SUBHUTI WAS ONE OF BUDDHA'S DISCIPLES. HE WAS ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE POTENCY OF EMPTINESS -- THE VIEWPOINT THAT NOTHING EXISTS EXCEPT IN ITS RELATIONSHIP OF SUBJECTIVITY AND OBJECTIVITY.
ONE DAY, WHEN SUBHUTI WAS SITTING UNDER A TREE IN A MOOD OF SUBLIME EMPTINESS, FLOWERS BEGAN TO FALL AROUND HIM. 'WE ARE PRAISING YOU FOR YOUR DISCOURSE ON EMPTINESS,' THE GODS WHISPERED TO HIM. 'BUT I HAVE NOT SPOKEN OF EMPTINESS,' SAID SUBHUTI. 'YOU HAVE NOT SPOKEN OF EMPTINESS, WE HAVE NOT HEARD EMPTINESS,' RESPONDED THE GODS. 'THIS IS TRUE EMPTINESS.'
AND BLOSSOMS SHOWERED UPON SUBHUTI LIKE RAIN.
Yes, it happens. It is not a metaphor, it is a fact -- so don't take this story metaphorically.
It is literally true... because the whole of existence feels happy, blissful, ecstatic when even one individual soul achieves the ultimate.
We are part of the whole and the whole is not indifferent to you, cannot be. How can a mother be indifferent to a child -- her own child? It is impossible. When the child grows the mother also grows with him. When the child is happy the mother is also happy with him. When the child dances, something in the mother also dances. When the child is ill the mother is ill. When the child is miserable the mother is miserable... because they are n+ot two, they are one. Their hearts beat in a rhythm.
The whole is your mother. The whole is not indifferent to you. Let this truth penetrate as deeply as possible in your heart, because even this awareness that the whole feels happy with you will change you. Then you are not alienated, then you are not a foreigner here.
Then you are not a homeless wanderer, then this is a HOME. And the whole mothers you, cares about you, loves you. So it is natural that when somebody becomes a buddha, when somebody reaches the ultimate peak, the whole existence dances, the whole existence sings, the whole existence celebrates. Literally true it is. It is not a metaphor, remember; otherwise you will miss the whole point.
Blossoms shower, and then they go on showering -- they never stop.
The blossoms that showered for Buddha are still showering. The blossoms that showered for Subhuti are still showering. You cannot see them, not because they are not showering but because you are not capable of seeing them. Existence goes on celebrating infinitely for all the buddhas that have happened, for all the buddhas that are happening, and for all the buddhas that will happen -- because for existence, past, future and present don't exist.
It is a continuity. It is eternity. Only the now exists, infinite now.
They are still showering, but you cannot see them. Unless they shower for you, you CANNOT see them; and once you see them showering for you, you will see that they have been showering for every buddha, for every enlightened soul.
The first thing: existence CARES what happens to you. Existence is continuously praying that the ultimate should happen to you. In fact you are nothing but a hand extended by the whole to reach the ultimate. You are nothing but a wave coming from the whole to touch the moon. You are nothing but a flower opening, so that the whole is filled with fragrance through you.
If you can drop yourself, those flowers can shower this very morning -- this very moment. Gods are always ready, their hands are always full with flowers. They simply watch and wait. Whenever somebody becomes a Subhuti, empty, whenever somebody is absent, suddenly the flowers start showering.
This is one of the basic facts. Without it there is no possibility of trust; without it there is no possibility of your ever reaching the truth. Unless the whole helps, there is no possibility for you to reach -- how can you reach? And ordinarily, our minds think just the opposite. We think of the whole as the enemy, not as the friend, never as the mother.
We think about the whole as if the whole is trying to destroy us. We look at the whole through the door of death, not through the door of birth. It looks as if the whole is against you, fighting you, not allowing you to reach your goals and aims, not allowing you to be fulfilled. Hence you go on constantly warring with it. And the more you fight, the more your misconception proves to be true -- because if you fight, your own fight is reflected through the whole.
The whole supports you, remember. Even when you fight, the whole supports you; even when you fight and you are wrong, the whole supports you. This is a second truth to be understood well. If you don't understand, it will be difficult for you to proceed further.
Even if you fight with the whole, the whole supports you -- because the whole cannot do anything other than support. If you go wrong, still the whole cares about you. Even if you go wrong, the whole moves with you. If a child goes wrong, the mother still cares. If the child becomes a thief and is ill, the mother will still care. She cannot give poison to the child. If the child goes completely wrong, astray, the mother will still pray for him. That is the meaning of Jesus' story of the two brothers.
One went away -- and not only away but astray -- from the father, and wasted his part of the heritage and became a beggar, a gambler, a drunkard. The other remained with the father, helped the business, worked on the farm and the gardens, increased the heritage, helped in every way, served in a surrendering spirit to the father. And then suddenly the news came that the other brother had become a beggar, that he was begging on the streets, and the father's whole heart started aching for him, and all his prayers were for him. He completely forgot the one who was near; he remembered only the one who was distant. In his dreams at night the other was present, but not the one who was close and working for him, who was good in every way.
And then one day the beggar son came back and the father arranged a big feast. The good son was coming home from the farm and somebody told him, 'Look at the injustice of your father! You love him, you care for him and serve him and you have remained with him, been absolutely good, moral, never done anything against his wish, but never was a feast arranged for you. The fattest lamb has been murdered for your brother who has gone astray. He is coming like a beggar, and the whole house is celebrating!'
The son, the good son, felt very hurt: this was absurd! He went back home angry. He talked to his father: 'What are you doing? Never has a feast been given for me -- and I have been serving you, and what has this other son done for you? Just wasted the heritage, gambled everything, and now he has come home a beggar!'
The father said, 'Yes, because you are so close and you are so good and you are so happy, I need not worry about you. But the one who has gone astray -- my prayers follow him and my love follows him.'
And Jesus used to tell this story again and again to his disciples, because, as he said, God can forget the saints, there is no need to remember them, but God cannot forget the sinners.
If he is a father -- and I tell you he is not a father, he is a mother; a father is not such a deep phenomenon as a mother. That's why Hindus call him the mother -- God is mother, a mothering. And Jesus said whenever it happens that a shepherd is coming back home and a sheep is lost, he leaves all the sheep in the forest, in the dark night, and goes to search and seek for the lost one. And when the lost sheep is found, he carries the lost sheep on his shoulders and he rejoices and he comes back home feeling very happy, because one who was lost has been found. Whenever it happens -- we are all lost sheep -- whenever a sheep is found again, the shepherd rejoices. Flowers start showering.
Deities, gods, are not persons in the East, they are natural forces. Everything has been personified just to give a heart to it, a heartbeat -- just to make it more caring. So Hindus, Buddhists, they have converted all the natural forces into gods, and they are right! When Subhuti attained to emptiness, gods started showering.
And the meaning is very beautiful: the sun is a god for Hindus and Buddhists, the sky is a god; every tree has its own god, deity. The air is god, the earth is god. Everything has a heart -- that is the meaning. Everything feels -- that is the meaning. Nothing is indifferent to you -- that is the meaning. And when you attain, everything celebrates. Then the sun shines in a different way; the quality has changed.
To those who are ignorant everything remains the same. The sun shines in the old way because the change of quality is very subtle and only one who is empty can feel it. It is not gross, the ego cannot feel it; the gross is the field of the ego. The subtle can be felt only when there is no ego, because it is so subtle that if you are there you will miss it.
Even your presence will be enough disturbance.
When one is totally empty the quality of the sun immediately changes. It has a welcoming poetry about it. Its warmth is not only warmth, it has become a love -- a loving warmth. The air is different, it lingers a little more around you, it touches you with more feeling, as if it has got hands. The touch is totally different; now the touch has a sensitivity around it. The tree will flower, but not in the same way. Now the flowers are coming out of the tree as if they are jumping.
It is said that whenever Buddha passed through a forest, trees would start blossoming even when it was not the season for them. It has to be so! Man can err in recognizing Buddha but how can trees err? Man has a mind and the mind may miss, but how can the trees miss? -- they don't have any minds, and when a buddha walks in a forest they start blossoming. It is natural, it has to be so! It is not a miracle. But you may not be able to see those flowers, because those flowers are not really physical. Those flowers are the FEELINGS of the trees. When Buddha passes the tree trembles in a different way, throbs in a different way, is no longer the same. This is the meaning. The whole cares for you, the whole is your mother.
Now try to understand this parable -- one of the best.
SUBHUTI WAS ONE OF BUDDHA'S DISCIPLES.
Buddha had thousands of disciples. Subhuti was just one of them, nothing special about him. Really nobody knows much about Subhuti, this is the only story about him. There were great disciples, well known, famous -- great scholars, princes. They had big kingdoms, and when they left them and renounced and became disciples of Buddha, they had a name around them. But flowers didn't shower on them. Flowers chose this Subhuti who was just one of the disciples, nothing special about him.
Only then do flowers shower; otherwise you also can become special around a buddha -- and you can miss! You can feel egoistic about being near a buddha too, you can create a hierarchy; you can say, 'I am not an ordinary disciple, I am something special. I am just next to Buddha. Others are just ordinary, a crowd, but I am not a crowd; I have a name, an identity of my own. Even before I came to Buddha I was somebody' -- and they remain somebody.
Sariputta came to Buddha. When he came it was with five hundred disciples of his own.
He was a master -- of course an unenlightened master, knowing nothing, and still feeling that he knew because he was a great scholar. He knew all the scriptures. He was born a brahmin and a very talented one, a genius. From his very childhood he was known for his great memory -- he could memorize anything. Only once he had to read a scripture, and it was already memorized. He was known all over the country; when he came to Buddha he was somebody. That somebodiness became the barrier.
These gods seem to be very irrational -- they have chosen a disciple, Subhuti, who was just one in the crowd, nothing special about him. These gods seem to be crazy! They should have chosen Sariputta, he was the man to be chosen. But they have not chosen him. They have not chosen Ananda, Buddha's cousin-brother, Buddha's shadow continuously for forty years -- for forty years, not for a single moment was he away from Buddha. He slept in the same room; he moved with Buddha, continuously by his side. He was the most well known person. All the stories that Buddha told he starts by telling them to Ananda. He says, 'Ananda, it happened this way'; 'Ananda, once it happened.' 'Ananda' and 'Ananda' and 'Ananda' -- he goes on repeating his name. But these gods are crazy, they have chosen Subhuti -- a nobody!
Remember, only nobodies are chosen -- because if you are somebody in this world you are nobody in the other world. If here you are a nobody, you become somebody in the other world. Values differ. Here, gross things are valued; there, subtle things are valued.
And the most subtle, the subtlest, is NOT TO BE. Subhuti lived in the crowd -- nobody even knew his name -- and when this news came that flowers were showering on Subhuti everybody wondered, 'Who is this Subhuti? We never heard about him. Has it happened by some accident? Have the gods chosen him wrongly?' -- because there were many who were higher in the hierarchy. Subhuti must have been the last. This is the only story about Subhuti.
Try to understand it well. When you are near a great master be a nobody. Gods are crazy, they will chose you only when you are not. And if you try to be, the more you succeed in being somebody, the more you will miss. This is what we are doing in the world and this we start doing around a buddha also. You crave for riches. Why? -- because with riches you become someone. You crave for prestige and power. Why? -- because with power and prestige you are not ordinary. You crave for learning, scholarship, knowledge. Why?
-- because with knowledge you have something to be proud of.
But gods will not chose you that way. They have their own way of choosing. If you are yourself beating your drum too much, there is no need for gods to shower flowers on you -- you are throwing flowers upon yourself; there is no need. When you stop being proud about anything suddenly the whole existence starts being proud of you. Jesus says, 'Those who are first in this world will be the last in the kingdom of my God, and those who are last will be the first.'
It happened once that a very rich man died on the same day a beggar in the town also died. The name of the beggar was Lazarus. The rich man went directly to hell and Lazarus directly to heaven. The rich man looked up and saw Lazarus sitting near God, and he cried to heaven, 'It seems that something has gone wrong. I should be there and this beggar Lazarus should be here!'
God laughed and he said, 'Those who are last shall become the first, and those who are first shall become the last. You have enjoyed being first enough, now let Lazarus enjoy a little.'
And the rich man was feeling very hot -- of course in hell you don't have any air- conditioning yet -- burning hot. He was feeling very thirsty and there was no water. So he again cried and said, 'God, please at least send Lazarus with a little water, I am feeling very thirsty.'
And God said, 'Lazarus was thirsty many times, nearly dying at your door, and you never gave him anything. He was dying, hungry at your door and there was a feast every day, and many were invited, but he was always chased away from the door by your servants because guests were coming, powerful guests, politicians, diplomats, rich men, and a beggar standing there would look awkward. Your servants chased him away and he was hungry, and the people who were invited were not hungry. You never looked at Lazarus.
Now it is impossible.'
And it is said Lazarus laughed.
This became a deep story for many many Christian mystics to ponder over. It became just like a zen koan, and in monasteries Christian mystics have been asking again and again why Lazarus laughed.
He laughed at the absurdity of things. He never knew that a nobody like Lazarus -- a leper, a beggar, would ever enter heaven. He could never believe that this had happened.
And he could not believe the other thing either -- that a rich man, the richest in the town, should go to hell. He laughed.
And Lazarus still laughs. And he will laugh when you die also: if you are a somebody he will laugh, because you will be thrown out. If you are nobody, just ordinary, he will laugh because you will be received.
In this world, because egos exist, all valuations belong to the ego. In the other world, the other dimension, valuation belongs to egolessness. Hence Buddha's emphasis on no- selfness -- ANATTA. He said, 'Don't even believe "I am a soul" because that too can become a subtle ego. Don't say "AHAM BRAHMASMI -- I am Brahma, I am the ultimate self." Don't say even that, because the I is very tricky. It can deceive you. It HAS deceived you for many many lives. It can go on deceiving you. Simply say "I am not" and remain in that NOTNESS, remain in that nothingness -- become empty of the self.'
One has to get rid of the self. Once the self is thrown away, nothing is lacking. You start overflowing and blossoms start falling on you.
SUBHUTI WAS ONE OF BUDDHA'S DISCIPLES. Remember, ONE OF.
HE WAS ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE POTENCY OF EMPTINESS.
He was just one of many, that's why he was able to understand the potency of emptiness.
Nobody talked about him, nobody knew about him. He walked with, he followed Buddha on many many paths in his travels. Nobody knew that he was also there; if he had died nobody would have become aware. If he had escaped nobody would have known, because nobody ever knew that Subhuti was there. He knew, by and by, being nobody, he knew THE POTENCY OF EMPTINESS.
What is the meaning of it? ... Because the more he became a nonentity, the more he felt that Buddha was coming closer to him. Nobody else was aware, but Buddha was aware.
Everybody wondered when these flowers showered on him, but it was not a surprise to Buddha. When it was reported to him that something had happened to Subhuti, Buddha said, 'I was waiting. Any moment it was going to happen, because he has erased himself so much; any day it was going to happen. There is no surprise in it for me.'
HE WAS ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE POTENCY OF EMPTINESS - by being empty! You don't know the power of emptiness. You don't know the power of being totally absent within. You know only the poverty of the ego.
But try to understand. With ego have you ever felt really powerful? With ego you always feel impotent. That's why the ego says, 'Make your empire a little bigger so that you can feel you are powerful: no, this house won't do, a bigger house is needed; no, this much bank balance won't do, a bigger bank balance is needed; no, this much fame won't do, a little more.' The ego always asks for more. Why? If it is powerful, why go on asking for more? The very craving for more says, shows, that the ego feels impotent. You have a million rupees and you are impotent. The ego says, 'No, one million won't do, have ten million rupees.' And I tell you -- with ten million rupees you will be tenfold more impotent, that's all. And then the ego will say, 'No, this won't do....'
NOTHING will do with ego. Everything proves only that you are impotent, powerless.
The more power you gain the more powerless you feel in contrast. The richer you become the poorer you feel. The more healthy you are, the more afraid of death; the younger, the more you feel old age is coming nearer. The opposite is just around the corner, and if you have a little understanding, the opposite is just reaching you -- around your neck. The more beautiful you are, the more you feel the inner ugliness.
Ego has never felt powerful. It only dreams of power, it thinks of power, it contemplates on power -- but those are simply dreams and nothing else. And dreams are there just to hide the impotence that is within you. But dreams cannot hide the reality. Whatsoever you do, from here or from there, from a loophole, again the reality comes in and shatters all dreams.
Ego is the most impotent thing in the world. But nobody realizes it, because it goes on asking for more, it never gives you a space to look at the situation. Before you become aware, it pushes you further and further somewhere. Always the goal is somewhere near the horizon. And it is so near you think, By the evening I will reach.
The evening never comes; the horizon remains always at the same distance. The horizon is an illusion; all the goals of ego are just illusions. But they give hope, and you go on feeling, 'Some day or other I will become powerful.' Right now you remain powerless, impotent, inferior, but in the future, in the hope, in the dream, you become powerful. You must be aware that many times, just sitting on your chair, you start daydreaming: you have become the emperor of the whole world or the president of the United States, and immediately you start enjoying it. Everybody looks at you, you have become the focal point of everyone's attention. Even that dream gives you exhilaration, intoxication. If you dream that way, you will walk in a different way.
This is how it is happening to everybody: your potency remains in the dreams, YOU remain impotent. The truth is just the opposite: when you don't seek, it comes; when you don't ask it is given; when you don't hanker it is there; when you don't go to the horizon, suddenly you realize that it has been always yours -- you never lived it. It is there inside, and you seek it outside. It is there within you and you go without. You are carrying it: the suprememost power, the divine itself, is in you. And you are looking here and there like a beggar.
HE WAS ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE POTENCY OF EMPTINESS.
Just being empty, you will understand -- there is no other way of understanding.
Whatsoever you want to understand, be that, because that is the only way. Try being an ordinary man, nobody, with no name, no identity, with nothing to claim, with no power to enforce on others, with no effort to dominate, with no desire to possess, just being a nonentity. Try it -- and see how powerful you become, how filled with energy and overflowing, so powerful that you can share your power, so blissful that you can give it to many, to millions. And the more you give, the more you are enriched. The more you share, the more it grows. You become a flood.
HE WAS ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE POTENCY OF EMPTINESS -- just by being nobody -- THE VIEWPOINT THAT NOTHING EXISTS EXCEPT IN ITS RELATIONSHIP OF SUBJECTIVITY AND OBJECTIVITY.
This is one of the deepest meditations Buddha discovered. He says everything exists in relation, it is a relativity; it is not an absolute, substantial thing.
For example: you are poor, I am rich. Is it a substantial thing or just a relationship? I may be poor in relation to somebody else, and you may be rich in relation to somebody else.
Even a beggar can be rich in relation to another beggar; there are rich beggars and poor beggars. A rich man in comparison to a richer man is a poor man. You are poor -- is your poverty existential or just a relationship? It is a relative phenomenon. If there is nobody to be related to, which will you be, a poor man or a rich man?
Think... suddenly the whole of humanity disappears and you are left alone on the earth:
which will you be, poor or rich? You will be simply YOU, not rich, not poor -- because how to compare? There is no Rockefeller to compare with, there is no beggar to compare with. Will you be beautiful or ugly when you are alone? You will be neither, you will be simply you. With nothing to compare with, how can you be ugly or beautiful? So with beauty and ugliness, richness and poverty and with all things. Will you be wise or a fool?
Foolish or wise? Neither!
So Buddha says all these things exist in relationship. They are not existential, they are just concepts. And we are so bothered about these things which are NOT. You are too bothered if you are ugly. You are too bothered if you are beautiful. The worry is created by something which is not.
A relative thing is NOT. It is just a relationship, as if you have drawn a design in the sky, a flower of air. Even a bubble in water is more substantial than relativities. Who are you if you are alone? Nobody. Somebodiness comes in relationship with somebody.
That means, just to be nobody is to be in nature; just to be nobody is to be in existence.
And you are alone, remember. The society exists only outside you. Deep within you are alone. Close your eyes and see whether you are beautiful or ugly; both the concepts disappear, inside there is no beauty, no ugliness. Close your eyes and contemplate who you are. Respected, not respected? Moral, immoral? Young, old? Black, white? A master or a slave? Who are you? Close your eyes and in your aloneness every concept drops.
You cannot be anything. Then emptiness arises. All concepts nullified, only your existence remains.
This is one of the deepest meditations Buddha discovered: To be nobody. And this has not to be forced. You are not to THINK that you are nobody, you have to realize it; otherwise your nobodiness will be too heavy. You are not to think that you are nobody, you have to simply realize that all things that you think you are, are relative.
And truth is absolute, it is not relative. Truth is not relative: it does not depend on anything, it is simply there. So find out the truth within you and don't bother about relationships. They differ, interpretations differ. And if interpretations change, you change.
Something is in fashion -- if you use it you are modern, appreciated. Something has gone out of fashion -- if you use it you are out of date, you are not respected. Fifty years before, that was in fashion and you would have been modern. Fifty years later on it may come again in fashion and then again you will be modern. Right now you are out of date.
But who are you -- changing fashions, changing concepts, relativities?
One of my friends was a communist, but a very rich man -- and he never felt the contradiction. He was a bourgeois, well fed, never worked with his hands. He had many servants; he belonged to an old royal family. And then he went to Russia in 1940. When he came back he told me, 'Wherever I went, I started feeling guilty there -- because whenever I shook hands with anybody, I could feel immediately that the other felt that my hands didn't carry any marks of a laborer. They are not proletarian, they are bourgeois: soft, feminine. And immediately the other person's face would change, and he would let go of my hand as if I was untouchable.' He told me, 'In India, whenever I shake hands with anybody my hands are appreciated. They are beautiful, feminine, artistic. In Russia, I felt so guilty about my hands that I even started to think how to destroy their softness, so that nobody would look at me as an exploiter -- a bourgeois, a rich man.' ...
Because there, labor has become a value. If you are proletarian in Russia you are somebody; if you are a rich man you are a sinner. Anything is just a relative concept.
In India, we have respected BHIKKHUS, SWAMIS, SANNYASINS. And that has been so in China also -- before Mao. A man who renounced the world was the most respected man and the society cared about him. He was the highest peak of humanity. And then communism came to China and thousands of monasteries have been destroyed completely, and all the monks, respected men of the past, have become sinners. They have to work. You can eat only if you work, and begging is exploitation. It has been prohibited by the law; now nobody can beg.
If Buddha were born in China, it would be very difficult for him now. He would not be allowed to beg, he would be thought an exploiter. Even if Marx were born in China or Russia he would be in difficulty because his whole life he never did anything other than read in the British Museum. He was not a proletarian, he was not a laborer -- and his friend and collaborator, Friedrich Engels, was a very rich man. They are worshipped like gods there. But if Friedrich Engels came to visit Russia, he would be in difficulty. He never worked, he lived on others' labor, and he helped Marx; without his help Marx could not have written Das Kapital or the Communist Manifesto.
But now it is different; in Russia, he would be in difficulty now, the fashion has changed.
Concepts change. Remember this, that that which changes is relative and that which remains unchanging is absolute -- and your being is absolute; it is not part of relativity.
... THE VIEWPOINT THAT NOTHING EXISTS EXCEPT IN ITS RELATIONSHIP OF SUBJECTIVITY AND OBJECTIVITY.
If you understand this standpoint well, contemplate on it, meditate on it, suddenly you are illuminated within and you see that everything is empty.
ONE DAY, WHEN SUBHUTI WAS SITTING UNDER A TREE IN A MOOD OF SUBLIME EMPTINESS....
Remember the words SUBLIME EMPTINESS, because sometimes you also feel empty - - but that is not sublime. Sometimes you also feel empty, but not ecstatic emptiness -- a depression, a negative emptiness, not a positive emptiness. This distinction has to be remembered.
A negative emptiness means you are feeling a failure, not understanding. You have tried to achieve something in the world and you have not achieved it. You feel empty because the thing you desired you couldn't get; the woman you wanted you couldn't get -- you feel empty. The man you were after escaped -- you feel empty. The success that was in your dreams could not happen -- you feel empty. This emptiness is negative. This is a sadness, a depression, a frustrated state of mind. If you are feeling empty that way, remember, flowers will not shower on you. Your emptiness is not real, not positive. You are still after things, that's why you are feeling empty. You are still after the ego; you wanted to be somebody and could not. It is a failure, not an understanding.
So remember, if you renounce the world through a failure it is not renunciation, it is not sannyas, it is not true. If you renounce the world through understanding, that is totally different. You don't renounce it as a sad effort, with frustration within, failure all around.
You don't do it like a suicide, remember. If your sannyas is a suicide, then flowers will not shower on you -- then you are leaving....
You must have heard Aesop's fable....
A fox was passing, and there were grapes, but the vine was high on a tree. She tried and tried and jumped but they were beyond her reach. So she went away saying, 'They are not worth anything, they are not yet sweet and ripe. They are sour.' She couldn't reach.
But it is difficult for the ego to realize, 'I am a failure.' Rather than recognizing, 'I have failed, they were beyond my reach,' the ego will say, 'They were not worth anything.'
Your many sannyasins, so-called saints, are just like that Aesop's fox. They have renounced the world not because they understood the futility of it but because they were failures and it was beyond their reach -- and they are still filled with grudge and complaint. You go to them and they will still be against, saying, 'Wealth is dirt; and what is a beautiful woman? -- nothing but bones and blood!' Who are they trying to convince?
They are trying to convince themselves the grapes are sour and bitter.
Why talk about women when you have left the world? And why talk about wealth when you are not concerned with it? A deep concern still exists. You cannot accept the failure yet and understanding has not arisen.
Whenever you are against something, remember, understanding has not arisen -- because in understanding for and against both disappear. In understanding you are not inimical to the world. In understanding you are not condemning the world and the people there. If you go on condemning, your condemnation shows that somewhere there is a wound, and you are feeling jealous -- because without jealousy there can be no condemnation. You condemn people because somehow, somewhere, unconsciously you feel they are enjoying themselves and you have missed. You go on saying this world is just a dream, but if it is really a dream then why insist that it is a dream? Nobody insists about dreams.
In the morning you wake up and you know your dream was a dream -- finished. You don't go telling people that whatsoever they are is a dream.
Remember one trick of the mind: you try to convince people about something just to convince yourself, because when the other feels convinced you feel okay. If you go and tell people that sex is sin and they are convinced or they cannot refute you, you become happy. You have convinced yourself. Looking into others' eyes, you are trying to cover your own failure.
Negative emptiness is useless. It is simply the absence of something. Positive emptiness is presence of something, not absence; that's why positive emptiness becomes a power.
Negative emptiness becomes a sad, depressed state of mind -- you simply cave yourself inwards, that's all. Feeling a failure, feeling dejected, feeling everywhere the wall that you cannot cross, feeling impotent, you denounce, you condemn.
But this is not a growth, this is a regression. And deep inside you cannot flower, because only understanding flowers, never depression, and if you cannot flower, existence is not going to shower flowers on you. Existence simply responds to you: whatsoever you are, existence gives you more of that. If you have many flowers within your being flowering, a million times more flowers will shower on you. If you have a deep depression, the existence helps that too -- a million times more depression will come to you. Whatsoever you are will knock at your door. Whatsoever you are will be given to you more and more.
So be careful and be alert. And remember, a sublime emptiness is a positive phenomenon. One is not a failure, one simply looks at the thing and understands that dreams cannot be fulfilled. And then one never feels sad, one feels happy that one has come to this understanding that dreams cannot be fulfilled. One never feels depressed, hopeless, one feels simply happy and blissful because one has come to an understandinG:
Now I will not try the impossible, now I will not try the futile. And one NEVER says that the object of desire is wrong; when you are in positive sublime emptiness, you say desire is wrong, not the object of desire -- this is the difference. In negative emptiness you say the object of desire is wrong, so change the object ! If it is wealth, money, power -- drop it! Make the object God, liberation, heaven -- change the object!
If emptiness is perfect and sublime and positive you don't see the object as wrong, you simply see that desire is futile; objects are okay, but desire is futile. Then you don't change your desire from one object to another object, you simply drop the desire itself.
Nondesiring, you flower. Desiring, you become more and more paralyzed and dead.
ONE DAY, WHEN SUBHUTI WAS SITTING UNDER A TREE IN A MOOD OF SUBLIME EMPTINESS....
... Empty but happy, empty but filled; empty but not lacking, empty but overflowing; empty but at ease, at home.
... FLOWERS BEGAN TO FALL AROUND HIM.
He was surprised -- because he was nobody. He never expected it. If you expect, they never shower; if you don't expect, they shower -- but then you are surprised. Why?
Subhuti must have thought something had gone wrong. Showering on Subhuti, a nobody, no one, and that too when he was empty? Not even thinking of God, not even thinking of liberation, not even meditating -- because when you are meditating you are not empty, you are doing something and filled with your effort -- not doing anything? Subhuti must have become alert that something had gone wrong: The gods have gone crazy. Why these flowers, and it is not the season? He must have looked at the tree and he must have looked at himself again. On ME, flowers are showering? He could not believe it.
Remember, whenever the ultimate happens to you, you will be surprised -- because you never expected it; you were not waiting for it even, you were not hoping. And those who are expecting and waiting and hoping and praying and desiring -- it never happens to them because they are so tense. They are never empty, never relaxed.
The universe comes to you when you are relaxed, because then you are vulnerable, open - - all doors open. From anywhere, God is welcome. But you are not praying, and you are not asking for him to come; you are not doing anything. When you are not doing anything, just in a mood of sublime emptiness, you become the temple, and he comes.
IN A MOOD OF SUBLIME EMPTINESS, FLOWERS BEGAN TO FALL AROUND HIM....
He looked all around -- what is happening?
'WE ARE PRAISING YOU FOR YOUR DISCOURSE ON EMPTINESS,' THE GODS WHISPERED TO HIM.
He couldn't believe it. He was never expecting it. He couldn't believe that he was worthy, or he was capable, or he had grown.
'WE ARE PRAISING YOU FOR YOUR DISCOURSE ON EMPTINESS,' THE GODS WHISPERED TO HIM.
They have to whisper. They must have looked at the amazed eyes of this Subhuti, so surprised. They said, 'We are praising you. Don't be so surprised and don't be so amazed.
Be at ease! We are just praising you for your discourse on emptiness.'
'BUT I HAVE NOT SPOKEN OF EMPTINESS,'
SAID SUBHUTI -- 'I have not spoken anything!'
'YOU HAVE NOT SPOKEN OF EMPTINESS, WE HAVE NOT HEARD EMPTINESS,' RESPONDED THE GODS. 'THIS IS TRUE EMPTINESS.'
AND BLOSSOMS SHOWERED UPON SUBHUTI LIKE RAIN.
Try to understand. They said, 'WE ARE PRAISING YOU FOR YOUR DISCOURSE ON EMPTINESS,' and he was not talking to anybody, there was nobody. He was not talking to himself because he was empty, not divided. He was not talking at all, he was simply there. Nothing was being done on his part -- no clouds of thought were passing through his mind, no feelings arising in his heart: he was simply as if not. He was simply empty.
And the gods said, 'WE ARE PRAISING YOU FOR YOUR DISCOURSE ON EMPTINESS.'
So he was more surprised and he said, 'What? I HAVE NOT SPOKEN OF EMPTINESS, I have not said anything!'
They said, 'You have not spoken and we have not heard. THIS IS TRUE EMPTINESS.'
For you cannot discourse on emptiness, you can only be empty; that is the only discourse.
Everything else can be talked about, everything else can become a sermon, an object of sermon, everything else can be discussed, argued -- but not emptiness, because the very effort to say anything about it destroys it. The moment you say it, it is not there. Even a single word is enough and the emptiness is lost. Even a single word can fill you, and the emptiness disappears.
No, nothing can be said about it. Nobody has ever said anything about it. You can just be empty and that is the discourse. BEING is the discourse.
Emptiness can never become an object of thought, thoughtlessness is its nature. So the gods said, 'You have not said anything and we have not heard. That is the beauty of it!
That's why we are praising you. Rarely does it happen that somebody is simply empty.
This is true emptiness' -- and he was not even aware that it was emptiness, because if you are aware, something foreign has entered into it: you are divided, you are split. When one is really empty, there is nothing other than emptiness, not even the awareness of emptiness. Not even the witness is there. One is perfectly alert, one is not asleep -- but the witness is not there. It goes beyond witnessing, because whenever you witness something there is a slight tension inside, a subtle effort, and then emptiness is something else and you are something else. You witness it, you are not empty; then emptiness is again just a thought in the mind.
People come to me and say, 'I have experienced one moment of emptiness.' And I tell them, 'If you have experienced it then forget about it, because who will experience it?
The experiencer is enough, enough of a barrier. Who will experience it?' Emptiness cannot be experienced, it is not an experience because the experiencer is not there: the experiencer and the experience have become one. It is an EXPERIENCING.
Allow me to coin this word: it is an EXPERIENCING. It is a process, undivided -- both the poles have disappeared, both the banks have disappeared, and only the river exists.
You cannot say, 'I experienced,' because you were not there -- how can you experience it?
And once you enter it you cannot make it a past experience, you cannot say, 'I experienced,' for then it becomes a past memory.
No, emptiness can never become a memory, because emptiness can never leave a trace. It cannot leave any footprints. How can emptiness become a past memory? How can you say 'I experienced'? It is always in the now, it is experiencING. It is neither past nor future, it is always an ongoing process. Once you enter you have entered. You cannot even say, 'I experienced' -- that's why Subhuti was not even aware of what was happening. He was not there. Any distinction between him and the universe was not there. No distinction, all boundaries dissolved. The universe started melting in him, he melted into the universe: merging, melting, oneness. And the gods said, 'This is true emptiness.'
AND BLOSSOMS SHOWERED UPON SUBHUTI LIKE RAIN.
This last line has to be understood very very carefully, because when somebody says that you are empty, immediately the ego can come back -- because you will become aware, and you will feel something has been achieved. Suddenly the gods will make you aware that you are empty.
But Subhuti is rare, extraordinarily rare. Even though the gods shouted around him, whispered in his ears, and the flowers were showering on him like rain, he didn't bother.
He simply kept silent. They said, 'You have spoken, you have given a discourse!' He listened without coming back. They said, 'You have not spoken, we have not heard. THIS IS TRUE EMPTINESS!' There was no ego saying, 'The true happiness happened to me.
Now I have become enlightened' -- otherwise he would have missed at the last point. And immediately flowers would have stopped showering, if he had come back. No, he must have closed his eyes and he must have thought, 'These gods are mad and these flowers are dreams -- don't bother.'
The emptiness was so beautiful that now nothing could be more beautiful than that. He simply remained in his sublime emptiness -- that's why blossoms showered upon Subhuti as rain. Now they were not falling a few here and a few there, now they were showering like rain.
This is the only story about Subhuti, nothing is said about him anymore. Nowhere is he mentioned again. But I tell you the flowers are still showering. Subhuti is no longer under any tree -- because when one becomes really, totally empty, one dissolves into the universe.
But the universe still celebrates it. The flowers go on showering.
But you will be able to know them only when they shower for you. When God knocks at your door only then do you know that God is, never before. All arguments are futile, all discourses not to the point, unless God knocks at your door. Unless it happens to YOU, nothing can become a conviction.
I talk about Subhuti because this happened to me, and this is not a metaphor; it is literal. I had read about Subhuti before, but I thought, 'It is a metaphor -- beautiful, poetic.' I had never even a slight notion that this happens actually. I never thought that this was a realistic phenomenon, a real thing that happens.
But now I tell you it happens. It happened to me, it can happen to you... but a sublime emptiness is needed.
And never be confused. Don't ever think that your negative emptiness can ever become sublime. Your negative emptiness is like darkness; sublime emptiness is like light, it is like a rising sun. Negative emptiness is like death. Sublime emptiness is like life, eternal life. It is blissful.
Allow that mood to penetrate you deeper and deeper. Go and sit under trees. Just sit, not doing anything. Everything stops! When you stop, everything stops. Time will not be moving, as if suddenly the world has come to a peak and there is no movement. But don't bring in the idea, 'Now I am empty,' otherwise you will miss. And even if gods start showering flowers on you, don't pay much attention.
And now you know the story, don't even ask why. Subhuti had to ask, you need not. And even if they whisper by themselves, 'We have heard true emptiness and the discourse on it,' don't bother, and the flowers will shower like rain on you too.