The great accident
A PRIEST SETS HIMSELF UP AS A MEDIATOR BETWEEN MAN AND GOD. THE LAWYER'S JOB IS TO MEDIATE BETWEEN MAN AND JUSTICE. AREN'T THESE PROFESSIONS ESSENTIALLY THE SAME? WHY DO WE NEED LAWYERS?
We do not need them. The priest is not needed. You are part of existence, you are already in it; there is no question of any mediation. Any mediator between you and existence will be a barrier, will not be a bridge. The bridge is already there. You cannot exist without the bridge. Your breath, your heartbeat, your very being is continuously nourished by existence in every possible way.
The priest is absolutely not only unnecessary, but harmful, poisonous. He creates the division between you and the whole, and then he exploits you. His strategy is simple. He exploits, because he knows how he can help you to be bridged with existence, with the cosmos. You do not know, and he knows; naturally, you become spiritually enslaved to him.
The priests are serving the devil, and all the churches and all the synagogues, all the mosques, all the temples are not for God. They are creations of the priest, and they are barriers, to be demolished completely, erased from the earth. There is no need for any priest.
When you see the sunrise, do you need a mediator to connect you with the beauty of the sunrise?
When you see a beautiful flower, do you need a philosopher to explain to you what beauty is? Then his explanations will become a wall. His philosophy will not help you to understand and to experience the beauty of the rose. On the contrary, instead of understanding the rose you will have some dead words about beauty. When beauty is present, there is no need to think about beauty. Why not drink it directly, immediately, without mediation?
The same is the situation with the legal expert. He is not there in the service of justice, he is there to protect the criminal; otherwise, there is no need. A case that goes on for years can be settled within three days.
And that's what happened in Mao Zedong's China. He made it clear that lawyers are not needed, the whole profession is finished. The man of justice is there; he can see clearly, can listen to both the parties. But the legal experts camouflage the whole thing in legal jargon. They create such a smoke around the thing that even the judge cannot see what is true and what is untrue. It is better - let the common man stand before the judge.
The judge should be educated about justice, fairness, respect for the individual. Even though he has committed a crime, you may condemn the act but you cannot condemn the individual. An action is a small thing in the whole life of an individual, just a small episode. That episode is not the whole life.
Condemn the act, but don't destroy the dignity of the individual. Justice will be easier, far easier. The more experts are there, the more they try to find ways to go roundabout. And logic is a prostitute; it can prove anything, it can disprove anything.
It happened in one of the universities of India, Nagpur University, that I was a participant in an inter- university debating competition. My partner fell suddenly sick; he was not able to participate. I was speaking for the subject, he was speaking against the subject. I spoke for the subject, and I asked the judge - who was the chief justice of the Supreme Court - that permission be given to me to speak on behalf of my partner too, because he was sick.
But he said, "How is that possible? You have just now spoken for the subject."
I said, "Logic is a prostitute. You just give me a chance and I will show you."
He was interested. He said, "There is no harm. Try!"
I spoke against the subject. I won two prizes: first prize, against the subject, second prize, for the subject. Naturally, I spoke more emphatically for the sick man. And I told the chief justice, "Now do you see? Logic can prove anything, can disprove anything." And law is only an application of logic in a particular direction.
So legal experts go on arguing, confusing the judge, confusing the juries. It takes years, and even then most of the criminals are released, most of the murderers are released. So much expense, so much wastage of time, so many people involved - finally the murderer is released. In fact, the man who can save the criminal is thought to be a greater expert in law than the man who cannot save the criminal. But by saving the criminal you are harming the innocent person.
It would be far simpler if there were no mediators. Two simple, common men cannot create so much smoke. The judge should be perfectly educated. The situation in America is just the opposite. The judges are elected, elected by the common masses, by political parties. They don't know even the ABC of law. They are utterly ignorant about jurisprudence - and they are to decide! And confronting them are experts of law who can confuse anybody.
Justice has become more and more impossible. The whole legal profession is illegal, there is no need of it. And judges cannot be elected - that is not democracy, that is sheer stupidity.
The judge should be absolutely knowledgeable about the human mind, human psychology, the laws of the land, the values of the constitution. He cannot be elected; he has to be appointed according to his merit. And then it is so simple: two common men cannot deceive him; within three days the case will be over and the criminal will be caught. But it is strange - judges know nothing of justice, and they have to face experts of law. And behind them are hiding all kinds of criminals. Even such a simple thing people cannot understand - that justice is an expertise.
And there are means which can be used - science has provided so many means so that the courtroom's whole structure will be different. The man who is testifying should be standing on a lie detector - not knowing it is there. There is no need for any oath. The days of the oath are over; nobody cares about the oath.
I know professional witnesses.... I used to live in a city where the high court of the state was. I had a friend, and I was surprised that he was always moving around the courts; I thought perhaps he was employed there.
I used to go to the university by way of the court. One day I stopped the car and called him and asked, "What kind of job have you got? - because mostly I see you outside the court."
He said, "I don't have any job. I am a professional witness."
I said, "What is that?"
He said, "You don't know what a professional witness is? I witness for anybody. So outside I find a client, a customer who wants a witness. He has done something wrong; I can witness and prove that he has not done it."
I said, "But you must be taking the oath...."
He laughed, he said, "I have taken the oath so many times it does not matter anymore. And even the judges know me, the advocates know me, the criminals know me. When the advocates find that it is very difficult to save a criminal, they seek my help. I am an eyewitness for anything. And I have become so expert in all these ten years that I earn more than the advocates."
There is no point in the oath. Who cares about a book when there are scientific instruments available which are absolutely certain? And more sophisticated mechanisms can be invented. The man can be hypnotized, and in hypnosis he cannot lie; he will have to say the truth. There is no way to lie, because in hypnosis he is unconscious. You can record everything that he says. And when he wakes up after hypnosis, let him listen to the record. He will be simply surprised: he has told everything that he wanted to hide.
Hypnotists are needed in the courts, hypnotic devices are needed in the court. Lie detectors are needed in the court. A very fair mind, not bigoted, having no conditions - that should be the training of a judge. He is no longer a Christian, no longer a Hindu, no longer a Mohammedan, no longer a communist; his only function is to decide what is true and what is untrue. Beyond that, he has no ideology to impose, he has no mind to interfere with the truth.
The whole education of the judges should be of unconditioning. Silently he should listen to both sides, watch the lie detectors, listen to their hypnotic states, and decide. Within three days even the greatest case can be finished, and absolutely only the criminal will be punished. Neither advocates are needed, nor are witnesses needed. These are unnecessary parasites.
But everywhere mediators have been exploiting human blood. Man has to be made conscious about it. Every institution that civilization has created needs total change, a new orientation.
CAN A PERSON BECOME ENLIGHTENED BY ACCIDENT?
This is something very significant to understand. Enlightenment is always accidental. That does not mean that you have not to try for it, but your trying is not going to bring it. Your effort is not going to achieve it. But making the effort, searching in all directions in every possible way, some day it happens - not because of your efforts but because of your intense urge, a tremendous intensity like a flame within you. But it is always accidental; you cannot say, "It happened because I did that."
Otherwise, things would have been very simple.
For example, Buddha was sitting under a bodhi tree, and enlightenment happened. Now, thousands of Buddhist monks.... In every Buddhist monastery there are bo trees, and they are sitting, waiting for enlightenment to happen - as if the bo tree has something to do with it.
Buddha had eaten that evening a sweet made of milk and rice. Buddhist monks think that has something to do with it, so for them it has become very spiritual food. Before sitting for meditation, they will eat kir - that is the name of the sweet. But enlightenment has nothing to do with kir.
Buddha was sitting in a certain posture, the lotus posture. So every Buddhist monk sits in the same posture - perhaps the posture has something to do with it. The posture has nothing to do with it, but millions, throughout history, have been sitting in that posture, torturing their legs. And now Westerners have started learning yoga postures, in which the lotus posture is the most important because Buddha became enlightened in that posture. For a Westerner, who has been sitting in a chair his whole life - in a cold country you don't sit on the ground - his legs are in tremendous torture, but he tries hard. It takes almost three months for him to attain to the lotus posture, but only to the lotus posture; and then he waits his whole life for enlightenment. It doesn't happen.
So it is not a certain sequence of causes that brings enlightenment. Your search, your intense longing, your readiness to do anything - altogether perhaps they create a certain aroma around you in which that great accident becomes possible.
But you cannot manage it. Every seeker has to begin from the beginning; you cannot learn by watching somebody. That's what all the religions have been doing: a certain prayer, a certain posture, a certain ritual, a certain way of breathing. Nothing helps.
I have always loved a small story.... The archbishop of Russia became very much annoyed because on a small island three men had become known to the population as saints. Now, this is against Christianity. Christianity is the most foolish religion of all the religions. A saint has to be certified by the church - as if to be a saint is a degree, a title. The English word saint comes from sanction.
When the church gives the sanction, one becomes a saint.
The archbishop was very angry that without his sanction, these three people had become known as saints. And thousands of people were going to touch their feet, to get their blessings. Naturally, this was making him very angry.
One day he finally decided to go and see what kind of saints these were. He went in a motorboat, reached the island - it was a very small island, only those three people lived there. It was early morning, and those three were sitting under a tree. They looked simple, uneducated, illiterate people.
The archbishop on the way was very nervous about facing three saints who have influenced thousands of people. But now he saw there was no problem - these were idiots! He went there and they all touched his feet. He was well satisfied. He said, "Do you think you are saints?"
They said, "We are uneducated, illiterate, poor people. How can we think such high things? They are not for us. But what can we do? People go on coming. We try to prevent them, we tell them they should go to you, but they don't listen."
The archbishop said with an authoritative tone, "What is your prayer?"
The three looked at each other, they nudged each other. One said, "You say it." The others said, "You say it."
The archbishop said, "Anybody can say it, there is no harm. But start!"
They said, "We feel very embarrassed, because it is not really a prayer; we have made it up."
The archbishop was really angry: "You have invented the prayer? What is the prayer?"
One of them said, "You insist, so we have to say; but we are feeling very embarrassed, because the prayer is not very great, it is very simple. Our prayer is: 'You are three, we are three; have mercy on us.'"
Even the archbishop in his anger had to laugh. He said, "Great! This is your prayer?"
Those poor people said, "We are ready to learn. If you teach us the right prayer, the proper prayer, we will try it. But it should not be long, because we may forget it, or we may make mistakes, get confused. Our prayer is so simple we cannot forget it, we cannot make any mistake."
The archbishop read the whole prayer of the orthodox church of Russia. It was too long. Those three poor people said, "This is too long. Please read it again." The third time, they said, "Just one time more, so we can remember."
The archbishop was happy that these idiots... "Now there is no problem: I can convince people that they know nothing - not even the prayer of the church!"
They touched the archbishop's feet, thanked him and told him that there was no need for him to come, he should have just sent a message and they would have come to him. Why should he take such trouble? Anytime he wanted, he should just send a message and they would come to the church itself.
Very happy and contented, the archbishop left. When he was just in the middle of the lake, he saw those three running on the water, coming towards him, saying, "Stop! We have forgotten the prayer!
Just once more!"
The archbishop looked at them - they were standing on the water, running on the water. He must have been a man of some intelligence. He said, "Forgive me. Your prayer is right; you continue your prayer. Your prayer has reached; my prayer has not reached. You are really saints; it does not matter whether the church has sanctioned you or not. Sanctions are needed by those who are not really saints; your very existence proves it. Just forgive me, that I interfered in your life."
This is a story by Leo Tolstoy. It is possible. With purity of heart, with serenity of the mind, with calmness, even this becomes a prayer: "You are three, we are three; have mercy on us." And the great accident happens.
But you cannot copy it - that is the problem. You can go to an island and sit under a tree, and say, "You are three, we are three; have mercy on us," and nothing will be happening. Within an hour or two you will get bored, and you will say that this does not work. It is not a question of methodology.
Existence has allowed enlightenment in so many different ways to people, all that we can say is that certain qualities - not very particular methods, but certain qualities - when they come to meet within you, function not as a cause, but something happens because of their presence. This is what in science is called a catalytic agent. They function as a catalytic agent.
For example, you know that water is made with hydrogen and oxygen. But you can go on mixing oxygen and hydrogen and water will not be made. If you divide water, you will find only hydrogen and oxygen. Then what is missing? Why, even when mixing them in the proper proportion, H2O, is the water still not happening? For that, the presence of electricity is needed. It does not cause it - it is a totally different phenomenon than causality - but its presence is a catalytic agent. Without its presence, oxygen and hydrogen can remain together for eternity, but water will not happen.
So when you see silver lines in black clouds, it is not just for painters and people who understand beauty and are sensitive to esthetic values. That silver line is nothing but the presence of electricity that transforms hydrogen and oxygen into water. But scientists were surprised in the beginning, because it does not take any part - just its presence is needed. But without its presence nothing happens.
So I can say to you that enlightenment is always an accident, not an effect produced by a certain cause; otherwise, things would have been very easy. Everybody could have produced the cause, all the necessary ingredients, and would have become enlightened.
If the lotus posture is needed, he will do it. If standing on the head is needed, he will do it. If sitting under a bo tree is needed, he will do it - anything. If other men have been able to do it, you can.
But the problem is that it is not a cause-and-effect phenomenon. So I can describe only a certain presence which functions as a catalytic agent.
Meditation creates the catalytic agent: a totally silent mind with no thoughts, a totally relaxed body with no tensions, a totally empty heart with no moods, no feelings, no sentiments, no emotions. And then, simply wait.
In this silence, serenity, just wait....
And out of nowhere something explodes in you.
Yes, it is an explosion - of light, of love, of tremendous bliss, which remains with you forever. You cannot lose it even if you want to. Nobody can become unenlightened again, that is not possible.
In an ancient sutra it is said, "You can make curd out of milk, but you cannot make milk out of curd."
The process is not reversible. You can make butter out of curd - in India people make purified butter they call ghee, but you cannot make ghee again butter or curd or milk. You have come to the end of the process. You cannot go back and there is no possibility of going beyond.
In India, ghee became a very spiritual, symbolic thing, for a simple reason; otherwise, there is nothing spiritual in it. The symbolic reason was that it gives you the whole process of enlightenment.
You can attain it, but you cannot step down the stairs. Those stairs are gone; any step that you have passed no longer exists.
Nobody has said what I am saying to you: that enlightenment is accidental. There are only two possibilities - either a thing can be causal or a thing can be accidental. The causal thing cannot bring you to eternal freedom because it is based on a chain of cause and effect. Only the accidental can bring you to freedom, to total newness, freshness, a new birth. Because of this phenomenon all religions have failed, because they were trying just to imitate somebody's enlightenment.
The Taoists are still trying to imitate Lao Tzu - after twenty-five centuries doing the same things, eating the same things, living the same way, thinking that they will become Lao Tzu. But in twenty- five centuries not a single man has been able to attain the goal.
Jainas are doing it, Buddhists are doing it, all religions are doing a single thing: they have seen somebody whose eyes had a different light, whose gestures had a different grace, whose words had a different authority. He spoke from his very innermost core, he was not a scholar. He was not saying anything within quotes; he was simply expressing his own vision. He was singing his own song, dancing his own dance. He was utterly individual and immensely blissful. People seeing him started imitating - what he was doing, they should do. And they have been doing, for thousands of years, all kinds of imitations.
Thomas a Kempis has even written a book which is thought by Christians to be next only to THE HOLY BIBLE in importance. The name of the book is THE IMITATION OF CHRIST. You can understand from the very name what the book contains. But even Thomas a Kempis could not become what he thinks by imitating Jesus Christ one can become. His book is read by monks, and they try to imitate. They become carbon copies.
And one thing is certain: this existence is absolutely against carbon copies. This existence knows only original faces. It will recognize you only when you come with your original face - not Christian, not Buddhist, not Hindu, but just you in your utter nudity.
So I can suggest only that you can create the catalytic situation, and then wait. And have patience; you cannot force enlightenment to happen. You can manage the catalytic atmosphere, that's all that is within your hands - then wait. Be patient.
Existence is impartial. Whenever the time is ripe, you will suddenly be aflame. All the old will be burned and something new, absolutely new, that you could not have even thought about, dreamed about, will have happened.
It is possible, but nobody can guarantee it.
It is going to happen if you can manage the catalytic atmosphere and wait. One never knows: it may happen today, it may take the whole life - but it will happen. Just wait. Wait with deep trust in existence.
But whenever it happens, it will come as a great surprise to you, because it is accidental.
DO ALL ORDINARY PEOPLE THINK THAT OTHERS HAVE SOMETHING MORE OR BETTER THAN THEY DO?
That's the definition of ordinary people. They are continuously comparing themselves with others.
Comparison is their whole life's work.
Certainly people have... somebody has a better house, somebody has a better nose, somebody has a better body, somebody has a better mind. There are thousands of things. You can find in every person something better than you.
Even a beggar may have something better than you. Just the way he walks may have a grandeur, a carelessness. He has no worries, he has nothing to worry about. He sleeps in the street better than you sleep on the best mattress in the best house. The better the mattress, the worse the sleep. It is very strange but that's how it is, because for sleep what is needed is at least eight hours of hard work. That's the way your physiology is built. It has a built-in program. If you don't work eight hours at least, you can't have eight hours of deep, beautiful sleep.
You will feel jealous, and people are burning with jealousy, because it is not one thing with one person; everybody around you has something better than you: fair color, beautiful hair.... How many things are there? Can you find a person who has nothing better than you? And if you are looking only for "Who has something better than me?" then this whole world has things better than you. So many people, and you are burning with jealousy!
This is the ordinary state of humanity. And what creates it? Comparison. You have been told from your very childhood to compare. That is poison. You should have been told never to compare. You are unique, so is the other, and there is no question of comparison. Comparison is possible only if two persons are similar, but there are not two persons similar on the whole earth. Comparison is not possible.
The moment comparison drops from your mind, all jealousy disappears. Suddenly you find yourself strangely peaceful, contented, strangely respectful towards yourself, grateful to existence for whatever it has given to you. And it has given you so much, and without charging you anything.
It has given you life - which you cannot purchase. No money can purchase it.
Alexander the Great was simply impotent when it came to the question of purchasing life. He was dying, and he wanted to live only twenty-four hours more, because he had promised his mother that he would come back home and put the whole world at her feet.
Athens was only a twenty-four hours' journey, but he was so sick that the doctor said, "You cannot survive more than two, three hours, and it is better to stop here."
Alexander offered to give them anything they wanted, but the doctors said, "What can we do? Even if you give us your whole empire" - and he was a world conqueror - "life is not something that we can give to you."
But you have not been grateful to existence at all. It has given you more than life, which even Alexander the Great could not purchase. It has given you love, it has given you the sensitivity to see beauty, it has given you the capacity to understand great music. It has given you all that is priceless, and still you are ungrateful.
To me, to be grateful to existence is the first step of being a religio, a man of religiousness. It has nothing to do with God. It has something to do with gratitude. Just look how much you have. And look - there is much more which you have not even explored. But your whole energy is wasted in comparing, which leads you nowhere, except to burning in jealousy, anger, frustration.
You are unique. And if existence accepts you as you are, don't reject yourself. That's what you have been told by your priests, your parents - that you are worthless, that you have to prove yourself, that you are good for nothing.
That's what my father used to say to me in my childhood, "You are good for nothing." And I said to him, "Thank you!"
He said, "For what are you giving me thanks?"
I said, "At least you used the word 'good' for me. Good for nothing, but good, certainly. And I don't think that nothing is a bad quality. In fact, Gautam Buddha says nothingness is the highest experience. Buddha's word for enlightenment is nothingness, nirvana. So," I said, "you are telling me, 'You are good for enlightenment.' Thank you. Whatever your meaning is, I don't care. Whatever I understand, for that I am giving you my thanks."
And he said, "It is so difficult to talk with you. You make words mean whatever you want them to mean. Now, everybody knows what 'good for nothing' means."
I said, "I have no obligation to be convinced by their meaning. I give it a better meaning. And I will prove in my life exactly what you have said, you have predicted: I am good for nothing."
And when he became a sannyasin, I reminded him. I told him, "Look. Now you are going to be a disciple of somebody who is good for nothing. And all that I can do for you is to make you also good for nothing."
And he died with tremendous gratitude. The last day when I went to see him in the hospital, he reminded me, "Perhaps I have come to the point which you call 'good for nothing.' I was wrong, you were right, and I feel proud that even at that young age you had the guts to assert whatever you felt. You never rejected yourself, you never condemned yourself, you never compared yourself. You never asked for anything somebody else had. You were so contented with yourself - as if you owned the whole world."
I said, "Really that's the case. Why bother about small things? You own the sun, you own the moon, you own all the stars. Why bother about small things?"
I have heard that two hobos - that is another word for good for nothing, a shorter form - on a full- moon night, are sitting by the side of the ocean. And it is immensely beautiful - the ocean, the beach, the full moon driving the ocean mad.
One hobo said to the other, "I could give everything" - and he had nothing - "I could give everything to purchase this moon."
The other said, "Forget all about it! I am not going to sell it."
Why bother about purchasing and selling? You already own it! This whole universe is yours. And small things - somebody has a little longer nose - and you are worried, and you don't think about the whole sky full of stars.
People are all on fire continuously, but it is their own doing. Get out of the funeral pyre! In the end you will be there, but while you are alive, why go on sitting on a funeral pyre?
Accept, respect, and be grateful to existence. And suddenly you will feel a tremendous release and relaxation.
RABINDRANATH TAGORE HAS WRITTEN, "I KNOW THAT A COMMUNITY OF GOD-SEEKERS IS A GREAT SHELTER FOR MAN, BUT DIRECTLY THIS GROWS INTO AN INSTITUTION, IT IS APT TO GIVE READY ACCESS TO THE DEVIL BY ITS BACKDOOR."
It is easy to feel loving towards me. That is not something great on your part. It is easy to feel trust, easy to feel surrender, but these are not going to help you.
In the commune, when you come across people just like you and you have to trust them, you have to love them, and you have to be in a surrendering attitude - not in a fighting mood, not competitive, but ready to merge with them - it is difficult. But you will have to take that challenge. Unless you take that challenge, you cannot come close to me.
These people are devices; the commune is a device. These people are just as frail as you are, as weak, as angry, as jealous, as immediately annoyed, irritated about anything. It becomes difficult for you to be loving towards them. But that is the test. In spite of them, you have to grow your strength of love.
You can love me because I don't give you any trouble. But that does not show that your love is growing within you. Your love has to become stronger, your trust has to become stronger - even of those who are not trustworthy. It does not matter: they are not the consideration, you are. In spite of all their hindrances, obstacles, still remain loving. Unless you pass all these tests in the commune, you will never be able to love me. These are the steps which come to my temple.
It has always been easy for people to love and dedicate themselves to dead saints, sages, because they don't create any trouble for you. They are so far away - Jesus, Krishna, Buddha; they are so far away they will not create any trouble for you. They will not snatch your girlfriend away from you!
It is very easy to go and put a few roseflowers at the feet of Gautam Buddha's statue. But the real test is the people who are just like you, who are also passing through the same hindrances. You are a hindrance to them, they are a hindrance to you. The commune is a great device: everybody is a hindrance to everybody else. So five thousand obstacles - naturally, you feel it is difficult.
Somebody snatches your girlfriend, then some woman catches hold of you. Being a gentleman you cannot say no. Being a man you cannot say, "I have a headache." Your girlfriend is gone, and this woman is sitting on top of you.
A strange commune: everybody is an obstacle for everybody else. And they are perfectly trained; they are doing their job just great! So to pass this ocean of five thousand people and still remain loving, trusting.... But that is the only way to come close to me. Without this fire you will never become real gold.
WHAT ARE YOU COOKING?
WHATEVER IT IS, WE ARE EAGER TO EAT IT.
Unfortunately, I am not a cook. I have never made even a cup of tea in my life. I am really good for nothing. But something is cooking....
I am not allowed in the kitchen by my kitchen people, but I can smell something is cooking. And not only are you eager, I am also eager!