Come to your own festival
OUR BELOVED MASTER,
SHODAI, WHO WAS BORN IN 738 IN CHINA AND DIED IN 820, WAS A DISCIPLE OF SEKITO.
SHODAI STAYED AT MOUNT NANGAKU UNDER SEKITO FOR THREE YEARS, THEN WENT TO MOUNT SHUKO WHERE HE SAW MA TZU.
MA TZU ASKED, "WHAT DID YOU COME HERE FOR?"
SHODAI SAID, "I CAME HERE FOR BUDDHA'S JAMUNA DARSHAN."
MA TZU SAID, "BUDDHA HAS NO JAMUNA DARSHAN. JAMUNA DARSHAN IS THE WORLD OF DELUSION. YOU ARE FROM MOUNT NANGAKU, BUT IT SEEMS THAT YOU HAVE NOT YET KNOWN THAT YOU NEED SEKITO. SO YOU SHOULD GO BACK."
HEARING THAT, SHODAI WENT TO SEKITO. ON MEETING THE MASTER, SHODAI ASKED SEKITO, "WHAT IS BUDDHA?"
SEKITO REPLIED, "THERE IS NO BUDDHA NATURE IN YOU."
SHODAI ASKED, "WHAT ABOUT ALL LIVING BEINGS?"
SEKITO REPLIED, "THEY HAVE BUDDHA NATURE."
SHODAI ASKED, "WHY DON'T I HAVE IT?"
SEKITO SAID, "BECAUSE YOU DON'T ACCEPT IT."
AT THIS, SHODAI DECIDED TO STAY THERE.
LATER, HE LIVED IN THE SHODAI-JI TEMPLE AND DID NOT GO OUTDOORS FOR THIRTY YEARS. WHENEVER A SEEKER CAME TO HIM, HE WOULD SAY, "GO AWAY -- YOU DON'T HAVE BUDDHA NATURE."
A famous psychoanalyst, Franz Strunz from Munich, has been studying child behavior in dreams, and he has found that Sigmund Freud's original idea was not right.
Sigmund Freud's original idea was that the child -- every child, particularly in the civilized and cultured world -- lives under repressive morality, repressive priesthood, repressive parents, and he cannot understand exactly why his natural and spontaneous behavior is unacceptable. He is not yet grown up in the mind -- the mind will come slowly -- but he has been born as a natural being. So he finds it absolutely difficult to understand why his natural behavior is condemned.
But because he has to be dependent on the parents -- and he is utterly helpless -- he has to accept the God that the parents believe in, and he has to accept all the commandments in which the parents believe. And they drive the child to the church, or to whatever religious organization they belong. This is the beginning of programming the child.
Sigmund Freud's original thesis was that under these circumstances the child finds only freedom in his dreams. The parents are no longer there, the priest is no longer there, God is no longer there ... no morality, no condemnation, no repression, no inhibition. In his dreams he lives a very natural and very pleasant life. That becomes a substitute for him.
And I am absolutely in agreement with Sigmund Freud.
The child does not know yet what is dream and what is real, it takes a little time. That is why you cannot remember if you go backwards. Up to the age of four you may be able to remember a few things; beyond that is a complete blank, but things were happening.
From your birth, up to the age of four, things were happening but you don't have any memory of them because you did not have yet a mind.
The mind is a social product. It takes at least four years to program the child to be ready to accept anything that is told to him, because he knows if he denies it, he will suffer punishment -- not only here but in hellfire.
But in his dreams, up to the age of four, he enjoys absolute freedom. Hence Sigmund Freud said that children's dreams are very pleasant, very beautiful. In fact, the child can cope with reality only because of his dreams. The dreams are compensatory.
This man, Franz Strunz, has been surveying hundreds of children and their dreams, and his conclusion is that Sigmund Freud was wrong. So first I have to give you his statement.
SIGMUND FREUD'S VIEWS ON CHILD DREAMS HAVE BEEN CHALLENGED BY MUNICH PSYCHOLOGIST, FRANZ STRUNZ.
SIGMUND FREUD CLAIMED THAT CHILDREN'S DREAMS REVEALED THE PLEASURE-ORIENTED NATURE OF NOCTURNAL FIGMENTS OF AN IMAGINATION, WHICH WAS NOT HAMPERED BY THE SUPPRESSION AND REPRESSION OF THE adult EMOTIONAL MAKE-UP, AND WHICH AIMED AT MAKING SECRET WISHES COME TRUE.
Obviously, dreams are very private. Nobody can enter your dreams, and nobody can know what you are dreaming. The child has absolute freedom, but he is not free when he is awake -- naturally he compensates. Whatever has been denied in his waking life, he fulfills those wishes in his dream. And because he cannot make the distinction that the dream is just a dream and the reality is a totally different matter, he is completely happy.
He can tolerate this society and this repressive culture, and these unnatural demands made by religions, their God, their priests, just because he has a freedom at least when he is asleep.
This has been challenged by this Munich psychologist:
STRUNZ'S RESEARCH SHOWED THAT CHILDREN'S NOCTURNAL FANTASIES ARE MAINLY ACCOMPANIED BY STIFLING FEELINGS OF UNEASINESS AND UPSET, AND THAT ALL KINDS OF THREAT ANIMALS, THIEVES, ROBBERS, MURDERERS, CATASTROPHIES, DEATH AND FRIGHTENING STRANGERS GREATLY DISTURB SLEEPING CHILDREN.
MOST CHILDREN, HE SAID, ARE PARALYZED WITH FEAR BY THE DANGERS THEY DREAM ABOUT.
I absolutely disagree with this Munich psychologist. In a hurry to criticize Sigmund Freud, he has forgotten that Sigmund Freud was surveying the dreams of totally different children. A great thing has happened in between that he has not taken note of: that is television.
It is television that has changed children's dreams -- what God could not do, what the priest could not do, what the parents could not do. They used alphabetical language, logic, which the child was not yet capable of understanding. The child lives in a primitive way. Pictures he can understand; his language is pictorial. His dreams are very vivid, very colorful and very alive.
Television has created a great impact on children, on their behavior, on their dreams, because dreams and television look alike. Now the child cannot tell the difference between television and dreams. And on the television he sees all these things that this Munich psychologist is trying to use as a criticism of Sigmund Freud's fundamental hypothesis: " ... STIFLING FEELINGS OF UNEASINESS AND UPSET, AND ALL KINDS OF THREAT ANIMALS, THIEVES, ROBBERS, MURDERERS, CATASTROPHIES, DEATH AND FRIGHTENING STRANGERS GREATLY DISTURB SLEEPING CHILDREN."
All this is the gift of television. It has nothing to do with Sigmund Freud's fundamental hypothesis; it is still right.
But this is how even your psychologists, world-famous people, behave unconsciously. He has completely forgotten that a new thing has happened between him and Sigmund Freud -- and that is television. And it has changed not only the child's dreams, but his behavior too.
He sees all kinds of robberies, rapes, murders, thieves ... all kinds of dangerous people on the television. Those are pictorial. The sermons of the priest were not pictorial, they were linguistic. His parents' teachings were linguistic, and he was not yet able to understand language and logic. But pictures he understands. So television has given all kinds of threatening, sensational, dangerous ideas to children's minds.
It is television that should have been noted by the psychologist. But rather than focusing on television, he has immediately gone to criticize Sigmund Freud.
I am taking it as an example to give you a sense that even your psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, psychologists, are as unconscious as anybody else. There is no difference.
Not only have the dreams changed, but even the behavior of children.
In America, just a few days ago one child went into school with his father's gun and killed four children at random. And it was not that they were enemies or anything -- just random. He fired just because he had been watching continual killing, murder on the television ... a great excitement. And it is not an exceptional case.
Young boys have been found trying to rape small girls. The idea is being given by the television. Children of the age of seven and eight are taking drugs. They have left hippies far behind. At least to be a hippie you used to be eighteen, nineteen, twenty ...
Hippiedom exists only from twenty to thirty. After thirty the hippie disappears -- in his place comes the yuppie. By the time he is thirty, he starts understanding that this way of life is not going to last long. Now his parents are refusing to support him, and the hippie has to change into a square world. He has to go back to the same society, clean shaved, well dressed, looking very professional and efficient. And yuppies have proved that they are capable of doing things. Now they have their homes, their cars, their wives, their children. And nobody can imagine that these people used to walk around the streets dirty, unclean.
Uncleanliness had become their philosophy. It was a reaction, because their parents were telling them, "Cleanliness is just next to God." And they have heard the news that God is dead. Now who is next to God? Cleanliness? The reaction was against the parents and their constant effort to repress their nature. They started moving to the one extreme, the other extreme. They started to have a philosophy of uncleanliness, dirtiness. But then they became dropouts, and society would not accept them; they became unfit.
But they could manage only up to the age of thirty. By that time their parents are fed up -- they have been trying hard, but they were not listening at all. They were not going to the church, they were moving towards Kabul, Kulu Manali, Kathmandu, Goa ... and ending up in Poona! This was their route. You know what route has brought you here -- Poona was the dead end!
But the new children are taking drugs because they are watching all kinds of drug stories on television, and certainly they become interested. Children are very curious to explore anything that they see on television. Seven-year-old children are taking drugs, hard drugs, and it is becoming a widespread danger in America.
Their dreams are full of dangers, murders, suicide -- that's what they are watching for almost seven-and-half hours on average per day! You cannot expect ... If you are wasting one third of your life on television, then it is going to have a deep impact. Children understand the language of pictures, and television brings all these colorful sensational stories.
Their dreams have changed, their behavior has changed.
I would like this Munich psychologist to survey a place where television has not entered, and I am absolutely certain he will have to support Sigmund Freud's hypothesis. And if he really wants to go deeper into his search, he should go to the aboriginals, where not even television has entered. Even the priest has not reached, even God is unheard of.
People are living naturally: no repressive, no inhibiting morality. If Franz Strunz goes to those places he will be surprised.
First, he should explore countries where television has not yet come, because these will be the children whom Sigmund Freud has studied.
I know children in India ... almost ninety percent, or even more than ninety percent of India has no idea of television or movies. Small villages ... there I have come across people who have not even seen a railway train. Electricity has not reached to many places, so there is no question. And television has just been introduced to India, so only big cities -- like Bombay, New Delhi, Calcutta and Madras may have television, but not the major part of the country. He can study the children there.
I have studied children for my own purposes, and I can give a guarantee that if television and movies have not reached, you will find Sigmund Freud's hypothesis absolutely correct. And if you go to the aboriginals ...
Particularly one tribe of the aboriginals in Burma has been studied by psychologists and they could not believe it: that tribe had never been in any war. They don't fight with each other -- not even in their dreams. They don't have so many dreams as you have. There are hundreds of people in that tribe who have never dreamed. When you talk about dreams, they just look at you -- "What are you talking about? When we are asleep we are asleep.
What do you mean by dream?" In their language there is no word for dream.
And if once in a while a child dreams, or a man dreams anything -- for example, having a fight with some neighbor, or having a love affair with some woman -- first thing, in the early morning, he has to confess the dream to his parents. And then all the elders of the village gather together to figure out who the person is that he has murdered in his dream, or was fighting with him in his dream, or who the woman is that he has fallen in love with in his dream. They figure it out. He gives the complete detailed description, very vivid and very real. So they can figure out who the person is -- it is a small tribe.
Then the elders tell the person who has been dreaming, "You should take sweets and flowers and gifts to that woman, let her know that you have misbehaved with her in the dream, and you have come to be forgiven. Go with an apology to the woman or to the man with whom you have been violent. And unless they forgive you, don't return, sit there." And obviously, the person had nothing to do with it -- you have not murdered him, you just dreamed -- so obviously, he is willing to forgive you.
This has been their culture for thousands of years -- that even the dream has to be taken into account. And the ultimate result is that the people ordinarily don't dream. Only once in a while does somebody dream, and that happens only when he has repressed something natural. For example, he has been looking at a woman with lust, but could not express it in reality; hence the dream comes as a substitute for wish fulfillment.
That society knows a far better psychoanalysis than our so-called civilized world. They have been psychoanalyzing for thousands of years, and their method is far more effective.
They have relieved people's sleep completely of dreams. They know authentic sleep, what Patanjali calls dreamless sleep.
He divides your states of mind into four: the so-called waking state, the dream state, deeper then is dreamless sleep, and deeper than that is samadhi, a real awakening. The first is called so-called waking; the last is called real awakening, which makes you a buddha.
But these aboriginal tribes don't have the dream state at all. From the waking state they simply move into dreamless sleep. And they are innocent, utterly graceful. Not a single war in their whole history, not a single murder in their whole history, not a single suicide in their whole history! They are just like flowers -- innocent, natural.
And you call yourself civilized, and you call them uncivilized ... primitive ... pagans ...?
So if this psychologist is really interested, first he should study people who don't know television, who don't know movies, and he will find the hypothesis of Sigmund Freud absolutely correct.
Then he should study those aboriginals who have lived so naturally, without any repressive church, without any Christianity, without any God, without any priest. Just like animals, just like birds, just like trees, part of this immense existence, naturally flowing, they don't have dreams at all. Once in a while somebody may have a dream, but only once in a while. And then the elders of the society gather together to decide what has to be done.
First, one has to figure out who really was the person he dreamed about. He gives the whole details, and then goes with an apology and with some gifts -- sweets, fruits, flowers; they are poor people. He just offers these gifts and asks for their forgiveness. In his dream he has been nasty to them, angry to them, violent to them, lustful to them. Now it is absolutely obligatory that he should ask for their forgiveness: "Unless they forgive you, just sit down in front of their houses ..."
This is a more authentic psychoanalysis -- not lying on the couch of a psychiatrist or psychoanalyst and just talking about your dreams. It goes on and on, because every day you are repressing so much that it bubbles up in the dreams. No psychoanalysis has ever been complete. There is not a single man in the whole world whose psychoanalysis is complete.
It cannot be complete, because every day you are creating fresh material for new dreams.
You go on getting analyzed, and you go on getting repressed by the priest in the name of God.
God and the priest together have conspired against human consciousness so deeply and so violently that they have disturbed your waking state, they have disturbed your dream state. And because these states are so disturbed, you cannot go beyond. This disturbance keeps you engaged and occupied.
People who are moving directly from the waking state to the dreamless sleep, are very easily capable of slipping down to the fourth state. That's why the ancient Zen masters continuously say you have just to relax, you don't have to do anything.
It is not a question of doing, it is a question of non-doing. Just relax and rest, so that you can reach to the fourth stage where you are suddenly awake for the first time. Then you know that your so-called wakefulness was not authentic, it was a very small, thin layer, very fragmentary, not of much use.
You will be surprised to know that in these aboriginal societies, there are no buddhas.
There is no need. Those people are naturally entering finally into the fourth stage. As they become more and more experienced, and become more and more peaceful, centered, they start moving into the fourth state without any effort, without any teaching, without any scripture.
If you understand me, a natural life will end up in enlightenment without any effort. You will suddenly find you are enlightened. That's why no recognition is given to the enlightened person. That is a natural phenomenon, just as every rosebush if watered well, if allowed to have some sunlight, if given good soil, will come to flowering. That is not a miracle.
Every man comes to flowering, he becomes a Gautam Buddha without any effort. And because every natural human being is bound to become an enlightened person, no recognition is taken of it. It is just as childhood is followed by youth, youth is followed by middle age, middle age is followed by old age and you know that old age is followed by death. It is just a natural sequence.
Buddhahood should be a natural sequence. It is not, because of your God and your priest and your scriptures; they are preventing you. Freedom from all these is absolutely necessary.
And strangely enough, every government knows that television is harming people immensely, ruining their physical health, ruining their mental sanity. Still, because all the great corporations which support the politicians for their elections own these televisions ... The churches have their own television stations, radio stations, magazines, newspapers -- in different names so you will not know it.
One of the British publishers, Sheldon, has published nine of my books. I had no idea that it was just a front, and behind it was the church. As the church authorities became aware that my books were being published, then I came to know. The man who was the manager of Sheldon Press must have been sympathetic to my thoughts, my approach to things. So without asking the church, he continued publishing. Nine books he published.
And then he informed me, "The church has found that I have been publishing your books, so they have put an absolute ban on it. So please forgive me, I will not be able to publish any more. And they have ordered that these books should be given for recycling -- whatever has been published -- so they can be destroyed."
But the man must have been in great love with me. He did not give them to the recycling factory. He sold them to a secondhand bookstore, and he informed one of my sannyasins, "You can get them from the secondhand bookstore." So we got all the books at a throwaway price, but it was the Sheldon Press manager who managed it. Then we became aware that Sheldon was a fake name. You would not think that it had anything to do with the church.
I have been informed from Germany that all the great newspapers are owned by the church, but you would not know. Television stations are owned by the church, radio stations are owned by the church. Satellites are owned by the church ... and big corporations.
People have not looked into the big corporations. They are international like Coca-Cola.
Only the Soviet Union was not aware of Coca-Cola, but now Comrade Gorbachev has brought Coca-Cola into the Soviet Union. Now the only international thing is Coca-Cola.
Wherever you go you find billboards declaring, "Things go better with Coca-Cola."
There are ten rising corporations and one survey says that in the coming ten years, there will only be these ten corporations in the whole world, because they are purchasing all the small corporations. The small corporations cannot compete. These ten corporations will have all the wealth of the world in different names so you will not even suspect a new kind of imperialism, and a very subtle kind that you will not be able to figure out who is behind it.
These corporations own almost all the television stations, and their interest is not in people's psychology or their disturbance. Their whole interest is that fifty percent of television time is devoted to advertisements -- that is their income. But that income is possible only if millions of people are watching their programs, otherwise nobody is going to advertise.
To attract millions of people to the programs they have to make it as sensational as possible. It has to be a triangle story: two women and one man, or two men and one woman. And then murder, and suicide, and mental sickness, and insanity and all kinds of sensations have to be brought every day. It is the same story that goes on and on.
And they don't allow you to see the whole story. They give you a fragment, and then comes the advertisement. When you are getting hot, excited, then suddenly comes the advertisement. In that hot state, vulnerable, you immediately swallow the advertisement.
You don't care whether it is healthy or whether you need it or not, it simply makes an imprint on your mind.
And again the story comes, so you don't even have time to think over what has got into your mind; they don't give you the chance to think. Again the story starts, and you forget all about the advertisement. A fragment again, and again the same advertisement is repeated. It goes on from six o'clock in the morning till twelve o'clock in the night. And people are just being imprinted by all kinds of nonsense and stupidity.
Television has become one of the great dangers to humanity. It could have been a great bliss, a great blessing. It could have been tremendously useful as education.
According to me, all television stations should belong to the universities, to the colleges, to the schools. And they should have programs which educate people. No advertisements -- that is not education, that is mis-education, that is exploitation. They should teach people history, geography ... Small children who cannot get it through language, will be easily interested in learning history, in learning geography, in learning other kinds of subjects. Sciences, literature, fiction, poetry, painting ... all kinds of arts can be brought to children of all grades.
So there must be television stations for small children, and then there should be some for the college graduates. And there should be television to the highest grade, postgraduate and research people. Professors have to be continuously made aware of all new kinds of discoveries, otherwise they are lagging behind, almost twenty years behind. They studied twenty years ago when they were in their postgraduate classes, but that knowledge has become out of date.
To update professors will be very easy with television. To bring students tremendous interest in all kinds of subjects, in whatever they are interested ... If they are interested in music, they can be taught music, musical instruments. If they are interested in painting, they can be taught painting, sculpture. They can be taught meditation. All kinds of possibilities are there, once television is taken out of the hands of the exploiters, and out of the hands of the religious preachers. And then these children will prove Sigmund Freud's hypothesis absolutely.
This man has taken a revengeful attitude. It always happens. Because Sigmund Freud is the founder of psychology, every psychologist feels to take revenge, just as every child feels to take revenge with the parents.
This research simply shows a very deep hidden secret of this psychologist -- that he wants to take revenge with the father figure, Sigmund Freud. Otherwise, this was so simple to understand that technology has brought so many things to the children which were not available in Sigmund Freud's time. The new children were not available for him to study, nor was he aware of the aboriginal children. He was aware only of Christian and Jewish children -- both repressive religions.
Christianity is a child of Judaism. So is Mohammedanism. All three religions born outside India are branches of Judaism, repressive. The God is angry, the God is jealous, the God is going to punish you with eternal hellfire. But these words do not get into the minds of the children. They start after four years of age, but television can be watched before four years of age.
Small children are watching television because they know the language of pictures and color. Their world consists of pictures. That is why in children's books first you have to print a big picture. If you want to teach them what a mango is you have to put a big picture of a mango. Saliva comes first; then comes the word 'mango'. Looking at the picture, the child starts feeling to eat it, and the picture becomes associated by and by with the word 'mango'. As the child grows, the mango picture becomes smaller and smaller and smaller. In the university, pictures completely disappear from the books; words become very small, longer, complicated, and sentences become complex. Now the child has moved from pictorial language to an alphabetical language -- to words from pictures.
Now words don't have color, and words don't have that kind of impact which a child can understand.
So what this psychologist has to understand -- I am going to send him the whole discourse -- is that his hypothesis is absolutely wrong and biased, and it is just a revenge against Sigmund Freud. Otherwise, a conscious researcher would have looked at what changes have happened between the time of Sigmund Freud and our time.
Are the children the same that you are surveying? They are not the same children. Then you cannot condemn Sigmund Freud's hypothesis because he was studying a different kind of children. Those children are disappearing from the West completely, so this hypothesis will be accepted. That's why I have taken it for your consideration that this hypothesis is wrong. This hypothesis is bound to be accepted, because you can study the children and that study will support it. But the reason is television, not the children!
Remove the television and you will find children exactly as Sigmund Freud found them.
But he also missed the aboriginal children who don't have any dreams at all.
He could not have conceived that there are people who don't have any dreams, because the Christian-Judaic religion is so repressive. People who have been brought up in that culture cannot conceive that there are still aboriginal people around the world, hidden in deep forests, who are absolutely natural beings. Those people have never heard that there is anything to be repressed.
Just in the middle of India there is a state, Bastar. It used to be an independent state under British rule, and the king of Bastar was my friend. And he became my friend by a strange coincidence ....
We both were traveling in the same train compartment, and we both looked alike. He had a beard exactly the same size as I had at that time, and he used to wear the same kind of long robe with a lunghi wrapped around. So we were sitting in the same compartment looking at each other, thinking, "This is strange." And he was also looking at me and watching, thinking, "What is the matter?"
Finally, he said to me, "We both look so alike. From where are you coming?" I told him.
He said, "Strange ... and where are you going?"
So we were going to the same place, Gwalior. And we were going to be the guests at the same palace of the Gwalior maharani, the queen of Gwalior. We were both going to participate in an annual conference she used to call a World Conference of All Religions.
He was going to represent the aboriginal idea. They are pagans, they don't have any organized religion or dogma; they don't have any holy scripture, they don't have any priest. And because he was an educated person, he was going to represent pagans.
I was invited by some misunderstanding. The maharani must have read some of my books and thought that I was a religious person. On the first day of the meeting, she became so worried, because at least fifty thousand people were there in the palace grounds.
Gwalior's palace is a very big palace, and has acres and acres of greenery around it, and small bungalows, and it is all in a walled garden. Almost half of the city belongs to the palace. And just behind the palace is a huge mountain where they run a school for all the princes of the country and even outside the country. That school belongs to the palace. It was created just for Gwalior's sons and daughters in the beginning. Then it became a royal school for all the royal states of India.
It is a beautiful palace, and it has a huge ground where fifty thousand people can sit every year. But when I spoke, she was completely shattered. She could not sleep. At twelve o'clock in the night she knocked on my door. I had left her at ten o'clock after the meeting. I could not think who would be knocking on my door, so I opened the door, and it was the queen herself.
She said, "I cannot sleep. You have shattered my whole mind. And now I cannot allow you to speak tomorrow." The conference was going to continue for seven days, I spoke only one time. And she said, "My son wants to see you, but I have prohibited him." She said, "Whatever you said feels to be true, but it goes against all our beliefs, all our religious feelings."
I said, "Do you think about truth, or do you think about lies and consolations?"
She said, "I can understand, but my young son who is going to be the head of the state is too young, and he will be impressed by you immediately." She requested me, "Just for my sake -- even if he comes, don't allow him in."
So I said, "If I am not going to speak, then I don't have to stay here. You have asked me for seven lectures, and just one lecture and you are finished. Let me do my job. Those fifty thousand people will ask for me."
She said, "I know it, because you were the only one they seemed to be interested in, and there was absolute silence. I have never seen such silence in the crowd. The priests go on speaking, who cares? They are telling the same thing again and again, year after year, the same dogmas. For the first time," the queen said to me, "I understood what it means to have pindrop silence. So they will be asking, but it is difficult, because all the other participants are absolutely against you."
Hindus and Mohammedans and Christians -- they were all there, so they approached the maharani after the lecture, "If this man remains here for seven days, then we are leaving.
We cannot sit on the same stage together, because he is destroying every religion."
I said, "They are so many, they can defend. I am alone" -- there were almost twelve people on the stage with me -- "They have enough time ... there are twelve, they can defend."
The maharani said, "I know they cannot. They don't have the guts, they don't have the argument, they don't have any idea how to defend. And you have destroyed their smallest things, which I could not have conceived can be destroyed!"
Just before me, one of the shankaracharyas was speaking, and he told a small story which I love to tell myself, but when anybody else tells it, that is a different matter.
It is an ancient story he was telling:
The story is that ten blind men were crossing a flooded stream. Being frightened, they were holding each other's hands, and somehow they managed. It was not deep, but the current was forceful. They reached to the other side, and somebody amongst them said, "We should count, because we don't know if the river has taken somebody away, or we are all together still."
So they started counting. Everybody counted, and it was always ending with nine because he was leaving himself out. He would count the others: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine -- one man was missing! They all tried, but it always stopped on the ninth!
One man, sitting by the side of the road, working in his field, was watching all this nonsense that was going on. And all the ten blind men had started crying and weeping, because one of them, one friend of theirs had been taken by the current.
So finally, the man came up and he said, "What is the matter?"
They said, "We were ten, and one person has gone with the river. Now we are only nine."
The man immediately looked -- they were ten. So he said, "I have been watching. Now I will count. Stand up! I will go on slapping. First I will slap the first person one slap, and I will say one! Then I will slap the second person twice, and I will say two, and the third person three times, and I will say three ... and this way I will count."
They said, "Any way ... just bring our tenth man."
So he counted -- and they were ten. And they were rejoicing, although they had been beaten well.
It is an ancient story. And the shankaracharya was telling it to show that this is the way we are: forgetting ourselves and looking around the whole world; trying to find peace, trying to find bliss, trying to find God, and not looking inwards, not counting ourselves.
After him I was to speak, and for the first time I had to criticize this story, which I have told you. But my context was totally different!
So I said to the shankaracharya, "Your story is absolutely stupid, because you have first to explain how they came to know they were ten. Before they started moving into the river, how did they manage to count? And if they knew how to count, how did they forget it just by crossing the river?"
Now he was at a loss.
I said, "There are only two possibilities: one is that somebody else has counted them just as somebody else counted them afterwards."
He said, "Perhaps."
I said, "That's the trouble with borrowed knowledge. Because somebody else has counted them, that created the trouble. It was not their own understanding that they were ten. It was somebody else's understanding that they were ten, and they were carrying borrowed knowledge. That borrowed knowledge is not going to help. When they themselves counted, the borrowed knowledge did not help at all. Again they needed somebody else to count them, again the borrowed knowledge.
"I am against borrowed knowledge because it is not going to help you. It is going to create more misery, more anguish, more anxiety. What happened to those blind people?"
And I asked the shankaracharya, "Whatever you know, is it your knowledge or just borrowed? And be honest, because I have ways to check out whether it is your knowledge or borrowed."
He said, "I don't know myself; I am a scholar. I know the Vedas, I know the Upanishads, but I don't know myself."
I said, "Then you are a blind man. Sooner or later, passing any current you will be in difficulty. You will always remain dependent on others, you will never be free. And without freedom there is no spirituality."
For the first time I suddenly found the criticism, I had never thought about it.
But the queen said to me, "This is dangerous. You finished that shankaracharya, and everybody was laughing and enjoying. Now that shankaracharya is very angry. He is sitting in my palace."
I was staying in the guest house. Everybody had a guest house. They had at least twenty guest houses in the thick garden ... huge and ancient trees. The shankaracharya was sitting in the main palace where the queen and the king lived. And he said, "I am not going to leave unless you make the arrangement. Either we all will leave -- twelve persons ..."
I said, "Don't be worried, I will speak for three hours continuously. Those twelve persons are not needed. I will manage the fifty thousand people. In fact, tomorrow you will have difficulty because more people will be coming. These fifty thousand people are going to tell at least one hundred thousand people. So don't be worried, there is going to be a double gathering. You have to make arrangements. Let these twelve people go, I will manage the seven days."
She said, "But I cannot do that. I am an orthodox Hindu."
I said, "That does not matter. I will finish all orthodoxy in seven days."
She said "That I can understand. You will finish, but I cannot tell all those religious leaders to go away. And they are twelve, and you are alone."
I said, "That does not matter. I am enough for those twelve. If they don't want to sit on the same stage, make another stage for them, and I will just sit alone on my stage. I will take care of each of the twelve."
She said, "You are going to create trouble, and I want no trouble."
I said, "Then if you want to keep those people, you don't understand. You will be in trouble."
At that moment the Bastar maharajah also came in. He was staying in the next room in the guest house with me. And he said to me, "You have done a great job, and if you have to leave, I am coming with you."
That's how we became friends. And he invited me to his state. So from Gwalior I went directly to Bastar. It is far away from Gwalior. And he introduced me to the people of Bastar. They are aboriginals, and they live almost naked. They put only a small piece of cloth around them when they come to the main capital, Jagdalpur -- otherwise, in the forest, in the mountains they live naked.
You can ask a woman, even by touching her breast, "What is this?" -- and she will not feel embarrassed, she will not feel offended. She will say, "This is just to give milk to my child," with no idea that "you are being offensive, you are touching my breast." She is not going to scream, and she is not going to any police station; in fact, there is no police station there.
The people are so innocent, that rarely does it happen that somebody kills someone. It has happened perhaps twice in this maharajah's lifetime. Then the person who has killed comes to the capital himself, because only the capital has the police station and the court.
He goes to the police station and informs them: "I have killed a man and I need to be punished." Otherwise no one would ever have known that he had killed anybody. Nobody goes into those deep forests. They live in caves; nobody goes there. And they have such beautiful caves.
And they are such beautiful people. You will not find anybody fat, you will not find anybody thin -- they all look alike. They live long, and they live very naturally. Even about sex they are very natural, perhaps the only natural people left in India.
And exactly what they do, has to be done all over the world if you want people not to be perverted. Behind all kinds of mental sicknesses is sexual perversion. In Bastar I found for the first time, people totally natural.
After a girl and a boy come of age -- that is thirteen and fourteen ... They have in their villages, in the middle of the village, a small hall just made of bamboos, as their huts are made. The moment a girl starts having periods, she has to stay in the central hall. By the time a boy is fourteen, sexually potent, he has to live ... All the girls and the boys who have become sexually mature, they start living together, sleeping together, with one condition -- and that is a beautiful condition -- that no boy should sleep with a girl for more than three days. So you have to become acquainted with every girl of the village, and every girl has to become acquainted with every boy of the village.
Before you decide to marry someone, you must know every woman of the village, so there is no question arising afterwards that you start feeling lustful for some woman. You have lived with all the women of your age, and it is your choice after the experiment with all the woman.
And there is no jealousy at all, because from the very beginning everybody is living with every girl. Every boy has the chance to be acquainted with every girl of the village, and every girl has the chance to be acquainted with every boy of the village.
So there is no question of any jealousy, there is no competitive spirit at all. It is just an experiment, an opportunity for every child to know sex with different people, and then find out who suits you, and with whom you were the most happy, with whom you settle harmoniously, with whom you felt your heart. Perhaps this is the only scientific way to find a soul mate.
But these people are called uncivilized, and missionaries are doing a great job of civilizing them: opening schools, hospitals. They don't need hospitals. They are such healthy people, and these missionaries bring all kinds of diseases to them. They have never heard about gonorrhea, they have never heard about all kinds of perverted diseases.
The missionaries bring the diseases, and then the hospital.
The missionaries bring the idea to them that you are poor. They have never thought about it -- they are all equal, equally poor. There is no question of comparison, and they are living perfectly well, and healthy, on one meal a day. They are more healthy than anybody else in the world.
Just recently scientists have been experimenting on rats, and they were puzzled. They kept two categories of rats, the same kind. To one category they were giving as much food as they wanted -- American rats. And to the other category, the Bastar rats, they were giving food only one time. And they were surprised. The rats who were given whatever they wanted, lived to be only half of the age of the rats who were fed only one time. They were double the age -- twice the American fellows!
So Bastar people live longer, although they don't know how long they have lived, because they cannot count. They live up to one hundred years very easily, one hundred and twenty very easily. If you search deeper in the forests, perhaps you can find a person who has lived one hundred and fifty years. They don't know it -- you have to figure it out.
And they don't look that old either.
Even the oldest person goes on working. Life is hard, but it is beautiful. Every night -- particularly when it is fullmoon nights -- they dance to abandon. The whole day they have been working hard, and in the night they dance. All the women, all the men together ... no question that you have to dance with your wife. People go on changing partners. It is a social phenomenon, it is not a question of possessiveness that you should dance with your own wife. And if she is dancing with somebody else, then you are looking jealous, you are looking murderous.
I have watched their dances. They look so beautiful. There is no question of any lust, because they are fulfilled, sexually fulfilled, physically fulfilled.
They don't have dreams. I have asked many. I have asked the maharajah. He said, "They don't have dreams, but I have because I am an educated person. They destroyed me. I was born in these hills, and I would have loved to remain just as uneducated, as uncultured as these people. Their joy is infectious, their laughter is infectious. But they don't have any dreams."
There is no need for dreams. A dream is a need created by a repressive morality, by a repressive God, by a repressive priesthood. These are the people who have created dreams. And then another priesthood has come into being, the psychoanalyst. They exploit your dreaming. One priesthood has created the dreams, another priesthood ... and both were Jews.
Jesus was a Jew, and Sigmund Freud was a Jew. One Jew has created Christianity -- the most repressive religion in the world, and the other Jew has created psychoanalysis to analyze your dreams. And both are having great fun. Both are the most highly paid people ... psychoanalysts and the missionaries, and the priests and the bishops, and the cardinals and the pope ....
Psychoanalysis will remain incomplete unless it comes to understand the people who don't have dreams. Then you will have to change the whole idea. It is not that by analyzing people's dreams you are going to give them mental health. The question is how to help them move from dreamless sleep to relax into the fourth stage called turiya, samadhi, satori, where one becomes utterly awakened, the state of a Gautam Buddha.
And a good news before I take the sutras.
A famous New York sculptress, Martine Vaugel has just now taken sannyas from the New York Center of Neo-Sannyas International. She is a world-famous sculptress. She must have been listening to my tapes, and must have been hearing Sardar Gurudayal Singh's name every day. So, without seeing him -- she has not yet come to Poona, and she has not seen Sardar Gurudayal Singh ... but this is the sensitivity of an artist, a creativity. She has made a statue of Sardar Gurudayal Singh, and she has sent me a picture of the statue to see whether she is right? And I was amazed. She is absolutely right. The picture looks almost like Sardar Gurudayal Singh.
(THE MASTER HOLDS UP THE PHOTOGRAPH OF SARDAR GURUDAYAL SINGH FOR ALL TO SEE. IN RESPONSE, EVERYONE CHEERS AND CLAPS.) Sardar Gurudayal Singh ... take your picture!
(THE MASTER, ENJOYING THE SITUATION IMMENSELY, HOLDS OUT THE PHOTOGRAPH FOR SARDAR TO TAKE.)
The first question:
SO-CALLED "MODERN CHRISTIANS" PARTICULARLY YOUNG PROTESTANTS, TALK ABOUT GOD AS IF HE IS NOT A PERSON -- LIKE "GOD IS EVERYWHERE, IN EVERY BEING, IN EVERY TREE, IN NATURE" -- NOT A PERSON HIDDEN IN THE CLOUDS.
DO THEY GET THE POINT OR IS IT JUST OUT OF CUNNINGNESS, BECAUSE THEY SEE THAT THE OLD-MAN GOD HAS NO GROUNDS AT ALL AND NO FUTURE?
It is out of absolute cunningness, because they go on saying that God is not a person.
Then why do they go to the church? Then why do they continue to pray to God as a person? If God is not a person, prayer should be stopped, going to the church should be stopped. If God is not a person, then Jesus cannot be his begotten son. Then you have to drop the idea that Jesus is related to God especially.
If God is really everywhere, then he is no more in Jesus Christ than in you. Then why should you worship? Then what is the function of the priest if there is no God as a person? The priest has to disappear.
That's why I say these people are simply repeating the approach of Zen -- which has become known to the West now -- that there is no God. But they cannot say it exactly, "There is no God" -- it hurts their programmed minds. So they are finding excuses in such a way that it appears God is, but it is not a person.
But they don't understand the implications. They say, "God is everywhere." If God is everywhere, then no place can be called sacred. If God is everywhere, in every being, then you cannot be violent to the animals, you cannot hunt animals, you cannot kill animals for your food. You are killing God. If God is in every being, then everybody has to be vegetarian. Nobody can be non-vegetarian; otherwise you are killing God and eating God.
In every tree in nature ... and you are cutting trees, you are destroying the ecology of nature.
Just when India became independent, forty years ago, there were nearabout one hundred and fifty million hectares of trees in the country. Now there are only sixty million hectares. Over half of the trees in India have been cut. And the Christians are saying now that God is everywhere, even in trees ...? Hindus have been saying it for centuries that God is everywhere. That is the meaning of 'omnipresent'. And if God is everywhere, then why do you go to the church, why do you go to the temple, why do you go to the mosque? And why do you listen to the sermons? Why do you carry a Holy Bible or a holy Koran?
I don't think a non-personal God can write the Vedas and the Bible and the Koran -- or a non-personal God can send messengers and prophets and messiahs. Then if you are honest all your holy scriptures have to be burned. And all your churches have to be demolished, if you are honest. And all your priesthood has to be told: "You have exploited enough; now start working. Unless you work you will not have anything to eat."
If you don't do that then it is mere cunningness, because you cannot prove the personal God anymore. You are trying to create an impersonal God, but your whole religion continues to be the same. It does not change.
It is such a great change from a personal God to an impersonal God that your whole religion will go through a revolution -- no church, no priest, no holy scripture. Then the whole existence becomes the holy scripture.
And if God is everywhere there is no need to pray. The closest is your own being, so first find God in your own being.
But still these Christians are not interested in meditation. These Christians are still praying, to an impersonal God.
Prayer is absolutely absurd. And if these Christians do understand the implications, then Christianity disappears and the pagan appears again. That was the only problem.
Christianity killed millions of pagans who believed in the whole of nature, in the whole of existence as divine; who worshipped trees, who worshipped the moon, who worshipped the sun, who worshipped rivers, mountains, anything -- because everything was sacred. Christianity destroyed them, and converted those pagans into Christians -- from an impersonal God to a personal God, from natural people into repressive maniacs!
And now if you again disperse the personal God into the whole of existence, you will have to disperse the whole of Christianity. You will have to disperse all the religions, and the whole earth will be full of pagans, Zorbas.
That is my effort -- to create the Zorba as a solid foundation for a buddha.
Zorba is the earth.
Buddha is the sky.
And when these two meet there is communion. When these two meet, there is synchronicity. When these two meet there is revolution. You are no longer the same, nor is the world anymore the same. Everything changes in a totally new perspective. New doors open -- and a new human being, and a new, fresh existence without any priests to poison your nature.
No, these people, the so-called new Christian theologians are just deceiving themselves and other Christians, because their whole structure remains the same. Just God ... because they cannot support by logic or evidence, and they can see the point of Zen, at least intellectually. Not to feel inferior, they are talking about the impersonal God.
That's what Eckhart was doing, that was what Saint Bernard was doing -- trying to make God impersonal. But they don't understand that it means destroying your whole structure of religion. If they truly understand the phenomenon they will destroy all Bibles, all churches, popes, the Vatican ... all should be finished, there is no need. God is everywhere -- there is no need for any priest to stand between you and God. He is surrounding you, he is in the air, and he is in your blood and in your bones. He is in your very marrow and he is in your inner space -- as he is everywhere.
But to know that he is everywhere is not a logical conclusion. To know he is everywhere has to be an existential experience. First you have to go into yourself. Unless you know it in yourself, you cannot say it is in the trees and it is in every animal and it is in every living being. You are a living being -- first enter into yourself.
These Christians are not talking about meditation at all. So all the talk is simply to deceive themselves and others, as if they have risen to the same height of Zen. Just by talking you cannot do that. You have to give evidence, proof, by your every gesture, by your every action, by your every word.
But I watch, I have been aware of these new Christian theologians, and their behavior is the same as any Christian. That behavior proves that their understanding is just to camouflage people's minds, to create confusion. They are protecting the old God with a new name -- "impersonal God" -- because their whole religion remains the same.
How can it remain the same if God is impersonal? That is the equivalent to there being no God only godliness, a quality pervading the whole cosmos.
There is a beautiful story ....
al-Hillaj Mansoor, who became finally a great enlightened being, was murdered by the Mohammedans. He was a poor man and he wanted to go to Kaaba because it is the duty of every Mohammedan, at least one time in your life, that you should go for haj, for a holy pilgrimage to Kaaba. If you don't go at least one time you are not a Mohammedan.
So even the poorest Mohammedans sell their houses, their land, and go at least one time to Kaaba.
Mansoor was very poor. His father and mother died when he was very young, so he was almost an orphan, a beggar. The neighbors helped him up to his youth and then he started -- because there was no education for him .... People were going ... there is a special month every year when Mohammedans from all over the world go to Kaaba. Many people from the village were going, and he started telling them, "I would like to come."
But they said, "You don't have any money." So he collected money from every house.
But by the time he had collected money, the other pilgrims had already left.
So alone, he started his journey. Just outside the village, underneath a tree was sitting a man who was going to become his master -- Junnaid. And he said to the young man, "Where are you going?"
al-Hillaj said, "I am going to Kaaba. All the pilgrims from my village have already left."
Junnaid said, "Come here!" The voice of Junnaid was such ... his eyes were such that al- Hillaj could not say no. He said, "Give me the money! There is no need to go anywhere. I am the Kaaba and I have come to your village just for you. You can make seven rounds of me, just as the other pilgrims will be making seven rounds of Kaaba. That is a stone -- I am a living human being."
al-Hillaj was so magnetically drawn to the man that he gave all his money to him, and made seven rounds.
And Junnaid said, "Now you can go to your village. And I will be leaving tomorrow morning, so if you want to come with me, you can come."
He went to the village. The villagers asked, "What happened? You had gone to Kaaba" -- it used to take three months walking to Kaaba, and three months to come back -- "and you are back just within half an hour! Where is the money?"
al-Hillaj said, "What to do? I met Kaaba just outside the village. He was sitting under a tree."
They said, "You idiot! You have given the money to THAT Kaaba?"
He said, "He asked, and he told me to make seven rounds around him. So I made seven rounds and I am feeling so fulfilled, and so dignified that Kaaba himself has come."
They said, "You come with us. We want to see who this man is who has cheated you.
You are a simpleton! How can Kaaba come here, and for you?"
He said, "You can come. Tomorrow morning I am leaving with Kaaba."
He said, "You come with us. First let us see who this fellow is -- he is a man?"
al-Hillaj said, "Of course. And a very magical man. I think it is Kaaba personified."
They said, "You keep quiet, you just follow us." The whole village gathered, and they could see. The man had a tremendous light around him -- it was night now -- and they could feel as they started coming closer to him, that he was in deep silence with closed eyes. The light was radiating, and al-Hillaj was not wrong, there was an immense attraction, the man had charisma.
They all went around him and Junnaid opened his eyes and said, "First put the money! I have traveled to your village and you are doing your haj without paying the money. Bring the money first!"
al-Hillaj said, "Now you know that he is not an ordinary Kaaba, he speaks too!"
And the whole village, whatsoever they could bring, brought and gave to him.
Junnaid allowed them to make a round, and the day after, he left with al-Hillaj. The whole village had come to send them off. They thought, "This al-Hillaj, although he was an orphan, proved to be more blessed than we are. He has found a master."
Only the enlightened man can say such a thing, that there is no God, because he knows God is a quality, it is the fragrance; you cannot catch hold of it, but it is everywhere.
Wherever life is, wherever laughter is, wherever love is, that quality pervades, penetrates your heart. And in meditation it goes to the deepest part of your being. Only then can you say there is no God. That does not mean you are atheist, that simply means you are denying a personal God, a creator God, and you are accepting existence itself as divine.
But then there is no church and then there is no priest, and then there is no holy scripture.
If these neo-theologians are really sincere, honest human beings, they should start destroying the holy scriptures -- at least the Christian ones, since they are Christians. And they should start demolishing the Vatican, taking away the power from the priests, and abolishing the monasteries.
But they are not doing anything of the kind, so it is all bullshit -- just bullshit and nothing else.
SHODAI, WHO WAS BORN IN 738 IN CHINA AND DIED IN 820, WAS A DISCIPLE OF SEKITO.
SHODAI STAYED AT MOUNT NANGAKU UNDER SEKITO FOR THREE YEARS, THEN WENT TO MOUNT SHUKO WHERE HE SAW MA TZU.
MA TZU ASKED, "WHAT DID YOU COME HERE FOR?"
You can see the difference between so-called religious people and the Zen masters. Ma Tzu knew that he was coming from Sekito. Rather than feeling happy that he had got a disciple from Sekito and his number of disciples had at least increased by one, Ma Tzu said, "What did you come here for? Sekito was enough for you."
This is the beauty of Zen -- an immense reverence for everyone who is enlightened.
There is no competition at all. Never heard of in the world of Zen is the word 'competition' ... no effort to convert anybody. Ma Tzu simply asked him, "Why have you come here? For what? Everything was available where you are coming from."
SHODAI SAID, "I CAME HERE FOR BUDDHA'S BIRTH CELEBRATIONS, JAMUNA DARSHAN."
Buddha's birthday was coming. And Buddha's birthday has a very special coincidence.
He was born on the same fullmoon night as he became enlightened, in the same month, on the same fullmoon night, as he died eighty-two years afterwards -- the same month, the same fullmoon night. A strange man -- birth, enlightenment, death, all happened on the same fullmoon night, in the same month of the year. So his birthday is also his enlightenment day. It is also his death celebration. So in a single day all three experiences happened. That's why for Zen the full moon has become something special -- because everything that happened to Buddha happened on the fullmoon night.
So in every Zen monastery on the fullmoon night people just sit under their trees and watch the full moon. The full moon has become symbolically connected with Gautam Buddha. And just watching and witnessing the full moon, they enter into deep meditation.
The fullmoon night has a specialness that is now being recognized by science itself. They have to approach it from the wrong side, because scientists are living on the wrong side of the earth, in the West. They became aware that more murders happen on the fullmoon night, more suicides happen on the fullmoon night, more people go insane on the fullmoon night ... strange. This fullmoon night certainly affects people and their psychology. It affects the ocean -- that is a known fact. On the fullmoon night waves become very tidal -- as if the ocean is trying to reach to the moon. Man consists of eighty percent of ocean water, so something in him also starts feeling a subtle vibration.
Scientists say that the first living being was the fish. Man is the other end of progress -- in the beginning was the fish. So we have a very deep connection. Our real forefathers lived in the ocean -- they were fish.
So don't eat fish! You are eating your own forefathers, and that is nasty! And I see people carrying tinned fish -- forefathers tinned! And people love eating fish ....
If life was born in the ocean then life is bound to be affected when the ocean is affected.
There is a deep connection, underlying currents. But Western psychologists became aware from the wrong side: suicide, murder, madness. The East became aware that more people have become enlightened on a fullmoon night; in fact, almost all except one, Mahavira.
He became enlightened on the no-moon night, amawas. The fullmoon night is called purnima -- the moon has become perfect, purna. And the no-moon night is when there is no moon at all, absolute darkness. Except Mahavira, nobody has become enlightened on amawas, no-moon night. Mahavira's name was not Mahavira -- Mahavira means a great warrior. His name was Vardhaman. But because he became enlightened on amawas, no- moon night, he proved that he could go against the current. It was natural for everybody to become enlightened on the fullmoon night, but this fellow Mahavira tried to go against the normal order of things, and still managed to become enlightened.
In India, people have completely forgotten why every year on a particular amawas, no- moon night, they celebrate Diwali, a festival of lights. You must have seen people putting all kinds of candles, lamps, lights in their houses. This is the night when Mahavira became enlightened. And this festival is in remembrance of Mahavira but nobody even thinks of Mahavira.
Those firecrackers are in celebration of Mahavira. He certainly did something unique which never happened before and never happened afterwards. So it is perfectly right to call him Mahavira, a great warrior. A very strong man ... otherwise it is almost impossible for anyone to become enlightened on the no-moon night.
In Zen, on the fullmoon night of every month, they watch the moon the whole night. And as they go on witnessing the moon, a deep tranquility and silence descends over them, particularly on the night when Gautam Buddha was born, became enlightened, and died.
So this is a special, very special night for the people belonging to the small stream of Zen.
Shodai said, "I have come here for Buddha's birthdate celebrations." Ma Tzu was a very famous master; Sekito was not that famous. Slowly, slowly he became famous after his death, but Ma Tzu was famous while he was alive -- very famous, because of his strange behavior. Shodai must have thought that on the celebrations of this moon, it would be good to go to Ma Tzu -- something might transpire. So he said, "I have come here to celebrate the birth of Gautam the Buddha."
Ma Tzu said, "Buddha has no birth, no death -- Buddha is eternal. Life has no beginning, no end, it is eternal. The very word 'birth' belongs to the world of delusion, because that which is authentic in you is never born. It has been coming from one house to another house, from one body to another body, but it is eternal in itself. So no birth, no death happens to it. It happens only to the outside of the house, which becomes tattered so it has to be renewed, or else you have to move into a new house."
Ma Tzu said, "Buddha has no birth, no death. The very idea of birth and death is delusion. YOU ARE FROM MOUNT NANGAKU, BUT IT SEEMS THAT YOU HAVE NOT YET KNOWN THAT YOU NEED SEKITO. He is your master. I don't think it is the right time for you, or that there is any need to change your master. You have not allowed your master to transform you yet. SO YOU SHOULD GO BACK. You cannot stay here."
HEARING THAT, SHODAI WENT TO SEKITO. ON MEETING THE MASTER, SHODAI ASKED SEKITO, "WHAT IS BUDDHA?"
All the way coming back he must have been thinking, "Ma Tzu said there is no birth of the buddha and no death of the buddha. Then what is the buddha?"
The buddha is equivalent to awakened life.
SEKITO REPLIED, "THERE IS NO BUDDHA NATURE IN YOU."
SHODAI ASKED, "WHAT ABOUT ALL LIVING BEINGS?"
SEKITO REPLIED, "THEY HAVE BUDDHA NATURE."
Sekito was strange in his own way. Ma Tzu had very strange behavior; he went to the extreme. But Sekito was not just a normal enlightened master either; he had his own uniqueness. He said, "All living beings have buddha nature, but Shodai, you don't have it!" This is a very strange statement. Why does this poor Shodai not have the buddha nature? When all living beings, even animals, even trees have buddha nature -- only Shodai has not!
SHODAI ASKED, "WHY DON'T I HAVE IT?"
SEKITO SAID, "BECAUSE YOU DON'T ACCEPT IT."
The only question is of recognition, of accepting, of remembering. Even if you have immense treasures but you are unaware of them, what is the point whether you have them or not?
An ancient story says that one master and his disciple were moving from one village to another village. But they started late because people were trying to persuade them to stay a little longer in their village. Starting late, the master was continuously looking into his bag. That he had never done before. And the disciple was behind -- he was also thinking, "What is the matter? Why does he go on looking into the bag, and then close it?"
And again and again he said, "We should go faster, we have to reach the other village before sunset."
The disciple simply could not believe it, because there had been many nights when they stayed in the wildest parts of the forest where there were all kinds of dangers ... and the master had never bothered. They had slept soundly under the trees, knowing perfectly well there was danger all around. But what had happened today? He wanted to reach to the other village before sunset. There was danger -- what kind of danger?
Then they stopped at a well, and the master had to wash his face and do his evening prayer before the sun set, so he was in a hurry. He gave the bag to the disciple and told him, "Keep it carefully." That too was strange. He had given the bag to him many times, but he had never said, "Keep it carefully." Of course he had always kept it carefully.
So when the master started drawing the water from the well, the disciple looked in the bag. And then he knew what the problem was: he was carrying a golden brick, a complete brick of pure gold. He knew now what the danger was. So while the master was praying -- and he was praying quickly, and fast -- the disciple threw that golden brick at the side of the well into the forest and took a stone of the same weight and put it in the bag.
The master quickly finished his prayer and immediately took the bag ... felt the weight.
The sun was setting and it was getting dark. Feeling the weight, and touching the bag, he was perfectly satisfied. They started moving and the master said, "We have to run. We have to reach the village anyway, we cannot stay in the forest in the night. It is dangerous."
After two miles of running, both were tired, huffing, puffing .... Finally, the master said, "It seems we are on the wrong track because there seems to be no village ahead. Far away we can see -- not even a single light. And the danger is there ..."
The disciple said, "Don't be worried, I have thrown the danger near that well."
He said, "What!!" He looked, he took out the stone, and he said, "You threw that brick gold of? I told you to keep it carefully!"
And the disciple said, "I have kept it carefully! For two miles you have also been keeping the stone carefully. Not knowing that it was a stone, you were worried. Now can we stay overnight?"
He said, "Now there is no problem! You really threw away the whole danger."
They slept very well in the night ....
If you don't know, you can carry a stone as if it is gold. And you can carry gold as if it is nothing if you don't know.
You are carrying a tremendous treasure within you -- the buddhahood, the enlightenment.
But unless you realize it, whether it is there or not does not matter. It is the same.
That's why Sekito said, "You don't have it. All other living beings may have it, but you don't have it. That much is certain. All living beings are not here, so I don't know, but about you I know -- you don't have it."
He said, "But why? Why make me an exception then? Every living being has it ...!"
He said, "BECAUSE YOU DON'T ACCEPT IT. You don't explore it, you don't recognize it. You don't remember a forgotten language."
AT THIS, SHODAI DECIDED TO STAY with Sekito.
Ma Tzu was right. This was the right man for him.
First he must have felt a little disappointed in Ma Tzu, a little humiliated that he had been sent back. But now he recognized: "Ma Tzu was right. Sekito has the secret in his hands, and he is my master. Ma Tzu has a different discipline and he will have to begin from ABC, and Sekito has been working for years over me."
So now everything was clear why he had been sent back. "Go to the same master who has been working on you, and he has been working perfectly rightly. His method is his; my method is different."
But methods don't matter, they are pure devices to bring you a certain awareness, a certain realization, a certain deepening of your consciousness. This statement: "Because you don't accept it, you don't have it. Just realize it and you have it -- you have already had it for centuries, but you have never looked at it." At this, there must have been a lightning flash in Shodai's mind, in his consciousness. He decided to stay with Sekito.
LATER, HE LIVED IN THE SHODAI-JI TEMPLE -- he created a temple, and he lived in the temple, which used to be called Shodai-ji temple -- AND DID NOT GO OUTDOORS FOR THIRTY YEARS.
This is simply symbolic and factual, both. He did not go outside the temple for thirty years. After this statement of Sekito -- "You have it, but because you don't accept it you don't have it" -- for thirty years he did not go outside the temple. Nor did he go out of himself for thirty years, he went on in and in and in. Those thirty years he was not even counting. The only thing that mattered was that he had to remember the hidden secret of buddhahood. He had to give birth to his own buddhahood -- and he had gone to Ma Tzu for the birth of Buddha's celebration.
How can you celebrate Gautam Buddha's birth if your buddha is still unborn? You can't understand what Buddha means, you can't understand what this festival is for, because you have not come to your own festival.
First you have to celebrate yourself.
Only then can you celebrate all the buddhas, awakened or asleep, can you celebrate the whole existence. ... AND DID NOT GO OUTDOORS FOR THIRTY YEARS -- neither out of the hut nor out of himself. He went on in and in -- went on digging.
WHENEVER A SEEKER CAME TO HIM, seeing the temple, and knowing that Shodai was inside meditating for thirty years ... People used to bring some rice, some food, some water, inside the temple. But he never asked anybody and he never went out.
In the East that has been a very virtuous act if somebody is meditating so deeply that he has no time for food, no time to beg, no time to go out. People have a tremendous reverence for meditators. They may have been poor and they may have cut their own food into two pieces -- one they would eat, the other piece they would go and offer to Shodai.
In the East, meditation has not been thought of as a personal matter. It is not that you are doing something selfish for your own self; it is something that you are doing for the whole existence. If you become blossomed, you will be a proof to everybody that they can also blossom. You will become an argument for the inner world. You will become an incentive for others also to explore -- it is possible; it is not impossible. It is not only that Gautam Buddha can become enlightened, Shodai also can. He has been refused by Sekito -- "You don't have it!" This hit him hard.
But this was the device of Sekito. He needed that much of a hit. So he retired into a temple, meditated for thirty years, became enlightened. But whenever anybody would come to him, he would say, "Go away -- you don't have a buddha nature."
The same device that had been used on him by his master, he went on using his whole life. And he helped many people, because the moment he would say, "You don't have buddha nature," immediately they would ask, "What about other living beings?" And he would say, "Of course, they have it."
Naturally, the same dialogue happened again and again, and the person would say, "You are being absurd. If everybody has it, why have I not?" And he would say, "Because you don't accept." Just remember -- it is a forgotten nature. Just go in.
Shodai was not very inventive -- that's what I call a "normal" Zen master. He simply had one small statement. Even that small statement helped many, but could not help a really great number of people, because those people who were coming to him were not in the same state in which he was when he asked Sekito. He had been meditating with Sekito for years. He was just on the verge ... the last hit ....
But the people who were coming were absolutely beginners, so with many nothing transpired. Once in a while, if a man had come from some other master ... perhaps the master was dead, or perhaps he had become tired -- how long had he to wait? And he became anxious: "My master is becoming old and I am not yet enlightened ..." People like these who had been meditating and were just on the verge -- this man Shodai succeeded by hitting them. He knew only one hit -- a poor Zen master.
There are poor Zen masters and rich Zen masters and super-rich Zen masters. You are caught up with a super Zen master! I hit you without hitting you. I hit you in so many ways, from every direction possible, and my hits are not cruel and primitive. They are very contemporary -- in fact very few contemporary people are going to understand me.
Perhaps a century or two centuries afterwards, my hits will shake people into awakening.
But right now you are caught up, and you cannot go anywhere because you will not find me anywhere around the world. You will find just poor masters. Those super-rich masters have disappeared from the world.
We are living in a poorer world spiritually than before. Materially we are living in a richer world, but spiritually it is a very poor world. When Ma Tzu was there and Sekito was there and Rinzai was there and Nangaku was there, Yakusan was there ... there were so many masters just in Japan -- or in China ...! When Gautam Buddha was here in India there were eight masters just in the small province of Bihar, and they transpired hundreds of people into enlightenment.
But you are blessed. You have found a super-rich Zen master. Don't miss this opportunity, because the world has been becoming thinner and thinner as far as spirituality is concerned.
You have to create a great rebellion around the earth.
You have to upset all the organized religions.
Only then will people be liberated from their mind programs. And to liberate anybody from his mental programming, conditioning, is one of the greatest virtues. You are helping that man towards freedom. But you can help only if you are free. If you are not free, there is no possibility to help. A blind man cannot help another blind man. First you have to open your eyes and recognize your buddhahood, and then it is very easy to trigger the same experience in others.
There are many who are ready, on the verge, but there is nobody to push them.
Everybody needs a push, and everybody needs a certain proof that buddhahood is a reality.
You will be surprised to know that when the Christian missionaries first came to India -- and they were the first to translate the Buddhist scriptures into English -- they did not think that a man like Buddha had ever been there. It seemed to them almost an impossibility; they had never heard about enlightenment. They had heard about prophets coming from God, they had heard about messiahs, messengers, they had heard about the only begotten son Jesus. They believed in them, but they had never heard about enlightenment.
Was Moses enlightened? Was Jesus enlightened? They had no answer. They had never heard about the phenomenon at all. So Buddha was a strange phenomenon. The early missionaries simply canceled the idea that he was a historical person. It took almost one hundred years of research for Christian missionaries to accept that Buddha was a real human being, not a fiction. This shows that they had been believing in fictions!
So they thought, deep down ... nobody can believe in Jesus and his miracles. Howsoever great an effort you make to believe, the doubt will remain underneath and will surface whenever your belief will be shaken by something -- and it will be shaken by anything, because a belief has no evidence, no proof.
Every Christian, every Jew, every Mohammedan, every Hindu, is living under such beliefs which they themselves know cannot be true. But out of fear they are accepting it.
But fear cannot transform you. There is only one way to be transformed, and that is to find your buddhahood. That will give you the proof that other buddhas have actually happened.
If you can become a buddha, you are the argument, you are the proof. And unless you know buddhahood you cannot come to a trust that such a miracle is possible. And it is the greatest miracle. Walking on water is just stupid; it is not a miracle.
It happened once ....
A man came to Ramakrishna and he had trained himself in a certain yoga method. There are yoga methods by which you can throw all the air out of the body so you become a vacuum inside. You cannot remain in that vacuum for more than ten minutes, but ten minutes is enough to show that you can walk on water. If you are a vacuum you can walk on the water.
But it takes almost eighteen to twenty years to learn that method of creating the vacuum.
Once you have created the vacuum ... I have seen one man only. If you can create a vacuum you can do strange things. I have seen this man in my childhood, and my memory is absolutely clean about that man. I can see him still, because he was doing such a strange thing. From his prick he would drink water! And that is possible only if you can create a vacuum inside. Then the vacuum pulls the water, pumps the water in. But I have come across only one man. I have tried hard again to find somebody ...
I asked him, "How long did it take for you?"
He said, "It is a very difficult job. It took at least twenty years for me to create the vacuum. And only for ten minutes ...!"
A man came to Ramakrishna and he said, "I have heard much about you, but can you walk on water?"
Ramakrishna said, "That's nothing. You can?"
He said, "Of course."
Ramakrishna said, "I prefer riding on a cloud. Do you know the art?"
He said, "No, I have never heard."
Ramakrishna said, "How long did it take for you to learn the knack?"
The man said, "Eighteen years continuously I have been ..."
Ramakrishna said, "You are an idiot. Because when I want to go on the Ganges" -- and they both were sitting by the side of the Ganges under a beautiful tree where Ramakrishna used to sit and just watch the Ganges flowing. It is a beautiful place where Ramakrishna lived -- outside Calcutta, a very silent, peaceful place. Just one temple existed at that time in which he lived, just on the bank of Ganges.
So Ramakrishna said, "Whenever I want to go there, you see that ferryboat? -- it takes only two paisa. And that too, that boatman does not take from me. He says, 'Not from you ... I earn enough, I can take you without it.' So when I can go to the other side without even giving two paisa, why should I waste eighteen years of my life in learning to walk on the water? And do you think it is something of spirituality? All the fishes are doing that, and there are so many water animals ... so what is the point? How do you think it is connected with your spiritual growth? You wasted your eighteen years in sheer stupidity. And I don't ride on the clouds either. I was just trying to show you that even riding on the clouds will not be of any value."
The real value is: are you acquainted with your buddha?
It is the only thing that matters.
When Christians, the missionaries, came to know about Buddha and his scriptures they were very much amazed, because these sutras of Buddha have such beauty that the Bible simply fades away, looks very childish.
One great missionary in Japan had gone to see a Zen master, and he believed he could convert him. His idea was that if he could convert this Zen master, to whom even the emperor of Japan comes -- and he had large following -- just converting this one man, he could convert the whole of Japan. The emperor would be converted, thousands of his disciples would be converted. So rather than working on ordinary people, it was better to work on this man. And certainly there are beautiful statements in the Bible, particularly the Sermon on the Mount, so he took the Bible.
He was greeted by the Zen master, and he said, "I have brought you my holy scripture. I would like to read it to you and I would like to know your opinion."
So he started reading the Sermon on the Mount. He had gone two or three lines when the Zen master said, "Stop. Whoever wrote it, in his next life he may become enlightened."
He did not even listen to the whole sermon. He said, "Just stop. Whoever wrote it, in his next life will become enlightened. But right now these sutras are coming from an unenlightened person."
Shocked, the missionary could not understand -- "Jesus Christ is unenlightened?"
But the idea of enlightenment has never happened in the West. The very idea is missing.
So it was very difficult for them to understand that there have been a totally different kind of people. They have always believed in God, his son, which is not possible without God.
His prophets which come from the God, his messengers, they come from the God -- everything comes from God. That hypothesis is fundamental. If you deny that, then the whole of Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedanism, all three religions flop down. They simply disappear with one hypothesis which is absolutely unproved.
Here they came to understand a totally different process. A buddha does not come from above, he comes from below and he rises upwards. You see the difference: he becomes godly as he goes on upwards. And all the Christian or Jewish or Mohammedan prophets and messiahs come from up to down.
Buddha is an evolution. It is an intrinsic potentiality that starts going upwards like a tree, and when the spring comes it blossoms. They have never thought that man becomes godly; they have always thought only God can come down. Hindus believe in incarnation -- God comes as Krishna, God comes as Rama ...
And it is absolutely clear that God has been coming so many times -- and the world is such a mess! What has God done to the world? God comes in Krishna as a perfect incarnation -- and what has that perfect incarnation done? Nobody asks the question:
Why has he come in the first place? And if he has come then what has he done?
Krishna has promised, and Hindus are still believing that he will be coming. His promise is: "When there will be danger, when humanity will be in pain and anguish and anxiety, when there will be atheism spreading in the world, when saints will be tortured ...
whenever there will be such a crisis in religion, I will come." But I have been asking so- called Hindu saints, "The last time he came, what did he do? And why are you waiting for him? The last time he proved nothing. Even if he comes he is not going to do anything. And how many times has he come?"
Hindus believe that he has already come twenty-three times; the twenty-fourth time he has to come. But twenty-three times he has been a failure. That is enough proof: the twenty-fourth time he is not going to be a success.
And what have the prophets of the Jews done? And what have the prophets like Jesus or Mohammed done to Christianity or to Mohammedanism? They have created an ugly human psychology, neurotic. They have not been helping the evolution of consciousness.
So Buddha is completely a different category. He is not coming from any hypothesis downwards. He is not special. He is just an ordinary human being like you and me, but he starts growing his potentiality upwards. He touches the very stars, he grows roots into the earth, goes to the deepest possibility. He stands vertical, leaves the horizontal plane of consciousness which belongs to the animals. He is really a rebel, an authentic rebel.
Naturally, every word that has come from him has tremendous meaning, because he is not accepting any lies, any consolations. And he is not giving any lies to people or any consolations. He is simply saying what his experience is, and that it can be your experience also.
Buddha created a totally different world, and following him, masters upon masters ... but certainly they remain a very thin stream. Buddha belongs to the very intelligent people. It is not for the mediocre, it is not for the retarded, it is not for the masses.
But if the intelligent people of the world rise into buddhahood, they will help the whole of humanity at least to see what is possible for a human being, what is hidden in us. And if thousands of people can bring it to blossoming, why cannot we?
Every buddha becomes a proof, an argument to the whole of humanity. He raises the level of existence spiritually, and each buddha goes on raising the level of humanity without your knowing. You are more close now after twenty-five centuries than you were when Buddha was alive.
Most of you must have been around him. Most of you must have been around other buddhas, because you are not new to the world. You have been here always, but you never managed up to now to go as intensely as possible. Hence my insistence: Don't miss this opportunity.
You have to decide -- you have to be very decisive: "I have to bring my potential to its ultimate flowering. I have to become a celebration, a festival. I have to contribute to the beauty and truth and the divineness of existence."
EARLY SPRING A NAMELESS HILL KNEE DEEP IN THE GAUZE OF MORNING STILLNESS.
These are all statements of meditators, and Basho is a great master and simultaneously one of the greatest haiku poets.
"Early spring" -- just visualize. "Early spring" -- it has just come fresh. The trees have been waiting for it, the earth has been waiting for it. Those who have some aesthetic sense -- the painters, the poets, the musicians, the dancers, the sculptors -- they have been waiting for it. It has come. Early spring -- such a joy comes following with it, such freshness all around. Such fragrance of flowers.
"A nameless hill knee deep in the gauze of morning stillness." Even the hill is feeling the spring breeze, "knee deep in the gauze of morning stillness." Not only am I kneeling down in my gratitude for existence, for this fresh spring, but once more, the mountain is also knee deep -- is as grateful as I am.
EARLY SPRING A NAMELESS HILL KNEE DEEP IN THE GAUZE OF MORNING STILLNESS.
Those small hours before the sunrise, when the night is just going and the sun has not arrived on the horizon, are the most peaceful. And meditators have found that that is the best time to meditate -- particularly in the East, when those moments are the coolest in the day.
Perhaps it may not be true about the West; it may be too cold. Perhaps for the West the best time will be midnight. It is good for the East also, but the early morning when just the flowers are opening to welcome the sun, and the birds are fluttering their wings getting ready to sing their songs and dance into the air ...
And that stillness ... Night is gone, almost gone, and the morning is not born yet. That in- between moment has been given a special name in the East, sandhya. Sandhya means the interval between day and night. So it comes two times -- in the morning and in the evening, when the sun has set and the night has not come. So these two times are called sandhya, intervals.
In these intervals you can meditate more deeply than at any other time. It is just an existential experience of thousands of meditators.
Basho is expressing his own experience in this haiku.
OUR BELOVED MASTER,
PAUL TILLICH, THE PROTESTANT THEOLOGIAN, ASSERTED THAT "GOD WILL REMAIN SOMEHOW REMOTE AND 'OUT THERE,' UNLESS THERE IS A COMPLETE TURNABOUT IN WHICH ALL REFERENCES TO THE HIGH AND THE BEYOND ARE TRANSLATED INTO TERMS OF DEPTH. THIS INFINITE AND INEXHAUSTIBLE DEPTH AND GROUND OF ALL BEINGS IS GOD. THAT DEPTH IS WHAT THE WORD 'GOD' MEANS. HE WHO KNOWS ABOUT DEPTH KNOWS ABOUT GOD."
WOULD YOU LIKE TO COMMENT?
Maneesha, Paul Tillich and all neo-theologians are trying their hardest somehow to save God, and there is no way to save him, he is already dead!
Now he is giving another idea: take God from there beyond the clouds and put him deep down. But what is the difference? Deep down where? -- in America? Because from this place, if you go on digging you will suddenly see, My God! all Americans are walking upside down. Are they doing shirshasan, headstand? Because from here you will reach exactly into America -- the shortest way. People are unnecessarily flying ... just dig a hole! And from both the sides it can be started -- from America towards India, and from India towards America. And the meeting will happen just in between.
But as far as America is concerned, India will be the depth. As far as India is concerned, America will be the depth. Where are you going to put God? In the depth? They are just trying absurdities to save the name God, because the danger is that God is becoming more and more an impossible hypothesis to prove.
So change his place. Take him out from the clouds, take him from there in the beyond, and put him there in the depth.
But you cannot save him. He is dead there in the beyond, and he will be dead in his grave in the depth. You are only digging a grave. Paul Tillich is just a gravedigger and nothing else.
And you can see clearly what he is saying, "God will remain somehow remote and 'out there,' unless there is a complete turnabout ..." But still the distance will be the same.
First he was beyond in the clouds; now he will be deep inside the earth. In fact, it was easy to go to the clouds, going inside the earth will be more difficult. And you don't know what is inside the earth, volcanoes ... It is all hot and melted. The deeper you go, you will come to a point when everything is melted. Fire, still alive, that comes through the volcanoes. You can see it. You are putting God there? I like the place. That will be his funeral pyre.
"This infinite and inexhaustible depth and ground of all beings IS God." But he will cling to the word 'God'. There is no change, just the place has been changed. God is the same - - he has moved the house. "That depth is what the word 'God' means." First he was the height, now he is the depth, but he is.
"He who knows about depth knows about God" -- great!
Those who have known the depth or the height are the people who have declared there is no God. There is only a quality, a fragrance, which you cannot catch hold of, but you can feel overwhelmed by it. But it is not God, it is the very flavor of existence itself. It is the very life.
Why create an unnecessary hypothesis? Be a little scientific. In science it is an accepted fact that no unnecessary hypothesis should be accepted. Do with as few hypotheses as possible, because every hypothesis creates new problems and solves nothing -- and particularly unproved hypotheses which for centuries man has been trying to prove and has failed. All theologians have failed! No theologian has been able to give any proof for God.
They are trying to do, Maneesha, something impossible. God is dead, and it is good and great that God is dead, because it brings freedom and dignity to life, to existence. It destroys our spiritual slavery, it gives us a great pride that we are existence and nobody is above us.
One of the Baul mystics, Chandidas, has made a beautiful statement: Sabar upar manus satya, tahar upar nahi. He is a Bengali mystic; the statement is in Bengali. Sabar upar manus satya -- above all is the truth of man. Tahar upar nahi -- and beyond that there is nothing.
This is what I call the dignity of man, of life, of existence. Why unnecessarily drag humanity into slavery? Paul Tillich, and all those who are trying to save God, the neo- theologians of Christianity, are going to fail, because all that they can do is give new words, new meanings, new references, new addresses. But when you reach, you will find nothing. Neither is he beyond there, nor is he in the depth somewhere hiding.
God does not exist and has never been in existence.
Let life be your freedom, your pride, your dance, your celebration.
This is the right time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh. Put on the light!
Old Miss Crumbum, the Jehovah's Witness, is going round from door to door collecting money to send missionaries abroad. She knocks on the door of Hamish MacTavish, the Scotsman, and when Hamish opens the door she starts her speech.
"Praise the Lord, good sir!" intones Miss Crumbum. "We are planning to send twenty Witnesses of Jehovah to the African countries. Please give generously for our missionary service overseas!"
"Absolutely not!" replies Hamish. "I totally disapprove of those foreign missions."
"But, good sir!" cries Miss Crumbum. "The scriptures command us to feed the hungry!"
"Well, that's fine," says Hamish, "but surely we can feed them on something cheaper than missionaries?"
The new priest in the village, young Father Fever, is coming to visit the Sidebottom household. So little Sally's mother gives her daughter some instructions.
"If the new priest asks you your name," says Mrs. Sidebottom, "say Sally-Jane. And if he asks you how old you are, say you are seven years old. And if he asks who made you, say, 'God made me!' Can you remember all that?"
"I think so," says Sally.
A few minutes later, young Father Fever arrives, puts down his hat and his Bible, and walks up to little Sally. He pats her on the head and says, "I am Father Fever, your new priest. And what is your name, little girl?"
"Sally-Jane," replies Sally.
"And how old are you, Sally-Jane?" asks the priest.
"Seven years old," replies Sally.
"Well, that is nice," says Fever. "And do you know who made you, Sally-Jane?"
Little Sally hesitates for a moment, and then says, "Shit! Mom did tell me, but I have forgotten the guy's name!"
Late one evening on the little Greek island of Crete, old Mrs. Lilypopolis is weeping into her black handkerchief, mourning the recent death of her old friend Mrs. Acreepolis.
"Ohhh!" wails old Mrs. Lilypopolis to Bishop Kretin who is holding her hand, "God is so unjust! He is knocking off us old ladies one by one. I must say, Bishop Kretin, that my faith in the Blessed Bleeding Virgin is beginning to wobble."
"Don't worry my child," comforts Bishop Kretin, impatiently. "You are only ninety-seven years old, you have lots of life in you still. Just pray to God Almighty and everything will be fine."
But over the next few days, old Mrs. Lilypopolis gets freaked out. She starts looking around for something else to strengthen her faith. One night she is wandering around the streets of the village and finds herself in Madam Goggle's fortune telling parlor.
"I have been a Blessed Bleeding Virgin Christian all my life," says old Mrs. Lilypopolis, "and you are a spiritualist and a pagan -- but I have come to you because I have lost faith in Bishop Kretin. I come to you in the hope of receiving the answer to one question."
Madam Goggle nods her head and closes her eyes, lapsing into a deep trance.
"Go ahead," she says in a spiritual voice, "tell me your question."
"I want to know," says old lady Lilypopolis, "when I die, will I go to heaven -- I mean my Christian heaven -- to be reunited with my friends, Mrs. Souvlaki, Mrs. Theocrapolis and Mrs. Acreepolis, in the glory of eternal paradise?"
After some time in a deep trance, Madam Goggle opens her eyes and speaks, "I have asked the sacred ones if you will go to heaven," moans Madam Goggle. "And their answer is ... their answer is ..."
And the old fortune teller rubs her thumb and forefinger together under the old Greek woman's nose.
"Oh, yes!" cries old Mrs. Lilypopolis, fumbling in her purse and bringing out a handful of money. She puts it on the table and then Madam Goggle continues.
"Well, there is some good news and some bad news. First the good news .... Yes, Mrs.
Lilypopolis, because you have been such a good person you will be transported by the heavenly angels to paradise -- to the Golden Throne in the skies. And there you will remain throughout eternity with all the other blessed virgins, sitting on God's knee."
"Oh!" cries old Mrs. Lilypopolis, "Oh, I am completely overwhelmed!"
"Wait!" continues Madam Goggle. "And the bad news is ..."
"But, Madam Goggle!" interrupts the old lady. "After such wonderful good news, what news could possibly be bad?"
"Well," says Madam Goggle, "you will be going there tonight!"
(Drumbeat) Be silent ...
Close your eyes ... and feel your body to be completely frozen.
This is the right moment to enter in your inner world. You have to reach just below your navel, two inches exactly below, inside.
Gather your energy and total consciousness, and rush with a deep urgency as if this is going to be your last moment on the earth. Only those who have such urgency and intensity ever reach to their center of life.
Faster and faster ...
Deeper and deeper ...
As you are coming closer to your center, a great silence descends over you just like soft rain falling. You can feel the coolness.
A little closer, and you find an explosion of light. Your inner world becomes luminous.
A little deeper, and flowers of blissfulness, flowers of ecstasy suddenly start showering on you. Existence is rejoicing in your inner journey. This is the only spiritual pilgrimage.
Just one step more and you are standing at the very center of your being.
This is the state of a Gautam Buddha, the space of all the buddhas. At this moment you are no more, only the buddha is. And the buddha has only one quality: witnessing.
Witness that you are not the body.
Witness that you are not the mind.
And witness that you are only the witness.
This pure witnessing opens all the closed doors of existence and life, of song and dance, of the ultimate celebration of becoming one with the cosmos.
To make this witnessing deeper, Nivedano ...
(Drumbeat) Relax ... but continue to witness.
That is your very eternity -- no beginning, no end ... infinite, inexhaustible, sacred.
This is your original face. We in the East have symbolized Gautam Buddha's face as everybody's original face -- that is only a symbol.
And rejoice in its recognition.
At this moment you are the most blessed people on the earth. Everybody is concerned with the trivia, you are trying to explore the very center of life and existence.
Other than this, there is no religiousness.
Other than this, there is no spirituality.
And this experience is absolutely individual, it has nothing to do with the collective, with the society, with an organized religion.
And from this opening, you can see there is no God, there is only godliness surrounding you -- all around limitless.
The height is infinite.
The depth is infinite, but you don't find any God anywhere. On the contrary, you start melting and disappearing.
Gautama the Buddha Auditorium has become an ocean of consciousness. Ten thousand buddhas have joined together into one consciousness.
This is your truth, and this is the beauty of the truth, and this is the divineness of the truth.
One who knows this center and this opening into existence, knows all.
Collect as many flowers as you can of serenity, of tranquility, of silence, of peace, of ecstasy, of a divine drunkenness. You have to bring all these juices of life from the center to the surface of your day-to-day life. You have to start living like a buddha, with the same grace, with the same beauty, with the same truth, with the same authenticity, with the same originality.
This opening and the experience of it will bring you a dignity which is not ego, a pride which is not ego, but simply a joy, simply a remembrance that you are existential, not accidental. Hence, the possibility of celebration.
The accidental person lives in anguish, in anxiety, in angst.
The existential person lives in celebration, in love, in grace, in gratitude.
Do not forget to persuade the buddha to come with you.
These are the three steps of enlightenment.
The first step, buddha comes behind you as a shadow. But the shadow is luminous, it has tremendous warmth, and it surrounds you with a new fragrance, fragrance of the beyond.
The next step, the second step, you become the shadow, buddha comes in front of you.
Your shadow goes on becoming thinner and thinner as buddha becomes more and more solid and existential.
A moment comes and the third step happens on its own accord: your shadow has disappeared, you are no more; only the buddha is, only life is, only the existence is.
Hence the celebration.
(Drumbeat) Come back ... but come with all the glory and the splendor of a buddha, with all the grace and silence and peace.
Sit down just for a few seconds to remind yourself of the golden path that you have followed, and the depth you have reached within yourself, and all the experiences. And feel the presence of buddha behind you.
The day is not far away when the first step will turn into the second step, and the second step will turn into the third step. You will be no more. And when you are no more there is dance, there is song, there is joy, there celebration of life.
I celebrate myself, and I teach you nothing else but celebration.
Religiousness has fallen into wrong hands, and they have made the whole world sad and miserable. I want the world to be filled with laughter, with joy, with festivity.
The whole life, moment to moment has to be lived as a celebration. That is the only religious life. You have every potential and every opportunity.
Just a little relaxed effortless melting into the ocean that surrounds you -- and the dance begins. And the dance never ends.
Yes, Beloved Master.
I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here