A meditator needs no personal guidance
I HAVE BEEN YOUR SANNYASIN FOR SEVEN YEARS AND I AM UNABLE TO EXPRESS MY GRATITUDE, AS IT GAVE MY LIFE DIRECTION AND JOY AND GRACE AND MORE.
NOW, BEING HERE FOR ONLY ONE WEEK, I REALIZE THAT I HAVE ALWAYS HAD A NEED FOR PERSONAL GUIDANCE FROM SOMEBODY TUNING INTO ME AND MY QUESTIONS. THIS STRONG NEED WAS ONLY REINFORCED DURING A COUNSELING SESSION TODAY, HERE.
BELOVED MASTER, WOULD YOU PLEASE COMMENT?
Satyam Robert, the way you are growing in silence, in your meditations, in your grace, and the way the gratitude is coming to you, you don't need any personal guidance. You need to be more and more open to the impersonal existence. The idea of personal guidance is mind's old habit to become dependent on someone; and I am struggling hard against your habits.
The whole existence is available to guide you -- and you are now in a position to be in direct contact with the universe. As your gratitude deepens, as your grace becomes more and more clear, as your silence becomes more and more rooted in you -- it is the universe itself which takes you into its own hands. Those hands are invisible, but they are there; you are not orphans in the universe. You are immensely needed and loved, you are just not aware of it.
My own suggestion is to drop the idea of personal guidance, because anybody will try to guide you according to his mind, according to his ideas of how you should be. That's what all the teachers of the world have been doing: imposing their idea, their image on people who are searching and seeking guidance. It is one of the most dangerous games to play, because in it you are always the loser. If the teacher succeeds in imposing certain directions, certain patterns, disciplines, according to me it is not guidance; it is misguidance. Because nobody knows your unique self -- only you can know it. And you have to grow according to your nature, not according to anybody's guidance.
To me, to be natural, to be spontaneous is enough. All guides have been misguides. And you can see it: the whole universe of humanity is living in tremendous misguidance.
Otherwise why should there be so much insanity? Why there should be so much misery, so much agony and spiritual suffering? The reason is that nobody has been allowed to be just himself, his natural being.
Your so-called religions don't trust nature; they trust in holy scriptures; they trust in dead words spoken thousands of years before by people we do not know. Whether they knew anything, or they were just creating fictions... unless you know, you can never be certain.
But they are molding you according to patterns created in the past. This process of molding people into Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans, Buddhists, goes against the very basic human right; it does not allow you to be your natural self. And unless you are yourself, you cannot be happy.
Just think, if there were teachers teaching roses that they have to become lotuses...
Fortunately, roses don't care about teachers and religions and churches. But just think for a moment: if people were there who were telling the roses to be lotuses, the marigolds to be roses, what would be the ultimate outcome of it?
Roses would try to become lotuses, which they can never become; it is not their self- nature. They can only be roses, beautiful, immensely graceful, fragrant. But if this idea of being somebody other than what their nature is, is imposed on them, two things will happen: they will never become lotuses, but their whole energy will be wasted in trying to become lotuses. And the second thing is they will not be roses either, because from where will they find the energy to be roses? That whole energy is making an effort for the impossible.
Actually the same has happened with humanity. Everybody is giving you an idea; everybody is ready to tell you how you should be.
All "shoulds" and all "should nots" have to be abandoned. You simply have to listen to your own inner voice. And wherever it leads, just go without bothering whether people think it is right or wrong.
If you can become just your own self, if you can blossom into your intrinsic nature, then only you will have blissfulness -- a peace which cannot be expressed in words, and a certain poetry to your being; a certain dance to your being, because you will be in tune with existence. To be in tune with yourself is the only way to be in tune with existence.
Nobody needs personal guidance, because all personal guidance is a beautiful name for dependence on somebody and he is going to distort you.
I don't give you any discipline -- I don't tell you, you should be this or that. I simply say you should become silent, so that you can listen to your still, small voice. That is your real guide; the guide is within you. I know hundreds of psychoanalysts, psychologists, so- called counselors. They are burdened with all kinds of problems, but they have just learned the technique, either from education or from the libraries. And they go on advising -- to advise is so simple. In their own lives they are not what they are advising.
If you watch the life, as I have watched very closely the life of people like Sigmund Freud -- the topmost counselors in the world: Karl Gustav Jung, Alfred Adler, Assagioli - - I have been simply shocked to see that these people have become the guides to millions of people.
I remember one small incident...
Wilhelm Reich, as a young psychoanalyst, was deeply interested to meet Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. He had read in the universities and he was a genius, perhaps of a far greater quality than Sigmund Freud himself. Sigmund Freud was in his old age, just the last years, and this Wilhelm Reich was asking again and again for an appointment. Finally he got the appointment. And the way Sigmund Freud treated him is so inhuman, just because he was a young man, fresh from the university.
He had come with some significant questions, and he had created in his own mind a great image of Sigmund Freud, naturally. He asked, "I have come from far away to inquire a few things: One, you insist that unless a man is psychoanalyzed, completely psychoanalyzed, he will never be out of confusion and misery. Can you show me a man who has been completely analyzed, so I can just meet him and see what a completely clear man would be like? I have read about it, but I don't have any personal experience of meeting somebody who is beyond confusion and is pure clarity."
Sigmund Freud became angry, and he said, "What kind of nonsense... psychoanalysis is not a simple thing. It takes decades for anybody to become completely psychoanalyzed."
Reich was shocked, but he said, "You have been working your whole life. Have you psychoanalyzed any person completely, so that I can go and see the person? Because other than that there is no proof that what you are saying has any significance as far as science is concerned." And seeing Sigmund Freud getting angry... because Sigmund Freud was not accustomed to such questions, he was surrounded with cronies, yea-sayers.
Whatever nonsense he would say, they would say that it was a great truth. Seeing Sigmund Freud getting so angry, Reich said, "Drop that subject. I want to know whether you have been psychoanalyzed totally or not." And Sigmund Freud had to tell him, "Get out! And never again try to come to me; you don't know how to behave."
The reality is that all his life Sigmund Freud was being asked by his colleagues again and again, "Just as you psychoanalyze us, now we know the technique, why don't you get psychoanalyzed, by any of us you choose? We would like to have a look into your inner world of dreams, imaginations, desires, to see whether what you claim to be absolute clarity, peace, integrity is there inside you or not?"
He refused continuously; he never allowed himself to be psychoanalyzed, and he is the founder of psychoanalysis. Why was he so afraid to be psychoanalyzed? He knew perfectly well that it is easy to advise others, but it is difficult to transform yourself. He was suffering from ordinary human problems, the same tensions, the same misery, the same repressions, the same inhibitions, the same taboos. And he was afraid to open up his dream world because that would show things which would be a proof that although he was the founder, he himself was not what he was trying for the whole of humanity to be.
The same is the situation today. Psychoanalysts themselves once in a while go to another psychoanalyst to be psychoanalyzed, because they have become too burdened with problems. It is such a stupid game.
If Gautam Buddha says anything about meditation it is his own experience, not just a theoretical, intellectual formulation. If he says something about the inner light, he has seen it. If he says it is possible to go beyond mind, he has gone beyond mind, only then he says it. And the people who watched him for forty-two years continuously never found any flaw, never found him at any time angry, at any time miserable, at any time sad. One cannot pretend for forty-two years continuously; one needs holidays! Even to pretend for a few hours to be what you are not is such a tension and such a burden that you are going to drop it and expose yourself at the slightest excuse.
This is the difference between the Western psychoanalytic movement and the Eastern movement for meditation.
I have told you a Sufi story...
A woman was very much impressed by a Sufi mystic, and she was very worried about her only son. She was living for him; the father was dead. That boy was her life, and she wanted him to become something.
The boy was too attached to eating sweets and all kinds of junk. She tried hard; everybody, the teachers, the priests all tried, but the boy was absolutely indifferent to their advice; he continued to eat sweets.
He was the only son, so finally the mother would relax and would give him what he wanted; otherwise, he would remain hungry. But he would not eat anything that he did not want to eat; he would eat only things that he wanted to eat. And those were things which were not healthy, which were not nourishing, which could create problems later in his life.
The Sufi mystic had come wandering into the village, and the woman thought it was a good chance. That man has such a tremendous and powerful aura around him, perhaps he may be able to change this stupid boy's mind. She took the boy... she had been taking him to anybody who could help; it had become almost a routine thing. The boy went there very reluctantly, very resistant; it had become almost a question of his own self-respect.
When the woman told the Sufi master about the situation, he said, "You will have to forgive me. Right now I cannot say a single word to this beautiful boy. I am old, I am seventy years, but it will take at least two weeks for me to be able to say something to him."
The woman could not believe him. Anybody, any idiot was ready to advise. And a great mystic followed by many many people, says to the boy, "You will have to forgive me; you came and I cannot advise you right now. You will have to give me two weeks at least."
The boy for the first time dropped his reluctance, his resistance. For the first time he was respected, he was accepted as a dignified human being; he was not condemned out of hand. And the old man was really concerned, he wanted to give him some advice which would be of importance; he needed at least two weeks' time. The mother was absolutely shocked, could not believe that this great mystic cannot advise a small boy right now on such a trivial matter. But what to do? They had to wait two weeks.
After two weeks she came again. This time the boy came very joyously. In fact, he was very eager about how fast the days were moving, and he was counting because he wanted to see the mystic again. "He is a totally different man from all other men you have taken me to." The woman was surprised because the boy was always resistant, reluctant. He went against his will, was forced to go -- and this time he is so eager! He cannot wait for two weeks; those two weeks look like two years.
Finally the day came, and in the early morning the boy took a shower, changed his clothes, got ready. The mother said, "What is the hurry?"
He said, "I want to see the man. He is the only man that I have felt respects others."
Otherwise, advising others is a kind of humiliation; it is saying: I know and you do not know. I am the guide and you are the guided. I am the teacher and you are the taught. It is enjoying a certain egotism at the cost of humiliating the other person.
They went, and the woman first asked, "Before I ask about the boy, I want to know why it took two weeks for you -- is it such a great philosophical problem?"
The mystic said, "If it were a philosophical problem I would have answered immediately; it is an existential problem. I am seventy years old; he is just seven years old. I have lived ten times more than the boy, still I love to eat sweets. And as long as I myself eat sweets I cannot say anything. These two weeks I tried not to eat sweets, and to see what happens.
My advice will depend on my own experience, not just on the common opinion that sweets are bad. They may be bad, but if I cannot drop them at seventy years of age, to expect a small boy to drop them... I cannot advise that."
The boy was immensely impressed. A man at this age tortured himself for two weeks?
And he said to the boy, "My son, it is very difficult. I managed to drop sweets, and I have managed now for the rest of my life -- but to advise you I feel a little shaky. You are so young. To drop sweets if you love them will be arduous, and to impose this idea on you I will be almost being violent and violating your individual right. So all that I can say is, it is good and it is healthy, but it is very difficult. It is a challenge. You can choose whether you are ready to take the challenge. I have dropped them for the rest of my life; only now have I the authority to say to you that you can also drop. But it is certainly a difficult thing. Are you ready for a challenge, an adventure?"
The boy said, "I drop them right now, and for my whole life. If you can drop them, why can't I drop them? And you are so old; I am so young. You are getting weaker; I am getting stronger. I can take the challenge; you don't feel worried about it."
The mother could not believe what is happening: it is a miracle. The boy is persuading the old man, "I will be able."
The old man said, "My feeling is, you should also think about it for two weeks, try..."
The boy said, "No. I am dropping them right now in your presence, with your blessings."
The people you go to for personal counseling are in the same boat in which you are; they have the same problems. Here, I have all kinds of psychotherapists, and they are good at their work technically. They know how to help people, but they don't know how to help themselves. They write their problems to me, and they are the same problems for which they are known to be good counselors, good therapists. To know something technically is one thing, and to know something existentially, experientially, is another thing.
As far as you are concerned, you are already moving on the right path. These are good symptoms that you are feeling a sense of direction, joy, grace, and more; these are indications that you are on the right path -- you don't need any personal counseling. You need to be yourself more and more, more integrated, more natural, more spontaneous.
You have found the path, now anybody else can disturb it. It is possible that you may go to a counselor who has not even grown as much as you, but he is very knowledgeable.
His expertise is great; he can talk about things and distract you from the path.
A meditator needs no personal guidance. A meditator, on the contrary, needs only one thing: the atmosphere of meditation. He needs other meditators; he needs to be surrounded by other meditators. Because whatever goes on happening within us is not only within us, it affects people who are close by. In this communion people are at different stages of meditation. To meditate with these people, just to sit silently with these people, and you will be pulled more and more towards your own intrinsic potentiality.
I don't want you to become somebody else, a Gautam Buddha or a Jesus Christ. I want you to become just yourself, anonymous, nobody special, but blissful. And you are already on the right path. You have taken a few steps; now just go on moving, trusting yourself, and on each step your confidence will become deeper.
Never ask for advice, because everybody is so unique and so different that there has never been any person like you before, nor is there going to be another person like you again. So really, no guidelines for you exist. But existence is greatly compassionate. It has given you the whole program of your life in a seed form. If you don't ask anybody, and just silently listen to your own heart and go on following it, you will reach the space where you can feel at home; where suddenly you realize who you are, where suddenly you feel a synchronicity with the whole existence.
All that is natural, the trees, the clouds, the mountains, the oceans, with all of them you will find a certain harmony. You will not find harmony with machines, big and great computers, factories, automobiles, railway trains. You may not find any harmony... there is no question, because these are heartless, lifeless things. They don't know how to sing; they don't know how to dance. Have you seen any computer dancing? Have you heard of any computer falling in love with a woman computer? Only machines will be left out.
With all that is natural and all that grows, all that blossoms, all that moves and breathes, all that has a heartbeat, you will find a tremendous harmony. Your heartbeat will be merging and melting into the universal heartbeat -- no personal counseling.
I am not a counselor. Never even for a single moment in my life have I thought that somebody should be according to my ideas. I share my ideas, I share my experiences -- not so that you should become a certain ideal; I share with you as fellow travelers. It may harmonize with you. You may find that it comes suddenly to your awareness that this is very natural for you; that you were not aware of it, you have become aware. But it is not my idea then. It is your own idea of which you have not been aware. I share my ideas with you, not to make you into certain prototypes, but to give you an insight into your own nature.
I know myself, I know my nature; I know that all my well-wishers, my parents, my teachers, my professors, my friends, have tried their hardest to make me something else.
And I am immensely grateful to existence that I never listened to anybody; I simply went on following my own inner voice. Whether it leads me into hell or into heaven I have not cared, because my feeling is that if my nature leads me into hell then perhaps that is the place where I belong. In heaven I will be an outsider, I will feel unfit.
Wherever my nature leads is the place that can give me the feeling of joy and the feeling that life has tremendous meaning, that it has great splendor; that it is a miracle just to breathe in and breathe out; that nothing can be more perfect if you reach to the climax of your own nature.
Avoid advisers -- because they are so available all around that whether you ask their advice or not they will give it. People love to give advice; it has a certain joy. People would love to create their own carbon copies, and they will feel very happy that they are the original and everybody is just at the most a true copy.
You have your own originality.
It is better to remember it always.
Never go against your inner feelings.
Very few people in the world have come to the flowering, and the reason is that very few people have been rebellious enough against the so-called advisers. Very few people have dared to find their path and have not followed the superhighway where everybody is going. But those are the few people who have helped humanity, its whole evolution, its whole intelligence. Just take away those few people and man will be back to where Darwin thinks he started growing to be a human being.
The crowd must have laughed at that time also. When a monkey came down from the trees and stood on the ground on his two feet, the whole crowd of monkeys must have laughed, giggled: "Look at that character! Look at that fool who is going against tradition, against our forefathers, against our religion, against our race." But they must have condemned that monkey who rebelled against the whole culture of the monkeys, their civilization; they must have said, "You have fallen down." Naturally, he has fallen down from the trees. And as time passed, he must have become weaker. Monkeys are far stronger than you are; they have to be, they are doing continuous exercise jumping from one tree to another. You have to do something else; you cannot do that kind of jumping now. You are not capable; your body has changed completely.
But the first monkey who came down must have been a genius, must have wanted to explore life on his own rather than with the crowd and the mob. Other monkeys are still hanging on the trees -- they are traditional people! They believe in their ancestors, they believe in their golden past and they don't want to change. To change, one needs courage -- and to be alone, and to make your path. And make your path by walking it; don't look for a ready-made path. It may have served somebody else but it was not made for you.
If one remembers some self-respect and dignity of his own being, then there is no need of anybody to teach you, to help you. You are born as a complete being, with all the potential. You just have to work on your potential and you will find the goal.
Leo Tolstoy is reported to have said -- and before I quote him, I have to give you the background....
He had the most miserable life possible. He was born in a super-rich family, a distant cousin to the royalty. He himself was a count; his wife was a countess. Both families were within the ten topmost families of Russia, but he was utterly miserable. He could not manage to live his life with his family, with his wife, and the reason was simply that both were of totally different natures. The wife could not even look at him. To him the way he was behaving was saintly. He used rotten clothes the way beggars do, old secondhand shoes, and lived in a way only a beggar is supposed to live. Naturally, the wife could not tolerate him. She has lived like a queen, and she was one of the richest women in Russia.
But Leo Tolstoy was a Gandhian, you will be surprised to know. Although Gandhi came later, in the last days of Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi and he had written a few letters to each other. And Mahatma Gandhi declared that he has been under three masters; one is Leo Tolstoy, another is Henry Thoreau, and the third is a Jaina monk, Shrimad Rajchandra. These three people impressed Mahatma Gandhi.
Mahatma Gandhi was working in South Africa but he was very much impressed by the lifestyle of Leo Tolstoy. His wife was so angry that they were not even talking to each other. Talking meant always a fight. They had different natures. Tolstoy was trying hard to make his wife live a simple life, the life of poverty because, "blessed are the poor." He was a fanatical follower of Jesus Christ. Literally, he was living a poor life -- and the wife was feeling absolute repugnance. She wanted him to live like a prince, as he really was.
They quarreled their whole lives, both trying to make the other be according to his ideas, or her ideas. This is an extreme case, but this is the story of all families: nobody is allowed to be himself -- people go on manipulating.
Maneesha is writing a book about her experiences with me. Just the other day I heard that her mother from Melbourne, Australia, has written a very angry letter, "First you made me condemned by the Christian society here in Melbourne, and now you are trying to write a book, I hear. That means you would expose it to the whole world, and particularly in Melbourne where I will have to suffer."
And it is not any exception. Devageet has received a letter from his mother saying, "Stop writing the book," because he is also writing a book. Now these poor mothers are in great anxiety. What are these people going to write about them? -- that must be a deep fear.
Secondly, they will expose that Christianity is no longer relevant, that something new, something basically discontinuous with the past is needed. And that's what sannyas is. So they must be afraid of the crowd, of the church, of the congregation, of the priest; what they will say: "Look what your son has done," or "Look what your daughter has done.
You did not bring them up rightly; they have gone astray."
Everybody is concerned that everybody else should not go astray. And what do they mean by astray? You should not go in a different direction than they are going. And you know their whole life is misery, you know their whole mind is full of anxiety and agony; you have never seen them joyous. You have never felt a deep harmoniousness with your own parents. And they have tried in every way -- in your helplessness, because every child is helpless -- to force you onto the way that they think is right.
But their whole life proves that they are not right. If their life was a life of joy and songs and celebrations, the children would have followed without any punishment, without any harassment, without any torture. And now Maneesha and Devageet are not small children; they have their lives, they have their lifestyle and they want to share it with the whole world. Why should their mothers be so concerned? What is the fear?
Leo Tolstoy says, "All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." I cannot agree with him; I would rather change the whole statement to the contrary: All unhappy families resemble one another, but each happy family is happy in its own way.
And the same is true about individuals: All unhappy individuals resemble each other; only happy individuals have a uniqueness. Happiness, growing towards blissfulness, makes you unique in a world which is full of misery.
Always remember, the whole effort of psychoanalysis and other therapies, and other so- called wise men is nothing but to help you remain normal, to help you remain part of the crowd. The moment you try to become an individual you will be condemned, because five billion people cannot be wrong -- although they are suffering in hell. But the number is never decisive about truth.
Ralph Waldo Emerson has made a statement: "To be great is to be misunderstood."
I knew one very beautiful man...
There were only two men in India who were respected so highly as to be called Mahatma; Mahatma means the great soul. One was Mahatma Gandhi and another was Mahatma Bhagwandin. I was very much interested in Mahatma Bhagwandin, just as he was very loving towards me. I was a small child when we became friends, because he had stayed with my family. He had come to deliver some lectures in the town, and we used to go for morning walks together. By and by, we forgot completely that he is very ancient, old. We started arguing and discussing.
It was just by coincidence that he was on his deathbed in Nagpur and I was coming from Wardha, from a lecture tour. Somebody in the train told me, "Mahatma Bhagwandin is very very sick, and there seems to be no possibility that he will survive more than a week." So I stopped at Nagpur and went to see him.
He was almost dead; he had become absolutely like a skeleton. He opened his eyes and he took my hand in his hand, and he said, "I am worried about you, that you will be misunderstood your whole life. There is still time for you to agree with the masses, whether they are right or wrong." And he was saying it out of compassion. He said, "Because I have suffered my whole life, and I have been condemned, I don't want you to be condemned."
I said, "Do you want me to be a hypocrite and respectable? Do you want me to be something other than my nature allows me?"
He said, "I knew you would argue, and I know that you are right. It is just a fatherly feeling; I have suffered my whole life because I always was in favor of unpopular movements, unpopular ideologies... and you are far more dangerous, you are against everybody."
I said, "I have to be against everybody. I have to be just myself. And anybody who wants to pull me in some other direction is not my friend." I said, "I understand your love, but you should also understand my situation. I would rather be condemned by the whole world than go against my nature. Because who cares about the world? They cannot bring me the truth; they cannot bring me the meaning; they cannot bring me the significance.
What can they give to me? -- respectability, honor? And what am I going to do with respectability and honor? Those are all bogus words used to cheat people. I simply want to be nobody; I am going to stick to myself. And this is my promise to you as you are dying. Remember my words even when you are dead, that I will..."
He said, "I knew you wouldn't listen. And I am happy that you are absolutely determined." He had tears of joy in his eyes -- not of sadness, joy. He said, "If you had agreed with me, I would have felt very sad that the world has lost another individual. But you don't agree with me, even when you see I am dying. In such a situation anybody will say, just to be polite, 'Yes, whatever you say I will do.' Even in such a situation you are not ready to accept. I can die joyfully because I have loved you and I have watched how you are growing -- of course with a concern that you will be condemned by religions, by governments, by masses."
But what about all your psychotherapists, your leaders, your teachers, your universities -- what is their function? Their function is to keep you within the fold; to keep you just a sheep amongst the crowd of sheep and never allow you to be yourself. They are all angry with me for telling this to young people who have not yet died -- because people mostly die nearabout thirty years of age, that is average. And then they are buried when they are seventy. That is almost forty years that people live a posthumous life; they have died long before.
The day you decide that it is better to be a hypocrite and just do whatever everybody else is doing and not be different, you have died -- you have committed suicide.
My whole teaching is:
Don't commit spiritual suicide.
You don't need anybody else to guide you, because whoever guides you will guide you wrongly. He cannot know your nature and he cannot look into your future. He has no eyes, and there is no possibility. How can you see in a seed the flowers that will come one day years after? All that can be done is that the seed should be given a right soil -- not right advice. Not that you have to be a lotus, or you have to be a rose.
Care should be taken that the seed is not destroyed, that when small leaves start growing out of it, they are not destroyed. That's the function of the master: not to guide you but just to protect you when you need protection, when you are so fragile, so new. Just growing, the new leaves coming out of the earth, entering into an unknown world where strong winds blow, heavy rain falls, there is every possibility that you may be destroyed.
The function of the master is not to lead you. The function of the master is to help you, to protect you, but only to the moment when you can stand on your own. Then slowly, slowly detach himself from you so that you can dance alone in the sky under the stars in your full glory.
Johannes Wolfgang von Goethe has made a beautiful statement: "All theory, dear friend is grey. But the golden tree of actual life springs ever green."
Avoid theories; they are all grey.
Let the dead people discuss theories.
The living have something more golden, something more alive. They have to love; they have to meditate. They have to become enlightened before death knocks on their doors.
Also remember that life is not the way it is lived in California! California is almost a vast crazy place where people are going from one master to another master, just like any fashion. Just as they change their toothpaste, they change their masters. Just as they change their soaps, they change their teachers, their counselors, their psychoanalysts.
Oscar Wilde used to say, "Fashion is a form of ugliness, so intolerable that we have to change it every six months." There is no need.
Just the other day, I received a letter from a sannyasin saying that he is going to a teacher; has he my blessings?... can he go? People are in a strange situation; they want to ride on many boats. They are creating their life in such a way that it will be a disaster. If you are growing well... and he writes that his meditation is going well, he is starting to see things that have so far been only words. Now at this fragile moment, going to somebody is dangerous. But if I say, "Don't go," I interfere. And I would not like to interfere, even if you are going wrong.
So I have informed him: I cannot bless because I don't know to whom you are going, but you are intelligent enough. If you feel that the person is going in some way to nourish your growth, which is going perfectly right even according to you -- you are feeling that you are absolutely on the right path, that misery is disappearing, that suffering is disappearing, that you are no more worried; that a kind of playfulness, weightlessness is arising -- if you are aware of all this... Remember, that if anybody can be of nourishment, it is perfectly good to go.
But in fact, there is no need to go anywhere, you are going so right. Go more deeply into it, rather than going sideways.
Go straight like an arrow.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SILENCE AND BLISSFULNESS? IS SILENCE ALL THAT IS NEEDED? DOES EVERYTHING ELSE FOLLOW?
Prem Samarpan, there is no relationship between silence and blissfulness; they are two names of the same thing.
Silence is blissfulness, not in the dictionaries, but in actual experience. And I don't see that in actual experience it can be different to different people. As you become silent, you cannot be worried, you cannot be tense; you cannot be miserable, you cannot be noisy, you cannot be chattering continuously. Otherwise, how can you be silent?
And when all these stupid activities are gone, silence simply clears the ground for blissfulness to be discovered. They are almost the same phenomenon because they happen simultaneously. As you become silent, a certain sweetness, a certain fragrance, a certain beatitude spontaneously arises in you.
But your silence should not be a repressed stillness; you should not be silent by force. If you are silent by force, if you have repressed your mind then rather than doing meditation you are doing gymnastics, fighting with the mind. It is possible you can force the mind to be silent, but then there will be no blissfulness. There will be just emptiness and a silence of the graveyard, not the silence of the garden; something empty, not something overflowing.
The silence that comes out of meditation is not an empty experience, it is very positive -- it is overflowingly positive. And what is there to overflow in silence except blissfulness?
So, please check. If your silence is not bringing blissfulness then you are trying to have a wrong kind of silence -- blissfulness is the criterion -- then stop doing what you are trying to do.
In meditation, silence comes on its own accord. You simply go on watching the mind without any control, without any repression, and silence comes suddenly just like a breeze, and with the silence, the fragrance of the flowers -- that is your blissfulness; it is your own fragrance which you were not capable of knowing because there was so much noise.
The mind was creating so much fuss, thoughts were creating so many dark clouds, emotions and moods, it had become a thick barrier between you and your real self. When the barrier is removed, it is as if you have removed a rock which was preventing a stream, a fountain.
And the moment you remove the rock, suddenly the fountain bursts forth in a great dance of joy. Your blissfulness is not something that comes from outside, it springs from within you. Just the rock of your mind -- thoughts, miseries -- has to be removed. It is not that you have to repress it, because by repressing it you will be repressing the fountain behind it too.
So the question can arise, Samarpan, if your silence is a wrong kind of silence. You are asking, "Is silence all that is needed?" Yes, absolutely yes. Silence is all that is needed, and everything else follows on its own accord.