Govind, yes, absolutely yes! In fact, only a sinner can become a sannyasin. Those who think themselves saints, holier-than-thou, they are the closed people, they are the dead people. They have become incapable of living, incapable of celebrating.
Sannyas is celebration of life, and sin is natural: natural in the sense that you are unconscious -- what else can you do? In unconsciousness, sin is bound to happen. Sin simply means that you don't know what you are doing, you are unaware, so whatsoever you do goes wrong. But to recognize that "I am a sinner" is the beginning of a great pilgrimage. To recognize that "I am a sinner" is the beginning of real virtue. To see that "I am ignorant" is the first glimpse of wisdom.
The real problem arises with people who are full of knowledge. All that knowledge is borrowed; hence, rubbish. The people who think they are virtuous because they have created a certain character around themselves are the people lost to God. Your so-called saints are the farthest away, because God is life, and your saints have renounced life. In renouncing life they have renounced God too.
God is the hidden core of THIS life. This life is just the outermost part, the circumference; God is the center of it all. To renounce the circumference, to escape from it, is to renounce the center automatically. You will not find God anywhere. The farther away you go from life, the farther away you will be from God. One has to dive into life, and of course when you are unconscious you will miss the target many times.
The original Hebrew word for sin is very beautiful. By translating it as "sin," Christians have missed the very message of Jesus. The original Hebrew word for sin is so totally different from your idea of sin that it will be a surprise to you. The root word means forgetfulness; it has nothing to do with what you are doing. The whole thing is whether you are doing it with conscious being or out of unconsciousness. Are you doing it with a self-remembering or have you completely forgotten yourself?
Any action coming out of unconsciousness is sin. The action may look virtuous, but it cannot be. You may create a beautiful facade, a character, a certain virtuousness; you may speak the truth, you may avoid lies; you may try to be moral, and so on and so forth.
But if all this is coming from unconsciousness, it is all sin.
It is because of this that Jesus has a tremendously significant saying. He says, "If your right eye causes you to sin, take it out and throw it away. It is much better for you to lose a part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell."
Now, if you don't understand the real meaning of sin, you are bound to misinterpret the whole statement and Jesus will look too harsh, too hard, too violent. Saying, "If your right eye causes you to sin, take it out and throw it away," does not look like a statement of Jesus. A man of profound love and compassion -- he cannot say it, he cannot be so violent. But this is how Christians have interpreted him.
What he means is: whatsoever causes you to forget yourself, even if it is your right eye....
That is just to emphasize the fact. It is simply a way of talking, an emphasis: "If your right eye causes you to forget yourself, then take it out and throw it away." He is not saying anything which has to be taken literally; it is a metaphor. He is saying that it is better to be blind than to be forgetful of yourself, because the blind man who remembers himself is not blind, he has the real eye. And the man who has eyes, if he has forgotten himself, what is the use of having eyes? He cannot see himself -- what ELSE can he see?
Govind, your question is beautiful. You say, "I am a sinner...." Everybody is! To be born in this world means to be a sinner. But remember my emphasis: it means to forget oneself.
That's the whole purpose of the world: to give you an opportunity to forget yourself.
Why? -- so that you can remember. But you will ask -- and your question will look logical -- "If we already remembered before, then why this unnecessary torture that we have to forget ourselves and THEN remember again? What is the point of this whole exercise? It seems to be an exercise of utter futility!" It is not; there is great significance in it.
The fish in the ocean is born in the ocean, lives in the ocean, but knows nothing about the ocean -- unless you take the fish out of the ocean. Then, suddenly, a recognition arises in the fish. Only when you lose something do you remember. Only in that contrast does remembering happen. Then let the fish go back to the ocean. It is the same fish, it is the same ocean, the same situation -- yet everything is different. Now the fish knows that the ocean is her life, her very being. Before, she was in the ocean but unaware; now, she is in the ocean but aware. And that's the great difference, the difference that makes the difference.
We have lived in God, we all come from the original source of existence, but we have to be thrown out into the world so that we can start searching for God again, searching for the ocean -- thirsty, hungry, starving, longing. And the day we find it again there is great rejoicing. And it is not anything new.
The day Buddha became enlightened he laughed and he said to himself, "This is very strange! What I have gained is not an achievement at all, it is only a recognition. I had it always, but I was unaware of it."
The only difference between a sinner and a sage is that the sinner is full of forgetfulness, and the sage is full of remembering. And between these two is that hocus-pocus being called the saint. He does not know anything, he does not remember anything. He has heard other sages or may have read the scriptures, and he repeats those scriptures like a parrot -- not only repeats but practices also. He tries to behave like a sage. But any effort to behave like a sage shows only one thing: that you are not a sage yet.
The sage lives simply, spontaneously; there is no question of effort at all. He lives life just as you breathe. He is very ordinary; there is nothing special about a sage. But the saint is very special, because the saint is trying to DO something. And of course he is making a great effort, because it is not his own understanding. So he is continuously torturing himself to behave rightly, violently forcing himself to behave rightly. Naturally, he expects much respect from you. He can go on doing all this masochism, this self- torture, if you give him respect. Just think: if the so-called respect given to the saints disappears, out of one hundred of your saints, ninety-nine point nine percent will immediately disappear. They are living only for the ego.
It is good, Govind, that you realize that you are a sinner. This is the beginning of something tremendously significant. You can be a sage; all that you have to avoid is being a saint! That is the trouble: the saint is the false coin which looks exactly like the real coin; in fact, it looks more real than the real one. It has to, because it has to deceive people. Avoid being a saint.
That's what my sannyas is: living your ordinary life with only one addition, that of awareness -- and the sinner will become a sage. The sinner becomes a sage through awareness; the sinner becomes a saint through cultivating a character.
I don't teach you character, I teach you consciousness. Hence, I am not at all interested that you are a sinner and that you have been doing all kinds of sins -- that is irrelevant. It is accepted that in your unconsciousness what else can you do?
I accept you with total love, respect.
Many times I have been told, particularly by the so-called saints, "You go on giving sannyas to everybody -- this is not right. Sannyas should be given only to people of character!"
It is as if you go to a physician and he says, "My condition for giving you medicine is that I give it to you only when you are healthy. Come to me when you are healthy. I never give medicines to people who are ill, I never waste my medicines on ill people!
First become healthy and then come to me." You can understand the absurdity of that.
If I say to somebody, "First go and become WORTHY of sannyas, then come to me," that means that if he can become worthy of sannyas by his own effort, then why cannot he become a sannyasin by himself? What is the need for him to come to ME? He needs help, and anybody who ASKS for help should be given help, and it should be given unconditionally.
There is a beautiful statement of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, one of the greatest Sufi masters ever. Govind, take it to your heart.
COME, COME, WHOEVER YOU ARE; WANDERER, WORSHIPPER, LOVER OF LEARNING...
IT DOES NOT MATTER.
OURS IS NOT A CARAVAN OF DESPAIR.
COME, EVEN IF YOU HAVE BROKEN YOUR VOW A THOUSAND TIMES.
COME, COME, YET AGAIN COME.
COME, COME, WHOEVER YOU ARE...sinner, unconscious, living a life which is not glorious, divine, meaningful; living a life which has no poetry, no joy, a life of hell....
Whosoever you are, Mevlana says, "Come, I am ready to receive you. Be my guest!"
The master is a host; he refuses nobody. True masters never refuse anybody. They cannot. If THEY start refusing people, then there is no hope. If you go under a tree, a shady tree -- tired of your journey and the burning sun on your head -- and the tree refuses you, it does not give you refuge, it does not shelter you...? It does not happen at all. The tree is always ready to give you shelter, its shadow, its fruits, its flowers, its fragrance.
A great Tibetan story is....
Once there lived a master who never initiated anybody. His fame slowly became very well known all over the country, even beyond the boundaries of the country. And people would come and fall at his feet and ask to be initiated. But his conditions were such that nobody was able to fulfill them, so nobody was ever thought worthy -- nobody deserved initiation.
He had only a servant, not even a disciple. One day when he was ill and on his deathbed, he called his servant and told him, "Go to the marketplace, and whosoever wants to be initiated, bring them all. I am going to initiate!"
The servant was shocked. He said, "Are you talking in a delirium or something? Your whole life you insisted on certain qualities -- unless those were fulfilled you would not initiate -- and nobody has ever been able to fulfill your conditions. Now you are telling me to go to the marketplace and tell people that anybody who wants to be initiated should come? What about the conditions? What about the prerequisites? What about the essential readiness? What about the groundwork?"
The master said, "Don't waste my time anymore, because this is my last day on the earth.
Simply go! Do what I am saying, don't argue. You are my servant -- simply follow the order. Go and find anybody who wants to come!"
The servant went, puzzled. He could not believe his own ears, could not believe his own eyes. But because the master had ordered, and he was just a servant, he had to follow. He went into the marketplace very unwillingly. He shouted in the marketplace. Nobody believed him; they thought he had gone mad. He said, "I am not saying it, he himself has told me! I also think that he has gone mad, now you are thinking that I have gone mad. I am simply a servant. He must have gone mad! He is dying, he has lost all his senses. But give it a try -- you are not going to lose anything."
A few people, just out of curiosity, a few people who had nothing to do.... It was a holiday, so they said, "Okay, we are coming. Let us see what happens!" Somebody had quarreled with his wife and had nowhere to go, so he said, "I am coming." A gambler and a drunkard who were just on the road, simply followed seeing this whole bunch of people, not knowing where they were going.
So this strange crowd reached the master's place, and he started initiating them one by one. The first man he initiated was the drunkard. Of course he was so drunk that he could not even think that the master was mad -- he did not even realize that he was being initiated! He was not aware at all what was happening. When the master said, "Do you want to be initiated?" he simply nodded his head.
The servant could not believe it. He said, "What are you doing? This man is completely drunk, he is an alcoholic, and you are giving him initiation! And there is a thief in the crowd, and one man has come because he is unemployed and he thought at least this way he would find some employment -- at least he could become a saint and people would feed him. And there are a few people who have come because it is a holiday. A few others have come just out of curiosity: `Let us see what is happening.' The man next to the drunkard has come here only because his wife has thrown him out and closed the doors. He was standing outside, and he said, `Okay, so I am coming also!' These are not seekers and searchers -- they are not religious at all! What are you doing? Your whole life you were waiting for worthy people, people who are deserving!"
The master said, "Listen, the truth is -- now I can tell you -- I was not a master at all! Just this morning I have realized myself, but I could not tell anybody that I was not a master.
So rather than telling the truth, I always tried to make some impossible demands which could not be fulfilled. In that way I saved my ego. But today I have come to know who I am, and now I know that everybody is capable of knowing because everybody is basically the same. Even this drunkard is no more unconscious than anybody else.
Everybody is unconscious, and unconscious people need initiation; they need the help of those who have become conscious. The conscious person can function as a catalytic agent."
Mevlana is right: COME, COME, WHOEVER YOU ARE; WANDERER, WORSHIPPER, LOVER OF LEARNING...IT DOES NOT MATTER. The master is ready; it does not matter who comes to him. Whoever knocks on his door is a welcome guest.
OURS IS NOT A CARAVAN OF DESPAIR. Remember this beautiful statement: "Ours is not a caravan of despair." I can also say this. Ours is not a caravan of despair, it is a celebration -- it is the celebration of life.
People become religious out of misery, and the person who becomes religious out of misery becomes religious for the wrong reasons. And if the very beginning is wrong, the end cannot be right.
Become religious out of joy, out of the experience of beauty that surrounds you, out of the immense gift of life that God has given to you. Become religious out of gratitude, thankfulness. Your temples, your churches, your mosques and GURUDWARAS are full of miserable people. They have turned your temples also into hells. They are there because they are in agony. They don't know God, they have no interest in God; they are not concerned with truth; there is no inquiry. They are just there to be consoled, comforted. Hence they seek anybody who can give them cheap beliefs to patch up their lives, to hide their wounds, to cover up their misery. They are there in search of some false satisfaction.
Ours is not a caravan of despair. It is a temple of joy, of song, of dance, of music, of creativity, of love and life.
You are welcome, Govind -- join the caravan.
COME, EVEN IF YOU HAVE BROKEN YOUR VOW A THOUSAND TIMES.
It does not matter. You may have broken all the rules -- the rules of conduct, the rules of morality. In fact, anybody who has any guts is bound to break those rules. Only people who are without guts, who have no spine to their being can follow the priests and the politicians, the demagogues, the people who have vested interests in the establishment.
But if you have any intelligence then you will be a rebel. And the rebel will be called a sinner, and the obedient fool will be called a saint.
This starts happening from the very childhood. The obedient child is praised by the parents, obviously -- for the simple reason that he is not a pain in their necks. He is so dull, so dead that whatsoever they say he does. He is an imitator, he is a carbon copy, and the parents' egos feel very nourished by the child. He follows them, he believes in them, he adores them.
But the intelligent child will not be respected by the parents. They will always feel some trouble with the intelligent child, because he will ask questions which they can't answer because they don't know themselves. He will ask such things as will be embarrassing to them. He will create situations in which they will see their impotence. They will not be able to control him -- and everybody is interested in controlling everybody else; nobody wants to give freedom. They will not be able to enslave the child; he will resist all efforts to enslave him, he will give them a good fight. In fact, he is the child to be loved, to be respected, because he has some life, he has some soul. But he will be condemned.
Intelligence is condemned, imitativeness is respected. Original faces are distorted and masks are painted, beautifully decorated. The true, the authentic, is denied, and the false, the unauthentic, is raised as high as possible. And the same thing goes on happening in the schools, colleges, universities. The whole of society is a repetition of the same thing on a larger scale.
Only very stupid people become your presidents, your prime ministers. You will not tolerate intelligent people, you will not give power to intelligent people, because you will be afraid of them. You will always want some stupid people to dominate you, because there will always be a certain affinity between you and the stupid. There will be a certain understanding, a communication.
Jesus is bound to be crucified, and Mother Teresa of Calcutta is going to win the Nobel Prize. Socrates is going to be poisoned and killed, but not the so-called professors of philosophy in the universities; they are very respectable people. Socrates was not respectable. If he had been respectable, then Athens would not have behaved in such an ugly way. He was condemned like a criminal, but the professors of philosophy who are teaching Socrates are very respected people; they all have respectability. They write great treatises on Socrates, and nobody poisons them.
One of my professors wrote his thesis on the philosophy of Socrates, and he got a D.Litt.
in it. He was very happy, and all his students gave him a party. I was also present. I asked him one thing: "Socrates was given poison and you are given a D.Litt. There must be something wrong with your treatise! It cannot be Socratic, that much is certain. I have not looked into your treatise, and I am not going to look into it at all -- I am not going to waste my time! One thing is certain: something is absolutely un-Socratic about it; otherwise, why should the society, the university, give you recognition?"
He could not answer me, but he became an enemy. He started avoiding me, and I started haunting him! Wherever we would meet alone -- sometimes walking on the road to the university, or going for a morning walk, or in the night -- I would always look out for him and say, "Hello, Socrates!" He would become so angry!
One day he told me, "Why are you after me? What wrong have I done to you?"
I said, "You have not done anything wrong to me, I am simply trying to make the point clear to you that writing a treatise on Socrates is one thing, and to BE a Socrates is totally another. If you were a Socrates you would have been crucified, you would have been stoned to death. The same university would have condemned you; you would have been expelled from this university."
And finally, HE was not expelled from the university, I was expelled. And when I was expelled, I went to him and told him, "Look! I am not even a professor, I have not written a treatise on Socrates, and they have expelled me!"
And the reasons they gave me were: "You ask embarrassing questions of the professors.
You disturb their classes. You don't allow them to finish their syllabus and you go on persisting with one question for months at a time."
And I said, "How can I drop the question unless it is answered? If it is not answered, then what are months? -- even a whole life has to be devoted to it!"
And they said, "You may be right, but people have come here to get their degrees. They are not interested in truth, nor are the professors interested in truth. Go and find some other place."
And then no other university was ready to accept me, because I had become notorious!
One university accepted me on the condition that I would never ask any question. Now, what kind of universities are these? So when the vice-chancellor said to me, "You have to put it in writing for me that you will not ask the professors any questions," I said, "I can do that, but then you have to understand one thing: that I will not attend the classes. But you have to give me permission to appear in the examination, because I will not be fulfilling the percentage of attendance required -- seventy-five percent. It is impossible."
He said, "Why? Why can't you attend the classes?"
I said, "If I attend the classes, then I will not be able to resist the temptation to ask questions! Then I will ask questions. Either allow me to ask questions or give me the attendance mark; otherwise, what will be the point of my being there?"
He said, "Okay, we will give you the attendance mark."
So I never attended the classes -- it was against the rules, but they gave me a ninety percent attendance mark. I never went to any class, because one thing was certain, that once I saw a professor then I didn't care what I had given in writing -- I HAD to ask the questions!
My father used to tell me wherever he would take me with him, "Keep silent, don't ask any question; otherwise, please don't come with me."
I would promise him that I would not ask the question, and I would ask the question. And he would come home very heated -- "You promised...!"
I said, "What can I do? I completely forget! When I see stupid people talking about great things, I cannot resist -- I simply forget. It is not that I want to hurt you or anything, but what can I do? That man was talking about the soul being immortal, and he knows nothing. I simply asked him, `If I kill you, will you be angry or not? If the soul is immortal, allow me to kill you! At least allow me to slap you -- what to say about killing!
The soul is immortal!' And he was saying, `I am not the body.' `So perfectly okay -- I slap the body, and you are not the body!' And he became angry, and you are also becoming angry. I was not asking anything wrong, I was simply asking a question that HE had raised!"
People go on talking nonsense, but this whole society exists for the lowest, for the mediocre.
I agree with Mevlana -- MEVLANA means the master. Jalaluddin Rumi was called Mevlana by his disciples out of great love. Mevlana says:
COME, EVEN IF YOU HAVE BROKEN YOUR VOW A THOUSAND TIMES.
Intelligent people are bound to break all their vows many times, because life goes on changing, situations go on changing. And the vow is taken under pressure -- maybe the fear of hell, the greed for heaven, respectability in society.... It is not coming from your innermost core. When something comes from your own inner being, it is never broken.
But then it is never a vow, it is a simple phenomenon like breathing.
COME, COME, YET AGAIN COME!
Govind, if you want to be a sannyasin, you are welcome. Everybody is welcome, without any conditions. You do not have to fulfill any requirements. Just the longing to be in deep contact with me is enough, more than enough. Just the desire to be close to me, to be intimate with me is enough. That's what sannyas is all about.
And drop this idea of being a sinner, because that must be creating some guilt in you.
That guilt is one of the oldest tricks of the priests for dominating people. They create guilt in you. They give you such stupid ideas that you cannot fulfill them. Then guilt arises, and once the guilt has arisen, you are trapped.
Guilt is the trade secret of all the so-called, established religions. Create guilt in people, make them feel bad about themselves. Don't let them be respectful of their own lives; let them feel condemned. Let them feel, deep down, that they are ugly, that they are not of any worth, that they are dust, and then of course they will be ready to be guided by any fool. They will be more than ready to become dependent, in the hope that "somebody will lead us to the ultimate light." These are the people who have been exploiting you for centuries.
The time has come when a great rebellion is needed against all established religions.
Religiousness is needed in the world but no more religions -- no more Hindus, no more Christians, no more Mohammedans -- just pure religious people, people who have great respect for themselves.
And remember, only a person who has respect for himself can respect others, because life is the same. If you are too hard upon yourself you will be more hard on others, obviously.
You will magnify their sins; you have to, just to give yourself consolation that you are not the only sinner, there are greater sinners than you. That will be your only consolation in life: that you need not worry, you are just a small sinner, there are great sinners.
That's why people go on creating rumors about everybody else. And people believe rumors very easily. If somebody says something ugly, derogatory about a person, you immediately believe it. But if somebody praises him, you don't believe it, you ask for proofs. You never ask for proofs about derogatory remarks and rumors. You are very willing to believe them for the simple reason that you WANT to believe that "everybody is far worse than I am." That's the only way to feel good, a little bit good, about yourself.
The priests have given you only two alternatives. Either you follow the impossible rules that they impose; then you feel paralyzed, crippled, imprisoned. Or, if you want to live a life of freedom and you want to be natural, guilt arises. In both ways you are being exploited.
I am here to free you from all exploitation.
Freedom is the taste of sannyas, the fragrance of sannyas. My sannyasins are not trying to cultivate any character, they are trying a totally different phenomenon: they are raising their consciousness. And then I leave everybody free to live according to his own light.
The second question:
Vinod Bharti, you say, "I have come to a dead end" -- but I don't feel it so. Not yet, because when you really come to a dead end, a transformation immediately happens. You are coming closer to it, of that much I am certain. The dead end is not far away, but you have not come to it yet. Your whole question proves it.
You are coming closer, you are feeling intuitively that it is not far away -- but it has not been reached yet. Still, there is hope. Still, deep down, you are dreaming that this is not going to be the dead end; hence the question arises.
You say, "I see the impotence of the mind...." You have not seen it yet, you only think you have. Seeing and thinking are totally different, but one can get mixed up very easily.
Thinking can pretend to be seeing. You are not seeing the impotence of the mind; otherwise even this question would not arise. If the mind is really impotent, what can it ask? What can it think about? It simply falls from you, it withers away.
But the shadow is on you, and that's a good sign. The day is not far away when you WILL see the impotence of the mind -- and then immediately the transformation. Then, immediately, a sudden enlightening experience. All questions disappear, all answers disappear, because when the mind is seen, REALLY seen as impotent, what is there to ask and what is there to find? The mind simply evaporates. Then life is left, pure life, unhindered, undistorted by the mind.
Then you will not say that you feel all action useless. If you see the impotence of the mind, the mind disappears but action becomes for the first time tremendously beautiful.
There is no question of utility at all. Life has no utility in itself. What is the use of a roseflower? -- but still it goes on growing, still it goes on opening, still it goes on releasing its fragrance. What is the use of it? What is the use of the sun rising every day?
Is there any use for the sun itself? What is the use of the starry night?
The word "use" is part of the paraphernalia of the mind. Mind always thinks in terms of utility. The mind is a Jew; it always thinks in terms of purpose, profit, utility. When the mind disappears, action does not disappear, activity disappears -- and there is a great difference between the two. Activity has utility; action is pure joy, pure beauty. You act not because something has to be achieved, you act because action is a dance, is a song.
You act because you are so full of energy.
Have you watched a child running on the seabeach? You ask him, "Why are you running? What is the purpose of your running? What are you going to gain out of it?"
Have you watched the child collecting seashells on the beach? You ask him, "What is the utility of it all? You can use your time in a more utilitarian way. Why waste your time?"
The child is not concerned about utility at all, he is enjoying his energy. He is so full of energy, so bubbling with energy that it is a sheer dance -- any excuse will do. These are just excuses -- seashells, pebbles, colored stones. These are just excuses -- the sun, the beautiful beach...just excuses to run and to jump and to shout with joy. There is no utility at all.
"Energy is delight" -- that is a statement made by William Blake, one of the most mystical poets of the West. Energy IS delight. When there is great energy, what are you going to do with it? It is bound to explode.
Action comes out of energy, out of delight. Activity is businesslike. Action is poetry.
Activity creates a bondage because it is result oriented: you are doing it not for its own sake, you are doing it for some goal. There is a motive, and then there is frustration. Out of a hundred cases, ninety-nine times you will not achieve the goal, so ninety-nine times you will be in misery, frustration. You did not enjoy the activity itself, you were waiting for the result. Now the result has come, and ninety-nine times out of a hundred there is frustration. And don't hope for the remaining one percent, because when you achieve the goal, there is frustration also. The goal is achieved, but suddenly you realize that all the dreams you have been dreaming about the goal are not fulfilled.
You have achieved the money, but where is the joy that you have always been hoping for when the money was there? You have that great marble palace, but you are the same poor man -- the same emptiness inside, the same hollowness. You used to live in a hut, now you start living in a palace -- but the SAME person. You were miserable in the hut, and you will be even more miserable in the palace, because the palace has more space and of course when there is more space you will be more miserable. What else can you do with that space? All that you know is how to be miserable.
So you see poor people and you see rich people. The only difference is that the poor people are still hoping. There is hope, hence poor people are not so frustrated. Rich people have lost all their hopes; they are more frustrated. The poor person can still dream -- he can still go on counting in his mind how great a bank balance he will have next year and the year after. Soon the day will come when he will be rich and he will have a car and a good house and a good wife, and the children will be going to good schools. But what can the rich man dream? All that he can dream about he has already, and nothing is happening out of it. The money is there, but he is as empty as ever.
There are two kinds of poor people: the poor poor and the rich poor. And remember, the second category is far worse.
Activity means there is a goal; activity is only a means to that end. Action means that the means and the end are together in it. That's the difference between action and activity.
Vinod Bharti, activity will become useless, but then action arises and action has a totally different dimension. You act for the sheer joy of acting. For example, I am speaking to you -- it is not activity, hence I am not concerned with the result at all. It is a pure act. I enjoy communicating with you, I enjoy communing with you. I am grateful to you that you allow me. If you don't allow me, I will have to talk to the trees or to the rocks, or I will have to talk to myself! I am obliged to you; you need not be obliged to me. It is a pure act. There is something in me that wants to relate. There is no goal orientation -- I am not expecting anything from you. If something happens, good; if nothing happens, even better! If you become enlightened, good; if you don't become enlightened, far out! -- for the simple reason that if you all become enlightened, who am I going to talk to? So please, delay your enlightenment as long as you can -- this much of a favor you have to do for me! It is a simple act. No motive, no future in it -- just the present.
Hence I am not trying to create a system of thought -- I cannot, because to create a system of thought you have to be motivated. Then you have to link everything in a certain logical order. I can enjoy fragments.
When P. D. Ouspensky wrote his first book on Gurdjieff, he gave it the title IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS. He was a man of a philosophic bent, a great mathematician, logician and philosopher. When he showed the book to George Gurdjieff, his master, Gurdjieff just looked here and there for a few minutes and then he said, "Give it a subtitle too: FRAGMENTS OF A TEACHING."
He was a little puzzled, because he had tried to make a whole system and Gurdjieff was suggesting an extra title. "The main title, IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS," Gurdjieff said, "is okay, but it needs the subtitle, FRAGMENTS OF A TEACHING -- in fact, FRAGMENTS OF AN UNKNOWN TEACHING."
Ouspensky asked, "Why?"
Gurdjieff said, "Because I cannot create a system of thought -- these are all fragments."
And you can see it happening here. You can collect all my thoughts, but they will be only fragments -- fragments but not a system. To create a system, you need to be goal oriented. You have to follow a certain structure, and you have to go on like an arrow towards a target.
That is not possible either for a man like me or Gurdjieff. We cannot follow any goal.
Our every act is complete in itself, entire in itself. It has no relationship with the past and no relationship with the future. It is total. If I die this very moment, there will be no desire in me even to have completed the sentence.
Action is an end unto itself; it has no utility. When the mind is seen to be impotent, the mind disappears. In that very seeing, the mind disappears. And, of course, with it all utilitarian activities will also disappear, because mind is the cause of goal orientation. It contains all your motives. It contains your past and the future; it does not contain the present at all. And when there is no mind, all that is left is pure present. You act moment to moment, and each moment is enough unto itself. Hence the beauty of the statements of Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, because each statement is in itself perfect, it needs nothing. You can take any statement from anywhere, and you can meditate over it and it will give you the taste of TAO, DHAMMA -- truth.
Buddha used to say again and again that the taste of the sea is the same. You can taste it from anywhere, from any shore -- the taste is the same. This shore or that makes no difference. Each statement of a buddha has the taste of truth. But it is not concerned with utility....
Vinod Bharti, you are feeling in an intuitive way that something is coming closer of which you are afraid: "the dead end." Everybody becomes afraid, and out of fear the question has arisen. You ask, "I have come to a dead end. I see the impotence of the mind and feel all action useless. Does the mind totally die only in SAMADHI?"
Just the reverse is the case: when the mind dies totally, what is left is samadhi. So I cannot say that the mind dies totally only in samadhi; that will be putting things upside down. The mind dies first, and then what is left is called samadhi. That state of no-mind is called samadhi.
But the death of the mind frightens, scares one. That's what you are feeling: the shadow of death. It is not YOUR death, it is the death of the mind which is not you. But for many lives we have lived identified with the mind, so when the death of the mind comes closer it feels as if WE are going to die. It is not a dead end for YOU, it is certainly a dead end for the mind. That too has not come yet, but the mind is freaking out, because once it has come, then there is no way out for the mind. If it can escape just before the dead end, then there is a possibility of surviving...hence the question.
You say: "Please say something about mind and action in witnessing." In witnessing, mind remains only as a biocomputer, a mechanism, but separate from you; you are no longer identified with it. When you want any memory you can use the mind just as you can put on your tape recorder. Mind is REALLY a tape recorder. But it is not continuously on, not twenty-four hours on. When needed, the witness, the man of meditation, the man of awareness, is capable of putting the mind on or off. He puts it on when there is some need.
If I am talking to you, I have to put the mind on; otherwise language will not be possible.
No-mind is silent, there is no language; only mind can supply the language. I have to use the mind to relate with your mind; that's the only way to relate with your mind, so I put it on.
When I go back and sit in the car, I put it off. Before Heeren turns the ignition on, I turn MY ignition off! In my room I don't need my mind. When my secretary comes with the letters, or with some work, I say to her, "Hello!" And inside I say, "Hello, mind. My secretary has come!" Otherwise there is no need for the mind.
When you are witnessing, the mind remains, but not constantly working. Your identity is broken. You are the watcher; the mind is the watched. It is a beautiful mechanism, one of the most beautiful mechanisms that nature has given to you. So you can use it when needed for factual memory -- for phone numbers, for addresses, for names, for faces.... It is a good tool, but that's all it is. It need not sit upon you continuously twenty-four hours a day. Even while you are sleeping, it is sitting on your chest torturing you, giving you nightmares. All kinds of relevant and irrelevant thoughts go on and on.
It does two harms. One: you lose your purity of witnessing, you don't remain a mirror.
Your mirror becomes so covered with the dust of thoughts that you start becoming closed to existence, you cannot reflect existence. The full moon is there, but your mirror does not reflect it. How many people are there who see the full moon? Even if they see it, they don't SEE -- their seeing is not of any value. They don't rejoice, they don't dance. How many people are there who see the flowers? Just now the birds are singing, but how many people are there who are aware of the birds and the wind passing through the trees?
When the mind is no longer hovering over you continuously, you become aware of infinite beauty, of truth, of the celebration that goes on and on in existence. But the mind is there, put aside -- you can put it on when needed.
And when activity ceases, action is born. Action means response; activity means reaction.
When you are in action, it means the mind is put aside and your consciousness is in a direct contact with existence; hence the response is immediate. Then whatsoever you do is not ready-made. It is not a ready-made answer given by the mind; you are responding to the reality as it is. Then there is beauty, because your action is true to the situation.
But millions of people in the world are simply living through ready-made answers. They are already carrying the answer; they don't listen, they don't see the situation confronting them. They are more interested in the answer that they are carrying within themselves than in the question itself, and they go on living their answer again and again. That's why their life becomes a boredom, a repetitive boredom, a drag. It is no longer a dance, it cannot be a dance.
Action is a dance; activity is a drag. Activity is always untrue to the situation; action is always true to the situation. And activity is always inadequate because it carries an answer from the past, and life goes on changing every moment, so whatsoever you bring from the past is never adequate, it always falls short. So whatsoever you do, there is frustration; you feel that you have not been able to cope with reality. You always feel something is missing, you always feel your reaction was not exactly as it should have been. And the reason is that you have simply repeated, parrot-like, a ready-made answer, cheap but untrue -- untrue because the situation is new.
Vinod Bharti, the mind will be there but with a new status, with a new functioning. It will be under your control: you will be the master, not the mind. You will use it when it is needed; you will not use it when it is not needed. It cannot insist that you have to listen to it, that you have to go on listening to it. Even if you are sleeping, it goes on knocking on your doors; it does not allow you even to have a beautiful sleep.
The second loss is that because the mind is working twenty-four hours a day, from the cradle to the grave, it becomes mediocre, it becomes stupid. It never has enough energy, it becomes very weak; hence the impotence. If the mind has time to rest, it will again become rejuvenated, it will again be fresh.
The mind of a buddha is always fresh, it is always young. It is always responding with such freshness, with such newness that it seems unbelievable. Your questions may be the same, but the answers of a buddha always have a new nuance to them, a new flavor, a new fragrance. You can go on listening to the buddha for years, and still you will remain enchanted. Even if he repeats something it is never the same -- the context is different, the color is different, the meaning is different.
The mind will be there, more alive, more potent, more restful, younger, fresher -- not your master but a good servant, an obedient servant. Activity will disappear totally; there will arise action.
Action means there is no goal to it. Just as the poets say "poetry for poetry's sake" or "art for art's sake," the same is the situation with the mystic. His action is for action's sake; there is no other goal to it. He enjoys it just like a small child, innocently he enjoys it.
Vinod Bharti, witnessing is the miracle that changes everything in your life. Then the dead end is only a new beginning, a death and a birth -- the death of the old, a total death; a discontinuity with the old, and the arrival of something absolutely unknown, the arrival of the new. It is a resurrection -- a crucifixion and a resurrection. But the resurrection is possible only after crucifixion.
The dead end is going to come, but it is the beginning also. And you will see the beginning immediately, when the dead end has come. If you are just thinking about it, that it is coming, it is coming...the mind can even say, "It has come -- beware, escape!
While there is time, run away!" Then you will miss the other side of it. You will see only the cross, you will miss the resurrection.
You are thinking the mind is impotent. Your thinking is on the right track, but thinking will not help, SEEING is needed. Become a witness so that you can see that the mind is impotent. FEEL that activities are useless, but not action. Action continues. Buddha lived for forty-two years after his enlightenment. Action continued, activities disappeared.
The last question:
Veetam, I am perfectly willing, but you'd better go to France or to Italy or to America.
Taking jokes to England is absolutely futile! They will think you are mad. Take something serious for those people, something gloomy like their climate, with no sun shining, all clouds. Take an umbrella with you! And if you don't know how to be really English, meet Proper Sagar -- take a few lessons from him. He is so proper that even though he has been living here for seven years, I have not been able to destroy his Englishman.
Ordinarily I never feel hopeless, but when I look at Proper Sagar sometimes I suspect that maybe with Sagar I have to feel hopeless. He is such a perfect English gentleman!
Veetam, first look at him...! As for the jokes, a story about Jesus' birth....
After Jesus was born, Joseph went with Mary to visit the in-laws.
"We live in Nazareth now," said Mary. "The baby was born in Bethlehem just a few days ago, in a farmer's barn because we couldn't find a room!"
"You mean with all the livestock?" exclaimed Mary's mother.
"That's right," replied Mary, "and just as he was born, three old men appeared."
"Three drunks," explained Joseph.
"And three shepherds," continued Mary.
"And they got drunk, too!" explained Joseph.
"You mean, you all got drunk?" said Mary's father, shocked.
"That's right!" said Joseph.
Joseph must have been a drunkard. Jesus himself remained a drunkard his whole life.
Those three wise men from the East...and Joseph says, "There were three drunkards, three drunks."
An American and a Frenchman are discussing how many love-making positions there are. After much talk, they decide to enumerate them.
The American begins by saying that there are one hundred positions. In the first one, the woman lies on her back and the man rests on top of her.
"Voila!" cries the Frenchman. "That makes one hundred and one!"
One can always miss the obvious!
And the last....
The Vatican announced that the pope was to visit one of the few Catholic churches in Poland. The local priest arranged for all the strong believers from his community to clean and make the place tidy. The church was blessed to have a special relic from the time of Christ: a bunch of St. Peter's pubic hairs. One of the helpers, thinking it was rubbish, threw it away.
When the priest did a last minute check of the precious relic before the pope's arrival, he was shocked to find that the "holy remembrance" had disappeared. Desperate, he reached beneath his robe and grabbed a few of his own to place in the box.
The priest was guiding the pope through the church. When they arrived at the box containing the relic, he said, "And this, Your Holiness, is our most holy gift from God!"
"Ugh!" groaned the pope when he smelt it. "You can still tell our Peter was a fisherman!"
Enough for today.
Come, Come, Yet Again Come