There are a few very fundamental things to be understood.
First, a man and a woman are on the one hand halves of the other, and on the other hand, opposite polarities.
Their being opposites attracts them to each other. The farther away they are, the deeper will be the attraction; the more different from each other they are, the more will be the charm and beauty and attraction. But there lies the whole problem.
When they come close, they want to come closer, they want to merge into each other, they want to become one, a harmonious whole -- but their whole attraction depends on opposition, and the harmony will depend on dissolving the opposition.
Unless a love affair is very conscious, it is going to create great anguish, great trouble.
All lovers are in trouble.
The trouble is not personal; it is in the very nature of things.
They would not have been attracted to each other... they call it falling in love. They cannot give any reason why they have such a tremendous pull towards each other. They are not even conscious of the underlying causes; hence a strange thing happens: the happiest lovers are those who never meet. Once they meet, the same opposition that created the attraction becomes a conflict. On each small point, their attitudes are different, their approaches are different. Although they speak the same language, they cannot understand each other.
One of my friends was talking to me about his wife and their continuous conflict. I said, "It seems you cannot understand each other."
He said, "What to say about understanding her, I cannot even stand her!" And it was a love marriage. The parents of both were opposed to it; they belonged to two different religions, their societies were opposed. But they fought against everybody and got married -- just to find that they had entered into a constant struggle.
The way a man looks at the world is different from a woman.
For example, a man is interested in faraway things -- in the future of humanity, in the faraway stars, whether there are living beings on other planets or not.
A woman simply giggles at the whole nonsense. She is only interested in a very small, closed circle -- in the neighbors, in the family, in who is cheating his wife, whose wife has fallen in love with the chauffeur. Her interest is very local and very human. She is not worried about reincarnation; neither is she concerned about life after death. Her concern is more pragmatic. She is concerned with the present, here and now.
Man is never here and now. He is always somewhere else. He has strange preoccupations -- reincarnation, life after death.
If both partners are conscious of the fact that it is a meeting of opposites, that there is no need to make it a conflict, then it is a great opportunity to understand the totally opposite point of view and absorb it. Then the life of a man and woman together can become a beautiful harmony. Otherwise, it is continuous fight.
There are holidays. One cannot continue to fight twenty-four hours a day; one needs a little rest too -- a rest to get ready for a new fight.
But it is one of the strangest phenomena that for thousands of years men and women have been living together, yet they are strangers. They go on giving birth to children, but still they remain strangers. The feminine approach and the masculine approach are so opposed to each other that unless a conscious effort is made, unless it becomes your meditation, there is no hope of having a peaceful life.
It is one of my deep concerns: how to make love and meditation so involved in each other that each love affair automatically becomes a partnership in meditation -- and each meditation makes you so conscious that you need not fall in love, you can rise in love.
You can find a friend consciously, deliberately.
You feel a deep harmony with me, moments of peace, love and silence, and naturally the question has arisen in you that if this is possible with me, why is it not possible with the man you love?
The difference has to be understood. You love me, but you don't love me in the same way you love your husband, your wife. Your love towards me is not biological; with me your love is a totally different phenomenon -- it is of the spirit, not of the body.
And secondly, you are connected with me because of your search for truth. My relationship with you is that of meditation.
Meditation is the only bridge between me and you.
Your love will deepen as your meditation deepens, and vice-versa: as your meditation blossoms, your love will also blossom. But it is on a totally different level.
With your husband, you are not connected in meditation. You never sit silently for one hour together just to feel each other's consciousness. Either you are fighting or you are making love, but in both cases, you are related with the body, the physical part, the biology, the hormones. You are not related with the innermost core of the other. Your souls remain separate.
In the temples and in the churches and in the courts, only your bodies are married. Your souls are miles apart.
While you are making love to your man -- even in those moments -- neither are you there, nor is your man there. Perhaps he is thinking of Cleopatra, Noorjahan, Mumtaj Mahal.
You are also thinking.... And perhaps that's why every woman keeps her eyes closed -- not to see her husband's face, not to get disturbed. She is thinking of Alexander the Great, Ivan the Terrible. And looking at her husband, everything falls apart. He looks just like a mouse.
Mulla Nasruddin and his wife were quarreling one morning. She said, "Outside the house you walk as if you are a lion, and inside the house you look just like a mouse."
Mulla Nasruddin said, "That is absolutely wrong. Put yourself right: I am not a mouse, I am a mousetrap. You are a mouse. Mousetraps don't run after mice to catch hold of them.
The mice themselves come and get caught, and that's how it happened with us."
Mulla Nasruddin was not courageous enough to approach this woman. He was afraid from the very beginning.
Every man is afraid because he has seen what has happened to his father, what has happened to his grandfather. He has seen what is happening to every neighbor. Every man is afraid.
Mulla was very much afraid; he never approached any woman. It was this woman who caught him. So he said, "Remember -- I am a mousetrap, that is true, but I was just sitting in my place. You got into me, it is your responsibility."
But it does not matter who catches who, who takes the initiative.
Even in those beautiful moments which should be sacred, meditative, of deep silence...
even then you are not alone with your beloved. There is a crowd. Your mind is thinking of somebody else, your wife's mind is thinking of somebody else. Then what you are doing is just robot-like, mechanical. Some biological force is enslaving you, and you call it love.
I have heard that early in the morning, a drunkard on the beach saw a man doing pushups.
The drunkard walked around him, looked very closely from here and from there, and finally said, "I should not interfere in such an intimate affair, but I have to tell you that your girlfriend has gone. Now don't exercise unnecessarily -- first get up and find where she is!"
That seems to be the situation. When you are making love, is your woman really there? Is your man really there? Or are you just doing a ritual -- something which has to be done, a duty to be fulfilled?
If you want a harmonious relationship with your man, you will have to learn to be more meditative. Love alone is not enough.
Love alone is blind; meditation gives it eyes. Meditation gives it understanding.
And once your love is both love and meditation, you become fellow travelers. Then it is no longer an ordinary relationship between husband and wife. Then it becomes a friendliness on the path towards discovering the mysteries of life.
Man alone, woman alone, will find the journey very tedious and very long... as they have found it in the past. Because seeing this continuous conflict, all the religions decided that those who wanted to seek should renounce the other -- the monks should be celibate, the nuns should be celibate. But in five thousand years of history, how many monks and how many nuns have become realized souls? You cannot even give me names enough to count on ten fingers. And millions of monks and nuns of all religions -- Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan.... What has happened?
The path is not so long. The goal is not that far away. But even if you want to go to your neighbor's house, you will need both your legs. Just jumping on one leg, how far can you go?
I am introducing a totally new vision, that men and women together in deep friendship, in a loving, meditative relationship, as organic wholes, can reach the goal any moment they want. Because the goal is not outside you; it is the center of the cyclone, it is the innermost part of your being. But you can find it only when you are whole, and you cannot be whole without the other.
Man and woman are two parts of one whole.
So rather than wasting time in fighting, try to understand each other. Try to put yourself in the place of the other; try to see as a man sees, try to see as a woman sees. And four eyes are always better than two eyes -- you have a full view; all four directions are available to you.
But one thing has to be remembered: that without meditation, love is destined to fail; there is no possibility of its being a success. You can pretend and you can deceive others, but you cannot deceive yourself. You know deep down that all the promises love had given to you have remained unfulfilled.
Only with meditation does love start taking on new colors, new music, new songs, new dances -- because meditation gives you the insight to understand the polar opposite, and in that very understanding the conflict disappears.
All the conflict in the world is because of misunderstanding. You say something, your wife understands something else. Your wife says something, you understand something else.
I have seen couples who have lived together for thirty or forty years; still, they seem to be as immature as they were on their first day together. Still the same complaint: "She doesn't understand what I am saying." Forty years being together and you have not been able to figure out some way that your wife can understand exactly what you are saying, and you can understand exactly what she is saying.
But I think there is no possibility for it to happen except through meditation, because meditation gives you the qualities of silence, awareness, a patient listening, a capacity to put yourself in the other's position.
It is possible with me: I am not concerned with the trivia of your life.
You are here basically to listen and understand.
You are here to grow spiritually.
Naturally there is no question of conflict, and the harmony arises without any effort.
You can love me with totality, because with me your relationship is of meditation. With any other man or with any other woman, if you want to live in harmony you will have to bring the same atmosphere and the same climate that you have brought here.
Things are not impossible, but we have not tried the right medicine.
I would like you to be reminded that the word `medicine' comes from the same root as `meditation'. Medicine cures your body; meditation cures your soul. Medicine heals the material part of you; meditation heals the spiritual part of you.
People are living together and their spirits are full of wounds; hence, small things hurt them so much.
Mulla Nasruddin was asking me, "What to do? -- whatever I say I am misunderstood, and immediately there is trouble."
I said, "Try one thing: just sit silently, don't say anything."
The next day, I saw him in more despair than ever. I said, "What happened?"
He said, "I should not ask you for advice. Every day we used to fight and quarrel, but it was just verbal. Yesterday, because of your advice, I got beaten!"
I said, "What happened?"
He said, "I just sat there silent. She asked many questions, but I was determined to remain silent. She said, `So you are not going to speak?' I remained silent. So she started hitting me with things! And she was very angry. She said, `Things have gone from bad to worse.
At least we used to talk to each other; now even we are not on speaking terms!'" I said, "This is really bad."
He said, "You are saying bad? The whole neighborhood gathered, and they all started asking, `What happened? Why aren't you speaking?' And somebody suggested: `It seems he is possessed by some evil spirit.'
"I thought, my God, now they are going to take me to some idiot who will beat me and try to drive the evil spirit out. I said, `Wait! I'm not possessed by any evil spirit, I'm simply not speaking because to say anything triggers a fight: I say something, then she has to say something, and then I have to say something, and nobody knows where it is going to end.' I was simply meditating silently, doing no harm to anybody -- and suddenly the whole neighborhood was against me!"
People are living without any understanding.
Hence, whatsoever they do is going to end in disaster.
If you love a man, meditation will be the best present that you can give to him. If you love a woman, then the Kohinoor is nothing; meditation will be a far more precious gift -- and it will make your life sheer joy.
We are potentially capable of sheer joy, but we don't know how to manage it.
Alone, we are at the most sad.
Together, it becomes really hell.
Even a man like Jean-Paul Sartre, a man of great intelligence, has to say that the other is hell, that to be alone is better, you cannot make it with the other. He became so pessimistic that he said it is impossible to make it with the other, the other is hell.
Ordinarily, he is right.
With meditation the other becomes your heaven.
But Jean-Paul Sartre had no idea of meditation.
That is the misery of Western man. Western man is missing the flowering of life because he knows nothing about meditation, and Eastern man is missing because he knows nothing of love.
And to me, just as man and woman are halves of one whole, so are love and meditation.
Meditation is man; love is woman.
In the meeting of meditation and love is the meeting of man and woman. And in that meeting, we create the transcendental human being -- which is neither man nor woman.
Unless we create the transcendental man on the earth, there is not much hope.
But I feel my people are capable of doing the apparently impossible.
The question is such... it is as if you are sick and you go to a physician and ask him, "Is it alright for you to accept a sick man as a patient, or do you accept only the healthy people?"
My whole business is to accept all kinds of people -- hypocrites with all kinds of masks...
insincere... obedient against their own intelligence. But these are the people who need me, and these are the people I need too.
Bring all your sicknesses.
Don't be worried, I have even initiated a few dead people in the hope that resurrection is possible!
There are many methods to die, but one thing: anybody who really wants to die never asks for advice. Living may be a drag, but death is very quick. All around you, there are so many ways....
But you don't want to die.
In fact, even the people who commit suicide don't want to commit suicide. They commit suicide because they expected too much from life and they could not get it. The failure was so great, that to live shamefully became difficult. They committed suicide not against life; they committed suicide because they could not manage to learn the art of life.
They wanted life to be a great benediction, and it was a drag.
It seems to be a fallacy all over the world that just because you are born you know how to live. This is not right. To be born is one thing. To know the art of living and of living fully is totally different.
Birth is only an opportunity -- you can make it or mar it. Birth is not equivalent to life.
Almost everybody thinks that birth is equivalent to life; so it is bound to become a drag -- just breathing, eating every day, going to sleep, waking up in the morning, going to the same office, the same files and the same routine. For idiots it is perfectly okay, but for anybody who has some intelligence it is bound to become drag. Because he can see -- what is the point? Why after all am I living? If tomorrow is again going to be just a repetition of today, as today has been a repetition of yesterday, then why go on living?
What is the point of unnecessarily repeating the same circle, the same routine, the same happenings?
But the fallacy is in the fact that you have accepted a wrong concept, that birth is life.
Birth is only an opportunity.
Either you can learn to live a beautiful life or you can just drag yourself towards the graveyard.
It is up to you. There are people for whom life is a drag, and there are people for whom even death is a dance.
I want to say to you that if you make your life an art, your death will be the culmination of the art -- the highest peak, a beauty in itself.
Millions are there, who are in the same position as your question.
They don't know why they are living and they don't know if there is any point in dying either. Life is futile -- how can death appear to be significant? So they are afraid of suicide also, because if life is such -- just a dark hole -- death is going to be even worse.
One day I saw Mulla Nasruddin with his gun, a rope, and a tin of kerosene oil. I said, "Where are you going, Mulla?"
He said, "Enough is enough. I was just coming to say goodbye to you. I am going to commit suicide."
I said, "But so many arrangements?"
He said, "You know me, I am a perfectionist. I don't take chances. I have made every arrangement."
I said, "Can I come just to watch, and just to wave when you are disappearing in smoke?"
He said, "You can come."
So I went with him and sat on a rock by the side of a river. He made the arrangements very efficiently. On a branch of a tree which was hanging over the river, he tied the rope by which he was going to hang himself.
I said, "Mulla, that's enough."
He said, "I don't believe it.... Unless I have done everything... no loopholes should be left."
He put his neck into the rope, poured the kerosene oil over himself.
I said, "Mulla, is it going to be real?"
He said, "What do you think?"
He lit a match, set fire to himself, and before jumping from the tree, he fired the gun -- the last resort -- at his head. But that's where everything went wrong -- the gun missed the mark and cut the rope and he fell into the river... naturally, the fire was finished, and he started swimming!
I said, "Mulla, what are you doing?"
He said, "What to do? I know how to swim."
I said, "This is strange. You arranged everything so well, but still there was a loophole, the swimming. You should not have started to swim. You should have remained there and died."
He said, "That's just it -- dying is not so easy. When I saw the gun had misfired, when I saw the water had put the fire out, it became clear: God wants me to live. And moreover, I know how to swim! It is impossible when you know swimming not to swim. Next time, some other arrangement...."
Nobody wants to die.
And it is true that life is a drag.
But it is not life that is a drag, it is you -- you have not learned the art of making life a joy, a thing of beauty, a piece of art.
Unless a man is creative, he cannot find much joy in life.
So the first principle is: Be creative.
Don't bother whether you become a world-famous artist or not; that is not the significant thing. But create something -- a beautiful song, a little music, a dance, a painting, a garden. And when the roses blossom... you cannot say that life is a drag with so many roses blossoming. A beautiful painting... you cannot say life is a drag, because this painting has been created for the first time in the world and for the last time. Nobody has done it before, and nobody will do it again; only you were capable of doing it.
Express your uniqueness in whatsoever you do.
Express your individuality.
Let existence be proud of you.
Life will not be felt like a drag; it will become a fragrance.
Not only will life be a joy and a dance -- for a creative person, for a meditative person, even death will be transformed.
I have always loved a story about Bokoju, a Zen master.
He was ninety years old when he died. Three days before, he informed all his disciples:
"If you want to come for the last goodbye, then come. In three days' time I am going to leave the world."
So thousands of his disciples came -- and he was one of the most unique masters Zen has produced. On the third day, in the morning there was a great gathering in his garden, and he was lying under his most beautiful tree.
He suddenly asked, "Just tell me one thing: In what way should I die? -- because I don't want to die like everybody else. Ninety-nine percent of people die in their beds." He said, "That is out of the question. Remove the bed from here!"
The bed is the most dangerous thing. Ninety-nine percent of people die there, and every night you go to bed without thinking of the danger. When the light is turned off, just put your mattress down on the floor. Then there is some chance of surviving -- death may try to search for you on the bed and may not be able to find you.
Bokoju said, "Take this bed away from here, and suggest something, something unique, worthy of Bokoju."
The disciples thought what to suggest? Somebody said that, "You can die sitting in a lotus posture. Many masters have died in the lotus posture."
But Bokoju said, "That is not very unique, because many people have died in that posture."
Somebody said, "You can die standing."
He said, "That seems to be appealing."
But one man objected; he said, "That's not right, because I know of a Zen master who died standing. It will not be unique."
Bokoju said, "It is very difficult. Find out quickly because my time is running out, and I cannot delay any more. So many idiots are here, and you cannot find just one unique way of dying for your beloved master?"
One man suggested, "Nobody has ever died standing on his head. You can do a headstand and die."
Bokoju said, "Perfectly right!"
He stood on his head and died.
Now the problem was... The disciples said, "What to do?" -- because they know what has to be done when a person dies in his bed. But what to do with this fellow who has died standing on his head?
Somebody said, "His elder sister, who is also a great master, lives just close by. It is better to call her and not to interfere, because this is a strange thing. We will be condemned later on if we don't do the right thing, so it is better to call somebody who can take responsibility."
The sister came and she said, "Bokoju! From your very childhood you have been mischievous -- and this is no time to be mischievous! Just lie down!"
And Bokoju laughed and said, "Okay sister -- because I cannot disobey you. I was almost dead. I was just waiting to see what these people would do trying to work out what to do with me after death. But these idiots have brought you here! And you always were a killjoy. You've destroyed the whole fun! Now I will die in the ordinary, orthodox way."
And he died.
And his sister did not even look back, she just went away.
People said, "But he has died!"
She said, "It was time. He was delaying it. And it is not right to play jokes on existence.
At least at the time of death one should be serious ! Now he is dead, you do whatever you want to do. Even if he is not dead, finish him off -- his time is up!"
Make your life...
Find out why you are feeling bored. Change.
It is such a small life.
Take risks, be a gambler -- what can you lose?
We come with empty hands, we go with empty hands. There is nothing to lose. Just a little time to be playful, to sing a beautiful song, and the time is gone.
Each moment is so precious.
If you are silent, if you are creative, if you are loving, if you are sensitive to beauty, if you are grateful to this vast universe... There are millions of stars, which are dead -- and you are so small, yet you have the most precious thing in existence... life. And not only life, but the possibility of becoming a consciousness, of becoming enlightened, of coming to a space where death has never entered.
If Bokoju is not serious, the reason is because he knows there is no death, it is only changing houses, or changing clothes at the most. It is excitement -- even death is a great excitement and ecstasy.
It is just your wrong approach.
Drop it, and don't drop it slowly slowly, piece by piece. Drop it totally, instantly.
When you go out of this place, go dancing and singing. Let the whole world think you are insane, that is far better.
You have asked three questions in one question.
First, you found me although you were not looking for a master.
Let me make it clear to you that I was looking for a disciple, and that is far more important.
Your looking for a master is not so important because you are asleep and dreaming. So whenever I see some sleepwalker passing by, and see some possibility that he can be awakened, I just turn his way -- and he is a sleepwalker so there is no problem. It does not matter where he is going. I give him sannyas, he takes sannyas -- because in sleep it does not matter.
I create a beautiful dream for him.
I am not a hard taskmaster. First I create a beautiful dream, and then slowly slowly I take you out of it.
Now you are out of the dream, so the second problem arises -- where is the path?
In fact, it is my doing. While you were asleep I was talking about the path..."the path...
the mystic path..." to wake you up. Now you are awake so you are asking, "Where is the path?"
There is no path.
It was just a device to wake you up.
You are not to go anywhere. You are exactly at the place where you have to reach. You are exactly that which you have to become.
There is no path, there is no goal.
Your isness is your realization.
And thirdly: waking up, you see me vast like an ocean. While you were asleep, you were not aware of where I was leading you. Now you are fully awake, and you see the vast ocean.
It is not me. It is the reality -- and it is your reality.
And the ocean that you are seeing outside you will remain outside till your dewdrop disappears into it. And the dewdrop is slipping from the lotus leaf. Any moment it will be part of the ocean and you will know that no man is an island; we all belong to one reality, one consciousness, one continent.
It is only in our sleep that we are separate.
The moment we are awake we are one.
There will be a little fear. It is said that even before a river falls into the ocean, it trembles with fear. It looks back at the whole journey, the peaks of the mountains, the long winding path through the forests, through the people, and it sees in front of it such a vast ocean that entering into it is nothing but disappearing forever. But there is no other way.
The river cannot go back.
Neither can you go back.
Going back is impossible in existence; you can only go forward. The river has to take the risk and go into the ocean. And only when it enters the ocean will the fear disappear because only then will the river know that it is not disappearing into the ocean; rather, it is becoming the ocean. It is a disappearance from one side and it is a tremendous resurrection on the other side.
So don't be worried. Things are happening perfectly right for you.
You had not come in search of a master, but what to do? A master was in search of you.
And now there is no going back. Even if you try to close your eyes, that sleep in which you were living cannot be recalled.
And the vastness is not something to be afraid of. It is very friendly, it is very loving.
Disappearing into it is almost like finding the womb and its warmth and its nourishment again.
I don't have any problem.
I used to have problems, but I never solved them.
My procedure is totally different. I dissolve the problem; I never solve it -- because solving does not help. You solve a problem, and you will find that ten other problems have arisen out of your solution.
I have been dissolving, I have been getting rid of -- because no problem is significant. All problems are barriers between you and existence.
Now I have only mysteries -- no problems, no questions.
In that way I am a very poor man.
No problem, no question; I am utterly silent. But silence has a richness that millions of problems cannot give to you. Silence has a richness that all the philosophies of the world and all the answers together cannot give you.
When I answer your questions, it is not that I have got an answer and I simply give it to you. I don't have any answer.
I simply listen to your question and let my silence respond to it; hence, you can find many contradictions in my answers. But I am not responsible, because I have never answered.
It is the silence that goes on responding at different moments in different times to different people in different ways. Just as you listen to the answer, I also listen to it.
There is no speaker here.
Here, there are only listeners.
There is not even a first question, so the question about the last question does not arise.
You should learn to be silent, to be at ease with me, to be in tune with me. In that silent harmony all is achieved: all the treasures that existence has been keeping safe for you, so that when you wake up you can claim your portion.
And everybody's portion of the treasure is infinite. It is not that because it is a portion, it will be limited.
The upanishadic seers have said: You can take out even the whole from the whole, yet the whole remains behind.
Existence is such a mystery that it can give to each person infinite treasure, eternal life, unbounded beauty.
So don't be worried about the last question. There is not even a first question.
Be innocent and silent, and just be open and receptive to my heartbeats. The moment your heartbeats are also dancing to the same tune, you have come home.
In fact, you have never gone anywhere. You have just forgotten that this is your home.