The law - ancient and inexhaustible
The first question:
BELOVED MASTER, PLEASE TELL US MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU MEAN BY THE DIMENSION OF MUSIC.
Yoga Chinmaya, life can be lived in two ways - either as calculation or as poetry. Man has two sides to his inner being: the calculative side that creates science, business, politics; and the noncalculative side, which creates poetry, sculpture, music. These two sides have not yet been bridged, they have separate existences. Because of this man is immensely impoverished, remains unnecessarily lopsided - they have to be bridged.
In scientific language it is said that your brain has two hemispheres. The left-side hemisphere calculates, is mathematical, is prose; and the right-side hemisphere of the brain is poetry, is love, is song. One side is logic, the other side is love. One side is syllogism, the other side is song. And they are not really bridged, hence man lives in a kind of split.
My effort here is to bridge these two hemispheres.
Man should be as scientific as possible, as far as the objective world is concerned, and as musical as possible as far as the world of relationship is concerned.
There are two worlds outside you. One is the world of objects: the house, the money, the furniture. The other is the world of persons: the wife, the husband, the mother, the children, the friend. With objects be scientific; never be scientific with persons. If you are scientific with persons you reduce them to objects, and that is one of the greatest crimes one can commit. If you treat your wife only as an object, as a sexual object, then you are behaving in a very ugly way. If you treat your husband only as a financial support, as a means, then this is immoral, then this relationship is immoral - it is prostitution, pure prostitution and nothing else.
Don't treat persons as a means, they are ends unto themselves. Relate to them - in love, in respect. Never possess them and never be possessed by them. Don't be dependent on them and don't make persons around you dependent. Don't create dependence in any way; remain independent and let them remain independent.
This is music. This dimension I call the dimension of music. And if you can be as scientific as possible with objects, your life will be rich, affluent; if you can be as musical as possible, your life will have beauty. And there is a third dimension also, which is beyond the mind. These two belong to the mind: the scientist and the artist. There is a third dimension, invisible - the dimension of no-mind. That belongs to the mystic. That is available through meditation.
Hence, I say these three words have to be remembered - three M's like three R's:
mathematics, the lowest; music, just in the middle; and meditation, the highest. A perfect human being is scientific about objects, is aesthetic, musical, poetic about persons, and is meditative about himself. Where all these three meet, great rejoicing happens.
This is the real trinity, TRIMURTI. In the East, particularly in India, we worship a place where three rivers meet - we call it a SANGHAM, the meeting place. And the greatest of all of them is Preyag, where the Ganges and Jamuna and Saraswati meet. Now, you can see the Ganges and you can see Jamuna, but Saraswati is invisible - you cannot see it. It is a metaphor! It simply represents, symbolically, the inner meeting of the three.
You can see mathematics, you can see music, but you cannot see meditation. You can see the scientist, his work is outside. You can see the artist, his work is also outside. But you cannot see the mystic, his work is subjective. That is SARASWATI - the invisible river.
You can become a sacred place, you can hallow this body and this earth; this very body the Buddha, this very earth the Lotus Paradise. This is my slogan for the sannyasins. A sannyasin has to be the ultimate synthesis of all that God is.
God is known only when you have come to this synthesis; otherwise, you can believe in God, but you will not know. And belief is just hiding your ignorance. Knowing is transforming, only knowledge brings understanding. And knowledge is not information: knowledge is the synthesis, integration, of all your potential.
Where the scientist and the poet and the mystic meet and become one - when this great synthesis happens, when all the three faces of God are expressed in you - YOU become a god. Then you can declare, "AHAM BRAHMASMI! - I am God!" Then you can say to the winds and the moon and to the rains and to the sun, "ANA'L HAQ! - I am the truth!" Before that, you are only a seed.
When this synthesis happens, you have bloomed, blossomed - you have become the one-thousand-petaled lotus, the golden lotus, the eternal lotus, that never dies: AES DHAMMO SANANTANO. This is the inexhaustible law that all the buddhas have been teaching down the ages.
The second question:
IN THE WEST WE ARE CONSTANTLY DRILLED WITH THE APHORISM: DON'T JUST STAND THERE - DO SOMETHING! YET, BUDDHA WOULD SAY: DON'T JUST DO SOMETHING - STAND THERE! THE UNCONSCIOUS MAN REACTS WHILE THE WISE MAN WATCHES. BUT WHAT ABOUT SPONTANEITY? IS SPONTANEITY COMPATIBLE WITH WATCHING?
Buddha certainly says: Don't just do something - stand there! But that is only the beginning of the pilgrimage, not the end. When you have learned how to stand, when you have learned how to be utterly silent, unmoving, undisturbed, when you know how to just sit...sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself. But the grass grows, remember!
Action does not disappear: the grass grows by itself. The Buddha does not become inactive; GREAT action happens through him, although there is no doer anymore. The doer disappears, the doing continues. And when there is no doer, the doing IS spontaneous; it cannot be otherwise. It is the doer that does not allow spontaneity.
The doer means the ego, the ego means the past. When you act, you are always acting through the past, you are acting out of experience that you have accumulated, you are acting out of the conclusions that you have arrived at in the past. How can you be spontaneous? The past dominates, and because of the past you cannot even see the present. Your eyes are so full of the past, the smoke of the past is so much, that seeing is impossible. You cannot see! You are almost completely blind - blind because of the smoke, blind because of the past conclusions, blind because of knowledge.
The knowledgeable man is the most blind man in the world. Because he functions out of his knowledge, he does not see what the case is. He simply goes on functioning mechanically. He has learned something; it has become a ready-made mechanism in him...he acts out of it.
There is a famous story:
There were two temples in Japan, both enemies to each other, as temples have always been down the ages. The priests were so antagonistic that they had stopped even looking at each other. If they came across each other on the road, they would not look at each other. If they came across each other on the road they stopped talking; for centuries those two temples and their priests had not talked.
But both the priests had two small boys - to serve them, just for running errands. Both the priests were afraid that boys, after all, will be boys, and they might start becoming friends to each other.
The one priest said to his boy, "Remember, the other temple is our enemy. Never talk to the boy of the other temple! They are dangerous people - avoid them as one avoids a disease, as one avoids the plague. Avoid them!" The boy was always interested, because he used to get tired of listening to great sermons - he could not understand them.
Strange scriptures were read, he could not understand the language. Great, ultimate problems were discussed. There was nobody to play with, nobody even to talk with.
And when he was told, "Don't talk to the boy of the other temple," great temptation arose in him. That's how temptation arises.
That day he could not avoid talking to the other boy. When he saw him on the road he asked him, "Where are you going?"
The other boy was a little philosophical; listening to great philosophy he had become philosophical. He said, "Going? There is nobody who comes and goes! It is happening - wherever the wind takes me...." He had heard the master say many times that that's how a buddha lives, like a dead leaf: wherever the wind takes it, it goes. So the boy said, "I am not! There is no doer. So how can I go? What nonsense are you talking? I am a dead leaf. Wherever the wind takes me...."
The other boy was struck dumb. He could not even answer. He could not find anything to say. He was really embarrassed, ashamed, and felt also, "My master was right not to talk with these people - these are dangerous people! What kind of talk is this? I had asked a simple question: 'Where are you going?' In fact I already knew where he was going, because we were both going to purchase vegetables in the market. A simple answer would have done."
He went back, told his master, "I am sorry, excuse me. You HAD prohibited me, I didn't listen to you. In fact, because of your prohibition I was tempted. This is the first time I have talked to those dangerous people. I just asked a simple question. 'Where are you going?' and he started saying strange things: 'There is no going, no coming. Who comes? Who goes? I am utter emptiness,' he was saying, 'just a dead leaf in the wind.
And wherever the wind takes me....'" The master said, "I told you before! Now, tomorrow stand in the same place and when he comes ask him again, 'Where are you going?' And when he says these things, you simply say, 'That's true. Yes, you are a dead leaf, so am I. But when the wind is not blowing, where are you going? Then where can you go?' Just say that, and that will embarrass him - and he has to be embarrassed, he has to be defeated. We have been constantly quarreling, and those people have not been able to defeat us in any debate.
So tomorrow it has to be done!"
Early the boy got up, prepared his answer, repeated it many times before he went. Then he stood in the place where the boy used to cross the road, repeated again and again, prepared himself, and then he saw the boy coming. He said, "Okay, now!"
The boy came. He asked, "Where are you going?" And he was hoping that now the opportunity would come....
But the boy said, "Wherever the legs will take me...." No mention of wind! No talk of nothingness! No question of the nondoer! Now what to do? His whole ready-made answer looked absurd. Now to talk about the wind would be irrelevant.
Again crestfallen, now REALLY ashamed that he was simply stupid: "And this boy certainly knows some strange things - now he says, 'Wherever the legs take me....'" He went back to the master. The master said, "I have told you NOT to talk with those people - they are dangerous! This is our centuries-long experience. But now something has to be done. So tomorrow you ask again, 'Where are you going?' and when he says, 'Wherever my legs take me,' tell him, 'If you had no legs, then...?' He has to be silenced one way or other!"
So the next day he asked again, "Where are you going?" and waited.
And the boy said, "I am going to the market to fetch vegetables."
Man ordinarily functions out of the past, and life goes on changing. Life has no obligation to fit with your conclusions. That's why life is very confusing - confusing to the knowledgeable person. He has all ready-made answers: The Bhagavadgita, the holy Koran, the Bible, the Vedas. He has everything crammed, he knows all the answers. But life never raises the same question again; hence the knowledgeable person always falls short.
Buddha certainly says: Know how to sit silently. That does not mean that he says: Go on sitting silently forever. He is not saying you have to become inactive; on the contrary, it is only out of silence that action arises. If you are not silent, if you don't know how to sit silently, or stand silently in deep meditation, whatsoever you go on doing is reaction, not action. You react.
Somebody insults you, pushes a button, and you react. You are angry, you jump on him - and you call it action? It is not action, mind you, it is reaction. He is the manipulator and you are the manipulated. He has pushed a button and you have functioned like a machine. Just like you push a button and the light goes on, and you push the button and the light goes off - that's what people are doing to you: they put you on, they put you off.
Somebody comes and praises you and puffs up your ego, and you feel so great; and then somebody comes and punctures you, and you are simply flat on the ground. You are not your own master: anybody can insult you and make you sad, angry, irritated, annoyed, violent, mad. And anybody can praise you and make you feel at the heights, can make you feel that you are the greatest - that Alexander the Great was nothing compared to you.
And you act according to others' manipulations. This is not real action.
Buddha was passing through a village and the people came and they insulted him. And they used all the insulting words that they could use - all the four-letter words that they knew. Buddha stood there, listened silently, very attentively, and then said, "Thank you for coming to me, but I am in a hurry. I have to reach the next village, people will be waiting for me there. I cannot devote more time to you today, but tomorrow coming back I will have more time. You can gather again, and tomorrow if something is left which you wanted to say and have not been able to say, you can say it to me. But today, excuse me."
Those people could not believe their ears, their eyes: this man has remained utterly unaffected, undistracted. One of them asked, "Have you not heard us? We have been abusing you like anything, and you have not even answered!"
Buddha said, "If you wanted an answer then you have come too late. You should have come ten years ago, then I would have answered you. But for these ten years I have stopped being manipulated by others. I am no longer a slave, I am my own master. I act according to myself, not according to anybody else. I act according to my inner need.
You cannot force me to do anything. It's perfectly good:you wanted to abuse me, you abused me! Feel fulfilled. You have done your work perfectly well. But as far as I am concerned, I don't take your insults, and unless I take them, they are meaningless."
When somebody insults you, you have to become a receiver, you have to accept what he says; only then can you react. But if you don't accept, if you simply remain detached, if you keep the distance, if you remain cool, what can he do?
Buddha said, "Somebody can throw a burning torch into the river. It will remain alight till it reaches the river. The moment it falls into the river, all fire is gone - the river cools it. I have become a river. You throw abuses at me. They are fire when you throw them, but the moment they reach me, in my coolness, their fire is lost. They no longer hurt.
You throw thorns - falling in my silence they become flowers. I act out of my own intrinsic nature."
This is spontaneity. The man of awareness, understanding, acts. The man who is unaware, unconscious, mechanical, robotlike, reacts.
Curtis, you ask me, "The unconscious man reacts while the wise man watches." It is not that he simply watches - watching is one aspect of his being. He does not act without watching. But don't misunderstand the Buddha. The buddhas have always been misunderstood; you are not the first to misunderstand. This whole country has been misunderstanding the Buddha; hence the whole country has become inactive. Thinking that all the great masters say: Sit silently, the country has become lazy, lousy; the country has lost energy, vitality, life. It has become utterly dull, unintelligent, because intelligence becomes sharpened only when you act.
And when you act moment to moment out of your awareness and watchfulness, great intelligence arises. You start shining, glowing, you become luminous. But it happens through two things: watching, and action out of that watching. If watching becomes inaction, you are committing suicide. Watching should lead you into action, a new kind of action; a new quality is brought to action.
You watch, you are utterly quiet and silent. You see what the situation is, and out of that seeing you respond. The man of awareness responds, he is responsible - literally!
He is responsive, he does not react. His action is born out of his awareness, not out of your manipulation; that is the difference. Hence, there is no question of there being any incompatibility between watching and spontaneity. Watching is the beginning of spontaneity; spontaneity is the fulfillment of watching.
The real man of understanding acts - acts tremendously, acts totally, but he acts in the moment, out of his consciousness. He is like a mirror. The ordinary man, the unconscious man, is not like a mirror, he is like a photoplate. What is the difference between a mirror and a photoplate? A photoplate, once exposed, becomes useless. It receives the impression, becomes impressed by it - it carries the picture. But remember, the picture is not reality - the reality goes on growing. You can go into the garden and you can take a picture of a rosebush. Tomorrow the picture will be the same, the day after tomorrow the picture will also be the same. Go again and see the rosebush: it is no longer the same. The roses have gone, or new roses have arrived. A thousand and one things have happened.
It is said that once a realist philosopher went to see the famous painter, Picasso. The philosopher believed in realism and he had come to criticize Picasso because Picasso's paintings are abstract, they are not realistic. They don't depict reality as it is. On the contrary, they are symbolic, have a totally different dimension - they are symbolistic.
The realist said, "I don't like your paintings. A painting should be real! If you paint my wife, then your painting should LOOK like my wife." And he took out a picture of his wife and said, "Look at this picture! The painting should be like this."
Picasso looked at the picture and said, "This is your wife?"
He said, "Yes, this is my wife!"
Picasso said, "I am surprised! She is very small and flat."
The picture cannot be the wife!
Another story is told:
A beautiful woman came to Picasso and said, "Just the other day I saw your self-portrait in a friend's home. It was so beautiful, I was so influenced, almost hypnotized, that I hugged the picture and kissed it."
Picasso said, "Really! And then what did the picture do to you? Did the picture kiss you back?"
The woman said, "Are you mad?! The picture did not kiss me back."
Picasso said, "Then it was not me."
A picture is a dead thing. The camera, the photoplate, catches only a static phenomenon. And life is never static, it goes on changing. Your mind functions like a camera, it goes on collecting pictures - it is an album. And then out of those pictures you go on reacting. Hence, you are never true to life, because whatsoever you do is wrong; WHATSOEVER you do, I say, is wrong. It never fits.
A woman was showing the family album to her child, and they came across a picture of a beautiful man: long hair, beard, very young, very alive.
The boy asked, "Mummy, who is this man?"
And the woman said, "Can't you recognize him? He is your daddy!"
The boy looked puzzled and said, "If HE is my daddy, then who is that bald man who lives with us?"
A picture is static. It remains as it is, it never changes. The unconscious mind functions like a camera, it functions like a photoplate. The watchful mind, the meditative mind, functions like a mirror. It catches no impression; it remains utterly empty, always empty. So whatsoever comes in front of the mirror, it is reflected. If you are standing before the mirror, it reflects you. If you are gone, don't say that the mirror betrays you.
The mirror is simply a mirror. When you are gone, it no longer reflects you; it has no obligation to reflect you anymore. Now somebody else is facing it - it reflects somebody else. If nobody is there, it reflects nothing. It is always true to life.
The photoplate is never true to life. Even if your photo is taken right now, by the time the photographer has taken it out of the camera, you are no longer the same! Much water has already gone down the Ganges. You have grown, changed, you have become older. Maybe only one minute has passed, but one minute can be a great thing - you may be dead! Just one minute before you were alive; after one minute, you may be dead. The picture will never die.
But in the mirror, if you are alive, you are alive; if you are dead, you are dead.
Buddha says: Learn sitting silently - become a mirror. Silence makes a mirror out of your consciousness, and then you function moment to moment. You reflect life. You don't carry an album within your head. Then your eyes are clear and innocent, you have clarity, you have vision, and you are never untrue to life.
This is authentic living.
The third question:
BELOVED MASTER, WHY IS IT THAT NOBODY LIKES TO BE CRITICIZED, AND YET EVERYBODY LOVES TO CRITICIZE OTHERS?
Gayatri, the ego is very sensitive and very fragile, and is very afraid of criticism. The ego depends on others' opinions. It has no reality of its own. It is not a real entity, it is not substantial - it is just a collection of others' opinions.
Somebody says, "You are beautiful," and you collect it. Somebody says, "You are intelligent," and you collect it. And somebody says, "I have never come across such a unique person," and you collect it. And then one day a person comes and he says, "You are repulsive!" Now how can you accept criticism? It goes against the image that you have been creating of yourself. You will retaliate, you will fight tooth and nail. But whatsoever you do, the mind has taken the impression of this opinion too. Then somebody says, "You are ugly," and somebody says, "You are stupid." And there are millions of people in the world and they all have their own opinions, likes and dislikes.
Hence, your ego becomes a hodge-podge thing, a very contradictory phenomenon. One fragment says, "You are beautiful!" another fragment says, "Nonsense, you are ugly!"
One fragment says, "You are intelligent," another fragment says, "Keep quiet! Shut your big mouth! You are just plain stupid and nothing else!" Hence people live in a confused state. They don't know who they are, whether they are intelligent or stupid, beautiful or ugly, good or bad, saint or sinner - because one person may call you a saint, another person may call you a sinner. There are different values and different criteria in the world, there are different moralities in the world.
Your neighbor may be a Christian and you may be a Jaina. Now the Christian has no problem with drinking wine; in fact, Christ himself loved to drink wine. But the Jaina cannot conceive, even in his dreams, of Mahavira drinking wine. That's impossible, the very idea is inconceivable. But to the Christian the greatest miracle that Jesus did was to turn water into wine. If Mahavira had been around, he would have done just the opposite miracle immediately! He would have turned the wine again into water.
Now, if you drink wine once in a while, are you a saint or a sinner? Different people will say different things. In Mahatma Gandhi's ashram tea was prohibited; what to say about wine! Tea, poor tea, innocent tea was prohibited! And all the Buddhist monks down the ages have been drinking tea. In fact they think that it helps meditation, and there may be a grain of truth in it, because it keeps you awake. And the Buddhist meditation is such that you tend to doze off: sitting for hours in a single posture.... Just try it. After ten minutes you will start dreaming. After one hour it is impossible to keep awake.
Tea may have helped. In fact, tea was discovered by Buddhists. One of the greatest Buddhist masters, Bodhidharma, discovered tea. The name comes from a monastery, Ta, in which Bodhidharma used to live in China. That monastery was on top of the hill, Ta. In China 'ta' can be pronounced in two ways: either it can be pronounced as 'ta' or as 'cha' - hence the Hindi CHAI, the Marathi CHA, and the English 'tea'. Bodhidharma, the great founder of Zen, discovered it.
And wine has been made in Catholic monasteries down the ages. You will be surprised to know that the best wine has been made by Catholic monks and nuns. The oldest wine is available only in the cellars of ancient monasteries in Europe, the oldest and the best. Wine, made in monasteries? What kind of monasteries are these? Who is going to decide?
In fact, again there is a grain of truth in it. Buddhist meditation means watchfulness, and tea has some chemicals in it which help watchfulness - it has a stimulant. Now some day it is possible that another Bodhidharma will come and say, "Smoking is good," because tobacco also has a stimulant - nicotine. Smoking can also help meditation if tea can help it. Smoking is still waiting for its Bodhidharma to appear.
Then you will be more able to smoke and feel very virtuous: the more you smoke, the more saintly you will be!
It is not accidental that wine became part of the monastery's creativity. Jesus says: To be drowned in God is prayer. Jesus' path is that of love, Buddha's path is that of meditation; hence, Buddha will never agree to wine, but to tea he may agree. Jesus agrees to wine because wine gives you a taste of being utterly lost, of being drowned, of getting out of the ego, of forgetting the ego and all its worries. It gives you a taste, a glimpse of the unknown.
But who is going to decide about who is right and who is wrong? All these things are there in the atmosphere, and you catch them. Out of these things you make some kind of image; it is bound to remain hodge-podge, it can't be clear-cut. Hence you are very much afraid of somebody criticizing you because he brings your hodge-podgeness to the surface. It is not his criticism that you are against; you are against the fact that he brings problems to the surface which you are somehow repressing within yourself. He makes you aware of the problems, and nobody wants to be aware of the problems, because problems then want to be solved, and it is a complex and arduous affair. It needs guts to solve problems. You may not like to solve problems in fact, because you may have some investment in your problems - you MUST have, because you have lived with them for so long that you must have invested in them. You may not like to change your life-style. If you are miserable you may like to remain miserable - whatsoever you say on the surface, that's another matter. Notwithstanding what you say, deep down you may still like to remain miserable.
For example, a wife knows that the husband is loving towards her only when she is ill.
Whenever she is healthy he simply forgets all about her, he never takes any care when she is healthy. When she is ill, out of sheer duty, responsibility, he comes, sits by her side, puts his hand on her head; otherwise he does not give her even a look. Ask husbands, "How long has it been since you have seen your wife's face, face-to-face?"
You may be able to recognize your dog if it is lost, but if your wife is lost you will have to ask the neighbors because they will recognize her better - just as you will recognize the neighbor's wife better. Who looks at his own wife?
Mulla Nasruddin had gone to see a play. A man was in such great love in the play, he was acting so romantically that Nasruddin said to his wife, "This man is a great actor."
The wife said, "And do you know? - the woman he's acting with is really his wife in actual life."
Nasruddin said, "Then he is the greatest actor in the world!"
To show so much romance to one's own wife...it is next to impossible.
I was traveling for twenty years in this country. I was staying in thousands of homes, and I saw it continuously: when the husband is not in the house, the wife seems to be very cheerful, very happy. The moment the husband enters the house she has a headache, and she lies down on the bed. And I was watching, because I was just staying in the house. Just a moment before, everything was okay - as if the husband has not entered but a headache has entered.
Slowly slowly, I understood the logic. There is a great investment in it. And remember, I am not saying that she is simply pretending. If you pretend too long it can become a reality, it can become an autohypnosis. I'm not saying that she is NOT suffering from a headache, remember. She may be suffering: just the face of the husband is enough to trigger the process! It has happened so many times that now it has become an automatic process. So I am not saying that she is deceiving the husband; she is deceived by her own investments.
You have a certain image and you don't want it to be changed, and criticism means again a disturbance.
You surely know the story of Little Red Riding Hood:
This little girl had gone to see her grandmother who lived in the woods. The bad wolf, who wanted to eat her up, took the grandma's place in the bed after having devoured her in one gulp. So he was under the blankets with grandma's nightie and nightcap on.
When Little Red Riding Hood arrived, she noticed something different, and looking the grandmother in the eye, she asked:
"But, granny, what big eyes you have!"
"It is to see you better, my dear."
"But granny, what a big nose you have!"
"It is to smell you better, my dear."
"But granny, what big arms you have!"
"It is to hug you better, my dear."
"But granny, what hairy hands you have!"
"Hey! Have you come around just to criticize?"
There is a limit. Beyond that nobody likes to be criticized. But the other side of the story is that everybody likes to criticize others; that gives you a good feeling. If others are bad, vicariously it helps you to feel good. If everybody is a cheat, a hypocrite, dishonest, cunning, it gives you a good feeling: you are not THAT bad, you are not THAT dishonest. The comparison relaxes you. It helps you to remain dishonest, because people are more dishonest than you are. In this dishonest world how can you survive?
You have to play the game.
Every morning, early in the morning when you read the newspapers, it always gives you a good feeling - so much happening all over the world, so many ugly things, so much violence, murder, suicide, rape, robbery, that compared to all this you are a saint.
Hence people don't like to read the Bible in the morning, or the Gita, but the newspaper! Reading the Gita you feel like a sinner, reading the Bible you start feeling a trembling, that hell is bound to happen to you, that you are on the way. And the scriptures depict hell so vividly, with such color that it can make anybody afraid. And one thing seems to be certain: that you cannot reach heaven. It seems to be impossible, it demands impossibilities.
Nobody likes to read the scriptures, nobody likes to listen to the scriptures. That's why if you go to the temple you will find almost everybody fast asleep. There are physicians I know who send people to religious discourses if they suffer from insomnia. If no tranquilizer works, don't be worried: go to a religious discourse. It is the ultimate in tranquilizers - up to now nothing has been able to defeat it. Listening to religious scriptures one starts falling asleep. It is a protection, it is to avoid; otherwise, it becomes absolutely certain that heaven is not for you, you are meant for hell. And it stirs your heart, raises great fear, and there seems to be no way to escape from it.
Hence, everybody likes to criticize, and not only to criticize - everybody likes to magnify others' faults. You try to make others' faults as big as possible because then, in comparison, your faults are negligible. And God is compassionate: RAHIM, REHMAN!
God is compassion! You have only small faults, and looking at the world where so many sinners exist....
When the Day of Judgment comes you can be perfectly certain that your number is not going to be called, you will not be called. The queue will be too long, and it has to be decided within twenty-four hours. One Day of Judgment, and millions and millions of people - Tamerlane and Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great and Adolf Hitler and Mussolini and Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong...these will be the people standing in front. You will be the last in the queue. Your number is not going to come. You can be certain of it if you look at people with a magnifying glass.
After running into a wild crowd at a basketball game one evening, the referee picked up his wife and told her it might be better if she stayed away from the remaining games to which he was assigned. "After all," he said, "it must have been pretty embarrassing to you when everyone stood up and booed me."
"It was not so bad," she replied. "I stood up and booed too."
Ego does not want to be criticized AND wants to criticize everybody. Become aware of the strategy of the ego, how it nourishes itself, how it protects itself. Unless you become absolutely aware of all the cunning devices of the ego, you will never be able to get rid of it. And to get rid of it is the beginning of a religious life, is the beginning of sannyas.
Then you are no longer worried what others say about you.
Just look at me.... The whole world goes on saying things about me. I don't even read them. Every day Laxmi brings hundreds of reports appearing in different languages from different countries. Who cares? If they are enjoying rumors, let them enjoy; they don't have anything else to enjoy in their lives. Let them have a little fun. Nothing is wrong in it, they cannot harm me. They can destroy my body, but they cannot harm ME. And I have no image of my own; they cannot destroy that either. And I don't react, I act. My action springs out of my self, it is not to be manipulated by others. I am a free man, freedom. I act of my own accord.
Learn the art of acting of your own accord. Don't be worried about criticisms and don't be interested in praises. If you are interested in being praised by others, then you cannot be unconcerned about criticism. Remain aloof. Praise or criticism, it is all alike. Success or failure, it is all alike. AES DHAMMO SANANTANO.
The fourth question:
BELOVED MASTER, ALTHOUGH I WANT TO SURRENDER MYSELF TO YOU AND TAKE SANNYAS, I FEEL HELPLESS TO DO SO. WHY IS IT SO? PLEASE CLARIFY THIS.
S.D. Prasad, it is very simple, there is nothing to clarify. You are afraid of people, you are afraid of the society. You are afraid of the established church, the established religion, the priests, the politicians - you are simply afraid. It is fear that is preventing you. Sannyas needs courage, sannyas needs guts, particularly my sannyas.
The old sannyas no longer needs guts, because it is already part of the status quo. It is accepted, respected. If you become an old-style sannyasin people will worship you. If you become MY sannyasin you will be in constant danger. People will think you are mad, people will think you are hypnotized. People will think that something has gone wrong - that you have gone nuts. People will say, "Such a good man! We had never ever thought, dreamed that this was going to happen to you."
People will laugh, rumor about you, gossip about you, will create a thousand and one kinds of troubles for you. And you have to exist with people, you have to live with them. On each step they will create barriers and they will put rocks in your path. And not only those who are part of the greater society, but even those who are very close:
your wife may create so much trouble for you...your children, your parents. From every nook and corner you will have to face difficulties.
You are afraid. Just try to understand your fear, and then it is very easy. Once you see that it is fear, drop it. In spite of all fears, jump into sannyas, because to remain in fear is to become a coward, to remain in fear is to miss the whole joy of life. Life belongs to those who know how to risk. Life belongs to the adventurous, and sannyas is the greatest adventure there is. And because I am bringing a totally new concept of sannyas into the world - a sannyas that is not escapist, a sannyas that does not believe in renunciation, a sannyas that believes in rejoicing, a sannyas that wants to live in the world and yet not be of it....
The old sannyas is easy: you escape from the world, you leave the opportunities where temptation is possible, you escape to the Himalayan caves. Sitting there you will be a saint, because you don't have any other opportunity. You HAVE to be a saint. What else can you do there?
In the world all kinds of temptations exist. To be a saint in the world is something superb, something extraordinary. If there is no woman in the Himalayan caves...and I don't think there is. Women have never been so foolish; they are more earthly, they are more intuitive, they are not intellectuals. They are very realistic, they don't go after words and theories and philosophies. It is man who becomes very much attracted by abstractions. Woman does not bother much about the other world, she wants a beautiful sari HERENOW! You are a fool if you are waiting for some beautiful woman in heaven.
The feminine mind does not bother much about the other world. The feminine mind says, "We will see. If we can manage here, we will manage there too. If we can find a fool here, the same fools will be available there too. So why be worried about the other world?"
But man lives in abstractions. That is the masculine mind's greatest flaw. It lives in theories. It becomes so much hypnotized by words that it is ready to sacrifice life itself.
It is ready to go to the caves, to renounce this life in order to attain the other life. It lives in the past, it lives in the future. Woman lives more in the present. Hence, there have been no women in the Himalayan caves. You can go and sit there and dream all kinds of dreams, but no opportunity is there. Money is not there, power is not there, beauty is not there - nothing is there! Sitting in your cave you become more and more dull, slowly slowly; it is a kind of gradual suicide.
My sannyas is not dropping out of the world but getting deeper into it, getting to the very core of it, because God is at the very core of the world. God is the soul of the world. You cannot find him by escaping from the world. You can find him only by going deeper and deeper into the world. When you reach the very center of existence, you will find him. He is hidden in the world, the whole world is permeated by him. He is in the trees and in the rocks and in the birds and in the people. Yes, he is in your wife, in your husband and in your children. He is in you! And the best possibility to find him is in the world, not out of the world.
To go out of the world has been a great attraction; that too because of fear. The escapist is a coward; he cannot be watchful enough to live in the world and yet be unaffected by it. He cannot be so watchful - he does not have that much intelligence, he cannot make that great effort to be awake - hence he escapes. He is a coward.
So the old sannyas, S.D. Prasad, may fit you perfectly, but it is not going to help. You will remain a coward, and you will remain fear-oriented. On the surface it appears that the sannyasin who is leaving the world is very brave. It is not so. Don't be deceived by the appearances. The soldier who is going to war looks so brave - don't be deceived by the appearances - deep down he is trembling, he's afraid.
Adolf Hitler was preparing his wardrobe for a second dismal winter on the frozen front in Russia.
"Mein Fuhrer," suggested one of his suite, "remember what Napoleon did when he was in Russia. He wore a bright red uniform so that in case he was wounded his men would not notice the fact that he was bleeding."
"Excellent idea! Excellent idea!" ruminated Adolf. "Just throw me my brown pants."
Don't be deceived by the appearances. Even people like Adolf Hitler are tremendously afraid, trembling. And your so-called sannyasins who have escaped from the world have escaped out of fear.
I teach you the way of fearlessness. It is simply fear and nothing else that is preventing you, although you will not feel very happy with my answer. You must have been expecting that I would say something very gratifying to your ego. Excuse me, I cannot speak any untruth. I can only speak the true, and if it hurts, it hurts. It is only through truth that light starts entering into your being. So if you feel wounded...because your name seems unfamiliar to me, you must be new. And with new people I am never so rude, but I see a possibility in you, hence I am so hard.
Whenever I see a possibility in a man, I become hard. Whenever I see no possibility I remain very polite. If I am polite, that simply means I want to get rid of you. If I am hard, if I hammer hard on your head, that means I have already started respecting you.
The fifth question:
BELOVED MASTER, I AM VERY GREEDY FOR MONEY. DO YOU THINK I HAVE BEEN A JEW IN MY PAST LIFE?
Suresh, why in a past life? You are a Jew right now! Just by being born in India, just by being born in a Hindu family, does not make any difference. 'Jew' does not mean a race, it is a psychology, it is a metaphysics. The MARWARI is a Jew - the Indian Jew. In fact, anybody who is greedy is Jewish - greed is Jewish.
Jesus is not a Jew although he was born a Jew - he is not Jewish at all. When I use words like 'jew', remember always that I'm not talking about races. I'm not interested in blood. The Jewish blood and the Christian blood and the Hindu blood are all alike. You can take a few samples - you can get all kinds of samples here - you can take a few samples to the doctor and ask him which blood is Jewish and which blood is Hindu and which blood is Buddhist, and he will be at a loss. He cannot find any way to figure it out - blood is blood! Of course there are types in blood, but they are not Jewish and Hindu and Buddhist. 'Jew' is nothing but another name for greed. In that sense the whole world consists of Jews, except for a few exceptional people. Almost everybody is a Jew! Either you are a Jesus or you are a Jew - these are the only alternatives. If you don't want to be a Jew then be a Jesus. And don't try to console yourself that in a past life.... Those are tricky inventions of the human mind: "In the past life maybe I was a Jew." You are a Jew right now. Throwing the responsibility on the past life keeps you intact; then you can continue as you are.
An old Jew offers to pay a prostitute double her demanded fee if she will keep both hands on his head during love-making. Afterwards she asks him what special thrill he got out of this.
"No thrill," he says, taking a large roll of bills out of his pocket, "but for two bucks extra I know your hands are on my head and not in my pockets!"
Another story for you, Suresh:
A retired Jewish businessman is nearly ruined by his sons' demands for money to pay off the girls whom they have seduced and made pregnant. But he pays in order to keep from seeing the family name disgraced.
A few days later his daughter comes to him and confesses, "Papa, I am pregnant."
"Thank God, business is picking up," says the old man.
And the third story:
A room full of Jews are discussing which business is best. Finally one bearded old man says, "Let us stop lying to each other. The whorehouse business is the best: they got it, they sell it, they still got it."
"What are you saying?" cries another horrified old man.
What am I saying? I'm saying: no overhead, no upkeep, no inventory - who can beat it?
And yes, it is all wholesale."
Greed is Jewish, and everybody is a Jew in that sense. And remember that greed is a projection of fear. It is because of fear that man becomes greedy. He is so much afraid, that he wants to accumulate for the future. He is so afraid, that he sacrifices his today for tomorrow, and the tomorrow never comes. The greedy man is the most foolish man in the world. "The fool" Buddha calls him - the fool par excellence, because he goes on sacrificing the present for the future which never comes. He accumulates money but he cannot use it; he remains poor.
The greedy man never becomes rich. He may have the whole world at his disposal, but he remains poor. He cannot enjoy it, his greed won't allow that. He remains miserly. He always remains in such fear of the future that he cannot part from his money. He accumulates, accumulates, wastes his whole life and one day dies. He was a poor man his whole life - empty-handed he had come, empty-handed he has gone, and his whole life went down the drain with no significance.
Don't try to console yourself that in the past life you were a Jew. Look into your being!
You ARE a Jew. And then there is a possibility that you will see it: "I am a Jew, I am greedy. From where is my greed coming?" Go deeper into greed, analyze greed and you will find fear. And when you find fear you have come to a very fundamental thing.
There are only two ways to live life: one is that of fear and the other is that of love. The man who lives out of fear becomes greedy, becomes aggressive, becomes violent, becomes egoistic. And the man who lives out of love is out of necessity nongreedy, because love knows how to share. Love enjoys sharing, love knows no greater joy than sharing. Whatsoever love has, love shares. And love comes to know a great secret: that the more you share, the more love energy goes on reaching you, welling up from some unknown, inexhaustible source - AES DHAMMO SANANTANO.
The more you love, the more you are prayerful. The more you love, the more God gives you, because you are giving. Whatsoever you do to people, God goes on doing to you.
If you are miserly, God becomes miserly towards you. If you are sharing, God is sharing. Existence is only a mirror, it reflects your face, it echoes your being. Live through love and you will be a Jesus.
Jesus says: God is love. Live through fear and you are a Jew. You may be a Hindu Jew or a Mohammedan Jew or a Christian Jew - it doesn't matter. Adjectives don't matter.
The last question:
BELOVED MASTER, WHY DON'T I UNDERSTAND YOU?
Ram Gopal, understanding is a second step. The first is hearing. You don't hear me. You miss the first step; then the second is not possible.
While you are listening to me, a thousand and one thoughts are roaming in your mind.
They keep you deaf. My words never reach you intact, in their purity. They are distorted, they are colored by your thoughts, by your prejudices, by your already arrived at conclusions. You listen to me through your knowledge - that's why you really DON'T listen. And whatsoever reaches you is something totally different than what was conveyed. I'm saying one thing, you go on hearing something else; hence the misunderstanding. That's why you don't understand me; otherwise, I am using very simple words.
I'm not using any intellectual jargon, I'm using the day-to-day language. I never use big words - my words are simple, as simple as they can be. If you don't understand, that simply means that somehow you are inwardly deaf. A great clamor of words and thoughts and conclusions and theories and prejudices and knowledge and experience - the Hindu, the Mohammedan, the Christian, the Jew - they are all there inside. It is very difficult for me to find a way to you. It is almost impossible to reach you.
It is not a question of understanding. Understanding will flower of its own accord if you can do one thing: if you can LISTEN, if you can allow me to reach you, if you can open your heart, if you are not deaf - then understanding is bound to happen. Truth heard is understood, is bound to be understood. Understanding needs no other effort, it simply needs an opening, a vulnerability. Just open a window to me, just a window will do, and I can steal into you. Just a window will do. If you cannot open the front door, don't be worried, the back door will do. But open some door to me, let me come in, and then it is impossible not to understand, it is impossible to misunderstand.
Truth has such clarity that once understood, it transforms your life. Once heard, it is understood. Truth has a very simple process: once heard, it is understood; once understood, it transforms your life. If rightly heard you never ask how to understand. If rightly understood you never ask, "Now what should I do to transform my life according to it?" Truth transforms, truth liberates.
Meditate over this small anecdote:
A man walked into a New York bar and ordered two whiskies, one for himself and one for his friend. The barman produced the whiskies and the man poured some whisky into a thimble which he placed on a perfect miniature grand piano, which he took from his briefcase. He also took from his briefcase a twelve-inch-high man in evening dress, who sat down in front of the piano and commenced playing "The Moonlight Sonata."
The barman was incredulous and demanded to know where the little man has come from. The man explained, "I was just looking through a junk shop when I found an old oil lamp. I rubbed it with my sleeve a little in order to examine it better when there was a flash and a genie appeared saying he was the slave of the lamp and any wish of mine was his task to fulfill. So I told him I wanted a twelve-inch penis, and this is what the deaf sonofabitch gave me!"
He heard "a pianist" and missed the whole point.
You go on hearing what you can hear. You go on hearing things which are not said at all. And then you interpret them and all interpretations are misinterpretations. And whatsoever you will do will feel frustrating, because your misinterpretations cannot bring you to truth. Truth is a communion.
Buddha says: Find a friend, find a master and be in communion with the master. What is communion? Communion means withdrawing all conditions, withdrawing all prejudices, becoming innocent with somebody who has arrived, becoming a child again in front of one who has become awakened. Listen like a small child: alert, full of awe, wonder, and your heart will immediately be penetrated. I will reach you like an arrow.
Yes, there will be a little pain too, but very sweet...so sweet that you have never known anything more sweet than that. Yes, when for the first time the truth penetrates your heart like an arrow, it kills you - it kills you as an ego. It is a crucifixion, but immediately there is a resurrection. On the one hand you die as you have been up to now, on the other hand you are born again. You become a twice-born, a DWIJ; you become a brahmin, you become one who knows.
But knowing needs a great love affair between the disciple and the master. Knowing is possible only when the love affair is total, when the commitment is total, when the involvement is total. If you listen just like a spectator, you will go on missing. If you listen only out of curiosity, you will go on missing. If you listen with all your ideas and philosophies, you will hear something else which has not been said.
It is not a question of understanding my words, it is a question of understanding my presence. Only the disciple is blessed.
Ram Gopal, you are still not a disciple. You are curious. You have come to see what is happening. You are not yet committed. You listen to me, but you keep a distance, so that if things become too much you can escape easily. You remain on the periphery, you have not entered into the circle.
Enter the circle - I give you the invitation. Become my guest, let me be your host. Drink out of me and you will be drowned, and you will be transformed. It is a promise.
Enough for today.