Pick up the roses and avoid the thorns
WHEN YOU WERE RESPONDING TO SARJANO'S QUESTION, I HEARD YOU SAY THAT A DISCIPLE CAN SAY NO TO THE MASTER IF THE LOVE IS DEEP ENOUGH.
I CAN UNDERSTAND YOUR SAYING NO TO US OUT OF YOUR LOVE, BUT NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND.
DO YOU MEAN THAT THE DISCIPLE MUST HAVE THE FREEDOM TO SAY NO BUT IN FACT WOULD NEVER WISH TO OR NEED TO? FROM MY EXPERIENCE, WHEN I HAVE SAID NO TO YOU I HAVE DENIED MYSELF AND THEN SUFFERED THE CONSEQUENCES.
HOW CAN THERE BE ANY SITUATION IN WHICH THE DEVOTEE WOULD SAY NO TO THE MASTER?
Maneesha, the question you have asked raises many questions: questions about love, questions about freedom, questions about the master and disciple and their relationship.
Life appears to be very simple but as you go deeper into it, it becomes more and more complex. And the ultimate complexity is that life consists of contradictions. If you understand, those contradictions become complementaries. If you don't understand those contradictions become opposites.
But in the ultimate organic unity there is enough space for both yes and no. It will not be ultimate organic unity if there is only space for yes, if there is space only for light, if there is space only for love, and not their opposites.
Our mind looks at things in categories of opposition, but mind is not the ultimate decisive factor. The ultimate decisive factor is a state of no-mind. In a state of no-mind everything is possible. The incomprehensible is also possible; the impossible is also possible.
Apparently you are right, that the disciple cannot say no; how can the disciple say no to the master? In what situations? It has been the tradition that no has always been taken as negative. With me, things have a far deeper meaning and significance. No is not necessarily negative and yes is not necessarily positive. You can say yes out of fear, then it is negative. You can say no out of love. You love so much that you are not worried even to say no. The no becomes affirmative; it is no longer negative.
As far as I am concerned, I am not part of any old category of masters. I am a new beginning in the sense that the old master demanded surrender. I don't demand anything from you, because to me surrender is a subtle spiritual slavery. Of course, with a master the surrender feels beautiful but even if slavery is decorated with flowers I cannot be deceived by it.
I want my people to be individuals living in freedom. If they love me it is out of their freedom, not out of fear, not out of desire, not out of some longing for achievement. The old disciple was surrendering himself because he wanted to be enlightened. The master was being used as a means. I don't allow myself to be used as a means. That is ugly.
The old master was using the disciples for his own egoistic ends. The masters in the past used to brag about how many disciples they had. The number of the disciples decided the greatness of the master. The master was also dependent in a certain sense on the disciples. It is something to be understood that you cannot make anybody dependent without yourself becoming dependent too. And the same is true if you are independent, you would love to make everybody independent. Because independent individuality has such beauty and grace, such joy, such freedom to fly in the sky with no boundaries and no chains, with no conditions, no expectations, that a master would love his disciples to be ultimately free, free even of himself.
Zarathustra has said to his disciples: "Beware of me." That small statement contains great meaning, because a disciple can renounce everything to be one with the master, to come closer and closer to the master; he can even sacrifice himself. But in this sacrificing he will enjoy a certain unburdening, because now he is no longer responsible. The whole responsibility is on the shoulders of the master. The disciple has become a sheep and the master has become the shepherd. Now the shepherd will take care.
One can think in this way that the sheep has attained a certain freedom -- freedom from responsibility. But becoming a sheep, even if you become free, your freedom has no meaning. It is fear; it is irresponsibility. In a deeper sense you have lost yourself to gain something. It is not out of love that you have surrendered to the master; out of love there is no surrender, there is no need.
Love is a far bigger phenomenon than any surrender. Surrender is of the mind and surrender is an effort. Love is of the heart and it is not an effort. You suddenly find yourself in love with someone. Even if you try to be in love with someone you cannot succeed. No effort is going to be successful. Love comes just like the spring comes, and when love comes it brings many flowers.
There have been two kinds of masters. The majority of the masters in the past demanded surrender, total surrender. It was a kind of spiritual slavery. The master was enjoying a great ego, and the disciple was enjoying a great unburdening from all responsibilities.
Now the master is going to save him. Now the master is his salvation, liberation, enlightenment. All that he could do he has surrendered himself. He has become an absolute yes.
To me this kind of relationship was not healthy, something was basically wrong. Because of this situation in the past one man stands separate from the whole crowd of masters, and that is J. Krishnamurti. He denied he was a master and he refused to accept anybody as a disciple; this was another extreme. The other masters were demanding absolute surrender. J. Krishnamurti has lived with masters who have asked absolute surrender from him, and as he became more and more mature he saw the whole game: the master enjoys the ego, the disciple enjoys irresponsibility. But neither the master is a true master nor the disciple is a true disciple; both are exploiting each other.
There is no question of love when there is exploitation. Krishnamurti refused to be master of anyone and he refused to allow anyone to think that he is a disciple. He has taken a great step but he has moved to the very extreme. And always remember: if one extreme is wrong the other extreme cannot be right. The right is always somewhere exactly in the middle, the golden mean. Only in the middle is there balance, and only in the middle, exactly in the middle, is there transcendence of the polarities, of the opposites.
My position is exactly in the middle. I don't ask any surrender from you; hence, I am not on the old track. I don't deny you the beauty of being a disciple. I don't insult you; I don't reject you. I accept your love, but I will not accept your surrender. In accepting your love and your disciplehood I am your master, but there is no relationship of surrender.
I am not here to erase your individuality.
I am here just to erase your ego.
That does not need any surrender, it needs a deep meditative understanding on your part.
I can give you love, I can share my own understanding with you, but there is no condition attached to it. My joy will be to see you as a growing individual in total freedom. And in total freedom, yes is as much possible as no.
I can understand Maneesha's problem, that no is very difficult, more difficult to a master who does not ask surrender. No becomes more difficult because the master allows it. If the master does not allow no, he is repressing something in you, and his not allowing no does not destroy the possibility of no in you. On the contrary, the master himself is afraid that if you are not prevented, you can say no.
The yes from you is meaningless if you are not free to say no. Your yes has meaning only because you are absolutely free to say no. It does not mean that you have to say no. It does not mean that there will be a situation where you have to say no. In fact it will become more and more impossible for you to say no.
To say no is easy when you are prevented, prohibited. Then, it becomes a question of your individuality; it becomes a question of your spiritual freedom. And certainly anybody who has any dignity is bound to find situations where he would like to say no. If he does not say it he is behaving as a hypocrite. He is not saying no because he is afraid to lose the love of the master and to lose the possibility of getting higher states of consciousness.
But this is business, this is cunningness. And there should not exist any business or any cunningness between the master and the disciple.
Krishnamurti has moved to the very extreme: no master, no disciple. But that created an absurd situation, for his whole life, and he lived long, ninety years. He started being a teacher at the age of fifteen, and he wrote his first book AT THE FEET OF THE MASTER at the age of fifteen. It was so early that later on he could not even remember whether he had written it or not. It appeared as if in a dream, far away, just an echo.
From the age of fifteen to the age of ninety, almost seventy-five years continuously -- no master has been teaching so long. Gautam Buddha was teaching for only forty-two years; so was Mahavira. Jesus taught for only three years, because at the age of thirty-three he was crucified; he started his teaching career at the age of thirty. Perhaps Krishnamurti is the only person who has been a teacher for seventy-five years.
But the question is that his situation is very absurd. If he does not accept himself to be master and he does not accept you as disciples, then what is he doing for seventy-five years? Running around and around all over the world what is he doing... to whom he is talking?
The word 'disciple' does not mean anything else other than a learner; that is its original meaning. If he is not talking to people who are ready to learn, then what is the point of talking? And if Krishnamurti is not a master, from where does he get the authority to talk, to say anything to anybody? He goes on denying that he is a master, and everybody knows he is a master. And he goes on saying, "You are not the disciples," and everybody who listens to him, learns from him, feels a certain disciplehood.
Both are denying actualities. Out of fear that they may not get trapped into the past relationship of master and disciple. This whole seventy-five years of J. Krishnamurti are full of fear, the fear of the past heritage, centuries of master and disciple relationship, because it has become a spiritual slavery. The disciple could not say no. Rather than allowing the disciple to say no he simple denied that there is a disciple. It is not a great revolution; it is just a reaction, moving from one extreme wrong situation to another wrong situation, another extreme.
I am standing exactly in the middle. I can see both the extremes, the right and the left.
And I can see that both are half, incomplete. Both are not going to help anybody to attain to spiritual freedom. The first because it insists on surrendering, and the second because it simply denies that you are a disciple. And Krishnamurti goes on teaching for seventy-five years continuously, and becomes angry when the listeners don't listen rightly.
You will be surprised to know that Krishnamurti used to become very angry at times when he saw somebody listening to him for fifty years and still he has not understood anything. He would just look at the people and beat his head -- it was absolutely natural. I will not say that it was unnatural, but he created the situation. In the very first place he denied disciplehood, and then he wants them to understand him.
I accept the status of a master and the status of a disciple. There is nothing wrong in it if the master and disciple are not exploiting each other. If the disciple is not using the master as a means to enlightenment, liberation, and the master is not using the disciple for his own aggrandizement, for his own ego-fulfillment. I want disciples and masters to stand side by side in deep love, with no question of any surrender, with no expectation from the master that you have always to say yes.
My own experience is the more you are prohibited from doing something the more there is a desire to do it. Prohibition is a kind of provocation.
I don't prohibit you.
It does not disturb me or my individuality if you say no. On this point Maneesha is right, that whenever she has said no, she has suffered the consequences. But that is up to you -- not my expectation. It is going to be your understanding that when you say no, you have taken yourself as if you are wiser; you will suffer the consequences.
I have not said to Sarjano, "You will not suffer the consequences of your no." But it will not be from me: not that I will be annoyed, not that I will be irritated, not that I will be angry. It is perfectly okay with me whether you say yes or no. But for yourself there is going to be a difference. Yes means you are listening and following what I am saying. No means you are deciding for yourselves. As far as I am concerned you are absolutely free to decide for yourself, but then you have to be ready for the consequences also.
Freedom brings responsibility.
That's the meaning I continuously repeat, and I know you don't understand. Everybody likes freedom and nobody likes responsibility, but they come in the same package; you cannot separate them. I give you freedom AND I give you responsibility. You cannot complain about me, because you are always free to say no. You cannot say that I have inhibited you, because I have not asked that you say yes whether you want or not. You cannot blame me.
This is absolutely true, that whenever you will say yes, you will find a peace, a silence.
And whenever you will say no, you will find a deep burden on your heart, almost a wound. But you are creating that wound. And I will not prevent you, because I know that preventing provokes people to do the same thing that is being prevented.
A famous Tibetan story...
A man was serving an old master continuously, bringing food, bringing water from the well, massaging his feet. And the old man used to say, "Why are you wasting your time?"
because the old man understood perfectly that there must be some desire.
Finally, one day the man said, "I am serving you because I want to learn some miracle, just one miracle."
The old man said, "But I don't know any miracle. You have unnecessarily wasted your time. You should find somebody else who knows about miracles."
But the man said, "I have been told that you always deny that you know any miracles, and you go on continuously performing miracles. I have been told, 'Don't listen. Go on serving him. One day he will tell you some secret, but only when he finds you are ripe.'
Perhaps I am not ripe yet."
After a few days the old man saw that this man is still unnecessarily working. "Somebody has put the idea in his mind that I perform miracles. Perhaps miracles happen, but they happen on their own. I am not the performer."
With people of great consciousness things happen just on their own. Just as when the sun rises birds sing; it is not that the sun is performing a miracle. Flowers open their petals, not that the sun is performing a miracle, just the presence of the sun and things start happening. The presence of a very conscious awakened man is enough for many flowers to open, for many birds to sing.
The old man said, "It seems you will not leave me unless I tell you the secret."
The man said, "That's true."
So he said, "I will tell you the secret. I wrote a small mantra, the Tibetan mantra om mani padme hum."
Om means the eternal sound of existence. Diamond in the lotus, mani padme hum: mani means diamond, padme means lotus. It means the eternal sound and the diamond in the lotus. It expresses the meaning of enlightenment: the eternal music all around, the beauty of the lotus, and inside the lotus the light of a diamond. In a small mantra they have condensed the whole experience of enlightenment.
So the old man said, "Take this mantra and repeat it five times, just five times. First take a bath, change your clothes to fresh clothes, close your door, sit alone and repeat the mantra five times. Then you will be able to do any miracle you want to do."
The man rushed, he did not even show his gratitude or even say just a Thank You. He simply rushed down the steps of the temple. When he was just in the middle the old man shouted, "Wait, I have forgotten one thing. While you are repeating the mantra remember one thing: don't think of any monkey."
The man said, "Why should I think of a monkey? I have never thought of it in my whole life!"
The old man said, "That's okay, just remember that. No monkey allowed at all. If the monkey comes in you have to repeat the mantra five times again."
The man said, "But why should the monkey come?"
The old man said, "I don't know. I have told you the secret. This is the secret my master has told me."
But he could not even get down the steps before he started thinking about monkeys. He said, "My God, I have not started the mantra yet and monkeys are coming." He will close his eyes and there were monkeys and monkeys, giggling, making faces at him. He said, "It is a strange mantra. I have not started yet."
He reached home crowded with monkeys. Wherever he will look, he could see only a monkey. He went inside, took a bath, but it was no use. Even in the bathroom, inside the bathroom with the door closed, monkeys were sitting all around. He said, "That old man is such an idiot. If this monkey was the trouble he should not have mentioned it.
Elephants are not coming, camels are not coming, lions are not coming; nobody is coming except the monkey."
Then he sat in a lotus posture with closed eyes but it was useless. The monkeys were nudging him; the monkeys were sitting; it was a congregation of monkeys all around. He was very worried. His wife passed, and he looked and sometimes it looked as if she is a monkey and sometimes she looked..."No, no, she is my wife." His father passed. And sometimes he looked like an old monkey, and sometimes he looked like the father. The man said, "I'm going mad."
Five times was too much. Even to complete the mantra om mani padme hum, just those four words, and there were so many monkeys. The whole night he tried hard. He took a bath many times. He thought perhaps the clothes are not as fresh as they should be, so in the middle of the night, in the cold winter, he stood naked. Now there was no question of dirty clothes or anything. But the monkeys were sitting in lotus posture all around. He started shouting at them and they laughed.
By the morning he was almost mad. He said, "That old man is tricky. For years I served him. Finally he gave me the secret and managed to destroy the secret by keeping the monkey with it."
He went back to the old man, returned the mantra and he said, "Keep it with you because those monkeys..."
The old man said, "You said they never come to you."
He said, "I have not dreamt or seen or even thought about a single monkey in my whole life. There are millions of animals I have not thought about; there is no need. If you had not said the word I would have been able to perform miracles but now it is impossible."
The master said, "What can I do? That monkey comes with the mantra. Without the monkey the mantra is useless. Unless you can avoid the monkeys you cannot perform miracles."
He said, "I have forgotten all miracles. I just pray that you take your mantra and relieve me of the monkeys, because I am afraid that the mantra is gone but the monkeys may not go. And I have small children and a wife and an old father. I have to take care of them. I cannot go on fighting with these monkeys the whole day and night."
The old man said, "Once you have left the mantra with me they will not come. They are very religious people."
The man went. And he was surprised, he looked all around, no monkey. When he reached home, the wife looked like the wife, the father looked like the father and the children looked like the children. He said, "It is strange." He took a bath, the bathroom was empty.
The mantra was short. He said, "Although I have returned his written mantra, I have been repeating it the whole night, so I have remembered it. There is no harm... now I can repeat it."
The moment he started one monkey appeared just as he said Om. And a few monkeys were around saying Om. He dropped the whole idea. He said, "I should go to my shop and look at my business. This idea of performing miracles is not for me."
If I say to you, "Never say no to me," you will find many many times the desire to say no; hence I give you absolute freedom. It is up to you to say yes or to say no. You are to decide your own destiny. I can only help you, suggest to you, show you the way. But you can say, "I don't want to go" -- I cannot force you. You can accept my understanding.
You can reject it, and in your rejection I don't think that there is less love. That's why I said if you deeply love me you will not be worried by saying no. But I have not mentioned anything that will happen to you.
By saying no you are relieving me from responsibility. You are taking the responsibility into your own hands. Now if things go wrong you cannot complain about me. When you say yes and things go right I cannot brag about it. The yes is yours; the no is yours; the consequence will be yours.
I love you enough -- hence I give you total freedom. If you love yourself enough, you will be aware what no can do to you and what yes can do to you.
I teach you awareness and then leave you. A man of awareness will not try to go through the walls, he will find the door. A man of awareness will pick up roses and will avoid the thorns.
I give you freedom, and in giving you freedom I feel absolutely free. I don't have any burden of solving, saving, liberating humanity. I don't have any burden at all. I am absolutely weightless. I am not a savior, not a messiah, not a messenger.
I have chosen a third category. Just as Krishnamurti is alone on the extreme left, I am alone in the middle. And Krishnamurti is reacting against the tradition. I am not reacting, I am simply acting out of understanding. I can see where the old pattern went wrong. I will not do just the opposite because just the opposite will also go wrong. I am doing something exactly in the middle.
So I don't deny your discipleship. I don't deny it because I respect you. I love you. I cannot say I am not a master because I know, I have experienced, I can share it with you.
Then it is up to you to say yes or no.
Maneesha is right. So as a footnote remember her, that no will bring its own consequences. It is not that I will punish you, your no will punish you itself. Yes will bring its own rewards. It is not that I will reward you; yes brings its own rewards.
Between me and you there is no relationship other than of love. But it is good that Maneesha has raised the question; otherwise, there was a possibility that many may have misunderstood.
The concerned doctor is trying to convince the patient that he is overweight. "Now just step on the scales," says the doctor. "There... you see? Now look at this chart and compare your weight with the average weight for your height. You are way overweight."
"No, I am not," says the patient. "I am just six inches too short."
It is a very difficult world -- misunderstanding is possible everywhere.
The matronly woman was alone in the house watching her favorite television program when her husband burst through the front door, stalked into the bedroom without saying a word, and began packing his suitcase.
"Where are you going?" she demanded.
"I resigned from the firm today. I'm sick and tired of you, and I'm going to Australia. I'm told that the young ladies there will gladly pay five dollars a night for the services of a good man, and I intend to live off the earnings from my lovemaking."
He then continued to pack. Suddenly his wife pulled her suitcase from the closet and began packing her own clothing. "And where do you think you are going?" he demanded.
"To Australia," she laughed. "I want to see how you are going to live on ten dollars a month."
WHENEVER ANY EMOTIONS GET TRIGGERED, MY ATTEMPTS AT WATCHING USUALLY RESULT IN MIND TRIPS, UNLESS I DO SOMETHING LIKE RUN AROUND BUDDHA HALL A COUPLE OF TIMES FIRST.
I FEEL THAT IF I COULD TURN ALL THIS ENERGY IN, INSTEAD OF OUT, GREAT THINGS COULD HAPPEN.
WHILE YOU TALK TO US ABOUT WATCHING, IT FEELS SO SIMPLE. AND BASKING IN YOUR SILENCE, I WONDER HOW IT CAN BE A PROBLEM.
BELOVED MASTER, WHAT AM I MISSING, OR AM I TOO IMPATIENT?
Prashanto, the first thing is to remember that the exact purpose of Buddha Hall is what you are doing.
Go on running as long as you don't fall down. Fall down on the ground not by any effort, but just let it happen by running continuously. The time will come when you will fall down. Then rest there and you will find immense peace and great silence which you have never known.
This is exactly the purpose of Dynamic Meditation: to exhaust your energy, so the mind has no more supply of energy to create thoughts and dreams and imaginations. So you are using the Buddha Hall perfectly correctly for the first time, knowing that that is the purpose of it.
I have never told anybody, because then from tomorrow you will see there will be two big crowds running.
Exhaust the outgoing energy and suddenly you will find you are in. To go in, you don't need any energy, you are there. The outgoing energy has to be exhausted, so you cannot go out. As far as going in is concerned that is a wrong idea; nobody goes in. How can you go in? That's where you are! You can go out -- that's okay.
So go to Buddha Hall and run as much as you can. Don't stop in the middle thinking that it is too tiring. Go on, go on, let the body according to its own wisdom fall down. Don't act, don't try to deceive, because you are deceiving yourself. And if you can allow the body to go on running till it falls, then lie down there on the ground, and you would be surprised that you have never known such peace, such silence, such deep meditation.
Gautam Buddha himself... If you go to Bodhgaya where he became enlightened -- that's why the name of the city has become Bodhgaya. Gaya must have been the name of the town but when Gautam Buddha became enlightened, bodh means enlightenment, so the city of Gaya became Bodhgaya. There is a temple in his memory made almost two thousand years ago and there is the tree under which he used to sit.
If you go to Bodhgaya you will still find what I have described to you by the side of the temple and nearly two hundred stones in a line. For one hour Gautam Buddha used to sit and meditate, and for one hour he used to walk on those stones and meditate. When he became tired of walking he would sit; when he became tired of sitting he would walk.
This way he exhausted his outgoing energy.
One day he found there is no energy at all for any outgoing. He remained in. And this remaining in revealed to him his luminous being, his ultimate consciousness.
In language it is a problem; we say, go in. You cannot go in, because if you go in, then that "in" will also be out. You can only go out; you cannot go in.
In, you are. What do you mean by "in"? It is not the inside of your house; it is where you are. There you don't need going, all that you need is that you don't have any energy to go out, so naturally you remain still and silent and in. Suddenly there is an explosion of light and bliss and ecstasy.
So you have found a beautiful meditation, Prashanto. Continue, and you will find many more from tomorrow on the way. Don't chitchat with anybody. The moment you enter the path by the side of Buddha Hall forget that anybody else exists in the world: you and the road, till you fall down. Then in a day you can achieve something which you may not be able to achieve in one year's Dynamic Meditation. This is the ultimate dynamic meditation!
I have not told people but you have found it, so now I have to recognize it.
Just remember one thing, that you are not to stop by yourself. Because if you stop you will miss the point, you will always stop before the energy is finished. That's why I'm saying go on and on and on till you cannot go on, and you fall. Don't pretend to fall, because those are all deceptions that you can detect yourself. You know perfectly well when you are pretending to fall and when you are really falling.
So don't misunderstand me. The real thing will happen only when automatically you find yourself falling. You are just a watcher, not a doer. And a tremendous experience is possible.
The father was having a heart-to-heart talk with his son before the boy's marriage.
"Son," he said, "I have two bits of advice for you before you get married. First, you must tell your wife, right from the start, that you insist on spending one night each week out with the boys."
"And what," asked the son, "is the second bit of advice?"
His father smiled and said, "Don't waste it on the boys."
Hymie Goldberg goes for his weekly visit to the doctor and says, "Doc, I snore so loudly that I keep myself awake. What can I do?"
The doctor rolls his eyes and says, "Why don't you try sleeping in another room?"
So Prashanto, just get exactly what I am saying.
A Jew and an Irishman were fishing in separate boats some distance apart. The Irishman got a bite and was so nervous that he fell out of the boat. He sank twice, and as he was coming up the second time, the Jew rowed over and called out: "Mister, can I have your boat if you don't come up again?"
People have their own understanding. Just get exactly what I have told you, and when something happens report to me, because everybody will be waiting, "What happened to Prashanto?" And tomorrow everybody will be watching! I have made you a hero within a second.