The Ultimate Experience
IN HIS SONG OF MAHAMUDRA, TILOPA SAYS:
MAHAMUDRA IS BEYOND ALL WORDS AND SYMBOLS, BUT FOR YOU, NAROPA, EARNEST AND LOYAL, MUST THIS BE SAID:
THE VOID NEEDS NO RELIANCE, MAHAMUDRA RESTS ON NOUGHT. WITHOUT MAKING AN EFFORT, BUT REMAINING LOOSE AND NATURAL, ONE CAN BREAK THE YOKE - THUS GAINING LIBERATION.
The experience of the ultimate is not an experience at all - because the experiencer is lost. And when there is no experiencer, what can be said about it? Who will say it? Who will relate the experience? When there is no subject, the object also disappears - the banks disappear, only the river of experience remains. Knowledge is there, but the knower is not.
That has been the problem for all the mystics. They reach to the ultimate, but they cannot relate it to those who are following. They cannot relate it to others who would like to have an intellectual understanding. They have become one with it. Their whole being relates it, but no intellectual communication is possible. They can give it to you if you are ready to receive; they can allow it to happen in you if you also allow it, if you are receptive and open. But words won't do, symbols won't help; theories and doctrines are of no use at all.
The experience is such that it is more like an experiencing than like an experience. It is a process - and it begins, but it never ends. You enter into it, but you never possess it. It is like a drop dropping in the ocean, or, the ocean itself dropping into the drop. It is a deep merger, it is oneness, you simply melt away into it. Nothing is left behind, not even a trace, so who will communicate? Who will come back to the world of the valley? Who will come back to this dark night to tell you?
All the mystics all over the world have always felt impotent as far as communication is concerned.
Communion is possible, but communication, no. This has to be understood from the very beginning.
A communion is a totally different dimension: two hearts meet, it is a love affair. Communication is from head to head; communion is from heart to heart, communion is a feeling. Communication is knowledge: only words are given, only words are said, and only words are taken and understood.
And words are such: the very nature of words is so dead that nothing alive can be related through them. Even in ordinary life, leave aside the ultimate, even in ordinary experiencing when you have a peak moment, an ecstatic moment, when you really feel something and become something, it becomes impossible to relate it in words.
In my childhood I used to go early in the morning to the river. It is a small village. The river is very very lazy, as if not flowing at all. And in the morning when the sun is not yet arisen, you cannot see whether it is flowing, it is so lazy and silent. And in the morning when there is nobody, the bathers have not come yet, it is tremendously silent. Even the birds are not singing in the morning - early, no sound, just a soundlessness pervades. And the smell of the mango trees hangs all over the river.
I used to go there, to the furthest corner of the river, just to sit, just to be there. There was no need to do anything, just being there was enough, it was such a beautiful experience to be there. I will take a bath, I will swim, and when the sun will arise I will go to the other shore, to the vast expanse of sand, and dry myself there under the sun, and lie there, and sometimes even go to sleep.
When I came back my mother used to ask, "What have you been doing the whole morning?" I will say, "Nothing," because, actually, I had not been doing anything. And she will say, "How is it possible? Four hours you have not been here, how is it possible that you have not been doing anything? You must have been doing something." And she was right, but I was also not wrong.
I was not doing anything at all. I was just being there with the river, not doing anything, allowing things to happen. If it FELT like swimming, remember, if it FELT like swimming, I would swim, but that was not a doing on my part, I was not forcing anything. If I felt like going into sleep, I would go.
Things were happening, but there was no doer. And my first experiences of satori started near that river: not doing anything, simply being there, millions of things happened.
But she would insist: "You must have been doing something." So I would say, "Okay, I took a bath and I dried myself in the sun," and then she was satisfied. But I was not, because what happened there in the river is not expressed by words: "I took a bath" - it looks so poor and pale. Playing with the river, floating in the river, swimming in the river, was such a deep experience. To say simply, "I took a bath," makes no sense about it; or to just say, "I went there, had a walk on the bank, sat there," conveys nothing.
Even in ordinary life you feel the futility of words. And if you don't feel the futility of words, that shows that you have not been alive at all; that shows that you have lived very superficially. If whatsoever you have been living can be conveyed by words, that means you have not lived at all.
When for the first time something starts happening which is beyond words, life has happened to you, life has knocked at your door. And when the ultimate knocks at your door, you are simply gone beyond words - you become dumb, you cannot say; not even a single word is formed inside. And whatsoever you say looks so pale, so dead, so meaningless, without any significance, that it seems that you are doing injustice to the experience that has happened to you. Remember this, because Mahamudra is the last, the ultimate experience.
Mahamudra means a total orgasm with the universe. If you have loved somebody, and sometimes you have felt a melting and merging - the two are no more two; the bodies remain separate, but something between the bodies makes a bridge, a golden bridge, and the twoness inside disappears; one life energy vibrates on both the poles - if it has happened to you, then only you can understand what Mahamudra is. Millions and millions times deep, millions and millions of times high, is Mahamudra. It is a total orgasm with the whole, with the universe. It is melting into the source of being.
And this is a song of Mahamudra. It is beautiful that Tilopa has called it a song. You can sing it, but you cannot say it; you can dance it, but you cannot say it. It is such a deep phenomenon that singing may convey a little tiny part of it - not what you sing, but the way you sing it.
Many mystics have simply danced after their ultimate experience; they could not do anything else.
They were saying something through their whole being and body; altogether, body, mind, soul, everything involved in it. They were dancing; those dances were not ordinary dances. In fact, all dancing was born because of these mystics; it was a way to relate the ecstasy, the happiness, the bliss. Something of the unknown has penetrated into the known, something of the beyond has come to the earth - what else can you do? You can dance it, you can sing it. This is a song of Mahamudra.
And who will sing it? Tilopa is no more. The orgasmic feeling itself is singing. It is not a song of Tilopa; Tilopa is no more. The experience itself is vibrating and singing. Hence, the song of Mahamudra, the song of ecstasy, ecstasy itself singing it. Tilopa has nothing to do; Tilopa is not there at all, Tilopa has melted. When the seeker is lost, only then the goal is achieved. Only when the experiencer is no more, the experience is there. Seek and you will miss it - because through your seeking the seeker will be strengthened. Don't seek and you will find it. The very seeking, the very effort, becomes a barrier, because the more you seek, the more the ego is strengthened: the seeker. Do not seek.
This is the deepest message of this whole song of Mahamudra: do not seek, just remain as you are, don't go anywhere else. Nobody ever reaches God, nobody can because you don't know the address. Where will you go? Where will you find the divine? There is no map, and there is no way, and there is nobody to say where he is. No, nobody ever reaches God. It is always the reverse: God comes to you. Whenever you are ready, he knocks at your door; he seeks you whenever you are ready. And the readiness is nothing but a receptivity. When you are completely receptive there is no ego; you become a hollow temple with nobody in it.
Tilopa says in the song, become like a hollow bamboo, nothing inside. And suddenly, the moment you are a hollow bamboo, the divine lips are on you, the hollow bamboo becomes a flute, and the song starts - this is the song of Mahamudra. Tilopa has become a hollow bamboo, and the divine has come, and the song has started. It is not Tilopa's song, it is the song of the ultimate experience itself.
Something about Tilopa before we enter into this beautiful phenomenon. Nothing much is known about Tilopa, because nothing in fact can be known about such persons. They don't leave a trace, they don't become a part of history. They exist by the side, they are not part of the main traffic where the whole humanity is moving; they don't move there. The whole humanity moves through desiring, and persons like Tilopa move into desirelessness. They simply move away from the main traffic of humanity where history exists.
And the more away they go from the traffic, the more mythological they become. They exist like myths, they are no more events in time. And this is as it should be, because they move beyond time, they live beyond time - they live in the eternity. From this dimension of our common humanity, they simply disappear, they evaporate. The moment when they are evaporating, only that moment we remember, that much they are part of us. That's why nothing much is known about Tilopa, who he is.
Only this song exists. This is his gift, and the gift was given to his disciple, Naropa. These gifts cannot be given to anybody - unless a deep love intimacy exists. One has to be capable to receive such gifts. This song has been given to Naropa, his disciple. Before this song was given to Naropa, Naropa was tested in millions of ways: his faith, his love and trust. When it came to be known that there exists nothing like doubt in him, not even a tiny part of doubt, when his heart was totally full with trust and love, then this song was given.
I am also here to sing a song, but it can be given to you only when you are ready. And your readiness means that doubt should simply disappear from the mind. It should not be suppressed, you should not try to defeat it, because defeated it will remain in you; suppressed, it will remain part of your unconscious and it will go on affecting you. Don't fight your doubting mind, don't suppress it.
Rather, on the contrary, you simply bring more and more energy into trust. You simply be indifferent to your doubting mind, nothing else can be done.
Indifference is the key: you simply be indifferent. It is there - accept it. Bring your energies more and more towards trust and love - because it is the same energy which becomes doubt; it is the same energy which becomes trust. Remain indifferent to doubt. The moment you are indifferent your cooperation is broken, you are not feeding it - because it is through attention that anything is fed. If you pay attention to your doubt, even if you are against it, paying attention to it is dangerous because the very attention is the food; that is your cooperation. One has just to be indifferent, neither for nor against: don't be for doubt, don't be against doubt.
So now you will have to understand three words. One word is "doubt," another word is "belief," the third word is "trust" or "faith" - what in the East is known as SHRADDHA. Doubt is a negative attitude towards anything. Whatsoever is said, first you look at it negatively. You are against it, and you will find reasons, rationalizations how to support your "againstness." Then there is the mind of belief. It is just like the mind of doubt only standing upside down; there is not much difference. This mind looks at things positively and tries to find reasons, rationalizations how to support it, how to be for it.
The mind who doubts suppresses belief; the mind who believes suppresses doubt - but they both are of the same stuff; the quality is not different.
Then there is a third mind whose doubting has simply disappeared - and when doubt disappears, belief also disappears. Faith is not belief, it is love. Faith is not belief because it is not half, it is total. Faith is not belief because there is no doubt in it, so how can you believe? Faith is not a rationalization at all: neither for nor against, neither this nor that. Faith is a trusting, a deep trusting, a love. You don't find any rationalizations for it, it simply is so. So what to do?
Don't create belief against faith. Just be indifferent to belief and doubt both, and bring your energies towards more and more love; love more, love unconditionally. Not only love me, because that is not possible: if you love, you simply love more. If you love, you simply exist in a more loving way - not only towards the master, but towards everything that exists around you: towards the trees and the stones, and the sky and the earth. You, your being, your very quality of being, becomes a love phenomenon. Then trust arises. And only in such a trust can a gift like the song of Mahamudra be given. When Naropa was ready Tilopa gave this gift.
So remember, with a master you are not on a "headtrip." Doubt and belief are all "head-trips." With a master you are on a "heart-trip." And heart doesn't know what doubt is, heart doesn't know what belief is - heart simply knows trust. Heart is just like a small child: the small child clings to the father's hand, and wherever the father is going the child is going, neither trusting nor doubting; the child is undivided. Doubt is half, belief is half. A child is still total, whole; he simply goes with the father wherever he is going. When a disciple becomes just like a child, then only these gifts of the highest peak of consciousness can be given.
When you become the deepest valley of reception, then the highest peaks of consciousness can be given to you. Only a valley can receive a peak. A disciple should be absolutely feminine, receptive, like a womb. Only then such a phenomenon happens as is going to happen in this song.
Tilopa is the master, Naropa is the disciple, and Tilopa says:
MAHAMUDRA IS BEYOND ALL WORDS AND SYMBOLS, BUT FOR YOU, NAROPA, EARNEST AND LOYAL, MUST THIS BE SAID....
It is beyond words and symbols, all words and all symbols. Then how can it be said? If it is really beyond all words and symbols, then how can it be said? Is there any way then? Yes, there is a way: if there is a Naropa there is a way; if there is really a disciple there is a way. It depends on the disciple whether the way will be found or not.
If the disciple is so receptive that he has no mind of his own - he does not judge whether it is right or wrong, he has no mind of his own, he has surrendered his mind to the master, he is simply a receptivity, an emptiness, ready to welcome whatsoever is given unconditionally - then words and symbols are not needed, then something can be given. And you can listen to it between the words, you can read it between the lines - then words are just an excuse. The real thing happens just by the side of the words.
A word is just a trick, a device. The real thing follows the words like a shadow. And if you are too much of the mind, you will listen to the words, then it cannot be communicated. But if you are not a mind at all, then the subtle shadows that follow the words, very subtle, only the heart can see them, invisible shadows, invisible ripples of consciousness, "vibes"... then communion is immediately possible.
Remember this, says Tilopa:
... BUT FOR YOU, NAROPA, EARNEST AND LOYAL, MUST THIS BE SAID....
That which cannot be said, must be said for a disciple. That which cannot be said, which is absolutely invisible, must be made visible for the disciple. It depends not only on the master - EVEN MORE it depends on the disciple.
Tilopa was fortunate to find a Naropa. There have been a few masters, unfortunate, who never could find a disciple like Naropa. So whatsoever they had gained disappeared with them, because there was nobody to receive it.
Sometimes masters have traveled thousands of miles to find a disciple. Tilopa himself went from India to Tibet to find Naropa, to find a disciple. Tilopa wandered all over India and couldn't find a man of that quality, who would receive such a gift, who would appreciate such a gift, who would be able to absorb it, to be reborn through it. And once the gift was received by Naropa, he became totally transformed. Then Tilopa is reported to have said to Naropa, "Now you go and find your own Naropa."
Naropa was also fortunate in that way: he was able to find a disciple whose name was Marpa.
Marpa was also very fortunate; he was able to find a disciple whose name was Milarepa. But then the tradition disappeared, then no more disciples of that great caliber. Many times religion has come to the earth and disappeared; many times it will come and disappear. A religion cannot become a church; a religion cannot become a sect. A religion depends on PERSONAL communication, on personal communion. The religion of Tilopa existed only for four generations, from Naropa to Milarepa; then it disappeared.
Religion is just like an oasis: the desert is vast, and sometimes in tiny parts of the desert an oasis appears. And while it lasts, seek it; and while it is there, drink of it - and it is very very rare.
Jesus says many times to his disciples, "A little while more I am here. And while I am here, you eat me, you drink me. Don't miss this opportunity" - because then thousands of years... and a man like Jesus may not be there. The desert is vast. The oasis sometimes appears and disappears; because the oasis comes from the unknown it needs an anchor on this earth. If the anchor is not there it cannot remain here. And Naropa is an anchor.
The same I would like to say to you: While I am here, a little while more, don't miss the opportunity.
And you can miss it in trivial things: you can remain occupied with nonsense, with mental garbage.
You can go on thinking for and against - and the oasis will disappear soon. You can think for and against later on. Right now, drink of it, because then there will be many lives for you to think for and against, there is no hurry for it. But while it lasts, drink of it.
Once you are drunk with a Jesus or a Naropa, you are totally transformed. The transformation is very very easy and simple, it is a natural process. All that is needed is to become a soil and receive the seed; to become a womb and receive the seed.
MAHAMUDRA IS BEYOND ALL WORDS AND SYMBOLS, BUT FOR YOU, NAROPA, EARNEST AND LOYAL, MUST THIS BE SAID....
It cannot be uttered, it is unutterable - but it has to be said for a Naropa. Wherever a disciple is ready the master appears, has to appear. Wherever there is a deep need, it has to be fulfilled. The whole existence responds to your deepest need, but the need must be there; otherwise you can pass a Tilopa, a Buddha, a Jesus, and may not be even able to see that you passed a Jesus.
Tilopa lived in this country. Nobody listened to him - and he was ready to give the ultimate gift. What happened? And this has happened in this country many times; there must be something behind it.
And this has happened more in this country than anywhere else, because more Tilopas have been born here. But why does it happen that a Tilopa has to go to Tibet? Why does it happen that a Bodhidharma has to go to China?
This country knows too much, this country has become too much of the head. That's why it is difficult to find a heart - the country of brahmins and pundits, the country of great knowers, philosophers.
They know all the Vedas, all the Upanishads, they can recite by memory the whole scriptures: a country of the heads. That's why it has been happening so many times.
Even I feel, so many times I feel it, that whenever a brahmin comes it is difficult to communicate. A man who knows too much becomes almost impossible - because he knows without knowing. He has gathered many concepts, theories, doctrines, scriptures. It is just a burden on his consciousness, it is not a flowering. It has not happened to him, it is all borrowed, and all that is borrowed is rubbish, rot - throw it as soon as you can throw it.
Only that which happens to you is true. Only that which flowers in you is true. Only that which grows in you is true and alive. Remember it always: avoid borrowed knowledge.
Borrowed knowledge becomes a trick of the mind: it hides ignorance - it never destroys it. And the more you are surrounded by knowledge, deep inside at the center, at the very root of your being, is ignorance and darkness there. And a man of knowledge, borrowed knowledge, is almost closed within his own knowledge; you cannot penetrate him. And it is difficult to find his heart, he himself has lost all contact with his heart. So it is not incidental that a Tilopa has to go to Tibet, a Bodhidharma to China: a seed has to travel so far, not finding a soil here.
Remember this, because it is easy to become too much addicted to knowledge - it is an addiction, it is a drug. And lsd is not so dangerous, marijuana is not so dangerous. And in a way they are similar, because marijuana gives you a glimpse of something which is not there; it gives you a dream of something which is absolutely subjective - it gives you an hallucination. And knowledge is also the same: it gives you an hallucination of knowing. You start feeling that you know because you can recite the Vedas, you know because you can argue, you know because you have a very very logical, keen mind. Don't be a fool! Logic has never led anybody to truth. And a rational mind is just a game.
All arguments are juvenile.
Life exists without any argument, and truth needs no proofs - it needs only your heart; not arguments, but your love, your trust, your readiness to receive.
MAHAMUDRA IS BEYOND ALL WORDS AND SYMBOLS, BUT FOR YOU, NAROPA, EARNEST AND LOYAL, MUST THIS BE SAID: THE VOID NEEDS NO RELIANCE, MAHAMUDRA RESTS ON NOUGHT. WITHOUT MAKING AN EFFORT, BUT REMAINING LOOSE AND NATURAL, ONE CAN BREAK THE YOKE - THUS GAINING LIBERATION.
You cannot find more significant words ever uttered. Try to understand every nuance of what Tilopa is trying to say.
THE VOID NEEDS NO RELIANCE....
If there is something, it needs a support, it needs a reliance. But if there is nothing, emptiness, there is no need for any support. And this is the deepest realization of all the knowers: that your being is a non-being. To say it is a being is wrong because it is not something, it is not like something. It is like nothing: a vast emptiness, with no boundaries to it. It is an ANATMA, a no-self; it is not a self inside you.
All feelings of self are false. All identifications that "I am this and that" are false.
When you come to the ultimate, when you come to your deepest core, you suddenly know that you are neither this nor that - you are no one. You are not an ego, you are just a vast emptiness. And sometimes if you sit, close your eyes and just feel who you are - where are you? And go deeper and you may become afraid, because the deeper you go, the deeper you feel that you are nobody, a nothingness. That's why people become so scared of meditation. It is a death. It is a death of the ego - and the ego is just a false concept.
Now physicists have come to the same truth through their scientific research deepening into the realm of matter. What Buddha, Tilopa and Bodhidharma reached through their insight, science has been discovering in the outside world also. Now they say there is no substance - substance is a parallel concept of self.
A rock exists; you feel that it is very substantial. You can hit somebody's head and blood will come out, even the man may die; it is very substantial. But ask the physicists: they say it is a no-substance, there is nothing in it. They say that it is just an energy phenomenon; many energy currents crisscrossing on this rock give it a feeling of substance. Just as you draw many lines crisscrossing on a piece of paper: where many lines cross a point, a point arises. The point was not there; two lines crossing and a point arises: many lines crossing and a big point arises. Is that point really there? Or just lines crossing give an illusion of a point being there?
Physicists say that energy currents crisscrossing create matter. And if you ask what are these energy currents - they are not material, they have no weight, they are nonmaterial. Nonmaterial lines crisscrossing give an illusion of a material thing, very substantial like a rock.
Buddha achieved this illumination twenty-five centuries before Einstein, that inside there is nobody; only energy lines crisscrossing give you a feeling of the self. Buddha used to say that the self is just like an onion: you peel it, one layer comes off, another layer is there. You go on peeling, layer by layer, and what remains finally? The whole onion is peeled and you find nothing inside.
Man is just like an onion. You peel layers of thought, feeling, and finally, what do you find? A nothing.
This nothingness needs no support. This nothingness exists by itself. That's why Buddha says there is no God; there is no need for a God because God is a support. And Buddha says there is no creator because there is no need to create a nothingness. This is one of the most difficult concepts to understand - unless you realize it.
That's why Tilopa says:
MAHAMUDRA IS BEYOND ALL WORDS AND SYMBOLS.
Mahamudra is an experience of nothingness - simply you are not. And when you are not, then who is there to suffer? Who is there to be in pain and anguish? Who is there to be depressed and sad?
And who is there to be happy and blissful? Buddha says that if you feel you are blissful you will become again a victim of suffering, because you are still there. When you are not, completely not, utterly not, then there is no suffering and no bliss - and this is the real bliss. Then you cannot fall back. To attain nothingness is to attain all.
My whole effort with you is also to lead you towards nothingness, to lead you to a total vacuum.
THE VOID NEEDS NO RELIANCE MAHAMUDRA RESTS ON NOUGHT. WITHOUT MAKING AN EFFORT, BUT REMAINING LOOSE AND NATURAL, ONE CAN BREAK THE YOKE - THUS GAINING LIBERATION.
The first thing to understand is that the concept of self is created by the mind - there is no self in you.
It happened: a great Buddhist, a man of enlightenment, was invited by a king to teach him. The name of the Buddhist monk was Nagasen, and the king was a viceroy of Alexander. When Alexander went back from India, he left Minander as his viceroy here; his Indian name is Milanda. Milanda asked Nagasen to come and teach him. He was really interested, and he had heard many stories about Nagasen. And many rumors had come to the court: "This is a rare phenomenon! Rarely it happens that a man flowers, and this man has flowered. He has an aroma of something unknown around him, a mysterious energy. He walks on the earth, but he is not of the earth." He became interested; he invited him.
The messenger who went to Nagasen came back very much puzzled, because Nagasen said, "Yes, if he invites, Nagasen will come - but tell him there is no one like Nagasen. If he invites I will come, but tell him exactly that there is no one like 'I am.' I am no more." The messenger was puzzled, because if Nagasen is no more, then who will come? And Milanda was also puzzled. He said, "This man talks in puzzles. But let him come." And he was a Greek, this Milanda, and the Greek mind is basically logical.
There are only two minds in the world, the Indian and the Greek. The Indian is illogical, and the Greek is logical. The Indian moves into the dark depths, wild depths, where are no boundaries, everything is vague, cloudy. The Greek mind walks on the logical, the straight, where everything is defined and classified. The Greek mind moves into the known. The Indian mind moves into the unknown, and even more into the unknowable. The Greek mind is absolutely rational; the Indian mind is absolutely contradictory. So if you find too many contradictions in me, don't be bothered. It is the way... in the East contradiction is the way to relate.
Milanda said, "This man seems to be irrational, gone mad. If he is not then how can he come? But let him come, I will see. I will prove: just by coming he is proving that he is."
Then came Nagasen. Milanda received him at the gate and the first thing he asked, he said, "I am puzzled: you have come and still you said that you are not."
Nagasen said, "Still I say. So let us settle it here."
A crowd gathered, the whole court came there, and Nagasen said, "You ask."
Milanda asked, "first tell me: if something is not, how can it come? In the first place it is not, then there is no possibility of its coming - and you have come. It is simple logic that you are."
Nagasen laughed and he said, "Look at this RATHA" - the bullock cart on which he had come. He said, "Look at this. You call it a ratha, a cart."
Milanda said, "Yes."
Then he told his followers to remove the bullocks. The bullocks were removed and Nagasen asked, "Are these bullocks the cart?"
Milanda said, "Of course not."
Then, by and by, everything from the cart was removed, every part. Wheels were removed and he asked, "Are these wheels the cart?"
And Milanda said, "Of course not!"
When everything was removed and there was nothing, then Nagasen asked, "Where is the cart I had come in?... and we never removed the cart, and all that we have removed you confirmed that this is not the cart. Now where is the cart?"
Nagasen said, "Just like this Nagasen exists. Remove parts and he will disappear." Just crisscrossing lines of energy: remove the lines and the dot will disappear. The cart is just a combination of parts.
You are also a combination of parts, the "I" is a combination of parts. Remove things and the "I" will disappear. That's why when thoughts are removed from consciousness, you cannot say "I," because there is no "I" - just a vacuum is left. When feelings are removed, the self disappears completely.
You are and yet not: just an absence, with no boundaries, emptiness.
This is the final attainment, this state is Mahamudra, because only in that state you can have an orgasm with the whole. Now there is no boundary, no self exists; now there is no boundary to you to divide.
The whole has no boundaries. You MUST become like the whole - only then there can be a meeting, a merger. When you are empty, you are without boundaries. Suddenly you become the whole. When you are not, you become the whole. When you are, you become an ugly ego. When you are not, you have all the expanse of existence for your being to be.
But these are contradictions. So try to understand: become a little like Naropa, otherwise these words and symbols will not carry anything to you. Listen to me in trust. And when I say listen in trust, I mean I have known this. This is so. I am a witness, I bear witness for it, this is so. It may not be possible to say it, but that doesn't mean that it is not. It may be possible to say something, that doesn't mean that it is. You can say something which is not, and you may be incapable of saying something which is. I bear witness about it, but you will be able to understand me only if you are a Naropa, if you listen in trust.
I am not teaching a doctrine. I would not have been at all concerned with Tilopa if this was not my own experience also. Tilopa has said it well:
THE VOID NEEDS NO RELIANCE, MAHAMUDRA RESTS ON NOUGHT.
On nothing Mahamudra rests. Mahamudra, the literal word, means the great gesture, or the ultimate gesture, the last that you can have, beyond which nothing is possible. Mahamudra rests on nothing.
You be a nothing, and then all is attained. You die, and you become a god. You disappear, and you become the whole. Here the drop disappears, and there the ocean comes into existence.
Don't cling to yourself - that's all you have been doing all your past lives: clinging, afraid that if you don't cling to the ego, then you look down: a bottomless abyss is there....
That's why we cling to tiny things, really trivial, we go on clinging to them. The clinging shows only that you are also aware of a vast emptiness inside. Something is needed to cling to, but your clinging is your SAMSARA, is your misery. Leave yourself in the abyss. And once you leave yourself in the abyss, you become the abyss itself. Then there is no death, because how can an abyss die? Then there is no end to it, because how can a nothingness end? Something can end, will have to end - only nothing can be eternal. Mahamudra rests on nothing.
Let me explain it to you through some experience that you have got. When you love a person, you have to become a nothing. When you love a person, you have to become a no-self. That's why love is so difficult. And that's why Jesus says God is like love. He knows something about Mahamudra - because before he started teaching in Jerusalem, he has been to India. He has been to Tibet also.
He met people like Tilopa and Naropa. He remained in Buddhist monasteries. He learned about what it is that these people call nothingness. Then he tried to translate his whole understanding into Jewish terminology. There everything got messed up.
You cannot translate Buddhist understanding into Jewish terminology. It is impossible, because the whole Jewish terminology depends on positive terms, and the Buddhist terminology depends on absolutely nihilistic terms: nothingness, emptiness. But here and there in Jesus' words there are glimpses. He says, "God is love." He is indicating something. What is the indication?
When you love, you have to become nobody. If you remain somebody, then love never happens.
When you love a person - even for a single moment love happens and flows between two persons - there are two nothingnesses, not two persons. If you have ever had any experience of love, you can understand.
Two lovers sitting by each other's side, or two nothingnesses sitting together - only then the meeting is possible because barriers are broken, boundaries thrown away. The energy can move from here to there; there is no hindrance. And only in such a moment of deep love is orgasm possible.
When two lovers are making love, and if they are both no-selves, nothingnesses, then orgasm happens. Then their body energy, their whole being, loses all identity; they are no more themselves - they have fallen into the abyss. But this can happen only for a moment: again they regain, again they start clinging. That's why people become afraid in love also.
In deep love people are afraid of becoming mad, or going to die - of what will happen. The abyss opens its mouth, the whole existence yawns, and you are suddenly there and you can fall into it.
One becomes scared of love, then people remain satisfied with sex and they call their sex "love."
Love is not sex. Sex can happen in love, it can be a part, integral part to it, but sex itself is not love - it is a substitute. You are trying to avoid love through sex. You are giving yourself a feeling that you are in love, and you are not moving into love. Sex is just like borrowed knowledge: giving a feeling of knowing without knowing; giving a feeling of love and loving without loving.
In love you are not, the other is also not: then only, suddenly, the two disappear. The same happens in Mahamudra. Mahamudra is a total orgasm with the whole existence.
That's why in Tantra - and Tilopa is a Tantra master - deep intercourse, orgasmic intercourse, between lovers is also called Mahamudra, and two lovers in a deep orgasmic state are pictured in tantric temples, in tantric books. That has become a symbol of the final orgasm.
MAHAMUDRA RESTS ON NOUGHT. WITHOUT MAKING AN EFFORT, BUT REMAINING LOOSE AND NATURAL....
And this is the whole method of Tilopa, and the whole method of Tantra: WITHOUT MAKING AN EFFORT... because if you make an effort, the ego is strengthened. If you make an effort, YOU come in.
So love is not an effort, you cannot make an effort to love. If you make an effort, there is no love.
You flow into it, you don't make an effort, you simply allow it to happen, you don't MAKE an effort.
It is not a doing, it is a happening: WITHOUT MAKING AN EFFORT.... And the same is the case with the total, the final: you don't make an effort, you simply float with it... BUT REMAINING LOOSE AND NATURAL. This is the way, this is the very ground of Tantra.
Yoga says make an effort, and Tantra says don't make any effort. Yoga is ego-oriented, finally it will take the jump, but Tantra is, from the very beginning, non-ego-oriented. Yoga, in the end, attains to such significance, such meaning, such depth, that it says to its seeker, "Now drop the ego" - only in the end; Tantra from the very beginning, from the very first step....
I would like to say it in this way, in such a way: where Yoga ends, Tantra starts. The highest peak of Yoga is the beginning of Tantra - and Tantra leads you to the ultimate goal. Yoga can prepare you for Tantra, that's all, because the final thing is to be effortless, "loose and natural."
What does Tilopa mean by "loose and natural"? Don't fight with yourself, be loose. Don't try to make a structure around yourself of character, of morality. Don't discipline yourself too much; otherwise your very discipline will become the bondage. Don't create an imprisonment around you. Remain loose, floating, move with the situation, respond to the situation. Don't move with a character jacket around you, don't move with a fixed attitude. Remain loose like water, not fixed like ice. Remain moving and flowing; wherever the nature leads you, go. Don't resist, don't try to impose anything on you, your being.
But the whole society teaches you to impose something or other: be good, be moral, be this and that. And Tantra is absolutely beyond society, culture and civilization. It says if you are too much cultured you will lose all that is natural, and then you will be a mechanical thing, not floating, not flowing. So don't force a structure around you - live moment to moment, live with alertness. And this is a deep thing to be understood.
Why do people try to create a structure around them? So that they don't need alertness - because if you have no character around you, you will need to be very very aware: because each moment the decision has to be taken. You don't have a prefabricated decision, you don't have an attitude.
You have to respond to the situation. Something is there, and you are absolutely unprepared for it - you will have to be very very aware.
To avoid awareness people have created a trick, and the trick is character. Force yourself into a certain discipline so that whether you are aware or not, the discipline will take care of you. Make a habit of always saying the truth; make it a habit, then you need not be worried about it. Somebody asks, you will say the truth, out of habit - but out of habit a truth is dead.
And life is not so simple. Life is a very very complex phenomenon. Sometimes a lie is needed, and sometimes a truth can be dangerous - and one has to be aware. For example, if through your lie somebody's life is saved, and through your lie nobody is harmed and somebody's life is saved, what will you do? If you have a fixed mind that you have to be true, then you will kill a life.
Nothing is more valuable than life, no truth, nothing is more valuable than life. And sometimes your truth can kill somebody's life. What will you do? Just saving your own old pattern and habit, your own ego that "I am a truthful man," you will sacrifice a life - just being a truthful man, just to be that?
This is too much, you are completely mad! If a life can be saved, even if people think that you are a liar, what is wrong in it? Why bother too much about what people say about you?
It is difficult! It is not so easy to create a fixed pattern because life goes on moving and changing, and every moment there is a new situation and one has to respond to it. Respond with full awareness, that's all. And let the decision come out of the situation itself, not prefabricated, not imposed. Don't carry a built-in mind just remain loose and aware and natural.
And this is how a real religious man is; otherwise, the so-called religious persons are just dead.
They act out of their habits, they go on acting out of their habits - this is a conditioning, this is not a freedom. Consciousness needs freedom.
Be loose: remember this word as deeply as possible. Let it penetrate you. Be loose - so in every situation you can flow, easily, water-like; so if the water is poured into a glass, it takes the shape of the glass. It doesn't resist, it doesn't say, "This is not my form." If the water is poured into a jar, into a jug, it takes the shape of that. It has no resistance, it is loose. Remain loose like water.
Sometimes you will have to move south and sometimes north, you will have to change directions; according to the situations you will have to flow. But if you know how to flow, it is enough. The ocean is not very far away if you know how to flow.
So don't create a pattern - and the whole society tries to create a pattern, and all the religions try to create a pattern. Only very few enlightened persons have been courageous enough to say the truth - the truth that: Be loose and natural! If you are loose you will be natural, of course.
Tilopa doesn't say, "Be moral," he says, "Be natural." And these are completely, diametrically opposite dimensions. A moral man is never natural, cannot be. If he feels angry he cannot be angry because the morality doesn't allow it. If he feels loving he cannot be loving because the morality is there. It is always according to the morality that he acts; it is never according to his nature.
And I tell you: if you start moving according to moral patterns and not according to your nature, you will never reach the state of Mahamudra, because it is a natural state, the highest peak of being natural. I tell you: if you feel angry, be angry - but perfect awareness has to be retained. Anger should not overpower your consciousness, that's all.
Let anger be there, let it happen, but be fully alert to what is happening. Remain loose, natural, aware, WATCHING what is happening. By and by, you will see many things have simply disappeared, they don't happen any more - and without making any effort on your part. You never tried to kill them and they have simply disappeared.
When one is aware, anger by and by disappears. It becomes simply stupid - not bad, remember, because "bad" is a loaded value. It becomes simply stupid! It is not that because it is bad you don't move into it, it is simply foolish; it is not a sin, but simply stupid. Greed disappears, it is stupid.
Jealousy disappears, it is stupid.
Remember this valuation. In morality there is something good and something bad. In being natural there is something wise and something stupid. A man who is natural is wise, not good. A man who is not natural is stupid, not bad. There is nothing bad and nothing good, only wise things and foolish things. And if you are foolish you harm yourself and others, and if you are wise you don't harm anybody - neither others, nor you. There is nothing like sin and there is nothing like virtue - wisdom is all. If you want to call it virtue, call it virtue. And ignorance is there if you want to call it sin - that is the only sin.
So how to transform your ignorance into wisdom? That is the only transformation - and you cannot force it: it happens when you are loose and natural.
... REMAINING LOOSE AND NATURAL, ONE CAN BREAK THE YOKE - THUS GAINING LIBERATION.
And one becomes totally free. It will be difficult in the beginning, because constantly the old habits will be there forcing you to do something: you would like to be angry - but the old habit simply starts a smile on your face. There are people that, whenever they smile, you can be certain that they are angry. In their very smile they show their anger. They are hiding something, a false smile spreads on their faces. These are the hypocrites.
A hypocrite is an unnatural man: if anger is there he will smile; if hate is there he will show love; if he feels murderous, he will pretend compassion. A hypocrite is a perfect moralist - absolutely artificial, a plastic flower, ugly, of no use; not a flower at all, just a pretension.
Tantra is the natural way: be loose and natural. It will be difficult because the old habits have to be broken. It is difficult because you will have to live in a society of hypocrites. It will be difficult because everywhere you will find a conflict with the hypocrites - but one has to go through it. It will be arduous because there are many investments in false, artificial pretensions. You may feel completely alone, but this will be only a passing phase. Soon others will start feeling your authenticity. And remember, even an authentic anger is better than a pretended smile, because at least it is authentic. And a man who cannot be authentically angry, cannot be authentic at all. At least he is authentic, true to his being. Whatsoever is happening, you can rely on him that it is true.
And this is my observation: that a true anger is beautiful and a false smile is ugly; and a true hate has its own beauty, just like true love - because beauty is concerned with truth. Neither is it concerned with hate, nor with love - beauty is of the true. Truth is beautiful in whatsoever form. A truly dead man is more beautiful than a falsely alive man, because at least the basic quality is there of being true.
Mulla Nasruddin's wife died, and the neighbors gathered, but Mulla Nasruddin was standing there completely unaffected, as if nothing had happened. Neighbors started crying and weeping and they said, "What are you standing there for, Nasruddin? She is dead."
Nasruddin said, "Wait! She is such a liar - at least for three days I have to wait and see whether it is true or not."
Remember this - that beauty of truth, authenticity. Become more authentic and you will have a flowering. And the more authentic you become, by and by you will feel many things are falling away - of their own accord. You never made any effort to do it; they are falling of their own accord. And once you know the knack of it, then you become more and more loose, more and more natural, authentic. And, says Tilopa:
... ONE CAN BREAK THE YOKE - THUS GAINING LIBERATION.
The liberation is not very far away, it is just hidden behind you. Once you are authentic and the door is open - but you are such a liar, you are such a pretender, you are such a hypocrite, you are so deeply false; that's why you feel that the liberation is very very far away. It is not! For an authentic being, liberation is just natural. It is as natural as anything.
As water flows towards the ocean, as vapor rises towards the sky, as the sun is hot and the moon is cool, so for an authentic being is liberation. It is nothing to be bragged about. It is nothing that you have to tell people that you have gained something.
When Lin Chi was asked, "What has happened to you? People say that you have become enlightened," he shrugged his shoulders and said, "Happened? Nothing. I cut wood in the forest, and carry water to the ashram - carry water from the well, cut wood because the winter is approaching."
He shrugged his shoulders - a very meaningful gesture.
He is saying, "Nothing has happened. What nonsense you are asking! It is natural: carrying water from the well, cutting wood in the forest. Life is absolutely natural." Says Lin Chi, "When I feel sleepy, I go to sleep; and when I feel hungry, I eat. Life has become absolutely natural."
Liberation is your being perfectly natural. Liberation is not something to be bragged about, that you have attained something very great. It is nothing great, it is nothing extraordinary. It is just being natural, just being yourself.
So what to do?
Drop pretensions, drop hypocrisies, drop all that you have cultivated around your natural being - become natural. In the beginning it will be a very very arduous thing, but only in the beginning.
Once you get attuned to it, others will also start feeling something has happened to you, because an authentic being is such a force, such a magnetism. They will start feeling something has happened:
"This man no more moves as part of us, he has become totally different." And you will not be at a loss, because only artificial things will drop.
And once the emptiness is created by throwing away artificial things, pretensions, masks, then the natural being starts flowing. It needs space.
Be empty, loose and natural. Let that be the most fundamental principle in your life.