A great waiting... a great longing for the unknown
THE OTHER NIGHT YOU SPOKE ABOUT HOW OUR EMOTIONS GET DRUNK WITH LOVE.
CAN YOU SPEAK ABOUT THAT DELICIOUS INTOXICATION THAT WE FEEL WHEN WE DRINK YOUR WINE?
Prem Madir, my wine is not of this world. In fact, my wine is not even mine. It belongs to the very life source. I sing the song of existence. So when you get intoxicated with me, I am just an excuse, you are intoxicated with existence itself, with all its beautitude, with all its glory, with all its tremendous splendor. The infinity, the eternity, the immortality... all are in a single moment yours, and when you are intoxicated you are no more.
Only in these moments truth has been found, God has been found, liberation has been found. These are all different names of something which cannot be named.
That's why, when I say God is dead, don't think that I am an atheist, I am simply saying that that symbol of God is no longer significant. The priests have exploited that symbol in thousands of ways all around the earth, in all the religions. Now that word simply denotes our slavery, not our freedom.
It symbolizes the organized religion, but not the individual bird on the wing in the sky of freedom.
That bird which used to have the whole sky is encaged.
All the religions have been preparing chains, handcuffs, imprisonment for your soul. I offer you nothing but intoxication with existence itself, with the trees and with the wind and with the clouds. I offer you to be in love, dance with the wind and dance with the rain, and laugh with the river. Unless you are so free that you become almost a part of the cosmos, you have not known the taste of religion, you have not known the taste of your own dignity, of your own great potential.
Listening to me, this immense silence descends on you, envelops you - a great waiting, a great longing for the unknown, a complete forgetfulness of the ego and a remembrance of your innocence and your individuality. They all happen simultaneously in a single split second.
I have given you the name Prem Madir; it means the wine of love.
It is strange, all the religions are against life, against love, against joy, and still we have tolerated them. It is time that all these gods and all these temples should be erased. And all these priests who have been parasites of humanity, should be forced to work in the farms, in the vineyards. They should be taught how to be in contact with the immensity that surrounds you. It does not need any mediator.
All that you need is a silent heart which can listen, clean eyes which can see, a childlike innocence which gives you grace and which gives you a great feeling of wonder. You don't know anything, but your very not knowing becomes such a purity, such an unburdening. Suddenly you see that with your knowledge your chains are disappearing. With your knowledge your Christianity is disappearing, your Hinduism is disappearing, your communism is disappearing leaving behind two innocent eyes and a heart ready to dance with the whole without any barriers.
Up to now we have been supporting our own enemies, we have been supporting the people who crucified Jesus. We have been supporting the people who poisoned Socrates without knowing that the people who poisoned Socrates are the people who have poisoned our very consciousness. No man is an island: in the crucifixion of Jesus I am also crucified, you are also crucified. We have tolerated these people not knowing that what they are doing to Al-Hillaj Mansoor and to Sarmad they are doing to the whole of humanity. These were our greatest flowers, the most precious heights which man's consciousness has ever reached.
But the blindness of humanity is such that rather than destroying the whole priesthood - which according to me are the greatest criminals in the world... Whether they are Hindu brahmins, or Christian priests, or Jewish rabbis it does not matter, they are all doing the same thing: exploiting man's potential and growth, obstructing any possibility of laughter and celebration. Their whole contribution is seriousness, sadness, misery and a hope which will be fulfilled after you are dead.
We have been living with this hope for millions of years. How many people have died? Nobody returns, nobody even gives a call, "Don't worry, on this side everything is great."
One of India's famous singers always tells a story about his friend....
He meets a friend who lives in London and has come back to the Punjab. Naturally the singer asks him, "How are you?"
He says, "Alright."
The singer asks, "And how is your wife?"
The friend says, "She is also alright."
The singer asks him, "How are your children?"
And the man says, "They are also alright."
Finally the singer asks him, "What about your Daddy?"
The man says, "About my Daddy - he has been alright for almost four years!"
After death certainly there is no question, everybody is alright, but nobody has authentic information.
It is just assumption that they must be alright. Here you have to be miserable; there, all is delight.
Here you have to be sad and your sadness will make you a saint, and there - rivers of wine. No ordinary small pubs, because God is compassionate, he is not miserly.
Here, to renounce your woman is a great religious and virtuous deed. There thousands of naked film actresses are waiting for you. You are just going to be in difficulty whom to choose - Sophia Loren? But there are so many Sophia Lorens... No hunger, no thirst and everybody always remains young. What more can you expect? Saints do only one thing: sitting on white clouds they play on their harps, "Hallelujiah!"
I have heard...
By mistake a poor porter from Munich was taken away by Death. He resisted hard. He said, "I am going to the pub; this is not the time to die. After the pub you can take me."
But Death never listens to anybody. It dragged him. The whole way he was angry and said, "This is absolutely unmannerly. I am a poor porter... what is the need? What does God want of me? I am living a silent life. Every evening I go to my pub and every morning somehow I get back to the station. I am not a criminal, I don't do any harm."
But Death said, "What can I do? Your number has come."
He said, "Strange, I have been purchasing the ticket for the lottery every month and the number never came. And now the number has come; this is the number."
Death thought that this man was absolutely stupid and useless to talk to. He said, "You just wait and you will not be miserable once you enter into paradise."
The porter said, "At least I must know what I am supposed to do there... is there any pub?"
Death said, "You don't understand. There are rivers of wine... what about a pub! And you will be given a harp and a white cloud. Sit on the white cloud, sing the song 'Hallelujia' in praise of God and drink as much wine as you want. There is no other work except playing on the harp."
He said, "This is a strange kind of world. I am a porter, I don't know how to play the harp."
Death said, "You learn, because on every cloud you will find saints doing the same thing. You will learn. In the beginning everybody feels a little hesitant."
He was given a harp. He looked at himself and the harp and he said, "It is so stupid. This is the time my pub will be closing and where are those rivers?"
Some kindly saint said, "There are no rivers; that is just a fiction. All that you have to do is sing the song of God, 'Hallelujia,' and play on the harp. No work because there is no need, no food..."
He said, "This is very strange - and I don't see any women here. I have been told that there are young girls available." The young saint said, "That was all propaganda. Just sit on this cloud and learn to play the harp."
He said, "If this is all, how long am I going to sit on this cloud? When will I go to my station?"
The saint said, "It is very far away; you cannot go."
Seeing that there was no possibility and every saint was singing "Hallelujia! Hallelujia!" he started singing "Hallelujia! Hallelujia!" with very great anger, asking, "Where IS God?"
The saint said, "We have been here, but we have not seen him."
He said, "If I see him I will hit him with this harp on his head... Hallelujia! It is the time, my pub will be closing. Is it a joke or something?"
God would not have heard, but between his "Hallelujia! Hallelujia!" he shouted upwards, "Fuck You!"
God thought, "This is strange. No saint has ever done this. This man does not seem to be the right man."
Again, "Hallelujia! Hallelujia!" - in between he became angry because it was time to go to the station.
God called Death and said, "It seems you have brought a wrong man. This is a poor porter from Munich. Take him back - because he can corrupt all the saints - before everybody hears what he is singing. He is thinking it is praise. Before anybody hears him, take him away. Just throw him back into his pub in Munich."
He opened his eyes, he looked all around. He said, "It seems to be my familiar pub. What happened?"
Somebody said, "But you have not been here for many hours - friends have been waiting for you."
He said, "Some mistake, either I was dreaming... but you say that I have not been here. My God, what a tragedy could have happened. If I had been able to find God I would have killed him. I am not against God, I have never been against him, but the way he has behaved with me, a poor man - and he wants me to sing in his praise, Hallelujia."
But a porter is a porter. He said, "I managed, I could not see where he was, but I thought if I shout loudly, 'Fuck You,' he is bound to hear. 'Hallelujia' he is not going to hear, everybody is doing that - and he heard it."
In my own experience of reading for my whole life, this is the only instance when God heard somebody - he had to - the only prayer which has been answered.
I don't want to give you a hope and a dream beyond life. This life is so beautiful. Who cares of the beyond? And if we can live this life beautifully we will be able to live in the beyond also more beautifully. Death cannot take away our consciousness, our joy, our celebration, our laughter.
Hamish MacTavish is visiting his married friends Sandy and Glenda MacDougal.
"Sandy, I can't help it," says Hamish, "but Glenda really turns me on. If I could pinch her bare backside just once, I would give you a thousand dollars."
"For that kind of money," says Sandy, "I don't think that Glenda would mind. Would you, Glenda? Go ahead and pinch her."
Glenda leans over a chair and exposes her behind. Hamish looks at it... and just keeps looking.
Finally, after five minutes, he says, "I just can't do it."
"Why not?" asks Sandy, "have you not got the nerve?"
"It is not that," says Hamish, "I have not got the money."
Grandma Rosenbaum, aged seventy, is complaining of stomach pains to Dr. Bones.
Bones examines her thoroughly and announces his findings.
"The truth is, Mrs. Rosenbaum," he says, "you are pregnant."
"That is impossible!" cries Grandma. "I am seventy years old, and my husband is eighty-two."
Bones insists that his tests are right, so Grandma Rosenbaum reaches for the telephone and dials the nursing home, where Grandpa Rosenbaum is rocking in his chair.
When he is on the phone, Grandma yells out, "You old goat, you have got me pregnant!"
"Please," says Grandpa, "who did you say is calling?"
This is such a hilarious world and religions have made it so sad. It should be full of songs and music and dance. But it seems we are so deeply contaminated, poisoned with misery and suffering that even when you laugh you don't laugh with your totality.
You are holding even your laughter; you can watch it that you are holding it - except one man. You all know who that one man is. Give a real good laugh so everybody knows.
(EVERYONE IN BUDDHA HALL LAUGHS, BUT THE LAUGHTER OF SARDAR GURUDAYAL SINGH IS STILL THE LOUDEST.)
FOR THE PAST TWO MONTHS I HAVE BEEN TAKING CARE OF MY SISTER WHILE SHE WAS DYING OF CANCER IN HOSPITAL. I WAS ABLE TO GIVE HER LOVE AND PHYSICAL CARE, AND ALTHOUGH, WHILE SHE WAS IN THE LAST DAYS OF COMA I WAS CONSTANTLY PLAYING YOUR DISCOURSES TO HER, I FELT I FAILED TO INTRODUCE HER TO MEDITATION; SHE REFUSED TO FACE DEATH.
BELOVED MASTER, IT'S A PUZZLE TO ME THAT AFTER ALL THE TORTURE AND SUFFERING SHE MUST HAVE FELT, AT THE LAST MOMENT A BIG SMILE STARTED TO GROW MORE AND MORE ON HER FACE. BELOVED MASTER, COULD YOU COMMENT ON HER SMILE AND ON MY TRYING TO INTRODUCE HER TO MEDITATION?
Meera, the question you have asked raises a very fundamental thing, and that is: if by chance - and I will explain to you what I mean by chance - if by chance somebody dies in great suffering like cancer, the suffering of the cancer does not allow the person to fall into unconsciousness.
So just before death when the body separates from the soul, a tremendous experience happens which happens only to the mystics, to the meditators. To them it does not happen by accident, they have been preparing for it. Their meditation is nothing but an effort to disidentify themselves with the body.
Meditation does prepare them for death, so they can die without being unconscious; otherwise in ordinary cases one dies in unconsciousness. So one does not know that he was separate from the body, that he has not died. Only the connection between himself and the body has disappeared, and his consciousness is so thin that the separation of the body from the soul breaks that small thread of consciousness.
But the meditator goes many times into the same position consciously, where he stands out, away from his own body. In other words the meditator experiences death many times consciously, so that when death comes it is not a new experience. The meditator has always died with laughter.
You were trying to teach your sister meditation. But it is difficult because when one is in such suffering all your talk seems to be nonsense. But when she really died, just a moment before, as the separation happened, she must have realized, "My God, I was thinking I am the body and that was my suffering. My identification was my suffering." Now the separation, the thread is cut - and she smiled.
Certainly you must have been puzzled about what happened, because she was fighting with death, fighting with suffering, was not listening to you or making any effort to learn meditation. Still she died in a very meditative state. This happened accidentally.
The most important thing in life is to learn that you are not the body. That will give you such freedom from pain and from suffering. Not that suffering will disappear, not that there will not be any pain or cancer, they will be there but you will not be identified with them. You will be just a watcher. And if you can watch your own body as if it is somebody else's body, you have attained something of tremendous importance. Your life has not been in vain. You have learned the lesson, the greatest lesson that is possible for any human being.
My own approach is that meditation should be a compulsory thing for every student, for every retired person. There should be universities and colleges available to teach meditation. Every hospital should have a section specially for those who are going to die. Before they die they must be able to learn meditation. Then millions of people can die with laughter on their faces, with joy. Then death is simply freedom, freedom from the cage you have been calling your body. You are not the body.
That's what your sister understood at the last moment. And she must have smiled at her own misunderstanding, and she must have smiled that she resisted death. She must have smiled that she was not willing to learn meditation. Her smile contains many strains, and I can understand that you have been puzzled.
Do not forget it. Her smile may become a tremendously meaningful experience for you. She has given you a gift, an invaluable gift. She could not say a single word, there was not enough time, but her smile has said everything.
There are stories about mystics which may explain to you the difference between the accidental and the well cultivated. Your sister's smile was accidental; she was not prepared for it. But there is no need to wait for the accidental. You can be prepared for it.
A great Zen monk declared to his disciples, "I am going to die today. Don't prevent me."
They said, "Who is preventing you? But it is strange...! Nobody declares his death like this out of nowhere. You were just talking about great things and suddenly, you say you are going to die!"
He said, "I am tired. Don't harass me. That's why I am saying don't prevent. You have to do just one thing: you have to suggest the way to me."
The disciples said, "But what way can we suggest? If you want to die, you die."
He said, "I don't want to die the ordinary way."
They said, "What is the ordinary way?"
He said, "The ordinary way is lying on your bed and you die. Ninety-nine point nine percent of people choose that way. That is their choice. I don't want to belong to that crowd. Just think a little and suggest some original idea, because I will not be dying every day... only one time! It is absolutely appropriate to die in an original way. I lived originally, why should I die like everybody else?"
The disciples were in a difficulty. What original way? Somebody suggested, "You can die sitting; people die lying."
He said, "This is not very original. In the first place there is not much difference between lying and sitting; moreover, there have been many saints who have died sitting in the lotus posture. I will not do that. Can't you suggest... and you pretend to be my disciples!"
They said, "We have never thought that you would ask such a question."
Somebody said, "If you think sitting is not very original, die standing."
He said, "That looks a little better."
But one person objected; he said, "I have heard that another saint once died standing."
The old saint said, "This is very difficult; that man has destroyed that possibility too. Now think it over again. Now you suggest because you have destroyed. I have decided to die standing - now you say it is not original."
He said, "The original will be to stand on your head."
He said, "I am so glad that I have an original thinker as my disciple. I will try my best."
And he stood on his head and died.
Now the disciples were at a loss what to do, because every ritual takes it for granted that the person is lying down on the bed - there was no precedent. Now first you have to put him on the bed. And he was very much against... he would be very angry. He is such a man that even after death he may punish, or he may start talking again, "This is not... You are again doing it the ordinary way."
Somebody suggested, "The best way is: his sister is in a nearby monastery, she is older than him; it is better to call her. Anyway we have to inform her that her brother has died. Let her suggest what to do."
The sister came and proved to be really a sister to the man. She said, "You idiot! Your whole life you have been a disturbance, never doing anything the right way. This is not the way. Get up and lie down on the bed!"
And the story is that the dead man got up, lay on the bed and the sister said, "Now close your eyes and die." And she did not stay, she went away.
To the people of deep meditation, life is a game and so is death.
When the sister was gone the dead saint opened one eye and inquired, "Has that bitch gone? She has always been a torture to me... just because she is three years older than me. But now there is no point... I am going to die in the ordinary way."
He closed his eyes and died. Now it was even more difficult for the disciples to decide whether he was dead or not. So they tried pinching him, opening his eyes, "Are you still... or gone?" - but he was really dead. They waited so that there was no hurry, just to give him half-an-hour. Perhaps he may open his eyes again... but the old man was gone.
This is the way a meditator should die, with joy, playfulness, not taking things seriously. Life is a play and death has to be a greater play.
Ronald Reagan is driving in the countryside when he loses control and skids into a ditch.
He walks to the nearby farmhouse and introduces himself to the farmer and manages to persuade him to come and pull the car out of the ditch.
The farmer gets his cart horse, hitches it to the car, and after a lot of effort, gets the car back on the road.
Ronald Reagan gets out his wallet and offers the farmer five dollars.
The farmer looks at him hard and then leans over to his horse and whispers something. Immediately the horse pricks up its ears and drops its giant dong.
Reagan is amazed.
"I will give you another five dollars," he says, "if you tell me what you said to make your horse get such an erection."
The farmer grabs the five dollars and says, "I told him that all politicians are cocksuckers!"
The last prayer...
Rabbi Nussbaum comes to visit Mendel Kravitz. "Mendel," says the Rabbi, "it may be none of my business, but after all, we have been friends for a long time, and I am concerned about your reputation. You see, people in the neighborhood are beginning to talk about you.
"It just does not look right when a sixteen-year-old girl comes to visit you every night at such an hour."
"Oh," says Mendel, "don't you worry about that. It is a purely platonic relationship."
"Really?" asks Rabbi Nussbaum. "How can it be platonic?"
"Well," replies Mendel, "it is play for her and a tonic for me!"
Yes, Beloved Master.