Everything is possible

Fri, 28 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:
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The first question:

Question 1:




Anand Deepesh, it certainly is one of the most beautiful passages in the Christian scriptures, because it shows the humanity of Jesus, that is his unique quality. Gautama the Buddha is not so human.

Jesus is both the son of man and the Son of God. He knows the dark valley, he also knows the sunlit peak - and he has a very human heart. That humanity remains with him to the very end. All the buddhas are unique. In the same situation Lao Tzu, looking back, would have laughed at the foolishness, at the ridiculousness, at the absurdity of human beings. And in the same situation Gautama the Buddha would not even have cared to look back; that is his uniqueness, he never looks back, the past does not exist at all. Mahavira would have looked back but would have neither wept nor laughed.

This fact has to be remembered: never compare two buddhas, otherwise you will create great confusion for yourself. Although their experience is the same, their expressions are different, are bound to be different. They have different individualities, they have different forms of expressing their experience.

Jesus remains human, very human. If you ask a Buddhist, he will say, "Then he is not a buddha if he wept." When he is just going to be crucified and he is raised on the cross, he looks at the sky and says, "Have you forsaken me?" There is great complaint, the complaint of the human heart, complaining to God as a child would complain to his mother or father: "Have you forsaken me? What are you trying to do to me?" He is angry too, a little anger is there, which is part of being human; a little anger, a little love, a little joy.

When he enters into the great temple of Jerusalem he feels so offended by the presence of the money-changers in the temple that he takes a whip in his hand and, alone, he drives all the money-changers out of the temple, turns their money-changing boards upside-down, creates chaos; that too is very human. That is Jesus' speciality.

In the same situation you can't think of Buddha looking at the sky because for Buddha there is no God outside. God is within, you are looking at the empty sky, there is no one to respond. God is in the crucified person, there is no way to pray to God. Prayer is absolutely meaningless for a Buddha; he would have accepted it without any grudge, without any complaint, without any anger. He is suprahuman, his expression is absolutely suprahuman; not for a single moment will he allow human weakness to enter in.

When he was dying, he stopped his disciples from weeping and crying; he said, "You can do it when I'm gone, you will have enough time, but right now, at least while I am still alive, don't do such a stupid thing. There is nothing to weep for because there is nobody to die. Why are you weeping?"

Ananda, his disciple, said, "Bhagwan, we have loved you so much, how can we avoid feeling sad?"

Buddha said, "You loved a nothingness. I was never a person but only a presence, and I have been telling you again and again, don't think of me as a person. The person died the day I became Buddha. Gautama Siddhartha died the day enlightenment happened.

Since then there has been nobody inside the house, the house is utterly empty. Hence nobody is dying, stop crying and weeping. Later on when I am gone you can do whatsoever you want, you will have enough time. Don't waste these precious moments in weeping."

This is a totally different expression. God is multidimensional. When he is experienced there are going to be many expressions of it.

Mahavira is absolutely indifferent to everything. He will not laugh, he will not weep either, because for him this whole world is nothing but a dream. If you know that something is a dream, how can you weep?

There is an ancient Chinese parable. Chuang Tzu used to tell that parable again and again.

A great king had only one son and the son was dying - dying of a disease for which there was no medicine available. All the physicians had said, "There is no way to save him. It is only a question of a few hours or at the most one or two days and he will be gone."

The king had loved the son so much; he was the only son, the king was getting old and there was no possibility of another son. The king was sitting by the side of the bed the whole night because this might be the last night.

Nearabout four o'clock the old king fell asleep and had a dream. In the dream he saw a beautiful marble palace; he had never dreamed of such a beautiful palace. And the kingdom is so vast; he is the king, and he is sitting on a golden throne studded with big diamonds and emeralds. He HAD emeralds and diamonds but not so big, not so pure, without any flaw. And he had beautiful women and twelve sons; maybe the idea of losing his only son had created the desire for twelve sons, maybe it was just a reflection of his actual state. This dream might have been just a wish fulfillment, but he felt so blessed. And all his sons were so wise, so healthy, such great warriors.

And then suddenly his son died on the bed. The wife cried so loudly that the king's dream was shattered; he opened his eyes, looked at the dead body of his son and didn't say a word - remained like a statue. His wife was shocked, she shook him and said, "Do you understand or not? Your son is dead!" The king said, "I can see it but now I am puzzled - for whom to cry? Just a minute before I had twelve beautiful sons, very handsome, very wise, in every way skillful. And because of your crying my dream is shattered, those twelve sons have disappeared; and the golden throne and the marble palace and the great kingdom, all have gone. Should I weep for those or should I weep for this son because when I was dreaming I had completely forgotten my son, you and the kingdom?

"Now I am awake, I have forgotten the dream and the beauties of the dream. Which is true, which should I cry for? Because when I was seeing the dream it was true, at least it appeared to be true. Now I am seeing my dead son, it appears true, but how to decide which appearance is really true?"

Chuang Tzu, in another parable, says the same thing. He says, "Once I dreamed that I had become a butterfly, moving from one flower to another, enjoying the sun and the wind. And then somebody awakened me; it was morning and getting late and the sun was shining in my face. As I opened my eyes the butterfly disappeared, I was again Chuang Tzu. Since then I have been in confusion. The confusion is, if Chuang Tzu can dream that he is a butterfly, why can't the butterfly dream that she is Chuang Tzu?"

He seems to be very penetrating; this puzzle is something worth meditating over. If Chuang Tzu can become a butterfly in the dream... the butterfly may have fallen asleep, sitting on some tree, under the shade of a tree; the butterfly may have fallen into sleep and dreamed that she is Chuang Tzu. Now who is right and what is a dream? Both seem to be similar.

A man like Buddha knows the falseness of the whole world; he will not weep, he will not laugh, he will not even look back. That is his way of expressing his experience of the total. Mahavira will look back because he also has great compassion - but different from Jesus; he will not weep, because it helps nobody. If you weep for the world, it does not help the world. If you weep at the stupidity of people it makes you look silly, that's all. It does not help people.

But Lao Tzu would have certainly laughed because looking at people's absurdity, their ridiculousness, what else can you do? Lao Tzu used to ride on a water buffalo, moving from one place to another. He was a jolly fellow, telling jokes, telling stories to people, always in a laughing state.

If you see the statues of Buddha that have been made in China and in Japan you will be surprised. They don't look like Buddha, particularly not like the Indian statues, not at all. The Indian statues have a very athletic form, Buddha has a big chest and a very small belly, no belly at all, his body seems to be very proportionate.

But the Chinese Buddha has a big belly; the chest is completely sunk in, the belly is too big. And not only is the belly big, even in the marble statues you can see the belly laughing, there are ripples of laughter on the belly. It has been conceived according to the Taoist idea; because China could understand only if Buddha was presented in the form of Lao Tzu. They knew Lao Tzu, they were acquainted with this enlightened man, and he was always laughing. To him there is nothing to weep for. What reason is there to weep at the ridiculousness of man?

Three college boys, upon entering their favorite juke joint to sit at their usual table, found it to be occupied by an oldish woman. After debating what to do about the situation, they finally decided to embarrass the woman into leaving.

Sitting next to the old lady, the first student started.... "Say, John," he said, "did you know that I was born three months before my parents were married?"

"Why, that's nothing," said the next one. "I was born six months before my parents were married."

"Fellows," replied the last of the hungry men, "I was born without my parents being married."

The old lady finally looked up from the table and pleasantly asked, "Will one of you bastards please pass the salt?"

Life is ridiculous, you never know what is going to happen, it is absurd.

An artist's model arrived at her boss' studio and was waiting for him to arrive. When he walked in the door she headed for the dressing room to get undressed.

But he said, "No, don't bother getting ready. I have got a terrific hangover and really don't feel like working today. But why don't you stay and join me in a cup of coffee?"

The model said, "I would love to."

Just then the artist heard familiar footsteps approaching the door.

"Oh my gosh," he gasped. "Here comes my wife. Get your clothes off - quick!"

Lao Tzu would laugh; Jesus wept. Now it is for you to choose. I love both the men; in fact laughing and weeping are two sides of the same coin. And because of this story that Jesus wept, I say something which Christians have denied down the ages. Christians have been saying that Jesus never laughed. Now a man who is capable of weeping is bound to be capable of laughing, it is impossible to weep if you cannot laugh. In fact laughter and weeping are not opposites, but complementaries - two extremes of the same spectrum.

Christians say Jesus never laughed. That is an invented story, I can't believe in it.

Because Jesus was not an ascetic. Yes, I can understand some ascetic saint never laughing because he is so desertlike, so dry, so dull and so dead. But Jesus is a juicy man, he is not an ascetic; he enjoyed good food, good company, he enjoyed drinking wine, he enjoyed being festive with his friends. And his friends were all sorts of people, his friends were not Rotarians; they were gamblers, thieves; even a prostitute, Mary Magdalene, was part of his company. He enjoyed the real people.

If you want to see the unreal people you can go to a meeting of the Rotary Club. There you see pseudo people, all with masks, all smiling and saying hello to each other. These are not their real faces, they always keep their real faces locked in their cupboards, they never take them out. Only once in a while can you have a glimpse of their real face. It happens only when they are unconscious; maybe when they have drunk too much you can see their real face. The unconsciousness may give you a glimpse of their truth.

Gurdjieff used to give as much wine as possible to his new disciples; he would go on forcing. And when the master forces you to drink.... Just think of me asking you to drink, and I go on pouring and pouring - how can you say no? And trust is the first thing.

Gurdjieff would force them to eat and drink so much that their real faces would show; that was his first contact with the disciple. The disciples were very much puzzled, they had never seen such a master. They would fall on the ground and would start saying incoherent things. Then Gurdjieff would sit by their side and listen to what they are saying, what their faces are showing, because these are the real faces, these are their realities.

You cannot think of Buddha telling people to drink, but Gurdjieff did. I cannot believe that Jesus never laughed; he lived with such alive people: fishermen, carpenters, poor people. He was not keeping company with the rabbis, the pundits, the scholars and the professors. He was moving with raw people, real people of the earth. It is impossible to think that he was a sad man, that he never laughed; and if he was incapable of laughter, he would be incapable of weeping too.

This statement, that he wept, shows with absolute certainty that he must have laughed too. That is one of the most beautiful things about Jesus; I love that he is very human.

Buddha is a little cold, has no warmth, is far away - that is his beauty. We need ALL kinds of masters, we need ALL kinds of flowers in the garden. A rose has its beauty and a lotus has its beauty. The lotus will need a lake, a different situation to happen in, it will have a different fragrance. But all kinds of flowers enrich the garden. The garden of buddhahood is full of strange, unique, incomparable beings: Lao Tzu, Zarathustra, Mohammed, Mahavira, Buddha, Krishna, Christ.

Now, Christ is on the cross. Whenever you think about Christ, you think of the cross too. It is impossible to think of them separately, they have become inseparable. If you see the cross you will think of Christ, if you think of Christ the cross is always there in the background. With Krishna it is not the cross but the flute. Now, Krishna is a dancer, a singer; you cannot think of Buddha dancing, singing, it is impossible to conceive. And it will look very ridiculous too; with Krishna it fits, his whole vision of life is such that the flute fits with it.

Remember this and don't become too much attached to one form of buddhahood. There are as many forms of buddhahood as you can conceive. Many more buddhas will happen in the future, who will have a totally different quality which was never available in the past. If you become too much attached and obsessed with a certain form, you will miss other buddhas.

In Holland there was a conference arranged by Krishnamurti followers. Krishnamurti was coming there and staying with the people for seven days. His disciples had gathered from all over the world. One woman went from India but after two, three days she was back.

She came to see me. I said, "You came back so early? Is the conference finished?" She said, "No, the conference is not finished but I am finished with Krishnamurti." I said, "What happened?" She said, "I had gone shopping and I saw Krishnamurti purchasing a necktie, and not only purchasing a necktie but making such a fuss. At least two hundred neckties were spread all over the table and nothing was liked by him.

Something was wrong with everything: some color was wrong, the size was wrong, this was wrong, that was wrong." And she said, "I simply watched what he was doing. Is he a buddha? A buddha purchasing, shopping? A buddha looks good with a begging bowl but a buddha purchasing - and what? A necktie! And then too, he is making so much fuss."

Krishnamurti is very fastidious about his clothes. She became so frustrated, she did not attend the conference. What is the point now? This man is not a buddha. Now, what to do with this woman - to weep for her or to laugh at her? One can weep for her stupidity because Krishnamurti is Krishnamurti; he is not Gautama the Buddha, he is not Jesus Christ. He has his unique way of living, of expressing. He is not a renunciate, he lives in the world. And to see the point, that he lives in the world and yet is not of it, needs great understanding inside. This woman missed.

What to do with this woman? To weep for her? She went to Holland without even listening to a single talk of Krishnamurti.... Or to laugh at her stupidity? And one never knows - Krishnamurti may have managed the whole thing only for this woman. Seeing that she is watching he may have made so much fuss... because people like Krishnamurti always want to get rid of the rubbish type of people, the stupid type of people.

Gurdjieff used to do many things just to get rid of unnecessary people. Sometimes he would behave so absurdly that the person who had come to see him would never come again - thinking that he was mad. One day he is sitting drinking tea with two, three disciples and a journalist comes to see him. He was always against journalists entering into his ashram because this was his understanding: that they are bent upon misunderstanding.

He asked the journalist, very courteously, to sit and have some tea, some cake. The journalist was very happy because he had heard that Gurdjieff always throws journalists out, he tells them in no uncertain terms to get lost! He was very happy that he was being received with such love and compassion.

And then Gurdjieff asked the woman sitting by his side, "What day was yesterday?"

She said, "Friday."

"And what day is today?"

Then the journalist became a little confused - this man cannot manage! If yesterday was Friday, then there is no point in asking, "What day is today?"

The woman said, "Of course today is Saturday."

And he shouted at the woman, he said, "How it can be? If yesterday was Friday, how it can be Saturday today? Impossible! You go and find out what day today is."

The journalist escaped, thinking that this is something insane, this man is insane; he never even looked back. When he had gone, Gurdjieff had a good, hearty laugh. He said to the woman, "You see how I got rid of that man. Now he will never come back and he will spread the story around and many more will be prevented from coming."

One never knows how an enlightened person is going to behave - with what devices.

Deepesh, your feeling that you love these words, this beautiful passage, is good, but remember that man is worth both weeping and laughing over. Yes, he is in great misery but the misery is created by himself. He IS trapped and he suffers much, but the trap is made by himself. He is like a small child who was playing outside the house with a pile of bricks. He started making a house of bricks, standing in the middle he went on putting brick upon brick around himself. When they came up to his neck then he became puzzled, then he started shouting to his mother, that "I am imprisoned, come and save me!" Now he cannot get out of it - but he himself has created it!

This is the situation of man, we create our misery, our hell. If you see that we go on creating it, it is worth laughing at; but if you say, and see, that "Maybe we create it but still we are suffering," then it is worth weeping over.

But Buddha will not do either. He will remain detached, cool. He will not suffer because you are suffering and he will not even think your misery worth laughing about. He will keep his cool; he will do whatsoever he can to help you and will go on his way.

Whether you are helped or not is not his business. His business is to say what is, and even THAT he had agreed to very reluctantly.

When he became enlightened he remained silent for seven days. The story is, the gods became very much worried because it rarely happens that a man becomes enlightened.

Now this Siddhartha had become enlightened and he has not spoken a single word for seven days. They looked deep into the consciousness of Siddhartha and they saw that he was not going to speak at all.

They came down to the earth, bowed down to Buddha and asked him to speak because there were many who could be helped. Buddha said to them, "I had thought about it but there are only two alternatives. One is: I will speak but I will be understood only by very few people. The majority will not understand, maybe ninety-nine percent of the people will not understand at all. So ninety-nine percent of my efforts is going to be a sheer wastage.

"Of the one percent who will be able to understand me, my insight says that even without me, sooner or later they will find their own way. Their intelligence is such, their courage is such, their search is such... they are passionate lovers of truth. That's why they will be able to understand me.

"The ninety-nine percent will never understand, the one percent who are capable of understanding me will understand it anyway, whether I speak or not. In fact it will be easier for them to understand if I don't speak. My silence will be more of a communion with them. So what is the point of speaking?"

The gods were very much worried how to answer this. They gathered together, they discussed among themselves, then they came again with a new argument and they said, "Listen! You are right, there are people who will never understand you and there are people who will understand even without your saying a single word. But can you deny that there are people between these two? Can you say there is not a single person who is just between these two categories, a third category, who will understand if you speak, and who will never understand if you don't speak? Can you deny - it may be a very small minority, it may be one in a million, but can you deny that one single person - that link between the majority and the minority? The nonunderstanders and the understanders... they are linked."

Buddha could not deny it. He said, "You are right, there ARE a few people; yes, one in a million who will be helped."

"Then," those gods said, "even if it is only one in a million, it is your to duty help him."

It is because of this argument that Buddha started speaking; otherwise he was not going to speak. And remember, there have been many buddhas who have not spoken. They remained silent their entire lives, you will never hear about them because they have never spoken. No scripture exists to describe them.

One point I would like to make very clear to you: that each individual when he becomes enlightened, becomes part of the universal - but his expression still remains individual.

His experience is universal, but his expression is individual. If he was a poet before, like Kabir, when he becomes enlightened he will sing songs. If he was a poet, if being a poet was part of his individuality - now knowing the universal, his understanding, his light, will start flowing into the old patterns of poetry. He will be like Kabir, Nanak, Farid.

But if he was a painter, not a poet, and he becomes enlightened, then he will paint - that will be his natural way of expressing. If he was a sculptor then his expression will be different.

Each buddha lives in the universal but expresses himself individually. This is Jesus'

expression, he is all too human. Maybe that is his appeal - now almost half the earth is in love with Jesus. The reason is his humanity. Buddha is a faraway star, Jesus seems to be very close to the heart. Buddha appeals to the very sophisticated, Jesus' appeal is for the masses.

Whenever a country becomes sophisticated, cultured, educated, rich, affluent, Jesus'

appeal starts disappearing. That's what is happening in America. Buddha is becoming more and more powerful: more and more Zen centers are being opened, more and more people are becoming converted from prayer to meditation, more and more people are becoming interested in the sayings of Buddha.

Jesus is losing ground in America; he is still gaining ground in India, but he is losing ground in America. America is now in the same affluent state as India was in the times of Buddha. The country was rich, people were well-educated, sophisticated, cultured; they knew what philosophy was. They knew all the flights of metaphysics, they knew the highest peaks - at least intellectually. And Buddha was speaking to this intelligentsia; it was a totally different communication.

Jesus was talking to the poor villagers, farmers, gardeners, fishermen. He was speaking to the lowest, the poorest of the poor. His language is different, it is very human, it has to be.

Buddha's language is very pure, philosophical, metaphysical. It is less concerned with whether you understand it or not, it is more concerned with being true, being closer to truth, as close as possible. Hence their expressions are bound to be different.

Deepesh, you ask me, "Beloved Master, does the buddha weep?" Some buddhas do, some buddhas don't. It all depends on the individuality.

It happened when Basho's master died - Basho is a buddha, a buddha who writes poetry, a buddha who paints beautiful pictures, a very aesthetic buddha. His master died, thousands of people gathered. His master was very famous; more famous because of Basho, because Basho was a famous poet and painter and he was Basho's master.

Thousands of people gathered and they were very much surprised when they saw Basho crying, big tears rolling down his cheeks.

A few close disciples of his master came to Basho and said, "It does not look right.

Thousands of people are coming and they are getting confused. They don't think a buddha should be crying and weeping, and you are the man who has been saying to them again and again: There is no death and the innermost core lives forever. Then why are you weeping? Your master is not dead, he has only moved from the small body to the universal body of God. So why are you weeping?"

Basho wiped his tears and he said, "Listen! This is nobody's business. I live according to my inner feelings, I cannot pretend. When my innermost core  has disappeared into the universal. don't care whether people think it right or not. If they don't think that I am enlightened it's okay, but I cannot pretend. I cannot do something which is not really there. And yes, I have said that the soul is immortal and my master has not died, he has disappeared into the universal. That's why I am crying, not crying that he is dead but crying that now I will never be able to see his form. Now he has become formless - and his body was beautiful. I will never be able to look again into those deep eyes, I will never be able to hold his hand and touch his feet. I have lost his form - I am crying for his body, for his form; I am not crying for the formless soul.

And I am not concerned whether people think me enlightened or unenlightened, that is their business. Who cares?"

No, this is Basho's approach, and he too is true. But never compare. Let each buddha be a Himalayan peak separate from other peaks. Let each buddha be understood according to his own way, never impose any other pattern on him. That has been done down the ages again and again. The Christian can't believe that Buddha is a christ, because he does not serve the poor, he does not heal the wounded, he does not make the blind see, he does not do miracles like Jesus did. Lazarus died and Jesus came, and after four days he revived Lazarus. Buddha does nothing like that; on the contrary, he does something absolutely different.

There is a beautiful story:

A woman lost her young son; just a few days before her husband had died. Kissa Gautami was her name, and now her only son had died. She was in great despair, naturally; the child was her only hope. Buddha was staying in the town; people said, "Don't cry and don't weep. Why don't you take the child to the Buddha? He is so compassionate, he may revive him back to life."

The woman rushed with the dead body of the child. Buddha looked at the woman, told the woman to put the child in front of him and said to her, "Yes, I will revive him, but you will have to fulfill one condition."

The woman said, "I am ready to give even my life. Say any condition and I will fulfill it."

Buddha said, "It is a simple condition, I never make big requirements of people, only small requirements; this is a very simple thing. You just go into the town and bring a few mustard seeds. Just remember one thing: the mustard seeds should come from a house where nobody has ever died."

The woman was in an insane state, she could not see the point. How can you find a house where nobody has ever died? She rushed with great hope and she knew that every house has mustard seeds because that was the only crop the people were growing. The whole village was doing the same work, growing mustard seeds - so there was no problem.

She knocked on many doors, the people said, "A few mustard seeds? We can bring cartloads of mustard seeds, but we cannot fulfill the condition; many people have died in our house. So our mustard seeds won't do."

By the evening the woman came to her senses. She had knocked on many doors; slowly slowly, she saw the point that death is inevitable - it happens to everybody, that nobody can escape from it. She came back, she was a totally different woman when she came back in the evening. The child was there, Buddha was waiting. He said, "Where are the mustard seeds?"

The woman laughed, fell down at his feet and said, "Initiate me into your path, because I have understood your message, that everybody has to die. Today my son has died, a few days before my husband died, a few days afterwards I am going to die. Before I die I want to see the deathless. Now I am not interested in my child being raised from the dead. Now I am interested myself in seeing the eternal life."

Buddha initiated Kissa Gautami.

Now, these stories are the same, almost the same. Lazarus' sisters or Jesus' disciples, they sent for him. He was away. He came - it took four days for him to reach there - and he raised Lazarus from the dead. But what happened to Lazarus then? He must have died again because we don't see him anywhere. So what is the point?

If you ask Buddha he will say, "What is the point of raising the man? He will die again.

You are simply creating another opportunity to die. Once is enough, why twice?"

Buddha would have responded in a totally different way. Christians can't understand it because they are obsessed with the idea of Christ. They would like Buddha and Mahavira and Krishna to be the same way. That is not possible.

Buddhists cannot understand Christ either, because they have the idea of Buddha, the image of Buddha, and Jesus does not fulfill it. In fact there is no need for Jesus to fulfill anybody's idea, or for Buddha to fulfill anybody's expectation. They are unique people.

We should stop this continuous comparison. Thousands of books are written every year comparing, and every comparison is going to be wrong, it is going to do some injustice to somebody or other. Either you will be unjust to Buddha, or to Christ. You cannot be just to both.

My effort here is to make you aware of the varieties of buddhahood, of the multidimensionality of enlightenment. The world is rich because there are so many birds and so many trees and so many flowers. And the same is true about the inner world; so many possibilities of growing, so many different, unique expressions when you become mature - different flowers. The world is richer because there is a Buddha and a Christ and a Lao Tzu. The world would have been really very poor if there were only Ramas, just Ramas; the world would have been very poor. In each village and town you can find a few Ramas, carrying their bow. Or if there were millions of Christs everywhere it would not be beautiful, it would be boring.

It is good that Jesus has the touch of humanity and Buddha has pure divinity.

The second question:

Question 2:



Anand Viramo, there are three things to be understood. One is the law of cause and effect. That applies to the material world and because science believes only in the law of cause and effect, it denies everything else. The law of cause and effect is mechanical, there is no coincidence. You heat the water to one hundred degrees and it evaporates, there is no coincidence. It is not that one day it evaporates at ninety-nine degrees, another day at ninety degrees. There is no question of the mood, the water cannot decide, the water is mechanically ruled by a law of cause and effect.

Those who believe in the law of cause and effect, they will not believe in any coincidence. Everything is predetermined, there is nothing like coincidence. Everything has an inevitability.

Then there is another law - Carl Gustav Jung called it the law of synchronicity. Two things can happen together although they are not related as cause and effect. For example if somebody is singing a beautiful song, some cord in your heart is touched, but it is not inevitable, it is not cause and effect - it may happen, it may not happen; it may happen to a few people, it may not happen to a few others. It may happen to you one day, it may not happen to you another day.

Today you are feeling happy, you have met your woman, your friend, you are riding on the winds. Somebody is singing a song, suddenly it strikes a note in you, you also feel like singing. Somebody is dancing, your feet suddenly have the feel to dance, the mood to dance.

But your wife has died, you are sad and somebody is singing and it hurts. The moon has risen in the sky, a full-moon night, and you are sad - the moon also looks sad, not beautiful. You are in such a sad state that the full-moon night looks like it is ridiculing you; it looks so indifferent to you, so unconcerned, so hard. You are in such a sad state and the moon is still shining the same way it used to, and the roses are blooming and the birds are singing. Nobody seems to be concerned about you, nobody seems to care about you.

The universe seems to be very neutral, very cold. You feel hurt, you feel alienated, you feel a stranger, an outsider. Now there will be no synchronicity.

The law of synchronicity means sometimes you fit and sometimes you don't fit. It is fluid. The law of synchronicity belongs to the world of mind; just as cause and effect belong to the world of matter, body, the law of synchronicity belongs to the world of mind, heart. Beyond these two there is a possibility of coincidence too. That means no law pertains, or you can call it the law of freedom. That is the ultimate, the law of your innermost core, in fact it is not a law because it is a law of freedom. Things can happen which are not caused by anything and which are not created by the law of synchronicity, just coincidences.

Coincidence simply means that there is a possibility of freedom. Now there are people here of all the three kinds. There are people here who have come according to the law of cause and effect; they had to come, it was inevitable, unavoidable. There was something pulling them like a magnet, they could not resist it.

There are people here who have come not through the law of cause and effect, but they felt a synchronicity, a harmony with me, a deep accord. If they wanted to resist they could have resisted very easily, if they wanted not to come they could have remained.

There was not some gravitational pull, they had to choose. It is out of their choice that they are here.

And there is also the third category of people who have just come as a coincidence, accidental. A friend was here, and you had come to see your friend, not to see me, not to listen to me, not at all concerned about me; you had come just to see your friend - but then you got caught. The friend may not be here anymore, the friend may have escaped. Now this is coincidence.

Your husband was coming here, and you simply followed him just as a dutiful wife.

Now there are many children, many kids who are coincidentally here. Their parents are here, so they are here; their being here is not their choice, just a coincidence. Their parents are Christian, they are Christian; their parents are Hindu, so they are Hindu; their parents have become sannyasins, they have become sannyasins. This is just coincidence.

All these three things happen. The higher you rise, the higher your consciousness is, the more aware you become of freedom. At the lowest point everything is determined, at the highest point nothing is determined.

Buddha renounced his palace and the first day, when he was walking on the bank of a river, he created much confusion in the mind of a great astrologer.

The astrologer was coming from Varanasi; he had achieved the highest degrees possible in those days. He had become the most famous astrologer; now he is going back to his part of the country. He saw Buddha's footprint on the wet sand; he could not believe his eyes, because it was against all his astrological knowledge. The feet of the Buddha had a few marks which were clearly there on the sand. Those marks were thought to belong only to a man who is the ruler of the whole world, a CHAKRAVARTIN, who is the ruler of six continents.

Now what is the ruler of six continents doing in this poor village, on this dirty bank?

And why should the emperor of all the six continents walk barefooted? He could not believe his eyes. He studied them very minutely and there was no suspicion, no doubt.

Either his astrological books are not right or some emperor has passed from here. He followed those footprints in search of the man and he found Buddha sitting under a tree. Now he was more puzzled; the man looked as if he was the emperor of all the six continents, and yet he was a beggar with a begging bowl.

He bowed down to Buddha and he said, "I would like to see your feet. I am an astrologer, you may have heard my name." He looked at the feet and he said, "Now you have created such confusion in my mind, I have never been so confused. For twelve years I have studied astrology, should I throw my scriptures in the river and forget all about it? You should be the emperor of the whole world. What are you doing here?

How can you be a beggar?"

Buddha laughed and he said, "Yes, there is no need to throw away your books, there is no need to be so confused. Your books are right. I was meant to be a great king, but that belongs to the law of cause and effect. If I had simply followed the pattern in which I was born, then I would have been the king, a great king, a chakravartin. But because I renounced, I took a conscious, deliberate step against the pattern that was imposed, imprinted in my being. I revolted against it, I rebelled against it, I became free of it. I became a witness of it, I dropped my identification with my mind, and once you drop your identification with your mind you are no longer under the law of cause and effect."

First you enter into the world of synchronicity and then, ultimately, you enter into the world of freedom. In the world of freedom there are only coincidences. Nothing is absolutely certain, everything is possible. Nothing is impossible. Napoleon is reported to have said: Nothing is impossible. But Napoleon cannot say that, he should not say it.

A Buddha can say: Nothing is impossible, all things become possible.

You ask me, Anand Viramo, "What is 'coincidence'?"

It simply means that life is not just mechanical. It is not determined by fate and it is not determined by history. It is not determined by your past or by your past karmas. It is not determined, as Karl Marx says, by historical necessity. It is determined only for those who live unconsciously; otherwise it is freedom. You can choose and you can choose to be anything. You can even choose to be a nothingness, that is the ultimate freedom.

And coincidences are always happening in ordinary life too. Life is not as logical as you think, it is very illogical. Only the surface looks logical.

The preacher decided to enumerate the Ten Commandments to his flock.

When he got to "Thou Shalt Not Steal," he noticed a fellow in the first row acting nervously. When the preacher got to "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery," he noticed the fellow brighten up and smile. After the service, the preacher approached the man and asked him the reason for his unseemly conduct - to which the happy one replied, "When you said, 'Thou Shalt Not Steal,' I discovered my umbrella was gone. But when you said, 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,' I remembered where I had left it."

A bachelor named Clem showed up at his weekly poker game with a black eye.

His friend Joe asked what had happened to him.

"Well," Clem replied, "when I was getting dressed this morning a button came off my pants. I don't know how to sew a thing, so I went to the next apartment and asked the woman there if she would sew it on for me."

"Oh boy," Joe said, "she probably thought you were making a pass and socked you, huh?"

"No, that was not it," said Clem. "She was as nice about it as she could be. Got out a needle and thread right then and there. She sat down in front of me and sewed the button on while I was standing there. But just as she finished and was biting the thread off, her husband walked in."

Life is not just logic. It does not follow a clean-cut path, it goes zigzag. And it is good that it is not simply logical, otherwise there would be no joy, there would be no surprise, you would be simply machines, not men. Coincidences never happen to machines, they can't happen to machines, they can happen only to man. It is your being conscious that makes them possible. Remove man from the earth and all coincidences will disappear, things will be following simple, logical law. But remove man and life loses all its beauty, because life loses its ultimate peak of evolution.

The third question:

Question 3:



Sargam, knowledge hinders, ignorance never does. Knowledge makes you egoistic, ignorance never does. Knowledge is nothing but hiding your ignorance, covering it up.

If there is no knowledge, you will know your ignorance because there will be nothing to hide it. And to know that "I am ignorant" is the first step towards real wisdom. Hence I never speak against ignorance, ignorance has something beautiful about it. One thing that is beautiful about ignorance is that it can give you the right direction to move.

Socrates says: I know only one thing, that I know nothing. But Socrates is one of the wisest men of the world.

It happened that a few people had gone to the temple of Delphi, and the oracle at Delphi declared that Socrates is the wisest man, the greatest wise man ever. Those people rejoiced very much because they had come from Athens. They came back, they went to Socrates and they said, "You should also rejoice. Have you heard or not? The oracle at the temple of Delphi has declared you the greatest wise man on the earth."

Socrates said, "There must be something wrong, some misunderstanding, because I am the most ignorant; I know only one thing, that I know nothing. You go back and you tell the oracle that Socrates says he is the most ignorant person in the world."

They went back, they told the oracle and the oracle laughed and said, "That's why I have declared him the wisest man in the world."

Hence I never speak against ignorance. Ignorance also has another beautiful thing about it: that it is yours. Knowledge is always borrowed. And something that is yours cannot be taken away from you. It cannot be stolen, robbed, but knowledge can be taken away from you very easily. It is borrowed.

And when you are ignorant you don't have any pretensions, you are simple, you are innocent. Ignorance has the quality of innocence about it. That's why children are so innocent, because they are so ignorant. Primitive people are so innocent because they are so ignorant; they are not cunning, they cannot be. They don't have enough knowledge to be cunning. Before you can be cunning you have to be educated. Before you can be cunning you need a university degree; the more universities there are, the more cunningness there is in the world. The more people become knowledgeable, the more they are deceptive, cunning, oppressive. And they go on finding ways to exploit others.

Ignorance is pure, unadulterated. From ignorance move towards wisdom, not towards knowledge. If ignorance becomes meditative it becomes wisdom; if ignorance becomes interested in more and more information then it becomes knowledge. To be knowledgeable is not going to help at all. Wisdom liberates. Wisdom is as much yours as your ignorance is yours.

Knowledge not only deceives others, it deceives you too. When you know answers parrotlike, you start thinking that you really know. Because you can read and you can write, you start to think that you know; because you can understand words you start thinking that you know; because your intelligence is covered with intellectuality, you start thinking that you are intelligent - but you are not intelligent, only intellectual.

Intelligence is part of wisdom, intellectuality is part of knowledge.

Yes, Sargam, I speak against knowledge because there is nothing more dangerous than knowledge. It hinders you from knowing yourself. Knowledge hinders you from knowing, because it gives you plastic, synthetic, false things to play with and you forget all about the real thing. Don't start believing in words; it is the most dangerous game one can play. Don't be a parrot, otherwise you will be going farther and farther away from your inner source.

One very hot day a dog was walking along a road when he saw a take-away food shop.

He went in and asked for a can of lemonade.

"Get out!" said the shopkeeper. "Dogs are not allowed in food shops."

"But look here," said the thirsty canine, "you've got a big sign outside that says, WE SERVE HOT DOGS!"

Just knowing the words is not enough. And the more words you know, the more confused you are going to become, because you don't know, your words are just on the surface. If somebody scratches a little bit more, your ignorance is bound to show.

People go on pretending.

When I was a student in the university, I had a professor who was not even very knowledgeable - wisdom was out of the question. But he had this habit of pretending.

Whenever anybody would mention any name of a philosopher, author, poet, mystic or a name of some book, he would immediately say, "Yes, I have read the book, it is beautiful," or this or that, he would make some comment. But I could see in his eyes that the answer he was giving was hollow, he had not read the book, he knows nothing about the person and nobody had ever seen him in the library. I had gone to his house also, and I had not seen any books there. I inquired in the library - he had been in the university for ten years - not a single book had been taken out in his name, and nobody had ever seen him reading, except the newspaper. He was not reading anything else, and that too, he used to borrow from the neighbors. I inquired everywhere, and I became absolutely certain that he was simply pretending.

One day I invented three names, just invented. I told him, "Have you read, sir, Nomineo's book?"

He said, "Yes." Now, there is no person like Nomineo....

I asked him, "Can you tell me the name of his book?"

He looked a little puzzled; he said, "I must have read it many years ago, I have forgotten the name. You can inquire in the library."

I said, "You come along." In the library there was no name like Nomineo and no book he had written, because he has never been - so how could he write a book?

I told him, "The other two names were also inventions and you have agreed, and a few other books also you have agreed that you read - they don't exist!"

He took me aside and said, "Listen, don't tell it to anybody but I don't know a thing about these books. But one has to keep one's face. I don't want to look stupid."

People go on trying to pretend to be what they are not. Knowledge gives you the greatest pretension; you can quote Buddha, Jesus. And you don't understand what they are saying and you will always do something wrong. You will interpret them in a wrong way.

In India there are thousands of commentaries on the Bhagavadgita. Now if Krishna was either mad or insane then there could be thousands of meanings to his words. But Krishna was very particular about what he wanted to say. How then can you explain these thousands of commentaries? These are people imposing their meanings on Krishna. If he comes back and looks at the commentaries he himself will be puzzled, he himself will be in some difficulty trying to decide what his meaning really was. And these people are very argumentative.

Anybody can prove anything. Shankara proves that the Gita is the philosophy of renouncing the world; the world is illusion, and the Gita preaches renunciation - and he proves it beautifully. His contemporary, Ramanuja, proves just the opposite: that the Gita teaches one to live in the world and be a devotee of God. It does not preach renunciation, it teaches the art of living in the world with prayer.

And Lokmanya Tilak finds something else; he says the Gita preaches action. Of course with great detachment - but you have to act.

These three are the paths, ancient paths. The paths of no-action, inaction, that is Shankara's finding in the Gita. The path of action, that is Lokmanya Tilak's finding in the Gita. And the third is the path of devotion; Ramanuja is finding the third in the same book. And then there are different variations of the theme.

Knowledgeable people can go on imposing their own ideas of those who have known.

The right way to come across a book like the Bible, Gita or Koran is not to have any ideas, not to have any knowledge. Encounter them with great silence, just like a mirror, reflecting only, not interpreting; then you will be able to see the real meaning, their meaning - not your meaning imposed on their meaning. And the man who can become a mirror need not go to the Gita, the Koran or the Bible, he can find the message in the trees, in the song of the birds, in the clouds, in the sun, in the moon. He can find it anywhere, because God's message is written all over existence. His signature is on each leaf; you just have to be mirrorlike, silent, meditative, with no thought, with no knowledge.

That's why I speak against knowledge. It is knowledge that has become your imprisonment.

Betty was constantly losing her boyfriends because of her grandmother's tendency to say the wrong things to them in her attempt to be modern.

One day, her current boyfriend arrived while Betty was upstairs changing, and the old lady started to brag about her granddaughter.

"I think Betty would rather screw than eat," Granny chatted cheerfully to the young man. "There is hardly a young man around she has not screwed with, and she even has a record to screw by."

The young man blushed, stammered, grabbed his hat, and beat it out the door.

A moment later Betty came downstairs, noted his absence and said, "Alright, Granny, what did you say this time?"

"Nothing," protested the old lady, "I was just telling him how much you liked to screw, when he ran out the door."

"Oh my goodness, Granny, how many times must I tell you, the word is not 'screw', it is 'twist'!"

What happens to Jesus in your mind, what happens to Buddha in your mind is exactly something like that. Your mind does both the things, it twists, it screws. Put your knowledge aside, just go in deep innocence, in deep ignorance, and then you will be able to find what truth is. Truth is not found by knowledge, it is found by silence. And knowledge is noisy.

The last question:

Question 4:



Dhammo, it is the same old story. It has always been difficult to understand people like me. Not that you are not intelligent enough to understand, but because you are too knowledgeable. You already think you know and that is the trouble. Come to me not knowing anything, don't come to me as Hindus, Buddhists, Christians; otherwise you will misunderstand. I am saying simple things, but if you have a preoccupied mind, you are going to miss them.

"It was terrible, mother," complained the curvy teenager. "I had to change my seat four times at the movies."

"Some man started bothering you?" asked her mother.

"Yes," said the girl. "Finally."

An American girl visiting England went to a posh party. She was dancing with a rather stuffy Englishman when her necklace became unfastened and slipped inside the back of her gown. So she asked her partner to retrieve it.

Though he felt rather uncomfortable about it, he courteously attempted to reach the necklace. After a couple of tries, he finally said, "I am awfully sorry, but I am having trouble getting to it."

"Try further down," she instructed.

Just then he noticed that all eyes in the room were on him, and he blushed beet-red. He whispered to the lovely American, "I feel such a perfect ass!"

"Never mind about that," she said. "Just get the necklace!"

Different languages.... I speak one language, you speak another language. By the time words reach to you they have a totally different meaning. Unless you start listening to me in the same silent space in which I am speaking to you, misunderstanding is inevitable. But it can be avoided. Be a little bit more meditative, learn the ways of being more silent - and many of you are learning, and many of you have become aware of it, and many of you are tasting me without misunderstanding me at all.

It is going to happen to you too, Dhammo. You are new; just get a little seasoned, a little ripe and mature. And the only maturity required here is to sit with me absolutely empty, so I can resonate within you, so I can touch your heart, so I can play upon the harp of your heart.

Then the sounds created will not come from your mind; otherwise, if you keep the mind between me and you, then whatsoever meaning you arrive at is your own; I have nothing to do with it, it has nothing to do with me either.

Wait a little, Dhammo, become a little more silent, learn how to be in communion with me. It is a love affair to be with a master, a love affair which is inexpressible in words; but one can get attuned, it is an attuning. Slowly slowly, the disciple falls into accord with the heart of the master. He breathes the way the master breathes, his heart beats in the same rhythm as the master's heart. Then understanding comes so naturally; just as your shadow follows you, understanding follows silence.

Enough for today.

The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 6

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"We, the Jews, not only have degenerated and are located
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we spoiled the blood of all the peoples of Europe ...
Jews are descended from a mixture of waste of all races."

-- Theodor Herzl, the father and the leader of modern Zionism: