No other path but life

Fri, 5 October 1986 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Beyond Enlightenment
Chapter #:
pm in
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122 mins

Question 1:



Gandharaj, the question is not a laughing matter.

It touches something of tremendous value in human misery, in human anguish, in human reality. It creates laughter because it looks absurd to ask why things are going so well.

We have become accustomed to things never going so well.

We are well acquainted with the misery, the pain, the darkness, the meaninglessness, the whole tragedy of human existence. It has gone to our very bones, blood and marrow; we accept it as if it is our nature.

If things are going wrong, it seems natural.

If things are not going wrong, then something must be wrong -- how come things are going so well? We have forgotten the language of well-being, we have forgotten the taste of blissfulness.

We have forgotten our own nature.

The natural thing is that things should go well; for their going well, no reason is needed.

You are healthy -- you don't go to the doctor to ask him, "What is the matter with me? I am healthy." You go to the doctor when you are not healthy, when you are sick.

When people are young, they don't ask, "What is the meaning of life?" Their youth, their overflowing energy, is enough meaning, is enough significance. They are still capable of love. They are still capable of a dance, a song, a celebration. Death has not overshadowed their lives yet.

The moment a person starts asking, "What is the meaning of life?" it means he has become old -- it does not matter at what age. His question emphatically shows that he has lost touch with life, lost touch with love, lost touch with vitality, and wherever he looks it is all emptiness. The question has become significant to him -- why is he living? In fact, he has died; his life is posthumous.

The moment a person asks, "What is the meaning of life?" it is the question of a dead man -- who still breathes, whose heart still beats, but it is all like a robot. All poetry, all rainbows have disappeared ... no sunrises at all. It seems the night is eternal. It seems that he must have dreamt about the days when he had seen the light; they were not real.

Old age, when death is just standing close to you, creates the question, "What is the meaning of life?"

But when you are alive, when death is far away beyond the horizon of your vision, who cares about the meaning of life? -- you live it, you have it, you sing it, you dance it. It is in every breath, it is in every beat of your heart.

One thing has to be understood clearly: that the people who have asked so-called great questions about the meaning of life, about the meaning of the very existence, about the meaning of love, about the meaning of beauty, are thought to be great philosophers but they have one foot in the grave. Just before slipping into their graves, they are raising all these questions.

One of the great aestheticians, a great philosopher of aesthetics, Croce, devoted his whole life to a single question: What is beauty? In this century he stands alone as a high peak, incomparable to anybody else. His dedication to the question of beauty is total. He wrote about it, he talked about it, he taught about it, he dreamt about it; his whole life was woven around the question: What is beauty?

I have gone through his writings, and on each step I have felt that this man must have been blind -- only a blind person can ask, "What is beauty?"

And for almost one century, nobody has raised the question of whether Croce was blind or not. I say he was definitely blind. He may have had eyes, just as you have, but he had no perception, no sensitivity. He was asking the question what is beauty? and went on inquiring about it -- and the whole existence is full of beauty.

Even the smallest blade of grass is beautiful. All around there are flowers and stars, birds and trees and rivers and mountains, and beautiful human beings.

Why could a man of the intelligence of Croce not see a simple thing -- that beauty has to be felt, not thought about? You have to see it, you have to experience it. You are capable of creating it.

But it is such a mystery that it is beyond explanation.

You cannot confine it in a definition.

But his whole lifelong effort shows only one thing: the poor man never experienced even a single moment of beauty; otherwise, his whole questioning would have changed. He would rather have devoted his life to creating beauty, to experiencing beauty, to rejoicing with the stars and with the moon and with the flowers and with the birds. But he wasted his whole life.

And to what conclusion did he come in the end? -- that beauty is indefinable. This could have been told to him by anybody in the very beginning. There was no need to waste a beautiful life, a precious gift of existence.

And one cannot be certain that it will be given to you again; you cannot even be certain why it has been given to you this time. Do you deserve it? Have you earned it? Does the existence owe it to you? It seems to be a sheer gift, a gift of an abundant existence, not bothering about whether you deserve it or not. Not asking for your qualifications, not inquiring about your character, your morality ... making no demands on you, just giving it without any conditions attached to it. Giving it not as a business, but without any expectations from you in return; giving it and allowing you total freedom to do whatever you want to do with it.

Gandharaj, everything should go beautifully, easily, with a well-being. It is natural.

If something is not going well that means something is sick, something is ill.

But all the great moralists of the world, all the theologians, all the prophets and messengers of God have really messed you up. They have made such demands on you.

They have taken away all your freedom. They have asked you to do impossible things, and naturally you have failed in doing them. It has left wounds in you -- wounds of failure, inferiority, wounds of unworthiness -- and you are living with all those wounds.

Naturally, everything goes wrong.

It is not nature, it is your great benefactors -- the people who have been promising you that "We are the saviors." In fact, they are the people who have created a sick humanity, a diseased human mind, a psychology that is not sane.

Demanding anything unnatural is bound to create guilt. If you do not do it, you feel guilty that you are not really a human being, that you are behaving like subhuman beings, animals; that you are a sinner, that you are doing things against the prophets and the messengers who represent God.

And if you try to follow them, you get into a trap. If you follow them you have to go against nature, and nature is all that you are.

You cannot go against yourself, so on each step there is failure.

On each step you become more and more schizophrenic: a small part becomes the priest, condemning your whole nature.

Whatever you do is wrong.

Life becomes a nightmare.

And that's how man has lived for thousands of years: a life which could have been a beautiful experience has been turned into an unbearable torture, a nightmare.

Even if you want to wake up you cannot. The nightmare is heavy and long -- it is not only yours, it is coming from your forefathers; generation after generation has cultivated it. It has roots as ancient as man; you cannot fight with it.

You are torn apart. You cannot fight with your nature, you cannot fight with your sick heritage.

And I say that on the whole earth every man is living under the burden of a sick heritage.

It does not matter whether he is Christian or Hindu or Mohammedan -- those are different names for the same sickness.

If you follow your nature, you yourself condemn yourself. The whole society condemns you. The whole world is against you, and you are also against yourself.

But you have to live your nature.

Friedrich Nietzsche has a beautiful insight. He says that all the religions of the world have been against sex, but they have not been successful in destroying sex; otherwise, from where do these people go on coming? This whole population explosion ... if your priests had succeeded, churches would be empty. But there are seven hundred million Catholics -- certainly the Catholic priests have failed utterly.

Nietzsche is right. The religions have not succeeded in destroying sex. But they have succeeded in one thing: they have made sex poison, poisonous. It is no more a joy, it is no more a thing of beauty, it is no more sacred. They have been able to create a great guilt out of it. And what is right about sex is right about all your natural instincts, but everything has been poisoned.

So when things are not going right, you are perfectly at ease.

When things are going right, you start feeling uneasy: "What is the matter?"

If there are wars, it is perfectly right. If there are riots between Hindus and Mohammedans, if Mohammedans and Jews are killing each other, it is perfectly right.

But if suddenly Jews and Mohammedans start dancing and singing and rejoicing together, the whole world will be shocked: "What is going on? Have these people gone mad?"

We are suffering a wrong heritage, and unless we get ourselves free from the past we cannot live peacefully.

Gandharaj, the people who are gathered here with me and the people around the earth who are with me have dropped the past. They are no more Hindus, no more Christians, no more Buddhists; they are simply human beings. And they are trying to live their nature fully, authentically, without any guilt and without any feeling of sin.

Things are going beautifully well.

They are living in freedom.

The past is our slavery, and if the past is too much, then it is going to create our future.

We are crushed between past and future, and the future is nothing but a reproduction of the past.

And a small moment of present is almost powerless against two eternities pressing it from both sides.

Once you are free of past a tremendous realization happens: you are free of future also.

And your being free of future means that now you are free to make your future, it will not be made by the past. It will be made by your nature, by your intelligence, by your meditation, by your silence, by your love.

Gandharaj, around my sannyasins things are bound to go easy, because there is no sin, no guilt, no imposed morality.

I corrupt people so much that they become innocent.

People are living innocently. They don't have any moral codes, any ten commandments, any holy bibles. They have only their own insight and a freedom to create their future, to live according to their nature without any fear. Because there is no hell, and there is no God to decide whether you are right or wrong.

If you are right, your life will be a life of joy; if you are wrong, your life will be a life of misery.

There is no need for any God. Each act is decisive, intrinsically.

So you can feel your way: if you are moving rightly, your life will go on growing more and more flowers, will go on growing bigger and bigger wings. Your reach towards the stars will become easier.

And if you are doing something wrong, your very nature will say it is wrong because you will be suffering the consequences of your wrong acts here and now. You will not have to wait for the last judgment day.

What a stupid kind of hypothesis, `the last judgment day' -- one day everybody will be awakened from his grave. Just visualize what will happen: all skeletons, and there is going to be such a crowd. At the place where you are sitting there are at least ten skeletons underneath you. When all the skeletons stand up there is not going to be elbow room, and there is going to be such shrieking, shouting, moaning. Even for poor God, it is going to be very difficult to recognize who is who -- because there will only be skeletons.

Then to judge who is going to heaven and who is going to hell ... and do you think in just one day? Each person has millions of acts, good and bad, which have to be balanced, and there is only one God -- and not very intelligent either.

George Bernard Shaw used to say, "Just the very crowd makes me feel that it will be difficult to make judgments. Moreover, half of the crowd will be women ... who will make it almost impossible!"

Perhaps that's why the last judgment day has not happened and is not going to happen.

Because Jesus used to say to his disciples, "Soon, in your life, you will see the last judgment day happen" -- in his disciples' lives. That means, at the most, seventy years.

Two thousand years have passed, and as the days go by the skeletons go on growing.

I think God has changed his mind.

Judgment is not possible anymore.

As far as I am concerned each act brings its own judgment, and that is more scientific.

Why go on collecting acts for a certain day and then deciding? And why decide from outside when there is a possibility to decide from inside? Each act has its intrinsic consequence.

You can figure it out: if your life is miserable then you are doing something wrong; and if your life is a merry-go-round then you are doing everything else that should be done perfectly. So it is up to you whether you make your life a merry-go-round or a sorry-go- round; there is nobody to decide it. You are the act and you are the judge. And this seems to be more scientific, simple.

Gandharaj, if everything is going well, be happy. And remember why things are going well so they can continue to go more and more well, because wellness also has depth.

Just find out what it is that is making your life blissful, peaceful, silent, happy -- simple arithmetic -- and your life can become a holy life.

According to me, if you are living joyously, you are a holy man.

Only one thing you have to do: die to the past so that you can be reborn in a fresh present and a free future.

Question 2:



There is no death in the first place.

Death is an illusion.

It is always somebody else who dies; you never die. It means death has always been seen from the outside, it is the outsider's view.

Those who have seen their inner world are unanimous in saying that there is no death.

Because you don't know what constitutes your consciousness; it is not constituted of breathing, it is not constituted of heartbeats, it is not constituted of blood circulation. So when the doctor says that a man is dead, it is an outsider's conclusion; all that he is saying is, "This man is no longer breathing, his pulse has stopped, his heart is not beating." Are these three things equivalent to death? They are not.

Consciousness is not your body, nor your mind, nor your heart.

So when a person dies, he dies for you, not for himself. For himself he simply changes the house, perhaps moves into a better apartment. But because the old apartment is left, and you are searching for him in the old apartment and you don't find him there, you think the poor guy is dead. All that you should say is, "The poor guy escaped. Now where he has gone, we don't know."

In fact, medical science is going beyond its limits when it says that some person is dead.

Medical science has no right yet, because it has no definition yet of what constitutes death. It can simply say that "This man is no longer breathing. His heart has stopped. His pulse is no longer functioning." To conclude that he is dead is going beyond what you are seeing. But because science does not have any idea of consciousness, the death of the body becomes the death of the being.

Those who have known the being ... and it is not necessary for it that you should die and then you know; you can just go inside. That's what I call meditation -- just go inside and find out what is your center, and at your center there is no breathing, there is no heartbeat, there is no thought, no mind, no heart, no body, and still you are.

Once a person has experienced himself -- that he is not the body, not the mind, not the heart, but pure awareness -- he knows there is no death for him, because he does not depend on the body.

Awareness has no dependence on blood circulation. It does not depend on whether the heart beats or not, it does not depend on whether the mind functions or not. It is a totally different world; it is not constituted of any material thing, it is immaterial.

So the first thing to understand is that there is no death -- it has never been found.

And if there is no death, what insecurity can there be?

For an immortal life there can be no insecurity. Your immortality is not dependent on your bank balance; the beggar is as immortal as the emperor.

As far as people's consciousnesses are concerned, that is the only world where true communism exists: they all have equal qualities, and they don't have anything that can be lost or taken away. They don't have anything that can be destroyed, burned.

There is no insecurity.

All insecurity is a shadow of death.

If you look deeply, then every insecure feeling is rooted in the fear of death. But I am saying to you that there is no death; hence there cannot be any insecurity. You are immortal beings, amritasya putrah.

That's what the seers in the ancient East have said: You are the sons of immortality.

And they were not misers like Jesus Christ, that "I am the only begotten son of God." A strange idea ... even to say it one should feel ashamed. "I am the only begotten son of God" ... what about others? Are they all bastards? Jesus is condemning the whole world!

He is the son of God, and whose sons and daughters are all these people? And it is strange -- why should God stop by giving birth to only one child? Is he spent just with one child? Or was he a believer in birth control?

I have been asking the pope and Mother Teresa, "Your God must be a believer in birth control, must be using things which you are prohibiting to people -- condoms and all; otherwise, how is it possible? Once he created a son, then at least one daughter -- that's a natural tendency."

And in the whole eternity ... having no fun.

The psychologists say that poor people create more children for the simple reason that they don't have any other fun. To go to the cinema you need money, to go to the circus you need money, to go to Chowpatty Beach you need money. Wherever there is fun, you need money. So just go to bed -- that is the only fun without money, nobody asks for money.

What is God doing? -- neither can he go to Chowpatty nor can he go to a circus nor to a cinema hall. Sitting eternally bored.... Just created one son? It has many implications:

perhaps he was so frustrated with this one son that he became a celibate -- "I am not going to create any more idiots."

Jesus was teaching on the earth for just three years. His age was only thirty-three, and he was crucified -- a great savior who could not save himself. God must have felt tremendously let down: "Be finished! No more sons, no more daughters."

But the reality is that there is a certain element of egoism in being the only one, with no competitors.

Krishna may be the incarnation of God but he is not the son -- just a photocopy.

Mohammed may be a messenger -- just a postman.

But Jesus is special, he is the only begotten son of God. There is a certain egoism in it.

The ancient seers were not so egoistic. They called the whole humanity -- past, present, future -- amritasya putrah: You are all sons of immortality. They are not putting themselves higher than you, they are not pretending to be holier than you. They are making every human being, as far as consciousness is concerned, absolutely equal, eternal.

There is no insecurity.

There is no need for any other path -- and anyway, there is no other path.

Life is the path which passes through the illusory gate of death.

You can pass the gate consciously. If you are meditative enough, then you can go through death knowing perfectly that you are changing the house; you can enter another womb knowing perfectly that you are entering the new apartment -- and it is always better, because life is always evolving. And if you can die consciously, then certainly your new life will be on a very high level, from the very beginning.

And I don't see any insecurity.

You come into the world without anything, so one thing is certain: nothing belongs to you.

You come absolutely naked, but with illusions. That's why every child is born with closed hands, fists, believing that he is bringing treasures -- and those fists are just empty.

And everybody dies with open hands. Try to die with fists -- nobody has been successful up to now. Or try to be born with open hands -- nobody has been successful in that either.

The child is born with fists, with illusions that he is bringing treasures into the world, but there is nothing in the fist. Nothing belongs to you, so what insecurity? Nothing can be stolen, nothing can be taken away from you.

Everything that you are using belongs to the world.

And one day, you have to leave everything here.

You will not be able to take anything with you.

I have heard about a rich man in a village who was such a miser that he had never given anything to any beggar. The whole community of beggars knew about it, so whenever they saw some beggar standing before his house they knew -- "This man seems to be new, from some other village. Tell him, `You won't get anything from there.'" The man's wife was dying, but he wouldn't call the doctor. He had one friend only, because to have many friends means unnecessary insecurity -- somebody may ask for money, somebody may ask for something. He had only one friend, and that one was also such a miser that there was no problem between them. They both understood each other's psychology -- no conflict, no asking, no question of creating any embarrassment.

The friend said, "But this is the time that the doctor should be called -- your wife is dying."

The man said, "It is all in the hands of God. What can a doctor do? If she is going to die, she is going to die. You will unnecessarily put me in trouble ... paying the fee to the doctor for the medicine, this and that. I am a religious man, and if she is not going to die she will recover without any doctor. The real doctor is God, nobody else. And I believe in God because he never asks for a fee or anything."

The wife died.

His friend said, "Look, just for a little money you didn't call a doctor."

He said, "Little money? Money is money; it is never a question of a little. And death comes to everybody."

The friend was a little angry. He said, "This is too much. I am also a miser, but if my wife is dying at least I will call a pharmacist -- but I will call somebody. But you are really hard. What are you going to do with all this money?"

He said, "I am going to take it with me."

The friend said, "Nobody has ever heard of it."

He said, "But nobody has ever tried." That too was true. He said, "Just see. I have my own plan -- I will take everything with me."

The friend said, "Just tell me your secret, because some day I will have to die also, and you are such a friend."

He said, "Friendship is one thing, but this secret I cannot tell. And the secret is such that you cannot use it when you are dying -- it has to be used before, because you have to carry all your money and all your gold and diamonds and everything to the river."

He said, "What do you mean?"

He said, "Yes, and go into a small boat in the middle of the river and jump with all your money and be drowned -- so you have taken it. Try! Nobody has tried. If you don't succeed there is no harm, because everybody goes without it. If you succeed, then you will be the pioneer, the first one who reaches paradise with his whole bag of money. And all those saints will be looking with wide-open eyes -- `This man has done something!'" But the friend said, "That means you have to die."

He said, "Naturally, and you have to be in good health. When you are dying, then it will be very difficult to carry that heavy load. I am going to do it soon, because my wife is gone, now nobody is there."

But even if you jump in the ocean with all your money, the money will remain in the ocean, your body will remain in the ocean.

You will have to go alone, alone just as consciousness.

Nothing belongs to you, because you bring nothing here and you can take nothing from here.

Life is the only way.

Death is the only illusion to be understood.

If you can live fully, totally, understanding death as an illusion -- not because I am saying it, but by your own experience in deep meditation -- then live life fully, as totally as possible, without any fear. There is no insecurity, because even death is illusory.

Only the living being in you is real.

Clean it, sharpen it, make it fully aware so that not even a small part of it is drowned in darkness, so that you are luminous all over, you become aflame.

This is the only way; there is no other alternative.

And there is no need.

Question 3:



Mind always creates duality; otherwise, to be open or to be witnessing are not two things.

If you are open, you will be witnessing.

Without being a witness, you cannot be open; or if you are a witness, you will be open -- because being a witness and yet remaining closed is impossible. So those are only two words.

You can either start with witnessing -- then opening will come on its own accord; or you can start by opening your heart, all windows, all doors -- then witnessing will be found, coming on its own. But if you are simply thinking, without doing anything, then they look separate.

Mind cannot think without duality. Duality is the way of thinking.

In silence, all dualities disappear.

Oneness is the experience of silence.

For example, day and night are very clear dualities, but they are not two. There are animals who see in the night. Their eyes are more sensitive, capable of seeing in darkness. For them, there is no darkness. Those animals cannot open their eyes in the day, because their eyes are so delicate that the sun hurts. So while it is day for you, for those animals it is night; the eyes are closed, all is darkness. When it is night for you, it is day for them. The whole day they sleep, the whole night they are awake.

And if you ask a scientist and a logician, you will see the difference. If you ask the logician, "What is day?" he will say, "That which is not night." And what is not night? It is a circular game. If you ask, "What is night?" the logician is going to say, "What is not day."

You need day to define night, you need night to define day. Strange duality, strange opposition.... If there is no day, can you think of night? If there is no night, can you think of day? It is impossible.

Ask the scientist, who is closer to reality than the logician. For the scientist darkness is less light, light is less darkness. Now it is one phenomenon, just like a thermometer.

Somebody has a temperature of 110 degrees, just ready to move out of the house.

Somebody has a temperature of 98 degrees, the normal temperature for human beings, but somebody falls below 96 degrees, again ready for a move.

Your existence is not very big, just between degrees. Sixteen degrees ...

below is death, above is death; just a small slit in between, a small window of life.

If we could have a thermometer for light and darkness, the situation would be the same, just as it is between heat and cold -- the same thermometer will do for both. The cold is less hot and the hot is less cold, but it is one phenomenon; there is no duality.

It is the same with darkness and light.

And the same is true about all oppositions that mind creates. Openness, witnessing ... if you think intellectually, they look very different. They seem to be unrelated, how can they be one? But in experience they are one.

Question 4:




It is almost normal.

You fall in love with me. Just hearing my words, it appeals to your intellect. Your reason feels satisfied, and then a desire arises to be, at least for some time, with me.

And then a great shock ... because I am not a man of words. Although I have spoken more words than anybody else in the whole world, but still I say I am not a man of words.

My words are just like nets thrown to catch fish.

My message is wordless.

When you come close to me, then you see the point: that I am not a reasonable, rational, logical person; that you have come to an irrational mystic.

You had come with a certain rational conviction, and here you find that reason has to be abandoned. You have to take a jump into the unknown, for which I cannot provide any logic, any evidence ... except my own presence.

Anybody who has come here, caught by my words, will feel like escaping. Because he had come for a different reason, and here he finds a totally different situation -- not only different, but diametrically opposite.

I am not a teacher. I am not a philosopher. I am not interested in creating systems and hypotheses.

My interest is in destroying you as you are, so that you can be reborn in your existential potential.

I am here to destroy your personality, to give birth to your individuality.

It is a natural reaction, it happens to everybody. But you cannot escape either. At the most, you may go up to Dardar Station and come back again. You can try, and exactly from Dardar you will come back; that is the radius.

Once you are caught up with me, you cannot escape.

But I will not prevent you; trying to escape will be helpful. If you try to escape and then you have to come back, the next time the desire will arise but it will not have any effect on you. You will simply drop it, because it does not work.

Now you have to go the whole way, whatever it means. It may mean the death of the ego, of the personality; then you have to take the risk.

If you had not come to me you would have continued to enjoy my words, because it was just borrowed knowledge for you. And here I want you to drop all borrowed knowledge, including that which you have gathered from me.

I want you to become a knower, a seer.

Certainly, you have to pass through fire. But the fire only looks like fire from afar. The closer you come, the cooler you will find it. And the moment you pass through the fire you will be surprised that fire can also be so cool, so refreshing.

There is a story in Moses' life that Jews have not been able to explain in four thousand years.

On Mount Sinai, Moses encountered a strange phenomenon that he thought was God.

Certainly, it was very mysterious: a bush was afire but it was not burning; it was as green as any bush. Its flowers were as juicy and young as any flowers, and yet there was fire in the bush. Naturally attracted, curious, he wanted to look from close quarters at what was happening. He had never thought that fire could be there, flames were rising above the bush -- and the bush was green!

He came close, and just as he was coming very close a voice shouted, "Leave your shoes behind, Moses! You are entering into the holy land, into a sacred place." Trembling, he left his shoes. He could not see anybody, but it was certainly a miraculous experience. He thought it was God's voice.

My own explanation of the story is that everybody who goes through a transformation comes to the same bush which is afire, but the fire is cool. It is nourishing the bush, not destroying it. It only looks like fire; it is cool flames of life. For life, Moses' word is `God'

-- that's the only difference. That is a difference of language, nothing much.

You have come here, you have seen the flames. And the first idea will be, "Escape as quickly as possible; otherwise you will be burned."

Don't be worried. If I am not burned, if all these people here are not burned, you also are not going to be burned.

The fire is cool; it transforms.

It takes away your mask and helps you to discover your original face.

But still, freedom is available to you up to Dardar Station.

Question 5:




Deva Prem, it is necessary that I should repeat the story first:

A mystic in Sri Lanka is dying. He has thousands of followers; they have all gathered.

Just before closing his eyes he says, "If anybody wants to come with me, I can take him with me -- and this is the most shortcut way. You will not have to do anything. I don't have much time. Anybody wanting to go the most shortcut way ... otherwise, it takes so many lives to achieve enlightenment. I can take you with me from the back door. Just stand up!"

There was absolute silence, pin-drop silence. People looked at each other thinking, "This man has been listening to him for forty years, perhaps he may be ready." But he was looking at somebody else, because he had so many problems still to solve -- "Business is not good."

Everybody has problems: somebody has a girl to marry, somebody has a boy who is a troublemaker; somebody has a case in the court and this is not a time to become enlightened, first the court case has to be finished, and so on, so forth.

But one man raised one hand. He said, "I cannot stand up because I am not ready to go yet, but I cannot resist the temptation to know where the back door is -- because if sometime I am ready, I can follow the shortcut. Right now, I am not ready -- let it be completely clear to you that I am not coming with you -- but just tell us where the back door is."

The old man said, "The back door is such that you can enter only with your master, not alone. It is a very narrow gate; only one can enter at a time. If you are ready to dissolve yourself in the being of the master, then there is no problem -- one or one thousand, they will all enter through the door as one being. Alone, you will not be able to find it."

Now, Deva Prem wants me to ask him some day to come along from the back door. And he thinks he is ready and he will stand up -- although even thinking, he perspires and his legs tremble and his heart beats faster.

My feeling is, Deva Prem, you are the man who had raised his hand!

And one day I will ask, and I know that this time also you will only raise your hand ... or perhaps you may not even raise your hand. Because I am a different type of man. That old man was very compassionate.

I would have taken even this man -- at least he has raised his hand. That is enough -- what is the need of making him stand up? Just raising the hand is enough.

So when I will ask, remember: I will ask you to simply raise the hand. This time be alert, and get prepared -- because with trembling legs and perspiring it will be difficult to enter that back door.

That back door needs people who can disappear into nothingness dancing, singing, celebrating.

So learn to sing, learn to dance, learn to celebrate.

Any day, I can ask.

And I hate perspiration. I am very allergic -- perspiration you will have to stop.

And trembling, that gate won't allow you in; it will immediately see that there are two persons. You have to be absolutely still and one with me ... no trembling.

And this time I will not ask you to stand up. The last time, it was my fault.

Beyond Enlightenment

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"It is being rumoured around town," a friend said to Mulla Nasrudin,
"that you and your wife are not getting along too well.
Is there anything to it?"

"NONSENSE," said Nasrudin.