Truth: beyond mind, beyond language

Fri, 25 February 1988 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Hari Om Tat Sat
Chapter #:
pm in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium
Archive Code:
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Question 1:



Rahul, before I answer your question, I would like to say something about you. Unless something is said about you, the question will not have a proper context. You belong to the Krishnamurti Foundation of India.

In the first place, his whole life Krishnamurti tried to say that nobody should be his follower, that there should be no doctrine in his name, that there should be no organization around him, that he is not teaching you some belief system, but only sharing his experience. Now, unfortunately, he is dead. Even if you want to share his experience it will be very difficult. It was difficult when he was alive; it is now impossible.

And everywhere - what he had been fighting his whole life - mushrooms have sprung up, and the same story... different names, different bottles, but the same wine.

What in the hell are you doing in the Krishnamurti Foundation? I can tolerate a follower; I can even love a follower - everybody knows I am contradictory. But Krishnamurti is a very consistent thinker. He will be tossing and turning in his grave, that now organizations are organized, followers are gathering, making plans how to continue the tradition. And he was fighting against all traditions.

My own conflict with him was this: that you cannot avoid a tradition; it is beyond your hands. Once you are dead, what people will be doing you cannot prevent. Rather than leaving it in the hands of the ignorant, it is better you should give the right guidelines.

There should be no Krishnamurti Foundation and there should be no teaching about him, around him. If you have understood him, he should disappear, just as a signature on the water disappears.

That will be the greatest homage to him. But the disease is so old that it grips the minds of people.

The more you say, "I don't want any followers," the more followers think, "This seems to be the right master."

And, Rahul, do you know what the meaning of your name is? Before you enquire about God you should at least enquire about your name. I don't think you know that your name is a condemnation.

In Hindu mythology, when there is an eclipse of the moon, it is two mythological figures, Rahu and Ketu, who are trying to destroy the moon. For millions of years they have been trying but they have not succeeded - that is another matter. That proves they are Americans; they believe in the philosophy of try and try and try again.

Rahul is not a good name. It is the name of a monster. Gautam Buddha gave his son the name Rahul, and since then people have forgotten the derogatory sense of the word, although Buddha had given that name particularly for that purpose.

He was afraid that the birth of this son was going to prevent him from his search for truth. "He is just like a Rahul, who is trying to destroy the moon - he is trying to destroy me." To condemn the child he named him Rahul. He had not even seen his face; before his birth he had given the name. He wanted to escape before the birth, because he was worried. One can understand: a father's heart and the first son. And it was dangerous, the attachment might at least delay, if not prevent...

But life does not follow stars, nor does it listen to the astrologers; the child was born one day before all the predictions. That was the night Buddha was going to escape. You can understand the natural feeling and instinct - before moving into the mountains, perhaps forever, never to return, he wanted at least to see the face of his son. In the middle of the night when the whole palace was asleep, he went into his wife's chamber. But she had covered the child with a blanket, close to her heart.

For a moment Buddha thought just to remove the blanket a little and see the face. But then he became afraid: if the wife wakes up then there is going to be trouble. Then the whole house will be awakened, then the old father will freak out. It is better not to see the son. He simply stepped back, silently.

He had given the name not in an appreciative way; it was a subtle condemnation. But because Buddha's son was named Rahul, then thousands of other people have been named Rahul. And nobody enquires what is the meaning of Rahul. It is not a right name.

Instead of enquiring about yourself, you have put ten questions before me. That shows not only your stupidity, but also the stupidity of your foundation. What are you doing there, if you have to come here to torture, asking stupid questions like, "What is your concept about God?"

There is no God! The question of any concept does not arise. And you being in the Krishnamurti Foundation, not just an ordinary member but a lecturer... Have you not understood a simple thing?

- that God is a fiction created to exploit humanity; it has no truth in it. It is the greatest lie. It needs to be exposed to every human being, because without its exposure man remains a puppet.

If God exists then our life is absolutely meaningless, without any dignity, with no freedom; we are just made out of mud. And if God makes us - he seems to be whimsical - he can kill us any moment.

Neither did he ask us whether we wanted to be created, nor will he ask us whether we want to be destroyed. You don't count. If God is, man is meaningless. God is one of the ugliest ideas that has dominated humanity. But it served the purpose of the priests, of the politicians, of the preachers, of the philosophers.

I don't have any concept of God. I cannot have, by the very fact that there is no God. The moment you realize there is no God, a tremendous dignity arises in you, a freedom and a responsibility: that you are your own creation, that this whole existence is autonomous, it is not in the slavery of any whimsical God. And it is very creative; it does not need any creator. I teach creativity and I want to destroy the very idea of a creator, because that idea of a creator is taking away your freedom of creativity.

The world has remained so poor in every dimension for the simple reason that we are helpless, our strings are in the hands of God. Whatever he wants, happens. Without his will not even a leaf moves in the wind. Do you see the implication of it? It means that it is a prison and we are slaves under a God whose intentions are not known, who himself has not been courageous enough to appear in the M.G. marketplace, to declare, "I am here, do you have any questions?"

Christians believe he created the world six thousand years ago. My question is, what was this fellow doing before that? - for eternity, just doing nothing? I used to think I am the laziest person, but this God seems to be the ultimate in laziness. And then what was the need to create this world with desires which will not be fulfilled, which will bring frustration; with love which is impure, polluted by jealousies, hence it will never blossom; with ambitions which, even when fulfilled, will leave you utterly empty, frustrated.

Do you know that as man becomes more and more civilized, more and more people commit suicide, more and more people become mad. Buffaloes never commit suicide, at least I have never heard of any buffalo doing that in the millions of years. They are so contented, chewing the same grass every day, utterly fulfilled, so saintly - no hurry, no competition, at home, at ease.

But as consciousness grows, as man starts moving upwards from the world of animals, he finds himself in hell: thousands of desires and no possibility of fulfillment. This is not the world a God who is proclaimed to be love will create. This is a world which has been created by the universe accidentally, unintentionally.

And it was not created six thousand years ago, it has always been here. Forms go on changing, but that which is the inner content of existence remains eternally the same; it knows no death.

To ask a question about God after Friedrich Nietzsche declared that he is dead is impolite. I respect Friedrich Nietzsche more than your God. But my respect never makes me blind. Only one thing is wrong in Friedrich Nietzsche: that he thought that once God was alive and now he is dead. He has never been there. It was a fiction which has become exposed; the soap bubble has burst.

Rahul's second question is:

Question 2:



Exactly that's what I mean! Watch a beautiful rose, experience the beauty and then try to describe it. Nobody has been able even to define what beauty is.

Love... millions of people have loved, but when the question arises, what is love? they start looking here and there - perhaps somebody knows. You can love, you can experience, but you cannot say a single word which will be a definition of your experience.

And these are our everyday experiences, what to say about truth, which is not our everyday experience. Once in a while, after thousands of years, somebody realizes the truth. He can sing it, he can dance it, he can live it, but he cannot describe it. It is not his fault. Language is very poor; it cannot describe such precious experiences, it is not made for that. Language is a marketplace thing. It can be used perfectly in the ordinary world, but the moment you move within you are alone and only silence prevails. You feel it, you rejoice in it, you radiate it, but you suddenly become dumb.

A Zen master, Rinzai, whenever asked, "What is truth?" used to do only one thing: he would not even say that it cannot be said. A philosopher had come to see him, and when he asked and received the answer he said, "But you can at least say that it cannot be said."

Rinzai said a very pregnant statement, "Even to say that it cannot be said, you have said something about it. That's why I use the finger. I cannot descend from the heights of the experience to the dark valley of language. If you want to know the truth, I can hold your hand, but you will have to travel unknown paths. Are you ready?"

The philosopher said, "I have not come here to follow any path. I am a professor, I teach in the university, and I wanted to know what is the attitude of a Zen mystic."

Rinzai said, "Then you will have to go as empty as you have come. Although you have come very close to the well, you will go as thirsty as you have come."

The realization of truth, Rahul, is an inner experience. Even to say "experience" is not absolutely right, only approximately right. Truth is your being; either you know it or you do not. But nobody can say anything about this being. It is so tremendous, and words are so small; it is so vast and words are so small. If your hands cannot reach to the stars, that does not mean that the stars don't exist.

It simply means your hands are very small and the stars are very far away.

Our language is very small. Its approach is very limited and our being is the unlimited, the unbounded; nothing can be said about it. Yes, even this much is to concede, is to be compassionate - to say that nothing can be said about it.

Of this century I consider Ludwig Wittgenstein the most important philosopher. He has not written much, and he is the only Western philosopher of all time who has written only in maxims, what we call sutras. In the East that has always been the case. Those who had any glimpse, any taste, have written sutras - telegraphic, using as small a quantity of words as possible.

Ludwig Wittgenstein, in his famous book, TRACTATUS, has one sutra which makes him not only a philosopher but also a mystic. But he commits the same mistake which Rinzai was trying not to commit. The sutra is: that which cannot be said should not be said. He was alive; I wrote him a letter saying, "You have said it. At least one quality of it you have brought into language."

He was sick and he died very soon. His brother answered me, "Your question he received with great respect, and he said to me, 'It is true that if nothing can be said, then even to say this is to say something. I am sick and I am tired. If I get well I will answer, but if I die you answer for me: in the second edition of TRACTATUS we will leave this sutra empty, just a space.'"

If you experience only things which can be explained, described, defined, then your world is very small and your mind is very childish. You go beyond mind only when you start experiencing things which mind finds itself incapable of bringing to language. To transcend language is one of the most significant things for anyone who is intelligent enough; otherwise, as far as idiots are concerned, they can express everything. They have never experienced anything which goes beyond mind.

The truth is beyond mind; the truth is beyond language. That's why, Rahul, it can be experienced, but it cannot be described.

One of the most absurd and most loving mystics of China was Chuang Tzu. If Rahul had gone to Chuang Tzu... He used to push sweets into people's mouths, forcibly. And you were asking, "Why can truth not be described?" and after you had swallowed the delicious sweet he would ask, "Now describe the sweetness that you have experienced, write it down."

Even such an ordinary experience of sweetness is beyond. All that you can say is sweet, but that is understood by people because they also have experienced it. If a man has never experienced sweetness and you talk about sweetness, he will simply say, "Don't deceive me, don't talk nonsense."

Talk to a blind man about light and you will know, or talk to the deaf about the beauty of music and you will know.

As far as the ultimate truth is concerned, all our senses are very small. If you ask me, I can say, "Look into my eyes, or hold my hand and feel the warmth and the love."

More than that is this silence. If this silence can penetrate in your heart, you have heard that which cannot be said, and you have received that which cannot be given. This silence will give you an indication of truth, but truth is a millionfold deeper. This silence is just a little fragrance of the flower.

His third question is:

Question 3:



There has never been any consciousness which has not been programmed. In the very upbringing comes the programming. Even if the child is brought up not by you but by wolves in the wild, the wolves will program the child.

There have been cases... Just a few years ago a child twelve years old was found who had been brought up by the wolves in the forest in north India. He could not stand even on his two feet. He ran like a wolf; even the best runner could not manage to keep pace with him. He had been programmed by the wolves.

The problem is, you have to bring the child up, and somebody has to take care, and whoever is going to take care is going to, knowingly or unknowingly, condition the mind of the child. It is not a question that you have to program consciously. But how the child will learn the language... it is a program. That's why every language is called the mother tongue, because the child never finds the father speaking in the presence of the mother. Naturally he is conditioned by the mother.

There is no possibility of anybody being brought up unprogrammed.

And you are asking, "Are there any techniques to de-condition our brain?" There are techniques to de-condition, but that is re-programming. You can call it de-conditioning, but in fact, what are you doing? You are putting B in place of A. The only possibility is meditation; that's why meditation should not be called a technique. It is simply relaxing into your own inner world, alone - without a guide, without scriptures - and becoming so silent that not a single ripple of thought remains. That's the only way of canceling all programming.

Meditation is the only way - not the technique - in which you can find your self-nature, your Buddha- nature in its purity, in its virginity, untouched by anybody. But there are people who are trying to de-program; in fact they are simply re-programming.

There have been cases, strange cases, where young people have been abducted by their parents and taken to psychiatrists where they de-program them, because they have gone out of the Christian fold, or the Jewish fold. They have gone outside the society that has brought them up. The society cannot tolerate this revolt. Parents abducting their own children and paying for their de- programming... But it is not de-programming, it is again re-programming, making the Catholic again Catholic. But the Catholicism itself was a program.

Except meditation, either you will be a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian or a Jew - some kind of program will be there. Only the meditator rises above all programs, becomes a simple, innocent consciousness, on which nothing is written. But this gives such clarity of vision, such intensity of perception, such great joy of being that one becomes for the first time part of the eternal dance of existence. Those who are programmed by anybody... Christian or Communist, Mohammedan or Hindu, it does not matter who programs you; he destroys your purity.

Now, what are you doing in the Krishnamurti Foundation? You will teach people a certain program.

Of course you will think you are de-programming people - you are programming them according to J. Krishnamurti. Even de-programming can be a part of a certain programming. Things are very complex.

I have been meeting with many people who have listened to Krishnamurti for fifty years, forty years, and still they say, "We are Krishnamurti-ites." For thirty years that poor man was continuously trying to de-program you, but he has really programmed you again. Now you are a Krishnamurti-ite. First you used to be a Hindu or a Christian or a Mohammedan.

Any doctrine, any effort of teaching about things which are not your experience is going to spoil your purity. For ten thousand years there has been only one way: its name is meditation. What Basho says:

Sitting silently, doing nothing, spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

The fourth:

Question 4:



Except change, nothing is permanent.


Question 5:



Now, this is what I was saying. You are programmed by Krishnamurti. Now what Krishnamurti says becomes your problem. In fact there is no gap: Being is becoming.

Have you ever thought whether a tree enquires about how to grow? It grows. But in its being and in its becoming there is no gap. Have you ever thought about how you have been growing? Is there any gap between your being and your becoming, is there any need to bridge it?

This is how a philosophical attitude destroys people's perception. Krishnamurti is absolutely wrong on this point. Being is becoming - there is no difference. The moment you are not becoming you are dead; you are alive only while you are becoming. The river is flowing; is there any difference between the river's being and its flowing? The moment the river stops flowing, it is no more a river. It becomes a pond, the river has died. The river was continuously rivering, moving, growing, reaching to the ocean.





Only by realizing the truth. Otherwise, how can you know? Truth is not something objective, that a person can show, "Look, I have realized the truth." Only by realizing it will you start seeing its qualities. And those qualities will make you aware of all those people who have realized it, because the same qualities will be radiating - the same beauty, the same grace, the same honesty, the same truth, the same courage, the same integrity.

But right now you can only believe, and I am not a person to support any belief. All beliefs are blinding. When the truth can be realized, when the truth is in your very being, why bother about whether somebody else has realized it or not?

Somebody may be pretending, somebody may be acting. There are many actors, not on the stage, in the drama, but on the vast stage of life. Somebody is acting as a saint, somebody is pretending to be a mahatma, somebody is declaring that, "I have found it."

And certainly I can understand your question, how to make a distinction between who is authentic and who is unauthentic. In fact there is no criterion, objective criterion, because everything can be pretended, acted. One can walk just like Gautam Buddha - perhaps even better.

It happened there was a competition on a certain birthday of Charlie Chaplin. His friends arranged a competition all over England, that whoever can play the act of Charlie Chaplin... There were three prizes. Hundreds of actors joined in. Charlie Chaplin, just to surprise them all, entered the competition from a different place. But rather than surprising them, he was surprised himself - he received the second prize, somebody acted better. And when it was known, everybody was amazed that the real Charlie Chaplin got the second prize.

There is nothing amazing; the real had not rehearsed well. He need not rehearse; he is spontaneous, he is himself. So he never bothered, he knew that his was the first prize. But all those other competitors had worked for months, and the man who had come first had labored hard to walk like Charlie Chaplin, to talk like Charlie Chaplin. Even before the distribution of the prizes Charlie Chaplin had started being afraid, because the man was doing so well that he started suspecting, "Am I really Charlie Chaplin or is this fellow Charlie Chaplin? Have I gone crazy or..."

And there are saints pretending, posing, who look far better than any Jesus or any Buddha. It will be very difficult for you to find a criterion.

The first difficulty is that the truth is not objective. The second difficulty is that each time it has been found by anyone its expression is different, because each individual has a uniqueness and the expression will be according to that uniqueness.

For example, you cannot expect Gautam Buddha to dance like Meera. People will simply laugh.

They will say, "It is better you sit under your Bodhi tree; it doesn't look right. You look very good...

you just sit under your bodhi tree with your eyes closed, silently."

But Meera dancing... if you force her to sit under a Bodhi tree you will reduce her to an ordinary woman. Her uniqueness is expressed in her dance, in her song, in her love. She is so beautiful.

She knows nothing of dancing; she has not learned in a dancing school, she has not learned under a teacher how to sing. But even great singers cannot manage to bring that beauty and that juice which is flowing spontaneously in Meera. Just look around.

Bodhidharma entered China fourteen hundred years ago with one shoe on his head and the other shoe on one of his feet. And his fame had reached long before he reached. It took three years for him to travel from India to China. Emperor Wu was waiting at the border to receive a great saint, and when he saw the great saint he said, "My God! Now what to do?"

But he was a very cultured man; he behaved as if he had not noticed anything, the shoe on the head. But howsoever he tried, the shoe was there. He wouldn't look at the shoe, but the question was continuously there, "What kind of man are you receiving? - a great emperor. And this man seems to be mad."

Finally he could not contain himself and he said, "What kind of madness is this? Why are you carrying that shoe on your head, and one shoe on one of your feet?"

Bodhidharma said, "For you."

He said, "For me?"

Bodhidharma said, "Yes, for you, just to see whether you are really interested in truth or in stupid things. You are interested in the shoe, you are not interested in me. Take this shoe and be gone, be contented."

The emperor could not understand - what to do with this man? But he was impressed immensely, because that man's eyes, that man's authority...

And Bodhidharma did not cross the boundary of China. He said, "I will remain outside. What is the point? When even the emperor is interested in shoes, what about the ordinary people? I am not going to waste my time!"

But only Bodhidharma can do that. You cannot expect Buddha to do such an act. You cannot expect anybody else in the whole history of mankind, because Bodhidharma is not born again and again.

Rahul, there is no way. You will have to find your truth, and perhaps finding your truth you may be able to see different expressions in different people, but with a certain quality which joins them all.

I have heard a story... In paradise Gautam Buddha, Confucius and Lao Tzu, all three are sitting in a restaurant and a naked woman comes with a jar and tells them, "I have brought the juice of life, would you like to taste it?"

Buddha immediately closes his eyes, but Confucius says, "First I will taste a little, because without tasting a little I cannot make any judgement."

He was a very calculative, mathematical man, so he just tasted a little and said, "No, it is all illusory, made of the stuff dreams are made of. I am not interested."

She looked at Lao Tzu. Lao Tzu said, "Give me the jar." She said, "The whole jar?"

He said, "Unless I have drunk it completely I cannot say anything about it. I am a man of totality."

And he drank it before... Buddha and Confucius looked at each other: "Look at this fellow!"

And after drinking the whole juice he said, "It is great! Now, let us celebrate. You fellows, what do you want?" Now he was completely drunk.

But all are men of truth. Different aspects are expressed through their individuality, but you cannot make a formula, a criterion to measure.


Question 7:



What I said about meditation is also the answer to this. Meditation will make you aware that there is no content in your being, your being is sheer emptiness, that you are not and only existence is. And in this nothingness flowers the rose of awareness.


Question 8:



There is no need. You have to get rid of your thought, not to know the structure of your thought. The structure of your thought is not different from dreams.

Just as the West has become entangled in the psychoanalysis of dreams, the East has never bothered about dreams. There is no need.

Again I will have to tell you about Chuang Tzu. One morning he said, "I am very much disturbed, because last night I dreamt that I had become a butterfly."

The disciples said, "That is not a problem, everybody dreams and becomes many things."

Chuang Tzu said, "That is not the problem. The problem is that if Chuang Tzu can become a butterfly when he sleeps, why can the butterfly not become Chuang Tzu when she sleeps? Now the question is, who am I? - a butterfly dreaming of being Chuang Tzu? I am very much disturbed, just find the way out..."

The disciples said, "He has gone absolutely crazy! We always knew that he was a little bit outlandish, but this is too much. And now we have to find the way out? Whatever we say is going to be refuted, because his question is such that if Chuang Tzu can become a butterfly, what is the problem, why can't the butterfly dream of being Chuang Tzu?"

The chief disciple of Chuang Tzu was Lieh Tzu. He had gone out; they all waited for him. They said, "Let him come, perhaps he can manage to do something. He is also crazy." Lieh Tzu came and heard the story, and he said, "Don't be worried." And he took a bucket and went to the water well.

And the disciples said, "What are you doing? We have told you to go to Chuang Tzu - he is in great despair!"

He said, "Don't bother me." He pulled up a bucket of ice-cold water - it was winter - and went with the bucket inside. Chuang Tzu was in his bed, and he poured the whole bucket of water on his head.

Chuang Tzu said, "Wait! The problem is solved."

Lieh Tzu said, "If something has remained I can bring another bucket." He said, "No, it is too cold. I AM Chuang Tzu, a butterfly would have died!"

And all the disciples said, "This is strange."

But such a crazy man was bound to be succeeded by another crazy man, Lieh Tzu. A simple solution... he did not want to discuss: what is there to discuss? Just wake him up. Cold water in the early winter's morning and he forgot all his philosophy. And he said, "Where have you been? If you had been here before I would not have even opened my mouth, because I know you are dangerous.

Things have to be discussed, this is not a way to behave - and you are my disciple."

He said, "I am your disciple, but I had to bring you out from your dream and free you from the illusion of being a butterfly. Promise me never to do such a thing when I'm not around, because all the disciples are sitting outside, very sad."

Don't be worried about what the structure of our thought is. Just be silent, go deeper than the waves of thought and they will all disappear. And in the depth of your being there is no thought, no dream.

Rahul, you need an ice-cold bucketful of water poured on your head. You will immediately come to your senses!


Question 9:



Where is the new world? And in the first place, why should I give a message to the new world? First let me destroy the old! I am too much engaged in destroying the old. And when the new comes I am not going to give any message to the new, because that will be programming. I will leave the new world to find its own way.


Question 10:




Do you have any question of your own? Or has Krishnamurti conditioned you so much that even he questions and you repeat his question? Are you a gramophone record?

You may have dreamed the whole night, but just a hit on your head and all dreams will disappear.

The room of your house may have been dark for millions of years, but bring a small candle in and all darkness disappears. It does not say, "I am too old. I cannot go so easily, by just a small candle.

Don't make me afraid."

The conditioning is old, but it is just like darkness: just a small flame of meditativeness, a small flame of silence and it will disappear. It does not matter whether you have been programmed for millions of years, you can be freed in a single moment.

But this is not the way to attain freedom. Now you are caught in the thoughts of J. Krishnamurti. You don't have even a single question of your own.

Rahul has tortured you too much. Just a few herbal medicines to heal your wounds....

During army camouflage, private Paddy Murphy, disguised as a tree trunk, makes a sudden move and is spotted by the general.

"You idiot!" yells the officer. "You are supposed to be a tree. Jumping and screaming like that, you could endanger the lives of the whole platoon."

"Yes, sir," replies Paddy. "But sir, I must tell you, I stood quite still when some pigeons used me for target practice. And I never moved when three dogs thought I was a latrine. But I could not bear it when two squirrels ran up the leg of my pants and I heard one of them say, 'Let's eat one now and save the other until winter.'"

Ronald Reagan steps down from the plane and goes into the airport in Mexico. He is very full of his own sense of self-importance and keeps snapping instructions to his attendants.

A sleazy-looking Mexican man sidles up to him and whispers, "Hey, Americano. I get what you like - feelthy pictures, marijuana, girls, boys."

"Who let this man in here?" asks Reagan, pushing the Mexican away. "My business is with the president."

"I can fix that," replies the Mexican, "but for a president you will have to pay a little extra."

Okay, Maneesha?

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