The Bodhisattvas' Merciful Vow

Fri, 8 May 1978 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Take It Easy, Vol 2
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
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THE MESSAGE OF THE BUDDHA CAN BE CONDENSED INTO ONE WORD. That word is freedom. Freedom, absolute and unconditional. Freedom not only from outer bondage but from inner too. Freedom not only from others but from oneself too.

Other religions also talk about freedom, but not in that penetrating sense in which Buddha talks about it. Other religions talk about freedom in the sense that the self has to be free. Buddha talks in a diametrically opposite sense, with a new dimension to it. He says: One has to be free from the self itself.

The self is bondage. You are not in bondage because of others, you are in bondage because of yourself. Unless YOU disappear, bondage will continue. It may change forms, it may become modified here and there, it may become more convenient, comfortable, but it will remain.

The moment you disappear, the moment you see yourself as an absolute emptiness, who can make a slave of you? How can emptiness be reduced to slavery? When you are not, how can you be imprisoned? When you are not, freedom is total. Freedom from the self is real freedom.

These sutras are of immense value. Remember, when Buddha talks about freedom he does not mean the ordinary freedom talked about by the politicians, by the priests, and others. The social and the political freedom is: you are completely free as long as you think, act, dress, earn, speak and buy like everybody else. You are free, AS LONG AS... And the conditions are so many that the freedom remains bogus.

You can't be free unless absolutely whatsoever happens spontaneously in you is allowed and accepted. Man has been programmed, you have been given blueprints - what to be, how to be, what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. And those programmes have been put so deep down in your being that you have become unconscious of them. It appears as if you are acting out of freedom; you have been tremendously deceived.

Even when you think you are acting out of freedom, even when you think you are acting out of your own conscience, you are not. The society is controlling you in a very subtle way. The moment the child is born, the society starts programming the child. The society treats you like a computer; it goes on feeding and programming you. By the time you become a little alert, you are already programmed - you are already a Christian or a Hindu or a Jain. You are already fixed; you are no more liquid, you are no more flowing. And you will function out of this fixity, out of this obsession, that the society has put inside you.

It is like an electrode put inside your brain. You will not know anything about it, but it will control you.

That's what conscience is.

Buddha is absolutely against conscience. He is all for consciousness, but never for conscience.

That's his revolution. His religion is the most revolutionary religion that has happened in the world up to now. He frees you from conscience. To be free from conscience is to be free from politics, society, religions, ethical codes...

But man becomes very afraid: so much freedom? A great panic arises in you - because you have been taught that basically you are bad; unless you are taught to be right, forced to be right, you will be bad. Down the ages, this nonsense has been put into everybody's head, that man is naturally evil, that goodness has to be practised, cultivated, that saintliness is not a natural phenomenon, that it comes out of arduous effort. The evil is natural and the good is unnatural. For the good you have to work hard. For the evil you need not work at all, it will take possession of you. God has to be achieved through great cultivation of prayer, yoga, meditation. And evil - the Devil? He is always available to you.

This is an utterly wrong picture of human nature. Just the opposite is true: God is natural, evil is unnatural.

This is the dignity Buddha brings to humanity, this is the grandeur that he introduces you to again.

This is your inheritance, natural inheritance. Buddha says: Man is naturally good. Nobody wants to be bad - if people are bad, they have been FORCED to be bad. Love is natural, compassion is natural, mercy is natural. Hatred, murderous instincts, are not natural; they are perverted, enforced, compelled. When a person is compelled he becomes bad - he HAS to become bad just to survive.

Otherwise natural spontaneous flowering happens of its own accord.

Conscience is the effort of the society to make something good out of you. Consciousness is not an effort to make something good out of you, consciousness is just allowing your suchness to bloom.

The first sutra:


THIS IS FREEDOM: a mind which is fluid and flexible. How can a Christian mind be fluid and flexible? How can a Hindu be fluid and flexible? He already has fixed ideas about reality, about himself, about how life should be. He cannot be fluid, he cannot be free. He has accepted a certain bondage of ideology; he has started living in a prison. He may call that prison his church or his temple, he may call that prison the sacred Vedas, the holy Bible - whatsoever you want to call your prison, you can call it. These are good names. Behind good names you hide the ugly reality.

A really alive person can't be a Hindu, can't be a Mohammedan, can't be a Buddhist. A really alive person is simply alive, flowing, available, responsive, spontaneous. He lives in suchness. He is like a mirror - he has no fixed idea; whatsoever is encountered is reflected in its totality, in its trueness, in its authenticity.

How to attain such a mind? Every child brings such a mind into the world. No child is born in any ideology, with any ideology. All children are born innocent, pure, unpolluted, mirror-like. But the society immediately jumps on them, grabs them, starts writing on their clean consciousnesses, creates CONSCIENCE - helps them to become attached to certain things, helps them to be against certain other things, starts giving them a shape.

Freedom is a kind of formlessness. Bondage is a form. Bondage has a clarity, remember, because bondage can have a definition. Freedom is vague, nebulous, cannot have a certain shape. It changes, it changes with the situation. It remains mobile - it is a process, it is not a thing. And it is a dynamism, not a dead defined phenomenon.

Freedom is indefinable, unpredictable. You can predict the life of a prisoner, you cannot predict the life of a free man. One never knows what tomorrow is going to bring, one never knows how he will act tomorrow, how he will respond - because he never responds from the past. And only the past is available for us. We can judge only from the past, and his future is never a continuity of the past.

The prisoner lives according to the past; he has a character. His future is going to be nothing but an extension of the past - he is predictable.

It is said in Eastern ancient scriptures that astrology can be of help to a person who is still unconscious, but it is absolutely meaningless about a Buddha. A mechanical person can be predicted: his past is available, and his future is not going to be very very different from it - maybe a little bit different here and there, in details, but the general trend is fixed.

But a man of awareness is absolutely unpredictable. How he will react, respond, nobody knows. He HIMSELF does not know it - remember it. How can he know? How can the mirror know what is going to be reflected in it next moment? Whether a cloud will pass, or a man or a woman or a child - who knows? And nobody may pass, it may remain empty - then it will reflect emptiness.

The unconscious man is like a painted picture, fixed. The conscious man is only a mirror.

There is a very beautiful Sufi parable:

It happened that in a great king's court a Taoist painter arrived. And he said he could do something which nobody else could do. The painter of the king's court was offended; he said, "I am ready to accept the challenge. We both will do paintings and then the king can judge."

The king was also intrigued. He knew his painter - he was one of the rarest, the best of his country - he believed that his painter would defeat this Chinese. Six months' time was given.

They started painting. The Chinese covered his wall with a curtain and would not allow anybody to look inside at what he was doing. And just in front of the wall on another wall, the other painter was doing a great painting, and everybody was allowed to see what was happening.

Six months passed and the whole capital knew that their painter was going to win. He had never done something like this - it was unique, it was so alive.

And the final day came and the king arrived and he looked at his painter's painting. It was unique. He said, "Nobody can defeat you. I cannot comprehend that that Chinese will be able to do something better than this - it is impossible, it is HUMANLY impossible. You have done the last thing." It was so alive.

And then the curtains were opened, and the king was puzzled. The Chinese had not done any painting. He had simply rubbed and rubbed the wall and made a mirror out of it. For those six months he had been trying to convert the wall into a mirror, and now it was a mirror. And it was mirroring the painting of the other painter. There was no painting on it, but there was depth - because the other painting was flat. This painting was three-dimensional, because the painting was reflected deep into the wall. It had depth, it had a beauty.

And the king said, "You have defeated my man. But you cheated us - you have not painted anything."

And the Chinese said, "But this is what we call REAL painting - to create a mirror. His painting is dead! My painting will remain dynamic, it will change as the seasons change. It will be an alive phenomenon, it will have many moods. Come evening, and it will have a different colour to it. Come the morning, the sun rising, and it will have a different colour to it. And come the night... My painting is not a dead thing, I have made something alive."

The Chinese painter was a Taoist; he knew that only a mirror can be alive. You can make a beautiful painting - howsoever beautiful it may be, it is still dead, it is stagnant. Only a mirror can remain flowing.

Each child is born with this mirror. But immediately we start imposing paintings on the child's mirror.

We DON'T accept his freedom. Not yet in the history of humanity has that fortunate moment come when we can accept the freedom that a child brings again and again into the world. He brings the freedom of God, he brings Buddhahood again and again. But we crush that Buddhahood. We immediately start defining him, we immediately start making him a fixed phenomenon, because we want a predictable man.

We are afraid of unpredictable people, we start creating character. We are afraid of consciousness, we create conscience. We destroy beauty, grandeur, splendour. Then you see these ordinary people all over the world; then you see this mediocre stupid world.

And behind each mediocre mind is a Buddha. And behind each stupid mind is a mirror-like phenomenon. It can be rediscovered. How to rediscover it?


This is the sutra to discover it again. If you are attached to anything, you are fixed. A mirror cannot afford attachment. You are standing before the mirror: while you are standing there you are being reflected, reflected totally. The mirror is joyous in reflecting you; the mirror celebrates you, your presence. But the moment you are gone, you are gone. The mirror does not cling to your picture.

The mirror does not create a memory of you; the mirror will never think of you again. The mirror will never have any nostalgia, the mirror will never think, "How beautiful a person he was! And when is he going to come again?" And the mirror will not follow you - not even in thought, not even in dreams. The moment you disappear, you have disappeared.

This is non-attachment. When you are there, you are there. The mirror lives you, loves you, welcomes you, takes you to its very heart. But the moment you are gone, you are gone - the mirror is empty again. This is the whole secret of non-attachment: live in the world, but DON'T be of the world. Love people, but DON'T create attachments. Reflect people, reflect the beauties of the world - and there are so many. But DON'T cling. The clinging mind loses its mirrorhood.

And mirrorhood is Buddhahood.

To keep that quality of mirroring continuously fresh is to remain young, is to remain pure, is to remain innocent. Know, but DON'T create knowledge. Love, but DON'T create desire. Live, live beautifully, live utterly, abandon yourself in the moment. But DON'T look back. This is the art of non-attachment.

And that's where we go on missing. You love a woman, and then one day she is gone, gone with somebody else. Or, if not with somebody else, she is still with you but no more with you. Her heart no more throbs for you; that bridge is broken. Or she is dead - a thousand and one things are possible. Or maybe she still loves you, is not dead, has not left you, but your heart no longer beats with her heart. Suddenly that joy in her being has disappeared from you. It came from the blue, it came from nowhere - suddenly one day it was there, and another day it is gone. It came like the wind, and you were thrilled with the new breeze. And now the wind blows no more. The woman is there, she still loves you, but your heart no longer responds.

What to do? Go on clinging? Go on thinking of the past? Go on imagining about the future? Go on hoping against all hope that something will happen again? that some day that wind will come again, that some day clouds will disappear and the sun will be shining?

Then you are getting entangled, and you are losing that purity of being a mirror. Hence all misery.

Misery is nothing but the shadow of attachment. And hence all stagnancy. The attached person becomes a stagnant pool - sooner or later he will stink. He flows no more.

The flow keeps you pure. Yes, these banks are beautiful, but the river goes on flowing. Yes, these trees are beautiful and these birds are beautiful. But the river goes on flowing. The river is utterly thankful, grateful, but it doesn't stop, it doesn't become a stagnant pool.

So should be the river of consciousness.


And remember, you cannot choose: "I will not be attached to these things, I will be attached only to THESE things." Even if you are attached to one single thing, that is enough to destroy your mirror-like quality. That is enough to keep you from moving, that is enough to destroy the flow.

And remember also, not only the things of THIS world, but the things of the so-called other world will also hinder you, will destroy your spontaneity.

Remember: Never be attached.

Now, even the so-called religious people are very much attached. If a Hindu passes by a church, he does not bow down to the church - his God does not live there. If he passes by a Hindu temple, he immediately bows down with such reverence. But his reverence is false, pseudo; his reverence is impotent. If the reverence was real then why didn't it happen when he was passing by a mosque or a church or a gurudwara?

God is everywhere. Why this confinement? Does God only exist in a Hindu temple? Then God is a prisoner. Because people are prisoners, their gods have also become prisoners. The reverence is not true, it has not happened yet: it is just an empty gesture. If he has come to see the beauty, the existence of God, then he will bow down everywhere, anywhere - wherever he has an occasion to bow down, he will not miss the opportunity. He will bow down beside a rosebush, because God has happened as a rose. And he will bow down to a child who is giggling, because it is God and nobody else who is giggling.

Real reverence has nothing to do with the OBJECT of reverence. Real reverence is something inside you, flowing.

DON'T be attached to the things of the world, and DON'T be attached to the things of the other world, because things are things. It makes no difference whether they are of this world or the other world - attachment is the problem.

I have heard a strange story. I hope that it is not true, but I suspect that it IS true.

A very famous Hindu saint, Tulsidas, was taken into a Krishna temple. Now, he was a follower of Rama: when he was taken inside the Krishna temple he would not bow down. And the friend who had taken him there said, "You are not bowing down to Krishna?" He said, "How can I? I bow down only to Rama. My God is Rama, not Krishna. I can bow down only if the statue of Krishna changes its form and becomes the statue of Rama."

The story goes on: it says the statue of Krishna changed its form and became the statue of Rama.

Then Tulsidas bowed down.

The first part seems to be historical, the second part seems to be fictitious - and not only fictitious but stupid too. Because God cannot concede, agree, to such bartering, to such bargaining. But it shows the mind of the so-called mahatmas. Even a man like Tulsidas, who has written some of the greatest poetry in the world... He was certainly a great poet, but not a mystic - a great man of knowledge, but not enlightened. Otherwise how could he have said such a foolish thing? - "God should take the form of MY deity."

What is he asking? He is saying, "I can bow down only to MY concept of God. God is irrelevant, my concept is more important." This is an ego trip. He is not bowing to God, he is bowing to his own ego.

These are all attachments.

Buddha says:


Ikkyu has put the Buddhist message beautifully in this sutra.

THERE ARE THREE LAYERS in your existence. One is thinking. Deeper than that is feeling.

Deeper than that is being. Thinking is the most superficial; being, the most profound. And between the two is feeling.

There are religions which are thinking-oriented - they create theologies. They create great philosophies, they invent proofs for God - as if God needs proofs, as if God can be proved or disproved.

Then there are religions of the heart, religions of feeling, which DON'T create theologies, they create devotion. They are far better than the first - their prayers are more true, because they are more full of tears. Their expressions are more authentic, because they are less verbal. They dance, they sing, they cry, they weep - they live through feeling, through the heart.

But Buddha goes even deeper. He says: The head is superficial, the heart is a little deeper but not deep enough. Thinking is in words, thoughts, syllogisms. Feeling is emotions, sentiments. But both are disturbances.

Try to understand this. When your mind is full of thoughts you are distracted, disturbed, pulled apart.

And when your mind is not full of thoughts but your heart is throbbing with great feeling, then too you are excited. Then too, you are feverish. Love is a fever - even love for God creates great passion, stirs you, does not calm you down.

Buddha says: Thoughts distract, feelings distract. Come to the deepest core of your being, where thoughts disappear and feelings too. Then what is left? Simple being. One just is. That is TATHATA, suchness. One simply is - nothing is stirred; no thought, no feeling, just pure existence. That pure existence has no fever in it, no passion, no movement - it is not going anywhere, it is not doing anything.

In that moment, time disappears. One transcends time; it is a transcendental moment. In that moment, one comes to know reality as it is.

When you think, you can't see reality as it is, because your thinking becomes a barrier. Your thinking colours reality. When you feel, then too you cannot see reality as it is, because your eyes are full of tears and your heart is full of emotions.

When thinking and feeling both disappear, only then the contact - the contact with truth.


And then you attain to that freedom, fluidity, flexibility, spontaneity. Then you DON'T live out of your past and you DON'T live out of your future. Then you DON'T have any programme; then you are not a robot. Then you live moment to moment - as life reveals itself, you live it. And you are always true to life, because you have nothing to come between you and life. Your response is always total, it is never a reaction. You DON'T have any ready-made answers - if a question arises, the very arising of the question creates an answer in you. Not that you had the answer already there, and the question only provoked a dead answer that was lying there in your memory.

There is no answer in you, you are simply there. A question comes, and an answer arises - fresh, young, here-now. That answer is true. No answer as such is true. But the quality of the answer, if it is spontaneous, that quality has truth. See the difference.

A Christian missionary had come to see me, and he was saying, "You go on teaching so many things - you confuse us. Why DON'T you create a small book, something like a Christian catechism, in which all the essential questions have been answered? - so we can know and be certain what you mean."

I said, "That is impossible. By the time the book would be ready, my answers would have changed - because I DON'T have fixed answers."

Answers arise as responses - they depend on the questions. Or, even more, they depend on the questioner. Sometimes it happens, one sannyasin asks a question and I answer him. And another sannyasin asks exactly the same question and I answer him in a totally different way. Because, more than the question, the questioner is important. The question has a context - the context is in the questioner. You can ask the same question, but no two persons can REALLY ask the same question. How can they ask the same question? They are so different, their roots are so different, their experiences are so different. For millions of lives, they have lived differently. Behind their question is their whole past - all their experiences, all their misfortunes, curses, blessings, failures, successes. The words may look exactly the same, but they can't be. Behind the words, the beings are different.

When you DON'T have a certain answer ready-made, then you simply respond - to the question, to the questioner, to the moment. And then you are true to the moment. Next moment, things will not be the same. It is one thing in the morning, it is another thing in the evening. Today it is one thing - how can it be the same tomorrow? No catechism is possible.

And all catechisms are false - because then the question is irrelevant, the answer becomes important and a fixed entity. Then the answer is dead, then it doesn't breathe. Then it has no heart, it has no soul, it is a corpse.

Mind has to be fluid. And when the mind is fluid it has splendour, it has immense beauty. Mind has to be freedom. And when mind is freedom then it is never a small mind. Then it is cosmic. When mind is absolutely free, it is not YOUR mind or MY mind. How can it be yours? and how can it be mine? When mind is freedom it is simply the mind, the mind of all the mind of the trees and the rocks and the stars, you and me. It is cosmic.

When mind is fluid, it is God. When mind is flexible, then mind is no more a bondage.


BUDDHA HAS INSISTED again and again that the greatest pitfall for a meditator is his self- centeredness. It has to be understood. Particularly for those who have come to me as sannyasins, it is of immense import.

A meditator, unconsciously, unknowingly, becomes very self-centered. He thinks only of himself - his meditation, his joy, his silence, his peace, his experience, his ecstasy, his truth and God. And the problem is, the more you become selfconscious, the less is the possibility of meditation. This is a dilemma - every meditator has to face it.

Meditation happens only when there is no self. Consciousness is okay, but SELF-consciousness is not okay at all. But whenever you try to be conscious you become self-conscious. You DON'T know how to make yourself conscious without allowing yourself to become self-conscious. For you, self-consciousness has existed always as consciousness. It is not. Consciousness has no self in it, and self-consciousness has no consciousness in it.

Self-consciousness is just ego. Consciousness is egolessness.

Buddha had a specific device to destroy this dilemma. The device was compassion, mercifulness.

Each of his sannyasins had to take a vow: "I will not enter into nirvana unless I have helped all the beings of the world to enter into nirvana." It seems to be almost impossible.

The story is told about Buddha that when he reached the gate of nirvana, the gates were thrown open. Rarely it happens - millions of years pass before a person comes to the gate. For millions of years the gatekeeper was just waiting and waiting for somebody to come. Rust must have gathered on the gate, it had not been opened for so long, for so many million years. The gatekeeper was happy, he opened the door. But Buddha didn't enter the gate. The gatekeeper asked, "Why are you standing outside? Come in, you are welcome. You have earned it."

Buddha said, "I cannot enter. I have taken a vow: unless all living beings enter into nirvana before me, I cannot enter. I will be the last. So I will have to wait - you can close the door. And I will have to wait infinitely, because millions and millions of beings are suffering and groping in the dark, trying to come. When they all have passed, when I see that now nobody is left behind, then only will I enter."

This is just a parable, but of immense significance. The meaning is: when you start meditating, DON'T become too self-conscious. Help, be compassionate. Help others to meditate. And whatsoever you gain out of meditation, shower it on others. Share it - in sharing, it will grow.

Whenever you meditate and you come upon beautiful spaces, IMMEDIATELY pray to existence: "Let my joy be showered over every being - conscious, unconscious. I DON'T want any personal claim over it." When you attain to satoris, share. DON'T hold then, DON'T become possessive. If you become possessive you will kill them.

There are things which are immediately killed, the moment you possess them. In your experience there is only one thing that is immediately killed if you possess it - that is love. Satori is even more so. When you attain to a silent space, a meditative experience inside, DON'T possess it! This is the vow. DON'T say, "This is mine." DON'T become egoistic about it, DON'T start bragging. DON'T start walking in a special way, DON'T start looking at people, thinking, "These poor people, they have not attained yet." DON'T start pretending that you are a Buddha.

If you have attained to satori, become more humble, feel more grateful. And share it and shower it on others. DON'T hold it - it is not a treasure to guard, it is a treasure to be shared. And the more you share, the more will be coming to you. The more you hoard it, you will be surprised one day, to find your fists are empty.

It is like love. You fall in love, love is there dancing - it is almost tangible, you can touch it.

Immediately you start grabbing, you start possessing. And you have killed it! You may not become aware right now, but sooner or later you will see you have killed it.

Love is a bird on the wing - DON'T encage it. Samadhi is more so - you cannot catch hold of it. Enjoy it.

That's why when my sannyasins go back to their countries I always insist, "Go, and let your home become a small center, so that you can share your meditations with people." Become more concerned with others, so your self-concern is lessened. And it happens, if you can forget yourself completely in solving the problems of others, your meditation will come so abruptly, so suddenly one day, you will be surprised, you will be taken aback - you were not waiting for it, and it is there with all its benediction.

And the contrary is also true: the more you wait for it, the less is the possibility for its coming. It happens again and again: the first time, meditation comes easily. One day, just meditating, and there were no expectations... how could you have expected anything? - you DON'T have any experience of it. To expect something, you must first have experienced it. So when people come here for the first time and they are meditating, their meditation is experimental, hypothetical; they are simply playing with it, seeing whether maybe something happens, maybe nothing happens. And it happens. In their playfulness, one day they are possessed by some unknown energy.

But then the problem arises. Now they wait for it every day. And it is not coming, and they become very much agitated, annoyed, irritated, angry: why is it not happening now? It happened to them before, so why is it now not happening? And the more they become annoyed, the less is the possibility for it to happen. They have missed one point: it happened in the first place because they were not expecting it. Now they are expecting it - and this new element of expectation is the hindrance.

Expect, and you miss. DON'T expect, and it comes. It always comes on its own. God is generous, and if you want his generosity you also have to be generous. That is the meaning of the vow.



THE BUDDHA-NATURE is no birth, no extinction. To know inside yourself that you were never born, so how can you die? - to know this state of eternity is to know Buddha. Buddha has not to be sought in the books of history; you are not to go back twenty-five centuries to find out who this man, Gautam the Buddha, was. Whether he was there or not, doesn't matter. Whether he ever existed as a historical person or not, doesn't matter.

The East has never been concerned with history as such; its concern is far deeper, far more valuable.

Christians are very much worried - if somebody says that Christ is not a historical person they start fighting, they start proving that he is a historical person. For two thousand years they have been accumulating more and more proofs that he is a historical person. But why this obsession? What difference does it make if Christ is a historical person or not? That is not the real point.

We in the East have never been worried about it. Whether Buddha is historical or not, is not the point. Whether Buddha is EXISTENTIAL or not - that is the point. Can you penetrate into your being and come to know what Buddha-nature is? Then it is okay. If YOU can know, then why not Gautam Siddhartha? If I can know inside myself that something like Buddhahood happens, then it must have happened to this man known as Gautam Siddhartha.

And this must have happened to many more. It has nothing to do with Gautam Siddhartha as such, it has nothing to do with a person. It is your innermost essence.


If you can come to see something in you which was never born and which is not going to die, you have come across Buddha. This is Buddhahood. YOU are the temple and Buddha resides in you.

Go in. It is not a question of going twenty-five centuries back in time. It is a question of GOING IN, RIGHT NOW. This very moment, Buddhahood can be found. It is immediate. It is not a kind of historical research, it is not archaeology. It is just an inner penetration into your own being.


And once you have known - and it is so simple to know it because it is so natural - that one was never born, and if one was never born one cannot ever die, then birth is illusion, a dream you have fallen into. And death is illusion, a dream again, produced by the first dream - a dream inside a dream. And then reincarnation is also a dream: dreams within dreams.

Just a few days ago, somebody asked a question: "What is the point and significance of past lives?

Will it help to remember them?"

Even THIS life has no significance. And those past lives were nothing but almost the same thing repeated again and again. What significance can they have?

See the dream that THIS life of yours is, and you will have seen all the dreams that you have lived before. Dreams have no significance.

And see the difference: in the West, psychoanalysis is very emphatic that dreams have significance.

In the East, we say dreams have no significance - only the dreamer. Dreams are objects; the dreamer is your subjectivity. Dreams go on changing, the dreamer remains the same - the scenes go on changing but the seer remains the same. The seer has significance.

That's where Western psychology and Eastern psychology part. Their ways become absolutely different, diametrically opposite. To the Eastern mystic, all the games that psychoanalysis and its schools and its founders go on playing are just jigsaw puzzles - good for children, to keep them engaged, but of no more value. If you like playing games, psychoanalysis is a beautiful game. Play with Freud or fraud, play with Jung or old - you can go on playing; it doesn't matter with whom you are playing. But you remain absolutely the same.

The real thing is a shift, a change of consciousness, from the dream to the dreamer. A change of gestalt, looking not at the object but looking into the subject. Then all is a dream. Reincarnations, death, birth, good and bad, your being a king or your being a beggar, your being a murderer or your being a mahatma - all are dreams.

But one thing is certain, that for dreams to exist, there needs to be a witness. That witness is the truth. To know that witness is to know the Buddha-nature inside you.


THIS QUESTION ARISES again and again to those who start searching into the religious truth of life. You see it everywhere: you see a virtuous person suffering, and you see a very evil person succeeding. And the problem arises where is the justice in the world? Is it a just world?

Somebody who has never done anything wrong is suffering so much, all kinds of calamities. And somebody who is known never to have done anything good, who has always been evil, is succeeding - has all the prestige, respectability, pleasures, comforts of life. Is it a just world? Or is it just a chaos?

What attitude to take about it?

There are only two possibilities. One is the communist approach, the socialist approach - it says it is an unjust society, we have to change the society. If classes disappear, the economic structure is changed, equality is brought in, then there will be no injustice.

This kind of thinking has always remained in the world, it is not new. But nothing has happened out of it. Even in a communist society, injustice continues to happen just the same. Forms change but the content remains the same. Yes, in Soviet Russia the old classes have disappeared, but new classes have appeared. Now there are no longer capitalists and the proletariat, but now there are the rulers and the ruled - and the same game and the same nonsense and the same misery.

The other approach is that of the religious consciousness. Buddha says:


He says: Your mind lives through conditioning. Whatsoever you have done remains rooted in your mind; all your doings remain rooted in your mind. Today you may not have done anything wrong, but what about yesterday? Today you may have been very very nice and good, but what about the yesterdays? They are there. And you have sown many seeds yesterday and the crop will be coming today or tomorrow. And if the seeds were poisonous you are going to suffer.

Then accept it as your past karma. If you are doing good and still the result is bad, simply accept with equanimity, SAMATA - with equilibrium: "It must be something to do with my past. I have to accept it, I have to reap the crop." And there is no point in complaining and there is no point in shouting and feeling very bad about it. There is no need to lose your cool.


Feel good! Something bad that was hanging around you is vanishing away.

A man came and spat on Buddha. He wiped his face with a shawl. His disciple, Ananda, was very much disturbed and said, "Just a hint from you, and I will show this man what he has done."

Buddha said, "DON'T get disturbed. I must have done something wrong to him in some past life. Now the account is closed - he has returned it. I am finished with this man." And he said, "Thank you, sir. I must have done something wrong, to you, because nothing happens without a cause. I may remember, may not remember, but I must have done something wrong to you. You have returned it:

now we are equal, now we can close the account. And I am not going to react any more, otherwise again the business will continue. Thank you. Do you have something more to say?"

The man was very much puzzled. It was so unexpected! He was expecting to be beaten, he was expecting that the disciples would jump on him - he was expecting something, and nothing had happened. He would not have thought this would be the statement of the Buddha. He went home but he couldn't sleep the whole night.

Morning, and he was back. And he fell at Buddha's feet and said, "Sorry, sir, excuse me." Buddha said, "Forget all about it. Never think of yesterday - It is gone!" They were sitting on the bank of the Ganges, and Buddha said, "Look how much water has mowed down the Ganges since then. It is no more the same Ganges! I am no more the same, you are no more the same. Just think - yesterday you were so full of anger; today you are so humble, you have fallen at my feet. You are no more the same and I am no more the same - twenty-four hours have passed. Forget all about it, DON'T think about it any more. It is finished, and finished for ever! I am free of you, you are free of me.

Otherwise, we were hooked into each other."

This is the Buddhist attitude towards things. If somebody insults you, thank him. This is a way to be unhooked. Say to him, "Good - so you have come. I was waiting for you." Because before you can disappear from this world of misery you have to close all the accounts that you have opened, down the ages, through the ages.






When you have come to this tranquillity, to this silence, to this SAMATA, equanimity - this balance, that nothing can disturb you... Somebody spits on you and you remain undisturbed, unwavering.

Somebody insults you and nothing happens to you; you remain as if nothing has happened. When you have become a mirror, things are reflected and disappear and you remain unscratched by their reflections. When you have become unattached to all the things of the world, and you DON'T cling, and your innocence remains absolute and you remain virgin - then you cannot say that the world, God, reality, is two, many, or one.

Then nothing can be said about it, because all words fall short.


One thing is certain, you cannot say "two" - because all duality is a mind creation, all duality is created by the clinging and attached mind. When there is no attachment there is no duality.

When you want something to happen according to you, and it doesn't happen, duality arises. When you are ready to relax with everything as it happens, where is the duality? Somebody insults you and you say thank you. Your woman leaves you and you go and give her a good send-off. Where is the duality? Richness comes and you enjoy it. And one day you are poor and you enjoy poverty.

Where is the duality?

If you can enjoy all that happens, if you can enjoy the roses that are always there and you DON'T count the thorns, then where is the duality? Then the mind becomes non-dual. Then all fragments disappear, then a great oneness arises in you. But it cannot be called "oneness".



Why? Because to call it "one" is to bring numbers in again. It simply IS - neither two not one. There is no way to demark it as this or that.




This is a beautiful statement. When all is one - the enemy and the friend, the man who loves you and the man who hates you, richness and poverty, failure and success, respectability or disrespectability; when all is one - youth and old age, birth and death - there will arise a great coolness. That coolness is the quality of a Buddha. That coolness cannot be disturbed; no heat can enter into it.

And if you come in close contact with a Buddha you will feel that coolness. It is always there. It is not only inside a Buddha, it creates a space around him. If you enter into that space - you can enter only through sympathy, only through trust, only through love - if you enter into that sphere of coolness you will be surprised. Remember, it is not coldness - it is coolness.

It is difficult to understand, for the people who come from the West. Languages are born out of climates - that's why sometimes it is very difficult to translate. For example, in the West, "warmth" is a beautiful word. You say "warm love" - you cannot say "cool love". In India, you can say "cool love".

In the West, you say "a warm welcome". In India, it will not look like a welcome at all if it is too warm. It has to be cool. But cool is not cold; cold is dead. Cool is ALIVE - but silent, non-feverish, non-passionate, like a cool breeze in a hot summer afternoon. Like a cool spring in the Himalayas - and you are a thirsty traveller, tired, wearied, thirsty, and you come across a crystal-clear cool pool of water.

Yes, that's what a Buddha is - for all those who are weary, tired, thirsty.






A beautiful statement from Ikkyu.

THERE ARE A FEW PROBLEMS. A Buddha is accepted by the wider masses only when he is gone.

He is accepted only by the chosen few when he is alive. To be in contact with a Buddha who is alive needs courage. Only those who are really daredevils can come close to a living Buddha - because a living Buddha is going to transform you. And people talk about transformation, but nobody wants to be transformed.

People talk about transformation but they DON'T mean it. They really mean a few more decorations, a few more feathers, a few more gold medals. They talk about transformation but they DON'T understand the meaning of the word.

Transformation means crucifixion and resurrection. Transformation means dying as you are, and being born as you know not what - what is going to happen, who is going to be born or how you will be. One thing is certain, you will not be the same as you ARE. Who is ready for that?

Aud to be in close affinity with a Buddha creates a thousand and one problems. First, a Buddha is paradoxical - that is his nuisance. He continuously creates a nuisance. He never allows you to cling to anything. Before you start clinging to any of his statements, it is contradicted. He never gives you time enough to settle anywhere; he goes on pushing you and pushing you and pushing you. Unless he destroys you, he never stops.

It is said: "The truth is an endless list of paired proverbs that contradict each other."

Truth is contradictory. And the Buddha is a living contradiction. He says this - and he is always in a hurry to contradict it before it is too late. You want to cling to something. You are not really in search of truth, you are in search of comforts. And a Buddha is not worried about your comfort, he is worried about the truth.

So he has to say many things and he has to contradict them. Slowly slowly, if you are courageous enough to go on hanging around him, slowly slowly you will come to the point where you will see there is no point in clinging to any statement. Then you simply listen, with no idea of clinging.

In that very moment, truth starts happening.

No statement is true, all statements are false. That is the nuisance of a Buddha, because he goes on making statements and he goes on contradicting them.

Buddhahood is the highest resolution of the truth. But the highest resolution is bound to be paradoxical, because it has to contain both the polarities. Just like a magnet - a magnet has to have both the polar opposites in it, the negative and the positive. If a Buddha is the highest resolution, he has to contain all the opposites in him.

So the day Buddha dies, schools are born. They choose consistent statements. When Gautam Buddha died, thirty-six schools were born immediately. That means Buddha was contradicting himself in thirty-six ways. While he was alive, these scholars and logicians and professors kept quiet, because it was impossible to argue with him. But they were waiting for their time. When he died, then they arose with great clamour and with great argument. And they insisted on one thing, that truth should be consistent.

Truth is NEVER consistent - cannot be.

Then there was only one possibility: they should choose consistent statements and make a philosophy out of them. Thirty-six philosophies were born out of Buddha's statements, and all have missed him. Because if he was anything, he was all those thirty-six philosophies TOGETHER.

But that is a nuisance. It is incomprehensible to the human mind. That is a device - Buddha makes it almost impossible for you to comprehend him, so one day you lose heart and you stop trying to comprehend him.

In that very moment, the revolution happens.

A Buddha is also a nuisance because your so-called religions are not true religions. The so-called religions can be seen mainly as a device to keep people sane. The enforced vacation of one day, confession to help with guilt, promises of paradise to come - and so forth. No wonder women are its best customers! The ordinary religions are nothing but consolations. They keep you normal, they help you remain sane.

The world is insane. And the irony is that the world is insane because of your priests. And then they come from the back door and they help you to remain sane - they create insanity in the world, then they create medicines for it.

When a Buddha comes he does not give you medicines to be sane. He simply makes you aware that there is no need to be insane in the first place. But then the priest is angry, then the establishment is angry. Then their whole profession is at stake.


When a Buddha is alive you cannot call him a Buddha because he looks so like you. The body, the blood, the bones - just like you. He is young, then he becomes old, then he dies - just like you. How can you believe that a man like you can be a Buddha? It offends you.

You hate yourself so much, that's why. You condemn yourself so much, that's why. You cannot accept a living Buddha as a Buddha, as a God, because you cannot accept yourself as divine.

That's the problem.

So when Buddha is gone, then things become simple. Now he is no more like you. Now you can create mythologies, beautiful parables. You can make him as much unlike you as you like. You can give him as much height as you want...

If you go into history, Jain TEERTHANKARAS are as tall as the mountains; they walk, and people cannot see their faces. Now, this looks like something.

A Buddha - and only five-five? Doesn't look like a Buddha!

Something exceptional - your desire, your abnormal desire, is for the exceptional. When Buddha is dead you are free to paint him.

All the statues of Buddha that you have seen are false; he never looked like ANY of those statues.

In fact those statues are not even Indian - they were created when Alexander the Great came to India. They are not Indian at all, the facts are Greek. Buddha never looked like any of the statues that you see. He could not have looked like that.

But you create - then Buddha is in your hands, he cannot say anything. People have made golden statues of Buddha. But he was not made of gold, he was just as much flesh and bone as you are.

He died of food poisoning - just as you would die of food poisoning, just like you. And that is difficult.

Why is it difficult? Because you have been taught to condemn yourself, you have been taught that you are not right. If you are not right, then how can a man be a Buddha if he is just like you - feels hunger, feels thirsty, needs water, becomes dirty, has to wash his body, has to take a bath, just like you? Then what is the difference?

The difference is in the interiority, not in his exterior. When he is dead, you can also make the enterior according to your imagination, to your heart's content.


Ikkyu jokes. He says:


Buddhas are continuously grumbling - in the sense that they are saying "This is wrong, that is wrong, this has to be changed, that has to be changed." They are continuously telling you how to transform your life. They DON'T allow you to sleep well and have good dreams. They are grumbling - they go on poking their nose into your life, they go on saying, "Do this, be like this. Wake up!" And when you are having such a beautiful dream...

Just a few days ago, Ninad wrote me a letter. He has fallen in love with a woman. The woman is not in love with him, the woman has gone with her own man. Now Ninad is very much disturbed - he is so much in love with the woman that he says in his letter, "If this woman says "Leave Osho immediately for me!" I will leave you in a single moment.

He is simply showing how infatuated he is. Now, if I say to Ninad, "Wake up, Ninad!" he will be angry.

He will say, "What! What are you saying?"

He writes in the letter, "Whatsoever you say and whatsoever Ikkyu says, I DON'T care. Even a single moment's love with this woman is more than enough for me - I have no desire for nirvana."

And I cannot leave Ninad. He can leave me, if this woman says, but I will haunt him - I will not allow him to fall asleep. Even when he is with the woman I will be just between the two... and I will go on shaking him: "Ninad! What are you doing? This is all a dream! DON'T befool yourself. Wake up!"

So when a Buddha is dead it is easy to accept him. He will not haunt you. You can make a beautiful shrine for him, you can worship him. You can say, "Be here in this temple and DON'T come out of it!

Let us live outside and you live here. And once in a while we will come and pay our homage to you."


And a Buddha is continuously making a nuisance of himself - because he is against the establishment, against the scriptures, against all that has become settled. He is continuously unsettling you. He is throwing you from security into insecurity, he is always forcing you from the known into the unknown. He cannot leave you alone, he cannot allow you to rest. Unless you disappear, he is going to follow you.

Ikkyu is joking. Humourously he is saying: That's why, when Buddhas are dead, people create great temples for them. Great religions are born, great establishments, much worship, thousands and thousands of books are written. And when they are alive, people either crucify them, poison them, insult them or throw stones at them.

Man has never treated a living Buddha with respect. He treats with respect only those who are dead.

Man respects death, he does not respect life.

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"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious.
But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates
is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners

But the TRAITOR moves among those within the gate freely,
his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the
very halls of government itself.

For the traitor appears not traitor; he speaks in the accents
familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their
garments, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the
hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation; he works secretly
and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city; he
infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A
murderer is less to be feared."