The first question:
Prem Peter, I am not against science, but I am certainly for a different kind of science, with a totally different quality to it. Science as it exists now is very lopsided; it takes account only of the material, it leaves the spiritual out of it - and that is very dangerous.
If man is only matter, all meaning disappears from life. What meaning can life have if man is only matter? What poetry is possible, what significance, what glory? The idea that man is matter reduces man to a very undignified state. The so-called science takes all the glory of man away from him. That's why there is such a feeling of meaninglessness all over the world.
People are feeling utterly empty. Yes, they have better machines, better technology, better houses, better food, than ever. But all this affluence, all this material progress, is of no value unless you have insight - something that transcends matter, body, mind - unless you have a taste of the beyond. And the beyond is denied by science.
Science divides life into two categories: the known and the unknown. Religion divides life into three categories: the known, the unknown and the unknowable. Meaning comes from the unknowable. The known is that which was unknown yesterday, the unknown is that which will become known tomorrow. There is no qualitative difference between the known and the unknown, only a question of time.
The unknowable is qualitatively different from the known/ unknown world.
Unknowable means the mystery remains; howsoever deep you go into it, you cannot demystify it. In fact, on the contrary, the deeper you go, the more the mystery deepens.
A moment comes in the religious explorer's life when he disappears into the mystery like a dewdrop evaporating in the morning sun. Then only mystery remains. That is the highest peak of fulfillment, of contentment; one has arrived home. You can call it God, nirvana, or whatsoever you like.
I am not against science - my approach is basically scientific. But science has limitations, and I don't stop where science stops; I go on, I go beyond. Use science, but don't be used by it. It is good to have great technology; certainly it helps man to get rid of stupid work, certainly it helps man to get rid of many kinds of slavery. Technology can help man and animals both. Animals are also tortured; they are suffering very much because we are using them. Machines can replace them, machines can do all the work.
Man and animals can both be free.
And I would like a humanity which is totally free from work, because in that state you will start growing - in aesthetic sense, sensitivity, relaxation, meditation. You will become more artistic and you will become more spiritual because you will have time and energy available.
I am not against science, I am not antiscience at all. I would like the world to have more and more of science, so that man can become available for something higher, for something which a poor man cannot afford.
Religion is the ultimate in luxury. The poor man has to think about bread and butter - he cannot even manage that. He has to think about a shelter, clothes, children, medicine, and he cannot manage these small things. His whole life is burdened by trivia; he has no space, no time to devote to God. And even if he goes to the temple or to the church, he goes to ask only for material things. His prayer is not true prayer, it is not that of gratitude; it is a demand, a desire. He wants this, he wants that - and we cannot condemn him, he has to be forgiven. The needs are there and he is constantly under a weight. How can he find a few hours just to sit silently, doing nothing? The mind goes on thinking. He has to think about the tomorrow.
Jesus says: Look at the lilies in the field; they toil not, they don't think of the morrow.
And they are far more beautiful than even Solomon, the great king, in all his grandeur, ever was.
True, the lilies toil not and they don't think of the morrow. But can you say it to a poor man? If he does not think of the morrow, then tomorrow is death. He has to prepare for it; he has to think from where he is going to get his food, where he is going to be employed. He has to think. He has children and a wife, he has an old mother and an old father. He cannot be like the lilies of the field. How can he avoid toil, labor, work? - that will be suicidal.
The lilies are certainly beautiful and I totally agree with Jesus, but Jesus' statement is not yet applicable to the greater part of humanity. Unless humanity becomes very rich, the statement will remain just theoretical; it will not have any practical use.
I would like the world to be richer than it is. I don't believe in poverty and I don't believe that poverty has anything to do with spirituality. Down the ages it has been told that poverty is something spiritual; it was just a consolation.
Just the other day, a French couple wrote a letter to me. They must be new arrivals here, they don't understand me. They must have come with certain prejudices. They were worried, very much worried. They wrote in the letter that, "We don't understand a few things. Why does this ashram look luxurious? This is against spirituality. Why do you drive in a beautiful car? This is against spirituality."
Now, for these three or four days I have been driving in an Impala. It is not a very beautiful car; in America it is the car of the plumbers! But in a sense I am also a plumber - the plumber of the mind. I fix nuts and bolts. It is a poor man's car. In America, the people who use Chevrolet Impalas, etcetera, their neighborhood is called the Chevrolet neighborhood - that means poor people's neighborhood.
But this French couple must have the old idea that poverty has something spiritual about it. Man has lived so long in poverty that he HAD to console himself, otherwise it would have been intolerable. He had to convince himself that poverty is spiritual.
Poverty is not spiritual - poverty is the source of all crimes.
And I would like to tell the couple that, "If you want to cling to your beliefs and prejudices, this is not the place for you. Please get lost! - the sooner the better, because you may be corrupted here. Listening to me is dangerous for you."
To me, spirituality has a totally different dimension. It is the ultimate luxury - when you have all and suddenly you see that, although you have all, deep inside there is a vacuum which has to be filled, an emptiness which has to be transformed into a plenitude. One becomes aware of the inner emptiness only when one has everything on the outside. Science can do that miracle. I love science, because it can create the possibility for religion to happen.
Up to now, religion has not happened on the earth. We have talked about religion but it has not happened; it has not touched the hearts of the millions. Only once in a while a person has been able to become enlightened. In a big garden where millions of bushes and trees are, if only once in a while in thousands of years a flower comes to a tree, you will not call it a garden. You will not be thankful to the gardener. You will not say, "The gardener is great, because look: after one thousand years, out of millions of trees, one tree has again blossomed with one flower." If this happens that simply shows it must have happened in spite of the gardener! Somehow he has forgotten about the tree, somehow he has neglected the tree, somehow the tree has escaped his grip.
Man has lived irreligiously: talking about God, certainly - going to the church, to the temple, to the mosque - yet his life showing no flavor of religion.
My vision of religion is totally different. It has nothing to do with poverty. I would like the whole earth to become as rich as paradise - richer than paradise - so that people can stop thinking about paradise. Paradise was created by poor people just to console themselves that, "Here we are suffering, but it is not for long. Only a few days more, or a few years, and death will come and we will be transported into paradise." And what a consolation! - that those who are rich here will be thrown into hell.
Jesus says a camel can pass through the eye of the needle, but the rich man cannot pass through the gate of heaven. What consolation! The poor people must have felt very satisfied, contented, that, "It is only a question of a few days more: then you will be in hellfire and I will sit in the lap of God, with all the luxuries, with all the riches, with all the joys that I am deprived of here and you are enjoying." The idea of paradise seems to be just a revenge.
I would like this earth to be a paradise - and it cannot happen without science. So how can I be antiscience? Peter, I am not antiscience. But science is not all. Science can create only the circumference; the center has to be that of religion. Science is exterior, religion is interior. And I would like men to be rich on both sides: the exterior should be rich and the interior should be rich. Science cannot make you rich in your inner world; that can be done only by religion.
If science goes on saying there is no inner world, then I am certainly against such statements - but that is not being against science, just against these particular statements. These statements are stupid, because the people who are making these statements have not known anything of the inner.
Karl Marx says religion is the opium of the people - and he has never experienced any meditation. His whole life was wasted in the British Museum, thinking, reading, collecting notes, preparing for his great work, DAS KAPITAL. And he was so much into trying to gain more and more knowledge that it happened many times - he would faint in the British Museum! He would have to be carried unconscious to his home. And it was almost an everyday thing that he would have to be forced to leave the museum - because the museum has to close sometime, it cannot remain open for twenty-four hours.
He had never heard about meditation; he knew only thinking and thinking. But still in a way he is right, that the old religiousness has served as a kind of opium. It has helped poor people to remain poor; it has helped them to remain contented as they are, hoping for the best in the next life. In that way he is right. But he is not right if we take into consideration a Buddha, a Zarathustra, a Lao Tzu - then he is not right. And these are the really religious people, not the masses; the masses know nothing of religion.
I would like you to be enriched by Newton, Edison, Eddington, Rutherford, Einstein; and I would like you also to be enriched by Buddha, Krishna, Christ, Mohammed, so that you can become rich in both the dimensions - the outer and the inner. Science is good as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough - and it cannot go. I am not saying that it can go and it does not go. No, it CANNOT go into the interiority of your being.
The very methodology of science prevents it from going in. It can go only outwards, it can study only objectively; it cannot go into the subjectivity itself. That is the function of religion.
The society needs science, the society needs religion. And if you ask me what should be the first priority - science should be the first priority. First the outer, the circumference, then the inner - because the inner is more subtle, more delicate.
Science can create the space for real religion to exist on the earth.
The second question:
Saroj, the buddhas have always been condemned by the ordinary masses, but the ordinary masses are not responsible for it. They are unconscious. We cannot make them responsible for it. They can't help it - they are fast asleep. And the buddhas disturb their sleep; the buddhas make every possible effort to wake them up. Nobody wants to be disturbed in one's sleep, and one may be having beautiful dreams, sweet, nice dreams....
People want to remain unconscious. Consciousness is unknown to them and they are naturally afraid of the unknown. With the known they are secure, safe, and everybody else is just like them.
When buddhas happen, they create a great disturbance. They cannot help it, either.
When they become awakened they come to know such bliss, such silence, such heights of ecstasy, such orgasmic joy, that it starts overflowing, that great compassion arises in them. They can see people moving, walking in sleep; they start shaking them, shocking them.
So it is an absolutely natural phenomenon. People become angry because you are disturbing their dreams - their anger can be understood. Buddhas become compassionate - they cannot help it. When you are blissful, compassion comes as a shadow, it follows you. Out of their compassion, they start waking people up. Naturally there arises a conflict.
And the people simply want not to be disturbed. They don't want awakening, they want opium. It feels very good; at least it keeps them unaware of the real problems of life.
Buddhas know it perfectly well, that trying to wake people up is getting into danger.
But it is worth it.... And because they now know they are indestructible - they have come to know the eternal in themselves, what can the people do? They can crucify - let them crucify. The body is going to die anyway. They can torture, but the torture cannot reach to the buddhas. The suffering remains on the outside, it cannot come in. The buddhas remain alert, watchful, witnessing. Everything is outside; nothing can penetrate into their innermost core.
So they don't feel that they should avoid waking people up, disturbing people. The moment they become awakened they rush to the masses. When they were not awakened they went to the forests, to the mountains, to some place where they could be alone. All the buddhas - Jesus, Mohammed, Mahavira, Gautama - they all went into solitude. They avoided the masses when they were themselves asleep. But the moment they became awakened, the moment they saw the beauty and the benediction of life, the moment they saw the eternal beauty of existence, they rushed back to the marketplace - all of them - to give the message to the people, because the people are starving for spiritual food, although they are not aware that they are not nourished. Their souls are asleep; they are alive but not really alive.
And when buddhas speak to these people they bring a totally new kind of language.
People cannot understand it. They can only misunderstand it - they are bound to misunderstand it, it is so new!
Jacobs went into Levine's clothing store to ask the price of a suit on display in the window.
"You picked the best suit in the place," said Levine, "and to show you that I like to do business with a man who has got such good taste, I am gonna make you a special proposition. I will not ask you one hundred dollars for the suit. I will not ask you ninety. I will not ask you seventy. Sixty dollars is the price for you, my friend."
Jacobs replied, "I won't give you sixty, I won't give you fifty. My offer is forty."
"Sold," said Levine. "That's the way I like to do business - no chiseling."
People have a certain language - their language. Buddhas speak a totally different language; it comes from a different plane. People live in fear; buddhas live in freedom.
People live in misery; buddhas live in ecstasy. How can they communicate?
Communication is impossible.
Lanagan, aged eighty-eight, was on his deathbed and Father Feeney was trying to administer the final blessing.
"Open your eyes," said the father, "we have got to save your immortal soul."
Lanagan opened one eye, closed it, and tried to doze off. He was having a nice sleep.
"Come on, now!" cried the priest. "If you don't want to go to confession, at least answer me this: do you renounce the Devil and all his works?"
"Well, I don't know, Father," said Lanagan opening his eyes. "At a time like this it ain't smart to antagonize anybody!"
The people want to be left alone - don't disturb them. But buddhas are bound to disturb them. If somebody is responsible then buddhas are responsible, because they are conscious people. And I say it on my own authority: if people are against me, the responsibility is mine, not theirs - they are doing the natural thing. But what can I do? I am also doing the natural thing - but we exist on different planes.
And this struggle is bound to continue forever.
Three explorers - a priest, a businessman, and a Sufi - were passing through a dangerous jungle. As the days went by, the number of hostile wild beasts who circled around them became larger and larger. Eventually they had to take refuge in a tree.
After a council of war they decided that one of them should go for help, since if they stayed as they were, fear, hunger and fatigue would eventually force them to fall into the jaws of the ravenous beasts.
But they could not decide who should go. "Not me," said the priest, "for I am a man of God, and I should stay to comfort whoever is left behind."
"Not me," said the businessman, "because I am paying all the expenses of the trip."
The Sufi said nothing, but suddenly pushed the priest off his branch. He fell to the ground, and immediately a fierce pack of hyenas picked him up, fought off all the other animals, and placed him reverently on the back of the largest of their number. Then, guarding him carefully, they escorted him towards safety.
"A miracle!" cried the businessman. "After your cruelty, divine guidance has intervened to save that good man. I am, from this moment on, converted to a good and holy life."
"Steady on," said the Sufi, "for there is, after all, another explanation."
"What other explanation can there possibly be?" shouted the businessman.
"Simply this: that it takes one to know one," said the Sufi, "and the smallest always recognize their leader and honor him...."
Saroj, you ask me, "Why are the frauds worshipped and buddhas tortured?"
The frauds are understood easily; they speak the same language as the people. The frauds are understood because the frauds are serving people in their sleep, they are offering them opium. The frauds are understood, respected, worshipped, because the frauds are not a disturbance - not at all.
P.D. Ouspensky has dedicated his great book - one of the greatest ever written, IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS - to his master, George Gurdjieff, with these words:
"To my master, George Gurdjieff, who disturbed my sleep forever."
The third question:
Prem Anuradha, one never comes to know who one is. If one comes to know who one is, then he must be wrong - because this infinite that resides in you is UNKNOWABLE, not unknown. You can go searching into it....
To send you into that adventure, the buddhas have been telling you again and again:
Know thyself. Don't misunderstand them - they have been misunderstood. Because Socrates says: Know thyself, people think they can know; otherwise, why should Socrates say: Know thyself? Socrates is not saying that you CAN know yourself; he is saying try to know thyself. In knowing yourself you will come across the unknowable.
The very endeavor to know yourself will bring you to the infinite ocean of life.
You will never know who you are, you will not be able to answer. You will not be able to say that, "I am A or B or C." Whatever answer you bring is going to be wrong.
When you become silent, utterly silent - no answer, all answers that you had before have been dissolved and no new answer has come up; not only the answer has not come up, even the question is no longer remembered.... When the question and answer both are not there, in that deep silence, in that stillness, there is a kind of knowing that never becomes knowledge - a kind of awareness, a kind of light, that enlightens you, yet you cannot inform anybody about it. You cannot even make a theory out of it for yourself. You will be utterly dumb.
Anuradha, this is a beautiful experience. This is how it should be. This is how it feels as you come closer and closer to satori, to samadhi.
You say, "I don't know who I am."
This is the beginning of real knowing. This state of a recognized ignorance is the first step into the temple of God.
You say, "I don't know who I am and I never could know who you are."
That too is true. If you cannot know who you are, how can you know who I am? - because we are the same, we are one. You are unknowable, I am unknowable; we belong to the same mystery, we are part of the same orgasmic whole.
It is an ecstasy, a bliss. It is a benediction. You can dance in it, you can sing in it, you can overflow with love through it, but it never becomes knowledge. Yes, sometimes it can become a song, a Song of Solomon....
Meditate over the Song of Solomon. It is one of the most beautiful songs ever sung - and it has not been understood by the Jews and the Christians. In fact, they feel a little embarrassed because it looks so sexual. It certainly looks sexual, because sex is the only possible language that comes closest to the spiritual. It is the sex energy that becomes spiritual energy. So it is perfectly right that the Song of Songs, the Song of Solomon, has such sensuality around it. It is so sensuous, it is incomparably sensuous! Nothing else has ever been written, sung, with such profound sensuality.
But the so-called religious person thinks a religious person has to be absolutely antisense, antisex; he can't be sensate and he can't be sensuous. That is utterly wrong.
The religious person is more sensuous than anybody else, because he is more alive. And when you want to express the ultimate, the only possible way is to express it through the deepest human experience - of sexual orgasm. Ecstasy cannot be expressed in any other way.
We are part of one organic, orgasmic whole. This whole existence is in a deep, sensuous play. Yes, you can feel it, you can taste it, but you cannot know it. Forget all about knowing it! The whole effort is an exercise in utter futility.
It is good, Anuradha, that you understand that you cannot know yourself and you understand that you cannot know me either.
You say, "All I know is that this someone-or-other loves you, whoever you are."
It is a tremendously beautiful experience. Anuradha is simply stating something inexpressible. Difficult it is to express, but she has come very close; she has almost hit the target. Yes, this is how it is felt between a master and a disciple, because it is the greatest love affair there is. Exactly like this it is felt: "All I know is that this someone-or- other loves you, whoever you are."
Only a great love is felt - love pulsating between the master and the disciple. Slowly slowly, there is neither master nor disciple; only love remains.
And you say, "Oh, Beloved Master - you are such a sweet apple to eat in the dark."
Yes, love is a taste - the taste of tao. But Anuradha, why in the dark?
I am reminded:
A rabbi was asked, "Why does a Jewish wife close her eyes when making love?"
The rabbi said, "Heaven forbid she should see her husband having a good time!"
Anuradha, why in the dark? Let me also have a good time! Let me also see it and experience it.
But I can understand why she is saying it. Yes, in the dark you taste more. Because our eyes cannot function, the energy that moves through the eyes becomes available to other senses. In the dark you hear better. If you want to hear music, it is good to listen in the dark; you will hear better. Because the eyes are no longer functioning, the energy becomes available to the ears.
In the dark you will taste better because the energy will move to the tongue, and the eyes are using eighty percent of your energy. When you are eating, if you are seeing, then eighty percent is involved in seeing and only twenty percent is available to the other four senses - so to each sense nearabout five percent. That's why our other senses have become retarded. We don't taste, we don't hear, we don't touch. If you touch in darkness you will feel more, you will know the texture. And if you hear in darkness, the music will penetrate to the very heart.
Eyes have become very oppressive, very exploitative - they have become dictatorial.
They have absorbed all the energy, which is not their right; it has to be distributed back.
Each sense should have at least twenty percent of the energy. Yes, sometimes, when you want to go into one sense very deeply, you can make the whole energy available for it. Close your ears, plug them; close your eyes, blindfold them; close your nose - and then eat. And you will be surprised: such subtle nuances of taste you have never known before, because the whole hundred percent of your energy is moving through the tongue.
So I understand why Anuradha says, "Oh, Beloved Master - you are such a sweet apple to eat in the dark."
But, Anuradha, an apple is a dangerous thing! You know what happened to Adam and Eve.... But I am making available to you the same apples, because to me the serpent who seduced Eve to eat the apple was the greatest benefactor of humanity. Without him there would have been no humanity at all. You would not have been here; no Buddha, no Jesus, no Mohammed, no Bahauddin, no Mansoor.... It is all because of the serpent.
The serpent is the real founding father of humanity - the whole credit goes to him. That apple proved of great significance.
I am not prohibiting you from anything - no prohibition. I am making available to you all the joys of life. Eat them, be nourished by them. I am against the biblical idea of creating inhibitions, repressions, taboos. I am against the very idea of God telling Adam and Eve not to eat from a certain tree. It is against freedom and it is against growth and it is against maturity.
But that's how religions have functioned in the past. These stories are created by the so- called priests. Their whole idea of religion is that of repression, because it is only through repression that man can be reduced to a slave. It is only through repression that man can be exploited, oppressed. It is only through repression that man's intelligence can be destroyed.
Eat all the apples that life makes available to you. Nothing is prohibited - because it is only through experiences of all kinds that one becomes enriched. And if you are not really rich in experiences - of good and bad - you will never become enlightened.
Enlightenment is not possible for those who have lived only a poor, saintly life. It is not for those who have lived only the poor life of a sinner. It is for those who have lived life in its totality, who have known all that is dark and who have known all that is light, who have moved into all the polarities.
A real maturity happens only when you learn how one walks on a tightrope: sometimes leaning to the left just to keep balance, and sometimes leaning to the right just to keep balance. When he feels that he may fall towards the left, he immediately leans towards the right. If he leans too much to the right, to balance it he starts leaning towards the left. Leaning right and left, he keeps himself in the middle.
Don't be a leftist, otherwise you will fall; and don't be a rightist, otherwise you will fall.
Be both, and both in such a balance, in such a synthesis, that you can remain walking on the tightrope. Life is a tightrope stretched between two hilltops. Unless you walk with full awareness, sensitivity, intelligence, you will not reach to the other shore.
The buddha is talking of the other shore. The other shore is available only to those who grow in intelligence. Priests want you to remain stupid and buddhas want you to become more and more intelligent. Hence there is a conflict between the priests and the buddhas.
Jesus was crucified not by criminals but by the rabbis, by the priests. Socrates was not poisoned by bad people but by the respectable ones. Why? - because Socrates was trying to make life available to his disciples in its totality. What was his crime? The crime for which the people of Athens - the respectable people, the highest strata of the society - dragged him into the court was that he was corrupting the youth. He was making life available to his disciples in its totality - and he was condemned as a corrupter of youth.
I am also condemned as a corrupter of youth. It seems humanity has not grown at all; we are moving in circles. If Socrates comes back he will not find it difficult to understand man. He will find it very difficult to understand a car or a radio or a television; it may be really inconceivable for him what these things are, how they function. Ordinary things that you never think about - electricity - he will not be able to understand. But he will be absolutely able to understand man, because man has not grown at all. Man is the same - is doing the same, is behaving in the same foolish way.
People are against me because I am making all the apples available to you. Eat them.
Live life in its totality.
And, Anuradha, soon - the day is not far off - many of you are going to become enlightened in this life. I can see you moving closer and closer to the point from where the ego disappears.
Now Anuradha is getting into difficulties: her memory is disappearing, she can't remember much. And of course Arup is worried, because Anuradha helps her in writing letters and she cannot remember.... Even to write a single letter she takes at least one hour. But as far as I am concerned, I am immensely happy - it is Arup's problem! I am immensely happy. The past is disappearing, the memory is becoming totally different. Now more important things are happening which have to be remembered; the ordinary, the mundane, cannot be remembered.
And the ego is disappearing. Anuradha has become almost empty. I say "almost" - just a little bit is left. Once that little bit is gone, the beyond will start showering on her. The first flowers have started opening, the spring is close by.
Anuradha, feel blessed. The spring is very close by, and I am immensely pleased with you.
The fourth question:
Prem Sohan, do you think watching and awareness is a small thing? You ask me, "Is watching and awareness all there is to do?"
Just do it! - and you will know that nothing is left to be done anymore. Don't philosophize about it, don't go on thinking about it. Of course, the word 'awareness'
does not seem very big. And if you look in the dictionary the meaning is there: it is not so fantastic, it is not that far out.
You know your problems existentially, and you know the solution only intellectually - that is the problem. You will have to know your solution also existentially. Awareness contains all the religions of the world, all the scriptures of the world, all that has ever been said by all the enlightened people. This simple word contains all; it is like a small key. Don't throw it "... because it is so small - how can it open the doors, all the doors of the great palace?" It is a master key! And keys are not that big; you don't have to carry them in trucks, you can keep the key in the pocket. It is just a small thing, but it can unlock great doors, many doors. If it is a master key it can unlock all the locks.
Awareness is the key.
You say, "How to tame...? I either control, repress and stop myself, or I am led by my senses and driven by my 'animal'."
Yes, these are the two alternatives if you don't attain to awareness. Either you will repress and control - which is ugly, which will make you unnatural, which will make you ill at ease with yourself, which will drive you ultimately into a kind of insanity...
because you are repressing your own energies, which need to be transformed, not repressed. And energies repressed are dangerous; they will explode.
And your senses have their own aliveness. If you repress them you will become dull, you will become insensitive. You will become insensitive to beauty, to joy, to music, to poetry, to all that has any intrinsic value.
That's why your so-called monks, your mahatmas, your saints, are utterly insensitive.
They can't see any beauty anywhere, they can't see any joy anywhere. And if you live with them for a few days you will know they are joy-killers; they will destroy your joy also, they will make you embarrassed if you are happy. They will ask such questions as, "Why are you happy? What is there to be happy about in this life? Life is misery! Why are you laughing and giggling? What is there to laugh about? Crying is okay, tears are accepted - they are religious. But giggling? - that is not religious."
Just the other day one person has written to me, "You must be the first enlightened one who is telling jokes." Yes, that is true - at least I can claim that much originality!
Otherwise it is very difficult to claim any originality in this world; there is nothing new under the sun. For millions and millions of years man has existed and thousands and thousands of enlightened people have existed; they have done almost everything that can be done. I was really searching what to do - something new! Then I stumbled upon jokes. I said, "This is right!"
If you repress you will become humorless, you will lose all sense of humor. Your saints cannot laugh, and a man who cannot laugh is not a man; he becomes subhuman. Horses don't laugh, buffaloes don't laugh, donkeys don't tell jokes to each other. Laughter is absolutely human; no other animal laughs. And if one morning, just going for a walk, a donkey suddenly starts laughing, you will go crazy! You will not even be able to report to anybody that this has happened; they will think that you are mad.
It is man's privilege to laugh. Laughter has something divine about it; laughter has something which is available only to man. Only man can laugh, because he can sense the absurd, the ridiculous; because he can see through and through, and he can see all around such stupidity pretending to be wise, fools pretending to be intelligent, intellectual - the intelligentsia.
Never repress. Repression will destroy all that is human in you. And once the human is destroyed you cannot attain to the divine, because humanness is the bridge.
Man is a bridge between the animal and the divine. And the animal is also beautiful because the animal has aliveness. That is exactly the meaning of the word 'animal'. It comes from 'anima' - aliveness, life, vitality. Your saints become nonvital because they destroy the animal. They don't tame it, they destroy it - to destroy they find easier.
Taming needs art, it needs great art. To kill a tiger is simple. To ride on the tiger and come back home... it is dangerous and it is arduous and it needs great art. And so is the case with all your senses: they have their own sensitivity, a little intelligence of their own. Have you observed it? - that your senses have their own intelligence, their own small minds.
You are asleep and a cockroach starts crawling - what else in India? - a cockroach starts crawling up your leg, and you remain asleep and the leg simply throws the cockroach away. The leg has its own intelligence, its own built-in alertness; it functions on its own. Your sleep remains undisturbed. You eat - your stomach must have its own intelligence; otherwise it is a very complicated process to digest, to transform bread into blood. Scientists have not yet been able to do it mechanically. They have not been able to create machines which can transform bread into blood. Your stomach must have an intelligence of its own - and it does not ask you at all. Once you have taken anything down the throat you forget all about it; now it is up to the stomach to do the whole work. And the work is really complicated, immensely complicated: sorting out different elements, sending those different elements to different parts of the body....
You have wounded your hand. Immediately your hand, your blood circulation, your body starts a healing process. Your mind is not needed at all.
Remember that forcing your senses into some repressed state will take your vitality.
You will not be fresh, you will not be young, you will not be flowing. That's what has happened to humanity at large: because of wrong religious teachings, people have become dull, stupid.
There is one woman in Soviet Russia who can read with her fingers - and not braille; she can read ordinary books with her fingers, with closed eyes, blindfolded. She says that she can see through the fingers. There are people whose fingers are so sensitive, by touching you they will know much about you that even you may not be aware of. Just shaking hands with you they know much about you. Your hand gives them a kind of information: whether it is cold or warm, friendly or unfriendly, or indifferent. A sensitive person, just by shaking hands with you, has already become aware of many things about you, has already known much about you.
Each sense has its beauty and has to contribute to your intelligence. So please, don't repress, don't control.
While rambling along the railroad tracks, Isaac found twenty dollars. He walked a little further and felt his corns pinch. "Feet," he said, "I'm gonna buy you a brand-new pair of shoes."
He continued his walk, but soon felt the hot sun on his forehead. "Old top," promised Isaac, "I'll get you a cool, shady hat."
Just then Isaac's stomach grumbled. "Okay, belly," he said, "I will buy you a fine meal."
Isaac resumed his journey. Five minutes later, he stopped in shock. He looked downward at the front of his pants and hollered, "Hey, big stiff, who told YOU we came into big money?"
Each sense of the body has its own intelligence. No sense has to be curtailed; each sense has to be given freedom joyously. Each sense has to be nourished in its aliveness. Only then will you know that all your senses create an orchestra, a great melody.
But I understand your trouble; this is the trouble of almost everybody in the world.
Either you control or you start indulging, and you don't know how to remain exactly in the middle. Indulgence is also destructive. Repression is destructive, indulgence is destructive - because these are two extremes. One fasts for many days; he is trying to control, repress his hunger, his body's needs. Another eats too much, goes on stuffing.
It is said that Nero used to have four physicians always around him because he was a lover, a mad lover, of food; he was obsessed with food. He would eat too much, and the physicians' work was to help him vomit so that he could eat again. And this he would do many times in the day. Otherwise you can eat only once, if you live in a primitive, aboriginal part of Africa... because for centuries they have eaten only once, and that is enough. If you live in India you will eat twice, if you live in America five times. But Nero was eating sometimes even twenty times a day. Now, this is indulgence, mad indulgence! This is again going to dull your senses. His belly must have been going berserk, his body must have been feeling a kind of insanity.
One has to be in the middle, the golden mean. That is Buddha's teaching.
There is a beautiful story in Buddha's life:
He came to Shravasti, one of the greatest cities of those days. It must have been something like the Paris of India of those days, because its beauty is described so much in the scriptures. And Buddha also must have loved the town very much, because in his forty-two years' teaching he came at least twenty times to Shravasti; that is the most times he ever visited any place. Sarnath he visited only once - because of the mosquitoes. Sarnath has really big mosquitoes; Poona mosquitoes are nothing, Poonaites are nothing!
When I was staying with a Buddhist monk in Sarnath, we had to sit behind a mosquito net the whole day - he in his bed, I in mine - and we had to talk.... I told him, "This is my first and last visit. I am not coming back again to Sarnath."
He said, "Do you know, Buddha himself never visited twice."
I had not known that. I said, "You tell me...."
He said, "Yes, he came here only once - to Shravasti twenty times, Sarnath only once.
What is the reason?" And we joked.
I said, "The reason is clear: he didn't have mosquito nets. In the first place, these mosquitoes must have tortured him. And these are really monsters, not mosquitoes - very big ones! Poor Buddha must have escaped!"
He only remained one day there. Shravasti he went to twenty times; he stayed twenty rainy seasons in Shravasti. Now Shravasti has almost disappeared; a small village is thought to be where Shravasti used to be. It was a big city - ten lakhs of people - one of the most beautiful in the country.
And the king of Shravasti was Shrona. He must have loved beauty; he made the city so beautiful - beautiful lakes and roads and palaces. And he invited all kinds of artists, musicians, poets - his court was full of talented people. He had the most beautiful women around him. He lived in utter luxury. His days were spent moving from one pleasure to another. Naturally, soon he got fed up, tired, wearied.
And then Buddha came. He was feeling so bored with life, this Shrona, that he went to listen to Buddha - maybe he has something to say. He was feeling so meaningless, so utterly meaningless, that he had started lately to contemplate suicide. Seeing Buddha and his divine beauty, his grace - and Shrona was a very aesthetic person - seeing Buddha he immediately fell in love with him.
He didn't go back to his palace. He asked Buddha with folded hands, "Give me sannyas.
Buddha hesitated a little bit because he knew everything about Shrona and his life; it would be difficult for him. He may not have tasted water for years; alcohol was the only thing that he used to drink. He had indulged so much that for a moment Buddha was hesitant.
But Shrona said, "Don't hesitate. I am fed up with my life, I am finished with it! If you don't give me sannyas I will commit suicide - and that will be your responsibility!"
My own observation is also this: that a man really becomes a sannyasin when he comes to the point where there are only two possibilities: either suicide or sannyas.
Buddha had to initiate him immediately, because he did not want to be responsible for his suicide. But what Buddha had not expected started happening. Shrona became just the opposite of what he had been up to now. Up to now he had been absolutely indulgent in everything, in every possible thing. Now he became a great ascetic, so much so that he started torturing his body, he became a masochist. He would lie down on thorns, he would stand in the hot sun. He would not live as other sannyasins were living - moderately, balanced, the life of the golden mean. No, he moved to the other extreme. Within six months it was impossible to recognize him, he had become so thin, so dark. He was a beautiful person; he had become ugly. He was starving himself.
Buddhist sannyasins used to eat once a day and he used to eat only thrice a week, and that too, so little!
It happens: people can move to the extreme very easily. Mind lives in extremes - from one extreme one can jump to the other extreme very easily. The most difficult thing is to remain in the middle, because to remain in the middle you will need awareness.
Moving from one extreme to the other you don't need awareness. You were unconscious before as an indulgent person, now you are unconscious as a great ascetic.
First you were stuffing yourself with food and you were unconscious, now you are starving yourself and you are unconscious.
The man of consciousness stays in the middle: neither too much nor too little. He always gives to the body what is needed, to the mind what is needed. His life has a very very rhythmic quality to it. He responds to his requirements very consciously, responsibly, but he does not go in an insane manner this way or that.
After six months Buddha had to go to him. Shrona had wounds all over the body because he was lying down on thorns. He was stinking because he had stopped taking baths; he thought that too was luxury....
In India, Jaina monks don't take any baths, they don't clean their teeth, because that is thought to be too materialistic - you are decorating the body. It is very difficult to talk to Jaina monks. They used to come to me before, but fortunately they no longer come here. It was so difficult to talk to them because their breath smell is simply unbelievable, their body odor is intolerable! But that is thought to be a great renunciation.
Buddha went to see Shrona. He was ill, with wounds all over the body, almost dying.
Buddha asked him one question: he said, "Shrona, I have come to ask one question of you. I have heard that when you were a king you used to play beautifully on the sitar.
You were a great lover of the sitar and you had practiced your whole life."
Shrona said, "Yes, that is true."
Buddha asked him, "So I have come to ask you one thing: if the strings of the sitar are too loose, will there be any music?"
Shrona said, "No, how can there be any music? If the strings are too loose, music cannot be created."
Buddha said, "Then if the strings are too tight, will there be any music?"
Shrona said, "No, that too is not possible. If the strings are too tight, they will be broken."
Buddha said, "Then tell me, when is music possible?"
Shrona said, "There is a point exactly in the middle when you cannot say the strings are loose and you cannot say the strings are tight. It is a great art to bring the strings to that middle point - exactly in the middle, neither leaning to this side nor to that; no leaning at all, exactly in the middle."
Buddha stood up and he said, "Shrona, I have nothing else to say. I just came to remind you that life follows the same law. Be in the middle. You have moved from a too loose life to a too tight life. That's why you are not attaining to the music called nirvana, the music called meditation."
Prem Sohan, that exact middle cannot be found without awareness. And don't say, "Is watching and awareness ALL there is to do?"
Yes, it is all. It is more than you need, more than you will ever need. It will fulfill all your needs. It will teach you how not to repress and how not to indulge. It will make you so alert that you will be just a witness. And when one is just a witness of one's senses, one enjoys and yet one remains above. One becomes a lotus leaf, in the water and yet untouched by the water.
The last question:
Gyaneshwar, it has nothing to do with your wife. If the wife is not there you will be jealous about something else.
Remember always: don't be too much concerned about outer causes, because causes are not outside you. Outside are only excuses; causes are inside you. You are full of jealousy; the wife simply functions as an excuse. Don't be too much worried about the excuse, because that is wasting time. Look inside yourself: why are you jealous?
Jealousy means ego, jealousy means unconsciousness. Jealousy means that you have not known even a moment of joy and bliss; you are living in misery. Jealousy is a by- product of misery, ego, unconsciousness.
Forget all about the wife; otherwise you will remain concerned about the wife, and that is a way of escaping from the real cause. The real cause is always inside. And not only about jealousy, remember, about all problems - greed....
Somebody comes to me and says, "I am very greedy about money. How can I get rid of this greed for money?" It is not a question of money. Greed is greed. If you get rid of money you will become greedy for God; greed will still be there.
The night Jesus was saying goodbye to his disciples, one of the disciples asked him, "Lord, you are leaving us. There is one question, and it is on the minds of all your disciples. In the kingdom of God you will be sitting at the right side of God himself - obviously, you will be his right hand. And who will be sitting next to you? Amongst us twelve, who will be the second to you? That is the most important thing in our heads.
Please say something about it; otherwise, once you are gone it will be impossible for us to decide and we will be quarreling and fighting over it."
Now, this is jealousy. Now, what kind of disciples has Jesus? As far as my observation goes, Jesus was not very fortunate about his disciples. Buddha was far more fortunate.
Never in the whole life of Buddha has a disciple asked such a stupid question. And these are the apostles, the twelve apostles - his messengers to the world!
Remember, if greed is dropped about money, immediately it will take another object, it will become focused on something else. So the first thing to remember: it has nothing to do with your wife, it has something to do with yourself. Forget about the wife completely, keep her out of the problem. She is not the problem, YOU are the problem!
Take responsibility, and then things start changing.
If you take the responsibility, if you think, "I am responsible, nobody else," you will not be angry with the wife. You will not be fighting and nagging, you will not be nasty with her. You will start looking deeper and deeper. And in that very search you will become aware. That's what awareness is, that's how one becomes aware.
And when you are fully aware of your jealousy you will be surprised, you are in for a surprise: when you are fully aware of it, it disappears. It simply disappears, not leaving even a trace behind it.
Two men had had enough of the world so they decided to leave their wives, kids and jobs for the peace and quiet of the wilderness. They stopped for supplies at a sporting goods store owned by a wise old man.
"Take this," said the old storekeeper to the renunciates as he handed them a board lined with mink fur, with a small slit cut out in the middle which was also lined with fur.
"No way!" cried the men. "We know what that board is for and I tell you we are through with that kind of thing forever!"
But the wise old man slipped the board into one of the packs while they were not looking, and the men left.
Three years later one of the men returned to the old man's sporting goods store.
"Well, hello!" cried the storekeeper. "Where is your partner?"
"Dead," said the returning survivor.
"I shot him."
"Well," said the man, "I caught him in bed with my board."
It is not a question of the wife - even a board will do: "MY board!..." It is a question of the ego, and the ego exists only when you live in an unconsciousness, in a darkness. The ego exists only in the dark night of the soul.
Bring a little light inside. Meditate a little bit. Sit silently, doing nothing, looking inwards. In the beginning you will find only rubbish. Don't be worried - go on looking.
Within three to nine months the rubbish will be gone, and a silence will start dawning on you and a stillness will arise.
In that stillness you will become aware of yourself and of the whole that surrounds you.
That state is samadhi, and to know it is to know all, to be it is to be all.
Enough for today.
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 4