To Be Dead Do Nothing
[Note: This is a translation from the Hindi series Shiva Sutra, which is in the process of being edited. It is for research only.]
CHITTAM MANTRAH PRAYATNAHA SADHAKASH GURUH UPAYAH SHARIRAM HAVIH GYANAMANNAM VIDYASANGHARA TADUTTHASWAPNADARSHANAM.
THE MIND IS THE MANTRA, EFFORT IS THE SEEKER.
THE GURU IS THE MEANS.
THE BODY IS THE OFFERING.
KNOWLEDGE IS FOOD.
WHEN KNOWLEDGE IS DESTROYED, THE DREAM IS SEEN.
THE MIND IS THE MANTRA.
Mantra means that which creates energy by continuous repetition; the very repetition creates the power. If any single thought is repeated continuously it is translated into action. The thought that is repeated time and again begins to manifest in life. Whatever you are is the outcome of some thoughts that have been repeated over and over again.
A great deal of research has been carried out on hypnosis. Modern psychology has been able to penetrate hypnosis at its deepest levels. The basic principle of hypnosis is: if you want to convert any thought into reality, repeat it as many times as possible. By repetition a line is first drawn, which gradually becomes a path within the mind. It is just as if we dig a ditch and the ditch becomes a canal. Very soon the thought begins to materialize.
There was a great French psychologist called Emile Coue, who cured thousands of people with the help of mantra. Thousands of patients from all over the world used to go to him. His treatment was very simple. He would tell the patient to repeat to himself: "I am not ill. I am all right. I am becoming healthy." He was told to repeat this before going to bed, as soon as he awakened in the morning, and as many times as he remembered during the day. A single thought was to be constantly repeated: I am healthy! I am becoming healthier and healthier every day!
It seems to be a miracle. People with incurable diseases were cured by this small mantra. People came to come from far and wide. But the trick is very small.
Ordinarily when you are cured, psychologists say that ninety percent of the work is done by repetition. Medicine does only ten percent of the work. A patient takes medicine four times a day, eight times a day. Each time he takes it he feels: Now I am going to get better for I have taken the right medicine.
In homeopathic medicine the pills are no remedy in themselves, but all the same, they cure people just as effectively as allopathic medicines. If a doctor whom you trust gives you just water, you will be cured. It is not a question of medicine, but a question of your having faith in the doctor. The faith becomes the repetition. The doctor who charges higher fees cures more people than the one who charges less, for as your pocket gets lighter, your faith gets stronger. Besides, you feel that for someone like yourself, only the very best treatment is good enough. Repetition....!
Psychologists have experimented with placebos, false medicine, but when the doctor prescribes them, he pretends that it is regular medicine. The result of the experiments was amazing. Patients with the same complaint were divided into two groups. One group was given the regular course of treatment, whereas the other group was treated entirely with the placebo, plain water. Of course they did not know it. They presumed, it was a medicine. At the end of the treatment there were as many cures in the group which received the placebo as in the first group. This means that water was as effective a cure as the usual medicine. This is why so many people respond to a cure when it is first discovered; they are convinced that now the right cure has been found. Patients all around the world are influenced. Then slowly the drug becomes less effective. Once in a while some person does not get cured, or a stubborn patient takes the drug and suffers, thus destroying the faith of others. Then the medicine becomes less effective. So every year new cures have to be found.
New drugs impress only if they are well advertised. So all media should be used: radio, newspapers, cinema, magazines, television. Advertising is more effective than the drug itself; it is the advertisement that hypnotizes. It becomes a mantra, a repetition. Open the newspaper...
Aspirin! Switch on the radio ... Aspirin! Television ... Aspirin! Billboards by the side of the road ...
Aspirin! Wherever you turn you are confronted by 'Aspirin'. It becomes a bigger headache than the headache itself. Only then is it effective in curing the headache.
Repetition creates energy. Mantra means to repeat something over and over again. This sutra says: THE MIND ITSELF IS THE MANTRA. The sutra says that you need no other mantra if you understand the mind The working of the mind is nothing but repetition. What is your mind doing?
What has it been doing for infinite lives? Merely repeating. What do you do every day? What you did yesterday you repeat today, and you will do it again tomorrow if you do not change. And the more you repeat, the more intense will the repetition become and you will get so involved that you will find it difficult to get out of it.
There are people who come to me and say, "I cannot give up smoking." Smoking has become a mantra, they have repeated it so many times. If they smoke two packs of cigarettes a day that means the person is repeating something forty times a day, and has been doing this for years. Now if he wants to stop he cannot. You may stop smoking, but the mind will keep craving for a smoke; then your body will demand: I want to smoke! I want a smoke!
This is what we call addiction. Craving comes when you suddenly want to stop what you have been doing repeatedly. Now this addiction which has become a mantra has to be broken by an alternative mantra.
Pavlov has done a great deal of research on this subject. He is perhaps the only person who has cured patients with addictions. If you were addicted to smoking and wanted to give it up, Pavlov would use this method of repetition. He would give you a cigarette. No sooner would you have it in your hand than you receive an electric shock. Your whole body feels the tremor and the cigarette falls out of your hands. For seven days you remain in his clinic. Ever time you smoke you feel the electric shock. In seven days the mantra would be stronger than the urge, so much so that the very mention of a cigarette makes you tremble. You develop an aversion to smoking.
Pavlov cured thousands of patients in this matter. His argument was that unless a person be given an opposite habit, which is stronger than his addiction, he cannot be made to overcome his habit.
The pattern of your life, whatever it is, is a result of your mind. You go on repeating. Every day you want to get rid of your anger, and every day you get angry. The more you repeat the anger, the stronger it becomes. How often you vow not to get angry, but your vows are always broken.
Now the confusion deepens. It was better not to take any oaths, for now the mantra is reinforced; it has become doubly effective. Now you keep repeating, "I shall not be angry. I shall not be angry..."
knowing full well that your anger is much stronger than your vows. Vows have no value; they are not worth a penny no matter how many times you take them. Now this also becomes hypnosis. Now you will swear you will not be angry, knowing full well that it is not going to be effective.
Never take any vows that you cannot fulfill. It is better to live with a habit than take a vow and break it. If it becomes a habit with you to take vows and break them, this will make you incapable of following any resolution in life. The so-called religious teachers have made you very irreligious.
They give you vows so cheaply. you go to the temple, to a holy man or sage, and he tells you, "Take a vow." Now you are in a fix. Sitting in the holy surroundings of a temple you cannot say to the sage, "I am incapable of taking any vows." That would hurt your ego. Instead, you say, "From today on I will never smoke again."
I have a friend who is slightly eccentric - but he is much better than you! He went to a monk - he is a Jaina - and the monk said, "Take a vow!"
"Very well, I shall," he said.
The monk asked, "What have you vowed?"
He said, "I have vowed to smoke from today on." He never smoked before. He was slightly eccentric but he kept the vow faithfully! And I tell you, this man has gained a lot more than the man who takes vows of not smoking and fails to keep them. He broke his vow, he was filled with self-condemnation.
This man at least kept his word. He may be eccentric but he is better than you. He could, at least, stick to his resolution.
Whenever you break a vow your self-esteem drops and you are filled with guilt. Each time you fail, your guilt increases ad you become more and more miserable. You will lose your soul in this state of wretchedness. To gain your soul you need the self-respect of a king; self-condemnation simply takes you further and further away from yourself.
Understand the nature of your mind and you will understand this sutra. The whole art of the mind, its structure, is built on repetition. The mind is a mantra. Whatever you repeated has become your habit. All that you keep repeating becomes a part of your life. For lives on end you repeat the same things over and over again and you attain it in each life - and you are addicted to the repetition of all that is wrong and false!
So what is to be done? One: do not be in a hurry to destroy the false. The best way to go about it is to start doing the right thing instead of fighting the wrong. Learn a new mantra! If you smoke, it is perfectly all right! Begin to meditate, and intensify the mantra of meditation every day. The day meditation pervades your being, you will be filled with self-respect. When this happens it will be child's play to give up smoking, for you have now begun a positive mantra.
Don't be negative in your approach or you will find yourself in difficulty. You will be caught up in remorse and guilt; you will be lost in pain and sorrow and despair. All your holy men sitting in the temples - how sad they look! There is no joy, no flowering in their lives; they use only negative mantras. Their quest is centered around negation - to get rid of whatever is wrong, bit by bit.
I tell you not to be in any hurry to get rid of your bad habits. Be quick to develop good ones. The day that the good habits become powerful, the bad ones are easy to give up. Don't fight with your illness; strive to attain health. That was what Coue used to tell his patients. He told them to practice auto-suggestion: "I am getting better! I am getting better..."
You can also do the opposite. You have a headache. You can repeat to yourself, "I have no headache." Now, as many times as you repeat this, you will be repeating the word 'headache'. If you have a headache, there is no sense in telling yourself there is no headache. The headache is! No matter how many times you repeat the contrary, you know that your repetition is a lie. Superficially you may go on saying that there is no headache but inwardly you know that your head is aching.
You are repeating just for the sake of Coue. And the headache will be cured by an inner process - not by following the suggestions of Coue. Don't use a negative word 'no'.
Therefore, I say, don't be in a hurry to renounce the world; instead, strive to attain God! Therefore, I say, don't walk the path of renunciation; seek ultimate enjoyment! Don't concentrate on that which is wrong because in order to give up the wrong you have to look at it again and again. And the more you look at it, the more the mantra is being repeated. And you are hypnotized by the thing you watch constantly.
A great deal of research is going on about car accidents. Nowadays the number of people dying in car accidents is more than the number died in the world war. The number of people who die every year in car accidents is twice as high as the number of people who died in World War Two. It is not a small number. Something has to be done. In examining this phenomenon, it was discovered that fifty percent of accidents take place between midnight and three a.m. That is the period of sleep, and the mind is the most drowsy. When the mind is drowsy it gets hypnotized. The driver is hypnotized by the monotonous purring of the engine and the straight road without any curves for miles on end.
And the psychologists say that thousands of people are dying because of the white line drawn in the middle of the road. The driver keeps on watching it and gets hypnotized. Then he is not in his senses, he is in a druggish state. The situation is: it is between midnight and three am; there is the monotonous sound of the engine; the long, empty road, everything enveloped in darkness; even the trees and shrubs are invisible; the driver sees only the road and the white centre-strip.
You can try a small experiment. Draw a straight white line on a table. Get hold of a hen and press its head down for some time so that it can see the line. Now let go of the hen. It will not budge from that spot for hours. It is hypnotized by the line. It will sit there for hours.
Psychologists say that drivers become hypnotized in the same way. They say not to make the road too straight and regular; they suggest to change the sound of the engine from time to time. Any change decreases the drowsiness, and thus many accidents can be avoided.
The number of accidents in your life can be decreased too. One: do not focus your gaze on things that are wrong, for what you see, slowly begins to penetrate you. You are addicted to fixing your eyes on the wrong; you pay attention only to what is wrong inside you. The angry man concentrates on his anger, and how to get rid of it. Though he wants to get rid of the anger, he is actually concentrating on that white line of anger within him; the more he concentrates the more he is hypnotized by it.
Sexual people go on concentrating on the sex.
Mulla Nasruddin reached the age of one hundred. Journalists rushed to interview him because he was the only centenarian in the town. Among the many questions they asked him was, "What do you have to say about the fair sex?"
Nasruddin said, "Do not raise such a question. I stopped thinking about women three days ago."
A hundred year old man, and it is only three days since he stopped thinking of women! Thoughts of women will grip your mind because you want to get rid of them. This has become your negative mantra. You will find that whatever you try to break away from, grips you even more because it becomes the object of your concentration. If you keep looking at the wrong you are meditating on them more.
Mahavir said that there are four types of meditation; two are right and two are wrong. No person except Mahavir has suggested that the 'wrong' be used as an object of meditation. Psychologists will agree with him. Mahavir says that wrong meditation is also meditation. For instance, an angry person becomes meditative, because when he is filled with anger, nothing exists for him at that moment except his anger. In anger the mind is focussed entirely on one point. That is why there is so much power in anger.
Have you noticed? An angry person is able to lift someone twice his size. If he had been in his right senses, if he had not been consumed with anger, he would have thought many times before touching that person. Why invite trouble? A man can move a huge rock when he is enraged, something he couldn't even imagine in his wildest dreams. If a man is sufficiently angry all his reserves of energy are awakened. How does this come about? The energy which is dissipated all over the body becomes concentrated in one place. When the sunrays are concentrated on one point a flame is produced. In the same manner, when in the heat of anger all the mind's attention is focussed on one point, an explosion occurs. Mahavir refers to this as 'meditation'.
Mahavir says that there are two types of wrong meditations: one is full of sorrow, another is full of anger. In great sorrow a person also enters into meditation. If someone dies you weep and wail, and all your attention is concentrated on one point. Beware of the wrong kind of meditation. And you are totally engrossed in the wrong kind of meditation. This is the root cause of your troubles; the basic problem and disease is only one: you have fixed your attention on what is wrong. You have to drop it. You think you are doing it with the intention of avoiding them; but, because of this very concentrated effort, you are stuck with them.
I say to you: Don't be concerned with the world. Fix your attention on God! You are an angry man.
Don't worry! Everybody is! Don't focus your eyes on the anger, but concentrate on compassion.
Concentrate on what is right. As the right gets more and more energy, the strength of the wrong gets weaker and weaker. Ultimately it will disappear. This happens because energy is one; you cannot use it in two ways. If you have utilized your energy in becoming peaceful, you would have no energy for restlessness. All your energy has moved towards peace, and if you have had a taste of peace and serenity, why bother to become restless? You can maintain your restlessness only if you have never known the flavor of serenity. You can dive into the pleasures of the world only if you have not tasted the divine.
Understand this well. Avoid the negative; beware of saying 'no'. Do not be anxious to drop the evil, for then the evil will hypnotize you and you will never be able to get rid of it. Whatever you try to break away from, you find you are hooked to it all the more.
I have heard: Once a man was refused accommodation in a hotel even though there was a vacant room. The manager was apologetic but refused to give him the room. "The thing is", he explained, "the guest in the room below is a trouble maker. If there is the least sound he creates a fuss, so we decided never to rent this room when he is here."
"You don't have to worry," said the traveller. "I will be out all day and won't be back until eleven at night, and then I have to catch a train at three in the morning. I will hardly be here for three hours.
There won't be any chance to disturb your guest. There will be no problem, I will keep in mind what you said and be very careful."
The man returned at midnight, tired after a day's work. He sat on the bed and removed one shoe, which he let fall. When it hit the floor he suddenly remembered the finicky person in the room below, so he carefully placed the other shoe on the floor and went to sleep. After about fifteen minutes there was a knock at the door. He opened the door and saw a man standing there trembling with rage.
The traveller was afraid. He didn't know what to do. "Have I done anything wrong?" he asked.
"Wrong! I ask you! What happened to the other shoe! I have been waiting for fifteen minutes for you to drop it. You made it impossible for me to sleep. The other shoe is hanging on my head. I cannot be rest assured till I find out about the other shoe."
Everyone sits with the other shoe dangling - the shoe of negation. You have to drop this, drop that.
There are so many evils that one lifetime is not enough to eradicate them all. Evil is hidden in every corner, in every nook and cranny. Your whole life is filled with guilt. Your holy men and priests stuff you with the sense of guilt. They say to you, "This is wrong! That is wrong! Everything is wrong!"
They give you no information about what is right. They say, "How can you attain the right before you get rid of the wrong!" Their argument seems logical. Their argument is that there can be no light as long as darkness exists.
And I say to you, if you listen to them and believe them, no matter how logical their statements, you will be stuck for lifetimes to come. It is they who have led you astray. It is not the devil who led you astray but the so-called saints because their argument is so logical: as long as the wrong isn't dropped how can you achieve the right?
Have you ever tried to get rid of darkness? If you wait for darkness to disperse before you light your lamp you will never light it. I say to you, light your lamp! Don't worry about the darkness because no sooner is the lamp lit than darkness is gone. Bring in light and darkness vanishes. Nobody in the world has ever succeeded in dispelling darkness by removing it. Similarly, evil cannot be eradicated, but good can certainly be brought in. The world can never be renounced, but the soul can be attained, and as soon as the soul is attained the world drops.
We hold on to the world simply because we have nothing better in view. And how can we leave the world unless we find something better than that? No matter how much you want to, you cannot leave it. You will fight. You will tire yourself out; you will even destroy yourself, but you will reach nowhere.
Your life will be a senseless race that leads nowhere. Then you will return and take another body, and the vicious circle will continue. The only man who attains to the good is the man who gives up concentrating on evil.
The mind is a mantra - whether you use it for good or for evil. Repetition becomes energy. If anger arises, accept it! No matter how many times it raises its ugly head, don't feel repentant. Don't fight it either. All that is needed is that you act compassionately as many times as you are angry. Let others profit from you as much as they have suffered from you. Savor the taste of compassion. Do not punish yourself for your wrongdoings. Treat yourself to a good deed; do not reproach yourself for your misdeeds. If you have abused someone, go and sing somebody's praises; make a list of his virtues. You have enjoyed cursing people, now enjoy appreciating the merits of others.
Don't get involved with the thorns; just let them be and concentrate on the flowers. If you are involved with the thorns you will never reach the flowers. There are so many thorns and you will be so badly bruised that, when you find a flower it will not give you any pleasure. You will be so filled with wounds that even the caress of the flowers will not soothe you. It will hurt!
Do not pay any attention to the thorns, focus on the flowers. Be drowned in the charm and the pleasure of the flowers, and you will find that the thorns no longer prick you. He who is overwhelmed by the beauty of the flower will not be affected by the thorns. The real thing is to drown in the essence of the flower. Be struck dumb by its beauty. Be enchanted by it. The real thing is to drink in the essence of God, and then the wines of the world will lose their charm; otherwise you will keep fighting worldly pleasures, and you will be defeated by the same pleasures.
He who fights the evil is defeated by evil, for such a mind makes a mantra of the evil because mind is mantra. Try to understand the process of the mind: it repeats and repeats and repeats!
Observe your mind for only seven days. Write down everything that the mind repeats. You will find it moving in a circle. If you observe carefully you will find that just as night follows day, just as mornings and afternoon and evening move in rotation, so also your anger, your love, your sex, your greed; they all have their allotted periods. Greed catches you exactly at its appointed hour, just as hunger grips you at the same time every day. You have never observed your mind closely. You can even make a calendar of your various moods; then you can warn your wife and children: "Beware of me on Monday mornings!" Then they will know that they should stay out of your way during the difficult periods. If you begin to observe yourself during these particular periods you will be able to locate the points around which the changing moods of your mind revolve. Not only is the body circular, but the mind also moves in a circle.
All movements in the world are circular. The moon and stars move in a circle; the earth moves in a circle and so do the seasons. Even the seasons of your mind go around in a circle. Scientists have discovered recently that there is a cycle of chemical reactions in the male body which is similar to the menstrual cycle in females. You must have noticed that women tend to become cross and irritable and restless during their menstrual periods. The Hindus were very clever. They evolved the custom of segregating women form the rest of the household during this time. A great many chemical changes occur in a woman's body at this time, and it is difficult for her to remain alert and aware of herself.
Exactly the same things happen to men. There is no outward flow of blood, but there is an internal flow from certain glands. If you observe carefully you will find that a man is also depressed, restless and in a black mood every twenty-eight days.
Observe closely and you will see that your mind revolves in one complete cycle every twenty-eight days. As you become more and more familiar with your cycle, you will be able to predict with great accuracy what moods you are going to have and when you are going to have them. You will be shocked to discover that you get angry not because of any outside influence but because of what is going on inside you. The other person is merely an excuse. Then, if you lose your temper, you will not blame the other; on the contrary, you will ask his pardon. You will ask him to forgive you. You will explain that your outburst has nothing to do with him, that you always get angry at this time of the month. It was just accidental that he was there to provide an excuse for your rage. Anyone else would have done just as well.
By self-observation you will discover the circular movement of the mind. It is a mantra that is repeated over and over again. If you fail to understand this you will be revolving round and round for endless births. Therefore the Hindus have called the world samsara - the wheel that turns round and round. For endless lives you do the same things over and over again, and you are not the only one doing this. Everyone else also does it. When you fall in love for the first time you feel that such a wonderful thing has never happened before. But this happens every moment somewhere in the world, even in the world of animals and plants. It is not only to you that love is happening. It has been happening all along. And anger, too, is happening to everyone.
There is only one thing that is outside of this circle, and that is meditation. It is the only happening that does not occur by itself. Other happenings occur all by themselves; you do not have to bring them about. All that you have to do is keep sitting on the wheel, it is moving of its own accord, you will keep on moving tied down to it. Only by jumping outside this wheel can you get rid of it. There is only one thing which is out of this wheel and that is meditation! But this does not happen on its own. It happens to one in a million - to a rare Buddha!
According to Arnold Toynbee, the great historian, only six people have managed to jump out of this circle from the whole history of mankind. If it is sixty and not six, even then the number is too small.
It is an unusual - almost impossible - phenomenon. Anger, love, greed are common, ordinary happenings; they occur not only to men but even to animals. These do not make you a human being. You will be truly human being the day you step out of this circle of the mind, you step out of the rotating movement of the mind. When the circle of the mind breaks and you stand outside of it - that is meditation!
Meditation is not circular. Meditation is a state of being, the mind is a movement. Meditation is a condition of no movement. The mind is another name for a wandering, and the places it wanders in are not new. It is caught in a rut. It wanders in the same places again and again, like an ox at the oil mill. If you observe this phenomenon consciously you will know that it is not just a concept, but truly a fact of life. It is not a doctrine of philosophy. The circular movement of your mind, that your mind being a mantra is a fact of your life.
Those of you who have tried to understand life have discovered this fact. It is not a principle, not a theory, but fact. A concept is only a circular movement in your mind. his is not a philosophic theory but a fact of life, and you can obtain it from your experience. don't believe it just because I say so, or just because Shiva says so. You have eyes to see. Look within; observe your mind. View your mind from within for a few days and you will be surprised at what you discover. You will find yourself chained and shackled to this wheel; and not only you, all of creation is captive to the wheel. This is not the assertion of your humanness, there is no dignity in this state.
The real dignity of your existence as a human being cannot be realized while you are captive to this cycle of endless repetition; it is born only when you break away from the wheel and stand apart. It is then that you reach buddhahood; it is then that you attain shivahood.
The mind is mantra. Repetition is the very nature of the mind; therefore, nothing new is ever born in the realm of the mind. Nothing is ever original in the mind. Everything is old and stale - just remnants and scraps. And you keep chewing this cud! You are like a cow. With your mind you take something in, forget about it, and then after a time, you bring it up and chew it over. You read a book and it keeps on revolving in your mind. You hear me, and my words keep turning over and over in your mind. Your mind will start a new circle, but nothing original ever happens in the mind, whereas the soul is an original entity. And God is the supreme originality. It is ever new; there is nothing fresher than that. It cannot be attained through the mind; you will have to break the mind's circuit.
Understand the sutra well:
THE MIND IS THE MANTRA.
EFFORT IS THE SEEKER.
Effort, the next sutra, means an attempt to get out of the mind's circle. He who steps out of this circle is a siddha, one who has arrived; he who is still trying to get out of the circle is the sadhak, the seeker. Great must be your effort - in fact, the very best you are capable of. Only then can you step out of it. You will have to work as hard to step out of the mind as you did to get chained by it There is a major obstacle in your way: you see everything through your mind and whatever you see is coloured by your mind. This makes things very difficult.
I speak and you hear, but your mind stands in between. Whatever I say the mind will colour according to itself and give its own shade of meaning. The whole sense of my words is changed.
Mulla Nasruddin had drunk one too many. He caught a bus to go home He was reeking of alcohol, and the old woman who sat next to him felt pity for him. She said, "Son, do you realise what you are doing? You have embarked on a route that leads straight to hell!"
The Mulla jumped up with a start. He called out to the conductor, "Stop the bus! I have caught the wrong bus!"
The Mulla's alcohol soaked mind gave its own meaning to the old woman's words. He was convinced that the bus was heading towards hell. This is what the mind does all the time; therefore, the most difficult and complicated thing is to put the mind aside and listen. He who can do it is a Shravak the right listeners. This is right listening: Put the mind aside and listen directly.
EFFORT IS THE SEEKER. You will have to try, and try hard! You will have to make a Herculean effort. Laziness will not help you get out of the circle. How can you get rid of a circle by just lying in it? The circle will keep turning and you will have to hold on even harder for fear of falling.
If you have observed the bird catchers in the forest, you, will find that the method they use is very simple. The mind uses the same method to catch you. A string is tied across two branches. The parrot comes and sits on it. Because of his weight he turns upside down. Now he won't move, because he is afraid of falling. He holds on tight to the string. Now he is in trouble. He feels, if he leaves the string he sure to fall down. You need not catch him, he himself gets caught. The bird catcher come and catches him. The parrot is so frightened that he forgets that he has wings; he forgets that he can't fall to the ground. If you hang upside down in a string, you will have the same fear You too are afraid, if you get off the circles you will be lost, that you will go astray.
One of the characters in a novel written by Hemingway says, "I would rather choose suffering than nothingness." You do not prefer to be empty. You would rather choose hell, because then you have something to hang on to - even if it is hell. At least there something to cling to. You are used to it.
Besides, you don't have to do anything. To give up old habits requires great effort.
If your fist has been closed for lives on you will find it impossible to open it, because your fingers have become stiff and frozen. If you want to open your first you will have to make an effort so that the muscles get stronger and the blood begins to flow again in the veins. One thing is certain: he who closes his fist can also open it. The very fact that the fist is closed proves that it was open at one time so it can be open again. But if it is closed for a longer period, it will be difficult to open it.
This is the difficulty. Hence, the effort is necessary.
Effort means: you will have to try hard to drop the mind. And the mind will whisper in your ear again and again: "What foolishness is this! What madness!" The moment you leave the mind, it does.
EFFORT IS THE SEEKER. Unless you become a seeker, you will not make an effort. You do make an effort, but it is half-hearted And half hearted effort carries no meaning. It is just as if you have gripped the wheel with one hand and let go with the other. This does not solve the problem. A lukewarm effort is meaningless.
A businessman once told his wife that he was going to the Taj Mahal Hotel to entertain a very important client who was to give him a very big order. So he was gone. When he came home that night, well-stuffed with food and drink, his wife asked, "Did you get the order?"
"Fifty-fifty," he answered.
The wife said, "At least you got something."
As they were preparing to go to sleep she suddenly asked, "What do you mean by fifty-fifty?"
The husband replied, "I reached the hotel, but the client didn't."
When you too are half-and-half, you are like this. Nothing will be gained, for the other half is always missing. You are always fragmented; you are never total. Whenever you are total a revolution takes place, a transformation begins in your life. It is then that you reach the boiling point; and only at the boiling point does the water turn into steam. Then you cannot flow downward like water; you can only rise upwards like vapour. Then your direction is not downwards, it is upwards.
EFFORT IS THE SEEKER. You have to drop laziness.
People come to me and say that the morning meditation is a bit difficult. Six o'clock is too early. You do not understand what you are saying, If getting up at six in the morning is difficult, it will be much more difficult and painful to step outside the mind. If getting up at six in the morning is so difficult, how will you jump out of the wheel of life? If you are not even prepared to drop the small habit of sleeping late... for a day or two you may fell lazy. But you allow laziness to win over you. It shows that you value your laziness more than meditation. If this were not so you would never have brought up the whole matter.
Somebody comes and complains that the four meditations you do during the camp are too tiring.
"Why can't we only do two each day?" But then, why do two? Forget about all four. If four meditations tire you, two will tire you half, but you are bound to get tired. And I know if I say that two will be all right, you will promptly return with the request to do only one, because it is the same mind up to its old tricks. Even two meditations will make you fell tired to some extent.
If this is the way you approach things then you will eventually become more and more lazy. Effort is required for everything. Remember, life is effort; death is rest. If you want to be dead you need do nothing. If you want to live you will have to do something. If you want to live life to the fullest you will have to make a great effort. If you want to attain God such small bits of efforts will not do. Your whole life should turn into one gigantic effort. You must stake everything that you have. If you hold back even a little bit of yourself, then you will miss. You have to stake yourself totally; only then will you be saved. That is why so few attain. The reason is nothing but laziness.
While doing the active meditations you are so very careful not to hurt yourself or fall on somebody or tire yourself. Why do it all? Who asked you to do it? You are not clear within yourself and that is the trouble. You live in a haze where everything is foggy and misty. You are not even clear as to how you came here and why? Somebody was coming and you just came along with him - just to look at what was going on.
You have been pushed and pulled about like this for infinite lives, but you will never reach your destination this way. You will never get there by blind chance. You will not reach the destination accidentally. It requires a well directed effort. You reach the destination when all the currents in your life flow in one direction. Destination is your concentrated will power. As soon as you are fully resolved, your energy accumulates at one point and your mind flows in a single stream. This energy within you is unbounded. So if you feel that you do not have sufficient energy, you will get tired very soon, you are mistaken.
There are three layers of energy in your body. The uppermost layer is for day-to-day living; it is like the small change you carry in your pocket. It is not all the money you have. It is just the pocket money you use for minor expenses.
Mulla Nasruddin was going through a village when four men jumped on him. The night was dark but the Mulla fought them so ferociously that he outwitted all four of them. With great difficulty they could overpower him, but when they searched his pockets they found only seven paise! One of them said, "You are limit Nasruddin! "I don't know what made you fight so hard for only seven paise."
Nasruddin replied, "I didn't think that you were fighting for seven paise in my pocket. I have hidden five hundred rupees in my shoe!"
But now the thieves would not dare to attack him. If he could fight so dangerously for only seven paise...!They said, "Good bye! maybe next time....."
The energy you use for your everyday living is no more than seven paise worth. You use this for sitting, standing, walking, eating, sleeping and other light jobs. This is your superficial energy, the small change in your purse. When you start meditating, this energy is used up in no time at all, because you are not accustomed to using it for meditation; this is a new activity. Now, if you let this exhaustion govern you and you stop meditating you will never be able to enter deeply into meditation. Take no notice of your fatigue. If you continue you will find that your persistence has tapped the energy that lies at the second level.
You have often experienced this phenomenon. For example you are about to go to bed at night.
You are overcome with weariness, so sleepy that you can barely keep your eyes open. Suddenly there is an alarm. Your house has caught fire! Can you sleep after that? do you say "I am sleepy?"
Your sleep vanishes totally. Sleep is the last thing on your mind. Where has all this energy come from? Just now you were dozing. If someone had asked you to read the Gita you would have found it impossible; but now that the house is on fire you spring into action. You run here and there to put out the fire. And when all the fuss has died down you will still find it impossible to sleep, however hard you try. you will remain awake what happened? You have broken through to your second layer of energy. which is not a layer of your daily routine. That layer breaks down. Now this flood of newly released energy makes sleep impossible.
If you persist in your meditation without giving up, you will discover a second source of energy available to you before very long. Once you have this energy at your disposal, then no matter how much you meditate your body will never become tired. You will have something inexhaustible. This is the second layer.
There is also a third layer of energy. This second source of energy is your treasure It can be consumed, though not as easily as the first. If you keep on making effort, ceaselessly, this source of energy will also dry up, and the third layer will break loose. This third source does not belong to you. It belongs to God, and it never dries up. If you become lazy, however, you will not reach the second, let alone the third. GOD IS THE SUPREME ENERGY HIDDEN IN YOU.
The first layer is that of your mind; the second is that of your soul; the third is of God. Exhaust the mind and you attain the energy of the soul. Exhaust the soul and you attain the energy of God, which is eternal and inexhaustible. Then you are one with the whole.
Therefore Shiva says: EFFORT IS THE SEEKER. Continuous effort that becomes more and more intense is the seeker. You have to keep on trying until the third level of energy is reached, and you obtain the supreme power. Then you are a siddha, one who has arrived. Then you can relax. Before that, any relaxation is suicidal.
The third sutra:
THE GURU IS THE WAY.
This quest for life cannot be carried out individually, because by yourself you are caught up in your own circle. You cannot see outside it. You don't even know that there is anything beyond it. You live in a cocoon and for you that is the only life that there is. Only someone who has known the Absolute can bring you the news of the outside world. you are a prisoner inside your house, oblivious of the stars and the moon and the open skies. Someone from outside who has seen the moon and the stars will have to come and knock at your door and tell you to come out from behind your closed doors.
But before you move an inch you will ask the question: Does the outside exist? That's what people ask: Does god exist? Is there a soul? And you want that sitting inside the house someone should prove the existence of the sky. How can it be proved when you are sitting inside the four walls How can you be convinced of the vast space outside unless you are willing to step out of your house?
You will have to step out. You will have to walk a few steps outside with him who says that the sky exists, because the sky can only be shown, it cannot be proved. If somebody wants to prove the existence of the sitting under the roof you can defeat him. You will say, "what nonsense! there is only the roof and the walls. What is the proof that there is some vastness outside? Bring some sky inside and show me The sky is not a thing which can be brought inside. The sky cannot be broken into fragments, nor can God be broken into pieces and shown to you. you will have to step outside to see for yourself.
Therefore, THE GURU IS THE WAY. Guru only means the one who has had the experience, the one who has known, the one who has escaped from prison. Only he can make you aware of your imprisonment, he alone can tell you that you can escape from here, and only he can suggest the means to escape. And only he can guide you out of the prison, because he knows the door from which you can escape. There are doors in this prison where the guards are asleep and there are doors in this prison where the guards are awake and alert, and if you try to escape through these doors you will find yourself in great trouble. Now, at least, you are free within your prison, but if you try to escape through the main entrance, where the guards are alert, you will be caught and thrown into a dark dungeon. Then the prison will become even more constricted. And remember if you try to get out by the method of negation you will fall into this dungeon.
If you fight with evil you will be thrown into greater evil - that is the main door. No one can ever escape that way. No one has ever escape through that because there is a strong guarong at the main gate, and all steps are taken to maintain complete security. But there are other openings in this prison which are hidden, where there is no guard; because these exists are unknown to the prisoners. They have their eyes fixed on the main door.
During the French Revolution the inmates of a prison rebelled. There were two thousand prisoners and only twenty guards on hand to put them down. In fact, the prisoners could have gained their freedom at any time. What can the twenty guards do? The prisoners never rebelled, but of course, prisoners are never friends with each other. They don't unite. They don't have the simplicity which can bring there together. They are inimical to each other. So twenty guards were enough. On this occasion however they united and rebelled.
The head jailer was very perturbed what to do? He told the guards not to worry about the main gate but defend the smaller doors and windows. The guards says, "This is not the right decision" The jailor said,"Don't worry Leave the main door unguarded." but they did as they were told, and not a single prisoner escaped. The main gate was unguarded. They could have broken it down and all of them marched out, but they ignored the main gate. they imagined it was heavily guarded since it had always been heavily guarded.
When the guards asked him how he hit upon the idea, the head keeper explained it like this: "They rebelled because someone from the outside got in among the prisoners and stirred them up to escape-a free person who knows. This someone, since he comes from the outside, knows that we have a heavy guarding around the main door, so he would advise them to use the smaller doors. So till yesterday we were guarding the main door because those who were inside were ignorant but it seems that some master, has got in among them."
In life, fighting against evil appears to be the main gate. Your mind tells you: Destroy evil and you will attain to saintliness. Leave the wrong path, then the right path will appear. Renounce the world to allow space for god to be enthroned within you.
These is the main gate. The master will never tell you to try it, because no one has ever been able to pass through it. This door is heavily guarded and he who tries to escape is thrown into deeper dungeons.
According to me, all your saints and monks are locked in worse prisons than you are. You do not have the eyes to see, so you cannot see this. The worldly man is in great distress, but the so-called saints are in a worse plight. You at least have a little courtyard in front of you where you can feel a little free, but they are deprived of such courtyards. They are inside the prison but they do not get the limited freedom that an average prisoner gets. They are locked in dark, dismal cells twenty-four hours a day.
Sadhus and sannyasins come to me. I find their minds diseased and mad. one Jain sadhu told me, "I am sixty years old. I have been a saint for forty years, but one single thought haunts me always:
could it be that I have made a mistake? Could it be that the common man enjoys the world while I undergo these tortures unnecessarily?"
Such doubts are only natural for an intelligent person. This man is not a fool, he is wise and his doubts are natural. He sees that fighting desire for forty years has not led him anywhere. He has attained nothing, and his anger, lust and greed have not been destroyed. They have only been further submerged and hidden.
You can fool people in the outside world and hide your passions from them, but how can you hide them from your own self? You know you have them all inside you, repressed. You look like a good person, you do not commit a crime, but the criminal is hiding inside and can appear any minute.
Given the opportunity, he will commit a crime.
The prison walls have come closer for this man. He has lost even the little freedom to walk about than an ordinary person has. It is a dungeon.
He who tries to leave through the main door will be bound by even heavier chains; but there are secret doors that only the master can show to you. There are keys to open the secret doors, but only he who has already escaped can lead you out.
Scriptures can help you to some extent. You may remain in the prison and read them, but you cannot find your way out through them; because who is to find the meaning behind the words?
None other than you. Who is it who will read the scripture to extract the meaning? It's you! Who will understand? You will! And you will understand them according to your own understanding. And if your understanding were the right understanding, you wouldn't need the scriptures at all; but you are not wise, and that is a fact! The meanings that an ignorant person draws from the scriptures just cause him more trouble and difficulty. No! You need living scriptures. THE MASTER IS THE LIVE SCRIPTURE. Find a living guide to lead you on the right path.
Shiva says: THE GURU IS THE WAY. There is no other way. If you try to solve this problem yourself you will find yourself drawn deeper into the problem, for the mind is a very subtle mechanism. To avoid accepting anyone's help we attempt to solve our problems by ourselves. If you discover that your watch has stopped your first impulse is to do something immediately to try to make it work again. The more stupid you are, the more strong impulse you have. A child doesn't hesitate at all; he fell what's the big problem? First it was working now it doesn't. Let me find out for myself. It is not a very complex machine.
If you attempt to repair your own watch you will find yourself in the same state as Mulla Nasruddin.
I have heard: One day Mulla Nasruddin went to a watch repair shop. He placed his watch on the counter. It was just a pile of little wheels and pieces. The watchmaker looked at the mess and then he looked at the Mulla.
Nasruddin said, "I dropped it. I can't understand how it could have fallen."
"I don't understand why you bothered to pick it up," said the watchmaker. "It is beyond repair. Anyway, a watch won't fall into a million pieces just by dropping it."
"Well, the fact is," confessed the Mulla, "I tried to repair it by myself."
A watch is a simple mechanism compared to the mind. There is no mechanism on earth as complicated as the brain. There are seventy million cells in your brain, each capable of collecting ten million messages. Psychologists say that one brain can store all the written matter in the world.
All the knowledge of the world can be stored in one small brain. And it is such a small thing. It hardly weighs one and a half kilos, yet it has seventy million tiny neurons, each invisible to the naked eye.
Once you grasp the immense complexity of the brain, you can understand why brain surgery is still in its infancy. You try to cut something and thousands of other neurons get destroyed. Everything is so delicate. Just a touch of a surgeon's knife and big numbers of neurons are destroyed.
Even the knife is not needed; you try standing on your head for half an hour everyday and your brain will be damaged. While standing on the head excess blood floods the brain and damages the delicate tissue. The people who practice this posture for a long time are never very intelligent.
Man's brain developed as it did because at some stage in his evolution he stood upright on his hind legs, and the flow of blood to his brain was thereby reduced. For this reason the brains of animals did not develop any further; because their brain and their bodies are on the same level. Their nerve fibers are thicker, they are not thin. The whole dignity and speciality of man lies in the fact that he stood up. By standing on two legs the gravitational force causes his blood to flow downwards. His lungs and heart have to work harder to pump the blood upwards, only then the blood flows towards the brain. And thus a limited quantity reaches the brain. This has made it easier for the finer, more delicate tissues and fibres to evolve. If there is a flood, the bigger trees will be swept away; what about the tiny bushes? So the tissues are so delicate that the slightest increase in blood pressure destroys them, as if they were hit by a flood.
If you dismantle the delicate machinery of all these seventy million cells and tried to work things out for yourself, you would never meet with any success. Failure and great damage are certain. Yet this is what people do: they try to open their own brains! They try to meditate on their own and practice their own yoga postures! They pick up clues from books and from people that they meet. They pick up ideas that are floating freely in the air and they begin to work with them. The only outcome is disaster!
A Buddhist monk was brought to me. He had not been able to sleep for three years. He had been given extensive treatment but to no avail. His insomnia had defied all tranquillizers, and no treatment seemed to work on him. You can imagine his state - the man who has not slept for three years is almost insane!
No doctor had asked him what I asked him, however. The doctors all carried out the usual tests; they checked his blood pressure and did a cardiogram and then began to treat him. But this was not his trouble. This man was engaged in practising a particular meditation technique used by the Buddhists, Vipassana. He himself had chosen this meditation from the scriptures and began to practise it. A guru will take care of each and every disciple. If he develops a group exercise he will take care of the group. The scriptures cannot take care of you in this way. Who is going to read them Scriptures can live for thousands of years, and anyone can read them his own way.
The technique of vipassana is a very old technique. This man read about it and set out to practise it. Then he began to enjoy it. As a method it is a jewel. Buddha himself used it a great deal. Once you begin to enjoy it you won't know when to stop. Enjoyment, once it become extreme, turns into poison. This man was so intoxicated by the vipassana that he began to practise it twenty-four hours a day.
If you practise anything incessantly, day and night, sleep is bound to be destroyed. You have created a great flood of energy inside yourself, and its continuous motion won't allow you to sleep. Besides, he had done this practice for so many years that all the brain tissues that brought on sleep had been destroyed. A doctor can help only if the brain tissue itself is still in order. Tranquillizers can cause the cells in question to relax, but if they are not there what can the doctor do?
I suggested to him that he should forget the meditation completely and become a lazy person for a full year. He should forget all about meditation. He should encourage idleness-just eat, drink and sleep as much as he could for a year; become a completely worldly man for a full year.
He was disappointed. He objected, "I never expected to hear you say such a thing. Are you trying to ruin me?"
I told him that he could think this if he chose, but this was my opinion. "Do as I say for a year and then come to me," I told him.
He returned in three months, beaming and happy. Then I had to give him a new technique. At such a point I have to judge what is suitable and how much a particular person can take. Gradually the duration is increased according to the seeker's progress. I have to be aware of every aspect of the seeker's state of mind. I have to watch the whole picture.
Therefore Shiva says: THE GURU IS THE WAY. Do not be a way unto yourself or you will spoil everything. First of all, it is a difficult task to find a living person because to surrender to a living person is difficult; the ego gets hurt! So people take greater interest in the scriptures; scriptures don't hurt the ego so much. You can throw them in the dustbin or keep them in a place of worship - scriptures won't object. You cannot do that to a living guru. Your ego will have to bow down to him.
You also bow down to the scriptures, but you are still your own master. At any time you can discard them; they can do nothing against your will. To bow at the feet of a living person is a crushing blow to the ego. That is why people first seek in books. Then, when they are tired, they look for a master; but by then the books have so much corrupted them by words they cannot recognize the master when he comes.
When you finally approach the master you bring your bookish knowledge of master and try to judge him accordingly. No book can tell you what a master should be like. A book can talk about a guru.
If there is a book about Kabir it will tell you all about how Kabir used to be, but Kabir is not going to be born again. Those are Kabir's characteristics, but not those of a master. If you are a follower of Kabir and totally filled with him, and thus seek the same qualities in another person before accepting him as a master, you will never find a master for yourself. Kabir cannot be born again.
The Digambara Jainas do not accept a master unless he is totally naked. It was Mahavira's pleasure to take off his clothes; I do not enjoy doing that. If the seeker is looking for a Mahavir, Mahavir no longer exists. It s an irony of fate that during Mahavira's lifetime it could be this very same nakedness that prevented people from accepting him, perhaps because nakedness was not mentioned as a necessary quality in the books that were circulating at that time. None of the Tirthankaras before Mahavir had renounced clothing, so the Jainas themselves were not prepared to accept him, because nakedness seemed uncivilized to them. They rejected Mahavir, for nowhere in the scriptures is there any mention of naked gurus. Then Mahavir died and scriptures were created around him and the present day Jain carrying Mahavira's burden. As a result, when Parshwanath appears wearing clothes he cannot be accepted as guru - he is not naked!
Remember, whatever particular scripture that you read tells you about a particular master. He cannot come again. A master is incomparable, unique! Thus if your eyes are filled with scriptures you will never be able to recognize a living master. The scriptures tell about those who have been and who will never be again. Those who believed in Mahavir will never accept Buddha. At best they may consider him a great soul, a Mahatma, but not Bhagwan.
There is a man I know, a Jain. He has written a book. He is really a good man, but that does not give him understanding. Bad people are generally foolish, but so are good people; foolishness is so deep rooted that the goodness makes no difference. He is a good man and he respects all religions equally. The book he wrote is called BHAGWAN MAHAVIR AND MAHATMA BUDDHA - GOD MAHAVIR AND GREAT SOUL BUDDHA. My friend is a writer. He is known to the people in Poona; in fact it was he who brought me to Poona for the first time. He is an old devotee of Gandhiji, from whom he acquired this felling that all human beings are one. So he wrote this book - but his Jain mind persisted. I was staying with him at the time. I asked him, "Why did you differentiate between Mahavir and Buddha, calling one 'Bhagwan' and the other only 'Mahatma'?"
He replied "You see, Mahavir is in fact Bhagwan, but we can accept Buddha at most as a Mahatma, not as God, because God does not wear cloth. He is naked."
So this is the difficulty! It is not that only Jainas have this difficulty. everyone has it. This is why a Jain cannot accept Ram as God, because Sita stands by his side. A Jain cannot understand a woman present with God. When he has renounced everything how can a woman be there? So a priceless jewel like Sita is lost to the Jainas. They cannot grasp her significance.
And Krishna? They put him down in hell, for he has not one but sixteen thousand women around him. No one is more eligible for hell than Krishna. Since the Jainas are traders and merchants by caste, they are afraid of starting any row with the Hindus. Perhaps this is the reason why they have advocated nonviolence.
It is always a coward who advocates non-violence. Violence requires some guts, so cowards believe in not killing and not being killed As a principle it's fine: Do not kill others-Live and let live! But it implies that they want to survive and they don't care about the others at all so they use the idea of non-violence; there is no other meaning behind it. After having thrown Krishna into hell, they were afraid of the anger of the Hindus, so out of fear they have played another trick: They declared that Krishna will be a Tirthankara in the coming age. He does not fit anywhere in their doctrine however, if they have to live among the Hindus, they have to accept him. They compromised - just like any business man will calculating mind! Now the Hindus won't be angry it's fine. And their own concept remains intact. They have avoided the conflict.
If you seek the master through scriptures, you will never find him, for by the time the scripture is compiled the person around whom it is written has already gone. And each master is in a class of his own kind. He is different and unique. You can't find another like him. You can't find Mahavir again, nor Buddha or Krishna. But in all your seeking you simply look for these very people and you wander around and around. When they were alive you were looking for someone else - again, someone who had long since gone. You go on missing every time.
If you want to find a master put all scriptures aside. Try to come close to someone. If you want to find a master, bathe yourself in his presence. Don't take your concepts along and don't try to judge him by your measurement. Let your heart beat with his heartbeats; don't allow the intellect to interfere.
If you allow the mind to interfere the hearts will not meet, and you will not be able to recognize the master.
The master is recognized through the heart and not through the head. Whenever you set the intellect aside and see with the heart something happens immediately. If it is possible for you to connect with this master, it will happen immediately, without a moment's delay. You will find yourself melting into him and him melting into you. From that day onwards you are an integral part of him. From that day onwards you become his shadow; you can flow him The master can be sought with the heart, and without the master there is no way.
THE BODY IS THE OFFERING.
Remember, that which you call the body and which you take to be your entire being - is no more than an offering. As you make offerings into the sacrificial fire as part of a ceremony, so also you have to give up your body, bit by bit, in the course of meditation. All other offerings are useless. You can offer ghee and wheat to the sacred fire, but it will do you no good. You will have to throw yourself into the flames for the fire of life to be lighted. You have to stake your entire body. If you try to save a part, your fire will not ignite the sacrifice will not take place. Give all of yourself! THE BODY IS THE OFFERING!
KNOWLEDGE IS THE FOOD.
You live, now, on food. The food reaches your body. It is necessary. Realization, knowledge, meditation, awareness are food for the soul. Until now you have fed only the body and have left the soul hungry. Your body is well nourished, but your soul is starving.
Knowledge is food for the soul, so the more you become awakened, conscious, the more you know, and by this I do not mean book knowledge. Knowledge means awareness. The more you are established in the fourth state, turiya, the more your soul will be filled with life energy,. Your soul is almost dried up; you have denied it all nourishment. You have virtually forgotten that it needs to be fed.
Your body consumes food while your soul is fasting. This is the reason why many religions have used fasting. Reverse the process: Let the body fast a few days and let the soul be nourished. This does not mean that the body has to be starved. Give the body its normal requirements, but don't let all your effort in life be exhausted in feeding it. Let a major part of your life's work be the awakening of knowledge, for that is your soul's food. Knowledge is the food.
WHEN KNOWLEDGE IS DESTROYED, THE DREAM IS SEEN.
If knowledge of the soul does not penetrate you, and if the flame within does not get its fuel, then dreams arise in your life; then desires arise, and your life loses its way and staggers there in the darkness. Then you live in illusion, in desires; then you merely keep thinking and weaving webs of fantasy.
I asked Nasruddin, "Mulla, where do you intend to go for your vacation this year?"
"I only go on vacation every three years," he replied.
"What do you do in the remaining two years?"
"One year we spend in musing over the previous vacation and reliving it in our minds, and one year we spend in planning the next vacation."
At least Nasruddin goes on a trip every three years, but you do not go at all! Half your life is spent in thinking of the past and the other half in thinking about the future. The journey never begins.
Either you roam around the byways of your memory, which is a dead dream, or you wander in your imagination which is a dream of the future, which is still to come. You are divided in these two. The present is in the middle, and that is where life is - but you miss it!
Knowledge, awareness, will awaken you, here and now, to this very moment. Knowledge will bring you into the present. The past will fade. It has in fact faded. It is you who senselessly persist in carrying the ashes. The future is yet to be. You cannot make it happen. It comes when it comes, but the present is now. That which is present is reality, truth. To dream is to wander in that which is not present.
Remember the sutra: WHEN KNOWLEDGE IS DESTROYED THE DREAM IS SEEN. When knowledge is absent, when the soul is not awakened, you are lost in dreams. The past and the future become everything for you, and the present has no meaning; but in fact it is the present that is everything. As you begin to awaken, the past and the future will get less and less and the present will begin to have more and more meaning for you. The day you are fully awakened there will be only the present. Then there is no past, no future. When there is no past and no future all diseases of the mind, all its repetitions and circles, are destroyed. Then you are here in the present, pure, immaculate, innocent, fresh like the morning dew. Then you are here in the present, like the lotus flower. If you are present in your entirety at any given moment, that moment you are God.
Because you are not present in this moment you are the mind and the body but not the soul.
Meditation is an effort to drag you from the past and future into the present. You have to go neither backward nor forward; you have only to be here. To be here and now totally peaceful and aware is meditation! Through this is born knowledge and through knowledge you reach the highest peak and attain the bliss of the final samadhi.
He who loses this, loses all! He who attains this, attains all!
Enough for today.