Maxims of Yoga: A sense of wonder

Fri, 13 September 1974 00:00:00 GMT
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Osho - The Great Path
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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.]



Try to understand this.

In the dictionary, "wonder" means astonishment. But there is a basic difference between wonder and astonishment. If you fail to understand this basic difference, you may embark on a different journey altogether. Astonishment is the foundation of science, a sense of wonder is that of yoga.

Astonishment is extrovert; wonder is introvert. Astonishment is about the other; wonder is about our own self. This is the first point.

Wonder is born out of that which we cannot understand, which makes us speechless, which our intellect cannot grasp, which proves to be bigger than us, before whom we are suddenly dumfounded - which destroys us.

If the same state of wonder - which is born when we are faced with the illogical, the incomprehensible - is diverted towards the external objects, it gives birth to science. When we start thinking about matter, when we start contemplating the world and try to investigate that mystery that surrounds us all, science is created. Science is born out of astonishment. Astonishment means, it has embarked on the outward journey.

There is one more difference between wonder and astonishment: if we are surprised by something, sooner or later we will be fed up with that surprise, because surprise creates tension; hence the effort of destroying that which surprises us. Science is born out of this surprise. Then it destroys the surprise. It tries to find interpretations, doctrines, formulas, keys and it does not rest assured till it destroys the mystery, till it is in possession of knowledge, till science can claim: "Yes, I have understood!"

Science is bent upon eradicating the element of astonishment from the world. If it succeeds in achieving that, there will not be a single thing on earth that man cannot boast of not knowing. It means, this world will be godless, because God means that which we cannot claim to know even if we have known him. We may know him but he remains unknowable. We may go on deepening our knowledge of him, he cannot be exhausted. We are in the state of eternal wonder about him.

There are some objects which have become known to us. We can call them, the known. There are some other objects which we do not know but we will know them. Let us call them, the unknown.

And the existence also consists of such objects which we have never known and about which we will never be able to know. We will call them, the unknowable. God is unknowable. This is the third element. Science does not accept God because it says that nothing is unknowable in the world. We may have not known it up to now, maybe we did not try hard enough, but sooner or later we will know. Some day we will know the world completely; nothing will remain unknown in it.

Science is born out of astonishment and then it begins to destroy the astonishment. Therefore, I call science patricidal: it tries to kill that which created it. Religion is just the opposite. Religion is also born out of a certain astonishment; this sutra calls it, "sense of wonder." The only difference is:

when a religious seeker is filled with wonder, he does not set out on the outer journey, he goes on an inner pilgrimage. Whenever some kind of mystery envelops him, he starts thinking about himself:

I must know who I am.

If the mystery becomes introspective, and the search and the journey is directed inwards, the arrow of the seeking points towards the self, the attention is totally absorbed by the thirst to know our own reality - then it is wonder.

And the second point to be understood is that the sense of wonder is inexhaustible. The more we know, the more it increases. That's why wonder is contradictory. As a rule, the sense of wonder should disappear the moment we come to know something. But Buddha or Krishna or Shiva or Christ do not lose their sense of wonder. When they attain the ultimate consciousness, their sense of wonder becomes ultimate! At that time they do not say that they have known everything, they say that after knowing everything everything remains to be known.

The Upanishads have said, "Even if you extract the whole from the whole, the whole remains." Even if you know the whole, the whole remains to be known. Therefore spiritual knowledge does not nourish the ego, scientific knowledge nourishes the ego. Spiritual knowledge will never make you a knower; you will always remain humble. And the more you know, the more you will feel, "I do not know anything." At the highest peak of knowledge you will be able to say, "I know nothing." At the moment of ultimate knowledge the whole existence fills you with a sense of wonder.

If science succeeds, the whole world will become known; if religion succeeds, the whole world will become unknown. If science is victorious, you, the knower, will be full of ego and the world will become ordinary because where there is no sense of wonder, everything becomes prosaic; where there is no wonder, there is no spirit; if there is no possibility of mystery, the process of evolution comes to a dead end. The thirst for knowledge has vanished, curiosity has died.

If science has its way, the world will be filled with such boredom as it has never experienced before. If Westerners are more bored, science has to blame for that, because people are losing their capacity to feel wonder. They are not amazed by anything. They have forgotten to be amazed. If you put a problem before them which has no solution, they will say, "Oh! It can be solved!" - because according to science, basically, there is nothing that can remain unknown forever; it can be unveiled.

The religious journey is, however, paradoxical. The more we unveil, the more we find that the mystery goes on deepening. The nearer you come, the more you come to know: it is very difficult to know. And the moment we penetrate the very center of the existence, everything becomes mysterious. For the Buddha, the stones and pebbles lying on the ground are as mysterious as the twinkling stars high up in the sky: It is not only the enormous that appears to be mysterious, the smallest happening holds the same mystery for him. A seed sprouting in the soil is as mysterious as the creation of the whole universe.

So, as the sense of wonder becomes intense, your eyes will become like those of a small child. A child is wonderstruck by everything. Watch a child walking on the street - everything surprises him.

A colored stone looks like a diamond. You laugh at him because you are the knower; you know that it is colored stone. You tell him, "Don't be crazy, this is not a diamond." But the child wants to put it in his pocket. You will say, "Don't carry this burden. After all, it's a dirty stone lying in the mud. Throw it away!"

But the child grips it harder. You are not able to understand it. It is a wonder for the child. This colored stone is in no way less valuable than the diamond. The value lies in the sense of wonder.

Stones are of no value. A tiny butterfly can mesmerize the child immensely, but you will not be mesmerized by the almighty himself even if he comes to see you! The child starts chasing the butterfly....

The highest state of wonder, of buddhahood is just like the innocence of a small child. One becomes childlike in that state. That's why Jesus has said: Those who are like small children will be able to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus is saying the same thing that Shiva has said in this sutra: the sense of wonder is the foundation of yoga. Wonder is the first stage of yoga. In that case you have to understand many things.

The more knowledgeable you are, the weaker will be the foundation of yoga. If you are full of the pride of knowing, the chances of your becoming a yogi are less. If your heart is burdened with the scriptures, your sense of wonder will be destroyed. You ask a scholar about God, and he starts answering as if God is a thing to be made an answer of... as if God can be explained. You ask a scholar and he has a readymade answer. No sooner did you ask than the answer was given. Even God does not make him speechless. All the formulas are definite, he explains them instantaneously.

But you go to the Buddha and ask about God, he does not say anything. Perhaps you will go back thinking that this man remained silent, and the meaning is clear: he does not know. But the reason why this man remained silent is that this sense of wonder is the door to the divine. Had you been a little wiser, you would have remained with the man who did not answer. And you would have tried to understand him: you would have peeped into his eyes; you would have lived in his company, in his proximity because he has experienced something, and the experience is so immense that words cannot express it; he has seen something that cannot become an answer.

Questions and answers are alright for the school-children. Your question in itself is absurd. One cannot ask a question about God. How can one ask a question about the infinite? Both the question and the answer drop by themselves before the infinite. Your question is petty, that's why Buddha has remained silent. But maybe you will come back thinking that had this man known, he would have answered. He did not answer, that means he did not know. You recognize a scholar because your head is full of words, too. You will not be able to understand a sage because a sage is full of wonder.

And your sense of wonder is dead.

The greatest calamity of the world is: destruction of wonder. The day your sense of wonder is destroyed, your possibility of liberation is destroyed. The day your sense of wonder is dead, your childlike heart is dead, frozen. You have become old.

Are you still amazed? Does life pose a question to you? Are you thrilled by the chirping of the birds, the sound of the running streams, the wind rustling through the trees? Do you feel joy? Does this life surrounding you everywhere makes you speechless? No, because you know that birds are making these sounds and wind is rustling through the trees - you have answer to every question. These answers have killed you. You have become knowledgeable before attaining knowledge.


A sense of wonder becomes a door for one who wants to enter yoga. Revive your childhood! Start asking again. Awaken your curiosity, your quest and the roots of life that have dried in you will start greening again. All the blocks will melt away and streams will start running. Open your eyes and look all around once again - all answers are false, because all your answers are borrowed. You have not known anything. But you are stuffed with borrowed knowledge, to the extent that you feel, you known it.

Awaken your sense of wonder. Your yoga-postures and breath-exercises are useless if there is no sense of wonder within you - because all the yogic exercises belong to the body. It's true that your body will be purified, healthy but purified and healthy body will not help you to attain divinity.

A sense of wonder purifies the heart. Wonder means: the mind is free of all answers. Wonder means: you have removed all the garbage of answers. Your question has become new, rejuvenated; you have understood your ignorance.

Wonder means: I do not know.

Scholarship means: I know.

The more you know, the more you are wrong. When you are simple enough to say: "I don't know" - although this too is not sufficient - when the understanding of your own ignorance settles deep into your heart, you have taken the first step of yoga. After that, other steps are very easy. If you miss the first step, you may go on traveling endlessly, it will be of no use. One who misses the first step cannot reach the destination. If your first step is right, half of the distance is covered.

A sense of wonder is the first step.

Look closely, do you possess knowledge? If you observe deeply, you will realize that there is no knowledge, just garbage collected from scriptures, masters, saints and you have preserved it like a priceless possession! It has not given you anything, it has only killed your sense of wonder. Your sense of wonder is writhing, lying dead. Now you are not surprised. Nothing surprises you any more.

There was a Christian mystic, Eckhart. He has made a unique statement: one who is surprised by everything is a saint. Everything, very small happenings surprise him. A pebble falls in the water, creates noise, ripples start spreading - the saint is amazed. It is so wondrous, so mysteriousness!

He breathes, lives, it is quite amazing.

Every morning while praying to God Eckhart used to say, "It is another day! The sun has risen again.

Thy mercy is great. What would we do if the sun would not have arisen? Human being is helpless."

Eckhart used to say, "Today I am breathing, tomorrow I may not; what can I do?"

You cannot draw breath from somewhere. It is not in your control. Breath is so close to you, and yet you do not own it. If it goes out and does not return, it will just return! We do not know or possess a thing which is so close to you. And we think that we know everything. This 'knowing everything' has killed you. Remove this garbage and unburden yourself. Immediately, when the blindfold of knowledge will be removed from your eyes, they will be filled with mystery.

The inner pilgrimage of this mystery is called wonder; the outward journey is called astonishment.

If you apply those mysteries to objects, you will become a scientist and if you are able to apply that mystery to your own self, you will become a great yogi. And in both the cases the results will be different, because astonishment is violent, sense of wonder is nonviolent. Surprise applied anywhere, starts disintegrating, analyzing because surprise is restless, wonder is full of interest. Try to understand this difference properly. It is not written in the dictionary; it cannot be written because the compiler of the dictionary has no idea what wonder is.

Astonishment is violent, aggressive. When you are astonished by something, you become tense.

That tension has to be dealt with. A certain restlessness will hang over you as long as your enquiry is not complete, you have not known. A scientist is engrossed in his laboratory eighteen hours a day... what for? He is restless, as if possessed by a ghost. And he will keep on investigating till he resolves it.

But the sense of wonder is not aggressive. And the sense of wonder is not a restlessness, on the contrary the sense of wonder is restfulness. Whenever someone is filled with wonderment one is at rest. You don't have to destroy the sense of wonder, you have to drink it, you have to taste it. You have to merge with wonder, you have to become one with it. Astonishment is involved in destruction, wonder begins to live. Wonder is a way of life, astonishment is a violent state of mind.

So science thinks in terms of victory - destroy, shatter, win. Religion thinks in terms of surrender - dissolve yourself. When the sense of wonder will enter you, it will dissolve in you the same way a salt-cube is dropped into water and the whole water turns salty. That day you will become salty with wonder. Every fibre will be filled with wonder. While walking, moving around the sense of wonder will be pulsating within you. You will be in a perpetual state of wonder. Every phenomenon will become mysterious. The smallest particle will be a part of the vast, because the sense of wonder envelops the small, it becomes vast. Then nothing remains known, you are surrounded by mystery.

Then every moment is new and every moment is an invitation.

Mulla Nasruddin was contesting the elections. While he was on his door-to-door campaign, he went to the local priest. Even at that time he was drunk. The priest was a gentleman; saying something directly would have been impolite so he said to Nasruddin, "I want to ask you something. If you give me a satisfying answer, my vote is all yours. Do you ever drink?" There was no need to ask about it.

Mulla was taken aback. He said, "Before I answer your question, I would like to ask you something:

Is it an enquiry or an invitation?"

The sense of wonder is an invitation.

Astonishment is an enquiry and sense of wonder, invitation. The sense of wonder is an internal call. And as you enter inside, you go on immersing deeper and deeper. One day you will disappear and only wonder will remain. That day enlightenment has happened. If you follow the path of astonishment, one day only you will remain and astonishment will disappear. That is the culmination of science: ego will remain and astonishment will vanish. If you embark on the journey of wonder, you will vanish and wonder will remain, every pore of your being will be filled with its taste. Your existence itself will be a wonder.

Shiva has called it the foundation of yoga. Remove knowledge, become full of wonder. In the beginning it will appear difficult because you think that you know.

There was a great thinker, a very invaluable, important one: D. H. Lawrence. He was roaming in the garden with a small child. The child asked him, "Why are the trees green?"

A child can only ask such questions - so fresh! You cannot even think of such questions. You will say, "The trees are green because they are green! What is there to ask? What kind of a question is this? This child is stupid. But think again, why the trees are green. Do you really know the answer?

Perhaps someone studying science may answer, "It is the chlorophyll that makes them green." But it will not resolve the question of the child. It will ask again, "Why is there chlorophyll in the tree? Why should it be in the tree and why not in the man? And how the chlorophyll has found the trees? The answer "chlorophyll" does not (answer?) any question.

All the answers found by science are of the same category. Those answers only push the question one step back, that's all. If you are a little wise, you can raise the question again. Science cannot answer any "why." That's why science cannot destroy the sense of wonder, it can only create an illusion of destroying it.

But D. H. Lawrence was not a scientist. He was a poet, a novelist. He had an aesthetic sense. He stopped then and there and started thinking. He said to the child, "Give me some time. I don't know myself."

Your child also must have asked many a time the same kinds of question. Have you ever said: "I don't know?" It hurts the ego. Every father thinks that he knows. The child asks and the father gives an answer. And because of these very answers the father loses his credibility later on, because one day the child comes to know that you know nothing. You were unnecessarily giving answers. You are as ignorant as I am. You were a little older so your ignorance was older, that's all. But you give answers to the small child. The child, too, accepts them thinking you may be right. But how long will he believe it?

D.H. Lawrence stood there. He said, "I will think over it. And if you go on insisting, I can only say that the trees are green because they are green. There is no other answer. I am myself overwhelmed by this mystery."

If you unveil the curtain of knowledge, you will find mystery all around. It is a mystery that the trees are green. It is also mysterious that the green trees have red flowers. And isn't it mysterious that a small seed contains a giant tree in its womb? You preserve a seed and plant it after thousands of years, the tree materializes. Life seems to be eternal. Every moment is throbbing with mystery.

But you have closed your eyes. You rest assured. But this state is your inertia. You do not even hesitate, for the simple reason that your ego feels a reassurance that it knows. If you know, you feel secure; if you do not know, all security disappears. Actually you do not know anything but it hurts to admit that you do not know. So you cling to anything. A drowning man clings to a straw, takes its support. The thing you are clinging to is not even a straw. Perhaps a straw may save someone from drowning but the thing you are clinging to is not even a straw, it is just a dream, empty words.

Someone strongly believes in God. It is absurd to say that I definitely know. 'Definitely' means, now you have unraveled the mystery of God! 'Definitely' means you have seen through Him, you have measured Him. 'Definitely' means: even He can be measured, you have weighed Him in the balance, you have investigated in the laboratory. What is the meaning 'definite'?

There is another man who definitely knows that God does not exist. Both are stupid and both of them have the same disease. One calls himself theist, another one calls himself atheist; and there is not an iota of difference between the two. Deep down both suffer from the same disease. Both of them believe that they know and both get into arguments.

Knowledge creates argument, wonder creates dialogue. When you are filled with wonder, your life will have a dialogue. If somebody goes to Mahavira and asks: "Does God exist?" He says, "Yes."

Some atheist goes and says, "God does not exist," and he says, "No, he does not." And if some agnostic goes to him, Mahavira says, "God's existence is dubious."

Now, it is very difficult. We would want him to give straight and clear answers. They may be wrong, but they should be clear. And remember, this existence is so complex that clear answers will prove wrong. Here, if the answer is not contradictory, it is bound to be wrong. Here, only that answer will be right which encompasses its opposite because existence absorbs its opposite.

There is life and there is death. The path is not clear-cut. Here darkness exists along with light. Good and evil exist together. Here the saint and the sinner are not separate, they are living simultaneously.

Both are two aspects of the same coin. God contains both the poles within Him. Existence is vast.

It is not chiseled on the touchstone of logic, it is beyond logic. The duality is merged into each other.

One night Junnaid prayed to God: "I want to know who is the greatest sinner in this village because by studying him, by understanding him I will try to abstain from the sin. I will have a criterion that here is the greatest sinner, I have to avoid this kind of life." A voice said, "Your neighbor." Junnaid was surprised. He had never imagined that his neighbor could be the greatest sinner. He was an ordinary man, running his own small shop, how can he be the greatest sinner? He had thought that the greatest sinner will be someone like Ravana [a mythological character who represents devil], the greatest sinner will be someone devilish, a satan. This man is running a shop, rearing his children....

Junnaid was perplexed. He was an ordinary man, nobody would call him a sinner.

Next day while praying he said, "O.K., I accept your decision. Now I want one more criterion: I want to know about the greatest saint, a virtuous man in the village." God said, "The same man, your neighbor."

Junnaid said, "You are confusing me. There is already great confusion in me. Yesterday I was watching the man all day, I did not feel that he was a sinner. Now this adds to the confusion: he is a virtuous man, too!"

The voice said, "In my existence the opposites are interlinked. It is the intellect that splits them into two. Here the greatest saint has a shadow. And here the greatest sinner has a glow on his face.

This very phenomenon makes it possible for a saint to become a sinner and a sinner to become a saint. This transformation is possible so easily because both are hidden in one person.

Darkness and light are not separate. Day and night are interrelated. Logic creates fragments and makes clear-cut paths. Logic is like a well-made, clean, cultivated garden. Life is like a forest; nothing is clear in it. Everything is entangled there.

One who wants to understand life should have the capacity to avoid readymade answers. If you cling to them, you feel secure because you feel reassured: Yes, I know! You feel confident and courageous enough to tread the path of life. That's why you are afraid of dropping knowledge. It is very painful. If someone robs you of your wealth, it does not matter so much. You can earn it again.

And wealth was dirt. You knew that already. If you lose your position, you can take it in your stride.

You yourself can renounce it some day. But knowledge...!

I have observed a very interesting phenomenon. Somebody renounces his society, his village, his house, his family but if he was Jaina he remains a Jaina in the Himalayas; if he was a Hindu he remains a Hindu; if he was a Mohammedan he remains a Mohammedan. It is the same society that he has renounced, that had given him this Mohammedan conditioning: that Koran is a true scripture, all other scriptures are false. He gives up everything but saves his knowledge even in the Himalayas.

Nothing has changed in this man's life because he still believes in knowledge.

If you drop knowledge, the Himalayas will appear wherever you are. The Himalayas will appear wherever you are. The Himalayas signify that which is mysterious; where there are high mountain peaks, you cannot scale them; and where there are unfathomable valleys, you will not be able to explore them; which transcends all our measures.

The sense of wonder means: where your intellect fails, where your ego is crippled, where you become helpless. You may laugh or cry there but you cannot utter a word.

It is said that when Moses reached the mountain Sanai, he cried, he laughed but he did not speak at all. When he returned, his disciples asked: "What have you done? God was present himself.

He said unto you, 'Remove you shoes because this is holy land and I am present here.' And you removed your shoes. You cried, you laughed but why didn't you say something? Why did you miss this opportunity? You could have asked whatever you wanted to ask. You could have at least asked for the key that opens all the doors."

Moses replied, "When He was present in front of me, my mind disappeared; only heart was throbbing. I laughed, I cried out of sheer joy!"

And this is the interesting part of life - happiness can make you cry and happiness can make you laugh, too. So do not think that people always cry out of grief. It is a calculation of logic. Life does not believe in logic. The river of life breaks all the frontiers and overflows like a total wave. One can cry out of happiness. Then one's tears have a different quality. Then bliss is reflected in the tears.

He can cry, too! These opposites can express one principle. This is the mystery of life.

So Moses said, "Not only heart, I also lost my intellect. It seems that I dropped my conditioning along with my shoes."

And do not only remove your shoes outside the temple, drop your head, too! One who drops his head along with the shoes, can only enter the temple. And shoes and head get along very well!

That's why when you get angry with someone, you hit his head with your shoe. A monk hits his head with his own shoes.

These are the two extremes, two poles. The head is on one extreme... you are at the center. And that central point is a meeting place of all opposites. Your head and your feet are uniting there. Your heart abides there.

So Moses said, "I cried, I laughed because I was filled with wonder. I became speechless. Now I will not be able to sleep. I cannot erase that which I have seen. That which has happened cannot be wiped out. The Moses who lived before is no more. Now I am a different man."

This is a new birth. Hindus call it 'dvija': twice born - when is born second time. All brahmins are not dwijas. Once in a while some brahmin becomes dwija. You do not become a dwija by wearing a sacred thread around your neck. Dwija means twice born. Moses said, "Now I am twice born. Now I am a different man. That person is dead."

If you experience wonder, your old will die and the new will be born. And if you perpetually remain in the sense of wonder, the new is born and the old dies every moment. Every moment the old disappears and the new appears. And your flow is eternal. Then you will never become old; then the eternal life pulsates within you.

Shiva therefore says, the sense of wonder is the foundation of yoga.


The sense of wonder is the foundation. Wonder means an enquiry inwards. An internal search of the question: who am I? If you move outside, there is surprise. If you move outside, there is logic. If you move outside, there is science. If you move inwards - sense of wonder, meditation, gratitude. It is a totally different method.

The sense of wonder will bring you inwards because the whole world will appear mysterious. And then only one question will seem to be important: who am I? This is the foundation of sense of wonder: who am I? As long as I do not know this 'I', this journey of knowing myself cannot be complete. How can I know these trees, how can I know you, how can I know the other if I myself am unknown to me, if I am myself ignorant; when I do not know who I am.

Therefore 'who am I' is the great mantra. And don't rush the answer because the answer is ready inside you. "Who am I" - and you answer from within: I am the soul. This answer won't help. You know it already. This has not changed your life. Knowledge is fire; it will burn you. When you ask:

"Who am I" and an inner voice replies, it is your mind that is talking - the scriptures hidden inside the mind, the memory. When you say: 'I am the soul', it is useless, it is of no value because this answer has not transformed you. This is not fire, this is ash. There may have been an amber in it some time, for some sage, but for you it is ash. The person who possessed this amber, has departed from this world, now you are just carrying the ash.

You go on asking: Who am I? And do not give a borrowed answer. Whenever the borrowed answer will come, you say: "This is not my answer. I have not known it, how can it be mine? Only that which I know, can belong to me." That which you have earned through your own effort, is your treasure.

Knowledge can neither be stolen nor can it be begged. You cannot steal it. You cannot beg it. Here, you have to create yourself by your own efforts.


The moment a sense of wonder is born, move inwards, sink within and try to be established in the self. When you ask: 'Who am I', when will you get an answer? If you want the answer, you will have to be established within. We have called it health: to be established in the self. And one is able to see only when one is established within. If you are running, how will you be able to see?

Your situation is somewhat like this: you are sitting in a speeding car, you happen to see a flower, through the window. You have barely enquired about it, and the car has zoomed forward. You are speeding fast. And no vehicle is faster than your desire. If one has to reach the moon, even the spaceship takes time. Your desire does not even require this much time, it reaches this very moment. Desire has the fastest speed. And one who is full of desire shows that there is no depth in him. He is running, racing. And your pace is such that even if you ask: who am I, there is no room for an answer.

You will have to give up this running race and be established in the self. You will stop all the desire, all the running around, all the journey. But the moment one desire is fulfilled you create a number of new desires. You barely finish one journey, and various new avenues open up. And you start running again! You do not know how to sit down. You have not stopped for many lifes.

I have heard that one emperor employed a very intelligent man as his prime minister. But the prime minister was dishonest and within no time he stole millions of rupees from the treasury of the empire.

When the emperor came to know about it, he called the prime minister and said: "I don't want to say anything. What you have done is not right. I will not say much but I can only say this much that it is a break of trust. Don't ever show me your face again. You leave this kingdom and go elsewhere. And I would not like rumors to spread all around, so I will not tell anything to anyone about it and there is no need for you to utter a word about it.

The prime minister said: "If you command me, I shall leave. Certainly, I have stolen millions of rupees. Nevertheless, I would like to advise you as a prime minister that now I have everything:

a big mansion, houses in the mountains and on the sea-shore. I have everything. My coming generations need not earn anything. You will remove me and appoint some other person and he will have to start from scratch." The emperor was intelligent, he understood.

You never come to such a point in your life, when you can say: I have everything. Your trip will end when such a moment comes. Otherwise every moment you will have to start from scratch. Each and every moment, new desire grips you, a new thief enters, an new robber comes to rob you of your treasure. And the robber is not one, there are innumerable desires. You are running in many directions simultaneously. You have never given it a thought that many of the objects are opposite to each other; you cannot have them both. If you get one, you will lose another; if you get the second one, the first is lost.

Mulla Nasruddin was on his death-bed. He told his son: now, before I die, I will tell you about two things. Remember them. There are two things: honesty and wisdom. Now you will look after the shop, take care of the work. A signboard is hanging on our shop: 'Honesty is the best policy'. Always practice it. Never cheat anybody. Never break a promise. If you promise, keep it.

The son said: "O.K., what about the other? What does wisdom mean?"

Nasruddin said, "Never give a promise to anyone!"

Such is life - divided in opposite poles. There is an attempt to manage both: honesty and wisdom.

Honesty aims at keeping a promise. On the one hand you want to be worshipped as a saint and on the other hand you want to enjoy like a sinner. Strange! On the one hand you wish that your character should be praised like that of Rama's and on the other hand you are keen on kidnapping somebody's wife. You want to do the impossible. You would like to become like Ravana and you want to be revered like Rama. Then we are in a difficult situation. Then you move in two opposite directions and you create infinite goals in front of you. In their pursuit you become fragmented, torn to pieces. At the end of your life you will find that the treasure that you had brought with you is lost.

There was a great gambler. His wife, his family, his friends tried their best to convince him. He did not pay any attention. Eventually everything was lost. At last he came to such a point that he had only one rupee left with him. His wife said: "Now wake up! Gather yourself!"

The husband said, "When so much is lost and only one rupee is left, give me a last chance. Who knows, this last bit of a rupee may prove lucky." A gambler always thinks on these lines. And he said, "Now we have lost millions, this is the last rupee, why lament over it? And one rupee is bound to be spent, it cannot be saved. Let me stake it!"

His wife also thought: now that everything is lost, this is the last one; and one is going to be spent anyway, let him stake it!"

The gambler went to the joint. And he was amazed! He started winning every game. One became one thousand, one thousand were converted into ten thousand which became a hundred thousand eventually. At the end he staked those hundred thousand and said, "Now this is the last chance."

And he lost everything! He returned home. His wife asked, "What happened?"

He said, "I lost that last one too!"

You can lose only that which you had brought with you. Why talk about thousands? He said: "I have lost one rupee. It does not matter. That stake was unfortunate." But he did not tell her that he had made one hundred thousand. He was right. You cannot lose that which does not belong to you. At the time of death you will find that you have lost the soul that you had brought with you. You will be deprived of 'one'. That's all! All your calculations of credit and debit, your losses and gains are of no value. The millions that you have won, will be dropped here at the time of your death. Only 'one' will be taken into account; and that one is - "YOU." If you establish in the 'one', you are a winner. If you return to the 'one', settle in it... Shiva is talking about this very phenomenon: TO BE ESTABLISHED IN ONESELF IS STRENGTH.

You are weak and wretched and miserable - not because you don't have money or house or wealth.

You are wretched and miserable because you are not established in yourself. To be established in oneself is the source of energy. The moment one is established in it, one is flooded with tremendous energy.

Someone asked Jesus: "What should I do? I am very poor, sickly and miserable. Jesus said, "Don't do anything else, first seek the kingdom of God, all else will follow. If you lose 'one', you lose everything. That 'one' is none other than you, and that alone is your treasure because you had brought it with you. And in the final calculation you will be asked, whether you could save that which you brought with you or you have lost that, too!

TO BE ESTABLISHED IN ONESELF IS STRENGTH. To settle in oneself is to become immensely powerful. You already have that immense power within you, but you are like a bucket with thousands of holes. If you put the bucket in the well, it appears to be full. As long as the bucket is immersed in the water, it looks full; the moment you start pulling the bucket and it starts rising above the water- level, the water starts leaking through thousands of holes. When the bucket is drawn completely out of the well, there is nothing left inside.

Your thousands of desires are your holes. Your energy dissipates through them. As long as you are dreaming, the bucket is full. As long as you desire, the bucket is full. The moment the desire becomes action, you start pulling the bucket up; the moment you try to make the dreams come true, the energy starts leaking. By the time you take the bucket out, you are faced with nothing but holes, with no water at all. You remain as thirsty as ever. Every time you draw the bucket, it makes lots of noise in the well. You feel you are getting some water, as if a great storm is coming. But nothing comes actually. You remain empty handed. However, desire is very strange.

A traveler enquired of a fisherman how many fish he could catch. The sun was about to set, he had put his fishing rod in the water since morning. This passer by had passed through that road several times and had noticed it. At lost he could not contain himself, so he asked: "How many have you caught?" The fisherman answered: "If I catch this one I am trying to catch, and if I am able to catch two more, the total number will be three!" He has not caught a single one so far. But he is imagining:

if I catch this one, plus two more - they will make three.

You are perpetually in the state of this fisherman. The one you are trying to catch, and two more you are dreaming about. Even this one has not materialized. But the calculation consists of three! And you are utterly pleased. Whenever you pull the bucket out, you again find it empty. And remember, the more you throw it in the well, the holes become wider and wider. This is the reason why children look very happy. Old people look very sad. Their bucket is full of holes. They have put the bucket in the well and drawn it out innumerable times. The holes have become bigger, that's all! But they go on hoping against hope - some time we will be able to draw water because the bucket does look full! Water is leaking from the holes.

You have the energy of the infinite, but your mind is like a bucket with holes.

This maxim means: you will not go on a desire-trip. When you drop one desire, one hole is cemented. When all desires drop, all the holes are cemented. And then you don't need to put the bucket in any well, you yourself are the well. You have tremendous energy within you. If only your energy could be prevented from leaking, you are born with tremendous energy. You don't have to achieve anything. All that is worth achieving, is within you; be careful not to lose it. There is no question of attaining God, you have to avoid losing Him. You have already attained Him. How you lose, is the greatest mystery of this world.


Each and every maxim is like a master key. First: the sense of wonder. The sense of wonder will make you turn in. Second: To be established in oneself so that you are available to tremendous energy. But how will you settle in yourself? The key lies in the third maxim: Transcendental logic and discrimination is a means to self-realization.

This word: transcendental logic has to be understood. We know what logic is. It is an instrument of logic. It is a sword that cuts wonderment. Logic cuts, analyses. Logic moves outside, transcendental logic moves inside. It does not make fragments, it unites. Logic is analysis, transcendental logic is synthesis.

There was one Sufi monk, Farid. One of his devotees brought him a pair of scissors made of gold.

It was very valuable, studded with precious stones. And he said, "It has been my family treasure for generations together. It costs millions of rupees. I have no use for it. I present it to you."

Farid said, "Please take it back. If at all you want to present something, bring a needle and a thread because I do not believe in cutting, I believe in sewing. A pair of scissors cuts. If you want to present something, better bring a needle and a thread."

Logic is like a pair of scissors; it cuts. In the Hindu mythology Ganesha is the god of logic; therefore he rides a rat. A rat is a pair of scissors. It cuts, it is a live pair of scissors. It goes on cutting. Ganesha rides it. He is a god of logic. And Hindus have made him a laughing stock. If his appearance does not make you laugh, it is a matter of surprise. You do not laugh because you have got used to his appearance, otherwise he is humorous figure.

If you take a close look at Ganesha's structure, you will find that everything is shapeless in every way. Even his head does not belong to him, it is borrowed. A logician has a borrowed head. It is quite big, it's an elephant's head, but it is not his own. A borrowed head is useless, even if it belongs to the elephant. It will only make you look ugly. His body is bulky; rides a rat. This body of his is just a show-piece; his vehicle is a rat. However great a scholar may be, his vehicle is a rat - a pair of scissors: logic! Farid said it rightly, "If you want to present something, bring a needle and a thread because I believe in sewing."

Transcendental logic is an art of synthesizing. The Sanskrit word "VITARKA" means a special logic.

Common logic analyses, special logic synthesizes. Buddha, Mahavir, Shiva, Lao Tzu - they all use logic, but it is a specialized logic.

There is one more kind of logic, which is a logical fallacy. There arr three possibilities. Logic fragments, analyses; but its intentions are not bad. The wonder has to be resolved. It is not interested in analyzing. Analysis is the process. It aims at achieving a doctrine which will dissolve the surprise, things will become crystal clear. The aim of logic is constructive.

When logic has no goal, only scissoring becomes the aim, it enjoys being destructive, then it is called "KUTARKA" logical fallacy. It is an insane state of logic. It becomes mad, it is bent upon destroying. Then there is no other motive, destruction gives pleasure.

Vitatka, special logic is an inward journey of logic. You have come home from your house; your eyes, your vision, your direction was focussed on me, towards me. You turned your back to your home.

When you will go back home, the road will be the same - in what way the road could be different? - only the direction will change. You will turn you back towards me and you will face your home.

Logic and special logic tread the same road; that's why it is called special logic. The road is the same, only the direction has changed. First logic was moving towards the other, towards the object; now the logic is moving towards the self, towards home. Just a change in the direction changes the total quality. When it had to move outwards, destruction was the way. If you want to enter the other, it could only be done by analyzing, there is no other way.

If you go to the medical college, you will find the students dissecting. They are dissecting the frog because they have to know what is inside. There is no other way, one can know the insides of a frog by dissecting. it. But if you have to enter within yourself, there is no need to dissect. You are present inside! If you want to know the other, you will have to dissect him, destroy him because there is no other way of knowing him. If you want to know yourself, there is no question of dissecting or destroying because you are already there! If you want to know yourself, just closing your eyes is enough. Closing one's eyes is meditation. When the attention is withdrawn from outside and focussed inside, logic becomes transcendental.

The other name for vitark is vivek, or consciousness. It really means awareness. This awareness is a process of synthesis. As you go within you, you start becoming integrated. For example: imagine a circle with a wide circumference. Now take two points, far apart on the circumference. Join each to the point at the center of the circle. You will find that as the lines approach the center, they come closer and closer to each other, until they are one at the center. Now if these two lines are extended further outside the circumference, they will be further and further apart, until the distance between them becomes infinite.

In the same way, when you move outwards from yourself, things begin to fall apart, and the further you go the greater becomes the difference between them. Therefore, we find many different branches of science because the distance is becoming bigger and bigger. New theories are born every day, and scientists are facing a dilemma: one science cannot understand the language of the other. There is no such person on earth who can understand all the sciences, who can synthesize the different branches of science.

As it is, it is impossible to know a single branch of science. There is no dearth of knowledge in the world, but we have lost the power of synthesis. Religion is one, no matter how many names you give it, because no sooner does a man begin to go within himself than the distances decrease, and all things merge into the center. The center is the ultimate synthesis.

Vitark or vivek, intelligence or awareness, discrimination leads to self-realization. Do not dissect things. Do not go outwards; do not pay attention to 'the other'. Direct your attention inwards; synthesize! Move slowly towards the center, where your life-force is focussed. Become established at this point and great energy will arise within you.

The light we see around Mahavir or Buddha, the bliss we find around Krishna, Meera, Chaitanya - what bliss is this? What light is it? What does it signify? It indicates that these people have reached the point which is the source of infinite energy. They are no longer miserable, they are no longer poor. They are emperors in their own right. This is also your potential, but you have to proceed step by step.

First comes a sense of wonder; then being centered in the self; then intelligence as a way of reaching the self.

The fourth sutra:


When you have reached the self and are firmly established in it, you have reached the most profound state of existence. Existence is at its greatest density at this point, for everything is created out of here. Your center is not only your center but the center of all creation.

We are separated only at the circumference. 'You' and 'I' are separations of the body. As we leave the body and turn within, the distance gets smaller and smaller. The day you know the soul you will also have known God. The day you know your own self you will know the self of all creation, because at the center all is one. Distances only exist at the periphery.

Shiva says: By attaining this existence within one's self, the joy of samadhi is attained.

Samadhi-sukham, the 'bliss of samadhi'; these words should be understood. You have known many joys: the joy of a good dinner, the joy of good health and well-being. When you quench your thirst or enjoy sex - such bodily joys you know fully, but understand well that all these joys carry complementary sorrows with them. If you are not thirsty, water will bring no joy. If you are prepared to undergo the torment of thirst, only then will you enjoy drinking water. The affliction, the agony, comes first and is long; the ensuing joy is only momentary. As soon as the water slides down the throat the thirst is quenched. The same is true with food. The more you suffer the pangs of hunger, the tastier is the food.

This is the irony of life; the people who are tormented by hunger, who could really enjoy the pleasures of eating, have nothing to eat. Those who do not know what hunger is, have plenty to eat, but they cannot enjoy their food; on the contrary, it is a source of distress for them.

As long as there is thirst in you, water can quench it; but you can live a kind of life in which you never feel thirsty; do not go in the sun, do no manual work, stay at home and relax and you will not feel the thirst. But then you will find no joy in drinking water. He who toils all day, enjoys the bliss of a good night's rest. This is ironical: if you want to enjoy the pleasure of a good night's sleep you have to work like a laborer all day. The trouble is that you want to spend your days like an emperor and your nights like a laborer.

In the external world, in the world of objects, joy and sorrow are intrinsically connected; therefore, the day you acquire a mansion, sleep will desert you. The day you obtain a feather bed you will find yourself tossing in your sleep all night. Look at the laborer; he sleeps under a tree on top of stones and pebbles. He sleeps like a log. Mosquitos bite him; he is so hot that his body is soaked with perspiration, but he is oblivious to it all. He has gone through such intense misery all through the day that he has earned the joy that he will have in the night.

We have to pay for our joy and comfort with toil and troubles in this world. Here each joy is connected with an equivalent sorrow. And human being is entangled in one dilemma: he wants to keep the joy and get rid of the sorrow. But this is impossible. We have been trying for thousands of years that the sorrow should be eliminated and the joy should be saved. But we have not been successful in our efforts. The sorrow is certainly eliminated, but at the same time the joy is reduced proportionately.

We resent sorrow and desire joy. Hence the problem.

What is the meaning of the 'joy of samadhi'? That which has no sorrow attached to it. The bliss of samadhi is not quenching any thirst, it is not filling an empty stomach, nor is it the weariness after a hard day's work. The bliss of samadhi is not connected with sorrow and toil. This is the difference between spiritual joy and worldly joys. THE BLISS OF SAMADHI IS THE BLISS OF SIMPLY EXISTING. No desire, no longing or craving, is connected with it. It is simply the 'joy of being'.

Therefore Shiva speaks of the 'bliss of existence', lokananda. That you are - that in itself is a great bliss! It has nothing to do with desires and pain etc. Remember, the soul suffers from no hunger and no thirst; hence the question of hunger and thirst and the pleasure gained out of their satiation does not arise. All thirsts and hungers belong to the body, so when a person desires the pleasures of the body he should also be prepared for the pains. The more he is prepared to go through the pains and suffering, the more happiness he attains. The joy of the soul is the purest of joys. There is no place for sorrow here. But this occurs only at the center. At the circumference you are the body.

The body is the periphery. It is the surrounding wall of your vessel; it is not you. It is your outer circle. At the center you are the soul, and it is here that a completely new kind of joy unfolds itself.

Here the joy is the joy of being - just being. There is no peak of happiness and abyss of misery here: no ups and downs; no gain or loss, no night or day, no toil or rest. Only you are there. There you become eternal, and this state of being eternal is filled with joy. It is overflowing. Its juice never dries up. Therefore saints call it 'eternal', everlasting, always new.

Kabir says: the juice of nectar flows incessantly unhindered, without any variation. It rains in this world, too, but the rains must be preceded by heat.

When the summer heat reaches its peak - when there are cracks in the earth, when the trees start wailing, when the heat becomes unbearable all over - then the rains come. We may ask: Why this absurd law? Why can there not be rains without all this suffering? But then we have to understand the whole system of nature, the mathematics of nature. The clouds are formed only when the heat becomes suffocating, for water then turns into vapor. There will be no rains if there is no evaporation.

The vapor rises and forms clouds, and when the clouds are over-saturated - so much that they can't help showering, it starts raining. So unbearable heat is prerequisite for a good rainy season.

In the world of the soul there are no opposites, no duality. Therefore it is referred to as 'non-dual' or indivisible. Here there is only one, not two. But then it becomes difficult for you to understand what kind of joy this is, for you know of no joy without its ensuing pain.

Someone asked Sigmund Freud for a definition of madness. How do people become insane?

Freud's answer was wonderful and very strange. He said, "Success and madness have a common definition. The path to success is the path to insanity." When you want to succeed, you become tense; when you want to succeed, you fight. Your days and nights are filled with anxiety. When you want to succeed, your each and every moment is overshadowed with fear: will you succeed or won't you? What if you don't? You are not alone. There are thousands of competitors. Night and day you are in a state of acute tension, and this is exactly the prescription for losing your sanity! So carefully observe the people you call successful; you will notice that they live in the same state of constant restlessness, tension and anxiety that the madmen live in.

When Krushchev was in power in Russia he went to inspect a mental hospital. While he was at the hospital he remembered an important message, so he rang up his office, but the girl at the switchboard paid no attention. There was a reason why she ignored him, which became clear later.

Finally he was fed up. He shouted, "Young lady, do you know who I am?" This is common to all those who are successful, who are in power and have money - inwardly this thought is incessantly echoing in his mind: do you know, who I am? He may not speak loudly but inside, he is saying it over and over again. This is the reason why he has staked everything. At last he could not contain himself and said to the girl, "Do you know who I am ? I am Krushchev, the prime minister."

The girl said, "I do not know who you are, but I know where you are calling from - the mental hospital."

Now the fact is, all the prime ministers speak from the same place. There is no other place for them to speak from.

Once Krushchev went to London where he was given a very costly piece of cloth. The cloth was so expensive that he wanted the best tailor of the world to stitch it. He asked the best tailor of Moscow.

He wanted to make a coat and pant, complete with waistcoat. The Russian tailor said the cloth was not sufficient for a three-piece suit. He could only make a two-piece suit. The material was so expensive that Krushchev wanted three pieces to be made. He took the cloth to London. There he was told that he could easily get a three-piece suit for enough cloth left over to make something for his child also.

Krushchev was shocked. He asked, how his own Russian tailor could be so dishonest? He said, only two pieces can be made. The London tailor answered, "Don't be angry with him. In Russia you are a very big man. Here in London you are next to nothing."

When a man sets out to surround himself with pleasures of success and ambition, he will have to endure suffering and hardship exactly equal to the pleasure he pursues, and this hardship and suffering break him completely. Long before he can experience any feeling of success, he has almost become unsuccessful. In this world no one can be successful because the price for success is terrible madness, insanity. And by the time success knocks on your door, you are not in a position to enjoy it.

The pleasure of samadhi is entirely different. You do not have to pay the price for it, for what you set out to find is present now - at this very moment. It is not somewhere in the future, so that you have to sat out on a quest and toil and labour. It is present here and now. You possess it already. This treasure is your birthright, you don't have to pay the price of suffering in order to get it. In that case one wonders, what would be it like?

Whatever joy you have known cannot compare with, or even give you an inkling, of this joy, for all your joys are mixed with sorrows. All the nectar you have known has been mixed with poison. With the body this is bound to be; birth and death, nectar and poison are side by side. Each worldly joy carries its counterpart of pain. But the soul is only immortal. There is no death for the soul; it is eternal. There are no opposites; there is only existence, pure existence.

Perhaps, if you could visualize your physical pleasures without their pain and bitterness, just drop the bitter taste lingering in your mouth and you might be able to imagine this happiness or something like it; but this would be only a glimpse. It cannot give you a clear picture. The circumference can only give you a glimpse. No matter how much you contemplate, you cannot imagine or conceptualize that which you have never experienced. You have to experience it first.

These sutras are invaluable. Be filled with wonder. Turn towards the self. Become centered in your being so that great energy will be at your disposal. Let life be yours - the supreme life. Attain self- knowledge through intelligence - through awareness, the supreme awareness - and by breaking through your slumber you shall enjoy the bliss of existence. The bliss of samadhi is yours for the asking.

Something more about the bliss of samadhi: worldly joy depends on very many factors. It depends in your capability and incapability, your education or non-education, your strength, your natural gifts, your relations, your connections - it depends on all these and more. You are not alone there. If you are born to a poor household you will take longer to achieve your goal, perhaps a whole life-time. If you are born into a wealthy family it may take you less time. If you are clever, cunning, intelligent, you will reach early. If you are dull and stupid you will wander a great deal; it is doubtful whether you will reach at all. If the body is unhealthy or diseased it is difficult; if the body is healthy you are better equipped. So everything is accidental and depends on a thousand and one things.

The bliss of samadhi does not depend on anything, it is unconditional. It depends neither on your intellect nor on your body. It makes no difference whether you are worthy or unworthy, nor does it depend on your family, your education, your looks or your sex, or your casts or your religion or your age. It is absolutely unconditional joy because it is your very own treasure. It is within you already.

You are born with it. It is only that you have not paid attention to it; that is all. You have merely forgotten it, not lost it. Just turn your eyes; look back and take a look at yourself.

It is not that a clever person will attain more bliss of samadhi and a dull person less. This is not at all the case. Even illiterate people reach there. Kabir, who was illiterate, unlettered, reached where Buddha reached. And when both reach, there is not an iota of difference between the two. The bliss of samadhi is the very nature of existence. Whether you are fair or dark on your periphery, ugly or beautiful, healthy or unhealthy - whether your brain is filled with the words of various doctrines or not - all of this does not matter at all. Your being is sufficient. That you exist is enough.

Therefore, all meditation is a quest to become pure. When you forget the body, forget the mind, then you will begin to attain the joy of existence, the bliss of samadhi. Just try to do one thing: try to forget the body and the mind for some time. As soon as they are forgotten you begin to remember the soul. As long as you are aware of body and mind you cannot remember the soul. The mind and body are on the periphery, whereas the soul is at the center. You cannot look at both of them at the same time.

In this meditation camp if you could forget the body and mind for a little while you will gain the taste of the bliss of samadhi. Once you get the taste, that is enough. Your life will take a different turn. It is the initial taste that is difficult. Once you know, once you have turned within and seen, then you know the trick. Then whenever you turn you will see. All the effort is needed in this initial turning in.

Once the key is in your hands, you are the master. Then you can taste this pleasure at will. You may wander fearlessly in the world now, and nobody can steal your treasure. Wherever you are, you may be a shopkeeper attending your customer, this bliss is with you and you experience it. One thing will start happening: you will stop seeking worldly pleasures. When the supreme joy is attained who cares about trivial pleasure? When diamonds and rubies are in your hands who will hold on to colored stones? They will drop by themselves; you need not renounce them.

For this reason I always say that a wise person renounces nothing; that which is useless, falls away by itself. Ignorant people renounce because renunciation is very painful for them. They have no knowledge of what is meaningful, and they are busy renouncing the meaningless. But the mind clings. The mind says: You are leaving what is in your hands, and how can you trust that which is not yet in your grasp? Besides, who even knows whether it exists or not?

So I tell you to give up nothing. I only tell you to have one taste of the bliss of samadhi. This simple taste will become the supreme renunciation in your life. Then you will know for yourself what is useless and once we know a thing to be useless, we feel no misgivings about letting go of it. Then it falls on its own.

There was a great saint of Bengal, Yukteshwar Giri. He was known as a great renunciate. A wealthy person once came to him and said, "You are a great renunciate."

Giri laughed out loud. "Look at him!" he said, pointing to the man. "Look at him! He is a great renunciate himself, and he is calling me one. Don't try to trap me with your words, my good man!"

Everyone was shocked, even his disciples. They begged him to explain because there was no doubt that Giri was a great renunciate. Giri said, "Suppose there is a pile of diamonds and a pile of pebbles.

This man holds on the pebbles, while I hold on the diamonds! And he thinks I am a renunciate!"

Who has renounced, Mahavir or you, Buddha or you? You have renounced, for you hold on to rubbish. You have discarded the joy of samadhi in favor of the anxiety-ridden affairs of the periphery, and what have you got in exchange for your bliss is so flimsy. So coarse and crude! So stale and dirty!

The worldly man is a great renunciate, but he thinks the sannyasin is the renunciate. In fact, worldly men look at sannyasins with pity: "Poor things, they have left everything. They have missed all of life's pleasures."

They revere sannyasins and deep down pity them, too: "Poor things! They have renounced everything without enjoying anything. At least some things they should have enjoyed!" But worldly man have no ideas whom they are talking about. The sannyasin has experienced the greatest enjoyment. He has been invited by the vast existence to partake of the greatest of all enjoyments.

I do not ask you to give up anything. I only ask you to know, to taste. This very taste then will slowly displace all that is useless and trivial in your life. The useless just falls away; it needs to be renounced.

Enough for today.

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"Masonry conceals its secrets from all except Adepts and Sages,
or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations
of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled;
to conceal the Truth, which it calls Light, from them, and to draw
them away from it.

Truth is not for those who are unworthy or unable to receive it,
or would pervert it. So Masonry jealously conceals its secrets,
and intentionally leads conceited interpreters astray."

-- Albert Pike, Grand Commander, Sovereign Pontiff
   of Universal Freemasonry,
   Morals and Dogma