Awareness: The Master Key

Fri, 27 December 1978 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Philosophia Perennis, Vol 1
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
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The first question

Question 1:



YES - THE ONLY SIN IS UNAWARENESS, and the holy virtue is awareness. That which cannot be done without unawareness is sin. That which can only be done through awareness is virtue. It is impossible to murder if you are aware; it is impossible to be violent at all - if you are aware. It is impossible to rape, to steal, to torture - these are impossibilities if awareness is there. It is only when unawareness prevails that, in the darkness of unawareness, all kinds of enemies enter you.

Buddha has said: If the light is on in a house, thieves avoid it; and if the watchman is awake, thieves will not even try. And if the people are walking and talking inside, and the house has not yet fallen into sleep, there is no possibility for thieves to enter or even to think about it.

Exactly the same is the case with you: you are a house without any light. The ordinary state of man is that of a mechanical functioning: HOMO MECHANICUS. Only in the name are you a man - otherwise, just a trained, skillful machine, and whatsoever you do is going to be wrong. And remember, I am saying WHATSOEVER you do - even your virtues will not be virtues if you are unaware. How can you be virtuous when you are unaware? Behind your virtue will come a great, enormous ego - it is bound to be so. Even your saintliness, practised, cultivated with great labour and effort, is futile! because it will not bring simplicity, and it will not bring humbleness, and it will not bring that great experience of the divine which happens only when the ego has disappeared.

You will live a respectable life as a saint, but as poor as everybody else - inwardly rotten, inwardly a meaningless existence. It is not life, it is only vegetating. Your sins will be sins, your virtues will also be sins. Your immorality will be immorality, your morality will also be immorality.

I don't teach you morality, and I don't teach you virtue - because I know, without awareness they are just pretensions, hypocrisies. They make you phony. They don't liberate you, they can't liberate you. On the contrary, they imprison you.

Only one thing is enough: awareness is a master key. It unlocks all the Locks of existence.

Awareness means you live moment-to-moment, alert, conscious of yourself, and conscious of all that is happening around you, in a moment-to-moment response. You are like a mirror.

That's what Pythagoras wants you to understand: you reflect. And you reflect so totally that out of that reflection whatsoever act is born is right - because it fits, it is harmonious with existence. It does not really arise in you, you are not a doer of it. It arises in the total context: the situation, you and all, are involved in it. Out of that wholeness the act is born - it is not your act. You have not decided to DO it that way; it is not your decision, it is not your thought, it is not your character. You are not doing it: you are only allowing it to happen.

Just as walking early in the morning, the sun has not risen, you come across a snake on the path - there is no time to think... you can only reflect. There is no time to decide what to do and what not to do. You IMMEDIATELY jump! Remember the word 'immediate' - not even a single moment is lost. You immediately jump out of the way. Later on you can sit underneath a tree and think about it - what happened, how you did it - and you can pat your own back that you did well. But in fact you have not done it - it happened. It happened out of the total context. You, the snake, the danger of death, the effort of life to protect itself... and a thousand and one other things are involved in it. The total situation caused the act. You were just a medium.

Now, this act fits. You are not the doer of it. In the religious way we can say: God has done it through you. That is only a religious way of speaking, that's all. The whole has acted through the part - this is virtue. You will never repent for it.

And this is really a freeing act. Once it has happened, it is finished. You are again free to act; you will not carry this action in your head. It will not become part of your psychological memory; it will not leave any wound in you. It was so spontaneous that it will not leave any trace.

THIS act will never become a karma. This act will never leave any scratch on you. The act which becomes a karma is the act which is not really an act but a reaction which comes from the past, from memory, from thinking. You are the decider, the chooser. It is not out of awareness but unawareness.

Then it is all sin.

Pradipam, to me, awareness is all. I teach you awareness.

It was Plato who, attempting to convey the meaning of the educative process, told the parable of the cave. Chained within an underground cave, one of the prisoners who has perceived only the illusionary shadows of the real world is unchained and freed to journey into the light.

Emerging from the cave he is blinded by the brightness of the sun and for a moment desires to turn back. But he realizes that the only authentic life for man is one lived with a clear vision of things as they are. Though earlier blinded by the light and desiring the darkness, he resolves to leave behind the cave of shadows and its world of illusions. But having seen, having become aware, having perceived clearly, he knows he must return and free others to see through the veil of illusions that chain and imprison them in an unreal world.

The moment you become aware, it is not only that your life is transformed: you immediately start functioning in a new way - you start helping others to be transformed. Because once you have seen the light of awareness, once you are out of the cave of unconscious mind, you will be surprised that whatsoever you had known before was not real - it was only shadows of the real. You had dreamt about the real.

And once you have seen the light, you would like to share it. You would like to go back to the cave and unchain other prisoners. That's what all the great Masters down the ages have been doing.

That's what Pythagoras was doing. He became free - free, out of the cave.

For the first time you will be dazzled. For the first time you will feel your eyes are hurting - that is the pain of growth. For the first time the desire, a great desire, will arise to go back into the darkness - because you have become accustomed to it. It was soothing. But once you have seen even a little bit of reality you cannot go back; you have crossed the point of no return. You will HAVE to live in the light. You will have to learn how to absorb light, because the reality is so blissful. And out of the experience of the real, life becomes religious. Out of the experience of the real, you cannot act in the old ways.

Pradipam, I know why the question has arisen - because you have tried not to be angry, you have decided so many times, but still it happens. You have tried not to be greedy, but again and again you fall in the trap. You have tried ALL kinds of things to change yourself, but nothing seems ever to happen. You remain the same.

And here I am saying that there is a simple key - awareness. You cannot believe it. How can awareness, just awareness, help when nothing else has been of any help? Keys are always very small; keys are not very big things. A small key can open a very big lock. And why does awareness function as a key?

The person who is living in a dream, is deep asleep, has a nightmare, is being tortured, is being killed. And of course fighting, fighting back, he is very much afraid, wants somebody to save him, and finds no way to escape. All around him are enemies with naked swords. Death seems to be certain. Trembling, perspiring, just out of the pain of the nightmare, he awakes. Still his breathing is not natural, still he is perspiring, trembling, but he starts laughing. There is no problem... the dream has disappeared. All those enemies and the naked swords were not realities. He need not ask to be saved; he need not arrange any defence. The whole thing was just a shadow world.

Once awakened the whole dream has disappeared. And in the dream he had tried every possible way to protect himself and was finding it impossible. That's how the case is with you, with everybody.

Anger is a shadow. You cannot be victorious by fighting with a shadow. Greed is a shadow... these are not realities. The reality is that which will remain even when awareness has happened. And this is the miracle: those who have known awareness have not known anything of anger or greed. Not that they dropped them - they simply don't find them! Once the light is there, darkness is not there.

Buddha is reported to have said when he became enlightened, the first moment of it, he smiled and he said: "This is unbelievable! - so I have been enlightened from the very beginning!? And all those chains and all those imprisonments were just dreams?"

When people would ask him, "What should we do not to be angry, or what should we do not to be greedy, or what should we do not to be so much obsessed with sex or food?" his answer was always the same: Be aware. Bring awareness to your life.

His disciple, Ananda, listening again and again to every kind of person - different problems, but the prescription of the physician remains the same - became puzzled. He said, "What is the matter with you? They bring different kinds of illness - somebody brings greed and somebody sex and somebody food and somebody something else - but your prescription remains the same!"

And Buddha said, "Their illnesses are different just as people can dream different dreams."

Here you are: if all of you, all two thousand sannyasins, fall asleep you will have two thousand dreams. Remember, you cannot invite anybody to share your dream - it is very private - not even your wife or your husband, nobody can share it. So two thousand people will have two thousand dreams. But if you come to me and ask how to get rid of this dream, the medicine will remain the same: Wake up! It is not going to be different; the prescription is going to be the same. You can call it awareness, you can call it witnessing, you can call it remembering, you can call it meditation - these are different names for the same medicine.

Act with more awareness.

THERE WAS A MAN travelling home from work on a train. Shortly after its departure he had fallen asleep, lulled off by the motion of the train. Somewhere in between stations, the train suddenly stopped at an emergency red signal.

The man, waking up suddenly, thought the train had arrived at his destination and proceeded promptly to step out of the door and fell flat onto the track! Quite shaken and bruised, he was helped by the other passengers back into the carriage.

Dusting himself off and rearranging his tie and dabbing his bloody nose dry, he then exclaimed:

"How stupid of me to get out at the wrong side!" and then proceeded to leave by the door opposite and stepped in front of the oncoming express!

The only problem with man is that he is fast asleep - with open eyes! That's why you are not even aware that you are not aware. Your eyes are open and you are dreaming - a thousand and one dreams, a thousand and one desires. You are not herenow - that is the meaning of not being aware.

You are in the past, in the memories - that is a dream. Or you are in the future, in imagination - that is a dream.

Be now, here!

If the past is there, you are not aware. If the future is there, you are not aware. Awareness means presence in the present. Just be here this moment. Even if a single thought passes inside you, you are not aware. To be in a thought-process is to be asleep. Not to be in a thought-process is to be awake.

And that crystal purity of being here, of being now... how can you commit any sin? In THAT clarity, the ego disappears - and it is the ego which brings all kinds of problems in life. The ego is violent.

And if you try to become humble, you may become humble but the ego will remain there hiding behind your humbleness. Unless you become aware, the ego will go on playing new games. The games will be changed; you may move from one prison cell into another prison cell - that's all - but you will not get out of the prison.

The only way to get out of the prison is to be utterly alert. In that alertness you become crystallized, in that alertness you become centered. And that very centering takes you into the very core of reality. And that experience is so blissful that you cannot remain a thief any more - because all that you need, all that you have ever desired, is fulfilled. In fact, you had never asked so much ever as is showering on you of its own accord. Who would like to be a thief? For what?

Who would like to murder? For what? You CANNOT even imagine murdering because now you know nothing can be murdered - all is eternal. It is a futile effort. You cannot kill anything. At the most, you can take the garments away, but the inner being continues. Once you have seen your own inner being, in the light of awareness you have seen the being of all. It is eternity. Death is a falsity. Death happens only in dreams, not in truth, not in reality.

How can you rape when you are aware? Awareness brings tremendous love in its wake, and a loving person cannot rape. Rape is possible only when the person has never known anything of love. And, remember, the people who are rapists are not the only people who rape: you may be a good husband, and a good wife, married legally and everything, and your relationship may be nothing but rape. If you are unaware you cannot do anything else; your relationship will remain that of a rapist. You may be raping in a legal way, authorized, sanctioned by the society, but that doesn't matter. If your wife is making love to you because it is her duty to make love to the husband whenever the husband wants, it is rape. She is not REALLY in it - it is rape. She is simply fulfilling the duties of a wife. If you are making love to your woman and not being totally present in that moment, it is rape. The woman is raping you; you are raping her.

Love is love only when it is meditative. Love is love only when there is great awareneSs from both sides. Two nows meeting, two heres meeting; two presences merging, melting into each other - then it is love, and then it has a spiritual quality to it.

But you have learnt how to live without awareness. You know how to move without awareness; you know the doors of your house, and the rooms, and you have become acquainted with all kinds of skills.... You can drive to the office and come back, and there is no need to be aware. You can just go on doing these things mechanically.

All sins arise out of this mechanicalness. Your life becomes a hell. Hell simply means not to be in the present, and paradise means just to be in the present.

A young farm boy from Arkansas was sent to New York by his father to learn the undertaking business under the tutelage of the great Frank E. Campbell.

Some months later, the father visited his son in the big city. "Tell me," he said, "have you learnt much?"

"Oh sure, Dad," said the son. "I have learnt a lot. And it has been very interesting."

"What was the most interesting thing you learnt?"

The son thought for a moment and then said, "Well, we did have one wild experience that taught me a lesson."

"What was that?"

"Well," said the son, "one day we got this phone call from the Taft Hotel. It seems that the housekeeper had checked one of the rooms and she discovered that a man and woman had died in their sleep on the bed and completely naked."

"Wow!" said the father. "What did Mr. Campbell do?"

"Well, he put on his tuxedo and he had me put on my tuxedo. Then we were driven in one of his limousines to the Taft Hotel. The manager took us to the desk clerk who gave us the room number.

Then the manager rode up with us in the elevator. We were silent because Mr. Campbell always believes in doing things with great dignity."

"How marvellous!" exclaimed the father. "Then what happened?"

"Well, we came to this room. Mr. Campbell pushed the door open with his gold-tipped cane. He, the manager, and I walked in quietly. Sure enough, there on the bed was this naked couple lying on their backs."

"And then what happened?" asked the father.

"Well, Mr Campbell saw an immediate problem. The man had a large erection."

"And then what happened?" asked the father.

"Mr. Campbell, as usual, was up to the situation. He swung his gold-tipped cane and very stylishly whacked the prick."

"And then what happened?" asked the father.

"Well, Dad," said the son, "all hell broke loose. You see, we were in the wrong room!"

That's how it goes on and on... you ARE in the wrong room, you are always in the wrong room.

Unawareness is the name of the wrong room. And whatsoever you are doing, good or bad, respectable or unrespectable, is ALL the same in the ultimate final analysis - because you are in the wrong room, and in the wrong room you cannot do anything right. You can become a saint in the wrong room, but you will remain exactly in the same room as the sinner. You can become very moral - you may not be a thief and you may not be a rapist and you may not be a murderer - but the ROOM is wrong and whatsoever you are, you cannot be right.

Your total state of mind has to be transformed - and that is the meaning of awareness. You are in the past, in the future; that means you are in the mind. The mind is the name of the wrong room.

Come out of the mind! Be in the present... and when you are in the present, you are not part of the mind. Then each act has tremendous clarity, because you are a mirror. And there is no dust on the mirror because there is no thinking going on.

That's all I teach here: how to be aware, how to be conscious - how to be, and without thoughts.

And then life starts changing of its own accord. I don't teach you non-violence. Non-violence has been taught down the ages in this country and people are not non-violent at all. In fact, it is difficult to find more violent people anywhere else than in this country. Every day, in every possible way, violence erupts - any excuse is enough. And buses will be burnt and people will be murdered, and the police will have to fire. Every day! It is not news at all - it is not new, how can it be news? You can be certain it will be happening somewhere or other in this country.

Madhura has asked a question: Why in India is there so much public violence? It is because of the teachings of non-violence. For five thousand years people have been taught to be non-violent; they have learnt the trick of pretending. And all that has happened is that they have repressed their violence. They are sitting on volcanoes - any excuse, any small excuse, and the violence is triggered. And then it goes on spreading like a wild fire.

Whenever there is a Hindu-Mohammedan riot, you can see the real faces of the people of this country - murderous. And just a day before, the Hindu was praying in the temple and the Mohammedan was praying in the mosque, and one was reading the Vedas and the other was reading the Koran, and they looked so pious. Let there be a riot, and all that piousness simply evaporates as if it had never been there, and they are ready to kill, rape.... They are ready to do anything!

This violence erupts again and again in this country because of the teaching, a wrong teaching, which is based on repression. Whenever you repress something, it will come up again and again.

I teach you awareness, not repression. That's why I don't talk about non-violence. I don't say, "Don't be violent." I only say, "Be alert, be aware!" Whatsoever you are doing, do it with such care, with such meditativeness, that you are absolutely there, in it, involved; that you are not just making some empty gestures. Your presence is there - and that very presence brings an alchemical change. You will never repress, you will never sit on a volcano. And the more you become aware, the more your life will attain to silence, peace, love. They are by-products of awareness.

The second question

Question 2:


ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE ARE FRIGHTENING - for many reasons. first, the more attractive a person is to you, the more is the possibility of falling in her or his bondage - that is the fear. The charm, the magnetism, the magic: you will be possessed, you will be reduced to a slave.

Attractive people ARE attracting and yet frightening. They are beautiful; you would like to relate with them, but to relate with them means to lose your freedom. To relate with them means not to be yourself any more. And because they are attractive, you will not be able to leave them; you will cling.

You know your tendency, that the more attractive a person is, the more clinging will arise in you; you will become more and more dependent. That is the fear.

Nobody wants to become dependent. Freedom is the ultimate value. Even love is not higher than freedom. Freedom is the ultimate value; next to it is love. And there is a constant conflict between love and freedom. Love tries to become the ultimate value. It is not. And love tries to destroy freedom; only then can it be the ultimate value. And those who love freedom become afraid of love.

And love means to be attracted to an attractive person. And the more beautiful the person is, the more you feel attracted, the more fear will arise, because now you are going into something from where escape will not be easy. You can escape from an ordinary person, a homely person, more easily. And if the person is ugly, you are free; you need not become too dependent.

Mulla Nasruddin married the ugliest woman in the town. Nobody could believe it. People asked him, "Nasruddin, what has happened to you?"

He said, "There is a logic in it. This is the only woman from whom I can escape any time. In fact, it will be difficult not to escape. This is the only woman in the town whom I can trust. Beautiful people are not trustworthy. They can fall in love easily because so many people are attracted towards them.

I can trust this woman; she will always be sincere towards me. I need not be worried about her; I can go out of the town for months, I will not have any fear. My woman will remain mine."

Just see the point: if the person is ugly, you can possess the person. The ugly person will depend on you. If the person is beautiful, the beautiful person will possess you. Beauty is power, it is tremendous power.

The ugly person will become a slave, a servant. The ugly person will in every way substitute for the beauty that is missing in him or her. The ugly woman will be a better wife than a beautiful woman.

She will have to be. She will take more care of you; she will be a better nurse - because she knows that beauty is missing and something has to be supplemented instead. She will be very good to you; she will never nag you, she will never fight with you, she will not be in a constant quarrel with you - she cannot afford it.

Beautiful persons are dangerous. They can afford to fight. So these are the reasons.


They are. Unless you understand and become aware, this fear remains. Attraction/fear are two aspects of the same phenomenon. You are always attracted to the same person with whom you feel a great fear. Fear means you will be secondary. In fact, people want the impossible.

A woman wants a man, the most beautiful, the most powerful man in the world, but also wants him to remain interested only in her. Now this is an impossible demand. The most beautiful and the most powerful person is bound to be interested in many more people. And many more people will be interested in him.

The man would like to have the most beautiful woman in the world, but also would like her to remain very faithful to him, devoted to him. That will be difficult; that is asking the impossible.

And remember: if some woman looks very beautiful to you, that simply shows you are not very beautiful. And you are afraid also: if the woman looks so beautiful to you, what is happening from the other side? You will not be looking so beautiful. There is fear - she may leave you.

All these problems are there. But these problems arise only because your love is not really love but a game. If it is really love then it never thinks of the future. Then there is no problem of the future.

Tomorrow does not exist for real love; time does not exist for real love.

If you love a person, you love a person. What is going to happen tomorrow - who cares? Today is so much, this MOMENT is an eternity. What will happen tomorrow, we will see... when tomorrow comes. And tomorrow never comes. Real love is of the present.

Always remember: anything real has to be part of awareness, has to be part of the present, has to be part of meditation. Then there is no problem! And there is no question of attraction, and there is no question of fear. Real love shares; it is not to exploit the other, it is not to possess the other. When you want to possess the other, then the problem arises: the other may possess you. and if the other is more powerful, more magnetic, naturally you will be a slave. If you want to become the master of the other, then the fear arises that "I may be reduced to a slave." If you don't want to possess the other, then the fear never arises that the other may possess you. Love never possesses.

Love never possesses and love can never be possessed. True love leads you into freedom. Freedom is the highest peak, the ultimate value. And love is closest to freedom; the next step after love is freedom. Love is NOT against freedom; love is a stepping-stone towards freedom. That's what awareness will make clear to you: that love has to be used as a stepping-stone for freedom. If you love you make the other free. And when you make the other free, you are made free by the other.

Love is a sharing, not an exploitation. And in fact love never thinks in terms of ugliness and beauty either. You will be surprised: love never thinks in terms of ugliness and beauty. Love only acts, reflects, meditates - never thinks at all.

Yes, sometimes it happens that you fit with somebody - suddenly, everything falls in harmony. It is not a question of beauty or ugliness: it is a question of harmony, a rhythm.

Somebody has asked a question about what Gurdjieff used to say: that for every man there is a corresponding woman somewhere on the earth, for every woman there is a corresponding man somewhere on the earth. EACH one is born with the polar opposite. If you can find the other, everything will fall in harmony immediately. All their centers function harmoniously - that is love. It is a very rare phenomenon. It is very rare to find a couple who really fit together. Our society exists with such taboos, such inhibitions, that it is almost impossible to find the real mate, the real friend.

In Eastern mythology we have a story, a beautiful myth, that in the beginning when the world was created, each child was born not alone but as a couple: one boy, one girl, together, from the same mother. Twins, fitting with each other totally - that was the couple. They were in tune in every way with each other.

Then man fell from grace - just the idea of the original sin - man fell from grace, and as a punishment couples were no more born from the same mother. Still they are born! Gurdjieff is right - that's my own observation too. Each person has a divine mate somewhere. But to find them is very difficult, because you may be white and your other polarity may be black; you may be a Hindu and your other polarity may be a Mohammedan; you may be Chinese and the other polarity may be German.

In a better world, people will search and seek, and unless you can find the real person who can fit with you, you will remain in a kind of tension, anguish. If you are alone you are in anguish; if you meet the other person you are in anguish if the other person does not fit with you, or only fits so far. Now, through scientific investigation also this has been found, that there are people who fit and there are people who don't fit. scientific arrangements can be made now; each person can declare his centers, his birthchart, his rhythm - now there is every possibility to find the other person who fits exactly. The world has become very small, and once you have found the other person... it is not a question of beauty and ugliness at all. In fact, there is nobody who is ugly and nobody who is beautiful. The ugly person may fit with somebody - then the ugly person is beautiful for that person.

Beauty is a shadow of harmony. It is not that you fall in love with beautiful persons; the process is just the opposite: when you fall in love with some person, the person looks beautiful. It is love that brings the idea of beauty in, not vice versa.

But it is rare to find a person who totally fits with you. Whenever somebody is fortunate enough, life is lived with a melody; then two bodies and one soul. That is a real couple. And whenever you can find that kind of couple, there will be great grace and great music around that couple, a great aura, beautiful light, a silence. And love then naturally leads into meditation.

People should be allowed to meet and mix to find.... People should not be in a hurry to get married.

The hurry is dangerous; it only brings divorces, or it brings a life of long long misery. Children should be allowed to meet with each other. And we should drop all pre-technological taboos, inhibitions; they are no more relevant.

We are living in a post-technological age; man HAS become mature and he HAS to change many things, because many things are wrong. They were developed in the old days; it was a necessity then - it is no more a necessity now. For example, now people can live together, men and women; there is no need to be in a hurry to get married. And if you have known many men and many women, only then will you know who fits with you and who does not fit. It is not a question of a long nose or a beautiful face; somebody may have a beautiful face and you feel attracted, and may have beautiful eyes and big eyes and you feel attracted, and the colour of the hair... but these things don't matter!

When you live together, after two days you will not note the colour of the hair, and after three days you will not note the length of the nose; and after three weeks you will have completely forgotten about the physiology of the other. Now the reality impinges upon you. Now the real thing will be spiritual harmony.

Marriage up to now has been a very ugly affair. And priests were happy to allow it - not only happy to allow it, they were the ones who invented it. And there was some reason why priests all over the world have been in favour of this ugly marriage that has been on the earth for five thousand years. The reason was: if people are miserable, then only do they go to the churches, do they go to the temples; if people are miserable, only then are they ready to renounce life. If people are miserable, only then are they in the hands of the priests. A happy humanity will have nothing to do with the priests. Obviously! If you are healthy, you have nothing to do with the doctor. If you are psychologically whole, you have nothing to do with the psychoanalyst. If you are spiritually whole, you will not have anything to do with the priest.

And the greatest spiritual disharmony is created by marriage. Priests have created hell on the earth.

That is their trade secret - then people are bound to come to ask them what to do. Life is so miserable! And then they can tell them how to get free of life. Then they can give you rituals how never to be born again, how to get out of the wheel of birth and death. they have made life such a hell, and then they teach you how to get rid of it.

My effort is just the opposite: I want to create heaven here-now, so that there is no need to get rid of anything. There is no need to think of getting rid of birth and death, and there is no need for the old, so-called religions. More music is needed, more poetry is needed, more art is needed, certainly more mysticism is needed, more science is needed - and then there will be a totally different kind of religion born, a new religion. A religion which will not teach you anti-life ideologies but will help you to live your life in more harmony, more artistically, more sensitively, more centered, rooted in the earth. A religion which will teach you the art of life, the philosophy of life, and will teach you how to be more festive.


BECAUSE DEEP DOWN IN YOU there is a search, as there is in everybody, for the other people.

And you don't want to get involved with somebody who may not be the other pole. But there is no other way to find the other pole except by getting involved into many many friendships, into many many love affairs. If you really want to find your beloved, you will have to go through many love affairs. That is the only way to learn. Drop your fear...

And if you start associating with ugly people out of your fear of beautiful people, that is not going to be satisfying to you.

The Cohens were renting a furnished apartment. Cohen pere had found the place that met with all his requirements, but Cohen mere demurred: "I don't like this flat."

"What's the matter, Rachel? Ain't it a fine flat? Why it has all the latest improvements - washstands, indecent lights, semetry plumbing and two kinds of water - why not?"

"I know all what you say, but there are no curtains in the bathroom. Every time I take a bath the neighbours can see me."

"That's all right, Rachel - if the neighbours see you, they will buy the curtains."

Ugliness can have its uses, but it will not give you contentment. And if you are afraid of beautiful people, then remember, that you are really afraid of getting involved in a deep intimate relationship, that you want to keep a distance, that you want to keep a distance so you can escape any time if the need arises. But this is not the way to go into it, this is not the way to know the secrets of love.

One has to go in absolute vulnerability. One has to drop all armour and defence.

If it is frightening, let it be frightening, but go into it. The fear will disappear. The only way to drop any fear is to go into the very thing of which you are afraid. If somebody comes to me and says that "I am afraid of darkness," then I always suggest to them, "The only way is: go into the dark night, sit somewhere alone outside the town under a tree. Tremble! Perspire, be nervous, but sit there!

How long can you tremble? Slowly slowly, things will settle. The heart will start beating normally...

and suddenly you will see that darkness is not that frightening either. And slowly slowly you will become aware of the beauties of darkness - which only darkness can have: the depth, the silence, the velvety touch of it, the stillness, the music of the dark night, the insects, the harmony. And slowly slowly, as the fear disappears, you will be surprised that darkness is not that dark - it has its own luminosity. You will be able to start seeing something - vague, not clear. But clarity gives shallowness to things; vagueness gives depth and mystery. Light can never be so mysterious as darkness. Light is very prose; darkness is poetry. Light is naked; hence, how long can you remain interested in it? But darkness is veiled; it provokes great interest, great curiosity, to unveil it.

If you are afraid of darkness, go into darkness. If you are afraid of love, go into love. If you are afraid of being alone, then go into the Himalayas and be alone. That is the only way to drop it. Otherwise, small things can be very very heavy.

Just two days ago, a beautiful young Italian man took sannyas. His problem is that he cannot touch his own navel - afraid. He cannot allow anybody else to touch his navel; that is out of the question.

He cannot touch it himself; he has never fingered his navel - that is impossible. He will die. he is so afraid of it. Now it looks absurd, but it looks absurd to you only because you have other fears. This is his fear.

Now what am I going to do? I told him, "You just wait here and after a few days I am going to tell everybody, whosoever comes across you, to finger your navel." Maybe the first time he will be shocked, may fall into a coma, but nobody has ever died; that will be just psychological. And when so many people have fingered his navel, he will laugh at the whole thing.

That is the only way! And sometimes if you can deliberately do something, it brings great awareness.

Once a young man was brought to me - he was a professor in a college - and the problem was that he walked like a woman. And to be in a university and to be a professor and to walk like a woman is troublesome. He was very much embarrassed. And he had tried all kinds of methods.

I said, "Do one thing - because this is impossible, what you doing! A man cannot really walk like a woman! You are doing something like a miracle. Because to walk like a woman means you have to have a womb in your belly. It is because of that roundness of the womb that the woman walks in a different way. Her alignment of the body is different. But a man really cannot walk like that - if a man can do it...." I told him, "This should be something to be proud of! You are doing a miracle. Just show it to me."

He said, "What do you mean, a miracle?"

I said, "Just walk here front of me and walk like a woman."

He tried and he failed. He could not walk. And I told him, "Now, this is the key. Go back to the university - up to now you have been trying NOT to walk like a woman. From now onwards, try to walk like a woman with every deliberate effort. Your effort NOT to walk like a woman has been the cause of the whole problem. It has become an obsession, a hypnosis. You have hypnotized yourself. The only way to de-hypnotize it is: do it deliberately. Go to the university immediately," I told him, "and walk around, and try in every possible way to show that you are a woman."

He tried and he failed. And since then he has not succeeded.

If you are afraid - fear arises in you about attractive people - it is the same, Vilas, remember.

Whether you are afraid that nobody should touch your navel, or you are afraid of darkness, or you are afraid of walking like a woman, or you are afraid of this or that, XYZ, it doesn't matter. Fear has to be dissolved, because fear is a crippling process, a paralyzing process.

And the only way to dissolve it is to go into it. Experience liberates. And we have so many beautiful people here - you cannot find so many anywhere else in one place. If, Vilas, you are afraid of beautiful people, you will have to commit suicide because more and more beautiful people are going to come here!

It is better to learn. It is better to drop fear. It is better to relate with people. And, in fact, if you start relating, you will find every person has something beautiful in her or him. Nobody comes without beauty. Maybe beauty has different dimensions: somebody's face is beautiful, somebody's voice is beautiful, somebody's body is beautiful, somebody's mind is beautiful. Nobody comes without beauty; God gives to everybody some kind of beauty or other. There are as many beauties as there are persons.

And the only way to contact the beauty of a person is to become intimate, to drop all fear, to drop all defences. And you will be surprised: God is expressed in different forms - God is beauty.

We have three words for God: SATYAM - truth - SHIVAM - ultimate good - SUNDARAM - ultimate beauty. And beauty is the last. God is beautiful, God is beauty. Wherever you find beauty, it is a reflection of God's beauty. And if you are afraid of the reflection, how will you relate with the real?

The reflection is there to learn the lesson, so that one day you can relate with the real.

The third question

Question 3:


THE WAY THAT YOU HAVE BEEN FOLLOWlNG is the way of being phony. That's what is wrong with you - you are not authentic. You have not allowed yourself to be yourself; you are an imitator.

What do you mean?


How can you live a religious life? You don't have any experience of God. Your religious life will be just pseudo. You will imitate other people who you think are religious. And how are you going to decide whether they are religious or not? That too will be decided by the society.

You have been in a trap. You have lived according to the herd, you have lived according to the crowd, and the crowd means the lowest state of consciousness. To live according to the crowd means to live at the minimum. And the crowd is NOT interested in God. its morality is a social convenience - it is not real morality. Its morality is just a kind of lubrication; it helps people to be together. Its honesty is not true honesty - it cannot be.

You know the proverb: Honesty is the best policy. Now, to think of honesty in terms of policy is the beginning of being dishonest. Honesty is not a policy; it is not politics. Honesty is to live your life in freedom, in sincerity, naked; never to be false and never to pretend - that is honesty. Whatsoever the consequences - whether you are hated or loved, whether you are respected or disrespected, it doesn't matter. An honest person is one who lives in his utter nakedness as God has created him.

He respects himself so much that he is ready to risk everything for it.

You say you have lived very hard - honesty must have been an imposition on you, that's why it looked hard. Otherwise, a really honest person never feels that way. Whatsoever he has to sacrifice for honesty, he sacrifices, but it is worth it. His joy is tremendous, his bliss is infinite. And the more he sacrifices, the more he gains the joy, the more he rejoices.


Yes, you must have lived in an arduous way, an ascetic way. You must have tried hard to cultivate a certain character. Bliss never arises in cultivated characters. Cultivated characters are phony, false, plastic - hence bliss cannot happen to them. A plastic flower cannot have any fragrance - only a real rose. But the real rose needs to be rooted in the earth; the real rose has to take all the risks of being real.

The false is very much protected. The real is exposed to the sun and the wind and the rain. To be real, that exposure is necessary. The plastic flower need not be exposed to wind, rain and sun; you can keep it inside your room. It needs no earth, it needs no roots - it needs nothing because it is false.

And it is eternal. The real rose is born in the morning sun and by the evening it is already disappearing. The real rose by the evening starts falling, the petals are falling. The real rose lives only for the moment, then it disappears. The real knows birth and death; the real lives in danger.

Your morality, your honesty, your religion, were not really a way of living a dangerous life, but, on the contrary, defence measures. You were creating a safe life for yourself, secure. That's why you have missed.

Live in insecurity if you really want to live, and live truthfully. And when I say live truthfully, I don't mean the truth that is taught by the Vedas or the Koran or the Bible - I simply mean: to be yourself is to be truthful, whatsoever you are. Don't hide it, don't deceive. Be exposed to the rain and the wind and the sun. There is danger, but in that very danger is joy, and in that very danger arises bliss - the fragrance of the rose.

You must have lived through the scriptures; that's why millions of people go on trying hard to live a moral, religious life, and still never know what bliss is. They are living according to books; they never try to listen to their own still small voice. They have betrayed themselves, they have betrayed their God.

Clem bought a new bike for his ten-year-old son, Harvey, "Don't worry, Harvey," he assured him. "I will assemble the bike in a jiffy."

Harvey waited impatiently as Clem removed the bicycle parts from a huge box.

"Here are the directions," mumbled Clem. "Take wheel A and align it with holes X and Z. Then take bolt B and put it through hole Y."

"Are you sure you can do it, Dad?" asked Harvey as he watched his father break out into a cold sweat.

"I was not an army mechanic for nothing," retorted Clem.

five hours later Clem cried jubilantly: "Hallelujah! I have done it!"

Harvey started at the bike. "Dad, how do you ride a bike backwards and upside down?"

If you are putting your life together according to the instructions in some book, you will be in trouble.

Live according to your own small light. Enough light has been given to you. You have brought it with yourself. You need not live according to Buddha, according to Mahavira, according to Krishna. They never lived according to anybody else, remember.

I have heard about a Zen Master, Bokoju - he was celebrating his Master's birthday - somebody asked Bokoju, "But you DON'T follow him - why are you celebrating his birthday? You are just the opposite of the Master, why are you paying your respects?"

And Bokoju said, "My Master never followed his Master and I am doing the same. And my Master has told me not to follow him - that is his message to me. And it is by NOT following him that great light has happened in me. Hence the respect and gratitude."

But people live very foolishly. They are imitators. After Pythagoras died, a great superstition spread amongst his followers: that beans are not to be eaten. Beans? poor beans! And down the ages people have wondered why Pythagoreans don't eat beans. Pythagoras was a vegetarian, but beans are not non-vegetarian. Pythagoras was perfectly right in not eating meat and fish, but why beans?

In fact, they never suited him - that was the only reason. Whenever he would eat beans, he would have a troubled stomach. Now, Pythagoras suffered by eating beans; he stopped eating beans - that's perfectly right! He listened to his voice. He didn't bother. He had been to India; vegetarianism he learnt from here. Buddha used to eat beans, and Mahavira too - the great vegetarians. He didn't care about the vegetarians. He dropped beans because they never suited him.

But look at the foolish disciples: down the ages they have not eaten beans, and they cannot answer why either. They think, "There must be some secret in it which we have forgotten."

Pythagoras used to walk barefoot. It is a beautiful exercise for contracting the earth. That's how Mahavira used to walk - barefoot. If you are walking on soft earth, the best way is to walk barefoot, no shoes. You have a tremendous contact with the earth. We belong to the earth! Half of us is part of the earth and half is part of the sky. And when you are walking in the early morning sun on the wet earth, you are enjoying both the sky and the earth. It was perfectly right! But now, on coal-tar roads, Jaina monks go on walking barefoot. Now that is very dangerous, harmful, harmful to the nervous system. To walk on cement or on coal-tar without any shoes is very bad for the whole nervous system, particularly for the brain cells; it affects them. To walk on wet earth is beautiful for the nervous system; it soothes.

Mahavira walked barefoot; it was perfectly okay. Zarathustra walked barefoot - perfectly okay.

Pythagoras walked barefoot - perfectly okay. But Jaina monks are still walking - in Bombay, in Delhi - barefoot. Now this is stupidity.

Always remember that each one has to live according to his own light. The Master has not to be imitated literally; he has to be understood.

You must have been following dead rules and dogmas. And because they never suited you, a great contradiction has arisen in your being. And to create contradiction is to create hell.

Dave and Mabel were riding their tandem up a steep hill. When they got to the top, Dave jumped off and lay in the grass, "Christ, that was a tough hill!"

Mabel said, "Yea, an' if I didn't have the brakes on we wooda gone backwards."

That's what the story is of millions of people's lives. You are making the hill unnecessarily tough and hard. The brakes are on: you are creating a contradiction in your life energy. Whenever you follow anybody literally, you will create a contradiction. You can only be your own self. If you want to be a unity, a harmony, understand, but never imitate; learn, but never imitate.

And people are in such a hurry to imitate. Why do people want to imitate? - because it is easier.

It needs no intelligence to imitate. Any idiot can imitate. In fact, only idiots imitate. An intelligent person learns, understands, and follows his own light that comes out of his understanding.

Drop your so-called morality and honesty and your religious life. Please drop it - it is not yet too late. Start from ABC. And if you are here, things can happen. I allow you absolute freedom to be yourself. I help you to attain that freedom. I don't help you to cultivate a character: I help you to create a consciousness. And then that consciousness brings its own character. But that character is a liquid phenomenon; it has no rigidity.

The last question

Question 4:


There is no secret at all...

It was a dark and stormy night, and the captain said to the mate:

"Mate, tell us a story."

And so the mate began:

"It was a dark and stormy night and the captain said to the mate:

'Mate, tell us a story."

And so the mate began:

'It was a dark and stormy night...""

I have to say the same thing again and again. I am not saying any new thing every day. The truth is very simple, and it can be said in a few lines. But if you don't hear it, I have to tell it again and again....

Niseema has expressed it in a beautiful limerick:

There was a mad Buddha from Poona Who of egos was a fanatical pruner.

But unwilling to frighten He quipped ad infinitum And caught everyone later or sooner.

I go on talking to you so that one day I will be able to persuade you to listen to the silence that has happened to me. And those who have started understanding me, they are no longer listening to my words: they are listening to my presence. Many of you here have already entered into a wordless contact with me. If you listen to my words - that too is only because those words contain something of the wordless in them.

That's why when new people come here who are not acquainted with me and my ways, they cannot understand what is happening here. It is a mystery school like Pythagoras' school in Greece.

Something is happening here,'but it is very elusive. It cannot be explained to the outsiders. It is a love relationship.

I go on talking to you... the same things. You go on listening to me... the same things. I talk out of love, you listen to me out of love. Talking and listening is not relevant - but the communion. Talking and listening is just an excuse for the communion to happen.

Soon the day will come when I have trapped enough people who can listen to my silence. Then I will sit silently with you, every day, year in, year out.

So those who have a desire for words, satisfy it as much as you can. Soon words will disappear...

but then I will be only for the insiders. Then there will be no possibility for new outsiders to enter in - because they can only enter through the gate of words. I will speak a little longer just so that a few more people can get in.

Once I have got MY people, ALL of my people, then there will be no need to talk. I will sit silently, you will sit silently. We will be together and we will let God happen.....

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