Showering invisible flowers
OUR BELOVED MASTER,
SEKITO'S "SONG OF THE GRASS HUT."
I MAKE A GRASS HUT IN WHICH INSIDE THERE IS NO WORLDLY TREASURE.
I EAT AND SLEEP NATURALLY AND EASILY. WHEN I MADE THE HUT, THE REEDS WERE NEW. WHEN THE HUT GETS TORN, I COVER IT WITH REEDS AGAIN. THE PERSON LIVING IN THE HUT IS ALWAYS THERE. HE DOES NOT BELONG TO INSIDE OR OUTSIDE. I DO NOT LIVE WHERE ORDINARY PEOPLE LIVE; I DO NOT LOVE WHAT ORDINARY PEOPLE LOVE.
ALTHOUGH THE HUT IS SMALL, IT CONTAINS THE DHARMA WORLD. A MAN OF ZEN UNDERSTANDS IT WELL. BODHISATTVAS OF THE SUPREME VEHICLE HAVE NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, BUT THE MEDIOCRE ARE BOUND TO BE DUBIOUS.
IF I WERE ASKED WHETHER THIS HUT BREAKS DOWN OR NOT, I WOULD SAY THAT THE SUBJECT IS ORIGINALLY BOTH IN THE BREAKABLE AND UNBREAKABLE. I DON'T LIVE IN THE NORTH OR SOUTH OR THE WEST OR EAST.
THE FOUNDATION OF THE HUT IS THE MOST SOLID. UNDER THE GREEN PINE TREE, IN THE HUT'S BRIGHT WINDOW -- EVEN A GOLDEN PALACE CAN'T COMPARE. IF I COVER MYSELF WITH THE OLD QUILT, EVERYTHING SETTLES. THEN I DON'T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING.
LIVING IN THIS HUT, I STOP LOOKING FOR ANY SOLUTIONS. WHO WOULD PUT THEM PROUDLY IN THE SHOW WINDOW FOR THE PEOPLE TO BUY?
WHEN EVENING COMES AND THE SUN IS SETTING, I COME BACK TO THE HUT. MY BEING IS SO VAST THAT THERE ARE NO DIVISIONS. MEETING WITH THE INTIMATE TEACHINGS OF THE ANCESTRAL MASTER, I MADE A HUT WITH GRASSES AND DON'T THINK OF LEAVING. I JUST LET THE HUNDRED YEARS GO AS THEY PASS BY.
IF I MOVE WITH MY HANDS OPEN, THERE IS NO PROBLEM. A THOUSAND WORDS, TEN THOUSAND SOLUTIONS, ONLY KEEP YOU IN IGNORANCE. IF YOU WANT TO KNOW THE IMMORTAL PERSON IN THE HUT, WHY DO YOU GO AWAY FROM THIS SKIN BAG?
I hope that the Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, will cancel the ban on Salman Rushdie's book THE SATANIC VERSES. It is absolutely innocent. The fanatic Mohammedans who are trying to destroy the book, to ban the book, perhaps have not read it.
Rudolph Salman Rushdie was born in India as a Mohammedan, then he moved to England, and has become a worldwide literary figure. Being born in India, he has every right of an Indian citizen too. The Indian constitution gives to every individual freedom of speech and freedom of expression as a fundamental human right.
Salman Rushdie's book has only one mention of Mohammed which is not at all condemnatory. It is a factual thing that he describes, and it has already been accepted by the Mohammedan theologians for centuries.
The incident is concerning the earlier version of the Koran, in which Mohammed accepted three female deities. Later on he cancelled those verses concerning the female deities, and declared that those verses were inspired by the devil. Now it is a well-known fact that Mohammed changed those verses. If Salmon Rushdie writes about it, it is not condemnatory, he is simply stating a fact which has been accepted.
But the anger is coming because the world will know that even Mohammed was capable of being deceived by the devil. What about the other verses? If he had not said it, those verses would have remained in the Koran.
But Salman Rushdie is not responsible for it. Mohammed himself has to take the responsibility, and Mohammedans have to accept the fact that he was capable of being deceived. Now this is hurting them. But Salman Rushdie is not responsible for it. He has simply picked up theological information and written it into his book THE SATANIC VERSES.
In Pakistan already five people have been killed because they were surrounding the American Embassy. The book has been published in England and now it is going to be published in America. And they were demanding from the American Embassy that it should not be published in America, "otherwise we will destroy you." Just to protect them from these fanatical Mohammedans, who know nothing about the book but have just heard the rumor, the police had to fire at and kill five Mohammedans, and it is a Mohammedan state.
India is a democratic secular country. Rajiv Gandhi's banning the book simply shows fear. And the fear of Rajiv Gandhi should not be against the constitution of India, against the laws of India. The ban should be immediately removed. That's why I said perhaps he has not read the book himself, otherwise he would see that it is a beautiful fiction.
And now even Mohammedan scholars are coming out in favor of Salman Rushdie. Of course, they are all outside Iran. The so-called religious leaders are the worst kind of butchers. They would have killed anybody who would have raised the question. And I doubt whether they have read the books that they are condemning or not. I suspect that the book contains nothing, nothing that should cause four persons to be murdered as a punishment. It is against Islamic law and it is against Iran's constitution. But in Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini is the law, is the constitution.
He should be condemned from all corners of the world, whether one is a Mohammedan or not. He is taking away a human right, and that too, unnecessarily, because Salman Rushdie's book contains nothing condemnatory about Mohammed. Just stating a historical fact which has been accepted for fourteen hundred years by Mohammedan scholars is not a crime. And his coming to the radio and declaring: "It is the duty of every Mohammedan around the world to kill these four persons -- Salman Rushdie, the writer, the publisher of the book, the printer of the book, and the sole agent of the book. These four persons have to be killed without any mercy ..."
Salman Rushdie is hiding in England, and has canceled his tour of America to promote the book and its publication there.
I was waiting to tell Rajiv Gandhi, waiting until some Mohammedan scholars would raise their voices. And all around the world voices are being raised.
I have received this news report:
EMINENT MUSLIMS, INCLUDING THE FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE OF MADRAS HIGH COURT, JUSTICE ISMAIL, HAVE UNEQUIVOCALLY CONDEMNED AYATOLLAH KHOMEINI'S "DEATH SENTENCE" ON AUTHOR SALMAN RUSHDIE AND ALL THOSE ASSOCIATED WITH THE PUBLICATION OF HIS BOOK THE SATANIC VERSES, DESCRIBING IT AS AGAINST ALL LAW INCLUDING ISLAMIC LAW.
ISLAMIC SCHOLARS STATED THAT "THE SENTENCE WAS DUBIOUS ON THEOLOGICAL, NOT TO MENTION LEGAL GROUNDS."
HESHAM EL-ESSAWY, SPOKESMAN FOR BRITAIN'S ESTIMATED ONE MILLION MUSLIMS, SAID, "ANYONE CARRYING OUT KHOMEINI'S ORDER WOULD BE GUILTY OF MURDER. WE VERY MUCH REGRET AND DENOUNCE KHOMEINI'S STATEMENT. THREATS LIKE THIS, OR ANY VIOLENT RESPONSE, IS NOT THE CORRECT RELIGIOUS RESPONSE. IT IS A VERY DANGEROUS DEVELOPMENT AND WILL GIVE RUSHDIE SYMPATHY WHERE IT IS NOT DESERVED."
BRITISH MP'S HAVE ALSO CALLED FOR THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT TO FORMALLY PROTEST TO IRAN.
One has to be very aware about the fanatic and fascist attitudes of religious leaders. A great consciousness is needed, particularly for those who are in power, that they don't misuse it. Banning Salman Rushdie's book is a misuse of power, and I condemn it with my whole heart.
I have nothing to do with the book, or with Islam, or with the writer. My concern is that these things become precedents for destroying freedom of speech, freedom of expression, which are necessary foundations for a cultured society, for a humane society.
I hope that Rajiv Gandhi comes to his senses and takes the ban away.
And the same should be done around the world by all the political leaders, otherwise all creativeness in poets, in novelists, is bound to be destroyed. And they are the very salt of the earth, they are the only people who are creating something. Religious leaders like Ayatollah Khomeini have not contributed anything to the world, to its beauty, to its truth, to its culture, to its civilization. They have only destroyed. But they destroy in the name of God, and the poor God cannot even say anything because he does not exist.
The second thing I was going to say to you before I take the questions from the sannyasins is that I came to know this day that Chinese sannyasins are a little bit upset because I may have told you that a few of the Zen masters are Japanese, and their disturbance is that they are Chinese.
I am not a very informed person. I don't speak out of information, I speak out of my transformation. I know that Zen belongs to no country, so to me it does not matter whether they were Chinese, or Japanese, or Indians. At least Zen should not be confined to any country, to any race, to any language. It belongs to the whole universe. So what is the fuss all about?
I have never read the sutras. Maneesha finds the sutras; I simply speak spontaneously.
My concern is Zen, not China or Japan. And you will see Sekito himself says, "I don't belong to the east, I don't belong to the west, I don't belong to the south, I don't belong to the north." If Zen is also to be confined to a race, to a language, to a certain part of the earth, then it is not Zen.
So you have to be very clear. Neither am I a scholar, nor am I knowledgeable, informative. What I am saying is my moment-to-moment response. And my consideration for Zen is that it belongs to the whole universe.
So don't be bothered. It is good that you got upset. I love upsetting people. And do you see the trivia you get upset about? What does it matter where Sekito was born -- China or Japan?
I don't belong to India, I belong to this vast universe, and I want you also to belong to this vastness. Why be confined into small prisons created by politicians and priests?
The whole effort here is to bring you back to the vastness and infinity and eternity of the universe. And still you think about China and Japan and India? Then in China there are many states, and in every state there are many districts, and in many districts there are even smaller units ...
A Zen master is simply a Zen master. He belongs to Zen, not to China, not to Japan, not to India. I would like you also to be clear about it. These boundaries have to be dropped.
Why cling to such small meaningless, mediocre things? Why not open up yourself to the whole universe, this vast sky, the beyond? Zen belongs to the beyond.
Don't be mediocre. I don't want my sannyasins to be mediocres. I want my sannyasins to be universal citizens.
The first question:
NOW BEING FREE FROM THE CONCEPT OF GOD, IS OUR NEWLY FOUND DIGNITY THAT YOU SPOKE OF THE OTHER DAY, NOT PRONE TO BECOME ENTANGLED IN THE EGO?
You will not be entangled in the ego, because the ego is part of your mind, just as God is part of your mind. Both are fictions; they both are relatives. The moment you drop God ...
If you have guts to drop God, you certainly will have guts to drop the ego -- that is a smaller God within you. And once the bigger brother is dead, the little cousin-brother will die. First you have to kill the big brother; it is his reflection in you. Your God is an egoist, an arch-egoist, and he gives you the idea of the ego.
Don't get confused between dignity and ego. Dignity is very humble, very simple, very innocent; it belongs to the trees. When they blossom in spring, you just look and watch their pride, their dignity. Just watch when a peacock is dancing. Those psychedelic colors, and the beautiful dance ... do you think there is any ego? But there is certainly dignity.
Dignity is a totally different phenomenon, it is self-respect. Ego is domination over others. Dignity is just standing on your own feet, independence, freedom; it is not domination over others. The moment you start thinking of dominating, you are falling into the trap of the ego. And God is the greatest ego because he created everything, he dominates everything. He is present everywhere, he is all-powerful. And his reflection in the priests ... The pope claims that he is infallible. Now this is ego.
A man of dignity, a man of self-respect will not say such things. Certainly he will walk straight with his head raised in dignity. He will not walk like a slave, surrendered, subdued. He will walk like a lion and roar like a lion. But that is your intrinsic energy, your intrinsic power.
The power that depends on others creates the ego. The power that comes from within your own sources of life creates dignity. Meditation brings tremendous dignity, a great grace, but not even a shadow of ego is found in it.
If you are capable of murdering God, you will certainly be capable of murdering his image in you. In fact, the moment God is no longer there, you will suddenly be surprised.
Where has the ego gone? If the moon is not there, the reflection in the lake of the moon will disappear.
To me, egos are reflections of one moon in different ponds, in different lakes, in different oceans, in different rivers -- millions of reflections. But just remove the moon and all the reflections are removed. You don't have to remove every reflection. It will take millennia to remove all those reflections. And in fact, if the moon remains, you cannot remove the reflections.
So I am hitting directly on God's head. Zen masters have been hitting on poor disciples'
heads. I am hitting to the very source from where your ego is arising. God removed, you will not find the ego at all, it is a reflection.
The Bible says, God created man in his own image. This causes ego. You are the highest creature in existence because God created you in his own image, and he created all the animals for you to eat. These are your religions, scriptures which are telling you to destroy the ecology of existence, which are telling you to destroy beautiful animals which bring grace and joy all around you. But God himself says in your holy scriptures, "I have created everything for your use." He is giving you the first incentive for the ego.
Once God is removed, you will simply find your ego is gone. It was the shadow, the reflection of God. And then you will find a totally new phenomenon, a dignity which is not a domination over others, which is not superiority over others. It is simply the joy that existence loves you, that existence creates you, that existence needs you, that you are not accidental. This gives you dignity, this gives you honor, and it is not dependent on others.
It comes from your own innermost experience of your being.
The moment you find yourself existential, that you belong to the whole cosmos, and the whole cosmos belongs to you, there arises a tremendous splendor in your being -- Himalayan peaks of consciousness, Pacific depths of consciousness. That brings you the lion's roar.
You realize for the first time you are not a slave.
You realize for the first time you are not a created creature.
You realize for the first time that existence is your home, you are not an outsider, and existence is nourishing you every moment.
There must be a certain purpose, a certain destiny that existence is seeking through you to reach, a certain height of consciousness, a certain height of love, a certain height of compassion, understanding, wisdom, enlightenment. Existence is trying in every possible way to create a buddha in your very innermost being. The moment you are a buddha, there is dignity without any superiority.
There is dignity in a roseflower. Do you think it has any power over anybody? It is so delicate, so vulnerable, but it has tremendous dignity. When it is dancing in the sun, in the rain, in the wind, it knows existence has created in him one of the most beautiful things.
Dignity arises out of meditation.
Ego arises out of mind.
So don't be worried about it.
Meditation will take care.
You will not become egoist, that's an impossibility.
The second question:
IN THE FIRST LECTURE OF THE SERIES, GOD IS DEAD, NOW ZEN IS THE ONLY LIVING TRUTH, YOU SAID: "EXISTENCE NEEDS YOU." FOR ME THIS IS LIKE A NEW BELIEF BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW THIS.
I have not told you to believe it; I have not told you to disbelieve it. It is my experience, I am sharing it with you. You don't have to believe it, you don't have to disbelieve it. You have to inquire into it. You have to go to the same depths, to the same heights from where I am speaking, to the same center of your being. Then you will understand it, not believe it. You will know it. Existence needs you, otherwise you wouldn't be here.
Why should you be here? Why should existence bother to keep you alive eternally?
But if you start believing in my statements, you are misunderstanding me. I am not here to create any belief system in you. Whatever I say is not to be believed or disbelieved. It has to be simply understood and inquired into. Search inside yourself for what I am saying to see whether it is true or not. Put it to the test. I know that when you put it to the test, you will come to experience it.
I am not converting you towards any theology, belief, any philosophy. I don't do that kind of dirty work. There are enough missionaries around the world doing that. I destroy your beliefs, and you start believing in me?
Please, don't believe in me! Belief in anyone is ignorance -- I am included in it. Just listen to me, and then put whatever you hear and understand to a fire test. Go into the exploration. I don't want you to believe, because I know what I am saying is truth. You don't have to believe it, you have just to inquire and you will find it.
The people who tell you to believe -- for example Jesus, who goes on saying to people, "Believe in me," is not certain about his truth. If he was certain about his truth, he would never have insisted on belief. He would have said, "Explore. Inquire. Search." I am simply giving you an incentive, a sense of direction where to go. Then find yourself.
Because it is truth you have to find it, and you will find it. Only lies have to be believed.
So all those messiahs and prophets and incarnations of God who have talked you into beliefs, are destroying your truth. They are taking you away from your innermost realization. They are taking you away from your own buddhahood, from your own nature, from your own truth.
My effort is totally against all the messiahs, and all the avataras, all the tirthankaras, all the prophets, and all the messengers. My work is not only totally different, but absolutely against them. They were creating beliefs. I am destroying beliefs, because I know the truth. And I know that if you inquire -- I am absolutely certain -- you will find it.
So why should I insist on belief? Only people who are not certain about their own experience, who are concerned that if you go deeper inside you may not find what they are saying, insist on believing.
So you never go. Once you believe in a thing, all search stops. That's why I want you to be open, no belief system. Just inquire into your own consciousness, and all that is truthful, all that is beautiful, you are going to find it. You will realize, when you are centered in your being, that existence needs you, because you are nothing but projections of existence, hands of existence reaching for the stars.
Evolution of consciousness is just the greatest ambition of existence, and it has trusted you a tremendous responsibility.
Rise above the mind which is a social product. Rise above everything that others have forced upon you, and be authentically yourself. Try to find what it is that you are in your innermost being which never changes. The body goes on changing from childhood to youth, from youth to middle age, from middle age to old age, from old age to death.
The mind moves even faster. Every moment it is changing. In the morning it is one thing, in the evening it is something else. But behind mind and body there is some space which is absolutely eternal and remains the same whether your body is that of a child or of an old man, whether you are alive or dead. It does not matter to your innermost consciousness. That is the only truth, and realizing it you will see how much existence needs you.
You are its greatest potentials on the way to become Gautam Buddhas.
Now the sutras:
SEKITO'S "SONG OF THE GRASS HUT."
I MAKE A GRASS HUT IN WHICH INSIDE THERE IS NO WORLDLY TREASURE.
I EAT AND SLEEP NATURALLY AND EASILY. WHEN I MADE THE HUT, THE REEDS WERE NEW. WHEN THE HUT GETS TORN, I COVER IT WITH REEDS AGAIN. THE PERSON LIVING IN THE HUT IS ALWAYS THERE.
He is talking about the body; the hut is only a symbol. The person living in there is always there. That will give you the clue that the hut is just a symbol, otherwise sometimes the person will have to go out to find food, to find water. But the person remains there always.
"HE DOES NOT BELONG TO INSIDE OR OUTSIDE" -- how can he belong to China or Japan?
"I DO NOT LIVE WHERE ORDINARY PEOPLE LIVE ..." Where do ordinary people live? -- in the body, in the mind. Sekito is saying, "I DO NOT LIVE WHERE ORDINARY PEOPLE LIVE; I DO NOT LOVE WHAT ORDINARY PEOPLE LOVE."
What is the love of ordinary people? -- money, power, prestige.
Sekito is saying, "I also love, but not the way the ordinary people love, and not the objects that ordinary people love. I love their subjectivity. I love their subjectivity because I know my own subjectivity. Just as I am there always, they are also always there. They may know it, they may not know it. I don't love their bodies. I don't love their minds, but I love that which is behind and beyond their bodies and their minds.
"I don't love the way they love. They always love with conditions and conditions and conditions. They destroy their love because of so many conditions attached to it. I simply love because it is my nature to love. I have come to the point from where love is overflowing. There is no condition attached to it."
If you receive Sekito's love, or my love, you are obliging me and Sekito. You could have refused. It was within your power, but you received it with joy. You are not to be grateful to me or to Sekito. I have to be grateful to you. I was too full of love, and you came on the way and unburdened me. I have to be obliged to you, and I have a deep gratitude towards you.
ALTHOUGH THE HUT IS SMALL, IT CONTAINS THE DHARMA WORLD.
The hut is small in the sense that it is within you, but the moment you realize -- not as a concept in the mind, but as an actual experience beyond the mind -- you suddenly see that the smallest center of your being contains the whole dharma world, the whole world of nature, the whole existence. A small seed contains so much, it can make the whole earth green. Your smallest center contains so much that the whole universe can be filled by it.
Once you know it, you know it; it is without limits and without boundaries.
A MAN OF ZEN UNDERSTANDS IT WELL -- that although the hut is small, it contains the whole existence. BODHISATTVAS OF THE SUPREME VEHICLE HAVE NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, BUT THE MEDIOCRE ARE BOUND TO BE DUBIOUS.
And the world is full of mediocre people.
Just today somebody has written an article against me -- as an example of a mediocre mind -- because I sent the telegram to Rajiv Gandhi. It said if you are honest and truthful, then throw away all your weapons, arms, into the ocean, and let your armies be dissolved.
Put all those people into the fields, into the orchards, into farms, into gardens, to create and to work.
The telegram was in response to his address of an international gathering of scientists, and he was telling them that there was no need for nations, there was no need for boundaries, there was no need for arms, there was no need for wars. My telegram was simply to provoke him and focus his mind -- "Can you do it? And if you cannot do it, you don't have the right to tell others to do it."
I was simply making it clear to him that he is not capable of doing it. Nobody else is capable of doing it for the simple reason of the fear of being invaded. But if you are not capable of doing it, you should understand nobody is capable of doing it. Then don't talk nonsense.
My telegram was not an appeal to him to throw away the arms into the ocean and dissolve the armies. I was trying to check upon his intelligence. He has not answered, because he knows perfectly well this cannot be done.
He was simply imitating Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi had said it to Louis Fischer an American writer who was living with Gandhi and working out and preparing a biography of Mahatma Gandhi. Louis Fischer asked Mahatma Gandhi, "When India becomes independent" -- it was before independence -- "what are you going to do with the arms, because you are nonviolent, and you preach nonviolence? What are you going to do with your armies? What will happen to your factories which produce a tremendous amount of arms?"
And without any hesitation Mahatma Gandhi said, "I will throw all these arms into the ocean, and I will make all the armies retire and go back to work. We don't need armies, we need more people, strong people to create more food, more clothes."
The obvious question was, and Louis Fischer asked it, "What will happen if some foreign country invades you?"
And Mahatma Gandhi, without any hesitation, again said, "We will receive them as our guests, and we will tell them, 'If you want to live in this country, you are welcome.'" Rajiv Gandhi was simply imitating Mahatma Gandhi. It is very good to use sweet words, but the point is that even Mahatma Gandhi did not prove true to his own promises. He was the first man to bless three airplanes full of bombs who were going to attack Pakistan. They came over the house where he was staying in New Delhi, Birla House, with one of the most super-rich families in India. He talked about poverty, and he lived in Birla House which is a palace ....
And the three airplanes, before going to Pakistan, came as close to the house as possible to receive the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi. And he came out of the house and he blessed -- "Go away and be victorious." Seeing his hand raised as he was standing in the garden of Birla House, those three airplanes were the first to attack Pakistan. And this was the man who just a few years back was talking about throwing arms into the sea and receiving invaders as guests.
So I was simply provoking Rajiv Gandhi to come to his senses: "Don't talk nonsense." I have every right as a citizen of this country to ask that the prime minister of this country does not talk nonsense. If he is honest, he should answer me and ask for an apology for those things he said to the international conference of the scientists -- or he should do what he has said!
Now this man has written a whole article against me saying that I am suggesting to Rajiv Gandhi to throw away all the arms and dissolve the armies. "Then what will happen if somebody attacks?" -- this man asks me -- "Have you gone mad?"
I have returned him the answer that first think about Gandhi. Was he mad? And you are a dim-witted fellow that you could not understand the telegram. You are a mediocre. You don't have even the capacity to understand that the telegram was not an appeal, it was a response to his absolutely nonsense words to the international conference.
And he contradicted himself just after four days. Then he was addressing Hindu chauvinists. Then he said, "We should save our national heritage." And just four days before that he was saying, "All boundaries of nations should dissolve." From where has the national heritage come now? And if you are going to save your national heritage, why should others dissolve their national heritage? -- "We should be patriotic!"
Politicians have so many masks. I was just trying to pull his mask and let him see his original face. But this idiot who has written the article did not understand the meaning of the telegram. It was against Mahatma Gandhi, it was against Rajiv Gandhi. It was against all the politicians who say one thing and always do just the opposite.
But this is how it has been since man started growing on this planet. The mediocre are bound to be dubious, they cannot understand. Only bodhisattvas, the potential buddhas ...
that is the meaning of the word bodhisattvas. You are all bodhisattvas, potential buddhas in the seed, in the essence.
So when you go to your very center in meditation, I start calling you buddhas.
Particularly, at that moment you are a buddha. You will again fall and become a bodhisattva, but slowly slowly, you will start feeling the difference between a bodhisattva and a buddha. I want this distance to disappear. The bodhisattva turns into a buddha, dissolves into the buddha. Only buddhas know exactly what is the truth. And only they are capable of not misunderstanding.
"IF I WERE ASKED," says Sekito, "WHETHER THIS HUT BREAKS DOWN OR NOT, I WOULD SAY THAT THE SUBJECT IS ORIGINALLY BOTH IN THE BREAKABLE AND UNBREAKABLE."
Now you can understand clearly, he is not referring to any hut. He is saying, "Whether this hut breaks down or not, does not matter." One who is living in it, the subject, your interiormost consciousness which is living in the body, is not affected whether the hut is breakable or unbreakable.
Even in your death you never die.
Even in your birth you are never born.
You have always been here. Birth and death have happened many times, just small episodes in an eternity-to-eternity long life.
I DON'T LIVE IN THE NORTH OR SOUTH OR THE WEST OR EAST.
Where is China? Now where should I put this fellow Sekito? When I don't find any place, I put people in Japan, because that is the most crowded place in the world -- no land! So I go on increasing the crowd there.
So don't be worried. Japan has to be worried, why should you be worried? I hope sooner or later, the emperor of Japan is going to object saying, "You are sending too many people to Japan, and we are already so crowded."
Tokyo is the most crowded city in the world. Now they are creating artificial islands because there is nowhere to go. It is a small country, and had an immense increase of population after the second world war. That always happens after war, because nature immediately replaces. Seeing Hiroshima and Nagasaki and that so many people have died, nature immediately rushes and starts bringing more and more children. It is a well- known fact that after every war there is a boom of children. They suddenly go on and on.
It is very difficult to stop them.
So Japan had a great boom of children. And Japanese children are really beautiful. What happens to them afterwards is a tragedy. The Japanese children are so beautiful. I don't think anywhere else such beautiful children are born -- just like Japanese dolls. But something goes wrong. When they grow up, then all that beauty simply disappears. Then they look like rats, but very dangerous rats. I have always wondered what happens -- such beautiful children suddenly disappear.
I love Japan because of those children. And I love Japan because of the second birth, when a man again becomes a child -- those are the Zen masters.
So forgive me please.
A man of Zen belongs to the universe, not to the south or the west or the east or to the north.
THE FOUNDATION OF THE HUT IS THE MOST SOLID. UNDER THE GREEN PINE TREE, IN THE HUT'S BRIGHT WINDOW -- EVEN A GOLDEN PALACE CAN'T COMPARE.
I am reminded of an ancient parable ....
A poor man in his hut ... it is the middle of the night, and the hut is so small that only the husband and wife can sleep in it. That's enough space, that is all.
And somebody knocks on the door ....
It is raining so much, and the dark night -- perhaps somebody has forgotten the way.
Deep in the forest they lived.
So the husband told the wife, who was near the door, "Open the door."
The wife said, "But there is no space."
The husband said, "It is not a palace, it is a poor man's hut; there is always space. Only in palaces is it very difficult to find space."
The wife said, "You always say strange things. In the middle of the night that fellow must be drenched with water. It is pouring, and you want him to come in?"
He said, "Yes, you just open the door. Nobody should go away from my door!"
So the woman reluctantly opens the door, and then asks, "What should we do?"
He said, "There is no problem. We were lying down, now we will sit. For three persons it is enough space to sit, and we will talk. We have not seen anybody coming from the city for many days, so he may have some news, and he will gossip. And the night is not long - - half is already gone, half will also go."
So the man comes in and they sit. The man looks around and sees that he has intruded upon their privacy -- there is no space. But there is no way of going out, there is too much rain and it is too dark, and he has forgotten the way. So he said, "Forgive me."
They said, "There is no problem. It is not a palace, it is a poor man's hut. There is always enough space."
So they started talking, and suddenly another man knocked on the door. And this stranger inside was sitting close to the door, so the man, the owner said, "Open the door."
The stranger said, "What? There is no space!"
The man said, "If I had listened to my wife, who was saying there is no space, you would not have been in. Just open the door. There is enough space, we just have to sit a little closer. And you, who have been given space, should not object."
Reluctantly that man opened the door and another man came in. And he said, "Forgive me, but there is nowhere to go. The light from your hut has been my only safety. I have been walking all the way just looking at your hut -- a small light from the window. So forgive me for intruding."
The man said, "You are not intruding. We can sit closely and it will be warmer also. You are drenched and you must be feeling cold. So the more people who are inside, the warmer it will become. Sit down and be close."
Now this new stranger is sitting closest to the door, and a donkey comes and knocks on the door by his head.
The man said, "Please open the door, because I know that donkey loves me. He always comes. And when there is trouble, the poor fellow has nowhere to go. Just open the door."
The second stranger who was sitting by the side of the door said, "What? For a donkey ...? Where is the space?"
The man said, "This has been the problem, and I have been creating space. We will create space, don't be worried. We are sitting, we will stand, and the donkey can be just at the center -- and he is such a lovely philosophical-minded fellow. We will all enjoy him."
Those strangers said, "You are a very strange fellow."
He said, "I am. Otherwise you would not have been in. My wife is absolutely rational, she would not have allowed anybody. So please open the door. It is my hut and you should not forget you are only a guest. Another guest has come. Just open the door."
So he has to open it, but very reluctantly, angry that a donkey was being brought in. And the donkey entered and stood in between, and all those people stood up.
"Now," the man asked, "do you see how a poor man's hut is so spacious?
"It is not a question of the hut, it is a question of the heart. If you have space in the heart, you have space in the hut. In the palaces there is no space in the heart, that's why there are empty palaces, but no space. Doors would not have been opened for you.
"This poor donkey has no chance of entering into a palace, but a poor man's hut respects everybody."
So he says, "THE FOUNDATION OF THE HUT IS THE MOST SOLID. UNDER THE GREEN PINE TREE, IN THE HUT'S BRIGHT WINDOW -- EVEN A GOLDEN PALACE CAN'T COMPARE."
The foundation is on a rock. You know Sekito -- he used to remain on a rock, that's why he became famous as Stonehead. A completely shaven head that looked like a stone, and he was always sitting on a stone. And it was the master Nangaku who ordered his people to make a hut for him -- around him, because he was a strange fellow, he would not even move.
So the foundation was really strong. It was a flat rock, and he remained sitting while Nangaku's people were making the hut around him. He did not say anything -- whether to make it or not to make it, he did not take any note.
A man reported to Nangaku: "That fellow is very strange. We are making a hut around him, and he does not even inquire what we are doing."
Nangaku said, "I know him. Even when he was not enlightened he was very strange. And now that he is enlightened, he is the strangest man. But you finish the job; don't be bothered by him, and don't be afraid of him. He is a very soft-hearted man, just his head is like a stone, hard."
He is right. If you are really alive, then even a small hut with a window goes on giving you a sunset, a sunrise, the moon and the whole sky full of stars, a beautiful pine tree and the fragrance of the pine filling into the hut. Who cares about palaces?
He is saying that a man of consciousness is in a palace everywhere. His palace is this whole sky. His foundation is absolutely solid, his center is absolutely solid. Now it doesn't matter where he is. Wherever he is, he is the emperor. Wherever he is, he is in the palace.
"IF I COVER MYSELF WITH THE OLD QUILT, EVERYTHING SETTLES. There is no sun, there is no moon, there is no sky, there are no stars -- everything simply disappears, there is no world. The moment I cover myself with the old quilt, EVERYTHING SETTLES. THEN I DON'T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING."
This is the beauty of a Zen master. He can accept his ignorance. He can accept that "I don't know anything."
Out of this not-knowing arises tremendous wisdom.
Out of this ignorance arises innocence.
Out of this not-knowing, this darkness of not-knowing, comes a fresh sunrise. This not- knowing is not the mediocre man's not-knowing. This not-knowing is beyond the mind.
Mind can be a knower, it can be a non-knower -- those are possibilities of the mind. But beyond the mind you can only say, "I am." Or perhaps even "I" is not needed, perhaps "am" is also not needed, only existence is.
It is a tautology to say "existence is," because isness is what is meant by existence. So just isness, a pure isness without any disturbance of knowledge, information .... But the purity of it and the beauty of it is beyond limits. Its abundant blossoming of all the qualities that man has always cherished, hoped, dreamed, have become realities. But they are coming from an innocence. All those flowers, all those lotuses are blossoming out of not-knowing.
A mirror does not know anything, but when you come in front of the mirror it immediately responds, reflects. A Zen master functions in the same way. You put a question to him ... he is not filled with knowledge or readymade answers. You put a question to him, and just like a mirror he reflects your question. The answer is coming out of not-knowing. It is not from scriptures, it is from absolute awareness and spontaneity.
LIVING IN THIS HUT, I STOP LOOKING FOR ANY SOLUTIONS.
The man who has gone beyond has no doubts, has no beliefs, has no questions, has no answers. He simply is, and this isness is the ultimate blossoming of your potentialities.
WHO WOULD PUT THEM PROUDLY IN THE SHOW WINDOW FOR THE PEOPLE TO BUY? A man who has become a buddha, a man who is enlightened can share with you all that he has, but he has nothing to sell.
All the religions are selling. They are selling God, they are selling beautiful places in paradise, they are selling bank accounts in paradise. They are selling everything and pocketing the money from you. And you are not getting anything, and you don't know anything about what is going to happen after death. You don't have even a receipt to show to God: "I have deposited so much money with the priest. Where is my bank account? He has not given me even the number of the bank account." And one never knows.
One thing is certain that everything you give to the priest goes into his pocket. It never reaches beyond that. And how can the priest manage? He himself does not know the address of God. Where has he to send it?
He is simply selling things which don't exist. But because he is giving you hope and consolation for after death, you feel it is good to purchase something for the long journey after death. One never knows, he may be right. At least it is a great consolation that you are prepared. You have done the homework, and you can go into the darkness of death. It is a tunnel, whether it will end anywhere or not you have no idea. But at least while you were alive you dropped the fear of death. The priest was giving you the consolation, you were giving your money.
God is for sale. All churches, all denominations, all religions are selling God. They are the most dangerous people in the sense that they are giving you hopes which will never be fulfilled, and they are giving you consolations you will be utterly disappointed in.
Hence, I don't want to give you any hope, any promise. I simply want you to explore on your own. If you can find something, good. If you can't find something, I am helpless.
But I know if you search deeply enough you are bound to find. If I have found it, if Sekito has found it, then there is no problem for anybody. Every human being is born as a bodhisattva. It is only a question of turning the seed into a plant, and then the roses will come on their own.
WHEN EVENING COMES AND THE SUN IS SETTING, I COME BACK TO THE HUT. MY BEING IS SO VAST THAT THERE ARE NO DIVISIONS. MEETING WITH THE INTIMATE TEACHINGS OF THE ANCESTRAL MASTER, I MADE A HUT WITH GRASSES AND DON'T THINK OF LEAVING. I JUST LET THE HUNDRED YEARS GO AS THEY PASS BY. He lived one hundred years -- the whole century.
But he is saying, "I don't go anywhere or leave the hut. I am utterly contented. There is no need to go anywhere in search. I have found it; it is within me." So a hundred years have passed by the side, but Sekito remains almost a child. Those years have not been a corruptive influence on him. He has remained a tabula rasa, nothing is written on his slate. Utterly empty, nobody special, but hundreds of people managed to reach, finding his slippery path.
A certain magnetism arises with enlightenment, and those who are searching, knowingly or unknowingly, are pulled, sometimes in spite of themselves. They don't want, but something is more forceful than their wanting or not wanting. Some challenge is coming from some direction, and they start moving.
You can see people here from all over the earth, from every nook and corner, and I am the most condemned man, the most notorious man around the world. Why should you be here? All the governments are against me, all the religions are against me, all the nations are against me, but it does not prevent you. Something far more powerful is pulling you.
You had to come; it was impossible to resist. And once you have come, it is very difficult to go away.
Even if you go away, you will be carrying me with you -- not in the luggage but in your heart, because luggage gets lost many times. Don't trust luggage. And I don't like to be in a suitcase. I don't have any!
Avirbhava has all the suitcases. She carries things for me in her suitcases -- eighteen in total. I wonder where she lives in the room when there are eighteen suitcases. Perhaps keeping her feet in one suitcase and her head in another ...? Yes?
(THE MASTER TURNS TOWARDS AVIRBHAVA WHO SHRIEKS IN SURPRISE AND SQUIRMS IN HER SEAT. EYEBROWS RAISED AND CHUCKLING, HE ENJOYS THE SITUATION FOR SOME SECONDS.) IF I MOVE WITH MY HANDS OPEN, THERE IS NO PROBLEM. A THOUSAND WORDS, TEN THOUSAND SOLUTIONS, ONLY KEEP YOU IN IGNORANCE. IF YOU WANT TO KNOW THE IMMORTAL PERSON IN THE HUT, WHY DO YOU GO AWAY FROM THIS SKIN BAG?
Your skin bag, your body, your hut, contains the buddha. If you really want to live without any problems and without any solutions, without any questions and without any answers -- just a pure innocent life, undisturbed by anything -- then don't go anywhere else. In this very bag of skin, in this very body is the buddha, and in this very place is the lotus paradise.
Sekito's statements are tremendously beautiful. It is absolutely right to call them Sekito's 'Song of the Grass Hut.' It is a song, and sung with great dignity and with great joy.
I HAVE NOTHING AT ALL -- BUT THIS TRANQUILITY!
Perhaps he was writing for you. Just watch this tranquility, this coolness -- I have nothing at all. But to have such tranquility and such coolness, you don't need anything. You have all! You have the whole universe within you -- in the dewdrop the whole ocean, in the seed the whole greenery of the earth.
"I have nothing at all" -- Issa is right. He does not possess anything, but a great tranquility surrounds him, and this coolness that penetrates deep into the very center of your being. That tranquility is present here, and that coolness is possible to be felt by you.
Issa has put the whole of Zen into a small haiku.
I HAVE NOTHING AT ALL -- BUT THIS TRANQUILITY!
OUR BELOVED MASTER,
ALAN WATTS HAD A NOVEL IDEA FOR HOW EASTER SHOULD BE SPENT.
"EVERY EASTER SUNDAY SHOULD BE CELEBRATED WITH A SOLEMN AND REVERENT BURNING OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES," HE SUGGESTED, "FOR THE WHOLE MEANING OF THE RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION OF CHRIST INTO HEAVEN (WHICH IS WITHIN YOU) IS THAT GOD-MANHOOD IS TO BE DISCOVERED HERE AND NOW, INWARDLY, NOT IN THE LETTER OF THE BIBLE."
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF HIS IDEA?
Maneesha, it is time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh. Put on the lights! I want to see my people laughing, celebrating.
In Leningrad, in Soviet Russia, the Jehovah's Witnesses have been allowed to build their own special church called The Kingdom Hall. At the first service, there is a lot of hooting, shouting, fainting, preaching and sermonizing before the service finally comes to an end.
Perspiring, old Grandma Botovitch, shuffles up to the front of The Kingdom Hall. She prostrates herself under a huge statue of Jesus nailed to the cross, and then lifts her head and plants a big wet kiss on Christ's feet.
Officer Molotov, of the KGB, has been watching Grandma Botovitch closely from behind a curtain. He marches over to the old woman and says, "Would you kiss the feet of our great leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, like that?"
"Sure," replies Grandma. "If you nailed him up like this!"
The pub door swings open and Chicken Chopper walks in with an unlit cigarette hanging from his mouth. He goes over to the bar where Dick Puller is smoking a cigar and drinking a beer.
"Have you got a light?" asks Chicken.
"Fuck off!" says Dick Puller.
"Hey!" says Chicken. "I only asked for a light!"
"I heard you," snaps Dick. "Fuck off!"
"Hey!" cries Chicken. "Why won't you give me a light then?"
"Because if I do," replies Dick, "you will buy me a drink. Then I will have to buy you a drink. And then we will both get drunk. And then we will both become friends. And then I will invite you over to my house. And then it will be too late for you to go home, won't it?"
"Gee! I guess so," replies Chicken.
"Yes! That's right," snaps Dick Puller. "And then you will want me to give you a bed at my house -- won't you?"
"Well, yes," replies Chicken. "Maybe."
"And my daughter is a real beauty," continues Dick, "so you will want to sleep with her -- won't you?"
"Yes, sure!" exclaims Chicken.
"And then," continues Dick, "you will make her pregnant, won't you?"
"Yes!" cries Chicken.
"But you won't marry her, will you?" asks Dick.
"Ah yes I will!" cries Chicken Chopper. "I will marry her!"
"Ah no you won't," says Dick, "because I am not giving you a light!"
Two Englishmen, Charles and Henry, are getting drunk at their local pub, The Duke and Tart, in London one evening. They see Paddy and Sean, the two Irishmen, at the other end of the bar, and decide to pick a fight with them.
"Just watch this, Charles," says Henry. "I will make that Irish idiot so pissed off that he will have to hit me, and start a fight."
So Henry wanders over to Paddy and says in a superior tone, "Listen here, my good man, do you know Saint Patrick?"
"Yes sir, certainly," says Paddy, putting down his beer glass. "Well, I don't actually know him personally, but I do know of him, certainly sir!"
"Well, then," continues the Englishman, "you must know that he was a pooftah -- or to put it more bluntly, a bloody homosexual!"
"Ah! No, sir," replies Paddy, politely, "I did not know that. That's certainly interesting though -- a pooftah, you say?"
"And not only that," continues Henry, still trying to provoke him, "but Saint Patrick was a shithead, as well!"
"Really?" replies Paddy. "That is amazing. Well, you live and learn, don't you, sir?"
Henry gives up and goes back to the other end of the bar. But Charles, seeing Henry's failure, jumps to his feet and says, "Leave it to me! I will get him going!"
So Charles staggers over to Paddy and says, "Listen here, you idiot, do you know that Saint Patrick was an Englishman?"
"Yes, sir, I do," replies Paddy, "your friend just told me!"
(Drumbeat) (Gibberish) Nivedano ...
(Drumbeat) Be silent ... close your eyes, and feel your body to be completely frozen.
This is the right moment. Everything is tranquil, a great coolness surrounds you. You can move inwards very easily.
Gather all your energies, your total consciousness, and with an urgency as if this is going to be your last moment of life, rush towards your center of being. It is just exactly two inches below the navel inside you.
Faster and faster ...
Deeper and deeper ...
As you start coming close to the center of your being, a great silence descends over you like soft rain.
A little closer, and peace starts growing in you -- very luminous. This peace has been called by the mystics, "the peace that passeth understanding," because it is beyond mind.
A little closer, and you start becoming drunk with the divine.
The final step into the very center -- and you are pure ecstasy, a dance without movement, a song without words, a music without sounds.
This is your original being.
Zen calls it the original face which you have been carrying eternally with you. It resembles symbolically the face of Gautam the Buddha.
Not knowing it, you are only a bodhisattva.
Knowing it, you are a buddha.
At this moment you are a buddha.
Buddha has only one quality -- that of witnessing.
Witness that you are not the body.
Witness that you are not the mind.
And finally, witness that you are only a witness.
This is the whole secret of meditation, the master key of Zen, which can open all the mysteries of existence, all the doors upon doors, skies upon skies. There is no end to it, only a beginning.
Gautam Buddha is reported to have said, "Ignorance has no beginning but an end.
Enlightenment has a beginning but no end" -- a very significant statement. Let it sink deep in you. This moment you are so vulnerable you can allow it to sink in you. It will blossom into tremendous experiences.
I repeat it: Ignorance has no beginning but an end. Enlightenment has a beginning but no end.
You are at the beginning point. From now on starts a journey into the infinite, into the eternal, into the ultimate, into the absolute.
To make the witnessing more clear, Nivedano ...
(Drumbeat) Relax ... but go on remembering that you are not the body, you are not the mind, you are only a witness. And as the witnessing will start becoming deeper and deeper, you will suddenly feel a great melting of consciousness, all boundaries disappearing.
Gautama the Buddha Auditorium becomes an ocean of consciousness. Ten thousand buddhas dissolve into one consciousness, an oceanic consciousness without any ripples or waves.
The whole existence starts rejoicing with you. It starts showering invisible flowers over you.
At this moment you are the most blessed people on the earth, because all the others are concerned only with the trivia. You are working and searching for the essential, for the eternal.
All are concerned with lies and consolations about God. You are working and trying with intensity to find the truth.
The truth is that existence is enough unto itself, it needs no God. It certainly needs every living being to rise to such heights as Gautam Buddha.
Collect all these flowers, these fragrances from the beyond. You have to bring them with you.
And persuade Gautam Buddha -- it is your birthright, it is your nature -- to come behind you.
He will come first as a shadow, but the shadow will be very solid, a foundation for enlightenment. It will have immense warmth surrounding you, it will be almost tangible.
On the second step, the buddha comes in front of you -- you become the shadow. Your shadow is just a shadow, it starts disappearing in the light and radiance of the buddha.
At the third stage, the final stage where you become enlightened, you disappear. You have been just a shadow, a fake personality, a mask. You disappear completely, only the buddha remains.
This remaining consciousness is your essential being. It is your existential truth, it is your life. To know this, every moment becomes a celebration.
I celebrate myself, and I hope soon the day will come you will be celebrating yourself.
And when thousands and thousands of people around the earth are celebrating, singing, dancing, ecstatic, drunk with the divine, there is no possibility of any global suicide. With such festivity and with such laughter, with such sanity and health, with such naturalness and spontaneity, how can there be a war?
The third world war is not going to happen! I predict it! It is not going to happen, because of you, because of my people around the earth! They are the only hope. Only millions of buddhas are capable of creating the atmosphere for peace, for love, for compassion, for celebration.
Life is not given to you to murder, to destroy. Life has been given to you to create, and to rejoice, and to celebrate.
When you cry and weep, when you are miserable, you are alone. When you celebrate, the whole existence participates with you. Only in celebration do we meet the ultimate, the eternal. Only in celebration do we go beyond the circle of birth and death.
(Drumbeat) Come back ... but come back as buddhas, carrying with you all the peace the silence, the grace.
And sit down just for a few seconds to remember the golden path that you have followed, all the experiences that you have encountered, and the buddha that has come with you.
Feel the warmth, the radiance, the light, just behind you.
The day will come soon -- soon the spring will be here -- and buddha will not be a shadow to you, you will become a shadow to buddha. And once you are a shadow then the final step is very easy. The shadow disappears in the light, in the luminosity of the buddha, the awakened one.
The third step happens so spontaneously. You are no more, only existence is.
This brings you to the celebration I have been talking about. Unless you are full of songs, full of dances, overflowing life, abundance of love and compassion, you have not lived at all. You were simply slowly dying, dying, dying.
I want you to live intensely, totally, because only those who live intensely and totally are transformed. Only they know what is the ultimate secret of life.
Yes, Beloved Master.
I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here