[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.]
SINCE YOU INITIATED ME INTO SANNYAS, I HAVE BEGUN TO FEAR YOU A LITTLE. BEFORE THAT THIS FEAR WAS NOT THERE, ALTHOUGH I HAVE BEEN FRIGHTENED THROUGHOUT MY ENTIRE LIFE. I KNOW TOO THAT THE FREEDOM AND LOVE I HAVE FOUND IN BEING CLOSE TO YOU WERE NOT AVAILABLE TO ME EVEN AROUND MY PARENTS. IF IN THE SHADOW OF YOUR OVERFLOWING LOVE I AM NOT GOING TO FIND FREEDOM FROM FEAR, THEN WHERE ELSE? HOW IS THIS FREEDOM FROM FEAR POSSIBLE?
Many points will have to be understood. Freedom from fear has no relation whatsoever to any other person. The master cannot free the disciple from fear, because the fear is within you and the master is outside. What a master can do, at the most, is to create in you the illusion of freedom from fear - but then he is not a real master. He may give you the feeling that the fear has disappeared but it can only be an idea, a belief. Courage, bravery, can be created externally, but not fearlessness.
Fearlessness means that there are no causes for fear within, and courage means that the causes for fear are present within, but from the outside you have made yourself strong, pulled yourself together somehow. There is not much difference between a courageous man and a coward. The coward is unable to hide his fear, while the man of courage is able to do so; this is all the difference there is between the two. The one whom we call courageous is also afraid inside, just as a coward is; and if the coward tries a few techniques he too can become courageous.
So your guru may make you courageous, but fearlessness can be attained only from within.
Fearlessness cannot be imposed from the outside - it is not like face paint or Brylcream; it is not a cosmetic, it is not makeup, it is an inner experience.
What I mean by inner experience is that fearlessness cannot be born in you until it is the realization of your inner being. The fear is there because we think that we are the body - not only think, we are certain that we are the body. And the body is going to fall, the body is going to die: the destruction of the body is quite certain. When our destruction is a certainty, when death is inevitable, how can there be fearlessness? The fact of withering away makes us tremble. Death may look far away, yet it is very near. What does it matter whether it comes after seven days or seventy years? Death is standing there by your side all along. Nothing is as close to you as death. This realization of inevitable death makes one tremble.
So the master may make you forget this fact, he may make you understand that the soul is immortal, that you will never die, that no one ever dies. Even if you understand this doctrine, if you accept it and agree with it, still you may become only courageous, not fearless... because the doctrine has been given to you by someone else, it is not your own experience. Someone has told you. No matter how much you trust in it, your trust cannot be total. Total trust can only happen when it is your own experience.
So until you realize and experience that the soul is immortal, fearlessness will not happen. Near the pseudo-master courageousness will be born, but near the true master fear will be created in its real sense for the first time. So it is possible that this state of fearfulness has arisen in you - that the fear has crystallized. This has to happen, it must, because whatever is within you, whatever has been repressed, will have to be expressed. Wherever you have been deceiving yourself, all your defensive walls will have to be brought down. You have to be revealed to yourself in all your nudity, and only after that can the journey proceed further. One who has set out on the journey of truth will first have to begin to recognize untruth, and the one who is traveling in the dimension of reality will first have to shatter untruths.
So all the consolations you have gathered around you, all the false truths you have made, and all the flowers that you have pasted onto your exterior and which have not come from within you, will all crumble in my presence; and as they fall your fear will grow. I am not interested in indoctrinating you on the deathlessness of the soul. Instead, you will have to confront the fact that your body is going to perish, that you are going to die, and that nothing is going to remain of all that which you think you are. You don't know anything of that which will remain. You will just die - the full death, nobody can save you, neither the premise of deathlessness nor any master. No, nothing can save you - to die is your nature.
So first your realization of death is to be intensified, and then your trembling will grow. A moment will come when you are nothing but fear itself, and every cell of your being is nothing but weeping.
And when you see the fire of death burning your every cell, on the funeral pyre, that is when you will abandon your identification with the body, that is when your eyes will turn towards that which is deathless. Only the experience of the totality of fear will lead you to fearlessness.
Life is very complex. It may seem strange to you when I say that only if I take you deep into your fear will you be able to find fearlessness. To you it will appear to be the right thing that I should make you
courageous, conceal your fear, and embroider your death in beautiful colors. If I say to you, "Death is your friend, death is the door to God," if I console you - "Why are you afraid? You will never die, you have never died" - all this will be very sweet to listen to, and you may feel that your fear is getting less, your trembling is ceasing, but you will remain stuck with the body, because you have no idea who you are. So whenever I say that you are deathless, you will relate it to all those falsehoods you are identified with; you will understand your ego to be deathless. Ego is not deathless. In fact nothing in the world is as full of death as the ego, nothing is more false than the ego. Ego in itself is dead.
So first of all I will bring you to a total trembling. You will feel that you are fear itself, all the passion of your fear will be crystallized, you will be unable even to sleep in peace. You will continue to move around, but the trembling will be there all the same. You will see death all around you, as though the whole world is ready to kill you, to annihilate you; as if you have been thrown into an ocean when the waves are roaring and rushing towards you to swallow you up, and there is no shore in sight, no boat, no shelter, no one to hear you however much you scream - all around you the roaring waves of the ocean, you, and death, and nothing else! In this intense realization of death happens the transformation when you for the first time jump out of the body, and the glimpse, the experience of soul takes place.
Near the master you will feel much pain at first; all the anguish of separation and the extreme of your agony. Only then will be born that contentment, that sense of the deathless, from which fearlessness grows.
Here a point has to be understood: often it is out of fear that we begin our search into religion, so our natural desire surfaces that somebody should minimize our fears. But it is not a question of minimizing the fear, it is a question of completely uprooting fear. It is not a question of adjustment with fear, it is a question of burning away fear utterly.
In this world we are only able to drop things when the pain becomes so unbearable that we cannot afford to keep them anymore. The identification you have with your body is not yet so intensely agonizing to you. So no matter how much the sages explain it to you, no matter that the mystics say, "You are not the body, drop the identification with it!" you just hear them saying it, but inside you are rigidly attached to your body. You may regularly repeat such statements as "I am not the body" - you may have recited this many thousands of times - but still you are convinced internally that you are the body. Any hurt to the body is a hurt to you. If the body is ill, you feel ill. You feel beautiful if your body is beautiful, and if you body is ugly, you feel ugly. When the body grows old, you grow old along with it. Naturally, when your body dies you will die. How ever much others say it, at the most we can create a false illusion around us, but without experiencing, the truth does not arise in us. So you have come here certainly with the intention of getting rid of some fear, but I will enhance your fear because that is the only way to destroy it.
One very basic point of the complexity of life is that when a disciple comes to a master, the motivation of the two is very different. And it should be so, because the disciple is standing in darkness, he is not yet aware what is good for him; at the most he thinks in that direction. The master is standing in the light; he knows what is good. So often you come to the master for some reason, and the master starts doing something else with you. You can regard this as a criterion: if your reason for coming to the master is also the reason of the master, and he starts working on it, then the master is also standing in darkness.
You have come to me because of fear. I know it. But my actions are not designed to minimize your fear, but to awaken your fearlessness. You have not even come to me to attain fearlessness. You came looking for courage, for bravery, so you can fight - that's all. That will satisfy you. You are satisfied with such meager gifts. Your dissatisfaction does not run very deep. A drowning man will clutch at a blade of grass to save himself, and I know that blades of grass cannot save anybody.
Perhaps you may drown because of the blade of grass, because one who takes the blade of grass for a boat will stop looking for the real boat. The one who has seen a false shore has lengthened his path to the real shore. I have no concern with the reasons for which you have come to me; I shall do only that which is right for your true welfare.
In the West recently, some psychological studies have been done on fasting, and a very strange fact has emerged, one that you would not have ever imagined. Man is so complex, he is never what you think! One of the question asked is, "Who are more successful in fasting, the introverts or the extroverts?" For thousands of years we have maintained that the introvert is more successful in fasting - a great meditator, forgetting his meals and his hunger, deeply involved in Rama, the divine within, immersed in the religious experience and total in his prayer - and that the one who cannot succeed in fasting is the extrovert, who breaks his fast when hunger afflicts him, is not deeply involved in Rama, has no faith, and is not religious. So all the religions of the world have used fasting as a way to make man religious. But the psychological evidence says just the opposite.
It is the extrovert who succeeds in fasting, not the introvert. The extrovert, whose eyes are focused on the external, succeeds, while the introvert, whose eyes are focused on the internal, fails.
Try to understand this, because it applies to all the other facets of life. The extrovert lives externally.
If a beautiful woman passes by and he sees her, his sexual feelings are aroused; if there is no beautiful woman around his sexual feelings are not aroused. If such a man goes to the wilderness and sits there, it will appear that sex has disappeared from his life. This is the extrovert - the cause of his desire is external. If he smells the aroma of cooking coming from a hotel, the extrovert's hunger is aroused. If he goes to the temple where there are no smells of food, no sight of food, no talk of food, then he will find it easy to fast there.
The introvert lives from within. He feels hungry, then he goes to find food. The extrovert becomes hungry when he sees the food. The introvert gets interested and looks for a woman because he feels sexually aroused. The extrovert becomes aroused when he sees the woman. For the extrovert, the cause is outside, and because of this external stimulus his impulse, his inner flow, is aroused. The cause for the introvert is inside, and his behavior is governed only by the internal stimulus. The implications of this are that if you are an extrovert and you go to the temple to fast, your fasting will be successful. If you are an introvert, going to the temple will make no difference; even there you will feel hungry. Hunger is hunger - how can sitting in the temple make any difference?
There is a Jewish festival called Yom Kippur. On the day of Yom Kippur the Jews go to the synagogue and stay there, fasting all day. Many of these fasters were observed in this scientific experiment, and it was found that those who were extrovert forgot their hunger.
The Jainas in this country do the same thing. During paryushana parva, the days of fasting, they go on sitting in their temples, discussing the scriptures. There is no food in sight, no talk of food, not even the smell of food, and they forget all about food - their causes are external. But the introverts will be hungry at the appropriate times; reading the scriptures aloud will make no difference to them.
This then seems to be very strange, because what it means is that those who attain celibacy by going to the wilderness are extroverts. The same will not happen to the introverts by going to the wilderness. But the extrovert cannot become religious; one has to be introverted to become religious. If one has not even this little introvertedness that he can experience the hunger and thirst which are within, how can he possibly experience the soul? - because the soul is even deeper within. How can you go inside when your hunger and thirst are influenced by outer things, and you are not even related to your own hunger and thirst?
The extrovert cannot become religious. But the extrovert is successful in the so-called religious world. The introvert can become religious, but he fails in the so-called religious world. This is very strange! This means that the flock that gathers together in the name of religion is a group of extroverts.
That the Jaina religion could not be developed was basically because of this. It is a group of extroverts with a big emphasis on fasting; introverts cannot succeed there, only the extroverts will. Look closely at the Jaina holy men - the sadhus, the munis - and you will find that they are all extroverts. This is why mysticism could not be born in the Jaina religion, because the mystic is an introvert. As a result the Jaina religion has remained nothing but dry mathematics, full of professionalism and superficial mathematical formulas - what grade of celibacy, how many fasts observed, how little food eaten, what did you eat and what you didn't, how much sleep, what time you got up - all just superficial calculation. Those who succeed in this are all extroverts. No internal music can be born in them.
Life is very complex and contradictory. The man who attains courage by suppressing fear seems to have found fearlessness, but in reality such a person can never attain to fearlessness. Only he who first experiences his inner fear totally, lives it, goes through it, transcends it, can attain to fearlessness. Only then fearlessness is born.
Fearlessness is not the opposite of fear, it is the absence of fear. Courageousness is the opposite of fear, the other extreme from fear. Fearlessness is the complete disappearance of fear, its absence.
Courageousness can be very easily practiced, just a little discipline is needed. Even a man who is trembling with fear and afraid in the extreme can be turned into a soldier; all that is needed is a little discipline, a little adjustment, a little gathering of courage. The fear gets suppressed and moves into the unconscious. But to attain fearlessness is very, very difficult, because the fear will have to be destroyed from its very roots.
So remember, if your fear increases when you come to me, it is a good sign. Don't even try to become courageous - it is because of that very effort that you are carrying your fear for life after life. Let yourself be in fear, as deeply in fear as the leaf of a tree that trembles in a storm. Don't stop yourself, and don't fight the fear, because if you fight you will suppress it and if you suppress it it will remain with you. Become one with the fear, understand that fear is your destiny; tremble, get frightened, don't try in the least to console yourself. Don't discipline, don't suppress, let the fear come, be overwhelmed by its onslaught - become the fear! And soon you will find one day that the fear has come to an end, without your doing anything about it; without any discipline on your part the fear has ceased to exist. And the day you find that there is no trembling at all, when you find that not a single cell is influenced by fear, immediately you will also find that you are separate from the body, that there is a distance between your body and you, with no bridge in between.
Who is it who trembles? The body cannot tremble, because the body is just matter. The soul cannot tremble, because the soul is deathless. Who then trembles? It is the bridge of identification between body and soul, it is this bridge that trembles. All trembling belongs to it, all fear belongs to it. It is this identification that says "I am the body," that shakes. It has to shake and tremble, because it is bridging a body that is dead with a soul that is deathless; the difference is so vast - not an atom of similarity between the two - that the bridge has to shake and tremble, and it will go on doing so!
It is neither you nor your body that trembles. It is neither you nor your body that dies. How can the body die when it is dead already? You are the deathless, there is no way for you to die! Then who dies? It is this bridge between the two that dies. We call that bridge ego, me, 'I'.
What is really happening when a man dies? The body is just as it was before death, not the slightest change has taken place; all the atoms, all the elements, everything is present. The soul is as it was - there cannot be any change in the soul, it is eternal. Then how has this death happened?
This death is the breaking of the bridge between the two. The deathless was connected to the dead, and has become separated. Death is a disconnection, a separation of the two. The valley is in between, the bridge has disappeared. The bridge that joined the two has gone - it is only the bridge that dies. But as long as you remain identified with the bridge you will go on shaking and trembling with fear.
My love will not make the fear disappear.
No love can make it disappear. But the day your fear disappears, love will certainly be born in you.
That day the fountain of love will start flowing from within you. Flowers of love are not possible in the life of a fear-stricken person; in such a person, knowingly or unknowingly, enmity and hatred prevail.
How can someone full of fear love? One who is in fear sees enemies all around, how can he love an enemy? One whose destruction is coming from all directions, how can there be a moment of love in him?
Love arises when the fear inside disappears. And this love is unconditional. It is not related to any person, it is simply your state of being - just as fear is your state now. You are not afraid because of somebody, nobody is frightening you; fear is just your state. When this state changes, the trembling will disappear and you will be still. In the stillness the state of love is born. Out of trembling comes fear, out of stillness comes love.
Love is an infinite stillness, a state of rootedness. Krishna has called this state of rootedness sthita- pragya. Love can only happen to one whose mind has come to a standstill, it trembles no more.
In fear you tremble like the flame of a lamp in a storm. But the nature of your love is stillness, like the still flame of a lamp in a closed room where there is no draught. When you are still, love arises.
And this love is not concerned with any particular person; it is not a question of whom to love, whom not to love. You are full of love, that's all. Even if you pick up a stone in your hand, your love flows towards that stone. If you raise your eyes to look at a tree, your love flows towards that tree.
Whether you look at the ocean or the sky, or the river, or whoever comes near you or even does not come near you, and you are sitting all by yourself, love is constantly flowing from you, permeating everything, like the rays of a lamp shining out all around even though it may be burning alone. At this stage, love is simply your nature.
There are only two states of being: one is love, the other is fear. The companions of fear are anger, hatred, jealousy, competitiveness and envy. All the things we have called sins are the companions of fear. Love's companions are compassion, nonviolence, kindness. All those qualities that we have called virtues are the companions of love. And these are the only two states one can be in: fear, which means your identification with the body, and love, which means that you have known yourself as the soul.
So I am not talking of that love which goes on between husbands and wives or parents and children, because this love is really only a web of fear. Husband and wife are both afraid - , both afraid and standing together. To have someone accompany you, even if they are afraid as well, seems to give you some courage; it feels as if you are not alone. The presence of another - although they also are in fear - gives us a sense, a false sense, that the fear is diminishing. Just the presence of someone else!
Walking along a road in the darkness of night you start whistling. Just hearing your own whistling gives you the sense that there is nothing to fear. Or you hum a song to yourself, and just listening to your own humming you feel as though somebody else is also present; or at least you forget that you are alone, that it is dark, that the road is very lonely. You slip into your humming and the street is forgotten. Husbands slip into wives, wives into husbands, parents into children, friends into friends, just to forget themselves..... Because as long as we can forget ourselves, we can forget the trembling that comes from our sense of death. - Thus the fear remains hidden.
No, I am not talking of that love. I am talking of a love which is not related to anybody in any way, which is unassociated. This does not mean that you will run away from your wife, or keep the children at a distance, if this love is born in you. If this love is born in you, just your ideas of the wife as wife will dissolve; the very idea that your son belongs to you will dissolve. The ideas will be replaced by an understanding that everyone belongs to the universe, that you are just instrumental; and your love will go on showering, day in, day out. Questions about who is worthy of your love and who is unworthy will all wither away. You will flow like a river, and whoever is thirsty will be able to fill his cup and take it away with him. Your giving will be unimpeded.
Your fear will not disappear because of my love. Yes, you may forget about it, drowning yourself in my love. But if you slip into forgetfulness, then my love is nothing more than an intoxication and this is damaging. So I am ever alert that your fears do not just hide themselves in my love. My love is love only when it exposes your fear. I am not interested in bandaging your wounds; my interest is that they disappear at their very roots. However long it takes and whatever labor is needed does not matter, but you should be free of wounds. And there is no hurry - In a hurry you will probably try to hide the wounds, because to hide is easy, to just bandage is very convenient. Even medicines can be given to you so that you never feel the pain of the wounds.
Theories and scriptures are such medicines; it is because of them that you do not feel your pains.
So pain is there, the wound is there, and real religion is interested neither in making you forget your pain, nor in making you hide it. Real religion's interest is in removing all your pains, all your unhappiness and all the rottenness of your life at the very roots, so that you are fully liberated.
WHEN YOU SIT SILENTLY, WE ARE NOT ABLE TO TUNE INTO THAT SILENCE. BUT WHEN YOU ARE SPEAKING, WE ARE ABLE TO GET SOME GLIMPSES OF THE SILENCE BETWEEN THE WORDS, BETWEEN THE SENTENCES. BUT IT IS SO TEMPTING TO LISTEN TO THE MEANING OF YOUR WORDS, THAT THIS SILENCE KEEPS SLIPPING FROM OUR HANDS. SO COULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN TO US HOW WE SHOULD LISTEN TO YOU.
It will happen so, it is natural. When I am sitting silently, you are unable to sit silently. An endless internal current of thought flows within you; you are talking to yourselves. The habit of talking has become so deep, so solid like a rock, that you are unable to relax even for a single moment. If I remain completely silent, you will forget me, your inner current will become active, your old habit will catch hold of you and you will drown in your internal conversation. It is a monologue; you are all by yourself but you talk all the same. Also, it is difficult for you to see my silence, because we see only that for which a contrast is present in the background.
A psychologist was carrying out some research in a university. He made a small white dot on a big blackboard and asked the students, "What do you see?" Not a single one mentioned the big blackboard; they all said that they saw the white dot. It is the black background, the blackboard, that is making the white dot so prominently visible.
If I am sitting silently, that silence is singular, without any opposites. When someone makes a white mark on a white wall, the mark will not be visible. How could it be visible? - The opposite is needed for that. If I am sitting silently, it is a white mark on a white wall; you will not see it, you will miss it.
When I am speaking, there is a silence between the words. The words I am speaking for you, while for me still the silence remains. Words are only the surface, internally I am in silence. There is no inner dialogue within me. When I am sitting alone, there is no talk going on inside. The speaking is for you; silence is my nature. So I am present in the gap between every two words; after one word ends and the next one has not begun yet, in this gap is my silence. Like two black lines on two sides, and between them a white line - because of these two black lines, my silence in between will be more manifest for you. While I am sitting silently, the silence will not be so manifest to you, because we see only those things which are on a contrasting background.
If all the ugly people disappear from the world, who will be beautiful? If there is no noise in the world, how will you come to know peace? Again, because of the night, full of darkness, the light of the lamp is recognizable. Because death is, hence the taste of life is. Hate exists, hence the abundance of love. The thorns that stab make flowers all the more lovely. You see and experience because of the opposites.
So when I am speaking, there is empty space, a void, between the sounds of two words, and that empty space will become more manifest to you. But I can understand your dilemma as to what you should do - whether you should understand the meaning of the words or the silence - because if you concentrate on the meaning of the words the silence slips away. For a moment, silence shines, but if you are full of the memory of the previous word you will miss the silence. If you are waiting for the next word you will miss the silence. If you listen to the words standing on either side of the silence, you will miss the mini-moment of silence; but if your attention is on the silence, the words will not be able to enter you. What should you do?
If you listen to your own advice, you will pay attention to the words. If you listen to my advice, don't bother about the words, just attend to the silence, because whatever I am saying is not in the words but in the silences. What I want to point out to you is not in the lines but in between the lines where there is space. And if I am using words at all, it is just like using the blackboard so that you can see the white dot. It is just to show you the white dot - the blackboard as such has no meaning of its own. So when you are listening to me, don't bother yourself searching for the meaning; meaning will manifest itself out of the empty spaces, you will find the meaning in the silences. Listen to the words, but catch the silences. It is to the silences that you should attend. You will be connected to me only when one word has disappeared and the next one has not yet arrived - there is the gap, there is the open door. So you don't worry much about what I am saying, just be involved in what I am not saying between the sayings - find all the emptinesses, because only through emptiness will you enter me. And I also can enter you only through the emptinesses.
If I do not speak, you go on talking inside yourself, so you are unable to ride my silences. When I speak, your inner talk stops; you become occupied, so the inner stream shatters. You get interested in listening, so your inner dialogue breaks up. So there is one advantage of my speaking; it is not that I shall be able to convey to you what I want to convey, but that your own inner current of talking will be destroyed. I speak so that you do not talk, that's all!
But what I want to say to you is between the words, in the silences. Don't worry about what I am saying, let your attention settle down on the gaps in between the words, and supreme bliss will descend upon you. In that moment neither I shall remain, nor you; in that moment there will be neither speaker nor listener; in that moment the essence hidden within both will become one, will meet and merge. In that moment is a deep embrace, a conjunction of the two rivers. In that moment two consciousnesses throw away their limits and become infinite!
Your mind will ask you to listen to what I am saying, but the reality is that whatever is significant cannot be said. All words are empty in themselves, in themselves they have no value. Words are nothing but foam swirling on the surface. From a distance, the foam on the crests of the waves looks lovely, as though the wave in the ocean is approaching wearing a silver crown, as though flowers have bloomed on the waves - an endless number of bright, white flowers - but only from a distance.
If you go to there and take the foam in your hands, you will find that it is only bubbles that disappear.
Words are nothing more than foam on the ocean of consciousness. And if the consciousness is deep, beautiful foam arises; if the consciousness is full of music inside, the foam too carries a music in it. If the life has come to an inner peace, a kind of poetry is born in the foam. What I speak is foam; if you experience a poetry in it, a beauty in it, understand that this is only an indication. Nothing will be gained by holding the foam in your fist or preserving it in a steel safe. Concern yourself with that emptiness from which the foam is arising, the depths from which it is coming. The words are the foam; in the emptiness is the ocean.
So, it is only when I am silent between two words that the doors of the temple are open. That is when you should enter. Your whole gestalt will have to be changed.
This word gestalt is worth understanding. It is a German word, used by a school of psychologists - gestalt psychology. You must have come across a certain picture in children's books, of an old woman, and hidden in the same picture is a young woman too. If you look attentively you will be
able to see the young woman, and if you continue to look, the young woman will change into the old woman. Both take shape from the same lines, but the thing that is so special about it is that both women cannot be seen simultaneously. You can see both; first you saw the old woman, then you saw the young one, so you are now acquainted with both, but whenever you look, you will see only one woman, even though you know that the other is present. So now there is no question of ignorance, of non-acquaintance; but still, when you look at the young woman you won't be able to find the old one, and when you find the old one, the young one will disappear. You know that both are there in the same lines, but both cannot be seen together. This phenomenon is the gestalt.
So when you hear my words, you won't be able to hear the silence; for that, the gestalt will have to change. When the whole of your consciousness is engaged in catching the words, you will be deprived of the silence; and when you catch my silences, you won't be able to catch the words. The old woman will not be visible when you are looking at the young one; and when you catch sight of the old woman, you will lose sight of the young one. Both are present, but you will be able to find only one at a time. Your mind will ask to catch hold of the words, because mind lives only on words; words are its food. Mind grows larger through words, mind is enriched by words, the whole of mind's wealth is words; and if the word disappears, then mind disappears. Let the words go, and mind will go too. So mind will persuade you, "Catch hold of the words, they are valuable. Memorize every word, all truth is contained in them, don't miss even a single word, absorb them all!" This is what the mind will tell you - this is what it has been telling you always.
You have learned the scriptures - you may have learned the Gita, the Koran, the Bible by heart, and still you have not the faintest notion of truth. Even if my words penetrate you and crystallize within you, you will not experience a single trace of truth. I am not going to be able to succeed where the Gita and the Koran fail. No word can ever succeed. Your mind will drink in the words and be further strengthened by them. Don't listen to the mind.
If you listen to my advice, catch the emptinesses, drink in the silences. Do not bother about what I am saying - I don't bother about what I am saying. I am not concerned today with what I said yesterday, and tomorrow I will not be concerned with what I am saying today. This creates a great difficulty for many friends. They say, "Yesterday you said one thing, today you are saying something else. Which one shall we follow?" I can understand their problem. They are catching hold of only the words. Speaking has no value at all for me, only the empty spaces in between all that I say are valuable. Yesterday I used one blackboard, today I am using another. The blackboard is not the thing that matters; it is the white mark on it that matters. Yesterday I opened the door to my emptiness through certain words, today I am opening it through different words. For me, what is relevant is that emptiness which comes between the words, whether the doors are made of wood or gold or silver, whether they are carved with leaves or flowers, whether they are simple or highly ornamental is all meaningless. All that matters is that open door, that empty space, through which you can enter into me and I into you.
One who listens to my words will find many inconsistencies in them; sometimes I say one thing, other times I say something different. Certainly they are right, there are inconsistencies, but that is not the point at all. For me the words are only instrumental to open the emptiness, and the one who looks for the emptiness will find that I am highly consistent. The emptiness that was opened yesterday is the same as the emptiness that is opened today, and it is the same that will be opened tomorrow too. The doors will change - and they should change. There is a function in the changing of the
doors. If I use the same words today that I used yesterday - and even the day before yesterday - and again if the same words are going to be used tomorrow and the day after, you will go to sleep and your internal talk will begin.
This is why people go to sleep when they are hearing the scriptures being narrated in the temples - the Ramayana or the Mahabharata. There is a reason for it, and the reason is that they know the story already, there is nothing new worth listening to, so why stay awake? They know that Rama's Sita is stolen, they know that she is stolen by Ravana. They also know the end of the story - that Sita is going to come back, that war is going to take place, that Rama is going to win the war - everything is known. It has been heard so many times that now there is nothing worth hearing; and when there is nothing new to be heard, sleep overtakes you.
Repetition of the old invites sleep. Mothers know this, even if you don't. When they want to send their babies to sleep they sing them lullabies, and they sing the same lines over and over again. The baby hears it, and after a short time, hearing it again and again and again, he gets bored and goes to sleep.
The mantras that are given to you for meditation do the same thing. You are sitting, and you go on chanting, "Rama, Rama, Rama..." and the drone catches hold of you. How long can you go on listening to "Rama, Rama, Rama"? - the same thing again and again. First you become bored, then the boredom takes you into drowsiness, and the drowsiness leads you into sleep. If I tell you the same thing in the same words every day, you will start dozing, and I am here trying to awaken you, not to send you to sleep. So I will go on changing the words every day. For me they are meaningless; there is no question of any consistency or inconsistency in them.
I am not interested at all in what I am saying. My interest is in the gaps which I leave between the words: those gaps are my invitation, and if you miss them, you have missed everything. You can learn all my words by heart; there is no sense in that, they will just add to your load. And already your load is ample; already you know much more than you need to know; already your knowledge is killing you. These words will add to your knowledgeability further; you will become a great wordspinner. You will be able to make others understand with your clever argumentation, you will be able to change others' attitudes, you will be able to shatter their intellects. Nobody will be able to defeat you, but you will remain as you are - sick, diseased, one who has not reached anywhere.
Wherever you find your mind has disappeared, wherever you find you have been able to hear the silence between words, those are the points where you need to dive deep; those are the junctures from where you go across to the other shore; those are the points from which all the boats sail for the other shore.
WHENEVER WE ARE ASKING YOU QUESTIONS, WE FEEL INFINITELY DISTANT FROM YOU, AND WHEN YOU BEGIN TO SPEAK, WE REACH THROUGH YOUR GRACE TO UNFATHOMABLE DEPTHS. SOMETIMES, LISTENING TO YOU, HAPPINESS OVERFLOWS IN US, AND SOMETIMES WE ARE FLOODED WITH TEARS. SOMETIMES THIS HAPPENS, OTHER
TIMES SOMETHING ELSE. SOMETIMES YOU BATTER US LIKE A TEMPEST, AND SOMETIMES YOU SHOWER ON US LIKE RAIN CLOUDS. WHAT IS ALL THIS?
Whenever you ask questions you will feel distant, because when you are asking questions your mind has to prepare itself for action - you have to think and ask and so on. And when you are doing these things a distance will be created. Your mind is active then, and in this mental activity the meditation is lost. But when you simply listen your mind is defunct, there is nothing for it to do; you listen then with a kind of passivity in activity. When you ask there is an aggressiveness. Questioning is aggressive; there is an attack in it, a curiosity, an anxiety, the tension to know something. Questioning is an internal turbulence, and this creates distance. The moment your asking is over the mind is free to rest. Now there is nothing for you to do but listen.
Listening is not an action; nothing is required of you in order to listen. You have only to be here - no effort, no endeavor is expected of you. You just sit silently and you will hear. And as you sit empty, hearing me, not doing anything, meditation takes over. And if your mind dissolves fully in what I am saying, if you forget even the very fact of being here and simply dissolve, then certainly you will find that you have entered into another world. You can enter this world any time, even without me; it is just a question of getting the knack.
The knack is that when you are not doing anything - that is when you enter the other world. Then a new dimension opens that was unfamiliar up to now, in which the unknown approaches and the known disappears. If you feel when you are listening to me that you are transported to some other world, do not connect this fact to me; otherwise a dependency will arise. You will then become my slave, and this is the greatest hurdle in the spiritual field. You will be dependent on me, you will feel that your entry into the other world is because of me, and this is wrong. I am just instrumental.
It is you who goes, it is you who falls back, but since your eyes are focused on me, the illusion is possible.
So perform this experiment at home as well, and when you are alone. You can do it sometimes with birds, sometimes with waterfalls, sometimes with the sound of the breeze that may be passing by, shaking the leaves of a tree. You can move into silence just as you do when you are near me.
Sitting by a river, enter into that silence. Now, the river is not your master, it does not even know that you are sitting on its bank. The winds are not concerned with you; the rustle of the leaves does not happen for you. Sitting near the tree you simply hear the sounds, and in a moment you will be transported into the other world. Then you will know that to depend upon a master is to create a new world, a new bondage. You change your master and you are just changing the bondage - leaving one prison to enter another. You arrange your next prison even before you have left the previous one.
If you become dependent on me, then this satsang, this divine communion, has proved destructive for you. If I become your only door of entry into the other world, then this door will also lead you only into prison, because without me you will be miserable. Then I am only a addiction. If the master becomes an addiction then the whole thing is meaningless.
So sitting silently, listening... it is such a person Mahavira called shravaka, the listener. One who has experienced the other world through listening is a shravaka. Mahavira says there are four types of ghats, or riverbanks, from where the journey to the other shore begins. One is the sadhu, the
male seeker, the other is sadhvi, the female seeker; one is shravaka, the male listener, another is shravika, the female listener. Mahavira has said that some people reach to the other shore by practicing great austerity, some reach just by listening. Sadhus and sadhvis work hard, then they get a glimpse of the other shore, but shravakas and shravikas enter the other world just by listening.
Krishnamurti constantly emphasizes "right listening," but right listening can also become a danger.
It has its purpose - it gives you the first glimpses. But don't make those glimpses the base of your life; rather try to get those glimpses in different situations, so that you can be free of the master. So sometimes standing near a tree, sometimes near a river, sometimes in the middle of the marketplace, listen to the sounds and be quiet. There too the same other world will open up for you.
When you ask a question, when you are wanting to ask, that questioning comes out of your inner restlessness; the questions disturb you and make your mind aggressive. Deep down a question is also a form of violence. But when you listen the mind becomes quiet, the tension subsides, the waves disappear; in that listening you enter the other world.
And yes, it's true - sometimes I storm through you like a tempest, and other times I am like a leafy tree under which you can peacefully rest. Many times you need to be shaken up vigorously so that much in you which is stuck to you like rubbish can fall off. And many times you need to be sheltered, so that that which is newly born in you is able to develop properly. A gardener has to tend his plants according to the needs, sometimes watering them, sometimes pruning them, sometimes shaking down the old foliage, sometimes giving them props to rest on. Sometimes he puts the plants in the sun, and sometimes brings them back in the shade. You are like new plants coming into being, and you need many things. If you are sheltered all the time, you will be devitalized; if all you ever know is peace, you will become a corpse - your liveliness will disappear, your festive spirit will fade away.
Certainly, there will be peace in your life, but there will be no bliss; and peace without bliss is dead peace, the peace of the graveyard.
So you need challenges. You need tempests to fill you with life. You need the invitation from the beyond, so that you can be filled with enthusiasm to set out for a journey towards the infinite, so that you stay lively, so that your peace does not become your death. Otherwise you will become like those seekers who in their search for peace have become almost lifeless. They are like stone statues. No heart throbs within them, because they fear that the throbbing of the heart will disturb their peace. They breathe halfheartedly, in fear, for every proper breath has the possibility of creating trouble. They lead frightened lives, full of precautions to prevent anything going wrong. Their peace is very weak, very frightened, anything can shatter it. They are like those plants which have been kept only in the shade; to bring them into the sun now is a difficult thing, for they will fade away and die.
Can there be life in the shade alone? Shade and sunlight are needed. Sunshine brings life, but an excess of life will also creates insanity. If the energy becomes so much that you cannot bear it, you will go mad. So both are needed, and a rhythm has to be created between the two. You need to be jolted, and you need to be given rest too. You need to be left in the sun, and you need to be brought back into the shade - because I do not want to lead you to a world of peace only, I want to lead you to a world of bliss.
Dancing peace is bliss! Festive, joyous, celebrating peace is bliss. Bliss is an activity which has inactivity at its center. Bliss is a dance in which the dancer disappears. The dancer is at peace, but
the dance goes on! Bliss is such a leap that we touch the highest peaks, and yet we do not lose our contact with the earth.
It is easy to attain the part, to attain the whole is difficult. Worldly people covet life, and the so- called seekers strive after death. I want you to attain both simultaneously. Your ego must die utterly, and the divine in you must come totally to life. Let death be your left hand and life your right. Let your inhalation be life and your exhalation death. Be young, overflowing with energy, dancing like a tempest, and peaceful, silent, empty at the same time. Let the flute of Krishna sing between your lips, even as you sit in silence like Buddha under the bodhi tree. Let the flute not disturb you, and let your silence be no enemy to the flute.
The day the flute is on the lips of emptiness, the day music arises out of silence, that day you have come to know the ultimate meaning of life! That is the day of fruition; there is nothing beyond that!
Hence sometimes I shake you forcefully, so that you do not let the flute slip out of your hands, no matter what is happening. Sometimes I hold you in peace and relaxation, so that the emptiness that is to flow through the flute may be born.
The song of emptiness, the music of silence, a dancing bliss - this is the aim.
Enough for today.