The first question:
WHETHER SOMEBODY HATES YOU OR SOMEBODY LOVES YOU SHOULD NOT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE IN YOU. If you are, you remain the same. If you are not, then you are immediately changed. If you are not, then anybody can pull you, push you; then anybody can push your buttons and change you. Then you are a slave, then you are not a master. Your mastery begins when whatsoever happens outside does not change you; your inner climate remains the same.
A psychoanalyst was attending a convention. At one of the lectures one ugly woman sitting next to him began to pinch him. Annoyed, he was about to give her an angry retort, when he changed his mind: "Why should I get angry," he decided. "After all, it is her problem."
Whether somebody loves you or hates you, it is his or her problem. If you are, if you have understood your being, you remain in tune with yourself. Nobody can disturb your inner harmony. If somebody loves, good; if somebody hates, good. Both remain somewhere outside you. This is what we call mastery. This is what we call crystallization -- becoming free of impressions, influences.
You ask me, "What do you do when somebody hates you?"
What can I do? It is that person's problem; it has nothing to do with me. If I was not here he would have hated somebody else. He would have hated. If there were nobody and he were alone, he would have hated himself. Hatred is his problem. It has nothing to do with me, not in the least. Basically it does not even refer to me; I am just an excuse. Somebody else would have done as well, would have functioned as an excuse for him.
Have you not watched it? that when you are angry, you are simply angry. It is not that your anger is addressed to somebody. That 'somebody' is nothing but an excuse. Angry, you come home from the office; you jump on your wife. Angry, you go from your home; you are angry in the office with the peon, with the clerk, with this and that. If you analyze your states of mind, you will come to see that they belong to you. You live in your own world, but you go on projecting it on others.
When you are angry, YOU are angry -- not at me. When you are full of hate, you are full of hate -- not at me. When you are full of love, you are full of love -- not at me. Once you understand it, you remain like a lotus leaf in the world. You remain in the water but the water does not touch; it touches you not. You remain in the world and yet aloof, not of it.
Then nobody can disturb your silence, and nobody can distract you. Your compassion goes on flowing. If you love me, you receive my compassion. If you hate me, you will not receive my compassion -- not because I will not give to you. I will be continuously giving to you, as much as I give to those who love me, but you will be closed and you will not receive it.
Once being is attained, one is compassion, unconditional compassion. Not that in some moments he becomes compassionate and some moments he is not compassionate.
Compassion then is his natural climate, compassion is his permanent mood, compassion is his integrated being. Then whatsoever you do, his compassion goes on showering on you. But there are moments when you will receive it, when you will be open, and there are moments when you will not receive it because you will be closed.
So in hate you will not receive that, in love you will receive that. And you may even feel the difference -- because one who loves me will start growing, one who hates me will start shrinking. Both will become so totally different that you may start thinking that I must be giving more to the one I Love, or one who loves me, and I'm not giving to one who hates me or is angry at me or is closed towards me. But I am not doing that. The clouds are there and they are showering: if your pot is not broken it will be filled. Or even if your pot is not broken, but is upside-down, then you will miss. Hate is a state of upside-downness. Then rains can go on showering but you will remain empty, because your opening is not there.
Once you are put rightside-up, that's what love is. Love is nothing but an opening, a receptivity, a welcome, an invitation, that "I am ready; come, please."
The Bauls go on singing, "Come Beloved, come." They go on sending their invitations.
Love is inviting, hate is repelling. If you love me you will receive much -- not because I am giving you more especially; but if you hate me you will not receive at all -- not because I am not giving you, but because you are closed. But I remain myself.
I am not identified with my body, I am not identified with my mind. I have come home.
If you are identified with your body and somebody hurts your body, you will be angry; he is hurting YOU. If you are identified with your mind and somebody insults you, you will be angry, because he is hurting your mind. Once you are identified with your being nobody can hurt, because nobody has yet invented any way to hurt being.
The body can be hurt, can be killed. The mind can be hurt...but the being cannot be touched. There is no way to hurt it, there is no way to create pain. It's VERY nature is blissfulness. You can hurt my body; simple. If I am identified with the body I will be angry because I will think you have hurt me. If you insult me then the hurt goes into the mind. If I am identified with the mind, again you are my enemy. But I am neither identified with the body nor with the mind. I am the witness. So whatsoever you do never reaches to my witnessing center. It goes on witnessing it; it remains utterly unaffected.
Once false identifications fall, you are unperturbed. Then you become the center of the cyclone, and storms can go on raging all around you, but deep inside you remain at the still, small center of your being, completely transcendental to whatsoever is happening.
I have heard....
A philosopher, a barber and a bald-headed fool were travelling together. Losing their way they were forced to sleep in the open air, and to avoid danger it was agreed to watch by turns. The first lot fell on the barber, who for amusement shaved the philosopher's head while he was sleeping. He then awoke him, and the philosopher, raising his hand to scratch his head, exclaimed, "Here is a pretty mistake! You have awakened the old bald- headed fool instead of me."
Your identification is the BASIC problem. If you are identified with the body, then you are going to remain in constant trouble. Because body is continuously changing, your identity will never be at a point where you can settle and relax. One day the body is young, another day it is old. One day it is healthy, another day it is ill. One day you are so radiant with youth, another day just a dilapidated structure, a ruin. Continuously, body is in a flux.
That's why people who are identified with the body will remain constantly puzzled, confused, not knowing who they are. You are identifying with something which is not reliable. One day it is born, another day it dies. It is continuously dying and continuously changing. How can you rest with it?
If you are identified with the mind then there will be even more trouble. Because the body at least has a certain structure: it changes, but changes very slowly. You never feel the change. It changes very silently, and it takes years really, to feel a certain change happening. A child does not become a young man overnight, and a young man does not become an old man overnight. It takes years, and very slow is the change; and such minute, minor changes happen that one is never aware. But with the mind you are constantly in turmoil; every single moment there is change. One moment you are happy, another moment you are sad. One moment you were at the top of the world, feeling so fortunate, another moment you are in hell, thinking to commit suicide. How can you identify with the mind?
Being is that which remains always the same, eternally the same. It has no form so it cannot change, and it has no content so it cannot change. The being is contentless, formless. It has no name, no form -- what in the East we call NAMARUPA. These two things change: the name and the form. It is neither. It is simple, sheer existence, empty of all content and all form Once you have entered this emptiness nothing can disturb you, because there is nothing to be disturbed. Nothing can hit you, because there is nobody inside to be hit.
Then if you hate me, your arrow will pass through me. It cannot strike because there is nobody. You cannot make a target of me. Whether you love me or hate me, you cannot make a target of me. So it makes no difference. And I don't do anything, I just remain myself.
One day Mulla Nasrudin was saying to me, "Yes, I used to be in politics myself. I was a dog-catcher in my town for two years, but finally lost the job."
"What was the matter?" I asked him. "Change of mayors, or something else?"
He said, "No, I finally caught the dog."
And that's what I would like to say to you: I finally caught the dog. Now there is no work left for me. I am jobless. I'm not doing anything: all desires have gone, all doing has left.
I'm just here. I'm just being to you. If you love, you will receive me with great welcome, and you will be tremendously benefitted. If you hate you will miss, and the responsibility will be yourS. Now it is for you to choose. But I don't do anything.
The second question:
THE question is from Krishnananda Bharti.
If things are going so beautifully, why make a problem? Can't you accept your own insight? Do you always need a witness? Do you always need somebody else's approval?
If I am gone, you will be in a mess. When you are feeling so happy, is not that happiness enough proof that you are on the right track?
But in life you have been wrong so many times that you have lost trust in your own self.
This is one very basic thing to be understood and relearned: trust in yourself. When everything is going beautifully and you are feeling happy and blissful, forget what I am saying. Don't be worried about it. You know well that things are going well. Why create suspicion about your own experiences?
I have heard....
Mulla Nasrudin was going on a sight-seeing tour of Detroit. Going up Jefferson Avenue, the driver of the bus called out all the places of interest.
"On the right," he announced, "we see the Dodge House."
"John Dodge?" the Mulla asked.
"No, sir, Horace Dodge." Continuing on further, he called out, "On the far left corner we have the Ford House."
"Henry?" the Mulla suggested.
"No sir, Edsel." Still further out on Jefferson: "On the near left crossing you will see Christ's Church."
"Jesus? or am I wrong again?" Mulla Nasrudin asked sheepishly.
I understand that life is such that you have been found wrong so many times that you have lost your inner feel. You have lost trust in yourself. You have lost confidence, so you have to ask somebody. Even if you are feeling blissful you have to ask somebody, "Am I going right?" Bliss is the indication.
So now, two are the possibilities: either you are-really feeling blissful as you write in your question -- then there is no need to ask me; or you are just imagining and you know it -- hence you have asked. That too has to be decided deep inside you. Because an imagined bliss is no bliss at all. You can imagine. Man has imagination in abundance.
You can imagine things -- because I am talking about bliss continuously: about love, about meditation, ecstasy. You can catch those words and your greed can start playing LEELA with you, rather than you playing LEELA with the divine. Your greed can start playing LEELA with you, and it can give you ideas. But if they are imaginary you will always be suspicious because deep down you will know that this is just fantasy. If that is the case, then asking is perfectly meaningful.
You have to decide. If it is really happening, you are really happy, it is a fact and you are not imagining it, then you are on the right track -- because there is no indication other than blissfulness.
When you feel blissful you are right, moving in exactly the way you should move.
Because bliss increases only when you are approaching closer to God, and in no other way. If you are going away from God, anguish arises. You feel more and more frustrated, more and more bored, more and more miserable. Misery is an indication that you are going astray, a natural indication that you have lost track of truth. Bliss simply says that you are falling in line with the whole. Things are becoming harmonious, the garden of the Beloved is coming closer: the air feels cooler, winds bring the fragrance of the flowers, freshness, a new thrill, a new enthusiasm. Then you are moving towards the garden of the Beloved. Maybe you cannot see yet, but the direction is right.
So trust yourself. But if you are imagining, then drop all your imagination.
The third question:
THE question is from Pradeepa.
She understood perfectly what I was trying to show her. Maturity happens when you start living without hope. Hope is childish. You become mature when you don't project hope into the future. In fact, you are mature when you don't have any future; you just live in the moment -- because that is the only reality there is. In the past, religion used to talk about the hereafter. Those were the childish, immature days of religion. Now religion talks about herenow; religion has come of age.
In the Vedas, in the Koran, in the Bible, hereafter is the basic goal. But now man is no longer that childish. That sort of God and that sort of religion is dead. It was a religion of hope, it was a religion of future.
Now another sort of religion is asserting itself all over the world, and this religion is about herenow, the present. There is nowhere else to go and there is no other space and no other time to live, only this space and this time, here and now. Life has to become very intense in this moment. A man who lives in hope dissipates life. He spreads life; it becomes too thin. And when it becomes too thin, it is never happy. Happiness means intensity, tremendous depth. If you spread your hope into the future, life will become very thin. It will lose depth.
When I say drop all hope, I mean be so intense in the moment that there is no need for the future. Then there is a turning, a transformation. The very quality of time changes for you it becomes eternal. What can you do with hope? In fact, what can you hope? You cannot hope for the new. You can only hope for the old, that which has happened before -- maybe with a little modification here and there, a little more decorated. But hope is nothing but past: you have lived something, you have experienced something, and you again and again hope for it. It is a repetition; it is circular.
Hope means simply projecting the past into the future again: you loved a man yesterday, you want to love the man tomorrow also. And you know that yesterday was not a fulfillment, hence the hope. Yesterday was not enough, hence the hope. You missed something yesterday. Now that missed gap is torturing you; it is creating agony. You hope that again tomorrow that man will be available to love you, and tomorrow you will really love.
But between yesterday and tomorrow is today. If you really want to love, then why not be herenow, today? Otherwise, when today will have become yesterday you will again start projecting it. Incomplete experiences are projected. Uncompleted desires are projected. If you really love totally this moment, you will never think about this moment again. It is finished, it is complete, it is perfect. It disappears, it leaves no trace on you.
This is what Krishnamurti calls 'total act'. Total act creates no KARMA: it creates no chain, it creates no bondage. If it is total, you never remember it again; there is no point.
We remember only something which has remained incomplete. Mind tends to complete things. And you have so many incomplete experiences; they go on being projected into the future. The past is gone -- now there is no way to complete them in the past; and the present is going out of your hands fast, slipping, so you don't see any point, any possibility to complete them in the present. The future is long: you can project -- this life, another life, this world, another world -- you can project eternity. Then you are at ease.
You say, "I am not at a loss; tomorrow is there. There will be another life." But by and by, you are getting trapped in a wrong pattern.
No, hope is not the right thing. Live in the present so deeply, so completely, that nothing is left. Then there will be no projection. You will move very smoothly into the tomorrow without carrying any load from today. And when there is no yesterday haunting you, then there is no tomorrow. When the past is not hanging around you, there is no future.
Pradeepa has understood rightly. That's what I was trying to show her: hope is an illness, a disease of the mind. It is hope that is not allowing you to live. Hope is not the friend, remember; it is the foe. It is because of hope that you go on postponing. But you will remain the same tomorrow also, and tomorrow also you will hope for some future. And this way it can go on for eternity, and you can go on missing. Stop postponing. And who knows what the future is going to reveal to you? There is no way to know about it. It is an opening; all alternatives are open. What is really going to happen, nobody can predict.
People have tried.
That's why people go to astrologers, to I CHING, and to other sorts of things. I CHING goes on fascinating people, astrologers go on influencing people. Astrology still seems to be a great force. Why? -- because people are missing and they are hoping for the future.
They want some clue to know what is going to happen so they can arrange it that way.
These things will persist, even if scientifically it is proved that it is all nonsense. They will persist because it is not a question of science, it is a question of human hope. Unless hope is dropped, I CHING cannot be dropped. Unless hope is dropped, astrology cannot be dropped. It will have great power over man's mind because hope is gripping you. You would like to know little clues about the future so you can move more confidently, you can project more confidently, and you can postpone many more things.
If you know something about tomorrow, I think you will not live today. You will say, "What is the need? Tomorrow we will live." Even without knowing anything about tomorrow you are doing that. And tomorrow never comes... and when it comes, it is always today. And you don't know how to live today.
So you are in a great trap. Drop that whole structure. Hope is the bondage of man, hope is SAMSAR, hope is the world. Once you drop hope you become a SANNYASIN; then there is nowhere to go.
I have heard....
One day Mulla Nasrudin was in a very deep meditative mood. Sitting by the side of his dog he delivered a monologue:
"You are only a dog, but I wish I was you. When you go to your bed you just turn around three times and lie down. When I go to bed I have to lock up the place, and wind up the clock, and put out the cat, and undress myself, and my wife wakes up and scolds and then the baby wakes and cries and I have to walk him around the house and then maybe I get myself to bed in time to get up again. When you get up, you just stretch yourself, stretch your neck a little, and you are up. I have to light the fire, put on the kettle, scrap some with my wife, and get myself breakfast. You be laying around all day and have plenty of fun; I have to work all day and have plenty of trouble. When you die, you are dead; when I die I have to go somewhere again."
This 'somewhere again'...call it hell, call it heaven, but somewhere; and God is here and you are always going somewhere.
God is your surround, and you are always missing Him because you are missing the present. God has only one tense -- that is present. The past and future don't exist. Man exists in the past and future, not in the present; God exists in the present, not in the past and future. So how is the meeting going to happen? We live in different dimensions.
Either God starts living in the past and future -- then there can be a meeting, but then He will not be a God, He will be just as ordinary a man as you are; or you start living in the present -- then the meeting happens. But then too you will not be human, you will become divine. Only the divine can meet with the divine; only the same can meet the same.
Hope is the cause of why you are missing God. And the problem is, the vicious circle is:
the more you miss God, the more you hope; the more you hope, the more you miss. Once you look deep down into hope, its structure, its grip on you -- the very vision, and the hope drops on its own accord. Suddenly you are here and now, and you will see as if a curtain had dropped from your eyes, a curtain has dropped from your senses. You will become TREMENDOUSLY fresh and young, and you will see a totally luminous world all around you. The trees will be green but in a different way: tremendously green -- and the green will be luminous. The world will immediately turn into a psychedelic world. It is -- your eyes are just so covered with dust that you cannot see the psychedelic that is surrounding you from everywhere.
But whenever I say to somebody to drop hope, he thinks that I am telling him to become hopeless. No, I'm not doing that. When you drop hope there is no possibility of becoming hopeless, because hopelessness exists only because of hope. You hope and it is not fulfilled; hopelessness arises. You hope, and you hope again and again in vain; hopelessness arises. Hopelessness is frustrated hope. The moment you drop hope, hopelessness is also dropped. You are simply without hope and without hopelessness.
And that is the most beautiful moment that can happen to a man, because in that very moment one enters into the shrine of God.
The fourth question:
BE alert of your own cunningness. You cannot surrender here, and you think you will be able to surrender to Gurdjieff? The problem is not with me or Gurdjieff, the problem is that with me you cannot surrender. And Gurdjieff was a hard taskmaster, one of the most dangerous Masters ever. after Bodhidharma. The problem is with you. See the point of it.
The point is, if I talk about love, people come to me and they say, "It is difficult for us; can't we meditate?" And if I tell them to meditate they say, "It is so difficult. Is there not some other way?" They want to postpone.
Now you are asking, "Can't we follow Gurdjieff?" Ask one thing: are you ready to follow? Following is difficult. Following MEANS surrendering. Following means that now you put your mind aside. Gurdjieff is now an excuse so you can think inside yourself, "If I am not surrendered to this man, at least I am ready to surrender to Gurdjieff." But where are you going to find Gurdjieff? And if you ever come across him, you will start thinking of other Masters, because there are many possibilities. You will ask the same question of Gurdjieff...that it is difficult for me to surrender to you, and it is very difficult to work on body, mind and soul together -- because even to work on one thing separately is difficult. To work on three things together is, of course, going to be more complex, more arduous. So then you can say, "Can't I follow the path of the Bauls?"
This is how you have been travelling in your many lives. Remember, you are not new on this earth. And remember, you have been with many Masters -- otherwise you would not be here. You have forgotten completely, but you have missed many times. It is not for the first time that you are missing. You may have walked with Buddha, you may have walked with Jesus. There are people who I know for certain have walked with Jesus, but they missed. There are people who walked with Buddha and they missed.
But the search goes on....
The first thing that I try to find out whenever a person wants to be initiated by me is whether he is new, or an old sinner. Up to now, I have not come across a fresh man who is getting interested in religion for the first time. No, one has been with many Masters, has travelled on many paths, but never has been totally anywhere.
Now you can miss this opportunity also.
I have heard....
A couple in their sixties had somehow managed to survive forty-five years of married life filled with as much fighting as love. When hubby came home from his office on his sixty-fifth birthday, his wife lovingly presented him with two beautiful ties. He was so touched that he would not let her cook dinner. He would take her out as soon as he had time to clean up and change his shirt. It was a rare moment of tenderness. A few minutes later hubby came downstairs dressed for an evening on the town and wearing one of his gift ties. His wife stared at him for a moment before the force of argumentative habit took command.
"What is the matter?" she snarled. "The other one is no good?"
But now, a man can wear only one tie: "What is the matter? The other one is no good?"
If you just want to be argumentative, then you can follow Gurdjieff. But that will be just avoiding the opportunity that is here, available to you. DO something. If you want to follow Gurdjieff, follow. Follow Gurdjieff, but please follow. Don't go on playing games with yourself. One can be very clever, one can deceive oneself. It is not very dangerous when you deceive others, because sooner or later they will find out that you are deceiving. It cannot go on for long. But when you are deceiving yourself, it is very difficult. Who is going to find out? You are alone there, and if YOU are deceiving....
I have heard about one man travelling on a train. He was playing solitaire. A man in the compartment was watching it, but he became aware that the other man was deceiving himself. He was the only player. The other man watching became aware that he was deceiving himself.
He said, "What is the matter? What are you doing? Can't you see that you go on deceiving yourself?"
The man said, "I have been doing it for my whole life."
The other man asked, "Can't you catch yourself deceiving?"
He said, "I am too clever."
Cleverness can become a great obstacle because cleverness is not intelligence. Cleverness is a good name for cunningness. Be aware of it.
Follow if you want to follow on Gurdjieff's path. Perfectly good; that path is perfectly good. But then what are you doing here wasting your time? Follow that path. For what are you waiting? If you are here, then forget Gurdjieff and everything else. If you want to be here with me, then be here with me so something actually happens.
But this is very common, it is not unusual: people go on changing their Masters, from one place to another. Whenever they feel that now it is getting too much, and they may get committed and involved, they change. Again they start playing the same game somewhere else. When they feel that now the moment is coming -- they will have to do something -- they again change.
It is a marriage... to be with me is to be married with me. People stay with me up to the point where the courtship continues. Once the problem arises of getting committed, involved, then they are scared. Then they start thinking of some other path. Any path will do -- because really it is not a question of paths, it is a question of surrendering.
Surrender on any path, and truth will happen to you -- because it happens not because of any path, it happens because of surrender.
Some years ago a politician was being driven by a farmer in a buggy. A winged insect kept circling about the horse's head and then about the politician's head. "Uncle, what kind of insect is that?" asked the politician.
"Just a horsefly," said the old man.
"Horsefly? What is that?"
"Just a fly that flies around the heads of horses and mules and jackasses."
As the insect was still buzzing about the politician's head he saw a chance for a little banter, and said, "Uncle, you don't mean to say I am a horse?"
"No, you certainly ain't no horse."
"Well, you don't mean to call me a mule do you?"
The farmer, irritated, said, "You ain't no mule, either."
Then the politician spoke emphatically, "Now look here, Uncle, do I look like a jackass to you? Surely you don't mean to call me a jackass?"
"No, sir, I ain't calling you no jackass and you don't look like a jackass to me. But you see, you can't fool the horsefly."
Don't be very cunning, don't be clever, because you can't fool existence. You can fool only yourself. In the final analysis you cannot fool anybody else except you. So watch each step that your mind takes. I'm not saying, "Follow me"; I'm saying, "Follow."
Anywhere, wherever your heart leads you, wherever you feel a certain harmony between you and the Master, go there and follow. But follow. Just thinking is not going to help.
You cannot befool existence.
The fifth question:
THERE are always problems in the world, and the world has always been there, and the world will remain there. If you start working out: changing circumstances, changing people, thinking of a utopian world, changing the government, the structure, the economy, the politics, the education, you will be lost. That is the trap known as politics.
That's how many people waste their own lives. Be very clear about it: the only person you can help right now is you yourself. Right now you cannot help anybody. This may be just a distraction, just a trick of the mind. See your own problems, see your own anxieties, see your own mind, and first try to change it.
It happens to many people: the moment they become interested in some sort of religion, meditation, prayer, immediately the mind tells them, "What are you doing sitting here silently? The world needs you; there are so many poor people. There is much conflict, violence, aggression. What are you doing praying in the temple? Go and help people."
How can you help those people? You are just like them. You may create even more problems for them, but you cannot help. That's how all the revolutions have always failed. No revolution has yet succeeded because the revolutionaries are in the same boat.
The religious person is one who understands that "I am very tiny, I am very limited. If with this limited energy, even if I can change myself, that will be a miracle". And if you can change yourself, if you are a totally different being with new life shining in your eyes and a new song in your heart, then maybe you can be helpful to others also, because then you will have something to share.
Just the other day Shiva sent me a very beautiful incident in the life of Basho. Basho is the greatest haiku poet of Japan, the Master haiku poet. But he was not just a poet. Before becoming a poet he was a mystic; before he starting pouring out with beautiful poetry, he poured deep into his own center. He was a meditator.
It is said that Basho was entering upon a journey when he was a young man. The journey was an endeavor to find himself. Not long after he had begun he heard a small child crying alone in the forest -- maybe he was sitting under a tree, meditating, or trying to meditate; he heard a small child crying alone in the forest. He meditated for a long time on what to do. He then picked up his pack and continued on his way, leaving the child to its own fate.
In his journal he recorded: "First one has to do what one needs for oneself before one can do anything for another."
Looks hard...a child alone in the forest, crying, and this man meditates on whether to do anything or not, whether he can help the child, whether it will be right to help him or not.
A child, a helpless child crying in the wilderness, alone, lost -- and Basho meditates over it and finally decides that how can he help somebody else when he has not even helped himself yet. He himself is lost in a wilderness, he himself is lonely, he himself is childish.
How can he help anybody?
The incident looks very hard, but is very meaningful. I'm not saying don't help a child in the forest if you find him crying and weeping. But try to understand: your own light is not burning and you start helping others. Your own inner being is in total darkness and you start helping others. You yourself are suffering and you become a servant of the people.
You have not passed through the inner rebellion and you become a revolutionary. This is simply absurd, but this idea arises in everybody's mind. It seems so simple to help others.
In fact, people who really need to change themselves always become interested in changing others. That becomes an occupation, and they can forget themselves.
This is what I have watched. I have seen so many social workers, SARVODAYIS, and I have never seen a single person who has any inner light to help anybody. But they are trying hard to help everybody. They are madly after transforming the society and the people and people's minds, and they have completely forgotten that they have not done the same to themselves. But they become occupied.
Once an old revolutionary and social worker was staying with me. I asked him, "You are completely absorbed in your work. Have you ever thought if what you really want happens, if by a miracle, overnight, all that you want happens, what you will do the next morning? Have you ever thought about it?"
He laughed -- a very empty laughter -- but then he became a little sad. He said, "If it is possible, I will be at a loss as to what to do then. If the world is exactly as I want it, then I will be at a loss for what to do. I may even commit suicide."
These people are occupied; this is their obsession. And they have chosen such an obsession which can never be fulfilled. So you can go on changing others, life after life.
Who are you?
This is also a sort of ego: that others are hard upon each other, that they are stepping on each other. Just the idea that others are hard gives you a feeling that you are very soft.
No, you are not. This may be your way of ambition: to help people, to help them to become soft, to help them to become more kind, compassionate.
Kahlil Gibran has written a small story:
There was a dog, a great revolutionary one might say, who was always teaching other dogs of the town that "Just because of your nonsense barking we are not growing. You waste your energy by barking unnecessarily." A postman passes, and suddenly...a policeman passes, a sannyasin passes.... Dogs are against uniforms, any sort of uniform, and they are revolutionaries. They immediately start barking.
The leader used to tell them, "Stop this! Don't waste energy, because:this same energy can be put into something useful, creative. Dogs can rule the whole world, but you are wasting your energy for no purpose at all. This habit has to be dropped. This is the only sin, the original sin."
The dogs were always feeling that he was perfectly right; logically, he was right: why do you go on barking? And much energy is wasted; one feels tired. Again the next morning one starts barking, and again by the night one is tired. What is the point of it all? They could see the leader's meaning, but they also knew that they were just dogs, poor dogs.
The ideal was very great and the leader was really a revealer -- because whatsoever he was preaching he was doing. He never used to bark. You could see his character: that whatsoever he preached he practiced also.
But by and by, they got tired of his constant preaching. One day they decided -- it was the birthday of the leader -- and they decided, as a gift, that at least on that night they would resist the temptation to bark. At least for one night they would respect the leader and give him a gift. He could not be more happy than this. All the dogs stopped that night. It was very difficult, arduous. It was just like when you are meditating, how difficult it is to stop thinking. It was the same problem. They stopped barking, and they had always barked.
And they were not great saints, but ordinary dogs. But they tried hard. It was very, very arduous. They were hiding in their places with closed eyes, with clenched teeth, so they would not see anything, they would not listen to anything. It was a great discipline. The leader walked around the town. He was very puzzled: "To whom to preach? Whom to teach now? What has happened?" -- complete silence. Then suddenly when midnight had passed, he became so annoyed, because he had never really thought that the dogs would listen to him. He had known well that they would never listen, that it was just natural for dogs to bark. His demand was unnatural, but the dogs had stopped. His whole leadership was at stake. What was he going to do from tomorrow? because all he knew was just to teach. His whole ministry was at stake. And then for the first time he realized that because he was constant}y teaching from the morning till the night that's why he had never felt the need to bark. The energy was so involved, and that was a sort of barking.
But that night, nowhere, nobody was found guilty. And the preacher-dog started feeling a tremendous urge to bark. A dog is, after all, a dog. Then he went into a dark lane and started barking. When the other dogs heard that somebody had broken the agreement, then they said, "Why should we suffer?" The whole town started barking. Back came the leader and said, "You fools! When are you going to stop barking? Because of your barking we have remained just dogs. Otherwise, we would have dominated the whole world."
Remember well that a social servant, a revolutionary, is asking for the impossible -- but it keeps him occupied. And when you are occupied with others' problems, you tend to forget your own problems. First, settle those problems, because that is your first, basic responsibility.
A famous psychologist had bought a farm just for fun. Every time he threw grain into his plowed furrows an army of black crows would swoop down and gobble up his grain.
Finally, swallowing his pride, the psychologist appealed to his old neighbor, Mulla Nasrudin.
The Mulla stepped into the field and went through all the motions of planting without using any seed. The crows swooped down, protested briefly and flew away. The Mulla repeated the process the next day and then the next, each time sending the birds off befuddled and hungry. Finally, on the fourth day, he planted the field with grain; not a crow bothered to come.
When the psychologist tried to thank Mulla, the Mulla grunted. "Just plain ordinary psychology," said he. "Ever heard of it?"
Remember, this is very plain, ordinary psychology: not to poke your nose into others' affairs. If they are doing something wrong, that is for them to realize. Nobody else can make them realize. Unless they decide to realize it there is no way, and you will be wasting your valuable time and energy. Your first responsibility is to transform your own being. And when your being is transformed things start happening of their own accord.
You become a light and people start finding their paths through your light. Not that you go, not that you force them to see. Your light, burning bright, is enough invitation; people start coming. Whosoever is in need of light will come to you. There is no need to go after anybody because that very going is foolish. Nobody has changed anybody against his will. That is not the way things happen. This is plain, ordinary psychology; ever heard of it?... just keep to yourself.
The sixth question:
THE question is from Anand Maria. Maria, there seems to be some misunderstanding in your mind. It is not the ego that is trying to give you a message that you are moving in fantasies; you are moving in fantasies. But fantasies are beautiful. You are dreaming sweet dreams. It is not the ego that is pulling you down, it is the ego that is dreaming and that is going into fantasies. The part that wants to pull you down is your awareness. You are in a total confusion about it.
Awareness always brings you back to reality. Ego is, in fact, a dream; it is a false entity.
Ego never stops anybody from going into fantasies, because ego feeds on fantasy. Ego is the greatest fantasy. How can it prevent you from going into fantasies? It wants you to dream, it wants you to dream great dreams of the other world.
It is not the ego that is pulling you down to the earth. The part that is pulling you down to reality is awareness, but you are condemning awareness, and you would like to go into the fantasies more and more. No, you are in a complete mess, Maria.
"I feel more and more energy and a deep let-go wanting to happen. In the last while I often have a feeling of letting myself fall into something, like the sea, or into the incredible beautiful vast clouds of the sky.... " They are nowhere, they are just in your imagination.
"But the stronger this becomes, the stronger another part, my ego, is trying to keep me down, to put me to sleep again, to tell me that everything is just bullshit and fantasy.... " It is; it is bullshit. It will be hard for you.
Let me tell you one anecdote.
A schoolteacher in London had a mixed class containing children of all religions, of all nationalities. One day she asked her class who was the greatest man who ever lived, and said that the child who gave the correct answer would receive a shilling.
The first child was American and answered, "George Washington." Patrick O'Kelly was next and he said that St. Patrick was the greatest man who ever lived. Then there was an Indian child who said Gautam Buddha, and a Chinese who said Lao Tzu. Then little Abe was next in line and without hesitation he answered, "Jesus."
The teacher promptly gave him the shilling and said, "Now tell me how it is that you, being a little Jew, and not believing in Jesus as the Christ, mention his name as the greatest man who ever lived?"
"Well," replied Abe, "deep in my heart I know it was Moses, but business is business."
Deep in your heart you also know it is bullshit. That's why you are pulled back to the earth again and again. Come back to the earth; imagination won't help.
There is a poetry, a different type of poetry-which arises out of reality. Yes, there are beautiful clouds and there are vast oceans of beatitude, but that arises by being rooted in the earth. There is no conflict between that beauty and reality. That beauty is nothing but reality itself manifested in its total grandeur. But right now, whatsoever you are doing is just a fantasy. So change your emphasis. It is the ego which is fantasizing, and it is awareness which is pulling you down.
Allow awareness to work more and more, and don't waste time in dreams.
I have heard....
Two fishermen were exchanging their experiences of the previous day. One man said he had caught a three-hundred-pound salmon.
"But salmon never weighed as much as three hundred pounds," said the other man.
"Nevertheless, I caught one weighing three hundred pounds. What did you catch?"
"Not much," answered the second man. "Only a rusty old lamp. But on the bottom of it was inscribed: Property of Christopher Columbus, 1492. When I opened the lamp I was surprised to find it still held a candle in it, and you know that the candle was still lit?"
"Now let us get together on these stories," urged the first fisherman. "If you will put out that damned candle, I will take a couple of hundred pounds off that salmon."
One wants to have sweet experiences, one desires to have beautiful experiences. But just by desiring you cannot have them, you can only dream about them. You can have them not by desiring, but by working hard on your being. Tremendous effort is needed. Then one day reality comes, is revealed. And then it has a splendor which no dream can ever have. Because dream is just a dream, a thought in the mind -- a colorful thought, but still a thought. When reality is revealed, it is totally different; it is millions of times more beautiful than any dream. Don't waste time in dreaming. Walk on earth, be in the body, come back to your senses.
The last question:
It is from Divya.
Thank you, Divya.