Just a small coin
UWAIS AL-QARNI WAS OFFERED SOME MONEY. HE SAID: I DO NOT NEED IT AS I ALREADY HAVE A COIN.
THE OTHER SAID: HOW LONG WILL THAT LAST YOU? - IT IS NOTHING.
UWAIS ANSWERED: GUARANTEE ME THAT I SHALL LIVE LONGER THAN THIS SUM WILL SUFFICE ME AND I WILL ACCEPT YOUR GIFT.
Life is always in the now. There is no other moment to it. Only one moment exists - this moment - all else is just a projection of the mind. Only today is, and only today remains. Tomorrow never comes, it cannot come because it doesn't belong to reality. Only today comes, goes on coming, because today belongs to reality.
Tomorrow is your dream. And you need a dream because you are not rooted in reality. This has to be understood. Why are dreams needed? When reality is available, why do you dream?
A man fasts. The whole day the body suffers; the hunger is there. He suppresses the hunger because he is on some religious fast, a religious ritual. To satisfy the ego he makes the body hungry - so that the ego can feel that he is religious, something special, not an ordinary man, a saint, a sage, not an ordinary sinner.
To feed the ego you make the body hungry. You starve the body. Ego is a dream - the body is the reality. The whole day you have been fasting; in the night you cannot sleep because the body goes on asking for food. It is a need, it is a necessity. You feel restless, you turn from one side to another, you cannot go to sleep. Food is a need, but rest also is a need. So the mind creates a dream: You are an honored guest in a great feast given by the king; you are eating delicious food, you go on eating.... Of course the body doesn't get nourishment, but there is a false notion that you have eaten well; now you can go to sleep. In the morning you will be hungry, more than ever, but at least the dream helped you to rest and relax. One need, the need for food, could not be fulfilled, but another need, the need for rest, could be fulfilled through the dream.
If you are tense you will need dreams, because they help you to relax. If you are not HERE, you will need a dream of being THERE, because you have to be somewhere. If you cannot be here then you will feel suspended in the sky, uprooted, unanchored, just hanging in the middle. That will give you a very restless, uncomfortable feeling. So... a dream: "I may not be here, but I am going to be there." The dream helps you to rest and relax.
If you cannot be now, then you create a future. The future is needed. The future gives you a consoling sleep, it relaxes you. Millions of things are there which you cannot fulfill right now, and if there is no future you will be too much burdened by unfulfilled desires. A future is needed so you can at least say to yourself: "If things are not as they should be, there is tomorrow. Don't get panicky, things will be better tomorrow." You can hope, because there is time.
Hope needs space, desire needs space, ambition needs space to move.
Look at the trees - they don't dream. They don't need to, they are already here, in the now - fulfilled, flowering. Listen to the birds - they are singing NOW, they are not preparing to sing tomorrow.
Except man, nobody is preparing for tomorrow. This day is so beautiful, who bothers for tomorrow?
If this day is ugly and it is inconvenient to live with it, a beautiful dream of the future is needed as a substitute for reality. Otherwise you will feel so much anguish - intolerable. You will not be able to live! The more desire you have, the more future you need, the more ambitions the more future you need. For needs, this moment is more than enough. Today is enough. Jesus said to his disciples, "Look at the lilies. Look in the field - the flowers are flowering, and they are so beautiful that even Solomon in all his grandeur was not so beautiful."
Solomon is the greatest king in the mythology of Jews - the richest man ever on earth, and the wisest man also. The wisest, the richest, the greatest emperor in the world was not so beautiful as these ordinary lilies in the field. "Look!" said Jesus to his disciples. "These lilies must be carrying a secret within their hearts." What is the secret? The secret is, lilies are here and now. Solomon may have been very very wise but he was not here and now.
All beauty is here, and all life is now.
Tomorrow is death, tomorrow is no life. But why do we live in the tomorrow? It looks absurd: How can you live in the tomorrow? - but you live there. You never live here; that's why you look so dead.
How can one live in the tomorrow? Jesus said to his disciples, "Take care of this moment. Live today, and tomorrow will take care of itself. Don't worry for the morrow because the moment you are losing in worrying about tomorrow is the real moment. And tomorrow is never going to be there."
For dreams you are losing life. Needs don't need them, but desires need them. For example, you are hungry, you can eat; if you are thirsty, you can drink. There is not much trouble about it. There would have been no trouble and there would have been nothing like poverty in the world if man remained true to his needs. Then everybody has more than enough. The Earth has plenty. The sky is not poor, the rivers are rich, the oceans vast - life has tremendous treasures. Not a single bird sleeps without food, not a single tree remains thirsty. Everything is more than is needed. Life is affluent, very luxuriant - if you stick to the needs. But if you start desiring, then life becomes poor.
If you are hungry you can eat and feel satiated - and there is nothing like satiated hunger. It is a deep prayer, a gratefulness. I tell you, not by fasting will you become religious, but when hunger is satisfied. In that moment of satisfaction a gratefulness, a gratitude arises, a prayer. You feel fulfilled.
You can thank God. Never by fasting do you become religious. How can you become religious by destroying your body and being violent towards it? That is the way of the murderer, the torturer, the sadist, the masochist, the somehow perverted.
When you have eaten well, eaten rightly and the food suits you, in that moment a prayer arises, not only from your mind but from your body also. Satiety is a prayer. You were thirsty and you have drunk to the full. Now suddenly nothing is needed. You are absolutely perfect in that moment. You are a god, a fulfilled god. No thirst... what else is lacking?
If you stick to the needs - and this is my message, that a religious man sticks to his needs. He is never against needs and never for desires. Desires are false needs. For example, if you are hungry you can eat right now, but if you are desiring a Rolls Royce, how can you get it right now? If you are ambitious for a big palace - Rome is not built in one day, a big palace will need time. You will have to exploit money. You will not only have to exploit others you will have to exploit your own needs also, because you will have to accumulate money. You will sleep hungry, because tomorrow - the palace, and when the palace is ready, then you are going to eat. How can you eat without a palace?
Tomorrow comes the Rolls Royce, and there is nothing wrong in being a little hungry for a few days, starving your needs; otherwise how are you going to have a Rolls Royce?
A Rolls Royce is neither a thirst nor a hunger, it is simply a foolish desire. When it is not there you will be waiting for it and destroying your life, and when it comes you will feel nothing has come. And you waited so long, and you killed yourself so much. The Rolls Royce is there, but you are already dead. There is no real need for it; that's why it can never satisfy. Satisfaction comes out of real dissatisfaction.
Contentment comes out of real hunger, real thirst. You were dying, you could not do without it; only then contentment happens. Desires need the future; they cannot be fulfilled right now. If you want to be the president of a country, how can you be the president right now? You will have to pass long ladders of ambition, much time will be needed. By the time you reach, if death has not reached before, you will be already dead. People become presidents when they are already senile, past their sixties, becoming seventy, just ready for the grave. Then they enter the presidential house. And the whole life wasted, - for nothing. Even if your picture is in all the newspapers, what does it matter?
How does it satisfy? Birds are happy without newspapers, trees are happy without the radio and the television. If trees are happy and birds are happy, and they don't bother a bit for the tomorrow, why can't man be happy right now?
The whole of religion, real religion, is the message to drop desires and to fulfill needs. And needs are simple and beautiful. Thirst is beautiful - it comes out of nature - and then being satisfied is also beautiful. It gives a balance, a subtle tranquility. A silence happens to your whole existence.
You are at rest; no dream is needed.
A man who lives true to his needs will live here and now; he has no tomorrow. But look, the bigger the need for desires, the bigger the ambition, the bigger the future you will need. But worldly people don't really need a big future because their desires, howsoever big, can be fulfilled in one lifetime.
If you need a Rolls Royce, you feel you need it, okay - you put your life at stake and you will get a Rolls Royce. If you want to be a president you can, because people just as stupid as you have already become presidents. You are not lacking anything. You can also become one, there is not much of a problem about it; you need to go a little madly after it, that's all. One only has to go madly after something, and he will attain. Others have attained, you can attain.
If you have not attained, that means only that you are not so stupid and so mad. A desire comes but it is a vagrant desire. You are not ready to stake your whole life for it. A dream comes, but it is a very superficial dream. If somebody makes you a president you will become one, but you are not going to stake your whole life for it.
One day I saw Mulla Nasruddin on the road, smoking. I was surprised. I asked him, "Nasruddin, just the other day you told me that you have stopped smoking."
He said, "Yes, I have stopped purchasing cigarettes, but if somebody offers me one, it's okay." He said, "One has to go by and by, in steps. I have stopped purchasing - that is my first step towards no smoking - but if somebody offers me one, it's okay. Later on I am going to drop that also."
If you have not become a president of a country or a prime minister, you have just a superficial dream about it, that's all. If you become obsessed by it, nobody can prevent you. You have to be mad. An ambitious man is mad, crazy! - obsessed by one idea. Unless that idea is fulfilled he himself is not going to rest, and he is not going to allow anybody else to rest.
Worldly desires can be fulfilled in a mere lifetime, but what about MOKSHA? What about God? What about nirvana, enlightenment? A mere one life seems to be not enough. There are so many things to do, and for nirvana there seems to be no time.
If you live for seventy years.... Life has an inner pattern, it is good to understand it. Every seven years, physiologists say, the body and mind go through a crisis and a change. Every seven years all the cells of the body change, are completely renewed. In fact, if you live seventy years, the average limit, your body dies ten times. Each seventh year everything changes. It is just like changing seasons. In seventy years the circle is complete. The line that moves from birth comes to death.
The circle is complete in seventy years. It has ten divisions.
In fact man's life should not be divided into childhood, youth, old age - that is not very scientific, because every seven years a new age, a new step is taken.
For the first seven years a child is self-centered, as if he is the center of the whole world. The whole family moves around him. Whatsoever are his needs they are to be fulfilled immediately, otherwise he will go into a tantrum: anger, rage.... He lives like an emperor, a real emperor. The mother, the father - all are servants, and the whole family just exists for him. And of course he thinks the same is true for the wider world. The moon rises for him, the sun rises for him, the seasons change for him. A child for seven years remains absolutely egoistic, self-centered. If you ask psychologists they will say a child for seven years remains masturbatory, satisfied with himself. He does not need anything, anybody. He feels complete.
After seven years - a breakthrough. The child is no more self-centered; he becomes eccentric, literally. Eccentric - the word means going out of the center. He moves towards others. The other becomes the important phenomenon - friends, gangs.... Now he is not so much interested in himself; he is interested in the other, the bigger world. He enters into an adventure to know who is this "other." Inquiry starts.
After the seventh year the child becomes a great questioner. He questions everything. He becomes a great skeptic, because inquiry is there. He asks millions of questions. He bores the parents to death, he becomes a nuisance. He is interested in the other, and everything of the world is his interest. Why are the trees green? Why did God create the world? Why is this so? He starts becoming more and more philosophic; inquiry, skepticism - he insists on going into things.
He kills a butterfly to see what is inside, destroys a toy just to see how it works, throws a clock just to look into it, how it goes on ticking and chiming - what is the matter inside? He becomes interested in the other, but the other remains of the same sex. He is not interested in girls. If other boys are interested in girls he will think they are sissy. Girls are not interested in boys. If some girl is interested in boys and plays with them, she is a tomboy, not normal, average; something is wrong.
This second stage psychoanalysts and psychologists will say is homosexual.
After the fourteenth year a third door opens. He is no more interested in boys, girls are no more interested in girls. They are polite, but not interested. That's why any friendship that happens between the seventh year and the fourteenth is the deepest, because the mind is homosexual, and no more in life will such friendship happen again. Those friends remain friends forever; it was such a deep tie. You will become friendly with people but that will remain acquaintance, not that deep phenomenon that happened between the seventh and the fourteenth year.
But after the fourteenth year a boy is not interested in boys. If everything goes normal, if he is not stuck somewhere, he will be interested in girls. Now he is becoming heterosexual - not only interested in the others, but really THE OTHER, because when a boy is interested in boys, the boy may be other but he is still a boy just like himself, not exactly the other. When a boy becomes interested in girls, now he is really interested in the opposite, the real other. When a girl becomes interested in a boy, now the world enters.
The fourteenth year is a great revolutionary year. Sex becomes mature, one starts thinking in terms of sex, sex fantasies become prominent in the dreams. The boy becomes a great Don Juan, starts courting. Poetry arises, romance. He is entering into the world.
By the twenty-first year - if everything goes normally, and a child is not forced by the society to do something which is not natural - by the twenty-first year a child becomes interested more in ambition than in love. He wants a Rolls Royce, a great palace. He wants to be a success, a Rockefeller, a prime minister. Ambitions become prominent; desiring for the future, being a success. How to succeed, how to compete, how to move in the struggle is his whole concern.
Now he is not only entering the world of nature, he is entering the world of humanity, the marketplace.
Now he is entering the world of madness. Now the market becomes the most prominent thing. His whole being goes towards the market: money, power, prestige.
If everything goes right - as it never goes, I am talking of the absolutely natural phenomenon - by the twenty-eighth year a man is not in any way trying to enter into an adventurous life. From twenty- one to twenty-eight one lives in adventure; by the twenty-eighth year one becomes more alert that all desires cannot be fulfilled. There is more understanding that many desires are impossible. If you are a fool, you can go after them. But people who are intelligent, by the twenty-eighth year enter another door. They become more interested in security and comfort, less in adventure and ambition.
They start settling. The twenty-eighth year is the end of hippiedom.
At twenty-eight hippies become squares, revolutionaries are no more revolutionaries; they start settling, they seek a comfortable life, a little bank balance. They don't want to be Rockefellers; finished, that urge is no more there. They want a small house, but established, a cozy place to live in, security - so at least this much they can always have; a little bank balance. They go to the insurance company nearabout the age of twenty-eight. They start settling. Now the vagabond is no more the vagabond. He purchases a house, starts living... he becomes civilized. The word civilization comes from the word CIVIS, citizen. Now he becomes part of a town, a city, an establishment. He is no more a vagabond, not a wanderer. Now he is not going to Kathmandu and Goa. He is not going anywhere - finished, traveled enough, known enough; now he wants to settle and rest a little.
By the thirty-fifth year life energy reaches its omega point. The circle is half complete and energies start declining. Now the man is not only interested in security and comfort, he becomes a Tory, orthodox. He becomes not only not interested in revolution, he becomes an antirevolutionary. Now he is against all change. He is a conformist. He is against all revolutions; he wants the status quo because now he has settled, and if anything changes the whole thing will unsettle. Now he is talking against hippies, against rebels; now he has become really a part of the establishment.
And this is natural. Unless something goes wrong a man is not going to remain a hippie forever.
That was a phase, good to pass through, but bad to be stuck in. That means you remain stuck at a certain stage. It was good to be homosexual between seven and fourteen, but if one remains homosexual for his whole life that means he has not grown up, he is not adult. A woman has to be contacted, that is part of life. The other sex has to become important because only then will you be able to know the harmony of the opposites, the conflict, the misery, and the ecstasy: agony and ecstasy both. That is a training, a necessary training.
By the thirty-fifth year one has to become part of the conventional world. One starts believing in tradition, in the past, in the Vedas, the Koran, The Bible. One is absolutely against change because every change means your own life will be disturbed; now you have much to lose. You cannot be for revolution - you want to protect.... One is for the law and the courts and the government. One is no more an anarchist; one is all for the government, rules, regulations, discipline.
By the forty-second year all sorts of physical and mental illnesses erupt, because now life is declining. Energy is moving towards death.
As in the beginning energies were coming up and you were becoming more and more vital, energetic, you were becoming more and more strong - now just the opposite happens, you become weaker every day.
But your habits persist. You have been eating enough up to the age of thirty-five; now you continue your habit. You will start gathering fat. Now that much food is not needed. It was needed but now it is not needed because life is moving towards death, it does not need that much food. If you go on filling your belly as you were doing before, then all sorts of illnesses will happen: high blood pressure, heart attack, insomnia, ulcers - they all happen nearabout forty-two. Forty-two is one of the most dangerous points. Hair starts falling out, becoming grey. Life is turning into death.
And near the age of forty-two religion starts becoming important for the first time. You may have dabbled a little here and there in religion before, but now religion starts becoming for the first time important - because religion is deeply concerned with death. Now death is approaching and the first desire for religion arises.
Carl Gustav Jung has written that in his whole life he has been observing that people who come to him at the age of forty or nearabout are always in need of religion. If they go mad, neurotic, psychotic, they cannot be helped unless they become deeply rooted in religion. They need religion; their basic need is religion. And if the society is secular and you have never been taught religion, the greatest difficulty comes nearabout the age of forty-two, because the society does not give you any avenue, any door, any dimension.
The society was good when you were fourteen, because the society gives enough of sex - the whole society is sexual; sex seems to be the only commodity hidden in every commodity. If you want to sell a ten-ton truck then too you have to use a naked woman, or toothpaste - then too. Truck or toothpaste, it makes no difference: a naked woman is always smiling there behind. Really the WOMAN is sold. The truck is not sold, the toothpaste is not sold; the woman is sold. And because the woman comes, the smile of the woman comes with the toothpaste, you have to purchase the toothpaste also. Everywhere sex is sold.
So this society, a secular society, is good for young people. But they are not going to remain young forever. When they become forty-two suddenly the society leaves them in limbo. They don't know what to do now. They go neurotic, because they don't know, they have never been trained, no discipline has been given them to face death. The society has made them ready for life, but nobody has taught them to become ready for death. They need as much education for death as they need education for life.
If I was allowed my way then I would divide universities into two parts: one for young people, another part for old people. Young people would come to learn the art of life - sex, ambition, struggle. Then when they became old and they reached the forty-two mark, they would again come back to the university to learn about death, God, meditation - because now the old universities wouldn't be of any help to them. They would again need a new training, a new discipline, so that they can become anchored with the new phase that is happening to them.
This society leaves them in limbo; that's why in the West there is so much mental illness. It is not so much in the East. Why? - because the East still gives a little training in religion. It has not disappeared completely; howsoever false, pseudo, it is still there, it exists, just by the corner. No more in the marketplace, no more in the thick of life, just by the side, but there is a temple. Out of the way of life, but still it is there. You have to walk a few steps and you can go there. It still exists.
In the West religion is no more part of life. Nearabout the age of forty-two every Westerner is going through psychic problems. Thousands of types of neuroses happen - and ulcers. Ulcers are the footprints of ambition. An ambitious man is bound to have ulcers in the stomach: ambition bites, it eats itself. An ulcer is nothing but eating yourself. You are so tense that you have started eating your own stomach lining. You are so tense, your stomach is so tense, it never relaxes. Whenever the mind is tense the stomach is tense. Ulcers are the footprints of ambition. If you have ulcers that shows you are a very successful man.
If you have no ulcers you are a poor man: your life has been a failure, you failed utterly. If you have your first heart attack nearabout forty-two you are a great success: you must be at least a cabinet minister, or a rich industrialist, or a famous actor; otherwise, how will you explain the heart attack?
A heart attack is the definition of success. All successful people will have heart attacks. They have to.
The whole system is burdened with toxic elements: ambition, desire, future, tomorrow - which is never there. You lived in dreams. Now your system cannot tolerate it anymore. And you remain so tense for the future that tension has become your very style of life. Now it is a deeprooted habit.
At forty-two, again a breakthrough comes. One starts thinking about religion, the other world. Then life seems to be very much. Little time is left. How can you achieve God, nirvana, enlightenment?
Hence the theory of reincarnation: don't be afraid, again you will be born, again and again, and the wheel of life will go on moving and moving. Don't be afraid: there is enough time, there is enough eternity left - you can attain.
That's why in India three religions were born - Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism - and they don't agree on any other point except reincarnation. They don't agree on any other point. Even about such an important theory as God there is not an agreement. Jainas say there is no God, Buddhists say there is no God.... Even about a more important theory than God, the theory of the soul, ATMAN - Buddhists say there is no atman, no soul. Such divergent theories! - not even agreeing on the basic foundations: God, self.... But they all three agree on the theory of reincarnation. There must be something to it.
They all need time, because to attain BRAHMAN - Hindus call it Brahman - much time is needed.
It is such a great ambition, and at the age of forty-two you become interested. Only twenty-eight years are left.
And this is just the beginning of the interest. In fact at the age of forty-two you become again a child in the world of religion. And only twenty-eight years are left. Time seems too short, not enough at all to attain such great heights - Brahman, Hindus call it. Jainas call it MOKSHA, absolute freedom from all past karmas. But thousands and millions of lives have been there in the past; within twenty- eight years how are you going to cope? How will you undo the whole past? Such a vast past is there - bad and good karmas. How are you going to clean your sins completely within twenty-eight years? It seems unjust. God is demanding too much, it is not possible. You will feel frustrated if only twenty-eight years are given to you.
And Buddhists, who don't believe in God, don't believe in the soul - they also believe in reincarnation, nirvana, the final emptiness, the total emptiness. When you have remained filled with so much rubbish for so many lives, how are you going to unburden within twenty-eight years? It is too much, seems an impossible task. They all agree on one thing, that more future is needed, more time is needed.
Whenever you have ambition time is needed. And to me a religious person is one who does not need time. He is liberated here and now, he achieves to the Brahman here and now, he is MUKTA, liberated, enlightened here and now. A religious man does not need time at all because religion happens in a timeless moment. It happens now, it always happens now. It has never happened otherwise, in no other way has it ever happened.
At the age of forty-two the first urge arises, vague, not clear, confused. You are not even aware of what is happening, but you start looking at the temple with keen interest. Sometimes, by the way, as a casual visitor, you come to the church also. Sometimes, having time, not doing anything, you start looking in The Bible which has always been gathering dust on the table. Vague, not exactly clear, just like the small child who is vague about sex starts playing with his own sex organ, not knowing what he is doing. A vague urge.... Sometimes one sits alone silently, suddenly feels peaceful, not knowing what he is doing. Sometimes one starts a mantra heard in the childhood. The old grandmother used to do it; feeling tense, one starts repeating it. One starts seeking, searching for a guru, somebody to guide you. One takes initiation, starts learning a mantra, repeats it sometimes, then again forgets for a few days, again repeats.... A vague search, groping....
By the forty-ninth year the search becomes clear; seven years it takes for the search to become clear. Now a determination arises. You are no more interested in the others, particularly if everything has gone right - and I have to repeat this again and again because it never goes right - at the age of forty-nine one becomes uninterested in women. A woman becomes uninterested in man - the menopause, the forty-ninth year.... The man doesn't feel like being sexual. The whole thing looks a little juvenile, the whole thing looks a little immature.
But the society can force.... In the East they have been against sex and they have suppressed sex.
When the boy is fourteen they are suppressing sex, and they want to believe that the boy is still a child: he doesn't think about girls. Other boys maybe - these always belong to the neighborhood, never your boy; he is innocent, like a child, like an angel. And he LOOKS very innocent, but that's not true: he fantasizes. The girl has entered his consciousness, has to enter - it is natural - and he has to hide it. He starts masturbating, and he has to hide it. He has wet dreams and he has to hide it.
In the East a boy of fourteen becomes guilty. Something wrong is happening - only to him, because he cannot know that everybody everywhere is doing the same. And much is expected of him - that he should remain an angel, a virgin, not thinking about girls, not even dreaming about girls. But he has become interested - the society is suppressing.
In the West this suppression has disappeared, but another suppression has come - and this has to be understood, because this is my feeling, that the society can never be nonsuppressive. If it changes one suppression, immediately it starts another. Now the suppression is near the age of forty-nine in the West: people are forced to remain in sex, because the whole teaching says, "What are you doing? - a man can be sexually potent up to the age of ninety!" Great authorities are saying it. And if you are not potent, and you are not interested, you start feeling guilty. At the age of forty-nine a man starts feeling guilty that he is not making as much love as he should.
And there are teachers who go on teaching: This is nonsense. You can make love, you can make love up to the age of ninety. Go on making love. And they say if you don't make love you will lose potency. If you continue, then your organs continue functioning. If you stop, then they will stop. And once you stop sex, life energy will drop down, you will die soon.
If the husband stops, the wife is after him: What are you doing? If the wife stops the husband is after her: This is against the psychologists, and this may create some perversion!
In the East we did one stupidity, and in the West also in the ancient days they did the same stupidity.
It was against religion for a child of fourteen to become sexually potent - and he becomes so naturally. The child cannot do anything, it is beyond his control. What can he do? How can he do it?
And all teaching about BRAHMACHARYA at the age of fourteen is stupid. You are suppressing. But the old authorities, traditions, gurus, RISHIS, old psychologists and religious people - they were all against, the whole authority was against. A child was suppressed. A guilt was created. Nature was not allowed.
Now just the opposite is happening at the other end. At the age of forty-nine psychologists are forcing people to continue to make love; otherwise you will lose life. And at the age of forty-nine...
as at the age of fourteen sex naturally arises, so at the age of forty-nine it naturally subsides. It has to, because every circle has to be complete.
That's why in India we had decided that at the age of fifty man should start becoming a VANPRASTH, his eyes should move towards the forest, his back towards the marketplace. Vanprasth is a beautiful word; it means one who starts looking towards the Himalayas, towards the forest. Now his back is towards life and ambitions and desires and all that. Finished. He starts moving towards aloneness, towards being himself.
Before this, life was too much and he could not be alone; there were responsibilities to be fulfilled, children to be raised. Now they have become grownup. They are married - by the time you are forty- nine your children are getting married, settling. They are no more hippies, they must be reaching the age of twenty-eight. They will settle - now you can unsettle. Now you can move beyond the home - you can become homeless. At the age of forty-nine one should start looking towards the forest, moving inwards, becoming introvert, becoming more and more meditative and prayerful.
At the age of fifty-six again a change comes, a revolution. Now it is not enough to look towards the Himalayas, one has to really travel, one has to go. Life is ending, death is coming nearer. At the age of forty-nine one becomes uninterested in the other sex. At the age of fifty-six one should become uninterested in others, the society, the social formalities, the club - Rotary and Lions. At the age of fifty-six one should resign from all Rotaries, all Lions; it looks foolish now, childish. Go to some Rotary Club or Lions Club and see people, tip-top with their ties and everything. It looks juvenile, childish; what are they doing? Lions - the very name looks foolish. For a small child, good. Now they have for small children Cub clubs, and for women Lioness clubs. For cubs, perfectly right, but for lions and lionesses...? It shows that the minds are mediocre. They have no intelligence, nothing at all.
At the age of fifty-six one should be so mature as to come out of all social entanglements. Finished!
One lived enough, learned enough; now one gives thanks to everybody and comes out of it. Fifty- six is the time one should naturally become a sannyasin. One should take sannyas, one should renounce. It is natural - as you enter, so you should renounce. Life should have an entrance and it should also have an exit; otherwise it will be suffocating. You enter and you never come out and then you say you are suffocated, in agony.
There IS an exit, and that is sannyas. You come out. You are not even interested in others by the age of fifty-six.
By the age of sixty-three you again become like a child, only interested in yourself. That is what meditation is - to be moving inwards, as if everything has fallen away. Only you exist. Again you have become a child - of course, very much enriched by life, very mature, understanding, with great intelligence. Now you again become innocent. You start moving inwards. Only seven years are left, and you have to prepare for death. You have to be ready to die. And what is the readiness to die?
To die celebrating is the readiness to die. To die happy, joyfully, to die willingly, welcomingly, is to be ready. God gave you an opportunity to learn, and be, and you learned. Now you would like to rest.
Now you would like to go to the ultimate home.
It was a sojourn. You wandered in a strange land, you lived with strange people, you loved strangers, and you learned much. Now the time has come: the prince must return to his own kingdom.
Sixty-three is the time when one becomes completely enclosed in one's self. The whole energy moves in and in and in, turning in. You become a circle of energy, not moving anywhere. No reading, not much talking. More and more silent, more and more with one's self, remaining totally independent of all that is around you. The energy by and by subsides.
By the age of seventy you are ready. And if you have followed this natural pattern, just before your death, nine months before your death, you will become aware of your death. As a child has to pass nine months in the mother's womb, the same circle is totally repeated, completely repeated, utterly repeated. By the time death comes, nine months before, you will become aware. Now you are entering the womb again. This womb is no more outside in the mother, this womb is inside you.
Indians call the innermost shrine of a temple the GARBHA, the womb. When you go to a temple the innermost part of the temple is called the womb. It is very symbolically called so, very consideredly; that is the womb one has to enter. In the last phase - nine months - one enters into oneself, one's own body becomes the womb. One moves to the innermost shrine where the flame has always been burning, where the light has always been, where the temple is, where the god has always been living.
This is the natural process. For this natural process no future is needed. You have to be living naturally THIS moment. The next moment will come out of it on its own accord - as a child grows and becomes a youth. There is no need to plan for it, one simply becomes; it is natural, it happens.
As a river flows and comes to the ocean the same way, you flow, and you come to the final, the ocean. But one should remain natural, floating, and in the moment. Once you start thinking about the future and ambition and desire, you are missing this moment. And this moment missed will create perversion because you will always lack something; a gap will be there.
If a child has not lived his childhood well, then that unlived childhood will enter into his youth - because where will it go? It has to be lived. And when a child is at the age of four and dances and jumps and runs around, butterfly-catching, it is beautiful. But when a young man of twenty runs after butterflies he is crazy. Then you have to admit him to the hospital; he is a mental case. Nothing was wrong with it at the age of four; it was just natural, it was the thing to do. It was the RIGHT thing to do; if the child was not running after butterflies something was wrong, he had to be taken to the psychoanalyst.
Then it was okay; but when he is twenty and running after butterflies then you should suspect something has gone wrong, he has not grown up. The body has grown, the mind is lagging behind. It must be somewhere in his childhood - he was not allowed to live it completely. If he lives the childhood completely he will become a young man: beautiful, fresh, uncontaminated by the childhood. He will shed the childhood as a snake sheds its old skin. He will come out of it fresh. He will have the intelligence of a young man, and he won't look retarded.
Live youth completely. Don't listen to the Eastern and ancient authorities. Just drop them out of the way. If you meet them on the way, kill them immediately. Don't listen to them because they have killed the youth, they are suppressive of youth. They are against sex, and if some society is against sex, sex will spread all over your life. It will become poison. Live it! Enjoy it!
Between the fourteenth and twenty-first year a boy is at his highest peak of sexuality. In fact, near the age of seventeen or eighteen he reaches the peak of sexuality. Never will he be so potent.
And if those moments are missed he will never achieve the beautiful orgasm that could have been achieved near the age of seventeen or eighteen.
I am in a difficulty continuously, because the society forces you to remain celibate, at least up to the twenty-first year. That means the greatest possibility of achieving sex, learning sex, entering sex, will be missed. By the time you reach twenty-one, twenty-two, you are already old as far as sex is concerned! Near the age of seventeen you were at the peak - so potent, so powerful, that the orgasm, the sexual orgasm, would have spread to your very cells. Your whole body would have taken a bath of eternal bliss.
And when I say sex can become SAMADHI, I don't say it for people who are seventy, remember.
I am saying it for people who are seventeen. About From Sex to Superconsciousness... old men come to me and they say, "We have read your book but we never achieve anything like this."
How can you? you have missed the time, and it cannot be replaced. And I am not responsible; your society is responsible, and you listened to it.
If between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one a child is allowed to have free sex, absolutely free sex, he will never bother about sex. He will be completely free. He will not look at the magazines PLAYBOY and PLAYGIRL. He will not hide nude, ugly, obscene pictures in the cupboard or in The Bible. He will not go out of his way to throw things at women. He will not become a bottom-pincher.
These things are ugly, simply ugly, but you go on tolerating them and not feeling what is happening, why everybody is neurotic.
Once you find a chance to rub against a woman's body you never miss it. What ugliness! - rubbing against a body. Something has remained unfulfilled in you. And when an old man looks with lustful eyes, there is nothing like that; it is the most ugly thing in the world when an old man looks with lust in his eyes. His eyes should be innocent now, he must be finished by now. Not that sex is something ugly; remember, I am not saying sex is ugly. Sex is beautiful at its own time and season, and sex is ugly out of season, out of time. Sex is a disease when it is in a ninety-year-old man. That's why people say "dirty old man." It IS dirty.
A young man is beautiful, sexual. He shows vitality, life. An old man, sexual, shows unlived life, an empty life, immature. He missed the opportunity and now he cannot do anything, but he goes on thinking, rambling in the mind about sex, fantasizing.
Remember, between the fourteenth and the twenty-first year a right society will allow absolute freedom for sex. And then society will become less sexual automatically. Beyond this time there will be no sex; the disease will not be there. Live it when the moment is ripe and forget it when the moment has gone. But that you can do only if you have lived; otherwise you cannot forget and you cannot forgive. You will cling, it will become a wound inside.
In the East, don't listen to the authorities, whatsoever they say. Listen to nature. When nature says it is time to love, love. When nature says it is time to renounce, renounce. And don't listen to the foolish psychoanalysts and psychologists in the West. Howsoever refined instruments they have - Masters and Johnson and others - and however many vaginas they have been testing and examining, they don't know life.
In fact I suspect that these Masters and Johnsons and Kinseys in the West, that they are voyeurs.
They themselves are ill about sex; otherwise who bothers to watch one thousand vaginas with instruments - watching what is happening inside when a woman makes love? Who bothers? What nonsense! But when things go perverted then these types of things happen. Now the Masters and Johnsons - they have become the experts, the final authorities. If you are having any sexual problem then they are the final authority to go to. And I suspect they have missed their youth, they have not lived their sex life rightly. Somewhere something is lacking and they are fulfilling it through such tricks.
And when a thing is in the garb of science you can do anything. Now they have made false, electric penises, and those electric penises go on throbbing in the real vaginas, and they go on trying to find what is happening inside, whether orgasm is clitoral or vaginal, or what hormones are flowing, what hormones are not flowing, and how long a woman can make love. They say: to the very end. On the deathbed a woman can make love.
In fact their suggestion is that after the menopause a woman can make better love than ever - that means after the forty-ninth year. Why do they say that? - because, they say, before the forty-ninth a woman is always afraid of getting pregnant. Even if she is on the pill, no pill is a hundred percent proof; there is a fear. By the forty-ninth year, when the menopause comes and the period stops, then there is no fear; a woman is completely free.
If their teaching spreads women are going to become vampires, and old women will chase men because they are unafraid now and the authority sanctions it. In fact they say that then it is the right time to enjoy - without any responsibility. And for men also they go on saying the same. And they have come across men - so now they say there is no average - they have come across a man who in his sixtieth year can make love five times a day. This man seems to be a freak. Something is wrong with his hormones and his body. ... And at the age of sixty! He is not natural, because as I see it - and this I am saying out of my own experience in many lives, I can remember them - by the forty-ninth year a natural man is not interested in women; the interest goes. As it comes, it goes!
Everything that comes has to go. Everything that arises has to fall. Every wave that arises has to disappear. There must be a time when it goes. At fourteen it comes; at forty-nine or nearabout it goes.
But a man making love five times a day at the age of sixty - something is wrong, something is very very wrong. His body is not functioning rightly. It is the other end of impotence, the other extreme.
When a boy of fourteen does not feel any sex, a young man of eighteen has no desire, something is wrong - he has to be treated. When a man of sixty needs to make love five times a day, something is wrong. His body has gone berserk. It is not functioning rightly, naturally.
If you live in the moment totally, then there is no need to worry for the future. A rightly lived childhood brings you to a right, ripe youth - flowing, vital, alive, a wild ocean of energy. A rightly lived youth brings you to the very settled calm and quiet life. A calm and quiet life brings you to a religious inquiry: What is life? Living is not enough, one has to penetrate the mystery. A calm and quiet life brings you to meditative moments. Meditation brings you to renounce all that is useless now, just junk, garbage. The whole life becomes garbage; only one thing remains always eternally valuable, and that is your awareness.
By the time of the seventieth year, when you are ready to die - if you lived everything rightly, in the moment, never postponing for the future, never dreaming for the future, you lived it totally in the moment whatsoever it was - nine months before your death you will become aware... you have attained that much awareness, you can see: now death is coming.
Many saints have declared their deaths, but I have not come across a single instance when the death was declared before nine months. Exactly nine months before, a man of awareness, uncluttered with the past... because one who never thinks of the future will never think of the past. They are together, the past and future are together, joined together. When you think of the future it is nothing but the projection of the past; when you think of the past it is nothing but trying to plan for the future. They are together. The present is out of them. A man who lives in this moment now and here is not cluttered with the past and not cluttered with the future. He remains unburdened. He has no burden to carry, he moves without weight. The gravitation doesn't affect him. In fact, he doesn't walk, he flies. He has wings....
Before he dies, exactly nine months before, he will become aware that death is coming. And he will enjoy and he will celebrate and he will say to people, "My ship is coming, and I am only for a little while more on this bank. Soon I will be going to my home. This life has been beautiful, a strange experience. I loved, learned, lived much, I am enriched. I had come here with nothing and I am going with much experience, much maturity."
He will be thankful to all that has happened - good and bad both, right and wrong both, because from EVERYthing he learned, not only from right, from wrong also. Sages that he came across, he learned from them; and sinners, yes, from them also - they all helped. People who robbed him helped, people who helped him helped, people who were friends helped, people who were enemies helped. Everything helped. Summer and winter, satiety and hunger, everything helped. One can be thankful to all.
When one is thankful to all and ready to die celebrating for this opportunity that was there, death becomes beautiful. Then death is not the enemy, it is the greatest friend, because it is the crescendo of life. It is the highest peak that life achieves. It is not the end of life, it is the climax. It looks like the end because you have never known life. To one who has known life it appears as the very crescendo, the very peak, the highest peak.
Death is the culmination, the fulfillment. Life does not end in it; in fact life flowers in it, it IS the flower.
But to know the beauty of death one has to be ready for it, one has to learn the art. That's why I go on saying that I am here to teach you how to die. A master is a death. He allows you to die in him.
He helps you to die every moment to the past, and he helps you to live an uncluttered moment - this moment.
This small parable is beautiful. It says:
UWAIS AL-QARNI WAS OFFERED SOME MONEY....
Money is a symbol of the future. Why do you accumulate money? - for the future. Money is future, money is hidden future; that's why people who don't live in the present will always cling to money.
They can afford to lose love but they cannot afford to lose money, because love is not a promise for the future. It may be good right now but what will you do in your old age? Be miserly, accumulate money, because in the future money will be helpful.
Why are people so mad after money? It is a symbol of future. Money is future. Money is condensed future in a coin, in a note. It is a promise for the future. Every note says, "I promise that this much amount of money whenever demanded will be given to you." It is a promise for the future.
Misers never live here, they cannot. They live in their money. Uwais is an enlightened master. He was offered some money. It is a symbol, a symbol for the future. He was offered some future - let me put it that way.
HE SAID: I DO NOT NEED IT AS I ALREADY HAVE A COIN.
Already I have a coin, I don't need it. Right now I am living, he said. And right now it is enough. I have a coin. What coin? This moment is the coin. It is a single coin, a very small coin. You can live it herenow, it is not of much use for the future. It is such a small coin, you will look foolish if you gather it for the future. A moment is so small, it is a coin. Time is a promissory note, a thousand rupee note, a one lakh rupee note, a one crore rupee note. Time is big money. A moment - it is just a drop, a small coin.
I DO NOT NEED IT AS I ALREADY HAVE A COIN, said Uwais.
The other must not have understood. Difficult, difficult when you talk to a man like Uwais. He has a different language, you have a different language; communication becomes impossible.
THE OTHER SAID: HOW LONG WILL THAT LAST YOU? - IT IS NOTHING.
And he was looking at the coin, thinking of the coin; he did not understand what Uwais is saying. He said, "How long will it last you?" The present moment, how long can it last? It is such a small coin.
It will be finished.
"Don't think of the moment," say the wiser ones. They say, "Think of the future." Say the wiser ones:
"Don't think of the immediate, how long will it last you? Think of the future." And I tell you, these "wiser" ones are the poisoners of humanity. They have poisoned your mind completely... because the immediate is all that is there. The immediate moment is the only reality that is there. Howsoever small, it is the only reality. And your promissory notes, howsoever big amount they promise in the future, are simply promissory notes. The future never comes. No governor-general of the reserve bank can give you the guarantee for the future. Future? - who can guarantee it? who can predict it? How long will it last you? It is nothing, just a moment.
The wiser ones say, "Don't live the momentary life." They say, "Think of the future." They say, "Don't live just here and now, look ahead! Think of the long range - not only of this world, of the other world also. Think of heaven and hell, moksha, Brahman, nirvana." And I say to you, these wiser ones are poisoners. The real wisdom consists in being here and now because for the real wisdom that is the only existence, there is no other existence. It is the only existence there is.
UWAIS ANSWERED: GUARANTEE ME THAT I SHALL LIVE LONGER THAN THIS SUM WILL SUFFICE ME AND I WILL ACCEPT YOUR GIFT.
It is a beautiful dialogue. Uwais said: Guarantee me that I shall live longer, longer than this moment, this small coin. Can you guarantee me that I will live the next moment? Can you guarantee me that I will live tomorrow? If you cannot guarantee me that then please let me live today. If you cannot guarantee the next moment, then howsoever small this moment is please let me live it right now.
Once lost, it is lost forever, and you cannot guarantee the next. So why should I waste my small coin for bigger coins which cannot be guaranteed?
Future is never; only this moment is. Don't listen to so-called wise ones who are really foolish. Listen to life! And listen to existence. It is better to go to the trees and listen how they live, go to the animals and watch how they live. Look all around, except at man. Man is perverted. Look at existence and see how existence lives - it lives moment to moment, with no planning for the future. That's why it is so beautiful, it is so ecstatic. Its ecstasy knows no boundaries. From one moment it flows into the other, but it never thinks of the other. One moment lived totally automatically brings another moment, with more possibilities - because the other moment is not coming from somewhere else, it grows out of you as leaves grow out of trees.
If the tree has been healthy, lived really, then out of beautiful trees come beautiful leaves, beautiful flowers and fruits. It need not worry about them. Have you seen any tree sitting like Rodin's statue of "The Thinker" with the hand on the head, wrinkles on the forehead, thinking how to bring fruits, how to flower this season again? where to go? who are the experts to ask? where to find a guru?
It doesn't bother. Even if gurus come to them and talk to them they won't listen. They will say, "Go somewhere else, find some stupid human being. Here no gurus are needed. We are already okay, absolutely okay."
When the time comes the tree flowers. When the time comes it is laden with fruits. When the time comes, fruits are ripe, ready to fall, die into the earth, create new seeds, new trees - and the circle goes on and on and on. It is eternal. From each moment is born another moment - it comes out of it. Live it as totally as possible, because through that totality another will be born.
Uwais said: GUARANTEE THAT I SHALL LIVE LONGER THAN THIS SUM WILL SUFFICE ME.
This small coin of the moment seems to be enough for me because who can guarantee that there is going to be another moment for me to live? If you can guarantee it, I will accept your gift.
Nobody can guarantee the future.Only the present is. Live it as deeply, as ecstatically, as dancingly as possible, because from it will come the next....
I don't talk to you about the next life because I don't talk about even the next moment. The next life will come, I know. It comes, it always comes, why bother...? You live this life totally and the next will come out of this. If this has been beautiful the next is going to be better than this.
This moment will decide the fate of the next moment that is going to follow. There is no other way.
Death is the only guarantee. This moment lived well is the only guarantee for the next moment which is going to follow it, because it is not following really, it is coming out of it, it is an outcome. You are growing each moment. Don't leave gaps, otherwise those gaps will hang around you. They will be holes in your being. In those holes will be wounds, and they will color your whole life to come.
Die to the past. Die to the future and live in the present.
Death is the only message that I would like to give to you - and if you can allow, millions of things will become possible to you. Let me repeat the Sufi saying: Simply trust. Do not the petals flutter down just like that? Trust life. Trust this moment here and now and allow things to take their own shape. You need not worry, there is no need to worry. Trust life, simply trust.
Do not the petals flutter down just like that?
Go and see a rose, and by the evening the petals are fluttering down towards the earth, going to rest. They lived their day. They enjoyed, they enjoyed the strong wind, they took the challenge, they rose high to the sky. They have spread their fragrance to the four winds - the winds have taken it already to the corners of the earth. They loved the sun, they played with it a little while. Their day is over. Now they don't cling. Now they don't hesitate to fall. They are ready.
A beautiful life creates a beautiful death, because death is nothing but the whole life condensed again in a seed.
Now the petals are falling. Evening has come. The sun has set, the night will take over. The death has come, the petals are falling towards the earth. They don't hesitate. They don't know where they are going, they don't know whether there is any earth down there or not - maybe it is a bottomless abyss - but they don't doubt, they don't hesitate.
When you have lived your life, trust arises. It arises - it is an afterglow of a lived life.
Petals falling, fluttering down towards the earth. Simply trust - do not the petals flutter down just like that? And everything - God, moksha, nirvana - everything, I say to you, becomes possible.
Just trust. Just like that.