Neither can I conceive it. This is one of the very fundamental things in the nature of enlightenment.
Once you are enlightened, you are in a very strange situation - trying to conceive how you could manage to remain unenlightened for so many lives. It is a tremendous work, it needs great effort.
Misery, jealousy, competitiveness - all that is ugly is needed to remain unenlightened.
Enlightenment itself is simple, it is natural. Unenlightenment is your creation.
Enlightenment is a gift from existence. So it is up to you how long you want to remain unenlightened.
Any moment you can drop unenlightenment. Never ask how to become enlightened, because nobody can become enlightened. Everybody is born enlightened. Just ask, "How can we drop all those props that are keeping us unenlightened?"
There is a beautiful story in Gautam Buddha's life. Again and again he has told it....
In one of his past lives he met an enlightened being. Out of respect he touched his feet. But he was surprised - in return the enlightened man touched his feet. Buddha could not believe his eyes. He said, "What are you doing? I am an unenlightened man, ignorant. I have not experienced truth. I have not yet been able to love, to be compassionate. My laughter is still phony, my heart is full of discontent. Why have you touched my feet?"
And the enlightened being laughed. He said, "Don't be worried. As far as I am concerned, you are as enlightened as I am."
From your side, that is your problem - I don't see any of you here as unenlightened, it is impossible.
Enlightenment is your very center, your very being. But you have been conditioned, programmed to remain unenlightened. All your religions are responsible for it. They don't want you to become enlightened, because an enlightened man cannot be a Christian, a Hindu, a Mohammedan. From his state of consciousness, all these theologies, religions, are sheer nonsense - fictions created by ignorant people for other ignorant people.
Never ask how to be enlightened. You can ask how to remain unenlightened, that is relevant. If you want to be enlightened, you are this very moment. Nobody is preventing you except yourself.
And you are making so much hard, arduous effort to become enlightened. That is one of the ways to remain unenlightened. The very effort keeps you troubled; and each effort is going to fail, because what you are already you cannot become.
Just see the difference between these two simple words: being and becoming. Enlightenment is being - you cannot become it. Becoming is a process somewhere in the future after long journeys, doing all kinds of stupid things - yoga postures, Christian prayers, fasts, remaining celibate, entering into a monastery forever, you will not come out of it....
There are monasteries where you enter but unless you are thrown out you cannot get out; only your dead body comes out some day. I have heard about such a monastery. It was famous for two things:
one, for one thousand years no woman had entered into the monastery - it was prohibited. Even a six-month-old baby girl was not allowed.
When I heard about it I thought, were monks living in the monastery, or monsters? A six-month-old baby is not allowed in! You can conceive the mind of those people who are living inside.
And second, it was famous in that silence was the rule. Only after seven years - once, after seven years - if you wanted to say something to the abbot, you could say it, and then for seven years again silence.
One man became a monk. For seven years he suffered, because the mattress was missing, he was sleeping on a bare floor. It was hard, it was cold, but he had to wait for seven years to say, "I need a mattress."
Seven years, by and by, passed - they must have looked to that man almost like seven centuries.
And he was so happy when he went to the abbot and said, "Master, I have a complaint to make. In the room you have allotted me, there is no mattress. And for seven years I have been prohibited from speaking."
The abbot said, "Okay, a mattress will be provided immediately. You go back."
A mattress was provided. But the cell in which the monk was living was very small, and the door was very small, and the mattress was big. So while they were bringing the mattress in, the door fell out and the window's glass was broken. Somehow they forced that big mattress into the small room. For seven years the poor man again suffered - from rain, wind, snow, because there was no door and the window was broken. In fact, he started thinking that the first seven years were far more beautiful: "I was an idiot to make that complaint!"
Again after seven years he went to the abbot. And the abbot said, "Again?"
The man said, "I have to say something, I am compelled to say it: the mattress that was provided was bigger than my cell, and the people, the other monks who brought it, somehow forced it in. I could not say no - I could not speak. They broke the door, they broke the window, and you can conceive - for seven years I have been living in wind, in rain, in snow. I was not thinking that I would be able to survive, but somehow by God's grace I am here again. Please put the door back and mend the window."
This was too much. The abbot became angry, and he said, "In all these fourteen years you have done nothing but complain, complain, complain! This is not a way to be religious. You simply get lost!"
Enlightenment is not something to be achieved. It is not an achievement, it is not a goal far away that you have to journey to. It is not a pilgrimage at all. The more you seek and search for enlightenment, the more you will miss it, and the more miserable you will be.
Enlightenment is a very simple understanding. So once you stop all efforts to be enlightened and just remain at ease with yourself, totally accepting yourself as you are.... That's how existence meant you to be. Don't try to improve upon existence, you cannot do that. Relax, be existential, not religious. And suddenly you are amazed, "My God! I have always been enlightened."
Your question is right. After enlightenment everybody is amazed - and knows that he has always been enlightened.
Thirty-two years ago I awoke from the nightmare of making a continuous effort to attain enlightenment. I simply dropped all efforts to be enlightened. I simply accepted myself as I am - good or bad. I simply stopped judging myself. And a miracle happened: with judgment disappearing, with ambition to become enlightened disappearing, it was as if I came out of a nightmare fully awake.
And when I saw myself as enlightened, I saw the whole existence as enlightened.
You are part of a tremendous blissfulness, but you are keeping yourself closed. You go on doing something against nature, against existence. You have been taught that to be natural is something wrong; you feel guilty when you are natural. You feel happy when you repress your nature, when you become phony, a hypocrite. All religions have been doing only one thing for thousands of years:
making people hypocrites.
I want you to drop all that crap, and just be yourself - with no effort to go anywhere, because you are already there, this very moment.
I know about a man who is present amongst you, his name begins with "T". Forgive me, I cannot tell you his full name. I know his tent number, but I cannot tell you the tent number. He has come here to assassinate me.
I cannot tell you his name and his tent number, because I don't want to interfere in anybody's life. If he wants to assassinate me, and can have a moment of joy - I have had enough, so let him have the joy.
But I would like him to wait at least for the 6th of July, because I have a date with death. Whenever I die, I will die on the 6th of July. The year does not matter, but the 6th of July matters. I want it permanently to be the Master's day. So, Mr. T., only this much favor you have to do for me.
He is trying to find ways, proper situations, spaces, places, from where he can assassinate me, and he is in much trouble. I am perfectly willing - after enlightenment what is there? All is fulfilled. I will be of every help to him. He could have approached me and asked, "How to assassinate you?"
and I could have given him exactly the right information. I could have left my bedroom door open in the night... because I don't want that man to suffer. After assassinating me, my sannyasins will not leave him to himself. He will be killed immediately, and I am against violence. But that is the trouble he is facing: everywhere there are thousands of sannyasins - he will be caught.
I cannot even do what Jesus did on the cross. He prayed to God. There is no God, so I cannot pray.
And he said to God, "Please forgive these people because they know not what they are doing."
That too, I cannot say, because Mr. T. knows exactly what he is doing or planning to do. He just does not know how to do it. He seems to be an amateur. I feel sorry for him; perhaps he will not be able to do what he has come here for. I cannot interfere with him, I cannot interfere with my sannyasins.
And my sannyasins also have guns. I don't interfere with anybody.
I have always been enlightened, but just thirty-two years ago I recognized it, just thirty-two years ago I became aware of it. And the same is going to happen to you too. Whenever you become awakened, you are in for a great surprise.
It is a very delicate question, and a little difficult too - about women everything is difficult - but I will try my best.
First, you never ask why no man in the whole history of existence has been pregnant, why he has not given birth to a child. You simply know that biologically he has no womb. He can make many women pregnant. This has to be understood; that's why there have been religions which allow four wives to a man, but no religion allows four husbands to a women, for the simple reason that a man can make many women pregnant. But once a woman is pregnant, then you can bring Muhammad Ali the Great - even he cannot do anything; for nine months the woman is booked.
I know women have a much more feeling heart, are more loving, are more open, are more receptive.
But these are the qualities of a disciple, not of a master. The disciple has to be open, receptive, vulnerable, loving, feeling. The only thing the disciple has to drop is his mind, not his heart. His mind is a constant disturbance. It goes on creating skepticism, and a disciple cannot be a skeptic.
The woman can be a prefect disciple, but cannot be a perfect master. Now, I am not responsible for it, I am simply saying what the fact is. And you can see it with your own eyes. I have more women disciples around the world than men, and I can trust women more than men. I have given every responsible job in all the communes around the world to women, not to men.
You must be surprised, because man has better reasoning, is more rational, is more authoritative, is more interested in being higher and higher in a hierarchy. The woman is not interested in hierarchy.
Her interest in life is not through reasoning, but through feeling. Logic is not her world - love is her world.
To be a master is a very strange job. You have to convince people about the heart by argument and reason, rationality, philosophy; you have to use the mind as a servant for the heart. The master's work is to take your mind away from you, so that your whole energy moves into your heart.
It is from the heart that we are connected with existence, it is not from the mind. Nobody can go directly from mind to existence.
Mind can create science, but it cannot create poetry, it cannot create paintings, it cannot create sculpture. And it is impossible for the mind to go into the dimension of religion. If the mind tries to go into the dimension of religion it creates theology, not religion.
The word "theology" has to be understood: theo means God, logy is logic - logic about God.
Mind is capable of creating logic about God, arguments about God. God is not there, but through your argumentation, your reasoning, you can create a hypothetical God. All gods of all religions are hypotheses, and hypotheses which are absolutely unnecessary - not only unnecessary but dangerous, because if you get caught up in those hypothetical gods you are not going to ever find the authentic truth.
Heart knows no argument; it feels. And existence has to be felt. Even when a man feels existence, he feels through the heart. But the heart cannot convince anybody.
The man has a tremendous capacity for logic and reason. Once he has found reality, enlightenment, through his heart, he can use the mind to spread the fragrance that he has found. The woman cannot do it. That's why there have been not only no great masters, there have been no masters who were women. Even the famous religious women saints were disciples.
Saint Teresa - I don't mean Mother Teresa - Saint Meera, Saint Lalla... these three women were absolutely capable of becoming great masters, but the could not. They became enlightened, but they remained devotees.
And there is nothing great in being a master; it is just a technical thing. The real thing is to realize your potential and your flowering.
Your question is like: "Why in history has a woman never been a husband?" What can I do? A woman has to be a wife, and there is no suggestion that the husband is higher than the wife. In fact, just the opposite is the case.
I have never come across any husband who is not henpecked. If you don't want to become henpecked, then be a freelance lover, then never get married. Marriage simply means you have surrendered your freedom, your individuality - everything. Yes, when you go out of the house you go like a lion, roaring. But when you come back to the house you come like a rat, trembling. It is a strange thing.
This is a factual story I am going to tell you. Akbar, a great Mogul emperor in India - perhaps the greatest Mogul who has ruled India - was very curious about everything. One day he asked his council of wise people - he had collected nine of the most famous wise men around himself in his court - he asked them, "Can you find a husband who is not henpecked?"
Only one remained silent. He was the most wise; his name was Birbal. The other eight said, "Yes, we can find many husbands, what to say about one?"
Akbar looked at Birbal and he said, "You have not raised your hand."
He said, "I cannot, because even you are a henpecked husband. You are a great emperor of a vast subcontinent, and I know the moment you enter your harem, you are nobody; the woman rules over you. These eight people don't know the reality. First they should think about themselves. I would like to ask these eight people, 'Are you henpecked or not?' As far as I am concerned, I am. When I cannot remain free, I don't believe these people are free. They have not pondered over it. But give them a chance - if they can find one, it will be a revelation."
Those eight wise men went to New Delhi, the capital of India, to look for a man who was not henpecked. Akbar gave them two horses, beautiful horses from Kabul, one pure white and one pure black. And he said, "Whoever you find that is not henpecked, you can give one of these two beautiful horses as a reward from me."
They were really precious. In those days horses were something of a treasure; to have a beautiful, strong horse was a great joy. Now there are no more horses; there are cars which have horsepower.
Those eight wise men went around the capital, and they were getting frustrated again and again, because they could not find one. The condition was: "If you say you are not henpecked, and it is proved not right, you will be hanged. If it is proved right, one of these two horses will be your reward."
There was nobody courageous enough to take the risk.
Only one man they found, who was a very strong man - seven feet tall, a great wrestler, a champion wrestler. He was sitting outside his house in the garden. His body was something to see; so solid that if he hit a man just with his fist, he could kill him. He looked like a man made of steel.
They thought, "Perhaps this man is the man we are searching for." They asked him, "Are you henpecked?"
He said, "If you repeat it again, I will kill all of you. Me henpecked? Are you mad?"
They looked inside the house. A very small woman, very thin, was cooking food. The eight men said to the strong man, "Just to find out the facts - which horse would you like as a reward, the black or the white?"
And the man turned back and asked his wife, "Muna's mother" - that is the way in India it is done.
You cannot take the name of the husband or the wife. The wife says, "Muna's father," the husband says, "Muna's mother." Muna is just like Tom, Dick, Harry. He asked, "Muna's mother, should I take the white horse or the black?"
Muna's mother said, "If you take the black horse, I will give you hell! Take the white one."
And he told the wise people, "I would like to take the white one."
They said, "You come with us - you don't get either. You will be hanged!"
In the house, within the boundaries of the house, the woman has tremendous power. But she is not interested in the outside world. Women's natures are different. A woman can become a great disciple, but for a woman to become a master is almost impossible. But there is no question of somebody being higher.
The master is not higher than the disciple. The master is simply trying to awaken you. The moment you are awakened there is no master and no disciple. It is just out of gratitude that the disciple remains a disciple - just out of gratitude. But there is no difference; they have known the same reality. They have become what nature wanted them to become, they have blossomed.
So don't feel depressed that women have not been great masters - they have been great disciples.
Man finds it difficult to become a disciple. In fact, man should worry about it, because to become a disciple is the real thing - and the beginning. And to come to the perfection of being a disciple is the end.
A man passes through a very difficult phase. He cannot become a disciple, or can become one only in a wishy-washy way, always ready to quit. And without becoming a disciple, there is no question of becoming a master. Yes, once in a while it happens that a man becomes a master without becoming a disciple. But for that immense patience, a certain stubbornness, is needed.
I don't have any master. In my previous lives I never had any master. I have lived with many masters, I have known many masters, but I could not manage to become a disciple. That is why I am so late; otherwise, Jesus would not have preceded me. But it was simply difficult for me to be a disciple. I remained searching, and searching on my own. Yes, it took many many lives to arrive where I have always been.
I have never been initiated by anyone. I am not a sannyasin. I am really outside of any crowd, and that's the way I have always been. It was a long, arduous journey to find that there is nothing to find.
Women are far more fortunate, because the beginning is in their hand, and the beginning is almost half the achievement. That I can see myself.
This was the basic reason why women could not become great masters. But there is no need to feel sad. They became great disciples - which is far more fortunate, because to begin from the beginning is easier than to begin from the end.
It is not one question, there are many questions in it. First, this is not a community, it is a commune - and there is a vast difference between the two.
Christianity is a community, Hinduism is a community. A community is a closed phenomenon. This is a commune, it is an open reality. Anybody can enter - anybody. I have not made any qualifications to be fulfilled before you become a sannyasin. And any moment you want to leave, it is absolutely acceptable; you are not condemned. You are received with love, and if you want to leave, you are given a goodbye with love. It is a very important thing to understand.
In existence nothing is closed, everything is open. In existence there is no noun to be found, everything is a verb. It is our language which has made great trouble.
You call a tree a tree, a river a river, but you are not aware that the tree is constantly growing; it is not dead, it is alive. In a better language it would be "treeing," because it is growing. For a river a better word would be "rivering," because it is flowing. Everything is a verb, always moving, growing, expanding, changing.
A community is a dead thing. A commune is alive, growing, expanding, open - people coming in, going out.
I am not offended when somebody leaves the commune; it is not my business. I never try to convert anybody to become a sannyasin. It was his desire to be a sannyasin, it is his desire to leave it. You cannot blame me. I remain completely a witness, like a mirror; things go on passing. When they are in front of the mirror, the mirror reflects them. When they go out, the mirror remains silent. It is not angry, it is not feeling that something has to be condemned.
But the people who have left the commune - they are not many - they only think they have left the commune, because I have not left them. Wherever they are, they are talking against me - here they were talking for me. In fact, here they may have forgotten me, may have taken me for granted; once they leave the commune, I am with them twenty-four hours a day. Whether you talk in favor of me or against me, you belong to me. Once a sannyasin you are always a sannyasin. You can drop the clothes, you can throw the mala, but you don't know; it is impossible to be anything else again, you will remain a sannyasin.
In fact, that is the trouble for those few people who have left - mostly they are men; if a woman has left, she has left because of the man she loved. These people who have left the commune cannot mix with the outside world. If you have left me, forget all about me! They cannot forget me.
Don't forgive me, but please forget me! They cannot mix with the outside world, because I have deprogrammed them. When they are in church listening to an idiotic sermon, they will remember me, and they will be in favor of me inside their hearts.
So what do these people do? They start creating a small group. In America, in Santa Fe, there are a dozen sannyasins who have left. Now, why are they all in Santa Fe? That is my commune! They are just stupid people - why waste time on a man with whom you are no longer, from your side, in communion? Why waste your time? Those twelve people there in Santa Fe are continuously talking about me, against me.
Do you understand the psychological phenomenon? They cannot get rid of me. If they are not in favor of me, then they are against me, but they cannot get rid of me.
And why have they gathered together? Because in the outside world, who is going to listen to them talking against me - people who don't know me? And they have gathered also because they cannot mix with the outside world. They cannot be again Christians and Hindus and Mohammedans and Buddhists. They were Rajneeshees, now they are anti-Rajneeshees. It makes no difference at all:
they are my people. And in existence everything has its opposite as a complementary. These people are complementary Rajneeshees.
A commune is a flowing phenomenon, a rivering, a treeing, a flowering. It is not a noun. So please don't call my commune a community, it is not a community. A community is closed. A community depends on belief. A commune depends on communion. Here people are meeting heart to heart.
You have asked, "How to explain sannyas, sannyasins, this commune, to the outsiders?"
It is not possible. They will think you are crazy. The only way is to somehow trick them into coming here. It is something to be experienced, not explained. It is not a theory, it is something existent.
Just think of a country where no flowers grow. Can you explain to those people what a flower is?
They will laugh, they will say, "You must have hallucinated, you must have gone crazy. Trees never give flowers." They will not understand the word "flower." You will have to take them to where flowers exist. They can see with their own eyes, and they can smell with their own nostrils.
I lived in India in a place, Jabalpur, for at least twenty years. Just thirteen miles outside Jabalpur is one of the most beautiful spots - perhaps the most beautiful in the whole world, something that seems to be not of this world. A great river, Narmada, flows between two mountains there. The mountains are not ordinary mountains, they are marble mountains. Just think of a white, marble mountain... for two miles on both sides, two marble mountains. The river flows just in between, and in the full moon night the mountains are reflected.
I tried my best to explain to one of my teachers in the university who loved me very much - Dr.
S.K. Satena. He had been a professor in America, in Hawaii, around the world; he was one of the foremost authorities on Indian philosophy. I tried hard to explain to him, but he said, "I have seen the whole world - you cannot convince me. You have not seen the whole world, you cannot convince me that there is a spot which is the most beautiful in the whole world. I know the whole world, you have not traveled anywhere."
I said, "It is not a question of comparison. The moment you see the place.... You cannot conceive that anything can be more beautiful."
I tortured him continuously. Finally he agreed, "Okay, I am coming with you."
On a full moon night I took him there. For thirteen miles he was continually saying, "I don't see anything here." I remained silent. He said, "You are very articulate, very vocal. This is the first time I am seeing you silent, and I am continually saying that I don't see anything." But I remained silent.
He said, "What has happened?"
I said, "You just wait" - because those thirteen miles are ordinary. Beautiful road, surrounded with beautiful trees, but nothing special. I took him in a boat. For almost half a mile the mountains are not marble. He asked, "Is this the place?"
I said, "Just wait. When the place comes I will not need to tell you, 'This is it.'" After half a mile, suddenly you enter into those marble rocks and the river, the deep river. I remained silent.
He said, "I am sorry. This is it." He had tears in his eyes, because he had not listened to me for two years. He said to me, "I might have died without seeing this place."
As we went deeper the place became just something other-worldly, almost a dreamland. He said to me - he is a very logical man - he said, "Take the boat close to the rocks. I want to touch them and see whether they are there, or I am hallucinating, or you have given me some drug."
I had to take the boat close to the mountains. He touched them, he kissed them, and he said, "You need not go around the world to find the most beautiful place. This is it."
This is my answer to you. Don't try to explain to anybody. This is an experience - or, in my language, an experiencing; the word "experience" again is dead. It is a continuous experiencing. Come again after one month and you will see the commune's new colors, new faces, new dances, new songs.
I am not a consistent man, neither are my people. I am consistent only as far as inconsistency is concerned. Whenever you come you will find an alive, breathing commune - new flowers, new dances, new songs.
You have to bring those people. If you tell them that this is a religion, they will think it must be like Christianity. And you know the inside of a church - gloomy, reminds you of death, a cross in front of you.... If you talk to a Christian, his experience of a church will come and disturb your explanation.
What can you say? He will not believe that this is possible - a godless, a religionless religion? A religion that has no holy book? - because I call all holy books, holy shit!
There are far better books than your holy books. Don't waste your time with reading THE BIBLE, the GITA, the KORAN. It is better to give the time to Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Gorky; you will be immensely enriched by these people. Don't be bothered with the Old Testament when I am giving you the Last Testament - unless you are an antique collector, that is a different matter.
Truth is always fresh. It remains fresh only when it finds a master to speak it. You can write notes. Remember, those notes will not have the same quality, the same fragrance, the same truth - although the words will be the same as I am speaking.
Do you know that no master ever wrote a book in the whole history of humanity? Can it be just a coincidence? No, it is not a coincidence. No master ever wrote a single book, for the simple reason that the moment the word is written it is dead, it is a corpse. The word has to be alive. It has to come from the heart, it has to beat. Only then can it reach to your heart.
Only heart can commune with heart.
Bring those people here. There is no other way of explaining what is happening; otherwise, you will become a laughingstock. This is a very dangerous game. Truth cannot be explained, it cannot be described. But truth can be tasted.
I remember, a missionary had gone to the cannibals in Africa. He was the first Christian missionary who had dared to go to the cannibals to convert them to Christianity.
Cannibals are the most difficult people to convert. They have not even dropped eating man, they have eaten their own people. In the beginning - the beginning of this century - there were thousands of cannibals in Africa. There are only three hundred left, because if you cannot get your food from outside, you eat your children, you eat your old men - what else to do? Their number goes on decreasing; they will disappear. Perhaps the last cannibal will have to eat himself.
But the missionary was a fanatic. And just the way Jesus believed that God would save him from the cross, a miracle would happen.... And nothing happened. It was such a disappointment to thousands of people who had come to see the miracle. It was a greater disappointment to Jesus himself.
He looked again and again upwards - as if God is sitting on the roof of Rajneesh Mandir. He called, prayed - no answer, no miracle. Not even an angel playing on the harp, coming down on a cloud - nothing stirred. Slowly people started going away, thinking that it was just a waste of time, the whole day wasted in the heat.
This Christian bishop was also just as fanatical as Jesus Christ. He said, "The Lord is with me. What can the cannibals do to me?" But the cannibals did what they wanted to do. It is strange, this God of your is very strange. He was not with the priest, he was with the cannibals; he was not with Jesus Christ, he was with Barabbas.
When Pontius Pilate asked.... It was a ritual that if the people demanded it, then one person could be freed from being crucified. Three persons were being crucified that day. One was Jesus Christ, who was utterly innocent, simple - more exactly, a simpleton. Pontius Pilate was thinking that people would ask for Jesus, because the other two were confirmed criminals; Barabbas had committed many murders. And the people asked for Barabbas to be released!
God's miracle was happening to Barabbas, not to Jesus - and not just one time. Because Barabbas was accustomed to murder, he did not care about crucifixion or anything, so even though he was forgiven.... In fact, Barabbas was resurrected, not Jesus Christ. From the cross he was brought down; he was reborn, not Jesus Christ. God! Perhaps this was the miracle!
Within three months Barabbas was caught again, because he had murdered, in three months, three people. But the law was, once a man is given freedom from the death sentence by the Roman emperor, then he can never be crucified again. So now they could not crucify him for his murders; they had to find a substitute. They sent him to Sicily to work in a coal mine for his whole life. And you will be surprised: the coal mine collapsed, all other prisoners - there were thousands - died, and Barabbas was saved!
And you think Jesus is saved? And these fanatic Christians are trying to save others.
A miracle did happen: thousands of people died and Barabbas was the only one who was saved.
Even the emperor of Rome was impressed; twice the man had been saved. Barabbas was called to Rome for their annual festival, where they brought their criminals to fight with lions. And you will not believe me: Barabbas was again saved. He killed the lion!
Even the emperor called him close and touched him; he seemed to be the very representative of God. He gave him not only freedom but first-class citizenship - because slaves are second-class people, and Barabbas was a slave, sentenced for his whole life. The emperor freed him. This God seems to be crazy. This whole idea is nothing but imagination, projection.
The fanatical missionary was caught immediately by the cannibals. He said to them, "Have you ever tasted Christianity?"
They said, "Wait. Just within an hour.... Look at that pot." There was a pot, a big pot boiling.
The missionary could not understand. He said, "What do you mean?"
They said, "We will put you in that boiling pot and make a soup of you, and then we will taste Christianity for the first time. Everybody is so eager to taste Christianity."
I think those barbarians were right: religion is something to be tasted, not explained. Bring those people here. We are not barbarians, we are vegetarians.
Only in this milieu can you help your friends to understand what sannyas is all about, and what this commune is.
You are asking me if there is something special about a sannyasin that you can tell to your people.
Yes, there is. A sannyasin is extraordinarily ordinary. He has no claims to any superiority. Not only in regard to human beings, he is in tune with trees and birds and rivers and clouds, and he claims no superiority even to animals and trees and rocks. We are all part of one cosmos. But please don't try logically, rationally to explain this to them. This is not a theology that I am giving to you.
This is a taste, this is an experiencing.
This is love, not logic.
But why are you concerned to explain to those outsiders? As far as I can tell, you are still not a sannyasin, because a sannyasin would not ask such a question. If you really want to help people to understand the tremendous phenomenon that is happening here, the first step should be: become a sannyasin. Of course, you will be thought mad. So what? In a mad world, to be thought mad means you are the only sane person.
Become sane. That is the meaning of becoming a sannyasin.
Advice is the only thing in the world which everybody gives and nobody takes.
You can ask me a question, but you cannot ask for advice; I am not that foolish. I will never give you any advice, because who am I to give you advice? You are unique, every individual is unique. My advice will be my experience. That may distract you from your own life, that may take you away from your own being. I have never advised anyone.
Yes, you can ask a question. The answer that I give only has to be understood, it has not to be accepted on my authority. You have to be just a listener to it, without any prejudice. My answer, listened to without any prejudice, will become a totally different thing in you; it will be molded by your being. Then it is no longer mine; it is yours.
That's the function of a master - not to create followers, but to create masters.
I am not saying anything to be believed. I am saying, just give me a little understanding, try to understand what I am saying to you. Listen - and it will take a different shape, a different form, a different aura within you. It will not be the same that was said, because words are empty.
When the words are in my heart they are full. The moment they leave my lips, the content is left behind; only the container reaches you. But if you allow the container to enter you, it will reach your heart - because it is coming from the heart - and your heart will fill it with its own content. Then it is yours, it has nothing to do with me.
You cannot blame me; whatever happens to you, it is your responsibility. I just like talking - I don't take any responsibility. Why should I take anybody's responsibility? I like talking, you like listening - good! So far, so good.
But understand the whole alchemy of listening: listening rightly, you will have your own understanding flowering. You will not be dependent on me, you will not be my follower. You will be yourself.
You are asking for advice. I don't give any advice. And I say to you, don't ask anyone for advice either. You ask advice only because you are not courageous enough to experience on your own.
The moment you ask for advice, you become a slave. And if you follow it, you have committed suicide.
I don't want you to commit suicide. I want you to grow higher and higher into life, into love, into light.