The ways to encounter the mind

Fri, 4 February 1970 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Inner Journey
Chapter #:
am in Ajol Meditation Camp
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[Note: This is the final edit of the Hindi translation of Antar Yatra, later published as part of Sadhana Path. This is for reference use only, pending publication.]

My Beloved Ones,

The mind of man, his brain, has become a sick wound. It is no longer a healthy center, it has turned into an unhealthy ulcer. That is why all our attention is concentrated on it. Perhaps you may not have thought about the fact that when a part of the body becomes sick, all one's attention moves towards it.

One only becomes aware of the leg if there is pain in the leg; if there is no pain then one is not aware of the leg at all. If there is a wound in the hand then one becomes aware of the hand; if there is no wound then one does not know about the hand at all. Our brain has certainly become sick in one way or the other, because for twenty-four hours we are aware only of it and nothing else.

The healthier a body is, the less it will be felt. One feels only that part which has become unhealthy.

The only part of the body which we feel now is the brain. Our consciousness only moves around it - only knows it, only recognizes it. A sick wound has appeared there. Without getting free of this wound, without becoming free of this very tense and very restless state of mind, no person can move towards his center of life. So today we will discuss this state of the brain and how to change it.

The first thing is that we should clearly understand the state of the brain. If you sit alone for ten minutes and sincerely write down on a piece of paper whatever thoughts are going through your mind, you will be unwilling to show that paper to even your dearest friend - because you will find thoughts which are so mad that neither yourself nor anyone else could have expected them from you. You will find such irrelevant, futile and contradictory thoughts that you will think you have gone mad.

If you sincerely write down whatever comes into your mind for ten minutes you will be very surprised at what is happening there. You will wonder if you are sane or crazy. We never look into our mind even for ten minutes to see what is going on there - or maybe it is that we do not look into it because deep down we already know what is happening there.

Perhaps we are afraid. That is why people are afraid of being alone and are looking for company twenty-four hours of the day - wanting to meet friends or go to a club or something. And if the person cannot find anybody then he will read a newspaper or listen to the radio. Nobody wants to be alone because the moment you are alone you start finding out about your real state.

When the other is present, we are involved in relating to him and we are not aware about ourself.

The search for the other is nothing but the search for an opportunity to escape from oneself. The basic reason that we become interested in other people is that we are afraid of ourselves, and we know very well that if we know ourselves completely, we will find that we are absolutely mad. To escape from this state man searches for company, searches for a companion, searches for a friend, searches for society, searches for a crowd.

Man is afraid of aloneness. He becomes afraid of aloneness because in aloneness he will find a reflection of his real state, he will come across the reflection of his own face. And it will be very frightening, very scary. So, from getting up in the morning till going to sleep at night, he uses all kinds of methods to escape from himself so that he doesn't have to face himself. He is afraid that he may see himself.

Man has invented thousands of ways to escape from himself. And the worse the condition of man's mind has become, the more we have made new inventions to escape from ourselves. If we look at the last fifty years, we will find that man has created more diversions to escape from himself than ever before in history. The movie-houses, the radio, the television, are all ways to escape from oneself. Man is becoming so restless. We are searching for entertainment, we are making many arrangements to forget about ourselves for awhile because our inner situation is becoming worse. All over the world, along with the development of civilization, the use of drugs has increased. Recently some new drugs have been discovered which are becoming very popular in Europe and in America.

There are drugs like L.S.D, mescaline, marijuana.... In all the cultured cities of Europe and America, among all educated people, the effort to discover new drugs is at its peak. The search to discover reliable means for man to forget himself continues - otherwise man will be in great difficulty.

What is the reason behind all this? Why do we want to forget ourselves? Why are we so eager for self-forgetfulness? And don't think that only the people who are going to movies are trying to forget themselves. The people who are going to temples are also going for the same reason, there is no difference. The temple is an old way of forgetting oneself; the movie is a new way. If a man is sitting and chanting "Rama-Rama", don't think that he is doing anything else than trying to forget himself in the chanting - just as somebody else is trying to forget himself by listening to a movie song. There is no difference between these two people.

The effort to get entangled in anything outside oneself - whether it is "Rama", or a movie, or music - the effort to become entangled in anything is deep down nothing but an effort to escape from oneself. We are all engaged in escaping from the self in one way or the other. This shows that our condition inside is getting worse and we are losing the courage even to look at it. We are very afraid to look in that direction. We are acting like ostriches. Seeing the enemy an ostrich hides its face in the sand because it is dangerous to look at the enemy. Because the enemy is not visible, the ostrich's logic says, "That which is not visible is not there. I am safe." But this logic is wrong.

Ostriches can be forgiven but man cannot. By not being visible something does not cease to exist.

If a thing is visible, something can be done about it, but if it is invisible there is no possibility of doing anything.

We want to forget the state which is inside; we don't want to see it. It may be possible to convince our mind that something which is not visible is not there but that does not mean that it has gone away. There is no relation between not being visible and being non-existent. If something had been visible then perhaps we could have been able to change it, but as it is not visible, change is not possible. It will go on growing inside like a wound, like an ulcer which we have hidden and do not want to look at.

The brain has become a wound. Some day, if a machine is invented by which we could look at what is happening inside each person then everybody would probably commit suicide immediately!

Nobody would allow anybody else to see what is going on inside him. Some day or other it will become possible. Right now we can be grateful that there are no windows in our heads through which we can look into each others' brains and see what is going on there.

What people are hiding inside and what they say on the outside are very different. What you see outside on their faces is completely different from what is going on inside them. It is possible that outside they are talking about love but inside they are full of hate. They may be saying to somebody, "Good morning! I am pleased to see you. I am happy that I met you this morning," but inside they are saying, "Why do I have to see the face of this stupid person first thing in the morning?"

If there were windows to look into people's heads, we would be in a great difficulty, life would become really difficult to live. We might be talking to someone in a friendly manner but thinking inside, "When is this man going to die." There is one thing on the surface and something else underneath and we don't dare to look inwards, to look inside and see.

A mother and her daughter lived together and both of them walked in their sleep. One night at about three o'clock the mother got up and went into the garden behind the house. After awhile her daughter also got up in her sleep and walked into the garden. As soon as the old woman saw her daughter, she shouted, "Bitch! You have taken away my youth. From the time you were born, I started growing old. You are my enemy. If you had not been born, I would still be young!"

And when the girl saw her mother, she shouted, "You wicked woman! Because of you my life has become difficult and a bondage. You have always been a rock in the flow of my life. You are a heavy chain on my life!"

At that moment the cock crowed and they both woke up. Seeing the girl, the old women said, "Dear!

Why did you get up so early? You may catch cold. Come, let's go inside!"

Immediately the girl touched the feet of her old mother. She had a habit of touching the feet of her mother every morning. She said, "Mother! You got up so early. Your health is not good. You should not get up so early. Come and rest!"

You can see the difference between what they said in their sleep and when they were awake.

Whatever a man says in his sleep is more authentic than what he says when he is awake, because it is more from the inside. What you see of yourself in your dreams is more of a reality than what you see in the marketplace and in the crowd. The face in the crowd is made up and artificial. Deep down within yourself you are a totally different person. You may manage to hide things by sticking some good thoughts on the surface, but inside the fire of thoughts is burning. On the surface you may seem absolutely silent and healthy, but inside everything is unhealthy and disturbed. On the surface you seem to be smiling but it can be possible that the smile is just covering a pile of tears.

In fact, it is a probability that you have been practicing your smiles just to hide the tears within. This is usually what people do.

Somebody once asked Nietzsche, "You are always laughing! You are so joyous! Do you really feel this way?"

Nietzsche said, "Now that you have asked, I will tell you the reality. I am laughing so that I don't start crying instead. Before my crying can start, I suppress it by laughing. I stop it inside myself. My laughter must convince others that I am happy. And I laugh only because I am so sad that I feel a relief by laughing. Sometimes I can console myself."

Nobody has seen Buddha laughing, nobody has seen Mahavira laughing, nobody has seen Christ laughing. There must be a reason. Perhaps there are no tears inside so there is no need to laugh to hide them. Perhaps inside no sorrow remains to hide by smiling. Whatever was disturbed inside has disappeared, so now there is no need to stick the flowers of laughter on the outside.

One whose body stinks needs to sprinkle perfume on it. One whose body is ugly needs to make an effort to look beautiful. One who is sad within has to learn to laugh, and one who is filled with tears inside has to keep smiling on the outside. One who is full of thorns within must stick flowers on himself outside.

Man is absolutely not as he appears to be, he is the total opposite. He is one thing on the inside and something else on the outside. And it is alright if others are deceived by what we have stuck on the outside, but the problem is that we ourselves get deceived by it. If only others were deceived by the outer appearance, it would be alright - it is not very surprising because people usually only see the outside. But we ourselves get deceived because we think we really are the image that other people see. We look at ourselves through the eyes of the other, we never see ourselves directly as we are, as we authentically are.

The image formed in other people's eyes deceives us and we become afraid to look within. We want to see the image people have of us, not ourselves. What are people saying? We become very interested in knowing what people say about us. There is nothing else behind this curiosity to know.

We think we can recognize ourself through the image formed in others' eyes. This is very surprising!

Even to know ourself we have to look into another person's eyes.

Man is afraid that people might say something bad about him. He feels happy if people say something good about him because his knowledge of himself depends on their opinion. He doesn't have immediate knowledge of himself; he does not have any direct experience of knowing himself.

This experience can happen, but it doesn't because we try to escape from it.

The first thing in encountering the mind is not to bother about what others say or how one appears to others; rather, one has to have a direct encounter with what one essentially is. In one's aloneness one has to open one's mind totally and see what is there. It is an act of courage. It is an act of tremendous courage to decide to enter into the hell hidden within oneself. It is an act of great courage to see oneself in one's nudity. Great courage is needed.

Once there was an emperor. Every day he used to disappear into a room built in the middle of his palace. His family, the people in his house, his friends, his ministers were all surprised about this habit. He used to always keep the key of that room on himself and when he went into the room he would lock the door from the inside. There was only one door to the room and not a single window.

During a period of twenty-four hours, he would stay in that room for at least one hour.

Even his wives did not know anything about the room because he had never told anybody about it.

If somebody asked, he would smile and remain silent, and he would not give the key to anybody. All the people were surprised about it, and their curiosity went on growing day by day - what does he do there? Nobody knew! He used to stay in that closed room for one hour, then he would come out silently and put the key in his pocket - and the next day he would do the same thing again. At last the people's curiosity reached a peak and they conspired with each other to find out what he was doing. His ministers, his wives, his sons, his daughters were part of the conspiracy.

One night they made a hole in the wall so that they would be able to see what he was doing when he next went there. The next day, when the emperor went inside, everybody peeped through the hole one by one. But whoever put his eye to the hole immediately moved aside and said, "What is he doing? What is he doing?" But nobody could say what he was doing!

The emperor had gone inside and taken off all his clothes. And he spread his hands towards the sky and said, "O, God! The person who was wearing the clothes was not me. That is not my reality - this is my reality!" And he started jumping and shouting and screaming abuses and behaving like a madman.

Whoever looked through the hole moved aside immediately in shock and said, "What is our emperor doing? We used to think that perhaps he would be doing some yoga or saying some prayers. But this! What is he doing?"

And the emperor said to God, "The silent and peaceful-looking person who was in front of you in clothes was absolutely false. He was a cultivated man. I made him like that through my efforts. In reality I am like this. This is my reality, this is my nakedness and this is my madness! If you accept my reality then it is alright - because I can deceive people but how can I deceive you? I can show people that I am not naked by wearing clothes but you know very well that I am naked. How can I deceive you? I can show to people that I am very silent and blissful, but you know me in my very depth. How can I deceive you? In front of you I am just a mad man!"

In front of God we are all like a madman. In fact, leave God aside - if we look within ourselves then even to our own eyes we will look like madmen. Our mind has become absolutely confused, but we have never paid any attention to this problem so we have not developed any methods to deal with it.

The first thing is to encounter our mind directly, but we must understand two or three points for this encounter to happen. After that we will be able to think about how the mind can be changed.

The first thing for a direct encounter with the mind is that we should drop all our fears about knowing ourselves. What is the fear of knowing oneself? The fear is that perhaps we are a bad person. The fear is that we may discover that we are a bad person after having cultivated an image of being a good person. We appear to be a good person - we are saintly, we are innocent, we are authentic, we are truthful. Our fear is that we may realize that inside we are unauthentic and false. We are afraid of finding out that we are irreligious, complicated, cunning, hypocritical, unsaintly. The fear is that the image of ourselves - what we think ourselves to be - may turn out to be false.

A person who is afraid in this way can never encounter the mind. It is very easy to go into the forests, it is easy to go into darkness, it is easy to sit fearlessly in front of wild animals, but it is very difficult to stand fearlessly in front of the wild man that is hidden within you. It is very arduous. It is not at all arduous to stand for years in the sun, any fool can do that. It is not difficult to stand on your head, any idiot can be taught such circus games. And it is not very difficult to lie down on thorns - the skin adjusts to the thorns very soon. If there is one thing that is really arduous, it is the courage to have an immediate knowing of however one is within - whether bad or mad, however one is.

So the first thing is to drop fear and to get ready to see oneself courageously. One who does not have this courage is in trouble. We are interested in attaining the soul, we are interested in knowing existence, but we do not have the courage to have a direct and simple encounter with ourselves.

The soul and existence are very far away - the first reality is our mind, our brain. The first reality is the thought center with which we are most closely related. One has to see it, know it, recognize it, first.

The first thing is the effort to know one's own mind in aloneness without fear. For at least half an hour everyday give your mind a chance to express itself as it is. Close yourself in a room - like the emperor - and give total freedom to your mind. Tell it, "Whatever you want to think, to contemplate, let it happen." Drop all the censoring of yourself that has prevented things from surfacing - drop all that. Give your mind the freedom to allow whatever arises to arise; to allow whatever appears to appear. Don't stop or suppress anything. You are ready to know what is inside.

And you should also not judge what is good or bad because the moment you judge, suppression begins. Whatever you call bad, the mind starts suppressing, and whatever you call good, the mind starts using as a cover-up. So you don't need to judge anything as either good nor bad. Whatever there is in the mind, however it is, be prepared to know it as it is.

If you let your mind be totally free to think, to contemplate, to feel, you will feel very frightened and wonder if you are mad - but it is essential to know what is hidden inside in order to be free from it. Knowledge and recognition are the first steps to get free from it. We cannot conquer an enemy which we do not know or recognize. There is no way. The hidden enemy, the enemy standing behind you, is more dangerous than the enemy in front of you - the one you are acquainted with, whom you recognize.

The first thing is that because of the restrictions and inhibitions that we have imposed on the mind from all sides, we don't let the mind express itself in its spontaneity. We have restricted all its spontaneity. Everything has become unnatural and false. We have covered everything in veils, we are wearing false faces, and we never allow the mind to express itself directly. So, in the beginning, at least allow it to express itself directly in front of you so that you become acquainted with all the contents which have been hidden and suppressed. A great part of the mind has been suppressed in darkness. We never take a lamp there. We live in the balcony of our own house and inside there is darkness in all the rooms and we don't know how many insects and spiders and snakes and scorpions are hidden there. In darkness they are bound to gather. And we are afraid to take a light there, we don't even want to think about the condition of our house. It is very essential for a seeker to drop this fear.

To bring about a revolution in our mind and thoughts, the first thing is to drop the fear, to be ready to know oneself without fear. The second thing is to get rid of all the censorship and restrictions we have imposed on the mind. And we have imposed many restrictions on it. Our education, our moral preachings, our civilization and culture have imposed many restrictions - "Don't think about this.

Don't allow a thought of this kind to enter your mind. It is a bad thought! Don't allow it!" When we suppress them, the bad thoughts do not get destroyed, they only go deeper into our subconscious.

By suppressing it, a thought does not leave, it goes more deeply into our being - because what we are suppressing arose from within, it did not come from somewhere outside.

Remember, whatever is there in your mind doesn't come from somewhere outside, it comes from within. It is as if a spring is coming out of a mountain and we close its opening. The spring will not be destroyed, it will go deeper, and it will search for other ways to come out of the mountain. Originally there would have been one spring, but now perhaps there will be ten because the water will try to flow out by breaking into ten springs. And if we close these ten places then there will be a hundred springs.

Everything comes from within, not from the outside. And the more we suppress it, the more ugly and perverted it becomes. Then it finds new ways to come out, new complications are created - but we go on suppressing it harder. The basis of our education from our very childhood is that if a certain thought in the mind is wrong, suppress it. That suppressed thought does not get destroyed, it enters deeper into our subconscious. And the more we go on suppressing it, the deeper it goes, and the more it gets a grip on us.

Anger is wrong, so we suppress it - then a current of anger spreads right through us. Sex is wrong, greed is wrong, this is wrong, that is wrong.... Whatever is wrong we suppress and in the end we find that we have become whatsoever we suppressed. How long can you block those suppressed springs by closing their openings?

And the mind functions in certain ways. For example, whatever we want to suppress or escape from, becomes central to the mind. Whatever we want to escape from becomes an attraction and the mind starts moving towards it. Try it! If you try to escape from something or suppress something, the mind will immediately become focussed on it.

Milarepa was a mystic who lived in Tibet. One day a young man came to him and said, "I want to attain some powers. Please give me a mantra."

Milarepa said, "We don't have any mantras. We are mystics. Mantras are for magicians, for jugglers - go to them. We don't have any mantras - why should we need powers?"

But the more Milarepa refused, the more the young man thought that there must be something there - why else should he refuse? So he kept returning to Milarepa again and again.

Great crowds always gather around the saints who drive people away with sticks or throw stones at them. The crowds think that the saint must have something special otherwise he would not be driving people away.

But we don't realize that attracting people through an advertisement in a newspaper or through throwing stones at them, is the same trick. The propaganda is the same. And the second way is more manipulative and cunning. When people are driven away by someone throwing stones, they don't understand that they are actually being attracted. This is a subtle way of doing it. And the people do come although they have no idea that they have been seduced.

The young man thought that perhaps Milarepa was trying to hide something so he started coming everyday. In the end Milarepa got fed up so he wrote him a mantra on a paper and said, "Take this.

Tonight is the night of no moon. Read this five times during the night. If you read it five times, you will get the power you want. Then you will be able to do whatever you want to do. Now go and leave me alone."

The young man grabbed the paper and turned round and ran. He did not even thank Milarepa. But he had not descended the steps of the temple when Milarepa called after him, "My friend! I forgot to tell you one thing. There is a certain condition attached to this mantra. When you read it, you should not have any thoughts in your mind about a monkey."

The young man said, "Don't be worried, I have never had such a thought in my whole life. There has never been any reason to think of a monkey. I have to read this only five times. There is no problem."

But he made a mistake. He had not even descended to the bottom of the steps when the monkeys started coming. He became very scared. He closed his eyes and there were monkeys inside; he looked outside and even where there were no monkeys, he saw some! It was already night, and every movement in the trees seemed to be a monkey. It seemed that monkeys were everywhere.

By the time he got home he was very worried because up until then he had never thought about monkeys. He had never had anything to do with them.

He took a bath, but while he was bathing the monkeys were with him. His whole mind was obsessed with only one thing - monkeys. Then he sat down to read the mantra. He picked up the paper, closed his eyes - and there was a crowd of monkeys inside teasing him. He became very much afraid, but still he persevered the whole night. He changed his positions; he tried to sit in this way, in that way, in padmasana, in siddhasana, in other different yoga postures. He prayed, he bowed, he begged; he cried out to anybody to help him get rid of these monkeys. But the monkeys were adamant. They were not ready to leave him that night.

By the morning the young man was almost mad with fear and he realized that the mantra power could not be attained so easily. He saw that Milarepa had been very clever, he had put a difficult condition on him. Milarepa was crazy! If there was going to be a hindrance because of the monkeys then at least he should not have mentioned them. Then perhaps the mantra power could have been attained.

In the morning he went back to Milarepa crying and said, "Take your mantra back. You have made a big mistake! If monkeys were a hindrance in using this mantra, then you should not have mentioned them. I never usually think of monkeys but the whole of last night the monkeys chased me. Now I will have to wait for my next life to attain this mantra power because in this life this mantra and the monkeys have become united. Now it is not possible to get rid of them."

The monkeys had become united with the mantra. How did they become united? His mind insisted that the monkeys should not be there and so the monkeys came. Whenever his mind tried to get rid of the monkeys, the monkeys appeared. Whenever his mind tried to escape from the monkeys the monkeys came. To forbid is to attract; to refuse is to invite; to prevent is to tempt.

Our mind has become very sick because we don't understand this simple point. We don't want to be angry - then anger comes like a monkey. We don't want to be sexual - then sex appears like a monkey and gets a grip on our being. We don't want greed, we don't want ego - and they all come. But whatever we want - spirituality, religiousness, enlightenment - doesn't seem to come.

That which we don't want, comes, and that which we try to get, never appears. All this perversion happens because of not understanding this simple point of the mind.

The second thing to remember is that there is no need to insist on what should be in the mind and what shouldn't. We should be ready to watch whatever appears in our mind without making any choices and without any conditions. In this way we can begin to see what the mind is in reality.

The simple fact of the contradictory nature of the mind is well understood by advertisers around the world, but religious leaders have not understood it at all. Propagandists all over the world understand this fact but the people teaching in society have not understood it. When a movie is advertised 'For Adults only', children go to see it with a few paise worth of false moustache sticking on their faces.

The advertisers know that to attract children it is necessary to use the words 'For Adults Only' on the advertisement. There are women's magazines 'for women only'. Nobody reads them except men, women never read them. I enquired about it and found out that most of the buyers are men!

And when I asked the agents about the magazines they sell in the market, they said, "Women buy 'women only' magazines once in a while but usually they buy magazines for men only."

The advertisers understand what attracts man's mind but neither the religious leaders nor the teachers of morality have understood it yet. They still go on teaching people stupidities like "Don't be angry, fight with the anger". A person fighting with his anger and trying to escape from it will be obsessed with anger his whole life. He can never be free from it. Only a person who is interested in knowing his anger face to face and not fighting it, gets free of it.

The second point is to drop all the feelings of conflict and struggle with any state of the mind. Just create a feeling of wanting to know, to understand - "I should understand what my mind is." One should enter the mind with this kind of simple feeling. That is the second point.

And the third point is not to make any judgment about whatever arises in the mind. Don't make any judgement about what is bad or what is good. Badness and goodness are two sides of the same coin. Wherever there is badness, there is goodness on the other side. Wherever there is goodness, there is badness on the other side.

A bad person is hidden inside a good person and a good person is hidden inside a bad person.

A good person has the good side of his coin upwards and the bad side downwards. So if a good person becomes bad then he proves to be worse than the most bad person. And if a bad person becomes good then a good person seems pale in comparison. In a bad person the goodness has been completely hidden - only the badness shows. If he changes and becomes a good man then other good people will look pale next to him. A very fresh and hidden force of goodness arises from within him. Valmiki or Angulimal are good examples. They were very bad people who one day became good and they outshone all other saints with their goodness.

A good person and a bad person are not different; they are two sides of the same coin. But a sage is a third kind of person - inside him there is neither goodness nor badness. The coin disappears altogether. A sage is not a good man nor a gentleman nor a saint. A wicked man is always hidden inside a gentleman and a gentleman is always hidden inside a bad man. A sage is absolutely a third type of phenomenon. He is beyond both good and bad; he has no relation to either one. He has entered a totally different dimension where there is no question of good and bad.

A young monk lived in a village in Japan. He was very famous, and had great reputation. The whole village worshipped and respected him. Songs were sung all over the village in his honor. But one day everything changed. A young girl in the village became pregnant and gave birth to a child.

When her family asked her whose child it was she said it was the child of the young monk.

How long does it take for admirers to become enemies? How long? It does not take even a short while because inside the mind of an admirer condemnation is always hidden. The mind just waits for a chance, and the day admiration ends, condemnation begins. Those people who show respect can change in one minute to being disrespectful. The people who are touching a person's feet can within a moment start cutting the same person's head off. There is no difference between respect and disrespect - they are two faces of the same coin.

The people of the whole village attacked the monk's hut. For a long time they had been showing respect to the monk but now all the anger that they had suppressed came out. Now they had the chance to be disrespectful, so they all ran to the monk's hut and set it on fire and threw the tiny baby at him.

The monk asked, "What is the matter?"

The people shouted, "You are asking us what the matter is? This child is yours! Do we have to tell you what the matter is? Look at your burning house, look within your heart, look at this child and look at this girl. There is no need for us to tell you that this child is yours."

The monk said, "Is it so? Is this child mine?"

The child started crying so he started singing a song to make the child silent, and the people left him sitting by his burnt-out hut. Then he went to beg at his usual time, in the afternoon - but who would give him food today? Today every door he stood in front of was slammed shut. Today a crowd of children and people started walking behind him, teasing him, throwing stones. He reached the house of the girl whose child it was. He said, "I may not get food for myself, but at least give some milk for this child ! I may be at fault, but what is the fault of this poor baby?"

The child was crying, the crowd was standing there - and it became unbearable for the girl. She fell at the feet of her father and said, "Forgive me, I lied when I gave the name of the monk. I wanted to save the real father of the child, so I thought of using the name of this monk. I don't even have any acquaintance with him."

The father became nervous. This was a great mistake. He ran out of his house, fell at the feet of the monk and tried to take the baby from him.

The monk asked, "What is the matter?"

The girl's father said," Forgive me, there has been a mistake. The child is not yours."

The monk replied, "Is this so? Is the child really not mine?"

Then the people of the village said to him, "You are mad! Why didn't you deny it this morning?"

The monk said, "What difference would it have made? The child must belong to somebody. And you had already burnt one hut - you would have just burnt one more. You had enjoyed defaming one person, you would have enjoyed defaming one more. What difference would it make? The child must belong to someone - it could also be mine. So what is the problem? What difference does it make?"

The people said, "Don't you understand that everybody condemned you, insulted you, humiliated you very much?"

The monk answered, "If I had been concerned with your condemnation, I would have been concerned about your respect also. I do as I feel right; you do whatever you feel to be right. Until yesterday you felt it right to respect me so you did. Today you felt it right not to respect me so you didn't. But I am not concerned with either your respect or your disrespect.

The people said to him, "Gentleman, you should have realized that you would lose your good reputation."

He replied, "I am neither bad nor good. I am simply myself. I have dropped this idea of good and bad. I have dropped all concern in becoming good because the more I tried to become good, the more I found that I became bad. The more I tried to escape from badness, the more I found that goodness was disappearing. I dropped the very idea. I became absolutely indifferent. And the day I became indifferent, I found that neither goodness nor badness remained inside. Rather, something new was born which is better than goodness, and which does not even have a shadow of badness about it."

A sage is a third type of person. The journey of a seeker is not one of becoming a good man; the journey of a seeker is one of becoming a sage.

So my third point is: do not decide if a thought which is arising in the mind is good or bad. Don't condemn or appreciate. Don't say that this is bad or this is good. Just sit on the side of the stream of the mind, as if you are sitting on the bank of a river and indifferently watching the flow - water is flowing, stones are flowing, leaves are flowing, wood is flowing. And you are watching sitting silently on the bank.

These are the three points I wanted to tell you about this morning. The first thing is tremendous fearlessness in encountering the mind; the second thing is no restrictions, no conditions on the mind; the third point is no judgments about whatever thoughts and longings arise in the mind, no feelings of good or bad. Your attitude should simply be indifferent. These three points are necessary to understand the perversions of the mind. Then in the afternoon and evening we will talk about what can be done to get rid of these perversions, and go further - but these three basic points have to be kept in mind.

Now we will get ready for the morning meditation. First, two points to understand about the morning meditation, then we will sit for it.

The morning meditation is a very direct and simple process. Actually whatever is significant in life is very simple and direct. In life, the more futile a thing is, the more complicated and complex it is.

In life, the higher a thing is, the more simple and direct it is. It is a very direct and simple process.

The only thing you have to do is to sit silently and listen silently to the world of sound all around.

Listening has some wonderful effects. Usually we never listen. When I am speaking here, if you think that you are listening, then you are making a great mistake. A sound falling on the ear is not the meaning of listening.

If you are thinking simultaneously when I am talking, then you are not listening because the mind can do only one thing at a time, never two things. Either you can listen or you can think. As long as you are thinking, for that much time listening will stop; as long as you are listening, for that much time thinking will stop. So when I say that listening is a wonderful process, what I mean is if you just listen silently then the thinking will stop on its own - because it is one of the essential rules of the mind that it is incapable of doing two things at a time, absolutely incapable.

A man had fallen sick. For one year his leg had been paralyzed. The doctors told him that there was no paralysis in his body, it was his mind imagining it. But how could the man agree? He was paralyzed! Then his house caught fire. As it burned, all the people in the house ran out - and the paralyzed person also ran! He had not got out of his bed for one year. As he ran, he thought, "My God! How did this happen? For one year, I was not even able to get up! How can I be walking now?

The man asked me about it, and I told him, "Mind cannot think of two things at the same time. The paralysis was a thought of the mind, but when the house caught on fire, the mind became totally involved with the fire so the first thought - that my legs are paralyzed - disappeared and you ran out of the house! The mind can be intensely aware about only one thing.

This morning's experiment is about listening silently to the songs of the birds and the wind, to the cacophony of all kinds of sounds around you. Listen to it very silently. Give attention to only one thing, "I am listening. I am listening totally to whatever is happening. I am not doing anything else, just listening, totally listening."

I am stressing listening because as you listen totally, the continuous movement of thoughts within you will become absolutely silent - because both of these things cannot happen simultaneously. So put your total effort into listening. This is a positive effort.

If you try to throw out the thoughts then the mistake which I just told you about will start happening.

It is a negative effort. Thoughts cannot be thrown out by making an effort to get rid of them, but if the energy of the mind, which usually goes into thinking, starts flowing into some other stream, then thoughts automatically become weak.

The doctors of the paralyzed man used to tell him, "Drop the idea from your mind that you are paralyzed. You are not really paralyzed. But the more the man tried to throw out the thought that he was not paralyzed, the more he would be reminded of his paralysis. "If I am not paralyzed then why am I repeating, 'I am not paralyzed'?" Every time he repeated, "I am not paralyzed," he was deepening and strengthening his feeling that he was paralyzed. The mind of this man needed a diversion. There was no need for him to try to stop his thought about paralysis. If he had had the opportunity to get involved in something else then his paralysis would have disappeared, because it was a paralysis of the mind, not of the body. It was necessary for his mind to totally move aside for the paralysis to disappear.

Fortunately his house caught on fire. It may happen that what looks like a disaster later proves to be a fortunate happening. This time it was fortunate that the man's house caught fire because his whole attention went suddenly to the fire. His mind shifted from the paralysis which it was holding on to, and the illusion suddenly disappeared. It was an illusion, no more than that. In reality, there were no chains, there was only a web of thoughts. When the man's mind became distracted, his thoughts dried up and became lifeless - because thoughts get their life from our attention. Thoughts have no life of their own. The more attention we give to a thought, the more alive it becomes. The more we remove our attention, the more dead it becomes. If attention is totally removed, then thoughts become lifeless, they die, they disappear immediately.

That is why I am saying that you should give all your attention to listening. Decide absolutely that even the smallest voice of a bird should not go unheard, should not be missed. You should hear everything, whatever is happening all around - you should hear it all. Then you will suddenly find that the mind is entering into a deep silence, the thoughts are fading away.

Only one thing has to be done. You have simply to relax your body. Yesterday I told you to first tense your brain but perhaps you misunderstood. Relax your brain. Do not tense it. That is not necessary - because if you get caught up in the idea of tensing the brain, then that itself becomes a problem.

So drop that idea. It was not a part of the meditation. I had told you to do that just so that you could get some idea of what a tense brain and what a relaxed brain is. There is no need to worry about this idea. Drop it. And now relax. Let the mind be relaxed. Relax all the tense tissues and nerves of your brain. It is a matter of relaxing. The question is not of learning the art of making the brain tense.

You need to forget the art of keeping the brain tense. I told you that just so that you can understand the contrast between your brain being tense and being relaxed. For now, drop whatever you cannot understand. Just simply relax it.

So everybody please sit keeping some distance from each other. Nobody should be touching the other. Use this space in front. Come up here or go to the back, but nobody should be touching each other.

Allow the body to be totally relaxed and then close the eyes slowly. The eyes have to be closed so gently that there is no strain on the eyes. You should not close the eyes tightly otherwise you will feel a strain. The muscles of the eyes are very much related to the brain so let them be absolutely relaxed. Let your eyelids fall in the same way small children do. Let the eyelids fall slowly, relaxedly.

Then relax all the muscles of the face and head. You have seen the face of a small child, absolutely relaxed, nothing tense. Make your face like that - absolutely loose and relaxed. Let the body also be relaxed. The moment you let everything relax, the breath will become relaxed and silent on its own.

Then do only one thing: listen silently to whatever sounds are coming from all around. A crow will make a sound, a bird will make a sound, a child will speak on the road - listen to them silently. Go on listening and listening and listening, and everything will become silent inside.

Listen - listen silently for ten minutes. Let all the attention be on listening.

Be just listening, doing nothing else.

Listen... the birds are singing, the winds are shaking the trees - whatever sounds may come, listen to them silently.

Listen... and by and by, within you, a humming of silence will begin.

The mind is becoming silent. Go on listening and listening. The mind is becoming silent. The mind is becoming silent. The mind is becoming silent....

The mind has become silent, the mind has become absolutely silent. A deep silence is present inside. Listen to it, just listen to it. Listen... and by and by the mind will become silent.

The mind is becoming silent, the mind is becoming silent, the mind is becoming silent. Go on listening and listening, the mind is entering an absolute silence....

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The prosecutor began his cross-examination of the witness, Mulla Nasrudin.

"Do you know this man?"

"How should I know him?"

"Did he borrow money from you?"

"Why should he borrow money from me?"

Annoyed, the judge asked the Mulla
"Why do you persist in answering every question with another question?"

"WHY NOT?" said Mulla Nasrudin.