GOD IS WITHIN AND WITHOUT, because only God is. In fact to say "God is" is a repetition because God is never "is not." God is the very isness of existence. We can say "the house is" because once the house was not and once again the house will not be. To call the house "is" is okay because the "is not" is possible. We can say "the man is" but we cannot say "God is," because only he is, always has been, always will be. God is the very isness, God is existence itself.
Then why say the word "God" at all? Why use it? We use it very symbolically, to indicate something.
When we say "God is" we mean existence is not without a soul. We mean that existence is not dead.
We mean that existence is alive, throbbing with love, compassion, consciousness, conscience; that existence is intimate; that there is a possibility of addressing existence and there is a possibility of getting the response. When we say "God is" we mean that existence allows the possibility of a dialogue. You can have a dialogue with it; you can call it "thou" and it will not be meaningless; and you can be in such a state that prayer becomes possible, that communion becomes possible.
That's all the word "God" carries. Existence is not like a dead rock; it is an alive flower. It will respond to you. If you love it, love will flow towards you. If you move towards it, it will move towards you. If you seek it, it will seek you. Existence is not care-less. If you are in love with existence, existence is in love with you. That's all that we mean when we call existence divine or when we say God is.
Remember it. It is a poetic way of saying a truth. It is not a fact. It is poetry, it is romance. And religion is romance with existence.
Yes, it is more like falling in love rather than arguing towards a conclusion.
That's why Kabir says God is within and without, but the journey has to start from the within. Unless you have known God withinwards, you will not be able to comprehend him in the outside. Unless you have seen him within yourself, you will not be able to see him in the trees, in the birds, in the stars. How can you see him in the tree, in the rock, if you have not been able to feel him within yourself? Your center of being is the closest door to God. If you have not been able to enter from there, you cannot enter from anywhere else.
God is within and without, both, because only he is; still, the journey starts from your innermost core. First you have to look withinwards. If from the very beginning you start looking for God in the outside, your God will be nothing but an imagination, a falsity.
This point has to be understood very deeply. The whole approach of Kabir - the whole approach of all the mystics of the world - depends on this. If you see God outside and you have not seen him within, it is going to be just a dream, a projection, a wish fulfillment; so don't start the journey that way. The journey starts by closing the eyes; the journey ends by opening the eyes. First, one closes the eyes in meditation, goes deep into oneself. When one has realized, touched the very core, has known who is there; one opens the eyes - and finds him all over, spread everywhere.
But you cannot begin from the outside. That's where organized religion misses the whole point. The Christian goes to the church, the Hindu goes to the temple, the Mohammedan goes to the mosque.
The Mohammedan travels thousands of miles to go to Mecca, the Hindu goes to Kailash; and Kabir says he is neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash. He is within you. Not that he is not in Kaaba and Kailash!
Once you have found him within yourself you will find him everywhere - but then there will be no point of going to Kaaba and Kailash because wherever you are, wherever you look, you will find Kaaba, you will find Kailash.
There is a very beautiful story in the life of Nanak, another great mystic of the same calibre as Kabir.
Nanak went to Mecca; he traveled with some Mohammedan travelers who were on a pilgrimage.
They reached Mecca, the holy stone of Kaaba. It was evening and the sun was setting, and they were very tired; and Nanak immediately fell asleep. The travelers, the companions, were very much surprised. They used to think of Nanak as a very holy man, but he was doing something stupid: his legs were towards the Kaaba when he lay down and fell asleep. They became very much afraid; this is a sacrilege. And by the time they could do something about it, the chief priest came, and he said, "Who is this man? Is he an atheist, he does not believe in God? He does not seem to be a Muslim.
Throw him out of here!"
All this noise and talk, and Nanak opened his eyes, and he said, "What is the matter?" They said, "This cannot be allowed. Your legs are towards Kaaba, and this is a sin." Nanak laughed uproariously, and he said, "You can put my legs anywhere you like, but, one thing before you do it, tell me if this is not so: wherever my legs are, they will always point towards God - because he is everywhere."
Up to this point, the story seems to be absolutely realistic; then it becomes a parable. The priest was very angry; he took hold of the feet of Nanak and turned his feet away from Kaaba. And the parable says Kaaba turned towards Nanak's feet. And he moved him in every direction, and Kaaba turned to that direction.
Now, it is a parable; I don't say now it is realistic. Half the story seems to be exactly right. The other part seems to be very poetic - true, but not factual. It is very significant though. God is everywhere.
Once you have found him within, you will find him everywhere. Then you cannot find a place where he is not. But don't start the journey from the outward. Don't start going to Kaaba and Kailash, to the temple and the mosque; otherwise you have taken a wrong step. And one wrong step leads to another. You start imagining.
Once a Sufi stayed with me. He had many disciples, thousands of disciples, and his disciples used to come to me and say their Master is great, he sees God everywhere - in the trees, in the rocks, in the birds, animals, even in the dog - everywhere he sees God. When he came to stay with me, the first night we sat together, I looked at him. He was a very beautiful man - but I could see that his God is a projection; he is living in his imagination, in a reverie, in a dream. The dream is beautiful, because when you dream about God everywhere, even the dream changes your life - even the idea that God is everywhere brings tremendous changes - but it is not radical. It is mental; it is a mind game. It is a sort of auto-hypnosis.
I asked him, "Please, tell me how you started to see God everywhere." And he was very reverent - to everything. He would go and bow down before a rock, any rock, and he would go down and touch the tree; and he was really very reverent and he had a very peaceful quality all around him. He was a poet, but not a mystic. I asked him, "Tell me how you started to see God."
He said, "How I started? I started to think, continuously, 'God is everywhere,' and whatsoever I would touch, I would think, 'Here is God.' I would look into the eyes of a man, and I would say, 'Here is God.' And I would repeat it and repeat it, and by repeating it continuously for three years, one day it suddenly dawned over me. he was everywhere."
I told him, "You do one thing. It took three years? You do one thing. You will be here with me for seven days; for three days you stop thinking about God."
He said, "What do you mean? I cannot do it. For thirty years I have been continuously thinking about God, and it has given me tremendous peace and I have been very, very blissful - and why should I stop for three days?"
I said, "Just to see whether, if you stop for three days, you can still see God or not. If you cannot see, then these thirty years you have lived in a beautiful dream - sweet, but a dream all the same."
He became intrigued. He was afraid to try it, but then he became more and more interested too.
Whenever you become afraid of something, you become infatuated too. First he denied, but I could see that he would not be able to resist the temptation. Next morning he said, "Okay, I will try. I trust God, and I know he is everywhere. Just by not thinking do you think I will not be able to see him?"
I said, "I don't say anything. There is no need to conclude right now. Let the experiment be done. For three days you stop thinking, you stop imagining - you stop altogether. You just move backwards, thirty years back. Become that man who has never thought about God and who has not projected God everywhere."
By the third day, the man became ordinary. The aura disappeared, his eyes became empty. That peace was no longer there. He started crying, and he said, "You have disturbed me very much. My whole experience is lost."
I said, "I have not disturbed you. You can start imagining again. I have simply showed you one truth, that even if you go on imagining for thirty lives, it will remain your imagination. You have started wrongly - and it is time you should change, because this is of no use. Thirty years of constant auto-hypnotizing, and gone within three days? It is of no worth."
Start from the within. First, rather than projecting God.... It is going to be a projection - you don't know whether God is or is not. You know only the word, you know the tradition, you know the priest, you know the image that has been put into your mind. If you are a Christian, you can project Christ very easily and you can see Christ very easily. It will be a hallucination; it will be a sort of neurosis.
f you are a Hindu, you can see Krishna very easily, you can project. If you are a Buddhist, you can see Buddha.
Mind can create the illusion so beautifully and so realistically that even reality, itself pales down before it, becomes faint, looks unreal. And you have been doing it every night n your dreams. You know, your mind has a faculty - a faculty to create images. Not only to create images but to make them appear so real that again and again you forget.,very night you dream, every morning you come to know.hat it was a dream and not a reality; and again when you dream the next night, again you become a victim, again you forget that it is a dream, again it looks real, absolutely real.
Even absurdities look real - that which cannot be imagined - be, even that. You are talking to your wife and suddenly -lour wife turns into a horse. And even then the doubt does not arise. In a dream the doubt never arises. You trust even this. You cannot say, "What nonsense. How can it be?" So, everything is possible in a dream, and your trust is tremendous. In the morning when you are awake, all is one, and you laugh. And this has been going on for years... again you will fall a victim.
This is the dream faculty of the mind. A part of the mind unctions as a projector - just exactly like the projector in he movie house. The projector is hidden behind - you never look at the projector, you don't even think about the projector. You look at the screen. The screen is empty; the projector goes on. Just a game of light and shadow... and you become o absorbed, you become so lost. You are real and the screen, absolutely false, but you forget yourself, and whatsoever going on the screen takes a reality of its own. And you NOW it is not real, but you go on forgetting again and again.
Sometime try it in a movie house; it is a good meditation: just try to remember that it is unreal, that it is unreal.... Go on remembering that it is unreal and the screen is empty, and you will be surprised:
for a few seconds you can remember; again you have forgotten, again it has become the reality.
Whenever you forget yourself, the dream becomes real. Whenever you remember yourself - that "I am real," you shake yourself - the screen becomes unreal and all that is going on becomes unreal.
Let me put it in this way: The world looks real in the same proportion in which you are unconscious, asleep; the more aware you become, the world becomes more and more unreal.
Even this so-called world becomes unreal, so what to say about your ideas? You project God, you project this and that - heaven and hell - they are all projections. You give them reality by becoming unconscious.
So a man who thinks of God as his surrounding, as being everywhere, has started a wrong journey.
What will he do? He can only auto-hypnotize himself. This is not going to lead to knowledge, to realization. This is getting into the unreality even deeper than before. This is getting into a sort of neurosis.
That's why Freud is right when he says that the so-called religions are nothing but collective neuroses. The so-called religions are! Buddha may not have been a neurotic, Jesus may not h- ave been a neurotic; but Christians are, Buddhists are. The difference is Buddha starts from his withinwards, from his inwards, and the Buddhist starts from the idea. Jesus looks into his being, and the Christian looks at Jesus, looks outside. There is the whole difference.
TO WHAT SHORE WOULD YOU CROSS, O MY HEART? THERE IS NO TRAVELER BEFORE YOU, THERE IS NO ROAD.
If you go outside of your being you will be lost, Kabir says. "... THERE IS NO TRAVELER BEFORE YOU" - whom will you follow, my heart? "... THERE IS NO ROAD :" - how will you seek God?
Where will you go to seek him?
WHERE IS THE MOVEMENT, WHERE IS THE REST, ON THAT SHORE?
THERE IS NO WATER, NO BOAT, NO BOATMAN IS THERE, THERE IS NOT SO MUCH AS A ROPE TO TOW THE BOAT, NOR A MAN TO DRAW IT.
But you can fill your screen of the mind with your own imagination. You can imagine a road, you can imagine a Master leading you, you can imagine the goal; you can create a dream.
In reality, there is no road. In reality, there is no other shore. This is the only shore there is. This is the only reality there is. There is no other reality; there is no separate reality. The reality is one. You can approach it in two ways: either with eyes full of dream or eyes without any dream.
NO EARTH, NO SKY, NO TIME, NO THING, IS THERE: NO SHORE, NO FORD!
If you go into the without, you will be moving into nothingness, emptiness. Of course, you can fill this emptiness with your own images and with your own ideas, but you are creating a neurosis - a religious neurosis, but it is a neurosis. When you go to the temple and you pray to a god who is outside you, what are you doing? Have you ever thought about it? Go to the madhouse, to the lunatic asylum, and see there. Somebody is sitting there and talking to his wife, and there is nobody around. He is sitting alone and talking to his wife. And you know that he is mad; the wife is not there and he is talking, he is imagining. He not only talks from his side, he answers from his wife's side too. This is a madman, you say. And then you go to the mosque, temple, church, and somebody is bowing down to some god nobody can see. Is it in any way different? It is again madness.
To whom are you praying? Who is there outside you? Your prayer is a sort of a dream which you are creating. Yes, Sigmund Freud is right - as he is right in many things. He has a tremendous grip on truth. Religion seems to be a collective neurosis - but the religion of the Christians, the Hindus, and the Mohammedans; not the religion of Buddha, Jesus, Nanak, Kabir; not the religion I am talking about.
The real religion consists of going inwards. And when you want to go inwards you have to drop all thinking, you have to drop all images. You have to become completely empty; only then can you go inwards. To go inwards, this is a basic need: that all thinking stops completely. Then you cannot hypnotize yourself. Without thinking, hypnosis cannot exist. All imagery stops. Only in that state of no-imagination, no-thought, no-mind, one comes to feel the reality that is there at the innermost core of your being.
Once you have felt it there, then open your eyes and you will see it everywhere. Now it is totally different; the quality is no longer the same. Before, it was an imagination; now it is a reality. It is not that you are creating it; now it is there. It is a revelation.
But ordinarily, we are accustomed to looking outside. Our eyes open outwards. When you close your eyes you see only darkness and nothing, or at the most, you see reflections of the outside passing. You close your eyes and you see the outside world reflected: a friend's face; somebody has insulted you, and the episode; or you have gone to the market to purchase something and you are haggling with the shopkeeper. Things like that - just reflections of the outside. Either you look outside or you look into the reflections of the outside.
But the eyes cannot see withinwards and the ears cannot hear withinwards, the hands cannot touch withinwards. All the senses open towards the outside; they are meant for it. The senses are bridges; they are meant to open outside. They reveal the surface of reality not its depth. If you want to know the depth, you will have to go beyond the senses into your own being. There you see without eyes.
There you hear without ears. There you touch without your hands.
But our habit is very, very powerful, so when a person becomes fed up with the world, feels frustrated with the world, sees that there is nothing there, and starts thinking about religion, again the old habit works: he again starts looking for God outside. He was looking for money; now he looks for God.
First he was looking for political power; now he looks for religious power. But he looks outside. His old habit remains the same; he has not changed at all.
I have heard about a closemouthed politician who shot his girl friend and was convicted of murder in the first degree. Just before he was hanged, he was asked, "Have you anything you wish to say?"
His answer was, "Not at this time."
Just the old habit. Now there is going to be no time anymore, he is going to be hanged, but that was his old habit. A politician always tries to avoid answering anything. Even if he answers, he never answers; he goes roundabout. You cannot figure out whether he says yes or no. It is very difficult to decide what he is saying. Or simply he refuses to answer. And this man is going to die the next moment, and he says, "Not at this time" - and there is going to be no time any longer. Just the old habit.
The mind is trained to look outside, so when you start looking for God, also, you start looking for him outside. You go into the scripture - the Bible, the Veda, the Koran, the Geeta - or you go to a priest or you go to the temple or you go to somebody for advice - but you never go inwards. And the only place to go is to go in.
The only place to be is to be in! From there the door opens. From there you knock at the doors of reality. From there comes the realization of that which is.
And you have been gone so far in the outside world - after money, after power, after sex, after this and that - that it takes very long to come back. And you come back very reluctantly.
I have heard:
A moonshiner in the Georgia hills was caught redhanded by a posse of revenue agents. The moonshiner, despite his seventy years and long gray beard, tore himself loose from the sheriffs grasp, and headed crosscountry with the speed of a gazelle. The sheriff, a kindly - and lazy - soul, marveled at the old boy's agility, and said, "Let's let him go."
Five days passed, however, and the moonshiner failed to return. Just as his relatives and neighbors were concluding that his unusual exertions had been the death of him, he stumbled home in a state of complete disrepair "Where you been, Beauregard?" asked his partner. The moonshiner answered simply, "I been coming back."
He had gone so far away - five days it took for him to come back.
And you have been gone so far away for so many lives.
But don't start calculating how long it will take for you to come back, because wherever you are, you can close your eyes and you are in. It is not a question of really coming back. Wherever you are, you close your eyes and you are in.
It is almost as if somebody is running away from the sun, his back towards the sun as he is rushing farther away and farther away, and then one day he realizes this is foolish - the sun is the source of life. What is he 40 do? WilL he have to travel the same distance that he has traveled away from the sun? No. He just turns his back and the sun is there. The sun has always been there.
This is what is known as conversion. Conversion means a turning of one hundred and eighty degrees - a sudden turn. This is what I call sannyas: a sudden turn. It is not a question that you will have to come the same distance again that you have traveled away. You cannot travel away from God! How can you travel away from yourself? Wherever you go you remain yourself. You can go to hell, and you will remain yourself. You can go to the moon or to some faraway star; you will remain yourself.
And wherever you are ready to close your eyes - turn your face inwards - the inner reality starts revealing.
So it is not a question of calculating how many lives we have been gone away. It is a moment - a sudden moment of illumination.
You may have been reading Zen stories. And all the Zen stories have one very absurd thing: the satori, the Zen enlightenment, happens very suddenly. You cannot figure it out, how it happened.
The Master hits the disciple on the head, and the story simply says: "And he became enlightened."
Now this seems to be absolutely absurd. A sinner - a man who has been doing so many wrong things in his life and just a single moment before was unenlightened, ignorant - has become enlightened within a single moment? Yes, this is how it happens.
Time is not needed. Time is needed to travel outwards. To come in, time is not needed, time is not the factor. Space is needed to go outside. Space is not needed to come inside; space is not the factor.
Yes, it is how it happens. Sometimes just a hit from the Master, or sometimes just a look from the Master, and it can happen. And not only that, sometimes it can happen without the Master.
It is said about Lao Tzu that he was sitting under a tree when he became enlightened, but he was not doing anything. Buddha was meditating; Lao Tzu was not doing anything, not even meditation.
He was just sitting, and an old leaf fell from the tree, started falling, slowly, lazily, like a feather, and he watched it falling, and it settled on the ground... and he became enlightened. Now, there was no Master, and he was not even meditating. What happened? Just watching the leaf falling? In that very moment, he must have become so tremendously aware, so absorbingly aware, that the mind stopped, there was no thought. He simply watched the leaf falling. The leaf settled on the ground; something settled in himself too. He was no longer the same person. The old is dead, the new is born. It is a rebirth.
And this is what I teach you too. So don't be very calculative and arithmetical; they are not needed for the inner journey. Just be quiet, silent, more and more relaxing, more and more in tune with nature; and more and more, sit with closed eyes, just doing nothing - not even meditating - just doing nothing. If nothing happens don't be worried. If you can accept that nothing is happening, that too is okay; then some day something is going to happen which will transform you.
One day, for no visible cause at all, one settles. Or something absolutely irrelevant may become instrumental. You are sitting with closed eyes - a child starts laughing loudly, and the very laughter becomes the old leaf. Or your wife has dropped something in the kitchen, and the very noise, and suddenly something is broken inside you, a breakthrough.
It can happen any moment, it can happen in any situation, because it is your innermost nature. It is already there; it has not to be produced and it has not to be created. You have brought this treasure with you.
But you go on looking outside and you remain a beggar. Come in and become emperors.
THERE, THERE IS NEITHER BODY NOR MIND: AND WHERE IS THE PLACE THAT SHALL STILL THE THIRST OF THE SOUL?
YOU SHALL FIND NAUGHT IN THAT EMPTINESS.
BE STRONG, AND ENTER INTO YOUR OWN BODY.
Don't go outside.
Kabir is a great lover of the body - and all the great mystics have been lovers of the body - because the body is the real temple of God. And if you find somebody condemning the body, know from the very beginning that he knows nothing. If somebody is against the body, he has not known anything at all. He does not even know the ABCD of spirituality. He has not even begun. If he condemns the body he is still afraid of the body. If he condemns the body he is a dualist: he thinks himself separate from the body. If he condemns the body he still has great lust and greed in him. If he condemns the body, it means the body still tempts him too much and he shivers and trembles before the body.
He is antagonistic to the body because he has not yet been able to understand what this beautiful phenomenon is that we call the body. The body is the temple of God. God is enshrined in it; God is embodied in it. It is God's body.
"BE STRONG, AND ENTER INTO YOUR OWN BODY:" If you don't enter into your own body, you will be chasing shadows and nothing will be the outcome. You can go on rushing and speeding, and you will never reach anywhere because the place to reach is within you. The goal to reach is in the seeker; the seeker is the sought.
"BE STRONG...." And what does Kabir mean when he says, "Be strong"? He means, then don't be weak; these people who are against the body are all weaklings. They have become afraid of their own body. When you are afraid of somebody, you are thought to be a coward, but think of the Person who is afraid of his own body. He is the worst coward. You cannot find a weaker person than him.
There are so-called saints who will not allow their body to rest. They are afraid because if you give the body rest, then the body demands more. They will not give right food to the body. They will fast because they are afraid, because if you give food to the body, the body creates energy. Energy wants to delight, energy wants to love, energy wants to dance; so don't give food to the body. Fast, starve the body. They slowly kill the body, by and by.
I have heard Mulla Nasrudin was going for a long trip to London; he had to go.
He persuaded his brother to take care of his Siamese cat while he was away. Nasrudin dearly loved that Siamese cat, but the brother definitely did not. The very moment Nasrudin set foot back at the airport, therefore, he phoned his brother to check on his cat's health. The brother announced curtly, "Your cat died," and hung up.
For days, Nasrudin was inconsolable. Finally, however, he phoned his brother again to point out, "It was needlessly cruel and sadistic of you to tell me that bluntly that my poor, poor cat had passed away." "What did you expect me to do?" demanded the brother. "You could have broken the bad news gradually," grumbled Nasrudin. "First, you could have said the cat was playing on the roof.
Later you could have called to say he fell off. The next morning you could have reported he had broken his leg. Then, when I came to get him, you could have told me he had passed away during the night. Well - you did not have it in you to be that civilized. Now tell me - how is Mama?"
The brother pondered momentarily, then announced, "She is playing on the roof."
And your so-called saints are always playing on the roof - just killing themselves, gradually. They are suicidal people, your saints are suicidal people. Of course, not courageous enough to do it in one stroke. They do it slowly - starving, torturing the body, destroying the body by and by, in steps.
Other suicidal people are more courageous; they do it in a single moment. And these people go on lingering, playing on the roof.
Kabir is not against the body. He cannot be. He knows that the body is the temple of God. When you starve the body, you starve God himself. When you don't allow rest to the body, you don't allow rest to the God embodied there.
Be worshipful, be respectful towards your body. God has chosen it to be his residence.
And the body is a miracle; it is tremendously beautiful, tremendously complex. There is no other thing so complex, so subtle as the body. You don't know anything about it. You have only looked at it in the mirror. You have never looked at it from the within; otherwise it is a universe in itself.
That's what the mystics have always been saying: that the body is a miniature universe. If you see it from the inside, it is so vast - millions and millions of cells, and each cell alive with its own life, and each cell functioning in such an intelligent manner that it seems almost incredible, impossible, unbelievable.
You eat food, and.the body transforms it into blood, bones, marrow. You eat food, and the body transforms it into consciousness, thought. A miracle is happening every moment. And each cell functions so systematically, in such an orderly way, in such an inner discipline, that it seems almost not possible - millions of cells. Seventy million cells are there in your single body - seventy million souls. Each cell has its own soul. And how they function! And how they function in such a coherence, in such a rhythm and harmony. And the same cells become the eyes and the same cells become the skin and the same cells become your liver and your heart and your marrow and your mind and your brain. The same cells specialize - then they become specialized cells - but they are the same cells. And how they move, and how subtly and silently they work.
There is a possibility that cancer is nothing but some cell going insane inside you, who has lost track, who is no longer functioning intelligently and has gone berserk. There is a possibility that cancer is nothing but a cell gone out of tune. Otherwise millions and millions of cells are working in such a sane way that even your human society is nothing compared to it. Your society is almost insane - as if everybody is a cancer cell.
In your body, God is manifested. You have to go withinwards. You have not yet acquainted yourself with this temple.
"BE STRONG..." - don't be a weakling and don't be a coward and don't try to escape from the fact of your body. Rather, penetrate into it, go deep into it, go into the mystery of it.
"BE STRONG, AND ENTER INTO YOUR OWN BODY:" Don't look for God in the sky; look for God within your own body. Kabir is very realistic, very scientific.
... and enter into your own body:
FOR THERE YOUR FOOTHOLD IS FIRM.
Because there you are rooted. The body is your earth; you are rooted in the body. Your consciousness is like a tree in the body. Your thoughts are like fruits. Your meditations are like flowers. But you are rooted in the body; the body supports it. The body supports everything that you are doing. You love; the body supports. You hate; the body supports. You want to kill somebody; the body supports. You want to protect somebody; the body supports. In compassion, in love, in anger, in hate - in every way - the body supports you. You are rooted in the body; you are nourished by the body. Even when you start realizing who you are, the body supports you.
Don't kill the body. Don't be a masochist, don't torture it. It is your friend; it is not your enemy. Listen to its language, decode its language, and by and by, as you enter into the book of the body and you turn its pages, you will become aware of the whole mystery of life. Condensed, it is in your body.
Magnified a millionfold, it is all over the world. But condensed in a small formula, it is there present in your body. Decode it there first. And there is no other way to decode it anywhere else.
Be strong, and enter into your own body: for there your foothold is firm.
... CONSIDER IT WELL, O MY HEART! GO NOT ELSEWHERE.
KABIR SAYS. "PUT ALL IMAGINATION AWAY, AND STAND FAST IN THAT WHICH YOU ARE."
Listen to these beautiful and tremendously significant words: "O MY HEART! GO NOT ELSEWHERE." There is no need to go anywhere. All is already given to you. You are a fool going anywhere and begging for it. God has made you from the very beginning as an emperor. He never creates beggars. If you have taken the role of a beggar, it is simply your responsibility and your stupidity.
"KABIR SAYS: 'PUT ALL IMAGINATION AWAY....'" This idea that you are a beggar is also your imagination. And the next idea, when you get fed up with your begging, desires, ambitions, and you start reading the scriptures and you come across great sayings - "Aham Brahmasmi" - "I am God"and then you start imagining "I am God"; that too is imagination.
Rather than imagining, drop all imagination, move into a state of no-imagination. That's what he means: "GO NOT ELSEWHERE." Imagination is the way to go somewhere else. Listen to it:
whenever you imagine, you go away from yourself. You fall asleep in the night - you fall asleep in the night here in Poona, and then in a dream you dream you are in New York, Timbuktu, Peking.
It is imagination. In the morning you find yourself in Poona - you had never left Poona; the whole night you were here - but in your imagination you had gone to so many places.
Exactly the same is the case: you have never left your divinehood, your godhood. You have never left that, there you are rooted, but in imagination sometimes you became an animal and sometimes you became a tree and sometimes you became a man and sometimes you become angry and sometimes you become very kind, sometimes you are a gentleman and sometimes you are a robber.
You go on imagining. Sometimes you think you.are a child and sometimes you think you are young and sometimes you think you are old, sometimes you think you are a man and sometimes you think you are a woman, but these are all imaginations.
Deep down, you are only God and nothing else. These are all roles that you choose yourself. You create, you project, and then you enter into your own projections.
Go not elsewhere, O my heart! Consider it well.
"KABIR SAYS: 'PUT ALL IMAGINATION AWAY....'" That's what meditation is all about: putting imagination away. But there are foolish people who bring their imagination to their meditation too. In meditation also they start imagining; they start imagining a thousand and one things.
Somebody imagines he has seen Krishna, somebody imagines his KUNDALINI is rising, somebody imagines his SAHASRAR is opening, somebody imagines something else, and people have different imaginations. These are all imaginations.
When you feel your KUNDALINI is rising, don't get involved in it - let it rise. Remain aloof and detached, and say, "Okay, this must be some imagination." You have heard so much about KUNDALINI rising. You must be reading the books of Gopi Krishna - KUNDALINI rising - and so many yogis are talking about it. It is in the air, so you become infected with the idea. Then you are waiting for it to rise. Not even simply waiting, but in a subtle way, trying to help it to rise. You are ready to support it. Just a slight thing - an ant crawling upon your spine - and it is there and suddenly you are full of energy. And you have imagined it and you have created. Now it becomes yet another ego trip.
You have read in books that the third eye will open, so you are waiting for it, and when you close your eyes - consciously, unconsciously - you look for the third eye, and you start imagining. One day, you can see the light there - imagination is tremendously powerful. It can create whatsoever you want to create.
Now look: in India, Jainas have existed as long as the Hindus - one of the oldest religions of the world is Jainism - but Mahavir never talked about KUNDALINI, and the Jainas' twenty-four TEERTHANKARAS never talked about KUNDALINI. Down through the ages, down through the centuries, Jainas ave not talked about kundalini, so it never rises in a Jaina saint - never - because they never read about it. So it never arises in a Jaina saint. Buddhists don't believe in it, so it never rises. Christians, Mohammedans, never heard about t, so it never rises.
Something else happens to Buddhists: CHAKRAS open. And, you will be surprised, when Hindus think about CHAKRAS, seven CHAKRAS open; when Buddhists, five - only five - two imply disappear; because Buddhists talk about five CHAKRAS, and Hindus talk about seven. And there are tantricas who talk about nine!
And, you will be surprised, once a man came to me and he said, "Nine CHAKRAS have opened."
I said, "Wait. There are thirteen in all." He said, "What? I have never heard about. Buddhists talk about five, Hindus talk about seven, and tantricas talk about nine. Thirteen?" I said, "I have discovered more." And after three months he came and he said, "Right you were! Now the thirteenth has also opened!"
Just an idea I had put in his mind - "thirteen." And how can it be that he would not experience them all when he has arrived so far, at the ninth? He created four more. It is not so difficult.
Forget all about your imaginations; otherwise you will be trapped by your mind. If you see something, remember, it is imagination. If you feel something, remember, it is imagination. If you experience something, remember, it is imagination. When the experiencer is left alone without any experience, then there is no imagination. When the knower is left and there is nothing to know, then there is no imagination. When there is pure awareness without any content, then there is truth. And Kabir insists: "Put all imagination away.... "
God is not an experience, God is not an object. God is the very experiencer within you. You cannot see God. God is the one who is seeing through you. You cannot see God; you cannot reduce him to an object. You cannot put him in front of you; otherwise God will be separate from you. No, God cannot be experienced. And those who claim that they have experienced God are imagining things deluded. You cannot experience God! You can be God, but you cannot experience God. Because you are God, how can you experience God? God is not separate from you.
So God is when all imagination is brushed aside and only experiencing remains, just the light - not falling on anything - without any content - you just are, just isness, being.
"... AND STAND FAST IN THAT WHICH YOU ARE." Don't go anywhere in imagination. Stand fast in that which you are, and you will know what God is. Knowing yourself, you will know God.
Knowing the knower, you will know God. God never comes as an object of knowledge. He is your consciousness, he is your very being.
IT IS THE MERCY OF MY TRUE GURU THAT HAS MADE ME TO KNOW THE UNKNOWN; I HAVE LEARNED FROM HIM HOW TO WALK WITHOUT FEET, TO SEE WITHOUT EYES, TO HEAR WITHOUT EARS, TO DRINK WITHOUT MOUTH, TO FLY WITHOUT WINGS; I HAVE BROUGHT MY LOVE AND MY MEDITATION INTO THE LAND WHERE THERE IS NO SUN AND MOON, NOR DAY AND NIGHT.
"IT IS THE MERCY OF MY TRUE GURU.... " Kabir says it is not y your effort that you attain to God.
It is by the mercy of the true guru, it is by the mercy of the Master. Kabir believes tremendously in the mercy of the Master. Let us :ry to understand it.
First, the word "guru." Guru means one who has gravitation, around whom you suddenly feel as if you are being pulled. The guru is a tremendous magnet, with only one' difference. There is a man who has charisma - you are pulled, ut you are pulled towards him. That is the man of charisma.
He may become a great leader, a great politician. Adolf Hitler has that charisma; millions of people are pulled towards him. Then what is the difference between a charismatic leader and a guru? The difference is tremendous. The difference is: when you are pulled towards a guru you suddenly feel that you are being pulled inwards, not outwards.
When you are pulled towards Kabir, Nanak, Buddha, you have a strange feeling. The feeling is that you are being pulled towards them and at the same time you are being pulled inwards - a very strange paradoxical phenomenon at the closer you come to your guru, the closer you come yourself. The more you become attracted towards the guru, the more you become independent. The more you become surrendered to the guru, the more you feel that you ave freedom you never had before.
So it is a very subtle difference. Remember it. If you are Pulled towards a man and that pull creates a slavery, that an is not the guru. That man may have charisma, may have magnetic power - maybe his great intelligence, his physical beauty, or his sheer vitality pulls you - but you will be going away from yourself. It will be an infatuation. You will be obsessed with this man, and you will be off your center. Avoid such people; these are the greatest mischief-mongers in the world. Adolf Hitler, Napoleon, Alexander - these are the people who have created great havoc, because people feel tremendously attracted and people feel like surrendering.
Remember, if your surrendering gives you freedom, then the man is a guru, a Master. If your surrendering makes you a slave, makes you a robot - as all the followers of Adolf Hitler were turned into mechanical robots.... They lost their souls; he simply exploited their souls. They lost all their awareness. This happens in the spiritual world also, because these charismatic people are everywhere. So make it a criterion inside: if by the presence of your guru, of your Master, you are becoming freer and freer, more and more independent; by surrendering, the paradox is happening - that by surrendering you are gaining more willpower, by surrendering you are becoming powerful not impotent - then you are near the guru.
The guru is one who pulls you towards himself just to throw you back into your own being. He functions as a mediator; via the guru, you arrive at your own self. Because you cannot go directly, he helps you via him. But his whole effort is to make you yourself.
A true guru will never impose himself upon you. He will never impose his life-style on you. He will never give you any rigid discipline. He will not enforce anything on you, regiment you. He will not try to create soldiers of you. No, he will help you to become yourself. He will help you to be yourself, whatsoever that is. He will help to give you more and more understanding about yourself. You will become more and more centered, rooted, near him. More and more you will feel he has given you back to yourself - that which was lost or forgotten, he has made you aware of it.
That's what I say to my sannyasins: that I have nothing else to give to you; I give you back to yourself.
You surrender to me, and I give it back to you.
It is difficult for you to know yourself right now because you have lived in forgetfulness for so long.
You need a shock; I give that shock to you. But I don't give you any discipline. And I don't force my life-style on you, because each person has to find his own life-style and each person is so unique that each person has to live in his own way. Nobody else's life-style is going to help you. You will become second-rate, secondhand; and God loves only firsthand people. Never be a carbon copy. If somewhere you are forced to become a carbon copy, avoid that place like the plague, escape from there.
"IT IS THE MERCY OF MY TRUE GURU THAT HAS MADE ME TO KNOW THE UNKNOWN;/I HAVE LEARNED FROM HIM HOW TO WALK WITHOUT FEET, TO SEE WITHOUT EYES, TO HEAR WITHOUT EARS, TO DRINK WITHOUT MOUTH, TO FLY WITHOUT WINGS;" Because the inner world is without any senses. Eyes are not there, ears are not there, mouth is not there, wings are not there. And this is the miracle of a Master: that he helps you to see without the eyes. And it is simply a PRASAD, a gift; it is only out of his compassion that it happens. No effort is needed on your part, and no effort is needed on the Master's part. When the disciple is surrendered and the Master is REALLY a Master, it simply happens on its own accord.
When the disciple is surrendered and the Master is ready, there is a communion, and something jumps from the soul of the Master to the disciple - an exchange of energy, a shock, an electroshock - and suddenly you become aware of your own reality.
"I HAVE BROUGHT MY LOVE AND MY MEDITATION INTO THE LAND WHERE THERE IS NO SUN AND MOON, NOR DAY AND NIGHT." And now Kabir says, "By the mercy of my Master I have come to a point where I am neither a man nor a woman, nor a sun nor a moon, where all duality is lost night and day are lost, summer and winter no longer exist, God and devil are gone. I have come to where only one exists: the nondual, the ADVAITA, the one. I have come to unison." This is the meaning of the word "yoga": to come to unison. I have fallen into the unity with the whole.
WITHOUT EATING, I HAVE TASTED OF THE SWEETNESS OF NECTAR, AND WITHOUT WATER, I HAVE QUENCHED MY THIRST.
WHERE THERE IS THE RESPONSE OF DELIGHT, THERE IS THE FULLNESS OF JOY.
This is of great significance. If you are delighted, joy will descend on you. Delight is human; joy is divine. When you are delighted, you will feel great joy descending on you.
That's why I go on insisting sing, dance, delight, celebrate. That's what YOU can do. Joy is not within your hands. You can delight in small things - a flower, a bird singing, a beautiful child, a beautiful woman. You can delight in small things - in food, in sleep, in the morning breeze, the sunset, in the stars. You can delight in small things.
If you can delight in small things, suddenly you will see great joy is descending in you. Joy comes from the whole. Delight creates the capacity to receive it. To remain delighted is enough to become a religious person. If you can celebrate continuously, that's enough; then God is going to descend in you. You are creating the receptivity; the response of delight creates the heart, makes it ready, makes it receptive, opens your doors.
There is a great saying of Jesus, incomparable. Jesus says, "Those who have, to them more will be given; and those who have not, even that which they have will be taken away from them." A very absurd-looking saying: those who have, more will be given to them. Does not look very democratic, does not look very communistic, socialistic. Looks very anti-communist. Those who have will be given more? This is unjust. And those who have not, even that which they have will be taken away.
But the saying is of tremendous significance, one of the most secret sayings. Yet I also repeat it; and all the mystics have said that in different ways; that's what Kabir is saying.
If you are delighted, joy will be given to you. If you have a little delight, more joy will descend on you.
If you are silent, more silence will come to you. If you have, more will be given to you; if you don't have, even that which you have will be taken away.
.. BEFORE WHOM CAN THAT JOY BE UTTERED?
And that joy is such that when it descends it is inexpressible. Delight can be expressed; you can dance, you can sing, you can hug, you can hold hands. Delight is human and can be expressed.
Joy is superhuman and impossible to express.
KABIR SAYS: "THE GURU IS GREAT BEYOND WORDS, AND GREAT IS THE GOOD FORTUNE OF THE DISCIPLE."
Yes, to become a disciple is to be fortunate. To find a Master is the greatest blessing that can happen to a man on the earth. It is very rare to find a Master and it is very rare, when you have found one, to surrender to him. But if it happens at all, the greatest thing has happened. More than that is not possible in life. Let me explain it to you, what the Master exactly means.
God is far away - just a word, we have never experienced him. The Master, or guru, functions as a midway station. God is superhuman, far away, difficult to conceive of. The guru is human, and yet divine. The guru is like us, and yet not like us. He is a bridge between man and God; he is just at the middle point. Exactly, the guru balances existence. The disciple is man; the God is not man; the guru is both. On one side, he belongs to humanity; on another side, he belongs to God. One of his hands is with the humanity; his other hand is in the hands of God. He becomes the bridge. That's why we call the guru a god-man or a man-god. That's why Jesus goes on saying, again and again, "I am the son of God, and I am the son of man." He is a guru, he is a Master.
It is very difficult for Christians to explain why he says, again and again, "I am the son of man." It would have been more logical if he had said only one thing: "I am the son of God." But why does he say, "I am the son of man"? If he is the son of God, then he is no longer part of humanity; then he is as far away as God himself. Then what is the point of his coming to the world? It is meaningless.
He had to become the son of man; only then does he relate to us. Then he is a relative, then he is a brother, then he is part of our family.
That is the mystery of the guru. The guru is more mysterious than God. God is simple. Man is simple. The guru is very mysterious - because paradoxes meet in him, contradictions meet in him.
The guru is a meeting place of man and God, a crossroads, a SANGAMA, a meeting of the two rivers, of two different dimensions.
The seeker is ignorance; God is knowing, wisdom. The seeker is darkness; God is light. The guru is a twilight.
In India we pray at the time of twilight. The Sanskrit word for twilight is SANDHYA, and by and by it became synonymous with prayer. Twilight is prayer, the moment to pray. Twilight is representative of the guru. In India the sayings of the saints are called SANDHYA BHASHA, "the language of the twilight." They speak in metaphors which belong to two worlds: to the human and to the divine.
There is a story about Kabir that when he arrived home and faced God, he was very much puzzled because the guru was standing there with God. He was very much puzzled about whom he should bow down to first, the priority - to God, or to the guru? And then he touched the feet of the guru and said, "Because without you, I would have never known God. So you come first. Through you I have known; so you come first. God can wait, because without you there was no God for me. It is only through you he has become a reality. I bow down to you."
"KABIR SAYS: 'THE GURU IS GREAT BEYOND WORDS, AND GREAT IS THE GOOD FORTUNE OF THE DISCIPLE."' There are millions of people; very few become seekers. There are thousands of seekers; very few become disciples. To become a disciple is a rare privilege because only by becoming a disciple does one become connected, linked, with a Master. Then your destiny is not alone; then your destiny is linked with a Master.
People come to me and they say, "We don't want to take sannyas. Won't you help us?" I say, "I will help you, but you will not be able to receive it. My help will not be of much use, because you will not be there to receive it." By becoming a sannyasin, you become "response-able."
And the word "responsible" I use in the literal sense: "response-ability." By becoming a sannyasin, you become response-able towards me, you become receptive towards me, your heart opens, you can trust me, and you become vulnerable. And then, only then, I can shower on you and I can lead you to the unknown - the land where there is no moon and no sun and no day and no night, and the land where there is no space and no time, and the land where you will be flying without wings and you will be seeing without eyes, and the land where nectar is flowing but no mouth is needed to drink of it.
That is possible only if you have taken the jump of disciplehood. Yes, blessed is the man who is courageous enough to become a disciple.
It needs courage, it needs guts, it needs tremendous willpower, to surrender. Never think for a single moment that it is weaklings who surrender. Never. Weaklings cannot surrender. Cowards cannot surrender. It is only very, very strong people who can surrender. Surrender is possible only if you are very much grounded, centered: you know that you can surrender and yet you will not disappear into the surrender. You know that you can surrender and yet surrender is going to bring freedom to you.