Be in the world and be holy

Fri, 25 December 1979 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 8
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
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The first sutra:



Meditate over it as deeply as possible, because it contains one of the most fundamental truths. These four words will have to be understood, pondered over. The first is pleasure, the second, happiness; the third is joy, and the fourth is bliss.

Pleasure is physical, physiological. Pleasure is the most superficial thing in life; it is titillation. It can be sexual, it can be of other senses, it can become an obsession with food, but it is rooted in the body. The body is your periphery, your circumference; it is not your center. And to live on the circumference is to live on the mercy of all kinds of things that go on happening around you. The man who seeks pleasure remains at the mercy of accidents.

It is like the waves in the ocean; they are at the mercy of the winds. When strong winds come, they are there; when winds disappear, they disappear. They don't have an independent existence; they are dependent, and anything that is dependent on the other brings bondage.

Pleasure is dependent on the other. If you love a woman, if that is your pleasure, then that woman becomes your master. If you love a man, if that is your pleasure and you feel unhappy, in despair, sad, without him, then you have created a bondage for yourself. You have created a prison, you are no more in freedom.

If you are a seeker after money and power, then you will be dependent on money and power. The man who goes on accumulating money, if it is his pleasure to have more and more money, will become more and more miserable - because the more he has, the more he wants, and the more he has, the more he is afraid to lose it. A double-edged sword: the more he wants... the first edge of the sword. Hence he becomes more and more miserable.

The more you demand, desire, the more you feel yourself lacking something, the more hollow, empty, you appear to yourself. On the other hand - the other edge of the sword - is that the more you have, the more you are afraid it can be taken away; it can be stolen. The bank can go bankrupt, the political situation in the country can change, the country can go communist. There are a thousand and one things upon which your money depends. Your money does not make you a master, it makes you a slave.

Pleasure is peripheral; hence it is bound to depend on the outer circumstances. And it is only titillation.

If food is pleasure, what actually is being enjoyed? - just the taste! For a moment, when the food passes your taste buds on the tongue, you feel a sensation which you interpret as pleasure. It is your interpretation. Today it may look like pleasure and tomorrow it may not look like pleasure. If you go on eating the same food every day your buds on the tongue will become nonresponsive to it. Soon you will be fed up with it - that's how people become fed up.

One day you are running after a man or a woman and the next day you are trying to find an excuse to get rid of the other. The same person, nothing has changed! What has happened meanwhile? You are bored with the other, because the whole pleasure was in knowing the new. Now the other is no longer new; you are acquainted with the territory of the other. You are acquainted with the body of the other, the curves of the body, the feel of the body. Now the mind is hankering for something new.

The mind is always hankering for something new. That's how mind keeps you always tethered somewhere in the future. It keeps you hoping, but it never delivers the goods - it cannot. It can only create new hopes, new desires.

Just as leaves grow on the trees, desires and hopes grow in the mind. You wanted a new house and now you have it - and where is the pleasure? Just for the moment it was there, when you achieved your goal. Once you have achieved your goal, your mind is no longer interested in it; it has already started spinning new webs of desire. It has already started thinking of other, bigger houses. And this is so about everything.

Pleasure keeps you in a neurotic state, restless, always in turmoil. So many desires, and every desire unquenchable, clamoring for attention. You remain a victim of a crowd of insane desires - insane because they are unfulfillable - and they go on dragging you into different directions. You become a contradiction.

One desire takes you to the left, another towards the right, and simultaneously you go on nourishing both the desires. And then you feel a split, then you feel divided, then you feel torn apart, then you feel like you are falling into pieces. Nobody is responsible.

It is the whole stupidity of desiring pleasure that creates this.

And it is a complex phenomenon. You are not the only one who is seeking pleasure; millions of people just like you are seeking the same pleasures. Hence there is great struggle, competition, violence, war. All have become enemies to each other because they are all seeking the same goal, and they all can't have it; hence the struggle has to be total. You have to risk all - for nothing, because when you gain, you gain nothing, and your whole life is wasted in this struggle. A life which might have been a celebration becomes a long, drawn out, unnecessary struggle.

When you are so much after pleasure you cannot love, because the man who seeks pleasure uses the other as a means. And to use the other as a means is one of the most immoral acts possible, because each being is an end unto himself, you cannot use the other as a means. But in pleasure-seeking you have to use the other as a means. You become cunning because it is such a struggle. If you are not cunning you will be deceived, and before others deceive you, you have to deceive them.

Machiavelli has advised pleasure-seekers that the best way of defense is to attack.

Never wait for the other to attack you; that may be too late. Before the other attacks you, you attack him! That is the best way of defense. And this is being followed, whether you know Machiavelli or not.

This is something very strange: people know about Christ, about Buddha, about Mohammed, about Krishna; nobody follows them. People don't know much about Chanakya and Machiavelli, but people follow them - as if Machiavelli and Chanakya are very close to your heart! You need not read them, you are already following them.

Your whole society is based on Machiavellian principles; that's what the whole political game is all about. Before somebody snatches anything from you, snatch it from the other. Be always on guard. Naturally, if you are always on guard you will be tense, anxious, worried. And the struggle IS such and it is constant. You are one, and the enemies are millions.

For example, if in India you want to become the prime minister, then millions of people, who also want to become the prime minister, are your enemies. And who does not want to become the prime minister? One may say, one may not say. So everyone is against you and you are against everybody else. This small life of seventy, eighty years, will be wasted into some utterly futile effort. Pleasure is not and cannot be the goal of life.

The second word to be understood is happiness. Happiness is psychological, pleasure is physiological. Happiness is a little better, a little more refined, a little higher, but not very much different from pleasure. You can say that pleasure is a lower kind of happiness and happiness is a little higher kind of pleasure - two sides of the same coin.

Pleasure is a little primitive, animal; happiness is a little more cultured, a little more human - but it is the same game played in the world of the mind. You are not so much concerned with physiological sensations; you are much more concerned with psychological sensations. But basically they are not different; hence Buddha has not talked about four words, he has talked about only two.

The third is joy; joy is spiritual. It is different, totally different from pleasure, happiness.

It has nothing to do with the other; it is inner. It is not dependent on circumstances; it is your own. It is not a titillation produced by things; it is a state of peace, of silence, a meditative state. It is spiritual.

But Buddha has not talked about joy either, because there is still one thing that goes beyond joy. He calls it bliss. Bliss is total. It is neither physiological nor psychological nor spiritual. It knows no division, it is indivisible. It is total in one sense and transcendental in another sense. Buddha only talks about two words. The first is pleasure; it includes happiness. The second is bliss; it includes joy.

Bliss means you have reached to the very innermost core of your being. It belongs to the ultimate depth of your being where even the ego is no more, where only silence prevails; you have disappeared. In joy you are a little bit, but in bliss you are not. The ego has dissolved; it is a state of nonbeing.

Buddha calls it nirvana. Nirvana means you have ceased to be; you are just an infinite emptiness like the sky. And the moment you are that infinity, you become full of the stars, and a totally new life begins. You are reborn.

Pleasure is momentary, of time, for the time being; bliss is nontemporal, timeless.

Pleasure begins and ends; bliss abides forever. Pleasure comes and goes; bliss never comes, never goes - it is already there in the innermost core of your being. Pleasure has to be snatched away from the other; you become either a beggar or a thief. Bliss makes you a master. Bliss is not something that you invent but something that you discover.

Bliss is your innermost nature. It has been there since the very beginning, you just have not looked at it, you have taken it for granted. You don't look inwards.

This is the only misery of man: that he goes on looking outwards, seeking and searching. And you cannot find it in the outside because it is not there.

One evening, Rabiya was searching for something on the street in front of her small hut.

The sun was setting; slowly slowly darkness was descending. A few people gathered.

They asked the old woman - she was a famous Sufi mystic - "What are you doing?

What have you lost? What are you searching for?"

She said, "I have lost my needle."

The people said, "Now the sun is setting and it will be very difficult to find the needle, but we will help you. Where exactly has it fallen? - because the road is big and the needle is so small. If we know the exact place it will be easier to find it."

Rabiya said, "If you don't ask me that question, that will be better - because in fact it has not fallen on the road at all! It has fallen inside my house."

The people started laughing and they said, "We had always thought that you are a little insane! If the needle has fallen inside the house, then why are you searching on the road?"

Rabiya said, "For a simple, logical reason: inside the house there is no light and on the outside a little light is still there."

The people laughed and started dispersing.

Rabiya called them and said, "Listen! That's exactly what you are doing; I was just following your example. You go on seeking bliss in the outside world without asking the first and primary question: Where have you lost it? And I tell you, you have lost it inside. You are looking for it on the outside, for the simple, logical reason that your senses open outwards - there is a little more light. Your eyes look outwards, your ears hear outwards, your hands reach outwards; that's the simple reason why you are searching there. Otherwise, I tell you, you have not lost it outside - and I tell you on my own authority. I have also searched on the outside for many, many lives, and the day I looked in I was surprised. There was no need to seek and search; it has always been there."

Bliss is your innermost core. Pleasure you have to beg from others; naturally you become dependent. Bliss makes you a master. Bliss is not something that happens; it is already the case.

Buddha says: THERE IS PLEASURE AND THERE IS BLISS. FORGO THE FIRST TO POSSESS THE SECOND. Stop looking on the outside. Look within, turn in. Start seeking and searching in your own interiority, into your own subjectivity. Bliss is not an object to be found anywhere else; it is your consciousness.

In the East we have always defined the ultimate truth as SAT-CHIT-ANAND. SAT means truth, CHIT means consciousness, ANAND means bliss. They are all three faces of the same reality. This is the true trinity - not God the Father, and the Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost; that is not the true trinity. The true trinity is truth, consciousness, bliss. And they are not separate phenomena, but one energy expressing in three ways, one energy having three faces. Hence in the East we say God is TRIMURTI - God has three faces. These are the real faces, not Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh. Those are for the children - spiritually, metaphysically, for the immature.

Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh: those names are for the beginners.

Truth, consciousness, bliss - these are the ultimate truths. First comes truth; as you enter in, you become aware of your eternal reality: sat, truth. As you go deeper into your reality, into your sat, into your truth, you become aware of consciousness, a tremendous consciousness. All is light, nothing is dark. All is awareness, nothing is unawareness. You are just a flame of consciousness, not even a shadow of unconsciousness anywhere. And when you enter still deeper, then the ultimate core is bliss - anand.

Buddha says: Forgo everything that you have thought up to now meaningful, significant. Sacrifice everything for this ultimate because this is the only thing that will make you contented, that will make you fulfilled, that will bring spring to your being...

and you will blossom into a thousand and one flowers.

Pleasure will keep you a driftwood. Pleasure will make you more and more cunning; it will not give you wisdom. And it will make you more and more a slave; it will not give you the kingdom of God. It will make you more and more calculating, it will make you more and more exploitative. It will make you more and more political, diplomatic. You will start sucking people; that's what people are doing.

The husband says to the wife, "I love you," but in reality he simply uses her. The wife says she loves the husband, but she is simply using him. The husband may be using her as a sexual object and the wife may be using him as a financial security.

Pleasure makes everybody cunning, deceptive. And to be cunning is to miss the bliss of being innocent, is to miss the bliss of being a child.

At Lockheed, a part was needed for a new airplane and an announcement was sent around the world to get the lowest bid. From Poland came a bid of three thousand dollars. England offered to build the part for six thousand. The asking price from Israel was nine thousand. Richardson, the engineer in charge of constructing the new plane, decided to visit each country to find the reason behind the disparity of the bids.

In Poland, the manufacturer explained, "One thousand for the materials needed, one thousand for the labor, and one thousand for overhead and a tiny profit."

In England, Richardson inspected the part and found that it was almost as good as the Polish-made one. "Why are you asking six thousand?" inquired the engineer.

"Two thousand for material," explained the Englishman, "two thousand for labor, and two thousand for expenses and a small profit."

In Israel, the Lockheed representative wandered through a back alley into a small shop and encountered an elderly man who had submitted the bid of nine thousand dollars.

"Why are you asking that much?" he asked.

"Well," said the old Jew, "three thousand for you, three thousand for me, and three thousand for the schmuck in Poland!"

Money, power, prestige - they all make you cunning.

Seek pleasure and you will lose your innocence; and to lose your innocence is to lose all.

Jesus says: be like a small child, only then can you enter into my kingdom of God. And he is right. But the pleasure-seeker cannot be as innocent as a child. He has to be very clever, very cunning, very political; only then can he succeed in this cut-throat competition that exists all around. Everybody is at everybody else's throat. You are not living amongst friends. The world cannot be friendly unless we drop this idea of competitiveness.

But we bring every child.... From the very beginning we start poisoning every child with this poison of competitiveness. By the time he will be coming out of the university he will be completely poisoned. We have hypnotized him with the idea that he has to fight with others, that life is a survival of the fittest. Then life can never be a celebration.

Then life can never have any kind of religiousness in it. Then it cannot be pious, holy.

Then it cannot have any quality of sacredness. Then it is all mean, ugly.



Naturally. If you are happy at the expense of another man's happiness - and that is how you can be happy, there is no other way. If you find a beautiful woman and somehow manage to possess her, you have snatched her away from others' hands. We make things look as beautiful as possible, but that is only the appearance. Now the others who have lost in the game, they are angry, they are in a rage. They will wait for their opportunity to take revenge, and sooner or later the opportunity will be there.

Whatsoever you possess in this world you possess at somebody else's expense, at the cost of somebody else's pleasure. There is no other way. If you really want not to be inimical to anybody in the world, you have to drop the whole idea of possessiveness.

Use whatsoever happens to be with you in the moment, but don't be possessive. Don't try to claim that it is yours. Nothing is yours, all is God's.

We come with empty hands and we will go with empty hands, so what is the point of claiming so much in the meantime?

But this is what we know, what the world is: possess, dominate, have more than the others have. And it may be money or it may be virtue; it does not matter in what kind of coins you deal - they may be worldly, they may be otherworldly. But be very clever, otherwise you will be exploited. Exploit and don't be exploited - that is the subtle message given to you with your mother's milk. And every school, college, university, is rooted in the idea: compete.

A real education will not teach you to compete; it will teach you to cooperate. It will not teach you to fight and come first. It will teach you to be creative, to be loving, to be blissful, without any comparison with the other. It will not teach you that you can be happy only when you are the first. That is sheer nonsense. You can't be happy just by being first. And in trying to be first you go through such misery that you become habituated to misery by the time you become the first.

By the time you become the president or the prime minister of a country you have gone through such misery that now misery is your second nature. You don't know now any other way to exist; you remain miserable. Tension has become ingrained, anxiety has become your way of life. You don't know any other way; this is your very style. So even though you have become the first you remain cautious, anxious, afraid. It does not change your inner quality at all.

A real education will not teach you to be the first. It will tell you to enjoy whatsoever you are doing, not for the result but for the act itself. Just like a painter or a dancer or a musician....

You can paint in two ways. You can paint to compete with other painters; you want to be the greatest painter in the world, you want to be a Picasso or a Van Gogh. Then your painting will be second-rate, because your mind is not interested in painting itself; it is interested in being the first, the greatest painter in the world. You are not going deep into the art of painting. You are not enjoying it, you are only using it as a stepping- stone. You are on an ego trip.

And the problem is: to really be a painter, you have to drop the ego completely. To really be a painter, the ego has to be put aside. Only then can God flow through you.

Only then can he use your hands and your fingers and your brush. Only then something of superb beauty can be born.

It is never BY you but only THROUGH you. Existence flows; you become only a passage. You allow it to happen, that's all; you don't hinder, that's all.

But if you are too interested in the result, the ultimate result - that you have to become famous, that you have to win the Nobel Prize, that you have to be the first painter in the world, that you have to defeat all other painters hitherto - then your interest is not in painting; painting is secondary. And of course, with a secondary interest in painting you can't paint something original; it will be ordinary.

Ego cannot bring anything extraordinary into the world; the extraordinary comes only through egolessness. And so is the case with the musician and the poet and the dancer.

And so is the case with everybody.

In the Gita, Krishna says: Don't think of the result at all. It is a message of tremendous beauty and significance and truth. Don't think of the result at all. Just do what you are doing with your totality. Get lost into it. Lose the doer in the doing. Don't be - let your creative energies flow unhindered.

That's why he said to Arjuna, "Don't escape from the war... because I can see this is just an ego trip, this escape. The way you are talking simply shows that you are calculating:

that you are thinking that by escaping from the war you will become a great mahatma.

Rather than surrendering to God, to the whole, you are taking yourself too seriously: as if, if you are not there, there will be no war."

Krishna says to Arjuna, "Listen to me. Just be in a state of let-go. Say to God, 'Use me in whatsoever way you want to use me. Use me! I am available, unconditionally available.'

Then whatsoever happens through you will have a great authenticity about it. It will have intensity, it will have depth. It will have the impact of the eternal on it. It will be signed by God, not by you. And you will rejoice because God has chosen you to be a vehicle."


And happiness, pleasure, depend on exploitation. You are always at the expense of somebody else. You come first in the university - what about those thousands of other students who were also struggling to come first? It is at their expense that you have come first.

Jesus says: Remember, those who are first in this world will be the last in my kingdom of God, and those who are the last will be the first. He has given you the fundamental law - AES DHAMMO SANANTANO - he has given you the inexhaustible, eternal law: Stop trying to be the first.

But remember one thing which is very much possible, because the mind is so cunning it can distort every truth. You can start trying to be the last - but then you miss the whole point. Then another competition starts: that I'm to be the last, and if somebody else says, "I am the last," then the struggle, then the conflict.

I have heard a Sufi parable:

A great emperor, Nadirshah, was praying. It was early morning; the sun had not yet risen, it was still dark. Nadirshah was to start on that day a new conquest of a new country. Of course he was praying to God for his blessings to be victorious. He was saying to God, "I am nobody, I am just a servant - a servant of your servants. Bless me.

I am going on YOUR work, this is your victory. And I am nobody, remember. I am just a servant of your servants."

The priest was also by his side, helping him in prayer, functioning as a mediator between him and God.

And then suddenly they heard in the darkness another voice. A beggar of the town was also praying, and he was saying to God, "I am also nobody, a servant of your servants."

The king said to the priest, "Look at this beggar! He is a beggar and saying to God that 'I am nobody'! Stop this nonsense! Who are you to say you are nobody before me? I am nobody, and nobody else can claim this. And I am the servant of his servants - and who are you to say that you are the servant of the servants?"

Now you see, the competition is still there, the same competition, the same stupidity.

Nothing has changed. The same calculation: "I have to be the last. Nobody else can be allowed to be the last."

Mind can go on playing such games on you if you are not very understanding, if you are not very intelligent.

One thing Buddha wants you to remember is: never try to be happy at the expense of another man's happiness. That is ugly, inhuman. That is violence in the true sense. If you are a saint by condemning others as sinners, your saintliness is nothing but a new ego trip. If you are holy because you are trying to prove others unholy... and that's what your holy people go on doing. They go on bragging about their holiness, saintliness.

Go to your so-called saints and look into their eyes. They have such condemnation for you. They are saying that you are all bound towards hell. They go on condemning.

Listen to their sermons; all their sermons are condemnatory. And of course you listen silently to their condemnations because you know also that you have made many mistakes in your life, errors in your life. And they have condemned everything so it is impossible to feel that you can be good - impossible. You love food, you are a sinner.

You love your children, you are a sinner. You love your wife, you are a sinner. You don't get up early in the morning, you are a sinner. You don't go to bed early in the evening, you are a sinner. They have arranged everything in such a way that it is very difficult not to be a sinner.

Yes, THEY are not sinners - they go early to bed and they get up early in the morning.

In fact, they have nothing else to do! And they never commit any mistakes because they never do anything. They are just sitting there almost dead. They are mummies, corpses, full of rubbish! But because they don't do anything they are holy. And if you do something, of course, how can you be holy? Hence for centuries the holy man has been renouncing the world and escaping from the world, because to be in the world and be holy seems to be impossible.

My whole approach is: unless you ARE in the world your holiness is of no worth at all.

Be in the world and be holy! Then we have to define holiness in a totally different way.

Don't live at the expense of others' pleasures - that is holiness. Don't destroy others' happiness - that is not holiness. Help others to be happy. Create the climate in which everybody can have a little joy.

And what have your saints done? They have done just the opposite. They have created a climate in which everybody is living in hell - and they are holy. They have condemned God's world and they have taught you to renounce it.

If God is against the world he should have renounced it himself! But he has not yet renounced. Still the spring comes and the flowers bloom, the bees buzz and the birds sing... and the sun still rises, and the night is full of stars. Still new babies go on coming.

God has not stopped creation.

It is all nonsense that in six days he created the world and since then he has retired - it is all nonsense! He can't have a single holiday, because if God goes for a single holiday we will all be dead. Then who will breathe life into us? Then who will be the color in the flowers and the wings of the birds? And who will be the light in the sun and the greenness of the grass? If for twenty-four hours he goes on a holiday, if he has a Sunday, finished - everything is finished! He can't have a holiday - and he need not have.

He loves the world; it is his creation. It is not work, it is creativity. It is his joy, it is his play. Do you think on Sunday morning birds don't sing because it is Sunday and they are not going to do any work? Sunday or Monday, it makes no difference. The birds sing and the trees grow and you breathe and existence continues in its celebration without any gap, without any discontinuity.

God has not renounced the world - and your saints are bigger than God, higher than God, holier than God himself! My own feeling is: God must be afraid of your saints.

That's why he never appears before them - because they will condemn him. They will tell him how many mistakes and how many sins he has committed, and they will ask him how many fasts he has done and how many prayers he is doing every day. And of course he will be at a loss - he does not pray and he does not fast and he does not read the holy scriptures! He will look very irreligious.

But these saints had to create this idea: that your life is a sin. You are conceived in sin and you live in sin, and in death you will be dying as a sinner. You are doomed! That gives them great joy. They feel holier-than-thou, they feel they are saved - the chosen few.

I tell you, there is no difference between a sinner and a saint. All are chosen and all will be saved - all ARE saved. God is always surrounding you. What more do you need?

Everybody is saved.

But if this is the truth, then your saints will start disappearing - with their big egos. It will be very difficult for them to exist. They are living at your expense. The worse sinner they prove you to be, the more saintly they look; hence they have invented many things. Catholics have confession. It is a great joy to the priest to listen to everybody's sins. The more you talk about your sin, the more he feels holy.


The dumbest kid in class showed up at the reunion with a gorgeous blond on his arm and a Cadillac at the curb. He showered drinks on everybody. Stunned, one old friend asked, "How did you do it, Abe? You were always slow in math."

"Well," said Abe, "you buy something for a dollar and you sell it for two and that lousy one percent really adds up!"

That's what everybody is doing, whether you know mathematics or you don't.

Everybody is exploiting everybody else. Everybody's hand is in somebody else's pocket; and he may not be able to detect it because his own hand is in somebody else's pocket.

But then you will depend on the others, YOU ARE FOREVER BOUND. Whomsoever you exploit, on the surface you seem to be the master of the situation, but really you are a slave.

The new neighbor joined the mah-jongg group for the first time, and all the ladies gaped at the huge diamond she wore. "It is the third most famous diamond in the world," she told the women. "First is the Kohinoor diamond, then the Hope diamond, and then this one - the Horowitz diamond."

"It is beautiful!" said Mrs. Fisch, "You are so lucky!"

"Not so lucky," sighed the newcomer. "Unfortunately, with the famous Horowitz diamond, I am afflicted with the famous Horowitz curse."

"What is that?" asked Mrs. Fisch.

"Mr. Horowitz," said the woman.

That's how it is: if you depend on someone for your happiness you are becoming a slave, you are becoming dependent, you are creating a bondage. And you depend on so many people; they all become subtle masters and they all exploit you in return. It is a mutual arrangement, remember. Exploitation is never a one-way traffic. The husband thinks he is the master, and the wife smiles because she knows better who is the master.

One day Mulla Nasruddin's wife was running after him with a stick. To save himself he slipped underneath the bed. The wife is a fat woman and she could not enter.

Mulla said, "Now you know who is the master of the house!"

And then exactly at that moment, somebody knocked on the door; some neighbors had come. The wife started asking Mulla to come out. "We can finish this quarrel later on.

Now the neighbors are there."

Mulla said, "Let them come! Let everybody know once and for all who is the master of this house! I am the master, and wherever I want to sit I will sit!"

What kind of mastery is this - sitting underneath the bed?

But every husband thinks that he is the master and every wife thinks that she is the master. Even small children... parents think they are the masters; they are wrong. The children know how to manipulate you, they know how to create trouble for you - in the right moment. When the neighbors are in the house they start exploiting you, they start demanding this and that. When you are in the marketplace, in the shopping center, they create a tantrum, and you have to purchase the toy they want. If others were not there you would have given them a good beating - but when others are there you are very polite, very cultured. Let the neighbors come, then they will see! They have their own times, opportunities, when to manipulate you.

Every child knows - even a small child knows - how to exploit the mother, the father, and when. When the father starts reading his newspaper, he starts asking questions. He won't allow the father to read the newspaper unless his demands are fulfilled.

Everybody in his own way tries to be the master of the other. And in fact, it is a strange situation: everybody has become in a sense the master of others, and also a slave of others. It is a double-bind situation. We are all interdependent; we are both jailors and prisoners.


Buddha says: You go on doing that which you should not - and you know it; and you go on doing things which harm you, harm others. Still you persist in doing them because you seem to be almost incapable of remaining conscious. You are so unconscious; that's why you do not what you should and you do what you should not.

He is not giving you commandments: that you should do this and you should not do that. He is simply making it clear to you that you are so unconscious that you go on harming yourself and others. You have to become conscious. With consciousness, your life starts changing.

Women's liberation has become an integral part of Egyptian society despite the traditional disapproval of girls who date many different men.

One night, Sabra was sitting in a car with a boy who began kissing her passionately while removing her dress. She started to sob.

"Why are you crying?" he asked.

"I am afraid you will take me for the wrong kind of girl. I am not that kind."

"Stop crying - I believe you."

"You are the first man," sobbed Sabra.

"You mean I am the first man to do this with you?"

"No. You are the first man to believe me."

People don't know what they are doing, don't know what they are saying. People know only when they have done it, only when they have said it. People know only when it is too late to change anything, when the harm is already done.

YOU ARE RECKLESS, AND DESIRE GROWS. And in this unconscious soil nothing but desire grows. Desire is like weeds. If you don't look after your garden, roses will disappear soon and there will be weeds and weeds.

Mulla Nasruddin has purchased a new house and he planted a beautiful garden, a beautiful lawn. Then a new neighbor moved into the empty house by the side of Mulla's house. He was enchanted with Mulla's garden and his lawn. He said, "I would also like to make a beautiful lawn, but how do you know what is grass and what is just weeds?"

Mulla said, "Very simple. You pull out both and throw them. Whatsoever grows again on its own is weeds."

Weeds grow on their own; you need not take any care of them. That's how it is with the unconscious desires: they grow on their own. They are rooted in your biology, in your past, in your physiology, in your hormones, in your chemistry.

Consciousness has to be deliberate. One has to make arduous effort to be conscious.

And when you are conscious you do that which should be done and you do not do that which should not be done.

Buddha is not giving you detailed information about what should be done and what should not be done. That is the difference between Buddha and other masters. He simply gives you the master key which unlocks all the locks; there is no need to go on carrying a thousand keys for every lock.

Buddha says: Be conscious and that's enough. Then things will start changing in your life.


That is the fundamental key.


Now this word 'discrimination' is not the right translation. Buddha's word is VIVEK.

Vivek can be translated in two ways: either as "discrimination" or as "awareness."

Whenever Buddha and Mahavira use the word 'vivek' they use it in the sense of awareness, never in the sense of discrimination - because discrimination means thinking. You are thinking, "This is good and this is not good. This I should do and this I should not do."

Awareness is not thinking; it is clear insight. It is not a question of choosing - awareness is choiceless. You simply know that this is the only thing that can be done; there is no alternative. You don't choose, you don't weigh which is better. You simply know - your whole heart knows - that this is so, and you can't go against it.

IN ALL HIS ACTIONS HE is aware, AND HE BECOMES PURE. Awareness brings purity, innocence.



In Buddha's time, these were considered to be the greatest crimes: to kill your own father and mother, and to kill the king.

Buddha says: A man who becomes aware, for him his whole past is like a dream; it disappears without leaving even a trace behind it. It is as if in the dream you kill your father and mother and when in the morning you wake up, do you go to the priest to confess that you have committed a great sin? - you killed your father and mother in the dream. Or do you go to apologize to your parents, that "Forgive me - I killed you last night"? You simply forget all about it. It is a dream, it doesn't matter. The father and mother are not killed.

Buddha says: When you become aware, all that you have done in your unawareness, in your unconsciousness, in your sleep, in your metaphysical sleep, is nothing but a dream.

And remember: bad deeds are dreams, good deeds are dreams. Your being a sinner in a dream is a dream as much as your being a saint. When you wake up you are neither a sinner nor a saint. You are simply awareness.

Once Buddha was asked, "Who are you? Are you a god?"

He said, "No."

"Are you an angel?"

He said, "No."

"Are you a CHAKRAVARTIN - a great emperor of all the world?"

He said, "No."

The questioner was very much puzzled. He said, "You go on saying no to everything.

At least you must be a human being! Now you cannot say no."

Buddha laughed and said, "Yes, I will still say no!"

"Then who are you?" the man asked, annoyed.

Buddha said, "I am just awareness. All these human beings and angels and gods, they were part of my metaphysical sleep. That sleep is no longer there; I have become awakened."

That's exactly the meaning of the word 'buddha': one who has become awakened, one who is enlightened, one who is no longer dreaming. And when you are not dreaming, you have clarity, you can see. And that very seeing becomes the determining factor of your life. Only then you do that which should be done and you don't do that which should not be done.

It is not a question of discriminating between right and wrong. It is a question of coming out of your sleep.

Wake up!

Enough for today.

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"Amongst the spectacles to which 20th century invites
us must be counted the final settlement of the destiny of
European Jews.

There is every evidence that, now that they have cast their dice,
and crossed their Rubicon, there only remains for them to become
masters of Europe or to lose Europe, as they lost in olden times,
when they had placed themselves in a similar position (Nietzsche).

(The Secret Powers Behind Revolution,
by Vicomte Leon De Poncins, p. 119).