Now or never
I. 13. mo ko kahan dhunro bande O FRIEND, WHERE DOST THOU SEEK ME?
LO! I AM BESIDE THEE.
I AM NEITHER IN TEMPLE NOR IN MOSQUE: I AM NEITHER IN KAABA NOR IN KAILASH:
NEITHER AM I IN RITES AND CEREMONIES, NOR IN YOGA AND RENUNCIATION.
IF THOU ART A TRUE SEEKER, THOU SHALT AT ONCE SEE ME: THOU SHALT MEET ME IN A MOMENT OF TIME.
KABIR SAYS: "O FRIEND! GOD IS THE BREATH OF ALL BREATH."
I. 57. sadho bhai, jivat hi karo asa O FRIEND! HOPE FOR HIM WHILST YOU LIVE, KNOW WHILST YOU LIVE, UNDERSTAND WHILST YOU LIVE: FOR IN LIFE DELIVERANCE ABIDES.
IF YOUR BONDS BE NOT BROKEN WHILST LIVING, WHAT HOPE OF DELIVERANCE IN DEATH?
IT IS BUT AN EMPTY DREAM, THAT THE SOUL SHALL HAVE UNION WITH HIM BECAUSE IT HAS PASSED FROM THE BODY.
IF HE IS FOUND NOW, HE IS FOUND THEN, IF NOT, WE DO BUT GO TO DWELL IN THE CITY OF DEATH.
IF YOU HAVE UNION NOW, YOU SHALL HAVE IT HEREAFTER.
BATHE IN THE TRUTH, KNOW THE TRUE GURU, HAVE FAITH IN THE TRUE NAME!
KABIR SAYS: "IT IS THE SPIRIT OF THE QUEST WHICH HELPS I AM THE SLAVE OF THIS SPIRIT OF THE QUEST."
HERE I GO AGAIN - I will sing the same old song. But yet it is not the same old song; it cannot be.
Manu says there is nothing new under the sun. And he is right. And Heraclitus says you cannot step in the same river twice. And he is right too. Existence is old and new, both together, and my song is that of existence itself. I am just a vehicle to sing it to you, to spread it to you. But I am not the singer; I am just a passage. Remember it: it may look the same, but yet it is not the same. Words may be the same, the appearance may be the same, but something vital goes on continuously changing.
Have you ever come across the same morning again? Have you ever seen the same sky again?
And yet the sky is the same and the sun is the same.
Manu and Heraclitus both are true together; taken separately they both are false. Life is a contradiction. Life is paradoxical. That's why it is so charming and so beautiful. It exists through the opposites. It is vast; it contains contradictions. It is new and old both. It is life and death both, together. So I say to you I will sing the same old song and yet it is not going to be the same. Listen attentively.
Before we enter into the words of mystic poet Kabir, it will be good to know something about Kabir.
Much is not known - fortunately - because when you know too much about the person, it creates more complexities in understanding him. When you don't know anything about the person himself, then there is less complexity. That's why in the East it has been one of the most cherished old traditions not to say much about the mystics, so that it never hinders people. We don't know much about Krishna and we don't know much about Buddha; or all that we know about them is more mythological than historical, not true, fictitious. But about Kabir, even fiction does not exist. And he is not very ancient, yet he lived in such a way that he has effaced himself completely. He has not left any marks.
Only politicians leave marks on time - only politicians are that foolish. The mystics live in the timeless. They don't leave any marks in time, they don't leave any signatures on time. They don't believe in signing on the sand of time. They know it will be effaced, so there is no point in it.
Kabir has not said much about himself, nothing much is known about him. Not even this much is known - whether he was a Hindu or a Mohammedan. The story goes that he was born a Mohammedan but was brought up by a Hindu. And this is beautiful; this is how it should be. Hence his richness. He has the heritage of two rich traditions: Hindu and Mohammedan. If you are just a Hindu, of course, you are poor. If you are just a Mohammedan you are poor.
Look at my richness. I am a Hindu and a Mohammedan and a Christian and a Sikh and a Parsi. Not only that, I am a theist and I am an atheist too. I claim the whole heritage of humanity. I claim all; I don't reject anything. From Charvakas to Buddhas, I claim all. The whole humanity is yours, the whole evolution of human consciousness is yours, but you are so miserly. Somebody has become a Hindu; he claims only a corner - and lives in that corner, crippled and paralyzed. In fact, the corner is so narrow you cannot move. It is not spacious enough. A religious person will claim all - Buddha, Mahavir, Christ, Zarathustra, Lao Tzu, Nanak, Kabir, etc., etc. He will claim ALL. They are all part of me; they are all part of you. Whatsoever has happened to human consciousness, you carry the seeds of it in you.
This is the one thing to be understood about Kabir: that he was born as a Mohammedan and brought up by a Hindu. And it never became conclusive to whom he had really belonged. Even at the time when he was dying it was a dispute among his disciples. The Hindus were claiming his body, the Mohammedans were claiming his body, and there is a beautiful parable about it. Kabir had left a message about his death. He knew it was going to happen - people are foolish, they will claim the body and there is going to be conflict - so he had left a message: "If there is any conflict, just cover my body with a sheet and wait, and the decision will come." And the story says that the body was covered and the Hindus started praying and the Mohammedans started praying and then the cover was removed, and Kabir had disappeared - only a few flowers were there. Those flowers were divided.
Even disciples are stupid.
This parable is beautiful. I call it a parable, I don't say it really happened, but it shows something.
A man like Kabir has already disappeared. He is not in his body. He is in his inner flowering. His SAHASRAR, his one-thousand-petaled lotus, has flowered. You are in the body only to a certain extent. The body has a certain function to fulfill; the function is that of consciousness flowering.
Once the consciousness has flowered, the body is nonexistential. It does not matter whether it exists or not. It is simply irrelevant.
The parable is beautiful. When they removed the cover there were only a few flowers left. Kabir is a flowering. Only a few flowers were left. And the stupid disciples even then wouldn't understand.
They divided the flowers.
Remember one thing: all ideologies are dangerous. They divide people. You become a Hindu, you become a Mohammedan, you become a Jaina, a Christian: you are divided. All ideologies create conflict. All ideologies are violent. A real man of understanding has no ideology; then he is undivided, then he is one with the whole of humanity. Not only that, he is one with the whole of existence. A real man of understanding is a flowering. This flowering we will be discussing.
These songs of Kabir are tremendously beautiful. He is a poet; he is not a philosopher. He has not created a system. He is not a theoretician or a theologian. He is not interested in doctrines, in scriptures. His whole interest is in how to flower and become a god. His whole effort is how to make you more loving, more alert.
It is not a question of learning much. On the contrary, it is a question of unlearning much. In that way he is very rare. Buddha, Mahavir, Krishna, Ram, they are very special people. They were all kings, and they were well-educated, well-cultured. Kabir is a nobody, a man of the masses, very poor, very ordinary, with no education at all, with no culture. And that is his rarity. Why do I call it his rarity? Because to be ordinary in the world is the most extraordinary thing. He was very ordinary - and he remained ordinary.
The natural desire of the human mind is to become special - to become special in the ways of the world, to have many degrees, to have much political power, to have money, wealth - to be special.
The mind is always ready to go on some ego trip. And if you are fed up with the world, then again the ego starts finding new ways and new means to enhance itself - it becomes spiritual. You become a great mahatma, a great sage, a great scholar, a man of knowledge, a man of renunciation; again you are special.
Unless the desire to be special disappears, you will never be special. Unless you relax into your ordinariness, you will never relax.
The really spiritual person is one who is absolutely ordinary. Kabir is very normal. You would not have been able to find him in a crowd. His speciality is not outward. You cannot just find him by looking at his face. It is difficult. Buddha was special, a very beautiful man, a charismatic personality.
Jesus is very special, throbbing with revolution, rebellion. But Kabir? Kabir is absolutely ordinary, a normal person.
Remember, when I say normal, I don't mean the average. The average is not the normal. The average is only "normally" abnormal; he is "as mad" as all others are. In fact, in the world, normal persons don't exist.
I have heard:
A famous psychiatrist conducting a university course in psychopathology was asked by a student, "Doctor, you have told us about the abnormal person and his behavior, but what about the normal person?"
The doctor was a little puzzled, and then he said, "In my whole life I have never come across a normal person. But if we ever find him, we will cure him!"
Kabir is really that normal person that you never come across in life, with no desire to be special.
When he became enlightened, then too he remained in his ordinary life. He was a weaver; he continued to weave.
His disciples started growing in numbers - hundreds, and then thousands, and then many more thousands were coming to him. And they will always ask him to stop weaving clothes - "There is no need. We will take care of you." But he will laugh and he will say, "It is better to continue as God has willed me. I have no desire to be anything else. Let me be whatsoever I am, whatsoever God wants me to be. If he wants me to be a weaver, that's why I am a weaver. I was born a weaver, and I will die as a weaver."
He continued in his ordinary way. He will go to the marketplace to sell his goods. He will carry water from the well. He lived very, very ordinarily. That is one of the most significant things to be understood. He never claimed that he is a man of knowledge - because no man of knowledge ever claims it. To know is to know that to know is not to know and that not to know is to know. A real man of understanding knows that he does not know at all. His ignorance is profound. And out of this ignorance arises innocence. When you know, you become cunning. When you know, you become clever. When you know, you lose that innocence of childhood.
Kabir says he is ignorant, he does not know anything. And this has to be understood, because this will make the background in your mind for his poetry. From where is this poetry coming? It is coming out of his innocence, flowering out of his innocence. He says he does not know.
Have you ever observed the fact that in life we go on claiming that we know, but we don't know?
What do you know? Have you known anything, ever? If I ask why the trees are green, will you be able to answer it? Yes, the best answer that I have heard is from D.H. Lawrence. A small child was walking with him in a garden and the child asked - as children are prone to ask - "Why are the trees green?" D.H. Lawrence looked at the trees, looked into the eyes of the child, and said, "They are green because they are green." That's the truest answer ever given. What else can you say?
Whatsoever else you say will be foolish; it will not make any sense. You can say trees are green because of chlorophyll, but why is chlorophyll green? The question remains the same. I ask you one question, you give me an answer, but the question is not really answered.
You have lived with a woman for thirty years, and you call her your wife, or with a man, for fifty years; do you know the man or the woman? A child is born to you; do you know him? Have you looked into his eyes? Can you claim that you know him? What do you know? Do you know a piece of rock? Yes, scientists will give many explanations, but they don't become knowledge. They will say electrons and protons and neutrons. But what is an electron? And they shrug their shoulders; they say, "We don't know." They say, "We don't know YET," in the hope that someday they will be able to know. No, they will never be able to know, because first they said, "The rock is made of atoms,"
and when it was asked what is an atom, they said, "We don't know yet." Then they said, "The atom consists of electrons." Now we ask what is an electron; they say, "We don't know yet." Someday they will say the electron consists of this and that, X, Y, Z; but that doesn't make any difference. The ultimate remains irreducible to knowledge. The ultimate remains a mystery.
If the ultimate is a mystery, then life becomes a life of wonder. If the ultimate is not known, then poetry arises. If the ultimate is known - or you THINK that it is known - then philosophy arises. That is the difference between philosophy and poetry.
And Kabir's approach is that of a poet, of a lover, of one who is absolutely wondering what it is all about. Not knowing it, he sings a song. Not knowing it, he becomes prayerful. Not knowing it, he bows down. The poet's approach is not that of explanation. It is that of exclamation. He says, "Aha, Aha! So here is the mystery."
And wherever you find mystery there is God. The more you know, the less you will be aware of God; the less you know, the closer God will be to you. If you don't know anything, if you can say with absolute confidence, "I don't know," if this "I don't know" comes from the deepest core of your being, then God will be in your very core, in the very beat of your heart. And then poetry arises... then one falls in love with this tremendous mystery that surrounds you.
That love is religion. Religion is not after any explanations. Religion is not a quest for the explanation.
Rather, it is an exploration of love, a nonending journey into love.
I invite you to come with me into the innermost realm of this madman Kabir. Yes, he was a madman - all religious people are. Mad, because they don't trust reason. Mad, because they love life. Mad, because they can dance and they can sing. Mad, because to them life is not a question, not a problem to be solved but a mystery into which one has to dissolve oneself.
One thing more about Kabir's approach. He is life-affirmative. That too is an indication of a real man of understanding. There are two types of people in the world: the people who indulge and the people who renounce. They Look opposite to each other but they are not. They are two aspects of the same coin. The people who indulge are continuously frustrated because no indulgence brings you to joy. You can indulge - you can waste your life, you can waste your opportunity, your energy - but no enjoyment ever comes out of indulgence. If indulgence could have given joy, then nobody would ever have renounced. People renounce because indulgence fails - but then they are moving to the other extreme. Thinking that indulgence has not helped, they move to the opposite. They become against life, they become antilife, they become life-negative. They start destroying their being; they become suicidal. These are the two types of people you will find. In the market you will find the people who indulge, and in the monasteries you will find the people who renounce.
Kabir belongs to neither. A real man of understanding is a great synthesis. He knows that it is not a question of indulgence or renunciation; it is a question of awareness. Be in the world, but be with awareness. Don't go anywhere, don't have antagonistic attitudes towards life. Kabir is tremendously life-affirmative. He loved, he had a wife, he had two children, and he lived the life of a householder...
and yet was one of the greatest seers of the world. He lived in the world and remained untouched.
That's his beauty. He is a lotus flower.
If you go to your so-called mahatmas, they create antagonism towards life; they make you life- negative. They teach you that life is the enemy, it is evil. They make you feel as if God and life are contraries, you can't have both. Kabir says you can have both, because life and God are not enemies. Life is God manifest; God is life unmanifest. God and life are one force, one energy, one movement. When God is not visible he is God;when he becomes visible he is Life. And this goes on continuously - he becomes visible, he becomes invisible. It is like breathing: you breathe out, you breathe in.
The old Indian scriptures say that existence is when God breathes out, and when God breathes in there is nonexistence. The whole of existence disappears when he breathes in; when he breathes out, the whole of existence appears. It is one breath going in and out. When God breathes out, you are born; when he breathes in, you disappear in death.
But you never leave God. The outgoing breath is as much his as the ingoing breath. And one has to understand this dynamism, this dialectics. Kabir is neither for the world nor for renunciation.
And his assertions are very simple, down to earth. He is not dramatic. He is not a preacher. And he is not worried whether you are impressed by him or not. He simply relates whatsoever he has experienced. He never exaggerates. He never proves his assertions through any logic. He simply asserts; they are pure statements.
I have heard a beautiful story concerning a young pastor who had dabbled with the theater before entering divinity school, and wanted to give his first sermon in a new church a dramatic send-off.
Noticing that there was a scuttle in the roof above the pulpit, he deliberately chose as his text "The Holy Ghost descended in the form of a dove," then arranged to have the sexton open the scuttle at just the right moment, releasing a white dove which the pastor had trained to light on his shoulder.
On the evening of the service, he led carefully up to his climax, intoning, "And the Holy Ghost descended in the form of a dove" - but nothing happened. Louder - and angrily - he repeated his text - with which the scuttle door opened slightly and the voice of the sexton was heard by the whole congregation, wheezing, "Your Reverence, the cat ate up the Holy Ghost. Shall I let down the cat?"
Kabir is not dramatic at all. His assertions are simple. His assertions are just from his heart. He is not scholarly either. His poetry is pure, uncontaminated by scripture. His poetry can be understood by anyone who is innocent enough.
So in the beginning of the journey I would like to say to you, be innocent; only then will you be able to understand Kabir. Don't bring your mind in, don't start arguing with him, because he is not a logician. When you go to see a painting you don't argue with the painting. You enjoy it. When you go to listen to a musician playing on his guitar you don't argue. When you go to a poet you don't argue. You listen to the poetry; there is no argument in your head.
But about religion, there is difficulty. When you come to listen to a religious person you argue.
And the responsibility lies with the so-called religious people themselves because they have been arguing. There have been foolish people who have even tried to prove God through argument. As if God depends on your argument. As if, if you cannot argue, he will not be able to be there; he will become nonexistential. As if God is a syllogism.
Kabir is not going to give you any argument. His assertions are just like the Upanishads' or Mohammed's assertions in the Koran or Jesus' assertions in the Bible - just statements. He feels...
he sings about his feeling. Please feel him. There is no question of your head. Put your heads aside.
There are people for whom it is very difficult to put their head aside. They have completely forgotten how to put it aside. It is always on top of them - chattering, arguing, choosing, rejecting, accepting, valuing, judging, condemning - "Yes, this is according to me, and this is not according to me."
There is no need for God to be according to you. He is not obliged to be according to you. If you want to understand, you will have to silence your mind. Listen to Kabir as one listens to poetry; he is a poet.
I have heard about a lad who was such a mathematical wizard that at the age of twelve he could do calculations in his head that had stumped Albert Einstein when he was forty. Unfortunately, this prodigy was so involved in equations that he had no time for anything else. He was getting, by and by, crazy. The family was very much concerned. In an attempt to divert him, his parents took him to an all-star revival of PETER PAN - and were delighted to note that he was utterly engrossed throughout the first act.
At the intermission, his father said cheerfully, "Well, son, I see you are enjoying the play."
"Do you know," answered the son, "there were 71,832 words in that act?"
Now this is no way to enjoy.
So don't listen to the words. Listen to the silence that surrounds the words. Don't listen to the words. Listen to the poetry that surrounds the words, listen to the rhythm, the song. Listen to Kabir's celebration. He is not here to preach anything to you. He is like a cherry tree. In the fullmoon night the cherry tree has blossomed. Flowers have no arguments; they are simply there. This is an explosion. Kabir has burst into songs.
And these are the two possibilities: whenever enlightenment happens, either a person becomes absolutely silent or he bursts into song. These are the two possibilities. When Meher Baba attained he became silent. Then his whole life he remained silent. When Meera attained she started dancing and singing. These are the two possibilities: either one becomes absolutely silent or one's whole life becomes a song. Kabir's life is that of song.
But remember, in his song there is silence. And always remember also, in Meher Baba or people like that there is song in their silence. If you listen attentively to Meher Baba's silence, you will be full of a song, you will feel it showering on you. And if you listen to Kabir silently, you will see that his song is nothing but a message for silence.
O FRIEND, WHERE DOST THOU SEEK ME?
LO! I AM BESIDE THEE.
Kabir says don't seek God somewhere else; he is just beside you. Don't look for him far away. That will be the way - sure way - to miss him. He is very close by. In fact to say he is close is not right, because "closeness" also shows distance. He is just within you - he is YOU! You have never departed from him, you cannot depart from him; he is your nature. Right this moment he is inside you. Looking at me, HE is looking at me. Listening to me, HE is listening to me.
Once you relax you will know. Tense, you become an ego; relaxed, the ego disappears. Tense, you become cut off; relaxed again, you are no longer frozen - melting, you dissolve into the ocean.
Right now, these are the two possibilities: either you can be an iceberg, frozen, floating in the ocean, feeling that you are separate; or you can melt and become one with the ocean. That's all. When you think you ARE, you become frozen, blocked, your energy stops moving - you demark yourself, you create a definition for yourself. That very definition becomes your barrier.
O Friend, where dost thou seek Me?
Lo! I am beside thee.
I AM NEITHER IN TEMPLE NOR IN MOSQUE:
I AM NEITHER IN KAABA NOR IN KAILASH.
So don't go away for long pilgrimages. God has already happened. You are carrying him from the very beginning; you have never lost track of him. You may have forgotten, you may have become completely oblivious, you may not be able to remember who you are, but still you are God.
I am neither in temple nor in mosque:
I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash:
NEITHER AM I IN RITES AND CEREMONIES, NOR IN YOGA AND RENUNCIATION.
Neither in rites and ceremonies.... Religion deteriorates into rituals. When a religion is dead, it becomes ritualistic. When a religion is alive, it remains spontaneous. If you want to pray, let it be spontaneous. Don't repeat rituals; otherwise it is futile, it is meaningless, you are wasting time. If you get up every day - a particular time, a particular prayer, a particular way to do it, and you repeat it in a mechanical way, you will never come to know what prayer is.
Prayer has not really to be done. It has only to be allowed. Sitting silently, looking at the trees, suddenly it is there. Sometimes it comes; sometimes it does not come. It is not within your power to drag it. A prayer dragged is no longer prayer. Prayer is like love: sometimes it is there and sometimes it is not there. And you are helpless, you cannot do anything about it when it is not there.
Or can you do something? You can pretend. You can show that you are very loving and you know deep down there is no love. You will be false, you will not be authentic. And if you get accustomed to this, by and by you will forget what real love is. You will become accustomed to the pseudo, to the pretended, to the false.
If you watch you will see sometimes like a breeze it comes. Right now there is no breeze and the trees are silent. What can they do? They wait. When the breeze comes they will dance. They don't have a ritual. They don't say, "Now it is morning and it is time to dance, and where is the breeze?"
and if it is not coming, "Then we will try on our own - we will do some yoga posture, we will perform some ritual, we will do some exercises and somehow sway." No, they don't bother. They wait. Look, they are waiting. When the breeze comes they will dance. Prayer is like that: it comes. It comes without ever giving you any indication that it is coming.
So remain available. Sometimes sitting in your bed in the night, suddenly it is there - the whole room becomes full of some unknown presence. Not that you can do anything about it. It is there.
You can enjoy, you can be joyful, you can delight in it. You can dance; the breeze has come. You can sway, you can sing a song.
And let that song also be of the heart, of this moment. There is no need to repeat anything from somebody else. There is no need to cram anything. There is no need to repeat the Christian or the Hindu prayer. They are all false. The real prayer simply arises. Sometimes it may be silent. You may not say anything, not even a thank you. And sometimes you may like to talk to God. You may even sometimes like to fight with him. Sometimes one is angry; then what to do? And sometimes one is very, very worshipful, and one bows down. And sometimes one says to God, "Okay, you are here, but I am not in a mood to talk to you. So as I wait for you, you will have to wait for me." The ways of love are very mysterious - and God will understand.
Let your prayer be very spontaneous, very real. If anger is there, what else can you offer to him?
Offer anger. If love is there, offer love. But whatsoever is there, offer, and never pretend something which is not there - and God will understand. God is nothing but a tremendous understanding that existence shows towards you. But if you are false, then you are trying to deceive, and you cannot deceive existence. That is not possible. You can deceive only yourself. And you will go on piling up deceptions upon deceptions around you, and you will be choked, suffocated in your own deceptions - you will die under the burden of your own deceptions.
"I AM NEITHER IN TEMPLE NOR IN MOSQUE: 1AM NEITHER IN KAABA NOR IN KAILASH.
NEITHER AM I IN RITES AND CEREMONIES, NOR IN YOGA AND RENUNCIATION." SO don't go anywhere. Just be wherever you are, and be true and be authentic and be spontaneous.
IF THOU ART A TRUE SEEKER, THOU SHALT AT ONCE SEE ME:
"IF THOU ART A TRUE SEEKER...." If the passion is there, if the intensity is there, if the urgency is there, then there is no problem. Try to understand this.
The emphasis of Kabir is on the urgency, on the tremendous desire. It is not a question of rituals.
You can be a perfect ritualist, but you will miss. It is a question of intensity, passion. If passionately you cry for him, immediately you will know he is there. If your passion is fiery, you will never miss him. If you miss him then know only one thing: your passion is not yet enough. You are calling him halfheartedly.
People come to me and they say, "Where is God? We cannot see him." I look at them and I inquire, "Do you really want to seek him, REALLY? Close your eyes," I say to them, "and look into your heart.
Are you really in passionate love with God? You really want to see him?" And they say, "Not really."
Then how do you suppose to know him?
God - I have seen so many people's hearts - is the last item on their list. There are other things to do first. When all is done, then comes God. He is always the last in the queue. And, of course, the queue is never going to end. God will never be the first this way, because in the world nothing ever is completed. You do one thing; a thousand and one things arise out of it and you go on getting more and more entangled in the world and the queue becomes bigger and bigger and God is forced farther back, farther back. And then you want to see him. No, it is not possible.
Only the eyes of tremendous intensity can see him. The third eye is not really a third eye. It is just a passionate desire - so passionate that you are ready to sacrifice your life. If God says, "I can be seen if you sacrifice yourself," you will not think even for a single moment. You will drop dead. You will say, "Okay, I am ready to die, but I am not ready to lose you." This urgency is what makes a religious person.
"IF THOU ART A TRUE SEEKER, THOU SHALT AT ONCE SEE ME." At once. Immediately. In a split second.
... THOU SHALT MEET ME IN A MOMENT OF TIME.
KABIR SAYS: "O FRIEND! GOD IS THE BREATH OF ALL BREATH."
God is life itself. God is not some faraway goal. God is like the ocean and we are like the fish. And Kabir has said in another reference, "I laugh when I see the fish thirsty in the ocean. I laugh. I cannot believe, I cannot trust how it is possible. The fish is in the ocean, and thirsty? And asking where is the ocean!" We live in the ocean of God. God is life energy. He surrounds you, he surrounds everything. Everything exists in him - exists LIKE him. There is no other way of existing.
But there have been many people who have talked about God without knowing anything about him.
They have created many problems. They have created unnecessary anxieties. There are people who talk about God as an inference, not as an experience. They have not known him; they infer.
They think about it, they feel that God is needed; it is a necessary hypothesis. Without it they find it difficult to explain existence, so they accept it.
But God is not a hypothesis. Please, it is good to be an atheist, not to believe in God, but never believe in the hypothesis of God, because an atheist someday may turn into a theist, but a man who believes in the necessity of God, as a hypothesis, will never become religious. From the very beginning he has taken a wrong step. An atheist who says there is no God at least is interested in God - and cannot rest, because nobody can rest in a no. Nobody can rest in a negative. That's why an atheist continuously thinks, continuously thinks....
I came across an old man, he is an atheist, and he said, "I am eighty years old, and at least for sixty years consciously I have been an atheist and I have been denying that there is God." I said, "This is foolish - to waste sixty years in denying God. If he is not, he is not. Be finished." Sixty years of wasting. And he is a very militant atheist. He goes around the country telling people that there is no God. I said, "Are you mad? If he is not, why are you so worried? Be finished with him. Sixty years continuously, your whole life.... Now you are eighty years old, any day death will come - you wasted your whole life for something which is not."
He became a little worried about it. He said, "Yes, but nobody told me. You make me very afraid. Yes, that's true - sixty years." I told him, "Even six minutes of so much intensity would have been enough to know whether God really is or not. Eighty years you have tried. And you are very argumentative, and I am not going to argue with you, there is no point in it. I would like to say only one thing - one thing is certain about you - that deep in the unconscious you are still seeking and you are not satisfied with your no. If you were satisfied you would have enjoyed, you would have lived your life.
Why bother about a nonentity? But you are not satisfied, because nobody can be satisfied with a no."
This has to be understood: satisfaction comes only out of yes. Satisfaction comes only out of tremendous positivity. God is nothing but a deep yes towards existence.
But there are people who have logically concluded either God is or God is not. Both are useless.
They don't have any experience.
I have heard about a lecturer who built up a great reputation as an expert on child education, though he never had married himself. The title of his lectures was "Ten Commandments for Parents." Then he met the girl of his dreams, married her, and became a father. Shortly thereafter he changed the title of his talk to "Ten Hints for Parents." He was blessed with a second offspring - and his talk was relabeled "A Few Tentative Suggestions for Parents."
When his third child arrived, he quit lecturing altogether.
Only experience can be decisive. It is very easy to talk to others about how to be a good parent. It is very difficult to become a good parent. It is very easy to counsel other people how they should manage their marriage....
One day a man came to me from America - he is a marriage counselor - and he said, "I am a marriage counselor, and I have come here because there are many problems in my married life." I said, "You are a marriage counselor?" He said, "Yes, I am. That's why I have come here, because in America I am very well-known and I cannot go to any other marriage counselor."
You will find many psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, amongst my sannyasins. They have been helping other people - not knowing what is what. They have helped too many people.
And when I look into them I see they are in tremendous need of help. Then I become worried about the people they have been helping!
Remember, only experience can be decisive.
Have you heard the famous anecdote about Jalaluddin Rumi, a Sufi mystic? A woman came with a child, and the woman said, "Maulana, Master, I have tried every way and this child won't listen.
He eats too much sugar. And I know now only one way is possible: if you say something to him, he will listen, because he respects you. He does not understand what you are and who you are, but he respects you. And when I told him, 'Come with me to Maulana,' he said, 'Okay, if he says, I will stop.'"
Maulana looked at the child, at his trust. He said, "Wait, come after three weeks." The woman was puzzled. Such a simple thing. And Maulana is known all over the world. People come from faraway countries to ask him great problems, and he solves them immediately - and such a silly thing. He could have said, "Yes, don't eat," and the thing would have been closed. Three weeks? After three weeks the mother came with the child, and Maulana said, "Wait three weeks more." The mother said, "What is the matter?" He said, "Wait, come after three weeks."
When they came back, he said to the child, "Okay, listen. Stop eating sugar." The child said, "Okay, I will stop."
The mother said, "Now one question arises in my heart - and I will not be at rest. Why did you take six weeks for this?"
Maulana said, "I like sugar myself. So how can I advise this child? That would have been untrue. So for three weeks I tried - and I failed! Then for three weeks I tried again, and now I have succeeded.
Now I can say, 'Please, you can also stop. Look, I am an old man - even I can stop. You are a child, a young child; you can do anything.'"
"Now I can say...." This is the way of the mystics; this has always been their way. They believe in experience. Whatsoever Kabir says is based, rooted, in his experience.
There are people who go on arguing, debating whether God is or not, whether the soul exists after death or not, whether there is heaven or hell or not. These are foolish things, stupid, a wastage of time. Kabir is not interested in such concepts.
I have heard a beautiful story; Cleveland Amory tells it:
He tells about the time when Newport, Rhode Island, was the summer mecca of high society. An elegant gentleman and his wife were lounging on the beach when an unfortunate who had ventured too far out in the surf suddenly began to shout "Sauvez-moi! Sauvez-moi!" "That fellow," pronounced the elegant gentleman, "is either a Frenchman or a snob." While the two of them debated the proposition, the shouts ceased, for the swimmer obligingly drowned.
Now the two, the couple, debated whether he is a snob or a Frenchman, because only two persons speak French - the French or the snob - and rather than simply saying "Save me!" he says "Sauvez- moi!" So who is he? Nobody is bothered about saving him, though who he is can be decided later on.
Buddha used to say to his disciples, "I have heard about a man who was shot with an arrow and was dying, but he was a philosopher. A physician came, and the physician wanted to pull out the arrow, but the philosopher said, 'Wait. First things first. Who has tried to kill me? I must know whether he is a friend or an enemy, whether the arrow has been deliberately used against me or just by accident, whether the arrow is poisoned or not poisoned.' The physician said, 'I know you are a great philosopher, but please keep your philosophy away from you right now. Let me pull out the arrow first; otherwise you are creating such problems, they will not be decided, and the arrow will kill you.' The philosopher said, 'Do you believe in the soul? Does the soul survive after the man dies? First things first!' The physician said, 'You are a fool! These are not first things! Now the first thing is how to pull out this arrow. These things you can decide later on.'"
Kabir is not interested in doctrines, philosophies. He says this life is divine - don't bother about heaven and hell. Don't think about faraway subjects; be realistic; be existential.
O FRIEND! HOPE FOR HIM WHILST YOU LIVE; KNOW WHILST YOU LIVE, UNDERSTAND WHILST YOU LIVE: FOR IN LIFE DELIVERANCE ABIDES.
Don't talk about what happens after death and don't think about a god who sits somewhere in a high throne in the skies: "... FOR IN LIFE DELIVERANCE ABIDES" - in life there is liberation. Life itself is a liberating experience. If you live totally, it liberates.
IF YOUR BONDS BE NOT BROKEN WHILST LIVING, WHAT HOPE OF DELIVERANCE IN DEATH?
So be here-now! Do something right now!
IT IS BUT AN EMPTY DREAM, THAT THE SOUL SHALL HAVE UNION WITH HIM BECAUSE IT HAS PASSED FROM THE BODY:
IF HE IS FOUND NOW, HE IS FOUND THEN, IF NOT, WE DO BUT GO TO DWELL IN THE CITY OF DEATH.
"IF HE IS FOUND NOW, HE IS FOUND THEN.... " Now or never. Let this message get roots into your hearts: now or never. God is now-here. Your clever mind tries to postpone. You say, "We will see; when death comes and when we go and encounter God, we will see. Right now there is no problem." No, the problem is right now.
Are you living God right now or not? That is the problem. If you are not living him right now, you will never be able to live him, because he is here. He is always in the present - never in the past, never in the future. This moment is his abode. Enjoy him, delight in him this moment. So whatsoever you are doing, let it be worship; whatsoever you are doing, let it be prayerful; whatsoever you are doing, do it lovingly.
IF YOU HAVE UNION NOW, YOU SHALL HAVE IT HEREAFTER.
So Kabir believes in life, not in God. Life is God. And let me say: life with a small "l" not a capital "L." Life is God, with a lowercase "l" - the very ordinary life - sleeping, aking, eating, walking, loving, serving people. This ordinary life, with a lowercase "l" is God. If you cannot find him in this ordinary life you will never find him anywhere else.
Love, and love so deeply that you can find God in your lover. Be a friend, and be so friendly that you can find him in your friend. Wherever you can be totally, he will be there. Your being totally in something is the door.
But the mind is ambitious; it lives in the future. The mind is egoistic; it does not relax in the present; it has great plans for the future. The mind always thinks of how to become somebody, and the problem is that you are already that which can satisfy you. You need not become it; you are it. God is your being. It is not a question of becoming. But the mind is political and is interested only in becoming - become this, become that.
I have heard, once Adolf Hitler went to a very wise old rabbi, and he said to the rabbi, "I have heard that you are a great mystic. I don't believe in such nonsense, and I am going to kill you - unless you can help me to have a revelation from God. If you are really a mystic, then do the miracle. Can you help me to have a revelation from God?" The rabbi said, "Done and done! This very moment it can be done. You just go outside, stand on the street." Hitler said, "But it is raining." The rabbi said, "Don't be worried. You stand in the rain for fifteen minutes and look at the sky, and there will be a revelation."
Unwillingly... but Adolf Hitler thought, "What is dangerous in this? Let us try. At the most, I may get a cold, that's all; but let us try." And Hitler said, "Remember, if no revelation happens I am going to kill you." The rabbi said, "You go. It always happens; it has never failed me." Hitler did as bidden, and came back soaked through to the skin.
"Look at me," he wailed. "I didn't get any revelation. I only felt like a blithering idiot."
"Not bad," chuckled the old rabbi. "Don't you think that was quite a revelation for a first try?"
The mind is stupid because the mind is a politician. All politics is stupid because the whole of politics consists of one thing: to become somebody. And the revelation of religion is that you need not become anybody; you are already that - you are the suprememost. You are God himself. What more can you have? What more is possible? You cannot be improved upon.
Just the other night a woman was saying to me, "If somebody falls in life, what has to be done?" I told her, "Nobody can fall." She could not understand it; she thought I had not understood her problem.
She said, "If somebody falls in life and has committed some sin, then how can he be helped?" I said, "Nobody can commit a sin." Sin is not possible. To fall is impossible. Deep down you remain the suprememost. Only on the periphery is there sin and virtue, good and bad, moral and immoral.
Mystics like Kabir don't come to teach you morality. They teach you religion. And the difference:
morality again is politics. You try to improve yourself - in moral ways. Your whole society is immoral, and in an immoral society you follow the society. Whatsoever the society says is moral you try; the immoral society teaches you what morality is. In fact to fit in an immoral society is the greatest immorality possible. A really moral person will be a misfit; it will be very difficult for him to fit in the society. So if you see your so-called moral people, respectable people, fitting in with the society, know well, they are in deep immorality. They are tricky, pretenders, hypocrites.
But one thing: moral or immoral, they are all on the surface. Deep down you remain always in your suprememost state. You are gods and goddesses. To recognize this fact and to start living it is what religion is.
I am not saying to you become immoral. I am saying if you become religious, morality follows like a shadow. And that will be true morality; it will not be just a morality imposed by the immoral society on you. It will be true morality, that flows out of your innermost core. It will not be a character; it will be an overflowing of your being. It will not be a dead structure around you. You will be flowing, you will live moment to moment with awareness, spontaneity. You will be response-able.
Ordinarily, whatsoever you call moral is just repression and nothing else.
I have heard about a lady who was a paragon of virtue on earth, but upon her death was dismayed to find herself in hell. She phoned St. Peter, who begged her to be patient, because heaven was temporarily so overbooked he could not make room for her.
Two weeks later she buzzed St. Peter again, warning him that they were teaching her to drink and smoke - "These people here are very dangerous and the temptation is great and I am afraid."
Patience and fortitude, counseled St. Peter; he would soon be able to accommodate her - but not just yet.
A fortnight later, the paragon of virtue made a final call: "Hi there, Pete? Forget all about it! And if you really want to enjoy, come here. This is the place."
The people you think are moral are just repressed people, egoistic, carrying all sorts of repressed desires in them. Once an opportunity is given to them, they will explode. Out of fear and out of greed they have repressed themselves. They are not really moral. Only a religious person is moral.
Ordinarily you have been told, "Become moral if you want to become religious." I tell you just the contrary: "Be religious, and you will be moral." If you try to be moral you may become moral, but you will never be religious - and your morality will be just pseudo. From where will you learn the morality? From the immoral society. From where will it come to you? From the same rotten structure.
No, it cannot be moral. First become religious.
Says Jesus, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and then all else will be added unto you." The same I say to you, and the same is the teaching of Kabir. Live here-now as totally as possible, as fully alert as possible, and as lovingly as possible; and all else will be added unto you.
If He is found now, He is found then, If not, we do but go to dwell in the City of Death.
If you have union now, you shall have it hereafter.
BATHE IN THE TRUTH....
Now. Bathe in the truth now. It is showering.
A handsome but bashful young man from the Bible Belt was recently hired by a firm of certified accountants. Shortly thereafter, he reported to the office manager, "I must tell you that some of the young ladies in your employ are tempting me sorely." "Stand firm, young man," the startled manager told him, resisting a smile, "and you will get your reward in heaven."
A week later the young man came back. "It is that beautiful redhead, sir. She is pursuing me relentlessly. I don't think I can resist her - but if I do, what do you think my reward will be in heaven?"
The office manager informed him, "A bale of hay, you jackass!"
Don't avoid life. Otherwise in heaven suddenly you will be surprised when you find a bale of hay as your reward. The reward is here. The reward is love. The reward is in totality. The reward is being one with life. Each moment is so precious, and each moment brings such precious rewards, you just enjoy it. Get lost in it. Be drunk with life, and there is reward. Bathe in the truth - now.
... KNOW THE TRUE GURU, What does he mean by the true guru? Kabir means life itself is the guru, existence itself is the guru.
When life calls you, don't remain frozen. Listen to the call, be adventurous, and go on the unknown, uncharted ways of life.
... HAVE FAITH IN THE TRUE NAME!
What is the true name of God? Nobody knows. The true name cannot be known - and all the names that are known are coined by man. If you really want to understand, then this whole existence that surrounds you is his true name, his true address. He is spread all over.
Listen to life, listen to its call, listen to its great temptation, listen to its invocation, listen to its challenge and be courageous, and each moment God will be revealed to you. In intense passion, in intense love, in intense awareness, he is always revealed.
KABIR SAYS. "LT IS THE SPIRIT OF THE QUEST WHICH HELPS.... "
Nothing else - neither the mosque nor the temple nor the Koran nor the Bible nor the Veda. It is the spirit of the quest which helps. If you are really searching, you will find him. If you are not finding him, don't blame him. Just look within yourself: you don't want to seek him. You are playing with the name of God. You are afraid, you are a coward.
Unless a man is religious he remains a coward. Only a religious man is courageous, because he goes on the most uncharted journey - without any maps and without any paths - and nobody to lead you! Nobody is there in front of you to lead you! - only life... and life never shouts, it only whispers. Unless you are very attentive, tuned in, and turned on, you will not be able to understand the little, small, still voice. It is the guru, it is the Master.
If you find a man and you feel that you have found your Master, that simply shows that in his voice, in his being, there is a reflection of that still, small voice of God. The guru outside you is but a mirror.
He reflects you, reflects God. And the real Master will throw you back to yourself. The real guru will not bind you to himself, because the real guru is life itself, the real guru is God himself.
"... I AM THE SLAVE OF THIS SPIRIT OF THE QUEST."
And Kabir says, "I worship the man who has this spirit of quest, who is intensely in love with truth and who is ready to sacrifice everything for it."
A little story about a Zen Master:
A disciple asked the Master, "What is Buddha's truth?"
The Master said, "Why not ask about your own mind or self instead of somebody else's?"
"What then is my self, O Master?" asked the disciple.
"You have to see what is known as 'the secret act.'"
"What is 'the secret act'? Tell me, Master," asked the disciple.
The Master opened his eyes and closed them.
This is the secret act. Open your eyes and see him, and close your eyes and see him. He is within and without. Don't make a distinction between the inner and the outer, because in him there are no distinctions. He is the inner and he is the outer. The Master opened his eyes - very indicative, very Zenlike; Kabir would have liked the story himself. The Master opened his eyes, looked at the world - he said "life"; and closed his eyes - and said "look within." The innermost and the outer.
If you can love the inner and the outer, if you can be aware of the outer and the inner, you have arrived. And this arrival can happen only now. Don't postpone it. Don't say tomorrow, because the tomorrow never comes.