Maneesha, there is only one experience, but there can be a thousand and one expressions. Still no expression expresses it. That is its beauty, that is its immense richness, that is its infinity, eternity.
No word can catch hold of it. But a man who comes home, who finds it, is also compelled by its finding to share the joy, the song, the haiku - to say something about that which cannot be said. It is an absolute compulsion. You have to do something to make the whole world aware of what you have found. Because what you have found everybody else can find, just they have forgotten the way.
And it is so close that just as you close your eyes ... one more step inwards and you have arrived.
All these Zen anecdotes and dialogues say the same thing again and again. But they say it very beautifully. From different standpoints, from different attitudes, they point to the same moon ...
hoping that perhaps, if last night you did not see it, today it may be possible from some other aspect.
The master is nothing but a great hope for the disciple, simply waiting for you to understand a simple thing which he cannot deliver to you as matter because it is immaterial. But its pricelessness is such that he cannot ignore it either, he has to do something in order to provoke you and challenge you to search inwards. All these anecdotes are nothing but provocations, challenges. These statements have arisen out of deep love and compassion, not out of mind.
This has to be remembered about every anecdote, every dialogue, every small Zen haiku: that the master is trying in some way the impossible. And the impossible does happen once in a while.
So it cannot be denied, and it cannot be said that the whole thing is futile ... no need to bother about others. Enlightenment brings with itself a tremendous love for all those who are in darkness.
Just because they are standing with closed eyes and they think they are blind, somebody has to nag them to open their eyes. Perhaps their eyes have been closed for so many lives. They have forgotten completely that they have eyes, so much dust has gathered.
The whole work of the master is to remove the dust and give you a challenging call so that your innermost being wakes up. And once it is awakened, you will see that all the efforts of the master were faulty; just his compassion was immense. His efforts were faulty because there is no direct way to express the inexpressible. But he still tried, knowing perfectly well that he is on an impossible journey.
When somebody awakes he can see all the faults of the master, but they don't matter. The only thing that matters is a deep gratitude to this incredible man who went on saying again and again, day after day, the same thing; hitting as hard as possible, perfectly aware that it is very rare that a man recognizes his buddhahood. But because it is only a recognition, the possibility is that everybody one day will recognize. Why not today? There is no need to postpone it.
In a way it was easier in the past. Because there were so many buddhas around, it seemed conceivable that you could also be a buddha. Unfortunately, that is not the case today. For the contemporary man, the word 'buddha' is just a word. It is very rare that you will come across a buddha in your whole life. And even if you come across him, you will not be able to recognize him because you have forgotten completely the language. You have learned the ways of matter so much and so deeply, and they are standing as a block to your spiritual flight to the moon, to the immense sky that is your right.
Whatever the masters say, always remember: you are not to analyze the words. These are not treatises for Ph.D.'s and D. Litt.'s. These are not words spoken to spectators. Just a single spectator in this buddhafield and I can recognize immediately a hole of energy.
The day you had a poets' gathering I felt so much wounded, because I could see that you rise to your heights every day, but that day you could not rise. Just those few poets were dragging down the whole energy of the field; they were like a drainage. I was trying hard but it was impossible.
Those people will never understand that they have missed a tremendous experience because they remained spectators. They looked here, they looked there, they could not believe ... They whispered to each other, "What is happening?" They could not take a jump and participate, and because of those few people the whole energy field was torn, broken.
I told Neelam that this should never happen again. I don't want a single spectator here in this field.
While I am speaking, you have to be a participant, otherwise this is not the place for you. You can have your poets' gatherings and other social entertainments after I have left. But don't allow those people. It is not their fault, just they don't know what is happening here. They are curious, and their curiosity does not allow them to participate. And because they are not participating, the chain of energy that joins you all together into one whole consciousness is broken. You could not reach that day the place ... the height that is becoming more and more.
Those poets tried to act as if they were participating, but it was only 'as if'. They did the gibberish, but I could see that it was just a very shallow thing for them. They were doing it because everybody else was doing it, and not to do it would look a little awkward. They sat in silence, but there was no silence. They were preparing for their poetries, thinking about what they were going to recite.
When I said to relax they looked relaxed like everybody else, but there was a qualitative difference.
When you relax you know the purpose, the meaning, the significance. They were relaxing just because everybody else was relaxing. But even relaxing, they would open their eyes and look around: What kind of relaxation ...?
The whole effort is to forget the whole world. That's why I even say, "Leave the body, leave the mind," so that you can discriminate clearly what is consciousness. And this consciousness is the buddha.
While you are in that consciousness you are at the highest peak of life. Just the very freedom on those heights makes one dance, sing like the birds, blossom like flowers. With no effort it happens - spontaneously. That's why after the meditation I want you always to sit for a few minutes to gather the experience, the heights, the fragrance of those depths; so that you can go on slowly remaining a buddha all the year round.
And remember, once a buddha you are always a buddha. Nobody has fallen from that point. It is just against nature.
What he is saying - what is being said by every buddha - is that the moment one becomes enlightened, he cannot see anything that is not enlightened. He sees trees standing silently in enlightenment, and the moon, brilliant in enlightenment. Your enlightenment makes you a universal consciousness - you are no more separate. It is not that you have become enlightened; for you the universe has become enlightened. And naturally, with an enlightened universe you cannot misbehave. You can only be grateful to all that exists.
Even the darkest nights don't create a complaint in you, but just a deep peace and a waiting, because soon there will be morning. The darker the night, the closer the sun. But night itself is a joy. The day has its own joys. Every moment has its own flavor. For the enlightened person, remember, it is not that he is enlightened. On the contrary, for him the whole existence has become enlightened ... all light and all consciousness, all truth and all beauty.
Hsuan-Sha's statement after his enlightenment ...
Nothing is other than Buddha.
Anything that we say about the ultimate experience is only provisional, arbitrary. So don't argue about words and don't depend on words. No word is absolutely accurate. Language simply falls far below. Those heights and those depths are beyond; words cannot reflect them. Only the great compassion of the master and his brilliance express something of the inexpressible. But that is so subtle that unless you are silent, utterly silent, you will not be able to catch hold of it.
Everything is nothing but an expression of universal spirit. That universal spirit we call 'the buddha'.
It is only a provisional name.
The light that radiates from the buddha is only one phase. The experience is multidimensional; it has beauty in it, it has music in it, it has truth in it - it has everything that is valuable, imperishable. Light has been chosen provisionally to express it; it is only one aspect. When we say "the enlightened one" we are just taking out one part, one aspect of the whole experience, to represent it.
Gautam Buddha himself has said, "This very body the buddha, and this very earth the lotus paradise." Once you are enlightened your vision is so clear, and in that clarity everything shows its spirit, its life, its source. And that source is one; it is not two, it is not three.
He is just saying that this experience is impossible to give even to an intimate friend. You can provoke it but you cannot give it; it is not something in your hands. It is lying down in your intimate friend's very heart. You can make devices ... just as tickling brings laughter, although there is no reasonable connection, why tickling should bring laughter.
I have known one person who does not need to be tickled. Just from far away you make the gesture, and that is enough. Here there is also one person, everybody knows her. She is sitting so buddha- like, but just if I do this right now ...
And where is Anando?
That is Anando, I could see.
This is the only way buddhahood arises: the master has to tickle. Now do you see the effect? I have not even tickled Avirbhava, neither have I tickled Anando, and you are all laughing!
(MORE "TICKLES" AND MORE LAUGHTER ENSUE.)
This tickling is called, in the sutras, THE GREAT TRANSMISSION. I have not even touched ...
(HE "TICKLES" SEVERAL PEOPLE, LAUGHING, AND EVERYONE IS CARRIED ALONG WITH HIM AGAIN.)
The master can only create a device. The device has no logical connection. Now do you see why you are laughing? Of course Avirbhava, at least, is tickled from far away - remote control. But why are you laughing? I have a remote control ...
(THE MASTER DEMONSTRATES HIS REMOTE CONTROL ON AVIRBHAVA, AND WE ALL LAUGH SOME MORE. HE LAUGHS, AND THEN MOTIONS TO HER TO BE STILL.)
Calm down. Just sit like a buddha ... close your eyes (HE GIGGLES) ... look inside.
(ANOTHER BURST OF LAUGHTER.)
A Zen poet has written:
He is talking about his master. Once you have seen the face of the master, you cannot forget it for thousands of years, because in that small moment you have seen yourself. A master is, at the most, a mirror. He can show you your face if you come closer. And all disciplehood is nothing but coming closer and closer and closer, so that you can see into the eyes of your master, into his gestures, your own buddhahood.
Another Zen poet:
You have just seen it. Do you want to see it again?
(THE MASTER BEGINS TO "TICKLE" AGAIN PROVOKING WAVES OF LAUGHTER, WITH A FEW CHUCKLES FROM HIM.)
I have two remote controls - one for Avirbhava and the other for Anando.
Wherever they are in the universe ... just tickle and they will laugh. And with them, others will laugh for no reason at all.
I want you to understand: enlightenment is so light, so loving, so peaceful - just like a laughter. The theologians have made it so heavy, so burdensome, that people ignore it. Enlightenment should also be entertainment at the same time.
It reminds me of J. Krishnamurti's last sentence before he died, just a few months ago. He was a very serious person, and that was his only fault. He was enlightened, but he took enlightenment as a serious matter. He saw that he was enlightened and nobody else was enlightened. And he was trying hard to make people enlightened ... obviously.
For seventy years - he died at the age of ninety - for seventy years, from the age of twenty, he had been working on people, and not a single person had become enlightened. You can understand his sense of deep failure and his sadness ... becoming more and more serious, almost a sickness.
And the reason is clear from his last statement, "People don't take enlightenment seriously, they think it is entertainment." And that is where I differ. Enlightenment cannot be anything else other than entertainment ... universal entertainment, a laughter that knows no bounds, no limits. You laugh, and the trees laugh, and the cuckoos laugh, and the clouds laugh, and the stars laugh, and the laughter goes on spreading because everybody is triggering everybody else. You need not actually trigger, just your laughter will be enough for somebody else to start laughing.
I love J. Krishnamurti, and I love his hard effort of seventy years continuously, but I am absolutely against his attitude. He was making it a serious affair. That was the fault of all the old prophets.
That's why you will not find a statue of Mahavira laughing. What a miserable world, you don't allow even Mahavira to laugh. You will not find a statue of Gautam Buddha laughing. Even if Gautam Buddha laughed, people would not believe their eyes or ears: "What is happening? Such a serious man ..."
But you don't understand that when the mind is gone you are just like a small child. Laughter will arise without any effort on your part. At least I am a break from the whole past, and in the future I want my people to be laughing buddhas. Serious ones we have seen enough of, they have not been able to transform humanity. Let us try another direction - of nonseriousness.
ONE CALL INVITES ONE HUNDRED COMRADES .... One buddha - just his presence - magnetically pulls a thousand buddhas, ten thousand buddhas. It is a question of how great your enlightenment is, how great your compassion and love is, and how nonseriously you have taken it.
Nobody likes a serious person.
Have you ever thought about it, that all the saints are serious? It is perfectly good to go and touch their feet ... and be finished. Nobody wants their company. These people will be going to heaven - remember it. Heaven is overcrowded with saints. If you want the right kind of people go to the other place, where you will find poets, and you will find painters, and you will find dancers and musicians.
I am going particularly to the other place. So remember, whoever is with me will have a great journey and a meeting with great people. No saint has been of any value - no creativity, no poetry, no painting. All these people who were creators, who have made this world a little beautiful, a little more livable, are gathered in the other place.
Friedrich Nietzsche said God is dead, but he did not say why he is dead. He has to be dead, surrounded by all these idiots, eternally stinking ... because most of them don't take a bath, don't wash their mouths. Laughter is absolutely unknown in paradise, poor God could not survive.
So I warn you, beware! If by chance you reach to the gates of heaven - refuse. don't enter in. Ask for the way to the other place. I will be waiting there for you. Ask for me and that will do.
This Zen poet is saying that even crying is so beautiful, so lightening, so unburdening.
don't be worried about time ... space ... age. Just learn to laugh and cry totally, because these are the simplest ways to reach your innermost being.
Maneesha has asked:
Maneesha, in that case I accept that I am unfortunate. You are blessed to have a master who is not a burden on you. You are blessed to have a master who is not a masochist, a sadist.
I was not so blessed. I had never come across a single man whom I could have called my master. I had to work my way alone, on my own, going this way and that; falling and getting up again, nobody to guide me, nobody to give me any instruction, nobody even to indicate a finger to the moon. But it seems, just by chance, I happened to stumble upon the right place.
I am a master who had no master. So I cannot see and cannot say what you see in my eyes, in my face. But whatever you are seeing is really a pure reflection of your love and your trust. This body will wither away, but I have another body, of light. Before this body withers away, you have to become acquainted with my light body, with my inner center. And your center and my inner center are not two. In that area there is always one - neither two nor three.
Now, before we enter into our daily meditation ... just to drop all burdens, all the worries of the world, and have a few good laughs. I have not found anything better to create a right space to enter into yourself, because your mind cannot understand laughter. Laughter is very illogical. A logical person cannot laugh, a logical person is confined to a very small area.
I have not heard that Kant ever laughed. He could not, he was too serious a person. Just now I was talking to you about J. Krishnamurti .... He used to come to India at least once or twice a year.
He went to only three places: Varanasi, New Delhi and Bombay. I had instructed all my sannyasins, "Wherever he is, either in India or outside India, just sit in the front line wherever he is speaking. And don't forget the orange and the mala."
And that was enough. Then he would not speak on any other subject. That was enough to make him so angry, "I have been telling my whole life ...!" And my people enjoyed it, they loved it. Even a few people who were not sannyasins used to go in orange, borrowing a mala from a friend.
Just a single sannyasin was enough. Then he would forget everything that he was going to say.
Then he just had to condemn me, condemn sannyas, condemn everything - not understanding a simple thing, that he was being easily distracted. What does it matter? Somebody is wearing orange and having a mala ... it is none of his business.
But he was a serious man. He would hit his own head. He would become so angry ... particularly in Bombay, because I was in Bombay. So hundreds of sannyasins would be sitting in the front, and he would hit his head. I am so lazy that I cannot even hit my own head, let alone anybody else's. I am keeping for that purpose Zen Master Sekito - Stonehead.
(THE MASTER ADDRESSES NISKRIYA.) Where is your staff?
(NISKRIYA PICKS UP HIS STAFF AND SHOWS IT TO THE MASTER) Yes, that's good, because any moment it may be needed. And I have chosen a German Zen master ... because Japanese Zen masters will hit, but their hit will be just like a peacock feather. A real hit only a German knows.
And just look at his stonehead. Have you shaved your hairs or not? Shave them completely.
(NISKRIYA RAISES HIS EYEBROWS IN A QUESTION, POINTING TO HIS NEW BEARD - THIS TOO?) Yes, let it go.
Proper Sagar has arrived. Many of you may not know him - he is a very ancient sannyasin - but most of the old sannyasins will remember Proper Sagar. He is so proper in everything.
Proper Sagar goes to visit Doctor Azima. He hangs up his umbrella and his hat. Then he takes off his jacket, his shirt and tie, and his trousers - folding them up very neatly and putting them on the chair. Then he takes off his shoes and puts them under the chair, straight. Then he takes off his underwear, folds them nicely, and also puts them on the chair.
Standing stiffly in front of Azima, Sagar calmly says, "As you can see, Doctor, my left testicle hangs lower than my right one."
"Oh," smiles Azima, "but that-a is perfectly normal. You have-a nothing to worry about."
"I am not worrying," replies Proper Sagar. "But don't you think it is a bit untidy?"
Pope the Polack is on a pilgrimage in Calcutta where he makes an official visit to Mother Teresa's orphanage.
Mother Teresa is showing him around, and the Polack is bending and kissing everything in sight.
Suddenly, as he bends over to kiss Mother Teresa's pride and joy, the new church organ, the pope recoils in terror. There, stretched out across the top of the organ, is a big black condom.
Purple with rage, Pope the Polack demands an explanation from Mother Teresa.
"Well," says Mother Teresa, "one of my orphans found it in a package on the street, and when I read the label it said: 'Place on organ and feel secure.'"
Harold, Bill and Gabby, three tired and hungry cowboys, are sitting around a campfire about to eat dinner. Jose, the cook, a grimy, stubble-faced huge Mexican guy, throws down the pot and holds up his gun.
"The first one of you jerks who makes a fuss about your supper gets trouble from me!" says Jose.
There is careful silence as the purple and green slop is served up, and the eating begins.
"God!" shrieks Harold, gagging and turning blue. "This stuff tastes like shit."
Then, immediately eyeing the big Mexican, Harold adds enthusiastically, "But good shit, real good shit."
Doctor Feelgood is visiting the insane asylum to see the latest condition of some of his patients.
He is led into the first room, opens the door, and meets Charlie Rosenkrantz. At that moment Mr.
Rosenkrantz is swinging an imaginary golf club in the air.
"Well, Charlie," says Feelgood. "When do you think you will be getting out?"
"No problem," replies Charlie, swinging away. "Just as soon as I hit a hole-in-one."
Feelgood shakes his head and goes on to the next room. There he finds Chester Cheese swinging an imaginary baseball bat.
"Hello, Chester," says Feelgood. "And when do you think you will be getting out?"
"Oh, soon," replies Chester. "Just as soon as I hit this home-run."
Feelgood shakes his head again, and is led to the next room. He walks in and finds Donald Dickstein rubbing a bag of peanuts up against his open zipper.
"Hello, Donald," says Feelgood. "And when do you think you will be getting out?"
"Out? Are you kidding?" says Donald excitedly. "I'm fucking nuts!"
Now, Nivedano ... give the beat.
Be silent ... close your eyes ...
feel frozen. Collect your life energy,
your consciousness, within.
This is the place
where you have roots in the universe.
This is the place
which makes one a buddha.
Go deeper, without any fear.
It is unknown, unfamiliar,
but don't be worried -
it is your own self.
Remember these heights ...
remember these depths ...
remember you are part of this universe.
Drop all separation.
Just slip like a dewdrop
from the lotus leaf into the ocean.
To disappear in this ocean
is to become the ocean.
To make it more clear, Nivedano ...
Relax ... let go ...
The body is there, lying ...
it is not you.
The mind is there,
maybe a few clouds still hovering around ...
but it is not you.
You are the watcher on the hills.
This silent night,
and ten thousand buddhas
There cannot be anything greater,
or more significant.
The clouds have also joined,
the bamboos are making commentaries.
I hope there will be a day
when the whole humanity
will understand this buddhahood.
Spread this experience
to all those who are groping in darkness.
But never be a missionary;
just be a message ...
Let your whole body, your actions,
make them aware
that something immensely valuable
has happened within you;
that you are carrying a flame,
that you are carrying a fragrance,
that your eyes have become as blue
and as vast
and as deep
as the sky itself.
This I call "to be a message."
Except becoming a buddha,
there is no way
to convey what you are experiencing.
once a buddha,
forever a buddha.
Call all the buddhas back.
Slowly and silently ...
sit for a few moments ...
just reflecting ...
remembering what has happened to you ...
where you have been.
Remember the route so you can go,
anytime you want,
into the temple.
You are the temple,
and deep inside you is the buddha.
Yes, Beloved Master.
Can we celebrate the ten thousand buddhas?
Yes, Beloved Master.