[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.] The first question:
The event is not valuable - it is not even definite that the event really happened - but its meaning is to be understood. And always remember that the events in the lives of the enlightened ones are not just events but symbols; some secret is hidden in them. They may or may not be historical but they are spiritual. It may or may not have happened in the flow of time but it does happen in the flow of consciousness. Do not try to understand the buddhas through history; understand them through poetic experience, otherwise the whole thing is misunderstood. This is a parable.
"When Shankara was very young his mother did not give him permission to take sannyas." A lot of things are hidden in this. 'Mother' means, the love of the mother; mother means attachment.
It is difficult for attachment to give permission for sannyas because sannyas means the death of attachment. Sannyas means that a person is becoming free of the family; now the mother will not be the mother, now the father will not be the father, now the brother will not be the brother. That is why Jesus has said again and again that whosoever wants to come with me has to deny his mother and his father; whosoever wants to come with me has to give up his family. You cannot be a part of the family of Jesus until you give up your family.
Sannyas means that this life between birth and death is futile, meaningless. If this life is futile then the mother who gave birth also becomes futile. Not only did she give birth, she created a dream.
Basically, sannyas is freedom from life. And freedom from life means freedom from the mother, freedom from the father, freedom from the family, freedom from the society. All this becomes futile, meaningless. So how can the mother give permission? Will a mother ever give permission for sannyas? It is impossible. It is very difficult. Attachment cannot give permission for sannyas; the love of a mother cannot give this permission. It is impossible to get permission to be free of life from the very source from where life comes.
"When Shankara was very young his mother did not give him permission to take sannyas." And remember, you may grow up to any age but for your mother you will always be a child. You can never be older than your mother; you will always be younger than the mother who has given birth to you. You may be seventy years old, but for your mother you will always remain a child. "Shankara was very young" means that whenever a seeker asks his mother for the permission to take sannyas, his mother always stops him from doing so, thinking that her child is very small and he wants to tread a difficult path.
"When Shankara was very young his mother did not give him permission to take sannyas. But one day as he was bathing in a river he was caught by a crocodile."
In the river of life misery gets hold of you sometime or other. You meet death in this river of life.
You do not go into the river to meet death, you go there to bathe, to enjoy swimming, to enjoy the freshness of the morning. Nobody goes into the world to die, nobody goes into the river of life to meet crocodiles! One goes into life in search of happiness, in search of treasures - success, fame, prestige - but in this process gets caught by crocodiles.
Death gets hold of you sooner or later. And if a person is wise he understands soon that this river is the surface; death is hidden inside - 'crocodile' means the hidden death. On the surface the flow of the water seems so pure and peaceful but deep down death is waiting. On the surface it looks very attractive, and the river also seems very innocent. Inside death waits quietly. Anyone who is clever, wise and conscious will be able to understand this quickly.
Shankara saw it at once. If you cannot see this for a long time, then it means that you have very little intelligence and understanding. Your mirror is covered with dust. Your intelligence is full of smoke, otherwise you could see it earlier.
In this story the only thing conveyed is that Shankara realized that in this life one gets nothing except death. And one cannot be free of the love of the mother until the realization of death.
Try to understand this a little. On one end is the mother - mother means birth; on the other end is death - death means the end. Freedom from the mother is possible only if death can be seen; birth can be meaningless only if the end can be seen. So sannyas means realization of death.
We go on postponing death in this world; we go on saying that it is always others who die, I will never die. Every day you see dead bodies being taken to the graveyard or to the cremation ground; you help others carry these dead ones there, but it never occurs to you that you will also die. You always think that you are going to live forever and only others will die. But one day others will also carry your body to the graveyard when you are no longer alive. Man lives on false hopes.
Sannyas means the awakening of the awareness that "death is mine; the news of the other person's death is actually the news of my death. The death of the other is pointing towards my death. And with the death of everyone, I also die a little."
If you have a little understanding, then everyone's death will become your death. But if you do not have this understanding, if you are foolish, then you will think that it is always others who die; I will not die, I am immortal.
Shankara could see death. One gets free of the mother as soon as you see death, because mother means life. Mother means the one who brought you into this world. Death means that which will take you away. The Hindus' imagination regarding this is unique. No other community on this earth is more imaginative, more poetic, than Hindus. Their poetry is very deep.
Have you ever seen the statue of Kali? She is the mother and death also; kal, means death - so her name is Kali. And she is the mother, so she is a woman. She is beautiful, beautiful like a mother. Nobody else can be as beautiful as the mother. Even if one's own mother is ugly, she seems beautiful. Nobody thinks in terms of the beauty of the mother. But the mother is beautiful... because if you see your mother as ugly, then that means that you are ugly because you are her expansion.
So Kali is beautiful, very beautiful! But around her neck she is wearing a garland of human heads.
She is beautiful but she is Kali - kal, death!
Western thinkers are puzzled over this symbol. They wonder why a woman should be depicted so horribly, so terrifying! And you call her mother also! How frightening! It is horrible, because death starts from the one who gives birth. It is horrible, because death has also arrived along with the birth. The mother has given death as well as life. So on one side she is as beautiful as the mother, as the source, and on the other end she is like kal, death, as dark as death. Around her neck is a garland of human heads; in her hand she is holding a severed head, blood dripping, and she is standing, with her feet on her husband.
This is a very deep symbol: woman as life and as death! ... Because death comes from where life comes; these two are the two sides of the same coin. And nobody else on this earth realized this fact as the Hindus have done.
When Shankara became aware of death... whether he was really caught by the crocodile or not should be asked of the silly historians; I am just not interested in it. What difference does it make whether he was caught by a crocodile or not? But one thing is definite - that he saw death, and when he saw death, sannyas happened.
One cannot escape from sannyas after seeing death. Then you remain stunned wherever you are.
Then life cannot be the same as it was just a moment before this realization. The ambition, the fame, the reputation - everything loses its charm. Death destroys everything. One has to die, so it does not matter whether one dies earlier or later - today, tomorrow or the day after, it is just a matter of time. If death has to happen then it has happened just now. And the arrow of death will pierce you in such a way that you will not be able to be what you were up till now. This new change in you is sannyas.
If you ask me the definition of sannyas, I will say that sannyas is a state of being where death has not happened outside but has happened inside. One is alive but one knows death; while living, one is quite aware of death. This is sannyas. One lives but does not forget death even for a moment:
this is sannyas. You know that the dewdrop is just momentary. The world is like the morning star:
it will soon disappear. You live but you are not drunk with life. Then life cannot make you forget the fact of death. You remain awakened, you are aware all the time. Death awakens you. One who is awakened is a sannyasin.
One who is lost in life and is taking the dreams to be true is a worldly person, is a householder. One who makes a home in dreams or who is creating dreams in the home is a householder. But one who gets up from sleep, whose dream is over, who is awakened and is conscious, realizes that over here there is nothing except death.
Any extended family, any place of living, is nothing but a graveyard, or a queue waiting to go to the graveyard. The queue is moving towards the graveyard. Someone may be a little ahead and someone may be behind, but all of them are going to the graveyard. The attachment to life is over as soon as one sees this. Losing this attachment is sannyas.
Sannyas is not an effort for detachment. Sannyas is not a discipline of detachment. Sannyas is the loss of attachment - where attachment is over. If attachment is not over then one has to make an effort to attain nonattachment, but that is not sannyas. If attachment is not over, only then one tries to attain nonattachment. But when attachment is finished, then the empty space left by attachment is nonattachment. Then you become a sannyasin.
That is why I tell you that there is no need to go anywhere for sannyas. If you can open your eyes wherever you are, if you become a little conscious, then you are able to see things as they are.
One night Mulla Nasruddin was coming home after getting drunk in the bar. He was merrily walking on the road humming a song when he collided with somebody. He lost his temper and shouted, "You fool! If you do not say sorry within five seconds, then...."
The other person retorted in a louder voice, in a threatening way, "Then?"
Hearing the threatening voice Mulla came to his senses, looked at the man carefully - he looked like the boxer, Muhammad Ali! All his drunkenness disappeared and he said, "Well, if five seconds are not enough then how much time do you need?"
In this life you also go about as if drunk, humming the song of dreams, and you do not see things as they are. A hard hit is needed to upset your dreaming mind, only then you can see the empty sky.
You will then see that you are surrounded by death. What you consider as life is actually death.
What you consider as happiness is actually the mask of misery. What you consider as wealth is only a game of falsehood. In the illusion of money you remained poor. And in the illusion of life you remained unacquainted with the real life. And time is passing away, life is passing every minute and your energy is diminishing.
This is only a symbol, that when death caught hold of Shankara then before dying he asked his mother to give him permission to take sannyas, and the permission was given.
Yes, this permission is granted only when death is standing at the door. One does not get permission before this, only when the mother realizes that her son will only be saved if he becomes a sannyasin.
Otherwise, as he is, he will die. When the question is of choosing between a dead son and a sannyasin son, then the mother chooses the sannyasin son. This is the meaning, because a sannyasin son means a dead son. Sannyas means one has died while living.
Jesus has said, "You cannot come with me until you agree to carry your cross on your shoulders; you cannot come with me until you are ready to deny yourself; there is no way of resurrection until you are ready to die."
If this story is true, if things really happened in this way, then this symbol should be remembered.
Shankara, a small child, is on the verge of death; a crocodile has caught hold of his leg. His mother is standing on the bank of the river and Shankara is asking her permission to take sannyas. He is saying, "I am dying, there is no hope of my being saved. Let me die as a sannyasin. Give me the permission for sannyas. The crocodile is taking me away - so give me the permission."
Even then the mother must have hesitated. Even then she might have hoped against hope that her son may be saved. But death was pulling Shankara away. A crowd of people must have collected and they must have said, "You had better give the permission now. He is dying, he is going. You cannot stop him from dying, so set him free before he dies." Ultimately she gave the permission after hearing Shankara's words that he wants to die as a sannyasin so that he is not born again, so that there is no longer any attachment to life for him; he wants to die with no attachment to life. Even then, to me it seems that the mother must have hesitated; her eyes must have been full of tears.
She must have prayed to God to save her son. But when there was no hope then very reluctantly, in a very helpless way, she must have said, "Since you are dying you had better die as a sannyasin."
But this incident may not have happened, because crocodiles do not worry about these things. When men do not worry, why should crocodiles worry? It is said that Shankara was saved. The crocodile thought: Why kill this person now when he has become a sannyasin? No, crocodiles are not so intelligent! When Hitler and Mussolini are not intelligent, then how can crocodiles be intelligent?
But this symbol is very valuable. Man is saved only when he becomes a sannyasin; then even death cannot harm him. But he only dies who tries to get hold of life; death cannot kill the person who himself gives up life. How can you take from a person who is ready to give away? Things can be snatched away only from the person who wants to save them.
That is why Jesus says, "That one who saves will lose; one who is ready to lose, has saved."
You must understand this. Shankara was saved. Did the crocodile leave him? No, it only means that death does not kill a sannyasin. There is no way of killing a sannyasin because, he says, "The I which could be killed by you was given up by me. I have given up the ego and all the dreams of desire and ambition. I have killed myself with my own hands. Then only the nectar within which was surrounded by death remains in its purity."
You do not know anything about this nectar as long as you go on holding onto life. That is why you hold life so tightly that it does not slip out of your hands. You are afraid you may die. You are afraid of death all the time. The more you try to hold the more frightened you become, because you know that you cannot fool death. Yes, death is coming. Where can you hide yourself from death? It comes from all sides. If it was coming from any particular direction then that could be avoided, but it comes from all sides. You could save yourself if it was coming from outside, but it comes from inside. You may run away anywhere, but death will come. You may hide yourself anywhere, death will find you, because death is hidden within you.
Nectar and death both are hidden within you. As long as you go on holding onto life outside you will see only death within. The moment you accept death within, you will start seeing the life within.
If you write on a blackboard with white chalk then the words are visible and clear. But if you write with white chalk on a white wall, then the words are not visible. If you accept that inner death, then in that blackness the little candle of immortality which is burning within you will become a thousand times more luminous. But you do not accept death, you do not accept the blackboard, so you cannot see the white words. Always remember this contradictory statement: whoever could see death properly, has seen the nectar also.
"Shankara was saved" - because death cannot destroy you. It can destroy the so-called life. It can destroy what you call body. It can destroy what you call name and form. But death cannot destroy you. You are immortal, you are amrit putra. You were never destroyed and can never be destroyed.
You were never born nor will you ever die.
One who is born will die. Your body was born so it will die. Your name and your personality were born so they will die. But you were always in time beyond name and form, and you will always remain in time. You are ancient, you are eternal.
The meaning of sannyas is that I will give up whatever is transient and I will go in search of what will not be destroyed. I will give up the transient and I will look for the eternal. Even if I am finished in this search it does not matter, because whatever is transient cannot be saved for long. But even after giving up the transient, if the intransient remains - that which cannot be cut by any weapons and which cannot be burnt by fire - then that is worth saving. Sannyas is the search for this. Do not think that this event happened. It is just a very valuable symbol, a parable.
The second question:
If you have recognized me then you will recognize me in any form. And if you have not recognized me then how can you be certain of recognizing me even in this form? Recognition of form is no recognition. Bowing down before form is no bowing down. Worship of form is no worship at all.
If Sai Baba had gone in the form which Narayanswamy thought that he recognized, then he would have definitely bowed down, he would have welcomed him, but that welcome would have been to the form and not to Sai Baba. In fact a dog and a leper are more alive, more animate as far as form is concerned. The form is only an outer covering. You must give up this hold on the covering. But I know why you go on holding onto the covering. It is so because you know yourself also by this form.
I have heard that when Mulla Nasruddin went on a pilgrimage to Mecca he had two people with him; one was a barber and one was a bald fool. They halted at night in the desert. As it was an unknown new place and looked dangerous they decided to keep a watch by turn at night. The first turn was the barber's. He stayed awake for some time but soon he felt sleepy as he was quite tired. So, to keep himself occupied, he shaved the hair off Mulla Nasruddin's head. He was getting bored, so he shaved off Mulla's hair!
After the barber it was Mulla's turn to keep watch, so the barber woke him up and Mulla, out of old habit, put his hand on his head and then he said, "My God! By mistake you seem to have woken up that stupid bald guy instead of me!" That shaven head gave him the idea that this was not him but that bald fool. His head had a lot of hair on it so it must be the other person.
We identify ourselves with the form. Have you thought about it? If your face is changed at night during sleep will you be able to recognize yourself in the morning? No, you will not be able to. How can you? Because you recognize yourself through the mirror, there is no other deeper recognition.
If you go to sleep as a white man at night and on waking up in the morning you find yourself as a black man - if a scientist changes the shape of your nose and the color of your eyes, your hair, by doing plastic surgery at night - then you will be also in the same condition as Mulla Nasruddin was.
What he has said is not absolutely wrong. He does not say wrong things. He says, "My God! By mistake you have woken up the bald fool instead of me!" You will also say and do the same thing.
You will wake up screaming, "This can't be me, it must be somebody else!"
We recognize ourselves only through the form. Therefore any recognition that we have of others is also of form. So long as you don't recognize your own consciousness you cannot recognize my consciousness either. Your recognition of me would be just as deep as your recognition of yourself. I may come to your house, but that will be of no use. Unless you come to your own house, my coming to your house would not mean anything really.
The third question:
You did not even understand the story about the great intellectual wasp. In that story of the wasp it was made clear that there was no block, no complex, but it had read a book! There was not any block in the life of the wasp which had to be removed by sadhana. The only trouble with the wasp was that it had become an expert in reading, and it had read in a book that the wings of a wasp are small and its body is heavy so that a wasp cannot fly.
Now the people who wrote this book certainly worked out the theory very nicely but they did not see the wasp fly! According to their logic it cannot fly, but the fact is that it flies. The wasp became confused after reading this. Its condition was like the centipede. It is a very old story.
A centipede with one hundred feet was passing by when a rabbit saw him and became very curious and puzzled also. He stopped the centipede and said, "Please tell me, how do you manage to move with these one hundred feet? How do you synchronize them? Which one do you put forward first and which one follows? It is most baffling to me. How do you manage all of them?"
Until this moment the centipede had never even given a thought to his one hundred feet. He had been just moving. He had never thought of this matter, but when the rabbit asked him, he himself looked at his one hundred feet and became confused. He said, "My God! I have never thought about this before. But now, since you have asked me the question, I will think it over, I will observe and experiment with it, then I will inform you."
But after this he became so conscious of his one hundred feet that he could not move and he fell down. Such a small body with one hundred feet and with such a small mind - how was he to manage them all? He said, "You silly rabbit! You have created a problem for me. Now I will never be able to move. Now I have become conscious of the question: how to synchronize the hundred feet? This question had not bothered me before."
Have you noticed that all the minor things become a problem if you start thinking about them? You can try this: for seven days, whenever you eat food, start thinking how you digest it. Scientists say that it is quite a miracle. The food goes in, gets absorbed and becomes blood and bones, flesh and marrow, and all the fine nerves of the brain - thoughts and desires. And all this gets transformed in the small factory of the stomach. How? Well, if you think it over for seven days you will get indigestion and you will never be healthy again. If you experiment like this the stomach will be out of order. Like the centipede, you will also start wondering.
Life is bigger than your mind. Whenever you bring in the mind it creates problems. Life is much greater than you, and your mind is small. You could not even understand the story of the wasp, and you want to know how to remove the complex by sadhana? What did the wasp do? It did not do anything. There is no question of doing anything, because it was only an illusion of the mind. The wasp had been flying until it read the book.
The scripture was the cause of death. The wasp could not fly from that day; it just sat down and became fat by sitting, and it became more difficult to fly. And when it became difficult to fly the scriptures seemed quite correct. The other wasps were flying, but it thought that they were ignorant fools and they were flying in their ignorance. It thought that it was very learned, and "These are ignorant fools so they do not know what is written in the scriptures; they are flying in their ignorance.
They do not know that the scientists have said that the wings of a wasp are small and its body is so big it cannot fly." Man tries to cover up his idiocy and his diseases by knowledge. He is very skilled in this task.
That wasp was also under the impression that it was the only one who was sensible; the others were stupid. They were flying, and thus going against the theory and the scriptures. They do not know what they are doing; they are doing what just cannot be done. But the wasp did not understand that what cannot be done, cannot be done even in ignorance. It was just a fortunate moment that one morning a bird attacked the wasp and in the confusion of the attack it forgot all about the so-called knowledge, the Vedas, and it just flew away! But later, when it sat down in the shade, then it realized that it had flown, which means it can fly.
So certainly these are the tricks of the mind. The wasp did not think that it was an illusion that it could not fly, and whoever had written this in the scriptures had written wrongly. Even man does not doubt the written word, and this was just a poor little wasp.
If anyone tells you something you may not believe it, but if he shows you that same thing written in a book then you will believe it.
I have a friend who writes poetry. His poems are just rubbish. If one listens to his poems one gets a headache. His poetry is just the opposite of an aspirin - it creates a headache. So nobody listens to it. Sometimes he used to read them to me. One day he told me, "Nobody listens to my poems.
People say that they are very busy. If I see my friends they just disappear. If I go to the coffee house then people do not sit at my table. What am I to do?"
I suggested to him, "Get the poems printed."
He said, "Who will read them? People are not ready to listen to them. Besides, getting them printed is quite expensive."
I said, "Printed words have a magical effect on people. But if that seems expensive to you then take this tape recorder and get them taped on this. Then go to the coffee house tomorrow with this tape recorder and tell your friends that you have recorded some poems."
When he came back after two days he said, "What a miracle! Those fools were not ready to listen to me but were listening to the tape recorder very attentively." This is the effect of the machine. You can deny man but you cannot deny the machine.
In New York a robber with a gun entered a house, closed all the doors and broke open the safe. As people came to know about this, he stood with his gun at the window - it was very dangerous for anyone to enter as he was standing at the window with the gun. Then somebody went to a nearby house and telephoned that house. The telephone in the house rang, the robber put the gun aside and answered the phone and said, "Excuse me, I am very busy." But meanwhile he was caught.
When he was asked why he went to answer the phone, he said, "What could I do? The telephone was ringing so it had to be answered." So he left the gun to answer the telephone!
This is the magical effect of the machine. If anyone knocks at the door it does not matter, but if the telephone is ringing - even if it is not your house - you will answer it.
That friend of mine said, "Now I will certainly get my poems printed and they will read them. They will even buy the book and read it. When I ask them to listen to me for free they do not like it, but they listened to the tape recorder very attentively."
Certainly printed words are very effective. If someone is talking to you about something and you do not believe it, if he shows that very thing written in a book at once you will believe it - as if being written in a book is a proof of its being true. In reality, ninety-nine percent of things written in books are false, but they seem true because they are written in books. Yes, books are very effective.
The wasp came under the influence of books. It did not have any disease which was to be treated, it did not have any complex which was to be removed by yoga postures. Nothing was wrong with it except that it was under a false notion, a false idea. Nothing is to be done with a false notion except it has to be given up. A bird attacked it and it became nervous, that was all that was needed.
The guru is also like this bird which attacks you. If you become nervous and confused, in that moment you have the realization. That is why one is scared of a guru. He is not doing anything; he just laughs at you and at the same time feels pity for you, because you are not ill but you imagine that you are ill. There is no doubt that you are miserable, but you are miserable without any reason.
Misery is just mental - you think you are miserable. That thinking has to be removed. By nature you are always healthy. The divine has not forsaken you, he is in your every cell. But somehow you think that something is wrong. Nothing was ever wrong except this thought that something is wrong.
The wasp flew away. Even then it did not think.... The ego of man never thinks itself to be wrong - not even in the past. It thought that there must have been a block in the mind on account of which it could not fly. Now that block is removed. In the moment of crisis that block is broken, the energy has awakened, so now it can fly. It did not realize that there was no block. It was just sitting idle and it had read about this block in the psychology books.
Books are your death. Try to come into life a little. Please say goodbye to the Vedas, the Koran and the Bible. Yes, you should say goodbye to them in these words, "Please excuse me now, enough is enough. Now let me live a natural life as it is."
To be natural is to be religious. You have become unnatural. You do not suffer from any disease but you have the illusion of suffering from disease. Actually the world is not, it is only an illusion. Only the divine is. That is why Shankara calls it maya, illusion.
If you are suffering from an imaginary disease you want treatment, and there are people ready to treat you. Then all sorts of troubles start with the treatment - because the right medicine for the symptoms can prove to be harmful, dangerous for the patient who is suffering from an imaginary disease. Of course, if the medicine itself is wrong, then it is alright; then one trouble leads to another.
But if you can diagnose the basic trouble then it will disappear. The wasp was a bit too wise and that was its foolishness.
Now you are asking, "Yesterday while narrating the story of the wasp you told us about the mental block." No, I did not say anything about it. You must have heard something else. And this is the trouble, that when I say something you hear something else and do something else, and later on you will make me responsible for this by saying, "You said so."
Sometimes some people come to me and they say "You said so," with so much confidence that I also keep quiet, because if they did not understand before how will they understand now? I keep quiet - yes, I must have said so, otherwise how did you hear it? I must have said it. But just because you heard this, does not mean that I said it. Now you have heard that yesterday, in the story of the wasp, I had told you about the mental block. Not at all, I did not say anything about it. The wasp was absolutely healthy; it could fly, it could dance, it could enjoy the spring, it could happily hum a song in the light of the sun, but just by reading about the mental block in a book of psychology it got this illusion that it could not fly.
Now you ask, "How to remove the complex by sadhana?" You are also like the wasp - you just collapsed after reading the scriptures, because it is written in the scriptures that you cannot fly.
Have more faith in yourself than in the scriptures. You are the judge, not the scriptures. Listen to your very nature, obey your nature; your nature will free you. Whosoever listens to his own nature and acts according to it is able to understand the scriptures also. Only then can the scriptures be understood in their right sense. They do not mean what you thought. But you always understand just what you want to understand. Even for your disease you take the support of the scriptures; then the disease becomes deeper.
What was wrong with this wasp? Why did it believe this so quickly? The disease was that it was already in the habit of running down the other wasps. It used to say, "These vagabonds are in the habit of wandering here and there - they do not think, they do not study the scriptures, they have no idea about how to lead a high, pure and peaceful life. They are wasting their lives dancing on the flowers."
The wasp already had the ego of being extraordinary. It considered the other wasps as very inferior.
It was this illusion which was the cause of the trouble it faced with the scripture. When it read that a wasp cannot fly it said, "This is absolutely correct and I am the only one who has attained this knowledge. All these others are ignorant fools." The ego of this knowledge made it sit down. It was enjoying running down and condemning the other wasps. By doing this the ego was getting inflated.
Go and see your so-called sadhus and sannyasins - they are also sitting like this wasp. They do not fly, they keep away from life, and they have great condemnation for people of this world. They say, "You will go to hell because of your attachments, because of your worldly involvements." They also think that it is because of ignorance that people are attached to this world. According to them the whole world is ignorant; only the one or two persons who are sitting like corpses in the temple are full of knowledge.
I say to you, God wants you to go through this attachment. There is a secret behind going through attachments: one gains maturity only after experiencing this attachment. These escapists who are hiding themselves in the temples are going to be proved wrong. They only think in terms of ego.
You enjoy food, they enjoy fasting, because then they can show off that they are not interested in eating while you are fond of food like animals. You like comfort, and they deliberately stand in the sun or lie down on a bed of thorns to torture the body. What madness! But their only enjoyment is in condemning you, and that can be done very easily by lying on a bed of thorns. You cannot lie down on thorns, you have not read the scriptures, but these people have read all the scriptures.
Your so-called sadhus and sannyasins do all sort of austerities and renunciations just to satisfy their egos. They have not attained any heaven; it is nothing else but ego gratification. To enjoy their ego trip it is necessary for them to indulge in things which are just opposite to you. Whatever you do, they will do the opposite. And you are very impressed by these things - you think that they have done miracles. You are idiotic, but they are more idiotic than you. You are standing on your feet and they are standing on their heads, and they say that they are doing shirshasan, the headstand.
Man is meant to walk on his feet, otherwise God would have made arrangements for him to walk on his head. There is no need to stand on your head, but the one who is doing it can certainly look down upon you thinking that he is doing something wonderful, something great, and that you are standing on your feet like ignorant fools. And the fact is that those persons who have egos are highly impressed by the exhibition of such a type of ego and they also start doing the yoga postures.
Now you are asking, "How to remove the complex by sadhana?" I do not see any complex in you which has to be removed. You are just as you should be - just forget the illusion of complex. The day you give up this illusion of a complex you will be surprised to realize that you were always without it and you wasted time under this illusion.
When Buddha became enlightened the first sentence he said was, "Oh Lord, the maker of the houses of desire. Now you will not have to make any more houses for me, because I have caught the source of desire and the source of desire is imagination. I have understood that this was all the web of my imagination. But now I have found the original source - the imagination! Now that journey of desires has stopped."
Your complex is in your imagination. Your desire is also in your imagination. Your world is also in your imagination. Truth is always as it was. Even now it is the same, even tomorrow it will be the same. The day you drop this web of imagination you will realize that you missed a lot of joy in vain.
But there are hypochondriacs - you must also know some of them - who go on creating disease after disease. They are always running to doctors. Sometimes they are running to the allopathic doctor, sometimes to the homeopath, sometimes to the naturopath and sometimes to the ayurved.
They are never at rest, they are always running to different places for treatment, and everywhere they are told that they do not have any disease. But they get very upset to hear this and they say, "We are suffering so much from these diseases, and you say we have no disease!" They can be satisfied only if they are told that they are suffering from a very serious and dangerous disease - "You are the first one to get it, and such a rare disease."
I have heard about an old woman who was always complaining about being ill, but nobody believed her because actually she was not ill. And if the doctor treated her for one particular disease she would start complaining about others - either she had a headache or her hands and feet ached or her whole body ached. Certainly, there is no end to imaginary diseases. At last she died, but before dying she told the people that the inscription on her grave should be, "Now you must believe that I was ill." Now she has died, so people must believe that she died because of her disease.
Once a mentally unbalanced man was brought to me. He was a healthy young man but he was suffering from the idea that two flies had entered his body through his nose while he was sleeping.
Now they go on buzzing inside him and because of them he cannot eat, he cannot sleep, he feels uncomfortable all the time. All sorts of treatments had been given to him but they had no effect on him. The doctors had told him that there were no flies inside; the x-ray does not show them. He said, "Your x-ray must be wrong, because I hear the noise of their droning all the time, I feel them moving in my bones! Your x-ray does not show them, but I go on suffering." He was right in saying that he was suffering.
I said, "Okay, let me try. Now lie down and close your eyes. Do not open them till I ask you to do so.
Meanwhile we will try to take out the flies."
He liked my telling him that I will try to take out the flies. He at once touched my feet and said, "You are the only sensible person I have met up to now. The other people just start laughing when I complain to them about the flies. One feels very bad if the doctor laughs at him! But you will certainly cure me."
I said, "Yes, I can see the flies. It is surprising that the x-ray does not show them." I blindfolded him and made him lie down. I ran into the house and with great difficulty caught hold of two flies and put them into a bottle. He opened his eyes and saw the flies in the bottle. I told him, "See; I have taken them out."
But he said, "These are not the right flies. They are big flies, these are the small ones found in houses. They are big flies and they are still moving inside me."
I said, "Well, I could only take out these two."
He said, "These two also might have been there, but the real ones are still inside." Now what can you do with such a man?
He who can imagine two flies can also imagine four. You may catch two, now he says they are not the same as the ones which are moving inside him. Then I understood that if I get two more flies, he is not going to accept these either. What to do with such a man?
You pity him because he is suffering without any reason. The suffering is imaginary. If it had been real then it could have been treated. But the suffering is so false that it cannot even be treated. One feels like laughing at him because it is entirely up to him to give up the disease. If he had believed that these flies were the same which had been troubling him then he could have been cured. But he found out another way of not getting cured, by saying that these are not the same flies: "You have worked hard to get these flies but they are not the same ones."
Your diseases and your complexes are just like that - they are imaginary, nothing is wrong with you.
It cannot be. When the divine is everything, then how can anything be wrong? It is just a web of imagination. If you can wake up - you can wake up this very moment - then there is nothing to be done. Not doing anything is Bhaj Govindam. Bhaj Govindam means nothing is to be done: only by singing the song of the divine will the disease be cured.
If the disease was real then it could not have been cured by Bhaj Govindam. By singing the song of the divine, how can the real disease be cured? How can cancer be cured by singing, "Govinda!
But the enlightened ones have said that if you even remember the song of the divine then all the diseases will disappear, because there is no disease. In the moment of remembrance, in the moment of dedication to the divine, you will suddenly realize that there never was any disease - you are a pure buddha, you are without any name, without any form, without any blemish. There is not even a black line on you. It is all a web of imagination. Try again to understand the story of the wasp. It is your story.
The fourth question:
Definitely. A lake is absolutely calm, peaceful, but with the incoming breeze the waves start rising.
But if the breeze stops, the waves will also stop and the lake will become calm. It will again become like a mirror. The lake is clean; with the falling of the leaves it becomes dirty, but when the leaves settle down the lake will again become clean and fresh.
A child is born - the lake was still clean, there were no ripples, there were no leaves of thought, no waves of desire. Then with the advent of youth storms arose, strong winds blew and the lake was full of waves. The mirror got lost. There was a terrific onset of passion. Then old age came and the storm was over - the lake was calm again.
A little understanding - let the leaves settle down. A little understanding - let the winds of passion stop. The lake will become calm again; there is no difference in the nature of the lake.
When the mind again becomes innocent like the mind of a child then we call that man a saint. A saint becomes like a child. That is why Shankara has said that the ultimate yogi sometimes plays like a child and sometimes like a madman. Sometimes he looks as innocent as a child - he is absolutely empty, there is nothing inside him. And sometimes terrible unknown storms arise in him - then he looks absolutely insane, mad.
There is a childlike innocence even in a madman, and there is insanity like the madman even in children. Small children get mad at small things. When they want a toy they will dance, they will jump, they will even break things because they want the toy right now! They may be very angry now but they will start laughing after a moment and will forget all about the anger. There is some similarity between mad people and children. That is why mad people have the innocent look of children in their eyes and there is something of madness in the eyes of children.
The enlightened one becomes both at the same time. Sometimes he looks like a child and sometimes he looks like a madman. Because he no longer observes any rules, he does not bother about dignity, prestige, sin or virtue, so he seems mad to people. That is why he looks like a child also - because the child also does not know anything about dignity, sin or virtue. A child is before dignity starts, and a saint is beyond dignity. In between the two is the world where there are limitations: dignity, prestige, morality, rules, sin, virtue, lucky, unlucky, worth doing and not worth doing - both the ends are there.
Certainly the moment which was in your life once can come again. You were a child - that child became lost, but he still exists in the crowd of your thoughts. When these thoughts calm down, suddenly the child will be rediscovered. That is saintliness.
The fifth question:
The outer Ganges and the inner Ganges.... Nothing will happen if you undertake the journey to the outer Ganges, because the journey to the outer Ganges is an outer journey; it cannot send you inside. But if you drink even a drop of the inner Ganges then you will attain, because to drink even a drop of the inner Ganges you will have to go absolutely inside; only then you can drink a drop of that water. The pilgrimage is not outside - outside is only the world. The pilgrimage is within, inside.
The more you go in, the more you enjoy within yourself, the nearer you get to the pilgrimage. All the pilgrimages like Girnar, Shikharji, Kaaba, Kailash, Kashi, are within you. Save yourself from the illusion of outside.
But we are in the habit of looking out, so when we try to look for the divine we look for him outside.
When we are looking for the temple, it means outside. Godliness is within you. It is hiding within the one who is seeking it. It is the one who is searching. Try to recognize your consciousness; one drop of it is sufficient.
The story is that when the Ganges came down on earth only half of it came, half remained in heaven.
That means that when the Ganges came, only half of it came, half of it remained within. Heaven means within, heaven means sinking deep within oneself. And hell means getting lost in the other.
The great thinker of the West named Jean-Paul Sartre has said. "The other is hell."
Heaven is within oneself. You live in hell while you are dependent on others. When you gain your freedom, your individuality, your autonomy, your being yourself, and you do not depend on others, you do not remain a beggar, and you become your own master - then it is heaven.
Begging for anything from others means humiliation; that is hell. From the other you will only get misery in your beggingbowl. You will never get happiness from the other.
Come inside. The inner Ganges is the other half of the heavenly Ganges. Even one drop of it is enough. It is nectar. Nothing will happen by bathing in the outer Ganges. The fish and the crocodiles live in the Ganges, other animals also bathe in the Ganges. Does that mean that all these creatures go to heaven? They do not, and you cannot bathe more than them; you will take just one dip and come home. Whom are you trying to deceive? You are like a blind man who has eyes - you have eyes and yet you are blind.
Do not deceive yourself. The Ganges is inside, whatever is valuable is inside. Whatever is garbage is outside but the real wealth is inside.
The sixth question:
Truth is attained by the grace of the master. But you cannot get the grace of the master without effort. The divine is attained through grace, but one has to seek the master; one has to have the ability to be near the master.
Effort has to be made, but always remember that the ultimate is attained without effort. This will seem contradictory to you but these are the two wings, the two oars - effort and grace. The journey is completed with these two.
In this world there are two types of illusion. Some people think that they will attain the divine by their effort. They never attain because their ego never disappears; the effort makes it even stronger - the doors remain closed instead of opening. There is also the other type of people who believe that the divine cannot be attained through effort, but only through grace. They just sit idle and do nothing:
they lose because of their laziness. Some lose because of their ego and some lose because of their laziness. The divine is found through untiring effort and yet without effort.
From your side you have to do it wholeheartedly; nothing should remain undone by you. You should put the whole of yourself at stake, only then will you deserve his grace. Then you can say, "I have nothing more to stake, now please bless me with your grace." You will have the right to ask for his grace only when you have done all that was possible for you to do and now there is nothing remaining.
You cannot get grace for free. Grace is a very valuable diamond which you cannot get for free. When you have put everything at stake then prayer can rise from your heart - then you can say, "Nothing happens by my doing. Now it is all up to you." In that very moment when you realize that nothing can be done by you and you say, "I have staked everything, I have poured myself completely, even then nothing is happening. Now your grace is needed." Then you will certainly attain his grace.
The divine is always attained through grace, because your effort is very small and the divine is so vast. You will not attain with effort, but with your effort you come near the point where the drop is ready to become the ocean.
The last question:
Waking up or awakening means that the dream is over - whatever was known up to now remains no longer. So it is difficult to say what awakening means, because your language is of sleep. At present, whatever can be told you or whatever can be understood by you will be in the language of the dream. If I say that you will get happiness, then you will think of the happiness which you have known in the dream. If I say that you will not get misery, then you will think of the same misery which you have known in the dream.
If you think, you will not attain. That is why all the buddhas have kept quiet. Whenever someone asked what will happen after the awakening they just kept quiet. They said, "Wake up and see,"
because this is beyond the language which you know, or this is beyond your understanding which you have through language. Neither your happiness nor your misery is there. Neither your peace nor your restlessness is there. Neither your satisfaction nor your dissatisfaction - whatever you have known up to now is not there. The scriptures which you have known up to now are also not there.
The images of God which were made by you are also not there. Your notions about heaven and hell are also not there. When you are not there, your notions also will not be there.
There is something which cannot be described, which cannot be defined - you can call it Brahma, Vishnupad, Jinpad or Buddhahood, but even by these words nothing can be known. If you wake up, only then can you know. A dumb man cannot describe the taste of sugar, but he can enjoy it.
What will happen after awakening? You will taste the divine, the taste which you have been trying to get all these past lives but could not get - you missed it always. It just cannot be described. If you are bored of the way you have been living then wake up. But if you have even a little bit of interest in it yet, then just turn over and go to sleep again.
But you will have to wake up one day. Sleep cannot be eternal and sleep cannot be the ultimate rest and darkness cannot be the experience of the ultimate truth. Sooner or later you will have to get up - it all depends on you. But whenever you awaken you will repent for not having woken up earlier - it was all at an arm's length, it was just a question of reaching out for it.
Jesus says again and again, "Repent - the kingdom of God is at hand."
Enough for today.