A madman's guide
The first question:
I DON'T KNOW WHETHER I AM LOSING MY MIND OR MY MEDITATION, OR BOTH.
Prem Arup, the greatest blessing is when you lose mind and meditation both. To lose the mind is only half the way; the goal is not reached. One who loses the mind starts clinging to meditation; meditation becomes his mind. Meditation becomes his possession, his treasure - far more beautiful than mind certainly, far more joyous, far more blissful, worth achieving.
To lose the mind is to lose all your miseries. Then great ecstasies bloom, then great joys well up within your being. But even to be ecstatic is to be disturbed. Even to be joyous is to be not totally at home. One has to go beyond ecstasy, beyond the joy, beyond the exhilaration. One has to become utterly peaceful. Hence, Buddha never talks about bliss; he talks about peace, silence. That is the ultimate goal.
Transcend the mind, using the method of meditation. Then do not cling to meditation - because clinging is the same; to what you cling is irrelevant. The moment the mind disappears, let the meditation also disappear. Neither be a mind nor a no-mind. This is the ultimate goal, the goal of buddhahood. Then you have arrived. Then there is peace.
You are no more, only peace exists. There is nobody to possess it.
Half of you was killed when you dropped the mind, and half of you was killed when you dropped meditation. The worldly part disappeared with the mind and the so-called spirituality disappeared with the meditation. Now you are neither body nor soul. You are not. A tremendous nothingness, a total nobodiness exists. Buddha calls it SHUNYA, nirvana. Everything has ceased: misery and joy, day and night, summer and winter, life and death, all are gone. The whole duality is transcended.
Arup, feel blessed. Feel immensely fortunate if both disappear - although in the clinging it will look very crazy. First, to drop the mind looks very crazy. But then meditation is there to give you a new settlement, a new order, a new discipline - higher, better, more sophisticated, more cultured, more inner, more subjective.
When you drop meditation, all order, all discipline, all structure, disappears. You take a plunge into the utterly unknown, the ultimate unknown.
This is the moment of the real birth - not of you but of God. You are no more, now only God is. And by "God" I don't mean a person; by "God" I only mean an experience.
The second question:
YOU TELL US THAT AWARENESS IS ENOUGH. THEN WHY DISCOURSES, GROUPS, SANNYAS?
Rick Ferris, how did you come to know that awareness is enough? I have to tell it again and again - that awareness is enough, that no discourse is needed. But even that has to be told to you: that nothing is needed. But you are so asleep, you won't come upon the truth by yourself and you won't come upon the truth even if repeated thousands of times.
Now see the trick of your mind: it is not that you have understood that awareness is enough. On the contrary, you have understood that discourses are not needed, groups are not needed, sannyas is not needed. See the tricky mind, the cunning mind... who goes on creating new hells for you. You missed the point and you have misinterpreted the whole thing.
Discourses are to tell you that words won't do, but even to tell that words won't do, words are needed. There is no other way, because you understand only words.
Buddha used to tell a parable:
A man had gone to the market. When he came back his house was on fire. His children were playing inside the house, absolutely oblivious of the fact that the house was on fire. It was a big house and they must have been in the innermost part of the house.
He shouted from the outside, because he was afraid to enter the house, but the children wouldn't listen. A great crowd gathered. Then he said to the children, "Come out! See what I have brought for you - many toys. The toys that you had asked me for, I have brought all, and beautiful toys!"
The children came running out of the house - and he had not brought a single toy!
They started asking, "Where are the toys?"
He said, "Look at the fire! I have not brought any toys, but this was the only way to bring you out of the house. The house is on fire! I was shouting that 'The house is on fire!' and you were laughing and giggling. You were thinking I am playing a joke or something. Yes, I have lied to you that I have brought toys for you, but the lie has worked as a strategy - it has helped you to come out. It has served a great purpose."
Words are not enough, but because you understand only words, Rick Ferris.... Can you understand silence? Then you would not have been here. There is no need to be here.
You could have sat by the side of a silent rock or you could have sat underneath a silent tree... and you would have understood all the buddhas. Then you will not read the Bible and the Koran and the Gita. You would have gone to the desert to feel the silence, the eternal silence of the desert. And you would have understood all the Bibles, all the Korans, all the Gitas. But you have come here!
You can understand only words. And I know truth cannot be communicated through words, but words can be used to bring you out of the house which is on fire. Words can bring you out of the world of words and dreams and desires in which you live. Words can be used in such a skillful way that they can lead you - or at least point you - towards silence; hence the discourses.
Groups are a little more rough. If you don't listen to me, if you don't understand words, then real hammers will be needed. I hammer you, but I hammer you with words. I don't whip you, I only show you the shadow of the whip. If you listen, good; if you don't listen, then you will need groups. There they use actual whips! To bring you to your senses they hit you hard. With great compassion they are cruel. They do everything that can be done to wake you up.
And sannyas? Sannyas is just to make a fool of you! You are too much in your knowledge, in your head. A little foolishness will do! You are too knowledgeable, too clever, too cunning. Sannyas is a surrender of all your cleverness, cunningness, knowledge.
Sannyas is a madman's path; I am a madman's guide! But before you can really become sane you will have to drop your old kind of sanity - which is not sanity.
These are all devices - sannyas, groups, discourses - strategies. Not that only through these strategies you will know what truth is, but these will help you. If you are intelligent you will use them as a ladder, as a boat to the other shore. When you have reached the other shore, the boat has to be left behind. It is not that you have to sit in the boat forever and forever or that even when you have reached the other shore you have to carry the boat on your head, just out of sheer gratitude.
You are utterly unaware, and great effort is needed to make you aware.
A guy went to the track and won three hundred dollars. Thinking his luck would hold he went back the next day ready to make a killing.
As he was looking over the horses set to run in the last race he noticed a priest making signs over one of the nags. Thinking that he had really lucked in, the guy bet every nickel he had won and every cent he could scrape up on the horse. Naturally, the horse finished last.
Leaving the track he happened to bump into the very priest he had seen blessing the horse. "Father," he said, "I am a ruined man! I saw you blessing that horse and I bet every cent I had on him."
The priest was horrified. "My son," he said, "I was not blessing that horse, I was administering the last rites!"
I see your life as utterly ruined. You have been betting on dead horses! Your whole life is a mess - and arranging your life from the outside is not going to help. Some radical transformation of your consciousness is needed.
The so-called religious people have been just doing the opposite. And that's why you go to the churches, to the temples, to the synagogues - not to be awakened but to be helped to sleep better. You go there to listen to beautiful lullabies. You go there to be consoled. You go there to be comforted.
My work here is not to comfort you, is not to console you, is not to sing a lullaby by the side of your bed. My work is to wake you up.
Everything is arranged in such a way - the discourses, the meditations, the groups, the sannyas... it is an attack on your sleep from all possible directions. In a single word it can be said: my work is to dehypnotize you.
For eight days and nights Schlossberg, the suit-maker, was unable to sleep. No medicine took effect, and in desperation, the Schlossberg family brought in a famous hypnotist.
The hypnotist stared at Schlossberg and chanted, "You are asleep, Mr. Schlossberg. The shadows are closing about you. Soft music is lulling you into a state of lovely relaxation.
You are asleep, you are asleep...."
"You are a miracle-worker!" sobbed the grateful son. He gave the hypnotist a big bonus and the man left in triumph.
As the outside door closed, Schlossberg opened one eye, "Say," he demanded, "is that schmuck gone yet?"
But these schmucks are your rabbis, your priests, your popes, your shankaracharyas, your imams, your Ayatollah Khomeiniacs.... And because you want more comfortable sleep and sweet dreams, their business prospers.
Sigmund Freud has said that it seems man cannot live without illusions. As far as the ordinary humanity is concerned he is right. Before Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche had the same insight. He said that the people who destroy people's illusions are the real enemies of the people, because man cannot live without lies. "Truth is dangerous! Who wants truth?" says Friedrich Nietzsche. We want beautiful lies and illusions, sweet dreams.
This is true about ninety-nine point nine percent of humanity. Only very rarely a person starts searching for truth, but then he has to risk all his sleep and the dreams and the investments that he has made in his dreams.
A Buddha, a Jesus, a Moses: these people are not to give you comforts. They shatter all your lies; howsoever comfortable they are, howsoever cozy they appear, they shatter them. They want you to know the truth. In the beginning it is bitter.
Buddha has said: Lies are sweet in the beginning, bitter in the end. In the beginning they look like nectar, in the end they prove fatal, poisonous. Truth is bitter in the beginning, sweet in the end. In the beginning it looks like poison, as if it is going to kill you; in the end it is elixir, it is nectar. It makes you capable to know the eternal, the deathless.
The third question:
DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF GOD, GOD'S REPRESENTATIVE ON EARTH, A PROPHET, AND/OR JUST A VERY CLEAR INDIVIDUAL? HAVING SEEN YOU A COUPLE OF TIMES IN MORNING DISCOURSE AND LISTENING TO TAPES AND VIDEOTAPES OF YOU, YOU NEVER SEEM TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION. HOW AND WHY DO YOU KNOW OR FEEL SOMETHING I DO NOT?
Harold Peltz, the first thing is that there is no God. Yes, there is godliness, but no God.
The idea of God is anthropocentric. The Bible says: God created man in his own image.
The truth is just the opposite: man has created God in HIS own image. God is nothing but a projection of human wishes, desires, longings. God is nothing but the projection of human mind.
That does not mean that I am an atheist, but I am not a theist either. My position is exactly that of Gautama the Buddha. He was not an atheist and he was not a theist. He did not believe in God, he did not DISbelieve in God. What was his position?
His position is very unique, his position is worth sharing. His space is worth communing with. And that is the space of all the meditators: they believe in godliness.
The whole existence is overfull with spirituality, but there is no such person as God.
You ask me, "Do you consider yourself God?"
No, sir, certainly not! Even if I was I would have denied it - because who will take responsibility for this ugly world? I cannot take responsibility for creating you! That will be the real original sin!
I am not God, but I have known godliness - in me, in you, everywhere. Godliness is a quality; it is a fragrance that permeates the whole of existence. The only difference between you and me is that I am aware of it and you are not aware of it; otherwise there is no difference. I am awake, you are asleep. We are exactly the same, participating in the same existence, breathing the same godliness, living in the same ocean of godliness.
We are the fish of the same ocean, but you are not aware of the ocean and I am aware of the ocean, within and without, both.
I don't know more than you know - you may be knowing more than me. My knowledge is poor; I am not a knowledgeable person. And whatsoever I quote is not reliable! You may be knowing more, you may be well informed. You have a great accumulation of facts. In that way I am utterly poor, as poor as a child. But that is not the real difference; that is not the difference that makes the difference.
The only thing that is significant is being aware of the reality.
The English language is very poor; it has only one word, 'God'. Sanskrit is immensely rich, it has many words to signify different approaches. The ultimate, the absolute, is called BRAHMAN. That is the purest godliness, uncontaminated. It is an abstraction: all matter has disappeared, only pure energy, only pure consciousness remains.
The second word in Sanskrit is ISHWAR; that comes close to 'God'. Ishwar means "the creator," but it is lower than Brahman. It is as illusory as the whole world. If the creation is illusory, how can the creator be the real? You can see the point: the creation and the creator are two polarities. The whole world is illusory, hence the creator too is illusory.
You will be surprised to know that you have to go beyond God; only then can you know the ultimate, not before it. To know God is a lower state of understanding.
The third word is BHAGWAN - which cannot be translated as 'God'. Buddha never believed in God, yet we have called him Bhagwan. Mahavira never believed in God, yet we have called him Bhagwan.
H.G. Wells has said: Gautama the Buddha is the man in the whole history of humanity who is the most godless and yet the most godly.
How can this word 'bhagwan' be translated into English? It simply means "the blessed one"; it has nothing to do with God. Literally it means one who has attained; hence he is called the blessed one - one who has arrived, one who has become awakened, enlightened.
Bhagwan does not mean a representative. There is no God, so how can you be a representative of God? Buddha is not a representative of God, neither am I. That is a very poor idea, being a representative of somebody - just a salesman! That is very humiliating!
And Buddha is not a prophet - neither am I. A prophet means one who brings the message from God to the world. He is nothing but a postman - and I don't want to be a postman! A prophet is not of much value. There is no God; hence there can be no messengers, no messiahs, no prophets.
And you ask me, "... and/or just a very clear individual?"
One thing will have to be understood: if you become clear, individuality disappears; you are simply clarity. If you are unclear, then individuality is there. Individuality and clarity don't go together. Individuality is deep down nothing but an ego - to feel oneself separate, separate from the whole.
I am just clarity, not an individual. It is very difficult to understand how you can be clear if there is no individual. Our language forces us to some unnecessary conclusions.
When the dance is total, the dancer is no more there; only dance is. And you can ask the great dancers - you can ask Nijinsky, Gopi Krishna - and they will agree with it: when the dance comes to the ultimate peak, the dancer disappears. There is only dance, there is nobody dancing. There are not two entities, the dancer and the dance.
When the painter is really merged into his painting, absorbed, then there is not painting AND the painter, there is only painting. There is no painter left; for a few moments the painter disappears. Only when the painter disappears, painting reaches to its ultimate beauty.
The dancer, the painter, the singer, the musician, the poet, they all know those moments, but those are only moments in their lives. In the lives of the buddhas those are not only moments; they have become their reality. The dancer has disappeared forever.
I am no more an individual, but just clarity; not a dancer but only a dance. If you can understand that, only then will you be able to have some communion with this nobodiness, with this nothingness, with this state of nirvana.
You ask me, "Having seen you a couple of times in morning discourse and listening to tapes and videotapes of you, you never seem to answer this question. How and why do you know or feel something I do not?"
I know only one thing: that I know nothing. And that's where the difference may be.
You know that you know, I know that I don't know. Only when you come to that state of blissful ignorance, clarity happens. Knowledge is a disturbance; no-knowledge gives you clarity, transparency.
Old man Krestenfeld lay on his deathbed for months and finally passed away.
Two weeks later, the relatives gathered like vultures to hear the reading of the will.
The lawyer tore open an envelope, drew out a piece of paper and read, "Being of sound mind, I spent every dime before I died."
I would like to say only this much: that I am simply soundness - not even sound mind... pure clarity, a sky without any clouds, utterly empty. You can also be that. In your innermost core you are already that.
And my effort here is, Harold Peltz, to help you to become nobodies just like me, ignorant just like me. And remember: there is a knowledge that knows not and there is an ignorance that knows.
The fourth question:
YES, THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE. MY FLAMES OF JEALOUSY, GREED AND VIOLENCE ARE BURNING ME. I SEE YOU SHINING AT THE DOORWAY, BECKONING ME TO SIMPLY COME OUT, YET I HOLD BACK, CLINGING TO MY MISERY WHILE MY MIND RACES ON WITH DESIRES. WHY CAN'T I LET GO?
Deva Dwabha, to be without misery needs great courage. To be miserable is very cheap, very simple; it costs nothing. To be miserable you don't need any courage, any intelligence. To be miserable is so easy, but to come out of it is difficult, arduous. To come out of it needs intelligence, because you are the creator of your misery, and you create your misery because you are unconscious. You can stop creating it only if you become conscious, and to become conscious needs great effort.
Moreover, misery keeps you occupied so that you can avoid your inner hollowness. It keeps you engaged. If you are not miserable you will have to go in, and you are afraid because there is great emptiness. It is a kind of death to go in.
The mystics have called it "the great death" - greater than the so-called ordinary death, because in the ordinary death only the body dies. If you go in, your mind dies. And one is afraid to die - your ego dies - and one is afraid to lose one's identity. And how much effort you have put to attain to a certain identity. One is a famous actor, another is a well-known politician. Somebody is very rich, somebody is very knowledgeable. You have put so much effort... and now I am telling you to come out of it! That means all your effort has been a sheer wastage. It will need guts to come out of it and it will need courage to be without identity.
The Zen people say: Before you meditate, mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers. When you go deep in meditation, mountains are no more mountains and rivers are no more rivers. When you attain to satori, when the meditation is transcended, then again mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers.
This is a Zen way of saying that before meditation you have a certain identity. You have a name, fame, form, family, race, culture, religion, country; all these give you a certain idea who you are - although that idea is absolutely false, arbitrary, accidental. It is just accidental that you were born as a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan; it has no significance at all. It is just an accident whether you are born a German or an Indian or a Chinese. You are none of these.
Your consciousness is simply consciousness, neither Chinese nor Korean nor Japanese.
Your consciousness is simply consciousness. It belongs to no country, no race, no color, no religion; all those are conditionings. You have been hypnotized and told that you are an Indian; this is a hypnosis. You have been hypnotized and told that you are a Mohammedan, and the hypnosis is prolonged your whole life. It goes so deep that you may even be ready to die for it. People die for religion, for country, for flags; for many nonsenses they are ready to die. It seems as if their life has no meaning at all, as if they are ready to die for any excuse - any excuse will do.
Your identity is arbitrary. Before meditation you are a little bit certain who you are. As you go into meditation your miseries start disappearing and with those miseries your identity starts evaporating. You fall into a state of chaos, and that chaos creates fear.
Dwabha, I have given you this name.... DWABHA means twilight; it means neither day nor night, just in the middle. And that's where you are: afraid to go deeper, standing in shallow water. It feels safe, although you are miserable - but the misery is familiar, well known; you have become accustomed to it. In fact, a kind of family relationship has arisen between you and your misery.
There is a Sufi parable:
A man used to call every night to God and he would pray the same prayer. Again and again he would ask, "Do one favor for me, at least one favor - and I have been asking my whole life. As far as I can see, I am the most miserable man on the earth. Why have you chosen me to be the most miserable? I am ready to exchange my misery with anybody else, anybody will do - just let me exchange my misery with somebody else. I don't ask for bliss. Can't you give me only this single opportunity to exchange my misery with somebody else? This is not asking much!"
And one night in a dream he saw God had spoken. A great voice came from the heavens saying, "Gather all of your miseries into bundles and bring them to the temple hall."
So the whole town gathers their miseries into big bundles and they bring them. This man is tremendously happy: "So the moment has come! It seems something is going to happen!"
He rushes with his bundle. On the way he finds others also are rushing. By the time he reaches to the temple he becomes afraid, very afraid, because he sees people are carrying bigger bundles than his. People that he had always seen smiling - Rotarians, Lions - in beautiful clothes and always saying nice things to each other, and they are carrying bigger bundles! He starts becoming a little hesitant whether to go or not to go, but he has been praying his whole life, so he says, "Let us see what happens."
They enter into the temple. The voice says, "Put your bundles around the hall." They put their bundles, and the voice says again, "Now you can choose any bundle that you like."
And the miracle of miracles happens: everybody rushes to his own bundle! This man also rushes so fast towards his own bundle, afraid that if somebody else chooses it then he will be at a loss. Everybody has chosen his own bundle, with great relief and they are all happy, carrying their bundles back to their homes. Even this man is very happy, for the simple reason that "Who knows what is in the other's bundle? At least we are aware of our own bundle and what it contains. And we have become accustomed, we have become adjusted to our misery."
Dwabha, that's why you find it very difficult to get out of your miseries. And there may be investments also; your misery may not be just YOUR misery. You may be creating misery for others through your misery. If you are interested in creating misery in others, how can you drop your misery?
The husband comes home and the wife simply lies down on the bed and says she has a headache - and I am not saying that she is pretending. In fact, it is almost impossible when you see your husband not to have a headache! She must be having one, I trust....
And then the husband becomes miserable. Now the wife cannot drop her headache, because if she drops her headache, then what about the husband? Her headache creates such misery for the husband that she is ready to suffer - to make others suffer.
"I would divorce Milton in a minute," Mrs. Cooper told the woman doing her hair.
"Then why don't you?" asked the beautician.
"Because it would kill me to see him so happy."
It is difficult! It is difficult to come out of your misery, because it is not just your misery; it has become entangled with others' miseries, it has become a cause for others' miseries.
And you enjoy torturing others; you feel powerful whenever you can torture. One is ready to sacrifice if one can create misery for others.
People are sadists and masochists both. It is very rare to find a pure sadist or a pure masochist. Those are only types found in psychological books. In reality, everybody is a sadist and everybody is a masochist. People are sadomasochists: they torture themselves in order to torture others; they torture others in order to torture themselves.
It is all intertwined, interdependent. You cannot just slip out of it - it is your whole life's investment. Otherwise, nobody is preventing you, Dwabha, you can come out. Just you have to understand. If you cannot even drop your misery, what else can you drop?
In the old days, a sannyasin was one who used to renounce life. I have changed the definition of a sannyasin. I call a man a sannyasin who is ready to renounce his misery.
But in a way your life and your misery are almost synonymous.
What is your life? What you are doing with yourself and with others? You feel powerful whenever you can torture others; torture gives you a great release of power. Why are these Adolf Hitlers, Joseph Stalins and Mao Zedongs born again and again? From where do they come? They represent you. They represent the essential madness of humanity. They erupt again and again and they will go on coming, you can't prevent them, unless we change the very foundation of human existence. If we change human consciousness from misery to bliss, from tensions to peace.... Otherwise you will have to suffer. You deserve... in fact, you ask for them. Germany must have prayed long enough for Adolf Hitler to happen. And now there are again people in Germany who are starting the same fascist movement. You can't live without these insane people!
Something in you needs them. Something that you cannot do to yourself they can do to you. They can release great misery in the world.
Have you seen, have you observed in times of war people look happier than ever? Their faces are more lighted up, they smile more. Suddenly their life has zest, enthusiasm, energy. They are no more dragging; their life has meaning. War gives them meaning.
The death and the danger surrounding them helps them to come alive.
After each ten years a great world war is needed. If it is not happening now it is not because of humanity and its changed consciousness. It is happening because of hydrogen bombs, because the third world war will be the last - and that is too much. A little bit of misery once in a while is good, but just to commit a global suicide seems too much. Nobody will be there even to enjoy it!
If a nuclear war happens, then within ten minutes everybody will be gone. Even the newspapers would not have reached you. You would be absolutely unaware what is happening. It will be simply a chaos. And within ten minutes all life would have disappeared from the earth. Birds, animals, trees, men, women, all would be gone.
What is the point if you cannot enjoy? The joy is when you see people in gas chambers evaporating.
In Germany, the gas chambers were made in such a way that people could come and see in. The people who were going to die were not able to see the spectators, but the spectators were able to see. Thousands of people were coming to see; they were paying tickets for it. It was great entertainment! One thousand people in the gas chamber will evaporate. Within a single moment, nothing will be left. And these people - thousands of people - have come to see. What joy must they be deriving out of it? There must be something very ugly deep down....
During the French Revolution, when the guillotine was being used almost around the clock, Slutsky lived in a small village outside of Paris. One morning he met Flambeau, who had just returned from the city.
"What's happening there in Paris?" asked Slutsky.
"Conditions are absolutely horrible," replied the Frenchman. "They are cutting off heads by the thousands."
"Oy," moaned Slutsky, "and me in the hat business!"
Man's ugliness! Heads are being cut off in thousands, but Slutsky's problem is not those thousands of people dying. His problem is: "So many heads are being cut off, and me in the hat business!"
Everybody is concerned about his own small, selfish, ugly ego. That's why you cannot come out of your misery. Try to come out of the ego and you will be able to come out of the misery. Try to come out of the self.
Your so-called religious people go on teaching you, "Don't be selfish." Buddha says, "Don't be a self." And I also say to you: Don't be a self. The teaching, "Don't be selfish," has not helped. It can't help because it leaves the root untouched. The self is the root, and your religious people go on teaching - your so-called saints and mahatmas - "Don't be selfish." That simply means let the self be there, let the root remain. Just go on cutting off the branches and pruning the leaves. "Don't be selfish"... but then the root is there, it will sprout again; again leaves will come.
Buddha is the only enlightened master of the world who has gone to the very root of the problem. He says: Don't be a self. This is a great insight, a great contribution, one of the most precious. He says, "If you are a self, you will be selfish. Your selfishness may become otherworldly, spiritual; it will remain selfish. A self can only be selfish; a self can exist only in the climate of selfishness. If you try to be not selfish with the self intact, you will be only a hypocrite."
The word 'hypocrisy' comes from a root which means play-acting. You will be just acting a game, playing a game, pretending. You can't be selfish if the self is not there.
And how can the self be dropped? In fact, it is not there if you look in, so there is no need to drop it. All that is needed is a deep insight into your own inwardness. Look into your interiority - that's what meditation is all about - look in, and you will not find any self there. And when you don't find any self - it disappears like a shadow in the light - all selfishness disappears on its own accord.
Then a totally new quality comes to your existence. You are no longer concerned with creating misery for others; hence you can come out of YOUR misery. And the moment you see inwards, great intelligence is released, great creativity is released. That intelligence brings bliss and, ultimately, even takes you beyond bliss - beyond mind and beyond meditation. It brings you to the ultimate core of existence; peace, tranquility, silence, stillness.
You cease totally and only then you arrive. You enter into the world of God, or godliness, only when you are no more.
But before you can go in you will have to drop many stupid ideas that you have been carrying all along. You will have to drop all that you have been told and taught. You will have to drop all that you have been educated for.
Your whole society is rooted, based, in the idea of making your life comfortable. Not true, but only comfortable, convenient, so that you can live conveniently and you can die conveniently. Your whole society is based in providing tranquilizers for you. Your religion functions like a tranquilizer. Whenever you are in trouble you go to the rabbi, to the priest, to the imam, and they console you. Your child has died. You go to the rabbi, you go to the priest, and he says, "Don't be worried. God takes away only those whom he loves." He is consoling you! Your child has been chosen by God; your child is one of those chosen few.
If you go to the Hindu priest he will say, "Don't be worried. The soul is immortal, nothing dies. The child has only changed the house and he will get a better house, a new house. It is like changing an old car for a new model. So don't be worried." He consoles you. He does not help you with a radical change. His effort is to make your life as comfortable as possible. And you pay for this, naturally.
He serves you and you pay for it.
Jacobs and Lipkin, two Israeli commandos, were about to be shot by the Arabs.
Jacobs said, "I think I'm gonna ask for a blindfold."
Lipkin said, "Jake, don't make trouble."
People live just with this idea: Don't make trouble. Even when you are going to be shot - - at least at that time you can make a little trouble; you won't lose anything more. But this is our philosophy, our basic philosophy of life: Don't make trouble. So follow the tradition, follow the conventional. Be a conformist. Be a Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian. Go to the church. Don't make trouble. Don't stir the waters. Just keep yourself somehow alive, and die without making any trouble. Then you cannot come out of your misery.
To come out of the misery you will have to be a revolutionary. The greatest revolution in the world is to come out of the miserable patterns of life. You will have to change your whole psychology and you will have to risk many things. You will not be accepted by the society. Otherwise why was Socrates not accepted? Why was Jesus not accepted?
You will not be respected by the crowd. The crowd gives you respect only when you are part of the crowd. If you want respectability, then you have to be part of the crowd.
Then you have to be just a sheep and not a man.
Dwabha, you can come out of it. Be a lion!
Buddha used to say to his disciples, "Be a lion! Roar like a lion and come out of all kinds of slavery!" And whatsoever the risk, it is worth it.
The last question:
THE OTHER DAY IN DISCOURSE YOU WERE SCOFFING AT MIRACLES, YET THREE THOUSAND PEOPLE SITTING SILENTLY FEELING YOUR PRESENCE, LISTENING TO YOUR SONG AND THE BIRDS AND THE WIND - IS THIS NOT A MIRACLE IN ITSELF? OR ARE THERE REALLY NO MIRACLES?
Anand Prakash, listening to me, listening to the birds and the wind, being utterly silent here in a deep, loving communion... it is not a miracle in the sense the word is used. It is in fact the most natural thing. Man has become unnatural; hence it looks like a miracle.
It is because of man's becoming unnatural that such a simple thing looks like a miracle; otherwise it is natural, it is spontaneous.
You are not doing anything, I am not doing anything. We are together here; something is happening. Something is transpiring between me and you. Nobody is a doer, neither I nor you; it is happening on its own accord. In that sense it is simple, natural; but in another sense, you can use the word 'miracle'. It looks like a miracle because man has become so unnatural that to be silent even for a few minutes seems like a miracle.
It is as though a man who has lived in darkness his whole life is brought into light and for the first time sees the color of the flowers and the sunrays passing through the trees and the rainbow in the clouds, and starts shouting, "Miracles, miracles, miracles!"
You will say, "These are simple things, natural things. It is just because you have always lived in darkness. That's why these colors, these butterflies, these flowers, the green and the red and the gold of the trees, look like a miracle." But for him it is a miracle.
To me it is just natural; to you it may be a miracle. It depends from what standpoint you are looking at it.
But when I was scoffing at miracles, I meant miracles like Satya Sai Baba is doing:
producing Swiss watches. At least produce watches made in India - that would be a miracle! What is there of a miracle in a Swiss watch? I was laughing at these tricks, and I was saying there are no miracles in the sense that the universal law, dhamma, accepts no exception. Everything is natural and according to tao, according to dhamma, according to the universal nature of things. Nothing is against it; hence there are no miracles. These are all sleight-of-hand. These are just magic.
If you find a magician on the corner producing Swiss watches you won't call it a miracle. But the same man comes as a holy man, as a mahatma, and then immediately it becomes a miracle. Such miracles don't happen.
But a few miracles really happen. For example, just a few days before, a Polack has become the pope! Now this IS a miracle!
I would like to suggest to Buddha to make a few exceptions in his universal law. A Polack and a pope! - who has ever heard such a thing?
Once old Murphy was asked, "How do you spot a Polack at a cock fight?"
He said, "He is the one with the duck."
Then he was asked, "How do you know the Italians are there?"
He said, "They bet on the duck."
And then he was asked, "And how do you know the mafia is there?"
He said, "The duck wins."