God is not a person but an energy. This implies that energy has no considerations for individuals; whatsoever happens to each individual happens impartially.
For example, the tree on a riverbank receives its nutrition from the passing current; it will bear flowers and fruits and will grow tall and strong. But the tree that falls into the same current will be carried away with the swift tide. Now the river has nothing to do with either of these trees. Neither is it interested in feeding the former nor in destroying the latter. The river just flows. The river is a flowing energy, it is not a person.
We have always made the mistake of looking upon God as a person. Therefore, all our thinking about God is as if he were a person. We say he is very kind; we say he is merciful; we say he always blesses us. These are our expectations and desires that we impose upon God. Though we can impose our expectations on a person and if they are not fulfilled we make the person responsible for it, we cannot do this to energy. So whenever we deal with energy as if it is a person, we are bound to go off track, because then we are lost in dreams. If we deal with energy the results will be entirely different.
For instance, the force of gravity: you are able to walk on the earth because of this force, but this force is not specially meant to make you walk. Don't mistakenly think that if you don't walk, the gravitation will not exist. It was there when you were not on the earth and it will be there even after you are no more. If you walk in a wrong manner you might fall and break your legs. This will also be due to gravity; but for this you will not be able to sue anyone as there is no person to blame.
Gravitation is a current of energy. You have to be careful about its laws of functioning if you want to deal with it. But it does not think at all about how to deal with you.
God's energy does not work out of consideration for anyone. In fact, it is not proper to say "God's energy," rather we should say: "God is energy." God does not think about how to behave with you; it has its own eternal law and this eternal law is religion. Religion means the laws of behavior of the energy that is God.
If you behave with discrimination, understanding and in conformity with this energy, it becomes grace for you - not on its own, but because of you. If you do the opposite, if you go against the laws of the energy, it becomes non-grace-yielding towards you. In this case God is not ungraceful; it is so because of you.
So it will be an error to look upon God as a person. God is not a person but an energy; therefore, prayer and worship hold no meaning. It is meaningless to have expectations from God. If you wish that this divine energy becomes a blessing, grace for you, then you have to do something to your own self; hence spiritual practice has meaning, prayer does not. Meditation has meaning, worship does not. Understand the difference clearly.
In prayer you are doing something with God: you beg, you insist, you expect, you demand. In meditation you are working upon your own self. In worship you are doing something with God; in spiritual endeavor you are doing something on your self. The effort for spiritual growth means that you are transforming yourself in such a way that you are not in a discord with existence, with religion.
When the river flows you are not swept away by the current. Instead, you are on the bank where the waters of the river strengthen your roots rather than washing them away. The moment we see God as energy the whole structure of religion changes.
It is for this reason I had said that if the grace descends suddenly and directly it can sometimes become a disaster.
Another thing you have asked: "Can an unfit person be the recipient of grace?"
No, grace never descends on a person unqualified for it. It always descends on a person who is prepared for it. But sometimes an unfit person suddenly develops the necessary qualifications, and he himself is unaware of this. The happening always takes place under the right conditions, just as the light is visible only to those with eyes and not to the blind. But if a blind man has been medically treated so that he can see, and he comes out of the hospital and he sees the sun directly, he will be seriously harmed. He will have to put on dark glasses for a month or two and wait.
If an unreceptive person suddenly becomes receptive, there is bound to be a mishap. The sun cannot be blamed in the case of the blind man. He has to develop the strength of his eyes to bear the sunlight or else there is a danger that he can become totally blind. The first blindness was curable, but now it will be difficult to cure his second blindness.
Understand this well: the experience comes only to those who are deserving. But sometimes there is a possibility of an undeserving person suddenly developing the necessary qualifications due to circumstances of which he himself is not aware. Then there is always a fear of disaster, because the energy descends suddenly and you are not in a condition to bear it.
For example: a man suddenly gets a large amount of money. Usually it should not be of any harm, but if it comes suddenly it may be dangerous. A sudden happiness may also create an accident, because we need a certain capacity to bear it. We become able to bear happiness if it comes upon us gradually. If bliss comes gradually only then we become prepared for it.
This preparedness, the capacity to bear, depends on so many factors. The nerves in the brain, one's physical fitness, one's mental capacity - all have their limitations, and the energy we are talking about is unlimited. It is like the ocean falling into the drop: if the drop is not prepared in some way to receive the ocean it will merely die; it will be destroyed and it will attain nothing.
To be exact, there is a double line of action necessary for spiritual growth. We have to bring ourselves to the path and become in tune with it. But before that we have to develop our ability to absorb it.
These are the two tasks to be accomplished by a seeker. On one hand we have to open the door and improve our eyesight, and on the other we have to wait even after the sight is improved in order for the eyes to be able to bear the brightness of light; otherwise too much light brings an even deeper darkness. This is a one-sided transaction - the light has nothing to do with it. The responsibility is entirely ours and we cannot blame anyone for it.
The journey of man's life is spread over many lives, and he does many things in each life. Many times it happens that he dies just as he is about to be able to receive grace. With this death he loses all the memories of this life. Working upon yourself through many lives you may have reached up to ninety-nine degrees of growth; dying you will forget all your achievements - but the existential elements of your inner growth will be carried over to the next life.
There is another person sitting next to you who has accomplished only one degree of growth in his past life. He has also forgotten all about it. You both are meditating: you two belong to a totally different level of growth. Now, if one degree of growth happens the other person will reach only the second degree of growth and grace is not going to descend on him. But with plus one degree of growth you will reach the one hundred-degree point and suddenly grace will descend upon you.
This will be sudden for you because you have no idea that you are at the ninety-ninth degree. And so heaven can drop into you all of a sudden and proper preparation should be made for this.
When I say mishap I am only referring to a happening for which we are not prepared. Mishap does not necessarily mean a bad or painful event; it means only the occurrence of that event for which we are not yet ready. Now, if a man wins a lottery of one million dollars it is not a bad happening.
But he can die. One million dollars! - it can stop the beating of his heart. So mishap means the occurrence of an event for which we are not prepared.
The opposite may also take place. If a man is prepared for his death and it comes, it is not necessary that his death is a bad event. If a man such as Socrates is prepared to meet death and welcomes it with open arms, then for such a person death becomes samadhi. He accepts death with such love and joy that he will see that reality which never dies.
We approach death with so much distress that we become unconscious before death. We do not experience death consciously. This is why, even though we have died many times, we are unaware of the process of death. Once you know what death is, then the very idea that you can die will never arise. Then the event of death will take place and you will be standing aside watching it. But this must happen with full consciousness.
So death can be a good fortune for one person and grace can be a misfortune to another. Therefore the spiritual growth is twofold: we have to call, invoke, search and move, and at the same time we have to prepare ourselves for the event so that when light reaches our door we are not blinded by it.
If you remember what I have told you in the beginning there won't be any difficulty. If you take God to be a person you will find yourself in great difficulty; if you take him as an energy there won't be any difficulty.
This concept of God as a person has caused a great deal of difficulty. The mind desires him to be a person so that we can transfer all responsibility onto him, and having made him responsible we start to place the burden of every small thing onto him. If a man finds a job he thanks God; if he loses his job he becomes angry with God. If a man gets a blister he suspects it to be the doing of God; if it heals he thanks God. We never consider how we are employing God; we do not even think how egocentric is this attitude in which we assume that God should worry even about our blisters.
If we lose a coin on the road and happen to find it, we say, "By God's grace I found it." We want God to keep our accounts to the last rupee. This idea satisfies our mind because then we can stand at the center of the world. Then our dealings with God are similar to that of a servant before a master.
We expect him to stand guard at our door and take care of our possessions to the last coin. The advantage of considering God as a person is that responsibility can be easily placed upon him.
But a seeker takes responsibility upon himself. In fact, to be a seeker means to hold no one but oneself responsible for everything. If there is sorrow in my life I am responsible, and if there is happiness in my life I am responsible. If I am tranquil it is I who am responsible; if I am restless it is my own making. There is no one but myself who is responsible for whatsoever state I am in. If I fall and break my leg it is my own fault and I cannot blame gravity. If this is the attitude of the mind, then you will have understood rightly. Then the meaning of a mishap will be different.
For this reason, I say that grace is beneficial and is a blessing to a person who is well prepared for it. In fact there is a time for everything. There is a special moment for each happening, and to miss this moment is a great tragedy.
This can become a dependency. If someone is eager to be a guru and if someone is eager to get a guru, this state of dependency can happen. So do not make the mistake of becoming a disciple or making somebody your guru. But if there is no question of a guru or a disciple, there is no fear of dependency. Then the person from whom you are taking help is simply a part of your own self that has traveled ahead on the path. Then who is the guru and who is the disciple?
I often tell the story that Buddha told of one of his previous lives. He said, "I was an ignorant person in my previous life. A wise person had attained enlightenment, so I went to see him. I bowed down to touch his feet in reverence. But no sooner had I lifted myself up than I found to my astonishment that the old man had bent to touch my feet.
"'What is this you have done!' I exclaimed. 'That I should touch your feet is right and proper, but it is not fitting that you should touch mine.' "The old man said, 'If you touch my feet and I do not touch yours it would be a great mistake, because I am nothing but a part of you a few steps ahead of you. And when I bow at your feet I remind you that you did well to touch mine. But do not be under the misconception that you and I are two. Also, do not make the mistake of thinking that I am wise and you are ignorant. It is a matter of time. A little more time and you too will be enlightened. It is just as when my right foot comes forward, the left remains behind to follow: actually, the left foot remains behind in order that the right may go forward.'"
The relationship of guru and disciple is harmful. However, a nonrelated relating between a guru and the disciple is very beneficial. Nonrelated means there are not two; relationship is where there are two. We can understand if a disciple feels the guru to be a separate entity from him, because the disciple is ignorant. But if the guru also feels the same, that is too much. Then it means that the blind is leading the blind - and the blind man who is leading is more dangerous, because the second blind man has total trust in him.
There is no spiritual meaning to a guru-disciple relationship. Actually, all relationships are the relationships of power. They are all relations of power politics. Someone is a father, someone is a son; if this were a relationship of love it would be a different matter. Then the father would not be conscious of his being the father, nor the son of being a son. Then the son would be the preceding form of the father and the father would be the subsequent form of the son - and this is the truth of the matter.
We sow a seed and a tree grows. Then this tree gives rise to thousands of seeds. What is the relationship between these seeds and the first seed? One came first and the others followed later. It is the journey of the same seed that fell to the ground, sprouted and dissolved in the soil. The father is the first link and the son the second in the same chain. But then there is a chain, not individual persons. Then if the son touches his father's feet he is showing his respect for the previous link. He is showing his reverence for that which is going out, because without him he could not have come into the world. He has come into existence through him.
And if the father is bringing up his son, feeding him and clothing him, he is not taking pains for someone else; it is his own extension he is nurturing. If we say that the father becomes a youth once more in his son, we would not be wrong. Then the matter is not one of relationship; it is a different matter. It is love, not a relationship.
Generally we find the relationship between father and son to be a political relationship. The father is strong and the son is weak, so the father dominates the son. He tries to make him feel, "You are nothing; I am everything." But he does not realize that soon a time will come when the son will be the strong one. Then he will dominate the father in the same way.
These relationships between the master and the disciple, the wife and the husband are perversions.
... Otherwise, why should there be any relationship between a husband and a wife? Two people have felt oneness between them, so they are together. But no, this is not so. The husband dominates the wife in his own way; the wife dominates the husband in her own way. Both are playing their own strength as a power politics on each other.
The same is the case with the guru and the disciple. The guru oppresses the disciple, and the latter waits for him to die so that he may become the guru. If the guru would delay dying there would be plotting and scheming against him. So it is difficult to find a guru whose disciples do not rebel against him or become his enemies. The chief disciple is bound to be the enemy of the guru. So one must be careful in choosing the chief disciple. It is almost inevitable, because the pressure of power is always met with rebellion. Spirituality has nothing to do with it.
I can understand a father pressurizing the son: it is a case of two ignorant people, and they could be forgiven. It is not good but it can be excused. The husband oppressing the wife and vice versa is usual - not good, but it is very common. But when the guru suppresses his disciple it becomes difficult. This area at least should be free of any claim that "I know and you do not."
What is this relationship between a guru and a disciple? One is a claimant: he says, "I know, you do not know. You are ignorant, I am wise. The ignorant must bow to the wise." But what sort of a wise man is he who says, "You must bow in reverence"? He is the most ignorant person. He knows a few inherited secrets, he has studied some scriptures and he can repeat them from his memory. There is nothing more to him than this.
Perhaps you have not heard this story:
There was a cat who became all-knowing. She became famous among cats - so much so that she came to be looked upon as a tirthankara. The reason for her becoming all-knowing was that she had found a way of sneaking into a library. She knew everything about this library. By everything I mean the means of entrance and exit from the library, which set of books was the most comfortable to snuggle against, which books gave warmth in the winter and which were cool in the summer, etcetera.
So the word went around among the cats that if anybody wanted any knowledge about the library, the all-knowing cat could provide the answer. Naturally, there was no doubt about such a one who knew everything about the library being omniscient. This cat even had followers. But the fact remained that she knew nothing. All she knew about books was whether she could sit behind them comfortably, which books had cloth binding, were warm, and which ones did not. More than this she did not know. She had not the least idea of what was inside the book. And how could a cat know what is inside a book?
There are such all-knowing cats among men too, who know how to shield themselves with books.
You attack them and they will at once take refuge in the Ramayana and try to strangle you with its verses. Or, they will say, "So says the Gita."
Now who is to fight with the Gita? If I were to say, "This is what I say," you can debate with me. But if I bring the Gita in I am safe. I take refuge behind the Gita. The Gita gives warmth in the cold; it gives me a vocation and becomes a protective shield against enemies. It even becomes an ornament and can be played with, but a person who does this only knows as much about the Gita as the cat in the library; he knows no more than she does.
It may be possible that by long association the cat might come to know what is inside the books, but these knowledgeable gurus will not know at all. The more they learn the book by heart, the less need there will be for them to know. They will then be under the illusion that they know all there is to know.
Whenever a man claims the authority of knowing, know that it is only ignorance that has become outspoken, because assertion is ignorance. But when a man hesitates even to mention that he knows, then know that he has begun to receive a glimpse, a ray of wisdom. Such a man, however, would not become a guru, he would not even dream of becoming one, because with becoming a guru comes the authority of knowledge. The meaning of guru is one who knows: he is sure that he knows, and now you need not know; he can impart his knowledge to you.
So this claim and authority kill the sense of quest and inquiry in others. Authority cannot exist without suppression, because he who wields authority is always afraid of your finding out the truth. Then what would become of his power? So he will stop you from finding out. He will gather followers and disciples around him, and within the disciples also there will be a hierarchy of chief disciples and lesser disciples. This is again a political web and it has nothing to do with spirituality.
When I say that a happening like shaktipat - which is the descent of the energy of the divine - takes place easily in the presence of a particular person, I do not mean that you should cling and get fixed with this person; nor do I say that you should be dependent upon him or make him into a guru. I also do not say that you should stop your search. On the contrary, whenever this event takes place through a medium you will feel that if this experience through an indirect source could bring so much joy, how much more blissful it would be to experience a direct descent of the divine energy! After all, when a thing comes through someone it does lose some of its freshness; it becomes a little stale.
I go to a garden and I am filled with the fragrance of the flowers, and then you come to see me and you feel the fragrance of the flowers through me. You will find that it will also be mingled with my body odor, and it will also have become faint by then.
So when I say initially shaktipat is very beneficial, what I mean is that first you should get the news that there is a garden and there are flowers so that you maybe are encouraged to set out on the journey. But if you acquire a guru you will stagnate, so do not stop at a milestone. The milestones tell us much more than the ones we call gurus. They tell us exactly how many miles more are left for the destination. No guru can give such precise information. And yet we do not worship the milestones or sit near them. If we did we would prove ourselves to be less than stones, because the stone is there to indicate how much more of the journey is left. It is not there to stop you.
If a milestone could speak, it too would call out, "Where are you going? I have given you the necessary information. You have traveled ten miles and you have twenty more to go. Now you know, so you have no need to go further. Be my disciple; follow me." But the stone cannot speak, so it cannot become a guru.
Man speaks; therefore he becomes a guru. He says, "I have shown you so much; be grateful to me.
You must show your gratitude, your indebtedness to me." Remember, he who demands gratitude has nothing to give you. He is merely giving you a piece of information just like a milestone. A milestone does not know anything about the journey. There is only one piece of information engraved on it which it gives to all who pass by.
Likewise, if gratitude is demanded and expected from you, beware. Do not get stuck with an individual. Move beyond individuality towards the formless, the eternal, the infinite. However, a glimpse is possible through a person who is just a vehicle, because ultimately the individual also belongs to the divine. Just as the ocean can be known through the well, so can the infinite be known through the individual. If a glimpse can happen to you, then realization can also happen. But do not depend on anybody or be enslaved by anything.
All relationships are binding, whether they be of husband and wife, father and son, or guru and disciple. Where there is relationship, there is slavery. So the spiritual seeker has not to form relationships. If he keeps the relationship of husband and wife there is no harm; it is not a hindrance because this relationship is irrelevant. But the irony lies in the fact that he renounces and drops out of husband-wife, father-son relationships to form a new guru-disciple relationship. This is very dangerous.
The idea of a spiritual relationship has no meaning. All relationships belong to the mundane world.
Relationship as such is worldly. If we say that relationship is the world, it would not be wrong. You are alone, unassociated. This is not an egotistical statement because others too are alone and unassociated. Someone is two steps ahead of you; if you have heard the footsteps, then you have already known the direction of your journey that far. There are some who are two steps behind you, there are some others traveling along with you. So an infinite number of souls are traveling on the path. In this journey we are all fellow travelers; the only difference is that somebody is a little ahead or a little behind. Take maximum advantage of those ahead of you, but do not turn it into some kind of slavery.
Keep away from dependence and relationships, and especially from "spiritual" relationships - always. Worldly relationships are not dangerous, because the world as such is a relationship. It is not a problem. Receive the message and indications wherever they are available. I do not mean that you should not be thankful for them.
This should not create any complication in your mind. What I am saying is that if gratitude is demanded it is wrong, but if you are not grateful it is equally wrong. One should thank the milestone also for giving us information, whether it hears or not.
When we say that the guru should not ask or expect gratitude, it deludes the listener and feeds his ego. He thinks, "It is absolutely correct. There is no need even to thank him!" There we make a mistake, because then we grasp the statement from the opposite extreme. I am not saying that you should not even be grateful. What I mean is that the guru should not demand gratitude. So if you are not grateful it will be equally wrong on your part. You must be grateful, but this gratitude will not bind you because that which is never asked for never binds. If I thank you without your asking it is not binding. But if you demand thanks, whether I thank you or not, it will bind you and create troubles.
Take the hint or the glimpse from wherever you get it. It will disappear again and again. It cannot be permanent because it comes from another. Only that will last which is yours.
So you will have to undergo the happening of shaktipat again and again. If you are afraid of losing your freedom, seek your own experience. It is of no use being afraid of bondage, because if I bind myself to you it is bondage, and if I run away from you with the fear of being bound then also I am linked with and, hence, bound to you.
So take what you get silently; be grateful and move on. And if you feel something had come but has been lost again, then seek the source within, from where it can never be lost. There is no way of losing then, because our own treasure is infinite. With that which has its source in another there is the chance that it will be lost.
Do not be a beggar who keeps asking from others. That which you receive from another should start you on your own search. And this becomes possible only when you do not get stuck at having a relationship. Receive, offer your thanks, and move on.
Actually, I did not say that God is not interested in you: if he was not you would not have been. Nor did I say he was indifferent toward you: he cannot be because you are not apart from him. You are an extension of him. What I said was that he does not have any special interest in you. There is a difference between these statements.
The energy that is God has no special interest in you in the sense that it will not violate its laws for your sake. If you hit your head with a stone you are bound to bleed; nature will take no special interest in you - although when you hit your head and the blood starts flowing it is flowing because God is involved in the happening. When you drown in the river, then too nature is playing its part - that of drowning you. But there is no special interest in the sense that it will save you when its law was to drown you. The law is that if you fall from the roof you will have a fracture; nature has no special interest that you should not.
Those who believe God to be a person have fabricated many stories of divine favors - for instance that Pralad was neither burnt by fire nor hurt when he was thrown down the mountain. These stories are our wishful thinking; we wish that it should be so. We wish that God should have a special interest in us, that we should be the center of his attention.
The workings of energy are always according to the law. Man's interest can be special; man can be partial. But energy is always impartial, impartiality is its only interest; therefore it will do what is within its law and never falls out of it. There are no miracles on the part of God.
Now about the Kath Upanishad sutra - its meaning is very different. It says, "He meets only those of his choice, with whom he is happy and whom he likes." Naturally you will say this means that he has a special interest in some people. This is not so. Actually, there is great difficulty in explaining such things, because when a truth is to be explained it has to be dealt with from its manifold aspects.
Those who have attained God have invariably said, "Who are we and what value do our efforts have? We are just nobodies and our worth is not even equal to a particle of dust; yet we attained him. And if we meditated a while, of what great value was that compared to this priceless treasure we attained? There is no comparison between our efforts and our gain." So those who have attained enlightenment have maintained that it was not the result of their effort. "It was his grace, it was his wish to bless us; otherwise, could we ever have found him?" they always ask.
This is the statement of an egoless person who realizes the magnificence and magnitude of his attainment. However, if this becomes the way of thinking of those who have not yet attained it will be very dangerous. When this comes from those who have attained, this statement is fitting and carries a distinct mark of refinement of feeling.
Such persons maintain, "Who are we that we should have attained him? What was our strength, our ability? What was our right? What claim did we have on him? Yet because of his compassion he blessed us to meet him." For those who have attained this statement is proper. What they mean is that they do not consider their attainment to be the direct result of their effort. It is not the achievement of the ego; it is a gift, grace.
What they say is correct, but reading the Kath Upanishad you will be in difficulty. Reading any of the scriptures man has been in great difficulty, because scriptures are the statement of those who know and are being read by those who do not. They take it according to their understanding and say, "Okay. If God meets only him whom he wishes to meet, according to his own liking, why should we bother? Why should we do anything?" Then the declaration of the egoless person becomes a protection for our lethargy.
There is a vast difference between the two - like between the sky and the earth. The humble and egoless statements of enlightened people become a protection for our dullness and laziness. Then we say, "Well, God meets only whom he wants to meet and he does not meet those he does not want to."
There is a similar statement of Saint Augustine which runs something like this: "Those whom God wished, he made them good; those whom he wished, he made them bad." This seems a very dangerous statement. If this is so - that God makes some bad and he makes some good as it suits his fancy - then things are crazy! Then he must be an insane God!
When you read this you can give a very negative meaning to it. But what Augustine means is totally different. He tells the good man, "Do not be conceited that you are good, because those whom God wished he made good." And to the bad man he says, "Do not be distressed, do not worry. Those whom God wished he made evil."
He is pulling out the pride from the good man's ego and he is pulling out the sting of the bad man's remorse. This statement comes from one who knows. But the bad man hears it and he says, "If that is so, I have no hand in it - for those whom God wants to be evil are evil." The good man's journey also slackens; he says, "What is there to do? Those whom God chooses to make good he makes good, and those whom he chooses not to he does not." His life becomes meaningless and stagnant.
This is what the scriptures have done to the whole world. Scriptures are the words of those who are enlightened. However, those who know do not need to read scriptures, but those who do not know do read them; then the difference in understanding is poles apart. The meaning we give to their words is our own and not the actual meaning.
I have come to feel that there should be two kinds of scriptures - words of the enlightened ones should be kept separate, and there should be separate scriptures prepared specially for the unenlightened ones. The scriptures containing the words of the enlightened ones should be totally hidden from the ignorant man, because he is bound to deduce his own meanings and then everything becomes twisted and contorted. In this way all our wisdom has become contorted. Do you understand what I am saying?
This is also an important point to understand. In fact there is nothing in this world which has no false counterpart to it. False coins exist in every dimension of life. And it is always the case that the counterfeit coin is brighter in appearance than the genuine one. It has to be, because it is the brightness that will make it attractive; it is useless in its reality. A true coin works even if it is not bright.
A false coin makes loud claims because it has to compensate, and because of its worthlessness it is easily available.
All spiritual achievements have their false counterparts and there is no experience without a counterfeit counterpart. If there is a real kundalini there is a false kundalini too. If there are genuine chakras, there are false chakras also. If there are true methods of yoga there are false methods as well. The difference between the two is that the genuine experiences occur on the spiritual plane, whereas the false occur on the psychic, mental plane.
For example, if a person enters into deep meditation and moves closer to his being, he will begin to experience many things. He can experience such fragrances as he has never known before; he can hear music that is out of this world; he can see colors that are not seen on earth. But all these experiences can be created by hypnosis in no time and without difficulty. Colors can be produced; melodies can be produced; tastes and fragrances can be produced. And for all this there is no need to go through deep meditation and inner transformation. All you need is to become unconscious through hypnosis; then whatsoever is suggested from without can happen within. These experiences are false coins.
Whatsoever happens in meditation can happen through hypnosis also but it will not be spiritual. It is an induced state; it is like a dream. If you love a woman in your waking state you can love her in your dreams also - and the woman in the dream will be more beautiful. If the man does not wake up and keeps on dreaming he will never know whether the dream girl is real or illusory. How will he know? Only when the dream is broken will he know that it was a dream.
So there are methods by which all kinds of dreams can be created within you. A dream of kundalini can be created; dreams of chakras can be created; many experiences can be created. You will love to revel in these dreams; they are so pleasant that you would not like them to disappear. They are such dreams that it is difficult to call them dreams, because they happen while you are awake, while you are active. They are daydreams. They can be practiced and you can pass all your life in them, but in the end you will find you have reached nowhere; you have been seeing a long dream. There are means and methods to create these dreams. Another person can induce them in you and you will never be able to distinguish between the false and the true, because you have no idea of the real experience.
If a man has never seen a real coin and has always dealt with false coins, how will he know that his coins are false? To know the false the genuine must be known. So only the moment the kundalini unfolds itself can one find how far apart the two experiences are. The real kundalini is a different experience altogether.
Remember, many of the kundalini descriptions in the scriptures are false, and there are reasons for this. Now I will tell you a secret of the scriptures. All the sages and seers who have lived on the earth have purposely left some basic errors in each scripture for the purpose of judging the progress and authenticity of the disciple. Now, for in-stance, I may tell you from outside this house that there are five rooms within, but I know there are six. One day you might come and say, "I have seen the house from inside and there are five rooms only as you say." Then I will know that you have seen some other place - an illusory one - and not the house I talked about.
In this way one room has always been left out; this gives the information whether you have really experienced or not, whether your experience is genuine or not. If your experiences totally correspond with the scriptures then it is a false coin, because something has been always left out in the scriptures; it is very necessary to do so.
If your experiences tally with books, know that book-knowledge is being projected. The moment your experiences come in a different manner, a manner in which they might coincide with the scriptures in some places and not in others, then know that you are on the right track - that things are happening authentically and that you are not merely projecting the descriptions you have read in the scriptures.
So when the kundalini awakens authentically you will know where in the scriptures things have been devised to judge the authenticity of the experiences of the meditators. But before this you cannot know it. Every scripture had to necessarily drop some information; otherwise it would be difficult to judge the authenticity of experiences.
There was a teacher of mine. He was a professor in the university. Whatever book I mentioned he would say that he has read it. One day I mentioned a fictitious book and the name of its author. I said, "Have you read the book of so-and-so? It is a wonderful book."
He said, "Yes, I have."
"Now either you produce that book or all your previous claims of having read books are nullified," I told him. "There is no such book and no such author!"
He was surprised. "What do you mean? Is there no such book?" he said.
"No!" I said. "There was no other way to judge the authenticity of your claims."
Those who know will at once find out. If your experiences are exactly as laid down in the scriptures you will be caught, because there are gaps left in the scriptures: something false has been added, something true has been left out, and all this was absolutely necessary because otherwise it would be difficult to tell what is happening to whom.
The experiences described in the scriptures can be created; everything can be created, because the capacity of the human mind is so much. And before one enters into the innermost core of the being the mind deceives one in a thousand ways. And if you too want to deceive yourself then it is very easy.
So I say the matter of descriptions in the scriptures or someone claiming to do shaktipat or techniques of creating false experience are not significant points. The essential core of the matter is something different. There are many other ways of finding out the authenticity of your experience.
A man drinks water in the daytime and his thirst is quenched; he drinks water in a dream but his thirst is not quenched. In the morning he finds his throat parched and his lips dry, because drinking water in a dream cannot quench the thirst. It is actual water that quenches the thirst. Whether the water was real or unreal can be found out from your thirst - whether it is quenched or not.
So those of whom you are talking, who claim to awaken people's kundalini or who say that at least their own kundalini has become awakened, are still searching. They claim they have experienced many things, and yet their search continues. They maintain they have found water, and yet they have no idea of the lake!
It was only the day before yesterday that a friend came and said that he had reached the state of thoughtlessness, and he had come to ask for a method of meditation. Now, what to say to such a person! One man says his kundalini has awakened but his mind is restless; another says that the kundalini has awakened but he is still tortured by sex! There are intermediate devices to discover the authenticity of your experience.
If the experience is real, the search ends. Then even if God comes and offers tranquility or bliss, the person will refuse politely and ask him to keep it for himself; he no longer needs it. So to find out the authenticity of the experience look deep into the personality of the person for some other symptoms of transformation.
One man says that he goes into samadhi, into superconsciousness. He buries himself underground for six days and comes out alive. But if you leave money in the house this man will steal; if he finds the opportunity he will indulge in drinking alcohol. If you did not know about his claim of samadhi you would not find anything of value in him. There is no fragrance, no radiance, no grace in his personality; he is just an ordinary man.
No, he does not go into samadhi: he has learned the trick of a false samadhi. He has mastered the trick of staying underground for six days by pranayam; he has learned how to control his breath so that within the given area of his resting place he can use the minimum amount of oxygen. Thus he can stay underground for six days. He is almost in the same state as the Siberian bear that hibernates underneath the snow for six months. He is not in any kind of samadhi. At the end of the rainy season the frogs lie buried underground for eight months: they are not in samadhi. This man has learned the same, nothing more.
Now, if you bury a man underground who has attained to the authentic state of samadhi he is likely to die, as samadhi has nothing to do with being buried underground. If Mahavira or Buddha were made to lie underground in this way there is little possibility of their coming out alive. But this man will come out alive, because this achievement has nothing to do with samadhi. Samadhi is a different matter altogether. But this man will attract the masses. If Mahavira fails and this man succeeds, he will appear to be a real tirthankara and Mahavira will appear to be false.
So these false psychic coins have their own false claims, and methods have been evolved for making them convincing. Thus a separate world has been created around them which has nothing to do with the reality. Such persons who are involved in trading the false coins have lost the genuine path from where the real transformation comes. Staying six days or even six months beneath the ground has nothing to do with self-realization. But what are the inner qualities of such a man? How much peace and silence does this man have within? Is he blissful within? If he loses a coin he will not sleep at night, but he can stay comfortably underground for six days. All this has to be considered and the real meaning behind it has to be found.
So those who claim to have the capacity of doing shaktipat can do so, but it is not the authentic shaktipat. It is intrinsically a kind of hypnosis. Deep down they have somehow learned the skills of playing with the magnetic forces. It is also not sure that they know the complete science of this subject. Neither they know the science of this process nor are they aware of the falseness of their claims. They are in a big mess.
You see a street magician in India showing his tricks. He spreads a cloth and tells a boy to lie on it. He keeps a trinket on his chest. He then asks the boy what is the number of a currency note in the pocket of an observer. The boy will tell him the number. "What is the time on the watch of the person standing there?" The boy will tell the exact time. "What is the name of this man?" The boy will tell him the name. Everyone watching is convinced of the magic of the trinket.
Then he removes the trinket from the boy's chest and repeats the questions. The boy lies silent: he cannot answer. Now this magician makes a good business with the trinkets - one rupee each! You take it home: you can put it on your chest for the rest of your life but nothing is going to happen. It is not that the boy has been taught by the magician to speak when the trinket is on his chest and to be silent when it is removed, nor is there any special quality in the trinket itself. The trick is more subtle and you will be surprised to know it.
This process is called posthypnotic suggestion. A person is made unconscious by hypnosis, and in this state of hypnotic trance he is told to have a good look at the trinket. He is also told that as soon as this trinket is placed on his chest he must become unconscious. Then, in this state of unconsciousness, he can be made to read the number of currency bills or tell the time on the watch.
There is nothing phony in it. As soon as the boy is made to lie on the sheet in a hypnotic state and the trinket is placed on his chest he goes into a hypnotic trance. Now he can tell the number of the currency bill if asked by the magician. Neither the boy nor the magician knows exactly what is happening inside.
The magician has learned a trick: a man is put into a hypnotic trance and then being shown a thing he is told, "Whenever this thing is placed on you, you will immediately become unconscious, falling into hypnotic trance again." This method works perfectly - the magician knows only this much.
Neither of the two knows the inner mechanism, the dynamics of the energy phenomenon. If they were to know it they would not be performing tricks by the roadside. To know the dynamics of the process is a deep subject even though it is only a psychic phenomenon. Even Freud or Jung did not know it. Even today the greatest of the psychologists of the world do not know the dynamics of body-energy in its totality. But this magician somehow has stumbled on a trick which he utilizes to earn a living.
To put on an electric switch, it is not necessary for you to know what electricity is, how it is produced, or what electrical engineering is all about. You simply press a button and the electricity starts flowing.
Anybody can press the button.
The street magician has learned the art of posthypnotic suggestion and he is using it to sell his trinkets. You buy a trinket, take it home, but it will be useless for you. The trinket had worked along with a certain process of posthypnotic suggestion. You place it on your chest and nothing happens.
Then you feel that you are wrong somewhere, because you have seen the trinket working.
So many false and pseudo experiences can be created. They are false and pseudo not in the sense that they do not exist but in the sense that they are not spiritual; they are only psychic processes.
Every spiritual experience has its psychic parallel. Therefore, psychic counterparts can be created by those persons who are not spiritual yet who make claims about their psychic capacity. But it is nothing compared to the authentic spiritual experience.
The authentically spiritual man does not claim anything. He does not say, "I am doing shaktipat; I am doing this and that. And when it happens you will become involved and attached to me." He has become a nobody, a nothingness. Just by being near him something starts happening to you. But he has absolutely no sense of doing it.
There is an ancient Roman story of a great sage. The fragrance of his being and the rays of his wisdom spread so much that they reached up to the gods in heaven. They came to him and said, "Ask a favor. We are prepared to grant you anything you wish."
The saint replied, "What was to happen has happened; there is nothing more to desire. Please do not put me into a difficulty by asking me to desire something. Do not embarrass me with your offer.
It would be bad manners if I did not ask, but the fact is that there is nothing left for me to ask for.
Everything has happened to me, even that which I have never thought of."
The gods were impressed even more by his words, because his fragrance became stronger with the fact that he was beyond desire. "You must ask something," the gods insisted. "We will not leave without conferring a favor upon you."
The saint was in a fix. "What shall I ask for? I cannot think of anything," he told the gods. "You give me whatever you like; I will take it."
"We will give you a power. Just your touch will bring the dead to life and the sick back to health," they told him.
"This is good, a great help," he said, "but what about me? I will be in a great trouble, because I may have an idea that I am healing the sick, that I am bringing the dead back to life. If my ego comes back from the back door, then I am finished, then I am lost in darkness. Please save me; have compassion on me; do something so that I do not know of these miracles."
So the gods agreed. They said, "Wherever your shadow falls it will bring back the dead to life."
"That is good," said the sage. "Now do me a last favor. Please grant that my neck becomes stiff so that I cannot look back to see the effect of my shadow."
The favor was granted. The sage's neck became stiff. He went about from town to town. When his shadow fell on withered flowers they began to bloom, but by then he would have gone ahead; his neck did not allow him to look back. He never came to know. When he died he asked the gods whether their gift was fruitful or not, because he never came to know about it. I feel this story to be very lovely.
When shaktipat happens, it happens just like this. It happens with the shadow and the neck is stiff.
The medium, through whom the divine energy flows, must be a complete void or else his head may be turned. If there is even a trace of the ego there will be the urge to look back and see whether the happening has come about or not. If it has, then the feeling of "I have done it," comes in. It will be difficult to avoid this feeling.
So wherever a man becomes empty and silent, shaktipat happens with great ease around him, just as the sun rises and the flowers open, or as the river flows and the trees are nourished. The river never claims that it has watered so many trees and so many trees are blooming because of it. The river does not even know all this. By the time the flowers bloom, the water that nourished the trees will have reached the ocean. Where is there time for it to wait and see? There is no way of looking back. When the happening takes place amidst such conditions it has a spiritual value. But where there is the ego, the doer, when someone says that "I am the doer," then it is a psychic phenomenon and it is nothing more than hypnosis.
There are two or three things which have to be properly under-stood. Hypnosis is a science and it can be easily used for creating deceptions. However, hypnosis can also be used to help you.
Science is always a two-edged sword.
Atomic energy can produce wheat in the fields; it can also wipe out the whole humanity at a stroke.
Both the possibilities are there. The electric current that moves the fans in your house can also kill you, but you will not hold electricity responsible for it. If an egoist makes use of hypnosis he will do so to suppress, destroy and delude the other. But the opposite of this is also possible.
Hypnosis is a neutral energy; it is a science. It can be used to break the dreams that go on inside you, and your deep-rooted illusions can also be eradicated by it.
The method I am using is hypnosis at its initial phase, but with this is joined a fundamental element which will protect you from being hypnotized - and that is witnessing. This is the only difference between hypnosis and meditation, but this is a very great difference. When you are hypnotized you are made to become unconscious. Only then can you be worked upon. However, I say that in meditation hypnosis is useful, but only when you become the observer. Then you are awake and alert, and you know what is happening all the time. Then nothing can be done against your will; you are always present. In hypnosis the suggestions can be used to make you unconscious and the suggestions can be used to break your unconscious.
So the initial steps of what I call meditation are all hypnotic, and they are bound to be because any journey towards the self starts only from the mind. This is because you live in the mind; that is the place where you are, so the journey starts from there. But this journey can be of two kinds: either it can take you on a circular route within the mind where you will keep on going round and round like an ox at a mill who is never able to come out, or it can take you to the edge of the mind from where you can jump out. In both the cases, the initial steps will have to be taken within the mind.
So the initial form of hypnosis is the same as that of meditation, but the final form is different and so is the goal. And in both the processes one basic element is different. Hypnosis immediately requires unconsciousness, sleep; therefore, all its suggestions start with sleep, drowsiness, and then the rest follows. In meditation, the suggestion starts with wakefulness, and later the stress is on the witnessing state. The witness in you is awake, so no outside agency can affect you. And also, remember that whatsoever is happening within you, you are fully conscious of it.
Now, what is the difference between those to whom things are happening and those to whom things are not happening? The people to whom nothing is happening have a weaker willpower. They are afraid, frightened. They are even afraid that it may happen! How strange man is! They have come to meditate; they have come for meditation to take place, but now they are afraid that it may really happen. And when they see things happening to others they wonder if it is all put on. These are their defense measures. They say, "We are not so weak as to become affected. These are weak people."
This way they satisfy their egos, not knowing that this process cannot happen to a weak person.
They also do not know that this happens only to intelligent people and not to the unintelligent.
An idiot cannot be hypnotized nor can he be taken into meditation. Both are impossible. Similarly, an insane person cannot be worked upon. The more of a genius the person is, the quicker he can be hypnotized. The lesser genius a person is, the longer it will take to hypnotize him.
How can people rationalize the lack of intelligence, will and genius? They will say in their defense, "It seems these people are merely acting. They are weakminded and are influenced from the outside."
Recently in Amritsar a person came to meet me. He is an old, learned man - a retired doctor. He came on the third day of the meditation experiment. He said, "I have come to ask your forgiveness for a sinful thought that came to my mind."
"What happened?" I asked him.
He replied, "The first day when I came for meditation, I felt you had organized your own people to dress up and put on this show, and that there were some weakminded people who were following them blindly. Then I said, 'Let me see for a second time.' The second day I saw two or three of my friends who are also doctors fully participating in the meditation experiment. I went to their houses to inquire. I told them, 'It cannot be that you had been prepared for this. Was it really happening to you or were you pretending?' "They replied, 'Where is the need to make anything up? Until yesterday we too thought the same, but today it has happened to us.'"
Then on the third day, when it happened to him, he came to apologize. He said, "Today it happened to me, and now my illusions are all gone; otherwise I would not have believed it. I had also suspected my doctor friends. You can never say these days what a person will do. Maybe they had an acting contract with you! I know them, but who can tell? - they might have come under your hypnotic spell.
But today it has happened to me. Today when I reached home, my younger brother, who is also a doctor, asked, 'How was the show? Did something happen to you?' I told him, 'Forgive me, brother, I can call it a show no longer. For two days I was also making fun of the whole experiment, but today it has happened to me. And I am not angry with you, because up to yesterday I myself was critical like you.'"
This man again asked my pardon for his negative thoughts.
These are our defense measures. Those who find nothing happening to them will find ways and means of protecting their egos. But there is only a very small distance between the one to whom it happens and the one to whom it does not happen. There is only the lack of a little more resolve.
If one gathers courage, makes a strong resolve and drops all inhibitions, the happening will take place.
Now today a woman came to me and told me that her friend called her up on the phone and told her that "In these experiments some people become naked, some people do strange things. How can ladies of decent families take part in them?"
Some people have the illusion of belonging to "decent" families, and some others belong to "unvirtuous" families. These are all defense measures. The woman who thinks she belongs to a decent family will now miss this experiment and confine herself to her house. If she is troubled by another person becoming naked, then she is not from a decent family. What has she to do with him?
So our mind creates strange excuses. It says, "This is all a muddle and a mess, and it cannot happen to me. I am not a weak person - I have a powerful mind." If this were so, if you were a powerful and intelligent person, the happening would have taken place.
The sign of an intelligent person is that he makes no decisions before trying out a thing. He will not even say that what the other is doing is false. He will say, "Who am I to comment on him? To label another as false is not good. Who are you to decide that someone else is wrong? Such wrong decisions have caused a lot of difficulty.
People did not believe that anything had happened to Jesus; otherwise they would not have hung him on the cross. They said, "This man is crazy and dangerous; he says any absurd thing!" People would not have stoned Mahavira if they had not thought that he was causing a disturbance by being naked. They said that nothing has happened to Mahavira.
On what authority can we decide what is happening inwardly to another person? This is a symptom of an intelligent person - that he does not express an opinion until he has tried a thing out for himself. If nothing is happening to me, I must find out whether I am carrying out the instructions of the experiment fully. If I am not doing it fully, how will anything happen?
Recently in the Porbander meditation camp I said that if a person has not exerted himself up to one hundred percent, even if his effort has come up to ninety-nine percent, he will fail.
One friend came and said, "I was going along leisurely thinking that it will take a little longer time to happen. But today I realized that it will never happen this way. So I exerted myself fully today, and it has happened."
If you have this attitude of doing the experiment slowly, then why do it at all? In this way we want to sail in two boats at a time, but he who puts each foot in a different boat finds himself in great difficulty. One boat is good; then even if it goes to hell at least you are in one boat. But we are strange people; we put one foot in a heavenward boat and another foot on the boat to hell!
In fact, the mind is confused as to where to go. It is afraid and undecided whether it will be happy in heaven or in hell. Putting one foot each in two boats you will reach nowhere; you will die still in the river. Such is the working of the mind all the time. It is schizophrenic. We will make an effort to go and then stop ourselves too. This is very harmful.
Do the experiment with your total intensity, and do not form any opinions of others. If one goes through the full experiment things will certainly happen. I am talking about very scientific things, not something belonging to religious superstition.
It is a scientific fact that with total effort the result is bound to take place. There is no other way, because God is energy and this energy is impartial. Here, prayers or worship, or the fact of having been born into a high-class family or on the soil of India, will not work. This is purely a scientific matter. If a person goes through this sincerely, even God cannot stop him from succeeding. And even if there is no God it does not matter. See that you are putting your total energy into the meditation experiment. And always make decisions according to your inner experiences, not from the outer appearance of events; otherwise you will go on the wrong track.