The ten grounds of the way

Fri, 6 November 1976 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Discipline of Transcendence Vol 4
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
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VERY SIMPLE QUESTION, and a very simple answer. But much is implied in the question. And the answer also shows much about the monk - his understanding, his state of mind.

When Buddha asks, "How do you measure the length of a man's life?" he is raising a question that can only be answered by depth. Man's life can be measured only by depth. It looks paradoxical: length can be measured only by depth.

In fact, the deeper you live, the longer you live. The length of your life depends on your depth. The quantity of your life depends on your quality. The monk could not understand it. He simply said, "By days." His simple answer also showed much about himself. 'By days' means by time; 'by days' means by the fleeting; 'by days' means by the flux, the changing. He measures life by the momentary, not by the eternal, not by the timeless.

Life exists in time, but life does not belong to time. It penetrates time, and one day it disappears from time. It is just like when a ray of sun penetrates water, and when it penetrates the water its angle changes. That's why if you put a straight stick into water it will look curved. It will not look straight because the angle of light changes. And when the ray of light enters into the medium of water, it does not belong there, it has come from beyond. It will go back, it will be reflected back - because everything returns to its source, HAS to return to its source. Only then is the circle complete, and there is contentment.

When Buddha asked: How do you measure the length of a man's life? and the monk replied, "By days," he showed his understanding. He does not know anything beyond time; he thinks life is just that which consists of time: being born, getting married, living, then old age, then death. Days go on flicking by, just like numbers on a gasoline pump.

But this is not life; this is just the very periphery. Have you observed that if you look inside, time exists not? If you look outside there is time, but if you look inside there is no time. Have you not felt it sometimes, sitting silently with closed eyes - that inside you have not aged at all? Inside you remain the same as when you were a child, or as when you were young. Inside nothing has changed: the face is wrinkled by age, the hairs have gone gray, death is approaching - this is all from the outside. If you look in the mirror then of course there are signs that much time has passed, that very little is left, that sooner or later you will be gone.

But look within: there has never been any time there. You are exactly the same as you ever were when you were running in a garden or on the sea-beach and collecting colored stones and seashells. Just remember....

Inside you are exactly the same this moment too. Time is a fallacy as far as the inner world is concerned, because in the inner world nothing ever changes. It remains the same, its taste remains the same.

In the inner world time is simply irrelevant. And life is in the inner. It expresses itself in the outside, but it does not belong to the outside. It wells up from your within. It moves outwards like ripples, it pulsates outwards, but it arises from your innermost core.

When Buddha was asking: How do you measure the life of a man? in a very simple question he was asking a very complicated philosophical question too.

And the monk was deceived. The monk said, "By days." But there is no day, no night. Time is a utilitarian concept, it is needed outside. When you are alone time is not needed. It is a relationship between you and others; it is a relative concept.

Try to find out, and you will be surprised that believing in time you have been believing in an illusion - because that which does not correspond to your inner reality cannot be real.

It is just like money: if you go to the market, it has value. If you simply sit alone with your money, it has no value. The value comes only when you relate with others, because the value is just an agreement between you and the others. That's why money has a beautiful name: it is called currency.'Currency' means: when money moves it has value; when it does not move it has no value. If you go on keeping it in your pocket always and always, it is meaningless. You can keep anything else instead of it; it will be the same.

Money has value when it changes hands. From one hand to another - then there is value. Value is in its being a currency, a moving force. When it moves from you to somebody else it has value. Again, if it is stuck there it loses value. That's why miserly people are the poorest in the world: they have money but they don't know that money has value only when it is a currency. You can hide it in your treasure chest; you will remain poor.

Time is also a currency between two people, between relationships, between societies. But in the inner world, when you are alone, it is simply meaningless.

All the concepts of time, if looked at deeply, look very stupid. But people don't look deeply into things because to look deeply creates anxiety. Then you become very anxious. Then settled things are unsettled, and whenever something is unsettled one feels anxious. One wants to be settled again.

People say time passes. But where does it pass to? From where does it come? You say it comes from the future and goes into the past? That means the future exists before it has become present? Otherwise, from where is it coming - from nowhere? from nothingness? And then you say it goes into the past? That means it goes on collecting in the past, it is still there? It still exists? Then what is the difference between present, past, and future, if they all exist2 Then they are all present. Then there is no past and no future.

You say a moment that has passed is past, and a moment that has yet to come is future. You stand on a road, you have walked two miles; that has passed. But those two miles exist; you can look back, those two miles are still there. And if you want to go back you can go back. But can you go back in time?

Look back - nothing exists. Except for this present moment, on both sides there is simply smoke, and nothing. The past simply disappears, and the future appears out of nothing. And then a problem arises: if in the beginning there is nothing, and in the end again there is nothing, how can there be something between two nothings? It is impossible.

Time is not a valid concept at all. It is just utilitarian. It is accepted, it has utility.

Every morning you come at eight o'clock; if there were no time it would be difficult. When would you come? How would you manage? And how would there be a possibility of me meeting you? It would become difficult. But remember it is just an agreement, it is not truth.

Truth is timeless. Time is a human invention, truth is eternal. In fact, time does not pass, we pass. We come and go; time remains. Then time is not time; then it is eternity.

Buddha was asking all these things in a simple question. The monk said, "By days." Buddha said: You do not understand the Way.

The man's understanding was very superficial. We_ can call it the understanding on the level of the body. Of course, the body has a clock in it. Now the scientists call it the biological clock'. That's why if you eat every day at one o'clock, your lunch time, then every day at one o'clock the body will say you are hungry. The body has a clock. You need not actually look at the clock. If you listen to your body, the body will tell you, "Now it is time to sleep because every day you go to sleep at this time."

And you can even put an alarm in your body-clock. When you are going to sleep you can repeat your own name loudly, three times. If your name is Ram, Vou can say, "Ram, listen. I have to get up at five o'clock. Help me." Talk to your body and go to sleep, and exactly at five o'clock your body will wake you. The body has a clock. That's why every month, after exactly four weeks, twenty-eight days, the monthly period comes to a woman. The body manages very exactly unless something has gone wrong with the body - the woman may have disturbances.

Otherwise, it is exactly twenty-eight days. If the clock is functioning well there will never be any problem: twenty-eight days means twenty-eight days. After nine months the body is ready to give birth to a child, EXACTLY after nine months. If the woman is healthy and there is no complication in her body, it will happen exactly at the moment nine months are complete. The body carries a clock and functions perfectly well.

The body, of course, is measured by days. And the body shows every sign of passing time. Young, old: you can see it on the body. The body carries the whole biography.

This man's understanding was very physical, very superficial.



His understanding goes a little deeper. He is less physical and more psychological. To enjoy a meal you need a mind, to indulge you need a mind, to be sensual you need a mind. This man's understanding was a little deeper. What was he saying? He was saying that a man's life is measured by the pleasures, indulgences, sensuality, experiences that he has gathered in his life. The man is saying, "How long you live is not the point, but how much you enjoy the pleasures of life."

There is a story about Nero, the Roman emperor. He must have been of the exact same type as this second monk. He always had two physicians with him. He would eat, and the physicians would help him to vomit. Then he would eat again. You cannot go on eating; there is a limit. So when he would feel that now the stomach was full, he would order the physician to help him vomit; then he could eat again. He would eat ten, twelve times a day.

And don't think that this is very far-fetched: I have come across a few people who do it.

There was one sannyasin: she told me this after she had been here for at least two years. She said, "I am ashamed, but I have to tell you that every day, when I eat, I vomit immediately." I said, "Why?" She said, "So that I can eat more. But then I vomit again."

Now vomiting has become a habit. Now she cannot resist; when she eats she has to vomit. It has become a mechanical habit. It took almost six months to break her habit.

Nero must have done it. Ordinarily, you may not be vomting but you can go on eating too much. There are people who live to eat. It is good to eat, it is good to eat to live, but once you start living for eating then you are in a very confused state. Eating is a means, not the end.

This monk says, "By the time that passes during a meal."

He must have been a glutton. He must have understood only one language, and that is of taste. He must have been a food addict. He says that if we count real life, then real life means those moments in which we are enjoying, indulging. It may be food, it may be sex, or other gratifications. Many people are of that type.

Their philosophy seems to be: Eat, drink, be merry - and there is nothing else in life.

There has been a great philosopher in India, Charvak. This was his message to his disciples: "Eat, drink, and be merry. And don't bother about the other life, and the soul, and God. This is all nonsense. These are just theories invented by the priests to exploit you." He was the first Marxist. Marx came three thousand years later; he was the first Marxist, communist.

But if life is just eating, drinking, indulging, then it cannot have any meaning.

That's why in the west a new problem has become very, very important, and the problem is: what is the meaning of life? All intelligent people are asking that in the west. Why? Nobody asks it in the east; but in the west the problem has become almost epidemic. It is no longer academic; everybody is asking what the meaning of life is. And they are asking at the wrong time - when they have enough to eat, enough to drink, and enough to be merry. Why are they asking this question?

In fact, when you have all that this world can give to you, then arises the question, "What is the meaning of it?" Yesterday you ate, today you are eating, tomorrow also you will eat - so what is the point? Eating and defecating: on the one hand you go on stuffing yourself, on the other hand you go on emptying yourself. Is this your whole life? And in between there is a little taste on the tongue....

It seems absurd. The effort seems to be too much, and the result seems to be nothing, almost nothing.

Man needs to have a meaning, but the meaning can come only from the higher.

The meaning always comes from the beyond. Unless you feel related to something higher, you feel meaningless. Because Nietzsche said, "God is dead," he opened the door for many ugly phenomena. For example, nazism, fascism, communism, became possible. Because once there is no God, that door is closed from where man has always felt meaning in his life.

Meaning arises when you feel that you are part of a divine plan and you feel that you are part of a divine flow. When you feel that you are part of a great whole, then you have meaning. A brick in itself has no meaning, but when it becomes part of a great palace, part of the Taj Mahal, it has meaning. It has contributed something to the beauty of the Taj Mahal; it is not futile, it is significant.

When God is not there man starts finding new meaning to his life: become part of a party - the great Communist Party, or the great Fascist Party. Become part...

then Stalin and Adolf Hitler become gods. Then you join hands with them so that you can feel a little meaning - that you are not alone, that you are not just accidental, that you have some mission to fulfill. Maybe you are here to bring communism to the world, a classless society to the world; or you are here to bring the kingdom of the Aryans. Then one becomes part of a Hindu religion, Christian, Mohammedan. One finds some way, somewhere, to become part of something. And people go to foolish lengths: people become Rotarians and Lions just to have a feeling that they are part of an international organization. You are somehow chosen, you are a Rotarian; everybody cannot be a Rotarian. Only very few people can be Rotarians, but you are a Rotarian. So you have a meaning, but what a foolish meaning! What does it matter whether you are a Rotarian or not?

It really does not bring meaning to your life, it simply deceives you.

You can eat well, you can live well, you can have all the pleasures of life - still you will remain empty. This man, the second monk, said that life is to be measured by pleasure, by indulgence, by sensuality. But Buddha said: You do not understand the Way - because the Way cannot be understood by the body- oriented mind, and the Way cannot-be understood by the mind-oriented mind.

Neither can it be understood through time, nor can it be understood through experience.

The Way is beyond time and beyond experience.




Now, in an English translation, saying 'by breath' does not seem to be so significant as it appeared to Buddha when the monk said, "By PRANA." 'Breath' is a translation of 'PRANA', but PRANA IS much more meaningful than breath.

The actual translation, closer to truth, would be 'spirit', not 'breath'. And the word 'spirit' exists in such words as inspiration', 'expiration'. 'Spirit' seems to be closer to home, but still not exactly true. So let me first explain to you what PRANA IS; then you will be able to understand. Otherwise it looks a little absurd: the man says, "By breath," and Buddha says: Very well, you know the Way. The man just says, "By breath."

The first thing: if you look at yourself you will find there is the body; the first circle around you, your outermost circle. Then there is your mind: the second circle within the first circle. And then you will come to a bridge: that bridge is your breath, PRANA. By that bridge you are joined with the soul. That's why when a person stops breathing we say he is dead, the bridge is broken. Now the soul is separate and the body is separate. When a child is born the first thing he is expected to do is to breathe. Through breath the soul and body become joined together. And again, the last thing he will do when he dies will be to stop breathing. Again there will be a divorce; the body and soul will be separate.

PRANA IS the bridge, the glue by which you are glued together. A man can live without food for many days; you can live without water for many hours; but without breath you cannot live even for many minutes. Even seconds will seem difficult.

Breath is the bridge between matter and no-matter, between the form and the formless, between the world and God - or whatsoever terms you choose. Breath is the bridge, and much depends on the breath. How you breathe, what the quality of your PRANA IS: much depends on it.

Watch... when you are angry you breathe in one way, when you are silent you breathe in another way. The pulse is different, the rhythm is different, the quality is different. When you are angry your breath is not rhythmic, not musical, not harmonious. It is bumpy. When you are in a passion, in sexual passion, again the breath is feverish. It is not in tune; something goes wrong with breathing. When you are sitting silently, just being peaceful, not doing anything - no desire, no passion, no anger - just full of compassion, full of love, your breathing is very soft. Your breathing has a rhythm to it, a dance to it. It has no violence, no aggression; it is very delicate.

Have you watched it? - when you are in passion your breath will have a very bad odor to it; when you are peaceful your breath will have a very sweet smell to it. Because you are at ease, the whole being is at ease, you are at home; the breathing will carry the message that you are at home.

There are moments of deep meditation when breathing almost stops. I say almost; it does not stop really. But it becomes so silent that you cannot feel it.

You can feel it only if you put a mirror close to your nose. Then on the mirror you can feel it; otherwise you cannot feel it. Those are rare moments of blessing and benediction.

All the Yoga systems of the world have worked on breathing, because it is through the breathing that you will pass from the body to no-body. It is through breathing that you will enter into the innermost core of your existence.

The monk is right when he says, "A man's life is to be measured by the way he breathes, by how he breathes." If you are afraid, your breathing is different; you are nervous, your breathing is different; you are sad, your breathing is different.

With every mood your breathing changes. The breathing goes on showing where you are. If you can watch your breathing, you will learn the whole alphabet of your inner changing climates. You can see all the moods reflected in the breathing. Breathing is a great way to measure where you are, what you are, what you are doing. Buddha emphasized breathing very much. And his emphasis is unique: it is very different from Patanjali, it is very different from Hatha Yoga, it is very different from other systems, all other systems. He says:

Don't use any system for breathing, because if you do something with breathing, you will create something artificial. Let breathing be natural - you simply watch it. You don't do anything to it, you simply be a witness, you simply look at it.

Now, if you watch breathing. by and by you will see that you are different from breathing. Certainly - because the watcher cannot be the watched, the subject cannot be the object, the observer cannot be the observed.

When you start watching your breathing - and Buddha says to continuously do it: walking, sitting, whenever you are not doing anything else, just watch your breathing, go on seeing it - by seeing it, a great serenity will arise in you.

Because you will be standing behind breathing, and behind the breathing is your soul; you will be centered in your soul.

And if you watch breathing, you will learn: subtle changes in breathing show where you are, and breathing continuously functions as a measuring-rod. A slight change in breathing will be noted when awareness is full. And you can drop then and there: you can become more alert. If you feel your breathing is wavering a little, and you feel that this wavering is the wavering that comes when sex takes possession, then it is the moment to become more aware. And if the wavering breathing settles again, you have passed. That desire that was going to possess you will not be able to possess you. By and by, you become aware of what type of changes happen in breathing when you become angry.

They are so subtle that if you can become aware when the breathing changes slightly they can be dropped from there - because they are right in the seed and the seed can be dropped easily. When they become big trees it is very difficult to drop them. You become aware of anger only when it has already possessed you.

Your diagnosis is too late.

In Soviet Russia they have developed a new photography; they call it Kirlian.

And now Kirlian photographers say that we can catch hold of a disease six months before it really happens to the person. And if it can be done, then there will be no need for anybody to be ill. The person himself is not aware that he will be falling a victim of tuberculosis in six months. How can you be aware of that?

But before it enters into the body, first it enters PRANA. Before it enters the body, first it enters your energy. They call it 'bioplasma' in Russia; it is exactly what we mean by PRANA - bioplasma: your vitality, your body electricity.

First it enters into the body electricity, and then it takes six months to be transformed into a physical phenomenon. Then it becomes solid in the body.

Then it is already too late. When you start treating it, it is already too late. If you could have caught it when it was in the bioplasma, you could have destroyed it very, very easily. There would have been no problem in it. And the body would never have suffered, the body would not even have known about it.

Buddha says that anything that enters into the bioplasma first happens in your breathing. Anything that happens to your body, to your mind, first happens to your breathing. Maybe some day Kirlian photographers will be able to re- discover the fact that there is a certain association between the pulse of bioplasma and breathing. It has to be so - because when you breathe deeply you have a bigger aura. That has been photographed. When you breathe deeply you have more oxygen and more flowing energy, and your body has a bigger aura, more luminosity to it. When you breathe in a dull way, the whole of your lungs are not full of oxygen and you go on carrying much stale carbon dioxide; then your aura shrinks and becomes very small.

A really alive person has a very big aura, so big that when he comes close to you his aura touches your aura. And you will feel it: there are people with whom you will suddenly feel that you are attracted, pulled. They are irresistable, you would like to come close to them, closer and closer. Their aura has touched your aura.

Then there are people whose auras are almost dead, whose auras do not exist at all. They repel, they don't attract. They are like dead people; nobody feels attracted towards them.

Buddha says: Watch, become aware of your breathing.

His Yoga is called ANAPANASATI YOGA - the Yoga of watching the breath coming in and watching the breath going out. He says: This is enough. So when the monk said, "By the breath," Buddha said: Very well, you know the Way.

The Buddha's Way has ten grounds called BHUMIS. BHUMI means ground.

Buddha has said that if you understand these ten grounds, and if you practice these ten grounds, you will attain to the ultimate. And I would like to go into these ten BHUMIS, these ten grounds. They are very practical.

The first BHUMI IS PRAMU-GITA: it means joyousness. Now, you will be surprised. People have a misunderstanding about Buddha and his teaching - they think that he is a very sad, pessimistic thinker. He is not. His first grounding is joyousness. He says: Unless you are joyous you will never reach to the truth.

Joyousness, delight, celebration; that is the meaning of PRAMU-GITA.

Be like a flower - open, dancing in the breeze, and joyous. Only joy can take you to the other shore. If you are not joyous, your very sadness will function like a rock around your neck and will drown you. People are not drowned by anything else but their own sadness and pessimistic outlooks. Life has to be joyous; then life becomes spiritual.

If your church is sad, then that church exists for death, not for life. A church, a temple, has to be joyous. If you come to a saint and he has no sense of humor, escape from him, beware. He can kill you, he will prove poisonous. If he cannot laugh, then you can be certain that he does not know what truth is. Truth brings a sense of humor; truth brings laughter; truth brings a subtle happiness, for no reason at all.

PRAMU-GITA means: joyous for no reason at all. You are sometimes joyous, but that is not PRAMU-GITA - because it has a reason. Some day you have won the race and you are very happy. What will you do? It is not going to happen every day. What are you going to do tomorrow? Or you have won a lottery and you are very happy, but this is not going to happen every day.

One day I saw Mulla Nasrudin very sad, sitting on his verandah. I asked, "What is the matter Nasrudin? Why are you so sad?"

He said, "Two weeks ago one of my uncles died and left me fifty thousand rupees."

So I said, "This is nothing to be sad about. You should be happy."

He said, "Yes, I was. And then the next week another uncle died and left me one LAKH of rupees."

So I said, "Why are you sad? You should be dancing!"

He said, "I know. But now... no more uncles left."

It cannot happen every day; uncles cannot die....

Your joyousness, if it is caused, is bound to turn into unhappiness sooner or later. It is on the way already; watch out. If you have a cause to be happy you are already getting into unhappiness - because the cause will disappear. Only uncaused joyousness can be yours; and then nobody can take it away.

Only saints and madmen are joyous for no reason at all. That's why there is a similarity between mad people and saints, a little similarity, an overlapping.

Their boundaries overlap. Both are very different: the saint is aware, the madman is absolutely unaware. But one thing is certain: both are happy for no reason at all.

The madman is happy because he is so unaware that he does not know how to be unhappy; he is so unconscious that he cannot create misery. To create misery you need a little consciousness. And the saint is happy because he is so fully aware; how can he create misery? When you are fully aware you create happiness for yourself, you become a source of your happiness.

That's what Buddha means by PRAMU-GITA, and he says this is the first ground.

The second ground is VIMAL. It means innocence, purity, simplicity.

Innocence... remember the word. If you become too knowledgeable, you lose innocence. If you become a pundit you lose innocence. So don't go on gathering beliefs and knowledge, otherwise your innocence will be corrupted. If you don't know, you don't know. Simply say, "I don't know." Accept your ignorance and you will be more innocent. And out of innocence, much happens. Never lose your childlike-ness. I don't mean that you should be childish. To be childish and to be childlike are totally different. To be childish means to be irresponsible; to be childlike means to be simple, innocent, trusting.

The third ground is PRABHAKHARI. It means luminousness, light.

Feel yourself as a flame, live as if you are an inner burning light, move with the inner flame. Do whatsoever you do, but always feel yourself as if you are made out of light. And by and by you will see a luminousness arising around you.

It is already there! If you help, it will arise - and you will have an aura.

Now Kirlian photographers can even take photographs of it. It is now very tangible.

Man is made of bio-electricity; everything is made of electricity. Electricity seems to be the basic component of all. Ask the physicists: they say matter consists of nothing but electricity. So everything is nothing but different formulations and combinations of energy. And Buddha says: Man is light. Light means electricity.

You have just to recognize the fact, you have just to cooperate with it, and you will become a great light - not only unto yourself; you will become a light to others too. And wherever you walk there will be light.

This is PRABHAKHARI. the third grounding.

The fourth grounding is ARSIMATI: radiance, aliveness, vitality.

The religious seeker should not be dull and dead. But ordinarily you will find these people. That's why I am interested in telling you about these groundings - even Buddhists have forgotten.

If you see a Buddhist monk, you will see a pale, dead, dull person, sleepy, in a stupor, somehow dragging, somehow carrying the burden of life, not interested.

Buddha says: Radiance, aliveness, vitality; this is the fourth grounding. Be alive because it is only on the wings of life that you will reach to truth. If you are dull you are lost.

And be radiant - because when there is no anxiety for the future and no desire for the future, then the whole energy is available to you. Then you can burn your torch from both ends at once.

The fifth is SUDURJAYA. It means adventurousness, courageousness, challenge- welcomingness. Whenever there is a challenge, welcome it, don't avoid it. And whenever there is an adventure, don't escape. Go on the journey, go on the trip.

Nobody ever loses anything by being adventurous. I am not saying that the path of adventure is full of roses - it is not. Roses are few and far between, and there are many thorns. But one grows, one becomes crystallized when one accepts a life of adventure.

Ordinarily people accept the life of security, of no adventure: a good job, a good house, a good wife, a good husband and good children - and people are satisfied. People are satisfied in living and dying comfortably. as if comfort is the goal.

Then they never grow, then they never achieve to any peaks, then they never achieve to what Maslow calls 'actualization'. They remain just possibilities. It is as if a seed has chosen to hide in the house and is not ready to go into the adventure of falling into the soil. It is dangerous, because the seed will have to die. It is dangerous, because the seed does not know what will happen when he has disappeared. No seed has ever known what happens after the seed has died.

How can the seed know? The tree may happen or may not happen.

Buddha says: SUDURJAYA - look at the far. SUDUR - that which is very far, let that be your challenge. Don't be confined to the comfortable, to the familiar, to the secure; don't base your philosophy on the promises of a life insurance company. Have a little more courage, move into the unknown.

When you move into the unknown, the unknown moves to you. When you are ready to drop your securities, God is also ready to drop His mysteries. When you are ready to be nude and available, God is also ready to be nude and available.

He responds, He exactly responds to you. He never goes further than you go. If you go towards Him, He comes towards you; if you escape, He also escapes.


And then the sixth grounding; ABHIMUKHI - immediateness, face-to-faceness, encountering that which is. ABHIMUKHI: face-to-face immediateness. Don't bother about the past and don't bother about the future. Face the truth as it comes, encounter the fact as it comes, and with no preparation, with immediateness.

A man who lives by preparation is a pseudo-man. In life there are no possibilities for rehearsals... but we all live through rehearsals. Before you go home you start preparing what you are going to say to your wife. Can't you be immediate? Can't you wait for the moment when the wife is there, and let what happens happen?

But coming home from the office you are preparing: what is she going to ask, and what are you going to answer? Rehearsal... and then you are always clouded by your rehearsals. You cannot see that which is. You always see through your clouds. Those clouds are very distorting.

Buddha says: ABHIMUKHI, immediateness - be alert and let there be response.

Whatsoever the result, don't be afraid of it. People start rehearsing because they are afraid of the results, so they want to plan everything. There are people who plan EVERYTHING, every gesture is planned. Then the life is of course that of an actor - it is not real, it is not authentic, it is not true. And if your life is not true, then it is impossible for you to come to truth.

The seventh is DURANGAMA - far-goingness, accepting the call of the beyond.

There is a beyond everywhere. We are surrounded by the beyond. That beyond is what God is; that beyond has to be penetrated. It is within, it is without; it is always there. And if you forget about it... as we do ordinarily, because it is very uncomfortable, inconvenient, to look into the beyond. It is as if one looks into an abyss, and one starts trembling, one starts feeling sick. The very awareness of the abyss and you start trembling. Nobody looks at the abyss; we go on looking in other directions, we go on avoiding the real. The real IS like an abyss, because the real is a great emptiness. It is vast sky with no boundaries. Buddha says:

DURANGAMA - be available to the beyond. Never remain confined to the boundaries, always trespass boundaries. Make the boundaries if you need them, but always remember you have to step out. Never make imprisonments.

We make many sorts of imprisonments; relationship, belief, religion - they are all imprisonments. One feels cozy because there are no wild winds blowing. One feels protected although the protection is false, because death will come and will drag you into the beyond. Buddha says: Before death comes and drags you into the beyond, go on your own.

A Zen monk was going to die. He was very old, ninety years old. Suddenly he opened his eyes and he said, "Where are my shoes?"

And the disciple said, "Where are you going? Have you gone crazy? You are dying, and the physician has said that there is no more possibility; a few minutes more."

He said, "That's why I'm asking for my shoes: I would like to go to the cemetery, because I don't want to be dragged. I will walk on my own and I will meet death there. I don't want to be dragged. And you know me - I have never leaned on anybody else. This will be very ugly, that four persons will be carrying me. No."

He walked to the cemetery. Not only that, he dug his own grave, lay down in it, and died. This is what Buddha means by DURANGAMA: such courage to accept the unknown, such courage to go on your own and welcome the beyond. Then death is transformed, then death is no longer death.

Such a courageous man never dies; death is defeated. Such a courageous man goes beyond death. For one who goes on his own to the beyond, the beyond is never like death. Then the beyond becomes a welcome. If you welcome the beyond, the beyond welcomes you; the beyond always goes on echoing you.

The eighth is ACHALA: centering, grounding, immovability. And Buddha says one should learn to be centered, unmoving, grounded. Whatsoever happens, one should learn how to remain unwavering. Let the whole world go into disappearance, let the whole world dissolve, but a Buddha will go on sitting under his Bodhi Tree, unmoved. His center will not be wavering, he will not go off-center.

Try it. By and by, you start coming closer to your center. And the more close you come, the more happy you will feel, and a great solidity will arise in your being.

Things go on happening, but they are happening outside; nothing penetrates to your center. If you are there, then nothing makes any difference. Life comes, death comes, success, failure, praise and insult, and pain and pleasure - they come and go. They all pass away, but the witnessing center always remains.

The ninth is SADHUMATI: intelligence, awareness, mindfulness. Buddha is very much in favor of intelligence, but remember that he does not mean intellect by it.

Intellect is a heavy thing, intelligence is more total. Intellect is borrowed, intelligence is your own. Intellect is logical, rational; intelligence is more than logical. It is super-logical, it is intuitive. The intellectual person lives only through argument. Certainly, arguments can lead you up to a certain point, but beyond that, hunches are needed.

Even great scientists who work through reason come to a point where reason does not work, where they wait for a hunch, for some intuitive flash, for some light from the unknown. And it always happens: if you have worked hard with the intellect, and you don't think that intellect is all, and you are available to the beyond, someday a ray penetrates you. It is not yours; and yet it is yours because it is nobody else's. It comes from God. It comes from your innermost center. It looks as if it is coming from the beyond because you don't know where your center is to be intuitive.

Buddha uses intelligence in the sense of awareness, in the sense of mindfulness.

The Sanskrit word, SADHUMATI, is very beautiful. MATI means intelligence, and SADHU means sage: sagely intelligence; not only intelligence, but sagely intelligence. There are people who may be rational but are not reasonable. To be reasonable is more than to be rational. Sometimes the reasonable person will be ready to accept the irrational too - because he is reasonable. He can understand that the irrational also exists.The rational person can never understand that the irrational also exists. He can only believe in the limited logical syllogism.

But there are things which cannot be proved logically, and yet they are.

Everybody knows they are, and nobody has ever been able to prove them. Love is; nobody has ever been able to prove what it is, or whether it is or not. But everybody knows - love is. Even people who deny - they are not ready to accept anything beyond logic - even they fall in love. When they fall in love then they are in a difficulty, they feel guilty.

But love is.

And nobody is ever satisfied by intellect alone unless the heart also is fulfilled.

These are the two polarities inside you: the head and the heart. Sadhumati means: a great synthesis of both, head and heart. Sadhu means the heart, and mati means the head.

When the sagely heart is joined together with a sharp intelligence, then there is a great change, a transformation. That's what awareness is all about.

And the tenth is DHARMA-MEGHA: grace showering, becoming a cloud of truth, love and grace. DHARMA-MEGHA....

Have you watched that just a few days ago there were so many clouds raining, showering on the thirsty earth? Buddha says: Unless you become a showering of grace you will not attain to the ultimate. The nine grounds are to prepare you.

The tenth ground is the beginning of sharing; you start showering.

Whatsoever you get you have to share; then you will get more. Whatsoever you have, you have to shower, you have to give it to others, you have to distribute it.

All that you attain in your being has to become your compassion. Then you will get more. The more you become a spendthrift of your inner energies, the more space will be created for God to descend in you, for truth to penetrate you.

That's why it is very difficult to know the truth and not to share it. It is impossible! Mahavir remained silent for twelve years, then suddenly one day he burst forth. What happened? For twelve years he was silent; he must have been moving into the nine grounds. Then came the tenth; he become a DHARMA- MEGHA: he became a cloud of truth and started showering.

You cannot do anything about it. It is just like a flower opening and releasing its fragrance to the winds. It is just like a lamp burning and showering its light all around. There is no way to prevent it; you cannot be miserly about truth.

Buddha attained to truth, then for forty-two years continuously he moved from one place to another - continuously talking, continuously saying what had happened to him. One day he was asked, "You teach us to be silent but you go on talking."

Buddha said: I have to talk to teach you to be silent. Be silent, so that one day you can also talk. Be silent, because in silence you will gather the juice.

The flower remains closed until the right moment has come when the fragrance is ready. Then it opens its petals, not before it.

Be silent, be aware, be adventurous - one day all of these nine BHUMIS, these nine grounds, will prepare you to become a cloud. Then you will shower on people and you will share.

Truth has always been shared in different ways. Meera danced; she knew how to dance the truth. Buddha never danced. Chaitanya sang; he knew how to sing.

Buddha never sang. It depends on the individual. Whatsoever capacities you have, whatsoever creative possibilities you have, when truth comes into you it will find your possibilities, your creativities.

Just the other night a sannyasin was saying to me, "It is very difficult; the more I become meditative, the more I like to compose music." He's a composer and he had stopped it. Now he thinks that this is like a disturbance: "What is happening? Whenever I am feeling meditative, immediately great ideas arise in me and I would like to compose. Now, what to do? Should I stop it?"

There is no need to stop. Meditation brings your creativity to an expression.

Whatsoever is hidden in you will become unhidden; whatsoever you are carrying within you will be sung, will be danced - whatsoever it is. You will become a DHARMA-MEGHA.

These three answers from the three monks show three types of understanding:

the bodily, the psychological, and the spiritual. Breath means spirit - that's why I call the third understanding spiritual. If you have the first understanding then these ten BHUMIS are not for you. If you have the second type of understanding, then too these ten grounds are not for you. If you have the third understanding, then these ten grounds are for you.

And unless you can become a DHARMA-MEGHA, remember, your life was in vain. You lived without any purpose, you lived fruitlessly, barrenly. In fact, you lived not; you only appeared to live.

So meditate on this small story of Buddha's, his asking, and the answers... just meditate on it. I will tell you a few anecdotes to show you how we understand.

A minister asked a little girl what she thought of her first church service.

"Well," she said, after giving the matter some thought, "the music was nice, but the commercial was too long."

Now, a small girl - she knows only how to watch TV; that's her understanding.

And she knows music and commercials. In the church also she thought that the sermon was the commercial. She said, "The music was nice, but the commercial was too long."

The couple were married forty years. She decided to get a check-up at the hospital. When she came home, she was ecstatic.

"The doctor says I am in perfect health," she bragged to her husband. "In fact, he said I can have sex twelve times a month."

"Wonderful!" said the husband. " Put me down for two."

Now a businessman is a businessman - "Put me down for two."

Two corpses were laid out in the same room at the funeral home. One night when everybody left, one corpse sat up and asked the other, "What did you die from?"

"Cigarettes," he answered. "I just smoked too many cigarettes."

"What kind did you smoke?"

"Raleighs," he answered.

"At least, did you save the coupons?"

"Hell yes! How do you think I got this coffin?"

Even when people are dead they will continue. Naturally, it is natural that they will continue their old past, their old ways of understanding, calculation.

The girlie show was touring the army camps in Viet Nam. At one outpost, arrangements were being made to feed them before leaving.

"I say," said the officer in charge. "Would you like to mess with the officers?"

"Don't mind if we do, dear," said the leading lady, "but can't we have something to eat first?"

Now a girlie show is a girlie show.... Even words don't carry the meaning that they have. You put the meaning into them. Each time you utter a word, watch; each time you listen to a word, watch; each time you make a gesture, watch - and you will see that whatsoever your level of understanding, it is expressed in all the ways.

Seated in a restaurant, a priest was scrutinizing the beauty of a young lady escorted by her male companion. A layman kidded him about his female interest.

"Just because I am on a perpetual diet does not mean I can't study the menu once in a while!" said the priest.

Your inner - repressed, rejected, thrown into the basement, also goes on reflecting in your ways. Even sometimes when you avoid something, then too, in your very avoidance your understanding is shown.

The famous story of two Zen monks....

Crossing a ford they came across a woman, a very young and beautiful woman.

She wanted to cross but she was afraid. So one monk took her on his shoulders and carried her to the other shore. The other monk was furious, the other monk was fiery: "It is prohibited! A Buddhist monk should not touch a woman. Now this is too much. Not only touching: he has carried the woman on his shoulder!"

The monk remained quiet, but he was boiling within.

Miles passed. When they reached the monastery, when they were entering the door, the other monk turned to the first and said, "Look, I will have to talk to the Master. I will have to report it. It is prohibited!"

The first monk said, "What are you talking about? What is prohibited?"

He said, "Have you forgotten? You carried that young beautiful woman on your shoulders. You should not touch!"

The first monk laughed and he said, "Yes, I carried her, but I left her on the other bank, miles back. Are you still carrying her?"

Yes, the other monk was still carrying her.

Remember that your understanding is shown in every way, and if you watch correctly, your very watchfulness will take you to a further step.

One unfortunate sailor was shipwrecked on a desert island in the South Pacific.

Fortunately food and water were plentiful, and the weather was perfect. So he survived in comparative comfort for six months, after which time, to his intense excitement, he spotted a small craft on the horizon. As it drifted in closer and closer, he could see that it was a ship's life-raft containing one passenger. And as it got even closer he saw this passenger was a young woman. Eventually the raft splashed up on the beach and he went towards her. She was a beauty - tall and glowing and blonde, and a cracker.

"Hello! hello!" said the poor lonely sailor. "Are you shipwrecked too?"

"Yes, I am," she replied.

"I have been here for six months," he said.

"Six months!" she exclaimed. "Well, then I am sure I have got something you have been missing."

"Don't tell me you've got a fag on you!" he cried joyously.

Your own desire, your own understanding, your own greed, is always there in EACH response, in EACH reaction. If you watch closely you will become aware that you go on showing your understanding or misunderstanding in each moment of your life.

Buddha's ques;ions are very simple, and the monks who answered may not have thought at all that they have any metaphysical significance. They may even have laughed at the ridiculous questions Buddha was asking them. But with very simple questions he had provoked their layer of understanding. The significance of the story is great. I never ask you any questions, but the questions you ask me are enough. They show everything about you. When I read your question, I am less concerned about your question than I am concerned with the questioner. I am more concerned with the questioner.

That's why I insist that you should always write your name under the question, you should always sign it - because a question in itself means nothing. It becomes meaningful only when I know who the questioner is. My answer is not for the question, but for the questioner. One may ask a question and I may answer it in one way, another asks exactly the same question, with the same words, but I will not answer in the same way - because it is not the question that is important, it is the questioner.

Your question shows your understanding. Your question shows your confusion.

Your question shows where you are. And I have to answer you where you are.

Remember it.

In DARSHAN it happens many times, and it is better that you should remember it. Many people come; somebody asks a question, others listen. You are allowed to listen, but those answers that I am giving to that particular person are not given for you. Otherwise there would be great misunderstanding.

It happens sometimes that a questioner says something, I explain it to him, I help him to understand his problem; another comes and he says, "That is exactly my question and you have already answered." I say, "No, don't be deceived so easily.

You two are so different. In fact, there are no two similar persons in the world, so how can your questions be similar? You ask your question, and forget what I have said to the other."

And then many times people become puzzled, because they see that I can contradict myself.

Just the other night one person asked about fear: "I am afraid." I talked to him about death because I could see why he was afraid. Death was in his eyes, death was around him, he was shadowed by death. I talked much about death rather than about fear, and he understood it. I said to him, "Accept death and fear will disappear."

The next person said, "Now there is no need to ask. I have also fear in me and you have answered." I looked at the person; his fear had no relationship with death at all. His fear was fear of loneliness; it was a totally different dimension of fear. And I said, "Forget all that I have said to the other person. It was not your question and it was not answered for you. Tell me about YOUR fear." And by and by it became clear that his fear had nothing to do with death. His fear was fear of being left alone; fear that maybe his aloneness would always remain there.

The first was afraid of death, the second was afraid about whether love would happen or not. His fear was concerned with love - whether he would remain always alone, or would somebody be there who would love him? And would he be able to love? Would there be a possibility that he would be together with somebody and this constant wound of loneliness would disappear? He was not worried about death, he was worried about life. His fear was not concerned with death, his fear was concerned with life and relationship and communication and communion, love. They were totally different, but they both used the word 'fear'.

And when I give different answers to different people, naturally you can collect all the answers and you will see: "This man is mad!" They will be contradictory.

They are bound to be contradictory. My approach is individual; my approach is person-to-person. I try to relate with you as individuals.

In the morning discourse you can meditate over whatsoever I say, but whenever you are deciding to do something, ask me in person. Don't decide it through the morning discourse because you are too many, and I am talking in a general way.

The morning discourse is just to make principles clear to you. The DARSHAN IS to make practice clear to you, not principle. The morning discourse is just to make you aware that so many possibilities are there to grow, and how to grow.

But I am not talking to you personally, I cannot. DARSHAN is so that you can ask personal questions, you can approach me and you can see your face in my mirror and I can see directly into your eyes. The morning discourse is more philosophical, the evening DARSHAN IS more religious.

And if you can remember this difference, there will be great benefit out of it, a great understanding out of it.

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"As Christians learn how selfstyled Jews have spent
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(Facts are Facts by Jew, Benjamin Freedman)