The master thief sound
I HAVE HEARD YOU SAY, HARI OM TAT SAT: THE DIVINE SOUND - THAT IS THE TRUTH.
WHEN YOU SPEAK I HEAR THE SOUND OF TRUTH RESONATING IN ME, YET I AM NOT ENLIGHTENED. HOW IS IT THAT I CAN RECOGNIZE THAT WHICH I HAVEN'T REALIZED?
Maneesha, Hari Om Tat Sat: the divine sound - that is the truth... It is one of the mahavakyas, the great sayings which have been embedded in the hearts of the mystics since eternity. It is not something theoretical, not something philosophical, it is something existential.
Those who have gone within themselves have always heard a strange sound, which can only be called the sound of existence itself. It is difficult to reduce that sound into language. Hence for centuries, as far back as we can go, Om, the sound, has been represented not by any alphabetical word but by a symbol.
That symbol is beyond any alphabet. It does not belong to any language. Hence the Tibetans can use it, the people who are writing in Sanskrit can use it; Mahavira can use it, who was using a language called Prakrit; Gautam Buddha can use it, who was speaking in a language called Pali.
There is no other symbol in the whole world which does not belong to any particular language, but is simply symbolic of a certain experience that can happen to anyone. And why have they not reduced it to some linguistic form? It is not without reason.
The sound of Om is heard only when your mind is completely silent, when you have gone beyond all language, all thinking, when there is pure silence, not even a ripple. Suddenly you hear a music.
There is no instrument playing it. It seems it is simply the very heartbeat of existence. That's why it doesn't matter whether someone is a Buddhist or a Hindu or a Jaina. It does not depend on your philosophy, on your religion. It depends on the depth of your reach towards your very inner center.
There, suddenly, you are overwhelmed.
It is not exactly Om, but Om comes the closest to expressing the sound. And the sound has been called the divine sound because it is not man-made. It is eternally herenow. Whoever wants to enter into the stream of eternal existence is bound to hear it. It says nothing, but it vibrates your being to such joy, to such celebration, to such dance that you have never dreamt of before.
The word 'hari' is used as one of the names of God. I don't want to bring God in; I want to avoid God completely because it brings all kinds of lies behind it. Nobody has ever experienced any God.
There is no evidence, no proof, no argument to support it. It is an absolutely useless hypothesis - not only useless, but immensely harmful, because so much bloodshed has happened because of the name God. It is time that we forget the word and start using something else fresh.
The word 'hari' in itself has another meaning which is far more beautiful than the word God. Hari in Sanskrit means the thief. And the sound of Om, once you come close to it, certainly proves to be the master thief because it simply steals your very heart forever. Then you are part of the existence and you are no longer a separate personality.
You are not. Existence is.
Certainly this can be done only by a master thief: you are completely stolen, absorbed, not even a mark is left behind. Those who have used the words hari om would rather say that it is the divine sound. My own preference is to say that it is the master thief sound, which has stolen millions of hearts.
But whatever you say, one thing is certain: Tat Sat. Tat means that, and sat means truth.
This sound of Om is our very truth, is our very being. We are made of it. The whole existence vibrates, and through different vibrations of the same sound there are different things, but they are simply different vibrations. A certain vibration creates a tree, another vibration creates a bird, another vibration creates a man, but the whole existence, according to the mystics, is made of sound. This sound is certainly the most sacred, the most divine, because there is nothing more beautiful, nothing more ecstatic. Once you have heard it, even from far away... just a glimpse and you will never be the same person again.
All that we are searching for in meditations is nothing but this master thief. We are searching in our being: what kind of dance, what kind of music goes on there in the living center of your life.
Strangely enough all those who have entered in have found the same answer, without exception - Hari Om Tat Sat.
Maneesha, you are asking, "When you speak, I hear the sound of truth resonating in me, yet I am not enlightened. How is it that I can recognize that which I have not realized?" There are many things in this small portion of your question.
When you hear me you are hearing existence itself, just the way you hear the wind passing through the pine trees or you hear the sound of running water. I have nothing to say to you, that's why I go on speaking continually, for years. If I had something to say I would have said it. Because I don't have anything to say, I can continue for eternity.
When you hear my sound and truth starts resonating in you it is simply a bridging between the master and the disciple. If what is coming from me originated in existence itself and you are in love, in trust, feeling one with me, you will start resonating with the same truth that is making me a vehicle.
It does not need you to be anybody special, it just needs a loving heart, a trusting heart with open doors so the breeze that is coming is not obstructed, so the fragrance that is flowing can overwhelm you, can surround you, can open your heart like a rose opening its petals.
But your problem is, "How is it possible, because I am not enlightened?"
Who said that to you?
I am saying every day you are enlightened, and you are so stubborn that sometimes I also start feeling it would be better I join you and become unenlightened. Why keep this separation? Either you become enlightened or I am going to become unenlightened. There is a limit to everything!
I don't know who the person is who goes on spreading these rumors that you are not enlightened.
What is the source of this knowledge? I know it, for thousands of years you have been told you are not enlightened. The people who were telling you that you are not enlightened were on an ego trip - they were enlightened, you were not enlightened; they had arrived, your journey is going to be very long, perhaps many, many lives.
Their whole effort was to create a great distance between you and themselves so they could be superior to you. They are divine, they are God's incarnation, they are enlightened, they are messengers, they are messiahs, and you... you are just an ignorant person moving from one life to another, carrying the same load of ignorance that goes on increasing with every life. These people have insulted the whole humanity.
As far as I am concerned, I want to say not only are you enlightened, the trees and the rivers and the mountains and the stars, all are enlightened. Otherwise is not possible. I want to make it absolutely clear to you: to be alive is to be enlightened. Wherever there is life, wherever there is love, enlightenment is just hidden underneath. You may not recognize it. The whole effort is to help you to recognize it.
All the meditations are nothing but an effort to feel your enlightenment - which is already the case; whether you feel it or not it does not matter. If you feel it you will rejoice, your life will become a dance, moment to moment, of tremendous glory and majesty, of grace and gratitude. If you don't recognize it you will remain miserable, asking all kinds of idiots, frauds, "How can I become enlightened?"
There have been masters like Bodhidharma. You ask him how to become enlightened and you will get such a good slap on your face that you will wake up immediately, saying, "I am sorry, I had just fallen asleep. I am enlightened." Those days were beautiful, when it was perfectly accepted that a master can slap the disciple. Now people have completely forgotten those beautiful moments and those beautiful days and those beautiful people.
It is said about Chuang Tzu that when for the first time he entered the hut where Lao Tzu, his would- be master, was living, Lao Tzu looked at Chuang Tzu and said, "Remember one thing, never ask me how to become enlightened." The poor fellow had come for that very purpose. But Lao Tzu made it clear, "Only on this condition will I accept you as my disciple."
There was a moment of silence. Chuang Tzu thought, "It is strange. I have come to become enlightened, that is the very purpose of becoming a disciple. And this old fellow, so beautiful and so graceful, is asking such an absurd thing: if you want to be my disciple, promise me that you will never ask about how to become enlightened."
But it was already too late. He had fallen in love with the old man. He touched his feet and he said, "I promise I will never ask how to become enlightened, but accept me as your disciple."
Immediately came a hard slap, "You idiot! If you are not going to become enlightened, then for what purpose are you becoming a disciple? I was asking this promise because I could see in you such beautiful intelligence that you might have immediately realized the point of my asking. You are enlightened; there is no way to become enlightened. There is no need. In fact even if you want to become unenlightened, there is no way."
Then why has this whole humanity become unenlightened? How have they managed? Just by forgetting, just by being too involved in other things. The world is vast, and the mind goes on taking you into new desires, new longings, new achievements, new greed. Slowly, slowly a curtain falls between you and your mind, and the mind completely forgets your being. It forgets completely that there is an inner world also, not only an outer existence.
The outer is very poor in comparison to the inner. But once you get involved with the outer, it is so vast that there is a possibility you may wander around in the universe for millions of lives. And you may not realize that you are wasting your time, that it is time to look in.
Maneesha, promise me to never ask again, "I am not enlightened, how to become enlightened?" I have my own ways of slapping, far more sophisticated. I don't use my hand because I am a lazy man; moreover I don't want to hurt my hand. But I have my own ways, and I go on slapping people - and you know it well!
And the last part of your question is, "How is it that I can recognize that which I have not realized?" If you can recognize it, that is an absolute guarantee that you must have realized it in some unconscious way. Perhaps you have forgotten your realization. Each child is born with the realization.
I have condemned Gautam Buddha's story many times, but this time I am going to appreciate it, just to put things in balance. The story is: Gautam Buddha is born while his mother is standing under a saal tree, and he is born standing. And the first thing he does is to take seven steps in front of his mother and declare to the universe, "I am the most enlightened person ever." I have condemned it for different reasons; now I want to appreciate it for different reasons.
In fact, every newborn child, if he could, would say the same thing, "I am enlightened." If every newborn child could walk, he would take seven steps and declare to the whole world, "I am the most enlightened person, unique." Perhaps the story is simply a symbolic way of recognizing each child's innocence as his enlightenment, as his ultimate experience.
But he will be lost in the world. Perhaps once in a while somebody comes back to his childhood again. My effort is to bring you back to your innocent childhood again. What you have not done in your first birth you can do in your second.
After I have gone from here tonight, everybody has to take seven steps and declare to the whole world, "I am the most enlightened person!" Try it, and you will really rejoice. And you will never fall back again into the old ignorance and start looking for how to become enlightened. Finish it tonight!
And you are asking how one can recognize if one has not realized. It is a question like if you are given a rotten egg in a restaurant and you say, "This is rotten." And the manager comes and says, "Are you a hen? Have you ever produced an egg? If you have never produced an egg, on what authority are you saying that this is rotten?"
There is no need. You can recognize things which you may not have consciously realized, but which must be an undercurrent of realization within you. Except that there is no other way. How do you realize when you fall in love that it is love? Certainly somewhere deep inside you there must be a hidden corner that already knows what love is. How do you recognize when you see a roseflower and say it is beautiful? Have you ever seen beauty? Have you ever realized what beauty is? But certainly you recognize that the rose is beautiful. I am simply saying that there must be a certain realization in your being about beauty, about truth, about the ultimate sound of existence. That's what makes you recognize.
You are much more than you think you are.
You are not what all the religions have made you - sinners, condemned, just sitting in the waiting room for the train to take you to hell. And the waiting room itself is giving you enough experience of hell!
The word 'sin' is used by all the religions without paying attention to the root meaning of the word.
The root meaning of the word is to forget. It has nothing to do with morality, it has nothing to do with your good actions or bad actions; it has something to do with forgetting who you are. And if you have forgotten, you can remember.
Gautam Buddha continually says to his disciples, "It is not a question of realization, it is only a question of remembering. What you have forgotten you have with you"... just a little search in all your pockets - also in the pockets which you are keeping secret even to yourself.
I have told you the story of Mulla Nasruddin.... He is traveling in a train and a ticket checker comes, and Mulla looks into everything for his ticket. He opens all his suitcases and bags and creates so much fuss that almost half of the passengers have to move to make space for all his things that he is taking out to look for the ticket.
Tired, the ticket checker says, "Forget all about it, just answer me one question and I will be satisfied.
You have been looking in everything, in places where the ticket cannot be lost - you have looked in your shoes. Why should the ticket be lost in your shoes? But you have not looked in the right-side pocket on your coat."
Mulla said, "Don't mention that. I am not going to look into that pocket. That is my only hope, that perhaps the ticket is there. I can look everywhere in the world, but not in my right-side pocket."
Everybody in the compartment said, "This is strange, the fellow thinks that perhaps... If you think that the ticket may be there, then that is the first place to look. But no, there are different kinds of logic and different kinds of arithmetic. The man also has a point. He says, 'That is my only hope, don't destroy it. Let me look in the whole world first. That is the last resort.'"
Tired of his search, the ticket checker says, "You simply be quiet and collect your things, because you are disturbing all the passengers, and I will not ask anything about your right pocket."
Mulla said, "That's right. Nobody should ever make any indication towards my right pocket because I am not going to look there."
Most of us are searching for things exactly where we know they are not. Now, people are searching for God in churches, in temples, in stone statues, and nobody ever thinks, "Is God going to be met there?" The statues are man-made, the temples are man-made and nobody is looking into himself, which is the only space not manufactured by man, the only place where perhaps the ticket is. It is simply a question of remembering. But you, whether you remember or not, are by nature part of the whole.
The experience that "I am part of the whole" is enlightenment. If you recognize it you start dancing.
If you don't recognize it you go on crying unnecessarily. Things which are very simple have been made unnecessarily complicated, just to cheat you, exploit you.
Religion has functioned in the world as the greatest business - greatest in two senses. It accumulates more money than any other business and it goes on selling things which are invisible.
Now, selling things which are invisible is a great business. You purchase something invisible, you keep it carefully in your suitcase, afraid that it may get lost - then to find it will be very difficult. So keep the suitcase locked, never open it, because who knows? - the invisible thing may have wings, may fly out.
The most intelligent people in the world are also purchasing God - who is absolutely invisible - purchasing tickets for heaven, depositing bank balances in paradise. And everything they give they see with their own eyes going into the pockets of the priests. But perhaps from those pockets there are invisible ways - the money that they are giving to the pope will reach. In the Vatican the pope has a bank. It is really a branch of the original bank; you deposit in the branch and it will reach the original bank. You need not be worried about it.
And this pope goes on wasting your money in unnecessarily traveling here and there. He came to India. And wherever he goes, the first thing he does is to kiss the earth. He could have done it in the Vatican. There was no need, the earth is the same everywhere, but certainly tastes are different....
When he touched down at New Delhi airport I was in Nepal, and I said to my people, "This is his first taste of Hinduism." Because you cannot taste earth in India unless you taste cow dung, and that is the only essential Hinduism.
And he wastes your money, which you think is going to be deposited in paradise. On a single trip to Australia he wasted six million dollars - twice the cost of the visit of the Queen of England, Elizabeth.
And three times he has been around the world, wasting six million, eight million dollars on each trip.
This is your money.
Once George Bernard Shaw was asked, "Do you think a man can live joyfully just keeping his hands in his pockets and doing nothing?"
George Bernard said, "Yes, it is possible. Just one thing has to be remembered: the pockets must not be yours. Just keep your hand in somebody else's pocket."
That has been the whole religion. And they are giving you things which even an idiot can understand....
The Italian consul from Calcutta was here. Before he came here to be slapped by me he had gone to Satya Sai Baba. He seems to think himself a seeker of truth. And what happened in Satya Sai Baba's place? There they have an arrangement that in the office you fill in a form with your name, your country, your job, and what your essential question is, what you have come to ask. And then the Italian consul was taken in.
Many other people were sitting waiting for Satya Sai Baba. He was given a special place. Satya Sai Baba came in and directly pointed to him, saying, "You live in Calcutta. You are Italian. You work in the consulate." A great miracle! And all the information he had filled in.
And these idiots like Satya Sai Baba are surrounded by other idiots not only of this country, they come from far away in search of truth. And he was immensely impressed: "This is your question.
You want to know this, this is your enquiry. You are a great seeker of truth."
Now, naturally he is going to write a book. I will wait for his book. Here he also got special treatment, but I don't think he will have the guts to even refer to it. He was so afraid that he had an appointment with one of our sannyasins, Azima, to go with him to a dinner, but he simply escaped. He never reached the hotel where Azima was waiting for him for the dinner, afraid that Azima was bound to ask, "What do you think about Shree Rajneesh?"
And it is not that he will not think about me. He will think about me day in and day out! He will see me in his dreams, because he avoided seeing me here. When I pointed at him, he was holding his hand over his face. I could not believe that such cowards... When I passed by the side I was looking from the window of my car; he had changed the position of his hand. Now he was keeping his hand over the side of his face. These are the people who are your diplomats, your politicians, your priests.
If religiousness means anything, it means fearlessness. It means taking a risk, putting at stake all that you have, all that is familiar, for the unknown; leaving the known and moving into the unknown.
That simple step makes you religious. No other discipline is needed.
I have continually to postpone those funny and strange questions... their time never comes. One is so great that I think tomorrow morning I will begin with it. Now a few things to contemplate seriously....
Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan are the guests of the king of Saudi Arabia, who has a magic swimming pool. The magic is that if you name a liquid while jumping into the empty pool, it will immediately be filled with that liquid.
Gorbachev goes first, and ripping off his clothes, he shouts, "Vodka!" and leaps into the pool, which is miraculously full of the finest Russian vodka.
Thatcher goes next, and bouncing along in her bra and panties, she yells, "Whiskey!" She lands with a splash in a pool filled with the finest, twelve-year-old scotch.
Not to be out-done, Reagan races towards the pool in his jockey shorts, stubs his toes on the edge of the pool and falling headlong, he screams, "Oh, shit!"
Yes, Beloved Master.