The first question:
THERE IS NOTHING TO BE FOUND IN PARTICULAR. The search for the particular is illusory, utterly illusory. The mind seeks something in particular; that is the problem with the mind. God is not a particular thing or a particular being; God is sheer existence.
All that is is God. God is the greatest generality. You cannot find Him somewhere because He is everywhere. You cannot find Him in any place because He is the whole, the total. You cannot indicate Him; whatsoever the indication, it will be wrong: He is in all directions, within and without.
Mind is narrow; it goes on seeking in a very concentrated way. Concentration is not the approach towards God. Concentration is a mind approach. God is everywhere, so you have to relax, you have to be meditative. That's the difference between concentration and meditation. Concentration is a focusing of the mind exclusively on something. That's what desire is: a concentrated mind, a mind intent to reach somewhere, to reach something, a great seeking -- but it has to be narrow. And God is the infinite.
You have to relax, and you have to drop all searching -- only then you'll find Him. Seek, and you will never find Him. Just be, and He has always been there surrounding you. He has never left you for a single moment, because you cannot exist without Him. It is impossible to be without Him for a single split moment. He is your life. He is your being.
You can exist without food for months, you can exist without water for a few days, you can exist without air for a few seconds, but you cannot exist without God even for a split second. It is impossible.
This is my whole effort here: to help you to relax. I am not here to make you tense, ambitious, desiring to find God. One who is searching is still in the world. The searcher is part of the world. One day he was seeking money, power, prestige; now he is seeking God, bliss, heaven, but the search continues. He has only changed the objects of the search, but he remains the same. I am here to help you to see the point that God is already the case. You are just like a fish already in the ocean. Maybe the ocean is so obvious that you can't see: you are born in it, you are made of it, you will dissolve in it. It is a question of recognition, not of search.
A searching mind becomes concentrated. Relax and just recognize.
So I don't say to you to seek God, I say to you to live Him right now. There is no need to seek -- enjoy Him right now, celebrate! Let it be a festival. He has already happened. He is just waiting for you to dance with Him, to delight with Him.
Good. Girisha is perfectly right: "I have found nothing in particular"...right, precisely.
That is the point; nothing is to be found in particular..."but I feel free, freed"...exactly, that is the point to be understood. A great freedom is needed -- freedom from desire, freedom from search, freedom from seeking, freedom from the narrow mind. One simply relaxes in all directions. When you relax, you are all-dimensional; when you seek, you are one-dimensional. When you relax you become part of the whole; when you seek you remain an ego.
This 'nothing' is what God is; and this freedom, this tremendous freedom -- that there is no longer any desire to bind you, no bondage exists -- this is what MOKSHA, liberation is. MOKSHA or liberation is not a geographical thing. It is not somewhere: it is not after you die, it is a recognition, a recognition of here and now. Be free of all seeking.
There are only two types of people in the world: one, who are continuously seeking. They seek and they never find, because seeking is not the way to find. They seek one thing, then another thing, then another thing; they continuously change their objects, but they continue seeking. They are one-dimensional people. They miss God because God is all- dimensional. They are linear people; they move in a line -- and God is all. You cannot find Him through linear logic.
Then there is another type of person -- very rare -- who doesn't seek, who enjoys, who delights in whatsoever is available, who dances, who sings. These are the Bauls, these are the really authentically religious people.
God is not somewhere in the future. If you delight, He is here. If you celebrate, you will find Him just by your side, beating in your heart. But if you seek Him you will never find Him anywhere. The seeking mind never reaches to reality. And one becomes too much of a seeker, by and by: too much practice, conditions, so you go on seeking. Today you will seek, yesterday you were seeking, tomorrow also you will seek; past lives you were seeking, this life you are seeking, in the future lives also you will seek. Seeking has become habitual. It has become a structure. Drop that structure!
This is my message: He is here, right THIS very moment. Don't miss Him.
There is no point in seeking; you just also be here, as He is here, and the meeting, and the communion, and the orgasm... you become one.
"I go about my business without anxiety" -- beautiful! Because then everything is His, business also. Ordinary day to day activity becomes religious, because all is His. When you are taking a bath, you are giving Him a bath. When you are standing under a shower, He is showering on you. When you are eating He is eating, and when you feel satisfied He feels satisfied. When you are singing He is singing within you, and He is the audience also; He is listening to you. Every moment and every act becomes luminous with His presence. When the whole life becomes luminous -- waking, He wakes in you; sleeping, He goes to sleep and takes a rest -- then there is no distraction. Then you are continuously in tune with Him. Then the harmony has happened. This is what a religious life is all about.
Religious life is not something separate from life. It is not the life of the temple or of the monastery; it is the life offered to God -- totally, unconditionally, utterly. And now one lives because He wants you to live. And one lives happily, because He has chosen you, because He has chosen you to be an instrument to Him. Then you become a flute on His lips...then everything is tremendously beautiful. This is what the Bauls want to say....
'...and I feel such a flood of gratitude for your presence here."
Gratitude arises whenever you start feeling God's presence around you; then only gratitude is left. Then your whole energy becomes gratitude, then your whole being becomes a thanksgiving, it becomes a prayer -- because nothing is missing, and the world is so perfect, and everything is as it should be. Gratitude is natural. Gratitude is not something that can be practiced. You have been taught to be grateful; you cannot be.
Gratefulness is a consequence: when you feel God close by, gratitude arises. It is a by- product. Respect arises. This respect is not something that you manage, it is something beyond you. You have been taught to be grateful to your parents, taught to be grateful to your teachers, taught to be grateful to your elders, but those are all just conditionings.
When real gratitude arises, then you see what a tremendous difference there is. The gratitude that was taught was just a concept, a dead ritual. You were following it like a mechanism. When the real gratitude upsurges in your being, you feel for the first time what prayer is, what love is.
Good, Girisha. Continue to remember, continue to relax, continue not to lose this experience that is happening to you, because this experience is the only experience that makes life meaningful, which gives life a glow, a benediction. You are blessed, Girisha, but don't lose track of it. It is very difficult to get, and it is very easy to lose -- because mind has a long history, and it is very strong, and this new experience is just a small sprout, very soft, fragile. The mind's heavy rock can crush it at any moment, so be very alert.
People who have not known anything like a spiritual experience of ecstasy, elation, who have never felt any presence of God, need not be very alert, because they have nothing to lose. But a person who has had an experience, a glimpse, a mini-SATORI, has much to lose. He'll have to be more cautious. Be more cautious. Allow what has happened to you to happen more and more. Go deeper into it so that that which is fragile becomes strong, that which is new becomes deeply rooted in your being.
It fact, people who are searching and seeking and making much fuss about it are completely unaware that finally, when they reach, they will find there is nothing.
I have heard....
A lawyer was cross-examining Mulla Nasrudin, a witness. He asked, "And you say you called on Mrs. Sultana on May 2nd? Now will you tell the jury just what she said?"
"I object to the question," interrupted the lawyer on the other side. There was nearly an hour's argument between counsel, and finally the judge allowed the question. "And as I was saying," the first lawyer began again, "on May 2nd you called on Mrs. Sultana. Now what did she say?"
"Nothing," replied Nasrudin. "She was not at home."
One day, when you arrive, you simply are amazed that for so many lives you were seeking something which had never been there, and that which has been there was so close to you, and there was no need to seek it.
Delight, enjoy. God is not a thing, it is an attitude, an attitude of celebration and festivity.
Drop sadness. He is so close by; dance! Drop long faces, it is sacrilege -- because He is so close by. Forget your childish miseries and worries; He is so close by. Don't go on brooding about immaterial things; He is so close by. Allow Him to hold your hand. He has been waiting for you for long.
The second question:
IT is a very complex question. The answer is not easy, but still I will try.
I will tell the Yogi to prepare the cup of tea, because those are the most hygienic people!
And I will tell the Tantrica to bring it, because they know how to present a thing; they know what ritual is. But I am going to take tea with the Baul.
The third question:
IT depends, it depends on the individual. There cannot be any dogmatic statement about it because each individual is so unique. When Basho becomes enlightened he starts singing poetry, poems; Buddha has never done that. When Krishna becomes enlightened he starts dancing, singing; Mahavir has never done that. When Mahavir becomes enlightened he keeps silence for many years, remains absolutely silent, not a ripple is allowed; Meera has not done that. When she becomes enlightened, she dances from village to village, she sings the glory of God. It is very difficult to make a dogmatic statement.
There have been people who renounced life when they became enlightened and went to the Himalayas, moved as far away from the society as possible. There have been people who became enlightened and came back to the world, even if they had been in the Himalayas, and started living with people again. There have been people who remained emperors even when they became enlightened. Zen Masters go on living very ordinary lives; it is very difficult even to recognize. If you don't have eyes to penetrate them, you will not recognize them.
It is said about a great Zen Master, Rinzai.... The emperor came to see him. He was cutting wood just in front of the ashram. The emperor asked, "Where is your Master?"
Rinzai said, "He is inside." Now of course, the emperor thought he must be inside the ashram, so he went inside the ashram. Rinzai ran in another door and sat on the Master's chair with closed eyes. When the emperor reached, he recognized: "This man seems to be exactly like... just like the woodcutter." He said, "What is the matter? Who are you? Are you trying to befool me, or are you a madman?" Rinzai said, "But I have told you, he is inside, and you didn't understand me. Because you did not understand me, I had to run and I had to sit on this chair. Maybe you can understand only superficials. I was ready then and there to reveal myself, but you didn't wait. Yes, I am the Master, now what do you want? And don't waste much time, because much wood is still left to be cut and chopped."
Zen Masters live very ordinary lives: they chop wood, they carry water from the well, they prepare food in the kitchen. It is very difficult to see them unless you have eyes.
They don't live any sort of extraordinary life, because they say, "The very search to be extraordinary is egoistic." Just to be ordinary is the real attitude of a religious man. And remember, the urge to be extraordinary is very ordinary. There is nothing extraordinary about it because everybody wants to be extraordinary. To be ordinary is very extraordinary -- because who wants to be ordinary?
So it is very difficult, and I will not give you a criterion to judge by because those criteria have been very destructive and harmful. Once you have a dead criterion with you, you will miss many real people, and you will be deceived by many pseudo people.
Whosoever can fulfill that criterion will look like he is enlightened.
For example: Mahavir became enlightened; he became naked. Now, anybody can stand naked; there is nothing special about it. Any madman can do that. And you can go to visit a nudist club -- they are not all Mahaviras. Buddha became enlightened; he was sitting in a particular posture, the lotus posture. You can sit in a lotus posture. If you are Eastern, then it is very simple; if you are Western, then six months' practice, but that's all. You can sit in a lotus posture, but that will not make you a Buddha. You can imitate very easily; that's how imitators are there all over the world. Go and see a Jain monk: he imitates perfectly, but nothing else is there.
Enlightenment is always new, fresh -- it is not an imitation, it is not a carbon-copy; it is ALWAYS original. So I cannot tell you exactly how he will behave, but I can tell you how to imbibe. If there is somebody who has something of the unknown around him -- a mystique -- then, how to imbibe? Drop all considerations, all mental considerations.
Don't ask that he should be 'like this'; just be with him. Just sit with him in silence. be open to him. If he has become enlightened, suddenly you will see a throb within you that you have never known before: your energy will start rising. You will see a great silence arising in you, and a great bliss, drop by drop, reaching your innermost core of being.
An enlightened person, if allowed to enter into you, will give you self-evident proofs. But those are not intellectual proofs; they are not arguments of mind. He argues with his whole being. His argument is that of his presence -- so allow his presence and don't carry any criterion. If you are a Jain you will miss Buddha; if you are a Jain you will miss Krishna; if you are a Jain you will miss Christ. If you are a Christian you will miss Mahavir. You will carry an idea, a fixed pattern. Don't carry any fixed pattern. If you feel that somebody is there who is livelier than you, more radiant than you, more understanding than you, more compassion overflowing from his being, then just be in his presence. That's what we call SATSANG: just be in his presence. If he has arrived, you will feel a sudden pull in your being -- you are being pulled towards some unknown center. And you will feel tremendous beauty, bliss. blessings showering on you. That will be the only criterion; but for that you have to be ready.
Ordinarily, people ask, "Give us some objective criterion." There is none. The criterion can only be if you are open. What is the criterion to know whether this flower is a rose or not? The only criterion is to open your eyes, open your nostrils, smell it, let it reach your being; only that will reveal. But if you don't have eyes and you have lost your sense of smell, then it will be very, very difficult for you to know whether it is a rose or something else. It may be just a plastic rose or a paper rose; it can deceive you.
So I will not give you any description of the objective reality, of what happens -- it is individual, unique, always different, never the same -- but I can give you a subjective way to feel.
I have heard....
A maddened Roman swordsman came into the village cutting down men, women, and children, and terrifying everyone. Arriving at the doors of a Zen monastery, he smashed down the door with the hilt of his sword. Striding up to the Master who was sitting in ZAZEN, he raised his sword and was just about to kill him, when something of the Master's stillness reached him. And angrily he shouted, "Don't you realize that standing in front of you is a man who can cut you in two without the blink of an eye!"
The Master quietly said, "Don't YOU realize that sitting in front of you is a man who can be cut in two without the blink of an eye? So go ahead. Don't be restricted by my silence; do whatsoever you have decided to do." But the silence had reached the madman. The silence of the Master had touched his heart; now it was impossible.
So just be open.
Even if you are a madman, and open, you will recognize enlightenment wherever it is, in whatsoever form it has taken. And even if you are a great philosopher, intellectual, very rational to the core, if you don't allow yourself to imbibe the spirit of silence and bliss, you will miss. You have to be very, very open. You have to be in a let-go -- and then the evidence comes so strongly. It is so certain that you can deny everything, but you cannot deny a man of enlightenment -- it is impossible. You may not be able to prove it to others -- because there is no way to prove -- but for you, the thing is settled. And once it is settled for you, once you have been in contact with an enlightened man, a bridge has been created. Now you can never be the same again. The VERY phenomenon that you could recognize a man of enlightenment is enough to start the foundation of you own enlightenment. It is enough to give you a new direction, a new being, a new birth.
The fourth question:
As far as thoughts go, everything is a mind trip. When thoughts cease and you see without any thoughts crowding in your mind, when you see clearly with no smoke of the thoughts surrounding you, when your look is simple, innocent, uncorrupted by thoughts, then it is not a mind trip. Only meditation is not a mind trip; everything else is a mind trip. Or, love is not a mind trip; everything else is a mind trip. If love or meditation has happened to you, you will know what I am indicating towards. In a deep moment of love, thinking stops. The moment is so intriguing, the moment is so tremendously powerful, the moment is so intensely alive, that thinking stops. You are simply in awe, a great wonder surrounds you. Or in deep meditation, when the moment of silence has come and you are absolutely silent, still -- no flickering, no wavering, no trembling, the flame of your consciousness is straight -- then thinking stops. Then you are outside the grip of the mind. Otherwise, everything is a mind trip.
Remember it: one has to go beyond the mind because the mind is SAMSAR, the mind is the world. It is because of your thinking that you are missing the truth. Once thinking is stopped you are face to face with the reality. It is the continuous screen of thinking that is distorting reality. It is as if you are looking in a lake full of ripples. It is a full moon night, and the lake is reflecting the beautiful moon -- but it is full of ripples. You cannot gather it together; the moon goes on splitting into a thousand fragments. The whole lake seems to be spread over by the moon, silvery, many fragments of the moon all around. Then the wind stops, the ripples disappear: those fragments start falling into one moon. The silver that was spread all over the lake becomes more concentrated in one place. When the lake is completely without ripples, the moon is reflected perfectly.
When the mind is with thoughts, the lake is with ripples; when the mind is without thoughts, the lake is without ripples. God is reflected perfectly when there is no ripple in you. Forget all about God -- the only thing to be done is how to become ripple-less, how to become thoughtless, how to drop this constant obsession with thinking. It can be dropped -- it is because of your cooperation that it continues. It is your energy that you go on giving to it that keeps it alive. It is just like a man on a bicycle: he goes on pedaling -- it is his energy that keeps the cycle going on. Once he stops pedaling, the cycle may go a little further because of the past momentum, but then it has to stop.
Don't give energy to your thoughts. Become a witness -- indifferent, aloof, distant. Just see the thoughts, and don't be in any way involved in them. Note the fact: the thoughts are there; but don't choose this way or that, don't be for or against, don't be pro or con.
Just be a watcher. Let the mind-traffic move, just stand by the side and look at it, unaffected by it, as if it has nothing to do with you.
Sometimes try it: go on the busiest street where the traffic rush is too much. Stand by the side of the road and see the traffic -- so many people going hither and thither, and cars and bicycles and trucks and buses. You just stand by the side and look, and do the same inside: close your eyes and see -- the mind is a traffic of thoughts, thoughts rushing here and there. You watch, you just be a watcher. By and by, you will see that the traffic is becoming less and less. By and by, you will see that the road is empty, nobody is passing.
In those rare moments, first glimpses of SAMADHI will enter in you.
There are three stages of SAMADHI. First, when you achieve glimpses through gaps -- one thought comes, then it has gone and another has not come for the time being. There may even be a gap for a few seconds; in that interval reality penetrates you -- the moon becomes one. The reflection is there only for a single moment, but you will see the first glimpse.
This is what in Zen they call SATORI. By and by, the gaps will become bigger, and when the gaps become bigger and you can see reality more clearly, that vision of reality changes you. Then you cannot be the same because your vision becomes your reality also. Whatsoever you are seeing affects your being. Your vision, by and by, is absorbed, digested. That is the second stage of samadhi.
And then comes the last stage: when suddenly the whole traffic disappears, as if you were fast asleep and dreaming and somebody has shaken you and awakened you, and the whole traffic of dreaming has stopped. In that third stage you become one with reality, because there is nothing to divide. The fence that was dividing you has disappeared. The wall is no more there. The wall is made of the bricks of thoughts, desires, feelings, emotions; once it disappears -- it is a China wall, very ancient, and every strong -- but once it disappears, there is no fence between you and God. When for the first time the third stage happens, that is where the Upanishads announced, "AHAM BRAHAMASMI" -- I am God, I am the Brahma. It is where the Sufi mystic, Mansur, declares, "ANA'L HAQ" -- I am the truth. It is there when Jesus declares, "I and my God are one, I and my Father are one."
The fifth question:
IT is one of the perennial questions of humanity: the question of freedom and responsibility. If you are free, you interpret it as if now there is no responsibility. Just a hundred years ago Friedrich Nietzsche declared, "God is dead, and man is free." And the next sentence he wrote is, "Now you can do whatsoever you want to do. There is no responsibility. God is dead, man is free, and there is no responsibility." There he was absolutely wrong; when there is no God, there is TREMENDOUS responsibility on your shoulders. If there is a God, he can share your responsibility. You can throw your responsibility on Him: you can say, "It is YOU who have made the world; it is YOU who have made me in this way; it is YOU who is finally, ultimately, responsible, not me. How can I be ultimately responsible? I am just a creature, and you are the creator. Why have you put seeds of corruption in me and seeds of sin in me from the beginning? You are responsible. I am free." In fact, if there is no God, then man is ABSOLUTELY responsible for his acts, because there is no way to throw responsibility on anybody else.
When I say to you that you are free, I mean that you are responsible. You cannot throw responsibility on anybody else, you are alone. And whatsoever you do, it is your doing.
You cannot say that somebody else forced you to do it -- because you are free; nobody can force you! Because you are free, it is your decision to do something or not to do something. With freedom comes responsibility. Freedom IS responsibility. But the mind is very cunning, the mind interprets in its own way: it always goes on listening to that which it wants to listen to. It goes on interpreting things in its own way. The mind never tries to understand what really is the truth. It has taken that decision already.
I have heard....
"I am a respectable man, doctor, but lately life has become intolerable because of my feelings of guilt and self-recrimination." The patient gulped miserably before continuing.
"You see, I have recently fallen victim to an uncontrollable urge to pinch and fondle girls in the underground."
"Dearie me," tutted the psychiatrist consolingly, "we must certainly help you to rid yourself of this unfortunate urge. I can quite see how distressing.... " The patient broke in anxiously, "It is not so much the urge I wanted you get rid of for me, doctor, it is the guilt."
People go on talking about freedom, but they don't want freedom exactly, they want irresponsibility. They ask for freedom, but deep down, unconsciously, they ask for irresponsibility, licence.
Freedom is maturity; licence is very childish. Freedom is possible only when you are so integrated that you can take the responsibility of being free. The world is not free because people are not mature. Revolutionaries have been doing many things down through the centuries, but everything fails. Utopians have been continuously thinking of how to make man free, but nobody bothers -- because man cannot be free unless he is integrated. Only a Buddha can be free, a Mahavira can be free, a Christ, a Mohammed can be free, a Zarathustra can be free, because freedom means the man now is aware. If you are not aware then the state is needed, the government is needed, the police is needed, the court is needed. Then freedom has to be cut from everywhere. Then freedom exists only in name; in fact it doesn't exist. How can freedom exist when governments exist? -- it is impossible. But what to do?
If governments disappear, there will simply be anarchy. Freedom will not come in if governments disappear, there will simply be anarchy. It will be a worse state than it is now. It will be sheer madness. The police are needed because you are not alert.
Otherwise, what is the point of having a policeman standing on the crossroad? If people are alert, the policeman can be removed, will have to be removed, because it is unnecessary. But people are not conscious.
So when I say 'freedom', I mean be responsible. The more responsible you become, the more free you become; or, the more free you become, the more responsibility comes on you. Then you have to be very alert to what you are doing, what you are saying. Even about your small unconscious gestures you have to be very alert -- because there is nobody else to control you, it is only you. When I say to you that you are free, I mean that you are a God. It is not licence, it is tremendous discipline.
The sixth question:
MIND functions in such strange ways. You have been here to meditate; it has nothing to do with anybody else. In fact, a real meditator will not look at what is happening to others. A real meditator will be going inwards.
It is said about Bayazid that he lived with his Master for twelve years, and he passed the same hall every day to come to the Master. One day the Master said to Bayazid, "You go back to the hall. There, in the cupboard, one book is Lying -- you bring that book."
Bayazid said, "I will go, because I have never seen that there is a cupboard." The Master said, "You have been coming to see me continuously, every day, for twelve years, and you have to pass that hall every day; you have not looked around?" He said, "I was coming to you, Master. I am not here to look at what is in the hall, whether there is a cupboard or not, and whether there is a book in it or not. I am not here for that. My whole intent, my whole being is just for you. I am open towards you. I will go and see." The Master said, "There is no need; the book is not needed. In fact, there is no book and there is no cupboard. It was just a test to see whether you are distracted. I am happy that you are not distracted."
Now, this question is a question of distraction. How are you related to anybody? You should be meditating, or, at the most, you should be open towards me. But mind goes on creating new complexities and troubles.
The question is from a woman, so that shows something about the feminine mind also.
She is more interested in Vivek than in me. If you are to feel envious, feel envious of me!
But a woman is a woman; even if she has come to meditate, it makes not much difference. And then she says, "I am not jealous of her, but I envy." This is always happening in the mind: if somebody is envious we call him jealous; if we are jealous we say this is just envy. There is a double-bind.
What is envy? It is nothing but passive jealousy. Maybe jealousy is too strong a phenomenon; envy is a little passive. The difference may be of degrees, but it is not of quality, it is only of quantity. Envy can become jealousy at any moment; envy is just jealousy in progress. Mind has to drop all envies and jealousies.
She has asked, "How to reach that stage?" The first thing is to drop envy and jealousy, otherwise there is no possibility -- because love cannot exist where envy and jealousies exist. Then your search is only for a certain type of power: that in the name of love you are just trying to fulfill the ego. And it is arduous to drop, because love exists only when all the negative elements of the mind are dropped. It is very arduous. You can ask Vivek how arduous it is.
Just a few days ago she was saying to me, "You are worse than Gurdjieff!" Now that is a great compliment. Gurdjieff was really very hard on his disciples, and she says, "You are worse than Gurdjieff!" But I can understand: I am hard, I HAVE to be hard. The closer you come to me, the harder you will find me. When you come just as a visitor, then it is okay; I am not hard. I have to be very, very polite when you come as a visitor -- that is the trap. Once you are trapped, then I become hard.
The woman has not taken sannyas yet; she should take sannyas and see.
Come closer to me... you will be coming closer to your own death. Love is death. You will have to die; only then can you comeclose to me. You will have to efface yourself utterly; only then can you come close to me.
But people think that love is the promise of a rose garden. Yes, ultimately yes, but on the way it is a lot of hell.
Let me tell you one anecdote:
A great philosopher, feeling the absolute meaninglessness of life, decided to commit suicide by hanging himself. A friend came into the room and discovered him standing with a rope around his waist, and he enquired what he was trying to do. The philosopher told him he was taking his own life. "But," said the friend, "why have you the rope round your waist?"
"Well," said the philosopher, "when I tied it round my neck, it was choking me."
Love is a rope round the neck -- it will choke you, it will kill you. Only those who are courageous enough to commit suicide -- a spiritual suicide -- who are ready to die, only they can be reborn, and only they can be close to me. It has nothing to do with me. I am there, available to everybody. My invitation is there for you to come. It depends on you.
But if you come just to become close to me, envious of others who are close, you are coming close for wrong reasons. Then your rope will be just around your waist, and you will say, "I cannot put it on my neck, it is choking."
People can come close also for wrong reasons, for political reasons. Now this woman has a political mind: she thinks Vivek is in a PARAMPADA, in the highest power position.
This is a search for power.
Those who are close to me are close because they have effaced themselves. At least they are sincerely trying. It is hard, it is difficult, but they are trying.
I was reading a small anecdote:
There was a small camp of little boy scouts. The camp counsellor was explaining the rules of a new game: "If your enemy calls your number from his side of the battlefield," he said, "you must be a dead man, immediately. Drop just where you are. Lie still as if you are dead, become completely dead."
Ten minutes later came an agonized whisper from the youngest camper, "Please may I move now? I am a dead man, but I am on an ant hill."
You can pretend that you are effacing yourself, you can pretend that you are humble, you can pretend that you are ready to drop your ego, but pretensions won't help. Sooner or later truth comes out. And one should not become interested for wrong reasons.
The girl was rich and the young man, Mulla Nasrudin, was very poor. She liked him but that was all, and Nasrudin knew it. One night he had been a little more tender than usual:
"You are very rich," he ventured.
"Yes," she replied frankly. "I am worth one million rupees."
"And I am poor."
"Will you marry me?"
"I thought you would not."
"Then why did you ask me, Nasrudin?"
"Aw," said Nasrudin, "just to see how a man feels when he loses one million rupees."
Don't ask such questions, because they come out of wrong desires. First watch from where they are coming and be very, very alert. See as clearly as possible. Don't hide behind words. Don't call your jealousy envy. Be very hard with yourself. Only then will your diagnosis be helpful, and right questions will arise. If you ask a wrong question, you waste time.
The last question:
IT should have been asked in the beginning; now this is going to be last. But in a way, it is good. If in the beginning you had asked about the definition of a Baul, it would have been almost impossible to say anything. Not that now I can define, but at least now I can say it is indefinable.
The Baul is not a metaphysics, the Baul is a mystique. I can invite you to participate in that mystery, but definition is not possible. So I am not going to define. Instead, I will tell you a story. Maybe that will give you a definition; but you will have to find it yourself.
I have heard....
Once upon a time, an angel came to earth to see man and his world, because he had heard so many stories of man's splendor that he could not resist his curiosity. The beauty of the world overwhelmed him: the sunlit mountain peaks and dark forests, the whining winds and tossing, rainbow-colored valleys, the dew-kissed soil, the soil's lusty smell, the animals, fierce and gentle. Everywhere there was such beauty. But when the angel saw man he was awed, for he heard the music of the human heart and the song of the human soul. He fell in deep love with human mystery. Dusk came, but he lingered on. Man and man's earth had so moved the angel that he hesitated to leave. But finally, his time finished, he had to go with tears in his eyes. And tremendously encircled, enriched by this adventure on the earth, by this experience, before going out, before going back to his own world, just out of sheer joy he wanted to help some of us on our way. He looked about, saw four persons walking together. He approached them and said, "I have come to grant you each one wish." As luck would have it, they all were spiritual aspirants.
The first one spoke up, "I have striven incessantly after distant divine truth -- nothing but struggle, struggle, struggle. Give me spiritual peace!"
"But struggling is one of the joys of life," said the angel, not understanding the first seeker's wish.
"I would like peace!" insisted the man.
This being his wish, the angel changed the youth into a cow that chewed the grass of a distant pasture quite contentedly.
A bit disturbed, the angel turned to the other aspirant.
"God is pure but I am not," said the other. "Please rid me of all impurities, of passions, emotions, desires."
"Are not they the very fount of life?" asked the angel.
"But I don't want life, I want purity!" insisted the second man. He then closed his eyes and waited for his transformation. In a split second he disappeared, and in a faraway temple, a marble statue appeared in his likeness.
Then the third one said, "Make me perfect; anything less will simply not do." He vanished but did not reappear anywhere, for nothing on earth is perfect or can be perfect.
The angel turned to the fourth, "And what is your wish?"
"I have no wish," replied this happy man.
"No wish at all?"
"None -- except to be human, fully human and alive."
A near-smothered joy began again to stir within the angel. He looked longingly upon this blessed man, and then leaned over and embraced him with a deep love. The fourth man continued on his way singing the glory of life, dancing the joy of life.
This fourth man is the Baul.
There is no other way to define a Baul. The Baul is tremendous love for life, tremendous love for this earth, tremendous love for all that is. The Baul is not an idealist, he is a realist -- down to earth. The Baul does not ask for any paradise somewhere else, he is already in paradise, herenow. The Baul is not a seeker, the Baul is one who has found. the Baul is a SIDDHA: one who has looked into life and realized that all is available and there is no need to seek. One has just to participate in this mystery called life. He dances, he sings, he enjoys, he is blissful for no reason at all. This is half the story; the other half is still there.
The angel reached heaven. God called him and asked him, "What were you doing on the earth? Tinkering with my creation?"
The angel said, "I am sorry, but those people desired; those were their wishes. I simply helped them to fulfill."
God said, "That's right. I am not angry, I was just enquiring. Have you any wish to be fulfilled?"
The angel said, "Make me the fourth man back on the earth. Send me back and make me the fourth man."
Let that be your wish also. And there is no need to ask? because that is already fulfilled.
You are a man on the earth, a woman on the earth; enjoy this gift of God! In deep gratefulness, sing the song, dance the dance that is waiting deep inside your being to be expressed. Be creative. Flower.
A Baul is a flowering. A Baul is a flowing energy. A Baul is not the ordinarily so-called religious, a Baul is really religious. He is not against the world, because he is not against God. It is His creation; he is not against anything because all is God's. He finds the temple of God everywhere. Every presence is full of His presence. A Baul is a madman; that is the meaning of the word 'baul'. It comes from a Sanskrit word, vatul, which means mad.
Become mad in the name of God! Become mad in sheer joy! and then you will know what a Baul is. There is no way to define; I can only indicate. There is no way to even describe, but I am here, present -- I am a Baul. You look into me, taste me a little, eat me, drink me; that may give you some definition. And if you really want, if you really desire the definition, then become a Baul. There is no other way to know it. To know God one has become a God, because you can know only that which you have become. Only existence, and the experience of existence, can enlighten you, nothing else.