The first question:
Prem Naren, it does not come from anywhere; it is always here. Existence is freshness itself. Existence is fresh because it is always now and here. It is not burdened by the past, it does not gather any dust from the past. It is never old.
Time makes no impact on existence. Time does not exist as far as existence is concerned.
Time exists only for the mind; it is a mind invention. In fact, time and mind are synonymous. Stop the mind, and time stops.
Jesus is asked by someone, "What will be the most unique thing in your kingdom of God?" And Jesus says, "There shall be time no longer." A very unexpected answer:
There shall be time no longer. That will be the most unique thing about the kingdom of God - because there will be no mind, how can there be time?
Time does not consist, as ordinarily conceived, of three tenses: past, present and future.
Time consists only of two tenses: past and future. The present is not part of time; the present is beyond time. And the present is always fresh. Present is part of eternity.
Present is the penetration of the eternal into the dreamy world of time, a ray of light into the darkness of mind.
Past is never fresh - cannot be, obviously. It is always dirty, it is always stinking - stinking of death, stinking of all that is rotten, stinking of tradition, stinking of corpses.
The past is a cemetery. And the future is nothing but a projection of the dead past. And out of the dead past the future cannot be alive - the dead can only project the dead.
What is your future? - modified past, touched up here and there; a little better, a little more sophisticated, a little more comfortable, but it is the same past. You are hankering to repeat it. Your future has nothing new about it, it cannot have.
Mind cannot conceive of the new. It is impotent as far as the new and the fresh and the young is concerned. It can move only within the small world of the familiar, the known - and the known is the past. The future is nothing but a desire to repeat it - in a better way, of course. Hence future is also not fresh. The present is fresh.
Naren, you ask me, "From where does freshness come?"
Freshness never comes and never goes. It is always here, it is always now. YOU be here and now, and you are suddenly fresh, bathed in eternity, showered by something which is timeless. Call it God, call it the kingdom of God, call it nirvana, or whatsoever you want. All those names refer to the same unnameable. All those words try to express the inexpressible.
Just put the human mind aside. And by that I mean, put the past aside and the future, and look. This very moment... and the whole heaven descends upon you. You are overwhelmed. The birds are singing and their songs are fresh; they are not repeating old songs. They have no idea of yesterdays and they are not singing for the future. They are not rehearsing for tomorrows. And the trees are fresh. All is fresh except man.
So don't ask, "From where does freshness come?" Ask, "From where does this dullness come, this staleness, this deadness?" Because this deadness comes and goes. Freshness is always there - it is the very nature of existence. It is God's presence.
Meditation is nothing but a way, a method, to connect you with the eternal, to take you beyond time, beyond that which is born and dies, to take you beyond all the boundaries, to take you to the inconceivable and the unknowable. And it is not far away; it is as close as it can be. Even to say that it is close is not right, because it is exactly your very being, it is you. Freshness is your soul.
Your mind is boring, utterly boring. Get out of the mind. At least for a few moments every day, put the mind aside, be utterly nude of the mind. And then you will know it is welling up within you - the freshness you are asking about. From where does it come? It comes from the deepest core of your being - and it does not really come.
Suddenly you find it has always been the case. It has always been there like an undercurrent, underground, hidden behind many many layers of memories, dreams, desires.
Buddha says: Be desireless and know. Be desireless, and you will reach to the realm which is beyond birth and death, and you will enter into the unbounded.
But why is man not going into his own being which is so close? He is ready to go to the moon, he is ready to go anywhere! He is ready to go to the stars, but not into his own being. Why? There must be some deep reason behind it. The reason is: to go within yourself you will have to lose yourself. And one is afraid of losing oneself. One clings, one wants to remain oneself. One does not want to lose one's identity. It is a very poor identity and false too, but still, something is better than nothing. That is our logic.
We don't know who we are, so we cling to the body, to the mind, to whatsoever has been given to us - the conditioning, Catholic, communist, Hindu, Mohammedan. We cling to all that has been forced upon us, because it gives us a cozy feeling as if we know ourselves: "I am a communist," that becomes my self-knowledge. "I am a Catholic," that becomes my self-knowledge. "I am an Indian," "I am a German," that becomes my self- knowledge.
You are neither a communist nor a Catholic, neither Indian nor German. Your consciousness cannot be confined to such stupid labels. Your consciousness is so infinite, it cannot be contained in any word. It is as vast as the sky itself.
But you are afraid to go into that vastness. That vastness appears like emptiness, void.
And one clings to one's own small, arbitrary identity. Hence the fear of going into oneself.
Buddha says: Know thyself. Socrates says: Know thyself. They all say: Know thyself. All the awakened ones have only one message: Know thyself. We listen and yet we don't listen. We go on moving on the same rotten tracks, we go on living in the same old miserable way. And the reason is, the old, miserable way has one thing to give to you - the ego.
And if you go in you will have to pay the price. The price is, you will have to lose your ego.
Sweeney met Brecon on the road. "Where are you off to?" he asked.
"I am going to Connemara," replied Brecon.
"You mean you are going to Connemara, God willing?"
"No, I am going to Connemara, God willing or not."
Because of this presumptuous remark Brecon was turned into a frog and kept in a pond for several days. When he had completed his penance Brecon was changed back to his original form. Returning home, he began packing his belongings again.
"Where are you going now?" asked Sweeney.
"I am going to Connemara."
"You mean you are going to Connemara, God willing?"
"No!" shouted Brecon. "I am going to Connemara or back to the frog pond!"
One cannot leave one's ego. It is better to be a frog! One is ready to be anything. We have become rocks. We only appear to be alive - ninety-nine percent we are dead. Yes, we breathe and we eat and we propagate, but we are not alive.
If you are alive you will not ask the question, "From where does freshness come?" You will know; there will be no need to ask the question. You will experience it moment to moment. It is arising in you.
That's how I feel. That's how all the buddhas have always felt. It does not come from anywhere; it simply wells up within you, and each moment. It is never the same. It is as fresh as dewdrops in the early morning sun. Tremendous is the beauty of it and great is its benediction.
But nothing is without a price. You will have to lose the ego, you will have to lose your idea of who you are. In the first place, it is false. You are not really losing anything, just an idea, a very nonsubstantial idea. But, repeated so often, the idea has become very deeply rooted in you; you have become hypnotized by it.
The ego is nothing but a deep hypnosis. And meditation is the process of dehypnosis. It is the process of bringing you back to that innocent state where you were not yet hypnotized.
Hence, Jesus says again and again: Unless you are like small children you will not enter into my kingdom of God. What does he mean? He means you have to be unconditioned again, you have to be dehypnotized.
Each society hypnotizes you. These societies exist on the strategy of hypnosis. A Hindu means one who has been hypnotized in a certain way, who has been told that the Vedas are written by God and that only the Vedas contain the truth, that the Bibles and the Korans are all nonsense. If you repeat it for centuries, it starts getting deeper and deeper into your being, it becomes part of you. Then you start repeating it - you become a gramophone record. Then you function only as "His Master's Voice"; you are no longer really a human being.
All the societies in the past, hitherto, have been dehumanizing human beings. We have not yet been able to create a real civilization. These are all very primitive methods to control people - ugly, violent, antihuman, but all the societies have done it. There has not been even a single exception.
It is really surprising how once in a while a person has escaped from our imprisoning atmosphere - how Gautam Siddhartha escaped and became a buddha, how Jesus escaped from the Jews and became a christ, how Saint Francis managed....
The greatest miracle in the world is to be so intelligent that nobody, no society, no state, no church, can hypnotize you.
My work here consists of dehypnotizing you. Hence, all the societies will be against me.
Beware of it! To be with me is dangerous - all the governments will be against you.
And this has to be known and accepted. This has to be simply accepted, because this is going to be the case. The more I start working deeply on you.... It is just the beginning of the work: I am preparing the ground from where to take off.
Once the dehypnosis starts functioning within thousands of people, all the societies, all the governments, all the states, all the churches, are going to be against me and my people - because this has never been done before. This is the greatest rebellion ever tried! This is true revolution.
And if you pass through this revolution you will know from where freshness comes. It comes from your own innermost core. God is not outside you; it is your very center, your very ground. Freshness comes from it, life comes from it, love comes from it, bliss comes from it. All that is significant - poetry and music - they all arise from it.
And when the dance comes from within, it has a totally different quality to it: it is spiritual, it is divine.
The second question:
Dharmendra, because it is so! Life as you know it IS misery. Buddha is not talking about HIS life, because what do you know about his life? That is not utter misery; that is utter bliss, that is ultimate bliss. But the life that you know IS misery. Does it need any proofs? Have you not observed yourself that it is misery? Do you need a Buddha to remind you?
And even when a buddha reminds you, you don't feel good. You feel offended, as if your life is being condemned. He is not condemning your life - buddhas never condemn anything. They simply say whatsoever is the case. If you are blind, they say you are blind. If you are dead, they say you are dead. They simply state the fact - and they state the fact because there is a possibility to go beyond it.
Buddha insists again and again that life is misery because life CAN be tremendous bliss.
But unless you understand the first thing you will not understand the second thing.
First you have to be very very aware that your life is misery, so much so that it becomes impossible to live in the old way even for a single moment. When you see your house is on fire, how can you go on living in it? You will run, you will escape from the house!
You will forget all your treasures. You will not carry your cherished items, beautiful paintings, art works, or whatsoever you love. You will forget all about your postal stamps and your picture albums. You will forget even your wife, your husband, your children. You will remember them when you are out of the house.
Buddha used to tell a story:
There was an old man, eighty years old, who became blind in old age. His friends, his physicians, suggested to him that his eyes could be cured, but the old man was a philosopher, a logician, a great scholar. He said, "What do I need eyes for? I have twelve sons - that means twenty-four eyes; their twelve wives - that means twenty-four eyes more; my wife - two eyes more; and so many children of my sons.... I have so many eyes, why do I need eyes for myself? In this house there are at least one hundred eyes; if two eyes are missing it doesn't matter. My needs are looked after."
His logic had a point in it. He silenced his friends and physicians. But one night the house caught fire. Those hundred eyes escaped - they forgot all about the old man. Yes, they remembered, but they remembered only when they were safe outside. Suddenly they remembered that the old man is in the house. What to do now? And the flames were so big now they could not go in. And the old man was trying to find his way stumbling, getting burned here and there. And then he remembered that his logic was absolute stupidity.
In times of real need only your own eyes can be of help. But it was too late: he died, he was burned alive.
When Buddha insists again and again that life is DUKKHA - misery, anguish, pain - he is simply reminding you that your house is on fire and your eyes are still blind. It is time - prepare! Your eyes can be cured. A way can be found to come out of this fire.
You can still save yourself, all is not yet lost. Hence the insistence.
Not that he is a pessimist - as many people in the West particularly have condemned him, and in the East too. People think that Buddha is a pessimist, saying life is misery.
He is not a pessimist - not a pessimist in the same way as Arthur Schopenhauer is.
Schopenhauer is a pessimist: "Life is misery and there is no way to get out of it. You have to suffer it, nothing can be done about it. Man is a helpless victim."
It is said that when Schopenhauer read Gautam Buddha's works for the first time he danced because he thought, "This enlightened man agrees with me!"
Now, no enlightened man can ever agree with those who are not enlightened; it is impossible. Either you agree with them or you don't agree with them, but they never agree with you. They cannot. How can the man who has eyes agree with the man who is blind about light? - or about darkness even?
Remember one thing: the blind man knows nothing about darkness even, what to say about light! Because to see darkness eyes are needed. You may be thinking that blind people live in darkness - you are totally wrong. They know nothing of darkness.
Because YOU close your eyes and you feel darkness, so you think blind people must be living in darkness - but they don't have eyes to close. And unless you know light you cannot know darkness; they are two aspects of the same coin. Eyes are needed for both.
Schopenhauer was utterly wrong - Buddha was not agreeing with him. Of course, Buddha can be interpreted in such a way that he may look like a pessimist philosopher.
He is neither a pessimist nor a philosopher. He is not even an optimist - because pessimism and optimism both belong to the world of the blind.
Hopeless people hope. Blind people think sooner or later they will attain to eyes. In the dark night of your souls you cling to the hope that there must be a dawn. To tolerate the present misery you have to create a certain kind of optimistic attitude so that you can hope for a beautiful tomorrow - although it never comes. But in hoping, you can tolerate. At least you can dilute your misery a little bit, you can avoid getting too much disturbed by it. You can remain occupied somewhere else. You can keep your eyes closed to the present anguish.
Buddha wants to bring you to the reality of your existence. He is a very earthly man, very pragmatic. He is a realist, he is not an idealist. He has nothing to do with pessimism and nothing to do with optimism. He is simply trying to shake you up. It is a way of hammering on your head. That's why he insists again and again that life is misery.
Watch your life, and you will find proofs and proofs, more than are needed, more proofs than you can manage. In fact, you will see that Buddha's insistence is not as much as it should be, that he is very lenient, very liberal.
Let me remind you about Peter's principles:
His first principle: Anything that begins well ends badly; anything that begins badly ends worse.
His second principle: Negative expectations yield negative results; positive expectations yield negative results.
Whatever you do, this way or that, everything ends in failure, everything ends in frustration. Still you feel offended by Buddha?
Two bums came to rest on the same park bench and struck up a conversation.
Eventually they got around to how each of them had come to such dire straits.
One explained, "You are looking at a man who never took a word of advice from any man."
"Isn't that a coincidence?" replied the other. "You are looking at a man who took everybody's advice!"
Do whatsoever you want to do, but you will end in the same way. Everything ends in misery, everything ends in death. People make tremendous effort, but what can you do? - all your efforts are doomed, because you don't do the fundamental thing that can bring a radical change. You don't create consciousness. That is the only radical transformation of life: from misery to bliss. You do everything else except meditate. You will earn money and you will become more and more powerful and you will have all that the world can provide.
And remember: I am not against the world. And I am not saying don't earn money and I am not saying don't make a beautiful house. But remember: these things in themselves cannot make your life a life of joy. Yes, if you are meditative then a beautiful house will have a totally different quality. A beautiful garden, a pond in your garden....
Mukta has just made a pond by the side of my room, a really beautiful pond with a small waterfall. If YOU are meditative, then it is a tremendously beautiful experience just to see water dancing on the rocks, just to see the rocks, just to feel the texture of the rocks, the moss that will start gathering on them. Then everything is beautiful if inside your heart there is awareness; otherwise everything is ugly.
It is not that a meditative person enters into heaven - no, heaven enters into a meditative person. Paradise is not a geographical place, it is a psychological experience.
A meditative person can enjoy everything - only he can enjoy. He is not a renunciate.
Only he knows how to taste the beauty of things, how to experience the tremendous presence of existence all around. Because he IS, he knows how to love, how to live.
But your life is going to be one misery after another misery. It will be a long chain of misery.
Berkowitz, a salesman, while driving through the Negev desert, saw an Arab lying on the sand. Berkowitz rushed to the man's side and lifted him up. The Arab whispered, "Water, effendi, water!"
"This is kismet!" exclaimed Berkowitz. "Are you in luck! I happen to have in my suitcase the finest selection of ties you ever saw!"
"No!" wailed the Arab. "Water, water!"
"These ties you could see right now in the King David Hotel - fifteen dollars apiece. For you, only ten dollars."
"Please, effendi, I need water!"
"Look, you seem like a nice person. I am known all over the Negev as Honest Abbie.
Whatever kind of ties you like - silk, wool, wrap, crepe - you can have what you want - eight dollars each!"
"I need water!"
"Alright, you drive a hard bargain. Tell you what, take your pick, two for ten dollars!"
"Please, give me water!"
"Ah, you want water?" said Berkowitz. "Why didn't you say so? All you gotta do is crawl five hundred feet to the sand dune, hang right for a quarter mile. You will come to Poppy's Pyramid Club; he will give you all the water you want."
The Arab slowly crawled to the sand dune, turned right, and with his last remaining strength came to the door of the club. Poppy, the owner, was standing out front.
"Water, water!" begged the Arab.
"You want water? You came to the right place. I got well water, seltzer water, whatever water you want I got inside. The only thing is, you can't go in without a tie."
Buddha is right: in your life, whatsoever you do, you are bound to meet misery. And as time passes, more and more misery, because life starts slipping out of your fingers, death starts overshadowing you. And you become very tense - life is slipping by and you have not arrived anywhere yet. You start running, you put all that you have at stake... but only death is the culmination of what you call life. How can death be the culmination of life? If death is the culmination of life then life is utterly useless - not only useless but a very ugly joke played on man. Then God cannot be the creator - then the Devil must be in charge. And that exactly seems to be the case.
The Old Testament says God created the world in six days. And then? Then it seems the Devil is running it! Since then, God has not been heard of; since then the Devil is in charge.
Your life is a cruel joke, as if some evil force is playing tricks with you. Just like small children torturing some insect, you are being tortured by some unknown force - as if some unknown force is enjoying your torture, as if God is a sadist!
Buddha is right: your life simply proves not only that YOU are wrong, but it even proves that the God you worship must be wrong. It not only proves YOU wrong, it proves your popes and your shankaracharyas wrong. It proves your so-called religions wrong, because they don't help in changing your quality of life. They don't change your vision, they don't change your insight. They don't bring more sensitivity and awareness to you so that you can live on a new plane, in a new plenitude, in a new fullness.
Buddha insists for a certain reason. The reason is: if you listen to him and if you become aware that your life IS misery, you are bound to ask him, "Sir, then what should we do?"
Buddha has the way; he can show you the path. He diagnoses your illness, because he has the key which can transform your illness into health, your madness into sanity.
The third question:
There is a long story behind it! I was driving... I was coming in an Impala, and people like you started writing letters to me saying that, "This is a plumber's car!"
I told Laxmi, "Change it!" So she bought a Buick - and people started writing to me that "This is a pimp's car!"
So I told Laxmi, "Change it!" So she was bargaining for a Lincoln Continental. And people wrote to me, "This is good - this is a president's car!"
I said, "That is worse - worse than being driven in a plumber's or a pimp's car!" So I told Laxmi, "Now, for a poor man like me, only a Rolls Royce will do!"
Now, please don't make any objection to it... because coming from Lao Tzu to Buddha Hall, a helicopter won't do. Don't create troubles for me!
The fourth question:
Deva Kamma, I know how you are feeling!
Alan, a real ladies' man, rushed into a Catholic church. He slipped into the confession booth and said, "Father, Father, I just made love to a woman twenty-five times!"
"Are you married?" asked the priest.
"No," said Alan, "and I am Jewish, not Catholic, but I had to tell someone!"
You start telling people! They will think you crazy because this is a very strange world:
if you talk about your misery nobody thinks you are crazy. If you start saying that "I am tremendously happy, ecstatic! I am feeling fantastic, just far out!" then people start thinking you are going nuts, something is wrong with you.
Just the other day a letter came to me that "Sarvesh is again going nuts." And all that the poor man was doing was just expressing his ecstasy. Seeing the new commune place he became so ecstatic that people thought that he is going crazy.
In this world to be insane is alright. To be sane is difficult, because the majority consists of insane people. To be sane is really difficult.
Nobody will believe you, Kamma, and people will laugh at you. And it happens: when inside you are feeling a great joy and everything seems to be fitting perfectly well, humming, you want that others should know it. It is a natural by-product - otherwise buddhas would have remained silent. Why did Gautama the Buddha speak at all? Why did Mahavira speak? When he was unenlightened he went to the mountains; when he became enlightened he came back to the world. And this has always been the case:
people have gone to the mountains, to the forests, to the jungles, in the search for truth.
They have gone into silence, but when they attained they rushed back, they have not lost a single moment. They have rushed back to the marketplace to shout from the housetops!
But then there are dangers. The danger is that people will think you are mad. The danger is that they will think you are a nuisance. The danger is that they will think that you can create trouble in the society, because a few others may become interested in your ideas.
It is not accidental that Socrates is killed, Jesus is killed, Mansoor is killed. The society protects itself and its sanity - its so-called sanity, which is really not sanity at all.
So, Kamma, if you are ready to take the risk, say it to people, don't be afraid. That's the only way they will come to know about it. But remember: then you have to accept joyfully whatsoever they do to you. Then don't throw the responsibility on me - I am warning you right now. Now start advertising!
Malcolm G. Krebbs was the last of the old diehards who believed in doing business without advertising, and like so many others he found that his philosophy just did not work anymore. So he finally went to an advertising agency, but with great misgivings.
Mr. Krebbs just could not manage to understand the principle behind advertising until his account executive explained it to him like this: "Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark - you know what you are doing, but nobody else does."
And that's how you are feeling, Kamma, right now. You can go on winking in darkness - nobody will know. Come into the light and wink... and then suffer the consequences!
But my people won't take it badly. They are becoming slowly slowly aware of such phenomena. They will accept you - but outside the commune there will be trouble for you, so be cautious. MY people will understand. If they can understand me - this far, far gone guy - what about you, Kamma? You are just a beginner!
Dugan, a delivery man from near Hyannisport making his first trip to New York, saw the sign CLIMB THE STAIRS AND SAVE FORTY DOLLARS ON A NEW SUIT. The Irishman went up and was immediately shown a number of shoddy garments by Spiegal, the eager salesman. Dugan refused to bite.
Spiegal knew that Zimmer, the boss, was watching him, so he made a special effort with the next number. Spiegal whirled the customer around and around before the mirror crying, "It fits like a glove! You look like a movie star!"
When the Irishman again said no, Zimmer took over, produced one blue serge suit and made the sale in five minutes. As Dugan left, the boss said, "You see how easy it is when you know how? He went for the first suit I showed him."
"Yeah," agreed Spiegal, "but who made him dizzy?"
Here I am making my people so dizzy... you don't worry, you can say anything! But outside the commune be a little cautious. Don't laugh loudly. Don't be so loving, so much hugging and so much kissing....
It almost always happens: the deeper you go, such great joy arises, and with joy, as a by-product, the desire to share. But there is no other way - you have to share.
Start sharing, first with my crazy people - that way you will learn the art - and then if you feel that you are confident enough, then start sharing with strangers, outsiders; people who have no idea of what meditation is; people who have no idea what it means to go inwards, what it means to know oneself, what it means to be silent, to be empty.
They have very strange ideas. They think the empty mind is a Devil's workshop. The empty mind is GOD'S workshop, because meditation means nothing but emptiness.
First start talking to the people who can understand your language, and then shout from the housetops. I am a firm believer in advertising, don't be worried!
A minister who believed firmly in advertising had a sign erected in front of his church which proclaimed: IF YOU ARE TIRED OF SIN, COME IN!
Some enterprising member of his congregation who also believed in advertising, however, scrawled the additional message: "If you are not, call Grandview 9-6001."
The fifth question:
Geeto, it is a difficult question, because I have to do so many things - without doing them, that is the most difficult part of it! I never leave my room, but I have to do many things, conceivable, inconceivable.
But the basic function of the master is to force people out of their unconsciousness. It is a thankless job, because you have to hit them hard - their ideas, their notions, their middle-class, bourgeois philosophies. All that they have thought is great, all that they have thought is true, you have to go on telling them that it is all nonsense, that it is just bullshit! And of course they feel hurt.
Rizzutti was sitting in the neighborhood bar. Next to him sat McIntyre who had had more than enough beer and was staring at his empty glass.
He turned to Rizzutti and asked, "Say, did you spill a glass of beer on me?"
"Absolutely no!" answered the Italian.
McIntyre turned to the man on his other side. "Mister, did you by any chance throw a glass of beer in my lap?"
"No!" snapped the man.
"Just what I have been suspecting," said the Irishman. "It is an inside job!"
You are as unconscious as that. You don't even know what is happening to you as an inside job! Even that has to be brought to your notice. And you try to escape from seeing any truth, because it will shatter many of your old ideas, and you have become very acquainted, familiar with them. You feel cozy surrounded with your old nonsense.
Whenever you are forced to see a new idea you shiver - because it is not only a question of seeing one single new idea. Allow one single new idea in your being and you will have to change your total vision, because then you will start seeing that this new concept, this new vision, does not fit with anything old.
I have heard a story about Count Keyserling - his grandson is here, a sannyasin. Count Keyserling was one of the most famous German thinkers. He traveled far and wide in the East; he was fascinated by the East. The grandson must have something of Count Keyserling in him, hence he has come to me.
When Count Keyserling was in China, a friend presented him with a beautiful box, two thousand years old, but with a condition which has been fulfilled for two thousand years: that the box's face has to be towards the East. A beautiful piece of art work, a great work of art! With that condition, for two thousand years whosoever had it has followed it.
Count Keyserling went with it. He placed the box in his drawing room facing towards the East, but then the whole drawing room was unbalanced. The box looked odd, so the whole drawing room had to be redone. But then the whole drawing room was no longer fitting with the house! But Count Keyserling was a man of his word - he changed his whole house... but then the garden was not fitting, so he had to change the garden. And then he became afraid, because when he changed the garden the house was not fitting in the neighborhood. Now, he could not do anything with the neighborhood!
Then he wrote a letter to the friend who has given the box, "Please take this box back - I don't know how I can fulfill the condition. I will have to change the whole world! Now the neighborhood, then the town, then the district, then the province, then the country.... This is too much!"
If you start seeing just a ray of light, a new light, you will have to change your whole world.
The friend wrote to Count Keyserling, "Don't be worried, that's exactly the message:
that even a small box can change your whole world. It is an ancient Taoist symbol; a message is contained in it. You have understood the message."
Allow a single insight of a buddha in you and you will never be the same. That's my function here as a master: to give you something which will not fit with you but which will be so tremendously significant for you that you will be ready to change for it, that you will be ready to risk everything for it.
A zookeeper was headed for the kangaroo cage right around feeding time when, much to his surprise, the kangaroo jumped right over the ten-foot fence and went hopping out of sight. The startled zookeeper dashed up to the cage and confronted a woman who was standing in front of the cage.
"What happened?" he asked.
"I have not the faintest notion," she replied. "All I did was tickle him a little."
"Well, lady," he replied, "I guess you had better tickle me in the same place - I am the one who has to catch him now!"
My function is to tickle you in the right place - because it is a long long journey, a pilgrimage, and you are to catch hold of God. Less than that is not going to fulfill you.
The last question:
Sagaram, the cause must be in you. In fact, YOU ARE the cause. You are not trying to understand what I am saying. Now enlightenment has become an object of your desire - - and enlightenment happens only when there is no desire left. And when I say no desire I exactly mean no desire - absolutely no desire. The desire for enlightenment is still a desire. If you go on desiring enlightenment it is not going to happen, neither sooner nor later. It is never going to happen. You will have to drop the desire.
See the point, because mind is so cunning and so stupid too that it can go on being clever. You can even say, "Okay, then I will drop the desire - but is it guaranteed that when I drop all the desires, the desire for enlightenment included, is it guaranteed that I will become enlightened?" You miss the point again: it can't be guaranteed. And dropping desire to attain enlightenment is not dropping at all - the desire is coming from the back door again. You are not getting enlightened because you WANT to get enlightened, and it is not something that can be wanted, can be desired. You can't be ambitious for it.
Then what is to be done? Try to understand the futility of desire. Try to see that desire is the culprit, that desire goes on taking you away from the present moment. It is desire that is not allowing you to be meditative. It is desire that goes on creating the mind and goes on creating hindrances for meditation. Mind is a hindrance for meditation. It is desire that goes on creating time and time prevents eternity, becomes a rock between you and eternity.
See the point - simply see it! It is not a question of having to drop it. Just see the point, that desire is your hell. Seeing it, desiring disappears, because if you see it clearly, totally, one hundred percent, how can you go on desiring anymore? It will slip out of your hands on its own accord. And in that very moment is enlightenment. That moment is enlightenment.
Enlightenment is not something that is going to come to you from somewhere else.
Desire dropped, and you are a buddha. The only difference between you and a buddha is desire.
It happened to Gautam Siddhartha exactly the same way. For six years he was also, Sagaram, continuously hankering for enlightenment and could not attain it. For six years he tried hard, harder than any man has ever done. He risked all. He was a warrior, a KSHATRIYA - a man who knew only how to fight. He fought with God, with existence. He wanted to conquer truth, he wanted to become a conqueror. And after six years of arduous effort he was reaching nowhere, not even a single inch closer to truth than when he started.
One full-moon night sitting under the tree, he started looking backwards. Six years have passed since he renounced his family, his palace, his kingdom. All that is written in the scriptures he has done and all that the teachers he came across told him to do he has done - and he has done it with totality. Now there is nothing more to do. This whole project has failed.
Then suddenly he became aware that "Although I was searching for truth, I was searching for God, I was still the same person - the same ego, the same desire, the same ambition: the ambition to conquer, to be victorious. I was the same old man; these six years nothing has changed. Objects of desires have changed - they are no longer worldly, they are otherworldly - but what difference does it make? Desire is desire, worldly or otherworldly, it doesn't matter. Desire is desire; its nature is the same."
Seeing it and seeing the futility of it, that evening he dropped... or it will be better to say, desire dropped itself. That evening as the moon rose, a totally new being arose in him: a desireless consciousness, a nonambitious being, not asking for anything. His eyes were clear for the first time, unclouded, no smoke of desire. His flame was burning bright. That night he slept for the first time in his life without dreams, because once desires disappear, dreams disappear. Dreams are reflections of your desires.
And early morning just before the sun was to rise, he opened his eyes. There was nothing to do that day, all is finished. He is no longer interested in the world, he is no longer interested in the other world. He remained in the moment; there were no projects to do. He was utterly empty. He looked at the rising sun... and that was the moment when he became enlightened.
What is enlightenment? - the insight that desire is futile, that ambition is illness. Then suddenly you are thrown back to the present moment. To be in the present is to be enlightened. To be now and to be here is to be enlightened.
You are all buddhas - dreaming, desiring. Understand the desire and let it go.
Enough for today.
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 7