My approach to your growth is basically to make you independent of me.
Any kind of dependence is a slavery, and the spiritual dependence is the worst slavery of all.
I have been making every effort to make you aware of your individuality, your freedom, your absolute capacity to grow without any help from anybody. Your growth is something intrinsic to your being. It does not come from outside; it is not an imposition, it is an unfolding.
All the meditation techniques that I have given to you are not dependent on me -- my presence or absence will not make any difference -- they are dependent on you. It is not my presence, but your presence that is needed for them to work.
It is not my being here but your being here, your being in the present, your being alert and aware that is going to help.
I can understand your question and its relevance. It is not irrelevant.
The whole past of man is, in different ways, a history of exploitation. And even the so- called spiritual people could not resist the temptation to exploit. Out of a hundred masters, ninety-nine percent were trying to impose the idea that, "Without me you cannot grow, no progress is possible. Give me your whole responsibility."
But the moment you give your whole responsibility to somebody, unknowingly you are also giving your whole freedom.
And naturally, all those masters had to die one day, but they have left long lines of slaves:
Christians, Jews, Hindus, Mohammedans. What are these people? Why should somebody be a Christian? If you can be someone, be a Christ, never be a Christian. Are you absolutely blind to the humiliation when you call yourself a Christian, a follower of someone who died two thousand years ago?
The whole of humanity is following the dead. Is it not weird that the living should follow the dead, that the living should be dominated by the dead, that the living should depend on the dead and their promises that `We will be coming to save you.'?
None of them has come to save you. In fact, nobody can save anybody else; it goes against the foundational truth of freedom and individuality.
As far as I am concerned, I am simply making every effort to make you free from everybody -- including me -- and to just be alone on the path of searching.
This existence respects a person who dares to be alone in the seeking of truth. Slaves are not respected by existence at all. They do not deserve any respect; they don't respect themselves, how can they expect existence to be respectful towards them?
So remember, when I am gone, you are not going to lose anything. Perhaps you may gain something of which you are absolutely unaware.
Right now I am available to you only embodied, imprisoned in a certain shape and form.
When I am gone, where can I go? I will be here in the winds, in the ocean; and if you have loved me, if you have trusted me, you will feel me in a thousand and one ways. In your silent moments you will suddenly feel my presence.
Once I am unembodied, my consciousness is universal. Right now you have to come to me.
Then, you will not need to seek and search for me. Wherever you are... your thirst, your love... and you will find me in your very heart, in your very heartbeat.
It is good that you are becoming aware of a very essential phenomenon: that in the marketplace you had become mechanical, robot-like.
Coming here, you are more relaxed.
The speed of the mind is slowly, slowly getting less. And as your awareness is becoming clear, your mechanicalness is disappearing. You have to see that awareness and mechanicalness cannot exist together; there is no coexistence possible between those two factors.
In the marketplace you are not expected to be aware -- you are expected to be efficient.
Efficiency is a quality of machines; machines are more efficient than human beings.
Because efficiency is required, you become more mechanical, and as you become more mechanical your awareness disappears.
And your awareness is your real being. By efficiency and mechanicalness, you may succeed in earning more money, more power, more prestige, more respectability, but you will lose yourself. And you are losing yourself very cheaply; what you are gaining in return is worthless.
Do you know how many people have lived before you on this earth? Do you realize the fact that millions of them were successful people? Millions of them were famous in their time, and now people don't even remember their names. They have disappeared like dreams, without leaving any trace behind.
We are also going to disappear in the same way. The only few people who have died and yet continue to live on in people's love, in people's trust, are not the very successful -- the emperors, the world conquerors, the richest. These few people who, in spite of their deaths, still beat in the hearts of man belong to a totally different category: they were the people of awareness, people with soul. Their impact has been so deep that it will remain unto the last man.
Gautam Buddha, Lao Tzu, Kabir, Christ, al-Hillaj Mansoor -- these people cannot be forgotten. They will go on living in the deepest parts of your being for the simple reason that they never compromised their awareness for the expectations of the marketplace.
So the first thing -- you have become aware. Make your awareness more sharp, and next time when you go to the marketplace there is no need to become robot-like. Perhaps you will not be as efficient as robots -- so what? Perhaps you will not be as successful as the mechanical ones -- so what? Let them have their day, and then they will disappear like soap bubbles. Don't feel jealous of them. Be compassionate towards them, and remain contented with your awareness.
Risk everything for awareness, but never risk awareness for anything. This is the commitment of a sannyasin: that he is ready to lose his life but not his awareness; he has found a value which is higher than life.
There is no other value which is higher than awareness.
Awareness is the seed of godliness in you.
When it comes to its full growth, you have come to the fulfillment of your destiny.
As your awareness goes deeper, your actions may not be efficient but they will have a new quality -- the quality of grace -- which is far more valuable. No machine can have the quality of grace. Your actions, your words will have a beauty of their own.
The way a man of awareness lives, each moment is filled with tremendous grace and beauty. It is reflected in his actions, even in the smallest actions -- just in the gesture of his hand or just the way he looks; in the depth of his eyes or the authority of his words or the music of his silence. His very presence is a celebration.
In comparison to such a man, emperors are beggars; they have everything of the world, but inside they are empty. The temple may be made of gold, but inside the master of the temple is missing.
The disciple becomes every day more and more graceful, more and more alert -- and with all these qualities, a deep gratefulness towards the master is a necessary outcome.
It is not that you have to do it. If you do it, it is phony.
If it comes on its own accord, then it has authenticity.
And as your gratefulness grows, you become more available, more open. The master can pour his whole being into you, all his blessings, his whole benediction.
The phenomenon of harmony is one of the most mysterious experiences possible.
It means that two bodies are still two bodies, but the two souls within them are no more two.
One soul within two bodies:
That's exactly the meaning of harmony.
It is the most exquisite experience.
Ordinarily we are living in conflict, in disharmony. The husband is living in disharmony with the wife -- they call it living together. But unless this oneness arises, their togetherness is nothing but an underground conflict, erupting at any moment for any meaningless, silly reason. Both are sitting on volcanoes.
Parents are feeling a generation gap between themselves and their own children. There seems to be no common ground of understanding; harmony is a faraway goal. They don't even understand each other's language -- not that they speak different languages, but their visions are different, their attitudes are different, their approach towards life is different -- and there seems to be no way to come to any conclusion. Parents and children are no more on speaking terms because each time they speak it turns out to be a fight.
The same thing happens with husbands and wives. When they are newly wed, things are hot -- they fight, the wives throw things, break plates, cups and glasses, throw pillows.
The husbands behave in the same way -- they beat the same woman they used to think they could not live without. They not only beat her, they even imagine many times killing her; otherwise, the wife is going to kill him. It is only a question of who takes the initiative; it is a cold war.
Slowly slowly, things get cooler: no more pillow fights, no more breaking of cups and glasses and saucers. But that does not mean that they have come to a harmony. That simply means they have understood the stupidity of it all; it is better to be silent. The husband simply goes on reading the same newspaper. On Sunday it is a little difficult; they avoid each other, they don't want to be left alone together.
One of my friends -- a very rich man -- asked me when he became fifty, "I have enough money. I had only two girls, who are married. And it is very difficult... because only my wife and I are left in the house."
But I said, "You should be happy. I thought this was a love marriage."
He said, "Now I don't use that word `love' at all; it is that word that destroyed my life. So just because of the wife, I continue with the business and the industries -- just to avoid her, because otherwise there would be no need."
I said, "Then find a beautiful hill station, and move there and live peacefully."
He said, "But... alone with this woman on a hill station? You are suggesting a murder!"
I said, "What are you talking about? Who is going to murder whom?"
He said, "That depends on who takes the initiative first. With this woman alone? -- no! If you are willing to stay with us, I could be safe, I could go to any hill station. Without a friend, we don't even go to see a movie. The friend has to sit between the two of us; otherwise, something... and anything is enough to begin a quarrel."
I said, "I never see you fighting."
He said, "That's true; for years, everything has gone underground. But we are fighting.
Inside myself, I am beating her; inside herself she is beating me -- but not to make a show. What will people think, what will the servants think?"
They were not sleeping in the same room. I asked the wife why. She said, "No, there is not much of a problem... it is because he snores."
I said, "I have slept in the same room with him many times. I have never heard him snoring."
I asked my friend, "What is the matter? Your wife says you snore."
He said, "Yes, I snore -- just to keep her in the other room. I never snore in my sleep!
That's why you have not heard it. I have to make an effort to snore -- it is a very difficult art, one has to learn it -- just to give her an excuse. She wanted to sleep in the other room, but some excuse was needed. And it is perfectly peaceful to be here. She is there, and I lock the door from inside, because she may come in the middle of the night; some idea may come to her and a quarrel will start."
People are not living in harmony.
Harmony is an empty word, and for most of the people, unfortunately, it remains empty.
They know only fight, anger.
Harmony means you are dropping your ego, you are saying, "I would like to be with you, so deeply one, that this very idea of `I' is no more needed."
A few people have lived in harmony; and particularly the master and the disciple cannot have any kind of relationship without harmony. The master is without ego; the disciple just has to drop his ego, and two consciousnesses become one, and a great music vibrates -- in both persons, one music.
It has happened in other relationships too, but very rarely. I am reminded of a strange book in Sanskrit. It's name is bhamiti. It is a strange name because it is a commentary on one of the most philosophical treatises ever written, the BRAHMASUTRAS of Badarayan.
Badarayan is perhaps the greatest philosopher the world has produced, and he has written these small maxims, BRAHMASUTRAS, maxims about the ultimate.
There is no other book in the whole world on which so many commentaries have been written -- thousands and thousands of commentaries, because the maxims are so small, so condensed that unless somebody opens them, explains them, interprets them, you will not be able to find their meaning.
BRAHMASUTRA is a strange book. No other book has the same fate as Badarayan's BRAHMASUTRA. Commentaries were written, but the commentaries were also very difficult to understand, so commentaries upon commentaries were written. But still these were not so simple either, so commentaries on those commentaries.... This is the only book in which you will find a series of commentaries; the original is lost. And for thousands of years in India, people have been writing commentaries on the commentaries to bring its meaning to the masses.
One of the commentaries, one of the best commentaries on the BRAHMASUTRAS, is bhamiti, and it is strange, because bhamiti is a weird name for a commentary. `Bhamiti' is the name of a certain woman, and to give that name to the commentary....
The commentary was written by a great philosopher, Vachaspati, whose wife's name was Bhamiti. It took him twelve years to write the commentary, and he decided that the day the commentary was complete, he would renounce the world and go to the Himalayas.
One day, in the middle of the night, the commentary was completed. He took the candle, in whose light he had been writing the commentary, to go to his room. And on the way there, he found a woman and he asked, "Who are you and what are you doing here?"
She said, "My lord, you were so much immersed in writing the commentary, you forgot completely that you had married me. I am your wife."
Vachaspati said, "I remember. And I also remember that every day... just show me your hand, because I can recognize your hand. You were the one who was putting the candle by my side every day as the sun was setting. I know this hand. But it is too late; I have decided that the day the commentary is complete I will leave the house. You should have reminded me."
Bhamiti said, "It would have been very unloving to disturb you; I was waiting. And don't be worried -- if you have decided to leave, you leave without any worry. I will not come as a hindrance to your decision. It is enough that I can see that you are worried for me.
This will be enough for my whole life, that you had a certain love."
Vachaspati said, "You are a great woman. It is very rare to find such a woman. It is easy to find many commentators of my quality, but to find a woman of your quality -- such love, such trust, such waiting, such patience. And such greatness of heart -- just your concern that it is getting late is enough for you -- as if there is no expectation. I will call my commentary Bhamiti, so that whoever reads this commentary is bound to be surprised by the name" -- because it has no relevance; the commentary is on the BRAHMASUTRAS.... And, Bhamiti?
"But without you, and without your love, and without your patience, and without your silent waiting.... You never came in front of me, and you are so beautiful that it is certain:
if you had come in front of me, it would have been a disturbance. I may have forgotten about the commentary; I may have delayed in completing it just to remain with you."
But Bhamiti said, "I have received more than I deserve. You should not wait in the house any longer. Let me have the pride of having a husband who followed his decision... even though now I can see you are hesitating. Don't hesitate. I will not allow you to remain in the house; you have to go to the Himalayas -- because if you remain in the house, I will not be able to give you the same respect."
This is a tremendous, unbelievable story.
Vachaspati left for the Himalayas, but he could not forget Bhamiti... such a quality, such grace and such beauty... something beyond human qualities. Only such people have given proof that there is something more than human qualities, something which can only be called divine.
Vachaspati remains a great scholar, but Bhamiti proves to be a far more divine personality.
So once in a while there have been, in other relationships, people who have felt harmony with each other, but that is extremely rare -- accidental and exceptional.
But as far as the master and disciple relationship is concerned, it is a basic necessity; without it, there is no relationship.
A musical oneness... such a deep love that it consumes your ego. There are not two persons in relationship but only a harmonious whole, an energy field.
And once you have experienced it with a master, you can experience it in your other relationships too, because the principle is the same. And if you can experience it in all your relationships, many harmonies around you, your life becomes truly a divine gift, an orchestra. Then the master-discipleship was just the learning of a certain knack: you can use it with your wife, with your husband, with your children, with your parents, with your friends. You can spread it all over the world. You can feel it with the trees, with the stars; it is only a question of knowing the knack.
The secret is: how not to be, how to disappear as an ego.
Then whatever you touch creates music, whatever you touch becomes gold.
It is not only the way things happen around me.
It is the way of the whole existence.
You just wait, and everything happens at its right moment.
Wait and watch. Don't fall asleep -- because in waiting that is very natural, to fall asleep.
Nothing to do, one falls asleep. Then things will be happening but you will not know. So wait and watch.
Life has been disturbed by the so-called do-gooders, who are continuously preaching around the world, "Do this, do that, do service to the poor." Doing has been raised so high that we have completely forgotten the art of waiting.
And, certainly, there are things which can happen only if you do them.
For example, you cannot simply wait and grow rich.
There are people who even teach that. One American thinker, Napoleon Hill, has written beautiful books, a master writer. I have always liked one of his books, THINK AND GROW RICH, although it is absolute nonsense. But he writes well. And there are people who believe that all that you have to do is simply wait; sow the seeds of thinking that a Cadillac car should come into your garage, and just wait. And one day, suddenly a Cadillac car comes, delivered to you. There are people who believe this -- that thinking has so much power.
In America there is still a Christian sect... half a century ago it was very important because a large majority believed in it. The sect calls itself `Christian Science'. And the science is that you need not do anything, you have just to think. God is the doer. You think, pray, wait; just give time to God. And what do you think, that a Cadillac is a bigger thing than the whole universe? God can create the whole universe and he cannot create a Cadillac car?
I have heard a story that a young man was going to college and was met by an old woman. She asked, "What happened to your father? He is not coming to our Sunday meetings." They were Christian Scientists.
The boy said, "He is sick."
The old woman laughed. She said, "Nonsense, he must be thinking he is sick. It is thinking that matters. Just tell that old man, that `For your whole life you have been a member of Christian Science and still you have not understood a simple thing. Stop thinking that you are sick, and you will not be sick.'" The boy said, "I will deliver the message."
After a week, again the old woman met the boy and said, "What happened? -- because he has not come even this week to the weekly meeting of the Christian Scientists."
The boy said, "Madam, now he thinks he is dead. And not only does he think he is dead, the whole neighborhood thinks he is dead, so they have put him in the grave. I tried to persuade them, `Wait. He may be thinking... but they think that I am mad."
There are things which will go on happening without your doing; you have just to wait -- and there are things which you have to do; only then will they happen. And slowly slowly, the things that happen by doing became more important: they are your material possessions, your money, your power, your prestige, your palaces, your empires. They won't happen just by waiting. By waiting, you will not become Alexander the Great. So because things which happen only by doing became important, humanity has completely forgotten the whole area of things which happen.
Love happens, you cannot do it -- although all over the world people have been trying to do that. And it is so strange that the world has not yet recognized the utter failure....
Parents, for centuries, have been arranging marriages for their children. Astrologers are asked, palmists are asked, everything else is inquired about -- the family, the wealth, the character of the people -- but nobody asks the boy and the girl whether they love each other. Love is not a subject of inquiry at all. It is taken for granted that once they are married, they will love.
For thousands of years humanity has been doing that, and certainly when a small boy and girl are married, they start being like brothers and sisters also -- fighting, playing with each other, quarreling. They never come to know what love is; they think this is love.
They produce children, they buy ornaments for their wives, the wives try to make the life of the husband as difficult as possible -- in every way, they help each other.
It is only just in this century that people started saying, "Unless we are in love, we will not marry" -- and that, too, only in a few advanced countries.
But love is a question about which you cannot do anything. Either it happens or it does not happen. It is not within your control.
`Love marriage' came into existence but is not going to survive, for the simple reason that love comes, happens, and one day suddenly goes. It was not in your hands to bring it; neither is it in your hands to keep it.
The old marriage failed because the insistence was that you should love your wife, you should love your husband. It was a `should'. And you could not even conceive how you could love; at the most you could pretend, you could act.
But love is not a pretension, is not an acting. You cannot do anything. You are absolutely powerless as far as love is concerned.
The old marriage failed.
The new marriage is failing because the new marriage is simply a reaction to the old marriage. It is not out of understanding, but only out of reaction, revolt -- `love marriage.'
You don't know what love is. You simply see some beautiful face, you see some beautiful body and you think, "My God, I am in love!" This love is not going to last, because after two days, seeing the same face for twenty-four hours a day, you will get bored. The same body... you have explored the whole topography; now there is nothing to explore.
Exploring the same geography again and again, you feel like an idiot. What is the point?
This love affair, this love marriage is failing, it has already failed. The reason is that you don't know how to wait so that love can happen.
You have to learn a meditative state of waiting. Then love is not a passion, it is not a desire. Then love is not sexual; then love is a feeling of two hearts beating in the same rhythm. It is not a question of beautiful faces or beautiful bodies. It is something very deep, a question of harmony.
If love arises out of harmony, then only will we know a successful life, a life of fulfillment in which love goes on deepening because it does not depend on anything outer; it depends on something inner. It does not depend on the nose and the length of the nose; it depends on an inner feeling of two hearts beating in the same rhythm. That rhythm can go on growing, can have new depths, newer spaces. Sex can be a part of it, but it is not sexual. Sex may come into it, may disappear in it. It is far greater than sex.
So whether the person you love is young or old does not matter. Every woman has thought once in a while... many women have been asking their lovers, "Will you also love me when I become old?"
I know about one of my friends -- he asked me, that's why I know -- that the girl he loves is continually asking him, "Will you love me when I am old?" He asked me, "What should I say?"
I said, "Why are you bringing me unnecessarily into this trouble? This is your business.
You say anything. What do you feel?"
He said, "If she becomes like her mother, I cannot love her. And most probably she will become like her, so that is the only fear."
So I said, "Say it clearly, that `Your old age is not the question; but if you become like your mother then just forgive me, I will not be able to love you.'" He said, "But then everything will be finished, because then her mother will be angry, and the whole thing depends on her. I am persuading her mother. The father is dead; she is the only one to decide about the marriage. Secondly, the girl will also get angry, because she also knows that she will become like her mother. All the symptoms are there."
I said, "Then keep quiet. Then when the difficult times come, see me again."
He said, "But that girl is so insistent. She wants to know before marriage."
I said, "It is simple. You start asking her, `When I become old, will you love me?'" He said, "That's good, because I am going to become old just like my father, and she hates my father just like I hate her mother. That's absolutely right."
And he told her, and she said, "Never! If you become like your own father, I am not going to love you. I will divorce you immediately."
The boy said, "Then when the difficult times come, we will see what to do. But why bring in these questions from the very beginning?"
But all your love is dependent on such small things -- the size of the nose, the eyes, the color of the hair, the proportions of the body. These things have nothing to do with love.
Love is a feeling of harmony with an individual, of accordance.
So it is not only with the relationship of the master and the disciple; in all your relationships, if you wait and watch for a harmonious moment with existence, you will find that things are happening that you could never have been able to do.
Many flowers are possible, many poems and songs are possible.
Many stars are born out of harmony, waiting, and being alert.
Things are happening, but you have to be conscious. Many times things are happening but you are not conscious. You miss what was your very right, just by being sleepy.
My teaching is basically of let-go. Things that happen only by doing are mundane. I am not against them, but they are not the essential part of your life. If you want to have a beautiful house, you will have to build it, it is not going to happen. Whether you are a Christian Scientist or you believe in THINK AND GROW RICH, nothing is going to help. But these are non-essential things.
Essential things... love, joy, cheerfulness, a sense of humor, peace that passeth understanding, an inward journey to find yourself... these are the essential things which you cannot do, which you have to learn to allow to happen.
So keep a clear-cut idea: what has to be done should be done, and what has to be allowed to happen should be allowed to happen; never interfere with it.
And also remember: the essential is that which happens on its own, and the non-essential is that which you do.
Your doing cannot be anything sacred.
That's why I say that all the temples and all the churches, all the statues of God made by man are mundane. Whatever is made by man cannot be higher than man.
It is a simple arithmetic: What is higher than man always happens, it is beyond your doing. You are always at the receiving end. You have to be just open, receptive, grateful to existence.
Man's memory is not very great. He forgets easily.
Just a few examples will help you.
You all have been children. How much do you remember the innocence that you had? In fact, a strange fact is discovered by the psychologists: that if you go backwards trying to remember, you reach only to the age of four, at the most to the age of three. But those three or four years in the very beginning were the best -- no responsibility, no worry, no tension. Life was simply a romance, a sheer joy, but people don't remember it.
And it is very strange that everybody's memory stops nearabout the age of three or four.
It seems the best in us is not recorded. Perhaps it is a biological strategy that you should forget it; if you remember it, then for your whole life you will feel you are missing. You are missing because you have seen the most beautiful moments, and now everything will be dull, pale, dead. It will not have that luster, that joy, that liveliness. Perhaps it is a strategy of biology not to record those beautiful moments.
Even in later life.... You will be surprised to know that the mind functions in a very strange way: it records everything that is miserable very quickly. Somebody has insulted you -- you will never forget it for your whole life. So many people have respected you, you have forgotten. One person has insulted you and you cannot forget.
It seems that the ugly, the dark, the humiliating, the tragic have a priority as far as remembrance is concerned. All that is good, all that is beautiful is simply forgotten; they leave no marks on your memory.
Politicians have been using it, priests have been using it in exploiting humanity from the very beginning.
They say that in a democracy two parties are needed. Democracy has nothing to do with two parties. Two parties are needed for a totally different reason, which is psychological.
One party is in power for five years; in those five years everybody goes against that party -- because it has promised paradise and you are living in hell, and it has forgotten all those promises.
The opposition party goes on provoking you: "What happened to the promises of these people? We could have fulfilled your promises." In the next election, those who were in power lose power and the other party that was powerless comes into power. In five years'
time, they are finished. But in five years, people have forgotten the first party, and the first party is again promising a paradise, and they are listening to them and believing them.
It has been found that the masses have a memory of five years at the most. That's why elections have to be decided every five years; there is no other reason. So in five years'
time the masses forget the first party's crimes, the first party's stupidities, the first party's lies; they all become saints again.
That's why two parties are needed. One party will be in difficulty, because if they are continuously in power you cannot forgive them. People will start revolting, killing those who are in power. So this is a very psychological way of keeping people satisfied: "Don't be worried, it is only a question of two years more. Then these people will be gone and the good people will be coming" -- and they all belong to the same category.
I have never voted in my life for the simple reason that I could not see any difference between two idiots, who is a lesser idiot. I could not find a way, so I thought it was better not to get involved in it. At least nobody can blame me -- "You have chosen this idiot." I have never chosen anybody. Choose anyone and you have chosen the wrong person.
Just look forty years back in India: whoever you choose, you always choose the wrong person, and whoever you choose again you will choose the wrong person -- because they are the same people. It is just like a football match: two parties, two groups are playing football, and you are the football. You are going to get kicks from everywhere. Wherever you go, you will get a good kick.
You are asking me why we tend to forget the beautiful moments. It is natural, because the mind is not interested in taking note of the flowers, it is interested in taking note of the thorns. Anything that hurts, it immediately takes note of.
Who cares about a flower? You remember your enemies better than your friends. Just watch your mind and you will be surprised that you remember your enemy more than you remember your friends. You can forget your friends, but you cannot forget your enemies.
This is your insane mind.
A saner mind will look at things from just the opposite direction: it will count the blessings, it will count all that is beautiful, it will keep note of all it has to be grateful for.
And then, naturally the life of such a person will become a life of blessings, surrounded by all beautiful experiences.
It is only a question of changing a small structure in your mind.
I have always loved a story.
It happened in a synagogue. The synagogue was also a monastery for the Jews, and the chief rabbi was a very strict person. Two young Jews were walking in the garden of the monastery. They used to get one hour in the morning, and one hour in the evening to go into the garden. Other times, they had to study the scriptures and do other disciplines.
They both were thinking, "Should we ask the chief if we can smoke while we are in the garden?" Both were chain smokers, but in the monastery, inside the synagogue, smoking was impossible. It was a crime. They were suffering, so both decided that although it was putting your hand in a lion's mouth, one effort should be made: "That chief rabbi is a dangerous man; how he will react, only God knows!"
The next day, one of the two was coming out of the synagogue with tears in his eyes, both angry and sad. And then he saw the other fellow, who was sitting by the side of a beautiful rose bush -- smoking! He said, "My God, have you started without asking?"
The other man said, "No, I have asked."
He said, "What kind of man is this? I asked him also, and he shouted at me so loudly -- `You rascal! What do you think, this is a synagogue or hell? If you want to smoke cigarettes, go to hell!' So how is it that he allowed you?'" The other man smiled and he said, "What was your way of asking?"
He said, "What has that to do with it?"
The other man said, "Just tell me, how did you ask?"
He said, "I simply asked..." because these two hours were called `hours of prayer.' They were allowed to go into the garden for two `hours of prayer'.
So he answered, "I simply asked, `Can I smoke while praying?' And he shouted so loudly and it seemed he was going to hit me!"
The other man said, "Calm down. You asked in the wrong way. I asked him also; I asked him, `Sir, can I pray while smoking?' and he said, `That's perfectly good, there is no harm in that.'" Just a slight change, but it makes lot of difference.
Start collecting all that is happening to you that is beautiful. And it is happening to everybody. And anything that is not beautiful is not worth remembering, not worth collecting. Why make yourself burdened with rubbish when you can be full of flowers and fragrance?
You have to make a little change in your natural biological mind.
Meditation can do it very easily.
One of the essential parts of meditation is to look at the good side of things, to look at the good side of people, to look at the good side of incidents, so that you are surrounded with everything good.
Surrounded with all beautiful things, your growth is easier.
But people are strange.... You may do one thousand favors for a person and just do one unfavorable thing -- he will forget one thousand favors and he will remember that one unfavorable thing that you did. That he will carry for his whole life. This is how people are living: in revenge, in anger, in despair, feeling rejected by life, feeling like outcasts of existence.
But the whole thing is that you are collecting the wrong things.
Life is full of both. You can see that one day is sandwiched between two nights, and you can also see two beautiful days sandwiching one small night. Choose how you want to feel -- to be in heaven or hell. It is your choice.