Indradhanu, everybody has to go according to his own heart feeling; if you feel at ease to move from one thing to another, it is perfectly right for you. The whole question is that whatever you do should be a deep pleasure, without any tension. If you force yourself to explore any possibility more deeply, you may create tension in yourself. If it feels enough, that touching a certain possibility has given you enough juice to move on, then move on. Perhaps that is natural; to you that is your natural pace.
One should never go against one's nature. That is the only sin, according to me, to go against one's nature; and the only virtue is to go with your nature in total harmony. And never compare yourself with others; everybody is different, and everybody's liking is different. Once you start comparing, thinking that, "Somebody is going deeper into things, moving more slowly, and I am moving faster," then tension will arise in you:
"Perhaps I am hurrying too much." All these tensions arise out of comparison.
Remember one thing: You have to be in tune with your own nature, not in tune with anybody else. So always feel within yourself. If it is pleasant, do it. If it feels tense, forced, then it is not for you. Don't do it.
Always go with the river of life. Never try to go against the current, and never try to go faster than the river. Just move in absolute relaxation, so that each moment you are at home, at ease, at peace with existence.
The second thing you have to remember is that life is not short; life is eternal, so there is no question of any hurry. By hurrying you can only miss. In existence do you see any hurry? Seasons come in their time, flowers come in their time, trees are not running to grow fast because life is short. It seems as if the whole existence is aware of the eternity of life.
We have been here always, and we will be here always -- of course not in the same forms, and not in the same bodies. Life goes on evolving, reaching to higher stages. But there is no end anywhere, and there has been no beginning anywhere either. You exist between a beginningless life and an endless life. You are always in the middle of two eternities on both sides.
Your conditioning has given you the idea of one life. The Christian idea, the Jewish idea, the Mohammedan idea -- which are all rooted in the Jewish conception that there is only one life -- has given the West a tremendous madness for speed. Everything has to be done in such a hurry that you cannot enjoy doing it, and you cannot do it in its entire perfection. You somehow manage to do it and rush to another thing.
The Western man has been living under a very wrong conception: It has created so much tension in people's minds that they can never be at ease anywhere; they are always on the go, and they are always worried that one never knows when the end is coming. Before the end they want to do everything. But the result is just the opposite; they cannot even manage to do a few things gracefully, beautifully, perfectly.
Their life is so much overshadowed by death that they cannot live joyously. Everything that brings joy seems to be a wastage of time. They cannot just sit silently for an hour, because their mind is saying to them, "Why are you wasting the hour? You could have done this, you could have done that."
It is because of this conception of one life that the idea of meditation never arose in the West. Meditation needs a very relaxed mind, with no hurry, with no worry, with nowhere to go... just enjoying moment to moment, whatever comes.
In the East, meditation was bound to be discovered, just because of the idea of life's eternity -- you can relax. You can relax without any fear, you can enjoy and play your flute, you can dance and sing your song, you can enjoy the sunrise and the sunset. You can enjoy your whole life. Not only that, you can enjoy even dying, because death too is a great experience, perhaps the greatest experience in life. It is a crescendo.
In the Western concept, death is the end of life. In the Eastern concept, death is only a beautiful incident in the long procession of life; there will be many, many deaths. Each death is a climax of your life, before another life begins -- another form, another label, another consciousness. You are not ending, you are simply changing the house.
I am reminded of Mulla Nasruddin. A thief entered into his house; Mulla was sleeping, not really, just with closed eyes, in between opening them and seeing what the thief is doing. But he did not believe in interfering in people's work. The thief was not interfering with his sleep, why should he interfere with his profession? Let him do it.
The thief was a little concerned that this man seemed to be strange. As he was carrying everything out of the house, sometimes something fell from his hands and there was noise, but Mulla remained completely asleep. A suspicion arose in the thief's mind that this type of sleep is possible only if a man is awake: "What a strange man that he does not say anything; I'm just emptying his whole house!." All the furniture went out, all the pillows went out, everything that was in the house went out.
And when the thief was collecting everything, binding them to carry home, he suddenly felt, "Somebody is following me." He looked back, it was the same man who was asleep.
He said, "Why are you following me?"
Mulla said, "No, I'm not following you; we are changing the house. You have taken everything. Now what am I going to do in this house? So I am also coming."
This at-easeness is the Eastern way; even with death the East has followed the idea... just changing the house.
The thief was worried; he said, "Forgive me, take your things."
Mulla said, "No, there is no need. I was thinking myself to change the house; it is almost in ruins. You can't have a worse house than this, and anyway I am a very lazy man. I need somebody to take care of me, and when you have taken everything, why leave me alone?"
The thief became afraid that... he had been stealing his whole life. He had never come across such a man. He said, "You can take your things."
Mulla said, "No, there is not going to be any change. You will have to carry the things, otherwise I am going to the police station. I am behaving like a gentleman, I am not calling you a thief, but just a man who is helping me to change the house."
There is no hurry, so your idea of a short life is a dangerous idea. That's why even though the East is very poor, there is no despair, there is no anguish. The West is rich, but the richness has not brought anything to its spirituality, or its growth; on the contrary, the West is very tense. It should be more relaxed, it has all the comforts of life.
But the basic problem is that deep down the West knows that life is such a short thing; we are standing in a queue, and every moment we are coming closer to death. Since we were born, we started the journey towards the graveyard. Every moment life is being cut -- becoming shorter and shorter. This creates a tension, an anguish, an anxiety. All the comforts, all the luxuries, all the riches become meaningless, because you cannot take them away with you. You will have to go into death alone.
The East is relaxed. First, it does not give death any importance; it is just a change of form. Second, because it is so relaxed, you become aware of your inner riches, which will be going with you -- even beyond life. Death cannot take them away.
Death can take everything that is outside you and, if you have not grown your inner being, naturally there will be fear that you cannot save anything from death; it will take everything that you have. But if you have grown your inner being, if you have found peace, blissfulness, silence, joy, which are not dependent on anything outside, if you have found your garden of being and seen the flowers of your own consciousness, the question of fearing death does not arise at all.
Indradhanu, again I say to you, remember only one thing: You are an immortal being.
Right now, it is not your experience; right now, if you love me, if you have any trust in me, you can accept it as a hypothesis -- not as a belief, but a hypothesis to experiment with.
I never want anybody to accept anything from me as a belief, but only as a hypothesis.
Because I know the truth of it, I need not enforce belief and faith on you. Knowing the truth I can say to you, "It is just for experiment, a temporary hypothesis," because I am absolutely certain that if your experiment, your hypothesis will change into your own knowing -- not in a belief, not in a faith, but in a certainty. And only certainties can save you. Beliefs are boats made of paper.
One should not think that one can cross the ocean of existence on a boat made of paper.
You need a certainty... not a belief, but a truth that is experienced by yourself. Not somebody else's truth, but your own. Then it is a joy to go into the unknown, uncharted ocean; it is a tremendous excitement and ecstasy.
But always keep in tune with your own nature.
Some trees grow slowly, some trees grow fast; there is nothing special in growing fast or in growing slowly. One thing is similar to both trees -- they are both following their natures. It is only man who looks all around, starts comparing, and gets into unnecessary anxieties.
Whenever you feel a problem, look within your heart. If you are at ease, you are on the right path. Your heart is the criterion. If it is disturbed, that means you have to change the path; something has gone wrong, you have gone astray.
The heart is your guide. When it is completely in harmony with nature, there is a beautiful dance and a music in your heart. When you go away from nature the music becomes just noise, the dance becomes disturbed. These are the signs and the language of the heart to make you aware whether you are going right or wrong.
You don't need any guidance from anybody. Your guide is within yourself.
Nityanando, what you are experiencing now has always been here, but you were not here.
For the first time you are also here -- that's why you are noticing.
You may have come here many times, but it was only a coming of your physical body.
Your mind was wandering somewhere else, your being was not here. Now you have known the knack to be here and now, and the juice that you are feeling will go on growing, because your presence will go on becoming more and more crystallized.
The juice has always been here, the flowers have always been blossoming here, the cool breeze was always blowing here, the trees and the sun rays... but you were blind.
For the first time you have opened your eyes, for the first time your senses have become alive. The more alive they become, the more profound are the experiences waiting for you. It all depends on your sensitivity, your awareness, your being silently just here and now.
It is possible that there may be somebody else who is not feeling any juice, who is not feeling anything at all, and he will go with the idea that there is nothing. This is how your mind befools you; it never allows you to be aware of your blindness, your unawareness, your unattentiveness. On the contrary, if somebody says to such a person, "You have missed something," he will retort, "You are hypnotized! I am a rational man; you have allowed yourself to be hypnotized and you have forgotten all rationality."
People protect their blindness, protect their unconsciousness, they protect their misery; anything that is theirs -- it may be hell -- they will protect it.
But to be really with me, you have to put all your defenses away, you have to be vulnerable -- because we are not here to fight with each other. We are here to have a deep rapport, a deep accord, a harmony in which all differences dissolve... and there are not so many people, but a single silence, a single peace that passeth understanding.
Those who cannot put their defenses away need all the compassion. They may think that they are rational beings, but they are really unconscious beings. Eyes don't need reason, because eyes can see light without any reason; only blind men think about light, reason about light -- for or against, believe in light, disbelieve in light -- but the man who has eyes neither believes nor disbelieves, he is neither for nor against. He simply knows: light is there. It has to be enjoyed, not argued about.
Nityanando, you are in a state in which I want everybody to be. But people are so strange! I have heard... a great astronomer was concluding his lecture at the synagogue:
"... And some of my colleagues believe that our own sun will probably die within four or five billion years."
"How many years did you say?" asked Mrs. Siegel, from the back of the room.
"Four or five billion," replied the scientist.
"Phew," said Mrs. Siegel. "I thought you said million."
People are very strange... as if she has understood! It does not matter in existence -- four billion or four million -- but perhaps million is the biggest number she knows. If it is four billion, no problem.
If you are listening with your mind there will come many such moments; if you are not listening with the mind but with the heart, there will not come any such moment. And listening with the heart is the only true listening.
Ronald Reagan came home and found his wife Nancy in bed with his very best friend, Edwin Meese.
"Hey, what do you think you are doing?"
"See," Nancy said to Meese, "I told you he was stupid. Now he can see everything and he is asking, `What is going on?'" Your experiences are fresh. This is the beauty of the inner experiences, that they always remain fresh. You cannot make them mechanical. Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, whenever you will be here... the same perfume, the same presence, the same juice -- but with a new taste, with a deeper understanding, with a greater sensitivity.
In the spiritual life nothing becomes old, it always remains fresh. And its freshness keeps you, even to the last breath of your life, young.
The mystic always dies young. His age may be a hundred years or a hundred and twenty years, it does not matter. He always dies young because his sources of life are continuously being refreshed; a fresh breeze is passing through him, fresh rays of the sun are passing through him, fresh moonlight and fresh stars are always arising in him.
Nityanando, you are blessed. Don't lose track. You have come to the right point. Become more and more centered on that point.
Devaprem, Zarathustra has no idea about a stubborn mule; you seem to belong to a totally different category. You are neither a camel, nor a lion, nor a child -- you are a mule. And with the mule there are many difficulties.
Have you ever thought that the mule cannot conceive a child? Mules don't give birth to children; they are cross-breeds between donkeys and horses. They have all that is the worst in donkeys and all that is worst in horses. But one thing is good about them: they don't leave a new generation, they simply die.
I would like you to consider again. Look into a mirror... because Zarathustra has absolutely categorized, and there is no place for the mule. You will find a camel in the mirror.
And you say, "I have managed to tie up my camel." If you have managed to tie up your camel, then the only criterion to prove it will be the lion's roar. But you are saying, "The lion roars in distant unknown jungles." The camel has to become the lion... the camel has the capacity to become the lion.
These are metaphors that Zarathustra has used. The moment the camel rebels against slavery, he becomes a lion, and suddenly there is the roar! One of the most beautiful experiences is to hear the lion roar. And the process is such that if the mule becomes the lion... the lion is only a passage, a bridge. The child is always there. It is not a question of conceiving a child; everybody is pregnant, born pregnant with the child, just the right opportunity....
In the camel the right opportunity is not there; in the lion is the right opportunity for the child to be born. But rather than going the simple way, you are stuck with some mule, a stubborn mule. Do you know any other kind? All mules are stubborn, that is their great quality.
But recognize exactly where you are. No man is a mule, because man is not a cross- breed. You have to begin with the camel. And you are not supposed to hear the lion roar faraway, "in distant unknown jungles." That lion's roar will not help. The roar has to come from your deepest heart. And in that very roar you will become, for the first time, aware that the child is coming.
The child is our destiny.
One has to become, finally, as innocent as a child, full of wonder and surprise, full of trust and love, absolutely in tune with existence. That's what is meant by the child. These are metaphors. But I can understand what you mean by, "the stubborn mule goes nowhere."
The pope stood before a hushed crowd of attentive Italian villagers. "My flock, you must- a not use-a the pill," he warned.
Just then a beautiful young Signorina stepped forward and said, "Look -- you no play-a the game, you no make-a the rules!"
A simple thing: You don't play the game -- you don't have the right to make the rules.
This is the quality of the mule; he does not like to move even an inch, wherever he is. In that sense our minds can be compared to mules.
You can watch your mind; it does not want to change anything. Every change means difficulty, readjustment, rearrangement -- but no change signifies death. I would like you to remember that the mind is a dead machine, it is simply a biocomputer. It resists all change, it is against evolution, and all the evolution that has happened in the world has happened through the people who were courageous enough to put the mind aside.
Putting the mind aside is what I mean by meditation. Mind is a mule; meditation is an eagle, flying to the farthest horizon across the sun, always ready to go into the unknown.
Devaprem, if the mule goes nowhere, get down from the mule. What is the need to go on sitting on the mule and looking stupid? Get down from the mule! It is better to walk on your own feet -- at least you can move, you can evolve to a better state of consciousness.
The whole religion can be condensed in one single word, and that is meditation. And meditation is a simple way to get down from the mule, to get down from the mind. Let the mind remain where it is; you start moving without it. And once you are not thinking through the mind, you will be able to understand Zarathustra's categories. You will find yourself first a slave in thousands of ways -- a slave of your tradition, a slave of your education, a slave of your religion, a slave of all kinds of superstitions. You will find so many slaveries. Just a little courage, and let the camel revolt against any enslavement.
All the great teachers of the world have been insisting for a revolution against the slavery that keeps your spirit in a status quo. And once the slavery is thrown away, the camel goes through the metamorphosis, becomes a lion. He had always been a lion; he became a camel because of the slavery.
And the moment he becomes a lion -- courageous and brave, ready to go into the unknown, ready to be alone -- the child is not faraway. The second metamorphosis will happen; you will find the lion turning into a child. And the child is the ultimate state of liberation.
The innocence of the child is his wisdom; the simplicity of the child is his egolessness.
The freshness of the child is the freshness of your consciousness, which never becomes old, which always remains young. It has passed through thousands of bodies: they became young, they became old, they died. But the consciousness continues, a young river, fresh, dancing towards the ocean. The wondering eyes of the child is the opening of your being to all the great mysteries of existence.
The scientist also tries to discover the mysteries and their secrets, but his method is violent; it is more a rape than a love. He dissects, he attacks. The behavior of the scientist with nature is not human; it is very inhuman.
The child and the sage also come to know the mysteries of existence, but in a way that can be called only playfulness, that can be called only loving radiation. And existence itself is eager to open its heart to the loving child, to open its secrets to the wondering eyes of the child.
Lao Tzu says, "The moment you drop knowledge, you become wise."
The moment you stop inquiring into the mysteries of existence, existence itself opens up all its doors, invites you. And to enter the mysteries of existence as a guest is dignified.
To attack nature, to force nature is barbarous. Science is still barbarous, and science will remain barbarous unless it learns to be meditative too. Only meditation can change the barbariousness of science and can make it an innocent love affair with existence.
That will be a golden future: when science becomes a love affair with existence -- not a struggle, not a conflict, but a deep harmony, a friendship.
Up to now, even the greatest thinkers like Bertrand Russell talk in terms which are barbarous. He has written a famous book; the title is THE CONQUEST OF NATURE.
The very idea of conquering nature is ugly. We are part of nature; how can the part conquer the whole? Can you conceive that my left hand can conquer me? And we are such a small part of existence that the very idea of conquering it is quixotic.
But a different science is certainly needed; this science has failed. The old religion has failed. It has not delivered salvation to humanity, it has not brought what it has promised -- blissfulness, benediction, godliness. All its promises have proved lies.
And now I want to say, science has also failed. In conquering nature, it has only created destructive weapons, atomic energy, nuclear missiles. Rather than conquering nature, it has succeeded in preparing a graveyard of the whole planet. Science has failed. It has not been able to serve life for the simple reason that the very idea of conquering is barbarous and violent.
We have to find a new religiousness and a new scientific approach, and they cannot be two different things. They can be two sides of one coin: Applied to the inner consciousness, it becomes religiousness; applied to the objective world, it becomes science.
But the basic reality is innocent, wondering, and loving eyes... a friendship, a harmony, a love affair.
The Golden Future