Music comes closest
The first question:
IS IT REALLY SO DIFFICULT FOR THE AWAKENED ONES TO WORK WITH US BLIND PEOPLE AS GAUTAMA THE BUDDHA SAYS?
Aseema, yes, it is even more difficult than Gautama the Buddha says, because man has become far more blind now than he has ever been before - he has become more knowledgeable. That is his blindness. Now he lives under the illusion that he knows and that is the greatest illusion of all. Once you start believing that you know, the work of an awakened one becomes almost impossible.
The awakened one can work easily only when you are ready to accept the fact that you know nothing, that your knowledge is borrowed, that it is mere information, that it is not any inner flowering of your being, that it is not your own music, that it is not your own experience. Once a person accepts this, things become very simple. The very acceptance of ignorance is the beginning of disciplehood.
But as time has passed, man has been accumulating more and more knowledge, his mind has become more and more capable of memorizing. He has become a walking encyclopedia. Today man knows more than ever, hence the difficulty is greater today than ever before.
The eyes are blind in proportion to the weight of knowledge that you carry. Children are not blind. The younger the child, the more clearly he sees, far more clearly. His perspective is totally different from the so-called grown-up.
Just the other day there was a letter from a young boy from Germany. One month ago he also wrote - that he wants to become a sannyasin. He is only sixteen years old so I told him, "You inquire of your parents, ask their permission; otherwise they will create difficulties for you. If they allow, you are welcome."
His answer has come and what he says is tremendously beautiful. He says, "Beloved Master, my parents will never understand you. We went to see the film about your ashram - I was the only one in my family who understood it. My father and mother were absolutely unable to comprehend it, what it was all about. And I am afraid that if I become more grown-up like them I may miss the opportunity. Moreover," he says, "I have dyed all my clothes orange so I am already half a sannyasin - just the mala is needed."
He says, "I understood the film completely but my parents were simply confused by it. I have been trying to explain it to them, but they seem incapable of understanding." He also says, "I am afraid that if this is what happens when one becomes grown up, then I may miss the opportunity of becoming a sannyasin. So please, send the mala immediately before I become blind!"
A child is not burdened with knowledge. You have to become a child again; then the work of a Buddha is very simple. It is the simplest work in the world - because the Buddha is not going to make you achieve something, he is simply helping you to see what is already the case. What can be more simple?
But grown-up people are really blind, utterly deaf. Their hearts are closed, they can't feel, they are hung up in their heads, and to communicate with a Buddha you need an open heart. People are encapsulated in their thoughts, so much so, that they live in their own world, continuously imprisoned in their ideologies, in their words. You can't talk to them. You say one thing and they immediately understand something else.
Just the other day I received a letter dated April 18, from the Ritz Hotel, Mysore:
"Dear Sir, I am very upset since one of your devotees staying at this hotel, a friend of Swami Anand Hasyo, informs me that you make fun of our new president, the Reverend Canon Banana, in your daily Sufi dances. I am told that your devotees are taught to sing: 'You are a banana to me.' This is very disrespectful. How would you like it if in Zimbabwe we taught our people to sing, 'You are not my Bugwan'? Trusting that you will deal with this matter without delay...."
The song is this:
"You can fall in love with a star, You can fall in love with a tree.
I love you just the way that you are.
You are a mystery to me."
Or, if your partner looks serious, say "banana" instead of "mystery to me."
This Sufi dance has been going on for years, and this fellow, Reverend Banana, became president only on 7th April this month, only one week ago. In fact the nation of Zimbabwe is only one week old. On 11th April he became the president elect, on 17th April he actually became the president. We have been using the word 'banana' for years; it has nothing to do with Reverend Banana.
The letter-writer has also sent a picture of Reverend Banana - and he LOOKS like a banana, so I can very well understand why he is upset!
Now he should approach the UNO to change the English language; bananas should not be called bananas anymore. And what will you do about the expression "He has gone bananas"? Now you will have to say, "He has gone Reverend Bananas." That will be much more suitable. All the other bananas will be very happy.
Now, these stupid people are all over the world....
And would you believe what the name of this man is? His name is Israel Tomato!
Now I am waiting for some letter from Michael Potato! I really got worried about the whole thing. I love bananas, I love tomatoes, I love potatoes. Now to eat them will mean you are a cannibal!
I immediately went into the garden and asked a bunch of bananas, "What do you think?
What should I do?" The bananas were so ashamed they didn't speak a single word. I shook them and I said, "You have to say something!" They said, "We are sorry, but once in a while a banana falls.... But this man has fallen too much! Please don't include him in our family. No other banana has ever been a politician before. Yes, we have fallen and we have committed many sins before, but this is too much. We feel ashamed!"
I asked the tomatoes, and they are such innocent people - they look so meditative, almost like Zen masters sitting silently, doing nothing. And they all laughed and they said, "Don't be worried. Continue to eat us. That is the only way for us to become buddhas!"
And he says, "How would you like it if in Zimbabwe we taught our people to sing, 'You are not my Bugwan or Bhagwan'?" I would love it - please do it! ANYway, if your people start remembering me, that will be good. In fact, my sannyasin kids already call me Bugwan, and it sounds so beautiful! It is far smoother than Bhagwan - nothing is wrong with it.
But this fellow has not given his address; otherwise I was thinking to send him my answer! And these people are all around the world.
Now my South African sannyasins will be very very happy because they were writing to me again and again, "Beloved Master, you never say anything about the South Africans." Veena, Vidya, Veetrag, they were all worried because I am talking about the Italians and the Jews and the British, and nothing is being said about the South Africans. This Tomato has given me an opportunity to say something.
The doctor advises an African to jog ten miles a day for two weeks.
The guy reports that he feels fine; his only complaint is that he is one hundred and forty miles from home!
One African applying for a post as footman in a country house is asked by her ladyship to raise his trouser leg so that she may ascertain whether his legs will be sufficiently shapely in plush knee-breeches. He does so. She then appears satisfied but asks to see his testimonials.
"And that," he says, recounting the event, "was where I made my big mistake and spoiled everything!"
"Why are you so angry?" the doctor at the maternity ward asked the African father.
"You should be proud that your lovely wife had twins."
"Oh yeah," snarled the leaping African. "Just wait till I find the other guy!"
The African sergeant gave an order for the whole company to raise the right leg. One confused draftee raised his left leg in error. The sergeant looked down the line and saw the upraised left leg of one soldier right next to the upraised right leg of the recruit beside him. "Who is the smart aleck in the middle of the line," he bellowed, "who raised both legs?"
And to Mr. Tomato I would like to say that I have no respect for politicians; whether they are African or American or Indian or European, it does not matter.
A cannibal rushed into his village to spread the word that a hunting party had captured a politician.
"Good," said one of the cannibals. "I've always wanted to try a baloney sandwich."
Three surgeons were at the pub, chatting about their experiences.
The first said, "One guy who came to me had been in a car accident and had lost both his legs. I fixed him up and today he's a champion runner."
"Wow," said the second. "I had a patient once who had been hit by a train and his body was completely smashed. We gave him surgery and today he's a famous dancer."
"That's nothing," said the third. "One guy came to me - he was a bomb disposal expert.
One day a bomb went off and all they found was an asshole and a pair of ears... today he's the president!"
The second question:
I AM A MUSICIAN AND I HAVE COME ACROSS MANY MUSIC TEACHERS OVER THE YEARS. BUT NOW IT SEEMS THAT I HAVE NOT ONLY FOUND A MASTER BUT ALSO THE ULTIMATE MUSIC TEACHER. IS IT PERHAPS THE SAME THING?
AND COULD YOU PLEASE SAY SOMETHING TO US ABOUT MUSIC AND MEDITATION?
Harisharan, music comes closest to meditation. Music is a way towards meditation and the most beautiful way. Meditation is the art of hearing the soundless sound, the art of hearing the music of silence - what the Zen people call the sound of one hand clapping.
When you are utterly silent, not a single thought passes your mind, there is not even a ripple of any feeling in your heart. Then you start, for the first time, hearing silence.
Silence has a music of its own. It is not dead, it is very much alive, it is tremendously alive. In fact, nothing is more alive than silence.
Music helps you from the outside to fall in tune with the inner. Music is a device; it was invented by the buddhas. All that is beautiful in the world, all that is valuable in the world has always been discovered by the buddhas. Only they can discover because they have traveled the inner country, the inner, immeasurable universe. Whatsoever they have found in the inner world, whatsoever they have experienced in the inner world, they have tried to make something similar on the outside for those who can only understand that which is objective, who are not yet able to enter the interiority of their own being, who are not yet even aware that there is an inner world. Devices can be created on the outside which can help.
Listening to great music you suddenly become silent - with no effort. Falling in tune with the music you lose your ego with no effort. You become relaxed, you fall into a deep rest. You are alert, awake, and yet in a subtle way drunk.
Once it happened:
A great musician came to the court of a king. The musician must have been an awakened master, must have been a buddha. He said to the king, "I will play on my instruments, but you will have to fulfill one of my conditions. Unless this condition is fulfilled I cannot play."
The king said, "Whatsoever the condition is, it will be fulfilled. You say it." He had never thought what the condition could be: "Maybe he will ask for much money - that can be given easily - or for some other favor which can be given easily." The king had been waiting a long time for this man.
But the condition was very eccentric. The condition was: "While I am playing nobody should move his head. If anybody moves his head, his head has to be cut off. So the audience has to be informed beforehand that people should come knowing that they are playing with fire. If they start moving their heads in tune with the music, then they will lose their heads - make it clear to everyone who comes. And surrounding the audience let at least one thousand soldiers stand with naked swords so everybody remains aware and never forgets."
The king was so interested in hearing the musician - he had heard about him for years and he was not ready to lose this opportunity even at this cost. Of course, whatsoever he was demanding was simply insane, but the king had to agree. He said, "Okay, your condition will be fulfilled."
The whole capital was informed. Thousands of people would have come, but now they were afraid - only one thousand people came to listen to the musician. Even seeing one thousand people come, the king was surprised: "So many lovers who are risking their lives!" And one thousand soldiers were standing with naked swords. Again it was declared, "You have to remember and go on looking at the swords - they are standing for you. Nobody can escape." And there were people standing who would take notes - whoever shook his head, moved his head, would not reach home alive.
The musician started playing, and he was such a master! After only a few minutes, a few heads started moving in tune with the master's music. The king was very much afraid. He saw heads moving, swaying - people were getting drunk. He himself was afraid for his own head! But a tremendous desire arose in him too, he could not resist it.
He himself started moving his head, he forgot all about it. What to say about the audience? The people who were standing with naked swords, many of them started moving their heads and their swords were swaying!
The queen was very much worried. She saw that there were going to be hundreds of people unnecessarily murdered. But sooner or later almost everybody was drunk with his music.
When he finished in the middle of the night, the people who had to report, they reported that "Not a single soul has remained without swaying, and we are sorry to say that we are also on the list!"
The king said, "Now, Master, what do you want? - all these people butchered, murdered? I am also on the list, my wife is also on the list, my whole court is on the list!"
The master laughed and he said, "I was waiting for these people. These are the right people for whom I can play. Forget all about the condition! It was just a strategy to prevent those who were not ready to risk their lives, it was to prevent the cowards.
These are the people for whom I will play. And not only today - I am going to stay in this town for months together because these are MY people. They have forgotten about their lives, or even if they had remembered they could not resist. The joy was so tremendous that they were ready to go, even with the risk; they were perfectly aware.
These are the people for whom I exist because these are the people who can be turned inwards. They were fully aware and yet drunk."
And that is the whole secret of meditation. The paradox disappears - the paradox between drunkenness and awareness. And its first experience can happen in music more easily than in any other place, than in anything else. Music, dance... all these are devices, discovered by great awakened masters. They have fallen into wrong hands.
To be a teacher of music is one thing - he can teach you the technique. I am not a teacher of music - I cannot teach you the technique - but I can help you to listen to the inner music, and that is real music.
In China they have the saying: "When the musician becomes perfect he throws away his instruments" - because they are no more needed. He can close his eyes, he can turn himself inwards and he can listen to the music that is already there and always there.
And when the archer becomes perfect he throws away his bow and his arrows; there is no need for them.
Whenever any art is perfect it ends in meditation - it HAS to end in meditation. If it is not leading you towards meditation then something has gone wrong.
That's why much of the modern art is not art, it is insanity. Much modern music is not music; it simply makes you sexually excited. It is just the opposite of real music. Real music helps you to transcend your biology, your physiology, your psychology. Real music takes you to the world of the beyond - what Buddha calls the farther shore, even beyond the beyond.
Gurdjieff used to call real art "objective art." Modern art is not, in that sense, objective art. In the past the awakened masters have used all kinds of devices: painting, sculpture, music, dance, drama. Every kind of device has been used to help you, because there are different types of people who can be helped in different ways:
somebody through music, somebody through painting, somebody through poetry.
And that's my function here: to create a buddhafield, a commune where all kinds of devices are used. But the purpose is one, the purpose is single, one-pointed. All these paths are leading you to the same goal - to your own inner being.
Harisharan, you have come to the right place. I am not a teacher of music because I don't teach you the technique of music, but I am certainly the master of the inner music.
I have heard it and I can help you to hear it - not only to hear it but to be it.
And to be it is to be for the first time. To be it is to be reborn. To be it is to know what bliss is and benediction is.
The third question:
TWO YEARS AGO I WAS A CALIFORNIAN TOURIST. AFTER ALL THIS TIME YOU STILL FILL ME WITH WONDER AND AWE. I LOVE YOU.
Deva Nartano, I am not a consistent man. With a consistent man you are bound to get bored because the consistent man goes on repeating the same thing. I am so inconsistent, so unreliable, so unpredictable that you never know what I am going to say and what I am going to do. What is going to happen in this commune tomorrow nobody knows - not even me! I will know only when I have done it. I know only when I have said it.
Hence you can be here your whole life and your wonder and awe will not disappear; in fact it will deepen, it will become more and more profound.
And I am not imparting information to you, because it kills wonder. And wonder is such a valuable treasure; no information is of such worth.
I am not here to help you to learn about anything; on the contrary, my work is to help you unlearn. If you become knowledgeable, naturally whatsoever you know has no surprise for you in it anymore. Your awe and wonder disappear, it becomes old. You know it - how can you still feel wonder for it? You can feel wonder only if you remain in a state of not-knowing.
That's what I call meditation: the state of not-knowing. I cleanse you. I don't allow any dust to gather on your mirrors. I want you to remain fresh and young. The moment you become knowledgeable you will lose wonder. The moment you become knowledgeable you have lost contact with me.
This place is not for pundits and scholars. This place is for people who have the quality and the courage of remaining ignorant before the immense mystery of existence.
Winslow walked into the saloon and asked for a double bourbon. Suddenly he looked up and realized that tending the bar, apron and all, was a large dog.
"What's the matter?" asked the canine. "Haven't you ever seen a dog tending a bar before?"
"Oh, it's not that," replied Winslow. "What happened to the horse? Did he sell the joint to you?"
This is how the knowledgeable person functions - nothing can surprise him.
McCarthy walked into a saloon where there were only the bartender, a dog and a cat.
As McCarthy ordered his drink, the dog stood up, yawned and said, "Well, so long, Joe," then walked out.
"Did you hear that?" said McCarthy to the bartender. "The dog talked!"
"Don't be a jackass," said the barkeep, "a dog can't talk."
"But I heard him."
"You think you heard him. Dogs can't talk. It's just that wise-guy cat over there - he's a ventriloquist."
The moment you start feeling that you know something, remember, you are losing your contact with existence. Knowledge is the barrier, the only barrier that prevents you from communing with God. Remain innocent, remain ignorant. Go on dying to the past and go on dying to all your experiences. Don't collect them, don't be a collector.
Remember that every night before you go to sleep, be finished with that day, be totally finished. Go to sleep again as a child and in the morning when you wake up, again wake up as a child. And you will never lose the eyes of wonder and the heart which can feel awe.
And this is what I call the fundamental quality of a religious person: not that you know the dogma, not that you know the creed, but that you know nothing, or that you know only one thing - that you know nothing. It is better to be a fool with the trees, with the rivers, with the mountains, than to be a scholar, because as the scholar reaches the trees, the trees simply stop any communication, they close their doors. As the scholar reaches close to the flower it is not the same flower; it stops sending its fragrance.
If you reach as a fool and you can say "Hello!" to the tree and you can say "How are you?" the tree feels rejoiced: "Here is a man who is worth talking to, with whom I can have a dialogue." Sit with the tree, hug the tree, kiss the tree, feel the tree. Of course, people will think that you are mad. Let them think! It doesn't matter. What people think about you is absolutely immaterial; don't pay any attention to it. But make friends with trees, because they have deeper secrets to reveal. Make friends with rocks, feel their texture, their coolness, their weight, their age. Commune with nature and soon you will be surprised that if you are available to nature, nature starts becoming available to you.
And it is not only that YOU say hello - the tree responds. It sends its messages to you clearly and loudly.
Now even scientists are aware of the fact that the tree behaves with different people differently. When the woodcutter comes, the tree trembles in fear. Now there are machines like cardiographs which can detect the trembling; they make a graph of what is happening in the inner being of the tree. Seeing the woodcutter with his axe coming to cut the tree, the tree is trembling, the tree is afraid, the tree is angry, the tree is full of hate, the tree does not like this man. If the tree could run the tree would run away from this man. If the tree could attack this man the tree would attack him, in sheer self- defense. But because the tree is rooted and she cannot do anything, at least she can become utterly dead.
But when the gardener comes to water the tree, there is a different graph on the cardiogram. The tree is dancing and swaying, she is all open to the gardener as if she is ready to embrace him, to kiss him. If the tree could make love to the gardener the tree would do it. She is full of love. The fragrance of the flowers is more when the gardener is close by.
Now these are scientific facts - although there are mythological stories about Buddha that trees would become greener when he sat underneath them and meditated. It is possible - now it can be said on scientific authority, it may be possible. A Buddha sitting underneath the tree, what more happiness can a tree have? And the tree underneath which Buddha became enlightened must have felt tremendous joy.
Now scientists say that the tree Buddha became enlightened sitting underneath is the most intelligent tree of all the trees: the bo tree. It has the same chemical in the biggest proportion that makes a man capable of having a mind. No other tree has that quantity of that particular chemical. Buddha must have chosen that tree. And the tree has been preserved, still it is there. It has a different quality, but the quality can be felt only by those who are innocent.
And the same is true about the whole of existence: it is full of God, overfull, overflowing with God. All that you need is an innocent heart to receive it. You are not open, you are closed.
My whole message to you is: function from a state of not-knowing and you will know the truth - not through knowledge but through innocence.
Nartano, I am happy that you say, "Two years ago I was a Californian tourist. After all this time you still fill me with wonder and awe. I love you."
It is really difficult for a Californian tourist because California is so gullible that all kinds of fools have gathered there - Muktananda in Palm Beach... all kinds of stupid people from all over the world. They are being attracted towards California as if California has a magnetic force. And any fool can gather disciples there. All that you have to know is some esoteric nonsense. You talk about seven chakras and seven planes and you talk about kundalini and the serpent power and you talk about SIDDHIS, spiritual powers and astral travels, and you will find people coming to you - intelligent people, far more intelligent people than these Muktanandas. In fact, it is a miracle!
I have met Muktananda. Once I was passing by the side of his ashram and he invited me in, so just for a few minutes I went there. I have come across all kinds of stupid people - he tops them all! But in California he has a great following. And what is he doing there? - arranging Hindu marriages! Now, any kind of nonsense - as if the Hindu marriage is something spiritual. It is the most absurd thing in the world, but people are ready to do anything outlandish.
It is difficult for a Californian tourist, but you made it. That's really creditable. I appreciate it, because to be with me one needs guts. One needs to be ready to drop all bullshit. And Californians are carrying so much bullshit because they are going from one so-called guru to another guru and collecting it from everywhere. Tibetan lamas are there and Hindu monks are there and Japanese Zen gurus are there and the so-called Sufis are there....
In fact, real masters never go anywhere. The disciple has to seek and search, the disciple has to come to the real master. The thirsty person has to come to the well; the well does not go running after the thirsty.
If two years have not destroyed you and your innocence, that means now nothing will ever destroy it. Even if you are not here you have tasted the beauty of being silent, you have tasted the beauty, the joy of being innocent. Wherever you are you will never allow anybody to disturb your innocence, to destroy your beauty.
Be alert. If you can simply live an ordinary life with joy, if you can relish the ordinary things of life, then nothing else is needed. Religion is not something exotic, it is not something supernatural. It is the very ordinary experience of being silent and innocent, of being full of wonder and awe.
The fourth question:
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF MATURITY?
Prem Lalit, maturity means the same as innocence, only with one difference: it is innocence reclaimed, it is innocence recaptured. Every child is born innocent, but every society corrupts him. Every society, up to now, has been a corruptive influence on every child. All cultures have depended on exploiting the innocence of the child, on exploiting the child, on making him a slave, on conditioning him for their own purposes, for their own ends - political, social, ideological. Their whole effort has been how to recruit the child as a slave for some purpose. Those purposes are decided by the vested interests.
The priests and the politicians have been in a deep conspiracy, they both have been together.
The moment the child starts becoming part of your society he starts losing something immensely valuable; he starts losing contact with God. He becomes more and more hung up in the head. He forgets all about the heart. And the heart is the bridge which leads to being; without the heart you cannot reach your own being, it is impossible.
From the head there is no way directly to being; you have to go via the heart. And all societies are destructive to the heart; they are against love, they are against feelings.
They condemn feelings as sentimentality. They condemned all lovers down the ages for the simple reason that love is not of the head, it is of the heart. And a man who is capable of love is sooner or later going to discover his being. And once a person discovers his being he is free from all structures, from all patterns. He is free from all bondage. He is pure freedom.
Every child is born innocent, but every child is made knowledgeable by the society.
Hence schools, colleges, universities exist; their function is to destroy you, to corrupt you.
Maturity means gaining your lost innocence again, reclaiming your paradise, becoming a child again. Of course it has a difference, because the ordinary child is bound to be corrupted, but when you reclaim your childhood you become incorruptible. Nobody can corrupt you, you become intelligent enough. Now you know what the society has done to you and you are alert and aware, and you will not allow it to happen again.
Maturity is a rebirth, a spiritual birth. You are born anew, you are a child again. With fresh eyes you start looking at existence. With love in the heart you approach life. With silence and innocence you penetrate your own innermost core. You are no more just the head. Now you use the head, but it is your servant. First you become the heart, and then you transcend even the heart....
Going beyond thoughts and feelings and becoming a pure isness is maturity. Maturity is the ultimate flowering of meditation.
Jesus says: Unless you are born again you will not enter into my kingdom of God.
He is right, you have to be born again. The whole process of sannyas is a process of rebirthing.
Once Jesus was standing in a marketplace and somebody asked, "Who is worthy of entering into your kingdom of God?"
He looked around. There was a rabbi and the rabbi must have moved forward a little, thinking that he would be chosen - but he was not chosen. There was the most virtuous man of the town - the moralist, the puritan. He moved forward a little hoping that he would be chosen, but he was not chosen.
He looked around. Then he saw a small child who was not expecting to be chosen, who had not moved, not even an inch. There was no idea, there was no question that he would be chosen. He was just enjoying the whole scene - the crowd and Jesus and people talking, and he was listening.
He called the child, he took the child up in his arms and he said to the crowd, "Those who are like this small child, they are the only ones worthy of entering into my kingdom of God."
But remember, he said, "Those who are LIKE this small child...." He didn't say, "Those who are small children." There is a great difference between the two. He did not say, "This child will enter into my kingdom of God," because every child is bound to be corrupted, he has to go astray. Every Adam and every Eve is bound to be expelled from the garden of Eden, they have to go astray. That is the only way to regain real childhood: first you have to lose it. It is very strange, but that's how life is. It is very paradoxical, but life is a paradox. To know the real beauty of your childhood, first you have to lose it; otherwise you will never know it.
The fish never knows where the ocean is - unless you pull the fish out of the ocean and throw it on the sand in the burning sun; then she knows where the ocean is. Now she longs for the ocean, she makes every effort to go back to the ocean, she jumps into the ocean. It is the same fish and yet not the same fish. It is the same ocean yet not the same ocean, because the fish has learned a new lesson. Now she is aware, now she knows, "This is the ocean and this is my life. Without it I am no more - I am part of it."
Every child has to lose his innocence and regain it. Losing is only half of the process.
Many have lost it, but very few have regained it. That is unfortunate, very unfortunate.
Everybody loses it, but only once in a while does a Buddha, a Zarathustra, a Krishna, a Jesus regain it.
Jesus is nobody else but Adam coming back home. Magdalene is nobody else but Eve coming back home. They have come out of the sea and they have seen the misery and they have seen the stupidity. They have seen that it is not blissful to be out of the ocean.
The moment you become aware that to be a part of any society, any religion, any culture is to remain miserable, is to remain a prisoner, that very day you start dropping your chains. Maturity is coming. You are gaining your innocence again.
But every child is not a saint. Of course every saint - real saint - is a child. The child has the same quality, but he is unaware of it. And what is the point of having something if you are not aware of it? You may have a great treasure and you are not aware of it; then it is as if you don't have it. Having it or not having it makes no difference.
A very rich man was very much puzzled because his whole life he tried to be rich and rich and rich, and finally he succeeded. He became rich, he became the richest man in the world, but there was no bliss. And he was thinking that once you become rich, bliss is attained. He was very frustrated. That is the fate of all successful people. He started going around asking for any wise person who could help him to attain bliss.
Somebody suggested a Sufi master. He went to the Sufi master on his beautiful horse.
He was carrying a big bag full of diamonds, maybe the most precious stones in the world, and he told the master, "I have all these diamonds, but not a drop of bliss. How can I gain bliss? Can you help me?"
The master jumped - the rich man could not believe his eyes - the master snatched away the bag and ran away. The rich man followed him crying, shouting, "I have been robbed! I have been cheated! This man is not a master, this man is a thief - catch hold of him!"
But in that village the master was well acquainted with all the roads and all the lanes and all the streets, so he dodged the rich man. And the rich man had never run after anybody; it was difficult. A crowd started following. They knew the Sufi master, that his ways were very strange.
Finally they came back to the same tree where the master had been sitting and the rich man had found him. The master was again sitting under the tree with the bag. The rich man came there, the master gave the bag to him, and the rich man held the bag close to his heart and said, "I am so blissful. I am so happy that I have found my lost treasure!"
And the master said, "Have you tasted a little bit of bliss? Unless you lose it you cannot taste it. I have made you taste it. This is the way to taste bliss - lose something."
If you can lose your ego you will gain yourself - what Buddha calls no-self. He calls it no-self for the simple reason that it is not your old ego anymore. It has no shadow of the ego at all; hence he calls it no-self. Lose the ego and gain the self or no-self, and suddenly you are mature. Lose the mind and gain consciousness and you are mature.
Die to the past and be born to the present and you are mature.
Maturity is living in the present, fully alert and aware of all the beauty and the splendor of existence.
The fifth question:
WHAT DO YOU CALL THE AMERICAN FEMALES?
Vivek, they are also ladies, but not in the British sense. English English has one meaning of 'ladies'; the American English has another meaning. A lady is one who is a good lay - - but that is the American meaning!
The American hangman comes home.
"It's terrible, darling," he says to his wife. "I'm going to change my profession."
"Why?" asks the wife.
"I'm so fed up with seeing one hanging!"
"Me too," says his wife. "That's why I'm going to divorce you."
The American is the most alive person on the earth today. He is the most alive person for the simple reason that "American" is not a race, it is a mixture - a mixture of all races. It is a meeting-place - a meeting-place of all the countries. America has become the richest country for the simple reason that crossbreeding brings out the best in every child. Other races are small ponds breeding amongst themselves; it is as if you are breeding in your own family. The smaller the race, the lower the standard of its intelligence becomes. That's why it is prohibited for brothers to marry their sisters - for the simple reason that the child will be just dumb, he will not have any salt. He will not be really a man, he will be more a banana or a tomato! He will not have any intelligence.
Intelligence comes through crossbreeding. And America is the most fortunate country in that way, because its whole history is only of three hundred years and all the world has met there. It is the future of the world; that's how the whole world is going to be.
All other countries should learn something; crossbreeding should become the normal thing. Marry somebody as far away as possible from you. But people marry in just the opposite way. They find somebody in the neighborhood, somebody of the same religion, of the same race, of the same color. That is destroying humanity.
Now, you can ask animal breeders - they have raised the quality of all kinds of animals. Ask the people who are working on raising the quality of fruits and vegetables; they have raised the quality of fruits and vegetables for the simple reason that they have used crossbreeding. But about man we are very unscientific and very superstitious.
In America all these superstitions have broken down. They had to because it was a new country and the whole world converged there. People from every country, from Spain, from Portugal, from Italy, from France, from Holland, from Poland, from England...
from everywhere people gathered together there. A totally new kind of human being has been born which is far more intelligent, far more healthy, lives longer, has tremendous capacities for adventure, has courage. And it has created the richest country in the world.
An Indian, an Englishman and an American were walking in a cemetery. "When you die, who would you like to be placed alongside of?" asked the American of his buddies.
"Mahatma Gandhi," said the Indian.
"Winston Churchill," said the Englishman.
"Well," said the American, "I would like to be next to Raquel Welch.
"Wait a minute," said the Indian, "she ain't dead yet!"
"I know," said the American. "But neither am I!"
Even small children in America are showing great insight, intelligence, far more than anywhere else.
Jimmy decided it was time to lecture his young son who was something of a screwball.
"Bob," he said, "you're getting to be a young man now and I think you ought to take life more seriously. Just think if I died suddenly, where would you be?"
"I would be here," replied the kid. "The question is, where would YOU be?"
The last question:
SO THIS IS NOT THE NUT-HOUSE I THOUGHT IT WAS - IT IS A ZOO! TODAY A SPIDER, A CENTIPEDE, A MOUSE, A CAT (NOT TO MENTION THE MONKEYS ON THE ROOF), YESTERDAY A PIG AND A COW, AND BEFORE THAT FISHES, FROGS, PRINCESSES.... ARE YOU NOAH?
Premananda, you have stumbled upon a truth. I am Noah and this is Noah's Ark!
You say, "So this is not the nut-house I thought it was."
There you are wrong. It IS a nut-house, but now you yourself have become one of the inmates! That's why you can't see that it is a nut-house. No nut will see it as a nut- house. Of course, it is a zoo too. It is many things....
And you say, "Today a spider, a centipede, a mouse, a cat (not to mention the monkeys on the roof)...."
There too you are wrong. They were not monkeys... they were American tourists on the way to Goa!
And you have mentioned a spider, a centipede, a mouse, a cat, monkeys, pig, cows, fishes, frogs, princesses... you have forgotten ducks, so I will tell you a joke about ducks; otherwise many orange ducks will be angry at you. Nobody here wants to be forgotten.
I am being reminded every day. The Australians are writing every day, "Have you forgotten us?" Norwegians, Swedish, Swiss, they are all writing letters, "Beloved Master, when is our turn coming?"
When their father died, three brothers inherited one duck each. They decided to sell their ducks and see who could get the most money.
The first brother sold his for five dollars.
The second sold his for ten dollars.
The third brother was walking along a country road when he met a pretty young girl.
"Give you my duck if you'll make love with me."
"Sure," said the girl.
When they finished, the girl was so pleased she said, "I'll return your duck if you'll make love with me again."
"Sure," said the third brother.
Walking along the road again, the duck got free from the brother's arms and ran out into the path of an oncoming car. The car ran over the duck. The driver agreed to pay fifteen dollars for the dead duck.
When all the brothers had gathered together again the first brother said, "I got five dollars for my duck."
The second brother said, "I got ten dollars for mine."
Then they both turned to the third brother and said, "What did you get for yours?"
The third brother replied, "I got a fuck for a duck, a duck for a fuck, and fifteen dollars for a fucked-up duck."
Enough for today.