That beyondness is you
THESE DAYS, LOOKING INSIDE, I DO NOT FIND A PERSONALITY WITH CERTAIN CHARACTERISTICS, BUT RATHER AN EVER-CHANGING FLUX, TOTALLY UNPREDICTABLE. IT MAKES LIFE IN THIS BODY FEEL VERY FRAGILE, VULNERABLE AND MOMENTARY -- A FEELING WHICH EXTENDS ITSELF TO EVERYTHING AROUND ME, SHAKING ME TO THE ROOTS.
Deva Surabhi, man is not one, man is many: man is a multitude, a crowd. The feeling of being a personality is a mirage. It arises because you never go in, and you never face the crowd. Perhaps to avoid the crowd, you never go in.
You are living outside your own home and the home is being occupied by your neighbors, many of whom are dead. And when I say many, I mean many! -- centuries, queues of old and dead people are living within you; hence, when for the first time one enters on the path of meditation, the first encounter shakes one to the very roots. One sees many faces and many people -- except one face, except the one individual that he is.
Most people, out of fear, simply run out again and get engaged in things so that they can forget what is happening within themselves. To find oneself alone needs such courage because the moment you find yourself alone you have to face a multitude, a crowd. Each in the crowd pretends to be your real self, and there is no way for you to find out who is your real individual. Millions of people live their lives without meditation for the simple reason that they cannot cope with this encounter.
The method is very easy. Bodhidharma used to say to his disciples, "When you enter into yourself you will find many pretenders who look almost like you. Some of them are even better than you, because they have been practicing your act, your part, for years -- or perhaps for lives. You have to behave the way the elephant behaves when a crowd of dogs starts barking: the elephant goes on without even bothering, as if there is nobody...
You have to be an elephant and treat the crowd within you as if they are barking dogs."
In India it is now becoming a rare scene, but in my childhood it was an everyday scene because all the Maharajas, and there were many, and all the great religious leaders, and they were many, all had many elephants. In fact, a religious leader's religiousness was measured by how many elephants he had, because to keep an elephant is not easy; it is very costly.
It was an everyday scene -- the elephants passing on the road and the dogs barking. A strange feeling arises when you see a dog bark at the elephant; the elephant pays not even the smallest attention -- as if there is nobody, nothing is happening. And if you look at the face of the dog, you can understand the meaning of the word `despair'..."This fellow is strange: we are barking, so many dogs, and he is going his way as if nothing is happening."
Soon those dogs start disappearing -- "What is the point? The elephant seems to be an idiot, or maybe he is deaf, but not our equal. Perhaps he does not understand our language, but whatever the reason, the task is hopeless."
Bodhidharma is right; the meditator has to behave like an elephant. And he will be surprised: all those who are surrounding his inside -- many facades, many voices -- start becoming distant. Soon a moment comes when they are so far away that it seems you have only seen them, heard them, in a dream. And as they go, receding... a great silence, a tremendous tranquillity settles in your being.
Surabhi, your question is, "These days, looking inside, I do not find a personality with certain characteristics, but rather an ever-changing flux, totally unpredictable. It makes life in this body feel very fragile, vulnerable and momentary -- a feeling which extends itself to everything around me, shaking me to the roots."
It appears as if it is a curse -- it is not.
The roots that can be shaken are not your roots, and that which is fragile, that which is momentary, does not belong to you. Only one thing belongs to you in this whole experience: that is the watcher, the witness. Who is witnessing the fragileness, the ever- changing flux of personalities? Who is watching the shaking of the roots? Certainly he is beyond all of it.
That beyondness is yours.
That beyondness is you.
That is your individuality, that is your being.
Settle in that witnessing, and all that you are feeling disturbed by will disappear. It is just the first encounter of entering into oneself. Don't go back; go deeper into it.
Ginsberg sits down in a Moscow cafe and orders a glass of tea and a copy of pravda.
"I will bring the tea," the waiter tells him, "but I can't bring a copy of pravda. The Soviet regime has been overthrown and pravda is not published anymore."
"Alright," says Ginsberg, "just bring the tea."
The next day, Ginsberg comes to the same cafe and asks for tea and a copy of pravda.
The waiter gives him the same answer.
On the third day, Ginsberg orders the same and this time the waiter says to him, "Look, sir, you seem to be an intelligent man. For the past three days you have ordered a copy of pravda and three times now I have had to tell you that the Soviet regime has been overthrown and Pravda is not published anymore."
"I know, I know," says Ginsberg, "but I just like to hear you say it!"
It is good news, Surabhi, that you don't exist as a personality. You should rejoice -- rejoice in the fact that you are only the witness, the watcher, because that is the only thing which is eternal and immortal. It is the only thing which cannot be transcended by any more beautiful experience, any deeper ecstasy, any greater enlightenment.
Just let this personality, this fragileness, this momentariness, this fear, this trembling of the roots, not be identified with yourself. Remain aloof, a watcher on the hills, and soon the whole scene changes.
The pope lay dying. His doctor called the cardinals together and announced, "We can only save his life with a heart transplant."
"We must tell the people," said one of the cardinals, "perhaps a donor will volunteer to give his heart for the pontiff."
An announcement was made and thousands gathered beneath the pope's balcony shouting, "Take-a my heart, take-a my heart!"
The cardinals now had to decide on the person who would donate his heart to the holy father. "We will drop a feather from his holiness' head," said the head cardinal.
"Whosoever it lands upon will be the lucky person."
As the feather floated down from the balcony, from the multitudes below came, "Take-a my heart -- phew! Take-a my heart -- phew!"
It is one thing to say, "Take-a my heart," but when it comes so close, "Phew!" Everybody wants to know his inner reality, but you will have to lose something; you will have to pay for it.
There is nothing in existence available without payment. If you want to know yourself, you will have to drop all false identities. They are your investments, they are your power, they are your prestige, they are your religion, they are your qualifications. It is difficult to drop them; it feels like death.
Certainly meditation is a death, a death of all that is false in you. And only then, that which is not false is experienced. That experience is resurrection -- a new life, the birth of a new man.
I AM MOST AWARE OF A BIG FEAR OR GUILT IN ME WHEN I SIT WITH YOU, AND I AM LONGING SO MUCH TO BE TOTALLY OPEN TO YOU. RECENTLY I COULD FEEL THE SERPENT ROLLED UP IN THE BOTTOM OF ME, SLEEPING, AND THE DOOR, THE THIRD CHAKRA STILL CLOSED. MY HEART WANTS TO FLY WITH YOU. IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO?
Sambodhi Amrita, what is fear? There are fears and fears; I am not talking about them. I am talking about the most fundamental fear -- all other fears are faraway echoes of the basic fear -- and that fear is of death. Life is surrounded by death. You see every day somebody dying -- something dying; something that was alive a moment before is dead.
Each death reminds you of your own death.
It is impossible to forget your own death; every moment there is a reminder. So the first thing to be understood is that the only possibility of getting rid of fear is to get rid of death. And you can get rid of death, because death is only an idea, not a reality.
You have only seen other people dying; have you ever seen yourself dying? And when you see somebody else dying, you are an outsider, not a participant in the experience. The experience is happening inside the person. All that you know is that he is no longer breathing, that his body has become cold, that his heart is no longer beating. But do you think all these things put together are equivalent to life? Is life only breathing? Is life only the heartbeat, the blood circulating and keeping the body warm? If this is life, it is not worth the game. If only my breathing is my life, what is the point of going on breathing?
Life must be something more. To be of any value life must have something of eternity in it; it must be something beyond death. And you can know it, because it exists within you.
Life exists within you -- death is only an experience of others, outside observers.
It is simply like love. Can you understand love by seeing a person being loving to someone? What will you see? They are hugging each other, but is hugging love? You may see they are holding hands together, but is holding hands love? From the outside, what else can you discover about love? Anything that you discover will be absolutely futile. These are expressions of love, but not love itself. Love is something one knows only when one is in it.
One of the greatest poet's of India, Rabindranath Tagore, was very much embarrassed by an old man who was his grandfather's friend. The old man often used to come because he lived in the neighborhood, and he would never leave the house without creating trouble for Rabindranath. He would certainly knock on his doors, and ask, "How is your poetry going? Do you really know God? Do you really know love? Tell me, do you know all these things that you talk about in your poetry? Or are you just articulate with words?
Any idiot can talk about love, about God, about the soul, but I don't see in your eyes that you have experienced anything."
And Rabindranath could not answer him. In fact he was right. The old man would meet him in the marketplace and hold him and ask him, "What about your God, have you found him? Or are you still writing poetry about him? Remember, talking about God, is not knowing God."
He was a very embarrassing person. In poets' gatherings, where Rabindranath was very much respected -- he was a Nobel prize winner -- that old man was bound to reach. On the stage, before all the poets and worshipers of Rabindranath, he would hold him by his collar and would say, "Still it has not happened. Why are you deceiving these idiots?
They are smaller idiots, you are a bigger idiot; they are not known outside the land, you are known all over the world -- but that does not mean that you know God."
Rabindranath has written in his diary: "I was so much harassed by him, and he had such penetrating eyes that it was impossible to tell a lie to him. His very presence was such that either you had to say the truth, or you had to remain silent."
But one day it happened... Rabindranath had gone for a morning walk. In the night it had rained; it was very early morning and the sun was rising. In the ocean it was all gold, and by the side of the streets water had gathered in small pools. In those small pools also the sun was rising with the same glory, with the same color, with the same joy.... And just this experience -- that in existence there is nothing superior and nothing inferior, that all is one whole -- suddenly triggered something in him. For the first time in his life he went to the old man's house, knocked on the door, looked into the eyes of the old man and said, "Now, what do you say?"
He said, "Now there is nothing to say. It has happened. I bless you."
The experience of your immortality, of your eternity, of your wholeness, of your oneness with existence is always possible. It only needs some triggering experience.
The whole function of the master is to create a situation in which the experience can be triggered; and suddenly the cloud of death disappears and there is all sunshine -- tremendous life, abundant life, life full of song and full of dance.
So the first thing, Amrita, is to get rid of death. All fears will disappear. You don't have to work on each single fear; otherwise it will take lives and still you will not be able to get rid of them.
You say, "I am most aware of a big fear...."
Everybody is more or less aware of the big fear, but the fear is absolutely rootless, baseless. And you say "... or guilt in me, when I sit with You."
The fear is natural, because death is known by everybody around. Guilt is not natural; it is created by religions. They have made every man guilty -- guilty of a thousand and one things, so burdened with guilt that they cannot sing, they cannot dance, they cannot enjoy anything. The guilt poisons everything.
Sitting with me it becomes more clear to you, because I am a stranger amongst you; I don't have any guilt. Guilt is an absolutely non-existential thing. It is the conditioning of religions.
Sitting with me, everything inside you starts becoming clear by contrast: Here is a man who has no guilt, a man who has no fear, a man who is absolutely alone in this whole world -- a single man against the whole world. All your guilt that ordinarily remains unconscious, because you are living with the same kind of people, with the same kind of conditioning....
Being with me is being with a mirror.
And to see yourself and the mess that you are carrying within you, is certainly saddening.
But it is also important, because if you become aware of it, it can be dropped. Guilt is an idea accepted by you. You can reject it, and it can be rejected because it is not part of existence. It is part of some stupid theology, of some old primitive religion.
You are saying, "and I am longing so much to be totally open to You." And you become afraid because the closer you become, the more open you become, the more you feel yourself full of guilt, sadness, misery, condemnation. You have been humiliated so much.
All the religions have conspired against innocent human beings to make them guilty, because without making them guilty they cannot be made into slaves. And slaves are needed. For a few people's lust for power, millions of people are needed to be enslaved.
For a few people to become Alexander the Great, millions have to be reduced to a sub- human status.
But all these are simply conditionings in the mind, which you can erase as easily as writing in the sands on a beach. Just don't be afraid, because those writings you have accepted as holy, you have accepted as coming from very respectable sources, from great founders of religions. It does not matter. Only one thing matters: that your mind should be completely cleaned, utterly empty and silent.
There is no need of Moses or Jesus or Buddha to reside inside you. You need a totally silent, clean space. And only that space can bring you not only to me, but to yourself, to existence itself.
"Recently I could feel the serpent rolled up in the bottom of me, sleeping, and the door, the third chakra, still closed. My heart wants to fly with you. Is there anything I can do?"
There are things which have to be done, and there are things which have not to be done.
Things that can be done are ordinary, mundane, mediocre, of the objective world. Things which happen, and cannot be done, belong to a superior, higher order of existence.
If you are feeling that you would like your love to grow, to blossom, then wait with deep longing -- as a seed. The longing has to be the seed. And the waiting, the patient waiting for the time when the spring comes and seeds start changing from dormant beings into alive, active blossomings....
The longing is there.
Just waiting is needed.
And the waiting should not be impatient, because impatient waiting means you don't trust existence. And your impatience cannot bring the spring a single moment earlier. On the contrary, your impatience may block the door for the spring to come to you.
Just remain available, with a deep longing, just like a thirst in every cell of your body, a passion.
And spring has always come.
Your spring will also come.
You need not do anything else.
Just long as lovingly, as intensely, and wait as patiently, as possible.
The religions of the world have given so many diseases to man that they are uncountable.
One of the diseases is that they have made every man ambitious for reward -- if not in this world then in the other world. They have made man so greedy, and at the same time they are all talking against greed. But their whole religion is based on greed.
Don't let your longing be a greed.
Your longing should be a love affair.
Your longing should not be a sad state but a joyful state, just as a pregnant mother. Your longing makes you pregnant. You can feel the child inside you which is growing every day, and each moment becomes a reward -- not that your reward will be delivered in heaven.
Religions have done such harm that they cannot be forgiven. They have taken away all dignity of man -- his joy of longing, of love, his pleasure in waiting, his trust that the spring will come. They have taken everything away from you. You will be rewarded only if you do certain rituals which have no relationship, no relevance. Now, going around a statue seven times -- what relevance can there be that you have earned virtue?
There are people who are continuously counting beads. I have seen people who are tending their shop and their hand is holding the beads so others should not see. It looks strange that you are haggling about the price of a certain thing with a customer and at the same time moving the beads, so they keep their hands and their beads in a bag so you cannot see. But anybody can see -- why should one have one's hand in a bag?
So the religion is going on inside the bag; outside they are haggling for the price and everything, and trying to cheat and exploit -- lying. And inside, how many times they have moved the beads -- means they have earned that much virtue. Virtue is the coin in heaven -- how much virtue have you in your bank account?
In Tibet they have done even better than counting beads. They have made small prayer wheels; each spoke represents one bead. So they go on doing all kinds of work, their prayer wheel by their side, and just once in a while they move it. And it goes on moving; when it slows down, they again give a push....
When I first came to know a lama with his prayer wheel I said, "You are stupid. Just plug it into the electricity. It will go on eternally, irrespective of whether you are alive or dead!"
But the lama could not understand that I was making a laughingstock of him. He said, "Your idea is great, because then we are completely free; otherwise this is a hindrance and everything -- you cannot do anything wholeheartedly." Even making love, they are moving their prayer wheel -- both the wife and the husband, they both have their prayer wheels. Now, it is very difficult: in the first place, the exercise of love is difficult -- such primitive gymnastics -- and on top of it you have to go on moving those prayer wheels.
A simple and innocent religion would have changed the whole earth. But the cunning priests would not allow a pure and innocent and childlike religion, with wondering eyes, with joy, not bothering about stupid ideas about heaven and hell but living each moment with great love.
And waiting for more -- not desiring, but by waiting, deserving, creating more and more space, silence, so that the spring comes. And not only a few flowers, but so many flowers....
One of the Sufi mystics has a small poem about it: "I had waited long for the spring -- it came. And it came so abundantly, with so many flowers, that there was not a place left where I could make a nest for myself."
Life gives abundantly; you just have to be a recipient. But never wait for any reward.
Three men die on the same day and go to heaven. One by one they are interviewed by Saint Peter, who asked the first man how many times he had made love: "Never! I am a virgin," is the first guy's answer. Saint Peter gives him a Mercedes Benz to get around in, and poses the same question to the second man. "Only once," he says, "on my wedding night."
Giving him the keys to a Toyota, Saint Peter turns and asks the third man how often he has made love in his life. "I have gotten laid so many times I have lost count," the fellow confesses. And Saint Peter gives him a bicycle.
Not too much later, the first man is driving around in his Mercedes Benz when he sees something so extraordinary that he turns his head to look. He crashes headlong into a tree, and when he comes to, in Heaven Hospital, the angel doctors and police are standing by his bedside, waiting to find out what caused the accident.
"It was shocking, simply shocking!" whispers the poor man, "I saw Pope John Paul on roller skates."
All your old religions are based on reward and punishment, on more and less. Even on the last night when Jesus is departing from his disciples they ask only one question -- "Certainly in heaven you will be standing at the right hand of God, but what about us?
Who will be standing next to you? And what are going to be our positions?" It is shocking to think that the man they had loved, lived with, is going to be crucified tomorrow -- it is almost certain -- but their whole concern is about their position. This is the corruption that religions have put into man's mind.
I want you to be absolutely innocent of all religious corruption and pollution. Have a silent, loving mind, waiting for more to happen. Life is so much that we go on exploring it -- but we cannot exhaust it. The mystery is timeless.
The Golden Future