Man is a seed of great potential: man is the seed of buddhahood. Each man is born to be a buddha. Man is not born to be a slave but to be a master. But there are very few who actualize their potential. And the reason why millions can't realize their potential is that they take it for granted that they already have it.
Life is only an opportunity to grow, to be, to bloom. Life in itself is empty; unless you are creative you will not be able to fill it with fulfillment. You have a song in your heart to be sung and you have a dance to be danced, but the dance is invisible, and the song - even you have not heard it yet. It is deep down hidden in the innermost core of your being; it has to be brought to the surface, it has to be expressed.
That's what is meant by 'self-actualization'. Rare is the person who transforms his life into a growth, who transforms his life into a long journey of self-actualization, who becomes what he was meant to be. In the East we have called that man the buddha, in the West we have called that man the christ. The word 'christ' exactly means what the word 'buddha' means: one who has come home.
We are all wanderers in search of the home, but the search is very unconscious - groping in the dark, not exactly aware what we are groping for, who we are, where we are going. We go on like driftwood, we go on remaining accidental.
And it becomes possible because millions of people around you are in the same boat, and when you see that millions are doing the same things that you are doing, then you must be right - because millions can't be wrong. That is your logic, and that logic is fundamentally erroneous: millions can't be right.
It is very rare that a person is right; it is very rare that a person realizes the truth.
Millions live lives of lies, lives of pretension. Their existences are only superficial; they live on the circumference, utterly unaware of the center. And the center contains all: the center is the kingdom of God.
The first step towards buddhahood, towards the realization of your infinite potential, is to recognize that up to now you have been wasting your life, that up to now you have remained utterly unconscious.
Start becoming conscious; that is the only way to arrive. It is arduous, it is hard. To remain accidental is easy; it needs no intelligence, hence it is easy. Any idiot can do it - all the idiots are already doing it. It is easy to be accidental because you never feel responsible for anything that happens. You can always throw the responsibility onto something else: fate, God, society, economic structure, the state, the church, the mother, the father, the parents.... You can go on throwing the responsibility onto somebody else; hence it is easy.
To be conscious means to take the whole responsibility on your own shoulders. To be responsible is the beginning of buddhahood.
When I use the word 'responsible' I am not using it in the ordinary connotation of being dutiful. I am using it in its real, essential meaning: the capacity to respond - that's my meaning. And the capacity to respond is possible only if you are conscious. If you are fast asleep, how can you respond? If you are asleep, the birds will go on singing but you will not hear, and the flowers will go on blooming and you will never be able to sense the beauty, the fragrance, the joy, that they are showering on existence.
To be responsible means to be alert, conscious. To be responsible means to be mindful.
Act with as much awareness as you can find possible. Even small things - walking on the street, eating your food, taking your bath - should not be done mechanically. Do them with full awareness.
Slowly slowly, small acts become luminous, and by and by those luminous acts go on gathering inside you, and finally the explosion. The seed has exploded, the potential has become actual. You are no longer a seed but a lotus flower, a golden lotus flower, a one- thousand-petaled lotus flower. And that is the moment of great benediction; Buddha calls it nirvana. One has arrived. Now there is no more to achieve, nowhere to go. You can rest, you can relax - the journey is over. Tremendous joy arises in that moment, great ecstasy is born.
But one has to begin from the beginning.
After a three-day drinking bout, Tooley and Bragan registered at a hotel and asked for twin beds. However, in the darkness they both got into the same bed.
"Hey!" yelled Tooley. "I think a homo has crept in bed with me."
"There's a queer in my bed, too," called Bragan.
"Let's throw the fairies out," called back the first.
A terrific wrestling match ensued and finally Tooley went sailing out of the bed. "How did you make out?" he called from the floor.
"I threw my guy out," said the other Irishman. "How about you?"
"He threw me out."
"Well, that makes us even. Get into bed with me."
This is how man is: in darkness, utterly unconscious; doing things, not knowing why; simply doing because there is an unconscious urge to do. Now, this is not only a mystic hypothesis about man. Sigmund Freud, Gustav Jung, Alfred Adler and others, the modern researchers into the psyche of man, have also come across the same fact.
Freud says man lives unconsciously, although the mind is so cunning that it can find reasons, motives. At least it can create a facade as if you are living a conscious life - and that is very dangerous because you can start believing in your own facade. Then your life is gone, then you will not be able to use this tremendously valuable opportunity.
People go on doing unconscious things - although they suffer, although they are immensely miserable, still they go on doing the same things which bring misery to them. They don't know what else to do. They are not there, they are not present; hence they can't do anything. They are trapped in the unconscious instincts.
Hennessy, loaded to the gills, was lurking on a dark and deserted street corner. Soon a man came walking by, and Hennessy sprang out of the shadows, a gun in his hand.
"Stay where you are!" he slobbered. Then he pulled a bottle out of his pocket. "Here," Hennessy ordered, "take a drink of this."
Too terrified to resist, the poor schnook took the bottle and drank deeply. "Wow!" he exclaimed. "That stuff tastes awful!"
"I know," gurgled the crocked Irishman. "Now you hold the gun and force me to drink some."
The stuff that you are drinking, that stuff that you call your life, is really awful! But you go on forcing yourself, doing the same repetitive acts again and again - not knowing what else to do, not knowing where else to go, not knowing that there are other alternatives possible, that there are alternative life-styles possible. And the greatest alternative is the religious dimension.
The religious dimension simply means the dimension of being conscious, of being alert, of living a life with self-remembrance. Let me add that by self-remembrance I don't mean self-consciousness. Self-consciousness is a false phenomenon; it is another name of ego. Self-remembering is a totally different phenomenon; it is the cessation of the ego.
In self-consciousness there is no consciousness, there is only self; in self-remembering there is no self, only remembering.
Buddha's whole methodology is that of self-remembering: SAMMASATI. It has been translated as right-mindfulness or right awareness. What is RIGHT awareness? Can awareness also be wrong? Yes, there is a possibility: if awareness becomes too much focused on the object it is wrong awareness. Awareness has to be aware of itself, then it is right awareness.
When you look at a tree, at a mountain, at a star, you can be conscious - conscious of the tree, conscious of the mountain, conscious of the star - but you are not conscious of the one who is conscious of all these things. This is wrong awareness, focused on the object. You have to unfocus it from the object, you have to help it turn inwards. You have to bring it to your own interiority, you have to fill your subjectivity with its light.
When one is full of light, not showing other things in the light but only showing the light itself, then it is right awareness and that is the door to nirvana, to God - to self- actualization.
By birth you are only given an opportunity. There is no inner necessity that you will really become, that your potential will be realized, that you will really attain to beinghood. Only the opportunity is given, then it is up to you. You will have to find the way, you will have to find the master, you will have to find the right situation. It is a great challenge.
Life is a great challenge to know oneself. If this challenge is accepted, you really become man for the first time; otherwise you go on existing on a subhuman level.
And it is not only the worldly people who are living an unconscious life. The so-called religious are not in any way different.
Father Duffy was sent to a small Eskimo village in the coldest part of Alaska. Several months later, the bishop paid him a visit. "How do you like it up here among the Eskimos?"
"Just fine," replied the priest.
"And what about the weather?" asked the bishop.
"Ah, as long as I have my rosary and my vodka I don't care how cold it is."
"I am glad to hear it. Say, I could go for a bit of vodka myself right now."
"Absolutely," said Father Duffy. "Rosary! Would you bring us two vodkas?"
The worldly, the otherworldly, are not really different. There is only one difference that makes a difference and that is of awareness, alertness. And the awareness can be practiced anywhere: you need not go to the mountains, you need not go to the monasteries, you need not renounce the world.
In fact, IN the world it is easier to practice awareness than anywhere else. This is my own experience, and not only my personal experience but my observation of thousands of sannyasins, too. The easiest way to become aware is to be in the world and practice it, because the world gives you so many opportunities. A monastery cannot give you so many opportunities. Living in a mountain cave, what opportunities do you have to be alert? You will be more and more asleep there, more and more dull. Intelligence will not be required, hence you will lose all sharpness of intelligence. And awareness will not be required; there will be no challenge for it. It is only in challenges that life grows; the greater the challenge, the greater the opportunity. And the world is really full of challenges. Hence to my sannyasins I say: never renounce.
Rejoice in the world! In the past we have renounced too much and the result has been nil. How many buddhas have we produced in the past? They can be counted on the fingers. Only rarely, very rarely, a man became a Buddha, Christ or Krishna. Out of millions and millions of seeds only one seed sprouted? That is not much. It has been a sheer wastage of great human potential, and the reason has been the escapist attitude of the religions.
I affirm life, I rejoice in life. And I would like you all to be deeply, intensely, passionately in life, with one condition only: alertness, watchfulness, witnessing. And I know the difficulty arises, because you will be living with millions of sleepy people - and sleep is contagious; just as awareness is. Awareness, too, is contagious; hence the significance of being with a master.
The master cannot give you the truth. Nobody can give the truth to anybody else; it is untransferable. The master cannot take you to the ultimate goal, because there you will have to arrive alone, nobody can accompany you. You cannot reach there by imitating the master, because the more you imitate somebody, the falser you become. How can you arrive to truth by becoming false?
Then what is the function of a master? Then what is the use of searching for a master?
Then why be a disciple at all? Still there is a reason, and the reason is that awareness is as contagious as sleepiness. If you sit with a few people who are all feeling sleepy you will start feeling sleepy.
A famous Sufi story says:
There was a fruit seller. He had a very cunning fox who used to watch his shop.
Whenever he had to go out he would tell the fox, "Be alert. Sit in my place and just watch. Watch every activity that goes on around here. Don't allow anybody to steal anything. If somebody tries to steal, make noises - I will run out of the house immediately."
One day Mulla Nasruddin was passing. He heard the shopkeeper talking to the fox, saying all these things, "Be alert, watch every activity that is going on around, and if you see that something is against us or somebody is trying to steal the fruits, make a noise immediately and I will come out."
Mulla Nasruddin was very much tempted. The shopkeeper went in. Nasruddin sat in front of the shop and just started pretending he was falling asleep; with closed eyes he started dozing.
For a moment the poor fox thought, "What to do? Should I make a noise? But sleep is not an activity - in fact it is just the opposite - and the master has said that if some activity goes on around.... This is not activity: this man is falling asleep, and what can a man who is asleep do, what harm?" But the fox was not aware that Mulla was trying a Sufi strategy! By pretending to be falling asleep, by dozing with closed eyes, slowly slowly he managed to make the fox fall asleep. Then he stole the fruits.
When the master came back, the fruits were gone... and the fox was snoring! He shook the fox and asked, "What is the matter? Didn't I tell you if any activity happens you have to make a noise so that I can come? But I never heard any noise."
The fox said, "But there was no activity happening. Just one man came; he sat in front of the shop and started dozing. Now, sleep is not an activity, is it? Sleep is inactivity."
Simple logic! A poor fox and simple logic.
"Then what happened to you?" the owner asked.
The fox said, "That I don't know, what happened to me. But the more I watched the man dozing, somehow I started dozing myself and it was impossible to remain awake. I don't know when I fell asleep."
If a few people are dozing and you are sitting with them, you can see the point: the vibe of sleep reaches to you. And similar is the case... although a little difficult because sleep is downhill and awakening is uphill. It is a little harder task. But to be with a man who is awake, who is a buddha, is bound to make you alert - just being with the master.
We are affected continuously by people around us. We may be absolutely oblivious of the fact that whatsoever we think has been given by others to us; whatsoever we feel, even that, too, has been given to us by others. The child learns by imitation. Even our emotions may be just borrowed, not only our thoughts; our sentiments may be just borrowed.
People even can die just because of a borrowed idea. What is a motherland? - an idea which we go on stuffing in the heads of small children. And we go on telling them that to die for the motherland is to be a great man, is to be a martyr; to die for the motherland is the greatest virtue.
In the past they used to say the same thing about religions, churches: "To die for the church, to die for your religion, is the sure way to enter into paradise. Instantly you are uplifted into paradise if you die for your religion." Kill others for your religion and it is not sin; die for your own religion and it is not suicide. Killing is not murder, committing suicide is not suicide! Once these ideas have been implanted in your being, imprinted in your being, they start functioning from there.
Three boys, a Catholic, a Jew, and a black kid, were sitting on a curb. A priest and a rabbi saw the boys.
The Catholic priest recognized one of the kids as a member of his parish, so he said, "Sonny, what are the two biggest things in your life?"
He said, "Father, the two biggest things in my life are the Catholic church and my priest."
The rabbi looked down and recognized the Jewish kid from his congregation. He said, "Son, what are the two biggest things in your life?"
"Rabbi, the two biggest things in my life are my congregation and my rabbi."
Both members of the clergy left smugly satisfied. Then the little colored kid looked at his two buddies and said, "Say, ain't neither one of you little mama's boys never had no girls nor watermelon yet?"
We learn from others. It may be your idea of God, it may be the priest, the rabbi - or the watermelon! It is all the same: we learn from others.
In the close intimacy with a master, two things happen: one is his contagious awareness, his contagious love, his contagious compassion; and second, a great unlearning. Whatsoever you have learned from sleepy people, whether it is about the watermelon or about the rabbi - there is not much difference between watermelons and rabbis! What you have learned from the established church and the state and the educational system, which are all serving vested interests, which are all serving the past, the dead past, which are not in your service.... Remember, they are to exploit you, they are to reduce you to machines - efficient, but machines are machines, whether efficient or not efficient. Their function is to make you slaves of the society - and the society is ill, the society is insane, the society is pathological.
Two things happen in the affinity of the master: the first, his contagious awareness; and the second: a process of unlearning. He starts destroying all that you have learned. He cannot give you the truth, I repeat, but he can take away the lies. And that is one of the most essential things; without it, the truth can never happen to you. Truth is going to happen to you in your aloneness, but before it can happen all the blocks have to be removed: the blocks of lies that have been placed in the way of truth.
The master can take away your lies. His function is negative in that way, and positive in being contagious. His vibe can touch and wake you up. He can be a sunray entering through the window in your bedroom, falling on your face, and telling you that, "It is morning, now get up!" making it very difficult for you to sleep. Yes, the master can make it difficult for you to sleep and difficult for you to imitate and difficult for you to learn from those who are really your enemies and not your friends.
If these two things are possible, your life starts moving, you are no longer stuck. Your seed has fallen into the right soil: now in the right time the sprout will come. Soon there will be spring and you will see your own flowers. And the flowers of consciousness are the greatest flowers there are.
The moment your potential becomes actual, the moment you are a realized soul, even gods admire you. Even gods are far behind, because even gods have not yet become buddhas. They are also living unconscious lives - maybe living in heaven. What you call angels in Christianity are called gods in Buddhism. The angels living in heaven, even they are not buddhas; they are as asleep as you are. The only difference is in their situation: they are in paradise and you are on earth. But the difference is not in their psychology; as far as their inner being is concerned it is as dark as yours.
Hindus have never been able to forgive Buddha, because he said that even gods admire a buddha, even gods worship a buddha.
The story is told that when Buddha became a buddha, when Gautama Siddhartha became enlightened, became a buddha, gods came from paradise to worship him. They touched his feet and they showered celestial flowers and they played celestial music.
Hindus have never been able to forgive Buddhists for this story - gods worshipping a man? But see the point: the gods are not worshipping a man, the gods are worshipping awareness, the gods are worshipping buddhahood. Gods are not worshipping Gautama Siddhartha the man, but the flame that has happened into his heart. That flame is eternal light, that flame is divine. And even gods are yet far far away from it; they have to attain it.
The idea of a buddha is higher than the idea of gods. Buddhism is the only religion of the world which has given man such dignity; no other religion has dignified man so highly. Buddhism is the religion of man.
A Buddhist poet, Chandidas, has said: SABAR UPAR MANUS SATYA, TAHAR UPAR NAHIN - the truth of man is the highest truth, there is no higher truth than that.
But the truth of man does not mean the body of man, the bones and the blood and the marrow, no. The truth of man means the flame which is not yet lit in you. Once it is lit you are transported into a totally different world. You have become part of the whole, you are no longer separate. The way to reach to this actualization is: HE IS THE CHARIOTEER. He becomes a conscious master. His body is a chariot, he drives it where he wants to, not vice versa. The unconscious man is driven by his body.
Just watch yourself: your body goes on driving you. Just a moment before you were not hungry, and you pass by the side of a restaurant, and the smell of food... and suddenly you start feeling hungry. The body is deceiving you, because just a moment before you were not hungry at all, there was no hunger. This hunger is the body driving you towards food. You were not even thinking of food just a moment before, and the smells coming from the bakery - and suddenly a great desire, a great hunger, has arisen in you. It is the body driving you; you are not the charioteer. The chariot has become the master. This is the ordinary situation.
HE HAS TAMED HIS HORSES.... Senses are called the horses. In the ancient days in India there were chariots with five horses. Great kings used to move in chariots with five horses. Those who were the greatest, those who were called CHAKRAVARTINS - the world rulers - they used to move in chariots with seven horses. Five horses represent the five senses... and your five senses are continuously influencing you. A man who wants to be really conscious has to start by becoming alert of these things.
If you take your dinner at a particular time every day, and you see the clock and it is time.... The clock may have stopped, the clock may not be right, the clock may be one hour ahead, but if it is time, immediately there is hunger. Now, this hunger is false, created by the senses, created by the body - and you are going to be driven by these senses your whole life?
All over the world, seekers of truth have become aware of this phenomenon and they have reacted in two ways; one is right, the other is wrong. The wrong way is to start fighting with your senses and your body. By fighting you will never win. By fighting you will become weaker, you will be dissipating energy. By fighting you will become repressive - and that which is repressed will take revenge sooner or later. Whenever it will find any opportunity to take possession of you, it is bound to take possession of you - and with a vengeance!
You can fast for three days, you can force your body to fast, but if it is repression, the fourth day the body will take revenge - you will eat too much, for a few days you will eat too much. In fact, if you had lost any weight in those three days, you will gain more weight within a week. The body has taken the revenge, the body has taught you a lesson.
Fighting is not the way - not the way of the buddhas. Fighting is stupid; it is your own body, you need not fight with it, you have just to be more watchful of it. If some watchfulness starts crystallizing in you, you will be surprised that the body starts following you. It no longer commands you, it no longer orders you: it becomes obedient to you.
When the master has arrived, the servants immediately fall in line. But the master is asleep, that's why the servants are pretending to be the masters.
HE IS THE CHARIOTEER. HE HAS TAMED HIS HORSES.... They have not to be killed or destroyed but tamed. They are beautiful animals! If tamed they can be of tremendous value, they can be of great service to you.
A buddha is not one who destroys his senses, but is one who makes his senses more clear, more clean, more sensitive - but he remains the master. A buddha sees far more than you see, his eyes are far more receptive, because there is no smoke in his eyes, no clouds in his consciousness.
He sees the same green trees, but the trees are far greener for him than they are for you.
He smells the same perfume but it is far more for him than it is for you. He sees the same beauty, but it gives him great ecstasy. It may not give you any ecstasy at all; you may bypass it. You may not even see the nazunia flower by the side of the road. What to say of the nazunia - you may not even see a roseflower. You are so much occupied, your senses are so full of information; they are not empty and available. Your senses are not very sensitive.
The buddha does not kill them, but many saints have been doing that stupidity. There have been Christian saints in Russia - a long tradition - who used to cut off their genital organs; the nuns used to cut off their breasts. Ridiculous, stupid! What more stupidity can you expect than this? How can you be a master by cutting off your genital organs? - because sexuality is not there, sexuality is in the head. And, of course, you cannot cut off your head. And even if you cut it off, it is not going to make any difference; you will be born again with a far filthier head!
Now we know - scientific research has proved it beyond doubt - that sexuality has nothing to do with the genital organs; it is not there. The genital organs are triggered by the head; in the brain there are centers. Pavlov and B.F. Skinner's work has been of tremendous value in this field. I don't agree with their behavioristic approach, but what they have researched can be used by the mystics, can be used by the seekers of truth, by the explorers of their inner being, in a very valuable way.
Skinner has found that in the brain there are centers - centers for food, centers for sex, centers for everything. You touch with an electrode the sex center in the brain, and immediately you have an orgasm. A great joy arises in you as if you have made love to a woman. Skinner was experimenting with rats; he fixed an electrode in the sex center in the brain of the rat and he taught the rat how to push a button if he wants an orgasm.
He was surprised what the rat did; he had never thought that rats are so sexual. The rat completely forgot about food, about everything. Even if there was danger, even if a cat was brought, the rat was unafraid. Who cares? He was continuously pushing the button, continuously... six thousand times! Until the rat fell utterly exhausted, almost dead, he went on pushing, because each push and there was an orgasm.
Now sooner or later this is going to happen to you too! It will be far easier, far more comfortable - because to have a woman or to have a man is such a conflict. You can just have a small, matchbox-sized computer in your pocket - nobody will ever know what you are doing! You can go on moving your rosary and with the other hand you can push the button, and people will think that the ecstasy is happening because of the rosary. And your face will glow.... But if it becomes possible you will be in the same situation as the rat: you will die by pushing your button too much, you will forget everything else.
Genital organs have nothing to do with sex; everything is contained in the brain. Your hunger has nothing to do with your stomach; that too is contained in the brain. That's why at the right time, looking at the clock, suddenly the hunger. And the smell of the bakery does not go into the stomach, remember, it goes into the brain. It triggers a certain center in your brain, it pushes a button in the brain, and suddenly you are hungry. Now, destroying your body is not going to help, starving your body is not going to help. Even committing suicide is not going to help. Only one thing can help, and that is awareness.
If you become aware... awareness is not a part of the brain. Awareness is behind the brain, awareness is capable of seeing the brain.
You will be surprised to know that whatsoever modern psychological methods have been able to discover was discovered thousands of years before by the mystics in the East. Buddha was perfectly aware of the brain centers, Patanjali was perfectly aware of the brain centers. And the only way is to find something which is beyond the brain and move to that beyond and remain there. There is your mastery; from there you are the charioteer, from there all the horses are in your hands. And then they are beautiful!
Senses are not ugly - nothing is ugly. Even sex has its own beauty, its own sacredness, its own holiness. But if you are rooted and centered in your beyond, in your consciousness, then everything has a different meaning, a different context. Then eating has its own spirituality.
The Upanishads say: ANNAM BRAHMA - food is God. The man who had said this must have tasted God in food. And the tantrikas in the East have been saying it for centuries, that sex has the greatest potential to realize samadhi. It is the closest point - the sexual orgasm is the closest to the spiritual orgasm, hence you can learn much from it. In sexual orgasm time disappears, ego disappears, mind disappears. In sexual orgasm, for a moment the whole world stops.
The same happens in the spiritual orgasm on a far bigger scale. The sexual is momentary and the spiritual is eternal, but the sexual gives you a glimpse of the spiritual.
Senses have to be tamed, not to be destroyed, remember. ... PRIDE AND THE SENSES.
EVEN THE GODS ADMIRE HIM. Tame the senses, tame the pride. If the pride masters you, it is ego; if you are the master, then it is only self-respect. And every person of integrity has self-respect. Self-respect is not egoistic, not at all. Self-respect simply means, "I love myself, I respect myself, and I will not allow anybody to humiliate me. I will not humiliate anybody and I will not allow anybody to humiliate me. I will not create slavery for anybody and I will not be a slave to anybody either."
That is pride tamed. Then it has become a servant and it is beautiful.
The man who has become awakened becomes YIELDING LIKE THE EARTH. He loses all rigidity. He is not like a rock; he is like soft earth. And only the soft earth can be fertile, can be creative. The rock remains impotent; it creates nothing, nothing grows on it, nothing can grow in it. The rock remains utterly empty. But the yielding earth - soft, humble, surrendering, receptive, womblike - can give birth to new experiences, can give birth to new visions, new songs, new poetries. The awakened person is not rigid.
In the words of Lao Tzu, he is not like the rock but like water. His way is the way of water - the watercourse way.
JOYOUS AND CLEAR LIKE THE LAKE.... The man who is awakened, who is alert, becomes clear; all his confusions are gone. Not that he has been able to find solutions, no, but because all his questions have disappeared. Not that he has found the answers - there is no answer to be found. Life is a mystery and remains a mystery; life cannot be demystified. And because he knows the mystery of life and now there are no longer any questions and no longer any conflicting answers, he is very clear, he is clarity itself, and he is joyous.
Why is he joyous? - because now he knows that the whole kingdom of God is his. Now he knows that he is not an outsider here, that he belongs to existence and the existence belongs to him. He has become part of this infinite celebration that goes on and on. He is a song in this celebration, a dance in this celebration.
STILL AS THE STONE AT THE DOOR.... Yielding like the earth and still like the rock, silent, unmoving.... HE IS FREE FROM LIFE AND DEATH. And he is not only free from death, remember: the moment you are free from death you are free from this life also - this so-called life. Then there is another life.... Buddha does not name it, he will not give it any definition; he simply leaves it there. He leaves the sentence incomplete, because he knows anything said will destroy the beauty of it. Anything said will give it a limitation, and it is unlimited. Anything said is bound to be inadequate.
So he says only one thing: he is free from this life and this death. The life that you have known and the death that happens every day - this life and this death both disappear for the awakened one. Time disappears, and life and death are two sides of time. Then he is eternity. He becomes one with the whole; you cannot find him as a separate entity anywhere.
Where is Gautama the Buddha now? Now he is in the air you breathe and in the water you drink and in the birds that go on singing and in the trees and in the clouds. Where is Buddha now? He has become the universe! The dewdrop has become the ocean, but the dewdrop has disappeared as a dewdrop. Now there is no life and death for the dewdrop; it exists no more - how can there be a life for it? It exists no more, so how can it die? It has gone beyond the duality of life and death.
This is a tremendously important statement. HIS THOUGHTS ARE STILL. That is simple and can be understood, because a man who is alert need not think.
Thinking is needed because we cannot see. If a blind man wants to go out of this hall he will have to think; he will have to ask somebody; he will have to plan where to move, where are the steps, where is the door, and he will grope with his stick. But if a man has eyes he need not ask, he need not think. He simply gets up, he simply starts moving towards the door. He gets out of the door, not thinking about it at all. But the blind man cannot afford not to think. And this is how the sleepy man has to think - the sleepy man is blind.
The man with awareness has inner eyes, has insight. He can see, and because he can see he need not think. Seeing is enough. Thinking is a poor substitute for seeing. HIS THOUGHTS ARE STILL.... But even more important is the statement: HIS WORDS ARE STILL. It is a contradiction in terms: "His words" means he speaks. Buddha spoke; otherwise we would not have these tremendously significant sutras. For forty-two years he was speaking continuously - day in, day out, year in, year out; morning, afternoon, evening he was speaking. But he says: HIS WORDS ARE STILL.
If you are really attuned, if you are really silent in the presence of the master, you will see: HIS WORDS ARE STILL. His words carry a silence around them, his words are not noisy. His words have a melody, a rhythm, a music, and at the very core of his words is utter silence. If you can penetrate his words you will come across infinite silence.
But to penetrate the words of a buddha, the way is not analysis, the way is not argument, the way is not discussing. The way is falling in rapport with him, becoming attuned with him, being in a synchronicity with him. It happens: a moment comes between the disciple and the master when the very heart of the master and the heart of the disciple beat in the same rhythm, when the breathing of the master and the breathing of the disciple are in the same rhythm. When the master breathes out, the disciple breathes out; when the master breathes in, the disciple breathes in. Everything becomes so attuned.
In that attunement, in that at-onement, one enters into the very core of the master's words. And there you will not find any sound, any noise; there you will find absolute silence. And to taste it is to understand the master. The meaning of the word is not important, remember, but the silence of the word. The meaning can be understood by anybody who understands language, that is not difficult; but the silence can be understood only by the disciple, not by the student.
The student listens to the word, understands its meaning, and that's that. He will understand the philosophy of Buddha, but he will not understand the Buddha himself.
He will understand his theories, but he will miss his being.
The disciple may not be able to say what his master's teaching is, he may not be able to reproduce his philosophy, he may be at a loss. If you ask him, "What is the teaching of your master?" he may become dumb. But he understands the master - not what he says but what he is.
There is a very beautiful story:
When Buddha died, all the enlightened disciples gathered together to write down the message of the Buddha, because now the master is gone and for the coming generations the treasure has to be collected.
There were great enlightened disciples, but nobody could exactly reproduce it. A few of them were absolutely silent; when they were asked they shrugged their shoulders. A few said, "It is impossible, it can't be done." A few others said, "We would not like to commit any mistakes, and mistakes are bound to happen, because what we have seen in the man is impossible to express in language." In fact, not a single enlightened disciple was ready to compile the philosophy of the Buddha.
Then Ananda was approached. He was the only one who had lived with Buddha for forty-two years and was not yet enlightened. He had remembered all, everything; he had the whole collection, word for word. His memory must have been just extraordinary. But there was a problem. The problem was: can you believe in the words of an unenlightened person about an enlightened person?
Those who are enlightened are not ready to say anything; the one who is ready to reproduce the whole philosophy, word for word, from the beginning to the end, from the first statement that Buddha made to the last... but he is not enlightened. Can you rely on his memory? Can you rely on his interpretation? Now, this is really an insoluble problem: those who know, those who can be relied upon, are not ready to say anything, and the one who is ready to say cannot be relied upon - he is not enlightened himself.
Then the whole gathering told Ananda, "Do one thing - don't waste a single moment.
Bring your total energies and become as alert as possible. If you can become enlightened before your death, then something is possible. We will not collect your statements unless you are enlightened. You remember - you are the only one who remembers absolutely - but we cannot trust it."
How can you trust a blind man's report about someone who had eyes and was talking about colors, light, rainbows, flowers? How can you believe in the report of a blind man? It is absurd, it cannot be believed!
So the congregation prayed to Ananda, "You are the only hope. If you can become enlightened we will be able to accept whatsoever you say, but we will not be able to accept it unless you become enlightened."
Ananda had lived for forty-two years with Buddha, but because Buddha was so close to him he had started taking him for granted. It happens. It happens here too. Many of you who are close to me can start taking me for granted. Ananda was very close, the closest one; he was not much concerned about his enlightenment. Whenever he was told he said, "I am not worried about it. Buddha is going to take care of me. I have been serving him for forty-two years - is he not compassionate enough to help drag me out of the darkness? He will do it. And what is the hurry? Why be in such a haste? It can happen tomorrow, it can happen the day after tomorrow. Buddha is there."
And for forty-two years he had been postponing and believing deep down in his heart that, "Buddha will do it. Although he says nobody can make anybody else enlightened, I know he can do it. I know miracles have been happening around him. And at least, if not for anybody else, for me he is going to make an exception. I have served him so much. And then he is always there; if today I miss, tomorrow; if tomorrow I miss, the day after tomorrow. Where is he going? He is always there."
The day Buddha died, he said to Ananda, "Ananda, now I will not be here tomorrow.
So make haste, hurry! Now no more postponing."
And it happened that after Buddha's death, when the congregation prayed to Ananda, for twenty-four hours he sat with closed eyes. This was for the first time in his whole life. In fact, there was so much happening around Buddha that it was impossible to close the eyes. The whole day so many things were happening and Ananda was too occupied. Now Buddha was gone and nothing was happening anymore, there was nothing to see. He closed his eyes and for twenty-four hours, for the first time, he sat in silence.
He became enlightened within twenty-four hours. This had not happened in forty-two years; it happened in twenty-four hours. When he became enlightened, when all the enlightened disciples recognized his aura, his light, his luminousness, then they said, "Now Ananda can be allowed to come in the assembly. He can relate and we will compile."
That's how all the Buddhist sutras have been compiled.
But only an enlightened person can be trusted. Why? - because he can see. And he can see into the words and find the silence - which is the real message. If you listen to the meaning, you are a student; if you listen to the silence, you are a disciple. And if you completely forget who is talking and who is listening, you become one with the master - - you are a devotee.
These are the three stages: the student, the disciple and the devotee. The student understands the meaning of the words, the disciple understands the silence of the words, and the devotee becomes the silence itself. HIS THOUGHTS ARE STILL. HIS WORDS ARE STILL.
HIS WORK IS STILLNESS.
His whole work is stillness, he creates stillness. He creates devices to create stillness.
HE SEES HIS FREEDOM AND IS FREED.
THE MASTER SURRENDERS HIS BELIEFS.
Once you become enlightened all that you have believed before becomes ridiculous, irrelevant, absurd, nonsense. It is like the belief of the blind man in light. Whatsoever he had believed before, whatsoever he had thought in his blindness that light is... once his eyes open he will have to drop all his beliefs about light. Not a single word out of those beliefs is going to be true. It is impossible for the blind man to conceive what light is.
What to say about light? - the blind man cannot even conceive anything about darkness either, because to see darkness you need eyes as much as to see light. The blind man knows nothing of darkness and nothing of light.
Once you become awakened all your beliefs in gods, heaven, hell, karma, reincarnation, this and that, they all become simply rubbish. THE MASTER SURRENDERS HIS BELIEFS....
Now there is no need to believe - he can see beyond the beginning and beyond the end.
He can see the whole through and through. Seeing is the goal.
In India we don't have an equivalent word for philosophy. We have a totally different word for it, that is DARSHAN. Ordinarily it is translated as 'philosophy'; it is not.
Philosophy means something of the mind; darshan simply means insight, vision, seeing. In the East we have called the greatest ones, the seers. We have not called them prophets, we have not called them philosophers, we have called them seers - they have seen. The East has always believed in seeing, not in thinking.
To translate 'darshan' into English is very difficult. To call it philosophy is to be unfair; it destroys the whole beauty of the word 'darshan'. So I translate it with 'philosia'.
Philosophy means love for knowledge: 'sophia' means knowledge, 'philo' means love.
Philosia means love for seeing - 'sia' means seeing. Once you have seen, all beliefs wither away like dry leaves falling from the trees.
Now a totally new law starts functioning: the law of levitation. Ordinarily things fall downwards, but the man of awakening rises upwards. Everything in him starts rising upwards, soaring upwards. He has to cut all ties, because those ties are with the earth.
He has to give up all desires, because those desires are the ties that keep him tethered to the earth.
HE RESISTS ALL TEMPTATION. Many times the old mind will try to assert itself.
Many many times the mind will make efforts to bring you back to the earth.
Kahlil Gibran says: When a river comes closer to the sea, it waits for a moment, looks backwards - all those joys, the mountains, the virgin snows where it originated, the forests, the solitude of the forests, the birds, their songs, the people, the plains, thousands of experiences, the long journey.... And now the moment has come to disappear into the ocean. The whole past pulls backwards. The whole past says, "Wait!
You will be lost forever. You will never be the same. Without your banks, how can you be? You will lose your definition."
Exactly the same happens when you come closer to buddhahood: when all is being lost, all ties, all desires, great temptations arise. There is no Devil to tempt you; it is your own mind, your own past experiences. Your whole loaded past tries to pull you backwards, but now nothing can pull you backwards. The call has been heard, the invitation has arrived.
And not only that he is joyous: wherever he is he brings a climate of joy. Joy surrounds him.
It is said that wherever Buddha would move, trees would bloom out of season, rivers would start flowing in the summer season when there was no water. Wherever Buddha would move there would be peace, silence, love, compassion, all around. This is really so; not that trees will bloom out of season - these are metaphors - but whenever there is a buddha something mysterious starts happening. People start blooming out of season, joy spreads, great waves of joy.
When you enter into the buddhafield you enter into a totally different world: the world of blessings, the world of benedictions.
And he is everywhere joyous, because the only thing that destroys your natural capacity of rejoicing is your desiring mind. The desiring mind makes you a beggar.
Once all desires have been dropped you are the emperor. Joy is a natural state of your being.
Just let there be no desire and see. When there is no desire there is no mind. When there is no desire there is no turmoil. When there is no desire there is no past, no future.
When there is no desire you are utterly contented herenow. And to be contented herenow is joy.
And whenever such a man moves, wherever he moves, he brings his climate with him.
A buddha is in the spring season all the year round. And fortunate are those who come in some way close to him, blessed are those who become associated with him, because they also share his joy, his benediction, his wisdom, his love, his light.
Enough for today.