The Mad Projectionist

Fri, 16 September 1974 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Osho - The Great Path
Chapter #:
am in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
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[Note: This is a translation from the Hindi series Shiva Sutra, which is in the process of being edited. It is for research only.]






Before entering into the sutras let us understand a few things, Friedrich Nietzsche has said somewhere , "I only believe in a God who can dance. Believing in a sad God is a sign of a sick man."

There is truth in this statement. You mold your God in your own image. You are sad - your God will be sad. You are happy - your God will be happy. If you can dance then your God will also be able to dance. Existence appears to you just as you are yourself. CREATION IS AN EXTENSION OF YOUR OWN VISION. As long as you cannot believe in a dancing God, you are not healthy. The concept of a sad, weeping, sick God speaks of your own sick state.

The first sutra of today is:

THE SOUL IS A DANCER There are some things that need to be understood about a dancer. Dance is the only activity in which the act and actor become one. When someone draws a picture, the picture and the person who draws it become separate; when a poet writes a poem, the poem and the poet become separate; when a sculptor makes a statue, the sculptor and the statue become separate. Dance is the only activity in which the dancer and the dance are one; the two cannot be separated. If the dancer goes away then the dance will be no more. If the dance is lost then that man cannot be called a dancer.

The dancer and the dance are one.

That is why it is very meaningful to call God, a dancer. This world is not apart from him. It is his dance; it is not his deed. It is not a sculpture that God has created and finished with. He is present within his creation every moment. The moment He steps aside the dance will stop. And remember, the moment the dance stops, God will also disappear. He cannot exist without the dance. He is manifest in every flower, every leaf, every grain and particle. It is not that the work of creation took place in some ancient past and stopped. The act of creation is happening every moment; therefore everything is new. God is dancing - inside and outside too.

THE SOUL IS A DANCER. This means that whatever you have done, whatever you are doing, whatever you will do, is not separate and apart from you. It is your own game. If you are suffering, it is your own choice. If you are blissful, it is your own choice. No one else is responsible.

I was a newly appointed professor in a college. As the college was a good distance away from the town the professors used to bring their lunch with them and sit together at one table during lunchtime. It was by chance that when the person sitting next to me opened his box and looked in, he said, "Again it is potatoes and chapatis!" I thought maybe he doesn't like potatoes and chapatis.

But as I was new there, I didn't say anything. Next day the same thing happened. He opened his lunch box, looked in and sighed, "The same potatoes, the same chapatis!" So I said to him, "If you don't like potatoes why don't you tell your wife to make something else?" He said,"Wife! What wife?

I make my lunch myself?"

This is your life. There is nobody else. If you laugh, you laugh; if you cry, you cry. No one else is responsible. It could be, however, that you have cried for so long that it has become a habit and you have forgotten how to laugh. It could also be that you have cried so much that you cannot do anything else! You have had a lot of practice. It is also possible that you have been crying for so many lives that you have now forgotten that it was you yourself who had chosen to cry, but your lack of memory does not turn truth into a lie. You have chosen it; you are the master, and therefore the moment you make up your mind and decide, this crying will stop.

To be filled with the knowledge that I am the master. I am the creator and responsible for all my actions, brings about a transformation in your life. As long as you hold others responsible, transformation is not possible because till then you will be dependent. You think that others are making you unhappy so how can you ever be happy? It is impossible, it is not in your hands to change others. Only the power to change your own self lies in your hands.

If you think it is your fate to be unhappy then the matter is not in your hands any more. How can you change your destiny? Destiny is above you. And if you feel that whatever is happening has been destined to happen to you by God, you will just be a machine, dependent on outside factors and without any soul of your own.

The very meaning of soul is that you are independent. No matter how great your suffering, it is of your own making. The day you decide otherwise, your life will change. Everything depends on your outlook towards life.

I was a guest at Mulla Nasruddin's house. In the morning while taking a walk in the garden, I happened to see Mulla's wife throwing a cup at his head. It missed his head and crashed against the wall. Nasruddin also became aware that I had seen it. So he came out and said,"Forgive me!

But don't think otherwise. We are very happy. Sometimes the wife throws some things but that does not make any difference in our happiness."

I was a little surprised. I asked him, "Mulla, would you mind explaining that in more detail."

He said, "You see, if she hits the target then she feels happy and if she misses then I feel happy. But it doesn't affect our happiness. And sometimes the aim connects and sometimes it misses. So we both are happy.

Everything depends on how you view life. It is you who makes it, it is you who experiences it and it is you who interprets it. You are absolutely alone. Nobody ever enters into your life. Nobody ever can.

If anyone does, it is because you give him permission. Now this understanding brings up a problem, and because of this problem you have chosen to forget your understanding.

The problem is: if you realize that you alone are responsible, then you cannot suffer. And still if you choose to suffer then you cannot complain. You enjoy both the suffering and the complaining.

You enjoy pain and suffering because then you feel like a martyr. There is great pleasure in martyrdom. When you are unhappy, you ask for sympathy, and sympathy is very pleasant. That is why people exaggerate their suffering tenfold, while telling it to other people. What could be the reason that people go on telling their tales of suffering when nobody wants to listen.

Who is interested in your suffering? Your tales of woe only make others sad; they can't possibly make flowers bloom in their lives, yet you insist on telling them. And the other listens only till he is hopeful that you will also listen to his woes. If he doesn't think that will happen then he slips away.

You call only those people bores who don't allow you to speak. So there is a kind of contract: you bore us and we bore you. You bore me with your tales of suffering, I will bore you with mine and then we will be even.

Why do people talk so much about suffering? The reason is that man seeks sympathy. If you broadcast your woes someone will caress you and soothe you. Someone will say,"O! you are suffering so much. You are asking for love from the other in this manner. That is why you have a large investment in your suffering. You have invested a lot in your suffering.

Whenever you are unhappy only then you see a little hope around you. People seem to offer you help and support. They are sympathetic. You have never received any love in your life and sympathy is rubbish, but it is the next best thing to love. One who has never had real gold starts making do with unreal gold.

Sympathy is false love. What you really wanted was love, but love has to be earned, because only a person capable of giving love can get it. Love is a reflection of what you give away. You are incapable of giving; you are only begging. You are a beggar, not a king! It is much easier to beg when you are suffering.

Look at the beggar along the road. He has made artificial wounds on his body. Those wounds are not real. But he seems in so much pain that you find it very difficult to say 'no'; you feel guilty, it hurts your ego that how can you say 'no' to a person who is in so much pain. If he looks healthy then you will also say,"You are healthy; do something, earn something; you can earn something! But seeing a suffering man you can not say anything. You have to show sympathy even if it is false.

You hold on to suffering because you did not receive love. One who has received love in life will be filled with joy and bliss; he will hold on to joy and bliss and not suffering. Suffering is not worth holding on to. But then you have the advantage in complaining; because whenever you say that others are making you suffer, the burden of responsibility is no more on you. And when I say to you, all the scriptures say to you and all the wise men have said only one thing that you alone are responsible and nobody else, it becomes quite a burden for you. The most burdensome thought is that you can no longer shift the blame onto someone else. Even more burdensome is the fact that if you alone are responsible then who will you ask for sympathy. And deep inside another difficulty arises that if you are responsible then change is possible. And change is a revolution, it is to undergo a transformation.

You have to break all your old habits. You have an old framework, that is all wrong. The house that you have built till now is a complete hell. But you have created it; no matter how big it is, it has to come down. Your whole life's work seems to be going down the drain. That is why you try to avoid the truth, but the more you evade, the more lost you will be.

Understand this first and foremost that you are the center of your existence; nobody else is responsible. No matter how burdensome it feels, but you alone are responsible. If you accept this truth all sorrow will soon disappear. Because once it is clear that I am making this game, how long will it take you to destroy it? Then there is no one else involved. And still if you want to enjoy suffering then it is your decision, but then there is no reason to complain. If you want to wander aimlessly in the world, it is your own sweet will. If you want to descend into hell, it is entirely your own choice. But then don't complain! Then be happy in your suffering!

These sutras are very valuable in this context.

The first sutra is: THE SOUL IS A DANCER. Your actions and your being are not two different things. Your actions come out of your own being, just as the dance comes out of the dancer. And if the dancer starts complaining, "I am tired of this dance. I don't want to do it !" what would you say? You would say, "Stop! Don't dance then. Who is asking you to dance? You are the one who is dancing. Stop! if it is all useless and you find no pleasure in it. If you find it painful then stop! The dance will disappear"

THE SOUL IS THE DANCER. This means that whatever you do, it is you who is doing it. It has come out of your own self. Just as leaves come out of the tree, your actions come out of your being.

Stop! And the actions are no more!

Another thing to understand about this sutra - soul is the dancer - is: if you stop your dance of suffering, if you bring a halt to your life of misery and pain, the dance will not stop- it will change its form. The dance cannot stop; it is a part of your existence. It is your very nature. You will go on dancing; but then there will be no tears only laughter. Then your dance will have a rhythm, a melody.

It will be pulsation of joy, of intense pleasure, an intoxication. Right now your dance is the dance of hell, then it will be a divine dance.

There has been a Mohammedan fakir - Ibrahim. He was a king who later became a fakir. He came to India during his travels. He saw a sadhu looking sad and depressed. Sadhus are often sad and depressed because their life was full of pleasure when they were in the family life. They don't know any pleasure other than that. They renounce the world and the family life and all pleasure is lost.

They might not be suffering but they are sad and joyless.

There is a slight difference between sorrow and sadness. Sorrow means that there is a sharpness, a tang, in the sadness. Sadness also has an ardor, a passion. There are two types of ardors: one is of sorrow, one is of happiness. One, when you are so filled with sadness that tears begin to flow and one, when you are so filled with happiness that tears begin to flow - both are a kind of flood.

When a man runs away from the world because it is full of sorrow, he also leaves the joys behind.

Then he is filled with sadness; there is no flood, neither of joy nor of sorrow.

Look at your sadhus and sannyasins. They are dead; as if they are ghosts, as if the dance has stopped. They ran away from sorrow, but the joys were also lost. Their idea was that if they left sorrow behind there would be only joy left. This was their mistake.

In this world, where there is joy, there is sorrow too. You desire to keep the joys and get rid of the sorrows. So you run away from sorrow; but in the process the joys are also lost.

The sadhu was sad. He must have been an ordinary sadhu. A true sadhu lets go of both happiness and unhappiness. He does not want to keep happiness, he simply drops both of them. And the moment he drops them, all sadness disappears, for sadness is the mid-point between the two.

When you drop both of them, the mid-point also gets lost. Then an entirely new dimensional journey begins, you may call it bliss, tranquility, nirvana- whatever you please.

There is no ardor in bliss; it is a cold ray, a cold light; there is no passion. Bliss is like sadness in a way. Sadness is in the middle of joy and sorrow. Bliss is beyond joy and sorrow. Sadness is a state of darkness where everything has become motionless, a state of death where everything languishes in inertia. Bliss is a radiant state of awareness - where there is neither joy nor sorrow. In this respect bliss is also like sadness, where there is no joy or sorrow. There is light there but the light is not that of joy, because the light of joy also has an edge to it, an intensity which makes you perspire.

Therefore, people get tired of happiness. You cannot remain happy for a long time. Happiness is tiring because there is a fever, an intensity to it. If you were to win a lottery every day, you will die, you will not live. It is all right if you win it once in a while. If you get it everyday, the tension would be so much that you will not be able to sleep. Your heart will beat so hard that you will not be able to rest. The excitement would be so great that it would kill you. So happiness can only be taken in homeopathic doses. You will not be able to bear an allopathic dose. A lot of unhappiness along with just a little joy is about all you can bear, for it is also a tension. It also has a heat and intensity to it.

Sorrow is tension, as is joy.. There is an excitement in both. Bliss is the state of a non-excited, non-stimulated mind; there is light but no heat. There is dance but no excitement. There is a silent, serene dance where there is no sound. It is a dance in emptiness, which does not bring any fatigue.

It is not of the body. Joy and sorrow are of the body, and bliss is of the soul. It is a different dance altogether.

That sadhu was an ordinary sadhu - the kind found everywhere. Ibrahim was surprised to see him sad, for his idea of a sadhu was that he should be blissful. So he asked the sadhu, "What are the characteristics of a sadhu?"

That sadhu said, "If he gets food he accepts; if he does not he is content." Ibrahim said, "Those are the qualities of a dog. What is so saintlike in it? This is exactly what a dog does. If he gets something he is happy, if he does not, he is contented."

The sadhu was shocked. He asked, "Then how do you define a sadhu?" Ibrahim answered, "If he gets something, he shares it and if he does not then he dances and thanks God that you gave me an opportunity to practice austerity. The definition of sadhu is: one who shares with others when he gets something. One who shares whatever he gets is a true sadhu. If he holds on to it, he is a householder, a family man. If he hoards it he is a householder, if shares it he is a sadhu; whatever it may be-it may be bliss or knowledge or even meditation-he shares them all.

It is an interesting fact that worldly things, if you share them, become less and less; therefore we hold on to them. If you start sharing from your vault then your vault won't remain a vault for long.

Because everything in the world is limited-the moment you start sharing it is gone. That is why you have to hold on to what is limited in the world. But we need not apply this to the soul - for that treasure is boundless; the more you give away, the more it becomes. The more you draw out, the more new comes out. It is a boundless ocean.

Ibrahim is right; if he gets, he shares it; doesn't eat alone. If he does not get, then he dances and thanks God. To be contented is not enough, for there is still sadness in contentment.

People usually say, "A contented man is a happy man." It is not true. A contented man is not happy.

He just thinks he is happy. Deep within he is unhappy, but there is nothing he can do about it. He is helpless so he wears the garb of contentment. No! being contented will not do. Contentment is a part of sadness. When you bear it without raising a fuss, when you do not complain; these are signs of a dead consciousness.

Ibrahim said, "If he does not get anything, then he dances and thanks that you gave me an opportunity to practice austerity; today there will be fasting. If you receive, then gratitude because then you were able to share it, to spread it! If you do not receive, even then gratitude!"

You cannot destroy the bliss of a sadhu. On the other hand, if your sorrows are destroyed the result will be nothing more than sadness. Even when you somehow manage to drop your sorrow, you become sad. Sorrow keeps you occupied, busy. You may not have realized it, but if all your sorrows are taken away from you, you will commit suicide; for what will you do then? There will be nothing left for you to do.

The father is busy working because he has to educate his sons, to get them married. If all them get married and settled right now, what will the father do? Life will seem useless. You are occupied with such meaningless things. It makes you feel that you are doing something, you are important, needed. The world cannot go on without you; what will happen to your son, to your wife! It gives strength and support to your ego, that you are indispensable; everything is happening because of you. Whereas the simple fact is that things can go along just as well without you. When you were not there, things were still going on; and after you have gone things will continue. But just for a while in between you dream, the dream of your indispensability.

So even if you drop sorrow, the best you can do is to become contented. But there is sorrow hidden beneath contentment. Contentment is only on the surface; deep inside there is a wound of sorrow.

Contentment is just like a bandage, it is not a remedy.

No! A true sadhu is not contented; he is blissful! Whatever the circumstances, if he gets something, he will share it and be blissful; even if he does not get anything then too he will dance and be happy.

The nature of the soul is to dance, and it can dance in two ways. It can dance in a way that there is sorrow and suffering all around, that there is darkness and gloom all around; or it can dance in a way that everything starts dancing with it and flowers bloom all around.

Sannyas is the dance of bliss; the worldly life is the dance of sorrow. There is no hell anywhere else! Don't sit there in the hope that there is hell somewhere else. Hell is your wrong way of dancing which creates sorrow and suffering. Heaven is also nowhere else. It is your right way of dancing, which creates heaven wherever you are. Heaven and hell both are qualities of your dance.

You don't know how to dance but you go on thinking that the fault lies in the dance floor. There is nothing wrong with the dance floor. For one who knows how to dance, the floor does not matter.

And for one who does not know how to dance, a floor made exactly at an angle of 90 degree does not help. He will not come to know how to dance because of that.

I have heard that a man went for an eye operation. Before the operation he asked the doctor, "I cannot see at all. Will I be able to see after the operation?" The doctor examined him and said, "Of course you will." The man said, "And will I be able to read also?" The doctor said, "Certainly." The operation was a success and the man was able to see. But he was very annoyed with the doctor.

He went to his house and said, " You lied to me. I still cannot read." "How is that possible?" asked the doctor. " You are able to see everything, then why can't you read?" "I never learned how to read,"

replied the man.

Even if you recover your eyesight, it does not make you able to read when you have never learned how to. No matter how smooth the floor, if you don't know dancing.....; dancing does not depend on the smoothness of the floor, it has to be learned. And remember there is no one else who can teach you! You are all alone! The enlightened ones can give you hints, but it is you alone who will have to learn. Nobody can hold your hand and teach you. The dance of life is so within, so deep that outside hands cannot reach there. Nobody else except you can enter there. You are completely alone there. Everybody else is outside.

The soul is a dancer. Sorrow and joy are the two ways in which it can dance. If you are unhappy then you have chosen the wrong way to dance. Change your way. Don't blame anybody. Do not complain. As long as you complain, you will go on dancing in the wrong way; because you will never realize that the mistake is mine....; it is always the other that you try to blame.

Stop complaining. Look at yourself and wherever you find sorrow arising, look closely, you will find the cause within you. Drop those causes! What is the purpose of doing things which bring only sorrow and pain? Why do you go on sowing seeds which yield only poisonous fruits? Why do you go on gathering their crop every year? It would be best not to sow the crop at all. Even if it stays empty, it is not bad. In fact, it is best that the field stays unsown for a while, so that all the old seeds have time to die away; and you are able to sow new ones.

Why are you so afraid of being empty? Meditation is this empty state. It is like a farmer leaving the land empty for a year or two, doesn't sow anything; meditation is such a state in between; it is the empty space between heaven and hell. Leave it alone for a few days. Don't sow anything.

Remember one thing: rather than doing something wrong, it is better not to do anything at all. Just stop for a while and don't do anything. Till you know how to do it right, it is better not to do at all; for each action, each wrong action gives rise to a chain of actions. One wrong action sets off a chain of wrong actions. This is what we call karma, a net of our actions.

You are always doing something. You cannot sit idle, you will go on doing something. Sitting idle, doing nothing - in itself is meditation. Sit and do nothing, so that the old habit drops away and gradually you begin to see things clearly. But you are so busy that you do not have the time or the convenience to see.

The only meaning of meditation is that you sit silently and do nothing for one or two or three hours- whatever time you have. Just watch, observe so that by and by your vision becomes sharp and penetrating, and you begin to realize that whatever has happened in my life up to now, I was the cause. As soon as this realization dawns on you, you will stop sowing worthless seeds. A meaningful dance will be born within you.

Religion is supreme bliss; it is not the sadness of renunciation but the enjoyment of existence. It is to be merged with the supreme enjoyment. It is to become one with the dance of existence. Don't ever think of religion in terms of sadness and renunciation. The religion that thinks in terms of sadness and renunciation is wrong. True religion is always a dance. It is always bliss. True religion is always a playing flute.



And this dance, which is happening, is not happening anywhere outside; it is going on within you.

This world is not a stage; it is the soul within that is the stage. However much you may think that you have gone outside, you cannot; how will you go outside? You will always remain within yourself.

Everything is happening in there only. The play goes on in there, then the results become visible outside. It is just like when you go to a cinema hall and you see the drama on the screen, but actually it is all happening in the projector behind your back, what we see on the screen is only the reflection.

The screen is not the genuine stage, but your eyes are so glued to it that you forget that the actual picture is behind you in the projector. The real picture is behind your back, what you see on the screen is only a reflection.

The inner soul is the stage; the projector is within. All the seeds of the drama come from within; outside you only get news; you just hear the echoes. And if there is sorrow outside, know that you have the wrong film within. And if whatever you do outside seems to go wrong, it means that whatever you bring out of you is wrong.

A change of screen will make no difference. Whatever you do to improve the screen will not make any difference. If your film is coming wrong from within you, the screen will go on repeating the same story. And then you are not only a film but a broken record too which goes on repeating the same line.

Have you ever tried to find out what there is inside your skull? You will find that things are being repeated again and again-like a broken record. You go on repeating the same thing again and again.

Nothing new ever happens there, and whatever you repeat there, its echoes are heard all around you, it is reflected on the screens of the world.

Mulla Nasruddin went to see a movie with his wife and child - and you can imagine Nasruddin's child, he cannot be an orderly child because when everything is disorderly inside then whatever comes out is also disorderly. The child was crying, howling and making a lot of noise. The manager had to come and ask Mulla at least seven times that either you take your money back and leave, or keep the child quiet. But why would he keep the child quiet. The manager had to come again and again. Mulla would nod his head and go on silently watching the movie. And then, when the picture was almost over, Mulla asked his wife, "What do you think? Did you like the movie?" She said, "It is absolutely hopeless. So he said, "Then don't waste any more time. "Give the kid a hard pinch; so that we get our money back and go home."

You have been watching for a long time. You have been watching for many lives that it is all wrong.

When will you pinch? You will have to do it yourself; there is nobody else here. When will you wake up and come back? What is the purpose of watching this wrong show which is filling you with such pain and distress; which does not give birth to anything except sorrow and nightmares-you can leave this house. You are in this house only because of yourself. Why are you delaying it? Haven't you had enough? If you haven't had enough then why listen to the ravings of people like Buddha, Mahavir, Krishna, Shiva and Jesus? Don't listen to them. Stay away from them, because their words are meaningful only for those who are fed up with the movie, who feel that they have seen enough; for those who are bored and restless and uneasy in this hell; for those in whom the desire for the heavenly dance has arisen; for those whose desires have turned to God.

Your mental state is such that you want to travel on two boats. This adds to your troubles. No matter how much pain it gives you, you still want to continue chasing after the pleasures of the world. There is always a slight ray of hope that you will find happiness. Happiness always seems to be so close!

And you are sustained by this hope, that the goal is almost within your reach; but your experience tells you that nothing is going to happen. Experience is on the side of the Buddhas; hope is opposed to them. And you support them both. You have a foot in each boat.

One foot is in the boat of hope. You always say that all will be well in a little while. One woman fails to give you happiness, you change to another. One son disappoints you, perhaps the other won't. One business is not profitable, perhaps another will be. You are forever changing things around you. If one house has not brought you happiness, perhaps another might. Your strong-box small; a bigger one would do better. You keep doing this everything around you - you are keep only changing the screen! The story within you is just the same, so the same story is projected on the screen outside again and again.

Everywhere you meet sorrow. Your experience is of sorrow; your hope is for happiness. These are the two boats. If you hear Buddha or Mahavir or Krishna, they talk of experience. They urge you to get off the boat of hope and climb aboard the boat of experience. And you listen to them. You cannot deny them completely. In their presence you feel that they have attained something which you have not. It seems that the rat-race has ended for them, but you are not one hundred percent sure; they might be frauds. Who knows whether they have really attained. They might only be pretending. And, who knows? - We too might attain! The wise ones might just be saying that the grapes are sour and not worth having; perhaps they were unable to reach. Perhaps in our own way we can reach.

So you are in a dilemma. Certainly, you cannot deny your experience, but still hope persists. This dilemma is your madness.

These two boats go in different directions, so board whichever one you choose. It does not matter if you decide to board the boat of hope, but at least get into one boat and leave the other. Step totally into the boat of the word and very soon you will get bored. This half-half business gets you nowhere. Keeping one foot in the boat of the Buddhas prevents you from having a full experience of the world. You remain half-half; you go to the temple as well as the shop. This way neither is the temple properly looked after, nor the stop; they cannot both be managed together. Look after your shop whole-heartedly. Forget that there ever was anyone like Mahavir or Buddha or Krishna or Shiva. Forget that there are any scriptures. Let ledgers in your shop be everything from you. Jump into it with all your heart and very soon you will emerge from it. Your experience itself will show you the uselessness of it all.

But you find that you cannot do it; one foot is still stuck in the other boat. Again the problem: you are not wholly in the second boat. The reason you haven't left the first is that your mind keeps whispering: 'There is no hurry. You are still young. These are things for old people to concern themselves with. When you have one foot in the grave then put the other foot in Buddha's boat.'

People think that religion is for the old; they will require the water from the Ganges only when they are about to die. Only then will they need someone to recite the prayers. When you are at the point of death, when there is no energy or power left in you, then you begin to prepare for the journey. You are bound to fall back into samsara, back into the world again; you will get back into the same boat, just as you have for innumerable lives.



Remember, whatever you see without is what projected from within. In life the only things that you see are things that you are projecting, and life presents you with so many situations that demonstrate that this is so.

I have heard: Once three travellers were together in a waiting room. One was an old man of sixty, another a middle-aged fellow about fort-five, and the third a young man of thirty. The young man was telling the others, "I spent last night with the most beautiful woman in world; the pleasure of having her beyond description."

The forty-five year old said, "Nonsense! I have known many women in my lifetime. At the time I thought they were incomparable, but now I see that the pleasure they gave me was not as great as I imagined then; in fact, it was no pleasure at all. Now I know the real meaning of joy. Last night I was invited to the king's place and Oh! what a glorious banquet! Never have I tasted such wonderful food."

"That's all nonsense," said the old man. "Ask me what is the real pleasure. This morning my bowels emptied so completely. The pleasure of an empty stomach is beyond description. I have never known such bliss."

Such is earthly joy: it changes with the years. The trouble is you, who forgets. At the age of thirty the sex urge seems to give the greatest pleasure. At forty-five food seems to give more pleasure, therefore people tend to put on weight at about this age. At sixty the interest in food is gone; the remaining interest is in keeping the bowels empty. The pleasure of samadhi comes from an altogether different dimension.

The soul within is the stage. Whatever you have put inside. Sex desires flow out from young man's eyes. his whole body is filled with aspects of sexual desire; wherever he looks he sees woman.

Sexual desire grips him from all sides.

Mulla Nasruddin was a young man. He went to see an art exhibition with his wife. They were newly married, so they were going places together. There were many masterpieces in the exhibition. The Mulla stopped before a particular picture. He was transfixed. He would not budge. It was a picture of a nude covered only by a few leaves. The caption read; Spring. He was transfixed. The Mulla's wife shook his arm and said, "Are you waiting for Autumn?"

Such is man's mind. his wife guessed right. Wives usually guess right. They know.

Whatever force has come to the forefront in you becomes the whole world that surrounds you. You color the world with your own brush. We have a previous word in our language, raga. No other language has a word like it. It means both fascination and color. All your fascination is the result of the color which are projected by your own eyes. You color everything, and the fascination of whatever you have colored is what catches hold of you.

Raga means: you have colored. A woman is not beautiful. The color off your sexual desire paints her beautiful. A child is not bothered with a woman's looks, for the color of his sexual desire has not yet developed. The old man has long passed this stage. He laughs at your foolishness, even though he did the same thing himself when he was young. You will also laugh when your turn comes, but he who becomes alert realizes at the time it is happening that this is foolishness; and awakens. There is not much sense in laughing later on; anyone can do that; But when the foolishness has caught hold of you and the color is in full force, then you should become aware that this is all a play from within, and the outside is a mere screen.

THE INNER SOUL IS THE STAGE. It is the projector by means of which the outer world becomes an extension of the inner drama.


This play is going on, and you shall keep wandering in it as long as the mind is not within your control. Through control of the mind reality is attained. As soon as you realize that the entire drama is projected from within, you forget all about conquering the world, it is only a screen.

Bring your mind within your control and the whole world is yours to control. When you come to know that you are the producer, the actor, the writer, and also the stage of the play - everything will stop taking any interest in any external changes. Then you will busy yourself with the integral possession - that is, to take possession of your mind, to be its master.

You are not master of your mind. Your thoughts are not your slaves; rather, you are slave of your mind. You meekly follow whatever your thoughts take you; they never go where you want them to.

Try to give a slight turn to even a very insignificant thought and it resists you. Tell a small thought to be quiet, and it immediately rebels.

You never consider this situation, for it is too painful. The very thought 'I am not my master' is killing, because you have set out to be master of the whole world! How can you be the master of anything when you are not even the master of your own self?

Take a good look at your mind. Examine it closely. The first thing you will come to know is that the mind has become the master - not you and not your soul! The mind says: Do this"! And you do it! If you don't the mind creates problems. It become sad, and the sadness of the mind becomes your sadness. If you do as it says you get nowhere, for the mind is blind. Where can you reach by obeying the mind! The is unconsciousness. If you listen to it you reach nowhere.

You must have heart that if one bind man follows another bind man they are both bound to end up in a ditch, but that is what each of us is doing. Your mind is absolutely bind; it knows nothing, and yet you follow it as blindly as your shadow follows you. You have forgotten that you are the master.

Association with slaves brings this about. Gradually the slaves become the master, for as you begin to depend more and more on them their ownership begins to be established.

All sadhanas, all spiritual practices, aim at only one thing: to break and destroy the domination of the mind. What will you do to destroy this domination? First: if you want to overthrow the mind's domination, destroy all identifications with it. A thought arises inside you - don't be one with it!

You becoming one with it gives it strength; stand far away. Stand as if you are just standing by the roadside watching people pass by. Look at it as you would look at a cloud in the faraway skies while you stand on the earth below. Don't identify. Don't unite with your thoughts. Don't say, 'This is my thought.' As soon as you say 'my', you are identified; as soon as you are identified with it, all your energy flows into that thought. It is this energy that makes a slave of you - and it is your own energy!

Don't be identified. As you begin to stand apart from your thoughts, they begin to lose strength and become lifeless, for they get no energy. Your trouble is: you want to extinguish the lamp, but you yourself also keep on adding oil to it. On the one hand you blow at the lamp to snuff it out; and on the other hand you pour in more oil. Stop replenishing the oil. The old stock won't last very long.

What is the oil? Whenever a thought gets hold of you - for instance, whenever anger takes hold of you - you immediately become one with it. You say, "I am angry." Now the truth is: you have identified yourself so much with the anger that all your energy flows into it. You have become the shadow and your anger is the master. When anger comes, stand away form it and observe. Let the anger arise; let it permeate your body. It will envelop you from all sides. Let it! You only have to remember one small fact - that you are not your anger! Don't be in too great a hurry to dive in, for then it will be difficult to come out of it.

Watch your anger, but be firm on one point: if you really must reply to the man who has insulted you, do so when the anger is gone. Under no circumstances reply before then. in the beginning this is going to be difficult, very difficult. You will have to be very alert and on your guard, but gradually it will become easy. Just keep your mouth shut as long as the anger lasts; answer only after the anger has long been gone! This is only proper. The right answer can only come in serene moments. To answer in anger is as good as answering under the influence of alcohol.

When sex desire takes hold of you, stand apart and watch. The greater the distance you create between yourself and your thoughts, the more you establish your control: but you stand so close, so very close to your desires that you have even forgotten that there is any distance between them and you - that there is any gap between the two.

Start today. The results will not come immediately, because your closeness, your association, has existed for countless births. Such old associations cannot be broken in a day; it will take time, but slight effort on your part will bear results, for this is a false identification. Were it genuine, you would never be able to break it. But this identification with your thoughts is nothing more than your conception, and still it creates all your problems.

When hungry don't say, "I am hungry." Say, rather, "I see that the body feels hungry." This is the fact.

You are the observer. It is the body that feels hunger. Consciousness is never hungry. Food goes only into the body. It is the body, the flesh and blood, that has needs. It is the body that gets tired; never the consciousness. Consciousness is a lamp that burns without wick and oil. It demands no food or fuel. None is ever needed.

The body needs fuel and water. The body is a machine; the soul is not. Feed the body when it is hungry, but keep one thing in mind: the body is hungry and I am observing it. If it is thirsty give it water. It is necessary, for the body is an instrument that depends on food and water. He is a fool who says, "I am not the body and therefore I will not give it food and water." If you don't put petrol in your car how will you make it go? Then you can sit in it, but it won't move. You have to give the car its fuel. Only then will it run. Only, don't become one with the car. Be the master and meets its needs.

The needs of the body have to be me; it is a machine that you have to use. It is very useful instrument, because it is the ladder that leads to bliss; but the steps can also lead to sorrow. The body is a ladder. The characteristics of a ladder are that one of its ends always rests on the ground, and the other always touches the skies. You can ascend as well as descend with the same ladder.

It is through the medium of the body that you have descended into hell; it is through the medium of the body that you can blimp to heaven. And it is the body through which you will reach liberation. It is your medium. You have to take care of it. You have to provide for all of its needs, but there is no need to become one with the medium! Let the instrument remain an instrument. You write with your pen, but you are not the pen. You walk with your feet, but you are not the feet.

The body is the machine, a valuable machine. Take care of it and don't spoil it. It can be spoilt in two ways: there are people who spoil it by overindulgence; there are others who spoil it by renunciation.

Both are enemies of the body and both are foolish, ignorant. One goes toward prostitution or overeating to spoil it; the other does the damage with fasting. Either you flood it with petrol or you don't put in a drop. These are the two extremes. You have to give the body enough to meet its needs. You have to provide for your servant's upkeep, but that doesn't make him into a master.

THROUGH CONTROL OF THE MIND, REALITY IS ATTAINED. As your mind begins to come within your control, as you gradually start becoming the witness, you will find that reality; your soul, your actual existence, begins to become awakened.

It is misuse and failure of the mind that leads to samsara, the world. Control of the mind leads to the soul. Where mind is the master, is the world; where mind is the slave, is God.

The mind is a ladder. You need not use it for descending; you have to climb up and up. But only he who is master can go up; the one who is slave descends further and further down. Slavery of the mind is very dangerous, for the mind is not one. It is a crowd. One minute it orders you to be angry, the next moment it orders you to repent. One thought tells you: Enjoy the world! Another says: You must gather wealth! even if you have to steal! Another thought says: That is a sin! There are countless other thoughts and their sum total is the mind.

If your mind were just one thought that would be sufficient to allow you a peaceful life, but it is not just one. Your mind is a crowd, a marketplace. The mind is like this: in a classroom, as long as the teacher is present, the children sit quietly and study. As soon as the teacher leaves, the classroom turns into bedlam. The children start shouting, throwing books, overturning the desks, and fighting amongst themselves. There is no one to control them. As soon as the teacher comes back, all is silent; the books are in their place and so are the boys.

As soon as you gain mastery over yourself, the mind begins to work in a more orderly fashion. As soon as you lose your hold on the mind, there is chaos and confusion. It is very difficult to obey this chaos, for it takes you nowhere. It is not just one note, but a discord of so many different notes.

Mahavir has said that man has many minds. Man has not one mind but many. Modern psychology supports Mahavira's view. They say that man is 'polypsychic'. It is just as if there is one servant and thousands of masters, and each master orders the poor servant about. Whom is he to obey? He is bound to go mad. This is exactly the state of your mind.

Seek the one, so that the teacher comes back into the classroom. Seek the one so that the slaves may go and work at their appropriate places. If the owner is one it will give a direction to your life, and reality will assert itself. You will then be able to know yourself. Then this assertion of existence will bring a natural freedom in its wake. As long as your mind is your master, you will remain a slave.

The moment you realize reality, natural freedom happens.

It is necessary to understand what is meant by 'natural freedom'. Why is it not just called 'freedom'?

Why 'natural'? The answer is very subtle. There are two types of freedom. One freedom is directed against somebody. In that case it is self-willed and headstrong. This is not real freedom, for in it you are obliged to take the opposite direction.

For example, the mind says, 'Be angry.' Now if you want to do just the opposite of what the mind tells you, you will say, 'No, I shall not be angry; rather, I shall be forgiving.' The mind says, 'Kill!' and you will say, 'No! On the contrary, I will offer him my head to chop off.'

We do exactly the opposite of what the mind tells us - just as our sadhus generally do. The mind says, 'Go and look for a woman.' The sadhu runs away to the jungle. The mind says, 'Pursue wealth.'

The sadhu refuses to touch money. The mind says, 'Rest.' The sadhu stands in the burning sun or sleeps on a bed of nails. This is not true freedom, for you are still listening to the master, even if you are going contrary to his directions. You do the opposite of what he says, which still leaves him the master.

Understand this. It is a little complicated. The fight is still going on; it has not ended. Once you are the true master, all fighting ends, for the slave is a slave and he is not worth fighting any more.

Imagine that a slave in your house becomes the master, and you sit or stand as he order you to. If you decide not to obey him and to do just the opposite of what he says, he is still the master; for it is he who motivates you. And if he is clever he might tell you to sit when he wants you to stand! You cannot escape him.

Mulla Nasruddin had guests in his house and his little son was making a lot of noise. The Mulla told him to keep quiet, but the more he told him, the more rowdy he became. Normally children tend to become noisy in the presence of strangers in order to make their presence felt. It is a battle of the egos - the parent versus the child.

At last the Mulla said, "Look here! Do whatever you like. Now we shall see if you can disobey me!"

The child must have been puzzled.

If you go against the mind the natural freedom will not result. It is not freedom. The result is rebellion.

We are always tied to those we rebel against. We have relationship with the person we fight. We are not yet masters, for initiative still comes from the opposite camp. When the signal comes we do the opposite.

If you then practice celibacy, it will make no difference, because your celibacy will be a revolt; it will not be natural. The mind is filled with sexual desire and you set out to fight it. This is war! And who goes to war with his own slaves? He who fights his slave counts him his equal, and not his servant.

This is why your sadhus may be the opposite of you, but they are no different from you. They do the reverse of what you do, but as far as ownership of the mind is concerned, the sadhu is not an iota different form you.

Natural freedom is something quite different. Natural freedom means: I am the master. Now the question of obeying or disobeying the mind does not arise. It is no longer a question of being for or against. Now I give orders to the mind. I do not take orders from t. There are two ways of obeying the mind - to accept its orders or to go against them. In both cases you are in bondage to the mind.

When the mind becomes the master its ownership can be of two kinds: positive or negative. If you want you can be a householder, a worldly man; if you want you can become a sadhu. It makes no difference. Your sadhus are just the opposite of you. You stand on your feet; they stand on their heads. They are in greater difficulty, for it is easier to stand on your legs than on your head. Sadhus do exactly the opposite of what the household does: you amass wealth, he renounces it; you care for your body, he neglects it; you life on a soft bed, he lies on rocks; you enjoy good food, he fasts; you wear fine clothes, he goes naked. This is not natural freedom. It is a state of tension.

That is why the sutra says: THROUGH CONTROL OF THE MIND, REALITY IS ATTAINED. This leads to natural freedom. Then you are free. Then you do no look to the mind for guidance. Then you actions become natural. Then it is you who decides, and the mind merely follows. But this only happens when you become the master, and you can only become the master if you have become the witness.

Do not fight the mind. Fight - and the natural freedom will not result. If you fight you give the mind an equal status. You fight a person only when you consider him your equal. He was a friend before, now he is an enemy. The master is not an equal; the master is always above - in the skies, and the servant is always below - on the ground. When you are master you acquire the freedom that is natural, and this freedom is unique.

I have heard: There was a Muslim fakir, Bayazid, who set out on the holy pilgrimage to Mecca with a hundred of his disciples. They were fasting along the way. He was a very well-know and respected sage. On his way he stopped at a village. All the people came running to receive him. They informed him that a devotee of his who lived in the village had invited the whole village to a feast in honor of his arrival. This man was very poor. He had sold his hut, his cattle and his land in order to celebrate Bayazid's visit to the village.

Bayazid and his disciples had decided to fast for forty days, of which only five days had passed. They decided not to break the fast until the completion of the journey. Bayazid appeared undisturbed, but all the disciples became very tense. Bayazid went and sat down to the fast, so the disciples also had to sit. They were horrified by his behavior. Had Bayazid forgotten that they were fasting? Or had he succumbed to the savoury smells of the food?

They had to sit down and eat, since they had to follow their master, but they were very much upset.

And there was Bayazid, eating heartily without a trace of guilt or tension. When everybody else left to retire for the night, the disciples cornered him and demanded an explanation. They expressed their displeasure at having broken the fast.

Bayazid said to them, "Why are you so upset? Did you not see with what love the poor man laid out the feast? For that love it was good to break your fast. Besides, fasts can be broken and resumed again, but a loving heart should not be so easily broken. Had I broken his heart there was no way to make amends. And what does it matter that we broke the fast? We had decided to fast for forty days. We shall start a new and fast for forty-five days!

This is the difference. The disciple's freedom was not natural. They were troubled that Bayazid had given in to the mind, and they had been taught to obey the mind. This was slavery to the mind!

Bayazid was his own master. It was his very own decision whether to break the fast or keep it; the mind had no hand in it. Also, there was no hostility or opposition toward his mind, nor vice versa.

his attitude was: 'I am the master. If I wish to keep the fast, I shall; if not, I shall not. The decision is entirely my own.'

Both the master and the disciples were on a fast, but there was a world of difference in their attitudes.

Bayazid's freedom is natural. He can stay in a place and be completely relaxed, or he can stay in a hut and completely at ease. But his disciples would become restless if they had to sty in a palace, for that would be gratification of the senses.

This is very interesting. Sometimes you are caught by a palace, and sometimes by a hut; but you are always in the grip of one or the other; but nothing can obstruct Bayazid's way, for his decision comes from his own soul. His freedom is natural. The soul is the criterion.

Natural freedom arises only when reality is the result within. All other freedoms before this are false freedoms.




Kabir never gave up his occupation of weaving. It does not suit you now. You are no longer a householder. It no longer befits you to weave cloth and go and sell it in the market."

Kabir would laugh and say, "It is all His play. Within and without are one."

We cannot understand this, for we are so caught in the grip of the outside world that within and without can never be one for us.

Zen master have said: "Samsara and moksha are one - the world and liberation are one and the same. This shocks us. How can that be? We are caught in the grips of the world, we are plagued by the world. Liberation is exactly the opposite: it is where we shall be free, tranquil, blissful, where there is no pain. In our minds liberation stands in opposition to the world, but when a person is liberated he finds nothing opposing or conflicting in this world. All conflicts and opposition cease, all distances between the within and the without fade away, because all distances are created by the ego.

What within and what without? All is one! But the ego stands as a wall between them and creates the differences. If we were to step into the river with a pot and fill the pot with the river water we could say that there is water inside the pot and water outside of it; but what is the difference? Merely a wall of clay! What happens when this wall breaks? Then what is outside and what is inside? What is within is without; what is without is within.

That is why Kabir says, "When I sit and when I stand that is my worship. When I walk it is my prayer."

Now Kabir no longer goes to the temple, for there is no distance between shop and temple; they are one and the same. Now Kabir does not run to the Himalayas for there is no difference between the marketplace and the mountains. Kabir does not even renounce the house, for he sees no difference between 'mine' and 'your'. What is the person to run away form then?

All distances fall when the ego falls. Then there is nothing within and nothing without. Then there is neither matter nor God; then both are one. That is non-duality, the indivisible - where all is one and all boundaries fall, but this can only happen when natural freedom enters one's life. Then such a person, because of his independent nature, can go out into the world and, remaining in the world, he can also live within his own self. For him there are no obstructions. Inside a palace he is as much a sannyasin as he is outside on the road. If he has a million rupees he is still not possessive, not an owner; and if he has nothing he is still the greatest of possessors, for all the world is at his command.

It is however very difficult for us to recognize, for we are familiar with only one side of existence. You assert the difference between the water outside and the water inside the vessel. What is hidden within you is what is outside of you. The space within is the space without. Your body is the vessel of clay that creates this slight difference.

Samsara, the world, and sannyas are not two things. They seem to be two, for you know only one of them - the world; you do not know sannyas. Therefore you think of sannyas in terms of the world.

Your concept of sannyas springs from your concept of the world; therefore you call him a sannyasin who is completely the opposite of a worldly man. You say: See! What a great sannyasin. He walks barefooted! He remains naked, stand in the sun and rain, and sleeps in the grass.

You can never think of a sannyasin in any other terms. King Janak can never be a sannyasin to you.

How can he be? He lives in a place. Krishna cannot be a sannyasin to you. How can he be? He wears his peacock crown and plays his flute. No! For you they cannot be sannyasins.

When your slavery to your mind ends and the essence within you is liberated, you will come to know that liberation is everywhere. Then the shop is no longer a hindrance nor the palace an obstacle.

For liberation is the state of your experience. When you reach salvation the world is no mere; then there is no within and without. All is one! Then worship and work are the same. Then a person accepts life as it comes, as it is. There is no need to make the slightest change. Thus even butchers have attained the supreme knowledge. It has also happened that the sannyasin who flees from the world nothing.

This sutra has an intrinsic meaning: BECAUSE OF THIS FREEDOM, HE FREELY MOVES WITHIN AND WITHOUT. He is now free. He is beyond all definitions. If you try to define him you will never know him. Now he is beyond all explanations, he has no goals. It is difficult to tell where you will find him; he can be anywhere.

Once it happened that one of Buddha's monks was passing through a village. The village courtesan happened to see him and immediately fell in love with him. The monk was young and handsome; besides he had the unique beauty which only a monk can have, which cannot belong to the ordinary man. He who gives up all is filled with a certain light within. He who has dropped all that is meaningless, finds flowers of meaningfulness blooming within him. him life is filled with a grandeur, a dignity, which is not seen in ordinary life.

It was only natural for the courtesan to fall in love with such a blissful dancing monk. The woman was very beautiful and many had tried to win her favours; even the kings knocked at her door. She was not available to everyone. She came running to the monk and said, "Please, sir, I beg you to be my guest during this rainy season."

The monk said," I shall ask my guru and do as he orders." Note that he said neither yes nor no, but promised to ask his guru. The next morning the monk went to Buddha and said, "I received an invitation to stay with a prostitute. What shall I do?"

Buddha replied, "If the prostitute was not afraid of you why should you be afraid of her? Is my sannyasin so weak that a prostitute can frighten him? Go! Accept the invitation. Stay with her during the rainy season."

There was great commotion among the rest of the monks. Many of them had notice the beautiful courtesan. Many of them were filled with desire for her. How they wished that she had invited them instead!

One monk stood up and said, "This is not proper. A sannyasin staying in a harlot's house? This is not right. There is every possibility of his falling."

Buddha replied, "Had you received the invitation you would not have got my permission, for there is the possibility of your being defiled; you still differentiate between within and without. The one I am sending out, I know him well. Whether he stays within or without makes no difference to him."

The monks were not convinced. They told Buddha, "You are making a mistake. You are setting a wrong precedent. All the rules of propriety are at stake."

Every day the monks brought some alarming news of his activities.

Some said that they saw him watching her dance. Some said that he sat on velvet cushions. Some others said he was all dressed up in beautiful clothes. Others swore that they saw him embracing the prostitute.

To all of this Buddha would say, "What until the rains are ended. What is the hurry? Why do you bring these rum ours? What have you to do with them? It is not you who is getting defiled. The one who is will return after the rains."

After the rains the monk returned with the courtesan walking behind him. She bowed before Buddha and said, "Please make me a sannyasin. The monk has won. I have lost. I did everything that I could. He objected to nothing. He did not move when I embraced him. When I made him sit on a velvet cushion he did not object, saying that is was forbidden for a monk. I gave him the best of foods, and he never complained that it was against his principles, that it might arouse desires in him.

I offered him all kinds of invitations and he never said no; he just sat silent and unperturbed in all situations, as if nothing had happened. I am immensely moved by his behavior. I want to acquire the same bliss that he enjoys. I want to be in the same state he is in, where the within and the without do not matter - such bliss that nothing can destroy."

Buddha addressed the other monks thus: "Look! He whose within and without are no more, makes a sannyasin out of a prostitute. Had you stayed with her you would have become her shadow."

The good that is afraid of evil is of no value. The sadhu is afraid of the sinner; the true saint is not.

The saint is beyond both. The saint is one whom no circumstances can change. Staying in the world outside, he is firmly established within himself. The world cannot penetrate within him, even if he choose to remain in the world.

Buddha said, "The highest state of sannyas is when you go through a river but the waters do not touch your feet." If you are afraid of the river for fear of getting your feet wet, that is not the highest state; it is a state of fear.

You must keep these sutras in mind. You have to break the mastery of the mind. This happens with the witness state, which creates the difference between you and the mind.

You have to assert your own mastery, not by hostility but by rising above the mind. Independence will come. If it comes through opposition it is a false freedom; there will be tension and distress. It will not be saree, nor will it be spontaneous. In religion there is no place for a warrior. In religion you have only to rise above. Do not fight, for you will stagnate at that level. Don't make an enemy of your mind; you have to go beyond it - transcend it.

The key to going beyond the mind is the ability to witness. As you rise above, spontaneous freedom results. This freedom is not against anybody or anything. In such freedom you reach a state where, whether you live within yourself or without, it makes no difference, for the distances have fallen; there is no within, no without. Samsara and moksha, the world and liberation, are one. All dualities have ended. All dichotomy is lost. You have reached the non-dual, non-dichotomous state.

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