Awake to the law
HE WHO GOES NAKED, WITH MATTED HAIR, MUD-BESPATTERED, WHO FASTS AND SLEEPS ON THE GROUND AND SMEARS HIS BODY WITH ASHES AND SITS IN ENDLESS MEDITATION - SO LONG AS HE IS NOT FREE FROM DOUBTS, HE WILL NOT FIND FREEDOM.
BUT HE WHO LIVES PURELY AND SELF-ASSURED IN QUIETNESS AND VIRTUE, WHO IS WITHOUT HARM OR HURT OR BLAME, EVEN IF HE WEARS FINE CLOTHES, SO LONG AS HE ALSO HAS FAITH HE IS A TRUE SEEKER.
A NOBLE HORSE RARELY FEELS THE TOUCH OF THE WHIP. WHO IS THERE IN THIS WORLD AS BLAMELESS?
THEN LIKE A NOBLE HORSE SMART UNDER THE WHIP, BURN AND BE SWIFT. BELIEVE, MEDITATE, SEE. BE HARMLESS, BE BLAMELESS. AWAKE TO THE LAW. AND FROM ALL SORROW FREE YOURSELF.
THE FARMER CHANNELS WATER TO HIS LAND. THE FLETCHER WHITTLES HIS ARROWS. THE CARPENTER TURNS HIS WOOD. AND THE WISE MAN MASTERS HIMSELF.
Gautama the Buddha has no philosophy of life. He is not a philosopher at all. He is a man of insight, he is wise; he knows how to see into life, into reality. He has a way of seeing but not a philosophy of life. He has a way of living but not a philosophy of life.
A philosophy of life is a false substitute - it is avoiding transformation of your being.
You can learn beautiful words, systems of thought, ideologies, and you can become so much engrossed in them that you can forget totally that you don't know even yourself, that you don't know how to see that you are blind, that you have not been able to create light in your heart, that the flame is absent, that you are living in deep darkness; that your life may be very sophisticated, cultured, but it is not true life. You live on the surface; you don't know its depths and its heights. It has both deep valleys and high peaks, but to reach to those depths and those peaks you will have to pass through an alchemical process.
Buddha is an alchemist. He shows you the way how to transform your energies from the lowest to the highest center of functioning, from the mud to the lotus, from the baser metal into gold, from stones into diamonds. He is a scientist of the inner. His approach is utterly scientific, not philosophic at all.
That's why he could not fit with the Indian mind; the Indian mind is too philosophical.
The Indian mind has learned too much jargon, it has become very skillful in splitting hairs. Buddha is not concerned at all with all that nonsense. He goes directly to the problem.
The problem is that we are living with a darkness in the heart - how to transform this darkness into a luminosity? We have the potential, but we don't know how to change it into actuality. Buddha is very pragmatic, very practical, the first man really to be so pragmatic about the inner world, about subjectivity, about interiority. People are very much interested in philosophies of life. If they don't have one they feel as if they are missing something. People are interested in phony words because they cost nothing.
You can be a Hindu, you can read the Vedas and the Gita and Upanishads, and you can become very learned. You can become a great parrot, you can become a pundit, a great scholar, you can talk about great things for hours, but your life will remain ordinary - it will not have any touch of the beyond.
You can be a Mohammedan or a Christian - there are hundreds of ideologies in the world - you can be a Catholic or communist. It does not matter what you believe in.
What really matters is: are you capable of seeing? Do you have eyes to see the mystery of existence? Do you have the heart to feel the magic of it? Are you open, available, vulnerable to the unknown? And when the unknown calls, are you courageous enough to go into the uncharted sea, not knowing what is going to happen next? Do you have that type of guts?
Goldberg had a vague feeling that something was missing in his life. One night he was particularly depressed and told his wife about his yearning for something.
"But Sam," reassured his wife, "you have everything!"
"I know, I know! But I don't have a philosophy of life - I want that."
"Sam, what do you want that for? None of the neighbors have one."
But that's really the problem - the neighbors have. Somebody is a Hindu, somebody is a Mohammedan, somebody is a Christian, somebody is a Jew, somebody is a communist; somebody talks about DAS KAPITAL and somebody about the Gita and somebody about the Koran, and you start feeling as if you are missing something because you cannot talk about great things. You start feeling these people must be knowing all that they are talking about. They know nothing. They are as blind as you are, or maybe they are more blind than you are. At least you are free of the philosophies - that is one of the basic hindrances in seeing.
The first thing to understand about Buddha and his approach is that he does not want to give you a teaching. He certainly wants to give you a science - he is not interested at all in making your minds more sophisticated. He wants you to drop the mind.
Sophisticated or unsophisticated, mind is a block, it hinders. No-mind is the capacity to see; mind is the capacity to believe, but it is not the capacity to see.
Hence Buddha has given a totally new meaning to meditation. Before him, meditation was concentration in the beginning and contemplation in the end. But concentration and contemplation both are part of the mind; the mind can play these games perfectly well. The mind is very much interested in concentration because through it, it becomes stronger. Concentration is a nourishment. And mind is immensely interested in contemplation too, because through contemplation, finer food, finer nourishment, become available.
If you concentrate you can become a scientist of the objective world; if you contemplate you become a great philosopher. But unless you know what meditation is you will never be a mystic; and without being a mystic, you will miss all - your whole life will be a sheer wastage.
These sutras are tremendously important. In a few places the translation is not accurate, but on the whole it gives you the essence. Wherever I see it is not accurate I will remind you. Those inaccuracies are bound to happen - because in the West nobody has talked like Buddha; hence no Western language is capable of translating Buddha accurately, adequately.
Jesus was a buddha, but his way of talking was not that of Buddha. Jesus talked as if he were talking to primary school children - and that's exactly the case. The people he was talking to were really at a very very beginners' stage. He had to use parables, metaphors. He had to use phrases which are anthropocentric: kingdom of God - there is no God and there is no kingdom. And Jesus knew it! - but he had to talk in words which people could understand.
People can understand a king - then God is the greatest king. But the difference is of quantity, not of quality. Kings have kingdoms; hence God, the greatest king, must have the greatest kingdom. But again the difference is of quantity, not of quality. And because it is not of quality it misses the whole point, it misses the target.
God is not a person but a presence. And God had no kingdom because God is a pervading presence of life, of beauty, of music, of poetry. He is spread all over space; he is not separate from it. He is not the creator, he is the very phenomenon of creativity itself. But Jesus could not talk that way - Buddha could.
Buddha was talking to a very ancient people, to people who were very well acquainted with higher reaches - even they were not able to understand. Jesus had to use language which could be understood. And Jesus was a carpenter's son; he himself knew the language of the ordinary people. Buddha came from a royal family, a son of a king - very sophisticated - knew all about philosophy and was fed up with it; knew all about beautiful parables, stories, mythologies, and was finished with all that. He had seen through them, that they keep people occupied but they don't transform them. He had discarded all that is nonessential; he talked only about the very essential. He was very telegraphic too: he would not use a single word more than was needed. Unless it was absolutely needed - only then would he use it.
And of course, he changed the meaning of words; that always happens when a buddha, an awakened person, uses words. He gives new color, new nuances, new meanings to ancient words. Buddha transformed the word 'meditation'. Meditation had always been something of the mind, and Buddha brought a new quality, so totally new, diametrically opposite to the old meaning: he said, meditation means a state of no- mind. It is not concentration, it is not contemplation. It is not thinking, it is not thinking about God. It is not even prayer - because thinking is of the head, intellectual; prayer is emotional. That is another side of the head, not very far away from it; a different language used by another part of the head.
Now scientists agree about it, that the head has two hemispheres. The left hemisphere speaks the language of intellect, logic, arithmetic; and the right hemisphere speaks the language of emotions, feelings, sentiments. But both are two sides of the same head.
Buddha was the first to indicate this: that concentration, contemplation, belong to one side of the head, the left hemisphere; and prayer, devotion, they belong to the right hemisphere. But both are of the head, and the true seeker has to go beyond the head; he has to transcend the duality of the head, the division of the head. Only when you transcend the division can you come to the one.
Hence, he gives a totally new meaning to meditation, to DHYANA. He makes it mean a state of no-mind. You will constantly have to remember that. Wherever the word 'meditation' is used, remember, Buddha means no-mind.
The second thing: wherever you come across the word 'belief', beware. Buddha never means what you mean by the word 'belief'. His word is SHRADDHA. Shraddha does not mean belief, it does not even mean faith; it means trust, which is a totally different phenomenon.
Shraddha means a state of total trust. Belief is not total trust; doubt remains in it, repressed. Belief is a cover-up. You doubt but you have covered it with a blanket, with belief. You are afraid of the doubt. Doubt disturbs, so you cling to the belief, but the belief can never take you beyond the doubt.
Belief is doubt standing on its head, upside-down, that's all. The doubter doubts, the believer believes, but both are blind. They are in the same boat, maybe sitting back-to- back, but in the same boat. Hence the believer is always afraid of somebody provoking his doubt, and the doubter is always on guard that nobody should convince him of any belief. They both are entangled with each other.
What is trust? Trust is going beyond doubt AND belief. Belief is always in a certain idea; trust is always in that which is - not in an idea but in existence itself, within and without. And between belief and trust there is another word, 'faith' - beware of that too. Buddha never means faith when he uses shraddha, and he always uses shraddha.
Faith is just in between: belief is in an idea, faith is in a person, and trust is in existence itself. Buddha never wants you to be faithful because faith creates fanatics, faith creates neurotics.
Just the other night, a young woman came to take sannyas. The way she approached me I became aware that she is neurotic. But I never say no to anybody. Who knows, there is always a possibility - one can never say - that the neurotic may become normal. And at least, if she is willing to take sannyas, she has still some sense left; maybe she can be helped.
I could see it was going to be difficult - the way she came, the way she sat.... And finally, when I called her close to me, she refused to come close. She stood up with raised hands and said, "I am Jesus Christ!" I didn't say anything to her, although I wanted to say, "So, old chap, you are back again! Have you forgotten what happened the last time? Maybe that's why you have come in the form of a woman this time." And declaring that she is Jesus Christ, she walked away.
Faith creates these types of neurotics. Christianity has many neurotic people, because the whole idea depends on faith: "Believe in Jesus Christ, have faith in him! He will deliver you!" - as if he is responsible for your bondage! He can deliver you only if he has put you in the prison; otherwise, how can he deliver you? He is the savior and you are the saved; he is the shepherd and you are the sheep. Don't you see the indignity involved in it? You become just sheep. All the religions, more or less, have been doing this. If you believe in persons, you will be reduced into sheep - you will not be human beings. Your humanity is destroyed. You are imprisoned in very subtle, invisible prisons. You cannot see them, they are transparent.
Buddha says: Be a light unto yourself. Don't believe in persons, don't believe in ideologies. And when you don't believe in any ideology, and you don't believe in any person, a great trust explodes, a trust in existence itself - in the trees, in the rocks, in the people, in the stars, rivers, mountains, in all that is. Of course, the buddhas are part of it, but you don't believe in the Buddha particularly. You simply believe in existence. You believe in the fragrance of a Jesus. But this belief is not rooted in any idea. In fact, it is something subjective, it has nothing to do with any object.
If you believe in Jesus you cannot believe in Krishna. If you believe in Krishna you cannot believe in Mahavira. Naturally, if you believe in one you have to disbelieve in all others. That's how belief divides people. And the whole history is full of blood, murder, crusades. It is full of blood and violence in the name of religion, because you have been told to believe one against all others.
Trust is totally different. If you trust existence... existence implies Jesus as much as Krishna, as Buddha, as Zarathustra. They are all part of it. And you don't believe only in buddhas, you believe in the ordinary people that surround you too; not only people but animals, trees, rocks. It is not a question of what you believe in - the object becomes irrelevant. You simply have a trusting heart, a great trust that we belong to this existence, we are part of this miraculous existence, that this existence cannot be unfriendly to us. It has given birth to us, and how can the mother be unfriendly?
This is a totally different meaning to trust. It is neither belief nor faith. Remember these two words because they are again and again translated wrongly.
HE WHO GOES NAKED, WITH MATTED HAIR, MUD-BESPATTERED, WHO FASTS AND SLEEPS ON THE GROUND AND SMEARS HIS BODY WITH ASHES AND SITS IN ENDLESS MEDITATION - SO LONG AS HE IS NOT FREE FROM DOUBTS, HE WILL NOT FIND FREEDOM.
These people - the people who go naked, with matted hair, mud-bespattered, the people who go on long fasts, the people who sleep on uneven ground, or even on thorns, the people who smear their body with ashes - these people have been thought of down the ages as if they are saints. They are simply masochists, they enjoy torturing themselves. They are very violent people.
The difference between them and Adolf Hitler and Genghis Khan and Nadirshah is only one: Genghis Khan, Nadirshah, Adolf Hitler, they enjoy torturing others, and these so-called saints enjoy torturing themselves - but both enjoy torture. Now, if you torture others it is condemned, obviously, because "others" include you and you are afraid of being tortured. But if somebody tortures himself it is praised - it has nothing to do with you; he is torturing himself.
In fact, the people who worship these masochists are sadists. You would like to torture them, but they are such good people, they are doing your job. What you would have liked to do, they are doing themselves. You can go and worship them.
Masochism is a disease: to torture oneself. And sadism is also a disease: to enjoy torturing others. If you are courageous enough, if you can risk... because great risk is there; if you torture others, they will take revenge. Adolf Hitler finally had to commit suicide, and Nadirshah lived his whole life in constant fear and trembling, because he had murdered so many people. He had made so many enemies, he could not trust anybody. He was not even able to sleep well; a slight noise and he would jump up - and that's how he died.
One night a stray camel entered into the campus where Nadirshah was camping. That stray camel reached near Nadirshah's camp; he heard the noise. It was dark.... He jumped out of his bed, thought that the enemy had arrived, started running, got caught in the rope of the tent, had a heart attack and died.
These people who torture others cannot live peacefully - it is impossible, because they make so many enemies. But they enjoy torturing.
Now, the best way to torture is to torture yourself; then there is no fear. Nobody is against you; on the contrary, people worship you as a holy person. Now, look at the foolishness! If a person walks naked, what is holy in it? You can go where great religious gatherings happen in India, particularly KUMBHA MELAS, and you can see the naked sadhus, and you will be surprised! - you don't see any holiness. On the contrary, you will see in their eyes the worst kind of criminals. You can go to the prison and look into the eyes of the murderers, and you will find them more innocent. These people who exhibit themselves naked on the roads are really psychologically ill. In psychological terms they are exhibitionists.
And this is a strange thing, that Hindus have worshipped these exhibitionists for centuries. And the same Hindus are against my sannyasins because they think my sannyasins are going against Hindu culture because they are not wearing proper clothes. You are going against Hindu culture! Your culture has always worshipped the exhibitionists, your culture has always worshipped the perverted people.
Now, a person who spreads thorns and pebbles before he goes to sleep - that is preparing the bed - you worship him as holy? He has to be given electric shocks, not flowers, not to be garlanded; he needs psychological treatment. He is perverted. This is not natural! No animal ever does it; even animals are far more normal. Before they go to sleep they will remove the stones and thorns and they will prepare a soft bed for themselves, soft earth, and then they will go to sleep. Even animals seem to be far more intelligent, far more natural, than your so-called saints.
A person who throws dust on his body is simply being foolish, or maybe he is just an egoist, because this kind of behavior is worshipped in this country. Now, the same type of people raise questions against me: Why am I against saints? I am not against the saints. I am not against Buddha and I am not against Nanak and I am not against Kabir and I am not against Raidas, but I am certainly against these ill people, the exhibitionists, the masochists, the abnormal, the neurotic.... I don't call them saints, they are not! But out of a hundred, ninety-nine percent belong to these categories.
It is only because you have been worshipping them for centuries that you don't ask:
What are you doing? And you are angry at me because I am raising questions for the first time - questions which disturb you. But Buddha also was doing the same, and you were angry at him too.
He says: HE WHO GOES NAKED, WITH MATTED HAIR, MUD-BESPATTERED, WHO FASTS AND SLEEPS ON THE GROUND AND SMEARS HIS BODY WITH ASHES AND SITS IN ENDLESS MEDITATION - SO LONG AS HE IS NOT FREE FROM DOUBTS, HE WILL NOT FIND FREEDOM. You can go on doing these things for years, your whole life - you will not arrive anywhere. All these things are just empty rituals you are following because you have been told that this is what holiness is.
You are so unintelligent that you cannot even see that: What kind of holiness is this?
How can this be holy?
How can smearing your body with dust or ashes be holy? It is simply torturing yourself, because the body breathes.... Do you know that it is not only your nose that keeps you alive, but that there are millions of small doors in the body from where you breathe? You cannot even see them with bare eyes. Just try: paint a person's whole body, leaving his nose, paint it completely so all the holes and the pores of the body are closed. He will die within three hours. He can breathe from the nose - that won't keep him alive more than three hours.
If all the pores are closed... and that's what is being done by smearing ashes on your body. You are closing the pores of the body. This is a way of torturing yourself, this is starving you of oxygen. And the less oxygen you get, the more stupid you become, because oxygen is one of the most essential nourishments for intelligence.
Without oxygen the mind starts becoming dull. That's why in the night you feel sleep coming to you more easily than in the day, because in the day the air has more oxygen in it and you are breathing more oxygen. That oxygen keeps you alert, awake. In the night the quantity of oxygen in the air falls low, the carbon dioxide is more - that makes you feel sleepy. By smearing your body with ashes you are trying to reduce the amount of oxygen reaching to your brain cells, you are starving the brain. You will become dull, stupid. And that's why you will rarely see any sharpness, any awareness.
They live like robots. Of course, they follow a certain law that is written in the scriptures and delivered to them by the same kind of stupid people. They follow a certain law without understanding anything, why they are doing it. I have asked many people who smear their bodies with ashes, "Why do you do it?" And they say, "Because it has been done since the beginning - saints have always been doing it."
I have asked them, "What is the science behind it?" They look puzzled. They say, "Science...?" They are not aware of what they are doing. They are not aware that they are starving their brain cells of oxygen.
And they have many strategies like that: standing on the head for hours - because of gravitation so much blood goes into the brain that it destroys the finer nerves of the brain. Your whole intelligence depends on those finer nerves. Or starving yourself - call it fasting, then it becomes a religious thing. When you starve your body you are also starving your brain, because the brain is the subtlest part of the body.
Now it is scientifically proved that if a few vitamins are missing from the body you will lose intelligence. Sooner or later every child has to be provided with certain vitamins, certain chemicals, and his intelligence can be raised very high. In Soviet Russia they are already doing it. If you starve your body, then naturally your brain is starved. You don't allow the brain the right food, you don't allow the brain the right amount of oxygen... and do you think you will be able to become a great meditator, a buddha?
Whom are you trying to befool? But you are following a certain law, a certain ritual, with no understanding about it.
Sir Reginald Farthington was on trial before the High Court of Australia for the crime of molesting an ostrich. "Before passing sentence," announced the judge, "do you have anything to say?"
"Your Honor," said the Englishman, "if I'd known you were going to make such a fuss about it, I'd have married the bloody bird!"
This is the legal mind. This is how the legal mind functions: "I would have married the bloody bird!" It goes from one foolishness to another foolishness.
If you starve your body of the right food, of the right amount of oxygen, problems will arise. And you will go to the same people who are creating problems for you, and they have ready-made prescriptions.
One man came to me, a young man; he was under the spell of Swami Shivananda of Rishikesh.
Shivananda told him, "Live only on milk, because that is the purest food."
Now, if you have seen pictures of Shivananda... one can see that this man has not lived only on milk. He was so fat that even to raise his own hands was difficult for him, they were so heavy. So he had to walk with two people, his hands on their shoulders. This man must be obsessed with food, must be eating too much. He must have been one of the fattest men in India, and he suggested to this young man to live only on milk.
And what was the problem? Why had this young man gone to him? The young man had gone to him to attain BRAHMACHARYA - celibacy. He had read in the scriptures that unless you are absolutely celibate you cannot reach God. So he asked how to become absolutely celibate; now the suggestion was, "Live only on milk."
Now this is utter nonsense! If you live only on milk you will be more sexual than ever before, because from where are you going to get the milk? From cows or buffaloes. That milk is not created for man; cows' milk is created for bulls, and bulls are the most sexual animals in the world. Cows' milk has more chemicals to make you sexual than anything else in the world. It is the unholiest food.
But who cares? Who thinks about it?
Just because the scripture says it, Shivananda told him, "You live on milk." Now, it is only man, ONLY man, who lives on milk when he is small and just for a few months.
Once he has become able to eat and digest solid food he drops the milk and moves to solid food. It is meant for children.
And one of the most important things that is growing in the child is his sexuality. He is becoming more and more mature and sexual, because the whole biology depends on sex. And after a time the child has to move to solid food. It is only man who continues to drink milk. It is okay in coffee or in tea, but just to live on milk - it is going to be dangerous.
The young man became more sexual, and weaker. The body became weaker and the mind became more and more obsessed with sex. Again he went to the same saint. The saint said, "It is because you are suffering from TAMAS - you are suffering from the very lowest kind of energy called tamas, which pulls you downwards."
"What has to be done?" the young man asked.
The saint, the so-called saint, said, "You need not sleep as much as you are sleeping, because sleep creates tamas" - that too is written in the same scriptures: sleep creates tamas - "so sleep only five hours."
First the food was taken away. He was starving, because for a fully grown-up person milk is not enough. He needs solid food; he is not a child. And then the milk is coming from cows - which is meant for bulls, not for men - so he is becoming more sexual.
Now the sleep is reduced. Five hours of sleep for a young man is not right. Yes, for an old man it is perfectly okay; as you become older, less and less sleep is needed, because the body is going to die, it no longer needs to recover. Otherwise, a young man's body recovers itself every day.
For recovery, for regaining lost strength, for recreating the cells that have died yesterday, you need a long sleep - seven or eight hours, not less than that. Five is not enough. Now he started suffering from sleepiness; the whole day he would be yawning and feeling sleepy.
His father brought him to me and he said, "What is to be done? Now he is again trying to go to Rishikesh, and each time he goes he brings a problem. He was perfectly okay; reading these nonsense books he became interested in becoming BRAHMACHARI - a celibate - and then the whole trouble started. Now he cannot read, is losing interest in everything, is becoming obsessed with sex and food and sleep. Now these three are the things he is obsessed with. He is driving himself crazy and the whole family too."
I looked at the young man - he was really in a mess. But he said, "I am following a great saint."
I asked him, "How do you know that he is a great saint? What is your criterion? Because he repeats the scriptures? How do you know that the scriptures are written by those who know?"
He said to me, "Please don't create doubt in me! I want to remain a believer, because without faith, without belief, there is no deliverance."
I said to him, "You don't need any deliverance. There is no need for any deliverance.
You are already delivered! You are already in God! There is no need to search for him.
You are part of truth. Just live naturally, sanely, and you will be able to understand the mystery of life. There is no need to become insane. All these ways are driving you insane."
And then one finds some way or other to satisfy the natural needs - one becomes a hypocrite. Your whole religious training helps you only to become hypocrites. It does not make you holy; it simply makes you pseudo, phony.
You repress something from one side and it starts asserting from the other side.
Fogarty began to drop in at Barney's Bar regularly, and his order was always the same:
two martinis. After several weeks of this, Barney asked him why he did not order a double instead.
"It is a sentimental thing," said Fogarty. "A very dear friend of mine died a few weeks ago, and before his death he asked that when I drink I have one for him too."
A week later Fogarty came in and ordered one martini. "What about your dead buddy?
Why only one martini today?"
"This is my buddy's drink," came the reply. "I am on the wagon."
You can always find a way. Mind is very cunning, utterly cunning. You cannot get rid of the cunningness of the mind by such stupid things. And if you are doing such stupid things, you can sit long, endlessly, in meditation... nothing is going to happen, because meditation's first requirement is intelligence: awareness of your situation and of what you are doing to yourself and why - not just following dead scriptures, not just following the so-called saints because the masses call them saints.
SO LONG AS HE IS NOT FREE FROM DOUBTS, HE WILL NOT FIND FREEDOM.
What does Buddha mean by this? - SO LONG AS HE IS NOT FREE FROM DOUBTS....
How does one become free from doubts? You will be surprised: unless you become free from beliefs you cannot become free from doubts. It is belief that creates doubt. For example, if you believe in God then the question arises whether God really exists or not.
The doubt cannot come first; first comes the belief.
You are told by your parents, by your society, that there is a God. Because you are told there is a God, one day or other your intelligence asserts and starts asking, "What is the proof? How do we know for certain, for sure, that God really is?" Now doubt is coming....
In Soviet Russia, where they don't teach the children that there is a God, nobody doubts God's existence - there is no question of doubt. Nobody believes in the first place - why should they doubt? In India too, if you are born in a Jaina family you never doubt the existence of God. Why? - because in the Jaina tradition there is no God, no belief.
But a Jaina doubts about the existence of the soul, because he is told that there is a soul, invisible - the body will die but the soul will continue on its journey.
Now the doubts arise: "Where is this soul? What is this soul? Has anybody ever seen it?
Has anybody come back to the world after death and said that, 'I am still alive! You can't see me, but I am'?" The Jaina doubts about the soul, not about God.
The Hindu doubts about God, the Mohammedan doubts about God, the Christian, the Jew, they all doubt about God - because God is their belief. The Jaina and the Buddhist never doubt about God because that is not their belief, but the Jaina doubts about the soul. The Buddhist never doubts about the soul either, because that is not his belief.
Buddha has taken away all the beliefs, so that you need not doubt: no God, no soul, no hell, no heaven, no moksha. Buddha has taken all the beliefs away! See his scientific approach of destroying doubt - very paradoxical.
Just the opposite has been done by others. Others have also tried to take your doubts away, but their method has been to impose belief on you so that the doubt goes deep into the unconscious, becomes repressed - you don't see it anymore. It is covered by the belief, but it never dies; on the contrary, it moves deeper into your being and becomes more and more part of your being. All your believers know it perfectly well, that there is doubt in their hearts. At the very core there is doubt; only on the circumference is belief.
Buddha is the first human being in the world who has really tried to destroy doubt. But strange is his way: his way is to take away all the beliefs; then you have taken the very ground in which doubts grow. Be without belief and you will be without doubt.
Without belief, without doubt, where can mind remain? Mind needs these two pillars to support it. These are mind's two wings: doubt and belief. This is the duality on which mind feeds and lives. Once belief and doubt both are gone, you have destroyed the very foundation of the mind.
And to be a no-mind is meditation. Not by sleeping on thorns, not by going naked, not by fasting, not by torturing yourself, but by great understanding of things. From where does doubt come? Go into it, search, and you will find it always comes because of a certain belief.
Now the modern mind can attain to meditation more easily than humanity was ever capable of, for one single reason: that the modern mind is no longer so much burdened by belief. Hence there is not so much doubt either. Nowadays you rarely come across people who are skeptical, people who are full of doubt, people who are atheists - you rarely come across such people nowadays. In the old days they were many. And the reason is simple: now nobody believes! So if somebody says, "I don't believe in God," you will say, "So what? Who believes? Keep quiet!" Now nobody can argue against God because nobody is arguing FOR the poor man!
This is a very new situation. And your old traditions cannot accept the challenge of this new situation. If you declare that, "I am an atheist," people will say, "So be it. Why brag about it? Why make a fuss about it? Perfectly okay, we are happy - you be an atheist."
Who bothers about the church and who bothers about the temple? Even the people who go, go only as a social formality; even they don't believe.
This is a rare opportunity for the search; it has never been so spacious as it is today. Of course, your old traditional people are very much worried; they think this is the worst kind of age that has ever happened. This is not the worst kind of age - this is the best, the pinnacle. This is the time, the right time, a ripe time. We can inquire with total hearts into reality, because no belief hinders, and because there is no belief, there is no doubt.
This is freedom. Buddha calls it freedom. SO LONG AS HE IS NOT FREE FROM DOUBTS, HE WILL NOT FIND FREEDOM. "Freedom" means freedom from the mind.
Then you are simply in a silence, and in that silence you melt, you merge with the whole. And to melt and merge with the whole is to be holy. Not by fasting, not by torturing, but by becoming one with the whole, one becomes holy.
BUT HE WHO LIVES PURELY AND SELF-ASSURED IN QUIETNESS AND VIRTUE, WHO IS WITHOUT HARM OR HURT OR BLAME, EVEN IF HE WEARS FINE CLOTHES, SO LONG AS HE HAS FAITH HE IS A TRUE SEEKER.
BUT HE WHO LIVES PURELY.... What does Buddha mean by "living purely"? He means living innocently, with no belief, with no doubt, living not out of mind but out of meditation. He has his own meaning of purity. He does not mean by "living in purity" rotten, old ideas. Purity does not mean that you should eat food only prepared by a brahmin; purity does not mean that you should eat only when the sun is in the sky; purity does not mean that you should only wear this and you should not wear that.
Purity means living out of no-mind, living spontaneously, moment to moment like a child, innocently - living from a state of not knowing. All knowledge is cunning, and all knowledge corrupts. Living from a state of not knowing - that is purity.
Socrates says: I know only one thing, that I know nothing - this is purity.
Buddha used to tell his disciples, "Please never ask me metaphysical questions, because I don't know. Don't ask about God and don't ask about the soul, and don't ask about heaven and hell." He had a list prepared of eleven questions; those eleven questions contained all the questions philosophy is full of.
Whenever he would enter a new town, his disciples would go around and tell people, "Please don't ask these eleven questions, because Buddha will not answer these questions. He is interested only in practical questions. Ask about greed and how to get rid of it; ask about anger and how to go beyond it. Ask about possessiveness and how to drop it, ask about transformation. Ask how you can drop the mind and attain to meditation. But don't ask metaphysical questions because they don't help you at all.
They create belief, and with belief comes doubt. And divided into belief and doubt you become a schizophrenic, you become zero. You lose your integrity."
BUT HE WHO LIVES PURELY AND SELF-ASSURED.... Now, this word 'self-assured'
is also not rightly translated. What Buddha means is one who trusts his own being - it is not "self-assured." "Self-assured" gives the sense of ego; Buddha means an egoless trust. One who trusts in the whole existence also trusts in himself, because he is part of the whole. He listens to his heart's voice and follows it. Unafraid he goes with his heart.
He trusts his intuition. And once you have known the art of how to listen to your intuition, you will be surprised: intellect can err, intuition never errs - it is infallible. It always directs you in the right course of action.
IN QUIETNESS AND VIRTUE.... "Quietness" means meditation, thoughtlessness, no thought disturbing, the lake of consciousness absolutely without any waves and ripples. And the consequence of such silence is virtue. Virtue is not something practiced by you; you cannot practice virtue. If you practice virtue, on the surface you will wear a mask, but behind the surface you will go on living in your old vicious ways. Of course, you can hide from others, but how can you hide from yourself?
That's what happens to your priests, your so-called saints; their whole life becomes very cunning - they say one thing, they live a totally different life. They are bound to be so because the virtue is cultivated.
A sociologist was taking a survey based on the sexual proclivities of various national and ethnic groups. He approached an elderly Italian gentleman in a black suit and, after the usual preliminaries, asked him how often he had sexual intercourse.
"Oh, maybe ten, twelve times a year," stated the old fellow.
"But you are Italian and Italians are supposed to be very sexy," came the response.
"Listen, I don't think that is so bad for a sixty-year-old priest who does not own a car!"
Your priests, your saints, your so-called virtuous people, respectable people, they have double lives: on the surface one thing, in the depth totally the opposite of it.
Sister Semolina had lately arrived at the jungle mission. She was under the instruction of Mother Maria, who called her into her office late one afternoon.
"I must go to the capital and I will be away overnight," said Mother Maria. "I want to warn you: if Father Dominique comes to your room tonight do no let him in, no matter what he tells you."
Next day, Mother Maria returned to find Sister Semolina waiting in her office. "I am here to confess," she said tearfully. "Last night I disobeyed your orders. Father Dominique came to my door, and, oh Mother, he was so convincing! He said to me that I was the gateway to heaven and that he had the key to heaven and that if I let him put his key into my locked gate we could be in heaven together."
"That bastard!" exclaimed Mother Maria. "He told me it was Gabriel's horn, and I have been blowing it for fifteen years!"
But this is natural, it has to be so. These jokes are not just jokes, they have great truths in them. It is inevitable because your whole idea of virtue is to impose upon yourself good qualities, praised down the centuries. But if you impose something upon yourself, what are you going to do to your nature? You will become two persons, and the nature is certainly more powerful than anything imposed.
The nature has to be transformed. Character has not to be cultivated; it has to be a by- product of consciousness. That is Buddha's great contribution to the world.
IN QUIETNESS AND VIRTUE.... Virtue comes number two. First comes quietness, meditativeness, purity, innocence, trust.
WHO IS WITHOUT HARM OR HURT OR BLAME, EVEN IF HE WEARS FINE CLOTHES, SO LONG AS HE ALSO HAS FAITH HE IS A TRUE SEEKER. Again read instead of "faith," "trust." He who has trust, he is a true seeker. The believer is not a true seeker - he has already believed! He is phony from the very beginning. If you already believe in God, how can you seek and search? You have killed the quest from the very beginning, you have aborted the quest.
One can go into inquiry only when one has no belief and no doubt. When one is simply open, with no prejudice, no conclusion, no ready-made answers given by others, when one simply goes as a clean slate, as a mirror, then one comes across truth.
Truth can be known only by a mirrorlike mind. A mirrorlike mind is a no-mind. But if you are already a believer you will never know the truth. A Christian cannot know, a Mohammedan cannot know, a Hindu cannot know, a Buddhist cannot know. Unless you drop all these ideologies, unless you put them aside and go into the journey absolutely open, not even a small prejudice lurking somewhere in your mind....
Once a very famous professor, Doctor Bannerji, came to see me. He said that he wanted to prove scientifically the theory of reincarnation, the theory of rebirth. He wanted to prove that the Christians and the Mohammedans and the Jews are wrong, and he wanted to prove it scientifically. He had come to take my support.
I said, "The way you are saying it, the search is unscientific from the very beginning!"
He asked, "Why?"
I said, "You have already decided that Mohammedans, Christians, Jews are wrong. You have not entered into the search yet and the decision is already there that Hindus and Jainas and Buddhists are right. And how can you say you want to prove it scientifically?
- how can it be scientific?
"The first requirement of a scientific mind is not to start with a conclusion. You drop your conclusions. You will have to be perfectly alert that you don't know what the reality is - then go into it. And then inquire, remaining very impartial. Even if it goes against your theory, let it go; even if it goes against Hinduism, let it go. Truth has to be revealed, not Hinduism to be proved. You are too much of a Hindu," I told him; "you can't be a scientist."
He had come to be with me for two hours - within twenty minutes he left. He said, "I am in a hurry, I have to go somewhere."
I said, "You are not in any hurry and you are not going anywhere! You had asked for two hours and I have given you two hours - and you cannot leave this place before two hours are up! You will have to answer me first: What kind of scientific approach is this?"
Of course he was unable. It was so clear, so obvious that in science you don't start with a conclusion - you start only with a hypothesis: may be, may not be... perhaps. You start with a "perhaps"; the "perhaps" keeps you open.
Buddha cannot mean faith, Buddha cannot mean belief. He means trust - trusting that if you go without any conclusion you will find. Because the truth is there! It is not something that has to be created, it is already there! Truth does not mean something in heaven; truth means the herenow reality. Whatsoever it is, XYZ, start with a "perhaps," be an inquirer.
And then Buddha says: EVEN IF HE WEARS FINE CLOTHES.... There is no need to be naked, there is no need to renounce, there is no need to go on a fast. The real thing to be renounced is your conclusions, your beliefs, your prejudices.
A NOBLE HORSE RARELY FEELS THE TOUCH OF THE WHIP. WHO IS THERE IN THIS WORLD AS BLAMELESS?
Buddha was a prince before he became enlightened, and when he was a prince he really loved horses. He was a lover of horses. In those days, horses were the greatest support in war. And there were lovers of horses: in English, the name Philip simply means a lover of horses - Buddha was a Philip.
When he became enlightened he remembered the horses many times. In many ways he talks about horses. He says there are four kinds of horses. First, the worst: even if you beat them, the more you beat, the more they become stubborn. They have no aristocracy, no grace, no dignity. You can insult them, you can whip them, you can beat them - they are very thick-skinned. If they don't want to move, they will not move.
Then the second kind: if you beat them they will move; they have a little dignity, a sense of self-honor. Then the third kind, a little higher: you need not beat them - just the noise of the whip is enough. And the highest, the fourth: even the noise of the whip is not needed - only the shadow of the whip is enough.
Buddha says men are also of four kinds. The highest, the most intelligent, the real seekers of truth, only need just the shadow of the whip; just a little hint from the master is enough. They need not be beaten, they need not be forced. A NOBLE HORSE RARELY FEELS THE TOUCH OF THE WHIP. There is no need for the noble horse to feel the touch of the whip - just the shadow. So there are four kinds of disciples too.
The highest kind simply takes the hint. Sometimes not even a word is uttered; the master just looks into your eyes, and that's enough.
That's what happened a few days ago.... A well-known therapist from America, Naomi, took sannyas - an old woman. I can say she belongs to the fourth: just the shadow of the whip - I just looked into her eyes - and that was enough. And she has become mine and I have become hers. Immediately the contact happened, the connection. It cannot be broken now.
Yesterday she wrote a letter, because she is leaving today and she is afraid. In the few days she has been here she has known new depths of being - she has not been here long, only a few days. She has seen me only once, just for two minutes. She says she has known great depths, subtle experiences have happened; they are very delicate, and she is a little bit afraid. "Going back to the West so soon, in the gross marketplace of the West, will I be able to continue growing?" She asked me, "Will I be close to you there as I am here? Will I be part of your commune even though I am thousands of miles away?"
Naomi, love knows no distance. You can be thousands of miles away - if your heart is full of love, if your heart remembers me, you are as close as anybody can be.
My commune is going to spread all over the earth. Wherever you will see a sannyasin, my commune exists there. Wherever you will find a sannyasin, I am there with him.
Wherever a sannyasin remembers me I am present to him, far more deeply than I can be physically present - because I am no longer in my body, just somehow hanging around the body. I am no longer the body. If you love me you will know that I am something totally different from the body; it is a nonphysical phenomenon.
And, Naomi, you can be in contact wherever you are. The moment you close your eyes you will find me inside you. The master becomes part of the disciple. Slowly slowly, the master is no longer outside, he is more and more inside. And it has started happening - the process is triggered, and it is a process which cannot be stopped; even the gross material world of the West cannot stop it. And you will not be there for long either; soon you will be pulled here. Now this is your home. Wherever you are you will find yourself an outsider.
A NOBLE HORSE RARELY FEELS THE TOUCH OF THE WHIP. WHO IS THERE IN THIS WORLD AS BLAMELESS? Buddha asks. WHO IS THERE IN THIS WORLD AS BLAMELESS? - that one is capable of becoming a buddha. That one is capable first of becoming a disciple, then becoming a master.
THEN LIKE A NOBLE HORSE SMART UNDER THE WHIP, BURN AND BE SWIFT.
Be like a noble horse - smart, aware, watchful. BURN AND BE SWIFT. If you are aware.... Awareness is fire; it burns all that is wrong in you. It burns your ego. It burns your greed, it burns your possessiveness, it burns your jealousy - it burns all that is wrong and negative, and it enhances all that is beautiful, graceful, divine.
And when the gross and the ugly are burned, a great sharpness happens to your being, a great swiftness comes to your life, a great intensity and passion, a great totality and wholeness.
BELIEVE, MEDITATE, SEE.
Let me remind you again: don't read "believe," read "trust": Trust, MEDITATE, SEE.
These are the three steps, simple, very simple. The first thing is trust: have a loving trust for all that is, then meditation becomes easy because you can relax. The person who trusts can relax into existence. The person who cannot trust remains tense, remains anxious, afraid. The person who trusts can melt, can disappear, evaporate. He knows that, "Even if I fall into the ocean, I am just a dewdrop..." but he also knows that, "As a dewdrop I will disappear, but I will exist as the ocean. I will not be losing anything; I will be gaining all." Meditation is a dewdrop disappearing in the ocean.
And then there is seeing. That's why I say Buddha has no philosophy but a philosia - he has no system of thought but a way, a method, to see.
BE HARMLESS, BE BLAMELESS. AWAKE TO THE LAW.
Remain in tune with that law of existence. Flow with the river; don't try to go upstream.
Let let-go be your fundamental sutra, and then you will be harmless and you will be blameless.
AWAKE TO THE LAW - AES DHAMMO SANANTANO - awake to the eternal law.
AND FROM ALL SORROW FREE YOURSELF.
Sorrow arises whenever you go against the law of existence, and bliss whenever you go in rhythm with it, dancing with it hand in hand.
THE FARMER CHANNELS WATER TO HIS LAND. THE FLETCHER WHITTLES HIS ARROWS. THE CARPENTER TURNS HIS WOOD. AND THE WISE MAN MASTERS HIMSELF.
This is the way to be wise and to be a master of oneself. Without being a master of oneself, life is empty, vain, meaningless. It can't have any poetry, it can't have any joy, it can't have any ecstasy. And ecstasy, joy, is your birthright - but you can have it only when you attain to this worth, to this worthiness.
Become aware, trust, start seeing - drop all beliefs and all doubts, and the goal is not far away. You need not go anywhere. If you can trust, meditate, see, if you can awaken to the eternal law, you are the master - not the master of anybody else but the master of yourself. And that is the true mastery. Jesus calls it the Kingdom of God.
But you will have to be reborn, you will have to learn a new way of life - a new way, let me remind you, not a new philosophy. And Buddha is giving you hints. These hints can be used if you listen attentively, intelligently, meditatively.
Enough for today.
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 4