[NOTE: This is a translation from the Hindi series BHAJ GOVINDAM, literally: Singing the Song of the Divine. This version is the final edit pending publication, and is for research only.]
Before starting the sutra it is necessary to understand an essential complexity of the human mind.
Because of this complex many people, in spite of understanding, miss the point. Because of this complex they are saved from the abyss but they fall into a pit. The mind stops itself from going to one extreme, but in that process it goes to the other extreme.
Someone eats a lot - he is a glutton, his only interest is food. But one day or other, without anybody telling him, he will understand that he is torturing his body. The body will become sick and will be in pain. It will not be difficult for him to realize that eating too much is not healthy, but then the danger is that he may start fasting - from eating too much he may go to the extreme of giving up food altogether.
If there is too strong an attachment with the world and with money then it is easy to run away from the world. Instead of interest there may be disinterest. Attachment may create detachment. The near and dear ones may appear to be enemies rather than one's own people. There is hardly any difference between the two conditions. This is what is meant by falling into a pit while saving oneself from the abyss.
These sutras of Shankara are not meant to help you understand detachment, they explain to you the uselessness of attachment. If attachment becomes meaningless it is enough; if attachment is over it is enough. The disappearance of attachment is detachment - nothing else is needed except this. But the reverse always happens. After reading these sutras many people, innumerable people, have caught hold of detachment without giving up attachment. Attachment continued but in the guise of detachment. First you were standing on your feet, now you are standing on your head, but nothing changes by standing on your head; things remain just as they were. But when attachment stands on its head it becomes detachment - ordinary people's detachment, the so- called sannyasin's detachment. But when attachment disappears, then the detachment of Mahavira, Buddha, and Shankara is born.
Mulla Nasruddin was suffering from a mental disease. Whenever his telephone rang he would get scared lest his landlord may have rung up for the rent, or it may be his boss sacking him from his job - thousands of anxieties. Because of these imaginary fears he could not even lift the telephone.
So I told him to consult a psychiatrist. He took the treatment for two or three months.
One day when I went to his house I saw him speaking on the phone and he was not shaking. He was not feeling scared at all! So I asked him, "The treatment seems to have done you good. Now you are not scared any more?"
Mulla replied, "Well, the treatment has helped me more than was necessary."
I asked him, "What do you mean by 'more than was necessary'?"
He said, "You know, I have become very brave now. I pick up the phone and start talking even when it doesn't ring. Earlier I used to be scared of the ringing of the phone. But just now the phone didn't ring so I picked it up and I started scolding the landlord. He got so scared that he kept absolutely quiet on the other end of the phone - I could not even hear his breathing."
This is the irony of human life! It is easy to go from one extreme to the other.
There is a Hindi proverb that a person whose mouth was burnt while drinking hot milk is afraid even to drink the cold buttemilk. In the same way, a person who is scared of the world is scared of the divine also. One who is burnt by the world is afraid of drinking the divine.
One has to be detached from the world - but not out of any fear. If you give up anything out of fear it will not really be given up, it will chase you, it will follow you. If you are scared of anything, it will scare you more. If you run away from anything, it will follow you because the fear is inside you.
Where will you run away to? From whom will you run away? If the world were outside you could run away. But you will find the world wherever you go. Even in a cave of the Himalayas it will be the same 'you' who will be living there, the same 'you' who lives here. So the real question is not of changing the place or the way of living; the real question is to change the inner state of the mind. At present the state of your mind is too bent to one side. So do not bend it too much to the other side.
The extreme is the disease. One who gets balanced in the middle is free, that is why Buddha has called his path majjhim nikaya, the middle path. One who stays in the center has found the way.
A person who is in the middle, who does not bend to this side or to that side, is there. As long as you bend to one side life will be shaky, there will be no stability, you will not be healthy, and you will go on wavering. Just as the light of the earthen lamp goes on burning steadily in the middle without being disturbed by the breeze, in the same way when the light of consciousness becomes steady in the middle, when neither desire nor detachment is able to shake it, in fact when nothing shakes it - when it is neither this side nor that side, when it is stable just in the middle - then Krishna calls it stithapragya, one who has stabilized in his wisdom. You sit, you stand, but within you nobody sits or stands. You eat or you fast, but within you nobody eats or fasts. You may live in the world or in sannyas, but there is neither sannyas nor the world within you. This ultimate, middle condition is detachment.
If detachment is the opposite of attachment then it is wrong. But if detachment is freedom from attachment then it is right. This is a very delicate difference. If detachment is the opposite of attachment then there is something wrong somewhere, because that which is the opposite of attachment is definitely connected with attachment. All the opposites are interconnected. If you love anyone, you go on remembering him. If you hate anyone, even then you go on remembering him. Love and hate are opposites but they are connected. A friend you can perhaps forget, but you cannot forget your enemy. It goes on pricking you like a thorn. You are related with the friend, similarly you are related with the enemy too.
Don't ever think that an enemy is one with whom all kinds of relationships have been broken. No, if all relationships were broken altogether then he would not be the enemy. You do not have a friendly relationship with the enemy but you do have a relationship of enmity with him - the relationship is not broken. If the relationship is really broken then the friend is not a friend and the enemy is not an enemy. If the relationship changes then a friend becomes an enemy and an enemy becomes a friend.
How long does it take a friend to become an enemy? It can happen in a moment. How long does it take to make an enemy a friend? Why doesn't it take long? - because both are relationships. It is just a question of changing the direction a little. You were going to the East - you turned to the West. You were going to the West - you turned towards the East. Both are movements - just the direction has changed a little.
I have heard that in England there was a great thinker by the name of Edmund Burke. He was once invited to give a lecture in a church in a small village near London. But he was an absent-minded person, so very often he used to forget the time and date of his lecture, and sometimes he used to arrive at the place on the following day. But this time the host had urged him over and over again to arrive at the church in time on the right date, so he also tried to be extra careful about this invitation.
It was some anniversary of the church and he had to be there at seven in the evening.
He started at two o'clock from his house. It was hardly one hour's journey. He rode his horse and arrived at the church by three o'clock, but there was nobody in the church at that time because the function was to start at seven o'clock in the evening. What was he to do? He took out a cigarette, put it in his mouth, and tried to light a match, but because of the breeze he could not. He turned the horse so that he could light the cigarette. The cigarette was lit - and the horse started trotting.
At four o'clock he was standing in front of his house. He looked at it very carefully. What had happened to the church? Where had it disappeared to? Then he remembered that to light the cigarette he had changed the direction of the horse. He had started smoking, and the horse had started going towards his house.
This is just the difference in changing the direction. Any small incident like lighting a cigarette can be the reason for changing the direction. Then a friend can become an enemy and an enemy can become a friend. You can turn to the West from the East or turn from the East to the West. Any small incident - one becomes bankrupt or the wife dies or a child dies - can make a person renounce the world and become a sannyasin. These incidents are of such little value as lighting a cigarette but they can change the direction. But this type of renunciation will be false. This renunciation will be full of hatred and not full of understanding. It will have a sense of failure, agony, and will be devoid of understanding and freedom.
There is another type of renunciation in which the direction is not changed. You do not turn your back towards the world, you look at the world carefully, attentively, and in looking at it carefully, the world disappears. In that understanding, in that state of meditation, we realize that all the relationships of the world are meaningless. Then we do not create any new relationship with the world. Up to now our relationship with the world was that of attraction, but if we only change direction now it will be of detraction; up to now we were running towards the world and now we start running away from the world in the opposite direction. This type of detachment is wrong. This becomes the new disease and you have to get rid of it also. This is not health. This is just like a sick person who has recovered from his illness but has become dependent on the medicines. He carries his medicines with him wherever he goes. He is not ready to give them up.
Buddha used to explain this situation by narrating the story of the five stupid men who crossed the river in a boat and then carried the boat on their heads. People asked them why they were doing so.
They said, "We are very grateful to this boat. We crossed the river because of it, so now how can we give it up? We are not ungrateful."
They carried the boat to the market on their heads. People said, "This boat has taken you across the river but now it has become a load for you which you will carry on your head all of your life and you will not be able to do anything else."
The so-called sannyasins, mahatmas and saints whom you know - if you look at them carefully you will find them carrying a boat on their heads! They gave up attachment but caught hold of detachment because they aroused the opposite of attachment.
What Shankaracharya is saying is entirely a different thing. He is saying, "Watch the attachment carefully, with discretion." In that state of knowing the actual reality, the clouds of attachment will disperse - not that detachment will take their place.
The absence of attachment is detachment; it is not the opposite of attachment. It is not that attachment will disappear from your heart and detachment will take its place - attachment will disappear and nothing will take its place. This is the ultimate detachment.
So do not make a mistake in understanding these sutras, because this mistake is very easy to make.
WHO IS YOUR WIFE? WHO IS YOUR SON? THIS WORLD IS VERY STRANGE. WHOSE ARE YOU? WHO ARE YOU? FROM WHERE HAVE YOU COME? DO THINK OVER THESE BASIC QUESTIONS.
Shankara is asking you to think over, to contemplate, to wake up and to watch, with awareness. Do not be in a hurry to borrow detachment. The borrowing of detachment will be of no use.
If right thinking creates the light of understanding in your heart then attachment will disappear. So do not try to throw out the darkness - just light the lamp.
So Shankara says, "Who is your wife?" Yes, who is your wife? "Who is your son?" They are just like strangers who meet on the roadside. Did you know your son before he was born? Did you call this son to be born out of you? You did not even know him, how could you call him? You did not know his address. You did not even recognize his face.
This is just a chance meeting of strangers. But the human mind creates illusions - "This is my son, this is my wife, this is my sister, this is my brother." How do you create these relationships? How?
This is a very strange occurrence. It is like two unacquainted persons walking on the same path.
They will walk together for a short time and then each one will go in his own direction after saying goodbye, but all sorts of relationships will be made in that short time. There must be some other deep reason for this. These relationships are not true, because all of us are strangers. In spite of living together for years we do not know each other.
Do you know your wife? You have lived with her for thirty or forty years but do you think you know her well? Can you make a prophecy of what she will do tomorrow? Even after living with your wife for forty years you cannot make a prophecy about what she will do the next moment. Just a minute before she was smiling, she was happy, and now she is annoyed! It is difficult for you to say what will be her mood the next moment!
Does your wife know you? This 'knowing' is just on the surface. Nobody can peep inside the other person. It is so difficult even to go into oneself, how can going into the other be easy? But there must be some deep reason for our making so many relationships - because man is alone, because he is afraid to be lonely, because he gets frightened and worried when he is alone. It is very painful to be alone.
We are alone. The whole earth may be crowded but still every individual is alone. Even when you are in a crowd you are alone. This loneliness is unbearable and you want to get rid of this loneliness, so you create these relationships to forget yourself and your loneliness. For some time you feel that you are not alone.
Have you ever noticed? If you are walking along a dark street at night the loneliness frightens you and so you start singing a song. You don't usually sing when people ask you to do so because you feel shy, but at night, in a lonely street where it is absolutely dark, you start humming a song or you start whistling. What is the reason for this humming or whistling? While humming you listen to your own voice and you feel that you are not alone, somebody is with you. Your own song creates this illusion that there is nothing to be afraid of. The song gives you the courage.
In loneliness a person starts talking to himself. Psychologists say that if a person is kept absolutely alone for three weeks he will start talking to himself. You also talk to yourself but you do not talk aloud. If you watch someone carefully, you can even see the slight movements of the lips, because when you are talking inside your lips move a little. But if you are kept in a lonely place, the loneliness is so frightening - being alone in this vast world, to be alone in this great void - one starts shivering.
So you start talking to yourself.
Have you seen mad people talking to themselves? They are the enlarged copy of yourself! The difference between you and them is only of quantity and not of quality. You talk softly - they are a bit more courageous, so they talk loudly. The madman also talks to himself because he is frightened, he is nervous. He forgets by talking to himself. These are methods of forgetting oneself, of self- forgetfulness.
I was reading the memoirs of a German writer of his time in Hitler's prison. He has written that he was alone in his prison room, but there was also a lizard. He used to be scared of lizards. He used to become very afraid looking at them, but now in the prison he was quite happy to see one. Looking at it he thought, "I am not alone, there is someone with me," and gradually he started talking to the lizard. Sometimes he used to laugh at his own madness. But he became so used to it that he felt as if the lizard was also replying to him. Then he was speaking for himself and also on behalf of the lizard.
Man is lonely, very lonely. With this loneliness you can do only two things: either you make a world of your own or you enter sannyas. Making a world means making relationships so that loneliness can be forgotten. And the meaning of entering into sannyas is accepting this loneliness because this is your nature. Do not run away from it, do not avoid it; accept it, embrace it. This is your nature.
You will not get anywhere by running away from it. You have done this in innumerable lives and you have failed. You have gained nothing except failure.
Sannyas means: one who has accepted his loneliness - now he does not whistle, he does not sing, nor does he make any relationship - he is absolutely satisfied with himself.
It is very interesting to note that the more you run from yourself the more you will have to run - the more you will get scared of loneliness. The more you accept to be with yourself the more you will be able to find that the loneliness is not loneliness but aloneness. There is a difference between loneliness and aloneness. Loneliness means that you miss the presence of the other. To be alone means that being by oneself is enough. Loneliness is painful but there is bliss in being alone. When Shankara is alone he is by himself, but when you say that you are alone you are lonely.
Being lonely means that you feel the absence of the other. Aloneness means that you are happy to be with yourself. Aloneness means you have fallen in love with yourself. Meditation means to be in love with yourself. Meditation means to make such a relationship with yourself that there is no need to make a relationship with anyone else.
Meditation means to be fulfilled in oneself. Your world, your whole world is in you. There is nothing lacking. You are complete, you are whole, you are the divine, there is no need for you to go anywhere. This inner state means sannyas.
We make the world because the loneliness hurts. We try to fill this loneliness with money, with friends, with family, with religion, caste, nation. We make so many efforts to fill this inner void because this wound is painful. But it is wrong to think of it as a wound; it is not a wound.
Last night a sannyasin came to me and said that since she has started meditation her heart seems to have died. There is no desire to make any relationship with anyone, there seems no interest in love; even friendship seems meaningless. She was very sad... because she has come from the West and in the West if love starts disappearing then people think that the whole of life is finished, if feelings disappear and relationships break, then people think that now there is no meaning in life.
This is their definition. So she was sad.
We in the East have done a deeper research. We have discovered that when a person stays wholly within himself, then all relationships dissolve. It is a very fortunate thing to happen; it is not something to be unhappy about. When a person becomes stable within himself, sex dissolves and the keenness to make relationships with others also disappears. The feeling of gratitude is so much that one does not want to make any relationship with anyone. No longer will that person beg of others to have some relationship with him, no longer will he say that "I cannot live without you." Now he can live alone. And the person who can live alone, really lives! The other type of living is only a deception, an illusion. If you cannot live alone how can you live with others?
So I told that young woman, that sannyasin, "Do not be scared, do not be unhappy. This definition of yours is wrong. This definition of the West is wrong. Be happy, be blissful; how fortunate you are that you no longer desire any relationship."
Relationship only gives you pain and anguish. This is quite natural also, because when two unhappy persons meet how can they give happiness to each other? The mathematics is quite clear: when two unhappy persons meet, then the unhappiness does not just become double, it multiplies many times more. You are looking for the other person because you are not happy. You are not happy alone, so you are looking for the other. The other is also not happy to be alone and he is also looking at you with the same expectation. Like this two unhappy people meet in the hope of getting happiness. But they do not get happiness. It is not possible because two beggars are begging of each other and neither of them is a giver - both of them are beggars. Both of them go on expecting from each other. Whenever you love anyone you expect him to return your love.
People tell me, "We give lots of love to others but others do not love us." How can you love? Love flows only from the heights of bliss. The river of love only comes out of the peak of bliss. You are not happy, you are not blissful, you are begging, and the other person is also begging. Neither of you has anything to give to the other, but you go on waiting to receive some love in charity! As you go on waiting the disappointment starts.
Until a person is happy within himself no one else can make him happy.
There is a very old story. God made man. Man was alone, and became fed up with his loneliness.
He prayed to God to give him some companion as he is alone. But God had utilized all the material, everything was finished. He had made forests, mountains, birds and animals, and in the end he had made man - now there was no material left. But man cried and cried, so he asked him to wait and he tried to make a woman. However no material was available at that time, so God asked for some back from the animals, birds, flowers and plants. He told the moon to give a little of its light, told the peacock to give its arrogance, told the pigeons to give their sweet murmur, asked the parrots to give their voice, asked the rivers to give their restlessness and movement, asked the flowers to give their delicacy - like this he made woman!
After seven days man came back and said, "This woman is a nuisance. I thought I would get a companion but she goes on quarreling all the time. The voice given to her by the parrots is very sweet - no doubt it is very sweet when she is loving, but she is arrogant like the peacocks. She is very kind and very cruel at the same time. She is very contradictory. I am fed up! It was better to be alone. You must take her back."
God took the woman back, but after seven days man came back and said, "Yes, she made my life miserable - but I miss her, I cannot live without her. During these seven days I could neither eat nor sleep. I go on remembering her. Please return her to me."
After seven days he was again standing at God's door! He said, "I can neither live with her nor can I live without her."
God turned his back on him and said, "How long am I going to listen to your nonsense? You cannot live with her and you cannot live without her, so you had better sort it out yourself."
Since then man has been trying to sort it out, but has not been able to do so up till now. It is not possible, because when you are alone then you are afraid of the loneliness. When you are with someone else, then his or her presence disturbs you. When you have company you want to be alone, when you are alone you want company. When you are with someone then you start observing the bad points in him or her. When you are alone the loneliness frightens you like death.
The company and loneliness are both troublesome for you. That is why man makes many types of relationships. He brings a wife home so that he is not left alone. Then in his effort to be away from his wife he sits in the hotel or in the club. Becoming a member of a club means that he is trying to escape from his wife. He makes one mistake, then he tries to rectify it by making another mistake.
Thus starts the chain of mistakes. And you call this life!
WHO IS YOUR WIFE? WHO IS YOUR SON? THIS WORLD IS VERY STRANGE.
All of you are strangers here. You do not know each other. You do not know yourself, how will you know the other? One who has known himself will know the other also. But if one does not know oneself he cannot know anyone else. You have made relationships without knowing. All relations are coincidental. Your whole life, your whole world, is based on coincidence. When you fall in love with a girl you say that God has made both of you for each other - but it was because of the coincidence of living in the same house or going to the same school. It was just a coincidence that both of you met - not that you were made for each other. In fact nobody is made for any other. But man tries to justify a mere coincidence with the theory of destiny.
Mulla Nasruddin went to Africa for a safari. When he returned all his friends gathered around him to listen to his adventures. He was narrating with great enthusiasm and with exaggeration, saying "There is a certain animal over there. When the male animal has to call the female he screeches and the female animal, wherever it may be in the forest, comes running to him."
A friend asked him to copy the sound of the screeching of that animal. He copied it, screeching loudly. Just then the door of the next room opened and his wife asked, "Well? What is the matter?"
He told his friends, "See, now you understand the theory."
It is only a coincidence. There is no theory in it. But if a person thinks that his love is mere coincidence then there is no place for poetry. If you tell Majnu that his meeting with Laila was a coincidence then the poetry dies, the romance dies. Majnu will say, "No, this is not possible. Laila was made for me and I was made for Laila. And even if the whole world puts obstacles in our path we will definitely meet." If Majnu had lived in some other village then some other girl would have been his Laila. Majnu would have definitely found some Laila who would have been different from this one.
What you think to be the structure of life is not a structure at all, it is only a coincidence - a few incidents, a few coincidences. You have a son. Do not be under the illusion that you have given birth to your son. While you were having sexual intercourse a soul was waiting eagerly for rebirth. You were nearby, you were available, so that soul entered your womb. You had dug a pit, it was raining, so the water which was near entered that pit. The water which was farther away entered other pits.
It is a coincidence.
It is a coincidence to be a son, it is a coincidence to be a mother, it is a coincidence to be a father; friendship is a coincidence and enmity is a coincidence. If you can see this properly then all at once your deep relationships will become weak, their depth will disappear.
WHO IS YOUR WIFE? WHO IS YOUR SON? THIS WORLD IS VERY STRANGE. WHOSE ARE YOU? WHO ARE YOU? FROM WHERE HAVE YOU COME? DO THINK OVER THESE ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS. OH IDIOT! ALWAYS SING THE SONG OF THE DIVINE.
... Because nothing will happen only by thinking: thought alone is lame. You must think, but you will not be able to reach only by thinking. All the obstacles will be removed by thinking but you will not be able to travel. The journey is possible only by bhajan, devotion. The journey is possible by emotion and not by thinking. ALWAYS SING THE SONG OF THE DIVINE.
FROM SATSANG COMES ALONENESS, FROM ALONENESS COMES NONATTACHMENT; BECAUSE OF NONATTACHMENT MIND BECOMES STABLE AND BECAUSE OF STABLE AND UNWAVERING MIND LIBERATION IS ATTAINED.
Try to understand this. It is a very valuable sutra: FROM SATSANG COMES ALONENESS. This is the definition of satsang. Satsang is that which creates aloneness. The satsang which creates relationship and attachment cannot be satsang. The meaning of satsang is that you start seeing truth. The meaning of satsang is that your eyes should be open and your dreaming is over.
The search for the master is meant to wake you up from your dream. The master will wake you up and tell you that all the relationships which you have made are illusions; don't waste your life in these dreams and don't let your soul be lost in them. These relationships are just formalities to be observed in this world so do not attach too much importance to them - do not give importance to them to the extent of destroying yourself. They can be necessary in this world, but for the inner world they are not at all necessary.
You cannot take with you there your father, your son, your brother, your wife, your friend - there you go alone. Therefore, in spite of living in all the relationships, you must know that your real self is in being alone. Do not forget it. Do not let the sun of aloneness get covered with the clouds of relationships.
FROM SATSANG COMES ALONENESS, FROM ALONENESS COMES NONATTACHMENT.
And when you find that you are alone then there is no attachment.
BECAUSE OF NONATTACHMENT MIND BECOMES STABLE.
And when there is no attachment mind does not waver.
I have heard that a house caught fire and the owner of the house was watching and crying. But then somebody from the crowd told him, "Don't cry! There is no need. Perhaps you do not know that your son had sold this house yesterday."
That man at once stopped crying. The house was still on fire, the flames were spreading all around, but the man was not crying any more because the house did not belong to him. But just then his son came running and said that the preliminary discussion of selling the house had started but the final sale was not done yet.
Hearing this the man again started crying loudly! The house is still the same. He is not crying because of the house being on fire, he is crying because of his relationship with the house. If it is not his, then it makes no difference to him whether the house is on fire or not.
If someone's son dies but he is not your son, then it does not make any difference to you. It effects you only if he is 'yours'. You cry because of his being 'yours', not otherwise. If you come to know that nobody is 'yours' then there will be no anguish. As attachment disappears misery too disappears.
If it becomes clear to you that nobody is 'yours' you are alone, the mind becomes stable, then the mind is not restless; then you become stable, unwavering. That stability, that unwavering condition is the ultimate experience. In that unwavering condition you come to know who you are. Then the ultimate question of life, "Who am I?" is solved. As soon as the flame becomes unwavering one gets the answer, one gets the solution. This stability, this unwavering condition, is called samadhi.
Samadhi means the solution to all.
BECAUSE OF STABLE AND UNWAVERING MIND LIBERATION IS ATTAINED. OH IDIOT! ALWAYS SING THE SONG OF THE DIVINE.
Where is the desire for sex when the time for sex is over? Where is the pond when the water dries up? And nobody is close to you when you have lost your money.
In the same way, after the realization of truth where is this world? Try to understand this.
Whenever Shankara, Buddha or Mahavira talk about the world, you make the mistake of thinking that they are talking about this expanse which is spread all around. No, they do not mean this.
Whenever they talk about the world they mean the world made by your attachment, created by your attachment, the world made by your unconsciousness, the illusions that you have created. Even when you wake up, these trees will be there; they will not disappear.
People often ask, "When a person is enlightened and this world disappears for him, then what happens to these trees, mountains, the moon, the stars, the sun?" These do not disappear. In fact for the first time they appear in their purity. That purity is the divine. Then you do not see the moon, then you see the light of the divine in the moon; then you do not see the trees, you see the greenery of the divine in the trees; then you do not see flowers, you see the divine blossoming. Then this all becomes unlimited godliness.
Just now you do not see the divine. You see the world and the world is not one. There are as many worlds as there are different minds, because every individual has his own world. If your wife dies you will cry, nobody else. Others will try to explain to you that the soul is eternal, it does not die, so do not cry. They will make the most of this opportunity of showing off their knowledge. They will see you in a pitiable condition and will start preaching to you. They will say, "Why are you crying? Who really belongs to us?" Tomorrow, when their wives die, then you will get your chance, then you will go and preach to them that this world is an illusion, all these relationships are illusion.
Every individual's world is his own. Your attachment, your unconsciousness, your ignorance, your infatuation, your love - this is your world. What you have seen through the medium of this infatuation, love, attachment, unconsciousness is not true, it is all false. It is as if your eyes are covered with clouds of smoke.
Shankara says: After knowing the essence, the reality, there is no world. WHERE IS THE WORLD AFTER SELF-REALIZATION?
Truth remains, but whatever was added to truth by you is lost.
ALWAYS SING THE SONG OF THE THE DIVINE.
DO NOT BE PROUD OF WEALTH, PEOPLE AND YOUTH, BECAUSE DEATH TAKES THEM ALL AWAY WITHIN A MOMENT. DROPPING ALL THESE ILLUSORY MATTERS, KNOW THE DIVINE AND ENTER INTO IT.
I was reading a song this morning and a few lines of that song appealed to me: JOR HE KYA THA JAFA-E-BAGVAN DEKNA KIYE ASHIAN UJRA KIYA HUM NATWAN DEKHA KIYE. The meaning is: The garden was being destroyed and I watched it helplessly. Yes, your whole life is the same story. Your garden will be destroyed daily. The spring will soon be over. Youth will also pass away.
This speed and this energy will gradually become less and less. The house will be destroyed and death will come nearer and nearer. Life is only a momentary dream; death is approaching every minute. You are dying since the day you were born. A birthday is actually the death day also. You cannot postpone death, you cannot run away from death. It is coming nearer and nearer.
DO NOT BE PROUD OF WEALTH, PEOPLE AND YOUTH.
This ego is shallow. In fact all egos are shallow; shallowness is the nature of ego. It thinks as its own that which is not its own. The transient seems permanent, and that which is flowing seems static to it. You fool not only others but also yourself.
One day Mulla Nasruddin came home. He knocked at the door but there was no reply. He again knocked, but nobody replied. Then he shouted, "I am Nasruddin, and not the landlord who asks for the rent, nor the milkman, nor the vegetable vendor."
Even then there was no reply. So he shouted again, "I say I am the real Nasruddin."
He must have told his family not to open the door when somebody knocked because he must have owed money to lots of people. So when he himself knocks at the door of his own house nobody opens it. He then has to explain that he is the real Nasruddin. But in spite of it nobody believes.
We go on deceiving others and we create a world of deception around us. Then we deceive ourselves, and in this way we become unauthentic. Then whatever we do in life is false.
The person who wants to wake up should stop sowing lies and should say goodbye to all his false beliefs. He should know that this body is not permanent, it is not static, it is dying every moment, and death is not going to occur tomorrow, it is occurring now. We are dying. Death is not going to occur after seventy more years - we are dying gradually and there will be nothing left after seventy years.
Life goes on finishing drop by drop. Do not call it life, it is a lie. You can call it a gradual death. Do not celebrate birthdays, all are deathdays. The day you see death in your birthday and you hear the footsteps of death in life, you will know the truth. That truth will give you freedom.
As soon as you know that truth you will start a new search - money will seem meaningless, the body will seem meaningless; the relations of body and money will become meaningless and even the world based on money and body will seem meaningless. And before knowing the truth it is necessary to know the untruth as untruth, the false as false.
DAY AND NIGHT, EVENING AND MORNING, WINTER AND SPRING COME AND GO AGAIN AND AGAIN. THUS THE PLAY OF TIME GOES ON AND ONE'S LIFE IS OVER. AND YET THE BREEZE OF HOPE DOES NOT LEAVE ONE ALONE.
Hope is poison, and because of this poison you have mistaken death to be life. Today you are unhappy, but the mind says that tomorrow everything will be all right. Today there is no happiness, but the mind says, "Wait, tomorrow everything will be fine." This is the way the mind has led you up till now - it has been giving you hope. The day you give up hope you will wake up. Hope is a dream.
Have you ever thought how hope affects you in life? Hope says, "Don't worry about today. Whatever happens does not matter. But tomorrow you will definitely attain heaven." This very hope has made you understand that there is nothing to worry about even if this life is lost because you will get heaven after death. This is the expansion of hope. Hope says 'tomorrow'. Hope says 'future'. Hope says 'more life'! But if the revolution of life is to occur, it will occur just now and here.
Do not depend on tomorrow; tomorrow never comes. Tomorrow is a lie. And the hope which is giving you the assurance about tomorrow is the cause of creating these dreams in you. Whatever is to be done is to be done today. Whatever is to be is to be today. Do not hope for more than today.
It will be quite shocking at first. With the disappearance of hope you will become absolutely dejected.
You will feel that you have become totally hopeless. But if you are ready to live without hope you will find that if there is no hope in life, then there is no hopelessness either.
Hopelessness is the reverse of hope and it will disappear with hope. Life without hope is life without hopelessness. Then there is neither hope nor hopelessness. That is the stability. The flame stays in the middle. Then there is no wavering. That is the condition of unwavering consciousness.
DAY AND NIGHT, EVENING AND MORNING, WINTER AND SPRING COME AND GO AGAIN AND AGAIN. THUS THE PLAY OF TIME GOES ON AND ONE'S LIFE IS OVER. AND YET THE BREEZE OF HOPE DOES NOT LEAVE ONE ALONE. SO, OH IDIOT! ALWAYS SING THE SONG OF THE DIVINE OH, YOU MADMAN! WHY ARE YOU CAUGHT UP IN THE WORRIES ABOUT YOUR WIFE AND YOUR WEALTH? DON'T YOU KNOW THAT EVEN A MOMENT'S COMPANY WITH GOOD PEOPLE IS THE ONLY BOAT THERE IS TO TAKE YOU ACROSS THE OCEAN OF THIS MUNDANE WORLD?
Who is a saintly person? The one in whose company you wake up. An unsaintly person is the one in whose company you go into deep sleep and who helps you to increase your illusions and attachments.
But just the opposite of this happens in this world. The person who tries to wake you up does not seem friendly to you. The person who puts you to sleep seems a friend to you. The one who gives you alcohol to drink seems a friend to you and the one who tries to bring you back to consciousness seems an enemy to you. That is why the wineshops and the bars are crowded and the temples are empty. There are long queues in the bars, and God goes on waiting in the temple but nobody turns up. Yes, the priest comes, but he is already a servant; he gets his pay so he comes to worship. His worship is not from the heart - it is professional. He is not a lover. What is the reason?
Wherever there is intoxication there will be crowds of people. There is a crowd in front of a cinema - people are intoxicated for three hours, they are lost in the movie for three hours. They forget their miseries, their pains, their worries and anxieties. For three hours they forget themselves. This type of intoxication is not the solution to your problems. After three hours the movie is over, the lights are on, and you are where you were - full of worry and misery. Alcohol makes you forget yourself for two or three hours, but after its effect is over you are again unhappy and in pain.
Your going to the temple is also going with the expectation of getting some sort of intoxicant. This is the difference. You can sing the song of the divine in two ways. One is like alcohol - to be lost in it.
For the time being you forget the worry, the misery; you forget that you have to return home - that you have a wife and children, that the wife is ill, the children have to be admitted in a school and you don't have the money. You forget your worries as long as you are lost singing the song of the divine.
If you are getting lost in singing the song of the divine then this is also like alcohol.
If it wakes you up, only then is it the song of the divine. Even the temples are like bars and on the pretext of religion people go on looking for unconsciousness and not consciousness. It is very difficult to wake up. Sleeping is very soothing you go on dreaming beautiful dreams. You will resent being woken up and being brought to consciousness.
To know the truth of life is a great challenge. You will have to struggle for it. You will have to work hard for it. You will have to go through sadhana and austerity. This journey can be undertaken only with open eyes as the path is very difficult and full of thorns. It can mislead you also.
Those who never walk are never afraid of being lost on the path. Those who are always lying down on their bed will never meet any accident. But those who tread the path can be lost on the path or can have an accident and can face many difficulties. This journey is laborious because you have to climb the mountain. Going towards the divine means going towards the summit. It becomes more and more difficult. Only those will attain the bliss of the summit who are ready to cross all these difficulties.
One does not get bliss for free. You have to earn it, you have to labor for it. Of course it is not attained by labor alone, it is attained by grace, but labor you have to do. Godliness can shower only on the person who has labored and who has prepared himself.
AND YET THE BREEZE OF HOPE DOES NOT LEAVE ONE ALONE.
You start hoping for the divine also. When people come to me I tell them to give up hope and to meditate. They say, "If we give up hope, then why would we meditate? Because of hope we have come to meditate - hoping that by meditation mind will be at peace, that we will get samadhi and we will realize the divine."
Now this is very complicated. Hope will create the obstacle! Because when you are hoping you are not meditating - you will only hope, you cannot do both of them together. Even if you meditate for a little while you will go on wondering why you have not found peace yet - three days have passed and nothing has happened, there is no experience of bliss yet.
Try to understand it this way. If I tell you to come to the river to swim as swimming is very enjoyable, you will come. But if from the very start of swimming you go on expecting and waiting for the enjoyment then you will not get it. Because of your eagerness, your anxiety to attain it, you will not get it, because the very nature of bliss is that it looks for you when you are not looking for it. You will not get it as long as you are in search of it, because when you are searching for it you are not in the present; your mind is in the future hoping to get it. And it is now!
You get it when you are purely in this moment without any hope, without any expectation, without any desire or wish. When you are present in this moment you find that it has showered all over.
It was showering, but you were not present, you were absent, you were lost in the future because of your hope - and here bliss was being distributed. You were wandering somewhere else so you could not receive it. You receive it the day you are in the present, and to be in the present means to be without hope and without desire.
So I tell them, "Meditate. Do not hope. Meditation is not the means but the end. Meditation in itself is joy, bliss, and do not ask for more bliss, do not look forward to the result. If you can do any action without expecting any result then that very action will become meditation."
In the Gita Krishna has told Arjuna only this. He has said this repeatedly in different ways: do not expect any result. This desire for the result, the expectation for the return, is the world. The giving up of the desire for the result is the salvation. There is no need to run away from the world - only the expectation for the result should end. Then you will live here, but the world will disappear for you.
OH, YOU MADMAN! WHY ARE YOU CAUGHT UP IN THE WORRIES ABOUT YOUR WIFE AND YOUR WEALTH? DON'T YOU KNOW THAT EVEN A MOMENT'S COMPANY WITH GOOD PEOPLE IS THE ONLY BOAT THERE IS TO TAKE YOU ACROSS THE OCEAN OF THIS MUNDANE WORLD?
But people go on worrying about nothing till the last moment of their lives. All the worries are meaningless. The meaningful has to be contemplated and not to be worried about.
I have heard that a Marwari merchant was dying, he was on his deathbed. He asked his wife, "Where is the eldest son?" The wife told him that he was standing beside the bed. "Where is the middle one?" he asked. She said that he was also near by. "And where is the youngest one?"
She said, "Don't worry! He is standing at your feet. Relax and sleep with peace in your mind."
The Marwari merchant got up and said, "How can I sleep peacefully? Who is looking after the shop?
All of them are here!"
Their father was dying. Thinking this, all the sons had gathered there. They had closed the shop.
But death is not the concern of the dying father - who is tending the shop? He is not asking for his sons out of love: where is the oldest one, where is the middle one, the youngest one? He is asking to find out who is tending the shop. All of them are present there - does it mean there is nobody in the shop?
Yes, even at the last moment your mind is full of shop! It will be so, because whatever you have done in your whole life, you will think of it while dying also. You cannot change yourself suddenly at the time of death. Do not believe that false story.
A man was dying, his son's name was Narayan which is another name for God. So he called for his son Narayan, and God thought that he was calling Him. Such stories are created by pundits for the consolation of sinners. On the basis of such stories the pundits are able to take some money from the sinners - nothing else is going to happen.
If God gets deceived, then surely he is not God. This man went to heaven just because he called "Narayan" while dying? Such a cheap God is not worth obtaining! This type of heaven or salvation is absolutely false. This story cannot be true.
Death is the summing up of your whole life; at the moment of death your mind will be full of what you have done during your life. If you have been counting money your whole life then you will be counting it while dying also, because death is the essence of your life. If you have been restless all your life then you will be restless at death also. If you have been peaceful then your death will be very peaceful. Every individual dies a different death because everyone lives a different life. Neither your life nor your death can be the same as that of someone else.
When a buddha dies the grandeur of his death is different - the grandeur of his death is much more than your so-called life. Your life is just nothing compared to his death. The grandeur of his death is a million times more than your life, because in that moment of his death the whole of life shrinks and comes near, the music of his whole life becomes condensed - as if the essence of all the flowers of his life has been taken and made into a fragrance. At the moment of death the fragrance which comes out of a buddha is the essence of the flowers of his whole life. The stink which will come out of you will be the essence of all the dirt and rubbish of your whole life.
You cannot change suddenly in death. So do not believe the pundits who tell you to become religious at the end of your life. If you want to be religious you have to do it here and now; do not postpone it to the end. If you are careful now you will be able to take care in the future. If you wake up today then gradually you will become wakeful. If you sing the song of the divine from today then perhaps at the moment of death the divine will hear you.
Do not think at the time of death that a borrowed pundit will save your soul by reciting mantras in your ears, by pouring the water of the Ganges in your mouth, by reading the Gita near you. That pundit will go on repeating the Gita but you will not be able to hear it within you at that time. Only that person can hear the Gita at the time of death who has learnt the art of listening properly the whole of his life. If one has sung the song of the divine all his life then at the time of death he will not have to listen to it sung by a borrowed servant or pundit; every breath, every beat of his heart will be singing the song of the divine.
In that moment of death you will go dancing toward the divine full of gratitude. Your death will become the gate to a greater life; you will change death. Death kills you now, then you will kill death.
And religion is the art of killing death, it is the science of becoming nectar.
Therefore, OH IDIOT! ALWAYS SING THE SONG OF THE THE DIVINE.
Enough for today.