Only in Bliss are you Close to Me
Avoda means service out of ecstasy. The Christian idea of service is that service has to be first then ecstasy follows. The Eastern idea is just the reverse: ecstasy has to come first then service follows.
If service comes first it will be just a duty - imposed, cultivated, practised; it is impossible for ecstasy to arise out of it. It will create only a hypocrite, and that's what the Christian missionary has become in the world.
Service is something outer, something you do for others, but how can you love others if you have not even arrived at your own centre? That love will be only lip-service. You can force yourself into many kinds of services but there will be greed behind it: greed to go to heaven, greed to be known as virtuous, greed to become famous as a public servant, but deep down it will be greed. Out of this kind of service nobody has ever known ecstasy.
Ecstasy has to come first, and then service flows out of it of its own accord. When you have something to give, only then can you give. When love is overflowing in you it can be shared, and then there is no greed in it. In fact you are not obliging anybody; on the contrary, you feel obliged because they allowed you to serve them. You feel grateful because they did not reject your love.
They could have, but they accepted it, they welcomed it.
And you don't ask for anything out of the service. Now service is a joy in itself. You don't ask for any virtue, you don't ask for any account of it in the bank of god, you don't ask for paradise for it; its value is intrinsic. In fact it is a by product of your joy. It is just like a shadow: you move - your shadow moves with you.
'Avoda' means service out of inner ecstasy. Religion becomes morality if service is first, and a morality is not really a religion. A morality is just a convenience, it is a social formality. Ecstasy is a totally different phenomenon - it is a dance within your soul, it is grace. And you are so full of it that it starts overflowing.
Remember: first one has to learn +o meditate - meditation is the method to create ecstasy - and then service comes. But then service is no more duty, it is love. Then it has beauty.
Deva means divine, anupam means uniqueness divine uniqueness. Man is not created on an assembly line. Each individual is created in a unique way. There has never been a person like you and there will never be. If one can understand this gift of uniqueness great gratitude arises. It is such a tremendously vast world - infinite time behind; infinite time ahead - but never again will a person like you be repeated.
Once you see the beauty of it, great joy arises that you are worthy, that to condemn yourself is the worst kind of sin you can commit. But the priests have been telling people that they are worthless.
It is not god's voice; it must be the devil speaking through them. God's declaration is very simple - it is written everywhere. You cannot find two pebbles alike. You cannot find two leaves on the same tree or in the whole world alike. Even twins are not exactly alike. God takes infinite care to make each one unique.
Never compare yourself with anybody, because all comparison is false; only similar people can be compared. You don't compare a tree with a dog and you don't compare gold with stones. Only gold can be compared with gold; only one tree can be compared with another tree. But if you go deeper that too is false, because each tree is unique; it cannot be compared with any other tree either.
This uniqueness is a gift. One who understands it falls into prayer without any effort. A great sense of dignity arises, and that dignity has no pride in it - that's the beauty of it - because that dignity arises not because of comparison but because you are incomparable, neither superior nor inferior.
You are just you! Nobody is ahead of you and nobody is behind you. You are standing alone.
And once comparison disappears from the mind, all violence disappears automatically, all jealousy drops, and one feels free. Then nobody is your enemy.
If you are in competition with anybody - and comparison breeds competition, naturally, if you think that somebody is superior to you or somebody is inferior to you - you have started creating enmity.
You will be afraid of the inferior because he must be trying to go ahead of you; he is just behind you honking his horn. And the person who is ahead of you, how can you be friendly towards him? It is because of him that you are humiliated. You have to overtake him. This is what is happening in the whole world: everybody is at each other's throat. It is a cut-throat, competitive world, but we have made it that way.
Jesus says 'Love your enemy as you love yourself.' I say 'There is no enemy at all.' You are alone; there is no friend, no enemy. You are utterly alone. See the purity, the austerity and the pristine clarity of being alone. And out of that aloneness is all celebration, celebration of being! That is the meaning of your name. It can become a key, it can open the door of infinity to you....
Deva means divine, chetan means consciousness divine consciousness. Man can live either as body or as consciousness. These are the two alternatives to live. Two roads are possible for man to follow: either one can remain identified with the body... then one will have pleasures of the body and pains of the body. They will all be momentary and life will have a superficiality; because the body is only a periphery. The wall that surrounds the temple is not the deity itself. And then it is born and dies, so the life span of the body is very small. And if one feels identified with the body one is always in a hurry, hence the Western hurriedness, hence the Western obsession with speed. Basically it is identification with the body. Life is running fast, going out of your hands - do something and do it instantly, and be in a hurry otherwise you will miss. And find better means of doing it, faster means of doing it. Speed has become a mania. How to reach some place with greater speed; that has become the sole concern. Why you want to reach there is nobody's concern. Why in the first place do you want to go there? That is not the point, but you should reach faster. And the moment you reach there you start thinking of reaching somewhere else.
The mind remains in a constantly feverish state. This is basically because we have got identified with the periphery, and the body is going to die, so death haunts one. In the West death is still a taboo. One taboo has been broken - the taboo about sex - but the second taboo, which is deeper than the first, still exists. It needs some Freud again to break this taboo. People don't talk about death, or even if they do, they talk euphemistically - that the man has gone to god, to heaven, has gone to eternal rest. But if the man has only lived in the body, he has not gone anywhere. He is dead, simply dead - dust unto dust. And the one who has gone into another body was never here in this body, because he never became aware of it; the man remained completely oblivious of it.
The other way is to become alert about your inner consciousness. The body is heavy, very prominent, apparent, visible, touchable, tangible. The consciousness is not visible, not so much on the surface. One has to search for it, one has to dig deep. It needs effort, it needs a constant commitment to explore one's own being. It is a journey, but once you start feeling yourself as consciousness you live in a totally different world. Then there is no hurry because consciousness is eternal, and there is no worry because consciousness knows no disease, no death, no defeat.
Then there is no need to search for anything else. The body lacks everything, hence it creates desires upon desires; the body is a beggar. But consciousness is an emperor - it possesses the whole world, it is the master. Once you have known the face of your inner being, you become relaxed. Then life is no more a desire but a celebration. Then all is given already: the stars and the moon and the sun and the mountains and the rivers and the people - all is given. You have to start living it.
This has to become your exploration. This is what sannyas is all about: an exploration into consciousness. It is there but it is a hidden treasure. And naturally, when you have a treasure you keep it hidden deep down so nobody can steal it. God has put consciousness at the deepest core of your being. The body is just the porch, it is not the innermost chamber. But many people simply live in the porch and they think this is life; they never enter the house of their being.
Let sannyas become a journey into your own self. Use the body, love the body - it is a beautiful mechanism, a precious gift, great are its mysteries - but don't become identified with it. The body is just like the aeroplane and you are the pilot. The aeroplane is beautiful and very useful, but the pilot is not the aeroplane and the pilot has to remember that he is distinct, distant, aloof, away, far away.
He is the master of the vehicle.
So use the body as a vehicle but let consciousness be enthroned.
Prem means love, diwano means mad - love madness. And love is a kind of madness. Of course, madness with a method. Not just ordinary madness: extraordinary madness. The ordinary madness consists of falling below the mind. Love madness consists of going beyond the mind. In both cases the mind disappears, so both are mad. But there is a great difference too, because to go below the mind is to fall back; to go beyond the mind is to rise up. To go below the mind is to fall into the world of the animals, and to go beyond the mind is to reach into the world of the Buddhas.
There are similarities and there are dissimilarities. The Buddha is as innocent as an animal but with no animality in him - just pure innocence, as innocent as a child but without any childishness in him.
Animals also have something of Buddhahood - the innocence, the simplicity, the naturalness, the tao - but in an unconscious state. In a Buddha the innocence has become awakened, but to the world the Buddha also looks mad.
Psychoanalysts still go on saying that Jesus was neurotic, and in a way they are right. He is not normal, that is certain; he is abnormal, that is certain, but psychoanalysis knows only one kind of abnormality - that of falling below the normal. Psychoanalysis has not yet taken note of another kind of abnormality: that of rising above the normal.
So become mad with love, and you will know what god is.
[A sannyasin asks about fasting] No need... no need. Your body need not go on a fast. A fast is needed only when the body has too much fat; otherwise it is a torture, it is masochism. Never be a masochist, and be very alert - in India there are many masochist mahatmas; in fact all the masochists in India have become mahatmas. It is easy for the masochist to become the mahatma, to become the saint, to become the martyr, but behind his religiousness is nothing but masochism: he enjoys torturing himself.
There are two kinds of people: a few enjoy torturing others - that is the sadist, the sadistic person - and the other kind is the one who enjoys torturing himself. And that is more dangerous, because the other can protect himself against you, but how can you protect yourself from yourself? For the other the government exists and the police and the court, but for you there is no protection at all. On the contrary, when you start torturing yourself people start respecting you; they think you are holy or something, and that gives a great boost to the ego. Never bother about such things.
Never torture the body. A fast can be a healthy thing only when your body has too much fat. Then it is a load; it is unnecessarily carrying a load. That load is heavy on the heart and that load is heavy on the head too. When the body is too heavy it is very difficult to grow in consciousness. You must have observed: when your stomach is full you fall asleep naturally, easily. If you have fasted the whole day, sleep in the night becomes difficult because the body is not heavy.
So only for people who have something wrong with their bodies can fasting be a health measure, but it has nothing to do with spirituality at all. And your body is perfectly normal - you need not worry about it.
Deva means divine, habib means beloved beloved of god, beloved of the divine. Habib is a Sufi word. God loves... we have only to allow his love to penetrate our hearts. And this is not just a metaphor, it is literally true; it can't be otherwise. Change the word 'god' to 'existence' and things become simple: existence loves you, otherwise you would not have been here. You are not an accident; nobody is.
Existence needed you - it still needs you. As much as you need it, it needs you. Even the smallest thing in existence is needed as much as the greatest. In the vision of god or existence there is no distinction between the small and the big. A grass leaf is as precious as any great star.
And a dewdrop is needed as much as a Buddha. Without this dewdrop existence will be less - less beautiful, less majestic, with less grandeur; it will miss something. We are interdependent...
existence is an infinite net of interdependence. That is the meaning when I say god loves you. To let the idea sink into the heart is of immense importance, because then suddenly you start feeling at home; you are no more an outsider, not a stranger.
The greatest calamity that has happened to humanity in this age is alienation. Man has started feeling as if he is a stranger. This is a new kind of disease; it has never been so in the past. No other century has had this idea in such great proportions, and the reason is that god is missing from our vision. After Nietzsche declared 'God is dead,' man died. God is still alive. God cannot die, because god simply means the eternal life, nothing else. To say 'God is dead' is a contradiction in terms. God means that which doesn't die, that which cannot die. Even if god decides to commit suicide, that is not possible, that is beyond his omnipotence, because god is life and nothing else. Life continues, forms change.
But one thing happened: since Nietzsche declared 'God is dead'.... And his declaration became the declaration of this age; it is not personal any more. It has become the dictum, the paradigm, the whole mind of this century. God remains as alive as ever, but in declaring god dead, man has died. He has lost his roots in existence. He has become uprooted; now he no more knows who he is. The whole context is missing; now he no more knows why he is. Now he cannot find any purpose, because without god there as the context there can be no purpose. Now he feels a kind of utter meaninglessness arising, a futility - what Sartre means when he says that man is a useless passion. But how long can you remain passionate if you are useless? Sooner or later that uselessness will overpower your passion, will destroy it.
All that is left to man is either to go mad, as Nietzsche himself did, or to commit suicide, as many others have done. If one cannot gather courage to commit suicide then one commits suicide slowly, inch by inch, part by part, in instalments. This is no way to live.
Man can live only if he starts feeling his roots again in the soil, if he again becomes part of the greater context of life. That is the whole purpose of sannyas: to give you back your roots, to make you aware that life is not an accident, that you are tremendously needed, that without you life will not be the same, that god is in utter need of you.
Remember: we need many things in life but the greatest need is to be needed; no other need is of such importance. The moment you feel needed suddenly you become significant. A woman needs you - without you she will be in despair - and suddenly there is meaning in your life. A child needs you - without you he will be an orphan, without you there will be tears in his eyes - and suddenly you are no more a useless passion. But think: a woman needs you, a child needs you, a friend needs you, a mother needs you, and around you a pattern, a gestalt arises that gives you significance.
But this is nothing compared to the declaration that I make 'god needs you!' That means rivers and mountains and stars and trees and animals - they are all in need of you, they will all miss you. The world will be in deep despair without you.
Just that perspective and suddenly you are at home, at ease. Life is no more an accidental jumble of events. Now there is a poetry, a consistency - one thing leading to another, a progression, a continuum. And whenever there is a feeling of progression, continuum, one can know that one is moving in a direction, that there is a goal somewhere, a destiny to be fulfilled, a hope to be materialized. That is the meaning of your name: think in terms of god loving you, and slowly slowly your heart will respond. That response is prayer... that response is sannyas.
Prem means love, ushma means warmth a loving warmth. Become that. There is no other prayer.
If one can be lovingly warm the prayer has happened. To live a cold life is to live without prayer, and many people, millions of people, are living cold lives, frozen, ice cold. That's why there are so many lonely people in the world. They themselves are lonely and they create loneliness for others. And they could easily have been warm, because to remain warm is very natural to life. Life is warmth:
death is cold. They have died before dying, they have not lived.
Warmth is the language of life. The more you allow warmth to flow from you towards others, the richer the life you have. And love is the secret of remaining warm, so love as deeply as possible and love as many people as possible. And not only people - love existence as such. It is really very strange to see people passing through the trees without any warmth for them, looking at the stars with dead, cold, ice-cold eyes, talking to people with no warmth in their words and no warmth in their hearts, holding hands, but dead and dull. There is no wonder why they are in such suffering. And it is their decision.
The decision has a reason in it: there is a fear in being loving - you may get involved, you may get caught, you may become committed. And people are afraid of getting involved, people are afraid of getting committed, so they are escaping from all commitments. But to live a life of no commitment is escapist. Then your life will never have any splendour to it; it needs the challenge of commitment, involvement. One needs to be involved in as many things as possible: in art, in poetry, in music, in people, in dance, in as many things as possible. The more you are involved, the more you are, the more being you have.
This century has more human beings on the earth than ever before, but less being. More humans and less being. Being has disappeared. Being comes only by being warm, being comes only by getting involved, committed... involved in something higher than you, bigger than you. People want to remain uncommitted, but then they remain cold.
Another fear is that if you love, you may be rejected; the other may not respond. The other is also thinking in the same terms: 'Who knows? If I extend my hand in welcome and the other does not respond, then it will be humiliating.' That fear cripples people and people become frozen ice cubes inside themselves - always holding back, watching if the other will start. The same is the case with the other, so nobody ever starts the dialogue, nobody ever starts being warm. Slowly slowly these habits become settled, they become second nature.
There is no need to be afraid. Even if love is rejected, there is no humiliation. The real humiliation is not to give love when you could have. If somebody rejects it, that is his problem; that is not your problem. You had given your warm hand to him but he was so frozen that he became afraid. Feel pity for him, compassion for him, but don't feel any hurt. There is no hurt in it for you. Always remember: if love is rejected that simply shows that the other is afraid of love, and the one who is afraid of love is in a very poor state of health, spiritual health. He has simply said that he is a coward.
He has insulted himself, he has not insulted you; there is no need to feel hurt.
Only if these two things are dropped - the fear of rejection and the fear of commitment - can one be so warm, so glowingly warm, that each moment of life becomes a prayer, a dialogue with god. And remember: all these people are nothing but different forms of god. You need not go to the temple - god comes to you in so many forms. Just be loving, and slowly slowly you will attain to that eye which will make you capable of seeing god in everybody.
Deva means divine, hanso means a swan - a divine swan. And the swan is a symbol. In India the swans live deep in the Himalayas. They come in certain seasons to the plains and then they go back. So they have become symbolic. They are one of the most beautiful birds - no other bird is so white and so innocent - and they live in such silence in the Himalayas.
They became symbolic of the soul's journey to the earth - symbolizing that we just come from some deep unknown centre of existence. We come from there for the time-being to the earth, and when the season is over, we go back. This is not the place we belong to.
When the swan is on the plains, naturally it continuously dreams of the Lake Mansarovar in the Himalayas, and the beauty of it and the silence and the purity. That lake has the most crystal clear water. That may be the only place in the world left which is absolutely unpolluted, because very rarely does a human being reach there, very rarely; it is very difficult to reach. And surrounded by the Himalayan peaks and the virgin snow, where nobody has ever walked, just the vision of it, the dream of it, is enough. The swan has to come to the plains, but this is not his home. He lives in small muddy tanks, but continuously remembers vaguely the beauty of his home.
This is so with man too. That's why we are never satisfied here. Everything seems to be topsy- turvy; something seems always to be missing. You can have all the riches of the world and still you remain poor. You can become very famous and still be dissatisfied. You can have all that this world can give to you, but deep down the emptiness persists and persists. You never feel a kind of fulfilment, a satiety, a contentment. Maybe we have forgotten completely from where we come - we have forgotten the original source - but somehow, somewhere in the deep unconscious the memory persists. It goes on pulling us towards the real home.
To become a sannyasin means to recognize this deep urge consciously, to be respectful to this urge.
To be a sannyasin means to start finding ways and means and to prepare for the journey back home.
[To Prem Chandro:] Moon and love have something in common. The moon is feminine, so is love. Even when a man is in love, his love is feminine. Love as such is feminine; it is never masculine. Hate is masculine, anger is masculine, love is not. So whenever a person is in love, in those moments at least he is not masculine, he is not a male; he becomes tender, soft, feminine.
Love has the same kind of beauty as the moon, the same kind of magnetic attraction as the moon.
The moon pulls, attracts. It not only pulls the sea water; it pulls your very heart. It is not only that the sea is affected by it: the very sea of consciousness is also affected by it. As the moon grows there are changes in your consciousness. On the full-moon night you are in a different state. Many more people have become enlightened on the full-moon night than on any other night, and many more people go mad on the full-moon night than on any other night. Hence the word 'lunatic'; it comes from 'lunar', the moon. Either you fall or you rise - either the tide or the wave, but the moon affects you. And so does love.
In love a person can fall and become blind, and in love a person can rise and can start seeing for the first time. It all depends on how one uses the love energy. It is a ladder: you can go down through it, you can go up through it.
Remember: for you the full-moon night will be of great importance. Dance under the full moon, sing under the full moon and soon you will find what I am indicating. You will find a different being arising in you which is not your personality - which is your essence. The moon will pull it up; you just have to be conscious of it Dancing on the full-moon night is one of the greatest meditations. For no other purpose - simply dancing with the moon, allowing the moon to penetrate you. And when you are in a dance you are vulnerable, more open. If you really become drunk with the dance - the dancer disappears and there is only dance - then the moon penetrates to your very heart, its rays reach the very core of your being. You will start finding that each full-moon night becomes a milestone in your life.
Deva means divine. sagaro means ocean - divine ocean. Never think of yourself as a wave; think of yourself as the ocean. Never think about yourself as limited by the body; think of yourself as unlimited consciousness. Because whatsoever you think, you become: 'As a man thinketh, so he becometh.' Always think of the immense, of the infinite, and through it comes freedom. But people are very miserly: they think of themselves as very small, limited to this body, to this mind... and then the misery. Then they feel suffocated, they feel imprisoned, chained, and they start asking how to be free.
A disciple asked a Zen master how to be free, how to attain freedom. The master said 'Who has made you a slave and who has imprisoned you?' The disciple said 'Nobody.' The master said 'Where are your chains?' and the disciple said 'I don't have any chains.' Then the master said 'Why are you trying to be free? From what? From whom?'
The very idea 'I am imprisoned' is but an idea; drop the idea and you are free! Our prisons are made of ideas, our chains are made of ideas... ideas of limitations. Think of the vast, contemplate on the vast. Go to the sea and watch the sea and become it. Look into the sky... feel it, be it. This is going to be your meditation. And soon you will find that there is no need for any drugs to expand your consciousness. Just drop the idea of limitation and your consciousness is expanded. And there is no end - you can go on expanding and expanding. And to be expansive is to be blissful: to be confined is to be miserable.
[A sannyasin asks about her relationship and being attracted to other men] The problem is natural and everybody has to face it. If you want relationship... and to want relationship means security, safety, intimacy, love. And only in a very very intimate relationship can love grow - love needs time, patience. If you want all these things then you have to sacrifice your momentary desires - that somebody looks attractive and you are sexually attracted. You have to sacrifice. If you want those momentary joys, pleasures, of being sexually related to this person and that, then sacrifice relationship and all that is possible through it; that has to be sacrificed. And one has to choose, you cannot have both. And if you try to have both, you will go neurotic. Many people are trying to have both and are going neurotic, because then you are pulled continuously, and you will destroy both.
When you are with somebody else you will feel guilty, and how can you enjoy if you are feeling guilty?
What enjoyment can be there? The guilt is there that you are doing something wrong, that you are harming him, that he will not feel good, that he will be miserable, mm? - that you are betraying. So you will feel guilty and there will be no joy. And, because you feel guilty, you will be angry with him when you are with him, because it is because of him that you cannot enjoy: he is depriving you of your freedom. So you will not be able to enjoy even being with him, and you will destroy both.
You cannot have both. You can destroy both, certainly, but you cannot have both. You can have only one: either you can have the free relating, floating with people. That has its own beauty, but it remains superficial, it never goes very deep. But if somebody chooses that, that's perfectly good: I am not against it. That is your choice. Relationship has its own beauties. So you have to be very clear and choose, clearly choose; and once you have chosen then forget the other.
Life is a constant choice. Whenever you come to a place where two roads fork, you have to choose.
Both look alluring. This road also looks beautiful - great trees and the river and the mountain - and the other also looks very beautiful - beautiful flowers, green grass and the birds singing. But you have to choose!
And remember: if you choose one you may not ever have the other, because you cannot go back in time. Once you have chosen, the other is to be dropped, completely forgotten, as if it never existed.
And at each step there are roads forking. If you become very hesitant and you want to go one step this way and one step that, and you want to have both, you will go crazy.
So simply choose, and whatsoever you choose is good. I am not saying choose this or choose that; I am saying choose. Both have beauties.... So ponder over it, meditate over it, talk with him, and decide something. Something will come out of your meditation!
[A sannyasin asks: I don't know what's happening. Sometimes I'm crying and sometimes I'm laughing... sometimes both at the same time.] Allow it. Don't be worried about it - it will disappear, and when it disappears you will feel very relieved. It is a catharsis; it will release many poisons from your being. When both things come together - laughter and crying - it is very good. It means that something that was accumulating in you and which could have created a kind of craziness some time is being thrown out of the system.
But it will be gone, and once it is gone you will feel unburdened, weightless.
Just do the groups and go on reminding me how it is. Before you go, it will be gone.