Meditation is the Path of Ecstasy
Anand means bliss, aikanto means aloneness - the bliss of being alone. There is a kind of bliss which arises in relationship, in love, with people. But there is also a blissfulness which arises when you are simply, utterly alone. The first bliss can only be momentary because it depends on the interaction of two persons. And two persons are two worlds apart; if they meet for a few moments, if really the meeting happens, it is a miracle. But it cannot be a constant state of your being; it will come and it will go. There will be ups and there will be downs, and the higher the ups, the lower will be the downs. And after each peak experience of bliss you will fall into a deep darkness, into a valley of darkness.
Love gives ecstasies but also agonies. Love gives a few moments of heaven but also in the same amount a few moments of hell too. Love has two aspects - heaven and hell both; it is a mixture. And it cannot be otherwise, because two persons are so different that even to meet for a single moment is more than one can expect or hope. And immediately the separation starts. You come closer and closer and there comes a moment when you start moving away from each other. Love is constantly in flux, waves come and go. It is ebb and flow.
But there is a higher kind of blissfulness which is attained only when one learns how to be alone. It arises from your very being, it wells up in you. And because it doesn't depend on anybody else it can become a continuous process; you can be in that bliss forever and forever. And the search is for that bliss.
I am not against love, because love gives you the first glimpse of blissfulness. In fact love is the introduction to meditation. And those who stop at love have only read the introduction and have not gone into the book itself. Love is only an introduction to blissfulness. It gives you the first glimpses, a preview. It creates a desire, a longing. It gives you dreams of 'If it can happen for a few moments, why not forever?'
Through love one starts searching for meditation. Meditation means: bliss in being alone. That is the meaning of your name - search for it! One is really alive when one has become capable of it, when there is no dependence any more on anybody, on any situation, on any condition. And because it is one's own, it can remain morning, evening, day, night, in youth or in old age, in health, in illness. In life, in death too, it can remain because it is not something that is happening to you from the outside.
It is something welling up in you. It is your very nature... it is self-nature.
[BLISS CONSCIOUSNESS - ANAND SUCHET.] Consciousness and bliss are two aspects of one phenomenon: from one side it is consciousness, from the other side it is bliss. And exactly in the same way unconsciousness and misery are related, they are aspects of one phenomenon - from one side unconsciousness, from another side, misery.
It is impossible to be conscious and miserable, just as it is impossible to be unconscious and blissful.
Seek one and the other follows; there is no need to seek both.
And to you my suggestion is: seek consciousness, because that will be easier for you. Your involvement is with intelligence. Your involvement is not with feeling; your involvement is with thinking. You think too much.
The thinking person can easily become conscious; the feeling person can easily become blissful.
So for the feeling person the journey starts by being blissful; for the thinking type the journey starts by being conscious.
So transform your energy that is involved in thinking into consciousness. Rather than becoming identified with the thoughts that come to you, watch them; don't become identified. Just see them as a procession... separate from you. They are separate. You are always a witness. Don't get lost in the crowd of the thoughts. Remain aloof, standing by the side of the road, let the traffic pass, and slowly slowly become more and more detached, distant. The more detached you are, the more distant you are. Soon you will see that thoughts are still coming but the old rush is no more there.
Thoughts are still coming but their grip over you is lessening. They are still coming but they look pale, ill, not so healthy and strong as they used to be, because their health depends on your identification with them.
When you become identified with thought, the thought becomes very strong. It is your energy that the thought lives on. A thought is a parasite: it exploits you, can possess your whole being. The more detached, the more observing you are, the more you will see that thoughts are faraway, distant noises. Slowly slowly they lose all meaning, and the day they lose all meaning they disappear. When you don't give them any importance they disappear. They come only because they are welcomed guests. When they become unwelcome, ignored, they stop coming. And the day that the no-thought moves in the mind, the whole energy is available to be conscious; and then consciousness rises in a vertical direction.
Thoughts move horizontally: one thought followed by another, followed by another. They move horizontally. Consciousness moves vertically: it goes higher and higher and higher. Thoughts move like a river... consciousness rises like a tree... but it can rise only if the energy is no more involved in thoughts.
So this is your work: you have to become more alert, conscious, aware of your thinking process, detached and distant. And as you become distant you will start feeling a great blissfulness arising in you for no reason at all. Just in the same gap that was occupied by thoughts, bliss arises. In the same emptiness in which thoughts were continuously gathering and crowding, bliss arises.
Nature abhors vacuum - it is true for the outer nature, it is also true for the inner nature. When you create an emptiness in your mind, immediately something that has always been there inside you, waiting for some space to spread, starts spreading. And that phenomenon is bliss.
Deva means divine, shesho means that which is always left behind. When all is gone, when all is dropped, when all that you can drop has been dropped but still something remains behind, that is god, that is divine. Thoughts are dropped, the body is dropped, the feelings are dropped. All that one can possibly drop has been dropped, but still something remains. That cannot be dropped - that something is god!
That which can be dropped simply shows that it is not you, it is just property. My hand can be cut; that simply means that I am not it. The child disappears one day, becomes a young man; the body is no more there, the same body is no more there. Physiologists say that in seven years time the whole body completely changes - completely, not even an iota of the old remains in it. Each single cell has gone through change. If a man lives for seventy years he gets a new body ten times.
So that which changes you cannot be because you are the unchanging one. You were a child, you became a young man, you became old; you are continuum, but the body goes on continuously changing. The body is like a wheel that goes on moving, but you are something on which the wheel moves. You are unmoving. You are the centre of the cyclone. Thoughts are there all around you but you are not your thinking process, because you know when a thought passes by; you know this thought is passing, so the knower is separate, the thought is an object. And when you become full of emotion, a feeling takes possession, you know perfectly well that now you are in love, that now you are in anger. But you are not the anger; otherwise how would you be out of it? Then it would be impossible to be out of it.
People fall in love and fall out of it. That simply shows that love is just something that is happening to them but it is not their being - Something from the outside happening, an incident, an episode, but not their being.
In the East this process is called the process of elimination. One goes on eliminating: 'This I cannot be because this changes.' Mm, you have a headache... how can you be the headache? - otherwise who would know it? And you are hungry... how can you be the hunger? - otherwise who would know it? You are in pain and you are in pleasure, but there is a separate entity - the knower, the witness.
When all is eliminated something remains which you cannot eliminate. You cannot eliminate this consciousness. You can drop everything but you cannot drop the witness.
That's why it is impossible to imagine one's death... impossible. There is no way to even imagine your death, because you will be a witness. You can think that your body is Lying dead like a corpse in the room, but you are seeing it so you are not dead. There is no way to imagine one's death.
That's why we see death happening every day, but still somewhere deep down we know we are not going to die. Some very unconscious understanding is there of 'I am not going to die'... although we know that death happens every day and we know those people were also thinking that they were not going to die and they are dead. We know that just like them we will disappear one day, but still somewhere deep down there is an understanding that knows 'I am not going to die.' That is your reality. That reality is divine because it is immortal, formless, attributeless. So this name becomes your meditation. Let elimination be your method. Always think 'Can this be dropped or not? If it can be dropped then I am not it.' Then don't be too worried about it. It is good - a role, a play, an act. One has to perform so one is performing. For example: you can drop speaking but you cannot drop silence; that is impossible. So speaking is an acquired thing; silence is not acquired, it is part of you. You can drop your character - a sinner can become a saint, a saint can become a sinner - so it is acquired They have just cultivated different kinds of habits, that's all; the difference is not much. It can be dropped any moment: the saint can become a sinner; any moment the sinner can become the saint. It is so easy to change the role like one changes clothes. Then character is not of much value consciousness and only consciousness... because that is the only thing that cannot be dropped. There is no way to drop it. That is you.
The Upanishads say 'Tat twam asi - that art thou...' that which cannot be dropped, which cannot be eliminated.
[He asks about his age... thirty-five years... in terms of coming into my next seven... and the relationship between you working through me or with me.] That's a good time, a really good time, because thirty-five is exactly the time when life changes, the time when life starts moving towards death. Up to thirty-five death is at your back. After thirty-five it confronts you, it is in front of you. So up to thirty-five a person can easily remain foolish. That's why youth is foolish, because it is unaware of. the most important thing in life - that is death. It is almost unconscious of the only certainty in life - that is death. It is so certain of other things which are all uncertain: love, happiness, success, money, power. It is so certain about these things, which are all uncertain. Only of death is it not aware - which is absolutely certain. There is no way to avoid it; it is going to happen. In fact it already happened the day you were born. That day you started dying.
It will take seventy years to complete the course, but it started on the first day. The first breath is the beginning of the last.
Thirty-five is the most important time because that is the turning-point. If at the age of thirty-five one starts becoming interested in meditation, one has started preparing for death. Because meditation will make you aware of something which is not going to die, which cannot die, which will remain even after death. And to know it is to be fearless; to know it is to know real life, eternal life.
Psychologists are becoming aware slowly slowly that all the psychological problems that arise, arise after thirty-five, and by forty-two they become very prominent. By forty-seven they have encroached upon you from everywhere. Between thirty-five and forty-two people have heart attacks, ulcers, suicides, accidents, go mad. And these are all symptoms of one thing only: that they have not started preparing for death. These are symptoms, these are hints from your unconscious. 'Prepare for death. Look - ulcers have come; look - a heart attack has come.' These are reminders to prepare for death. Now don't go on clinging to the body; drop that old, foolish programme. It was good once but it is no more valid. It was good to live that way, but now you cannot live that way. Now something new is emerging in the future - the phenomenon of death - and you have to be ready for it.
In a really civilized world, just as we prepare children for life we will prepare people at thirty-five - we will send them to monasteries, to ashramas, to retreats - to prepare for death. Just as life needs preparation - we send children to the kindergarten and to the school, to the college and to the university, to prepare for life and to get ready for life - in exactly the same way some preparation is needed for death.
To find a master is to find the place where you can slowly slowly get ready to face death; and that is the greatest adventure too. If one is ready to die knowing perfectly well that one is not dying, life has been lived well; one has not wasted it. Only death proves whether life has been lived well or foolishly. If in death a person is still hankering - hankering for life, desiring a few more days to live, asking for a few more desires to be fulfilled - that means his life has been really a wastage; he has not learned a thing.
So this is perfectly the right time to become a sannyasin.... And much is going to happen - just go on eliminating. And this will give you such tremendous insight. Somebody insults you, just see:
how can he insult you? He cannot even see you - how can he insult you? He does not know even your name - how can he insult you? He is insulting his own idea of you. That is his idea - that is none of your business, so you can laugh... as if he is insulting somebody else. In fact he is insulting somebody else. There is no way for him to know you.
The more you go on eliminating, the more you will feel a great tranquillity settling. Insults don't mean anything; praise also becomes meaningless. One succeeds, it is okay; one fails, it is perfectly okay.
People give attention to you, good; nobody gives any attention, good. It makes no difference at all.
When the opposites of life make no difference, you are settling, centring has started happening, and it brings such rejoicing. It makes you for the first time really alive. It is a rebirth. Sannyas is a rebirth.
Anand means bliss, rasen means god of the juice. The full name will mean: god of the juice of bliss.
Bliss is an inner juice, an inner nectar. It really starts flowing; one tastes it. It circulates in one's being just as blood circulates in the body. It is a very very alive flow. Bliss is not just a thought - it is a reality. And bliss is not just a make-believe - it is a truth. It is not imagination, it is not dream.
In fact when all imagination and dreaming disappears, only then are you capable of knowing it. It is our ultimate truth beyond which nothing exists.
One has to go deeper and deeper into oneself, just as somebody digs a well in the earth and goes deeper and deeper and deeper and then one day the source of water is found. Exactly like that one has to go digging. There are layers and layers: thoughts, feelings, emotions, imaginations, memories. All these layers have to be broken; one has to go on digging. Meditations are nothing but digging methods, and if one goes on digging long enough, patiently, one day suddenly the life source bursts forth in an explosion like a fountain.
The juice of bliss starts flowing in your being and only then can you say 'God is.' Only then can you feel grateful. Only then can you know what a gift life is.
But ordinarily we only live on the surface - thirsty, hungry. The treasure is there at the centre and we go on rushing hither and thither, in all directions, in all the ten directions. But the truth of bliss is in the eleventh direction - it is the inward direction.
Deva means god, lino means absorbed in - absorbed in god. One has to disappear, one has to die in god. Only then can god live in one. If you disappear in god, god will appear in you. That's what is meant by the meeting; that's what Christian mystics call 'unio mystica'. It is just as two lovers meet and dissolve into each other, but that is only momentary. With god it is eternal, hence god is the true beloved.
All other love relationships are just stepping stones. Nothing bad in them - they prepare you. They give you little bits of glimpses of what is possible... momentary unions but immensely enlightening.
They are just like the lightning in the dark night: for a moment everything becomes clear, then again there is darkness. But those lightning glimpses create a desire, an ambition, a longing, a thirst. That thirst slowly slowly helps one to move towards god.
God is the ultimate experience of love where two become one. And that oneness is not temporal, not in time, but in eternity. That is the longing of every being, and everybody is searching for it, groping in the dark. And it is not impossible it is possible; one just has to move with a little more method. That's what meditation is: madness with a method. And if madness is with a method it opens the doors, it opens all the mysteries. I teach madness and I teach method....