Behold my Hands and my Feet
THEM, AND SAITH UNTO THEM: PEACE BE UNTO YOU.
THEY HAD SEEN A SPIRIT.
THOUGHTS ARISE IN YOUR HEARTS?
AND SEE, FOR A SPIRIT HATH NOT FLESH AND BONES, AS YE SEE ME HAVE.
AND HIS FEET.
SAID UNTO THEM: HAVE YE HERE ANY MEAT?
UNDERSTAND THE SCRIPTURES.
CHRIST TO SUFFER, AND TO RISE FROM THE DEAD THE THIRD DAY.
PREACHED IN HIS NAME AMONG ALL NATIONS, BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM.
THE greatest problem that a man like Jesus faces is that whatsoever he is going to say will appear untrue to people - because truth cannot be said; and the moment you say it, it is falsified. Truth cannot be uttered. The language in which you utter it is not big enough. It kills the truth, it can only express the untrue.
But, out of compassion, a Jesus, a Buddha, will try to say that which cannot be said. But then they will be misunderstood. They bring news of the beyond. You have not even dreamed about it; how can you understand? You have no conception of it; how can you understand? Misunderstanding is natural. Nobody is actually at fault. Jesus brings something from the beyond. You have never been there - something of the other world. You listen:'This man appears authentic.
His very being gives some authority to whatsoever he is saying.' But that is a feeling - you cannot understand what he is saying. At the most you can trust, which is very difficult, almost impossible.
How to trust? How to trust somebody else about things which you know nothing about? Not only that, but how to trust about things which go diametrically opposite to your experience?
I was reading a small story the other night.
A man was walking along, and he saw a snail lodged in a crevice in a wall, and for no particular reason he said,'Hello snail.'
And oddly enough the snail could speak, and the snail could hear, and it said,'Hello.' And it moved its eyes around as best it could on their stalks to try to see what it was that was confronting him.
So the man said,'Can you hear me?' And the snail said,'Yes, of course. Who and what are you anyway?'
The man said,'Well, I am a man.'
And the snail said,'Whatever is that?'
So the man said,'Well, we are something like you. For instance, you have got eyes on stalks and we have got stalks on the other end.'
The snail said,'The other end?'
And the man said,'Yes - just a minute - it is for putting our feet on, you see, these feet.'
The snail said,'Whatever are these feet for?'
And the man said,'The feet are for moving along very rapidly on.'
The snail said,'Really? You amaze me. Is there anything, else about you that is peculiar?'
And the man said,'Well, you know how you have got your house on your back?'
The snail said,'Yes, yes.'
And the man said,'Well, we don't know. You see, we have lots and lots of houses, and we go in and out of them almost at will.'
The snail said,'You really are a most astonishing creature. Is there anything else that's strange about you?'
And the man said,'Well now, we are men, and a man can take a thing like a leaf; you know, a leaf?'
And the snail said,'Yes. Yes, I know a leaf.'
The man said,'Well, he can make marks on this leaf, and even hand the leaf to another man, who can give the leaf to a third man, who can tell from the marks on the leaf what the first man was thinking about.'
'Ah,' said the snail,'I see, you are one of them. Hm....'
The man said,'What do you mean?'
'You are a liar,' said the snail.'The trouble with you liars is that you tell one lie, and then you tell a bigger one, and then finally you over-reach yourselves.'
That's the feeling with a man like Jesus. Ordinary humanity feels that way: that Jesus is over-reaching himself. Maybe he has a magnetic personality, a charisma around him. Maybe he is a powerful man, a beautiful person. Maybe he has a certain convincing force in him. He is a man worth loving, but he is over- reaching himself. Whatever he is saying is beyond the ordinary human mind. In fact, it is beyond the human mind. He is bringing something into the world of the mind from the world of no-mind. This is an almost unbridgeable gap. He is bound to be misunderstood.
In misunderstanding he was crucified. And when on the cross he said,'Father, forgive these people, because they know not what they are doing,' it was not just compassion, it was not just love. It was compassion, it was love; it was also fact.
Those people who were crucifying him, in fact, were fast asleep, unconscious.
Whatsoever they were doing, they were not aware of it. They had never thought about the implications of it. They were not crucifying Jesus, they were simply crucifying a liar, they were simply crucifying someone who had been disturbing their silent, peaceful lives, who had been forcing them against their wills on an adventure which seemed dangerous, who had been talking about God, which everybody knows does not exist, and yet everybody believes in as a social formality.
Jesus was trying to prove that God exists, not as a social formality, not as a prop for morality, not as a hypothesis to explain the unexplainable. God exists. In fact, ONLY God exists: He is the ultimate fact. Whenever people like Jesus start talking about the ultimate fact, a suspicion arises in the ordinary mind:'They are over-reaching themselves. It's okay to believe in God, and to believe in the church and in the temple. It is good to pretend to be religious. It helps - it is a social lubricant. It gives life a certain smoothness; it gives you a certain respectability. But one should not take these things too seriously. This man Jesus seems to be too serious about it, as if it is a life-and-death problem.'
To him, it is the only problem worth encountering, and the only adventure worth going on, the only research. But to the people he was talking to, it looked like nonsense. They may not have said so; they may not have said so out of propriety.
They may not have said that they didn't believe, because they would not like to have been known by others as unbelievers. But deep down, it didn't seem probable that God exists; it was the most improbable thing, that God exists. Jesus looks untrue, a Buddha looks untrue. Out of their sheer magnetism people are fascinated. But even those who are fascinated are not totally with them. Their deepest core goes on denying and saying,'You are hypnotized. This man has done something to you, like magic. He has trapped you, you have become a prisoner.' When the people start feeling like this, they take revenge. This revenge happens almost automatically.
The people who killed Jesus killed in their sleep, as if it was just a dream.
There is a Sufi anecdote: A group of merchants asked a certain disciple,'How can this Sufi nonsense mean anything to you?'
To the ordinary mind, to the logical, to the rational part of you, anything that is not comprehensible is nonsense. In fact, it is, because it is beyond sense. If you love it, you may call it super-sense. If you don't love it, you may call it nonsense.
But one thing is certain: that it is something beyond the scope of the senses.
A group of merchants asked a certain disciple,'How can this Sufi nonsense mean anything to you?' He said,'Because it means everything to those whom I respect.'
Because it means everything to those whom I respect... this is what trust is.
Jesus creates a respect about his being. Because of that respect, you believe whatsoever he says. Because of that respect, a certain trust is created, but your rational mind goes on hammering within you and saying,'This is all nonsense.
What are you doing?' And when I say this to you, you can understand, because this is happening to you every day also: whatsoever I am saying to you is nonsense. There is no need for anybody else to prove that it is nonsense; it is nonsense. But if you respect me and love me, that nonsense will start appearing as super-sense, as transcendental to mind, reason, logic - not below, but above.
If you respect me and love me, you may allow me to take you over to another world in which you cannot believe right now.
Almost every day people come to me and they say,'How can we believe?' I understand their problem, their anguish: they would like to believe. It is not that they want not to believe, because belief gives such serenity, belief gives such tranquility, belief gives such a centeredness and rootedness, that who would not like to believe? Even an atheist is in search of belief. Maybe he is very desperate; maybe his saying that there is no God is nothing but an effort to avoid that great call that is constantly heard in his being - 'Go on the adventure. Seek and find.'
He does not want to hear that call. He says that there is no God.
I have never come across an atheist who is really an atheist. All atheists are in search, all atheists are in deep search for a faith and trust. But they are afraid. The adventure seems to be so dangerous and risky. They start believing in no-God, but that no-God is also a belief. It is negative: it cannot be nourishing, it cannot give you life, energy; it cannot enhance your being, it cannot help you to become centered. It cannot help you to see the true and the real because it is a false belief, a negative belief. But, I say, it is still a belief.
There are only believers and believers, because nobody can live in non-belief, in no-belief, in no-faith, in no-trust. To live without believing is absolutely impossible. But the first dawn of truth always happens with what this Sufi disciple is saying:'Because it means everything to those whom I respect.' If you respect, you are open to receive.
The Judaic word 'kabala' originally means: capacity to receive. It is a beautiful word. It means: those who are ready to receive; they are kabalists. Respect creates the capacity to receive, to become pregnant. Not knowing what is going to happen, but you trust somebody, you respect somebody.
People respected Jesus. They started following him, but then deep down they also always felt that he was over-reaching. He was taking them so fast and so beyond human comprehension, that by and by they became frightened and scared of this man. They had to kill him, there was no other way.
They must have felt relieved when they killed Jesus. They must have felt a stillness descending, because this man had been creating a chaos. This man had been creating such turmoil. He had to create it, because only out of chaos are stars born, and only out of chaos and pain and anguish is a new birth possible.
But he was looking into the future, and they were clinging to the past, and there was no meeting ground. Even today, between Christ and a Christian there is no meeting ground. The meeting ground is possible only if you also try to over- reach yourself. Otherwise, the meeting ground is not possible.
A friend of mine, an old navy chaplain, tells of a terrible storm a couple of years ago, a storm so severe that even old seamen were scared.
After it was all over, an old salt-crusted sailor said,'Chaplain, I sure did pray during the blow. I am not a praying man, but I prayed hard that time.'
'What did you say in your prayer?' asked the chaplain.
'Oh,' replied the sailor,'I said: Lord, you know that I have not asked you for anything for fifty years, and if you get me out of this storm alive, I promise that I won't bother you again for another fifty years!'
Only in pain, in anguish, only in a chaos where everything is dissolving into nothingness, does one remember God. A Jesus has to create a chaos, a Jesus has to destroy your notions of security, your so-called comfortable life, the illusion of it. He has to dis-illusion you, and that's why he looks like the enemy. The friend looks like the enemy; the greatest friend looks like the greatest enemy because he has to disillusion you. He has to bring you out of your illusions and dreams. He has to create a chaos, because only in that anguish, you may start praying. Jesus did both. He lived a life of infinite delight; he lived a life of constant celebration, he was one of the most dancing men ever on this earth.
Don't listen to the Christians who say that he never laughed: it is impossible. If Jesus never laughed, then I would like to say to you that he never existed. Then the whole story is false. Jesus, and never laughed? - then who will be able to laugh? He laughed - his laughter may have been very subtle - you may not have heard it. That much I can understand. His delight must have been very subtle and profound. You may not have been able to see it; that I can understand.
His celebration must have been so deep that you could not go that deep, and you could not feel it. He lived out of his heart, he lived out of his depth. You may have missed, because to look into the depth of a man like Jesus or Buddha is to look into abyss: one gets dizzy, one becomes frightened, one closes one's eyes.
It is possible that people didn't become aware of Jesus' celebration, but he was a man of celebration. He enjoyed the small things of life. He made everything sacred. He was not an escapist, he did not renounce anything. In fact, whatsoever he touched became sacred, wherever he moved became holy ground.
Whatsoever he did, just because he did it, the quality of it was transformed. He lived a life of celebration on the one hand; on the other hand, he continuously created chaos around you. He was living at two ends together: that is his cross.
That is the meaning of his carrying his cross on his shoulders: he is living two polarities together. He is a paradox, he creates chaos, and you can see him dancing amidst the chaos; because these are the two points to remember God.
Either you remember Him when you are in deep trouble - which is the way of ordinary humanity - or you remember Him when you are at a peak of happiness, of bliss - which is not the way of ordinary humanity. When you are happy, you forget God; whenever you are unhappy, you remember.
Jesus created both possibilities together. He created a disillusionment for you, so that you were in anguish and you could pray. Out of your anguish tears can come, and you melt into prayer. You can again call God 'the Father', the whole.
And just near your chaos, He is celebrating. If you are capable of seeing, if you have eyes, then you will become aware that prayer has two possibilities: one, in unhappiness - then it is out of helplessness; the other, in happiness - then it is out of gratitude.
Jesus' prayer is different from your prayer: his prayer is of deep thankfulness, your prayer is of helplessness. But he presented both the possibilities together.
One day, a quivering man visited a Sufi Master to plead,'Please help me find myself.'
During the discussion a messenger of the troubled man appeared.'I thought you would like to know,' said the messenger,'that your business affairs have taken a sudden turn towards prosperity.', The visitor exclaimed to the Master,'Oh, I feel better now. Good-bye.'
A month later, the still troubled man returned to repeat his sorrowful request,'Please help me! I cannot bear my agony any longer.'
The messenger appeared a second time, saying with a sly grin,'A beautiful woman awaits you at home.'
The visitor Leapt up to gasp,'All is well. Good-bye.'
A friend of the Master asked him,'How often will that quivering man repeat that pattern of foolish behavior?'
Sighed the Master,'Until he sees.'
Jesus created chaos for you, because only in deep discomfort, in deep disillusionment, in total helplessness, is your prayer possible. And just by the side there, he was standing, happy, tremendously happy, prayerful - a deep gratitude, a sheer delight in being, an ecstasy. Your prayer is out of agony, his prayer is out of ecstasy. And he was just standing by the side.
If you could see, you would take the jump. Your prayer would then no longer be of helplessness. Your prayer would also become of gratitude, of tremendous gratefulness. You are not helpless. You are helpless because you are thinking of yourself as separate from the whole.
It is your illusion of separateness that creates helplessness.
The helplessness is just your illusion. Once the illusion drops, you are the whole.
Jesus goes on saying,'I, and my Father who is in heaven, are one.' Then suddenly, you are not helpless. You are at the very center of existence - how can you be helpless? You are not separate from the whole - how can you be helpless?
Helplessness is the shadow of the ego. Jesus tries to disillusion you so that the shadow of ego disappears.
But rather than moving with him, rather than accepting his invitation to go and follow him, people killed him. He was too much of a troublemaker; he was too much to be tolerated.
Sigmund Freud has written in one of his significant letters to a friend, 'Man cannot live without illusions.' Take away the illusion of a man and his whole life becomes meaningless. Everybody has a life-lie around which he lives. Take away the life-lie and the whole meaning disappears, the whole life collapses. Just watch inside yourself: you must have a life-lie, a dream which is not true; and you know it, because you have created it. But you don't want to know that. You go on avoiding the fact, that this is untrue; you go on believing that this is true.
Freud's insight was right. He should know, because for fifty years continuously he was dealing with people's lives, their innermost minds. He must have come across it again and again.
The same is my observation: everybody is living for some illusion. Take the illusion away and the life collapses, and he will become your enemy. And that is what Jesus was doing, what Buddha was doing. This is what I am doing here:
trying to take away your life-lie. Freud's insight was half true. It is true: take the life-lie of a man away and his life collapses; but this is only a half-truth. Help him to see the truth, then a new life arises. And until that new life arises you are simply waiting a great opportunity. A life of fantasy is not a life at all. Everybody has to pass through the cross'The cross' means: the cross of the life-lie. And everybody has to come to a resurrection. The resurrection means a life of truth, a life according to the real. The man, the ordinary man goes on trying to make the reality follow his lie. The courageous man, the religious man, drops the lie and follows reality. Don't try to make the truth follow you - follow truth.
That is the meaning when Jesus says,'Come, follow me.' He is saying: drop your life-lies, your illusions about power, prestige, money, greed, jealousy, ego, and a thousand and one things. Drop those life-lies, come, follow me. Follow the true, follow the real. Truth liberates. But in the beginning, it is painful.
Rather than change themselves, people killed Jesus. Rather than killing their own egos, they found it easier to kill this man. Nobody is responsible, in fact. Jesus had to destroy their illusions, and in their sleep they had to react, so it is natural.
Jesus is crucified; the miracle has not happened. The crowd waited and went away home, frustrated. The disciples waited, hiding themselves in the crowd, because they were also suspicious, doubtful. They respected the man, they also had a certain faith in this man, but not that much. They could follow him when he was succeeding. Now, he was a failure. And nobody has failed like Jesus, because nobody has tried so hard to bring the beyond. Nobody has tried so hard to bring eternity into the world of time. He tried the impossible, and he failed.
His failure is beautiful.
He failed on the path of truth and it is better to fail on the path of truth than to succeed on the path of a lie. Failure and success don't mean anything. The effort, the intention, means everything.
The disciples were hiding in the crowd. They were not revealing themselves, who they were, because they were afraid. Their teacher, their Master, was being hanged. If they revealed themselves, who they were, they would also be hanged, or killed, or mistreated; or at least beaten. They were afraid. They were waiting for the miracle:'If the Master succeeds, if God descends from heaven, or angels descend from heaven and they save Jesus, and he reveals the glory about which he was always talking and about which nobody has ever believed totally....' They were waiting. If the miracle happened, they would reveal themselves. Then they would shout,'We are the disciples!' But if he failed, they would simply disappear into the crowd. The fragile, the weak human mind.... There is nothing to condemn; one should just feel compassion.
It is an old story. It happened that in India there existed a great university, Nalanda was the name of the university. One visitor went to see the university.
The vice-chancellor of the university took the visitor. The visitor must have been a very important personage; he took him around. It is said that there were almost ten thousand students in the university. From almost all over the world, seekers would come to the university. The guest was very impressed.
He said,'My, just how many students do you have here?' "Well,' answered the vice-chancellor thoughtfully,'I would say, about one in a hundred.'
And if that was the number of students, what to say about disciples? - about one in ten thousand. If you see ten thousand disciples, the possibility is that there may be, or may not even be, one disciple there. That is the proportion. When students are one in a hundred.... And a student has nothing to lose, just to gain.
A disciple has everything to lose and nothing to gain, or ONLY NOTHING to gain.
Jesus had disciples, but they all disappeared. He died alone. In fact, he lived alone, he walked alone on this earth. The multitude that followed him, and the disciples who were around him were just so-so. Lukewarm was their trust. There was no intense passion in it, because when the Master was being crucified, there was the test. They were hiding themselves. They must have been greedy people, as all so-called religious people are.
Just before Jesus was caught and imprisoned they were discussing amongst themselves,'In heaven, when Jesus will be sitting by the right side of God, what will be the position of the disciples, the twelve? Who will be sitting next to Jesus?' Of course they allowed Jesus to sit next to God; but who would be sitting next to Jesus? There was great argument amongst them. They were greedy people. They were just extending their ordinary minds into their so-called religious heaven. Their heaven was nothing but an extension of this earth. It was nothing new. Jesus remained alone, died alone.
Try to understand this, because just to think that you are following when there is no danger is not enough. When death comes, when danger comes, then there will be the test. Then, not even a single disciple declared to be with him.
In fact, when Jesus was taken as a prisoner, Peter wanted to follow him. Jesus told him,'No need to follow me, because you will deny me.' Peter said,'Never! I will never deny you.' Jesus said,'You will deny me. Even before the cock crows and the sun has risen, you will have denied me thrice.' And it happened. All the disciples fled; only Peter followed. But those people who had made him prisoner became suspicious: somebody was amongst them who looked a stranger. They asked him,'Who are you? Are you a disciple of Jesus?' He said,'No, I don't know this man. Who is he?' And Jesus looked back and said,'The morning has not yet come.' And it happened a second time; and it happened thrice. Jesus laughed, and looked back at the crowd and said,'The cock has not crowed yet.'
It is so difficult to follow a Master when he is moving into death. And this the ONLY way to follow a Master, there is no other. Because a Master has to lead you into death; that is the only way to be reborn. There is no other. Until you die, you will not be able to be reborn. Only through death is eternal life attained, only through losing yourself do you gain.
Jesus died. No miracle happened. The crowd, feeling frustrated, disappeared.
AND AS THEY THUS SPAKE, JESUS HIMSELF STOOD IN THE MIDST OF THEM, AND SAITH UNTO THEM. PEACE BE UNTO YOU.
The disciples gathered and they discussed what to do now. They were feeling absolutely betrayed, deceived. This man simply proved not a real son of God. He had promised again and again that he would be resurrected, that he would come down out of death with a new, eternal body of light. And he died like an ordinary man; and he died complaining to God,'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' So.God had betrayed Jesus, Jesus had betrayed his disciples, and they were at a loss as to what to do now. They must have been a laughing-stock.
People must have laughed at them:'These were Jesus' disciples - fools, simpletons! They used to believe that this man would come out of death, and this man has simply died like an ordinary man.'
AND AS THEY THUS SPAKE... as the disciples were discussing amongst themselves, JESUS HIMSELF STOOD IN THE MIDST OF THEM, AND SAITH UNTO THEM: PEACE BE UNTO YOU.
They were very troubled, in deep turmoil; their whole lives were lost. They had followed this man, and this man had simply died. Now what to do, where to go?
Where to hide oneself; how to accept the failure? They were very troubled. They must have been so troubled that Jesus was standing amongst them and they could not see him.
In fact, you can only see that which you are expecting to see. They were not expecting. In fact, they were thinking,'We knew that this was going to happen; this man has died and there has been no miracle.' The miracle had happened, but to see the miracle, to be able to see it, you need a different quality of being. The miracle was not a part of ordinary reality, it is a separate reality. The miracle had happened: Jesus was standing amongst them, and they could not see. It was as if they were almost blind.
We are - almost blind, almost drunk. We only see that which we want to see, we only see that which we are expecting to see.
Have you watched that your gestalt of vision continually changes? If you are hungry you see different things. You go to the marketplace and you are hungry; you see the restaurants, the hotels, the displayed foods, the fruits. You see things through your hunger. If you are not hungry and you go to the same marketplace, you don't see the restaurants, you don't see the food, the food stalls, the fruit sellers. You simply bypass them. They don't become part of your attention. If you are sexually starved, you go on looking at women or men. If you are not sexually starved, it simply does not matter who is who. Whether somebody who is approaching you is a man or a woman does not matter if you are not sexually starved. Whatsoever you see, it is not only the object that you see; your subjectivity gets involved in it.
Jesus was standing amongst them and he said to them,'Peace be unto you.' Why?
He said,'Just become peaceful, be silent. I am here. About whom are you talking?
Peace be unto you.'
BUT THEY WERE TERRIFIED. When they heard, when they became aware of this man suddenly standing amongst them, THEY WERE TERRIFIED AND AFRIGHTED, AND SUPPOSED THAT THEY HAD SEEN A SPIRIT, a ghost.
For this miracle they had been waiting. But just to wait is not enough; one has to be ready for it.
It happened once: An old man used to come to me. He said one night - it must have been near about eleven o'clock and he was departing - he said,'I would take sannyas, I would surrender myself to you totally if you could do one miracle.' I said,'What is the miracle?' He said,'If you can come tonight in my dream, tomorrow morning I am going to take sannyas.' I said,'Okay, but don't get frightened. Don't be afraid, don't get scared.' He said,'I am not scared'; but the way he said it, I felt that he was very scared. Then he went up to the gate, and he came back, and he said?'It is too dark, and the road is very quiet, and my house is far away, five, six miles, and in this cold night I don't want to go. I would like to stay here.' I said,'What is the matter? Are you afraid to go back home? Don't be afraid. At the most, if the miracle happens, I will come in your dream.' But he said,'Now, I must confess. I am afraid' - even in a dream!
What is the fear? - because, if this is possible, a separate reality, a different reality opens its door to you. You have to face the unknown. He had asked for it, but he was afraid. He said,'No need to come. I will come and take sannyas.'
If I can enter in your dream, you will be scared. A dream is a very private thing:
nobody can enter into anybody's dream. Ordinarily that is not possible. Even two lovers cannot enter into each other's dream. Dreaming is a totally private thing and if somebody can enter into your dream, suddenly your privacy is violated.
One becomes afraid. If somebody can enter into your dream, then somebody can watch your thoughts, and somebody can watch your feelings, and somebody can see your within... and the fear. Just think about it. If somebody could look into you and see your thoughts and your feelings, you would be scared to death.
Because everybody is carrying so many ugly things, and nobody can see that things are okay.
'If you could see into each other,' psychologists say,'if people could see into each other, love would become impossible.' Friendship would never be possible; there would only be enemies in the world. Just think what you have been thinking about your lover: just a little anger, and you would like to kill him. If people could watch each other's minds, you would be completely violated; there would be fear. The man was afraid.
These people were asking for the miracles to happen. It had happened, but they were not ready. Because, to see a miracle one needs the vision to see it, one needs a totally different gestalt. The miracle is happening every moment - the whole existence is miraculous and every moment of life is a miracle. You cannot find greater miracles than are already happening all around you. But you cannot know, you cannot see, you are not ready. You go on living in your drab and dull mind, almost asleep.
I have heard: A welfare worker once said to a confirmed drunkard,'The last time we met I was very happy, because you were sober. Today I am unhappy to see you drunk again.''Well,' said the drunkard,'it is my turn to be happy today, sir.'
Your happiness consists only of your unconsciousness. Whenever you are conscious, you become unhappy. And unless you can be consciously happy, your happiness is not worth the bother. I work on so many people: the moment they start becoming conscious they become unhappy. They come to me and they say,'What are you doing? We had come here to become more happy, and the more we become conscious, the more unhappy we feel.' Because the happiness that consisted of their unconsciousness is disappearing, and that was all the happiness they knew. They have not known any happiness which is conscious.
They become unhappy, disillusioned.
If they escape, they miss the opportunity. If they persist, first the happiness of unconsciousness will disappear, and there will be a time, an interval of much agony, much chaos, much anarchy. They will lose all their identity. They will not be able to know who they are, because all that they knew about themselves belonged to their unconsciousness. They will be completely lost, almost mad.
But, if they persist, soon a new sort of happiness, a new sort of blissfulness which has nothing to do with illusions and unconsciousness arises. If you cannot be happy consciously, your happiness is not worthwhile; -it is useless. People go on living in their sleep - sometimes their eyes are closed, sometimes their eyes are open, but the sleep continues. It is rarely broken!
Those disciples were standing talking about Jesus, and Jesus was there. They could not see. It seems impossible. No, it is not impossible; it is just natural to human unconsciousness.
One day it happened: Mulla Nasrudin came to see me.'Why have you wrapped a thread around your finger?' I asked the Mulla.
He said,'My wife wrapped it to remind me that I should not forget to post a letter for her.'
'Have you posted the letter?' I asked.
'No,' said the Mulla,'she forgot to give it to me.'
This is how we go on living: without any selfremembering, without any awareness, without any consciousness.
Jesus said,'Peace be unto you'...
BUT THEY WERE TERRIFIED AND AFRIGHTED, AND SUPPOSED THAT THEY HAD SEEN A SPIRIT.
AND HE SAID UNTO THEM: WHY ARE YE TROUBLED? AND WHY DO THOUGHTS ARISE IN YOUR HEARTS?
'Can't you see me? Why are these thoughts arising in your minds and in your hearts? Can't you see me? Can't you recognize me? I lived for years with you, and you lived for years with me. Don't you know my face?'
AND HE SAID UNTO THEM: WHY ARE YE TROUBLED? AND WHY DO THOUGHTS ARISE IN YOUR HEARTS?
BEHOLD MY HANDS AND MY FEET, THAT IT IS I MYSELF.
HANDLE ME AND SEE, FOR THE SPIRIT HATH NOT FLESH AND BONES, AS YE SEE ME HAVE.
Pitiable humanity... even Jesus has to bring proofs that he is. And the proofs that you ask are proofs of matter, of materiality. A Jesus, even a Jesus has to show you:'Behold my hands and my feet.' You cannot see, you cannot face the reality, the infinite reality that is confronting you. Hands and feet you can believe in; matter is needed. The immaterial becomes non-existential.'Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.'
How far we have fallen into unconsciousness! How far we have become insensitive! We can only feel the most gross, we cannot feel the subtle.
And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hand and his feet....
Pitiable humanity, that a Jesus has to give you evidence for his existence, and the evidence has to be material. He showed his hands and his feet.
AND WHILE THEY YET BELIEVED NOT... because they were so frightened:'Who knows? That ghost may be playing tricks? Who knows? How can a dead man come back?' Jesus was crucified, they had seen him die:'How could he come? It is impossible. It is some trick, some ghost playing a game.'
AND WHILE THEY YET BELIEVED NOT FOR JOY, AND WONDERED, HE SAID UNTO THEM: HAVE YE HERE ANY MEAT?
These are very symbolic words. Now he is coming to the grossest, because you cannot see the subtle. Even a Jesus has to descend to your plane; only then can you see him. You cannot see his peak, you can see only his feet, and even those are difficult to believe.
HAVE YE HERE ANY MEAT?
AND THEY GAVE HIM A PIECE OF A BROILED FISH, AND OF AN HONEYCOMBE.
AND HE TOOK IT, AND DID EAT BEFORE THEM - because a spirit cannot eat. Food is needed for the body. A Spirit has no body; food is irrelevant. And he ate meat, the grossest food. This is just symbolic.
Jesus' whole life is a life of silence, defined by parables.
AND HE TOOK IT AND DID EAT BEFORE THEM.... Only then could they believe.
It is said that when he ate, then they recognized him because of the way, the manner. Nobody else could eat like Jesus. They had watched him eating with them for many years. Just three days before, there was the Last Supper. The manner of this man was totally different; it was not like anybody else. Whenever he ate, he would eat in such a prayerful mood, in such deep gratefulness, in such infinite delight, with such joy - his eating was a celebration.
Only when he ate could they understand - 'Yes, this seems to be our Jesus, because nobody else can bring such quality to such ordinary things as eating.'
Whatsoever he touched became holy, wherever he moved became holy ground.
I have heard an anecdote: An impressive dinner was given by a literary society in Milwaukee. At the conclusion Madame Mordjeska asked if she might not express her appreciation by giving a short Polish recitation. Otis Skinner, one of the guests, describes what she did:'Her liquid voice became by turns melancholy and gay; impatient, tragic, light with happiness and blighting with bitterness. There was not a note in the gamut of emotions she did not touch. She finished with a recurrent rhythm, fateful and portentious. We were clutched by the spell. We did not know what it was about, but we knew it was something tremendous.
Someone asked what it was. She answered with a sly smile,'I merely recited the alphabet.'
But if you know how to sing, even an alphabet can become a tremendous song. If you know how to sing, if you know how to dance, then any movement of your body becomes tremendously meaningful. Then each gesture becomes graceful.
Then each gesture exhibits something, manifests something of the unknown.
Even an ordinary alphabet can become tremendously significant.
Jesus knew how to eat, he knew how to live, he knew how to love. Even the ordinary act of eating food became totally different - the quality of it. Nobody else has ever eaten that way, walked that way, looked that way. He had to Come down to the most ordinary thing only because he hoped that his disciples might be able to recognize. And they recognized.
THEN OPENED HE THEIR UNDERSTANDING, THAT THEY MIGHT UNDERSTAND THE SCRIPTURES....
Once they recognized, they were happy. Why did he try? Why did he make any effort? - so that they might understand the scriptures. The scriptures go. on saying that you are deathless; all the scriptures of the world. It has, nothing to do with the scriptures of the Jews alone; all the scriptures of the world go on saying that you are deathless. Nobody except Jesus had given such a proof of it. Nobody had come after death to give witness that those scriptures were right. Not even a Buddha had given that proof; not even a Krishna had given that proof. It is unique to Jesus to come back from the doors of death, to descend back into the world, to become a witness to all scriptures. Jesus is the very embodiment of the foundational law of life: that everything is eternal and immortal, that nothing dies, that nothing can die; that there is only one thing that is a lie, and that is death. Only death is impossible and everything else is possible.
THEN OPENED HE THEIR UNDERSTANDING, THAT THEY MIGHT UNDERSTAND THE SCRIPTURES... the message of centuries, the one and only message of all religion - that you are deathless... AND SAID UNTO THEM:
THUS IT IS WRITTEN,. AND THUS IT BEHOVED CHRIST TO SUFFER, AND TO RISE FROM THE DEAD THE THIRD DAY.
This is very meaningful. Whenever you die, if you die unconsciously - as everybody almost always dies - then within three days you are reincarnated in a new body, you enter a womb. That's why in India the third day after anybody's death is very significant, because the third day is symbolic that person is reborn, has somewhere taken birth. If you die consciously, which only a Buddha. or a Jesus does, then it is up to you. You are not going to be born again in any other womb. Then it is up to you; you are totally free. If you want to descend, you can use the old body; if you don't want to descend back, you can disappear into the whole. In Jesus' case the old body was saved. After his crucification his body was put in a cave and the door of the cave was blocked by a rock. Now it is a mystery what happened, because the body disappeared from there.
Jesus belonged to a certain sect called Essenes. Jesus himself was trained by the Essenes, he was a disciple in their school. They had worked for him, they were his' Masters, they had prepared him. The Essenes were an esoteric group working almost in secret. When Jesus was crucified, they removed his body, they protected his body for three days. They helped, because if the body is not protected then the soul cannot descend back.
In India, we burn the body precisely for this purpose, so that the soul cannot enter into the old body. There is a tendency, even in unconscious souls - a clinging to the old, a fear of the new. And if there is a choice between the old body and a new child's body in a womb, your mind will choose your old body.
And there is a fear that the soul may enter back into the body, and that body is useless now rotten, old. It has to be dropped and changed. That's why in India we burn the body immediately, so that there is no possibility of the body being there for the soul to enter into. In any accident it should not be allowed. Only the bodies of saints, of people who die consciously, are not burned in India. They are preserved in special graves we call SAMADHIS. It is the same word we use for the fourth state of consciousness, of transcendence. We call the grave of a saint 'samadhi'. His body is preserved there as a link. People who cannot be in direct contact with the saint can come to the body, and the body can function as a medium. Through the body they can still be in contact with the soul which has been lost into the whole, and they can be helped.
Jesus' body was preserved for three days by the Essenes, one of the most important groups on the earth, one of the most important esoteric groups. After three days Jesus entered his body again. Three days is a time limit. One needs to be out of the body for three days to be completely purified of all grossness, of all dust that clings to one's consciousness and soul.
THUS IT IS WRITTEN, AND THUS IT BEHOVE CHRIST TO SUFFER, AND TO RISE FROM THE DEAD THE THIRD DAY. And it was a prophecy in the old scriptures that this would happen: the third day Christ would come back, just to show that life is immortal.
AND THAT REPENTENCE AND REMISSION OF SINS SHOULD BE PREACHED IN HIS NAME AMONG ALL NATIONS, BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM.
AND YE ARE WITNESSES OF THESE THINGS.
'And repentance and remission of sins': Jesus gave a proof that death is just a false notion. Nothing dies. Why is this proof needed? Because if the soul is immortal, then your whole life will have to be transformed. Then you will have to arrange your life in a totally different light. If only this life is all - you begin with birth and you end with death - then what is the meaning of virtue or sin?
Whatsoever you do is irrelevant; one day everybody dies, sinner and saint. Dust unto dust - nothing remain so what is the difference between virtue and sin? If life is mortal, then there is no difference. Then it is just a social utility, a convenience, but nothing of much importance.
But if the soul remains, if nothing dies, then there is a tremendous difference between virtue and sin. Virtue means: to live as if you are to live forever; sin means: to live without any consciousness of your eternity. Sin means to live in unconsciousness, virtue means to live in awareness.
If you become aware, you become aware of the deathless within you.
If you are unconscious, unaware, you are living only in the body, the mortal.
And a person who lives for the body, in the body, and only for the body, lives in sin. Jesus gave the proof.
AND THAT REPENTANCE AND REMISSION OF THE SINS SHOULD BE PREACHED IN HIS NAME AMONG ALL NATIONS, BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM.
And he said to his disciples,'Now go and spread whatsoever you have seen all over the earth. Go and tell everybody on the earth. Spread the good news that there is no death, that one man has proved that life is eternal, that one man has come back from death, that one man has proved that death can be conquered.
And if you become a witness,' he said to his disciples,'you will be able to persuade people not to live in sin, not to live in unconsciousness. Tell them to repent for whatsoever they have done in the past, to ask forgiveness for it. And tell them, because you have been a witness, that the impossible has become possible: death can be conquered, because death does not exist. Tell them that if they ask, they will be forgiven.'
Christianity, the whole of Christianity depends on this simple sentence:'If you repent, you can be forgiven.' Christianity is unique in this sense. No other religion, particularly Indian religions, talk of repentance and forgiveness. They are more scientific, in fact, more technological. They say: You have done something wrong, you have to undo it. You have to do something good, you have to keep everything in balance. Nobody can forgive you; you have to change your life, your karmas, your actions.
Christianity has a tremendously beautiful concept of forgiveness. Christianity says: If you ask to be forgiven from your deepest core, you will be forgiven.
Why? Is there somebody who can forgive you?, No, but if you ask in intense passion to be forgiven, the very idea of repentance becomes forgiveness. If you have really asked, realized that you have done something wrong; if it has been a total realization and you accept the responsibility that it was wrong and that you are ready to repent for it, and you repent wholeheartedly, the very repentance becomes the forgiveness. Then there is no need to do anything else, because all sins are nothing but unconscious acts. Repentance makes you conscious, alert.
Sin is like darkness. You bring a light, a lamp into darkness and darkness disappears.
Sin is because you are asleep.
If you repent, you awake yourself. Because there is no other way to repent unless you awake yourself, unless you come to realize and see what you have been doing, how you have been living, how you have been wasting, how you have been hurting. When you come to realize it, a flame starts burning in you, an awareness; and in that awareness, in that light, darkness disappears. It is not that there is a God personified sitting somewhere on a throne in heaven who goes on forgiving you. There is nobody to forgive you. But if you repent, you will be forgiven.
God is not a person; God is the totality. God is existence, the totality of being. It is not that you have to pray to Him so that He can forgive, no. In your praying you are forgiven. The very prayer, the very recognition that you have been wrong and you recognize it and you repent, is enough. All that you have been up to then is, wiped, washed. You are cleansed of it. The old is gone, the new is born.
This is resurrection.
AND THAT REPENTANCE AND REMISSION OF SINS SHOULD BE PREACHED IN HIS NAME AMONG ALL NATIONS, BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM.
AND YE ARE WITNESSES OF THESE THINGS.
And Jesus told them,'You have witnessed the greatest thing that has ever happened: the resurrection. Now go and spread the good news to those who were not fortunate enough to be here. Go to the housetops and tell everybody.'
And those disciples went all over the earth. They carried authority. They had seen something which nobody had seen before them. In their eyes you could see the reflection of Jesus coming back from death. In each of their gestures you could feel the presence of Jesus: they had seen, they had become witnesses to something. They carried authority. They created a great movement; beginning in Jerusalem it spread all over the earth. It is just as you throw a pebble in a silent lake: it falls at a certain point and then ripples arise, and ripples go to the farthest shores.
Jesus is a whole art of inner transformation. I say art, I don't say science. When I talk on Patanjali, I can say that whatsoever Patanjali says is a science. When I talk on Buddha, I can say that whatsoever Buddha says is a psychology. But not with Jesus. He has given an art, because he has given love, not law. If you understand Jesus, by and by, you will become aware that it is not a question of following a certain rule. Rather, it is a question of following a quality of love. Love is the only thing that transcends death, because love is the only thing that life exists for.
Love is the very center of being. If you love, all is forgiven. If you love, you have repented. If you love, one day or other you yourself will become a witness that there is no death.
Accept Jesus' invitation. He is not going to take anything from you. He is going to take only that which you don't have, and he is going to give you life abundant, life eternal.
But don't be bothered about Christianity much. Jesus has been murdered twice.
Once he was murdered in Jerusalem by Jews, but they could not murder him. He survived. After the third day he resurrected. Then he was murdered in Rome, in the Vatican. And they murdered him more efficiently, of course, because they knew that this man had once come out of death. Jews crucified him not knowing that this man could come out of death, so they did not take all the precautions.
Christians killed this man again with all the precautions, and Jesus has not been able to come out again.
Don't be bothered about Christianity. Christianity has nothing to do with Christ.
Jesus is available to all. Jesus is for those who are ready to transform themselves; Jesus is an art of inner transformation, of rebirth.
Listen to his invitation. He still goes on saying,'Come, follow me.'