Meditation is the Seed
[Note: This is a translation from the Hindi series Shiva Sutra, which is in the process of being edited. It is for research only.]
BIJAVDHANAM ASNASTHAH SUKHAM HRIDAE NIMAJJATI SVAMATRA NIRMANAPADAYATI VIDYA-AVINASHE JANMAVINASHAH.
MEDITATION IS THE SEED.
JUST SITTING, RELAXED WITHIN HIMSELF, HE ENTERS SPONTANEOUSLY INTO THE LAKE OF SUPREME BEING.
HE ATTAINS TO SELF-CREATION OR BECOMES 'TWICE-BORN'.
ETERNAL KNOWLEDGE LEADS TO CESSATION OF BIRTH AND DEATH.
Jesus' disciples said to him, "Tell us about the Kingdom of God." And Jesus replied, "The Kingdom of God is like a seed." In our discussion today we shall talk about this very seed that Jesus speaks of.
Meditation is that seed. The seed in itself has no meaning. The seed is only a means; it is a potential tree. The seed is not a state of being; it is a stage on the journey. When a seed grows and becomes a tree, it reaches the goal. It flowers and bears fruit. This is its success. In a like manner, when the seed of meditation becomes a tree, it also flowers and bears fruit, and that blossoming is God.
It is necessary to understand the state of the seed. You constantly ask about God, but this is a futile enquiry. Why ask about the tree when you haven't cared for the seed? Without sowing the seed, how do you expect to see the tree? And God is not an external happening that you can see with your eyes. God is your own purified state; God is your own development. You will not be able to see God in others until the seed hidden inside you sprouts and becomes the tree.
No matter how hard they try, no Mahavir, Buddha, Shiva or Krishna can reveal God to you, for your God is hidden within yourself. At present He is in seed form; He is not yet a tree. You can see nothing in a seed. When the seed bursts and the tree sprouts, when it develops, you will manifest yourself. The flame within you will be kindled, and then you will know that God is.
It is difficult to defeat an atheist for this very reason. He always asks, "Where is your God. Show Him to me." His very question is wrong, so whatever answer is given will also be wrong. God is hidden with you. He hides within the questioner. And you cannot see the other man's God, for it is an internal happening. When your own seed sprouts you will know.
Right now you are like the seed, but you do not understand this seed, so you seek outside. As long as you seek without, your seed will lie dormant; it will not sprout, for it needs water and soil.
It needs light and love, just like a small child. When you turn your eyes within, when your attention flows inward and your life-energy turns within, the seed will get that energy; it will become alive, it will sprout. MEDITATION IS THE SEED.
People come to me and say: "We are restless, how can we become tranquil?"
Mulla Nasruddin came to me early one morning. I was about to say something when he rattled off a question. "You have got to help me," said the Mulla.
"What is the problem?" I asked.
"It is a very complex problem," said the Mulla. "I get a strong desire to take a bath about ten to twenty times a day. This obsession is driving me mad. I can think of nothing else. Please help me."
"When did you last have a bath?" I asked.
"As far as I can remember, I have never given in to this troublesome practice," said the Mulla.
If you refuse to bathe and if the desire for a bath catches hold of you, then the desire is not the problem; the problem is you. You are restless. You do not know. You have never meditated. You have never indulged in this troublesome practice, and you want to eradicate your restlessness? It can never be eradicated without bathing in meditation.
Meditation is an internal bath. As the body is rid of dust and dirt, and becomes clean and fresh after a bath, so is meditation a bath of the inner soul; and when everything becomes fresh within, then where is the turmoil? Where is the sorrow and worry? Then you are thrilled. You are cheerful and blooming. There are bells on your ankles and your life becomes a dance. Before that you are sad, tired and distressed. And if you think that the cause of your distress is outside you are mistaken.
There is only one cause for your restlessness: you have not let your seed of meditation develop into a tree. Try as hard as you will, you will remain restless. Perhaps you imagine that peace will come if you accumulate the right things - wealth, status, honor, health, sons and daughters... but there is no end to your restlessness. The more of these things you gather, the more your life will be filled with restlessness, and the more intense it will be.
A poor man is restless, a rich man more! Why is this so? Why does restlessness increase with wealth? It doesn't! The poor man is also restless, but he doesn't have enough time to know it. The rich man has the time to notice it; it pricks him like a thorn, and he sees it all around him.
When you have gratified all your needs, you will suddenly realize that the actual need is for meditation. All other needs were for the body, not for your self.
This sutra says: MEDITATION IS THE SEED.
On your great journey, your quest for life, your pilgrimage to the temple of truth, meditation is the seed. What is meditation? Why is it so valuable - so valuable that if it flowers you will become God, and if it rots you will rot in hell? What is meditation? Meditation is the state of no-thought consciousness, where you are fully conscious but thoughts are absent. You are, but the mind is not.
The death of the mind is meditation.
At present, you are not. There is the mind and mind alone. It should be just the opposite: there should be only you, without any mind. Right now the mind consumes all your energy. All your life-energy is being sucked by the mind.
Have you ever seen the air plant? the amar-bel? It is a parasite that attaches itself to a tree and lives off of it, sucking its energy. The tree ultimately dries up and dies. It is called amar-bel, the immortal creeper. It is just like the mind. It has no roots. It needs no roots, for it lives off the parent plant. It sucks the tree dry as it nourishes itself. The Hindus have given it an apt name, the immortal creeper.
Your mind is also an immortal creeper. It does not die. It lives on indefinitely. It follows you for countless lives. What is interesting is that it has no roots, no seeds. Its existence is rootless. It should be dead, but it lives on you.
Your mind envelops you. You are completely smothered by it. All your life-energy is sapped by the mind. You are almost dried-up. Your mind lets you have just enough to keep you alive. The parasite does not kill its host tree outright; the host is allowed to retain enough for its most basic needs. A master treats his slave similarly: the slave is given just enough to stay alive.
Your mind gives you just enough to permit your survival. It gobbles up ninety-nine percent of your energy and allows you just one percent so that you can maintain the body. In a non-meditating state, the mind is ninety-nine percent and you are one percent; in a meditative individual the individual is ninety-nine percent and the mind only one percent. If you become one hundred percent and the mind is zero, that is the state of samadhi.
Then you are completely liberated; the seed has developed into a full-grown tree. There is nothing left to be achieved now. All that was to be attained is already attained. All potentiality has turned into reality; all that was hidden is now manifest. Then existence becomes filled with your fragrance; then the music of your dance is heard in all corners of the earth, and even far away in the moon and the stars. It is not that you alone are thrilled - the life-stream of all existence throbs within you. Then existence becomes filled with celebration. Whenever a Buddha is born all of existence celebrates.
All of existence yearns to see your seed turn into a spreading tree.
Meditation means: where the mind is as good as gone. Samadhi means: where the mind is completely void and only you remain.
This sutra of Shiva says: MEDITATION IS THE SEED.
Therefore we have to start with meditation. Right now, in sleeping and in wakefulness, in consciousness and unconsciousness, the mind has you in its grip. Thoughts invade you in the day and dreams in the night. All the twenty-four hours the mind argues and debates and the most amazing thing is: it all leads to nothing. What have you attained by all your reasoning and thinking?
Where has it taken you? What goals have you reached?
The great philosopher, Immanuel Kant, was returning home one evening when a small boy stopped him on the road and said, "Good evening, uncle. I have just been to your house. Tomorrow a few boys are going for a picnic, and I came to borrow your camera. You were out so I asked your servant.
He refused me flatly. Is it right, uncle, that a servant should say no like that?" The child was boiling with anger.
Kant said, "The servant was certainly not right. Who is he to refuse when I am here? Come along with me."
The child was pleased. They reached Kant's home. The servant was called and reprimanded before the child. Then Kant turned to the child and said, "Now I shall tell you. The fact is, I don't own a camera." All the joy, the thrill, the hope that the child was nourishing of getting the camera, all vanished into thin air when he learned that his uncle didn't even own one.
This is the state of your mind. All your life you toil, you slave, you groan with the load that you carry because you still hope. In the end the mind will admit that it does not possess what you seek. This has always been the story. It does not have what you are actually seeking, but it keeps hoping:
"Maybe today, or tomorrow... tomorrow."
No one can give you such seductive sweet-talk as the mind. And you are a fool. If the mind had anything to give, it would have given it by now. The very fact is that it keeps putting you off again and again and you still believe it. How many times have you believed the mind? Every day it says, "Tomorrow", and when tomorrow comes the mind again says, "Tomorrow". Now it has become your unconscious habit, and the habit is so deep-seated that you hardly think about it. Even in your sleep the mind beguiles you with fresh assurances about the future.
Mulla Nasruddin was in bed with a very high fever. I went to see him. I asked his wife how long he had been in that condition. The wife said, "For an hour he has been running a fever of 105 degrees."
The Mulla was unconscious. I put a thermometer in his mouth to see what the temperature was. At once he spoke, "A match, please!" He was a chain-smoker and the habit was so deep-rooted that even in that unconscious state the thermometer reminded him of a cigarette.
And when you die your condition will be exactly like the Mulla's. "A match, please!" Your mind keeps weaving its webs even in your unconsciousness. At the moment of death you will be filled with the mind. Whether you perform worship or pray or go to the temple or to the holy places... the mind is with you and whenever the mind is with you, you cannot establish contact with religion.
There lived a Moslem fakir by the name of Haji Mohammed. He was a sadhu. One night he dreamed that he had died and was standing at the crossroads between heaven and hell. One road led to the world and the other to moksha. An angel stood at the crossroads, guiding and directing people according to their actions.
Haji Mohammed had nothing to fear. All his life he had been a good and pious man. He offered his prayer five times a day, and he had been on the holy pilgrimage, the Haj, sixty times. In fact, that is how he came to be known as 'Haji' Mohammed. When his turn came he stood with his chest out before the angel.
"Haji Mohammed!" the angel called.
"Yes," said Haji.
"This is the way to hell." said the angel, pointing at a road.
"There is surely some mistake," said Haji. "Perhaps your ledgers are mixed up. I have been to Haj sixty times during my life on earth."
"That has all gone to waste," said the angel, "for you made it a matter of prestige and began calling yourself 'haji'. You have reaped the benefits of your Haj already. What else did you do?"
Now the Haji was not so sure of himself. When sixty pilgrimages counted as nothing, what else had he to show? Yet he persisted, "I have said my prayers religiously five times a day."
"That too was fruitless," said the angel, "for you; you prayed louder and longer when people were around and made a short job of it when there was no one around. Your attention was on people, not on God. You wanted to be known as a religious man, a pious man. Have you anything else to show?"
The Haji was now so terrified that he woke up! This dream changed his life. He became plain Mohammed from Haji Mohammed; he also began to pray in secret so that no one would know.
Word went around the village that the Haji was no longer religious. Why, he had even stopped his prayers! So he reached his dotage. The Haji never refuted what people said. His prayers began to be meaningful and sincere. It is said that he had no trouble reaching heaven.
If your mind prays it will not allow prayer to happen. It will make prayer yet another way of filling its ego. Don't talk about your meditation. Hide your meditation as you would hide your precious jewels.
You always protect your valuables from the gaze of others: do the same with meditation. Don't talk about it, don't fill your ego with it, or the creeper of the mind will reach there also and suck it away.
Whenever the mind reaches, religion is not. Where the mind is not, religion is. The mind is always outgoing, extraverted; its attention is on the other, and not on itself. Meditation is in-going. It is introverted.
Meditation means: the focus is on one's own self and not on the other. Mind means the focus is on the other. Observe yourself: when you give a two paise coin to a beggar you look around to see if people are looking at you or not. When you build a temple you take care to inscribe your name in bold letters on a marble slab right at the entrance. You give to charity, but you see to it that it is mentioned in the newspapers. Everything you do is in vain. You cannot reach by becoming 'Haji'
Mohammed. Don't keep an account of your fasts and austerities. God's realm is not a place of business. God is not impressed by your balance sheet.
Now look at the Jain munis. Every year they announce in writing how many vows they have undertaken, how many fasts they have observed in the rainy season. They keep a ledger of all of this." They are shopkeepers who just happen to be occupying our temples; they are still not rid of the habit of keeping accounts. All their fasts and meditations go to waste; they are becoming 'Haji' Mohammeds.
Don't worry about the outside world; don't worry whether people know you are religious or not. What others say is of no consequence and not worth giving a thought to, for it is your mind that relates to other people, not you. The day the mind is no more, you shall become disassociated from every one. It is the mind that binds you together. As long as the mind ties you to the world, you will remain torn away from God. The day you are divorced from your mind, the mind annihilated, you will be united with God. You disassociate on one side, while you begin to associate on the other. You break relations here, you establish relations there. Once the eyes close here they open there.
MEDITATION IS THE SEED, and meditation means: the thoughtless consciousness.
Now the second sutra:
JUST SITTING, RELAXED WITHIN HIMSELF, HE ENTERS SPONTANEOUSLY INTO THE LAKE OF THE SUPREME BEING.
This sutra is very revolutionary. It is easy and also difficult. The individual, once truly established within himself, drowns in the lake of the supreme being.
If you were to ask the Zen Buddhists in Japan what you should do in order to meditate, they would say: "Do nothing! Just sit!" Now remember, when they say to do nothing it means you have to do absolutely nothing - simply sit - for if you do anything, the mind immediately becomes active. On the face of it this seems very easy, but in fact it is very very difficult to just sit. There is the trouble:
you sit with the eyes closed and the mind begins to race. Your body looks still enough sitting there unmoving, but in your mind there is great commotion.
If you just sit and do nothing that is meditation. If you just sit doing nothing - there is no Ram-Ram, no Krishna-Krishna, no ripple of thought - for that too is an activity. If you are simply doing nothing; if there is no attempt even to stop the thoughts - for you can only do that with another thought - if you neither repeat God's name nor remember the world; if you are not saying 'I am the soul' nor 'I am Brahma', for such repetitions are also useless, they are mere thoughts; if you sit, just like a rock, nothing happening within, nothing happening without, then you are 'JUST SITTING'. This state is called 'zazen' in Japan - just sitting. Zen masters use this method. The disciple requires twenty years, thirty years, to reach this state of just sitting.
This apparently easy sutra is very difficult. The easiest things are the most difficult things in the world. If you are told to climb the Himalayas you will not find it that difficult. You may become weary, you may face the difficulties, but still you will climb; but as soon as you attempt to do nothing it will seem that a great calamity has befallen you.
What happens when you sit quietly? You find that as soon as you sit all kinds of movements occur in different parts of your body. You feel needles pricking your feet, you feel itchy somewhere else; suddenly you feel a pain in the neck or the back. A moment before you felt none of this, you were absolutely all right. Suddenly your body revolts and tells you to do something; even if you were able to ignore everything else, you will feel compelled to change your position.
Life is supported by action in this mundane world. As you begin to empty yourself of action, the world is lost. As soon as you try to be still, the body urges you into one activity or other.
People come to me and complain: "We suffer from no aches and pains, but as soon as we begin to meditate all kinds of troubles start." You feel like coughing when there is no reason to do so. You are the master, and if you do not listen to the body it will quiet down, for how long can it remain agitated?
It is the attention that you give it that acts as its nourishment. You must firmly tell the body: Whatever happens I am not going to do anything for this one hour. You feel itchy? What of it? How is it going to harm you?
Have you noticed that if you do not scratch for a minute or two, the itching stops on its own? The itching sensation is never removed by scratching; rather, it increases. If you have made a firm resolution that you are the master and not the body, you will find the throat has settled down - there is no cough. You will have to assert your domination for a few days though. Too long have you allowed the slave to lord it over you, so when you begin to steal its power it is sure to rebel and defy you.
You have decided to sit still for an hour. What is the worst that can happen? The feet turn numb...
All right, let them! They feel itchy... So what! It is not a matter of life and death. You will find that if you remain firm in your resolve, the feet will stop being numb. This was only a ruse of the body to defeat your purpose. Had you listened to the feet your hands would have clamored for attention, then your neck and so on; but if you ignore the feet the itch will subside once and for all. A beggar does not beg for long before an empty house, but if you make the mistake of saying, "There is no one here. Go elsewhere," he will not budge from your door. Once you responded he is sure to say something.
A beggar called out for alms before the house of a miserly Marwari. What a wrong place to go! He called out and begged for a loaf of bread.
"There is no bread here," the Marwari called back.
"Then give me a paisa or two," cried the beggar.
"There is no money here."
"Then some old clothes!"
"Did I not say that there is nothing here?" shouted the Marwari.
"Then why stay here?" answered the beggar. "Why don't you join me and we can go begging together!"
One reply - and you are caught. Your reply means that you are, and you are willing. At least you are responding. That is enough. You feel itchy! Just observe it and do nothing, do not react. In a short while you will be surprised to find that the sensation has gone. When there is a pain just observe it; it will go away. It takes about six months to make the body 'just sit' like this. Choose any posture in which you can be comfortable. Don't choose an unsuitable posture which might give you trouble. Therefore I say choose a comfortable, easy position. Don't take an uncomfortable position that tortures the body unnecessarily. You don't have to sit on pebbles or thorns. As it is, the body will give enough trouble: don't increase your pains.
Sit in an easy posture and resolve to sit like this for an hour. Then don't listen to the body at all. If you stick zealously to your resolve and do not give in to the body, within three weeks you will find that the body will stop agitating. Then when the body stops disturbing you, turn to the mind.
Don't worry at all about the mind in the beginning. You have to make the body toe the line before grappling with the mind. The day you discover that the body has become passive and no longer give you trouble, that it is now prepared to sit still, know that half the journey is over. In fact, more than half the journey is over, because the mind is also a part of the body, and if the body has been subdued the mind cannot hold out for long. If the whole body has been trained into acceptance of a particular posture, this part of the body cannot wander for long; it too will have to settle down.
To stabilize the body, to subject it to a particular posture, means to stop all the turbulence and disturbances of the body. Now you sit as if you have no body, as if you are bodiless. You are now aware of the body: you are just siting.
Next concentrate on the mind. The method is the same: don't do a single thing that the mind says.
Don't react to it. Watch the thoughts with an indifferent attitude, as if you have nothing to do with them, as if you are witnessing the thoughts of another person while you are standing apart, as if you are watching a rowdy mob on the road, as if you are seeing the clouds passing by in the sky.
Observe indifferently. Be absolutely neutral.
First let the body become tranquil. This state comes gradually in the course of three weeks. The mind takes about three months. It may be a little more or a little less. All depends on your seriousness and sincerity of purpose, but within a period of six months this state of 'just sitting' can be achieved. Now neither the body indulges in activities nor the mind.
Do not fight the mind. Do not suppress it. Do not order it not to think, for remember, this too is thinking. Even this much of a thought can keep the mind going. The mind will stir up a great deal of chaos, but don't fight it. Your reactions will show that you are still willing to give in to it, that you have failed to ignore it.
Indifference is the key. Just watch. Say nothing. It is going to be difficult, for the habits are old and deep-seated. It has always been your habit to talk with the mind, to answer it back. Gradually, by and by, if you persist you will reach a stage when by constant observation there is only you, and nothing is happening - neither in the body nor in the mind. When all activities of the mind and body become quiet, that state is called the state of 'just sitting'.
Here the word 'posture' does not mean some intricate yoga posture. If you do yoga asanas it will be helpful, for it will give you the power to sit longer, but this is not necessary. If you learn merely to sit, that is the supreme asana. Also, it is not necessary that you should sit on the floor; you can even sit on a chair. Only one thing must be remembered: you have to keep the same posture through the given period.
Sit comfortably so that the body has no cause for complaint. Make all arrangements for the body's comfort: if it is cold take a blanket, if it is hot switch on the fan. Arrange for the body's comfort. Don't take pleasure in torturing the body, for that is just cruelty Whether you torture another body or your own, both are acts of violence, and nobody has ever attained God through violence. This body is also His there is no need to torture it. When once you have settled down, don't listen to the body's demands. Keep sitting! Ignore the mind, be indifferent toward it. It will create chaos, it will indulge in all kinds of rowdiness, perhaps more than ever before.
People come to me and say: "When I was not meditating my mind was never this restless. Now it is a hundred times more restless than it used to be. Now there is great noise and tumult." It has always been so, only you were not aware of it, for your mind was always outside you. You were so involved in the outside world that you did not notice the tumult within. Your sitting in silence does not create it. In fact, when you are tranquil this chaos can only die down. It cannot possibly increase. But you were so involved in the outside world, in your house, your family, your business, your wealth, that you could not hear what was happening inside. Now that you have closed your eyes to the outside world all your attention has gone within, all the focus, all the light is now concentrated within. Then in this first experience, when the light falls within, you discover what chaos reigns there.
But remember: be indifferent! You have to remember one thing: except nothing from the mind. If you hold on to the slightest hope you will not be able to disregard the mind. Leave all desires; nourish no hopes and sit in total indifference; be neutral and unbiased. However difficult you may find it in the beginning, it will become easier if you persist. Don't worry about the time - today, tomorrow or the day after - don't worry when you will reach, because the greater the hurry the more you will be delayed. To hurry is the nature of the mind. If you hurry the mind will defeat you. If you keep your patience and don't hurry, if you are prepared to wait for the happening whenever it comes, you will find that within six months the mind will become tranquil.
The state of 'just sitting' means that there is no activity in the body, no thought in the mind. This sutra of Shiva is revolutionary. It says that the moment you achieve the state of 'just sitting' you find yourself bathed in the lake of the supreme being. That lake is within you.
When all movements of the body stop the energy cannot flow out. When all activities of the mind come to a halt, all outlets of energy are sealed. For the first time the bucket of your mind has no holes. Now there is nothing to flow out. All the life-energy circulates within, and within is the great lake. This energy flowing within you then meets the supreme lake. You - your drop - beings to drown in the ocean. Then a natural bathing in the supreme lake occurs. And that is God Himself.
When you go outward you wander. As soon as you go within the goal is attained. You are seeking outside what is hidden inside you. What you are seeking in fact is you, yourself; and therefore the search never succeeds. That which you seek lies hidden forever within you. That is the difficulty.
That is the complexity of the whole thing, for you never look there. Where you look, there He is not, and so you wander and wander endlessly.
One evening Mulla Nasruddin was out on the road with a lamp looking for something. He was frantic.
Darkness was closing in and his friends offered to help him.
"What are you looking for?" they asked.
"I have lost my needle," said the Mulla.
After a while one of them said, "Mulla, exactly where did you drop the needle? The road is so wide and the needle is so small."
Nasruddin said, "Don't ask that question. That is a sore point."
The friends were puzzled. "What do you mean?" they asked.
Nasruddin said, "The needle was lost in the house, but there is no light inside. It is so dark there, so terribly dark that I am afraid to go in even during the daytime. That is why I am looking outside."
"Have you gone mad, Mulla?" they exclaimed. "How can you find outside what was lost inside?"
Nasruddin laughed out loud. "Everybody is doing the same!" he exclaimed. "What is lost within we seek without, and no one else is considered mad, only me!"
What is it that you seek? You are definitely seeking something, but what is it? If we were to find the sum total of all our searching we should discover that it is bliss that we seek. We find some people searching for wealth, but really they seek bliss; some seek love, but really they seek bliss; some seek honor, but really they seek bliss; some seek fame, but really they seek bliss. In essence they are all seeking bliss. Your quests may have different names, but the deep meaning is one, and one only - bliss! You seek bliss whether your feet point toward the tavern or the temple. Whether a man acts out of sin or virtue, whether a man commits a good act or foul, he is seeking bliss.
Have you ever asked where bliss was lost? Look in the place where you lost it. You search in other places than where you left it. You have certainly not lost it somewhere outside. It was a taste within, a flavor you know well.
Psychologists have made a significant statement. They say that a child is in a most blissful state within the mother's womb. And he should be! He has no worries, no responsibility, no anxiety about food or about the weather. The temperature in the mother's womb is constant. It makes no difference to the child whether it is burning hot outside or biting cold. He is not affected if the mother is hungry, or if she is undergoing any emotional or physical strain. The child is fully protected. He just floats in the womb.
You must have seen the picture of the Lord Vishnu floating in a sea of milk. This is how it is with a child in the mother's womb. This picture of Vishnu symbolizes the state of blissful rest that a child enjoys in the womb. There is a flower sprouting from Vishnu's navel. That depicts the umbilical cord which joins the child to the mother. That is the source of its life. As there is water in the ocean, so is there water in the mother's womb; even the salt ratio is the same. This is why the mother gets the urge to eat salty things, for the salt in her body is absorbed by the womb.
The child floats in this water inside the mother's womb. It is in complete bliss. It knows no worry:
before it is hungry it is feed. There is no need to cry. There is no need to breathe even; the mother breathes for it. The child is joined with the mother. It is not yet separate. It has no ego: it is not conscious that 'I am'. The fact is: the child is, but it is completely bathed in existence, and the bliss of this condition is the bliss that he searches for all of his life.
Psychologists say that your whole life's quest is an attempt to regain the womb. We devise a thousand and one ways to recapture this bliss. If you look closely you will observe this fact. You try to find a comfortable bed to sleep in; comfortable bedding is that in which the temperature is almost the same as a child curled up in the mother. People who sleep well sleep in this position; they become babies all over again.
All your efforts are aimed at being relieved of your responsibilities and worries. You try to become rich, for if you are rich you can use your wealth as a means to dissolve worry about the future.
You seek friendship, you seek love and protection. Alone, you are afraid, for all around there are enemies, unknown and unfamiliar. You make a house for yourself and you feel safe within its four walls; look closely, and you will see it is an attempt to create a womb within which you can feel safe.
The child experiences bliss in the mother's womb. Every child does. Then all his life he spends searching for this same bliss. That is why, whenever you get a glimpse of this bliss you feel happy.
All your moments of happiness are glimpses of bliss. Psychologists say that the search for liberation is a search for the womb. The day this whole existence becomes like a womb to you, when you are completely drowned in it, when your ego is completed annihilated and you have no worries, no anxiety, you will attain this bliss all over again. This bliss is right within you, but you have lost it; and because you seek outside yourself, you do not find it.
In the state of 'just sitting', in the state of meditation, your own body becomes a womb for you. In this state when all activities quiet down, when all thoughts are lost, your mind and your body become the circumference and you enter the womb once again. This is why we call a meditative person 'DVIJ', which means twice-born. There is one birth in which you pass through your mother's womb; this is the birth you get through your parents. And there is a second birth in which you have to give birth to yourself. It is this birth which makes you a dvij.
In the state of 'just sitting' a person is naturally bathed in the lake of the supreme being. And to be bathed in the ocean of consciousness.... When the ocean of the body has given you so much pleasure, imagine how much more the ocean of consciousness can give you! It is more than your powers of imagination can grasp, infinitely more. It is boundless. The bliss you tasted in your mother's womb was the bliss that comes from drowning in the body, but the bliss you will know when you sink into the soul, that is the real bliss. The Hindus have called it brahma. No taste can equal the taste of Brahma. It is sat-chit-ananda, truth-consciousness-bliss.
As soon as you drown in the ocean of consciousness you become dvij, for now the soul is born in you. At present your soul is hidden within the seed. It is the present and it is not present; it is present as a seed, but not as a tree. You are still only a potential, a promise of becoming. You have not yet become the tree, and this is your trouble; this is your anguish. It is this that makes you distressed and anxious.
If all this distress is correctly analyzed, it is the pain of being born. As long as you are not twice-born, dvij, this trouble will persist. He who undergoes the second birth finds that the first birth ceases for him, for now it is of no use to him; otherwise, you will be born, you will die and you will be born again.
You will reincarnate again and again, but when you become twice-born there is no need to return to the body again.
Those of the brahmin caste are called 'dvij', twice-born. It would be more fitting to call a dvij, a brahmin; for all brahmins are not dvij, but all dvij's are brahmins. No one truly becomes a brahmin just by being born into a brahmin family. He only becomes a brahmin when he is dissolved in Brahma, when he is born of Brahma.
The Hindus have a unique concept. Each of us is born into the lowest cast, sudras, and only a few attain Brahmahood. So, whatever caste the child is born into, by birth we are all sudras. The child of a brahmin family is initiated with the sacred thread. This is just to make him aware that he is now a brahmin and not a member of a lower caste. It is only a custom. To be a brahmin is not so easy that it can be done merely by putting a thread around your neck. To become a brahmin is the most difficult process in the world; it only happens when a person is drowned completely in his soul.
He who gives a new birth to his self is twice-born, dvij. Now he is his own mother, his own father.
He is not born through an outside agency. His relationships with the world are broken. He is now united with Brahma.
This sutra says: MEDITATION IS THE SEED. He who attains the state of meditation, he who just sits, is immersed in his self. This gives birth to his soul. He is now 'twice-born'.
Leave aside all the second-rate methods, shun them. Don't be satisfied with the sacred thread around your body. If only it were so cheap and easy to attain Brahmahood, to become one with Brahma. But this is the way we are; we are always rummaging around till we come up with some easy method to fool ourselves with. How long can we maintain this self-deception? All your sacred threads, all the devices you use to misguide yourself - destroy them! They give false hopes. What you need is a genuine birth, and that will only happen when you become your own womb. You will need a body in the state of 'just sitting' and a mind in the state of meditation. Together they form the womb within you.
Nicodemus asked Jesus, "When shall I attain your Kingdom of God?" Jesus replied, "When you die and are born again." You have to end your life as it is, be dead to it, and be born again as you should be. Only then can you enter the Kingdom of God. Then answer is clear: destroy the seed form and become the tree.
As you are, you are only a dream, a promise - a promise that some day God will emerge from within you, but He has not, as yet. Bury this possibility within the soil like a seed. What is the danger?
What is the fear? I can understand the seed's misgivings. It is afraid of extinction. Besides, it has no knowledge of the tree that it carries inside. It has never come face to face with the tree. If the tree is to sprout the seed must die. Besides, the seed is not sure whether, on its death, the vast tree will come into being. All that the seed can think is: Whatever I am will be lost. And where is the certainty of attaining this vastness? Exactly that is your anxiety. Of all the Buddhas and Mahavirs and Shivas you ask this same question: 'What if we lose what we have without gaining anything?"
The fear is natural. Therefore you are afraid to approach the master. If you don't experience this fear the master is not worth a penny; run away from him. The master makes you frightened for he looks like death itself. He will destroy you. And, as you are being destroyed, the mind says: "Escape from here." When the mind gives that danger signal don't run away! When the mind tells you to wait a little longer and enjoy the master's company, then is the time to run! Where the mind is fearful, know that something is bound to happen, for the seed is frightened only in the face of extinction.
You are not afraid of the priests. You are not afraid of the temples. And the holy places - Kashi and Bodh Gaya, Gunar, Kaaba, Jerusalem - you can wander there without a care, for there is no one there who threatens your existence. All the places of pilgrimage, all the holy places, are dead places, for life is not in the place, in the teertha, but in the tirthankara, the master. When the Tirthankara is gone a pilgrimage place is built around him, for now there is no fear from the master. A dead master cannot destroy you, therefore the mind worships the dead master very lovingly. You worship Mahavir and Buddha, for you know for certain that a stone statue can do you no harm. After all, it is you who bought it and you can throw it away whenever you want.
The Hindus are clever, they make their idols of clay, because after worshipping them for two or three weeks they throw them in the river. One thing is certain: we make them and we break them. You worship if you feel like it; if you don't feel like it, you don't worship. Who will ask you to explain yourself? All this is just a more sophisticated version of the games that children play. They play with dolls: we play with statues of God.
When Mahavir, Rama and Krishna are no more, then they are worshipped. When such a person is alive, people run away in fear. People who are deathly afraid of a master think lovingly of visiting the holy pilgrimage places. Crowds of thousands flock to the annual Kumbha Mela, the meeting of all the holy men. Have people ever gathered in such numbers around Mahavir or Krishna? Never!
The Kumbha does not come to your door, you have to make the journey to the sacred bathing place where it occurs, but Mahavir and Buddha come knocking at your door. Alas, they find the door closed, for we are frightened of these people. They are dangerous. They say: "Die like a seed and become a tree!"
This is why trust and faith are required, they are priceless. If you listen to reason it will say, "First be sure. What is the guarantee?" Logic is always right. It says: "A bird in hand is worth two in the bush."
This is correct as far as reason goes, for how can you let go of the little you have for a promise of larger gains that are yet to come?
Mulla Nasruddin was eager to learn to swim. He found a teacher who said, "Come, I am going to the river." As it happened, the Mulla slipped as soon as he stepped into the water. He fell over and almost drowned. Somehow he found his way to the bank, whereupon he got out of the water and ran away.
The teacher called out to him, "Where are you going? Don't you want to learn how to swim?"
"First teach me how to swim," said the Mulla, "and then I'll get back into the river."
"That's almost impossible," said the teacher. "Unless you get into the water you cannot learn."
But the Mulla said, "Never again will I set foot in the river, at least not in this life."
You also reason like Nasruddin, and your reasoning is correct. The Mulla will only step into the river if he knows how to swim, for was he not almost drowned? It was sheer good luck that he found himself alive!
One day I saw Nasruddin teaching his wife how to drive. He stood at the edge of the road, well away from his wife, who sat at the wheel of the car. He was shouting out instructions: "Press the clutch!
I watched him intrigued. I went up to him and asked, "Mulla, I have seen many people teach driving, but yours is a unique method! How can you teach someone from outside the car?"
The Mulla replied, "The car is insured; I am not."
Logic always demands insurance; it wants a guarantee. The seed also demands a guarantee that it will become a tree, but how is one to assure the seed? Faith is invaluable. There is no way to assure you. Faith is a jump in the dark, therefore the faithful reach and the logical don't. The mind misleads, leads you astray; the heart takes you all the way to the destination.
When you are in love you never listen to the mind. Even when you pray you cannot pray if you listen to the mind. If you listen to the mind its logic always seems one hundred percent correct, but the ultimate result is zero. The seed remains a seed; not only does it remain a seed but it begins to rot.
Ask yourself this question: "Is what I have real?" What does a seed possess? Don't ask whether the tree will or will not be; instead ask the seed what it has that it is so afraid of losing. This is what faith always asks. Faith says: "What do I have that I fear losing?" There is nothing apart from anxiety, anguish and distress. Why be afraid of losing them? Is there any bliss, any joy in you, so that you are afraid you might lose it and be so much the poorer for it? You have nothing. You are like the naked man who wouldn't bathe because he had no place to dry his clothes. he had no clothes, so there was no question of washing and drying them, but such anxieties catch hold of the mind.
You have nothing to lose, absolutely nothing, and everything to gain. This is false. Truth always looks inward: "What do I have?" Logic always looks to the future: "What will happen?" Truth looks to the present.
People come to me and I tell them to jump into sannyas. They say, "Not now, after a year," as if I am taking something away from them. As if they need a full year to muster the courage. They want to postpone it as if I want them to renounce something. They have nothing; they possess nothing except misery, wretchedness and poverty. I want to give them the glory of sannyas. I don't intend to take anything away; rather, I want to give them something. To me, sannyas is not renunciation; rather, it is a door to supreme enjoyment. You become... you feel... like a king for the first time in your life when you take sannyas, but alas, you view your beggar's attitude as a treasure.
Whenever I tell someone to jump into sannyas he looks at me as if I am snatching something away from him. I am amazed. If only he had something to lose then I could understand it. You have nothing! Not even rubbish! All that you have, all that you own, is a Pandora's box filled with the scorpions and snakes of anxiety suffering, anguish and all kinds of ills. Why you hold on to all of this is beyond my understanding. What is the reason? The reason is plain: you don't look in this direction at all. You are always concerned with what you will get.
People ask me: "What will we attain by meditating?" And that is the error that they make. I want them to ask themselves what they have attained by not meditating. We cannot vouch for what will be attained, for the future is unknown. Besides, the seed and the tree never meet. The seed will remain a seed. How can we make the seed meet its future? When the seed perishes, only then does the tree come into being. By the time the tree is formed the seed is no more, so how can you show the tree to the seed? As long as you are a seed, you are a seed; when you become the tree you are no longer the seed. The seed and the tree never meet.
You want a guarantee for the future. To whom is this guarantee to be given? The seed you no longer exist - you will not remain. The man who trusts asks: "What do I have?" Then he finds: "I have nothing. I am naked." Once he realizes that he is naked, why worry about drying his clothes?
Once this knowledge dawns on you, you will be ready to set out on the journey into the unknown, because then you are prepared for anything. You hold no fear of losing anything. If you gain something, good! If you don't, you can't be any worse off than you already are. Or do you think you can be? People are worried that they might fall into a state worse than their present condition.
Mulla Nasruddin was habitually saying: "It could have been worse." Whenever anyone told him something the Mulla invariably replied, "It could have been worse." His friends were tired of hearing this. At last an incident occurred in the neighborhood and the friends were confident that the Mulla would never be able to use his pet phrase in this context.
The Mulla's neighbor had been out of town. He returned two days before he had been expected.
When he opened the door and let himself in he found his wife in the arms of a stranger. The husband picked up his gun and shot both of them. "Now Mulla, what have you to say about that?" chuckled the Mulla's friends, fully confident that they had him beaten for once.
"It could have been worse," the Mulla said calmly.
"What could have been worse than this?" they all shouted together.
"Quiet, my friends," said the Mulla. "Had he returned a day earlier it would have been me!"
But I tell you, it cannot be worse. Give up this phrase. The state you are now in is the worst state you can possibly be in. What could be worse?
Trust always thinks: "What do I have? What does the seed have? It is only a covering, a shell. It has nothing. It can become something, but only when its shell breaks." You are a shell, a covering.
Let the shell break... and then everything becomes possible.
Therefore Shiva says: MEDITATION IS THE SEED, and when the seed is destroyed you attain the state of 'twice-born'.
ETERNAL KNOWLEDGE LEADS TO CESSATION OF BIRTH AND DEATH.
The day the twice-born state flowers within you, your knowledge can never be destroyed. It will flow constantly. You will become a current of knowledge. Everything will become knowledge, consciousness. When the seed of meditation breaks there is nothing but consciousness, and only consciousness within you. You are transformed into a state of awareness and of witnessing, where knowledge is indestructible, where it cannot be destroyed. Right now your consciousness is next to non-existent. You live as if you are asleep. Whatever you do, it is not done in full awareness.
A man sitting opposite Buddha was wriggling his big toe. Buddha said, "Brother, why does your big toe wriggle so?"
The man stopped immediately. He was surprised. "I myself do not know," he replied. "Now that you have asked I too am troubled over it, for it was not moving consciously."
"Such is your whole life." said the Buddha.
What have you ever done consciously in the course of your whole life? Have you ever been consciously angry? Have you loved consciously? Have you ever consciously been greedy or obsessed? What have you done consciously? Your life is such - merely twiddling your thumbs unconsciously. You set up house, raised a family; you gave birth to your children. Did you do anything consciously? Everything has happened to you; you were merely involved in it mechanically.
What did you do consciously in your life? Was there any action you did consciously? No! You can't find even one act that you did consciously. You fell in love? Love happened, you did not fall in love.
If you quarrelled, quarrels just happened mechanically; you did not quarrel. You see a person and you decide immediately whether he is good or bad, but in your full awareness, who is good, who is bad?
Whatever you have become is accidental. You have not gone about it in full awareness. Things happen around you and you flow unconsciously with them. You float like a wisp of straw in a river; you go wherever the current takes you. The straw thinks that it is travelling; and so you think you are doing something. How can you be the doer when you are totally unaware?
This sutra says that knowledge becomes indestructible only when the seed of meditation breaks and gives way to the eternal spring of consciousness. Then even when you sleep, you are not asleep.
You are never asleep; you are fully conscious inside. Then when you make love you do so in full consciousness. When you eat, drink, walk or talk, you are completely aware. Then your whole life becomes an expanding consciousness. This is what we call Buddhahood, and it means: the state in which a man lives who is in full consciousness.
Now knowledge cannot be destroyed, now wisdom never fades. The flame within never burns low. It burns constantly and without flickering. When this happens - that the seed of meditation breaks and there arises from within the eternal knowledge and the constant stream of consciousness - then there is no birth; then you shall not reincarnate again.
You return to the body only in a state of unconsciousness. You are asleep and so you descend again to the body. The day your consciousness becomes constant the journey of the body will end. No longer will you descend into this narrow prison. No one in his full consciousness would choose to live in a body, for it is a bondage; it is a chain you have forged around yourself. This is imprisonment, slavery; and why would you want to be a slave knowingly?
You descend into the body unknowingly. You have lost your way in the dark. The day your eyes become filled with light you will stop descending into the body. Then where will you be? You will be a part of the great void, a bodiless part of it. This we call Brahma. Others call this God,; yet others call it nirvana or moksha. Call it by any name, it makes no difference. Between religions there is nothing more than a difference of words, and all words are correct, for each word indicates one quality of that supreme state.
Nirvana means: the extinguishing of the lamp. Buddha likes this word. He would say: "When the lamp is extinguished, where does the light go?" What would you say? Where has it gone? You will not be able to point to a specific place. The light is bound to be somewhere, for nothing in this existence is ever destroyed. Whatever is, is! Whatever is not, is not! There is no way for a thing that is not, to be; and there is no way for a thing that is, not to be. The flame, the light, must be somewhere - somewhere in the vast expanse, one with existence. Up to now it had a form, now it is formless. Now it is liberated from the lamp, but that does not mean that it is lost.
The lamp was made of clay, the flame was totally separate. What has the flame to do with the clay? There is no relationship between the two. The flame did not owe its existence to the lamp; the lamp did not have to become the flame. The lamp was merely the body that contained the flame.
You snuffed out the flame, and the connection between the fuel and the flame was broken. The flame was lost in the vastness and became a part of the great light. Therefore Buddha referred to this supreme state as nirvana, total extinction, for the flame dies down and becomes one with the supreme sun.
Mahavir calls it kaivalya, total aloneness. He says: "As your attachments break, darkness is gone and ignorance vanishes. All false knowledge is destroyed. Then there is you, and you alone - nobody else. Only the consciousness remains which has no beginning and no end."
Mahavir does not speak about God. He says, "The soul becomes God, the Supreme Soul." It is the same. Either you say the drop is lost in the ocean or the ocean has become one with the drop. The Hindus say that the drop falls into the sea. Mahavir says that the ocean is lost in the drop. The event is the same, only the expressions are different. Mahavir liked the word kaivalya. You, and only you, remain - pure consciousness.
The Hindus call it moksha, liberation, because the body is a prison, and you have obtained your freedom from it. Jesus has called it the Kingdom of God, because you are no longer poor and miserable. You have become a king. Only the words differ, the basic happening is one: when the seed breaks you become the tree.
Take courage. Great courage is required. It requires more courage than anything else does in the world. There is no greater challenge to your bravery than religion. Therefore I say: Do not think the weak take to the path of religion. The weak can never become religious, only the very strong can walk the path of religion. Where you see the weak becoming religious, kneeling in the temples and mosques, there is no religion there; it is only a worldly institution. The greatest act of bravery is to plunge into religion.
What is this act of courage? The leap by the seed. It is the seed's readiness to destroy itself without any hope or guarantee of becoming a tree, the destruction of the known in favour of the unknown, the unfamiliar. It is leaving the well-trodden paths to wander in the vast wilderness. It is the readiness to choose an unfamiliar footpath, to leave the world and set out in search for Brahma, to leave the well-mapped world behind and set out on the uncharted sea.
There are no maps, no guides. There are no written books that can be of help. All books are left behind when the world is no more, for they are part and parcel of this world. Not even the guru can go with you. He can only give you a push while he stands on the shore. What does a swimming teacher do? He merely pushes the learner into the water. You know that the guru is standing by, so you jump in confidently; but the knowledge of swimming is within you. To begin with, you throw your arms and feet about; that also is swimming, but a crude, unskilled form of it. In the course of a few days you learn by yourself how to move your limbs in the water. You could have done this without the coach, but you were afraid. Someone is waiting at the shore to help you if need be. That gives you courage, just as the guru stands at the shore to give you moral support. He does nothing, for there is nothing to do. Everything is hidden within you. It only has to be made manifest. The guru's presence only assures you that there is no danger. You feel confident that someone is looking after you, that someone will hear you if you should and call for help. The guru assures the disciple" "I am here. Don't be afraid to jump."
As soon as you dive in, you begin thrashing your arms and legs about. At first it is out of fright, but gradually you learn to swim. What is the difference between swimming and thrashing your limbs about? It is only a matter of a little experience. For the first few days your limbs will only move ineffectually, without helping you to move forward. By and by all your movements will fall into a coordinated pattern, and as you learn how to move more effectively your confidence increases.
After some time the guru will tell you that you no longer require his presence. Furthermore, you can guide others now, if you want to.
This is what the guru does in meditation: he pushes you; and if you have enough trust your seed will break and the tree will be born. If you choose to argue and debate you will wander uselessly. Trust is the door.