Sound is our mind - silence is our being
I AM ALWAYS INTRIGUED BY EASTERN SCRIPTURES THAT BEGIN WITH OM, SHANTIH SHANTIH SHANTIH AND END WITH OM, SHANTIH SHANTIH SHANTIH.
WOULD YOU PLEASE TALK ABOUT THIS?
Maneesha, the East has approached reality in an almost diametrically opposite way to the West.
First, the simple meaning of the word should be understood, and then all the implications. All Eastern scriptures begin with OM, Shantih shantih shantih and they also end with the same.
OM is the symbol of the universal heartbeat; it is not a word. And as you come closer and closer to the universal heartbeat, the by-product is a deepening silence. Shantih means silence and it is always repeated three times because by the time you reach to the fourth, you are no more - just the silence has remained. You have disappeared as an entity separate from the universe.
The West has not been able to begin even a single scripture with this intention. It is understandable.
They never went into the deeper communion between your heart and the bigger heart of the universe. They have taken a wrong route, that of fighting, that of conquering, that of being victorious.
They have chosen to be extroverts.
Their world is true, but they don't know anything about themselves.
The outside is true and the inside has not been explored.
THE BIBLE says, "In the beginning was the word." Now this can be said only by somebody who is absolutely ignorant, because the word means a sound with a meaning. These sounds made by the words are just sounds; you cannot call them words. The moment you say, "In the beginning was the word," unknowingly you have accepted that there is someone who gives meaning to it, but then the word is not in the beginning.
In the beginning is one who gives meaning to the word. And THE BIBLE says, "God was with the word." Anyone who wrote it must have felt uneasy that the world should begin only with a word.
Immediately he needed someone to give meaning to it; hence the second statement that God was with the word.
If you look into things very impartially, deeply, you will be amazed how much they can reveal. Then he must have become aware to ask, "Who is first? God or the word?"
The third sentence then tries to make a compromise. It says, "God and the word were one." Nobody in the whole Eastern search will agree with it. The East has not experienced the beginning because naturally you cannot see the beginning: you are already there, the beginning has happened. In your being you have preceded the beginning, so there is no possibility of any witness of the beginning.
But there is a possibility to be a witness of the end.
The Eastern meditators found as they entered into their inner being, they are first surrounded with a tremendously beautiful and musical sound. It is not the sound of any music being played, it is simply the heartbeat of the universe. And once they come in tune with the heartbeat of the universe, silence descends. They would like to dance and declare to the world about silence, but they can only say three times, "silence, silence, silence" - and they are melting and merging.
Rather than their declaration of silence becoming louder, it is becoming more and more like a whisper and finally, they are not - but they have witnessed the end. Now, it is a logical conclusion that the end and the beginning cannot be different.
The seed grows into a tree, blossoms, brings fruits and again seeds. In existence everything moves in a circle, the earth, the moon, the sun, the faraway millions of stars... all move in a circle that meets at a point.
The end and the beginning are the same.
That's why the Eastern scriptures begin with the declaration, Om - the sound of the soundless, the very music of the heart of the universe. And as they go deeper, silence becomes the only reality.
They want to declare silence to the world, but nobody has been able to go beyond the third because each time they say silence, it becomes more of a whisper.
I am reminded...
I had one doctor friend who was perhaps the most famous doctor in those parts. I told him, "I would like to experience something for which there is no reason. You can help me. I want to go slowly and deeply into the unconscious."
He said, "This is against medical practice. You don't have any reason, and I cannot use something without reason and make you unconscious."
But I persuaded him. I said, "Find any reason, and I am not going to tell anybody. Although, I have told it to the whole world."
He put me on his table, sent all the servants and nurses away because he was doing something against the medical code. While he was covering my head so that I could not breathe anything else, he said to me, "Do one thing. While you are going into the unconscious, go on saying one, two, three, four, five... as long as you can."
Strangely, I could not go beyond three. I tried hard. I was aware of the fact that I had only come up to three, and the four would not come. Later on I told him, "This was my reason to be put into the unconscious state. I wanted to see why every scripture stops at three."
I asked him to tell me how I was saying one, two, three. He said, "One was clear, two was not so clear, three was almost a whisper, and beyond that you never uttered anything."
This was my way through a scientific experiment to see why all the scriptures stop with three. They begin with the same and they end with the same.
The beginning we cannot know: we are already here; the beginning has happened. But the end we can know - the disappearance into absolute silence. But if we know the end, we can conclude with absolute certainty that this is how the beginning must have started: from silence, not from words.
Silence is the beginning and silence is the end, and if you are a meditator, silence is the middle.
Silence is the whole fabric of existence.
Maneesha, this is not a hypothesis, nor is it a philosophical idea. It is the experience of thousands of mystics who have entered into their own being. First they have heard Om, and as the Om becomes overwhelming, silence follows. We are made of sound and silence.
Sound is our mind; silence is our being.
Sound is our trouble; silence is our liberation.
It has been discovered by some unknown explorer of the inner, it has been followed by thousands of people - but you are not to repeat it. That's where the masses have got lost. They think that by repeating Om, shantih shantih shantih they are doing some spiritual meditative act. In each temple in the East you will find a metal disc, and everybody who enters into the temple hits the disc with a steel rod. The whole temple becomes full of sound and then slowly, slowly the sound also disappears.
In Tibet, they have even made a very special thing, a small pot of metal with a rod - with great calculation it has been made. When I first saw it, I could not believe that it was possible, but the thing was in front of me.
One of my friends in Patna was a great collector of all kinds of things. He was continually telling me whenever I was in Patna, "Come to my museum." Even the prime minister and the president and everybody had visited. He was a very rich man and had gathered things from other lands - strange things. But when he said to me that he had recently received a metal pot which repeated Om, shantih shantih shantih, I could not resist....
Patna is a strange city. It is not spread in all directions, it has only one main street running by the Ganges - because the Ganges is so beautiful everybody wants to be around it. So Patna is a very long city, perhaps twenty miles. And he used to live thirteen miles away from my place - but I went to see the pot. It was really a great experience.
The pot is made of many metals, and you move the rod in the pot round and round for a certain number of times... then you stop. And suddenly, the sound comes from the pot, Om, shantih shantih shantih. These things may be beautiful, creative, but they are not in any way religious. Every Hindu temple is resounding with the sound, everybody is praying, but they have misunderstood the whole thing. It is not your repeating Om that is going to lead you to the reality; it is your becoming utterly quiet, and from your very being arises the sound Om.
You are just a witness, you are not a doer.
And as the sound settles, you feel silence, silence, silence.... Then everything disappears, there remains only a universal reality of which you are just a part. Just as a dewdrop disappears in the ocean, you disappear in the ocean of existence.
The East has found this to be the only spiritual experience, not God, not your holy scriptures, not your prophets; they are all creating fictions. Not even your prayers because they are nothing but your desires. The only thing that is really significant is to be quiet, centered, grounded, in the very life source, in your very being. This sutra of Om, shantih shantih shantih is heard when you are at your very center. It is not by your repeating it that you will reach to it. It is not exactly the same either.
We have invented it... approximately, just to communicate what has happened: something similar, but far deeper; something similar, but far more delicate; something similar, but not the same.
The mystics' writings start exactly the way the universe has started, and they end exactly as the universe finally goes to rest. There is a statement relevant to this sutra by Gautam Buddha. It is very significant. He says that it is absolutely foolish to think the way all the theologians of the world think about the beginning - how the world began.
I can see the significance of a statement that you can never come to a conclusion about how the world began - because you were not there. How can you be before the world began? - you are part of the world. So all that you say about the beginning is just imagination, hypothesis, guesswork.
Buddha says that the mystic is not interested in how the world began, his interest is in how it ends, because in that very ending you will find the beginning too. But without finding the ending, you can only guess and argue and fight about the beginning - and it is all futile. The philosopher's work is absolute nonsense. The mystic is very earthbound, very pragmatic, very realistic. Buddha says, "First find how it ends" - and it is to be found within you.
You cannot wait for the whole world to end. That way it never ends. It is always there - beginningless, endless. But within you how did the world begin? And within you how does the world end?
Those who remain clinging with the world are the materialists. Others start looking inside and try to find how everything ends, and still you are - but just a pure consciousness, just a pure awareness.
The flower disappears.
Only fragrance remains.
I agree with Gautam Buddha that if you have found the fragrance within you, you know the whole secret of existence, because every individual is a miniature universe. What is happening on a vast scale in the universe is happening on a very small scale within you.
If you have tasted a simple dewdrop, you have tasted all the rivers and all the oceans and all possibilities of water anywhere. And you are the dewdrop.... Rather than running here and there, just taste yourself.
The East has approached reality in a very different way. And certainly because it has reached in a different way, it has produced a different kind of enlightened people.
The West has produced popes - and the worst is a Polack pope. And now, the Nobel Prize committee is nominating him for a Nobel Prize! A Polack and a Nobel Prize...? In this way the Polack is not given respect; in this way the Nobel Prize loses all nobility, all grace.
And what experience has the Pope? What is his authority? He represents Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ himself does not seem to be enlightened. Because an enlightened person does not bother about saying, "God is my father... I am the only begotten son of God...." Who cares? We have seen thousands of enlightened people in the East. None of them has claimed that he is the only begotten son of God. That would be laughed at for centuries: "That man has gone mad!"
So in the first place he represents Jesus Christ - who seems to be a lunatic. Either his nuts and bolts are loose, or too tight. He does not show the grace of a Gautam Buddha. Neither does he show the dance of a Meera nor the grace of a Mahavira.
What he goes on talking about he has gathered from the society - because he is uneducated. And popes, hundreds of popes in these two thousand years have represented him. It is a hierarchy:
the pope, Jesus, God... you cannot go unless you follow the proper channel! And I have always wondered that even the intelligent people in the West never think what is the contribution of these popes? A man who is a representative of God must show something, some sensitivity, some grace, some blissfulness; some fragrance should surround him. But the pope is elected!
It is so hilarious that people elect somebody as enlightened. Enlightenment is not an election campaign. Many candidates can stand up and say, "I am enlightened."
Enlightenment is an inner opening of the rose. Those who are in search of the truth of their being, will immediately be pulled towards the man of enlightenment.
It is not dependent on anybody's election or nomination. It does not represent even God or anybody.
It simply declares its own heart and invites and welcomes anybody - any wayfarer who wants to share this juice, this music of the eternal Om, one who is in search of finding a living silence and a dancing silence.
This sutra contains the whole - the beginning and the end. But it starts from the end and reaches to the beginning. The statement of Gautam Buddha was: "Ignorance has no beginning and enlightenment has no end, and both make a circle." You know you have been utterly ignorant of yourself because now you are so alert, so full of joy, so much is dancing in your every cell, every fiber. This is an experience; it is not a hypothesis, and it has never been argued.
There have been Hindu mystics, there have been Buddhist mystics, there have been Jaina mystics...
but as far as this sutra is concerned they have never quarreled about it, they have never argued. This is simply accepted because it is the experience, it is not theoretical guesswork. It is not philosophy.
It is philosia, it is darshan.
They have seen it within, in their own being and there is no way not to agree with others who have also seen it. But by repeating it one is simply being stupid.
One has to come to an inner space where it explodes on its own and you are just a witness. Then it transforms your being, gives it beauty and grace, gives it sincerity and truth.
THE WORDS 'RESISTANCE' AND 'SURRENDER', EXTREMELY POPULAR IN THE OLD POONA DAYS, ARE NO LONGER BEING USED TO PUNISH, JUDGE AND REJECT. THE OREGON EXPERIENCE HELPED. NOW THE ASHRAM IS LESS FEAR-ORIENTATED.
BUT IN PRIVATE LIFE, HOW TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN RESISTANCE AND HEALTHY REBELLION, BETWEEN SURRENDER AND RESIGNATION? THE PITFALLS OF MY HABITUAL UNCONSCIOUS STUBBORNNESS MAKE ME SUSPICIOUS OF MY IMPERCEPTIBLE FALSE YES AND NO.
BELOVED MASTER, IS THERE ANY SIMPLE TEST? IS IT AUTHENTIC WHEN IT JUST FEELS GOOD?
Deva Varda, when you feel something authentic then you can stand against the whole world. But the authenticity should not be another name of your ego. Nobody else can make it clear, you know it.
When it is ego, you know perfectly well that your desire is to be somebody special. And when it is an authentic truth, you also know that it has nothing to do with your personality, with your ego. You are not going to gain anything out of it except a tremendous joy.
Let joy be the criterion.
As far as I am concerned, neither your yes means anything to me nor your no means anything to me.
You are so asleep that in your sleep whether you say yes or you say no, does not matter. Whatever you say, I am going to pour a bucket of cold water on your head.
Your yes and no are not important.
Your awakening is important.
And out of your awakening whatever happens is right. The moment you are alert, awake, conscious, your revolt and your surrender are not two different things.
It is the unconscious mind which either wants to surrender to avoid unnecessary trouble of revolting - cheap surrender - or it wants to revolt because it does not want to lose its ego. Those are by- products. My insistence is not on by-products.
My insistence is on a single thing....
I call it witnessing.
Be aware, and if your awareness leads you to surrender, it is perfectly beautiful. And if your awareness leads you to revolt, that's how it should be. It will be difficult for you to understand that surrender is the greatest revolt. Revolt against the ego, revolt against your conditioning. But it should not be imposed on you that you surrender.
Here, nobody is interested in your surrender. What will we do with your surrender? I don't see any use of it. And nobody is interested in your revolt. The only difference will be if you really want to revolt go to M.G. Road. What the hell are you doing here? This is a gathering of people who are searching for the real life, who are trying to awaken themselves. Neither revolt nor surrender is of any importance.
The only important thing is to become absolutely alert and aware, and then whatever you do is right.
All the religions have labeled things: this is right, this is wrong; this is good, this is bad; this is virtue, this is sin... things are fixed.
My whole approach is that things are constantly changing, nothing is fixed. So I cannot say to you that this thing particularly is right, and that thing particularly is wrong. In a different context, things will be different. So it is better to give you an awareness which will decide spontaneously, moment to moment, what is right and what is wrong.
You should not be dependent on scriptures dead and old, and you should not be dependent on saints - either dead or alive! You should be simply free in your awareness and let your own awareness respond to reality as it comes - and reality is continuously changing.
Sometimes surrender may be perfectly right: if you meet a buddha how are you going to revolt?
He will enjoy all your jogging and jumping, but what revolt... and it is not his problem, it is your problem. By your revolt are you creating more peace, more silence for yourself, or more anxiety, more anguish, more tension, more trouble?
But if you meet Ronald Reagan, then surrender is not the thing. One should have a certain dignity, a certain self-respect. Surrendering to criminals - they may be powerful - cannot be said to be right because it is surrender. Surrender is good only to a source of humbleness, light, freedom; a surrender which will make you more free than you have ever been; a surrender which will not cut your wings and destroy your joy of flying across the sky. A surrender to the man who is alert, aware and has a deep respect is beautiful.
I have told you many times a small anecdote....
Gautam Buddha in his past life heard about another man who had become enlightened. He was not much interested, but curious to see what kind of phenomenon enlightenment was and what it did to the man. He set off, and as he came close to the man something started melting in his heart; something that was hard and arrogant was disappearing.
And as he came very close, he witnessed himself touching the feet of the man. He was not touching, he had not even the idea of touching the feet of the man, but he saw that he was touching the feet.
The man had such a beauty and such a grace that it was such a joy even to touch his feet.
But the most miraculous thing happened as he stood up: the man also touched Gautam Buddha's feet. Gautam Buddha said, "What are you doing? You are enlightened. I can feel the peace that surrounds you. I can feel the light and the fragrance that you have become. It is absolutely right for me to touch your feet and surrender myself, but what are you doing? I am an ignorant man, very stubborn, very egoistic and you are touching my feet."
The enlightened man said to Gautam Buddha, "Today you are asleep; tomorrow you will be awake.
Today you are not enlightened, but enlightenment is your very nature. I don't care about your arrogance and your ego and stubbornness; they are not your self-nature. I am touching your feet to remind you that you are not what you are thinking, and also to remind you that when in your next life you become enlightened, be respectful of those who are still groping in the dark."
Now to touch the feet of such a man is a beauty, is a grace, is a blissfulness.
Germany seems to be my land. I own it because for two years continually in the German parliament, they have been discussing me. In two German courts our sannyasins have won cases. Their parliament calls Christianity a religion and my movement a cult, and in Germany, the word 'cult' is condemnatory. Two courts have given their verdicts against the parliament, and the parliament is still continuing to call my people a cult.
Just the other day I received news from one of my sannyasins who is also a member of the parliament that they are very stubborn and they go on changing.... First they said, "You are not a religion because you don't believe in the fiction of God." I am going to reply to the parliament, "Then that means you should not call Buddhism a religion because it does not have any God... or Jainism a religion." Now they have changed the argument because I have been jailed in America and blackmailed to accept that I have committed two crimes.
Sometimes I look at this world - it is so hilarious. The government attorney has placed thirty-four crimes that they say I have committed and they ask my attorneys to negotiate and not to go for a trial. And the negotiation was: "If you accept any two crimes, then Shree Rajneesh can be released from the jail. If you don't accept then you are putting his life in danger because the case could go on for twenty years, thirty years..."
This is sheer blackmail. My attorneys were at a loss what to do, because I have not committed those crimes. But to save me they accepted the two crimes, such petty crimes that generally in America the punishment would be twenty-five dollars or fifty dollars at the most. And that's what my attorneys were thinking: get finished with fifty dollars.
But when those two crimes were accepted, the punishment was four hundred thousand dollars, nearabout six million rupees. And now, there was no way for my attorneys to do anything; they had accepted and the judge had given the judgment.
So now in the German parliament, they have changed their whole idea. Now they say they will not allow me to enter Germany because I am a criminal, a criminal convicted of the maximum punishment. Four hundred thousand dollars is the maximum line; nobody has been punished that much. You can murder - still you will not get that much punishment. You can rape...
All that I had done, that they had accepted, was so tiny, so meaningless.
First, they said that I had the intention of staying in America and I had deceived the immigration department. For "the intention," the simple way is not to give me residence. Secondly, they said that I had arranged a marriage for the purpose of getting residence. That is sheer stupidity. If I had wanted to be a resident, rather than persuading others to get married, I myself should have married - as many American women as they required.
But because I have been punished and deported, in the German parliament they are using the argument that my followers are a cult and I am a criminal. I have to inform my attorney there that if I am a criminal, what about Jesus Christ whose punishment was certainly more than mine...? Deport him. Make a law that Jesus Christ cannot enter into Germany - because after resurrection... nobody knows where he has gone. And secondly, those who follow Jesus Christ should not call their religion a religion. Call it a cult; it is very simple.
The parliamentary secretary said that 'cult' is not derogatory. I am informing my attorney: "Ask that if 'cult' is not derogatory, then why make any distinction? Christianity is a cult just as any group of people is a cult." But strange people and criminal minds....
You are saying to me that before, the ashram was fear-oriented. You should not have been in the ashram. The whole world is outside the ashram. If you wanted to be in the ashram that shows more about you than about the ashram. You wanted to be in some place where you are dominated.
Always remember, problems are yours.
It is your problem.
If the ashram is fear-orientated, then can you name any religion which is not fear-oriented? Then what is the purpose of hell?
In fact, this is the only place where nobody cares about hell. In fact, if I am going to hell, all my people are ready to go, dancing and singing. Nobody is fear-oriented here. We are not afraid to deny God. People are always afraid, "Who knows, perhaps he may be there and after death, how will you face him?" I am preparing my people so that God will be afraid of them. Just do the Dynamic Meditation the moment you see God.
I used to live in a place near a Mohammedan cemetery. The caretaker called me saying, "You are going to create a riot in the city."
I said, "What happened? I have not said anything against anybody."
He said, "That is not the question. A deputation of Mohammedans has come to me and they say, 'The people who are around Shree Rajneesh... early each morning they start HOO! HOO! HOO!
That disturbs the people who are lying in their graves. So many of them have come out - and we are afraid of ghosts. If this man is allowed... the whole city will be full of ghosts. Nobody can rest - HOO!...'" So he said, "You tell your people to do some silent meditation; they are disturbing ghosts."
I said, "It is strange, for the first time I have come to know that ghosts are afraid of HOO!"
The caretaker said, "Personally, my opinion is that anybody will be afraid if so many people come just shouting Hoo! Hoo! It hurts deep..."
So, my people are not fear-oriented.
Now you think that the ashram is less fear-oriented? The ashram is the same. It is the same river:
water flows; people come and go. It is the same caravan: somebody joins, somebody departs; somebody takes his own route, somebody comes from some other route.
It is your mind.
Mind is always fear-oriented.
All the societies have tried to make your mind fear-oriented because that is a simple strategy to rule over you - and man is so fear-oriented. He does not show it; he hides it inside. But on a dark night, alone, he starts running. There is nobody, and when he starts running, his own steps make sound and he looks back to see if somebody is following.
You can create fear in any person for any absurd reason...
In my village there was a grocer. I always loved to find people's actions and reactions. So whenever I passed - and I had to pass at least four times as it was exactly between my house and the school - I would just keep one of my eyes closed.
At first the grocer said, "Strange, why should he do it?" But when I did it again, he called to me, "What is the matter?"
I said, "I don't know. The moment I see you, my whole being... I feel to do it. And it is not only me, many others are feeling..."
He said, "My God!"
And it spread - one thousand students passing through the grocer's with one eye closed. Now, it was nothing to do... absolutely irrelevant, but he became so afraid that he would hide whenever it was the time for going to school and coming from the school. He would hide inside; he would close the shop. But I was not going to be satisfied so soon....
We would knock on his doors shouting, "What has happened? I am a customer."
Hearing that a customer was knocking, he would open a window and he would see me. He reported to the police, "This boy is torturing me; I cannot sleep. One thousand people are passing four times a day, and the whole neighborhood is laughing. They are all telling me, 'Don't be worried, they are doing no harm to you. It is their eyes; if they want to pass with one eye closed...'"
He said, "But it creates great fear."
I was called to the police station. I went with one eye closed. They said, "What is the matter? Why do you keep one of your eyes closed?"
I said, "I am a very spontaneous person. If I feel to do... it is my eye. Seeing you, I felt the same."
The police officer said, "Just stop it here. I will never interfere in your affairs, but don't start telling all the school, because those idiots will start passing in front of the police station with one eye closed.
That will damage our power and people will laugh." And he said, "It is not gentlemanly, it is not nice to harass people."
I said, "I will stop."
I stopped - but the neighbors got it! They started. Anybody who came to his shop would come with an eye closed.
He called me one day. He said, "You are very nice, because you have stopped. But you have spread the disease so much that now it is uncontrollable. Last night my wife faced me with one eye closed.
It creates very much fear."
I said, "But why should you fear? It has nothing to do... they are not closing your eye. If you want I can tell people that they should start putting one eye - your eye - closed."
He said, "Don't do that; that is too much. They will kill me."
You say that now the ashram is less fear-oriented.... You have become more mature. Always think about your own psychology. The world remains the same; only you change. And you are asking, "But in private life, how to distinguish between resistance and healthy rebellion?" If you can distinguish between healthy rebellion and unhealthy rebellion, if you are that intelligent, I think you will be able to see whether you are resisting or you are in rebellion. You need to sharpen your intelligence a little.
Resistance is not always bad. If you are facing a fascist regime, resist. But here, there is no fascist regime, no hierarchy. Nobody is torturing you, no gas chambers - even Jews are not killed. You are perfectly safe.
Just something for your fear to disappear...
Lord and Lady Bating, the English aristocrats, hire a new butler called James. He has not had much experience. So on the first day, he goes up to their room and says, "Frederick and Cynthia, dinner is served."
Lord Bating comes out and says sternly, "No, James. You must not call us by our first names. You must call us Lord and Lady Bating."
James is embarrassed. "Please forgive me," he says, "Lord and Lady Bating, dinner is served."
James then goes along to their daughter's room and says, "Caroline, dinner is served."
She comes to the door and says angrily, "I am to be called Mistress Bating and don't forget it."
James excuses himself and then goes to the son's room. Before speaking, he thinks for a moment and then calls out, "Are you in there Master Bating?"
"Okay, okay," calls the son nervously. "You caught me, but please don't tell my parents."
Yes, Beloved Master.