The Stars Mirrored

Fri, 12 September 1974 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Osho - The Great Path
Chapter #:
am in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
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[Note: This is a translation from the Hindi series Shiva Sutra, which is in the process of being edited. It is for research only.]









Turiya, the fourth state, means supreme knowledge. The fourth state means that there is no darkness of any sort within. All the inner landscape is illuminated; no area of darkness remains.

Nothing of ourselves, neither within nor without, is unknown to us. The light of wakefulness makes everything visible.

As we are now, we are either awake or dreaming or in deep sleep. We have no idea of the fourth state. When we are awake we see the outside world, but we ourselves are in darkness. Objects become visible, but we have no knowledge of our inner self. The world lights up but not the soul.

This is the state of semi-wakefulness, half-wakefulness.

What we call waking up in the morning, is just this half-wakeful state. This is not really worthwhile because it is the useless which is visible; the useful remains hidden. We see the rubbish, but the diamonds remain in obscurity. We cannot see our own selves though the whole world is made visible to us.

The second state is the state of dreaming. In dreaming we lose not only ourselves, but also the outside world. All we see are images floating in the mind, reflections of the external world. We see these reflections as we would see the moon or the stars mirrored in a lake. On waking we see things distinctly; in dreams we see them as reflections.

The third state that we are acquainted with is deep sleep. In this state, first the external world, the world of objects is lost to us; then the reflections fade, dreams disappear and we are left in total darkness. This is known as deep sleep. In this state we have no knowledge either of the outer world or of the inner world.

In the waking state we have knowledge of the external world. In the dream state, which is between wakefulness and deep sleep, we have knowledge only of the reflections formed in the wakeful state, but no knowledge of the objects without.

The fourth state is turiya. This state is the goal we are striving to reach. All meditations, all yoga, are endeavors to reach the fourth state. The fourth state means knowledge of both, what is within and what is without - complete wakefulness; there is no darkness within or without. This is what is known as buddhahood. Mahavir called this enlightened state, jinatva. The light spreads everywhere, inside and out; and in this light we know objects and also know our self. These sutras show how the fourth state is attained.

The first sutra says:


We know, but we do not know that we know, each of these states. When we dream, we do not know we are dreaming; we are completely identified with the dream. It is only on awakening in the morning that we realize we were dreaming; but by the time we know it, the state has long since gone. While we are in this state we are not aware of it, apart from it, because we are identified with it. In the dream world we become the dream. By the time we realize it was a dream we have identified ourselves with the waking state.

You say: I am awake. You have forgotten that again, that very night, you will drop your identity with this state and become one with your dreams. You become one with whatever appears before your eyes - but the truth is that you are apart from all of them.

It is just as when the rains came, you feel that you are the monsoon; when summer comes you feel that you are summer, when winter comes that you are winter. The three seasons are all around you; you are totally separate from them. In childhood you thought you were a child; in youth you think you are young; when old age comes you will think you have become old. But you are beyond all three.

If this were not so, how could the child become the youth? There is something within you that could leave childhood behind and continue into youth. That something is separate, apart, from childhood and youth.

You are lost when you dream. On waking you know the dream was false. There is some element of consciousness within you that is the voyager; waking, dreaming and deep sleep are just stoppages along the way. As soon as you become aware of the fact that you stand alone and apart from them, the fourth state is born within you. This separateness, this apartness, is the fourth state.

Mahavir has coined a beautiful word for this state. He calls it the science of discrimination. He says that the whole science consists of making careful discriminations of spiritual secrets. And this is also what the Shiv-Sutra aims at: you should realize that each of these states is separate. As soon as this realization is reached you will also know your separate identity. You will have learned the art of making distinctions. Right now your mental state is such that you identify with whatever appears before you.

Someone abuses you: you become angry. In that moment you are one with the anger. You completely forget that a moment ago there was no anger, but you existed; and in a moment the anger will pass away, but you will remain. So anger is the smoke that momentarily engulfs you; it is not your nature.

In anxiety, the cloud of apprehension pervades; the sun is hidden behind it; you forget completely that you are separate. In happiness you dance with joy; when sorrow comes, you cry. Whatever happens, you are one with it. You are not aware of your separateness. You must start learning how to separate it by and by. At every stage you have to disidentify yourself. While eating you must know that it is the body that feels the hunger, not you. You are only the knower. Consciousness feels no hunger. When you feel hot and you perspire, be sure you realize that it is the body which perspires.

This does not mean that you should sit in the sun and get drenched with sweat. Let the body be comfortable, but maintain your awareness that the comfort is being provided for the body, you are only the knower.

Little by little, stand apart from everything that happens around you. It is very difficult; the gap is small and hard to see, the boundaries not clear at all. For millions of lives you have learned to identify. You never learned disidentification. You learned to identify with every situation. You have totally forgotten the art of disidentification, and this is your unconsciousness - that you have learned to identify.

One morning found Mulla Nasruddin at the bedside of his friend who was in the hospital. The patient opened his eyes and said, "What happened, Nasruddin? I haven't the faintest idea."

"Last night you just had a little too much to drink," said the Mulla. "Then you stood in the window and said, you can fly. You tried to fly out of the third-story window. And this is the result - your broken bones!"

The friend was shocked. "But you were with me, Mulla. Why did you allow it to happen? What kind of a friend are you?"

"Let's not talk about that," said Nasruddin. "At the time I was convinced that you could do it. If the cord of my pyjamas had not broken I would have taken off with you. But how could I keep my pyjamas on while I was flying? That is all that held me back. You weren't the only one drunk."

The meaning of unconsciousness is to be one with whatever comes to the mind. If the drunk thinks that he can fly, he cannot discriminate. There is no ability to discriminate left within him. He becomes one with the thought.

Your life is exactly like this. Granted, you do not fly out of windows and break any bones and land in the hospital, but if you observe very, very minutely you will find that you are in the hospital with all your bones broken. Your whole life is one long illness, which gives you nothing but pain and suffering. At every step you fall. At every step you have fallen. At every step you have hurt yourself, and behind all this devastation, there is only one reason: your unconsciousness. You fail to create a distance between you and your surroundings.

Just stand back a little. Move step by step. It is a long journey, because what has been built up over millions of lives cannot be so easily destroyed. However, it can be done. Whatever you have created is false. The Hindus call it maya. Maya means: the world which you are caught in is false. This does not actually mean that the sun and the stars, the mountains and the trees are false. it only means that your identification with your perception of them is false. You live with this identification. That is your world!

How can you break this association? First, start from your waking state. Because only in the waking state is a slight ray of consciousness. How can you start with dreams? It would be very difficult. And you do not know deep sleep at all, because all consciousness is lost there. Begin with the waking state, that is where your spiritual path begins. That is the first step. The second step is the dream state, and the third is deep sleep. The day you complete all the three steps you will naturally have stepped into the fourth: turiya, the state of self-realization.

Begin with the waking state. That is the path; that's why it is called wakefulness. Otherwise it is not wakefulness. What kind of wakefulness can it be when you are lost in the objects and you have no awareness of your own self? This is wakefulness in name. But it has been called the waking state.

Actually we have called the buddhas "the awakened ones."

This is, however, a waking state in the sense that there is some possibility of awakening in this state.

So start with the waking state. When you are hungry eat, but always remember that it is the body that is hungry, not you. If you hurt your leg, wash and clean the wound, apply medication, but always remember that it is the body that is hurt, not you. This much remembrance - and you will find that ninety-nine percent of the pain has vanished. This slight knowledge, this little awareness removes so much of your suffering. One percent is bound to remain because the knowledge is not total.

When knowledge becomes total all of the suffering disappears.

Buddha said that an awakened person is beyond suffering. You can cut off the limbs of such a person, you can throw him in the fire, you can kill him, but you cannot make him suffer, because he stands apart from all that is happening around him.

So start with the waking state. Walk on the road, but remember that you are not walking - the body is walking. You have never walked. How could you? The soul has no feet to walk on. The soul has no stomach, how can it be hungry? The soul has no desires; all desires are of the body. The soul is desireless, therefore it does not walk. It simply cannot walk. It is only your body that walks. Try to keep this awareness as long as possible. Eventually you will get a joyous experience: walking on the road with full awareness that the body is walking and not you, you will suddenly feel that you are divided into two parts. One part is walking; the other part is not walking. One part eats; the other does not.

The Upanishads say: Two birds are sitting on the same tree. The one on the upper branch is quiet.

It neither moves nor cries nor flies; it neither comes nor goes, it only sits serenely. The one on the lower branch is very restless. It moves from one branch to another branch. It jumps from one fruit to another. It is very restless. Both these birds are within you. You are the tree. The bird that is serene is called the witness.

Jesus says that you sleep in one bed, but there are two of you; one is dead and the other is eternal.

You are the bed. When you sleep at night, within you there are both a lifeless corpse and eternal consciousness. Differentiate between the two; maintain the distance. It means hard work.

Start with the daytime. With the first ray of consciousness as you wake up in the morning, start the experiment. After a thousand attempts, perhaps one may succeed but even if one attempt is successful you will realize that the thousands of attempts were worthwhile. If even for a moment, you came to experience that he who walks is not you but he who is unmoving is you; he who is full of desires is not you, but that he who is forever desireless is you; that that which is perishable is not you, but the fountain of eternal nectar is you; - if you become Mahavira or Buddha even for a moment or attain the state of Shiva, if this knowledge dawns on you for even a moment, you will have opened the doors of the supreme treasure. After that the journey becomes easy. After the taste, the journey is easy. All the difficulty comes before the taste!

Start with the daytime, and gradually you will succeed in carrying it through into your sleep. Gurdjieff used to teach his disciples to practice awareness during the daytime, and then he would tell them that just before going to bed they must remember: "This is a dream." You are still awake. There is no dream yet, but you have to keep repeating to yourself: "Everything I see is a dream." Touch the bed and intensify the feeling: "Whatever I touch is a dream." Touch one hand with the other, and experience: "All that I touch is a dream." You go to sleep sinking deep into this feeling. There will be a constant stream of feeling moving inside.

After a few days you will find that in the middle of a dream you will suddenly become aware that it is a dream. As soon as you remember that it is a dream, the dream breaks, because the dream works only in the absence of consciousness. Then you will be filled with bliss such as you have never known before. Your sleep will vanish, dreams will disappear, and a deep light will surround you. The dreams of an enlightened person disappear, because in sleep he also remembers that they are dreams.

Shankara's Vedanta propounds the concept that the universe is an illusion. This philosophy is an experiment of the same kind.

The sannyasin has to remember constantly that whatever is happening is a dream. While getting up in the morning, walking on the road, in the midst of the marketplace, he has to remember:

"Everything is a dream." Why? Because this is the method. It is a process. If you experiment constantly for eight hours, this remembrance will penetrate so deeply that you will remember it even in the middle of the dream; you will remember that it is a dream.

At present you are unable to remember. Actually, you are doing it even now - but in the reverse order. All your waking hours you feel and understand that whatever you see is real. And that is why dreams seem real at night, because the feeling is very strong.

What can be more false than dreams? How many times on waking up have you realized their falsity, their uselessness? Yet every night you make the same mistake. Why? There must be a very deep reason behind this folly. The reason is: in your waking state you take everything to be true. If you take everything you see to be real, then how can the dreams you see at night appear to be illusory?

You take them to be real.

The maya experiment is just the opposite. Whatever you see during the day, you remember that this is unreal. You forget again and again, but once again you pull yourself together. You remind yourself that everything you see is nothing but a huge drama in which you are only a spectator. You are not the actor, not the doer, but only a witness.

If you nurture this feeling, it becomes a constant flow within. Finally the dream disappears in the night, and this is a great attainment. If the dream is shattered, you are ready to take the third step.

If the dream is shattered, you can take the third step of retaining consciousness in deep sleep. But right now this is difficult for you. It is not possible to do it all at once; you must proceed step by step.

When the dream breaks down, there is nothing to see. But in the daytime when the eyes are open, objects are very much visible. No matter how much you believe that it is illusory, the objects will go on existing. No matter how much Shankara says that the world is an illusion, you must use a door for exit, you cannot walk through walls. In spite of everything being an illusion, you will eat food and not pebbles. No matter how much you maintain that all is illusion, it requires your presence to pronounce these words. If you do not exist, who will utter them?

So no matter how much you strengthen the feeling that the outside world is illusion, the world of objects is going to remain. If someone hits your head with a stone, you will bleed. You may not feel sorry, you may not complain, you may say that it is maya, but the incident has occurred nevertheless.

But there is a uniqueness about dreams: they are all illusions. So an extraordinary experiment is carried out with dreams. The moment you come to know that dreams are illusory, they are lost; there is nothing to be seen. When the seen is lost, the seer comes into focus. As long as there is something to see, you look outside because the scene attracts. When the scene is no more and the screen is empty - when even the screen is not there, you are left alone. This is why people meditate with closed eyes. To call the world maya, illusion, is a method.

The world is real. It does not depend on what you think. Even if it is a dream, it is the dream of Brahman, and not yours. But there are your personal dreams which take shape at night; therefore, when you shatter your own dreams a very revolutionary thing happens: the space then becomes empty. There is nothing to see. The play is over and it is time to go home. Now what will you do sitting there? This is the moment that the eyes suddenly turn in, for there is nothing left outside. So the energy that flowed out to the objects now turns inwards to the observer.

Meditation is energy turning towards oneself. And the moment energy turns inwards you can be conscious, even in sushupti, deep sleep. Because in deep sleep you exist but the world does not exist, the dreams do not exist. Your attention was entangled in observing the world and your dreams; you remained unconscious in deep sleep. Now this entanglement is uprooted. You have no connection with the seen and you can be without it. When the lamp burns, it does not care whether anyone passes through its light or not. Now your consciousness will turn inwards, and you will be awake even in deep sleep.

The experiment you have to make after you wake up from the dream is that do not to open your eyes when the dream disappears, because once the eyes open, the world of objects is present all around. The 'seen' comes back. So when you wake up from the dream, do not open your eyes.

Keep looking intently at the void within. The dream has vanished. There is nothing now. So go on observing the void intently. In doing this you will find that your consciousness has turned inwards.

Then you are awake even in deep sleep. This is what Krishna means when he says in the Gita that the yogi is awake even when everyone else sleeps. What is sleep to others is no sleep to the yogi.

He is awake even in deep sleep.

Thus, when you see each of these states separately you invariably step into the fourth state. 'Turiya' means "the fourth" - simply that! There is no need to give it any other meaning. It is enough just to refer to it as 'the fourth', because all meanings bind; all words are bondages. Only a gesture is enough. Because it is boundless and infinite.

As soon as you step outside the three states, you become God. Because you have entered the three, you are constricted. It is just as if from an open space you enter a tunnel and the tunnel gets narrower and narrower. By the time you reach the five senses it has become very narrow. Now you have to go backwards. As you go further and further back, your space increases. The day you find yourself outside the three, you are the great expanse of space. Then you are God Himself.

Take another example: You look at the sky through a telescope. Through a very small opening you concentrate your attention on something outside, and you become one with it. When you take your eyes off the telescope, you realize that you are not the telescope. Similarly, you are not the eyes, but you have concentrated on the eyes in millions of lives. You are not the ears, but you have been listening through them for infinite lives. You are not the hands, but you are so used to touching with your hands. You are tied to your telescope! You are like the scientist who carries his telescope everywhere and refuses to see without it. He is moving everywhere with his telescope fixed in his eyes. You keep telling him, "Throw away this telescope. You are not that!" But he can only see through a telescope and does not know that he can see otherwise. This is the state of forgetfulness.

The method of destroying this forgetfulness is: start from the waking state and let it culminate in the deep sleep state.


Start with the first and proceed gradually. The day you realize that you are fully conscious in deep sleep, then there is no difference between you and Mahavir or Buddha or Shiva.

Right now you are doing just the opposite: even in your waking state you are not fully awake. How will you be awake in deep sleep? You are under the illusion that you are awake, but you are awake in name only. You manage to carry out your day-to-day activities. You ride your bicycle or drive your car and think that you are awake.

But have you ever realized, how automatic your actions have become? The cyclist does not even have to think: now I have to turn left, now right. He can be completely wrapped up in his thoughts and the bicycle wheel turns automatically, out of sheer habit. The bicycle turns left, then turns right and he arrives home! There is no need to be aware while you ride the bicycle. Everything has become mechanical - a habit. You are bound to reach home. The automobile driver goes on driving the car. He does not have to pay any attention to the car.

Our lives are ordinarily very routine. We go on treading the beaten path. We are no better than oxen at the oil mill. We walk the same track day in and day out. At the most, the tracks may be a little wider for one, and a little narrower for others; somewhat ugly for one and a little beautiful for the other, but they are tracks all the same. Your life circles around like the bullock of an oil mill. You get up in the morning and start on the track; by night you complete the circle. Again you get up in the morning... and the same rut! So regular is the repetition that you no longer have any need to be conscious about your activities. Everything happens as if in a trance. At the set moment you feel hungry; at the fixed time you feel sleepy, you go shopping at the appointed time. In this way you are spending your life on a fixed course without any consciousness.

When will you awaken? When will you shake yourself out of this? When will you give up the beaten track? When will you declare, "I am not going to follow this monotonous circle?" The day you consider wiggling out of it, you will have started the journey towards God.

Going to temples does not make you religious. That is also a part of the same rut. You go there because you have always gone; because your parents have always gone, and their parents have been visiting the same temple, too! You read the scriptures simply because your forefathers used to read them. It is the same rut again. Have you ever gone to a temple in full awareness? If you do, there is no further need of going to a temple; because wherever there is awareness, you will find His temple.

Consciousness is the temple. We see the Christian going regularly to church, the Sikh to the gurudwara, the Hindu to the temple. They are all tied by their tethers. No one can break this slumbering state of yours except yourself.

It is important for you to know that your waking state is just a stupor, whereas the deep sleep of a yogi is a fully awakened state. You are a yogi - upside down! The day you become the reverse of what you are today, the quintessence of life will come within your grasp. Know the three stages separately, and the knower becomes separated from the three stages; you are sheer knowledge, nothing else. You are sheer consciousness - but only when you break away from the three states.

I was reading about a Sufi fakir, Junnaid. When a person abused him he would say, "I shall answer you tomorrow." Then the next day he would say, "There is no need for any answer."

The man who had abused him would ask, "I abused you yesterday, why did you not reply yesterday?

You are very strange." No one waits for a second when you abuse him. He retorts immediately."

Junnaid answered, "My master taught me not to hurry in anything. Take some time. I must wait a little when someone insults me. If I were to give an immediate answer, the heat of the happening would catch hold of me; the smoke would blind my eyes. So I have to wait and let the cloud pass.

When twenty-four hours have passed and the skies are clear again, then I can give my reply in full consciousness. Now I realize how tricky my guru was. Because I have never been able to answer my opponents since then."

Is it possible to hold on to anger for twenty-four hours? It is impossible to maintain it for twenty-four minutes or even twenty-four seconds. The truth is that, even if you hold back and watch for a single second, the anger vanishes.

But you do not wait even for a moment. A person abuses you - as if someone switches the button, and the fan starts whirring. There is not the slightest gap between the two, no distance! And you pride yourself in your alertness! You have no control of yourself. How can an unconscious person be master of himself? Anybody can push the button and goad him into action. Someone comes and flatters you, and you are filled with joy; you are happy. Someone insults you, you are full of tears.

Are you your own master or anyone can manipulate you? You are the slave of slaves. And those who are manipulating are not their own masters either! And the irony is that everyone is expert in manipulating others and none of them is conscious. What greater insult can there be for your soul than the fact that anyone can affect you?

Mulla Nasruddin worked in an office. Everyone was dissatisfied with his work. Most of the time he was either dozing or was fast asleep. Everybody in the office was fed up with him. People started rebuking him. The boss also called him in and scolded him for his behavior. Finally, due to the trouble and humiliation, the Mulla thought it best to resign, because it was easier to resign than to change his ways.

Many people who run away from the world and embrace sannyas are actually resigning from the world for this very reason. Transformation is difficult, resigning is easier. Everyone in the office was relieved to hear the news. However, since he had been there for a long while and he was leaving of his own free will, they decided to give him a farewell party. They were so troubled by him and they could not get rid of him. He had become a burden. So they were really happy. They made elaborate arrangements, complete with sweets and refreshments. Each colleague spoke a few words of praise for the Mulla. After all, he was leaving. The Mulla was so overcome with emotion that tears came to his eyes. When it was his turn to speak he got up and said, "Friends, I am indeed touched by your love and affection. I did not know how much you cared for me. I cannot leave you now. I withdraw my resignation."

We are being manipulated. Often, all around, the whole world is manipulating each and every person. And the climate goes on changing. There are thousands of kinds of people. As a result there is a deep confusion inside you. This is bound to be, because you are not motivated by one person. Only he who is awakened within is motivated by one. There is a clarity in the life of such a man, a transparency. His life is clear and purposeful; it has a direction.

There is no direction in your life. There cannot be. You behave as if you are in a crowd that pushes you any way it pleases. Such a person has to keep moving. He cannot stand still for a moment.

Someone pushes him to the right, he goes right; someone pushes him to the left, he goes left. Your whole life passes in this way, driven by the crowd. Ponder over this and you will come to understand.

Somebody says something; you do accordingly. Then somebody else says something else and you do it. And then you are filled with a number of contradictions.

One of my acquaintances fell from a rickshaw and hurt himself. Then he was released from the hospital. Six months passed. When he was completely well, he still used the crutches. When I asked him whether he still was experiencing difficulty in walking, he said, "No."

"Then why don't you discard the crutches?" I inquired.

"You see," he said, "the doctor says I no longer need them, but my lawyers says I do, at least until the case has been decided in court. So you see my dilemma!"

Your lawyer says one thing and your doctor says something else; the wife says one thing and the husband says something else; the son says one thing, the father another - all around there are millions of masters who drive you on. There are infinite masters, but you stand alone! You listen to one and all. You listen to anybody who suppresses you. And your personality fractures into thousands of pieces. Until you begin to listen to the inner voice, you cannot be an integrated whole.

I call him a sannyasin who has begun to heed the inner voice and is ready to stake everything on it.

But you cannot hear the inner voice as long as you are unconscious. Until then whatever you might take to be the inner voice will not be the inner voice; it will be a voice from outside. The unconscious man doesn't know anything of this voice. Otherwise all politicians sitting in Delhi would have talked of this inner voice - Indira, Giri: The voice of the soul! How can a sleeping person know it? How can you know which is the inner voice? The voice that satisfies you is the voice of your desires, but you call it your inner voice.

Only the awakened person has an inner voice. Once this voice comes within range of your hearing, all that is sinful, all that is impure and dirty, all the chaos and confusion within you, will cease at once. You will then realize what a collection of personalities you have been. You were not one but many, like a crowd in a marketplace or a stock exchange. You are the stock exchange of Delhi - all kind of nonsense is going on! One cannot understand anything. A stranger won't be able to figure out what you are. There are all kinds of voices. And amidst all that din your own voice is completely lost.

The fourth state means recognizing the soul. Only when you break away from the first three states can you recognize the soul. Start with very small experiments. When anger arises, stop! What is the hurry? When you feel hatred, wait! There should be some interval. Reply only when you are fully conscious - not until that. You will find that all that is sinful in life has fallen away from you; all that is wrong is banished forever. You will suddenly discover, there is no need to respond to anger.

Perhaps you might feel like thanking the man who insults you. Because he has obliged you. He gave you an opportunity to awaken.

Kabir has said stay near the one who is critical of you. Look after him and serve him who is abusing you because it is he who gives you the opportunity to awaken.

All the occasions that drown you in unconsciousness can be turned into stepping stones to awareness if you wish so. Life is like a huge boulder lying in the middle of the road. Those who are foolish, see the stone as a barrier and turn back. For them the road is closed. Those who are clever, climb the stone and use it as a step. And the moment they make it a stepping stone greater heights are available to them.

A seeker should keep in mind only one factor, and that is: to utilize each moment to awaken awareness. Then be it hunger or anger or lust or greed, every state can be utilized towards awareness. If you go on accumulating awareness bit by bit, eventually you will have a good store of fuel within you. In the flame this fuel creates, you will find that you are neither awake nor dreaming nor in deep slumber; you are beyond and apart from all three.


CHOOSING IS THE DREAMING STATE. The web of thoughts in the mind, the expanse of imagination and phantasy is the dreaming state.


These are the three states. When we pass through the first state, we are one with it. When we reach into the second, we are one with that. When we reach in the third state, we become one with that.

Therefore we cannot see these three separately. To see, we need a little distance, a perspective.

There must be some space between you and the object. If you stand right against a mirror, you will not be able to see your reflection. A little distance is necessary. But you are so close to the waking, dreaming and sleeping states, that you become in fact one with them. You are colored by them.

This habit of becoming one with others is so ingrained that we are not even conscious of it - and this habit is being exploited.

If you are a Hindu and you are told to set fire to a mosque, you will think a thousand times about whether it is right to do so, because the mosque is dedicated to the same God to whom your temple is dedicated. Perhaps the mode of dedication is different, the method is different, the way is different - but the destination is the same. And yet we find a Hindu mob setting fire to a mosque. If you are one of them you do not wait to think. You become one with the crowd and help burn the mosque. If you are questioned later, you yourself wonder how you could have brought yourself to do this. Alone you never would do it but in a crowd you will. Why? Because in a crowd you tend to lose yourself; it is an old habit.

No Muslim is as bad and ruthless alone as he is when he is in a mob. No Hindu alone is as bad and evil as he is in a mob. No one man has ever committed such sins as have been committed by crowds. Why? Because a crowd colors you. If the mob is angry you feel anger arising within you.

If the crowd is weeping and wailing you begin to weep and scream also. If the crowd is happy you forget all your woes and become happy with the crowd.

Now observe: you go to a household where someone has died. Many people are crying. Suddenly you find that you also feel like crying. Perhaps you might think you are a very compassionate person, filled with love and pity, or perhaps you might think the tears come because of sympathy. You are wrong. Reflect: you were at home when the news came that this man had died. When you were alone you felt no love or compassion for the bereaved family. It is more likely you were annoyed:

so he has died - what's so special about that? Life and death happen all the time. But now I'll be expected to go to his house and show my sympathy, as if I had nothing better to do! And why did he have to die today, when I'm so busy?

That is the way you would have thought. But when you get to his house and find yourself amongst the mourning crowd, you find that your feelings have changed. You too will feel as the crowd does.

But this feeling is not worth a penny; in fact, it is dangerous. It is the crowd that is affecting you.

Beware of this feeling of sympathy that does not come from your heart.

You must have seen that people who are normally unhappy and weighed down with sorrow dance with joy at holi, the festival of colors. They dance, they sing, they throw colored powders at each other. What happens to these people who don't know what joy is in their ordinary lives? These same people normally move about like zombies, and they have started dancing. What has come over them? Once again, it is the color of the crowd.

The seeker should beware of the crowd. Search for your own voice, your own tune. The crowd has always been pushing and prodding you along. It can mould you into whatever form it wishes to.

Why does this happen? It happens because you do not feel your separateness, and whenever you get the opportunity you promptly lose your separateness. You are forever ready to lose it. If sleep comes you lose yourself in sleep; if awake you lose yourself in wakefulness; if dreams come you lose yourself in dreams. If those around you are happy you are happy; if they are sad you are sad.

Do you exist as a separate entity or are you just a center that gets lost in its surroundings? Do you have an existence, a center? Truly you have - and that is the soul.

Awaken your being! Save yourself from drowning! This is why all religions are against alcohol - which in itself is not bad - for the simple reason that it is a device of losing oneself. All religions are in favor of awakening. He who is drinking alcohol is drowning. Religion is against all those things that drag you into oblivion, that make you unconscious. As it is, you are almost unconscious. You have a little ray of awakening, and you are eager to lose even that on the slightest pretext.

It is very surprising that you become happy whenever you lose your consciousness. It is impossible to find a greater fool than you. You lose your consciousness and you say, "It was lovely, it was sheer joy!" Why? Because your small ray of consciousness helps you see the problems of life. It makes you conscious of life and fills you with anxieties. It makes you aware of the fact that you are not aware. This small ray of consciousness reveals the darkness within you, which is already thick enough. You want to smother this ray so that you are not reminded of the darkness. So you take to alcohol or drugs or you join politics or some other activity of the crowd - you lose yourself anywhere, in anything, in order to forget yourself.

In the West, psychologists advise people to forget themselves if they wish to remain healthy. In the East, the religious teachers tell you that you can be healthy only if you can awaken yourself. These are two contrary concepts, but both are meaningful. The Western psychologist accepts you as you are; then under these circumstances he tries to help you to live as best you can. So he is right when he says: "Forget yourself. To be more conscious is dangerous because you will be filled with anxiety because you will start seeing things as they are. And nothing in life is as it should be; everything is in confusion and chaos. So the best thing is to shut the eyes and forget about it. What is the need to look at all the problems?

But the Eastern master does not accept you as you are. He says: "You are ill, you are diseased, you are confused and bewildered. Even if your anxieties increase and you are more restless, it does not matter; this is the way to transformation, revolution.

It is just like this: a man suffers from cancer and there is no cure for him, so he is given morphine to help him forget the pain. But the Eastern teachers say that morphine cannot transform life. Awaken the person - then only is transformation possible. Man as he is, is in neither the initial nor the ultimate stage of his journey. He has not even started his journey; he is standing outside the gate.

He has not entered yet. There is the possibility of supreme bliss, but not in the state in which are you now - sleepy, drowsy.

Understand the difference between happiness and bliss. Happiness is the state in which the faint ray of consciousness awakened within you, is also put to sleep. Then you are not conscious of any pain. Ananda, bliss, is the state in which the slight ray of your consciousness becomes the vast sun, and darkness is banished completely. Happiness is negative - insensitivity to pain. You have a headache; you take an aspirin. It gives you happiness, not bliss. This tablet helps you forget the headache; it makes you insensitive to the pain in your head.

You are ill; you are distressed; life is filled with problems. You take to drink - and everything seems to become alright. A troubled man's steps lead to the tavern; when he returns there is a song on his lips. This way you lose your small ray of awareness and purchase so-called happiness. But this will not give you bliss. Because happiness is the non-remembrance of sorrow, and bliss is the remembrance of the soul. And this is not forgetting but total remembrance. Kabir calls it surati, which is constant, continuous remembering.

This sutra will lead you towards total remembrance. So beware! Keep away from all that makes you drunk or insensitive or unconscious. There are so many easy ways of becoming unconscious, and we are so thoroughly possessed by them, that we are not even aware of them.

One man is mad after eating; he keeps on eating. It may not have occurred to you, but he is making the same use of food as another makes of alcohol. Excess food brings on sleep. The more you eat, the deeper you sleep. The day you fast, you cannot sleep well. Food brings on drowsiness. So a man who indulges in eating all day long, is seeking forgetfulness through food.

One man's obsession is ambition. He will not rest until he has amassed millions of rupees. Till then he is like a madman. Day and night, may it be dawn or dusk, it does not matter, there is only one calculation in his mind - ten million! He is completely dedicated to his calculation. He is not bothered by anything else. His eyes are focused on the millions. Till the day he reaches his target, he will be gripped by anxiety. Then he will discover that it was all in vain. He has attained his millions. What next?

Three men were locked in the same cell in a lunatic asylum. They had been friends previously and all became insane at about the same time. It was quite possible that they were affected by one another's company. A psychologist came to study them. He inquired from the doctor in charge what was the trouble with the first one. He was told that this man was trying to undo a knot in a rope. He was unsuccessful, and he lost his head.

"What about the second?"

"He succeeded in untying the knot, and that is how he went mad."

"And the third?" the psychologist asked.

"He is the one who tied the knot."

One is busy tying the knot, another is untying it. Some succeed, some fail, but this is not the question, because all are mad. Why are people involved in such useless activities? To avoid encountering one's own self! These are tricks to evade one's own self. If you are not ambitious, if you do not want to fight the elections or hanker after wealth, how will you avoid meeting your own self? At some point you will have to encounter yourself. Everyone is afraid of this encounter. This fear makes you tremble.

You hear a great deal about knowing the self, the soul. But if you understand yourself, you will realize how many tricks you employ to avoid encountering the soul. The buddhas say: When the soul is known bliss reigns and nectar showers. Kabir says: Clouds of nectar thunder and nectar showers on you. But this happens at the very end. In the beginning you have to go through a lot of pain and suffering. You have to destroy every deception you have created over infinite lives, and each of them is difficult to part with, because deception had given you an illusion of comfort, a sweet drowsiness in which we lose ourselves. And now we have to shatter it! Shattering it is very painful. Without shattering it you will never be able to reach there, where clouds fill with nectar and bliss pours in torrents.

This journey towards the goal is called tapascharya, practice. Begin with the waking state. Then carry your practice into the dream state and then into deep slumber.

Choosing is dreaming. When the mind is filled with dreams that is the dream state. Do not think that you only dream at night; you also dream in the daytime. Sitting here and listening to me does not necessarily imply that you are hearing what I say. You hear but you are also weaving dreams inside.

A constant stream of dreams keeps flowing within you. Even when awake, dreams keep turning within you. Close your eyes and look inside and you will always find something going on.

It is just like we see the stars at night, and they disappear in the daytime; but it is only the light of the sun that hides them. So do not think that they disappear during the day. They are very much there.

If you go down a deep well and look up you will be able to see them. You need darkness to see the stars. They are not visible because of the sunlight.

The same is the case with dreams. It is not that dreams are seen only at night, but at night the eyes are closed, darkness comes, and the dreams stand out against this darkness. In the daytime the eyes are open and all your attention is taken up by a hundred other things. But the dreams keep happening none the less. You simply do not see them. Shut your eyes and you begin daydreaming at once. There is a constant under-current which has to be broken. And only if you succeed in breaking it in the daytime, can you break it in the night; otherwise it is not possible.

All mantras are devices to break this under-current. A person is given a mantra by his guru. He tells him, "Repeat it within while you go to the market, sell your goods. Let the sound of the chanting resound inside." So this man attends to his daily business but lets the mantra flow within at the same time. What does this mean? The energy which previously was being used up in creating dreams is now converted into a stream of Ram-Ram. So now the chanter creates his own dream within himself. Outwardly he attends to his worldly duties; inwardly he keeps up a constant remembrance of Ram-Ram... This does not lead him to Rama, but it will help him break the dream chain. The day you find that there is an incessant flow of Ram-Ram instead of dreams, you will know that you have succeeded in breaking the chain of dreams during the daytime.

So the success of the mantra can only be gauged in dreams, never during the day. How is it possible? If you repeat the mantra throughout the day, there will not be any dream at night, the chant will flow into your sleep. It will be much more intense than you can imagine.

Swami Ram used to repeat this mantra Ram-Ram. Once he was a guest of his friend Sardar Puran Singh. They were alone in a small hut high up in the Himalayas. There was not a soul around for miles and miles. One night Sardar could not sleep well because of the heat and the mosquitoes.

And what did he find? The sound of Ram-Ram hovered in the hut. He was a little frightened. Could there be someone apart from himself and his sleeping friend in the room? Swami Ram was fast asleep. The Sardar got up, took the lamp and looked everywhere inside and out. There was no one.

He came back into the hut, and to his surprise he realized that the sound was louder in the room than outside. He raised the lamp and held it over Swami Ram's face: Is he awake and chanting the mantra? He was fast asleep. In fact he was snoring. And, wonder of wonders, the sound became louder as he approached the swami. He brought his ear closer to Swami Ram and found that each pore in his body was vibrating with the sound Ram-Ram.

This happens when remembrance becomes very intense. A great deal of energy is used up in creating dreams. You do not get them without a price. Dreams are worthless in themselves, but the price you pay is immense because you spend the entire night in dreaming. Recently, in the West there has been a lot of research on dreams. The scientists say that a normal, healthy person dreams eight dreams each night. Each dream lasts around fifteen minutes. This means that every night, at least two hours are spent in dreaming. But this is the case in a completely healthy man who has no mental disorder. Such a healthy person is not easy to find. Generally people dream for six out of the eight hours they sleep. The constant flow of dreams eats up a large amount of your energy. It is not for free! You purchase it at the cost of your life.

The mantra centralizes this energy around Ram, Krishna, Christ, Om, or whatever you like. Any word will do. It is not necessary that it be God's name. Your own name can be equally useful.

The English poet, Tennyson, writes in his memoirs that he stumbled upon a method in his childhood.

When he could not sleep at night he would repeat over and over to himself, "Tennyson, Tennyson, Tennyson..." and he would fall asleep. As he grew older, he realized that it was a wonderful device.

Whenever he was restless he would repeat to himself, "Tennyson, Tennyson, Tennyson..." and his mind would regain its peace and equilibrium. So he used his own name as a mantra.

Your own name can yield the same result - but it won't, because you don't have that much faith in your name. Whether you say Ram or Rahim, it makes no difference. The question is not one of names; words make no difference. All words are the same, and all names are the name of God, including yours. When any name is thus repeated, it produces a musical note within and the dream energy dissolves in it. Mantras are instrumental for destroying dreams. Nobody has attained God only by repeating a mantra, but destroying dreams is a great step towards the attainment of God.

Mantra is a method, an instrument, a hammer to shatter dreams. And what are dreams? They too are nothing but words, and that is why a hammer of words can break them. There is no need to use an actual hammer. Dreams are unreal, so a pseudo-hammer will do the trick. A genuine medicine is dangerous for pseudo-ailment; only an imaginary medicine will help remove the false disease.

What are dreams? They are thought-waves. And what are mantras? They are willpower, which is also a form of dream. But dreams are impermanent, changing; whereas the mantra is constant and one. Gradually the dream energy is absorbed in the mantra. The night you find that there are no dreams and you hear the constant music of the mantra in your sleep, you will know that you have conquered the dream state. The illusion is now broken and truth has begun to unfold. Then you can enter the deep sleep state.

But you do just the opposite. You strengthen your thought-waves. You are seized by worthless thoughts and you co-operate with them. You are sitting alone, there is nothing to do and you start thinking of fighting the coming election. The dream begins! Nothing will please you short of reaching the president's chair. You have become a president in your dream. There are felicitations and you are enjoying them thoroughly! You never stop to think - what kind of stupidity is this! What are you doing? You are just giving energy to worthless fantasies. Your mind is filled with useless illusions of this kind.

If we examine human life in detail, we will find that ninety-nine percent of the life is lost in fruitless dreams like this. Some dream of wealth, others of power, and others of various conquests. What will you gain even if you attain them all?

There was a great President of America, Calvin Coolidge; he was a very serene person by nature. It must have been a total accident that he became president because such serene people can never reach such a turbulent position, which can only be won after a mad race. The greater mad defeats the lesser mad and makes it to the top. How Coolidge reached there is a miracle. It is said that he was so quiet by nature that he hardly spoke at all. It is said, that there were days when he would not utter more than five or ten words!

At the end of his term his friends implored him to run for office again. Everyone was eager to have him there again. He refused. People asked, "Why? All the countrymen are in your favor." He said, "The first time was a mistake. What have I gained from it all? I will not waste another five years of my life. And there is nothing ahead of the president. I have experienced that position. There is no further to go. Had there been something, my dream would have continued."

You do not realize it, but no man is a greater failure than the one who has realized his dreams.

Because at the very edge of success he finds that all he struggled for, all that he toiled so hard to reach, had nothing to offer. But the successful man hides his disappointment and defeat from others who, being equally foolish, are struggling to reach where he stands. If all the people in the world who have attained success were to be honest and declare the futility of their attainments, many of these mad races arising from their dreams would stop instantly. But the successful man cannot do that, for it would hurt his ego to declare that he had attained nothing after a life-long struggle. Instead he exaggerates the pleasures of his achievements. He whose tail is cut, arranges for others to lose theirs too; otherwise, he would be ashamed of himself that he is the only one without a tail.

Whenever the dream current begins, become awake and alert, and watch: What am I doing? All stories of Sheikh Chilli in the children's books apply to you. Your mind is Sheikh Chilli, and as long as you keep dreaming you will remain Sheikh Chilli. The meaning of Sheikh Chilli is one who dreams useless dreams and then takes them to be true. God forbid that these dreams ever come true! They will demand tremendous energy.

If your dreams are realized you will find that you have not achieved anything. Your hands are full of dust. All successes of the mundane world turn to ashes. By the time you have attained them, your life has passed by and there is no way to turn back. And you are left with no alternative but to hide your failures; that your life was not spent in vain, you have attained something. Your life was fruitful.

Thought-waves are nothing but dreams. Do not strengthen them. When the dream starts running within, shake yourself and break the dream as quickly as you can. Mantras can be useful. We shall talk in detail later how they can be tools for breaking dreams. Mantra definitely shatters dreams.


In it, everything is lost. There is no discrimination, no wisdom, no awareness - either within or without. You are like a rock, in deep trance. Just think of it, how restless your life must be! It is only when you sleep deeply, do you get up in the morning and say what an enjoyable sleep you had. Just think about it: what hell your life must be that you find happiness only in the oblivion of sleep, when you are unconscious. The rest of the time you are filled with pain and suffering.

You only feel at ease after a good sleep, and sleep means nothing but unconsciousness. But you are right. For you, it is more than enough, because your life is one long tale of worries, anxieties, tensions and turmoil. You rest for a while and you feel fulfilled, but in reality there is nothing to feel fulfilled about.

Sleep means where there is nothing - neither the world within nor the world without. Everything is lost in darkness. Yes, you certainly feel rested, but of what use is that rest if the next morning you fall in the same rut? The energy you gain by the night's rest will be used in creating fresh tensions, fresh anxieties. You will rest every night and you will create new tensions every day.

If only you were to realize this small fact - in unconscious slumber you get so much pleasure, because there is no tension, no anxiety there. You forget all your problems when you slip into this unconscious state. Imagine how much pleasure and joy will be attained on the day that your worries and confusions fall away and you are filled with awareness. This is what is referred to as moksha, nirvana, brahmananda.

Sleep gives you the feeling of having rested and fills you with pleasure, because all chaos and confusion subsides in it. Then, when these are actually dissolved and you remain in complete relaxation all twenty-four hours of the day - the place you sometimes reach in deep sleep - imagine what bliss you will experience. It is a state of perpetual serenity! Just think about it! Because samadhi is like deep sleep with a slight difference: there is awareness. In sleep there is no awareness; in samadhi you are fully aware. The fourth state is like deep sleep - with only one difference: in deep sleep there is darkness, while in the fourth state there is light.

Suppose you are brought to this garden in an unconscious state, on a stretcher. The rays of the sun will touch you, because they are not unconscious, because you are unconscious. The breeze will play over you, caress you because they are not unconscious, you are unconscious. The flowers will spread their fragrance. The freshness of early morning dew-drops will touch you because they are not unconscious, you are unconscious.

Everything will happen around you but you will be unaware of it; yet when you regain your consciousness you will say, "How restful the sleep was." All these factors contribute to your restfulness - the sunrays, the fragrance of the flowers, the cool breeze - you have no knowledge of them. Yet you say: What restful sleep!

Now consider the other way. Suppose you are sitting in the garden in full awareness. The morning sun sends down its cosy warmth, the flowers fill the air with breath-taking perfumes, the cool breeze creates music in the leaves of the trees as it rustles through them, the dew glitters on the petals.

Amidst all of this, can you imagine the joy, the bliss....!

In deep sleep we reach exactly where Buddha, Mahavir and Shiva reach in full awareness. Even from your deep sleep you bring back the message: How blissful! Although you cannot express this happiness clearly - what it was like, how it was. You cannot define it, you cannot bring the taste with you. So after a good night's rest, you get up fresh and cheerful. You get a little glimpse of buddhahood on the faces of people who sleep very deeply, especially little children, for their minds are not yet filled with tensions. As your worries increase, your sleep decreases. Watch a little child as it is about to get up in the morning. His face bears the freshness of the Buddha. Something blissful has happened within him, though he is unaware of it.

All tensions fade in deep sleep but there is no wisdom. In samadhi - that is, in the fourth state - all tensions fade, but wisdom remains. Wisdom plus deep sleep equals samadhi.


He who is the experiencer of all three states - waking, dreaming and deep sleep - and who is apart and separate from them; he who passes through them, but does not identify himself with them; he who goes beyond the three and considers himself different and apart - he is a warrior, a conqueror.

Viresha means the warrior of warriors, the conqueror, the supreme hero. Viresh is one of the names of Shiva. Mahavir also means the great warrior. We have called 'Mahavir' only those who attained samadhi. We do not call a person a conqueror just because he has scaled Everest or reached the moon, it is a courageous act but these are not the ultimate heights to be reached. We call him a Viresh, a Mahavir, who has attained the soul. What Everest can be higher than God? He who attains the ultimate is a Mahavir, a great warrior. We accept nothing less. What if you have reached the moon? It has merely opened new vistas for exploration: Mars, Jupiter, and so on and so forth.

The universe is boundless!

We call him Mahavir who has reached where there is no further to go. Why do we refer to him as Mahavir? Because there is no act more courageous than the act of attaining one's own self. There is no journey that calls for such courage and fearlessness as the journey to the self. Because the path is full of difficulties that are encountered nowhere else. It requires the maximum austerity.

The journey to the self is the most difficult journey. It is like walking on the razor's edge. This is perhaps why you run away from the self and get involved in mundane things. And this is perhaps why, even though knowledge of the self attracts the mind you do not have the necessary courage.

Some fear grips you.

It is very difficult. You will have to walk alone. The most difficult part of it is that in this world, everywhere you can go with others. However, there is one place where you will have to go alone.

No wife, no brother, no friend, not even the guru, can go along with you. At best the guru can show the way. Buddha shows the way. That is all! You must go alone!

We are afraid to be alone. There are so many people around us, so many dreams. Some of these dreams are very pleasant, very interesting. A few outstanding people break this web of dreams and set out on the path. Of these, many turn back halfway. One in a million proceeds on the journey, for it is an arduous, difficult path. Among all of these, perhaps one person reaches. That is why such a one is called Viresh, warrior of warriors.

The fourth, that lies hidden beyond the three, and within you, is the Everest. That is where you have to reach. And the way to reach it is to be wakeful in your waking state. Right now you are in a lukewarm state. Become a burning flame of awareness so that its heat enters your very breath.

Be awake in dreams so that dreams may break. Be so alert in the dreaming state that a ray of your awareness pierces the state of deep sleep. The day you enter deep sleep, with this little flame of awareness, you will have opened the doors of the state of Viresh; you will have given your first knock on the temple door.

The bliss is infinite, but you will have to cross the path in between. You must pay the price. The greater the bliss, the greater the price. There are no bargains.

Many look for bargains (compromises?). They seek short-cuts, and they find the gurus to exploit them. The guru tells them to wear this amulet and everything will come to pass, or that it is enough just to have faith in him, or demands that they give a certain amount to charity, perform good deeds or build a temple. These are 'bargains' that lead nowhere; they merely mislead you. You must follow the path.

There are some who try even cheaper methods. They take hemp or hashish and believe they are in samadhi, that they have attained knowledge. There are thousands of sannyasins and sadhus who take drugs, like opium and hemp. The West is very much influenced by them, and they have discovered even better drugs, like l.s.d., hashish, marijuana. They also have injections that take you into samadhi. Like instant coffee, they now make instant samadhi.

If only it were so easy! If only someone had attained under the influence of drugs, then the world would have become an enlightened place. It is not that easy, but the mind hunts for cheaper ways.

The mind wants to bypass the long, arduous journey and enter directly into samadhi. That cannot be, for salvation lies in the traversing of the path. The path is not a readymade path; it is also your development.

So this is the difficulty. In the outside world the journey can be shortened. The plane flies directly from London to Bombay, with no stops in-between, but the man who boards at London is the same as the man who gets down at Bombay. This man is the same as he was before. No growth has taken place in him during the flight. But this is an outward journey. In the inner journey, one cannot reach the destination without growing from what he was at the point of departure. Those who say that it is possible are simply deceiving you because it is not a journey from one place to another place, it is a journey from one state of being to another state of being. You have to grow in the process of the journey because it is in that growth that you will be cleaned, purified and transformed. It is in the agony of the process of the journey that you will grow. This pain, this agony is indispensable. If you seek short cuts you are only deceiving yourself.

There is a great search for short cuts in the West, therefore people like Mahesh Yogi make a big impact there. The reason for this is that Mahesh Yogi says, "Whatever I am saying is like a jet-speed."

He gives a small mantra which the seeker must repeat for fifteen minutes daily. This is all there is to be done and you attain. There is no need to change your behavior, your lifestyle, nor is it necessary to give up anything in the outside world. This is all: relax every day for fifteen minutes and repeat the mantra. The mantra is everything.

The mantra is valuable, but it is not everything. The mantra can destroy dreams but it cannot give the truth. Destruction of dreams is part of the way to the destination of truth, but if anyone thinks that repeating the mantra is sufficient, that telling of beads is enough, he is only childish. This person is not yet worthy even to talk about the path, let alone attain the goal.

The path is difficult, but it has to be travelled. Therefore the sutra says that enormous effort is the path. Will is required to undertake such a mighty effort. You must be willing to stake your own self in the effort. Liberation can be bought only if you stake yourself totally. Nothing less will do. If you give something else, it will not do; you have not paid the full price. Only when you give completely of yourself is the price enough and you attain.

Enough for today.

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"For the third time in this century, a group of American
schools, businessmen, and government officials is
planning to fashion a New World Order..."

-- Jeremiah Novak, "The Trilateral Connection"
   July edition of Atlantic Monthly, 1977