[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:
Because life is made of contradiction and there is no other way for life to exist. Breath goes out, then goes in - did you ever ask why it is so? When the breath has to go in then why is it taken out? But if the breath remains in and does not come out then the result will be death and not life. If the breath remains out and does not go in, even then it will be death and not life.
Life is movement, movement between two opposites. It is like the flowing of a river between two banks. Breath goes out, goes in; comes in then goes out. Every moment it is pranayam and every moment it is pratyahar. When breath goes out it is pranayam; when the breath goes in, it is pratyahar.
If your consciousness gets used to this type of rhythm, if this type of movement goes on in your consciousness, if like this you expand outwards unlimited, if like this you reach the emptiness inside you - if there is emptiness within and unlimited expanse outside - if you flow constantly between these two banks, only then you will become godly, because the divine is like this: empty within, whole outside.
This whole existence is the divine's pranayam. Creation is pranayam and destruction of the world is pratyahar. When the breath goes out, creation takes place; the breath goes in, the destruction of the world takes place.
If you can understand it properly then you will see this everywhere in life. Birth is pranayam, death is pratyahar. In birth you expand, in death you shrink, you return, and life is in between the two banks of birth and death. Birth is not life, death is also not life; that which is flowing between birth and death, the unknown which is dancing in the beat, which is engrossed in the rhythm, that is life.
Mind tends to be logical and life is contradictory. Life is illogical. Those who wanted to know it through logic lost their way and never attained. Logic will say that pranayam and pratyahar are contradictory, tell us only one; knowledge and devotion are contradictory, tell us only one; emptiness and wholeness are contradictory, tell us only one. But remember that life is always contradictory because life is greater than the contradictions; life is able to absorb the contradictions. Logic is very small, it is the method of the small mind so it can absorb only one and not the contrary. The opposite therefore is left outside.
That is why when Buddha said shunya, emptiness, it does not mean that the whole was not included in it. Buddha's emptiness included the whole. But followers of Buddha said that if it is emptiness then it cannot be the whole. When Shankara said whole, the emptiness was included in it. But Shankara's followers said if it is the whole how can it be empty?
This is how the follower misses the point, because the follower lives by logic and by mind, and those who know have known the contradictions together. But they also feel difficulty in expressing the contradiction because they have to explain it to you. If the contradictions are said at the same time then you think that these are inconsistent things. Your mind goes on trying to make life logical and calculative. But life is not a calculation. Life is a flood which flows with such a force that it breaks all boundaries and limits of arithmetic. Life is a flood.
The second question:
Do not worry about dreams. You should attain it in your waking state. Whatever is attained in your wakefulness, automatically starts appearing in your dreams, because your dreams are the echoes of your wakefulness. Whatever you do when you are awake, you go on hearing its echoes again and again in your dreams. Nothing new appears in your dreams. It goes on echoing whatever you do in your wakefulness.
If you go on collecting money during the daytime, then at night you are counting it. If you are full of passion during the daytime, then at night you dream of sex. People who are devotional are devotional even in their sleep. Those who are empty and peaceful during the daytime, they remain empty and peaceful even at night. Night is the shadow of the day, it just follows the day. Do not worry about changing the night. If lust disturbs you in your dreams at night, then it means that some deception is going on during wakefulness.
Just understand. Dreams can give you an indication; they clearly indicate whatever your understanding misses during the daytime. Maybe during the day you behave like a saint, but this saintliness is like the crane standing on one leg and pretending to be very saintly. He looks so white, so austere; he stands like a yogi and looks so pure! But do not get deceived by his appearance - he is only thinking of fish, and is waiting quietly to devour fish. He has done all these manipulations, these postures, for the fish. Like this, the crane can fool others but he does not fool himself. He knows why he is standing quietly holding his breath.
But man is more dishonest than the crane. He not only deceives others, he deceives himself also.
When other people start believing him, he also starts believing in whatever deception he is using.
There is a contradiction between your wakefulness and sleep. You do not feel any lust during the daytime because you have suppressed it very strongly. You just do not let it arise. Not that it is finished - you just do not let it be expressed. You go on suppressing it within your chest. At night, when the suppressor goes to sleep, then the suppressed wave arises and starts roaring and that becomes the lust in your dream. Those who have suppressed it in the daytime will see it in their dreams.
The dream is the indicator. It is your friend. It is telling you that it is no use suppressing anything; it will appear at night. "You may suppress us during the day, in the night we will reappear." You may deceive others and you may deceive yourself but, "You cannot get rid of us."
Now you want to know how to get rid of lust even in your dreaming. You think that you are free of lust during wakefulness, that you only have it in dreams. This is illusion, a wrong notion. The dream itself is the proof of your not being free of it during wakefulness. The moment you are free from this during wakefulness you will not even see it in your dreams. The dream is just your subtle story.
You are asking how to suppress in dreaming what you have been able to suppress in your wakefulness. But then there will remain no way of your liberation. You must understand that whatever is suppressed will be ever-present and will be expressed sometime or other. It is like a sleeping volcano. The flames are not coming out, but so what? - you will smoulder and burn inside. This disease will spread like a cancer in your existence.
No, try to understand your dreams. Your dreams are saying that during the daytime you have deceived yourself and you have suppressed something. So now try to uncover what you have suppressed.
Try to understand this deep rule about the mind. The mind is like the root of the tree. If the roots are deep down in the earth then the tree goes on flourishing; new leaves, flowers and fruits go on sprouting. But if the roots are pulled out of that dark depth and put in the light then the tree dies.
This is exactly what happens with the mind. Whatever may be the disease of the mind, bring it out in the light. Light is death for disease.
But you do just the opposite. Your so-called religious gurus have been telling you just the opposite.
They have been saying that you should suppress it so much that even the root cannot be seen. But the deeper the root, the more dangerous it is. Then your life will become poisonous. You should uncover yourself and bring it before your eyes. Do not run away or hide. Dig up your roots during the daytime and look at them in the light.
I call this meditation. Meditation is not any method which can be done once and then forgotten.
Meditation is a continuous process of awareness. You have to be aware all twenty-four hours; while standing, while sitting, be aware. When a beautiful woman passes by on the road a licentious person will gaze at her. But if you are a gentleman you cannot gaze at her openly. You try to see her indirectly. You make an excuse of looking at a shop which is in her direction.
But if you have suppressed yourself very deeply then you do not look anywhere - neither at the shop nor at the woman; you just go on with your head down without looking left or right. Then at night you will see that beautiful woman in your dream because you really did want to see her. And this is also possible, that you have got into the habit of walking with your head down and with your eyes looking down. Out of habit your eyes must have looked down automatically as soon as you became aware of the presence of the beautiful woman.
You might have made your character in such a way... you have decided the rules of behavior for yourself which you go on following mechanically. Outwardly you may not know that a woman has passed by but your looking down proves that some breeze blew within you, something fluttered within you, a ripple arose in you which made your eyes look down. This looking downwards was your way of saving yourself from that woman. You passed by.
For this behavior the world will call you a gentleman or a saint. You will get a lot of respect. So your ego will be satisfied, will get nurtured. You will try to be more religious. For that you can even go to the extent of blinding your eyes. But who are you trying to fool? Can you deceive your innermost self? In the darkness of night, in your deep slumber when your gentleman, your saint is sleeping soundly, then all your suppressed feelings and desires will come to the surface, and they will create your dreams. Do not think that anything is wrong with dreams. A dream is your friend; it is trying to tell you that you have deceived yourself and you will gain nothing by this deception. The dream proves that you have suppressed your lust. So awaken yourself and recognize this instinct of yours.
The real question is not of looking or not looking at the woman passing by; the real question is, are you aware of the ripple that arose in you caused by the desire to look at her? It does not matter whether you look at a woman or you do not look at a woman, but what matters is the rising of the ripple of passion in you. If you suppress it then you will dream of her, but if you become aware of the passion rising in you by looking at her then you will not dream of her. If you go on watching every moment the passion, the desire arising in you, then you will become dreamless.
Yesterday I was reading a song written by a friend of mine, Kumar Barabankvi, who is an Urdu poet.
A line of the poem is: "The destination seems to be near, as the path is deserted and lonely." Yes, as one starts approaching the destination, the paths of the mind become deserted and lonely. Even the dreams are not there. The markets and even the shadows of the market disappear; there will be no more friends and enemies and even their wavering shadows will disappear.
"The destination seems to be near, as the path is deserted and lonely." When all your inner paths seem to be lonely, then you must know that the destination is not very far away, it is quite near.
As long as your inner paths are full of dreams it means that you are in the marketplace. The world may be calling you a saint and you may be thinking yourself to be a saint, but the worldly man in you is not dead, he is only hidden; and the hidden worldly person is more dangerous because he is like a hidden disease. If it is manifest it can be treated, but if it remains hidden it cannot be treated. And what can a doctor do if the sick person goes on denying that he is sick?
This is not the problem of ordinary people, this is the problem of the so-called great mahatmas.
During the last days of his life even Mahatma Gandhi used to have dreams of sex. He was a very honest man, though he was on the wrong path. Because if, in spite of a lifelong effort, lust arises in your dream then it means that the effort was being made in the wrong direction. He had worked very hard, he was not lacking in effort, and he was very honest about it. But by honesty and integrity alone you cannot reach the destination. You cannot reach the destination by integrity alone and you cannot reach the destination only by going through right paths. You reach the destination only when integrity, effort and the right paths unite.
If you try to extract oil from sand very honestly, you will not succeed. Your honesty is not enough for this purpose because there is no oil in the sand. You can go on trying with full faith, with all your integrity, but it will be of no consequence. On the other hand, another person with less integrity may succeed if he is trying to extract oil from oil-seeds. But a person with no faith and no integrity may have the oil-seeds but he will not get the oil because he is not making any effort to extract it. That is why a revolution in life takes place only when integrity and the right path unite.
Till the end of his life Gandhi used to be disturbed by dreams. But I must say that he was an honest person, he was not like your other so-called sadhus and saints who are disturbed by dreams but never talk about them to anyone. But Gandhi talked about it openly. His followers did not want him to, because it hurt their egos to know that their guru had such dreams. His followers thought of him as 'Mahatma'. So they were very worried about what people will say if they come to know about his dreams. That is why they used to ask him not to talk about it openly.
During his last days Gandhi began sleeping naked with a young woman. At this, some followers just ran away. Out of those who ran away at that time, now some of them claim to be the inheritors of Gandhism! Yes, it is those very people who had run away, who had opposed Gandhi, saying, "I never heard, I've never seen such a thing."
But none of them could understand Gandhi's agony. His agony was that he had wasted all his life in the vain effort of being a celibate. During his last days he came to know about the Tantra scriptures which say that if you want to be free of passion then you have to wake up, you have to be aware.
If you have to wake up then you have to be in that situation, it is no use running away from the situation. That is why, to create that situation, he was sleeping with a young naked woman for one year - so that in that situation if passion arises in him, he would see it, he would recognize it. All his life he had suppressed it, so now he had to make a great effort to uncover it. Sleeping with a young naked woman was the effort to awaken the passion which was suppressed by him earlier.
Escapism is not the solution of life. Life is solved by facing it, by confronting it. You have to face all the problems of life. Do not ask what you should do to be free of lust in dreams. You should know that the passion coming in your dream is due to your suppression when you are awake. Do not suppress it when you are awake. You should uncover it and see it during your wakefulness.
It will not be easy for you to do so because it will hurt your ego. You will say, "I am a celibate! I am a sannyasin! How can passion be within me?" But it is there; whether you see it or you do not see it, makes no difference. Your false pride has no meaning, you will have to give up your false attachment. You must understand that you can be free of the passion only by watching it.
Try to experiment with this for a few months. Do not suppress anything. Whatever is coming in through the eyes, let it come - the whole of it. Do not condemn it even a little, because condemnation causes suppression. Supposing you get a thought of sex and you say that it is bad, it is a sin - immediately the suppression will start. Even if you do not say that it is bad, it is a sin, but you watch it very unwillingly, you feel that it was better you had not seen it, even then the suppression will start.
You say to existence, "My God, what are you showing me?" Immediately suppression has started.
Whenever you make a judgment of its being good or bad, or you complain or repent, or you feel a sense of guilt or you try to evaluate, the suppression starts.
So you should see every thought as if you have nothing to do with it. You should see it just as you see the flowers on the tree, or you see the clouds floating in the sky, or you look at the people passing by on the road. You have nothing to do with them. Just watch without any prejudice or any bias, then all the instincts appear in their real form. You have suppressed them in many lives, so when they appear in their full form, for a moment you may feel that you have gone mad. "What is happening to my morality, to my religion, to my character? Everything is going to pieces, my reputation which I have built with such arduous effort will get shattered." But do not be frightened at this, keep calm. This takes courage, and this sort of courage is actually austerity. You do not need courage to stand in the sun or to stand naked in the snow. These things can be attained just by a little practice. The greatest courage is to be able to see yourself as you are within yourself. And this creates the transformation, this creates the inner revolution.
Just watch, and as you start watching the dreams will start disappearing, because whatever you see during your wakefulness then that will not be shown in your dream. Then there is no need to show you whatever you have already seen. Your nights will become dreamless. And if your night becomes dreamless, then you will attain samadhi.
Patanjali has said that there is very little difference between sushupti, dreamless sleep, and samadhi - very little difference. Both occur when all the dreams have disappeared - the difference is that sushupti is unconscious and samadhi is wakeful.
Have you ever noticed that in the morning when you wake up you can remember that you had dreamt, that you had dreamt the whole night? That means that there is some awareness in you which sees dreams, which recognizes dreams and which remembers dreams. If all the dreams disappear, then this awareness which was engrossed in seeing dreams will now see samadhi, because now there are no more dreams, the path is without travelers, the path is lonely and deserted. Now the lonely path can be seen. In the morning when you get up, you will say that you saw sushupti and not dreams. And seeing sushupti is samadhi. The path was lonely, there was no crowd. There were no people, so the path could be seen. The sky could be seen when there were no clouds. The sky gets covered with clouds because of dreams; sushupti gets covered and sushupti is samadhi.
Every night you attain where Buddha attained. Every night you attain where Shankara lives. But there is a big crowd between you and samadhi. There is a big fair between you and samadhi. And it is you who have collected this crowd and this circus. You go on collecting this garbage by treating life in the wrong way. Deal with it every minute. Watch properly whatever comes in front of you. Do not hesitate even a bit in seeing it properly. Then it will have no reason to appear in your dreams.
You see it in your dreams only because you did not see it properly during the daytime, so it insists on coming back again and again.
Have you ever noticed that if you experience anything thoroughly then you do not remember it?
If you have a good look at anyone, at anything, then you will be free of him; your mind will no longer think of him or her. If you live intensely, deeply, then no love or affection can bind you. But incomplete experiences will always haunt you because the mind wants to fulfill them. The incomplete experiences of life always collect in you. Now please do not repeat this behavior and do not ask me how to stop it in your dreams. You should know from your dreams that you suppressed it when you were awake; now do not stop it even when you are awake.
I am not saying to go and satisfy any passion that arises in you. I am not saying that, because many times you have tried to satisfy it but it has not been fulfilled. You have been doing that birth after birth. Anger has not disappeared by getting angry. Lust has not disappeared by indulging in sex.
Greed has not disappeared by being greedy. This is the conflict. If you indulge in it, it becomes stronger because it becomes a habit. You were angry today, you were angry yesterday, you were angry the day before yesterday - and thus the chain of anger becomes stronger. Then you become an habituated angry person. Then any small excuse will flare up your anger.
If you do it, if you indulge in it, it becomes a habit, it becomes a practice. If you suppress it, then it makes wounds inside. But there is a way in between these two: do not indulge in it, do not suppress it; just watch, just see. This is the thread of witnessing. Do not be a doer, just be a witness, just be a watcher. Either way you are doing something - if you are angry then either you are throwing your anger on the other person or you are suppressing it within you. Both are wrong. If the desire for sex arises either you force it on the other person or you suppress it within you. Both are wrong. Do not force it on the other - by forcing it on the other you are dragging the other also into the mud and dirt of passion. The other person has enough of his own problems and now you have added more to them.
No, do not force it on anyone, because if you force it on the other, he will also force it on you. If you make anyone the object of your passion, then he will also use you in the same way. That is why passion is a bondage. You bind the other and the other binds you. You enjoy the other and the other starts enjoying you. You hold someone and he holds you. So do not force your passion, anger or anything on anyone, and do not suppress it either. If you have been kind to the other person then be kind to yourself and do not suppress it.
And in between these two there is a very subtle journey. Just see it properly, just watch it properly, that it does not harm anyone. And as you go on seeing you will feel awakened and you will become aware and conscious.
People that bow down towards a temple or a mosque should know that life itself is a prayer if you remain conscious, aware. There is no other prayer, there is no other meditation, no other worship.
Life itself becomes worship if one is full of awareness.
The third question:
Desire itself leads you to misery; it does not make any difference what you desire. The object of desire can be anything - you may want money or you may want religion - desire is desire.
Desire means that you are not satisfied, you are not contented where you are and as you are.
You think that if you get more money you will be satisfied, if you get more religion you will be satisfied. Desire means that you are dissatisfied and discontented. Desire is anguish born out of dissatisfaction. It does not matter what type of dissatisfaction it is, there is no satisfaction. What you desire makes no difference. Some people are building a good house on this earth and some people are building a good house in heaven.
One day, as I was going along a road, a woman came and gave me a pamphlet in which was shown a picture of a beautiful building with a garden full of flowers and a stream. On it was written, "Are you in search of a nice bungalow?"
Out of curiosity I turned it over and found that the bungalow was not of this earth, it was some propaganda from the Christian missionaries. That beautiful bungalow with the garden and the stream is in heaven! It was written in that pamphlet that if you want such a building in heaven then nobody can take you there except Jesus.
Even if you desire for heaven it is you who will desire. It is the extension of your mind - it will be in your language and in your colors. One day you should sit down and make a list of things which you want in heaven. You will be surprised to read the list: it will contain all the earthly things. You will want to have a Rolls Royce, you will want to have the most beautiful of the actresses, you will want the Taj Mahal. Yes, make this list and read it to yourself. Don't be afraid. You may tear it up afterwards. Do not show it to anyone. It will certainly reveal the things you want to possess!
If God is ready to give you heaven and if he tells you to ask for anything, what will you ask for? Your desires will reveal to you that your heaven is nothing but the extension of your world here. It may be a little refined. Even in heaven you will ask for these very worldly things, but they will be permanent there; here they are temporary. The differences will be merely of details.
An actress becomes old here but in heaven she will always remain young, because in heaven women never become older than sixteen years of age. Urvasi was sixteen years old millions of years ago, and even now she is sixteen years old; she will always remain sixteen years old. This does not give any information about Urvasi; this reveals the desire of man. He desires that a woman should not become older than sixteen. In heaven streams of wine are flowing; it is not sold in bottles, it is flowing in streams. You may have prohibition here, so what? You can swim in wine like a fish, you can drink as much as you like, because there there is no prohibition. If there are rules and regulations in heaven and if you have to take a license for alcohol then it is no freedom. No, there is not even a policeman at the crossroads.
Heaven is nothing but the network of your dreams. Your desire for God is out of sheer misery, pain, disturbance of mind - the same reason people want money, the same reason people want fame and position. Then God is your ultimate achievement. And your so-called sadhus and sannyasins also say that God means the ultimate position.
You will be surprised to understand the language of the sadhus and sannyasins. They say, "What is the use of money? It is definitely going to be snatched away from you sooner or later, so better to be in search of that currency which will never be snatched away from you." But if you analyze this language of theirs, then you will be amazed: one who is looking for the currency which will be snatched away is a sinner, is materialistic, is a debauched. He will go to hell because he is in search of temporal money. And those who are looking for the money not of this world are saints, virtuous.
What is the difference between these two? The only difference which seems to exist is that the one who is looking for the transient is not very clever, and the one looking for the intransient is more clever - more dishonest and cunning. When little children collect pebbles, you tell them not to be so silly; they should collect precious stones and diamonds. Your advice shows that the child is as yet very innocent and you have become worldly wise and very calculating.
I see that, compared to your so-called sadhus and sannyasins, the people you consider to be worldly are more simple and innocent. Your sadhus and sannyasins are more cunning and more dishonest because they are in search of unlimited, eternal wealth. But the desire is the same, there is no difference.
What I am saying is quite a different thing, what Shankara is saying is quite a different thing, what Buddha is saying is quite a different thing. They are not saying that you should desire the truth, that you should desire the divine; they are saying that when all desires disappear then the divine is attained. This is a different thing altogether: when all desires disappear then the divine is attained.
Therefore you just cannot desire the attainment of the divine, because that very desire will become the obstacle. When all the desires disappear without any condition - when there is no desire in the mind, when there is no passion - then only the divine remains. One cannot desire the divine. When desire is given up then godliness will be attained, but you cannot desire the divine. The very desiring of God is wrong. If you hope to get something in return for this then you will get nothing, then you have not understood the divine at all.
Godliness is the result of the disappearance of desire. But to attain it, if you deliberately give up all desires then you will not be able to attain. You cannot make any claims on him, you cannot become the claimant. This is not a business; it is a prayer of the divine. Try to understand this.
When there is no desire left in you, you say, "I am satisfied as I am, I do not want anything else, I do not want to be anywhere else. It is sufficient for me to be here, I am fortunate." And you sing and dance because you are in great happiness as you are. There is no desire; you have become an emperor, you are no longer a beggar. Then this emperor meets the ultimate emperor. To meet the emperor you have to become the emperor. Only an equal can meet the equal. If you desire even God, that will lead you to misery.
That is why you will find many fakirs in your temples and mosques who are unhappy and miserable.
You are unhappy because you did not get money, you did not get fame, you did not get position.
They are unhappy because they have not attained God yet. But the unhappiness continues.
Desire means misery, because desire does not get fulfilled. The nature of desire is unfulfillment.
Buddha has said that desire cannot be fulfilled; it is not that you are not capable of fulfilling it, it is because its nature is unfulfillment. You may do anything but it is never fulfilled. It cannot be fulfilled.
To get fulfilled is not its destiny. The moment a person understands that desire cannot be fulfilled, he does not desire the divine also. He gives up all desiring, drops it, and in that moment of dropping he finds that the one he was looking for is within him. He could not see this because desire had made him blind.
That is why Shankara says that the divine is within you. The day you come home after giving up all the running around, all the desire, when you sit down in your own home in a relaxed way with gratitude in your heart, you will hear a new music within you. The music was always there but you could not hear it because of the noise of desire. It was a very subtle sound - it was going on day and night, but you were not at home and the divine was in your house. You never came home - you never found the time. You had a chain of desires to follow, one after another.
You just do not have the time to come back to your home and see the one who is living there.
You do not have to go anywhere in search of the divine, you have to return to your own home, and that is pratyahar.
The fourth question:
The return of the Ganges to its source, to Gangotri, and the tree becoming a seed looks impossible to you, but this is what is happening every day. The tree is becoming a seed again daily. Just look at the seeds hanging on that gulmohar tree: the whole tree has become seeds. And every day the Ganges returns to Gangotri through the dark clouds; it rains on the Himalayas and the Ganges returns to Gangotri. This is happening every day.
You ask what has to be done. Really, this is happening unconsciously; you just have to see this happening in wakefulness. Many times you return home but you are not conscious. You have become so used to staying in guesthouses that even when you return to your own home you think it to be a guesthouse.
A friend of mine has to travel day and night in connection with his work. He is at home only for four or five days at a time and he just cannot sleep when he is at home because he has got used to sleeping with the noise of the train. For the last twenty years he has been traveling. He told me that he is in great trouble because he cannot sleep when he is at home. So I suggested to him that it will be better for him to rent a house near a railway line.
This appealed to him. He said that he had been to many doctors but nobody could give him the right advice. So he took a house near a railway line and he is very happy because now he can sleep at home. A train passes by every ten to fifteen minutes! Certainly he is happy! It is difficult for you to understand his situation because when you travel in the train for the first time you cannot sleep.
Habit... all of us are slaves of habit!
You have lived out of your home so much that when you come home it is not home, you just do not recognize it. The home also looks like a guesthouse to you - a place where you stay in the night and start the journey again in the morning. Every day the Ganges returns to Gangotri, and you say that it is difficult. You are already in your original source and you say that it is difficult.
How can you go away from your original source? Where will you go? You must have gone away in your thoughts; you cannot go in reality. It is just as if you go to sleep in Poona and you see Calcutta in a dream; when you wake up in the morning do you have to catch the train to come back to Poona?
You were in Calcutta in your dream, but that does not mean that you have to catch the train in the morning. When you wake up in the morning you will find yourself in Poona.
To be away from oneself is only a thought, an idea. If you ask me, and if you can understand, then I would like to say that the Ganges has never gone away from Gangotri. The seed never became the tree; it only saw the dream of becoming a tree. It was a dream that the Ganges came out of Gangotri and went towards the sea, because one cannot go away from one's nature.
You are saying that it is very difficult to return to one's nature. I am telling you that it is not only difficult but impossible to go away from your nature. Nobody has ever gone. At this very moment you are the buddha, at this very moment you are the jinna, at this very moment you are the divine.
But your thoughts... you think otherwise. You say that this thing does not appeal to me - I who run a pan shop, how can I be a buddha? But how can the pan shop become an obstacle in being a buddha? Does one become a buddha just by sitting under a bodhi tree? I say that sitting in your pan shop you are a buddha. Because you run a pan shop or something else... you may do anything, but you cannot go out of buddhahood.
A fish may come out of the sea but how can you come out of the divine? ... Because the sea has a limit - it has a shore, a beach - but the divine has no limit, it has no shore; it is unlimited. So it is only your idea that you are running a pan shop. Yes, do it by all means, but this should not make you think that you are no longer a buddha. If you become that much aware then the Ganges returns to Gangotri. This awareness, this consciousness....
A lot of obstacles will come in the way. First of all the world will stop you - the shop will stop you, money will stop you, position will stop you. If somehow you get free of these, then after that the temple and the mosque will stop you, the Vedas and the Puranas will stop you, the Gita and the Koran will stop you. You can come home only after being free of them.
A lot of obstacles will come in the way but you have to free yourself a little from them. I call this awareness. Shankara has called this carefulness, great carefulness. If you are awake then nobody can stop you. A shop is very weak. The temple and the mosque also will not be able to stop you; books and account books, nothing will stop you; the Vedas and the Koran will not be able to stop you.
"A lot of obstacles came in the path of the beloved. Even the temple and mosque became the obstacles, but thank God we could proceed with a little care."
The fifth question:
Life is of two kinds. One is based on the necessary and the other is based on abundance, on affluence. Just see the peacock dancing: is the rainbow coloring on its feathers necessary? If you cut off the feathers will there be any difficulty in the life of the peacock? In spite of it the peacock will be able to live, because the life force is not connected with the feathers, nor is the getting of food connected with it. There will be no difficulty in breeding too; these colorful feathers are not a necessity. They are the symbol of excess, of abundance, of affluence.
These birds are singing. If you stitch up their beaks it will not make any difference. These birds will still be able to live. They will not be able to sing; the songs were not necessary, they were born out of abundance.
You dance - why? Why don't you just go to your business and come back home? You sing, you love: if you do not sing and do not love what difference will it make? To do your business is sufficient to survive. Will you die if you don't love? Those who do not love are also living, those who do not sing are also living - maybe they are living in a better way because that much energy saved is spent by them in earning money. But the splendor of their life will be lost.
To live by necessity is the way of the miser. Here I am not teaching you to live by necessity, I am teaching you to go beyond the necessity, to live life in abundance.
I also know that the divine can be attained by gyana knowledge, alone and there is no need of bhakti, devotion. The divine can also be attained by only bhakti, there is no need of knowledge. But then the attainment of the divine will be just like a business deal. You only do what is necessary. If you can do something by spending two paisa, then you hesitate to spend even three paisa. You remain miserly even on the path of the divine. But I want to teach you to be a little carefree, happy-go-lucky!
I also know that people have attained by knowledge and there is no need of bhakti, there is no need for everyone to dance like Meera. But even then I will say that if you can dance then a new form of the divine will appear before you that is not of mathematics, that is of poetry. Yes, the divine can be attained by knowledge, by dryness, by mathematics, but if you reach the divine by necessity, then even this relation is calculated. If even in this relation you did not jump, you did not melt and you did not flow, you did not enjoy the ultimate bliss, then it means that this was also a business.
People have attained by bhakti alone; knowledge is not necessary. But I am saying, why try for only the necessary when you can have in abundance? When you can have in excess, when life can become the ultimate luxuriance, why be miserly and calculative? If you want to dance then you cannot be calculative. A calculative person cannot be a good dancer.
When will you get rid of your miserliness? When will you be able to flow without any hesitation?
According to me the ultimate fortune is in abundance. Look at the peacock: existence has put so many colors on its feathers, it has worked so hard on them!
If a scientist were to create the peacock then one thing is certain, that he will not make feathers, because they are absolutely unnecessary according to him. A food pipe will be there, a stomach will be there, the genitals will be there for breeding, but feathers will not be there at all. There will be no poetry, no song, no dance. The colors in life are lost because of these stupid people, because everywhere they are advising to do only what is absolutely necessary.
Look at existence. The divine does not agree with having only what is absolutely necessary. He does not stop at the necessary, he goes on flowing into the unnecessary. Birds are singing, it is not necessary; trees are flowering, it is not necessary; fragrance is flowing from the flowers, it is not necessary. Rivers are flowing rapidly towards the sea, and the sea goes on roaring and its waves go on dashing against the shore. It is not necessary. Just think over what is necessary. If God had been an economist then he would have made only the necessary things in this world. Then this world would not have been fit for living; it would have been good for committing suicide only. There would have been no pleasure in living in a world which had only necessary things.
You will attain by knowledge, you will attain by bhakti, but it is entirely a different thing to attain by knowledge and bhakti both. That is a different enjoyment. But it all depends on you - the choice is yours. If you like to live in small courtyards and you are afraid of the open sky then you may live in small, dingy rooms.
But I say unto you that the open sky, the vast sky is also available with this same effort. Do you think you are so small? Why do you talk about the necessary? Let your knowledge increase to the extent where it will become bhakti, and let your bhakti be so deep that it reaches the point where it becomes knowledge. Rather, touch both ends so that nothing remains untouched. Try to get the maximum out of what you have in this world.
The sixth question:
There is no sun and no shadow. It is only an illusion of your mind. We are never happy with what we get because the mind goes on asking for more. Has there ever been a moment in your life when you did not want more than what you had?
I am distributing self-realization, and you are getting it every day. It showers on you. Your eyes say the right thing because tears are coming out of them. They can recognize because they are more sensible than your mind. And your heart is also giving the right indication because it starts throbbing. But your head is very strong; it goes on thinking that yes, something is happening but it is not complete yet, self-realization has not happened yet. But what is self-realization? When will it happen? When you agree that yes, now it has happened, how will you know it? What criterion do you have for it?
The mind is deceiving you. Thoughts will always deceive you. So listen to your tears and listen to your heart. Mind will say, "Yes, it has happened, but not completely yet." But what is complete?
What is full? Even if you are standing before the divine you will say, "Yes, I have attained him but not fully." You can make some additions even in God: the nose should have been a little longer, the ears should have been touching the shoulders just like Buddha's and Mahavira's. The ears are small, they should have been longer. Do you think that if you meet the divine you will be able to accept that you got him in his totality?
Mind never says that it has all. The mind is in the habit of saying, "Yes, I got it but much more is to be had yet." Do not listen to the mind. Trust your tears; they are more innocent, more simple and more natural, more internal, more hearty, more primary. Trust the throbbing of your heart because it is here that the dance starts for the first time. And mind is of man, of civilization, of society. It is borrowed, it is of scriptures. Mind has been given to you by others. But nobody has given you tears; you brought them with you. The heart is yours, the sensations in it are yours, the sensitivity is yours; nobody has given it to you, although others have snatched it from you and created many obstacles in its path.
And if you can listen to your heart and to your eyes, if you can listen to your inner life, then you are not worried about tomorrow and you are not worried about self-realization. This moment of bliss will make you most fortunate. You will be full of gratitude and a deep prayer will rise in your heart. Then you will be thankful to the divine for giving you more than you deserve. He gave it when you were not expecting it at all. Then you will not think that it is a play of the sun and shadow. Today is enough for today. Tomorrow when he will give again, you will thank him again.
And do not compare today with tomorrow, because all this comparison is of the mind. Every moment of life is unique. Tomorrow again it will be morning; again he will shower. But do not compare because no two moments can be the same, at the same time. All these comparisons are of the mind. There is always one moment at a time.
In existence there is no possibility of measurement or comparison, and if you go on advancing like this - thankful, grateful, full of deep gratitude.... Self-realization is not something which you will get all of a sudden; it just goes on advancing, increasing, deepening. Self-realization is not an object but a process. Self-realization is not something which you can attain just by grabbing. Self-realization is your transformation. It is your development.
And there is no end to self-realization. That is why the soul is called unlimited: it goes on increasing, it goes on growing. You never reach the point where you can say that now it is enough. It is unlimited. The more you see the divine the more vast it becomes. New doors open, new flowers blossom; there are thousands of lotuses of consciousness, and there are thousands of petals in each lotus, and each petal has thousands of colors. You will go on seeing, you will go on going deep into it and you will go on increasing.
Do not keep an account of the past, because if your mind is full of this account then you will miss what you are getting now. Do not worry about tomorrow, because he has given, to you today and he will give to you tomorrow also. If he has given today why should he not give tomorrow? Do not worry about tomorrow. Let the past be past. Do not think of tomorrow, today is enough.
If this trust goes deep into you that today is enough, this moment is enough, then this very moment will become one of bhajan.