The sutras of the veena of the heart
[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 center of thinking is the brain, the center of feeling is the heart, and the center of life-energy is the navel. Thinking, contemplation and pondering happen through the brain. We talked a little about the center of thought yesterday. Feeling, experiencing emotions such as love, hate and anger happen through the heart. Life-energy happens through the navel.
On the first day I told you that the cells of thought are very tense and have to be relaxed. In thinking there is great tension and stress, the brain is under much stress. The strings of the veena of thought are so taut that no music arises from them; rather, the strings break - and man becomes disturbed.
Man has become very disturbed. It has become very necessary to relax the strings of the veena of thought a little, so that they can be in tune for music to be created.
The situation of the heart is exactly opposite to that of the brain. The strings of the heart are very loose. They need to be tightened a little, so that they can also be in tune for music to be created.
The tension in the strings of thought has to be reduced and the loose strings of the heart have to be tightened a little.
If the strings of both thought and feeling are in tune, if they are balanced, then the music can be created through which the journey to the navel can be made.
Yesterday we talked about how thoughts can become silent. This morning we will talk about how the strings of feeling, of the heart, can be tightened.
But before we can understand this, we have to understand that for a long time mankind has been living under a curse. The curse is that we have condemned all the qualities of the heart.
We have considered all the qualities of the heart to be a curse, not a blessing. This ignorance, this mistake, has been inconceivably harmful. We have condemned anger, we have condemned pride, we have condemned hatred, we have condemned attachment, we have condemned everything. And we have done all this without understanding that all these qualities are just transformations of the same qualities we praise.
We have praised forgiveness, and we have condemned anger - without understanding that forgiveness is a transformed form of the energy of anger itself. We have condemned hatred and we have praised love - without understanding that the energy which appears as hatred can be transformed and appear as love. The energy behind both of these is not different. We have condemned pride and we have praised humbleness without understanding that the same energy which appears as pride becomes humbleness. There is no basic conflict between these two; they are two aspects of the same energy.
If the strings of the veena are too loose or too tight and a musician touches them, the sound that is created is unmusical, disturbing to the ears and frightening to the mind. If in protest against this disharmonious sound, a person gets angry and breaks the veena's strings and throws the veena away, he can - but he shouldn't forget that, with tuning, harmonious sounds could have been created on the same instrument.
The unmusical sound was not the fault of the veena. The mistake was that the veena was not tuned.
If the veena had been tuned then from the same strings which produced disharmony, music alluring to the soul could have also been created.
Musical and unmusical notes both arise from the same strings, although they appear to be absolutely contradictory and the results of both of them are contrary. One of them leads you into a state of bliss and the other one leads you into a state of sorrow, but the strings and the instrument are the same.
Anger arises in man's heart if it is not balanced, systematic and organized. If the same heart becomes balanced then the energies which appear as anger start appearing as forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a transformation of anger.
If a child is born without anger then it is certain that forgiveness can never appear in the life of that child. If there is no possibility of hatred in the heart of a child then there will be no possibility of love either.
But until now we have lived with the illusion that feelings like these are contradictory and if we destroy one then the other will develop. This is absolutely wrong. There can be no teaching more dangerous than this. It is not psychological. It is very unintelligent. Forgiveness does not arise through the destruction of anger, it is attained through the transformation of anger. Forgiveness is not destruction of anger, it is anger becoming tuned and musical.
So if we are opposed to anger and try to destroy it, then we are trying to destroy the veena. And in destroying it, the man who develops will be very weak and feeble. None of the qualities of the heart will be able to develop in him. It is the same situation as somebody piling fertilizer around his house - which spreads dirt and a bad smell everywhere - in order for flowers to blossom. But instead of the fragrance of flowers, he gets the stink of fertilizer and his life becomes intolerable.
Flowers will certainly blossom with fertilizer, but not by just piling it around the house. The fertilizer has to undergo a change. It must enter the plants through the roots and then one day the foul smell of the fertilizer will turn into the fragrance of flowers. But if somebody simply piles fertilizer around his house he will become mad with the stink, and if he throws the fertilizer away, his flowers will become lifeless and pale. The transformation of the fertilizer can change a foul smell into fragrance.
This very chemistry, this very alchemy is called yoga, religion. The art of transforming whatever is futile in life into something significant is religion.
But we are committing suicide in the name of religion, we are not transforming our consciousness.
We are living with some basic misunderstandings; a shadow of some deep curse hangs over us.
Our heart has remained undeveloped because we have condemned its basic qualities. We have to understand this a little.
If man is growing rightly, anger will play an important part in his life. Anger has its own color. If it is removed then the picture of man's life will be in some sense incomplete, some color will be missing.
But from childhood we start teaching children to discard certain qualities, and the only result of discarding these qualities will be that the child will suppress whatever we call bad, he will suppress it in himself. A suppressed heart will be weak and floppy, its strings will not be rightly tuned.
And this suppression will happen in the brain, because our education does not go deeper than the brain.
When you tell children that anger is bad, this teaching will not reach the heart. The heart has no ears to listen with, no words to think with. This teaching will go into the brain and the brain cannot change the heart - so now a problem is created. The brain center thinks that anger is wrong, but the heart center doesn't. It has no connection with the brain. So, every day you become angry, and every day you regret it and decide not to be angry again. But the next morning you wake up and again you get angry. You are surprised because you have decided so many times not to get angry, yet it still happens!
You don't know that the center which feels angry is different from the brain center. The center which decides, 'I will not be angry', is absolutely different from the center which becomes angry. They are two totally different centers. So decisions and repentance do not have any effect on your anger.
You go on being angry and you go on regretting it and you go on feeling upset about it. You do not understand that these two centers are so separate, that the decision taken by one does not reach the other at all. So man disintegrates within.
The heart center works in certain ways and needs certain things to develop. If the mind interferes in that center then it will become disturbed, chaotic. Everybody's heart center has become absolutely chaotic, absolutely disturbed. The first thing certainly is that anger should be transformed - but it should not be destroyed.
So the first sutra to tighten the strings of the heart is to develop all the qualities of the heart, none should be destroyed. Maybe you will be a little puzzled. Does one need to develop anger? I say to you that one has certainly to develop anger - because anger can one day be transformed and become forgiveness. Otherwise forgiveness can never arise. If you read the life story of the greatest forgiving people in the world, you will find that in their early days they were very angry people. Anger has its own dignity and its own pride. If you read the life story of the greatest celibates who have been in the world, then you will find that in their early days they were very sexual people.
Gandhi became a great celibate as a result of being too sexual when he was young. When Gandhi's father was dying, the physicians told him that his father would not be able to survive the night - but even that night Gandhi could not keep away from his wife. It was the last night of his father's life.
It would have been very natural to sit with his father, it was the last farewell, he would not see his father again - but in the middle of the night, Gandhi went to his wife. His father died while Gandhi was in bed with his wife. It created a very strong shock in his mind. Gandhi's celibacy developed because of this shock. The shock turned all the energy of this highly sexual mind into a desire for celibacy.
How could it happen? It could happen because energies are always neutral; there is only a change of directions. The energy which was flowing towards sex started flowing in the reverse direction.
If there is a lot of energy already it can flow in any other direction, but if there is no energy there is nothing to go anywhere! What will go?
All the energies should develop rightly. The very idea of moral teaching has turned man into a very miserable and impotent being. In the past people experienced life in a deeper way than we do.
Two Rajpoot youths came to the court of King Akbar. They were brothers. They went to Akbar and said, "We are looking for a job."
Akbar said, "What can you do?"
They said, "We don't know how to do anything, but we are brave people. You may need us!"
Akbar said, "Have you got a certificate of bravery? What proof do you have that you are brave?"
Both of them started laughing. They said, "Can there be a certificate of bravery? We are brave!"
Akbar replied, "You cannot get a job without a certificate!"
Again they laughed. They pulled out their swords and within a second they thrust the swords into each other's chests. Akbar was shocked. Both the youths were lying on the ground, blood was flowing everywhere, but they were laughing. They said, "Akbar, you don't know that there can be only one certificate of bravery and that is death. There can be no other certificate!" Then they both died. Tears came into Akbar's eyes. He had not even imagined that such a thing could happen.
He called one of his Rajpoot military commanders and said to him, "A very grave accident has happened. Two Rajpoot youths have killed each other. I only asked them about a certificate!"
The commander said, "You asked something wrong. This would have made any Rajpoot's blood boil! What can be the certificate of bravery other than death? Only a coward and a weakling can have a certificate saying that he is brave, saying that somebody thinks he is brave. How can a brave man bring a character certificate? You asked a wrong question. You don't know at all how to talk to a Rajpoot! What they have done is right, there was no possibility of doing anything else. It was a clear choice."
Such intense anger! Such radiance! This kind of personality has an immense grandeur. Mankind is losing these qualities. All the radiance, all the courage and strength of man is being destroyed - and we think that we are giving him a good education! But this is not the case; the children are developing in a very wrong way, nothing of a real human being grows inside them.
A very famous Lama has written in his autobiography, "When I was five years old, I was sent to a university to study. At that time I was just five years old. In the evening my father told me that the next morning I would be sent to the university. And he said, 'Neither I nor your mother will be there to say goodbye to you. Your mother will not be there because there will be tears in her eyes, and if you see her crying then you will go on looking back at her and there has never been a man in our family who looks back. I also will not be there because after getting on the horse if you look back even once, then you will be my son no longer, then the doors of this house will be closed to you forever. The servants will say farewell to you tomorrow morning. Remember, do not look back after getting on the horse. There has never been a person in our family who has looked back.'"
Such an expectation from a child of five years old! The five-year child was woken up at four o'clock in the morning and put on a horse. The servants bade him farewell. As he left even a servant said, "My child! Be careful! You can be seen until the crossroad, your father is watching from upstairs.
Do not look back before the crossroad. All the children in this house have departed this way but no one has looked back." And the servant also told him, "The place where you are being sent is not an ordinary university. The greatest men of the country have studied at that university. There will be a very difficult entrance examination. So, whatever happens, try in every way to pass the entrance examinations, because if you fail there will be no place for you in this house."
Such harshness with a five year old child! He sat on the horse. In his autobiography he wrote that as he sat on the horse, "tears started flowing from my eyes, but how could I look back to the house, to my father? I was leaving for the unknown. I was so small, but I could not look back, because nobody in my house had ever looked back. If my father should see it then I would be banned from my house for ever. So I controlled myself and looked forward. I never looked back."
Something is being created in this child. Some will power, some life-energy, is being awakened in this child which can strengthen his navel system. This father is not hard; this father is very loving.
And all the mothers and fathers who seem to be loving are wrong, they are weakening all the inner centers. No strength, no determination is being created within.
The child reached the school. He was a five-year-old child - it could not be known what his capacities would be. The principal of the school said, "The entrance test here is difficult. Sit near the door with your eyes closed and do not open them until I come back - whatever happens. This is your entrance test. If you open your eyes then we will send you back, because one who does not have even this much strength in himself to sit with his eyes closed for a while cannot learn anything. The door to learning has closed. Then you are not worthy. Go and do something else." All this to a small child of five years...!
He sat near the entrance with his eyes closed. Flies started disturbing him, but he knew that he must not open his eyes because once he opened his eyes the matter would be over. The other children were coming in and out of the school, somebody started pushing him, somebody started disturbing him, but he was determined not to open his eyes, else the whole thing would be spoiled. And he remembered his servants telling him that if he failed the entrance test then his father's house was closed to him forever.
One hour passed, two hours passed - he sat with closed eyes afraid that even by mistake he might open them. There were many temptations to open his eyes: the road was busy, children were running around, flies were harassing him, some children were pushing him and throwing pebbles at him. He wanted to open his eyes to see if his master had come. One hour passed, two hours passed, three hours, four hours - he sat there for six hours!
After six hours the master came and said, "My child, your entrance test is over. Come in, you will become a youth of strong will. You have the determination within you to do whatsoever you want.
To sit for five to six hours with closed eyes at this age is a big thing!" The master hugged him and said, "Don't be worried, those children were told to harass you. They were told to disturb you a little so that you would be tempted to open your eyes!"
The Lama wrote, "At that time I thought I was being treated very harshly, but now at the end of my life I am full of gratefulness towards those people who were hard on me. They awakened something in me, some dormant strength became active."
We are doing the opposite. We say, "Don't be angry at the children, don't beat them!" Now all over the world corporal punishment has been absolutely stopped. A child cannot be struck; no physical punishment can be given to a child. This is not wise because a punishment is out of love, it is not given with enmity. Those children who are given some kind of punishment get their centers awakened within them. Within them the spine is straightened and strengthened. A determination arises within them. Anger and pride also arise and an inner strength is born and grows.
We are creating people without spines who can only crawl on the earth and cannot fly in the sky like eagles. We are creating a creeping crawling man who has no spine. And we think that we are doing it out of compassion and love and morality.
We teach man not to become angry, we teach him not to express any intensity, we teach him to become weak and wishy-washy.
There can be no soul in the life of this man. There can be no soul within this man because he cannot have the intense feelings of the heart inside him which are needed for the soul.
There was a Mohammedan king, Omar. He was at war with a man for twelve years. In the last battle he killed his enemy's horse with great difficulty, knocked the man to the ground and sat on his chest.
He lifted his spear and was about to plunge it in his chest, when the enemy spat in his face. Omar threw away the spear and stood up. The enemy was amazed. He said, "Omar, after twelve years you finally got the chance to kill me. Why have you missed it?"
Omar said, "I was thinking that you are an enemy worthy of me, but by spitting in my face you have shown such pettiness that now there is no question of killing you. The pettiness that you have shown is not the quality of a brave man. I thought that you are equal to me, so for twelve years I continued the war. But when I was going to kill you with the spear, you spat at me - this is not the quality of a brave man. I will commit a sin if I kill you. What will the world say to me if I kill a weak person who could only spit at me? The matter is finished; I am not going to commit a sin in killing you."
Those were wonderful people. The invention of weapons and war materials has destroyed all that was significant in human beings.
Face-to-face battles had their own value. They used to expose whatever was hidden inside man.
Today not a single soldier fights directly. He throws a bomb from an aeroplane - this has no relation to bravery, this has no relation to the inner qualities. He simply sits and presses the button of a machine gun.
The possibility of awakening whatever is hidden in man's inner being has become less and it is not surprising if man looks so weak and feeble! His authentic being cannot develop. All the elements within him cannot unite together and be expressed, manifested.
Our education systems are surprising. According to me all the heart qualities within man should be intensely and extremely developed. This should be the priority. Only if there is extreme development can there be a transformation. All transformations take place at extreme points; no transformations happen below that. If water is heated, it does not evaporate when it is lukewarm. Lukewarm water is also water, but at a hundred degrees, when the water reaches its ultimate temperature, then a transformation takes place and the water starts evaporating. Water turns into vapor at a hundred degrees, it does not become vapor before that. Lukewarm water does not become vapor.
We all are lukewarm people; no transformations take place in our lives. All the qualities of our minds, of our hearts, should be developed to a certain degree, only then can there be a revolution in them, only then can there be a change. When anger has an intensity, it can be transformed into forgiveness, otherwise not.
But we are enemies of anger, of greed, of passion, so we become lukewarm people. Then life remains just lukewarm; no transformation can ever happen. This lukewarmness has had a tremendously harmful effect on human beings. In my vision the first thing that has to be understood is that all the qualities of our personalties, of our hearts, should develop rightly. Intense anger has a beauty of its own which may not be apparent to us. Intense anger has a radiance, an energy, a meaning. It contributes to the personalty in its own way. All the feelings of the heart should be intensely developed.
So the first point is that the qualities of the heart should be developed not destroyed.
What is the second point? The second point is that there should be awareness but no suppression.
The more we suppress the feelings of the heart, the more it becomes unconscious.
We lose sight of whatever we suppress; it moves into darkness. All the energies of the heart should be clearly looked at. If you feel angry don't try to suppress it by chanting 'Rama, Rama'. If you feel angry, sit alone in a room, close the door, and meditate on the anger. See the anger totally - "What is this anger? What is the energy of this anger? From where does this anger arise? Why does it arise? How does it surround my mind and influence me?"
In aloneness meditate on anger. See the anger totally, understand it, recognize it. From where does it arise? Why does it arise? Then slowly, slowly you will become a master of the anger. And the person who becomes a master of his anger has great power, great strength. He becomes strong, he becomes a master of himself.
So it is not a question of fighting with the anger, it is a question of knowing the anger - because, remember, there is no greater energy than knowing, and there is no greater stupidity than fighting with one's own energies. One who is fighting with his own energies is committing the same mistake as a man who is wrestling with his own hands. If one hand is wrestling with the other, no hand will ever be able to win, because they both belong to the same person. The energy is flowing in both hands and if there is a fight between these two hands the energy will be dissipated. There can be no question of winning. In this kind of fight you will be defeated. All your energy will be wasted.
Whose energy is in the anger? It is your own energy. The energy is yours but you are the one who is fighting it. If you divide yourself and fight, then you will go on breaking apart, you will disintegrate, you will not be a whole person. For the person who fights with himself there can be no attainment in life other than defeat. There cannot be. It is impossible. Do not fight. Know your own energies, recognize them, be acquainted with them.
So the second point is not suppression but awareness. Do not suppress, whenever, whatever, energy may arise within you. We are a collection of unknown energies. We are the center of very unknown energies, with which we have no acquaintance, of which we have no awareness.
Thousands of years ago, when thunderbolts would strike the earth, man used to become afraid. He would fold his hands and say, "Oh God! Have you become angry? What happened?" He used to be afraid, the thunderbolt was a cause of fear. But today we know about electricity, we have enslaved it, so today it is not a cause of fear, rather it has become a slave. In every house it gives light, it helps the sick to be treated, it keeps machines operating. The whole life of man is influenced by it, run by it. Man has become a master of electricity. But for thousands of years man used to be afraid because he did not know what electricity was. Once we came to know what it was, then we became its master.
Knowing makes one a master. Within us many energies greater than electricity are alight, they shine. Anger glows, hatred glows, love glows. We become afraid of what is happening because we do not know what all these energies are.
Make your life an inner laboratory and start knowing all these powers within - watch them, recognize them. Never suppress even by mistake, never be afraid even by mistake, but try to know whatever is within. If anger comes, then feel fortunate and be thankful to the person who has made you angry.
He has given you an opportunity - some energy has arisen within you and now you can look at it.
Look at it silently, in aloneness; search to see what it is.
The more your knowing grows, the deeper your understanding will become. The more you become a master of your anger, the more you will find that it is under your control. The day you become a master of your anger is the day you can transform it.
We can transform that of which we are a master; we cannot change that of which we are not a master. And remember , you can never be a master of something you fight with because it is impossible to become a master of an enemy, one can only be a master of a friend. If you become an enemy of the energies within yourself, then you can never become a master of them. You can never win without love or friendship.
Neither be afraid nor condemn the infinite treasure of enemies within; start recognizing what is hidden within you.
So much is hidden within man - there is no limit. We are not even yet at the beginning of humanity.
Perhaps after ten or twenty-five thousand years the man who is on the earth will be as far away from us as monkeys are now. A totally new race can evolve - *??* are within man.
Scientists say that about half of man's brain is still absolutely unused, no use is being made of it at all.
Just a small part of the brain is being used and the remaining part is lying idle. This remaining part cannot be useless, futile, because there is nothing futile in nature. It may be that if the experience and knowledge of man grows, then the part which is lying idle will become active and start working.
Then it is beyond imagination what man will be able to know.
If a man is blind there is nothing like light in his world. Light does not exist for him. If there are no eyes then there is no light. Those animals who do not have eyes do not even know that light exists in the world. They cannot even imagine, they cannot even dream that light exists. We have five senses. Who knows - if we had a sixth sense maybe we would know many more things which might exist in the world! And if there were seven senses then we could know even more things.... Who knows what the limits of our senses are and how great they could become?
We know very little and we live even less that that. The more we know about the inner, the more we can enter the inner, the more we become acquainted with the inner, the more our life-energy will develop and our soul will crystalize.
The second sutra to keep in mind is that we should not suppress any of our energies - we should know them, recognize them, look into them and see them. From this you will have a very surprising experience: if you try to look at anger, if, sitting silently, you come to see it, then the anger will disappear. As you watch the anger, it disappears. If sexual feelings arise in your mind and if you go on watching them, then you will find that they will disappear. You will find that sex arises in unconsciousness and it disappears by watching it.
Then you will realize that you have discovered an amazing method: you will have discovered that, except in unconsciousness, anger and sex and greed have no power over man. With watching, with awareness, they all disappear.
I had a friend who had a problem with anger. He said, "I am very much disturbed by it and how much it is beyond my control. Show me a method to control it without me doing something myself - because I have almost given up, I don't think I can do anything about it. I don't think that I can get out of this anger by my own efforts."
I gave him a paper on which were written the words: 'Now I am getting angry'. I told him, "Keep this paper in your pocket and whenever you feel angry, take it out, read it and put it back again." And I said, "You can do at least this much; this is the minimum. I can't tell you to do anything less! Read this paper and then put it back in your pocket." He said he would try.
After two or three months, when I met him again, I asked, "What happened?"
He said, "I am surprised. This paper has worked as a mantra. Whenever I feel angry I take it out.
The moment I take it out, my hands and feet become numb. As I put my hand in my pocket I realize that I am feeling angry and then something in me loosens up; the grip that the anger used to have on me inside suddenly disappears. As my hand goes into the pocket, it relaxes, and there is no longer any need even to read it. When I feel the anger I start seeing the paper in my pocket."
He asked me, "How did this paper have this effect? What is the secret?"
I said, "There is no secret to it. It is simple. Whenever you are unconscious, the perversions, the imbalances, the chaos of the mind take hold of you. But when you become aware everything disappears."
So watching will have two results. Firstly your knowledge of your own energies will develop and knowing them makes you a master. And secondly, the strength of the grip these energies have on you will decrease. Slowly, slowly you will find that first anger comes and then you watch. Then after a while, gradually, you will find that anger comes and the watchfulness comes at the same time. And finally you will find that the anger is about to arise but the watchfulness is already there. From the day the watchfulness comes before the anger, there is no longer any possibility of anger arising.
Awareness of things before they happen has a value. Being sorry has no value because it happens later on. Nothing can be done later on; crying and weeping later on is futile, because it is impossible to undo whatever has happened. There is no chance of going back, no way, no door. But whatever has not happened can be changed. Being sorry is simply experiencing pain after something has happened. It is meaningless, it is absolutely unintelligent. You became angry, this was a mistake - and now you are sorry, this is one more mistake. You are becoming unnecessarily disturbed. It has no value. An awareness beforehand is needed; such an awareness will develop as we slowly, slowly watch all the emotions of the heart.
The second sutra is watching and not suppressing.
And the third sutra is transformation. Each quality of the heart can be transformed. Everything has many forms; everything can change into an opposite form. There is no quality or energy which cannot be diverted towards good, towards benediction. And remember, that which can become bad can always become good. That which can become harmful can always become helpful. Helpful and harmful, good and bad are directions. It is only a question of transforming by changing the direction, and things becomes different.
A man was running away from Delhi. He stopped and asked somebody, "How far is it to Delhi?"
The man replied, "If you go on running in the direction you are going, you will have to run around the world before you reach Delhi - because right now you are running away from it! However, if you turn back, then Delhi is the nearest town. It is a matter of turning around."
Running in the direction the man was running, it would take him a long time to reach Delhi. But if he made a hundred-and-eighty degree turn he would be already there.
If we go on moving in the directions we are moving in now we will reach nowhere. We cannot reach anywhere, even if we go around the whole earth - because the earth is small and the mind is huge.
A man may go around the earth but moving around the mind is impossible; it is very big, very vast, infinite. One can complete a rotation of the earth - the man can get back to Delhi - but the mind is bigger than the earth and to move around it is a very long journey. So this understanding of making a total turn-around, a total change of direction, is the third point to be kept in mind.
The way we are moving now is wrong. What is the proof that something is wrong? The proof that something is wrong is that the more we move, the more we become empty; the more we move, the more we become sad; the more we move, the more we become restless; the more we move, the more we are filled with darkness. If this is the situation then certainly we are moving wrongly.
Bliss is the only criterion for life. If your life is not blissful then know you are moving wrongly. Suffering is the criterion of being wrong and bliss is the criterion of being right - there are no other criteria.
There is no need to read any scriptures nor is there any need to ask a guru. All that is needed is to see if you are becoming more and more blissful, if your bliss is going deeper and deeper. If it is, you are moving rightly. And if suffering, pain and anguish are growing then you are moving wrongly. There is no question of believing somebody else, it is a question of looking into your own life, everyday, and seeing whether you are becoming more sad or more blissful. If you ask yourself there will be no difficulty.
Old people say that their childhood was very joyful. What does this mean? Have they grown in a wrong way? Childhood, the time of joy, was the beginning of life, and now, at the end of life, they are sad. The beginning was joyful and the end is sad; then life has moved in a wrong way. The contrary should have happened. What should have happened is that the joy of childhood should have grown day by day as man grows. Then in his old age, man would say that his childhood was the most painful state - because it was the beginning of life, it was the first stage.
If a student has gone to a university to study but then says that slowly, slowly the knowledge he had when he first started to study is disappearing, we would ask him, "Aren't you learning? Aren't you acquiring any knowledge? This is very strange!" We could have understood if he had said that he was more ignorant at the beginning of his studies - naturally, after studying for a few years, a student should know more not less - but to say that he now knows less sounds very strange!
People always say that they were more joyful when they were children. Poets sing songs of a blissful childhood. They must be mad! If childhood was blissful then does it mean that, because you are sad now, you have wasted your life? It would have been better if you had died in childhood; at least you would have died blissfully. Now you will die in sorrow. So those who die in childhood are fortunate!
The longer a person lives, the more his joy should grow - but our joy gets less. The poets are not saying something wrong, they are sharing the experiences of their life. They are correct. Our joy goes on getting less and less. Day by day everything goes on getting less when in fact it should be growing. So we are growing in a wrong way.
The direction of our life is wrong; our energy is wrong. One should be constantly vigilant, constantly inquiring; one should keep the criteria clearly in one's mind. If the criteria are clear to you and if you see you are moving wrongly, then nobody except yourself is preventing you from moving in the right direction.
One evening two monks arrived at their hut. For four months they had been away travelling but now, as it was the rainy season, they had returned to their hut. But when they reached their hut, the younger monk who was walking ahead suddenly became angry and sad. The winds of the rains had carried away half of the hut; only half of it was left. They had come back after four months in the hope that they would be able to rest in the hut and be safe from the rain. But now it was difficult.
Half of the hut had fallen down and half of its roof had been carried away by the winds.
The young monk said to his old companion, "This is too much! These are the things which create doubt about the existence of god. The sinners have palaces in the cities, nothing has happened to them, but the hut of poor people like us, who spend day and night in prayer, is in ruins. I doubt whether god exists! Is this prayer real! Or are we making a mistake? Maybe there is truth in sin - because the palaces of the sinful stand safe and the huts of the people who pray are carried away by the winds."
The young monk was full of anger and condemnation and he felt that all his prayers were futile. But his old companion raised his folded hands towards the sky and tears of joy started flowing from his eyes. The young man was surprised. He said,"What are you doing?"
The old man said, "I am thanking god, because who knows what the winds might have done? They could have blown away the whole hut, but god must have created some obstacles for the wind and in that way saved half our hut for us. God is concerned about us poor people also, so we should thank him. Our prayers have been heard, our prayers have not been futile - otherwise the whole roof might have been blown away."
That night both of them slept - but as you can imagine, both slept in different ways. The one who was full of anger and rage, and who thought that all his prayers were futile, kept on changing his position all night, and all kinds of nightmares and worries were racing around in his mind. He was worried. There were clouds in the sky; it was about to rain. Half of the roof had been blown away by the winds and they could see the sky. Tomorrow the rain would start, then what would happen?
The other slept a very deep sleep. Who else can sleep so peacefully except one whose being is filled with gratitude and thankfulness? He got up in the morning and started dancing, and singing a song.
In the song he said, "O God! We didn't know that there could be so much bliss in a broken-down hut. If we had known it before, then we would not have even bothered your winds, we ourselves would have taken away half of the roof. I never slept so blissfully. Because half of the roof was not there, I saw the stars and the gathering clouds in your sky whenever I opened my eyes during the night. And now that the rains are about to start it will be even more beautiful because, with half the roof gone, we will be able to hear the music of your rain-drops much more clearly. We have been idiots! We have spent so many rainy seasons sheltering inside the hut. We had no idea what joy it could be to be exposed to the sky and the wind and the rain. If we had realized it we would not have bothered your winds, we ourselves would have got rid of half the roof."
The young man asked, "What is this I am hearing? What is all this nonsense? What is this madness?
What are you saying?"
The old man said, "I have looked at things deeply and my experience is that whatever makes us more happy, that is the right direction in life for us, and whatever makes us suffer more, that is the wrong direction. I thanked god and my bliss increased. You became angry at god and your anguish increased. You were restless last night, I slept peacefully. Now I am able to sing a song and you are burning with anger. Very early I came to understand that the direction in which life becomes more blissful is the right direction. And I have directed my whole consciousness towards that direction. I don't know whether god exists or not, I don't know whether he has heard our prayers or not, but my proof is that I am happy and dancing, and you are crying and angry and worried. My bliss proves that my way of living is right; your anguish proves that the way you are living is wrong."
The third point is to keep a continuous check on which direction it is that deepens your joy. There is no need to ask anybody else. We can use the criterion every day, in our everyday life. The criterion is bliss. It is just like the criterion for testing gold by rubbing it on a stone - the goldsmith will throw away whatever is not pure and put whatever is pure into his vault. Go on checking everyday using the criterion of bliss: see what is right and what is wrong. Whatever is wrong can be thrown away, but the right will slowly start accumulating like a treasure.
These are the three sutras for the morning. In the evening we will talk a little more about them.
Now we will sit for the morning meditation. It will be better if you sit keeping a little distance from each other. Nobody should be touching anybody else. You need to understand two things - I'll explain again because perhaps some new friends are here.
What we are going to do is a very simple and easy thing. But often it happens that the easy things seem very difficult to do because we are not used to doing simple things. We are accustomed to doing difficult things, not easy things.
Firstly, it is very easy and simple to allow our body to be absolutely relaxed and silent for a while.
Close your eyes slowly and just remain sitting, without doing anything - and then, secondly, listen silently to the sounds happening around - just listen. Just listening will start creating a silence and a depth inside.
In Japan the word they use for meditation is very interesting. They call it zazen. Zazen means, 'just sitting, doing nothing'. It means only this and nothing else: sit silently and do nothing. It is a very meaningful word.
So, sit silently, doing nothing. Eyes are closed, ears are open, so the ears will listen. Just go on listening silently. Go on listening silently. While listening you will find that within you a deep silence and emptiness has arisen. It is in this emptiness that one has to go on moving - deeper and deeper, deeper and deeper. It is through the door of this emptiness that some day we will realize the whole.
Through this door of emptiness we will attain that which is whole. And in this way becoming more and more silent, listening to the birds and the sounds around you - one day we will start to hear the sound which is of the inner being. So we will listen silently.
Firstly, relax the body completely. Then easily, slowly, gently, close the eyes. Drop the eyelids very slowly, so that there is no weight on the eyes. Close the eyes and relax the body. Sit absolutely silently - we are sitting silently and doing nothing. There are sounds of birds all around, just listen to them silently. Keep listening to all the sounds around you. Just keep listening and don't do anything.
Slowly, slowly within you something will become silent, something will settle. Just listen, and a silence will descend inside you. For ten minutes listen silently. Listen absolutely relaxed. Listen...
mind has become silent, mind has become absolutely silent, mind has become silent, mind has become silent. In deep silence... listen to each sound. Birds are singing... listen.