Satyam, Shivam, Sundram
WHAT IS THE MYSTIC CONCEPTION OF ULTIMATE REALITY?
Maneesha, the mystic's conception of the ultimate reality is the only authentic, real experience. It is not a thought or a concept, but an existential experience.
But the mystic does not deal with the mind. His whole effort is to get rid of the prison of the mind.
The mystic is not a philosopher; his world is beyond all philosophies. Philosophies are simply by- products of mental processes. They do not reflect the reality, they only reflect you. That's why there are so many philosophies in the world, contradicting each other.
The reality is one. How can there be so many philosophies? - there are not so many mystical experiences. There is only one experience; neither time changes it, nor space. Since millennia, the mystic in every country, in every race, in every age has experienced the same reality. The philosopher thinks about reality; the mystic simply drops all thinking. In his silence, utter silence and serenity, he becomes a mirror, and the reality reflects itself.
The mystic is the greatest flowering of human consciousness. His ultimate vision can be described in three beautiful words which have been used for thousands of years and there has not been any improvement on them. They are three words from the ancientmost sources: Satyam, Shivam, Sundram.
Satyam means the truth - not what you think about it, but what it is; not your idea about it, but its reality. To know this truth you have to be utterly absent. Your very presence will distort the vision, because your presence means the presence of your mind, your prejudices, your conditionings. You are nothing else but a bundle of all that has been forced upon you by the religions, by the society, by the so-called leaders of humanity.
Your absence means absence of all prejudices, all borrowed knowledge, absence of the Christian, absence of the Hindu, absence of the Mohammedan... just a pure sky, a pure being. I am using the word absence to deny all that is not you.
But don't misunderstand me; this absence of you is your real presence. Only the prejudices are absent, the ego is absent, your knowledgeability is absent - but your being shows in its utter purity.
You disappear as a personality and there remains only a pure presence. So it is absence on one side of all that is false in you, and it is presence on the other side of all that is real in you. In this state you don't think, you simply see.
This seeing of existence is the first experience of the mystic contained in the word satyam. Satyam means the truth - not any conception about it, but truth itself.
The second word, shivam, means virtue - all that is good, all that is valuable, all that is the most precious in you, the ultimate good. The man who comes to experience the truth starts living the truth immediately. There is no other alternative. His living the truth is shivam. Shivam means truth in action, truth in your life, truth in your love, truth in your friendship, truth in your eyes, and truth in your heart. Shivam is the action of truth; truth itself is the center of the cyclone. But if you experience the truth, the cyclone around you becomes shivam. It becomes pure godliness.
A man of truth is the only proof that the world is divine. No argument can prove that the world is divine.
I am reminded of one of the greatest mystics, Ramakrishna. When asked by a logician, "What is truth? Do you have any argument, any evidence for it?" Ramakrishna laughed hilariously.
He said, "I am the argument, and if you cannot see in my eyes the proof and the evidence, you will not find it anywhere else. I am the only proof that existence is not dead, that existence is not only matter; that existence is not only available to science, that existence is much more than matter, that you are much more than the body, that you are much more than the mind...."
But this "much more" cannot be proved by any logician, any scientist; only the mystic is the proof.
He can also not prove it by words, but only by his way of life. The way of life of the mystic is the only possibility to come in contact with the divine which is all around you. You are living in the very ocean of the divine, but the mystic becomes your first window through which you can see the non-material, the spiritual, the beyond.
Shivam is the mystic in action - his gestures, the music in his words, the poetry of his life, the light and the depths of his eyes. Whatever he does, whether he is chopping wood or carrying water from the well, you can see that there is a subtle difference. He is total in his every act, and that totality brings the third word, sundram.
Sundram means beauty. So this is the mystic trinity: satyam, the truth; shivam, the good, the divine; and sundram, the beauty.
You have seen the beauty of the flowers, you have seen the beauty of the stars, you have seen the beauty of a bird on the wing, you have seen beauties upon beauties of sunsets and sunrises.
But the greatest beauty is to see the totality, the intensity of the mystic. That is the greatest flowering in existence of consciousness itself. It is available only to those who are humble enough to receive it, who are not living a closed life of fear, of paranoia, but who are living a life of love, with all the windows open, and are ready to go with life wherever it leads.
These receptive souls are the only real seekers in the world. These receptive souls are blessed with their experience of sundram: the beautiful rose that is opening in the heart of the mystic. These three words are so unique, so incomparable, there is nothing parallel to them.
Truth is the experience, shivam is the action that comes out of the experience, and beauty is the flowering of consciousness of the man who has experienced truth. These three are the ultimate reality for those who are on the mystical path.
This is a mystery school.
All my effort is not to give you knowledge, but to take all knowledge away from you, to make you so innocent, just like a newly born child who is fully conscious, sensitive, alert, but knows nothing. His not knowing makes every child experience something which is available only to the greatest sages of the world.
To understand the psychology and the development of religious consciousness, I would like you to start with the child. It is the child's experience that haunts intelligent people their whole life. They want it again - the same innocence, the same wonder, the same beauty. It is now a faraway echo; it seems as if you have seen it in a dream.
But the whole of religion is born out of the haunting childhood experience of wonder, of truth, of beauty, of life in its beautiful dance all around. In the songs of the birds, in the colors of the rainbows, in the fragrance of the flowers the child goes on remembering deep in his being that he has lost a paradise.
It is not a coincidence that all the religions of the world have the idea in parables that once man lived in paradise and somehow, for some reason he has been expelled from that paradise. They are different stories, different parables, but signifying one simple truth: these stories are just a poetic way to say that every man is born in paradise and then loses it. The retarded, the unintelligent completely forget about it.
But the intelligent, the sensitive, the creative go on being haunted by the paradise that they have known once and now only a faint memory, unbelievable, has remained with them. They start searching for it again.
The search for paradise is the search for your childhood again. Of course your body will no more be a child's, but your consciousness can be as pure as the consciousness of the child. This is the whole secret of the mystical path: to make you a child again, innocent, unpolluted by any knowledge, not knowing anything, still aware of everything that surrounds you, with a deep wonder and a sense of a mystery that cannot be demystified.
This is something of fundamental importance to understand. The scientist is trying to demystify existence. His whole effort is to make everything known. The very word science means knowledge.
The work of the mystic is exactly the opposite of the work of a scientist. The mystic does not want to demystify existence; on the contrary, he wants to become part of this enormous mystery itself. He does not want to become a knower, he wants to disappear in the mystery of existence.
I am reminded of a beautiful story. Of course it cannot be true, but it is so significant that whether it can be true or not, I don't care.
A Chinese emperor called all the painters of his empire, which was one of the greatest empires in the world. He himself was in deep love with painting and he asked the painters, "I want to declare one of you the master painter of my empire. You are going to be my guest and you have to paint. I will come to see your paintings and whichever painting proves to be the best, the painter will become part of my royal court and the master painter of the whole empire - with many rewards."
Thousands of painters participated in this competition. One old painter said to the king, "It will take at least three years for me to complete the painting, and I a have few conditions. While I am making the painting, nobody should enter into my house. I don't want anybody to see the incomplete painting.
When the painting is complete, I will invite you."
The king said, "Three years? - this is too much."
The painter said, "Then I can get out of the competition. Three years is nothing. You don't know what I am going to paint."
Reluctantly the emperor agreed. All the other painters finished their work, somebody in one week, somebody in two weeks, at the most four weeks. But the king was not satisfied. He was waiting for the old man because without seeing his painting he cannot declare his judgment.
After three years the old man came and asked the emperor, "Now the painting is complete, you are welcome." He was painting in the king's palace itself. He had been given a beautiful palace which was guarded twenty-four hours a day so that nobody should enter for three years. Let the painter do his work unhindered, uninterfered with.
The emperor was waiting for three years. It is a long time and he was old and he was afraid that perhaps death may come before then. But fortunately he was still alive. With great wonder in his heart he entered the palace where the painter had done his work. He had painted on a whole wall of the palace, a beautiful forest with a small river flowing, and a small footpath going into the deep forest and disappearing into the mountains that he had painted.
The king could not believe his eyes. It was almost miraculous - magical. He was in awe. After a long silence he asked the painter only one question: "I am very much interested in this little footpath that goes around the forest, is seen sometimes around the mountains and then disappears. Where does it go?"
The painter said, "There is no other way to know unless you walk on it."
The king completely forgot that it was only a painting. He was so overwhelmed by the beauty that he took the hand of the painter in his hand and they both walked on the path and disappeared into the mountains. They have not returned yet.
This is the way of the mystic.
He disappears into existence not to return.
The scientist remains always an outsider, speculating, dissecting, analyzing, but he is not part of what he is doing. He is just a neutral objective observer.
The mystic is not an observer.
The mystic joins the dance. He dances with the trees, he dances in the rain, he dances with the peacocks. He sings songs with the birds. He slowly, slowly merges and melts into existence. He does not demystify it, he makes it more mysterious. He glorifies it, he gives it its splendor, its majesty.
He makes it the most profound orgasmic experience.
The mystic is a lover, not a knower. His path is of love, not of knowledge. Love is his God, not logic. Through his love he has come to realize three things: satyam, shivam, sundram - the truth, the godliness of existence and the tremendous beauty... the unbelievable poetry, the song of the silence, the music without songs.
Only the mystic knows without any knowledge.
The scientist has knowledge but knows nothing. A man of the caliber of Albert Einstein said to his friends before dying, "If there is another life, I would not like to be a scientist or a physicist again.
This has been a sheer wastage. I have known so much, but I know nothing about myself. What is the use of all this knowledge? My inner world remains dark and I have been watching faraway stars and the galaxies and the nebulas and I have not looked at myself."
Only a man of tremendous intelligence can see the point: Albert Einstein was not dying with contentment, with joy, but with a deep frustration and disappointment.
The world may think that he was one of the greatest, most successful men, perhaps the greatest scientist that has ever walked on the earth. But ask him... He has missed all that is beautiful, he has missed all that is divine, he has missed all that makes life a rejoicing.
The mystic's concern is to create a song in your heart and a dance to your feet and a joy that never fades in your very being.
Maneesha, remember these three words. They are the most beautiful words ever uttered by anyone, and they reveal the very essence of the ultimate reality - satyam, shivam, sundram.
I WAS READING AN ARTICLE ABOUT WOMEN BEING FED UP AND THE RESPONSIBILITY IS FROM MEN. IS IT TRUE?
Milarepa, it is true... but only half true. Man is also fed up, and the responsibility is of the women.
In fact we are all in the same boat - man or woman, they are all fed up - because our way of life is utterly wrong. Neither are men responsible for women's boredom nor are women responsible for men's frustration.
You will have to go deep into the psychology of frustration. The first thing to remember is that you are frustrated, you are fed up, you are bored only if you were expecting otherwise. If you were not expecting anything...
I am not fed up, and I don't see any possibility... To the very last breath I will remain with the same wondering eyes I was born with. I am also living in the same world in which you are living. I am not bored, because I never expected anything. Hence frustration is impossible.
Women are fed up because they have been expecting too much from man, and the poor man cannot fulfill all that. Women are more imaginative; they make a hero out of any Tom, Dick, Harry. With their romantic eyes idiots appear to be Gautam the Buddhas.
And slowly, slowly as they come closer to their great heroes, they don't find the giants, they find ordinary poor human beings. Then great frustration sets in. They magnify it and exaggerate it - but you cannot live in exaggerations and you cannot go on living looking through a magnifying glass.
Sooner or later you have to come to terms with reality.
The reality is just the henpecked husband, and utterly uninteresting. And the man - he is not so imaginative but his biological instinct makes him almost intoxicated, and when he is intoxicated by his biological instinct then any ugly woman appears like a Cleopatra. His eyes are covered with biological madness.
The people who called love blind were not wrong. The man starts seeing with closed eyes; he is afraid to open his eyes because the reality may not be so great. But how long can you go on living with closed eyes? Sooner or later you have to see the woman you have been infatuated with.
The biological infatuation disappears very soon; it is chemical, hormonal. Once you are sexually satisfied with the woman, all blindness, all madness disappears. You are again rational, sane, and you see just an ordinary woman. Naturally, to avoid her you start reading the newspaper; men are sitting before their TV's. In America they have done a survey: the average American man looks at the TV seven and a half hours per day. And naturally the woman feels fed up.
I have come to know that people are even making love to each other and watching the television at the same time. Even the greatest sexologists, Vatsyayana, Pundit Koka, Sigmund Freud, Havelock Ellis, have not dreamed about a day when people will make love while they are seeing the television.
They are so bored with everything... television is a refuge.
But the psychology is simple: you start expecting things from others and you start believing in your expectations. Soon your expectations are shattered against the reality. That is the reason why men are fed up, women are fed up - everybody is fed up. The world is full of bored people.
Boredom is perhaps the most significant phenomenon that has happened to the twentieth century.
Man was never so bored before. In the ancient days, when man was a hunter and there was no marriage and no possibility of monotony, he was not bored, there was no time to be bored. The woman was not bored; there were possibilities of choosing new men. Marriage settled everything in the name of safety and security, but it took away exploration.
One of the Urdu poets has a beautiful song in which he says, "If you" - he is addressing God - "if you were in favor of marriage, then why did you give me eyes? Then why did you give me intelligence?"
Idiots are not bored... and you will be surprised, blind people are not bored.
The more intelligent you are the sooner you will be bored, that is the criterion. The most intelligent, sensitive, creative people are the most bored people, because one experience is enough. To repeat it is only for the idiots.
As the world has become more and more settled financially, socially - marriage, children, education, retirement, pension, insurance... people are even paid in advanced countries for their unemployment - it has taken away all the joy of exploration. Everything has become so settled and controlled that there seems to be only one possibility to explore, in the West particularly, and that is suicide. Only that has remained unknown.
They have experienced sex and found it is just foolishness. They have experienced drugs and found that it is just deceiving yourself. Now there seems to be no adventure, no challenge, more and more people are committing suicide. It is something to be noted that the suicide rate is not increasing in the poor countries. The poor people seem to be less bored, less fed up, because they have to think about food and clothes and shelter; they don't have time for boredom. They cannot afford it.
The richer the society... where everything is available, how long can you go on living in a settled, monotonous, secure, insured, guaranteed lifestyle? People of great intelligence start committing suicide.
The East has also known times of richness, but fortunately the East has found a better substitute for suicide, and that is sannyas. When people became fed up, like Gautam Buddha - because he had all the luxuries possible, and how long can you go on repeating the same luxuries every day? By the age of twenty-nine he was finished with the world. He had experienced everything; there were no more possibilities in the world.
One dark night he escaped from his kingdom, his security, his safety. He dropped all that and became a beggar in search of something which would be eternally fresh, which would never become old, which would never become boredom. The search for the eternally fresh is the search of sannyas.
There is a source within you which is eternally fresh; it never becomes old, you can never get fed up with it. And when I am saying this, I am saying it from the same source. My words are coming from the same source. If you can taste them, if you can feel them, you may have some glimpse of a faraway land where everything goes on becoming new every moment, where dust does not gather on any mirror.
That world is within you.
But you are interested in a woman, and the woman is interested in you. The woman cannot find your eternal source of joy, neither can you find your eternal source of joy, because you are focused on the woman. We are all focused on others, and that which can give you a continuous joy is within you - but you never look within.
People are ready to go to Everest, people are ready to go to the moon, to Mars in search, but you don't know that even if you reach Everest you will look simply stupid. What will you do there? How long did Edmund Hillary remain on the top of Everest? Not more than two minutes. He risked his life - and hundreds of others had died before him, trying to reach the same peak. And as far as I can see, Edmund Hillary standing on the highest Himalayan peak in the world must have looked very embarrassed. It was good that there was no one to see him. After two minutes he was bored: Go back home.
What are you going to do on the moon? It is a strange situation... When the first Russian astronaut, Yuri Gagarin - who reached closest to the moon in the history of man - came back, he was asked by the journalists, "What was your first thought when you reached the moon?"
He said, "The first thought... I looked at the earth. It was looking so beautiful from there. It is eight times bigger than the moon, and from the moon it shines exactly as moon shines, but eight times more. The moon becomes just as ordinary as the earth."
It is only from far away that you catch the reflected rays of the sun. The moon has no light of its own; when you reach the moon, it is the most deserted, the ugliest spot possible, because there is no water, no greenery, no roses. Nothing happens there at all - it is just a desert, utterly dead.
"But from the moon," Yuri Gagarin said, "my first thought was, 'My beautiful earth...'" Strange, when you live on the earth, you don't bother about the earth. Yuri Gagarin had lived his whole life on the earth and he had never thought, "My beautiful earth..."
And the second thing he said was, "When I uttered to myself 'my beautiful earth,' I remembered that I am a communist and I belong to the Soviet Union. But from the moon the earth is no longer divided into the Soviet Union and Germany and Japan and America and India." All these stupid lines that we have created on the map don't exist on the earth. For the first time, from the moon, he felt one humanity, one earth - and so beautiful.
Yuri Gagarin was in India. I met him in New Delhi and I asked him, "Since you have been back to the earth, have you ever thought again, "How beautiful is my earth'?"
He looked at me shocked. He said, "Nobody has asked that question and I have never thought that about the earth again."
Man looks always to faraway things; he seems to be completely unaware of that which is obvious, that which is close.
You are the closest to you, that's why you go on missing it. And there is no way to take you away from yourself. Wherever we will take you, you will be - you cannot be separated from you. Hence you cannot say, "My beautiful being..." You will have to learn the art of entering into yourself. You will have to be more subjective than objective.
Subjectivity is the essence of mysticism. You will have to start looking inwards. That's what we call meditation; it is nothing but looking inwards, reaching to the point of your very life source. And once you have touched your very life source, there is no boredom, your life is a constant celebration.
Otherwise, Milarepa, whether you are man or woman, to be bored is going to be your destiny.
Becky Goldberg was becoming extremely upset and lonely, because all her husband, Hymie did all day and all night was watch television. So she went to the pet shop to find a companion.
"If you are looking for an unusual pet," said the shop owner, "this cage contains a giant goony bird, whose beak and claws are capable of destroying anything."
"How horrible," said Becky.
"Not at all," the man replied. "The goony bird is remarkably well-behaved, completely obedient. He will only destroy something if he is given the command, such as 'Goony bird, the chair,' or 'Goony bird, the table.' Then he will fly into action.'"
"Could he destroy a TV set?" asked Becky.
"Of course," said the man. "He will turn it into a pile of scrap in a matter of seconds".
So Becky bought the goony bird and took him home. Sure enough, Hymie was in front of the TV, so she opened the bird's cage.
Hymie looked up and said, "What sort of pet did you buy, dear?"
"I bought a goony bird," said Becky, preparing to give the command. Hymie went back to watching TV and said, "Goony bird, my ass!"