Be on guard

Fri, 11 February 1980 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 9
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
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Gautama the Buddha has given to the world the most psychological religion. It is incomparable; no other religion even comes close to it. Its heights, its depths, are tremendous. And the reason why Buddha succeeded in giving such a beautiful vision of life is very simple: he did not believe; he inquired, he explored. He did not believe in the tradition, he did not believe in the scriptures, he did not believe in the priests.

This was one of his fundamentals: that unless you know, you don't know. You can borrow knowledge, you can become knowledgeable, well informed, a scholar, a pundit, a professor, but you will not be a seer. Deep down the ignorance will persist and will affect your life. Deep down you will remain the same childish self, immature, ungrounded, uncentered, unintegrated. You will not be an individual, you won't have any authenticity. You will be pseudo, false, phony.

It is a quantum leap into the unknown. When you don't believe in the tradition, when you don't believe in the scriptures, when you don't believe in anything except your own experience, you are going into the unknown all alone. It needs guts, it needs courage.

And only a courageous person can be truly religious.

Cowards are there in the churches, in the temples, in the mosques in millions, but they don't create any religious beauty, any religious fragrance in the world. They don't make the world more beautiful, more alive, more sensitive. They don't create anything. They only go on doing formalities, rituals. They themselves are dead and they go on deceiving others; they themselves are deceived.

Borrowed knowledge creates great deception because you start feeling as if you know - and that "as if" is a big "as if."

Truth liberates, belief binds. Truth liberates because it has to be yours; it has to be an inner experience, an encounter with that which is.

Buddha is a nonbeliever. He is not an atheist like Karl Marx or Friedrich Nietzsche; neither is he a theist like all the priests of all the religions. He is an agnostic. He neither believes nor disbelieves; he is open. That is his great gift to the world: to be open to truth.

Go utterly naked, without any conclusions, without any ideology, any prejudice.

Otherwise there is every possibility that you will project your own idea. You will not see that which is, you will see only that which you want to see. You will be creating your own reality which is bound to be false. Reality has not to be invented, it has to be discovered. It is already there. And remember, it is not the reality which is hidden, it is your eyes which are covered with layers of dust.

Buddha gave to the world a nonmetaphysical religion, a psychological religion. He simply helps you to go beyond mind. He helps you to understand the mind because it is only through understanding that transcendence happens.

But when I say that Buddha has given the most psychological religion to the world, don't misunderstand me. He has not given a psychology; he has given a psychological religion which is a totally different phenomenon. He has not given a psychology like Sigmund Freud, Carl Gustav Jung, Adler, Pavlov, Skinner, etcetera. These people are confined to the mind; they think mind is all. There is nothing beyond the mind, so analyze the mind. If you have found the truth of the mind you have found the truth, according to them. That is beginning with a wrong attitude.

Man is neither the body nor the mind. Man is the awareness within which can look at the body, which can look at the mind, which is capable of witnessing all. You are the witness.

Hence I say, Buddha has not given a psychology. A psychology is a very ordinary phenomenon. It does not bring transformation to your life because it cannot bring any transcendence. At the most it helps you to be a little more adjusted to yourself and to the world that surrounds you, to the society, to the people with whom you have to live.

It helps you to become a little more adjusted.

Psychology is basically orthodox; it is not revolutionary, it cannot be. It serves the status quo, it serves the establishment. It keeps you within the boundaries; it does not help you to go beyond the boundaries. It is not in your service. It is controlled by those who are in power - by the state, by the church, by the society. In a very disguised way it keeps you tethered to the collective mind. It does not help you to become an individual, because to be an individual is to be rebellious, to be an individual is to go on your own, to be an individual is to be a danger to the society. Capitalist, communist, whatsoever the society is - Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan - it doesn't matter; the individual is a danger because the individual tries to live out of his own light. He does not follow anybody. He is not a follower, he is not an imitator.

Buddha gives a psychological religion. Religion means he helps you to understand the mind so that you can go beyond it - not so that you can become adjusted to the collective but so that you can rise to the heights of your individuality, to the peaks of your destiny.

Psychology believes that man lacks meaning in his life and meaning can come only through therapy. Psychology in essence means meaning through therapy. And religion is just the opposite; religion means therapy through meaning. Religion gives you meaning first and then automatically the meaning becomes a healing force, it becomes therapeutic.

Buddha says again and again that, "I am a healer," that "I am a physician," that "My function is not that of a philosopher but that of a physician. I help people to become healthier, to become whole." And what is his process? His process is to impart meaning to your life. That too he does in a profoundly new way; it has never been done before like that. He does not give you an arbitrary meaning because the arbitrary meaning will be seen sooner or later to be arbitrary, and the moment it collapses you will fall into deep darkness. The darkness will be far darker than it was before. Now you have lost meaning. You will feel suicidal; you will not feel life is worth living at all. Even breathing will become hard, difficult. The question will arise: Why? Why should I go on living if there is no meaning?

Buddha does not give you any arbitrary meaning. Hence I say he has no metaphysics.

He helps you to discover the intrinsic meaning of your life. He does not give you meaning, but he gives you methods and means to discover the meaning that you are already carrying within yourself like a seed.

Psychologists go on saying: First seek ye the kingdom of Freud, Jung, Adler, Pavlov, Skinner and company, and then all else shall be added unto you. It never happens; it has never happened yet to a single individual. It can't happen in the very nature of things. Even Freud knows no meaning, lives without meaning, lives deep down in despair. He says that there is no hope for man, that man can never be happy, it is impossible. It must be his own understanding, his own experience of life. He says that at the most we can help man to be less miserable, that's all. What kind of goal is this? - helping man to be a little less miserable! It is not very appealing.

Man needs blissfulness, not less miserableness. Man needs something positive - something to live for and something to die for, something so full of worth that even life can be sacrificed to it. But it should not be arbitrary. There are many arbitrary meanings.

Adolf Hitler gave Germany an arbitrary meaning: Live for the Aryan race, live for the pure Nordic blood, because you are born to rule the world. He gave great hope, but it flopped. It was bound to happen. He himself committed suicide; that was almost destined.

Religions go on giving false meanings to your life. They go on talking of the other life, the beyond: "After death there is paradise for those who are virtuous and there is hell for those who are not virtuous." And who is virtuous? The person who follows the priest is the virtuous person. The person who does not follow the tradition, the convention, the person who is not a conformist, is bound for hell.

Yes, out of fear and greed you can give a little meaning to life, but it is so arbitrary, so artificial, that there is not a single individual on the earth who is so stupid that sooner or later he will not see the falsity of it.

And now man has come of age; hence religions are disappearing. There is no possibility in the future for Christianity, for Islam, for Hinduism, for Judaism, to exist. And if they want to exist they will have to change their whole outlook, their very foundations.

But there is every possibility for Buddha and his message to prevail. In fact, his day has come. He came twenty-five centuries ahead of his time. Now is the time, the right time for him. He does not talk of fear, he does not talk of greed, he does not talk of hell and heaven, he does not talk even about God. He is so modern, so contemporary; he belongs to our century. Even we are not so contemporary as he is. He destroys all the old structures. He frees religion from all frozen ideologies. He brings many revolutionary changes in the religious outlook.

First he says there is no need to be knowledgeable; one has to be innocent. It is through innocence that the truth is known, not through knowledge.

A neighbor was saying, "Your cat was making an awful noise last night."

The other replied, "You are right. Ever since she ate the canary, she thinks she can sing."

You can go on eating the scriptures; you will not be able to sing at all. You can know all the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gitas, the Korans, the Bibles, but you will remain as stupid as ever. Of course you will start bragging about your knowledgeability. You will start showing it, you will become an exhibitionist. Even when you don't know anything you will pretend that you know.

Spinster Peabody's proudest possession was Count, her exquisite cat. Unfortunately, he had been missing for two days. When she opened the freezer door, Miss Peabody nearly died of shock. There was Count frozen solid.

She immediately called the priest, who said there still might be a chance to save the poor animal. "Give it two tablespoons of gasoline," he told her.

With trembling hands, Miss Peabody opened Count's mouth and carefully spooned in the priest's strange prescription.

The seconds ticked away and nothing happened. She was about to give up hope when suddenly the cat opened his eyes, let out an ear-piercing screech and shot across the room at a hundred miles per hour, running over the furniture, the walls, even the ceiling. Count kept this up for two minutes and then suddenly stopped dead in his tracks, not moving a muscle.

Miss Peabody called the priest again.

"What do you think happened?" she asked.

"Simple," said the priest. "He ran out of gas."

The priests have all the answers. Ask them anything, any stupid thing. They can't say, "We don't know," that is impossible. The priests have never said that they are ignorant; their whole business depends upon their knowledgeability.

Socrates says: I know only one thing, that I know nothing. That is exactly Buddha's approach too - and Socrates and Buddha were contemporaries; they have much in common. If Socrates was born in India he would have been called a buddha. He also trusts innocence, the innocence of a child who knows nothing. If you can become a child again, then only the doors of the mysterious can open for you. You can see. The dust on your eyes is nothing but knowledge, information, scripture.

The psychotherapists are called by people "shrinks"; they are! A psychotherapist's whole effort is to reduce you; he is a reductionist. He studies rats, and whatsoever he comes to know about the rats he applies to you. It is so disgusting, so humiliating, so absurd, illogical! He studies the lowest to know the highest.

You can know nothing of the flower by studying the seed, by dissecting the seed, by analyzing the seed. For thousands of years you can go on analyzing the seed; you will never come across the colors of the rose, the lotus, or the fragrance. You will never know what fragrance was hidden in the seed. Analysis cannot yield it to you.

Studying rats and then applying that knowledge to man is simply saying that man is nothing but a kind of animal, a little more complex maybe, but nothing more than that.

Reductionism means always bringing things to "nothing buts."

The real understanding of man is only possible not by studying the rats but by studying the buddhas, the christs, the krishnas - the highest. By studying the peaks you will know exactly who you are, not by the lowest denominator but by the highest manifestation. When you study a buddha, a great longing arises in you to reach to those heights. When you study rats, then there is no longing. In fact, you feel very satisfied whatsoever you are. In fact, you feel greatly contented that you are a little better than the rats, a little more complex, a little more clever. You feel gratified. Religion disappears.

Religion lives in your longing to reach to the peaks, to attain to the ultimate heights, to bring your total potential into manifestation, into actuality. Religion is the science of self-actualization.

If a psychotherapist can be called a "shrink," then a real religious person should be called a "stretch." He stretches you to the ultimate possibilities.

Now the sutras:


Buddha will talk again and again about light and darkness; hence those two words have to be understood. They are metaphors. Buddha has to use metaphors. All the buddhas, all the awakened ones, have to use metaphors. The ordinary language is not enough, is very inadequate. When you start expressing something inner you feel the difficulty. The language has no words for it, or even if the words are there they are too small and the experience is too big. The experience cannot be contained in those words, hence the use of the metaphor.

A metaphor simply means, don't cling to the literal meaning of the word. Understand it as a finger pointing to the moon. Don't cling to the literal meaning; otherwise you will be in difficulty because then you will only misunderstand. A metaphor is a metaphor. It is poetry, it is not prose. You have to be a little poetic, a little imaginative, a little sympathetic to understand it. Literal meaning has been a disaster.

But that's how we always read. Even if we are reading a buddha we try to read him literally. Then light means light and darkness means darkness. That's not so.

Jack was home from college for the holidays. One day he asked his uneducated mother if he could tell her a narrative. His mother, not being used to such big words, asked him the meaning of 'narrative'.

"A narrative is a tale," Jack said.

That night, when going to bed, Jack asked his mother if he might extinguish the light.

She wanted to know the meaning of 'extinguish'.

"To put out," Jack said.

A few days later Jack's mother was giving a party at their home, and the cat wandered into the room. Jack's mother raised her voice and said confidently, "Jack, take the cat by the narrative and extinguish him."

Beware of that fallacy.

When Buddha uses the word 'light' he means the state of no-mind, because the state of no-mind is a state of tremendous light, as if thousands of suns have risen simultaneously within your soul. And whenever Buddha says 'darkness' he means the state of mind. Mind is dark; it is a dark night, not even a ray of light. And we all live in the mind, we all live in the dark night, and we have no idea of the dawn because we never go out of the mind. We cling to the mind. Mind is our blindness.

A man has eyes only when he goes beyond mind. Then he starts seeing things as they are. The mind distorts. The mind never allows you to see reality as it is; it projects. It does not allow the whole reality to penetrate to your heart. It allows only two percent; ninety-eight percent is rejected. And this two percent that is allowed in is distorted in a thousand and one ways - interpreted, colored - and by the time it reaches you it is no longer real. So you live in a very unreal world. If you live in the mind you live in dreams, you live in sleep.

So whenever Buddha says 'darkness', he means a state of unconsciousness, a mechanical state in which you function but you are not aware what you are doing, in which you move but your movement has no quality of alertness in it. You talk, you listen, you eat, you walk, you go to sleep, but like a zombie, unconscious. This is darkness.

When you start becoming more aware of what you are doing, of what you are thinking, of what you are feeling, when you become more and more aware, more and more light penetrates you. When you are a hundred percent aware you are full of light.

That's exactly the meaning of the word 'enlightened'. The word 'enlightened' is a translation for the word 'buddha'. Buddha means the enlightened one, the awakened one, the aware one. He says: FOR IF IN YOUR RENUNCIATION YOU ARE RECKLESS AND BREAK YOUR WORD, IF YOUR PURPOSE WAVERS, YOU WILL NOT FIND THE LIGHT.

Renunciation means sannyas. Renunciation can be of two types. The first type - the wrong type - is the renunciation that happens through fear or greed. You have been told that if you renounce the world then you will attain the pleasures of heaven. You have been told if you don't renounce you will suffer eternal pain and hell. Many people become afraid of hell and many people become greedy for heaven, and they renounce the world. This is a wrong renunciation.

Anything that you do out of fear and greed is bound to be wrong because fear and greed are unconscious states. Out of fear you have dreamed about hell, out of fear you have dreamed about heaven. There is no hell, no heaven. These are all your dreams.

When you are not dreaming at all, when the sleep has disappeared and you are awake, there is no heaven, no hell. That state Buddha calls "liberation": liberation from greed, liberation from fear.

And if you act out of awareness, if your renunciation happens out of awareness, it is true renunciation because then you really don't do anything, things start happening.

You see something is wrong; it drops, it simply drops. You don't have to make any effort. You see the ugliness of anger and anger evaporates; the very seeing becomes the transformation. You understand your desire and the futility of your desire - that it cannot be fulfilled, that it is unfulfillable, that you are in a vicious circle. Seeing it - that you are moving in circles - you jump out. This is also renunciation, but you don't jump out of desire for another desire: to get into heaven, to avoid hell. You are not jumping out of desire; you are only changing one desire for another. You are exchanging worldly desires with unworldly desires, but desire is desire. You can change the object, but the nature of desire remains the same.

This is a great contribution of Buddha to religious consciousness. He says: Don't renounce, let renunciation happen. If it happens on its own accord it has a beauty of its own, it has grace, and you never repent, you never look back. If you renounce, if you make effort, your renunciation will bring sadness to you. And many times you will start thinking whether you have done right or wrong. Many times your mind will waver, many times desire for the renounced will again surround you like a cloud. Many times you will be full of lust and greed and fear. Many times the world will attract you again.

That is natural.


It can happen only in a wrong kind of renunciation that your purpose wavers, because when you renounce with effort it is always a halfhearted affair. A part of your mind says, "Renounce, because if you don't renounce you will suffer." A part of your mind says, "Don't renounce. Who knows whether there is any life after death or not? And who knows whether renunciation is rewarded or not? Nobody comes back from the other shore to tell the truth. It may be all imagination, it may be all a strategy of the priests. Who knows?"

Doubt is bound to persist, and when doubt is there there is wavering, and when doubt is there you are split. When doubt is there you can never be wholeheartedly into anything; you remain divided. You can never be an individual, indivisible. And the person who renounces for some motive is renouncing through the mind - and that is impossible. You cannot renounce through the mind.

Mind is the first thing to be renounced - and you are trying to use mind for renunciation? Mind will poison everything. It will create new desires in you, it will create new greeds, it will create new ambitions, it will create new egos in you. Look at the so-called holy people, the so-called saints and mahatmas. They look more egoistic than anybody else. Their faces look sad, as if they are in great pain, suffering. And their eyes? They are looking at you always with that attitude of "holier-than-thou." They are condemnors; they will call you sinners. They are ready to throw you into hell and hellfire. For themselves they are hoping that they will be in heaven enjoying heavenly pleasures forever and forever.

What kind of renunciation is this? This is a wrong kind of renunciation and you cannot attain to light through it; you will go on falling into deeper and deeper darkness. You have taken the first step in a wrong direction, and the first step is the most important step because the second will follow the first, and so on, so forth. And you will go on farther and farther away from the truth.

Hence I don't tell my sannyasins to renounce, although renunciation happens. Many of my sannyasins write to me, "Beloved Master, you deceived us. We were thinking nothing has to be renounced, and now many things are simply disappearing."

Just the other day there was a letter. One sannyasin has written that his sexual desire has completely disappeared - and he had tried his whole life to renounce it and he had never succeeded. And here we are not teaching to renounce anything, not even sexual desire, so his letter has a relevance. He says, "You tricked us. I was thinking that I have come here to enjoy my sexual desire for the first time, because the whole life I have been trying to be a monk. Tired of it, utterly a failure in renouncing it, I had come here - and now it has disappeared!"

This is beautiful, if it has disappeared on its own accord. If you have not dropped it, it won't come back again. If you have dropped it, it is bound to come back again because dropping it simply means repressing it. Dropping does not mean anything else; it simply means you have repressed it forcibly. Sooner or later, in some weaker moment, it will be back again - and with a vengeance. But if it drops on its own... you have not done anything to drop it, not even a decision; you have not willfully acted on it, it is through understanding. Seeing the futility of it, seeing that it does not fulfill, that it is a kind of a toy.... You can remain engaged in it, it keeps you occupied. It keeps you so much occupied that you don't have any time to look inwards. But it never takes you anywhere; you are always the same. It brings no integrity, it brings no joy. The more you know it, the more it becomes a boring phenomenon. The more you know it, the more boredom it brings.

If you really want to enjoy sex, be a monk, be a nun. Then you will enjoy it. Then you will not think of anything else; twenty-four hours you will be enjoying it. In a monastery what else is there to enjoy? Of course it will be just fantasy. Fantasy is personal pornography. Nobody else can see what you are seeing and you can go on giggling and enjoying. You can go on reading the Bible, the Koran, so everybody thinks how religious you are, how pious - and nobody knows what you are really doing inside.

The so-called religious people are very pornographic; they are bound to be. The more you make an effort to escape from men and women, the more the unfulfilled, the repressed, is bound to become cerebral. It will become a fantasy in your mind, it will capture your imagination. You will dream about it, you will think about it, you will be surrounded by it. You can look into the records of all the monks and the nuns of all the world and you will be surprised: things were happening to them which are not happening to anybody anymore.

In the Middle Ages the nuns were reporting in thousands that the Devil comes and makes love to them. Now what has happened to the Devil? He does not come anymore.

The ordinary devils are enough. But those nuns, they were imagining. And when for years you have been starved, you have willfully tried to do something, the imagination gathers force. A moment comes when you start dreaming with open eyes; you can see the Devil standing there.

And what imagination those nuns had! If you just look into the records you will be surprised. The Devil has a forked penis! It is not an ordinary genital organ - but forked, so that it can enter both the holes! Now these nuns must have been mad, utterly mad.

And false pregnancies were happening... nothing but hot air in the belly, but the belly would go on becoming bigger and bigger. Just fantasy has taken so much grip of the mind, of the body, that the nun thinks she has become pregnant, so she starts accumulating air in the belly. She looks to everybody as if she is pregnant. She walks like a pregnant woman. And of course, what can she do? If the Devil comes, she has to yield. Who knows? - he may not come again!

And this is not only about one religion; this is the case with all the religions. In India, the scriptures tell so many stories of the great monks, ascetics, doing their penances in the forests. And when they are coming just on the verge of success, beautiful women descend from heaven to distract these poor fellows. They have not done any wrong to anybody and even if they have done wrong, what kind of punishment is this? This is something like reward! Beautiful women come from heaven, goddesses, APSARAS, and they dance naked around them, and they make all kinds of obscene gestures to the poor fellows. Details are given in the scriptures, very detailed descriptions, what they do, how they do, how they seduce the poor fellow. And then he falls from his great heights, becomes an ordinary mortal. Then they don't come anymore. This is nothing but mental masturbation, but this is bound to happen if you repress. This is a wrong kind of renunciation. It has dominated the whole religious scene for ages, it has been very destructive.

The right kind of renunciation is very natural and spontaneous. It is not AGAINST anything. It allows you to watch, see, understand, be more meditative, so that you can bring more understanding to your actions, to your thoughts, to your feelings. Out of that accumulated understanding, things start happening. Then the mind is no more there to waver. Nothing has been repressed so nothing can come back again. Then things simply start disappearing like dewdrops in the early sun. That's the only possibility to find the light.

And remember, even these people who have been teaching repression, they don't call it repression - they call it willpower. They give it beautiful names. Ugly things can be hidden very easily behind beautiful names. Willpower is nothing but ego power. When you call it willpower it looks beautiful; when you call it ego power you see the ugliness of it.

A religious person is one who has no more use for ego. Ego means violence with yourself. It may be very subtle, it may not look like violence. You may be doing violence to yourself in a very graceful manner. And the priests have been forcing you to do things, but they don't say that they are forcing. They have been conditioning children, hypnotizing whole societies, to do certain things. And once you are hypnotized and conditioned you think YOU are doing it on your own, out of your own freedom. And that is sheer nonsense. A Hindu who has been conditioned for thirty years to be a Hindu cannot do anything out of his own freedom unless he drops all his Hindu nonsense. And the same is the case with the Christian and the Jew and the Jaina and the Mohammedan and the Parsi and the Sikh.

The first step is to drop that which has been forced upon you. It may look almost as if it has not been forced because it has been so long, you have completely forgotten. Thirty years, forty years, fifty years conditioning - who remembers when it began, how it began? You were so young, three years old or four years old... and then the teaching starts and it goes on conditioning you. It can condition you for anything, any stupid thing. Everybody else will see the stupidity; only you will not. You will think you are doing something great, something religious, something sacred.

Stalin was giving Mao Zedong instructions in practical communism. "Comrade," he said, "how would you make a cat eat chili pepper?"

"There are two ways," said Mao. "I could force it down him or I could stuff a fish with the pepper and give the fish to the cat."

"Wrong," replied Stalin. "It is not compatible with our ideology. The first method is coercion, the second deception. You know we never coerce or deceive the people."

"Then how would you do it?" asked Mao.

"I would rub the pepper on the cat's tail. When this started to smart, the cat would turn around and lick its tail, thus eating the pepper voluntarily."

This has been done by the priests for centuries. They rub the pepper on your tail, and one day you start licking your tail and you think you are doing it voluntarily.

The first step towards real religion is to drop Christianity, Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Buddhism, Jainism; to drop all ideologies, to unlearn what has been forced upon you - to be a child again. Then you can start seeing things in their true colors, then you can start seeing things as they are. Children are more aware of the reality than you are. The older you become, the less aware you are because the more you become burdened with experience, knowledge, opinions, ideologies.


Buddha says: DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO RESOLUTELY.... But by resolution he does not mean will, as it is ordinarily meant in the dictionaries. Buddha is compelled to use your words, but he gives a new meaning to his words. By 'resolution' he means out of a resolved heart - not out of willpower but out of a resolved heart. And remember, he emphasizes the word 'heart', not the mind. Willpower is part of the mind. A resolved heart is a heart without problems, a heart which is no longer divided, a heart which has come to a state of stillness, silence. That's what he calls a resolved heart.

DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO RESOLUTELY, WITH ALL YOUR HEART. Remember the emphasis on the heart. Mind can never be one; by its very nature it is many. And the heart is always one; by its very nature it cannot be many. You cannot have many hearts but you can have many minds. Why? - because the mind lives in doubt and the heart lives in love. The mind lives in doubt and the heart lives in trust. The heart knows how to trust; it is trust that makes it one. When you trust, suddenly you become centered.

Hence the significance of trust. It does not matter whether your trust is in the right person or not. It does not matter whether your trust will be exploited or not. It does not matter whether you will be deceived because of your trust or not. There is every possibility you may be deceived - the world is full of deceivers. What matters is that you trusted. It is out of your trust that you become integrated, which is far more important than anything else. It is not a question that first you have to be certain whether the person is worthy of trust or not. How will you be certain? And who will inquire?

It will be the mind, and the mind knows only how to doubt. It will doubt. It will doubt even a man like Christ or Buddha. It can't help.

Judas doubted Jesus. He could not trust - even a man like Jesus. And Jesus trusted Judas; he could not doubt even a man like Judas. See the point. Who is the gainer? If you superficially look, then it seems Jesus has lost because he is crucified. If he had not trusted Judas he would have saved his life. But that is only a superficial understanding.

In fact the loser is Judas, not Jesus. One has to die some day or other, and one cannot die a better death than Jesus. It is his death that brought a revolution into the consciousness of humanity.

If Buddha had also been crucified we would have been far richer. Dying on a bed would not have been of much help. And what difference does it make to Jesus where he dies? But a man like Jesus uses even his death as a situation, as a device. He used it and he used it very skillfully. Socrates could not use his death so skillfully. Maybe it is because of Socrates' death that Jesus has learned a lesson: how to use death. There are foolish people who cannot use their lives usefully, artistically, gracefully, beautifully, and there are people like Jesus who can even use their death. Their death is also a device.

The real loser is Judas, and he understood immediately. When Jesus was crucified he felt so ashamed that he committed suicide the next day. Now, committing suicide is ugly; being crucified has a beauty. It is a sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate offering one can make to God. And Jesus made it. His last words were, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done." He surrendered totally: "Let thy kingdom come." He effaced himself totally, he dropped his ego totally: "Thy will be done." He trusted Judas absolutely. He hugged him, he kissed him, he washed his feet. He knew that the man was going to betray him - and still his trust was total.

So remember, trust does not mean that first you have to inquire, that first you have to make everything certain, guaranteed, and then you trust. That is not trust, that is really doubt: because you have no more possibilities to doubt, hence you trust. If another possibility arises of doubt you will doubt again. Trust is in spite of all the doubts, in spite of what the man is or what the man is going to do. It is of the heart, it is out of love.

When you trust and love with a resolved heart it brings transformation. Then you never hesitate. Hesitation simply keeps you in fragments. Taking a quantum leap, without any hesitation or in spite of all the hesitations, you become integrated. Hesitations disappear; you become one. And to become one is to be liberated - liberated from your own stupid crowd that exists inside you, liberated from your thoughts and desires and memories, liberated from mind itself.



It is better to do nothing... but to do nothing is very difficult. When you think you are not doing anything... that is not what Buddha is saying. To do nothing means to be so still, so silent, that there is no action within or without, no thought even, no desire.

IT IS BETTER TO DO NOTHING - one will have to be very conscious to do nothing - THAN TO DO WHAT IS WRONG. The wrong can be done only when you are unconscious. The definition of the wrong and the right according to Buddha is a very different one; it is not moralistic. He will not say, "This is right and that is wrong." He will not give you a list of Ten Commandments; he has not given any commandments.

He gives you rather a criterion so that you can judge in your life what is right, what is wrong. He has not decided it. It can't be decided because life goes on changing. What is wrong one day may be right another day; what is wrong this moment may be right another moment. So you cannot label actions as right or wrong. Situations change, you change, people change. So there is no possibility of giving you a list that says, "Do these things and don't do these things."

All other religions have done that; Buddha has not done that. He gives you a criterion, he gives you an insight. He gives you a touchstone so you can see what is gold and what is not gold. Consciousness is his touchstone. If you are conscious and not doing anything, that is far better than doing something wrong, because doing something wrong means you are unconscious. Doing anything out of unconsciousness is wrong and doing anything, even nothing, out of consciousness, is right.

When the bottle of Scotch broke on the floor, the three little mice lapped it all up. Now they were really blind.

"I'm going to find Muhammad Ali and knock his brains out," said the first one.

The second said, "Just let me at that Idi Amin! I'll give him what's coming to him!"

"You guys do what you want," said the third mouse. "Me, I'm going upstairs and making love to the cat!"

That's what is happening to everybody, because everybody is living in an unconscious state. You are unaware of what you are doing, why you are doing, who you are, why you are, where you are going. Everything seems to be in darkness, and still you go on doing things.

It is better, Buddha says, to do nothing. Be quiet, silent, still, in a state of nondoing, because that is possible only if you bring more and more alertness. And then out of that silence, out of that awareness, out of that nothingness, out of that nondoing, whatsoever arises is good, is virtue.

FOR WHATEVER YOU DO, YOU DO TO YOURSELF. If you harm people, the harm will come back to you. If you love people, the love will come back to you. The world goes on echoing back, reflecting back. The world gives you only that which you have given in the first place to the world.


That's what he calls awareness: Be on guard.


Not even a single moment should be left unguarded. Each moment you have to be alert, conscious. Walking, walk consciously. Breathing, breathe consciously. Eating, eat consciously. Do whatsoever you are doing, but bring the quality of consciousness into your work. Sitting, sit consciously. Let consciousness become a constant, running underground stream, so you go on doing your usual things, but there is an undercurrent of consciousness. That will make your life religious - not going to the church, not going to the temple, not praying to some imaginary God, not repeating scriptures.


Buddha says: FEEL SHAME ONLY WHEN SHAME IS DUE. Don't be bothered what others say. Unless YOUR consciousness says it is shameful there is no need to be worried. Even if the whole world says that what you are doing is shameful, let them say it; you need not be worried about it.

This is a very revolutionary message. Ordinarily you have been told to follow others, to follow the collective, to follow the official religion, to follow whatsoever has been told for centuries. Buddha says it is immaterial what others say. What really matters is that if YOUR consciousness says it is shameful, then drop it. In fact, there will be no need to drop it; it will drop on its own accord. Let your consciousness be decisive in every matter.

FEAR ONLY WHAT IS FEARFUL... and don't be afraid of hell and don't be afraid of punishment after death. These are strategies of the priests to exploit people, to exploit their fear. Everybody is afraid because everybody has become an ego and the ego is always afraid. The ego means you think yourself separate from the whole; then fear arises because you are not separate from the whole. And when you think you are separate, the question arises: How long can you remain separate? Death will come; then what will happen to you?

The ego makes you so selfish, so self-centered, that you forget completely that you belong to the eternal universe. There is no need to fear that you are just a wave in the ocean; you will be here, whether as a wave or not as a wave, but you will be here.

Nobody can destroy you. Nothing ever dies and nothing is ever born. The wave arises and disappears. Even before it has arisen it was there and when it has disappeared it is still there. That arising and disappearing is just a momentary phenomenon: something that was unmanifest becomes manifest.

But we are very much afraid, and the fear arises because we have believed, we have been told again and again, hypnotized to believe in the ego. This whole social structure up to now, hitherto, has been propounding an egoistic life attitude. Then fear, then greed, then ambition, are natural. And ego is being taught to every child; his ego is strengthened so that you can make him ambitious. Out of ambition arises politics. Ego is created so that you can make him afraid. Out of fear arises religion - the so-called religion.

Little Sheldon seemed to be enjoying himself at the zoo with his father. As they were looking at the tigers, however, a troubled look came over the boy's face. His father asked him what was the matter.

"I was just wondering, Daddy. In case a tiger breaks loose and eats you, what number bus do I take home?"

Even small children are poisoned with the idea of the self. Buddha says there is no self, no ego. Deep down you are not separate. You are not an island; you are part of the universal continent. So: FEAR ONLY WHAT IS FEARFUL. SEE EVIL ONLY IN WHAT IS EVIL. Don't believe others; believe only your own eyes, your own insight... LEST YOU MISTAKE THE TRUE WAY AND FALL INTO DARKNESS.

Believing in others' ideas you are going to fall into darkness. They are in darkness and following them you will go into darkness. If you want to reach to light you will have to travel alone.

SEE WHAT IS.... Such a simple statement, but it contains the very essence of religion.


SEE WHAT IS.... That is meditation. Put your mind aside. Face reality directly.

Encounter it, be face-to-face. Put the mind aside. Look into reality silently, without any thought, so that the thought cannot be a hindrance, a barrier, a distortion. That's what meditation is: seeing what is and seeing what is not.

The past is not, but the mind remains in the past. The future is not, but the mind remains in the future. And the present is, but the mind has no contact with the present.

And whenever you are in contact with the present, the past is no more there, the future is no more there. When you are absolutely here and now, totally, utterly here and now, your life will have a new quality to it. That is true holiness - because you will know the whole and you will become the whole.

Buddha calls it the true way, the way of the awakened ones. You can also rise to these heights. Rise! Awake!

Enough for today.

The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 9

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"I fear the Jewish banks with their craftiness and tortuous tricks
will entirely control the exuberant riches of America.
And use it to systematically corrupt modern civilization.

The Jews will not hesitate to plunge the whole of
Christendom into wars and chaos that the earth should become
their inheritance."

-- Bismarck