To become a Song is to become a Saint
Anand means bliss, astika means one who trusts, one who believes, one who trusts in bliss; and that's my definition of a religious man. I don't say to trust in god, because that is very far-fetched.
God is very abstract - it is only a word; you don't have any experience of it. To believe in it will be dishonest. You cannot honestly believe in god. It will be deceiving yourself - a kind of self-deception, creating an illusion around yourself. And if you start with illusion you cannot end with truth. If you begin in dishonesty, you will end in dishonesty. The first step has to be very true, authentic; only then can the last step be in ultimate truth. Otherwise it is not possible. That's why so many people believe in god - millions of people believe in god - but only once in a while does somebody come to know him. Why this disparity? When so many people believe, many more should attain. Because belief is dishonest, to begin with it is to go astray.
So I don't say 'Believe in god'; I simply say 'Believe in bliss.' And that's a natural phenomenon - not part of any theology, neither Christian nor Hindu nor Mohammedan. One need not be taught to believe in it; one is born with that trust. It is intrinsic, it is built-in. All life is a search for bliss. Even the most unconscious life is a search for bliss. Trees are searching for it, rocks are searching for it, animals are searching for it. The whole existence moves around the centre of bliss. It is so natural that one need not enforce any belief; it is already there.
One has to help it to grow. One has only to remove the hindrances in its path so it can start flowing.
One has to be deliberately in it. One is in it naturally; you have to be in it consciously, because if you remain unconscious in some search it will take millions of years. Then it is very haphazard, then arriving is almost accidental. One can hope for the best but one should be ready for the worst. Unless the search becomes conscious there seems to be no possibility of arriving. The more conscious it is, the straighter you go.
Jesus says 'My way is narrow and straight.' The way of truth is always straight, but one has to be straight to begin with. So I say forget all about god, trust in your natural desire and longing for bliss.
Follow it, create as many opportunities for it as possible. Help it in every way and don't hinder it in any way, and slowly slowly the search for bliss one day makes you aware that you are searching for god in the name of bliss.
But that happens.... The very search takes on such intensity that it transforms itself, and instead of bliss one day suddenly you are searching for truth, because one day you realize the fact that only with truth is there a possibility of bliss. Bliss is a shadow of god. If you start searching for bliss, sooner or later you will come to see that bliss is just a shadow of something else. Who is that? What is that of which bliss is a shadow? And god starts looming large before you.
Once you are in his shadow you are very close to him.
Veet means beyond, daso means in the service of - in the service of the beyond. The beyond surrounds us, but there are many people who never look at it. They remain confined to their routine lives. Their lives are lived at the minimum; they never become aware of the mysteries that abound.
Life is not a simple mystery, not a single mystery, but mysteries upon mysteries, and each mystery leads into more and more mysteries. But there are many people who are not aware of it at all. The sun never rises for them; it is never full moon. Whether stars exist in the night or not is immaterial to them. Whether birds call or not, they are deaf. They see and yet they don't see. Flowers bloom, rainbows come and go, clouds gather and disperse, but they remain completely oblivious of it all. Their life remains in a prison of very small things: their jealousies, their possessiveness, their quarrels, their families, their children, their jobs, money and bank balances. To live in such confinement is to live the life of a materialist.
A materialist is a prisoner. Even though he goes to the church, even though he goes to the temple - that is just a formality. He never becomes aware of the mystery of Christ. He goes to the church every Sunday, but how can he become aware of the mystery of Christ if he is not aware of the mystery of the trees in his garden? How can the cross have any mystery if the real, alive wood has no mystery for him?
How can he look into the mystery of Buddha if he cannot see it in the stars, in the rivers, in the mountains? - because the eyes of the Buddha are like the lakes. Unless you are aware of the beauty of the lakes you will not be aware of the beauty of the Buddha's eyes. And the heart of the Buddha is like the open sky. Unless you have seen the sky, felt it, lived it, you will not be able to enter into the heart of the Buddha. You can go and worship, but your worship is formal, your religion is Sunday religion; it does not make you spiritual.
Spirituality has nothing to do with the churches and the temples and the mosques, nothing to do with reading the Bible and the Geeta. Spirituality has something to do with the mysterious in life, with the beyond, with the unknown and the unknowable.
You can gather answers from the Bible and the Koran, but you miss the point. Spirituality has nothing to do with answers, because all answers are false. Life is an ultimate question. You cannot find any answer that can solve the mystery of it. All your answers fall short. All your great systems are just poor efforts of the human mind to console itself. It does not even touch the mystery of life.
I call that man spiritual who has become aware of this miracle that is within and that is without - this poetry, this music - and one who is ready to be in the service of this miracle. That is the meaning of your name - 'Veet Daso' - to be in the service of the beyond, the miraculous, the unknowable. And that's all that god is about; but I have not used that word because the priests have used it so much.
They have made it almost ugly. They have quarrelled about it, fought about it. They have been killing each other, murdering and butchering, and doing every nasty thing that can be done in the name of god. So much bloodshed has happened in the name of god that the word has become obscene; it has become a four-letter word. Hence I use such words as 'the beyond' - which is uncontaminated, which is still pure, innocent - 'the unknowable', 'the mysterious'. But I am indicating towards god even though I am not using the word. These are all qualities of the ultimate truth. Life becomes a celebration if you are in the service of the beyond, and only then does life become a celebration.
Otherwise life is a misery, a burden to be carried. One can drag on and one can wait for death to come and relieve one of the burden, but it can't be a dance. Without the beyond penetrating you, it can't be a dance.
The religious person is one who can dance - the dance is just an outer gesture of his inner dance - one who can sing - and singing is just an outer gesture of his inner singing heart - one who can laugh and who can love. But these are all outer gestures. There is more in them than is seen by the eyes and heard by the ears. They are just overflowings of his inner experience of the beyond. When the mystery overwhelms you, you start overflowing with love, compassion. Then each moment is so precious, so sacred. One need not go to any church, to any temple. In fact, wherever one is, in that moment that place is holy. It is not a question of the place outside but the place inside.
When the inner temple opens its doors, wherever you are, you are walking on holy ground.
Whenever you are full of mystery, you are full of god. Whenever there is a dialogue between you and the unknown, you are in prayer.
This meaning has to be lived.
Deva means divine, lokesh means a king - a divine king. A great Hassid master, Joshua, used to say to his disciples 'At least for one hour every day think of yourself as a divine king. Even if you cannot believe it,' he used to say 'at least pretend.' I love his saying 'At least pretend,' because this is our reality. Even if you start pretending, sooner or later the reality will explode. If your pretension is in tune with reality, it will help to reveal it. Pretension is bad only when it is against reality; then one becomes false. Then slowly slowly one becomes a split personality.
For example: if a beautiful man has forgotten his beauty and thinks himself ugly because the mirror in which he looked was distorted - or somebody played a joke on him and told him 'You are ugly'
and he has fallen a victim to the idea - if he starts even pretending that he is beautiful, in those few moments he will be closer to reality. Because he is beautiful, and those few moments, slowly slowly, will allow the reality to surface and the distorted vision of himself will disappear.
I perfectly agree with Joshua, that if you cannot trust that you are a divine king, then at least pretend.
This has been my observation of thousands of people - that if you can start moving in the right direction, even though it doesn't seem to be believable in the beginning, sooner or later it starts happening And when it starts happening, what can you do? You have to believe it.
The initiation into sannyas has two steps. The first step is: you simply trust me when I am saying that you are a divine king. The second step will be taken the day you come to realize it on your own.
I see you as I see everybody, as a divine king. Nobody is a beggar, but everybody has become a beggar. It is our own creation. We are in a kind of dream and we have forgotten who we are. Now, even if you can pretend in your dream that you are awake - that you are not a beggar, that you are a king - that is going to help. It will be moving away from the dream.
Gurdjieff used to say to his disciples 'If you can remember in your dream that it is a dream, that's enough - you will come out of it immediately.'
Try it and you will be surprised: just before going to sleep every night, just go on thinking 'I will be able to remember when a dream comes that is a dream.' And you will be surprised: the moment you remember 'This is a dream' suddenly you are awake. Exactly in-the same way, start with this seed thought: 'I am not a beggar, nobody is a beggar. God has never created a beggar. God only creates gods; he cannot do otherwise. A god can only reproduce gods.' And Jesus is not his only son. Every being that has existed, exists, will exist, is a son of god... and that is our sovereignty, our kingship.
In the beginning it seems unbelievable, but if you start just allowing the seed to sink into the heart, one day it sprouts and you see the first green leaves coming out of the earth... and the magic has worked. That is the second initiation. Then you know on your own, who you are - the glory, the splendour of your being.
And it is not that you think that you are special and others are ordinary. This is the beauty of religious experience: it makes you beautiful and it makes the whole world beautiful with you. The moment you think of your glory, the whole world becomes full of glory. So it is not a kind of superiority complex - that you are higher than others, holier than others, that you are more special than others - there is nothing special. Either everything is special or nothing is special. That understanding transforms your whole vision. Each small thing becomes so luminous, has such beauty, that one feels continuously grateful, and everything is a surprise.
But we are very insensitive; we don't even know who we are. This is our insensitivity, our unconsciousness, our dullness, our unintelligence. From this moment start thinking about yourself, and you will immediately see something changing. Each thought becomes a thing. One should be very careful about what one thinks. What you think today will become a reality tomorrow: 'As a man thinketh, so he becometh.'