Wake Up! This is a Dream

Fri, 20 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.]






One or two questions have been asked. It will be good to discuss them first.

A friend has said that what I have been saying is understood by him, but still it is not understood.

So, what is he supposed to do about it.

This question is valuable. Everybody must be feeling like this, because understanding has two levels. One is that what I am saying is understood by your intellect; it appears logical to your intellect and your intellect thinks this must be so. This understanding is superficial. It cannot penetrate to the inner core of your being. This understanding is not from your being - it is not from your soul.

It appears outwardly that you understand, and as long as you listen to me sitting here you feel you have understood completely. But then you go away from this place and the understanding begins to fade. This is so because as long as whatever has been understood is not practiced also, it cannot become a part of your being. Whatever has been understood, if it does not become assimilated in your blood, flesh and bones, it will fade away like some coloring done on an outer surface.

Your entire past understanding is lying underneath that which you have now understood, and as soon as you go away from here it will begin to create conflict with this new understanding. The old understanding will fight it and push it away. The old ideas will resist the entry of the new idea, will make everything topsy-turvy, will raise thousands of doubts and objections. If you become lost in those objections and doubts, the glimpse of the new understanding will be destroyed.

There is only one way - that whatsoever has been understood by the intellect should be transformed into your life energy, it should be practiced. A harmony should be created with it. It should not remain just a thought, but deep down it should become your action too. And not only your action, but your whole inner being should become recreated by it. Only then slowly, slowly what has reached the surface will go deeper in you and become a practiced truth which your old ideas won't be able to destroy. Rather, because of its presence, the old ideas will slowly recede and vanish on their own.

So this is right - this is a natural question for a seeker. Although we understand, we remain as we were. And if we remain as we were, this new understanding will not last for long. Where, in what space can it stay? If you remain the same old person, all the new understanding will be eliminated, soon forgotten.

And this is the way you have understood many times, this is not the first time. Many times you have turned back from the very doorstep of truth. Many times you have found the door and it was only a matter of knocking when again you have moved away towards the wall. This is where an error is made, that whatever is understood is not immediately translated into life.

In this context it is worth remembering that if someone calls you names you become angry immediately, but if someone gives you an understanding of truth you do not begin meditations immediately. If anything wrong is to be done we do it immediately; if something good is to be done we think about it. Both of these are very deep tricks of the mind, because whatsoever is to be done can be done only if it is done immediately - whether it is a question of being angry or doing meditation it does not matter. We want to express the anger, hence we do it immediately. We do not even wait for a moment, because if we wait we will not be able to do it.

If somebody calls you names and you tell him that you will come back and reply to him in twenty-four hours' time you will never be able to reply at all. Twenty-four hours is quite a long time - even if you wait for twenty-four moments in silent consideration perhaps you will not have any desire to become angry. Perhaps you may laugh; perhaps you may see the foolishness of that person; or perhaps you may even see that the names he was calling you were right. So you think it is not right to lose time, it is necessary to retaliate in anger at once when the abusing words strike. As far as repenting is concerned - you will do that later on.

Have you noticed that all angry persons later repent? They repent after the act of anger. Had they waited a little the repentance would have come before the anger, and then the anger would never have happened. One who repents after anger will never be able to become free of anger. Only the one whose repentance precedes the anger can become free of anger, because whatsoever has already happened cannot be undone.

But where is the gap? There you called me names and here I become angry. Where is the time gap between the two so that I may think, consider and reflect, so that I may look into all the vows I took in the past not to become angry again, so that I can search in my past to see how many times I have already repented after becoming angry? But there is not that much opportunity, time or space.

There somebody called me names and here the fire of anger is spitting out.

Create a little gap and anger will become difficult. However we do not create a gap when it is a question of anger, but we do create a gap when it comes to meditation. So meditation becomes difficult.

When there is an impact about something that is good and right, we do not immediately engage ourselves in doing it, we wait. That intervening time spoils everything. It is necessary to strike while the iron is hot. While we are thinking about it the iron becomes cold and then it brings no results.

One friend came today. He said he wanted to take sannyas, but he needed some time to consider the matter. I asked him how many other matters in his life he had thought about first before acting. Had he given prior thought to other matters sannyas would have happened long ago, because sannyas is nothing but the end result of thinking. All indulgence in life is going to become meaningless to anybody who thinks and deliberates.

So I asked him what else in life he had thought about beforehand. How many other things had he done after thinking about it? Or was it only about taking sannyas he wanted to think and deliberate?

How long do you intend to depend on these deliberations? And it is you, after all, who is deliberating - do you think you are going to be more intelligent tomorrow? Just look back; your intelligence may have even become less sharp, but it certainly does not seem to be growing.

Scientists say that ordinarily between fourteen and eighteen years of age people's intelligence stops growing. And only in the case of special individuals does intelligence grow up to the age of eighteen, otherwise it stops growing much earlier.

During the last world war, recruits for the army were tested for their intelligence and the average age of intelligence was found to be thirteen and a half years. After thirteen and a half years intelligence does not continue to develop in the average person.

You may say that that does not seem to be right because you feel that you have definitely become more intelligent than when you were younger. Even if you do not feel that way, you definitely go on making your children feel that you are more intelligent. You are an old man, experienced... certainly you are more intelligent.

You may have more experience, but you do not have more intelligence because of your age.

Experience is only an accumulation of information. Intelligence is use of that accumulation, and that is entirely different.

A child has less of an accumulation of experience, you have more, but how you use that accumulation is intelligence. Intelligence is not experience. So it can be that a child has more intelligence than an old man, but it can never happen that a child has more experience than the old man. The child is bound to have less experience, but he can have more intelligence. The old man has more experience.

I said to that friend, "Do you think that tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, you will have more intelligence? No, all that has happened is that right now an urge has arisen in you in this atmosphere, in the waves of meditation surrounding you, under the impact of the bliss and freedom of so many sannyasins here, but by the time you are going down Mount Abu - as your bus is descending towards the plains - you too will be descending from your idea of taking sannyas. It will be amazing if this idea remains with you to the Abu Road railway station at the foot of Mount Abu. Getting down from your bus at the railway station you will take a deep, cool sigh of relief that it is good that you are returning the same as you had come, that you did not lose anything here, that you did not venture into anything that will create unnecessary trouble. After a month you will not even be able to remember it.

This atmosphere, the presence of so many people, the collective effort of so many people, raises you also to an unaccustomed height. You are dancing in the kirtan meditation: are you sure you will be able to dance with the same totality and the same drowning feeling all by yourself? It is not so much that you are dancing, but the dancing of so many people becomes infectious - it touches you.

Their vibrations begin to stimulate your heart; their movement, their steps create an opportunity for the movement of your steps too. And, above all, the pattern of your thinking is always the same as others. So where all are dancing, one thing is certain, that nobody is going to say anything to the one who is dancing - but someone may say something to the one who is only standing by. So it creates a stimulus; you feel free - it is alright, there is no problem, one can dance here.

As you get down from the bus in the crowd of the marketplace, this glimpse you had of a certain height, the jump you had taken that raised your eyes towards the sky will fade - now your eyes will again be focused towards the earth. So why do you hope that tomorrow or the day after tomorrow you will be able to make a decision? It is you who has to make the decision, and that can be done today.

But that friend said, "It is not that I have not made any effort to make a decision. Ninety-nine percent of my mind is decided, it is just a matter of the one percent more."

I asked him, "Haven't you done anything in your life where ninety-nine percent of your mind was ready and one percent was not? Have you ever before not made a decision because of that one percent?" I also asked him, "Do you understand what you are saying? Your mind is ninety-nine percent decided to take sannyas, only one percent is not, and you are deciding in favor of the one percent."

And don't think that you can avoid making a decision. There is no way in this world to avoid making a decision. You may decide against, but that too is a decision. You may decide to postpone it for tomorrow, that too is a decision. In the world you have the freedom to make any decision, but you don't have the freedom not to make a decision. That is not possible.

One is bound to make a decision. But one interesting thing is that we think our decision not to do something is not a decision. It is a very amazing concept. That friend had no comprehension that to take sannyas is a decision and not to take sannyas is also a decision. If both are decisions then the mind is very amazing when it sides with the one percent and does not gather courage to go with the ninety-nine percent in favor.

We are very clever in deceiving ourselves. Even if the understanding is only on the surface, the mind understands what sannyas means and we are afraid. So we think if somehow some time can be gained... not time to allow that one will be able to make a better decision, but time for the impact to fade away so that the ninety-nine percent will turn into one percent and that one percent will then have become ninety-nine percent.... And when it was ninety-nine percent for and one did not decide for sannyas, do you think you will decide for it when the urge remains only one percent?

Your understanding can never go deep because you never translate it into life, you never turn it into a decision.

Understand this properly. Many times you listen, you understand, but you still remain the same as you were. This even has a danger of its own, and that is: whenever you have listened many times, understood many times, if you still remain the same as you were you gradually become like a slippery pot. The more things slip over you, the more slippery the surface becomes. So many thoughts make an impact on you, but you remain as you were. Those thoughts slip over and fall away from you, and you, the pot, remain sitting undisturbed. The pot has become too slippery.

So the more often you remain unchanged after listening, the more difficult your transformation goes on becoming, because now the impact slips off you almost as it touches you. The pot has become absolutely slippery, ways to slip have developed all over it.

It is better that you not only listen to good things but when you listen be courageous and take the decision to transform yourself. Then you will find that your understanding has not remained only on the surface, it has become the melody of your being.

But until the day understanding becomes your very breathing it has no value. It has only one value - that you may have learned to talk cleverly. We all know about it - our country is so clever in pious talk. We are ready to talk about spirituality at any time. But it is only talk, not deeper than that. One may ask anybody in this country; everybody has knowledge of God. Everybody!

The condition of the mind of this whole country has become like that of a slippery pot. For thousands of years the only use we have made of the tirthankaras, the incarnations and the sages, is that by hearing them repeatedly we have become slippery pots.

In one town somebody was saying to me that India is really a sacred land because all the incarnations of god, all the tirthankaras and all the buddhas have happened here. I asked him to reconsider his statement. Is India really a sacred land, or is it that the sinners of this land are so amazing that despite the existence of all these people they have remained unchanged? Have all the incarnations come and gone without being able to draw a single line on our slippery pots? Or did the tirthankaras come and we said, "You may come and go, but we are not such fools that we will be disturbed by your talk."

What does it mean in fact? If all the doctors of the town come to visit just the one house, it will mean that house has the maximum number of patients and is the most sick of all the houses. It is the same when all the incarnations have to incarnate here. And Krishna has said in the Gita, "Whenever religion declines and sins increase and the evil-doers are on the rise, I will come." And all these incarnations only came here to India. So what does it mean? Does it mean this is a sacred land?

If Krishna's statement is right, then where he was not required to incarnate must be the sacred land.

But all incarnations only happened here in this land. It is very clear that the soul of this country has become very slippery. We have heard such beautiful words for so long and have lulled ourselves into such a sleep that we have never bothered to do anything whatever.

No understanding will be complete and deep until it penetrates to your very inner being. Only when you make a decision does understanding penetrate to your inner being. The decision is the door.

Even small decisions are very revolutionary. What is important is not what you decided but that you made a decision. In making a decision your being becomes integrated. The moment you make a decision you become a different man. That decision can be very trivial.

I ask you not to cough for ten minutes. It appears very inhuman: you feel like coughing and I am preventing you from doing so. It looks like wickedness. You are attending a meeting and I tell you you are not to cough at all, to stop it altogether. But you have no idea... even such a small decision on your part gives birth to the soul within you. If you decide not to cough for ten minutes, and if you are successful in not coughing, a wave of joy passes throughout your body; you come to know that you can carry through a decision to completion.

Sneezing and coughing are very nasty things: if you try to prevent them, they persist with greater force. If you try to prevent them, your whole attention becomes centered on them. If you try to prevent them, they rebel. They seem to tell you, "You have never done this before. What is this new whim? What is the matter? So far our relationship has been that you have never prevented me when I came. Before this, even if I had not come and somebody else was coughing, you would begin to clear your throat also. Even though you were not coughing, you would just become infected by others, as it were. What has happened now?"

But if you can prevent your coughing even for ten minutes your relationship with your body will already begin to change, with this small decision.

For example, I call out to you: "Stop!" Gurdjieff has made great use of it in meditations. He had given it a separate name: the stop meditation. When you are ready some time we will do that complete experiment. When I ask you to stop....

In this stopping I am not at this point putting much pressure on you. Gurdjieff also used to say, "Stop!" but it meant that whatever was the position, the situation of your body, it had to stay as it was. If you were dancing and one foot was in the air and another on the ground - you had to stop just like that. Or if your neck was bent one way, or your body was twisted, it had to remain in that position, no changes or adjustments of the body were to be made at all. The body may fall down flat, but you are not to make any change to its position. And if it happens that one foot is a little twisted and you fall down, you straighten it, and then lie down - no, make no change to its position either.

Gurdjieff was calling this the stop meditation. Thousands of people had deep experiences through it.

This is a very valuable experiment, just stopping suddenly. And if one deceives, there is no question of anyone else, it is purely deceiving your own self. If one of your legs is in the air and you quietly bring it down, who is watching you? Nobody is watching anybody. But you lost an opportunity. There is no need; it is your leg, you can put it where you like. But within you you lost an opportunity. Here it was possible to change the relationship between the soul and the body, where the soul could have won over the body and confirmed that the soul is the master. If you carefully brought your leg down to a comfortable position and declared to the world, "Look, I am doing the stop meditation," then you are not deceiving anybody else, your own body has deceived you.

Small decisions, very small decisions can also bring forth great results. The question is not of size, the question is of your decision, of decisiveness. Then your understanding will slowly go deeper within you.

So whatever I am saying to you, you should not only listen to it but also put it into practice.

The Upanishads are very practical lessons. They have nothing to do with theories, they have to do with the alchemy of transforming you. These are simple and direct sutras capable of creating a new man out of you.

But the difficulty is that nobody else can create you with a hammer and chisel. You are the sculptor, you are the stone and you are the hammer and chisel. All the three things have to be done by you.

With the hammer and the chisel of your own decisions, with your own will power, you have to sculpt your own stone. You have to carve your own statue according to your own understanding. Even a moment of postponement becomes a postponement forever - he who says he will do it tomorrow postpones forever. It would have been better if he had said he will never do it, because that would have been a decision.

So I suggested to that friend who had come to at least make the decision that he would never take sannyas - never. Then too he would have benefitted. But he says he will think about whether to take sannyas or not - this is indecisiveness. Even if he makes a clear decision in favor of no, at least he made a decision. Or if he wants to take sannyas, he should be clear about it, and then he has also taken a decision. His inner feeling is that he should not take sannyas, but he does not allow this to be a clear-cut decision either. About this too he says, "No, I definitely will take sannyas but I require some time." This way he deceives himself.

Sannyas is a decision, a resolution which brings results. It is beneficial. People ask me what is going to happen by switching to orange clothes. I say, "If you think nothing is going to happen, then wear them for three months."

They say, "People will laugh at us."

I say, "Certainly that will happen. And if you can tolerate their laughter for three months with a cool mind much will happen to you. Don't bother about the laughing of others... and it triggers the beginning of many things."

People ask me, "What is going to happen by these external changes? Please show us how inner transformation can happen."

I tell them, "You do not have the courage for even transformation of the outer, and you dare to talk about inner transformation? You begin to die, as it were, when only your clothes have to be changed; it will be very difficult if I begin to change your skin. And you talk of the inner?" But we are clever at deceiving ourselves. And one who is deceiving himself can never become religious.

Remember, a person who deceives others may become religious, but one who deceives himself can never become religious because then there remains no way for transformation.

Another friend has asked, "You say good deeds do not nullify the bad deeds, rather they cover them up. So it is inevitable to endure the fruits of bad as well as good deeds. Do the bad and good deeds yield fruit in the same order as they occurred? Or is there no order in the giving of fruit? If bad deeds cannot be destroyed by good deeds, there cannot be any reason in doing good deeds. Is such a doctrine useful for the society?"

Let us understand this. If good deeds cannot destroy bad deeds, that makes this friend anxious - why then would anybody do good deeds? This would really create a big danger for the society.

The situation is just the opposite. If you know that bad deeds can be destroyed by good deeds, you will go on doing bad deeds without any worry - because anytime good deeds can be done and the bad ones counterbalanced. When the medicine is with you, where is the fear of the disease?

"We will go and take a holy dip in the Ganges and all our sins will be washed away. We will receive blessings from some saint and all the bad deeds will be wiped out. If I have committed a theft I will give a donation" - from the same money. Other than that where would the money come from anyway?

A big thief will become a big donor. He will steal one hundred thousand rupees and donate ten thousand rupees. Then there can be no fear in stealing, because you can donate to destroy the effect of the theft. You can murder someone and then give birth to a child. You have taken one life and you are giving back one life.

This world has become so bad only because you think that bad deeds can be nullified by good deeds. When I say that there is no way of nullifying bad deeds by good deeds, then you will have to think twice before doing a bad deed. Every deed will yield its fruit, and it will have to be endured, it is inevitable; it cannot be nullified. There is no way out; neither any good deed, donation or virtue will help, nor any holy Ganges pilgrimage, master, god or blessing will be of any help. What has been done, its fruits will have to be endured.

So at the time you do anything you have to think clearly, because the deal is being sealed and there will be no way out of it. It is not that you will weep and cry in front of God, "You are the savior of the sinners, and we are sinners. Now do something. If you don't it won't harm us very much, but your name will be spoiled because you are the savior of sinners. And we have been committing sins only for you because unless we do that how can you remain a savior of sinners? So now prove your saviorhood."

A woman came to me the day before yesterday. It was very crowded and in that crowd she abruptly said, "Bless me!"

I said, "Fine."

The next day she came back again and asked, "Will the blessings come true? - because the blessings of good saints do come true, and you have blessed me."

I said, "This seems to be difficult. It appears you will drag me to a court of law if they don't come true! At least let me have some idea in what connection you want my blessings to come true."

She said, "But you should know that whenever a good saint blesses someone, the blessing does come true."

I said to her, "There is one escape for me in it, that at least you cannot drag me into the courts. If the blessings do not make what you want come true you may understand that neither am I good nor a saint - and the matter is over. This way you created one escape route for me. Now I don't even want to know what it is that you wanted my blessings for. If it does not come true you can understand that neither was I good nor a saint, and the matter is over."

We call this being religious! The woman believes she is religious.

In this universe there is a law, an inner discipline that we have called rit in the Vedas, and Lao Tzu called Tao. There are no exceptions under that law. Whatever you do, you will have to endure its fruit. If this understanding goes deeper in you, you will have to change your way of living and your actions. It is a truth. And if this truth becomes clear it will be good for the society. For how long have you been preaching this to each other, but the society does not seem to be changing. On the contrary sins are increasing, because we are aware of the loophole, that there is a way out. If I commit a sin, the house of sin does not only have a door of entry but a door of exit as well. It is possible to get out as well; one need not be too afraid to enter.

The meaning of what I have said to you is that there is no exit, you will have to live the outcome.

You can be free only after living the outcome. There is no way of nullifying, living the outcome is the nullifying. There is only one way of being cleansed, and that is to live the outcome. There is no other way of getting free of it.

The second thing he says is - what is the rationale then of doing good deeds? It is very clear from his question itself that, in his opinion, good deeds are done only to nullify the bad deeds. The questioner says that when I say it is not possible to annihilate bad deeds with good deeds, the whole rationale of doing good deeds is lost, the only reason for doing good deeds is lost. His mind also believes, as is clear from his question, that good deeds such as giving to charity are useful only to offset the thefts committed. In this case the theft becomes more important, the giving of charity is secondary. If there were no thefts in the world charity would not be possible.

One so-called thinker, Karapatri, has written in his book that if socialism becomes successful religiousness will decline - because if nobody is poor, to whom will you give charity? That means poverty must remain so that charity is possible, and without charity there is no entry to paradise.

Do you understand the meaning? It means that hell must remain and the naked, hungry beggar on the road must also remain... because if there are no hungry people, to whom will you give food?

And if no one takes the food you offer as charity, you are in trouble; then how will you gain paradise?

So according to you, the reason for doing good deeds is dependent on the existence of bad deeds?

This would mean that a good deed is being benefitted by a bad deed, that it is a good man who is exploiting a bad man.

No, the rationale for doing good deeds is not in nullifying the effects of bad deeds. Bad deeds result in unhappiness and good deeds result in happiness. A good deed brings happiness - that is its rationale. One who wants happiness does good deeds. One who thinks he will attain happiness by doing bad deeds is being foolish. He is going against the law and will have to suffer.

The rationale for doing good deeds is in their fruits, and bad deeds result in their fruits. How can the rationale for doing good deeds lie in bad deeds? They have no relationship at all.

A good deed brings its fruit and that is happiness; a bad deed brings its fruit and that is unhappiness.

If we can understand this properly, and if this understanding goes deep into the mind, then whosoever desires happiness will have to do good deeds, then it will be beneficial to the society.

Whosoever does bad deeds will have to suffer the resulting misery. If he thinks that by doing some good deeds afterwards it will be possible to wipe out the bad deeds he is mistaken.

You may understand it this way. If I have abused you, I have hurt you and made you unhappy. That unhappiness has already happened. Then later I ask for your forgiveness and make you happy.

Do you think that because of the good feelings and happiness that I now create by my request to be forgiven, that the earlier unhappiness which had already happened can be said to have never happened? No, it has already happened; that unhappiness that I caused you has already happened. This dressing upon the wound, by now bringing some happiness, does not annihilate the unhappiness that occurred before, it only brings a little soothing.

I abused you, I did a bad deed - I suffered the unhappiness that comes with it. I asked for forgiveness, I did a good deed - I enjoyed the happiness that comes with it.

The bad deed leads to unhappiness, the good deed leads to happiness. The more good deeds, the more the happiness grows. The more bad deeds, the more the unhappiness grows. One who wants to remain happy has to slowly go on dropping bad deeds and continuing to do good deeds.

But religion has nothing to do with happiness either because, ordinarily, to avoid unhappiness is the desire of everybody. As long as you are full of desire to avoid unhappiness you are an ordinary person, not a religious person. So far your desire is only for happiness - this is the rationale for doing good deeds. You should be urged to do good deeds; you want happiness, you will have it.

You do not want unhappiness; then do not do bad deeds because that brings unhappiness.

If the inevitability of a bad deed resulting in unhappiness is seen just as clearly as that one's hand is burned if held in a fire, people will stop putting their hands into fire. If the inevitability of becoming happy for having done good deeds is also as clearly realized as that one's hands become fragrant if flowers are held by them, people will do good deeds.

But religion has nothing to do with this as yet; it is still morality, it is still at the plane of morality in society. But a person who experiences happiness slowly comes to realize something new, that not only is unhappiness meaningless, but happiness too is meaningless. While unhappiness does make one unhappy, even happiness available in full measure begins to give unhappiness. Happiness too is boredom. The unhappiness from happiness is boredom.

Have you ever seen any animal bored - a bored donkey or a bored buffalo? Except man, no other animal on the earth ever becomes bored. Why? Because an animal's day is spent just in attaining its day-to-day normal life requirements. It is never able to accumulate that much happiness and comfort that it can become bored. The question of boredom arises only when there is excessive happiness.

This is why a poor man is also not bored - only the rich. If you look at the face of a rich man it looks bored, as if declaring that there is no meaning, that one is dragging on but there is no purpose.

The legs of a poor man have a sort of movement. He may be weak, tired and anemic, but the movement is there. He has some goal to reach, there is a hope in his eyes that tomorrow he will have a house, or the day after he will have a shop, that his son will be able to complete his education - he has a heaven projected in the future. But those people whose sons have come home duly educated know the things that follow, how he also brings unhappiness. Those who have their palaces built come to realize that they have become a prison.

When all happiness is achieved one realizes for the first time that happiness too is creating boredom.

Our minds get bored with happiness too. Thus, Mahavira, Krishna and Rama were all born as the sons of kings. It is not possible to become a tirthankara or an incarnation of god by taking birth in the house of a poor man. The reason is that there is no possibility of being bored with happiness.

All the twenty-four tirthankaras of the Jainas are sons of kings. Buddha, Rama, Krishna - all are sons of kings. It is in the affluence of the palaces of kings that one realizes that all things are meaningless. You only come to realize this if you have everything you want; how would you realize this before? When Buddha realized that there was nothing worthwhile in the body of a woman it was because his father had gathered all the most beautiful girls of the kingdom in his harem. Only then he realized that there was nothing in them.

You find a thing to be worthless only when you have it in plenty. This is why America is the most bored country in the world today. And the young boys and girls of America are running around the whole world in the hope of getting rid of this boredom. It does not matter how - it may be marijuana, opium or drugs, whatever works - but the boredom has to go.

When one becomes bored with happiness and one's whole being is filled with a quest to go beyond happiness, religion is born.

So the rationale for doing good deeds are two: one, the outcome of good deeds is happiness. So those who desire happiness - and everybody desires, be he an atheist or a theist, be he a Hindu or a Mohammedan, be he anybody - the rationale for doing good deeds is that they bring happiness.

The second rationale for doing good deeds is that once happiness has been achieved its futility is also seen. And when happiness becomes futile, then man sets off on the journey towards religion.

The journey towards religion means how to go beyond happiness too. The journey towards the world means how to get rid of unhappiness, and the journey towards nirvana means how to get rid of happiness also.

Now we go into the sutra:



Actions stick to us only when we feel that this body is 'mine'. All actions stick to the body, not to us.

But when we cling to our bodies the actions naturally cling to us also. The actions cling to the body from the outside and we cling to the body from inside, thus we become connected with the actions.

Actions cannot cling to the soul, they always cling only to the body. It is like somebody wanting to cut something with a knife; a knife can only cut matter. If you want to cut the sky with a knife it is not possible. The knife will make the cutting action, but the sky will remain uncut.

The effect of actions, or the result of actions, or the knife of actions, can cut matter only. Body is matter, mind too is matter. Matter can encounter matter. But the consciousness within you, that empty sky within you, cannot be cut or touched by any action. But one thing can happen: if the consciousness within you believes the body as 'mine', which it is free to do, then all the sufferings of the body will start happening to you too.

Let us understand it like this. I have heard that once a house caught fire. Its owner, seeing this, began to weep bitterly. But one of his neighbors told him that he had seen his son in the fire insurance office yesterday; the building was already insured against fire. Where was his son? The son had gone out to do some work. But meanwhile the father had stopped weeping, because the house was insured, there was no reason to weep.

His tears dried up - and the house was still burning, the same house. But now that he thought it was insured, the relationship of 'mine' had shifted from the house to the insurance money. But then the son came running to the scene and saw his father standing in front of the burning house laughing. The son said, "I definitely did go to the fire insurance office, but the transaction was never completed."

Immediately the man began to weep bitterly again, "I am ruined, I am finished!" The house is the same, but what happened in between? The my-ness was detached from the house and then attached itself to the house again.

The feeling of my-ness with the body is the cause of all our miseries, or our happiness - of all our fruits of karma. If that my-ness is removed, the effects of all actions on the body become unrelated to us.

This sutra says that to keep the feeling of my-ness is to help create the process of all actions, is to cooperate with this process. As that feeling of my-ness is gone, as you come to realize who you are - that you are not the body - then you remain unconcerned, just the way that the man remained unconcerned with the burning house once he knew it was not his house. Buddha and Mahavira realized that the body, the house, was not theirs and they became unconcerned with its burning.

They went inside. They had come to know the one who lives in the house. They had come to know the one who certainly lives in this house but is not the house itself.

The disappearance of my-ness is the renunciation of the fruits of all past actions. Then past actions are of no consequence, the renunciation has happened.


It is all imposed, imagined; it only appears that it is yours. There is your son - you are doing everything in your power for his upbringing. You are ready even to give up your life for your son. And then one day suddenly you find a letter hidden in an old book from which you learn that your wife was in love with another man. Now this creates doubt as to whether the son is yours or is not yours, and everything is disturbed.

A father always remains a little doubtful, because the father is a very irrelevant phenomenon in the birth of a child - not very important. The father is no more important than an injection. Only the mother knows with certainty that the child is hers; the father always has a lurking doubt that he is not the father. It is only to get rid of that feeling of doubt that we have created such strict systems of marriage so that the very question of that doubt does not arise, otherwise it will cause trouble for one's whole life. If one remained doubtful whether the children for whose upbringing one has to labor hard are his own or not there would be great chaos in life. This is why a very strict code of marriage has been evolved, and all movement of women has been curtailed so that they do not come in contact with other men. If coming in contact is prevented, then there is no fear.

This is also why there is so much fuss about the virginity of the girl - that marriage should be only with a virgin girl. And this is also why those who were extremely worried about such matters started child marriage, so that there remains simply no way for any fear: "It is certain that the child is mine."

If the child is mine, the my-ness is easily projected; if there is any doubt, the projection becomes difficult. Wherever there is projection of 'mine', I have become identified and now I can do everything for it, even suffer pain for it. When the projection of 'mine' shifts away, I have become disidentified, separated from it.

All this feeling of 'mine' is just a projection. In this world there is nothing that is mine. Even my body is not mine. That too has come from the parents - their's is not their's either, they received it from their parents. If we go deeper in our search the tiny atom of which our bodies are created has a journey of billions and trillions of years behind it. Neither the bone is yours nor the flesh nor the marrow - none of these are yours, neither is the mind yours. Only you are yours. But you have no inkling of that 'you'.

Who is that within me whom I can call mine, or I? If you go on removing your idea of mine, dropping it, eliminating it - the Upanishads call the process neti, neti, "I am not this, I am not that"... just go on doing this, breaking away from all kinds of mine, then suddenly one day you will experience, just as a flame of light may leap out of the darkness, who you are.

On being free from mine, the self is experienced. By increasing the expanse of mine, the feeling of self goes on diminishing. So the bigger the expanse of mine, the smaller the experience of self.

This is the reason Buddha and Mahavira ran away from their families and houses. The trouble was not the house, they had extensive empires, they had lots of things they could call mine, but the extension of the 'mine' was so vast that their self was untraceably lost; they could not trace, "Who am I?" So they ran away from the whole empire of 'mine'.

Mahavira has made the ultimate effort in this running away. He even dropped his clothes and became naked so he could have nothing to call his; now not even his clothing is 'mine'.

And why? Because of only one reason - that in this vast expanse of 'mine' the self is not experienced and felt at all, and if I run away from it all and remain totally alone, perhaps I may know who I am.

It is easy to know the self when you break away from everything you call 'mine'. It goes on becoming more difficult to know the self as you add more to what you call 'mine'. So the more things you go on accumulating, the more the possessions go on increasing, the more their expansion, the more the center of self goes on disappearing, getting covered.

The entire network of mine is imaginary. The self is the truth, 'mine' is an untruth.


Very thought-provoking things have been said in this sutra. WHICH IS NOT REAL... which does not exist. From where is the feeling of 'mine' born? When is it born? How will it come to an end? It is a difficult matter, because we feel that when there is this 'mine' it must have been born somewhere, otherwise how could it be? And if something is mine, it must also die sometime, otherwise how would I be free from it?

To understand this, we shall have to go back to the category of the 'almost true' that I discussed with you earlier. Understand this once more.

There is a rope; it appeared to be a snake. Then you went for a closer look and discovered it was only a rope, not a snake. Now the question is that since the rope was seen as a snake, a snake certainly was born from the rope - how else would it be seen there? But we know no snake was born there. How can something which is not there, a falsehood, be born? Afterwards, when you approached with a lighted lamp, you could see clearly that there was no snake. So the snake died, but where is the dead body of that snake?

What is seen but is not actually there has neither any birth nor any death, it is only an illusion. But illusions can happen, do happen. An illusion is a projection. In that rope no snake was ever born; your own mind had just projected the snake on the rope and you were able to see it.

When you sit in a movie theater you never turn around to see anything behind you. There is actually nothing there to see. Everything is seen on the screen in front of you. The flow of colors, forms, songs and music is all on the screen in front. But the interesting fact is that there is actually nothing on the screen, the screen is empty, it is only rays projecting light and shadow on the screen. The screen itself is empty, everything is behind your back where the projector is installed.

This word projection is very good. It is the translation into English of the Sanskrit word kalpit or prakshepit, meaning imaginary, or projection.

The projector is installed behind you. From there things are being projected onto the screen, and we are seeing them on the screen where they actually are not. And you don't look where they are, you keep your back to them.

You saw a snake in a rope, but the rope is functioning only as a screen, it is your mind which is projecting a picture of a snake on the rope. And then you are running away from that snake.

When three-dimensional pictures were made for the first time very interesting things happened all over the world. In London, in one of the very first three-dimensional films, a man riding a horse is shown rushing forward and then he throws a long spear. A three-dimensional picture shows things in their real form. If it is a horse, it appears as natural as a real horse - in all its three dimensions.

The horse comes charging forward, the sound of its hooves becoming louder and louder, and then the rider throws a spear.... The whole audience put their heads down and leaned sideways in an attempt to avoid the approaching spear and give way to it. Fearful shrieks were heard and a few women became unconscious.

What happened? In actuality there was no spear at all. But on the screen it appeared so real. As the picture was three-dimensional, it appeared that the spear would pierce them. In that moment the instinctive ducking happened, because the mind did not know if the spear was real or unreal.

It only appeared to be real, but it was not real. The heads leaned away out of instinctive habit, to save themselves from being hurt. This happened in a split second, one does not need time to think.

Afterwards one would have laughed at oneself: "I must have looked mad!" But it happened.

When a buddha becomes enlightened, he also laughs at his previous madness.

There is a story about Rinzai. When he became enlightened he began to laugh boisterously. When his disciples asked him why he was laughing, he replied that he had become enlightened. The astonished disciples asked, "Enlightened? We have never heard that a person laughs like this when he is enlightened. Why are you laughing?"

Rinzai was twisting and turning with laughter and trying to say how he had been befooled - and that, too, meaninglessly. There was nothing. What he had been catching hold of was not there, and what he had been trying to give up was also not there. He alone was there. It was as if he had been holding onto something and he had caught his own hand.

Sometimes it happens at night that your hands are lying on your chest and you start dreaming that somebody is forcibly sitting on the chest, and when you wake up and open your eyes, you are trembling and perspiring from the nightmare.

Your own hands were lying on your chest, and it is their weight that created the dream. During sleep all the senses become very sensitive, hence a little weight feels to be very heavy. One's own hands... and it appears as if someone is sitting on the chest.

You may try it sometime. When someone in your house is sleeping, slowly rub a piece of ice on the soles of their feet. Soon they will begin to have a dream, something like climbing a mountain covered with snow and getting frozen, it is very, very cold... a real crisis would have begun within the person. Or bring the flame of a burning lamp near the soles of the feet and the person will start dreaming of hell: wild flames, huge cauldrons full of boiling oil, and the person is being taken out of and then thrown back in again.

What is happening within? The mind already has its concepts and ideas: even a slight hint and it begins to project them... just any screen and your projector is switched on.

Even while we are awake, what we are doing is the same thing. When somebody becomes really awakened - not our wakeful state, but the awakening of a buddha or the seers of the Upanishads - he laughs; and that laughter is because he realizes how foolish he has been. He has been seeing what was never there. He has been clinging to something that was never there. He has even been trying to renounce that which was never there. And the whole game was his own creation. It was only him - his mind - from all sides. If you properly analyze any event of your life, you will come to experience the truth of what I am saying. If you do not analyze, the activities of your mind continue being at your back, the world remains as a screen and the whole play goes on - which is visible on the screen.

No, this illusion has neither any birth nor any death. The false is neither born nor it dies.


This is a very difficult matter. And what I was saying to you two or three days ago would have complicated the matter even more for you. I said to you that Buddha has to tell a lie, Mahavira has to tell a lie because of you, because you understand only the language of lies, you understand no other language.

This sutra says that in actuality there is neither body nor past actions. In fact the truth contains neither body nor past actions in it, neither good deeds nor bad deeds in it, neither happiness nor misery in it. In fact, the world is not.

This is the reality, but it cannot be said. This sutra says that it cannot be said to ignorant people. If you tell ignorant people that you are not the body, they will say, "Get away! Is your mind alright? Go and get some treatment for your mind!"

If you tell ignorant people that there is no world, they will send you to a madhouse.

An enlightened one among ignorant people is in the same situation as a man with eyes among a race of blind people. If he says there is great light, all the blind people will laugh at him. They will say, "What are you talking about? Is your mind alright? What light?" He says, "I am seeing the light," and the blind will laugh again and ask him what he means by seeing. They have never heard of a thing like seeing. Was there such a thing as seeing? Neither such a thing as seeing had ever happened to their parents nor their grandparents; certainly the person with eyes has gone out of his mind.

Do you understand what the condition of a man with eyes among blind people would be? If he has any intelligence, he will not even by mistake talk about things that blind people cannot see. And if he wants to bring the blind to the ways of the people with eyes, he will have to create and use many devices. It will not be good for him to tell them directly, "I have eyes and you are blind, and I am going to treat your eyes. What you are is false; there is something else, which is only seen when the eyes open - you are living in a sort of falsehood."

If such a thing is done, instead of his treating their eyes the blind people will conspire to treat his eyes. This has happened many times. We crucified Jesus, we cut Mansoor to pieces, we poisoned Socrates. The only reason why this was done was that these people started saying the truth directly but they were not understood. If we are to follow what they say, we cannot survive the way we are.

So we are also not at fault.

You will be amazed to know that in India we have not crucified any Buddha or Mahavira or Ramakrishna. Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem. Mansoor was killed by Mohammedans. Socrates was poisoned by Greeks. In this country we have not killed, crucified or poisoned or hanged any Buddha, any Mahavira, any Krishna.

Do you know the reason? The reason is very amazing. The reason is that Krishna, Buddha and Mahavira are more skilled than Jesus and Socrates in talking with blind people. This is the sole reason - that they are more skilled. And there is a reason for this skill. For thousands and thousands of years in this country, Buddhas and Mahaviras have talked to blind people, so they have developed methods and devices for it.

Jesus was in a great difficulty. The entire teaching of Jesus took place in India - he had no inkling of what he was stepping into when he went back from here. When he returned and began to speak in Jerusalem, there was no place for him in the traditions there. Jesus appeared to be totally alien; what he said appeared to be madness.

In the Old Testament it is said that if someone takes one of your eyes, then you take both his eyes.

This is the language of the blind. And Jesus arriving there began to talk in the language of the people with eyes - all of a sudden, out of nowhere, there was no bridge in between. He said, "If someone hits your left cheek, offer to him your right cheek also; if someone takes your coat, give him your shirt also; if someone asks you to carry his luggage for one mile, carry it for two miles - maybe it is out of shyness that he asked you to carry it only one mile."

This language of the people with eyes was completely beyond understanding where the rule was to answer a brick with a stone. Actually, Jesus made a mistake by plainly and directly speaking of the experiences of the people with eyes to the blind people.

Buddha and Mahavira were more skilled. And there can be no comparison to them as far as the art of inventing 'almost truth' is concerned. And this is what this sutra of the Upanishad is saying, very clearly. It is saying that neither are you the body nor is there any past actions, but for the satisfaction of the ignorant people the mention of body and past actions is outwardly and superficially made. In actuality, neither there is body nor past actions.

Now this is very difficult. All the scriptures are ninety-nine percent untrue. This had to be so for the sake of the blind, to explain things to them. Otherwise they understand nothing and they will just get confused if the truth is told directly.

It is just as when we teach children the alphabet we make them repeat 'g', for god. The letter 'g' is not the monopoly of god; 'g' can also stand for goat. But now that India has gone secular, I hear 'g' stands for goat in the schoolbooks. It used to stand for god when I was a student... a goat is a more secular animal. God belongs to certain religions, the goat does not, it is found in all the religions.

This technique of emphasizing 'g' on the mind of a child with the help of a picture of a goat is sound, but if the child gets stuck with it and always utters the word goat whenever it reads 'g' it will create a problem.

The picture of a goat was only an aid for understanding something abstruse like the letter 'g'.

Because a child can understand 'goat' easily but not the letter 'g', the picture of a goat was associated with 'g'. The picture of the goat was just symbolic. After some time the symbols will be gone, the pictures will be gone, the child will begin to read the letter 'g' directly.

Thus, if ignorant people have to be made to understand, in the beginning they have to be talked to in the language they know. They have to be told, "This is happiness, that is misery. If you desire happiness, do good deeds; only if you want misery must you do bad deeds. Even if you don't want misery, bad deeds will still bring it. If you transcend them both, you will reap no fruits. And when you reap no fruits, you are liberated."

In this whole thing we are proceeding with the one assumption that everything is real. But when a person becomes awakened, when he is utterly conscious, when he disidentifies himself with the body and his ignorance is destroyed, he can't help laughing. He sees that all that was left behind was not real, but a big dream. And the methods and devices that have been given to him were also dreams within dreams.

It will be easier to understand it this way. Ramakrishna was a devotee of the mother goddess Kali, and he was also very humble. If anybody wanted to teach him some path other than that of devotion, he was ready to learn and follow.

Once a vedantin master named Totapuri was visiting him. He began to question Ramakrishna about the superficiality of dancing and chanting and singing devotional songs. These were of no use, he said. If Ramakrishna really wanted to know the ultimate, he should search for the one absolute. This duality of a devotee and his god was incorrect.

Ramakrishna was a very humble and unique person. He immediately bowed his head to the feet of Totapuri and asked him to teach this path of nonduality. So Totapuri taught him how to sit in meditation. Ramakrishna would sit with his eyes closed and he would soon be feeling very blissful.

Totapuri asked him what was happening. He said he was seeing the mother goddess. Totapuri would not accept this as defeat. He said that if Ramakrishna was seeing the goddess Kali, what was there in it to be so overjoyed about? "All this is imagination - this mother and this goddess - all this is your own projection."

Ramakrishna said, "It might be so, but it is immensely blissful." Totapuri said that if he wanted to remain satisfied with this bliss he would never know the ultimate bliss. Ramakrishna then asked him what he should do. Totapuri suggested that there was a method: "When you begin to see Kali, immediately take a sword and cut her into two pieces." Ramakrishna asked from where he would get a sword.

It is natural to ask from where would one suddenly find a sword within. Even if there was a sword actually lying outside, how could it be taken within to kill Kali when he saw her? Totapuri said that the mind that produced Kali within could also produce a sword: "When you have succeeded in producing Kali within you, won't you be able to produce just a tiny thing like a sword?"

This is a technique of a dream within a dream. Do you understand me? Kali too is imagination within. An ecstatic dream, but imagination. It is one's own mental projection, it is one's own feelings that have taken a form; it is one's own desires, one's own colors that one has spread within. Kali standing within him and Ramakrishna lying at her feet also within himself... interestingly enough all that is Ramakrishna's own imagined feelings.

So Totapuri rightly asked him, "Would the sword have to be taken from the outside when you have already taken Kali within? When you have created a Kali within you you can also create a sword within. And you appear to be very skilled at it. When you become so ecstatic on seeing Kali within you, that only means you have created a very solid Kali within, so much so that you have no doubts at all about her being real; so just create one more thing - a sword!"

Ramakrishna became very sad: "How can this happen, how can I myself kill mother Kali?" Totapuri said, "If the sword cannot kill Kali, we will think of something else, but at least make an attempt."

Ramakrishna again wondered how he would manage to cut Kali. Totapuri then threatened to leave.

"You have accepted to learn the path of Vedanta, nonduality, you should gather some more courage.

What is the use of weeping like a child?"

Totapuri brought a piece of glass and asked Ramakrishna to sit in meditation. He said, "When I feel that you have begun to see Kali within, in order that you do not forget - because as hypnotized as you have become with her you will forget to use the sword.... Even if you remember, it seems you will not have the courage to lift the sword. You appear so filled with love for her: how will you pick up the sword? I understand how difficult it will be for you, almost like a mother who has to cut her own child. So I will assist you, don't worry.

"When I feel that you have begun to see Kali within, I shall cut a deep wound with this piece of glass on the location of your third eye. As soon as you feel the cut and blood begins to flow and you feel the pain - and I will continue to cut with the glass - right at that moment you too have to gather courage and, lifting the sword, cut Kali into two pieces."

This is right. If a cut is made on the location of the third eye with a piece of glass from the outside - because it is through that third eye that one sees the visions of Kali or Rama or Krishna or whoever it may be - and simultaneously one gathers courage, then with this experience of the cutting of the third eye any inner image whatsoever will fall to pieces.

Ramakrishna did gather courage, and the image fell into pieces. Ramakrishna, after coming out of his experience, said, "The last barrier has fallen."

But these are all devices. What I was explaining is that Kali is one untruth within and the sword is another untruth within - but one untruth cuts the other untruth.

All the seers of the Upanishads are giving devices for cutting that which is not, because we maintain a belief in what actually is not, as though it is. So some devices are being given to us that may cut what does not exist. A false disease demands a false medicine. Our whole psychological world is false - this is why so many devices are required. And for that very reason any device can work...

any device, provided you get the knack of it.

There is a dream within a dream: the dream has to kill the dream, there is no other way. Truth is not killed with truth - it is not possible. Untruth is also not killed with truth - that too is not possible, because the truth and untruth can never meet anywhere so how can one kill the other? Only untruth kills the untruth. One untruth kills the other untruth, and when they both fall what remains is the truth.

Understand it this way: your foot is pierced by a thorn. You pick up another thorn from the ground and remove the one in your foot with its help. Then you throw them both away.

So this sutra is saying, neither you are the body, nor is there karma, action, nor accumulated karma, past actions - nor the world in fact. It is, however, not asking you to believe that, because by so doing you will fall into difficulty - right now.

No, for you it still is, because you are not yet. You do not yet know the truth, hence all untruths are truths for you. The day you know your own truth all untruths will vanish.

On knowing one's own self, the world becomes false. It is because we do not know ourselves that the false world appears to be true.

Enough for today.

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