Buddhas are trying to be buddhas
THE OTHER DAY, WHEN YOU SAID WE LOOK LIKE GAUTAM BUDDHAS WHEN WE LAUGH, A BIG LET-GO HAPPENED DEEP INSIDE ME AND I CRIED FOR A LONG TIME. TODAY I FEEL VERY FRAGILE AND THE CRYING OFTEN COMES BACK. I CANNOT EVEN MEDITATE. ALSO THERE IS SOME FEAR. CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT IS HAPPENING?
ALSO, IS THERE AN AUSTRALIAN JOKE?
Deva Riktam, when anyone has realized his buddhahood, his enlightenment, his immortality, the first thing that has happened is laughter. Laughter at himself, because he was seeking and searching for millions of years for something that he himself was.
You can seek the other, but you cannot seek yourself. You can be separate from the other, but you cannot be separate from yourself. There is a possibility of distance between you and the other, but there is no possibility of distance between you and you. This is one part: one realizes the hilarious situation, that buddhas are trying to be buddhas. Naturally a great laughter arises.
From the other side also it is true. If a great laughter arises for any reason, or no reason, suddenly your mind stops, your time stops. Those are the basic preconditions needed to experience your buddha-nature - only for a moment, of course, because it is not through awareness that you have obtained buddhahood, but through laughter. But laughter gives you both keys, as if for a single moment in the middle of the night the sun rises and all is light.
Laughter has a tremendous spiritual value. No religion has accepted it. In fact, all religions have condemned it. I can understand their condemnation: they don't want you all to be buddhas. They don't want you even to have a glimpse of who you are, because once the glimpse has happened you cannot remain in the old, miserable agony, anguish. You know that if time and mind stop, you are more than you can ask for... utter serenity, peacefulness, blissfulness, love, sensitivity and a sense of belonging to the universe - not just as an accident, but as an essential part.
The religions have taught people to be serious. It is a very cunning strategy. It is preventing you from having glimpses which ultimately culminate in the realization of your own self.
The moment you are a buddha, you are free from all religions, free from all scriptures, free from all dogmas... sheer freedom and love; a fresh breeze that never goes stale; a fragrance that goes on and on and on from eternity to eternity; a dance in which you are not alone, the whole existence participates: the birds sing on their instruments, the trees bring flowers of different colors. That is their way of contributing... poor trees, but their flowers are more precious than any stones, than even the Kohinoor, because the Kohinoor is a dead stone and a roseflower is a living reality. The whole existence in some way or other contributes to your dance.
Your question is, "The other day when you said we look like Gautam Buddhas when we laugh..." I did not say you look like Gautam Buddhas, I said you ARE Gautam Buddhas when you laugh. Just look at the cunningness of the mind, its cowardliness. It cannot roar like a lion and say, "I am the buddha!" At the most it can say, "I think, perhaps... I may be a buddha, in some future life."
You are saying, "... a big let-go happened deep inside me and I cried for a long time." That was beautiful. Some window opened, perhaps for a split second, and you realized what you can be and what you have become. You can be a buddha, which is your reality, and you have become a beggar, which is not your reality.
Gautam Buddha used to say to his disciples, "I will take away all that you are not and I will give you all that you are, and the whole transformation is complete."
Tears came. Tears have a beauty if they come out of a joyful moment, out of a let-go. Then they are almost like flowers, dewdrops shining in the morning sun. And they cleanse you of all rubbish, of all garbage, of all crap that your so-called religions, professors, preachers - and there are all kinds of peddlers around - have imposed upon you. For a moment you slipped out of their prison and you saw the full-moon night - just for a moment.
The experience was so precious, you could give your whole life for that experience. But you don't have anything else to give; it is not yours. Life already belongs to the eternal life. But you can shower with tears your gratitude, your prayer, your thankfulness. Words are very small; they cannot say what tears can say.
Tears are silent, but still say something immense. If they come out of joy, they are the most precious experiences. They will cleanse not only your outer eyes, they will cleanse your inner eye too. They will give you a clarity.
And you also felt "... fragile and the crying often comes back." Certainly it is a great shock to realize, even for a moment, that you are a buddha. It is a shock because you cannot believe it yourself. You a buddha? Riktam, smoking cigarettes and being a buddha? But I don't see there is any problem.
A buddha can smoke cigarettes certainly in a totally different way than you smoke. You smoke because of your tensions. He can smoke just out of playfulness. But he avoids it mostly because it contains poison - and why poison the air when it is free and available? That poison, nicotine, in cigarettes is not free, it has to be paid for. It is a simple understanding.
Theoretically there is no problem, but practically no buddha is going to smoke cigarettes. It doesn't look right. Just visualize the statue of Gautam Buddha with a cigarette in his hand, smoke coming out of his nose... No, practically it is not possible. But even if theoretically it is possible, then a buddha will do anything with the grace of a buddha, in an enlightened way.
You may be doing the same thing, but it is the same only on the surface. Inside, between the buddha and you there is an unbridgeable distance.
A king came to see a master; the master lived in a deep forest. He met a man and asked him, "Where can I find the way to the master's place?" The man simply showed him with his finger, did not say anything, and went on chopping wood. The king went to the master's place and he was surprised - it was the same man who had been chopping wood, sitting on his throne wearing the robe of a master.
For a moment the king hesitated, but then he said, "I had come for other questions. This question I have never thought about, but it has become the most important one now. Are you the same man who was chopping wood?"
He said, "I am the same man, and now I am going to chop you! But I chop only that part which is false, pseudo, and leave your reality - pure, simple, natural. Are you ready?"
The king said, "I have not come to be chopped. I have some questions."
The master said, "All those questions are futile. First say it - are you ready? You see my axe?"
The king thought, "The man seems to be mad." He said, "I will think about it."
The master said, "These things are not to be thought about. Either you get it or you don't; it is just a 'click'. You have not seen in my eyes. You are so afraid and shrunken and closed, you have not allowed my love to enter you; otherwise you would have thought, 'This idea of chopping is a great idea. A man of such love and such understanding and such realization is not going to kill me. And if he wants to kill me, it is better to be killed by such a man than by an unknown, dark death.'"
The king said, "I will come again. You are making me afraid." He never came back again.
When such moments happen in your life they make you fragile, because it is a turning point. The old way is at risk. All that you have been is going to be finished and you don't know what is ahead, what is going to happen. That is the fragileness, hesitation: to choose the past or to choose the future.
Those who choose the past choose their graves. Those who choose the future are the adventurers, are the seekers.
They also feel fragile, but in spite of their fragileness one thing is certain, that going back is simply stupid. You have not found anything - what is the point of going back? Going ahead there may be some new realization, a new light, a new being.
And you are saying that tears are coming back again and again. Those tears are coming again and again because you have missed a great opportunity. The first tears had a different quality; they were flowers of joy. The second layer of tears is just a deep hurt, a wound that you missed.
You are saying, "I cannot even meditate." For the same reason, because in meditation what I said may become clear to you, and again the fragileness... "Also there is some fear." You are asking, "Can you tell me what is happening? Also, is there an Australian joke?"
Much is happening. You have just to become accustomed to such moments. No harm is going to happen to you. You are doing all the harm that you can do. You will not be wounded; on the contrary, all your wounds will become roses. You will not die; on the contrary, you will enter into the life stream of eternal being. It is a tremendous opportunity, the doors are open. Don't hesitate.
There is a Sufi story.... There have been not more than five or six enlightened women because women have been engaged in forcing the men to become enlightened. They completely forgot that they have also to become enlightened. But out of those five or six women, one of the most beautiful is Rabiya al-Adabiya, a Sufi woman. She was very courageous, of the quality of Bodhidharma - almost dangerously ferocious for those who used to come to her as disciples.
For the master it is a question of urgency. For you, you can postpone... tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, what is the hurry? But for the master it is a question of absolute urgency, because this is his last life. He will not be coming back again. Once you have become enlightened, you start losing grip of the body; slowly, slowly all ties with the body are broken. You will be here in the trees, in the sun rays, in the ocean waves, in the stars, but not as an entity... unlimited, you will become oceanic.
The master is in a hurry because nobody knows, tomorrow the master may have to leave the body.
All attachment with the body which was keeping it alive is gone, and there is not going to be another life. For you there are many lives ahead, you can go on postponing.
A seeker who finally became a master in his own right was Hassan. He used to sit before the mosque and pray for hours, and the prayer was always the same. The prayer was, "God, open your doors. I have been waiting long and I have been praying long. Open the doors so I can enter you and dissolve into you." The whole city was aware: "This man is a little crazy. Mohammedans do prayer five times a day, but this man seems to be doing prayer almost the whole day. And the prayer is not much, just, 'Open the door.'"
One day Rabiya was passing, and she hit on Hassan's head. She said, "You idiot! The door is open but you are so engaged in your prayer that you cannot see it. Stop praying and enter, the door is open!"
The hit... A silent moment... He looked, and certainly the door was open. The same mystic became a great master. He used to tell this story again and again, saying, "A single hit from Rabiya brought me home. But my God, that woman is really strong! She stopped my mind, my prayer and then I laughed and thanked her, 'Your grace is great, your compassion is great, because thousands of people pass here, but nobody says to me that the door is open.'"
You know, Jesus had the same fallacy. He needed a Rabiya al-Adabiya. His statement is, "Knock and the door shall be opened unto you. Ask and you shall be answered. Seek and you shall find."
Rabiya would have given him good slaps, "What kind of nonsense are you involved in? The doors are open, there is no need to knock. Just enter."
Once you have entered, questions and answers all disappear. And once you have entered, you have found what was always yours; there is no question of searching and finding.
Riktam, if you go on allowing yourself, relaxing in these silent moments, in these gaps which are really the doors, much, so much is going to happen. What has happened to you is just the beginning.
But you are caught. You cannot go back; you have to explore what is ahead. What did you have in the past except misery, agony, anxiety, anguish, fear? - all kinds of dark forces. You don't have anything in your past. Realize it with totality, so that you can move when a new door opens. And every day, to someone or other, the window opens - or to many sometimes.
And finally you are asking, "Also, is there an Australian joke?" Never heard of it. Jokes need a little intelligence. That land of kangaroos is itself a joke! But I enquired to all my Australian sannyasins - many are here - "Manage something. Create, be inventive." Many jokes came - just wishy-washy.
Just one joke I liked....
Swampy Marsh, the young Australian father-to-be, is waiting anxiously outside the maternity ward where his wife is having their first baby.
He is pacing the floor when the nurse comes out and says, "You have a little boy, Mr. Marsh, but you had better go and have a cup of coffee, because there might be another one."
Swampy turns a little pale and leaves. Some time later he phones the hospital and is told that he is the father of twins, but the nurse cautions, "There is another on the way, so call back later."
At that Swampy decides that coffee is not strong enough so he goes to a bar and has some beer.
When he phones the hospital again he is told that the third baby has arrived and a fourth is on the way. White-faced, he stumbles to the bar and orders a double scotch.
Twenty minutes later, he tries to phone again, but he is so drunk that he dials the wrong number and gets the recorded cricket score. When they pick him off the floor the recording is still going strong:
"The score is ninety-six all out," says the voice, "and the last one was a duck."
ALTHOUGH I'M NOT YET ONE OF YOUR SANNYASINS OFFICIALLY, PERHAPS YOU MIGHT STILL ANSWER THIS QUESTION. THE OTHER MORNING YOU TOLD US WE NEEDED ONLY TO STOP THE CHATTERING WITHIN US TO COME HOME. MY EXPERIENCE IS DIFFERENT: I CAN DROP INTO SILENCE, BUT THEN I STILL FEEL SOME LAYERS SEPARATING ME FROM "HOME."
COULD YOU TALK ABOUT THESE LAYERS AND HOW TO GET THROUGH THEM? TWICE IN MY LIFE I "CAME HOME" ACCIDENTALLY. BUT WHENEVER I LOOK FOR HOME, MY EFFORT IS IN VAIN.
Antonia Rappay, the first part of your question is also important - not only for you but for others too. You are saying, "Although I am not yet one of your sannyasins officially, perhaps you might still answer this question." A sannyasin need not be officially one. Any seeker, anyone in search of truth is a sannyasin. And a sannyasin need not be mine. A sannyasin is not a follower, but at the most a fellow traveler. If you are seeking and searching for the truth, the meaning and significance of life, it is enough.
You are saying, "The other morning you told us we needed only to stop the chattering within us to come home. My experience is different: I can drop into silence, but then I still feel some layers separating me from 'home'." That does not mean your experience is different, it only means you can fall into silence superficially, so the chattering mind - the thing that is on the very surface - stops.
But there are the subconscious mind, collective unconscious mind, cosmic unconscious mind, about which you are not aware. When I say silence I mean all four. When you say silence you think only about the first, because you are aware only of the first.
But it is good. People even find it difficult to stop the first layer of the mind. You are fortunate, the first layer is happening on its own. But your trouble is that you have taken it for granted that the first chattering layer is the whole mind. It is not. There is the subconscious mind...
Just a few years ago scientists were trying a very strange experiment. They succeeded, but the experiment was stopped because it was dangerous. You are seeing a movie - that is on the first layer. And just in between, very quick flashes - unless you are absolutely aware you will not see them - are put on the screen: "You are very thirsty. You need a Coke."
Strangely, nobody read them. People were seeing the picture. It was such a subtle penetration into their subconscious, but the result was clear. On that day no drink was sold in the movie other than Coke. Everybody was feeling thirsty and wanted Coke.
Many other experiments were done, and they were all successful in reaching the subconscious layer.
But then a problem arose: if this method falls into the hands of the politicians, just as atomic energy and nuclear weapons have fallen, this can prove even more dangerous. A whole country can be sold things which are useless or dangerous. They can be given ideas and they will think they are their ideas - but they are from the Communist Party, or some other party which is in power. And then it will be difficult to remove that party from power, because it has infiltrated the minds of people continuously, for five years through all the movies, television, radio with only one thing, "This is the right party. This is my party."
It can have even more dangerous implications; hence it was stopped, as far as it is officially known.
But I don't think that it has been stopped - it cannot be. It is such a significant weapon that each political party, each religion will try to poison you through your subconscious. And you will believe that this is your idea.
I have done experiments on my own - more simple, not that sophisticated; I had no instruments. I used to live with a friend and he had a very intelligent younger brother, and he became very loving towards me. We used to go for walks... At that time that experiment was being done in the Soviet Union, in America. I thought, "Why not do it and see whether it works?" I hypnotized the boy.
To hypnotize anybody is very simple. Just tell the person to gaze at some light - a light bulb - so that his eyes become tired, and tell him, "Do not close your eyes until you cannot manage to keep them open." And the hypnotist goes on saying to the person, "Your eyes are becoming very tired, sleep seems to be coming." The person has been told, "Fight as long as you can fight. Don't close your eyes."
On the one hand he is fighting - that is making him more tired - and on the other hand the hypnotist is saying to him, "Your eyes feel very tired, very, very tired. Your face feels sleepy. Your body is relaxed. I don't think you can remain for more than one minute awake. I will count for sixty seconds and then you will be deeply asleep. Just remember one thing: you will be able to listen to me even in your deep sleep, and to nobody else. So close the doors and keep just a single communication line." Within sixty seconds, after two or three minutes of gazing, the person falls into a very strange sleep.
Hypnosis, the very word, means sleep, but with a difference: not ordinary sleep, but deliberate sleep, created sleep. And because there is only one communication line, the birds may go on singing and the person will not hear. If somebody else wants to talk to him, he will not hear. Only the hypnotist has an approach. He has kept a line open for himself.
So I told the boy, "The pillow you sleep on, I am going to mark on it a cross on the corner. Tomorrow at twelve o'clock you have to kiss that cross." Absolutely irrational! - nobody kisses his pillow.
The next day I and his brother waited to see what would happen. As the time came close - 11:00, nervous, going again and again close to the suitcase, but it was locked. Finally he fell to my feet and he said, "Please open that suitcase."
I said, "For what?"
He said, "I don't know for what, but open it, otherwise I will die! I am suffocating. Something strange... I don't know."
I said, "Okay, I will open it."
It was just one minute before twelve. I opened the lock; he pulled the pillow out and kissed the pillow.
No lover may have kissed with such romance. And he felt very ashamed and embarrassed because two persons were watching.
And we asked him, "What is the matter?"
He said, "I don't know. Something in me was forcing me to kiss the pillow at the point of the cross."
Now, if your subconscious mind goes on working... and you know it goes on working. When you are asleep it is not chattering, it is dreaming. That's why in the morning you cannot relate all your dreams, only the last ones, the tail end of the dreams. You may be amazed to know that you dream for six hours, in eight hours' sleep. Not continuously - one or two minutes' sleep, then again dream - but all together there are six hours of dream. How much do you remember in the morning? And that too only for a few seconds.
As you are coming out of the subconscious to the conscious, there remains just a faint remembrance that you were dreaming. And within three minutes, exactly three minutes, you will forget all about it; otherwise life would become very difficult. The whole day the mind chatters. That is one part of the mind - it needs rest. In the night it rests, then the other part starts dreaming. If you remembered those six hours in the morning too you would go mad.
And psychoanalysts have not yet reached the collective unconscious, nor the cosmic unconscious - that is far away. So you have a four layer system.
It is possible that you have come to silences which you feel are your home - they are not. Chattering has stopped, and the difficulty is that there is no communication between the conscious mind and the subconscious or the unconscious. There is no communication at all. Only in deep meditation, slowly, slowly does communication happen.
It is the experience of thousands of my meditators that first they come with a great smile, a Jimmy Carter smile, saying that they have been able to be silent, no chattering. I said, "You just continue.
Soon another layer, deeper, will surface."
Then they start dreaming - awake. Now a certain communication can be made. And when dreaming disappears... the unconscious, the dreamless sleep, is also not without its own seed thoughts. It is just like seeds under the earth. You don't see them, but they are working. And soon there will be sprouts and flowers and trees. The unconscious is your underworld, underground.
It has happened in many courts that murderers have simply denied that they have murdered. No court listens to them because all the evidence is there - the witnesses are there, the person has been murdered. But I have a different attitude. My opinion is, they murdered the person in the unconscious state. You are asking them questions in the conscious state and there is no communication between the two states. They are not lying - as it is taken in all the courts of the world, that they are lying - but they are saying authentically that they have not murdered. Certainly they have not murdered consciously, but unconsciously. They cannot remember it.
The final stage is the cosmic unconscious, which becomes clear to you only when your awareness reaches to the very depth of your being, to the very center of your being.
So don't think that your experience is different. And don't think that this experience is coming home, because once you come home you cannot go again out of the home. In fact, you are in the home already, you don't "come." It is only a question of deepening awareness, so that you start feeling, "My God, I have been searching my home and my home is within me." Just don't get mistaken that homes are outside you, and that you go in and you come out. The home we are talking about is inside you, so wherever you go the home goes with you. You cannot leave it anywhere because you are not separate from it.
So coming home means only a glimpse, and a very superficial glimpse. If you meditate, and intensively, on awareness, you will not come home, you will find you are at home. And a little laughter at yourself will arise, "I have always been here and I have been searching all over the world."
There is no need of any search and there is no need to go anywhere - to Mecca, to Jerusalem, to Kashi or to Moscow. You have to close your eyes and intensify and sharpen your awareness. And it sharpens by itself as you go more and more inside.
Shimon Peres, the prime minister of Israel, Rajiv Gandhi, the prime minister of India, and Ronald Reagan from America, are driving together to a conference when their car breaks down and they are forced to spend the night at a small motel.
"I'm sorry," says the clerk, "but we have only one room left and it's a double. But one of you can sleep in the barn. We will make it comfortable."
"No problem," says Rajiv Gandhi, "I will sleep there."
A short while later, the other two men are getting ready for bed, when there is a knock on the door.
Gandhi is standing in the hallway.
"I'm sorry," he says, "but I can't sleep with a holy cow."
"So, I will sleep in the barn," says Shimon Peres and off he goes. A few minutes later, he is back.
"I'm sorry," he says, "but being Jewish, I can't sleep with a pig."
Ronald Reagan shrugs and says, "I guess I will sleep in the barn."
He leaves. Gandhi and Peres are just getting into bed, when they hear a knock at the door. They open it and standing there are the pig and the cow.
Yes, Beloved Master.