Aes dhammo sanantano
The first question:
HOW CAN I GO TO THE OTHER SHORE WHEN I AM TRYING TO BE HERENOW? IT IS A MESS IN MY MIND WHEN I THINK OF THAT, BUT SOMEWHERE IN MY HEART I FEEL A KIND OF REST.
Deva Darpan, "the other shore" is only a metaphor. There is no other shore; this is the only shore there is. To be herenow is to enter the other shore.
We can live in two ways: we can live in time or we can live in eternity. If we live in time, metaphorically that is called "this shore"; if we live in eternity, metaphorically that is called "the other shore." The gate to enter into eternity is herenow. To live in time is to live either in past or in future.
Mind lives in time - mind IS time. It is always entangled either with the past or with the future - and both are not. The past is no more, the future not yet, and the mind lives in something that is not. Mind's existence is a very shadowy, pseudo existence; it is just a reflection in the mirror, the moon seen reflected in the lake.
To be herenow means getting out of time. You will have to pull yourself from the past, you will have to be out of the past. You will have to slip out of the past as a snake slips out of the old skin. And you will have to be very alert not to get entangled into the future - future projections, dreams. If you can avoid past and future you are alert, you are aware.
That's what Buddha means by SAMMASATI - right awareness. Then you are now and you are here. Where else can you be? That's where you really are!
Even though you go on moving into the past and into the future, all that movement is like a dream. You fall asleep, you remain in your room, but in your dream you can wander all over the earth, or you can go to the planets, to the moon, or to the stars. But in the morning when you wake up you will not find yourself on the moon. You may have been the whole night in your dream on the moon; you are going to wake up in your room. So even when you were walking on the moon, in your dream you were in your room - really you were in your room.
We are always in the present; there is nowhere else to be. But we can dream, we can imagine, we can revive memories, we can project in the future great illusions... but still we are herenow! The day, the moment, you become aware that you are here and you cannot be anywhere else, that you are now and you cannot be then, you sink into the reality, you go to the depth of reality itself, you change your gear from time to eternity.
The cross in its original sense represented time and eternity. It does not represent simply Jesus' crucifixion; the cross is an older symbol than Jesus. In fact it is only a part of the ancient Eastern symbol, SWASTIKA, just a part of it. The swastika in the East has always represented time and eternity; the cross also represents time. Time is horizontal, it is linear; it moves from one moment to another moment. And the vertical line on the cross represents eternity - depth, height. In time you swim, in eternity you dive.
Herenow simply means this gap between the past and the future, this small interval.
From this small interval you enter into a totally different world - that is called "the other shore."
Darpan, you need not be puzzled. But sometimes if you catch hold of metaphors too literally you can become very much confused. And I have to use metaphors; there is no other way to express that which cannot really be expressed, to express that about which the only right course is to be silent. The only possible way is to use metaphors, parables, stories, because they give you indirect hints.
The reality is so delicate and so fragile; it is like a very delicate flower. If you try to catch hold of it directly you destroy it. You cannot hold it in your fist; it is very mercurial.
You can only move in a very indirect way, and very subtle has to be your movement - not even the footsteps should be heard. You can only whisper with reality; you cannot shout and you cannot argue.
That's what a metaphor is: a dialogue which is done in whispers, a dialogue which is done in a poetic way; not prose, not clear-cut, not mathematical - vague, mysterious.
You cannot attack reality; you can only persuade, you can seduce reality. It is a love affair, not a rape.
That's where religion and science are different. Science is a kind of rape on reality. It tries to snatch truth from reality forcibly, violently; hence it destroys the natural equilibrium, the natural balance. It destroys ecology, it destroys the harmony, the accord of existence. It IS a rape, because science speaks in the language of conquest.
Religion is a love affair, it is not a rape. Religion woos reality, persuades, slowly slowly, in a very indirect way. One has to be exquisitely graceful, hence these metaphors.
"The other shore" is a beautiful metaphor, but let me remind you: this is the other shore, this is that. You are not going to change the shore, you are simply going to change your consciousness. The change has not to happen in the outside - not that you take a boat, a ferry, and you go to the other shore. That will be a change in the outer circumstances.
No, you drop the mind and you become consciousness, and the other shore has arrived.
You have not moved even a single inch, you may not have done anything at all - you may have been simply sitting with closed eyes....
That's what Buddha was doing when he reached the other shore. In Bodhgaya he was sitting underneath a tree by the side of the river Niranjana. It was early morning, a beautiful, silent morning, and he opened his eyes. The last star was disappearing from the sky; he saw the last star disappearing, and something inside, in him, also disappeared... the last trace of the ego. The sky became empty, HE became empty, and these two emptinesses met, merged, melted into each other. The sky entered into him, he entered the sky.
On the visible side, on the outside, nothing was changed; everything was exactly the same. The Niranjana continued to flow, the birds must have continued to sing; not even a leaf has fallen from the tree, nothing has changed... and all has changed. Now Buddha is no longer a mind; he has become meditation. He is no longer in thoughts; he has become a pure witness, a SAKSHIN.
This is the other shore I am talking about.
That's why when you think, Darpan, you feel a little confused, but when you don't think about it you also feel a kind of rest. Watch! Confusion must be felt in the head and the rest in the heart. The heart has its own reasons, its own way of understanding things.
When I am talking to you, I am not only talking to your minds - that is only the superficial part. What is really transpiring between me and you is something of the heart. The mind is being used as a stepping-stone towards the heart, that's all. I am using words as stepping-stones, as means, not as an end in themselves.
That's why these two things are felt by you simultaneously: a confusion in the head and a deep rest in the heart. The heart understands - the heart understands that this moment, the herenow, is the other shore. But the heart is not very articulate; the head is very articulate. This is one of the dilemmas: the head cannot understand but is very articulate, and the heart can understand but is not very articulate. It understands but its understanding remains silent; in fact the more it understands, the more silent it becomes. The head understands nothing; in fact the less it understands, the more noisy it is. You have to see this point.
Use the head to reach to the heart, but don't become rooted in the head. Don't stay there! Use it as a stepping-stone, as a ladder, but don't make your house there; otherwise your whole life will be of confusion, anxiety, anguish. Use it, and forget all about it. Enter into the heart and listen to the silent dance of the heart energy. Listen to the relaxed, restful song of the heart, the soundless sound, the one hand clapping.
The heart is very close to the mystery of existence; the head is the farthest away. The head is this shore and the heart is that shore - but you are already on that shore. The head is simply dreaming things. When you get out of the head you simply get out of something which never existed in the first place.
The second question:
YOU CONTINUOUSLY TELL US TO "BE AWARE," TO "BE A WITNESS." BUT CAN A WITNESSING CONSCIOUSNESS REALLY SING, DANCE AND TASTE LIFE? IS A WITNESS A MERE SPECTATOR OF LIFE AND NEVER A PARTICIPANT?
Anand Nur, mind is bound to raise this question sooner or later, because mind is very much afraid of your becoming a witness. Why is the mind so much afraid of your becoming a witness? - because your becoming a witness is the death of the mind.
Mind is a doer, it wants to do things, and witnessing is a state of nondoing. The mind is afraid that, "If you become a witness, I will not be needed anymore." And in a way the mind is right....
Once the witness arises in you the mind has to disappear, just like if you bring light into your room and the darkness has to disappear - it is inevitable. Mind can exist only if you remain fast asleep, because mind is a state of dreaming and dreams can exist only in sleep.
By becoming a witness you are no longer asleep, you are awake. You become awareness - so crystal-clear, so young and fresh, so vital and potent. You become a flame - intense, burning from both the ends - as if, in that state of intensity, light, consciousness, mind dies, mind commits suicide. Hence the mind is afraid.
And mind will create many problems for you, it will raise many many questions. It will make you hesitate to take the jump into the unknown, it will try to pull you back. It will try to convince you that, "With me is safety, security; with me you are living under a shelter, well guarded. I take every care of you. With me you are efficient, skillful. The moment you leave me, you will have to leave all your knowledge and you will have to leave all your securities, safeties. You will have to drop your armor and you will be going into the unknown. You are unnecessarily taking a risk for no reason at all." And it will try to bring beautiful rationalizations. This is one of the rationalizations which almost always happens to every meditator.
It is not you, Anand Nur, who is asking the question; it is the mind, your enemy, who is putting the questions through you. It is mind who is saying, "Beloved Master, you continuously tell us to 'be aware,' to 'be a witness.' But can a witnessing consciousness really sing, dance and taste life?"
Yes, Anand Nur - in fact only a witnessing consciousness can really sing, dance and taste life. It will appear like a paradox - it is! But all that is true is always paradoxical, remember. If truth is not paradoxical then it is not truth at all, then it is something else.
Paradox is a basic, intrinsic quality of truth - let it sink into your heart forever! Truth as such is paradoxical. Although all paradoxes are not truths, all truths are paradoxes. The truth has to be a paradox because it has to be both the poles - the negative and the positive - and yet a transcendence. It has to be life and death, and plus. By "plus" I mean the transcendence of both - both and both not. That is the ultimate paradox.
When you are in the mind, how can you sing? The mind creates misery; out of misery there can be no song. When you are in the mind, how can you dance? Yes, you can go through certain empty gestures called dance, but it is not a real dance.
Only a Meera knows a real dance, or a Krishna, or a Chaitanya. These are the people who know real dance. Others know only the technique of dancing, but there is nothing overflowing; their energies are stagnant. People who are living in the mind are living in the ego, and the ego cannot dance. It can make a performance but not a dance.
The real dance happens only when you have become a witness. Then you are so blissful that the very bliss starts overflowing - that is the dance. The very bliss starts singing; a song arises on its own accord. And only when you are a witness can you taste life.
I can understand your question, Anand Nur. You are worried that by becoming a witness one will become merely a spectator of life. No, to be a spectator is one thing, and to be a witness a totally different thing, qualitatively different.
A spectator is indifferent, he is dull, he is in a kind of sleep. He does not participate in life. He is afraid, he is a coward. He stands by the side of the road and simply goes on seeing others living. That's what you are doing all your life: somebody else acts in a movie and you see. You are a spectator! People are glued to their chairs for hours together before their TVs - spectators. Somebody else is singing, you are listening.
Somebody else is dancing, you are just a spectator. Somebody else is loving and you are just seeing. You are not a participant. Professionals are doing what you should have done on your own.
A witness is not a spectator. Then what is a witness? A witness is one who participates yet remains alert. A witness is in a state of WU-WEI. That is Lao Tzu's word: it means action through inaction. A witness is not one who has escaped from life. He lives in life, lives far more totally, far more passionately, but yet remains deep down a watcher; goes on remembering that, "I am a consciousness."
Try it walking on the road: remember that you are a consciousness. Walking continues - - and a new thing is added, a new richness is added, a new beauty. Something interior is added to the outward act. You become a flame of consciousness, and then the walking has a totally different joy to it; you are on the earth and yet your feet are not touching the earth at all.
That's what Buddha has said: Pass through a river, but don't let the water touch your feet.
That's the meaning of the Eastern symbol of the lotus. You must have seen Buddha's statues, pictures of him sitting on a lotus - that is a metaphor. A lotus is a flower that lives in the water and yet the water cannot touch it. The lotus does not escape to the Himalayan caves; it lives in the water and yet remains far, far away. Being in the marketplace but not allowing the marketplace to enter into your being, living in the world and yet not of the world - that is what is meant by a "witnessing consciousness."
That's what I mean by saying to you again and again: Be aware! I am not against action, but your action has to be enlightened by awareness. Those who are against action, they are bound to be repressive - and all kinds of repression make you pathological, not whole, not healthy.
The monks living in the monasteries, Catholic or Hindu; the monks of the Jainas and the Buddhists, who have escaped from life - they are not true sannyasins. They have simply repressed their desires and they have moved away from the world, the world of action. Where can you be a witness if you move away from the world of action? The world of action is the best opportunity to be aware. It gives you a challenge, it remains constantly a challenge.
Either you can fall asleep and become a doer; then you are a worldly man, a dreamer, a victim of illusions - or you can become a witness and yet go on living in the world; then your action has a different quality to it. It is really action. Those who are not aware, their actions are not real actions but reactions; they only react. Somebody insults you and you react. Insult the Buddha: he does not react - he acts. Reaction is dependent on the other - he pushes a button and you are only a victim, a slave; you function like a machine.
The real person, who knows what awareness is, never reacts; he acts out of his own awareness. The action does not come from the other's act; nobody can push his button.
If he feels spontaneously that this is right to do, he does it; if he feels nothing is needed, he keeps quiet. He is not repressive; he is always open, expressive. His expression is multidimensional. In song, in poetry, in dance, in love, in prayer, in compassion, he flows.
If you don't become aware, then there are only two possibilities: either you will be repressive or indulgent. Both ways you remain in a bondage.
A nun was raped just outside the monastery. When she was finally found, she was carried inside and the nearby physician was called.
He came, raised his hands and said, "This is work for a plastic surgeon!"
A plastic surgeon was called. When he saw the poor nun he exclaimed, "Oh, my God!
What a mess! Where should I start?"
The mother superior replied, "Well, that's easy. First get that smile off her face!"
The third question:
WHAT IS YES? I FIND THAT I HAVE NO REAL UNDERSTANDING OF IT. I HAVE SEEN THAT WHENEVER I SAY YES, THERE IS A HINT OF SURPRISE, AS IF I AM AMAZED THAT THERE IS NO REASON TO SAY NO. MY YES IS ALWAYS INSTEAD OF NO. WHERE IS THE SEAT OF THIS EXPERIENCE, YES...?
Prem Satyamo, yes contains the very essence of all religions. Saying yes to existence is to be religious. Saying no is resistance, saying no is conflict, saying no is egoistic. Saying no is keeping your separation, keeping yourself aloof. Saying yes is merging, melting into the whole. Saying yes is opening up, just like a bud opens and becomes a flower.
The no is a closed state of mind; yes is an open flower.
The difference between no and yes is the difference between a dead and an alive person. The person who lives in the no remains encapsulated, remains in a windowless world where the sun and the rain and the wind cannot reach; where God can go on knocking but even the sound of the knock will not reach; where love cannot reach.
The closed person, the person who lives with no, lives in the ego. The greater the ego, the less are the bridges between the person and existence. When the ego is total, the person is completely enclosed by a wall; he lives in a prison of his own creation. He cannot say yes to the moon and he cannot say yes to the trees and he cannot say yes to anything! He has forgotten to say yes, and even if he sometimes says yes, his yes is nothing but a camouflaged no.
I have heard a story about Joseph Stalin:
Molotov, his foreign minister, phoned him from the UNO. His wife was sitting by his side while he took the phone call. Joseph Stalin said, "No, no, no, yes, no!"
The wife was surprised. Not by the no's, so many no's - she knew her husband perfectly well, he was a man of no. He was one of the most egoistic men possible. His name is significant: 'stalin' means a man of steel. He was not really a man but a steel man, a machine, a robot. No was just natural to him.
The wife was puzzled that between those four no's there was one yes. She asked him, "Can I ask you one question? I don't want to interfere in your politics and what is going on between you and Molotov and what you are saying. Just one thing... and I have become very curious: did you really say one yes amongst all those four no's, or did I mishear you? Did you really say yes?"
Stalin said, "Yes, I said yes."
The wife asked, "Then one question more: Why did you say yes?"
He said, "When I said three no's, Molotov asked, 'Did you say no?' I said, 'Yes.'" There are people who can say yes only when it is nothing but a camouflaged no. And there are also people, very rare, who can say no only as a camouflaged yes. These are the buddhas. Yes, sometimes they also say no, but their no is not a negative no; the heart of their no is yes. They are incapable of saying no. If they have to use the word sometimes, in certain circumstances, it really means yes.
A man like Buddha can sometimes be very hard, but he is hard because of his compassion and love. George Gurdjieff was very hard on his disciples just because of his infinite compassion, his total love.
Yes is the very essence of religion, no the very foundation of irreligion. The atheist is not one who does not believe in God; the atheist is one who believes in no. And the theist is not one who believes in God; the theist is one who believes in yes - because there have been theists like Buddha and Mahavira who do not believe in God, yet where else can you find more religious people? And there are millions of people who believe in God, and their life gives no indication of any religion - no fragrance. They stink of irreligion, of violence, of hatred, of jealousy, of possessiveness. Flowers of love don't bloom in their life.
Yes is the foundation of a true religious life.
You ask me, "What is yes?"
Yes is dropping of the ego.
Yes is coming out of the mind. Yes is trust.
Just the other day Buddha was talking about trust: Trust, meditate, and see. Yes means trust, and trust is the beginning of meditation. Meditation means relaxing with existence. Unless you trust, unless you can say yes to existence, how can you relax?
People cannot relax because they are afraid. People cannot relax because they fear that if they relax they may be cheated. People can relax only with others whom they trust.
With a stranger in your room you may not be able to sleep in the night. Who knows, he may cut your throat. Who knows, he may steal your money and escape. But with your wife or husband you go into deep sleep, you can trust. The child can go with his father or mother anywhere. Even if the father is going into fire, the child can go singing a song, dancing, inquiring, questioning, unafraid, because he knows his hand is in his father's hand.
This trust is yes: knowing that this existence is our mother, that nature is our source - it can't be against us, it can't be inimical to us. Seeing this, understanding this, trust arises.
Then you can say yes. Then you can say "Amen"; that simply means yes.
And the moment you can say yes and you can relax, meditation becomes natural.
Without any effort, without any strain, without any tension, you start falling into spaces called meditation... empty of all rubbish and junk, but full of God - full of godliness rather; empty of the world, but full of something that you had never known before; full of a light which is immaterial, full of fragrance which comes from nowhere, out of the blue. Emptiness yet a plenitude, emptiness and yet a fullness - not negative.
And when there is meditation, seeing arises, DARSHAN is born - you become capable of seeing. Your eyes are so clear, so pure; no clouds, no confusion, no thoughts. Your eyes are so perceptive, so penetrating, that you can reach to the deepest core of the mystery of this existence, that you can have a glimpse of the magic that surrounds you, the eternal magic. AES DHAMMO SANANTANO: you can have a look into the inexhaustible law.
Satyamo, you ask, "What is yes? I find that I have no real understanding of it."
Nobody has! Once you have a real understanding of yes, you have all that is needed for the journey to the other shore. Then you are ready to go to the other shore. The yes becomes the boat, and it is capable of crossing all the storms. Howsoever stormy the ocean may be, the boat of yes is capable of reaching the other shore. If you have the boat of yes, then nobody can prevent you from reaching to God.
You say, "I have seen that whenever I say yes, there is a hint of surprise, as if I am amazed that there is no reason to say no."
Yes. Anybody starting saying yes, learning how to say yes, is bound to be surprised again and again. The places where you would have said no before, now you are saying yes. You are bound to be surprised because there is no reason to say no. Why did you say no your whole life? Just watch people, and yourself - almost ninety-nine percent of no's are just out of the ego; there is no valid reason for them.
The child wants to go and play outside. It is so sunny and the birds are singing and the wind is blowing and the butterflies and the bees are humming... and the child asks the mother, "Can I go out and play in the garden?" She says "No" - not even thinking, not even listening to what he is really asking for, not even giving him a single thought, a moment's awareness. No simply comes automatically, as if it is built in. She has not thought, she has not looked at the child at all. She is not saying no to what the child has asked because she is going to say no anyway. It has no reference to the child; it has some reference to her power trip.
So many women don't really want to be mothers. They are not even worthy of being mothers, but they want to be mothers, they desire to be mothers, for a totally different reason - not for motherhood.
Motherhood is a great meditation. Motherhood is one of the greatest arts: you are creating an alive being. The sculptor is nothing compared to the mother, because he will be creating only a marble statue. The painter is nothing, the poet is nothing, the singer is nothing, the musician is nothing, because they will be playing with things, objects. The mother is the greatest poet and the greatest painter and the greatest musician and the greatest sculptor, because she is creating a consciousness - life itself.
But women are not interested in motherhood, their interest is totally wrong. Although they say that they would like to be mothers, really what they want is power. A woman feels very powerful when she has children - because man has taken all other power trips from her. She is not allowed to be in the marketplace, she is not allowed to be in the church, she is not allowed to be in politics. She is not given any opportunity anywhere to have her ego fulfilled; almost ninety percent of opportunities have been taken by the man. The woman has been forced to live in the house; she can have only one power trip - over her children.
Hence the no. She has not listened, she has not seen the child; she has simply said no.
And it is absolutely meaningless! If she had listened there was no reason to say no. This is perfectly right: when the sun is dancing outside, why should the child remain in the house, dark and dismal? And when the wind is blowing outside, the child should also be allowed to dance in the wind. The child should be allowed to dance in the rain too, but the mother rationalizes, "He may catch cold or he may fall ill - that's why I am saying no." But those are just rationalizations.
In fact, each child has a birthright to dance in the rain, in the wind, in the sun. It gives health, it gives vitality. It brings him closer to nature and closer to God. The mother forces him and takes him to the church or to the temple where he can't see anything, no God at all. And where God is so much alive, so much throbbing, in nature.... The child would like to climb a tree, it is such a challenge - God is calling him from the tree, from the top of the tree!
All children should be allowed to climb trees, to climb mountains. They should be given all chances to accept all kinds of challenges. They should be helped to move into danger. They should be prepared, not protected; prepared to move into danger - helped, persuaded, rewarded, to move into danger because a man who knows how to move in danger is bound to stumble upon God sooner or later. But the mother will say no, the father will say no.
For many years a Negro kid had been praying to God to make him white. One morning he woke up and found that his skin WAS white. He got out of bed very excitedly and shouted, "Momma, Momma! Look, I have turned white!"
From the kitchen Momma replied, "Shut up, Tommy, I am getting bored with you. Tell it to your father."
Tom went into the bathroom. "Daddy, Daddy! Look, I am white now."
The father did not even turn his eyes away from the mirror. He said in a tired voice, "Oh Tommy, please, I have no time. Go and tell your sister this nonsense."
Tom was puzzled more and more. He went to his sister. "Mary, Mary, have you seen?
God did a miracle - my skin turned white!"
Mary answered, "Fuck off, man! I'm late, I gotta go."
At this point Tom was quite pissed off, and looking at his watch he said, "Well, I've been white for only five minutes but I already can't stand these fucking niggers anymore!"
No comes easy, no has become our way of life.
You ask me, Satyamo, "I feel surprised, as if amazed that there is no reason to say no."
Yes, there is no reason to say no. And if you can avoid saying mechanical no's, if sometimes there is really a reason to say no, your no will have a positive value; it will not be negative. The man who lives in the climate of yes sometimes may have to say no, but his no will not be negative, it can't be. And vice versa. The person who lives in the climate of no, even if he says yes sometimes, it is not positive, it is not really yes; it is only a disguised no. Its value is negative.
You say, "My yes is always instead of no."
In the beginning it is bound to be so. You have become so habituated to saying no that your first yes will be instead of no. But that is not the real yes yet, it is only a substitute; it will have something of the no in it, some dirtiness of the no will still cling to this yes.
It is as if your cup is dirty and you pour tea into it and your tea also becomes dirty. If your yes is only a substitute for no, if it is instead of no, then it will have some qualities of no still clinging to it. But in the beginning it is bound to be so, so don't be worried about it. Clean your cup a little more!
Start saying yes for no reason at all, just as you have been saying no up to now for no reason at all. It can be one of the most beautiful chantings, far better than repeating "Rama, Rama, Krishna, Krishna, Jesus, Jesus." Far more beautiful and far more significant, far more meaningful, will be to sit silently and repeat meaningfully, consciously, "Yes, yes, yes." It can be a far deeper going mantra than any other can ever be, because Rama and Krishna and Jesus are so far away, they are just stories; you can't really relate with them. The world has changed so much that they can't be more than stories.
I have heard that Jesus came back after eighteen hundred years just to have a look at the world, see how things are going - hoping that things must have changed by now.
Eighteen hundred years of Christianity, thousands and thousands of Christian priests all over the world, thousands of churches - the world must have changed!
He landed on the bank of Lake Galilee where he had walked once on water. Just by chance a rabbi had come for a morning walk. Jesus wanted to see the rabbi, see who he is, so he walked on the water. The rabbi looked a little puzzled. Jesus came back and said to the rabbi, "Did you see what I have done?"
The rabbi said, "Yes, I have seen. Why didn't you learn to swim like everybody else?
Are you crazy or something?"
The world has changed!
I have heard about another rabbi. He had come from America to visit the Holy Land.
He was passing Lake Galilee - he wanted to see the place also - and he asked the boatman how much it would cost; he would like to have a trip round the lake. "Can you take me to the other shore and back?"
The boatman said, "Fifty dollars."
The rabbi said, "That is too much! I have seen bigger lakes than this and I have never paid more than five dollars. Fifty...?"
The boatman said, "But you don't recognize, rabbi, that this is the place where Our Lord walked on water!"
The rabbi said, "Seeing the cost, anybody would walk on the water! I cannot pay fifty dollars - and I come from America. That poor carpenter's son, how could he have paid fifty dollars?"
The world has changed. If these people, Jesus and Krishna and Rama, suddenly land now, they will not be recognized, they will be thought crazy. They will look so outlandish, they will look as if they are coming from a film set, out of a movie - movies like THE TEN COMMANDMENTS! They will not look real.
But yes can be a totally different matter.
"Jesus" you will repeat mechanically, but saying "Yes," really meaning it... bowing down to the earth and saying yes... lying on the earth naked and saying yes to the earth as if the earth is your mother, which it is... swimming in the lake and saying yes to the water, not only saying it, but feeling it all over, each fiber of your being, each cell of your being pulsating with yes... taking a sunbath and saying yes, not verbally, I mean, but existentially... being in the mood of yes... receiving the sun, welcoming the sun and the sand and the texture of the sand, and the coolness of the wind... welcoming all these gifts of God that go on showering on you - and you don't even feel grateful.
Yes is gratitude.
No is ugly, ungratefulness.
But in the beginning, Satyamo, it is going to be so: your yes will be only instead of no.
But it is a good beginning. Slowly slowly, you will come to a yes which is not instead of no but has its own roots in your being. When that yes has happened to you which has no reference to no - not that it is not only instead of no but it has no reference to no, it is not the opposite of no, it has no resounding of no at all; you have forgotten the no, only yes exists, as if there is no opposite word to it - that is the ultimate peak of yes.
In that moment yes becomes prayer, in that moment yes becomes a bridge. The ego disappears, the separation is gone. One feels one with the whole.
You ask me, "Where is the seat of this experience, this yes...?"
The heart is the seat. The seat of no is the head; the seat of yes is the heart. They don't come from the same place, they don't come from the same world. They are utterly different. In the dictionary they belong together, but in existence itself they are utterly different - different planes, different dimensions.
The last question:
WHY DO PEOPLE THINK SO DIFFERENTLY FROM EACH OTHER?
Govind, thinking can never be the same. Here there are three thousand sannyasins sitting around me - three thousand sannyasins means three million minds. One sannyasin does not mean one mind - many, thousands, a crowd. Each person is a crowd, and each person is a different crowd, because each person has been brought up in a different way.
Somebody has been brought up as Christian and somebody as a communist - how can they think in a similar way? How can they avoid being different? And not only different but antagonistic towards each other? Somebody has been brought up as an Indian and somebody as a Chinese - how can they think in the same rhythm? Impossible.
Thinking comes from the outside - upbringing, education, conditioning, culture. And there is no way to put two people in a similar situation - not even twins think in the same way. There is no way at all to put two people exactly in the same situation. Even twins born in the same family will have different conditionings, because the mother may love one child more than the other; the father may have just the opposite preference. One child may be physically weak, the other may not be; one child may be more or less ill, the other may be healthy. The one child may be interested in games because he is healthy, the other may avoid games because he remains ill. The child who goes to play will have different friends from the child who never goes to the games - he WILL have different friends - and so on, so forth. Small differences make so much difference that you cannot imagine.
It is reported that the great Napoleon remained afraid of cats his whole life. He was not afraid of lions but he was afraid of cats. Strange! He was not afraid of anything - not even of death - but in front of a cat he was simply not in his senses. When he was just a six-month-old child, a wild cat jumped on his chest, and he became so frightened and the fear went so deep into his heart, into his unconscious, that he was incapable of overcoming it.
It is said that he was defeated only once in his life, in the last war with Nelson. Nelson brought seventy cats to frighten him. Just in front of the army... the first battalion was of cats! And the moment Napoleon saw seventy cats - one was enough! - he lost all intelligence. He started trembling and perspiring.
He told his second in command, "Now I cannot think about the army!" - and he was defeated. The credit goes to the cats, not to Nelson. Statues have been raised of Nelson and people have forgotten the cats completely. Statues should be raised of the cats; Nelson is not the real conqueror.
Small things... now, how can you avoid such small differences? Impossible. Even in twins it is difficult.
So no two persons can be brought up in the same way; hence the difference in thinking.
Differences only disappear when you meditate. If all three thousand sannyasins are in a state of meditation here - just a silence, no thought - then there are not three thousand sannyasins at all, because three thousand zeros joined together become one zero. Three thousand zeros are not three thousand zeros - they become one zero.
And that is what is happening, slowly slowly. The more you become meditative, the more your differences are dropping. This may be the only place on the whole earth where differences are disappearing. Mohammedans and Christians and Hindus and Jainas and Buddhists and Parsis - they are all together, without even thinking to what religion the other belongs. Swedish and Germans and French and Italians and Chinese and Japanese and English and Americans, all nationalities, and nobody takes any note of it, nobody even thinks about it. This may be the only communion happening on the earth, a real brotherhood.
And the reason is not that I am teaching you to be brothers, learn tolerance....
Remember, those who learn tolerance remain intolerant. The very word 'tolerance' is ugly. The moment you say, "I can tolerate others," that shows intolerance. You may have repressed your intolerance, but it is intolerance. To tolerate others means intolerance - what else can it mean?
Here, nobody is tolerating anybody. People have simply forgotten the differences, because we are moving out of the mind. My whole effort is to bring you out of the mind. If you remain in the mind, you are different. If you come out of the mind, you are one. Meditation brings a kind of unity which is not a synthesis. I am not interested in synthesizing Hinduism with Christianity and Christianity with Islam and Islam with Buddhism. That is all nonsense.
My effort is totally different: I am trying to bring you out of your mind. When the Christian comes out of his mind he is no longer Christian, and when the Hindu comes out of his mind he is no longer Hindu. It is not a synthesis, it is dropping of the mind.
Mind creates all the differences.
You ask me, Govind, "Why do people think so differently from each other?"
They have been brought up differently, they have been conditioned differently. They cannot think as others think - that is impossible! They cannot interpret the way others interpret. A Jew can read the New Testament, but it will not be the same book - although it is the same book visibly, it will not be the same book that Christians read, because to the Jew, Jesus is a renegade, Jesus betrayed Judaism. Now that is very deep- rooted. The Christian reading the New Testament is not reading an ordinary book - it is the holiest of the holy. Jesus is God's only begotten son.
When the Hindu reads the same book, he reads it indifferently; it doesn't matter much.
And he goes on comparing it with the Upanishads and the Gita and finds it poor. Not that it is poor - he reads the Gita in a different way. That is the Lord's song and this is just a carpenter's son, Jesus - how can he be compared with Krishna?
Krishna is an incarnation of God, and this man Jesus seems to be an intelligent child.
Krishna comes directly from the seventh paradise. Krishna is incomparable, he is the perfect master. Jesus is good; one can say at the most, "a good man." The comparison from the very beginning becomes impossible.
The Jaina reads the Gita, but he cannot read it the way the Hindu reads it. Their eyes are different, their perspectives are different. The Jaina scriptures say that Krishna has fallen into hell because he was the cause of this great war. Arjuna seems to be closer to the heart of a Jaina, because Arjuna was saying, "I don't want to fight, I don't want to kill. What is the point of killing these people? Just for the kingdom? And one day my death will come and that kingdom will be gone, so what is the point? I am going to renounce, I am going to become a monk."
And if he had escaped there is every possibility he may have become a Jaina monk. If you really want to become a monk then the best way is to become a Jaina monk, because that is the worst kind of monk possible. Other monks are so-so; the Jaina monk is really a monk! You cannot improve upon it.
But Krishna persuaded Arjuna not to escape. He must have been a man like me, who said, "This is escape. You are a coward. Live in the world! Fight! - because you are a warrior, and that is your type. You can't be a monk, that is not in your nature. Follow your nature."
Krishna says to Arjuna, "SWADHARME NIDHANAM SHREYAH PARDHARMO BHAYAWAHAH." Never follow anybody else's idea - that is very dangerous because you will become imitative. Always follow your own nature, self-nature; only then will you attain to freedom. It is better to die following one's nature than to live following somebody's else's nature, because that will be a pseudo life. To die following one's nature is beautiful, because that death too will be authentic.
Krishna convinced Arjuna - that is how the whole Gita was born. It is a dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna. Arjuna was trying to escape and Krishna was pulling him back into the world - and finally he succeeded.
Jainas have been very angry - they missed a good monk. They have thrown Krishna into the seventh hell for a very long period, because he was the cause of millions of people's deaths. India has never known a greater war since. Now, how can a Jaina read the Gita with the same interpretation as the Hindu? Impossible. From the very beginning the mind is prejudiced.
People are bound to think differently, because they are brought up differently, in different religions, through different priests, different schools, different colleges, different universities. They have been fed different ideas, ideologies - they are bound to think differently. And there is no way to make them think similarly - impossible.
The only possible way is to bring them out of their minds. Then they slip out of the whole upbringing. Then suddenly there is oneness; then you see with pure eyes, uncontaminated by the culture and the tradition; then you see really as things are, not as you are supposed to see them. You become a pure mirror.
Thinking can never create one world: only meditation can create one world.
Clusky went to confession for the first time in twenty-five years. "Tell me," asked the priest, "did you ever sleep with a woman?"
"Eh, no, Father," replied Clusky.
"Now, son," said the priest, "I will ask you again. Did you ever sleep with a woman?"
"Ah, ey, ah - no, Father!"
"There is you and me and God listening. I'm going to ask you once more. In the last twenty-five years, have you ever slept with a woman?"
"Well, eh, come to think of it, Father," said Clusky, "I did doze off a time or two!"
Now you see the difference: people listen according to their idea. And it is natural....
Claude was sitting at a sidewalk cafe sipping a glass of wine. Just then his friend Rene came running up to him.
"Claude," he gasped, "I just saw a man going into your house."
"Who is this man, Rene? What did he look like?"
"He was six feet tall and had black hair and a black mustache," reported Rene.
"And did he wear a checked cap with a striped Basque shirt?" asked Claude.
"Yes," agreed Rene. "You have described the man."
"That was only Pierre," he said. "He will make love to anybody!"
Both the persons are thinking differently. Their approach is different, their attitude is different; then the conclusions become different.
Foong, the laundryman, had been in America ten years and kept sending money to his wife in China, telling the bank clerk proudly that his wife had just had a new baby.
"But Mr. Foong," said the clerk, "you have been here in America ten years."
"Yes, yes," says the Chinaman happily. "I got velly good fliends in China."
People are full of different conceptions, philosophies of life, ways of looking at things; hence they are bound to think differently. Thinking makes you different from others, separate from others; thinking is a function of the ego. Nonthinking... suddenly all differences evaporate.
And that's what I teach, and that's what Buddha's whole message is: Become a no-mind.
Become pure consciousness, an empty sky with no clouds of thoughts. Then who are you - Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian? Indian, Japanese, German? Black, white? Man, woman? Who are you? Young, old? Rich, poor? Famous, notorious? WHO ARE YOU?
All these differences disappear. You are a pure silence.
That silence is your supreme self. To attain it is to attain nirvana. To attain it is to be available to benediction, to all God's blessings.
Meditate more and more so that you can disappear, so that you can allow God to be.
The moment you are not, God is - and God is one, and you are many. Not only outside are you many, inside also you are many. And when you disappear - the many disappear from the inside and from the outside - then these are all waves of the same ocean.
And to know the ocean that is hidden behind all the waves of different shape, color, form, is to know the truth.
And truth liberates.
AES DHAMMO SANANTANO - this is the ultimate, the inexhaustible law, that truth liberates.
Enough for today.