IT IS GOOD THAT YOU CANNOT THINK OF ME AS HIS Holiness, because I am neither His Holiness nor His Unholiness. It is good and beautiful that you think of me as a Buddha, because that's exactly what I am -- simply a Buddha.
A Buddha means one who is awake. It has nothing to do with holiness, nothing to do with unholiness. Holiness, unholiness, both are dreams; for dreams you have to be asleep. A Buddha is awake; all dreams have disappeared. A Buddha is not a saint, is not a sinner either. A Buddha is not God and is not a devil either. All dualities are irrelevant as far as Buddha is concerned. Buddha is simply a witness of all the mystery that surrounds you within and without.
Mario, it is absolutely right, you are moving in the right direction. If you start looking at me as a Buddha, that is a fundamental step to understanding me. If you think of me as a saint you have misunderstood me.
That's one of the fundamental problems with Indians who come here: they start thinking about me as a saint. Then a thousand and one problems arise because they have certain ideas about how a saint should be They have a thousand and one expectations: how I should live, what I should eat, how I should talk, what I should say and what I should not say.
I am not a saint, hence I cannot fulfill any of their expectations. Then they feel very frustrated and out of frustration they become enraged. It has nothing to do with me; it is their own minds, their own expectations. I am not here to fulfill anybody's expectations; I am here to be myself, simply to be myself. I am not here to be somebody else's carbon copy.
A Jaina comes and thinks in terms of Mahavira and compares me with Mahavira -- certainly I am not a Mahavira. The Christian comes with the idea of Christ and starts comparing me with Christ -- certainly I am not a Christ either. I am simply myself. You can understand me only ii you drop all comparisons, if you forget all the ideas that have been imposed on your mind. If you simply look at me without any prejudice things will be very clear.
Mario, it is good that a great clarity is coming to you. But still somewhere deep down in the unconscious there are hangovers, hence you are puzzled. You are puzzled because you cannot understand: "How come I love you?" Because saints are to be respected, not loved. They are so high, there in the heavens, and you are so low, how can you love them? Love means equality. Love means we are standing on the same plane. Saints are so holy and you are so unholy! Yes, respect is okay, but love? -- seems to be impossible.
These are hangovers.
But I would like to say to you: 'respect' is an ugly word; it has more letters than four, but actually it is a four-letter word. Respect is bound to be ugly in two ways: if you respect somebody you degrade yourself into inferiority; unless you start feeling inferior to somebody you cannot respect them. Hence all your saints go on condemning you; unless you are condemned they cannot be respected. The respect from your side is dependent on the condemnation from their side. They call you sinners, only then can you call them saints. They condemn everything that you do: your eating, your drinking, your living....
Your whole life, in every minute detail, has to be condemned. All that is natural has to be condemned; then their unnatural lives become very respectable.
All the saints -- the so-called saints I mean -- have been condemning humanity down the ages. And, slowly slowly, hearing for centuries that you are sinners you have become sinners. They have conditioned you into such inferiority that it has almost become a reality. You have started fulfilling what they have been saying about you.
If you want a man to be a criminal, go on telling him that he is a criminal. Go on repeating it and he will slowly be hypnotized. And if everybody repeats that he is a criminal he will start believing that it must be so: "How can so many people be wrong?
And how can so many SAINTS be wrong? I must be a criminal." And once a person accepts that he is a criminal he becomes one. He starts behaving to PROVE that he is a criminal. How can he prove the saints wrong? The saints have to be proved right, and the only way to prove them right is to behave the way they say you are. Their saintliness depends on your being sinners. The greater you are in your sin, the higher is their saintliness. I am not a saint!
And because they have to condemn your natural instincts THEY become unnatural, pathological They start standing on their heads just to show that they are totally different from you. If you enjoy eating, they hate eating. If you love beauty, they condemn beauty.
If you are enchanted With the world, they call the world illusion, MAYA; they say it does not exist at all. If you love your body, they destroy their bodies. Whatsoever YOU do they have to do just the opposite, because that is the only way to prove their superiority.
Your so-called saints have created a very insane humanity. They have turned you insane and they have turned themselves insane. And because they have to be unnatural they are sitting on volcanoes. They have repressed all that is natural -- and nature wants to assert itself. They are in a constant civil war; they are fighting with themselves. And whatsoever they are fighting with is becoming stronger every day, because the more you fight with something the more you have to pay attention to it. Their minds become focused. If they repress sex, twenty-four hours of their day there is an undercurrent of sexuality. If they fast, they think only of food and nothing else.
These insane people, pathological people, have been very dominant in the past. It is because of these people that the earth has become a hell; they have transformed the whole of humanity into an ugly mess.
I am not a saint. I am simply a man just like you, with only one small difference -- and that difference does not make me superior to you, remember it. It does not make you inferior to me, remember it. Never for a single moment forget that you may be asleep and I may be awake, but one day 1 was asleep just like you and one day you can be awake just like me. Sleep and waking are as much YOUR potential as they are MY potential.
Sleep and waking are two sides of the same coin, and how can one side be superior to the other side? Both sides are of the same coin. You are asleep, I am awake, but this does not make me superior in any way.
In fact, Buddha has said that the day he became a Buddha, the day he became enlightened, the whole universe became enlightened with him. What does he mean? He means the day he became enlightened he became aware that EVERYBODY can become enlightened. This is nothing special; it is an ordinary quality of every being. You may not use it -- that is YOUR choice; you may not actualize your potential -- that is YOUR decision and you are free to decide that way. You may choose to remain asleep, but you are not committing any sin. You are not doomed just because you are asleep. Any moment you can decide to wake up.
It is your freedom to be a Buddha or not to be a Buddha -- and if you like sleep and the dreams it's perfectly okay with me. I respect your freedom.
You can love me. You cannot love your saints; they are too far away. I am standing just by your side! I am not sitting on a golden throne somewhere high in the heavens; I am walking on the earth with you, I am as earthly as you are. Just a little difference -- I say difference, not superiority -- and the difference is that I am no more asleep, no more dreaming.
And you can come out of your dreams THIS VERY MOMENT, because dreams cannot hold you; they cannot keep you imprisoned in themselves. You can burst forth from them. You are an imprisoned splendor, but you are imprisoned through your own choice.
You have gone into the prison through your own choice -- this is your decision.
There is a beautiful story of a Zen monk who used to steal small things. He was a great enlightened Master and he used to steal small things -- somebody's cigarette case or somebody's shoes -- and then he would be caught and he would be sent to prison. His disciples were very much puzzled; he had many disciples, and they asked him again and again, "Why do you DO such things? And we are here ready -- how many cigarette boxes do you want, how many shoes do you want? We can bring as many as you want. Why do you steal?"
He would laugh and never say anything, but he continued in his own way. In the end when he was dying his disciples asked, "Now tell us: what was the secret? There must be something!"
He said, "There is nothing much in it; it is a simple phenomenon. I wanted to go to jail again and again to help the people who were inside to come out, and that was the only way -- stealing small things, then getting caught. I had to manage both: first stealing things and then getting caught. And then the magistrate would send me for six months to jail and for those six months I would try to help the people who were inside to come out.
And I am happy, tremendously happy, that I have helped many to come out of jail."
Now this man is going knowingly, consciously; it is his choice. Even in the jail he is a free man. He is not imprisoned by anybody else; he has imprisoned himself, for a certain purpose.
So is the case with you: you have imprisoned yourself. This simply proves your freedom.
Any day, if you want to get out of it, you can get out of it. I go on hammering only one thing on your head again and again: that there is another choice also, please don't forget.
You have chosen to be in sleep, you can choose to be awake. You have lived in sleep for many many lives, you have seen all that sleep makes possible, now please see what awakening can give to you.
I have seen both and I tell you that sleep cannot give you anything; it only promises but never delivers any goods. Sleep can give you only dreams, hallucinations; sleep cannot fulfill you. I have known both, you have known only one. Those who have known both, listen to what they are saying. And if you come close to them you are BOUND to fall in love with them.
It is not a question of respect; respect is a formality. You respect the Christian priest, you respect the Hindu mahatma, you respect the Jaina MUNI, YOU respect the Catholic monk, you respect the Pope. You don't respect Christ or Buddha or Krishna -- you love them.
Respect is very ordinary; it brings no revolution in your life. It is a trick of the mind. The mind says, "Look how much I respect the holy people!" and there it is finished. Now what more can you do? You can respect them, sometimes you can go and touch their feet -- it becomes a formality.
In India it is such a formality that it has lost its beauty, its tremendous power to transform people. People go on touching each and everybody's feet. Children are taught from the very beginning to touch everybody's feet.
In my childhood it was so. Any Tom, Harry, Dick who would come to my house, if he was aged my father would say, "Touch his feet." I was always puzzled: "Why? I don't see anything in the man, I have no feeling for him." But it is a formality, it is a social obligation. You have to do it.
So finally I made it a point -- why wait for my father to say it? Anybody who came, I would touch his feet before he ever said to. Then he started telling me, "You need not touch everybody's feet." I said, "Why make any distinction? And why give you the trouble of telling me again and again? Now I will touch everybody's feet, whosoever comes. It doesn't matter -- it is just a physical exercise! It is good for the body -- just bowing down and standing up again and again. And the whole day people are coming, all kinds of stupid people. And they feel happy, so it is good -- they enjoy it."
In India it is just a formality; it means nothing. Respect means nothing. And it is dangerous too, because when you respect somebody, deep down you start imitating because you would also like to be respected, the ego wants to be respected. So whomsoever you respect, sooner or later, unconsciously, you will start imitating him, because that is the only way to get respect from people. Respect creates in you a desire to imitate; you become carbon copies.
It is good, Mario, that you love me. Forget the word 'respect'; love is absolutely right.
And don't be puzzled.
You say: HOW COME I LOVE YOU? I RESPECT YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE MY MASTER.
Yes, respect always has a 'because'; love has no 'because'. Love is simply there for no reason at all. Respect is logical; you can say why you respect a person: he eats only once a day; he has renounced the world, his wife, children, family, everything; he sleeps for only three hours or maybe he remains awake the whole night; he is continuously chanting the name of God...things like this. Or he serves the poor, or he goes to the ill people and serves them.
What will happen if poverty disappears? It will be a great loss to your saints! In fact, you will not believe it -- one of the very respected Hindu saints, Karpatri, has written a book AGAINST socialism, and the reasons that he has given against socialism are all so stupid.
The MOST stupid reason of all of them is that socialism will destroy poverty; it will create equal distribution of property and possessions. And if there are no more poor people, whom will you serve? And without service, how can you be a saint? Without service there will be no virtue.
This is a great argument! This means poverty is needed, very essentially needed - needed for the existence of the saints. Ill people are needed, lepers and blind and lame and deaf people are needed, otherwise whom will the missionaries serve? And without serving you cannot reach heaven; service is the ladder. So let people be poor!
And when these people serve poor people, you respect them. In fact they are the causes of poverty in the world. The poverty can be removed any day; now science has made all the technology available that can remove poverty from the earth absolutely. But then how will Christian missionaries be able to convert poor people to Christianity?
In India, not even a single rich person has been converted to Christianity, only poor people, very poor people. And they are converted to Christianity not because they love Christ but because they love bread and butter. The Christian missionaries can supply them with a little food, clothes, shelter, a school, a hospital. Now Christian missionaries will not like it at all if poverty disappears from the world, neither will the Hindu saints like it.
Karpatri also argues the old Hindu argument that the poor people are poor because they are suffering from their past karmas. If you make them rich, if you distribute the property and the land to the poor, you will be interfering with their past karmas. And this is not good, this is a sin, to interfere with somebody's karma. Let them suffer -- they deserve suffering! Helping the poor to become rich is almost like breaking the walls of the prison and letting the prisoners escape -- you will be doing something very illegal. The poor people are suffering, and the rich people are rich because they were virtuous in their past lives. Any effort to take their money from them is going against the law of life, the law of karma. You are going against God!
Socialism is against religion according to Karpatri and the other so-called saints. This is a very strange world! But all these things go on because we are asleep.
If you become a little bit alert and start looking around you will be surprised: your saints need psychoanalysis, your saints need psychological treatment. They are utterly ill! And because they are repressing all their desires, sooner or later they start living a double life.
They start living two lives together: one on the surface, the saintly, and the real underground, from the back door. And you go on respecting the masks.
It is good, Mario. I don't expect your respect for me, no, not at all. Love is enough, love is right, because love gives you equality with me. And as far as I am concerned I see you as equals -- not only you, but the trees and the birds and the animals and the rocks. The whole existence is a brotherhood. Nobody is higher and nobody is lower; there is no hierarchy. It is only ONE God expressing itself in millions of forms. How can there be any hierarchy? There is no BRAHMIN and no SUDRA.
You say: I RESPECT YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE MY MASTER.
Forget the respect! Love me because I am your Master -- and not for any formal reason, because to be a disciple can never be formal; it can only be of the heart.
You say: ALSO I FEEL THAT I CAN PLAY WITH YOU WITH JOY AND YOU ARE SO FAR AWAY. OR SO CLOSE?
Both are true; simultaneously I am far away and very close -- very close because the awakening is just the other side of the coin, and very far because awakening takes you into a totally different world from sleep. Sleep takes you into dreams, awakening into reality. To be awake is the door to God. Yes, I am far away and yet very close by.
You also ask: RESPECT, JOY, LOVE -- ARE THEY THE SAME?
No, they are not the same -- certainly respect and love are not the same. Respect is a poor substitute for love, a plastic substitute for the real rose. It may appear like the rose but it is not. It has no roots in the earth, no juices flow through it. It has no contact with the sun and the wind and the rain. It is disconnected from existence. It is simply a plastic flower, looks like a rose -- it is an imitation. Respect is a plastic flower, love is a real rose.
And joy never arises out of respect. In fact, out of respect a little sadness arises. If you have observed closely, whenever you respect somebody you feel humiliated. You may not look at your humiliation because it hurts, but whenever you respect somebody there is humiliation -- because if somebody is superior you ARE inferior, and the inferiority hurts. You can avoid it, you may not see it, you may keep it at the back, you may forget all about it, but it is there. If you search for it you will always find it lurking in the darkness of your unconscious.
Respect cannot give you joy, but love certainly gives you joy. Joy is a by-product of love, the aura of love. Wherever love is there is joy, there is silence, there is benediction.
Anybody can see it here. You are sitting in such silence! You may be the only commune on the whole of the earth sitting in such silence, in such love -- engulfed, encompassed, by something of the beyond.
Others who don't know about love, may misunderstand your love as respect because they know only respect. Those who have never seen any real rose may think that the plastic flower is the real rose.
I have heard about an old woman who went to see an exhibition of Picasso paintings. She was very much puzzled looking at a painting; the cost was millions of dollars. She said to her husband, "This is madness! This painting millions of dollars? And in fact it is a copy of a calendar that has been hanging in my bathroom for years!"
The calendar is a copy, but the woman has known the calendar for years. Now the real painting looks like a copy of the calendar -- "And millions of dollars? This man must be mad who is asking millions of dollars! I can give the calendar free to anybody. I am fed up with it, because for years I have been looking at it!"
Those who don't know real roses and have always known the plastic, if you bring them to a rosebush they will think that these are plastic flowers attached to the bush.
People who come from the outside, seeing you sitting with me in deep communion, in deep love, your hearts beating with my heartbeat, will think that you are in deep respect.
It is not respect at all! It is the real thing, not the synthetic flower. It is happening -- it is a rare opportunity.
When there is somebody awake, many people who are groping in their sleep to be awake, longing in their sleep to be awake, start moving towards the source wherever awakening has happened. That's how you have arrived here from faraway countries. You may not even be aware of how you have reached here; you may think it is just accidental. It is not.
Many many lives of longing to find a Buddha, to find a Christ, have brought you here.
You are ancient pilgrims. Now you have found the opportunity.
Mario, you are fortunate to love, fortunate to feel the joy of love, fortunate because this love is going to become a door to the divine.
The second question
PRAYER IS ONE OF THE INDEFINABLES, because prayer is the fragrance of love.
Even love is indefinable. Love is a flower, tangible, you can see it, you can touch it, you can smell it, you can feel it. You can close your eyes and you can touch the texture of the flower, the softness of it, you can see the beauty of it; it is visible. But prayer is the fragrance released to the winds, offered to the sky. It becomes even more indefinable because you cannot see it, you cannot touch it.
You can only have a very subtle relationship with it, not one of words, not one of philosophy, not one of theology -- only the silence of your heart, the utter silence of your heart, can have a little glimpse of it, of what it is.
What goes on in the name of prayer is not prayer; it is desire disguised. You go to the temple or to the church and you pray to God; your God is part of your imagination. Your God is not true God; it is a Christian God, it is a Hindu God, it is a Mohammedan God.
And how can God be Christian, Hindu or Mohammedan? It is a God that you have created, or your priests on behalf of you. It is a toy, it is not true.
Bowing down before a statue made by man, manufactured by man -- and you think you are in prayer? You are simply being stupid, you are simply showing utter ignorance. This statue has been purchased in the marketplace, and God is not a commodity and God cannot be made. It is God who has made us -- how can we make God? But we are worshipping, praying to man-made Gods.
And what are your prayers? They are also your desires. You want this, you want that; you are trying to use God as a means. You have been told certain prayers from your very childhood and you have crammed it all; you have been forced to cram it. It has become a habit, a mechanical routine; you go on repeating it but your heart is not in it. Your prayer is a corpse, it breathes no more.
Yes, when Jesus called God 'Abba' he meant it. When you call God 'Father' you don't mean anything. And between 'Abba' and 'Father' there is a great difference. 'Father' is an institution, legal, social; 'Abba' is a heart-to-heart relationship. Jesus looked at existence as the source of our life.
A disciple asks Jesus, "What is prayer?" Jesus falls on his knees and starts praying. The disciple says, "I am asking what prayer is, I am not asking you to pray!"
And Jesus says, "There is no other way. I can pray, you can participate. I INVITE you to be a part of my prayer. I cannot say what prayer is, but I can go into prayer -- because prayer is a state of being, not something that you do."
Leo Tolstoy has written a beautiful story:
Three men became very famous saints in Russia.
The highest priest of the country was very much disturbed -- obviously, because people were not coming to him, people were going to those three saints, and he had not even heard their names. And how could they be saints? -- because in Christianity a saint is a saint only when the church recognizes him as a saint. The English word 'saint' comes from 'sanction'; when the church sanctions somebody as a saint, then he is a saint. What nonsense! that a saint has to be certified by the church, by the organized religion, by the priests -- as if it has nothing to do with inner growth but some outer recognition; as if it is a title given by a government, or a degree, an honorary degree, conferred by a university.
The high priest was certainly very angry. He took a boat because those three saints used to live on the far side of a lake. He went in the boat. Those three saints were sitting under a tree. They were very simple people, peasants, uneducated. They touched the feet of the highest priest, and the priest was very happy. He thought, "Now I will put them right -- these are not very dangerous people. I was thinking they would be rebels or something."
He asked them, "How did you become saints?"
They said, "We don't know! We don't know that we are saints either. People have started calling us saints and we go on trying to convince them that we are not, we are very simple people, but they don't listen. The more we argue that we are not, the more they worship us! And we are not very good at arguing either."
The priest was very happy. He said, "What is your prayer? Do you know how to pray?"
They looked at each other. The first said to the second, "You say." The second said to the third, "You say, please."
The priest said, "Say what your prayer is! Are you saying Our Lord's Prayer or not?"
They said, "To be frank with you, we don't know any prayer. We have invented a prayer of our own and we are very embarrassed -- how to say it? But if you ask we have to say it. We have heard that God is a trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. We are three and he is also three, so we have made a small prayer of our own: 'You are three, we are three: Have mercy on us!' " The priest said, "What nonsense! Is this prayer? You fools, I will teach you the right prayer." And he recited The Lord's Prayer.
And those three poor people said, "Please repeat it once more, because we are uneducated, we may forget."
He repeated it and they asked, "Once more -- we are three, repeat it at least three times."
So he repeated it again, and then very happy, satisfied, he went back in his boat.
Just in the middle of the lake he was surprised, his boatman was surprised: those three poor people were coming running on the water! And they said, "Wait! Please one more time -- we have forgotten the prayer!"
Now it was the turn of the priest to touch their feet, and he said, "Forget what I have said to you. Your prayer has been heard, my prayer has not been heard yet. You continue as you are continuing. I was utterly wrong to say anything to you. Forgive me!"
Prayer is a state of simplicity. It is NOT of words but of silence.
Martin Buber, the great Jewish philosopher, has said that prayer is an I/thou relationship.
It is not. He does not know anything about prayer. An I/thou relationship? In prayer there is no I and in prayer there is no thou. A prayer is not a dialogue between I and thou; a prayer is a merger. The I disappears into the thou, the thou disappears into the I. There is nobody to say anything and there is nobody to say anything to.
The river disappearing into the ocean is prayer. The dewdrop slipping from the lotus leaf into the lake is prayer. Seeing the early morning sun and you are silent, and something starts rising in you too -- that is prayer. A bird on the wing, and YOU are on the wing; you forget that you are separate -- THAT is prayer. Wherever separation disappears, prayer appears. When you become one with the whole of existence, that is prayer.
Ego is a state of no-prayer: egolessness is a state of prayer. It is not a dialogue, it is not even a monologue. It has nothing to do with words; it is wordless silence. It is an open, silent sky; with no clouds, no thoughts. In prayer you are not Hindu or Christian or Mohammedan. In prayer you are not: in prayer God is.
The third question
DIPLOMACY IS A BEAUTIFUL NAME for all kinds of cunningness. It is a beautiful label for all that is ugly. It is an effort to cover human violence, human stupidity, human cunningness, behind a beautiful word. Diplomacy is simply an effort to dominate. It may be between persons, it may be between religions, it may be between countries -- it does not matter. Even husbands and wives are in a diplomatic relationship, parents and children are in a diplomatic relationship. It is not only in politics, it is in our whole life.
When you see somebody and you feel, "Now my whole day is wasted; seeing this bastard early in the morning is a perfect indication that something wrong is going to happen, some calamity is going to happen to me," but you say to the man, "Hello! How are you?
Glad to see you!" -- that is diplomacy.
Diplomacy has entered into our blood. When you don't love your wife and pretend that you love her, it is diplomacy. When without any love you hug your children, just because it has to be done, because Dale Carnegie says so: HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE....
Dale Carnegie is the prophet of the modern age. Dale Carnegie's book, HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE, has sold next only to the Bible. It seems to be even more important than the Bible, because the Bible is being distributed free by the Christian missionaries and Dale Carnegie's book you have to purchase. And what he teaches is simply diplomacy.
He says that even if you don't mean it, at least a few times in the day remind your wife how much you love her. That's enough, because people don't bother about love; people live in words. If you say, "I love you," that's enough. If you go on repeating, "I love you," that becomes a proof that you really love. This is a very ugly state of affairs. Humanity has fallen so low that Dale Carnegie becomes the prophet.
Diplomacy is not only political, not any more -- it has entered into every arena of life.
And wherever it enters it brings pseudoness, falsity; it destroys authenticity, sincerity, honesty. It makes you say things which you don't mean, it makes you do things which you don't mean. It makes you many instead of one; you become a crowd. You go on carrying many masks with you because you never know which mask will be needed in a certain situation.
And not only has man become diplomatic -- even animals who live with man become diplomatic, dogs become diplomatic. Watch a dog.... A stranger comes to your house, knocks on the door. The dog starts two things: he starts barking and at the same time he wags his tail. This is diplomacy! because he is not certain whether the man who has knocked on the door is really a friend of the master or not -- it is better to keep your feet in both the boats, then whatsoever turns out to be right you can withdraw from the wrong one. Then you come out of the house and the dog sees that the stranger is a friend; the barking stops and the tail continues to wag.
Man contaminates everything; even innocent people like dogs are corrupted by human contact. You start teaching small children to be diplomatic. On the one hand you go on telling them, "Be true, be sincere be honest," and then one day a man comes to the door and you tell your son, "Go and say that daddy is out." Now the boy is puzzled. What to do?
My own way in my childhood was to go out and say to the man, "Daddy says he is out."
What else to do? One has to be true and one has to be obedient too. Now either I can be true or I can be obedient....
Small children, we start corrupting their minds. We corrupt animals, and it is possible one day we will discover that we even corrupt trees, because they are also very sensitive.
Living with man they must be learning all kinds of things from humanity.
Alfie and Dan, two Cockney pub crawlers, were in their cups one afternoon when Alfie pointed to a woman sitting at the end of the bar. "Hey!" he said, That woman looks like Queen Elizabeth!"
"Nah," replied Dan. "What would the Queen be doing in a pub in hogtown?"
"I am telling you it is her," insisted Alfie. "Can't you see the resemblance?"
"Look, that ain't the Queen," said Dan. "And I am willing to bet five on it."
"You are on!" came the reply. "I will go ask her." He walked over to the woman sitting at the bar and said, "I beg your pardon, are you the Queen?"
"Get lost, you little runt," growled the woman, before I kick your ass across the room!"
He returned to his seat. "Well?" his friend asked.
"Well, she didn't say she was and she didn't say she wasn't."
This is diplomacy!
A religious person has to drop all diplomacy. He has to be authentic, sincere; he has to be as he is: no pretensions, no false personalities, no facades; just being utterly nude as you are, utterly naked in your reality.
The moment you can gather that much courage you will be so filled with joy...you cannot believe right now, you cannot even conceive right now, because it is our falsities which are like parasites on our being; they go on sucking our blood. The more falsities you create around yourself, the more miserable you become, the more you are in a hell.
To live in falsities is to live in hell: to live authentically is to be in heaven.
The fourth question
JESUS KNEW PERFECTLY WELL about reincarnation.
There are indirect hints spread all over the gospels. Just the other day I was saying, quoting Jesus: "I am before Abraham ever was." And Jesus says, "I will be coming back."
And there are a thousand and one indirect references to reincarnation. He knew about it perfectly well, but there is some other reason why he did not talk about it, why he did not preach it.
Jesus had been to India and he had seen what had happened because of the theory of reincarnation. In India for almost five thousand years before Jesus the theory was taught.
And it is a truth, it is not only a theory; the theory is based in truth. Man has millions of lives. It was taught by Mahavira, by Buddha, by Krishna, by Rama; all the Indian religions agree upon it. You will be surprised to know: they don't agree on anything else except this theory.
Hindus believe in God and the soul. Jainas don't believe in God at all but only in the soul.
And Buddhists don't believe in the soul or God either. But about reincarnation all three agree -- even Buddhists agree, who don't believe in the soul. A very strange thing...then who reincarnates? Even THEY could not deny the phenomenon of reincarnation, although they could deny the existence of the soul; they say the soul does not exist but reincarnation exists. And it was very difficult for them to prove reincarnation without the soul; it seems almost impossible. But they found a way -- of course it is very subtle and very difficult to comprehend, but they seem to be closer, the closest to the truth.
It is easy to understand that there is a soul and when you die the body is left on the earth and the soul enters into another body, into another womb; it is a simple, logical, mathematical thing. But Buddha says there is no soul but only a continuum. It is like when you kindle a candle in the evening and in the morning when you are blowing it out a question can be asked of you: Are you blowing out the same light that you started in the evening? No, it is not the same light, and yet a continuity is there. In the night when you lit the candle... that flame is no more there, that flame is continuously disappearing; it is being replaced by another flame. The replacement is so quick that you can't see the gaps, but with sophisticated scientific instruments it is possible to see the gaps: one flame going out, another coming up, that going out, another coming up. There are bound to be small intervals, but you can't see them with bare eyes.
Buddha says that just as the candle flame is not the same -- it is changing constantly, although in another sense it is the same because it is the same continuum -- exactly like that, there is no soul entity in you like a thing but one like a flame. It is continuously changing, it is a river.
Buddha does not believe in nouns, he only believes in verbs, and I perfectly agree with him. He has come closest to the truth; at least in his expression he is the most profound.
But why did Jesus, Moses, Mohammed -- the sources of all the three religions that have been born outside India -- not talk about reincarnation directly? For a certain reason, and the reason is that Moses was aware... because Egypt and India have been in constant contact. It is suspected that once Africa was part of Asia and that the continent has slowly shifted away. India and Egypt were joined together, hence there are so many similarities.
And it is not strange that South India is black; it has partly Negro blood in its veins, it is negroid -- not totally, but if Africa was joined with Asia then certainly the mingling of the Aryans with the Negroes must have happened, and then South India became black.
Moses must have been perfectly aware of India. You will be surprised that Kashmir claims that both Moses and Jesus are buried there. The tombs are there, one tomb for Moses and one tomb for Jesus. They saw what happened to India through the theory of reincarnation.
Because of the theory of reincarnation India became very lethargic; there is no hurry.
India has no time sense, not even now. Even though everybody is wearing a wristwatch there is no time sense. If somebody says, "I will be coming at five o'clock in the evening to see you," it can mean anything. He may turn up at four, he may turn up at six, he may not turn up at all -- and it is not taken seriously! It is not that he is not fulfilling his promise -- there is no time sense! How can you have time sense when eternity is available? When there are so many many lives, why be in such a hurry? One can go on slowly; one is bound to reach some day or other.
The theory of reincarnation made India very lethargic, dull. It made India utterly time- unconscious. It helped people to postpone. And if you can postpone for tomorrow, then today you will remain the same as you have been and the tomorrow never comes. And India knows how to postpone not only to tomorrow but even to the next life.
Moses and Jesus both visited India, both were aware. Mohammed never visited India but was perfectly aware, because he was very close to India and there was constant traffic between India and Arabia. They decided that it was better to tell people, "There is only one life, this is the LAST chance -- the first and the last -- if you miss it, you miss forever." This is a device to create intense longing, to create such intensity in people that they can be transformed easily.
Then the question arises: Were Mahavira, Buddha and Krishna not aware? Were they not aware that this theory of reincarnation would create lethargy? They were trying a totally different device. And each device has its time; once it is used...it cannot be used forever.
People become accustomed to it. When Buddha, Mahavira and Krishna tried the device of reincarnation they were trying it from a totally different angle.
India was a very rich country in those days. It was thought to be the golden country of the world, the richest. And in a rich country the real problem, the greatest problem, is boredom. That is happening now in the West. Now America is in the same situation, and boredom has become the greatest problem. People are utterly bored, so bored that they would like to die.
Krishna, Mahavira and Buddha used this situation. They told people, "This is nothing, one life's boredom is nothing. You have lived for many lives, and remember, if you don't listen you are going to live many more lives; you will be bored again and again and again. It is the same wheel of life and death moving."
They painted boredom in such dark colors that people who were already bored with even one life became really very deeply involved with religion. One has to get rid of life and death; one has to get out of this wheel, this vicious circle of birth and death. Hence it was relevant in those days.
Then India became poor. Once the country became poor boredom disappeared. A poor man is never bored, remember; only a rich man can afford boredom, it is a rich man's privilege. It is impossible for a poor man to feel boredom; he has no time. The whole day he is working; when he comes home he is so tired he falls asleep. He need not have many many entertainments -- television and movies and music and art and museums -- he need not have all these things, he CANNOT have them. His only entertainment is sex: a natural thing, inbuilt. That's why poor countries go on reproducing more children than rich countries -- the only entertainment.
If you want to reduce the population of poor countries, give them more entertainment.
Give them television sets, give them radios, movies -- something that can keep them distracted from sex.
I have heard about American couples that they become so much obsessed with the television that even while making love they go on watching the television. Love becomes secondary, television becomes primary. They don't want to miss the program that is going on.
A poor country knows only one entertainment because it cannot afford any other; it can afford only the natural, inbuilt one. So a poor country goes on producing people; it becomes more and more crowded. And they are not fed up with life. What life do they have? First you have to have life to be fed up with it. You have to have money to be fed up with it. You have to have many women to be fed up with them. You have to have many experiences of the world to be finished with it.
The moment India became poor the theory of reincarnation became an escape, a hope -- rather than a boredom it became a hope, a possibility to postpone. "I am poor in this life.
Nothing to be worried about; there are many lives. Next life I am going to strive a little harder and I will be richer. This life I have got an ugly woman. Nothing to be worried about; it is only a question of one life. Next time I am not going to make the same mistake again. This time I am suffering from my past karmas. This life I will not commit any wrong things so that I can enjoy the coming life." It became postponement.
Jesus saw it, that the device was no longer working in the way it was meant to work. The situation had changed. Now Jesus had to create another device: there is only one life -- so if you want to be religious, if you want to meditate, if you want to become a sannyasin, BE ONE RIGHT NOW -- because the tomorrow is not reliable. There may be no tomorrow.
Hence the West has become too conscious of time; everybody is in a hurry. This hurry is because of Christianity. The device has again failed. No device can work forever.
My own experience is that a particular device works only while the Master is alive, because he is the soul of it; he manages it in such a way that it works once the Master is gone, the device falls out of use or people start finding new interpretations for it.
Now in the West the device has failed utterly; now it has become a problem. People are in a constant hurry, tension, anxiety, because there is only one life. Jesus wanted them to remember: because there is one life, remember God. And what are they doing? Seeing that there is only one life they want to drink, eat and be merry, because there is no other life. So indulge as much as you can. Squeeze the whole juice of life right now! And who cares about what will happen on the Judgment Day? Who knows whether the Judgment Day is there or not?
The professor at a girls' college was a really dirty old man. He could not give a lecture without making some kind of obscene remark. Eventually the girls decided that the next time he did it they would all get up from their desks and leave the classroom.
The next morning the professor entered the room and started in right away: "Hey, girls, I heard that just yesterday a ship came into the harbor with thirty Negro sailors on deck.
Just imagine, girls, thirty huge Negro pricks...."
At this point the whole class got up and started to go out of the room.
"Hey, girls," shouted the professor after them, "no need to hurry. They are gonna stay here for another two weeks."
A great hurry has arisen in the West about everything, because there is no other life.
Mary and John are both living in a big apartment-house in New York City. One day they meet and instantly fall in love with each other, but they don't make any contact. This goes on for six months until John just can't bear the tension any more and asks her to come to his apartment for a drink. Hesitatingly she says yes and as soon as they reach his flat they close the door behind them and rush into the bedroom and throw themselves on the bed.
After a few minutes John explains with a hoarse voice, "Listen, I am very sorry, but if I had known that you were a virgin I would have taken more time."
Mary replies, "Well, if I had known that you had more time, I would have taken my pants off!"
Such a hurry! Speed is the mania, faster and faster. Nobody is bothered where you are going, but you have to go fast; invent speedier vehicles.
And this whole thing has happened because of the device. It worked in Jesus' time. He was continuously telling his people, "Beware! The Day of Judgment is very close by.
You are going to see the end of the world in your very own life and there is no other life.
And if you miss you will be thrown into hell for eternity!" He was simply creating a psychological atmosphere. It worked when he was alive and it worked for a few more days when he was gone. It continued to work for a few days because of the closest disciples who had something of the climate of Jesus with them, some aura, but then it created just the opposite effect.
It has created the MOST worldly civilization the world has ever known. And the desire was that the idea of one life would make people so alert and aware that they would seek and search for God and they would drop ALL other desires and ALL other occupations.
Their whole life would become one-pointedly a search, an inquiry, for God. That was the idea behind the device. But the ultimate result is that people have become absolutely worldly, because there is no other life, only one life -- enjoy it the most you can! Enjoy it, don't postpone it for tomorrow.
The Indian device failed because people became lethargic. It worked with Buddha. He really created one of the greatest movements in the world. Thousands of people renounced their lives, became sannyasins. That means they devoted their whole energy to the search for truth, because he created such an atmosphere of boredom that you would be bored if you missed.
But what happened later on was just the opposite. It is always going to be so. The Masters are bound to be misunderstood. And people are so cunning, so diplomatic, they can always find ways to destroy the whole device.
Jesus knows perfectly that life is eternal, reincarnation is a fact. He mentions it in indirect ways, maybe to his very close disciples he mentions it, but not to the masses -- for a simple reason: he has seen that it failed in India, something else has to be tried.
I am creating many devices because others have failed. I know perfectly well that my devices will function only while I am here; they are bound to fail as every other device has failed. I am not living in any fool's paradise thinking that my devices will remain as I create them forever. When I am not there, people are going to distort them. But that is natural, it has to be accepted; there is nothing to worry about.
Hence those who are here, please be alert and use these devices as deeply as possible.
While I am here these devices will function perfectly well. In my hands they can be great situations for inner transformation, but once my hands are no more visible these same devices will be in the hands of the pundits and the scholars, and then the same story will be repeated as it has been in the past.
Beware, be watchful. Don't waste time.
Be Still and Know