Only one sin - to forget your being. Only one virtue - to remember it
COULD YOU SAY SOMETHING TO US ABOUT BLISS?
I have been blissed out myself for almost thirty-three years. That is exactly the time Jesus lived on earth. Shankara also lived only thirty-three years, Vivekananda too. For the length of the whole life of Jesus I have been blissed out. And this seems to be the right time to ask me what bliss is. It is almost impossible to answer, but remember I am saying "almost".
The "almost" depends on two things. First: if you are available, open, relaxed, with no idea of what bliss is, just a pure enquiry without any prejudice, without any mind; if your heart is available without any conditions from your side - then perhaps the almost impossible can become possible.
Secondly - and this is an even more difficult thing.... it is as if a person has been dead for thirty-three years. Logically you can ask him, "What is death? - because you have been experiencing death for thirty-three years - how long will you take to define it?" The dead man cannot answer; he is not there.
I am also not here - I am a dead man.
This is the nature of bliss.
As it enters in you, you are no more there.
Both cannot exist together. The coexistence of the ego and bliss is absolutely impossible; only one can exist. It is like darkness and light. You cannot manage some kind of coexistence between darkness and light.
In the East we have the story that darkness appeared before God with tears in her eyes and complained against the sun: "I have not done anything against your sun. I am not even acquainted with him, we have never met; still he goes on harassing me. Wherever I go he reaches me sooner or later, and I am constantly on the run. Now I am really tired, and I want you to do something about it. Why is he after me?"
God called the sun and asked him, "Why are you after darkness? What wrong has she done to you?"
The sun said, "Who is darkness? I have never met her. I would like to be introduced."
God looked around to where darkness had been standing but nobody was there. Since then God has been trying to arrange some kind of meeting, a roundtable conference, some kind of mediation, negotiation. But although all the religions say that God is allpowerful, in this case He has failed. He has not been able to bring the light, the sun, in front of darkness; only one appears at a time.
The reason is very simple: darkness has no existence of its own. It is only the absence of light. When the light is present, how can its absence also be there? That absence is possible only when light is absent. This case is going to remain eternally on file, undecided. This story is really significant. It says something about you and bliss.
The ego is nothing but the absence of blissfulness.
The more egoistic a person is, the more in anguish, in suffering, in misery, in darkness he is. His life is nothing but hell.
There is no other hell than to live in the ego.
There is no other heaven than to come out of the ego.
In coming out of the ego you come out of suffering, misery, anguish - that whole company. And when there is no ego, what remains is blissfulness.
I close my eyes - it is there.
I open my eyes - it is there.
I walk - it walks with me.
I sleep - it sleeps with me:
I am no longer separate from it.
There is a beautiful statement of one of the great Masters, Kabir. He says, "O my beloved, seeking and searching, seeking and searching, I have lost myself The drop has dropped into the ocean; now where am I going to find myself? I was just a drop." After he had written this in the early morning, his disciples, who used to gather then, asked him what he had been writing. Kabir said, "I have written something, but I am not quite satisfied."
Let me repeat his words, they have a beauty of their own:
HERAT HERAT HE SAKHI RAHYA KABIR HERAI BUND SAMANI SAMUND MEN SO KAT HERI JAI.
"O my beloved friend, a great difficulty has arisen. I was searching, searching, seeking and seeking, and in all this search I forgot to take care of myself. I am lost, lost just as when a dewdrop falls into the ocean. The dewdrop finds the ocean, but at the cost of losing itself"
"But I'm not satisfied," Kabir said. "So just wait. Something is still not right." And he changed it - just a little change, a little difference, but what a difference it makes!
HERAT HERAT HE SAKHI RAHYA KABIR HERAI.
"O my beloved, seeking and searching, Kabir is lost. The ocean has fallen into the dewdrop, now where am I going to find my dewdrop?"
Both ways are true, but the second way is truer than true. It has come very close to the ultimate expression of bliss. It is a finding, but very risky - on the condition of losing your self Ordinarily, in the dictionaries you will find bliss defined as happiness, pleasure, joy. Linguistically they all appear to have a similar meaning; existentially it is not so. And you will have to understand the subtle nuances and differences; only then you may be able to catch some hold of the phenomenon called bliss.
Remember, you cannot hold bliss in your fist.
You can hold bliss only in your open hand.
Bliss is just like a breeze:
Your fist will miss it.
Your open hand may have a little dance with it, a little love affair with it.
Let us start from the lowest because that will be easier to understand, that's where man biologically is born. Pleasure is physical.
A great Sufi poet, Omar Khayyam, has the right definition of pleasure. He was not defining pleasure, he was writing a beautiful poem but, unknowingly, he has come very close to defining pleasure. He says: a cold winter night, having a good dinner... sitting by the fireside on your coziest chair, with a book of poetry in your lap, and a beautiful woman dancing and singing with a musical instrument....
The warmth, the beauty, the good, delicious food, and a great book of poetry in your lap; the music....
You are alone together in the cold night and the warmth of the fire.... This is pleasure.
Physically you are healthy. You enjoy your food. You enjoy your lover, your beloved. You enjoy friends, or music, or painting - all this is physical. Nothing is wrong with it; as far as my religion is concerned I am all for pleasure. Of course, I don't stop there, I only start from there.
All the other, old religions are against pleasure; and that's where they have missed, because if you miss the first step, please don't hope that you will be able to reach the highest step. The first rung of the ladder is as essential as the last: they are both part of the same ladder. I have no condemnation of the first rung on the ladder, because without it the whole ladder will disappear.
I am all for pleasure, but I would like you to be reminded that there are higher things than pleasure.
Happiness is higher than pleasure.
It is not physical, it is more psychological. You may be hungry, you may be cold, freezing, and suddenly a friend knocks on your door. You forget your hunger and your cold, you simply give him a hug. It is something higher than the body can give to you; it is in your psychology. A friend whom you have not seen for a long time.... You forget your body - a tremendous happiness arises in you.
Animals have only pleasure, and most human beings are still animals. Most of them don't know of happiness. There are people who have never loved. Remember, sex is pleasure, love is happiness.
Don't get confused between the two. Love can exist without sex; sex can exist without love. They can exist together too but there is no necessity for them to exist together.
Sex is given by nature; it is an inbuilt program in your biology. Love is not an inbuilt program; that's why so many people go on missing it. It has to be evolved. You have to learn it, it is an art. You have to understand one thing, that nature and biology have no need of love; sex is enough for life to continue. Reproduction is the end of sex, and biology is interested only in reproducing.
Love is a luxury.
It has no biological function.
Unless you start learning something that goes beyond your body, which is not a need of the body - the body can exist without it - you will never be able to know what love is. Experiencing poetry, the depth of music or the beauty of a sunrise or a sunset.... No animal bothers about sunset or sunrise.
You should not be deceived by the birds in the morning chattering all around. It is not a song of happiness to welcome the sun, no. It is just the overflowing energy after the whole night's peaceful, relaxed state.
You don't get up so rejuvenated because you don't sleep well. Your mind goes on thinking and dreaming and projecting; your mind goes on keeping your body tense. Just watch somebody's face while he is sleeping, and you will be wondering what he is doing. Sometimes his face becomes very tense, sometimes tension lines appear on his forehead, sometimes he is gnashing his teeth, sometimes he starts making some sounds. Perhaps he is saying something but in sleep it becomes gibberish; you cannot figure out what he is saying. But so much is going on.
Just the other morning Vivek showed me one of the white peacocks which always comes near my sitting room and sleeps on a treetop. That is his religious practice every night; it may be raining, it may be snowing - it doesn't matter. And the place where he sits seems to be so risky that he could fall any moment, but he is so relaxed, almost one with the tree. Now, after these ten hours, twelve hours of almost going to the very source of his life in sleep, if he starts dancing by the morning it is no wonder.
It has nothing to do with the sun or the flowers, it has something to do with his inner energy which is overflowing. The birds are chirping, chitchatting - it is simply aliveness. But remember, animals or birds cannot have a taste of happiness; that is man's prerogative.
One thing to be remembered: pleasure has its counterpart - pain; happiness has its counterpart - unhappiness. And you cannot have only one without having the other too; they are inseparable. If you have pleasure, in the same amount be ready for pain. It is not possible to have ninety percent pleasure and ten percent pain. Nature does not function that way. It is very fair; it is always fifty-fifty, equally balanced.
That's why many people, particularly the religious people, monks, saints, sages.... Have you ever thought about it, why they start renouncing pleasure? You may not have wondered.... They are not renouncing pleasure, they are renouncing pain. But without renouncing pleasure there is no way to renounce pain - that is the difficulty. If it were possible to save pleasure and renounce pain, I don't think any saint would be so idiotic as to renounce pleasure.
They have to renounce pleasure because they have known that if you welcome pleasure, just behind the pleasure there is pain. It is almost like on a door: on one side is written "push," on the other side is written "pull." It is the same door. Of course, if on one side it says "push," then on the other side it has to say "pull." It is the same phenomenon: on one side it is pleasure - pull - and you want to pull it as much as possible; on the other side is pain, and you want to push it as far away as possible.
But once you have chosen pleasure - and of course nobody chooses pain, except a few masochists.
But even a masochist, by choosing pain, has to choose pleasure. A masochist is one who tortures himself and enjoys it: he has chosen pain. He is torturing himself, I but you can see in his eyes he is enjoying it. You cant not divide the two - they are not two, just two sides of the same energy.
In the same way happiness is joined with unhappiness. Everybody wants to be happy, and you will find everybody unhappy. The more you want happiness, the more you are inviting unhappiness.
The American constitution has a very stupid idea in it. It says that the pursuit of happiness is man's birthright. The people who were writing this constitution had no idea what they were writing. If the pursuit of happiness is the birthright of mankind, then what about unhappiness? Whose birthright is unhappiness? These people were not at all aware that if you ask for happiness, you have asked for unhappiness at the same time; whether you know it or not does not matter.
If a certain painting makes you happy, the meeting of a friend makes you happy, a certain song makes you feel happy.... But how long can you remain with the friend? In the meeting there is the departure; in life there is death. How long can you be happy with a song? Soon you will start getting bored by it, you will become fed up with it.
You can see it happening in every synagogue, in every church, in every temple, in every mosque:
people are almost asleep. A few old fellows are even snoring, because they have heard the sermon so many times; just the very repetition of it brings boredom, and boredom brings sleep. This is a psychological mechanism. That's why all the methods that are suggested to people who are suffering from sleeplessness are really nothing but methods to get bored.
They are told, "Count from one to a hundred, and then count backwards: one hundred, ninety- nine, ninety-eight, ninety-seven; count backwards; then from one to a hundred, and then count back again." Naturally you will get bored within five minutes. And a few con people have sold this method as if they are giving you something of religious value - for example, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. What he calls transcendental meditation is nothing but transcendental boredom.
If you repeat any name continually for ten or twenty minutes you are bound to fall asleep. Of course it is a little different from your ordinary sleep: it is hypnos. Hypnos is deliberate sleep, not natural but created by a certain strategy, a certain mechanism - repeating Ave Maria, Ave Maria, Ave Maria, and fast. You have to repeat it fast so there is no gap between two Ave Marias; otherwise, some thought may enter and disturb your whole procedure, so you have to go really fast.
That's why Maharishi Mahesh Yogi does not give his mantra, the secret, openly to everybody. No, it has to be given in private. The reason is that for a Christian it has to be Ave Maria, for a Hindu it has to be Rama or Krishna, for a Mohammedan it has to be something else, for a Jew something else.
Publicly you cannot declare the mantra because Ave Maria will not appeal to a Hindu; he will not be ready to waste ten minutes on Ave Maria.
To a Christian, Rama, Rama does not make much sense - except for a few hippies. Everything makes sense for a few days and then it turns out to be nonsense. Hippies are constantly on the move. They are permanent seekers. They are not interested in finding, just moving, being on the move. Krishna is not meaningful to a Jew. A certain meaning, a certain conditioning from your childhood is needed to help you; otherwise the word which you are repeating will remain only on the surface of your mind. It won't get to your unconscious, and it is the unconscious which brings hypnos. So repeating a certain word....
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was visiting Jabalpur when I was a professor there. I sent one of my students to take initiation from him, and I said, "Tell him that you are an atheist, that you don't believe in God, because I want to see what mantra he gives to you." Generally no atheist will go: in his whole life Mahesh Yogi would not have come across an atheist asking for a mantra. This boy was a very serious type, and I told him, "Remain very serious and follow the whole procedure. Whatsoever money is demanded, give it. You have to take flowers and a piece of Silk cloth to offer."
So he went prepared. He touched Maharishi's feet - inside of course saying, "Go to hell, you son- of-a-bitch," but on the surface staying very serious. And when he touched Mahesh Yogi's feet, and put down the flowers and the silken piece of cloth, with folded hands he asked, "Please initiate me."
Mahesh Yogi said, "Okay. You seem to be really a seeker. What is your religion?"
The student said, "That is the difficulty. I am an atheist, I don't believe in God."
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi said, "This is the first time I have come across an atheist. I am at a loss as to what mantra to give you, because for an atheist all mantras are useless."
You cannot give him the name of Jesus: he does not believe in God, how can he believe in God's son? You cannot give him the name of Krishna: he does not believe in God, how can he believe in the incarnation of God?
Mahesh Yogi said to him, "Please come back tomorrow."
The boy came to me and he said that this had happened: "Mahesh Yogi thought for a few minutes and he said to come tomorrow."
I said, "He deceived you. You rush right now, ask for your money back, your flowers, your everything, because tonight he is leaving." So he rushed back. The people outside Mahesh Yogi's camp tried to prevent him, saying, "This is not the time for initiation.
He said, "l don't care. I have not come for initiation; I have come to take back my things that I left here this morning"and he was a strong young man, so he forced his way in and entered Mahesh Yogi's room.
Mahesh Yogi looked at him and said, aBut I told you to come tomorrow."
The student said, "And tonight you are leaving. Your luggage is packed. Whom am I going to see tomorrow? Now please give me my money back. Where is my handkerchief and where are my flowers?" And Mahesh Yogi had to find the student's money and things, and he gave them back to him.
These people are exploiting the whole world. What they are giving is just a simple method of hypnosis, autohypnosis. Anything will do; it has nothing to do with God's name. And nonsense - sound will do. You just repeat it fast and get bored, and a certain sleep - for which a different name has been used, hypnos, because there are no dreams in it - will descend on you. That's why after you wake up from transcendental boredom you will feel very fresh. But that's how everybody feels after hypnosis, exactly the same, because there are no dreams, no disturbance: you have tired the mind so much.
In India it is a known fact that if you say to a child, "Sit down in the corner and don't disturb me, we are doing something important," he is not going to sit down. In India the usual method is to tell the child, Go and do twelve rounds of the house." After the twelfth round he is bound to sit down at least for half an hour and not bother anybody.
The same is the case with the mind. If you just sit and try to be silent you will find more thoughts are coming to you than ever because usually they never find you so available. They are always standing in a queue waiting for their number to come up, and you are so late with your appointments that a few thoughts may be left standing there for years. But thoughts are stubborn, they can wait.
For years they can wait; someday they will sneak in. So when you are sitting in meditation, prayer, contemplation, you are giving an opportunity to all the thoughts, desires, dreams which had not been able to attract your attention before.
Now you are available, so immediately there is a rush hour in the mind. Suddenly so many things out of nowhere start appearing. But if you are repeating a certain word, a certain name, then you don't give thoughts any chance. And if you are repeating words so fast that between two words there is no gap, then you give a chance for the mind to be bored with the same thing. And this boredom brings a different quality of sleep - hypnos, which is very refreshing, healthy. Nothing is wrong with it; all that is wrong is using it to cheat people and exploit people by giving them hypnos as something spiritual. It is nothing spiritual.
Mind is capable of experiencing happiness, but the more dimensions of happiness are open to you, the more dimensions of unhappiness are also open to you. It is not something to be surprised about that people like Jean-Paul Sartre feel more anguish than so-called ordinary human beings. Sartre certainly is a genius. His mind had more dimensions open to happiness; obviously he has opened the door to unhappiness too.
And one thing to remember about the relationship between happiness and time: Happiness is so beautiful, so juicy, so groovy, that you feel time is passing very fast. The watch, the clock, have no idea that you are happy or unhappy - they are moving at the usual speed; but when you are happy you feel time flying by because you would like to have as much of it as possible. You would like it to remain forever. You are clinging to it. You fear that it is going to slip out of your hands. In all this, the time has passed and suddenly you see that that great moment is no longer there.
So when happiness is there, it is momentary; when unhappiness is there you don't want it, it is an uninvited guest. You want to throw it back, but you are incapable of throwing it away. Time will seem to be moving slower, as if all the watches are conspiring against you. When you are happy they move fast; when you are unhappy they suddenly become lazy, lousy. No, they are not doing anything to you.
Albert Einstein was asked again and again, "What is your theory of relativity?" Now, his theory of relativity is a very complex phenomenon. He cannot just answer. You will have to go through a long process of education in higher mathematics and neo-physics, then you may be able to understand it a little bit. It is said that there were only twelve persons alive in Albert Einstein's time who understood his theory of relativity.
But he was bound to be asked. People had heard of the theory of relativity, and if Einstein happened to be somewhere, everybody would ask about it - so he had found an answer. The answer was that if you are sitting with your belovedone situationor you are sitting on a hotplate, burning hot, red-hot - another situation - will you feel time passing with the same speed? Obviously to the man sitting on a red-hot plate, one minute will look like one century; and being with his beloved, even one century will look like one moment. Einstein said, "This is what my theory of relativity is. More than that you will not be able to understand, but this is enough to get the idea."
Time is relative to your mind, so much so that it can be said that time and mind are almost one phenomenon.
Now I can talk about bliss. Bliss has no counterpart to it. That is the first thing to understand.
Pleasure has pain, happiness has unhappiness, but bliss has nothing as a counterpart; it is an organic whole. Gautam the Buddha used to say, "If you taste the ocean from anywhere, it is salty."
So is the case with the bliss: you can taste it from any corner, from any space, from any direction - -it is just blissfulness. There is nothing opposite to it.
Bliss is the only experience in life which has no polar opposite to it. That's why, once you are blissful, you cannot fall back. There is no way to be unblissful again. I have tried but nothing succeeds.
In Japan they have the statue of Bodhidharma - in Japanese his name has changed to Daruma.
There is a doll called a Daruma doll, which was made according to a statement of Bodhidharma's.
He said, "What ever you do, you cannot put me upside down; I will always be upside up, downside down."
This statement gave an idea to a toymaker to make a doll. It is heavy at the bottom, so you throw the doll any way and it always returns to sit in the lotus posture. You push it, throw it, hit it, do whatever you can do, but it represents Bodhidharma - it always settles in a lotus posture.
So is the case with bliss: whatever you do to it, whatever happens around you, it is absolutely the same, unchanging.
Bliss has some quality of pleasure in it, it has some quality of happiness in it; but it is much more.
And the plus is that you feel absolutely fulfilled, contented, with no desire, no expectation. This very moment you are where everybody wants to be, and there is a tremendous feeling that more than this is not possible; there is no way. It is just as there can be nothing bigger than the sky; it is unbounded.
It is inconceivable to the mind, because the mind can only conceive limited things. Here you can feel how limited the mind is. It cannot even conceive something unlimited.
The sky is there, without boundaries. You cannot come to a point where you can say, "Here is the boundary." Just think about it. How can you say, "Here is the boundary?" - because a boundary means that something must be beyond the boundary. Two things are needed, absolutely needed, to make a boundary. If there is nothing beyond, then nothing is making a boundary; then there is no boundary, you will have to go into nothing. But you can never come to a point where you will find a board: "Here ends the universe." It ends nowhere, it begins nowhere. The same is the experience of bliss.
Bliss is within you, without you.
Bliss is in life, it is in death.
It is when you are healthy, it is when you are sick.
It is when you are young, it is when you are old.
Nothing makes any difference to bliss.
Bliss is simply transcendental to all that exists in the universe.
And because it is universal, everywhere - within you, within mehowsoever difficult it may be to explain it, to experience it is not so difficult. Let me repeat my statement because that may look a little crazy:
To explain bliss is more difficult than to experience it.
How can you explain what beauty is? What do you think, in these thousands of years, hundreds of poets, philosophers, thinkers, and painters have been trying to do? They have been trying to find the definition of beauty. They have created many beautiful things, but beauty remains undefined.
One man in this century did a really arduous job. His name is G.E. Moore - one of the great philosophers of this century. He devoted his whole life to a single question: What is good? He was a moral thinker, and morality is impossible if you cannot even define what is good. Then how can you say what is bad? How can you say what is right and what is wrong, and how can you say what is sin and what is virtue? The basic thing has to be first tackled, and this is: What is good?
His whole life's experience G.E. Moore has written in a big volume. The name of the book is PRINCIPIA ETHICA. He had chosen the name before he started the book; otherwise, I don't think he would have given it that name, PRINCIPIA ETHICA. He was thinking he was going to find the basic principle of ethics, but after his whole life's research work, where he ends is really sad. He ends the book with the statement: "Good is indefinable."
You go through his book, which is very arduous, complicated, with arguments for and against - he has covered the whole history of moral philosophy, but finally he says, "Excuse me, good is indefinable, because good is a simple quality like yellow. If somebody asks you to define yellow, what can you do? I was simply stupid to have wasted my time."
What is yellow? You will say yellow is yellow, but that is not a definition, yet you know what yellow is, don't you? I know what bliss is, but please don't ask me what it is. If you cannot answer what yellow is - such a mundane and third-rate question - then it is difficult to define what beauty is, what good is. But perhaps a man like Michelangelo may create a statue, and tell you, "See, feel, touch it - this is beauty." Although you may not necessarily be satisfied, Michelangelo at least can create something objective.
A Picasso may create a painting; a Rabindranath Tagore may write a poem and say, "Somewhere here in this poem, between the words, between the lines, there is beauty. Just try to find it - just dive into it." They can at least give you something objective. It may not be sufficient to define it - it is not, and they know it - but at least working in their dimension gives them an opportunity to create something.
But my world is subjective. I cannot paint, I cannot write poetry, I cannot make a song, I cannot create or compose music about bliss. There is no way to express bliss through something objective, because bliss is a subjective experience, it is not a thing. You cannot observe it; it cannot be placed in front of you as an object. But there has been only one way, and that is to be in close proximity to a person who has experienced it.
That's what the meaning of the whole phenomenon of Master and disciplehood is. The Master has bliss, the disciple has bliss.
But the Master knows that he has bliss, and the disciple does not know that he has it.
As far as having bliss is concerned, there is no difference. The difference is only that the Master's eyes are open and the disciple's eyes are closed.
Being in close proximity to the Master, in some unexpected movement you may have a taste of it, just like a breeze passing through you and the feel of the coolness; or just suddenly a fragrance passing by you which you cannot catch hold of. By the time you try to catch hold of it, it is already gone; and fragrances are not to be caught in your fist.
This is the whole function of my commune, to answer this question: What is bliss?
I am inviting you to be here, to be with me, because there is only one possibility: that just by your being here, a synchronicity may happen. It has happened before, it can happen again. And you have to remember, there is no other way for it to happen. It happens only in this way.
Let me try to explain to you something about synchronicity, because that is the fundamental law about bliss.
Have you ever experienced that you are sad, miserable; then a few friends come, and they are gossiping, talking - and you remember only later on, "My God, what happened to my misery and my suffering?" You got completely lost in gossiping and forgot about your misery. Those people were laughing and enjoying and joking, and something of their energy started to trigger something in you.
In Indian classical music this is an ancient, established fact, that you can place a sitar - an Indian musical instrument - in an empty room, in one corner, and on the other side, just facing that sitar, let a master sitarist play. And you will be surprised: if the master is really a maestro, the other sitar sitting there in the corner starts vibrating with the same tune. This is synchronicity. An invisible vibe of the music that is being played by the master slowly starts moving in the room. It is just like when you throw a stone in a silent lake, and ripples arise and go on spreading to the farther and farther shores.
In the same way every note of the master is creating a ripple in the air around him, and those ripples are going farther away. While passing the other sitar they will strike its wires. But the master has to be a very refined sitarist, because those wires on the other sitar need a very delicate touch - then they start slowly vibrating. Great masters have played it, showed it, exhibited it.
The Moghul Emperor of India, Akbar, was very interested when he heard about this, and he had one of the greatest musicians, Tansen, in his court, so he asked Tansen about it. Tansen said, "I am a great musician, but this is beyond me. My master can do it."
Akbar said, "Is there somebody who can play better than you?" - because so many musicians had come to try to defeat Tansen. This was a constant thing, to want to become a member of the group Akbar had created, called "The Nine Jewels": nine master minds, one for each dimension of life.
Tansen was one of them.
Tansen said, "Yes, there is only one man, my master."
Akbar said, "I would like to invite him. We will give him the greatest welcome ever given to anybody, but I would like to listen to him."
Tansen said, "That's why I have never mentioned his name to you. I sing, I play the music, because I am full of desires, expectations. You have given me so much, but the desires are unending: I still go on playing because I want to get something. My master has got it. He plays because he has got something that he has to play and spread. I play because I want to get something. I am a beggar - he is a master. He will not come to the court; only beggars like me can come to court.
"For what will he come? You will have to go to him - the thirsty go to the well - if you are interested.
That's why I have never mentioned his name, because mentioning his name will mean you will ask me to call him; and then it will look uncourteous, unmannerly, to refuse you. But I am helpless.
"He is an old beggar in the eyes of the world. He lives just near your palace, not far away, by the side of the Yamuna river. He has a small hut there - you will have to go to him. And you cannot just demand of him, 'Play!' When he is playing you can listen - hiding, because seeing us he may stop just to welcome us, to receive us. But every day at three o'clock in the morning he plays, so we have to go and hide out side the hut. And you can take my sitar there, out side the hut, and watch."
Tansen and Akbar both went, took the sitar there, sat outside and waited for the time. Exactly at three o'clock Tansen's master started playing. His name was Haridas. Perhaps India has never produced any other musician of his quality. The moment he started playing, the sitar outside started vibrating with exactly the same tune.
In Indian classical music there are ragas - particular music to be played at particular times of the day, throughout twenty-four hours. For the morning there is one raga, for the evening there is another.
They have worked for thousands of years to find for each period of time what tune will be fitting for it, so that the raga can be absorbed by it. Indian classical music is not like jazz music. No Eastern musician will accept jazz as music at all: "This is simply a crazy crowd jumping about." Of course they are making sound, but just to make sounds is not to make music. They have found that each period of time is vulnerable to a certain music.
At three o'clock, early in the morning, Akbar saw with his own eyes the other sitar vibrating, replying, as if the master were playing on both - as if some invisible fingers had reached out to the sitar waiting outside. For the first time Akbar started weeping. Tears came into his eyes, just out of joy.
They went home slowly. They remained silent all the way, but when Akbar was entering his palace, and Tansen was taking leave to go to his house, Akbar said, "Tansen, I used to think that nobody could play better than you, but I am sorry to say that you are nowhere near your master. Why are you wasting your time in my court? - you should be with your master. If even a dead musical instrument is receptive to that man's music, what is impossible between you and him? - miracles are possible.
Just forget this court, forget me. And he is an old man - you be with him; just sit by his side and let his energy flow in you, let his music make you afire." This is the law of synchronicity.
With the Master, the disciple is joined by the law synchronicity.
Every disciple is not a disciple unless the law of synchronicity starts functioning, unless something invisible transpires between you and the Master.
The Master is full of bliss, he is showering all that L he has - because in the world of bliss the more you give, the more you have.
Ordinary economics is not applicable there. In ordinary economics, the more you give, the less you have. Something of a higher economics, totally different and opposite, functions: the more you give, the more you have.
The Master is showering.
Whether you get drenched with it or not is up to you, because you may be holding an umbrella. Your umbrella may get drenched, but umbrellas don't feel bliss. You will remain dry, and you will go on asking, "What is the definition of bliss? What is bliss?"
Just close your umbrellas, put them aside. Better be utterly nude so nothing prevents - I mean spiritually be nude - so there is no barrier. When there is no barrier you will discover there has always been a bridge underneath the barrier.
I can help you to experience bliss.
And when I can help you to experience it, why bother about the definition?
And even if I define bliss, it won't make any sense to you. I can define it, but the definition will be simply words: "Bliss is ecstasy." But then you will ask, "What is ecstasy?" - and that will lead to an infinite regression. I will go on saying A is B, B is C, C is D, and the whole round: Z is A, and A is B.... No, a definition is not going to help at all.
The world of religion is not the world of definitions.
The world of religion is the world of experiences.
That's the difference between a teacher and a Master.
A teacher gives you definitions, explains the scriptures to you.
The Master allows you to go with him into the unknown.
He does not give you definitions, scriptures:
He gives you a push.
He throws you into the bottomless abyss of existence.
All my words are just "pushes."
They have nothing to do with answering your questions.
I want you to experience.
And bliss is such an experience that it makes you dumb.
You know it, you feel it, you are it. But you cannot say what it is.
It is indefinable verbally, but existentially it is transferable.
Yes, I can give it to you.
My hands are not empty, they are full of it.
But you have to be empty to receive it.
I remember the famous story about Nan In. One university professor of philosophy went to see Nan In, a great Master. The professor was full of questions all the way from his university to the hill where Nan In used to live in a temple. He was just brooding and brooding. There were so many questions, what to ask? The professor had heard so much about Nan In, and one rarely meets such a man.
He went in.
The first thing Nan In said to him was, "please come in, but leave the crowd outside."
The professor looked all around; there was nobody. Crowd? - he was alone. Nan In said, "Don't look here and there, look within: the crowd is there. It has been there all the way."
The professor was almost shocked. But a professor, after all, is a professor. He said, "You are right.
It is a crowd, but I am a professor; I deal with this crowd. This iS my profession, so excuse me, I cannot leave the crowd outside. It is going to be with me, but it will sit here silently. Don't take any notice of it.
Nan In said, "But you are tired and you are perspiring. Sit, cool down, and meanwhile I will prepare a cup of tea for you." Nan In prepared a cup of tea, brought it in, gave the empty cup and saucer to the professor, and poured the tea from his kettle into the cup. The professor was watching: the cup was getting fuller and fuller and fuller. It was absolutely full and Nan In was still pouring tea.
The tea started running out of the cup into the saucer. The professor tried hard to be patient because he had said the crowd would sit silently, but the crowd was there and it was saying, "This man is just nuts! Is this the way?" And the Japanese are very particular about tea; it is part of their culture and etiquette - this is never done. But Nan In went on pouring. When the saucer was also full and the tea was just going to spill over the professor's clothes, the professor said, "Wait! What are you doing? The cup is full. it cannot hold a single drop more."
Nan In said, "You have understood rightly. Can you give me a little space in you? Can you have just a drop of me in you? You are overfull, just like this cup and saucer. But you are a sensible man; you understand that by pouring more tea in, it will be simply spilled. But have you observed how much tea is spilling from your skull? My whole hut is becoming wet. When you come here next time, bring an empty cup; then I am willing to share whatsoever I have. But you are so full that it is useless: I cannot get into you from anywhere. I am looking from all sides - you are overcrowded. There is no space, not a single inch."
This is what the art of being a disciple is:
Becoming an empty cup and allowing the Master, so that he can pour all that is within him.
The Master is not going to become poorer because he shared his bliss with you. It is a treasure that goes on growing. But it is one of the most difficult things in the world to allow and welcome bliss within you, because before that, you have to be ready. You have to clean yourself; and nothing less than emptiness will be accepted as cleanliness.
In the West they say, "Cleanliness is next to godliness."
There is no God so there is no question about that.
But I say, "Cleanliness is just next to emptiness."
In fact, cleanliness is another name for inner emptiness.
Throw out all the rotten furniture and rags.
And what kind of things you have collected!
I used to live with a man... he was very rich, but very miserly also, so miserly. He was alone - no children, no wife. He never married for the simple reason that it was too expensive. He said, "I have seen all my friends: once they got married they lost all that they had. A woman is too expensive, I cannot afford one. And one thing follows another: a woman comes, then children come, and they will destroy everything that I have been collecting."
And he really was a collector. One day I was going for a morning walk and he said, "Can I also come with you?"
I said, "You can come with me but what will you do? - because there is no earning in the morning walk." He always did only those things which were economically useful. I said, "There is no economic use of a morning walk. You will be wasting your time - do something else."
He said, "No. It's just that you go every day and you look so happy, and when you come back you look so happy. I thought perhaps there is something in it, so for just one day...."
I said, "Okay, you can come. Perhaps you can find something." And he found something. What did he find? - the handle of a bicycle! Somebody had thrown it on the side of the road. He immediately picked it up. I said, "What are you doing?"
He said, "You don't know: I have two wheels which I collected this way. You will see with your own eyes, one day, the whole bicycle." And actually he managed it one day. It took years for him, but one day he showed me; he said, "Come on, I have to show you something." Yes, there was a bicycle - with no tires, no tube, just two wheels, crooked; no chain, no mudguards and no seat. The handlebars were there, and he had found one carrier.
He said, "Nothing much is missing, the cycle is almost complete. I just have to get a seat, tire and tube, and a chain, and I will have a brand-new cycle."
I said, "This is better than brand-new, this is unique!"
In his house such things were all over the place. It was difficult to walk into his house without stumbling into something unique, antique, which he had not purchased but simply collected. He had at least ten houses, and he was collecting so much rent, but he was living the life of the poorest man. He used to walk everywhere - he was waiting for the cycle to be ready.
I said, "In this life, perhaps in the next life.... And I hope you manage to be born again in the same house, because you are leaving so many things here. According to Hinduism, when you are attached to so many things your soul is pulled back to the place you are attached to."
He said, "No, in this life. I am not a pessimist. You seem to be a pessimist - I am optimistic, hopeful."
In 1969 I visited his house for the last time. He had added a few more things to the bicycle. I said, "How much is missing?"
He said, "Very little, just a tire and a tube; but it is very difficult to find a tire and tube."
I said, "You do one thing: at least purchase a tire and a tube. You have managed to find everything else."
He said, "That is too expensive, particularly nowadays; prices have gone up so. I will find them; if I could find the rest... I am an optimist."
I said, "Good, you be an optimist and collect them."
He wouldn't even allow me to throw out anything. I had to throw things out when he was not in the house; otherwise he would immediately grab them and say, "Don't throw that - one never knows what use it may have. Right now I am not clear what it will do, but it may fit somewhere in something."
You can laugh about this man, you can feel sad for him, but this is the situation of every man as far as the mind is concerned. What have you collected? It is all garbage, simply crap. And when I say throw it, empty your mind, I am not telling you to throw your diamonds and your rubies and your emeralds, no. You don't have any of those precious stones. You have only rotten rubbish: words, all borrowed, and not a single word representing your authentic experience about anything.
What do you know about love?
What do you know about beauty?
What do you know about goodness?
What do you know about grace, gratitude?
What do you know about yourself, who you are?
And you know everything about the whole world, the whole geography of the world, the whole history of the world. All kinds of idiots in history - Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Nadirshah, Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Ivan the Terrible - are all there.
My professor of history.... I was not a student of history. That was my practice in the university, that I never attended my own subject, because that I knew far better than the people who were teaching, and the library was available. So I used to attend other people's classes. History was not my subject. This professor was so much involved in history that you could ask him any absurd question and there was immediately an answer.
You could ask, "How old was Socrates when he got married?" Now is that a question that somebody can answer immediately? But he was that type of man. You could ask such a question as, "At what place, by whom, on what date, was the first bullet shot? - and immediately, the answer! He was a computer.
When I entered his class one day, he said, "I have told you again and again that this is not your subject, but you go on insisting on coming."
I said, "This is not your subject either."
He said, "What do you mean? I am head of the department of history, and this is not my subject?"
I said, "No, this is not your subject. Answer a single question: Who are you? What does it matter when Socrates got married? Monday, Sunday, Tuesday - any day will do. In seven days, some day he must have got married. And what did he get out of that marriage? A woman called Xanthippe who was just like her name - really difficult." I don't know how to pronounce it. It does not look Greek - "Xanthippe" - it looks like something from far away, some eastern Fiji island... Xanthippe? And she tortured him his whole life.
I said, "And you are worrying about when he got married. I am worried why he got married at all!
This is not my subject, this is not your subject either. My subject is your subject."
He said, "What is your subject?"
I said, "My own subjectivity is my subject. History can be an object but it can never be a subject.
There is only one subject, your subjectivity. And unless you know it, all your knowing is bullshit."
Don't ask me, "What is bliss?"
Ask me, "How can I be a participant in it?"
Ask the right question.
I have given you the right answer. I don't care whether your question is right or wrong - I always give the right answer.
You were asking about a definition. That is verbal.
Bliss is existential.
Bliss is a taste, a feel, and so overwhelming and so intense, that once you have got it you cannot believe how you have been missing it all along: "i cannot figure it out because it is simply there.
It was always there; how did I manage to miss it for so many lives?" Once you get it, that is the problem that arises: how have you been missing it?
Bliss is just sitting at the very center of your being, ready to be remembered.
Bliss has not to be found, but only to be remembered.
This word "remember" is quite significant. Remember simply means: make it a part of your being again. Remember does not mean recall; no, it simply means making something a part of your being again. It is there, it is just that you have completely forgotten it. Remember: where have you forgotten it? - where have you put it?
So in the sense of remembering, the word is beautiful. In the sense of re-membering - making it again an essential part of you - it is again significant.
In the same reference I would like you to understand the original word for sin. The root from where it comes means forgetfulness. This is just strange: sin means forgetfulness.
Then the whole of religion has only one meaning:
There is only one sin - to forget your being.
And there is only one virtue - to remember it.
And the moment you know who you are, instantly, immediately, all the bliss of the whole existence is yours. You are so full of bliss that you can bless everybody, the whole existence, without exhausting it ever.