First came the experience of meditation. With the experience of meditation it was found that the body assumed many postures. Actually, whenever the mind is in a particular state the body takes an appropriate corresponding posture. For instance, when you are filled with love your face, your expression, is one way, and when you are angry your expression becomes altogether different. In anger you grind your teeth and clench your fists and the body is ready for fight or flight. When you are in a forgiving mood the eyes are soft and the palms of the hand open. When a man is filled with forgiveness his fists will never clench. Just as clenching the fist is a preparation to fight, opening the fist and spreading out the palm is an indication of freedom from the urge to fight; it is an assurance of protection. To clench the fist is to frighten the other person.
The nature of the body is that it works in accordance with the state of mind. The body follows the mind: it always follows behind. So ordinarily we know what a man will do in anger and what he will do in love - also what he will do in a state of trust. But we do not know how he will react to the deeper states of mind.
When deep states are created within the mind a great deal takes place in the body also. Various mudras, gestures, and also many asanas, postures happen that tell of the changes within. In fact, the asanas are formed at the time of preparation for particular inner states. Mudras are formed later and they give information about a person's inner state.
When changes occur within, the body has to find an equivalent adjustment to the inner changes.
When the kundalini awakens within, the body will have to assume all kinds of unusual positions to make way for the energy. The spine will bend itself in many ways in order to allow the energy to ascend. The head also takes different positions when the kundalini awakens. The body assumes such postures as we have never taken before. It is just like when we are awake the body takes an erect position and when we sleep the body has to lie down - it cannot stand or sit.
Now suppose there is a man who has not known what it is to sleep since he was born: he will never lie down. If after thirty years he wants to fall asleep he will lie down for the first time. For the first time the condition of his mind will have changed in this respect and he will go to sleep. However, he will be very much intrigued by the new posture, as his body has never before assumed it. Up to now he used to sit, stand, walk, but never did he lie down. Now he has to lie down so that the necessary conditions of sleep can take place within him. When the body is lying down the mind finds it easier to slip into a particular condition. But different people have different ways of lying down because the state of mind of each person is different.
For instance, a man from a tribal area will not put a pillow under his head, but for a civilized person it is impossible to sleep without one. A tribal person does so little thinking that the flow of blood to his head is much less. For sleep it is essential that the flow of blood toward the head be as little as possible. If it is too much you will not be able to sleep. If the nerves of the brain do not relax it will be difficult for you to relax; the blood will keep on flowing to the brain. Then you add one more pillow and then another. The more educated and civilized a person is, the more he is cultured, the greater the number of pillows that he requires under his head. The neck should be almost vertical to prevent the flow of blood toward the brain.
The posture of the body corresponds to one's state of mind. So with the awakening of the energy within and its movements in several ways asanas begin to form. The different chakras also take the body into different asanas. Thus, various postures are formed. As a particular state begins to form within, the expressions of your hands, face and eyes change. This happens in meditation. As a result, the reverse has also come into man's attention: that is, when performing these asanas is it possible to go into meditation? It is necessary to understand this.
In meditation these processes take place; yet they are not inevitable. In other words, all meditators do not pass through the same body processes. One condition has to be born in mind: every meditator's state of body and mind is different from the states of body and mind of others - therefore, all will not pass through the same asanas. For instance, if the flow of blood is less toward the head of one meditator and if a greater flow is required for the awakening of the kundalini, he will at once without knowing, go into shirshasana, the headstand posture. All meditators will not go into this asana because the rate of the flow of blood is different in each; each one has different requirements.
So asanas will form according to the need of each meditator.
When we ourselves select asanas and practice them, then we do not know which particular asana is useful or necessary for us. Asanas can be harmful as well as helpful. If they are not required in the case of a particular meditator they can prove harmful - if they are needed they will be of help.
One difficulty is that this is an uncertain thing. Another difficulty is that when something is happening within and simultaneously something begins to happen outwardly as well, then the energy will move outwardly. When we perform an act from the outside it may remain nothing more than a physical performance.
Now as I said, in anger the fists clench automatically. But it is not necessarily the case that you can bring on anger by clenching your fists. We can put on an act of anger while there is no anger whatsoever within. Yet if we want to provoke anger within clenching of fists could be helpful, but we cannot say for sure that anger will result. If we have to choose between clenching and not clenching the fists the possibility of bringing on anger is definitely more with a clenched fist. This little help is possible.
When a person is in a state of tranquility his hands will take on the necessary mudra. But if a person practices the formation of this mudra of the hands it cannot be said for certain that his mind will attain peace. Yet particular states of the body help the mind to be peaceful. The body will show its readiness to cooperate; then it is left to the mind to do the needful. But changing the body does not mean that the mind will change, and the reason is that the state of mind precedes the state of the body. That is why when the mind changes the body follows suit, but an initial change in the body can at best create a possibility of a change in the mind. It is not a certainty.
So there is always the danger of delusion. A man may keep on performing asanas and mudras and think he has done everything; such cases have happened. For thousands of years people have been doing asanas and mudras thinking that they were practicing yoga. Then gradually the concept of meditation was lost in yoga. By the words yoga sadhana, what comes to mind is asanas, pranayamas, etcetera. If you ask someone what yoga is he will think of asanas, pranayamas, and so on. Therefore, I always insist that if the requirements of a meditator are properly understood certain body positions can prove helpful to him. But the result is not certain. This is why I am always in favor of working from within and not from without.
If something begins from within we can understand its meaning. Suppose a meditator sits in meditation and I feel that inwardly he wants to burst out crying but he is holding it back. I can see that if he cries for ten minutes he will also begin to move and catharsis will take place. However, he is afraid that he may burst out crying so he stops himself. Now if he is told not to stop himself but to cry, he will at first pretend to cry. But within two or three minutes it will become authentic as the impulse to cry was pushing to break out from within. The process of crying will break the barrier and what was to flow out will do so.
Another meditator feels to dance but he holds himself back. If we tell him to dance, at first he will only be acting: as yet the dance will not have come from within. Once he begins to dance it will give the dance an opportunity to break out. Soon this will start and the dance within will merge into the dance without. But if there is no cause for dance within him and we tell the meditator to dance, he will keep on dancing but nothing will happen.
So many things have to be considered. There are many many conditions to all that I have told you. If you keep these in mind you will understand. If you do not want to be burdened with all this, the best way is to start from within and let things happen spontaneously. Do not stop the outer happening, do not fight with it. Then things will happen of themselves.
It makes a great difference. As I told you before, deep within every condition of the body is connected with a particular state of mind that corresponds with it. If we tell a man to remain awake when he is lying down it will be difficult for him to do so; if we tell him to be alert when he is standing this will be easy. If we tell him to sleep when he is standing it will be difficult; if we tell him to sleep when he is lying down it will be easy.
So there is a double process in which there is the fear that the meditator may fall asleep or become drowsy. If he stands this will help to dispel this fear. If he stands the possibility of drowsiness is less.
The second part of the experiment is the witnessing attitude - awareness. Initially it is difficult to maintain awareness lying down. Later on it is easy. It is always easy to maintain witnessing when you stand. The initial process of hypnosis, which will take you into a trance instead, is very much reduced by standing up.
There are two or three things more. When you stand the movements of the body are free; when you lie down your movements will not be so free. When you sit half the body will not be able to participate at all. Suppose your legs want to dance and you are sitting: then the legs cannot dance.
You will not even know what they need because the feet have no way of expressing themselves.
There are subtle hints which we fail to catch. If you are standing the feet will begin lifting themselves and you will know they want to dance. But if you are sitting this hint is not possible to be conveyed.
Actually, the tradition of sitting for meditation was specifically meant to suppress all the resulting movements of the body. Siddhasana, padmasana and sukhasana had to be practiced extensively before meditation was taught in order that the body movements could be stopped. So the possibility of the energy rising within is there from the beginning. A great deal happens as a result. You feel to dance, sing, jump, run. These emotional actions are always associated with madness. Mad persons cry, laugh, dance or jump. As the meditator does the same he will, therefore, appear mad.
Not to appear mad in the society, siddhasana, padmasana and other sitting postures were intensely practiced in order that the body would be in full control. Then the meditator would not look mad to the world. Now the sitting postures of padmasana, sukhasana and siddhasana are such that they cause your legs to become stiff. Your weight is greater near the ground while away from the ground it becomes lesser. Your bottom becomes heavy like a temple or a pyramid: broad at the bottom, narrow at the top. Then the possibility of movement is very minimal - almost nil.
Maximum movement is possible when you stand - when there is nothing that keeps you fixed.
When you cross your legs and sit you form an immovable base. A large part of your body is fixed by gravity which then catches hold of it. Then you place your hand in such a way that the possibility of movement is minimized. The spine too is kept straight and fixed. Before you would be allowed to go into meditation this type of asana first had to be perfected over a long practice period.
According to my approach the matter is just the opposite. In my viewpoint there is not much fundamental difference between us and those who are mad. We are all suppressed madmen; ours is a suppressed insanity. You can say that we are insane in a normal way or that we are "normally insane." There is so much in common between us and the insane. Those who go a little further in their insanity find themselves in trouble, but insanity lies within all of us and it tries to find its own outlets.
When you are angry you are temporarily in madness. At such a time you do things you would never dream of doing when you are conscious. You shout abuses, throw stones, break furniture. You can even jump from the roof; you can do anything. If an insane person does these things we can understand, but when a "normal" person does this we merely say that he was angry. Now this was the same "normal" man, and if these things were not within him they would not have come out. All this is inside of us and we are all guarding it. My understanding is that before going into meditation it is necessary that all this should be thrown out from within. The more you are relieved of this insanity, the lighter your mind will be.
Therefore, whereas the old method of siddhasana took years to yield results, this new method performs the same task in a few months. The old method took many births for its fulfillment; this one may take only months. The inner madness has to be released, but in the old method the catharsis was carried out in the etheric body instead of the physical. Now this is something altogether different, because laughing, crying, dancing, etcetera are all within you, and it is absolutely necessary that this should come out.
If you have trained your physical body extensively to be absolutely still for hours on end, then you will carry out the catharsis through your etheric body. Then it will not be visible to others but only to you. You have now protected yourself from society; now no one will know when you dance or sing as you will only do so within. This dancing and singing will be as if in a dream. You will dance within, cry within, laugh within, but your physical body will give no evidence of what is happening inside you. It will sit still with not a trace of the inner happening.
My opinion is that it is not worth undergoing so much trouble for such a small thing. There is no point in making a seeker spend years in physical discipline before taking him into meditation. There are other possibilities also. If a man becomes very proficient in controlling his body and succeeds in suppressing his physical body completely, there is a possibility that no vibrations will arise in the etheric body and it may become absolutely inert. Under such conditions it is possible that no deeper process will take place within you but you will succeed in merely sitting like a statue. Now under such conditions, when all processes are suppressed within, there is a fear of the individual becoming insane.
In the past the meditators have been found going insane. The method I advocate, however, if practiced even by a madman for a month or two, will bring him out of his madness. There is no likelihood of a normal person becoming mad when practicing this method, because in my method we are not suppressing the insanity within us, we are bringing it out. The old methods of meditation have turned many into madmen, and this fact was covered up in beautiful words. We would say of such a person, "He is ecstatically mad; he is God-intoxicated; he has become a saint." But the fact remained that he had gone absolutely mad. He had suppressed some things within himself so badly that they became completely out of his control.
This method does two things. The first task it carries out is to throw out all the rubbish that is within you by means of catharsis. You have first to become weightless - so weightless that not the slightest trace of madness remains within; then you travel within. So what apparently seems like madness in this method is intrinsically a process of making you free of all madness. I prefer that what is within you should come out, and with it the burden, the tension, the anxiety.
The most interesting fact is that when madness comes upon you, you have no control over it. But you are the master of the madness that you bring on by yourself. Once you are aware of this fact madness can never take hold of you.
Take a man who is dancing and singing or laughing and shouting of his own free will: he is doing all that a madman would do. There is only this difference: to the madman things are happening by themselves whereas the meditator is bringing them about. Without the full cooperation of the meditator this madness cannot last a moment. He can stop the moment he wishes to. Now this man can never go mad, because he has lived madness, seen madness, become familiar with madness.
Now this has become a voluntary happening for him; madness is now within the scope of his control.
Our culture has trained us in such a way that madness is beyond our control; it has become nonvoluntary. Thus, when it happens to us we cannot do anything about it.
I consider this method very valuable for the future humanity, because the whole civilization is heading every day toward complete insanity. Everyone will need this technique to get rid of his madness; there is no other way.
If one throws out his madness in this way during an hour of meditation, people will gradually get used to this mode of meditation. People will know that this man is doing meditation. However, if a person performs a similar act on the roadside he will be locked up in a jail. If he releases his anger among people all his relationships will become ugly and broken.
This madness must come out one way or the other, or else he will be in difficulty. If he does not allow it to be released voluntarily this madness finds a hundred ways of erupting. Sometimes a man becomes completely drunk in order for the madness to come out of him; sometimes he expresses his madness in a frenzy of mad dancing. But why go through all these disturbances? Now the new modes of dancing, like the twist, etcetera, are not accidental happenings. Inwardly the body wishes to move and we have not left any room for movement. Thus it makes arrangements for itself and then weaves further webs within these arrangements.
Meditation is throwing the madness without these alternative arrangements. In meditation we are merely throwing out that which we know is within us and which we know should be thrown out. If we teach this method of catharsis to children along with the education there will be a sharp drop in the number of mad people. Madness can be removed forever. But instead we see it increasing day by day. As our society progresses further it will get more and more rampant.
Our culture teaches us to suppress. Etiquette does not allow us to weep loudly or to laugh loudly; it does not allow us to dance or to scream as we please. It puts pressures on us from all sides with the result that all that needs to happen within us is suppressed. Then one day the accumulated pressure of these emotions explodes and the situation goes beyond our control. Thus, catharsis is the first step in our method of meditation, and through it we release all our pent up emotions within.
It is for this reason that I advise standing during the experiment, because then you will be aware of the slightest movement within and you will be able to move freely. The meditator should be in a closed room. He should not only stand, but he should be absolutely naked so that not a strip of cloth can become a cause of obstruction to him. He should be absolutely free to let all movements happen. There should not be the slightest obstacle in any part of his personality to hinder his movements. Then he will make quick progress and that which takes years and even lives to bring about through hatha yoga and other yogas will happen within the course of a few days by this method.
The long drawn out yoga practices will not do for the world; now people do not have days or even hours to spare. We need methods that yield quick results. If a man makes a seven day commitment, by the end of that period he should begin to feel that something has happened to him. He should become a different man in seven days' time. If an experiment gives results only in seven births, no one will ever go near such an experiment. The old methods claimed results after so many births.
They used to say, "Carry out the practices in this life and the result is bound to come in another life."
Those were very patient and persevering people. They carried out meditation even though the result was promised in later lives. Now you will not find a single man like this. If the result is not attained this very day, no one is willing to wait even until tomorrow.
And who can rely on tomorrow? Ever since the atom bomb fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki our tomorrow has vanished. Thousands of American girls and boys refuse to go to college. They say, "Will the world remain intact by the time we finish our education? One never knows what might happen tomorrow." They feel it is a waste of time. They run away from schools and colleges. They argue with parents: "In the six years we spend at the university will the world still exist? Do you guarantee it? Why should we not make full use of these six precious years of our lives?"
Where tomorrow has become so uncertain it is meaningless to talk in terms of many births. No one is ready to listen, no one does listen. So I say practice today and feel the result immediately. If a man is willing to give me an hour for this experiment, he should get the feeling of the results after this very hour. Then only will he be able to give me an hour of his time tomorrow; otherwise it is uncertain that he will do it tomorrow. So requirements have changed for this age. In the world of the bullock cart everything moved slowly, so also meditation moved at a very slow pace. Now it is the jet age; now meditation cannot afford to be slow. It has to pick up speed.
There are many reasons for these things. As I said before, when we are filled with anger we feel like beating up someone; we feel like putting his head under our feet. Since this is rather impractical we do the next best thing: we throw a shoe at him. It is very difficult to get a man of five feet six inches under our feet so we throw a shoe at his head as the symbol of the urge of anger within ourselves. But no one ever questions what is the reason behind this shoe throwing. And this is not an act indulged in by any one sect or one country; it is universal. It is a fact that whenever one man is angry with another, his over-powering desire is to bring the head of the latter under his foot.
When man was still primitive, perhaps he rested only after placing his foot on his opponent's head since man had no shoes. So when you are in a state of anger you feel like putting your foot on someone's head. However, the opposite is true also: when you are filled with trust and reverence you feel to place your head at someone's feet. There are many reasons for this as there are for the former situation.
There are moments when you feel to prostrate yourself, and these are the very moments when you feel the vital energy flowing from someone toward you. In fact, whenever you want to receive any kind of flow you have to bow down. If you want to fill your pot from the river you must bend down.
One must bend in order to receive the flow of any current because all currents flow downwards. So if you feel that something is flowing from someone, the more your head is bowed at that moment the more receptive it becomes.
Secondly, the energy flows from the pointed extremities of the person: for example, from the fingers and toes. The energy does not flow out from all places. The bioenergy, or the energy of shaktipat, or for that matter any energy that flows out from the body, flows from the tips of the fingers and toes.
It does not flow from the entire body but only from the pointed extremities. So he who has to receive the energy will put his head at the feet of the master and he who means to give the energy will put his hands upon the head of the one who is to receive.
These are very occult and deeply scientific matters. It is only natural that many will imitate the action. Thousands of people place their heads at the feet of others without any purpose, and there are thousands who place their hands on people's heads also without any meaning. Thus, a very deep principle gradually became a mere formality. When a formality continues for a long time people are bound to rebel against it. They will say, "What is this nonsense? What comes out of placing your head at someone's feet? And what happens by merely touching the head?" Ninety-nine percent of the time it is just nonsense; one percent is still meaningful, however.
There was a time when it was a hundred percent meaningful because then it was spontaneous. You did not have to touch someone's feet because you thought you should. Sometime, when you feel you must fall at someone's feet, do not hold yourself back: fall! And it was not that the other person had to place his hand on the recipient's head. It happens that in some moments the hand becomes very heavy and something is ready to flow out of it. If the other was ready to receive, then only was the hand placed on the head. But over a long period everything turns into a mere ritual which becomes meaningless. And when it becomes meaningless it is criticized. These criticisms then hold a great deal of appeal because the science behind the tradition is lost. So this is a very meaningful gesture, but it is meaningful only when there is an alive master and a receptive disciple.
A man falls at the feet of a Buddha, a Mahavira, and experiences unique delight; he feels a downpour of grace upon him. No one will be able to see it from outside because this is entirely an inner happening. It is a reality for the one who has already experienced it. If others ask proof of it he has none to give. In fact, this is the difficulty with all occult phenomena: the individual has the experience but he has no proof of it to put before others. Then this person appears to be a blind believer. He says, "I cannot explain it, but something has happened." Those who have not experienced refuse to believe this because they have not felt anything. Then they feel that this poor man is under an illusion.
If a person like that falls at the feet of Jesus, nothing will happen to him and he will begin to proclaim loudly that this is all nonsense: he put his head at the feet of Jesus and nothing happened. It is just like a pitcher with an open brim which bows down into the water. Upon returning it then says, "I bowed down and was filled." Now another pitcher whose brim is closed may set out to try it for itself.
It may go deep into the river but it will return empty. Then it will maintain that it is all false and that no one gets filled by being dipped into the river. It will proclaim, "I bent myself over, I dipped myself in, but I came back empty."
It is a twofold happening. It is not enough that the energy flows from a person; it is equally important that you are empty and open. Many a time the flowing of the energy from somebody is not as important as your preparedness, your openness to receive it. If you are open enough, then even if the energy is absent in the person before you, the higher sources of energies above the person will begin to flow toward you and reach you. So the most surprising thing is that if you let yourself go wholeheartedly even before a person who has nothing to give you will receive energy from him.
But the energy does not come from him; he is only a medium and he is completely unaware of the happening that has taken place.
Now the second part of your question is about entering the gurudwara or mosque with the head covered. Many fakirs prefer to cover their heads and then practice meditation. It has its uses. When the energy awakens there is a possibility of the head becoming very heavy. If you have covered your head with a cloth this energy is not likely to flow out. Then this energy will create a circuit within you and thus intensify your meditation. So this tying of the head proved very useful. If you meditate with your head covered you will feel the difference at once. Then what could be accomplished in fifteen days can be accomplished in five.
When the energy reaches the head there are chances of its becoming diffused and scattered. If it can be tied and if a circuit is then formed your experience will be much more deep. But at present this covering of the head in mosques and gurudwaras is a mere formality; it has no meaning now.
The fact remains, however, that there is a lot of meaning behind this custom.
Now it is understandable that some energy can be received by touching someone's feet or through his hand being raised in blessing. But a man bowing before a grave or before an image in a temple, what can he gain? There are many things in this also to be understood. Behind the creation of images and idols lies a very scientific arrangement.
Suppose I am about to die and there are a few people around me who love me, who have seen something in me, who have searched and found something in me. Now these people may ask me in what way they should remember me. So before I die a symbol can be established between us. It could be anything - an idol, a stone, a tree, even a platform, or my grave, my samadhi, or a piece of clothing of mine, or my slippers - anything. But this should be decided beforehand between us; it is an understanding between us. It cannot be decided upon by any one part alone; I should be a witness. My acceptance, my endorsement, is necessary regarding the symbol. Then I can say that if they go in front of the symbol and think of me I will be present in the bodiless state. This promise I have to give, and all the work proceeds in accordance with this promise. And this is absolutely true.
Therefore, there are temples that are living temples and temples that are dead. The dead temples are those that are created by only one side; there is no assurance from the other side. It is our desire to make a temple of Buddha - but this will be a dead temple because Buddha has not given any promise regarding it. There are living temples that have an assurance from the other side also, and at their foundation lies the declaration of some holy person.
There is a place in Tibet where Buddha's assurance has been fulfilled since the last two thousand five hundred years. This place is now in difficulty, however. There is a group, a committee of five hundred lamas, and when one of these five hundred dies it is very difficult to replace him. This number of five hundred is constant; it can neither be more or less. When one of them dies one more is chosen, but only with the approval of the four hundred and ninety-nine. And if even one of the four hundred and ninety-nine refuses to accept him he cannot be taken. This committee of five hundred lamas gathers together on a particular mountain on the night of Buddha Poornima - the full-moon night in May when Buddha's birthday is celebrated - and at the exact given time Buddha's voice is heard. This event will not happen at any other spot and with any other people. It happens exactly according to a promised arrangement.
It is just as if you would make a resolve before sleeping at night that you will get up in the morning at five o'clock: then you do not need any alarm to awaken you. At five o'clock sharp you will suddenly get up. This is something amazing - and you can check it by your watch. The watch may be wrong but not you. If your resolve is firm you will surely get up at five.
If you make a firm resolve to die on a certain day of a certain year, no power on earth can stop you:
you will die in the moment decided upon. If your resolution is very profound and intense you can fulfill your promises even after death. For instance, the appearance of Jesus after death: it was a promise fulfilled. This has caused a lot of difficulty for Christians, because they do not know what happened afterwards and thus they are not sure whether Christ was resurrected or not. However, this was a promise by him to certain disciples which was fulfilled after death.
In fact, places where certain living promises are still being fulfilled over thousands of years have slowly turned into tirths, holy places of pilgrimage. Then by and by the promises were forgotten.
Only one thing remained in people's memories - that they have to go and visit these places; that was all.
There are promises that Mohammed made; there are promises that Shankara made. So also are the promises made by Buddha, Mahavira and Krishna, and these are tied to special places, to special moments and to a special time. But we can still establish a relationship with them. So you will have to bow down again at these places and surrender yourself completely; then only can you establish this connection.
Holy places, temples, samadhis, all have their uses, but as with other things these useful places ultimately become a tradition, and then they become dead and useless. Then they have to be torn down so that new promises can be made that would give rise to new places of pilgrimage, new idols, and new temples. The old has to be broken down because it has become dead. We have no idea of the processes that have been working through them.
There was a yogi in South India. An English traveler came to him. At the time of his departure he told the yogi, "I am leaving now and perhaps I shall never return to India. But if I want to see you what shall I do?"
The yogi picked up a picture of himself and handing it to him said, "Whenever you close yourself in a room and concentrate for five minutes on this picture without blinking the eyelids, I will be there."
Now the poor man could not contain himself throughout the journey. He was possessed with one thought: to try out the experiment as early as possible. He did not believe such a thing could happen - but it happened. The given promise was fulfilled astrally. There is no difficulty in this. An awakened man can fulfill his promise even when he is dead. Therefore, pictures become significant and also statues. The reason for their significance is that through them some promises could be fulfilled. So there was a complete science behind the creation of images and idols.
An idol cannot be made just in any way; there is a complete method behind it. Now if you were to observe the images of the twenty-four tirthankaras of the Jainas you would be in difficulty because they are all alike; only their symbols are different. Mahavira has one sign, Parshwanath another, Neminath yet another, and so on. If these symbols are removed it is impossible to tell one tirthankara from another. However, it cannot be that they all looked alike. It is, therefore, possible that the tirthankaras that followed used the image of the first tirthankara as their prototype. So there was no need to make different images; there was one image of the tirthankaras that was used by all.
But this did not satisfy the devotees who were devoted to different tirthankaras, so they appealed to their special tirthankaras for at least a sign, a token to differentiate him from the others. Thus, different symbols were created for the different tirthankaras but the image remained the same. One has a lion, the other something else, and so on. So there is this difference in their symbols - and this too is a part of a promise given. Only the particular tirthankara connected with the symbol could be contacted.
So these are agreed upon symbols and they work. For instance the sign of Jesus is the cross; this will work. Now Mohammed refused to have his idol made. In fact, so many images were created during the time of Mohammed that he wanted to give his followers an entirely different kind of symbol.
He told them, "Do not make a statue of me. I will establish a relationship with you without a statue.
Do not make a statue of me; do not make a picture of me. I will be related to you without a picture or a statue." This was a very deep and courageous method, but ordinary people found it very difficult to establish contact with Mohammed.
Therefore, after Mohammed the Mohammedans built mausoleums and tombs for thousands of their saints. They did not know how to establish connections with Mohammed directly so they did it by making a tomb of some Mohammedan saint. Nowhere in the world are tombs and graves so extensively worshipped as by the Mohammedans. The only reason was that they had nothing of Mohammed to hold onto in order to establish contact with him directly. They could not make an image of him so they had to create other images and they began to establish relationships through these.
All this is a totally scientific process. If this is understood scientifically the results can be miraculous, but if followed blindly, suicidal.
WHAT IS THE OCCULT SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROCESS PERFORMED DURING prana pratishtha, THE INSTALLATION OF AN IDOL?
It holds a great significance. The very term prana pratishtha - occult installation of an idol - means that we have created a new image based on an old promise. Now we must discover through indications whether the old promise has been duly fulfilled. We on our part should follow the old arrangement faithfully; we should not look upon an idol as a mere idol but as a living entity. We should make all arrangements for it as we would for a living person, and then we will begin to get hints and signs by which we can know that the occult installation of the idol has been accepted. But this second aspect has completely vanished from our knowledge. If these signs are not present, then although we have done the idol installation it has not been successful. There must be proof that the idol installation has been successful. So for this reason, some special occult indications were fixed. If these signs were found it was understood that the idol installation has been accepted by the occult forces and that it is now alive and active.
Now suppose you have installed a new radio in your house. The first thing is that the radio itself should be in good condition; all its components should be in the proper place. Then you connect it with electricity, and yet you find it does not pick up any station. That means it is not working. It is a dead instrument and it will either have to be repaired or replaced. The idol too is a receiving point of a sort through which a physically dead enlightened man fulfills the promise he has made to others.
But if you keep an image and you do not know about the indications that confirm the installation, then you will never know whether the image is living or dead.
The process of installation of an idol has two parts. The first part is fulfilled by the priest. He knows how many mantras are to be repeated, how many threads are to be tied, what conditions are required for its worship, what type of worship is to be performed, etcetera. This is half of the work.
The second part of this ceremony can only be carried out by a person of the fifth plane. When this person pronounces that the image is alive, then only does it become living. This has become nearly impossible in modern times; therefore, our temples are not living temples but dead places. The new temples of today are certainly dead places.
It is impossible to destroy a living temple because it is not an ordinary event. If it is destroyed it only means that that which you thought to be alive was not alive, as for instance the Somanath temple.
The story of its destruction is a very strange one and it is indicative of the science of all temples.
There were five hundred pujaris - priests - in its service, and they were certain that the image within was a living one, so they were certain it could not be destroyed. The priests carried out their part of the task, but this was one-sided because there was no one who could actually find out whether the image was dead or living.
One day the surrounding kings and princes sent word to the temple warning them about the coming of the Mohammedan invader Gajanawi and offered them protection, but the priests declined their help saying that the idol that protected all was beyond their protection. The princes asked their forgiveness and kept away - but it was a mistake: the idol was a dead idol. The priests were under the illusion that a great power stood behind the image, and as they considered it to be living it was wrong even to think of its protection. Gajanawi came and with a stroke of his sword broke the idol into four pieces. Even then it did not occur to the priests that the idol was a dead one. This cannot happen to a living idol; not a brick could have fallen if the image within were living. If the temple were a living one it could not have been touched.
But usually temples are not living ones because there are great difficulties in keeping them alive. A temple becoming alive is a great miracle. It is a part of a very profound science. Today, however, there is no one alive who knows this science and who can carry out its various requirements.
Nowadays the class of people who run temples as shops has become so large that if there is someone who knows this science he will not be allowed even on the premises of the temple. Temples are now run along business lines, and it is in the interest of the priests that the temple remains dead.
Living temples are not beneficial for a purohit, a priest. He wants a dead god in the temple whom he can lock up, and then he wants to keep the key himself. If the temple is connected with higher powers it will be impossible for the priest to remain there. So priests are instrumental in the creation of these dead temples as this provides them with a flourishing business. In reality, living temples are very few.
A great effort was made to keep the temples alive, but the numbers of priests and pundits in all religions, in all temples, was so great that it made it difficult to do so. This is what always happens ultimately. This is the reason why there are so many temples; otherwise there would be no need for so many. If the temples and places of pilgrimage created in the times of the Upanishads had still been alive in Mahavira's time there would have been no need for Mahavira to build new temples. But the temples and sacred places were completely dead by then and there was a network of priests around them which could not be broken. These temples could not be entered so there was no other way except to make new temples. Today even Mahavira's temples are dead and the same kind of network of priests surrounds them.
If the living principles of religion had been saved so many religions would not have come into being in this world. But these cannot be saved, because all kinds of disturbances gather around and ultimately cause them to lose all their potential. Then, when the conditions on one side are broken, the promise on the other side also breaks. It is a mutual understanding arrived at by two parties.
We have to keep our side of the agreement; then only does the other side respond; otherwise the promise will not be fulfilled and the matter ends there.
For instance, if while leaving my physical body I say to you, "Remember me and I shall be there" - but if you never think of me or if you throw my picture into the dustbin and forget all about it, how long will our agreement last? And if this agreement is broken on your part there is no need for me to keep it. So such agreements are always broken.
So the occult process of installation of an idol holds a meaning, but its significance is based on various tests and indications that determine whether the idol installation has been a success or not.
No. The validity of a living temple has nothing to do with this. The water will trickle whether there is an image underneath it or not. These are false proofs, and because of them we assume that a temple is a living one. Where not a drop of water falls, still there are temples that could be and are living temples.
A little talk on initiation will be useful. For one thing, deeksha, initiation, is never given; initiation takes place, it is a happening. For example, a person stays with Mahavira and it takes years for his initiation to take place. Mahavira tells him to stay, to be with him, to walk with him, to stand in such a way, to sit in such a way, to meditate such a way. Then a moment comes when the person is fully prepared. Then Mahavira is only the medium. Perhaps it is not proper even to say that he is the medium - rather, in a very deep sense he remains only a witness and initiation takes place in front of him.
Initiation is always from the divine, but it can happen in the presence of Mahavira. Now the person to whom it is happening sees Mahavira in front of him, but the divine he cannot see. It happens to him in front of Mahavira so naturally he becomes grateful to Mahavira - and this is fitting also. But Mahavira does not accept his gratitude. He can only accept his gratitude if he acknowledges that he initiated him.
So there are two types of initiation. One is that which happens and which I call "right" initiation, because in this you establish your relationship with the divine. Then your journey through life takes a new turn: you become someone else now; you are no longer the same that you were; everything within you is transformed. You have seen something new. Something new has happened to you, a ray has entered you, and now everything within you is different.
In the real initiation the guru stands aside like a witness and he can confirm that initiation has taken place. He can see the full process but you see only half. You can only see what is happening to you; he sees that from where the initiation takes place. So you are not a complete witness of the happening; all you can say is that a great transformation has taken place. But whether initiation has taken place or not, whether you have been accepted or not, that you cannot say for certain. Even after you are initiated you will still wonder, "Have I been accepted? Have I been chosen? Have I been accepted by the divine? Can I now take it that I am his? On my part I have surrendered, but has he taken me to him?" This you cannot know at once. You will come to know after some time, but this interval can be long also. So the second person, whom we call the guru, can know this because he has watched the happening from both the sides.
Right initiation cannot be given, nor can it be taken. It comes from the divine; you are merely the recipient.
Now the other type of initiation, which we may call false initiation, can be given as well as taken.
The divine is completely absent there; there is only the guru and the disciple. The guru gives, the disciple takes, but the third, real factor is absent.
Where there are only two present - the guru and the disciple - the initiation is false. Where three are present - the guru, the disciple and he from whom it takes place - everything changes. This giving of initiation is not only improper but also dangerous, fatal, because in this illusion of initiation right initiation cannot take place. You will merely live under the illusion that initiation has taken place.
A seeker came to me who had been initiated by someone. He said, "I have been initiated by such and such a guru and I have come to you to learn meditation."
I asked him, "Why then did you take initiation? And if you did not even attain meditation, what have you obtained from your initiation? All you received is clothes and a name. If you are still seeking meditation, then what is the meaning of your initiation?"
The truth is that initiation can only happen after meditation. Meditation after initiation has no meaning. It is like a man who proclaims that he is healthy and still he knocks at the physician's door and asks for medicine. Initiation is the acceptance obtained after meditation. It is a sanction given of your acceptance - a consent. The divine has been advised of you and your entrance into his realm has happened. Initiation is only a confirmation of this fact.
Such initiation is now lost, and I feel it should be revived again: initiation where the guru is not the giver and the disciple is not the recipient - and the giver, God. This can be; this should be. If I am a witness to someone's initiation I do not become his guru. Then his guru is the divine. If he is grateful it is his business. But to demand gratefulness is senseless and to accept it is meaningless.
Gurudom, the web of the so-called gurus, was created by giving a new form to initiation. Words are whispered in the ears, mantras are given, and anybody initiates anyone. Whether he himself is initiated is also not certain; whether the divine has accepted him is not known. Perhaps he too has been initiated in the same manner. Someone had whispered into his ears, he whispers into someone else's, and this one in his turn will whisper into someone else's ears again.
Man creates lies and deceptions in everything - and the more mysterious a happening the more deceptions there are, because there is nothing substantial to show as proof.
I intend carrying out this method also. About ten or twenty people are preparing for it. They will take initiation from the divine. The others who are present will be the witnesses, and their work will be to confirm whether the initiation has been accepted by the divine; that is all. You will experience but you will not be able to recognize at once what has taken place. It is so unfamiliar to you, how will you recognize that the thing has happened? Confirmation can be made by the presence of the enlightened one. This alone is the basis of its evaluation.
So the supreme guru is the paramatman - God only. If the gurus in between would step back initiation would be easier, but the intermediary guru stands fixed. His ego exults at making a god of himself and displaying himself. Many kinds of initiations are given around this ego. They have no value, however, and in terms of spirituality they are all criminal acts. If some day we should start punishing spiritual criminals, these should not go unpunished.
The unsuspecting seeker takes it for granted that he has been initiated. Then he goes about with pride that he has received his initiation, that he has received his mantra, and that all that was to happen has happened to him. So all his search for the right happening stops.
When anyone approached Buddha he was never initiated immediately; sometimes it took years.
Buddha would keep on postponing by telling him to perform this practice and that. Then, when the moment came, he would tell him to stand up for initiation.
There were three parts to Buddha's initiation. One who came for it went through three types of surrender. First he said, "I surrender unto Buddha - Buddham sharanam gachchhami." By this he did not mean Gautam Buddha; this meant surrendering himself to the awakened one.
Once a seeker came up to Buddha and said, "I surrender unto buddha." Buddha listened and remained silent.
Then someone asked him, "This man says, 'I surrender unto buddha,' and you were only listening to him?"
Buddha replied, "He is not surrendering to me, he is surrendering to the awakened one. I am a mere excuse. There have been many buddhas before me, there will be many after me. I am just an excuse. I am just a peg. He is surrendering himself to the awakened one, so who am I to stop him?
If he surrenders to me I shall certainly stop him, but he has said three times that he is surrendering himself unto the awakened one."
Then there is the second surrender which is still more wonderful. In this the person says, "I surrender myself to the assembly of the awakened ones - sangham sharanam gachchhami." Now what does this assembly mean? Generally the followers of Buddha take it to mean Buddha's assembly, but this is not the meaning. This assembly is the collective gathering of all awakened ones. There is not only one Buddha who has become awakened; there have been many buddhas before and there will be many buddhas after who will awaken. They all belong to one community, to one collectivity. Now the Buddhists think this term means an association of Buddhists, but this is wrong.
The very first invocation, in which Buddha explains that the seeker surrenders himself to the awakened one and not to him as a person, makes everything clear. The second invocation makes it all the more clear. In this the person offers himself to the community of awakened ones.
First he bows down to the awakened one who is right there in front of him. As he is right there it is easy to approach him, to talk to him. Then he surrenders himself to the brotherhood of the awakened ones that have awakened since long and whom he does not know, and to those who will awaken in the future and whom he does not know. He surrenders to all of them and he proceeds a step further towards the subtle.
The third surrender is to dhamma - religion. The third time the seeker says, "I surrender unto the dhamma - DHAMMAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI." The first surrender is to the awakened one, the second is the brotherhood of the awakened ones, and now the third surrender is to that which is the ultimate state of awakening - to the dhamma. That is, to our nature, where there is no individual, no community; where there is only the dhamma, the law. He says, "I surrender unto that dhamma."
When these three surrenders were completed then only the initiation was recognized. Buddha was only a witness of this happening. This was not a matter of mere repetition. When these three were completed - and Buddha could see whether they had been completed - only then was the individual initiated. Buddha remained a witness to the happening.
So later on also Buddha would tell the seeker, "Do not believe what I say just because I am an awakened one; do not believe what I say just because I am famous or because I have many followers or because the scriptures confirm it. Now only believe what your inner understanding tells you."
Buddha never became a guru. At the time of his death, when he was asked for his final message, he said, "Be a light unto yourself. Do not go after others; do not follow others. Be a light unto yourself.
This is my last message."
Such a person as Buddha cannot be a guru. Such a person is a witness. Jesus has said many a time, "On the final day of judgment I shall be your witness." In other words, on the last day Jesus will testify, "Yes, he is a man who had striven to become awakened. This man wanted to surrender to the divine." This is talking in symbols. What Christ meant to say is also this: "I am your witness, not your guru."
There is no guru; therefore, beware of the initiation where someone becomes your guru. The initiation where you become immediately and directly connected with the divine is a unique initiation.
Remember, in this initiation you have not to leave your house and go away, you have not to become either a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian, nor are you required to be tied to someone. You remain where you are in your full freedom; the change will take place only from within. In the false type of initiation you will be tied to a religion: you will be a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian.
You will be a part of an organization. Some belief, some religious order, some dogma, some person, some guru, will catch hold of you and they will kill your freedom.
That initiation which does not bring freedom is no initiation. That initiation which gives you absolute freedom is alone the right initiation.
This is somewhat difficult; therefore, I did not speak about it yesterday. It requires a detailed explanation; yet I will now give you a brief explanation.
It is not possible to return after reaching the seventh plane. There is no rebirth after the seventh body. It is a point of no return; you cannot come back from there. But it is also true that Buddha has said he will come again in the form of Maitreya. Now both these things seem contradictory: I say you cannot return after the seventh body and Buddha has promised to come again. Buddha attained the seventh body and merged into the nirvana - then how is this possible? There is another way. Now you will have to know and understand a few things.
When we die only the physical body drops; the rest of the six bodies remain with us. When a person reaches the fifth plane, the first four bodies drop away and only three remain - the fifth, the sixth and the seventh. In the fifth body a person can make a resolve to keep his second, third and fourth bodies, and this can happen if the resolve is very intense and deep. And for a person like Buddha this was an easy matter: he can leave behind forever his second, third and fourth bodies. Like a mass of energy these bodies of Buddha keep on moving in space.
All the feelings that Buddha had acquired in his infinite lives are the property of the second - the etheric body. And the impressions of all the karmas that Buddha had in his previous lives are accumulated in the third - the astral body. The fourth body carries all the achievements of Buddha's mind. All of his achievements beyond the mind have been expressed by him through the mind as all expressions are given through the mind. Whenever a man wishes to make known his attainments of the fifth or even the seventh body he has to make use of his fourth body - because the vehicle of expression is the fourth body. So the one who has heard Buddha more than anyone or anything else is in his own fourth body. Whatsoever he has thought, lived and known is collected in his fourth body.
These first three bodies disintegrate very easily. When a person enters the fifth body these three bodies are destroyed. When a man enters the seventh body all the previous six bodies are destroyed. But if a person of the fifth plane so desires he can leave all the vibrations of these three bodies in space. It is just as we are now making stations in space: this collection of Buddha's second, third and fourth bodies will go on moving in space until they manifest themselves in an individual by the name of Maitreya.
So when a person of the required state for Maitreya is born these three bodies of Buddha will enter into him. Until then they will await his coming. When these three bodies enter into that person he will attain the caliber of Buddha, because they are an accumulation of all the experiences, all the emotions, desires and activities of Buddha.
Now, for instance, suppose I leave my body behind here and it is well preserved.
In America a man died about three or four years ago. He left a trust of millions of dollars and he willed that this be used to preserve his body until the time when science discovers the secret of bringing a dead body back to life. Millions of dollars are spent to preserve his body so that it should not deteriorate. His body is preserved by a scientific process. If by the end of the century we succeed in reviving the dead this body will be brought back to life. But the soul will be different; it cannot be the same.
The body will be the same: his eyes, his color, his features, his way of walking, all of his physical habits, will be the same. In a sense, the man who is dead will be represented in the body. If the man was centered around his physical body - which he must have been or else this keen desire to preserve the body would not have been there - without any idea of the other bodies, another soul can act for him. It will act exactly in the same way as the dead man, and scientists will then say that it is the same man come back to life. All his remembrances and recollections that are stored in the physical brain will awaken once again: he will be able to recognize the pictures of his mother and his son who have long been dead; he will recognize the town where he was born; he will point out the place where he died; he will also name the people that were present when he died. The soul will be different although the brain content will be the same.
Now scientists claim that very soon they will be able to transplant memory. This will be possible.
If I die the whole of my recollections and memories are lost with me. But now it is possible to save the whole mechanism of my memories at the time of my death just as we preserve eyes for transplanting. Tomorrow someone will be able to see with my eyes. And it is not that I alone can love with my heart - someone else may also love with my heart tomorrow. Now it is not possible to promise that "My heart is forever yours," because this very heart can make the same vow to another in the distant future.
In the same way memory will also be transplanted. It will take time to bring this about because it is very delicate and very subtle. But in future, as we donate eyes to an eye bank there will be memory banks also. Then my memory will be transplanted into a small child who will then know all that I had to learn. He will grow up already knowing so many things because my memory will be a part of his cerebral makeup. Then my thoughts will be his, my remembrances will be his, and in certain matters he will think the same way I do, because he will have my brain.
Now Buddha has experimented in a different direction - a direction which is not scientific but occult.
Through some methods efforts have been made to preserve his second, third and fourth bodies.
Buddha does not exist any more; the soul that lived within was lost at the seventh plane. But before the soul was merged into the seventh, arrangements were made to see that these three bodies - the second, third and fourth - did not die. The momentum of Buddha's determination and promise was instilled into them. It is just as if I were to throw a stone with enough force for it to travel fifty miles; then I die soon after throwing the stone. But my death cannot interfere with the movement of the stone. It has the force I gave it to travel fifty miles, and it will do that whether I am there or not.
The strength I exerted will keep the stone going.
Buddha has given a momentum to these three bodies and they will live. He has also told how long they can remain. Now the time is ripe for Maitreya to take birth. This very experiment was carried out upon J. Krishnamurti so that he would attain these three bodies of Buddha. First this experiment was carried out on Nityananda, the elder brother of Krishnamurti, but he died in the process. This is a very unique process - one which is difficult to go through.
An effort was made to separate Nityananda's second, third and fourth bodies and replace them with Maitreya's. Then Nityananda died. Then this same experiment was tried on Krishnamurti, but this also could not succeed. Then it was tried on one or two more people: George Arundale was one upon whom the experiment was tried by some who knew of this mystery. Among those who knew of this secret, Madame Blavatsky was the most profound woman of our century as far as the knowledge of occult science is concerned. Annie Besant was another; Leadbeater also had a lot of understanding in occult matters. There are very few people who had this understanding.
These few people knew that now the power behind the three bodies of Buddha was about to diminish. If Maitreya would not take birth these bodies would not be able to hold on any longer; they would disperse. Now their momentum is about to end. Someone should now be ready to absorb these three bodies. Whoever absorbs these will in a way cause the rebirth of Buddha. The soul of Buddha will not come back, but the soul of the individual will take on the bodies of Buddha and work accordingly. That person will at once involve himself in the mission of Buddha.
Not every person can be in this state. Whoever he is he should at least be of a level of consciousness that is almost as high as was Buddha's. Only such a one will be able to absorb his three bodies; otherwise he will die. So the experiment was unsuccessful, because there were many difficulties in the process. Endeavors still go on. Even today there are small esoteric groups who are trying to bring down these three bodies of Buddha. But now there is no extensive propaganda about it, because that proved harmful.
There was a possibility of the three bodies descending into Krishnamurti. He was worthy of it and this was widely advertised. This propaganda was done in good faith. It was done for the reason that when Buddha's advent took place he should be quickly recognized. It was also done in order to revive the past-life memories of those now living who existed at the time of Buddha so that they could recognize that this was the same man. But this propaganda turned out to be detrimental to the process. It created a reaction in the mind of Krishnamurti, who has a modest, reserved and sensitive personality. It was difficult for him to be in a crowd. If this experiment had been carried out silently in a secluded place, if nobody would have known about it until the happening took place, it is very likely that the happening would have taken place.
But it did not take place. Krishnamurti refused to let go of his second, third and fourth bodies to be replaced by the three bodies of Buddha. This was a great blow to the occult science of our times.
Such a vast and intricate experiment had never been performed in this world anywhere except in Tibet. This process has been carried out in Tibet for a long time, and many souls work through the medium of other bodies.
In Search of the Miraculous Vol 2 182 Osho