[NOTE: This is a translation from the Hindi discourses: Nahim Ram Bin Thaon. It is being edited for publication, and this version is for reference only.]
There is no way to go against nature, because there is nothing at all that is not nature. All that is, is nature. There is no way to be in conflict with nature, because who is it who is going to be in conflict when there is nothing other than nature? But what is possible is to adopt a state of mind, an attitude, that says, "I am fighting with nature." This much is possible.
When you are swimming in the river then too you are not against nature, because swimming too is natural. And the river is not fighting you even when you are fighting her, so there is simply no way that you can be in enmity with nature. But you can hold the idea that you are fighting, and be obsessed with the madness of winning and losing. If you do this you will be in suffering. Nature will not be in any suffering because of it, nor will nature make it a point that you should change. Nature
will just go on her own way until eternity, not pausing even for a single moment to ask you, "What is this you are doing?" She knows nothing of your fight, of your state of conflict. She is not even aware that you ever fought with her.
But if this idea takes root in your mind that you are fighting, that you have to win and not lose, then you will be in a state of trouble unnecessarily. This trouble too is natural. This too is nature, that if you fight then you will lose, win, think, become sad, and all that goes with it - this too is nature.
In this world, everything is nature - sadness, happiness, even ultimate bliss. It is all up to you. If you cling to some false concepts you will become sad, if you catch hold of simple, natural concepts you will become happy, and if you drop all concepts you will be blissful. All this goes on within you.
Remember, when a thorn pricks your foot and gives you pain, the pain, the thorn and your body are all natural phenomena. And then when you pull out the thorn with your hand, the hand which is pulling the thorn out is natural; the happiness, the disappearance of pain that you feel after removing the thorn, that is natural - there just isn't anything unnatural, cannot be. All natural means is that which can happen, that which is happening. Man's wandering is natural, his fall into ignorance is natural.
So the question is not of choosing between the natural and the unnatural, because everything is natural. But the suffering, the happiness, and bliss, all fall within the realm of nature. You are unhappy, and seeing this I tell you that it is possible to be happy; all you have to do is float, instead of swimming. And you also have the opportunity to become blissful; don't swim, and don't float - just become one with the river. But all the three situations are natural.
Understand it in this way: when you are healthy you are natural, but when you are sick - what then?
Do you think that sickness is not natural? Then where does sickness come from? Sickness is as much a part of nature as health. But in sickness you find unhappiness, while in health you find happiness.
So now it is up to you to choose which path of nature you want to travel - of suffering, of happiness, or of bliss. All three doors are open to you all the time, and on nature's part there is no pressure, no insistence, no punishment, no reward whichever door you choose. Nature is quite neutral in this matter, she is not going to push you one way or another. It is all left to you. This is why I say that when you are in suffering it is through your own choice. And if you are enjoying being unhappy, then nobody is stopping you, help yourself to as much as you want! But the difficulty is that you are being miserable about being in misery as well, and you are also not being alert that you are in it of your own choice.
So the first thing you have to understand is that nature is an indifferent flow, it has no preferences.
But if you want to be unhappy you will have to live a certain kind of lifestyle - of conflict, of fight, and of the desire for winning. And whoever will desire to win, he will be defeated, because how can a part, a tiny part win over the whole? For a drop there is no possibility of victory against the ocean; in the very fact of her being a drop is inscribed the defeat. How is it possible that a drop can conquer the ocean? Is there any way that you can be defeated by your hand? Even to fight against you the hand will require your energy. It is like a father wrestling with his child: it is just part of the father's fun that he can allow the child to be victorious; he can allow the child to climb on his chest and sit
there like the winner. But this too the father will have to manage for the child. And though the child may be under the illusion that he is the winner, the father knows very well that there is no way for the child to win.
When you win it is the divine who is playing with you just as the father plays with the child. You cannot really win - it is impossible, because the part cannot win against the whole. How can a fraction be greater than the total? No, there is no way, but at times you may feel that you are winning. This is nothing but the father managing his defeat at the hands of his child. It is his play. And if you have got caught up in wrong notions about it, you are going to be unhappy, because the play is not going to continue forever. Many times you are going to lose. The day you will realize that defeat is unavoidable, you will stop trying to win.
To renounce the desire to win is sannyas. And it is only the one who has renounced the desire to win who knows that Rama is the only refuge, that Rama is the final shelter; there is nowhere any way to go against Rama. This is like Ravana's defeat at the hands of Rama: in between there are several mini-victories for Ravana, there are several stopovers on the way when Ravana seems to be winning, when Ravana too starts feeling that he is winning and begins to hope that the final victory is also going to be his. But the final victory can never be Ravana's. No matter how long the game goes on, the final victory will be Rama's. Ravana will win many times during the game; Rama will win only once, but that will be final. The part may win many times in small games on the way, but in the final and decisive game it will be defeated.
The one who has come to understand this, has known and realized this, who has seen himself as the part, he gives up fighting. And the miracle is that the moment he gives up fighting he wins...
because the moment you give up fighting, you cease to be, only Rama remains. It is through fighting that you save your 'I'. When you simply don't fight and just accept your defeat, you disappear - the drop disappears and becomes the ocean. Now Rama's victory is actually your victory. Now you can never be defeated. Earlier you could never win, the victory was impossible, now the defeat is impossible; because now you are one with the whole. You are no longer a wave, you are the ocean now. Who can defeat you now?
Lao Tzu says, "The man who is set on winning will lose, and the man who has accepted defeat cannot be defeated." Over and over again Lao Tzu says that you cannot defeat him because he is already defeated. There is no way to fight against the defeated, so how can you defeat him?
The man who has accepted defeat is, in that accepting, a sannyasin, and some of the names we give to one who has accepted defeat mean the victor. The word jin for example - one of the names given to Buddha and Mahavira. Jin means the one who has won. From this comes the word jain which is used for the followers of Mahavira, meaning those who have accepted jin, the victorious man, Mahavira.
But when does Mahavira win? In what moment does his victory take place? It happens precisely in the moment that he is not there. As long as you are there you will be defeated - you are the very formula and the basis of your defeat! But the moment you are not, the victory has happened. Defeat has disappeared along with you; that which remains now is the ever-victorious element.
This is why we changed Mahavira's name. His original name was Vardhamana; this too is a beautiful and thought-provoking name. Vardhamana means the one who goes on expanding, winning. But
as long as he was Vardhamana he knew only defeat. Vardhamana is a name for our expanding desires: they expand and expand unceasingly, no matter where they may reach to. Desire is like the horizon, always there to be reached for and always receding, no matter how far you travel. So Vardhamana was the name given to Mahavira by his father; the father had only ambition to give to his son. His desire for his son was only this: that everything should go on increasing and blossoming and becoming fruitful for ever.
So Vardhamana was Mahavira's name, and of course, as long as he remained Vardhamana he went on losing. But then came the day when Vardhamana dissolved, his ego disappeared, and Mahavira was born. To be Mahavira means the end of defeat. His courage has taken him to such a peak that none can ever defeat him now. But this courage was only born when Vardhamana dissolved.
Disappearance of Vardhamana is the birth of Mahavira.
I remember an interesting incident related to all this that happened a few years ago. I was at a temple of Mahavira, and after a Jaina monk had spoken to the worshippers I was invited to speak. I said, "Vardhamana and Mahavira are two separate individuals and only when Vardhamana died was Mahavira born. As long as Vardhamana is there, there is no way that Mahavira can also be there.
The man called Vardhamana is not Mahavira, and if you think that Vardhama's life is Mahavira's life, then you are under a great illusion."
The Jaina monk was very perturbed and agitated. He thought that someone utterly unacquainted with the Jaina scriptures had come to speak. He was so agitated that he stood up and interrupted, shouting, "No, no, what you are saying is utterly wrong. Vardhamana and Mahavira are one and the same person. And it seems that you know nothing of the Jaina scriptures."
I said, "I may or may not know Jaina scriptures, but I know jinahood. And in the light of jinahood, Vardhamana and Mahavira are two separate individuals. You only know what is written in the books, but I know that Vardhamana's life is not Mahavira's! Vardhamana went to the jungle specifically to dissolve Vardhamana. And the day the seed of Vardhamana broke, its shell fell off, Mahavira sprouted."
Even then this Jaina monk could not grasp the point. The intellect stuffed with concepts is incapable of understanding anything. Then he became so angry that I was saying such a topsy-turvy thing that he was completely out of his senses and lost all his awareness. In order to understand, some awareness is a must. Then those who know too much about the scriptures.... the dust of scriptures covers their eyes and it becomes impossible for them to see life as it really is.
I knew as well as he did that names Vardhamana and Mahavira belonged to the same man, but this is the most superficial level of understanding, and there is an inner discontinuity between the two.
On the surface, yes, the names belong to the same man; and it is the man born as Vardhamana who will die as Mahavira. On the outer there is a continuity - but in the inner? In the inner one chain has ended and a new chain has begun. In the inner, the man who was born has come to an end and a new experience, a new remembrance of the one who is never born and never dies has dawned, and that is Mahavira.
Understand this well. As long as you are, defeat is your destiny. The very notion of fighting is foolish.
It is as if one is fighting with oneself: he is bound to lose. It is as if one is fighting with the current:
he will lose. The day the understanding dawns that, Who is there to be fought against? that, There is no one else except me! that, It is only me all over and all around, and it is myself who is in the other too! that, I and you are not separate and divisible, the defeat comes to an end, but so do you the same moment!
When people don't like a particular doctor they say, "The patient's disease is not going to end until the patient dies." It may not be true there, but it is true about religion: the disease will not end till the patient dies, because the disease and the patient are two names of the same phenomenon.
The disease will only end when you die because you are the disease. The whole search of all the religions may differ in their details but their essence is the same, and that is: how the individual can disappear so that the whole may take his place, because only then is there supreme bliss. How can there be unhappiness if you are not there? The more strongly you are, the deeper is your suffering.
Understand this thoroughly, that suffering, happiness and bliss, everything is nature. If you are fighting, you receive suffering from nature. Not that nature gives you suffering; the suffering comes from your very fighting, suffering is the shadow of your fight. Like the gravitation of the earth... you may feel nothing of the pull of gravity when you are walking along, but if you are drunk, if you walk haphazardly, you will fall down and you may break your leg. This breaking of the leg is happening because of gravitation, the pull of the earth. All the time the earth is pulling you; whether you are bending over, horizontal or standing erect, it is pulling. Its pull has no concern with you. If you lean too much, fall down and hurt your leg, you will be in suffering, but you cannot say that it is the gravity which broke your leg or caused your suffering.
Gravitation is a law; it is how things are. In just the same way, if you try to walk through the wall you are going to get your head broken. Can you say that the wall broke your head? Often, this is exactly what people do say. But it is you who broke the head, the wall was simply standing there; if you had avoided walking into the wall, the wall was not going to walk over to hurt your head. Walk through the doorway and your head will not get broken! Walk through the wall and your head will be broken.
Anyone taking on the idea to fight against nature will get his head broken and cause himself to be unhappy. The one who offers nature no fight, who has surrendered, is walking through the doorway and will not get his head broken. He will even forget that he is. In him there is no conflict, and actually no surrender either, because even in surrender one still feels, "I am". No, neither is there willpower nor surrender; neither I am fighting nor am I giving up the fight, because how can I fight or give up when I am not there? Thus happens the supreme bliss. It is showering even now. The door is open but you are so busy fighting with the wall! You behave as though it is a law of nature to fight the wall! And mostly people are following this very law - of fighting with the wall.
Have you ever noticed what happens to a bird when it flies into your room through the window? It tries so desperately to get out, it flies and bumps into each and every wall except the very window through which it entered. Now this is very interesting: what might this bird's logic be? One thing is , that if it has come in through the window, then the window is its way out. The way in is the way out, there is not going to be some other way. This too is certain, that if you could come in, you will be able to go out. But one needs to know how he came in...
This bird flies everywhere looking for the way out - everywhere except the window, that is - and the more he dashes about the room colliding with objects and injuring himself, the more frightened and
nervous he becomes, and in his fear he cannot see the window. If you try to help him find the way out he becomes even more frightened, so much so that he may kill himself in his desperate efforts to escape. Often one feels like helping the bird to get out through the window, but even if you try, he won't go to the window.
This is precisely what happens to the disciples at the hands of many masters. The master pushes them to get out through the window, but because of this very pushing the disciples bump badly in to the walls.
The great master will not push you. His very task is to become as though he is not in the room at all - and in this very presence of his absence you will be able to be relaxed and light. Nervousness increases because of the presence of the other and one is not able to get out, is behaving foolishly in front of the other. This creates even more anxiety, and this anxiety blinds you further. Then in such a feverish state you don't see anything at all and you behave like a blind man.
Then why does not this bird get out of the room through the same window it came in - which is so logical? But this is exactly how we are behaving too. Certainly deep down somewhere the basis of our logic is the same as that of this bird's, and that logic is: "How can I get out through the same door by which I entered, when in and out seem to be opposites? If in and out are opposites, there must be another door!" But in fact in and out are not two; they are the two sides of the same reality.
One who understands will see that you leave by the same way through which you entered; there cannot be any other way out. Coming to me here from your home you followed a certain route, and that will be your way back home as well. Now the intellect can question, "How can you return to the house on a road which led you away from the house?" Here a small difference has to be taken into account. Coming here your face was towards me, your back towards your house; returning to your house, your face will be pointed towards the house and your back towards me. This will be the only difference. Except this you are the same, the house is the same, the road is the same. The place from where man enters into existence is the place where he returns to.
Yesterday you had asked about sexual desire. This is worth understanding in that context also.
The child in the mother's womb is actionless, devoid of sexual desire; he is in a state of no-sex.
He is unaware of anything. When you are unaware of even yourself, how can you have the idea of indulgence? If there is an ego it desires indulgence, and if no indulgence is available, this ego becomes unhappy. But for the child in the womb there is as yet no question of indulgence, because the child is not yet separate, he is one with the mother. The state in which one exists in the womb is also the state of moksha, liberation.
The womb is a miniature form of the bliss called moksha. The child is one with the mother, one with his original source. The mother's breath is his breath, the mother's blood circulation is his blood circulation, the mother's heartbeat is his heartbeat. If the mother dies the child will die. As yet, the mother's life is his life; separation has not yet happened, the ego is not yet born, the child is still in the bliss of moksha. The same phenomenon happens in the attainment of supreme godliness; the whole of existence becomes the mother's womb. In the temples, the place where the statue of God or the deity is located is called garbhgriha, the womb chamber. The day the whole universe becomes a temple to you, that is the day you have re-entered the garbhgriha, the womb chamber.
Then you are no longer the same as you used to be.
So those people who have imagined God in the female form rather than the male are closer to the truth. The concept of a male God is not right, because then he cannot be a womb. It is more appropriate to conceive of God in the form of a woman. It is only because of man's ego that God is commonly regarded as male. If we try to understand leaving ego aside then it is only appropriate to see God as a woman, because there should be space in God. In moksha is space - the possible womb to which we can return. The concept of jagat-janani, jagadamba - the mother of the world - is closer to the truth. Where is the space in a man? Where will you go in him? There is no room in man, no womb in man. God becomes the womb, and you become a child again when your godliness is born.
So the first state is of no-sex. Try to understand its evolvement, because this is where the mystic is going to return to. The second step is auto-erotic: the child loves himself, plays with his own body, is blissful for no reason; there is no companion, he is having fun lying there on his own, smiling.
Mothers think the child is enjoying recollections from his previous life. He is simply absorbed in auto-eroticism; he is the lover, and he himself is the beloved. Then there is the third step - the homosexual phase. Now boys want to be with other boys, and girls with other girls; this is an age when boys are in harmony with boys and girls with girls - when boys are in love with boys and girls with girls.
This is why childhood friendships can never be recaptured. The friendship of childhood is like the friendship of lovers; it will be there for the whole life. Never again will any friendship like childhood friendship happen, no taste of a similar friendship is to be had again in life. One will come across many people in life, many good people, relationships will happen, but at the most they will become acquaintances - nothing like the childhood friendships, because that homosexual stage is not repeated again in life. Many people remain homosexuals, which only means that they did not grow up rightly.
In the West today it has become a very prevalent disease that many men are able only to love men, and many women to love only women. They have their own literature - books, magazines - and organizations. They fight the governments of their countries that they too should have the legal rights of marriage. Some countries like Denmark and Sweden have even legalized such a marriage; a man can marry a man, if they both want so. This homosexual stage is natural in childhood, but if it stays on with you into your adulthood it means retardedness has happened, it means that you have stopped on some rung of the ladder of growth - you could not go any further. The third stage is homosexuality, and the fourth is heterosexuality, when love is felt for people of the opposite sex, when love is between man and woman.
These are the four stages. Now there are two alternatives in it: one is that one escapes into the jungle in conflict with the whole journey of sex; one fights with it, one suppresses it - the so-called ascetic, the penitent. Such a man is not on a return journey, the circle is not being completed. In this way a nonindulgence is born that we usually see in sadhus and saints. But I call this a paralyzed nonindulgence; it is not real nonindulgence, because you have only gone out on your journey, you have not made the return journey, the circle is incomplete. And until the circle is complete the journey is not finished.
Everything in the universe is traveling a circular path; the moon, the stars, the earth, the sun, the life - everything is circular in its motion. Existence does not believe in straight lines, it only recognizes
circles. Everything should come back to the same point from where it began. This is the unique finding and glory of tantra.
Tantra says that nonindulgence is to be attained, but it is to be attained by returning back to the source. The fourth stage is heterosexual, sexual attraction and love towards the opposite sex, and the return journey begins from here. The stage preceding it is homosexual. All the religions of the world that have any psychological understanding have made arrangements for this stage. The Buddhists have their sangha, the commune, where bhikshus and bhikshunis live quite separately, so that relations with the opposite sex are minimized; the bhikshus live together, and the bhikshunis together separately. Christians have their monasteries where the monks and nuns are kept apart.
And there are some Catholic monasteries where people are only allowed to enter: once in, they never come out again. Those doors open only to let people in, not to let anybody out, so anyone who enters through these doors has dropped out of the world of relations with the opposite sex.
Now he will live only with other males. He will have friendships of the same quality he had in the childhood. He is completing the circle.
One has to go even further back and become like a child again, in love with himself. Now the male and female both have disappeared; the sannyasin sitting in his cave is engrossed in himself. This state of meditation is auto-erotic, self-indulgent; it is being just like an infant who is blissful lying in his cradle. There is no need of the other for him to be blissful, his own being is enough bliss. This is the state of meditation.
But one has to go still further back, where even the awareness of self has to disappear. Now one has returned back to the womb. The name of this stage is samadhi - enlightenment. Now one has become a child in the womb of existence, and is no longer aware even of himself. One has become innocent, one with the whole existence. The circle is completed, and once again the state of nonindulgence has blossomed - this ultimate state I call celibacy, brahmacharya.
If you kept going ahead in a linear movement and after the fourth stage you turned into a celibate in the fifth state, this celibacy will be a repression and it will be perverted and there can be no beauty in it. There will be no trace of that glory in it which marks the child who is in the mother's womb.
Nonindulgence to self-indulgence to homosexuality to heterosexuality and then the return journey.
And the day you complete the circle the supreme peace will descend on you, blessings will start showering on you from all directions. This man has come back home. This is what the Zen masters call coming back home: one has come back to the place one had started from. One has attained to the original source.
If you fight with the nature, that too is natural. If you surrender to nature, that too is natural. And if you let go of yourself, forget yourself altogether - neither conflict, nor surrender - that too is natural. It is all natural... because how can anything be unnatural? So the question is not of choosing between natural and unnatural, the question is of choosing between unhappiness, happiness and bliss. All three doors are open to you. Wherever you want to go, go consciously. If you want to be unhappy, then be unhappy consciously. Nobody is preventing you, and there is no dependency at all in this matter. For anyone who wants to be unhappy there are numerous ways to be so. But remember, you are arranging it yourself with your own hands; don't blame anyone else. If you want to have happiness, then have that; and if you are ready for bliss, then have bliss. But no one else here is to
be blamed for your unhappiness and happiness, and neither can anyone else be thanked. You are living alone.
This is the concept that has been called the theory of karma. The whole essence of the theory of karma is that all that comes to you is of your own doing; neither does nature give you anything, nor does any God. You cultivate your own life, and from the seeds you sow grow the fruits you will harvest - and this is all you have ever been doing.
The only thing worth looking into is that if your doings get you in trouble, it only means that you are going against nature. And if your doings bring you happiness and health, it means you are walking hand-in-hand with nature. To go against is unhappiness, to go with is happiness. But if you become blissful, you are neither with nor against nature, you are one with nature.
Oneness is bliss.
As one starts becoming peaceful, all feelings of enmity begin to drop away. Enmity towards whom is also not the point; the very feeling of enmity begins to drop from within. A blissful person can have only the feelings of friendliness. As your meditation will deepen you will find that you have become friendly to everybody. Those who were yours are still yours, but those who were strangers have also become yours.
The ignorant person, no matter how much identified he may be, treats the body not as his own, and no matter how much he may be living in the body he lives in enmity with it. It does not matter how much you decorate your body, but from within you have an enmity with your body. You may not have recognized the fact but you are an enemy to your body. This enmity can be expressed in two ways. One way to express it is to use the body as a vehicle for indulgence... because then you are destroying the body and giving birth to all kinds of illnesses and sorrows in the body. So one way of manifesting enmity with the body is that of the indulgent person; he rots. The other way is of the renouncer. He does not destroy the body through indulgence, he tortures it. He makes the body sleep on a bed of thorns, he keeps it hungry, he whips it - he tortures the body directly. The pleasure seeker tortures the body indirectly, but both torture the body and both are enemies to the body; neither is a friend.
One of the disciples of Buddha was Shrona. He was a prince who left home, renounced his palaces.
He was a great pleasure seeker as a prince; he had made all arrangements in his palace for pleasure and indulgence. He had never walked on foot; even while walking up the staircase of his palace he would have naked women standing on either side on whose shoulders he could rest his hands. His whole life was music, dance and merriment, that's all. All day long he would sleep, and the whole night he would drink wine and spend in music and dance parties.
Then one day Buddha visited his town, and Shrona became his disciple. Buddha's followers were astonished and they said, "We never thought that Shrona would ever become a sannyasin. You have performed a miracle."
"No," said Buddha, "it is no miracle on my part, not in the least. Shrona was bound to become a sannyasin, because mind travels from one extreme to the other. Before long you will see his behaviors: your actions are nothing compared to what you will see from Shrona."
And that was the way it happened. Soon people saw that Shrona was the most ascetic among them. Buddha's bhikshus used to take one meal a day; Shrona would take one meal in two days.
If other bhikshus would walk on the road, Shrona would walk on the rocky and thorny path. While other bhikshus kept at least one piece of cloth to cover themselves, Shrona would stay naked. Other bhikshus would rest under the shadow of some tree at noon, but Shron would be standing out in the sun.
"You see," said Buddha, "he was torturing his body before he became a bhikshu, and he is torturing it even now. Previously he was torturing it in the form of indulgences, now he is torturing it in the form of penances, but the torture, the enmity continues."
Within six months nothing remained of Shrona's beautiful body but dry bones, wrinkled and dried up, his eyes sunken, his feet full of wounds and blisters; nobody could have recognized that this was prince Shrona.
One night Buddha visited his hut and said to him, "Shrona, I hear that you were an expert at playing veena when you were a prince. I would like to ask you one thing: Will music still arise from the instrument if the strings are stretched too taut?"
Shrona replied, "Yes, music will still arise, but it will sound very shrill; and if the strings are really too taut they will snap and there will be no music."
Then Buddha asked him, "And if the strings are very slack - what then?"
Shrona said, "Then too, music will not be born. Or if it will be, it will sound very dreary and lifeless.
And if the strings are slackened enough there will be no music at all."
Buddha asked, "Then what is the law governing the birth of music from the instrument?"
Shrona said, "The strings should be stretched to a middle point - not too tight, not too loose."
There is a point at which neither you can say they are too tight nor you can say they are too loose, and to discover that middle point is the musician's skill. Many people are able to play but it takes the skill of a great musician to find that middle point. When a musician starts with his instrument he takes such a long time tuning it; he sets it by hammering to change the tension, the combination of tensions, stretches or loosens the strings, and so on. He is seeking that middle point Shrona was referring to when he said, "Not too tight and not too loose" ... because only then will music be born.
Buddha stood up to leave and said to Shrona "Shrona, I just came to tell you that this law of music is the law of life too. The music of samadhi - enlightenment - will arise in life only when the strings are
at the midpoint of their tension. Avoid extremes! It is easy to move from indulgence to renouncing, but you have to stop at the midpoint of the two and that is where the balance is."
So as the meditation will deepen, the mind will start coming to that midpoint. All enmities - both kinds of enmity - will drop, and a friendliness will be born. And this friendliness is not towards any particular person, it simply arises within you, so wherever you will look you will feel friendship. You will look at the trees or at your friends or at the birds, and all around you will feel a friendship - as though all are your companions, as though no one is in opposition to you. And really no one is.
When you were in opposition, all were in opposition to you; but now, even if someone will oppose you, because of your meditation you will be able to see that this opposition too is there to benefit you. This is why Kabir says, "The man who reproaches you, arrange him a hut so he can live in your courtyard." Bring the man who reproaches you and let him live next to you; make him a guest, because his reproach is of assistance to you. Now you see friendship even in the one who reproaches you.
You will see the friendship of your body too, and then you will be able to thank it. A sannyasin is one who can thank his body too ... because it has not harmed you in any way, but rather has supported and been like a shadow to you. If you wanted to go to the whorehouse, your body took you there - but it was you who wanted to go. But we are very strange people: we say this body is the enemy, it took us to the whorehouse! When you wanted to go to the temple, it took you to the temple... This body has followed you like a shadow, has accomplished what you wanted, and yet you blame it.
When you commit a sin you say it is the body that is making you sin; when you are angry it is the body that is making you to do it. When you are overwhelmed by sexual desire, you say it is the body that is driving you into it.
Our habit of blaming the other is so old that when we cannot find anything else to blame, we impose it on the body. So if a sannyasin is condemning the body, understand well that he has not yet known the fragrance of sannyas; otherwise he would see that his body is a temple, a wonderful gift of nature. Nature has given you so much in this body, if only you could use of some of it. In the body is hidden not sexual desire alone, there are also other centers higher than the sex, which contain in them other dimensions. Your body also contains that sahasrar from where opens the door to samadhi. Your lowest center is that of sexual intercourse from where opens the door to nature. Your seventh center is that of meditation from where opens the door to the divine. In the body is hidden everything. So do not blame the body; the body opens the door you knock at.
But our habits are such that we do not want to blame ourselves, somebody else is needed to take the blame. And if you cannot find anybody, then you take it on your own poor body. The so-called religions have taught a lot of nastiness towards the body, and have made you an enemy of your body, and an idea has developed in you that you can be self-realized only through torturing your body. There can be no more foolish an idea than this. The spiritual man will not torture anybody, never mind torturing his own body. How can a torturer become spiritual? Torture is violence, brutality, sick. Torture is the nature of a sick mind. Don't torture, know this body.
So as meditation will arise in you, you will come to a new recognition of your body. For the first time you will see that the body is unique, very mysterious, with so many doors to it and a world full of unique mysteries hidden within it. You have not searched for its treasures at all. What you have searched for is what you have got. You are like a madman who is given a palace by someone and
he is passing his life sitting on the outer steps, calling names when bothered by the sun and the rains, that what kind of house is this where you have to sit on the doorstep and suffer, where all the dust of the road comes over you, the passers-by go on throwing dirty words towards you?
Now this man is sitting on the doorstep, he has not even opened the door. He has not seen the beautiful rooms within, he has not known the restfulness that the palace has to offer him, he has not searched for the treasures of the palace; he is simply calling names sitting at the threshold with his back turned towards the palace. And the more he will go on calling names the more difficult it will be for him to turn his face to the palace, because whoever we blame, the stronger becomes our insistence on keeping our back towards him. If your enemy comes you don't look at him, you start looking somewhere else; you will turn your back to him. To turn your back on your enemy comes very naturally, and if your body is your enemy, then you ignore, you neglect this palace.
True, people travel the path to hell through this body, but they also travel to heaven through the body.
The same ladder can be used to take you heavenwards or hellwards and the ladder does not ask you to climb upwards or downwards, this is entirely up to you. Even if a small glimpse of meditation starts happening to you, a deep sense of friendliness will arise in you towards your body, because you will discover that it is this very body that is making meditation possible. And the day samadhi happens, you will see that this too has become possible because of the body. A liberated individual is full of immense gratitude and thankfulness towards his body even at the time of his death.
Saint Francis was dying and at the very last moment he opened his eyes and said, "Thank you so much! You have been my constant companion - nobody else would have done so much. Whether I traveled to heaven or to hell, whether I did something good or bad, you have always been with me.
How great is your compassion! Now that I am about to leave you forever, please accept my thanks."
The disciples standing around Saint Francis could not understand with whom he was holding this conversation. One of them asked him, "Are you out of your senses, or are you going mad because death is approaching? To whom are you talking? You are not looking at any of us, nor does your conversation appear to be addressed to us. And none of us has been with you in all the situations the way you just described, so it does not make sense anyway if the conversation was addressed to any of us - so to whom are you talking? Are you talking to the void?"
Saint Francis said, "I am talking to my body. In my ignorance I have many times reproached and scolded it. Today I am offering my thanks to the body because there will be no opportunity again; this is the last chance for me to thank it and then I will be separated from the body forever. This body has gone through many troubles for me."
This will be the feeling of the meditator. Enmity will drop, friendship will crystallize, and a gratitude will be felt coming from all directions. It is the divine grace that is present in all the forms. This is why those who know have said that the body is a temple. It is the ignorant who have said that the body is an enemy. These ignorant people may even have written scriptures, but that makes no difference - they are still ignorant! Those who know have always said this body is a gift from the divine, and the ignorant have always put the body and the divine against one other, as if unless you destroy your body you will never attain to the divine. If the divine was interested in destroying your body there was no need to create it in the first place. And even the divine is not without a body - this whole nature is its body.
The whole nature is body of the divine; this is why the five elements of nature have gathered in your body too in a miniature form. Your body is a miniature form of the divine. Out there is a vast sun burning, some sixty thousand times the size of the earth, and having immense heat and flames. In your house is burning a small lamp - very tiny, that can in no way be compared with the sun, but a flame is burning in it too. In this flame too is the same sun - the same rays, the same light. You are a lamp; the form of the lamp is your body, and you are the flame. The divine is the supreme flame, and nature is the lamp for that flame. So when you die your flame will merge into the supreme flame, and your lamp will merge into the ultimate nature.
This game is unique, and this leela, the play, is fascinating! Don't move in it with the feeling of enmity.
One who becomes inimical to it goes astray. One who becomes friends with it, nature opens all its mysteries to him. Only as a friend you will be able to know, to recognize what you have. Your eyes will be towards the door, you will open the door, and you will enter into the palace.
It seems contradictory, but it is true. And remember, words are always contradictory. Speaking can be of many kinds. One of the kinds of speaking is that which has no concern at all with the listener.
In this case speaking is just your disease: you speak because you cannot remain quiet, because there is much noise and turbulence going on in your head. By speaking you become light... so your speaking is only a catharsis. This is how we all are speaking, because we feel restless if we do not speak. In speaking the restlessness gets released. This is why once you have chattered enough you become light, and then you go home and have a good night's sleep. The day you do not get enough chance to chatter you will have trouble sleeping that night, because when you won't be able to chatter with the other you will have to chatter with yourself. So lying in your bed you will be chattering to yourself.
For you, speaking is a disease, a compulsion. It does not concern you what you are speaking. It is also not the question to you whether your speaking will do good or harm to anybody. You speak because you cannot stop yourself from speaking.
Sometimes standing aside, quietly listen to people's conversations. What are they talking about?
What is the sense in their talking? But no, there is no question of any sense; they just go on branching off from one point to another. This brings a lightness to them. There is a restlessness within, and that restlessness is released through talking. If it is not released then it will move in the thoughts and will become dreams, and if it is entirely prevented from finding an outlet, then you will go mad. Psychologists say that if a man is entirely prevented from all kinds of speaking for three months, he will go insane.
How does an insane person behave? What is the difference between an insane person and you?
There is not much difference. It is very little, just of the quantity - an inch this way or an inch that way
and everything can go berserk. What is the difference? Just visit a madhouse some time and find out. The madman is talking all by himself, you don't talk all by yourself - that is the only difference.
But is this really true that you don't talk all by yourself? You do not talk aloud, you only talk within - that is the only difference. But you too converse when you are alone. Walking along the road you make faces, you gesticulate, and even your lips move; and sometimes, if there is nobody else around - say in your bathroom - you talk out loud. There is nobody listening, you stand in front of the mirror enjoying a chat, and even making faces. Nowhere else do you enjoy the freedom you feel in your bathroom.
What difference is there between you and the madman? You are still conscious of other people, what they will think and say. The madman has parted company with this idea, he is no longer bothered with it. He talks for both the sides. A man who is not actually there sits by his side, and he is talking to him, responding from both the sides. But you too divide yourself into two and then go on questioning and answering. For you, conversation, talking, is a kind of catharsis in which your insanity gets released. Just as one takes the lid off a kettle and lets the steam out, exactly the same way in speaking you are taking the lid off your mind and letting the steam out. This lightens you.
This is not how Buddha is speaking. For Buddha speaking is not a form of catharsis. So if your speaking can be called speaking, then Buddha's cannot be, because the very nature of the two is different. Buddha is not speaking because he cannot remain silent. For Buddha it is easier to remain silent, speaking is torturous to him. For you it is difficult to remain silent, and very easy to speak. To remain silent is Buddha's nature and speaking is very difficult. For speaking he has to make effort.
And when you are not there Buddha is not speaking to himself in his aloneness; he is silent, there is utter silence in him, there is no one there. So it is true in this sense that Buddha spoke for forty years and yet did not speak - because Buddha's speaking is not a disease like yours. It is necessary to distinguish between the two.
The second thing is that there is a difference of basic quality between a speech that comes out of emptiness and a speech that oozes out of an internal crowding and mess. When the words come out of emptiness, their nature is that of silence. The music, the symphony in the words coming out of emptiness is that of wordlessness and silence. So if you listen attentively to a buddha you will fall into silence. If you go on listening attentively to a buddha you will enter into meditation, because what the buddha says is not the point, the essential nature and quality of what he says is emptiness.
So with the words that emptiness also enters your heart. This is why listening to a buddha you will fall into meditation.
But listen to an ordinary man and you will become restless. The more you listen the greater your restlessness. And the ordinary man will go on talking endlessly. You would like to avoid him, to run away from him; you will say this man is boring you, and how to get rid of him? You know how you run away from people, how you say things like, "Excuse me please for now, I have some urgent work in the market." And remember, others get rid of you in the same manner. And whenever you say that a certain man is very boring, all that is meant is that he is stronger than you, that you are unable to bore him; he has caught hold of you. But there are also people who are weaker than you, and you are in your turn torturing them.
If you listen to the normal conversation of people along with their words, their stink will also enter you. It is bound to be so because words are physical phenomena. The words come to you carrying
with themselves the vibes, the fragrance or the stink and the nature of the man who spoke them.
This is why, if you have any understanding, you will not go to listen to wrong people. If you have any sense you will not move in the company of these insane people, because this friendship is dangerous. These insane people are not only themselves insane, they are throwing their insanity into you.
It happened once: An emperor in Arabia went mad. He was very fond of chess and it occupied his mind twenty-four hours a day. It was this obsession with chess that drove him mad. The doctors declared that there was only one way to cure the emperor, and that was that some greater chess player than the emperor should play with him for one whole year. Since the madman was an emperor there was no shortage of money, so the greatest chess player - the Bobby Fisher of the times - was called to the emperor's palace, and the two began playing.
Now this was a matter involving the emperor himself, so there was no question of the chess player refusing to play against him. But what kind of chess is one to play against a madman? After all, the madman is a mad man - he makes the moves any way he wants, he does not follow any rules! Sometimes he will simply overturn the chessboard, or at another moment he will bring the chessboard and want to play in the middle of the night. But by the time a year was over, the emperor became sane again and the other chess player went mad. It was bound to happen like this.
Sometime visit a madhouse: the doctor there seems to be crazier than the patients. The patients are mad without worries, but this poor man has to suffer the madness of so many of them. In treating all these mad people, the psychologists themselves reach to the same stage of madness.
The qualities travel through the words too. So an intelligent person will listen only to the words that are coming out of an inner emptiness, an inner peace, that are born in the inner depths. If the words are coming from an inner dis-ease, then close your ears - it is better to be deaf to them. This will protect you. And likewise, don't look at the wrong - because by looking at it, it is entering you. And don't touch the meaningless, because the very touch of it will affect you. But we are not aware of all this.
The words of Buddha are like no-words, because they arise out of an inner void. So it is rightly said that Buddha spoke for forty years without speaking at all.
One more last point to be understood is that in spite of his consistent speaking Buddha goes on saying that he has not been able to say what he wants to say. That is why he had to speak for forty years. It is a constant effort, just like an artist trying to create a certain painting which is not coming right and then he paints again, misses again and paints again. And this goes on till the very last moment, and he remains unsatisfied till the very last moment because he feels that he has not been able to paint what he wanted to paint; that that form cannot be painted, or it is formless and cannot be caught; or it is formless and is lost the moment you give it a form. It is like the sky: you close your fist and it is gone.
So Buddha says, "I speak, but I am unable to say it. I am unable to say what I wanted to say, and whatever I have said, you must not catch hold of it because it is not the truth. The truth cannot be spoken." In this sense also Buddha's speaking is like non-speaking. It is as though all the lines he drew he tore the paper off and threw it away.
In the West, there was a great Christian theologian - Thomas Aquinas. He wrote a very beautiful book of Christian theology, Summa Theologiae. It is a huge book, almost an encyclopedia; Christians have no other book like this in which everything of Christian theology and practices has been explained. Thomas Aquinas was on his deathbed. He said to his disciples as the last thing that all these fifty volumes of Summa Theologiae are useless, "because I have been unable to say what I wanted to say. So don't believe in them; otherwise you will cling to them - and the truth has never been in them. The truth is going with me, only the words are staying behind."
The words of Thomas Aquinas are priceless, every word is a treasure, a diamond. Yet Aquinas himself declared at the time of his death that they are all rubbish.
Buddha says, day after day, that whatever he is saying is all useless because truth cannot be said; that which is empty of all attributes cannot be expressed; there is no way to hold the sky in your fist. The moment freedom is captured in the word, it turns almost into slavery, the words become a prison. And yet Buddha goes on speaking. And he goes on speaking so that your chattering mind can come to some satisfaction, can come to rest through listening and listening. You won't receive the truth, but you will receive the closeness to Buddha, you will be in his satsang. Truth will not come to you in Buddha's words, but if he was sitting silently you would not go to him at all. It is only because Buddha speaks, you go to him.
So speaking is only an invitation to you, because this you can understand. But Buddha is giving you such an invitation in which your reason for going to him is different and his reason for calling you is different. Buddha attracts you by speaking, but his purpose is completely different. You have seen flowers: they spread their fragrance around - but do you know the reason they spread the fragrance?
Botanists say that flowers spread fragrance to attract butterflies. Attracted by the fragrance of the flowers, butterflies come and sit on them. The male particles in the pollen stick to the legs and wings of the butterflies and when they fly off and settle on a female plant, the pollen sticking to them falls into the female flower, and a seed is born.
To spread fragrance is not itself the purpose of the flower, the purpose is to spread the sperm for the seed. Buddha calls you close to himself through speaking. This speaking is only the fragrance of the flower. But you will go close to him and the buddhahood will stick to your very feet and wings.
You cannot escape this happening. And once you have tasted buddhahood, you yourself will cast off all words. One day you yourself will declare that Buddha never spoke at all, it was all a great deception.
This is exactly my situation. I am speaking to you, but I am not speaking at all; I am using the word, and yet I have no relationship with the word at all. But since you have ended up in my net, the buddhahood will stick to your feet and wings, without your knowing about it. You have come with some other reason: perhaps you have come to listen, my words give you entertainment; perhaps your intellect gets satisfaction, perhaps your logic gets solace, or perhaps your collection of informations increases and your ego enjoys it. Perhaps you have come to me so that you can become an even bigger pundit than you are already....
All these or one of these may be your purpose in coming to me, but I have no concern with that. I have some other conspiracy, my intention is quite different. Why you have come is your concern, but if you ask me, I want to offer you the taste of such a life which cannot be expressed in words, but whose fragrance is unexpectedly caught sometimes in the moment of being with me.
Hence this is not a discourse, this is a satsang. Here I am not speaking, here I only am. And if you can connect with my being for a short while - even for a single moment - then you cannot be the same again whatsoever you were earlier. Your life cannot go backwards. Then a new world is born and the beginning of a new man has commenced.
Vardhamana can die and Mahavira can be born - it is for this that I have called you. All this conspiracy of speaking is because you will not come without that. But speaking is not the purpose.
And the same is true about all the masters - be it Jesus Christ, Buddha or Mahavira.
There is a beautiful story about Mahavira. Jainas clung to it with rigidity, so they could never extract the essence of the story. The story is that Mahavira never spoke and yet the people heard him. Now this is a very strange affair. Mahavira did not speak and yet the people heard him? Mahavira did not speak in any language that can be heard by the ears. So his language was wordless, and yet people heard him - those who were able to hear the wordless. If they too became wordless and sat by the side of Mahavira, they heard him.
And there is a further part to this story, and it too is of great significance. The story runs that even the wild animals of the forest heard him; the gods and deities from the sky too came to hear; the birds and the beasts too came to hear; the ghosts and spirits also gathered to hear. Jainas find it very difficult to explain how animals and birds will hear. Certainly, if Mahavira is speaking any language of words, even all human beings will not be able to understand him, what to say about birds and beasts.
Now if I am speaking Hindi, only those who understand Hindi are going to understand what I am saying. There are thousands of other languages in the world and those people cannot understand what I said. The question of birds and beasts understanding my statements does not even arise, because there is no language for them. But if Mahavira speaks in silence, then he can be understood by all. Then what difference is there? Then whether it is you listening, or a plant or a ghost or a heavenly deity or a dog, makes no difference. Silence is the language of the whole universe.
But let me tell you that Mahavira spoke; otherwise you would not be ready to go and sit silently near him. You are so addicted to words that wherever you hear them, you rush to them. So certainly when the words are from someone like Mahavira, there is a great sweetness in them. Listening to him you feel as though you are receiving nourishment from some very good food, as though some emptiness in you is being filled. Just out of this attraction you come. But coming to them, your ears, your mind will get engaged in their words, but your soul falls in satsang with them. And if something of buddhahood sticks even to your feet and wings, then the revolution. This revolution is the purpose.
Enough for today.