Sweet Fruits

Fri, 19 October 1972 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Osho - Finger Pointing to the Moon
Chapter #:
pm in Mt. Abu, Rajasthan, India
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[NOTE: This is a translation of the Hindi series ADHYATMA UPANISHAD. This version is the final edit pending publication.]







A few more indications about the inner state of a jivanamukta, the one liberated while living.

The jivanamukta is one who has known death while still living. As it is, death is known by all, but only at the time of dying. That too cannot be called the knowing of death because just in the moment of dying the mind becomes unconscious. So we never know our own death, we always only know the death of others. You have only seen others dying, you have never seen yourself dying. Thus our knowledge even about death is borrowed. When someone else dies what do we learn from this? We know that he has lost his speech, his eyes cannot see, his pulse has ceased, and that his heart has stopped. We just know that the body mechanism has ceased to work, but we do not know anything about what happened to the one that was hidden behind the body mechanism, or whether there really was anything hidden behind or not, or whether that hidden being is saved or not.

Death happens within, and all we are able to see is its symptoms on the outside. How can one know death by seeing others dying? We too have died many times but we have never been able to see ourselves dying, because we had become unconscious before dying.

So you may see many persons dying, but you never come to believe that you too are going to die. Have you ever believed that you too will die? Many people may start dying every day, the whole cemetery may become full of them, some epidemic may spread and you will see dead bodies everywhere - still one always feels that only others are dying. You never feel within that you are also going to die. Even if such an awareness of death comes it remains only on the surface, it never enters deep within. Why? Because we have never seen our own death, we have no experience of it, we have no remembrance of death. However much we may think backward in the past we never come to find that we have ever died before. So something that has never happened in the past, how can it happen in the future?

All the calculations of mind are based on the past. Even when the mind thinks of the future it thinks only in the language of the past. What has happened yesterday, that alone can happen tomorrow - with a little difference here and there. But what has never happened before, how can that happen tomorrow? This is why the mind is never able to believe in death. And when death in fact happens the mind is already unconscious.

Thus the two great experiences of life, birth and death, we never experience. We take birth and we die, and if we are unable to experience these two great events of birth and death then how can we experience and what can we experience of the life that flows in between the two? One who is unable to know the beginning of life, one who is unable to know the end of life, how can he ever know the middle of life?

The stream that flows between birth and death is life. Neither we know the beginning nor the end; the middle is bound to remain unknown. There may be some hazy dim knowing - like something heard from a faraway distance, or like a dream that was seen. But we have no direct contact with life.

The meaning of jivanamukta is a person who has known death during life by waking up, by becoming conscious.

This word jivanamukta is wonderful. It has many different meanings. One meaning can be: one who is liberated during life. Another meaning can be: one who is liberated from life. The second meaning is deeper. Actually the first meaning is useful only after the second meaning is known. Only the one who is liberated from life can be liberated in life.

Who will be liberated from life?

Only he can be liberated from life who has known that the whole life is a process of death; one who has seen that that which we call life is only a long march towards death.

After birth we do not do anything else except die. We may be doing anything - the march towards death continues each moment. Evening comes after the morning and we have died for twelve more hours. Then morning will come again after this evening and we will have died for twelve more hours.

Life goes on exhausting itself drop by drop; time goes on emptying itself away.

So what we call life is actually a long process of dying. After birth, whatsoever one may be doing, one is definitely doing one thing - that is dying, continuing to die. No sooner are you born than you have begun to die. In the very first breath taken by a child the arrangement for his last breath has been made. Now there is no way of avoiding death. One who is born will die sooner or later; the difference may be of time, but death is certain.

One who has seen life as a long process of death... I say has seen, not has understood. You can also understand, "So this is how it is?" - that you can also do But by that you will not be a jivanamukta. No, one who sees, one who becomes a witness to it, is one who has seen that every moment he is dying.

One thing we never realize is that "I will die"; it is always the others who die. Secondly, even if we infer our death through the death of others, then too it is something that will happen in the future; for now it can be postponed. It is not happening now, today. Even a man lying on his death-bed does not think that his death is happening today, this moment. He too avoids, postpones - tomorrow. In avoiding we save ourselves. For us life is now and death is far away in time.

One who has seen that the whole of life is a process of death has also seen that death is not tomorrow but now, this very moment - "I am already dying in this very moment. How to see, how to realize this happening of my death this very moment?" If one is able to see, then one does not lust for life. Buddha has said that one who does not lust to live is a jivanamukta. One who does not demand that he should get more life, one who does not desire to live more, one who has no lust to live more, one who will accept death gracefully if it comes now, one who will not ask death for even one moment more - "Wait, let me tidy up matters" - one who is ever ready to live every moment, that person is a jivanamukta.

One whose lust to live is finished can be free from life. One who becomes free from life becomes a jivanamukta - then he is liberated while living. Then here and now he is with us but he is not like us.

He too is sitting, rising, eating, drinking, walking, sleeping, but the very quality of all these activities is transformed. Doing everything as we do, he is still not doing what we do. This world as we see it remains the same but it looks different to him - his angle of perception is changed; the center in him that is seeing is changed; for him the whole world is transformed. The definition of and indications about such a liberation while living is in these aphorisms. We shall try to understand them one after the other.


... Those few friends who are under the influence of coughing should leave from here immediately.

Or else stop coughing and remain seated. But both things together won't do.


The first characteristic: one who does not see through his intellect any difference between the soul that is hidden within oneself and the Brahma that is hidden within creation, is a jivanamukta.

There are two things in it. "No difference is seen through intellect." All differences are made by the intellect, the mind. The intellect is the mechanism which enables us to see things as different. Just as when we dip a stick in water the stick appears bent - pull it out of the water, and it looks straight again. Put it back in the water, it appears bent again. The stick does not become bent in water, it only appears bent because the path of the rays of light in the water and outside the water are different. In the medium of water the rays become bent and so the stick appears bent.

Dip any straight object in water and it will appear bent. The objects themselves do not become bent, they only appear bent. The interesting thing is that you are well aware that the objects do not actually bend - but still you see them as bent. You can make the experiment any number of times, the result will be the same. Put your hand into the water and you can feel that the object is still straight. And yet your hands and your eyes are giving contradictory information. The air medium and the water medium change the path of the light rays.

Let us understand it in another way. You may have seen a prism. If the sun's rays are passed through the prism the rays are divided into seven colors.

You may have seen a rainbow. That too is a play on the principle of the prism. What is really happening when you see a rainbow? The sun's rays are always coming towards the earth, but whenever there are tiny droplets of water in the atmosphere these droplets function as a prism and divide the sun's rays into seven colors and they are seen as a rainbow. A rainbow is nothing but the sun's rays passing through water droplets. There will be no rainbow if there is no sun in the sky or if there are no clouds and water droplets.

A prism, or drops of water, divide the sun's rays into seven colors; they are mediums. If you see the sun's rays passing through a water drop you will see seven colors. If you see it without water drops, it is white, it has no color. White is not a color, it is an absence of colors.

The mind, the intellect too is similar, it acts as a medium. As an object appears bent inside water and light passing through a prism divides itself into seven colors, the mind, the thoughts, are similarly a subtle medium. Whatsoever we recognize through it is split into two, a division is created.

Intellect creates division. If you look at anything through intellect... for example, when we look at light the mind divides it at once into two parts: darkness and light. In fact in existence there is no division between light and darkness; they are the progressive and regressive expansions of one reality. This is why some birds are able to see in darkness. If darkness was absolute darkness, the owl would not be able to see. It is only able to see because in darkness too is some light. It is only that our eyes are not able to catch that light and the owl's eyes can. The darkness is also subtle light.

If there is a very bright light our eyes cannot see it. Our eyes have a limited spectrum of seeing; they cannot see above it, they cannot see below it. Beyond these upper and lower limits there is darkness for our eyes. Have you ever noticed that if your eyes are suddenly confronted with a very bright light source everything goes dark before you? The eye is not able to see that much light.

So darkness is of two types. What we see as light is as far as the spectrum of our seeing capacity allows. Above that and below that there is darkness. If the capacity of our eyes is reduced the light becomes darkness; if the capacity of our eyes is increased the darkness becomes light. The blind man has no capacity at all to see, so everything is darkness, there is no light at all for him. But light and darkness are one in existence. It is because of our intellect that they appear as two.

Intellect divides everything into two. The way intellect looks at things, nothing can remain undivided.

Intellect is analysis, intellect is discrimination, intellect is division. This is why birth and death appear as two to us because of our seeing through the intellect; otherwise they are not two. Birth is a beginning, death is the end; they are two extreme ends of the same thing. We see happiness and unhappiness as two separate things; this is because of the intellect, otherwise they are not two.

This is why happiness can turn into unhappiness and unhappiness can turn into happiness. What appears as happiness today, by tomorrow morning can become unhappiness. The morning is far away; what appears as happiness now can become unhappiness in the next moment.

This should be impossible. If happiness and unhappiness are two things, two separate things, then happiness should never become unhappiness and unhappiness can never become happiness. But this change continues each moment. Now there is love, now it becomes hate. A moment ago there was attraction, now it becomes repulsion. A moment ago it was felt to be friendship, now it has become enmity. These are not two things, otherwise change from one to the other would be impossible. One who was alive a moment ago is dead now. So life and death cannot be two separate things, otherwise how can a living man be dead? How can life turn into death?

It is our error that we divide everything into two. Our very way of seeing is such that things are divided into two.

When one puts this way of seeing aside, when one removes the mind from in front of one's eyes and looks at the world without the mind, all divisions disappear. The experience of nonduality, the experience of vedanta in essence, is the experience of those who have looked at the world putting their intellect aside. Then the world is no more the world, it becomes God. Then what we saw as the embodied soul within us and God out there, they too remain as nothing but two ends of one and the same reality. That which I am here, inside, and that which is spread there, all over, they both become one: tattvamasi, 'That art thou'.

You then experience that you are not only one of the ends of 'that'. "The same sky of this vast existence is also touching my hand here. The same expanse of air which is surrounding the whole earth is also entering me as my breath." The life-force of this whole existence is pulsating and because of that all life is: the stars move, and the sun rises and there is light from the moon, fruits come to the trees and the birds sing their songs, and man lives. "This life-force hidden within all - this great pulsation somewhere at the center of the universe and this tiny pulsation of my heart in my body, these must be the two ends of one and the same thing." They are not two.

But this can be experienced only when not seen through the intellect. It is very difficult to see keeping the mind aside, because we normally see only through the intellect. Our habit is well-entrenched.

How will you see other than through the intellect? Whatsoever you see, a thought will arise.

Just stand near a flower. You have hardly seen the flower and your mind begins to prompt: "It is a roseflower it is very beautiful! Notice how pleasant its fragrance is." You have not even properly seen the flower, the echo of it has not touched your being yet, and the intellect has started feeding information from its past experiences and their memories: it is a roseflower, it is fragrant and beautiful. The mind makes these statements and it has spread its curtain in between. The flower has remained outside, you have remained within, and a curtain of thoughts from your intellect has already been stretched in between. You now see the flower only from behind that curtain. All our seeing is like that.

So a great effort is necessary to transcend this intellect and to see directly. You are sitting near a flower: don't let the intellect come in between. See the flower directly, let not even a single thought arise that this is a roseflower, it is beautiful - let there be no word formation at all. Try it for a while, and sometimes you will have a momentary glimpse of a situation wherein you will be on one side, the flower will be on the other side, and between the two there will be no thought for a moment.

Then you will be able to see a world in that flower which you have never known before.

Tennyson has said, "If one can see even one flower fully, he has seen the whole world. Nothing more remains to be seen." It is so, because the whole world is contained in one flower. What we call tiny is the imitation of the vast. What we call micro is nothing but a smaller form of the macro.

Just as the whole sky may be reflected in a small mirror, just as the millions of stars in the sky may flash through a human eye, the whole universe can be seen in a small flower. However this is possible only when your intellect is not standing in between.

Go on practicing it. You are sitting leisurely, the birds are singing: do not let the mind interfere - just be the ear, listen and don't think. In the beginning it will be very difficult because of habits; otherwise there is no reason for any difficulty. But slowly, slowly glimpses will happen. One day the bird will go on singing, your intellect will have no say; you will go on listening and a direct relationship between you and the bird will be established - without any medium. Then you will be very surprised; then it will be difficult for you to decide whether you are singing or the bird is singing, whether you are listening or the bird is listening.

The moment your intellect has moved away from being in between, you and the song of the bird become the two ends of one and the same thing. The throat of the bird is one end and your ear is the other and the song becomes the bridging link. The flower that is blossoming there and your heart that is within, your consciousness that is within, they become part of one and the same phenomenon and the vibrations that are running between the two become the bridge joining them.

Then one does not feel that the flower is blossoming there at a distance and you are seeing it standing here at a distance, then one feels that "I am blossoming in the flower and the flower is standing and seeing from within me." But this too you do not feel in that very moment, you feel it only when you have come out of that moment. In that moment even this much is not noticed because the entity who notices, thinks and contemplates - the mind - has been put aside. Then the experience in each moment becomes the experience of the Brahma, the ultimate reality.

Somebody asks Bokoju, "What is your experience of God?" Bokoju says, "God? I know nothing of God."

"What are you doing, what is your spiritual discipline?" asks the inquirer.

Bokoju was fetching water from the well at that time. So he said, "When I am fetching water from the well I am not quite sure whether I am fetching the water, or if it is the well which is fetching and I am the well. And when my bucket is going down into the well I do not know whether the bucket has gone in the well or I have gone in the well. And when the bucket is full and it starts coming up, believe me, I am not clear about anything as to what is what and what is happening. But now that you have asked me, I am telling you after thinking about it. Just because you have asked, I have thought about it and told you, otherwise I am no more. I have no idea of God. I have no idea even of myself."

When you have lost all idea even about who and what you are, what is then known in such a moment is what God is. When does one lose track of who oneself is? When the intellect that attaches thoughts to everything no longer remains with you. The very work of the intellect is to attach thoughts, to label everything, to give words, name and form to everything.

When a child is born and it first opens its eyes it does not have any intellect. The intellect will develop slowly afterwards; it will form, be educated and conditioned. The scientists say that when the child first opens his eyes he does not see any divisions. Red color will look red to the child also, but it cannot experience that it is red because it has still to learn the word red. Green color will look green to the child also, because the eyes can see color so green will be seen, but he cannot say it is green.

The child cannot even say that it is color. The child also cannot say where the red ends and where the green begins, because he has no knowledge of red and green yet.

In the eyes of the child the world appears as one integrated whole, where things are all mixed into each other and nothing can be separated. It is an oceanic experience, indivisible. But this too is our inference - it is difficult to say what happens to the child.

The enlightened ones, those who have again become child-like, who have again become as simple as they were when they had no mind, who have now become innocent and simple as they were when they had no intellect, have such experiences where everything becomes one. One thing joins with the second, the second joins with the third, and so on. The separateness of things ceases to be seen, only the inner connection between them is seen.

Our condition is such that we are able to see only the beads of the necklace; the string running through them and joining them is not seen. The intellect sees only the beads. When the intellect moves away the inner consciousness, free of intellect, sees that hidden thread that is running through all the beads. It sees the oneness that encompasses everything, that connects everything, that is hidden within everything and is the base of everything.

Whenever intellect functions, it divides. Science is the system of intellect, hence science divides, analyzes. Science has arrived at the atom after dividing and subdividing. Science only sees pieces, parts; it cannot see the oneness at all.

Religion gives up the intellect and then a reverse process begins: things go on joining together and becoming one.

Science has arrived at the atom, religion arrives at God. The intellect goes on breaking things into their components. God is a name for the biggest thing that we could synthesize with the absence of intellect. In using the intellect to break things down, we have come to the atom - the atom is the power of science. On seeing without intellect we have experienced God - God is the power of religion.

Hence, remember, any religion that divides is not a religion - no matter where it divides, on what level it divides. If a Hindu becomes separate from a Mohammedan, understand that they are merely politics of two types, not religion. If a Jaina appears separate from a Hindu, understand that they are merely types of social systems, not religion. Understand that behind all of them intellect which only has the capacity for dividing is working. And behind them there is no experience of the consciousness that has transcended intellect - where everything synthesizes and becomes one.



Equanimity is the first thing, nonduality the second. Equanimity is a word a little difficult to understand, because we use it loosely to mean different things.

One person may abuse you and another person may bow down to you. Now what do we mean by equanimity in relation to these? Does it mean that you should make an effort and control yourself not to be angry with the one who has abused you and not to be pleased with the one who respected you? No, if there is any effort or control it is not equanimity; it is only an imposed self-control, it is a self-regulation, a discipline. Equanimity means there is no reaction at all within you, whether one abuses you or one respects you - a total absence of reaction within. Simply nothing stirs within you.

The abuse remains outside and the respect remains outside; nothing at all enters within.

When will this happen? This happens only when there is a witness within.

When somebody abuses us there is a reaction. On hearing abuse we immediately feel that "I have been abused," and the suffering begins. When somebody respects us we feel happy because it feels that, "I am respected." It means that whatsoever is done to you, you become identified with it. It is because of this that suffering and pleasure are created, disharmony is created, and balance is lost.

A moral person also tries to attain equanimity, but such equanimity is imposed, cultivated. That person consoles himself with: "What if somebody has abused me? There is no harm." And if somebody respects him, he thinks, "Okay, that is his desire. I shall remain in equanimity between the two." This sort of equanimity remains on the surface, it does not go very deep, because this man has no contact with his witness. His equanimity is character-oriented. So sometimes, in some not very conscious moment, he can be provoked; sometime when there may be a little crack in his character, his inner disharmony may become manifest.

In the eyes of the Upanishad, character-oriented equanimity has no value. In the eyes of the Upanishad, only equanimity derived from the being has value. Being-oriented equanimity means that whatsoever may happen outside, you remain the witness.

Some people abused and threw stones at Ramateertha when he was in New York. When he returned home, he was dancing. A disciple asked, "What happened, why are you so happy?"

Ramateertha replied, "It is a matter of joy. Today Ramateertha was in great difficulty. Some people started abusing him, ridiculing him and some people started throwing stones at him. It was great fun seeing Ramateertha being harassed and trapped. He was badly trapped!"

His disciples were puzzled and they asked, "Who are you talking about? Who is this Ramateertha?"

Ramateertha replied, keeping his hands on his chest, "This Ramateertha was badly trapped and I was just watching and enjoying seeing him trapped. I saw those who were abusing him and I also saw that man Ramateertha who was trapped and being abused. I kept watching the whole scene."

When you have attained this third perspective, only then is there equanimity. If you have only two perspectives there cannot be any equanimity; then there is only the abuser and the abused. You may try to remain harmonious - because that is a characteristic of a person who is trying to be a good man - but this is only a way of consoling yourself: "Never mind, if somebody abused me what harm does it do to me?" But this is only a self-consolation, and you are feeling the abuse, hence this self-consolation. You say, "The man has harmed himself by using abusive words; what have I lost through the whole thing?" But you did lose something, hence this self-consolation.

A good man lives in consolation. He thinks, "It is okay, he abused me so he is creating his own bad karma, he will reap its fruits. Why should I say anything? He has abused me, he will suffer and go to hell because he has sinned." This man is consoling himself. He himself cannot create hell for the abuser so he is leaving it to God to complete the job. He is employing God in his service - but he is only consoling himself. He is saying that those who sow the wrong seeds will reap the wrong fruits.

Those who sow good seeds, will reap good fruits. "And I shall sow only good seeds, so that I reap good fruits. This man is sowing wrong seeds, so let him have his wrong fruits." He can even go to the extent of saying, "Even if somebody sows thorns for me, I will only sow flowers for him, because in the future the other will reap thorns and I will reap flowers." But this sort of thinking only reflects a calculating business mind. This is a sort of prudent, bargaining mind, it is not equanimity.

Where is equanimity? Equanimity is only when beyond the duality, beyond the two opposing points, the third perspective begins to be seen: "Here is the abuser, here is my body and name that are being abused, and here am I, the third party, who is watching the whole thing. If I am at the same distance from both the abuser and the abused, then there is equanimity. If there is even a slight difference in the distance - if the one abusing me appears at a greater distance than I, the abused - the equanimity has already been lost; disharmony has set in."

Equanimity means that the scale is balanced and you become the third in the middle, like the pointer of the scale: steady, neither leaning to this side nor to that; neither leaning towards the abuser nor the abused, standing beyond and just watching.

This witnessing is equanimity. And a jivanamukta will live in equanimity, because jivanamukta arises out of witnessing.

Understand this second sutra well: through self-consolation a good man is born, through witnessing a saint is born. And there is a great difference between a saint and a good man. A good man is a saint only on the surface, inside there is no difference between him and a wicked man. A wicked man is wicked both outside and inside. A good man is good outside and wicked within. So there is a big difference between a good man and a saint.

In one sense, the saint and the wicked man are similar. The wicked man is wicked both outside and inside. The good man is good outside and wicked inside, and a saint is good both outside and inside.

The similarity is that the wicked man is uniform both inside and outside and the saint is uniform both inside and outside. Their forms are different but their uniformity is the same. And a good man is hanging between these two; hence there is no end to the misery of a good man because his mind is like that of a wicked person but his behavior is like that of a saint. Hence a good man lives in a great dilemma. In his mind there is always a duality.

People come to me and say, "I have never done anything wrong, I have never committed a theft nor cheated anybody, and I am suffering so much. On the other hand, those who have committed thefts and have cheated others are well-off and enjoying themselves. So there is no justice in this world."

Or the good man consoles himself that whatever may be his condition now, there is a divine law which prevails; there may be some delay in it but the law is there.

He consoles himself, "There is a little delay and for now the dishonest are succeeding, but in the end it is I who will succeed." He is consoling himself that there is delay, but not the lack of divine law. But one point is clear, that he is experiencing a delay. And there is also a doubt lurking in his mind: "Could it be that something is not right about my assumption of the existence of a divine law?

Could it be that I am going to miss at both ends, neither the material gain here nor any spiritual goal attained there? Could it be that I am losing material wealth now only to later discover that God simply never did exist? That the one who has succeeded in obtaining material wealth here wins in the end also?"

This nagging doubt is a constant companion of a good man. And being in doubt as to one's goodness, clearly means only one thing, that one's inside desires are no different from a wicked man's. On the inside you desire to do and to gain the same thing that the wicked man is doing and gaining, but you have somehow maintained the behavior of a good man. Your greed is twofold. Your cart has bullocks harnessed at both ends and is being pulled in two directions. You are greedy to have money and fame to satisfy your ego - all the greeds of any wicked man are your greeds as well - and you are greedy also to attain to God, soul, liberation, peace and bliss; all the greeds of any saint are your greeds as well. Your greeds are two-fold and you are suffering between the two greeds. And this is why a good man is often found to be less at peace than anybody else.

If a good man becomes more at peace he becomes a saint. If a good man is not at peace, then if not today, tomorrow he will become a wicked man. He cannot carry on that way for long. From that middle position he has to either fall down or go up, but there is no way of remaining in the middle.

A jivanamukta is a saint. He is not doing any wrong to anybody, but not because not doing wrong will backfire on him someday; no, he cannot do any wrong because he is standing at that third point where no wrong has ever been done.

Alexander the Great wanted to take an Indian sannyasin to his own country. The name of that sannyasin was Dandami. But Dandami was not willing to go. Alexander drew out his sword and threatened him saying, "I will cut you to pieces if you do not agree. Even the Himalayas would have to come with me if I ordered it."

Dandami said, "Maybe the Himalayas would go with you, but you will not be able to take me."

Alexander could not understand the source of strength of this skinny fakir standing naked on the sands of the river bank and talking so courageously. He ordered his soldiers, and suddenly Dandami was surrounded with naked swords all around him. Dandami laughed uproariously at this and said, "You are not surrounding me - you are surrounding that which I am not. You have no capacity to surround me, because my size has become one with the size of the vast existence."

Alexander said, "I do not understand this philosophical talk, I only understand the language of the sword, and soon your head will be rolling on the ground."

Dandami said, "It will be great fun. You will see the head rolling down on the ground and I will also see it rolling down on the ground - we will both be seeing the same event."

Now this is the third perspective: "I will also see the head rolling down on the ground."

If you can see your own head being chopped off and rolling down on the ground it means that you have no identification whatsoever with your body, that you have become the witness of your body, that you are standing outside and away from your own body.

Only at this point is the birth of saintliness, and only at this point is liberation while living.


The world will remain the same. By your becoming changed the world will not change, but by your change, your world will be changed.

As I said earlier, we all have our own worlds. If I am ignorant the Mount Abu mountains will remain the same, and when I become awakened then too the Mount Abu mountains will remain the same.

The sky will remain the same, the moon will remain the same, the earth will remain the same - this whole world will remain the same. But when I am ignorant, then the way I see the world, the way I choose it to be for me, the way I choose for it to appear to me.... I may like to feel the mountain is mine, when I am ignorant the mountain is not just a mountain, it is my mountain. But in the moment of awakening, in the experience of liberation, the mountain will just be a mountain, it will not be mine.

That 'mine' which was imposed upon it will disappear. And on the disappearance of my-ness, the beauty and grandeur of the mountain will be fully revealed. My own my-ness, my own attachment was my misery and my pain. It was my own intellect that used to stand in between. So whenever I looked at the mountain, I felt, "My mountain." That my-ness would come in between and I would see through this screen. Now the mountain is a mountain and I am I.

In Japan, Zen masters have created ten pictures. Those pictures have been used for centuries for meditation. These pictures are worth understanding, they will be useful in understanding this sutra.

In the first picture nothing can be seen, but on a closer look one can see in it a mountain, a tree and a bull hidden behind the tree. Only the back of the bull, its two legs and its tail, can be seen.

In the second picture, the person who is looking and searching for the bull here and there has also appeared on the scene. It is evening, the darkness is descending, and he is not able to see clearly.

The tree is there, some creepers are there and the bull is hiding behind it all; just a little bit of the tail and the hind legs can be seen - of that too one can only see the outline.

In the third picture, he can see the bull clearly. In the second picture he appeared sad and his eyes were full of an anxious search with no glow in them. But now that he has seen the bull a glow has come into his eyes and movement has come to his feet.

In the fourth picture, the whole bull is seen and the person searching for the bull has come closer to the bull. In the fifth picture, he has caught hold of the bull's tail.

In the sixth picture, he has caught the bull by its horns. In the seventh picture, he has managed to turn the bull to be facing towards home.

In the eighth picture, he is riding the bull.

In the ninth picture, he is in full control of the bull and is returning home, and in the tenth picture there is nothing - neither the bull nor the rider, its owner, are there. The forest is there, the mountain is there, but the bull and the owner have both disappeared.

These ten pictures are used for meditation in the Zen tradition. They are depictions of the search for the soul. In the first depiction, the seeker is nowhere to be seen. In the second depiction the seeker is roused, the desire has arisen to know the soul, for the search. In the third depiction a little glimpse of the soul has begun to appear. In the fourth depiction the soul is seen in full view. In the fifth picture, not only a full view of the soul is seen, but its tail has also been caught, meaning the right of ownership has been established in a tiny corner of it.

In the next depiction, a front encounter has happened, the soul has been caught by its horns. In the depiction after this, the soul has not only been caught by its horns, but it has also been turned around on the journey back home, towards Brahma. In the next two pictures, not only the soul has now been turned towards home but the seeker is in control of himself - is now riding the bull - and has started moving towards home. And in the last depiction both are lost; neither the seeker is there nor the search, the world has become a void. The mountains are still standing, the trees are still standing, but the seeker and the search have both disappeared.

This is the discovery. The way this world appears today when one sets out on the search is not the way it is after the awakening. All my-ness will disappear. All accumulated concepts will disappear.

All one's projections within the world will be destroyed; all one's expectations of the world will drop.

No demands will remain; all one's ideas of finding happiness in the world will vanish, even the illusion that the world gives unhappiness will be destroyed. Any feelings that one has any transactions with the world will also end.

So this sutra says that for the one who has known Brahma, the supreme essence, the world does not remain the same as before. The world remains, but not the same as before. And if the world is still remaining the same as before, then understand that Brahma is not yet known. This is for testing one's own self. One has to go on checking oneself. There is the wife.... People come to me and say.

"The wife is there, the children are there, family, conflicts, business; nothing is possible in this mess.

Should I leave everything and run away?"

I tell them, "Do not run away. After all, where will you run away to? - the world is there everywhere.

And if you remain as you are now, someone else will become your wife, some other home will be created, some other business will be started. There are businesses of many kinds, there are even religious kinds of businesses: you may not open a shop, maybe you will open a monastery, something or the other is bound to happen. What can you do? If the person residing within you remains unchanged, he is bound to do only that that he knows."

Do not run away. Remain where you are and go on plunging deeper and searching within. Take the search to be complete the day you are sitting in the market, and the market is there but it is no longer a marketplace for you. Your wife may be sitting near you - in the mind she will remain a wife, let her be - but for you she should not remain your wife. That feeling of my-ness must disappear, only the woman remains.

And she will appear as a woman only as long as there is the desire for sex. As meditation deepens, the sex desire will also vanish; then she will not even remain a woman for you, she will cease to be a body. Just as the feeling of my-ness within you goes on withering away, your outer projections about the woman, your feelings about the woman as a wife, as a woman, will also go on disappearing. A day will come when, wherever you are sitting, you will become void and empty. All around you the world will remain the same, but you will not remain the same. Your whole outlook will be changed.

One has to go on constantly searching within: "Is everything the same to me as it was before? Is everything running the same way in my life?" Names may change, things may change, but if one's inner attitude towards everything continues to be the same as before, and everything appears the same as before, then understand that jivanamukta is far away, the glimpse of truth is far away.

The very meaning of the glimpse of the truth is that the relationship between you and your world is changed. The world will remain the same as before, and the relationship with it will change only when you change.



Happiness and suffering happen due to our past actions. So do not think that physical suffering or happiness will not happen to those who have become liberated while living.

Ramana Maharshi died of cancer. It was very painful, naturally. It was a deep malady - there was no way of escaping it. Many doctors came, and they were very puzzled because the whole body was torn with pain but there was no sign of any pain in his eyes. His eyes remained the same serene lakes as ever. Through his eyes only the witnessing self arose; it was the witnessing self that looked, that observed.

Doctors would ask, "You must be in great pain?" Ramana would reply, "Yes there is great pain, but it is not happening to me. I am aware that there is great pain happening to the body; I know that there is great pain happening. I am seeing it, but it is not happening to me."

A question arises in the minds of many people as to how a man like Ramana, who is liberated and enlightened, get a disease like cancer.

This sutra has the answer to it. Happiness and sufferings will be happening to the body, even to those who are liberated while living, because these are related to past actions and their impressions, they are related to whatsoever has been done before becoming awakened.

Understand it this way: if I have sown some seeds in a field and then I become awakened, the seeds are bound to sprout. Had I remained sleeping, then too the seeds would have sprouted, flowered and come to fruition. Now too they will sprout, flower and come to fruition. There will only be one difference: had I been still asleep I would think it to be my crop and keep it close to my chest. Now that I am awake, I will understand that the seeds were already sown and now they are reaching their destiny; nothing of it is mine, I will just go on witnessing. If I had remained asleep I would have harvested the crop and preserved the new seeds so that I could sow them next year. Now that I am awake I will just go on witnessing: seeds will sprout, flowers will come, fruits will grow, but I will not gather them. Those fruits will grow and fall off on their own accord and die. My relationship with them will snap. My relationship with them before was of having sown them - now I will not do that again. Thus no further relationship will be formed.

So happiness and suffering keep coming to the liberated one also, but such a person knows that these are part of the chain of his past actions and now he has nothing to do with them: he will just go on witnessing.

When somebody comes and offers flowers at the feet of Ramana, he just goes on watching - it must be a part of some past chain of actions that prompt this person to give him happiness. But Ramana does not take the happiness; the person gives, but he does not take it. Should he take, the journey of a new action will begin. He does not prevent the person from offering flowers - "Don't give happiness to me, don't offer flowers to me, don't touch my feet" - he does not prevent him, because that prevention too would be an action and another chain of action would begin.

Try to understand this. This man has come to offer flowers to Ramana; he has put a garland round his neck, he has put his head at his feet. And what is Ramana doing within? He is just watching:

"There must be a past transaction with this man, some past impressions of action; the man is now completing it. But now the transaction has to come to an end, no further chain has to be created.

This matter is finished here, it will not continue."

So he will just sit there and will not prevent that man from doing anything... because what will 'preventing' really mean? It will mean first, that you are not ready to take back the past action where you had given, and which you would have to take back when preventing this man's action.

And second, you are creating another chain of relationship with this man by asking him not to do a certain thing. Now when will this new relationship end? You are creating another action; you are reacting.

No, Ramana will just go on watching, whether a man brings flowers to him or cancer comes. He will even watch the cancer happening.

Ramakrishna also died of cancer. He had throat cancer. Even water would not go down his throat; food would not go down his throat. Then one day Vivekananda asked Ramakrishna, "Why don't you tell mother Kali? It is just a matter of your telling her and in a moment your throat would be cured."

Ramakrishna just laughed and said nothing.

One day, when Vivekananda had insisted too much, Ramakrishna said, "You don't understand. It is necessary to be finished with whatsoever is one's own doing, otherwise one will have to came back again only to finish it. So it is right to allow whatsoever is happening to happen; it is not right to hinder it."

Then Vivekananda said, "Alright, if you do not want to ask to be cured, at least ask her that as long as you are in the body to let the throat be good enough to allow water and food to pass through.

Otherwise it is unbearably painful for us to see you in such a condition."

Ramakrishna agreed to ask. When he woke up the next morning he said, "It was great fun. When I told the mother she said, 'Has this throat a monopoly in doing your work? What difficulty do you have in eating through others' throats?'"

Ramakrishna further said, "Because of listening to your advice, I acted like a great fool. You harassed me unnecessarily. And this is right - does this throat have any monopoly? So from today onwards, when you take food, understand that I am also taking food through your throat."

Ramakrishna laughed continuously all day long. When the doctor came he said, "Why are you laughing? The body is in such a painful condition, and no other condition can be more painful than this."

Ramakrishna said, "I am laughing because I don't know what happened to my mind that I failed to remember that all throats are mine, that now I can take food through all throats. Why be obsessed about this one throat?"

Howsoever supreme a state an individual may attain, the past that is attached to the body will complete itself. Happiness and sufferings will come and go, but the liberated person will know that it is only the accumulated past actions. Knowing so, he will stand apart from them too and his witnessing will not be affected by them in any way - his witnessing is now steady.



We have discussed this earlier. Just as on waking up from sleep the dreams disappear, similarly upon the real awakening it becomes clear that all that one had done in the past, one had not done in reality - all of it disappears. But even after coming to know this, the body does not come to know it.

The body continues to move on mechanically, it completes its destiny. Just as an arrow that has left the bow cannot be brought back, just as a word that has left the lips cannot be called back, in the same way the body is just a mechanical arrangement. Whatsoever has happened through it in the past will be completed. Until the arrow reaches its target, until the word touches the farthest bounds of the sky, it is not destroyed. So the body will have to suffer and bear.

It will be good to tell you one more thing in this connection. You may have perhaps felt too that it is strange that Ramakrishna and Ramana both should have cancer - such a sinister disease.

Buddha died of some poisonous food, his blood became full of poison. Mahavira died of a deadly dysentery - he suffered unbearable abdominal pain for six months, which could not be cured. So one starts asking why such deadly diseases should catch hold of the purest souls. What could be the reason? If these diseases catch us, the sinners, the ignorant people, one can understand that, "Yes, we are reaping the fruits of our wrongdoings." But when it happens to Mahavira, to Buddha, or Ramana, or Ramakrishna, we start wondering what is the matter. But it has a reason.

The person who becomes a jivanamukta, the liberated while living, has no further journey; this life is his last life. But you have a long journey ahead, you still have lots of time. You can finish up all your sufferings in small doses, bit by bit - you have lots and lots of time for it. Buddha, Mahavira or Ramana had no time left. They may have just ten, twenty, thirty years to go. You may have lifetimes upon lifetimes of time still to go.

So in such a short period of time all the accumulated past actions and impressions are intensely compacted and give their fruits. So the events happen in a twofold manner. On the one hand, Mahavira has the honor and respect of a tirthankara - that too is an intensely compacted experience of all the accumulated happiness. And on the other hand, he has to suffer unbearable pain - that too is an intensely compacted impact of all the accumulated sufferings.

Thousands and thousands of people have immense respect for Ramana in their hearts. That is a collection of all the happiness. And then he has a disease like cancer. That is a collection of all the sufferings. Time is very short: everything is completed in its totality, at full intensity and at great speed. Thus such people go through experiences of extreme happiness and extreme suffering simultaneously. Because of lack of time, everything becomes concentrated and intense. But they have to be undergone: there is no other way but to undergo them.


No, there is no method and no way, and they cannot be shared, because if disease can be taken by somebody, that would mean that somebody else can take the fruit of my doings. Then there will be anarchy. And if somebody else can take the fruit of my doings, then there will remain no law, no rit - the natural law. Then my freedom can also be had by someone else, my liberation can also be had by someone else. My happiness, my suffering, my experience, my knowing, my bliss - anything becomes transferable.

No, nothing in this world is transferred. There is no way for it, simply no way, and it is only proper that there is no way. Yes, such a feeling of sharing arises in one's heart; that too is good, that too is right. Somebody loving Ramana may desire to take his cancer. This desire creates happiness, and out of this desire the person will earn fruits of goodness. This becomes an accumulated good action on the part of this person. Try to understand this.

Ramana is dying of cancer: somebody may pray in full sincerity and feeling of heart that he should absorb Ramana's disease. Still he cannot do so, but the very fact that he has felt this way, has felt like taking this disease on himself, becomes an action, a good deed, and he will receive happiness for it.

This is very strange: this person had asked for suffering, but he is doing a wonderful, virtuous deed.

He will receive its fruits of happiness, but nothing of Ramana's disease can be transferred. This feeling which he is having is becoming his own action impression for which he will get the benefit.


No. Madhu, you created a bad precedent. This will be harmful.

Your intentions are good, but here there are so many people sitting... do not start any such thing, it will make everything difficult. It will create disorderliness.

Enough for today.

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Mulla Nasrudin finally spoke to his girlfriend's father about marrying
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