Death never happens

Fri, 26 July 1985 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
From the False to the Truth
Chapter #:
am in Rajneeshmandir
Archive Code:
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Question 1:



It is just great - have a good sleep! Sleep is not contradictory to enlightenment. You will make history by becoming enlightened in your sleep. And there is no need to go to Krishnamurti Lake. I am here - your Krishnamurti Lake But don't say that what I am saying is unique. It is simply the truth. Anybody who is ready to relax in his ordinariness will realize it. And it is not that a man like me comes only once in an eternity. You all have the same potential.

Only men like me are born; there are no other kind. Just don't try to become somebody. That's why I am saying. Don't call me unique; otherwise you will start unconsciously trying to become unique.

And the moment you go on the trip of becoming, you are going far away from the truth that you are.

Just be ordinary! It is beautiful and so relaxing. It is the most wondrous experience just to be nobody, not desiring to be somewhere else, not even thinking of the tomorrow.

Can't you see this very moment the bliss that is descending upon you?

Can't you feel the silence that is beating in your very heart?

It is here - and not unique, available to all. And it is not that you have to wait for an eternity, don't find excuses. I am not going to let you go without experiencing it. It is not something to be given to you; you have it already. Just go on relaxing, sleeping.

Sometimes I feel like sleeping; I can manage both to sleep and talk. Perhaps a few times I fall asleep and just out of habit I go on talking - you can ask Vivek. Once in a while when she comes to wake me up, she cannot believe it - I am addressing you! But the trouble for the poor girl is, when I speak in my sleep I speak my mother tongue. But I have promised her next time I will remember to speak in English.

Life in all its dimensions - awake or asleep - makes no difference to your enlightenment. So don't find any excuse. These are excuses: that it happens only in an eternity, how can it happen to you?

It happens only to unique people, how can it happen to you? I am trying my best to destroy these tricks of the mind, so that nobody who is a sannyasin leaves this world unenlightened!

Question 2:



Really I should be grateful to you. It is love for you, and the love that you go on pouring upon me that has helped me to remain with you. Love is a spiritual nourishment.

Those who died after their enlightenment died because they thought they had found it and now there was no reason to live. When I found it, I said to myself, "Now there is every reason to live." Before finding, there was no reason; I could have died easily. But after my finding it, my love would not let me die. I waited for you, and you started coming. I have not sent a message, not written a letter.

Still, from faraway lands you started coming, as if you have always belonged to me.

Now I am part of you, you are part of me. It is going to be very difficult for death to take me away from so many people, from your love: I am protected.

Love is the antidote of death, not life.

Ordinarily you think that life and death are contraries. No, death and love are the contraries. Now it is going to be a great strain on death. I should be grateful to you. I have not given anything to you, there is nothing to give. You have already got it. At the most I go on shaking you, shocking you, hitting you. Do you think that is giving?

But you have loved me - a man who does not deserve anybody's love. I am immensely grateful to the sannyasins. You are my life! If you are with me, there is no death. If you are not with me, then this very moment I will be gone. It is your love which is keeping me breathing, living; it is your joy, your blissfulness, your songs, your dances.

In the night when I go to sleep, I tell death, "At least don't disturb my morning. My people will be waiting to burst into singing." I am alive because so many people would like me to be alive. Existence cannot go against so much love. Existence cannot do anything without the permission of so many people. Death has to wait!

It all depends on you. My work is done as far as I am concerned. There is nothing more to experience, nothing more to know. But I have become so much concerned with you that it does not matter that my work is finished; there are so many people who love me whose work is not finished. I have to live, to find ways and means to postpone death.

And I am very stubborn. I have struggled with life, and I have been victorious. Death is a poor thing; if I can be victorious in life, I can easily keep death waiting outside the door. I will allow it in only when I see that you are awake, that your consciousness has arisen, that even if I am not here you will continue my work, you will go on spreading the fire around the world. But please, just to keep me alive don't go on sleeping There are so many - eight hundred thousand - sannyasins around the world. It is going to be a difficult task for death to take me away from my people. I am not alone, I have penetrated into your beings. I have dispersed myself into so many beings that it is almost impossible for death to collect me unless I help.

Don't just feel grateful. If you are grateful, it is good, but not enough. Become what you are, be what you are. Let me rejoice! My only joy is to see somebody coming home.

I will wait till eternity. You can go on and on befooling yourself, but remember - I am waiting, and I want you to be enlightened. I want it to become the most important historical fact in human existence, that thousands of people relax into their ordinariness and become enlightened. Yes, in the past it was so that after thousands of years one person may become enlightened. I don't live in that bullock-cart age, I am a contemporary man. I want you to become enlightened with jet speed - and it is possible. I am not asking the impossible.

You have given so much to me.

You go on giving so much to me.

I wonder... what have I done? Where have I gone wrong? - that so many people for no reason go on pouring their love on one who deserves nothing. And your love goes on growing. As your love goes on growing, I become healthier and healthier.

Soon I am going to dance with you!

Question 3:



The first thing to be remembered by all: never compare yourself with anybody, not even with me.

Everybody is so different, and everybody passes through different phases, different paths. There is no similarity.

Don't deceive yourself by saying that you have been as rebellious as I was in my childhood. You were not rebellious, you were only reactionary. Yes, you fought against repression, but your fight was the fight of the ego.

My fight was not the fight of the ego. My family, my neighbors, my friends, my teachers, professors - it took a little time for them, but soon they realized that I was not struggling for my ego. Soon it became clear to them that my struggle had a totally different quality to it. I was struggling to find myself. I was struggling so that they could not create a false ego as a substitute for my self.

You say you have been struggling - but remember, your struggle was an ego fighting. That's where you failed. Your ego became strong, and remember, even the strongest ego is prone to compromise.

It can fight if that fulfills it; it can compromise if that fulfills it. Why did you compromise? What can the world do to you? At the most they can kill you. The rebel from the very beginning decides, "I would prefer to accept death but I will not compromise."

You were not fighting, struggling, to destroy your ego. You were fighting to strengthen it, to make it more powerful. And then a moment came when you were powerful enough - now struggle was useless, unnecessary trouble; you could compromise. Your struggle has been reactionary and political; that's why you failed.

My struggle was totally different. I was continuously watching that my rebellion remained pure, that it was not polluted by reaction.

They look alike. When you don't follow an order from your father, your mother, it can be either reaction or rebellion. They look very similar; they are as far apart from each other as two things can be, but the appearance is very similar. And it is very easy to believe that you are a rebel. All reactionaries believe that they are rebellious spirits. In fact, that too fulfills their ego - that they are not ordinary people, they are rebellious people.

Reaction means your ego does not want to be dominated by anyone; on the contrary, you would like to dominate everybody. Once it becomes strong through struggle, once you are certain that now nobody can destroy your ego, you start compromising. There is no need to fight, you can manage things now through compromise - a far easier way. Compromise - the very word is not in my vocabulary.

Compromise is ugly.

Rebellion is either/or, it never compromises.

How can truth compromise with lies? Either the truth has to prevail, or death. And when you have a small taste of truth, who cares about death? because that very small taste of truth makes you immortal. Deep down you know death is a fallacy: nobody dies, so what is the fear? At the most you can get a new body instead of the old. So far, so good. Getting rid of the old model and finding the fresh, new, latest model of the body - it is a beautiful experience.

But to see that death is a fallacy, it never really happens, you never die, nobody dies, nothing dies....

Yes it can change forms, but life is eternal. Compromise means you have become a strong ego.

Now you do not need to struggle; now you can manage through compromise to get whatsoever you want. Once the ego is certain, then compromise is bound to happen.

I have never compromised on anything with anybody, for the simple reason that I have made it plain to everybody who has come into my life: if you are true, I am with you; it is not a compromise. I am totally with you, I don't make any conditions. But if I am true, you have to remember that you will have to be with me without any conditions.

Neither I compromise with anybody, nor do I allow anybody else to compromise with me. I have never compromised and I have never allowed anybody to compromise with me. Compromise is not my game. This is possible only if you are not trying to strengthen your ego.

For ego, it makes no difference: struggle is okay if it is nourishment for the ego, compromise is okay if it is nourishment for the ego. The ego wants to remain - it can use any means. There is no question of deciding what is right, what is wrong. For the ego, anything that keeps it strong is right - might is right. So if you can get something through compromise, why should you bother to fight?

Yes, if you cannot get it through compromise, you are ready to struggle, to fight, to do anything that you are capable of.

This must have been your situation - just look back. What I am saying, try to find out... be just a fair judge of your own past, because if you had been rebellious like me, I cannot conceive that there came a point where you compromised. In rebellion there never comes a point of compromise. Only in reaction is there a point of compromise.

Your word "compromise" makes me absolutely certain what it was - not rebellion but reaction. You say, "In the end they got me." Why? If you were so strong in the beginning, in the end you would have been even more strong, all the years of struggle would have sharpened your sword. But if in the end you compromise, that simply means now you have come to a higher position as far as ego is concerned. Now there is no fear; you can compromise and still go on becoming bigger and bigger as an ego.

Nothing came in my way. You are asking, "Why did this happen to you and not to me?" We were working from totally different standpoints. I was not reactionary; hence, even the people with whom I fought had tremendous love for me, they never became my enemies. I fought with my father, I fought with my mother, but they both became sannyasins. It is a rare phenomenon. They knew that I was not fighting with them for my ego. Just the contrary: I was fighting so that they should not be able to create an ego in me.

I received their blessings always. It looks very strange that the people with whom I was fighting were always blessing me. What was the cause of it? They could see clearly that I was absolutely simple and humble. I was not trying my ego against their ego. My teachers loved me. My professors wept when I left the university. The same professors who were continually bothered by me, they wept.

I asked them, "What is the matter? You should be happy that you are getting rid of a great nuisance."

They said, "We will miss you."

One of my professors, S.S. Roy, said to me, "I don't expect to get another student of your type. For two years you have argued against me, but I could see that your argument was not an ego trip. You were sincerely searching for the truth. Students will come," he said. "I had students in the past; I will have students in the future. But I do not see that I will have a student like you, whose effort is not just to pass examinations, get degrees - in fact who is not interested in the examinations, not interested in the degrees, not interested in the gold medals - but is sincerely interested in knowing the truth about everything."

Nobody with whom I have struggled has ended in enmity with me. They all loved me, they still love me.

Professor S.S. Roy, with whom I fought the most, was one of the most intelligent people I have come across, and it was a joy to argue with him. Our arguments were never finished in the class, so I had to follow him to his home. By and by, his wife also became involved. And S.S.Roy said to his wife, "This is strange, you always seem to be on his side. He is enough! If you want to support somebody, support me! He will kill the arguments of both of us."

His wife said, "But he's so true and so sincere - not interested in defeating you. You are interested in defeating him. I have been watching the scene continuously. He is trying to figure out what is the truth, and you are trying somehow to prove that your argument is right. I am going to be on his side.

And if you have guts. you should also be on his side."

S.S.Roy told me later on, "This is the first time my wife has been so strong. It must be your doing.

She has adored me always, she has believed me to be one of the most intelligent people in the world. You destroyed everything. Now she thinks you are far better."

I asked S.S.Roy, "What do you think?"

He said, "My wife is right."

He is still alive. Anybody who is my sannyasin is received in his home in Allahabad with the same respect that he would give to me, with the same love. One of my sannyasins who lived in Allahabad said, "It is strange. He is a retired head of the department of philosophy of Allahabad University" - in India, Allahabad University has the best philosophical department - "and he is a dignified old man.

But whenever I go to him, he simply asks, 'Have you received any new book, new magazine? Just say something to me, what is he doing now?'"

He is one of those rare people who can respect somebody who is not in any way equal to him. I was just a student; he was the head of the department and the dean of the faculty of arts - one of the most dignified persons in the university. He had every chance to become the vice-chancellor, he just did not want to become the vice-chancellor - for the simple reason, he said, "It is enough. I have always wanted to retire and relax and do something that one of my students has been continuously hammering on my head: meditate. Now I am old and I don't want to waste time in being the vice- chancellor."

Retired, he is doing my meditations. And once in a while somebody will come and tell me, "He has a picture of you in his room where he meditates. His wife thinks now he has gone crazy - doing dynamic meditation in his old age."

Revolution - reaction - and rebellion have a totally different flavor. Reaction is ugly. You simply react because you don't want anybody to have the upper hand. But one day when you find you can have the upper hand without struggle, you start compromising; that's why those people could get you in the end. It was your basic misunderstanding. Your reaction, your ego, helped you to fall into the trap.

I have never reacted to anything, I have rebelled against everything, and on the path of rebellion there is no compromise. Compromise is something Jewish! It is something that happens in the marketplace, in politics. It does not happen in the search for truth.

But nothing is lost. Get out of your compromises. Forget the past. Even if there is only one single moment available, one can drop the whole past and taste the beauty of rebellion. Just a single moment is needed, a moment of understanding, insight.

I am not just answering your questions, I am trying to help you to get an insight. And then your insight will show you the path. In India, we call that insight the third eye. I am trying somehow...

please open your third eye, so you can see clearly and straight.

It is a miracle to see something clearly. And if you find it is wrong there is no need to make any effort to drop it. Just in your seeing that it is wrong, your grip on it is finished, the thing drops out of your life of its own accord. It is miraculous. It is not that you become alert, aware, conscious, and then you have to drop this, stop that, do this, not do that - no. The moment you have the insight, that which is wrong falls away from you, that which is right you simply follow - no effort.

Insight is a miracle, it is magical.

So my answers are not just answers. My answers are really an effort to approach your third eye, and somehow make you aware. The moment you see it was a reaction, not rebellion, you are finished with it. The moment you see you compromised because you found now it is helpful to the ego, your compromise is finished. You come out of this imprisonment of your ego fresh, young, to start your life from the very first moment - as if you are born again.

Question 4:




I am not going to say anything that will be opposite, for the simple reason that what I said yesterday was not my opinion, it is the law of nature. If it was my opinion I could have said something opposite to it.

So please don't wait - don't wait uselessly. It is a law of nature. I cannot say anything against it. Start chasing the woman! Don't waste your time waiting, thinking perhaps I will say the very opposite, that the women have to chase men. Impossible! I contradict myself, but I cannot contradict existence.

I am perfectly a master of my own opinions, to keep them or to throw them out. But the law of existence can only be understood; you cannot add anything to it, you cannot deduct anything from it. And what I said yesterday was simply the law of nature: the feminine has to be chased. It is manly to chase the woman. To be chased by a woman is ugly.

You are not man enough! Woman are chasing you and you are escaping. It simply does not look graceful. On your part it is humiliation; on the part of the woman it is unnatural, ungraceful.

But why is it happening, that men are afraid? The reason is simple. In the ordinary society outside they are not afraid, they are chasing women because it is so difficult. The law is against it, their own wife, if she finds out, will kill them. The woman they are chasing is somebody else's wife - if he finds out, he will start cleaning his gun! It is difficult. Monogamy has made it very attractive to chase women.

This society, this commune is completely free from all rubbish of monogamy, of husbands, of wives; it is completely free. That's the trouble. In monogamy you are stuck with one woman, fed up with the woman; you start chasing another woman. Here the situation is different. Having a few love affairs.... New sannyasins chase, then after having a few love affairs, they feel spent, finished. Now they cannot fantasize a woman in their dreams. In their dreams women disappear. Now, on the contrary, they are afraid.

And you should remember one thing: that man is the weaker sex. A woman can have multiple orgasms, can make love many times in one night; the man is very poor, he can have only one orgasm. And the very phenomenon of lovemaking is such that the man loses energy in it, the woman is nourished. She does not lose energy in it, she is the gainer. And if a man knows many women, sooner or later he becomes aware that these women are killing him. Now he is not interested in women, he is interested in saving his life!

So please, be kind to poor men. They will not be afraid if lovemaking is not forced on them. They will enjoy cuddling you, they will enjoy the warmth only a feminine body releases; they will be nourished by it. But if they know that the woman is bent upon having sexual intercourse, any intelligent man will be afraid, because tomorrow he has to wake up and work twelve hours again. And he cannot manage so many women. Once in a while he may like to make love....

So leave men the freedom. When they want to make love to you, enjoy it. When they want just to lie down by your side, being nourished by your feminine energy, your warmth, enjoy it. Don't force them to go into sexual gymnastics. Then they will not be afraid if they are certain that when they have the energy they will make love and when they don't have the energy they will get warmth, love showered on them by the woman.

This has to be understood, because it is going to be a problem. The woman has to be a little more understanding. And sexual intercourse is a very ordinary thing - all the animals are doing it. It needs no intelligence. If you have intelligence - and you are supposed to have intelligence - then just be compassionate to the poor man.

And the man has also to understand, because for centuries he has been told that he is the stronger sex - that is absolutely wrong - so he tries to prove that he is the stronger sex. The moment he gets a woman, or a women gets him, which is far more likely, immediately he is ready to make love, to prove that he is a strong man. If he does not make love to the woman, what will the woman think of him?

Forget this nonsense. If your body, if your energy is not ready to overflow, just be with the woman, hold her hand, hug her. She will understand. You are the weaker sex; once you accept the fact, there is no trouble.

Just look at me. I am only fifty-four and I look so ancient. Do you know the reason? I went on chasing women all my life! They made me ancient. What has happened to me, please don't force on my sannyasins. Be loving to them, and they will be available, they will not be afraid. They will not escape and chicken out. They will be immensely happy to be with any woman who offers her love, her energy, her beauty. But the problem is sex.

Never force sex on a man, leave it up to him. If he feels that he has energy for it, he is free to make love. But if he feels he is tired and would like simply to be showered with feminine energy, then help him. He is a weaker sex. Don't be hard on the poor man.

Just look at my white beard. This is what all the women have done to me. But I am the type of man who is never afraid. I said, "Even if I live twenty years less, it does not matter; I am not going to disappoint a woman."

For a few weeks I have been celibate, that does not mean I have taken a vow to remain celibate forever. I can take holidays once in a while. It is nothing spiritual with me.

Celibacy is every man's birthright. He needs to gather energy. As he becomes older, he needs longer periods to gather energy. When a man is young - I mean, when he is between fourteen and twenty-one - he has the greatest energy he will have ever in his life. And this society is so ugly; that is the time when he is not allowed. At that time, in one night he can make three women, four women, satisfied. But the society does not allow him. They teach him that he should remain celibate. They have spread such stupid nonsense about it - that if you are not celibate you will go crazy, you will become mad.

By the time he is back home from the university he is already on the decline. Twenty-five to thirty-five - between these ten tears he will be declining, he will not have the same energy that he had before.

And after thirty-five it is a very steep fall.

After fifty he should not go on pretending that he is the same man that he was when he was twenty- one. He should declare to everybody, "Now I am fifty, now I am going to be celibate. Yes, once in a while I will take a holiday from celibacy, but that is going to happen only once in a while." That's why they are afraid. Please don't make them afraid.

The woman's situation is biologically very different. She loses nothing in making love, she is always the gainer. Secondly, as she grows old, she becomes more interested in lovemaking, particularly when she passes the period of menopause and there is no fear of getting pregnant. Now she is dangerous to any man; she wants to make love as many times as possible.

This was in the past. Now the situation has changed because of the great revolution: the pill. No woman is afraid of making love. In the past they were afraid before menopause. Menopause comes nearabout forty-eight; for forty-eight years they were continuously afraid of making love, because it meant getting pregnant. It was dangerous - dangerous to carry the child for nine months, dangerous to feed the child from your breast and destroy your beauty.

A woman who has given birth to one dozen children - do you see what happens to her breasts?

They look like Jesus Christ hanging on the cross. Naturally, women were afraid, and they were not chasing men.

I am against breast-feeding, because the breast is one of the most beautiful things of the woman's body. The child should be given every chance to play with the mother's breasts, but as far as feeding is concerned, some other arrangement has to be made. The woman loses her youth, her beauty; she starts using bras, just to deceive people. This is ugly. There is no need for it; man is intelligent enough to give the child food in so many ways. But the child should be allowed to play with the mother's breasts. If he is not allowed that, then for his whole life he will think only of breasts and breasts and breasts.

That is what is happening in the world. Painters go on painting breasts, sculptors go on sculpting breasts. What is this breast mania? They have missed playing with their mothers' breasts, and now it is too late. And when they come in close contact with a woman of their age, the woman has breasts hanging - yes, just like Jesus Christ on the cross. They are no longer attractive, they have lost the beauty, the roundness, the fullness. They are just a memory, a faded memory.

Because of the pill, the woman is completely free of the fear of getting pregnant. And because she is capable of multiple orgasms, one man is not enough to fulfill her desire for love. It is the fault of a blind biology, I am not responsible for it. And I would like to improve on blind biological things, because you are now conscious, alert, intelligent.

The woman needs multiple orgasms, but the jealousy of the man prevents her. In my commune, we are going to live with understanding and awareness. If your woman finds that you alone cannot satisfy her, don't feel offended. She is simply stating a fact - it is not against you. If she keeps clinging to you unsatisfied, she is going to take revenge in every way, because it is you who are preventing her having as much joy as she is capable of.

In my commune, nobody should have even the slightest idea that he possesses the woman, or the woman possesses him. Things are possessed, not human beings. And if a woman is free, a man is free - to move with other men, to move with other woman - it is perfectly right, because joy is right, rejoicing is right. Having the freedom to not be a possession is right.

Just the other night, one beautiful girl was taking my interview for television. And you know I am mad.... She asked me - now, she was not aware what kind of man I am; she must have taken hundreds of interviews of politicians, priests, and all kind of dodos - she asked me, "You have loved so many women, but don't you have a stable relationship with one woman?"

I said, "That is impossible. I don't have any relationship - stable or unstable. I live in the moment."

She said, "At this time, who is the woman?"

I said, "You are the woman! I love you in this moment." And in the end, when I started singing and dancing with my sannyasins, I called her close to me: "Hold my hand and dance with me." And it was such a beautiful situation.

She told my secretary, "Now my boyfriend is going to freak out!" I have just said, "I love you," and was just holding her hand and just dancing with my people - why should her boyfriend freak out?

And if he's a freaker, let him freak out. He's not worthy of being a boyfriend. Drop that worthless creature! Come to my commune where nobody freaks out, everybody freaks in.

Question 5:




I am not! Who told you I am ordinary?

I don't take care about yesterdays. I am an extraordinary person! So rejoice.... You are right. I was wrong!

Question 6:



So we have also one who freaks out? This is not allowed! If you enjoy freaking, why not freak in?

Freak as much as you can, but always keep the direction inwards.

And the reason you are freaking out is absolutely stupid. You think death gives you the illusion of life, love, freedom, and then one day suddenly it comes in and everything is destroyed: life, love, freedom. Death is not a reality. It cannot step in or step out.

Death never happens.

The illusion is not given by death. How can death give the illusion? In fact, it destroys the illusion. If you are aware that death is bound to happen, how can you remain in the illusion that life is going to continue forever? For that you will need really a thick skull. Death is happening every day. All the cemeteries around the world, and the crematoriums - death has left its mark.

Death is not creating the illusion. It is your mind that creates the illusion that "It is always somebody else who dies, I never die." And in a way it looks logical: you always see somebody else dying, you cannot see yourself dying. The man who has died, he was also in the same illusion; he had also seen others dying, and deep down he must have been saying, "It is something that happens to others, it does not happen to me."

This is your mind. Certainly you will never see your death, because dead men don't see. Mind gives you the feeling that you are going to live forever. Drop that illusion, drop that mind! You cannot be certain even of the next moment.

And it is good that you cannot be certain of the next moment, and the tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow; it is good, tremendously good. Because the next moment is not certain, you are thrown back to the present. This is the only moment you have got of which you can be certain - enjoy it!

Enjoy it as totally as possible. Squeeze the whole juice out of it, because who knows? - the next moment may never come.

Death is good - it keeps you alert.

It never gives you a warning of when it is coming; it comes suddenly out of nowhere. It is a great blessing. Just think: if you were allowed to be immortal in your body, do you think you would enjoy it? Even people who live for eighty years start praying for death. They are bored - the same routine, the same life. What more is there to live for? They are tired, exhausted, weak, old. Now death is their only hope.

I have heard about Alexander the Great, that when he was reaching India, passing the big desert of Saudi Arabia, he was informed that there is a well in Saudi Arabia - if you drink out of that well you become immortal. Naturally, anybody would have been attracted, and particularly a man like Alexander the Great, who was nothing but a big ego. He wanted to conquer the whole earth, and he was afraid - is there time enough or not? The earth is so big.... He wanted to become the first man in history who has conquered the whole earth.

This was a good chance; if he is immortal, then there is no problem. And if somebody is immortal, is not going to die, he is not going to be sick either, because sickness, illness, disease - they are just steps towards death. The immortal man will be young, healthy, with no possibility of any sickness or disease.

And Alexander was only thirty-three years old; this was a good time to become immortal. He was healthy, beautiful, strong - this was a good time to become immortal, that meant he would remain thirty-three forever.

He stopped his armies and he said, "I am going to the well. Nobody comes with me." He did not want anybody else to become immortal. If others also become immortal, his immortality would no longer be unique.

He went to the well - it is a beautiful story. In the East there are wells made in two ways. One is the ordinary way, a hole in the earth. To reach water level... you have to pull the water up in a bucket. There is also another type of well; only very rich people can afford it. On one side there is an arrangement where you can pull the water up in a bucket. On the side opposite to it there are steps going to the water itself. It is really cool there, silent.

I have been into many wells. When you sit there for hours, time seems to stop, the whole world seems to be so far away. The noise of the market, the people - nothing reaches there. Sixty feet deep in the earth, it is dark, cool, yet very fresh.

The well where Alexander went was this type of well. So he went in, step by step, immensely excited.

And just as he was making a cup out of his hands, and filling his hands with the water to drink, a crow who was sitting just nearby on a tree by the side of the well, said, "Wait! Wait a minute!"

Alexander looked back. He could not believe that a crow - because there was nobody else - could speak, but he was speaking. The crow said, "Wait."

Alexander said, "Why did you stop me? Don't you know I am Alexander the Great? Nobody can stop me! And you are just a crow."

The crow said, "First listen to what I have to say to you, then do whatsoever you want. I have drunk from this well and I have become immortal. Now, for hundreds of years I have been trying to commit suicide - in this way, in that way. Nothing succeeds, and I am tired, utterly tired. And the very idea that I am going to live forever in this despair, in this anguish... even death is not going to relieve me.

"I have known everything, I have experienced everything. Now there is nothing in the future but a painful, miserable existence. That's why I said, wait a moment. Now, think it over, and then if you feel like drinking, drink. But I am sitting here only to prevent people, because I am suffering so much."

A moment of silence... Alexander's hands dropped the water back into the well, and he said to the crow, "Thank you, my friend. I am immensely grateful. I had never thought about it, that I would have to live forever and forever. My friends will be dying, my beloved will be dying, my parents will be dying, my teachers will be dying, my contemporaries will be dying - and I will remain stuck forever. No, I cannot drink this water, and I pray to you, please remain sitting here, because there are many fools like me. If they come to know about the well, stop them. It will be one of the greatest acts of compassion."

You say death creates the illusion of life, love? No. It is death that makes you aware that if you want to live, live now, because tomorrow is uncertain. If you want to love, love now, because you may be in the crematorium and sannyasins will be dancing, celebrating.

Death is a great reminder. If there were no death in the world, it would have been just hell. Just think: all those people who have died and are sleeping peacefully in the graveyard, all those people who have been burned in crematoriums and have been freed completely, have evaporated into thin air.... Just think, if all those people - your father, your father's father, and so on up to Adam and Eve - for millions of years, and nobody is dying.... Poison is useless, bullets are meaningless, swords cannot cut heads: what will be the situation? Do you think it will be very pleasant? It will be the worst that can happen.

Death makes life beautiful, because it makes you alert: don't miss the train, don't miss anything.

Enjoy, relish everything possible to you, because tomorrow is death. Death is not your enemy, death is your greatest friend. Without death you will be just dead bodies moving around with no purpose, with no meaning, and no exit.

If there can be any hell, its name will be "No exit."

Jean-Paul Sartre has written a play titled NO EXIT, and it is the description of hell. The only trouble is there is no way out. And according to Christianity, you have to be there forever.

Death is your great friend, companion, which makes you love intensely, which makes you not want to miss anything. Religions have not told you the truth. They have been lying to you, telling you that beyond death there is paradise: all beautiful things, joys, blessings, freely available. These people are criminals, because they are destroying your present.

They are giving you a hope of a better, far more fulfilling life... after death, so why be bothered about this small time? Why be bothered about living intensely, totally? Just wait for death to come.

Meanwhile you go on praying in the church, in the mosque, in the synagogue. You go on listening to all kinds of superstitions and stupidities - they call them sermons - and go on believing whatever the priest says to you. This is all that you have to do in life. And don't commit a sin; otherwise you may miss paradise.

And if you look deep into the word "sin," you will be surprised. It means no joy, no laughter, no celebration, no love. Anything that makes you happy is condemned as sin by some religion or other.

Remain serious, with long faces, dull, avoid living. Renounce life, love - renounce the world and move into some ugly caves in the mountains, and wait there chanting some mantra - transcendental meditation, or "Ave maria, Ave maria."

These religions have crippled you, destroyed you. They are really messengers of the devil. All the religions of the world are messengers of the devil, not of God. There is no God, but about the devil I am doubtful. Perhaps he exists; otherwise from where do all these theologians, religious preachers, monks, nuns, Mother Teresa, pope the Polack - from where do all these people come? Who sent them? There must be a devil. Or perhaps there is not a devil, but these people are in a conspiracy against human joy, pleasure, comfort, luxury.

There is no possibility of a devil. Without God, the devil cannot exist; he is only the shadow of God. The day I said to you, "There is no God," his shadow also disappeared. So it is a committee, not a devil, a committee of all your prophets, messengers, messiahs - all cheating, deceiving you, destroying your life in every possible way.

It is not death that destroys your life and keeps you in illusion. It is your religions that destroy your life and keep you in an illusion which will happen after death.

I say to you, never forget death. It is always there by your side. Before it grips you, do whatsoever you feel like doing. Dance, have a little champagne. Love, and don't be bothered about death, because that will be destroying your present. When it comes, if we have lived our life totally and intensely, we will be able to live our death too, with the same intensity, with the same totality.

Yes, in fact death is only a transmigration - changing your house which has become dilapidated, is almost in ruins, and moving into a new house, fresh, just made, made for you. Death is only a change.

You have changed many houses, many bodies, and you are still here. Only when you become enlightened, then the work of death is finished, because after enlightenment you will not be changing the house, you will not be entering into another body. After enlightenment you will be entering into absolute freedom, you will be becoming one with the whole existence. You will be in the flowers, in the birds, in the sun, in the moon, in the rain, in the wind. You will be all over the place.

To become enlightened means to live this moment without any hesitation, without being half-hearted.

Put everything at stake. Be a gambler! Risk everything, because the next moment is not certain. So why bother? Why be concerned?

Live dangerously!

Live joyously!

Live without fear, live without guilt; live without any fear of hell or any greed for heaven. Just live!

Death is not creating any illusion for you, it is your mind. Put this mind aside, so that it cannot disturb your dance, your song, your music.

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-- David Ben Gurion,
   the first ruler of the Jewish state

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