Love is the Soul of the dance, dance, the Body of Love
[To Ma Anand Christa]
Anand means blissful; and Christa is not Christ's name but a state of consciousness, what in the East we call Buddhahood - the ultimate state of consciousness where all darkness has disappeared, where all is light, when man is no more identified with the body but knows himself as the supreme self, where one can say 'I am god!' That state of consciousness is Christ-consciousness.
Jesus is only one of the Christs - there have been many, there will be many; but Christians are not so generous as to recognize it. Buddha is a Christ, Krishna is a Christ, Lao Tzu is a Christ and there have been thousands. Buddhists are more generous in recognizing Christ as a Buddha, recognizing Lao Tzu also as a Buddha. 'Buddha' is the Indian word for Christ. They are not personal names, they indicate the ultimate state of consciousness.
So your name will mean: blissful ultimate state of consciousness. That has to be searched for. It is a long journey but if one goes on it, then each step is a fulfillment and at each step the celebration of life goes on growing. And this should be understood as a criterion: if your bliss goes on growing then you are on the right track. If your bliss starts diminishing, your misery grows, then you have missed, you have gone astray. Bliss is the criterion. If one can only go on checking again and again 'Whatsoever I am doing - is it creating more bliss for me or not?' one will never go astray. And even if one does, one will come back soon.
The closer we are to god, the more blissful we are. And when we dissolve into god and god dissolves into us, there is pure bliss and nothing else. That state is 'Christa'.
Anand means bliss, mantro means chanting, singing, sound, melody - a blissful singing, a blissful chanting, a blissful sound. This sound is constantly there inside you as it is inside everybody else; we just have to be silent to hear it. Because the head is too much in noise it cannot hear the still, small voice of the heart, and that is a very small, still voice. Unless all is quiet you never hear it, but it is the link between you and god. Once you have heard it, you know from where you are joined, linked, bridged to god. Once you have heard it, it becomes very easy to go into it. Then you can concentrate on it and easily slip into it. And whenever you go into it, it rejuvenates; it gives you tremendous strength, makes you alive again and again.
If a person can go into this inner sound again and again, he never loses track of god; he can live in the world and can remain in contact with god. By and by the knack is learned and then even in the marketplace you can go on hearing it. Once you know it is there it is not difficult to hear it. Then the whole noise of the world cannot prevent you from hearing it. The problem is only to hear it for the first time, because you don't know where it is, what it is, how to allow it.
All that is needed is: become more and more silent, sit in silence. Whenever you have time, just for one hour every day don't do anything - sit and listen. Listen to the sounds all around, for no particular purpose, with no interpretation about what it means. This screeching sound....
[The screech of owls] Just listen for no reason at all. It is there so one has to listen.
Slowly slowly the mind starts becoming silent. The sound is listened to from the outside but the mind is no more interpreting it - no more appreciating it, no more thinking about it. And suddenly the gestalt changes: when the mind is silent, listening to the outer sound, suddenly a new sound is heard which is not from the outside but from the inside. And once you have heard it the thread is in your hands. Just follow that thread, go deeper and deeper into it. It is a very deep well in your being, and those who know how to go into it, live in a totally different world, in a separate reality.
Anand means bliss, leena means lost into, dissolved into - lost in bliss, dissolved into bliss. Bliss is possible only when you are capable of losing yourself. You and bliss cannot exist together; either you are or bliss is. And you means misery, because if there is no bliss, there is misery. Absence of bliss is misery, just as absence of light is darkness.
People are in misery because they are not courageous enough to lose themselves in anything. The blissful people are capable of losing themselves; in what they lose themselves is irrelevant. A painter can be lost in his painting; there will be bliss, immediately. A singer can be lost in his singing and there will be bliss. A dancer can be lost in his dancing and there will be bliss. Bliss is a by-product of being lost.
One can use any activity, then any activity that brings bliss becomes religious. There is no need to go to church. All that is needed is to lose yourself in something - whatsoever it is - and then you can attain to great heights of bliss. One can remain floating in bliss twenty-four hours a day because it is no more confined to any particular activity. Not that you meditate and only then will you be blissful, or that you pray and only then will you be blissful. Once you know that bliss is a by-product, a spin-off of some activity in which you are lost, then you can be lost in any activity. Just going for a morning walk, you can be lost in it, and there is bliss. Or just listening to music or just looking at the starry sky.... Then one can move from one bliss to another bliss. And they are all the same - just your activity changes. Then one can walk in bliss, sit in bliss, sleep in bliss.... Bliss is not a goal but a by-product, a consequence of being lost in something.
So only those few people know bliss who are capable of losing themselves - lovers, poets, painters, musicians, dancers. These are the people, and these are the people who are really religious, not the priests - unless a priest is capable of losing himself in prayer, which is very rare, very rare. Unless you have learned to lose yourself in natural things it will not be possible for you to lose yourself in prayer. If you cannot lose yourself in love, how can you lose yourself in prayer? If you cannot lose yourself in the beauty of the sunrise or sunset, how will you lose yourself into prayer? If the birds and their singing is not enough to provoke you to be lost, the Bible, the Koran, the Geeta, are not going to help at all, because god is so immediate in the song of the birds. If god cannot provoke you from your sleep, cannot awaken you from your sleep, cannot take you out of your ego, from such close quarters, how will he be able to take you out of your ego just by your reading the Bible? That song is twenty centuries old - there is a two-thousand-year gap - and god has just called you through a bird....
So just remember it and start losing yourself in meditations, in anything that you do. Try it again and again and see how the quality immediately changes. The moment you come, there is work, a kind of duty to be done; the moment you disappear, there is joy and play and fun and prayer. And the whole sky starts showering bliss upon you.
Anand means bliss, rafia is a Sufi name for god, so the full name will mean god of bliss. And never think of yourself as less than that, because that is our true identity. To think of oneself as less than god is to insult the inner reality; it is degrading. But remember that it is not that you are god and others are not, otherwise it can become an ego trip. Then you have lost, you have missed.
In feeling, in thinking, that you are god, you are imparting dignity to the whole of existence. Then even a dog is a god. Then the difference is only in form: you have a human form and he has an animal form. Then the tree is also divine... then god exists in many forms, millions of forms. Just think for a moment that all forms are divine and you are transported into a different world. Then the whole world appears in a new vision, in a new light. Suddenly it is tremendously significant and meaningful; it is not dull any more, not a drag. Everything becomes luminous... full of light. Then the phenomenon is not only a phenomenon, but a noumenon too, and you can see the inner light in everything. Even in a rock there is a light inside.
Once you recognize your light, you have recognized the light of everything.
Anand means bliss, vedika means altar. In the temple where the deity is placed, the innermost shrine, the altar on which the deity is placed, is called 'vedika'. In your being there is an innermost shrine where god resides. And god resides in everyone as bliss. The first experience of god is the experience of bliss; that is our first contact with the divinity. You don't see god, you can't touch him, but when you feel blissful, you know. God has to be felt. Your heart starts throbbing with an immense blissfulness.
Man is a temple. In fact the temple has been created in the form of the body. The temple simply represents the body and the innermost shrine represents the heart. The temple is just a symbol.
There is no need to go to the temple - the temple is a map; it indicates to go within. To go to the temple is as foolish as if one starts worshipping a map.
The Himalayas are beautiful but the map of the Himalayas is... is nothing! It has nothing to do with the Himalayas. If you want to go to the Himalayas the map can be helpful, but just by worshipping the map you will never go to the Himalayas; and there is nothing of the Himalayas in the map.
The temple is just a map of the body; it is actually made in the same geometrical form as the body.
And the innermost shrine, where god resides, is the altar in the temple; and the deity, the image of the god, is nothing but your supreme self. One has to go within. The kingdom of god is within you, because god himself is within you. This is the meaning of your name.
Deva means divine, mandiro means temple - divine temple. The body has all the mysteries, all the mysteries that the whole universe has; it is a miniature universe. The difference between the body and the universe is only of quantity. Just as a single atom has all the secrets of matter, the body has all the secrets of the universe. One need not go to search for any secrets outside, one has just to go in.
And the body has to be taken care of. One should not be against it, one should not condemn it. If you condemn it, you have already condemned god, because in the deepest recess of the body god resides. God has chosen this house of the body to live in. Respect your body, love your body, care about your body.
The so-called religions have created much antagonism between man and his body. It is true that you are not the body. That doesn't mean that you have to be against the body; the body is a friend.
The body can take you to hell, the body can take you to heaven too. It is simply a vehicle. It is neutral: wherever you want to go, it is ready. It is a mechanism of immense complexity, beauty, order. The more one understands one's body, the more one feels awe. Then what to say about the whole universe? - even this small body contains so much of a miracle. So I call the body the temple of the divine.
And once your attitude towards the body changes it becomes easier to go in, because the body becomes open to you. It allows you to come in, it starts revealing its secrets to you. That's how all the secrets of Yoga were first known. That's how all the secrets of Tao were first known. Yoga didn't arise out of dissecting dead bodies. Modern medical science is based on dead bodies and their dissection. It has something basically wrong in it. It has not yet been able to know the living body. To dissect a dead body is one thing, to know something about it is one thing, and to know something about a living body is totally different. But the modern science has no way of knowing about the living body. The only way it knows is to butcher it, to cut it, but the moment you cut it it is no more the same phenomenon. To understand a flower on the stem, on the tree, is one thing; to cut it, dissect it, is totally another. It is no more the same phenomenon. Its quality is different.
Albert Einstein has some qualities which the corpse will not have, cannot have. A poet dies - the body is there but where is the poetry? A genius dies the body is there but where is the genius? The body of the idiot and the body of the genius are the same. You will not be able to know by dissecting the body whether it belonged to a genius or it belonged to an idiot, whether it belonged to a mystic or it belonged to somebody who was never aware of anything mysterious in life. It will be impossible because you are simply looking into the house and the being who lived there is no more there. You are simply studying the cage and the bird has gone; and to study the cage is not to study the bird.
But still, the body contains the divine in it.
The real way is to go within yourself and watch your own body from there, from the interiormost of your being. Then it is a tremendous joy... just to see its functioning, its ticking. It is the greatest miracle that has happened in the universe. Everything else is less complicated than the human body. So think of it as a temple, because it is a temple. And respect it, be prayerful about it, because something of infinite value is contained in it. It is a container - it contains an eternal diamond.
Prem means love, tantro means expansion - expansion of love. One is nothing but one's love. The more loving you are, the more you are; the less loving you are, the less you are. Your being is of the same quality and quantity as your love. One can be measured by one's love, one is known by one's love.
Become more and more loving and you will find yourself expanding: you will become bigger and bigger, huge. The more your love spreads into different dimensions, the more roots you will have in being, and you will become a big tree with much foliage, great foliage. And only a loving person knows how to blossom. Only the loving person knows when the spring comes. An unloving person never knows the climate of the spring because he never blooms. He lives, he dies, without knowing anything of the innermost secrets of life. Love opens the door....
Anand means bliss, sambodhi means the ultimate state of awareness - bliss and awareness. They are two aspects of the same coin. Either become more blissful and you will find awareness growing, or become more aware and you will find bliss growing. The best way is to work on both together; they help each other. One brings the other, and then the other in its own turn helps. So whenever it is possible to be aware, be aware, and you will find more and more possibilities opening for being blissful. And whenever it is possible to be blissful, be blissful, and you will find more doors opening for awareness. They are mutual. Just as there are vicious circles, there are virtuous circles; this is a virtuous circle. There are moments when it is easy to be blissful, then use them; and there are moments when it is simple to be aware, then use them., When you are alone, be aware; when you are with people, be blissful.
To be aware when you are with people will make you look cold, because awareness is a kind of coolness... not really cold but to others it appears as cold. If you try to be aware with people they will feel a distance between you and themselves. They will feel a little offended... unconsciously, but they will smell that you are aloof, detached, and that's not good, that is inhuman. Mm, that's what Buddhist monks have been doing down the ages. They look inhuman. Love has disappeared, they cannot relate, because if you are trying to be aware twenty-four hours a day you cannot relate.
Relationship is possible only when you are blissful, warm, loving.
So when you are with people, be more and more blissful and they will find you closer, more friendly, more warm, more available, more interested in their being. But deep down you will feel that the awareness is helped and nourished by it, indirectly nourished, not directly practised. And when you are alone, just be aware, alert about everything that is happening around you, outside, inside. That will give you great silence, great coolness, tranquillity, centering. And indirectly it will help you to be more blissful, because a centred person is capable of losing himself more deeply in others than the person who is not centred.
This is a paradox. Logically we would think otherwise, but the uncentred person is always afraid of losing himself in the other because he knows he has no centre. Unless he protects himself he will be lost, the other will possess him. He is afraid, fearful; he creates an armour around himself. The uncentred person has to create an armour to protect himself because he knows that he can go too far and he can be easily influenced by others, possessed by others, hypnotized by others, used by others. So he creates an armour. And that armour makes one a machine. He relates mechanically through the armour... as if he touches you but with gloves on his hands. He wants himself to be protected; he is always afraid.
But the centred person need not have any armour. He knows he can go as far as he wants and he will be able to come back. That trust is there, so he can get involved in deeper relationships.
He can love to the very uttermost and yet remain himself because he knows that he can go as far as possible - he will come back home. He knows the way and he knows his centre. It is a single moment's work to fall back on the centre. He need not have any protection.
So these two things I give to you - this is my message for your sannyas: in relationship be blissful, in aloneness be aware, and they will help each other, like two wings of a bird.
It means servant of god. One has to surrender oneself totally, only then is god possible in life. We have to become utterly empty of ourselves. If we are too full of ourselves there is no space for god to enter in.
Sannyas is nothing but an effort to help you to empty yourself. Once you have become a deep emptiness, god descends in you of his own accord. One need not go in search, and even if one wants to, where can one go? If you remain the same, wherever you go you will miss god. So it is not a question of travelling. It is not a journey from here to there - it is a journey from being full of the ego to the utter emptiness. It is simple: one just has to vomit the ego. And it is easy because that ego is already making you sick. It is nauseating, it is making everybody ill. We just don't know how to throw this poison out. I will teach you that. It is a very simple procedure.
Sannyas is already a step towards it, because it means surrender. Surrendering to the master is the beginning of surrendering to god. So keep in mind: you have to become a servant. And that is the most exalted state possible, because only the servant can become the master.