[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.]
The more the balance, the higher the possibility of happiness; the more the imbalance, the more the way to unhappiness is paved. Looked at in depth, imbalance is unhappiness, and balance is happiness. Balance is the greatest art; hence in this country we have called it sanyama. Sanyama means to be still in the exact middle of two opposites, to find the midpoint between two extremes.
Mind's habit is to go towards the extremes; mind always wants to run from one end to the other, it never wants to stop in the middle.
If you are violent, your mind will take you to the limits of violence, and then when you are fed up it will take you in the opposite direction. One extreme of violence is to destroy the other, and the other extreme will be to start destroying yourself. First you were killing others, now you will start killing yourself - - but you will not stop in the middle. Buddha has said that whenever a bhogi, the hedonist, gets fed up with indulgence, he becomes a yogi. Where he was mad after sensual pleasures, now he becomes eager to torment himself. Where he used to love the flowers lying in his path, now he spreads thorns on his path with his own hands. Where he used to love to savor the taste of good
food, now he only eats food if it is tasteless. If he used to love possessions, now he lives without even clothes on his body.
Mind swings from one extreme to the other, just like the pendulum of a clock - never stopping in the middle. If the pendulum stops in the middle, the clock will stop; only while it is swinging will the clock work. When you see the pendulum swinging to the left you think it is going to the left, but those who can see deeply know that in the very act of swinging to the left it is also gathering the momentum to swing to the right. And the farther to the left it goes, the farther to the right it will be able to go.
Likewise when it swings to the right it is preparing for its next swing to the left.
There is something important to be understood in this phenomenon. When you go into love you are in the process of gathering the momentum to move into hating; when you swing towards indulgence you are collecting the energy to go into yoga. When you are dishonest you are gathering the energy to be honest. When you make donations you are preparing to exploit. One who looks deep into the mind will be able to see that because mind always moves into opposites, this movement from one extreme to the other is its natural state.
As long as the mind swings you will be unhappy; only the nature of your unhappiness may change.
The hedonist has his unhappinesses, the renunciate has his unhappinesses. The hedonist cannot see the unhappinesses of the renunciate; he imagines only great happinesses of the renunciate.
The renunciate can see what pleasures are possible for a hedonist. Both the sannyasin and the wordly people come to me. The wordly person always sees the sannyasins with greedy eye, that in what bliss he is living. And I know of sannyasins who have spent forty or fifty years in sannyas - for all this time they have renounced everything - and you have no idea of their unhappiness. They envy the wordly person, they think that wordly people are living in great pleasures and fun.
An old sannyasin, in his seventies, who was initiated into sannyas fifty years ago, asked me whether he had made a mistake becoming a sannyasin. He told me that he was haunted by the idea that he had made a mistake in renouncing the world without knowing it. "There seems to be happiness in this world that I left," he said, "but I have found no happiness here in the life I have lived. I set out in search of God, and in so doing lost touch with the world. But I have never found even the trace of God's footsteps."
It is hard to imagine the unhappiness of this sannyasin. He renounced with a hope, and his hope had never been fulfilled. He gambled everything he had in his hands for something that to this day has not come to him. Now life is slipping away; he is past seventy and lives with the feeling that he has missed both ways - both the world and sannyas. It is only natural to feel so.
It is in the very nature of your mind to see unhappiness where you are. The hut-dwellers think that the happiness is in the palaces, while those with palaces declare that they never attained any happiness until they have left their palaces. Buddha and Mahavira were the sons of kings, and both renounced their royal way of life. Certainly they must have seen some happiness in simple living that the hut-dwellers themselves could not see. The opposite extreme is inviting to the mind, and moving to the opposite extreme means the mind will continue, the pendulum of mind will go on working.
Having looked into the past lives of many people, a remarkable phenomenon has become apparent to me. Those who were sannyasins in their previous life become great hedonists in this lifetime, and
those who were great hedonists in their previous life become sannyasins in this lifetime. This is a startling fact; logically it should be just the opposite. A sannyasin in your last life, then in the same continuation you should be a greater sannyasin in this life. It is a simple logic, it is mathematical, but the situation is just the reverse. When I look into a great hedonist's past life, it turns out that he had been a renunciate; his mind has touched one extreme and now in this lifetime it is touching the other extreme.
The normal thing will be that someone who was a man in his past life should be a man in this life too and someone who was a woman should again be a woman - but it is not so. Often it happens that one who was a man in his previous life becomes a woman in this life, and the woman becomes a man. If you were a woman in your last life, a hope hovered around your mind, that it is the men who are enjoying, the women are only suffering. You were thus accumulating desire to be born a male in your next life. And though he may not admit it, man envies women and wishes to be female.
Women are more clearcut and thus ready to admit their desire to be born male, but men cannot so easily declare their longing to be female, because society is masculine and people will laugh at them.
But deep down, men long to be women. They envy the beauty of the woman, her proportionate body, and they envy also the woman's capacity for happiness. Women are not as discontented as men.
A woman can be happy even to receive just a little; a man will remain unhappy even though he is given plenty. A woman's demands are small; she can make of her little house and garden a whole kingdom. But the demands of man are enormous; he may win an empire the size of Alexander's , but still he will consider it not enough. Women go mad less than men; women commit suicide less than men. Women remain healthier, men are more sickly.
It is only man's idea that he is stronger than woman - it is an idea. Ask the physicians and they will tell you that women are stronger. Yes, the strength that men have is more visible, but in fact they do not possess the strength that women have. This is why there are more widows in the world than there are widowers: the men die sooner. All over the world, on average, women live four years longer than men. If you are to live for seventy years, the possibility of your wife's lifespan is seventy- four. Woman falls sick less often, remains healthier, and her resistance to illness is greater than that of the man.
Just think, can a man go through nine months of pregnancy? Impossible, it is simply not within the capacity of his body. It is within the capacity of a woman's body to carry this load of new life for nine months, and even after nine months the pregnancy is not over; only the infant has come out of the womb - then the pregnancy has to stretch outside.
So the man is jealous, the desire exists to become a woman; hence, often in the next life the sex changes. And it is the same with every facet of our life.
Mind can live only if it swings back and forth. If it becomes still, balanced, it disappears, and where mind disappears is enlightenment.
Now let us go into your question.
Certainly, children have to be educated in mathematics and in logic so that their brain becomes clear and capable, their genius grows. They are not to be left like animals. There is something
in the lives of animals but a lot is missing. There is an innocence in the lives of animals, but it is of idiocy not of saintliness. There is a simplicity, but it is compulsive, not an attainment. Animals are simple because they cannot become cunning; a saint is simple, but not because he cannot become cunning but because he does not become. It is his own choice. And whatever is your own decision, only that puts soul in your life. Animals have souls, but not in the sense in which man has a soul, because man makes his own decisions. If you had not the capacity to be a thief, then what value is there in you non-stealing? If you had not the capacity to be angry, what meaning is there in your compassion? No, you are capable of doing the opposite but you are not doing it, and this very decision of yours not to do it, sharpens and polishes your soul, brings a radiance to it. So the innocence of the saint is needed, not that of the animals.
The child has to be educated so that he becomes aware of all the cunningnesses of man, so that he becomes acquainted with the entire troublesome world of man and experiences it. But if only this much is done, an unbalanced personality will be created; the intellect will be sharp, but his heart will be empty; mathematics will be clear to him, but love will be a mist. He will be able to destroy but he will not be able to create. He will be able to win but he will not be able to lose.
A man who only knows how to win is not a total man, because there are certain dimensions of life that are available only to the losers. The world is gained by those who know how to win, but the divine can only be attained by those who also know how to lose. Wealth may come to those who are the winners, but love is only for those who are losers. Defeat has its own victory. But mathematics and logic teach only how to win; meditation teaches how to lose. Logic and mathematics offer us the skill to increase our wealth and possessions in the world and to expand our empire. Meditation is the art of expanding the kingdom of the soul, of expanding the consciousness so that it embraces the whole universe.
If only the child's intellect is educated he will be partially paralyzed; there will be no fullness, no totality in his life. One of his legs will always be crippled, and his life will be a limping. It is only because all others are lame too that no one recognizes the fact. Children have a game called lame race in which one of their legs is tied to another child's leg, so only one of their legs can run free.
This is virtually the way our life is organized, so that we are running on one leg only. It is hardly surprising that we fail, collapse, break down!
Meditation is the second leg. We should teach children meditation as we start educating their intellect. Just as the child comes to understand science, he should come to understand religion simultaneously. As his head grows brighter let his heart also grow full of light. Let him not grow up only to know about, let him grow up also to be. Let it not be only his possessions that grow, let him grow too! Let not only his exterior expand, let his interiority also have a depth, just as the trees rise up in the sky but their roots go deep underground. The deeper the roots go underground the higher the tree rises in the sky.
As you are you are like a tree that has no roots: you spread high and wide, but you have no way inwards and within, and so you are trembling every moment. Just a slight gust of wind and you are afraid because you have no roots. If you had roots running deep into the earth, then you would invite storms and delight in them when they came. They would be a festival in your life at which you could dance, because in the storm lies the challenge, and only against a background of challenge can you come to know your being fully. So you would thank the storm and beg it to come more often. But as
you are, just a breeze and you are afraid as if death has come. Instead of being grateful to God for sending the storm, you weep and cry: "Oh God, save me! Shelter me from this storm.!" And your fear is all because you have no roots.
The roots go inwards, and the deeper the roots go withinwards, the stronger your outer expansion will be. This makes meditation, in a sense, the opposite of intellectual development, just as the roots are in a sense opposite to the tree. The tree rises high, the roots go deep, and the directions in which they grow are opposite to each other. In this sense meditation is opposite to intellect, but in another sense the whole outward expansion of the tree is supported on its roots. They are not really in any opposition; the whole glory of intellect depends on meditation.
So Einstein cannot have an intellect like that of Buddha, because Buddha has not merely the outer intellectual web, but he also has an internal lit lamp of meditation. His intellect is illuminated by this internal lamp of meditation. So his intellect cannot do the wrongs that were possible for it to do, because the lamp of meditation will direct it, guide it. So the intellect cannot go astray, the horses of intellect will never run him into pitfalls, because the charioteer is present within. That conscious meditation is the inner master now.
Nurture both intellect and meditation in the child; give him roots, and give him the vast expanse of the sky. And remember that the balance between the two is very important; neither should grow out of proportion to the other. Only if you can do this have you fulfilled your parental commitment in the real sense; only then have you given birth to the child in the real sense. Otherwise, you gave the child his body, but his soul did not get any support from you. The birth of the body is a very ordinary matter. The birds and the animals all manage this much with no difficulty - in it there is nothing special about you, in it there is no great attainment of yours.
And another point to remember is that in bringing light to your child's soul you are bringing light to your own. It cannot be otherwise. It is impossible to avoid catching light yourself while helping to bring it to the other. If you love your child, send him on the journey to the intellect, give him roots in meditation, you will suddenly find that in shaping him, you yourself are being shaped. When a sculptor makes efforts to enhance a sculpture, it is not only that the sculpture becomes beautiful; in the process the sculptor too goes on becoming more beautiful. It is impossible to give birth to beauty without becoming more beautiful yourself. It is impossible to give birth to a balance in someone without yourself getting balanced. If you are truly a father, then the birth of a son in your house will transform the whole of your life, because when you will try to shape your son as beautiful, healthy and peaceful, how can you not become peaceful too?
In fact you will have to create in yourself first all that you want to create in your son. A husband and wife can enjoy their carefree play with each other while they have no children, but with the birth of a child a new link has been added in their life, and now play alone is not enough. Now there is a deep responsibility in their lives, and it is a fascinating responsibility because it is full of love. This child will begin to transform both his mother and his father. If you really love your child, you will be changed. If you don't love him you will go on screaming and shouting that the child is getting spoilt, the society all around is bad, everything is going bad. A child is never spoilt because of the society, he is spoilt because of you - and you are the society. And the irony is that what you call society is simply the population of others' children. The father remains as he was before his child was born; the mother too remains the same. Somehow the child is born to you, but at heart you lack love for this child. And it is your love that can change the whole society!
Let it sink deep into you that whatever you create also creates you. The creator cannot be free of his creation. With the birth of a beautiful poem, a beautiful poet is also born. And if it does not happen so, then understand that the poem has not been born - it has been borrowed, it is a purchase from the market. So whenever you find a poet who lacks the fragrance of his poetry, you can be certain that the poetry is not his.
In this country in ancient times we used to call a poet a rishi, - a sage. We no longer say so because it is no longer appropriate. Rishi and poet were synonymous. Strange! Today the rishi and the poet are so different from each other; neither there is poetry in the rishis nor is there wisdom in the poets.
They have both been lost somewhere.
Our ancient understanding was that whenever a man will become a poet, whenever poetry will be born out of him, then this birth of the poetry will change his whole inner energy, his whole consciousness - because how can beauty be born out of any ugliness, if it really is a birth? But if you have adopted someone else's child, then it is a different matter. If you have taken someone else's poem, adding rhyme and making a few outward changes, then it is a different matter. Then you are not a poet, you are a rhymer, and however beautiful your rhyming may be it is shallow. This beauty is like a woman's makeup - a deception managed through the use of lipstick and powder, etcetera. Face paint is alright in a stage play, but not for real life. A few showers and all the cosmetics will begin to wash away, and then the woman will look far uglier than she would ever have looked had she not painted her face in the first place, because now there will be holes in her beauty where the ugliness will show through.
The truth is that the woman who is really beautiful will fear to use face powder because its purpose is to mask ugliness rather than to create beauty. And wearing makeup, even a beautiful woman becomes ugly, because the false can never be beautiful. Even an ordinary, homely woman - one who would never find herself in the limelight - if she does not mask her features with vain cosmetics and create hypocrisy, then a kind of flame of beauty shines in her too, of simplicity, of freshness, at least of authenticity.
So the concept in India in the ancient days was that if poetry was born out of someone, if one became a poet, then that in itself makes him a rishi - because the source of a beautiful poem must be a beautiful heart. If the Ganges is so loveable, then Gangotri - the source of the Ganges - has to be the most sacred. In fact we offer more worship to Gangotri than we do to the Ganges, because we feel that the birthplace of such a river must be greater than the river itself. Likewise, the poet must be more than his poetry. And if it is so, then no matter how many great poems come out of him, he will still remain more because he is the source. Such a poet will be a rishi.
The other way round is also true. Whoever attains to sagehood, he inevitably becomes a poet too.
This is why, in Sanskrit, the words kavi, poet, and rishi, sage, are synonymous. This is not so in any other language in the world; only in Sanskrit are the words for poet and sage synonymous, and there is a deep significance in their equivalence.
Whenever any person becomes a rishi - which means one who has attained to truth, to beauty, to his inner dignity; whose inner flame is lit, who has awakened, whose flowers have blossomed, who has reached his destiny, who has touched the supreme peak - whenever this happens to any person, the birth of poetry from his being is a certainty. No, his poetry may not necessarily be in a verse form but whatever he does will be a poetry.
If you watch Buddha walking you will see poetry in his walk; if you look at the way he closes his eyes there is poetry in it. In his talking, in his keeping quiet, there is a poetry. His whole life has become a poetry. It is not necessary for Buddha to compose verses, fashion lyrics, paint paintings, or carve sculptures - no, his very being now is full of poetry. In all he does you will find poetry. If he walks on sand you will even find poetry in his footprints - it will be hard to find a more beautiful painting than these footprints of his on the sand. Yes, the poet will inevitably become a sage, and the sage a poet.
If you have really loved your child... love will like to make his child a god - what else can love desire than this? Love will settle for nothing less, it cannot. If all you want is to make a doctor of your son, then you have not loved him yet. If all you want is to make a big shopkeeper of your son, then you have not yet known what love is. I am not saying that you should not help your son become a doctor or a shopkeeper - he will have to become a doctor, or a shopkeeper, he will have to work - but this should not be the parents' ultimate longing about their child. It is just a halfway desire, a help along the way, but wherever there is love, it cannot be content with anything less than God. Your desire for the one you love will be that he becomes God-like and ultimately that he become God himself.
Love is the alchemy of giving birth to God. Whatever settles for less than this is not love. It may be something else instead - a worldly bargain, a business, an ambition for wealth, other interests, but not love. It is only when love is there that the possibility is born of giving birth to God.
So nurture meditation in your child as you nurture his intellect, and also nurture a balance between the two, and in doing so you will find that you have been transformed too without your knowing about it. Even before your child's light shines fully, you yourself will be shining. Suddenly you will discover that in the process of making your child you have made yourself.
And if the child is becoming spoilt it only means that you yourself are spoilt and that your love for the child is not so great that you are prepared to change yourself for his sake. So a very interesting thing happens: the father goes on doing the same things which he does not wish his children to do; the mother goes on doing the same things which she wishes her children not to do. But the children do not learn from your preachings, they learn from you. And children have very sharp and clear eyes; their eyes are not yet smeared with the dust of life. They can see through and through your words, they don't get caught up in them, they don't care for what you say. They look at you, and they know you at first hand. Their grasp is direct. This is why it is so difficult to tell lies to children - because when you tell a lie it is not merely that is is being conveyed by the words alone; while telling a lie, your whole face declares your falsity. Your eyes say "False"; your hand which is touching your child says "False". And the child is very close to life; the adults may not perceive it but the child immediately knows your every vibe says that you are telling a lie. So it is very difficult to deceive the children unless you have corrupted them that far.
We do everything we can to corrupt our children, because until they are corrupted we live in doubt, afraid of them. As parents we teach our children not to tell lies, but all the time they see us telling lies. So what do they learn from this? Only one thing - that you must teach your children not to be false, while being false yourself. This is the fact that the children catch, and so they too will teach their children not to tell lies and be liars themselves. This is what your parents did to you, and this is what you are doing to your children.
These children see that celibacy is being preached to them by their parents while they themselves are full of sex. And this the children see. They understand the pattern well, and they too will preach celibacy to their children. So the hypocrisy continues!
Our society is a vast web of hypocrisy, but we do not see it because we are born into it, just as the fish are not aware of the ocean because they are born into it. The hypocrisy runs so deep that if we do come to see it, we will become afraid and restless, seeing what is happening. But we don't look at what we are saying, we don't take note of what we are doing, or of what effect it is going to have.
We give our children an education of the intellect, but we don't educate them in meditation. Why?
- because we can hire the services of a teacher to train them intellectually; we can rent a teacher, and this is easy for us. Just send the children off to school, get them into university - there they will find the teachers they need.
If you look carefully into the wishes of most parents you will find that they are sending their children to school not so that they will be educated, but just to spare themselves the trouble and disturbance of having the children at home. Every Sunday the disturbance stays back home. The schools are just devices to help parents avoid their children, and teachers are just paid servants, engaged to keep the children occupied with subject matter that is ninety-nine percent rubbish. The children learn things that need not be taught at all, and all they will do with it is forget it - it is not essential for them. The teacher is just a kind of watchmen, standing, stick in hand, between the parents and their children. His task is to give the parents peace for five or six hours a day.
What kind of love is this that feels disturbed by the presence of children? This is not love. These children are accidental, these are accidents that have happened to you and now somehow have to be maintained. And why do you send them to school? It is not to shine their souls. You send them to school so that they can learn the whole system of hypocrisies of the society. You send them to school so that they come back home graduating in all the cunningness, calculativeness and the entire web of the society, so that they become skilled in its ways, become a member of the society.
You are preparing them. Your ambitions have remained unfulfilled, you wanted to earn millions but failed; now you are preparing your son to fulfill it for you. If he fails his examinations you experience great anxiety, not because of what he may be feeling, but because your ambitions start shaking:
how is this boy going to achieve your ambition if he fails in school?
Your children are the extension of your ambitions, they are the hopes to your desires; you want to travel riding on their shoulders. So if your son brings home a good income, you are very pleased and proud of him. But if he comes home with nothing to show, no one welcomes him.
There is a very lovely parable that Jesus used to tell often to those around him, and it will be good for you to understand it, because Jesus lays a great emphasis on love.
The parable tells of a wealthy father who had two sons. The elder son was obedient to his father, the younger son was disobedient and rebellious. The first went on adding to the earnings of the family, while the second one went on frittering away the family wealth. In the end, the father decided to divide his wealth evenly between the two sons and separate them. The elder son stayed at home and used his share to increase the family's wealth, buying farms, orchards, and tending their land.
The younger son left home the moment he was given his share, and it was not long before the news started reaching to the father that he had lost all he had in gambling and drinking and in the whorehouses. Hearing this, the father sent word to him to come back home. The young rake could not believe that his father could really wish him to return.
But this is the way it is with love - it is not believable. When love happens in your life, you too will not believe in it. Hatred, yes - this you can believe in, and cheating and stealing are thoroughly believable too. But love seems almost supernatural - how can you believe in it? So it was with this young man; it was hard for him to believe in this father's love. But he was deeply in a troubled and tattered condition, and seeing what a poor beggar he had become, he decided to go back home. He thought even if they were only prepared to give him enough space to sleep, it was worth it - anything was better than this beggar's life!
But when his father heard that he was on his way home he arranged a great celebration, he prepared a great feast and invited the whole village to it. His elder son was returning from work on the farm when he was met by a group of village people who said, "How strange this is, and how unfortunate you are! Here you stay, striving to serve your father and working hard to maintain the family's wealth and prestige, but the red carpet was never rolled out for you, the band was never asked to play to welcome you home, and never has there been a banquet arranged in your honor. And yet this vagabond brother of yours, having reduced his wealth to ashes, is now being celebrated on his return. Go and join the throng that has gathered to welcome him! The lamps are lit, the band is playing, and your father waits with many guests to greet your brother at the very entrance to the village!"
The elder brother was very distressed, and made his way home feeling dispirited and resentful, and this was how his father found him when he eventually entered, accompanied by the younger son. His father asked him why he looked so miserable, and the elder son replied, "Of course I am unhappy!
Here I have lived, serving you devotedly, working for your sake and returning to you four times the wealth you gave me; but no one has ever welcomed me in this way. And now this vagabond returns, a ruined man, and you greet him with feasting and celebration!"
Then the father said a few things which are worth understanding. He said, "Love makes no distinction between the one who earns and the one who does not. And love feels assured about the ones who are close by and tries to bring those back close who have gone away. You are alright and already with me; there is nothing to be celebrated about you, my blessings are with you every moment of the day. But for the one who has wandered off a special welcome is needed; only then can he be assured of love!"
Jesus used to say it is just like a shepherd returning home in the evening with all his sheep, when he suddenly notices one is missing. He leaves a thousand sheep alone there in the dark of the jungle and goes back to search for the lost one. He is not concerned about those thousand sheep, his concern is only for the one that is missing, and when he finds it he goes back to the flock carrying the lost sheep on his shoulder.
Jesus used to say that love is not ambitious, and this is what I say to you too. Love has no demands.
Love for your children will not seek to gain anything through them. As with finding God, love's reward is in finding the child, not in finding something through the child. The big question is not what the child does, rather what he is.
Yes, education can be imparted in school, but who will provide religion? We have developed schools of religion too but they are all pseudo, because there can be no school of religion. They are just shops run by pundits, and to these we send our children. And these pundits have no contact with
religion; the life they lead is no different from yours. You keep one kind of shop, the pundit keeps a shop of religion. You are both shopkeepers! We send our children to him to learn patience, and he teaches - as if religion is also some geography or history - he teaches a lesson, makes the child learn it by heart. Then there are examinations in religion too. Children pass the examination and come back home with certificates.
This is a deception. You cannot sit an examination in religion. Life itself is its total examination. And nobody can award a certificate of religion; only death will give this. It is death itself which at the time of your dying will give the certificate saying whether you are religious or not. If in the very moment of your death you are blissful you have passed; if you are unhappy in the moment of death you have failed.
Life - life in its totality - is education in religion, and death is its examination. Where is the pundit who can offer this? Where are the scriptures which can offer this? No scriptures will do, no pundit will do. And you yourself do not know what religion is, so how can you give it to the child? How can you give meditation to the child? You yourself have never known meditation, never tasted it.
Whatsoever you wish to give your child, you have to have it first. If the father is wealthy he will give wealth to his son; if the father is a meditator he will give meditation to his son. But how can you give that which you don't have? If the father is loving he will give love; we can give only what we have.
People ask me - sometimes a young man, sometimes a young woman - whether it would be a good thing for them to have a baby. I say to them, "First go deep into meditation, then you can become parents; otherwise, what will you have to offer your child? And if you don't have meditation, the child's presence will reveal all your weakness and all your poverty, because you will find you have nothing to give. So it is better that you first go deep into meditation and then become parents, because then you will be able to fulfill the responsibility of parenthood - and not as a duty, but blissfully."
Give your children meditation as well as thinking. Thinking will help them to be successful in the world, and meditation will help them towards success in the divine. Give them thought to sharpen their intellects, give them meditation to nurture the sacred in their hearts. The most important phenomenon in the world happens where sacredness of the heart meets the activeness of the intellect. In that meeting, activity and inactivity balance each other, the day and the night both cease to be, and you start catching glimpses of that which lies beyond both life and death.
Moment to moment your death happens, and moment to moment you are reborn. It is not that you are one day born, live a hundred years, and then die. No, you are dying every moment, and every moment you are born anew. Every moment the old finishes and the new begins. It is only a myth that the universe was at one time created and is one day going to dissolve. Right now the universe is being created and right now it is dissolving; this is a fact.
It is not that God created the universe sometime and then went to rest, as the Christians think - that God created the world in six days and then took a rest on the seventh day, so the seventh day is a holiday. The creation was completed in six days, and then God went on holiday - and he has been on holiday ever since! No, it is not so. Because you get tired, you think God must also need holidays. If God also gets tired, then he is not infinite - his energy can be exhausted. If God also gets tired, then in that very moment the whole of creation will come to an end.
No, it is not that God once created the universe; he is creating it every moment. Creation is eternal.
The universe is not a historical event, it is eternalness. Every moment the creation is going on.
These plants are growing, buds are breaking into flowers, eggs are hatching, young birds are getting ready to fly - each moment. Nothing is static. Nowhere in all the vastness of the universe is there ever a pause; there is no holiday, creation is an eternal celebration.
And what is true for the whole universe is true for you too because you are also a small image of the vast. You may be only a drop in the ocean , but still you are a drop, and in each moment you are also being created and dissolved. That which is the past has been dissolved, and that which is to come is being created: and between these two is your existence.
This story from the Puranas is very beautiful. As the universe dissolves, everything is destroyed except for a child, an innocent - Balkrishna or whatever name we want to give him. With him the whole of creation begins again. Its meaning is multidimensional; try to understand all the dimensions.
First, all the grownups, all the old ones die, only a small child remains. All the cunning and experienced disappear, all the clever and the wise are destroyed. Only an innocent child survives, who knows nothing, while all the pundits and scriptures and religions, all the monks and saints are annihilated. What would this mean?
There is a certain security in innocence which is missing in cleverness. Lao Tzu says that he once saw a bullock cart in which some people were riding, overturn. Two of the people were killed, and a third was half-dead, his limbs broken. But there was a fourth man who received no injuries at all.
When the cart turned over he was thrown off and landed on his back in the road, and there he lay.
Lao Tzu was surprised at the man's relaxed manner and approached him to find out how he was.
The man, he discovered, was drunk. The three who were in their right senses were dead or injured, while the man so out of his senses that he was not even aware that the cart had capsized, suffered no injury. He was in such a state of unawareness that it made no difference to him whether he was in or out of the cart.
This is worth understanding. It is quite a usual scene to find drunkards lying in the roadway; for them, falling down is a normal occurrence. If you fall the way they do, you will find yourself in hospital with broken bones, but they are quite unharmed. It seems that there is an art here that is known only to
the drunkard. There is, and the art is simply this - that the drunkard is not conscious. When you are conscious and something happens, you try to defend yourself; if you are unaware there is no question of trying to defend yourself. In the moment that the accident happens, the aware person experiences fear and in trying to save himself he contracts his muscles.
When this cart overturned, three of the passengers were in a state of tension, fighting against gravity in an effort to save themselves. It is in that state of tension that the body gets damaged, and the bones broken. But for the drunkard there was no awareness of falling from the cart, so there was no fighting to save himself. He must have fallen as though he were not there, as though it was only a bag or bundle that had fallen, with no bones inside it to get broken. The drunkard fell as though there was nobody within him.
When there is no one inside seeking to save himself, no defender, then there is no resistance, no ego, no one to put on an air of bravado. Having no resistance, the drunkard simply fell; the others, resisting the fall, had to come to grief. People must have regarded this drunkard as being under the protection of God's grace. Lao Tzu says, "Only the drunkard is saved, the sober man breaks." The reason the drunkard is saved is that he is not aware of himself.
In this story everyone dies except for a small child. All who wanted to save themselves are destroyed; only a child survives. It often happens this way when a house is on fire - the adults die, and a helpless baby survives. In their frantic efforts to escape, the adults find themselves trapped and burn to death, and it is only the baby, smiling contentedly in his cradle, who is saved. Many times this happens.
There is a mystery behind such happenings, and the mystery is that the child is not doing anything to protect himself. God protects those who do not seek to protect themselves. And those who are trying to protect themselves are fighting with God. It means they are saying, "I have no trust in you, I will have my own arrangement." But in the face of the dissolution of the universe our own efforts are not going to be of any use. Even now they do not work; it is only your illusion that you are protecting yourself. In this struggle of life, where dissolution is happening all around from one moment to the next, you too are being destroyed, because you are not like little children; otherwise you would be saved.
This story carries a still deeper meaning: all that is past has dissolved and the future has not yet arrived. Whenever it arrives it arrives in the present moment. In essence you have always been a child, but you carry the whole past with you. You know all the records, you keep the files, ledgers and accounts, you know the bank balance, what you did or what you did not do, what has happened and what did not happen. All this you carry in your memory - and it does not exist anywhere except in your memory! Even the future you carry in your mind - what is to be done and what is not to be done, whether the plans will materialize or not, how they will work out and how they will not - all this vast network too you carry in your mind. And this too is nonexistent. In existence there is only pure present moment - where all past has disappeared and the future has not yet come.
In this present moment, who are you? What is your experience and knowledge? In this moment you have no ledgers and records; in this present moment you are just like a small child, newly born in this very moment from the mother's womb, who has no answer even to the question, "Who are you?"
and who knows nothing, whose slate of the heart is clean, on which nothing has yet been written.
This heart, clear of all writing, is the pure heart of the child.
So the meditator keeps becoming each moment as the heart of a child. Meditation means cleaning off the rubbish of the past, dissolving all you have learned in the past, cleansing and unlearning all that you have come to know, making it all unknown again, dissolving everything that you have gathered around you and becoming fresh, light, new again - like a shoot on a tree. Let the dead leaves fall, and let this fall happen every moment, so that spring follows after every fall, new shoots come and you are completely fresh and new, untarnished by any signs of the past.
The meditator's experiment is to become in each and every moment so clean that not even a single trace of the old is to be found in him. From moment to moment, the meditator frees himself from the past, goes on dying to the past, and does not fall into the trap of creating his own future. There is no need to create the future, it will happen on its own. You don't need to trouble yourself about it - it will happen without you. The sky is not asking you whether it is allowed to go on being, the moon and stars do not seek your consent and nor have the rivers asked your permission to go on flowing.
Time, too, runs its course without asking you... so why should you bother?
Wipe away the past, let its dust not settle on you, and don't try to give birth to the future. It will be born of its own accord. Then you are free like a new-born child, innocent, and this innocence is meditation. And when the creation happens from within you, all your life energy becomes the creator's energy. Then you are the divine. The one who is pure and simple like a child is the divine.
When you become clever, there and then you are worldly.
This can happen, it has happened. Buddha became such a new-born child, and Krishna too. It may strike you as very surprising that we have always painted Krishna, Buddha, Mahavira, Rama, without beards or mustaches. There are only two possibilities why this should be so. One is that in these particular beings there was a deficiency of male hormones, so that their features developed along feminine lines. But this might possibly have been true for one of them, because there is no reason why a man of feminine personality cannot become enlightened - that presents no problems! But to paint not only Buddha and these others but all the twenty-four tirthankaras of the Jainas without beards or mustaches, and all the buddhas of not only the past but the future too - like Maitreya who is yet to come - suggests there must be some other reason. And it is not that buddhahood is opposed to beards and mustaches; the beard and mustache would have grown to all of them.
It is only in their portraits that they are depicted without them, and there is a meaning to this. It is our wish to show that in a certain way they never grew old. Yes, their bodies aged, their backs must have bent, but we know that their consciousness never became stale and old, that it remained always as fresh as a new-born child's. It is to proclaim this freshness that we wanted to portray their bodies too as fresh and new and young. The youth that we have painted in their features is not of the physical but of the consciousness.
Who is it who can be the bridge between the past that has disappeared and the future that has not yet happened, between the universe that has dissolved and the new that has not yet arisen? If we were writing this story, we would have chosen some old man - a thinker, a pundit, a knower of the Vedas - as the right one to begin the new universe with. But this story chooses to preserve a small child. The man who knows the Vedas cannot be innocent. The innocent person does not know the Vedas - he is the Vedas.
The current of nature dissolves all that has grown old, all that is diseased with age, and creates the new. The divine's reckoning seems to be very strange, because it runs quite contrary to what
scientists are currently thinking. Our scientists say that it is very uneconomical that the old should die, and new children be born. And this is true - it is uneconomical, or economically dangerous, because the old man is a seventy-year investment, equipped with all we have taught him. He is educated, experienced, he has all the intellectual skills and now he is ready for death! A house has been constructed, and now it is ready to be demolished, and we are going to have to go through the same process, with all its problems, all over again.
Certainly, this is not economical. No government would allow this if it had the chance to do otherwise.
It is only because nothing can be done about it that the situation is allowed to continue as it is; otherwise we would preserve the old, and prevent the birth of children. The way it is, it is just wastage. The new child will have to be taken through all the same activities again - education, learning to read and write - and through all his foolishness; and when he is again of value to us, his death will be approaching.
So our scientists are trying how to save the old people. In the other half of their task - preventing childbirth - they have succeeded. Birth control has been accomplished; fifty percent of the operation has been completed. Now they are working on the other half - how to stop the old ones from dying.
And some of our old ones seem to be of great use. Look at Einstein. If only we could have prevented his death! Centuries will pass before a man like him is born again. If only we had been able to keep him for another hundred years! It is impossible to imagine what he might have achieved, because now, just when his intellect was really ripening, he had to go. If we could have saved him for another hundred years or so, many new things could have been constructed from that ripe intellect. How can the children make the contributions that Einstein would have made? So the great effort is on!
Do you know that thousands of people are paying to have their bodies preserved after they die, because the possibility exists that by the end of this century we will have mastered the technique of resurrecting the dead. In the United States there are several places where some corpses are preserved in deep freeze. It is very expensive, only millionaires can afford it; to preserve one corpse costs over a thousand dollars a day! People have founded trusts where all their money is gathered, and the trusts guarantee to preserve their bodies until science has succeeded in its task of restoring life to the dead. These people have made all these arrangements, hoping to be brought back to life within the next twenty or twenty-five years, by which time it is expected that we will have managed the technique.
If not today then tomorrow, science may be able to invent some trick. If children can be prevented from being born, then sooner or later the elderly can be prevented from dying. If birth control is possible, then death control is also possible; it is just the other side of the same thing. And the day we will be able to stop the old from dying, then total birth control will be imposed, because there cannot be enough space for both the old and the new. As it is, the old have to slip away to make room for the children. You should make it a point of awareness to observe, when a child is born into your home, you should become alert that some old man is nearing death. Otherwise, where is the space to come from? Every new breath demands space; the old man will have to move on.
It is important to see that the process of the divine is to remove the old, to destroy the completed and to bring in the incomplete; to make the old leaves fall and the new shoots sprout. The divine is in favor of the new and against the old; we favor the old and oppose the new. For us, the old is gold!
And of the new, all we say is, "It is new - how can we trust it?" This is why the older a scripture the
more respectable for us; the older a religion the more precious for us. Hence all religions truthfully or untruthfully try to maintain that they are the oldest, that their scriptures are the ancientmost. We are so interested in the old. But existence is not - existence is interested in the new. Existence says, "If it is old it should die. If it is new, then give it life!" It sees some excellence in the new that we are blind to; we only see excellence in the old.
What is our obsession with the old? That the old has experience, that the old knows, that the old has lived, it is ripe, while the new is inexperienced, does not know, is unripe, and has chances of going astray. But if we try to understand it from existence's side, the more experienced one is the more clever, cunning and prudent one is. And these qualities take him away from innocence and simplicity.
And the doors of this existence are open to the heart that is simple, and existence showers bliss only on those who trust with such simplicity that there is not even a trace of doubt in their trust.
It is only childlike trust that gives birth to saintliness. The small child has total trust in you, there is not even the idea that he trusts, because this very idea comes to the one who doubts. It is the one whose mind has been touched by doubt who thinks that he has trust. The child's trust is so total that he is not even aware that he trusts; trust is his very nature.
This story is very beautiful. At the end of the universe when dissolution has happened, a little child is saved - not by the scientists; it is God who is saving, not the scientist. And God is always in favor of the new. This is why I say, there is no more revolutionary principle than God in the universe. God is the greatest revolutionary in the world. "Let go the old, let the new come!" is the basic fundamental of revolution. The old is already dead, that's why it is old; the new is wholly alive, that is why it is new.
And if you can learn this art - and this is the art I am calling meditation - of never becoming old, then existence will always protect you. Then the day the universe comes to an end, then you too will be saved; the day great dissolution happens, then you too will be saved. Of course, enough land for you will have to be saved also. But the art of it is that you remain like a new-born child, you never become old. Yes, the body will become old and will even die, but still you don't become old. Let your soul remain new, like a new shoot, like a morning dewdrop, ever fresh, - then existence will always provide you protection. The moment you become old, you have gone against existence, you have called for your own death. If you are always new you are deathless. Newness is deathlessness.
Enough for today.