All writing in this blog are from the Masters who returned to THIS (this moment) after crossing THAT (enlightenment). Putting the names & images of the masters will change your perception about the content. That is against the teaching of the Masters. Unless all these images are dissolved, you cannot see yourself.
Millions of fingers can point to the same moon. Fingers are bound to be different -- but the moon is the same. By clinging to the fingers you will not see the moon. Forget the finger and look at where it is pointing. It is the very essence of all the teachings of all the buddhas of all the ages -- past, present, and future too.
The words of a Buddha may not be able to communicate the truth, but they can communicate the music, the music that exists in one who is enlightened.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sympathy is not something great... but Empathy is...

The experience of empathy is very rare.

Sympathy and apathy are opposed to each other. Empathy is beyond both.

Your separate identities lose their boundaries. The other's thirst becomes your thirst, the other's hunger becomes your hunger, the other's joy becomes your joy. The other is no longer other: some secret passage has opened between two beings, a deep connectedness."

Man has forgotten about empathy completely, but he knows about sympathy. Sympathy is not something great. When somebody is in misery you sympathize; but if you look inside you will find you are feeling great because you are not in misery, somebody else is. At least in this situation you are superior. You can sympathize -- you can afford it.

Apathy is your everyday experience. You pass people as if they don't exist. The servant comes in your room -- you don't wave at him, you don't smile at him. You don't even take any note that somebody has come in the room. You remain exactly the same as you were before -- no recognition of the other's existence. This is your everyday experience.

Sympathy once in a while -- when somebody goes bankrupt, when somebody's house is burned, the whole neighborhood is sympathetic. And these are the same people who were jealous of his beautiful house. How can it be? The same people who were jealous of his beautiful house suddenly have become so sympathetic because his house is burned. It is a mask; underneath they are feeling great joy, this was the day they were waiting for. His beautiful house was continuously a torture for their heart. Now, sympathizing with the man, they are in a higher position. They are really feeling good.

So remember perfectly well, whenever you sympathize with somebody -- watch the inner workings of your mind; it is not friendly. It is not out of your goodness, out of your compassion, but just the opposite. It is your hate, your jealousy, your violence -- but now there is no need to show it, the man is finished on his own. Now you can have this beautiful experience and a good night's sleep by sympathizing with him, by being a real Catholic. Sympathy is not a great quality. It is phony.

Apathy is inhuman. And remember, when you are apathetic towards anybody, your heart is becoming harder. You are not doing any harm to the person, you are simply being self-destructive. The more apathetic you are, the more your heart will lose its great qualities. It will become just a pumping mechanism for breathing, but not a bridge for feeling.

Empathy has almost disappeared from human beings. It is certainly the only quality that joins you with the life current within other human beings, animals, trees -- with the whole existence. It is pure religiousness. But no religion teaches empathy. All religions teach is sympathy, and sympathy is not the real thing.

Man thinks he has evolved. In certain ways, yes, but in certain other ways he has lost much. His evolution is only of reason, intellect, but he has lost, on the way, his heart. And the heart is the most significant thing. A thousand and one rationalities cannot give you that which a single heart full of sensitivity can give you.

Empathy is relating to people through the heart. But this is possible only if the mind is silent, if there are no thoughts in the mind and it gives way, opens the door to the heart. But ordinarily you are so full of thoughts there is no way to be sensitive.

Even when you love someone, you say, "I think I have fallen in love." That too, is a thought: you think. Your love is also dependent on your thinking. You cannot do anything directly from the heart. Your mind has been trained, educated, conditioned in every possible way and your heart has been ignored in every possible way. By and by, you have forgotten that the heart is far more valuable than the mind. Your mind has become everything.

The heart is not a Christian, is not a Hindu, is not a Mohammedan, is not a communist -- but the mind is. Different ideologies make the mind different. The mind is American, the mind is Russian, the mind is Indian, the mind is Chinese. But the heart? Have you ever thought about the heart? Is the heart also American, Indian, Russian? The heart knows no boundaries, but it has been put into a state of nonfunctioning.

With lovers it has happened that before your beloved says something you know it. It is already heard by you, although it has not been said.

So only in very rare cases is empathy still alive. But it has been a great loss to humanity. It is because of the loss of empathy that we have become unspiritual beings. It has to be regained. Getting it back will give you a totally new, luminous existence. And then you will not feel as an island apart from everybody else, but just part of an infinite continent. And just to feel it is so relaxing, to feel that you are one with the trees, and one with the rivers, and one with the stars. Then for the first time you will know what beauty is, what bliss is, what life is. All that you have to do is to behead yourself.

Meditation is nothing but a subtle way of beheading! Your head remains in its place, but loses all its content, becomes hollow. When the head is empty, the heart is full. When the head is full, the heart is empty, because you have only that much energy. You can't have both. Up to now, humanity has chosen the head. And you can see the consequence: the whole earth has become a madhouse.

People have to change the whole direction of their life force towards the heart. And then they will see a new intensity, a new totality -- something that was so close and yet of which you were unaware.

Empathy is an experience of the heart. Yes, it is the life current, it is life itself.

People are trying just to imitate somebody's enlightenment...

Enlightenment is always accidental. That does not mean that you have not to try for it, but your trying is not going to bring it. Your effort is not going to achieve it. But making the effort, searching in all directions in every possible way, some day it happens -- not because of your efforts but because of your intense urge, a tremendous intensity like a flame within you. But it is always accidental; you cannot say, "It happened because I did that." Otherwise, things would have been very simple.

For example, Buddha was sitting under a bodhi tree, and enlightenment happened. Now, thousands of Buddhist monks.... In every Buddhist monastery there are bo trees, and they are sitting, waiting for enlightenment to happen -- as if the bo tree has something to do with it.

Buddha had eaten that evening a sweet made of milk and rice. Buddhist monks think that has something to do with it, so for them it has become very spiritual food. Before sitting for meditation, they will eat kir -- that is the name of the sweet. But enlightenment has nothing to do with kir.

Buddha was sitting in a certain posture, the lotus posture. So every Buddhist monk sits in the same posture -- perhaps the posture has something to do with it. The posture has nothing to do with it, but millions, throughout history, have been sitting in that posture, torturing their legs. And now Westerners have started learning yoga postures, in which the lotus posture is the most important because Buddha became enlightened in that posture. For a Westerner, who has been sitting in a chair his whole life -- in a cold country you don't sit on the ground -- his legs are in tremendous torture, but he tries hard. It takes almost three months for him to attain to the lotus

posture, but only to the lotus posture; and then he waits his whole life for enlightenment. It doesn't happen.

So it is not a certain sequence of causes that brings enlightenment. Your search, your intense longing, your readiness to do anything -- altogether perhaps they create a certain aroma around you in which that great accident becomes possible.

But you cannot manage it. Every seeker has to begin from the beginning; you cannot learn by watching somebody. That's what all the religions have been doing: a certain prayer, a certain posture, a certain ritual, a certain way of breathing. Nothing helps.

Only the accidental can bring you to freedom, to total newness, freshness, a new birth. Because of this phenomenon all religions have failed, because they were trying just to imitate somebody's enlightenment.

The Taoists are still trying to imitate Lao Tzu -- after twenty-five centuries doing the same things, eating the same things, living the same way, thinking that they will become Lao Tzu. But in twenty-five centuries not a single man has been able to attain the goal.

Jainas are doing it, Buddhists are doing it, all religions are doing a single thing: they have seen somebody whose eyes had a different light, whose gestures had a different grace, whose words had a different authority. He spoke from his very innermost core, he was not a scholar. He was not saying anything within quotes; he was simply expressing his own vision. He was singing his own song, dancing his own dance. He was utterly individual and immensely blissful. People seeing him started imitating -- what he was doing, they should do. And they have been doing, for thousands of years, all kinds of imitations.

And one thing is certain: this existence is absolutely against carbon copies. This existence knows only original faces. It will recognize you only when you come with your original face -- not Christian, not Buddhist, not Hindu, but just you in your utter nudity.

You can create the catalytic situation, and then wait. And have patience; you cannot force enlightenment to happen. You can manage the catalytic atmosphere, that's all that is within your hands -- then wait. Be patient.

Existence is impartial. Whenever the time is ripe, you will suddenly be aflame. All the old will be burned and something new, absolutely new, that you could not have even thought about, dreamed about, will have happened.

It is possible, but nobody can guarantee it.

It is going to happen if you can manage the catalytic atmosphere and wait. One never knows: it may happen today, it may take the whole life -- but it will happen. Just wait. Wait with deep trust in existence.

But whenever it happens, it will come as a great surprise to you, because it is accidental.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Seriousness is a sin, and it is a disease...

Laughter is one of the things most repressed by society all over the world, in all the ages.

Society wants you to be serious. Parents want their children to be serious, teachers want their students to be serious, the bosses want their servants to be serious, the commanders want their armies to be serious. Seriousness is required of everybody.

Laughter is dangerous and rebellious.

When the teacher is teaching you and you start laughing, it will be taken as an insult. Your parents are saying something to you and you start laughing -- it will be taken as an insult.

Seriousness is thought to be honor, respect.

Naturally laughter has been repressed so much that even though life all around is hilarious, nobody is laughing. If your laughter is freed from its chains, from its bondage, you will be surprised -- on each step there is something hilarious happening.

Life is not serious.

Only graveyards are serious, death is serious.

Life is love, life is laughter, life is dance, song.

If your laughter is freed from its bondage, the whole world will be full of laughter. It needs to be full of laughter; it will change almost everything in human life.

You will not be as miserable as you are. In fact, you are not as miserable as you look -- it is misery plus seriousness that makes you look so miserable. Just misery plus laughter, and you will not look so miserable!

Just look around at life and try to see the humorous side of things.

Every event that is happening has its own humorous side, you just need a sense of humor.

No religion has accepted the sense of humor as a quality.

Sense of humor has to be a fundamental quality of a good man, of a moral man, of a religious man. And it does not need much looking; you just try to see it, and everywhere....

Seriousness has become almost part of our bones and blood. You will have to make some effort to get rid of seriousness, and you will have to be on the lookout -- wherever you can find something humorous happening, don't miss the opportunity.

Everywhere there are people who are slipping on banana peels -- just nobody is looking at them. In fact, it is thought to be ungentlemanly. It is not, because only bananas slip on banana peels.

Laughter needs a great learning, and laughter is a great medicine. It can cure many of your tensions, anxieties, worries; the whole energy can flow into laughter. And there is no need that there should be some occasion, some cause.

There is no harm... even just sitting in your room, close the doors and have one hour of simple laughter. Laugh at yourself.

But learn to laugh.

Seriousness is a sin, and it is a disease.

Laughter has tremendous beauty, a lightness. It will bring lightness to you, and it will give you wings to fly.

And life is so full of opportunities. You just need the sensitivity. And create chances for other people to laugh. Laughter should be one of the most valued, cherished qualities of human beings -- because only man can laugh, no animals are capable of it.

Because it is human, it must be of the highest order. To repress it is to destroy a human quality.

All qualities should be available to everybody...

It is true that all great qualities are feminine -- love, compassion, sympathy, kindness. All these qualities have a flavor of the feminine.

There are male qualities, qualities of the warrior, courage. They are hard qualities, one has to be like steel.

The world has lived in two parts. Man has made his own world while the woman has lived in a shadow -- she has created her own world in the shadow. It is very unfortunate because a man or a woman, to be complete, to be whole, must have all the qualities together. Both men and women should be as soft as a rose petal and as hard as a sword -- both together. So whatever the opportunity and whenever the situation demands it.... If the situation needs you to be a sword, you are ready; if the situation needs you to be just a rose petal, you are ready. This flexibility -- between the rose petal and the sword -- will make your life richer.

And it is not only between two qualities, it is between all the qualities.

Man and woman are two parts of one whole; their world should also be one whole, and they should share all the qualities without any distinction -- no quality should be stamped as feminine or masculine.

When you make somebody masculine that person loses great things in his life. He becomes juiceless, he becomes stale, he becomes hard, almost dead.

And the woman who completely forgets how to be hard, how to be a rebel is bound to become a slave, because she has only soft qualities. Now roses cannot fight with swords, they will be crushed and killed and destroyed.

A total human being has not been born yet. There have been men and there have been women, but there have not been human beings, with all the beautiful qualities of woman and with all the courageous, rebellious, adventurous qualities of man. And they should all be part of one whole.

But from the very beginning we start telling children... A small boy, if he wants to play with toys like girls, we immediately stop him -- "Be ashamed of yourself; you are a boy, you are a man, don't be girlish."

And if a girl tries to climb a tree we stop her immediately: "This is not ladylike, climbing a tree, this is for the boys -- rough. You just come down!"

From the very beginning we start dividing man and woman into parts. Both suffer -- because climbing a tree has a joy of its own, no woman should miss it. To be on top of a tree when the wind is strong, in the sun, with the birds singing... if you have not been to that point, you have missed something. And just because you are a woman. Strange...

To be adventurous -- to climb the mountains, to swim the oceans -- should not be prevented just because you are a woman, because that thrill is something spiritual.

A man should not be prevented when he wants to cry. He is prevented, he cannot bring tears -- tears are only for women: "You are a man; behave like a man!" And tears are such a beautiful experience. In deep sadness or in great joy, whenever something is overflowing, tears give expression to it. And if tears are repressed, at the same time what they were going to express -- the deep sadness or the great joy -- is also repressed.

And remember perfectly well that nature has not made any difference. It has given man and women the same tear glands, of equal size.

But if you are a man and you are crying, then everybody condemns you, as if, "You are behaving like a woman."

You should say, "What can I do? Nature itself has given me tear glands. Nature is behaving like a woman. It is not my responsibility, I am simply enjoying my nature. Tears are my right."

All qualities should be available to everybody.

There are men who become incapable of love because they are trained for certain qualities: "You have to be hard. You have to be competitive. You are not to show emotions. You must not be sentimental."

Now how do you expect a man who is not emotional, not sentimental, who is not allowed to feel... how can you expect him to love? And when he misses love, his life becomes miserable. And the same is happening on both sides.

Everybody should be allowed everything that is naturally possible to the person whether he is a man or a woman.

And we would have a richer world consisting of richer people.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happiness is just natural, as you breathe. it is not an achievement...

There was once a man who hewed stones from the rock. His labour was very hard and he laboured much, but his wages were slight and he was not content.

He sighed because his labour was hard, and he cried, 'Oh, I wish I was rich so I could rest on a couch with a cover of silk.' And an angel came from heaven, saying, 'You are what you have said.'

And he was rich, and he did rest on a couch, and the cover was of silk, and the king of the land went by with horsemen in front of his carriage and behind the carriage there were also horsemen, and a golden parasol was held over the head of the king.

And when the rich man saw this, he was vexed that no golden parasol was held over his own head and he was not content. He sighed and cried, 'I wish to be a king.' And the angel came again and he said, 'You are what you have said.'

And he was king and many horsemen rode in front of his carriage, and there were also horsemen behind his carriage and a golden parasol was held over his head, and the sun shone hot rays and scorched the earth so that the grass shoots withered. And the king complained that the sun burned his face and that it excelled him in power and he was not content. He sighed and cried, 'I wish to be the sun.' And the angel came and he said, 'You are what you have said.'

And he was the sun and he directed his rays upward and down, to the right and to the left -- everywhere -- and he scorched the grass shoots on earth, and the countenances of kings who were on earth.

And a cloud placed itself between him and the earth, and the rays of the sun bounced back from it and he grew wrathful that his power was resisted. He complained that the cloud excelled him in power and he was not content. He wished to be the cloud, which was so powerful, and the angel came and he said, 'You are what you have said.'

And he became a cloud and placed himself between the sun and the earth and caught the rays so that the grass grew green. The cloud rained large drops on the earth causing the rivers to swell and floods to carry the houses away, and he destroyed the fields with much water. He fell upon a rock which did not yield, and he splashed in great streams, but the rock did not yield, and he grew wrathful because the rock was not yielding to his power, and the power of his streams was in vain and he was not content.

He cried, 'That rock has been given power which excells mine. I wish to be the rock.' And the angel came and he was the rock, he did become the rock, and did not move when the sun shone nor when it rained.

And then there was a man with a pick and with a chisel and with a heavy hammer, and he hewed stones out of the rock and the rock said, 'How can it be that this man has power that excells mine and hews stones out of my lap?' and he was not content.

He cried, 'I am weaker than he. I wish to be that man.' And the angel came from heaven, saying, 'You are what you have said.' And he was a stone-cutter again. And he hewed stones from the rock with hard labour, and he laboured very hard for small wages -- and he was content.

I don't agree with the conclusion. That is the only disagreement with the story; otherwise the story is beautiful. I don't agree with the conclusion. Because I know people -- they cannot be so easily content. The wheel is complete. The story in a way has come to a natural end, but the real stories in life don't come to any natural end. The wheel again starts moving.

And this goes on and on and on, like waves in the ocean... non-ending -- unless you understand and simply jump out of the wheel. Life is here, life is now. God is here and god is now. If you are searching him in your daydreams, your search is in vain, because god is nothing but deep contentment.

The mind that goes on telling you, 'Do this, be that. Possess this, possess that... otherwise how can you be happy if you don't have this? You have to have a palace, then you can be happy....' If your happiness has a condition to it, you will remain unhappy. If you cannot be happy just as you are -- a stone-cutter... I know hard is the labour, wages are poor, life is a struggle, I know -- but if you cannot be happy as you are, in spite of it all; if you cannot be happy, you are not going to be happy ever.

Unless a man is happy, simply happy, for no reason at all, unless a man is mad enough to be happy without any reason, a man is not going to be happy ever. You will always find something destroying your happiness. You will always find something missing, something absent. And that missing will become your daydream again.

And you cannot achieve a state where everything, everything is available. Even if it is possible, then too you will not be happy. Just look at the mechanism of the mind: if everything is available as you want it, suddenly you will feel bored. Now what to do?

Mind will never allow you to be happy. Whatsoever the condition, the mind will always find something to be unhappy about. Let me say it in this way: mind is a mechanism to create unhappiness. Its whole function is to create unhappiness.

If you drop the mind, suddenly you become happy... for no reason at all. Then happiness is just natural, as you breathe. For breathing, you need not be even aware. You simply go on breathing. Conscious, unconscious, awake, asleep, you go on breathing. Happiness is exactly like that.

That's why in the East we say that happiness is your innermost nature. It needs no outside condition; it is simply there, it is you. Bliss is your natural state; it is not an achievement.

If you abuse your authority, you are political...

Only people who want to abuse their authority become interested in authority. If you have some authority, watch. Even small authorities corrupt people. You may be just a constable standing on the crossroads, but if you have the opportunity, you will abuse it; you will show yourself who you are.

You are just standing at the railway window of a railway station and the booking clerk goes on doing something -- and you can see that he has nothing to do. He goes on turning pages here and there. He wants to delay. We wants to show you that now he has the authority. He says, 'Wait.' He cannot lose this chance to say no to you.

Watch -- in yourself also. Your son comes and says, 'Daddy, can I go out to play?' You say, 'No!' And you know well and the son knows well that you will allow him. Then the son starts shrieking and jumping and screaming and he says, 'I want to go!' Then you say, 'Okay, go.' And you know it; it has happened before the same way. And there was nothing wrong in going outside and playing. Why did you say no?

If you have authority, you want to show it. But then the son also has some authority. He starts jumping, he creates a tantrum, and he knows that he will create trouble and the neighbours will listen and people will think wrong about you, so you say, 'Okay, go.'

In every human encounter you will see it happening -- people are throwing their authority all around; either bullying people or being bullied by others. And if somebody bullies you, you will immediately find some weaker person somewhere to take the revenge.

If your boss bullies you in the office, you will come home and bully your wife. And if she is not a lib movement woman, then she will wait for the child to come home from the school, and she will bully the child. And if the child is old-fashioned, not american, then the child will go to his room and crush his toys, because that is the only thing he can bully. He can show his power on the toy. But this goes on and on. This seems to be the whole game. This is what real politics is.

To get out of the political mind is the meaning of this sutra:

So whenever you have some authority.... And everybody has some authority or other. You cannot find a person, you cannot find the last person who has no authority; even he has some authority, even he has a dog he can kick. Everybody has some authority somewhere. So, everybody lives in politics. You may not be a member of any political party; that doesn't mean that you are not political. If you abuse your authority, you are political. If you don't abuse your authority, then you are non-political.

Become more aware not to abuse your authority. It will give you a very new light -- how you function -- and it will make you so calm and centered. It will give you tranquillity and serenity.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nobody should manipulate you into a certain kind of action...

It is reported that Gautam the Buddha was passing by the side of a village. The village was populated by anti-Buddhists; so much so that although Buddha had just bypassed them -- he had not even entered the village for the simple reason that he did not want to create any unnecessary scene there -- those idiots were not going to leave him so easily.

They came rushing out of the village behind him surrounded him and started abusing him in every possible way, using language which one should not use against another human being -- what to say of a man like Gautam the Buddha. The followers of Buddha really became angry. They were ready to hit back, but in front of Gautam the Buddha it was impossible for them to take any action before he said something. And what he said puzzled everybody, shocked everybody.

He turned to his disciples and said, "You have disappointed me. Those people are doing their thing. They are angry. They think that I am an enemy of their religion, of their moral values -- naturally they are angry. And I am listening to them; they are abusing me, not abusing you. Why are you getting angry? Although you are controlling yourself, that does not make any difference. You have allowed those people to manipulate you. Are you their slaves?"

The people of the village were also puzzled. They fell into a strange silence. Buddha said to them, "I am in a hurry to reach the other village, where people are waiting for me. If you are finished, I can go. Or if something else is still there in your mind, when I come back I will inform you ahead. At that time you can complete the whole thing. So am I allowed to go?"

Those people said, "We have been abusing you, saying all sorts of dirty things against you; many of them are lies, we know -- but in love and war everything is right. But you are so cool and calm, as if we have just welcomed you, greeted you, and you are asking our permission to go ahead."

Buddha said, "Whatever you have done, that is your problem. I do not react, I act. Nobody can force me to do something, nobody can influence me to do something. If I want to do it, nobody can prevent me from doing it. My actions are my actions -- they are never reactions."

When you act, that is response; when you react, that is not response. But to act you have to be very conscious so that nobody can push your buttons, so that nobody can manipulate you into a certain kind of action.

Buddha said to his disciples, "You are behaving like slaves to these people." And he said to the villagers, "You have come a little late. You should have come ten years earlier -- then I would have cut off your heads, then you would have known what it means to abuse. Now it is too late! I cannot function like a slave. Now I am a Master -- you cannot manipulate me.

"I would like to ask a question of you. In the last village people brought sweets, fruits, flowers, just to greet me. I told them, 'We had our breakfast in a village earlier; now take these fruits and these sweets with my blessings. We cannot carry them. We don't carry food, we don't carry anything for the future. We will see what happens later on: somebody may offer something. And it has always been happening, so there is no problem in it.'

"l ask you: those people had taken the sweets and fruits back -- what must they have done with them?"

One of the men in the crowd said, "They must have distributed the fruits, the sweets, to their children, to their families, to themselves. They must have enjoyed them."

Buddha said, "That's where you make me sad. Now what will you do? I reject, I don't take your abuses. If I can reject fruits and sweets then those people have to take them back. What can you do? I reject your abuse, I don't take such things. For ten years I have not taken any such things from anybody. So now carry the load back home, distribute it among yourselves, to your children, your friends; whatever you want to do you can do.

"But this is your doing; I have nothing to do with it; I simply refuse. And I have the right to refuse anything. You are giving it to me and I am saying, 'Thank you, I don't want it.' You cannot force it on me. I only act out of my own consciousness. You cannot cloud my consciousness with your abuse and make me unconscious, and make me react."

Reaction is unconscious. You do not know exactly that you are being manipulated. You are not aware that you are behaving like a slave, not like a master.

Action out of consciousness is response.

Humanity has been turned by and by into spectators -- about everything...

Western psychologists are very worried because people are becoming mere spectators. They go to the movies, switch on the radio, or sit in front of the television for hours. In America the average person spends about six hours a day watching television. If there is a football game, they watch it; a wrestling match, they watch it; a baseball game or the Olympics, they watch that. Now they have become mere spectators, spectators standing at the side of the road: the procession of life passes and you go on watching.

Man is wonderful! He even goes to see horse races. It is very strange -- no horse would go to watch men run. Horses run and men come to see it. Man has fallen even below horses.

Life is spent watching, just watching. Spectators.... You do not dance, you watch someone else dance. You do not sing, you listen to someone else sing. Is it surprising if your life becomes impotent, if all life-energy is lost? There is no movement, no flow of energy in your life. You sit like a corpse. Your sole function is to go on watching.

Humanity has been turned by and by into spectators -- about everything.

You don't play football, but twenty-two persons who are professionals, this is their business, to play football. And millions of people are just spectators, and they are so excited... jumping in their seats, screaming, shouting. If they are not in the stadium, then they are sitting in their homes before the television screen and they are doing the same gestures there. Somebody else is playing; you are just a spectator.

The average American is looking at the television five to six hours a day: six hours of just being a spectator, not a participant. Then there are movies where you are spectators, and there are boxing matches where you are spectators. It seems you have lost contact with life. You simply see others living; your life is just to watch. Somebody is in a competition for a world championship in chess, and you are watching. Can't you play chess yourself? Can't you play football yourself?

It is not far away, it is already happening... you will not be making love to your wife, to your girlfriend -- somebody else will be doing it and you will be watching, jumping: "Aha! Great! Go on!"

You have left the whole of life for others to live on your behalf, and then you ask where the meaning has gone, why you don't feel alive, why there is not some significance in your life. Spectators cannot have significance -- only participants, totally involved, intensely involved in every action.

You go into the church, you listen to the sermon and that is your religion. You have a Holy Bible and you read the Bible, a few pages every day, and that is your religion. You never live religion, nor does your priest live religion -- reading the Holy Bible does not mean living religion. You are again reading something as a spectator.

This kind of life cannot bring you joy. You are not living, you are avoiding living. It is better to compose your own music. It may not be great, it does not matter. You may not become a famous musician; that does not matter either. What matters is that you were composing it yourself. You were not a spectator; you were a participant, you were a creator. And if people are deprogrammed, all their energy will move towards creativity.

Don't replace your current program with any other program. Just deprogram you to simply leave you deprogrammed.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Don't go anywhere in imagination...

Listen to these beautiful and tremendously significant words from Kabir: "O MY HEART! GO NOT ELSEWHERE." There is no need to go anywhere. All is already given to you. You are a fool going anywhere and begging for it. God has made you from the very beginning as an emperor. He never creates beggars. If you have taken the role of a beggar, it is simply your responsibility and your stupidity.

"KABIR SAYS: 'PUT ALL IMAGINATION AWAY....'" This idea that you are a beggar is also your imagination. And the next idea, when you get fed up with your begging, desires, ambitions, and you start reading the scriptures and you come across great sayings -- "Aham Brahmasmi" -- "I am God"and then you start imagining "I am God"; that too is imagination.

Rather than imagining, drop all imagination, move into a state of no-imagination. That's what he means: "GO NOT ELSEWHERE." Imagination is the way to go somewhere else. Listen to it: whenever you imagine, you go away from yourself. You fall asleep in the night -- whole night you were here -- but in your imagination you had gone to so many places.

Exactly the same is the case: you have never left your divinehood, your godhood. You have never left that, there you are rooted, but in imagination sometimes you became an animal and sometimes you became a tree and sometimes you became a man and sometimes you become angry and sometimes you become very kind, sometimes you are a gentleman and sometimes you are a robber. You go on imagining. Sometimes you think you are a child and sometimes you think you are young and sometimes you think you are old, sometimes you think you are a man and sometimes you think you are a woman, but these are all imaginations.

Deep down, you are only God and nothing else. These are all roles that you choose yourself. You create, you project, and then you enter into your own projections.

Go not elsewhere, O my heart! Consider it well.

"KABIR SAYS: 'PUT ALL IMAGINATION AWAY....'" That's what meditation is all about: putting imagination away. But there are foolish people who bring their imagination to their meditation too. In meditation also they start imagining; they start imagining a thousand and one things. Somebody imagines he has seen Krishna, somebody imagines his KUNDALINI is rising, somebody imagines his SAHASRAR is opening, somebody imagines something else, and people have different imaginations. These are all imaginations.

When you feel your KUNDALINI is rising, don't get involved in it -- let it rise. Remain aloof and detached, and say, "Okay, this must be some imagination." You have heard so much about KUNDALINI rising. You must be reading the books of Gopi Krishna -- KUNDALINI rising -- and so many yogis are talking about it. It is in the air, so you become infected with the idea. Then you are waiting for it to rise. Not even simply waiting, but in a subtle way, trying to help it to rise. You are ready to support it. Just a slight thing -- an ant crawling upon your spine -- and it is there and suddenly you are full of energy. And you have imagined it and you have created. Now it becomes yet another ego trip.

You have read in books that the third eye will open, so you are waiting for it, and when you close your eyes -- consciously, unconsciously -- you look for the third eye, and you start imagining. One day, you can see the light there -- imagination is tremendously powerful. It can create whatsoever you want to create.

Now look: in India, Jainas have existed as long as the Hindus -- one of the oldest religions of the world is Jainism -- but Mahavir never talked about KUNDALINI, and the Jainas' twenty-four TEERTHANKARAS never talked about KUNDALINI. Down through the ages, down through the centuries, Jainas ave not talked about kundalini, so it never rises in a Jaina saint -- never -- because they never read about it. So it never arises in a Jaina saint. Buddhists don't believe in it, so it never rises. Christians, Mohammedans, never heard about t, so it never rises.

Something else happens to Buddhists: CHAKRAS open. And, you will be surprised, when Hindus think about CHAKRAS, seven CHAKRAS open; when Buddhists, five -- only five -- two simply disappear; because Buddhists talk about five CHAKRAS, and Hindus talk about seven. And there are tantricas who talk about nine!

Forget all about your imaginations; otherwise you will be trapped by your mind. If you see something, remember, it is imagination. If you feel something, remember, it is imagination. If you experience something, remember, it is imagination. When the experiencer is left alone without any experience, then there is no imagination. When the knower is left and there is nothing to know, then there is no imagination. When there is pure awareness without any content, then there is truth. And Kabir insists: "Put all imagination away.... "

God is not an experience, God is not an object. God is the very experiencer within you. You cannot see God. God is the one who is seeing through you. You cannot see God; you cannot reduce him to an object. You cannot put him in front of you; otherwise God will be separate from you. No, God cannot be experienced. And those who claim that they have experienced God are imagining things deluded. You cannot experience God! You can be God, but you cannot experience God. Because you are God, how can you experience God? God is not separate from you.

So God is when all imagination is brushed aside and only experiencing remains, just the light -- not falling on anything -- without any content -- you just are, just isness, being.

"... AND STAND FAST IN THAT WHICH YOU ARE." Don't go anywhere in imagination. Stand fast in that which you are, and you will know what God is. Knowing yourself, you will know God. Knowing the knower, you will know God. God never comes as an object of knowledge. He is your consciousness, he is your very being.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Existence does not produce people who are unworthy...

It is simply a conditioning that you are unworthy.

Nobody is unworthy.

Existence does not produce people who are unworthy.

Existence is not unintelligent. If existence produces so many unworthy people, then the whole responsibility goes to existence. Then it can be definitely concluded that existence is not intelligent, that there is no intelligence behind it, that it is an unintelligent, accidental materialist phenomenon and there is no consciousness in it.

Existence is intelligent, that existence is immensely conscious.

It is the same existence which creates Gautam Buddhas.

It cannot create unworthy people.

You are not unworthy.

Unworthiness is a false idea imposed on you by those who want you to be a slave for your whole life.

You can drop it just right now.

Existence gives the same sun to you as to Gautam Buddha, the same moon as to Zarathustra, the same wind as to Mahavira, the same rain as to Jesus -- it makes no difference, it has no idea of discrimination. For existence, Gautam Buddha, Zarathustra, Lao Tzu, Bodhidharma, Kabir, Nanak or you are just the same.

The only difference is that Gautam Buddha did not accept the idea of being unworthy, he rejected the idea. It was easy for him to reject it -- he was the prince of a great kingdom, the only son of the king, and the king was thought to be almost a god. So he had no idea of unworthiness.

But what about Kabir? What about Raidas the shoemaker? What about Gora the potter? These poor people were burdened by the society with the idea that they were unworthy, but they rejected it.

In Kabir's life there were clearcut examples. Kabir lived his whole life in Kashi. For centuries Hindus have believed that to die in Kashi is the greatest thing you can do in life, because for one who dies in Kashi, his paradise is guaranteed. It does not matter what kind of man he was, whether he was a murderer, a thief, a saint or a sinner -- these things are all irrelevant. His dying in Kashi erases everything and he becomes qualified for paradise.

And Kabir lived his whole life in Kashi, and when he was going to die he said, "Take me out of Kashi to the other side, to the small village." Just on the other side of the Ganges was a small village.

His disciples said, "Are you mad or something? People come to Kashi, the whole of Kashi is full of people who have come here to die. You have lived your whole life in Kashi, what kind of nonsense is this? And the village you are pointing to is a condemned village; people say whoever dies there is born again as a donkey."

But Kabir said, "I will go to that village, and I will die in that village. I want to enter paradise on my own worth, not because of Kashi.

And I know my worth."

They had to take him. Against their will they had to take him to the other side, and he died there.

This man is so certain of his worth.

Drop the idea of unworthiness, it is simply an idea. And with the dropping of it, you are under the sky -- there is no question of doors, everything is open, all directions are open. That you are is enough to prove that existence needs you, loves you, nourishes you, respects you.

The idea of unworthiness is created by the social parasites. Drop that idea.

And be grateful to existence -- because it only creates people who are worthy, it never creates anything which is worthless.

It only creates people who are needed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pitfalls of the Seeker 6: Don’t wait for a miracle...

Don’t wait for a miracle. It really doesn’t matter how you define miracle—whether it is the sudden appearance of perfect love, a cure for a life-threatening disease, anointment from a great spiritual leader, or permanent and everlasting bliss. A miracle is letting God do all the work; it separates the supernatural world from this world, with the expectation that one day the supernatural world will notice you. Since there is only one reality, your task is to break through boundaries of division and separation. Watching and waiting for a miracle keeps the boundaries up. You are ever at a remove from God, connected to him by wishful thinking.

Life consists of small things, but if you can bring the quality of cheerfulness to small things, the total is tremendous.

So don't wait for anything great to happen. Great things happen -- it is not that they don't -- but don't wait for the something great to happen. It happens only when you start living small, ordinary, day-to-day things, with a new mind, with new freshness, with new vitality, with new enthusiasm. Then by and by you accumulate, and that accumulation one day explodes into sheer joy.

But one never knows when it will happen. One has just to go on collecting pebbles on the shore. The totality becomes the great happening. When you collect one pebble, it is a pebble. When all the pebbles are together, suddenly they are diamonds. That's the miracle of life. So you need not think about these great things.

There are many people in the world who miss because they are always waiting for something great. It can't happen. It happens only through small things: eating, taking your breakfast, walking, taking your bath, talking to a friend, just sitting alone looking at the sky or lying on your bed doing nothing. These small things are what life is made of. This is the very stuff of life.

So do everything cheerfully and then everything becomes a miracle.

Pitfalls of the Seeker 5: Don’t make this a self-improvement project.

Don’t make this a self-improvement project. Self-improvement is real. People get stuck in bad places that they can learn to get out of. Depression, loneliness, and insecurity are tangible experiences that can be improved. But if you seek to reach God or enlightenment because you want to stop being depressed or anxious, if you want greater self-esteem or less loneliness, your search may never end. This area of understanding isn’t cut-and-dried. Some people feel tremendously self-improved as their awareness expands; but it takes a strong sense of self to confront the many obstacles and challenges that lie on the path. If you feel weak or fragile, you may feel weaker and more fragile when you confront the shadow energies within. Expanded awareness comes at a price—you have to give up your limitations—and for anyone who feels victimized, that limitation is often so stubborn that spiritual progress becomes very slow. To the extent that you feel any deep conflict inside yourself, a large hurdle stands before you on the path. The wise thing is to seek help at the level where the problem exists.

Somebody is standing on his head, somebody fasting, somebody forcing celibacy, somebody destroying his body, committing slow suicide, somebody lying on thorns and somebody standing in the sun, somebody sitting naked in the snow; all masochistic. If you are too mad after self-improvement, one day or other you will become a masochistic person. You will start torturing yourself. You will see death coming and nothing is happening.

There is no need to improve yourself. All self-improvement is a way to hell. All efforts to make something, somebody out of yourself, something of an ideal, are going to create more and more madness. Ideals are the base of all madness, and the whole humanity is neurotic because of too many ideals.

Animals are not neurotic because they don't have any ideals. Trees are not neurotic because they don't have any ideals. They are not trying to become somebody else. They are simply enjoying whatsoever they are.

So you are you. But somewhere deep down you want to become a Buddha or a Jesus, and then you go round in a circle which will be non-ending. Just see the point of it -- you are you. And the whole, or God, wants you to be you. That's why He has created you, otherwise He would have created you a better model. He wanted you to be here at this moment. He did not want Jesus to be here in place of you. And He knows better. The whole always knows better than the part.

So just accept yourself. If you can accept yourself, you have learned the greatest secret of life, and then everything comes on its own. Just be yourself. There is no need to pull yourself up. There is no need to be a different height other than you are already.

There is no need to have another face. Simply be as you are, and in deep acceptance of it, flowering happens and you go on becoming more and more yourself.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pitfalls of the Seeker 4: Don’t set yourself a timetable

Don’t set yourself a timetable. I’ve met countless people who gave up on spirituality because they didn’t reach their goals fast enough. “I gave it ten years. What can I do? Life is only so long. I’m moving on.” More likely they devoted just one year or a month to being on the path, and then the weekend warriors fell away, discouraged by lack of results. The best way to avoid disappointment is not to set a deadline in the first place, although many people find this difficult to do without losing motivation. But motivation was never going to get them there in the first place. Discipline is involved, no doubt, in remembering to meditate regularly, to keep up Yoga class, to read inspiring texts, and to keep your vision before you. Getting into the spiritual habit requires a sense of dedication. But unless the vision is unfolding every day, you will inevitably get distracted. Rather than a timetable, give yourself support for spiritual growth. This can be in the form of a personal teacher, a discussion group, a partner who shares the path with you, regular retreats, and keeping a daily journal. You wie much less likely to fall prey to disappointment.

Meditation needs tremendous perseverance. It is not like a seasonal flower, it is more like a cedar of Lebanon; it needs time to grow roots. That is one of the reasons why the contemporary man is missing the inner treasure: he is always in a hurry. Never before was man in such a hurry. Speed was never such an addiction. People were moving slowly, living slowly; there was a kind of unhurriedness in their life. As technology has progressed, it has given more and more speed to man, and everything is moving faster and faster. We are becoming more and more intoxicated with speed; it is a drug. It does not allow us to grow anything that takes time, patience, perseverance. It does not allow us anything that needs the art of waiting...

Hence we are running outwards. It is possible with scientific technology to rush towards the moon, towards the stars one day; but to go in no scientific technology can be of any help. There nature has to take its own course. And one has to learn not to be so concerned with the result, with the goal. One should start enjoying the journey itself. One should start enjoying the trees by the side of the road, the birds singing, the sun rising, he clouds floating in the sky. One should move slowly, at one's natural pace. And one should not even be in competition with others because everybody has their own natural pace and everybody has a unique individuality.

People have become enlightened in strange situations, there is no way of saying how. You can repeat the situation, but you will not become enlightened. The situation becomes a repetitive ritual. You have bamboos, you can try -- hit a bamboo!

But it is not a question of the bamboo and the sound of a stone hitting it, it is the stillness that happened. And this stillness is surrounding you. You just have to be aware of its value, you have to be aware that you are always here, no cause, no reason, no timing.

Pitfalls of the Seeker 3: Don’t just follow someone else’s map

Don’t just follow someone else’s map.
There was a time when I was certain that deep meditation using one specific mantra for the rest of my life was the key to reaching enlightenment. I was following a map laid down thousands of years ago by venerable sages who belonged to India’s greatest spiritual tradition. But caution is always required: If you follow someone else’s map, you could be training yourself in a fixed way of thinking. Fixed ways, even those devoted to spirit, are not the same as being free. You should glean teachings from all directions, keeping true to those that bring progress yet remaining open to changes in yourself.

Only a particular type of person can be helped by Mahavira's methods -- only the type who belongs to Mahavira's type can be helped. It is a very limited methodology. Mahavira attained to the holy fruit; he taught the same method by which he attained. Jesus had his own method, Mohammed had his own method. So no religion of the past could be universal because it belonged to a certain type and only that type could be benefited by it.

Hence one problem has arisen: you may be born in a Jaina family and you may not be of the same type which the Jaina method can help. Then you are in a difficulty; your whole life will be a wastage. You will try the method; it won't suit you -- and you will not change your method. You will think it is because of your past karmas that the method is not working, that it will take time. You will rationalize. You may be born in a Hindu family and Hindu methods may not work.

There are so many types of people in the world, and as the world has grown and people's consciousnesses have grown, more and more new types, more and more crossbreeds have come into existence which were never there before -- which never existed in Mahavira's time, which never existed in Krishna's time. There are many new types, crossbreeds. And in the future this is going to happen more and more; the world is becoming a small village.

You should glean teachings from all directions, keeping true to those that bring progress yet remaining open to changes in yourself.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pitfalls of the Seeker 2: Don’t struggle to get there

Don’t struggle to get there. If there were a spiritual payoff at the end of the trail, like a pot of gold or the key to heaven, everyone would work as hard as possible for the reward. Any struggle would be worth it. But does it help a two-year-old to struggle to become three? No, because the process of child development unfolds from within. You don’t get a paycheck; you turn into a new person. The same is true for spiritual unfolding. It happens just as naturally as childhood development, but on the plane of awareness rather than in the realm of physiology.

You need not struggle. You need not even surrender! because surrender is the polar opposite of struggle. You have to be just in the middle. You have to be just in a state of non-doing, neither struggling nor surrendering. And suddenly you will be able to see the door is open. You have never gone anywhere else. You have always been in. Where else can you go? Inwardness is your nature. And then all is revealed like lightning. Suddenly darkness disappears and all is light.

The ego can exist only when it struggles, remember -- when it fights. And if I tell you, 'Kill three flies and you will become enlightened, you will not believe me. You will say, 'Three flies? There doesn't seem to be much to that. And I will become enlightened? That doesn't seem to be likely. If I say you will have to kill seven hundred lions, of course that looks more like it!

Pitfalls of the Seeker 1: Don’t know where you’re going

Don’t know where you’re going. Spiritual growth is spontaneous. The big events come along unexpectedly, and so do the small ones. A single word can open your heart; a single glance can tell you who you really are. Awakening doesn’t happen according to the plan. It’s much more like putting together a jigsaw puzzle without knowing the finished picture in advance. The Buddhists have a saying, “If you meet the Buddha on the path, kill him,” which means if you’re following a spiritual script written in advance, bury it. All you can imagine in advance are images, and images are never the same as the goal.

Joshu used to say to his disciples,'If you utter Buddha's name, go and rinse your mouth immediately.' Joshu also used to say,'If you meet the Buddha on the way, kill him immediately.' And he used to worship Buddha every day.

Ordinarily Zen looks puzzling, but it is clear-cut. It is following Buddha. When Joshu says,'If you meet the Buddha on the way kill him,' he is a right disciple because that was Buddha's essential message. When Buddha was dying, his last utterance in this world was,'APPO DEEPO BHAVA' -- 'Be a light unto yourself.' Don't follow anybody. Anand was crying, weeping because Buddha was leaving the body and he said to Buddha,'You are leaving and I have not yet become enlightened. What about me? What will happen to me? The world will be absolutely dark for me -- you were the light. And now you are going. Have compassion on us.' Buddha opened his eyes and said,'APPO DEEPO BHAVA. Be a light unto yourself, Anand, nobody can be a light for you.'

When Joshu says,'Kill the Buddha if you meet him on the way,' he is a true follower of Buddha. In Zen, following is very, very delicate. Great intelligence will be needed if you want to be a follower of Zen. It is very easy to be a Christian or a Hindu; it is very mathematical. To follow Zen it is very, very delicate and poetic -- because the very following means not following; because that is the message of the Zen Masters, don't follow.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

that’s the way we do things around here...

Here's an experiment that involved 5 monkeys, a cage, a banana, a ladder and a water hose. Tell me what you think.

The 5 monkeys were locked in a cage, after which a banana was hung from the ceiling with, fortunately for the monkeys (or so it seemed…), a ladder placed right underneath it.

Of course, immediately, one of the monkeys raced towards the ladder, intending to climb it and grab the banana. However, as soon as he started to climb, the researcher sprayed the climbing monkey with ice-cold water. In addition, however, he would also spray the other four monkeys…

When a second monkey tried to climb the ladder, the researcher again sprayed the monkey with ice-cold water, and applied the same treatment to its four fellow inmates; likewise for the third climber and the fourth one. They all learned their lesson about how things work: they were not going to climb the ladder again – banana or no banana.

But the experiment did not stop there. In order to watch what happened, the researcher replaced one of the old monkeys with a new one. As expected, the new monkey spotted the banana, thinking “why don’t these idiots go get it?!” and started climbing the ladder. Then, however, it got interesting: the other four monkeys, familiar with the cold-water treatment, ran towards the new guy – and beat him up. The new guy, blissfully unaware of the cold-water history, got the message: no climbing up the ladder in this cage – banana or no banana.

When the researcher replaced a second old monkey with a new one, the events repeated themselves – new monkey ran towards the ladder; other monkeys beat him up; new monkey does not attempt to climb again – with one notable detail: the first new monkey, who had never received the cold-water treatment himself (and didn’t even know anything about it), with equal vigor and enthusiasm, joined in the beating of the new guy on the block.

When the researcher replaced a third monkey, the same thing happened; likewise for the fourth until, eventually, all the monkeys had been replaced and none of the ones in the cage had any experience or knowledge of the cold-water treatment.

Fianlly, a 5th new monkey was introduced into the cage. It ran toward the ladder only to get beaten up by the others. But ask yourself this: why would these all new monkeys beat each other up over the banana, when none of them ever experienced the cold water treatment? Probably like human because they learned: "that’s the way we do things around here”…

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

You can be a saint outwardly and still be the same being inside...

There is nothing like the Ten Commandments in the East. An overly moral concept is not there. So the problems in the East are different from the West. With people from the West, guilt is the problem. Deep down they feel guilty. Even those who have revolted feel guilty. It is a psychological problem, concerned more with the mind and less with the being.

First, their guilt has to be released. That is why the West had to develop psychoanalysis and confession. They were not developed in the East because they were never needed. In the West you have to confess. Only then can you get free from the guilt that is deep inside. Or you have to go through psychoanalysis so that the guilt is thrown out. But it is never thrown out permanently, because the concept of sin remains. The guilt will accumulate again. So psychoanalysis and confession can only be a temporary help. You have to confess again and again. They are only temporary helps against something that has been accepted. The root of the disease -- the concept of sin -- has been accepted.

In the East it it not a question of psychology, it is a question of being. It is not a question of mental health. Rather, it is a question of spiritual growth. You have to grow spiritually, to be more aware of things. You do not have to change your behavior, but to change your consciousness. Then the behavior follows.

Christianity is more concerned with your behavior. But behavior is just peripheral. The question is not what you do; the question is what you are. If you go on changing what you are doing, you are not really changing anything. You remain the same. You can be a saint outwardly and still be the same being inside.

Jainas have not created any meditative techniques either. They have only created different formulas: Do that. Do that. Don't do this.... The whole concept is centered around behavior. A Jaina monk is ideal as far as his behavior is concerned, but as far as his inner being is concerned he is very poor. He goes on behaving just like a puppet. That is why Jainism has become a dead thing.

Buddhism is not dead in the same way because a different emphasis is there. The ethical part of Buddhism is just a consequence of the meditative part. If behavior has to be changed, it is just as a help to meditation. In itself, it is meaningless. In Christianity and Jainism it is meaningful in itself. If you are doing good, then you are good. For Buddhism this is not the case. You have to be transformed inwardly.

Doing good can help, it can become a part, but meditation is the center.

So of the three, only Buddhists have developed deep meditation. Everything else in Buddhism is just a help -- not significant. You can even discard it. If you can meditate without any other help, then you can discard the rest.

But Hinduism is even deeper. That is why Hinduism could develop in so many different dimensions, like tantra. Even what you call sin can be used by tantra. Hinduism is, in a way, very healthy -- but chaotic of course. Anything healthy is bound to be chaotic; it cannot be systematized.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Say to the world what you have known, without fear...

The positive person has to become assertive; he has to come into the light. Otherwise the world is left in the hands of the negative people, and these negative people are the cause of preventing others from seeking and searching.

I have always liked a story by Turgenev -- a Russian novelist, one of the best the world has ever known. If you are going to choose ten great books, you will have to give one place to Turgenev without fail. Out of all the literature in all the languages in the world, he may claim more, but one is absolutely certain. He has written a small story, THE FOOL.

In a small village there was a very simple man. His simplicity was such that he almost looked like a simpleton, and the whole village condemned him as the idiot. Out of his simplicity he used to do things, and the cunning people all around condemned him. He became so much afraid even to say a single word, because whatever he would say, he would be immediately criticized, condemned. He became afraid of acting, of doing anything; his life became a hell. And at that time, a mystic passed through the village. The idiot reached the mystic and told his tragic story, asking, "You help me do something ...."

The mystic said, "Who says you are an idiot? You are a very simple, innocent being. Out of your innocence you do things which are going to be against the ideas of the cunning and the clever.

"You do one thing -- I will be coming back on the same route within a month, so I can check whether it works or not -- I will tell you a simple secret. From tomorrow morning, you become assertive, aggressive: Somebody says, `What a beautiful sunrise' and you immediately jump in and tell him, `What is there? What beauty are you talking about? What is beauty? Define it! I have seen many sunrises like this; it is just a mediocre sunrise -- what is special in it? It happens every day.' And nobody can define beauty, nobody can prove that the sunrise is beautiful. There is no argument, there is no way.

"Somebody is saying, `Look at that woman, how beautiful she is!' Immediately jump in. You just watch, wherever anybody is making a positive statement about higher values which cannot be proved, you ask for proof: `What do you mean by calling that ordinary woman, who is not even homely ... what beauty is in her? Where is it? -- in her eyes, in her nose, in her hair? Where is the beauty? You have to clearly define it, and point to where it is!'" Now, beauty is not something that can be pinpointed.

After one month when the mystic returned, the idiot had become by that time the wisest man in the village. Somebody would say, "That is a holy book," and he would immediately ask, "What do you mean by holy, and what is holy in this book? The paper used is holy, or the ink used is holy, or the words used are holy? What is holy in it? These are the same words, the same ink, the same paper used in every book -- what makes this book holy?" And there was no way to prove ....

And people became absolutely afraid in his presence. They would tremble, they would not say anything; the situation was completely reversed.

Before, he used to be afraid; now he was never afraid. And nobody even asked a question of him ... because the mystic had said, "If somebody asks a question, never answer, but ask a counter-question -- because your answer can be criticized; don't be caught in that thing. Just ask a counter-question. Ask, `What do you mean by this question? Explain each single word and its meaning.' And harass him so much that even an ordinary sentence becomes a puzzle."

The mystic came; the idiot touched his feet and said, "Your strategy worked. Now I am the wisest man in this village."

He said, "Don't be worried -- continue. You will be the wisest man in the whole surrounding area, as far as your name can reach! People will start coming to you just to have your blessings."

A small story, but with great significance. It says how even an idiot, by using negativity, can become wise.

But that is not true wisdom. True wisdom is always positive. True wisdom is always arising out of a yes, out of love, out of gratitude towards existence. True wisdom knows no "no." It does not have any contact with negative attitudes and approaches.

Just don't remain silent. Bring your silence into songs, bring your experience into expressions. Say to the world what you have known, without fear.

Everybody has to be assertive, not aggressive.

Those two words are totally different. You can be assertive and very humble. You cannot be humble and aggressive. Aggressive is trespassing somebody else's right. Assertion is simply making your right proclaimed, clear. These are totally different processes.

Assertion is everybody's fundamental right: "If you are not capable of understanding then I have to shout, but I am not interfering in any way in your life. I am simply saying, please keep away from my territorial prerogative. I will never trespass your territory, but the same I expect from you."

That's what I would like our small children to be from the very beginning -- assertive, not aggressive; humble, but not ready to be enslaved by anybody.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

You will be surprised: you are that man...

There is a famous Tibetan parable:
A man served a master for many many years. The service was not pure; there was a motivation in it. He wanted some secret from the master. He had heard that the master has the secret -- the secret to do miracles. With this hidden desire he was serving the master day in, day out, but he was afraid to say anything. But the master was continuously watching his motivation.

One day the master asked, "It is better that you please speak your mind, because I am continuously seeing a motive in all your service that you do for me. It is not out of love, certainly not out of love. I don't see any love in it and I don't see any humility in it. It is a kind of bribery. So please, just tell me, what do you want?"

The man was waiting for this opportunity. He said, "I want the secret of doing miracles."

The master said, "Then why did you waste your time so long? You could have said it the very first day you had come. You tortured yourself and you tortured me too, because I don't like people around me who have motives. They are ugly to look at. They are basically greedy, and greed makes them ugly. The secret is simple -- why didn't you ask me the first day? This is the secret...."

He wrote down a small mantra on a piece of paper, just three lines maybe: "Buddham sharanam gachchhami, sangham sharanam gachchhami, dhammam sharanam gachchhami -- I go to the feet of the Buddha, I go to the feet of the Buddha's commune, I go to the feet of the dhamma, the ultimate law."

And the master told the man, "You take this small mantra with you, repeat it five times, just five times. It is a simple process. Just remember one condition: while you are repeating it, take a bath, close the door, sit silently -- and while you are repeating it, please don't remember monkeys."

The man said, "What nonsense are you talking about? Why should I remember monkeys in the first place? I have never remembered them my whole life!"

The master said, "That is up to you, but I have to tell you the condition. This is how the mantra was given to me, with this condition. If you have never remembered monkeys, so far so good. Now go home, and please never come back to me. You have the secret, you know the condition. Fulfill the condition and you will have miraculous powers, and whatsoever you want to do you can do: you can fly in the sky, you can read people's thoughts, you can materialize things, and so on and so forth."

The man rushed home; he even forgot to thank the master. That's how greed functions: it does not know thankfulness, it does not know gratitude. Greed is absolutely unaware of gratitude; it never comes across it. Greed is a thief and thieves don't thank.

The man rushed, but he was very much puzzled: even on the way to his home monkeys started appearing in his head. He saw many kinds of monkeys: small and big, and red-mouthed and black-mouthed, and he was very much puzzled -- "What is happening?" In fact he was not thinking of anything else but the monkeys. And they were becoming bigger and they were crowding all around.

He went home, he took a bath, but the monkeys were not leaving him. Now he was becoming suspicious that they were not going to leave him while he would be chanting the mantra. He had not even chanted the mantra yet, he was simply preparing. And when he closed his doors the room was full of monkeys. It was so crowded that he had no space for himself! He closed his eyes and there were monkeys, and he opened his eyes and there were monkeys. He could not believe what was happening! The whole night he tried. Again and again he would take a bath, and again and again he would try and fail, and fail utterly.

In the morning he went to the master, returned the mantra and said, "Keep this mantra with you. This is driving me mad! I don't want to do any miracles, but please help me to get rid of these monkeys!"

It is so impossible to get rid of a single thought! And if you want to get rid of it, it becomes even more difficult, because when you want to get rid of a thought it is a question -- a very decisive moment -- of who is the master: the mind or you? The mind will try in every possible way to prove that he is the master and not you.

The master has been a slave for centuries, and the slave has been the master for millions of lives. Now the slave cannot leave all his privileges, priorities, so easily. He is going to give you great resistance.

You try it! Today take a bath, close your doors, repeat this simple mantra: Buddham sharanam gachchhami, sangham sharanam gachchhami, dhammam sharanam gachchhami -- and don't let the monkeys come to you....

You are laughing at the poor man. You will be surprised: you are that man.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mind is not a good master...

Psychoanalysis and Psychosynthesis both are mind processes. The mind is a good mechanism, but not a good master. It can serve you if you are the master and the mind is the servant. But if the servant becomes the master and starts ruling over you, that is the state of insanity.

What can help is witnessing -- witnessing the mind and its activities. And witnessing is the real miracle. The more you witness, the less thoughts are there in the mind -- in exact proportion. If your witnessing is only ten percent, then there are ninety percent thoughts. If your witnessing is ninety percent, there are only ten percent thoughts. If your witnessing is one hundred percent, then there is no mind, there are no thoughts at all.

So Sigmund Freud, who talks about psychoanalysis, and Assagioli, who talks about psychosynthesis, are in the same boat. They are both talking about mind; neither of them is talking of going beyond mind.

In the East, nothing like psychotherapy or Psychosynthesis has happened. You will be surprised that in the East, for ten thousand years, no enlightened person has even paid any attention to the mind. If they have ever talked about the mind, they have talked in reference to meditation. And what they have talked about is how to make the mind silent, empty, a total nothingness, a no-mind.

The state of no-mind is unknown to the West, and it is only in the state of no-mind that one becomes aware of that which is beyond mind.... Because when all the chattering of the mind stops and there is no more noise, the still small voice of the being is heard. For the first time one becomes aware, "I am here. I was not there in that crowded place, I was always out of it."

Witnessing simply takes you beyond mind. And to be beyond mind is the whole of religion, the true religion. I call it pure religiousness.

Monday, October 20, 2008

First empty your head...

A professor of philosophy went to see a great Master, and he asked about God, and he asked about karma, and he asked about the theory of reincarnation, and he asked many things... questions and questions and questions. And the Master said, "You are tired, the journey has been long, and I can see you are perspiring, coming uphill on such a hot summer afternoon. It must have been tiring. You wait; there is no hurry. These questions can wait a little. Let me prepare a cup of tea for you. And who knows? -- while drinking the tea you may get the answer."

Now the professor was a little puzzled and became a little suspicious whether it was right to come to this madman. "How can the questions be answered just by drinking tea?" But now there was no way of going; he had to rest a little. "And the tea is not going to hurt in any way, so why not drink it and then escape from here?"

The Master brought the tea, started pouring from his kettle into the cup, and went on pouring. The cup was full, and the tea started overflowing into the saucer, and the saucer was full. Then the professor said, "Stop! What are you doing? The tea will start overflowing on the floor. Now the cup has not even space for a single drop more. Are you mad or something?"

The Master had a hearty laugh, and he said, "So, you ARE intelligent! You can understand. If there is no space in the cup then we cannot pour any more tea into it. Is there space in your head? I would like to pour all that I am, but is there space in your head? Is it not overfull, too much stuffed?

"This is my answer," the Master said. "Come again. First empty your head. Come in a state of not knowing. You are too knowledgeable. I can hear all the noise that is going on inside you. Come a little more in silence. And you have not come to learn -- you have come to argue."

Knowledge always hankers to argue. It is not interested in learning. In learning it feels humiliated. That's why it becomes more and more difficult: the more grown up you are, the less is the possibility of your learning anything. Children can learn because they don't have any ego, and they learn fast, and they learn very easily. If you have to learn the same thing when you are thirty-five or forty or fifty, it is very difficult, almost impossible sometimes. What happens to your intelligence?

After fifty years of experience your intelligence should be more than it was before, but it is not. You have gathered much junk on the way. The functioning of the intellect is no longer free; it is too much burdened -- and burdened with crap! And you feel humiliated in learning anything. You cannot bow down. You cannot say, "I do not know." And the disciple is one who can say, "I do not know -- teach me. I am ready to learn. I have not come with any conclusions to you. I have not brought any knowledge. I come empty! Fill me!"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

At least in meditation, put aside your personalities...

When someone is sad. or someone is in misery, or someone has lost a friend, a beloved, a husband, a wife, you go to him. Your face looks sad and sorrowful. Remember. and consider deep within, whether this sadness is real or whether you are just displaying it and deep down you are simply bored, deep down you are trying to figure out how to leave, deep down you are thinking of other things, not at all interested in the person: his misery, his suffering. Go on considering this and you will come to know two different layers within you. The false one is the personality.

The word 'personality' is very significant. It comes from a Greek word persona. Persona means 'the mask'. In Greek drama the actors used masks, false faces. Those false faces were called personae. And from that, the word 'personality' comes. It is beautiful. It means that you are acting with a false face. It is not you. You are hiding behind the false face, because you cannot reveal your real face.

I am not saying to necessarily go on revealing your real face everywhere. There is no need. Somewhere, the persona is needed. But be clear that this is the persona; this is not you. Inside, you must know when you are acting and when you are real. You must not be deceived by your acting! You must not become identified with your acting! I know that faces are needed. Otherwise it will be difficult to live in society, very difficult. Faces are good in a way. They facilitate, they work as lubricants. And in a big society with so many people, you need not reveal your reality everywhere.

Someone meets you in the morning. You feel disturbed by it. You think, "Why have I seen this man's face this morning? His face may destroy my whole day." But, outwardly, you smile and say, "Good morning. How happy I am to see you." Inwardly, you are not happy at all!

But this is okay as far as manners are concerned. It will not be good to say to the man, "I am feeling very unhappy. You have destroyed my morning. Your face is dangerous. I am afraid that seeing you will ruin my whole day." This will not be good. Unnecessary. Unnecessarily disturbing to the other man. There is no need.

But you must know what is a mask and what is real. You must be aware of what is going on within. What is within is your real being and what is going on on the surface is just a social utility. If you can make a clear-cut distinction between you and your personality, then personality becomes just like clothing. You can drop it at any moment and become naked.

If you cannot drop it, it means that you are so attached to it that the distinction is not there, the separation is not there; there is no gap. A gap is needed so that at least in your room, in your bathroom, you can put your personality away and become real. At least in meditation, you can throw the personality and become real. There, it is not needed.

Meditation is nonsocial. It is not concerned with anyone else; it is concerned only with yourself. So no mask is needed; you can be authentic. But you cannot be authentic because you don't know the distinction. Even in meditation I feel that you are doing many false things.

Freud became aware -- when he first started psychoanalysis he was not aware of it, but by and by he became aware that patients would say things that were not real just to make Freud happy, to confirm his theories -- because when Freud was happy, they also felt happy. Only after twenty years of psychoanalysis.did he become aware that what they were saying was not real.

For example, Freud says that sex is the root of every mental disturbance. Patients would come to him and tell him about their disturbances. Then they would reveal that sex was the root of their disturbances. Freud thought that his theories were confirmed by thousands and thousands of examples. Only later on did.he become aware that many of them were Lying just to make him happy, to confirm his theory.

Tillich has said somewhere that religion is the concern of the individual, a totally personal concern with oneself. It is not concerned with anyone else. Religion is individual, so you need not think of anyone else while meditating, not even of me. Be real. Throw your masks. Anything authentic will help you to move inward, anything unreal will help you to move outward.

That is the reason why Shankara calls the world illusion. The more you move away from yourself, the more you are moving into illusion; and the more you go inward, the more you are moving into reality. Your personality is the gateway toward illusion, toward an unreal dream world. Throw that gate, throw that bridge completely. At least in meditation.

I am not saying for you to go and move in society and be authentic. You will be in difficulty. If you feel happy to do it you can do it, but I'm not saying that; don't put the blame on me. The society will create troubles for you. It doesn't want your real faces, it wants your unreal faces.

And it is okay as far as the society is concerned. Use an unreal face when you go out, but when you go within, throw that face completely. Don't get identified with it, don't carry it inward. A day may come when you will become so strong that even in society you would like to move with a real face, but that depends on you. First, look inward and, at least momentarily, put aside your personalities.

Monday, October 13, 2008

People are being diverted from the present to the past or future...

THE OLD RELIGIONS ALL OVER THE WORLD have been consoling the poor in different ways. The same is being done by Jesus Christ too. Calling the poor the children of God is nothing but poison. Then Karl Marx is right -- that religion is the opium of the people.

If it is true that the poor are the children of God, then we should not try to destroy poverty -- otherwise we will be destroying the children of God. That will be very irreligious, unspiritual! In fact, we should destroy all richness in the world so everybody becomes a child of God. If spirituality is so simple, then why bother about improving the lot of the people, trying to make them richer, trying to make them more comfortable, giving them better technology, industry, food? This is all against religion! This is all against Jesus Christ!

Mahatma Gandhi used to call the poor DARIDRA NARAYAN; he went even one step further than Jesus Christ: the poor are not only the children of God, they are gods. This is a strategy: because your so-called religious people have not been able to find a way to solve the problem of poverty, they try to rationalize it. And the best way to console people is to tell them, "The rich are lower than you -- you are higher!" This satisfies the ego.

Jesus says: Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of God. This is also one of the tricks of all the religions in the world: promise the poor a beautiful future -- AFTER death. Nobody ever returns, nobody ever tells what actually is the case after death, so it cannot be refuted at all. You will be received, welcomed in the kingdom of God, and the rich, they will suffer in hell.

It satisfies the poor tremendously, the very idea of the rich suffering in hellfire and the poor being welcomed by St. Peter at the pearly gates of heaven. So this life is not such a big problem, a question of only a few years. One can manage, one can tolerate, one can remain satisfied. One can hope that "Sooner or later, on the Judgement Day, everything will be settled. And because we are poor, ours is going to be the kingdom of God."

This is sheer nonsense. Who has said it makes no difference. Jesus may have said it, Mahatma Gandhi may have said it -- I don't care a bit! My whole concern is with the truth, and this is untrue.

Poverty is not something to be praised; it is something to be condemned, totally condemned. It is like cancer: it has to be destroyed; no respect should be given to it, because that is nourishment. It should not be praised in any direct or indirect way, because that is how it has been prolonged in the past.

And you can't see the contradiction: on the one hand these people go on saying that poverty is something beautiful; on the other hand they are all trying to make people richer. the contradiction is in THEM. Why try to make these poor people more rich? Make them more poor so they will be closer to God. Take even what they have got! Deprive them of everything! Then their welcome will be far greater, they will be received more joyously.

And what is the implication of it all? It means God enjoys poverty, it means he wants people to be poor. It simply means that he is against riches, comforts, luxuries. Then why this paradise? -- because paradise is nothing but comforts, riches, luxuries. A strange logic! On the earth people should suffer so that in heaven they can be rewarded. First make people ill so that they can be hospitalized and served; first wound them and then help to heal their wounds. This is ridiculous!

In India it has been a long tradition; different ways have been discovered to rationalize poverty. The first was: the poor person is suffering because in the past he has committed some wrong actions. The past is made responsible -- not the society, not the present, not the structure of the society, not the lack of technology, not the stupidity of the people, but the past. Nothing can be done about the past, you cannot undo it; it has to be accepted. And great hope is given with it: "If you accept it, if you are totally satisfied with it, you will be immensely rewarded in the future life."

Do you see the trick? The past and the future are made important. Nothing can be done about the past life and you don't know anything about the future life. The past is no more, the future is not yet, and people are being diverted from the present to the past which is no more and to the future which is not yet. These are very cunning tricks. And the problem is in the present -- it has to be solved herenow.

There are people all around who will make you jealous...

Any love which has some conscious or unconscious conditions is bound to bring frustration, because those conditions cannot be fulfilled. The very nature of conditions is such.

Every girl hates her mother; she may not be conscious of it at all. But the thing becomes more complicated because she hates the mother and she imitates her too, because there is no other woman whom she can imitate and learn from. So she learns all those ugly ways that she hates! Every young girl loves the father, just as the boy loves the mother. It is very natural, because the first experience of the other polarity for the girl is the father, and for the boy is the mother. That is their first experience of the other sex, and naturally there is a tremendous attraction.

But there is also a big, wide barrier. The boy hates the father, just as the girl hates the mother. The reason is the same: the boy hates the father because he is possessing his love-object -- the mother. And the girl is jealous because the mother is possessing the father whom she would have liked to possess. These things go into the unconscious realms of your being, and they remain with you for your whole life unless you become enlightened. This makes your love strangely conditional, which cannot be fulfilled.

Every man unknowingly is expecting his wife to be his mother; that is the image of the woman that he is carrying. Now no other woman can fulfill that image, and anyway the girl has not married him to become his mother! And things become more and more complicated because the girl is carrying the image of her father; she wants her husband exactly to be like her father, and certainly no man marries a woman to become her father.

And the complexities go on becoming more and more difficult: the husband wants the wife to be like the mother, but she hates the mother. The girl wants the husband to fulfill the condition of being the father, but the poor husband in the first place has no idea what is expected of him and in the second place the husband also hates the father. Now things become so complex and complicated....

When I say love has to be unconditional it means you are not expecting from the other anything. You are not expecting the other to be someone else. You are simply loving to the other, as he or she is. And your unconditional love will make you unattached to individuals; it will be just an aroma around you. You will be a loving person. You will love the trees, you will love the sunset, you will love a woman, you will love all that this universe provides you.

Right now, the conditional love is like an imprisonment. Two persons who don't like each other are holding each other in imprisonment. It is a strange thing. If you don't like the other, say good-bye. But you cannot say good-bye because you are afraid he may enjoy himself somewhere else. It does not fit with your jealousy, he has to be happy with you. A husband does not like his wife to be laughing, to be happy with another man. Neither does the wife like such a situation.

This whole society is boiling with jealousy. Nobody says it, everybody hides it. But the more you hide it, the more it goes on like a cancerous growth, expanding in your interior being. Just look how many things you are jealous of: somebody has a beautiful house and somebody has a beautiful physique, and somebody has a beautiful strong body. Somebody is an intellectual giant and somebody has the most wealth that one could ever think of. So on, so forth, there are people all around who will make you jealous.

Instead of your life being in an oceanic love, it is suffering in a gutter of dirty jealousy. But unless you start looking inwards and finding the roots, you will not be able to transform it.