Don't knock, wait!
OUR BELOVED MASTER,
GOSETSU AFTER BECOMING A MONK UNDER MA TZU, CAME TO SEKITO AND SAID, "IF YOU SETTLE THIS WITH ONE WORD, I WILL STAY HERE. IF NOT, I WILL LEAVE."
SEKITO, KNOWING THAT THIS MAN HAD PROMISE, MADE A GESTURE, BUT GOSETSU DID NOT GET IT. SO GOSETSU TOOK HIS LEAVE AND MADE FOR THE GATE, WHEN SEKITO CALLED TO HIM "TEACHER!"
GOSETSU TURNED AROUND, AND SEKITO SAID, "FROM BIRTH TO OLD AGE, IT IS ONLY THE FELLOW THERE AND NOTHING ELSE -- DON'T LOOK ANYWHERE FURTHER."
AT THIS, GOSETSU WAS GREATLY ENLIGHTENED. HE STEPPED ON HIS STICK TO BREAK IT AND STAYED THERE.
ONCE, SEKITO SAID TO HIS ASSEMBLED MONKS, "EVEN IF LANGUAGE IS USED, IT IS IRRELEVANT."
HEARING THIS, YAKUSAN SAID, "EVEN IF LANGUAGE IS NOT USED, IT IS IRRELEVANT."
SEKITO SAID, "HERE, EVEN A NEEDLE CANNOT GET THROUGH."
YAKUSAN SAID, "HERE, IT IS LIKE PLANTING A FLOWER ON A ROCK."
SEKITO INDICATED HIS APPROVAL OF WHAT YAKUSAN SAID.
I have been telling you that God has been the greatest poison to humanity and its evolution towards ultimate peaks of consciousness. Ayatollah Khomeini has supported what I have been telling to you, by declaring a death sentence on Salman Rushdie and three others for simply publishing a factual statement. No law of any country supports it.
No constitution in the world supports it. But this has been the attitude of the priests all down history.
A second ayatollah -- Ayatollah simply means a religious leader -- not Khomeini, but another ayatollah, and there are two thousand ayatollahs in Iran, has come up with a better support to my argument. Now he has declared that if Salman Rushdie's head is presented to him, he is going to give two point six million dollars if the person who presents it happens to be an Iranian. If it is a non-Iranian, then one million dollars.
From every Mohammedan country, including Pakistan, death squads have moved into England to kill those four people -- and if not four, at least Salman Rushdie for writing the novel -- and to bring his head to Iran.
Now this will show you why I have been condemning all God-oriented religions, because finally the God-oriented religion is in the hands of the priests. God does not exist, the priest exists. And the priest does not know any civilization, any culture. Murdering a man is not an argument, it is really accepting defeat. A cultured society needs dialogue. If you have something against Rushdie, you have every right to say it and criticize him -- that is human. If you feel he is wrong, you have all the freedom to criticize him.
But religions don't believe in dialogues, they believe in murder, in the sword -- that is their argument. To me, it is their defeat.
These people have been keeping the world retarded. A few people from India, and from other countries who have condemned Ayatollah Khomeini and the other ayatollah, have been receiving anonymous phone calls, that they will be killed also.
Here in India, one of my friends, Madhu Mehta, made a statement condemning Ayatollah Khomeini. He is a man of immense intelligence, culture, education. He leads a certain movement called the Hindustani Andolan, the movement for a new language which will not be Hindi, the language of the Hindus, and which will not be Urdu, the language of the Mohammedans, but a combination of both, Hindustani. Of course, he has no support.
Neither are Mohammedans ready to support him, nor are Hindus ready to support him, but he goes on. For years he has been working on it.
That seems to be the simplest solution -- for India to have a national language, otherwise this country is not going to have a national language, ever. For forty years -- more than forty years -- the constitution has declared Hindi the national language. But the government has not been able to implement it because the Mohammedans are against it and think Urdu should be the language. And there are thirty-two languages accepted by the constitution as state languages. They all are claiming that they should have the right to be the national language. Now thirty-two languages fighting amongst each other ...
there seems to be no way.
Madhu Mehta has received an anonymous phone call that he also will be killed and that anybody who says anything against Ayatollah Khomeini will be murdered. Are we living in the twentieth century, or some thousand years back where only killing and murder was the argument? -- whoever kills, whoever wins in killing is the right person.
It is very easy to kill a Gautam Buddha. Any idiot can do it, in fact, only an idiot can do it. But that does not prove that the idiot's idea of religiousness is correct, nor does the death of a Gautam Buddha prove that his philosophy is wrong. In fact, it just does the opposite. It proves that the unconscious and retarded humanity, for which all the religions are responsible, have a tremendous poverty of philosophy, of argument, of a cultural and civilized dialogue. And it goes back, as far back you can see.
Socrates is poisoned -- that was not an argument against his philosophy -- poisoned by the masses. The reason? The reason was: "He is destroying our religion and our morality, and corrupting the youth." Socrates was one of the most intelligent persons who has ever walked on this earth. And anybody who has intelligence is not going to support a God- oriented religion, or a God-dictated morality, because it is coming from the priests, not from the God. The priest is interested in keeping the whole of humanity as retarded as possible. That's what makes him powerful, holier, higher and more superior.
There are two ways to become superior: one is to evolve your consciousness and become a buddha; another is to keep the whole of humanity retarded so you appear higher to them.
I am reminded of a small anecdote about one of the most significant emperors of India, Akbar. He was a Mohammedan but not a fanatic, and he gathered into his court all kinds of religious people, from different religious sources. He had in his court all the intelligent people of the country without any discrimination of religion or caste.
One day he came to the court and asked all his wise people of the court, "I am trying to solve a problem and I need your help." And then he drew a line on the wall and asked those people, "Can you make it smaller without touching it?"
Obviously, you cannot make a line smaller without touching it, so they were all at a loss.
But every court in the past used to have a man of immense sense of humor, so that the court keeps balanced, it does not become serious, tense, stressed.
Birbal was Akbar's man of a sense of humor. He stood up finally, and he went to the wall and drew a bigger line underneath the line that Akbar had drawn, and made it small without touching it.
The priests have been trying in every way to keep humanity at the lowest intelligence.
This is their way of keeping themselves holier and higher.
If everybody starts growing in consciousness, intelligence, awareness, that is going to destroy all fictions about God, heaven and hell, and that is going to destroy all the business that the priests are doing all around the world. Millions and millions of priests are just parasites. Unless we get rid of the priests, it is very difficult to get rid of God -- they are both very deeply connected. It is easy to get rid of God if there is no priest, because God does not exist, and the priest exists.
It is the priests who have programmed your minds as Christians, as Hindus, as Mohammedans, in the name of God. And it has been going on for centuries.
As far as I am concerned, I don't think humanity has a mental age of more than seven years.
In America, where our commune was destroyed by the fundamentalist Christians -- Ronald Reagan himself is a fundamentalist Christian, a fanatic. And the only reason to destroy the commune was that they could not tolerate a Godless commune living so happily, so joyously, singing songs and dancing and celebrating without any fear, without any inhibition, without any guilt.
The Attorney General, Ed Meese, admitted it before a press conference. When they had already deported me, he accepted that I had not committed any crime, but I had to be deported. He said, "Our priority was to destroy the commune, but without deporting Rajneesh we would not have been able to destroy the commune."
Why was it a priority for them to destroy the commune and to propose thirty-four absolutely imaginary crimes against me?
In fact, they were committing the crime against five thousand people who had simply escaped from centuries-old slavery and declared their dignity and freedom. This was intolerable. People declaring their independence and freedom? Their dignity and their prestige and their pride. Their individuality? This could not be tolerated by any fanatical so-called religious person.
I had said at a press conference that in Oregon, where the commune was situated, people are retarded. All the politicians were angry; the whole of Oregon was angry. And finally, the University of Oregon decided to take a survey -- because that is the only civilized way to prove me either right or wrong. And their conclusions are immensely valuable.
They surveyed cross sections of society in Oregon, and they surveyed the commune.
They were puzzled. They found that the average mental age of Oregonians was seven years, and the average mental age of the sannyasins was fourteen years -- double that of any Oregonian. And I don't think that if we take into account the whole of humanity, the mental age will be more than seven. It will be less than seven years, because millions of people are far more retarded than the Oregonians. When the average is taken, it may come to three and a half at the most.
People have been kept in this slavery just for a few people to enjoy the superiority.
Obviously these people who have enjoyed superiority -- the brahmins, the priests, the ayatollahs, the imams, the rabbis, the popes -- will not easily allow human beings to declare their independence.
You have to understand deeply. My whole work here is to make you declare freedom and total independence from all prisons -- religious, national, racial. Only that is going to give you a life of celebration. Your freedom will give you the space to dance, to sing, to celebrate. My vision of religiousness is that of sheer celebration, a tremendous joy in life, in love, in creative actions. This is my manifesto, the Manifesto of Zen.
Unless humanity is taken out of their prison cells -- we are living in the dark ages -- every vested interest is going to be against me, it is going to be against you. Every manifesto of freedom will be crushed.
It is not accidental that Socrates is poisoned, that al-Hillaj Mansoor is murdered, that Jesus is crucified, that Sarmad is killed, that many attempts were made on the life of Mahavira, that many attempts were made on the life of Gautam Buddha, and finally, he died from food poisoning. There is every suspicion that it was deliberate poisoning.
Gautam Buddha was certainly a religious man. As he was dying he told his disciples, in particular Ananda -- he called him close and whispered to him, "It does not matter that I am dying. I am concerned about the man who has given me the food that has poisoned me. You have to protect him, otherwise the people who love me will kill him.
"So spread the idea around my disciples, and my lovers, and my sympathizers, that two persons are the most blessed: the one who for the first time gives nourishment to the enlightened one -- of course, that is the mother -- and the second is the one who gives him his last food. These two persons are the very blessed ones. Create this rumor, so that the person who has poisoned me should not suffer unnecessarily."
This is the way of a religious man -- a great concern even for the murderer. Unless we fill this earth with such people, humanity is not going to have all the great experiences which every human being has the birthright to attain.
Everybody is prohibited from making this earth a lotus paradise, and from experiencing in his own body, the very consciousness of a Gautam Buddha. All religions are against you because they are against freedom, and they are against human culture, civilization.
They are against any kind of dialogue. Murder is their argument.
This simply shows the poverty of all religions, and this also shows that humanity has to revolt against these religions, these churches, these temples, these mosques. A great revolt, a rebellion can only give you the opportunity to grow, otherwise you simply grow old, you don't grow up. And remember the difference between the two.
Growing old is not of any worth, every animal does it, it needs no intelligence. Growing up is a totally different experience. Growing old is horizontal; growing up is vertical, it leads you to heights, it leads you to depths.
And strangely enough, you will be surprised to know that time is horizontal. One moment passes, another moment comes, another moment, another moment ... in a line, a horizontal line. Time is horizontal, and mind is also horizontal. One thought is followed by another thought, and by another thought, and by another thought, but in a line, in a row, a procession, or just a traffic -- but it is going horizontal.
Meditation is vertical, it is going beyond mind and beyond time. And perhaps, ultimately you will find that time and mind are equivalent, two names of the same phenomenon -- the horizontal procession of thoughts, of moments. Meditation is to stop time and mind both, and suddenly you start rising up in eternity. Eternity is not part of time, and eternity is not a thought; it is an experience.
It is a difficult task to get rid of God and God-oriented religions, and the priests who are supporting this lie by threatening people with murder. These murderers should be exposed, and they should be dethroned. The basic need is a deep understanding of your own divinity. Then there is no need for an external God, and then there is no need for any mediators between you and God.
Meditation is a rebellion, perhaps the most fundamental rebellion against all fictions, against all lies, and against all those who are living on those fictions and lies.
I teach you rebellion, I teach you revolt.
I teach you freedom of your individuality. Destroy all kinds of prisons, destroy all kinds of lies -- and you can destroy them only by meditation. Rise beyond time and mind, and you will find not only that you are divine, but the whole existence is divine, life is divine.
And you enter into a totally new dimension that has been completely blocked by scriptures, by priests, by God, by heaven and hell, by all kinds of fear, by all kinds of greed.
It is a very unnatural phenomenon that a person goes on growing physically but his mind is stuck somewhere below seven years. It cannot be natural! The mind is kept retarded, otherwise just as your body grows, your physiology grows, your mental age will follow simultaneously. When you are seventy years old, your mental age must be seventy years old. But it is seven years old ....
According to me, if this is possible then the opposite is also possible. If a man of seventy years' age of the body has only the mental age of a seven-year-old child, then the reverse is also possible. A man of seventy may have the mental age of seven hundred years.
Once Emerson was asked, "What is your age?"
And he said, "Three hundred and sixty years."
The man who had asked could not believe it. Three hundred and sixty years ...? He said, "I did not hear, please repeat what you have said."
Emerson said, "You have heard it: three hundred and sixty years."
The man said, "I cannot believe it. You must be joking ... you don't look more than sixty years."
Emerson said, "Yes, my body is only sixty years old, but my consciousness is six times more than sixty. I count my age according to my intelligence, not according to my body, because I am not the body, I am my intelligence."
Religions have kept you chained, because a man of intelligence is not going to believe in any lies. So intelligence has to be crippled, and all the religions have been involved in this crippling process.
In Japan, there is a certain method, which is ugly to me, but which is very much appreciated by the Japanese people. There are four-hundred-year-old trees which are only six inches high. They look very ancient, but their height is only six inches. And the strategy that has been used is the strategy that has been used against every human being by your religions, by your God and God-oriented theologies.
The trick is very simple. For four hundred years a family, generation after generation, keeps a tree. It is kept in a pot which has no bottom, so they can go on cutting the roots from the bottom. If you don't allow the roots to grow, the tree cannot go high. They don't touch the rest of the tree; it simply becomes older and older and older. But the tree does not reach to the height which was its potential, because the roots are being continuously cut.
Intelligence is your root.
They show those trees as if it is an art.
To me, it is against nature, against those poor trees. You have not allowed them to grow.
And perhaps if those trees have a certain kind of mind, a certain kind of intelligence, they will think, "This is how we are: six inches high." They will not be able to discover at all that they have been kept imprisoned by cutting their roots -- because they don't see the roots.
You don't see your roots in existence.
Only a meditator comes to see his roots in existence. Those roots have been cut completely, continuously, century after century, generation after generation, by the priest.
You have been kept retarded in intelligence.
People ask me why the masses don't come to me. They cannot understand me. Only very intelligent people who have a certain individuality and a certain sense of freedom, can understand me. The masses can only murder me. Only the intelligent, the elite ...
To understand me you will have to go through a transformation, you will have to look into your roots: Who has been cutting those roots? Who are these rats who have been cutting your roots? All your rabbis, all your bishops, all your ayatollahs, all your shankaracharyas ... they are the rats who are cutting your roots. And they don't give you a chance to have a fuller life. Otherwise every person will have a tremendous life of such great fulfillment that who cares about what happens after death? One has lived so totally, loved so totally that who cares about what happens after death?
There are only two possibilities: either you die, then there is no problem, or you continue to live. And you know how to live, you know how to be total, so you will live more totally without the body. You will have the whole sky available to you. So whether you are atheist or theist does not matter. What matters is to live life so totally that death becomes absolutely unimportant, because only two alternatives are left: either you will die ... so what is the problem?
Do you think you had any problem before you were born? Just think of that. You had no problem, you were not there. So how can the problem exist without you? Do you remember any problem before you were born?
I say to you, that is one side; the other side is death. You won't have any problem if you really die. If you don't die, you will have all the opportunities, more than you have now.
But you have to discipline yourself for living so abundantly that if you survive death, you will be able to live more abundantly because you will have more space to dance, more space to celebrate.
As far as I am concerned, I know there is no death. But I don't want you to believe it, I want you to experience it.
The religions have been creating all kinds of devices to keep you blind and in darkness.
An ancient saying describing a philosopher says: A philosopher is a man who is blind, in a dark house where there is no light, and he is searching for a black cat which is not there.
This is not the description or the definition only of a philosopher. This is exactly the description and definition of all human beings. Religion has kept them blind, in utter darkness, telling them lies, and telling them to find it: a black cat that is not there! All religions are telling you to find God, and you don't have eyes, and you don't have any light, and God does not exist. God is the cat!
And you go on groping and stumbling. The more you grope, the more you stumble; the more fractured you are, the more despair and anxiety and anguish that perhaps others have caught the cat and you have not fulfilled the promise. Your hands are empty and death is coming every moment closer and closer. Naturally the whole of humanity has lost the sense of humor. People smile only a lipstick smile. It does not go beyond the lipstick. And lipstick makes women so ugly -- anything fake makes people ugly.
Even my sannyasins, when they go back to the west, start painting their lips. When they come back, it takes a few days to clean that dirt that they have been putting on their lips. I can't conceive that any man of intelligence could kiss a woman who has lipstick! That lipstick is almost a China Wall -- you don't reach the woman at all. At least I am certain about me. The moment I see lipstick, I know that this woman is phony. Avoid it; it has no soul, it is just a mask.
Just a few days ago, a very rich young Indian woman -- because Indian women don't use lipstick unless they are very rich and convent educated -- came because she is the owner of a magazine and a newspaper. She wanted to write a story about me, and she wanted a photograph with me.
And Anando was telling me -- Anando is my legal secretary -- she was telling me that she is a very beautiful woman. When I saw her, I saw only the red lipstick and nothing else. I tried to avoid her face, and I told Anando, "You were telling me this woman is beautiful?
Have you not seen her lipstick?"
No falsity can be beautiful, only authenticity, sincerity. As you are, in your utter nudity, you have a beauty, you have an individuality.
But all the religions are creating hypocrites. Not only is their God a lie, but they have caused the whole of humanity to be in deep hypocrisy. Pretend -- that is their preaching.
Exhibit that you are a moralist, that you are a puritan, that you are a saint. They have not allowed you any transformation. They have only given you masks, personalities, and they have deprived you of the individuality which is your eternal right.
Declare your eternal right, and that right will destroy the gods and the priests, because they are conspiring together against whole of humanity.
Your God is not a creator of life, he is the enemy of life, because life is truth and God is a lie! But he continues to live because of the priesthood. That's why the priesthood has no evidence, no argument for God, only murder!
Now this nonsense that a man who has not done any harm to anybody, but has simply stated a fact that Mohammed himself had accepted ... that the devil inspired him to write a few verses describing three female deities. If the prophets of God cannot even understand who is inspiring them -- whether it is God or the devil -- then they are not worth calling prophets of God. And what is the certainty about these prophets' others statements? Perhaps they are also dictated by the devil!
And it is a strategy, the same as I told you about this American TV preacher Bakker, who has been one of the most famous TV preachers. This is a new kind of priesthood arising in America. Millions of people used to listen to him every Sunday. He was talking about celibacy, and he was found red-handed in a sexual relationship with a woman. And then it was discovered that he was also having homosexual relations with his assistant. And because he was caught red-handed -- it is very easy to throw the blame on the devil -- he immediately said, "I was forced by the devil!"
It is strange. He had been having these love affairs his whole life, and he did not tell anybody in all these sermons -- every Sunday for years -- "I am being forced by the devil ..." Suddenly now that he is caught ... if he had not been caught, he would have remained the representative of God.
But strange, when I saw this, that the man was now blaming the devil ...! That the devil was forcing him to make love to his secretary, to make love to his assistant who was a male, to make love to other women who were part of his congregation ... it was the devil!
But how do you know it was the devil and not God? If you were not caught -- and it is such an easy device ...
Then all the criminals can say in the court, "I was inspired by the devil. I have not murdered, it was the devil who was forcing me to murder. I have not raped, it was the devil!" Then no criminal can be punished -- "If you want to punish, punish the devil."
And that Bakker, after one year's penance, is back on the TV -- again as God's representative!
Watching his whole strategy, I was reminded of a woman who was confessing to a Catholic priest ....
She said, "I have been raped."
The priest said, "You have been raped continuously for six weeks. Every Sunday you come ... how do you manage it?"
She said, "It is the same person. And it is not once in a night, sometimes twice he rapes me."
The priest said, "Do you understand the meaning of raping?"
She said, "I understand."
"The same person goes on raping you for six weeks? Sometimes even twice a night ...
and you just confess? And again the raping continues. Why do you confess?"
She said, "I enjoy confessing. It gives me such joy, almost exactly the same as when I am raped. Just the whole scene ..."
And she used to describe it in absolute detail, minute detail.
Now can you conceive people's blindness? Bakker is back ....
Mohammed, in the last part of his life changed those verses, and the reason was not the devil. The reason was a male chauvinistic idea. Then why had he written those three verses? The reason was his wife.
He married a very rich widow who was forty years old and he was only twenty-six. The reason to marry that woman was simply her riches, her prestige, her power. She was a powerful woman, Khadija. She was the first Mohammedan.
Mohammed himself was epileptic. He used to have fits, and one day he came home trembling and feverish. Khadija asked, "What happened?" He was a shepherd. He used to take the goats and sheep to the mountains, and on the mountain it happened. Most probably it was again an epileptic fit, because there is no God to say anything to anybody.
He said, "I became almost unconscious. I was foaming -- when I became conscious I saw the foam on my mouth, and God spoke to me. And since that moment I have been trembling and feeling deep fever."
So Khadija put as many blankets as possible on him, but he was still trembling. And she convinced him, "It was God! Don't be worried! And I am your first disciple."
Because of this woman, and because of her riches, Mohammed was able to spread Mohammedanism around Saudi Arabia. My understanding is because of this woman he included those three verses saying that there are three female deities. Once Khadija was dead, there was no reason to keep those verses in the Koran. Now his male chauvinist mind -- which has been there all over the world in every founder of every religion ...
Jainism, which is one of the most refined religions in the world, declares that no woman can become enlightened. But one woman managed to become enlightened. And the whole reason that a woman cannot be celibate was because of her menstrual period. A man can pretend to be celibate, can manage, but how can a woman pretend that she is not having the menstrual period? And particularly in the religion of the Jainas, because you cannot become enlightened unless you become nude.
So there are five stages ... slowly, slowly you drop your possessions, and the final stage is of the muni -- the muni becomes naked. Now a naked woman -- how is she going to deceive people when her period comes? This was the trouble.
People condemn me that I am concerned about trivia, and Mahavira and twenty-four tirthankaras of the Jainas were concerned about the woman's period! And because of the period -- because you cannot hide it, and particularly when you are nude -- the woman cannot become enlightened, she cannot be celibate. She cannot change her biology, nor does any man ever change his biology. It is beyond the mind's control. No man has ever been celibate ... all pretenders, all hypocrites.
But one woman was very courageous, Mallibai -- because women are courageous, particularly in a society like India where the woman has to hide herself in a sari ... The sari is very beautiful in hiding the woman, her proportions, her curves of the body. The sari is a beautiful device. You only see the woman's face, you don't see anything else.
And in such a country, in such a culture, the woman will be shy to be nude.
But Mallibai must have been a tremendously daring woman. I have immense respect for that woman who stood nude. And unwillingly they had to accept that she was enlightened. You cannot deny enlightenment, but they managed to once she was dead.
They changed her name from Mallibai to Mallinath. Now Mallinath is a man's name.
Nath changes everything. Bai means a woman, and mallibai they changed into mallinath.
And not only that ... In Jaina temples you will find twenty-four statues of the tirthankaras, but you will not find any statue of a woman -- they are all naked, so you can find out.
I used to harass my father every time I went with him to the temple, "Where is Mallibai in these twenty-four statues?"
And he used to say, "I don't know at all, and you continue to ask again and again.
Whenever you come with me, the first thing you ask is about Mallibai. And how am I supposed to know? These twenty-four all are male, nobody is a female."
I said, "What happened to Mallibai?" They have changed even the statue. It is not of a woman, the statue is of a man. The name changed, the statue changed -- because they have to save this male chauvinistic idea that only a man can become enlightened.
All the religions in some way or other, have condemned the woman. So Mohammed must have felt that when Khadija died, that it was time to change those three verses. Now, the blame goes to the devil.
The Koran is one of the most strange books, because it has not been written in a continuity -- one verse today, one verse ten days after ... because Mohammed was uneducated. He did not write it himself. He used to dictate whenever he found something worth dictating. So-called holy scriptures are written by self-styled prophets and messiahs -- and they are called "holy"! I don't see anything holy in them.
So many Mohammedan friends have asked me, "You have spoken on many religions, why don't you speak on the Koran?"
I said, "Do you want me to be murdered?" I have something else to do meanwhile.
Finally, when I think that it is time for me to leave the body, I will speak on the Koran.
And I will manage to have one of my sannyasins kill me and get 2.6 million dollars for my work! While my work is incomplete, I am not going to speak on holy scriptures, because they are the most primitive kind of literature.
These so-called prophets are suffering from all kinds of mental sicknesses; they are epileptic, neurotic, psychotic and schizophrenic. They are not worth discussing at all.
These priests all around the world are holding the whole of humanity in their clutches.
They are vultures, not human beings.
This is your work: to spread the message of freedom, of individuality of a religiousness which is a quality, and not to be a member of any organized religion. It is purely an individual affair, just as love is. It is the greatest and highest and the purest love with existence.
You have fallen in love with a woman, this is a small matter. You have fallen in love with a man, this is a small matter. Once you fall in love with existence itself, with life itself, then it is the great matter. Zen masters call it The Great Matter.
But it is individual, it has nothing to do with any institution. In institutions, only mad people live. When people call marriage an institution, I agree. It is an institution, because in institutions only mad people live.
Religion has nothing to do with organization.
The moment you organize truth you kill it.
A bird on the wing is one thing. You can catch hold of the same bird and put it in a golden cage. Outwardly it is the same bird, but inwardly it has lost its freedom. It has lost its joy in the sun, in the rain, going beyond the clouds. It has lost its sky, its space; it is not the same bird. Just in appearance it is the same, but in truth it is a slave.
The bird on the wing was in total freedom, dancing over the clouds, going across the sun towards the unknown without any fear. But now, there is nowhere to go -- although the cage is golden. All responsibility is taken by the owner. The bird will have his food, nourishment ... everything, but it is selling your soul too cheaply.
Don't be encaged in any religion.
Create the vastness of sky which is already there. You just have to discover it within you.
And you will be free of all prisons, of all religions, and of all the Holy Bibles, the holy Koran, the holy Gita ... none of them is holy. The only holy place is within you. And once you have known it, then you know that it is within everybody. Wherever there is life, all over there is sacredness, holiness.
You are not only being prevented from growing into your intelligence, you are being prevented from knowing the authentic divineness of existence, the authentic sacredness of life.
These priests are murderers -- not literally -- actually. They have murdered more people than the politicians. And they are still there; they are still openly declaring and supporting murder. And anybody who opposes it has also to be murdered. They know only one language -- that of murder. They have not learned anything that can be called human; they are animals. But even animals are more cultured.
The first question:
GOD IS A FICTION OF THE MIND, AN INVENTION OF RELIGIOUS POLITICIANS. BUT MY MIND WANTS FICTIONS, HOPES, FUTURE. IS THIS NATURAL?
No, not at all. You have been programmed, you don't know what nature is. All these hopes that you think your mind needs, are created.
The old economists used to say that wherever there is a demand there will be supply.
Now things have completely changed. Manufacturers of all kinds of goods first start advertising, they have not yet manufactured the thing. They put more money into advertising than in producing the product, because that advertising creates a false need in people's minds that they need it. Once the need is there ... It is false need, because they have never needed it.
Just this advertisement consistently, constantly, hammering on their heads from every television set, from every radio, from every corner of the street, from every magazine, from every newspaper -- how long can you avoid? You are surrounded continuously by the same advertisement, and soon you start feeling that you need it, you cannot live without it. It is not even produced. When the manufacturer finds that people have started feeling the need, then he manufactures it. So now it is a created need which you take for granted as if it has been your natural need.
These priests, religious politicians, have been doing the same kind of advertising for thousands of years. They give you the idea, and they preach continuously. Their scriptures are continuously preaching all the old methods. And they are now using the new media also: television, radio, satellites ... to propagate lies.
You think you need -- your mind wants fictions. No, these fictions are created.
Just don't tell a child there is a God, and he will never feel the desire to find God. It is so easy to understand. In the Soviet Union nobody is searching for God, because they have a totally different programming, the communist programming, atheist programming. From very childhood the child is told there is no God. But in the past, people were so stupid they used to worship a lie, a fiction.
One of my friends, Rahul Sanskritayana, a scholar of Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit, was a Buddhist monk. But he also became interested in communism because of the simple similarity that Buddha has no God and Marx also has no God. So he started becoming interested in Marxism, and finally he became a communist. And the Soviet Union asked him to go to Moscow University to teach Sanskrit there. So he went to Moscow.
Out of India, in Moscow, things were different. Here it would have been impossible for him to remain a Buddhist monk and yet fall in love. In the Soviet Union there was no difficulty. He fell in love with a beautiful woman, Lola -- she was also a professor in the same university, and she had two children.
But the Soviet government did not allow him to take the wife or children out of the Soviet Union. He could live there, but he wanted to come back to his own country. And he was also afraid. In a way the government was fulfilling his innermost desire -- how could he go to India with a wife and two children? He would be condemned by everybody, particularly the Buddhists: "You are a monk!" So he was happy in a way, that the government itself did not allow it, so there was no question.
He came back. He told me, "When I first went to the Soviet Union, I asked a small boy, 'Do you believe in God?' He said, 'God? People used to believe in that in the dark ages.
If you want to see the statue of God, you can go into the museum.'" But this is also programming. It is not that these small boys know there is no God, or that even Karl Marx knew there was no God. Only a man of immense meditation can know whether God is or is not.
So you are programmed, and so deeply ingrained is the program that you think it is your nature. Your fictions, your hopes, your future ... nothing is natural.
Nature knows nothing except this moment. Nature knows nothing about hopes and desires and wants. Nature simply enjoys whatever is available this moment, now and here.
You are asking:
OR IS IT A DISTORTION, A REFLECTION OF A SICK CULTURE?
Yes, absolutely and categorically, yes. It is a distortion, a reflection of a sick culture.
And you are asking:
IS THE STATE OF GRACE THAT I SEEK HIDDEN FROM ME BY NATURE FOR SOME PURPOSE?
There is no purpose. Purpose again brings the whole lot of lies in. Existence simply is.
Just look at it from this angle. When you are sick you go to the doctor and you ask, "What is the cause of my sickness?" You ask for the diagnosis. But when you are feeling healthy, do you go to the doctor and ask, "Diagnose! What is the cause of my health?
Why am I feeling so happy?" You don't go to the doctor, or to the psychiatrist, or to the psychoanalyst. And if you go, that means you are mad. If you ask, "Why am I feeling so happy ...?"
No, happiness needs no cause. It is your simple nature, you are intrinsically happy. No cause, no purpose, no goal is needed. Life is in itself enough. It needs nothing else to complete it. It is complete! It is entire! It is already what it has to be. So there is no purpose in existence and no goal in existence.
Existence is a sheer dance.
Picasso was constantly bothered by people because his paintings seemed to be purposeless, meaningless. Once a critic was staying with him and he was painting. He watched and watched, and he said to Picasso, "Why are you wasting your time? This is nothing. There is no purpose in your painting."
He said, "This is strange. I am at least painting. And why are you sitting behind me. For three hours you have been wasting your time and you are telling me that I am wasting my time. I am enjoying immensely. There is no need for any purpose. Just painting, just playing with these colors is so great. Who cares about the purpose and the meaning and the goal?
"Why don't you go into the garden and ask the roses, 'What is the purpose of your being?
Why are you dancing without purpose? Why are you looking so happy and smiling? Shut up! You don't have any purpose, and you are dancing in the wind and under the sun.
What is the great idea? Why are you spreading your fragrance?
"Why don't you go into the garden? And if a rose need not have a purpose, why should my paintings have a purpose? They are existential." And the man was perfectly right, just in a wrong place.
These people like Picasso needed the environment of Zen, but they were living in the West where everything has to have a purpose, otherwise you are insane. Why are you doing it? They can't understand that just doing it can be out of sheer joy. Playing with colors is a sheer joy in itself. Trying to find meaning in it is just your programming:
everything has to be meaningful.
I was a student in the university, and I was winning all kinds of debates, eloquence competitions, all over the country. I had filled my head of the department's office with all kinds of trophies and cups -- gold and silver. And he started telling me, "If you go on winning in this way, I think I will have to move out of my office. There is no space left."
I said, "You don't have to move out, I will move all the trophies and all the cups."
He said, "No, that is credit to the department."
I said, "Then you have to decide whether you want to be in the office or not." And finally he had to move out of the office. He created another small office on the verandah where he used to sit, because his whole office became a showplace for any guest.
One day he asked me -- because in my own university there was going to be a national university competition -- "Why do you go on unnecessarily traveling long distances?
What is your purpose?"
I said, "I don't have any purpose. I love it -- that's my way of playing. That's my way of telling stories which have no purpose at all. Just the sheer joy, overflowing life. I am not old enough to think about purposes."
He said, "What?"
I said, "Yes, I am not old enough, and I will never be old enough to think about purpose and meaning. I rejoice in whatever I am doing. There is no purpose."
Do you think talking to you there is any purpose? I just enjoy it. You enjoy listening, I enjoy talking, it is complete. There is no need beyond it. If something happens within it, that is not my responsibility.
If you become enlightened, it is your problem.
So be careful!
I am just enjoying talking, you are enjoying listening. In between these two things anything is possible. You may become enlightened, but remember, never condemn me for your enlightenment. It is just your problem, not mine. I have my problem -- you don't worry about it.
So I told my head of the department, "There is no purpose. I enjoy talking. I love a heart- to-heart talk."
And that day the competition was going to be held ... There used to be two persons from each university -- one opposing the subject and one supporting the subject. I was opposing the subject, but my partner became so nervous ... it was his first time to come to the stage.
The student who used to come with me around the country had died in an accident, so I had to find a new partner, and that was his first time. I tried hard to prepare him ... to repeat his speech many times, but finally when the time came he disappeared.
So the vice-chancellor asked me what to do? I said, "I can manage. First I will speak in support -- because my partner is missing, and I don't want to lose that prize -- and then I will oppose."
He said, "My God! You will do both the things?"
I said, "Just try. It will be a great enjoyment."
So I spoke for it, and I spoke against it, and I had both the prizes, first and second.
And as I was going out, the vice-chancellor took me into a corner and said, "It was a miracle. When you were speaking in favor of it, I was thinking what will you do? You are giving such a great argument in favor, I don't think you will be able to oppose it. But when you started opposing, I thought, My God! -- your arguments are so clear. What happened to the other arguments ...?"
He said, "But I want to ask you one thing, that's why I have pulled you out of the crowd.
Do you have any convictions of your own?"
I said, "I just love talking. You have heard only two sides -- there are many sides. And if you want some day I can speak from many points of view. These are only two polar opposites, but there are middle positions and there are at least seven positions on each subject."
He said "That would drive me mad. Just these two positions drive me completely out of my mind. I don't think I am going to sleep, because I am wondering what is right."
I said, "That is your problem. I enjoyed the whole game, and I have got both the prizes.
And this is far better. If you can convince other vice-chancellors that only one person is coming and he will represent both the sides, it will be far easier for me because I won't have to prepare the other person. It is better and easier. I don't have any belief, I don't have any prejudice. I am utterly open. And because I love, it is a game."
Your life should be a playfulness, not a purpose.
Your life should be a fun, not goal oriented.
It should not be business, it should be pure love. What is the purpose of love? If there is no purpose in love, why should there be purpose in meditation? Why should there be any purpose in nature and existence?
Purpose is always an end somewhere far away that you have to achieve. Purpose is an achievement of a distant goal, it is never herenow, and life is herenow. It is not going anywhere, it has no purpose.
And you don't understand the implication of the word 'purpose'. If once purpose is fulfilled, life will be dead. Then there will be no need for existence -- the purpose is fulfilled, the game is finished. Because it is an ongoing game, eternity to eternity, it can't afford to have a goal, it can't afford to have a death, it can't afford to have a purpose.
Unless you understand how to live purposelessly, you have not understood the meaning, the significance of life.
Life has everything that it needs in itself; it is intrinsic, not outside. It is an unfoldment of more and more joy, of more and more blissfulness, of more and more ecstasy. But the unfoldment is in the present. As you go deeper and deeper, and higher and higher, you become more and more playful. And to be playful takes all seriousness away.
Purpose makes people serious, and I consider seriousness to be sickness of the soul.
Laughter is health, but laughter has no purpose. It is so beautiful in itself, it need not have a purpose. It is not a means to any end. It is means and end both together.
And finally, you are asking:
IS MY IDENTIFICATION WITH THE EGO A NECESSARY STAGE IN A NATURAL PROCESS?
No, it is again a created phenomenon by the priests, by the politicians, by your parents.
The child is born without any ego. Have you ever watched a small child who says -- if his name is Johnny -- "Johnny is feeling thirsty"? He never says, "I am feeling thirsty," I will come later on when programming has happened. In the beginning the child says, "Johnny is feeling sleepy."
One of the Hindu mystics, Ramateertha, never said "I" in his whole life. He would always say, "Rama is tired. Rama is hungry ..."
He went to America. Here, the people who surrounded him, understood him, but in America it seemed a very strange type of language that he used. "Rama is feeling thirsty" -- and people would look around wondering, "Who is Rama?" And they asked him, "Why don't you simply say 'I am feeling thirsty'?"
He said, "That I cannot say, because there is no 'I'. So I just use the name, which is a false thing, apparently false, because it has been given. It is a label put on me, but there is no 'I' in me. And my innermost space is neither thirsty nor hungry. It is the body, and the label of the body is Ramateertha. It is not my name. I am nameless and formless; name and form belong to the body. So I cannot use the word 'I', because there is no corresponding reality to it inside me."
And he was absolutely right.
The ego is created by ambition, by desire, by greed. Everybody is telling you: "Become somebody special. Have power, prestige, respectability, money, things that matter in the world." All these create slowly, slowly the idea of the ego, of superiority, of holier-than- thou, higher-than-thou. This ego creates your saints, this ego creates your so-called priests, your politicians, your presidents, prime ministers. This is all the projection of the ego.
But ego has no natural existence. It is a by-product of a certain programming that society manages to befool you with.
Once you see that the ego is false, handed over to you by others, the whole house of falsity simply disappears, like darkness when you bring light in.
Meditation will bring the light from your very center, a cool fire. And when your interior becomes luminous, you will not find any ego, any I. You will simply find the whole existence pouring into you.
The ego is also an imprisonment.
Being egoless you are again out of the golden cage.
My parents used to say to me, "The way you are going, you will end up being nobody."
And somebody else would say, "You will end up in being good for nothing." I have ended up being nobody, good for nothing. But I am enjoying this good-for-nothingness, this nobodiness so much that each moment has become a splendor, a magic, a miracle.
Out of this nothingness arises my freedom, my wholeness. Out of this nothingness I meet with existence with an easy heart, relaxed, in a deep let-go. There is no ego, no somebody to prevent me. I don't have any borders, any limits. In this nothingness I have arrived at the very source of existence.
I would love you also to be good for nothing, a nobody. And then you will find a tremendous dignity -- for no reason, but just because the whole existence is overflowing, and all around you flowers are blossoming, stars are dancing. For the first time when you are nobody, you feel your heartbeat and the universe's heartbeat are in deep synchronicity. That feeling is the greatest experience in existence, the most divine, the most godly.
Now the sutras:
GOSETSU, AFTER BECOMING A MONK UNDER MA TZU, CAME TO SEKITO AND SAID, "IF YOU SETTLE THIS WITH ONE WORD, I WILL STAY HERE. IF NOT, I WILL LEAVE."
His question certainly shows he is coming from Ma Tzu.
Ma Tzu is the most strange master that ever happened. He must have heard this statement from Ma Tzu, or in the air of Ma Tzu where there were many people just becoming afire, coming to their real home.
He is asking Sekito, "IF YOU SETTLE THIS" -- remember the word "this." The whole emphasis is on "this" -- "IF YOU SETTLE THIS WITH ONE WORD ..." He is saying, "By a single word if you can say what this is, I will stay here. If not, I will leave."
SEKITO, KNOWING THAT THIS MAN HAD PROMISE -- his very question showed an intense longing to understand this. But he does not want to go into details, he does not want any unnecessary commentary. He wants simply a single word: "Settle it and I will stay here; otherwise I leave."
A man fiery enough, bold enough, daring enough, challenging a man like Sekito.
SEKITO, KNOWING THAT THIS MAN HAD PROMISE -- he could see the promise in his eyes, in his very air, in his very approach -- MADE A GESTURE, a silent gesture.
Even a single word is too much. That was the emphasis of Sekito, "Why are you asking for even one word? One word leads to another and to another, and then the whole theology and the whole philosophy, and the whole religion goes on growing. Words and words ... and you forget all about this.
"So I won't use even a single word -- that is too much. You have already gone, you have already passed this. You have moved into language from existence. And that is the greatest distance in the world: the experience of this, and making a statement about it.
That is the greatest distance possible. Even stars are not that far away. They may be millions of light-years away -- that does not matter. The distance between this and the statement about this is the greatest distance between two points."
Sekito avoided even a single word.
Always remember, one thing leads to another and to another, and then there is no end.
You are lost in a jungle of words. So he would not say even a single word, he simply made a gesture. And his gesture was immensely profound, but it was utterly silent.
Gosetsu did not get it. He wanted a word. He was looking for the word, that's why he missed the gesture. Whenever you are looking for something, you will miss the truth.
Don't look for something! Just go emptyhanded, without any projection, without any prejudice, without any belief. Perhaps he had come from Ma Tzu hearing his words, and he wanted Sekito to say something greater, in a single word, condensed. But one word or one thousand words ... it makes no difference.
Sekito is utterly truthful, absolutely honest. Not uttering a single word, he simply made a gesture. And in his gesture there was thisness. In his gesture was suchness. In his gesture was the whole existence. In his presence and the gesture, everything was contained; nothing was left out. Nothing was said, but everything was indicated -- a hint, a naked truth without clothes.
All words are clothes. The more words, the more clothes. Finally, you have layer upon layer of language, and the truth is lost in the jungle.
But Gosetsu missed it because he was waiting for a word. His focus was for a word, otherwise he would not have missed it. He was alert and waiting for the word, and the word did not come. Because of his narrowing mind upon a word, he missed the vastness of this that Sekito was indicating by a gesture.
Never look for anything. That which is, will declare itself to you, you simply be silent and wait. Yes, waiting is the right approach to truth.
Wait, be a witness, be patient.
Keep your doors open for the guest, because one never knows when the guest comes and knocks on your doors.
Do you remember a small poem by Rabindranath Tagore, "The King of the Night"?
There used to be an ancient temple, very ancient. The temple was vast. It had thousands of statues and one thousand priests. The high priest one night dreamed that God was saying to him, "Tomorrow sometime I am coming to visit the temple. Clean it, prepare it.
I am coming for the first time to your temple. You have waited long, now the time has come."
He woke up in the middle of the night. He called all the priests from their bedrooms.
They were surprised: "What is the matter?" -- because it had never happened before.
The arch-priest said to them, "I had a dream. Although it is a dream, who knows? It may be true, it may be just an indication that he is coming."
They laughed, they giggled. They said, "You are getting old, you are getting senile. A dream is a dream, and you disturbed our sleep."
The arch-priest said, "I am sorry, but I have to say to you not to take chances. There is nothing wrong in cleaning the temple and preparing the richest food, the best room for him to rest. Anyway this is going to give the temple a good spring-cleaning. It has not been cleaned for hundreds of years, so this is good chance. If he comes, good; if he does not come, there is no harm."
They could see the argument.
And he said, "If we don't do anything and he turns up, then don't blame me. I will not be responsible. I have told you."
They all felt that there was some grain of truth, an argument, very convincing in it. So they cleaned the whole temple the next day. It was a vast temple. To clean it -- and it had not been cleaned for hundreds of years -- was a tremendous job. They called many other people -- one thousand priests and hundreds of other people from the nearby villages who used to worship. So they came, and all the statues were cleaned -- fragrance, flowers, garlands, great sweets and delicious food was prepared. For the first time God was coming. But they all knew deep down, "It is just a dream, and we are unnecessarily being harassed, but what to do?"
And they waited and they waited and they waited. It was sunset and he had not turned up.
And they were becoming angry because the priests could not eat unless God has taken the food. Every day they were offering food to the statues, and statues don't eat -- that is the only good thing about statues. So they would offer the food, and they would take the food back. Now it had become sacred, God had given it as a gift. It became prasad, it became holy, sacred. Then they would eat it.
But today was different. God himself was coming, and if he found them eating before he had come, there was going to be trouble. But by the evening they became very angry with the arch-priest. They said, "Your dream has disturbed our night, has disturbed our day.
We have been laboring the whole day and we are hungry, and we cannot eat, we cannot drink. And now it is sunset, the day is finished. So it is better that we now offer our food to our statues, take it back, eat it and go to sleep."
The arch-priest could not say anything more. He also felt, "They are right." But deep down his dream was so vivid and so colorful that only with reluctance did he allow them.
But he could see their argument: "How long do we have to wait? The day is over, we have waited enough."
So they ate. They were tired, so they went to sleep early ....
And in the middle of the night the chariot of God came, making great noise ... the chariot's wheels on a dusty road. Somebody heard the noise and half-asleep and half- awake he said, "Look! It seems he has come. I have heard the noise of a chariot's wheels."
Somebody shouted, "Shut up! Now don't bring that subject up again. Do you want to disturb our sleep again? It is not a chariot! It is just clouds thundering in the sky! Go to sleep!"
And then the chariot stopped in front of the temple, but the door was closed. Still, he went up the steps -- there were many steps to the temple.
There are temples in India with one hundred steps, two hundred steps, three hundred steps ... then you find the main door.
The Kind of the Night knocked on the door. And again, another priest heard the knock.
He said, "Listen, somebody is knocking on the door. Perhaps he has come."
Again somebody shouted, "Will you not stop? Can't you allow us to rest? There is nobody knocking on the door! It is just the wind!" So they again went to sleep.
The King of the Night waited at the door. There was no sign of anybody coming to open the door, so he returned to his chariot.
In the morning, they saw that a chariot had come up to the door on the dusty road. They could see the marks of the wheels of the chariot, and they could see on the dust that had gathered on the steps, that somebody had walked up to the door. But now it was too late - - nothing could be done. They missed it.
This is a small poem by Rabindranath Tagore, emphasizing one point: waiting. It is never enough. Waiting consciously, alert, witnessing whatsoever is happening but not asking a certain hypothesis to be fulfilled, because the mind has the capacity to create any hallucination you ask. You can see Christ, you can see Krishna, you can see anybody you want.
Mind has the capacity to dream, and it has the capacity to dream with open eyes -- that is called hallucination. If you go on asking for something, it will appear as if it is real. Mind can give reality to all kinds of lies.
So you have to put aside all your prejudices, all your conceptions, all your projections ...
all your gods aside. You have to enter into your own being just watching, waiting, trusting existence that whenever a time is ripe and your spring comes, the grass will grow by itself.
Every tree trusts existence -- the spring comes, the flowers blossom, the fruits arrive.
Why can't you wait for the right time? Why should you make demands on nature? A demanding mind is not the mind of a seeker. A seeker simply waits and allows existence its own time, its own wisdom. Whenever you are ripe, whenever you are really ready, the doors will be opened for you. You don't have to knock.
Jesus says to you, "Knock and the door shall be opened." I say unto you, "Don't knock, wait! When the time is ripe, doors shall be opened unto you." Knocking is demanding, knocking is interfering. Knocking is not trust. Knocking is forcing existence to appear in a certain way according to your hypothesis, according to your belief system. No, no knocking! Just wait and watch.
Jesus says, "Ask, and it shall be answered." No, never ask, otherwise it shall never be answered. Just wait. In the right moment you will find the answer.
Jesus says, "Seek, and ye shall find it." I say unto you, "Don't seek, otherwise you will never find it," because seeking means you already know what you are seeking. Seeking means you already believe in a certain hypothesis. Seeking means you have already an idea about truth. This is dangerous. No seeking, just waiting ... in utter silence, in tremendous trust. And as your silence deepens, you will see things are happening on their own accord. And as things start happening on their own accord, your trust deepens. This is almost spontaneous.
Just waiting, and Gosetsu would have understood the gesture of Sekito. But he was asking, demanding. Just look at his question: "IF YOU SETTLE THIS WITH ONE WORD, I WILL STAY HERE." As if Sekito needs his staying there. He is making a bargain: "I will stay here if you explain this in one word" -- now this is a demanding mind. "If not, I will leave." Whom is he threatening? But because of this he was full of bullshit and missed.
But even though he missed, Sekito knew that beyond this bullshit there was someone very promising, a bodhisattva. Once this nonsense is dropped, that bodhisattva will surface as a buddha, as an awakened soul.
SEKITO, KNOWING THAT THIS MAN HAD PROMISE, MADE A GESTURE, BUT GOSETSU DID NOT GET IT. SO GOSETSU TOOK HIS LEAVE AND MADE FOR THE GATE, WHEN SEKITO CALLED TO HIM, "TEACHER!"
You have to understand the difference between master and teacher. The master is one who knows, the teacher is one who knows not but is knowledgeable. He has collected much information, but he has not gone through the transformation. So when Sekito called to him, he used the word 'teacher', not 'master'.
He was full of knowledge; his question shows it. He has heard much, read much. He is a scholar, a knowledgeable person, learned; hence he called him teacher.
GOSETSU TURNED AROUND, AND SEKITO SAID, "FROM BIRTH TO OLD AGE, IT IS ONLY THE FELLOW THERE AND NOTHING ELSE -- DON'T LOOK ANYWHERE FURTHER."
What is he saying? He is saying, "What are you asking for? It has been there within you from birth to death, from eternity to eternity. And just by turning back, you have yourself given the answer. Just look there, don't go anywhere else, turn back. Turn inwards -- that is a complete turn back. Don't go further, just turn in, turn back, and you will find this -- the suchness of existence, the tathata. It has been there always.
This turning around ... "FROM BIRTH TO OLD AGE, IT IS ONLY THE FELLOW THERE ..." Who has turned? Who has heard the word 'teacher'? And who has followed the word and turned around? This is it! The fellow there inside you ..."THE FELLOW THERE AND NOTHING ELSE -- DON'T LOOK ANYWHERE FURTHER."
AT THIS, GOSETSU WAS GREATLY ENLIGHTENED. HE STEPPED ON HIS STICK TO BREAK IT AND STAYED THERE.
People who go on the mountains take a stick as a support ... steep mountains. So he has come with a stick to the mountain where Sekito Stonehead was sitting on a rock.
You know that Ma Tzu said to another person who was going to Sekito, "You are going.
That's perfectly good, but do you remember Sekito's path is very slippery?" He was sitting on a rock and the path was very slippery, so anybody who had to go there had to bring a stick with him.
This action of Gosetsu, of breaking the stick, shows that now he had found his master and there was no need to go anywhere. He was not going down that steep hill again. Finished!
He had heard it, he had found it. This gesture on his part shows that now he is going to stay forever. All bridges were broken. With that stick breaking, all the bridges that lead backwards to the past were finished. He had found the man, he had fallen in love. He knew: "You are the master."
He became greatly enlightened by this simple act of Sekito calling him -- "Teacher!" -- and his turning around and Sekito saying to him: "This fellow has been there always and always. Don't go further."
A very immense statement, but it needs a very alert mind. First, he had asked the question, he was full of his question and wanted one word. There was wanting, desiring, and all kinds of things. Now, just as he was going out of the hut -- he had dropped the idea of finding anything from Sekito -- suddenly he heard, "Teacher!" And he turned. He must have been utterly empty because there was no question. He had not asked anything.
In that silence he heard that impeccable, that profound sentence: "This fellow who has turned around has been there always and always."
A single statement from a master sometimes triggers a chain reaction and leads a silent being into enlightenment. This is one of the most important gifts from Zen to humanity.
ONCE, SEKITO SAID TO HIS ASSEMBLED MONKS, "EVEN IF LANGUAGE IS USED, IT IS IRRELEVANT."
All language is irrelevant as far as truth is concerned.
Hearing this, another master, Yakusan, said, "EVEN IF LANGUAGE IS NOT USED, IT IS IRRELEVANT."
Language certainly is irrelevant. You may not use the language, you may keep your mouth shut, but the language is going round and round in your head. So just not using language is not enough -- that too, is irrelevant. Language or no language, both are irrelevant.
SEKITO SAID, "HERE, EVEN A NEEDLE CANNOT GET THROUGH." He is saying, "HERE, EVEN A NEEDLE CANNOT GET THROUGH -- as far as truth is concerned, the path is so narrow, only a witnessing, silent witnessing can pass through. It is far more subtle than even a needle. Even a needle is too solid, too tangible, too material, it cannot enter into the immaterial space of your being."
YAKUSAN SAID, "HERE, IT IS LIKE PLANTING A FLOWER ON A ROCK."
Both masters are enjoying pulling each other's leg. That can happen only in the world of Zen; otherwise, Ayatollah Khomeini ...! These kinds of playful dialogues between masters are of immense beauty.
What Sekito said was absolutely right, and what Yakusan said is also absolutely right -- different expressions.
"HERE IT IS LIKE PLANTING A FLOWER ON A ROCK."
You can't plant a flower on a rock. Putting language in the service of truth is just like planting a flower on a rock where it cannot grow. It will simply die. The moment you bring truth to language, it dies on the way.
But just not using the language is not enough either. You have to use silence. Not using the language is negative; using the language is the positive side -- but both belong to language. Saying is positive; not saying is negative -- but both are irrelevant. You have to indicate without using language, or without not using language. You have to create a device, a gesture -- maybe just a look into the eyes of the disciple, or just as Sekito called him, "Teacher!" and he turned around utterly empty. He caught him in the right moment.
When he first came he was too full of knowledge. Now he has dropped the idea of being with Sekito, so he was caught suddenly. And whenever you are caught suddenly, your mind cannot function. The mind needs time before it can figure out what is the matter.
Just a small space of no-mind and no-time, and suddenly he realized Sekito is saying, "This fellow who has turned around, this fellow is the answer. And this turning around is enough. Don't go further!"
SEKITO INDICATED HIS APPROVAL OF WHAT YAKUSAN SAID.
He did not say anything, but just indicated his approval. We don't know how he indicated. Maybe he just took Yakusan's hand in his hand and pressed it, or just looked into his eyes and showered his love, or just remained silent and closed his eyes, radiating the vibe of the man who knows his nothingness.
It is not said how he indicated, but there are millions of ways -- according to each, a master uses a certain way to indicate. But he approved what Yakusan was saying. Both were saying very significant statements.
Zen is not argumentative, it is what Martin Buber would have loved, it is a dialogue, a dialogue in which two persons are not forcing their ideas on the other, where two persons together are trying to find something existential. It is not a question of defeating the other or being victorious. A real dialogue is when two persons are discussing just to find the truth. And truth is nobody's monopoly -- nobody is a winner, nobody is defeated. Truth is victorious, and both are surrendered to the truth. You have to remember in all these dialogues this different quality.
Socratic dialogues are argumentative, they are logical. Zen dialogues are absolutely beyond logic, beyond mind. They are very mysterious, but far more profound than any Socratic dialogue. Even Martin Buber's understanding of dialogue is not the ultimate understanding, because he continues the dialogue with these two words: I and thou. But in the Zen dialogue there is no I, no Thou.
Two Zen masters, both are empty, and playing just like children playing on the seabeach -- running around, finding colored stones and seashells .... Two Zen masters are just like children -- shouting, shrieking, screaming, for no reason at all.
You know Avirbhava's shrieking .... That is Zen shrieking -- for no reason at all. Because I don't do anything to her ...! But I miss her when she is not there at the door. She is almost like a gong declaring: "The Master has come!" When she is not there, I miss her.
Her screaming is just like a small child, so innocent, without any purpose. But she is total when she screams, it is not from her mind, it is coming from deeper spaces. So even sometimes when I have entered the hall, she goes on screaming. My car goes away and then she drops on the ground with immense joy.
The dialogue of Zen has a difference to Socratic dialogue, or to Martin Buber's idea of dialogue.
Martin Buber could not drop the idea of I and thou; hence he remained in the mind, could not enter into the beyond. And the Zen sky is of the beyond.
THE NIGHTINGALE SINGING.
Do you see any connection? Do you see any logic?
"The nightingale singing" -- that's one thing.
"Thin snowflakes" -- that is completely another.
But in a meditative mind nothing is separate. All things are joined together. The nightingale singing and the thin snowflakes -- both are part of one existence, they cannot be separated. Only mind separates them: this is one thing; that is another. And how are you putting them together? But they are together, and not only these two. Then the bamboos cracking, and the wind blowing through the pine trees, and the clouds coming with great lightning -- everything is connected.
In these two small sentences he has said that everything is so connected with each other that you cannot create separations.
THE NIGHTINGALE SINGING THIN SNOWFLAKES.
I have heard that scientists say that if -- and someday it is going to happen -- the sun loses all its energy ... It is losing every moment; it is burning out. One day it will be simply a black hole, no light will be coming to the earth. It takes ten minutes for the light to come to you, so if sun dies ... and it is bound to die. Everything that is born needs one day to rest. Everything gets tired, everyone gets tired. Even suns are going to die, and new suns are being born.
It will take four billion years, they say, to die. But in an eternity, four billion years are just like four seconds, or maybe not even that much . But they say if the sun dies, then for only ten minutes will you still be getting light. So for ten minutes only, life will exist after the sun dies. And then there will be no life without the sun, no warmth, no life.
But they have not looked at it from the other side, because they don't know that there is another side also. It is true that the sun gives us life, but it is one-sided. If on the earth life disappears, I say unto you the sun will die immediately. Not even ten minutes will be taken, because life is a continuous communication, it is a dialogue.
If we need the sun, the sun needs us! Without us do you think the sun will have a sunrise?
I am absolutely certain that without life on the earth, the sun will not rise again. For whom? For what? No flowers, no nightingales, no people, no birds. On a dead earth even the sun will be ashamed to arise because everything is so deeply connected -- from the smallest grass blade to the greatest sun in the sky.
Our sun is a very mediocre one, it is middle class. There are suns far bigger than it, but even the smallest grass blade on the earth is connected to the farthest star. They are all cousins, parts of the same existence.
But Martin Buber could not understand that between I and Thou there can be a discussion but not a dialogue. A dialogue needs no I, no Thou.
When I read his book, I AND THOU, I immediately wrote a letter to him -- he was alive -- asking him to please try to understand, "No I, no Thou." And I said, "That is an absolute necessity for a dialogue. What you are talking about is not dialogue, it is only discussion."
I received a small note from him saying, "I will think it over." I replied immediately, "Thinking is not going to solve it. Thinking is the barrier. It is thinking that is making you propose that there is dialogue between I and Thou. I am speaking from a state of no- thinking. No I, no Thou, then there is a dialogue, and very playful dialogue."
He did not answer again, seeing the situation that whatever he would say would be part of thinking. He was a great thinker, no doubt, but even the greatest thinker has nothing to say about the truth. Only the space which is beyond thought brings you closer to life and existence. And when two persons are settled and at ease with existence, there is no I, no Thou, just a play. That play can be called dialogue. Only Zen masters know what dialogue is.
OUR BELOVED MASTER,
HUBERT BENOIT SUGGESTS THAT EVEN THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE SUFFICIENTLY INTELLECTUALLY EVOLVED NOT TO BELIEVE IN A PERSONAL GOD, STILL RETAIN THE CONCEPT, ALTHOUGH IN DIFFERENT TERMS.
HE SAYS, "THEY IMAGINE THEIR SATORI AND THEMSELVES AFTER THEIR SATORI, AND THAT IS THEIR PERSONAL GOD -- A COERCIVE IDOL, DISQUIETENING, IMPLACABLE. THEY MUST REALIZE THEMSELVES, THEY MUST LIBERATE THEMSELVES. THEY ARE TERRIFIED AT THE THOUGHT OF NOT BEING ABLE TO GET THERE, AND THEY ARE ELATED BY ANY INNER PHENOMENON WHICH GIVES THEM HOPE."
BELOVED MASTER, WOULD YOU AGREE THAT THERE IS A DANGER OF THIS HAPPENING TO MEDITATORS?
Maneesha, Hubert Benoit has written a very scholarly book on Zen, THE SUPREME DOCTRINE, but it is only an intellectual understanding . Although he went to Japan, and he lived in Zen monasteries and watched the meditators, and he thinks that he has known the inner story -- that is wrong.
Just being in a Zen monastery does not mean you have become an insider. You are still a spectator -- you are watching others meditating. You are not meditating, and unless you meditate there are bound to be such questions arising in you.
So Hubert Benoit has written a very beautiful book for intellectuals. He is a giant, and I don't think there is any other book from any Western philosopher or thinker, which conveys something about Zen in a better way than Hubert Benoit's THE SUPREME DOCTRINE.
But still it is intellectual, highly polished, refined. His arguments are beautiful, but not based in experience; they are not existential. That's why he could say that even people in their satori think they are. But if they think they are, then that is their personal God -- again it asserts. They denied the God, but now they themselves become the God. But this is an outsider's viewpoint. He does not know what satori is.
In satori, or in samadhi -- satori is the Japanese word for samadhi -- one is not. So who is there to think of himself that he is God? Gautam Buddha uses the word anatta. In the Pali language, which was the language Buddha used, atta means self, and anatta means no- self. In samadhi, in satori, you come to a point when you suddenly remember you are not -- just a pure space, throbbing with life, dancing with joy, but you are no more. You are dissolved just like ice melting and becoming the ocean.
He is concerned because he does not know the real experience of satori. He says, "They must realize ..." There is no question of realization. There is nobody to realize, and there is no question of must. In the vocabulary of Zen there is no must.
I have read a book written by a famous American author, Napoleon Hill, YOU MUST RELAX. Now if there is must, how can you relax?
Now Hubert Benoit says, "They must realize." There is no one to realize. Whom is he talking about? "They must realize themselves, they must liberate themselves." From whom? There is nobody. This is liberation: when you are not. It is not a question of liberating yourself, because if you liberate yourself, you will be there.
But it is the problem of all intellectuals. They can't look beyond the words, beyond logic and language. "You must realize," and "They must liberate" -- but liberate? Neither is there one who is unliberated, nor is there one who is forcing them to remain unliberated.
There is only liberation!
The meditator comes to see that he is liberated from himself. He is no more -- that is his liberation. But looking from the outside, even a man of such a refined and cultured mind, Hubert Benoit, misses the point completely.
Once you are in deep meditation, you are not -- this is liberation, and there is no other liberation.
It has been long enough to be serious. It is time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh. Put on the lights! It is good you can be serious when it dark, but when the light comes, laughter follows.
One afternoon in Doctor Feelgood's office, Buster Chubbs comes staggering in. He is the most haggard-looking patient Doctor Feelgood has seen in a long time.
"I cannot sleep, Doc," moans Buster, pulling on his thinning hair. "I have got dogs to the left of me, dogs to the right of me, and dogs running all around me! They bark all night -- and I am telling you, they are driving me crackers!"
"Don't worry," says Feelgood, sympathetically. "There is a new sleeping pill on the market called Knock Out. I have been having a lot of success with it. Try it!"
Buster Chubbs calls in at the drugstore, buys a box of pills, and staggers home. One week later, he is back in Feelgood's office. He looks even worse than before.
"It is no good, Doc," groans Buster. "I have not slept all week. I am up all night chasing those goddam dogs. And even when I catch them, they refuse to swallow the pills!"
Young Duncan MacPherson tiptoes into the room where Hamish MacTavish is sitting by the fire, reading his newspaper.
"Mister MacTavish," says young Duncan, nervously. "I have come to ask for your kind permission. I would like to ask you if I can marry your daughter, Tillie."
"Well, well, lad!" says Hamish, looking up. "Before I say a word about the matter, my boy, have you seen my wife, Mrs. MacTavish?"
"Yes, sir," replies Duncan. "But I still prefer your daughter!"
The scene is outside Moscow in the heavy snows of midwinter. Colossus G. Magnus, the greatest Hollywood movie director of all time -- known as "Big G." Magnus -- is ready to complete his most daring epic, the multi-billion dollar movie: "Napoleon Eats Russia!"
Across the vast snowy plain, "Big G." Magnus has constructed four huge towers, each complete with camera, lighting and sound crews.
Gigantic snow machines are standing ready to whip up an instant blizzard of snow. The crews are ready, and the cast of five thousand soldiers, with horses, cannons, swords, and everything, are poised and ready to go.
The big snow fans slowly start to blow, and suddenly, director Magnus, sitting in tower number four, shouts out, "Action!"
An incredible flurry of battle follows with fury and authenticity. For forty minutes the Russian and French armies clash, recreating history amongst booming cannons, and screaming men and horses.
Finally, "Big G." Magnus shouts out through his microphone, "Cut!"
Immediately, all the actors, technicians, and crews burst into loud cheers and applause.
"Big G." smiles to himself with satisfaction, and reaches for his telephone. He dials up film tower number one.
"You got everything, Paddy?" asks the director.
"Mister Magnus," hiccups Paddy, "it is Thursday -- the power failed! We did not get a single shot!"
It seems Poona also belongs to Russia -- every Thursday the power fails!
"What?" screams Magnus, slamming down the phone and dialing tower number two.
"Seamus," shouts the director, "how was it?"
"Mister Magnus," replies Seamus, "please don't get mad, but my cameraman forgot to put film in the camera."
"Idiots! Turkeys!" shouts "Big G." "You are all fired!"
Frantically, Magnus dials up tower number three.
"What about you, Sean?" he cries, perspiring. "How did it go?"
"Ah! Mister Magnus," replies Sean. "Never was there such a scene! It will make film history! You are a genius ...!"
"Cut the bullshit, Sean!" shouts "Big G." "Did you get it all on film?"
"On film?" asks Sean. "You wanted me to photograph it? I thought it was a rehearsal!"
"You moron!" roars Magnus. "You imbecile! You will never work for me again!" And he slams down the phone.
"Big G." Magnus mops his forehead with a handkerchief and then turns to his own cameraman, Stonehead Niskriya.
"Jesus Christ!" shouts Magnus. "Thank God you are here, Stonehead! I am sure everything here is okay!"
"Absolutely!" confirms Stonehead Niskriya. "First class -- number one!"
"Enough film in the camera?" asks "Big G."
"Plenty, Mister Magnus," replies Stonehead.
"Sound okay?" asks Magnus.
"You bet!" replies Stonehead. "Perfect sound."
"Those new lights from Berlin working okay?" asks Magnus.
"Just great!" enthuses Niskriya.
"Thank God!" shouts Magnus.
"Ja!" says Niskriya. "I am ready to start when you are!"
(Drumbeat) (Gibberish) Nivedano ...
(Drumbeat) Stop. Close your eyes ...
Be silent ... and feel your body to be completely frozen.
This is the right moment to look inwards.
Gather your energy, your total consciousness, and rush towards the center of your being.
It is just below the navel -- two inches below the navel, inside. The Japanese call it the hara. It is the center of life. You have to move faster, with an urgency as if this is the last moment of your life. Now or never.
Faster and faster ...
Deeper and deeper ...
As you are coming closer to the center, a great silence descends over you, just like falling rain, very soft rain. You can feel the coolness of it.
A little closer to the center, and a great peace surrounds you. Your whole inner being becomes full of light, a luminosity you have never known before, a blissful moment, utterly ecstatic.
It is the right time to step into the very source of your life. You will feel drunk with the divine. You will find the original face. Symbolically Gautam Buddha's face has been accepted in the East as everybody's original face.
Just remember one thing: the buddha has only one quality, that of a witness.
Witness that you are not the body ...
Witness that you are not the mind ...
Witness that you are only a witness and nothing else. This will take you deeper and deeper into the source of your being. It will open doors into eternity.
To make this witnessing more and more deep, Nivedano ...
(Drumbeat) Relax ... but remember you are only a witness. You are not the body, not the mind, just a pure witness. And immediately, Gautama the Buddha Auditorium starts becoming an ocean of consciousness. Ten thousand buddhas disappear as separate beings into one oceanic consciousness.
This moment you are the most blessed people on the earth.
Everybody is concerned with trivia, nobody cares to look inwards. Everybody's eyes are focused on objects which are not going to help you, which are not going to be with you.
Death will take everything away from you -- money, power, prestige. Death will leave only one thing: that is witnessing. If you have it, there is no death. If you don't have it, there is only death and nothing else.
There are three steps which can be remembered at this silent moment. The first, the buddha follows you behind like a shadow. The second, instead of buddha being your shadow, you become the shadow of buddha. And the third, you disappear even as a shadow, only the buddha remains.
Only the witnessing pure consciousness remains -- no I no Thou, no God no soul, just a vast nothingness. An immense universe opens all its doors to you, it pours into you abundantly, splendors, miracles. Your life starts becoming a magic, a grace, a beauty, a truth.
Gather all these experiences you are having now. You have to bring them from the center to the surface, to your ordinary day-to-day life.
And persuade the buddha to come along with you. He is your Dhamma, he is your nature, he is your Tao. He is bound to come. He has been waiting and waiting, but you never invited him. You never even bothered about him.
It has been long, a millennia he has been sitting there just like a seed. Allow him space.
Invite him so he can surface just like a lotus coming from the dirty mud and passing beyond the waters and opening its petals to the sun and to the moon and to the stars.
(Drumbeat) Come back ... but come as a buddha. Come with grace, silence, peace. Settle down just for a few moments to remind yourself of the golden path you have traveled, and the great silence, peace, ecstasy that you have experienced. You are still drunk with the divine.
You can feel the buddha just behind you, his warmth, his love, his presence. He is only a presence, he is not a person.
I hope the first step will be followed by the second, the second will be followed by the third, and it will not be long before one day you will find yourself no more and only existence is. That will be the most glorious day of your life. Not only will you celebrate, the whole existence will celebrate with you.
Celebration is my manifesto.
Let it be your manifesto too.
Yes, Beloved Master.
I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here