Don't be a missionary, be a message
YOU HEARD MY PRAYER AND CALLED ME TO YOU ON THE 8TH OF AUGUST.
AS I ENTERED YOUR ROOM, I EXPERIENCED YOU AS A LARGE OCEAN, AN EMPTINESS THAT I HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED BEFORE. I SAW YOUR BEAUTIFUL BEING, AND I WAS IMMERSED IN THAT EMPTINESS AND BEAUTY. I FELT THAT THE OCEAN'S EMPTINESS WAS FLOWING INTO ME FROM YOU.
AFTER THAT DAY, NEW SONGS AND MELODIES ARE COMING FROM THAT EMPTINESS OF YOURS, AND I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING.
BELOVED OSHO, PLEASE EXPLAIN HOW THIS CAN HAPPEN SO EASILY IN THE MASTER'S PRESENCE. IS IT SO SIMPLE? IT DOESN'T FEEL POSSIBLE FOR ME TO EXIST IN THIS LIFE WITHOUT HAVING HAD THAT MEETING -- IS THAT SO? I FEEL THAT SUCH A FEELING MIGHT NOT HAVE OTHERWISE HAPPENED TO ME FOR MANY LIVES.
PLEASE EXPLAIN THE MEETING OF THE MASTER AND THE DISCIPLE.
Ashok Bharti, the most obvious in life seems to be the most difficult; the most simple seems to be the most complicated.
The reason why it happens so, is because the mind is not interested in the obvious. It wants the challenge of the impossible; only with the challenge of the impossible can the mind fulfill its ego. With the obvious, there is no space for the ego to grow or even to exist.
The obvious is the grave of the ego.
The simple we take for granted, because it is so simple.
Only the far away, the distant, catches our eye, invites us for a journey. Because of this, people have gone around the earth -- people like Columbus. People have gone to the moon, people are trying to go to Mars, people are thinking to reach some day to the most distant stars.
Nobody bothers to enter into himself, and to see the most miraculous, the most mysterious, the most fundamental principle of life, the very source of life -- it is so close, so obvious, so simple.
People may not find anything on the moon; they have not found anything, but they have become great historical figures.
Edmund Hillary has not found anything on Everest, but his name will remain a landmark forever.
I have always been surprised that for at least one hundred years people from all the Western countries have been coming to climb the highest peak of the Himalayas, Everest.
No Indian has bothered about it; for the Indian it is so obvious.
The more difficult a thing is, the more attractive it is; the more unattainable, the more mind becomes obsessed.
I have heard, a great psychologist was visiting a madhouse. The superintendent of the madhouse was taking him on a tour, satisfying his curiosities and questions about the inmates.
He became immensely interested in one inmate; behind the bars, in his cell, he was standing naked. On the wall there was a small picture of an ordinary woman, and he was standing in a worshipful mood, tears flowing from his eyes. The psychologist asked, "What is the matter with this man?"
The superintendent said, "Don't disturb him," took him a little away, and said, "He does not like to be disturbed in his prayers, and he is praying almost the whole day."
The psychologist said, "Whose picture is that?"
The superintendent started laughing. He said, "It is nobody, it is just an ordinary woman.
He was in love, but because they belonged to different castes, the father of the woman refused; he became mad and the woman became a goddess. Unattainable, one ordinary woman became a goddess. Now he worships and prays that, `What has not happened in this life, perhaps through prayer and worship may happen in the next.'" The psychologist said, "I have never come across such a case."
The superintendent said, "Just wait a little more."
In the next cell there was another man who was hitting his head against the wall, and two guards were holding him. The psychologists said, "What has happened to him? Why does he want to hit his head on the wall?"
The superintendent said, "He has gone mad. He wants to commit suicide, and it is such a problem to watch him continuously -- he hurts himself."
"But what is the cause of his madness?"
The superintendent said, "That's why I was telling you to just wait a little. He got married, and the marriage has been such a disaster that he is in the madhouse. He wants to commit suicide. Because sooner or later he will be sent out of the madhouse, and again be in the hands of that woman. But it is the same woman! And to avoid her, he wants to commit suicide."
The psychologist said, "My God, it is the same woman the other man is praying to get in his next life? -- because he missed the train this time! And this poor fellow did not miss this time -- now he wants to jump out of the train. He can't even wait for the station to come."
Life is not logic. Life is love.
Logic is a complicated phenomenon.
Love is simple, innocent communion.
Life is closer to music than to mathematics, because mathematics is of the mind, and life throbs in your heartbeats.
Ashok Bharti, you love me and that opens the door for all the mysteries possible.
People say love is blind because they do not know what love is.
I say unto you, only love has eyes; other than love, everything is blind.
Once your eyes of love are opened, things which you have never dreamed of start becoming realities; new songs that you had never thought yourself capable of, new poetries, with such insights that you cannot believe that you have written them.
This is the reason why all the ancient scriptures don't have the names of their authors -- because the authors could not believe that they were the writers of the UPANISHADS, of the VEDAS. They could not believe it. At the most, they have been vehicles; they were possessed. Some universal energy has taken possession of them, and what they have written has nothing to do with them. They have not signed the scriptures that they have written.
It is very difficult to find out who are the sculptors of the most beautiful ancient statues of Gautam Buddha, which have never again been paralleled.
The grand architectures of the caves of Ajanta, Ellora... it seems almost superhuman work, and the people have not even signed their names because they never believed that they were doing it. They experienced that existence was using them as instruments, and they were blessed and grateful that they had been chosen to be instrumental. Existence has been compassionate towards them; they are enough rewarded.
Ashok Bharti is a poor man, but has a very rich heart; and to have a rich heart is the only real richness in the world. He has the potentiality of becoming a great singer, a great poet, a great composer, but he was not aware of it. He had come just to see me; he's my old sannyasin. And knowing that to me, religion means celebration, he brought his khanjhari -- just to sing a song to me; what else to bring as an offering? He was very shy in asking, "Can I sing a song in Your presence?"
I said, "This is the most beautiful present anyone could have brought to me. You can sing every day." And I have been watching him for almost one month -- the depth, the significance, the meaning of his songs has been deepening. His courage is growing, he is no more hesitant, he is not worried that so many people are watching. He is not a public singer -- he's just like everybody else, a bathroom singer.
It is strange -- in bathrooms you will find the great singers of the world, but the moment you bring them out of the bathroom they become dumb. Everybody is a good conversationalist. The whole world is agog with people talking to each other, but just put somebody on a pedestal, and he looks at the crowd watching him and his heart starts sinking. These are the same people he has been talking to separately, privately. But to be observed with thousands of eyes... a fear arises that, "If something goes wrong, I will become a laughingstock before so many people."
I have been watching Ashok. The first day there was that fear. Slowly slowly, the fear has disappeared; on the contrary, a fearlessness, a strength.... And he has been creating his own songs, tremendously beautiful -- not composed by the mind, but arising out of his love and out of his heart. They have a totally different beauty.
It is true, Ashok, that if you love me you will feel in my presence as if you are disappearing into a vast emptiness, or into a vast fullness.
Beyond human mind, emptiness and fullness mean the same thing.
Love makes you empty -- empty of jealousy, empty of power trips, empty of anger, empty of competitiveness, empty of your ego and all its garbage.
But love also makes you full of things which are unknown to you right now; it makes you full of fragrance, full of light, full of joy.
An ancient story is, a king is getting old.... He has three sons, and all are intelligent. They are triplets, born together, so there is no question of who is the eldest; otherwise, there would have been no problem, the eldest son would have been the successor. The problem was, who out of the three is going to be the successor? They are all of the same age. In horse riding they are all of equal efficiency; in archery they are equally great. In every field it is impossible to decide who is the best of the three.
He asked his master, an old wise man living in the forest: "I am getting old, and somebody has to succeed me and take care of the kingdom. And I am in great difficulty:
can you give me some idea how to choose the right person?" And the wise man gave him some advice.
The king came back, and he gave an equal amount of money to all three sons and told them -- because they all had their own palaces -- that, "With this money, you have to manage to fill your palaces completely. And after seven days I will come to see: whoever succeeds in filling the house totally, better than the other two, is going to succeed me as the king of the kingdom."
They were puzzled, because the money was not that great. They thought of many things, but the palaces were big -- how to fill them completely?
The first prince went to the municipal corporation and asked, "From today, all the trucks that throw the garbage of the town outside the city should throw it into my palace -- because with that money only this much is possible, to fill the palace completely."
He filled the palace completely. The whole neighborhood was angry; even the traffic on the road stopped -- because it was stinking. But they could not do anything -- he was the prince, and it was a question of a certain test. The king himself has asked.
The second prince was very much worried... asked many people. But they said, "With such a small amount of money it is very difficult. What your brother has done... he has filled the house; you can do something similar. Just purchase cheap grass, fill the house."
He purchased cheapest quality of grass, which even animals were not ready to eat, but still the house was not full; it was only half full.
They were both worried about what the third brother was doing, because he looked absolutely unconcerned. Six days had passed and he had not done anything. And the seventh day came, and by the evening, as the sun set the king came with the wise old man.
It was impossible to come close to the first son's house. The king said, "This idiot, he has really filled the house -- but with garbage! It is disgusting, I am feeling sick."
But the old man said, "You had asked... and we have to go and see. Just have a little patience. You need not stay long; just have a look to see whether he has filled the house or not."
They saw it.
They went to the second son's house.... It was not better, but it was not worse either. It was rotten grass, but the house was half full.
The king was very much disappointed -- so much so that he thought that it would be better not to go to house of the third prince. Because these idiots... what they have done is not worth seeing.
But the wise man said, "You have to go, because the decision has to be taken."
They went to the house of the third young man. They entered the house, and they were puzzled -- because it was absolutely empty. He had even removed the furniture, the paintings, the statues, other things of the house... everything was removed. The house was utterly empty.
They asked the son, "What have you done?"
He said to the father, "You just see, it is full."
He looked around. He said, "It is absolutely empty, you are befooling us."
The wise old man said, "Don't be angry with him; it is full, but it is full with something that you are not acquainted with. What he has done is that he has just purchased candles and put the candles all over the house -- it is full of light." Light is not material, it is not objective.
The word `objective' is beautiful; it means that which objects to you. You want to go through the wall. The wall will object, will prevent you; the wall is objective.
Light is immaterial. It is a strange phenomenon on the earth. In a sense it is outside you, can be called objective, but in another sense it is not creating any objection -- you can pass through it, it is immaterial.
It was thought for centuries that light had no weight; just recently they have discovered that it has weight, but it is almost neglible. When the sky is without clouds and the sun is burning hot, all the rays that fall on five square miles will have some weight that can be detected. If we could collect all those rays, they would give you a little sense of weight.
So in a way, light is part of the objective world, and in a way it is part of the non- objective world.
The old man said, "You don't understand the boy."
And the boy returned most of the money. He said, "This was too much. I could have filled the house in many other dimensions also. I could have brought music into the house, which has no weight. I could have brought incense into the house -- the fragrance has no weight, and it would fill the house. But I thought that would be doing too much.
This is enough -- and why waste your money? You take your money back; a small part of your money was enough."
Ashok, when you are in love, in a way you feel as if you are disappearing into an emptiness as far as the material world is concerned. But on the other hand, you are entering a new kind of fullness -- immaterial, spiritual, not of this world.
But this is not the only world. Something transcendental, something from the beyond....
And I can see your love. This whole month it has been growing, as if spring has come to you, new green leaves, new flowers, a new perfume, and your heart is full of new visions.
Just continue dissolving into love.
That's the meaning of disciplehood: dissolving into the love, dissolving into the presence of the master; just becoming one with his heartbeats. And songs will shower on you, and flowers of unknown, unexperienced fragrances will grow in you.
You are on the right track. Just don't look back -- and don't stop anywhere, because this is a journey that only begins but never ends.
I WONDER WHETHER AS YOUR DISCIPLE I CAN BE UTTERLY SELFISH, TO FIND MY WAY TO ENLIGHTENMENT WHATEVER I AM DOING, OR DO I HAVE TO FULFILL A CERTAIN FUNCTION FOR YOU TO SPREAD YOUR VISION?
It has to be understood very clearly that nobody has a duty to spread my vision, my message to the people.
I hate the very word `missionary'. These are the ugliest creatures on the earth.
I don't want to create missionaries.
You have to be utterly selfish, concentrated on only one aim: becoming enlightened.
Of course, as you become enlightened, your light will start reaching to others. My message will start vibrating through you, through your love, without any effort on your part.
It has never been said: "Be utterly selfish." All the religions of the world have been teaching, "Be altruistic," and they all have failed, because their very foundation was wrong.
You don't know what truth is, and you start spreading the message about truth. You are lying.
I have asked Christian missionaries, "What is your experience?" They don't have any experience. What they have is degrees from theological colleges. Somebody is a D.D., a doctor of divinity. Because he has written a thesis, he has become a doctor of divinity -- and he knows nothing about divineness, he has never tasted anything that he can call divine. He has never had a single moment in his life when he has touched the beyond; he had no time -- he was reading books and writing his doctoral thesis. He was concerned with words, not with experiences.
I lived in Jabalpur for at least twenty years, and Jabalpur has Asia's biggest Christian theological college. It prepares missionaries -- that's its function.
The principal was very much interested in me. I asked him, "Be sincere: do you really feel that you have something more than the body and the mind? Have you experienced anything of the soul?"
He said, "I have read about it, and I trust that the people who have written about it are not lying."
I said, "It is possible they were also in the same position as you are, that they had read other people whom they believed could not lie -- but you cannot be certain unless you experience. And what about your professors? And you are preparing three thousand missionaries per year; you are giving them degrees to go all over Asia to convert other people to Christianity. This whole game is hypocrisy. None of your teachers, none of your students has any taste of meditation; none of them has encountered God. And I think none of them is ready to be crucified like Jesus Christ."
I asked him, "Are you ready to be crucified like Jesus Christ?"
He said, "What kind of question are you asking? I have children, I have my wife, I have my old parents."
I said, "Jesus also had his old parents. And you are almost sixty; he was only thirty-three.
Then why are you hanging a golden cross on a golden chain around your neck? Because as far as I understand, the neck has to be put on the cross -- not that the cross is golden, hanging around your neck on a gold chain."
He said, "I was thinking that one day I would ask you to speak to my college students" -- they had almost five thousand students -- "but now, I have dropped that idea. You can disturb the whole thing."
And the same question, you are asking me.
I am not converting you. I am trying to explain to you how to transform yourself, how to become more luminous, how to become more alert, more conscious. And if that consciousness brings you experiences which are not available ordinarily, and those experiences have an intrinsic quality that they have to be shared, then share them. But don't try to impose any ideology on anyone.
You love me. Naturally the desire arises that others should also love me.
But the only right way is that you should come to a state that others start loving you.
I can be connected through you to others; not by your words, but by your life.
You are not to be a missionary.
You have to become a message yourself.
People should ask you, "What has happened to you? Why do we feel such a magnetic attraction towards you? Why do we feel that you are hiding some treasure from us? Why do we feel that you have moved far above our ordinary visions?"
Then share your experience; there is no need to convert anybody.
And when somebody comes on his own accord to be transformed, to learn the whole science of living in a new way, it is totally different. When you go to people to somehow convince their minds that your ideology is better than their ideology, it is possible that you may convince a few people with your ideology, but it is not conversion. They remain the same.
The Catholic, the Protestant, the Hindu, the Mohammedan, the Jew, the communist -- what is the difference in their lifestyle? If you insult any of them, they are going to react in the same way.
I am reminded of a beautiful story.
Gautam Buddha is passing near a village which consists of high caste brahmins only.
They are very much against Gautam Buddha, they have all gathered outside the village to condemn him, to abuse him. He stands there listening to their abuse, their allegations, their lies. Even Ananda -- who has been with him all these years -- feels angry. Because they were born into a royal family: they were warriors, their whole training was to fight.
But because Gautam Buddha is present, he controls himself; otherwise he would have killed one or two people then and there.
Gautam Buddha said to them, "You see that the sun is going to set soon, and we have to reach the other village before the sun sets. If you have not finished all that you wanted to say to me, I will make a point that when I return I set aside enough time to listen to you again. And in two days, I will be returning along the same route -- so it will be very kind of you if you can wait just two days."
One man from the crowd said, "You don't seem to be disturbed at all. And we are not just saying things to you -- we are abusing you, insulting you."
Gautam Buddha said, "You have come a little late. If you had come ten years before, you would not have gone back alive. I am also a warrior. There would have been bloodshed here; not a single man in this crowd would have gone back alive. But you have come a little late.
"In the village just before this village, people came with sweets and fruits. And we said, `We eat only once a day, and we have taken our food, so it would be very kind if you would take these things back with you. We are grateful.' What do you think they did with those sweets and those fruits?"
Somebody said, "They must have distributed them amongst themselves; they must have eaten them."
Buddha said, "You are intelligent. Do the same: whatever you have brought, I don't accept; take it back. Because unless I accept your insult, you cannot insult me; it is a two- way affair. It is your mouth, you can say anything -- but unless I accept it, you are just talking into the air. Just go home and say all these things to each other; enjoy. And I will be coming again after two days, so be ready."
They were shocked, and they could not believe -- what kind of man is this? When they moved on, Ananda said to Buddha, "This is too much. There were moments when I was going to jump and hit the man! Just because of you, I tried to control my temptation."
Buddha said -- and remember it -- he said: "What those people were saying has not hurt me. What you are saying hurts me. You have been with me for so many years, and yet you are not aware enough to know what to take and what not to take? Can't you discriminate?"
I want you not to become missionaries, I want you to become messages.
And that is possible only if you are utterly selfish, so that before you start helping others, you have helped yourself; before you start enlightening other people, you are enlightened yourself.
That's what I mean by being selfish.
Whatever you want to spread must be your living experience.
THESE DAYS HERE WITH YOU ARE CERTAINLY THE MOST BEAUTIFUL.
DOING NOTHING, SO MUCH TIME TO SIT SILENTLY IN THE GARDEN, IN MY ROOM, AND WATCH THE TREES DANCING IN THE WIND, SPARKLING IN THE SUN... SO MUCH BEAUTY.
MY MIND IS FINALLY GETTING USED TO THE IDEA OF BEING TURNED OFF.
I AM SO PEACEFUL, SO HAPPY. NOW, TODAY, AGAIN GOING INSIDE ON THIS PATH OF SILENCE, WITH THOUGHTS DRIFTING AWAY AND EMPTINESS SURROUNDING ME, I AM AWARE OF A TENSION INSIDE ME AS IF I AM HOLDING ON TO SOMETHING.
MY BELOVED MASTER, WHAT AM I HOLDING ON TO, AND HOW DO I LET GO?
It is not difficult to find out what you are holding on to, what your subtle tension is inside.
You are feeling peaceful, you are feeling silent, you are feeling blissful as you have never felt. Hence, side by side a fear must be lurking inside: soon you will be going from here - - will this peace, this silence, this blissfulness remain a part of you? Or the moment you are away from me, will this disappear?
This fear is not only within you, it is in every disciple's mind, that when you are here it is one thing and when you go back to the marketplace, into the world, you will find it more miserable, more saddening than before because now you have something to compare it with.
Have you seen? -- by the side of the road you are standing in darkness, and a car passes with its headlights on. The darkness disappears for a moment. The car is gone, but strangely enough after the car is gone the darkness is greater than it was before the car had come. You have seen the light. Now there is a comparison.
This fear is natural.
Only one thing can be done about it, and that is not to repress it but let it surface. You are repressing; that's why you are not finding what it is that is troubling you somewhere inside. Allow it to surface. Experience that fear also.
Accept the fear, and accept the challenge of the fear. Tell your mind that "It does not matter where I am. Whatever I have experienced, it is my experience and I can create it again."
It may have been triggered in my presence, but it is not my experience, it is your experience.
Let it be settled deeply in you that it is your experience, it has nothing to do with me. I may have been a catalytic agent, but the experience is yours.
And now, once it has happened, you can create it again anywhere in the world. Maybe in the beginning you will find it a little difficult, because you have become accustomed and associated it with my presence. But it is not dependent on my presence.
It is just as if you light a candle with another candle -- but once the candle is lit, it has its own flame. Perhaps in the beginning it needed to be close enough to another flame, but once it catches the flame, it has its own, it is no longer dependent.
And when you go away, you will experience what I am saying -- but give it a chance.
Don't decide that "Now it cannot happen because the master is not here."
The master was needed to make you aware that it is something within you.
Now you have seen it. Close your eyes anywhere, and you can recreate the silence, the beauty, the bliss. You can even recreate the presence of the master -- that is the most difficult part, but not impossible. It depends on how intense is your love, how deep is your trust.
But no need to try it.
First try those things which you can create within yourself. And once you have created all those things then you can try the tremendously beautiful experiment of creating the presence of the master.
So don't be worried; just bring your fear to the surface.
And it is not only in you, it is in everyone. It is something in the nature of things. So don't give it too much importance either; just accept it as a natural phenomenon which will disappear by your little experiments away from me.
I guarantee it will disappear, because I have guaranteed it to thousands of my sannyasins and it has disappeared from their lives. There is no reason why it should not disappear from your life. The principles are the same, there are no exceptions.
I SEEM TO BE SO UNCONSCIOUS SO MUCH OF THE TIME, SO VERY UNAWARE AND JUST SIMPLY INVOLVED IN LIFE AND LOVING LIVING IT.
WHEN YOU SPEAK ABOUT THE TOTALITY AND INTENSITY OF THE SEARCH, AND HOW NOTHING ELSE REALLY MATTERS, AND HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO LET NOTHING BECOME A DISTRACTION, I FEAR I WILL NEVER MANAGE IT.
IN MY HEART I FEEL NOTHING ELSE DOES MATTER, YET I AM NOT LIVING IN THIS AWARENESS ALL THE TIME AND IN EVERY SITUATION.
WOULD IT BE GOOD FOR ME TO TRY TO BRING THIS AWARENESS TO EACH AND EVERY MOMENT, EVEN IF IT REQUIRES INTENSE EFFORT? IF YOU FEEL THIS IS GOOD FOR ME, I WILL TRY IT EVEN THOUGH I AM AFRAID I MAY LOSE SOME OF THE FUN AND SPONTANEITY AND EASE OF JUST LIVING, AND EVEN THOUGH I DON'T KNOW IF I CAN MANAGE IT.
Maitri, the question is significant for everybody. Because I am speaking to so many people -- not only those who are present here, but also to those millions who are not present here but will be hearing my words or reading my words.
It becomes a very difficult affair, because people are different in many ways. And certainly no two persons are the same. And the danger is that you may start doing something which is not meant for you.
A simple criterion should be remembered: whatever feels good for you -- blissful, peaceful, spontaneous, happening on its own accord -- that is your path.
But I have to speak also to those people for whom nothing is spontaneous, for whom the most difficult thing is to relax, for whom the most impossible thing is just to sit and not to do anything. They also need every help. To them I say, "Live with total intensity, with total effort" -- because that is the easiest thing for them. And whatever is easy is close to truth.
Maitri, for you that would not be the easiest thing. You would have to make effort against yourself; it would not be natural, it would not be spontaneous. You would be forcing yourself, and this will destroy the whole beauty and the peace and the silence that you are already feeling.
If you are feeling silence, peace, a beautiful energy through spontaneity, through relaxation, through let-go, then that is your way.
Everybody has to find out what is close to his heart.
I am speaking for many people of many types.
You have to find out what is right for you. If you start doing everything that I am saying, you will get in a mess.
You simply do that which your heart supports.
And the heart is never wrong, remember. The mind can be right, can be wrong. The heart is always right, there is no question of its being wrong.
So whenever your heart feels at ease with something, then go with it -- root and all. Then don't look back and don't bother about what others are doing. Let them do their thing; you do your thing.
Because the religions of the past emphasized only one method, naturally that religion became only for one type of people. It is because of this that there are three hundred religions on the earth.
And I want only one religiousness.
All those three hundred religions have some kind of truth and some kind of validity to them. But they are specializations of a certain method, applicable to certain people -- and that has made the whole world irreligious.
For example, effort is the way for Mahavira. Even to mention the word `let-go' is to support laziness. `Mahavira' is not his name; his name was Vardhamana. He is called Mahavira because his attitude and approach is that truth has to be conquered. It is not a love affair, it is a war. And Mahavira has won the war; that is why he is called the great warrior. `Mahavira' means the great warrior.
Now, it creates trouble. His method is suitable only to a certain type of person -- the warrior type. But because of his own teaching, his followers -- who all came from the chhatriyas, the warrior race in India -- had to drop their profession of being warriors, because that is violence.
Now they were in trouble -- what to do? They could not be brahmins because a brahmin is only born. You cannot become a brahmin by studying or by doing anything, there is no way. A brahmin is only born, you cannot be converted into a brahmin. So these people could not be brahmins.
These people could not be sudras, untouchables, because they were high caste Hindus, second only to brahmins. They had their own pride.
The only way for them was to become businessmen. So all the Jainas in India are businessmen. They could not become cultivators, gardeners, because in cultivation or gardening you will have to cut trees -- and that is violence, because trees have life. So all other areas are rejected.
And these business people are not trained like Mahavira. He was trained in his youth as a warrior, as a fighter, and he brought his fighting qualities to his search for truth. Now, these business people are not trained for fighting.
If somebody comes and says that truth can be purchased, they will be ready! But "truth has to be conquered"? -- that just seems to be out of reach. `Conquered'... that is beyond their scope.
All they can do is worship Mahavira. Twenty-five centuries have passed, and Jainas have not been able to produce another man of the same caliber as Mahavira. What is the reason?
He represented one type, and he preached for one type, but it was an accident that the people who followed him were not of that type and cannot be of that type. So they have remained in a limbo, they cannot move anywhere.
Business they can do. And they have created the most beautiful temples in India, the most beautiful statues. Worship they can do. But fighting? That is simply not possible.
So a strange phenomenon... the teacher they followed was of a different type. They were impressed by his unique quality, he was a man of steel. But his followers can simply praise him; they cannot do what their teacher has done. And this is not only with Jainas, this is the situation with every religion.
And there is no necessity that your child will be of the same type as you are. But by a certain calamity we have accepted the idea that religion comes by birth. This is simply stupid. It is as if a doctor's son becomes doctor because he is born to a doctor. He need not go to the medical college -- what is the need? And if he is the son of a doctor whose wife is also a doctor, then there is no question -- in his very blood and bones he is a born doctor, he needs no certificate.
It is good that we don't do this.
But in religion we have been doing it.
I have seen people who are born into a religion where devotion is not allowed. It is not for the devotional type, but the person is of the devotional type. Somebody is the type who can easily move with a negative approach, and for somebody else a negative approach is simply impossible; unless something positive is there, he cannot take a single step.
My own suggestion is that religion should not be something decided by birth; a religion should be decided by the person himself according to his feelings. Wherever he feels good, growing, wherever he feels joyous, wherever he feels a certain magnetic attraction, that is his path. It does not matter whether that is the religion he is born into or not; that is the religion he is born for.
But that is possible only if everybody is freed from religious slavery, and we allow our children to be acquainted with all kinds of religions, all kinds of methods. And if we tell them to feel, to move with different kinds of people: "Go to different temples, go to different schools, go to different masters, and feel your way." And wherever he feels that this is his nourishment, then the parents have to bless him to go on that way.
It does not matter if you feel nourished in the company of a Mohammedan Sufi, it does not matter if you feel nourished in the company of a Buddhist monk; the whole question should be decided by your own heart.
And the heart never leads you wrong. If you allow it, it will give you clear-cut indications that you are on the right path. Peace, silence, bliss, benediction -- all will be coming more and more, and the scope will become wider and wider.
WHO IS THE BLESSED ONE?
The one who is asleep in you is the blessed one, but unfortunately he is sleeping and snoring.
He has to be awakened, and the moment your sleeping consciousness becomes wakeful you start feeling blissfulness. The highest peak of your bliss makes you feel to go beyond humanity. That is the moment of being the blessed one; you have become part of the universal blissfulness.
But people are so asleep.
I have suffered so much from people's sleep. Because I used to travel continually in India; mostly I was in an air-conditioned coupe, but sometimes there was another person in the coupe also. And sometimes a coupe was not available so there were four persons.
Once it happened, I was coming from Calcutta in a four-person room. And I have seen many snoring people, but I will not forget those three fellows. They had a certain harmony: one would snore and the other two would remain silent, and then as he would stop, the second would snore louder than the first and the other two would remain silent.
And as the second would stop, the third would snore loudest of all, and the other two would remain silent. And the circle went on.
I heard this for one hour and then I said, "This is impossible. I don't want to interfere in anybody's life, but these three people are interfering in my life."
So as the third stopped, I snored so loudly that all three became awake. And they saw me snoring with open eyes, so they could not believe... they could not believe it. They looked at each other like, "What kind of man is this? His eyes are open." And I was not blinking my eyes. All three got up from their seats and came close to me.
I said, "Listen, if you want to sleep, stop this harmony that is going on. Otherwise, I will not allow any of you to sleep."
One said, "But you are awake and you are snoring?"
I said, "What else to do? -- because I cannot sleep, so the question of sleeping and then snoring does not arise. You don't allow me to sleep! First let me sleep. Then perhaps I may fall into the harmony, something may happen; but first let me sleep. And how are you managing?"
They said, "We three are brothers."
I said, "You are great brothers."
They said, "What to do? -- it is such a difficult matter, even in our family. Our wives don't sleep in our rooms; we three brothers have to sleep in one room. So, slowly slowly, a certain harmony has arisen."
I said, "That's perfectly good, but in just one night it will be very difficult for me to get into the harmony. Something has to be done."
So we had to come to a conclusion that those three fellows would play cards while I slept for a few hours, and then they would have their harmony and I would sit and listen. But listening to them was also beautiful, because... how were they managing any sleep?
Everybody is carrying the blessed one, but it needs to be awakened.
The blessed one is not a certain talent. It is not like being a musician: a few people are musicians but EVERYbody cannot be; a few people are painters but everybody cannot be; a few people are poets, dancers, actors, writers -- these are talents.
The blessed one is not a question of talent. It is your very nature.
It is your self-nature, it is your intrinsic quality.
It is up to you how long you want to be miserable and asleep -- you are free. The moment you decide that enough is enough, you will have the same experiences as any Gautam Buddha or Ramakrishna or Raman Maharshi -- these are not talented people. Kabir or Raidas or Farid -- these are not talented people, they are just ordinary human beings.
But as far as their blissfulness is concerned, they have reached to the same peak as Gautam Buddha.
It is your birthright.