WHAT IS IT THAT REDUCES ME TO A HYSTERICAL, INCOHERENT CHILD IN YOUR PRESENCE OR EVEN AT THE THOUGHT OF BEING IN YOUR PRESENCE?
IS IT SOMETHING INHERENT IN THE MASTER-DISCIPLE RELATIONSHIP, OR MY PSYCHOLOGICAL IMMATURITY, OR BOTH?
Pankaja, humanity is not yet mature. We have the faces of human beings, but our minds are lagging far behind.
In the ordinary world, it is easy to manage your mask, your pretension, your hypocrisy.
But when you come to a master... the very urge to come to a master shows a tremendous desire in you to know your original face, to know yourself.
The face that you are carrying now is not your original face, it is not you.
I am saying you are not you, and you know it.
The master is only a mirror. You cannot deceive the mirror, it simply reflects your reality.
There is an ancient parable of a very ugly woman who was very antagonistic towards mirrors because she thought, just as you all think, that it was the mirror that created the ugliness in her -- because when the mirror was not there, she was no longer ugly. She was so madly against mirrors that whenever she would see a mirror, she would immediately break it.
The parable is signficant. That's what we are all doing in our lives in many ways.
Whatsoever reflects our reality we want to escape from because it is not gratifying.
Pankaja, here in my presence, or even when you think of me, if you feel yourself as immature, a retarded child, don't try to explain it away in any way. This is the truth. And this is not only your truth; this is the truth of the whole of humanity. You are just fortunate that you have become aware of it.
You have come across a mirror.
Breaking the mirror is not going to help.
Poisoning Socrates has not helped the Greeks -- he was a mirror.
Crucifying Jesus has not helped the Jews -- he was a mirror.
Killing al-Hillaj Mansoor has not helped the Mohammedans -- he was a mirror.
On the contrary, they have remained retarded, childish, because there is no one to show them where they are, who they are. They are in a crowd of similar kinds of retarded children.
After the first world war, for the first time in Germany they tried to figure out the average mental age of a soldier. Thousands of soldiers went through the process, through many experiments, and the result was shocking and shattering to the whole of human pride. The result was that the average mental age of the soldiers was only fourteen years.
And the average age of those who are not soldiers cannot be much more. A man may be seventy years old -- his body has aged, but his mind has remained at the age of fourteen.
And once in a while you can see it in yourself; you can see it in others in certain situations.
Every woman knows moments when she starts throwing tantrums; they cannot be coming out of maturity.
Every man knows that whenever he feels nervous, he starts smoking. Now, smoking cannot help in any way, but it diverts your mind from nervousness.
Only nervous people smoke. And you can watch... some days you smoke more, some days you smoke less. The days you smoke more are the days when you are very tense, worried, very much in anguish. The world is too much. You are feeling so nervous that you want to divert your mind to something, something uncomplicated, something not involving anybody else -- because that could bring more complications.
The cigarette is very innocent -- and very soothing, because it has the same chemical as tea has, as coffee has, which gives a certain soothing effect for the moment.
And more specifically, smoking has a resemblance to... a deep-rooted remembrance of drinking milk at your mother's breast. The breast has almost the same warmth, the milk is warm just as the smoke from your cigarette or cigar is warm. The cigarette or cigar have the same feel on your lips as the nipples of your mother, and the smoke is flowing inside you just like the milk through the nipple. You have fallen back into childhood -- those golden days when there were no anxieties, no problems, no worries. So whenever you feel nervous, you start looking for your cigarette.
When you are not nervous -- when you are feeling happy and blissful and joyous -- you completely forget all about cigarettes.
All smokers are retarded people, so the retarded people are in the majority in the world.
And there are other substitutes. You may not be smoking and you may think, "I'm not retarded because I use chewing gum." And it is worse than cigarettes -- chewing gum!
You are not only retarded, you are stupid, engaged in an activity which is absolutely useless, uncreative, unnecessarily tiring your mouth and your teeth. But it proves Charles Darwin was right.
Although scientists have tried in many ways to disprove the theory of evolution proposed by Charles Darwin, the theory has such psychological significance that even if it is proved wrong, its significance cannot be destroyed.
Just watch a monkey. He cannot sit in one posture, he cannot sit on one branch. He is continuously chewing this or that, eating this or that -- the whole day. From the time he wakes up in the morning till he goes back to sleep, he is chewing something.
Perhaps man is not yet completely free from his animal heritage -- although he walks on two legs, that does not make much difference.
As far as I know, monkeys don't think that you have evolved, developed, gone forward more than them. They laugh at the very idea.
They think you have fallen from the trees. And they have substantial reasoning behind it.
You are no longer as strong as a monkey; you cannot live in trees, you cannot go on jumping from one tree to another tree for miles. You have lost the beauty of the body that the monkey has. Just because you started walking on two legs....
Monkeys think, "Poor fellows... those few monkeys can't make it living in the trees" -- because it is a very challenging life, risky, full of danger -- "those cowards have got down onto the earth and started walking on two legs! Not only that, to hide their cowardice, they are proposing a theory of evolution!"
No monkey agrees with the theory of evolution.
Pankaja, if in my presence you feel a childishness in yourself, a mind which has not become mature, this awareness has to be welcomed.
Once you become aware that you are retarded somewhere, that something is blocking your consciousness, then those blocks can be removed. In fact, to be aware that there are some blocks... the very awareness removes them.
There are things which one has just to be aware of. The very awareness brings the transformation; it is not that after being aware you have to do something to make the change.
Seeing your mind as childish, you can also see that you are not the mind -- otherwise, who is seeing the mind as childish? There is something beyond the mind -- the watcher on the hills.
You are only looking at the mind.
You have completely forgotten who is looking at it.
Watch the mind, but don't forget the watcher -- because your reality is centered in the watcher, not in the mind. And the watcher is always a fully grown-up, mature, centered consciousness. It needs no growth.
And once you become aware that the mind is only an instrument in the hands of your witnessing soul, then there is no problem; the mind can be used in the right way. Now the master is awake, and the servant can be ordered to do whatever is needed.
Ordinarily the master is asleep. We have forgotten the watcher, and the servant has become the master. And the servant is a servant -- it is certainly not very intelligent.
You have to be reminded of a basic fact: intelligence belongs to the watching consciousness; memory belongs to the mind.
Memory is one thing -- memory is not intelligence. But the whole of humanity has been deceived for centuries and told indirectly that the memory is intelligence. Your schools, your colleges, your universities are not trying to find your intelligence; they are trying to find out who is capable of memorizing more.
And now we know perfectly well that memory is a mechanical thing. A computer can have memory, but a computer cannot have intelligence.
And a computer can have a better memory than you have. The day is not far off when people will be carrying small computers in their pockets rather than unnecessarily going through years of studying history and geography and chemistry and physics. All that can be contained in a small computer which you can carry in your pocket, and whatever information you want, the computer can supply it immediately -- and it is going to be absolutely correct.
Man's memory is not so reliable. It can forget, it can get mixed up, it can get blocked.
Sometimes you say that "I remember it, it is just on the tip of my tongue." Strange, it is on the tip of your tongue, then why don't you speak?
But you say it is not coming, "It is on the tip of my tongue... I know that I know, and it is not very far -- it is very close." But still some block, some very thin block -- it may be just a curtain -- is not allowing it to surface.
And the more you try, the more tense you become, the less is the possibility of remembering it. Finally, you forget all about it, you start doing something else -- preparing a cup of tea or digging a hole in the garden -- and suddenly it is there because you were relaxed, you had forgotten all about it, there was no tension. It surfaced.
A tense mind becomes narrow. A relaxed mind becomes wide -- many more memories can pass through it. A tense mind becomes so narrow that only very few memories can pass through it.
But for thousands of years a misunderstanding has continued, and it continues still, as if memory is intelligence. It is not.
You will find people who have a great memory but no intelligence, and you can also find people who have great intelligence and no memory at all.
It is said about Thomas Alva Edison... perhaps he is the only man who is credited with at least one thousand inventions, but his memory was nil.
In the first world war he was standing in a queue to receive his ration card. Ration cards had come into existence for the first time. By and by the queue became smaller and smaller, and finally he came to the front and the clerk shouted, "Thomas Alva Edison!" -- he looked here and there, because he had forgotten his name. Because it was long, long ago... when his father and mother were alive, they used to call him by name. Now he was so well known, such a great scientist, a great professor -- nobody used his name, people called him `Professor'. He himself had forgotten.
Fortunately, one man in the queue behind him recognized that this fellow looked like Thomas Alva Edison, who was standing in front and looking here and there.
And the man said, "What is your name?"
Edison said, "My God, I will have to go home and ask my wife."
The man said, "As far as I know, you are Thomas Alva Edison."
Edison said, "It seems I have heard this name somewhere before. Perhaps I am. If nobody else claims it, then that card is mine."
He was such a great intelligence. You cannot find many more people of that intelligence.
But, going for a lecture tour, before getting into the car, he said goodbye to his wife and kissed her and waved at her maidservant. And the wife said, "You are absolutely wrong; I am your maidservant and she is your wife!"
He said, "The whole day I am so engaged in the experiments -- I only come home at night. It is a long time since I have seen my wife in the sunlight, so please forgive me -- whichever is my wife, I kiss her, and whichever is my maidservant, I wave to her. But let me go, because the train is standing at the platform."
Absolutely no memory.
His wife used to keep notes of his thoughts... because sometimes he would come to a thought, but it was incomplete. And before he forgot it, he would tell somebody, whoever was close by, "Please write it down and keep it for me. Whenever I need it, just remind me -- because half is missing. It will come, but my fear is that when the other half comes, this half may be lost."
Somebody suggested, "You are behaving strangely. Why don't you keep a notebook?"
He said, "That is the trouble. I have been keeping notebooks, but then I go on forgetting where I have put them. Then the notebook becomes the problem! This is far better. At least somebody is responsible for the half thought and he will remind me: `This is half your thought. If the other half has come to your mind, take this and relieve me of the burden.'" In India -- as in Arabia, China, Greece, Rome, in all old countries -- all the old languages depend on memory, not on intelligence. You can become a great Sanskrit scholar without a bit of intelligence -- no need for intelligence, just your memory has to be perfect. Just like a parrot... the parrot does not understand what he is saying, but he can say it absolutely correctly, with the right pronunciation. You can teach him whatever you want.
All old languages depend on memory.
And the whole educational system of the world depends on memory. In the examinations, they don't ask the student something that will show his intelligence but something that will show his memory, how much he remembers from textbooks. This is one of the reasons for your retarded mind. You have used the memory as if it were your intelligence -- a tremendously grave misunderstanding. Because you know and remember and you can quote scriptures, you start thinking that you are grown up, you are mature, that you are knowledgeable, you are wise.
This is the problem, Pankaja, that you are feeling.
I am not a man of memory. And my effort here is to provoke a challenge in you so that you start moving towards your intelligence.
It is of no use how much you remember.
What is significant is how much you have experienced yourself.
And for experiencing the inner world, you need great intelligence -- memory is of no help. Yes, if you want to be a scholar, a professor, a pundit, you can memorize scriptures and you can have a great pride that you know so much. And other people will also think that you know so much, and deep down your memory is nothing but ignorance.
In front of me, you cannot hide your ignorance.
In every possible way, I try to bring your ignorance in front of you because the sooner you get hold of your ignorance, the sooner you can get rid of it. And to know is such a beautiful experience that the borrowed knowledge, in comparison, is just idiotic.
I have heard about the archbishop of Japan. He wanted to convert a Zen master to Christianity. Not knowing, not understanding anything of the inner world, he went to the master. He was received with great love and respect.
He opened the BIBLE he carried with him and started reading the Sermon on the Mount.
He wanted to impress upon the Zen master that..."We follow this man. What do you think about these words, about this man?"
He had read only two sentences and the Zen master said, "That will do. You are following a good man, but he was following other good men. Neither you know nor does he know. Just go home."
He was very much shocked. He said, "You should at least let me finish the whole thing."
He said, "No nonsense here. If you know something, you say it. Close the book! -- because we are not believers in books. You are carrying the very truth in your being, and you are searching in dead books. Go home and look within. If you have found something inside, then come. If you think these lines that you have repeated to me are from Jesus Christ, you are wrong."
Jesus Christ was simply repeating the Old Testament. He was trying his whole life to convince people that "I am the last prophet of the Jews." He had never heard the word `Christian', he had never heard the word `Christ'. He was born a Jew, he lived a Jew, he died a Jew. And his whole effort was to convince the Jews that "I am the awaited prophet, the savior which Moses has promised. I have come."
The Jews could have forgiven him... Jews are not bad people. And Jews are not violent people either. Nobody who is as intelligent as the Jews are can be violent. Forty percent of Nobel prizes go to Jews; it is simply out of all proportion to their population. Almost half the Nobel prizes go to Jews, and the other half to the rest of the world.
Such intelligent people would not have crucified Jesus if he was saying something which was of his own experience. But he was saying things which were not his experience -- all borrowed. And yet he was pretending that they were his. Jews could not forgive that, that dishonesty.
Otherwise, Jesus was not creating any trouble for anybody. He was a little bit of a nuisance. Just like the Witnesses of Jehovah or the Hare Krishna people; they are a little bit of a nuisance. If they catch hold of you they will not listen to you at all and they will go on giving you all kinds of wisdom, advice -- and you are not interested; you are going for some other work, you want to be left alone. But they are determined to save you.
Whether you want to be saved or not does not matter -- you have to be saved.
It happened that I was sitting near the Ganges in Allahabad, and it was just as the sun was setting. A man started shouting from the water, "Save me! Save me!"
I am not interested in saving anybody. So I looked all around... if somebody is interested in saving him, let him have the first chance. But there was nobody, so finally I had to jump.
And with difficulty... he was a heavy man, fat. The fattest men in India you will find in Allahabad and Varanasi -- the brahmins, the Hindu priests, who do nothing except eat.
Somehow I pulled him out. And he started being angry -- "Why did you pull me out?"
I said, "This is something! You were asking for help, you were shouting, `Save me!'" He said, "It was because I was becoming afraid of death. But in fact I was committing suicide."
I said, "I am sorry, I had no idea that you were committing suicide."
I pushed the man back! And he started shouting again, "Help!"
I said, "Now wait for somebody else to come. I will sit here and watch you commit suicide."
He said, "What kind of man are you? I am dying!"
I said, "Die! That is your business!"
But there are people who are bent upon saving you.
The Zen master said to the archbishop, "Jesus was repeating old prophets. You are repeating Jesus. Repetition is not going to help anybody. You need your own experience - - that is the only deliverance, the only liberation."
Pankaja, it is good that you are understanding that your mind starts behaving like a child, immature. Remember also who is watching the child, the immature mind, and be with the watcher. Pull out all your attachments from the mind -- because the mind is only a mechanism -- and the mind will start functioning perfectly well. Once your watcher is alert, your intelligence starts growing for the first time.
Mind's work is memory, which the mind can do very well. But the mind has been burdened by the society with intelligence, which is not its work. It has crippled its memory. It has not made you more intelligent, it has simply made your memory erroneous, fallible.
Always remember: your eyes are for seeing, don't try to listen with the eyes. Your ears are for listening, don't try to see with the ears. Otherwise, you will get into an insane state. While your eyes are perfectly alright, your ears are perfectly alright, you are trying to do something with a mechanism that is not meant to do it.
If your watcher is clear, then the body does its own functions, the mind does its own functions, the heart does its own functions. Nobody interferes in each others' work.
And life becomes a harmony, an orchestra.
WHY DO I ALWAYS FEEL SO MISERABLE? HAVE I EVER REALLY LET YOU IN? THE MOMENT I SIT IN FRONT OF YOU, ALL IS GONE. WHAT IS HAPPENING? CAN'T YOU TAKE IT ALL AWAY?
The answer is in your question. You don't want to take responsibility for your own being, somebody else should do it.
And that's the sole cause of misery.
There is no way that anybody else can take away your misery. There is no way that anybody else can make you blissful. But if you become aware that you are responsible for whether you are miserable or blissful.... Nobody else can do anything. Your misery is your doing; your bliss will also be your doing.
But it is hard to accept -- misery is my doing?
Everybody feels that others are responsible for his misery. The husband thinks the wife is responsible for his misery, the wife thinks the husband is responsible for her misery, the children think the parents are responsible for their misery, the parents think the children are responsible for their misery. It has become such a complexity. And whenever somebody else is responsible for your misery, you are not aware that by giving the responsibility you are losing your freedom.
Responsibility and freedom are two sides of the same coin.
And because you think others are responsible for your misery.... That's why there are charlatans, so-called saviors, messengers of God, prophets who go on telling you, "You have not to do anything, just follow me. Believe in me and I will save you. I am your shepherd, you are my sheep."
Strange, that not a single person stood up against people like Jesus Christ and said, "This is utterly insulting to say that you are the shepherd and we are sheep, and you are the savior and we are just dependent on your compassion, that our whole religion is just to believe in you." But because we have been throwing the responsibility for our misery on others, we have accepted the corollary that bliss will also come from others.
Naturally, if misery comes from others, then bliss has to come from others. But then what are you doing? You are neither responsible for misery nor are you responsible for bliss -- then what is your function? What is your purpose? -- just to be a target for a few people to make you miserable and for others to help you and save you and make you blissful?
Are you just a puppet?
All the strings are in the hands of others. You are not respectful of your humanity; you do not respect yourself. You don't have any love for your own being, for your own freedom.
If you are respectful of your life, you will refuse all the saviors. You will say to all the saviors, "Get lost! Just save yourself, that's enough. It is our life and we have to live it. If we do something wrong, we will suffer the misery; we will accept the consequences of our wrong action without any complaint."
Perhaps that is the way one learns: by falling, one gets up again; by going astray, one comes back again. You commit a mistake. But each mistake makes you more intelligent; you will not commit the same mistake again. If you commit the same mistake again, that means you are not learning. You are not using your intelligence, you are behaving like a robot.
My whole effort is to give back to every human being the self-respect that belongs to him -- which he has given to just anybody.
And the whole stupidity starts because you are not ready to accept that, for your misery, you are responsible.
Just think: you cannot find a single misery for which you are not responsible. It may be jealousy, it may be anger, it may be greed -- but something in you must be the reason that is creating the misery.
And have you seen anybody in the world ever making anybody else blissful? That too depends on you, on your silence, your love, your peace, your trust. And the miracle happens -- nobody does it.
In Tibet, there is a beautiful story about Marpa. It may not be factual, but it is tremendously significant.
I don't care much about facts. My emphasis is on the significance and the truth, which is a totally different thing.
Marpa heard about a master. He was searching and he went to the master, he surrendered to the master, he trusted totally. And he asked the master, "What am I supposed to do now?"
The master said, "Once you have surrendered to me, you are not supposed to do anything.
Just believe in me. My name is the only secret mantra for you. Whenever you are in difficulty, just remember my name and everything will be all right."
Marpa touched his feet. And he tried it immediately -- he was such a simple man. He walked on the river. Other disciples who had been with the master for years could not believe it -- he was walking on the water!
They reported to the master that, "That man, you have not understood him. He is no ordinary man, he is walking on water!"
The master said, "What?"
They all ran towards the river and Marpa was walking on the water, singing songs, dancing. When he came to the shore, the master asked, "What is the secret?"
He said, "What is the secret? It is the same secret that you have given to me -- your name.
I remembered you. I said, `Master, allow me to walk on water' and it happened."
The master could not believe that his name.... He himself could not walk on water. But perhaps... he had never tried.
But it would be better to check a few more things before he tries. So he said to Marpa, "Can you jump from that hill?"
Marpa said, "Whatever you say." He went up on the hill and jumped, and they were all standing in the valley waiting -- just pieces of Marpa will be there! Even if they can find pieces of him, that will be enough -- the hill was very high.
But Marpa came down smiling, sitting in a lotus posture. He came just under a tree in the valley, and sat down. They all surrounded him. They looked at him -- not even a scratch.
The master said, "This is something. You used my name?"
He said, "It was your name."
The master said, "This is enough, now I am going to try," and the first step in the water, he sank.
Marpa could not believe it when he sank. His disciples jumped in and somehow pulled him out. He was half dead. The water was taken out of his lungs... somehow he survived.
And Marpa said, "What is the matter?"
The master said, "You just forgive me. I am no master, I am just a pretender."
But Marpa said, "If you are a pretender, then how did your name work?"
The pretender said, "My name has not worked. It is your trust. It does not matter who you trust -- it is the trust, the love, the totality of it. I don't trust myself. I don't trust anybody. I cheat everybody -- how can I trust? And I am always afraid to be cheated by others, because I am cheating others. Trust is impossible for me. You are an innocent man, you trusted me. It is because of your trust that the miracles have happened."
Whether the story is true or not does not matter.
One thing is certain, that your misery is caused by your mistakes and your bliss is caused by your trust, by your love.
Your bondage is your creation and your freedom is your declaration.
You are asking me, "Why am I miserable?"
You are miserable because you have not accepted the responsibility for it. Just see what your misery is, find out the cause -- and you will find the cause within yourself. Remove the cause, and the misery will disappear.
But people don't want to remove the cause, they want to remove the misery. That is impossible, that is absolutely unscientific.
And then you ask me to save you, to help you.
There is no need for you to become a beggar. My people are not to become beggars. My people are not sheep, my people are emperors.
Accept your responsibility for misery, and you will find that just hidden inside you are all the causes of bliss, freedom, joy, enlightenment, immortality.
No savior is needed. And there has never been any savior; all saviors are pseudo. They have been worshipped because you always wanted somebody to save you. They have always appeared because they were always in demand, and wherever there is a demand, there is a supply.
Once you depend on others, you are losing your soul.
You are forgetting that you have a consciousness as universal as anybody else's, that you have a consciousness as great as any Gautam Buddha's -- you are just not aware of it, you have not looked for it. And you have not looked because you are looking at others -- somebody else to save you, somebody else to help you. So you go on begging without recognizing that this whole kingdom is yours.
This has to be understood as one of the most basic principles of sannyas -- a declaration of self-respect and freedom and responsibility.
WOULD YOU PLEASE TALK ABOUT THE SADHANA BASED ON HOLDING AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO THE "I" THOUGHT OR THE SENSE "I AM" AND ON ASKING ONESELF THE QUESTIONS, "WHO AM I?" OR "FROM WHERE DOES THIS `I' ARISE?" IN WHAT WAY DOES THIS APPROACH TO MEDITATION DIFFER FROM THAT OF WATCHING THE GAPS BETWEEN ONE'S IN-BREATH AND OUT-BREATH? DOES IT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE WHETHER ONE WITNESSES THE BREATH FOCUSING ON THE HEART CENTER OR ON THE LOWER BELLY CENTER?
It is an ancient method of meditation, but full of dangers.
Unless you are alert, the greater possibility is that you will be led astray by the method rather than to the right goal.
The method is simple -- concentrating yourself on the concept of I, closing your eyes and inquiring, "Who am I?"
The greatest problem is that when you ask "Who am I"... who is going to answer you?
Most probably the answer will come from your tradition, from your scriptures, from your conditioning.
You have heard that "I am not the body, I am not the mind. I am the soul, I am the ultimate, brahma, I am God" -- all these kinds of thoughts you have heard before.
You will ask a few times, "Who am I? Who am I?" -- and then you will say, "I am ultimate, BRAHMA." And this is not a discovery, this is simply stupid.
If you want to go rightly into the method, then the question has not to be verbally asked.
"Who am I?" has not to be repeated verbally. Because as long as it remains a verbal question, you will supply a verbal answer from the head.
You have to drop the verbal question. It has to remain just a vague idea, just like a thirst.
Not that "I am thirsty," -- can you see the difference? When you are thirsty, you feel the thirst.
And if you are in a desert, you feel the thirst in every fiber of your body. You don't say, "I am thirsty, I am thirsty." It is no longer a linguistic question, it is existential.
If "Who am I?" is an existential question, if you are not asking it in language but instead the feeling of the question is settling inside your center, then there is no need for any answer. Then it is none of the mind's business.
The mind will not hear that which is non-verbal, and the mind will not answer that which is non-verbal.
All your scriptures are in the mind, all your knowledge is gathered there.
Now you are entering an innocent space. You will not get the answer. You will get the feel, you will get the taste, you will get the smell.
As you go deeper, you will be filled more with the feeling of being, of immortality, blissfulness, silence... a tremendous benediction.
But there is no answer like, "I am this, I am that." All that is from the scriptures. This feeling is from you, and this feeling has a truth about it.
It is a perfectly valid method.
One of the great masters of this century, Raman Maharshi, used only this method for his disciples: "Who am I?" But I have come across hundreds of his disciples -- they are nowhere near the ultimate experience. And the reason is because they know the answer already.
I have asked them, "Do you know the answer?"
They said, "We know the answer."
I said, "If you know the answer, then why are you asking? And your asking cannot go on very long -- do it two or three times and the answer comes. The answer was already there, before the question."
So it is just a mind game. If you want to play it, you can play it. But if you really want to go into it as it was meant by Raman Maharshi, and by all the ancient seers, it is a non- verbal thirst.
Not knowing oneself hurts, it is a wound. Not knowing oneself makes the whole of life meaningless. You may know everything, only you do not know yourself -- and that would be the first thing to know.
So if you can avoid the danger of falling into a verbal question, it is perfectly good, you can go ahead.
You have also asked about witnessing, watching the breath and where one should watch.
Anywhere -- because the question is not where you are watching, the question is that you are watching.
The emphasis is on watching, watchfulness. All those points are just excuses. You can watch the breath at the tip of the nose where the breath goes in, you can watch it while it is going in, you can watch it when it returns -- you can watch it anywhere. You can watch thoughts moving inside. The whole point is not to get lost in what you are watching, as if that is important. That is not important....
The important thing is that you are watchful, that you have not forgotten to watch, that you are watching... watching... watching.
And slowly slowly, as the watcher becomes more and more solid, stable, unwavering, a transformation happens. The things that you were watching disappear.
For the first time, the watcher itself becomes the watched, the observer itself becomes the observed.
You have come home.
I HAVE NOT EXPECTED ANYTHING FROM YOU, YET YOU HAVE TRICKED ME AND GIVEN ME SOME BEAUTIFUL THINGS. IS THERE ANYTHING A SANNYASIN HAS TO ASK, OR DOES EVERYTHING HAPPEN ON ITS OWN?
Everything happens on its own, but a sannyasin has to be alert not to miss the train.
The train comes on its own, but you have to be alert. All around you so much is happening; in twenty-four hours... awake, asleep... you have to be watchful of what is happening. And the more you are alert, you will be surprised... the same things are happening that were happening before, but the meaning has changed, the significance is different.
The roseflower is the same, but now it is radiant, surrounded by some new energy that you were not aware of before -- a new beauty. It seems you used to see only the outer side of the rose; now you are able to see its inner world. You used to watch the palace from the outside; now you have entered into its innermost chambers. You have seen the moon hundreds of times, but when you see it silently, peacefully, meditatively, you become aware of a beauty that you were not aware of before, a beauty that is not ordinarily available, for which you need to grow some insight.
And in silence, in peace, that insight grows.
It happened... a very significiant incident. One of the Indian poets, Rabindranath Tagore, translated one of his small books of poems, GITANJALI, "Offering of Songs." He was awarded the Nobel prize for that small book.
In India it was available for at least fifteen years. But unless a book meets the international standards of language and gains international appreciation, it is difficult for it to get a Nobel prize.
Rabindranath himself was a little worried, because he translated it and to translate poetry is always a very difficult affair. To translate prose is simple; to translate poetry is immensely difficult, because prose is of the marketplace and poetry is something of the world of love, of the world of beauty, of the world of moon and stars. It is a delicate affair.
And every language has its own nuances which are almost untranslatable. Although the poet himself translated his own poetry, he was doubtful about the translation. So he showed it to one of the Christian missionaries, a very famous man of those days, C.F.
Andrews -- a very literate, cultured, sophisticated man.
Andrews suggested four changes. He said, "Everything else is right, but in four places it is not grammatically right."
So Rabindranath simply accepted his advice, and changed those four places.
In London, his friend, the Irish poet Yeats, called a meeting of English poets to hear the translation of Rabindranath. Everybody appreciated it. The beauty of it was something absolutely new to the Western world.
But Yeats, who was the most prominent poet of England in those days, said, "Everything else is right, but in four places it seems that somebody who is not a poet has made some changes."
Rabindranath could not believe it. He said, "Where are those four places?"
Yeats pointed out the four places exactly.
Rabindranath said, "What is wrong?"
He said, "There is nothing wrong, they are grammatically correct. But poetically...
whoever suggested them is a man who knows his grammar but does not know poetry. He is a man of the mind but not a man of the heart. The flow is obstructed, as if a river had come across a rock."
Rabindranath told him, "I asked C.F. Andrews; these are his words. I will tell you the words that I put there before."
And when he put his words in, Yeats said, "They are perfectly right although grammatically wrong. But grammar is not important. When it is a question of poetry, grammar is not important. You change it back, use your own words."
I have always been thinking that there are ways of the mind, there are ways of the heart; they need not be supportive of each other. And if it happens that the mind is not in agreement with the heart, then the mind is wrong. Its agreement or disagreement does not matter. What matters is that your heart feels at ease, peaceful, silent, harmonious, at home.
We are trained for the mind, so our mind is very articulate. And nobody takes any care of the heart. In fact, it is pushed aside by everybody because it is of no use in the marketplace, it is no use in the world of ambitions, no use in politics, no use in business.
But with me, the situation is just the opposite -- the mind is of no use. The heart....
Everything happens, just your heart has to be ready to receive it.
Everything comes, but if your heart is closed.... The secret laws of life are such that the doors of your heart will not even be knocked on.
Existence knows how to wait; it can wait for eternity.
It all depends on you.
Everything is ready to happen any moment. Just open all your doors, all your windows, so that existence can pour into you from every side. There is no other god than existence, and there is no other paradise than your very being.
When existence pours into your being, paradise has entered into you -- or you have entered into paradise, just different ways of saying the same thing.
But remember: nothing is expected of you.
All the religions have been telling you for centuries that you have to do this, you have to do that. That you have to be a torturer of yourself, you have to renounce pleasures, you have to fight with your body, you have to renounce the world.
The Buddhist scriptures have thirty-three thousand principles that a sannyasin should follow. It is almost impossible to remember them -- following them is out of the question.
I don't have a single principle for you to follow; just a simple understanding that it is your life -- enjoy it, allow it to sing a song in you, allow it to become a dance in you. You have nothing else to do but simply to be available.
And flowers are going to shower on you.