Time to be completely disillusioned
IT SEEMS THAT AN AUTOMATIC PROCESS, MORE LIKE A PREGNANCY, HAS TAKEN OVER THE STEERING WHEEL. I DON'T HAVE TO DO A THING, THOUGH I CAN'T STOP LISTENING.
INSIGHTS PRESENT THEMSELVES EVEN IF NOT ASKED FOR. IS THIS THE MEANING OF THE EXPRESSION "A GOOD SADHANA IS EFFORTLESS"? PLEASE COMMENT.
Deva Amrito, it is the right time for you to see the truth in its utter nudity. Many ears may not be ready for it. But even though they are not ready for it, they are on the way to being ready one day.
Let this be a seed in them: The truth about a good sadhana is that it is no longer a sadhana at all.
A "good sadhana" is still a bad sadhana.
The word sadhana has to be understood. It comes from the root sadhan; sadhan means methods, paths, ways, techniques. The so-called sadhanas of all the religions are just spiritual games people like to play. The word 'spiritual' makes them more piously egoistic.
Somebody is interested in football, somebody else is interested in playing cards - these are thought to be worldly games. But as I see it, there are no otherworldly games; all games are worldly.
Somebody is trying to achieve more success, somebody else is trying to become richer, somebody is trying to be more powerful, and all these have been condemned by so-called religions without any exception.
But when somebody starts moving towards higher planes of being then you forget completely that it is the same game, only the label has changed. It is the same ego trying to prove itself special, higher than others, better than others. It is still the same comparative mind, and the comparative mind is a mind in confusion, in a mess.
A comparative mind is an insane mind.
Amrito, if you simply allow things to happen - not even choosing; whatever comes to you is deeply, respectfully and gratefully accepted as a gift from the great existence - then you have become effortless. Even a slight choice on your part..."if it would have been just a little bit different"... and you have missed the point.
To see existence as it is, choicelessly, is what is meant by effortlessness. It does not mean that you don't have to do anything....
Misunderstandings are so great, and particularly in the world of seekers, that they can make an effort to be choiceless. They can make an effort to be effortless, and they will not see what they are doing.
The people who have known reality not as a knowledge but as an experience, have emphasized one point tremendously: that you are already what you can ever be. Your essential reality has already been given to you. It is not going to happen in the future. It is possible you may not realize it in the present - that does not mean that it is not present, it simply means your eyes are closed. You can stand with closed eyes before a sunrise and you will remain in darkness; that does not deny the existence of the sun. It simply shows your stupidity. Just open your eyes... and in fact all that you need is already given to you.
I am reminded, Amrito, of a Sufi story. A very strange mystic, Junnaid, used to pray and every time he would pray - in the morning, in the evening, in the night - he would end up his prayer with a deep gratitude towards existence: "Your compassion and your abundance of gifts to me is so much that I feel embarrassed. How am I going to repay it? Except my empty gratefulness and my tears, I don't have anything to give to you."
They were on a pilgrimage. He had many disciples with him. It happened that one time, for three days continuously, they passed through villages where there were fanatic Mohammedans. They would not give Junnaid and his disciples food, not even water. There was no question of shelter either. For three days in the desert without food, without water, without shelter... but the prayer continued to be the same and the gratefulness towards existence did not change even a little bit.
This was too much for the disciples. When days were good, it was perfectly okay to be grateful, but for three days they have been starving, thirsty, in the cold nights of the desert - no shelter, and there is no hope that tomorrow things are going to be better. Finally, they encountered their master Junnaid and said, "There is a limit to everything. We have listened to your prayer for years, and we thought it was perfectly in tune with existence. Existence was giving us everything. But these three days we have waited, thinking that perhaps you will stop being grateful or maybe you will even complain, but you seem to be the same. Again the same gratitude, the same tears - we can't understand it. For what are you being so full of gratitude?"
Junnaid laughed and he said, "These three days were the most important in my life. These three days showed me whether I have any gratitude or not. Is my gratitude simply a bargain, a persuasion, or is my gratitude something that has grown in my heart? It doesn't matter - as far as I am concerned, I don't have a choice. Whatever existence gives to me is needed by me. These three days of starvation were absolutely needed by me; for it to be otherwise is not possible. These three days of thirst, coldness in the night, almost facing death, were absolutely my intrinsic needs. I don't know about you - my gratitude is not conditional. My gratitude is unconditional, it is not because God is good to me. It has no reason at all; it is simply my joy, my blissfulness, my prayerfulness to existence. I don't have a choice."
A choiceless awareness simply means whatever happens to you is perfectly the right thing to have happened. You don't have any judgment about it. It does not mean that you will stop doing things; you will continue doing things but your doing things will be more like a man flowing in the current of the river, not swimming, not swimming against the current.
The effort comes when you are against the current, so that existence wants you to move north and you want to move towards the south. There comes the struggle, there comes your effort, there comes your separate existence as an ego. But if you are simply flowing with the river wherever it is going, you don't have a goal, because a man with a goal cannot be choiceless. You don't have a destination, because a man with a destination cannot relax and cannot be choiceless. He has already chosen.
There were two temples in Japan that were traditionally antagonistic to each other. For centuries they had been fighting, arguing against each other's theology. Both the temples had two old priests, and two young boys to serve their small needs. Both the old monks had told the boys, "You should not talk with the other boy. We are not on talking terms; we are traditional enemies." But boys are boys. They wanted to play with each other. In that lonely forest, far away from the nearest village, they were the only two persons who could have some communication with each other.
One day, one boy dared to disobey the old monk. He stood by the road. He knew that every day the other boy would also come out of the temple to go to the market to fetch vegetables and other things. The boy came. The first boy asked him - very friendly - "Where are you going?"
But the other boy said, "Wherever the winds take me."
The answer was not a friendly one; the answer was not to start a conversation. The boy just said this and moved away. The first boy felt very bad and he thought that his master was right: "These people are very ugly. I was asking a simple question and he is talking metaphysics."
He went to the temple and said to the master, "Please forgive me, I disobeyed you and I have been punished already."
The master listened and he said, "Don't be worried. Tomorrow you stand at the same place and when the boy answers you by saying 'Wherever the winds take me' ask him: 'If the winds are not blowing, then?' You have to stop him, you have to defeat him. It is a question of our prestige."
Early in the morning the boy was ready - he had repeated many times what he had to say - and then he asked, as the boy was approaching near, "Where are you going?"
And the boy said, "Wherever my legs take me."
Now this was too much! He had crammed his answer the whole night, and now the answer is absolutely irrelevant! With great anger he went to the master and he said, "Those people are really cunning. They are not people to be relied upon, they change their answers."
The master said, "I had told you before, but now you have started an unnecessary trouble. Tomorrow you stand there again, and when he says, 'Wherever my legs take me' you ask him, 'If you had no legs, then?'"
Ready with the answer, again the same situation; the boy asked, "Where are you going?" and the other boy said, "To fetch some vegetables from the market."
Now, what to do with these unreliable people?
Whenever you have something fixed in your mind, you are going to be disappointed by existence.
The old proverb has some truth in it: "Man proposes and God disposes." But it is not that there is a God who disposes you. In your very proposition you have disposed yourself.
Don't propose and there is no possibility of anybody disposing you. Don't have a goal and you will never be a failure. Don't make a destination and you will never go wrong.
But to understand it simply means you will have to go on floating with the river - whether it leads anywhere or not is not your concern. You are enjoying the moment. This very moment, with the sun shining and the birds singing and the trees around the river, is enough unto itself.
But a tremendous calamity has happened to humanity, and the calamity has been brought by your so-called religious founders, by your so-called great moral leaders, your politicians, your priests, your professors; because for centuries these people have been telling you that as you are, you are not worthy enough. Condensed, their whole teaching is that you have to become worthy, that you have to deserve some respectability, some prestigiousness. As you are, you are empty.
They had their own vested interest in it. The moralist goes on telling you that you are immoral; you are born in sin. He creates a certain psychology of guilt. It is a strategy. Once a man starts feeling guilty, he becomes sick. He loses his dignity, he loses his individuality, he loses his courage. He starts looking up to someone else to lead him, to guide him, because as far as he is concerned, he is born in sin and whatever he does is going to be wrong. He has lost his guts.
And all your leaders are living by destroying you. They are leaders because you need someone to lead you, and to make you so condemned in your own eyes that you cannot ever think that you can stand on your own feet, that you can declare to the world that, "I am alone and as I am, I am absolutely right. This is the way existence has created me."
A tremendous revolution is needed in the world where each individual declares his individuality. But you declare yourself a Christian and you have lost your individuality; you declare yourself an Indian and you have lost your individuality. You declare yourself part of any organized ideology and you have moved into a miserable situation, out of which it is very difficult to find a way. You will be getting more and more, deeper and deeper, into the mess. Because all those people are enjoying their greatness by making you small.
I am reminded of one of the great emperors of India, Akbar. He had a great joy in accumulating all kinds of geniuses in his court from all over the country, and he loved to ask questions and to listen to their discussions.
One day he asked a very strange question. He came to the court, and on a blackboard he drew a straight line and asked the people of his court: "Without touching this line, can you make it smaller?
There is a great prize waiting for you..." and he had a very beautiful diamond in his hand as a prize.
Everybody started thinking... without touching it, how can you make it smaller?
He had a man in his court who was a man with a great sense of humor. Since nobody else was standing up he went to the board and drew a bigger line underneath the smaller line. Without touching it he made it small.
The emperor Akbar remembers the incident in his autobiography, AKBARHNAMA: "Even I had not thought about it, I had just looked into small children's books and found the puzzle. I thought, this is great! Because I could not figure out myself how you could make it small without touching it." But in this small incident is hidden the whole misery of humanity. You have been made small without touching.
Great stories have been propounded about Mahavira, that he does not perspire. Now only a man who has no skin and is made of plastic can manage not to perspire, and certainly plastic was not available twenty-five centuries ago. But why create such a story? Just to make you small - you perspire, you are ordinary mortals. Mahavira belongs to immortality, he does not perspire.
I have inquired as deeply as possible... neither Krishna ever becomes old nor Buddha ever becomes old nor Mahavira ever becomes old. There is not a single statue, not a single picture, not a single description; they are always young. Just go into any Buddhist temple, any Jaina temple, any Hindu temple - it is strange. These people don't grow. They seem to be like old gramophone records which get stuck and go on repeating the same line again and again and again.
But they are kept young just to make you realize that they belong to a separate category, a higher category. They don't belong to you. A snake bites Mahavira, and instead of blood, milk comes out....
Some thirty years ago, I had come to Bombay for the first time, invited by a conference celebrating Mahavira's birthday. Just before me, the most prominent Jaina monk described exactly this incident to prove that Mahavira is no ordinary mortal; he has come from the beyond to save you, to save humanity.
Just by coincidence I was the second speaker and I asked the monk, "Have you ever thought about it? If the milk comes from the feet, then the whole body of Mahavira must be filled with milk because Mahavira cannot know where the snake is going to bite. And milk in a man's body for forty years must have turned into curd, into butter. It cannot remain milk.
"It is true that the human body is capable, particularly the female human body, but even a woman cannot produce milk from the feet. These are only simple conclusions: either Mahavira was just breasts all over the body, or he must be stinking! And the conclusion that you have drawn is that this proves him to be immortal, that he has come to save humanity..."
But humanity does not seem to be saved.
I have been wondering - so many saviors! Jesus is saving humanity, Buddha is saving humanity, Mahavira is saving humanity. Where is this humanity? We never come across the saved humanity, only these people who are bragging that they are going to save.
I was sitting by the side of Christian College in Allahabad, on the bank of the Ganges. I was alone, it was getting darker, the sun was setting, and a man jumped in the river. I had no idea why he had jumped; it was not my business. And then he started shouting, "Help!" Only we two were there, and there was not time enough to inquire, "Why have you jumped? If you want to be saved, you were already saved..." But there was no time so I jumped, pulled him out - against his will, and that felt even more strange, that he was fighting with me.
But somehow I pulled him out of the river and he said, "What kind of man are you? I was trying to commit suicide."
I said, "If you were committing suicide, then why were you shouting 'Help, save me'?"
He said, "It is human nature. I was determined to kill myself but when the cold water ... and I realized that I don't know swimming. I forgot all about the miseries which have driven me to commit suicide."
I said, "There is no problem."
He said, "What do you mean?"
I said, "I don't have to say anything." I simply pushed him back into the river.
He started shouting again. I said, "No more. It is your business. The first time I got trapped because I could not understand that a man who wants to commit suicide will shout for help, but now I know."
He came up one time, two times, and he said, "Save me, please, I don't want to commit suicide!"
I said, "Neither do I want to jump into that cold water again! I am happy where I am, you be happy wherever you are."
All these people are first forcing you to be sinners, immoral, unvirtuous, and then they are ready to save you. First they make you convinced that you are sick and then they hospitalize you. They run the hospital.
All these people together, however differing in their philosophies, are absolutely in agreement on one point: that man has to be proved unworthy, undignified, undeserving. Only a humanity which has been forced into a state of having deep feelings of guilt can be enslaved - by the politicians, by the priests, by the pedagogues, but the basic strategy is the same.
I am fighting against the whole human past, and I am fighting against all those who have been trying to save you. You are perfectly saved. There is no need for anybody to make unnecessary effort to save you.
You are as good as existence needs you to be. In this moment, in this place, nobody else can replace you. You are irreplaceable. You are not a machine where parts can be replaced. That is your dignity.
I was telling Amrito just the other night that there have been people like J. Krishnamurti who will not even create a disciple, and my effort is just the opposite. To me, the disciple is only the beginning of a master. My effort is to give you the dignity of being a master. And unless each of my sannyasins is a master unto himself, he is going to remain in different kinds of slaveries, consciously or unconsciously.
Nobody in the whole history of man has tried to give man his dignity. Yes, Jesus says to people, "You are my sheep, I am your shepherd." And I sometimes wonder: not a single man stood up to say, "Shut up, please! I am also a shepherd."
Gautam Buddha's story is that he was born while his mother was standing under a saal tree. It is a strange way of being born, and not only that, he stood directly on the earth coming out of the womb.
Ordinarily the head comes first. Once in a while the feet also come first, but nobody has ever heard that a just-born child stands on the earth and walks seven feet and declares to the world, "I am the most enlightened person in the whole existence."
My problem is that for twenty-five centuries nobody has criticized this man, what kind of nonsense...
we have become so enslaved that we have lost the courage. Even when we see absolutely patent nonsense, we don't raise a question. We simply accept it. We are left in such a situation that we have lost all our intelligence. And the profit goes certainly to the vested interests; they would like you to remain in the same situation.
I would like you, Amrito, just to forget all about spiritual growth. Forget all about spiritual goals.
Existence has no goal; existence is simply a tremendous playfulness of energy, not going anywhere.
Rejoice in this dance, be part of this dance, and flowers of tremendous bliss will shower on you.
Nobody has to lead you and nobody has to save you. All those people were nothing but very subtle egoists. They have dominated humanity up to now, and this is the result that we see all over the world - just misery. People go on living, because what else to do. They go on dragging themselves knowing perfectly well that in the end is the grave. Hoping, dreaming, imagining, but not living.
I teach you life, and life is now and here.
It is always now and always here and except drowning yourself into life in all its dimensions, in all its colors, there is no paradise. There is nothing else but this sheer dance.
People go on changing their illusions. When they are young somebody has the illusion of love; perhaps love will open the doors of all the mysteries. It opens the doors, not of the mysteries, but of the miseries. Somebody is running after money. And a man like Henry Ford, when asked, "You have earned more money than anybody else in the world. Now, at the top, how do you feel?" said, "Utterly frustrated, because at the top there is nothing. All that I have learned in my whole life is climbing ladders. I went on climbing hoping that on the next rung may be the fulfillment... but the fulfillment never comes."
I have said to Amrito that when people are finished with their worldly hopes, illusions, dreams, then they change and they start hoping about spiritual growth, about God, about paradise. These are the same people and this is the same mind which has not learned anything at all.
Unless you are completely disillusioned - that means now you don't think of tomorrow at all - you will not know the pure truth of existence, which just exists in this moment. You will not fall in tune with it. You are always moving away, postponing. You are going, you are always on the go.
It is time for you to be completely disillusioned - of worldly illusions, of otherworldly illusions, of love, of money, of enlightenment. Just simply be whatever you are, and you have arrived home.
In fact you have never left it.
You have always been here.
Just to bring you back to your senses....
Grandma Faginbaum, out walking her dog, goes into the local supermarket and leaves the dog tied to the railing outside.
Immediately, the dog is surrounded by all the neighborhood dogs who come to sniff.
A cop, standing close by, watches this and calls to the old woman, "Lady, you can't leave your dog alone like that, she's in heat."
"Eat?" says Grandma Faginbaum. "She'll eat anything."
"No, no!" shouts the cop. "The dog should be bred."
"Bread, cake, biscuits," calls out Grandma, "she'll eat anything you give her."
Becoming frustrated, the cop yells out, "Your dog should be screwed!"
"So screw her," calls back Grandma. "I always wanted a police dog."
Yes, Beloved Master.