The body is an abode
The first question:
THE BAULS CELEBRATE THEIR LIVES IN THEIR BODIES. COULD YOU SAY MORE ABOUT THIS? AMERICANS CHERISH THEIR BODIES WITH HEALTH FOOD, ROLFING, MASSAGE, ETC. BUT I DON'T THINK THIS IS THE SAME AS THE BAULS. COULD YOU PLEASE COMMENT?
THERE IS A LOT OF DIFFERENCE, and the difference is not only quantitative, it is qualitative. The modern world, the modern mind, knows only the empty temple. It has completely forgotten about the one who is enshrined in the temple. So we go on worshipping the temple, but the God is forgotten. Not knowing anything about the center of life, we go on moving and indulging on the periphery. The American cherishes his body as the body, Baul worships his body as the shrine of God. Body in itself is nothing.
It is luminous because of something that is beyond the body. The glory of the body is not in the body itself -- it is a host -- the glory is because of the guest. If you forget the guest, then it is sheer indulgence. If you remember the guest, then loving the body, celebrating the body is part of worship.
The Baul has a great vision. In that vision body is the lowest part, the most visible part, the most tangible. But it is not the all, it is just the beginning. You have to enter through the body; it is just a gate. It leads to deeper mysteries. The Baul cherishes the body because the body is a vehicle, and through the body one can know that which is embodied, that which is not body itself. The body is the earthen lamp and God is the flame. The lamp is worshipped because of the flame. Once the flame is gone, who worships the body, who celebrates the body? Then it is nothing; then dust unto dust, it returns back to the earth.
The body is throbbing with God, pulsating with God. If you can see that pulsation, then even dust becomes divine. If you cannot see that pulsation, then it is simply dust. Then there is no meaning in it.
The American worship of the body is meaningless. Hence, people go after health food, massage, Rolfing, and in a thousand and one ways they somehow try to create meaning in their lives. But look into their eyes; a great emptiness exists. You can see they have missed. The fragrance is not there, the flower has not flowered. Deep inside, they are just desert-like, lost, not knowing what to do. They go on doing many things for the body, but it is missing the target.
I have heard an anecdote:
Rosenfeld walked into the house with a grin on his face. "You will never guess what a bargain I just got," he told his wife. "I bought four polyester, steel-belted, radial wide- tread, white-walled, heavy-duty tires, on sale yet!"
"Are you nuts?" said Mistress Rosenfeld. "What did you buy tires for? You don't even have a car."
"So," said Rosenfeld, "you buy brassieres, don't you?"
If the center is missing, then you can go on decorating the periphery. It may deceive others, but it cannot fulfill you. It may even deceive you sometimes, because even one's own lie repeated too many times starts appearing like a truth. But it cannot fulfill you, it cannot give contentment. The American is trying hard to enjoy life, but there seems to be no rejoicing. The Baul is not trying at all to enjoy life. There is no effort in it; he simply is enjoying it. And he has nothing to enjoy; he is just a beggar on the road, but he has something of the inner, some glow of the unknown surrounds him. His songs are not only songs; something from the beyond descends in them. When he dances, it is not only that his body is moving; something deeper has moved. He's not trying to enjoy.
Remember it: whenever you are trying to enjoy you will miss. When you are trying to achieve happiness you will miss. The very effort to achieve happiness is absurd -- because happiness is here: you cannot achieve it. Nothing has to be done about it, you have simply to allow it. It is happening, it is all around you; within, without, only happiness is. Nothing else is real. Watch, look deep into the world, into trees, birds, rocks, rivers, into the stars, moon and sun, into people, animals -- look deep: existence is made out of the stuff of happiness, joy, SATCHITANANDA. It is made of bliss. There is nothing to be done about it. Your very doing may be the barrier. Relax and it fulfills you; relax and it rushes into you; relax, it overflows you.
The Baul is relaxed; the American is tense. Tension arises when you are chasing something, relaxation arises when you are allowing something. That's why I say there is a great difference, and the difference is qualitative. It is not a question of quantity -- that Bauls have more than Americans, or Americans have less than the Bauls. No, the Americans have nothing of happiness that the Bauls have; and what the Americans have - - the misery, the tension, the anguish, the neurosis -- the Bauls don't have. They exist in a totally different dimension.
The dimension of the Baul is here-now; the dimension of the American is somewhere else -- then-there, but never here-now. The American is chasing, chasing hard, trying to get something out of life, trying to squeeze life. Nothing comes out of it because that is not the way. You cannot squeeze life; you have to surrender to it. You cannot conquer life. You have to be so courageous to be defeated by life. Defeat is victory there, and the effort to be victorious is going to prove to be nothing but your final, UTTER failure.
Life cannot be conquered because the part cannot conquer the whole. It is as if a small drop of water is trying to conquer the ocean. Yes, the small drop can fall into the ocean and become the ocean, but it cannot conquer the ocean. In fact, dropping into the ocean, slipping into the ocean is the way to conquer.
The Baul is one who is dissolved in life. He has said an absolute yes to life. He's not trying to squeeze anything. He simply waits -- passive, alert, available. When God knocks on his door the doors are always open, that's all.
He is not chasing God. How can he chase? Where, in what ways, on what paths can we find Him? Either He is everywhere or He is nowhere. You cannot address your life towards God; you cannot make a target out of Him. He is the total; the total cannot be made a target. Wherever you look, He is. Whatsoever you do, you do in Him. Even when you are miserable, you are miserable in Him. Even in your misery you don't lose Him. He cannot be lost. That which can be lost is not God.
That's why Bauls call God ADHAR MANUSH -- the essential man, the essential consciousness. It is so essential you cannot lose it. It is your very ground, it is your being.
He celebrates his body because he knows that someone who is of the beyond, the stranger, is residing in the body. The body is an abode. It is a temple, but not empty. It is full of light, it is full of life -- God is there. Realizing this, he dances; realizing this, he sings; realizing this, he smiles and cries and weeps, and tears roll down his face. Seeing the miracle: "I have not earned Him, and He is here; I have not even sought Him, and He is here; I have not even begged, and He is here," a great, tremendous gratitude arises. The Baul dances because of it.
Now let me say this: the American is trying to find happiness, hence his overconcern with the body. It is almost an obsession. It has gone beyond the limits of concern, it has become obsessive: continuously thinking about the body, doing this and that, and all sorts of things. He is making an effort to have some contact with happiness through the body.
That is not possible.
The Baul has ATTAINED it. He has already seen it inside himself. He has looked deep into his body, not through massage, not through Rolfing, not through sauna bath. He has looked into it through love and meditation and he has found that it is there, the treasure is there. Hence he worships his body; hence he is careful about his body because the body is carrying the divine.
Have you watched how a woman walks when she is pregnant so careful, because a new life is enshrined in her. Have you seen the transfiguration that comes to the, face of a woman when she becomes pregnant? Her face is luminous, hopeful, throbbing with new life, new possibility. Look at Prafulla; she is pregnant now. Look at her face -- how transfigured, how happy she looks. She is carrying a treasure, a great treasure. A new life is going to be created through her. She walks carefully, moves carefully. A grace has arisen in her because she is pregnant. She is no more alone: her body has become a temple. This is just to make you understand.
What to say about a Baul? God is there. He is pregnant with the divine. He glows, he is luminous, he dances and sings. Possessing nothing, he possesses all; having nothing, he is the richest man in the world. In one way he is just a beggar on the road, and in another way, the emperor. Because of this that has happened inside -- that he has become aware -- he is happy with his body, he takes care of his body, he loves his body. This love is totally different.
And secondly: the American mind is competitive. It is not necessary that you may be really in love with your body; you may be just competing with others. Because others are doing things, you have to do them. The American mind is the most shallow, ambitious mind that has ever existed in the world. It is the very basic worldly mind. That's why the businessman has become the top-most reality in America. Everything else has faded into the background; the businessman, the man who controls money is the top-most reality. In India, BRAHMINS were the top-most reality -- the seekers of God. In Europe the aristocrats were the top-most reality -- well-cultured, educated, alert, in tune with subtle nuances of life: music, art, poetry, sculpture, architecture, classical dances, languages, Greek and Latin. The aristocrat, who had been conditioned for the higher values of life for centuries, was the top-most reality in Europe. In Soviet Russia the proletariat, the downtrodden, the oppressed, the laborer is the top-most reality. In America it is the businessman; VAISHYA, one who controls money.
Money is the most competitive realm. You need not have culture, you need only have money. You need not know anything about music, anything about poetry. You need not know anything about ancient literature, history, religion, philosophy -- no, you need not know. If you have a big bank balance, you are important. That's why I say this is the most shallow mind that has ever existed. And this mind has turned everything into commerce.
This mind is continuously in competition. Even if you purchase a Van Gogh or a Picasso, you don't purchase it for Picasso. You purchase because the neighbors have purchased.
They have a Picasso painting in their drawing room, so how can you afford not to have it? You HAVE to have it. You may not know anything -- you may not know even how to hang it, which side is which. Because it is difficult to know, as far as a Picasso is concerned, whether the picture is hanging upside-down or right-side up. You may not know at all whether it is authentically a Picasso or not. You may not look at it at all, but because others have it and they are talking about Picasso, you have to show your culture.
You simply show your money. So whatsoever is costly becomes significant; whatsoever is costly is thought to be significant.
Money and the neighbors seem to be the only criterion to decide everything: their cars, their houses, their paintings, their decorations. People are having sauna baths in their bathrooms not because they love their bodies, not necessarily, but because it is the 'in'
thing -- everybody has it. If you don't have it you look poor. If everybody has a house in the hills, you have to have it. You may not know how to enjoy the hills; you may be simply bored there. Or you may take your t.v. and your radio there and just listen to the same radio you were listening to at home, and watch the same t.v. program as you were watching at home. What difference does it make where you are sitting, the hills or in your own room? But others have it. A four-car garage is needed; others have it. You may not need four cars.
The American mind is continuously competing with others. The Baul is a non- competitor. He is a drop-out. He says, "I am no more concerned with what others are doing, I am only concerned with what I am. I am not concerned with what others have, I am only concerned with what I have." Once you see the fact, that life can be tremendously blissful without having many things, then who bothers? That's one of the basic differences between other renunciates in India and the Bauls. Bauls are beggars, Jain monks are also beggars, but there is a great difference: Jain monks have the American mind. They have left the world with great effort, they have renounced the world with great effort -- because they think this is the only way to achieve the other world, to earn virtue. But they remain businessmen. The Jains are the top-most businessmen in India. That's why I say they have the American mind. Their sannyasins remain the same.
The Baul's renunciation is totally different. He has not renounced for any other world. He has renounced seeing the foolishness of possessions, seeing the unnecessary burdening.
He has renounced seeing the fact that you can be so happy without many things. Then why carry them? Carrying them creates anxiety, burdens you and destroys your blissfulness. The Jain monk is thinking of another world: his MOKSHA, his heaven. The Baul is not worried about any other world. He says, "This is the only world." But he has come to see the fact, a simple truth: that the more you have, the less you enjoy. Can't you see it? It is a simple arithmetic of life -- the more you have, the less you enjoy, because you don't have any time to enjoy. The whole time is occupied by having. If you have too many things, you are occupied by those many things; your inner space is occupied. To enjoy, you need a little space; to enjoy, you need a little unburdening; to enjoy, you need to forget your possessions and just be.
The Baul loves life, hence he renounces. The Jain monk hates life, hence he renounces.
So sometimes the gesture may appear the same, but it need not be the same. The inner significance may be totally different.
I have heard....
Old Luke and his wife were known as the stingiest couple in the valley. Luke died and a few months later his wife lay dying. She called in a neighbor and said weakly, "Ruthie, bury me in my black silk dress, but before you do, cut the back out and make a new dress out of it. It is good material and I hate to waste it."
"Could not do that," said Ruthie. "When you and Luke walk up them golden stairs, what would them angels say if your dress ain't got a back in it?"
"They won't be looking at me," she said. "I buried Luke without his pants."
The concern is always the other -- Luke will be without pants so everybody will be looking at him. The American concern is with the other. The Baul's concern is simply with himself. The Baul is very selfish; he is not worried about you, and he is not worried about anything that you have or anything that you have done. He is not concerned at all with your biography. He lives on this earth as if he were alone. Of course, he has a tremendous space all around him -- because he lives on this earth as if he were alone. He moves on this earth without being concerned with others' opinions. He lives his life, he is doing his thing, and he is doing his being. Of course, he is happy like a child. His happiness is very simple, innocent. It is not manipulated, it is not manufactured. It is very simple, essential, basic, like a child's.
Have you watched a child just running, shouting, dancing for nothing at all -- because he has nothing? If you ask him, "Why are you so happy?" he will not be able to answer you.
He will really think that you are mad. Is there any need for any cause to be happy? He will simply be shocked that the 'why' can be raised. He will shrug his shoulders and will go on his way and start singing and dancing again. The child has nothing. He is not a prime minister yet, he is not a president of the United States, he is not a Rockefeller. He owns nothing -- maybe a few shells or a few stones that he has collected on the seashore, that's all.
That's all that Bauls own: a few seashells, a few stones -- they will make a MALA of those stones, they will wear the MALA; a little instrument to sing, bells to ring for their innermost God, a small AEKTARA, a one-stringed instrument -- that too one-stringed, because that is enough; a small DUGGI, a small drum -- that's all. A Baul sleeps unconcerned with the world. He lives, moves unconcerned with the world. And his God is always within him so wherever he is is his shrine. He never goes to the temple -- not that he is against it; he never goes to the mosque -- not that he is against it. He has come to the real temple, and now there is no need to go anywhere. He worships, he prays, he loves, but his love, his prayer, his worship, is of the essential reality that he is.
The Baul's life does not end when life ends; the American's life ends when life ends.
When the body ends, the American ends. Hence, the American is very afraid of death.
Because of the fear of death, the American goes on trying any way to prolong his life, sometimes to absurd lengths. Now there are many Americans who are just vegetating in hospitals, in mental asylums. They are not living; they are long since dead. They are just managed by the physicians, medicines, modern equipment. Somehow they go on hanging on.
The fear of death is so tremendous: once gone you are gone forever and nothing will survive -- because the American knows only the body and nothing else. If you know only the body you are going to be very poor. First, you will always be afraid of death, and one who is afraid to die will be afraid to live -- because life and death are so together that if you are afraid to die you will become afraid to live. It is life that brings death, so if you are afraid of death, how can you really love life? The fear will be there. It is life that brings death; you cannot live it totally. If death ends everything, if that is your idea and understanding, then your life will be a life of rushing and chasing. Because death is coming, you cannot be patient. Hence the American mania for speed: everything has to be done fast because death is approaching, so try to manage as many more things as possible before you die. Try to stuff your being with as many experiences as possible before you die, because once you are dead, you are dead.
This creates a great meaninglessness and, of course, anguish, anxiety. If there is nothing which is going to survive the body, then whatsoever you do cannot be very deep. Then whatsoever you do cannot satisfy you. If death is the end and nothing survives, then life cannot have any meaning and significance. Then it is a tale told by an idiot, full of fury and noise, signifying nothing.
The Baul knows that he is IN the body, but he is not the body. He loves the body; it is his abode, his house, his home. He is not against the body because it is foolish to be against your own home, but he is not a materialist. He is earthly but not a materialist. He is very realistic, but not a materialist. He knows that dying, nothing dies. Death comes but life continues.
I have heard: The funeral service was over and Desmond, the undertaker, found himself standing beside an elderly gent.
"One of the relatives?" asked the mortician.
"Yes, I am," answered the senior citizen.
"How old are you?"
"Hmm," said Desmond, "hardly pays you to make the trip home."
The whole idea is of bodily life: if you are ninety-four,; finished. Then it hardly pays to go back home; then better to die. What is the point of going back? -- you will have to come again. It hardly pays...if death is the only reality, then whether you are ninety-four or twenty-four, how much difference does it make? Then the difference is of only a few years. Then the very young start feeling old, and the child starts feeling already dead.
Once you understand that this body is the only life, then what is the point of it all? Then why carry it on?
Camus has written that the only basic metaphysical problem for man is suicide. I agree with him. If body is the only reality and there is nothing within you that is beyond body, then of course that is the most important thing to consider, brood, and meditate on. Why not commit suicide? Why wait until ninety-four? And why suffer all sorts of problems and miseries on the way? If one is going to die, then why not die today? Why get up again tomorrow morning? It seems futile.
So on the one hand the American is constantly running from one place to another to somehow grab the experience, somehow not to miss the experience. He is running all around the world, from one town to another, from one country to another, from one hotel to another. He is running from one guru to another, from one church to another, in search, because death is coming. On the one hand a constant, mad chasing, and on the other hand a deep-down apprehension that everything is useless -- because death will end all. So whether you lived a rich life or you lived a poor life, whether you were intelligent or unintelligent, whether you were a great lover or missed, what difference does it make?
Finally death comes, and it equalizes everybody: the wise and the foolish, the sages and the sinners, the enlightened people and the stupid people, all go down into the earth and disappear. So what is the point of it all? Whether it be a Buddha or a Jesus or a Judas; what difference does it make? Jesus dies on the cross, Judas commits suicide the next day -- both disappear into the earth.
On the other hand there is a fear that you may miss and others may attain, and on the other hand a deep apprehension that even if you get, nothing is got. Even if you arrive, you arrive nowhere because death comes and destroys everything.
The Baul lives in the body, loves his body, celebrates it, but he is not the body. He knows the essential man, the ADHAR MANUSH. He knows that there is something in him which will survive all deaths. He knows that there is something in him which is eternal and time cannot destroy it. This he has come to feel through meditation, love, prayer.
This he has come to feel inside his own being. He is unafraid. He is unafraid of death because he knows what life is. And he is not chasing happiness, because he knows God is sending him millions of opportunities; he has just to allow.
Can't you see the trees are rooted in the ground? They cannot go anywhere, and still they are happy. They cannot chase happiness, certainly; they cannot go and seek happiness.
They are rooted in the ground, they cannot move, but can't you see the happiness? Can't you see their joy when it is raining, their great contentment when winds are running hither and thither? Can't you feel their dance?
Now researchers say that when the gardener comes and the gardener loves the tree, the tree feels happy and rejoices. If you love the tree and you come close to it, it rejoices, as if a great friend is coming close. Now there are scientific instruments to check whether the tree is happy or not. It vibrates in a different rhythm. When the enemy comes -- the woodcutter, the carpenter -- the tree is simply in a turmoil, anxious, afraid. And when you cut one tree, now the scientists say the other trees all cry and weep. It is not only that when you cut one tree that tree weeps and cries; other trees, all the surrounding trees, cry and weep. And not only with trees, but if you kill a bird, all the trees start weeping -- subtle tears, great anguish, agony spreads. But they are rooted; they go nowhere. Still, life comes to them.
This is the understanding of the Baul: that there is no need to go anywhere. Even if you go on sitting under a tree as it happened to Buddha; God himself came to him. He was not going anywhere -- just sitting under his tree.
All comes -- you just create the capacity; all comes -- you just allow it. Life is ready to happen to you. You are creating so many barriers, and the greatest barrier that you can create is chasing. Because of your chasing and running, whenever life comes and knocks at your door she never finds you there. You are always somewhere else. When life reaches there you have moved. You were in Katmandu; when life reaches Katmandu you are in Goa. When you are in Goa and life somehow reaches Goa, you are in Poona. And by the time life reaches Poona, you will be in Philadelphia. So, you go on chasing life and life goes on chasing you, and the meeting never happens.
Be...just be, and wait, and be patient.
The second question:
BEFORE COMING TO YOU I USED TO DO A BUDDHIST MEDITATION CALLED MAITRI BHAVANA. IT STARTS BY SAYING TO ONESELF: MAY I BE WELL, MAY I BE HAPPY, MAY I BE FREE FROM ENMITY, MAY I BE FREE FROM ILL- WILL AGAINST MYSELF. AFTER BEING PENETRATED BY THE FEELING THESE THOUGHTS GENERATE, THE NEXT PHASE OF THE MEDITATION CONSISTS IN EXTENDING IT TO OTHERS: TO START WITH, VISUALIZING PEOPLE YOU LOVE AND GIVING OUT THIS GOOD FEELING TO THEM; THEN DOING THE SAME WITH PEOPLE YOU LOVE LESS, UNTIL YOU MIGHT EVEN FEEL COMPASSION FOR PEOPLE YOU HATE.
I USED TO FEEL THIS MEDITATION WAS PRETTY GOOD. IT SOMEHOW OPENED ME TO OTHERS. AND I STILL FEEL THERE IS SOMETHING REALLY DEEP AND BASIC TO IT. BUT I DROPPED IT WHEN I CAME TO YOU BECAUSE I SAW IN IT THE DANGER OF IT BEING SOME KIND OF SELF-HYPNOSIS. I STILL FEEL FOR THIS MEDITATION BUT I AM CONFUSED AS TO WHETHER I SHOULD TAKE IT UP AGAIN, MAYBE WITH A DIFFERENT ATTITUDE, OR JUST DROP IT. CAN YOU PLEASE SPEAK ABOUT THIS MEDITATION? I WOULD BE GRATEFUL.
MAITRI BHAVANA is one of the most penetrating meditations. You need not be afraid of getting into some sort of self-hypnosis; it is not. In fact, it is a sort of de-hypnosis. It looks like hypnosis because it is the reverse process: you have come to me from your home, you walked the way; now going back you will walk the same way. The only difference will be that now your back will be towards me. The way will be the same, you will be the same, but your face was towards me while you were coming towards me; now your back will be towards me.
Man is already hypnotized. It is not a question now of being hypnotized or not hypnotized. You are already hypnotized. The whole process of society is a sort of hypnosis. Somebody is told that he is a Christian, and it is so continuously repeated that his mind is conditioned and he thinks himself a Christian. Somebody is Hindu, somebody is a Mohammedan -- these are all hypnoses. You are already hypnotized. If you think you are miserable, this is a hypnosis. If you think you have too many problems, this is a hypnosis. Whatsoever you are is a sort of hypnosis. The society has given you those ideas, and now you are too full of those ideas and conditionings.
MAITRI BHAVANA is a de-hypnosis: it is an effort to bring back your natural mind; it is an effort to give you back your original face; it is an effort to bring you to the point where you were when you were born and the society had not yet corrupted you. When a child is born he is in MAITRI BHAVANA. MAITRI BHAVANA means a great feeling of friendship, love, compassion. When a child is born, he knows no hatred, he knows only love. Love is intrinsic; hatred he will learn later on. Love is intrinsic; anger he will learn later on. Jealousy, possessiveness, envy, he will learn later on. These will be the things the society will teach: how to be jealous, how to be full of hatred, how to be full of anger or violence. These things will be taught by the society.
When the child is born he is simple love. He has to be so because he has not known anything else. In the mother's womb he has not come across any enemy. He has lived in deep love for nine months, surrounded by love, nourished by love. He knows nobody who is inimical to him. He knows only the mother, he knows the mother's love. When he is born his whole experience is of love, so how can you expect him to know anything about hatred? This love he brings with himself; this is the original face. Then there will be trouble, then there will be many other experiences. He will start distrusting people. A newborn child is simply born with trust.
I have heard....
A man and a little boy entered a barber shop together. After the man received the full treatment -- shave, shampoo, manicure, haircut, etcetera, he placed the boy in the chair.
"I'm going to buy a green tie to wear for the parade. I will be back in a few minutes."
When the boy's haircut was completed and the man still had not returned, the barber said, "Looks like your daddy has forgotten all about you."
"That was not my daddy," said the boy. "He just walked up, took me by the hand and said, 'Come on, son, we are gonna get a free haircut!' " Children are trusting, but by and by there will be experiences in which they will be deceived, in which they will get into trouble, in which they will be opposed, in which they will become afraid. By and by they will learn all the tricks of the world. That's what has happened to everybody, more or less.
Now, MAITRI BHAVANA is again creating the same situation: it is a de-hypnosis. It is an effort to drop hatred, anger, jealousy, envy, and come back to the world as you had come in the first place. If you go on doing this meditation, first you start loving yourself - - because you are closest to you than anybody else. Then you spread your love: your friendship, your compassion, your feeling, your well-wishing, your benediction, your blessings, you spread these to people you love -- friends, lovers. Then, by and by, you spread these to more people that you don't love so much, then people to whom you are indifferent -- you neither love nor hate -- then by and by to people you hate. Slowly you are de-hypnotizing yourself. Slowly you are again creating a womb of love around yourself.
When a Buddha sits, he sits in existence as if the whole existence has again become his mother's womb. There is no enmity. He has attained to his original nature, SWABHAWA. He has come to know the essential man. Now you can even kill him but you cannot destroy his compassion. Even dying, he will remain full of compassion towards you. You can kill him but you cannot destroy his trust. Now he knows that trust is something so basic that once you lose trust you lose all. And if you don't lose trust and everything is lost, nothing is lost. You can take everything from him but you cannot take his trust.
MAITRI BHAVANA is beautiful; you can do it. There is no need to drop it. It will be tremendously helpful. It is a de-structuring.
The ego is made with hate, enmity, struggle. If you want to drop the ego, you will have to create more love feelings. When you love, ego disappears. If you love tremendously and you love unconditionally and you love all, then the ego cannot exist. The ego is the most stupid thing that can happen to a man or to a woman. Once it has happened it is very difficult even to see it because it clouds your eyes.
I have heard....
Mulla Nasrudin and his two friends were talking about their resemblances.
The first friend said, "My face resembles that of Winston Churchill. I have often been mistaken for him."
The second said, "In my case, people think I am President Nixon and ask me for my autograph."
Mulla said, "That's nothing. Well, in my case, I have been mistaken for God Himself."
The first and second asked together, "How?"
Mulla Nasrudin said, "Well, when I was convicted and sent to jail for the fourth time, on seeing me the jailer exclaimed, 'Oh God, you have come again!' " Once the ego has happened it goes on collecting from everywhere -sense, nonsense -- but it goes on feeling itself important. In love you say, "You are also important, not only I."
When you love somebody, what are you saying? You may be speaking or not, but what is really deep in your heart? You are saying, whether in words or in silence, "You are also important, as much as I am." If love grows deeper, you will say, "You are even more important than me. If there arises a situation where only one can survive, I would like to die for you, and I would like you to survive." The other has become more important. That is the meaning of 'beloved': you are even ready to sacrifice yourself for the one you love.
And if this goes on spreading, as it goes on spreading in MAITRI BHAVANA, then by and by you start disappearing. Many moments will come when you will not be there -- absolutely silent, not any ego at all, no center, just pure space. Buddha says, "When this is attained permanently, and you have become integrated to this pure space, then you are enlightened."
When the ego is lost completely you are enlightened; when you have become so egoless that you cannot even say 'I am', you cannot even say that 'I am a self'. The word Buddha uses for that state is ANATTA: no-being, non-being, no-self. You cannot even utter the word 'I'; the very word becomes profane. In deep love 'I' disappears. You are destructured.
When the child is born he comes without any 'I'; he simply is -- a blank sheet, nothing is written on him. Now the society will start writing, and the society will start narrowing down his consciousness. The society will, by and by, fix a role for him: "This is your role; this is you"; and he will stick to that role. That role will never allow him to be happy because happiness is possible only when you are infinite. When you are narrow, you cannot be happy. Happiness is not a function of narrowness; happiness is a function of infinite space. When you are so spacious that the whole can enter into you, then only can you be happy.
MAITRI BHAVANA can be a tremendous help.
The third question:
THE OTHER DAY YOU SAID THAT BELIEF WAS LIKE A LANTERN IN THE HANDS OF THE BLIND. MAY I KNOW WHAT FAITH IS?
Faith is like eyes: you see yourself. Belief is like a lantern in a blind man's hand: he cannot see, he cannot even use the lighted lantern. Even that lighted lantern will be just a burden to him, to be carried. And if the light goes off he will never become aware of it.
Belief is just believing what others say. It is not faith; faith is knowing. Faith is existential, belief is intellectual.
Buddha says something, or I say something; you listen to me, it appeals to your intellect.
It seems to be convincing to your reason and you start believing in it. Then it will be a lantern in a blind man's hand. But if you listen to me, something appeals to you and you don't stay with the intellectual understanding but you try to make that your own experience..
If I talk about love and Iistening to me you don't cling to my words but you move into love, you take the risk of love, you move into the danger of love, then you will come to an understanding which will be like eyes. If you just listen to me, it is very cheap. Just listening to me you can collect information and you can say, "Yes, I know much about love." Your knowing will be a deception.
I have heard....
Mulla Nasrudin and his wife went to Israel for their holidays and visited a nightclub in Tel Aviv. A comedian was on the bill who did his whole act in Hebrew. Nasrudin's wife sat through the comic's act in silence, but Nasrudin roared with laughter at the end of each joke.
"I did not know you understood Hebrew," she said to the Mulla when the comedian had concluded his act.
"I don't," replied Nasrudin.
"Well, how come you laughed so much at his jokes?"
"Oh," said Nasrudin, "I trusted him."
You can laugh at a joke without understanding it, but what sort of laughter will that be? It will not arise in you; it will be just a painted laughter. It will be just like an exercise of tne lips and the face. It will not have any center in your being. It will not be coming from anywhere -- because you can't understand the joke, you can't understand the language -- how can you laugh? But Mulla says, "I just trusted him. He MUST be saying something beautiful; others are laughing."
Buddha must be saying something beautiful -- so many people believe in him, so you believe. But you have not understood the joke; the laughter is not yours. It will tire you, it will not refresh you. When laughter happens to you it spreads from your very being, from your innermost core of being to the surface. Your whole body ripples with it, pulsates, throbs. It gives you a sort of bath; you are new after it. But if you simply trust, believe, that is not going to help. Many people have just been deceived by their beliefs about many beautiful things. You think you believe in God, you think you believe in soul, you think you believe in this and that, and you have not known anything by your own experience. Then it is better not to believe -- because if you don't believe, if you know that you don't know, there is a possibility that you may seek and search. Your belief will not allow you even to seek and search because you already think you know.
Belief is dangerous. Even to be a sceptic, to be an agnostic, is better. To be true when you don't know is better because this honesty of accepting that you don't know will help. This honesty will grow. One day or other you will start seeking, because nobody can remain in deep ignorance for long. Everybody wants to KNOW. To know is such an intrinsic desire in man that you cannot avoid it if you are true.
Please drop your beliefs so your mind is not clouded with rotten furniture, and you can see what you know and what you don't know.
To know exactly what one knows and what one does not know is the basic step towards knowledge. To be absolutely clear-cut that this is all that you know and this is all that you don't know. You cannot remain in this state. You will start moving towards the unknown, because it is human to seek to know. Every child is born with infinite curiosity; that's why children bore you to death with their questions. They go on asking and asking. They don't bother whether you are interested in answering them or not; they go on asking. You want to keep them quiet but they go on bubbling again and again with new questions.
What is happening? From where do so many questions come? a deep desire to know. But this desire is crippled by your beliefs.
Beliefs give you an appearance as if you know. That 'as if' is very costly.
I have heard....
The nervous passenger was standing with the pilot of the river steamboat as he twisted and turned the wheel.
"Don't you worry none," said the pilot. "I have been running boats on this river so long, I know where every snag and sandbar is."
Just then the boat struck a submerged snag with such force that the whole boat shivered from stem to stern. "There," said the pilot triumphantly, "that is one of them now."
What type of knowledge is this? How is it going to help? Your whole so-called knowledge is only like this; it does not help. It simply gives you a certain egoistic idea that you know, but it doesn't help in life, it does not help you on the path, it does not help you to avoid ditches and pitfalls, it does not help you to move towards the right direction, it does not help you in any way to avoid calamities. Still you go on thinking that you know. Drop this so-called knowledge. This burden is useless; don't carry it on your head anymore. Once you drop it you will feel clean, fresh.
I have heard....
Aldous Huxley had a very great library, his whole life's efforts. He had collected many rare books. And one day it caught fire. The whole library burnt; his many valuable manuscripts were burnt, many valuable art pieces, statues, paintings. He had really been a great seeker of beautiful things; they were all burnt down to zero. He was standing in front of the fire, and nothing could be done. And somebody asked him, "You must be feeling very very sad."
He said, "I am surprised at what I am feeling. I myself am surprised. I am simply feeling very clean, as if the whole burden is gone. I have never felt so clean and unburdened. I am surprised myself, because I was thinking I would feel sorry, I would feel tremendously miserable, for years I would not be able to forget my library and all these things I have collected, but suddenly, seeing everything going into flames, I am feeling very unburdened, weightless, clean."
When you throw your beliefs to the fire, you will feel very clean. It is just a burden. It is not yours; it cannot help.
We know what is right but we do what is wrong. We know anger is bad and we go on being angry again and again. We know what should be done, but we never do it; we do just the opposite. What type of knowledge is this? We know where the door is and we always go on trying to get out through the wall. We stumble and we are knocked down, and we hurt our own being, but again and again we try to get out through the wall. We say we know the door; is it possible that you know the door and still you try to get out through the wall, and you get hurt and hit in the head? It is not possible. You have simply heard about the door. That door exists only in your fantasy, not in reality.
Whatsoever YOU know, you always behave accordingly. That's why Socrates' famous dictum: Knowledge is Virtue -- but it is not your knowledge. He says, "Once one knows something is right, one does it. There is no other way." When you know two plus two is four, you cannot make it five, can you? Try one day -- just sit, write two plus two, and then try to write five. It will be impossible. Even if you write it you will laugh; you are joking, befooling. Once you know two plus two is four, there is no way to forget it. The basic thing is to have known it, and the knowledge should be your experience. Otherwise, you can always find rationalizations.
I have heard a small anecdote.
A small town chorine had theatrical ambitions. Her parents finally agreed to allow her to try New York City, but on two conditions: first, no men were allowed in her apartment, and second, she had to call home at least once a week. "Remember," said her mother, "I will worry about you, so please don't forget to call."
Armed with a letter of introduction, she went to see an agent. He agreed to help her and started squiring her about town. At the end of the week she called home. It was late and mama was perturbed.
"Honey," she said, "you know the bargain we made about no men allowed in your apartment, and I hear a man's voice in the background."
"Oh," said the future actress, "that's my boyfriend. But don't worry," she hastened to assure her mother, "we are in his apartment. Let HIS mother worry.''
We can always find ways, rationalizations to avoid that which we want to avoid, and to do that which we want to do. And if your knowledge is just intellectual, just verbal, then it is not going to help in actual life. Actual life needs actual knowledge. If you want to write a book, it will be okay. If you want to give a lecture, it will be okay. If you want to discuss with your friends, it will be okay -- because a verbal knowledge is enough for writing a book, for giving a lecture, for discussing with your friends. But if you want to translate it into your life, it will be impossible. Life does not believe in that which you have accumulated very cheaply. Life believes only in that which has been earned the hard way.
I have heard about a Sufi mystic, Bayazid. He meditated for years, and it is said God was very, very compassionate towards him. He had made such great effort; arduous was his search, intense was his prayer. So God sent an angel, and the angel came and said to Bayazid, "God is happy, and whatsoever you want He is ready to give to you. You just ask. Your days of seeking and inquiry are finished."
But Bayazid said, "But no, that is not the way. I don't want to get so cheaply because I know well...in life also I was deceived because of this cheap possibility. Now you cannot deceive me. Tell God that I will earn the hard way."
But the angel said, "You are foolish! He is ready to burn the innermost light of your being. Just ask!"
But Bayazid said, "Thank you, and give Him also my thanks, but I am not going to do that because it will be borrowed; even if borrowed from God, it will be borrowed. Let me seek and search."
The angel said, "God will feel offended. It has never happened; His offer has to be accepted."
Then Bayazid looked around -- he had a small lamp and the oil was almost finished. He said, "If He really wants to light something, tell Him to light my lamp because the oil is almost finished and the night is dark, and I have still to meditate. Just this will do. You just tell Him to give me one blessing: that my oil should never finish so I can meditate the whole night."
That's all he asked for, and it is said that God was very happy and He said, "This is the right way." If he had asked he would have missed; if he had accepted he would have missed -- because whatsoever comes to you without your earning it is never yours. You possess only that which you have lived. You possess only that which YOU have known.
You possess only that which you have earned.
A young boy had been taking swimming lessons. He rushed home one afternoon and breathlessly announced that he had gone off the diving board by himself.
"That's fine, Johnny," said his father. "But I thought you told me you went off the board last week."
"I know," said the boy, "but last week somebody shoved."
Going by yourself is really totally different. When somebody shoves you, it is qualitatively different. When I give something to you, it is not the same as when you earn it. Remember it: many will be the temptations on the way. When things are available very cheaply, avoid them. Always remember that one has to go the hard way, because that is the only way. All shortcuts are false, and belief is a shortcut. Faith is a hard way.
The last question:
MOST BELOVED OSHO, THIS MORNING I SIT BEFORE YOU FLOODED WITH ORGASM, LIGHT AND FEATHERY, DEEP AND OVERWHELMING. I HARDLY NOTICE YOU. THE INNER IS MORE, BECAUSE OF YOU. PARAS.
Good, tremendously good. That's how it should be. A Baul is born in Paras, and I hope that a Baul will be born in each of you. Each moment God is available. Just allow Him, don't prevent Him, don't bar the way. Just get out of your own way, and this will start happening to each and everybody.
"This morning I sit before you flooded with orgasm, light and feathery, deep and overwhelming. I hardly notice you. The inner is more, because of you."