Try it My Way
The first question
WHEN I AM WORKING IN THE WEST I FEEL LIKE AN ORANGE WARRIOR, AND I LIKE IT. WHEN I AM HERE I FEEL MEDITATIVE, AND I LIKE IT. IS THE PART OF MYSELF THAT STILL NEEDS TO FIGHT AN OBSTACLE TO BECOMING A GOOD DISCIPLE?
A SANNYASIN HAS TO BE LIQUID, FLOWING. He has not to be stonelike, fixated.
He has to be like flowing water so he can take any form. Whatsoever is the need of the moment he responds accordingly -- not according to any fixed pattern, not according to any A PRIORI idea of how a sannyasin should be. There is nothing like that in MY vision of sannyas.
Never ask me how a sannyasin should be, because that will become a pattern and you will act out of the pattern. And any action out of a patterned life is wrong. One has to be loose, relaxed, so that one can respond to the situation. And situations go on changing. In the West it is different; here it is different.
So when it is needed to be a warrior, be a warrior; and when it is needed to be meditative, be meditative. When it is needed to be an extrovert, be an extrovert; and when it is needed to be an introvert, be an introvert. This fluidity is sannyas. If you become fixated, then you are no more alive -- you have become obsessed. Then you are an extrovert or an introvert, worldly or other-worldly, but you are no more my sannyasin.
My sannyasin is indescribable, as indescribable as God himself, as life itself, as love itself -- as inexpressible as existence itself. A sannyasin is in total harmony with existence, so whatsoever the need of the moment, the sannyasin goes with the moment, flows with the river. He does not go upstream; he does not have any idea of how things should be. He has no "ought"; he has no commandments in his mind to be fulfilled, to be followed.
This is true discipline: discipline that brings freedom, discipline that liberates.
The second question
I CANNOT DROP THE HABIT OF CHAIN-SMOKING. I HAVE TRIED HARD BUT I HAVE FAILED ALWAYS. IS IT A SIN TO SMOKE?
DON'T MAKE A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLEHILL! Religious people are very skillful in doing that. Now, what are you really doing when you are smoking? Just taking some smoke inside your lungs and letting it out. It is a kind of PRANAYAMA -- filthy, dirty, but still a PRANAYAMA! You are doing yoga, in a stupid way. It is not sin. It may be foolish but it is not a sin, certainly.
There is only one sin and that is unawareness, and only one virtue and that is awareness.
Do whatsoever you are doing, but remain a witness to it, and immediately the quality of your doing is transformed. I will not tell you not to smoke; that you have tried. You must have been told by many so-called saints not to smoke: "Because if you smoke you will fall into hell." God is not so stupid as your saints are. Throwing somebody into hell just because he was smoking cigarettes will be absolutely unnecessary.
One morning, Weintraub went to a restaurant and ordered bacon with his eggs. He was an orthodox Jew and his wife kept a strictly kosher home, but Weintraub felt the need just this once.
As Weintraub was about to leave the restaurant, he stopped in the door frozen with terror.
The sky was filled with black clouds, there was lightning, and the ground shook with the rumble of thunder.
"Can you imagine!" he exclaimed. "All that fuss over a little piece of bacon!"
But that's what your so-called saints have been telling you down the ages, for centuries.
Smoking is unhealthy, unhygienic, but not a sin. It becomes a sin only if you are doing it unconsciously -- it is not smoking that makes it a sin but unconsciousness.
Let me emphasize the fact. You can do your prayer every day unconsciously; then your prayer is a sin. You can become addicted to your prayer. If you miss the prayer one day, the whole day you will feel something is wrong, something is missing, some gap. It is the same with smoking or with drinking; there is no difference in it. Your prayer has become a mechanical habit; it has become a master over you. It bosses you; you are just a servant, a slave to it. If you don't do it, it forces you to do it.
So it is not a question of smoking. You may be doing your Transcendental Meditation every day regularly, and it may be just the same. If the quality of unconsciousness is there, if mechanicalness is there, if it has become a fixed routine, if it has become a habit and you are a victim of the habit and you cannot put it aside, you are no more a master of yourself, then it is a sin. But its being a sin comes out of your unconsciousness, not out of the act itself.
No act is virtuous, no act is a sin. What consciousness is behind the act -- everything depends on that.
You say: I CANNOT DROP THE HABIT OF CHAIN-SMOKING.
I am less interested in your chain-smoking; I am more interested in your habit. Any habit that becomes a force, a dominating force over you, is a sin. One should live more in freedom. One should be able to do things not according to habits but according to the situations.
Life is continuously changing -- it is a flux -- and habits are stagnant. The more you are surrounded by habits, the more you are closed to life. You are not open, you don't have windows. You don't have any communication with life; you go on repeating your habits.
They don't fit; they are not the right response to the situation, to the moment. They are always lagging behind, they are always falling short. That's the failure of your life.
So remember: I am against all kinds of habits. Good or bad is not the point; there is no good habit as such, there is no bad habit as such. Habits are all bad because habit means something unconscious has become a dominating factor in your life, has become decisive. You are no more the deciding factor. The response is not coming out of awareness but out of a pattern, structure, that you have learned in the past.
Two members of the Shalom Retirement Home, Blustein and Levin, were strolling past the home of Nelson Rockefeller.
"If I only had that man's millions," sighed Blustein, "I would be richer than he is."
"Don't be a dummy," said Levin. "If you had his millions you would be as rich as he is, not any richer."
"You are wrong," said Blustein, "don't forget -- I could give Hebrew lessons on the side!"
That's what he has been doing. Even if he becomes Nelson Rockefeller he will go on giving Hebrew lessons on the side. That's how people are living, just according to habits.
I have seen many rich people living very poor lives. Before they became rich their habits became settled -- and their habits became settled when they were poor. That's why you find so much miserliness in rich people; it comes from the habits that became ingrained in them when they were poor.
One of the richest men in the world -- not ONE of the richest but THE richest man in the world it is thought -- was the Nizam of Hyderabad. His collection of diamonds was the greatest in the world because he owned the diamond mines of Golconda which have provided the greatest diamonds to the world. The Kohinoor comes from Golconda. It was once in the Nizam's possession. He had so many diamonds that it is said that no one has ever been able to calculate exactly the price of his collection. Thousands and thousands of diamonds -- they were not counted, they were weighed!
But he was one of the most miserly men in the world. He used a single cap for thirty years. It was stinking but he wouldn't change it. He continued to wear the same coat for almost his whole life and he would not give it to be washed because they might destroy it.
He was so miserly -- you cannot imagine -- that he would collect half-smoked cigarettes from the guests' ashtrays and then smoke them. The richest man in the world smoking cigarette butts smoked by others! The first thing he would do whenever a guest left was to search in the ashtrays and collect the ends of the cigarettes.
When he died, his greatest diamond was found in his dirty shoes. He was hiding it in his shoe! Maybe he had some idea behind it -- that maybe he would be able to take it with him to the other world. Maybe he was afraid: "When I am dead, people may steal it." It was the greatest diamond; he used that diamond as a paper-weight on his table. Before he died he must have put it inside his shoe.
Even when one is dying one is moving in old habits, following old patterns.
I have heard:
The old Mulla Nasruddin had become a very rich man. When he felt death approaching he decided to make some arrangements for his funeral, so he ordered a beautiful coffin made of ebony wood with satin pillows inside. He also had a beautiful silk caftan made for his dead body to be dressed in.
The day the tailor delivered the caftan, Mulla Nasruddin tried it on to see how it would look, but suddenly he exclaimed, "What is this! Where are the pockets?"
Gurucharan, smoking or no smoking, that is not important. Maybe if you continue to smoke you will die a little earlier. So what? The world is so overpopulated, you will do some good by dying a little earlier. Maybe you will have tuberculosis. So what?
Tuberculosis is now almost like the common cold. In fact, there is no cure for the common cold but there is a cure for tuberculosis I know it because I suffer from a common cold. To have tuberculosis is to be very fortunate.
A man was suffering from a common cold for many years. All the doctors were tired of the man because nobody was able to cure him. Then a new doctor came to the town. All the other doctors told the new doctor, "Beware of this man! He is going to haunt you! He is a nuisance -- his cold cannot be cured."
In fact, there is no cure for the common cold. They say that if you take medicine it goes within seven days; if you don't take the medicine it goes in one week.
So the new doctor was ready and the man appeared, as predicted by the others. The new doctor said, "I can cure it. You do one thing" -- it must have been winter-time, just like this morning -- he told him, "You do one thing: tomorrow, early in the morning, before sunrise, go to the lake; swim in the lake naked, then stand on the bank in the cold wind."
The man said, "Are you mad or something? How is that going to cure my common cold?"
The doctor said, "Who told you that it is going to cure your common cold? It will give you influenza, and I can cure that!"
So it is possible, Gurucharan, that you may die two years earlier, you may get tuberculosis -- but it is not a sin. Don't be worried about THAT.
If you really want to do something about your life, dropping smoking is not going to help -- because I know people who drop smoking; then they start chewing gum. The same old stupidity! Or if they are Indians they start chewing pan; it is the same. You will do something or other. Your unconsciousness will demand some activity, some occupation.
It is an occupation. And it is only a symptom; it is not really the problem. It is not the root of the problem.
Have you not observed? Whenever you feel emotionally disturbed you immediately start smoking. It gives you a kind of relief; you become occupied. Your mind is distracted from the emotional problem. Whenever people feel tense they start smoking. The problem is tension, the problem is emotional disturbance -- the problem is somewhere else; smoking is just an occupation. So you become engaged in taking the smoke in and out and you forget for the time being...because mind cannot think of two things together, remember it. One of the fundamentals of mind is: it can think only of one thing at one time; it is one-dimensional. So if you are smoking and thinking of smoking, then from all other anxieties you are distracted.
That's the whole secret of the so-called spiritual mantras: they are nothing but distractions, like smoking. You repeat "Om, Om, Om," or "Ram, Ram, Ram," or "Allah, Allah, Allah" -- that is just giving mind an occupation. And all these people who teach mantras say, "Repeat it as quickly as possible, so that between two repetitions there is not even a small gap. Let them overlap -- so 'Ram Ram Ram' -- don't leave a gap between two Rams, otherwise some thought may enter. Repeat like crazy!"
Yes, it will give you a certain relief -- the same relief that comes from smoking, because your mind will be distracted from the anxieties and the world. You will forget about the world; you have created a trick. All mantras are tricks, but they are spiritual. Chain- smoking is also a mantra. It is a worldly mantra; non-religious you can call it, secular.
The real problem is the habit.
You say: I HAVE TRIED HARD TO DROP IT....
You have not tried to be conscious of it; without trying to be conscious you have tried to drop it. It is not possible. It will come back, because your mind is the same; its needs are the same, its problems are the same, its anxieties, tensions are the same, its anguish is the same. And when those anxieties arise, what will you do? Immediately, mechanically, you will start searching for the cigarettes.
You may have decided again and again, and again and again you have failed -- not because smoking is such a great phenomenon that you cannot get out of it, but because you are trying from the wrong end. Rather than becoming aware of the whole situation -- why you smoke in the first place -- rather than becoming aware of the process of smoking, you are simply trying to drop it. It is like pruning the leaves of a tree without cutting the roots.
And my whole concern here is to cut the roots, not to prune the tree. By pruning the leaves and the branches the tree will become thicker, the foliage will become thicker.
You will not destroy the tree; you will be helping it, in fact. If you really want to get out of it you will have to look deeper, not into the symptoms but the roots. Where are the roots?
You must be a deeply anxiety-ridden person, otherwise chain-smoking is not possible; chain-smoking is a by-product. You must be so concerned about a thousand and one disturbances inside, you must be carrying such a big load of worries on your heart, on your chest, that you don't even know how to forget them. You don't know how to drop them -- smoking at least helps you to forget about them.
You say: I HAVE TRIED HARD...
Now one thing has to be understood. The hypnotists have discovered a fundamental law; they call it the Law of Reverse Effect. If you try hard to do something without understanding the fundamentals, just the opposite will be the result.
It is like when you are learning how to ride on a bicycle. You are on a silent road, no traffic, early in the morning, and you see a red milestone just standing there by the side of the road like Hanuman. A sixty-foot-wide road and just a small milestone, and you become afraid: you may get to the milestone, you may hit against the milestone. Now you forget about the sixty-foot-wide road. In fact, even if you go blindfolded there is not much chance of your encountering the milestone, crashing into the milestone, but with open eyes now the whole road is forgotten; you have become focused. In the first place, that redness is very focusing. And you are so much afraid! -- you want to avoid it. You have forgotten that you are on a bicycle; you have forgotten everything. Now the only problem for you is how to avoid this stone; otherwise you may harm yourself, you may crash into it.
Now the crash is absolutely inevitable; you are bound to crash with the stone. And then you will be surprised: '.'1 tried hard." In fact it is BECAUSE you tried hard that you reached the stone. And the closer you come, the harder you try to avoid it; but the harder you try to avoid it, the more focused you become on it. It becomes a hypnotic force, it hypnotizes you. It becomes like a magnet.
It is a very fundamental law in life. Many people try avoiding many things and they fall into the same things. Try to avoid anything with great effort and you are bound to fall into the same pit. You cannot avoid it; that is not the way to avoid it.
Be relaxed. Don't try hard, because it is through relaxation that you can become aware, not by trying hard. Be calm, quiet, silent.
I will suggest: smoke as much as you want to smoke. It is not a sin in the first place. I give you the guarantee -- I will be responsible. I take the sin on myself, so if you meet God on Judgment Day you can just tell him that this fellow is responsible. And I will stand there as a witness for you that you are not responsible. So don't be worried about its being a sin. Relax and don't try to drop it with effort. No, that is not going to help.
Zen believes in effortless understanding.
So this is my suggestion: smoke as much as you want to smoke -- just smoke meditatively. If Zen people can drink tea meditatively, why can't you smoke meditatively? In fact, tea contains the same stimulant as the cigarettes contain; it is the same stimulant, there is not much difference. Smoke meditatively, very religiously. Make it a ceremony. Try it my way.
Make a small corner in your house just for smoking: a small temple devoted, dedicated to the god of smoking. First bow down to your cigarette packet. Have a little chit-chat, talk to the cigarettes. Inquire, "How are you?" And then very slowly take a cigarette out -- very slowly, as slowly as you can, because only if you take it very slowly will you be aware. Don't do it in a mechanical way, as you always do. Then tap the cigarette on the packet very slowly and for as long as you want. There is no hurry either. Then take the lighter, bow down to the lighter. These are great gods, deities! Light is God, so why not the lighter?
Then start smoking very slowly, just like VIPASSANA. Don't do it like a PRANAYAMA -- quick and fast and deep -- but very slowly. Buddha says: Breathe naturally. So you smoke naturally: very slow, no hurry. If it is a sin you are in a hurry. If it is a sin you want to finish it as soon as possible. If it is a sin you don't want to look at it.
You go on reading the newspaper and you go on smoking. Who wants to look at a sin?
But it is not a sin, so watch it -- watch each of your acts.
Divide your acts into small fragments so you can move very slowly. And you will be surprised: by watching your smoking, slowly slowly smoking will become less and less.
And one day suddenly...it is gone. You have not made any effort to drop it; it has dropped of its own accord, because by becoming aware of a dead pattern, a routine, a mechanical habit, you have created, you have released, a new energy of consciousness in you. Only that energy can help you; nothing else will ever help.
And it is not only so with smoking, Gurucharan, it is so with everything else in life: don't try too hard to change yourself. That leaves scars. Even if you change, your change will remain superficial. And you will find a substitute somewhere; you will HAVE to find a substitute, otherwise you will feel empty.
And when something withers away of its own accord because you have become so silently aware of the stupidity of it that no effort is needed, when it simply falls, just like a dead leaf falling from a tree, it leaves no scar behind and it leaves no ego behind.
If you drop something by effort, it creates great ego. You start thinking, "Now I am a very virtuous man because I don't smoke." If you think that smoking is a sin, naturally, obviously, if you drop it you will think you are a very virtuous man.
That's how your virtuous men are. Somebody does not smoke, somebody does not drink, somebody eats only once a day, somebody does not eat in the night, somebody has even stopped drinking water in the night...and they are all great saints! These are saintly qualities, great virtues!
We have made religion so silly. It has lost all glory. It has become as stupid as people are.
But the whole thing depends on your attitude: if you think something is a sin, then your virtue will be just the opposite of it.
I emphasize: not-smoking is not virtue, smoking is not sin; awareness is virtue, unawareness is sin. And then the same law is applicable to your whole life.
The third question
THE OTHER DAY IN DISCOURSE YOU SAID THAT SANNYAS ONLY COMES WHEN THE POINT OF SUICIDE HAS BEEN REACHED. BUT I DID NOT FEEL SUICIDAL WHEN I TOOK SANNYAS, ONLY IN DEEP LOVE WITH YOU. MY LIFE SEEMED RICH, BUT YOU HAVE MADE IT INFINITELY RICHER. AM I NOT A TRUE SANNYASIN BECAUSE I DON'T FEEL SUICIDAL?
AND WHAT IS LOVE? It is the greatest suicide in the world! Love means committing suicide: the suicide of the ego. Love means dropping the ego. That's why people are so much afraid of love. They talk about it, they pretend also. They manage to befool others and themselves too that they love. But they avoid love -- because love requires you first to die; only then are you resurrected.
So what I said is absolutely true and absolutely applicable to you. And life certainly becomes richer. The more you die to the ego, the richer your life is, the more your life is full of overflowing love and joy and ecstasy.
No, you are my true sannyasin -- but love is the ultimate in suicide. All other suicides are small suicides. Somebody commits suicide; that is only physical. Love is psychological suicide and meditation is spiritual suicide. In love you die psychologically, you drop the psychological ego, and in meditation you drop the very idea of the self, even of the supreme self. You become a nothingness...and in that nothingness blooms the white lotus of a Buddha.
The fourth question
HOW CAN I LEARN THE SECRETS OF LIFE?
THERE ARE NO SECRETS IN LIFE. Or you can say: life is an open secret. Everything is available, nothing is hidden. All that you need is just eyes to see.
It is like a blind man asking: "I want to learn the secret of light." All that he needs is treatment of the eyes so that he can see. Light is available, it is not a secret. But he is blind -- for him there is no light. What to say about light? For him there is not even darkness -- because even to see darkness eyes are needed. A blind man cannot see darkness. If you can see darkness you can see light; they are two aspects of the same coin. The blind man knows nothing of darkness and nothing of light. Now he wants to learn the secrets of light.
We can only help him, not by teaching him great truths about light -- they will be useless -- but by operating on his eyes.
That's exactly what is being done here. This is an operation theater. The moment you become a sannyasin you are getting ready for the operation table, and you have to pass through many surgical operations. That's what all the therapies are. And if you survive all the therapies, then I am there finally to finish you off!
The moment the ego disappears, all the secrets are open secrets. Life is not like a fist; it is an open hand.
But people enjoy the idea that life has secrets -- hidden secrets. Just to avoid their blindness they have created the idea of hidden secrets, of esoteric knowledge which is not available to anybody, or is available only to great adepts who live in Tibet or in the Himalayas, or who are no more in their bodies, who live only in astral bodies and appear only to a few chosen people. And all kinds of nonsense has been perpetuated down the ages for the simple reason that you want to avoid seeing, recognizing the simple fact of your blindness. Rather than saying, "I am blind," you say, "Life's secrets are very hidden; they are not easily available. You will need great initiation."
Life is not esoteric at all. It is written on each leaf of each tree, on each pebble on the seashore; it is contained in each ray of the sun -- whatever you come across is life in all its beauty. And life is not afraid of you, so why should it hide itself? In fact, you are hiding, continuously trying to hide yourself. You are closing yourself against life because you are afraid of life. You are afraid to live -- because life requires a constant death.
One has to die every moment to the past. That is a great requirement of life -- simple if you understand that the past is no more. Slip out of it, snap out of it! It is finished. Close the chapter, don't go on carrying it! And then life is available to you.
But you remain in the past; the past goes on hanging around you, the hangover never ends. And rather than coming to the present, the hangover of the past pushes you towards the future. So either you are in the memories or you are in your imagination. These are the two ways to miss life; otherwise there is no need to miss life. Just drop out of memories and out of imagination. Past is no more, future is not yet; both are non- existential. All that exists is the present, the now. Now is God.
Enter the doors of the now and all is revealed -- instantly revealed, immediately revealed.
Life is not a miser: it never hides anything, it does not hold anything back. It is ready to give all, totally and unconditionally. But you are not ready.
And Rabindra, you ask: HOW CAN I LEARN THE SECRETS OF LIFE?
It is not a question of learning; it is more a question of unlearning. You have already learned too much: the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gita, the Koran, the Bible, the Talmud.
Thousands of scriptures are there inside you, clamoring, making noise, fighting with each other; all kinds of ideologies constantly trying to attract your attention. Your mind is a mess! It is overcrowded, it is a multitude. Unlearn! All that you have accumulated up to now as knowledge, unlearn it.
Zen people are right when they say: NOT KNOWING IS THE MOST INTIMATE.
Unlearning is the process that can bring you to that beautiful space of not knowing. And then observe. Observe life without any knowledge interpreting it. You have become so accustomed to interpretation.
The moment you see the sunset, immediately, habitually, you repeat words that you have heard from others: "What a beautiful sunset!" You don't mean anything by it; you are not even looking at the sunset. You have not allowed it to penetrate to your heart. You are not feeling any wonder. You are not in a state of awe. You have not fallen on your knees.
You are not looking with unblinking eyes, absorbing. Nothing of that. Just a casual remark: "What a beautiful sunset!" Just a way of speaking, a mannerism, showing that you are cultured, sophisticated, that you know what beauty is, that you have a great aesthetic sense, that you have great sensitivity towards nature. You are not looking at the sunset. Have you ever looked at the sunset? If you had looked you would not have asked this question; the sunset would have told you all.
Have you ever looked at a roseflower? Yes, you say, "It is beautiful!" You may repeat the famous saying: "A rose is a rose is a rose," but you are not seeing the rose. You are full of words, all kinds of jargon -- poetic, philosophic -- but between you and the roseflower there is such a wall, a China Wall. Behind that wall you are hiding.
And you are asking: HOW CAN I LEARN THE SECRETS OF LIFE?
And life goes on utterly nude, utterly naked, absolutely available. All that is required is a not-knowing state, an empty space which can absorb it, which can receive it. Only when you are in a state of not knowing are you a host, and then life becomes a guest.
Just observe, with no evaluation. Don't say "good," don't say "bad"; don't say "beautiful,"
don't say "ugly." Don't say anything at all! Without saying anything, without bringing your mind in, just watch with utterly empty eyes, like a mirror. Reflect the moon, the stars, the sun, the trees, the people, the animals, the birds. And life will pour itself into your being. And it is an inexhaustible source of energy. And energy is delight.
William Blake is right when he says: Energy is delight. And when life pours its energy into your being it rejuvenates you, it revitalizes you; you are constantly reborn. A real, alive person is born again and again every MOMENT. He is fresh, he is always young.
Even when he dies he is fresh and young. Even in the moment of death, life is pouring more and more energy into him. His way of approaching life -- without mind -- helps him to see not only life but death too. And when you are able to see life, you are able to see death. And to see death means there is no death; all is life, and eternal, beginningless, endless. And you are part of this infinite celebration.
Just watch, be alert, and function from a state of innocence. Your question seems to be knowledgeable.
You say: HOW CAN I LEARN THE SECRETS OF LIFE?
You are still asking like a student, a schoolboy.
Life is ready every moment to embrace you. YOU are hiding away from life because you are afraid. You want life on your terms. You want life to be Hindu or Mohammedan or Christian, and life cannot do that. You want life according to the Gita or the Koran, and life cannot do that.
Don't put conditions on life. Putting conditions on life is ugly, violent, stupid. Remain unconditionally open...and suddenly some bells in your heart start ringing, in tune with the whole. A music arises, a melody is born. You are no more separate as a learner, as a knower. Finally you are not even separate as an observer; the observer and the observed become one ultimately.
That is the moment of enlightenment, of Buddhahood, when you are part of this whole, an intrinsic part, inseparable. Then you ARE life -- what is the need to learn anything?
You ARE it; you are not separate from it. Who is going to learn and about what? You are life. Then experiencing arises: not knowing but experiencing, not knowledge but wisdom.
Raul was sitting against the wall of his friend Pablo's adobe shack. Pablo came out of the house with a butterfly in his hand.
"Ay, Pablo," called Raul. "Where are you going with the butterfly?"
"I am going to get some butter," replied Pablo.
"Oh, you foolish fellow!" said Raul. "You cannot get butter with a butterfly!"
A few minutes later, to Raul's astonishment, Pablo returned with a bucket of butter.
In a little while Pablo came out, this time carrying a jar of horseflies.
"Ay, Pablo," called Raul, "where are you going with them horseflies?"
"Where you think?" answered Pablo. "To get horses, of course!"
Pablo returned in a few minutes leading a pair of beautiful stallions.
"See, I told you!" said Pablo to the amazed Raul.
Ten minutes later Pablo came out clutching a handful of pussy willows.
"Ay, Pablo!" shouted Raul. "Wait for me -- I go with you!"
Just observe. Nothing is hidden -- just observe. And slowly slowly you will start going with life. Slowly slowly you will not remain separate, you will follow life. And to follow life is to be religious. Not to follow Christ, not to follow Buddha, but to follow life is to be religious.
The fifth question
I CAN FIND THE ANSWER TO ALL THE QUESTIONS I ASK YOU WITHIN MYSELF, BUT STILL I WOULD LIKE TO ASK YOU ONE -- JUST FOR FUN, SIMPLY TAKING UP YOUR INVITATION. IS IT REALLY POSSIBLE FOR AN ORDINARY PERSON LIKE MYSELF TO LIVE IN THIS WORLD, EARNING AND SPENDING, AND STILL BE IN THE STATE OF NO-MIND CONSTANTLY?
I WILL NOT ANSWER THIS QUESTION -- just for fun! If you can find the answer to all the questions, find out the answer to this one too!
And you don't seem to be an ORDINARY person -- one who can find all the answers to all the questions within himself can't be an ordinary person, otherwise how will you define the extraordinary?
No, I will not bother you with an answer -- you find it within yourself. When you cannot find it, then ask me again.
The sixth question
CAN'T ONE BELIEVE IN GOD WITHOUT SEEING HIM?
Surendra Mohan, WHO IS TELLING YOU TO BELIEVE IN GOD? I am against all belief. You must be a very new comer here. Belief is irreligious, as much as disbelief is. Belief means you don't know yet you have accepted something. It is cowardly -- you have not inquired. You are pretending, you are a hypocrite.
All believers are hypocrites -- Catholic and communist, Jainas and Jews -- all. Believers are hypocrites. They don't know and yet they pretend AS IF they know. What is belief? It is playing the game of "as if." And the same is true about disbelief.
The communist knows NOT that there is no God, just as the Hindu knows not that there is a God. The Hindu believes there is a God, the communist believes there is no God.
Disbelief is also a kind of belief -- a negative kind of belief. And that's why it is so easy to become a Hindu from being a communist or a communist from being a Hindu.
It is a well-known fact that before the Russian revolution Russia was one of the MOST religious countries in the world. Then what happened? After ten years of revolution, the whole country became atheistic. The same people who were fanatical believers became fanatical disbelievers! On the surface it looks puzzling, but it is not. The fanaticism is the same; nothing has changed. They were fanatic Christians, now they are fanatic communists. They believed madly, now they disbelieve madly, their madness is the same.
And their belief was wrong because they had not experienced it, and their disbelief is wrong because they have not yet experienced the ABSENCE of God.
Surendra Mohan, you ask me: CAN'T ONE BELIEVE IN GOD WITHOUT SEEING HIM?
In the first place there is no need to believe in God. And if you believe you will never be able to know him. Belief will become a barrier; belief is always a barrier. Belief means you are carrying a prejudice, and you will not be able to see that which is. You will project your own idea.
That's why a Hindu, when he comes to a vision of God, will see Krishna with the flute.
He will never see Christ, he will never see Mahavira, he will never see Buddha. And the Christian? He has never seen Krishna or Buddha. And a Jew? He has his own ideas. So when you see, what you see is not really the real but your own projection, your own idea.
Remember: as long as you have even a single idea inside you, your experience is going to be distorted by it.
MY suggestion to MY people is: don't carry any idea of God, for or against. Don't carry any image of God. In fact, God is absolutely irrelevant -- be meditative! And meditation means: drop all thoughts, drop all ideologies, drop all knowledge. Drop the mind itself.
And then when you are in a state of no-mind, something unimaginable, unbelievable, unpredictable, inexpressible, is. experienced. You can call it God, you can call it truth, you can call it NIRVANA, or whatsoever you want to call it. You are free because no word describes it, hence any word is as good as any other. But don't carry any belief.
And what do you mean: "...without seeing him"? Do you think someday you will see God? Is God a person? That's how people think: God is like Rama, always carrying a bow with arrows. Now, in the twentieth century, carrying a bow would look so foolish.
Give him an atom bomb -- that will look far more contemporary! Jesus on the cross...twenty centuries have passed. Now we have electric chairs! Give him an electric chair. At least he can rest on the chair! Still you go on giving him a cross. Make your ideas a little more contemporary. They are all out of date.
What do you mean by "SEEING God"? Is he a person? Will you say hello and will you shake hands with him? God is not a person, hence God cannot be seen in that sense. God is a presence.
There is no God but godliness. It is a quality, a fragrance. You experience it, you don't see it. And when you experience it, it is not something out there as an object; it is something IN HERE, in the heart of your hearts. It is your subjectivity, it is your consciousness.
So there is no question of belief and there is no question of seeing either.
But people are brought up in all kinds of beliefs and they go on seeing through their prejudices. So anything that fits with their prejudices enters inside; anything that does not fit with their prejudice is prevented from entering.
An elephant escaped from the local zoo and made his way into the vegetable garden of one of the town's most prominent matrons. Unfortunately this lady had only just returned from a cocktail party where she had had just a little too much to drink. She was not too drunk, however, to see the beast in her garden, and she had the presence of mind to call the police.
"Quick," she said, "there is some kind of huge, strange looking animal in my garden."
"What is he doing?" asked the desk sergeant.
"He seems to be picking lettuce with his tail!"
"Oh, really?" replied the wary policeman. "And what is he doing with it?"
The lady peered out into her garden once more and then said, "Sergeant, even if I told you, you would never believe it!"
God has been experienced. Nobody has ever been able to say exactly what that experience is. And even if somebody tries to say it, you are not going to believe it. Your prejudices, your A PRIORI ideas, will prevent you.
No, Surendra Mohan, no need to believe in God; no need even to believe that one day you are going to see him. In fact, God is not a religious subject at all -- you will be surprised when you hear it -- God is a philosophic subject. It is for those useless people who go on endlessly into logic-chopping and hair-splitting. It is for those people to discuss God.
A religious person is not interested in God; he is more interested in the very source of his being, who he is: "Who am I?" That is the MOST fundamental religious question -- not God, not heaven, not hell, but "Who am I?" And if you can find the truth of your own being you will have found all the truth that is necessary to know and is worth knowing.
You will have found God and you will have found NIRVANA and you will have found all that the seers, the rishis, the Buddhas, the prophets, down the ages, have been telling you to inquire into.
But don't make a philosophical inquiry, otherwise you will end up with a conclusion. And all conclusions are dangerous because once you conclude you become fanatical about your conclusion, you start clinging to it. You become afraid of truth -- because who knows? Truth may disturb your conclusion, and your conclusion is so cozy and so convenient, and it has helped to give you a certain feeling of security. So you go on clinging to your conclusion -- and your conclusion is your conclusion.
If you are unaware, what value can your conclusion have? Your conclusion cannot be bigger than you, your conclusion cannot be higher than you. Your conclusion will be as high, as deep, as you are high and you are deep. Your conclusion will only reflect you.
God is not a conclusion. It is not arrived at by logical processes -- by believing, by discussing, by analyzing, no. All mind processes have to cease. When all processes have ceased, something -- call it XYZ -- suddenly wells up within you. A few qualities can be indicated: you will feel tremendously ecstatic, blissful, at home, at ease. For the first time existence will be your home. You will not be an outsider, a stranger. For the first time there will be no conflict between you and existence, no struggle for the survival of the fittest. For the first time you will be in a state of let-go. And in let-go wells up great joy.
You will be able to sing the song that you have brought in your heart and is still unsung.
You will be able to bloom into thousands of flowers. Or as in the East we say: you will bloom into a thousand-petalled lotus of consciousness, of awareness. That is God -- or better, godliness.
The seventh question
I KNOW YOU ARE AGAINST MARRIAGE, BUT I STILL WANT TO GET MARRIED. CAN I HAVE YOUR BLESSINGS?
MEDITATE OVER MURPHY'S MAXIM: A fool and his cool are soon parted.
It is not yet published anywhere, but Asha is the custodian of Murphy's unpublished manuscripts, so she goes on supplying these maxims of Murphy to me. Meditate over it:
A fool and his cool are soon parted.
That's what marriage is going to be. Only fools think in terms of legality; otherwise, love is enough. And I am not against marriage -- I am for love. If love becomes your marriage, good; but don't hope that marriage can bring love. That is not possible. Love can become a marriage. You have to work very consciously to transform your love into a marriage.
Ordinarily, people destroy their love. They do EVERYTHING to destroy it and then they suffer. And they go on saying, "What went wrong?" They destroy -- they do everything to destroy it.
There is a tremendous desire and longing for love, but love needs great awareness. Only then can it reach its highest climax -- and that highest climax IS marriage. It has nothing to do with law. It is a merging of two hearts into totality. It is the functioning of two persons in synchronicity -- that is marriage.
But people try love and because they are unconscious...their longing is good, but their love is full of jealousy, full of possessiveness, full of anger, full of nastiness. Soon they destroy it. Hence for centuries they have depended on marriage. Better to start by marriage so that the law can protect you from destroying it. The society, the government, the court, the policeman, the priest, they will all force you to live in the institution of marriage, and you will be just a slave. If marriage is an institution, you are going to be a slave in it. Only slaves want to live in institutions.
Marriage is a totally different phenomenon: it is the climax of love. Then it is good. I am not against marriage -- I am for the REAL marriage. I am against the false, the pseudo, that exists. But it is an arrangement. It gives you a certain security, safety, occupation. It keeps you engaged. Otherwise, it gives you no enrichment, it gives you no nourishment.
So, Rakesh, if you want to get married according to me, only then can I give you my blessings.
Learn to love, and drop all that goes against love. It is an uphill task. It is the greatest art in existence, to be able to love. One needs such refinement, such inner culture, such meditativeness, so that one can see immediately how one goes on destroying. If you can avoid being destructive, if you become creative in your relationship; if you support it, nourish it; if you are capable of compassion for the other person, not only passion....
Passion alone is not able to sustain love; compassion is needed. If you are able to be compassionate towards the other; if you are able to accept his limitations, his imperfections; if you are able to accept him the way he is or she is and STILL love -- then one day a marriage happens. That may take years. That may take your whole life.
You can have my blessings, but for a legal marriage you need not have my blessings -- and my blessings won't be of any help either. And beware! Before you jump into it, give it a second thought.
A woman walks into a pet shop and sees a bird with a big beak. "What is that strange looking bird?" she asks the proprietor.
"That is a gobble bird," he answers.
"Why do you call him a gobble bird?"
The man says to the bird, "Gobble bird, my chair!"
The bird immediately starts pecking away and gobbles up the chair.
"I will buy him," the woman says.
The owner asks why.
"Well," she says, "when my husband comes home he will see the bird and ask, 'What is that?' I will say, 'A gobble bird.' And then he will say, 'Gobble bird, my foot!'"
Just be a little aware before you move! My blessings won't help. Marriage is a trap and your wife sooner or later will find a gobble bird.
Mrs. Moskowitz loved chicken soup. One evening she was spooning it up when three of her husband's friends came in. "Mrs. Moskowitz," the spokesman said, "we are here to tell you that your husband, Izzy, has been killed in an automobile accident."
Mrs. Moskowitz continued eating her soup. Again they told her. Still no reaction.
"Look," said the puzzled speaker, "we are telling you that your husband is dead!"
She went right on with the soup. "Gentlemen," she said between mouthfuls, "soon as I am finished with this chicken soup, you gonna hear some scream!"
Marriage is not love; it is something else.
A woman at the grave of her husband was wailing, "Oh, Joseph, it is four years since you have gone, but I still miss you!"
Just then Grossberg passed by and saw the woman crying. "Excuse me," he said, "who are you mourning?"
"My husband," she said. "I miss him so much!"
Grossberg looked at the stone and then said, "Your husband? But it says on the gravestone 'Sacred to the memory of Golda Kreps'."
"Oh, yes, he put everything in my name."
So be a little aware before you are trapped! Marriage is a trap: you will be trapped by the woman and the woman will be trapped by you. It is a mutual trap. And then legally you are allowed to torture each other forever. And particularly in this country, not only for one life but for lives together! Divorce is not even allowed after you are dead. Next life also you will get the same wife, remember!
And the last question
WHAT IS GOING ON?
I AM SURPRISED, because that's exactly what I was going to ask you all! I don't know.
But: NOT KNOWING IS THE MOST INTIMATE.