The first question
MAN HAS BEEN CONDITIONED DOWN THE CENTURIES FOR GOALS, destinations, purposes, meanings -- that's how man has lived hitherto, with the goal- oriented ideology. Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan, communist, it doesn't matter -- all ideologies are goal-oriented. It is always tomorrow that you have to look to, or the next life. It is always somewhere else: the goal, the meaning, the bliss, the paradise -- it is never now here.
Because of these ideologies you cannot allow yourself to relax in the moment. They go on goading you... you have to attain something, you have to achieve something. Your whole education system is a strategy of poisoning your consciousness; it is a strategy of driving you crazy after goals, it is a strategy of creating ambition in you. And ambition is neurosis. But this has been done for so long that it has become part and parcel of the human mind.
That's why you go on thinking in terms of goal or destination. It is not you: it is the society that goes on thinking in you, through you; it is your parents, it is your priests, it is your politicians, it is your pedagogues, who go on thinking through you, and you are identified with them. You don't know that you are separate.
The first thing that you will have to learn is to be a witness to all that goes on in the mind, because the mind is a social phenomenon -- it is not a God-given gift. It is social exploitation; it is society that makes a mind in you, and through that mind controls you, keeps you imprisoned, chained, reduces you to a slave. And you are not the mind! You are the witness who can see the mind very easily. You can see the thoughts moving in your consciousness -- those thoughts are the content of the consciousness but they are not consciousness itself.
And this is what meditation is all about: creating a distance between you and your mind.
Once the distance is there, you will be surprised that the whole mind structure is your imprisonment -- you are free from it because you are separate from it. Once you start enjoying the freedom from the mind all goals will disappear, all destinations will disappear.
Mind can only live in goals, because mind can only exist in the future. Mind cannot exist herenow -- try to be herenow and try for the mind to continue. You will find it impossible. Either the mind continues, then you are not herenow; or, you are herenow and the mind is no more there. Mind has no present tense at all; either it is past or it is future -- it is always in the non-existential. And God is that which exists. God is not a goal, nirvana is not a goal, enlightenment is not a goal, it is not an achievement -- just the contrary. When you have forgotten ALL goals, when you have dropped the whole achieving mind, enlightenment is -- enlightenment is a state of no-mind.
And enlightenment is nothing special. It is the most ordinary, natural phenomenon. It looks special because you make a goal out of it. Buddha is the most ordinary human being -- ordinary in the sense that he has no mind, he exists in the sheer present. He has no ego, how can he be special? He cannot compare himself with anybody else, he cannot be inferior or superior.
In the present moment, he is not -- but a totally different kind of presence happens, which does not belong to the person; it is only a presence, not a person at all. And how can he be special? -- because in the present moment he finds that there is no purpose in life. The whole purpose is mind-imposed.
The trees are there for no purpose at all, and the stars are there for no purpose at all.
Purpose is a man-created concept. Rivers are not flowing for any purpose, and the oceans are there not for any purpose. Except for man there is nothing like purpose anywhere else. Life simply is. Existence utterly is -- it is not a means to some end; it is an end unto itself That's what I mean when I say there is no purpose.
I am not saying that it is purposeless, because to use the word 'purposeless' brings the purpose in. It is simply transcendental -- neither purpose nor no purpose, neither meaning nor no meaning. It is not going anywhere. There is no goal to life, and if you have a goal then you are going against life, and you will suffer -- because you will be trying to go upstream. You will have to struggle, and all struggle is dissipation of energy, and all struggle is stupid, because all struggle is destructive. It simply destroys you. You cannot win against the whole. Relax... there is no goal to be achieved. Simply, there is no goal!
I am not telling you, "Don't try to achieve goals" -- I am telling you there is no goal whether you try or not. If you try you will be simply wasting your time and energy. If you don't try you will start feeling ecstatic, because the whole energy that is wasted in struggle becomes available to you. And energy is delight. Just to have it is enough to be full of joy. When there is energy, overflowing energy, you are a dance, you are a celebration.
There is no meaning in life. Life is utterly beyond meaning. So don't bother about the meaning. Don't ask the question, "What is the meaning of a roseflower?" -- there is none.
"And what is the meaning of the sunrise?" -- there is none. There is beauty, but no meaning. There is immense beauty, but no meaning at all.
Life is not a logical process. It is poetry, it is a lovesong -- without any meaning, yet it is utterly beautiful. In fact, when something has a meaning, it can't be beautiful -- it is utilitarian. The rose is beautiful because it has no utility at all. Its sheer being is enough; it need not have any other significance. But a hundred-rupee note has no beauty; it has utility, it has meaning, it has purpose, it is a means to some end.
Live a life which has no idea of purpose, which has no search for meaning. Live a life of sheer joy and ecstasy -- that is the only way to live. Every other way is only to commit a slow suicide.
That's what happens when you are too much interested in goals: today goes by without being lived, and tomorrow remains important -- and tomorrow never comes. Whenever it comes it is today. And you learn a wrong habit of losing that which is and of thinking of something which is not. Every day it will happen: each tomorrow will come as today, and you will not be interested in it and you will be interested in the tomorrow, and the tomorrow is never going to come.
This is how people are simply wasting away. Their lives could have become great oases, but they remain deserts. And the basic reason for people's dryness is goal-orientation.
You say, Sudas: I KEEP THINKING OF MY LIFE IN TERMS OF A GOAL OR DESTINATION, WAITING TO WAKE UP SOME DAY AND FIND MYSELF ENLIGHTENED.
WHY 'SOME DAY'? Why not now? Why postpone it? Is it not a trick of the mind to avoid it? Postponing is a way of avoiding. Don't you want to be enlightened right now, Sudas? If you look deep down, if you watch, you will see the point -- you don't want to become enlightened right now.
If I say to you I can make you enlightened right now... you will say, "Just give me a little time to think. I will come tomorrow, because I have to do many more things before I become enlightened. My girl may be waiting, my children, my shop has to be opened....
So many investments -- let me finish things first! Yes, I want to be enlightened, but not right now."
In fact you don't want to become enlightened. It is a very diplomatic way of avoiding, so that you can go on deceiving yourself that you are interested in becoming enlightened, that you want to be enlightened, but not today. It is only a question of time. Not that you are not interested in enlightenment... tomorrow, when all other things have been finished, completed, when nothing else is left.
But do you think a day will come when all your invest-ments and all your worries and all your acts are complete? Will there ever come a day when you are finished with the activities of your so-called life, and you can come and say, "Right now I am ready"? It will never come, because life is such a complexity. It never begins, it never ends. You are always in the middle.
It is like reading a novel from the middle. The beginning part is missing and the end part is missing -- you know only the middle. That is the mystery of life! Try some time reading a novel from the middle and you will find that even an ordinary novel becomes very mysterious. Intrigued you will be, and many times you will be tempted to look back:
"What is the beginning?" But resist the temptation, go on reading in the middle.
That's how it is: we are always in the middle of life. Life has been there before you ever entered into the stream, and life will be there when you are gone. You will know only a few glimpses in the middle. You come suddenly into the film-house, you see a few scenes on the screen; the film was going on before you entered, you will be gone and the film will continue. You will never know the beginning and you will never know the end because there are none. There is no beginning, no end. Life is an eternal continuum.
Hence you cannot ever complete things, but you want to avoid.
You are afraid of enlightenment, Sudas, just as everybody else is afraid. But nobody wants to accept that "I am a coward." Nobody wants to accept the fact that "I would like to sleep a little longer because I am seeing beautiful dreams, colourful dreams." Nobody wants to accept that "I am so stupid that I don't long for enlightenment." So everybody goes on saying, "Yes, I would like to become enlightened -- but tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, in my old age."
How to postpone? The best way is to become goal-oriented. That is the most beautiful deception that you can give to yourself Hence you say, "Some day I hope to find myself enlightened." Why 'some day'? The river is flowing now... you can drink.
You are thirsty and you say, "Some day I will drink." If you are thirsty, drink right now.
Nothing else is more important. And because there is no goal, all goals are private dreams, life will not support you in your goal-orientation. Life will try in every way to destroy all your goals.
You will have to learn ways of relaxing in the present. Enlightenment is not an effort to achieve something. It is a state of effortlessness. It is a state of no-action. It is a state of tremendous passivity, receptivity. You are not doing anything, you are not thinking anything, you are not planning for anything, you are not doing yoga exercises, and you are not doing any technique, any method -- you are simply existing, just existing. And in that very moment... the sudden realization that all is as it should be. That's what enlightenment is! Enlightenment is not an experience in which you will see great light and kundalini rising up and God standing in front of you telling you, "You can ask any three wishes and I will fulfill them." Don't be foolish.
Enlightenment is not an experience at all. It is not that you will be able to walk on water, that you will be able to raise the dead back to life, that you will be able to cure the blind and the deaf and the dumb, that you will be able to do miracles. Enlightenment has nothing to do with any such thing.
Enlightenment is a simple realization that everything is as it should be. That is the definition of enlightenment: everything is as it should be, everything is utterly perfect as it is. That feeling... and you are suddenly at home. Nothing is being missed. You are part, an organic part of this tremendous, beautiful whole. You are relaxed in it, surrendered in it. You don't exist separately -- all separation has disappeared.
A great rejoicing happens, because with the ego disappearing there is no worry left, with the ego disappearing there is no anguish left, with the ego disappearing there is no possibility of death any more. This is what enlightenment is. It is the understanding that all is good, that all is beautiful -- and t is beautiful as it is. Everything is in tremendous harmony, in accord.
The stars are in accord with the grass leaves, the earth is in accord with the sky, the rivers are in accord with the mountains. Everything is in such accord that existence is an orchestra. Everything is rhythmic, in tune. Existence is music. That experience is enlightenment. And you are not separate from it like an observer, like a spectator. The observer and the observed are one, the seer and the seen are one -- you are it!
It is a great participation. You have fallen into she whole and the whole has fallen into you. The drop has dropped into the ocean and the ocean has dropped into the drop. It is impossible to say anything more about it. It is impossible to say, in fact, anything about it. It can only be experienced.
But, please, Sudas, don't go on postponing it, because it is available now. Now or never, remember.
I know you have been taught continuously -- this is a kind of hypnosis in which you are living; you have been hypnotized by the society -- you have been made goal-oriented, you have been forced to become ambitious, you have been taught to be competitive, so you are afraid. You are afraid:
I WORRY THAT OTHERS WILL REACH BEFORE ME.
You are not much concerned with your own enlightenment; you are much more concerned that "Nobody else should reach before me." Now, in the world of enlightenment such a competitive mind cannot even enter, will remain thousands and thousands of miles away. It needs a non-competitive spirit. It needs that you drop all comparisons, because when you become enlightened you will be totally alone, nobody else will be there -- not even your beloved, not even your friend. Nobody can be there; you will be utterly alone.
And it is not a question of who attains 'before', because enlightenment has no before or after. Those are time pheno-mena. Enlightenment is always now -- why think of before and after? THIS very moment... let it sink in you. And all that is needed on your part is total receptivity. Fling all doors open, let the sun come in, aud the wind and the rain.
Enlightenment is not like money, is not like political power. It is not like anything that you know in life -- it is absolutely unlike anything that you have known or will ever know. It is unique in the sense that nothing like it exists in existence. It is just itself; it cannot be compared with anything. It is its own comparison.
But the problem is: how to drop this hypnosis? how to drop this conditioning? Watch it.
See how it is torturing you, how it is making you more and more miserable every day, and how it is creating barriers between you and that which is. Just go on seeing it!
No other positive method is needed -- just an insight that your whole mind is a misery- creating factory, that it manufactures misery and nothing else. Once you have seen it through and through, that very seeing becomes a transformation. You simply turn in. You drop the mind, or it drops of its own accord because you have seen the futility of it. And even if for a single moment the mind is not there, enlightenment is there.
In the beginning it will come only in moments, but those moments are of eternity. Then, slowly slowly, more and more moments will be coming, because you will become more and more a host. And one day the guest and the host disappear into each other -- then it never leaves you. And on the outside you remain just the same old person: doing your work, chopping wood and carrying water from the well.... You remain just the same, and yet nothing is the same any more.
I teach you this relaxation. I teach you the way of non-action. I don't teach you arduous efforts, because they are all ego-gratifying. No effort can help you to become enlightened; it will be a distraction. Only an effortless silence -- JUST SITTING, DOING NOTHING, AND THE SPRING COMES, AND THE GRASS GROWS BY ITSELF.
The second question
YOU HAVE COME. I AM YOUR HOME. Yes, it takes time to recognize it. It takes years sometimes to recognize that you have come home. First, because you don't know what your home is -- so how to recognize it? Second, it is so against your ingrained habits of the mind that the mind wants to ignore it rather than take note of it. The mind wants to ignore it because if it takes note of it, that taking note is very disturbing. It disturbs its whole edifice.
To recognize that you have come home means now no more effort is needed, means now there is nowhere to go, means that your old kind of life and all its activities are finished!
Suddenly you will feel empty. Suddenly you will feel nobody, a nothingness -- that frightens. Hence one goes on repeating:
OSHO, I WANT TO COME HOME.
You HAVE come, Gyan Bhakti! To be here with me is TO be at home, because my whole approach is not that of improving you but just of shaking you, shocking you into awareness that you have never left the home in the first place.
The biblical story says Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. I would like to tell you: they have never been expelled. You have heard a wrong rumour. They have only fallen asleep -- they ARE in the Garden of Eden, because there is no other place to be. The whole existence is God's, the whole existence is his garden. To where can he expel anyone?
Once a Christian missionary was talking to me and I asked him, "Where can he expel Adam and Eve to? Where?" And he was at a loss to answer -- because this whole kingdom is his. Yes, an ordinary king can expel his son, because his kingdom has a limitation. There are other kingdoms too; the son can be thrown out of the kingdom, out of the boundaries.
You can be expelled from India, from Germany, from Japan -- that is possible because there are other places available. But to where is God going to expel you? There is no other place. The Garden of Eden has no limits -- the whole existence is his garden.
Then the Christian missionary asked me, "Then what happened? How do you interpret the story?"
I said, "They have fallen asleep. By eating the fruit of knowledge they have fallen asleep, they have become minds -- and when one becomes the mind, one falls asleep as far as consciousness is concerned. By eating the fruit of knowledge, by becoming knowledgeable, they have become minds! The story is so simple and so significant. God told them not to eat from the tree of knowledge; that was the only order that was given to Adam and Eve: not to become minds, to remain innocent, not to become knowledgeable.
But they could not resist the temptation. They became knowledgeable.
"Once you become knowledgeable, your consciousness goes through a shift: it moves from the heart to the head. The heart falls asleep and the head becomes awake. The head cannot know the mystery of God; the head is incapable of understanding that you are already in God, that you cannot be anywhere else."
Just descend from the head, come back to the heart, and you are back in the Garden of Eden. Hence my insistence on renouncing knowledge. Don't renounce the world -- the world is beautiful. Don't renounce your wife -- she is your life. That's exactly the meaning of the name 'Eve'.
The story is:
Adam was alone and felt very lonely, and God created Eve -- out of his ribs. That too is beautiful, that man and woman are only separate from the outside; deep down they are one. And then God asked Adam, "What are you going to call this woman? This new creature?"
And Adam said, "I will call her 'Haavvah', 'Eva', 'Eve'" -- these are all different names in different languages, but they all mean life.
And God asked, "Why?"
Adam said "Why? Because she is my life. Without her I was dead."
You need not renounce your wife -- she is your life. You need not renounce your husband, you need not renounce your children. But one thing you need to renounce -- that is knowedgeability. One thing you need to renounce -- that is your mind. And see the irony: people renounce the world, but they don't renounce their minds.
A Jaina renounces the world, becomes a naked monk, but still remains a Jaina. I have asked many Jaina monks, "This is ridiculous! You renounce the society, but you have not renounced the knowledge that the society has given to you. How can you still call yourself a Jaina?"
The Christian Catholic renounces the world, moves to the monastery, but remains a Christian Catholic. He carries the society with him in his mind and all that the society has put there. What kind of renunciation is this?
I tell you: Renounce being a Christian, renounce being a Hindu, because this is renunciation of the mind. And don't renounce the world -- the world belongs to God. The world is beautiful, and it is tremendously beautiful if you can see it without the mind interfering.
Gyan Bhakti, you have come home, but you are still not able to wake up, you are still fast asleep -- you are still in the mind. Descend into the heart. You don't know how fortunate you are. You don't know how blessed you are. It is rare to find a home, because it is rare to be with an alive Master.
Yarkoni and Danberg, two Israeli soldiers, were bemoaning the years of hardship and fighting against the Egyptians.
"What we should do," suggested Yarkoni, "is declare war against the United States. They will beat us, and like they always do with all the countries they defeat, right away they will give us billions of dollars, plenty of food, houses, cars and factories."
"That's no good," sighed Danberg. "With our luck, we would win!"
You don't know how lucky you are. You have already won -- but it takes time to recognize the fact, it takes time for the news to reach from the heart to the head. And the distance is vast. Physiologically it is not much, but spiritually the distance is very immense. Maybe these two points are at the greatest distance in existence -- the heart and the head. Spiritually, not physiologically. Physiologically just one foot, two feet, but spiritually the distance is almost infinite. It takes time for the news to travel.
Your heart knows, Gyan Bhakti, that it has happened, but your head has not heard about it yet. And you live in the head. When I look into your heart, I can see that the heart has recognized.
This is what my experience is every day when I touch you, when you come close to me, when you allow my energy to melt into your energy -- this is my experience! that I see your heart has understood, but your head is still unaware. Your head is still resisting, your head is still fighting, your head is still persisting in its old routine, and your heart has already been transformed -- the flower has bloomed there.
Gyan Bhakti, start learning the language of feeling and forget the language of thinking.
Start being more and more silent, because the chattering mind will not allow you to know that you have come home. The inner talk has to stop. In those gaps, in those intervals, the still small voice of the heart will be heard.
BUT FROM MY SIDE, I KNOW, I know absolutely: you have come. Whether you know it or not does not matter; sooner or later you will know. It is only a question of time. And there are many people like you, Gyan Bhakti, who have arrived and are not aware -- you are not alone, and they are still struggling in their heads, fighting, trying to escape, creating all kinds of barriers between me and themselves -- because the head will try in every possible way. It is very cunning: the head is very cunning. It cannot allow you easily to enter into the heart again; it cannot leave its domination over you.
I have heard:
A man and a little boy entered a barbershop together. After the man received the full treatment -- shave, shampoo, manicure, haircut, etc. -- he placed the boy in the chair.
"I am going to buy a green tie to wear for the parade," he said. "I will be back in a few minutes."
When the boy's haircut was completed and the man still had not returned, the barber said, "Looks like your daddy has forgotten all about you."
"That was not my daddy," said the boy. "He just walked up, took me by the hand, and said, 'Come on, son, we are gonna get a free haircut!'" The mind's whole function is to be cunning. It is a strategy developed by you to compete with others, to deceive others, to be clever with others. And by and by, you become so skillful in deceiving others that you start deceiving yourself too -- and that's what the mind goes on doing: it deceives others, it deceives you.
Now, Gyan Bhakti, your mind is creating this problem. Your mind is saying, "Search for the home, seek God. Make efforts to become enlightened." Now the mind is creating new goals for you. Once the goal grips you, you are in the hands of the mind. If you can say to the mind, "I have arrived -- get lost! Now there is no more to go, nowhere to go. This is home. This is enlightenment," first the mind will look a little confused, because this is not the way you have ever behaved with it. It will look a little shocked. But if you go on saying the same thing again and again -- whenever the mind wants to create a desire to achieve something, you simply say, "Shut up!" -- slowly slowly it will understand that now you are beyond its power. Only then does it start stopping It will make all kinds of efforts. You have to be alert not to be caught in those efforts.
And that's my function of being with you, and the function of this Buddhafield, to remind you continuously that you have arrived, that God is available right now to you, this very moment showering on you. God is in the air and in the sun and in the flowers and in the song of the birds. God is in this silence between me and you, in these words between me and you, in this communion. This silence, this presence, this love that goes on flowing between me and you, is God! This love is the home.
But beware of the mind. In fact, in all the traditions, mind has been given different names. One tradition calls it 'the Devil', another tradition calls it 'Satan', but it is in fact nothing but a metaphor for the mind.
Jesus goes to the mountains, meditates, and then encounters the Devil. Do you know, who that Devil is? It is not somebody outside you, with two horns popping out of his head and with a long tail and hooves -- these are just stories written for children, for grown-up children of course, but all stories. You have to decode them.
Who is this Devil who tempts Jesus in the mountains? It is the mind. The Devil is an ancient metaphor for the mind. It goes on watching you, what you are doing. If you are nourishing to it, then it is okay; if you are going away from it, it starts creating trouble for you. If one strategy does not work, it immediately changes its strategy. And it is really very clever.
Just the other day you heard Kabir's sutras. He said: I repressed sex and it became anger; I repressed anger, it became greed; I repressed greed, it became pride. It is the same mind! If you start fighting with it, it goes on changing its colours -- just to deceive you.
And, yes, it deceives.
When repressed sex becomes anger, you are at a loss to understand that this is sex and nothing else -- now pretending as anger. Anger looks so different from sex, in fact it looks like the polar opposite. Sex is love: anger is hate -- how can they be the same? The mind has taken just the polar opposite to hide itself You will need great intelligence to decipher, otherwise you will be deceived. And then anger will torture you.
And if you repress anger, it becomes greed. Now who can ever think logically that anger can become greed? They don't seem to be connected at all. Unless you are a real observer of your inner happenings you will not be able to see the connection. Mind jumps to such new faces, takes such new masks! And then you repress greed and it becomes pride, and you go on ad infinitum....
Mrs. Fleishman and Mrs. Rutkin were rocking on the porch of their Catskill Mountain Hotel.
"Oh, my God! exclaimed Mrs. Fleishman. "Look at that boy. Did you ever see such a big nose? Such a crooked mouth? And look -- he is cockeyed too!"
"That," said Mrs. Rutkin, "happens to be my son."
"Well," said Mrs. Fleishman, "on him, it is very becoming!"
Mind is a diplomat, it is a politician -- it is a devil. Unless you are really alert and watchful, it can go on deceiving you for lives -- it has been doing that for lives; it can go on doing it for lives still. But a little intelligence, just a little intelligence, a little candle of light inside you of watching, of silently watching and seeing what the mind is doing, and slowly slowly your intelligence will become stronger. And mind becomes impotent as intelligence grows.
Intelligence is not intellect; intellect is part of mind, intelligence is part of the heart.
Intelligence is always part of the heart, it is not intellectuality. I don't mean by 'intelligence' your so-called intelligentsia -- it has nothing to do with intelligence. Your intelligentsia is knowledgeable. They may have big university degrees, much knowledge, but they know nothing. All their knowledge is borrowed, all their knowledge is parrotlike, it is mechanical. They go on talking about it, but it does not affect their life. It has no relationship with their own source of being; it does not well up within their own heart. When I talk about intelligence I always mean the heart -- something happening in you, not coming from the outside. If it comes from the outside, it creates intellect; if it comes from within, it is intelligence. Help your intelligence to grow.
And I am creating this context, this opportunity, this space, and I am giving you all kinds of challenges. And as the commune grows the challenges will grow. Those challenges are meant for a certain purpose, they are deliberate -- they are meant to provoke your intelligence into activity, to bring your intelligence above your intellect. Only new situations which your intellect cannot cope with, only such spaces which your knowledge has not heard about, can help to bring your intelligence to the surface.
All that is needed is intelligence, understanding, awareness -- and, Gyan Bhakti, you will know you have come home. And great gratitude will arise in your being, and great thankfulness. That gratitude, that thankfulness, is prayer.
The third question
MAN HAS BEEN TOLD AGAIN AND AGAIN to be in a hurry, because life is short and much has to be done, many desires have to be fulfilled, many pleasures have to be attained, many goals achieved. And life is certainly short, and you have so many desires, and so much to do, and in fact there is not much time to do it.
If you live sixty years, twenty years will be gone in sleep, one third, so only forty years are left. Then another twenty years will be gone in earning your bread and butter, just the routine of going to the office, to the factory, rushing in the morning towards the factory or the office, and rushing in the evening back to the home -- twenty years will be gone in that.
Only twenty years are left. And in these twenty years, almost fifteen years will be lost in such stupid activities: watching the television, going to the movie, playing cards, gossiping with the neighbours -- fifteen years! So only five years are left. And in those five years, you have to manage many kinds of illnesses, and you have to go to friends' marriages and social functions, and you have to talk to your wife and to your children -- just out of the sense of duty -- and you have to quarrel with your wife, and you have to throw pillows... and a thousand and one things. You can just go on making the list.
Those who have made such lists, they say in the whole sixty years' life not more than a few months are left for you -- and in those few months, all the desires, millions of desires, are to be fulfilled. Naturally, great hurry arises -- and in the West more so, because in the East we have a beautiful concept that there are many lives, so there is no hurry. If you die this time, nothing to be worried about -- next time you will be born again, and again and again and again.
In the West, all the three religions that are born outside of India -- Judaism, Christianity, Islam -- they believe in one life. They have all come from the same root, Judaism. In fact, there are only two religions in the world: Judaism and Hinduism. A few religions are offshoots of Judaism and a few religions -- Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism -- they are offshoots of Hinduism. Hinduism believes in many many lives. Hence you find the Indian utterly lazy. His problem is not hurry: his problem is laziness. His problem is that he has no motive to do anything.
That's why India is poor -nobody is willing to do anything, everybody goes on postponing: tomorrow or the next life, and why be worried? There is enough time, infinite time available. This idea of infinite time has helped in one way: it has not created the Western hurry, it has not created the Western speed -- it has not created the Western anxiety and tension, that constant state of remaining tense. It has created another problem, just the opposite, that nobody wants to do anything, that everybody is lazy and lousy.
The reason, Neera, for your hurry, is that you come from the West, from the Judaic- Christian tradition: only one life and so many things to do. Naturally, one has to be in a hurry; always running. People are not even resting in their sleep; in their sleep also they are on the go, in their sleep also they are travelling, to faraway lands. Even in their sleep they are not in their rooms, they are not where they are -- they are always somewhere else.
You ask me: WHY HAVE I ALWAYS BEEN IN SUCH A HURRY?
You are brought up in the Judaic tradition: Do! Doing is respected very much. Be active!
And do it quick and fast.
The Devil had been away from Hades for a couple of months' terrestrial duty. He had been in England and was looking forward to putting his feet up by the fire and having a nice drop of brimstone, followed by a variety of unmentionable after-dinner pursuits.
At last he got home. You can imagine his surprise when he flung the Gates of Hell open to be confronted by a landscape dotted with cool mango groves and fields of nodding corn.
"Those goddammed Jews and their irrigation schemes!" he howled.
Wherever Jews reach, they will bring their planning -- even in hell they will not leave the Devil in rest. That is the Judaic tradition: one life, a short life, and much has to be done, all has to be done.
Neera, you have to drop that Judaic tradition, you have to come out of it. And I am not saying become an Indian either, because that is moving from one wrong to another wrong. Just come out of all traditions. To Hindus I say come out of your Hindu tradition of laziness and lousiness, and to Jews, Christians and Mohammedans I say come out of your tradition of remaining in a constant hurry and tension.
Enjoy life. Act, but act in a relaxed way. The greatest art in life is to learn how to act in a relaxed way. Action is a must -- you cannot live without action -- but action can be almost inaction. That's what Lao Tzu means when he uses the word WU-WEI. That is very fundamental to Lao Tzu and that is very fundamental to me too: I would like you to learn WU-WEI. WU-WEI means action without action -- doing a thing in such a way that you are not tense in doing it, doing a thing in such a way that you are playful about it, doing a thing in such a way that you are not worried about it, doing it and yet remaining detached, doing it and yet remaining a witness.
Lao Tzu seems to be the way out for Jews and Hindus. And this is strange that no tradition arose out of Lao Tzu, no religion. Jews have created three great religions, Hindus have created three great religions -- all the six great religions belong to these two peoples. Lao Tzu remained an individual. Yes, a few people followed him; down the centuries, a few individuals have moved into the world of Lao Tzu, but only individuals - - no religion came out of it, because the whole Taoist approach is such that it cannot create fanatics. And unless you can create fanatics, you cannot create a religion. The whole of Lao Tzu's philosophy is such that it gives you such balance, such tranquillity, such serenity, that you cannot become a fanatic -- Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan. It is impossible. These things happen only to neurotic people.
Hindus create one kind of neurosis, and Jews create another kind of neurosis, and both have created great religions in the world. And I absolutely agree with Sigmund Freud that these so-called religions are nothing but collective obsessions. A Buddha, a Jesus, a Lao Tzu, a Zarathustra, they are not religious people in the sense Christians, Mohammedans and Buddhists are. They are very balanced, they are so whole, they are so tranquil, they cannot become parts of crowds, they cannot fall that low.
People join together in churches just because alone they feel so afraid of their inner neurosis -- they would like to join with people of the same kind so they can feel at ease, that they are not alone in the difficulty. And when there are many people just like you, you forget all about your neurosis.
Humanity lives such a neurotic life that either it moves to one extreme and remains stuck there, or it moves to the other extreme and remains stuck there.
The really healthy person is not stuck anywhere, he is not stagnant, he is dynamic. He can be in great action and yet he can remain inactive -- he knows the way of WU-WEI, he knows the way of action through inaction. You will have to learn that.
Neera, hurry is something very symbolic of the Western mind. And because of the hurry the West has created more and more speedy vehicles. The East has remained contented with the bullock cart. There have been great scientists in the East, but they never worked.
They never worked hard enough to create better roads, better vehicles, aeroplanes, spaceships -- they were not interested in hurry. What is the point? Why rush?
The West is continuously creating more and more speedy vehicles. They have broken the sound barrier; now man is travelling faster than sound. And the whole Western technology is bent upon breaking the light barrier -- man wants to travel faster than light.
And nobody asks, "Where do you want to go? And even if you reach there, what are you going to do there?" You can reach the moon, you can reach some day some star, but what will you do? You will do the same thing that you are doing in California, because you will be the same person. You will create the same kind of nonsense and nuisance there:
you will pollute the poor star, you will destroy its rivers, you will destroy its oceans, you will pile up your junk everywhere. What are you going to do there? And you will create the same ideological wars, both cold and hot. You cannot remain peaceful there either; you will immediately divide: somebody will become communist and somebody will become democratic and the fight starts. And you will create atom bombs and hydrogen bombs, or you will carry them from here.
The West is too much interested in speed, too much in action. And the action is futile, because it is simply the occupation of a neurotic mind. And the East is not interested in action at all; that is again another kind of neurosis, the opposite kind -- people are lazy.
They philosophize very much about their laziness. They talk about renouncing the world; they say, "What is the point of earning, of working? one day one has to go, one day one has to die, so why bother? rest as much as you can before you die." But then what will you do when you die? You can rest when you die.
MAN NEEDS A BALANCE, and that balance is possible only if you learn the art of being active and yet remaining inactive inside. And that's what we are trying to do here, and in the bigger commune you will have more facilities to be active and inactive together.
People who come to the ashram are a little puzzled. Many have written to me, "Everybody is working but nobody seems to be tense." In the office so many people are working, in the workshops, in the press office... so many people are working. Nearabout three hundred people are constantly working, and with no holiday -- the Sunday never comes. But nobody is tense.
Work is beautiful if it can be done without any tension, if it can be done playfully, if it can be done without any hurry and yet without relapsing into laziness. It is a very subtle and delicate art. Then you are neither Eastern nor Western -- that's what I call the new man. He will not be Eastern, he will not be Western, or he will be both together. It has never happened before: my sannyasin has to prove it. Lao Tzu talked about it and a few people have tried it, but I am making an effort to create such a big space that millions of people can try it. It is such a blessing to know how to act without acting that everybody should have a little taste of it.
When you are working, remember it; if you have gone for a walk, remember it -- there is no need to be in a hurry. A walk has to be enjoyed. Go slow. There is no goal! Enjoy the trees surrounding the way, and the birds and the sun and the sky and the clouds, and the people that are passing and the smell of the earth -- enjoy everything! Be alert.
A lazy person becomes unalert. The very speedy person is so much in speed that he cannot be watchful of what is happening around him; he is rushing with such force that he cannot see anywhere else, he is focussed, obsessed with some goal. And the lazy person is so lazy, so unalert, so unconscious, that he cannot see. Both are blind.
You have to find a synthesis. Be alert as the active person is, and be relaxed as the lazy person is. And once both these two are there together, you are balanced, and your life will have a new flavour, a new joy, a new ecstasy, which knows no bounds.
Silverstein, the inveterate joiner, came rushing home, proudly holding a membership card to his newest organization.
"Look," said Silverstein to his son, "I just joined the Prostitute Club!"
"What?" said the boy. "Let me see that card."
After reading it, he announced, "Pa, that's the Parachute Club!"
"All I know is," said Silverstein, "they guaranteed me three hundred and sixty-five jumps a year."
There are these people who are constantly joining this club and that, and this organization and that. They are simply afraid of being themselves, simply afraid of being left alone.
There are people who are constantly rushing -- don't ask where, they themselves don't know. But in the rush they are occupied, and the occupation keeps them away from themselves, away from looking into their own inner hollowness.
This constant hurry is nothing but an escape from your inner self. And there is a truth in it of great significance: if you go on hurrying, if you go on speeding, if you go on running away from yourself, if you keep yourself occupied constantly, you will become more and more afraid of looking at yourself, because not knowing what beauties emptiness contains you will become more and more afraid. You would not like to come across your inner emptiness.
In fact, the inner emptiness is the greatest experience of life -- that is enlightenment:
knowing that there is nobody, knowing that there is utter silence, not even a word, knowing that there is nothing at all, no person, no ego, no identity, is the greatest experience, the ultimate joy. But if you don't look into it then you are simply suspicious of a certain hollowness, of a certain emptiness inside. And remaining suspicious, you go on occupying yourself People keep themselves occupied the whole day, and then they fall asleep and become occupied in their dreams -- twenty-four hours a day it is constant occupation.
Meditation means giving a few minutes to non-occupation. Neera, start giving at least one hour to non-occupation. Just sit doing nothing. In the beginning it will be very difficult -- the MOST difficult thing in the world in the beginning, in the end the most easy. It is so easy, that's why it is so difficult. If you tell somebody to just sit and not to do anything, he becomes fidgety; he starts feeling that ants are crawling on the leg or something is happening in the body. He becomes so restless, because he has always remained occupied. He is like a car with the ignition on and the engine humming although the car is not going anywhere, but the engine is humming and becoming hotter and hotter. You have forgotten how to put the ignition off. That's what meditation is: the art of putting the ignition of.
For a few minutes, a few hours, as much time as is possible, just sit silently. In the beginning it is difficult. It will take at least three months to six months to be able to sit silently doing nothing -- not even chanting is needed because that is again an occupation.
People sit, then they start chanting "Rama, Rama, Rama" -- that is again occupation, another kind of occupation, a religious kind of occupation. No, not even chanting, no mantra is needed.
The word 'mind' and 'mantra' both come from the same root. They both come from MAN -- MAN is Sanskrit for mind. And that which keeps mind running is called 'mantra', that which keeps nourishing mind is called 'mantra'. So somebody's mantra is money -- he thinks of money, that is his mantra. Somebody's mantra is politics -- he thinks of politics, that is his mantra. And somebody simply repeats "Rama, Rama, Rama" -- that is his mantra. But every mantra feeds the mind, and mind is the problem, and we have to get out of the mind.
Sit silently, Neera, for three to six months; then remind me again -- if you are left by that time. If you are finished, so far, so good. If you really sit silently for one hour a day for six months, you will not remind me -- because you will have experienced something so tremendous, so beautiful: just your pure being, just the heart pulsating, the breath coming and going... and the music of your inner existence is exhilarating. It becomes overflowing. It is not only that you will be con-tinuously radiant, bubbling with joy -- whosoever comes in contact with you will also be infected by it, your joy will become contagious. And there will be no hurry. There will be a grace, an elegance a peace will surround you.
When joy is inside the heart, when silence is inside, peace surrounds you, grace surrounds you, God surrounds you....
The last question
IT IS VERY DIFFICULT FOR ME because today I have chosen really a very juicy joke.
But I will resist the temptation....