The first question
THE FIRST THING -- THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL -- TO BE understood is that you are already in God. It is not a question of being in God: you are already there. Just as the fish is in the ocean, you are in God. God simply means the existence, that which exists.
In the ancient Hebrew, the word 'God' stands for that which is. 'G' stands for that, 'O' for which, and 'D' for is -- that which is. The word 'God' is tremendously significant. It does not indicate a person; it simply indicates a presence. And the presence is everywhere!
Life is synonymous with God, universe is synonymous with God. To be is to be in God -- there is no other way. To breathe is to breathe in God -- there is no other way. To sleep is to sleep in God and to wake up is to wake up in God -- there is no other way. You can choose to sleep, still you are in God. You can choose to forget God, still you are in God.
You can choose to deny God, still you are in God. Not to be in God is the only impossible thing -- the only impossible thing I say.
So it is not a question of becoming worthy. But I am not saying don't become worthy. I am not saying be lazy, lousy. I am not saying become an escapist. I am not saying don't contribute to existence. But your contribution to existence should not be a means to reach God -- that's what I am saying. Your contribution to existence should be in gratefulness that you are in God. It should not be a means to reach -- because you are already there. It should be an overflowing of joy because you are already there. Be very clear about the distinction.
Share your joy, your love, your ecstasy. Make life as beautiful as possible. Just out of thankfulness that God has chosen you to be, that you are allowed to be, that you are given life. What else can you do? If you can sing a song, sing it with your totality! If you can paint, paint, and put your whole heart in it. If you can dance, dance to abandon so you disappear completely in the dance and there is no more any dancer but only the dance remains.
But these are not means, let me remind you, to reach God -- these are just our poor thanks, our heartfelt gratitude.
Prayer is true when it comes out of gratitude. Prayer is false when it is just a means to persuade God, to seduce God, to ask for something from him -- even if you are asking God himself, then too your prayer is full of desire. And when prayer is full of desire, it is too heavy, it can't have wings. It can only grope in the darkness of the earth; it cannot soar high in the sunlit sky.
When prayer is without desire it has wings, it can reach the ultimate. And when prayer is without weight, when it is out of thankfulness, not desiring anything but just to show your gratitude for all that God has already done for you....
Garima, you say: IS IT ENOUGH FOR US TO JUST BE? BUT MY GUT-FEELING IS THAT I NEED TO DO SOMETHING TO BE WORTHY, TO CONTRIBUTE, TO GIVE...
It is not a gut-feeling: it is just what has been conditioned in you by the society. The society has been telling you continuously, persistently, day in, day out, from your very childhood -- in the school, in the college, in the university, in the church, the priest, the politician, the parent, the professor, they are all joined together in one single conspiracy:
to give you the idea that as you are you are unworthy. You have to do something, you have to prove yourself, then only will you be worthy.
This is the strategy of the society to exploit you; this is the society's ugly way to make slaves of you, not creators but slaves. But in beautiful, sophisticated ways you have been conditioned. Beautiful words covering very ugly realities. The ugly reality is that the society wants to use you as a slave, the society wants to manipulate you, the society wants to control you. It manages it in two ways.
On the outside is the state, the policeman, the magistrate; they enforce laws, but laws can never be absolute and man can always find ways to defy laws. Then the society creates another safeguard: it creates a conscience in you; it goes on hypnotizing you, saying again and again that you have to be worthy.
And the helpless child has no other way than to oblige, than to surrender. His whole life is at stake; he cannot survive on his own. He has to depend on the parents. He has to watch continuously what THEY want, what THEY appreciate, what is rewarded by them.
If it is rewarded by them, then he is worthy, he feels good; if he is punished by them, he feels unworthy, he feels bad about himself Slowly slowly the idea settles, sinks deep in your heart, becomes almost your second nature, that just to be is not enough. Trees are enough, animals are enough, birds are enough -- only man has this stupid idea that just to be is not enough. It is a very cunning tactics to destroy the freedom of the individual, to destroy the self-respect of the individual, to create in the individual a deep guilt feeling. It has gone deep, certainly -- so deep, Garima, that you misunderstand it as a gut-feeling. It is not a gut-feeling at all.
But I am not against being creative, remember. I am all for it. I want my sannyasins to be creative -- but for a totally different reason, with a totally different intention, with a totally new motive. I want you all to be creative; I don't want you to escape to the monasteries -- I want you to live in the world and live fully, and live the whole spectrum of life. Bring your total potential to expression! Bloom in as many ways as possible!
Because only then will you feel fulfilled.
But this has not to be as a means to attain something. This has to be just an expression of your joy, of your celebration. And then the quality changes. When you use something as a means, you are not really interested in it.
For example, if you are painting just to be appreciated, your focus is on appreciation, not on the painting; your heart is not there. You are already imagining, dreaming, how you will be appreciated. And because your constant worry is how to be appreciated, you will paint something which will not come out of you spontaneously -- you will paint something which others are bound to like. You will paint it according to them. You will become a very poor painter. You will not allow your genius to come out, because the genius is not easily appreciated, remember it. The more talented you are, the more genuine your intelligence is, the less is the possibility of being easily appreciated. The greater possibility is that you will be condemned. Why? Because a genius brings something new into the world, so new that old criterions don't fit with it. And the old criterions are deep-rooted in the human mind; they cannot easily go away.
The genius has to create not only his poetry, his painting, his dance, his music, he also has to create new criterions by which to judge them.
Vincent van Gogh was not appreciated in his time -- one of the greatest painters the world has ever known. He lived in utter poverty; his brother supported him. But his brother was not much in favour of his painting either, because it was not paying -- so what is the point of doing something which does not pay? On the contrary, because of his paintings people used to think that he was mad. He was painting in such a new way -- as it had never been done before. He had his own vision. He was a genius! In his paintings, trees are so high that they reach to the stars; stars are very small and trees are very big. Now who is going to appreciate this painting?
Any schoolchild can say, "This is nonsense! Stars are not so small, and trees -- who has seen such big trees? reaching above the stars?" But Vincent van Gogh used to say, "Whenever I see a tree, this is my feeling: that the earth is trying to reach the stars, to transcend the stars, through the trees. These are the hands of the earth reaching for the unknown, for the transcendental. And I love my earth, hence my stars are small and my trees are big. I am PART of this earth, I am also a hand of my earth. To me stars are small."
This is not a question of astronomy, physics, mathematics: it is a totally different vision.
Trees are seen as ambitions of the earth, love affairs of the earth with the sky. But who is going to appreciate him?
In one of his paintings the sun is painted black. Now who has ever seen a black sun? But he used to say that the sun that shines outside IS black compared to the sun that is inside.
It is a comparison. Kabir will agree; Kabir says, "When I saw the inner sun, then I knew that the outer sun is just a black hole. When I saw my inner life, then I knew that the outer life is nothing but another name for death."
The moment the inner is known, suddenly the outer starts fading away. Now, van Gogh is talking in d mystic way -- he is a mystic -- but who will understand? It will take years for people to understand. Van Gogh lived and died unappreciated, unknown. He remained absolutely unknown.
You will be surprised to know: now each of his paintings is so valuable that no other painting can compete. Even Picasso's paintings are not so valuable -- millions of dollars for a single painting. In his own day, in his whole life, he could not sell a single painting.
He had to distribute his paintings to friends or to the man who used to give him a cup of tea in the morning free of charge. Those same paintings now cost millions of dollars.
People had discarded them; people accepted them out of politeness, because as far as they were concerned it was all junk -- so why collect it?
Vincent van Gogh committed suicide when he was only thirty-three. It was impossible to live; he could not earn a single pie. His brother used to give him enough money, just enough, to exist, to survive. But he needed money to paint -- for the canvas and the colours and the brushes. So this was his arrangement: out of seven days... he used to get money every Sunday for one week. Every week, for three days he would eat and for four days he would fast, so that money could be saved to purchase canvases, colours, and other things that he needed.
To me, van Gogh's fasting is far more significant than all the fasts that have been done by your so-called saints. THIS fasting has something beautiful in it, something spiritual in it.
When your so-called saints go on a fast, it is a means; they are fasting so that they can reach heaven and enjoy all the heavenly joys. But van Gogh's fasting has a totally different quality to it: his love to create.
And why did he commit suicide? He committed suicide... that too has a tremendous significance. It is no ordinary suicide. In fact, a man like van Gogh cannot do anything in an ordinary way. He committed suicide because he said, "Whatsoever I wanted to paint, I have painted. Now, just to exist is pointless. I have given that which I came to give; now I can go back to the original source. There is no need to live in the body any more. I have contributed."
Years and years passed, then slowly slowly he was appreciated. Now he is thought to be one of the greatest painters in the world.
And this has been so with all the geniuses: in their own time they are condemned -- condemned by the masses, condemned by the crowd, condemned by the priests, condemned by the politicians. They are appreciated by only very few people -- sensitive, receptive, intelligent -- only by very few people who have the capacity to see something that is new, unknown, that has never happened before; only by very few people who can put their minds aside and look.
I would like you to be creative, but don't be bothered about appreciation, don't be bothered that you will be gaining fame, name through it. Whenever the motive is to gain something out of creativity, you are no more interested in it. You become a technician; you are no more an artist. You may do the painting, and you may do it perfectly, technically perfectly, but it will not have the soul, it will not be alive, because you will not be there. You will be looking all around for the appreciators to come. And you will always paint accordingly, so that they can appreciate.
There are people who say only that which people want to hear. These people will be very famous, known, appreciated, respected, but they are mediocre people. The genius speaks that which arises in his heart; he does not care a bit whether anybody is going to like it or not. He says it straight, he says it direct -- he never thinks of the results and the consequences.
Be creative in that sense and your creativity will become an offering to God. God has given you so many gifts, Garima; something HAS to be done just in deep thankfulness.
But remember: with no motive, not as a means but as an end unto itself. Art for art's sake, and creation for creation's sake, and love for love's sake, and prayer for prayer's sake.
And that's how one, slowly slowly, becomes religious. The religious person lives in the moment; he has no worry about the future, not even about the next moment. When it comes, it will come. He does not prepare for it. He lives this moment, and out of this moment the next will be born. And if this moment has been beautiful, if this moment has been a benediction, the next is going to be, of course, a deeper benediction, a greater blessing.
Garima, you say: I HAVE THIS FEELING THAT I NEED TO DO TO BE WORTHY...
THE NEED TO DO CAN BE A GUT-FEELING, because we have too much energy and the energy wants to dance, the energy wants to paint, the energy wants to sing, the energy wants to DO something. But this can't be a gut-feeling: I NEED TO DO TO BE WORTHY. That is a feeling that has been put inside you -- like scientists put electrodes in the brain and then a person can be manipulated.
Just like that the society has been going on down the ages -- it creates a conscience in you: "Do this, this is right, approved, respected. Don't do that; that is unworthy of you.
You will be condemned if you do it." And a kind of division is created within you between right and wrong, between the 'should' and the 'should-not'.
And the problem is that no 'should' can ever be a fixed phenomenon; it changes with life.
No right is always right, and no wrong is always wrong, so to decide beforehand is dangerous. I don't teach you conscience; conscience means right and wrong are like things, decided: this is a rose and that is a lotus, and this is a stone and that is a diamond - - decided. Decided for ever! Right and wrong are not things. They change. Life is a riverlike phenomenon. What is right today may not be right tomorrow.
One Zen Master asked his disciple, "What is God?"
The disciple bowed down, remained silent. The Master blessed him and said, "This is good. I am happy."
Next day, again, the Master asked the disciple, "What is God?"
And of course now he had learnt, so he bowed down, an even deeper bow, remained quiet, even closed his eyes, and the Master hit him hard on the head and said, "You stupid!" The disciple was puzzled. He said, "But what has happened? Yesterday you were so happy, and the answer is the same -- even better than yesterday!"
And the Master said, "That is where you went wrong: yesterday was yesterday, today is today. Now you are simply repeating a ready-made formula. Now you are not being true, not being spontaneous, not being responsible. Now you have learnt a trick. How can the same answer be right today? Twenty-four hours have passed, so much water has gone down the Ganges!"
Existence is dynamic, it is not static -- it is not a stagnant pool. It is a constant continuum, flow. No answer can ever be fixed -- and that's where the society deceives you: it gives you fixed answers. with fixed answers one thing is good -- that's why we cling to them -- they give you a sort of certainty, security, safety. You can remain certain that you are right.
But life goes on changing, And your 'right' remains fixed. And then your whole life becomes a misery, because your answers never fit the questions. Then your whole life is an effort to put square plugs into round holes -- your whole life you go on trying. And it is very frustrating. And the reason is: you never see that life is changing.
And the really conscious person changes with life. The really conscious person cannot afford to be consistent. Consistency is part of a mediocre mind. I am not saying be deliberately inconsistent; I am simply stating a fact, that to be consistent means to be stupid, to be consistent means to remain with the past, blind to the present. If you look at the present you have to change with life.
Hence you will find a thousand and one contradictions in Jesus' statements, and so is the case with Gautam Buddha. And that has always been the case with the enlightened people, because they don't have any ready-made answer. You hanker for the ready-made answer so you can jump upon it, you can hold it tight in your hand and you can be certain.
You suffer from uncertainty -- and uncertainty is the nature of life. Certainty is part of death. Be certain and you will be dead. Remain flowing, remain uncertain, remain available to the changing circumstances, and you will remain more and more alive.
To be totally alive means to live in the moment with no past interfering at all -- then you respond to the moment and the response comes from your consciousness not from your conscience. Conscience is a deception; conscience is a social trick. The society has created the conscience. And the function of the Master is to destroy your conscience so that your consciousness can be freed.
Your gut-feeling is not a gut-feeling. You have been deceived. There is no need to do anything to be worthy -- you are already worthy. If you were not worthy, you would not be here at all. God has given you birth, has created you -- must have seen some worth in you. If you are unworthy, then God is not a very original creator, then he is not much of a creator either. How can he create an unworthy person?
Society makes you unworthy, because that is the only way to exploit you -- to make you feel unworthy. Then you will try hard to become worthy because that is the only way to gain self-respect. And to become worthy you will follow the dictates of the society.
Society creates fear in you -- fear of being unworthy, fear of being condemned, fear of being left alone, fear of being nobody, fear of being anonymous. And then you are ready to yield, to bow down, to any kind of nonsense.
Simon's parents were in despair when he flunked out of school. They tried sending him to every school in the city -- private, public, progressive, military academy -- but he took no interest. Finally they tried a Catholic school. When Simon came home with his first report card, his parents were surprised to see a straight A report.
"What happened?" they asked him.
"Well," he replied. "When I saw that poor guy nailed to the cross everywhere I looked, I knew they meant business!"
Create fear... create as much fear as you can. That has been the policy of the society.
Hells have been created just to catch hold of you; heavens have been created just to reward those who will follow the dictates. All are imaginary: there is no hell, no heaven.
But these rewards and punishments are subtle strategies, and they have worked up to now, and they have destroyed all human dignity.
This is not a gut-feeling in you. Your gut-feeling and the conscience created by the society have got mixed up. The gut-feeling is to DO something -- yes, that is a gut- feeling. When energy is there, one wants to do something; that is natural. Energy wants to be expressed. But WITH the motive to be worthy, that is a conscience part which is getting mixed with your gut-feeling. Be clear about it!
You have been messed around by the society in every possible way. You have been confused so much that you have to depend on somebody. Either you go to the priest -- in the old days you used to go to the priest. In India they still go to the priest. In the West the new priest has arisen: the psychotherapist, the psychiatrist, the psychologist -- go to him.
And the miracle is that the priest is just like you, maybe even more in a mess than you are, but still you go to him to find good advice. Yes, he repeats good advice like a parrot.
Your psychotherapist, your psychiatrist, your psychoanalyst, may be in deeper anxiety, in more tensions than you are.
Just the other night one of my sannyasins was asking me, "Osho, you had told me last time when I came here, 'Look for the lighter side of life, count the roses, ignore the thorns. They are there, take note of them, but don't pay too much attention to them.' But my psychoanalyst has said, 'This is dangerous, this is going to repress your emotions.' So I am puzzled -- what to do?"
I told him, "You just wait a few days, your psychoanalyst will be here...!" But I was not aware that this sannyasin himself is a psychoanalyst. Just later on Vivek told me that he himself is a psychoanalyst. Now, one psychoanalyst going to another psychoanalyst -- for what? And that one may be going to somebody else.
THE FOUNDER OF PSYCHOANALYSIS, Sigmund Freud, was one of the most pathological persons you can imagine -- very superstitious. You will laugh if you go into his biography about how such a man could become the founder of psychoanalysis, and how such a man could be trusted, that what he was saying was true.
One of his friends gave him the idea that just as each woman has a twenty-eight-day period when her menstruation comes, exactly like that each man has a twenty-three-day period. There is some truth in it -- not twenty-three days, exactly twenty-eight days. Now much more research has been done on it.
Those four, five days when a woman goes through the period are sad, depressive, dull, negative -- exactly like that man also goes into a negative state each month for four, five days. Of course, his period is not very visible, but it is there; it is a psychological fact. It should be there, because men and women are not very different.
So the friend's idea was on the right track. Sigmund Freud suddenly got one idea -- lying down in his bed, he was thinking about twenty-eight and twenty-three -- suddenly an idea flashed in his mind: twenty-eight plus twenty-three means fifty-one, and he could not sleep the whole night. He became certain by the morning that he was going to live fifty- one years -- a very great gut-feeling. And he started talking about it twenty-eight plus twenty-three -- fifty-one years and he will die.
And the fifty-first year came and passed... and he did not die. Then something else had to be found. The day he was expecting to die, his phone number was changed and the end of the phone number was sixty-two. So he said, "Look, another indication: so now I am going to die at sixty-two." But that day also came and was passing.
But the people like Sigmund Freud are not easy... they will find something or other. He was staying in a hotel and the number of the room was eighty-two, so he said, "Look, another indication from above -- at eighty-two I am going to die -- that is absolutely certain."
And that day also passed. He died when he was eighty-three.
Such superstitious people... he was so afraid of death, that's why he was so much concerned about it. He was so afraid of death that five times in his life he fainted publicly because somebody started talking about death. He used to faint flat on the ground. Just the IDEA of death! And such a pathological, neurotic person became the founder of psychoanalysis.
And he used to project himself: whatsoever was true for him he thought was true for every human being. That is the very limit of nonsense. All that he has said about man is not about man -- it is about Sigmund Freud. And Sigmund Freud is a single individual; he does not represent man. Nobody represents man! Nobody can ever represent man.
So maybe a few people are helped by psychoanalysis, very few people -- rarely have I seen a person who has been helped by psychoanalysis -- but those are the people who are of the same type as Sigmund Freud.
And now much research has happened and it has been found that even those people who are helped are not helped by psychoanalysis but by something else. In one experiment, twenty-five persons were given psychoanalysis for six months, and twenty-five persons were just kept waiting and were told, "Soon your psychoanalysis will start." They were all suffering from the same kind of illness, and the result was very surprising.
The twenty-five who were given psychoanalysis were helped a little bit, but the twenty- five who were kept waiting were helped far more. Just waiting helped them far more. In fact, this secret has been known in the East, it has been practised for centuries. If you take a mental case into a Zen monastery, they put him in isolation for three weeks; nobody talks to him -- just the opposite of psychoanalysis -- nobody talks to him, nobody listens to him. They just keep him isolated; somebody goes, absolutely silently, and puts the food there, comes back. He has to live with himself for three weeks... and miracles have been happening down the ages.
Just putting him there for three weeks in isolation, slowly slowly he cools down -- no psychoanalysis, no therapy, just isolation. In fact, he was suffering too much from people -- the stress of being in a crowd continuously.
Psychoanalysis may not be the real cause of help, but the length of time -- two years, three years, four years, the psychoanalysis continues. It continues as long as you can afford it; it depends on you. If you have enough money, it can continue your whole life.
In fact, psychoanalysis never comes to a termination. It cannot come, because the mind is very inventive. It goes on inventing more and more rubbish. It starts enjoying, slowly slowly, because the more rubbish it brings up, the more happy the psychotherapist feels.
Seeing him happy, it obliges more.
Whatsoever the expectations of the psychotherapist are, the patient fulfills them. Patients are really patient people, very obliging, courteous. Good people they are! That's why they are suffering; they are not hard people -- not hardware but software. Because they are soft they are suffering. The hard guys are not suffering; the hard guys make others suffer. The soft guys become victims. Three, four years Lying down on the couch, talking nonsense, waiting, waiting, waiting -- it helps one to unwind, one becomes a little more relaxed.
And somebody is listening to you very attentively, at least pretending that he is listening very attentively.
My own observation is that the attention of the psychotherapist is of immense value. This is a world where nobody gives you any attention. If the husband wants to talk to the wife she says, "There is so much work to be done in the kitchen -- and the dishes have to be washed and I have no time." If the wife wants to talk to the husband, he is tired from the whole day at the office and the work and the traffic, and he wants to watch the TV.
A survey says that the average husband/wife communication in America is only thirty- three minutes per day -- and that is the average. And in that thirty-three minutes you can count fighting, nagging, pillow-throwing, and every kind of thing. Thirty-three minutes only between husband and wife -- out of twenty-four hours?
A great need has arisen that somebody should listen to you. Hence the psychotherapist helps -- he is a professional listener. That is the only quality that he has, the only qualification really. You can start the business -- no other qualification is needed -- if you know only one thing: how to be attentively sitting there by the side and listening. Just listening attentively will help. The person starts feeling, "I have some worth.
Somebody..." And the more he has paid, the more it helps because the person who is listening is no ordinary psychotherapist, not run-of-the-mill."... Somebody special, very famous, world-known -- and listening so attentively to me?" The very idea gives worth, "Then I must be saying something immensely beautiful."
Gibberish he may be bringing up. That's what in psycho-babble is called 'free association' -- anything that comes to your mind, bring it up. If such gibberish is being listened to so attentively, a great need is fulfilled -- he feels worthy, he feels important, he feels somebody.
Remember, this society has messed you up so much that man as such is almost on the verge of going insane. All love has disappeared, all communication has disappeared, all friendship has disappeared, all aesthetic sensitivity has disappeared. People have become like zombies. They talk to each other yet they don't talk, they don't meet.
This society is an ill society, and when I say 'this society' I mean all the societies that exist in the world, more or less, in this way or that, they are ill -- because in the past, for centuries, we have been creating a model of man which is wrong. We are giving people ideals and saying "Unless you fulfill THESE ideals you will never be worthy." And those ideals are impossible. We are giving people ideas of being perfect. and once the idea of being perfect enters in one's being, it turns one into a neurotic.
Accept your limitations, accept your imperfections. That's what it means to be a human being! And accept yourself as you are -- with joy, not in helplessness. Because GOD accepts you -- this is my basic teaching -- God accepts you, accept yourself; love yourself. Let there be a great upsurge of self-love. And out of that love you will start becoming creative; a person who loves himself is bound to become creative. I am not saying he will become famous; I am not saying that he will be a Picasso or an Ezra Pound or a Pablo Neruda, no -- he may be, he may not be. But that is irrelevant! The real thing is to enjoy creativity. Whatsoever you do, do it with joy, bring your total intelligence to it, be meditative in it.
Garima, you say: AND YOU SAY THAT GOD IS WITHIN ME. I REALIZE I AM LOOKING INSIDE FOR SOME CONCEPT I GOT FROM THE OUTSIDE.
THAT KIND OF GOD YOU WILL NEVER FIND WITHIN YOU. You will have to drop all the concepts that have been given to you from the outside, because God is not a person. No picture of God exists, no statue is possible. God is an experience! If you have the idea of a God which your parents and your society have given to you, you will go inside with that idea and that idea will be the hindrance -- it will not allow you to see that which is. And God IS that which is. It needs no concepts to see; concepts blind you. Drop all concepts.
If you really want to go in, go as an agnostic. This word is beautiful. You must have heard the word 'gnostic'; 'gnostic' means one who knows -- gnosis means knowledge.
'Agnostic' means one who knows not; 'agnostic' means one who knows only one thing, that he knows not. Be an agnostic -- that is the beginning of real religion.
Don't believe, don't disbelieve. Don't be a Hindu, and don't be a Jaina and don't be a Christian, otherwise you will go on groping in darkness for ever and for ever. Unless you drop all ideologies, all philosophies, all religions, all systems of thought, and go inside empty, with nothing in your hand, with no idea.... How can you have an idea of God?
You have not known him. Just go... with a great desire to know, but with no idea of knowledge with intensity to know, with a passionate love to know what is there, but don't carry any ideas given to you by others. Drop them outside. That is the greatest barrier for the seeker on the path of truth.
God is there but you cannot see because your eyes are blinded by the concepts given to you. God is not a Jew, so if you have a Jewish idea of God you will not find him. I have heard a beautiful story about a Sufi mystic, Farid:
One night he dreams that by the grace of Allah, he has reached Paradise. And the whole of Paradise is decorated, millions of lights.and flowers everywhere -- some celebration is going on -- and great music. He enquires, "What is going on?"
And they say, "This is God's birthday -- we are celebrating it. You have come at the right time."
So he stands underneath a tree to see what is happening, because a great procession starts moving on the road. A man is sitting on a horse; he enquires, "Who is this man?" and they say, "Don't you know him? He is Hajrat Mohammed."
And then millions and millions of people behind him, and he asks, "Who are these people?" and he is replied to. "They are Mohammedans, followers of Mohammed."
And then comes Jesus, and millions are following him. And then comes Krishna on his golden chariot, and millions again are following him. And so on and so forth... the procession continues, continues, continues.
And then finally, in the end, on an old donkey an old man is coming. And nobody is behind him; he is just alone. Farid starts laughing looking at this man -- it is hilarious:
nobody following him. And why should he be going on his donkey? He asks, "Who are you, sir? I have seen Mohammed, Christ, Krishna, Mahavira, Buddha -- who are you?
You look like a kind of joke! And nobody following you."
And the old man is very sad and he says, "Yes, I am God. This is my birthday. But some people have become Mohammedans, some have become Christians, some have become Jews, some have become Hindus -- nobody is left to be with me."
Just out of shock, Farid woke up. He told his disciples the next day, "Now I am no more a Mohammedan. The dream has been a great revelation. Now I am no more part of any organized religion -- I am simply myself. I would like to be with God, at least one person following him."
If you have a certain idea of God, you will not be able to see him. Your very idea will become a barrier. Drop all ideas that you have gathered from without; only then can you go within.
You say: IT IS LIKE LOOKING DOWN INTO A WELL IN THE NIGHT. I SEE REFLECTIONS AND I THINK IT IS THE BOTTOM, BUT IT IS ONLY THE SURFACE. EVEN WHEN I KNOW I NEED ONLY LET AND WAIT RATHER THAN LOOK FOR ANYTHING...
TRUE, GARIMA, STICK WITH THAT INSIGHT. If you are looking for something you will not be able to see, because the very idea of looking for something means that you have an idea of what you are looking for. To look for something is a kind of blindness.
Seeing happens only when you are not looking for anything in particular; you are just there, open, available. So whatsoever is is revealed. Don't look for God if you want to see him. Just wait -- let and wait. God is a happening! If you are silent, open, loving towards your own being, conscious, it is going to happen. Any moment, when you are in the right tuning with existence, it will happen.
God is there: you are there: just right tuning. And that's what I am teaching to you: right tuning. Dropping all ideologies helps you to be rightly tuned. And once you are in tune with existence, that is bliss. You have come home....
IT IS ALREADY LATE! Naresh, you have already waited too long. I have known you for years, you have known me for years. For what are you waiting? The meeting should happen now. Still you are asking:
IS IT TIME THAT I SHOULD BECOME A SANNYASIN?
Are you dead? If you have any life in you, then this is the time. NOW is the time!
Remember Kabir -- just the other day Kabir was saying: Now, wake up -- wake up in the now, wake up here! Don't postpone.
Branigan was driving down the road. By the way the car weaved in and out of traffic, you could tell that Branigan was pickled to the gills.
"Where do you think you are going?" asked the motorcycle cop who finally stopped him.
"I am coming home -- hic -- from a New Year's Eve party!"
"Are you kidding?" asked the cop. "New Year's was three weeks ago!"
"I know," said Branigan. "That's why I figured I better be getting home now."
Is it not time, Naresh, to be getting home now? You have waited already too long, too many lives. Sannyas is nothing but a passionate jump into the enquiry for the truth, a passionate search from where we come and to where we are going and who we are. That's what sannyas is all about.
But you seem to be almost in a kind of sleep, and that's how everybody else is. The worldly dreams still seem to be important to you, hence the question. The world still seems to intoxicate you; money, power, prestige, are still haunting you. And you cannot be a sannyasin unless you are utterly frustrated with the world. And remember, I am not teaching escapism from the world: I teach transcendence, not escape. Be in the world, but don't be of it.
A sannyasin is a person who lives in the world but lives meditatively, and meditation creates a distance. Then you can go on doing all kinds of things but you don't become intoxicated, you don't become identified with them. To live in awareness, without any intoxication with money, power, prestige, is the way of the sannyasin.
Hallihan and Flannigan were having a few at a new tavern in town. After an hour of heavy imbibing, Hallihan asked the bartender for the washroom.
"Go to the door, left of the elevator," said the barkeeper, "then walk down two steps and there you are."
Hallihan forgot to turn left. He opened the elevator door, took ONE step and fell down the shaft.
Ten minutes later, Flannigan followed Hallihan and saw him lying at the bottom of the shaft.
"Look out for the SECOND step," shouted up Hallihan. "It's a son of a bitch!"
And you have taken many second steps, many many times. You have fallen many many times. Are you not yet frustrated, Naresh? Are you not yet finished with the world? Are you still carrying some hope deep down in your heart? Are you still expecting that the world is going to deliver something to you? It has never happened -- to no one has it happened. And it is not going to happen to you.
The world only promises, it never delivers the goods. That's its illusoriness; that's why in the East we call it maya. 'Maya' does not mean that it is not there -- it is very much there, but it only promises. It never gives anything.
I have heard a story:
A man worshipped for many many years -- he must have tortured God as much as possible. Morning, afternoon, evening, he was praying and praying and crying and weeping. And, finally, God has to appear, and he said, "What do you want? Be finished!
Just take it and forgive me and forget all about me.
And the man said, "I want something, a power, so that whatsoever I need is immediately fulfilled."
So God gave him a box, a golden box -- exactly like the magic box that I give to you -- and told him, "Whenever you are in need you can ask. Whatsoever you ask, the box will immediately give it to you."
The man forgot all about God, he even forgot to thank him. God waited a little... but the man was no more interested in him. He was looking at the box and he started asking, "Give me ten thousand rupees!" Suddenly ten thousand rupees appeared, and he was very happy.
And it continued: whatsoever he wanted used to come out of the box. Then one day, one SADHU -- one wandering monk -- stayed with the man. The sadhu, the wandering monk, also had a box -- bigger than the man's -- exactly the same shape. The man became interested. He said, "What is this?"
The sadhu said, "This is a magic box. You ask anything. it gives you double."
"Double!" The man asked, "If I ask ten thousand rupees, He said, "It gives twenty thousand."
He fell at the feet of the monk and said, "You are a monk, you have renounced the world -- can't you exchange? I have a small box: it gives only whatsoever you ask."
So they changed the boxes. It was late at night, so the man thought, "In the morning I will try out this new box." And in the morning he tried; he asked for ten thousand rupees...
and the box said, "Why not twenty thousand?" And the man said, "Okay, twenty thousand." And the box said, "Why not forty thousand?" And the man said, "Okay, forty thousand." And the box said, "Why not eighty thousand?"
Then he became afraid, because nothing was coming out! He rushed to see the monk, but he had left; he had disappeared in the night.
In the East, we have called the world 'maya', illusory -- it is like that box of the monk.
You ask anything and it says, "Okay, you can have double." But it never delivers any goods; it only promises. The world is almost like the politicians -- they promise but they never fulfill Naresh, are you not yet finished? Have you not seen it happening many times? Each time you are living an illusion, hoping, dreaming, sooner or later disillusion comes in, frustration comes in. But rather than seeing the reality of this world, you immediately jump on another illusion -- you immediately start dreaming again.
Sannyas is seeing the reality of the world, that it never fulfills, that it cannot fulfill, that it is beyond its capacity to fulfill... one turns in. One has been a beggar begging from this door and that door; when one turns in, begging disappears -- one becomes an emperor.
Then all is yours.
And you need not even ask for it -- it is simply yours. This whole existence is yours, its whole beauty, its whole splendour, its starry nights, its sunsets and sunrises, its flowers and birds -- all is yours. Not in the sense that you possess it, but in the sense that you can enjoy it.
A sannyasin learns how to enjoy, and the worldly mall learns only how to possess.
Remember these two things; they are basic. The worldly man only thinks of how to possess more -- he never enjoys because he is concerned with pos-sessing more and more and more. The sannyasin enjoys, whatsoever he has he enjoys -- and he enjoys the whole existence -- which need not be possessed.
Do you think first you have to possess the starry night, then you will enjoy it? Do you think first you have to possess all the birds, then you will enjoy their songs? This existence need not be possessed! And you can still enjoy. It is YOURS if you want to enjoy -- it is not yours if you want to possess. To possess it is aggressive; it is aggression on God. To enjoy it is prayerful.
The last question:
IT ALL DEPENDS ON YOU: remember to be in orange and with the mala, because it is going to be difficult to recognize you. Just think of all the men and all the women that have existed... they will all be there. There is going to be much difficulty in recognizing people, so just you remember that thing.
A timid, conservative, unmarried shopkeeper suddenly came into a small fortune.
Overnight, this mild-mannered, mincing little man had all the money he could possibly use.
Bravely he snapped his fingers, clicked his heels, and decided to become a swinger. He bought expensive, mod clothes, had his hair styled, rented a lavish beach villa in Florida, and got a dark, virile tan.
Driving home from the Rolls Royce dealer in his new car, wearing his flashiest sports clothes and swingiest sunglasses, he was suddenly struck dead by a lightning bolt. Right there in the Florida sun -- a fatal lightning bolt.
Up at the Pearly Gates, the shopkeeper angrily faced Saint Peter. "Why would you pick on me like that? I have been a good man all my life. The Lord has always watched over me."
"He was trying to watch over you," explained Saint Peter. "He just didn't recognize you."
So, Suresh, please remember it, don't forget: be in orange and with the mala so that I can recognize you.
But why are you worried about the Last Judgement Day? I teach you about the immediate and you ask about the Last Judgement Day! I teach you the immediate is the ultimate and you ask about the Last Judgement Day. In reality there can be no day which can be the last. The world never begins, never ends -- it is a continuum.
Secondly, the very word 'judgement' is ugly. God is not a judge, God is a lover -- and the lover cannot be a judge. Jesus said to his disciples: Judge ye not! Why? Because the moment you judge you start destroying the other. Who are you to judge? The moment you judge you start comparing, and who are you to compare?
Each individual is unique, and each individual brings variety to existence. The world will not be better if there are only saints and saints and saints. It will be one of the most boring worlds if there are only saints and saints and saints. The sinners also contribute something: they make it a little salty, they bring a little taste to life.
God is not a Judge, god is a lover, and how can love judge? Be assured that in the eyes of God there is no sinner, no saint -- in the eyes of God all are alike. And when his sun rises, it rises for the sinners too, as much as for the saints. And when his roses bloom, they give fragrance to the saints as much as to the sinners. No distinction is ever made. Just simple observation will show to you that existence makes no distinctions. All right and wrong, all good and bad, are human creations, are man-made concepts and ideas.
And each society has created its own ideas of good and bad, and they go on changing.
They are utilitarian, remember. One thing can be a sin in one society and may not be a sin in another society. The same thing can be a great virtue in One society, and may be thought just the opposite in another society.
If a person beats his own body so that blood oozes out, what will you call him? Will you call him a saint or a sinner? It depends... because there has been a Christian sect that believes in beating your body so that blood comes out, and the more blood you can bring out of your body, the greater a saint you are.
In Russia, before Communism, there was a sect, a great sect of Christians, who used to cut their genital organs. Women used to cut their breasts -- and they were thought to be great saints. What do you think about them? You will think them pathological, mentally ill, deranged.
There are ideas and ideas, but all ideas are human. Don't be worried. There are people who are worried about small things -- they have been MADE to worry. Somebody smokes and he is afraid that he is going to be thrown into hell. If you have smoked tao much, one thing is certain, that you will not be sent to hell because there is too much smoke there, and you have already done it to yourself.
Smoking may be bad for your health but is not a sin; you cannot be thrown into hell for smoking. But there are people who think even drinking tea... in Mahatma Gandhi's ashram drinking tea was a sin. If you were caught drinking tea, there was a great fuss about it. Mahatma Gandhi might have gone for a three-day fast to purify his soul and his disciples' souls because people are drinking tea.
And Buddhist monks down the ages have been drinking tea. Tea is part of their meditation -- and there seems to be something in it, because tea has some chemicals which can keep you awake more easily. It can be a help in meditation. If you are trying to be alert, tea can be a help.
In fact, tea was discovered by Buddhist monks; it is their discovery, because it was discovered in a monastery in China called Ta, that's why it is called tea. That 'ta' can be pronounced also as 'cha'; that's why in Marathi it is called 'cha' and in Hindi it is called 'chai'. But it is from the monastery of Ta.
And the man who is reputed to have grown the first tea plants was nobody else but Bodhidharma, the great Bodhidharma. The story is beautiful:
He was meditating, and such a meditator happens only once in a while. For nine years he sat facing the wall -- just the wall and for nine years looking at the wall and doing nothing else. And sometimes he used to fall asleep -- naturally, if you look at the wall that long, what else is there to do? And he did not want to go to sleep.
So he tore out his eyelids and his eyelashes and threw them so that now there was no way to close his eyes. And the story is that out of those eyelids, those pieces of skin, and the eye-lashes, the first teaplant grew.
This is a beautiful story: it simply says one thing, that tea can keep you awake. It will not allow you and your eyes to close.
Buddhists drink tea with religious ritual. In Japan, they have tea ceremonies. Tea is not an ordinary thing for them, because it keeps you awake, it gives you energy to remain more alert. They have made a very prayerful, graceful ritual out of it: the tea ceremony.
In each Zen monastery there is a separate tea temple, the most beautiful place -- maybe surrounded by a lake, rocks, sand, trees. And when you go into the temple, you have to go in a certain manner, in a certain posture you have to sit there, and it takes hours.
The tea will be prepared, the samovar will start humming, and all will be sitting in silence listening to the humming of the samovar. And slowly the flavour of the tea will reach your nostrils, and you have to drink that too. And then the tea is served -- with great grace, with great beauty, art. And the tea is served in beautiful cups, hand-made with great love and care. And then everybody starts sipping the tea. And it is done very prayerfully and everybody remains silent, no gossiping, no chattering -- as if there is nobody. Then they bow down to each other with great respect, and disperse without saying a word.
In one country, tea is so religious, so spiritual, and in Mahatma Gandhi's ashram it was a sin. It depends. These are all human ideas. You should not be worried about these things.
My message is simple: live alert, and live spontaneously, and live totally -- and forget all about the Last Judgement Day. I recognize you today, and that's enough. Today is enough unto itself.