WHEN I FIRST SAT IN FRONT OF YOU AT WOODLANDS, FOURTEEN YEARS AGO, THERE WAS AN EXPLOSION INSIDE. I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT MEANS, BUT I'VE OFTEN HAD THE FEELING THAT ALL I'VE BEEN TRYING TO DO EVER SINCE IS CATCH UP TO SOMETHING THAT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED.
Krishna Prem, the question you have asked has tremendous implications for all the seekers of truth, because it is a question which touches the very fundamental law of those who are in search of something inexplicable, something inexpressible.
Let me first make the law clear to you. It may have happened to many; it is going to happen to everybody. But you may not have taken the whole, comprehensive view. The law is that when you first meet the master you come innocent, without any experience. You simply come as a receptivity, a sensitivity - ready to move into any dimension, willingly and totally. Hence, the first meeting with the master always brings an explosion.
The explosion happens because of your innocence, because of your unexpecting mind. You know nothing about spirituality, you know nothing about ecstasy. Your not-knowing is the cause of the explosion. But then begins a very troublesome journey. Then begins a nightmare. Then, each and every moment you are waiting for that explosion to happen again. And you may wait for years - it will not happen, because you are not fulfilling the basic condition for its happening. You have forgotten completely in what situation the first explosion has happened.
Now there is no way to be again in that situation. Whatever you do there will be the expectation, the experience. You cannot create that not-knowing; that is not within your hands, and that is not the way existence functions. So the first thing you have to do, Krishna Prem, is to forget all about that explosion. It was good that it happened, but there are far greater things. Why bother about something so primary, a kindergarten experience....
(AN EXPLOSION - MORE LIKE A 'POP' REALLY - HAPPENS WITH IMPECCABLE TIMING, AS FIRECRACKERS ARE SET OFF AT A NEIGHBORHOOD WEDDING CELEBRATION.) You see? Just like that!
Start waiting for something greater. Of course you don't know what that something will be....
(ANOTHER EXPLOSION! AND THE ASSEMBLY COLLAPSES WITH LAUGHTER. THE MASTER LOOKS AROUND, TENTATIVELY AND GRINNING.) I am afraid that the moment I say anything more, it will happen again!
(A PAUSE TO LET THE HILARITY SETTLE.) You start fresh.
You sit by my side, not expecting but waiting.
And try to understand the difference between expecting and just waiting. In expectation there is a desire and there is a clear-cut object that you are desiring. And that is blocking your progress.
When you are just waiting, you don't know for what, the experience of just waiting is so precious, so valuable, so deeply transforming that something greater than the first explosion is bound to happen.
It will not be the same explosion. In these fourteen years so much water has gone down the Ganges.
Neither you are you, nor am I the same person. Nothing is the same. The whole situation is changing every moment. And you get stuck with some beautiful moment and go on missing greater beauties and greater ecstasies.
Unless you drop that explosion and the expectation for it, you will remain fourteen years back, and between me and you there will be the gap of fourteen years. Just understand that it happened because you were not expecting it, and now it is not happening because you are expecting it.
It is a simple law, but very fundamental. Everybody becomes a victim of it: once you have tasted something you start asking for it again.
Remember, existence is inexhaustible. It can give you so much, just don't ask for repetition.
Existence hates repetition. It does not want you to have the same experience again. Even if it is the same experience, it will not be the same experience - do you understand? - because you will know you have seen the film before. It is the same story. You know the end, what is going to happen. You know the dialogue that is going to be followed, the incident.
In my village, the father of one of my friends was a goldsmith. The wife had died and all the children had grown up and had gone to their own jobs, and he was left alone in the house. I saw him every day going to the movie house - and the village had only one movie house. I inquired of the manager and he said, "I am more amazed than you are, because not only does he come to see the same film for seven, eight days, as long as it runs, he sees it three times a day!"
I had not thought about that. I had been puzzled that he went every day to the same film, because every film in a small village will run four days, seven days, at the most eight days - and he was going to the movie so religiously, so regularly! But when I heard that he was going to the movie house to see every show - and there are three shows - then I thought I had better go to see the old man; something seemed to be wrong. His son, who was my friend, had become a bank manager and gone away; another son had become a teacher and gone away, and there was nobody even to inquire about the old man.
I went to him and I asked him, "Is it true you go to see three shows of the same film every day?"
He said, "Who sees the films?"
I said, "What do you mean?"
He said, "That is the only place to sleep silently." Because he lived in the part of town where the goldsmiths were, and they are continuously hammering this and hammering that. There is noise the whole day long and it continues to the middle of the night. The old man said, "The only place where people are silently sitting for hours is the movie house. I have not seen a single film. I am not mad, you need not be worried about me."
I said, "Then it is perfectly okay. You can go on sleeping. I will make arrangements with the manager for special concessions for you, because you are not seeing the films. He can only charge for sleeping, not for seeing!"
You cannot see a film even twice; you cannot read a novel twice. Any experience when it happens twice loses the most precious thing in it - the newness, the freshness, the early-morning glory. If you can understand this, Krishna Prem, the first experience can be a tremendous help rather than a great hindrance. The first experience simply shows that you are on the right path, you have entered the door. Now be more receptive and more innocent, more not-knowing, and much more is going to happen every day.
A small understanding becomes a golden key which opens doors of mysteries, secrets. But you can get hung up with the first experience and go on repeating in your mind - "When is it going to happen? It is not happening." And these fourteen years must have been of sadness and you must have concluded everything absolutely wrong. You may have thought, "Perhaps the Master's presence is no longer available to me. Perhaps the Master has withdrawn his love towards me.
Perhaps I have lost some quality, some sincerity, some immense longing."
But whatever you have concluded is wrong. And because of all these conclusions your fourteen years have been a long nightmare. It is time to understand that the first was only the beginning.
... Deep in the Himalayas from where the Ganges flows, the current is so small that you cannot believe that this small current - which falls from a marble face of a cow - is going to become such a tremendously big river, so vast that when it meets the ocean it is very difficult to decide which is the ocean and which is the river. When the Ganges meets the ocean, the place is called gangasagar, the "Ocean of Ganges." It has become so big, you cannot see the other shore.
The moment you meet a master for the first time, something is bound to explode in you - is going to fill you with a light that you had never dreamt about, an experience that has never been a thought in your mind, and a beauty that you can only know but you cannot say anything about. I can understand your difficulty. It is the ancientmost difficulty of all seekers of truth.
The first experience either becomes a hindrance or becomes an opening. It all depends on you. If you cling to it, if you expect it again and again, you are turning it into a hindrance. If you feel grateful to the experience, with deep thankfulness in your heart, and move ahead with no longing, no desire for the first experience, it has given you the taste that you are on the right path.
Gautam Buddha used to say to every sannyasin after initiating him, only one thing, for forty-two years continuously. And he must have initiated thousands and thousands of people. After accepting the person as his disciple, he would say only one thing:
It is a Pali word. It means, "Now walk on. Never stop; walk on. Howsoever beautiful the experience is, remember: much more is waiting for you ahead."
Just go on.
Experience everything, be thankful, but don't stop and never expect the same experience again, because that is blocking your path for greater experiences.
But nothing is lost. Those fourteen years can be forgotten; you start fresh from this moment.
Gautam Buddha's compassion is perhaps never expressed so clearly as in the statement that "Even if I meet you on the way, cut my head immediately; don't stop." He's saying that there is no experience worth stopping for. Enjoy and go on. And the pilgrimage becomes a goal unto itself.
This is very difficult for the logical mind to understand. The logical mind asks you, "Where are you going?" It wants to know about the goal, it is goal oriented. And existence is not going anywhere, it is simply enjoying. In the flowers, in the birds, in people, in rivers, in clouds, in stars, it is simply enjoying. It is not going anywhere.
There is no goal.
And if you want to be in tune with existence, drop the goal-oriented mind.
Hence I say the very pilgrimage is the goal.
You can dance, you can sing, you can rejoice, because each moment in itself is complete and perfect. Never ask for it again.
Existence is non-repetitive. You can see it. Twenty-five centuries have passed and not another Gautam Buddha, not another Zarathustra, not another Chuang Tzu. Such beautiful people, but existence is not a Henry Ford's factory to produce similar cars. Existence never repeats anything.
It gives dignity to every individual, because you have never been, you will never be; you are just unique.
There is nowhere anybody who is exactly like you. You are incomparable. This gives you so much grace, so much richness that you cannot be grateful enough to existence.
But our mind is mechanical. It always wants the same thing again and again because it feels secure with the familiar. But you are not the mind.
Mind is a social product. You are existential, not just social. Your roots go into existence and you have to listen to the harmony and the laws that existence follows. It never repeats. It never brings the same experience again. It is always new.
You will not find even two leaves in the whole world exactly the same, or two roseflowers exactly the same. What to say about human consciousness, which is the greatest flowering in the world.
You can have millions of experiences which will be each time bigger, higher, greater, wider, but never ask for any experience to be repeated. Existence is not a film that you can see twice.
Old Heraclitus was right when he said, "You cannot step twice in the same river." One day somewhere I am going to meet the fellow. I have made a list of who are the guys I would like to meet someday because they have to be corrected. Nobody has criticized Heraclitus on the grounds I criticize him. I love him. He has made a tremendously beautiful statement, but I want to make that statement even more beautiful. I want to say, you cannot step in the same river even once, because the water is continuously flowing. Once you understand the flow and you become in tune with the flow, so many treasures are available ahead.
Don't behave like an old Indian who had gone for the first time in his life to see a movie. A beautiful girl is undressing by the side of a lake, and just when she is going to drop the last part of her clothes a railway train passes by, and that blocks the view. The old fellow tries in every way - this way and that way, between the compartments, but the train is going so fast and when the last compartment of the train has gone, the girl has already entered the lake; she is swimming.
The old man is very much frustrated. The first show is over, everybody has left, and the old man is still sitting in his seat. The manager comes and asks him, "Is there something that I can do to help?
Everybody is gone, the show is over. Now the cleaners will come and then the second show will begin."
He said, "I am going to stay here. You bring me the ticket for the second show!"
The manager said, "But people don't see two shows."
He said, "Don't bother me! I am already too much annoyed and irritated."
The manager thought, "The man seems to be a little out of the mind, but there is no harm..." He brought the ticket, charged the man the money, and the second time again the same thing happened.
The train came right in time. The old man could not believe that this is happening in India - the train was not even a few seconds late!
The second show was over and the manager came to the old man to say that "Now it is time. The third show is going to begin."
He said, "I am not going to leave this place unless I see what I want to see!"
The manager said, "But it is the same film you have seen twice."
He said, "You don't understand at all. It is India - the train cannot always come at the right time, and I am waiting for the moment when the train is late."
Life is not a film. Nothing is fixed, nothing is repeated. It is always original.
I have been traveling in this country for almost twenty years continuously. I was waiting - because of this old man - perhaps some time I might find a train which was on time. And finally one day in Allahabad the train I was waiting for came exactly on time. It was such a surprise! I went to thank the driver and the guard: "In my whole experience of twenty years, this is the first time that a train has arrived at the right time." They both looked at each other.
I said, "What is the matter, why are you feeling so embarrassed? I have just come to show my gratitude to you."
They said, "We are sorry to say to you that this is yesterday's train."
At that very moment the stationmaster had also joined. We were all three in a shock and I asked the stationmaster if this was the situation... "For twenty years I have been traveling, and for the first time a train has come at the right time and finally it is discovered that it is yesterday's train. Then why do you publish timetables?"
The stationmaster said, "They have to be published. Otherwise how will we know how much the train is late?"
I said, "That seems to be absolutely logical."
Existence is original every moment. And to find a synchronicity with this originality, Krishna Prem, is all that one can experience. This is the ultimate ecstasy.
Old man Finklestein and old man Rabinowitz are having a holiday in Miami, when they meet two young ladies considerably younger than themselves. They both fall in love and decide to get married in a double ceremony.
Following the wedding night they are both in their rocking chairs after breakfast when old man Fink says, "You know, Abie, I had better see a doctor."
"Why is that?" says old man Rabinovitz.
"Well," says Fink, "I could not perform last night."
"My god," says Abie. "In that case I had better see a psychiatrist."
"Why?" asked Fink.
"Well," says Abie, "I didn't even think of it!"
A cannibal child and his mother are walking together through the jungle when suddenly there is a roar from the sky above.
"Don't be frightened," says the mother. "It is only an airplane."
"What is an airplane?" asked the boy.
"It is something like a banana," explains the mother. "There is a lot you have to throw away, but the insides are delicious."
Fred Ruddel, the famous brewer, has an audience with the Pope the Polack. He shakes hands with the pope and says, "Your Holiness, I have a request. I would like to make a small change in the Lord's Prayer."
"Change? In the Lord's Prayer?" screams the pope. "But we have been saying the Lord's Prayer for two thousand years!"
"I know, Your Holiness, but it is just a small change," replies Fred.
"Well," says the pope, "what sort of change do you have in mind?"
"What I would like to do," says Fred, "is to change 'Give us this day our daily bread' to 'Give us this day our daily beer.'"
"I am sorry," says the pope, "but we can't do that."
"You don't understand me," says Fred. "Your Holiness, I am a very wealthy man."
"But the Lord's Prayer is traditional," blurts out the pope.
"Listen," says Fred, "I am talking about one million dollars, cash, delivered to you personally!"
"I will have to pray about it," says the pope, "so come back in a couple of days."
When Fred Ruddel has gone, the pope calls in his secretary. "Look, Giovanni," he says. "How long until our contract with the bakers' union expires?"
Little Ernie the cabin boy asks Long John Silver the pirate how he got his wooden leg.
"Ah, it was a cannon ball, Ernie, my lad," says Silver. "Took my leg clean off at the knee."
"And why have you got a hook instead of a hand?" asks Ernie.
"Ah, a cutlass," replies Long John, "took my hand clean off."
"How did you lose your eye?" asked Ernie.
"Ah, I got seagull shit in it," says the pirate.
"But a seagull doing that can't take your eye out!" exclaims Ernie.
"It can," replies Long John, "when you forget you have got a hook for a hand!"
And the last....
Two Martians land on earth near a deserted gas station. They leave their flying saucer and waddle over to one of the gas pumps.
One Martian talks to the pump: "Can you take us to your leader?"
There is no reply and the other Martian whispers, "Be careful, this guy looks mean!"
The braver Martian points his ray gun at the pump and says, "Did you hear? Take us to your leader!"
Again there is no reply. "Let's get out of here," says the second Martian.
"No!" says his friend. "This time he will talk." He prods the gas pump with his ray gun and shouts, "Take us to your leader or I will shoot!"
He waits for a moment and then shoots. There is an enormous explosion. A minute later, a mile away, the Martians get up and one of them remarks, "I told you to be careful. Any guy that can take his prick, wrap it twice round himself and stick it in his ear, you don't want to mess with!"
Yes, Beloved Master.