No going back

Fri, 26 October 1979 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 6
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
Short Title:
Audio Available:
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The first question:

Question 1:



Yoga Sudha, it is natural. Ecstasy and great pain happen together, because it is a new birth: the joy of being born, the joy of entering into the unknown, the great adventure into God. But pain is also there, great pain: the pain of leaving the old, the familiar, the known; the pain of leaving the secure, the safe; the pain of dying - dying as the ego. If the ecstasy is true, it is bound to happen that there will be great pain. This is one of the criteria by which to judge whether the ecstasy is true or not.

It is like uprooting a tree from its known soil and transplanting it into a new climate, into a new country. The tree will have to learn to live again from ABC; it is hard to unlearn and it is hard to learn again. There is bound to be pain. Great pain and agony precede great ecstasy. It can continue for months, for years too - it all depends on you.

Now, don't look back. That which is gone is gone, and gone forever, never to return again. Whatsoever you do, you cannot bring it back.

The child cannot enter into the womb again, howsoever pleasant it was, comfortable, convenient, secure, safe. The child may have great nostalgia for the womb, for those beautiful, eternal nine months. Yes, I say eternal, because the child feels them as eternity, not as nine months. He has no idea of calculating time - those long long nine months of such warmth, of such protection, of such unworried existence, of such tremendous rest and relaxation. The nostalgia hangs around. The child would like to go back to the womb, but it is not possible.

Going back is not possible at all; it is not in the nature of things. One always has to go forward. And when you look forward everything is so unfamiliar that great fear arises.

One never knows where one is. One loses one's identity, one passes through a great crisis of identity. The known is no longer there to cling to, and the unknown seems to be ungraspable.

But don't look back; that which can't happen can't happen. Look forward! And don't interpret the new and the unknown as unsafe. Interpret it in terms of adventure, exploration. Interpret it as great freedom. Buddha talks again and again about freedom.

It is freedom from the past, freedom from the mother, freedom from the parents, freedom from the society, freedom from the church, the state.

What I am giving to you is absolute freedom. Yes, fear can arise, but fear arises because of your interpretation. Deep down somewhere in the unconscious you still would like to go back, to close your eyes to the new sunrise. You would like to go back even though there was nothing very valuable, nothing significant, but at least one was safe.

The territory was familiar; one lived surrounded by walls. We call it a prison, but you used to call it your home; and I have taken you out of your home because it was not your real home, it was only make-believe. This freedom, this ecstasy that is arising, is your real home.

Now, if you cling to the past, which is no longer possible, and you don't allow the future to happen smoothly, the pain can continue, the agony can continue, for months, for years. And you will be split: a part of you clinging to the no-more and a part of you longing for the not-yet.

Now be courageous. Take the quantum leap! Just as the snake slips out of the old skin, slip out of the old. It has fulfilled its function, it has brought you to the new. Gratefully say goodbye to it and plunge into this exploration that is becoming valuable to you.

Plunge into this insecurity, into this danger, because life is where insecurity is; life is where danger is. There is no way to live totally unless you learn to live dangerously - more danger, more aliveness; less danger, less aliveness.

And I am making peaks upon peaks available to you. This is an unending chain. You will reach one peak thinking that this is the end and now you can rest, but by the time you have rested a little bit you will become aware of a higher peak challenging you, calling you forth. A new pilgrimage starts. And this goes on and on.

Life is an eternal pilgrimage. There is no goal to it, it is a pure journey. Hence the joy of it. If there was a goal to it, that would mean a full stop to your life. Then what are you going to do? After the full stop there is nothing, nothing more. Life knows nothing of full stops. Life is a continuum, a song that never ends, a story that goes on unfolding.

Each moment something new is ready to happen if you are available.

Your observation is true. You say, "Unimagined ecstasy, unimagined pain."

That's how it has always been. I don't talk much about the pain, because that will make you so afraid that you will not take the jump. I talk about ecstasy to persuade you, to seduce you into taking the jump. Once you have taken the jump you will know that there is great pain too, but that pain is a blessing in disguise. That pain is the pain the gold passes through when it goes through the fire: it purifies, it makes you more and more integrated, it gives you centering, it creates a soul in you. Without this pain there is no soul, and without this pain no ecstasy is possible. You would like to bypass the pain and reach the ecstasy, but that cannot be done.

AES DHAMMO SANANTANO: this is the law and the law has to be followed; you can't go against the law. But once you have known the ecstasy, it is worth going through all the pain. You can sacrifice everything for the ecstasy, because ecstasy is another name for God approaching closer to you. Your melting into God is what ecstasy is all about.

The word 'ecstasy' is beautiful; it simply means "standing out." Out of what? Standing out of your ego, your personality, your mind; getting out of the whole structure in which you have lived - not only lived but with which you have become identified.

Standing out of all this, just a pure witness, a watcher on the hills - and everything is left deep down in the valley.

Drop the nostalgia. Drop this dreaming about the valley. You have lived in the valley long enough, and what have you gained? For many many lives you have lived in the valley, in all those chains, thinking that they were ornaments. Maybe they were made of silver and gold, maybe they were studded with diamonds and emeralds; but whether a chain is made of iron or gold, it makes no difference. In fact, a golden chain is far more difficult to break because you become more attached to it.

You have lived in the valley so long, for so many lives - now try to live on the peaks.

And be totally with the peaks. Forget all about the valleys, because that will be a disturbance. That disturbance is creating pain. You are looking back again and again:

there is still some desire, some longing, some hope that you may get back to your old structures again.

But let me make it absolutely clear to you: there is no going back. Now you have crossed that point from where a person can still go back, so it is an exercise in futility to feel pain for something which is no more. But it will keep you occupied and you will miss the joys of the peak, the fresh air of the peak, the unpolluted atmosphere of the peak, the closeness of the sun and the clouds. Now is the time to whisper with the clouds and with the sun and the stars! It is a beautiful moment.

Decide in favor of ecstasy, and whatever pain happens through that decision, accept it with joy, with thankfulness. The more gratefully you accept it as part of growth, the sooner it will disappear - and it will not leave even a trace on you; you will be unscratched by it. If you cling to it too long, it will leave wounds. Even if they heal, the marks will remain.

In these moments, when one passes from one stage of being to another stage of being, one is very vulnerable. In these moments one is very soft, impressionable. Don't give much attention to pain.

And that's what you have been doing for a few months. I have been watching silently.

Many times I have to be just a silent watcher, because I hate to interfere. Even though I know you are in need, still I respect your freedom so much that, unless you ask, I will keep quiet, I will not say a word. I will feel great compassion for you - I am perfectly aware of your tears and the anguish that you are passing through - but I have been keeping myself aloof deliberately, because this is the only way to give the disciple a chance to grow.

If I go on interfering at every stage, helping, supporting, you will start depending on me too much. Then you will never be able to walk on your own feet; you will always need crutches. And I don't want to give you crutches, I don't want you to be dependent on me. The only gift that I can give to you is that of total freedom, of independence.

Hence I have been silent, waiting for the day when you would ask the question. Today you have asked the question. Now I can speak, I can share my understanding with you, but still the decision always remains with you. You can go on crying and weeping over spilled milk, or you can gather yourself and take a plunge into the new world that I have made available to you.

Don't waste time. Time is really precious, far more precious than money, far more precious than anything in the world, because it is through time that you can contact eternity. And these moments are rare: if you miss them once, you never know when they will come back again. Maybe after lives you will come across a buddha again... and there is every possibility you will repeat the same mistakes, because mind wants to repeat. Mind is repetition - even after lives it repeats the same mistakes.

It happened once: a young prince asked Buddha to initiate him as a BHIKKHU, as a sannyasin. Buddha was a little reluctant. This was very rare - buddhas are never reluctant, or very rarely; they are always happy if somebody is asking for initiation.

Ananda, Buddha's chief disciple, immediately became aware that Buddha was a little hesitant. He said, "Bhagwan, why are you hesitating? I have never seen you hesitate.

You persuade people, you help people, you do everything possible to bring them to the way - and this man himself is asking! And not an ordinary man - a great prince, with great potential. If he becomes a disciple, many more will follow. Why are you hesitating?"

Buddha said to Ananda, "Because this young man has been initiated in the past by other buddhas at least seven times, and he has committed the same mistake again and again.

And mind is repetitive. I know I can give him initiation, but he is bound to repeat the same mistake. But if you say so, I will initiate him. Now watch what happens."

The young man was initiated... and of course this whole dialogue with Ananda had happened in front of him, so he was very conscious not to repeat anything. But he did not remember anything of his past lives, and when you don't remember, how can you avoid repetition? If you remember, you can avoid.

He asked Buddha many times, "Please tell me, what is my mistake that I have been repeating again and again? And you say I have lived with seven other buddhas? I don't want to miss this opportunity."

Buddha said, "That won't help very much, because you have asked the sixth buddha the same question and the fifth also, and they answered. I am not going to do it. I will tell you only when the time arrives."

And the time arrived within a few days. They traveled to another city; they were staying in a small caravanserai - ten thousand sannyasins - there was no space. It must have been as overcrowded as it is here! Now when I look at you, I completely forget whether you are sannyasins or sardines. I have to go on reminding myself, "No, these are my sannyasins."

The older sannyasins of Buddha were given a little better space, a little more space - they were old, senior. This young man was the latest addition to the Buddha's SANGHA - his order; he got the place at the outermost circumference, just in the porch where people used to put their shoes. He had to sleep there. A prince, sleeping in a porch where people keep their shoes? He was very hurt.

In the night he could not sleep, for the same reasons that you suffer - mosquitoes! They are the ancientmost enemies of meditators. If you are not meditating they will not take any notice of you; once you start meditating, they suddenly become interested in you.

The blood of a meditator has a certain sweetness.

And there were mosquitoes and he was unable to sleep; and the serai was so overcrowded, and people were coming and going the whole night - somebody was coming, somebody was leaving. How can you sleep in a porch? In the middle of the night he said, "This is stupid, this is just nonsense! I have not become a sannyasin for all this. I had a beautiful palace, every facility. Tomorrow morning I will say goodbye to Buddha."

In fact he wanted to leave at that very moment, but that would not be right. At least he had to say to Buddha, "I am finished."

But before morning, Buddha came to him and said, "Now the time has come. I can answer your question. This has happened to you again and again: you have been initiated seven times, but just for small things you always became so much disturbed that you went away. You can go - this is your old habit. Because of this habit I was hesitant."

He had brought Ananda with him and he said, "Look! What do you say now? This man wants to leave tomorrow morning."

The young man had not said a single word. He fell at Buddha's feet. He said, "How did you come to know in the middle of the night?"

Buddha said, "That is not your business. That's what makes me a master. In the morning you want to go; you can go, but go with this awareness: that this is how you have been losing the track again and again."

The young man never left. It was difficult - Buddha gave him many many uncomfortable situations - but he was a man of integrity; he belonged to a very famous family, ancient, noble; he belonged to the warrior race. It was against his whole upbringing to leave the Buddha. And now that Buddha had told him what the cause had been in the past... and as meditation deepened he started remembering his past associations with other buddhas. Slowly slowly he became aware that yes, for small things he had left buddhas; for such small things he had lost the way many times.

Yes, Sudha, the pain is there, and it is not only for you; others will also pass through the pain. Many have passed through it, many will have to pass through it. Pass through it joyously. Keep your eye on the ecstasy. Don't focus yourself on the pain - that is the wrong approach. Focus yourself on the ecstasy, and think that the pain is the price we pay for the ecstasy. Soon the pain will disappear. And the energy released from the pain will bring you to even higher realms of ecstasy, will bring you to greater altitudes of ecstasy.

Be watchful....

The second question:

Question 2:



Prem Tussir, I am an orange one.

The third question:

Question 3:



Pankaj, by becoming more aware, one BECOMES more aware. There is no other method to it. It is a simple process. Whatsoever you are doing, do it with such consciousness as if it is a question of life and death; as if a sword is hanging over you.

There is an ancient story in India:

A great sage sent his chief disciple to the court of King Janak to learn something which was missing in the young man.

The young man said, "If you can't teach me, how can this man, this Janak, teach it to me? You are a great sage, he is only a king. What does he know about meditation and awareness?"

The great sage said, "You simply follow my instructions. Go to him, bow down to him; don't be egoistic, thinking that you are a sannyasin and he is only an ordinary householder. He lives in the world, he is worldly and you are spiritual. Forget all about it. I'm sending you to him to learn something; so for this moment, he is your master.

And I know, I have tried here, but you cannot understand - because you need a different context to understand it. And the court of Janak and his palace will give you the right context. You simply go, bow down to him. For these few days, he will represent me."

Very reluctantly, the young man went. He was a brahmin of high caste, and what was this Janak? He was rich, he had a great kingdom, but what could he teach a brahmin?

Brahmins always think that they can teach people. And Janak was not a brahmin, he was a KSHATRIYA, the warrior race in India. They are thought to be second to brahmins; the brahmins are the first, the foremost, the highest caste. To bow down to this man? This has never been done. A brahmin bowing down to a kshatriya is against the Indian mind.

But the master had said it so it had to be done. Reluctantly he went, and reluctantly he bowed down. And when he bowed down, he was really feeling very angry with his master, because the situation in which he had to bow down to Janak was so ugly in his eyes.

A beautiful woman was dancing in the court and people were drinking wine. And Janak was sitting in this group. The young man had such condemnation, but still he bowed down. Janak laughed and said, "You need not bow down to me when you are carrying such condemnation in you. And don't be so prejudiced before you have experienced me. Your master knows me well, that's why he has sent you here. He has sent you to learn something, but this is not the way to learn."

The young man said, "I don't care. He has sent me, I have come. But by the morning I will go back, because I can't see that I can learn anything here. In fact, if I learn anything from you, my whole life will be wasted. I have not come to learn drinking wine and seeing a beautiful woman dance and all this indulgence."

Janak still smiled and he said, "You can go in the morning. But since you have come and you are so tired... at least rest for the night, and in the morning you can go. And who knows - the night may become the context of the learning for which your master has sent you to me."

Now, this was very mysterious. How could the night teach him anything? But okay, he had to be here for the night, so don't make much fuss about it. He remained. The king arranged for him to have the most beautiful room in the palace, the most luxurious. He went with the young man, took every care about his food, his sleep and when he had gone to bed, Janak left.

But the young man could not sleep the whole night, because as he looked up, he could see a naked sword hanging with a thin thread just above his head. Now, it was so dangerous that at any moment the sword could fall and kill the young man. So he remained awake the whole night, watchful, so he could avoid the catastrophe if it was going to happen.

In the morning, the king asked, "Was the bed comfortable, the room comfortable?"

The young man said, "Comfortable? Everything was comfortable - but what about the sword? And why did you play such a trick? It was so cruel! I was tired, I had come on foot from the faraway ashram of my master in the forest, and you played such a cruel joke. What kind of thing is this, to hang a naked sword with so thin a thread that I was afraid that a small breeze... and I am gone, and I am finished. And I have not come here to commit suicide."

The king said, "I want to ask only one thing: you were so tired, you could have fallen asleep very easily, but you could not fall asleep. What happened? The danger was great, it was a question of life and death. Hence you were aware, alert. This is my teaching too. You can go, or if you want, you can stay a few more days to watch me.

"Although I was sitting there in the court, where a beautiful woman was dancing, I was alert to the naked sword above my head. It is invisible; its name is death. I was not looking at the young woman. Just as you could not enjoy the luxury of the room, I was not drinking wine. I was just aware of death which could come any moment. I am constantly aware of death. Hence, I live in the palace and yet I am a hermit. Your master knows me, understands me. He understands my understanding too. That's why he has sent you here. If you live here for a few days, you can watch on your own."

You asked me, Pankaj, how to become more aware. Become more aware of the precariousness of life. Death can happen any moment. The next moment, it may knock on your door. You can remain unaware if you think you are going to live forever. How can you live unaware if death is always close by? Impossible! If life is momentary, a soap bubble - just a pin prick and it is gone forever - how can you remain unaware?

Bring awareness to each act. Walking on the road, walk fully alert; eating, eat with awareness. Whatsoever you are doing, don't let the past and the future interfere. Be in the present. That's what awareness is all about. Taking a shower, just take the shower.

Don't let the mind go far away, into the past, into the future. Don't allow the mind these faraway excursions, these journeys. Taking a shower, just take the shower.

Bokuju, a great Zen master, was asked, "What is your fundamental teaching? What is your fundamental practice? How did you become enlightened?"

He said, "My teaching is simple: When hungry, eat; when sleepy, sleep."

The man was puzzled. He said, "I have never heard of such a practice. I am asking about the fundamental practice and you are talking about 'When hungry, eat and when sleepy, sleep.' What kind of teaching is this?"

Bokuju said, "That I don't know, but that's how I became enlightened, and that's how many of my disciples are becoming enlightened. You can go and ask them."

But the man said, "That's what we all do. Hungry, we eat. Sleepy, we sleep."

Bokuju said, "No, there is a difference and a great difference. When I am eating, I am simply eating and doing nothing else. When you are eating, you are doing a thousand and one things in your head - except eating; you are doing everything else. Eating is done mechanically. When you are sleeping, are you really asleep? How can you be asleep when you are dreaming? Dreaming so many dreams, the whole night; waves upon waves of dreams go on coming. Only for a few minutes, here and there, dreaming stops and you fall into deep sleep; otherwise, dreaming continues. Dreaming is a sleep distraction: you are distracted by a thousand and one things. But you are not asleep.

You are not doing one thing only."

To be aware, Pankaj, one needs to do one thing at a time. And do it with full awareness, watchfulness.

A progressive kindergarten teacher wanted her charges to learn about life through firsthand experiences. So after much red tape, she was able to persuade her superiors to let her take the class of all boys to a horse racing track to learn about the pitfalls of gambling.

After they had been there a while, several of the children asked to go to the boys' room.

She escorted them there under the guidance of a track employee who guarded the door for them. She saw to it that the boys had no problems and in some cases had to help them unbutton their trousers. As she moved helpfully down the line, she suddenly saw something that made her do a double take. "Are you only five years old?" she gasped.

The object of her contentions replied, "What do you mean, lady? I am riding Dandy Charger in the third race."

People go on doing things almost in a sleep. Just become a little more alert. Do whatsoever you are doing, but bring the quality of consciousness to your actions - there is no other method. And you can bring that quality to small things and that is helpful. Sitting, just watch your breathing. The breath goes in, watch; the breath goes out, watch. Just go on watching your breathing. And it is of great help because if you watch your breathing, thinking stops.

This is something to be understood. Either you can think or you can watch your breathing. You can't do both together. Breathing and thinking are such processes that only one can exist in you - in awareness. In unawareness, both can continue: you can go on breathing and you can go on thinking. But if you become aware, either you can think or you can breathe; and when you breathe with awareness, thinking disappears.

Your whole consciousness becomes focused on breathing. And breathing is such a simple process: you need not do it, it is already happening. You can just bring your consciousness to it.

Buddha became enlightened through this simple method. He calls it vipassana, insight.

Breathing brings great insight and when you are aware of breathing, the whole thought process simply comes to a stop - and great stillness arises. After watching your breathing, it will be easy to watch your thinking directly, because breathing is a little gross.

Thinking is more subtle. Thoughts have no weight, they are weightless; they can't be measured, they are immeasurable. That's why the materialists cannot accept them.

Matter means measure - that which can be measured is matter. So thought is not matter because it cannot be measured. It is, and yet it cannot be measured; hence it is an epiphenomenon. The materialist says, "It is only a by-product, a side effect, a shadow phenomenon" - just as you walk in the sun, a shadow follows you. But the shadow is nothing. You walk in life and thinking arises, but it is only a shadow. If you watch this shadow, this epiphenomenon, these thoughts and the processes of thought... it is going to be a more subtle phenomenon because it is not as gross as breathing.

But first, learn the process of awareness through breathing and then move to thinking.

And you will be surprised: the more you watch your thinking... again, either you can watch or you can think. Both cannot be done simultaneously. If you watch, thinking disappears.

If thinking appears, watching disappears. When you have become alert enough to watch your thoughts and let them disappear through watching, then move to feeling - which is even more subtle. And these are the three steps of vipassana. First breathing, second thinking, third feeling. And when all these three have disappeared, what is left is your being.

To know it is to know all. To conquer it is to conquer all.

The fourth question:

Question 4:



Deva Surati, Buddha also realized it only when he became a buddha - that it could have happened anywhere. He had not realized it when he was not a buddha. Then he had to go, leave the palace, the children, the wife, the parents and move to faraway caves in the mountains, into faraway jungles, to live alone with nature, so that the society and all its conditionings could be left behind.

Yes, when he became a buddha then he knew that it could have happened anywhere.

But when you have become a buddha, it is a totally different perspective. It is very easy to say things like that when you have attained.

And that is one of the greatest problems: what the buddhas say, they are saying after they have attained, to people who have not yet attained. Communion becomes difficult, very difficult. The buddhas say, "You are already buddhas"; and when you hear that "We are already buddhas," you say, "Then why be worried about it? Then why meditate? And why be a sannyasin?" Then you have missed the whole point! And Buddha is not saying anything wrong - he is absolutely correct - and yet before you can realize the truth of his statement you will have to experience it on your own.

One day you will have become a buddha. Then you will also be able to say that there was no need to leave anything. Then you will say, "There was no need to be in the buddhafield of a master." But right now it is a need, an absolute need.

A buddhafield facilitates many processes which can happen without the buddhafield, but it would take long long, arduous effort. It is the same as when the wind is blowing and going towards the other shore: you need not row your boat; you can simply leave the boat and the winds will take it to the other shore. In a buddhafield the winds are blowing towards the other shore; you can simply surrender to the winds and with no effort you will reach the other shore. You can reach the other shore alone too, but then you will have to row the boat. Then you will have to take the risk of being alone in the uncharted sea.

In a buddhafield you are not alone, there are many who are moving. A few are ahead of you, a few are behind you; and you know that people are moving, that people are gaining new insights, that people are evolving, that people are reaching closer to the other shore. And those who are ahead of you can always assure you, "Don't be worried.

Go on. Come on! The other shore is visible from our state; soon it will be visible to you too." And you can say many things to those who are behind you. Those are the people who need great assurance. Moving into the unknown is not an easy process; a buddhafield becomes a chain.

Yes, Surati, fundamentally it is true - you can be a buddha anywhere - but being in a buddhafield things will be far easier. Being with a master in deep love and trust things start happening, just as the spring comes and flowers start blossoming. Out of season you can also manage to bring flowers to the plants, but then it takes great effort, unnecessary effort. When the spring is there, things happen of their own accord. Once it has happened, then it looks easy for everybody.

When Copernicus discovered some laws, people said, "We could have found them; they are so simple." But nobody had found them before him.

When Columbus reached America, discovered America and came back, people started saying, "This is not such a great thing. Don't make such a fuss about it. The earth is round. Anybody could have reached there!"

The queen of Spain invited Columbus for a dinner; the whole court was invited. And everybody was jealous of Columbus, so they were saying, "This is not something big that the earth is round."

Columbus said, "But just three years ago when I was saying the earth is round, nobody was ready to listen to me. In fact, I was surprised when the queen agreed to help me."

It has happened many times: when the man has not been able to understand something of the unknown, the woman has been able to understand. Man goes with a slow, logical process towards a conclusion. Woman is intuitive: she does not go by a slow process, she simply jumps to the conclusion. That's why it is so difficult to talk with a woman, to argue with a woman. Man always finds himself at a loss, because he goes with very skillful logic, prepares the whole ground and the process step by step. He "logics" to the conclusion, and the woman suddenly jumps with no premise, with no process - she simply arrives at the conclusion. They live in totally different worlds.

The queen of Spain agreed. She said, "Okay, go ahead, and I will bear the expenses."

Everybody had laughed at the foolish queen, and people had said, "A woman is after all a woman - mad, crazy! What does she understand about geography, astronomy? This man has befooled the queen."

Now everybody was saying that it was so easy. Columbus did one thing: he took one egg from the plate and told the people of the court, "Can anyone make it stand upright on the table?"

Everybody tried, but it would fall down; it would not stand upright. They said, "This is impossible. This can't be done. How can you make the egg stand? It is so round shaped, it is bound to fall down."

When everybody had tried and agreed that this was impossible, Columbus took the egg in his hand, hit it hard on the table so the bottom became flat, and the egg was standing.

They all said, "This is cheating! Why didn't you say so before? We could have done it!"

Columbus said, "It is always easy when a thing has been done. I have not prevented you, I have not said you can't do it, but none of you ever imagined doing it. Now it is simple, now everybody can do it, now it is nothing much."

When you become a buddha you will be surprised how simple the whole phenomenon is. You will be puzzled... why did it not happen before, why did it take so long, so many lives? In India they say millions of lives, and they are right. "Why did it take millions of lives? And the process was so simple!" One simply laughs at human stupidity and ridiculousness.

And yes, buddhas are bound to say things which can be dangerous to those who are not yet awakened.

For example, YOU listening to this - that Buddha could have become enlightened anywhere - you may find a rationalization to go away from here. That will be a trick of your mind. And I am not saying that you cannot become a buddha - you can become a buddha anywhere, even in California - but it is going to be more and more difficult. If it cannot happen here it will be very very difficult for it to happen anywhere else, although I don't say that it is absolutely impossible. It is not absolutely impossible - it is possible - but whatsoever is possible is not necessarily going to happen. Even the possible can be missed if you don't have the right context.

In fact the very idea of buddhahood, of becoming a buddha, has arisen in you because you are here. In the West people worship Christ, but nobody thinks that he is going to become a christ. That is blasphemy. There is only one Christ, the only begotten Son of God! It is enough to be a Christian; the very idea of becoming a christ looks crazy.

It is an Eastern contribution to human consciousness that you can become the Buddha, that you can become the Christ, that you can become the Krishna, that you can reach the highest peak that anybody has ever reached, that you carry the transcendental within your being like a seed. But the seed also needs a right soil, a gardener. The master is a gardener, and his field of energy is the right soil.

Beware of the mind's tricks! It can always find consolations, rationalizations. And those who are following the path have to be aware of rationalizations and consolations.

A farmer drove to town with some produce to sell. Afterwards he decided to have a good time for himself by going to see a burlesque show. The show inspired him so much that afterwards he decided to buy himself a complete new set of clothes, including a suit, hat and shoes, to surprise his wife. He put them under the driver's seat and set off for home.

When he got to a river, he got out and threw all of his old clothes in. Returning to his car he looked under the seat - the new clothes were gone. "Well, what the heck," he said to himself as he drove off, "I will surprise her anyway!"

The mind can always console you. "If it does not happen there," the mind can say, "who knows? - it may not have happened anywhere else either. If it happens here," the mind can say, "it could have happened anywhere else."

But I cannot deny the ultimate truth - although the ultimate truth is not yet your territory. The ultimate truth is that you are already buddhas. It is not a question of it happening, so where it happens does not matter. It can happen in the home; it can happen in the forest; it can happen in the marketplace; it can happen in a monastery. It can happen with a master; it can happen without a master. It can happen to the sinner; it can happen even to the saint. Yes, I know a few saints to whom it has happened - believe me! So the ultimate possibility is there, but to make the ultimately possible immediately actual is a totally different process. How to make it immediately actual?

A master is of tremendous help, and if the master also has a buddhafield.... A master may be moving alone, not creating a buddhafield. To create a buddhafield, the master has to create thousands of disciples. He has to create a multidimensional energy in which all kinds of people contribute, pour their energies. He has to make an ocean of energy, so tremendously powerful that whosoever enters the ocean is bound to be transformed - sometimes even in spite of himself; sometimes not even knowing what is happening.

It is easier for it to happen with a master. It is even easier for it to happen with a master who has a buddhafield. And my effort is not only to create the buddhafield here but to create small oases all over the world. I would not like to confine this tremendous possibility to this small commune only. This commune will be the source, but it will have branches all over the world. It will be the root, but it is going to become a big tree.

It is going to reach every country, it is going to reach every potential person. We will create small oases; we have started creating small communes, centers, all over the world.

Almost two hundred small families are functioning all over the world, but this is only the beginning. Thousands of communes are bound to happen once this commune has become really and totally established. It is going to create such an impetus, it is going to create such a longing all over the world, that we will have many many communes all over the world. And wherever my sannyasins are together, I am there. Wherever they will sit in meditation, my presence will be felt.

So first we have to create the root, and then the branches. The whole world cannot come here, but we can send our messengers, our apostles; we can send our branches far and wide. We can cover the whole earth. We ARE going to cover the whole earth!

This is of such immense importance today that if it doesn't happen, humanity has no future. The "old man" is already dead: you are carrying a corpse. The new man is absolutely needed - only then can this earth go on living; only then can this planet remain alive.

And man has the capacity to renew himself - to die to the past and to be reborn. Man has the capacity for resurrection. But the earth is almost like a desert today and small oases are needed everywhere, so those who are thirsty cannot say, "What can we do?

The water is not available. How can we quench our thirst?" We have to make God available to every possible seeker all over the world.

Yes, even in countries like China, Soviet Russia, and other communist countries, my effort is to create small oases there too. They have started: they are underground there - they have to be underground there. You will be surprised, but in one Russian town we have twenty-five sannyasins - of course not in orange. They have made their own malas, and when they meet in some underground basement they wear orange clothes, listen to the tapes, meditate, study books. They have translated a few books into Russian; now those translations are going around.

Just a few days ago I received a letter from the woman who has organized that underground group saying, "We are ready to become sannyasins. Just a hint from you and we will assert ourselves, whatsoever the cost." And of course, in Russia it can be dangerous. It can only mean imprisonment or a lifelong sentence in Siberia. So I have given her a message saying, "There is no need right now. And if you want to make orange clothes, don't make them orange, make them red - let them look communist! I can function through the red as much as through the orange; don't be worried. I don't like unnecessary suffering. I don't want to create unnecessary martyrs, for no reason at all. And continue to work - work is more important."

This is going to spread. Soon you will see communes sprouting everywhere, and then it will be possible for me to function on a wider scale. But the root commune has to be here, and the root commune needs at least ten thousand sannyasins. That is the minimum to create enough energy to pulsate the whole earth!

You can become a buddha anywhere, but to become a buddha here will be easier, will be possible in THIS life. To become a buddha somewhere else, nothing can be said - one life, two lives, three lives or many lives. You will be working alone; you will not have any help.

There are a few people who are loners, they would like to go alone. If you feel like that, I will be absolutely happy - you can go on your own. But you are not that type. That's why you say, "Why do I feel that I need to be in your buddhafield?" - because you DO need to be here! Because you are not a loner. Because you love the same type of energy pulsating around you. Because your path is love and not meditation. And love is possible only where you can find lovers of high quality. You can find lovers everywhere in the world, but that love will be only lust.

Here you will find lovers whose love is not lust, whose love is a sharing of joy, whose love is a help to you - a hand stretched out to you so that you can be pulled out of your mud.

The fifth question:

Question 5:



Ramprem, just the old male chauvinist attitude. You are not worried about yourself, whether you have loved any woman before or not. About that you are not worried, that's okay; boys are boys and everything is forgiven them. Why are you worried about the woman you love? In fact, the very desire that the woman should not have loved anybody before is unintelligent, because a woman who has not loved anybody before will be inexperienced. And life - even with an experienced woman - is hell. So what to say about an inexperienced woman?

If you want a driver for your car, you don't look for one who has never driven a car. If you want a typist, you don't advertise for somebody who has never been a typist. If you want a cook you ask for somebody who is experienced. Then why do you have a different logic about love? It is stupid.

The woman who has loved a few people is far more understanding; she will understand you better, she will create less trouble for you, she will help you in every possible way to come out of your own ego, unintelligence, mediocrity.

In fact, there are a few primitive societies where an experienced woman is much in demand. In India there are a few primitive tribes in Bastar where a woman will not get a husband if she has not been known to be a great lover of many many people.

A woman who has not been loved by anybody simply shows that either she is ugly or something is basically wrong with her. She must be unattractive, because nobody ever felt attracted towards her. A woman who has been loved by many people simply shows that she has some beauty, some magnetic force, some grace.

But the male chauvinist mind has for centuries desired that... for a single reason, which has now become irrelevant. The reason was that "My property should belong to my son, not to somebody else's son." That was the real fear. People were not interested in the woman, they were more interested in their inheritors; hence they were very much worried: if the woman has been in some love affair before, who knows, she may be carrying somebody else's child.

Two young men were pacing up and down in the corridor of a maternity home. The one said to the other, "You look so worried, what is the matter?"

He said, "Worried? I am in a mess! This is my vacation and this is the time my wife has chosen to give birth to a child. My whole vacation is destroyed."

The other said, "Hoo! That's nothing, this is my honeymoon! And my wife is giving birth to a child. I should be worried, not you!"

A young man was asking the doctor, "Does it happen often? My wife is giving birth to a child and we have been married only seven months."

The doctor must have been a wise old man, that type of doctor has disappeared. Now there are specialists, the ENT specialist and the dental surgeon; and somebody knows about one part and somebody else knows about another part and nobody knows about the whole man. The old physician was a wise man.

The old man said, "Yes, the first time it often happens, but never again."

People have always been very anxious, the fear is that the wife may be carrying somebody else's son. What difference does it make? In fact, when you make love to a woman, millions of living cells are released; millions, and you will not be able to recognize which is yours and which is not yours. They are so tiny, you cannot even see them with the naked eye, you will need some mechanical device, a microscope or something to see them.

Those millions of living cells start the first race of life; they struggle, they start running towards the woman's egg, which is deep down inside the womb. And one of these fellows - who is going to win the race, who is going to reach first - will enter the egg.

And once one fellow has entered the egg, then the egg closes. Sometimes it happens that twins are born and sometimes three, four, five, six, seven, eight children also, but it happens very rarely.

You don't know which, but out of these millions of people only one is going to be your child. All other cells will die within two hours, and you will never be aware who those others were. A woman may give birth to twelve children in her whole life or eighteen at the most, but a man has the potential of creating as many children as there are people on the earth today. A single male has so many living cells, he can populate the whole earth. If all his cells can find an egg, attain to life and are born - then one person, just one person, is enough to fill the whole earth.

You will never know how many of your children have died, millions and millions of your children have died. And what is the difference whether it comes from some other body or your own body? It comes from God.

But this foolishness has persisted. Ramprem, you should drop it.

"Darling," he breathed passionately, "am I the first man to make love to you?"

"Of course you are," she snapped, "I don't know why you men always ask the same silly question."

You are not alone, feel good! The whole earth is full of such silly people.

He held her close against him, a warm glow of satisfaction covering them both.

"Am I the first man you ever made love to?" he asked.

She studied him reflectively. "You might be, your face looks very familiar."

The last question:

Question 6:





Bal Krishna Bharti, don't try to imitate what others say. They may be saying a profound truth, but by imitating them you will never reach to that truth; because they never reached to that truth by imitation. They reached to that truth by being original.

Jesus says: God is love. I say that love is God. My statement is far more penetrating than what Jesus says. Jesus says: God is love; that means God may have many other qualities, one of the qualities is love. I say love is God, there is no other quality, love is the only quality that is divine.

And you listen to these things and you try... but what are you going to do? Do you know what love is? You become worried about God - first you will have to know what love is, and the love that you know is nothing but lust. We are not talking about lust, neither Jesus nor I, we are talking about love. And love is something so mysterious that nobody has ever been able to define it precisely, only fingers pointing to the moon.

Now what can you do? Hearing that love is God you jump into so-called love, whatsoever you think love is, and that is just unconscious sexuality; lust parading as love. And you will not find God; on the contrary, you may encounter the Devil - and then you are puzzled.

Imitation has to be avoided. Understanding should be the only law, never imitation.

So the first thing, Bal Krishna, stop imitating. Listen to me and to others - to Krishna, to Jesus, to Buddha, to Zarathustra - just to understand, but don't start imitating. Don't be in a hurry, let the understanding soak into you; in a hurry you are going to do something wrong.

The traveling salesman, when marooned in the country by bad weather, was permitted to share a bedroom with the farmer's son. In due time the two of them retired. The boy dropped on his knees beside the bed, his head in his hands in prayerful attitude.

The salesman thought of the quotation, "And the little child shall lead them." He felt bad, having failed to say his prayers for many months; he dropped out on the other side of the bed and knelt.

The boy raised his head and said, "What are you doing, mister?"

"Same thing as you are, son," he replied.

"Well, mama is going to give you hell then, because the pot is on this side."

You missed it.

I will wait, so you can get it....

Get it a little more!

Imitation is not going to help, imitation will create troubles for you. Understand! Why be in such a hurry to practice? Let understanding soak so deep that it transforms your being. That is the only way of arriving at truth; imitating is never the way.

And that's what you have been doing. You say, "I have tried to feel all this, but could not."

How can you feel all this? - it is not a question of feeling, it is not a question of thinking; it is a question of being. And being is arrived at through understanding. Just listen silently, attentively, as open as you can be. Be open to me. Let there be no hindrance, no obstruction.

Now this constant idea of practicing, of doing something immediately, is becoming a hindrance between me and you. There is no hurry. I say understanding is liberation.

You need not do anything at all. If you allow me to penetrate to your very core, if you let me touch your heart, I will give you my dance, I will give you my song, I will give you my music.

You need not do anything, being with a master is enough. Doing is needed if you go into scriptures; then you have to do something, because understanding can never arise out of scriptures. But by being with a master, understanding can arise. Just a little more open heart is needed.

And you ask me what I mean by the word 'God'. I don't mean a person, I simply mean a quality, a presence. By "God" I mean godliness; the whole existence is full of godliness.

And when you will come to know, you will not see a god standing before you, you will see the trees as divine, the rocks as divine, the people as divine, the animals as divine.

God is spread all over the place, from the pebble to the star, from the blade of grass to the sun - it is all divine.

Whenever I use the word 'God' it is never meant to be a person; it simply means a presence, a silent absolute presence of intelligence in existence. But first you have to become aware of this intelligence in you, only then can you know this intelligence in others.

Enough for today.

The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 6

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"Let us recall that on July 17, 1918 at Ekaterinenburg, and on
the order of the Cheka (order given by the Jew Sverdloff from
Moscow) the commission of execution commanded by the Jew Yourowsky,
assassinated by shooting or by bayoneting the Czar, Czarina,
Czarevitch, the four Grand Duchesses, Dr. Botkin, the manservant,
the womanservant, the cook and the dog.

The members of the imperial family in closest succession to the
throne were assassinated in the following night.

The Grand Dukes Mikhailovitch, Constantinovitch, Vladimir
Paley and the Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna were thrown
down a well at Alapaievsk, in Siberia.The Grand Duke Michael
Alexandrovitch was assassinated at Perm with his suite.

Dostoiewsky was not right when he said: 'An odd fancy
sometimes comes into my head: What would happen in Russia if
instead of three million Jews which are there, there were three
million Russians and eighty million Jews?

What would have happened to these Russians among the Jews and
how would they have been treated? Would they have been placed
on an equal footing with them? Would they have permitted them
to pray freely? Would they not have simply made them slaves,
or even worse: would they not have simply flayed the skin from them?

Would they not have massacred them until completely destroyed,
as they did with other peoples of antiquity in the times of
their olden history?"

(Nicholas Sokoloff, L'enquete judiciaire sur l'Assassinat de la
famille imperiale. Payot, 1924;

The Secret Powers Behind Revolution, by Vicomte Leon De Poncins,
pp. 153-154)