Live in joy

Fri, 25 October 1979 00:00:00 GMT
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The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 6
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am in Buddha Hall
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It is a pleasant surprise to meditate on these sutras of today. They go against the idea that prevails all over the world about Gautama the Buddha. He is represented by his enemies and even by his friends and followers as the pessimist PAR EXCELLENCE. He is not a pessimist at all; he is one of the most joyous persons ever. These sutras will give you immense insight into the heart of this awakened man:


Joy is the keyword of all these sutras. Joy is not happiness, because happiness is always mixed with unhappiness. It is never found in purity, it is always polluted. It always has a long shadow of misery behind it. Just as day is followed by night, happiness is followed by unhappiness.

Then what is joy? Joy is a state of transcendence. One is neither happy nor unhappy, but utterly peaceful, quiet, in absolute equilibrium; so silent and so alive that his silence is a song, that his song is nothing but his silence. Joy is forever; happiness is momentary.

Happiness is caused by the outside, hence can be taken away from the outside - you have to depend on others. And any dependence is ugly, any dependence is a bondage.

Joy arises within, it has nothing to do with the outside. It is not caused by others, it is not caused at all. It is the spontaneous flow of your own energy.

If your energy is stagnant there is no joy. If your energy becomes a flow, a movement, a river, there is great joy - for no other reason, just because you become more fluid, more flowing, more alive. A song is born in your heart, a great ecstasy arises.

It is a surprise when it arises, because you cannot find any cause for it. It is the most mysterious experience in life: something uncaused, something beyond the law of cause and effect. It need not be caused because it is your intrinsic nature, you are born with it.

It is something inborn, it is YOU in your totality, flowing.

Whenever you are flowing, you are flowing towards the ocean. That is the joy: the dance of the river moving towards the ocean to meet the ultimate beloved. When your life is a stagnant pool you are simply dying. You are not moving anywhere - no ocean, no hope. But when you are flowing, the ocean is coming closer every moment, and the closer the river comes, the more dance there is, the more ecstasy there is.

Your consciousness is a river. Buddha has called it a continuum. It is a continuity, an eternal continuity, an eternal flow. Buddha has never thought about you and your being as something static. In his vision, the word 'being' is not right. According to him, being is nothing but becoming. He denies being; he accepts becoming, because being gives you a static idea of something inside you like a rock. Becoming gives you a totally different idea: like a river, like a lotus opening, like a sunrise. Something is constantly happening. You are not sitting there like a rock, you are growing.

Buddha changes the whole metaphysics: he replaces being by becoming, he replaces things by processes, he replaces nouns by verbs.

LIVE IN JOY.... Live in your own innermost nature, with absolute acceptance of whosoever you are. Don't try to manipulate yourself according to others' ideas. Just BE yourself, your authentic nature... and joy is bound to arise; it wells up within you.

When the tree is taken care of, watered, looked after, it naturally blooms one day. When the spring comes there is great flowering. So is it with man. Take care of yourself. Find a right soil for your being, find a right climate, and go deeper and deeper into yourself.

Don't explore the world; explore your nature. Because by exploring the world you may have many possessions, but you will not be a master. But by exploring yourself you may not have many possessions, but you will be a master. It is better to be a master of yourself than to be a master of the whole world.

LIVE IN JOY, IN LOVE.... And one who lives in joy naturally lives in love. Love is the fragrance of the flower of joy. Inside there is joy; you cannot contain it. It is so much, it is unbearable. If you try to be miserly about it, you will feel pain. Joy can be so much that if you don't share it, it can become suffering, it can become pain.

Joy has to be shared; by sharing it you are unburdened, by sharing it new sources open up within you, new streams, new springs. That sharing of your joy is love. Hence one thing has to be remembered: you cannot love unless you have attained to joy.

And millions of people go on doing that: they want to love and they don't know anything about what joy is. Then their love is hollow, empty, meaningless. Then their love brings despair, misery, anguish; it creates hell. Unless you have joy you can't be in love. You have nothing to give, you are a beggar yourself. First you need to be a king - and your joy will make you a king.

When you are radiating joy.... Buddha says: When you have become the shining one, when your hidden secrets are no longer secrets but are flowering in the wind, in the rain, in the sun; when your imprisoned splendor is released, when your mystery has become an open phenomenon, when it is vibrating around you, pulsating around you, when it is in your breath, in your heartbeat - then you can love. Then you touch dust and the dust is transformed into the divine. Then whatsoever you touch becomes gold.

Ordinary pebbles in your hand will be transmuted into diamonds, emeralds. Ordinary pebbles... people touched by you will not be ordinary anymore.

A man who has attained to joy becomes a source of great transformation for many people. His flame has been lit, now he can help others. The unlit flames coming closer to the one who has become afire with joy, can also become lit.

That's what SATSANG is, that's what communion with a master is: coming closer to his fire, coming closer to his splendor, coming closer to his glory, coming closer to what has happened to him. And just by coming closer the flame jumps into you and you are never the same again.

Love is possible only when your flame is lit. Otherwise you are a dark continent - and you are pretending to give light to others? Love is light, hate is darkness. You are dark within and trying to give light to others? You will only succeed in giving them more darkness - and they are already in darkness. You will multiply their darkness, you will make them more miserable. Don't try to do that, because it is impossible, it is not according to the nature of things. It can't happen. You can hope, but all your hope is in vain. First be filled with joy.

LIVE IN JOY, IN LOVE, EVEN AMONG THOSE WHO HATE. And then it is not a question of what others do to you. Then one can love even those who hate him. Then one can live in love and joy even amongst enemies.

A disciple of Buddha became enlightened, and Buddha said to him, "Now that you have entered the temple, go and spread the message, because there are many who need a little help, there are many who are drowning in the river of sorrow. Now that you have learned how to swim - help others. Now you have the boat, you can take them to the other shore. Remember the way I helped you; now you go and help others."

The disciple said, "Whatever you say I will do; I will go. It hurts to leave you. It hurts, it is painful to go away from you, but if you say so, I will go. If you had told me before...."

See the love of a disciple, of a devotee! He says, "If you had told me before, I would not have tried for enlightenment at all, because to be with you is far more significant. I would have risked enlightenment, I would have dropped the very project, if I had known before that I would have to leave. But now it is too late. If you say so, I will go."

Buddha said to him, "You can choose the direction, the place, where you would like to go."

In Bihar there was one part where no disciple of Buddha had ever gone: Suka was the name of the place. The disciple said, "I will go to Suka."

Buddha looked a little surprised. The disciple was young, very young, not only in age but young also in his enlightenment. He did not know the ways of the world. Buddha said, "You are not aware, it seems, that the people of Suka are very dangerous people, murderers, thieves, robbers. That's why no one has chosen to go there yet."

The young man said, "But that's why I am choosing to go there, because they also need your message. They also need you, and more so than others. Bless me so that I can go and help a few people there."

Buddha said, "Then you will have to answer three questions. The first is: those people are so mischievous - I know them - if you go there they won't listen to you. They will insult you, they will try to humiliate you, they are going to be very nasty to you. When they will insult you and be nasty to you, how are you going to respond?"

The young man said, "There is no need to ask me - you know how I am going to respond. I will thank them, will be grateful to them, because they are good people. They only insult me, they only humiliate me. They could have beaten me and they are not beating me. They could have thrown stones at me and they are not throwing stones at me. They are good people! I will be grateful to them that they are not harming my body."

Buddha said, "And if they start hitting you, beating you, wounding you, throwing stones at you, then what will your response be?"

And the young man said, "I will still be tremendously grateful to them that they are only throwing stones at me, beating me, but are still leaving me alive, are not killing me.

They could have killed me!"

Buddha said, "Now the last question. If they kill you, by the time you are dying, in those last moments when you are dying, what will be your response?"

The young man said, "I will still be grateful to them because they have only killed my body; they cannot kill me. And sooner or later my body is going to go anyway. And I will also be grateful that they have destroyed my body and now they have taken from me all opportunities of committing any error. I will not be able to commit any error, I will not be able to go astray. I will be thankful, I will die with great gratitude."

Buddha said, "Now you can go anywhere. You can go to Suka or wherever you choose, you are ready. If this is your response, you have become a buddha - you are the shining one."

It is not a question of loving those who love you. That is very ordinary, that is businesslike, a bargain. The real love is to love those who hate you. Right now even to love those who love you is not possible, because you don't know what joy is. But when you know joy, the miracle happens, the magic. Then you are capable of loving those who hate you. In fact, it is no longer a question of loving somebody or not loving somebody, because YOU become love; you don't have anything else left.

In the Koran, I have heard, there is a statement, "Hate the Devil." A great Sufi mystic woman, Rabiya, canceled that line from HER Koran. Hassan, another famous mystic, was staying with Rabiya; he saw Rabiya doing it. He said, "What are you doing? The Koran cannot be corrected - that is blasphemy. You cannot cut any statement from the Koran; it is perfect as it is. There is no possibility of any improvement. What are you doing?"

Rabiya said, "Hassan, I have to do it! It is not a question of the Koran, it is something totally different: since I have known God I cannot hate. It is not a question of the Devil, I simply cannot hate. Even if the Devil comes in front of me I will love him, because now I can only love; I am incapable of hate - that has disappeared. If one is full of light he can give you only light; whether you are a friend or an enemy does not matter.

"From where," Rabiya says, "can I bring darkness to throw on the Devil? It is no longer anywhere - I am light. My light will fall on the Devil as much as on God. Now, for me, there is no God and no Devil, I cannot even make a distinction. My whole being is transformed into love; nothing is left.

"I am not correcting the Koran - who am I to correct it? - but this statement is no longer relevant to me. And this is MY copy; I am not correcting anybody else's Koran. I have the right to put my copy right according to myself. This statement hits me hard whenever I come across it. I cannot make any sense out of it; hence I am crossing it out."

A man who is full of joy and love can't help it. He loves friends, he loves enemies. It is not a question of decision on his part; love is now his nature, like breathing. Will you stop breathing if an enemy comes to see you? Will you say, "How can I breathe in front of my enemy?" Will you say, "How can I breathe because my enemy is also breathing and his air which has passed through his lungs may enter into me? I can't breathe." You will suffocate, you will die. It will be suicide and utterly stupid.

On the way a moment comes when love is just like breathing - the breathing of your soul. You go on loving.

In this light you can understand Jesus' statement: Love your enemies as yourself. If you ask Buddha, he will say: There is no need to do such a thing, because you can't do otherwise. You have to love. In fact YOU ARE LOVE, so wherever you are - in flowers, in thorns, in the dark night, in the full noontide, in misery surrounding you like an ocean or in great success - it does not matter. You remain love; everything else becomes immaterial. Your love becomes something of the eternal, it continues. One may accept it, one may not accept it, but you can't hate; you have to be your true nature.


By health Buddha means wholeness. Health comes from the same root as 'healing'. A healed person is a healthy person, a healed person is a whole person. By "health" Buddha does not mean the ordinary, medical meaning of the term; his meaning is not medicinal, it is meditational - although you will be surprised to know that the words 'meditation' and 'medicine' both come from the same root. Medicine heals you physically, meditation heals you spiritually. Both are healing processes, both bring health.

But Buddha is not talking about the health of the body; he is talking about the health of your soul. Be whole, be total. Don't be fragmentary, don't be divided. Be an individual, literally: indivisible, one piece.

People are not one piece; they are many fragments, somehow holding themselves together. They can fall apart at any moment. They are all Humpty-Dumpties, just bundles of many things. Any new situation, any new danger, any insecurity, and they can fall apart. Your wife dies or you go bankrupt or you are unemployed - any small thing can prove the last straw on the camel's back. The difference is only of degrees.

Somebody is boiling at ninety-eight degrees, somebody at ninety-nine; somebody may be ninety-nine point nine degrees, but the difference is only of degrees, and any small thing can change the balance. You can go insane at any moment, because inside you are already a crowd.

So many desires, so many dreams, so many people are living in you. If you watch carefully, you will not find one person there but many faces, changing every moment. It is as if you are just a marketplace where so many people are going and coming, so much noise, and nothing makes sense.

Just the other day, Subhash asked a question: "Beloved Master, do you ever dream?"

You can dream only if you are many. You can dream only if you have many desires. I have none. Dreams are a by-product of desiring: what you desire in the day, you dream in the night. Dreaming is a hangover; something has remained incomplete in the day that has to be completed. The mind is a perfectionist; it wants to try, in every possible way, to complete things.

On the road you saw a beautiful restaurant, but you were in a hurry. You were going for some work and you could not enter into the restaurant. And the smell of the food was so enchanting and the color of the food.... You wanted to go in but you could not.

You will dream about the restaurant; you will have to dream just to complete the whole process, so that it drops and no longer goes on hanging onto you. But your dreams will reflect your insanity.

A sane person cannot dream - but by a "sane person" I mean a shining one, a buddha. I don't mean by "sane" what YOU mean by the word. To you, the insane people are in the insane asylums and everybody outside is sane. That is not so. Just the wall of the asylum does not divide the sane from the insane. There are insane people inside and there are insane people outside. The people who are outside have not yet been caught or maybe they are still within the boundary of normal behavior. At least on the surface they can manage; in their innermost core they may be insane.

I cannot dream even if I want to; it is impossible. Whenever I am sitting I am simply sitting - there is no thought. And when I am sleeping I am simply sleeping - there is no dream. But Subhash must be suffering from dreams. Everybody is suffering, day in, day out.

"I am worried. Last night I dreamed I was alone with a hundred beautiful blondes, a hundred beautiful brunettes and a hundred beautiful redheads. It was horrible!"

"Good heavens, man! What is so horrible about that?" asked the psychiatrist of the patient.

"I dreamed that I was a girl, too!"

Your dreams will reflect you. Who else can they reflect? Your dreams are keys; through your dreams much can be known about you.

The whole of psychoanalysis depends on your dreams for clues. When you are awake you are not trustworthy; what you say about yourself is deceptive. In your dreams you are more innocent, because there is nobody to control and repress. The conscience is fast asleep, morality is gone; you are more natural, more normal. In your dreams you are purer. Hence psychoanalysis has to depend on your dreams and through your dreams it comes to conclusions about you.

This is a very sad state of affairs: that you cannot be trusted at all, because you say one thing and you are totally something else. And it is not that you deliberately try to deceive; deception has almost become your second nature. That's why you immediately forget your dreams; it is a strategy of the mind. Within five seconds of waking up...

when you wake up there is a little lingering, a little memory - just a few fragments, the last parts of your dreams. But within five seconds they are gone. By the time you are out of bed all your dreams have disappeared, you have forgotten all about them. Unless you make a very conscious effort you will not be able to remember them. This is a strategy of the mind, it simply closes the door, because your dreams can be a disturbance to you.

If you come to know that in your dream you killed your father it will be heavy on you, you may feel guilty. If you are a very very moralistic, puritanical person and you see that in your dream you had eloped, escaped with the wife of your neighbor and you were enjoying it, you will be disturbed. You will become suspicious about your morality, about your purity. It will hang over you like a dark cloud.

The mind simply cuts you off from your dreams. It has created two kinds of worlds:

one, the dreaming world, totally separate, and one, the so-called waking world, totally separate. You live in compartments. When you enter into dreaming you forget all about waking; when you enter into waking you forget all about dreaming.

The buddha is awake even while he is asleep. He has no compartments in his being. He is not many, he is one. Because he is one and he has no clinging to memories and no desires for the future, the present is enough for him. Then he lives moment to moment in its totality; he does not go on living partially. Your dreams simply show that you live partially, and the unlived parts have to be lived in your dreams. If you live totally each moment, then there is no possibility of any dreams.

Once it happened:

A Sufi came to me, a very beautiful person, and doing Sufi meditation - ZIKR - he had become capable of reading other people's thoughts. Some of his disciples, who were known to me, wanted him to come and read my thoughts.

I said, "Okay, bring him."

The man was really capable. He would simply close his eyes and he would start saying what thoughts are passing within you. For half an hour he remained with closed eyes, very puzzled. Then he finally gave up. He said, "But I don't see anything, just utter emptiness." He said, "This is the first time that I can't read. What have you done to me?"

I had not done anything to him. I said to him, "I have not done anything. I am simply sitting here, not doing anything to you or to anybody else. But how can you read if there are no thoughts? It is not that I have stopped your capacity to read."

He was thinking that I had done some damage to his thought reading. I said, "I have not done anything. If you want, I can start bringing up a few thoughts. It will be an effort.

Just the way I speak outside I will start speaking inside. I will have to think of my sannyasins and I will have to speak to them - then you can read. Your capacity is intact.

But I was just sitting silently, the way I always sit when I am alone. Neither in the daytime am I thinking, nor in the night am I dreaming. All dreams disappeared the day desires disappeared. All thoughts became meaningless the day I came to know that I am not the mind. But I understand your difficulties, I understand your confusion...."

A wealthy tycoon went for a cruise on his fancy yacht, taking with him five buddies, six gorgeous girls and a sailor to man the ship. They encountered a serious storm and the boat went down with the tycoon and his buddies, but the women and the sailor managed to make it to a desert island along with a waterproof bag of limited provisions.

All went well for almost a week. Our sailor friend had his Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday well taken care of. The only problem was that they were running out of food.

On Sunday a voluptuous native woman approached bearing gifts of bananas, coconuts and other edibles. The gorgeous girls were overjoyed. "We are saved!" they cried.

But the sailor muttered resignedly to himself, "There go my Sundays!"

You are living inside in a very confused state. And not only young people; even when they become old the same state continues - not only continues, it becomes more and more confusing because, as you accumulate experience, your confusion becomes greater.

Interviewing the sixty-five-year-old rodeo champion in Amarillo, Texas, the New York newspaperman remarked, "You are really an extraordinary man to be a rodeo champion at your age."

"Heck," said the cowboy, "I am not nearly the man my pa is. He was just signed to play guard for a pro football team, and he is eighty-eight."

"Amazing!" gasped the journalist. "I would like to meet your father."

"Can't right now. He is in Fort Worth standing up for grandpa. Grandpa is getting married tomorrow; he is one hundred and fourteen."

"Your family is simply unbelievable!" said the newspaperman. "Here you are, a rodeo champion at sixty-five. Your father is a football player at eighty-eight. And now your grandpa wants to get married at one hundred and fourteen."

"Hell, mister, you got that wrong," said the Texan, "Grandpa does not want to get married - he has to!"

You go on accumulating. Your childhood is the closest to buddhahood. As you grow old you grow insane. As you grow old, you go farther and farther away from buddhahood. It is really a very strange state; it should not be so. One should grow TOWARDS buddhahood, but people grow in just the opposite direction.


This is a very important sutra to be remembered - more so because the Christians are creating a totally wrong approach to life. They say: When there is so much misery in the world, how can you be joyous? Sometimes they come to me and they say, "People are starving and people are poor. How can you teach people to dance and sing and be joyous? There are so many people afflicted with so many diseases, and you teach people meditation? This is selfishness!"

But that's exactly what Buddha is saying. He is saying: LIVE IN JOY, IN HEALTH, EVEN AMONG THE AFFLICTED.


You cannot change the whole world. You have a small lifespan, it will be gone soon.

You cannot make it a condition that "I will rejoice only when the whole world has changed and everybody is happy." That is never going to happen and it is not within your capacity to do it either.

People have decided to be miserable; that is their decision, otherwise nobody is forcing them to be miserable. Poverty is their decision, maybe taken unconsciously, but poverty is their decision. You can see it happening.

Just three hundred years ago the native people of America were as poor as one can imagine. They had the land - the same land - but they had chosen a life-style which kept them poor. Now America has become the richest country. It is the same country, but with a different type of people.

And you will be surprised that the first people who arrived in America were not very virtuous, religious types of people - no. In fact the virtuous and the religious remain miserable. The people, who reached America and Australia, the pioneers, were more down-to-earth people who believed in "Eat, drink and be merry." These were the people who transformed the whole fate of the American continent; they transformed a poor country into the richest ever.

Now the same can happen to this country, but it has taken a wrong style of life. And it has lived with this style of life for so many centuries that it seems it is the only way to live. And it worships people who support its style, because they fit with its ideology.

The people of this country cannot agree with me because I am trying to change the very style of life, the very pattern, the very structure of their thought, their mind, their being.

They can become as rich as any country in the world, maybe the richest, but first they will have to change their whole style of thinking, living, being. They worship poverty - how can they become rich? They condemn richness - how can they become rich? They condemn all joys of the earth, they are all for renunciation, they are anti-life. How can life shower upon them its grace, its bliss, its joys? They are not receptive; they are completely blind and deaf.

If the only way you can be happy is to have everybody else happy, then you are never going to be happy. Buddha is stating a simple fact. He is saying: LIVE IN JOY, IN HEALTH, EVEN AMONG THE AFFLICTED. He is not saying don't help them, but by being ill yourself you cannot help them. By being poor yourself you cannot help the poor, although the poor will worship you because they will see how great a saint you are. They worshipped Mahatma Gandhi for the sheer reason that he tried to live like a poor man. But just by living like a poor man you are not going to help the poor. If the doctor also falls ill to help his patients, will you call him a saint? You will call him just stupid, because this is the time he needs all his health so that he can be helpful to people.

This is strange logic, but it has prevailed down the centuries: that if you want to help the poor, be poor, live a poor life, live just like the poor. Of course the poor people will give you great respect and honor, but that is not going to help the poor, it will only fulfill your ego. And any ego fulfilled creates misery for you, not joy.

LIVE IN JOY, IN HEALTH, EVEN AMONG THE AFFLICTED. LIVE IN JOY, IN PEACE, EVEN AMONG THE TROUBLED. That is the only way to help, the only way to serve. First be selfish, first transform yourself. Your life in peace, in joy, in health, can be a great source of nourishment for people who are starving for spiritual food.

People are not really starving for material things. Material richness is very simple: just a little more technology, a little more science, and people can be rich. The real problem is how to be inwardly rich. And when you are outwardly rich you will be surprised - for the first time you become more acutely, more keenly aware of your inner poverty. For the first time all meaning in life disappears when you are outwardly rich, because in contrast, the inner poverty can be seen more clearly. Outside there is light all around and inside you are a dark island.

The rich man knows his poverty more than the poor person, because the poor person has no contrast. Outside there is darkness, inside there is darkness; he knows darkness is what life is. But when there is light outside you become desirous of a new phenomenon: you long for inner light. When you see that richness is possible outside, why can't you be rich inside?


Buddha says: Enjoy the world, enjoy the sun, the moon, the stars, the flowers, the sky, the earth. Live in joy and peace, without possessiveness. Don't possess. Use, but don't possess - because the possessor cannot use. The possessor really becomes possessed by his own possessions. That's why so many rich people become very miserable, they live a poor life. They have all the money in the world, but they live in a poor way.

The richest man in the world, just fifty years ago, was the nizam of Hyderabad - the richest man in the world. In fact, his riches were so great that nobody has ever been able to estimate how much he had. His treasuries were full of diamonds; everything was made of diamonds. Even his paperweight was the biggest diamond in the world; even the Kohinoor is only one third the size of his paperweight.

When he died, his paperweight was found in his shoe. The diamonds were not counted because there were so many. They were weighed, not counted - how many kilos, not how many diamonds - who could count?

Each year the diamonds were brought out of the basements. He had the biggest palace in India, but all the roofs were not enough, because his diamonds were spread on the roofs of his palace just to give them a little sunlight every year.

But the man lived a life of such misery, you cannot believe it; even beggars live far better. He used to collect cigarettes which others had already smoked and thrown away - just cigarette ends. He would not purchase cigarettes for himself, he would collect these cigarettes and smoke them. Such a miser! For fifty years he used only one single cap - it was so dirty and stinking! He died in the same cap. He never used to change his clothes. And it is said that he used to purchase his clothes from the secondhand marketplace where old, rotten things, used things, are sold. His shoes must have been the dirtiest in the world, but he would only send them once in a while for repair, he would not purchase new shoes.

Now, the richest man in the world living in such misery and miserliness - what had happened to this man? Possessiveness! Possessiveness was his disease, his mania. He wanted to possess everything. He would purchase diamonds all over the world; wherever there were diamonds his agent was there to purchase them. Just have more and more! But you cannot eat diamonds - and he was eating the poorest kind of food.

He was so afraid that he was unable to sleep at all - constant fear that somebody might steal from him.

That's how the paperweight - the costliest diamond that he had, three times more in weight than the Kohinoor - was found in his shoe. When he was dying he had hidden it in his shoe so nobody could steal it - otherwise the paperweight would be too visible, too much in the eyes of people. Even dying he was more concerned with the diamond than with his own life. He could never give anything to anybody.

This happens to people who become possessive: they don't use things, they are used by things. They are not masters, they are servants of their own things. They go on accumulating and they die without ever having enjoyed all that they had.


Live like the buddhas, who don't possess a thing but can use everything. The world has to be used, not possessed. We come empty-handed and we go empty-handed, so there is no point in possessing anything. To be possessive is ugly - but use everything! While you are, use the world, enjoy everything that the world makes available, and then go without looking back, without clinging to things.

This is the way of the buddhas. AES DHAMMO SANANTANO: this is the inexhaustible law of the buddhas. Then a buddha can be a beggar if he chooses to be so - if that is his way - or a buddha can be an emperor. There have been emperors who were buddhas.

In India there has been one man, Janaka, the father of Sita, Rama's wife, who was a buddha. He lived in the palace with all the richness of a great king and yet he was absolutely nonpossessive, he possessed nothing. It was just as if you are staying in a hotel; you don't possess anything. You stay for a few days and then you are gone. You use.

The intelligent person uses life and uses it beautifully, aesthetically, sensitively. Then the world has many treasures for him. He never becomes attached, because the moment you become attached you have fallen asleep.



How to find joy? Let your ambition disappear; ambition is the barrier. Ambition means an ego trip: "I want to be this, I want to be that - more money, more power, more prestige." But remember, Buddha says: THE WINNER SOWS HATRED BECAUSE THE LOSER SUFFERS. LET GO OF WINNING AND LOSING AND FIND JOY. If you want to find joy, forget about winning and losing. Life is a play, a game. Play it beautifully, forget all about losing and winning. The real sportsman's spirit is not that of winning or losing, it is not his real question. He enjoys playing; that is the real player. If you are playing to win, you will play with tension, anxiety. You are not concerned with the play itself, its joy and its mystery; you are more concerned with the outcome. This is not the right way to live in the world.

Live in the world without any idea of what is going to happen. Whether you are going to be a winner or a loser, it doesn't matter. Death takes everything away. Whether you lose or win is immaterial. The only thing that matters, and has always been, is how you played the game. Did you enjoy it? - the game itself - then each moment is of joy. You never sacrifice the moment for the future.


Buddha says: Beware of lust. Love is beautiful, but lust is just fire. It burns you and burns you badly. It wounds you.

A marine regiment was sent back for rest after a rough tour of duty at the front. At the base they discovered a contingent of WACS billeted and awaiting assignment to various posts.

The marine colonel addressed himself to the WAC commander, warning her that his men had been in the front lines a long time and might not be too careful abut their attitudes towards the WACS. "Keep them locked up," he told the WAC commander, "if you don't want any trouble."

"Trouble?" said she. "There will be no trouble. My girls have it up here." She tapped her forehead significantly.

"Madam," barked the marine, "it makes no difference where they have it - my boys will find it. Keep them locked up!"

Lust is madness, lust is fire, lust is poison. It keeps people blind to the truth. It keeps them foolish, it keeps them unaware, it keeps them drunk.

It was sundown, and the young athlete was doing push-ups on the beach when a drunk appeared. The drunk weaved his way to within a few yards of the perspiring young man, sat down on the sand, and laughed and laughed. "What in the devil are you laughing about?" asked the annoyed young man.

The drunk laughed and laughed and then sputtered, "Don't look now, but somebody stole your girl!"

A man who lives through lust lives absolutely unconsciously. Whatsoever he is going to do is going to be wrong. Whatsoever he is going to say and see is going to be wrong. He can't see, he is blind. He can't hear, he is deaf. Nothing makes people more ugly and animallike than lust.

Hence Buddha says: THERE IS NO FIRE LIKE PASSION....


Why NO CRIME LIKE HATRED? - because everything else, other crimes, arise out of it; it is the very source. And there is no virtue like friendliness, love, because all other virtues arise out of it. Love is the greatest virtue and hatred the greatest sin.


Buddha says: The only thing that is making you so sad is the separation from existence.

In your unconsciousness you have believed that you are separate. You have started living a life of the ego. You are not following the ultimate law, the dhamma. You are not flowing with the river; you are resisting, fighting.

Do not resist, do not fight. Flow with the river. Go with the dhamma, the law. Be in harmony with the whole. Don't think yourself separate - you are not. No man is an island; we are all parts of a vast continent of consciousness: NO SORROW LIKE SEPARATION.... And a very significant statement:


Now, how can Buddha support poverty? He cannot. If hunger is the worst sickness in the world, then poverty is the cause of it. All kinds of crimes, immoralities, sins, vices, arise out of poverty.

I have no respect for poverty; I have absolute condemnation for it. It is the ugliest wound on the human soul. It has to disappear. We have to make the earth rich, and now it can be done. It was not possible in the past, now it is possible. If it is not happening it is only because of our old, stupid ideas.

Now in India, which is one of the poorest countries, those stupid ideas are so dominant that people still believe that by spinning your own clothes you are doing something spiritual. The spinning wheel has become a symbol of saintliness. All the Indian politicians, once in a while, pose for photographs with their spinning wheels. Once a year they go to Mahatma Gandhi's samadhi, and then they sit there for one hour or so at the spinning wheels so that photographs can be taken.

Why this spinning wheel and why so much praise for clothes made by your own hands? If you try to wear only clothes made by your own hands then the whole world is going to remain poor. The machines can do it in a far better way. Machines can become a great liberation to man, but they have to be used rightly. If you don't use them rightly they can be dangerous; they can pollute all of nature, they can destroy the whole balance - the ecology can be disturbed by them. But if you use them consciously, meditatively, then all slavery can disappear from the world, because machines can do the work that man has been doing for ages. It can provide food, clothes, shelter.

Hence I am all for science, I am not against science. And I am all for religion too, because I can see a possibility of a great synthesis arising in the future. It has to arise now. If it does not arise, then man is doomed and finished and man has no future, no hope. The world can be made rich outwardly with technology and science, and the inner world can be made rich by meditation, by prayer, by love, by joy. We can create a new human being, fulfilled both within and without.



Buddha says the greatest joy in life is freedom: freedom from all prejudices, freedom from all scriptures, freedom from all concepts and ideologies, freedom from all desires, freedom from all possessiveness and jealousy, freedom from all hatred, anger, rage, lust... in short, freedom from everything, so that you are just a pure consciousness, unbounded, unlimited.

That is the greatest joy, and it is possible - it is within everybody's grasp. You just have to grope for it a little. The groping will be in the dark, but it is not far away. If you try, if you make an effort, you are bound to find it. It is your birthright.


The whole: that is health. Be contented: that is desirelessness. And trust: that is drop your separation, your fight with nature. These three things are to be remembered: be whole, be one, be contented, desireless. Whatsoever is, is beautiful - enjoy it to its totality, squeeze all the juice out of it. Each moment drink of reality as totally as possible, so you need not look back, you need not ever think that you missed that moment.

And never plan for the future, because when the future will come, it will come. You just go on living each moment as totally as possible, so when the future becomes present you can live that, too - totally. Don't plan for it, because it is unpredictable. All your planning is going to be irrelevant. And once you have planned for something and it doesn't happen, then you are frustrated. And it never happens.

There is a proverb: Man proposes and God disposes. Yes, that's how it is felt, but the reality is not that God is sitting there and disposing whatsoever you propose. The fault is not of God; the fault is yours because you propose. And out of your unawareness what can you propose? Whatsoever you project out of your mind is going to be something different than the whole. It is still a fight with the whole. Hence trust, no need to fight. We are part of the whole. We arise out of the ocean of the whole as a wave and we disappear back into the ocean. Enjoy the sunlight and the wind for the moment, and then disappear. Appear beautifully, joyously, dancing, and disappear beautifully, joyously, dancing. Live with immense joy and die with immense joy. This is how a sannyasin has to be: he knows the art of living and he knows the art and ecstasy of dying.




LOOK WITHIN. The sutras are simple; intellectually very simple, but existentially arduous, because we have become so accustomed to looking outward. We have forgotten completely that there is something like the within too.

LOOK WITHIN. BE STILL. And the way to look within is: be still. Learn to sit silently, at least for a few hours, doing nothing, just being, breathing, watching your thoughts.

That too without a strain - in a very relaxed way as if you are not much concerned with what is passing by; an indifferent watchfulness, aloof, unconcerned, cool. Go on seeing the traffic of the mind.

Slowly slowly, as your coolness deepens, as your indifference becomes bigger, more crystallized, the thoughts will be coming less and less. And one day you are simply sitting there with no thought at all. You look around: no thought, the mind is empty. In that moment of inner emptiness all fear disappears, all attachment disappears, and one comes to KNOW THE SWEET JOY OF THE WAY.


And if you are fortunate to keep company with the awakened, with the wise, with the shining ones, then nothing better than that can ever happen to you. Because it is only in the company of the buddhas, the awakened ones, the wise, that there is a possibility of your change, of your transformation.


And we are not traveling with one fool or two fools. We are traveling with a whole load of fools; a whole crowd of fools surrounds you. By the fools Buddha means those who are not yet awakened. Even if they want to do good they are bound to do something evil; they can't do good. A fool is a fool; he lives in unconsciousness. But you trust the fools, you trust them more than you trust the buddhas, for the simple reason that the fool speaks your language, because the fool seems just like you.

A new superintendent came to the mad asylum and the old one was retiring. So they had a ceremony to say goodbye to the old and welcome the new. They really rejoiced, they danced.

The old superintendent was a little bit surprised. In his entire time there he had never seen them so joyous. He asked them, "Why are you so joyous?"

Those mad people said, "It is simple. You are not one of us, but this man looks just like one of us. The new superintendent looks more crazy than we are, that's why we are rejoicing. You never really belonged to us, you were an outsider, but this man is an insider. Just in the two, three days he has been here he has become a friend. We can understand him, he can understand us."

The mad people are happy with another mad person. The fools are happy with other fools. And when you are with fools you feel very good, because they are not superior to you, your ego is not hurt. But when you live with a buddha, sometimes you feel very disturbed because he is so superior to you, and if you start feeling hurt you will have to escape from him or you will have to kill him.

I receive letters and telegrams from all over the world. Just the other day Laxmi brought a telegram from Milan, Italy. This is the third from the same man, who goes on sending a message that "I want to kill you!" Now Milan is so far away, why he is so worried about me? And he means business - three times in a month he has telegrammed. I hope that he comes sometime.

So many letters come, saying, "We would like to kill you." Why are people offended - and offended by a man who never leaves his room? Why am I disturbing people in Milan and Berlin and New York and Delhi and Calcutta? Why? - for the simple reason that they feel hurt.

Now it depends on your interpretation. You can rejoice in the presence of a buddha; then you start growing. You can feel hurt in the presence of a buddha; then you start feeling offended, humiliated, you become angry. And it has happened many times:

Jesus is crucified, Socrates is poisoned, Mansoor is butchered. The same men, the same people, have been doing the same thing again and again. One is fortunate if one can feel joyful just by looking at the way a buddha is, and more fortunate of course are those who can keep company with him.

Your mind will suggest to you many ways to escape. Your mind is cunning, very devious: it will find such beautiful reasons - you could not even conceive of them.

Unless you are very alert, you are bound to be deceived by your own mind. To keep company with your mind is to keep company with a fool.

HOW LONG THE ROAD TO THE MAN WHO TRAVELS WITH A FOOL - and you are traveling with fools on the outside and you are traveling with the fool - the real fool - inside: your own mind.


That's why I say: to be a sannyasin is to come back home, to find your family. BUT WHOEVER FOLLOWS THOSE WHO FOLLOW THE WAY DISCOVERS HIS FAMILY.... Your real family is not your father, your mother, your brothers, your sisters, your wife, your husband, your children; they are just accidental. Your real family is the family of a buddha.

If you are fortunate enough to feel joyful in the company of a buddha, then dissolve into that company - you have found your family. Don't miss the chance, because the chance is very rare. Only once in a while somebody becomes enlightened.


Be with the buddhas, the shining ones, the wise, the awakened, the loving, because they know how to work on you and they know how to be patient with you. They know how to transform you. They have been to the highest peak. They come back to the dark valley just to call you forth, to take you with them to the highest peak of life, freedom.


Be courageous, be adventurous. Risk all, because less than that won't do. Risk all and trust. And if you want to be with a buddha, then the only way is: become more meditative so that you can start understanding his ways, his methods. Become more loving so that you can understand his love - because his love is totally different than you have known. His love is cool; it is not hot passion, it is a very cool breeze. Those who don't understand, for them it will look cold. Those who understand, they will rejoice in its coolness. They will be rejuvenated by its coolness, they will be refreshed, they will be reborn.

Enough for today.

The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 6

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