The discipline of transcendence
THE BUDDHA SAID:
WHEN A MAN MAKES UTENSILS OUT OF A METAL WHICH HAS BEEN THOROUGHLY CLEANSED OF DROSS, THE UTENSILS WILL BE EXCELLENT. YOU MONKS, WHO WISH TO FOLLOW THE WAY, MAKE YOUR OWN HEARTS CLEAN FROM THE DIRT OF EVIL PASSIONS, AND YOUR CONDUCT WILL BE UNIMPEACHABLE.
EVEN IF ONE ESCAPES FROM THE EVIL CREATIONS, IT IS ONE'S RARE FORTUNE TO BE BORN A HUMAN BEING. IF ONE BE BORN A MAN, IT IS ONE'S RARE FORTUNE TO BE PERFECT IN ALL THE SIX SENSES. EVEN IF HE BE PERFECT IN ALL THE SIX SENSES, IT IS HIS RARE FORTUNE TO BE BORN IN THE TIME OF A BUDDHA. EVEN IF HE BE BORN IN THE TIME OF A BUDDHA, IT IS HIS RARE FORTUNE TO SEE THE ENLIGHTENED. EVEN IF HE BE ABLE TO SEE THE ENLIGHTENED, IT IS HIS RARE FORTUNE TO HAVE HIS HEART AWAKENED IN FAITH. EVEN IF HE HAVE FAITH, IT IS HIS RARE FORTUNE TO AWAKEN THE HEART OF INTELLIGENCE. EVEN IF HE AWAKENS THE HEART OF INTELLIGENCE, IT IS HIS RARE FORTUNE TO REALIZE A SPIRITUAL STATE WHICH IS ABOVE DISCIPLINE AND ATTAINMENT.
O CHILDREN OF BUDDHA! YOU ARE AWAY FROM ME EVER SO MANY THOUSAND MILES, BUT IF YOU REMEMBER AND THINK OF MY PRECEPTS, YOU SHALL SURELY GAIN THE FRUIT OF ENLIGHTENMENT.
YOU MAY, STANDING BY MY SIDE, SEE ME ALWAYS, BUT IF YOU OBSERVE NOT MY PRECEPTS, YOU SHALL NEVER GAIN ENLIGHTENMENT.
CONSCIOUSNESS is like a lake: with waves it becomes the mind, without waves it becomes the soul. The difference is only of turmoil. Mind is a soul disturbed, and soul is mind silenced. The mind is just the ill state of affairs, and the soul is the healthy state of affairs. Mind is not something separate from the soul, as waves are not separate from the lake. The lake can be without waves, but the waves cannot be without the lake. The soul can be without the mind, but the mind cannot be without the soul. When there are great winds and the lake is disturbed, there is turmoil. And the lake loses one quality in that turmoil, and that is the quality of reflection. Then it cannot reflect the real. The real becomes distorted. There may be a full moon in the sky, but now the lake is not capable of reflecting it. The moon will still be reflected, but in a distorted way. It will be reflected in thousands of fragments. It will not be any unity; it will not be collected, integrated. It will not be one. The real is one. But now the lake will reflect many millions of moons; the whole surface of the lake may be filled with silver. Everywhere, moons and moons - but this is not true. The truth is one:
when the mind reflects it, it becomes many; when consciousness reflects it, it is one.
Consciousness is neither Hindu nor Mohammedan nor Christian. If you are a Hindu you are still in the mind, distorted. If you are a Mohammedan you are still in the mind, distorted. Once the mind has settled and the waves are no longer there, you are simply a consciousness - with no adjective attached to it, with no conditioning attached to it. And then truth is one. In fact, even to say that truth is one is not right - because one is meaningful only in the context of many. Truth is so one that in the east we have never called it 'one'; we call it 'non-dual', not two.
Why have we chosen a roundabout way in calling it 'not two'? We want to say that it is difficult to say it is one, because one implies two, three, four. We simply say 'not two'. We don't say what it is, we simply say what it is not. There is no 'manyness' in it - that's all. We have to express it VIA NEGATIVA, by saying that it is not two. It is so one and it is so alone; only it exists and nothing else. But that is reflected in consciousness when the mind is no longer there. When I say 'the mind is no longer there', remember, I am not talking about mind as a faculty.
Mind is not a faculty. It is simply a disturbed state: consciousness waving, shaking, trembling, not at home.
What winds blow on the consciousness that disturb it7 Buddha says: The name of that wind is passion, desire.
Watch, and you will see the truth of Buddha's saying. It is a fact, it has nothing to do with any theory. Buddha is not interested in abstract systems; he simply says that which is. He's not formulating a philosophy. Always remember it, never forget it - that he is very experimental, existential. His whole approach is just to say something that you can IMMEDIATELY experience. And your experience will prove that he is right. There is no other way to prove right or wrong. There is no way to argue about it.
Just sometimes sit silently; even if for a single moment desire stops, you will see that all turmoil has disappeared. Sitting silently, not desiring anything; sitting silently, not moving in the future; sitting silently, contented; in that single moment you will be able to understand what Buddha means. Suddenly you will see that there are no waves at all. All the waves have gone. The waves arise only when you desire, when you are discontented with the present and you hope for the future.
Desire is a tension between the present and the future. In that tension, waves arise. Then you are shattered - and consciousness is VERY fragile.
Consciousness is very soft: just a slight desire, just a flicker of desire, and the whole lake is disturbed. Go sometimes, watch, sit by the bank of a lake. See...
there are no ripples. Throw a small pebble, a very small pebble, in the biggest of lakes, and the small pebble will start creating ripples, and those ripples will go on spreading to the farthest bank. Just a small pebble creates so much disturbance. Just a slight desire and disturbance comes through the back door.
Desire is disturbance, passion is a fever. In passion you are not yourself. In passion you are beside yourself. In passion you are not centered: you lose your balance. In passion you do things you cannot even imagine that you could have done. Many murderers have confessed in the courts, down through the centuries, that they had not committed the crime; it happened. They were in such rage, they were almost mad. They had not done it deliberately; it had happened. They are not criminals, they are victims of their own rage. You may think they are deceiving; you may think they are now trying to escape from punishment. No, it is not so.
Murder is impossible if you are conscious, if you are silent, if you are centered. It happens only when you are not, when you are so clouded, when there are only waves and waves and the surface of the lake is completely disturbed - then it happens. All wrong happens only when you are disturbed. Ordinarily religious people say, "Cultivate character." Buddha says: Cultivate consciousness.
Ordinary religious teachers say, "Do good." Buddha says: Be silent and good will be done. The good follows silence as your shadow follows you. And there is no way to do good unless you are silent. You can do good, but only wrong will happen if you are not silent. That's why the so-called do-gooders go on doing a thousand and one mischiefs in the world. Your so-called do-gooders are the most mischievous people, but they are doing good for your sake, they are doing it for good, and you cannot even escape from them.
Everybody knows that good parents are dangerous parents. A parent that is too good is bound to be a wrong parent - because he will encage you. Too much good is destructive. A good mother will destroy you, because the mother herself is not centered. Her good is enforced; she is TRYING to do good. The good is not natural and spontaneous. It is not like a shadow; it is effort, it is violent. Your so- called MAHATMAS go on crippling people, destroying people, destroying their freedom in many ways. They go on trying to dominate by subtle methods, in subtle ways. But the whole desire is to dominate, and it is very easy to dominate somebody when you are good. He cannot even rebel against you. Against a bad mother you can escape; but what to do against a good mother? She's so good that you start feeling bad. Watch it: everybody has passed through that state, and it has to be understood. Otherwise you will never be able to accept yourself.
Whenever there is a child, there is bound to be some conflict between the child and the parents, particularly between the child and the mother in the beginning, and then later on with the father. It is natural - because the mother has her own way, her own ideas, her own philosophy of how life should be lived. And the child is almost wild; he knows no society, no culture, no religion. He's coming directly from God; he's as wild as God. He has nothing but freedom, so there is bound to be some conflict. And the child has to be initiated into the walls of the society. He cannot be left alone - that too is true. So conflict is natural. If the mother is very good then the child is in a difficulty, a very great anguish and anxiety. The anxiety is that the child loves his freedom and knows, intrinsically, that freedom is good. Freedom is an intrinsic value. There is no need to prove that freedom is good - freedom IS good, it is self-evidently good. Everybody is born with that desire. That's why we called the ultimate goal in the east'total freedom', MOKSHA: where the intrinsic desire is completely fulfilled and one has no limitations of any sort. One is absolutely free, unconditionally free.
Every child is born with that intrinsic desire to be free, and now everywhere there is bondage. The mother says, "Don't do this, don't do that, sit here, don't go there." And the child feels pulled and pushed from everywhere. Now, if the mother is bad, there is not much difficulty; the child can think that the mother is bad and deep in his heart he can start hating her. Simple, it is arithmetical - she is destroying his freedom and he hates her. Maybe, for political reasons, he cannot express it, so he becomes a diplomat. He knows that she is the rottenest woman in the world, but he goes on paying lip service.
But if the mother is good then the problem arises. Then the child is at a loss to figure it out; the mother is good... and freedom is good: "Now, if Mother is good then I must be wrong, and my freedom must be wrong. If I am good and my freedom is good, then Mother must be wrong." Now, to think that the mother is wrong is impossible - because she is REALLY good, and she goes on caring, loving, and doing a thousand and one things for the child. The mother is REALLY good, the child knows that she is good. So there is only one possibility to decide, and that is: "I must be wrong. The mother is good, I must be wrong."
Once the child starts thinking, "I must be wrong," he starts rejecting himself. I ordinarily never come across a person who accepts himself totally. And if you don't accept yourself totally you will never grow - because growth is out of acceptance. If you go on rejecting yourself, you are creating a split. You will be schizophrenic. The part that you reject will hang around your neck like a great burden, a great sorrow, a great anxiety, a tension. You cannot throw it away, because it is part of you; it cannot be divided. At the most you can throw it into unconsciousness. You can become unaware of it, you can forget about it, you can believe that it is not there. That's how the unconscious is created.
The unconscious is not a natural thing. The unconscious is that part of your being that you have rejected, and you don't even want to face it, you don't want to encounter it, you don't want to see that it exists at all. It is there; deep down in your being it goes on manipulating you. And it will take many types of revenge, because it also needs expression. Now this is the whole misery of human beings.
A 'good' mother can create the idea of a 'bad' child. The child himself starts rejecting himself. This is a division, a split in personality. The child is getting neurotic.
Because to feel good with oneself should be a natural and easy thing. That's what your religious preachers go on doing, what your priests go on doing: go to the mosque, go to the temple, go to the church, and they are there - thundering, condemnatory, ready to throw you into hell, ready to reward you with heaven if you listen to them, if you follow them. Of course you cannot follow because their demands are impossible, and their demands are impossible because they don't show you the way to be good. They simply say. "Be good."
The way to be good has nothing to do with being good. The way to be good has something to do with centering, with awareness. Being good has nothing to do with your character. A really good person has no character at all; he is characterless. And when I say 'characterless', I mean he has no armour, no armature around him. He has no defences around him, he's simply open. He's as characterless as a flower. He's neither good nor bad. He's simply there - alert, conscious, responsible. If something happens he will respond, but he will respond directly, he will respond from here. He will respond out of the now, he will not respond out of the past. 'Character' means: you go on carrying the things that you have learned in your past. 'Character' means: the conscience that has been preached to you and forced upon you. Conscience is a prison for consciousness.
Buddha brought a revolution into the world of religion, the greatest ever. The revolution was this: that he emphasized consciousness and not conscience. He emphasized awareness and not character. Of course, character comes automatically, but it comes like a shadow. You are not to carry it; it is not a burden then. Have you ever watched? - your shadow goes on following you, and you are not burdened, and you need not care about it. You need not think about it. Even if you forget completely it will be there. You cannot lose it.
Buddha says: Character is real only when you cannot lose it. If you are afraid that you can lose it, then it is conscience and not consciousness.
So the first thing to be understood before we enter into these sutras is that a man becomes blind by passion, by desire. And why does he become blind by passion and desire?because desire and passion bring two things: first, a discontent with the present. It is the very root of desire. If you are not discontented with the present, desire cannot exist. Desire can come into existence only with discontent.
Just see.... If you are sitting here and if you are contented in this moment - and I don't see why you should not be contented in this moment - then there is no desire. And when there is no desire, there is such calm, such quiet. The silence becomes so solid that you can almost touch it, you can taste it, you can hold it in your hands.
Whenever there is contentment, there is no desire. When there is no desire you are at home, relaxed. In that relaxed state, there is no mind. Mind is the accumulated tensions. Mind is not a faculty, mind is just a bundle of all your desires, all the waves that you go on creating. One passion is lost; before it is lost you get involved in another passion. One desire is finished, and even before it is finished you start planning for another trip in the future.
So you go on rushing into the future and you go on missing the present. And presence is possible only in the present. And when you are present there is no mind. And this state of no-mind is the goal, the Buddhist goal.
When there is no tension, no thought, no desire, no passion, a great well-being arises in your soul; it wells up. That's what benediction is. You feel tremendously happy, and you feel happy for no reason. You feel tremendously high - but this high has no cause to it. It is not that you have taken some drug, or alcohol; it is not that you have been chanting a MANTRA - because MANTRA also changes your chemistry. The constant repetition of a certain sound brings changes in your body chemistry. It is a drug. A MANTRA is a drug, a very subtle drug: it creates certain waves in your being. And if you go on chanting a certain mantra - Aum... Aum... Aum - by and by, the sound 'Aum' changes your whole body chemistry.
Or you can go on a fast. And look at the absurdity: people who preach fasting are against drugs, but fasting is a chemical change. It is as much a drug as any other drug. When you fast what are you doing? - you are not living certain chemicals to your body - chemicals which, if not given, the balance of inner chemicals will be changed. It is the same I Either you take some drug - that changes your inner proportion of chemicals; or you stop taking food - that changes your inner balance of chemicals. When people feel high, when Mahatma Gandhi says that he feels very high when he is on a fast, he's not talking about anything different from what Timothy Leary says. Both are saying the same things: both are talking about chemistry. Though ordinarily we don't see fasting as a drug, it is a drug - it can make you high, it can make you weightless.
Or you can go on chanting. Chanting creates changes in the physical body chemistry. That's why a few sounds have become very important. Down through the centuries many people have tried many MANTRAS. Then a few MANTRAS succeeded and a few failed. Those that have succeeded are the MANTRAS which immediately bring changes to your chemistry. You may call it Transcendental Meditation: it is again a drug. Now, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is very much against drugs, and TM itself is a subtle drug.
Or, you can change your body chemistry through postures, yoga; you can change your body chemistry through certain types of breathing - but all changes are basically chemical. When you breathe deeply you bring more oxygen to the body, and more oxygen in the body starts changing your chemistry - you start feeling high. When you don't breathe deeply more carbon dioxide collects in the lungs. The proportion changes; you feel dull, you feel low, you feel depressed.
Yes, that word is right: you feel very'pressed' by something. It is carbon dioxide that brings depression; you are under a rock.
But these are all changes - physical, chemical. They don't go deeper than that.
Buddha says: Just being aware, just being aware and contented.... He does not even preach a certain pattern, a rhythm of breathing. He says: Let the breathing be natural. He does not preach fasting; he preaches right food, the right quantity of food. He does not preach vigilance in the night. There are many sects, particularly Mohammedans, who stay awake the whole night. That too changes the body chemistry.
Buddha simply says: One thing is needed, and that is that you should not move in the future, you should remain present herenow. You should remain contented with the moment. Move with the moment, don't go ahead, don't jump ahead. Let there be no passion. 'Passion' means: jumping ahead of yourself. Then you create anxiety, then you create frustration, then you create worry, and then a thousand and one waves arise on the surface of your consciousness. You become a mind.
When these waves disappear, you are again a consciousness. Try it sometime.
Gurdjieff used to give a method to his disciples. He used to call it 'The Stop Exercise'. He taught his disciples to sometimes, suddenly, stop the whole world.
By stopping yourself, you can stop the whole world. You are walking on the road; suddenly, with a jerk, you stop. For a half-second you simply remain unmoving. That sudden non-moving will also help the mind to stop - because the mind takes time. If you stop slowly, slowly, then the mind will not stop; it will get adjusted. If you suddenly stop then there is a shock; the mind stops. In that moment of sudden stopping you will be able to see that the whole world has stopped, because all the waves have disappeared.
You try it.
Just dancing, suddenly stop! Running, suddenly stop. Swimming, suddenly stop.
Talking, suddenly stop - and for a single moment be absolutely unmoving, as if you have become a statue - and you will see that your mind has stopped, for a split second, of course. Again it takes possession of you, but in that single moment you will see that it is so silent that it will become a glimpse, it will become a great support. And you will know that this is how reality is. In that single moment, that which is will reveal itself to you. That's what God is, or truth, or NIRVANA.
THE BUDDHA SAID:
WHEN A MAN MAKES UTENSILS OUT OF A METAL WHICH HAS BEEN THOROUGHLY CLEANSED OF DROSS, THE UTENSILS WILL BE EXCELLENT. YOU MONKS WHO WISH TO FOLLOW THE WAY, MAKE YOUR OWN HEARTS CLEAN FROM THE DIRT OF EVIL PASSIONS, AND YOUR CONDUCT WILL BE UNIMPEACHABLE.
Cleanse your heart from the dross of passion. And in fact, to do it, nothing much is needed. It is not really the case that you have become impure. You are simply disturbed, that's all; that's what impurity is. Whenever you are undisturbed, impurity disappears. Impurity is not something that has entered into your being.
It is just on the surface, like waves. So if you want it to happen, it can happen right now. And don't play with explanations. Don't say, "How can it happen right now? I have many KARMAS to settle first." All nonsense! tricks of the mind to postpone. The mind says, "How can I do it right now? First I have to settle many, many lives' KARMAS." But do you know how many lives you have been here? Millions of lives! If you have really to settle those KARMAS, YOU will again take millions of lives to settle them. And after you have settled them millions of lives will have again passed - and in these lives again you would be doing many KARMAS. There is no way to avoid it. If you are alive you will do something or other. You will eat something, KARMA IS created. You will breathe, KARMA IS created. You will walk, KARMA IS created. You will sleep, KARMA is created. Any action is KARMA. SO this is a vicious circle. For millions of lives you have existed; now to settle those KARMAS, again millions of lives will be needed. And even after that, nothing will be settled - because in these millions of lives again you will be doing KARMAS. Then you cannot get out of this, out of this mess. Then there is no way out.
Buddha says: There is a way out. It is not a question of settling the past KARMAS, it is simply settling the present state of mind, that's all.
It is just herenow. If you understand, the settlement can happen. You have never done anything; you have been simply dreaming. The action or the actor, the doer and the doing - all are dreamings.
Buddha says: Your innermost core is simply empty. It has never done anything.
It cannot do. It is a witness, by its very nature.
Watch it. Find out whether what he says is true or not. Try it in your life. You were a child, now you are no longer a child; then you were a young man, now you are no longer young; now you have become old; the childhood body has gone, the childhood mind has disappeared. Then you had another body in your youth - that has gone. The vigor, the vitality, the youth, the beauty - everything has disappeared. You had a different type of mind - too ambitious, too desirous, too egoistic. Now all that is a story of the past. Now death is coming; you can hear the sound of its coming closer every day. You can feel that every day the distance is becoming smaller and smaller. But watch one thing: you have remained the same. Your innermost core has not changed a little bit, it has not changed at all. When you were a child, it was the same consciousness watching from behind. You were young; it was the same consciousness, watching. Then you became old; it is the same consciousness.
It is as if consciousness is a mirror. A child stands before the mirror, the mirror reflects the child; a young man stands before the mirror, the mirror reflects the young man; an old man stands before the mirror, the mirror reflects the old man - but the mirror is neither child, nor young, nor old. And when all have gone there is simply a mirror reflecting nothing, just being there.
Your consciousness is a mirror.
This metaphor of the mirror is tremendously meaningful. It will be very helpful on the Way if you can understand it. The consciousness is just standing behind, watching. It is a witness. Things come and go... just like a movie. You sit in a moviehouse; on the screen many things come and go. Sometimes you get identified too. Sometimes you become identified with an actor. Maybe he is beautiful, powerful, has a charm, a grace of personality, is impressive, has some charisma: you get identified, you forget yourself. For a moment you start thinking as if he is you. Sometimes it happens that there is a very sad scene, and you start crying, Your eyes are wet... and there is nothing on the screen - just light and shadow passing. And you know it, but you have forgotten for a moment. If you remember it, you will start laughing at yourself: "What are you doing? crying? weeping?" But it happens when you read a novel too. At least there is something on the screen. Reading a novel there is nothing - no screen, no actors, nothing. Just in your own fantasy the novel goes on and on and on.
And suddenly sometimes you feel very happy, and sometimes you feel very sad; the climate of the novel starts possessing you.
This is exactly what is happening in life. Life is a great stage, a great drama. And it is very complex - because you are the actor, and you are the director, and you are the film, and you are the screen, and you are the projector, and you are the audience too. Now you are all layers: one part playing the role of an actor, another part directing, another part functioning as a screen, another part working as a projector. And behind it all is your real reality - the witness who is just watching.
Once you start feeling its existence, once you start getting settled with it, more and more in tune with it, then you will see what Buddha means when he says consciousness is a mirror. The mirror is never contaminated, it only appears to be. You can put a heap of dung before a mirror; of course, it will reflect it. But still the mirror is not contaminated, it is not polluted. It doesn't become impure because a heap of manure or dung is reflected in it. It remains still pure. Remove the dung and the mirror is there in all its purity. Even when the dung was reflected the mirror was not contaminated. So whatsoever is impure is really a reflection; it is mirrored. And Buddha says: If you get cleansed of this dross, the dirt of evil and passions, your conduct will be unimpeachable.
So the emphasis is not on conduct. The emphasis is on the mirror-like purity of consciousness.
THE BUDDHA SAID:
EVEN IF ONE ESCAPES FROM THE EVIL CREATIONS, IT IS ONE'S FORTUNE TO BE BORN A HUMAN BEING.
These are the seven great rare fortunes. Buddha talks of them many times, in many ways. They have to be understood; they are of great import.
First: it is a rare fortune to be born as a human being. Why? Why is it not a rare fortune to be born as a dog? or as a buffalo? or as a donkey? or as a tree? or as a rock? Why is it a rare blessing to be born as a human being? - because except for human beings, the whole of nature is fast asleep. You also are not awake. Let me repeat: the whole of nature is asleep except for man, and man is also not awake, but just in the middle.
Sometimes it happens in the morning that you go on tossing and turning in the bed. You know that now it is time to get up, and still there is sleep. It is a mid- way state. You can hear the milkman talking to your wife, you can hear the children rushing and getting ready for school, you can hear the bus stop outside the house to take the children, and still dreaming also continues. You still feel sleepy, the eyes are closed. Sometimes you drift into sleep, sometimes you drift out of it. This is the state of human beings.
And Buddha says: It is a rare blessing - because the whole of nature is very deeply asleep, so deeply asleep that there is not even a dream. It is in a state of SUSHUPTI. Man has come to the second state: the state of dreaming. At least there is a certain dream. Dream means that you are not fast asleep anymore. You are certainly not awake, because when you become awake you become a Buddha. You are somewhere in between the animals and the Buddha. You are hanging in a limbo.
And Buddha says: It is a great opportunity, a rare blessing - because if you make a little effort you can become awake. A dog cannot become awake, whatsoever effort he makes. A tree cannot become awake; howsoever hard it tries, it is not possible. If a tree tries hard, it will become a dog. If the dog tries hard, the dog may become a man. But awakening happens only when you are a human being. The way towards God goes only from the human being. And in the east we think - and the thought has much validity in it - that even DEVAS, angels, gods, are not as blessed as a man. Why? Because man stands on the crossroads. Even if gods have to become liberated, they will have to be born as men.
Animals are fast asleep, man is just on the mid-way point, and the gods are in their dreams too much. The world of the gods is a dreamworld. That's why they have so many beautiful APSARAS: it is a dreamworld, a fantasy. They live in a fantasy. Man lives just mid-way, and there is a possibility that he can move towards more awakened states of being. He can become an awakening.
... IT IS ONE'S RARE FORTUNE TO BE BORN AS A HUMAN BEING.
So don't miss this great opportunity. It is after very great struggle that you are born as human beings. It is simply ridiculous to waste it. For millions of lives you have been moving towards this state. Now that you have come, you may destroy it just by eating, drinking and being merry. You may simply lose the whole opportunity. There are People who if you tell them to pray or meditate, they will say, "Where is the time? We don't have any time." And then you can see them playing cards in a club, and you ask, "What are you doing?" And they say, "Killing time" - the same people. When it is a question of meditating they say, "But there is no time." And when it is a question of drinking, of gambling, of going to a movie, or just sitting glued for hours before the TV, they have enough time. Then you ask them; they say, "We are killing time."
Are you killing time, or is time killing you? Who has ever been able to kill time?
Otherwise, with so many people who have been killing time, by this time, time would have died. Nobody has been able to kill time. Time kills everybody. Each moment - time brings death. In India we have the same word for both: time we call KAL; and for death we also have the same name, KAL... because time brings death.
Time is death. Each moment, you are slipping into death. Each moment, death is coming closer and closer and closer. All clocks are in the service of death. The whole of time is serving death. And it is a rare opportunity to be a human being, and it is very easy to lose it. Buddha reminds us. The second thing he says:
EVEN IF ONE BE BORN A MAN, IT IS ONE'S RARE FORTUNE TO BE PERFECT IN ALL THE SIX SENSES.
There are people who may be born as men, but are blind, or deaf, or dumb, or mentally retarded. Then too it is impossible - Nobody has ever heard of any mentally retarded person becoming a Buddha. It has never been heard of, it is not possible. Great intelligence is needed. It is very difficult to become aware if your senses are missing - because for awareness, sensitivity is a must. A man who has eyes and a man who has no eyes are in different states, altogether different states. The man who has eyes is more sensitive, because eyes are the most sensitive part of the body. Eighty percent of your sensitivity belongs to the eyes. A man who is blind is only twenty percent as sensitive as a person who has eyes. A man who is blind is enclosed in a subtle darkness, and there is no way to get out of it. He lives surrounded in a very subtle prison. It is very difficult to escape it.
Your outer eyes give you some glimpses, some visions, and you can start thinking about inner eyes too. But a person who has no outer eyes cannot have any conception of what a third eye can be, of what inner eyes can be. One who has never seen anything cannot have any INSIGHT. If the'out-sight' is missing, the in-sight will be missing; they exist in a pair. That's why when you see a blind man great compassion arises in you. Just watching a blind man one feels very, very compassionate. Why? The man is missing so much. He is human, and yet eighty percent of color experience, light, is missing. His whole life is colorless; he does not know what green is. Just think about yourself: if you had never known green, if you had never known a rose, if you had never seen a rainbow, if you had never seen the sunrise and the sunset, if you had never seen the face of a beautiful woman or a man, if you had never seen the beautiful, innocent eyes of a child, if you had never seen the face, the grace of one who has attained, how much you would be missing.
You would be more like a rock, less like a human being.
Buddha is not against senses; this sentence will prove it to you. Buddha says:
Sensation, and the lust for sensation is bad, but senses are good. And to be sensitive is an absolute necessity. So become more sensitive.
Let me make it clear to you. If you use your eyes just to reach for lust and you go on looking for lust, then your eyes will become, by and by, dull. Lustful eyes are always dull. Lustful eyes are always ugly. If a man looks at you with lustful eyes, you suddenly feel offended - he's trespassing. His eyes function like a knife into the heart. He's not a cultured man, he's not gentlemanly at all.
Mulla Nasrudin entered an office; he must have gone for some work. The receptionist was a beautiful woman. He looked at her with such lustful eyes, and then he asked, "Where is the bathroom?" The woman said, "You go directly to the end of the passage. You will find a room with a sign 'Gentlemen' - and don't let that sign prevent you. Just go in."
When you look at a woman with lustful eyes you are not a gentleman. In fact, you are a little inhuman. When eyes are sensitive, with no lust, they have a depth. When eyes are not sensitive, but only hungering for sensation, they are shallow. And you will find them muddy: they will not be transparent. When the eyes are tremendously sensitive, then they have a depth, a transparent depth.
You can look into them and you can reach to the very heart of the man. The man becomes available through his eyes, and through the eyes you can see what type of man you are encountering.
Eyes are very indicative. That's why criminals will never look directly into your eyes, they will avoid it. Guilty people will look sideways, they will not look directly - because they are not innocent. They know that their eyes can reveal, their eyes can say things which they don't want to say. If you can watch the eyes of a man, you have the very key to his personality.
And the same is true about the other senses. Just think of a deaf person who has not heard Wagner, who has not heard Ravi Shankar, who has not heard the birds singing in the morning, for whom cuckoos don't exist, who has not heard somebody singing a love song or a sad song, for whom a flute is just a hollow bamboo. Just think how poor he is.
Buddha says: The first blessing is that you are born as a man, the second blessing that you are born with six senses. Now use this opportunity; become more and more sensitive. And how can you become more sensitive? When you don't lust, you become more sensitive. When you lust, your sensitivity is lost; you become shallow. A man who does not lust, by and by, gathers so much energy. If a man is without lust, all his senses become clear windows - no smoke, no barriers.
And the inner and outer meet through that sensitivity.
EVEN IF HE BE PERFECT IN ALL THE SIX SENSES, IT IS HIS RARE FORTUNE TO BE BORN IN THE TIME OF A BUDDHA.
And Buddha says: You may be a human being, you may be born with all senses perfect, but if you are not born in the time of a Buddha you will miss the contact with the unknown. You may see the trees, you may see the flowers, you may see the stars, but these are nothing compared to a man of enlightenment - because he represents the unknown in the world of the known. He brings a ray of God into the darkness of the earth. He's the real flowering of consciousness.
"It is rare," Buddha says, "to be born in the time of a Buddha." In fact, it is a great blessing just to occupy the same time, the same space, as a Buddha occupies - because something of his vital vibrations is bound to touch you. His presence is bound to become a showering of benediction. Even if you never go to him, even if you are against him, even if he passes through your town and you don't have any time to visit him, even then his coolness will bring something to you, something unasked for. He will reach you uninvited. Just think: if Buddha had not been born, the world would not be the same. And Christians have done well to begin their calendar after Christ. It is good - Christ makes a tremendous break with the past. Just his existence - Christ was a Buddha - his existence created a totally different history. It is good that Christians date their history as after Christ and before Christ. Before Christ it is nothing; it is all ordinary. After Christ a tremendous phenomenon happened, and humanity started moving at a different altitude.
In India we could not do that, because we have encountered so many Buddhas. It was difficult for us to do it that way. Otherwise there would be so many calendars, and it would be confusing. But whenever a Buddha exists humanity takes a turn, an upward turn. Whenever a Buddha enters into history, history is never again the same - the total perspective changes. And when Buddha is present it is very easy if you meditate, because his energy is moving. You can simply ride on his wave. When you are doing your meditations alone and a Buddha is not present, you are fighting with such great barriers single-handed; it is almost impossible, improbable, that you will be the conqueror. With Buddha it is almost like this.
Ramakrishna used to say, "When the wind is blowing in the right direction, you simply leave your boat in the stream and the wind will take it. Just wait for the right direction; then you need not make any effort. You simply sit in the boat, the wind will take it." When Buddha is blowing and the whole existence is in an up- rise, then everything is going towards God. You can simply join hands, and you can ride on the wave very easily. You can simply leave your boat in the stream, and the stream is already going.
Hence Buddha is right when he says: To be born in the time of Buddha is a rare opportunity.
EVEN IF HE BE BORN IN THE TIME OF A BUDDHA IT IS HIS RARE FORTUNE TO SEE THE ENLIGHTENED.
But difficulties are there: you may be born in the time of Buddha but you may never go to see him - because just the very idea that somebody is enlightened is against your ego. You cannot believe that somebody is enlightened and you are not. It is impossible that somebody has gone ahead of you. You cannot believe it because of your ego, and you will find a thousand and one reasons not to go to a Buddha. You will find arguments that he is wrong, that he is a megalomaniac, that he is claiming, that he is not really a Buddha - "What is the proof?" People used to go to Buddha and ask, "What is your proof? Who is your witness?"
Now these are foolish questions. Who can be a witness? Buddhahood happens in such deep aloneness that nobody can be a witness. It is not an act in the world, it is an act out of the world. Who can be a witness? It happens in tremendous aloneness. It happens at the innermost core; nobody can see it. A Buddha has to be self-proclaimed; there is no other way. And who will certify that he is a Buddha? People used to go to him and they would find a thousand and one ways to prove that whatsoever he was saying did or did not coincide with the old scriptures. It never coincides; it cannot, in the very nature of things. Because whenever somebody becomes enlightened he brings a different vision into the world which had never existed before.
Each enlightened person brings a new gift to the world which had not existed before. So if you look in the Vedas you may not find it; if you look in the Upanishads you may not find what Buddha is saying. It will look a little rebellious, unorthodox. An enlightened person is rebellious, is unorthodox, because truth is rebellious and truth is unorthodox. So whenever a Buddha comes, people just start looking in their old scriptures to see whether there is a proof, and it never happens.
When Christ came Jews started looking in their old scriptures, and they never became convinced that this man was the Messiah for whom they were waiting.
They crucified him. Why? - because they could not figure it out.
People believe in scriptures. Scriptures are dead things, and scriptures are made by you, collected by you, interpreted by you. Nobody knows what the scriptures really mean. Nobody can know - because words are there, but the content has to be given by you.
I have heard....
Mulla Nasrudin went to his doctor and said, "I am very worried. A week ago, I came home to find my wife in the arms of another man who talked me into going out for a cup of coffee. The next five nights, exactly the same thing happened."
"My good man," said the doctor, "it is not a doctor you want. It is a solicitor."
"No," insisted the Mulla, "it is a doctor I want. I have just got to know if I am drinking too much coffee."
Now it depends... how you take a certain thing, how you interpret it.
Interpretation is bound to come from your mind.
Listen to an anecdote.
It was their honeymoon-night, and the Jewish bride had put on a sheer nightgown and crawled into bed, only to discover that her Episcopalian husband was about to go to sleep on the couch. It was the month of Lent, when Christians are supposed to drop at least one of their enjoyments.
"George," she called out, "are you not going to make love to me?"
"I can't, honey," he replied, "because it is Lent."
"Why, that's awful!" she exclaimed, bursting into tears. "To whom? and for how long?"
Now the passionate mind, the lustful mind, has its own interpretations. Words don't matter much; you project your ideas on the words. If you are looking for something you will be able to see it. If you are not looking for something you may not be able to see it. And the natural tendency of the human mind is to first deny that somebody has arrived. It is offensive to the ego. That's why it is very difficult for you.
If somebody comes and says that another man, your neighbor, is a murderer, you immediately believe. You don't bother about any proofs. You say, "I have known him long. I have always thought that he is." If somebody comes and says, "That man is a thief, immoral," this and that, you never bother about any proofs. If people bothered about proofs there would not be so much gossiping in the world. Who bothers about proofs? When somebody is being condemned you immediately believe it because that gives you a feeling that you are better than the other person. But if somebody comes and says, "One man has become a meditator, a great meditator," immediately there is suspicion. You listen to it but you don't want to listen. You say, "It is not possible. I know that man; he is a cheat. How can he meditate? I know him from his very childhood; we were colleagues in school. No, he cannot. What is the proof?" you ask. Whenever somebody talks about somebody else being good, you ask for the proof because it hurts your ego: "So, somebody else has become good before me?"
When a Buddha walks on the earth he's claiming the impossible, that which only rarely happens. He's saying he has become a Buddha, and of course only he can say that. There is no other way to prove it or disprove it. His statement is not provable or disprovable - and your ego feels offended.
Buddha says: It is a rare fortune to be born in the time of a Buddha, and still more rare a fortune to see the enlightened - to go, to bow. Because only if you bow, if you surrender, will you be able to see. It is not a question of physical eyes. Many people saw the Buddha walking, passing from one town to another, but they were not the people who had seen him. Only those few rare individuals who became his disciples had seen. Because it is impossible to see a Buddha and not to become a disciple. If you have seen, then you have seen; and then you cannot be the same again. Then your whole life is upside down. Then you are in a chaos, then you are reborn. Then there is going to be a complete collapse of your past, a new birth, and of course, all the pain that is always involved in a new birth.
... EVEN IF HE BE ABLE TO SEE THE ENLIGHTENED, IT IS HIS RARE FORTUNE TO HAVE HIS HEART AWAKENED IN FAITH.
You can see, but that is not much. Unless trust arises in you....
... HIS HEART AWAKENED IN FAITH. Try to understand this word 'faith'. It does not mean belief. 'Belief' means a dogma; 'belief' means believing in a dogma. For example, Christians believe in the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. This is a belief. Or, Hindus believe in the three faces of God; that is a belief.
When you encounter a Buddha and you trust the person, then it is faith. Faith is personal; belief is theoretical, conceptual. Faith is like love - you fall in faith as you fall in love. It is not a belief. It is not that Buddha has convinced you about something. No, his being has convinced you about his own being. He has convinced you not to believe in a dogma, he has convinced you that something has happened here in this man. You have become convinced of the fact that here is a man who is transformed, transfigured, who is no more of this world. It is a conviction, a personal conviction. It is not an argument, it is not theology - it is a love-affair.
When people come to me to be initiated into sannyas, I can immediately make the distinction as to whether it is faith or belief. There are two types of people:
one person comes and he says, "Whatsoever you say convinces me. Your argument is superb. Your reason appeals to me." Now, this man has come to me as a believer. He has not really come. Some day he can find somebody who can unconvince him about me - because there can be better arguments. There is always the possibility, because logic is a double-edged sword; it cuts both ways.
The same argument can be used to destroy the conviction, the same argument can be used to make it. Logic is like a prostitute, or like a lawyer. It can go with anybody, with whosoever pays.
In a coffee-house there was great discussion. One philosopher said in the coffee- house one day, "If you will give me Aristotle's system of logic, I will force my enemy to a conclusion. Give me the syllogism and that's all I ask."
Another philosopher said, "If you give me the Socratic system of interrogation I will run my adversary into a corner and defeat him immediately. That's all I ask."
Mulla Nasrudin, hearing all this said, "My brother, if you give me a little ready cash, I will always gain my point I will always draw my adversary to a conclusion because a little ready cash is a wonderful clearer of the intellect."
Logic is not very fundamental; it is superficial. If somebody comes and he says that he believes in what I say, then it is not faith. But there are a few rare people who say, "We don't know what you are saying, we don't even understand much.
We enjoy what you say, but that is not the point. We have fallen in love with you." A faith has arisen. Now, nobody can destroy this faith, because it is illogical.
You cannot destroy faith because it is not based on logic. Anything based on logic can be destroyed: if you can pull the logic it will collapse. It has a cause; pull the cause away and the effect will disappear. But a faith is uncaused. It is just like falling in love. If you go to Majnu and prove to him that Laila is not the most beautiful woman in the world, and logically you go on proving it, he will say, "Don't unnecessarily puzzle yourself. Nobody can prove it."
It actually happened that the King of Manju's town called him. He become very kind towards him. Majnu had been going, crying and weeping, and screaming in the streets in the nights. He would just call, "Laila! Laila!" And the King became very compassionate. He called him and he said, "You are a fool. I have seen your Laila; she is an ordinary girl. In fact, because you were crying so much I thought she must be very beautiful, so I myself became interested. But when I saw her I simply laughed. You are a fool! And I have much compassion for your foolishness. You are a good young man; don't waste your life."
He called twelve beautiful women from his harem and he said, "You choose any one." They were the best, the most precious of his kingdom. Majnu looked and he said, "Nothing compared to Laila." And he said to the King, "Sir, if you really want to see Laila, you will need my eyes. Majnu's eyes will be needed. There is no way to see Laila and her beauty except through Majnu's eyes."
A disciple is a Majnu. He is a madman; he has fallen in love. Buddha says: His heart awakened in faith.... The presence of Buddha is his appeal. The grace that surrounds Buddha has touched his heart. It is not Buddha's logic, it is not Buddha's philosophy. Even if Buddha remained silent it would not make much difference; he would be convinced all the same. Even if Buddha started contradicting himself it would not make any difference. That's why you see that I go on contradicting. Those who come through intellect by and by disappear. My contradiction helps me to throw the weeds out of my garden. Those who have come through love don't bother. They say, "Okay, you enjoy contradicting yourself, but we love you. You cannot deceive us." They say, "You can go on contradicting but you cannot force us to run away from you."
Those who come through belief, sooner or later, will have to go - because truth is paradoxical. Only theories are non-paradoxical. Truth has all the contradictions of life in it. Truth is very illogical, very irrational.
EVEN IF HE HAVE FAITH, IT IS HIS RARE FORTUNE TO AWAKEN THE HEART OF INTELLIGENCE.
And then Buddha says: But this is not the end. When your heart is full of love, and full of faith and trust, this is not the end. This is just the beginning. Now you have to help your intelligence to come up and take possession of you. Faith is the door: you should enter through it, but you should not remain at the door.
Otherwise, you never enter into the palace. Finally, you have to come to your own experience. It is good to believe, it is good to trust in a Buddha, it is good to have faith, but that is not enough - because your faith in Buddha is still not your experience. What has happened to Buddha must happen to you too. Then the second step happens: your own intelligence arises. Now it is not only love towards Buddha; now by your own experience you have become a witness. It is not only unfounded faith. In the beginning faith is unfounded, but in the end it becomes absolutely founded. The foundation is not supplied by logic, the foundation is supplied by your experience. When it has become your own experience, you don't say, "I trust in Buddha." You know it is right, it is true.
Somebody asked Shri Aurobindo, "Do you believe in God?" and he said, "No."
The man was puzzled. He had come from Germany, he was a professor. And he had come just to listen to this great man. He was simply shocked that this man said, "No." And he was in search of God. He said, "Have I heard you rightly, sir?
You say no?" Aurobindo repeated, "Yes," he said, "absolutely not - because there is no question of belief. I know God is. There is no question of belief. You ask,'Do you believe in God?' I don't believe, I know."
Belief is a poor substitute for knowledge.
So Buddha says: First you trust. Trust means simply that you have come across a man who is away from you, far away from you. You have come across a man who has shown you your own future, your destiny. It is as if a seed has come to a tree, and the seed has become aware that the tree is possible. And the tree says, "Once I was also a seed just like you." Now trust arises in the seed. If he had never seen the tree, he would never have dreamed about it. How can a seed dream about a tree? He has never seen one. That's why to be born in the time of a Buddha is a great blessing - because there exists a tree, and your seed can start dreaming. When the first impact of the tree falls on the seed, he trusts. His own future becomes full of possibilities now. It is not going to be just a repetition of the past, it will be something new. He is thrilled. That thrill is faith. He's thrilled to the very roots. Now, for the first time, he knows there is meaning; now, for the first time, he knows there is destiny. Something is going to happen: "I'm not just an accident. I'm carrying a great message. It has to be translated, it has to be decoded. I have to become a tree and bloom, and spread my fragrance to the winds."
Seeing a Buddha, you have seen your own possible Buddhahood. That's what faith is... but it is not enough. Then you have to work hard to make it real. The seed has to fall into the earth, die into the earth, be born as a sprout. And a thousand and one difficulties have to be crossed: winds are there, thunder is there, animals are there, and the new sprout is very fragile, very weak - with infinite potentiality to become strong, but right now it is not strong. It will need somebody's help; it will need a gardener. That is the meaning of a Master.
When you choose a Master, you choose a gardener. And you say, "Protect me until I have become strong enough to go my own way." But faith is just the door.
EVEN IF HE HAVE FAITH, IT IS HIS RARE FORTUNE TO AWAKEN THE HEART OF INTELLIGENCE.
And the last:
EVEN IF HE AWAKENS THE HEART OF INTELLIGENCE, IT IS HIS RARE FORTUNE TO REALIZE A SPIRITUAL STATE WHICH IS ABOVE DISCIPLINE AND ATTAINMENT.
The WHOLE goal of discipline is to come to a point where discipline can be dropped. The WHOLE goal of religious practice, SADHANA, IS to come to a moment when all SADHANA can be dropped and you can be simply spontaneous. Then you have flowered.
For example, if you have to continue meditation, and one day you stop your meditation and the mind jumps back, then this is not a great state. A moment should be desired, longed for, when you can even drop your meditation. But nothing differs; it remains the same. Whether you do meditation or you don't do, you remain meditative. Meditation has become your innermost part, part of your being, no longer something imposed from the outside. Not that you have to force yourself to be good; not that you have to repress your temptations to be bad, no.
Now there is no temptation, no enforcement. One has gone beyond discipline.
This is what Buddha calls'The Discipline of Transcendence'. This is the seventh fortune, the last, the ultimate.
To be born as a human being is just the beginning, and then you have to come to this point where all discipline can be dropped. Then you have become a God, then you have become as spontaneous as nature, then there is no tension, then you don't have any character, then you are as innocent as a child. Your awareness is perfect now, your awareness is enough now. Nothing else is needed.
THE BUDDHA SAID:
O CHILDREN OF BUDDHA, YOU ARE AWAY FROM ME EVER SO MANY THOUSANDS OF MILES. BUT IF YOU REMEMBER AND THINK OF MY PRECEPTS, YOU SHALL SURELY GAIN THE FRUIT OF ENLIGHTENMENT.
YOU MAY, STANDING BY MY SIDE, SEE ME ALWAYS. BUT IF YOU OBSERVE NOT MY PRECEPTS, YOU SHALL NEVER GAIN ENLIGHTENMENT.
And Buddha says: Never stop anywhere unless you have attained to the seventh - the state of a disciplined no-discipline, the state of effortlessness, the state of TAO, DHAMMA, the state which Kabir calls SAHAJ, spontaneous. But you have to work hard for it.
So Buddha says: You can remain with me, and if you don't follow what I am saying, if you don't bring it to your heart, to your intelligence, to your being, then you are thousands of miles away from me. But you may be thousands of miles away from me... if you are following what I have said, you are close to me, and your enlightenment is absolutely certain, assured, promised.
To be close to a Buddha... there is only one way to follow his footprints. To be close to a Buddha means: become more and more aware, become more and more alert. Bring a little Buddhahood to yourself.
The goal is that you also have to become a Buddha. Only then will you be able to understand exactly what is the meaning and significance and the grandeur of being awakened.
This consciousness exists within you right now, this very moment. You may not be able to see it. I can see it. It is there like a mirror, and you get identified with all that reflects in the mirror. Drop your identifications: start seeing that you are not the body; start seeing that you are not the mind; start seeing that you are not the emotions, not the thoughts; start seeing that you are not pleasure and pain; start seeing neither old nor young; start seeing neither success nor failure.
Remember always that you are the witness. By and by, this mirror-like quality will explode into your being.
The day you recognize that you are a mirror, you are free. You are freedom. This is what MOKSHA OR NIRVANA IS all about.