This Mountain Echo

Fri, 27 April 1978 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Take It Easy, Vol 2
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
Short Title:
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A parable:

A KING WANTED TO PICK THE WISEST MAN among his subjects to be his prime minister.

When the search finally narrowed down to three men, he decided to put them to the supreme test.

Accordingly, he placed them in a room in his palace, and installed a lock which was the last word in mechanical ingenuity. The candidates were informed that whoever was able to open the door first would be appointed to the post of honour.

The three men immediately set themselves to the task. Two of them at once began to work out complicated mathematical formulas to discover the proper lock-combination. The third man, however, just sat in his chair doing nothing. Finally, without bothering to put pen to paper, he got up, walked to the door, turned the knob, and the door opened. It had been unlocked all the time!

THIS IS THE SITUATION. Nothing is locked, the door is open. And people are pondering upon ways and means to unlock the lock. People are trying different methodologies, practising a thousand and one things, to get out. And in fact they ARE out. Unless they stop this thinking business they will not know the truth of the situation.

Man is not in bondage, only thinks so. Because he thinks so, he is in bondage. There is no difference between a Buddha and an ordinary man. But the ordinary man thinks there is a difference - then there is.

You create your prisons, your locks. And then you try to find out the ways to get out of them.

Buddhism cuts the knot with one stroke. Buddhism says: There is no lock, no knot to cut. That's what I mean when I say Buddhism cuts the knot with one stroke of the sword. There is nowhere to go, nothing to be done. You are already there, and you are already that: just open your eyes. Think of those two great thinkers - they must have been mathematicians, they must have been engineers - naturally they inferred that the lock must be of great mechanical ingenuity and they had to find the proper combination. They started working.

Now, they can go on working for eternity - do you think they will ever find a solution? There is no possibility of any solution, because the problem does not exist in the first place.

In fact they will get more and more entangled. They will get more and more entangled - not in the problem, because there is no problem, but in the answers that they will invent.

That's where people are stuck. Somebody is a Hindu, he is stuck with HIS answer. Somebody is a Christian, he is stuck with HIS answer. People are stuck in philosophies, and no philosophy is needed. Life is enough unto itself. It needs no elaboration, it needs no explanation, it needs no analysis.

But if you become part of an analytic game then it can go on and on for ever. One thing will lead to another, and that to another, and you are in a chain. And because the problem will never be solved, because there is no problem to be solved, you will have to go on looking for the answers.

Buddhism brings you down to the earth. It says: First look to see whether the lock is locked, whether there is any lock on the door.

There is none. The door is open.

How can there be a lock on the door of existence? We are part of it - who is going to lock it? for what? Who is going to create the problem? and for what? We ARE existence: we are in it, it is in us. Seeing this, one relaxes. In that relaxation, the vision arises.

That's what happened to the third man. He was not pondering, thinking, analyzing, inventing, inferring. He simply sat there in the chair doing nothing. That's what meditation is all about.

The English word "meditation" is not a right word, because in English "meditation" also means "to think about, to meditate upon". English has no right word for DHYANA to be translated, because DHYANA exactly means "NOT to meditate upon", DHYANA exactly means "NOT to think upon". DHYANA means not to do anything, just relax and be.

When you are just silent and doing nothing, your perspective is infinite, your perception is clear, you can see through and through. Sitting silently in the chair doing nothing, the man could see that there was no lock on the door. He simply went up, turned the knob and went out.

This is my experience too. This parable is not just a parable, not an invented parable. It is the parable of all the Buddhas: this is how it is. This is not just an invented story; it is the condensed experience, the most essential experience of all the Buddhas - that there is no lock on the door. You just sit silently, attain to a state of SEEING, of purity, of no thought disturbing, of no cloud of thought moving around your consciousness - just the clean mirror with no dust of thought - and suddenly you will be able to see that there is no lock, no door, no enemy, no death, no birth. And you are not to go anywhere and you are not to become somebody.

You are perfect as you are. You are already in that space called paradise. Start enjoying it, DON'T make a problem out of it. The moment you create a problem out of it, you stop enjoying. How can you enjoy unless you solve the problem. And one problem creates ten problems... ad nauseam.

Cut the first problem! Life is not a problem. Buddha says: Life is simple.

I have heard:

A king went into his garden and found wilted and dying trees, shrubs and flowers. The oak said it was dying because it could not be tall like the pine. Turning to the pine, he found it drooping because it was unable to bear grapes like the vine. And the vine was dying because it could not blossom like the rose. He found heartsease blooming and as fresh as ever. Upon inquiry, he received this reply:

"I took it for granted that when you planted me you wanted heartsease. If you had desired an oak, a vine or a rose, you would have planted them. So I thought, since you had put me here, I should do the best I can to be what you want. I can be nothing but what I am, and I am trying to be that to the best of my ability."

The heartsease is saying what Buddha has said. You are here because this existence needs you as you are. Otherwise somebody else would have been here! - the existence would not have helped you to be here, would not have created you. You are fulfilling something very essential, something very fundamental, AS YOU ARE.

And your so-called mahatmas go on teaching you, "Become a Buddha, become a Christ, become a Krishna." Nobody tells you just to be yourself. Why should you become a Buddha? If God wanted a Buddha he could have produced as many Buddhas as he wanted. He produced only one Buddha, and that was enough. And he was satisfied to his heart's desire, utterly satisfied. Since then he has not produced another Buddha or another Christ. He has created you instead. Just think of the respect that the universe has given to you. You have been chosen! - not Buddha, not Christ, not Krishna.

You will be needed more, that's why. YOU fit more now. Their work is done, they contributed their fragrance to existence. Now you have to contribute YOUR fragrance.

But the moralists, the puritans, the priests, they go on teaching you, they go on driving you crazy.

They say to the rose, "Become a lotus." And they say to the lotus, "What are you doing here?

You have to become something else." They drive the whole garden crazy, everything starts dying - because nobody can be anybody else, that is not possible. The rose is a rose and the lotus is a lotus. And the lotus is good as a lotus, it can live only as a lotus. If it tries to be a rose it will die, it will become paralyzed - that is not possible because that is not intrinsic to it; that cannot arise.

And if the lotus really becomes a victim of the priests and starts trying to be a rose, or the rose tries to be a lotus, what is going to happen? The lotus will become pseudo; as a lotus it will start dying, and as a rose it will pretend.

That's what has happened to humanity. Everybody is pretending. Authenticity is lost, truth is lost, everybody is trying to show that he is somebody else. Just look at yourself: you are pretending to be somebody else. And you can be only yourself - there is no other way, there has never been, there is no possibility that you can be anybody else. You will remain yourself. You can enjoy it and bloom, or you can wither away if you condemn it. Humanity looks so ugly, for this simple reason.

A matchmaker was asked by a young artist to find him a suitable mate. "I know just the girl for a creative man like you!" cried the marriage-broker.

The next day the matchmaker brought the girl to the artist's house. The young man was shocked with her appearance and at the first opportunity he drew the broker aside.

"What kind of a monster do you call that?" he hissed.

"One eye slanted up, the other down; the left ear way up here, the right ear way down there; the forehead sloped back like a..."

"Look, you're an artist," interrupted the matchmaker. "You should know better than anyone else - you either like Picasso or you DON'T!"

And every man on this earth has become a Picasso, a perversion. Beauty is lost - because beauty always follows integrity, beauty is a shadow of an integrated presence. You are disintegrated, you are divided against yourself. You are a rose and trying to be a lotus, a marigold trying to be a rose, an oak trying to be a pine. You are divided, you are fighting with yourself.

This fight is destroying your joy, this fight is dissipating your energies, this fight is suicidal. DON'T kill yourself any more! Just drop fighting, and start living. This very moment it can be dropped.

But why can you not drop it? Why are these priests really so influential? There must be some reason in you too. The reason is that their idea that you should become this and that, helps your ego. If you listen to the Buddha or if you listen to me, it will not help your ego at all. Then you are simply what you are: relax and live. Then you are ordinary. Then how are you going to be somebody special?

And the ego hankers for speciality, the ego is always trying to be somebody in PARTICULAR. And these Zen people say: Eat when you are hungry. And this looks so ordinary. And the priests say:

Fast when you are hungry. That looks special, that looks extraordinary - something to do, something to be. When everybody is just an ordinary eater, you are fasting. It gives you a haughtiness, it gives you a great feeling of the ego: you are special, you are not ordinary.

When everybody is enjoying, the priests say, "Live with a long face, only then can you attain to God."

That appeals to you. When everybody is dancing, singing - and that's what life is, a dance and a song - the priests say, "Go to the Himalayas and sit silently in a cave with closed eyes watching your navel." That appeals.

Just watch! You are attracted by things which are outlandish, unnatural - because only outlandish and unnatural things, bizarre things, can give you the feeling that you are special. And trying to be special, you will never be able to know what is. You will be so much concerned with being special and somebody, you will not be able to live and love and to see and to understand and to be.

The famous sage seemed to be fast asleep. Nearby sat some of his followers. They carried on a whispered conversation about the sage's unparalleled virtues.

"What generosity!" exclaimed one. "There isn't another one like him in all the land."

"And his piety is without limit!" exclaimed a second.

"And his education!" cried a third. "He's a real genius."

"And his patience! He never gets excited."

They fell silent for a minute. Whereupon the sage slowly opened one eye and said, "And my modesty you DON'T even mention!"

This is how things are, everybody wants to be special. All the nonsense that goes on in the name of religion and spirituality is nothing but ego decoration.

A really religious man is bound to be very ordinary. This is the refrain of Ikkyu's sutras today.





A GREAT STATEMENT. A rare statement. only a man who knows can say such a thing. It can't be uttered by the pundits and the scholars, it can be said only by a seer. It has the taste that one has known, that one has lived, that one has experienced. It is a rebellious statement. Just think of its implications: "Whatever runs counter to the mind and will of ordinary people is against the Law of Buddha." So whatsoever is in tune with the ordinary mind, with the ordinary people, is in tune with the Law of Buddha.

See the immensity of the implications. DON'T try to be special - because the only way to be special is to run counter to the ordinary man. If the ordinary man is interested in sex, you be interested in celibacy - run counter. If the ordinary man is interested in eating and drinking and merrying, you drop all those. If the ordinary man is interested in small things, you simply remain interested in great things - God, nirvana, moksha, truth. If the ordinary man lives in the marketplace, you go to a monastery.

Just do the REVERSE, that is the only way to be special. If the ordinary man simply stands on his feet, you stand on your head, do SIRSHASANA. If the ordinary man feels good to lie down in a comfortable bed, you make a bed of thorns. If the ordinary man wants his body to be beautiful, you make your body ugly, you destroy its grace. If the ordinary man is doing something, then just to be counter to it, just to be against it, is your religion. And that's what religion is not feasting but fasting.

That's what religion has become.

But this is not the true religion - not the religion of the Buddhas, of those who know. Ikkyu is saying:





What is the Law of Men and the Law of Buddha? What is Tao, what is Dhamma? To be just natural, easy. To be that which you are, with no hankering to be somebody else. Just see the point: great joy arises then. Of course nobody will know you, nobody will know that you are a great historical person. Nobody will know that you are of those few people who make or mar history. Nobody may ever know about you - not even your wife may know, or your husband or your children - because you will be simple and you will be living your life naturally.

Who knows about a rosebush that blooms? Nobody takes note of it in history. Nobody will take note of you either, but there is no need. History is the concern of the foolish people, fame is the concern of the foolish people, name is the concern of the foolish people.

The really wise person is not interested in fame, name, etcetera. He simply lives the moment:

Sometimes he becomes famous, but that is another matter. Buddha became famous but he was not trying to; there was no desire. If he becomes, it is okay; if he does not become, it is okay. It is all okay, it is ALWAYS okay. His flavour is that of okayness, everything is okay.

Enjoy your food, enjoy your bath, enjoy the sun, enjoy the wind and the rains, and enjoy everything that is available to you. And just remain whosoever you are - true to yourself, creating no hypocrisy, creating no pretension, creating no facade, no face. And utter joy will be yours, God will be yours.

God comes only to those who are in an utter relaxation with their being. And the person who longs for something cannot be relaxed, because that longing creates tension.



Just see the ordinary people. But it is very difficult to find ordinary people, very difficult, because everybody has become extraordinary. It is very difficult to find a sane person, because everybody has become insane. Centuries of priests, mahatmas and saints have driven everybody out of his soul, out of his home.

There are only neurotic people on the earth. Friedrich Nietzsche is reported to have said that everybody is neurotic - and if you think you are not, then that must be another kind of neurosis. But everybody is neurotic.

What is neurosis? Not being happy with yourself is neurosis, not being contented with yourself is neurosis. And then you get into turmoil and trouble. Then you lose all peace of mind, all joy of life.

Then you exist in anguish, then you create hell for yourself.

Become ordinary. That's my teaching too, if it can be called a teaching - because up to now, teachings have been to drive you towards some extraordinary goal. But if you ask the awakened, they have always been saying: Just be ordinary. DON'T strive. Live effortlessly, live in a let-go. And then nature takes possession of you. Your life becomes spontaneous, you live moment-to-moment - with no ideology to follow, with no conclusions. You live without conclusions; each moment brings its own reality and you respond to it. And you respond out of your total being - every cell of your body and mind and soul is involved in it.

Then you never repent - because how can you repent? You responded totally, so whatsoever happens is okay, because nothing else was possible. You had done ALL - you responded totally, you took the challenge. You can't repent if you live spontaneously. The people who repent are the people who live through conclusions. Then one mind says "Do this", another mind says "Do that"

- because they have heard so many mahatmas and they have read so many books and they have listened to so many ideologies and so many teachers, and all those things are roaming around their minds, trying to impose themselves on the mind.

You choose one thing against something else. If you fail, then that something else which you had denied will take revenge with a vengeance. It will come back to the mind and will make you repent.

It will say, "I have been telling you, choose me. And you were a fool to have chosen the other. Now remember in future." And you take a vow: "Then now I will listen to you." You repent.

But you have not understood yet. Repentance will always come if your decision is partial. And no decision lived out of conclusions can ever be total, because the conclusion has been carried from the past, and the situation is new - how can it fit totally? You have to respond again out of your newness of this moment, then the response is total. And total response is joy - whether it fails or succeeds, is irrelevant. In its totality it has succeeded already, and there will be no repentance.

Walt Whitman says, "Only what nobody denies is true." Just listen to your innermost core, your ordinary nature, and you will know what truth is. The Christian denies the Hindu, the Hindu denies the Mohammedan, the Mohammedan denies the Christian, and they go on fighting and arguing. But look at the ordinary natural man, he is neither Christian nor Hindu. When he feels hungry he eats - and that is true for a Christian and that is true for a Hindu and that is true for a Mohammedan.

Nobody denies it: this is truth.

When you feel tired you fall asleep - nobody denies it. This is truth. Truth is simple. Theories are complex and complicated. Theoreticians go on arguing, truth remains unargued.

DON'T listen to what people say, listen to what they are. And you will be surprised - there is no difference between a Hindu and a Mohammedan and a Christian and a Jew, no difference at all.

They go to different churches, obviously, and they read different books, certainly - but look into their nature. When it is hot the Hindu perspires as much as the Mohammedan; that is natural. The Mohammedan cannot say, "I am not a Hindu, and Hindus are perspiring. I cannot perspire, not at least now; that will be agreeing with the Hindus." When it is cold the body shivers - the body knows not whether it is a Christian or a Jew or a Jain; it shivers. Just watch natural things, look into nature.

And slowly slowly, you will understand Dhamma - the real religion, the Law of Buddhas.

Ikkyu says:



That too is tremendously important. He makes it equivalent - the Law of Men and the Law of Buddha are not two different things. For Ikkyu there is no other world, this is the only world, and the other world is hidden in it: you have to search in it to find it. You are not to renounce it - renouncing it, both will be renounced.

Zen people have a tremendous saying: "Samsara is nirvana". This world is that world, and there is no distinction between this and that, and that is not higher and this is not lower. The Law of Men and the Law of Buddha are the same law, looked at from different angles. It may be difficult for you to understand the Law of Buddha but you can understand the Law of Men - and follow that law, fall in tune with it.

Just live for a few days naturally. And you will be surprised that all that you have been thinking is far away starts happening so close by. You will be surprised that the God that you used to think is very very far away and will take millions of lives to reach, starts happening to you in your breathing, in the beat of your heart. God starts pulsating in your blood. He is already pulsating there, but you are far away - you DON'T give any attention to the close-by.

Nature means that which is here. Fall in tune with it. Never listen to anything that creates a dichotomy between you and nature: let this be a deciding factor, a criterion. Always judge things on this criterion, this is a touchstone. If something is proved on this touchstone then it is gold - otherwise throw it. If anybody is trying to tell you to become unnatural, avoid him! His appeal is to your ego, and he is driving you neurotic and he must have some investment in your neurosis.

There are people who live on people's neuroses, there are people who live on other people's madnesses. The priest lives on that, he has lived down the ages on that - a subtle exploitation of the helplessness of man. And he makes man more and more helpless, because he knows that only if man is helpless is he then in HIS power.

Avoid anything that makes you afraid of your nature, avoid each and everything that makes you condemn your nature - because the Law of Men is the Law of Buddha. And if you can read the book of nature inside you, you have all the Bibles and all the Korans and all the Vedas there; you need not consult anything else, your real master is there. And the real master always throws you there.

That's what Ikkyu is doing.

The truth of human beings is the only truth there is. By finding that truth, you will know the truth of the trees and the rocks and the rivers too - because there are not many truths, there is only one truth. But that truth can be approached only through nature. There is no way to approach it by being unnatural, artificial, plastic.

A snob walked into a doctor's office and said, "Doctor, I feel terrible. I want you to give me a thorough examination and tell me what is wrong with me."

"Fine," said the doctor. "But first let me ask you a few questions. Do you drink much liquor?"

"I have never touched the vile stuff," the man replied indignantly.

"Do you smoke?" the doctor continued his inquiry.

"I have never touched the filthy weed."

"Do you run around much at night?"

"Of course not! I am in bed every night by ten o'clock for a good night's rest."

"Tell me," the doctor continued, "do you have sharp pains in the head?"

"That's just it!" the snob replied. "I have sharp pains in the head."

"That's the trouble, my dear man," the doctor advised. "Your halo is on too tight!"

Avoid these people with tight halos, avoid the people who have the look of holier-than-thou. They are the poisoners, they are the real enemies. But they are very influential - and their influence consists in giving you new props for your ego. If you can avoid anything that makes you unnatural, sooner or later you are bound to stumble upon the truth: the door is open! But these people are telling you complex theories about the lock and how to find the right combination. And they are arguing amongst themselves, because each thinks that he has found the right combination.

Nobody has opened the door, they are all inside - but arguing, convincing each other, converting each other. The foolishness of it... A Christian missionary converting Hindus into Christians, without being worried that he has not opened the door himself. Or a Hindu trying to convert a Christian to become Hindu, not thinking at all that he is wasting his time, he is still a prisoner. What is their joy? Their joy is also of the ego: "How many followers have I got? How many people believe in Christianity?" The number grows, and the ego grows with it. His ego is involved in the numbers. And your ego is strengthened, nourished, by anything that you do against nature.

Have you ever respected anybody for being natural? Just see the craziness of it - you always respect a person if he is unnatural.

Somebody was brought to me - a few followers came with him and they said, "Our guru is a great man. He eats only once in three days." Will you respect a man if he eats twice every day? I asked those people, "Will you respect your guru if he eats twice every day?" And the guru was almost STARVED, almost dying. But they are interested in something special - their guru is special, he eats only once in three days.

I came across a man, he has thousands of followers, because for ten years he has not slept. He is a raving maniac - bound to be so. Just DON'T sleep for ten days and you will know. And because of the fear that if he sits down or lies down he will fall asleep, for ten years he has been standing!

He needs support on crutches, and people support him in the night and they go on doing KIRTAN the whole night so it keeps him awake - fully blasting loud-speakers. And they are killing this man!

But they are happy that they have found the true master, he is happy because he has found the true followers. And both are utterly stupid. His face has no sign of any intelligence. How could an intelligent man fall into such a trap? But the ego is fulfilled. Now the fear is that if he drops it, then all his following will disappear. They are not really following him, they are following because he is doing something unnatural.

Down the ages, people have been doing unnatural things. And you have been respecting unnatural things; you ALWAYS respect unnatural things. If you respect anything unnatural, that means sooner or later you will also be doing it to yourself - because you cannot respect a thing long without doing it. It is getting to you, it is seeping into your heart.

Never respect anything unnatural! Respect nature, worship nature - but always remember that your respect and worship and love should be for nature, then it is for God. Otherwise it is all an ego game.

But that's how the mind functions. If you hear somebody lives only on water, you start getting excited.

People go on moving to these unnatural, artificial, perverted people. It is very rare to find a natural saint, because if he is natural nobody will believe that he is a saint. To be a saint he finds to be unnatural.

One Christian saint remained thirty-seven years sitting on a pillar thirty feet high. He was worshipped all over the world. People used to come from thousands of miles just to pay respect to him. And he was simply sitting there, somehow managing, for thirty-seven years. He died there. If he was an ordinary simple man, do you think anybody would have taken the trouble to go and respect him?

For what?

Mind is so much interested in perversion. Christians can't believe that Jesus was born normally; he has to be born out of a virgin mother, then it is special. Then it is against nature! - but then it is extraordinary. Buddha was not born out of a virgin mother, so he becomes ordinary, Christ becomes special. Buddhist have their stories to make THEIR Buddha special: he was born while his mother was standing. And immediately when he dropped out of the womb, popped out of the womb, he walked - seven steps! He HAS to walk, otherwise he will be a natural ordinary child. Seven steps he walked and declared: "There is nobody higher than me, there has never been anybody higher than me."

Now, these foolish stories have to be invented because of your perverted mind. Then you seem attracted. You will not respect Jesus if he simply goes in a boat on Lake Galilee. You will not respect him, you will say, "So what? Everybody does that." But he walks on the water - then there is something special. But just see the point: anything unnatural seems a miracle to you.

And what Ikkyu is saying and what I am insisting again and again is: the greatest miracle in this life and on this earth is to relax into nature - the greatest miracle, because that is the hardest thing for the ego to do.

You would also like to walk on water, wouldn't you? If I start teaching just now how to walk on water, all the people who have fallen asleep will be immediately awake. Then they will not miss. Who cares about enlightenment? - you can go on sleeping and there is always tomorrow. But walking on water? Then immediately you will bring yourself to awareness.You will say, "This is not to be missed, it happens only once in a while."

Just see how you are interested in the unnatural - you call it miraculous. There are no miracles, they have never happened, they DON'T happen, they can't happen. Because the law of nature is absolute:

no exceptions are possible. DON'T be befooled and deceived by the stories.

But one miracle is possible, and that is not against the law of nature. But it is miraculous because it rarely happens - that's why it is miraculous. You can fall in tune with nature. Immediately you become that which you are. And suddenly all misery and all hell disappears, all nightmares disappear, you are fully awake. And life takes a new colour, a new flavour. That flavour is divine, but it comes out of the natural law.

For my sannyasins, this is my message: Live naturally, as naturally as possible. Avoid the attraction towards the unnatural. The desire to be special, somebody in particular, is pathological. If you want to be special you will have to go against nature. And to go against nature is to go against God, because God IS nature.

George Gurdjieff used to say that all the mahatmas are against God. And I agree with him, in toto - because they all teach you to go against nature, they condemn nature. Everything that is natural is immediately condemned. They have made God just absolutely opposite to nature.

God is not opposite to nature, nature has arisen out of God. Nature is a wave of God, and it will disappear into God again. It is not against, it CANNOT be against God.

People come to me and they ask, "What kind of sannyasins are you creating who DON'T renounce life?" I say: They renounce unnatural ways of life. They DON'T renounce life - why should they?

GOD has not renounced life, otherwise he would have stopped the whole business. He still goes on creating people; he still goes on creating new flowers, new trees, new animals, new birds, new planets - he is not tired. He has not bothered what your so-called religious people say, he doesn't care at all. If he had listened to your mahatmas he would have stopped creating the world - because what is the point? He creates the world and then the mahatmas persuade people to renounce it! He goes on creating, because he is life; he can't help it. It is not that he is creating; he is creativity - it is arising out of him spontaneously, naturally. It will continue.

Life has not to be renounced. And the sannyas that taught people to renounce life was against life, against God, against the Law of Buddhas and the Law of Men. I teach you a new sannyas: to love life, to live life, to be life. Renounce unnatural methods and ways; be natural.

And just the opposite has been said to you up to now. They say, "Renounce the natural and become unnatural." That's why if they are against me, very much worried by me, it seems natural; their being against me seems to be very logical. I am putting things absolutely upside-down for them. I say, "Live life - that is true sannyas." They say, "Renounce life." Now, their sannyas and my sannyas are not synonymous at all - polar opposites, diametrically opposite.

In this country the priest has been very important for centuries, very dominant. He still dominates; this country is still not out of the grip of the priest. He is against me, he goes on creating trouble for my work - because he knows if I succeed then the whole business of the priesthood is destroyed for ever. The priest is afraid, the politician is afraid.

You have been hearing again and again that I am trying to find a place to move to. But Delhi is very much against it - they DON'T want me to have a bigger place, bigger space; they go on creating new kinds of hindrances. And they can create them: legal, this and that - at least they can delay and they can postpone. Their whole effort is so that somehow the world should not know about me.

The Australian TV was coming to film the ashram, they were stopped. The BBC people had come, they had filmed half, and now they have been stopped by the government and they cannot film. And people call this the greatest democracy in the world.

Journalists are being prevented from coming here - the world should not know what is happening here, people should not come here. But the reason is clear, obvious. The reason is: whatsoever they have been thinking is religion, I say is NOT religion. In fact, what they say is religion is exactly anti-religion.

I am teaching you a new religion, a new dispensation, new in the sense that the priests have not allowed you to see it up to now - old and the ancientmost in another sense, because those who have awakened have always taught the same.

Remember these sutras of Ikkyu, they are of immense import. If you decide to be special then you will go against nature and you will create pathology in your consciousness and you will become perverted.

I have heard about Catholic nuns... Now, they have been forced into a kind of celibacy. Celibacy arises, it cannot be forced. It is a spontaneous phenomenon - if you have lived your life rightly, celibacy comes on its own. Just as when you are fourteen sex arrives on its own, if you have lived your life rightly, nearabout forty-two celibacy starts arriving on its own. These are natural phenomena. Celibacy has not to be taught, has not to be practised. It will be as foolish as if you teach a seven-year-old child to practise sex - it will be as foolish and stupid. There is no need to teach the child to practise sex, it will come in its own time - the spring will come.

But no spring lasts for ever. The spring that is brought by the age fourteen will disappear by the age forty-two; it disappears naturally if you have lived naturally. But if you have not lived naturally and you have been repressing your sex, then it can continue up to eighty-two. Then dying also you will be thinking of sex.

The last thought in most people's minds when they die is sex, nothing else. It has to be, because that is their most repressed thing. And when they are dying they cling to sex - sex is just the opposite of death. With sex, life starts; with death, life ends. So when they are dying, to avoid death they start thinking of sex.

It is very rare to find a man who dies without thinking of sex. This is perversion, universal perversion.

Celibacy comes on its own - when the time is right, when you have lived your dreams, your illusions, and you have seen that they are illusory, one day suddenly you see something has disappeared from you. Then you are almost puzzled by its disappearance - because it was so important up to now.

It was the center of your life, the pivot you were revolving around, and suddenly it is no more there.

Celibacy comes, has not to be practised.

One has only to live naturally and trust, and everything comes in its time. Celibacy comes, meditation comes, God comes, in its own time. Everything comes - just as you are born and you will die, everything else also comes. But somewhere you go perverted and then natural things DON'T happen.

Then you remain in a kind of hung-up state.

Celibacy was forced on Christian nuns. And what happened? Do you know the story of the middle ages? Then those nuns started having hallucinations: Jesus comes and fondles their breasts. Now, what nonsense - Jesus coming and fondling their breasts? This is perversion. Jesus comes and makes love to them in the night; not only that, nuns started creating false pregnancies. Just hot air - nothing. But their bellies would swell.

And the church became very much concerned - what to do? Now, these poor women, they have been forced into celibacy, now they are hallucinating. The natural desire has been crushed; now it is coming from the back door. Then it was prohibited - because this is not moral on the part of Jesus to fondle nuns' breasts, this doesn't look good. And to come in the night and make love - and he will make them pregnant! This is not good on Jesus' part. So it was prohibited.

Then nuns started thinking that the Devil comes now. Finally, if you cannot have anybody else's support, the Devil is always available. The Devil is such a nice guy, the last resort - when you cannot find refuge anywhere, you can find refuge in the Devil. Then the Devil started coming. And when the Devil comes he comes in his own ways. Jesus must have been coming in a mild way - blessed are the meek. When the Devil comes he comes with a fanfare. He has a forked penis - a devil is a devil.

Now, these hallucinations are ugly, unnatural. But remember, they are not created by the nuns, they are created by the people who forced these poor girls to become nuns. It was an unnatural imposition.

And why, down the ages, have religions tried to repress your sex? For a certain very basic reason - you will be surprised to know about it, it is one of their trade secrets. They have always been against sex. Why? Because if sex energy is repressed then it becomes easy for a person to become interested in God. If no other outlet is left then the whole imagination, the whole capacity to dream, becomes focussed on God.

Now, this is cheating, cheating on God. The person is not really interested in God - just there is no other interest left, so all his interest starts flowing towards God. He starts hallucinating, then visions of Jesus and Krishna arise. These visions are absolutely imaginary, and if you allow the person natural sex these visions will immediately disappear.

It is as if you fast for a few days: you will hallucinate about food. And if you are not even allowed to hallucinate about food, then the hallucination will have to find something else as an object to focus upon. This is a trick.

If no love affair is allowed to a person he will start loving God - what else to do? It is almost inevitable to love God then. So religions have been using this device - deceptive, hallucinatory: stop people's imagination about sex and then the imagination will find its own outlet. And leave only one outlet open God - and close all the doors.

It is as if all the doors are closed and only one window is left: you will have to go out that window. If you want to go out, if you feel suffocated, what will you do? You will have to go out that window. It may be arduous, it may be ugly, it may be dangerous - you may fall, you may break your legs - but you will have to go through that window.

This is a very very cunning device: repress people's sex and they will automatically start thinking of God. But this is not the true God, it is just a sex-substitute.

The true God does not arise as a substitute. The true God arises when you have lived your illusions and you have finished them, when you have seen through and through and all the illusions have been dropped. In that non-illusionary state of consciousness, you see God. Then that God is not a projection of your mind.





IKKYU SAYS: We cannot offer you anything special, we can only offer you the natural. But that is nothing to offer, because it is already with you - you have it.



Out of his love and compassion he wants to offer you something. I want to offer you something, but I also DON'T have anything to offer. On the contrary, a real master has to take everything away from you. Slowly slowly, but certainly, he takes things away from you. He persuades you to drop all the garbage that you carry. He leaves you utterly empty.

In that emptiness, God happens. But God cannot be given, truth cannot be transferred. It is untransferrable.





A beautiful statement: Nothing at all. Yes, that's what a real master gives you - nothing. He takes everything away, leaves nothing behind. Out of that nothing your nature starts flowing - because everything that is there is hindering your nature having its say. Everything is a hindrance to your nature song.





And Ikkyu says: There is no need to go to a mountain monastery, you can live in the marketplace.

God is available everywhere, because the law of nature is functioning everywhere. And the people who go on changing one place for another place are misguided from the very beginning - because the question is not of changing PLACES, the question is of changing consciousness.

If you think you are the body, then it seems relevant not to live in the marketplace - go and live in a Himalayan cave. But you are not your body. So by changing - moving the body from the marketplace to the Himalayan caves - nothing will change, you will remain the same. You cannot leave yourself anywhere, you will be going with you! You are your consciousness.




He lives in the world. But because he is NOT the body and he is not confined in the body, he knows his infinity and immortality. He knows his unbornness, undyingness. He knows his absolute emptiness which cannot be destroyed or changed or modified. He knows his skylike nature - clouds come and go, but they DON'T leave any track behind on the sky. The sky remains untouched, unmoved.



Then it makes no difference; you can live wherever you are. Once you have relaxed into nature, once you have relaxed into your natural consciousness, once you are no more trying to be somebody special, you can live anywhere you are - because all is one law, the Law of Men and the Law of Buddha. In that very Law you have reached, you have entered the shrine of God.





YOUR INNER CONSCIOUSNESS HAS NO SMELL, no taste, no sound. It is untouchable, it is invisible. Become aware of it. And to be natural is the best way to be aware of it - because in being natural you relax, and when you relax you can see who you are. When you are tense and striving after something, you can't relax and you cannot see who you are. Your interest is more in who you would like to be - you are focussed on that. And because of that focussing you go on missing that which you already are.

When you are not trying to become anybody, when A is not trying to become B, how long can he avoid seeing that "I am A"? If A is trying to become B, he can go on avoiding seeing that "I am A."

And A can never become B it is impossible. A is A, B is B.

In relaxing into nature one becomes aware of one's being.





And then, when you know "Who am I?" DON'T think that you will be able to answer the question. If somebody asks you, "Who are you?" DON'T think that you will be able to answer it.

The emperor Wu of China asked Bodhidharma, "Who are you?" And Bodhidharma said, "I DON'T know, Sir." And he was the man who knew; he was amongst those few men who know. But he said, "I DON'T know."

Wu could not understand him, You would also have missed. You would also have thought that if he knows, then he should say. "Who am I?" If you go to a traditional swami, a sannyasin, a mahatma, and you ask, "Who are you?" he will say, "SHIVOHUM! I am God. AHAM BRAHMASMI! I am the absolute, I am the suprememost soul" - and all that nonsense. Bodhidharma said, "I DON'T know."

Ikkyu is saying:



These people who say AHAM BRAHMASMI are just thieves - they have borrowed words from others. One who knows, cannot say. He will look into your eyes with all his emptiness pouring through his eyes... he may hold your hand, he may sit in silence with you. But he cannot answer that question, "Who are you?" If you insist, he will say, "I DON'T know" - because it is so vast, it cannot become part of knowledge. And it is known only when all words disappear - so to use words for it is to be a thief. Those words are relevant in the world, they are not relevant in that consciousness.

It is stealing words from the world, from this, to explain that. And that is not possible.






The problem is, Ikkyu says, if we say "There is somebody in me" - a self, a god, or something...






Whatsoever is said is just a mountain echo; it is not the true thing. It is echoed in words - silence echoed in words, soundlessness echoed in words: it is an echo, a mountain echo. Remember this phrase: THIS MOUNTAIN ECHO.

But people start believing in it. And that is the danger of saying, "I am the supreme self." Then they start believing that they are supreme selves; then belief is created. And around belief priests arise, temples are built. Around belief churches are created, and around belief politics arises.





If we say "It is," people start believing it is. If we say "It is not," people start believing it is not. Both are untrue - because the truth is such, there is no way to say it, either through the positive or through the negative. All words falsify it, belie it.

And these are the two kinds of people in the world. In Russia they believe it is not, in China now they believe it is not. In India, in America, in Germany, they believe it is. But how do you believe? If you observe deeply you will not find any difference between an Indian and a Russian. The Russian is being told "There is no God" so he repeats "There is no God." The Indian is told "There is God" so he repeats "There is God. "Do you think there is any difference? On the surface there seems to be a great difference - one is an atheist, another is a theist; one believes, one disbelieves. But do you think there is REALLY a difference? Both have been told something, and both have believed it.

Before 1917, before the revolution in Russia, people were as religious as they are in India. In fact, Russia was one of the most religious countries in the world. Then what happened? Within ten years' time, all that religion, that centuries-old religion, disappeared like vapour - as if it had never been there.

What happened? The people in power started saying "God is not." And the masses only repeat, the masses only follow blindly. Religion disappeared within ten years. The work of centuries, maybe ten thousand years' work, disappeared in ten years! What kind of religion is this?

And this happened again in China. China is one of the ancientmost countries, maybe the most ancient: has the ancientmost scriptures, the longest tradition: of religion - Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism - has created great enlightened people, has always lived in a religious way. And what happened? Suddenly all the Bibles, Korans, Dhammapadas, Vedas, Tao Te Ching, ANALECTS of Confucius - all disappeared. And people started carrying a small red book written by Mao Zedong; that became their Bible. Suddenly God no more exists, the soul is just nonsense, meditation a wastage of time; prayer, foolishness. Temples toppled down, monasteries evaporated: within a few years, all was gone.

And do you think if communism comes to India, things will be different? Not at all. I see into people's eyes - their religion is as bogus as it was in Russia, as it was in China. If the people who are in authority and power start saying there is no God and they start shouting on the TV and the radio, "There is no God!" people will start repeating that. People have always been repeating.

Ikkyu is right, he says:






Although we have said "It is," this is just an echo. DON'T believe in an echo; an echo is an echo. You will have to go yourself to see what the case is.





That's what you are, believers in mountain echoes - that's what your religion consists of. You are deceiving yourself. Drop all these deceptions. There is no way to believe anybody, whosoever he is - Christ or Buddha or me. There is no way to believe in anybody. The only way towards God is through experiencing, not through believing. Believing, you will miss.

Drop beliefs - this way or that, for or against. And remember, the person who says "I DON'T believe in God" is not really the person I mean. He believes that there is no God: that is HIS belief. The communist believes that there is NO God - not that he does not believe.

A real person has no belief, for or against. He cannot say God is, he cannot say God is not. How can you say without knowing "God is not"? And how can you say without knowing "God is"? Both are stupid statements. You can only say "I DON'T know" - that will be authentic, true, honest. And you can start only from there: "I DON'T know."

And see the beauty of it. One starts by saying "I DON'T know" because one really does not know.

Then one starts moving deeper and deeper, and one day one comes to know. And then Emperor Wu asks Bodhidharma, "Who are you?" and Bodhidharma says, "Sir, I DON'T know."

It begins in "I DON'T know," it ends in "I DON'T know", but with a great difference. In the beginning when you say "I DON'T know" it is just a statement of a fact, that you DON'T know, how can you say yes or no? But when you end and you say "I DON'T know" it is a statement of truth, not of fact. You have known - but whatsoever has been known is so vast, no word can contain it. Only your being can say it, your presence can say it.

Reading sutras like Ikkyu's, or reading the words of Bodhidharma, or listening to me, always remember that we are using the same words as you use but the meaning is different. For that, one has to be very alert, otherwise misunderstanding arises.

I have heard:

It was an international television conference in the USA and the delegates were eating the farewell dinner of the conference.

A Japanese gentleman was sitting next to a delegate from Portland, Oregon. After the Japanese had finished his soup, the American asked him, "Likee soupee?" The Japanese gentleman nodded.

Throughout the meal, the American asked such questions as: "Likee fishee?" and "Likee drinkee?"

When the meal was finished, the chairman of the conference rose to his feet and introduced the Japanese gentleman as the guest speaker of the meeting.

The Oriental gentleman gave a witty, excellent speech on the future of broadcasting - speaking in English much better than anything any American has ever uttered.

After his speech, the Japanese gentleman returned to his seat and asked his American table companion: "Likee speechee?"

Communication is a problem, a great problem.

These people like Ikkyu speak the same language and yet they DON'T speak the same language. You will have to be very patient, very loving, open and sympathetic to understand. Only then will these sutras reveal their significance into your being. These sutras can open the door which has never been closed.

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The Israel Lobby and Public Awareness
Sama Adnan

"...Members of Congress are almost entirely beholden to a powerful
pro-Israel lobby whose fabled success stems primarily from its ability
to fund congressional campaigns. When the time for a vote comes,
whether it is a symbolic nonbinding resolution such as H. Res. 1765 or
a crucial bill funding Israel's occupation, the vast majority of
members of Congress will invariably vote on the side of Israel. The
reason is quite simple: a member of Congress cannot listen to
pro-peace organizations as hard-line pro-Israel PACs (political action
committees) fund their campaigns, no matter how sympathetic the member
is to the Palestinian cause."