For no reason at all

Fri, 28 December 1987 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Om Mani Padme Hum
Chapter #:
pm in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium
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Question 1:





Arunima, the question you have put is not coming from your mind; that's why it looks a little strange.

Mind is very clever - it knows how to ask a question. It does not know any answer as such.

Whenever such a thing happens to a meditator - which is bound to happen if you don't stop before reaching your inner being - that you suddenly feel a change of climate; the questioning mind is no longer there and you are standing before the answer, it certainly feels very weird. You don't have a question - what is this answer all about? Our very training is that the question should come first and then the answer.

But existence is absolutely, fortunately, uneducated. It brings the answer first and then you have to start questioning: What is happening? Where am I? You see things are happening: there are tears of joy, there is a song in the heart, there is a rejoicing which cannot be named but can certainly be experienced. And you are surrounded by all these mysteries without any explanation. One thing certainly you can see: that the knowledge about who I am, why I am here and for what, has completely disappeared. It is for the first time, so you are still looking for it. But trust me - you will never come to know.

I myself don't know. Just think about these questions - "Who am I?" Do you think you can know it?

The very process of knowing involves a duality between the knower and the known. And you are the knower, you can never be the known. It takes a little time to relax and accept the fact that "I am"

without ever bothering about "who am I?"

Why am I here? Why are the trees here? And why is this whole sky with the stars here? Why is anything in this universe here? Because people could not relax in this innocence, they manufactured fictitious answers. "God made the world; that's why it is here." But they forgot that sooner or later somebody is going to ask, "Why is this God here?"

The ultimate - and the ultimate is the immediate - is simply here for no reason at all. The day you can accept it without any kind of effort you will find a tremendous opening, of a totally new vision and perception, in which everything is accepted.

The question is really a way of not accepting things as they are. First you want to know why they are here - you may not have thought that this urge to know why is a kind of mental scratching. The more you scratch, the better it feels, but finally it starts bleeding. In the beginning it gives a sweet feeling. You can try - scratch. But don't scratch too much. That sweet feeling is leading you in a wrong direction.

The relaxed approach towards life is not to be worried about why I am here, who I am, and for what.

If you can drop these "What, Why, Who"... these three are the Christian God, Holy Ghost and Jesus Christ. They are haunting you. They have haunted the whole humanity's past. All your philosophies and all your theologies are born out of these three.

I am not a philosopher. Neither am I a theologian nor am I interested in any kind of stupid mind gymnastics. I simply want you to know I am here, you are here. There is no reason why we are here and there is no purpose, and this is the beauty of existence. Now you can laugh and nobody can ask why you are laughing. You can dance and nobody has the right to ask why you are dancing.

I am reminded of Pablo Picasso; he was painting a beautiful flower growing by the side of a rose bush and a man was watching very intensely, knowing perfectly well that Pablo Picasso is not an ordinary man. But he could not contain his curiosity and finally he asked Picasso, "Forgive me; I should not interfere, but I am helpless. I can't understand what you are painting and why you are painting - what is the purpose of it?"

Picasso looked at him and said, "Do you think I know?"

The man was even more surprised. He said, "If you don't know, then why are you doing it?"

Picasso said, "Knowing has nothing to do with doing. Look at the rose bush - nobody asks these flowers, 'Why are you here? What is the purpose?' And if you were not here, nobody would have felt your absence. Nobody asks the trees, nobody asks the clouds, and yet all the idiots are after me.

Wherever I go they start asking me, 'What is it?' If the whole existence has no answer, from where can a poor Pablo Picasso find the answer?"

It looks absurd. But it looks absurd because we are looking for the meaning.

The moment you drop the whole process of asking the meaning of things, everything is perfectly beautiful in its absolute absurdity.

A very rich woman asked Pablo Picasso, "I have never seen a portrait made by you and I am ready to pay any amount you ask. I want my portrait to be painted by you."

Picasso said, "I have not painted portraits because then I will have to answer so many questions for which I don't have any answer. If you promise me that you won't ask any question after the portrait is made, and simply give me the check, then I can do a portrait for you. This will be my first and last portrait."

The woman was very proud, having the only portrait by Pablo Picasso in the whole world. She was ready to pay any amount and she said, "You need not be worried about the check; I will give it to you in advance and I promise not to ask any question." Ten million dollars, and the woman gave him the check immediately.

Pablo Picasso painted her portrait for almost a whole week, every day a two or three-hour session, and the woman forgot the condition. In fact anybody would have forgotten the condition, seeing the situation of the portrait. She could not find any relationship either to her face or to her clothes or to her body, and the man was painting madly. But she must have been a very controlled and disciplined woman. She waited... at least let him finish first.

The seventh day he said, "The portrait is complete."

The woman said, "I have just a very small question."

Pablo Picasso said, "You have forgotten the condition! That's why I never made any portrait. What is your question?"

She said, "It is not a big question. I simply want to know, where is my nose? Because if I can find my nose in the portrait, I will start figuring out where are my eyes, where is my mouth. But I don't see my nose anywhere."

Picasso simply returned the check and he said, "You get out of my house. I had made it clear from the very beginning. Why should I paint your nose? What purpose is the nose going to serve in the portrait? The portrait is not going to breathe."

Never again in his life was he asked for a portrait. It was good - he could go on doing any kind of painting; at least if he is painting the clouds you cannot ask him stupid questions like "Where is the nose of the cloud?"

I am in absolute agreement with Pablo Picasso. He was one of the most existential geniuses mankind has produced. He does not paint for any purpose. Painting is his dance with colors.

Painting is his joy expressed with colors. You never ask when you see the sunset and the beautiful colors on the horizon - Picasso's paintings belong to the same category. They are immensely beautiful but absolutely irrational. Existence is irrational, it is not Pablo Picasso's fault.

You had entered into a beautiful space but you carried your old habits with you. You are saying, "I can't do anything about it." There is no need to do anything about it. Doing anything will be a great disturbance; the whole beautiful space will disappear.

Yes, you are allowed to watch it. You are allowed to cry, you are allowed to laugh, you are allowed to sing, you are allowed to giggle, you are allowed to do anything that happens in the moment without ever bothering the rationality of it, the relevance of it.

Bodhidharma entered China fourteen hundred years ago. Emperor Wu had come to receive him at the border... it was an extraordinary situation. China has remained up to now the biggest land in the world. The Chinese empire was the most vast empire you can conceive, and for the emperor to come to receive a beggar... because in Buddhism the sannyasin's name is bhikkshu. Bhikkshu means the beggar. It does not have the condemnatory tone which it has in English; it has, on the contrary, tremendous respectfulness. A bhikshu is not one who has nothing, a bhikshu is one who has renounced everything because what he has inside himself is so valuable he cannot carry unnecessary luggage with him.

The emperor had heard so many strange stories about Bodhidharma that finally he became so excited that he could not wait for him to enter the capital. On the contrary, he traveled hundreds of miles to receive him on the borders of China. But he could not believe his eyes. He remembered those stories..."They were right! I should have believed those stories rather than traveling so far, taking unnecessary risks."

Bodhidharma was coming with one shoe on his head, and one shoe on his foot. Obviously curiosity arises, although the Chinese emperor and the whole Chinese culture is based on Confucian etiquette. Wu tried to avoid seeing the shoe on his head, because it is not mannerly for a man like him to point to the shoe. But it is very difficult. He remembered that even Confucius in his ANALECTS has no mention of it, that if you see a man with a shoe on his head....

You should not ask because it is unmannerly; it might make the other man feel embarrassed, and it is not right for a man who is cultured. But the shoe was so prominent that everything else that he had thought about on the way... he was going to ask Bodhidharma about the lotus paradise, what is enlightenment, what is the essential teaching of Gautam Buddha - everything became secondary and the shoe became primary. In spite of himself he blurted, "Why are you carrying the shoe on your head?"

Bodhidharma said, "I will not enter into the territory of your empire. If a man is not even free to have his own shoe on his own head, this is not the place for me. This shoe was simply to check you out."

He never crossed the Chinese boundary. He remained outside in a mountain cave. Wu was very much disturbed. Certainly he was right; the shoe was his, the head was his, and who are you to ask? This is interfering. He had to go to offer an apology: "I am absolutely sorry and I will never be able to forgive myself for interfering in your freedom."

But Bodhidharma said, "I am not very far away from your boundary. Whenever you have any essential question to ask, you can come to me."

He said, "I have an essential question. So many Buddhist monks have arrived before you and I have opened many monasteries, many temples. I have put the whole empire's treasure into translating all the Buddhist scriptures into Chinese. Thousands of scholars are working. What will be my reward for all these virtuous acts?"

Bodhidharma said, "It is better you do not come near me because your question has not changed, it is still the shoe. You think you are doing anything virtuous? The very idea that you are doing something virtuous and you are asking what reward you are going to get shows the mind not of an emperor, but the mind of an ordinary businessman. You are trying to do business with existence, and existence is not available to the businessman's mind. The businessman is always trying to have more by giving less. That is simply the whole economics of business. Give less and get more - that is the profit."

Bodhidharma said, "Existence is not for people like you. Existence is for those who can give everything without asking for anything in return, knowing perfectly well that what they are giving already belongs to existence, it is not theirs."

Do you think you have anything that has not been given by existence to you? And in returning it, you want some reward? You want some respectability, some prestige, some power? You have not understood even the ABC of the communion with nature. When you know that as a separate entity you don't exist, then there is no question of giving and taking. You are in existence, you have been in existence, you will be in existence. And this very understanding that "I am an essential part of this vast beautiful universe" will make you dance, will make you celebrate.

There is no need for any reason for dancing, for singing, for celebration. Just to be is enough. Out of this being will flow all your joy, all your laughter, all your gratitude, all your prayers.

I teach you this simple religiousness which has no doctrine, which has no reward for virtue and which has no punishment for sin. All those are fictions created by cunning priests and cunning founders of your religions. I want to erase the whole insane past of humanity completely, as if we are here for the first time.

You had touched a beautiful space, but because of old habits... it happens to everybody. Old habits follow you just like a shadow. You could not enjoy laughing, because your old habit was standing by the corner asking, "What are you doing? Have you gone mad? I don't see anything, any reason to laugh, and you are laughing. Why are you crying? There seems to be no reason for tears." Old habits have to be understood and renounced. All the world religions have taught you to renounce the world. I teach you to renounce your old habits.

And then you say, "In the night I woke up suddenly knowing, oh, I am just human, a human being.

It sounds funny..." It does not sound funny, it is funny! You and a human being! Still the old categorization that you are human beings, others are animals, and there are others which are trees.

Why make these categories?

Can't you simply experience being, in its purity, without putting a label on it?

I am making it emphatically clear to you, because one label will follow another label. Labels have that habit. First you will say "human being" and then you will say, "Human being? I am an American, I am not an African Black. And I am Catholic Christian, I am not a Hindu. And particularly, I am a woman, I am not a man." And there is no end to this long process.

Simply accept that you are. This pure isness without any labels is the inner unfolding of your potential. There is nothing more that you can aspire to.

It is all in all.

And it is so much that it is difficult to contain it; one starts sharing the joy....

A drunk is standing at the bar one day, when he turns to the man on his right and says, "Did you pour beer in my trouser pocket?"

The man says, "I certainly did not."

Then the drunk turns to the man on his left, and says, "Did you pour beer in my trouser pocket?"

The man says, "I most certainly did not pour beer in your trouser pocket."

"Just as I thought," says the drunk, "an inside job."

Arunima, you are asking me what is happening? It is an inside job. Enjoy!

It is our mental training always to look for some cause somewhere outside. Our whole training is meant to be for outer exploration. Even if the stars are so far away that there seems to be no possibility ever to be in contact with those faraway stars, billions of light years away, still there are thousands of scientists around the world who are wasting their lives finding out some way to have contact with other planetary beings.

In America - I have just remembered what I am going to say to you - sitting in the court, listening to the government attorney... He had a list of thirty-four crimes that I had committed. The truth is, I cannot even remember those thirty-four crimes. In fact many times I forget whether there were thirty-four or thirty-five. One time I even reached the number sixty-five!

The man was very seriously insisting to the judge, and finally he said the first crime was that I had come to America as a tourist, but with an inner intention to remain there forever. I wondered, in what way can anybody know my inner intention? And if my inner intention is a crime, then what about the dreams in which you have killed people, raped women? There is no way to prove what my inner intentions are.

And the second thing he said was that I had arranged thousands of marriages in America. For three and a half years I was silent and I was not meeting people; I was living in isolation. I wondered, from where is he getting these figures? Thousands of marriages I have arranged and I have not been able even to arrange my own marriage? This man seems to be absolutely mad! A man who has failed even to arrange his own marriage is being charged with arranging thousands of marriages.

I looked at the man, and he realized the fact that he had exaggerated the thing. If I should ask him for the evidence, he would have to produce thousands of husbands and thousands of wives in the court. So he immediately said, "At least this man has arranged one marriage, certainly." Now I wondered... from one "certain" marriage, this government attorney can go on creating a fiction of thousands of marriages! And even about that one marriage I had no knowledge.

In fact, I am the only person in the world who is against marriage. I don't want a single marriage in the world. Because to me, unless marriages disappear, prostitutes will remain; you cannot get rid of them. Homosexuals will remain; you cannot get rid of them. All kinds of sexual perverts will remain - and psychoanalysts say almost ninety percent of their patients are psychopaths, but their psychopathology is rooted in their sexual perversion.

And there are millions of divorces. Children become, unnecessarily, orphans. Their mothers are alive, their fathers are alive, but because of the divorce they have become orphans. And the root cause is marriage. Just remove marriage and you will have removed almost half the miseries of humanity. It is not a small percentage.

There will not be any need of prostitutes, there will not be any need for every husband and wife to fight every day. There will be no need for children to learn from their fathers and mothers the behavior of a married life. There will not be homosexuals and there will not be any need of diseases like AIDS.

Strangely enough, a man who is preaching against marriage is being charged with arranging thousands of marriages. Sitting there... I was not allowed by my attorneys to say anything because they were worried about me. Every day they tried to convince me, "You should not speak, because a single word from you and the case will become very complicated. It will take twenty or thirty years to solve it, so you simply remain silent."

There were moments when I had to tell them, "It is going very hard, because such stupid charges are put against me and I have to remain silent. And you don't have any courage to stand up and say something." I said, "I have thought many times in these twelve days that it would be better to be thirty years fighting in the court. These courts of which America is very proud have to be put right."

Even the judges were sitting wrongly. A judge has to sit facing both the parties. And I told my attorneys, "Don't stop me. It is intolerable for me to sit there the whole day, seeing the judge changing the position of his chair and just looking at the government attorney. Is he a judge or just part of the same government? He should not behave as part of the government; otherwise there is no question of justice." Those judges were not even looking at my attorneys, they were not even listening to their arguments. Even if they stood and wanted to raise an objection, the judge would not listen to their whole sentence. Just in the middle of a sentence he would say, "Overruled!"

I said, "It will be better for me to suffer thirty years in jails, or a crucifixion, but seeing such unjust behavior... you are asking me to do the impossible. I would put that judge immediately right. He will have to turn his chair, because he cannot sit this way and he cannot behave this way."

But slowly I felt the problem was, my attorneys were also Americans. Perhaps deep down they were also wanting the commune to be destroyed, that I should not by any chance be victorious in the case. I am not saying that they were intentionally or consciously doing that, but the unconscious plays so many games. They were paid, highly paid, so they were fighting for me, but they were fighting for money. They were not fighting for truth. They believed that they were fighting for truth, but I did not see a single instance... except my own sannyasin, Niren, who is also an attorney. He was my attorney, but he is a younger man and some of those attorneys were his professors, some were nationally famous people. So obviously he could not fight against them.

But there came a moment when even he felt... because once a person is a sannyasin, he is no more an American, he is no more an Indian. He came to me in the jail to say that one of our most important attorneys - and he had been Niren's professor; he is the head of the law department of the University of California, Peter Schey - was not ready to make a statement under the oath of truth. Without the oath he was ready, but if the oath had to be taken then he would not make a certain statement.

I cannot conceive that an oath can make any difference to any man of understanding. This was simply a strategy not to make the statement, because that statement would have changed the whole course of things. I told Niren, "Pull Peter Schey back and you go on the stand and you make the statement."

And what is an oath? In fact an honest man will refuse to take the oath. I myself have refused to take the oath. The reason is clear: if you ask me to take the oath you are certainly insulting me; you are telling me that without the oath I cannot speak the truth. You are telling me that only under oath am I reliable. And that means my whole life is a life of lies. Nobody is taking an oath every moment - before making a statement, first he takes the oath, touches the Bible and says, "It is nine o'clock."

The first time I appeared in an Indian court, I refused. The magistrate was shocked. He said, "Why are you refusing?"

I said, "There are many reasons. First, on what book do you want me to put my hand? The Bible?

Even the contemporaries of Jesus did not believe him, and the man was put on the cross. He was considered a greater criminal than any other criminal by his whole contemporary world. And you want me to put my hand on his book?"

He said, "No, you can put your hand on Bhagavad Gita."

I said, "Then you are going from bad to worse, because this man Krishna has stolen sixteen hundred wives from people, married women, and he himself was not a man of his word or promise. He has broken his promises, he has gone against his own word, and you want me to put my hand on his book? Then I will have to wash my hands!"

The magistrate said, "Then forget about the books. You simply say yourself that whatever you say will be true."

I said, "You don't understand even simple logic. If I am a man of lies, what is the problem for me to say that whatever I say will be true? It is still going to be a lie. Either you accept me as a man of truth... but don't ask for an oath."

This is the world that we have created - where in the name of justice all kinds of injustices will be done, where in the name of truth all kinds of fictions will be invented, imposed, conditioned. And you are carrying the whole past, so whenever you really touch an original space in your being, your whole past will try to distract you. You have to be very alert and very conscious not to be corrupted by your own past, not to be corrupted by your own scriptures, not to be corrupted by your own history. Unless this awareness is there, you may come around the right point many times and again you will go astray, far away.

It is very rare to come to such moments, but you went very easily satisfied, feeling that, "I am a human being."

Do you think that has solved the question of who you are? If you had felt that "I am a monkey" would that make any difference? Because the monkey also has consciousness, just as you have....

No - no answer is to be accepted, because any answer is going to come from your past conditioning.

It is better to remain without the answer, utterly silent, and learn a totally new perception that is without labels. Just pure joy, pure consciousness, a communion with existence and a dance for no reason at all - a dance simply as a prayer of gratitude.

Pope the Polack is working on a crossword puzzle one Sunday afternoon. He stops for a moment or two, scratches his forehead and turns to one of the cardinals.

"Can you think of a four letter word for 'woman'," he asks, "which ends in u-n-t?"

"Aunt," replies the cardinal.

"Ah, thanks," says the pope. "Do you have an eraser?"

Just old habits. You may become the pope, it does not matter.

The priest and the rabbi are sitting next to each other on a flight from New York to Chicago, when the captain announces that there is some engine trouble. Then he announces that they are going to fly through some rough weather.

Finally he suggests that anyone on board who feels religiously inclined should say their last prayers.

The priest falls on his knees in the aisle and starts kissing his crucifix. And then he notices that the rabbi is crossing himself.

As it happens, the plane levels off and things begin to look more hopeful. The priest turns to the rabbi. "So," he says, looking smug, "when you truly fear death, you turn to Almighty Jesus for help!"

"Not at all," says the rabbi, crossing himself again, "just the usual check: spectacles, testicles, money and cigars."

It does not matter who you are. Only one thing has to be remembered, that every impression on your being left by the past - and the past is very long, millions of years of experiences and they are all present in you, and your own space has become smaller and smaller because the junk goes on gathering every generation, more and more. For the meditator, the greatest problem is to cross the boundary of the past and to enter into the present moment, in your purity of consciousness, without asking any question. Because the answer will come from the past.

Just wait. Let your present experience itself become the answer.

It will take time. Just a little patience on your part, and a tremendous explosion... your whole being becomes free from all chains, from all prisons, from all conditionings, and you are for the first time yourself. And strangely, the moment you are yourself you are the whole existence.

Then you are flowering in the roses.

Then you are dancing in the trees.

Then you are singing in the rivers.

Then you are roaring in the oceans.

Then the silence is yours and the beauty of sound is yours.

Once you are finished with your past the whole of existence suddenly becomes your own kingdom.

I call this the kingdom of god.

There is no God - you are the god of this kingdom.

And no effort is big enough. If you are an honest seeker you will be able to pass all these hindrances and relax into the silent pool of your being.

Okay, Maneesha?

Yes, Beloved Master.

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Rabbi Julius T. Loeb a Jewish Zionist leader in Washington was
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