A quality which is immeasurable
HOW CAN I LOVE BETTER?
Indradhanu, love is enough unto itself. It needs no betterment. It is perfect as it is; it is not in any way to be more perfect. The very desire shows a misunderstanding about love and its nature. Can you have a perfect circle? All circles are perfect; if they are not perfect, they are not circles.
Perfection is intrinsic to a circle and the same is the law about love. You cannot love less, and you cannot love more - because it is not a quantity. It is a quality which is immeasurable.
Your very question shows that you have never tasted what love is, and you are trying to hide your lovelessness in a desire of, "how to love better." No-one who knows love can ask this question.
Love has to be understood, not as a biological infatuation - that is lust, that exists in all the animals; there is nothing special about it; it exists even in trees. It is nature's way of reproduction. There is nothing spiritual in it, and nothing specially human.
So the first thing is to make a clear-cut distinction between lust and love. Lust is a blind passion; love is the fragrance of a silent, peaceful, meditative heart. Love has nothing to do with biology or chemistry or hormones. Love is the flight of your consciousness to higher realms, beyond matter and beyond body. The moment you understand love as something transcendental, then love is no more a fundamental question.
The fundamental question is, how to transcend the body, how to know something within you which is beyond - beyond all that is measurable. That is the meaning of the word 'matter.' It comes from a Sanskrit root, matra, which means measurement; it means that which can be measured. The French word 'metre' comes from the same root.
The fundamental question is, how to get away from the measurable and how to enter into the immeasurable. In other words, how to go beyond matter and open your eyes towards more consciousness; and there is no limit to consciousness, the more you become conscious, the more you realize how much more is possible ahead. As you reach one peak, another peak arises in front of you. It is an eternal pilgrimage.
Love is a by-product of a rising consciousness. It is just like a fragrance of a flower. Don't search for it in the roots; it is not there. Your biology is your roots; your consciousness is your flowering.
As you become more and more an open lotus of consciousness, you will be surprised - taken aback - with a tremendous experience which can only be called love. You are so full of joy, so full of bliss, each fiber of your being is dancing with ecstasy. You are just like a rain cloud that wants to rain and shower. The moment you are overflowing with bliss, a tremendous longing arises in you, to share it.
That sharing is love.
Love is not something which you can have from someone who has not attained to blissfulness. And this is the misery of the whole world: everybody is asking to be loved, and pretending to love. You cannot love because you don't know what consciousness is. You don't know the satyam, the shivam, the sundram.
You don't know truth, you don't know the experience of the divine, and you don't know the fragrance of beauty. What have you got to give? You are so empty, you are so hollow.... Nothing grows in your being, nothing is green. There are no flowers within you. Your spring has not come yet.
Love is a by-product... when the spring comes and you suddenly start flowering, blossoming, and you release your potential fragrance. Sharing that fragrance, sharing that grace, sharing that beautitude is love.
And there is no question of making it better. It is already perfect; it is always perfect. If it is, it is perfect. If it is not perfect, it is not there. Perfection and love cannot be separated.
If you had asked me, Indradhanu, "What is love?" it would have been more truthful, honest, sincere, authentic. But you are asking me, "How can I love better?" You have already accepted as a fact that you know what love is - not only that, your question implies that you already love. Now the question is how to better it.
I don't want to hurt you, but I am helpless, I have to say the truth to you. You don't know what love is. You can't know because you have not yet gone deeper in your consciousness. You have not experienced yourself. You know nothing of who you are. In this blindness, in this ignorance, in this unconsciousness, love does not grow. This is a desert in which you are living. In this darkness, in this desert, there is no possibility of love blossoming.
First you have to be full of light, and full of delight - so full that you start overflowing. That overflowing energy is love. Then love is known as the greatest perfection in the world. It is never less, and never more.
But our very upbringing is so neurotic, so psychologically sick that it destroys all possibilities of inner growth. You are being taught from the very beginning to be a perfectionist, and then naturally you go on applying your perfectionist ideas to everything, even to love.
Just the other day I came across a statement:
A perfectionist is a person who takes great pains, and gives even greater pains to others.
And the outcome is just a miserable world.
Everybody is trying to be perfect. And the moment somebody starts trying to be perfect, he starts expecting everybody else to be perfect. He becomes a condemnor. He starts humiliating people.
That's what all your so-called saints have been doing down the ages. That's what your religions have done to you - poisoned your being with an idea of perfection.
Because you cannot be perfect, you start feeling guilty, you loose respect for yourself. And the man who has lost respect for himself has lost all the dignity of being human. Your pride has been crushed, your humanity has been destroyed by beautiful words like perfection.
Man cannot be perfect.
Yes, there is something which man can experience, but which is beyond the ordinary conception of man. Unless man also experiences something of the divine, he cannot know perfection.
Perfection is not something like a discipline; it is not something that you can practice. It is not something for which you have to go through rehearsals. But that is what is being taught to everybody, and the result is a world full of hypocrites, who know perfectly well that they are hollow and empty, but they go on pretending all kinds of qualities which are nothing but empty words.
When you say to someone, "I love you," have you ever thought what you mean? Is it just biological infatuation between the two sexes? Then once you have satisfied your animal appetite all so-called love will disappear. It was just a hunger and you have fulfilled your hunger and you are finished. The same woman who was looking the most beautiful in the world, the same man who was looking like Alexander the Great - you start thinking how to get rid of this fellow.
It will be very enlightening for you, Indradhanu, to understand this letter written by Paddy to his beloved Maureen:
My darling Maureen, I met you last night but you did not show up. Next time I will meet you again whether you show up or not. If I am there first, I will write my name on the gatepost to let you know. And if it is you that is first, rub out my name and nobody will be any the wiser.
Darling Maureen, I would climb the highest mountain for your sake, and swim the wildest sea. I would endure any hardships to spend a moment by your side.
Your ever-loving, Paddy.
P.S. I'll be over to see you on Friday night if it is not raining.
The moment you say to someone "I love you," you don't know what you are saying. You don't know that it is just lust hiding behind a beautiful word, love. It will disappear. It is very momentary.
Love is something eternal. It is the experience of the buddhas, not the unconscious people of whom the whole world is full. Only very few people have known what love is, and these same people are the most awakened, the most enlightened, the highest peaks of human consciousness.
If you really want to know love, forget about love and remember meditation. If you want to bring roses into your garden, forget about roses, and take care of the rosebush. Give nourishment to it, water it, take care that it gets the right amount of sun, water. If everything is taken care of, in the right time the roses are destined to come. You cannot bring them earlier, you cannot force them to open up sooner, and you cannot ask a roseflower to be more perfect.
Have you ever seen a roseflower which is not perfect? What more do you want? Every roseflower in its uniqueness is perfect. Dancing in the wind, in the rain, in the sun... can't you see the tremendous beauty, the absolute joy? A small ordinary roseflower radiates the hidden splendor of existence.
Love is a roseflower in your being. But prepare your being; dispel the darkness and the unconsciousness. Become more and more alert and aware and love will come on its own accord, in its own time. You need not worry about it. And whenever it comes it is always perfect.
Love is a spiritual experience - nothing to do with sexes and nothing to do with bodies, but something to do with the innermost being.
But you have not even entered into your own temple. You don't know at all who you are, and you are asking about love. First, be thyself; first, know thyself, and love will come as a reward. It is a reward from the beyond. It showers on you like flowers... fills your being. And it goes on showering on you, and it brings with it a tremendous longing to share.
In human language that sharing can only be indicated as 'love'. It does not say much, but it indicates the right direction. Love is a shadow of alertness, of consciousness.
I teach you to be more conscious, and love will come as you become more conscious. It is a guest that comes, that comes inevitably to those who are ready and prepared to receive it. You are not even ready to recognize it....
If love comes to your door, you will not recognize it. If love knocks on your doors, you may find a thousand and one excuses; you may think perhaps it is some strong wind, or some other excuse.
You will not open the doors. And even if you open the doors you will not recognize love because you have never seen love before; how can you recognize it?
You can recognize only something which you know. When love comes for the first time and fills your being you are absolutely overwhelmed and mystified. You don't know what is happening. You know your heart is dancing, you know you are surrounded by celestial music, you know fragrances that you have never known before. But it takes a little time to put all these experiences together and to remember that perhaps this is what love is. Slowly, slowly it sinks into your being.
Love is not to be found in poetry. My own experience is that the people who write poetry about love are the people who do not know love. I am personally acquainted with great poets who have written beautiful poetry about love, and I know they have never experienced love. In fact their poems are just substitutes, consolations. By writing about love they are deceiving themselves and others that they know love.
Only mystics know love. Other than mystics there is no category of human beings which has ever experienced love. Love is absolutely the monopoly of the mystic. If you want to know love you will have to enter into the world of the mystic.
Jesus says "God is love." He has been part of a mystery school, the Essenes, an ancient school of mystics. But perhaps he did not graduate from the mystery school, because what he is saying is just not right. God is not love, love is God - and the difference is tremendous; it is not just a change of words.
The moment you say God is love you are simply saying that love is only an attribute of God. He is also wisdom, he is also compassion, he is also forgiveness. He can be millions of things besides love; love is only one of the attributes of God. And in fact, even to make it a small attribute of God is very irrational and illogical, because if God is love then he cannot be just; if God is love then he cannot be cruel enough to throw sinners into eternal hell. If God is love then God cannot be the law.
One great Sufi mystic, Omar Khayyam, shows more understanding than Jesus when he says, "I will go on just being myself. I am not going to take any notice of the priests and the preachers because I trust that God's love is great enough; I cannot commit a sin which can be greater than his love.
So why be worried? - our hands are small and our sins are small. Our reach is small; how can we commit sins which God's love cannot forgive? If God is love then he cannot be present on the last judgment day to sort out the saints and throw the remaining millions and millions of people into hell for eternity."
The teachings of the Essenes were just the opposite; Jesus quotes them wrongly. Perhaps he was not very deeply rooted in their teachings. Their teaching was "Love is God." That is such a tremendous difference. Now God becomes only an attribute of love; now God becomes only a quality of the tremendous experience of love. Now God is no more a person but only an experience of those who have known love. Now God becomes secondary to love. And I say unto you, the Essenes were right.
Love is the ultimate value, the final flowering.
There is nothing beyond it.
Hence, you cannot perfect it.
In fact, before you attain to it you will have to disappear. When love will be there you will not be there.
A great Eastern mystic, Kabir, has a very significant statement - a statement that can be made only by one who has experienced, who has realized, who has entered into the inner sanctum of ultimate reality. The statement is, "I had been searching for truth, but it is strange to say that as long as the searcher was there, truth was not found. And when the truth was found, I looked all around... I was absent. When the truth was found, the seeker was no more; and when the seeker was, truth was nowhere."
Truth and the seeker cannot exist together.
You and love cannot exist together.
There is no coexistence possible: Either you or love, Indradhanu, you can choose. If you are ready to disappear, melt and merge, leaving only a pure consciousness behind, love will blossom. You cannot perfect it because you will not be present. And it does not need perfection in the first place.
It comes always as perfect. But love is one of those words which everybody uses and nobody understands. Parents are telling their children, "We love you" - and they are the people who destroy their children. They are the people who give their children all kinds of prejudices, all kinds of dead superstitions. They are the people who burden their children with the whole load of rubbish that generations have been carrying and each generation goes on transferring it to another generation.
The madness goes on... becoming mountainous.
Yet all parents think they love their children. If they really loved their children, they would not like their children to be their images, because they are just miserable and nothing else. What is their experience of life? Pure misery, suffering... life has been not a blessing to them, but a curse. And still they want their children to be just like themselves.
I was a guest in a family. I was sitting in their garden in the evening. The sun was setting and it was a beautiful, silent evening. The birds were returning back to the trees, and the small child of the family was sitting by my side. I just asked him, "Do you know who you are?"
And children are more clear, more perceptive than the grownups, because the grownups are already spoiled, corrupted, polluted, with all kinds of ideologies, religions. That small child looked at me and he said, "You are asking me a very difficult question."
I said, "What is the difficulty in it?"
He said, "The difficulty is that I am the only child of my parents, and as long as I can remember, whenever some guests come, somebody says my eyes look like my father's, somebody says my nose looks like my mother's, somebody says my face looks like my uncle's, so I don't know who I am, because nobody says anything looks like me."
I said, "This is really difficult."
But this is what is being done to every child. You don't leave the child alone to experience himself, and you don't leave the child to become himself. You go on loading on the child your own unfulfilled ambitions.
My personal physician is Dr. Amrito. His father was also a well-known physician. His father has left in his will a strange condition; Amrito will be able to get his heritage if he fulfills the condition. The condition is that the day he is accepted by the Royal College of Physicians as a fellow of the society, he will be able to get the money from the bank. If he never becomes a fellow, if he is not accepted by the Royal College of Physicians, which is the most significant fellowship in the whole world as far as physicians are concerned...
When I came to know about it, I could see the incomplete ambition of the poor father. He would have longed his whole life to become a fellow of this royal society. Now he is burdening his son with his ambition. He will be gone, but still he wants his ambition to be fulfilled. And if the son cannot fulfill the condition he will be left as a beggar on the streets, he will not be able to inherit his father's lifelong savings. And he is the only son... the money will rot in the bank, but he cannot get it.
Fortunately he managed, and managed far better than the father would ever have dreamt of. He became - he was accepted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the youngest in their whole history. People are accepted when they become old, experienced, when they have written many books and papers and done many researches and contributed much. Amrito did everything very quickly. He was the youngest fellow of the royal society.
Every parent is wanting that his child should be his image. But a child has a destiny of his own; if he becomes your image he will never become himself. And without becoming yourself, you will never feel contentment, you will never feel at ease with existence. You will always be in a condition of missing something.
Your parents love you, and they also tell you that you have to love them because they are your fathers, they are your mothers. It is a strange phenomenon and nobody seems to be aware of it:
just because you are a mother does not mean that the child has to love you. You have to be lovable; your being a mother is not enough. You may be a father, but that does not mean that automatically you become lovable. Just because you are a father does not create a tremendous feeling of love in the child.
But it is expected... and the poor child does not know what to do. He starts pretending; that's the only possible way. He starts smiling when there is no smile in his heart; he starts showing love, respect, gratitude - and all are just false. He becomes an actor, a hypocrite from the very beginning, a politician. We are all living in this world where parents, teachers, priests - everybody has corrupted you, displaced you, has taken away from yourself.
My effort here, Indradhanu, is to give your center back to you. I call this centering, meditation. I want you simply to be yourself, with a great self-respect, with the dignity of knowing that existence needed you - and then you can start searching for yourself. First come to the center, and then start searching for who you are.
Knowing one's original face is the beginning of a life of love, of a life of celebration. You will be able to give so much love because it is not something that is exhaustible - because it is immeasurable, it cannot be exhausted. And the more you give it, the more you become capable of giving it.
The greatest experience in life is when you simply give without any conditions, without any expectations of even a simple "Thank you." On the contrary, a real, authentic love feels obliged to the person who has accepted his love. He could have rejected it.
When you start giving love with a deep sense of gratitude to all those who accept it, you will be surprised that you have become an emperor - no longer a beggar asking for love with a begging bowl, knocking on every door. And those people on whose doors you are knocking cannot give you love; they are themselves beggars.
I have heard about two great astrologers...
Every morning they used to meet on a certain crossroad. From there their paths separated; they practiced in different parts of the city. But it was almost a daily ritual, meeting on the crossroad before departing towards their sections of the city. They used to show their hands to each other asking "What is my destiny today?"
They were great astrologers - they were telling people their destinies, and they did not know their own destinies, for which they had to consult another astrologer, who was consulting them! They each read the lines of the other and predicted.
Beggars are asking each other for love, and feel frustrated, angry, because the love is not coming.
But this is bound to happen. Love belongs to the world of emperors, not of beggars. And a man is an emperor when he is so full of love that he can give it without any conditions.
Then comes an even greater surprise: when you start giving your love to anybody, even to strangers - the question is not to whom you are giving it, just the very joy of giving is so much that who cares who is on the receiving end? When this space comes into your being, you go on giving to each and everybody - not only to human beings but to animals, to the trees, to the faraway stars - because love is something that can be transferred even to the farthest star just by your loving look. Just by your touch, love can can be transferred to a tree. Without saying a single word... it can be conveyed in absolute silence.
And when I am saying it, I am not only saying it. I am a living example of whatever I am saying to you. Can't you feel my love?... although I have never said it to you. It need not be said, it declares itself. It has its own ways of reaching into the very depths, into your being.
Indradhanu, first be full of love, then the sharing happens. And then the great surprise... that as you give, you start receiving from unknown sources, from unknown corners, from unknown people, from trees, from rivers, from mountains. From all nooks and corners of existence love starts showering on you. The more you give, the more you get. Life becomes a sheer dance of love.
To me, this is the state of enlightenment, pure love. And except pure love, there is no God.
COULD YOU TELL ME IF YOU ARE CRUCIFYING ME, OR BURNING ME?
Jayesh, just now I have been talking about love. Your question opens another dimension of love.
There is a cross on which a man like Jesus was crucified; it is of destruction and death, hate, violence and anger. It does not create anything, it only destroys. It is ugly.
But there is also another cross, the cross of love. It destroys in you all that is false, and it resurrects in you all that is authentic, all that is true. It kills you on one hand, and it revives you on the other hand. It kills only that which you are not, but you have been identifying yourself with it. It destroys your false identity, your personality, your hypocrisy.
And as your falseness is destroyed, your truth shines forth - radiates with tremendous beauty. The ancient seers of the East have called the master a death and a resurrection. The disciple goes through the being of the master; all that is false will be burned, and all that is true will come out in its immense glory and splendor, freed from all chains and bondages, in absolute beauty, freedom, grace and eternal joy.
Jayesh, I am certainly crucifying you - but this is the you that you are not. Every creator has to destroy to create. Just see a master sculptor...
I am reminded of a very beautiful story about Michelangelo. He was passing through the market where marble rocks were sold, and in front of the greatest shop he saw lying on the other side of the road a huge marble rock. He asked the shopkeeper, "How much will it cost for me to take that rock?"
The shopkeeper said, "It has been lying there for almost a decade. Nobody seems to have any interest in it; you are the first man in these ten years who has even inquired about it. I will give it to you for free. You just take it away; it is unnecessarily taking up my space. It is so ugly and so strange that I don't think you can make anything out of it."
The sculptor took it, and after three years he came back to the shop and invited the owner to see something that he had made. He had made a beautiful statue of Jesus with his mother, when Jesus was brought down from the cross. He is lying almost dead, bleeding, unconscious, in the lap of his mother.
Just a few years ago the statue was destroyed by a madman. It was thought to be one of the greatest pieces of art, and the madman destroyed it, and told the court, "I have destroyed it deliberately to become world famous." He became world famous; his picture was all over in all the magazines and papers. His name suddenly became world known.
But in this beautiful statue - I have seen a picture of it - Jesus looks so beautiful, and his mother with tears in her eyes...
The statue looks so alive that it seems Jesus is going to stand up. It is one of the most mysterious creations of man.
The owner of the shop could not believe it when the sculptor said, "It is from the same rock that you have given me for free.
The shopkeeper asked him, "But how could you even dream that that ugly rock could be transformed into such a beautiful piece?"
The sculptor said, "I had not dreamt about it. In fact, as I was passing by the side of the rock, Jesus called, 'I am encaged in this rock, help me to be freed' - and all that I have done is not to create Jesus and Mary, I have simply taken away the unnecessary parts of the rock. My work has been only of eliminating the false, the unnecessary, and what has remained is God's grace."
The function of the master is the same - to take away all that is false in you. And the real, the true and the authentic will be revealed the moment the false is taken away. The master never gives you anything; he only takes away the false, and the truth is already there. Just the unnecessary has to be eliminated.
Yes, Jayesh, I am crucifying you so that you can have a resurrection. But my cross is that of love; it is not to kill you. In fact you are dead as you are. It is to give you a taste of eternal life. It is to revive you, it is to call you from your grave to come out. Yes, in the beginning it looks like crucifixion, but it is really part of the process of resurrection.
Your question is significant. And you are asking me also, "Could you tell me if you are crucifying me or burning me?"
As far as burning is concerned...
Just the other day, a woman came from England. Her sister was a sannyasin. Almost ten years ago, in an accident - and it was her own fault - she burned herself. We tried everything that was possible here and when we saw that in India perhaps she would not be able to recover - all her skin had been burned - I sent one of our doctors to take the girl back to England where better and more up-to-date facilities are available.
He took her to England. We arranged all the expenses for her traveling, for her medical care in England, but she could not be cured. She died. And after ten years this woman comes, very angry, saying "We cannot forget it ever. My mother is still angry... I am angry that you killed my sister."
Amrito said, "This is strange. It was her own fault she got burned. We managed every expense here, and seeing that perhaps she needs better facilities, more up-to-date technology, we took her to England. We made every arrangement... Accidents can happen anywhere."
When I heard this I said, "These people seem to be absolutely stupid. They don't know anything about India."
Here, everybody finally gets burned! There is of course one alternative: you can get burned and then you can die, or you can die first and then you can be burned. The choice is yours! Most people choose the second - it is just a question of liking - but everybody here in this country has to be burned finally.
So if you are asking about burning, it will happen - but not right now, Jayesh; there is much more for you to do. And as far as you are concerned, burning is not your problem; it is the problem of other sannyasins. You will be dead - unless you choose the other alternative.
You are too young yet to think about such things. I will give you a few maxims to think over instead:
"The saints are the sinners who keep on trying."
Meditate over it....
"Take a risk. Even a turtle gets nowhere until he sticks his neck out."
"A man does not need twenty-twenty eyesight to appreciate a thirty-six, twenty-four, thirty-six vision."
"Nothing wrong ever happens at the right time."
"Save your money" - it is particularly significant for Jayesh, because he is my treasurer - "Save your money; you never know when your friends will need it.
Jayesh is a busy man, extremely busy, hence a special maxim for him:
"A busy man is usually a happy man, unless he is busy scratching."
"Never judge a woman's feet by the shape of her shoes."
"Success is when you have your name in everything except the phone book."
"Salesmanship is the difference between rape and rapture."
"Whiskey may not cure a cold, but no remedy fails with such satisfaction."
"Not all philosophers are married men, but all married men become philosophers."
Jayesh, this is not the time for you to be burned, this is the time to have a good time.
The priest, traveling on a first class sleeper train, had a double compartment all to himself. Having just finished his dinner in the dining car, he returned to his compartment, but was shocked to find two scantily-dressed, sexy-looking girls inside.
He immediately cried out, "You girls are in the wrong compartment. I'm a respectable man, the pillar of my community, and there has never, ever been the smallest whiff of scandal about me in my whole life. So," the priest continued, pulling himself up to his full height, "one of you girls will have to go!"
Jayesh, when the burning will come, it will come. We will celebrate it - it is a promise. Meanwhile, enjoy life as much as you can. It is none of your business to worry about things which are going to happen after your death.
Life is so precious, not a single moment has to be wasted in thinking what will happen after death. Here in India, it is certain, burning will happen. So you can be absolutely unworried and unconcerned. You will not be the one who will have to take care of the burning, and you will not be the one who will be burned on the funeral pyre. You will be a witness standing in the crowd of the celebrant sannyasins. The only difference will be - that you will not be visible anymore.
But that is not a misfortune. Just think of the great adventures when you become invisible!