No. Meditation is concerned with your consciousness - and consciousness is neither man nor woman. This is one of the fundamentals I want the world to be aware of.
All the religions have denied the woman any possibility for spiritual growth, thinking that her body is different, her biology is different: she will not be able to reach to the ultimate flowering of consciousness.
But it is strange that nobody down the centuries ever enquired: Who reaches the ultimate flowering - the body, the mind or consciousness?
The body is different. If the body was going into meditation, then there would be certainly a need of different meditations for women than for men. Because the body is not involved in meditation, there is no question of any difference.
For example, in yoga, where the body is very important - all the yoga postures are basically rooted in physiology - there are many postures which are not suitable for a woman's body, and there are many which are more suitable for a woman's body than for a man's body. So yoga can make a distinction: yoga for men, yoga for women.
Mind is also different. Man thinks logically, linguistically. The woman is more affected by emotions, sentiments, which are nonverbal. That's why she tends to be not willing to argue. Rather, she would like to scream and fight, cry and weep. That's the way she has been for centuries, and she wins in it - because the man simply feels embarrassed. He may be right logically, but the woman does not function logically.
So if meditation was concerned with mind, then too there would be a different kind of meditation for women than for men. But meditation is concerned with the very essential core of your being, which cannot be divided into male and female.
Consciousness is simply consciousness.
A mirror is a mirror.
It is not male, it is not female.
It simply reflects.
Consciousness is exactly like a mirror which reflects. And meditation is allowing your mirror to reflect, simply to reflect the mind in action, the body in action. It doesn't matter if the body is a man's or a woman's; it does not matter how the mind functions - emotionally or logically. Whatever the case, the consciousness has simply to be alert to it. That alertness, that awareness, is meditation.
So there is no possibility of any difference in meditation between man and woman.
It is a complicated question - not existentially, but when you think about it, because the thinking part of the mind is the doer. It wants to do something, to make an effort. It is absolutely unable to understand that there is the opposite side of the mind which is non-doing, non-active, and already effortless.
The problem becomes more complicated because these two parts of the mind are not in any connection, in any communication. Nothing joins the split.
You are already doing many things, and also you are not doing many things. But both sections are so separate, so unbridgeably separate, that neither is aware of the other. The question comes from the section of the mind which finds it difficult to think of non-doing. Effort is perfectly good - it is ready to do anything.
Gurdjieff based his whole approach on this half of the mind. It is an arduous effort, and it is not a coincidence that he became a very influential master in the West. He would not have been recognized in Far Eastern countries; he has no following in Far Eastern countries, where for centuries non-doing has been the basic approach. All his teaching was effort, actions.
J. Krishnamurti is more influential in the West than in the East. In the East, millions of people have not even heard his name. Even in India, where he was born, he visits only Delhi, Bombay, Madras, which are the most Westernized parts of the country. And there too, if you look at his ideas, you can see who the people are.
In Bombay ninety percent of his listeners are Parsees - who are not Indians - and their religion is a religion of effort. In Delhi or Madras, everywhere he is listened to by intellectuals. It is the same part of the mind; and both Krishnamurti and Gurdjieff are denying the other part by different names.
Many women have been attracted to Gurdjieff, to Krishnamurti, not knowing that they are being attracted by the opposite. The attraction is of polarity. Not that they are convinced that Krishnamurti is right, or Gurdjieff is right: they function more from the non-doing part of the brain, and the non- doing part is immensely attracted to doers, thinkers. But it remains only an attraction; they cannot manage to do what these people are asking. Their attraction was basically from the opposite pole.
They would be in better company with Taoists, with Zen, but they may not be interested. I don't see many women interested in Zen or Taoism. Really Zen and Taoism are, in a way, feminine. They want you to relax and be inactive.
What I am saying is that you are neither. My approach transcends Gurdjieff and J. Krishnamurti together.
Gurdjieff was more interested in physical efforts, hard labor, dancing, exercises. He was basing his action on the body. Krishnamurti is not interested in the body. He is interested in the activity of the mind, so his whole approach is simply logical, analytical. But you will be surprised that he himself personally has been practicing yoga his whole life.
And this is very strange - he never teaches yoga, never even mentions it, because that is not his own ground. His own ground, his territory, is logical, analytical; it is thinking. He can create philosophers, not mystics. He himself is more of a philosopher, but he knows that yoga is significant. They are parts of the same hemisphere, so he has been practicing yoga - but he is a sincere thinker.
He has had teachers in yoga. We had in Poona one of the best teachers of yoga, Iyengar, who has been traveling with J. Krishnamurti and teaching him yoga. He even approached me - because he had been listening to me - and he wanted to teach me yoga. And it is true that he is the best expert in India.
But I simply refused. I told him, "I have seen your books - you are not doing right in saying that you are the master of J. Krishnamurti. It is true that he learns yoga from you, but you are not his master; you are simply a teacher. But proclaiming yourself as master of J. Krishnamurti has much bigger implications than just being a teacher of yoga.
"Somebody may be massaging him, somebody may be a physician to him, somebody may be taking care of his food - that does not mean that they become masters! You are simply taking care of his body - you should make it clear.
"And now you have approached me for the simple reason that now you can add this too to your propaganda, that you are my master. No one is my master - and I am not interested in yoga at all."
Krishnamurti is interested because yoga belongs to the same hemisphere of the mind. Physiological activity or mental activity - activity as such is one part of the mind.
I cannot say that I belong to the traditions of Zen or Tao, although I love those traditions more than any other. But I cannot be part of their group because they are using the other side of the mind - the inactive mind. Their whole effort is how to shift your consciousness, which is focused on action.
Naturally, in the world, action is needed, not inaction. For every success action is needed, not inaction. For all ambitions, action is needed. So the whole world, by and by, has become focused on the active part. But the active part is going to create tensions; it is going to create anguish, sadness.
Even if you achieve your goal, you will find that you have not achieved anything - you simply wasted your time and your energy.
The active part of your mind cannot leave you in a state of silence, relaxation, just at ease, at home.
That is impossible for the active mind.
It is the inactive mind that can give you a home to rest in, and a shelter, and a beautiful feeling that nothing has to be done; that you are good as you are, that you are at the goal already, so you do not even have to move.
To change the focus from the active mind to the inactive mind, Zen had to use very strange methods, because the mind has been focused on action for centuries. It has forgotten completely how to move, how to be loose enough so that the focus can move to the other part of the mind.
So they will give koans - which are absurdities - to think about, just to tire your thinking; because thinking cannot come to any conclusion: there is no way. They are not puzzles - puzzles can be figured out by the mind - and they are not problems. There is no way to translate the word koan because nothing like the koan has existed anywhere else.
A koan is a puzzle which cannot be solved; there is no way to solve it. It is a strategy to tire your active mind - so much so that out of tiredness it falls flat; it recognizes its failure. In those moments the focus can be moved very easily. Because mind has failed, you can move towards no-mind.
Their whole teaching is no-mind, no-action - and you are at ease, you feel immensely contented.
You feel all the tensions gone. And nothing has happened; only your focus has been changed. All the tensions are waiting on the active side, all your desires are waiting on the active side. All your ego and motivations of the ego are waiting on the active side. It is just that you are no longer focused on that part. You have moved to the opposite part.
I like what Zen has done to humanity. It has looked absurd, it has looked insane to many people.
Illogical certainly it is - but it is not insane, it is not absurd. It may look mad, but in its madness there is a method: they are trying to loosen your focusing.
My effort is not to be bothered much about active mind or inactive mind, because basically they are mind. The active mind can give you misery, and the inactive mind can give you what the Japanese call satori - a peaceful, silent, relaxed, contented feeling. But it still remains part of the mind. You have not moved from the mind to consciousness. You have changed the focus, but you have not become the focus.
So if the focus can be changed to inactive mind, it can be again changed to active mind. There is no problem - it has just to become loose.
That's why Zen people come to the philosophy of "action in inaction," because now they are moving their focus: they can do things, and they can move the focus to the inactive mind. So action continues, but they go on changing continuously. It is just as in the day you work, and you make effort; and in the night you rest, and you go to sleep.
They are not contradictions. The sleep simply gives you rest. Rest for what? Rest to work tomorrow again. And why are you working? To have a restful night. The whole day you work, so in the night you can rest; and the whole night you rest, so that in the day you can work. And this is how the wheel of the mind goes on moving: this is action in inaction.
What I am doing is totally different from what Gurdjieff and Krishnamurti and Zen are doing. My effort is to make you aware of something beyond mind which is being used as a focus, which is your reality.
This transcendence of the duality of the mind opens the doors to consciousness. And once you are aware that you are consciousness, then your action is minimized. Whatever is absolutely necessary and urgent, you do - not a single bit more nor less. And whatever action you have done, you need a rest to recover your energies. So you allow the resting mind to refuel the active mind, but you are an outsider - you are using a mechanism, you are no longer identified with it.
In different situations there will be different combinations of action and inaction. There may be times when much more action is needed. You will do it, but you will not become the doer. You will make all the efforts, but you will remain absolutely detached.
Whether those efforts succeed or fail will not be your concern - you made them fully, that's all. Now what happens depends on millions of things in the universe; it is not in your hands, so you don't bother about success or failure. Your only concern is that whatever you do, you do it fully.
And there may be times when you feel that the mechanism of your mind, the active part, is tired, exhausted; you can go for a long rest, not doing anything, not even speaking. But there is always a balance between the two because now you can see from the outside when the balance is there and when it is not there.
I have said that you have to become inactive, you have to become totally relaxed, and that it needs a certain effort; hence the question has arisen that there seems to be a contradiction. It is always your logic that brings contradictions. Life is very simple; there are no contradictions.
The inactive mind cannot give you total relaxation. It is really in partnership with the active mind. It is a tremendously beautiful mechanism that automatically goes on moving from action to inaction, from day to night, from waking to sleep, and keeps you healthy. But it is not total relaxation, it can only be partial relaxation, because the moment you are rejuvenated, you have to move to action.
That is an autonomous process.
When I say that the movement has to happen as a transcendence, in the beginning you will need effort. Use the active mind to make that effort - because it is ready to make any kind of effort - and use the inactive mind to give you a taste of what effortlessness is. It can only give you a taste, but this is the beginning of a revolution.
When I said you need effort to attain relaxation, meditation, consciousness, I simply mean that you have to use both the minds. And once you have learned to use both the minds... The transcendental consciousness in you is absolute relaxation. It is pure silence. It has no opposite to it.
This has to be the criterion whether you have reached the goal or not. If there is still something as its polar opposite, you have not reached; you are still in the duality. One can move from one duality to another duality; it does not make any change. One has to move from duality to non-duality, because non-duality is the ultimate.
The ultimate has no opposite to it. It is the final synthesis where all opposites have melted into one, when male and female have melted into one.
There is an ancient statue in India - I had one in America... somebody had sent me a small replica of the statue. It is half man, half woman. It is symbolic. It is saying that as man you are half, as woman you are half: together you become one whole. But then there is no opposite to it.
So transcendence of mind is consciousness. But you have to use the mind because right now there is no other way, and the mind can be used perfectly. But don't use one side of the mind - which is what I see Krishnamurti and Gurdjieff teaching: using one side of the mind. When you use one side of the mind, at the most you can emphasize the other side of the mind, but not transcend it.
Transcendence needs both the minds.
Zen has been using the inactive mind and is based on a fallacy that the inactive mind is total relaxation. It is not. The inactive mind is in partnership with the active mind. It is simply a reservoir for the active mind. It simply goes on supplying energy for the active mind - so it cannot be the ultimate.
That's why I used the word satori. Zen has reached, at the most, satori, and they have thought that this is the end. This is not so. This is not samadhi.
The meaning of the words is the same, but satori is just half the mind realizing its inactivity, silence, and thinking that it is the whole. Samadhi is a far higher word. The word sam, of which samadhi comes, means ultimate balance. Samadhi is above and beyond the duality of the two minds.
There is a certain similarity between satori and samadhi; hence the fallacy. Satori is just like a moon reflected in a calm and quiet water. It looks just like a moon, but just throw a small stone in the water, and your moon is split into thousands of fragments; each wave distorts it. It is not reality. But one can have a misunderstanding between the moon in the water and the moon in the sky.
Samadhi is the moon in the sky, and satori is the moon in the water. Satori is certainly the reflection of the same moon, but a reflection is not the reality. The inactive mind has that capacity, because it is relaxation, silence, no action, no disturbance. It is a calm pool of water; it can reflect the moon.
The active mind cannot reflect it; it is too much in a turmoil - the winds are strong and the water is disturbed.
So I say effort is needed in understanding these two sides of your mind; and effortlessness is needed to relax, not into the other side of the mind but beyond both sides. But before you can go beyond, you have to understand clearly the two sides of the mind so you can make the distinction; otherwise the inactive side of the mind has deceived many people.
It looks almost like the real moon - and you have never seen the real moon, so it is the real moon to you. Satori is only a reflection of samadhi. I have never said that because I don't want to disturb Zen people, because they are the best people around in the world. Although they are clinging to a reflection, at least the reflection is of the moon. Sooner or later they will become aware that it is a reflection: any small disturbance, and the reflection is distorted.
But the point has to be noted that neither side of the mind is your ultimate reality.
Krishnamurti and Gurdjieff are not even as close as Zen people, because they are still engaged with the active mind. Gurdjieff may come closer to the inactive mind because he exhausts the body and its energies in his exercises. Then naturally there is a change; the active mind feels emptied out. It needs the support of the inactive mind - and that was the method of Gurdjieff: to force you to work to the point where suddenly you feel an onrush of energy.
According to him... he thought it was coming from your second layer, the emergency layer, or from your third layer, your basic universal energy.
As I see it, it comes from your inactive mind, which is doing this every day. The more tired you are, the more you fall into a deep sleep. That falling into deep sleep relaxes your tired muscles, your body, your whole system. It lubricates it; it gives a rest period, and by the morning, when life is again rising up, you are again full of energy. It is not coming from any emergency source or from any basic universal energy; it is simply coming from the inactive side of your mind - which is continuously doing this.
And it is something to be understood, why it is said that kings, although they may be sleeping in marble palaces, have a pillow of thorns; they cannot sleep. The reason is not that they are kings; the reason is that they never exhaust the active mind, so the inactive mind is not needed. The active mind continues thinking planning, worrying - all kinds of things, because it is not exhausted. It has still energy to go round and round.
It is said that kings go to sleep more healthy than when they wake up. They are very tired, because the mind goes on and on. It simply does not stop and allow the inactive mind to function, so they are of course more tired.
But the same thing happens after enlightenment. That is my experience, and that has been the experience of many other enlightened people in the world. If you have transcended both minds, whenever you find the active mind tired, suddenly you move to the transcendental; you don't move to the other side of the mind.
The transcendental mind, once known... whenever you get a small gap between your activities, you will be suddenly transported to the transcendental mind. And the transcendental mind cannot do the work of the inactive mind, because it is consciousness twenty-four hours a day, around the clock. It is never unconscious.
I myself have experienced that it is very difficult to move to the inactive mind, because the moment you are not doing anything, your whole energy simply moves towards the transcendental.
So for years I have been sleeping fully awake. I hear all the doors in the hotel being closed and opened. I was going to say to Bhikku Oberoi when he comes back, "This is not the right architecture for a five-star hotel, that you have to hear every sound of every flush, you have to hear all the doors around being closed and opened. The whole night it goes on.
"The architecture should be more soundproof. It should be made in such a way that these sounds can't be heard, or the doors should be made in such a way that they don't make such a sound. Or the dividing walls should be made with something soundproof in between the bathrooms, so that you don't hear other bathrooms' flushings going on at any time of the night."
It was just a coincidence: I was staying in Patna in 1960 and I was suffering from a migraine. I had suffered from migraine since my enlightenment; I had never suffered before. And the migraine is in only half of the mind; it is the active part of the mind that has it. If the active mind loses contact with the inactive mind, then it goes on working but it has no time to rest.
Because I was staying in the house of a doctor... he was very concerned that this was a terrible migraine, and it was really very strong. I could not open my eyes, it was so painful.
The whole day I would simply lie down with a wet towel around my head. But it was not a help - just to pass the time.... And it remained with me for twenty-one days exactly when it came. And it came at least four times a year, so it was wasting too much time.
The doctor gave me some sleeping pills. He said, "At least in the night you will have a good sleep; otherwise this migraine continues twenty-four hours a day." Usually a migraine does not continue for twenty-four hours; ordinarily migraine starts at sunrise and disappears by sunset, because it is only in the active part. As you drop out of activity, and the world starts cooling down and you are preparing for sleep, the migraine disappears.
But that was not the case with me - it continued for twenty-four hours - so I said, "There is no harm in trying." And it really helped: I could sleep, after many years, for the first time. I don't actually know what the sleeping pills did chemically, but one thing I am certain about - which the chemist may not know: it made it possible again for the active mind to be connected with the inactive mind.
I remained a watcher, something in me remained awake, but only a small flame of awakening; otherwise everything went into sleep. My feeling was that the sleeping pill helped to make a contact with the non-active mind, which I had lost completely.
Since then Devaraj has been trying again and again to stop my sleeping pills, but it simply creates so much pain and so much trouble, that finally after torturing me once for one month, then fifteen days, he again gets back to a sleeping pill. And my feeling is that he will never succeed. He can torture me as long as he wants - because I always listen. To whatever you want I will listen and....
The day I came here he was again on the same trip; he tried again, thinking that perhaps.... He was hoping that when I was in jail in America that it would be a good time... I may have forgotten about the sleeping pills. I was also thinking in the jail that this was a good time - I could not get a sleeping pill, so perhaps.... But for years before I had not slept; and in those twelve days I did not sleep a single wink.
So here he tried for one month and tortured me, because it is not only sleep that I cannot get, with the sleep not happening my stomach gets disturbed, my breathing gets disturbed, my eyes start burning. And I don't think there is any possibility... because without any device to shift the active mind and its energies to the inactive mind, it simply moves to the transcendental consciousness. It simply slips there, bypasses the inactive mind.
So some effort is needed to become aware of these two sides of the mind, and once you have become aware of these two sides of the mind, then without any effort, just watching these two sides, a sudden quantum leap happens. Your whole consciousness is centered beyond the mind; and that beyondness is neither male nor female.
Krishnamurti has suffered from the same migraine for forty years. Perhaps he could be helped by something that helps him to sleep. But nobody may have thought about it. It was just this doctor who, feeling so much for me, said, "The whole day you are in trouble so much; at least for the night, take a good dose and go to sleep."
But the strange effect was that I went to sleep and the next morning there was no migraine. He was also surprised. This was strange; these were only sleeping pills, they were not meant for migraine.
And for migraine I had taken all kinds of medicine - nothing helped.
It has been a long time for Krishnamurti - forty years - to suffer from very strong migraine. And my feeling is that the reason is the same.
One Buddhist bhikshu from Sri Lanka was brought to me because he had not slept for three years, and he was going crazy; his head had become so heavy. They had tried everything, but nothing helped. Somebody gave them my address. He came to see me and stayed with me for three months.
I told him, "First you stop vipassana" - the Buddhist meditation, which is the finest to keep you aware. "You first stop it for a few days." And then I inquired, "At what times have you been doing vipassana?"
He said, "At all times." And a bhikshu has all the time in the world - he is not doing any business, he is not in any job. All the work he has to do is to go begging once a day, and that does not take more than half an hour. And once a week he has to give a sermon - that's all that his work is.
So he was doing vipassana even in the night. And he started doing it more when night came and sleep was not coming: "Why waste time? - do more vipassana." But vipassana is a method that will not allow you any sleep. It is awareness, and if you continue to be aware, you block the active mind from moving, diving into the inactive mind.
So I told him, "First, for seven days you completely stop vipassana." And just within seven days he was sleeping perfectly well. Then I told him, "You can start vipassana with sunrise, and you have to stop vipassana before sunset. And let us see what happens." And that worked perfectly well.
Since then I have been suggesting to my people never to do vipassana at night.
But after enlightenment you cannot do anything. It is not a question of your doing anything - before enlightenment you can change from doing something to not doing something, or doing something only at a certain period. But after enlightenment the awareness is simply there, and it remains there twenty-four hours a day.
It is a well-known fact that Buddha slept only three hours a night and I don't think he slept even three hours... he must have been resting. But there is a possibility he might have been sleeping, because the whole day he was traveling by foot.
He was doing so much work with the body - this arduous work of walking continuously for miles every day for forty-two years. It is possible that it might have created a situation, even after enlightenment, in which the active mind was forced - by his activity throughout the whole day - to connect with the inactive mind.
The same is true about Mahavira. He slept very little, but he was also walking continuously.
Most of the enlightened people in the world have died almost immediately after enlightenment - the shock is too much. The body may not be able to take it, unless the body is specially prepared to take it.
Buddha and Mahavira were both trained warriors. They had very strong bodies - the bodies of fighters. They both became enlightened nearabout the age of forty, and remained alive for almost the same time again - forty and forty-two years.
I can see only one reason that they managed to absorb the shock: their bodies were so strong. But the shock always leaves the body in a very delicate condition, and most people have died just when they became enlightened. Enlightenment and death almost came together. They became so awake, so full of light, that all their connections with the mind and the body were broken - and particularly if their enlightenment happened after the age of thirty-five, when one starts declining.
If you take seventy as the average age at death, then at thirty-five you are at the peak, and after that you start declining. If people have become enlightened before thirty-five, then they have survived longer than others, because the body was younger, stronger, and it was not on the decline; it still had a potential to grow. They absorbed the shock, but the shock had shaken everything.
I was never sick before I became enlightened; I was perfectly healthy. People were jealous of my health. But after enlightenment, suddenly I found that the body had become so delicate that doing anything became impossible. Even going for a walk - and I was running before that, four miles in the morning, four miles in the evening, running, jogging, swimming. I was doing all kinds of things.
You will be surprised to know that when I entered the university, I was doing so much exercise - running, swimming, jogging and other exercises - that a few other students became interested.
They started following me, to go for a run.
I had never thought that there was any problem in it, but the man who owned all the restaurants and the mess at the university came to see me and said, "I will give you a totally free pass as far as food is concerned, but please don't help these people to run and jog and swim, because I am going to be bankrupt!
"Before you came I had never seen people eating thirty-five chappattis at a time - and your followers are doing that. At the most four chappattis are enough. But if everybody starts eating thirty-five chappattis at a time, seventy chappattis in a day, then I am finished - you are killing me! I'll make it completely free - whatever you want from the restaurant, from the cafeteria, from the mess.
Everything is free, for two years while you are here you will not be charged at all, but please stop these people...!"
But after enlightenment, suddenly and very strangely, the body became absolutely weak. And it is almost unbelievable - I could not believe it, my father's sister's family, who I was staying with, could not believe it. It was more of a surprise to them because they knew nothing about enlightenment.
I suspected there was some connection but they had no idea what had happened: all the hairs on my chest became white, just in one night! And I was twenty-one!
I could not hide it - because it is a hot country, India, and I used to only have on a wrap-around lunghi the whole day, so my chest was always naked. So everybody in the house became aware of this and was wondering what had happened. I said, "I myself am wondering what has happened." I knew that the body had certainly lost its stamina. It had become fragile, and I lost my sleep completely.
I have been asked again and again why Ramakrishna died of cancer. I know why he died of cancer:
he must have become absolutely vulnerable to any disease. And if it was only Ramakrishna we could think it was just an exception; but Maharshi Raman also died of cancer. That looks strange, that within one hundred years two enlightened people of the highest order died of cancer. Perhaps they lost all resistance to disease.
I can understand from my own situation, I lost all resistance to diseases. I had never suffered from what you call allergies. I loved perfume so much, and I had never suffered because of it. I had beautiful flowers in all my houses where I lived; and India has such flowers I think no other country has - with great fragrance.
Cold countries cannot have that fragrance; for that, a hotter climate is needed. But too hot a climate is also not right because that destroys the flowers, so something in between.... And India has that kind of climate; it is not cold, it is not very hot.
There are plants, for example a certain flower, "queen of the night" - you can have just one plant, and the whole house will be full of fragrance; and not only your own house, the neighboring houses too will be full of fragrance. And there are many other flowers - champa, chameli, juhi - which are immensely full of fragrance. I always had those flowers around me, and I never suffered from any allergy.
But after enlightenment I became so allergic that just the body-smell of somebody was enough to give me a cold, the sneezes; and the sneezes triggered something in my chest. I started coughing, and coughing triggered another process; I started having asthma attacks which were absolutely unknown to me. I had never thought that these things would happen to me.
But I was aware of what was happening. My consciousness and my body had fallen apart; the connection became very loose. The body's resting became impossible, and when you have not rested for many days, then you become vulnerable to all kinds of infections. You are so tired, you cannot resist. And if for years you cannot have any rest, then naturally you lose all resistance.
Mahavira died - something was wrong with his stomach. For six months he suffered very much from stomachache, no appetite, and he died because of the stomach. It may have been stomach cancer or something of which there was no idea at that time.
It is said that Buddha died of food poisoning. It may not be the right diagnosis of his death. One thing is certain, that he must have had a very fragile body, which was very prone to becoming sick at any time.
The scriptures don't talk about it because it doesn't look good. But the fact that one of the greatest kings, Bimbisar, offered Buddha his own personal physician to be continuously with him - and for forty years the physician was with Buddha, twenty-four hours a day, wherever he was going - is enough proof that there was something going wrong. Otherwise, what was the need of having a personal physician? And that too, not an ordinary physician - Bimbisar's own physician.
And if Buddha was healthy - because the scriptures don't mention any illness.... But they have forgotten that it can be logically concluded that if he was not sick, not always prone to sickness, then why should a personal physician of an emperor follow him for forty years unnecessarily?
My feeling is that because enlightenment is the last lesson of life, there is nothing more to learn, you are unnecessarily hanging around. You have learnt the lesson - that was the purpose of life - so life starts losing contact with the person. And most of these people have died immediately; the shock was so much. And death is not a calamity to them; it is a blessing, because they have attained whatsoever life was to give.
But to live after enlightenment is really a difficult affair. The most important thing is that one loses contact with his inactive mind, and it becomes impossible to have any contact. The moment you are silent, immediately the energy moves to your transcendental awareness.
You are aware, even when you are doing something, saying something. The flame is not that strong, because your energy is involved in some activity. But when you are not doing anything, then suddenly the whole energy immediately shifts to the highest point. It is tremendously blissful, it is great ecstasy, but only for consciousness, not for the body.
Nobody has ever explained exactly what the situation is. I think there may have been a fear that if you explain it to people - they are already not making any effort towards enlightenment - and if you say it is possible that enlightenment may become your death, they may simply freak out! "Then why bother about enlightenment? Then we are good as we are - at least we are alive! Miserable, but we are alive."
If your body becomes vulnerable, fragile, non-resistant to any kind of disease, that may also give them the argument: "This is not good; it is better not to bother about such things. It is better to be healthy and have no diseases, rather than having enlightenment and then suffer a fragile body and all its implications."
Perhaps that may have been the reason that it has never been talked about. But I want everything to be made clear. I don't want to leave anything about enlightenment, its process, as a secret.
It is good for people to know exactly what they are doing and what can be the result. If they do it consciously, knowingly, it will be far better. And those who are not going to make any effort, only they will find excuses; they were not going to make any effort anyway. For those of you who are going to make the effort - even if death comes, it will be a challenge, an adventure, because you have attained whatever life could deliver to you, and then life slipped away.
What happened to your camera? Your eye is not blinking?
I COVERED IT BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT WOULD DISTURB YOU.
I thought it had become enlightened!