The nature of things

Fri, 18 February 1980 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 9
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
Short Title:
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The first question:

Question 1:



Richard, I have been saying nothing against intelligence, intellect, but against intellectuality - and that's a totally different phenomenon. When somebody becomes identified with his intellect, intellectuality is born; when somebody remains the master, unidentified with his intellect, intelligence is born. Intellect is the same. The whole thing depends whether you get identified with it or you remain transcendental to it. If you become identified, it is intellectuality; if you remain unidentified, it is intelligence.

Intelligence is of tremendous importance; intellectuality is a barrier. Intellectuality is a barrier even in the world of science. Intellectuality can, at the most, give you scholars, wordy people who go on and on spinning, weaving systems of thought with no substance at all.

In the scientific endeavor, intelligence has to be focused on the objective world; in the religious exploration, intelligence has to move inwards. It is the same intelligence, only the direction changes. In science, the object, the outer object, is the goal of inquiry; in religion, your subjectivity, your interiority, is your adventure. The intelligence is the same.

If you become an intellectual then you will not be a scientist; you will only write histories of science or philosophies of science, but you will not be a scientist, an explorer, an inventor, a discoverer, on your own. You will be simply accumulating information. Yes, that too has a certain use; as far as the outside world is concerned, even information has a certain limited utility, but in the inner world it has no utility at all. It is a barrier; it has a negative effect on the inner experience.

You say, "I understand you to say that the intellect is a barrier to self-realization."

The intellect is neither a barrier nor a bridge; intellect is neutral. Get identified with it, it becomes a barrier; remain unidentified with it, it is a bridge. And without meditation you cannot know your transcendental nature.

In science, concentration is enough; at the most, contemplation is needed. In religion, meditation is the only way. Concentration is not needed, is not a help; it is a positive hindrance. Contemplation also is not a help; it is a compensation for not being meditative, it is a poor substitute for it. Meditation - only meditation - can bring the inner revolution.

Meditation means getting out of the mind, looking at the mind from the outside. That's exactly the meaning of the word 'ecstasy': to stand out. To stand out of the mind makes you ecstatic, brings bliss to you. And great intelligence is released. When you are identified with the mind you cannot be very intelligent because you become identified with an instrument, you become confined by the instrument and its limitations. And you are unlimited - you are consciousness.

Use the mind, but don't become it. Use it as you use other machines. Mind is a beautiful machine. If you can use it, it will serve you; if you cannot use it and it starts using you, it is destructive, it is dangerous. It is bound to take you into some trouble, into some calamity, into some suffering and misery, because a machine is a blind thing. It has no eyes, it has no insight. Mind cannot see; it can only go on repeating that which has been fed into it. It is like a computer; first you have to feed it.

That's what your so-called education is, you go on feeding it. Then it becomes a great memory in you, so whenever you need to remember anything it can supply. But you should remain the master so that you can use it; otherwise it starts directing you.

Don't be guided by your car; remain a driver. You have to decide the direction, you have to decide the goal. You have to decide about the speed, when to start and when to stop. When you lose control and when the car takes over and it starts going on its own you are doomed.

But I am not absolutely against information. Information is good if it is stored in the memory and whenever you need it you can find it easily. It is dangerous only when you don't need it and it goes on hammering itself on you; when it forces you to do something, when you are just a victim, then it is dangerous. Otherwise it is beautiful. It is a beautiful means, but it is not the end.

At school the teacher was asking his class questions. He turned to Jenkins, "Who knocked down the walls of Jericho?"

"Please, sir," replied Jenkins. "It was not me, sir."

The teacher was very angry. He went straight to the headmaster and said, "I have just asked Jenkins who knocked down the walls of Jericho and he said it was not him. What do you think about that?"

The headmaster said, "I have known the Jenkins family for years, and if he said it wasn't him, it WASN'T him."

The teacher was even more angry. He phoned the Minister of Education and said, "I asked a boy in class who knocked down the walls of Jericho and he said it wasn't him. I then went to the headmaster to complain. He said he had known the family for years and if the boy said it wasn't him, it WASN'T him. What do you think about that?"

The minister was silent for a second, then said, "Listen, I am fed up with complaints from your school. Get the walls repaired and if there are more complaints, I am going to shut that school down!"

Information is not bad in itself - you have to know who knocked down the walls of Jericho! But if information becomes so powerful in your mind that it goes on and on and you cannot put it off, you cannot put the mind in a state of relaxation, then the mind becomes wearied, tired, bored, exhausted. In that state, how can you be intelligent?

Your energies are dissipated. Intelligence needs overflowing energies. Intelligence needs health, wholeness.

A meditator will be more intelligent than anybody else and a meditator will be able to use his mind objectively and subjectively both. He will be able to move outside as easily as he will be able to move inside. He will be more flexible. He is the master. He can take the car forward, he can take the car backward.

When Ford had made his first car there was no reverse gear in it. It was a difficult problem to come back home. You had to go round, you had to take the long route, just to come back home. Even if you had gone a few yards past your garage you could not come back to the garage - there was no reverse gear in it. Later on it was added.

Meditation gives you the reverse gear. Ordinarily you don't have it and you have to go round the world again and again, and still you cannot find where your home is; you cannot come back. You cannot go in; you know only how to go out. You cannot back in.

A meditator becomes more fluid, more flexible. He becomes more enriched.

I am not in favor of those people who in the past, in the name of religion, became fixated into their introversion; that is another extreme. A few people are fixated as extroverts; as a reaction, a few other people become fixated as introverts. Both become dead. Life belongs to the flexible one who can move from extroversion to introversion and from introversion to extroversion as easily as you move outside your house and inside your house. When it is too cold inside you come out in the sun; when it becomes too hot you come inside under the shelter, in the coolness of the house - and there is no problem. It is as simple as that.

Meditation does not mean going against the outside world. It has been so in the past.

That's why religion has failed, it could not succeed; it could not have succeeded in any way. Life belongs to the fluid, to the flowing. Whenever you become fixated you become a thing. Your monks were introverts; they closed their eyes to the outside world.

That's why in the East we could not develop science, although the first steps were taken in the East. Mathematics was developed in India. The first steps towards technology were taken in China. But there it stopped for the simple reason that the greatest people in the East became fixated introverts; they lost interest in the objective world, they closed themselves totally to the objective. This is being only half of your total potential.

Now the West is doing just the opposite: it has become utterly extrovert, it does not know how to go in. It does not believe that there is any "in," it does not believe in any soul. It believes in man's behavior, not in man's inner existence. It studies the behavior and it says there is nobody inside it - it is all mechanical.

Man has become a robot. If you don't know the soul, man becomes a robot. He is understood to be just a beautiful mechanism developed over millions of years - the long long journey of evolution - but he is only a sophisticated machine.

It was not difficult for Adolf Hitler to kill so many people so easily for the simple reason that if man is a machine, what is the harm in killing people? If you destroy your wristwatch you don't feel guilty; howsoever sophisticated it was, it was only a wristwatch. If you decided to destroy it, it is for you to decide; nobody can object to it.

You cannot be dragged into a court as a murderer.

Stalin could kill millions of people easily without any prick in his conscience for the simple reason that Marxism believes that there is no soul. Man is nothing but matter; consciousness is only a by-product of matter. This is one extreme.

Science has developed in the West, but religion has disappeared. In the East, religion developed but science disappeared. In both the ways man remains poor and half.

My effort here is to create the whole man who will be able to be scientific and religious together.

A big, mangy dog was threatening a mother cat and her kittens. He had backed them into the corner of a barn, when suddenly the cat reared back on her hind legs and started barking and growling loudly. Startled and confused, the dog turned and ran from the barn, its tail tucked between its legs.

Turning to her kittens, the mother cat lifted a paw and told them, "Now do you see the advantage of being bilingual?"

I want man to be bilingual. He should know science as much, as deeply as he should know meditation. He should know mind as much as he should know meditation. He should know the language of the objective world - that is science - and he should know also the language of the subjective world - that is religion.

Only a man who is able to bridge the objective and the subjective, a man who is able to bridge the East and the West, a man who is able to bridge the materialist and the spiritualist, can be a whole man. The world is waiting for the whole man. If the whole man does not arrive soon, then there is no future for humanity. And the whole man can come only through deep, profound intelligence.

I am not against intellect, I am not against intelligence; I am against intellectuality. Don't get identified with your mind. Always remain a watcher on the hills; a witness to the body, to the mind, a witness to the outer and to the inner, so that you can transcend both the outer and the inner and you can know that you are neither - you are beyond both. That beyond is God.

God is neither an object nor a subject. God is neither the outside nor the inside. He is both and he is neither.

Richard, you say, "I have been very interested to listen to your lectures during the past few days. Far from being unintellectual, they could be described as an intellectual tour de force."

When I am talking to you, even if I am talking about something supra-intellectual, I talk in intellectual ways because otherwise you will not be able to understand what I am saying. Intellect is the only possible communication right now. Unless YOU learn the language of total silence I have to go on talking in YOUR language. You understand logic, I use logic - for very strange purposes: to help you go beyond logic. I use every possible way to help you transcend duality.

I am not unintellectual or anti-intellectual, but my effort here is to help you to go beyond intellect and anti-intellect both, to go beyond logic and illogic both. It is possible. When you are in absolute silence you are neither logical nor illogical, but that silence cannot be expressed directly; that silence has to be translated into your language. That's what I am doing here. It is an arduous effort because much splendor and grandeur is lost in translating it. That experience of silence is so vast it cannot be put into words, but it has to be put into words. Only then will you be able to hear it.

Even then very few people hear it, because people are not present; they are absent, they are asleep.

I have to start with your language, and slowly slowly, you will start learning my language. I am bilingual and I will make you also bilingual. There are two languages:

the language of words and the language of silence. Right now I have to use the language of words to translate the poetry of silence, the music of silence. Later on, when you have developed a little meditativeness, you will be able to understand the poetry of silence, the music of silence directly - just by sitting near me. There will be no need for me to say anything at all.

I am waiting for that day and I am really in a hurry for that day, because talking is becoming more and more difficult for me. To you it may seem that I can go on talking forever; as far as I am concerned it is becoming more and more difficult because I can see the impossibility of putting the unknowable into words. It seems murderous - the whole beauty is lost. Only something reaches you and that too depends on you: if you are available to me it reaches to you; otherwise it will not reach you. You will go on listening to that which you want to listen to and you will go on seeing that which you are capable of seeing.

For a holiday, Donnelly decided to go to Switzerland to fulfill a lifelong dream by climbing the Matterhorn. He hired a guide and went up. Just as they neared the top, the men were caught in a snow slide.

Three hours later, a Saint Bernard plowed through to them, a keg of brandy tied under his chin.

"Hurray!" shouted the guide. "Here comes man's best friend!"

"Yeah," said Donnelly. "And look at the size of the dog that is bringing it!"

You hear that which you can hear, you see that which you can see. It is a tug of war between me and you to bring you to a point from where you can see something that I am seeing.

Once I have accomplished the right number to create the buddhafield I will go into silence. The way you are going into meditation makes me hopeful soon it will be happening; it will not be long. Soon the right amount of energy will be available. Then I can just sit silently with you; you can dance and sing around me or sit in silence. And there will be a communication - more a communion than a communication. Something is bound to transpire then. But before that can happen I have to go on persuading you through words, through logic. It is a kind of seduction. I have to seduce you towards something which you have utterly forgotten.

The second question:

Question 2:



Vandan, any philosophy that can be put in a nutshell, belongs there.

The third question:

Question 3:



Gyanesh, man can look at life in two ways: either through a no or through a yes. Either he can be negative in his approach or positive. These are the two easily available ways for the mind.

There is also a third way, but to achieve to the third you have to go through arduous effort of becoming more and more aware. To the sleeping person these two ways are ready-made, available from the very birth.

The positive person lives through a kind of optimism. His optimism is shallow, but he is full of hopes. He counts only the roses on the rosebush; he does not look at the thorns, he ignores them. Sooner or later he is bound to be disappointed.

Every child begins with a positive attitude towards life. That is natural because if the child begins with a negative attitude he will not begin at all; he would have died in the mother's womb. He waited for nine months, he passed through the birth canal, which is a painful process, suffocating. There must be deep down an unconscious hope; hence he is patiently waiting for the day when he can see the sun, see the light, be in the world.

He is like a seed, very unconscious; he is not aware of it. But every child is born with great hopes, every child is an optimist; he looks through the positive.

But life disappoints everyone. Life is very strange, in a way: if you don't get what you want, you are disappointed, naturally; but if you get what you want, then too you are disappointed. Disappointment seems to be the destiny. If you don't get what you want, you suffer - you have failed. You have not been able to prove yourself, you have not been able to prove your mettle. Others have succeeded, you are a failure. You can't respect yourself. And if you can't respect yourself, you can't respect life. It seems like a curse. You would like to return the ticket to God. If you meet him, your first question will be, "Why have you created me? For what? - for all these disappointments? Are you a sadist or something, creating so many people and then giving them so much misery?"

And the religious people say, "It is God's play, his LEELA." What kind of play is this?

God does not seem to be in his right senses. It seems as if he is enjoying the tortures. He seems to be more like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, than like Gautam Buddha, Mahavira, Jesus.

These people don't seem to be like God, because when all your hopes are turned into hopelessness, when all your desires are frustrated, when nothing comes out of your optimism, naturally you become sour, you become bitter, and pessimism is born.

Pessimism is nothing but the failure of optimistic attitudes. Then you start counting the thorns and ignoring the roses. Then you look always for the darker side. That is the philosophy of pessimism.

Contemplate on these laws of Murphy:

First: If anything can go wrong, it will.

Second: Nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

Third: Everything takes longer than you expect.

Fourth: Left to themselves all things go from bad to worse.

Fifth: Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

Sixth: Mother Nature is a bitch.

Seventh: It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

Eighth: If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

Ninth: If you can keep your head when, all around you, others are losing theirs, you just don't understand the situation.

And the tenth: For every human problem, there is a neat, simple solution - and it is always wrong.

Pessimism simply means looking at life negatively, always searching for the flaw, for the loophole, for something negative, and accumulating all those negativities. And when you look at the dark side, always, of course, there are two nights and only one small day sandwiched between the two nights - dark dark nights.

Optimism ends into pessimism. Every pessimist has been an optimist once - he is an ex-optimist. He hoped too much and because those hopes were not fulfilled he has become sour, angry, enraged. Now he cannot see the flowers and the stars. He can't see anything beautiful; he goes on looking for the ugly. And when you look for the ugly you will find it on every step. Whatsoever you look for you are bound to find it, remember, because life consists of both - positivity and negativity - in the same quantity. Life cannot exist without the other; the other pole is a must.

It is just like electricity. Electricity cannot exist only with one polarity, positive or negative; it has to have both the poles together. It is possible only through the tension that is created between the negative and the positive.

But there is a third kind of person - I call that person the awakened, the enlightened - who looks at life in its totality, who is neither a pessimist nor an optimist, who simply accepts life as it is; who accepts the night, who accepts the day, who accepts the rose and the thorn, because he understands that life is out of necessity dual, dialectical. And in his awareness grows a synthesis between the polar opposites. The synthesis never grows on the outside, as Karl Marx says.

Karl Marx says life is a dialectical process between thesis and antithesis and it always comes to a synthesis. Then synthesis turns again into a thesis and creates its antithesis.

That is utterly wrong. Outside, life is always thesis and antithesis; it never comes to any synthesis.

Synthesis is achieved only in the inner vision of an enlightened being. Synthesis is attained when you have attained to absolute silence. In that silence you are so clear, so transparent, that you can see through and through. Then you know that life needs both:

day and night, birth and death. Then there is nothing wrong in death; it is perfectly useful, needed, inevitable. Then a deep acceptance arises in you. Buddha calls that acceptance TATHATA - suchness. Life is such. You understand it and through that understanding you transcend it.

Don't be a pessimist and don't be an optimist. Just watch, be a watcher and attain to the ultimate synthesis where you become a third force rising higher and higher and seeing from above, a bird's-eye view. Deep down everything is in conflict, but it is okay because you understand life cannot exist without it. It is not God's fault. There is no God as a person who can be blamed for it. It is just the nature of things - tao, dhamma - - that life functions through duality. But consciousness can soar so high that it can transcend all duality and can reach to oneness.

The real meditator is neither pessimist nor optimist. He lives in a kind of suchness, in total "accept-ability."

The fourth question:

Question 4:



Geetama, not many, just one. Write a letter to five of your friends like this:

Hello there!

This letter was started by a woman like yourself, in hopes of bringing relief to a tired and discontented wife.

Unlike most chain letters, this one does not cost anything. Just send a copy of this letter to five of your friends who are equally tired. Then bundle up your husband and send him to the woman at the top of the list and add your name to the bottom of the list.

When your name comes to the top of the list you will receive 16,478 men and some of them are bound to be a hell of a lot better than the one you already have.


One woman broke the chain and got her own sonofabitch back.

At the date of writing this letter, another friend of mine received 183 men. They buried her yesterday.... But it took three undertakers thirty-six hours to get the smile off her face.

The fifth question:

Question 5:



Charles Gardiner, my message is universal. That does not mean that everybody will be able to understand it. The more universal a message is, the less people will be able to understand it, because the more universal it is, the more mysterious it is. It is so beyond the reach of the ordinary, stupid mind - just because it is universal.

People can understand things which are not so universal more easily. They can understand racial things, they can understand national things, they can understand ideological things. But any message that is really universal is bound to be understood only by a very few chosen people.

Only the most intelligent people will be interested in what I am doing here. Hence you will see gathering around me intelligent people from all over the world, young, fresh, intelligent.

India is not young, it is not fresh. It is very rare to find an Indian who is young. In India everybody is born old. It is such an ancient country with such a long long tradition that everybody is burdened. A younger country is of course more receptive.

For example, America is more receptive to any new message than any other country for the simple reason that it is the latest country in the world - with only a three-hundred- year tradition, it is nothing. India has lived at least ten thousand years - ten thousand years according to the historians, one hundred thousand years according to Indians themselves. The truth may be somewhere in between. I can settle on fifty thousand years - but that too is very long. And as the country becomes old it goes on gathering rubbish, junk. And every generation goes on giving its junk and rubbish to the new generation, thinking that this is heritage, thinking that they are giving something very valuable.

America is the most receptive. And next to America, Germany seems to be very receptive for the simple reason that Adolf Hitler killed the old Germany completely, he destroyed the old completely. He created a discontinuity. The new German generation is no longer looking backwards. Adolf Hitler is standing there and nobody wants to look at him, so better forget all about it! Adolf Hitler has done a great service to Germany. He has destroyed the old heritage - not knowing that he is doing such good work, otherwise he would not have done it - not knowing that he is doing something immensely valuable. Unconsciously he has done it.

India also needs a discontinuity with the past. The past hinders.

Hence people from other countries are coming to me more. And certainly one becomes curious, just as Gardiner has become curious: "Why are not your fellow Indians crowding at the gate to get in?"

India is too old, my message is too new. India is ancient, traditional; I am rebellious.

There is no meeting ground between me and India. I am not an Indian, in fact. So please don't call them "fellow Indians" - they are not. I am not an Indian, I belong to no nation; only then can I be universal. If I am an Indian, then I am already prejudiced in favor of India. Then my message cannot be universal; it will be deep down Indian, basically Indian - camouflaged, hidden behind beautiful words, abstractions, but it will remain essentially Indian; it can't be universal.

Mahatma Gandhi used to say that the whole universe is one, all religions are one. In his ashram he used to teach that Hindus and Mohammedans and Christians are all one. In his prayer meetings all the prayers of all the religions were recited. He loved one prayer the most which says: ALLAH ISHWAR TERE NAM - Ishwar and Allah, both are your names, God.

But when he was killed he forgot all about Allah. He said, "Hey Ram!" Then the hidden Hindu came to the surface. His whole life he was saying, "Both are the same, both are names of the same." But when the bullet went into his heart he forgot all his philosophy.

It would have been really beautiful if he had said, "Allah!" But he said, "Ram!"

He used to say that the Gita and the Koran and the Bible have the same message, but he worshipped the Gita and he called the Gita his mother. Then what is the Koran? He has not even called the Koran his auntie! The Gita is his mother - and of course he has chosen a few pieces from the Koran and from the Bible which are in agreement with the Gita. Anything that disagrees with the Gita has not been chosen by him, so the Gita remains the criterion. Now this is so clear, that anything that does not fit with the Gita is wrong; it may be in the Koran, it may be in the Bible, but it is wrong. He would not say it so clearly because he was a politician.

I am not a politician - I say things as they are. I call a spade a spade - and sometimes a fucking spade! I am not a politician; I simply say whatsoever is the case.

Indians are not very happy with me, they cannot be. Neither am I very happy with them, so why should they be? I am utterly against their traditionalism, their egoistic idea that they are holier than everybody else in the world. Nobody is holier than anybody else. I am against their idea that their country is the only religious country in the world, that they are the source of all that is great. These are stupid ideas. Every country carries them and every country believes in them.

You ask the Chinese, you ask the Japanese, you ask the Italians, you ask anybody. Every country believes it. And you can find always great arguments to support it.

Indians would have crowded at the gate if I was helping in some way, nourishing and feeding their ego. I am not doing that, I cannot do that. Only then can I be universal. I am continuously hammering on their ego. I am continuously trying to destroy their "holier-than-thou" look. They are angry at me. How can they crowd at the gate to come in?

If sometimes a few of them out of curiosity come in, within five to seven minutes they start getting up. Only a few stupid Indians get up from here. What I am saying does not suit them. They would like me to praise their Vedas as the only scriptures, the real scriptures, written by God himself. They would like me to praise everything that is Indian. I cannot do that. I can praise only that which is praiseworthy, not because it is Indian. I can praise things, not because they are Hindu, Jaina, Buddhist, but simply because they are beautiful.

I praise the Taj Mahal not because it is Mohammedan, but just because it is a beautiful piece of objective art. I praise the Upanishads not because Hindus have written them but because they are so immensely valuable, intrinsically valuable. I praise Lao Tzu in the same way, I praise Jesus in the same way, I praise Mohammed in the same way.

Wherever truth has happened, whomsoever it has happened to - to Bahauddin or to Buddha - it does not make any difference to me.

That makes Indians very angry. They would like me to criticize Mohammed and to praise Mahavira, or if I cannot do that then at least praise Mahavira more than Mohammed, but create a hierarchy in which Buddha, Krishna and Mahavira are at the top. Yes, Jesus is also good and Mohammed is also good, but not at the top - far below in the hierarchy. That I cannot do because I see the same phenomenon happening in Buddha and the same experience in Jesus. I am not helping Indians' ego in any possible way - I am doing just the opposite. They cannot crowd at the gate to come in.

What I am trying here is not something of the past; it belongs to the future. So only a few Indians will be able to come to me - a few Indians who are capable of rising above their Indian mind, very rare individuals who are ready to rise with me above nationality, above race, above all kinds of egoistic attitudes. They are here, but they are here because they are also no longer Indians.

Indians believe that they know, they are very knowledgeable. Naturally - it is an ancient country; you need not read the scriptures, the scriptures are in the atmosphere.

And my idea is that the knowledgeable person can never be religious. And up to now India has believed in the knowledgeable person - the pundit, the scholar, the professor.

And my effort is to help you become more and more childlike, more innocent, full of wonder not full of knowledge, full of awe not full of information. There is no need to read the Vedas - because anyway ninety-nine percent of the Vedas is absolutely rubbish! Now this hurts the Indians. Only one percent is beautiful; you have to be very choosy.

The same is the case with other scriptures of the world. You look at the Bible, look at the Old Testament; ninety-nine percent is just rubbish. It would be better if we got rid of that rubbish so only diamonds can shine forth. Otherwise the pebbles are so many, the diamonds are lost. But no - no Jew will be ready to drop anything out of the Old Testament. And the same is the case with the New Testament, and the same is the case - - more so - with the Koran.

I have many Mohammedan sannyasins. They go on asking me when I am going to speak on the Koran, and I go on postponing it for the simple reason that there is not much in it to speak on. Very rarely do you come across a line one can manage to speak about in a beautiful way. Otherwise, just very ordinary statements....

But the reason is, in those days everything was written in the religious scriptures:

history, geography, mythology. That was the only way. The old religious scriptures are like ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA; they are the encyclopedias of the old days.

Everything is written, whatsoever was happening in those days and whatsoever was thought important. It may have been important in those days; now it is irrelevant.

And even when I speak on Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna, I speak in an absolutely nontraditional way. I speak out of my own experience, I am not a commentator. I love Buddha because I have known the same light, I have experienced the same truth. So when I comment on Buddha it is not a commentary. Buddha's statements are only excuses, just pegs; I go on hanging myself on those pegs.

The Indian mind is very much against that. They think I am distorting. They think I should comment according to the scriptures. I am commenting according to my consciousness, not according to any scripture. And when I see something which cannot be said by a buddha I simply drop it, I don't comment on it.

I know what buddhahood is! I go on creating Buddha again. That is resisted very much.

They would like me to be just a historian, a commentator, a scholar. They would like me to quote their scriptures, refer to their scriptures. I never refer, I never quote. In my books you will not find any footnotes. I don't believe in all that nonsense. I speak out of my heart. I love Buddha, I love Jesus. I speak, I use their statements as grounds to take off, that's all - just jumping boards. It goes against the Indian approach, Indian scholarship.

Gardiner, because my message is universal it will appeal only to those people who ARE universal, who don't belong to any country anymore, to any religion, to any church.

Yes, you are right. You say, "Is it only for those without a religion?"

Yes, it is for those who are without a religion, without a nation, without a race; it is only for those liberated ones. It is for the new generation. The new generation is courageous; it has dropped much of the load that people have been carrying for centuries. Only then can there be a communion between me and you.

And you can see this is a universal gathering. People from at least forty countries are here. Except the Chinese and the Russians - except the communist bloc - you will find people from every country here. And even in Russia the orange people are starting to work underground. Small cells have started functioning. People are meeting really in underground basements, meditating. A few people even have become sannyasins. It is very difficult to send them malas and names, but we have found ways and they have found ways. They cannot wear orange in the open.

One woman who has become a sannyasin wrote to me, "What to do?" I said, "Use red instead of orange. Wear red and tell people that you love communism so much that you cannot resist the temptation of wearing red!" She loved the idea. She said, "This is beautiful!"

But when they meditate and they meet in underground basements they wear orange, they wear malas, they read the books, they listen to the tapes. They have even translated a few books into Russian; just hand-written, those books are passed from one hand to another. But they are not here; it will be difficult for them to be here.

One woman has written that she is ready to escape from Russia if somebody can help her so that she can remain here forever. She is ready to leave her husband, her home, her security, safety, everything.

Soon from China and Russia also people will be coming here. This is becoming a universal temple - and it is especially for those who have no more interest in religion.

They can understand me, because the priests have destroyed their interest in religion.

The churches have destroyed any possibility for any intelligent person to be religious.

The last question:

Question 6:



Nanda Kishor, the first thing is that you are an Indian. It is very difficult for an Indian not to get excited when he sees a beautiful woman. Long long repression... your unconscious is full of repressions so you don't miss any opportunity.

Of course you don't show it. It is courageous of you that you have asked the question.

Nothing is wrong in being sexually excited by seeing a beautiful woman. You are simply paying a compliment to her, that's all. You are saying she is beautiful and attractive. In a more understanding world you will simply go to the woman and thank her and she will accept your compliment with gratitude. If a woman passes and nobody gets excited about her, nobody ever, that is really a miserable thing to go through.

I was a professor in a university for a few years. One day it happened: I was sitting in the vice-chancellor's room. A girl came, she was crying and weeping and she said that one boy was continually teasing her. He was throwing small stones at her, writing love letters to her.

The vice-chancellor was, of course, very angry. I was sitting there so he told me, "Can you help this girl? Can you console her?"

I asked the girl, "If nobody ever teased you and nobody ever wrote a love letter and nobody threw pebbles at you, would that be right? Would you be happy?"

Her tears disappeared. For a moment she was shocked. Then she said, "I have never thought of it in that way."

I said, "That will be real misery! This simply shows that somebody is interested in you.

Go to him and thank him! Nothing is wrong in it. He is simply a little foolish; he does not know how to pay compliments to a beautiful girl. Send the boy to me and I will teach him a few things! He needs a little tuition - he has no intuition. And you need not be worried and you need not be crying: this is natural!"

You are, Nanda Kishor, one of the species of animals. Man is an animal unless he becomes a buddha. If you become a buddha and then you are excited by seeing a beautiful woman, come and ask the question. Then it will be something worth asking because then it will be a problem. But you are not a buddha - so meanwhile enjoy!

Once you become a buddha, then I cannot help - nobody can help. Then even if you want to get down, there is no way.

It is an animal instinct, as much in animals as in human beings. Yes, it has to be transcended, but by repression you cannot transcend. Accept it. Acceptance is the first step towards transcendence. And don't feel guilty about it - it is not a sin.

When you see a beautiful sunset you don't feel any guilt. When you see a beautiful flower and you are attracted you don't feel any guilt. When you see a beautiful face of a man or a woman, why should you feel guilty if you are attracted, if you want to look back, if you want to go close and have a closer look? Why should you feel guilty about it? But that's how you have been taught for centuries. If you go closer to the woman, the woman will start shouting for the police and you will start finding excuses.

Nobody looks into each other's eyes. It is thought to be offensive. Even if you want to look into some beautiful eyes you cannot. Only three seconds is allowed. How all over the world people have come to agree on three seconds is something mysterious. Just for three seconds you can look at somebody and the other will not be offended. If you look more than that, the other feels offended.

Maybe there is a reason. You don't know how to look at the other; you don't know how to look gracefully. Maybe your look is ugly - and it is bound to be ugly if you are carrying much repressed sexuality. Your look will be pornographic. Deep down in your imagination you will be undressing the woman, and she feels offended. Who are you to undress her even in your fancy? Your look is ugly; it looks as if you are penetrating her being, as if you have found a substitute for sexual penetration through the eyes. You are reducing her into a thing, and nobody wants to be reduced into a thing. Your look has no respect in it. If your look has respect, if your excitement has beauty, grace, there is no problem.

Yes, it has to be transcended one day because this is also a duality - man/woman - the same duality as between positive and negative, birth and death, summer and winter. It has to be transcended. One has to come to a point from where nothing disturbs your coolness, nothing distracts you from your center.

But the way to come to it is not repression, Nanda Kishor. The first step is acceptance: it is natural. Accept it as part of your nature, as part of your biology. And then try to understand it, watch it, observe it, witness it. Slowly slowly, as your witnessing will grow, you will go beyond it. One day you will not find any difference between a man and a woman: you have gone beyond sexuality. That is true BRAHMACHARYA, true celibacy, but it is not what has been told to you.

In the name of celibacy, sex has been repressed for centuries and you have become just full of sexuality. Rather than transcending it you are boiling within.

In order to find out whether his wife was cheating on him, a man bought a parrot. The parrot was an amazing bird, but in a fight had lost both legs and had to balance itself on its pelvis.

One day the man questioned the parrot and found out that his wife was, in fact, cheating on him. Quickly he asked the parrot, "What happened?"

The parrot said, "First your wife was kissing a strange man, and then she started to take off her clothes...."

"And then?" interrupted the man.

"And then they both got on the bed...."

"And then?" cried the man.

"Then she pulled on the blankets...."

"And then, and then?"

"I don't know," said the parrot. "I fell over!"

Enough for today.

The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 9

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