Go with the River
BELOVED OSHO, IT SEEMS TO ME THAT I DON'T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING.
That's far out, Vidya. If it is really true, then it is great. If you don't understand anything, then the door is open, then there is nothing to hinder your way, to hinder your vision. It is knowledge that is obstructing. Ignorance is an opening. Ignorance is very blissful. k is knowledge that creates noise. k is knowledge that does not allow you to see. If your eyes are completely rid of knowledge, then what is there to hinder you from seeing the truth? The truth is obvious. You just need a clarity to see it. Ignorance gives that clarity.
To be consciously ignorant is to be in satori. A child is ignorant, but not conscious of his ignorance. A saint is ignorant, but is conscious of his ignorance. He knows that he knows not.
That's the only difference. The child also knows not, but he does not know it. The saint knows that he knows not. His whole knowledge consists of one single thing: that there is nothing to be known and there is no possibility to know, that the whole effort towards knowledge is futile, that existence is such a mystery that it can never be reduced to knowledge.
All that we know is superficial, arbitrary. All that we know has nothing to do with reality.
The reality remains untouched by our knowledge. The reality remains mysterious.
If it is really true that you have become aware of your ignorance, then there is nothing else to be sought, nothing else to attain. Relax in this ignorance. Accept this ignorance. And feel blissful.
But it may not be true. That's why I say IF it is true. It may again be just a hankering to know. Then you have not understood, then you are not at ease with your nonknowing. The question seems to be because you are worried; otherwise why a question? You are worried.
Something is gnawing at your heart. You are worried that "I don't understand anything, and I have to understand." In fact, when Vidya had come, she must have thought that she knows.
Now by and by I have been hammering on her, and her knowledge has disappeared. Now she is worried.
When you come to me you come full of knowledge. You come with much luggage, and that luggage has to be destroyed, burned utterly, so that you cannot find it again. When you lose your luggage you start feeling as if you are missing something. Naturally so. You have been carrying the load so long; now suddenly it is gone; you feel you are missing something.
The question has arisen because of your feeling that something is being missed: "I don't know anything?" The knowledge has disappeared and ignorance has not yet been accepted.
If you don't accept ignorance, sooner or later you will attain to knowledge again, you will start gathering and hoarding. And this time you will hoard in a more subtle way so that it cannot be easily taken away from you.
Beware. These are the moments when you need a Master to say to you, "Accept and relax into this ignorance." I am not here to impart knowledge to you. I am here to take it away from you.
In one of the most ancient books in India, SHIVASUTRA, there is a tremendously significant sutra: "GYANAM BUNDHAM" "Knowledge is bondage". When there is no knowledge, a man is free. It is such a radical statement: all knowledge is bondage. The moment you know that you don't know, the bondage falls, but if you have lived in the bondage for long, you start accepting it as part of you.
If a man has lived in prison for many years with chains on his hands and on his feet and then you suddenly take away the chains -- he will not even be able to sleep in the night. He has become accustomed to them; he needs that weight, that noise. When he used to turn in the night, those chains used to make noise; now suddenly the noise will not be there. He will become awake again and again in the night: something is missing. Walking, he will feel as if he is naked: something is missing. He has become accustomed to that weight, and that's how everybody has become accustomed to the weight of knowledge. Knowledge is a bondage.
The question arises only because the acceptance has not arisen yet. You can miss this great opportunity of being ignorant.
Relax, love it, embrace it, feel one with it, and there will arise a new sort of innocence.
You were innocent when you were a child. This will be a new birth and a new sort of innocence. Again you will become a child, and yet your childlike quality will not be childish; it will have a maturity in it.
Sometimes reading, sometimes listening, and particularly listening to Zen, you may start feeling, "I don't know anything." Because the Zen people are very much against knowledge, you may start clinging to the idea of not knowing. But that idea is not going to help. That idea is again part of knowledge. Listening to the Zen Masters, you may start getting attached to the very idea of not knowing. Then this idea of not knowing becomes your knowledge.
To be really in deep ignorance means you don't even have the idea of nonknowledge. You are simply innocent. The knowledge has disappeared, and nothing has appeared in its place.
Let me tell you this famous anecdote:
Traditionally Zen monasteries will only admit wandering Zen monks if they can show proof of having solved a koan.
And you can solve a koan only when you have fallen into deep ignorance, not before it, because a koan is not a puzzle. Or if it is a puzzle, then it is not an ordinary puzzle. An ordinary puzzle can be solved by the mind; if you put your mind to it you can find a way to solve it; it has a solution. A koan is such a puzzle that it has no mind solution possible; you cannot solve it. It is not a question of what you do, it is insoluble. Mind cannot give any answer to it.
For example, Zen Masters say, "Listen to the sound of one hand clapping." Now, one hand cannot clap, and unless it claps there will not be any sound, so to what are you going to listen?
The mind will work out many solutions, and all will be meaningless, and the Master will send you back again and again. Again listen. Meditate. The solution will happen one day when the mind disappears. When you work hard with the mind and the mind finds no way to reach any solution, out of sheer tiredness the mind falls flat on the ground. Suddenly you are in a state of no-mind, and you hear the sound of one hand clapping.
The mind hears only the sound of two hands clapping be cause the mind lives in duality.
The mind can hear only a created sound. When the mind disappears, you hear the soundless sound, what the Hindus call ANAHAT NAD. The word ANAHAT means exactly the same as what Zen people call the sound of one hand clapping. If you clash two things there is a sound that is called AHAT NAD, a sound that comes out of conflict. And there is a sound permeating existence itself -- which is not created, uncreated. When you become so silent that the mind has disappeared, disappeared with all its noise, suddenly that soundless sound is heard, that AUMKAR, that ANAHAT NAD is heard. But that happens only when the mind has gone.
Traditionally Zen monasteries will only admit wandering Zen monks if they can show proof of having solved a koan.
It seems that a monk once knocked on a monastery gate. The monk who opened the gate did not say "Hello" or "Good morning" but "Show me your original face, the face you had before your father and mother were born." ...
This is a koan. And the host is asking the guest to show some sign that he can solve a koan; otherwise he is not worthy of being allowed to stay in the monastery; then he will have to go away.
... The monk who wanted a room for the night smiled, pulled a sandal off his foot and hit his questioner in the face with it. The other monk stepped back, bowed respectfully, and bade the visitor welcome. After dinner, host and guest started a conversation, and the host complimented his guest on his splendid answer.
"Do you yourself know the answer to the koan you gave me?" the guest asked.
"No," answered the host, "but I knew that your answer was right. You did not hesitate for a moment. It came out quite spontaneously. It agreed exactly with everything I have heard or read about Zen."
The guest did not say anything, and sipped his tea. Suddenly the host became suspicious.
There was something in the face of his guest which he did not like.
"You DO know the answer, don't you?" he asked.
The guest began to laugh and finally rolled over the mat with mirth.
"No, reverend brother," he said, "but I too have read a lot and heard a lot about Zen."
Hearing me, there are many things you will start imagining, many things you will start believing. Beware, because those things won't help. Hearing Zen, reading Zen is not going to give you Zen. Zen is a quality that you have to attain to. It is a new vision of life and reality. It is a new penetration into the mystery of existence. It is not intellectual; it is existential. You have to throb with it, your heart has to beat with it, you have to breathe it in and out. It is not going to be just an intellectual understanding.
Listening to me, the understanding will come to you intellectually very easily because whatsoever I am saying is simple. There is nothing difficult about it. It is not very complex. I am not spinning any philosophical theories here. I am simply stating simple facts.
Now, this fact is simple that a child has an innocent clarity. And one day if you also attain consciously to that childhood -- what Jesus calls. "When you are reborn," that is rebirth -- then you will be able to see what is. But listening to me, you may start thinking, "Yes, that's right. I also don't know anything." But is it your understanding, or just a reflection of my understanding? Is it your experience, or just an imitation?
It happens -- in the presence of every Master it happens -- because man is naturally imitative. Darwin is right. Man comes from the monkeys, and is very imitative. He can imitate anything.
I have heard there was a great Master:
The Master would sit for hours alone in his cave meditating, his only companion being a favorite cat which he tied to a post in his cave during his periods of meditation. As years went by his fame spread and he soon had a number of pupils who came to learn from him and who made him their guru or their Master. He instructed his pupils to meditate as he did. Soon each pupil could be observed meditating with a cat tied to a post by his side.
The Master died, so what did the pupils do? They had known always of one cat being tied to a post by the side of the Master. Naturally they thought the cat must have something to do with meditation. And cats are very esoteric people. The cat must have something to do with meditative energy. Somehow the cat must have been a help; otherwise why? The Master used to do it continuously. For years they had seen it. Whenever he was meditating, the cat was there tied to the post.
He had to tie the cat; otherwise the cat would disturb his meditation! The cat may jump into his lap, might like to play with him. Cats don't bother whether you are meditating or not, so the cat has to be tied to the post. But what about the disciples? They watched. And you can see only the outward; the inner remains invisible. Naturally they also tried to imitate it.
It happens. Beware of that too. Don't be imitative. Just because I am saying something, you need not repeat it. If you repeat it, it will not be helpful for your own growing understanding.
Don't repeat it. Let it sink into your being. Experience it.
If I say something, there is no need to believe in it. There is no need to disbelieve either.
Remain open. If I say something, then try it. Then look at the trees without any ideas whatever. Look at the birds and the sky with no knowledge. Drop language and see whether what I am saying gives you clarity. If you can drop the word "rose" and then see the rose flower, what happens? You will immediately feel a new kind of relationship arising between you and the flower. Don't even call it a flower; there is no need. Your language is not needed to support it; it exists without language. Why bring language in? Put language aside. Put aside your continuous gibberish that goes on inside the mind. Just look.
In the beginning it is difficult -- the language will come up again and again, just out of old habit -- but sooner or later it comes easily: you can remain at least for a few moments without language. Listening to the song of the birds or the murmur of the wind passing through the trees, or the river, you can remain without language for a few seconds. And in those seconds will be the proof of what I have been saying to you. Suddenly you will see as if a great darkness has disappeared and everywhere is light. You can see as if the doors of perception have been cleansed.
Ordinarily we are looking through dark curtains. The glass we are looking through is too dusty. Only fragments of reality appear, not the totality.
Experience what I am saying, don't imitate, and then this is going to happen to you: one day you will suddenly see you don't know anything. But this will be a vision, a realization.
Then it is great. If it is truly happening, it is great.
MEHER BABA HAS TALKED ABOUT GOD DESCENDING IN MAN (AVATAR, RASOOL, CHRIST) AND MAN RISING TO BE GOD (THE PERFECT MASTER, SADGURU, QUTUB, TEERTHANKARA). WOULD YOU PLEASE TALK TO US ABOUT THE SAME?
God is. He neither ascends nor descends. Where can he ascend to and where can he descend to? God is all. There is nothing in to which God can ascend or descend. There is nobody else other than God. All that is is divine. So the first thing: there is no ascendence, no descendence.
But when Meher Baba says it, there must be some meaning in it. The meaning is something quite different. Let me explain it to you.
God is, remember. God is a pure isness, pure existence, and there is nowhere for God to go or come. The whole is full of him. He fills his existence, one thing. Second thing: but Meher Baba must be true. Then there must be some other meaning to it -- not God descending and ascending. What can be the meaning? The meaning is there are two ways of man approaching God.
What do I mean by "man" when God is the only reality? Man is the God who has forgotten that he is God; man is a God who has forgotten himself.
Man can remember his godliness in two ways. One way is that of surrender, devotion, love, prayer; another way is that of will, effort, meditation, yoga. If a man tries to work his way through will, then he will feel he is ascending towards God or he is reaching towards God through his will. Hence Jainas call the man who attains to godliness a TEERTHANKARA.
TEERTHANKARA means consciousness has reached the peak; man has arrived by ascending, as if there has been a ladder, the ladder of the will, the ladder of effort and yoga. So is the concept of the Buddhas; that too is the path of will. Avatar means God descending; that is another approach, when a man surrenders. He cannot ascend. He simply opens his heart and waits, prays and waits, and suddenly he starts feeling a stirring in his heart. Certainly he will see "God has descended in me." Avatar means descendence, God coming down.
Mahavir went up. For Meera, God came down.
But God never comes down, never goes up. God is where he is. But your experience will be different. If you try hard to achieve God, you will go higher and higher and higher; naturally you will feel the God hidden inside you is arising, rising up, reaching to the zenith.
But if you surrender, nothing is arising in you. You are where you are, you simply wait in deep prayer, in deep love, in deep trust, and one day you find God is descending in you, coming from above. These are the experiences of two types of seekers. It has nothing to do with God.
It has something to do with the seeker and his way: will or surrender, effort or prayer, yoga or BHAKTI.
So the religions which believe in BHAKTI, in devotion ... Christianity says Christ comes from God. That is the meaning of saying that he is God's son -- he comes from above, he has been sent. And that is the meaning of Mohammed -- he is a prophet, a messenger, PAIGAMBAR. PAIGAMBAR means a messenger who comes from above, brings the message. He does not belong to this world; he comes like a ray of light into the darkness. And so is the concept of the Hindus' avatar -- Krishna, Ram -- they come, they come into the world.
The Buddhist, the Jaina concept is just the reverse. They say there is no God to come, and God is not a father and he cannot have a son. These are all very childish concepts for them.
And if you look through their eyes they are; these concepts are childish, very anthropomorphic, man-centered. You create God in your own image, as if God also has a family. He has a family -- the Trinity: God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost must be a woman; otherwise the family will not be exactly as it should be.
But why don't Christians call the Holy Ghost a woman? Male chauvinism. They cannot make a woman also part of the Trinity; it is difficult for them, very difficult for them. So to what have they reduced their God? It seems to be a homosexual family. All men, not a single woman there. It looks ugly. But my feeling is that the Holy Ghost must be a woman.
We create God in our own image.
Jainas and Buddhists say that there is no God and there is no God's family and nobody comes from there. Then what has one to do? One has to arise. God is in you like a seed, as a tree arises from the earth and goes higher and higher. God is not like rain falling, but a tree arising. Man has the seed. Man is potentially God. So when you work hard, you start growing.
These are the two concepts. That's why Meher Baba says, "... God descending in man (Avatar, Rasool, Christ) and man rising to be God (the Perfect Master, Sadguru, Qutub, Teerthankara)." But it has nothing to do with God.
WHEN I WAS A CHILD I WAS INOCULATED AGAINST THE MEASLES. CAN I STILL CATCH THEM NOW?
Yes, every child has been inoculated. Every child has been destroyed. Every child has been conditioned in such a way that he cannot get the measles I am talking about.
You have been brought up as a Christian or a Hindu. That very upbringing closes your doors. Even if Christ comes' to you, you will not be able to see him. The idea that Christianity has given to you about Christ is so false, it is so foolish. it is so inhuman, that if Christ comes to you, you will not be able to recognize him. You will not be able to get the measles even from Christ! And Buddhists have created the idea of Buddha so abstractly and they have so conditioned their children with that abstract idea, with that inoculation, that even if Buddha comes across you, you will not be able to recognize him. So it is not only that a Christian will not be able to recognize Buddha, Mahavir, Patanjali, he will not even be able to recognize Christ.
There is a beautiful story in one of Dostoevsky's novels, THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV. After eighteen hundred years Christ thinks, "Now almost half the world is Christian. If I go again I will be welcomed." The last time, they had treated him very badly, and it was natural because there was not a single Christian, there were only Jews; they tortured Jesus badly and they killed him. He must have still been thinking about the torture that he had met, but now he thinks, "Half of the world is Christian. Half of the world belongs to me; if I go now then people will simply fall at my feet. They will recognize a Christ has come back and he has fulfilled his promise."
So he comes, he comes to the small town of Bethlehem. Must be some old attachment with the town, some nostalgia of those days, where he had played and worked and had been a carpenter, must have loved women, played with friends. And he was a man who knew how to celebrate. He was a man who knew how to give parties, how to dance and sing and how to love people. And he was a man who knew how to drink. He had loved the small joys of life.
He was a real human being.
And he used to call himself son of man more than he used to call himself son of God.
So he comes to Bethlehem. Naturally he descends in front of the church. He stands there under a tree. Naturally he has chosen Sunday -- all the Christians are together and it will be easier for them to recognize him, because Christians believe in the Sunday religion. Six days they don't bother at all. Six days who will look at him? But Sunday they will be free and they will be able to look at him, so he stands under a tree. People come out of the church. They see a young man, looks like a hippie -- long hair. They come around; seems to be a stranger in the town. The closer they come, the more they are surprised -- looks like Jesus Christ. Pretending well. Seems to be an actor. And they laugh and they say, "You did well, but escape before the priest comes out. Otherwise you are bound to get into trouble."
But Jesus says, "What do you mean, did well? I am Jesus Christ."
And they laugh and they say, "It is okay, but you just escape. You seem to be crazy. Jesus Christ, and you? Yes, he has promised to come, but he will come sitting on the clouds, angels dancing and singing around. Where are the angels and where is the cloud? And what proof have you got?" Proof -- a passport, a visa. "Have you got any certificate from your father?"
Jesus had not thought about these practical things. He looks a little uneasy and nervous.
And before he can escape, the high priest comes. People very, very respectfully give way to the high priest. The high priest comes, looks at this young man, and tells him to come down.
He was standing under the tree on a platform. "Come down, you fool. What are you doing here?"
Jesus says, "Even you cannot recognize me!"
The priest says, "I recognize you very well." And he tells a few people, church attendants, "Take this man into the church. Seems to be dangerous, this man. Pretending that he is a Jesus Christ.? This is sacrilege. This cannot be tolerated. This man has to be punished! You cannot take Jesus so nonseriously."
Jesus cannot believe it. He says, "But I am the real one."
The Priest says, "You keep quiet."
Jesus is chained, put into a dark cell in the church. He starts thinking and brooding "There seems to be no difference at all. This is the same way the Jews had acted. But they could have been forgiven because they did not know me. But my people, Christians, they sing to me every day, they think of me every day, they wait for me every day, and I have come, and they can't even recognize me. They think I am a pretender?"
Now he feels even sorrier than he had felt on the cross, because those were alien people. If they had killed him it was understandable, but are these people going to kill him again?
In the middle of the night he cannot sleep. In the middle of the night comes the priest with a candle, opens the door, locks it again, comes close to Jesus, falls at the feet of Jesus. And Jesus feels relieved, "So, nothing to be worried about. A little late, but he has recognized me."
The priest says, "I know who you are, but I cannot recognize you in the marketplace. And mind you, you are not needed at all. We are doing perfectly well. And you are the old disturber. If you come you will destroy everything that we have done in eighteen hundred years. It has been a long struggle to establish Christianity -- and you have always been against establishment. You are not establishment. We will pray to you, we will sing your name, we will praise you like anything, but please don't come. And if you insist on being recognized in the marketplace, then be ready: tomorrow morning you will be crucified. We cannot tolerate such things."
Now Jesus is even more puzzled. This man recognizes him; he says, "I know that you arc the true one, but I cannot recognize you."
The old priest says, "Listen to me. I am old, older than you, I am more experienced. I know how people live, I know how people behave. Don't try to be foolish again. Simply escape before the morning -- and never come back again."
This is a beautiful parable.
Yes, I know you are inoculated. That's why it is so difficult to catch the measles. I am carrying here. It is so difficult to drop your resistance. You find a thousand and one rationalizations how not to surrender. Surrender does not mean anything else: it simply means a state of no resistance, a state of vulnerability, a state of opening. And let me repeat: God cannot be taught, it can only be caught. God is like measles.
You say, "When I was a child I was inoculated against the measles." Everybody has been inoculated. The society takes every care to make you closed. That's why the work of a Master is so hard. To attain to God is not hard, but because of this inoculation ... First the inoculation has to be undone, and that is the really hard thing. The poison that has been put into you in the name of inoculation has to be driven out of your system. That's why so many techniques are needed, meditations are needed, so that the poison oozes out of your system. The day your system is free of inoculation, suddenly you find the measles have started happening. And blessed are those who can get these measles.
I WOULD LIKE TO BE A WORLD TEACHER, THE SECOND TEERTHANKARA OF THE "TRADITION OF THE MOON" IS IT POSSIBLE TO EXPOSE THIS DESIRE TO THE PUBLIC?
First, if you really want to be a teacher, become a disciple. Unless you are a really deep disciple, you will not be able to become a teacher. If your disciplehood is perfect, one day suddenly you will find the Perfect Master has arisen in you. It comes only out of disciplehood.
But disciplehood is difficult because the ego has to be dropped. Everybody would like to become a world teacher. It seems so beautiful, it seems such a beautiful ego trip. Who will not enjoy being in such a position where he can teach, where he can guide?
But to where are you going to guide people? You are in the ditch. Resist the temptation.
Otherwise it happens that the blind people start leading the blind people, and they all fall into the dark ditch.
Yes, people are in need of guidance, so if you start exposing your desire to the public, you are bound to find disciples. There is no lack of disciples. If you expose yourself, that you are the world teacher, you will find suddenly that disciples have started to come. And their coming will help you to feel that maybe it seems you are really the world's teacher. Otherwise why are people coming? How can people be so foolish? By and by, looking into their eyes, feeling their confidence in you, you will start feeling confident about yourself.
I have heard about a man, of course a Jew, who opened the first bank in the world, and he became very rich and the business was beautiful. When he became very old somebody asked him, "How in the first place did you start a bank?" "Nobody, I wrote the name 'Bank' and put the sign on my door. I had no trust in it that it would work, but I had nothing to do. I was unemployed, so I thought why not try. And within a few hours a man came and deposited his money. I was surprised. I looked at the man; I thought this seems to be the greatest fool in the town. I may escape with his money. Then came another and another, and by the evening I had deposits of a lot of money. And looking into these people's eyes, I became so confident that I deposited my own money in the bank!"
That's how it works. If you just declare that you are a world teacher, you are bound to find disciples. And when the disciples come, certainly, you have to be truly a world teacher.
And sometimes it will happen that not only will disciples come, but something will start happening to the disciples. Then you will be really surprised. Somebody's KUNDALINI arising. Somebody seeing visions. Just by touching your feet, somebody feeling great silence.
It happened ... Ramkrishna loved this story very much.
There was a Master, his name was Tapobana, and Tapobana had a disciple who served him with irreproachable diligence. It was solely because of this diligence and the services he rendered that Tapobana kept him, for he found the disciple rather stupid.
One day, the rumor spread throughout the whole region that Tapobana's disciple had walked on water -- that he had been seen crossing the river as one crosses the street.
Tapobana called his disciple and questioned him: "Is what people are saying about you possible? Is it really true that you crossed the river walking on the water?"
"What could be more natural?" answered his follower. "It is thanks to you, Blessed One, that I walked on water. At every step I repeated your saintly name, and that is what upheld me."
And Tapobana thought to himself, "If the disciple can walk on water, what can the Master not do? If it is in my name that the miracle takes place, I must possess power I did not suspect and holiness of which I have not been sufficiently aware. After all, I have never tried to cross the river as if I were crossing the street."
And without more ado, he ran to the river bank. Without hesitation, he set his foot on the water, and with unshakable faith repeated, "Me, me, me ..." And sank.
So you are carrying a very dangerous desire.
The question is from Premprabhu. I know you. The first thing that you have to do is to learn the secrets of disciplehood; then one day the Master will be born. It is on the way, but don't be in a hurry; otherwise you will miss being a Master. If you try to become a Master, you will miss being a Master. The Mastership arises only when you learn slowly, slowly to dissolve into existence. The day you are not, you will be the Master, not before it. If you are, then still some work has to be done. You cannot be the Master. Only when you are absent does the Master become present in you.
Right now it will be good if you take a bath. To explain this to you, let me tell you this anecdote:
A sweet old lady visited a doctor and surprised him by saying, "Doctor, I think I am pregnant, and want you to verify it."
It was obvious to the doctor, because of her advanced age, that she was imagining things.
But he spoke to her kindly, "What makes you think you are pregnant?"
"I know. I know it because I feel life," she said as she patted her stomach.
To humor her along, the doctor asked her to disrobe. After a brief examination, he advised her to go home and take a bath and forget about the pregnancy.
"But doctor," she insisted, "I tell you I feel life, and you tell me to go home and take a bath? And I am feeling life!" And she again patted her stomach.
"Yes, yes," said the doctor gently, "you have got a bug in your navel."
So go and take a bath.
WHY AM I THE WAY I AM? I FEEL LIKE THE LOTUS WHO WANTS TO BE THE ROSE.
So what is the trouble? So you are the lotus who wants to be the rose -- and be it.
Whatever you are, you are. And it is to be accepted in absolute humility. Even if you are feeling that you are a lotus and you want to be the rose, so you are the lotus who wants to be the rose. What is is, and what ain't ain't! Relax into it, accept it, welcome it, and suddenly you will see a great peace surrounding you and a great silence arising in you and a great joy overflowing in you. We are missing joy because we are always trying to be something else.
Now, I can understand your question. I have been telling you, "Don't try to be something else," and I had told you, "A lotus is a lotus and a rose is a rose, and the lotus should not try to be a rose and the rose should not try to be a lotus; otherwise they will go neurotic." That's why you have asked the question.
You say, "I feel like the lotus who wants to be the rose." So you are thinking you have asked a very relevant question, and I can understand why you feel that way, but listen to my answer: so you are the lotus who wants to be the rose -- so be it. That's what I mean: don't try to be anything else. If this is you, then this is you. Now, you would like to try to remain the lotus and not to be the rose. But if that is coming naturally to you, you will create a tension in yourself. Whatsoever comes naturally is good, whatsoever comes of its own accord is good.
The question is from Shanti Sagar, and I can see the possibility of his deep acceptance of the fact. Accept it. If this is the way God wants you to be, then be this way. Then this is your destiny.
Once you start accepting things, tensions disappear, anxieties fall, anguish is felt no more.
And to be in a state of no anguish, no anxiety, no tension is to be religious.
NO EFFORT IS REQUIRED TO BE BORN.
NO EFFORT IS REQUIRED TO DIE.
NO EFFORT IS REQUIRED TO FALL IN LOVE WHY IS SUCH EFFORT REQUIRED TO KNOW GOD (THROUGH MEDITATION) WHEN THIS SEEMS TO BE THE MOST NATURAL THING?
IS GOD TRYING TO TEST US IN SOME WAY?
First thing: no effort is required in meditation either. Meditation also comes on its own accord. Through effort it never comes. To whom has meditation happened through effort? It will be almost like making an effort to love somebody. How can you make any effort to love somebody? The more effort you make, the more the love will be false, pseudo, just a pretension. Love has to arise naturally. So arises meditation.
But all meditators are not spontaneously in it -- and neither are all lovers spontaneously in it. In fact, psychologists say -- a tremendous discovery -- that if love is not talked about, ninety-nine percent of people will never know anything about it. If love is not talked about, if poets don't go on praising it, and if traditional literature is not available about love, ninety-nine percent of people will never be aware that anything like love exists. They will know about sex, but not about love. But because of the poets and because of the novelists and because of the films and the TV, love is talked so much about that everybody starts thinking that he is in love. That love is also false.
And the same is the case with meditation. Ninety-nine percent of people start meditating because meditation is talked about. There are times when it becomes fashionable. America is passing through such a phase. Meditation is talked about; everybody is doing meditation. If you are not doing it you must be missing something. You don't feel any need for it, it has not arisen in your being, you have not come to that point of evolution where meditation happens on its own accord; but everybody is doing it and everybody is going to the Masters and everybody is sitting silently. Somebody is doing zazen and somebody is doing TM and somebody is doing Dynamic. You must be missing something. So greed arises; out of greed you start making effort.
That effort is not for meditation. That effort is to gain something which you think will be gained out of meditation.
These phases come and go. These cults arise and disappear. These are just like fashions.
The real meditator has not come to meditate because others are meditating, but a deep need has arisen in him, has become a knocking in his heart, a continuous knocking. The whole world seems to be meaningless; he wants to go in. He wants to know who he is. Not because others have known! If there is nobody propagating meditation and no books are available and all books are destroyed and all Masters go and hide in the caves in the Himalayas, then too there will be a few people who will meditate, who will find out how to meditate on their own accord. Those will be the real meditators. And for them meditation will be just as easy as anything. It will be just like breathing.
When such a man comes, then any technique functions for him. I observe it every day. If somebody whose time has come to meditate ...
It is just like sexual maturity. A boy of three years has no idea about sex, and even if the boy of three years comes to see a man making love to a woman, he will not understand what is happening. At the most, he will think the man is trying to kill the woman; they are fighting or something. He will not have any idea what is happening. By the age of fourteen, suddenly something explodes in his biology. He is not aware of what it is, but something is happening.
He is the same no more.
And then follows a time, a period, of very much embarrassment because the boy does not know what exactly is happening. But something is happening, something very much unknown, something which is creating trouble, something which is hovering around; and he does not know what it is and how to tackle it and how to figure it out. It is a natural phenomenon; now sex has become mature; the sex gland is secreting.
If life goes naturally, beautifully, if there are no lifenegative teachers, if there are no politicians and priests to distract you -- then near about the age of forty-two, exactly as sex maturity comes, comes meditation maturity, Near about the age of forty-two, one starts feeling to fall withinwards. Near the age of fourteen, one starts falling towards the other, becomes extrovert. Love is extroversion; relationship is to think of the other. Meditation is introversion; meditation is to think of one's own self, of one's own center.
Between the age of fourteen and the age of forty-two there comes a change. By and by one lives life, knows what love is, knows its fulfillment and its frustration, knows its joy and its sadness, knows its beauty and its ugliness, knows that there are moments of great ecstasy and then great valleys of darkness. Then one starts by and by moving towards his own self, because to depend on the other can never be really ecstatic. If your joy depends on the other, that joy can never have the quality of freedom in it. And a joy which does not have the quality of freedom is not much joy. If you are dependent on the other, then there is a limitation.
And the joy that comes through love is momentary. You can meet with the other only for moments, and then again you are separate and you fall apart. Just in the middle of it you fall apart. Just for a moment you become joined together. Then one starts thinking, "Is there a way to become one with existence and never to fall apart again?" That's what meditation is. Love is joining with existence through another person for only moments. Meditation is getting joined together with existence eternally. "Yoga" means "to join together".
This has to happen somewhere in the deepest core. And then there is joy and then there is freedom. And then there is bliss and there is no dark valley following it. Then happiness is eternal, then celebration is eternal. But that moment comes. That too comes, remember.
So you say, "No effort is required to be born. No effort is required to die. No effort is required to fall in love." I would like to tell you, "No effort is required to fall into meditation either."
But if there are hindrances ... For example, in a primitive community, when the child is born there is no effort -- neither on the side of the child nor on the side of the mother. But that is not the case in a civilized society; effort is needed, the doctor's help is needed. Much effort is needed to help the child to be born, and the mother feels so much pain. And you don't know how much pain the child feels. If you want to know you can ask the Primal therapists how much trauma he passes through. That small tube, the small passage, from the mother's womb to the world is very painful. And the child wants to get out of it, and he thrusts hard to get out of it. And the mother feels pain because the passage is small and the child is big. And she wants to hold back, unconsciously. She cannot hold back -- in the nature of things the child has to come out -- but there is a struggle. The mother-and-the-child conflict has started. The child wants to get out and the mother is afraid and she is holding, she is controlling.
This is true about the civilized person, not true about the uncivilized. The uncivilized mother simply goes with it. And the uncivilized person has no need for Primal therapy, because he never passes through any trauma; the mother is helpful. The child simply floats and comes out. In fact, you will be surprised to know that primitive women know such pleasure and ecstasy in childbirth that the ecstasy that comes through sexual orgasm is nothing compared to it.
What is the ecstasy in sexual orgasm? A man is thrusting into the woman and her sexual energies start becoming vibrated, start becoming stirred. That is her sexual orgasm. That pulsation spreads all over the body. But it cannot be compared with the child thrusting and starting to come out. It is the same passage. And the child is far bigger than any male organ.
Naturally the whole being pulsates and the body goes through a great orgasm.
But only a primitive woman knows that, that it is great ecstasy to give birth to a child; it is not painful at all, it is joy. But when it is natural, then it is joy.
You say no effort is required to be born ...? Not for the civilized. The civilized person needs much effort to be born. Maybe the mother has been given tranquilizers, sedatives, she has been put into unconsciousness so she does not pass through great pain, or even the birth may be a Caesarian, the mother may have to be operated on. The doctor is needed, the nurse is needed, the midwife is needed. Why? To undo the wrong that the society has done.
You say no effort is required to die? You are wrong again. You can go and look in the American hospitals. Many old people are ready to die, and they want to die; they are not allowed to die. The question of euthanasia has become one of the most important questions for the future because medical science has really evolved and it can help a person to live for two hundred years or even more. He may not have much of a life, but he can hang on; he can hang on in a hospital. He will not be able to move or to talk or to love, but he can be just there vegetating. It will be tremendous misery and hell.
Now, if he wants to die, no society allows him to die. They say, "It is illegal; you cannot commit suicide." A person who has become one hundred thirty or one hundred forty years of age wants to die because his existence is simply torture. The society seems to be very sadistic ... they say, "You are not allowed to die; you will have to live." And the doctors will continue to help you to live because they have much compassion for you. Because of the compassion, you will have to live. Now, his wife is dead, his children are dead, his relations are dead, his friends are gone, and he is hanging on, for no purpose. He does not know what is going to happen tomorrow. Just hanging on and hanging on and hanging on ... Can you think of the misery that he will feel ...? Then there will be the need to commit suicide. He will have to find ways and means. Maybe he will have to bribe the doctor to cut the connection from the oxygen tank, or not to give him any more medicines. He may have to bribe someone; effort will be needed.
Natural death is natural, but man is not natural anymore! So nothing is natural -- not even death. If you die naturally, that will be a totally different thing. But you don't live naturally; how can you die naturally? Death has to be the culmination of whatsoever you have done in your life. If you have lived unnaturally, you will die unnaturally. A natural death is possible only if the life has been natural.
So the questioner says, "No effort is required to die." You are true. In a very primitive society no effort is required, but because of the compassion of the missionaries, primitives have disappeared. They have all become educated people now. Now effort is needed to die.
Why do so many people commit suicide? And the suicide rate goes on growing every year.
Why? Isn't natural death enough ...? Suicide means death with effort.
And the suicide rate will go higher and higher if the governments are too adamant to relax and they don't allow people to die and they force them into nursing homes and into hospitals and force them to live against their wishes. Then more and more suicides will be there.
Man has disturbed all that is natural.
And you say no effort is required to fall in love? That too is not true. That too is not true.
Looking at the TV continuously, looking at and watching films, reading poetry and novels, they all help you to fall in love. They give you the ideas; they nourish your so-called love. It is not natural.
The natural has disappeared. All that is nature has disappeared; everything is false and plastic. Hence meditation also has to be false and plastic. But real meditation never happens through effort.
Then what does one have to do? You have to do some effort in the beginning; otherwise you will never come close to any meditation technique, close to any meditation school. You will have to go through effort because you have become unnatural beings. Making effort will help you to understand what meditation is. It will not lead you into meditation; it will simply help you to understand what meditation is. It will help you to understand whether you can fall into that space called meditation easily or not.
If you feel that it comes very easily to you, that you can fall in that space and you can reach that space, effort will disappear by itself. There will be no need. You can simply sit with closed eyes and it is there. It is so natural. But only once it happens, then it is very natural.
And unless it has happened you will not be able to know whether you are a natural meditator or not; so effort will be needed.
Man has been made so artificial that everything will have to be made through effort. But by making effort you will come to feel and see whether you can easily float into it or not.
And you ask, "Why is such effort required to know God when this seems to be the most natural thing?" If it is the most natural thing, then it must have happened to the questioner. k has not happened; otherwise you would not be here. What is a God-realized man doing here ...? There is no point. Your seeking has stopped if you have known. Yes, once you know, it is very simple and easy, but until you know it, effort will be needed.
And remember, effort is not needed for meditation. Effort is needed to undo what the society has done to you. A dehypnosis is needed. The society has hypnotized you. The society has conditioned you; an unconditioning is needed. The society has made you dirty; a cleansing is needed. A good shower -- that's what your effort is. Once you have started feeling that meditation is your innermost quality, you can go into it anytime. It is so easy, as breathing.
Then all effort disappears.
And you ask, "Is God trying to test us in some way?" No. There is no God in the first place to test you. And even if there is a God, he is not in any way interested in testing and examining you. What is the point? And he is not a sadist to torture you.
Teachers are sadists; examiners are sadists. You can ask the psychologists. They say people who want to torture others, they become teachers. Some tendency to torture. And you cannot find more beautiful opportunities than small children. Torture them, test them, examine them -- and for their own good! And nobody can prevent you, because you are doing it for their own good.
God is not in any way interested in testing you. The problem is not arising because of God.
The problem is arising because of your society, your politics, your priesthood. They have made you in such a way that you cannot meditate. They have made such simple things impossible.
It is just like in the ancient days in China they used to put small shoes, iron shoes, on women's feet because that was the sign -- a smaller foot was the sign that the woman comes from a royal family. If the woman cannot walk rightly, she is royal! So no rich women were able to walk; they had small feet. And if you encase the feet in iron shoes, what are you doing? Great pain was suffered just to have small feet. Those feet cannot be beautiful. Those feet are ugly because the growth has not happened. How can something retarded be beautiful?
But that was thought of for thousands of years as beautiful, and women suffered it -- and they enjoyed it, that they had small feet.
Now that has disappeared. Now, if a royal woman, a rich woman in ancient China was to learn running, jogging, it would have been very difficult. Much effort would have been needed because she did not have the feet for it. Not that God is testing her -- just because the society is foolish and the society has conditioned her feet in such a way that she cannot run.
And the same is true about a thousand and one things. Your society conditions you in a certain way; then you cannot do certain things. When you want to do them, much effort is needed to undo what the society has done.
The society has taught you to think, and to think continuously, and to think skillfully and cleverly. It has not allowed you to know that there are spaces of no-thought, because the society is afraid. Those spaces of no-thought are very dangerous. Those spaces of no-thought are very crazy. Those spaces of no-thought will give you great joy, but will make you so rebellious. Those great spaces will make you very, very happy, but a happy person becomes free. He cannot be easily forced to do foolish things.
You cannot send him to the army. He will say, "Nonsense. I am so happy, why should I go and kill others and be killed?" You cannot send him to the military; he will simply say no.
You cannot force him to do foolish things for his whole life like a machine, He will say, "Why? I will do things that I like and that I love." An ecstatic person is a rebellion in the world. You cannot tell him to just be a clerk in an office and go on filing things, putting files upon files his whole life. He will say, "I will go and become a farmer because I love trees. If I am not going to be rich, it is okay. My richness will be of the inner." "I am going to become a fisherman. I will be on the open sea. I don't want to become a clerk."
But then things will be difficult for the society. Society needs clerks, society needs soldiers. Society needs very repressed people whose energies are boiling inside and have no way to go anywhere -- so that they can be put into any work. Society arranges things in such a way that you can become slaves.
The society is not here to make you free people, because with freedom politics will disappear, states will disappear. In a free world there will be no nation and there will be no need for nations and there will be no need for armies. Millions of people just wasting their life -- doing parade. Left turn! Right turn! Turn about! Millions of people -- doing it very happily and thinking they are doing great things, great service to humanity.
Who would like it? Free people would like to become singers or dancers. Good if you dance. But "turn about," "left turn," "right turn"? Have you ever seen any bird doing right turn, left turn? Have you seen any animal? They dance, yes, they dance, but dance is a totally different thing. People will dance and people will sing and people will go into the forest and chop wood, and they will go to the sea and fish and they will go to the mountains, they will do farming, gardening, they will be carpenters, weavers, spinners. But people will do something that they like to do.
Right now you are doing something that the government wants you to do. And subtle is the trick. The university, the school, the college -- subtle is the trick to force you into something which you never wanted to do. Then of course if you remain miserable it is just understandable. How can you be happy?
It is very rare that you come across a celebrating being because it is very difficult to escape from the prisons the society has created around you. In a natural world things will be just the reverse. It will be very difficult to find a miserable man. Why? There seems to be no need to be miserable. Buddhas will be just common. Rarely will you find a man who is not a Buddha, if things go naturally. But things are not natural.
That's why you even have to learn how to meditate, and you have to learn how to love, and you have to learn how to be happy, and you have to learn how to know God.
WHY ARE ALL THE RELIGIONS AGAINST SEX? AND WHY ARE YOU NOT AGAINST SEX?
All the religions are against sex because that is the only way to make you miserable. That is the only way to make you feel guilty. That is the only way to reduce you to being sinners.
Sex is one of the most fundamental truths of life, so fundamental that if somebody says it is wrong, he is putting you in trouble. You cannot get rid of it. Unless you become really enlightened you cannot get rid of it. And to become enlightened there is no need to get rid of it. In fact, if you go deeper into it, enlightenment will be easier because a man who has gone deep in love will be capable of going deep in meditation -- because in the deepest moments of love there are a few glimpses of meditation.
That's how meditation has been discovered. That's how SAMADHI, satori have been discovered. Because in a deep love affair, sometimes, suddenly, your mind disappears. There are no thoughts, no time, no space. You become one with the whole. People have carried those glimpses in their memories and they want to attain to those glimpses more naturally, more in their aloneness, because to depend on the other is not very good, and then it happens only for a moment. How to attain to that glimpse permanently, so it remains there, it becomes your nature?
Religions are against sex because down the centuries they have come to know that sex is the most enjoyable thing for man. So poison his joy. Once you poison his joy and you put this idea in his mind that something is wrong in sex -- it is sin -- then he will never be able to enjoy it, and if he cannot enjoy it, then his energies will start moving in other directions. He will become more ambitious.
A really sexual person will not be ambitious. Why? He will not hanker to become the prime minister or the president. Why? The energy that becomes ambition is repressed sex. A sexually free person will not try to become anybody. Whatsoever he is, he is beautifully happy. Why should he bother to hoard money ...? When you cannot love, you hoard money; money is a substitute. You will never find a money hoarder a loving person, and you will never find a loving person a money hoarder. It is very difficult. Money is a substitute; it is a pseudo love affair. You are afraid to make love to a woman or a man, so you make love to dollars, rupees, pounds.
Have you not seen when a miser comes across money? Have you seen the light that comes to his eyes, and how the face becomes luminous, as if he is looking at a beautiful woman or a beautiful man ...? Just give him a hundred-dollar note, a greenback, and see how he touches it, how he feels it. Saliva starts flowing. It is a love affair. Just look when he opens his money box and looks into it. He is facing God. Money is his God, his beloved.
And when an ambitious person is trying to become the prime minister or the president ...
Ambition is sex energy diverted, and the society diverts you. You say, "Why are all the religions against sex?" They are against sex because that is the only way to make you unhappy, guilty, afraid. Once you are afraid, you can be manipulated. Remember this fundamental rule: make a person afraid if you want to dominate him. First make him afraid. If he is afraid, you can dominate him. If he is not afraid, why and how can you dominate him?
How will he allow you to be the dominator? He will say, "Be gone. Who are you to dominate me?" First make him afraid.
And there are two things which make people very much afraid. One is death, so religions have exploited that. That you are going to die, that you are going to die, that you are going to die -- they persist, so they, they create a trembling. So you say, "What, what am I to do now?
How should I behave? How should I live?" And then they say there is hell and there is heaven.
Greed and profit, punishment and reward.
So one is death. But death is not yet, so you can postpone it. It is not much of a problem; you say, "Okay, when we will die we will see. And I am not going to die right now. I am going to live fifty years more, at least, so why bother?" And man does not have a very distant -- seeing vision; he does not have radar. He cannot see fifty years ahead. Yes, if you say to him, "Tomorrow you are going to die," he may become afraid, but fifty years? He will say, "Wait, there is no hurry. Let me do my things first." He may even start doing them faster because "Only fifty years are left? So let me do whatsoever I want to do. Eat, drink, be merry."
So the second thing, which is more fear-creating, is sex. Sex is already the problem. Death WILL be the problem; it is in the future. Sex has the problem in the present; it is already there.
Religions contaminate your sex energy. They start making you afraid that it is wrong, it is ugly, it is sin, it will drag you to hell. They want to dominate you; that's why they are against sex.
I have no idea to dominate you I am here to make you absolutely free. And there are only two things needed to make you free. One is that sex is not a sin. k is a God-given gift, it is a grace. And second, there is no death. You will be forever, because whatsoever is remains.
Nothing ever disappears. Forms change, names change, but the reality continues.
So I take away all fear. I don't want to make you in any way feel guilty, afraid. I want to take all fears from you so that you can live naturally, without any domination, so that you can live according to your own spontaneity. And that spontaneity will bring enlightenment. Then sex disappears, and then death disappears.
It has disappeared to me, so I know it will disappear to you also. So why be worried ...?
And it disappears more easily if you have known it rightly. knowledge of anything takes you beyond; you are finished with it. If you have not lived rightly, you will be as other religious people who have not lived rightly: they hanker, they desire, they dream, but they repress, so they remain clinging to their repressions -- they are never free of sex.
A beautiful story. Meditate over it:
The time is the not too distant future. We have finally destroyed ourselves by means of a nuclear holocaust. Everyone is waiting restlessly in a seemingly endless line leading up to the gates of heaven. At the head of the line, Peter is deciding which souls shall enter and which shall be turned away.
Some distance from the gates, an American stands in line wringing his hands in apprehension. Suddenly he hears a murmur beginning at the front of the line, and growing into a joyful rush of sound as it builds in volume moving down the line toward his place. He can make out sounds of celebration in many languages. He hears shouts of "Bravo," "Bravissimo," "Bis," "Encore," and "Hip, Hip, Hooray."
"What is it? What is it all about?" he implores of those up ahead of him in the line. At last someone closer to the gates shouts back to him, "Peter just told us: 'Screwing don't count!' ..."
Get it? Sex has nothing to do with your enlightenment. Love has nothing to do with your enlightenment. It is in fact going to help you because it will make you more natural. Be natural and don't cultivate any abnormalities, and you will be closer to God.
Hence I am not against sex, I am not against anything. I am only against unnatural attitudes, perverted attitudes. Be natural and normal, and allow God to flow though you. He will take you. His river is already moving towards the sea. Don't try to swim upstream, don't try to push the river. Go with the river. That's what surrender is, and that's what sannyas is.