The bear of reason

Fri, 9 November 1976 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Discipline of Transcendence Vol 4
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
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the first question:

Question 1:


The question is from Maneesha. It is tremendously important to understand.

JESUS was taking his leave from his disciples. The last night, when he was going to be arrested, breaking the bread he said, "This is my flesh, this is my meat; you eat it." Pouring the wine he said to his disciples, "This is my blood; you drink it."

What he is saying looks very crude, but the meaning is very significant: a disciple has to become a cannibal. He has to eat his Master, his Master's vibes. The very presence of the Master has to be swallowed, chewed, digested. A Buddha exists only for that: so that you can eat him. Of course, it depends on you what will happen after you have eaten a certain vibe. The transformation will happen within you; you will have to be very careful.

There are people who eat food, the best of foods you can give to them, and they will only produce manure and nothing else. There are people who will produce something more: thinking, philosophy, mind. There are a few more - very rare - who will produce something still higher: poetry, music, love, And there are very rare souls who will produce something even higher: prayer, meditation. And there are only a few, few and far between in the history of humanity, who will eat the same food you eat and will produce God, or NIRVANA. It is the same food that we eat. The poet also eats the same food that you eat, but something becomes poetry out of that food. An essential part of the food becomes poetry; it bursts out in song. A dancer also eats the same thing as a soldier, but the soldier only produces violence and the dancer produces grace. It depends on you how you will use my presence.

Meditate as much as you can; that is the most basic thing - everything else is secondary. And there is no limit to it: as much as you can digest, digest. There is no excess in it, there cannot be. The more you do, the more you will feel you can do still more. Until your whole being is transformed into the same kind of presence as your Master, go on meditating.

Another scene....

Bodhidharma lived in China for many years, and then one day he decided that now the time had come for him to go back to his home. He wanted to return to the Himalayas, he wanted to die in the Himalayas. He gathered his disciples, the four foremost disciples, and he asked them, "What is truth?"

The first said something which was philosophical, logical, very systematic, but Bodhidharma was not happy. He looked very sad. He said, "You have only my skin."

He asked the other; he said something. His answer was a little better than the first one: more intuitive, less intellectual, more poetic, more musical.

Bodhidharma said, "You have my flesh"; but still he was not very happy.

He asked the third the same question: what is truth? The third was still better; he said something which was more existential, had a glimpse of realization in it, just a ray of light. Bodhidharma was not unhappy, but not yet happy. He said, "You have my bones."

And then he asked the fourth, and the fourth said nothing. The fourth answered with silence. Bodhidharma looked into his eyes: they were like an infinite abyss, a bottomless abyss. And the disciple fell unto his feet without uttering a word.

Bodhidharma must have danced in his innermost being. He was tremendously happy; at least one had understood him totally. He said, "You have my marrow, my very soul."

These four were all cannibals; they were eating the Master. But one produced only the skin; the other produced flesh; the third produced bones; the fourth exactly reflected the Master, gave birth to the Master again in his being.

So while you are here with me, let it be your deepest meditation. I speak to you - not that there is something to be told to you. It is just a device. It is just a device so you can be close to me; it is just a device so you can be engaged in listening and your being can be in deeper contact with me. You have learned the ways of language; it is very difficult for you to sit silently with me. If you sit silently you will be far away, you will be lost in your thoughts. There will be a great distance between me and you. I have tried that.

I used to sit silently with people, but I found they were FAR away, thousands of miles away in their thoughts. They look physically just close; spiritually they are not there at all: somebody is moving into his past, somebody has already moved into some imagination in the future. I used to look into them and I found they were not there, they were somewhere else. Only their bodies were there - empty shells, hollow. Their minds were not there. And if your mind is not there it is very difficult for your soul to be there.

I talk to you so your mind becomes engaged in my thoughts. While you are engaged in my thoughts, at least you will be able to avoid your thoughts. You will be closer to me - closer than you can be while you are thinking your thoughts. At least my thoughts are mine: they come from a deep emptiness, they carry the flavor, they have a subtle vibe in them. While engaged with me in a verbal communication, listening to me attentively, your mind becomes engaged, and your mind cannot go to the past and cannot go to the future. It has to be here, it has to be attentive, it has something to do here. While the mind is engaged in my words, I can communicate on a different level too; your being is close to me. And just being close is enough.

That's the meaning of SATSANGA: just to be close to someone who has disappeared, just to be close to someone who is no more, just to be close to someone who is just a tremendous nothingness.

Coming closer to this nothingness, you will also start disappearing and melting.

It is natural. There will be a few moments when you will suddenly disappear.

Those are the moments when you have tasted something of me. When you disappear, when you are completely lost, when the mind has simply stopped functioning - you are just a pure attention - then you and I are not two. Then there is no l-thou relationship. Then only one exists in which the I and the thou both have dissolved. Then we overlap each other: then your center is my center and my center is your center.

The more these moments come to you, the more you will produce the highest possibility... your destiny.

So Maneesha, go on meditating on me as much as you can.

And I know her - she has been doing it; she has been very attentive, very aware.

And with a great care and love, she has been absorbing me.

You ask, "Do Buddhas mind being gazed on for more than three seconds at a time?" They cannot mind because they don't have any mind. In fact if you don't gaze at them, they feel sorry for you. If you look here and there and don't look directly to them, they feel sorry for you. You are thirsty and pure water is available, but you go on looking sideways. You don't look straight, you don't look direct, you don't look immediate. You will miss. Look at me, not only looking - because eyes can absorb the subtlest vibe. It is a way of eating.

Eat me, be cannibals. And remember, what I am saying is not important at all.

What I am being here is important. So don't be lost in my words: they are just toys to play with. Listen to my being, to my presence.

the second question:

Question 2:


Why not?

The rabbi climaxed his sermon with, "Life is like a glass of tea."

Later, one of the congregation asked, "Rabbi, why is life like a glass of tea?"

"Why not?" answered the rabbi.

I also say to you: why not? You pay for everything in life, why not for your meditation? You pay for everything in your life, why not for God? Why do you want God for free?

In fact, you don't want God. You are ready to pay for whatsoever you want. You know that you have to pay. Meditation you don't want. If it is given free, and even with a PRASAD, then you will think about it. You are ready to go to the movie and pay for it; why should you not pay for your meditation and the lecture if you want to hear it?

The question comes, naturally, from an Indian and a nonsannyasin who does not understand me at all, who must be a newcomer. The Indians think they are the most religious people in the world; all bullshit. They are the most irreligious people in the world - they just have an egoistic idea that they are very religious.

If you are really religious, you will be ready to pay for your meditation with everything, even with your life.

What is money? If you pay five rupees for something, and if you earn ten rupees a day, then you have paid with half the day. Money is just a symbol that you have devoted half your day's labor for it. You go to the movie and you pay ten rupees for a ticket; you earn ten rupees per day. You are saying that this movie is worth it - "I can stake one day's labor for it." But you are not ready to stake anything for your meditation, prayer, for religion. In fact, religion is the last thing on your list. You want it free; basically you don't want it. If there is a price to it you start feeling uneasy.

You ask why you have to pay here? The price that is asked is nothing; it is just the beginning of learning a certain lesson: that one has to pay for everything, and CERTAINLY for prayer, CERTAINLY for meditation - because it is the highest thing in life. Those few rupees that you have to pay are very symbolic, just symbolic, just token - they indicate something. If you are ready to pay something, then I know you will be persuaded to pay more. By and by, one day you will be able to stake your whole life for it. If you are not ready to even pay five rupees, it is impossible for you to stake your whole life.

Gurdjieff used to ask much money for his lectures; and not only money, he would create all sorts of obstacles.

For example: no lecture would be declared beforehand. If the lecture was going to be this morning at eight o'clock, early - in the wee hours, at five o'clock - you would receive a phone call: "At eight o'clock reach a certain place" - and the place would be twenty miles or thirty miles or fifty miles away - "and Gurdjieff is going to talk, and we have paid for it!"

People used to ask, "Why do you create trouble? Why can't you say beforehand so we can manage?" And Gurdjieff would say, "If you can manage, then it is not of worth." If you could come suddenly, dropping all that you were going to do....

Maybe you were going to see the Prime Minister at eight o'clock, and suddenly now there is an alternative: either you go to Gurdjieff or to the Prime Minister - and you go to Gurdjieff. Then something is going to happen. You have staked for it, you have taken trouble. And then too it was not certain that Gurdjieff would speak. He might come and he would look around, and he would say, "Not now.

No, not today. I will inform you later on."

Once it happened in Paris that for eight days he called people, and for eight days he cancelled. The first day there were near about four hundred people; the last day near about five or six people. When he looked at them he said, "Now, only the right ones are left. The crowd is gone, now I can say whatsoever I want to say to you."

I am also not interested in the mob, in the crowd. I am not interested in casual visitors, I am interested only in the few sincere seekers. They have to show their mettle.

And, the money that you have to pay is just the beginning. It is just the alpha; by and by I will persuade you to pay with your life. Unless you have that much courage, nothing is going to happen. Religion is not cheap, certainly not free.

But the Indian mind is very money-minded: they talk about being religious but they are very money-minded people. Their whole outlook about things is money.

No westerner has ever asked this; they understand: the ashram has to be maintained, the place has to be ready for you, some musician has to prepare for the music, somebody has to conduct the meditation, the gardens have to be looked after, the buildings have to be built. All needs money - from where is it going to come? And you know well that I don't do any miracles.

There are only two ways. One is: somebody else should donate for you. But why should somebody else donate for you? You will meditate and somebody else will donate for you? Why? If you want to meditate, you pay for it. And if you really want to meditate you will be ready to pay for it; there should be no hitch about it. If you don't have money, go and earn it. If it is absolutely impossible, then come and work in the ashram and pay that way, workwise. But don't ask to come for free.

This idea of getting religion for free has entered so deep in the mind that people think they have a claim. People come to the office and they say, "Why are we not allowed?" But why should you be allowed? You have to earn it to be allowed.

Just because you want to come in does not mean much.

You have to show that you are sincere, you have to show that you are not just here out of curiosity. What is the way to check a person? The easiest way is money... because the greatest greed is for money.

The greatest greed is for money, so whenever you have to lose your money you have to lose a little part of your greed. When you pay five rupees for entry, you are paying by dropping a little greed. The money is not the problem, the problem is greed; you are dropping a little greed. And this is just a beginning - because meditation can happen only when all greed disappears. A slight greed inside you and meditation is not possible. For a greedy mind there is no meditation; meditation happens only in a non-greedy mind. If you don't have money, then work. Pay by your work and show your sincerity.

But the person who has asked must have money, otherwise he would not have been allowed to enter here.

He must have paid... must be greedy, must want to have everything free - at least about God. Because nobody bothers about God.

I have been moving in the masses for years. I have not decided in a hurried way to drop out of the mob - I saw that it was absolutely absurd: you go on talking to people who are not ready to listen; you go on talking to people who are not seekers, who are not in any search; you go on talking to people who have come just for entertainment. Why should I waste my energy and time? I tried in every way to be available to bigger crowds, but then I found it was impossible. They come here as an entertainment, and they hear through one ear and from the other it is lost.

There is a story about Bayazid, a Sufi mystic.

He was passing through a cemetery and he came upon a heap of skulls. Out of curiosity he took one skull. He had always been of the thought that all skulls are almost the same, but they were not the same. There were a few skulls whose ears were joined together; there was a passage. There were a few skulls whose ears were not joined together; there was a barrier between the two. There were a few skulls both of whose ears were joined to the heart but not joined together; there was a passage running to the heart.

He was very surprised. He prayed and asked God, "What is the matter? What are you trying to reveal to me?" And it is said that he heard a voice. God said, "There are three types of people: one, who hear through one ear; it never reaches anywhere - in fact they don't hear, just the sound vibrates and disappears. There is another type, who hear, but only momentarily - they hear through one ear, and through the other ear it is lost into the world again. There are a few souls, of course, who hear through the ears and it reaches to the heart."

And God said, "Bayazid, I have brought you to this heap of skulls just to help you remember it when you are talking to people. Talk only to those who take whatsoever you say to their hearts - otherwise don't waste your energy, and don't waste your time. Your life is precious: you have a message to deliver."

One day I also understood - not by going to a cemetery and coming across a heap, but by looking into alive people. There are three types; Bayazid is right.

The story may be true or not; that is irrelevant. I looked into thousands of people, and I found that only a very few are there who will take the seed to the heart, who will become soil to it, who will absorb it. And others are just curiosity- mongers, just entertaining themselves. Maybe the entertainment is religious, but it is meaningless.

So here I don't exist for the masses. Let it be known once and forever: I am not interested in the crowd, I am interested only in individuals. And you have to show your mettle.

And this is just the beginning of the ashram. Once the ashram is established rightly, there will be more and more difficulties for new people to enter.

the third question:

Question 3:


'Why' has nothing to do with awareness. The 'why' leads into a totally different dimension: the dimension of analysis - and analysis is not awareness. Once you ask the question 'why', you have moved from the fact already.

You are confronting something; for example, anger has arisen in the sky of your mind. There is a cloud hovering around; it wants to settle on you, wants to get roots in you. And you feel disturbed; the anger is coming. Now, to be aware means just to see it, not to do anything; just to see it without any condemnation and without any evaluation; and just to see it, not to ask for a cause from where it is coming: "Why, why should it be?" And don't ask how it should be avoided - because the moment you ask how it should be avoided, why it has come, you have moved away from the fact. The fact was that just a cloud of anger was surrounding you. To remain with the fact without any questioning, without even any tacit judgement.... Don't say it is bad - because the moment you say 'bad' you have started going away. You don't want to see it. Don't say that you are against it, that it should not be - because if you are against something you cannot face it. Just remain aloof, neutral, indifferent.

The questioner says that he thinks this is some sort of awareness; it is not. It is analysis. Analysis is not awareness, analysis is of the mind. Awareness is not of the mind, awareness is something beyond the mind. When you ask 'why', you have allowed the mind to interfere.

You see a rose flower - you don't ask 'why', you don't ask, "Who has planted this bush, who is the gardener?" If you ask these things then the rose is no more there, you are clouded by other thoughts. A REAL understanding of the rose is possible only when you don't even say, "It is beautiful" - because these words will become a barrier. You don't even say, "This is a rose flower" - because this labelling is dangerous. The moment you say, "This is a rose," all the roses that you have seen before have come in. They will be standing there in a queue. The very word 'rose' will revive all the memories connected with the rose. Not even a single word needs to be there. One has to be just an openness to see whatsoever is there.

Watch the rose flower without any language, without any appreciation, judgement, without saying anything, without asking any questions and without trying to find any answers. Otherwise you have moved in to the mind.

What is mind? The thinking process is mind.'Why' creates the thinking process.

Awareness means: just be a witness.

There is a beautiful story about the Sufi mystic, Master Jalaluddin Rumi.

He was standing on the bank of a river one day.

Suddenly he spotted a fur coat floating downstream in the middle of the current.

He hollered over to a scholar who was standing there on the bank too.

"Hey man, there is a fur coat in the middle of the river. See it? Grab it man!"

The scholar jumped in the river out of his greed, and swam out. Rumi was a little nearsighted; all he could see was a lot of commotion and flubbing around out there.

"For Christ's sake, what are you doing out there! Bring it on in!"

Finally the scholar heard his hulabaloo, and shouted back between gasps: "You cockeyed fool! This ain't a fur coat out here; it's a bear. And the more I struggle with him, the deeper his claws go. And he won't let go!"

"Friend," said Jalaluddin Rumi, "that bear is reason."

If you ask the question 'why', you are caught... you are caught by the bear of reason. And the more you ask questions, the more you will get entangled - and the claws will go deeper into your body, into your being. Don't ask any question.

If you want to be aware, just be aware.

Awareness is a simple process with no questions, no answers. One simply watches. And rather than starting with complex things start with very simple things - because there are people who start immediately with complex things.

They never go to the primary school, they never go to the secondary school, they never go to the college; they simply go to the university, to the post-graduate school. Of-course they fail - because to enter a post-graduate class you have to prepare.

Listening to people like Krishnamurti or Ramana Maharshi, listening to them speak about awareness... and awareness is all - it is the very essential religion, the central core of all religion... so when you listen to them speak about awareness, and you listen to Ramana Maharshi, Krishnamurti, Buddha, Gurdjieff, and everybody is praising it, you become greedy. You say, "So I must have this awareness too. I cannot allow it to go; I must have it. These people are enjoying so much awareness, and they are feeling so blissful, in such great benediction. I must have this commodity too." So you start grabbing. But you start wrongly: you start with complex things.

Somebody is suffering from sexuality: he starts becoming aware of sex - this will not be possible. You have taken a very complex thing. Or somebody is suffering from anger, and has suffered his whole life, and his whole life is destroyed by anger and the poison that is created by anger. Now listening about awareness, suddenly he will try it on anger; this won't do. And if you fail you lose self- confidence; that is very dangerous. Start with very simple things.

Buddha used to say, "Start with breathing, because that is the most simple thing in the world, so simple that you don't do it at all. It happens on its own." You don't breathe. In fact you are never aware of breathing unless something goes wrong. You have some breathing trouble? then you become aware. Otherwise breathing goes on its own. You can go on sleeping and the breathing continues.

And it is good - otherwise, if you had to take care about it, life would be impossible. Someday you would sleep and you would forget to breathe, and...

gone. And there is no way to undo it: once gone you are gone forever. Breathing is spontaneous, it is a very simple process: the breath just goes in, goes out - nothing much in it. Buddha says, "Watch it, become aware of it. Sitting silently, simply see the breath going in, the breath going out." You will feel very bored because it is very montonous: the same breath coming in, the same breath going out.

So the first problem has to be very simple, like breathing. And the second problem will be that you will have to face boredom. And if you can face boredom, boredom disappears and there is tremendous calm behind it. So start awareness with the breathing process. At least for one hour every day, sit silently just watching your breathing, doing nothing - not even chanting a mantra - because then you are making it complex. You simply see the breathing; it is a natural mantra: it goes in, goes out, goes in, goes out. You are not to say that the breathing is going out. You have to simply go with the breathing: it is going out, the consciousness goes with it; it comes in, the consciousness comes in. You simply SENSE its going in and coming out. You try to remember it, and you will find difficulties even in this simple process. For a few seconds you will be aware, then you will forget. Then your mind has taken you away - to your business, to your woman, to your children, or a thousand and one problems are there. Again after a few minutes you will remember: "I have forgotten; I am not watching my breath" - then again come back. There is no need to repent, there is no need to fuss about having forgotten. Because now if you fuss about it, again this time is being lost. Whenever you recognize that you have lost track of breathing, come back; again start watching it. Doing it slowly, slowly, one day you will be able to watch your breath. If a person can watch his breath for forty minutes continuously, then there is no problem in life. He can watch any problem. And by watching, ANY problem can be dissolved.

But first you have to learn how to watch - so don't start with complex things, but with very simple things. Buddha says two things: watch either breathing or walking. Buddha himself did both: for one hour he would sit under the Bodhi Tree and watch' his breathing, and when his limbs would feel tired, cramped, then he would walk for one hour and watch his walking - one foot goes...

another foot, another, then he would turn. If you go to Bodhgaya where Buddha became enlightened, just near the Bodhi Tree there is a small path on which he used to walk.

The breathing awareness in Buddhist terminology is called ANAPANSATIYOGA, and the walking meditation is called JANKRAMANA.

These are two simple processes - and both are tremendously beautiful: breathing can be watched sitting silently, and walking can be watched being active. But the walking process is very simple: you need not worry about it, you need not plan about it. Everybody is capable of walking; you need not even learn about it.

Small, simple, spontaneous processes have to be made aware first. And then, when you have attained a certain capacity, you can try it on other things: anger, greed, sex, possessiveness, jealousy. Millions are the problems. Then you can try on other problems, and you will be surprised by the miracle of it. It is a very magical process: if you watch something silently, it disappears.

A great sexual desire arises in you: simply watch it arising. It is throbbing in your body, it is moving in your mind, it is stirring fantasies in you - just watch, with neither condemnation nor indulgence. Just watch, and you will be surprised: the more watchful you become, the less power there is in the sexual urge. There comes a moment when you are fully aware; you have become a light unto yourself. In that moment the urge has completely disappeared. AND, this is not repression - because you have not repressed the sexual urge. If you repress you will be getting into trouble. All repressed people sooner or later are bound to become insane. So this is not repression: you are not against the sexual urge, you don't have any attitude about it, you simply watch it. And by just watching, the energy changes its quality - the sexual urge becomes a fuel for awareness, and awareness burns bright. And there is no residue, there is no wound, no repression.

This is how SHILA arises, the graceful discipline Buddha talks about: one is no longer indulgent and one is no longer repressive.

The world has known only two things up to now: either you indulge or you repress. Buddha has shown a totally different path: neither do you indulge nor do you repress. You simply watch.

But always start from the very small things. Never try the first time on some big enemy, otherwise you will be defeated. And once you are defeated you will lose confidence, and you will lose trust in the miracle of awareness too.

The idiot of the village was employed by the priest as a church cleaner. One day, while he was cleaning the altar, a big crucifix fell on his head. Luckily he was not hurt very badly. The day after, the priest found him in a corner of the church with a heap of small, smashed crucifixes.

"What on earth are you doing?" he asked furiously.

Said the idiot, "Much better to kill them when they are still small!"

Remember it: it is much better.

Just first try with very small things which you can easily destroy through your awareness. Then great confidence arises, great certainty that"Yes, it works". Trust overwhelms you; now you have a secret key in your hands. But don't be in a hurry - go on trying with small things, small problems, simple problems and then go on, by and by.

The tendency of the mind is just to try the most important problem. Once you have the key you want to open the ultimate door immediately, you want to unlock the mystery. Just having the key does not mean anything: you have to learn how to use it.

And the ultimate lock is very complex. You may destroy your key. It may not work.

Start with small things, and never ask 'why' - because we are not interested in analysis. That is the difference between the eastern psychology which I call the psychology of the Buddhas, and the western psychology, the analytical process.

This is the difference: if you go to a Freudian or a Jungian or an Adlerian, or other types of therapies, they will immediately start analyzing. They will say, "Tell us, what is your problem? Tell us in detail." In Freudian psychoanalysis, the patient talks and talks and talks, and the analyst simply sits by the side listening to his talk, and analyzing in his mind what is what. Then finally he gives the solution: "This is the problem." But this is an interpretation. It may show more about the psychoanalyst than about the patient. It is HIS analysis.

You can try it - you go to different therapists and they will always interpret your problem differently. If you go to Adler, he will interpret everything as an inferiority complex; that is his base. If you are in politics, he will say that you are inferior, that's why the power urge. If you go to Freud - you are the same person - and you say, "I am too ambitious, and I want to become a great politician, a great political leader"; he will analyze it through your sex. He will say that maybe you are getting a little impotent or something - because whenever a person starts getting a little impotent, he wants some power to substitute for it.

So political leaders are very dangerous near about the age of forty-five, fifty.

Beware, because by the time they start losing their sex power, then they have to prove themselves somewhere else.

There is every possibility that Adolf Hitler was impotent, and to prove that he was potent he became destructive. If you go to the Freudian he will analyze it in that way. If you go to the Jungian he will find very occult meanings, mythological meanings. He will go into the mythologies of the world and find the meanings.

The eastern approach is totally different: it says 'why' is not the question; the fact is there, the fact is enough. We don't go into the history of it, it is not going to help. It will make it more complicated. Why go into the past, or why go into the future? The fact is here. It is present in front of you: face it, beware of it. 'Beware' means: be aware of it. Just look at it.

This is a totally different approach. And the Buddhas have said - and it is now one of the most existential and experiential foundations of eastern psychology: If you watch a fact rightly, penetratingly, it disappears. Just by observation, exactly as you bring light to your dark room, darkness disappears. And with darkness disappears all those problems that existed with darkness.

For example: if you enter a dark house sometimes you stumble upon the furniture, and you become angry, and you beat the furniture and you say, "Some enemy exists here!" And then you grope in the dark; a painting falls on you and then you are furious and you want to smash everything. But all these problems are created by darkness.

Bring light, bring awareness, and then suddenly darkness disappears - and with darkness disappearing you no longer stumble upon the furniture, and the painting does not fall on you, and there is no anger and no rage, and you are not furious, and you don't go insane. Those problems were concerned with darkness; they disappear with darkness.

In the west they start trying to analyze: "Why did this painting fall?" Now, it is a very costly affair to go to a psychoanalyst and get analysis: "Why did this painting fall in the first place? There must have been something wrong in your childhood between you and your mother - otherwise why did the painting fall?

Why did you stumble on the furniture? You must be accident-prone - because other people have passed through the same room and they have not stumbled on the furniture. So it shows something about your childhood trauma. Maybe when you were being born you were stuck, and the doctor had to pull you out. So since then you are stumbling, and you go on stumbling. Now the trauma has to be dissolved." These things - you laugh - but they have become very serious philosophies in the west. And there are great propounders of them, and everybody claims that he has found the final solution.

In the east we have not worked that way; we don't ask 'why'. We say, "The painting has fallen, so the painting has fallen. Now I am struck by it, sol am struck. The problem is not with the painting, the problem is not with the furniture, the problem is that the room is dark." Of course, you never stumble upon darkness - see the point - you stumble upon the furniture; you never stumble upon, darkness. A painting falls on your head and hurts you; darkness never falls on your head and hurts you, but darkness is the problem. If you pay too much attention to the problems that are happening you will go in a wrong direction, because they are not real problems. The real problem is that the room is lacking light. Bring light in.

Awareness is not a question; it is just trying to become more alert, more mindful.

I have heard.... A woman came before the local judge complaining that her husband had made a murderous attack on her with a large pair of scissors.

"Judge!" she cried. "He rushed at me and slashed my face to pieces!" The judge looked at her face, on which not the slightest mark of conflict appeared.

"When did you say this happened?"

"Only last night, Judge."

"But I don't see any marks on your face," said the puzzled judge.

"Marks?" roared the woman."What do I care about marks! I have got witnesses!"

Now, as if witnesses can prove it, as if just having witnesses is enough.

You can find why you stumbled on the chair, why the painting fell upon you, but nothing will be solved by it. The darkness remains untouched. You can go on finding one explanation, another explanation - not that in the east a few people have not tried it. A few people have tried it. It has never been a main current of the eastern approach, but a few people have tried it.

That's what the theory of karma is: it is an effort to find an explanation.

You are in business, you go bankrupt; now you ask 'why': "Why are others succeeding and I have gone broke? Why?" Now there is a constant question inside you - "Why?" Then you go to a religious man, to the priest, to the astrologer. He looks at your hand and he says, "In your past life you have done something, that's why you have failed." Now you feel very relieved. You remain broke, it doesn't change anything. Your bankruptcy will remain there, but you feel satisfied just by the explanation that in your past life you have done something wrong, and that's why you are suffering. Now the answer is there, the answer satisfies your question, but the problem remains untouched. The problem is that you are bankrupt. It does not make any difference what explanation you get.

Somebody is poor and he always feels, "I am good, honest, sincere, and I am poor." Then somebody explains, "This life you are good, honest, of course in the next life you will be paid enough for it. There is no injustice. There may be a little delay," they say in India, "but there is never any injustice. God will pay you - wait, trust." But he says, "But I am poor, and I am hungry." And then they will say that in the past life you have done something wrong, bad KARMAS, SO YOU are suffering. That makes things clear.

That's why in India there has not been a single revolution in five thousand years' history - because a revolution is killed by the explanation of KARMA. There cannot be any revolution here. There is no need for revolution: explanations are enough. The poor man is poor, the rich man is rich; the rich is rich because he has done good KARMA, and the poor is poor because he has done bad KARMA.

Now if the poor man tries to do some revolution, he will suffer even in future - again bad KARMA: violence, this and that. "So, at least now, don't do anything bad. Suffer, and in the next life"... and nobody knows what happens in the next life, so it is a very beautiful explanation.

Yes, Marx is not wrong when he says that religion is the opium of the people; it has been used that way. Not that religion as such is REALLY so, but religion has been used as an opium. Then people can be drugged.

I would like to say this to you: never bother about explanations. See the fact, and be aware of the fact, and don't be too concerned about explanations. Otherwise you will go on and on: you did something wrong in your past life, that's why you are so violent, aggressive, full of anger. But have you never asked the other question? - "Why did I do something wrong in the past life?" Then they will say, "Even further back you did some wrong"; but that goes on and on. The question is: why, in the first place, did you do wrong in your first life? There is no explanation - unless God Himself made you in such a way that you had to do something wrong. But then God is the culprit, you are not. Why should you suffer? Let Him suffer if He has committed a mistake.

These explanations are poor efforts to console oneself. Somebody dies and you are hurt, and you are in much pain, and you want somebody to console you, and somebody comes to console you - because wherever there is demand there is supply. That is an economic law, it applies everywhere. If you are crying and weeping, some foolish, stupid person is bound to come, and he will say, "Don't cry. The soul is immortal." Now, that doesn't make any change. Your wife has died, and you cannot make love to your dead wife. The problem is there: you will miss her. The immortal soul cannot cook food for you tomorrow. And you have to look after your children; the immortal soul is not going to come.

But somebody says, "The soul is immortal"; it gives a sort of consolation: "So she has not died really. So she must be somewhere and there is a possibility to meet someday, somewhere, and it will be good." And you start dreaming, and it consoles. But this explanation is like a tranquilizer, a sedative, like alcohol; it intoxicates you.

If somebody has died and you are in pain, what do I say to you? I say: don't ask for explanations. Look at this pain. Death has happened; watch it. It has hurt you deeply; watch it, beware. Be aware, be mindful of how fragile life is, how everything ends. Just see the flux-like phenomenon of life, the momentary dream-like existence. Just see, and don't try to explain, and don't try to escape, and don't try to avoid, and don't try to get occupied somewhere else. Just look:

death has happened, you are sad, great sorrow has happened to you; look into it.

And by watching and becoming aware of it, much will be revealed to you. The sorrow, the sadness will disappear - and with it will disappear all attachments, because you will be able to see that all attachment brings sorrow. It is not the death of your wife that you are sorry for. It is not because of death. If she had been somebody else's wife, there would have been no problem. She was your wife. It is not the question of death that you are troubled with. Some part of your being is snatched away - you had become too attached - you feel uprooted. You will feel a gap in your heart, an empty space.

Watching the sorrow that death brings, you will become aware that behind the sorrow is not death but attachment. And seeing the facticity of attachment, you will relax, you will become a little loose in your attachments. Next time death happens there will not be so much sorrow. And one day comes when death happens and there is no sorrow. You know this is how things are, you have accepted it. You have known the reality of life: that it ends in death. And there is nothing else to do. You have become aware.

the fourth question:

Question 4:


It simply means that you are greedy.

There is no need to go into great philosophy about it. It does not mean anything else than what it means: you are greedy. And greed says that you must be empty, so you want to stuff yourself with something or other.

Money is a way to stuff oneself with things. Money can purchase everything, so money becomes very important. Then you can stuff your emptiness with everything: you can have as many women as you want, you can have as many palaces as you want, as many cars, airplanes - whatsoever you want. You can go on stuffing yourself with things. You are empty.

An empty person is a greedy person.

And nobody is ever fulfilled by greed. Nobody is ever fulfilled by any thing - because things are outside and the emptiness is inside, and you cannot take outside things into the inside. So you can become rich, but you will remain empty. Your treasure-chest may become full, but your heart will remain empty.

Your bank balance will go on increasing, but your soul will not increase. In fact it may start decreasing - because each time you run after money you lose some soul. It is a great risk. By losing your soul you earn money; by destroying your inner purity, your inner virginity, you go on selling your inner for the outer. You go on exchanging. In the end you have piled up much money and many things, but suddenly you realize that inside you are a beggar.

The inner can be fulfilled only by the inner. I am not saying to renounce your money; that too is foolish. To continuously run after money is foolish, to renounce money is also foolish - because nobody can fulfill his inner emptiness with money, and nobody can fulfill it by renouncing money... because both are outside. Whether you accumulate any money or renounce, both are outside. That is not looking into the problem directly.

You are empty inside: something has to be done there. A prayer has to fill it, a meditation has to flower there - only God's fragrance will be able to give you a fulfillment.

So I am neither for money nor against money. Money can purchase many things:

all that is outside can be purchased with money, there is no problem about it. But money cannot lead you to the inner contentment... and that is the problem. You have to work for that.

My own observation is this: that the more money you have, the more is the possibility of becoming aware of the inner emptiness, because the contrast makes things very clear. A person who is poor inside and poor outside does not know his inner poverty. That's why poor people look more happy, beggars look more happy than rich people, than millionaires. Why? Because the beggar is poor in both ways: poor inside and poor outside. There is no contrast. It is as if you have written on a white wall with white chalk; you cannot read. A rich man has much richness around him, and just in the middle of it all is emptiness, poverty.

Because of the contrast, it hurts. It is as if you are writing with white chalk on a blackboard; it comes clear and loud.

So I am not against money. In fact, my whole approach is that only rich people can be religious. A poor person cannot be. It is very difficult for a poor person to be religious. To be poor and to be religious needs great intelligence, very great intelligence, unique intelligence. Only then can you be religious. To read something written with white chalk on a white wall you need very penetrating eyes, but to read on a blackboard is very simple.

My analysis of the whole of human history is that a country becomes rich whenever it is irreligious. A country becomes rich whenever it is irreligious, and a country becomes religious whenever it is rich: this is how the wheel moves.

India was religious one day, when it was a golden bird - very rich - in the days of Buddha. It was the richest country of the world; the whole world was jealous.

Then it was rich and religious. But whenever a country becomes religious, it starts becoming poor - because a religious person does not care about outward things. When you don't care, they disappear; then the country becomes poor.

Now India is poor, and religious only for the name's sake.

The sun will rise in America; the future of religion is in America, not in India.

India is bound to move on the path of communism. It cannot avoid it, it is already on it. It is moving slowly. It is a very old country so it moves very slowly, at an old man's pace. But it is moving; slowly, slowly it is moving. It is dropping democracy, it is dropping freedom, and it is becoming more and more materialist, socialistic. That is the first step; then by and by it will be a communist country. By becoming communist it will become rich again; by becoming rich it will become religious again.

America has become rich and will become poor, sooner or later. You can see the hippies: they have already moved. They have dropped out of the rich society because they have seen the futility of it. It is meaningless. They talk about love, not about war. The moment you start talking about love and not about war, your country is going to become poor - because to remain rich one has to remain continuously violent and aggressive. They are talking of the simple life, but a simple life cannot be a rich life. Technology will disappear. If technology disappears, richness will disappear. America is rich, will become religious, and by becoming religious, by and by, it will lose its richness.

There is a possibility of Russia, somewhere in the next century, becoming very rich and suddenly becoming religious. The wheel of history is very dialectical - thesis, antithesis: this is how it moves.

I am not against richness, I am in favor of religion. If you are very intelligent, then even in your poverty you can see the futility of riches. But then you have to be very perceptive: you have to think about something that you don't have and you have to recognize that it is meaningless. Without having it, to recognize it as meaningless is very difficult. Having it and recognizing that it is meaningless is simple. So I would like to repeat it again: if a poor man becomes religious he shows intelligence, and if a rich man remains irreligious he shows stupidity. A rich man who is not religious simply means he is a fool. A poor man and not religious simply needs sympathy; he is not a fool. You can forgive him. No rich person can be forgiven if he is not religious; that shows he is stupid: he has riches, and yet he has not been able to see that they are futile.

Your greed simply shows that you are feeling empty. Now, you can fill it with things but it will never be filled. Or, you can start growing into your inward consciousness, and it will be filled.

People can continue for their whole lives wasting all their energies in greed, this ambition is not going to help you.

Mulla Nasrudin and his neighbor were talking about the problems of raising their boys.

"Is your son very ambitious, Mulla?" asked the neighbor.

"Yes," said Nasrudin."He has such big ideas about being rich and successful that already he has begun to look on me as a sort of poor relation."

Just the idea that he is going to be very successful and rich, and already he has started looking at his father as some sort of poor relation!

You can go on an ego-trip if you start on the path of greed - and that can take your whole life. To the very end people remain greedy; they are DYING and they remain greedy; even DEATH does not make them aware.

Solomon and Irving were both partners in the dress business. They had the worst season of their careers, and were at a complete loss as to what to make that would sell. There was not a dress to be cut in their cutting-room. They both decided: the only way out to leave their families any money was to agree to a suicide pact. They drew straws and Solomon was to jump first. Solomon jumped out of the thirtieth-floor window, and as he was falling he noticed that every cutting-room on every floor he passed was busy.

He yelled back to Irving, "Don't jump! Cut velvet!"

Even to the very end - you can be dying - but the business, the business of greed continues. Once you are on the trip, it is very difficult to get out of it. One gets more and more involved. And on the path of greed you are insulted many times, humiliated, but still you get up again, and again you rush.

There was a long line waiting in the early morning in front of a clothing store that advertised a special sale. A man walked to the front of the line; the people grabbed him and pushed him back to the end of the line. Once more he headed for the front of the line, and they kicked him and pushed him into the gutter.

Finally he got up, brushed himself off, and said to a man at the end of the line, "If they do that once more, I am not going to open the store."

Still he is ready to open the store! They have thrown him in the gutter! But people go on rushing, almost insane. Greed is a sort of insanity.

Use money, but never be greedy. As a means money is perfectly good; it is a great means of exchange, very utilitarian. Use it but don't be used by it possess it but don't be possessed by it - remain the master.

the last question:

Question 5:


The question is from Paritosh.

That's how it should be. That's the way to thank me, that's the way to be grateful to me. I am against seriousness. If you come closer to me, come laughing. Even sometimes when you come solemn and serious, I will make you laugh. Laughter to me is prayer. Serious faces are ill faces. Never go towards God seriously; go laughing and dancing, and your prayer will be heard... and your thank-you will reach to the address.

It was good, Paritosh, that you came to thank me and you started laughing. That is the right way, the perfect way. Like a flower, it opens.

Have you ever seen a solemn, serious flower? They are always laughing.

Through their laughter, they are offered to God. Except for man nobody seems to be serious on this earth, and except for man nobody seems to be in misery.

Except for man nobody seems to be puzzled. Animals, birds, trees, rocks, rivers, mountains - nobody seems to be serious. They are all laughing; in their laughter they are praying to God. Join hands with them.

Remember it always: the deeper your laughter, the deeper will become your prayer. If you can dance, you have entered the shrine, you have come close to God.

Yes, dancing is the only way to reach the divine.

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"But it has paid us even though we have sacrificed
many of our own people. Each victim on our side is worth a
thousand Goyim."

(Statement reported in a French Newspaper in 1773 after a meeting
in the Rothschild home).