Silence has been praised down the ages as one of the most important factors for inner transformation; but silence alone is neither enough nor beneficial. Silence alone can be tremendously harmful. Silence alone is a negative state, it can make you more dead than you are. It can destroy the joy of inner being, it can be an obstruction for the growth of a celebrating soul.
Silence is beautiful only if it is rooted in awareness; if it is not rooted in awareness, then it is utterly empty. With awareness silence has a depth, a plenitude, a fulfillment, a contentment, an overflowing joy. With awareness silence blooms, releases great fragrance; without awareness the silence is utterly empty and dark, dismal, sad.
Silence can be either of the cemetery or of a sunrise. Silence can be of a bird on the wing, or it can be that of a corpse. Both are silences, but diametrically opposite. The silence of a corpse has to be avoided, the silence of a flower has to be imbibed. The silence of the flower will make you a flower, the silence of the corpse will make you a corpse. Both look the same from the outside. Don't be deceived by appearances - always look for the essential, for the very core.
Two things can appear similar from the outside and may be just the opposite of each other. The seeker has to be very cautious, very conscious on each step; because the false is easy to attain. It is very easy to become dead, and very difficult to be overflowing with life.
That's why millions of monks and nuns have followed a false path - they have become silent. You can go to the monasteries and you will find people who are silent, but their silence has the taste of death. Their silence is not the silence of a song, of a dance; their silence is not divine. In fact they have fallen rather than risen higher, soaring upwards.
They have fallen so much, they have become just dead rocks. Their silence has not been a transformation, it has been a suicide. And because it has not been a soaring up high, you will find all kinds of foolishnesses still in it, waiting for their opportunity, for their moment to explode.
The foolish person can become silent. It may deceive many, they may think, "He has arrived." But he is simply hiding his foolishness, his stupidity, his unconsciousness behind a beautiful facade of silence.
An ancient Sufi parable says:
Four persons decided to go into silence. They moved into a cave; they wanted to live in silence for three months, because they had heard so much about it - they had become so much intrigued. They were so ambitious to gain something out of it. It was not understanding that had brought them to the cave. It was greed, it was desire, ambition.
Hence within minutes everything was exposed. Just within minutes the first man said, "I wonder whether I have put the candle out or not? It will be a sheer wastage, there is nobody in the house."
The second one said, "You fool! You have spoken! And we have taken the vow of silence."
The third one laughed and said, "You are a greater fool! If he had spoken, what was the need for you to speak?"
And the fourth one said, "Thank God, I am the only one who has not spoken yet."
Just by being silent nothing changes, you remain the same. Transformation comes through awareness. Awareness brings a silence of its own, very alive, throbbing with eternity, full of a song. It is not sad and not serious because it is not dead, it has a dance to it. It is tremendously beautiful, it is positive, existential. It does not make you just a hollow thing. It makes you so full that you start overflowing with joy. You become so fulfilled that you cannot contain your contentment within yourself, you have to share it.
You become a cloud full of rainwater. You have to shower it.
But out of a hundred so-called seekers, it is only once in a while that a rare seeker comes to know the difference between the real silence and the unreal silence. How can the fool within you be dropped by being silent? Yes, it will not be expressed, but it will be there.
In fact it will become more and more powerful - unexpressed it will accumulate energy. And any moment, any opportunity, and you will show it; you will be unable to hide it forever.
It was discovered in an apartment building, that exactly fifty apartments were rented by Jewish families and fifty by Christian families. Word got around and thereafter, for years, whenever a Jew moved out, another Jew rushed into his place, and likewise the Christians. Thus the balance was maintained. Once, however, the Jews were faster than the Christians and the numbers became unbalanced - fifty-one to forty-nine. After that the Christians started moving out until at last the building was ninety-nine percent Jewish.
A movement arose among the tenants for an all-Jewish building. A committee was formed and Mr. Ginsberg, as spokesman, went to visit Mr. Gallagher, an Irish bachelor.
When he came home, Mrs. Ginsberg asked what happened. "Well," replied Mr.
Ginsberg, "Gallagher says he has made love to every woman in the building except one, and won't move out until he makes love to her."
"Hm," mused Mrs. Ginsberg, "it must be that lousy, stuck-up Mrs. Pincus."
The first moment, and your fool will be out. How long can you keep it down? How long can you sit upon it? How long can you be on guard? Just a little relaxation and it will be out.
SILENCE CANNOT MAKE A MASTER OUT OF A FOOL.
A strange statement from a buddha, because silence has been praised so much; but the buddha says the truth as it is. He does not care about the tradition.
In India, silence has been one of the most praised qualities for centuries. The Jaina monk is called MUNI - muni means "the silent one." His whole effort is to be silent, more and more silent. Buddha says, "But don't be a fool, just silence is not going to help." It may help you keep your foolishness to yourself, but the foolishness will go on accumulating, and sooner or later it will be too much. It is bound to come out, and it is better to let it come out in small doses every day, rather than accumulating it, and then having it come like a flood.
This has been my own observation, too. The people who have remained silent for a long time become very stupid, because their silence is only on the surface. Deep down there is turmoil. Deep down they are the same people, with greed, jealousy, envy, hatred, violence - unconscious, with all kinds of desires.
Maybe now they are desirous of the other world, greedy for the other world, thinking more of paradise than of this world and the earth. But it is the same thing, projected onto a bigger screen, projected on eternity. In fact, the greed has become a thousandfold. First it was for small things: money, power, prestige. Now it is for god, samadhi, nirvana. It has become more condensed and more dangerous.
Then what has to be done? If silence cannot make a master out of a fool, then what can make one a master? Awareness. And the miracle is, if you become aware, silence follows you like a shadow.
But then that silence is not practiced; it comes on its own accord. And when silence comes on its own accord, it has a tremendous beauty to it. It is alive, it has a song at its innermost core. It is loving, it is blissful. It is not empty; on the contrary, it is a plenitude. You are so full that you can bless the whole world and yet your sources remain inexhaustible; you can go on giving, and you will not be able to exhaust the source. You have stumbled on God already - but it happens through awareness.
That is Buddha's very significant contribution, his emphasis on awareness.
Silence becomes secondary, silence becomes a by-product. One does not make silence a goal - the goal is awareness. If you take care of the rosebush, if you give it the right amount of water, sun and shade, roses are bound to come in their own time. You need not be worried about the roses. Silence is a rose, awareness is the rosebush. You take care of the rosebush, don't be too much concerned about the rose. If you are too much concerned about the rose without thinking about the rosebush, there is every possibility you will purchase some plastic roseflowers. A practiced silence is a plastic phenomenon, it is false, pseudo, deceiving others and deceiving yourself.
SILENCE CANNOT MAKE A MASTER OUT OF A FOOL. And what does Buddha mean by a fool? Who is foolish? He does not mean the unknowledgeable person, he does not mean the uneducated, uncultured. The fool can be very much cultured. The fool can have a Ph.D., the fool may have accumulated great knowledge, learning. In fact, fools are known to do such things, for the simple reason that they are afraid of their own foolishness and want to cover it up. A Ph.D., a D.Litt. becomes a good cover.
The fool becomes a great philosopher, a great scholar. Instead of knowing he becomes knowledgeable. Instead of seeing light he knows more about light. And slowly slowly, he convinces himself that knowing about light is knowing light, knowing about God is knowing God, knowing about love is knowing love. It is not so. He remains confined to the empty words. He will be verbose, he may know fine words. He may use language skillfully, he may use logic to prove his ideology, he may be a skillful logician. But nothing of these things changes his foolishness, he remains a fool all the same.
Then what is foolishness? The word that Buddha uses, the original word, is MULHA, which has been translated as the "fool." In fact it should be translated as "one who lives in unconsciousness," one who lives like a sleepwalker, who lives mechanically, who goes on moving through many things, but all his gestures are empty. He lives without knowing why, he goes on rushing without knowing where. He is not even aware of who he is - he has not tasted his own consciousness. And because his inner being is in darkness, he remains foolish in whatsoever he tries to do. His knowledge, his learning, his scholarship, are of no avail.
One who lives unconsciously, like a somnambulist, is a fool; one who lives consciously starts changing from foolishness towards wisdom. Again let me remind you: wisdom is not knowledge. Wisdom is consciousness, and the man who attains to the perfection of wisdom, perfection of consciousness, is called a master by the Buddha. SILENCE CANNOT MAKE A MASTER OUT OF A FOOL.
On his honeymoon, Abe was so overtaken with gratitude towards Becky, that he wanted to give her something. Having nothing else at hand, he reached into his wallet and gave her twenty dollars. Thereafter it became a family ritual. Each time Abe would make love to Becky, he would give her some money, the amount varying according to how his business was going.
Years passed, the Depression came and business got really bad. For weeks and months Abe did not make love to Becky. Finally, in desperation, she asked, "Abe, what is the matter? Don't you love me anymore?"
Abe told her the truth, that he was nearly bankrupt. "Don't worry, darling," she replied, and lifting up the mattress, she revealed thousands and thousands of dollars. "All the money you gave me, I put in the bed," she said.
"Ah," he screamed hitting his forehead, "I should have given you all my business."
An unconscious man can't always be on his guard. There are moments when the secret comes out. You can deceive, but only for a time - you cannot deceive forever, at least not your wife.
And how can you deceive God himself? How can you deceive existence? With existence you have to be absolutely true, because before existence you are utterly naked.
Existence knows you through and through, you are transparent. It is better not to hide, because if we don't hide, there is a possibility that we may start changing our life patterns, our ways, our styles.
And there are only two styles:
One style is unconsciousness - I call that the worldly style. And the other style is that of consciousness - my name for that style is sannyas. Sannyas simply means a committed effort to live consciously.
BUT HE WHO WEIGHS ONLY PURITY IN HIS SCALES, WHO SEES THE NATURE OF THE TWO WORLDS, HE IS A MASTER.
Who is a master according to Buddha? ... HE WHO WEIGHS ONLY PURITY IN HIS SCALES.
Remember always, with Buddha purity is never a moral concept. He is not a priest, he is not a politician. He is a man who has gone beyond all dualities - the duality of good and bad included. Then what can he mean by purity? By purity he always means innocence, just like a small child who knows nothing of what is good and what is bad.
The sage also becomes a child again, but he goes beyond. The child is below the duality, and the sage is beyond duality. One thing is similar, that both are not part of the world of duality, of the world where everything is divided into polar opposites: good and bad, night and day, love and hate, life and death, this world and that world, the sinner and the saint.
The sinner is one who knows what is good and what is bad, but follows the bad. The saint is one who knows what is good and what is bad, but follows the good. And the sage is one who knows what is good and what is bad, but has gone beyond both and is no longer interested in those divisions. He lives in a choiceless awareness. That is purity.
To live without any choice means to let God live through you. If you choose then you don't allow God to live through you. When you stop choosing, when you simply surrender to the whole, when you say, "Thy will be done," you are no more a chooser, no more a doer, you become a medium. Then God lives through you, then whatsoever happens is divine; it is neither good nor bad, it is simply divine. Out of choiceless awareness, actions become divine.
BUT HE WHO WEIGHS ONLY PURITY IN HIS SCALES, WHO SEES THE NATURE OF THE TWO WORLDS.... Religious people go on talking about this world and the other world. They condemn this world: this is momentary, this is a flux, nothing abides, everything changes, everything turns into dust. They go on condemning this world in every possible way, and they go on praising the other world. But Buddha says that this world and that world are both parts of your projection; you have projected the other world against this world. Because you see this world is impermanent, you project a permanent world. That is a desire on your part, it has nothing to do with reality.
You would like to have a permanent world where things abide, where everything remains as it is. You are afraid of change, hence you create an unchanging world. You call it paradise, heaven; nothing changes there, time exists not. This world is temporal, that world is nontemporal. This world is made of dust, and that world is made of gold.
But dust or gold are all your projections.
It is out of the misery of this world that you have created your paradises; and if you look in the scriptures of all the religions, you can easily detect the projection.
Whatsoever is missing here, you have placed it there. Whatsoever you don't like here, you have not put into the other world. Whatsoever you like here, but you are afraid that it will be taken away by death or by circumstances, you have made absolutely eternal there.
For example, in heaven nobody ever grows old - everybody remains young. Have you ever seen an old angel in any picture? They are all boyish-looking. In Hindu mythology the heavenly women never grow beyond the age of sixteen; that is a desire. In Hindu mythology the APSARAS, the heavenly women, don't perspire, no deodorants are needed, no perfumes are needed. Their bodies are made of gold. But what kind of a woman is it if her body is made of gold? Would you be able to love a woman whose body is made of gold? - a wish fulfillment.
In Hindu mythology there are trees in heaven, wish-fulfilling trees. You just sit underneath the tree, you wish anything and it is immediately fulfilled, instantly. These are desires, unfulfilled desires, unfulfilled dreams. We are so frustrated here that we project a world.
Karl Marx is right in that way when he says that religion is the opium of the people.
Yes, the so-called religions have functioned as the opium. They keep people intoxicated with the other world, they help them somehow to tolerate the suffering that is present in this world. It is only a question of a few days - then comes death and deliverance.
And then you will live in God's presence for ever and ever, in eternal joy.
Buddha never talks about the other world; he says this world and the other are both projections of our mind. One should get rid of both, one should turn inwards rather than looking outwards. This world is outside, that world is outside; both are exterior to you, and both are objects of desire. And any object of desire is bound to bring frustration. Any expectation is bound to turn into frustration. Expectation is the beginning of frustration, the very seed. Beware of it!
Buddha says, one who knows this is a master, and one who lives in choiceless awareness, neither choosing this nor that, is a master. He is really a king; otherwise everybody is a beggar. If you have desires you are a beggar. Desiring means begging; you are constantly begging for this and for that.
Just look at your mind, the mind is a beggar. Drop the mind and you will be surprised:
your consciousness is the master. But the mind lives through division, it always lives through the polar opposites: it puts that against this, and then goes on choosing. Mind means choice, choice means unconsciousness. Consciousness means choicelessness, and to be choiceless is to be free from all desire, is to be free from all projection, is to be free from all imagination, is to be free from future.
And the moment you are free from the future, the present suddenly bursts forth in all its splendor before you; its glory is infinite, its joy is unbounded, its ecstasy is inexpressible. It transforms your beggar into a master.
HE HARMS NO LIVING THING.
The master cannot be violent, he can only be love, pure love; he cannot harm, it is impossible. Why? Many religions have been teaching nonviolence. Buddha does not teach nonviolence; again, it is a by-product, a consequence of being a master. He does not say, "Be nonviolent so that you can be a master." He says: Be a master, so that you can be nonviolent. That's where he differs from ordinary religious thinking. He brings a very extraordinary insight of tremendous import.
If you understand his insight, you will have understood the essential core of real religion. If you practice nonviolence, you will remain violent; at the most, your surface will become nonviolent. You will paint it in beautiful colors; but behind it, behind all those rainbow colors, you will be the same person, the same violent person.
Why does violence exist in man? Because we can't see ourselves as part of a universe, we see ourselves as separate. In that separation is violence. If I am separate from everybody else then of course I have to fight for my own survival.
Charles Darwin says: Life is a struggle - a struggle to survive, and only the fittest survive. So you have to fight tooth and nail, you have to fight with your total energy, only then can you survive; otherwise, you will be eaten, destroyed. And if you look outside, it seems so.
Politics proves Charles Darwin. Everybody is fighting with everybody else; and how can you be nonviolent if you are continuously fighting? Man is so cunning that he can change, transform his nonviolence also into a weapon. He can make a weapon out of it, he can start fighting nonviolently.
I have heard a story:
A young man, a Gandhian, a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, was in love with a woman.
The father was very much against him, the woman herself was very much against the man - she hated even to see his face. But he was determined, he was a man of willpower, and he was very nonviolent. So he did a nonviolent trick.
He went to the woman's house, sat at the door and declared that he would fast unto death, unless she married him. A very nonviolent method: fasting unto death. You are not harming anybody. That's what Mahatma Gandhi was doing his whole life: fasting unto death. But is it nonviolence? It is violence, pure violence. Of course you are not destroying the other, you are destroying yourself; but the threat that "I will destroy myself," is a threat of violence. And you leave the other absolutely undefended.
The woman was very much perturbed, disturbed, what to do? If this man dies, she will feel guilty her whole life that she has been the cause of the death of a young man. The father was also very much disturbed. And newspapers were writing and praising the young man: how nonviolent he is, how Gandhian he is. The father was getting crazy - what to do, what not to do? Somebody suggested, "You inquire of some older Gandhian, some method must be there, some antidote."
He went to an old Gandhian who told him, "No, don't be worried. I know. You do one thing, a very simple thing." He whispered a secret in his ear and the father was very happy - and the trick worked. The old Gandhian said, "You go to an old prostitute I know, you tell her to come to your house, sit by the side of the young man, and let her declare that 'I am fasting unto death unless this young man marries me.'" And that very night the young man escaped and was never seen again.
Nonviolence in the hands of politicians is bound to become violent. It is only a beautiful name for an ugly phenomenon. This is not Buddha's approach, although Gandhians go on declaring that Gandhi is the greatest nonviolent man after Gautam Buddha. He is not; he has no understanding of Buddha and his insight. He is purely and simply a politician. His politics are also very subtle - his politics are very cunning, devious. But he is not religious at all. His whole approach is political.
If you practice nonviolence - and he practiced it his whole life - the nonviolence will be false. It cannot be practiced. Anything - nonviolence, wisdom, silence, love, compassion, joy, none of these beautiful qualities can be practiced. If you practice them you falsify them. They come on their own; all you need to do is to be more and more aware.
On the tree of awareness many flowers bloom: the flower of love, the flower of truth, the flower of compassion, the flower of nonviolence. Why? - because the more you become aware, the less you can believe in the separation. The more you become aware, the less you are an ego. When you become totally aware, you disappear - you become part and parcel of the whole. Then how can you be violent? To whom? There is nobody else, with whom are you going to fight?
Violence or nonviolence is not the question at all. There is nobody else to fight with. It is all oneness, this whole universe is one God and we are part of it. Seeing it, knowing it, realizing it, compassion and love start flowing. HE HARMS NO LIVING THING.
AND YET IT IS NOT GOOD CONDUCT....
Remember these words, their import, their significance. They are very pregnant. AND YET IT IS NOT GOOD CONDUCT.... "Remember," Buddha is saying, "I am not talking about good conduct."
THAT HELPS YOU ON THE WAY.
Good conduct can give you only respectability. Good conduct can help you attain a pious ego, good conduct will make people praise you. They will call you a saint, your ego will be very satisfied; but good conduct can't help you on the way. In fact it is going to hinder.
The more respectable you become, the less rebellious you are. The more respectable you become, the more and more afraid you are of going against tradition, against conformity, against convention. The more respectable you are, the more you are a slave; a slave of the society and the church, a slave of the state, a slave of others - because they start dominating you. They start in subtle ways telling you what to do and what not to do. Then they reward you with respect. That is bribery. By rewarding you, they are saying, "Look, if you go on doing the same thing, we will reward you more. If you don't do the same thing, if you go astray, we will withdraw our respect. We will condemn you."
They respect you for the simple reason that you fulfill their desires and their expectations, that you become just a part of the dead tradition, an example of all that has been dead for a long time. You become a slave to the past.
AND YET, says Buddha, IT IS NOT GOOD CONDUCT THAT HELPS YOU ON THE WAY... because your good conduct is only practiced by you; it has not arisen from your own innermost core, you are following the conditioning. You are following whatsoever has been forced upon you. If you are a Hindu you will follow a certain conduct that Hindus expect of you. If you are a Mohammedan, you will follow certain other conduct which has been forced upon you.
Ayatollah Khomeini, whose real name is Ayatollah Khomeiniac, goes on telling his followers: Be martyrs, we are martyrs - if you die fighting for religion, you will be born into paradise. JIHAD, religious war, is the surest and the most easily available way to reach to God; every other way is a very long way. To die in a religious war is a shortcut.
Now many people, mad people, are following this lunatic. Yes, he is Khomeiniac. But this has been always so. These maniacs, these lunatics, fanatics, have dominated humanity. They go on promising you a beautiful future after death. It is a beautiful business, because nobody comes back to say whether it really happens or not. It is dealing in invisible goods.
You can have good conduct according to a certain society but you will still remain as unconscious as you were before. By being a Mohammedan or a Hindu or a Christian you don't become conscious. If you become conscious you CAN'T be a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian. How can you be so foolish as to be a Hindu, to be a Buddhist, to be a Jaina? - impossible! You will not have any adjective to you. You will simply be a human being, a divine being. That's more than enough, what else is needed?
But following so-called good conduct, you will remain the same unconscious person.
Joe was out all night with a dazzling blonde. He came home at dawn and tried to appear quietly sober, as his wife eyed him with suspicion.
"Joe, where is your underwear?" she said as he was undressing.
"My God," he cried with aggrieved dignity, "I have been robbed."
Your whole life is lived in such an unconscious way. You can practice good things, you can do good things, give service to people, you can donate to charity. You can even become a Mother Teresa of Calcutta, but your life will be the same. Yes, you will get a Nobel Prize, and you will be honored all over the world. The world consists of fools and only the fools are honored.
Just look at the irony: Jesus is crucified and Mother Teresa is given a Nobel Prize.
Socrates is poisoned and Mother Teresa is given a Nobel Prize. Maharshi Raman was not given a Nobel Prize. J. Krishnamurti has worked his whole life as nobody has ever worked, for a better human being, for a better, conscious world. But he has not been given a Nobel Prize, his name has never even been considered for it.
George Gurdjieff, one of the greatest masters, who transformed people's lives into light, was not given a Nobel Prize. Mother Teresa is not a Raman Maharshi, she is not a J.
Krishnamurti, she is not a George Gurdjieff. But why is she honored? Because she fulfills your requirements: she serves beggars, orphans, widows. And that is your idea of a saint - that he should serve. He should serve all kinds of fools, then he is a saint.
Then other fools will respect him.
You are unconscious, your expectations are unconscious and there are people who will fulfill them. You will respect them, you will call them saints. Now, Mother Teresa has no taste of awareness, no experience of ecstasy, but that is not the point for people. The point is how many hospitals she runs, how many orphans she has raised - as if the world is not already much too overpopulated. How many old people does she serve, how many old people have survived through her efforts?
These things have nothing to do with real religion; these are social services. She is really serving the status quo, that's why she is respected. The Nobel Prize was not given because she is religious or a mystic. The Nobel Prize was given because she serves the capitalist system, she serves the status quo, she serves the vested interests. She is not a revolutionary, but a reformist. She is not a rebel.
Unless you become capable of seeing the beauty of rebellion, the beauty of a Jesus, Socrates, Buddha, you will not understand what real religion is.
The tensions of life were threatening to get a stranglehold on Bill; so after he had finished a good dinner, he relaxed mindlessly in a soft chair next to the stereo, with a stiff drink in his hand. His wife knew nothing of his nervous state, and climbed onto his lap with the thought of trying to wheedle a fur coat out of him.... She snuggled and murmured and fondled.
"Good heavens, Ethel," he exploded. "Get off. I get enough of this at the office."
You just watch yourself: what you say, what you do, what you hear, what you see, and you will be surprised - you are always surrounded by smoke. A subtle smoke surrounds you, and you see through that smoke, and everything becomes distorted.
Buddha's simple message is, first be aware. He says: AND YET IT IS NOT GOOD CONDUCT THAT HELPS YOU UPON THE WAY....
Going to church every Sunday, doing your PUJA, your worship every morning, saying your prayer every night before going to bed... these are all rituals, dead rituals that you go on repeating; you have become habituated to them, they are just habits. If you don't do them you feel as if you are missing something. If you do them you don't gain anything at all.
A man said to a psychiatrist, "Look, I have everything I need - a good house, a beautiful wife, successful children, a lovely job, but still my life is humdrum."
"Well," said the psychiatrist, "you are suffering from too much routine. You must bring novelty into your life. When do you usually make love to your wife?"
"Always at bedtime," replied the man.
"That's the trouble. You are too settled. Try grabbing your wife passionately at some unusual time. Fling off your clothes when you come into the house and get her. Then come back next week and report what happened."
"So," said the psychiatrist the following week, "how was it?"
"Well," replied the client, "the bridge club loved it, but it was still humdrum."
Just by changing your outer routine nothing is changed. You go to the church, you can change - you can start going to a temple. You were repeating one mantra, you can change - you can start repeating another mantra. You were a member of the Lions Club, you can become a member of the Rotary Club. Christians become Hindus, Hindus become Christians in the hope that by just changing outer forms something is going to be changed in their life. But the inner remains the same.
Unless the inner changes, your life is going to remain humdrum. And a humdrum life can never know the flavor of the divine, can never know the taste of the wine of God.
NOR RITUAL, says Buddha....
NOR BOOK LEARNING....
You can learn as much as you want. The psychologists say that each single human brain is so capable of learning that it can accumulate all the knowledge contained in all the libraries of the world; a single human mind is capable of storing all the knowledge possible. You can become a walking ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA, but that is not going to help. You will know the words, but words are words. The word 'fire' is not fire; don't try to cook your food on the word 'fire'. The word 'love' is not love either, and the word 'God' is not God.
But people become so much obsessed with words - they become so much obsessed that if somebody says anything against the Bible, you are ready to be killed or kill. And bible is just a word; the word 'bible' simply means "the book." It does not mean anything else.
If somebody says anything against the Vedas, Hindus become mad. Words have become so important, more important than your life. The whole history is full of blood and bloodshed just because of words. Buddha says: Beware, don't get too much entangled in words.
A Jewish mother was very unhappy because her son did not like BLINTZES. In desperation she consulted a psychiatrist who suggested that if she showed Sammy, step by step, how blintzes were made, he might come to love and understand them. Eager to try out the suggestion she took Sammy into the kitchen the very next day.
"Look, Sammy," she said, mixing the dough. "Eggs, milk, flour. You like eggs and milk and flour, don't you Sammy? Taste a little."
The little boy, with a sour expression, grudgingly tasted a bit of each. She rolled out the dough and fried it into cakes.
"Taste a little," she urged him, and again he tasted a bit. Encouraged, she went on mixing the cheese and cinnamon and sugar.
"Look, Sammy, cheese, cinnamon, sugar. You like them, don't you Sammy?"
"Yes, Mom," he replied.
Really encouraged now, she placed the cheese mixture in the middle of a cake.
Cautiously she folded over one corner.
The she folded a second corner.
The she folded the third corner and finally the fourth one.
"Blintzes!!! Yech!!!" screamed Sammy, and ran out of the kitchen.
And it is not so only with children. It is so with your great theologicians, philosophers, thinkers - just words.
Buddha says: NOR RITUAL, NOR BOOK LEARNING....
NOR WITHDRAWAL INTO THE SELF.
Buddha must be the first enlightened master who has said this so clearly. Now modern psychology has rediscovered it. I say rediscovered it because they are not aware of Buddha's statement. They think that introversion is a kind of disease. Buddha is saying exactly the same thing. He is saying: NOR WITHDRAWAL INTO THE SELF.
Introversion is a disease, so is extroversion. The real man of awareness is neither extrovert nor introvert - he simply is. When needed he goes out, when needed he goes in; he is fluid, flexible. He is not focused and fixated. There are extroverts who can't go in, and there are introverts who can't go out. Both are ill, both are pathological. NOR WITHDRAWAL INTO THE SELF is going to help you on the way....
NOR DEEP MEDITATION.
Let me repeat.... You will be surprised, because Buddha is one of the greatest meditators of the world. And Buddha is responsible for the greatest stream of meditation that has flowed up to now. He is the very source, but still he is such a sincere man that he says:
NOR DEEP MEDITATION.
NONE OF THESE CONFERS MASTERY OR JOY.
Why not even meditation? - because meditation is a method. Meditation can cause a certain state of the mind, but it cannot make you available to the uncaused. It may prepare the ground, it may cleanse the ground, but it cannot bring the flowers. It is as if you prepare the ground for a garden: you remove all the rocks, all the weeds, all the roots, all the grass. You prepare the ground, but that's not enough. If you prepare the ground and then sit under a tree and wait for the roses to come, they will not come.
Meditation is only a negative method; it helps you to prepare the ground. It removes the barriers, but then you have to sow the seeds - only then will flowers be coming.
Meditation is creating the ground, awareness is sowing the seeds. Only meditation with awareness can help you on the way; and then there is mastery, and then there is joy.
RELY ON NOTHING....
To make it absolutely sure that you don't rely on anything, he has said: AND YET IT IS NOT GOOD CONDUCT THAT HELPS YOU UPON THE WAY, NOR RITUAL, NOR BOOK LEARNING, NOR WITHDRAWAL INTO THE SELF, NOR DEEP MEDITATION. NONE OF THESE CONFERS MASTERY OR JOY.
But who knows? - you may find something else. Hence, to make it absolutely clear, categorically clear, he says: O SEEKER! RELY ON NOTHING.
Reliance on anything brings dependence, dependence brings slavery, slavery is misery.
Don't depend, not even on meditation. One day, even meditation has to be transcended.
Don't depend even on the master, because the master can only point the way, YOU have to follow the path. The master cannot go with you.
Buddha is reported to have said: If you meet me on the way, kill me; if I come in your way as a hindrance, kill me immediately. Don't have any hesitation... that I am your master.
How can you kill me?... He is saying something very metaphorical. He is saying, "Deep in meditation, the last thing to be dropped is the master." Everything can be dropped easily, but the more the master helps you to drop things, the more you become attached to the master himself; and the love for the master is so pure, and so ecstatic, it brings such joy, that it is very difficult to drop the master at the last moment. And the last moment is the last barrier. The master has to be dropped, you have to go alone - absolutely alone into the unknown. RELY ON NOTHING....
UNTIL YOU WANT NOTHING.
Go on dropping your desires, even the desire for being a master, the desire for being blissful, the desire for knowing God, the desire for nirvana. All desires have to be dropped.
Mind is so cunning: you can drop one desire and it immediately supplies you with another. And it may supply you with a more subtle desire. The gross desire can be understood by everybody, the subtle desire is more difficult to understand. For example, the desire for God is not thought to be a desire worth dropping. No Christian will say, no Jew will say, no Mohammedan will say, "Drop the desire for God." Drop all desire FOR God, but don't drop the desire for God.
It is only Buddha, the only man in the whole history of human consciousness, who has said the whole truth - truth in its absolute purity, truth and nothing else. He is so insistent on the truth, that he says you will have to drop the master, and you will have to drop all kinds of desires. Otherwise, mind is very innovative, very creative, imaginative. You drop one thing and it immediately says, "Good. Now seek this, seek truth, seek God."
Now nobody can raise any objections about seeking God - Buddha raises objections to that, too.
After numerous complaints from the neighbors, Harry sadly agreed to have a veterinarian render his cat fit to guard a sultan's harem.
"I will bet," said one neighbor, "that that ex-tom of yours just lies on the hearth now and gets fat."
"No, he still goes out at night. But now he goes along as a consultant."
If you cannot do anything, at least you can function as a consultant; but the going continues. Nothing has changed, the operation has failed.
Remember, if you are a real seeker... and this is a strange paradox: if you are a real seeker, you will have to drop all seeking as such. Otherwise you will go on seeking one thing after another, and there is no end to it.
When all seeking stops, you are suddenly at the very center of your being. Seeking drives you outside, seeking takes you away from yourself. Jesus says: Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the doors shall be opened unto you. Ask and it shall be given.
Buddha will not say that. Buddha will say, "Seek and you will not find. Knock and the doors will never be opened for you. Ask and you will not be given."
Then why does Jesus say so? Is Jesus not a buddha? Jesus is also a buddha, but the difference of their statements is because of the audience. Jesus is talking to ordinary people, and Buddha is talking to very evolved disciples. Jesus is talking to the crowds.
If he had said to them, "Seek and ye shall never find," they would not have understood him. They would have thought him mad, absolutely mad.
Seek and you shall not find? Ask and it shall not be given to you? Knock and the doors shall not be thrown open unto you? He was talking to ordinary people, hence he has to use very ordinary expressions.
Buddha is talking to adepts, initiates. Jesus was not so fortunate as Buddha. Jesus'
disciples were very ordinary, even those twelve apostles were very ordinary, unconscious people. Buddha had thousands of BODHISATTVAS, thousands of disciples who were just on the verge of becoming buddhas any moment. Thousands were just on the verge of bursting into a flame of eternal light. He could talk without any fear of being misunderstood; hence he says: RELY ON NOTHING UNTIL YOU WANT NOTHING.
The greatest moment in life is when there is no desire left inside you, when desirelessness settles, absolute desirelessness. In that very moment all is attained, because all has always been there inside you. It was because of desires that you were running hither and thither, not looking inside. When all running has stopped, suddenly your own truth explodes with all its beauty, with all its benediction upon you.
Listen to Buddha, meditate over his sutra. It will give you great insight - insight into desire and its futility. It will help you to drop all desires. And the moment you are desireless you have arrived home.
Enough for today.
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 7