I HEARD YOU SAY THAT IF A PERSON CAN REMEMBER HIS BIRTH AND BEING IN THE WOMB, THEN THE MEMORY OF HIS LAST DEATH MAY COME.I HAVE TRIED TO REMEMBER, BUT ONLY IMAGINATION IS THERE. I ALSO HEARD YOU SAY THAT IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO REMEMBER BEYOND THREE TO FOUR YEARS OLD BECAUSE THE BABY HAS NO MIND.
IS THERE A REMEMBRANCE THAT IS NOT OF THE MIND?
There is no remembrance that is not of the mind, but you don't know the whole mind.
When you are trying to remember, you are using only the conscious mind, and the conscious mind can go only up to the age of four. But below the conscious is the unconscious mind.
Sometimes in your dreams you go deeper than the conscious mind can ever lead you.
Many of your dreams are memories of your past lives, but you have no way to recognize that they are of a past life. So there is a special method which is something like hypnosis.
It can be done by somebody else to you -- which is simpler because you can relax completely, and he can lead you deeper into the past life.
In hypnosis or in Buddhist or Jaina terminology -- because they discovered the method first -- it is called jati-smaran: remembering the past lives. In hypnosis you don't hear anybody else except the person who has hypnotized you. He can talk to you, you can answer him, yet you will remain fast asleep, you will not come to the conscious mind. So only in hypnosis can your unconscious be communicated with, asked questions.
This can be repeated again and again, and if the same fact comes up without exception, the same memory comes up, the same story comes up, then certainly it is not imagination.
Another thing... Through hypnosis the other person can reach you, but not through your conscious mind -- because in whatever the conscious mind does there is an effort and tension, and that prevents the unconscious mind from surfacing. The conscious mind has to be completely relaxed so the unconscious can surface. In hypnosis it is better to begin with someone else. And it is such a simple method that anyone can do it -- it does not need any expertise. I will tell you about the method, how you can help each other.
When you have become a good medium, so that you can slip very easily into the unconscious, then finally the unconscious can be told that you are able to reach your past lives. It can be given a certain symbol to avoid the conscious mind completely. For example, it can be told that if you repeat, "Om, om, om," three times, you will fall into hypnosis. Before using this mantra -- anything can be used, "One, two, three," it doesn't matter, the words are not significant -- before doing it, you have to tell your conscious mind, "Wake me up after ten minutes." The other person can also do the same, but it is easier for you because you are not doing anything. But once you have been able to go into deeper layers of your past life or past lives, the other person can tell the unconscious, "This is your mantra: one, two, three. And whenever I say it, you will fall into an unconscious state." But remember to tell the conscious to wake you; otherwise, who will wake you out of unconsciousness? It can become a coma.
The unconscious mind is nine times bigger than the conscious; it has tremendous treasures, all the memories of your past. And below the unconscious there is the collective unconscious. One can descend into the collective unconscious also -- at first with somebody's help. That used to be the work of a mystery school -- that the master will take you slowly towards the unconscious and the collective unconscious. In your collective unconscious you have memories of your past lives as animals, as birds.
Below the collective unconscious is the cosmic unconscious. Slowly, slowly one can go deeper and deeper, and the cosmic unconscious has memories of your being trees, rosebushes, stones.
So mind is not only that which you know; there is much to be discovered in your own mind. It is yours, it is there -- but not easily available. There are reasons why it is not easily available. Nature makes barriers, because it would confuse you if there were no barriers between the conscious, and the unconscious, and the collective unconscious, and the cosmic unconscious. Even this small mind -- the conscious mind -- is so confusing, so disturbing. If you knew all that you have lived for millennia, from the very beginning, naturally you would get in such a mess, in such a madness.
For example, you love a woman. She may have been your mother in a past life, and if you remember it then you will be in trouble. But she may have been, in your collective unconscious, your murderer; then things become even more complicated. And those realities are as authentic as the realities of your life. You will get mixed up: how are you going to behave with this woman who is your wife, who was your mother, who was your murderer? Whatever you do with this woman will create guilt in you. You will not be at ease. That's the reason why nature goes on putting barriers between your past existences and allows you only this life's memories.
The science of hypnosis has been condemned by all religions, and the reason is that if hypnotism becomes accepted as a scientific enquiry -- and once it is explored it has to be accepted, because it fulfills all the criteria of being a science -- then there will be trouble:
Christians cannot say there is only one life, Mohammedans can't say there is only one life, Darwin can't say that man has evolved from the apes. It will depend on the research done through thousands of peoples' total minds, and what they say.
Hindus believe that man's consciousness has evolved from the consciousness of cows -- that's why they call them "mother." And I think a cow being a mother looks more relevant than a monkey being a father. The Hindus are saying this through a certain research into the mind, which has been available for centuries in the East: how to go into past lives. And there has not been a single exception -- whenever you cross the border of the collective unconscious mind, you pass from the body of a cow, not from the body of a monkey.
It is not a question of hypotheses. With Darwin it is only hypothetical, just a conjecture, and now he is being refuted, even by scientists. Now there are not many Darwinians; they are out of date.
The latest research into evolution does not help Darwin and his theory. They say that for thousands of years we have not seen any monkey evolving into a man, and neither have we seen the reverse -- that a man reverses into a monkey. And Darwin could not provide the missing link -- which he was asked for again and again his whole life; it was a nightmare for him! It cannot be just a jump from a monkey to a man: this moment you are a monkey and next moment you decide to be a man, and you become a man. There must be a missing link... not only a link, perhaps many links, many steps slowly, slowly, but they should be available.
Darwin could not even find dead bodies that would have been a proof of a link. We have been searching for dead bodies and we have found one ninety thousand years old -- a human body in China. But it is still human; it is not a monkey. It was preserved by the snow. It is still human, as human as you are.
But Hindus have a totally different approach. It is to be remembered that this is the only point on which all the three religions that were born in India agree: about everything else they have their own philosophy, but about reincarnation they all agree. And that is not just an accident, because all three religions were working on the same lines -- looking into the unconscious of man -- and they all found the same results. To call the cow mother... the whole world laughs at it, but I don't think anybody understands why Hindus call the cow mother. If they are right -- the cow has the qualities of a mother, and it is far better to be connected with the cows than with the monkeys.
So don't try to remember. It is not a question of remembering. You cannot cross the barrier with the conscious mind; you can only imagine, and you will know that it is only imagination because it changes every time, so you know perfectly well that you are imagining. Go through a hypnotic process. And the hypnotic process is very simple -- the simplest.
The mind, the conscious mind, has to be focused on something just for a few seconds -- for example, an electric light bulb. Don't have anything in the room so that the mind can wander here and there; just have a bare room with only one thing: an electric light which is on in the darkness. Lie down, be relaxed, and take the help of a person whom you trust.
That is the most important thing, because the conscious mind will not relax unless there is trust. It will keep itself alert, because the man may do something, take you someplace, and you will not be aware of it. That's why I said hypnosis was part of a mystery school where there were masters whom people trusted, or there was one great master who helped you. You trusted him, and he said to you, "This man is going to take you into hypnosis.
Your trust in me should be your trust in him too; I am choosing him." Or if it was possible for the master himself, if the school was small, then he would do it once in a while, just to show others what happens.
The process is very simple. You have to lie down relaxed, the whole body relaxed.
Looking inside the body starting from the toe, see if there is any tension. If there is any tension near the knee or near the stomach or anywhere, then relax it there. Bring that relaxation up to your head -- and keep your eyes focused on the light.
And it is easy to recognize when you have come to the point where you are on the border of conscious and unconscious: your face changes; it starts looking sleepy, it loses the quality of awakening, and at that moment the master says, "Sleep is coming... deep sleep is coming... you are falling into a sleep which you have never fallen into before." And a moment comes when even if you try to keep your eyes open... You have been told that until your eyes close by themselves, in spite of yourself, go on keeping them open. That keeps the conscious mind engaged.
Soon -- it takes two minutes, three minutes, at the most five minutes -- your eyes start drooping. That means you are just crossing the border. The master says, "You are falling, and I will count up to seven. With each number you will be going deeper." And he starts counting, "One..." and goes on repeating, "the sleep is becoming deeper. Two... the sleep is becoming deeper. Three..." And at seven he stops it. At seven he says, "You have fallen into deep unconsciousness. Now you will be available only to me; you will not hear anything else, anybody else. Now the only communication with the world is through me; you will be able to hear me, you will be able to answer me..."
And the beauty of the unconscious is that it never lies, because it has never been part of civilization. It has never been educated, it has never been turned into a hypocrite; it is very simple, very innocent. It simply says whatsoever is the case. Then for a few seconds the master leaves you, so that you can settle into that state. And then he starts asking you where you are. Perhaps you are in the womb of your mother, perhaps you have been conceived, perhaps you are dying in a past life somewhere. And you will answer where you are. He asks, "Describe it in detail," and you will describe it in detail. This can be taped, recorded, so that when you come back you can listen to it.
The process has to be repeated many times, because this is the proof: if it is imagination or dream it will go on changing every time you do it, but if it is a reality then nothing can be done about it. Each time you come to that place you will describe exactly what it is.
And all that you say can be recorded, so that it can be compared later on when you are conscious. If you are saying the same thing again and again it is not a dream, it is not imagination; you are coming across a real memory. You are reliving it; it is not only remembered, but relived.
Once you have succeeded in getting one life back, then with the same process you can go on deeper, into other lives. There will come a barrier where human lives stop and animal lives start: that means you have come to the collective unconscious.
Now the master needs to put you in an even deeper unconsciousness, and that can be done in your unconscious state. The first thing was done when you were conscious; it brought you to the unconscious. The second step has to be done in the same way: "I will repeat seven times that you are falling deeper into the collective unconscious, and you will start falling." Giving a little rest, he can again ask where you are, and you may say, "I am a rosebush," or anything else that you have been. You relive it; you can make every detailed description. Again the barrier will come when you pass from animals, from plants, to what you call matter -- because matter is also consciousness, fast asleep.
And that's the end of the journey in the lower depths of your mind. If this is completed, your consciousness will go on changing. With each new revelation your consciousness will become richer. And then a point comes -- when you have traveled all the way down backwards, downwards -- that you can move upwards from consciousness to superconsciousness until you reach to the cosmic consciousness. We are exactly in the middle. On both sides of the conscious there are three stages: below it is unconscious, collective unconscious and cosmic unconscious; above it is superconscious, super- superconscious, and cosmic conscious.
Our mind has seven worlds. To know the past, to know our background, is to know the whole history of consciousness and its evolution until this moment. But that makes it clear that this is not the last stage -- it cannot be. If there is so much behind you, there must be something ahead of you. So what Western psychology goes on doing is only working with one thing: unconsciousness, the first lower rung of the ladder. Eastern psychology has worked on all the seven.
As you move from the conscious mind, hypnosis is the method. And hypnosis is not yet recognized by the scientists because they have not even tried it. It is very strange. Perhaps the reason is that science is a development of the West, and because the West has a Christian conditioning it simply denies that there is anything other than this life, so from the very beginning one is prejudiced -- why bother about hypnosis?
A few people have dared and tried, but they were all condemned by the society -- badly.
Mesmer tried it, but was condemned, and there was a tradition of women who Christianity condemned as witches. They were trying hypnosis, and they were closer to the truth than Christianity has ever been. But thousands and thousands of witches were burned alive; their whole tradition was completely erased, all their literature was burned.
Only one copy of each book has been preserved in the Vatican.
It is the duty of the U.N. to take over the library of the Vatican. It is underground; it has tremendous treasures that Christianity has destroyed. They are still afraid to bring those books out in the light because then the condemnation for Christianity will be immense, even from Christians, "What you were saying was not true, and those who said the truth were killed, burned."
But they are keeping at least one copy in their vast library. Nobody is allowed to enter into that vast library; only when you become a cardinal are you allowed in the library, but by that time you are so much conditioned. Those books are written in a different way, particularly to avoid the attention of Christians. They have used parables, diagrams, and other things, as if they are not about religion, as if they are about something else.
It is the duty of all the intelligentsia of the world to insist to the Vatican: "That library does not belong to you. You have done enough harm; now at least give that library to the U.N. and let scholars find out what beautiful literature you have destroyed. And it should be published, and made available to anybody who wants it."
One of the things that got destroyed in this way was hypnosis -- the method, the science and the results. It is now simply a condemnatory word. If you love me, if you trust me, anybody can say you are just hypnotized. He does not know even the meaning of the word; he does not know its implications, but he is using it to condemn you. But really, to be hypnotized and to go into the darker realms of your being is the first step ingoing into the lighter realms of your being.
You contain the whole evolution -- past, present, future. You have such an enormous being, and only a small window of the conscious mind is allowed... this is you.
Your vastness is denied.
Your universality is denied.
So if you really want to remember, not only to remember but to relive, then you will have to use the method of hypnosis. I am going, as we settle somewhere, to start a section which will be totally devoted to hypnosis and its implications, and I want every sannyasin to go through it.
I am reminded of two incidents... One is in Gautam Buddha's life, and one is in Vardhaman Mahavira's life. A man takes sannyas, becomes part of the community of Buddha, but finds it hard, difficult, arduous. He is sad, depressed, and thinks many times to leave it. One day Buddha called him and told him to sit in front of him and go into the method of jati-smaran -- that is, hypnosis.
He had not yet tried it, so somebody gave him the instructions to go into past lives. And it was an amazing revelation: for almost five lives in the past he had taken sannyas and dropped it. That had become a routine of his consciousness. So Buddha said, "Now you are doing it again. It is up to you, but you have done it five times before. It is simply repetitive; you are wasting time. Either stop taking sannyas and do whatsoever you want, or be courageous; if you have taken it, then go into it this time. This should not be repeated. Five lives have been a waste."
Looking at his own five lives... the same pattern, almost mechanical, the same wheel moving: first getting attracted to a great master, getting initiated with great enthusiasm, and then seeing the arduousness, the difficulties of transforming himself and escaping, renouncing sannyas itself. And he comes back to it again and again.
Buddha said, "You can do it as long as you want. In your next life you will do it again.
And for five lives nobody reminded you, because the masters you were working with were not masters of jati-smaran."
The man remained. It changed his whole attitude: "This is stupid. If it is hard then it has to be faced. If it is a challenge then it has to be taken." And he became one of the enlightened disciples of Buddha.
There is a similar story in Mahavira's life. A prince becomes enchanted with Mahavira's individuality, but he does not know that Mahavira's life is really arduous. Nobody has lived the way Mahavira has lived -- naked in the winter, in the hot sun, hungry for months, fasting, eating once in a while, barefooted, walking on the burning earth in the hot sun.
He did not use shoes because shoes were made only of leather in those days, and to use shoes meant you were indirectly supporting the industry of violence, because the best leather comes when you kill young calves. If you want really perfect leather, then you have to take the leather from the calf while it is alive; you don't kill him first. First you take the leather, and in taking the leather of course he dies. That leather is the most soft and the best. Mahavira was absolutely against in any way supporting anything which is based on violence.
This prince became -- and naturally, you can understand it -- the prince became impressed by the man, his integrity, his authority, his teaching. He was not aware that life with him is going to be tremendously hard -- and he had lived very luxuriously. But in a moment of enthusiasm he took sannyas and entered into Mahavira's commune.
Now, ten thousand sannyasins used to move with Mahavira, and they were staying in a big caravanserai, and it was the routine that the elder ones -- that means those who had been longer in sannyas -- should have better places, and the others accordingly. This prince was just a one-day-old sannyasin, so in the night he got a place just near the door, the main door, where people left their shoes, umbrellas and other things. He was the son of a king, and by that door sleeping was impossible; people were continuously coming and going. When there are ten thousand sannyasins... He had never slept in such a situation, and he immediately thought, "This is not the life I would like. Next morning I will give my apology, and I will say, `This is not the life for me.'" But before he reached Mahavir, Mahavir reached him, and asked him to let himself be taken into jati-smaran -- and it was the same process. For three lives he had been doing the same thing: getting impressed by magnetic people, charismatic people, and then finding it difficult over small matters and leaving them. In all those three lives he could have become enlightened, because those three people were capable of triggering the process of enlightenment.
Mahavira said, "You have missed three lives, and you are missing the fourth. You can decide. But you are a warrior, not only a prince. Don't emphasize that you are a prince and you have lived only in luxury; remember that you are a warrior and you have been fighting in wars. And there is nobody in this area who is a better swordsman, a better archer. Don't insult yourself, don't humiliate yourself. This is escape."
And the man remained. But the factor that helped these two men to remain was their reliving their past experiences. It is of tremendous use, but in the West it is so much condemned that the condemnation has reached to the East too -- because now the East is just a parrot. Now the East is not the East it used to be; it is just a shadow of the West. All the Eastern scholars are produced by the West. They learn in Western seats of education - - in Paris, in London, in Oxford, in Cambridge, in Harvard.
I have been continuously fighting, in many universities in India, that these scholars should not be called Eastern scholars because whatsoever they have learned is Western; even though it is about Indian philosophy, they have learned it in Oxford. This is ridiculous -- that to understand Indian philosophy you have to go to Oxford. These scholars are not Eastern in any way; their whole approach is Western. So there is no more East really, now it is all West. The East has become so interested in Western success, in materialism, in technology, that it has forgotten that it has also become successful in a different world -- the world of the inner -- and has reached the highest peaks of illumination.
So don't try to remember, but take the help of someone whom you trust, who can hypnotize you.
Soon, as existence allows me to settle somewhere, I will create people who can help everybody to go into the past, and experience and relive those moments. They will change your every attitude. They will make you aware that you are moving in a circle, and it is time to get out of it, because this is nonsense: each life you are doing the same thing, moving in the same circle. And you can go on doing it eternally -- nobody is going to prevent you -- unless you decide to jump out of this viciousness.
WHILE TRAVELING IN GREECE WITH A GROUP OF SANNYASINS WE VISITED DELPHI, THE PLACE OF THE ANCIENT ORACLE, AND WHERE IT IS SAID PYTHAGORAS ONCE LIVED. WE ALL FELT A PEACEFUL HAPPINESS WHILE WALKING AROUND THE RUINS, AND IN THE END WE ALL GATHERED ON THE TOP OF THE STADIUM AND SAT SILENTLY WITH EACH OTHER. WHAT HAPPENED TO US? WHY DOES ONE HAVE SUCH DIFFERENT FEELINGS ABOUT DIFFERENT PLACES?
People like Pythagoras, Socrates, Plotinus, Gautam Buddha, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu... the people of such state are continuously radiating -- not with any effort, but effortlessly and spontaneously. Their experience, just like a candle, radiates light; their consciousness has become a light. Their being has attained to a fragrance, to a flowering, and everything around them is going to catch it. For centuries it will continue to vibrate.
I have not been to Delphi. I was thinking to go, but before being at Delphi I was arrested and thrown out of Greece. But Delphi was one of the places I would have liked to visit.
In India I have visited a few places... The place where Gautam Buddha became enlightened is called Bodh Gaya. It is a small temple -- some follower made the temple as a memorial, by the side of the tree under which Buddha became enlightened. That tree still remembers something, and I came to know later on that the bodhi tree has a certain substance which no other tree has, and that is the substance which makes a man a genius.
Only geniuses have that substance in their mind, and in the world of trees only the bodhi tree has that substance. Perhaps it is more perceptive, more receptive; it has a certain genius.
Buddha remained under that tree for many years. The whole area is still fragrant, and just by the side of the tree is the place where he used to walk. When he used to get tired of sitting and meditating then he would walk and meditate, so that place is marked by marble stones. But sitting under the tree or walking on those marble stones, you can feel you are not in this world, that this place has something which no other place has. Perhaps the moment Buddha became enlightened something exploded in him and was caught by everything that could catch it. We used to think before... but it is not the case. Now it is well proved that trees are very sensitive, more sensitive than man -- their sensitivity just has a different level.
One scientist was working on trees. He had put on the tree a certain mechanism, just like a cardiogram, that takes the graph of the feelings of the tree, and he was surprised that when the gardener came... He had told the gardener, "You go and cut one of the branches of the tree. I want to see the effect." But there was no need to cut the branch. As the gardener came with his axe, the graph was already going mad!
The scientist said, "Don't do that -- the tree has already caught the idea that you are going to cut and hurt her." Later on he became more amazed, because when you cut one tree, all the other trees in the surrounding area, their graphs go mad. When the same gardener comes to water the tree, the graph remains perfectly balanced -- it becomes even more harmonious. It seems the tree is able to catch your thoughts, your ideas.
Perhaps the same may be found about rocks, the earth, because they are all alive. Their life may be on a different level, but they are all alive -- and certainly they are more simple and more innocent. People have been keeping... In Tibet they have been keeping the bodies of enlightened people, because if the trees and the stones and the earth are impressed by the great experience, then certainly the body of the man, his bones, must be impressed -- they are closer.
Perhaps Tibetans were the first to understand it: they have covered ninety-nine great masters' bodies with gold. That used to be the most sacred place in Tibet. It is just... If you have seen the picture of Potala, the palace of the Dalai Lama, it is just underneath it.
Potala is high in the mountains, and underneath there are many caves. One cave is devoted only to those ninety-nine bodies.
Why did they stop at ninety-nine? A strange figure! A hundred would have been more appropriate. They had to stop because the lineage of Dalai Lamas dropped from the height it used to be, and the country could not produce anybody worthy of taking the hundredth seat in the sacred, secret temple. It was opened once a year for the people, and just to pass through it was to pass through another world.
Now it is completely closed so that the communists cannot find it -- because they will not be interested in the bodies; they will be interested in the gold. They will destroy those bodies and take the gold -- and it is a great quantity of gold. So before the Dalai Lama left Lhasa because of the communist invasion of the country, he sealed it in every possible way so that they cannot discover it. And they have not been able yet to discover it.
Slowly, slowly in all the countries where spirituality has flowered, people became aware that something happens... So people have preserved things that were used by these people, or just have made memorials of their bodies. In India bodies are burned, but you will be surprised to know that the remains left after burning a body are called "flowers".
Ordinary people's ashes are thrown into holy rivers, but enlightened people's "flowers" are preserved in samadhis -- in beautiful marble memorials. Just to go and sit there is in itself a meditation. But the trouble is that the world is ruled by those who know nothing of this.
For example, Delphi should not be open for everybody, because they will destroy its subtle vibration. But the government is interested in tourism!
Delphi should be open only to a few people who are chosen -- chosen by a mystery school that should exist there. Delphi was a mystery school. In the days of Pythagoras and Socrates, Delphi was the temple -- the most famous temple -- of wisdom. And the priestess used to go into a trance. While praying and dancing and singing in the temple, she would go into a trace, and in her trance she would say things which always proved to be true. She herself could not remember anything when she came back from the trance; perhaps the trance was taking her higher into the mind, perhaps to the cosmic mind.
In such a trance she declared that Socrates was the wisest man in the world. And a few people visiting her from Athens were very happy, because Socrates was an Athenian.
They reached Socrates -- he was old -- before his death, before his murder, and said, "You should be happy; the oracle of Delphi has declared you the wisest man in the world."
Socrates said, "It is too late. When I was very young I used to think that I was very knowledgeable, very wise. The more I came to know, the more I became ignorant -- aware that what I know is nothing, and what I do not know is so much. Now, in my old age, I can say without any hesitation that I do not know anything. The oracle, for the first time it seems, has missed."
The people were very much surprised, because Socrates should have been happy hearing it. They went back and the priestess again danced, fell into a trance. They asked her in the trance, "You said Socrates is the wisest man in the world, but he denies it. He says, `I do not know anything...'" And the priestess in her trance said, "That's why he is the wisest man in the world. Only idiots say that they know. Those who are wise cannot say that."
Places like these, or Bodh Gaya, should not be available to tourists -- which is an ugly race with all their cameras, binoculars, and stupid things. And they are not interested in the place at all; they are taking photographs and rushing from here to there. Later on, sitting at home, they will look at the photographs and say, "Great! Our tour has been great. We visited beautiful places -- you can see."
But they were never there; they were with their cameras. They should sit there, they should allow themselves to absorb the subtle vibe of the place... Something of Gautam Buddha must be there; it has to be there!