Happiness: the death of the ego

Fri, 30 October 1979 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 6
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
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The first question:

Question 1:



Deva Surabhi, happiness is threatening and misery is safe; safe for the ego. Ego can exist only in misery and through misery. Ego is an island surrounded by hell; happiness is threatening to the ego, to the very existence of the ego. Happiness rises like a sun and the ego disappears, evaporates like a dewdrop on the grass leaf.

Happiness is the death of the ego. If you want to remain a separate entity from existence as almost everybody is trying to do, you will be afraid of being blissful, cheerful. You will feel guilty in being blissful. You will feel suicidal because you are committing a suicide on the psychological level - the level of the ego.

It almost always happens that people enjoy a few moments and then afterwards they feel very guilty. The guilt arises because of the ego. The ego starts torturing them, "What are you doing? Have you decided to kill me? And I am your only treasure.

Killing me? You will be destroyed. Killing me is destroying yourself."

We are so much identified with the ego that when the ego says such things, they have a great appeal, attraction, conviction in them. The reality is just the opposite - we are not our egos. In fact because of the ego we are not growing, the ego is like a rock preventing your growth. Remove the rock and you will start growing, growing into a big tree - with great fulfillment, flowering.

But in the beginning it will feel as if throwing the rock away is throwing all safety. The rock was preventing many things. It was preventing rain from coming to you and you were thinking it is safer. In fact the rain is nourishing. If it had reached you, you would have started growing. The rock was preventing the sun and you were thinking it is a shelter: it prevents the heat of the sun from reaching to you. But that heat is needed, that heat is life.

What is destructive to you, you have been told by the society is not destructive; not only that it is not destructive but it is a shelter, a protection, a security. That idea has become deeply rooted in you. Hence, Surabhi, you feel misery is safe. Everybody feels like that.

That's why everybody chooses to be miserable; it is your choice. Everybody chooses hell. It is your responsibility. If the whole earth is living in hell it is nobody else's responsibility. It is our decision - a deliberate decision to live in hell because in hell the ego can remain.

The ego can remain when it is dark, dismal, no sun on the horizon. When the sun arises on the horizon, the sun of awareness, then the ego starts disappearing like the darkness.

Of course if you feel identified with the darkness then the sunrise is threatening. But if you disidentify yourself with the ego then you will be able to welcome the sun, it is not threatening anymore. It is a thrill, adventure, it is new life, new birth, it is resurrection.

The ego is a grave. To come out of the ego you will need to come out of the grave. Don't think that the grave is safe. It appears safe because you have never ventured outside it.

You have never been adventurous. You have not known the taste of danger, insecurity.

Once you have tasted danger and insecurity you will never go back to the grave. It is better to live for a single moment but to live totally, than to lie down in a grave for a thousand years.

That is not life, it is avoiding life. Come out of your misery, Surabhi, come out of your ego, come out of your grave and accept the threatening happiness. Accept the danger of going to the heights, because those who go to the heights can fall - they are risking.

Risk all because life is only for those gamblers who can risk all. But by risking all you become the beloved of existence, of God. By risking all you become worthy, by risking all you become a soul. Without risk there is no soul in you, you are just hollow, nothing inside you. Without risking there is no significance, no poetry, no song, no dance, no ecstasy in your life. No celebration at all.

Celebrate, dance, let joy fill your heart, let it overflow. And if the ego dies, let it die.

Help it to die because it is not you. You are something transcendental to body, mind, ego and all. You are part of God, part of eternity.

Don't be worried, you cannot die. Even if you want to die, you cannot die - you are eternal. So, in fact there is no fear, no need to be afraid. Death is impossible, only the ego can die. So if you remain identified with the ego then the fear remains there. Once ego is dropped, death disappears and fear disappears, anxiety disappears, anguish disappears; and the energy that was involved in fear, anxiety, anguish is released.

That same energy becomes your dance, your celebration.

The second question:

Question 2:



Prem Jyoti, love has different meanings for all. To writers, love is words. To artists, love is color. To a comic, love is laughter. To a baby, it is mother. To bees, it's nectar. To flowers, it is sunshine. And to cows, it is a lot of bull.

It all depends on you what love is going to mean. Love is a ladder with many rungs. At the lowest it is physiology, biology, chemistry. It is nothing but a play of hormones. A man is attracted towards a woman, a woman is attracted towards a man. They think they are falling in love, but if hormones could laugh they must be laughing inside you - you are befooled. What you are calling love is nothing but attraction between male and female hormones. It is pure chemistry; at the lowest point it is not more than that. It is animal, it is lust.

And millions of people know only love at its lowest. Because of these people there has arisen a great tradition of renouncing love. The people who think that lust is love have created great religions in which love has to be renounced. Both are wrong, because both have accepted the lowest rung as if it is the all. It is not so.

If you go a little higher, a man's love for music is not chemistry, it is not hormonal, it is not physiology; it is psychological. A man's love for flowers cannot be reduced to sexuality. A man's love for painting... there have been painters who have sacrificed their whole lives just to paint.

Vincent van Gogh, one of the greatest painters, sacrificed himself totally just to paint:

painting was far more important than life itself. Because of the painting he could not work; he was continuously painting so there was no time to work. His brother used to give him just enough money to live by, because nobody was interested in his being a painter. And he was a strange painter too, a very great genius. Whenever there is a genius it takes hundreds of years to recognize him. He was not a traditional painter. He was bringing to painting something new, a new vision.

So nobody was able to appreciate his paintings, they were not selling. You will be surprised to know that not even a single painting was sold while Van Gogh was alive; now each of his paintings is worth millions of dollars. Only a few paintings have survived, two hundred at the most - he painted thousands. All are lost, because nobody cared to preserve them.

He used to give his paintings to friends just free, because nobody was interested in his paintings; not only were they not interested, they were not even courageous enough to put his paintings in their sitting rooms because people would laugh at them. His approach towards life and nature was so new. His brother used to give him enough money weekly just to live on. He would eat for only three days in the week; four days he would save money to paint. Now how long can you live in this way?

By the time he was thirty-seven, only thirty-seven, he committed suicide. And the note that he has left is of tremendous significance. He has written that "I am committing suicide not against anybody - I have no complaint against anybody or life - life has been a great fulfillment to me. I am committing suicide because all that I wanted to paint I have painted; now there is no point in living. I have done what I had come to do; my work is finished."

He wanted to paint the sun in all its possible faces. For one year he was continuously painting the sun. He was continuously standing in the open under the sun. His stomach was empty, he was hungry, and the hot sun... and he was continuously painting because there was not much time left. The sun drove him mad, it was too much. And then he committed suicide, because he had painted the sun from the sunrise to the sunset, all the faces, all the colors, all possible clouds. He had done his work. He died contentedly.

Now, this love for painting, this love for art, is something higher - higher than biology, higher than chemistry, higher than physiology. It is not lust, you can't call it lust. It is as passionate as lust or more so, because very few people die for a woman and very few people die for a man. But this man died for his paintings. This is psychological; this is far better.

But there is still a higher state: the spiritual love, the love of a Buddha, the love of a Jesus, the love of a Krishna. It is totally different. It is not even aesthetic, psychological; it is spiritual. Now love has the expression of compassion - passion has turned into compassion. Buddha loves the whole of existence, because he has too much and he has to share it. He is burdened by the love released in him; the love has to be shared with the trees, with the birds, with people, with animals, with whosoever comes by.

At the lowest when love is just lust, physiological, it is an exploitation of the other, it is using the other as a means. Soon it is finished. Once you have exploited the woman or the man you lose interest; the interest was only for the moment. The moment the woman is well-known to you you are finished with her. You have used the other human being as a means - which is ugly, which is immoral. To use another human being as a means is the most immoral act in existence, because each human being is an end unto himself.

Psychological love knows how to sacrifice. The art, the poetry, the painting, the music, the dance, becomes the end, they are no more means. YOU become a means. The biological love reduces the other to a means; the psychological love raises the other as the end.

But in the spiritual world there is no question of means and ends, there is no question of the other; there are not two. Buddha loves the existence because Buddha has become the existence itself. There is no question of 'I' and 'thou'; it is not a dialogue. At the point of the ultimate consciousness love is not a dialogue; there is no I/thou relationship, it is not a relationship. It is pure overflowing of love.

Prem Jyoti, that is the meaning of your name: PREM means love, JYOTI means flame. A buddha is a flame of love, just pure flame with no smoke. The smoke comes from lust.

When there is no lust, when you don't want to get anything out of your love, when you simply want to give, when you feel obliged because others accept your love, the flame is without smoke. It is pure, it is pure gold.

And do you know? - love rises always upwards, just like the flame always rises upwards. The flame never goes downwards. Lust is like water, it goes downwards; love is like a flame, fire, it always goes upwards. And between the two is the psychological phenomenon: something of lust in it, passion, and something of compassion in it. It is just in the middle. It has some quality of the lower and some quality of the higher to it.

Hence when the poet is in his poetic mood he is almost like the mystic, but it is only a question of mood. When he is not in his poetic mood he is just as ordinary or maybe more ordinary than the so-called ordinary people. You may have observed it: when a musician drowns himself in his music he rises to such peaks, such ephemeral peaks, that you can feel the presence of great mystery. And the same musician you can see sitting in some hotel drinking tea, talking all kinds of nonsense. He looks too ordinary; you cannot believe that this man was creating such beautiful music, such celestial music!

If you read the poetry, the poet seems to be like a seer, a Kahlil Gibran. If you read THE PROPHET it is almost like a prophet, but if you meet Kahlil Gibran and see him in his ordinary moods you will be surprised: he is a very angry person, jealous, quarrelsome.

He goes into very childish tantrums, throws things, is very possessive. If you meet Kahlil Gibran you will be surprised... how could this man write a book like THE PROPHET? - because the book rises to the same heights as the Bible, as the Koran.

But the man is not abiding on those heights; only once in a while clouds are not there and the poet can see the sun, the ocean, can see the open sky and can give you a glimpse of it in his poetry, in his music. But soon the clouds are there again and the sun is no longer available... and the poet is as ordinary as you are or even more ordinary, because when you fall from a glimpse you fall into depths, just to keep balance.

So you can find a poet drunk, lying down in the gutter like a dog, shouting nonsense, and the same poet brings such beautiful flowers from the unknown. So in the middle both things will be together; it is a mixed phenomenon. Rise from the lower, but don't stop in the middle. Go on rising to the highest.

When I talk about love I always mean the highest, with one difference: when others speak of the highest they deny the lowest; I don't deny it, I accept it. I want to use it as a stepping-stone. The lower has to be purified by the higher. The lower has to be transformed by the higher, not denied, not rejected. If you reject it, it persists. If you reject it, if you repress it, it takes revenge. It makes you more ugly than you ever were before.

A woman with a baby, next in line in the crowded anteroom of a station of the Infant Welfare Society, was shown into the doctor's office by the nurse in charge.

The doctor examined the baby, and then asked the woman, "Is he breast-fed or bottle- fed?"

"Breast-fed," she replied.

"Strip down to you waist," he ordered. She did, and he examined her. He pressed each breast, increasing and decreasing pressure. He squeezed and pulled on each nipple.

Suddenly he remarked, "No wonder this child is suffering from malnutrition - you don't have any milk."

"Naturally," she replied. "I am his aunt. But I'm glad I came."

If you go on repressing things, then on the surface you may look like a saint, but only on the surface. It is better to be a sinner on the surface and a saint in the center than vice versa.

The old maid was walking down a dimly lit street when a holdup man jumped out of the bushes. "Give me your money!" he demanded.

"I don't have any," she managed to reply.

He proceeded to search her thoroughly. Every possible place of concealment was explored.

"I guess you were telling me the truth," he finally muttered angrily. "You don't have any money on you."

"For heaven's sake," she wailed, "don't stop now! I'll write you a check!"

I am not in favor of repressing the lower. The lower has to be raised to the heights, the lower has to be given wings. With insight, with understanding, it is possible. If you deny the lower you will never be able to reach the higher, because the lower rung is a necessary step. Yes, go beyond it, but you can go beyond it only if you don't reject it.

Use it, but remember not to become obsessed with it. These two things have to be remembered: one is, not to be obsessed with it, not to stop at it, and the second is, not to reject and deny it but to use it as a stepping-stone.

Be skillful. Buddha's word is UPAYA - skill. And when he says "upaya," he means be very artful in transforming your life. It is only a potential, a seed, but it can become a great tree and it can blossom in its own time. And when a tree blossoms, when thousands of flowers have arisen on the tree branches, there is great joy in the being of the tree, great ecstasy.

You are also a seed - become a tree. The seed may be ugly - seeds almost always are; the roots may be ugly, but remember, it is on the roots that the tree has to grow. The roots have to be used; without roots there will be no flowering.

Without physiological attraction there will be no psychological growth. And without psychological love affairs with art, music, sculpture, there is no possibility of spiritual love. Poets and painters and dancers and musicians are a necessary step towards becoming a buddha.

The third question:

Question 3:



Dharmesh, tathata is one of Buddha's most significant contributions to the world.

Tathata means total acceptance: whatsoever the situation is, don't fight with it. Accept it wholeheartedly, because it is through total acceptance that transcendence happens. If you fight with it you will be unnecessarily wasting your energy. Accepting it you preserve your energy. Accepting it you become capable of understanding it, because only one who accepts can understand; one who rejects cannot understand.

Anything that you reject, anything that you become inimical to, you become incapable of understanding - because we avoid that which is rejected. We are really afraid of it so we keep it at the back and we escape from it; we find ways and means to escape from it.

And if you try to escape from something, how are you going to understand it? And without understanding there is no liberation, no transformation.

Buddha says "tathata" - accept it totally. Whatsoever is the case, accept without denying, without condemning, and in that acceptance many things happen, many doors open. The first is: your energy is preserved, which is a great blessing. In fighting you dissipate energy, your energy leaks, you remain always energyless. And to go to the heights you will need great energy, you will need vitality. If you want to reach to the sun, the journey is long and arduous. You cannot go to the sun, you cannot fly that far away, without energy in you.

The man who is fighting his sex, anger, greed, jealousy, possessiveness - and there are a thousand and one things to fight - remains entangled in his fight; he cannot go anywhere. He is constantly disturbed and distracted by these things. He fights with one, represses one, something else raises its head - because he is one and the enemies are many. You fight anger, you will become greedy. The whole energy you repress from anger turns into greed. You fight greed, you will become very sexual. You fight sex, you will become very angry. You repress one thing, and the same thing with a new face, with a new mask, arrives from the back door. You will go insane.

That's how the whole of humanity has gone insane. The insanity is so pervasive, that's why we don't think that people are insane. Everybody is insane! It is very rare that there is a sane person. To be sane in this insane society is really a great work of understanding, courage, rebellion.

If you drop all the conditionings that the society has imposed on you, only then will you be able to remain sane. Otherwise society turns everybody into an insane person.

The society turns everybody according to its own mode, mold, pattern, structure. It gives you ideas, ideologies, religions. It poisons you from the very beginning; when you are in your mother's womb the poisoning starts.

Now they are finding scientific ways of conditioning the child which is in the mother's womb. Yes, certain things can be done to condition the child. For example, they have tried using a certain type of tight belt on the mother's belly; that belt is made in such a way that it keeps the child in a tight situation. And they have discovered that these children are very obedient; when they are born they are more obedient than other children, because for nine months they have lived almost in a tight corner, in a prison.

In Soviet Russia they are trying the belt on many women. Now, the poor child who is not even born yet is already being conditioned, prepared for a certain society. He will be obedient. Certain music can reach to the womb. A soothing kind of music which lulls the child is helpful to create a slave. And so many drugs are available which can drug the child even before he is born - he is born drugged. He will live his whole life in a kind of unconsciousness; but that's how the society wants him to live. Conscious people have proved dangerous; a Jesus, a Buddha, a Zarathustra, these people have proved dangerous.

The story is that the first thing that Zarathustra did when he was born was, he laughed loudly. Can you think of a more rebellious child? Children are not supposed to laugh when they are born; they are supposed to cry, but not supposed to laugh. He must have shocked his parents and the neighborhood and the people who had heard his laughter.

Why did he laugh? And such a person is not reliable, not reliable at all - this is a dangerous man! He has done his first act of rebellion. He has already said that "I am not going to be a part of the crowd - enough is enough. Many children have cried, I don't follow them. I will start my life with laughter."

Whether it really happened or not is not the question. In fact it is difficult to laugh immediately after you are born, but the story is significant because it says something about Zarathustra's whole philosophy of life: it is that of great rebellion.

Zarathustra is one of the greatest teachers of the world - he has accepted life in its totality. He is not a renunciate, he is against renunciation. That's why the few Zarathustra followers that have survived had to escape their original motherland, Persia. They had to leave, because Mohammedans were coercing them, converting them; they converted Persia into a Mohammedan country. Persia is now known as Iran.

A few people escaped who were not ready to accept this coercive violence. They came to India; they live in Bombay and around Bombay - the Parsis. They are the only followers of Zarathustra; they are very life-affirmative people. Hence many Parsis have become interested in me; to them I have a great appeal because I also affirm life. I am not in favor of escaping.

It is because of Zarathustra's total affirmation of life that Friedrich Nietzsche loved him tremendously and wrote his great book, THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA. He wrote the book to appreciate life and the love for life. He could not find any other master so life- affirmative as Zarathustra; a man who begins his life with laughter, whose whole life is a laughter. There is no pessimism, not even a strain of pessimism in him.

That's exactly the meaning of tathata - accept the whole of life as it is. In your acceptance you will be preserving your energy, and you have inexhaustible sources of energy if you accept.

Secondly: when you accept everything, your life becomes cheerful. Nobody can make you miserable, nothing can make you miserable.

A man with three hairs on his otherwise bald head came into a hair saloon and asked to get his hair shampooed and braided. The hairdresser got on with his job but just as he was about to finish combing it, one of the hairs fell out.

The hairdresser was very embarrassed but the man only said, "Well, what to do? I guess I will have to part my hair in the middle!"

The hairdresser very carefully put one hair to the right side and was about to put the other to the left side when that one fell out too. The hairdresser could not apologize enough but the man took it really cool.

"Well," he said, "I guess now I will have to run around with my hair all ruffled up."

This is tathata, this is total acceptance! You cannot disturb such a man. He is always contented, he always finds a way to be contented. It is a great art. And a man who is always contented and always finds a way to remain contented has the capacity to see things transparently.

Discontent clouds your eyes and your vision; contentment makes your eyes unclouded and your vision clear. You can see through and through, you can understand things as they are.

Tathata is also translated as suchness; that too is one of its meanings. You see things as they are in their suchness; you don't impose any idea of your own on them.

And that is a miracle, a magic key. If you can see anger as it is, without any judgment, you will be surprised: seeing anger without judgment, without condemnation, without saying it is bad or good, should be or should not be, without bringing any "shoulds" in...

if you can see your anger as it is, with no prejudice for or against, a miracle happens:

anger disappears and its energy becomes absorbed in you. Just by pure insight you transform anger, greed, jealousy. And all that goes on dragging you hither and thither, keeps you running, never allows you rest and relaxation, is absorbed; more energy becomes available to you.

And slowly slowly, when there is no anger - not that you have rejected it but you have absorbed it, digested it - no greed, no jealousy, no possessiveness, no sexuality... you have digested all these phenomena in you. You are becoming greater and greater and you have energies available to rise higher; you have fuel enough to keep your fire burning bright and without smoke.

Dharmesh, tathata is a method of transforming your energies into your friends.

Ordinarily you are taught such stupid ways that your own energies become your enemies and you are constantly fighting with yourself. Now there can be no greater stupidity than this; this is the most stupid act in the world that people go on doing - fighting with themselves. You cannot win, you cannot defeat. You will remain quarreling with yourself, you will destroy yourself in quarreling your whole life. You will die, and you will never know what life was. You will never know the glories of life, the grandeur of life and the tremendous gift that life was, and could have been if you had lived with right mindfulness, with tathata, with acceptance.

The fourth question:

Question 4:



Narayano, nothing has to be thrown out of your system; everything has to be transformed and absorbed. The mind is not ugly; your USE of the mind is ugly. Change your use. Mind is not ugly - you are unconscious. The chariot is beautiful, it is a golden chariot, but the charioteer is drunk and fast asleep; and he calls the chariot names, condemns the chariot. When he finds himself in a ditch he beats the horses, he condemns the chariot, he condemns the chariot-maker, and he never thinks that it is not the fault of the chariot, not the fault of the horses, not the fault of the chariot-maker. It is his fault - he was drunk, he was fast asleep. If the chariot has fallen into a ditch it is natural, the whole responsibility is yours.

It is not a question of destroying the mind or throwing the mind out. Mind is a beautiful mechanism, the most beautiful mechanism in existence, but you have become a servant to the mind. You are the master and the master is functioning as a servant; the mind is a servant and you have made the servant the master.

I have heard an ancient story:

A king was very happy with one of his servants. He was so devoted, so totally devoted to the king; he was always ready to sacrifice his life for the king. The king was immensely happy, and many times he has saved the king, risking his own life. He was the king's bodyguard.

One day the king was feeling so happy with the man, he said, "If you desire anything, if you have any desire, just tell me and I will fulfill it. You have done so much for me that I can never show my gratitude, I can never repay you, but today I would like to fulfill any of your wishes whatsoever it is."

The servant said, "You have already given me too much. I am so blessed just by being always with you - I don't need anything."

But the king insisted. The more the servant said, "There is no need," the more the king insisted. Finally the servant said, "Then it's okay. You make me the king for twenty-four hours and you be the guard."

The king was a little apprehensive, afraid, but he was a man of his word and he had to fulfill the desire. So for twenty-four hours he became the guard and the guard became the king. And do you know what the guard did? The first thing that he did, he ordered the king to be killed, sentenced to death!

The king said, "What are you doing?"

He said, "You keep quiet! You are simply the guard and nothing more. It is my wish and now I am the king!"

The king was killed, and the servant became the king forever.

Servants have their own devious ways to become masters.

The mind is one of the most beautiful, the most complex, the most evolved mechanisms.

It has served you well, it serves you well. Because of its services you have repeated the same story in your life, everybody has repeated the same story: you have made the mind the master and now the master treats you just like a servant.

This is the problem, not that the mind has to be thrown out. If you throw the mind out you will go insane. Without the mind there is only one profession you can be in: that is politics!

I have heard:

One politician was going through a brain operation. His brain was taken out, they were fixing his brain and he was lying on the stretcher waiting.

Suddenly a man came in and said, "What are you doing here? You have been chosen the prime minister of the country!"

So he got up. The surgeon said, "Where are you going? - your brain is here!"

He said, "What am I going to do with the brain now? I am already the prime minister, I don't need it. You can keep it. When I need it I will come back."

Once you are a prime minister you don't need the mind.

I have heard another story too:

A man - it must be some future story - a man went to the hospital because his brain was damaged in a car accident and he wanted a new brain. So he asked the surgeon to show him all kinds of brains available. The surgeon took him around; there were many brains.

The first brain belonged to a professor, a mathematician. He asked the price - fifty dollars. He was surprised: a famous mathematician, a Nobel laureate, just fifty dollars' worth! Then there was a musician and his was only thirty dollars. Then there was a businessman's brain and it was only twenty dollars. And so on, so forth.

Finally they came to the brain of a politician - it was five thousand dollars! The man was puzzled. He said, "Why does it costs so much?"

The surgeon says, "Because it has never been used. All the other brains are secondhand, this is brand-new."

Narayano, if you throw the brain out, then you will have to go into politics, that's all.

Then you cannot be a sannyasin: a sannyasin needs more intelligence than anybody else. So please don't ask me how to do it. And don't do it on your own - because sometimes people do, and then fixing it is very difficult.

William had a big problem with his wife, Lisa. Every night before she went to bed she would stop at the door, start running and then with a big jump leap into the bed. He got so upset about this habit of hers that he decided to do something about it. So one night when she was asleep he got up, went to the fridge, got a big piece of beef liver out of it and placed it on the floor in front of the bed.

The next morning he got up and said, "My God, Lisa, look what has happened - your uterus has fallen out! I always told you to stop your jumping." Lisa was very shocked.

When he came home that evening from work he said, "Now, Lisa, you see what can happen with a bad habit like this."

She replied, "Oh, that was not so bad. You should have seen how much trouble it was to get it in again."

So Narayano, please don't do it! It is easy to throw it out, it is very difficult to get it back in. You will need all the mind that you have. Just be the master of it. Use it, and don't be used by it.

And that's what meditation is all about: the art of moving away from the mind, being above the mind, becoming transcendental to the mind, knowing that "I am not the mind." That does not mean that you have to throw out the mind. Knowing that "I am not the mind" makes you again the master. You can use the mind. Right now, mind is not within your hands. You are not a good charioteer.

Just the other day, in his sutra, Buddha was talking about a good charioteer. And he says: Others only hold the reins in their hands and the chariot goes on moving wherever it wants to, the horses go on moving wherever they want to. You are simply holding the reins, but you are not really in control.

Be a good charioteer. And the first step is to know that you are not the mind. If you are the mind then you cannot be the master, because there is no separation between the mind and you, no distance. Create a little distance. Watch the mind, its functioning, and create the distance. Watching automatically creates the distance. Hence Buddha's insistence again and again: watch, watch day and night. Slowly slowly, you will see that you are consciousness and mind is just an instrument available to you. Then you can use it when needed and when not needed you can put it off. Right now, you don't know how to put it off; it is always on.

It is like a radio in your room which is always on and you don't know how to turn it off, so you have to sleep with the radio on and it goes on shouting all kinds of advertisements and all kinds of songs that you have heard a thousand times, but you don't know how to turn it off. The whole day you are tired, many times you want to get rid of the radio, but you cannot because you don't know how to turn it off. It is like sleeping with the lights on because you don't know how to turn them off.

Freud remembers that when electricity came to Vienna for the first time, a friend, a villager, came to visit him. Freud took every care of the visitor, took him to the room where he was going to sleep, left him there, said good night.

The villager was very much puzzled by only one thing - the electricity, the electric bulb. He knew how to put a lamp off, how to blow a candle out, but what to do with this electric bulb?

He tried all that he knew: standing on a chair he blew it many times, but nothing would happen to it. He watched it from everywhere; there was no hole, there was nothing.

And how could he imagine that just on the wall there is a switch? That was impossible for him to imagine, he had never seen electricity. But he was also afraid to go and ask Freud or somebody else because they would think that he is a fool.... "You can't even put the light off - what kind of man are you?"

So, feeling embarrassed, he tried to sleep with the light on. He could not sleep. Many times he stood up again on the chair, tried again. The whole night it continued; sleep wouldn't come because of the light - too much light, too bright light, he had never seen such bright light. One candle he has known, and the bulb must have been of a hundred candles or more. In the morning he was dead tired.

Freud asked him, "You look very tired. Couldn't you sleep?"

He said, "Now there is no point in hiding, because I am going to stay three days - this bulb is going to kill me! Even to look at it a shiver goes up my spine. How to turn it off?"

Freud said, "You fool! Why didn't you ask me?"

He said, "I was just feeling embarrassed - so foolish to ask such a simple thing!"

Freud took him to the wall, showed him the switch. He tried it, put it on and off, and laughed. And he said, "Such a simple thing, and the whole night I tried and could not find it!"

He may have tried his whole life and may not have connected the switch with the light.

This is how it is happening to you; your mind is continuously on. They say that the mind is such a magnificent mechanism that it starts working the moment you are born and it goes on working till you stand before an audience - then suddenly it stops, then something happens to it. Otherwise it continues till you die. And very few people need to stand before an audience, so the mind continues unhindered, and it keeps you utterly tired, exhausted, weary, bored. And it goes on saying the same things again and again.

Why are people so much bored?

Life is not boring, remember. Life is always a tremendous mystery, it is always a surprise, it is always new, it is constantly renewing itself. New leaves are coming, old leaves are falling; new flowers are appearing, old flowers disappearing. But you cannot see life because you are constantly bored by your own mind. It goes on saying things which it has said thousands of times. You look so tired, for the simple reason that you don't know how to turn it off.

The mind has not to be thrown out, Narayano. The mind has to be put in its place: it is a beautiful servant but a very ugly master. You take the reins in your hands, you be the master. And the first act, the first step is: become detached from the mind. See that it is not you, create the distance; the greater the distance, the more is the capacity of turning it off.

And one more miracle you will be coming across: when you turn the mind off, the mind too remains fresh and more intelligent; because it is also tiring. Just think: from the day you are born it starts and goes on working till you die. And one never knows, it may be even working when you are in the grave, because a few things continue to happen then.

Nails go on growing even when you are in the grave, hairs go on growing, so some kind of mechanism still continues. Even in a dead body nails and hairs go on growing, something is still working, maybe some local mechanism, not the mind itself, but the body also has small, local minds to support the big mind, agents of the big mind. Maybe they have not known yet that the big guy is dead and they go on doing the old thing continuously. They know nothing else so they continue repeating their old job. Hairs go on growing, nails go on growing - just small, local minds, mini-minds.

The mind has to be put into its right place, and when you need it you use it; just as you use your legs when you need them. When you don't need to you don't use your legs. If sitting on a chair you go on moving your legs up and down, then people will think you are mad. And that's exactly what is happening in the mind and still you think you are not mad.

A meditative awareness comes to know the key. Whenever it wants to put the mind off it simply says, "Now shut up!" and that's it. And the mind simply keeps quiet and great silence prevails inside. And the mind can also rest in those moments, otherwise everything becomes tired.

I have heard:

A man brings his computer to the mechanic and says, "What is the matter with the computer? It is not working well lately."

The expert looks inside the computer and says, "Metal fatigue." Just as you go to the psychiatrist and he says, "Mental fatigue," he says, "metal fatigue - a metal case!"

Everything tires, everything gets tired - even metals get tired. And your mind is made of very delicate tissues, so delicate that there is nothing more delicate in the whole existence. In your small skull millions of small fibers are functioning; so thin are they that your hairs, if compared with the nerves that function in your brain, are very thick, one million times more thick. Such a delicate phenomenon, but we don't know how to use it. It needs rest.

Hence a meditative person becomes more intelligent, he becomes saner. Whatsoever he does there is an art in it. Whatsoever he touches he transforms into gold. Mind is a blessing with meditation, otherwise it is a curse.

Add meditation to your being and the curse disappears, and the curse itself becomes the blessing; it is a blessing in disguise. You have not yet learned the art of how to use it and how to be a master. It is not a question of throwing the mind out; that will not help.

That will make you even more hollow, more useless. If the brain, if the mind is thrown out, you will be just a cabbage - or if you don't like the word 'cabbage', then cauliflower. And they say that there is not much difference between cabbage and cauliflower - cauliflower is cabbage with a college education. You can choose, you can be a cabbage or a cauliflower, but you will not be a man. Very few men are men in reality. A man is one who is a master of his mind.

The English word 'man' comes from a Sanskrit root which means mind; MAN. To be master of your mind is the meaning of being man. If you are not master of your mind, there is no man inside you, only a computer functioning, a machine functioning, without any master. This is the situation. That's why the world looks so berserk, so insane.

The fifth question:

Question 5:



Harish, Jews are very intelligent people, one of the most intelligent peoples on the earth.

They had to be intelligent; otherwise they would not have survived. And because they are intelligent they are always searching for new pastures, new worlds, new life-styles, new ways of seeing, living and being. It surprises everybody.

There are almost fifty percent Jews here. This may be the only place in India where there are so many Jews, because in India there are not any Jews, none at all. And if things go on growing as they are growing, soon you will find another Israel here! And why are Jews coming? - because they are intelligent, they are always ready to accept anything new and they are ready to drop the old.

In fact, seeing the intelligence of the Jews it seems almost unbelievable that they killed Jesus. The more I have come in contact with the Jews - and I have thousands of Jews as my sannyasins - the more I have become puzzled about the phenomenon. Why could they not accept Jesus? Maybe it was not really the Jews who killed him but the Roman emperor, Roman imperialism. Romans have always been cruel and they have not proved themselves very intelligent either. It may have been just that Jews were used as an excuse and the Romans wanted to kill Jesus.

And the Jews were not independent people in those days, they were part of the Roman Empire. It is possible that the Romans used the Jewish priests as a facade, because they would not have liked to kill Jesus directly - that may have created a revolution in the country, a rebellion. It is a simple diplomacy to use Jews themselves to kill Jesus; then there will be no rebellion, no revolution, no problems arising.

In fact, they pretended on the surface that they were not interested in killing Jesus, and from the back door they may have insisted. To the public they showed that "We are absolutely out of the game. If Jews want to kill him, they can kill him; if they don't want to kill him we are ready to forgive him." And from the back they may have been goading the Jews to kill Jesus. That's more possible, because Jews are not such unintelligent people that they would destroy their own greatest flowering.

Jesus was their greatest flowering. He was the climax of the Judaic approach to life.

Jesus was born a Jew and died a Jew - he was not a Christian, remember; he has not even heard the word 'christian'. And if he comes back he will find himself more in tune with the Jews than with the Christians, because he lived the life of a Jew. He was well acquainted with Jewish scriptures, he quoted Jewish scriptures. He said again and again that "Whatsoever has been said before by other prophets I am saying to you" - giving it a more contemporary expression, of course, but he was not against Moses, Abraham, Ezekiel. He was not against the old prophets; he was fulfilling their prophecies, he was the very fulfillment.

Why should Jews kill him? There is every possibility that the Romans did it. They were afraid of his growing power.

The political powers always become afraid of anybody who starts becoming powerful in any way. Although Jesus was not interested in politics, not interested in political power, his language could be misinterpreted very easily. He was talking about the kingdom of God, but the Romans started thinking that he is talking of bringing the kingdom of Jews; he wants to become the emperor himself. They must have been apprehensive of his growing popularity.

Many many people were turning to him, coming to him, listening to him, becoming disciples, becoming initiates. Of course it was a religion now, but any moment religion can take the turn and become politics. Hence the politicians always become very alert and cautious.

They are doing the same to me. I am not interested in politics, I am not interested in that stupid game at all, but they are very much afraid. And the best way to kill me will be to find a sannyasin, a Judas, to kill me; that will be the best way. Then there will be no problem.

If a sannyasin kills me, then the whole responsibility falls on my own shoulders or on the shoulders of my sannyasins. The sannyasin may not be a true sannyasin, he may be just a detective, a spy, a government man, who has taken sannyas just to kill me. That will be the easiest and the most diplomatic way.

And there are many spies here: German spies and Italian spies and Indian spies. One Indian spy took sannyas. I gave him sannyas - not only that I gave him sannyas, but I told him, "You become part of the ashram. Why live outside?" He was a little puzzled!

Not only that, I told him that "Because you are an L.L.B., a practicing advocate... and we need a department, a law department; there are at least twenty-five cases against me in the courts, so we need our own legal department. You be in charge of it!" I had made him the head. He escaped after one month, because he became more and more interested in me, became more and more interested in meditation, and I gave him access to all the files and everything, because he was the head of the law department. I gave him every access, so if he wants to report anything to the government he can - there is nothing to hide! My trust in him became such a heavy burden on the poor man. If I had suspected him he would have remained here; but because I trusted him so deeply, he escaped. He said that he would be coming back, but he has not come. Almost eight months have passed.

He became so afraid of me that he sold his house where he used to live, because I am sending my sannyasins to his house in Patiala, in Punjab, to find out what happened to him - we need him! He has sold his house and escaped from Patiala too, and he has not given his address to anybody in Patiala. But I am in search! I am going to find him, wherever he is. Now I have told my sannyasins in Delhi to search for him. We need him! I never allow people to escape so easily.

Jews are intelligent people; hence they are always the first to accept new ideas, original ideas, new visions, new dreams.

A Jew and a Catholic were sharing the same compartment on a train. The Jew took an apple out of his suitcase and ate it, core and all. The Catholic looked a little surprised and asked, "Do you always eat the core as well?"

"Of course," explained the Jew. "That's why we are so intelligent - we get that way by eating the core. And you happen to be a lucky fellow, because I have just one apple left which I will sell to you for fifty dollars."

The Catholic accepted the offer, thinking to himself that fifty dollars for intelligence was a good deal. He bought the apple and ate it, core and all.

After sitting silently gazing out of the window for a while he said, "Now that I think of it, for fifty dollars I could have bought a whole crate of apples."

"See," said the Jew, "it has started working already!"

The Jews have survived out of sheer intelligence. They have lived without a country, without a homeland. They have lived through all kinds of tortures, all kinds of concentration camps, gas chambers; still they have survived. The people who were bent upon destroying them are no more. Where are the Nazis? - gone down the drain. The people who wanted to destroy Jews absolutely, to annihilate them, are no longer anywhere, but Jews are there.

In fact, all those tortures, gas chambers, concentration camps, imprisonments, all those things have given them an integrity, a solidity. A tremendous intelligence is released in them; it is always released when you have to face great challenges. In fact, no other race has been facing such great challenges as the Jews.

Naturally they are always the first to accept anything that is new, they are always the first to drop the old. That is the sign of intelligence.

Two Jews meet on the street.

"How are you, Solomon?" says Irving.

"Terrible!" says Irving. "Ah, what a catastrophe! My son is converting to Christianity!"

"Funny thing," says Irving. "My son too is converting to Christianity! Let us go to the synagogue and pray."

Irving and Solomon run into their friend Myron who asks where they are going. When they tell Myron that their sons are converting to Christianity, Myron says, "Funny thing, my son is converting to Christianity too. I will go with you to the synagogue and pray."

Well, Myron and Irv and Sol meet their friend Herman, tell him their story and Herman says, "Funny thing, my son is also converting to Christianity! Let us go and pray."

This goes on for a while until a large group of Jews reach the synagogue. There they see the rabbi sitting on the front steps with his head in his hands. When the rabbi hears their story he replies. "Funny thing, my son is converting to Christianity. Let us all pray."

The group goes into the synagogue, lift their eyes to heaven and the rabbi says, "Oh God, please help us. All our sons are converting to Christianity!"

Suddenly they hear thunder, lightning flashes across the sky, and a deep voice intones, "Funny thing...."

The last question:

Question 6:




Prem Maitri, you are really becoming a sannyasin now - going cuckoo! That's what sannyas is all about.

In the Osho Meditation Center in Zurich, Switzerland, there was a clock-making contest. Many beautiful clocks were made.

The third prize was won with a clock which had a cuckoo coming out every hour saying, "Osho, Osho."

The second prize was won with a clock which had a cuckoo all dressed in orange with a mala around his neck coming out every half hour saying, "Osho, Osho."

The first prize was given for a clock which had Osho coming out every fifteen minutes saying, "Cuckoo, cuckoo."

Enough for today.

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