[NOTE: This is a translation from the Hindi discourses: Nahim Ram Bin Thaon. It is being edited for publication, and this version is for reference only.]
There is a lot of difference between learning and awakening. Learning is very simple, awakening is arduous. For learning, awakening is not a precondition. Learning can happen even while asleep - in fact everything we learn is learned in sleep, there is no need for the sleep to be disturbed!
Perhaps you know that for the past ten years Russian psychologists have been conducting experiments in teaching children who are asleep. This is a valuable experiment - to let the child enjoy his night's sleep and yet be learning. Then there is no need for the child to attend school during the day; he can play, he can feel free. School is a day-prison and he will get rid of it. And the experiment is succeeding. The teaching machine is placed near the child's ear while the child sleeps, and instructions in mathematics, language, geography and so on are fed into his unconscious mind.
It has been observed that the disturbances present during an awake person's learning are missing when learning happens during sleep. Awake, the mind is distracted - other things attract it. The child sitting in the classroom hears the birds singing outside and loses track of the lesson. Somebody walking past outside, or even just a sound is enough to distract him. But the mind of a sleeping child is undivided. And learning happens through the unconscious, not the conscious; all learning happens in what Freud calls the unconscious mind. This is why we have to repeat things that we are learning.
If you are learning a language you have to repeat words and their meanings over and over again, and through this repetition the new information is processed from your conscious into your unconscious.
Recite a poem many times and you will be able to recite it by heart. Recite it just once, and it is forgotten. First the conscious mind reads and learns, and then, through further repetition, the new material sinks deeper and deeper into the lower strata of the unconscious where it is assimilated and becomes in time a part of the unconscious mind. We learn through the unconscious; when we sleep it is the conscious that sleeps, and our unconscious is awake. In sleep the interior mind is awake while the periphery of the mind sleeps. Learning in sleep is learning directly through the unconscious mind. I am recounting this experiment to you so that you can understand that learning can take place without one's being awake - and may even be better.
Learning and awakening are quite different things. Learning is just a matter of memorizing; no knowing is needed. The knowing may be someone else's - you can still learn.
This is how all our education operates. All education is borrowed knowledge, there is no concern for one's own experiencing. The libraries are full of books that will help you to learn about love. You can read them all and conduct great research programs, and can even write your own treatises on love; no loving is necessary in order to learn about love. Learning does not require that you experience.
To experience, waking up is necessary; and to experience the divine you will have to be fully awake - it is the experience of complete awakening, it can happen only if you are perfectly awake. You can accumulate worldly knowledge in your sleep too, but to come to know truth is impossible in a sleeping state. These Russian scientists may succeed in imparting instruction to the sleeping, but there is nothing in this world that can turn a person into a sage in his sleep. At the most one can only ever be turned into a pundit.
Between sleep and erudition, there is no conflict; they are deeply related. But sleep and true knowing are great opposites facing each other, for the very meaning of true knowing is that there is no sleep left, no unconsciousness left, only perfect wakefulness.
We live our lives in slumber; walking, talking, sitting, working, we slumber, unaware of what we are doing. Hungry, we gobble down a good meal. We have to work, so we spend our day in the office and go home in the evening. But these and our other activities are carried through by force of habit; no awakening is needed for them, they are all mechanical routines.
You maybe have heard about somnambulists who walk and do many other things in their sleep.
Some of you probably walk in your sleep, because psychologists estimate that a minimum of five percent of adults are somnambulistic. They get up in the night, eyes open, while everything inside remains asleep. They leave their beds and walk around in the dark in a way that they might well be
unable to do when awake. They wander through the house, picking their way around the furniture and finding many jobs to do.
It has frequently been observed that the families of such people think they have a ghost in the house; the simple fact is that the ghost creating all the disturbance is living in the family. He also does not remember, and in the morning he will deny any part in what he alone did during the night. He was as unaware of his actions as a drunkard wandering along a road.
Sometimes drunkards are so at home in their drunkenness that you may not recognize their condition. Sleepwalkers share this same ability to wander over great distances, and to perform tasks that can only be considered as miracles when a person is asleep. There are even people who have committed murder in their sleep, and then returned to bed; and of course, in the morning they have no knowledge of what they have done.
In New York in 1940 there was the case of a man who used to jump from the roof of his house to the roof of his neighbor's house in his sleep. Fifty stories high, and he would leap from one roof to another! People got to know about it, because punctually, on the stroke of one o'clock at night, he would make the leap, and the return leap, and go back to bed. Before long, crowds were gathering each night to watch his death-defying jump - the distance from one roof to the other was excitingly great! Thus it happened that one night people began cheering as the man made his roof-top leap.
They cheered so loudly that their noise brought the man out of his sleep. Now he was not in danger, because he had already finished his first jump, but the moment he awoke he was flooded with fear.
Finding himself standing there on the roof, with the crowd below, and the noise, he was so terrified that in the return jump he fell to his death. The very thought that he had made such an impossible leap led him to his death. The jump that he had made so many times in his sleep was, to his conscious mind, impossible!
Learning can take place in a sleeping state. To be asleep means to live a life in which awareness has no place. You are doing something, but your mind is somewhere else. You are walking along the street, your body is there in the street, but your mind is having a conversation with your wife, or may already have reached the office ahead of your physical arrival there. Your mind is already making arrangements in the office while you are still walking along the street. Mind in one place, body in another, is the characteristic of lack of awareness. Mind accompanying body is the characteristic of awareness.
You are here, listening to me. In these moments of listening, if your hearing is all, if only your hearing remains and your mind wanders nowhere else but is here and now, if hearing is the only thing happening, as if the rest of the world has disappeared, as if nothing else remains. Here, I am the speaker, there, you are the listener and a bridge is created between us. Your mind does nothing else, it falls silent, utterly silent; it hears, only hears. When only hearing remains, you experience awareness. For the first time, you discover what meditation is.
Meditation means being in the moment, not leaving this moment. Someone asked Buddha, "How shall we meditate?"
Buddha replied, "Whatsoever you do, do it with awareness; this is meditation. Walking, walk attentively, as if walking is everything; eating, eat with awareness, as if eating is everything; rising,
rise with awareness; sitting, sit with awareness; all your actions become conscious, your mind does not travel beyond this moment, it remains in the moment, settles in the moment - this is meditation."
Meditation is not a separate process. Meditation is simply the name for life lived with awareness.
Meditation is not an hour-a-day affair where you sit for one hour and then it is over till tomorrow. No, if twenty-three hours are empty of meditation and only one hour is meditative, then it is certain that the twenty-three hours will defeat the single hour. Non-meditation will win, meditation will lose. If you are living twenty-three hours a day without awareness, and only one hour with awareness, then you will never attain to the state of buddhahood. How can this single hour triumph over the other twenty-three hours?
There is something else that also has to be understood. How can one be aware for one hour if in the remaining twenty-three hours one is not aware? How can you be healthy for one hour if you are sick the other twenty-three hours of the day? Health and sickness are the result of an internal flow. If you are healthy for twenty-three hours of the day, you will be healthy for all twenty-four hours, because the internal flow cannot suddenly be broken for just one of those hours. The current that is flowing goes on flowing.
Meditation cannot come about just because you visit a temple or mosque or gurudwara.. If you were not awake in the shop, in the marketplace, or at home, how can you all of a sudden be awake in the temple? Nothing is going to come about suddenly, when it is not part of an internal flowing. This is why Buddha has said that meditation can happen only if you are meditative for twenty-four hours a day.
So understand well that meditation is not just one of life's innumerable activities. It is not just one link in the chain of man's endless doings. It is like the thread on which all the flowers of a garland have been strung. Meditation is a lifestyle, not an activity. If one is meditative in everything one is doing, if the thread is running through each of the flowers, only then a garland is created. The thread is not even visible, it is hidden underneath the flowers. Nor can the meditator be seen; he is present, but hidden behind all the activities being done through him. An individual is awakened the day when he begins to live meditatively. While he lives nonmeditatively, he sleeps.
Someone asked Mahavira what was the definition of a sadhu. Nobody else has ever given the answer that Mahavira gave. He said, Asutta muni, sutta amuni - the one who is not asleep is a sadhu, the one who is asleep is no sadhu".
Who is not asleep? The one whose every action is meditative is not asleep. Religion, liberation, is an experience that happens in such a wakeful consciousness.All other learning is of the mind asleep. This is why I say there is a big difference between awakening and learning.
My whole effort here is not for teaching you. The whole world is available to you for that. There are great universities, pundits everywhere, endless treatises and libraries in which you can learn.
The world is vast and you can learn anywhere. There are countless teaching facilities available everywhere.
Moreover, there resides within you an intense ambition for learning, because through learning you become powerful. The more information you have, the higher your degree of expertise in a special subject, the more power you have. The more information you have, the more wealth you have.
Knowledge too is wealth. Some people amass wealth in bank vaults, others in their memory. And remember, the one who gathers wealth in his memory system is cleverer, because the bank can be broken; the financial position of the country can change, a communist revolution can happen.
The bank vault is not really safe at all. Thieves, communists, the state, can snatch it away. The protection of the bank is unreliable. But to steal from the memory system is not so easy, though that too is happening now. Ways are being devised to make the theft from the memory system possible.
Until now, the memory system never changed with a change of power in the state, but efforts are afoot to bring this about, too. In China and Korea, communists have performed great experiments in stealing or changing the memory of the population, because in the final analysis memory, though hidden within, is also wealth. To reach within the brain is a highly complex and subtle task for man, but nowadays this too has started to happen.
In the old books, in the ancient universities it was taught that to gather material wealth is unrealistic:
it can be stolen. But to gather knowledge was considered realistic because knowledge cannot be stolen. Wealth will betaken away by death, knowledge can survive death. Hence the old Indian saying, that the dignity of a pundit is all-pervading; wherever he goes he will be respected. All this is now obsolete. We have found the means to break even into this internal vault. Brainwashing is being exhaustively investigated - how to change the head by cleansing it of what it has.
It is the Chinese communists who have carried out great experiments - very dangerous! Their targets were American prisoners of war in Korea. Their effort was to brainwash these young Americans. And the brain can indeed be washed, because memory is made up of signs, and just as the cassette of a tape recorder can be cleaned and re-recorded, so the memory can be cleared and recharged with new memories. Without his knowledge a Hindu can be turned into a Mohammedan Erase his Geeta, insert the Koran, and the Hindu is converted into a Mohammedan. In the same way a Mohammedan can be turned into a Hindu. Seeing their returning prisoners of war turned into communists, America was shocked. What was consciously impossible had been achieved. Carrying out their own investigations of these prisoners, they found that some meddling had been done, that ways had been found to break the memory.
Now in America too great experiments are afoot in this field. Skinner is a great thinker. He says that now it is not necessary to make people understand; now we have the means to change them. If anyone needs to be made "good" then his head can be changed accordingly. There is no need to tell him or to try to teach or instruct him in morality. With the aid of chemicals, or with surgery, the brain can be changed. Electrodes can be inserted in the head, and the individual can be controlled. In the brain of each child an electrode can be fixed right at the moment of birth, without the knowledge of the parents - what to say of the child! Through the electrode the whole life of the child can be controlled, yet the child will remain under the impression that his every act is his own. He will not feel that anyone is ordering him; he will feel as if whatever he is doing comes from his own free will, his own inner inspiration.
Through this research of Skinner and his colleagues, the greatest dark age of man's slavery is about to begin. Man may feel that what he is doing is his own doing, while the fact is that he is being controlled by some external agency - from the capital, through the radio for example. His brain is responding to broadcast waves. Skinner says that even if a whole town has become troublesome, it can be brought to peace in a moment. If people are mutinous, they can be rendered obedient.
If soldiers are sent off to war, they can be rendered fearless. It is simply a matter of erasing their
awareness of death, and they will act without fear, as if there is no death. Now the means exist to erase, change, steal or renew memory. But this is only possible because memory is also a commodity.
There is only one phenomenon that cannot be annihilated by anybody, and that is awareness, inner wakefulness, inner consciousness. Buddha, Mahavira, Christ are not people with better memories than us, they are people of more awareness than us, a higher degree. Nothing can be taken away from them. We can murder them and cut their bodies into little pieces, but we cannot destroy their awareness, because awareness is not an outcome of any physical mechanism; awareness is the name given to the nature of our spiritual heart, to our inner center, to the core of our soul, or however we may choose to describe it. So awareness cannot be destroyed by anybody. Memory can be emptied and refilled. Memory is given to us from the outer world, hence it can be taken away.
Awareness arises within, it does not come from the outside; hence it cannot be snatched away from us.
Except meditation, nothing else transcends death. Not knowledge but meditation alone can be our friend in the moment of death. Meditation alone liberates. Because of this, Hindus have always said that there is no liberation other than meditation. All other phenomena are bonds, and we are bound from all sides. Our morality is a bond, our knowledge is a bond. Only meditation liberates.
So when I said I am trying not to teach you but to awaken, my purpose was to say that I do not wish to strengthen your memory. There is no benefit to be gained even if your memory is increased. You will know a little more, that's all. Your store of information will increase, but this is not going to be of any real advantage. But with a greater awareness, with a deeper consciousness, a higher degree of wakefulness, a revolution can happen in your life.
The efforts for awakening are basically different from those for teaching. Teaching means to tell you something in words which you do not know. Awakening means to make you go through processes so you become that which you are not yet. If, sitting on a river bank, I tell you something about swimming, your information will be increased. If I push you into the river, then swimming itself will be born. Those who wish to make you a swimmer, have no other choice but to push you into the river.
You begin to flail your arms and legs, and it is this flailing that is the beginning of swimming.
The experiments in meditation that I am constantly asking you to do are the efforts leading towards swimming. My emphasis is more on technique, less on information. The emphasis on information is only enough that you can be persuaded to do the technique.
If anybody asked Buddha, "Does God exist?", he used to remain silent. But if someone asked him, "Is there any device to find God?", he would immediately speak. If he was asked, "Please, tell us something about liberation", he would not speak. But if someone asked him, "How can I attain liberation?", he would at once begin to answer, as though he was just awaiting the question. At the very end of his life someone asked him, "What was the principle you wanted to teach us?" and Buddha replied, "Principles as such I did not want to teach. I just wanted to give you techniques with which you could come to know the ultimate principle."
Method and information are two different things. We can discuss food for hours at a time, but that is not going to satisfy anyone's hunger; actually it may increase. But if we prepare food, this will satisfy
hunger. It does not matter that the food may not be of the highest quality. We may not be able to prepare delicious food at our very first attempt, yet this attempt will satisfy the hunger.
God is a hunger, a thirst within us. It cannot be satisfied by theories. No scriptures can quench this thirst; but if they can just intensify the thirst, they are doing enough. Just through preaching sermons, no master can ever quench this thirst, but if he can intensify it for you, that is a great blessing. And this is what the master does; he does not quench your thirst, he intensifies it. He does not give you satisfaction, he makes you more dissatisfied. He does not leave you at rest, because rest is just death. He makes you more restless, and pushes you into an unknown journey of a mystical nature. He lights a fire in your being so that every pore of it can grow thirsty, every breath becomes dissatisfied, your whole life becomes transformed into a hunger. You become restless and perturbed until that hunger is satisfied.
When you are around a real master you develop an intense restlessness, while near a pseudo- master you merely receive information. The pseudo-master will convert you into a pundit, you will start knowing many things without really knowing them. Scriptures will settle in your heart, but you will have no contact with the truth. Contact with truth happens only when the thirst crystallizes to such an extent that you become thirst itself. When the thirst crystallizes so much that you don't even feel that you are thirsty, rather you feel that you are a thirst, that every fiber of your being is on fire - and the moment every fiber of your being becomes aflame, the showers come. And that is the moment of revolution, of transformation. In that very moment you are in contact with truth.
Coming to a master you will receive pain - pain because you are hungry, you are thirsty, you are unfulfilled, because you don't have that which you are yearning for. Near the master you will receive no consolation. In fact he will take away all your consolations. He will never tell you that everything is okay, that everything will be alright. The master is a revolution; he will disturb all your arrangements for sleep, and make you aware that nothing is alright, that everything is a mess, that whatever you have achieved so far is all rubbish, that you have not taken even the first step towards anything of value, that your hands are full of stones while you are clinging to the golden illusion that you are carrying diamonds.
He will take away everything you have. He will strip you bare. He will reduce you to a complete nothingness. And it is from this nothingness that your spiritual thirst will awaken. He will take away everything from you so that all your assurances are lost, so that your sense of security, all your illusory dreams and plans are shattered.
The master is an iconoclast. But it is not the idols in the temples that he destroys - that is nothing but folly - he shatters the image of yourself that is within you. You are not what you consider yourself to be. The serenity on your face is false. Your smile is nothing but a social behavior, an etiquette.
When you say that everything is okay, it is a lie - nothing is okay.
When someone greets you in the morning and asks, "How are you?" and you answer, "Fine!", it is mere words. You have never given it a second thought, how much truth there is in what you are saying. You don't have even the courage to give it a thought, you are afraid of doing that, because you know that nothing is fine, that what you are saying is only politeness, it is just being proper to say to others that everything is fine. But by and by, saying this to others for a long period of time, you yourself have started believing that everything is fine, and you have forgotten that nothing is fine.
Hence approaching a master is dangerous, risky. He will demolish all your illusions; and the fact is that you are nothing but a bundle of illusions. He will cut away all your satisfactions, and such a dissatisfaction will be born in you which will not disappear until you are one with the divine. Such a restlessness is born, such a yearning for the divine, which pricks your heart as though you are full of thorns within. Such an unease is born that there will be no recovery from it until you attain to the supreme health.
This is why only very courageous people go to a master. It will be right to say that only daredevils can approach a master. To approach a master is playing with fire. To approach a master is to set out on a voyage to another world, to travel from a world which is known into an unknown world, to which there is no map, and about which no information is available. It is not a business; it is a gamble, in which we put ourselves at stake without knowing what will happen.
It is these gamblers that I call seekers, sannyasins. They stake all that they know for that which they do not know. The sensible and thoughtful world around them behaves in an exactly contrary manner. Hence, the world always considers a sannyasin to be crazy. The world lives by the rule of business - bid one dollar only if it is sure to return a dollar and a half. It is better, says the world, to have half a loaf of bread in your hand than to risk it for dreams of the whole loaf. It is better to hang on to what we have, rather than risk losing it to seek more in an uncertain future where we do not know whether we will receive anything at all.
Omar Khayyam, in his famous Rubaiyat, says: "Be not sparing with this life, drink your fill of all that is at hand, because you know not whether what you do not have exists at all. Enjoy this world - no need to raise the question of the other. If it comes to us then we shall do it justice, but who knows whether it exists or not? Enjoy what you have - body, senses, and the world. Drink it to the full!"
Enjoy what is at hand, and don't think of what is not - this is the logic of the worldly individual.
The logic of the sannyasin is just the opposite. It says, "What I have is all rubbish, just stones and garbage. There isn't even anything of value that could be extracted from it. There is nothing to extract, and nothing of any interest can be derived from it. But the moment I leave it, the doors to the unknown open. And that is where joy abides!"
Only gamblers can play this game. This is why I often say that a business-minded man cannot be religious; a businessman lives by mathematics.
I have heard: once a businessman bought two lottery tickets for one dollar each. As it happened, he won the first prize - a million dollars! Friends and well-wishers rushed to congratulate him, not surprisingly in festive mood; but they found him lying in bed, quite inconsolable.
"What's the matter?" they inquired, "You have won such a fabulous prize, and you are miserable?"
"Yes," he replied, "but I don't know why I should have bought this other ticket. Look at this one which won me a million dollars! But, alas, the other one is such a waste of one dollar!"
This is the attitude of the businessman; hence his inability to become religious.
You will be surprised to know that the great religious figures of this country were all born into kshatriya families - the warrior caste. They were neither sons of brahmins - the religious caste,
nor of vaishyas - the businessmen. Mahavira, Buddha, Parshvanatha, Neminatha, Krishna, Rama, all come from kshatriya families. A kshatriya can afford to be a gambler; his is a different style of mathematics. He thinks not in terms of interest, but in terms of staking. For him, to live or to die islike a leap.
No matter where he is in the world, the religious person is of a gambling nature. The gambler is a daredevil. The gambler is one who stakes what he has for that which he does not have, he wagers the real for the possible.
A poet may become religious, but a shopkeeper? - Never! If a shopkeeper turns religious, he makes religion also a business. Religion does not change him, he changes the religion. He brings his ledgers and account books into the temples and the mosques, converting them into shops.
When I say, "I have come to awaken you, not to teach," I am saying that I want to demolish your commercial attitude. I want you to become daredevils, gamblers. Look at what you have with open eyes, and see the nothingness of it - so that you can set out in search of that which you do not have.
The journey is difficult and it can be carried out only if you go with wakefulness. If you are sleepy, you will go astray. The chances of straying are enormous, because the expanse is enormous. The path for reaching is very narrow - mystics say it is a razor's edge - but for going astray is a vast expanse, bigger than this earth. The whole universe is there for your wandering.
Meditation is the razor's edge. The moment you try to meditate, you will understand why mystics have called it razor's edge: it is so minute, atomic, so easy to miss. For a moment meditation happens, and the very next moment you are again in the state of non-meditation. Some time or other try this experiment: take a watch in your hand and try to observe continuously the second hand. Find out how many seconds you can watch the moving hand without being distracted by thoughts. You will discover that three seconds is your limit, and that too with great difficulty. Even before three seconds have passed, your mind has wandered off somewhere - on some wish-fulfilling fantasy or into some desirable state. The watch itself, not just the second hand, is forgotten. You will be appalled when you suddenly discover for how many seconds you have completely forgotten the second hand - then you will understand why mystics refer to meditation as the razor's edge. Just a tiny movement, just for a moment, and you have missed it!
Yes, awareness, awakening, is arduous, but it is worth the difficulty. Compared to what you get, the difficulty is nothing. Everyone who has ever attained has declared that what they did was nothing, while what they gained was all. Hence they talk of attainment as the sacrament, prasad, the gift: it cannot be achieved through effort, it has no relation to what we do. It is as though we did a dollar's worth of work, and received a billion dollars in return. We have done nothing, and we receive all.
There seems to be no cause-and-effect relationship between the work and the reward; hence the word prasad - the gift. It was not attained through our effort; it was offered to us out of grace.
But while we are in it, it is difficult; and this is so because our investment in the sleep is great. Our great hopes, and the wildest fantasies of our dreams, are all contained in sleep, and if we break out of our slumber, all these hopes and dreams begin to collapse. You say to your wife, "I love you"; but when awareness fills you, you will have to say, "I have never loved you". You tell your children, "I am living for you"; but filled with awareness you will discover that it is not true. You are not living for
your children, you are keeping them alive so that you can live on through them when you are dead.
Your children are your desire; they are supposed to complete that which you were unable to do. You are trying to travel on their shoulders into the future. Through them you are seeking immortality - you may die, but your son will remain. Something of you, that is, will remain, something of yours will survive to carry on in the world.
People love to carve their names on stones: "This stone will remain, even though I am gone." If there is so much pleasure in carving one's name on stone, how much more in carving it on a living person? To die without becoming a father is considered a tragedy, to die without becoming a mother is an anguish, because you will leave no living trace behind you.
Your death will be complete, not a shadow of yours will remain. The flow of your current will no longer be continued. Hindus say that unless you leave some offspring behind you when you die, you have not paid your debt to your father.
It is a matter worth considering. Why is it that your debt to your father is paid only when you become a father? Because you are the medium through which your father is living on, and if you bring the flow to a stop, your father's life will continue no further. So make sure you leave a child behind you. A son is needed, and if all else fails, adopt one. No matter that the son is false - that he is someone else's - adopt anyway. Hindus have been so bound up in this attitude that they used to invite someone else to come and have intercourse with the wife if she and the husband had been unable to produce a child. This was not considered to be adultery. So important was it to have a son that the adultery was not seen as such. There was no immorality in it, because the paternal debt has to be paid.
Man longs to escape from death, and he makes his attempts in numerous ways. He builds mighty mansions and huge castles from the most durable stones he can find, and leaves his signature in fine monuments. One way or another he must leave his child in the world. And every father seeks to create the child in his own image. He never stops to consider, "What is so good in me that it is worth leaving my image behind, which is going to make the world more beautiful? It was ugly enough because of me, it was a weight, a dead weight, and now I want to leave my image behind me?"
And if the son deviates a little from the behavior of his father, the father gets disturbed, because it means that he won't be a true image, a true representative! So all parents repeat again and again to their children, "Look, kids, it's for your sake we are living!" But in the light of awareness they will see that they are rearing their children for their own sake. It is hardly surprising if children turn rebellious and take revenge in their youth - because no one wants to live for the sake of somebody else, everyone wants to live for themselves. The desire of every living being is to give expansion to itself, not to anybody else. So in every son there is a deep hatred of the father.
One of the basic findings of Freud's research is that it is very difficult to find a son who is not, at root, his father's enemy. Superficially he behaves in an acceptable manner and may even respect his father, but deep down there is opposition. It is equally difficult to find a daughter who is not deep down her mother's enemy.
Gurdjieff used to say that if a person can be found who truly respects his parents, he should be treated as a saint, because it is very difficult to love one's parents. And if it happens... it can only
happen because of complete awareness. In this wakeful state you come to recognize that your parents are living in a state of unawareness, and you see that this is not their fault, and then you start feeling compassion and kindness for them.
It is a natural symptom of unawareness to exploit and torture others - and to disguise the torture as morality. When a father beats his child, you think he is doing it for the child's own good. With just a small amount of awareness you will come to see that the beating has in fact nothing to do with improving the child. What has happened is that somehow the child has hit the father's ego, scratched it; and because of this the father is enraged. He is beating the child because of the knock to his ego, but he says to him, "I am only doing this for your own good," and pretends that he is doing him a favor! Let awareness arise in you, and all these things will drop away!
When a man offers himself as a candidate in political elections, he says he is doing it so that he can serve the public. But no politician ever contests an election for the purpose of public service. True, he himself thinks that this is why he is standing. He is not just saying it, he actually believes it! He is deceiving not only you, but himself as well. "Without a position, how can I serve the public? How to serve without power?" This is his logic. But every servant, just at the moment of rising to power, is converted to lordship and ownership. He sets out with the idea of serving you, and ends up cutting your throat. He himself was under the impression that he was serving you, but somehow, massaging your legs, he progressed to your shoulders, and ended up cutting your throat, unsuspected by you or by himself. Awareness will reveal to him that his politics is not in fact about serving others; it is about expansion of the ego, and the harnessing of others to his service.
When you serve, you serve only in order to receive the service of others. When you give, you give only so that you can grab what you want. All that you do is exploitation. You just employ high-sounding titles to conceal the truth. This is why I say that you have a great investment in unawareness.
On unawareness depend some of your greatest projects. So it is very difficult to break your unawareness. To break it means to understand that the world you have created around yourself is false, it is only self-deception. It is only a net woven of your own desires, ambitions, violence and jealousies.
It is not easy for anybody to see his whole life empty, and yet be unafraid. We get frightened!, so we shut our eyes, and convince ourselves that whatever is, is right. Let it be! - there is no need to break it.
This is why meditation is so difficult. You are all ready to learn, but no one is ready to wake up. This is why I have to speak to you - so that in your desire to learn you become attracted and come to me.
It is a great temptation. You are tempted just as fish are tempted onto the hook with the help of bait!
Buddha also speaks, and Jesus too, knowing very well that speaking is just meaningless, that there is no point in it. But you are fish that would not come near without bait. To teach is like bait, and to awaken is the hook. It will hurt, it will make life difficult. It will bring an end to this life as you know it but will give birth to a new life. It is a rebirth.
Every rebirth is preceded by death. In awakening, you will have to die. You cannot continue, you will come to an end. And who is ready to die easily? But in learning, your continuity is unbroken. You
remain the same - maybe even improved, sharpened, cleaner. It is making you more sophisticated.
The more you learn, the more cultured, civilized, educated, sabhya you seem to be.
Sabhya is a very sweet word. It means a man who is fit to sit in a sabha, a meeting. The more knowledge you have, the higher is your eligibility to be in a meeting. The more you know, the more sophisticated your ego becomes, just as the facets of a diamond are created by cutting and polishing so that it shines more. The uneducated man is like an uncut diamond. Only a jeweller can recognize an uncut diamond. An educated man is like a cut diamond; any fool can see the glitter and sparkle of it. You are all willing to learn because your ego will not only continue, but will actually become more polished, more refined. But you are not willing to become awakened, because awakening will bring you to an end, and the new will be born.
So I begin with teaching so that I can awaken you, but teaching is not the purpose. And if a person comes to me directly in order to be awakened, I do not try, even in the least, to teach.
In connection with this you need to understand about surrender. If I am teaching you, surrender is not needed; what you need is will. Only the person who has will and willpower can learn, because for learning concentration is essential. For learning, the narrower the channel of your mind, the better; because through a narrow mind things enter directly into the unconscious to become part of your memory. Hence all schools emphasize concentration - it is necessary for learning. A thousand and one ways - rewards as well as punishments - have been devised to promote and improve concentration.
Through fear of punishment concentration is achieved. Will you ask anybody how to concentrate if someone is holding a knife against your chest? Your concentration will be total, you will forget everything else. The tune you were humming will disappear, the train of thought you were following will come to a halt. All your attention will be concentrated on this sharp point. Out of fear comes concentration. This is why students in schools, colleges and universities are made to live in fear.
Very subtle ways of fear are used. If you fail in the examinations you will lose face, people will laugh at you. But this is not all, there is fear about the world too. If you go on failing like this, where do you stand in the world? How will you earn your living? Where will you find a home? You will be a nobody!
This fear has first to be deeply instilled. As the fear crystallizes, you begin to concentrate. This is why a student's concentration deepens as the exams approach; his fear has crystallized more, and his frightened mind deepens its concentration.
The opposite side of fear is reward. There is not much difference between punishment and reward.
Reward is inverted fear. Attain the first place in exams and you will win a gold medal, your name will be publicized, honors will be showered on you, and all sorts of opportunities for high professional status and good jobs will come your way. To fulfil your ambitions will become easy. The ego will be further refined, and it will enjoy its prestige. Then comes the fear of not achieving the gold medal, and also the greed to achieve it.
All education is based either on greed or on fear.If you want to teach, you must frighten. Hence all these so-called gurus who want to teach you will first have to scare you. Hell was created for this purpose, and heaven too. There is neither heaven nor hell; they are nowhere to be found, except
inside you. Geographical exploration is pointless: dig as deep into the earth as you like, you will not find hell; nor will the rocket aimed toward the stars ever reach heaven. Outside yourself they are nowhere to be found. Heaven and hell are within you, they are extensions of greed and fear. The greed is for heaven, and the fear is of hell.
Religions understood that if you want to teach people, you have to frighten them or create greed in them. It is a strange contradiction that religions continuously exhort you to be free of fear and greed, and yet go on preaching of heaven and hell.
Rabiya was a Sufi mystic - a woman. One day the townspeople watched her running through the town. In one hand she held a burning torch, and in the other a pot full of water. People used to consider her to be mad - people have always treated mystics as mad; only these so-called mystics who have the same business mind that you have will not be regarded as mad. Only the one who is not much different from you will be treated as a saint. But between the saint and yourselves there has to be a fundamental difference! So people considered Rabiya mad, and her behavior today was excessive - a flaming torch in one hand, and a water pot in the other!
In the marketplace people called to her, "Rabiya, where are you rushing off to and what is all this in your hands?"
She replied, "This flaming torch is to burn down your heaven, and this water is to drown your hell.
Until your heaven and hell are annihilated, there is no way that you people can become religious."
How can one become religious without destroying fear and greed? But if you have to teach, then fear and greed are necessary. Through fear and greed the mind learns to concentrate, and only when the mind is concentrated can you learn.
If you want to awaken, concentration is not needed at all. In order to awaken, there is no need whatsoever for fear and greed. Greed and fear and concentration of the mind have to come to an end. This may be difficult for you to understand because concentration has been mistaken for meditation. Concentration is not meditation. Concentration is a state of tension. Meditation is a state of relaxation. Concentration is narrow, meditation is expansiveness. Meditation means that mind has come to rest; it is not flowing in any particular direction, it is not fixed on anything; it is simply at rest.
You are sitting under a tree. If you want to concentrate, then recite some mantra, some chant, or place a sacred article in your hands on which to concentrate your mind. This is nothing but an aspect of learning. This can produce power, because from the will issues power. But no peace will come from this; there is no relationship whatsoever between willpower and peace. Out of concentration only a Durvasa, the notorious Hindu saint, famous for his fits of anger, can be born.
Durvasa represents the last milestone on the highway of concentration, he is the ultimate in concentration; this is why if Durvasa curses you to death, there is no escape. You will die then and there, because Durvasa has concentrated his mind to such a degree that whatever he says will enter into your unconsciousness like an arrow, and once there it will become a suggestion. It will take root there, like a seed. If Durvasa cursed you to die, you cannot continue to live. You will have to obey him; so intense is his power of concentration that you will have to submit to it, and you will wither under his gaze. In the face of a Durvasa you will have no choice but to be afraid.
This is why I am unable to call Durvasa a sage. How can one whom we have to fear be a sage?
The sage is one in the face of whom all our fears are dispelled. But the man of concentration is to be feared. Just a glance from a man of concentration and you will feel the tremor within you.
Rasputin in Russia was a Durvasa of this age. Wherever he cast his eyes he created danger and deep fear. Prince Yusupov, the man who assassinated him, closed his eyes while shooting because if Rasputin had managed just to look into his eyes he wouldn't have been able to use the pistol. Rasputin's eyes were so powerful that he could enter you with no hindrance. Blinking was a phenomenon unknown to Rasputin. If he turned his gaze to you, you would become uneasy. His unblinking eyes, and his concentration, accumulated for years, would arouse fear in you. Wherever he looked he created difficulty - this much was certain. It was just through the power of his eyes that he had gained his place behind the czar's throne. The czar's young son was a hemophiliac; just a little cut, and he could bleed to death; a small wound, and nothing could stop the blood oozing away.
But if Rasputin just looked into the young boy's eyes and said, "Stop!" the bleeding would stop.
At the time this was considered a great miracle. But researches in hypnosis say today that blood is also under the control of deeper levels of the mind. If I want to raise my hand the hand will move, it will be lifted up. And if a hand can be moved then blood can be stopped. The hand obeys, and what is a hand but bones and blood and tissues? When I want to walk my legs obey; when the whole of my body obeys me, why not my blood as well? Only a little practice in concentration is needed.
While the child was in Rasputin's hands, he overpowered the whole of the royal family. If Rasputin were absent just for a day and the child began to bleed, no doctor would be of any help. Rasputin made a very strange forecast: he predicted that the power of the czar would cease to exist very soon after his - Rasputin's - death. Now, he made this statement of course so that the czar should protect him, and the czar indeed did his best. But within a year and a half of Rasputin's death, the three-hundred year old czarist empire came to an end.
As I understand it, Rasputin's words must have reached deep into the czar's heart. Rasputin was assassinated eighteen months before the Russian Revolution in 1917. With his assassination the czar's empire began to disintegrate. With each passing day the czar and his wife must have felt more and more the impossibility of continuing without Rasputin. How could the empire be run, even for a single day? All is destroyed, even as Rasputin is destroyed. The feeling must have gone very deep.
There is a superficial layer of history at which events can be viewed. On this superficial historical level, Lenin is the most important personality behind the Russian Revolution. But there is a deeper level of history, and at this level it is Rasputin who is the most important figure behind the revolution.
It is because of Rasputin that the Russian Revolution could happen. This is psycho-history; its events are not visible on the surface; you can only see them from within.
If you are sitting under a tree and practicing concentration, power will arise in you. Power of any kind feeds and nourishes the ego. Hence you will always find that the sannyasins who practice concentration of mind are great egoists. Their each and every action is a great manifestation of their ego; whether they are talking, walking, sitting or doing something, all is full of ego. How can a man who is filled with his own ego be in tune with existence? It is impossible.
Meditation is a state exactly opposite to concentration. Meditation means that you are sitting under a tree, with your consciousness open to all directions. It is not running in any direction - it is open to all. It is not running; it is steady and available to all. The bird's song will be heard, with no thought as to whether it is a cuckoo or some other bird. The moment thought enters, meditation disappears; with thoughts, concentration begins. The bird will sing, its song will echo in your inner emptiness because you are open and available, but there will be no ripple of thought; the sound will echo and disappear. A plane flies by overhead, and its roar too will echo and vanish. A train whistle blows; its sound echoes within you and fades away. The leaves will be falling from the trees, their sound echoing in your inner emptiness, but you won't be thinking, you will just be.
Meditation is the name of this being, of being without thought. And meditation is no narrow state of mind, it is no narrow-flowing river, it is an ocean. Concentration is like a river, actively flowing fast into a certain direction. Meditation is like the ocean, a vast expanse open to all directions, but not flowing anywhere. The river can be flooded; to the ocean, flooding is unknown. Rivers are running and narrow, a small amount of water fills them up - just a little less water and they run dry.
Concentration can be flooded and stormed with great power, and concentration can also run dry and become lifeless. Meditation is never flooded and never runs dry. It is steady within itself.
Wakefulness is attained through meditation and meditation is surrender. Concentration is attained through willpower, meditation through surrender. Surrender means abandoning oneself to the whole, becoming one with it.
Nahin Ram Bin Thaon - become one with Rama who is everywhere present, become one with existence. Let your drop disappear into this! Let your separate identity go, because as long as you remain separate you cannot be open, the doors and the windows will have to be closed, a wall will have to be put up. Leave them all open. Let the breeze pass through you, without meeting any obstacle. Let the sounds pass through you, let there be no walls to hold them back. Let your self become an openness, an open sky. This will happen through surrender.
Surrender is one inner state; will is another. Will means conflict; surrender means no conflict. A man swimming in a river is a symbol of will; a man floating on the river is a symbol of surrender. The swimmer can drown, the floating man will never drown. Have you ever seen a corpse drowning?
A living man will always fight. Even if he is floating he will be conscious of drowning; there will always be some resistance. But the corpse is utterly efficient; it is very meditative. It has no regard whatsoever for anything that may happen, and the result is that no river can drown it.
Doctors actually use this phenomenon for a test when making post-mortems of people found dead in water. If a corpse is dragged from a river and found to have water in its lungs, it indicates that the body was alive when it entered the river. If there is no water in the lungs, then the person must have been dead before being put in the river, because a dead man does not fight with the river - and the river therefore does not fight with him, but floats him like a flower upon its surface.
A meditative person is one who has died to his ego. Surrender means dissolving one's ego and saying to existence, now it is Your will, not mine. This is the very meaning of this sutra: that it is You, not I; that I surrender my ego to You. This ego, which I have so carefully preserved, which has brought me so much unhappiness, which I have carried through birth after birth until all my strength has gone; this ego, which has weighed me down and brought me nothing of any value, I am returning to You!
Surrender is this returning of the ego. Surrender is to live life without an I. Sitting, it is no longer I who sits; getting up, it is no longer I who gets up. One becomes only an instrument through which existence sits and existence gets up. It is existence who gets hungry, whose hunger gets satisfied; it is existence who gets thirsty and whose thirst gets quenched;let the "me" be moved aside.
Surrender does not just mean bowing down to someone's feet. Surrender means to live a life in which "I" is no longer formed, in which "I" is not created; in which existence works through you without hindrance.
Krishna's whole message to Arjuna in the Gita is just this, nothing else: allow yourself to disappear, and let existence be. If existence wants this war to happen, let it happen; if it wants it to stop, let it stop. You just become an instrument, a tool. Let the sword stay in your hand, but allow it to be in the hands of existence. Let there be nothing of yourself within you. Then there will be action, but no concern about its fruits - because it is always the ego which looks for the fruits.
Action is a part of life energy. Action is nothing but the play of energy. The desire for the fruit is the desire of the ego. Ego asks, "What will be the fruit of my action?"
This is why small children are able to play. But as we grow up, the play ceases, because ego begins to ask, "What will I get from it? What about the fruit?" A small child is whirling around on his own, just whirling around and around, and we ask, "Why are you wasting your energy like that?"
Wasted, we say, because that much energy could have made some money, that much labor could have earned something. So we ask the child, "What are you getting out of what you are doing?
What is to be gained?"
Ego always inquires after the advantage: what will be gained? People come to me and they ask, "What will be gained through meditation?" I tell them, "Nothing will be gained through meditation; on the contrary, you may lose what you already have!" Who has ever gained anything out of meditation?
Everything is lost, and when everything of yours has disappeared, all that remains is God. This is moksha, liberation. Rama is everything. I am nothing!
But by Rama, do not understand the warrior, the archer, that Rama whose statues are standing in the temples. He is useless. You may drop everything at the feet of these temple statues but nothing will be dropped. Nobody ever really goes to the temple to offer; on the contrary, everyone goes there to beg. If a man bows down at Rama's feet, it is only to ask for something in return. He has come with a demand. He is only trying to persuade Rama.
"You are great and marvelous," he says, "you are the savior of the fallen!" He is just flattering; what he means is, "I want something; fulfill my demands!" He is just playing the game of greed on Rama.:
if you do not fulfill those demands, all praises will cease, and condemnation will take its place.
But the Rama you can influence by your praise is not Rama, the Rama you can sway by your criticism is not Rama, the Rama who listens to your demands and caters for them is not Rama. He is just the webwork of your own desires; he is a statue of your own making. He is your toy. It is you who have installed him in the temple. The temple is just a part of your dream. No, I am not talking about that Rama.
I am talking about the Rama who is singing in the birds, who is swaying in the trees, murmuring in the fountains; I am talking about the Rama who is in the open sky, who is everywhere. I am not referring to a person, I am referring to the ultimate energy. If you have eyes to see, you will experience the expanse of energy everywhere. You will see the expanse of a supreme energy which manifests in various forms and then dissolves. All this vast play is Rama.
Hindus have chosen a beautiful word, Ramleela, to signify the drama of Rama's life. This is a sweet word, a tempting word. Leela means play - children's play, which implies an abundance of energy.
With so much energy, why just sit or lie around? Let us play! Only Hindus have the concept of play in their religion. Christians say, "God created the world." Creation seems to have a seriousness about it, creation seems to be loaded with some purpose behind it, some end in view, somewhere to reach.
Hindus say, "The world is God's play, leela." Leela means there is so much overflowing energy, just to sit idle is impossible! So, God thought, "Let me play!" This is the reason why children cannot sit quietly. Ask the older ones, whose energy has faded, who find it difficult to walk; they will happily agree to sit quietly. But children bounce, overflowing with energy! They cannot sit! Even if you try to make them sit, they will start fidgeting. The energy is overflowing.
God is infinite energy, and we are his overflowing. The whole existence is his overflowing. It is all his abundance that is flowing. And he can never be exhausted. This energy that can never be emptied, is called Rama. And the day this Rama becomes your final refuge, the day you come to experience that there is nowhere else to go but within, you find that an overwhelming gratitude has arisen in your life. No gratitude can arise in life until this happens.
Enough for today.