Jivan Mary, there is much more yet to happen.
What has happened to you is immense.
What will happen to you will be greater, but remember one thing: it is never enough.
Existence is such an abundance -- we cannot exhaust it. It is inexhaustible in its beauty, in its blissfulness, in its benediction.
You are feeling difficulties to express what is happening to you. And this is only the beginning -- just think of the difficulties of those who have gone far ahead of you. There comes a moment when even to say that this cannot be said is not possible -- because to say that this cannot be said is still saying something about it. It is still defining it in a very negative way.
There comes a moment when only silence, utter silence, remains your expression.
That is your thankfulness, that is your gratitude, that is your hallelujah... a dance which is invisible, a song which is not heard, a beauty which cannot be painted, described.
And only when we have come to the point where words are to be left behind does what I call `religiousness' begin.
I do not say renounce the world, but I certainly say move towards the moment when you will have to renounce the word.
THE BIBLE says, "In the beginning was the word." Nobody knows about the beginning.
Nobody can know about the beginning, because nobody can be the witness about the beginning. If somebody had been witnessing the beginning then it would not have been the beginning, because somebody was already there.
THE BIBLE may be right, may be wrong about the beginning, but I say unto you: In the end there is no word, and that has been witnessed by thousands of mystics in thousands of years past.
And the moment you come to realize that words are slipping out of your hands, that the boundary line of language is crossed... a tremendous innocence, a new childhood. For the first time you can understand that which cannot be spoken. You can understand the message of the wind blowing through the pine trees, you can understand the poetry of the sound of running water.
To be freed from language is to be freed from all human limitations.
Language is the greatest imprisonment.
I am happy that you are feeling a great difficulty to express something that you are experiencing. Slowly, it will become more and more clear that there is no word, no language, no concept to explain it, to express it.
Just silence is the only answer to all your questions, the only meeting with existence without any barrier, any wall.
As the language disappears, the mind is no more of any use. For the first time you contact existence directly, without the mediation of the mind -- and that experience is enlightenment. And nobody is far away from it, it is within everybody's reach.
But people are searching for their happiness where it does not exist. They are looking for living waters in deserts. And when frustration comes, failure comes, despair comes, they are angry at life, not angry at themselves.
What can life do? It is available, but somehow you manage to search in the wrong direction. Perhaps you are afraid, deep down, that life may be too much, love may be too much, existence may drown you.
And in a way, your fear is right: the closer you come to reality, the less you will be. The moment you encounter reality face to face, you will not be at all.
I have said many times that nobody has seen God -- neither Moses nor Jesus nor Krishna.
And naturally, people have misunderstood me. Whenever I have said that nobody has seen God, I was not saying there is no God; I was simply saying the moment you come close enough to God to see, you are no more. Who is going to see God? As long as you are -- to see, to feel, to say, to question, to inquire -- God is not.
And God is another name of reality. It is not a person, it is only a quality, a fragrance, a sweetness, a music.
Jivan Mary, one day will come when you will be in the state of hallelujah but you will not be able to say the word, because the word will fall short of the experience.
The problem is not only of one person -- everybody is dressed up.
Everybody is showing his best side to the world.
The heart may be full of tears, but people are smiling.
This is how we have been brought up by a hypocritical society. We are children of a hypocritical society. Rather than teaching every child to be just himself -- sincere, honest, naked -- we are helping every child to be exactly the opposite.
Just two days ago, one of my old friends had come to see me. He has a son who is thought by everybody to be crazy, insane, except by me. So the first thing I inquired about was his son, and he said, "Leave that subject. It makes me so sad, because now he is eighteen years old and he still goes naked all over the town. He is such a shame to the family."
I said, "In what way is he hurting anybody? He is not violent. He simply enjoys being naked."
They force clothes on him, and he throws them away on the street and goes towards the market. And they are running after him -- "Please, at least take the underwear."
And he says, "No underwear... the breeze is so cool."
And the boy is very intelligent. Of course, he is in a crowd which cannot accept him. He never lies; he is always utterly honest. Whatever he does, he does with totality. He has never gone to school because he asks those who have gone what they have gained. His father is a post-graduate; he asks him, "What have you gained? -- just a certificate." He says, "I want to live my life. I don't want to be dictated to by anybody, wrong or right. I simply want to be myself."
He is a hard worker. He will be working in the garden, and you can see how hard he works, but he works at only what he feels like working at. He plays beautiful flute, but the whole town thinks that he is mad.
And I have tried my best to find where his madness is. I have not been able to find his madness anywhere. He is just not willing to be part of the mob psychology. The crowd cannot accept that he is sane, because if he is sane, then what about the whole crowd?
Even his parents, my friend his father, cannot accept him. He said, "Except for you, nobody accepts that he is sane."
I said, "You are his father, you love him. Have you seen any madness in him?"
He said, "What more do you want? You want more madness? -- going naked in the streets. And he is now eighteen years old, and he will approach a woman and he will say `You are so beautiful. Can I kiss you?'" Naturally, the society cannot accept such a person -- although he is absolutely honest.
And he has honored the woman, he has praised her beauty, he has asked her permission.
Otherwise he is very strong -- living naked, doing hard work, never going to school; he is really strong -- he could have kissed any woman without any permission.
But a crowd gathers, and the woman starts shouting that he is being nasty to her, misbehaving with her.
Many times when I was there, I had to go inside the crowd and tell them, "You are making unnecessary fuss. The boy is alone, that's true, but he is not insane. He is a minority of one, and you are the majority of many -- but just because you are many, do you think you are right?"
Nobody has been ever able to point out to me that something is wrong with him. And he is being dragged to this doctor and to that doctor.
And he says, "What is wrong with me? I am not sick. The doctor cannot make any difference in me."
The truth is, the doctor is sick. The doctor is not honest.
The boy is very intelligent in seeing things. He has a strange clarity. He says, "I have been watching this doctor" -- because the doctor lives just in front of his house; his dispensary is there -- "and seeing that poor people get well quickly, and rich people linger on for months. And I am sitting there outside and enjoying the whole scene -- what kind of society is this? The poor man gets well because the doctor wants to get rid of him; you cannot get much money out of him. Instead the poor man starts asking, `Give me some money; I will return later on for the medicine. You are suggesting fruits and milk, but you will have to give me some money.'
"But the rich man, once he falls sick, is kept sick; he is sent to this expert for x-rays, to that expert for something else. It seems to be almost a conspiracy of experts exploiting the rich sick man."
I asked him how the boy is doing. He said, "Because of him, I feel so ashamed to go out of the house. And I always wanted you to help me, but you think he is right and we are wrong. You want me also to go naked, so I cannot raise the question, `What should be done with him?'" I said, "He needs nothing to be done, he is no harm to anybody. Give him work; he is always ready to work, he enjoys working. But he is not ready to have a mask. He is not ready to be continuously an actor, dressed up."
But the whole society that we have created is almost a drama. Here, everybody is repeating dialogues from books, from films, from stories. Nobody is opening his own heart.
I can understand your problem: you are afraid to ask authentic questions because they will expose you.
People ask questions which make them feel very knowledgeable. They want to ask questions not to get the answer, but just to show their knowledge.
Whenever you ask a knowledgeable question, you will not feel guilty, you will feel great.
But I am a crazy person: I never answer those questions which come out of your knowledge. I simply throw them away.
I only answer questions which open up your wounds, because once your wounds are open there is a possibility of healing. Once you expose yourself, you are on the way of transformation.
Once you are sincere in asking a question, you will listen to the answer because it is your need, it is your food. Your question was your thirst, and the answer can quench it.
So always remember: this is not a philosophical association, not a theosophical society where everybody is trying to prove that he knows more than you know. This is a place of transformation, of going through a revolution. And unless you show your real face, it is impossible to make any changes in your life, any transformations in your consciousness.
At the most, I can paint your mask, but I cannot change your real face by painting the mask. The mask has to be put aside. Hence, a love and a trust is needed -- that you can be utterly nude, without any fear.
You are not going to be condemned here. You will be accepted as you are, and we will begin from that acceptance to reach for a higher stage, for growth.
But that growth is not a condemnation of your present state. That growth is based on your present state of being; it has to be accepted.
But the religions of the world have really poisoned people's minds. Nobody is ready to open up and show who he is, because for centuries things have been condemned, you have to hide them. Nobody wants to be condemned. And there are things which have been praised, so you have to show them -- whether you have them or not does not matter.
It is very human and very natural; you want to be loved and to be accepted.
And the society has made the rules of the game, that these are the things to be condemned, so if you have those things hide them, repress them so deeply that even you become unaware of them. And if you don't have those things which society praises, honors, then pretend, and pretend so cleverly that it seems almost real.
Sometimes it is possible that the pretender may look more real than the real person, because the real person never goes through rehearsals. The pretender practices, disciplines himself.
I have always liked a beautiful incident in the life of Charlie Chaplin. It was his birthday, perhaps the fiftieth birthday, and all his fans and friends wanted to celebrate it in a special way. And they found a special way -- all over England, in every place, there would be competitions, and people would be invited to play the part of Charlie Chaplin. And in those competitions there would be selections, and then there would be other competitions from district to district. Then the semi-finals would be in London and there would be the final decision about who gets the first prize.
Just to give his friends a great surprise, Charlie Chaplin himself entered into the competition from a nearby district. He came to the semi-finals, but rather than surprising his friends he was surprised himself: he got second prize. Somebody played his act better than him; he had never thought about the possibility.
But it happened because the other person was practicing it, rehearsing it, and Charlie Chaplin simply appeared as he was. There was no need for him to rehearse -- he WAS Charlie Chaplin. But getting the second prize....
And when the people came to know that he had got the second prize, he was so ashamed of himself. He said, "I have been such an idiot to enter into it in the first place. I entered because I thought that I was going to be the first, without question."
So you have the possibility of pretenders posing qualities, values, characters, which are not real. Inside they are just the opposite kind of people. Criminals become saints -- it is easy: you just have to practice certain values, certain disciplines which are expected from a saint. Who cares that you are carrying a thousand and one criminal tendencies within you? People only see your face, nobody dives deep in you.
So the whole society has become a very strange phenomenon, almost weird, and everybody is suffering.
The person who is pretending to be a saint cannot enjoy it because his whole being is against it, his whole nature is against it. He is continuously fighting a battle with himself, and there is no greater misery than to be continuously in a fight with yourself. So those who are honored, respected citizens, you will never see them joyful, cheerful, rejoicing.
They are always sad, and to hide the fact of sadness they call it `seriousness' -- that they take life very seriously.
And the other part of humanity which has decided to go with its natural feelings is condemned; they become criminals. In the eyes of the religions they are sinners; they will fill the space in hell reserved for them. In life nobody will respect them, and after life also. Even their God is not capable of accepting his own creation.
If anybody is responsible, God is responsible.
Only one person is responsible for all the sinners. There is no need to send everybody into hell -- just throw God into hell and that will do, because he is the sole cause.
And these hypocrites, these phony people who are showing something but are not what they are showing, can they cheat existence also? Can they cheat God also? Here they will be respectable, but will they also be in paradise after life, enjoying all the pleasures?
We have put such tremendous pressure on poor human beings to destroy their integrity, to create a split in them.
My approach is totally different.
First, I want you to accept yourself as you are.
That's how existence wanted you to be. You have not created yourself; naturally the whole responsibility goes to existence. And there must be a need for a person like you; otherwise, you would not exist.
Existence needs you as you are.
The first principle of an authentic religious man is to accept himself as he is, without any judgment -- and only from there does your authentic pilgrimage begin.
Ask me questions without any fear, because I have never condemned anybody.
My whole love and respect is for the person who accepts himself totally, as he is. He has courage. He has courage to face the whole pressure of the society which is bent upon splitting him into divisions -- into good and bad, into saint and sinner. He is really a brave, courageous being who stands against the whole history of man, of morality, and declares to the skies his reality, whatever it is.
And at least with the master, the disciple has to be absolutely clean and clear so the master can start working with your reality, not with your phoniness. Because everything done with your phoniness is a sheer wastage.
Only the real you is capable of growing, of coming to a flowering.
The first thing to remember is, never ask for the impossible.
Begin slowly, bit by bit, step by step.
Just by walking step by step, you can cover ten thousand miles easily. But if you start thinking from the very beginning that "I want to cross ten thousand miles" your legs may start wavering, your heart may start feeling tremendously afraid.
Your mind will say, "You are asking too much; it is unreasonable. You are a small human being. Ten thousand miles... just walking one step each time -- because nobody can walk two steps at one time. Ten thousand miles looks too big."
Make small goals.
You are asking for total change. You don't see the impossibility of it at this point. At some other point it will not be impossible, but at this point it will be impossible to ask for a total change, because there will be so many implications in it.
Why not go a little slowly? Why not take one part of your being and clean it? Put your total energy into cleaning one part of your being, then move to the second part. And of course, finally you will be able to have a total change.
But mind is very cunning: whatever it wants to avoid, from the very beginning it creates such a situation -- it asks for the impossible. So you remain where you are, more frustrated, more in despair because the total change is not happening.
The mind has given you a goal and deceived you.
Total change certainly is the goal, but don't try to have it in a single step.
Go in a more human way, changing small parts.
I used to live with a man for many years. He was a rich man, and he loved me very much.
I had a bungalow in the university but he wouldn't allow me to live there. He had a beautiful mansion in the city. He said, "If you want, you can have the whole mansion. I will move to another house." He had many houses.
I said, "No, there is no need. What will I do? I need only one room. You can live and take care of the whole mansion and the garden and my room, because I am a lazy man. This big mansion -- who is going to clean it?"
In my university days I used to keep my bed just near the door and all my books around my bed, so I had not to enter into the room -- because there was such thick dust gathering, for two years. I had never entered -- why unnecessarily disturb settled things? So from the door I would directly jump into my bed, and all my books were around my bed so I could find them. This was a perfect arrangement: neither did the dust disturb me nor did I disturb the dust.
So I told him, "I don't need the whole mansion. Just one room is enough for me."
So he lived with me.
He was very rich but very miserly. Perhaps the word `miserly' is not enough to describe it.
He used to go for a walk in the morning with me, and anything he would find by the side of the road here and there, he would grab it. I said, "What will you do with it? -- just a handle of a bicycle; somebody had thrown it away.
He said, "You don't know. Just come with me, I will show you."
So I went into his house, in his part of the mansion, and he showed me. And I was really amazed! He said, "All these parts of the cycle I have found on the street. Just a few things are missing... and I hope I have enough life left; I have not yet found a chain. Two wheels are there, the seat is there, the handlebars I have found today. Mud guards are not necessary, just a chain. And I am not asking for too much. What do you think I go walking with you for?"
I said, "I never thought that you were going in search of a chain!"
He said, "A chain, or anything...."
His house was full of strange things... just one shoe. I said, "Where is the other?"
He said, "Some day I will find it, because the other one must be somewhere."
And he himself was so clever that he would go to the temple and he would put one shoe in one corner, the other shoe in another corner so nobody could steal them -- because who will steal one shoe? And in a crowd of shoes who is going to search for the other? Where is the other? -- because a thief is in a hurry.
He said, "I am the only progressive person who, when he is worshipping never looks back. Otherwise, everybody is looking back: What is happening to the shoes? Their worship is false! Are they bowing down to God or to their shoes? I am the only person who does not look back at all. I have figured it out -- that this way nobody can and nobody has ever been able.... And I go every day to the temple because I am looking for the other shoe. This shoe... the other must be somewhere."
And there were many things that he had found; people had thrown them and he would collect them.
But when I saw his bicycle, I was really amazed that he had managed... ALMOST managed; just a chain was missing. That could even be purchased. But he was such a miser, he was not going to purchase it; he was waiting. He said, "Just as you say... trust! - - I trust that the chain will be found one day."
Jabalpur had the largest number of cycles in India. So he said, "This is the place where it is impossible to miss a chain. I will find it." And one day he found it.
In the middle of the night he woke me. I said, "What is the matter? Has something gone wrong?"
He said, "No, I have found the chain!"
"In the middle of the night? Where have you been?"
He said, "I was just not feeling sleepy, so I thought why not have a look for the chain around the park? And it is a miracle -- I found it. Perhaps that's why I was not feeling sleepy. Now I can sleep with ease. One tension was always there on my mind, that death might come before the chain comes."
And I saw him within three days sitting on the bicycle without mud guards, without any carrier, going to his shop. I said, "I have been telling people to trust -- but it seems that trust works! You have proved me right."
And he said, "One thing more is good about this: there are no brakes on it. And it makes so much noise that you can hear it from almost half a mile away. So when I am coming home my wife knows that I am coming, so she starts preparing things for me. By the time I reach the house everything is ready; no need for wasting time in waiting. And nobody else can sit on my bicycle."
I said, "Why?"
He said, "Its seat is such -- it hurts so much. So there is no question of its ever being stolen. I leave it anywhere, and I go and do my work and I always find it in its place.
People have tried -- I have come to know that people have tried to steal it -- but they come back and put it in its place, because it is unnecessary trouble. First, it makes so much noise that everybody will know who has stolen it. Secondly, it hurts so much, and thirdly, it has no brakes, so any time, any accident...."
I said, "But how do you manage?"
He said, "There is no problem. Just in front of my shop there is a big mango tree. I just go there; it needs a tree to stop."
And in the mansion where I was living with him there were very big trees, ancient trees all around, so there was no question, no need. He said, "There is no need -- I go to my shop, there is a tree; I go to my home, there is a tree. Unless you have a very ancient tree, you cannot have my bicycle."
Just go slowly... part by part... and trust. Total change will also happen, but don't ask too much from the very beginning.
Always be alert that mind is cunning and gives you impossible goals, so you go on running after them.
Nothing is impossible if you go slowly, if you make many stopovers and you are not in a hurry. Whether the total change happens or not is not important. Even small changes in life are precious, because the total change will be simply the accumulated effect of all the small changes. Total change is not one whole; it is simply the effect of all the small changes, the accumulated revolution that happens in you.
So always remain human.
The past of man has been concentrated on giving you goals which are impossible. That is just to make you humiliated, because you cannot fulfill them -- you feel too tiny, too small, too fragile, with so many weaknesses.
I don't want you to think about impossible things. I want you to go very slowly, changing small parts of your life -- which is not difficult.
One day, you will suddenly find that total change has happened.
It is the case with most of the sannyasins: if they get a hit they feel bad about it, their ego feels hurt. Rather than understanding the hit, they become resentful, angry.
If they are not hit, then they start feeling that I am not taking care of them, that I am not paying attention to them, that while others are being hit, they are being left out. They feel as if they are not important enough.
This is how human mind creates misery out of every situation. If you get the hit, you are hurt; if you don't get the hit, you are hurt all the same.
But as far as I am concerned, I am not interested in hitting you or hurting you or ignoring anybody.
To me, all are equally important.
A same longing has brought them to me, a same thirst has brought them to me.
It will be very kind of you all to leave it to me that whenever a hit is necessary you will get it -- because a hit is medicinal, it is a kind of surgery.
But don't feel that because surgery is not being done on you, you are being ignored. If somebody else is hospitalized and nobody is taking care of you.... No, whenever you need to be hospitalized you will be hospitalized, each according to his need.
Whenever a hit is necessary to help your growth, you will not miss it. And whenever it is not necessary, then unnecessarily hitting you will only make your skull thick. Then when the time comes to hit you, you will have already been so disciplined in getting hits....
In my high school days, I was almost always late because I was interested in so many things on the way. I always started from home to reach the school at the right time, but I never reached because so much was going on along the way -- some magician was doing his tricks, and it was irresistible. Just to leave that magician and go to study... some stupid teacher talking about geography....
So I was punished continually, but soon my teachers realized that it was useless to punish me. Their first punishment was to tell me to go around the high school building seven times. I would ask, "If I go eleven times will it do?"
They would say, "Are you mad? This is a punishment."
I said, "I know this is a punishment, but I have missed my morning exercise. So if I make it my morning exercise, you are not losing anything. Your punishment is covered, my morning exercise is complete; nobody is losing anything, both are gaining."
So they stopped that, because this wouldn't do. They would tell me to stand outside the class. I said, "That's good, because I love the open air. The class is dark and dirty, and outside it is so beautiful. And in fact, sitting inside I am always looking outside. Who cares what you are teaching? -- the birds are singing, the trees are blossoming... it is so beautiful outside."
The headmaster would come on his round, and every day he would find me standing outside. And he would say, "What is the matter?"
I said, "Nothing is the matter. I love to stand outside; it is healthier, hygienic. And you can see how beautiful it is."
But he said, "I will see your teacher. How is it that he allows you to stand outside?"
I said, "I don't know, but he tells me himself, every day, `Stand outside.' So now I don't even ask him. It has become a routine, so I simply come and stand here."
He asked the teacher. The teacher said, "It must have been thirty days ago! I told him only once to stand outside -- since then he has not entered the class. I was thinking it was a punishment, and he is enjoying it. Not only that, he is spreading the rumor among the students that it is hygienic, it is healthy. And they are asking me, `Sir, can we also stand outside?' Then what am I to do here? Then I will also go and stand outside."
It is a question of how you take things.
So first, don't be worried. If you are not getting a hit, perhaps you don't need it, or perhaps it is not the right time. Or if you are getting the hit then don't feel hurt, because I am not hitting you, I am always hitting your ego -- something that is your disease, something that has to be dropped.
But leave it to me. I will not follow your expectations that because you want a hit -- the biggest hit, so you can show everybody, "Look, I have got the biggest hit".... Then the ego has used the hit. Rather than destroying the ego, the ego has taken the hit as a nourishment.
So leave it completely to me. It is none of your business.
Whenever I feel that you need a hit, you will get it -- and you will get it in the right quantity that you need. Don't brag about it, and don't feel sorry for it; just try to understand it.
It is a school of understanding.
Gunateet, you are right.
The question was yours -- at least written by you -- but Gunakar needed the answer more.
There has not been any misunderstanding.
He was also surprised, because he had not asked the question. But it was his question.
And he could not believe how somebody else had written exactly the question that he was going to ask.
And it was not time for you, for that question. Perhaps you got the vibration of the German Gunakar, and wrote down the question; it was not your question.
And I can understand your difficulty: it took eleven years for you to ask the question and now you are worried that I am sending you back to your old life and the hard woman.
About that you are wrong. Once you get a woman, it is always hard. If you miss a woman, it is just ice cream. Once you get a woman, suddenly she is steel hard.
But without women there would have been no enlightenment in this world.
Just think... a world without women. Then you cannot find any Gautam Buddha, because there is nobody to run away from. If there is no woman, there is no problem. Women are the real incentive.
They say that behind every great man there is a woman; it may be true, it may not be true.
But behind every enlightened man there are many women -- one won't do.
Enlightenment is a little difficult subject. When many women go on making a football of you, then at last you become enlightened. You will say, "Enough! Stop the game, I am going home."
Women are a blessing in the world. Without them, there is nothing.
So just be thankful to your hard woman; perhaps you are here because of her.
And you are saying that next time you come it will be in twenty-eight years, and you will ask, "What next?"
I am reminded of two stories.
Mulla Nasruddin was on Chowpatty Beach with his wife, and suddenly he said, "Would you like bhelpuri once more?"
The wife said, "Once more? But we have not had any bhelpuri."
He said, "Beloved, it seems you are losing your memory. Just fifty years ago when we got married and we had come here for the first time, we had bhelpuri. That's why I am saying, `Would you like it once more?'" Going back to your life, to your wife, to your work... but you will not be the same man.
You will be taking something of me with you. I may not have answered you, but you have felt me.
Answers and questions are superficial.
You have tasted my love, my presence.
So if by chance, after twenty-eight years, we meet again I will ask, "Do you want it once more?"
Most probably, you will not need to ask me again because the seed is sown. You know exactly what has to be done -- you have to slip your energies from the mind towards the heart. Those energies falling towards the heart are just like rain falling, and the seed will start sprouting.
Perhaps after twenty-eight years, if existence allows it, it will not be you who asks what is next. I will ask you, "What is next?" You will have come to flowering. You will have come just to show your gratitude.
It is good that you are not German.
The German soil is a little hard. It has its negative points and its positive points, its pros and cons. It is hard, it is very difficult for the seed to settle in it -- but once a seed settles in it, then it is very hard not to grow.
Your question was a mind question, and Gunakar needed it.
You don't need it. You have a soft heart. And the seed is already in your heart, and you know it is growing.
It is almost like a pregnant woman: when the child starts growing she knows that the child is growing. An experienced mother of two or three children even knows whether the child is a boy or a girl -- because the boy starts kicking, and the girl remains very centered, calm and quiet.
Boys are, after all, boys. From the very beginning, they are trouble.
An experienced mother can say after the third or fourth month whether the child will be a boy or a girl because the boy is doing all kinds of gymnastics, and the girl is simply sitting silently, waiting for her own chance. Later on, she will do the gymnastics and the boy will sit and read the newspaper. Everybody has his own chance.
The second story I was going to tell you is about a very rich American, a billionaire. He becomes fed up with money, fed up with all kinds of luxuries, fed up with all pleasures.
And naturally he starts searching -- is there something more, or is this all? Because if this is all then there is no point anymore for him to live; he has had enough of it. It is a question of life and death.
And he moves, and goes from one master to another -- some Tibetan lamas, some Sufi mystic, some Zen master. And then he comes to India and meets many saints. They all say, "There is one very wise old man in the Himalayas; only he can help you."
So he travels to the Himalayas, then by foot carries his luggage. He has never carried luggage in his life. He has never walked uphill in the mountains. It is too cold, but somehow he manages. Tired, he falls at the feet of the old man, who looks very ancient, and he says, "I have found you after all! I want to know -- what is the meaning of life?"
The old man said, "First things first. Have you got a Havana cigar?"
The man said, "What kind of question... Havana cigar? Yes, I have got one. In fact, I am a chain smoker, and I have been keeping one in case you make me enlightened. Before enlightenment, the last Havana cigar... I would like just a few minutes more to enjoy it, and then make me enlightened and do whatsoever you want. After enlightenment, I was thinking Havana cigars would not be allowed, because I have not seen Buddha smoking, or...."
He said, "Forget all about those old fellows. Bring the Havana cigar." And the old man started smoking.
The tired American watched, and said, "But what about my question?"
He said, "The time is not right. You go back. Come again after few years."
The man said, "This is strange. Any message?"
He said, "When you come, bring as many Havana cigars as you can because once you are enlightened we will both be smoking. On this hill there is nothing else to do. Just go fast and come back -- but bring them. I am sending you especially for Havana cigars.
Enlightenment is a very simple thing, but to get Havana cigars in the Himalayas is very difficult."
Don't be worried, I am not a smoker! You need not bring any Havana cigars; just come.
Don't wait for twenty-eight years. Whenever you feel the flower has opened its petals in you, come back.
I would just like to see you luminous, radiant, ecstatic.
And I say it is possible because you have a heart, Gunateet, that is ripe to grow any moment. No hard woman can prevent it; she can only help it.
So just go back, and whenever the spring comes and the flower is there, come back so I can see that the flower has lived to its potentiality and you have become fragrant.
And meanwhile, you can smoke as many Havana cigars as you want.