Anand Anahad, one of the most fundamental things about the enlightened person is that he attains to enlightenment by dropping all choices; he attains it in a choiceless awareness. After enlightenment there is no way for him to choose anything.
It is not that he chooses not to be born; it is simply the law of existence that once you are enlightened you do not need the body and the mind and the whole imprisonment which we call life. It is not that the enlightened person goes into nonexistence; he becomes part of existence itself -- just like a fragrance, spread all over. In this way he helps the world to become a paradise. The more enlightened people disappear in the world as fragrance, the more light it will become... blissful, ecstatic.
And the question of making life a paradise is for you, not for the enlightened person. For him it is already a paradise. Even in this whole misery, and anguish, he remains above and beyond. He showers his love and compassion, but he is not touched by the anguish and anxiety, the misery and the hell that people are living in. His heart is full of compassion for them, and he does everything to help them to come out of their darkness.
Paradise is not a location; it is not part of geography. Paradise is a certain attitude towards existence; it is a way of life. The same energy that becomes misery becomes bliss; the same energy that creates jealousy and anger is transformed into love, into peace, into silence. It is not a question of only the enlightened person changing the world into a paradise; everybody has to change it by changing himself.
All those people who have been dreaming of a better world can be divided into two categories. The major part of the dreamers who want the world to become a paradise think in terms of changing the world -- its social structure, its economics, its politics.
These people have been working for thousands of years.
Their intentions are immensely beautiful, but they are ignorant about the basic fact that except for the individual, there is no world. You cannot change the world because the world is only a word, it is not a reality. If you go in search to meet the world you will always meet the individual. The individual is the reality. It is not just a word; it is existential.
The small part, the minor part of dreamers who want to bring a utopia into the world have a totally different approach. Their approach is to teach you how to be silent, how to be peaceful, how to beautify existence around you, how to take everything and change it... to create a harmony, an accord.
The same orchestra, the same instruments, can be played by monkeys too -- and they will really enjoy. But music will not be born; what will be born will be a maddening noise!
Even to people who do not know the art of music, who have not learnt, who have not gone into the discipline, all those instruments are useless. An orchestra in which thirty or more instruments are being played by those who know how to play them does not create noise; on the contrary it creates music -- which is closest to silence.The higher the music is, the closer it is to silence. Listening to great music, you will fall into silence.
In the East music has been always used as a support for meditation. It is difficult to fight with the mind, its constant rush of thoughts, but being absorbed in beautiful music all those thoughts disappear. Music is sound, but sound can be used in such a way that it creates silence; that is the whole art.
Life has many components. They can all live together like a crowd -- noisy, conflicting with each other, fighting to dominate -- that's how we create a hell. Hell is your inability to bring the crowd within you to a peaceful, loving existence. It is the inability to create an orchestra out of your being. The man who can create an orchestra out of his being -- whose mind, heart, being, are all in tune -- has created paradise for himself, and an energy field around himself, which will affect others also.
It is everybody's task; in fact it is the only task, the only challenge life gives to you -- whether you turn it into a hell or into a heaven. The man who turns his life into a heaven is the greatest artist in the world. Musicians and painters and dancers and poets -- all are left far behind. I call this man the mystic. He is the highest category.
It is up to you to see that your components are not at war, that you are at peace with yourself. One great Sufi mystic, Bayazid was dying. His old grandmother was always worried about the life of Bayazid, because he was not a traditional, orthodox, religious person; he never went to the mosque, he never prayed the way a Mohammedan should pray, five times a day -- he laughed at the very existence of God. As he was dying, his grandmother came close to him and whispered, "Bayazid, there is still time; make peace with God."
And Bayazid died with a great laughter, saying, "I don't need to, because I have made peace with myself."
Those who are not at peace with themselves are trying in every way to make peace with God, to make peace in the world, to make peace among the warring nations. But the man who has found peace within himself, radiates it. He becomes the source, triggering the same kind of music, the same harmony, and the same beauty in others who come close to him.
The enlightened man, while he is alive, works through his presence, through his love, through his silence. And when dead, he does not disappear; he simply becomes spread all over existence.
Ramakrishna was dying and his last instructions to his wife were.... In India, the moment the husband dies the wife goes through a trauma. She cannot wear colored clothes, she has to shave her head -- she cannot have hair; she cannot use any ornaments, not even the cheapest glass bangles -- she has to break them.
But before dying Ramakrishna, called Sharda, his wife, and told her, "Remember, you are never going to become a widow. I am dying, but I will be here. I will not be confined in the body, but you have not loved only my body; you have loved me, my consciousness.
So don't become a widow. Use beautiful clothes; just for my joy, use all the beautiful ornaments that I have given to you. And remember" -- he loved delicious food too much - - he said, "Remember, don't forget to create beautiful dishes for me. I will not be able to eat them, but even the aroma of your beautiful food will be a nourishment to me. And don't forget to prepare my bed rightly, particularly the mosquito net."
His disciples were feeling very embarrassed, "What is he saying? Has he gone insane? A dying enlightened person is worried about the mosquito net...."
Sharda followed his instructions for almost thirty years that she lived after him. She would prepare his food the same way she used to prepare it while he was in the body. She would take it to his room -- and nobody was there -- and she would say, "Paramahansdev, your food is ready." She would sit like the way she used to sit, with her fan in her hand.
There was nobody. The disciples tried to convince her -- "This is absolutely mad; you go on fanning and there is nobody...."
She said, "There may not be for you; there is for me." She would prepare the bed the way he liked, with many covers. She would take care about the mosquito net, that not a single mosquito entered inside.
Very few people have understood Sharda, but she really loved Ramakrishna -- not the body in which he was, but him, his being. Now the body is no longer there, but the being is spread all over existence; he is more than he was before. Before he was imprisoned in the body; now he is unembodied. Now he is just freedom.
The enlightened man helps people while he is alive, and he goes on helping people while he is not in the body. But if you cannot understand an enlightened man while he is in the body, it is very difficult for you to understand when he is not in the body.
Once you have fallen in love with a master, slowly, slowly he is no more a body to you.
He becomes only a pure consciousness.
When Gautam Buddha died ten thousand sannyasins were present. Except twenty, almost everybody was crying. But what was the matter with those twenty? Were they not devoted to Gautam Buddha? One of them, Manjushree was asked, "What is the matter with you all? -- because you have been closest to him."
He said, "That is the matter. We have known him not as the body; we have known him as an immortal consciousness. We are rejoicing. Up to now he was confined in a small space; now the whole sky is his. We can touch him anywhere, we can talk to him anywhere. We know he will be available -- that's why we are not crying, not weeping.
You are crying and weeping because you have never gone beyond the body. The body was beautiful, but it is nothing compared to the beauty of consciousness."
Anand Anahad, the enlightened man naturally goes on creating a paradise wherever he is -- in the body or not in the body. But he cannot create a paradise without your agreeing to it. Finally, you are the decisive factor. He can make all the arrangements, and you can refuse them; you can go on living in your hell. The first thing is that you are living in hell. So many times people have asked me, "Does hell exist?" And I have said to them, "You amaze me. You live in it, and you ask me, `Does hell exist?' What is your life? It is not a joy, it is not a dance -- you are living a nightmare."
To live unconsciously is to be in hell, and to live consciously is to be in heaven. To be fully enlightened... it is not that you enter paradise; paradise opens its petals, just like a lotus, in you. It is your innermost potential.
Jivan Mada, yes, it appears as if unbelievable changes have been happening in Russia in the past two years. But as far as I am concerned, I was waiting for those changes; they are not unbelievable. Sixty years of oppression, exploitation and mass scale butchery were preparing the ground. No night is without a dawn. Sixty years was more than enough; it was absolutely certain that it would come to an end.
Gorbachev is the first ray heralding that the morning has come. Many more changes will be happening in the future. Their speed is going to accelerate, because for sixty years the people have not tasted freedom, have not tasted trust, love; they have known only a fascist regime, which was ready to kill anybody for any small excuse. They have lived under the shadow of death.
I welcome the dawn; the birds have started singing, and the flowers have not forgotten -- even in sixty years -- that when the sun rises they have to open and release their fragrance.
You are asking me, do I have a special message for this great man, Gorbachev, who is bringing a second revolution in the Soviet Union? Yes, I have a message for him. And my message is not special, but the same as it is for every human being, wherever he exists. But the situation is certainly special. You will have to go a little bit back in the history....
Communism is a reaction against Christianity. Christianity has done so much harm that the intelligentsia -- particularly people like Karl Marx, who were geniuses -- became so frustrated with Christianity that they created an alternative: a materialist philosophy with no God, with no soul, with no consciousness.
It is understandable -- but not forgivable -- because Karl Marx was not acquainted with Gautam Buddha, nor was he acquainted with the Eastern flowers of Zen, of Tao, of Yoga.
Without knowing anything about authentic religion -- he thought that Christianity was equivalent to religion -- he created a religionless society. This is moving from one extreme to another extreme.
It has been always my understanding that amongst all the crimes that Christianity has committed, communism is also one of them -- not directly, but indirectly. It is because of Christianity -- its stupid superstitions, its exploitation of the people, its protection of the richest and its consolations for the poor -- that Karl Marx had to say that religion is nothing but opium for the people. This is perfectly true for organized religions, but this is not true about men like Zarathustra, or Bodhidharma, or Basho. They are the pinnacles of consciousness.
Gorbachev's greatest contribution will be to introduce the people of the Soviet Union to the immense varieties of religious experiences, and not to remain confined to Christianity. Christianity has nothing of religion in it. The West has not produced any religions; its whole consciousness is extrovert.
My message to Gorbachev is: Introduce meditations in the schools, in the colleges, in the universities; open the doors for Zen, for Tao, for Hassidism, and let people see that the essential religion is not a bondage, but the ultimate freedom. All other freedoms are small -- political, economical, social. The only freedom that cannot be destroyed by anybody, and cannot be taken away by anybody, is of the spirit. He is trying to introduce political freedom, freedom of expression. These are good, but they are not enough; they are all superficial.
The Soviet Union is in a very special state. For sixty years they have been denied....
There is a deep longing for truth, for freedom, for love -- it is almost like a land that has been lying unused for sixty years, waiting for its spring, waiting for someone to sow seeds. It has gathered so much potential and power that if you sow the seeds this land can produce the most beautiful flowers, the richest crops.
Gorbachev himself has to be introduced to the art of meditation, and he has to open the doors and the windows to all the dimensions that have been closed for sixty years, so people can choose the method to find themselves. A spiritual realization has to be made available to the people of the Soviet land. That will be the greatest contribution Gorbachev can make.
You are asking, "If he had enough courage to welcome you, and your people, would you consider going there?"
Absolutely, unconditionally! I would love to go there, to take my people.... And if he has courage enough I would like to create a commune in the Soviet Union to show America, "The day you destroyed the commune there, you have yourself committed suicide."
And you can see, Ronald Reagan has not the same prestige as he had when the commune was there; he cannot hope to become the president again. Governor Atiyeh of Oregon was very powerful just because of the commune -- because he was opposing it, and people were supporting him. He could not gather courage even to run for the second time.
He is no longer the governor; if we had been there, he would have been the governor still.
The politicians who had become immensely important have lost all their power. Their power was because of us. If they had real intelligence, they would have continued to be against us superficially, and behind the curtain they would have been helping us to be as strong as possible -- because we were the source of their power. The more powerful we would have been, the more powerful they would have been. But Oregonians are simply the most stupid people in the world. They destroyed their very source of power; now nobody takes any note of them.
They were trying to collect signatures to change the rule that you can be a voter in Oregon if you have stayed there for twenty days before the voting but they needed the signatures of seventy-five percent of the population. Their campaign was going great when we were there; it was because of us they were afraid of those twenty days. I have been informed by my attorneys that, "The moment you left, your sannyasins left, their campaign completely failed." They had gathered almost forty percent of the signatures, but now nobody is interested in it -- for what?
It would be a good answer to America if Russia could help us to create a commune in their land. And in fact, the whole philosophy of a commune is highest and most significant in the philosophy of communism itself; the very word communism comes from the word commune.
And our commune can become a model for the whole Soviet Union. If Gorbachev has guts enough, I will do everything to create a commune on Soviet land that will be the sunrise in the Soviet Union, and the sunset in America.
Prem Adina, no man is an island. We are all connected in a thousand-and-one ways.
That's what I was saying about Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity.
Somebody had asked him, "If you had not discovered it, do you think somebody else would have been able to discover it, ever?" And he was surprised by the answer. Albert Einstein said, "It would have taken not more than three weeks for somebody else to discover it."
As it happens, in fact, it was discovered by another scientist before Albert Einstein; he was just a lazy man and did not publish his article, and once Albert Einstein had published his article, there was no point.
Our beings are connected. Of course, everybody cannot discover a theory like relativity; it needs a very refined intelligence. But there were at least a dozen people in the world who were of the same caliber, and who were looking in the same direction. It was only a question of time -- of who is fast enough to reach the conclusion.
Here you will feel it every day. A question arises in you. You can ask it, or just wait a little -- somebody is going to ask it! Here you are, all for the same purpose, the same search; you are all looking in the same direction, accepting the same challenge. It is very natural that the same questions will arise in you.
There are people who have never asked a single question because they know now so certainly, "What is the point? Somebody is going to ask it." And it is always better when somebody else asks it, and you are just listening relaxedly. The person who has asked is tense, because it is his question. I am not a very predictable man, and I answer the questioner more than the question; so he is very alert, very tense, a little bit afraid.
Everybody else can enjoy relaxedly -- that poor fellow has finally asked the question.
And I have seen that the people who are listening to the answers of other people's questions understand more clearly, because they are more relaxed. They are almost like observers. They are more open. I am not going to hit on their head, of that they must...
they are certain; so they can enjoy the answer. And it is their question too.
And particularly because we are concerned in a single-pointed purpose -- how to know yourself and how to be yourself -- questions will be coming, and they will be applicable almost to everybody. It just depends on your attitude. You should not forget to listen to the answer thinking that because it is somebody else's question it is none of your concern, and you can enjoy having your own yakkety-yak that goes on inside you. Then you will miss. And you will miss a great opportunity. It is unintelligent.
The intelligent person will listen very carefully to any question, because it may not be significant for him today -- but perhaps tomorrow.... Perhaps he has not come to that space, but he will come; it is better to be ready for it. All that is needed is a little intelligence.
Although he was approaching eighty, the old colonel refused to accept his loss of sexual desire and stamina, so he consulted a doctor. The doctor was amused, and asked, "Why should you be so concerned? It is only to be expected at your time of life."
"But a friend of mine who is eighty-five says he still makes love to his wife every night," replied the colonel.
The doctor smiled, "Why can't you say the same thing? It is only a question of saying."
Just a little intelligence....
A young boy came before the court, charged with stealing a girl's bicycle.
"I did not steal it, sir," he told the magistrate, "she gave it to me. She was riding me home on the handlebars, and she stopped in the woods; she took off her bluejeans and her panties and said I could have anything she had. Well sir, the panties were girls' things and the bluejeans would not fit me -- so I took the bicycle."
Just be a little intelligent. Don't take the bicycle!
The Golden Future