Collecting pebbles on the seashore of life

Fri, 10 November 1976 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Discipline of Transcendence Vol 4
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
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THE BUDDHA is the greatest anarchist in human history. He does not believe in any rule from the outside. To help you become free from the outside, he teaches you an inner rule, an inner discipline. Once you have learned the ways of the inner discipline, he's there, ready to destroy that too - because either you are ruled from the outside or from the inside. You are a slave; freedom is only when there is no rule.

So the inner discipline is just a step to get out from the outer domination of the society, of the state, of the masses, civilization, culture, etcetera. Once you are free of the outer domination, then Buddha starts destroying your inner discipline too. That's why I call him the greatest anarchist ever. There have been people who have taught that no outside rule should exist, but Buddha is alone in teaching that even the inside rule is a form of slavery, a subtle slavery. No- discipline is his discipline. And when a person is absolutely without any discipline, then there is beauty - because then there is freedom. Then one acts spontaneously; not according to any rule imposed by others or imposed by oneself. Then one simply acts out of nothingness. Then the response is total; nothing is being held back, and there is no enforcement of any sort, there is no violence. There is tremendous grace, there is benediction - because now the actor has completely disappeared, the doer is no more there. If you are trying to discipline yourself, the doer remains, in a subtle way. If you are trying to discipline yourself, you remain schizophrenic, you remain divided. A part of you disciplines you, another part is being disciplined by you. So one part becomes the master and another part becomes the slave. Again there is division, again there is duality, again you are not one.

And there is bound to be conflict in this duality, because in reality you are one, and this is a fiction. Who is trying to rule whom? Who is there to be dominated by whom? There is only one existence inside, one being. To bring any sort of discipline means to divide that unity, and that division is misery, that division is hell.

So first Buddha says: There is no God - because if there is a God and any belief in God, then man can never be free; because then there is a dominator, a dictator.

With a God in the world, there can be no democracy - impossible. If God has created man, then of course He is the ultimate power. If He's omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, then how can freedom exist? You are never left alone, He's everywhere: that's what the so-called religious people teach. They say, "He's looking at you wherever you are. In the most private situation also, He's there, watching you constantly. His eyes follow you."

This seems to be a very dangerous teaching: it means you don't have any freedom, it means you don't have any privacy. And God is like a universal peeping-tom; He's always there at the keyhole, you cannot escape from Him. His very presence is destructive; His presence means that man has no freedom.

Neitzsche's declaration that God is dead and now man is free, has a Buddhist tone to it. That's what Buddha has said: God is not and there is freedom.

Freedom means: you are not created by anybody and you are not dominated by anybody and you are not manipulated by anybody. To Buddha, freedom is God.

Try to understand it. It is difficult, because Buddha uses such terminology that it becomes very difficult for childish minds to understand. The childish mind can always understand that there is a God dominating you, looking after you:

compassionate, kind, great - the Father, the Mother. These are childish ways to understand the truth.

Buddha says: There is no God, and freedom is absolute. That absolute freedom is Buddha's God. Freedom is God. Freedom is divine. So first he takes away all outer beliefs. There is no need to believe in a God. The belief itself will become the barrier.

Just the other night a sannyasin came from England, and she was very nervous, trembling, shaking. And she said, "I am very much afraid, because I cannot yet believe in you." I said, "Who expects you to believe in me?" She was afraid because she thought that she doubts. The ordinary religions have taught people that you become religious only when you believe. If you don't believe, you are irreligious. The west is completely unaware of a great religion that has existed in the east which does not require any belief. In fact it says belief is a barrier. A religion without belief is very difficult for a Christian or a Mohammedan and a Jew to conceive. It was even difficult for Hindus and Jains to conceive.

Buddha is a great revolution, a very radical outlook. He says: All beliefs are dangerous. You should not believe, you should see.

I told the sannyasin, "Don't be worried; doubt is perfectly okay. Doubt is better than belief. Doubt can never hinder you; doubt remains open. Belief is a closing of the mind - then the aperture is closed, then you don't look." In fact, a man who believes becomes afraid to look. Maybe the truth is against his belief. Then what to do? - he closes his eyes. It is easier to protect one's belief with closed eyes than with open eyes. Who knows? - the truth may not coincide with your belief, the truth may shatter your belief, the truth may be against your belief. It may not be Christian, it may not be Hindu, it may not be Mohammedan. Then what will you do? So it is better to remain with closed eyes.

A man with belief becomes afraid: he does not seek and he does not enquire and he does not search. He never explores. He remains stuck with his belief. He holds his belief to his heart; this is out of fear.

Religion is not out of fear - at least REAL religion is not out of fear. At least, it should not be out of fear. Real religion is fearlessness. Buddha says: With a God, how can you be fearless?

The Jewish God says: I'm very jealous. Don't worship any God other than me; I'm very jealous. And if you worship any other God, I will destroy you.

Now, these words look very political, and very stupid. And to put these words into the mouth of God Himself is sheer nonsense. God saying"I am very jealous"?

- then God seems very human, even below human - because there have existed human beings who are not jealous. A Buddha has existed who is not jealous.

Buddha seems to be in a better state of consciousness than the Jewish God!

Jealous? Prohibiting his followers not to worship anybody else? - "Because I am jealous, and I will destroy you"? What the Jewish God says is simply unbelievable. He says. "If you commit something against me, for ten generations I will torture you. Not only you: ten generations of your children will be tortured. And if you worship me, for a hundred generations the rewards will be coming to you."

Now, what type of God is this? And your child has not done anything. You commit some crime, you disobey God, and for generations your children will suffer, and for a hundred generations your children will get the reward if you have done something good. And 'something good' means, in Jewish terms: if you have obeyed the omnipotent God. If you disobey it is sin; if you obey it is virtue.

There seems to be no real value. God may be saying something absurd, but if you obey it is virtue, if you disobey it is sin. And this threat, that "For ten generations I will take revenge", and this bribery, that "For one hundred generations I will reward" - look at what type of mind has worked out this concept of God. It cannot be very divine. It is not divine at all. It is, in fact, sub-human.

Buddha says: There is no God. Don't be afraid. To make man fearless, Buddha says there is no God. And to make man an explorer of truth, he says there is no need for any belief. Belief is not a requirement: it is an obstacle. Be open. Explore.

Doubt, think, meditate, experiment; and when a mind comes to experience truth without any belief, the mind itself becomes true - because then there is a communion between truth and the mind.

Be fearless. There is no need for anybody to dominate you; freedom is the very substratum.

First he drops outer beliefs: in God, in hell, in heaven - because your hell and heaven are just your projections. If you knew about different hells and heavens you would understand. The Tibetan's hell does not have fire in it, because the Tibetan's hell has to have more cold, more ice. They know - they suffer from cold, so hell has no fire at all. Of course, the Hindu's hell has fire; they suffer from heat. The Hindu's concept of heaven is almost of an air-conditioned heaven.

The sun is never hot, and cool breezes are always blowing, and shady trees, and the flowers are like diamonds... and everything is cool. Of course, a hot country - - suffering for centuries from heat - dreams.

But things continue - they are your projections. There are as many hells in the world - and as many heavens - as there are climates, because it will depend on the experience of your own climate. For a Tibetan, fire in hell will look almost like a heavenly gift. No, fire has no existence in hell, it is absolutely cold; you will be frozen to death by coldness. Fire exists in heaven. There, everything is warm.

Now, what do these concepts show? They show your mind, they don't show anything about heaven or hell. Man continues in his dreams, in his projections.

If you die, you may be dying as far as your body is concerned, but your mind continues. In fact, the Buddhist approach is that the idea of heaven and hell has arisen because during his whole life a man projects, thinks, about the after-life.

And if he has been committing many crimes and sins, he becomes guilty; he feels that he is going to hell. He becomes very afraid. By the time he's dying the fear arises: "Now there is no time left to put things right." Now he is going into hell, and he has an idea of hell, of what hell is. So when a person dies, when he is free from the body, the projections become very real. He starts dreaming. So when a Hindu dies, certainly he dreams after death. Immediately he dreams either of heaven or hell; it depends. If he was a good man, virtuous, a worshipper, then of course he is very self-confident: when he dies, he knows that he is going to heaven. Immediately after death, the mind starts dreaming. The time between one death and another birth is used in dreaming.

You live in a dreamworld - exactly as you live in the night. What happens when your body relaxes and you go to sleep? - you start dreaming. You forget your body in your sleep. Sleep is a tiny death, a very mini-death. You forget your body, you don't remember your body at all, you become just your mind; as if the mind is no more burdened by the body and the reality of the body. The mind is freed. There is no pressure on the mind of bodily reality, of objective reality.

Mind is freed. Suddenly, you start dreaming. Of course, your dream is YOUR dream; it has nothing to do with any reality whatsoever.

When you die this is exactly what happens, and it happens in a bigger proportion. Once you die all the pressure of bodily reality and objective reality disappears. The mind is free to dream. Even in sleep there is a burden, even in sleep you are connected with the body, but in death you are disconnected completely. Now the mind is completely free. Like a balloon, it starts rising into its projections. So if you have lived a bad life.... When I say 'if you have lived a bad life', I mean: if you THINK your life has been bad, if you have been taught that this life is bad.

For example, if a Jain has been eating meat, he will suffer hell after his death - but not a Mohammedan, not a Christian, not a non-vegetarian who has never thought about it. He will not suffer hell. But a Jain is bound to suffer hell. If he has eaten meat, his idea will make him guilty; the guilt will be there, the guilt will project. And he knows what hell is; the hell will be projected.

Between death and birth there is a great dreaming time, and you can live long in that dream time - because the dream time is absolutely different from your waking time. Have you sometimes observed that you are just sitting in your chair and for a minute you fall asleep and you dream? And the dream is so long that it takes years - in dream time. Then suddenly you are awake and you look at the clock and only one minute has passed. Now you are puzzled. How, in one minute's dream, could you see a projection of many years? You were a child, then you become young, and then you went to the college and the university, and you fell in love and were married, and you were just coming out of the church - and the dream is broken. And there is such an expanse of many years.

How has it happened in a single minute?

Dream time is different from actual time: it can happen in a single minute. So maybe between death and birth there are only a few minutes, or a few days at the most, or a few hours. But they will look very long; you can dream infinite dreams - you can dream of hell, you can dream of heaven - but you continue.

I have come across a beautiful anecdote sent to me by a few of my sannyasins.

Once upon a time, there was a playboy named Shiva. One day, he suddenly died.

His friends thought of enquiring if he had reached hell. Of course, naturally, they thought he must have reached hell. So they rang up hell.

The phone was picked up and a voice boomed, "Hello, the devil speaking."

"Hello, Mr. Devil, has Shiva come to hell?"

"No, try the other place. We have enough playboys here, and we don't need any more trouble," said the devil.

So they rang up heaven and a very, very holy voice said, "Hello, Virgin Mary speaking."

"Has Shiva come to heaven?"

"No, not yet," said Virgin Mary. "Try tomorrow."

So they rang up again the next day, and the same pure and holy and saintly voice said, "Hello, Virgin Mary speaking." They again asked about Shiva and she said, "No, not yet. Try tomorrow." And her voice was as sweet as honey; sweet in the beginning, sweet in the end, sweet throughout!

So next day, they tried again and a wonderful and sexy voice came, "Hello, Mary speaking."

The friends looked at each other and said, "So, he has reached."

Your hell is your hell; your heaven is your heaven. It is your projection, it is your personality projected in dreams. These are not realities.

Buddha is tremendously existential. He's the first religious man who has said that there is no heaven and no hell; it is just in the dreams of humanity that heaven and hell exist. If you have stopped dreaming while alive, then there is no heaven and no hell. In fact, there is no sin and no virtue. He's the greatest iconoclast, the idol-breaker. He takes everything away from you - because he knows that unless everything is taken away, the mind continues. Mind needs props. If all the props are taken away, the mind collapses. And in that collapse, reality arises in its true color, in its true tone.

The reality is only when the mind is not. Mind is a distorting faculty.

Now these are the last sutras; of tremendous import. Each sentence is like a sword, and it cuts the roots of the mind. And when it comes to cutting the roots of the mind, Buddha excludes nobody, not even himself. That's his authenticity.

It is not that he is against other philosophies, he's against philosophy as such - against his own philosophy too. That's the authenticity of the Master. It is very easy to be against others' philosophies, but to be against one's own philosophy means the man has no philosophy of his own. He's simply asserting a truth: that philosophy is not the door to reality. He's against all methods, including his own.

You will be surprised: "Then why does he use methods?" The methods are to be used only because of you: because you are not ready to take the jump. The jump is too big, and you take it in small doses. Hence, he has to invent methods. The same is true about me: I would like you to take the quantum jump without any methods, but you cannot take it. Then the abyss is too big and fear possesses you.

So I have to make small steps for you. Slowly, slowly, I persuade you. The more you become ready, the more I push you into no-method, into no-mind, into no- religion.

The essential religion is no-religion, and the greatest method is no-method. And to come to a state of no-mind is to come to awareness. Buddha has to talk to many categories of people, but these sutras are for those disciples who have come of age, who have become mature.

It happened once:

I was chatting with Mulla Nasrudin, who was a rabid fisherman. I told him, "I notice, Nasrudin, that when you tell about the fish you caught, you vary the size of it for different listeners."

"Yes," he said, "I never tell a man more than I think he will believe."

And that's what Buddha is doing too. If you have come to him with a childish mind, he will give you some toys to play with. If you have come with a little better, a little more grown-up mind, a little more mature, he will not give you those toys. And if you are really mature enough to listen to truth, unafraid, then... then these sutras.

Today's sutras are the last. They are meant only for very grown-up people, so listen to them very attentively.

It is said: Once Jesus' disciples asked him, "Have you brought a message of peace to the world?" He said, "No. I don't bring peace, I bring a sword." A sword? And Christians have puzzled over it down through the centuries, because it doesn't look right. Jesus is the messenger of peace and he says, "No, I have not brought peace to you, but a sword." And he says, "I will teach you how to hate your mother and how to hate your father and how to hate your wife and how to hate your husband and how to hate your children. And unless you are ready to hate your father and your mother, you cannot follow me."

Now, these words coming from Jesus, who says, "God is love," look very contradictory, very inconsistent. It is difficult to sort out what he means. And it has been difficult for Christians; they avoid these sentences. But if you understand this sutra of Buddha, you will be able to understand Jesus too. By 'sword' he means: each Master brings a sword into the world to cut the roots of the mind. And when he says, "Unless you hate your father and your mother and your family, you cannot follow me," what is he saying? He's saying: Unless you drop that mind that has been given to you by your mother, by your father, by your family; unless you drop your past; unless you forget completely what the society has given to you - the idea of good and the idea of evil; unless you drop the whole conditioning that society has given to you, you cannot follow me.

These sutras are like swords: they cut, and they cut totally. Buddha is very hard because he has great compassion. He will not allow any loophole from where you can find your slavery again. So first, drop all outer discipline; and then, drop the inner discipline too. In that undisciplined state is freedom, is NIRVANA, is MOKSHA. And out of that freedom, whatsoever happens is virtue. Out of slavery, whatsoever happens is sin.



He says: All political power, all power as such, is stupid. Don't rush after it, don't be ambitious, because all ambition collects dust and only dust. If you are not disillusioned by dust, you will not be able to know what truth is. A man obsessed with ambition is not capable of knowing truth at all. Eyes full of ambition never see what is; they only see what they want to see. The ambitious mind is the wrong mind; the non-ambitious mind is the right mind.

To be non-ambitious - what does it mean? It means that you are not hankering for the future, that you are not hankering for the next moment; that you are not hoping for the next moment, that you have abandoned hope; that you live in this moment, that you don't have any future, that the present is all that is. A non- ambitious mind becomes still, and that stillness comes of its own accord - not that you still yourself. A non-ambitious mind is still; there is nowhere to go, nothing to hanker after. Then reality is available.

For an ambitious mind reality is not available, because reality is available only in the present and the ambitious mind is always somewhere else, ALWAYS somewhere else. The ambitious mind is never content. Discontentedness is its very base. Buddha says: For what are you desiring? Desiring for kingdoms? You want to become great kings and dignitaries?


Why does he say 'that floats in the sunbeam'? Have you seen sometimes... a sunbeam enters through the roof, the whole room is dim and dark and just one beam of sun enters into the room; then you can see dust floating, dust particles floating in it. They shine, they look like diamonds. They are ordinary dust. If the sunbeam were not there you would not even see them, but in a sunbeam they look like diamonds. They shine, they become radiant.

Buddha is saying: When you project an ambition, when the sunbeam of ambition is there, dust particles look very precious. They are not precious in themselves.

And he should know: he was born a king. Then he left those palaces. The day his ambition dropped, suddenly the sunbeam disappeared and he saw only dust and dust.

The night he left his palace and his kingdom and his newly-born child, the charioteer took him out of the kingdom not knowing where he was going. And the charioteer was not supposed to ask. But when Buddha came out of the chariot and he told the charioteer, "Now you take my clothes back, and please give your dirty clothes to me," he could not understand what he meant. He said, "What are you doing? Have you gone crazy?" He was an old man, the age of Buddha's father, and he said, "I have looked at you and I have loved you from your very childhood. What are you doing? I am just like your father; tell me, what is your agony? Why are you leaving these beautiful palaces, this kingdom?

You are the happiest man in the kingdom. Where are you going?"

And Buddha said, "I look at those palaces; they are on fire. Everything is burning, the whole world is burning and I want to move in a cool shade." The charioteer, of course, was not able to understand what he was saying.

He said, "What are you talking about? I don't see any fire anywhere. What are you talking about?"

And Buddha said, "You may not understand, but I have seen the fire. Everything is on fire, everything is burning, because everything is moving towards death."

Just the day before, he had gone to the town, his capital town, to inaugurate a youth festival, and on the road he had come across a dead body. He had not seen a dead body up to that moment. He asked, "What has happened to this man?"

The story is beautiful. The story is told in an eastern way, in a mythological way.

The story says that the charioteer was prohibited by Buddha's father ever to talk about death, and ever to answer such questions - because the father had been forewarned when the Buddha was born that if ever he came to know about death, he would renounce the world. So the charioteer was not going to say anything. But the story says that one god, looking at this, entered into the charioteer's body. Seeing that the moment had come when Buddha was ready to renounce, and only through that renunciation was he going to realize, the rare moment of existence had arrived, the gods helped. They forced the charioteer to say the truth.

The charioteer said, "The man is dead, Sir."

And Buddha asked, "Is this going to happen to me too?" And the charioteer had to say, because the gods were forcing him - so he said, "Yes, this is going to happen to you too, sir.

And Buddha said, "Then return home. Then there is no point in going to inaugurate the youth festival. I am no longer young. Seeing death, I have become old. Seeing death, I have died." A great glimpse, a great insight happened. And Buddha said the next day, "The whole world is on fire. I have seen death and when death is coming, then what is the point? I would like to find something which is beyond death."


But we don't see death; our ambition prevents us from seeing it. Even if death came right in front of you, you would not be able to see it because your ambition would function as a barrier. It won't allow you to see, it is like a blindfold.

I have heard....

A rich manufacturer from New York suffered a nervous breakdown.

"You must have a rest," advised his doctor. "Go to Florida, lie around under the sun, go swimming. You will be better in a month."

The businessman followed the doctor's advice and went to Miami, got into his swimming shorts and strolled the warm sandy beach. Then the water was too much to resist and he went for a dip. But he had overestimated all the years he had gone without exercise and before he realized it he was over his depth, and could not swim back.

"Help! Help!" yelled the businessman. "Save me! I'm drowning!" An alert lifeguard heard the cry, dived into the water, and towed him to safety.

The manufacturer's wife came running to the scene on the beach."Irving, baby, are you alright? Speak to me!"

"I'm alright," wheezed Irving, dripping water, "but I've got to ask you something in private, please. Bend down."

The worried wife stooped over."Yes, Irving, what is it that you want to ask me?"

"Tell me, how much do I tip for a thing like this?"

He had faced death... but he asks his wife, "Tell me, how much do I tip for a thing like this?" Life is not a problem; money is the problem: 'how much do I have to tip?' Even facing death a man never realizes that the very existence of death makes his whole life meaningless. Money has no meaning when death is there. But the ambitious mind lives in a very different world: the sunbeam of his ambition makes dust particles shine like diamonds. Once the sunbeam disappears. once the ambition is not there, everything falls flat and you can see where you were going, what you were hankering for. If life is going to disappear - and it is going to disappear, it is going to move into the desert of death sooner or later; it is only a question of time - then... then whatsoever you are hankering for is meaningless. Death will take everything away from you.

Buddha says: Seek something which death cannot destroy.


All your money, all your precious stones, all your bank balances, Buddha says, "I consider as pebbles." You are children playing on the seashore of life, collecting pebbles - colored of course, they look beautiful of course, but they are pebbles on the seashore - of no significance. And while you are collecting them life is rushing out of your hands, slipping by. You are taking a great risk. This opportunity is not to be destroyed in only collecting pebbles.

A man who took his two little girls to the amusement park noticed that Mulla Nasrudin kept riding the merry-go-round all afternoon. Once, when the merry- go-round stopped, the Mulla rushed off, took a drink of water, and headed back again. As he passed near the girls, their father said to him, "Mulla, you certainly do like to ride on the merry-go-round, don't you?"

"No, I don't. Rather, I hate it absolutely and am feeling very sick because of it," said Nasrudin. "But the fellow who owns this thing owes me a hundred rupees, and taking it out in trade is the only way I will ever collect from him."

Money seems to be the greatest obsession in the world. Money seems to be the greatest madness in the world. We go on selling our lives and collecting pebbles; we call it money. One day we simply disappear and the money is left here. And the life that you wasted in collecting that money could have been used in a more creative way. It could have become a song, a dance; it could have become a prayer, a meditation; it could have become a realization of truth, freedom... but you missed.

Buddha says:


All that you go on desiring seems foolish. There are people who live only to eat; there are people who live only to dress; there are people who go on playing with things - good when you are a child, but it seems that very few people ever become grown-ups. They certainly grow old, but very few people become grown-ups. To grow old is one thing, to become grown-up is quite another. A grown-up person is one who can see through things: what is a toy and what is not a toy. Small children playing - you laugh at them; but have you looked into your own life? Have you grown up at all? Maybe you have changed your toys - they are playing with toy cars and you are playing with real cars - but the play remains the same. There are people....

Once I was a professor in a university, and a professor used to live just across from me. He had a car but it was always sitting there, and he would clean it and wash it every day, religiously. I became puzzled, by and by, because it never came out of the porch.

I enquired. He said, "You see, the traffic is such, and the car is so beautiful, and it is risky to take it to the university. You know the students; somebody may scratch it."

"Then why have you purchased this car?"

He said, "I love it."

Now, think of loving a car! But there are people who love cars, who love houses.

It is not very difficult to see what has happened to them. These are the people who cannot love a person; they can only love a thing - because you can manipulate a thing, control a thing, better than a person. A person is always dangerous. If you love a woman it is always dangerous; if you love a man it is always dangerous - because a man or a woman is a freedom, intrinsic freedom.

You cannot totally control. Man has tried in every way - to create marriage, and laws, and this and that, and create respectability around it, and punishment and awards, and everything just to make one thing certain: that the woman is no longer a freedom, that the man is no longer a freedom. When a man is a husband he is no more a person, and when a woman is a wife she is no more a person. The freedom has been killed. Now, a husband is a thing, and a wife is a thing: they can be controlled more easily. If the wife does something, you can go to the court. The magistrate will help you, the police will help you to force the wife back into her 'thinghood'.

People love things... and people are afraid of persons.

Then people can go to absurd limits. Now, a car has a utility; certainly it has a utility - but to be in romantic love with a car is absurd. And this is romance! I would see him washing it every day, for half an hour, completely absorbed, and the car was never used. He went to the university on a bike, and the car went on sitting there. But he felt very happy that the car was there. He looked at the car as if he were looking at his woman, he touched the car as if he were touching a human body. I watched him: his eyes would suddenly become aglow when he looked at his car; something great happened around the car. It is absurd - not only absurd, it is insane.


I CONSIDER THE LAKE OF ANAVATAPTA AS A DROP OF OIL WITH WHICH ONE SMEARS THE FEET And Buddha says: If you become aware, the whole universe looks very tiny - because awareness is bigger than the whole universe.

Man is very tiny if you look at his body, man is very foolish if you look at his mind, and man is tremendously vast if you look at his consciousness. Three things meet in man. The vast, the infinite, meet in his consciousness, in his awareness. That's what you become aware of when you meditate: boundaries recede and disappear. The body does not contain you; in fact, you contain the body. Ordinarily you think, "I exist in the body." It is absolutely wrong. The body exists in you; you are vaster, you are bigger - not only bigger than the body, you are bigger than this whole universe. It is awareness that holds all. But if you look at the body you are very tiny. And then, if you go on getting identified with your body, a great desire arises to be big. That's what politics is, that's what the desire and ambition for money is, that's what you try when you use beautiful clothes to exhibit yourself: you try to hide the body, your tinyness, your smallness. You try to make it look beautiful, you try to make it precious.

It is said that once Mulla Nasrudin was in his Turkish bath, and there came Tamurlaine, the great murderer and the great emperor and the great conqueror.

And only two persons were there, Mulla Nasrudin and Tamurlaine. And Tamurlaine, as was his habit, asked Mulla Nasrudin, "I have heard that you are a very wise man. How much do you think is my cost, my price?" Of course, he must have been hoping that he would say, "You are priceless, sir. The whole universe is nothing before you."

But he looked at him, brooded over it and said, "Sixty rupees."

Tamurlaine was very angry and he said, "What do you mean? Sixty rupees Even this towel I am wearing is worth more than sixty rupees!"

Nasrudin said, "That's why I said sixty rupees. I am not counting you - you are nothing - only this towel. I don't take any risks; that's why I say sixty rupees."

If you are identified with the body, of course, your value is not much - cannot be much. How much value do you think you can get out of your body if you go and sell it? If you ask the scientists they say, "Somewhere near around five rupees."

Not even sixty rupees... somewhere nearer to five rupees. There is a certain amount of aluminium and iron and phosphorus and things like that; if they are all collected and sold in the market, they will cost near about five rupees - and that's true because the cost of things has gone very high.

And in the first place, nobody would be ready to purchase your body.

Immediately, the moment you die, everybody is ready to dispose of you, some way or other: "Just finish it now."

It happened:

It is said about the great Emperor Akbar that he used to go to see a Sufi mystic, Fareed, and he used to touch his feet. Now, Akbar's court people became a little jealous: "Akbar, the great Emperor, touching the feet of a poor beggar?" And they told Akbar one day, "This doesn't look good, it is humiliating. You need not touch that beggar's feet. Your head is an Emperor's head and you put your head on his feet?"

Akbar said, "You do one thing: you bring the head of a dead man and try to sell it."

When the emperor had said, they had to try. Wherever they went people chased them out. They said, "Have you gone crazy! Get out from here! Your head is stinking, and who wants this head? Get out!" They tried in all the shops, in every market in Delhi, and from everywhere they were thrown out. They came back and they said, "Nobody is ready to purchase - not only that, people don't even listen. They simply say, 'Get out from here! Have you gone mad? What will we do with a human head?'" Akbar said, "Then what do you think? My head is just a human head; one day you will not get any price for it. So if I put this useless head at the feet of Fareed, why do you think it is humiliating?"

It is said that once a great Sufi mystic was caught by a few people who wanted to sell him in a slave market. He was a very young, healthy man, radiant. So they were very happy; they were going to get a good price. They took him. He said to them, "I know that you are going to sell me, but let me tell you one thing: if you listen to me, you can get the highest price possible. I know my price, you don't know, so whenever you are ready to sell, just ask me, 'Is it the right price?"'

After just a few hours they came across a king, and the king said, "The man looks good; I will purchase him. I will give five thousand rupees." It was too much in those days, and they were ready. But the mystic said, "Wait, this is nothing, let the right purchaser come and I will tell you. Don't be a fool" - so they refused. A rich man came and he offered ten thousand rupees. Now they were ready; they were not even going to ask. But the mystic said, "Wait! Are you a fool? Have you not seen? The price is double now. Just wait." And then came another rich man and he offered fifteen thousand rupees. By now, those people had become aware that he was right: "We have a very precious man." And this continued the whole day. Many people offered, but the mystic was saying, "Wait." The last offer was for fifty thousand rupees but the mystic said, "Wait!" After that, people started going home, the market was becoming deserted. The last man came and he was carrying just a bundle of straw. And that was the last man. Those people said, "Now there seems to be no purchaser, and we will again have to wait for eight days. Next week, again there will be a market."

The mystic said, "Wait, ask this man." They asked the man and he said, "I can give you this bundle of straw. I don't have anything else." And the mystic said, "That is the right price; sell it! This is exactly the right price. Now don't miss this opportunity." Those people started beating their heads. They said, "We have got a madman! We have lost fifty thousand rupees and now he says, 'This is the right price!"'

But he was showing, he was indicating something: there is no price; the body is very tiny and very small. If you get identified with it, you are getting identified with straw, a bundle of straw - or as Buddha says, "A bag of skin, full of filth." If you get identified with the mind; you have a little more freedom. But mind is foolish, mind is stupid, mind is mediocre: it does not know anything about truth.

It simply goes on inferring about truth, guessing. Mind is guesswork.

Buddha says: If you get to really know yourself, then you are vast, infinite. Then you are God.


Buddha is saying: If you know man in his true reality, he is so vast that the biggest lake is just an oil drop on his feet. He is so vast that the whole universe is smaller than him.


This is the sword: it cuts everything from the roots. Now he says: I consider the various methods of salvation taught by the Buddhas as a treasure created by the imagination. All methods are created by the mind, so they cannot lead you beyond the mind. That which is created by the mind cannot lead you beyond it.

To go beyond it you will have to leave all that is created by the mind. Methods are also created by mind: Yoga, Tantra, Yantra, Mantra - all methods are mind- creations, imagination... beautiful imagination, sweet dreams, golden dreams, and of course, they are created by Buddhas.

To bring you out of your body, mind is used. So there are a few techniques to bring you out of the identification with the body. Then, to bring you to the very boundary of the mind, there are other methods which take you to the very brink of where mind ends. Then you have to jump out of the mind - of course, by jumping out of all methods.


Buddha says: Even what I am saying to you... maybe it is very precious, but it is precious metal or precious stones seen in a dream.

That's what I say to you always: that truth cannot be uttered. The moment you utter it, it becomes a lie. Truth cannot be said. The moment you say it, it is almost part of a dream now; no more truth.

The Zen Buddhists say: Buddha never was born, never walked on earth, never taught a single teaching, never initiated anybody to be his sannyasin. And still they go and worship Buddha! Rinzai used to say that it looks absurd.

One sceptical philosopher came and he heard Rinzai saying that Buddha was never born. And just behind Rinzai was a great statue of Buddha. The thinker waited, and Rinzai said that Buddha never taught anything; in fact, he never existed, so how could he teach? And then, when the sermon was over, he went to the statue, touched the feet and offered a few flowers. The sceptical thinker said, "Wait! Now, there is a limit to everything. This is too much! You say this man never walked on the earth; you say he never taught; you say in fact that he was never there. And now, whose feet are you touching? Whose feet are you touching, and to whom are these flowers offered?"

And Rinzai laughed and he said, "I am offering these flowers to this man because he taught and still he said, 'I have not taught you anything.' He was born and yet he said, 'That which is born is beyond birth and death.' He walked on the earth but still deep inside he remained immovable; he never walked. The wheel moved; the hub remained in its place, centered."

Buddha's teaching is tremendously contradictory. First he teaches you, "Do this, do that," and then he suddenly says, "Drop all. Now the boundary of the mind has come. Now drop this last dream too."


Have you sometimes watched, sitting by the shore, on a beach? - look into the sky and you will see flowers moving in the sky. Now scientists say they are ions.

Or if you ask Wilhelm Reich, he says that they are particles of orgone energy. If you ask the eye specialists, they say that there is nothing; just the movement inside your eye nerves creates the fallacy of something in the sky. You can press your eye with a finger and then you can see those flowers more. These are called sky flowers - they exist not, but you can see them. And if you move your eyes they will come down and they will go up; you can play with them like a yoyo.

But they are not, they are not existential.

Buddha says:


All teaching is meaningless. Truth cannot be taught, it can only be caught. There is no way to teach it. By teaching you can transfer words, doctrines, beliefs; truth is never transferred that way. But being with a Buddha, you can catch it... it is infectious. Hence the value of SATSANGA: being with a Buddha, being with a Master, being with one who has become enlightened.

What does it mean, 'to become enlightened'? Buddha says it simply means, I CONSIDER NIRVANA AS AWAKENING FROM A DAYDREAM OR NIGHTMARE.

He says you are living in a dream: the dream of ambition, desire, a thousand and one types of greed, anger, lust, passion. You live in a dream. NIRVANA, enlightenment, is nothing but coming out of the dream, just becoming awake.

There is nothing occult in it, nothing esoteric in it. Buddha has no esoterics in his teachings; he is very simple. He says: This is all - the man who lives in the world, the worldly man, the 'SAMSARIC' man, is in a dream - that's all; and the Buddha is one who has come out of the dream. The difference is not in their consciousness, the difference is only that the worldly man has something more than Buddha. Buddha has only awareness; the worldly man has something more than the Buddha. Buddha has only awareness; the wordly man has awareness plus dreams. And because of those dreams, the awareness becomes clouded - as if the sun is clouded and you cannot see. Clouds disappear and the sun is there.

But as far as the inner light is concerned, there is no difference between a Buddha and an ignorant man. They are made of same stuff.


And Buddha says it is all nonsense - the traditional and the anti-traditional, the orthodox and the heterodox, the theist and atheist, and the thousand and one types of philosophies and systems fighting with each other, arguing, proving, disproving. He says it is just a game, a mind-game, mythological. It has no significance. Don't be too much entangled with theories and doctrines; they are part of the dream. Get out of the dreaming state, become more aware.


This is his ultimate assertion; meditate over it.


Buddha says: Things are not different, they are the same; they only look different, they only appear different. The tree there, and the rock, and you, and the animals and the stars, are not different. At the innermost core, reality is one and the same. Substance is one and the same, there are no distinctions.

Distinctions are dreams.

Physicists call that one reality 'electricity' or 'energy'. Materialists, Marxists, communists, call that reality 'matter'. idealists call that reality 'mind'. Yogis call that reality 'consciousness'. Buddha calls that reality 'nothingness'.

Now, this word 'nothingness' is very important. 'Nothingness' means: no-thing- ness. No thing is. All things are just forms, dreams. We are different only in form, and forms are just dreams. It is as if out of gold you can make many sorts of ornaments. Those forms, different ornaments, are just dreams, because the gold is the reality. Behind all the forms is gold; behind all the forms is one reality.

Buddha says: That sameness is the absolute ground of reality.

If you go in, you leave the form. First you leave the form of the body. Have you observed it? - people who are close to me and meditating, come again and again to that insight - and these sayings can be understood only if you have certain insights of your own. Otherwise, it is impossible to understand them. When you are meditating, many times it happens that you forget your form, your body; you don't know who you are and how you look. You forget your face. In fact, in deep meditation, you completely become oblivious of your body. When you close your eyes, you are formless. Your mind also has form. You are a Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan, Jain, Buddhist; then you have a form of the mind: you think in terms of being a Christian, you have a certain identity, dogma defines you. But if you go still deeper, mind also disappears. Then you are no more a Christian.

At the deepest core you are neither a body nor a mind. Then what are you?

Buddha says: Nothingness, no-thing-ness: now you are not a thing, now you are universal. Now you are not confined in any idea, you are infinite. You are that which has always been there and will remain always. You are eternal. Then there is no birth to you and there is no death to you. You are like the sky: clouds come and go and the sky remains untouched by them. Millions of times clouds have come and gone, and the sky has remained pure and virgin. It has not been corrupted or polluted by them. You are the inner sky. And when all forms disappear, the inner and the outer also disappear - because they are also forms.

Then there is nothing inner and nothing outer... oneness, sameness.

Buddha does not call it 'God' - because to call it 'God' you may start thinking again of form. But that's exactly what the word 'God' means, or should mean - God is that sameness that exists in all. 'God' means existence, isness. The tree is, the rock is, the cloud is, the man is - forms are different but isness is the same.

As far as isness is concerned, a tree and you are the same. The form is different:

the tree is green and you are not green, and the tree has flowers and you don't have any flowers, and the bird can fly into the sky and you cannot fly; but these are differences of the form. But isness is the same. To look into that isness is what meditation is all about. And to come to realize that isness is NIRVANA.

This is the last message, the last sutra of this SUTRA OF FORTY-TWO CHAPTERS. This is the forty-second sutra, Buddha's ultimate message. I don't think you will be able to understand it right now. Intellectually of course you can understand it, but the real understanding has to be existential. That will come only if you follow the path of inner discipline to the point where you can drop it.

If you follow the path of meditation to the point where even meditation becomes a hindrance, and you drop it.... It is as if you move on a staircase from one floor to another, but when you have reached to the next floor you get off the staircase.

You don't cling to it. All methods are staircases - or in Buddha's terminology: All methods are like boats; you cross the river, then you leave the boat, and you forget all about it.

Methods have to be used and then dropped. It has to be remembered from the very beginning - because there is every possibility that you may become too attached to the method. You become so attached that the method becomes a clinging: you start possessing it and it starts possessing you. Then the medicine has become a disease.

It happens: you are ill, you take medicine. Then illness goes but you cannot leave the medicine now. You have become accustomed to the medicine, to the drug.

When the illness has gone, throw the medicine immediately.

Meditation is a medicine - because you are ill you have to use it. When wellness has come, then drop it immediately.

All devices have to be dropped one day, and all scriptures have to be dropped one day. This is the greatness of Buddha: that he says that even his teachings, his methods, have to be dropped.

When Zarathustra was saying goodbye to his disciples, the last thing that he said to his disciples has to be remembered. Keep it in your heart. This is what Buddha is saying in the last sutra. Said Zarathustra to his disciples, "Now I am going and this is my last message: Beware of Zarathustra!" And he left.

Beware of Zarathustra? Beware of the Master... because you can fall in love too much. You can become too much attached. The real Master is one who helps you to fall in love, and then helps you to stand on your own so that you can leave the Master. A real Master never becomes a crutch for you. Never! Before he sees that you are clinging too much, he starts getting out of your life - because the ultimate goal is freedom - freedom from all crutches, freedom from all props, freedom from every discipline, doctrine, method. Freedom from all: that's the goal.

Always remember that goal. Remembering that goal will help you not to go astray.

A small story and I will finish this discourse. It is a Hassid story: THE THREE PRISONERS.

After the death of Rabbi Uri of Istalisk, who was called 'The Seraph', one of the Hassidim came to Rabbi Birnham and wanted to become his disciple. Rabbi Birnham asked, "What was your teacher's way of instructing you to serve?"

"His way," said the Hassid, "was to plant humanity in our hearts. That was why everyone who came to him, whether he was a nobleman or a scholar, had first to fill two large buckets at the well in the marketplace, or to do some other hard and menial labor in the street."

Rabbi Birnham said, "I shall tell you a story....

"Three men, two of them wise and one foolish, were once put in a dungeon black as night, and every day food and eating utensils were lowered down to them.

The darkness and the misery of the imprisonment had deprived the fool of his last bit of sense, so that he no longer knew how to use the utensils; he could not see. One of his companions showed him, but the next day he had forgotten again.

And so his wise companion had to teach him continually. But the third prisoner sat in silence and did not bother about the fool.

"Once the second prisoner asked him why he never offered his help. 'Look,' said the other, 'you take infinite trouble and yet you never reach the goal because every day destroys your work. But I, sitting here, am not just sitting. I am trying to bore a hole in the wall so that the light and sun can enter, and all three of us can see everything.' " Now, there are two types of Masters in the world. The first type I call the teacher.

He teaches you things: disciplines. virtue, character, but next day you forget.

Again he teaches you the same, and next day you forget again. The second I call the Master. He does not teach you virtue, he does not teach you character, he does not teach you ordinary humility, humbleness, poverty - no. He bores a hole into your being so that light can penetrate, and you can see yourself. He tries to make you aware, full of light. That's the real Master. In the East we call him SATGURU, the right Master. Teachers are many; SATGURUS are very few and far between. Remember this distinction.

If you are with a teacher you may become a good man, but you cannot become enlightened. And your goodness will always remain on a volcano; it can erupt any moment. If you are with a teacher he will teach you outward things - how to discipline yourself, how to be good, how to be a servant, how to serve people, how to be non-violent, how to be loving, kind, compassionate. He will teach you a thousand and one things.

If you come to a Master, he teaches only one thing - that is: how to become aware, how to bore a hole into your being so light can enter into your imprisonment. And in that light, everything starts happening of its own accord.

And when things happen of their own accord, they have a beauty to them. Then there is great benediction.

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