Via transcendence

Fri, 23 August 1979 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 4
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
Short Title:
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The first question:

Question 1:



Anand Savita, intellect is something pseudo, something false. It is a substitute for intelligence. Intelligence is a totally different phenomenon - the real thing.

Intelligence needs tremendous courage, intelligence needs an adventurous life.

Intelligence needs that you are always going into the unknown, into the uncharted sea.

Then intelligence grows, it becomes sharpened. It grows only when it encounters the unknown every moment. People are afraid of the unknown, people feel insecure with the unknown. They don't want to go beyond the familiar. Hence they have created a false, plastic substitute for intelligence - they call it intellect.

Intellect is only a mental game; it cannot be creative. Intellect is imaginative, but not creative. Intelligence is creative. Intelligence creates because intelligence makes you capable of participating with God. God is the source of all creativity. You can be creative only when you are EN RAPPORT with God, when you are rooted in the very existence, when you are part of divine energy. You cannot be creative on your own; you can be creative only as a medium of God.

When the poet creates he is only a medium, a hollow bamboo on the lips of God. And suddenly the hollow bamboo is no longer a hollow bamboo - it becomes a flute. The emptiness of the bamboo becomes full of song, dance, celebration.

Creativity means you have to disappear, you have to allow God to be, you have to get out of the way. Intellect is egoistic; intelligence is humble, egoless. The difference is subtle; because both the words come from the same root, hence one can easily be deceived. Beware, be alert! Intellect is not intelligence. Intelligence is creative, intellect is only a pretender. In the name of creativity it goes on producing rubbish.

You can go and look in the universities and see what kind of creative work goes on there. Thousands of treatises are being written; Ph.D.s, D.Phil.s, D.Litt.s, great degrees are conferred on people. Nobody ever comes to know what happens to their Ph.D.

theses; they go on becoming rubbish heaps in the libraries. Nobody ever reads them, nobody is ever inspired by them. Yes, a few people read them; they are the same type of people who are going to write another thesis. The would-be Ph.D.s will be of course reading them.

But your universities don't create Shakespeares, Miltons, Dostoevskys, Tolstoys, Rabindranaths, Kahlil Gibrans. Your universities create just junk, utterly useless. This is intellectual activity that goes on in the universities. Intelligence creates a Picasso, a Van Gogh, a Mozart, a Beethoven.

Intelligence is a totally different dimension. It has nothing to do with the head; it has something to do with the heart. Intellect is in the head; intelligence is a state of heart- wakefulness. When your heart is awake, when your heart is dancing in deep gratitude, when your heart is in tune with existence, in harmony with existence, out of that harmony is creativity.

Savita, there is no possibility of any intellectual creativity. It can produce rubbish, it is productive; it can manufacture, but it cannot create. And what is the difference between manufacturing and creating? Manufacturing is a mechanical activity. Computers can do it - they are already doing it, and doing it in a far more efficient way than you can hope from man. Intelligence creates, it does not manufacture.

Manufacturing means a repetitive exercise; what has already been done, you go on doing again and again. Creativity means bringing the new into existence, making a way for the unknown to penetrate the known, making a way for the sky to come to the earth.

When there is a Beethoven or a Michelangelo or a Kalidas, the skies open, flowers shower from the beyond. I am not telling you anything about Buddha, Christ, Krishna, Mahavira, Zarathustra, Mohammed, for a certain reason: because what THEY create is so subtle that you will not be able to catch hold of it. What Michelangelo creates is gross; what Van Gogh creates can be seen, is visible. What a buddha creates is absolutely invisible. It needs a totally different kind of receptivity to understand.

To understand a buddha you have to be intelligent. Not only that Buddha's creation is of tremendous intelligence, but it is so superb, it is so supramental, that even to understand it you will have to be intelligent. Intellect won't help even in understanding.

Only two kinds of people create: the poets and the mystics. The poets create in the gross world and the mystics create in the subtle world. The poets create in the outer world: a painting, a poem, a song, music, a dance; and the mystic creates in the inner world. The poet's creativity is objective and the mystic's creativity is subjective, totally of the interior. First you have to understand the poet, only then can you understand one day - at least HOPE to understand one day - the mystic. The mystic is the highest flower of creativity. But you may not see anything that the mystic is doing.

Buddha has never painted a single picture, has never taken the brush in his hands, has not composed a single poem, has not sung a single song, nobody has ever seen him dancing. If you watch him he is just sitting silently; his whole being is silence. Yes, a grace surrounds him, a grace of infinite beauty, of exquisite beauty, but you will need to be very vulnerable to feel it. You will have to be very open, not argumentative. You cannot be a spectator with a buddha; you have to be a participant, because it is a mystery to be participated in. Then you will see what he is creating. He is creating consciousness, and consciousness is the purest form, the highest form possible, of God's expression.

A song is beautiful, a dance is beautiful, because something of the divine is present in it.

But in a buddha the whole of God is present. That's why we have called Buddha "Bhagwan," we have called Mahavira "Bhagwan" - the whole of God is present.

But students won't be able to see it. Disciples will be able to decipher a little bit, and devotees will be able to drink out of it.

Intellectual activity can make you experts in certain things, useful, efficient. But intellect is a groping in the dark; it has no eyes, because it is not yet meditative. Intellect is borrowed, it has no insight of its own.

The subject was lovemaking. For weeks Arthur had successfully answered all the questions asked him on the television quiz show. He was now eligible for the jackpot prize of one hundred thousand dollars. For this one question he was allowed to call an expert. Arthur of course chose a world-famous professor of sexology from France.

The jackpot question was, "If you had been king during the first fifty years of the Assyrian empire, which three parts of your bride's anatomy would you have been expected to kiss on your wedding night?"

The first two answers came quickly. Arthur replied, "Her lips and her neck."

Now, stumped for the answer to the third part of the question, Arthur turned frantically to his expert. The Frenchman threw up his hands and groaned, "Alors, mon ami, do not ask me. I have been wrong twice already."

The expert, the knowledgeable, the intellectual, has no insight of his own. He depends on borrowed knowledge, on tradition, on convention. He carries libraries in his head, a great burden, but he has no vision. He knows much without knowing anything at all.

And because life is not the same ever - it is constantly changing, moment to moment it is new - the expert always lags behind, his response is always inadequate. He can only react, he cannot respond, because he is not spontaneous. He has already arrived to conclusions; he is carrying ready-made answers - and the questions that life raises are always new.

Moreover, life is not a logical phenomenon. And the intellectual lives through logic; hence he never fits with life and life never fits with him. Of course life is not at a loss; the intellectual himself is at a loss. He is always feeling like an outsider - not that life has expelled him; he himself has decided to remain outside life. If you cling too much to logic you will never be able to be part of the living process that this existence is.

Life is more than logic: life is paradox, life is mystery.

Gannaway and O'Casey arranged to fight a duel with pistols. Gannaway was quite fat, and when he saw his lean adversary facing him he objected. "Debar!" he said, "I am twice as large as he is, so I ought to stand twice as far away from him as he is from me."

Absolutely logical, but how can you do it?

"Be aisy now," replied his second. "I will soon put that right." And taking a piece of chalk from his pocket he drew two lines down the fat man's coat leaving a space between them.

"Now," he said, turning to O'Casey, "fire away, and remember that any hits outside that chalk line don't count."

Perfectly mathematical, perfectly logical - but life is not so logical, life is not so mathematical. And people go on living in their intellects very logically. Logic gives them a feeling as if they know, but it is a big "as if," and one tends to forget it completely. Whatsoever you go on doing through intellect, it is only inference. It is not an experience of truth, but just an inference based on your logic - and your logic is your invention.

Cudahy, grogged to the gills, stood watching the Saint Patrick's Day parade.

Unconsciously he dropped his lit cigarette into an old mattress that was lying at the curb.

Just then the grey-haired members of the Women's Nursing Corps came strutting by. At the same time, the smoldering mattress began giving off a dreadful smell.

Cudahy sniffed a couple of times and declared to a nearby cop, "Officer, they are marching those nurses too fast!"

Intellect may arrive at certain inferences, but intellect is an unconscious phenomenon.

You are almost behaving sleepily.

Intelligence is awakening, and unless you are fully awake, whatsoever you decide is bound to be wrong somewhere or other. It is bound to be so, it is doomed to be wrong, because it is a conclusion arrived at by an unconscious mind.

To bring intelligence into activity you don't need more information, you need more meditation. You need to become more silent, you need to become more thoughtless.

You need to become less mind and more heart. You need to become aware of the magic that surrounds you: magic that is life, magic that is God, magic that is in the green trees and the red flowers, magic that is in people's eyes. Magic is happening everywhere! All is miraculous, but because of your intellect you remain closed inside yourself, clinging to your stupid conclusions arrived at in unconsciousness or given to you by others who are as unconscious as you are.

Savita, intelligence is certainly creative because intelligence brings your totality into functioning - not only a part, a small part, the head. Intelligence vibrates your whole being; each cell of your being, each fiber of your life starts dancing, and falls in a subtle harmony with the total.

That's what creativity is: to pulsate in absolute harmony with the total. That's how one becomes a Buddha, Christ, Zarathustra. These are the real creative people.

Something like this is happening right now, here. If you are a disciple you will be able to feel something of it. If you are a devotee you will be able to drink out of this source that has become available to you. And then creativity will come to you, things will start happening on their own. Your heart will start pouring songs of joy, your hands will start transforming things. You will touch mud and it will become a lotus. You will be able to become an alchemist. But it is possible only through great awakening of intelligence, great awakening of the heart.

The second question:

Question 2:



Bal Krishna Bharti, love is prayer groping towards God. Love is poetry born out of the sheer joy of being. Love is song, dance, celebration: a song of gratitude, a dance of thankfulness, celebration for no reason at all... for this tremendous gift that goes on showering on us, for this whole universe, from the dust to the divine. Love is not what you understand it to be, hence the question.

You ask, "Everyone wants to love and to be loved. Why?"

Because love is religion at its highest; love is the suprememost religion. Love is the search for God - of course, an unconscious search in the beginning, stumbling, groping in the dark. The direction may not be right, but the intention is absolutely right.

Love is not the ordinary thing that you understand by it; it is not just a biological attraction between a man and a woman. It is that too, but that is only the beginning, just the first step. Even there, if you look deep down, it is not really an attraction between man and woman, it is an attraction between masculine energy and feminine energy. It is not an attraction between A and B; far deeper mysteries are involved even in ordinary love affairs.

Hence nobody can define love. Thousands of definitions have been tried - all have failed. Love remains indefinable, very elusive, very mercurial. The more you want to grasp of it, the more difficult it becomes, the farther away it goes. You cannot catch hold of it, you cannot manage to know what exactly it is, you cannot control it. Love remains unknowable. Man wants to know, because knowledge gives power. You would like to be powerful over love, but that is impossible; love is far bigger than you. You cannot possess it, you can only be possessed by it. Hence those people who want to possess love never come to know anything of it.

Only those who are courageous enough, only those who are gamblers, who can risk their very life and be possessed by some unknown energy, are able to know what love is.

Love is the first step towards God - hence it appears mad to those who are hung up in their heads. And because people don't understand the whole mystery of love, because they try to understand it through the mind.... It can be understood only through the heart. Remember: all that is great is available to the heart. The heart is the door to all great values of life, to all ultimate values, and the head is only a useful mechanism, a gadget - good in the marketplace but utterly useless in a temple. And love is a temple, it is not a marketplace. If you drive love into the marketplace it is reduced into ugly sexuality.

That's what people have done: rather than raising love to God, they have reduced love into ugly, animalistic sexuality. And the strange thing is, the same people - the priests, the politicians, the puritans - the same people who have reduced love into an ugly phenomenon, are against sex, are enemies of sex. And they are the people who have destroyed a tremendously potential power!

Love is a lotus hidden in the mud. The lotus is born out of mud, but you don't condemn the lotus because it is born out of mud; you don't call the lotus muddy, you don't call the lotus dirty. Love is born out of sex, and then prayer is born out of love, and then God is born out of prayer. Higher and higher and higher one goes on soaring.

But the priests and the puritans have reduced the whole phenomenon into sexuality.

And once love becomes sex it becomes ugly, one starts feeling guilty about it. And it is because of that guilt that this saying, this proverb: First sight of love, last sight of wisdom.... If you ask me, I will change it a little bit. I will say: First sight of love, first sight of wisdom.

But it depends how you look at it. If you look at the potential of it, at the highest possibility that it can reach, then love becomes a ladder. If you look only at the mud and you are utterly blind to the future of the mud, then certainly love becomes something ugly and great antagonism arises in you. But to be antagonistic to love is to be antagonistic to God.

On returning from his honeymoon, Michael phoned his father at the office.

"Good to hear from you, son. Tell me, how is married life?"

"Dad, I am really upset. I think I married a nun."

"A nun?" asked the startled father. "What do you mean?"

"Ah, you know, Dad, none in the morning and none at night."

"Oh, that!" groaned the older man. "Come for dinner Saturday and I will introduce you to the mother superior."

Once love is reduced to sexuality only, of course then the first sight of love is the last sight of wisdom. But it depends on you: why reduce it to sexuality? Why not change the baser metal into gold? Why not learn the alchemy of love? That's what I am teaching here.

And the priests, who don't know anything about love - because they have never loved, they have renounced the world of love - they go on making great systems of thought against it.

The priest stood before a hushed crowd of attentive villagers and spoke to them, "You must not use-a the pill."

A lovely signorina stepped forward and said, "Look, you no play-a the game, you no make-a the rules!"

These are the people who don't play the game but they make the rules. For centuries the priests have been making rules. It is the priesthood all over the world that has condemned a great potential source, in fact the only source, of energy. Once it is condemned, you are condemned; your whole life will become meaningless. Once sex energy is not allowed to grow to its natural heights you are going to live a miserable life.

Bal Krishna Bharti, love is the greatest gift of God. Learn the art of it. Learn the song of it, the celebration of it. It is an absolute need: just as the body cannot survive without food, the soul cannot survive without love. Love is the nourishment of the soul, it is the beginning of all that is great, it is the door of the divine.

The third question:

Question 3:



Sudharma, you don't know that God is love. You have heard me saying again and again that God is love; hence you have started repeating it. It is parrotlike. I KNOW God is love, hence it is impossible to be afraid of God. How can you be afraid of love?

Fear and love cannot exist together; their coexistence is impossible. In fact, it is the same energy that becomes fear that becomes love. If it becomes fear, there is no more energy available to become love; if it becomes love, fear disappears. It is the same energy! The same energy in a chaotic state is called fear; and when it becomes a cosmos, when it is in deep accord, it is called love. You still don't know that God is love.

You say, "I know that God is love...."

You have heard, but you don't know. This is information as far as you are concerned; it is not yet knowing, it is not your own authentic experience. And remember always that unless something becomes your own authentic experience, it is not going to transform you; hence the problem.

You say, "I know that God is love, but then why am I so afraid of him?"

You are bound to be afraid of him because you don't KNOW that God is love. You have been told by the priests for centuries that God is constantly watching you, that God wants you to be this way and not that way, that these are the ten commandments of God, follow them. And if you don't follow them, God has prepared for you a great hell.

The father preparing hellfire for his own children? - impossible, even to conceive.

The priests have made God so ugly just to dominate people, because people can be dominated only through fear. Remember this: the whole trade secret of the priests, Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan, Jaina, Buddhist - their philosophies differ but their trade secret is the same. That trade secret is: always keep people afraid, trembling. If people are afraid, they are ready to submit. If people are afraid, they are ready to be slaves. If people are afraid, they cannot gather courage to rebel. Fear keeps them impotent; fear is a psychological process of castration. For centuries it has been done:

fear has been the greatest weapon in the hands of the priests and they have used it very liberally.

The Goldbergs' son, Jake, refused to take school seriously. He never did homework and was constantly playing hooky.

The principal suggested they send him to a Yeshiva. The Goldbergs did, but after a few weeks he was expelled.

The Goldbergs knew that Catholic parochial schools were very strict, so they decided to send Jake to one. They enrolled him in Christ-the-King School for Boys, and warned their son to behave and to do his lessons, because this was his last chance. If he was thrown out now he would be sent to a school for delinquents.

After a week of parochial school, Jake came home with terrific grades. Miraculously he had been converted into a well-behaved, serious student.

"How come you changed all of a sudden?" asked Goldberg.

"Well," he answered, "when I saw some man hanging on a cross in every room, I figured I had better not be a wise guy anymore."

Make people afraid, keep them always trembling. Let them know that God is dictatorial, a very angry God, jealous, and is absolutely unable to forgive if you disobey.

Disobedience is the greatest sin in the eyes of the priests; hence Adam and Eve were expelled. They had not done much of a sin. What had they really done? Nothing much to talk about, but priests have been talking about it for centuries. And God was so angry that not only Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden of Eden, paradise - with them the whole humanity!

You are suffering because Adam and Eve disobeyed. You have not done anything wrong; you are suffering for their sin because you are descendants. The sin is so great - not only the persons are punished, but for thousands and thousands of years their descendants have to be punished too.

And what was the sin really? Why is so much fuss made about it? It was so innocent, it was so natural, that I cannot conceive how Adam and Eve could have avoided it. If anybody is responsible for it, God himself is responsible. There were millions of trees in the Garden of Eden and there was only one tree which God did not want Adam and Eve to eat from - only one tree, the forbidden. And the reason why it was forbidden also seems to be very ugly. The reason is: if you eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge, you will become like God and God is very jealous. Look at the reason why the tree was prohibited. The reason is that if you eat from the tree, from this tree, the tree of knowledge, you will become immortal, like gods. You will know as much as God knows - and that is intolerable! So God has protected that tree especially for himself - he must be eating from the tree of knowledge - and prohibited Adam and Eve.

Now this is exactly what every father goes on doing. He smokes and he prohibits the children: "Don't smoke - this is bad. This is bad for you!" But because the father looks so beautiful smoking, the children become enchanted. They would also like to be like the father - and he looks so manly when he is puffing on his cigar, he looks so proud!

He never looks so proud as when he is puffing on his cigar, resting in his chair, reading the newspaper. The children become attracted. When the father is not there they also sit on the same chair, spread the same newspaper, although they cannot read, and start puffing. And it gives them great joy because it gives them great ego.

In fact, to prohibit is to invite. To say to children, "Don't do it!" is to ask for trouble.

I used to live with a family. There was a problem: the father was a smoker, a chainsmoker - a very well-known professor in a university. And he was afraid: he asked me, "What to do?"

I said, "Do one thing...." He had only one son growing up and he was afraid that sooner or later the son would start smoking. I said, "If you listen to me, the best way is to give the son cigarettes, offer him the cigarettes yourself and tell him to smoke as much as he wants."

He said, "What are you saying? Are you mad or are you joking?"

I said, "Then leave it to me - I will manage it."

I offered the son a cigarette. He said, "But you don't smoke."

I said, "That is another matter - don't you worry about me. But YOU learn! It is one of the most beautiful things in life!"

He again asked, "But then why don't you smoke?"

I said, "You leave me out of it - I am not a very intelligent person. Look at your father!

And if I am stupid, are you going to be stupid?"

I had great difficulty in convincing him because the question he was again and again asking was, "You tell me to smoke, but why don't YOU smoke?"

I said, "You try, then you will know!"

So he tried, and he knew, and he threw the cigarette. And he said, "Now I know why you don't smoke. Then why did you insist? Then why did you try to convince me? It is nauseating, sickening!" He coughed and tears came to his eyes - and that was that, and it was finished.

And I told his father never to say to the child, "Don't smoke."

Remember the ancient story of Adam and Eve. If I had been God I would have taken Adam and Eve to the tree of knowledge and would have forced them to eat to the point that they should have started vomiting, and that would have been the end of the whole story. But God told them not to eat from this tree. That was an invitation - no serpent is needed.

The serpent is an invention of the priests so that God can be avoided; the responsibility can be thrown on the poor serpent. The serpent is simply poor; the serpent has nothing to do with it, the serpent is absolutely innocent. Have you ever seen any serpent persuading any woman for anything? And why should the serpent be interested? If he wanted to eat, nobody was prohibiting him. Why should he seduce Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge? What is he going to gain if Eve and Adam become knowledgeable? No, the serpent is an invention so that the responsibility can be thrown on him.

But if you go deep into the story it is simple: God is responsible. First you force an order on people, and just your forcing creates a resistance in them, creates a great urge to disobey. Then disobedience is sin; the greatest sin is disobedience. And then you have to create hell and all kinds of punishments, and you have to keep people afraid.

The story was invented by the priests to make man afraid. The priests never wanted man to become intelligent, because intelligent people are dangerous - dangerous to the status quo, to the establishment, dangerous to the vested interests. The priests wanted the people to remain utterly ignorant, unintelligent. For centuries they did not allow people to read scriptures. In many religions women are still not allowed.

And still a very deep conspiracy goes on. The conspiracy is that all the scriptures are in languages which are dead; nobody understands them, only the priests. Priests remained powerful for centuries because they were the only ones knowing. The scriptures were in ancient Sanskrit, Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Latin - ancient languages which are no longer spoken. There is even suspicion that there are a few languages which were never spoken. For example, Sanskrit seems to be one of the languages which has never been a spoken language. It has always been the language of the scholars, not of the people; of the pundits, not of the masses.

In India there were two languages: one was called Prakrit; PRAKRIT means "the natural," that which is spoken by the people. And Sanskrit literally means "the refined," "the aristocratic," which is spoken only by the scholars and academicians in the universities. All the great scriptures were written in Sanskrit.

It was left to Mahavira and Buddha to speak for the first time in the language of the people - and the brahmins of India have never been able to forgive these two persons for that sin. To speak in the language of the people means the power of the priests is gone. If people become knowers, if they know what is written in the scriptures, they will not be so easily befooled. In fact, you can worship the Vedas only if you don't understand them. If you understand them, ninety-nine percent is just rubbish. One percent is pure gold, certainly, but ninety-nine percent is pure rubbish. But if you don't understand them, all is gold. In darkness, anything can be given to you with the words, "It is gold - worship it!" And for centuries the Vedas have been worshipped.

Priests wanted you to worship the scriptures, not to understand them - because if you understand the scriptures, sooner or later, one thing is going to become clear to you:

that the scripture is not the real source. Sooner or later, you are bound to stumble upon the truth that, "Krishna is speaking from a meditative state, Christ is speaking from a meditative state. What he is speaking is secondary - from where he is speaking is primary. Unless I reach to that state of consciousness I will not be able to understand the words, because those words in themselves are empty; the meaning can only come through experience." Scriptures were prohibited; it was a sin.... Only the brahmins, the priests, the highest caste, were allowed to read them - all over the world.

The conspiracy still continues. Still the prayers are done in dead languages, you don't know what you are saying. How can you feel anything when you don't know what you are saying? How can it come out of your feeling and out of your heart? Your prayer becomes just like a gramophone record: ''His Master's Voice' - a repetition. And you hope that by repeating dead rituals you will arrive somewhere. You will simply waste your life.

And then great fear arises: "I don't know from where I come, who I am, where I am going. All around is darkness and darkness, infinite darkness, and not a single light in life." Then you have to go to the priest and bow down to him. You have to ask for guidance.

This is the trade secret: keep people afraid. And you can keep people afraid only if you keep them ignorant. Let them remain trembling, then they will always be ready to touch your feet, ready to obey you - because you represent God, and disobeying you is dangerous, very dangerous. They will be thrown in hell for eternity.

Greenberg, shabbily dressed and carrying two paper bags, was stopped by a customs inspector.

"What have you got in those bags?" the official asked.

"I got twenty-five thousand dollars here, which I am bringing to Israel to donate."

"C'mon," sneered the official, "you don't look like you got the price of a meal; how could you be donating twenty-five thousand dollars to the state of Israel?"

"Well, you see, I had a job in a men's room, and when the men came in I said to them, ''Give to help Israel or I will cut off your balls.'" "Alright, so you got twenty-five thousand dollars in one bag, but what is in the other bag?"

"Some men did not want to donate."

That's what priests have been doing: destroying your guts, destroying your courage, destroying your self-respect, destroying your self-trust.

Sudharma, you say, "I know that God is love, but then why am I so afraid of him?" You are still surrounded by the nonsense that priests have stuffed your head with; you are full of that rubbish. It takes time to get rid of it, it really takes a long time, because it has been going on for centuries. It has been such a long long, ugly history that it is a rare phenomenon to find a person who can escape out of it.

My whole effort here is to help you to escape out of it. I am against the whole business of priesthood. I want you to stand face-to-face with God without any priests, without any priesthood. God is yours, you are God's; there is no need of any mediator. The function of the master is not to become a mediator between you and God. Just the contrary: the function of the master is to withdraw all that comes in between you and God. He himself at the last point withdraws; between you and your God he stands no more. He stands only to a certain extent, while other things are being removed. When everything else is removed, he removes himself; that is the last thing the master does.

And the moment the master removes himself, he no longer stands between you and God, that is the moment you know that the whole existence is love. It is the stuff called love that the universe is made of.

Jesus says: God is love. I say to you: Love is God. When Jesus says: God is love, it is possible God may be many more things too; love is only one attribute. When I say: Love is God, I say love is the ONLY quality. There is nothing else in God except love; in fact it is another name of love. You can drop the name "God," nothing will be lost. Let love be your God.

But you will have to get rid of the priests. You will have to get rid of your so-called religions, churches, temples, rituals, scriptures. There is much garbage which has to be got rid of. It is a great work, because you have been told that this is very precious. The garbage has been imposed upon you as if it is gold and, because it has been told to you so many times, you have become conditioned.

People become conditioned to seeing certain things. When there is a certain conditioning, you look at things through that conditioning and it appears like that.

Two men were sitting under a tree; one was a Hindu, another was a Mohammedan.

Birds were singing, it was a beautiful spring morning. They both listened for a time, then the Hindu said, "Can you hear? All the birds are resounding the sound aum. I can hear it. I have been practicing aum for thirty years, and now I have become capable of deciphering it very easily. All the birds are resounding with the same sound: the soundless sound, the ancient sound of the Hindus, OMKAR."

The Mohammedan laughed and he said, "Nonsense! I have also been practicing my prayers. The birds are not saying aum, they are saying AMIN."

Mohammedan prayers, Christian prayers, end with amin; Christians call it AMEN, Mohammedans call it amin. Hindu prayers end with aum. There is certainly a truth somewhere, partially expressed by all the three. When the mind becomes absolutely silent a certain sound is heard. If you are a Hindu you will interpret it as aum, if you are a Mohammedan as amin, if you are a Christian as amen, but nobody can say for certain what it is. In fact it can be interpreted in so many ways - it is your interpretation that is imposed on it.

If you ask a real mystic, one who is neither Hindu nor Mohammedan nor Christian, he will say, "Sit silently by my side and listen. There is no need to interpret it at all, because whatsoever we say about it will be our imposition, it will be our idea imposed on the sound. Just listen, sit silently - I am listening to it, you also listen. I know it, you will know it. There is no need to say anything about it."

It is said, once it happened:

A great mystic, Farid, met Kabir, another great mystic. For two days they sat silently together. Yes, sometimes they laughed, giggled for no reason at all, and sometimes they hugged each other and kissed, but not a single word was spoken. Almost a thousand people had gathered - the disciples of both - with great expectations that something will be communicated, and nobody wanted to miss such a great opportunity. Kabir saying something to Farid is bound to be something rare, or Farid saying something to Kabir is bound to be something which is only heard once in a century.

But two days passed, and the disciples became fed up and bored. And the more they were bored, the more the mystics were giggling and laughing and hugging and kissing.

And then the time of departure came; Farid had to leave. Kabir went out of the town to give him a farewell, just to say goodbye. They again hugged, they again giggled, and then they departed.

The disciples of Farid followed Farid and the disciples of Kabir followed Kabir back home. When they were alone they asked, the disciples of Farid asked, "What went wrong? You are continuously talking to us - what happened? Why did you become dumb? For two days why didn't you speak, and what is all this giggling?"

Farid said, "There was no need to say anything, because I am hearing the same thing that he is hearing, I am seeing the same thing that he is seeing, so what is the point of saying anything to him? It would have been absolutely foolish on my part. When I can see he is hearing the same, seeing the same, being the same, we are encountering the same reality, what is the point of saying it?"

Then they asked, "Then why did you giggle?"

And he said, "We giggled because of you, because you were getting so bored! We were laughing at you. You had come to hear us talk - you were foolish, you missed a great opportunity. Two masters were there, utterly silent; two pools of silent energy, two doors open simultaneously to God - and you missed. And you wanted some words, some noise. You could have sat in silence, you could have become part of our silence.

You could have fallen EN RAPPORT with us. You didn't do that - you were bored, you were fed up, you were yawning. And just seeing you we giggled, we laughed at what kind of fools we have gathered!"

Nothing can be said; when you know, there is no way to express it. But if you want to express, then the word that comes closest to God is ''love'. Even that is just approximate, but very close. And the word ''God' has become associated with wrong people, with wrong notions. In fact, many people feel offended the moment you utter the word ''God'. I have no attachment to that word; you can drop it.

But remember love; I cannot tell you to drop that, because without love you will never reach God. Without God you can love, and God is bound to come in whether you know or not, whether you believe in God or not. Belief is not a requirement: love is an absolute necessity, a must. Sudharma, you have heard me say God is love. Experience it, and then all fear will disappear. And start dropping the priests and the centuries of wrong conditioning. They have made you afraid.

In fact, priests are the enemies of God, because the more people are afraid of God, the less is the possibility of their knowing God ever - because fear is a wall, not a bridge.

Love is a bridge, not a wall. Of course, fear helps the priests to live and exploit you, but it deprives you of God. Priests are in the service of the Devil. If there is somebody like a Devil, then priests are in HIS service; they are not in the service of God.

That's why so many religions are there, yet the earth remains irreligious, utterly irreligious; so many temples and so many churches and mosques, and yet you don't see the fragrance of religion. You don't see people's faces full of grace, their eyes full of silence, their feet dancing, their lives showing that God is. They may say that they believe in God, but their life says something else, totally different. Their life shows absolute irreligiousness; dishonesty, inauthenticity, insincerity, hate, anger, greed - nothing of prayer, nothing of love, nothing of compassion, nothing of meditativeness.

Sudharma, meditate, love - and forget the priests, drive them out of your being. You are suffering from hang-ups.

The fourth question:

Question 4:



Shivananda, a pessimist is an optimist who has become frustrated with his optimism.

He hoped too much and failed, he dreamed too much and could not achieve anything substantial.

The pessimist is an optimist standing on his head; they are not different fellows - that's what I want to make clear to you. Unless you have been an optimist you can never be a pessimist. First you have to become an optimist.

And each child is brought up with great optimism. All parents think that they have great children. Ask any mother: she thinks she has the unique child; the most superior, rare, incomparable. Each mother brags about the child. Parents bring up children with great optimism that they are going to be Alexander the Greats or Jesus Christs or Gautam Buddhas.

But slowly slowly life proves just the contrary. Slowly slowly, the child becomes aware of his ordinariness. He becomes aware that these great dreams, that these great ambitions, cannot be fulfilled. And by the time one is coming closer to forty, forty-two, pessimism starts settling - gloom, darkness....

Now medical science is aware that most heart attacks happen nearabout forty to forty- four, between those four years. Most people go mad between those four years, forty to forty-four. Psychologists, psychoanalysts, are aware that that is the most dangerous time. If you can remain sane beyond forty-four, that means you will remain sane. But many people fall flat.

And don't think that if you are sane even beyond forty-four... that does not mean that you are very intelligent. It may only be that you are very dull and it takes a long time for you to understand. It may only be that you are very insensitive. It may only be that you are foolhardy, that you don't listen to life, what life is saying, that you go on hoping.

But sooner or later, a person starts feeling that life has gone down the drain. Optimism turns sour and becomes pessimism. Optimism, that hopefulness, turns upside-down; a hopelessness settles in. Then everything looks dark and dismal. First you used to count the roses, now you start counting the thorns. First you used to say, "How beautiful this roseflower and what a miracle! It grows amongst thousands of thorns." You were poetic, you had some aesthetic sense; you still believed that life is going to be a fulfillment.

But soon the day comes when the roses start fading away and you start counting the thorns, and you cannot believe in the roses anymore. You start saying, "It is impossible!

The rose must be a dream, the rose must be MAYA, illusion, hallucination. How is it possible amongst thousands of thorns, how is a rose possible?" It looks contradictory, it looks illogical, it cannot happen in the nature of things. You start counting nights; before, you used to count days.

The optimist says, "There are two days, and between two days just a small night to rest." And the pessimist counts the nights; he says, "There are two long nights - nightmares, ugly dreams, tortures - and just a small day sandwiched between the two."

Life is the same: you can count the days or you can count the nights. If you count the days you are an optimist, if you count the nights you are a pessimist, but there is really no difference.

The optimist can become a pessimist, the pessimist can become an optimist. They are not contraries; they are two points on the same spectrum.

One has to go beyond both, Shivananda. A sannyasin has to go beyond both - neither hope nor hopelessness. No need to count days, no need to count nights. Be a watcher!

No need to count thorns, no need to count roses. Be a watcher....

I don't teach you optimism. In the West it is very fashionable nowadays; it is called "positive thinking." That is a new name for optimism; the old name has become a little too out of fashion, out-of-date. The new name is positive thinking. I don't teach you positive thinking, because positive thinking carries the negative in its wake.

I teach you transcendence - neither positive nor negative. Be a watcher: witness both.

When there is day, witness the day, and when there is night, witness the night - and don't get identified with either. You are neither the day nor the night; you are the transcendental consciousness. Become more and more centered there in that transcendence.

True religion is not positive, nor is it negative. It is neither via negativa nor via positiva; it is via transcendence.

One September morning after Labor Day, Levin and Ostrow met for lunch. They had not seen each other for several months.

"I have just lived through a summer I never thought I would see," said Levin. "June was a disaster - never have I seen a June like that. When July came, I realized that June was terrific, because with July I went right into the cellar. July was so bad...."

"For heaven's sake!" interrupted Ostrow. "Why are you coming to me with these piddling matters? You wanna hear real trouble? I got it. Yesterday my only son came home, told me he is gonna marry another fella. My boy is a homosexual! What could be worse than that?"

"I will tell you," said Levin, "August!"

Just wait! There are people who are continuously looking for the negative - and if you look for the negative you will find it, because the negative is there in the same proportion as the positive. If you look for the positive, you will find the positive. But by finding the positive you cannot destroy the negative; the negative is there, side by side.

They are always together like negative and positive poles of electricity. You can't have electricity with one pole, you will need both.

Life needs both: thorns and roses, days and nights, happiness/unhappiness, birth/death.

Be a witness to it all and you will know something that is beyond birth, beyond death; something that is beyond darkness and beyond light; something that is beyond happiness, beyond unhappiness. Buddha has called it peace, nirvana.

The last question:

Question 5:



Sargam, I will just tell you a story. Meditate over it.

The hired boy gets the youngest girl in the farmer's family to go out into the hayloft with him. She comes back and tells her sister, "Say, the hired boy sure knows some good tricks!"

The sister goes out to the hayloft too, and comes back saying the same, followed by the mother, and finally the farmer himself who has heard his wife's remark that, "The hired boy certainly knows some tricks."

When the boy sees the farmer coming, he thinks fast and begins doing cartwheels and acrobatic tricks all over the walls of the barn. The farmer watches him and then goes back and tells his assembled wife and daughters, "Guess you are right. That boy sure knows some fancy tricks."

"God almighty!" cry the wife and daughters. "Did he fuck you too?"

Sargam, meditate over it. If you can't trust anybody that means you must be deceiving others. It is not a question of others, it is a question of you. You must be deceiving, and if you are deceiving, how can you trust? You can trust only if you allow others to trust you.

It is better to be deceived than to deceive, because if you deceive, you lose the greatest treasure of your life: you lose the capacity to trust. And let me repeat: the capacity to trust is the greatest treasure of life, because without it neither love is possible, nor prayer is possible, nor God is possible.

Enough for today.

The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 4

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Fourteenth Degree (Perfect Elu)

"I do most solemnly and sincerely swear on the Holy Bible,
and in the presence of the Grand Architect of the Universe ...
Never to reveal ... the mysteries of this our Sacred and High Degree...

In failure of this, my obligation,
I consent to have my belly cut open,
my bowels torn from thence and given to the hungry vultures.

[The initiation discourse by the Grand Orator also states,
"to inflict vengeance on traitors and to punish perfidy and