Trust life, love life
I AM STANDING BEFORE A DOOR ON WHICH IS WRITTEN: MYSTERIES OF EXISTENCE. I OPEN IT AND FIND MYSELF AT YOUR FEET. LOOKING DEEP INTO YOUR EYES, I SEE THAT SUDDENLY THE DOOR IS THERE AGAIN. I OPEN IT AND ONCE MORE, I AM HERE AT YOUR FEET.
BELOVED MASTER, HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO BE BOTH THE DOOR AND THE MYSTERY ON EITHER SIDE?
Milarepa, the feet of the master are only symbolic.
What is real is your deep gratitude. What is real is your loving surrender. What is real is dissolving your personality and your ego.
If your trust is total, indubitable, then the feet of the master can become the door because gratitude is the door, and trust is the door, and love is the door.
The same is true about eyes; there is no mystery, but with the eyes there is a little difficulty. With the feet you are not in contact with another being. Nobody is there when you look into the eyes of your master. The danger is you may see yourself reflected in the mirror of his eyes. The danger is that
the revolution that can happen through the feet will be more complicated if it happens through the eyes.
The eyes are certainly capable of becoming doors to the divine but you have to remember that everything has to happen within you. To tell the truth the master does nothing! He is simply there, available, opening many doors - whichever is your choice. His eyes can become doors, his feet can become doors - just his remembrance can become a door. The love that you feel - and the master may be thousands of miles away, the love can become the door.
The whole alchemy of transformation depends on you.
Are you ready to be transformed?
Then even a single gesture of the master indicates the truth. Then his eyes or his feet - all are doors to the divine.
The day Gautam Buddha died, he insistently told his disciples, "Don't make statues of me. Avoid making temples for me because they can be deceptive. Your remembrance is enough; it is the authentic temple. Your surrender and your love and your dissolving yourself into the master's being - nothing else is needed."
But people are people.... When Gautam Buddha died they started worshipping the tree, the bodhi tree. Its name became bodhi tree because that is the tree where Buddha became enlightened. With gratitude and love and the flowers of their hearts, they found that it was as if the one who had left the body was still sitting under the tree.
But life has its own way.... Soon they started making temples. In the first temples there was only a carved tree in marble, no statue of Buddha. But the decline started, and it was not far away that soon the tree was replaced by the statues of Buddha. The world is so strange that the man who has died with his last wish that his statues should not be made, has the greatest number of statues in the world. There are millions of temples in China... particularly one temple which has ten thousand statues of Buddha. These are dead flowers. The fragrance does not arise any more. You can call them art, but they are not the fulfillment of the master's final statement.
And he was right that "within five hundred years my religion will disappear." It was exactly after five hundred years... his temples, statues, priests and rituals surrounded the whole of the East. But the trust disappeared, the love disappeared, the sensitivity and gratitude disappeared.
You can have thousands of statues - it can be a good collection of pieces of art, but it is not religion.
The statue has no heart and you cannot commune with the statue the way you had communed even with the feet of Buddha. Life was flowing in its most beautiful and highest consciousness.
The West has never understood why in the East disciples touched the feet of the master. They don't understand a simple thing, because it has not happened there - something invisible, non-objective.
When the disciple, with total love and humbleness, dissolves himself in touching the feet of the master, the energy that is flowing, the energy that has come to its purest form, thrills the disciple.
And remember, energy always flows downwards, energy never flows upwards.
If the master touches the head of the disciple, that is immensely important, but very esoteric because that creates a circle of energy: from his hands the energy is flowing into the disciple, from his feet the energy is flowing into the disciple. The disciple is almost flooded with the master's being, his ecstasy.
The West has missed a tremendously significant experience. In the West to touch somebody's feet looks humiliating, disrespectful. In the East if the master moves his feet and does not allow you to touch his feet that means you are not prepared, you are not open; the energy cannot move in you. And the master, encompassing the disciple from both ends, turns the wheel of his life to new dimensions.
So it does not matter, Milarepa, whether it is the feet or the eyes, or just the remembrance or just the heart throbbing with love and gratitude.
The door will open - there is no mystery. It is a simple arithmetic - but not the arithmetic that is being taught to you. It is the arithmetic of the spiritual world, and those who have not tasted the feeling, the fragrance of it are certainly very poor.
Little Ernie is taken to the dentist's office for a checkup. "It is okay, Doc," says Ernie. "You can take off the mask, I have already recognized you."
The master has no mask but certainly your recognition is needed. When and where, in what situation the recognition penetrates your heart like a ray of light, depends on your intensity of search. Finally, the day you recognize yourself, you will find that you and the master and the universe are all one.
There is nobody to surrender to, there is nobody to fight against. And then descends the ultimate peace that transcends all understanding - but it does not transcend experiencing.
Don't be analytical. The seeker on the path has to be open, available, non-analytical, non-rational; not arguing with the reality, but just taking it as it comes, testing it and its fragrance.
You are immortals, you just don't know it. The whole universe is yours but you are like small children collecting colored stones on the sea beach. The whole mysterious world is not far away. You need not move a single step towards it; it comes to you if you are ready. Just remember, "Am I ready...
ready to open? Indefensible?" Are you ready to allow the fresh breeze of life to pass through you?
The seers of the UPANISHADS have made the most significant statements. One of their statements addresses you as amritashya putrah: "Oh! Sons of immortality." Certainly, your body is not addressed, nor is your mind addressed, but you are much more. The body and the mind are both useful instruments, but don't make a cage of them and don't be present in them, and you will know how much blissfulness is possible, how much aliveness is your inheritance. You inherit the whole universe with all its beauty.
The master is only an excuse to show you the path and an example to show that what has happened to him can happen to you - you need not go in doubt and hesitation. Every man and woman has the seed of being divine. Those who have realized it, out of sheer compassion, they go on whether you listen to them or not; they go on trying their best somehow to reach you.
The story is that when Gautam Buddha died and he reached the gates of paradise there was great celebration, because only once in a while the gate opens, once in a while a man achieves his total potential. But Buddha refused to enter the door.... It is a parable; don't think it is a historical thing.
But sometimes parables carry more truth than history. Buddha refused on the grounds, "How can I enter paradise when millions of people are groping in the dark and searching in the dark? I will wait until the last human being has entered paradise." The Buddhists think he is still waiting.
Whether he is waiting or not, one thing I know for certain is that existence is waiting and you are postponing for stupid mundane things, things which do not matter, which are simply junk and are delaying the time of your flowering. The spring comes and goes and you remain without flowers. A master is a spring.
When the master knocks at your door, then drop everything because nothing is more important than to know yourself, to be yourself and experience the great beautitude and the ecstasy that is your birthright.
Two Israeli spies caught in Cairo are put up against the wall, and the firing squad marches in. The Egyptian captain asks the first spy, "Do you have a last wish?"
"A cigarette," he replies.
The captain gives him a cigarette, lights it up and asks the second spy, "Do you have a last request?"
Without a word the second spy spits in the captain's face.
"Harry," cries the first spy, "please, don't make trouble."
What more trouble...? They are going to be shot dead. What more trouble can you cause? And asking for a cigarette as the last thing, shows our minds. Just think that if God appears before you and asks you, "What do you want?" What are you going to ask for? A beautiful car? A palatial house? A beautiful woman? Then you will see with what kind of rubbish your mind is filled.
I don't think anyone is going to say, "I want to meditate... I want to realize myself." These things can be postponed - what is the hurry? Right now, a cigarette is needed, and anyway self-realization will not provide cigarettes, palaces...! You don't know what self-realization will provide. The very idea of self-realization does not arise because you take it for granted that you know yourself.
Socrates was right when he said, "Know thyself." There is no more important thing in life to do. Don't waste your whole life in things which you will laugh about later on: how much you wasted, how much ecstasy was possible ... and you were smoking cigars, running after women - or vice versa in the case of Niskriya!
Now, the fellow understands that women are approaching him to say, "Don't be worried boy, we are here to take care of you." The Chinaman cap that he was wearing has been presented to him by a woman whom he has fancied for years. And she came herself, seeing the situation that Niskriya had become a hero in a single day. Before any other woman catches hold of him, the woman that he has been fancying for years approached, herself.
Now he is in trouble; he cannot do his work. He is a man of a very one-dimensional, scientific attitude; he does not look here and there. Now all these women are going to disturb him. His real love affair is photography. Now he is praying to me, "Save me. I am perfectly happy alone" - but it is too late.
You go on doing things repetitively in your life - the same things, without ever bothering about the real mysteries, the real meanings, the real significance of your being. The day you become interested in your being, meditation blossoms automatically.
And if by chance you come across a man whose eyes become doors to a world beyond, touch his feet and you will be filled with a strange energy and vibration which is a music, a harmony, a synchronicity with existence.
The master is only an example of what you can also be.
Two tramps are lying on adjacent benches. One of them is reading an old newspaper: "It says here in a health report that you can exercise over one hundred muscles when you laugh."
"That's typical," replies his friend, "those health nuts take the fun out of everything."
... Now even laughter becomes an exercise!
Milarepa, you have the capacity of love, of trust, of creativity. You are showered with all the blessings that are possible. Don't miss this opportunity. Touching the feet of a master is simply a gesture that "I am ready," that "from my side there will be no obstruction," that "I withdraw all defense strategies."
The master won't have to do anything. By becoming open, dropping all defense strategies, the door has opened. The master was just a remembrance of your own future.
The master has never existed in this sense in the West. Teachers have existed, but a master is not a teacher. A teacher teaches you doctrines, theologies, philosophies; a master simply opens the door of your innocence, of your simplicity, of your ultimate awakening.
The master is not a teacher. The master is simply a remembrance that, "My God, what am I doing?
Here is a man surrounded with an aura of beauty and truth; it is not a time to miss. This man reminds me that I can also be in such glory, in such cosmic blissfulness."
A hotel manager is giving some advice to his staff about how to cope with embarrassing circumstances.
"Suppose one of you enters a room," he explains, "and finds a lady in a state of undress. Anything you do or say could make matters worse, but there is a simple way out. Just pretend you are shortsighted and say something like, 'I'm terribly sorry, sir, I'll come back in a minute.' That will save her from embarrassment."
The next morning a young waiter is on duty taking breakfast up to a room. He knocks on the bedroom door and receiving no answer, walks in. There on the bed, a naked couple are indulging in an energetic bout of lovemaking. Suddenly, they sense the waiter's presence and there is a ghastly
silence until the waiter remembers the lecture of the day before. With complete confidence he asks, "Would either of you gentlemen like breakfast?"
Whatever I say to you, don't interpret it, because every interpretation is misinterpretation. Whatever I say, simply absorb it. Let it become part of your being, and you will never be in such an embarrassing situation.
Dr. Bones and Dr. Skinner are out duck hunting early one morning while it is still dark. They hear an owl in the tree above them snoring.
"I'm such a great surgeon," brags Bones, "that I can go up there and take out that owl's tonsils without even waking him up."
Ten minutes later, Bones climbs down the tree and holds up two tiny tonsils.
"That's nothing," says Skinner, "I'm so nimble with my hands, I'll climb up there and remove the owl's testicles without him feeling a thing!"
Sure enough, a few minutes later, Dr. Skinner returns with a pair of tiny balls.
Months later, the owl flies over the same tree with a friend.
"Hey!" says the friend. "It is bedtime, let us sleep in that tree tonight."
"No thanks," replies the owl, "I slept there a few months ago and ever since I have not been able to fuck worth a hoot or hoot worth a fuck."
You have to use very subtle surgery in removing your ego, in removing your idea that you are separate from existence. It is perhaps the most subtle thing in the world to be able to touch the feet of the master and not feel for a single moment that you are doing something against your being, that you are losing your dignity - but on the contrary to feel that for the first time you have felt the energy which makes you dignified, luminous, and to see that those feet don't belong to any individual. Those feet are simply a device for you to drop your ego, the idea of speciality, the idea of being somebody, to just be simple and innocent.
The East has earned much by a simple device of the disciple touching the feet of the master. And when the master feels that the disciple's act is authentic and sincere, he puts his hand over his head and the disciple is flooded with the same energy that is overflowing the master. It is a strange transfer - invisible, but experienceable.
I am reminded of Mahakashyapa, perhaps Gautam Buddha's most innocent and most pure disciple....
He was told by Gautam Buddha, "You are enlightened. You have everything that I have. Now, go and spread the word."
Mahakashyapa said, "If I had been alert, I would not have become enlightened. To be close to you, to be able to touch your feet every day and be flooded with your love, your compassion was enough for me. If there is a way to become unenlightened, I would rather become unenlightened."
Buddha said, "That is difficult. You cannot go backwards."
He said, "But what will I do? Each morning when I touch your feet, my joy, my blessing, my ecstasy reaches to the highest point. And when you touch my head, it feels as if a shower of roses is falling over me. I will miss it very much."
Buddha said, "You will not miss. Just do one thing: remember in whichever direction I am, bow down to the earth and touch the feet - and the same thing will continue to happen."
He was so innocent, he trusted and went away. Every morning the first thing he would do was to find out where Buddha was and in that direction - and perhaps that direction was not right, perhaps Buddha was not there, but in his heart, in his trust, he would touch the feet. Tears of joy would flow from his eyes and he would feel a hand on his head. That was an absolute guarantee that he was in the right direction. And the same flowers, with even more fragrance would start showering like rain around him.
People told him, "Mahakashyapa, you have been declared enlightened by Gautam Buddha and you crawl...? Enlightened people don't crawl! What is this nonsense? There is nobody and you are touching the feet with such grace. And when you get up, you are almost a different man, so luminous..."
He said, "Distance makes no difference. Love knows no time and no difference of space. It is something that happens within you; the outer is only a device. And as far as tears are concerned, they are not the tears of pain or anguish, they are tears of joy, of utter celebration that he has not forgotten. And I feel his hand on my head. That gives me the guarantee that the direction is right."
When he came back to Gautam Buddha, he asked, but Gautam Buddha laughed. He said, "You are so innocent, Mahakashyapa. Everything was happening within you; even that hand was your own.
And I know it was impossible for you to find exactly where I am, in which direction, from hundreds of miles away. But because you trusted, the miracle happened."
The greatest miracle in the world is trust. But remember, I am not saying belief. Dictionaries go on confusing people. If you ask dictionaries what trust is, they will say that it is belief, it is faith. It is neither. Belief is always with a doubt hidden behind it. Faith is blind, not your own experience.
But trust is your own experience. Once you have tasted the sweetness of trust, you don't need any religion and you don't need any prayer.
I have told you many times, but this story is so beautiful that I love to tell it....
Before the Russian revolution - Russia has one of the most orthodox Christian churches....
Christianity is such a childish religion that they call someone a saint not in the same way as we in the East call a certain person a sant. Although people who are concerned only with words and translations think 'sant' and 'saint' are the same, they are not. The Eastern word 'sant' means one who has realized sat, the truth. It is his own realization.
And the Western concept of saint is one who has been certified by the church. It comes from the word 'sanctus'; he has been sanctified, certified that he is a saint.
But in this beautiful story of Leo Tolstoy...
The archbishop of Russia became very much concerned because people were going more and more to visit three saints. And there were so many rumors and talk about the three saints who lived on a small island in a vast lake. He wondered, "I have not certified them; how can they become saints?" But seeing that thousands of people are going to touch their feet...
Finally, he decided something had to be done, otherwise these three persons would destroy the whole religious hierarchy. Things have to be done in a certain way - Christianity has created hierarchy, bureaucracy.
In the East, one cannot conceive that a sant needs anybody's certificate; his own experience is enough. In the East, one cannot believe that even the pope, the representative of Jesus Christ and God, is elected. Is this politics or religion? We have never elected anybody as Gautam Buddha; we have never elected anybody as Krishna.... When a person has the experience, the very authority that his experience gives him - he is recognized, has to be recognized, and he is not bothered about whether you recognize him or not. But how can you keep your eyes closed... how long when the sun has risen?
Finally, the archbishop took a motorboat and went to the island to see what was happening.
It was early morning, and seeing those three poor people he said, "My God! These idiots... who has made them saints?"
He went there with great authority. Seeing that the archbishop himself had come, all the three touched his feet. He was very satisfied. He said, "Who has made you saints?"
They said, "We are poor people. Nobody has made us saints - and we are not. We just live here under this tree and we don't know what happened, how the rumor went around and why thousands of people come. And how can we convince them that we are not saints? We are not very educated.
"In the beginning we used to try to say that we are not saints - that brought the opposite result.
People thought, 'They are so humble; they say they are not saints... They must be. No ego...' So we dropped it. We said, whatsoever is happening, let it happen. You can help us. Just tell people that we are not saints, but poor men. Tell them not to come here, because they unnecessarily disturb us the whole day."
The archbishop was very grateful and felt that it had been a good act to come, but that he should have come earlier because they had become famous nationwide. He asked them, "Do you pray every day?"
They looked at each other. They said, "Yes."
"What is your prayer? Do you know the Christian authorized prayer?" he asked.
They said, "We are uneducated. We don't know any authorized prayer."
"Then what kind of prayer do you do every day?"
They nudged each other saying, "You say."
The archbishop said, "Say it."
They said, "It is a little embarrassing because we have made it ourselves. And it is a very simple prayer. Please don't laugh, and don't tell anybody. Knowing that God is three - God, the holy ghost and the son - and we are also three, we thought we could make a prayer.... So we put our minds together and made a prayer: God, you are three, we are also three, have mercy on us. This is our prayer."
The archbishop, in spite of himself, could not resist laughing, "This kind of thing you think is prayer?
Stop all this nonsense. I will teach you the authorized prayer."
But the authorized prayer was long. When he was finished, one of them said, "That long prayer, we cannot remember. You have to repeat it. We will try our best. At least you have to repeat it two times more, because we are three and you have to repeat the prayer at least three times. Perhaps we may remember it."
He repeated the prayer three times. They touched his feet; he blessed them and went away in his motorboat, feeling very happy. Just in the middle of the lake he saw a miracle. All those three poor people were coming running on the water.
He could not believe his eyes. He had not even deeply believed that Jesus had walked on water - and these fools, they are running on water! He stopped the boat and they said, "Forgive us. We have forgotten. The authorized prayer is too long. Can you repeat it one time more?"
The archbishop must have been a man of intelligence. He said, "No need to repeat. Your prayer is right. You continue your prayer. I have been praying that authorized prayer my whole life. I cannot walk on water, and you are doing the miracle."
They said, "This is not a miracle. This is our usual practice. We are poor people, we don't have boats, and our trust in God is absolute. He is three; we are three; have mercy on us - and he has never failed us. He has always been merciful to us."
Trust opens the door to the uneducated, uncultured. It is not a question of knowledgeability, scholarship. It is not a question of being elected a pope. It is hilarious that God's representative should be elected by human beings. It is sheer politics. If God wants his representative, he should nominate him, but he seems to be so utterly lazy that after six days of creation... What he has been doing nobody knows! He even had to send the holy ghost to make poor Mary pregnant - even that much trouble he would not take.
The East understands one thing: truth is your own experience and it comes from your trust. And when it comes, it comes with an authority not derived from any scripture or any representative of God. It is intrinsic in the experience itself.
I only teach you trust, love, compassion, and a way to your inner being - meditation. And whoever you are, whichever religion you have unfortunately been born into, whichever race ... it doesn't
matter. The color of your skin... I don't know exactly now how much it will cost, but twenty years ago, it took nearly one rupee's worth of color to make a man a negro. But remember one thing: the negro is richer than you are. His skin is far richer than the white skin!
We have created all kinds of discriminations and all kinds of theologies, man-made, mind- manufactured. They are not going to help. You have to be very simple, and your religion has to be very simple.
Trust life, love life....
Rejoice life, and existence will take care of you.
Existence really takes care - I can forget and my watch... At the exact moment it reminds me! Just look at your watch....
Yes, Beloved Master.