Not mind, not buddha, not things
A MONK ASKED NANSEN: 'IS THERE A TEACHING NO MASTER EVER PREACHED BEFORE?'
NANSEN SAID: 'YES THERE IS.' 'WHAT IS IT?' ASKED THE MONK.
NANSEN REPLIED: 'IT IS NOT MIND, IT IS NOT BUDDHA, IT IS NOT THINGS.'
THE 'TEACHINGS' OF THE AWAKENED ONES are not teachings at all because they cannot be taught -- so how to call them teachings? A teaching is that which can be taught.
But nobody can teach you the truth. It is impossible. You can learn it, but it cannot be taught. It has to be learned. You can absorb it, you can imbibe it, you can live with a master and allow it to happen but it cannot be taught. It is a very indirect process.
Teaching is direct: something is said. Learning is indirect: something is indicated, not said -- rather, something is shown. A finger is raised towards the sun, but the finger is not the point; you have to leave the finger and look at the sun, or at the moon. A master teaches but the teaching is just like the finger: you have to leave it and look where it indicates -- the dimension, the direction, the beyond.
A teacher teaches, a master LIVES -- you can learn from his life, the way he moves, the way he looks at you, the way he touches you, the way he is. You can imbibe it, you can allow it to happen, you can remain available, you can remain open and vulnerable. There is no way to say it directly, that's why those who are very intellectual miss it -- because they know only one way of learning and that is direct. They ask, What is truth? -- and they expect an answer.
This is what happened when Pontius Pilate asked Jesus, 'What is truth?' and Jesus remained silent -- not even a flicker, as if the question had not been asked, as if there was no Pontius Pilate standing before him and asking. Jesus remained the same as he was before the question was raised, nothing changed. Pontius Pilate must have thought this man a little mad, because he had asked a direct question: 'What is truth?' and this man remained silent as if he had not heard.
Pontius Pilate was a viceroy, a well-educated, cultured, cultivated man; Jesus was a son of a carpenter, uneducated, uncultivated. It was as if two poles were meeting, two opposite poles. Pontius Pilate knew all philosophy -- he had learned it, he knew all the scriptures. This man Jesus was absolutely uneducated, in fact he knew nothing -- or, he knew ONLY nothing. Standing before Pontius Pilate, totally silent, he replied -- but the reply was indirect: he raised a finger. That total silence was the finger raised towards truth. But Pontius Pilate missed. He thought, This man is crazy. Either he is deaf, cannot hear, or he does not know, is ignorant -- that's why he is silent. But silence can be a finger raised towards truth -- that is incomprehensible to the intellectual Pontius Pilate.
He missed. The greatest opportunity! He may be still wandering somewhere in search of 'What is truth?' On that day truth was standing before him. Could he be silent for a moment? Could he be in the presence of Jesus, not asking? just looking, watching, waiting? Could he imbibe Jesus a little? Could he allow Jesus to work upon him? The opportunity was there -- and Jesus indicated it. But Pontius Pilate missed.
Intellect will always miss the teaching of the awakened ones, because intellect believes in the direct way, and you cannot hit truth in such a direct way. It is a very subtle phenomenon, delicate, the most delicate possible; you have to move very cautiously, you have to move very indirectly. You have to feel it -- it comes through the heart, it never comes through the head. Teaching comes through the head, learning happens through the heart.
Remember my emphasis. It is not the master who teaches, it is the disciple who learns. It is up to you -- to learn or not to learn; it is not up to me to teach or not to teach. A master cannot help himself: because of the way he is, he goes on teaching. His every moment, his every breath is a teaching, his whole being is a teaching, a message. The message is not different from the master. If it is different then the master is simply a teacher, not a master; then he is repeating words of others. Then he is not awakened himself, then he has a borrowed knowledge; inside he remains as ignorant as the student. There is no difference in their being, they differ in their knowledge.
A teacher and a student are on the same level as far as their being is concerned; as far as their knowledge is concerned they are different: the teacher knows more, the student knows less. Some day the student will know more, he himself will become a teacher, he can even come to know more than the teacher -- because it is the horizontal line of accumulation. If you accumulate more knowledge, information, you can become a teacher, but not a master.
A master is truth. He does not know ABOUT truth, he has become it, so he cannot help himself. It is not a question of to teach or not to teach, it is not a choice. Even if he is fast asleep, he goes on teaching. Buddha fast asleep -- you simply sit near him, you can learn much; you can even become enlightened, because the way he sleeps is totally different.
The quality differs because the being differs. Buddha eating -- you just watch, and he is giving a message. The message is not separate, that's why I say he cannot help himself.
He IS the message.
You cannot ask the question, 'What is truth?' Anyway, he will not answer you directly.
He may laugh or he may offer you a cup of tea, or he may hold your hand and sit silently, or he may take you for a morning walk into the woods, or he may say, 'Look! This mountain is beautiful!' But whatsoever he is doing is an indirect way of indicating, indicating towards his being.
All that is beautiful, true, good, is like happiness -- I say 'like happiness' because you may be able to understand that. You have known something of happiness. Maybe you have lived very miserably, as people live. But sometimes, even in spite of yourself, moments happen when happiness enters you -- you are filled with an unknown silence, an unknown bliss; suddenly those moments come. You cannot find a man who has not had a few moments of happiness in his life.
But have you observed one thing? -- whenever they come they come indirectly. Suddenly they happen, unexpectedly they happen. You were not waiting for them, you were doing something else, and suddenly you become aware. If you are waiting for them, expecting them, they never come; if you are directly in search, you will miss.
Somebody says, 'When I go swimming in the river I feel much happiness.' You are also in search of it; you say, 'Then I will come also,' and you follow. You are seeking happiness -- you are not concerned with swimming directly, you are concerned directly with happiness. Swimming is just a means. You swim for hours; you are tired, you wait, you expect -- and you are frustrated. Nothing is happening, the bliss is not there, and you tell your friend: 'You deceived me. I have been swimming for hours, feel completely tired, and not a single moment of happiness has happened.'
No, it cannot happen. When you are lost in swimming so completely that there is nobody, the boat is empty, there is nobody in the house, the host is silent, swimming is so deep that the swimmer is lost in it and you simply swim, you play with the river, and the rays of the sun and the morning breeze, and you are simply lost in it... and there is happiness!
Swimming by the bank, swimming all over the river, spreading all over existence, jumping from one ray to another ray of light -- every breeze brings it. But if you expect you miss, because expectation leads you into the future and happiness is in the present. It is not a result of any activity; it is a consequence, it is a byproduct. You are so deeply involved, it happens.
It is a consequence, remember, it is not a result; a result can be expected. If you put two plus two, the four, the result, can be expected; it is already there in the two plus two, it will come out. The result can be expected if things are mechanical, mathematical. But a consequence is not a mechanical thing, it is an organic phenomenon. It happens only when you are not expecting. The guest comes to your door and knocks when you were not thinking about the guest at all. It always comes like a stranger, it always surprises you. You suddenly feel something has happened -- and if you start thinking about what is happening, you will immediately miss. If you say, 'How wonderful! How beautiful!' it is already gone; the mind is back. Again you are in the same misery, thrown back.
One has to learn deeply that all that is beautiful is indirect. You cannot make an attack upon it, you cannot be aggressive with it; you cannot snatch from existence. If you are violent and aggressive, you will not find it.
Move towards it like a drunkard, not knowing where, not knowing why, like a drunkard - - lost completely, you move towards it.
All meditations are subtle ways to make you drunk, subtle ways to make you drunkards of the unknown, drunkards of the divine. Then you are no longer there with your conscious mind functioning, then you are not there expecting, then you are not there planning for the future. You are NOT. And when you are not, suddenly flowers start showering on you, flowers of bliss. Just like Subhuti, empty... you are surprised! You were never expecting, you never knew! You never felt that you ever deserved it; that's how it is felt -- like a grace, because it is not something YOU have brought on, it is something which has happened.
So one thing: truth cannot be taught, bliss cannot be given to you, ecstasy cannot be purchased in the market. But your mind continuously thinks in terms of getting, purchasing, collecting, finding; your mind never thinks in terms of happening because you cannot control happening -- everything else you can control.
I have heard: Once a man became suddenly rich. Of course, when it happened he collected all those things he had always been desiring -- a very big house, a big car, swimming pool, this and that. And then he sent his daughter to college. He had always wanted to be educated but he could not be; now he wanted to fulfill all his desires, and whatsoever HE couldn't do he wanted his children to do. But after a few days the dean of the college wrote a letter to him, and in the letter wrote: 'To be frank, we cannot admit your girl to the college because she has no capacity to learn.'
The father said, 'Just capacity? Don't bother! I will purchase the best capacity available in the market for her.'
How can you purchase capacity? But a man who has become suddenly rich thinks only in terms of purchasing. You think in terms of power -- power to purchase, power to get something. Remember, truth cannot be got through power; it comes when you are humble. You have nothing to purchase it with, it cannot be purchased. And it is good that it cannot be purchased; otherwise no one would be able to give the cost. It is good that it HAPPENS; otherwise how would you purchase it? All that you have is rubbish. Because it cannot be purchased, that's why sometimes it can happen. It is a gift. It is a sharing of the divine with you -- but the divine can share only when you allow. Hence I say you can learn it but it cannot be taught.
In fact in the spiritual world there are only disciples, not masters. Masters ARE there but they are inactive, passive forces. They cannot DO anything, they are just there -- like a flower: if nobody comes, the flower will go on spreading its fragrance into emptiness. It cannot help itself. The whole thing is decided by the disciple: how to learn? how to learn from a flower? And a flower shows something but doesn't say it. It cannot be said. How can the flower say what beauty is? -- the flower IS beauty. You have to gain, attain, eyes to see, a nose to smell, ears to hear the subtle sound that comes to the flower when the breeze passes by. And you need a heart to feel the throbbing of the flower, because it throbs also -- everything alive throbs, the whole existence throbs.
You may not have observed this because it is impossible before you go into deep meditation; you cannot observe the fact that the whole universe breathes. And just as you expand and shrink the whole existence shrinks and expands. Just as you inhale and the chest fills, and then you exhale and the air goes out and the chest shrinks, the same rhythm exists in existence. The whole existence breathes, expands, inhales, exhales -- and if you can find the rhythm of existence and become one with the rhythm, you have attained.
The whole art of ecstasy, meditation, samadhi, is: How to become one with the rhythm of the universe. When it exhales, you exhale. When it inhales, you inhale. You live in it, are not separate, are one with it. Difficult, because the universe is vast.
A master is the whole universe in miniature. If you can learn how to inhale with the master and how to exhale with the master, if you can learn simply that, you will learn all.
At the moment when Pontius Pilate asked, 'What is truth?' if he had known anything, even the ABC of disciplehood, the next thing would have been to just close his eyes and inhale and exhale with Jesus... just inhale and exhale with Jesus. The way he inhales, you inhale, and in the same rhythm; the way he exhales, you exhale, and in the same rhythm - - and suddenly there is oneness: the disciple has disappeared, the master has disappeared.
In that oneness you know what truth is because in that oneness you taste the master.
And now you have the key -- and this has not been given either, remember, it has been learned by you. It has not been given to you; it cannot be given, it is so subtle. And with this key now every lock can be opened. It is a master key, no ordinary key -- it doesn't open one lock, it opens all locks. Now you have the key, and once you have the key you use it with the universe.
Kabir has said, 'Now I am in much difficulty. God and my guru, the whole existence and my master, are standing before me; now to whom do I bow first? To whose feet now do I go first? I am in deep trouble!' And then he says, 'Forgive me, God. I will have to go to my master's feet first, because he has shown you to me. I come to you through him. So even if you are standing before me, excuse me, I have to touch my master's feet first.'
Beautiful... this has to be so, because the master becomes the door to the unknown, he becomes the key to the whole existence. He is the truth.
Learn how to be in the presence of the master, how to breathe with him, how to silently allow him to move in you, how to silently merge into him, because the master is nothing but God who has knocked at your door. He is the whole universe concentrated. Don't ask questions, LIVE with him.
Now try to penetrate this story -- small, but very significant.
A MONK ASKED NANSEN: 'IS THERE A TEACHING NO MASTER EVER PREACHED BEFORE?'
Whatsoever has been preached is not the teaching; the real teaching has never been preached, it cannot be told.
Buddha said to Mahakashyap, 'To all others I have told that which can be told, and to you I give that which cannot be told, cannot be said.' Now for two thousand years followers of Buddha have been asking again and again and again: What was given to Mahakashyap? What was given to Mahakashyap, what was the teaching that Buddha never told to anybody, that even Buddha said cannot be told because words will not be able to carry it?
Words are so narrow, the vastness of truth cannot be forced into them -- and they are so superficial, how can they carry the depth? It is just like this: How can a wave on the ocean carry the depth of the ocean? It cannot. By the very nature of things it is impossible because if a wave exists it has to exist on the surface. The wave cannot go to the depth because if it goes to the depth it is a wave no more. The wave exists only in touch with the winds -- it has to be on the surface, it cannot go to the depth. And the depth cannot come to the wave because the moment it comes to the surface it itself becomes the wave, it is no more the depth.
This is the problem. The truth is the center and the words exist on the surface, on the periphery -- where people meet, where the wind and the ocean meet, where the question and the answer meet, where the master and disciple meet; just there on the surface words exist. Truth cannot come to the surface, it is the very depth, and the words cannot go to the truth, they are the very surface.
So what to do? All that can be said will be just so-so; it will not be true, it will not be untrue, it will be just in the middle -- and very dangerous, because if the disciple has not been in tune with the master he will misunderstand. If he has been in tune with the master, only then will he understand because then there exists a rapport.
Understanding is not a question of keen intelligence; understanding is a question of deep rapport. Understanding is not a question of reason, intellect, logic. Understanding is a question of deep sympathy, or even of deep empathy; hence the central significance of trust, faith. Understanding happens through faith, because in faith you trust, in trust you become sympathetic, in trust rapport is possible -- because you are not defensive, you leave the doors open.
THIS MONK ASKED NANSEN: 'IS THERE A TEACHING NO MASTER EVER PREACHED BEFORE?'
Yes, there is a teaching; in fact ALL the teaching is there which no master has ever preached before. Then why do masters go on preaching? Why is it Buddha went on talking for forty years? Why do I go on talking, whether you listen or not? Why do they talk? If that which is to be learned cannot be said, then why do they go on talking?
Talking is just a bait. Through talking you are caught, you cannot understand anything else. Talking is just giving sweets to children. Then they start coming to you, blissfully unaware that talking is not the point; blissfully unaware they come for the sweets, they come for the toys. They are happy with the toys. But the master knows that once they start coming, by and by the toys can be taken away, and by and by they will start loving the master without the toys -- and once that happens, words can be dropped.
Whenever a disciple is ready, words can be dropped. They are just a way to bring you closer because you cannot understand anything except words. If somebody speaks, you understand; if somebody is silent you cannot understand. What will you understand?
Silence is just a wall for you, you cannot find your way in it. And silence carries a deep fear also, because it is deathlike. Words are lifelike, silence is deathlike. If somebody is silent you start feeling afraid and scared -- if somebody goes on being silent you will try to escape from there because it is too much, the silence becomes so heavy for you.
Why? -- because YOU cannot be silent, and if you cannot be silent you cannot understand silence. You are a chattering; inside a monkey is sitting, continuously chattering. Somebody has defined man as nothing but a monkey with metaphysics, with some philosophy, that's all. And that philosophy is nothing but a better way of chattering, more systematic, more logical, but still chattering.
A master has to talk to bring you nearer. The nearer you come, the more he will drop it.
Once you are in the grip of his silence there is no need to talk. Once you know what silence is, once you have become silent, a new rapport exists. Now things can be said without any saying, messages can be given without ever giving them -- without him giving them you can receive them. Now the phenomenon of discipleship has happened.
One of the most beautiful phenomena in the world is that of being a disciple, because now you know what rapport is. Now you breathe, inhale, exhale with the master; now you lose your boundaries and become one with him. Now something of his heart starts flowing towards you; now something of him comes into you.
A MONK ASKED NANSEN: 'IS THERE A TEACHING NO MASTER EVER PREACHED BEFORE?'
Nansen is one of the most famous zen masters. Many stories are told about him; one I have been telling you many times. I will repeat it again, because stories like that are to be repeated again and again, so that you can imbibe them. They are a sort of nourishment.
Every day you have to take nourishment; you won't say, 'Yesterday morning I took breakfast so now there is no need.' Every day you have to eat; you don't say, 'Yesterday I took food, now what is the need?'
These stories -- they are a nourishment. There exists a special word in India, it cannot be translated. In English the word reading exists, in India we have two words for it: one means reading, the other means the reading of the same thing again and again. You read the same thing again and again and again -- it is like a part. Every day you read the Gita in the morning; then it is not a reading, because you have read it many times. Now it is a sort of nourishment. You don't read it, you EAT it every day.
It is also a great experiment, because every day you will come to new shades of meaning, every day new nuances. The same book, the same words, but every day you feel some new depth has opened unto you. Every day you feel you are reading something new, because the Gita, or books like that, have a depth. If you read them once you will move on the surface; if you read them twice, a little deeper; thrice -- you go on. A thousand times, and then you will understand that you can never exhaust these books, it is impossible. The more you become alert, aware, the more your consciousness grows deeper -- that is the meaning.
I will repeat this story of Nansen. A professor came to him, a professor of philosophy....
Philosophy is a disease, and it is like a cancer: no medicine exists for it yet, you have to go through surgery, a great operation is needed. And philosophy has a similar type of growth, a canceric growth: once it is in you it goes on growing by itself, and it takes all your energies. It is a parasite. You go on becoming weaker and weaker and it becomes stronger and stronger and stronger. Every word creates another word -- and it can go on infinitely.
A philosopher came to Nansen. Nansen lived on a small hill, and when the philosopher came uphill he was tired and perspiring. The moment he entered the hut of Nansen he said, 'What is truth?'
Nansen said, 'Truth can wait a little. There is no hurry. Right now you need a cup of tea, you are so tired!' Nansen went in and prepared a cup of tea.
This can happen only with a zen master. In India you cannot think of Shankaracharya preparing tea for you. For YOU -- and Shankaracharya preparing tea? Impossible! Or think of Mahavira preparing tea for you... absurd!
But with a zen master this can happen. They have a totally different attitude: they LOVE life. They are not anti-life; they affirm life, they are not against it -- and they are ordinary people, and they say that to be ordinary is the most extraordinary thing. They live a really simple life. When I say a REALLY simple life I mean not an imposed simplicity. In India you can find such impostors all over -- simplicity is imposed. They may be naked, completely naked, but they are not simple; their nakedness is very complex. Their nakedness is not the nakedness of a child; they have cultivated it, and how can a cultivated thing be simple? They have disciplined themselves for it, and how can a disciplined thing be simple? It is very complex.
Your clothes are not so complex as the nakedness of a Jaina DIGAMBER monk. He has struggled for it for many years. They have five steps -- you have to fulfill each step by and by, and then you attain to nakedness. It is an achievement, and how can an achievement be simple? If you work for it for many years, if you make every effort to achieve it, how can it be simple? A simple thing can be achieved here and now, immediately, there is no need to work for it.
Nakedness when simple is a majestic phenomenon; you simply drop clothes. It happened to Mahavira -- it was simple. When he left his house he had clothes on; then, passing by a rosebush, his shawl got caught in the thorns, so he thought: It is evening time and the rosebush is going to sleep, it will be disturbing to remove it. So he tore off half of the shawl that was entangled in the thorns and left it there. It was evening time and the gesture was beautiful. It was not for nakedness he did it, it was for that rosebush. And the next day in the morning, with the half-shawl left, half naked, a beggar asked him for something -- and he had nothing else to give. How to say no when you still have something left to give -- that half-shawl? So he gave it to the beggar. This nakedness is something superb, simple, ordinary; it happened, it was not practiced. But a Jaina monk practices it.
Zen monks are very simple people. They live an ordinary life as everybody else. They don't make differences, because all differences are basically egoistic. And this game you can play in many ways, but the game remains the same: higher than you. The game remains the same: I have more money, I am higher than you; I have more education, I am higher than you; I am more pious, I am higher than you; I am more religious, I am higher than you; I have renounced more, I am higher than you.
Nansen went in, prepared tea, came out, gave the cup into the professor's hand, poured tea from his kettle. The cup was full. Up to that moment the professor waited because up to that moment everything was rational: a tired man comes and you feel compassion for him and you prepare tea. Of course it is as it should be. Then you fill the cup -- that too is okay. But then something irrational happened.
Nansen went on pouring, the cup was overflowing. Then the professor became a little surprised: What is this man doing? Is he mad? But still he waited -- he was a well disciplined man, he could tolerate little things like that. Maybe a little crazy... but then the saucer was also completely full, and Nansen went on pouring.
Now this was too much. Now something had to be done and said, and the professor shrieked, 'Stop!' -- because now the tea was overflowing on the floor. 'What are you doing? Now this cup cannot contain any more tea. Can't you see a simple thing like this?
Are you mad?'
Nansen started laughing and said, 'That's what I was also thinking: Are YOU mad? -- because you can see that the cup is full and it will not contain a single drop more, but you cannot see that your head is full and it cannot contain a single drop of truth more. Your cup is full in the head, your saucer is full and everything is flowing on the floor -- look!
Your philosophy all over my hut and you can't see it? But you are a reasonable man; at least you could see the tea. Now see the other thing.'
This Nansen helped many people in different ways to awake, created many sorts of situations for people to awake.
A MONK ASKED NANSEN: 'IS THERE A TEACHING NO MASTER EVER PREACHED BEFORE?'
NANSEN SAID: 'YES THERE IS.' 'WHAT IS IT?' ASKED THE MONK.
NANSEN REPLIED: 'IT IS NOT MIND, IT IS NOT BUDDHA, IT IS NOT THINGS.'
Now, if no master has ever said it how can Nansen say it? The questioner is foolish, asking a stupid question. If nobody has said it, how can Nansen say it? If buddhas have kept silent about it, if buddhas have not uttered a single word, could not utter, then how can Nansen? But Nansen would like to help even this stupid man.
And there are only stupid men all around, because unless you become enlightened you remain stupid. So stupidity is not a condemnation, it is just a state, a fact. A man who is not enlightened will remain stupid -- there is no other way. And if he feels himself wise, then he is more stupid. If he feels that he is stupid, then wisdom has started -- then he has started awakening. If you feel you are ignorant, then you are not stupid; if you feel you know you are perfectly stupid -- not only stupid but grounded in it so much that there seems no possibility for you to come out of it.
Nansen would like to help this stupid man, because there are no others; that's why he speaks, he answers. But he has to use all negatives; he says nothing positive. He uses three negatives. He says:'IT IS NOT MIND, IT IS NOT BUDDHA, IT IS NOT THINGS.'
You cannot say the truth but you can say what it is not. You cannot say what it is but you can indicate it negatively. Via negativa: saying what it is not. This is all that masters have done. If you insist that they say something, they will say something negative. If you can understand their silence, you understand the affirmative. If you cannot understand their silence but insist on words, they will say something negative.
Understand this: words can do a negative job; silence can do a positive job. Silence is the most positive thing and language is the most negative. When you speak you are moving in the negative world; when you remain silent you are moving into the positive. What is truth? Ask the Upanishads, ask the Koran, The Bible, the Gita; they all say what it is not.
What is God? They all say what he is not.
Three things he denies: one -- it is not things, the world; it is not that which you see, it is not that which is all around you. It is not that which can be seen by the mind, which the mind can comprehend -- it is not objects. And second: it is not the mind, it is not the subject; neither this world around you nor this mind within you. No, these two things are not the teaching, are not the truth.
But the third thing only buddhas have denied, only very perfect masters have denied, and that third thing is: IT IS NOT BUDDHA.
And what is Buddha?
The world of things is the first boundary around you, then the world of mind, thoughts:
things the first boundary, thoughts the second boundary -- of course closer, nearer you.
You can draw three concentric circles: first circle, the world of things; second circle, the world of thoughts; and then remains the third -- and Buddha has denied that also -- the self, the witnessing, the soul, the consciousness, the buddha. Only Buddha denies that.
All others have known that: Jesus knows it, Krishna knows it, but they don't deny it because that would be too much for you to understand. So they deny two things: they say this world is illusory, and the mind that looks at this world is also illusory. Mind and world are one phenomenon, two aspects of the same coin. The mind creates the dream; the dream is illusory, and the mind, the source, is also illusory. But they say that the third -- witnessing, you in your deep consciousness where you are only a witness, not a thinker, where no thought exists, no thing exists, only you exist -- they don't deny that.
Buddha has denied that also.
He says, 'No world, no mind, no soul.' That is the highest teaching -- because if things are not, how can thoughts be? If thoughts are not how can you witness them? If the world is illusory then the mind that looks at the world can't be real. The mind is illusory. Then the witness that looks at the mind -- how can it be real? Buddha goes to the deepest core of existence. He says, All that you are is unreal; your things, your thoughts and you -- all is unreal.
But these are three negatives. Buddha's path is the negative path, his assertions are negative. That's why Hindus called him a NASTIK; they called him an atheist, an absolute nihilist. But he is not. When all these three things are denied, that which remains is truth. When things disappear, thoughts disappear, and the witnessing disappears -- these three things that you know -- when all these three disappear, that which remains is truth. And that which remains liberates, that which remains is nirvana, is enlightenment.
Buddha is very very deep; nobody has gone deeper than that in saying. Many people have reached in being but Buddha has tried to be perfect in saying also. He never asserts a single positive. If you ask about any positive he simply remains silent. He never says God is, he never says the soul is; in fact he never uses the word is. You ask and he will use the word not. No is his answer for everything. And if you can understand, if you can feel a rapport, you will see that he is right.
When you deny everything, that doesn't mean you have destroyed everything. That only means you have destroyed the world that you had created. The real remains because the real cannot be denied. But you cannot assert it. You can know it but you cannot state it.
When you deny all these three, when you transcend all these three, you become a buddha.
You are enlightened.
Buddha says you are awakened only when these three sleeps are broken. One sleep is the sleep with things: many people are asleep there, that is the grossest sleep. Millions of people, ninety-eight percent of the people are asleep there -- the first and grossest sleep, the sleep with things. One goes on thinking about his bank balance, one goes on thinking about the house, about clothes, about this and that -- and one lives in that. There are people who only study catalogues for things....
I have heard one story: One religious man was staying overnight in a family. In the morning, as was his habit, he wanted The Bible to read a little and to pray a little. The small child of the house was passing through the room so he asked the kid, he said, 'Bring that book' -- because he thought the child may not understand what book The Bible was, so he said, 'Bring that book which your mother reads every day.' The child brought the Whole Earth Catalogue, because that was the book the mother read every day.
People, ninety-eight percent of them, are asleep in things. Try to find out where you are asleep, because the work has to start there. If you are asleep with things, then you have to start from there. Drop that sleep with things.
Why do people go on thinking about things? I used to stay in a house in Calcutta. The woman there must have had at least one thousand saris, and every day it was a problem....
When I was there her husband and I would be sitting in the car and her husband would go on honking and she would say, 'I am coming!' -- and it was difficult for her to decide which sari to wear. So I asked, 'Why is this a problem every day?'
So she took me and showed me, and she said, 'You would also be puzzled. I have got one thousand saris and it is difficult to decide which one to choose, which will suit the occasion.'
Have you seen people?... from the very morning they start cleaning their car, as if that is their Bible and their God. 'Things' is the first sleep, the grossest. If you are attached too much to things and continuously thinking of things, you are asleep there. You have to come out of that. You have to look at what type of attachments you have, where you cling, and for what. What are you going to get there?
You may increase your things, you may accumulate a vast empire, but when you die you will go without things. Death will bring you out of your sleep. Before death does, it is better to bring yourself out; then there will be no pain in death. Death is so painful because this first sleep has to be broken; you are to be snatched away from things.
Then there is the second sleep, the sleep of the mind. There are people who are not concerned with things -- only one percent of people -- who are not concerned with things but who are concerned with the mind. They don't bother about what type of clothes they use -- artists, novelists, poets, painters; they are not worried about things in general, they live in the mind. They can go hungry, they can go naked, they can live in a slum, but they go on working in the mind. The novel they are writing... and they go on thinking, I may not be immortal but my novel that I am going to write is going to be immortal; the painting that I am doing is going to be immortal. But when you cannot be immortal, how can your painting be immortal? When you are to perish, when you are to die, everything that you create will die, because how is it possible that from death something immortal can be born?
Then there are people who go on thinking of philosophy, thoughts, oblivious of things, not worried much about them. It happened once: Immanuel Kant was coming to his class.
He was a perfect timekeeper, never missed a single appointment, would never be late; at exactly the right time he would enter. He never cared about his clothes, about his house, or food, or anything -- never worried about it, never got married; just a servant would do, because that was not much of a problem and the servant can do the food and take care of the house. He never needed a wife or someone who was intimate, a friend -- no; a servant was okay as far as the world of things was concerned. The servant was really the master, because he would purchase everything, he would take care of the money and the house and everything.
Immanuel Kant lived like a stranger in that house. It is said that he never looked at the house, he never knew how many rooms the house had, what type of furniture; even if you were to show him something which had been in his room for thirty years he would not be able to recognize it. But he was concerned much with thoughts -- he lived in the world of thoughts, and many stories are told, beautiful stories, because a man who lives in the world of thoughts is always absentminded, absentminded in the world of things, because you cannot live in two worlds.
He was going to his class; the road was muddy and one of his shoes got stuck, so he left it there, went to the class with one shoe. Somebody asked, 'Where is your other shoe?'
He said, 'It got stuck just on the way. It is raining and it was muddy.'
But the man who had asked said, 'Then you could have got it back.'
Said Immanuel Kant, 'There was a series of thoughts in my mind and I didn't like to interfere with it. If I had got concerned with the shoe, the track would have been lost, and such beautiful thoughts were there that who cares whether you come to the class with one shoe or two!' The whole college laughed, but he was not concerned.
Once it happened: he came back after his evening walk... he used to have a walking-stick, and he was so absorbed in his thought that he did everything that was done every day, but forgot something. He was so absentminded that he put the walking-stick on the bed where he used to put himself, and he himself stood in the corner of the room where he used to put the... got a little mixed-up!
After two hours the servant became aware that the light was on -- so what was the matter? He looked through the window, and Immanuel Kant was standing with closed eyes in the corner and the walking-stick was fast asleep on the pillow. A man who is asleep too much in the mind will be absentminded in the world. Philosophers, poets, men of literature, painters, musicians -- they are all fast asleep there.
And then there is a third sleep: monks, those who have renounced the world, and not only the world but also the mind, who have been meditating for many years and they have stopped the thought process. Now no thoughts move in their inner sky, now no things are there; they are not concerned with things, not concerned with thoughts. But a subtle ego, the 'I' -- now they call it ATMAN, the soul, the self, the Self with a capital 'S' -- is their sleep; they are asleep there.
Buddha says sleep has to be broken on these three layers, and when all the sleeps are broken, nobody is awake, only awakening is there; nobody is enlightened, only enlightenment is there -- just the phenomenon of awareness, without any center....
An enlightened person cannot say 'I'; even if he has to use it he never says it, even if he has to use it he cannot mean it. It is just a verbal thing, has to be followed because of the society and the language game. It is just a rule of the language; otherwise he has no 'I'
The world of things disappears -- then what happens? When the world of things disappears, your attachment to things falls, your obsession with things falls. Things don't disappear; on the contrary, things for the first time appear as they are. Then you are not clinging, obsessed; then you are not coloring them in your own desires, in your own hopes and frustrations -- no. Then the world is not a screen for your desires to be projected on. When your desires drop, the world is there, but it is a totally new world. It is so fresh, it is so colorful, it is so beautiful! But a mind attached to things cannot see it because eyes are closed with attachment. A totally new world arises.
When the mind disappears, thoughts disappear. It is not that you become mindLESS; on the contrary you become mindFUL. Buddha uses this word 'right mindfulness' millions of times. When the mind disappears and thoughts disappear you become mindful. You do things -- you move, you work, you eat, you sleep, but you are always mindful. The mind is not there, but mindfulness is there. What is mindfulness? It is awareness. It is perfect awareness.
And when the self disappears, the ego, the atman, what happens? It is not that you are lost, you are no more -- no. On the contrary, for the first time you ARE. But now you are not separate from existence. Now you are an island no more; you have become the whole continent, you are one with the existence.
But those are the positive things -- they cannot be said. Hence, Nansen said, 'Yes, there is a teaching which no master has ever preached, because it cannot be preached, and that teaching is:
'IT IS NOT MIND, IT IS NOT BUDDHA, IT IS NOT THINGS.'
That teaching is emptiness, that teaching is absolute nothingness. And when you are not, suddenly the whole existence starts flowering on you. The whole ecstasy of existence converges on you -- when you are not.
When you are not, the whole existence feels ecstatic and celebrates; flowers shower on you. They have not showered yet because you ARE, and they will not shower until you dissolve. When you are empty, no more, when you are a nothingness, SHUNYATA, suddenly they start showering. They have showered on Buddha, on Subhuti, on Nansen; they can shower on YOU -- they are waiting. They are knocking at the door. They are ready. Just the moment you become empty, they start falling on you.
So remember it: the final liberation is not YOUR liberation, the final liberation is FROM YOU. Enlightenment is not yours, cannot be. When you are not, it is there. Drop yourself in your totalness: the world of things, the world of thoughts, the world of the self; all three layers, drop. Drop this trinity; drop this TRIMURTI, drop these three faces, because if you are there then the one cannot be. If you are three, how can the one be?
Let all three disappear -- God, the Holy Ghost and the Son; Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh -- all the three, let them drop! Let them disappear. Nobody remains -- and then everything is there.
When nothing happens, the all happens.
You are nothing... the all starts showering on you.