Temple fire

Fri, 6 November 1974 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
And The Flowers Showered
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
Short Title:
Audio Available:
Video Available:
96 mins








THE WHOLE IGNORANCE OF MIND consists in not being in the present. Mind is always moving: into the future, or into the past. Mind is never here and now. It cannot be.

The very nature of mind is such that it cannot be in the present, because mind has to think, and in the present moment there is no possibility to think. You have to see, you have to listen, you have to be present, but you cannot think.

The present moment is so narrow that there is no space to think about. You can be, but thoughts cannot be. How can you think? If you think, it means it is already past, the moment has gone. Or you can think if it has not come yet, it is in the future.

For thinking space is needed, because thinking is like a walk -- a walk of the mind, a journey. Space is needed. You can walk into the future, you can walk into the past, but how can you walk in the present? The present is so close, really not even close -- the present is YOU. Past and future are parts of time; the present is YOU, it is not part of time. It is not a tense: it is not at all a part of time, it doesn't belong to time. The present is you; past and future are out of you.

The mind cannot exist in the present. If you can be here, totally present, mind will disappear. Mind can desire, can dream -- dream a thousand and one thoughts. It can move to the very end of the world, it can move to the very beginning of the world, but it cannot be here and now -- that is impossible for it. The whole ignorance consists in not knowing this. And then you worry about the past, which is no more -- it is absolutely stupid! You cannot do anything about the past. How can you do anything about the past which is no more? Nothing can be done, it has already gone; but you worry about it, and worrying about it, you waste yourself.

Or you think about the future, and dream and desire. Have you ever observed? -- the future never comes. It cannot come. Whatsoever comes is always the present, and the present is absolutely different from your desires, your dreams. That's why whatsoever you desire and dream and imagine and plan for and worry about, never happens. But it wastes you. You go on deteriorating. You go on dying. Your energies go on moving in a desert, not reaching any goal, simply dissipating. And then death knocks at your door.

And remember: death never knocks in the past, and death never knocks in the future; death knocks in the present.

You cannot say to death, 'Tomorrow!' Death knocks in the present. Life also knocks in the present. God also knocks in the present. Everything that is always knocks in the present, and everything that is not is always part of past or future.

Your mind is a false entity because it never knocks in the present. Let this be the criterion of reality: whatsoever is, is always here and now; whatsoever is not is never a part of the present. Drop all that which never knocks in the now. And if you move in the now, a new dimension opens -- the dimension of eternity.

Past and future move in a horizontal line: A moves to B, B to C, C to D, in a line.

Eternity moves vertically: A moves deeper into the A, higher into the A, not to B; A goes on moving deeper and higher, both ways. It is vertical. The present moment moves vertically, time moves horizontally. Time and present never meet. And you are the present: your whole being moves vertically. The depth is open, the height is open, but you are moving horizontally with the mind. That's how you miss God.

People come to me and they ask how to meet God, how to see, how to realize. That is not the point. The point is: how are you missing him? -- because he is here and now, knocking at your door. It cannot be otherwise. If he is the real, he must be here and now.

Only unreality is not here and now. He is already at your door -- but YOU are not there.

You are never at home. You go on wandering into millions of words, but you are never at home. There you are never found, and God comes to meet you there, reality surrounds you there, but never finds you there. The real question is not how you should meet God; the real question is how you should be at home, so that when God knocks he finds you there. It is not a question of your finding him, it is a question of him finding you.

So it is a real meditation. A man of understanding does not bother about God or that type of matter, because he is not a philosopher. He simply tries to be at home, meditates on how to stop worrying about the future and the past, thinking about future and past; he meditates on how to settle here and now, how not to move from this moment. Once you are in this moment, the door opens. This moment is the door!

I was staying once with a Catholic priest and his family. It happened one evening that I was sitting with the family: the priest, his wife, and their young child who was playing in the corner of the room with a few blocks, making something. Then suddenly the child said, 'Now everybody be quiet, because I have made a church. The church is ready, now be silent.'

The father was very happy that the boy understood that in a church one has to be quiet.

To encourage him he said, 'Why is it one needs to be quiet in a church?' 'Because,' said the boy, 'the people are asleep.'

The people are really asleep, not only in the church, but on the whole earth, everywhere.

They are asleep in the church because they come asleep from out-side. They go out of the church, they move in sleep -- everybody is a sleepwalker, a somnambulist. And this is the nature of sleep: that you are never here and now, because if you are here and now you will be awake!

Sleep means you are in the past, sleep means you are in the future. Mind is the sleep, mind is a deep hypnosis -- fast asleep. And you try many ways, but nothing seems to help you -- because anything done in your sleep will not be of much help, because if you do it in sleep it will not be more than a dream.

I have heard that once a man came to a psychoanalyst, a very absentminded psychoanalyst -- and everybody is absentminded because mind is absent-mindedness, not at home; that's what absent-mindedness means. A man went to this very absentminded psychoanalyst and told him. 'I am in great trouble. I have knocked at the doors of all types of doctors but nobody could help me, and they say that nothing is wrong. But I am in trouble. I snore so loudly in my sleep that I wake myself up. And this happens so many times in the night: the snoring is so loud that I wake myself up!'

Without exactly listening to what this man was saying, the psychoanalyst said, 'This is nothing. A simple thing can change the whole matter. You simply sleep in another room'.

You understand? -- this is exactly what everybody is doing. You go on changing rooms, but sleep continues, snoring continues, because you cannot leave it in another room. It is not something separate from you; it is you, it is your mind, it is your whole accumulated past, your memory, your knowledge -- what Hindus call SAMSKARAS, all the conditionings that make your mind. You go in another room, they follow you there.

You can change your religion: you can become a Christian from a Hindu, you can become a Hindu from a Christian -- you change rooms. Nothing will come of it. You can go on changing your masters -- from one master to another, from one ashram to another:

nothing will be of much help. You are changing rooms; and the basic thing is not to change rooms but to change YOU. The room is not concerned with your snoring; the room is not the cause, YOU are the cause. This is the first thing to be understood; then you will be able to follow this beautiful story.

Your mind, as it is, is asleep. But you cannot feel how it is asleep because you look quite awake, with open eyes. But have you ever seen anything? You look wide awake with your open ears, but have you ever heard anything?

You are listening to me so you will say, Yes! But are you listening to me or listening to your mind inside? Your mind is constantly commenting. I am here, talking to you, but you are not there listening to me. Your mind constantly comments, 'Yes, it is right, I agree'; 'I don't agree, this is absolutely false'; your mind is standing there, constantly commenting. Through this commentary, this fog of the mind, I cannot penetrate you.

Understanding comes when you are not interpreting, when you simply listen.

In a small school the teacher found that one boy was not listening. He was very lazy and fidgety, restless. So she asked: 'Why? Are you in some difficulty? Are you not able to hear me?'

The boy said, 'Hearing is okay, listening is the problem. '

He made a really subtle distinction. He said, 'Hearing is okay, I am hearing you; but LISTENING is the problem' -- because listening is more than hearing; listening is hearing with full awareness. Just hearing is okay, sounds are all around you -- you hear, but you are not listening. You have to hear, because the sounds will go on knocking at your eardrum; you have to hear. But you are not there to listen, because listening means a deep attention, a rapport -- not a constant commentary inside, not saying yes or no, not agreeing, disagreeing, because if you agree and disagree, in that moment how can you listen to me?

When you agree, what I said is already past; when you disagree, it is already gone. And in the moment you nod your head inside, say no or yes, you are missing -- and this is a constant thing inside you.

You cannot listen. And the more knowledge you have the more difficult listening becomes. Listening means innocent attention -- you simply listen. There is no need to be in agreement or disagreement. I am not in search of your agreement or disagreement. I am not asking for your vote, I am not seeking your following, I am not in any way trying to convince you.

What do you do when a parrot starts screeching in a tree? Do you comment? Yes, then too you say, 'Disturbing.' You cannot listen even to a parrot. When the wind is blowing through the trees and there's the rustling noise, do you listen to it? Sometimes, maybe; it catches you unawares. But then too you comment, 'Yes, beautiful!'

Now watch: whenever you comment, you fall asleep. The mind has come in, and with the mind the past and future enter. The vertical line is lost -- and you become horizontal. The moment mind enters you become horizontal. You miss eternity.

Simply listen. There is no need to say yes or no. There is no need to be convinced or not convinced. Simply listen, and the truth will be revealed to you -- or the untruth! If somebody is talking nonsense, if you simply listen the nonsense will be revealed to you -- without any commentary from the mind. If somebody is speaking the truth, it will be revealed to you. Truth or untruth is not an agreement or a disagreement of your mind, it is a feeling. When you are in total rapport, you feel, and you simply feel that it is true or it is untrue -- and the thing is finished! No worrying about it, no thinking about it! What can thinking do?

If you have been brought up in a certain way, if you are a Christian, or a Hindu, or a Mohammedan, and I am saying something which happens to agree with your upbringing, you will say yes. If it doesn't happen so, you will say no. Are YOU here or is only the upbringing here? And upbringing is just accidental.

The mind cannot find what is true, the mind cannot find what is untrue. The mind can reason about it, but all reasoning is based on conditioning. If you are a Hindu you reason in one way, if you are a Mohammedan you reason in a different way. And every type of conditioning rationalizes. It is not really reasoning: you rationalize.

Mulla Nasruddin became very aged; he attained one hundred years. A reporter came to see him, because he was the oldest citizen around those parts. The reporter said, 'Nasruddin, there are a few questions I would like to ask. One is, do you think you will be able to live a hundred years more?'

Nasruddin said, 'Of course, because a hundred years ago I was not so strong as I am now.'

A hundred years before, he was a child, just born, so he said: 'A hundred years ago I was not so strong as I am now, and if a small child, helpless, weak, could survive for a hundred years, why shouldn't I?'

This is rationalization. It looks logical, but it misses something. It is a wish-fulfillment.

You would like to survive longer, so you create a rationale around it: you believe in the immortality of the soul. You have been brought up in a culture which says that the soul is eternal. If somebody says, 'Yes, the soul is eternal,' you nod, you say, 'Yes, that's right.'

But that's not right -- or wrong. You say yes because it is a deep-rooted conditioning in you. There are others: half the world believes -- Hindus, Buddhists and Jainas believe -- that the soul is eternal, and there are many rebirths. And half the world -- Christians, Mohammedans, Jews, believe the soul is not eternal and there is no rebirth, only one life and then the soul dissolves into the ultimate.

Half the world believes this, half the world believes that, and they all have their own arguments, they all have their own rationalizations. Whatsoever you want to believe, you will believe, but deep down your desire will be the cause of your belief, not reason. Mind looks rational, but it is not. It is a rationalizing process: whatsoever you want to believe, the mind says yes. And where does that wanting come from? It comes from your upbringing.

Listening is a totally different affair, it has a totally different quality to it. When you LISTEN, you cannot be a Hindu, or a Mohammedan, or a Jaina, or a Christian. When you listen you cannot be a theist or an atheist; when you listen you can't listen through the skin of your -isms or scriptures -- you have to put them all aside; you simply listen.

I'm not asking you to agree, don't be afraid! Simply listen, not bothered by agreement or disagreement, and then a rapport happens.

If the truth is there, suddenly you are drawn -- your whole being is drawn as if by a magnet. You melt and merge into it, and your heart feels 'This is true,' without any reason, without any arguments, without any logic. This is why religions say reason is not the way to the divine. They say it is faith, they say it is trust.

What is trust? Is it a belief? No, because belief belongs to the mind. Trust is a rapport.

You simply put aside all your defense measures, your armor; you become vulnerable.

You listen to something, and you listen so totally that the feeling arises in you as to whether it is true or not. If it is untrue, you FEEL it. Why does this happen? If it is true, you feel it. Why does this happen?

It happens because truth resides in you. When you are totally nonthinking your inner truth can feel wherever truth is -- because like always feels out like: it fits. Suddenly everything fits, everything falls in a pattern and the chaos becomes a cosmos. The words fall in line... and a poetry arises. Then everything simply fits.

If you are in rapport, and the truth is there, your inner being simply agrees with it -- but it is not an agreement. You feel a tuning. You become one. This is trust. If something is wrong, it simply falls from you -- you never pay it a second thought, you never look at it a second time: there is no meaning in it. You never say, 'This is untrue'; it simply doesn't fit -- you move! If it fits, it becomes your home. If it doesn't fit, you move.

Through listening comes trust. But listening needs hearing plus attention. And you are fast asleep -- how can you be attentive? But even fast asleep a fragment of attention remains floating in you; otherwise there would be no way. You may be in a prison, but possibilities always exist -- you can come out. Difficulties may be there, but it is not impossible, because prisoners have been known to escape. A Buddha escapes, a Mahavira escapes, a Jesus escapes -- they were also prisoners like you. Prisoners have escaped before -- prisoners have always escaped. There remains somewhere a door, a possibility; you simply have to search for it.

If it is impossible, if there is no possibility, then there is no problem. The problem arises because the possibility is there -- you are a little alert. If you were absolutely unalert, then there would be no problem. If you were in a coma, then there would be no problem. But you are not in a coma; you are asleep -- but not totally. A gap, a leakage exists. You have to find within yourself that possibility of being attentive.

Sometimes you become attentive. If somebody comes to hit you, the attention comes. If you are in danger, if you are passing through a forest at night and it is dark, you walk with a different quality of attention. You are awake; thinking is not there. You are fully in rapport with the situation, with whatsoever is happening. Even if a leaf creates a sound you are fully alert. You are just like a hare, or a deer -- they are always awake. Your ears are bigger, your eyes are wide open, you are feeling what is happening all around because danger is there. In danger your sleep is less, your awareness is more, the gestalt changes.

If somebody puts a dagger to your heart and is just going to push it in, in that moment there is no thinking. Past disappears, future disappears: you are here and now.

The possibility is there. If you make the effort you will catch the one ray that exists in you, and once you catch the one ray, the sun is not very far; then through the ray you can reach the sun -- the ray becomes the path.

So remember: find attention, let it become a continuity in you twenty-four hours a day, whatsoever you do. Eat, but try to be attentive: eat with awareness. Walk, but walk with awareness. Love, but love fully aware. Try!

It cannot become total just in one day, but even if one ray is caught, you will feel a deep fulfillment -- because the quality is the same whether you attain to one ray or the whole sun. Whether you taste a drop of water from the ocean or the whole ocean, the salty taste is the same -- and the taste becomes your satori, the glimpse.

Here, listening to me, be alert. Whenever you feel that you have gone again into sleep, bring yourself back: just shake a little and bring yourself back. When walking on the street, if you feel you are walking in a sleep, shake a little, give a little shake to the whole body. Be alert. This alertness will remain only for a few moments; again you will lose it, because you have lived in a sleep for so long, it has become such a habit, that you cannot see how you can go against it.

I was traveling once from Calcutta to Bombay in a plane, and one child was creating a great nuisance, running from one corner of the aisle to the other, disturbing everybody -- and then the stewardess came with tea and coffee. The boy ran into her, and everything was a mess. Then the mother of the child said, 'Now listen, I have told you many times -- why don't you go outside and play there?'

Just old habit. She was sitting just by my side and was not aware of what she had said. I listened as she spoke, and she never became alert to what she had said. Only the child made her alert. He said, 'What do you mean? If I go out I am finished!'

A child is more attentive of course, because he has less habits. A child is more alert because he has less armor around him, he is less imprisoned. That's why all religions say that when a man becomes a sage he has some quality of a child: the innocence. Then habits drop. ... Because habits are your prison, and sleep is the greatest habit.

Now, try to enter in this parable with me.




Tokai was a great zen master, enlightened, living in total awareness, and whenever you live in total awareness you live moment to moment. You cannot plan, even for the next moment you cannot plan -- because who knows, the next moment may never come! And how can you plan it beforehand, because who knows what the situation will be in the next moment? And if you plan too much you may miss it, the freshness of it.

Life is such a flux, nothing remains the same, everything moves. Heraclitus has said that you cannot step twice in the same river -- how can you plan? By the time you are stepping the second time, much water has flowed, it is not the same river. Planning is possible if the past repeats itself. But the past never repeats itself, repetition never happens -- even if you see something repeating itself it is just because you cannot see the whole.

Heraclitus again: he says, every day the sun is new. Of course, you will say, it is the same sun -- but it cannot be the same, there is no possibility of its being the same. Much has changed: the whole sky is different, the whole pattern of stars is different, the sun itself has become older. Now scientists say that within four million years the sun will die, its death is coming near -- because the sun is an alive phenomenon and it is very old, it has to die.

Suns are born, they live -- and they die. Four million years for us is very long; for the sun it is just nothing, it is as if the next moment it is going to die. And when the sun dies, the whole solar family will disappear, because the sun is the source. Every day the sun is dying, and becoming older and older and older -- it cannot be the same. Every day energy is lost -- a VAST amount of energy is being thrown in the rays. The sun is less every day, exhausted. It is not the same, it cannot be the same.

And when the sun rises, it rises upon a different world, and the onlooker also is not the same. Yesterday you may have been filled with love; then your eyes were different, and the sun of course looked different. You were so filled with love that a certain quality of poetry was around you, and you looked through that poetry -- the sun may have looked like a god, as it looked to the seers of the Vedas. They called the sun, God -- they must have been filled with so much poetry. They were poets, in love with existence; they were not scientists. They were not in search of what matter was, they were in search of what the mood was. They worshipped the sun. They must have been very happy and blissful people, because you can worship only when you feel a blessing; you can worship only when you feel that your whole life is a blessing.

Yesterday you may have been a poet, today you may not be a poet at all -- because every moment the river is flowing within you. You are also changing. Yesterday things were fitting into each other, today everything is a mess: you are angry, you are depressed, you are sad. How can the sun be the same when the onlooker has changed? Everything changes, so a man of understanding never exactly plans for the future, cannot -- but he is more ready than you to meet the future. This is the paradox. You plan, but you are not so ready.

In fact, planning means that you feel so inadequate, that's why you plan -- otherwise, why plan? A guest is coming, and you plan what you are going to say to him. What nonsense!

When the guest comes can't you be spontaneous? But you are afraid, you don't believe in yourself, you have no trust; you plan, you go through a rehearsal. Your life is an acting, it is not a real thing, because a rehearsal is needed only in acting. And remember: when you are going through a rehearsal, whatsoever happens will be an acting, not the real thing.

The guest has not arrived and you are planning already what you will say, how you will garland him, how you are going to respond; you are already saying things. The guest, in the mind, has already arrived -- you are talking to him. In fact, by the time the guest arrives you will be fed up with him. In fact, by the time the guest arrives he has already been with you too long -- you are bored, and whatsoever you say will not be true and authentic. It will not come from you, it will come from the memory. It will not pop up from your existence, it will come from the rehearsal that you have been having. It will be false -- and a meeting will not be possible, because how can a false man meet? And it may be the same with your guest: he was also planning, he also is fed up with you already. He has talked too much and now he would like to be silent, and whatsoever he says will be out of the rehearsal.

So wherever two persons meet, there are four persons meeting -- at least; more are possible. Two real ones are in the background, two false ones meeting each other and encountering. Everything is false, because it comes out of planning. Even when you love a person you plan, and go through a rehearsal -- all the movements that you are going to make, how you are going to kiss, the gestures -- and everything becomes false. Why don't you trust yourself? When the moment comes, why don't you trust your spontaneity? Why can't you be real?

The mind cannot trust the moment; it is always afraid, that's why it plans. Planning means fear. It is fear that plans, and by planning you miss everything -- everything that is beautiful and true, everything that is divine, you miss. Nobody has ever reached God with a plan, nobody can ever reach.


The first thing: fire creates fear, because it is death. And if even fire cannot create fear, nothing can create fear. But even fire cannot create fear when you have encountered death, when you know that death doesn't exist; otherwise, the moment you hear the word 'Fire!' you are in a panic. No need for there to be a real fire, just somebody coming running here and saying, 'Fire!' and you will be in a panic. Somebody may jump out of it, and may kill himself -- and there was no fire. Just the word fire can give you panic.

You live with words. Somebody says 'Lemon' -- and juice starts flowing in your mouth.

Somebody says, 'Fire!' -- and you are here no more, you have already escaped. You live with words, not with realities. You live with symbols, not with realities. And all symbols are artifices, they are not real.

I have heard, overheard really: an old woman was teaching a younger one how to cook a certain thing. She was explaining, and then she said, 'Six glugs of molasses.' The younger woman said, 'Six what?' The older woman said: 'Six glugs.'

The younger woman was puzzled and asked again, 'What is this "glug"? I've never heard of it before.'

The older woman said, 'My God! You don't know such a simple thing? Then it's difficult to teach you cookery!'

The younger one said, 'Be kind and just tell me what this "glug" is.'

The older woman said: 'You tip the jug; when it sounds "glug" that is one. Five more like it -- six glugs!'

But the whole of language is just like that. No word really means anything. The meaning is given by us by mutual contract. That is why three thousand languages exist in the world, but three thousand realities are not there. The whole of language is just like 'glug'.

You can create your own private language, there is no problem. Lovers always create their private language: they start using words -- nobody understands what they are saying, but THEY understand. Words are symbolic. The meaning is given, the meaning is not really there. When somebody says, 'Fire!' there is no fire in the word, there cannot be.

When somebody says God, in the word god there is no God -- cannot be. The word god is not God. When somebody says love, the word love is not love.

When somebody says, 'I love you,' don't be deceived by the words. But you will be deceived, because nobody looks at reality; people look only at words. When somebody says, 'I love you,' you think: Yes, he loves me; or: Yes, she loves me. You are getting into a trap and you will be in difficulty. Just look at the reality of this man or this woman.

Don't listen to the words, listen to the reality. Be in rapport with the reality of this person and understanding will arise as to whether whatsoever he is saying is only words, or whether it carries some content also. And depend on the content, never depend on the word; otherwise sooner or later you will be frustrated. So many lovers are frustrated in the world -- ninety percent! The word is the cause. They believed in the word and they didn't look at the reality.

Remain unclouded by the words. Keep your eyes clean from the words. Don't allow them to settle in your eyes and in your ears; otherwise you will live in a false world. Words are false in themselves; they become meaningful only if some truth exists in the heart from where the words are coming.


Fire is fear, fire is death -- but not the word fire.


He was excited, death was near.


You cannot excite a master, even if death is there, because excitement belongs to the mind. And you cannot surprise a master, even if death is there, because surprise also belongs to the mind. Why can't you surprise a master? -- because he never expects anything. How can you surprise a man who never expects anything? Because you expect, and then something else happens, that's why you are surprised. If you are walking on the street and you see a man coming, and suddenly he becomes a horse, you will be surprised, amazed: what has happened? But even this will not surprise a man like Tokai, because he knows life is a flux -- everything is possible: a man can become a horse even, a horse can become a man. This is what has been already happening many times: many horses have become men, and many men have become horses. Life moves on!

A master remains without any expectation, you cannot surprise him. To him everything is possible, and he is not closed to any possibility. He lives in the moment totally open; whatsoever happens, happens. He has no plan to meet reality, no protection. He accepts.

If you expect something, you cannot accept. If you accept everything, you cannot expect.

If you accept and you don't expect, you cannot be surprised -- and you cannot be excited.

Excitement is a fever, it is a disease; when you get excited your whole being is feverish, you are hot. You may like it sometimes because there are two types of fever: one that comes out of pleasure and one that comes out of pain. The one that you like you call pleasure, but it is also a fever, excitement; and the one you dislike you call pain, disease, illness -- but both are excitements. And try to observe: they go on changing into each other.

You love a woman; you get excited and you feel a certain pleasure, or you interpret it as pleasure. But let that woman remain there and sooner or later the excitement goes. On the contrary, a boredom creeps in, you feel fed up, you would like to escape, you would like to be alone. And if the woman still continues, now the negative enters. You are not only bored, you are in a negative fever now; you feel ill, you feel nauseous.

Look: your life is just like a rainbow. It carries all the colors -- and you go on moving from one color to another. It carries all the extremes, all the opposites: from pleasure you move to pain, from pain you move to pleasure. If the pain goes on too long, you may even start getting a certain pleasure out of it. If the pleasure lasts too long, you will certainly get pain out of it. Both are states of excitement, both are fevers. A man of understanding is without fever. You cannot excite him, you cannot surprise him. Even if death is there he will coolly ask, 'Where?' And this question 'Where?' is very beautiful, because a man of enlightenment is always concerned with the here. He is not concerned with there, he is not concerned with then, he is concerned only with now. Now, here, is his reality; then, there, is your reality.


He wants to know: there or here.


... Because he couldn't believe it, that when there is a fire somebody could ask such a stupid question. One should simply jump out of the window, get out of the house; this is no time for subtle arguments.'WHERE?' EXCLAIMED THE MONK. 'WHY, UNDER THE KITCHEN FLOOR -- GET UP AT ONCE.' 'THE KITCHEN, EH?' SAID THE MASTER DROWSILY. 'WELL, TELL YOU WHAT, WHEN IT REACHES THE PASSAGEWAY, COME BACK AND LET ME KNOW.'

When it reaches here, then come and let me know. If it is there, it is none of my concern.

The anecdote is very revealing. Anything there is not a concern; only when it is here does it become real.

A master cannot plan for the future. Of course he is ready: whatsoever happens, he will respond -- but he cannot go through a rehearsal, and he cannot plan... and he cannot move before the reality has come. He will say, 'Let the reality come, let the moment knock at my door, and then we will see.' Unburdened with rehearsals, plans, he is always spontaneous -- and whatsoever he does with his spontaneity is always right.

Remember this criterion always: whatsoever comes out of your spontaneity is right.

There exists no other criterion of right and wrong. Whatsoever comes out of the moment, your alive response to it is good. Nothing else is good -- there exists no other criterion for good and bad.

But you are afraid. Because of your fear you create morality. Because of your fear you create distinctions between right and wrong. But don't you see that sometimes a situation is different, and the right becomes wrong and the wrong becomes right? But you remain dead. You don't look at the situation. You simply go on following your right and wrong and the conceptions around it. That's why you become a misfit. Even trees are wiser than you -- they are not misfits. Even animals are better than you -- they are not misfits. Even clouds are worthier than you -- they are not misfits. The whole of existence fits together; only man is a misfit. Where has he gone wrong?

He has gone wrong with his mental distinctions -- this is right and that is wrong -- and in life such fixed things cannot be useful. Something is wrong this moment, next moment it becomes right. Something is right this moment, next moment it is right no more. What will you do? You will be constantly in a state of fear and worry, an inner tension.

So the foundational teaching of all those who have known is: be alert and spontaneous, and whatsoever happens out of your spontaneous alertness is right, and whatsoever happens out of your sleep, unconsciousness, is wrong. Whatsoever you do unconsciously is wrong -- whatsoever you do with awareness is right. Right and wrong is not a distinction between objects; right and wrong is a distinction between consciousnesses.

For example, there exists a Jaina sect in India: TERAPANTH. Mahavira said, 'Don't interfere in anybody's karma. Let him fulfill it' -- a beautiful thing. He says really the exact thing that hippies are now saying in the West: do your own thing. From the other side Mahavira says the same thing: 'Don't interfere with anybody's thing. Let him do his karma, let him fulfill it. Don't interfere. Interference is violence; when you interfere with somebody's karma you are doing a violence, you are throwing that man from his own path. Don't interfere.' A beautiful thing!

But how things can go wrong, even beautiful things! The terapanth, this one sect of the Jainas, concluded that if somebody is dying by the side of the road you simply go on, you don't touch him, you don't give him any medicine, you don't give him water if he is crying, 'I am thirsty!' Don't give him water because -- don't interfere with anybody's karma. Logical! -- because if he is suffering because of his past karmas, then who are you to interfere? He must have accumulated a certain karma to suffer in this life from thirst and die from it. Who are you to give him water? You simply neglect him, you go on.

I was talking to one of the leaders of the terapanth monks, and I told him, 'And have you ever considered the possibility that it may be your karma to give him water?'

You are not interfering with his karma, but you are interfering with your own. If the desire arises to help him, what will you do? The desire shows that it is your karma to give him water. If you resist that desire and go on because of the principle, you are not being spontaneous -- so what to do? If you make dead principles heavy on your head, you will always be in trouble, because life does not believe in your principles; life has its own laws. But they are not your principles and your philosophies.

Be spontaneous. If you feel like helping, don't bother about what Mahavira has said. If you feel like helping, help. Do your thing. If you don't feel like helping, don't help.

Whatsoever Jesus may have said, that by helping people you will help me -- don't bother, because sometimes the help may be dangerous. A man is ready to kill somebody, and he says to you, 'Give me water, because I am feeling so thirsty, and I cannot go on this long journey to kill that man' -- what will you do? ... Because if you give him water, you help him in murder. Decide! -- but NEVER decide before the moment because all such decisions will go false. One never knows what type of situation will be there.

In old Indian scriptures there is a story: A murderer came to a crossroads where a monk was sitting meditating. He was following a man. He had already hit the man hard but he escaped, the victim escaped, and he was following him. At the crossroads he was puzzled; he asked the monk who was meditating under a tree, 'Have you seen a man with blood flowing, passing by here? If so, which direction has he gone?' -- because it was a crossroads.

What should this monk do? If he tells the truth, that the man has gone to the north, he will become a part of the murder. If he says that he has not gone to the north, he has gone to the south, he will be telling a lie. What should he do? Should he tell the truth, and allow the murder, or should he become a liar and stop it? What should he do?

There have been many answers. I have none.

Jainas say that even if it is going to be an untruth, let him be untrue, because violence is the greatest sin. They have their own valuation -- violence is the greatest sin, untruth comes next. But Hindus say no, untruth comes first, so let him be true; he has to tell the truth and let things happen, whatsoever happens. Gandhi said -- Gandhi had his own answer about this -- HE said, 'I cannot choose between these two because both are supreme values, and there is no choice. So I will tell him the truth, and I will stand in his way, and I will tell him, "First kill me, and then follow that man."'

It appeals, Gandhi's answer appeals, seems to be better than both the Hindu's and the Jaina's -- but look at the whole situation: the man is going to commit one murder and Gandhi is forcing him to commit two. So what about HIS karma?

So what to do? I have no answer. Or my answer is: don't decide beforehand, let the moment come and let the moment decide, because who knows? -- the victim may be a man who is worth murdering. Who knows? -- the victim may be a dangerous man, and if he survives he may murder many. Who knows what the situation will be because it will never be the same again -- and you cannot know the situation beforehand.

Don't decide. But your mind will feel uneasy without a decision because the mind needs clear-cut answers. Life has none, no clear-cut answers. Only one thing is certain: be spontaneous and alert and aware, and don't follow any rule. Simply be spontaneous -- and whatsoever happens, let it happen. If you feel in that moment like taking the risk of losing truth, lose it. If you feel in that moment that that man is not worth it, then let the violence happen, or if you feel, 'That man is worth more than me,' stand in between.

Millions of possibilities will be there. Don't fix it beforehand. Just be aware and alert and let things happen. You may not wish to say anything. Why not be silent? Don't tell any untruth, don't help the man in violence, don't force the murderer to commit two murders.

Why not be silent? Who is forcing you?

But let the moment decide: that is what all the awakened ones have said.

But if you listen to ordinary moralists they will tell you that life is dangerous, to go with a decision; otherwise you may do something wrong. And I tell you whatsoever you do through a decision will be wrong, because the whole existence is not following your decisions; the whole existence moves in its own way. You are a part of it -- how can you decide for the whole? You have to simply be there and feel the situation and do whatsoever you can do with humbleness, with every possibility of it being wrong.

Don't be such an egoist as to think, 'Whatsoever I do will be right.' Then who will do the wrong? Don't be such an egoist that you think, 'I am moral, and the other is immoral.' The other is also you. You are also the other. We are one. The murderer and the victim are not two.

But don't decide. Just be there; feel the whole situation, be in rapport with the whole situation, and let your inner consciousness do whatsoever comes. You should not be the doer, you should be just a witness. A doer has to decide beforehand, a witness need not.

That is the whole message of Krishna and the Gita. Krishna says: Just see the whole situation, and don't follow moralists' dead rules. See the situation and act as a witness; don't be a doer. And don't be bothered what the result will be, nobody can say what the result will be. In fact there is no result, cannot be, because it is an infinity.

For example, Hitler was born. If the mother had killed this child all the courts in the world would have found her a murderess. She would have been punished. But now we know it would have been better to kill Hitler than to leave him alive, because he killed millions. So did Hitler's mother do right in not murdering this child? Was she right or was she wrong? Who is to decide? And how could that poor mother know that this boy was going to murder so many people?

Who is to decide? And how to decide?... and it is an infinite sequence. Hitler killed many, but who can decide whether those were the right persons to be killed or not killed? Who will ever decide and who will ever know? Nobody knows. Who knows, perhaps God sends Hitler-like people to kill all those who are wrong, because somehow or other God is involved in everything! He is in the right and he is in the wrong.

The man who dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima -- was he right or wrong? Because of his bomb the second world war stopped. Of course, the whole city of one hundred thousand people dropped dead immediately. But if the atom bomb had not been dropped on Hiroshima, the war would have continued, and many more lakhs of people would have died. And if Japan could have survived only one year more, she could have invented the atom bomb -- and then they would have dropped it on New York, on London. Who is to decide, and how to decide, whether the man who dropped the bomb was right or wrong?

Life is so entangled, entwined, and every event leads to other events; and whatsoever you do, you will disappear, but whatsoever you did, the consequences will continue forever and forever. They cannot end. Even a small act -- you smile at a person, and you have changed the whole quality of existence, because that smile will decide many things.

It happened: I was reading Greta Garbo's biography. She was an ordinary girl, working with a barber, just soaping people's faces, and she would have remained the same because she was already twenty-two, and then one American film director accidentally came to that barber's shop -- there were twenty shops in that town -- and when she was soaping his face he smiled, looking at the girl in the mirror, and said, 'How beautiful!' And everything changed.

This was the first man to say to Greta Garbo, 'How beautiful!' -- nobody had ever said it before, and she never thought herself beautiful, because how can you think yourself beautiful if nobody says so?

The whole night she could not sleep. The next morning she searched out the director, where he was staying, and she asked, 'Do you REALLY think that I am beautiful?'

The director may have made the remark casually, who knows! But when a girl comes searching for you and asks, 'Really? What you told me, you really MEANT it?'... so the director said, 'Yes, you ARE beautiful!'

Then Greta Garbo said, 'Then why not give me some work in your film, in some film you are making?' Now things started. And Greta Garbo became one of the most famous actresses.

Very small things move around, and they go on moving. It is just like throwing a small pebble in a lake. Such a small pebble, and then ripples go on and on and on -- and they will go on to the very end. By the time they reach the shore, long before it, the pebble has settled deep into the bottom, is lost.

That pebble will change the whole quality of existence, because it is all one net; it is just like a spider's web: you touch it anywhere, shake it a little, and the whole web ripples.

Everywhere it is felt. You smile at a person -- and the whole world is a spider's web -- and the whole God is changed through that smile.

But how to decide? Krishna says you need not be bothered with decision, because it is such a vast thing that you will never be able to make a decision. So don't think about the result, simply respond to the situation. Be spontaneous, alert; be a witness and not a doer.


When it has become part of the present, then let me know. It is still in the future -- don't bother me.


This is the quality of an enlightened person: so relaxed that although a fire is burning in the kitchen, the house is catching fire -- everybody is excited and running around, nobody knows what is going to happen, everything is a mess -- he can relax and go to sleep again.

He was snoring in no time.

This non-tenseness must come out of, has to come out of, a deep trust that whatsoever happens is good. He is not worried -- even if he dies he is not worried; even if the fire comes and burns him he is not worried, because he is no more. The ego is not there; otherwise there will be fear, there will be worry, there will be a future, there will be planning, there will be a desire to escape, to save oneself. He is not worried; he simply falls back into sleep, relaxed.

There is no possibility of relaxation if you have a mind and an ego; the ego is the center of the mind. You will be tense, you will remain tense. How to relax? Is there any way to relax? There is no way unless understanding is there. If you understand the nature of the world, the nature of the very existence, then who are you to worry, and why be in a worried state continuously?

Nobody asked you about being born, nobody is going to ask you when the time comes for you to be taken away. Then why be worried? Birth happened to you; death will happen to you; who are you to come in between?

Things are happening. You feel hunger, you feel love, you feel anger -- everything happens to you, you are not a doer. Nature takes care. You eat and nature digests it; you need not bother about it, about how the stomach is functioning, how the food is going to become blood. If you become too tense about it you will have ulcers -- and king-size ulcers, not ordinary ones. No need to worry.

The whole is moving. The vast ocean, the infinite is moving. You are just a wave in it.

Relax, and let things be.

Once you know how to let go, you have known all that is worth knowing. If you don't know how to let go, whatsoever you know is worthless, it is rubbish.

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"For the third time in this century, a group of American
schools, businessmen, and government officials is
planning to fashion a New World Order..."

-- Jeremiah Novak, "The Trilateral Connection"
   July edition of Atlantic Monthly, 1977