
futile desires, you cannot get back into them. Once you have dropped them, the very
charm, the very mystery disappears from them. You cannot really believe how you were
carrying them for so long. The whole thing looks so ridiculous that you cannot go back.
And I start taking the last desire from you. Once the last desire disappears, you are
enlightened. Then you are Osho. My whole effort here is to make you capable of
declaring yourself to be a God also -- and not only declaring it, living it too.
The seventh question:
Question 6
The first thing: I am not under any obligation to do anything. This is not an undertaking. I
am not doing any work actually; it is not work that I am doing. It may be work for you, it
is not work for me. I am enjoying the game. It is a play. And in a play it does not matter
whether you make mistakes or not. It does not matter.
Mistakes become very, very important when you are serious about a thing. When you are
doing it as serious work then mistakes become very important. But I am not doing it
seriously at all. It is a laughter, it is a dance, it is a play for me. I am enjoying it. And I
have no plan, no reverence for it. How can I commit a mistake? You can commit a
mistake if you have a plan -- then you know where you missed. I carry no plans with me.
I have no blueprint. I simply go on doing whatsoever happens in the moment. So
whatsoever happens is perfectly right, because there is no way to judge it, there is no
criterion, there is no touchstone. That's the beauty of it. And that's what freedom is. In
serious work you can never be free; in serious work anxiety will always haunt you; in
serious work you are always afraid that something can go wrong.
With me nothing can go wrong because there is nothing that is right. If something is right
then something can go wrong; if nothing is right then nothing can be wrong. That's what
the-meaning of the Eastern concept of LEELA is -- play. It is a playfulness. While I am
here I am enjoying this playfulness, I am enjoying it terribly, enjoying it terrifically.
You ask, WHEN I THINK ABOUT YOUR LIFE ON THIS EARTH.... You are thinking
in wrong terms. You are thinking in the terms that religions have conditioned your minds
to think in. You are thinking as Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans, Jainas do. You have
not yet learnt my language.
Christians think that Christ came to deliver the whole world from sin -- all nonsense! You
can see the world is not delivered yet. In fact, if the world were completely delivered
from sin there would be no work left for Christ. He would go broke. He would go
bankrupt. He would have to close the shop. Jainas think that TEERTHANKARAS come
to help humanity. I can understand -- you want help, so you project help.
But a TEERTHANKARA is not going to help you. He is simply enjoying himself. And if
you want to enjoy, you can participate. He simply opens a door of spiritual enjoyment, of
spiritual bliss. And he is not worried whether you come or not, he is not worried whether
a few people come or millions come. If nobody comes it is as good as if millions come.
He is not in search of customers. He is happy, things are going perfectly well for him. If a
few people come and dance with him, good. If nobody comes, he dances alone. His dance
remains perfect, it is not a work.
Hindus think AVATARAS come when the world is in misery, when the world is in
ignorance. When religion disappears from the world then AVATARAS come. All
nonsense! AVATARAS have come many, many times, but the misery has not
disappeared, the ignorance has not disappeared.
Religion never becomes an established fact; in fact, the moment religion becomes
established, it is no longer religion, it becomes a church. Established religion is no longer
religion, religion remains only unestablished. Religion is a rebellion. You cannot make
anything established out of it; it is intrinsically rebellious. And the play continues.
But I can understand why people have projected their need for help all over the world.
This is their hope. They are in misery, that is certain, and they want somebody to help
them. Why do you want somebody to help you? Because you don't want to take the
responsibility on yourself. First you say that others have made you miserable, now you
say that somebody has to take you out of the misery. What are YOU doing? You don't
create your misery, you can't drop it...do you exist or not?
Responsibility is existence, responsibility gives you being. If you go on throwing
responsibility on to someone else -- it is the Devil who is creating misery and it is God
who becomes Christ, becomes Mohammed, becomes Mahavira, and takes you out of the
misery -- then what are you doing? You seem to be just like a football -- on one side is
the Devil, on one side is God and you are being kicked from this side to that. Enough!
You simply say, 'Enough! I am not going to allow myself to be kicked any more.'
Are you a football? Claim responsibility.
I am not here to help you. You may be here to be helped but I am not. I am just enjoying
my thing. I am doing my thing. And you will be benefitted more if you drop your idea of
help and work and Christ and avataras. You will be helped more if you drop all concepts
of help. You simply be with me. Don't bring business into it. Let it be pure play.
nothing, no risk -- because it is not an undertaking. I am not risking anything because
there is nothing to risk, there is nothing to lose. All that is, always is. And that which is
not, never is. So what is the risk?
If somebody comes and kills me, he kills only my body which is already dead, has always
been dead -- it is part of the earth. So, dust unto dust. He cannot kill me. I was before I
was born, I will be after death has happened. So what has he done? Nothing serious;
nothing of much importance. He may think he had done a very serious thing: that he has
killed me, that he has crucified a Jesus or killed a Socrates. That is his idea. But in me,
that which is matter is going to fall into matter and that which is consciousness is going
to fall into consciousness, so nobody can kill me. You can shoot at me but you cannot
shoot me. You can cut my head off, but your sword will not touch me. The sword is
material and it cannot touch the spiritual.
There is no risk and there is no possibility of failure -- because there is no possibility of
success either. I cannot succeed so how can I fail? In fact, the very terminology of
success, failure, benefit, loss, is absurd, irrelevant.
The freedom is so absolute that there is no right and no wrong. The freedom is so
absolute that whatsoever you do is right. It is not that you have to do something and
sometimes it is right and sometimes it is wrong.... Try to understand my standpoint, from
my grounding, from my centring. Whatsoever you do is perfectly right -- not that it
fulfills any criterion of what is right, simply there is NO criterion of what is right. That's
why I can be with Hasids, I can be with Sufis, I can be with Tantricas, I can be with
yogis. It is very difficult for so-called religious people: if they are with Mahavira, how
can they be with Mohammed? Impossible. If one is right then the other is wrong. If they
are with Krishna, how can they be with Christ? If one is right, the other is wrong. Their
mathematics is clear: only one can be right. To me there is no criterion. You cannot judge
who is right and who is wrong. Mahavira is right because he enjoyed his thing; Buddha is
right because he also enjoyed his thing; Mohammed is right because he enjoyed his thing,
tremendously. Bliss is right. So whatsoever I am doing I am enjoying it tremendously --
and to be blissful is to be right.
Even if I commit mistakes according to you.... Maybe sometimes you feel I am
committing a mistake. That will be according to you because you carry some criterion.
I stayed in a Jaina family once. An old man came to see me -- ninety years old. And he
touched my feet and said, 'You are almost a twenty-fifth TEERTANKARA.'
I said, 'Wait, don't be in a hurry. You just watch me.'
He said, 'What do you mean?'
I said, 'You simply watch me. Otherwise you will have to take your words back.'
He became a little disturbed. It was dusk, the sun was setting, the evening was
descending and a woman, my host's wife, came in and said, 'Your food is ready.'
I said, 'Wait.'
The old man said, 'What? the sun has already gone past the horizon. Are you going to
take your food?'
I said, 'Yes, I am telling the woman to wait. I will have to take my bath and then I will
take my food.'
He stood up. He said, 'Sorry. I must take my words back. You were right. You can eat at
night? You don't know even this much? Then what type of enlightened person are you?'
He has a certain criterion: an enlightened person cannot eat at night. This is the Jaina
If you go to any person he has criteria and he looks through those windows to see if I fit
or if I don't fit. But I am not here to fulfil your expectations. I am always right because I
don't carry any criteria. There is no way. You cannot even find contradictions in me,
because whatsoever I have said up to this moment is irrelevant! I don't bother a bit about
it. Now it is for foolish scholars, it is finished for me! The moment I say something, I
enjoy saying it -- that's all. More than that is not my concern. The moment I do something
I enjoy it infinitely -- beyond that it is not my concern.
EGOLESSNESS IS PERFECT. How can egolessness be perfect? The very idea of
perfection is the ego; egolessness cannot be perfect. Egolessness simply means an
absence of the ego. Can absence be imperfect? Absence cannot be imperfect so how can
absence be perfect? Absence is simply absence. Ego can be imperfect, ego can be perfect,
but egolessness cannot be either. There is nobody to be perfect.
When ego sees the point that the whole game of ego is absurd, ego disappears. Nothing is
left behind. There is a wholeness but there is no perfection. There is totality but there is
no perfection.
The old religions were all perfection-oriented; my whole teaching is whole-oriented. I say
be whole. I don't say be perfect. And the difference is tremendous. When I say be whole I
allow you contradictions. Then be wholly contradictory. When I say be whole, I don't
give you a goal, a criterion, an ideal; I don't want to create any anxiety in you. I simply
want you, in this moment, wherever, whatsoever you are doing, and whatsoever you are,
to be total in it. If you are sad, be totally sad -- you are whole. If you are angry, be totally
angry. Go into it totally.
The idea of perfection is absolutely different, diametrically opposite -- not even different,
opposite. The perfectionists will say, 'Never be angry; always be compassionate. Never
be sad; always be happy.' He chooses one polarity against the other. In wholeness we
accept both the polarities: the lows and the highs, the ups and the downs. Wholeness is
totality. And you have to see the whole nonsense of the ego, otherwise it can come in
from the back door. If I say, 'Now become PERFECTLY egoless,' you will have to prove
that there exists nobody who is more egoless than you.
Let me tell you an anecdote.
A family with a son about to be bar-mitzvahed wanted to celebrate the occasion in a
unique way. Money was no object. The caterer suggested many things: flying the party
out to Disneyland, renting out the White House, having the affair in a nuclear-submarine.
All of these ideas were rejected by the family as old hat. It was not until the caterer came
up with the idea of having the bar-mitzvah on safari in Africa that the family grew
excited. Invitations were issued to two hundred guests, two hundred plane tickets were
bought and the group set off for Africa.
In Africa the bar-mitzvah party was met by two hundred elephants, fifty guides, seven
buglers, and three hundred native porters who were to carry their food. Each guest
mounted their own elephant with the father of the bar-mitzvah boy in the rear of the
They were only several miles into the jungle when the whole caravan came to a sudden
halt. From the rear elephant the father cried, 'What is going on there?'
And the question was repeated two hundred times till it reached the head guide at the
front of the procession. The answer came back up the line, 'We have to stop here for a
little while.' 'Why?' cried the distressed father. 'Why?' wailed the two hundred guests
as the question proceeded up the line.
And then came the answer. 'There is another bar-mitzvah party ahead!'
The whole ego trip is like that. You move in a circle, you can never be in the front --
never. Again there will be a bar-mitzvah party ahead. Even in the darkest jungles of
Africa you cannot do anything that has not been done before, you cannot be anything that
has not happened before, you cannot be unique. That's why the ego can never be
satisfied. The ego remains imperfect and goes on demanding perfection.
My whole message is to see the truth, to see the hell that ego creates in the name: of
perfection, uniqueness -- and to let it drop. Then there is a tremendous beauty -- no ego,
no self, just a deep emptiness. And out of deep emptiness is creativity, out of that
nothingness arises bliss, SATCHITANANDA, truth. Being, bliss, all arise out of that
absolute purity. When the ego is not, you are a virgin. Christ was born out of a virgin;
your nothingness is that Mother Virgin, Mother Mary.
The last question -- and the most important one. In fact, a question of historic importance:
Question 7
The first thing: the towel has been with me for almost twenty-five years. It is a silver
jubilee year!
And I am very surprised by the question because only last night I decided to drop it.
I am reminded of a story.
A man became very old, he became a hundred years old, and the journalists came to
interview him. They asked many questions. One journalist, hesitating a little about
whether to ask or not -- that must also have been the case with the person who asked this
question; he or she must have hesitated many times whether to ask such an absurd
question or not -- asked, 'Sir, one thing more I want to know. What do you think about
The old man said, 'Strange, only this morning I decided not to think about women at all!'
A hundred-year-old man and he decided just that morning...! And he said, 'Please, don't
tempt me again!'
I decided just last night.
But it is good that you have asked. It is a long history how the towel started to be with
me, and before I part company with it I had better tell the story to you.
When I started living in Jabbalpur, there were so many mosquitoes -- don't laugh,
because you have nothing in Poona compared with Jabalpur; that's nothing -- I had to
chase them with the towel the whole day. It was impossible to sit still.
Once a Buddhist monk, a very famous scholar, Bikkshu Jagdish Kashyap, stayed with
me. He was my guest.
When he saw the mosquitoes he said, 'I used to think that Sarnath was the tops for
mosquitoes but now it seems that Jabalpur has defeated Sarnath.'
And he said, 'I will tell you a story about Sarnath and Buddha. 'Buddha came to
Sarnath only once. His first sermon was delivered at Sarnath -- but he never came again.
So down the centuries Buddhists have said he never came again because of the
I told Bikkshu Jagdish Kashyap that once I left Jabalpur I would not go back again. And I
have not been there since I left. I can understand Buddha's difficulty. How could he have
managed without a towel? Throughout his life he visited the same towns many times --
Shravasti at least thirty times, Rajgrih at least forty times -- and he never came back to
Sarnath. There must be some secret in it.
In fact, mosquitoes are old enemies of meditators. Whenever you meditate, whether the
Devil comes to tempt you or not, the mosquitoes will always come.
For eighteen years I was in Jabalpur. My towel became my constant companion. When I
left Jabalpur and came to Bombay I was thinking of leaving it, but then people started
spinning esoteric theories about it. So just to save the theoreticians I continued using it.
Now it is a superstition. The word 'superstition' comes from a root which means:
something that was useful sometimes but the circumstances have now changed, it is no
longer useful. But it continues. This towel is a superstition and I have continued carrying
it just for your sake -- because there are theoreticians, esoteric people around who have to
have something to base their theories upon.
One woman, one of my beautiful sannyasins from the Phillipines, told me that she had
found out the truth about my towel. I asked what it was. She said, 'You are a nobody, you
live in nothingness, you have to hold something otherwise you will disappear.' I said,
'Right! Absolutely right!'
Just three things I had: my lungi, my robe and my towel. My lungi is gone, you can see.
Parijat helped me to renounce it. Parijat is my official seamstress -- appointed by His
Holiness, Bhagwan Shree Shree Shree Rajneeshji Maharaj! She made the robe so
beautifully that the lungi became almost absurd with it. It started looking like a bullock
cart by the side of a Cadillac. So out of necessity I had to drop it.
Now here goes my towel. The only thing left is my robe. Please never ask any question
about it!
Let me tell an anecdote.
A young Jewish couple were being wed in the usual Jewish tradition surrounded by at
least two hundred relatives and friends. The room was in complete hush as the Rabbi
reached the part of the service which said. With all my worldly goods I thee endow.
The best man turned to the maid-of-honour and said, 'There goes Erwin's bicycle!'
And here goes Osho's towel. It is all that I have. So I must remind you again: never ask
any question about my robe.
I will throw the towel. Whosoever it lands upon becomes its proud owner, but nobody
must raise their hands or try to catch it. Hmmm? You just be in a meditation, absolutely
passive. That is the way God also descends! If you try to catch it you cannot be the owner
of it.
And if some problem or some dispute arises that two or three persons claim the towel,
you can always go to Mulla Nasruddin. It will be difficult to locate him because he is a
very subtle and invisible man. But he's the best. If you cannot locate him then you can go
to the next best person, Swami Yoga Chinmaya. He will decide the dispute -- who the
owner is. And if it cannot be decided then you can always divide it.
Remember that you are not to catch it. If you try to catch it, you miss the opportunity. Let
it land on you.
Here goes Osho's towel...!


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