Death is one of the most mysterious, and yet the most false, things in existence. Everybody dies, and yet I say unto you: nobody ever dies. Death is an appearance, an appearance from the outside.
That's why it is always somebody else who dies; you never die.
And the person who dies, dies only in the eyes of those who are standing outside, not - if he is aware - in his own eyes; he simply moves from life to life, ultimately melting into the whole existence.
But death has tortured man. There are many who have avoided to ask even the question, just out of fear; they don't even pronounce the name of death. And it is not only ordinary people: a man of the caliber of Sigmund Freud was so afraid that it was banned by his friends and followers... nobody was allowed to speak of death before him. Three times it happened that accidentally somebody started talking about death - and Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, fainted, became unconscious. The fear must have been very great.
We make our graveyards outside the city, so that we don't come across the graveyard every day in the marketplace. It is out of fear.
In my childhood, I loved to go to anybody's funeral, it didn't matter who had died. My father and my uncles were disturbed. They said, "The man was a stranger, he was not in any way related to us; why should you waste your time following his funeral?"
I used to follow the funerals of beggars too. I said, "I have learned much, following many people who have died. The strangest thing I have learned is that even when the man is on a funeral pyre, those who have come to say good-bye to him are not even sitting looking at the funeral pyre. Their backs are towards the funeral pyre, and they are talking about all kinds of things, except death - because it is difficult to avoid the question that if everybody dies sooner or later my number is also going to come.
A famous poetic statement is: "Never ask for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." When somebody dies and the church bell tolls, "Never ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."
Every death reminds you that you are here only for a few days, perhaps tomorrow will not come for you. The end is coming closer and closer every day, and beyond death is nothing but an unknown world, unfamiliar - no friends, no family, no society. You don't know what is going to exist for you, because you have always been in the crowd. Death will make you alone.
So only those who know the art of being alone while they are alive, remain conscious when they die; otherwise, the shock is so much that before death ninety-nine percent of people, or perhaps more, become unconscious. And to die unconsciously is to miss such a great opportunity, because death reveals to you life in its utter nudity. This is one of the most important questions anybody can raise.
A few things before I speak about Kahlil Gibran; they will help you to understand his statements.
Death is not an accident. It is not that suddenly one day, out of the blue, death comes and you are finished. No, death grows with you, side by side, just like your shadow. The day you were born, you started dying too.
Death and life are two aspects of the same coin, two wheels of the same cart. You become so enchanted with life that you never see that death is also growing with you. It is a growth; just as life will take seventy years to come to its climax, death will also take seventy years to come to its climax.
And only in the climax, do they meet. They have been always moving together, but in the crescendo of your life they are not even together - they are one.
Those who want to understand life have to understand death, too. Those who do not understand death can never understand life either, but we have been brought up with such a great fear of death.
I have seen people closing their doors and bringing their children inside if some funeral procession is going on. I have asked, "What are you doing? Let your children know, let them be acquainted that this is the end - or perhaps a new beginning."
From one side it is an end, from another side it is a new beginning. Every end is a beginning too.
And every beginning will come to an end.
Religions have made people paranoid about death, that after death... particularly the religions that have been born outside of India; they are not very old, and they don't have that depth or insight that religions born in India have. Christianity is only two thousand years old, Judaism is only four thousand years old, Mohammedanism is only fourteen centuries old... compared to Hinduism. One great scholar from this very city, Poona, Lokmanya Tilak, proved - and he has not been contradicted for almost half a century - that Hindu scriptures are at least ninety thousand years old. And his evidence for it is so significant, so factual, so historical, that there is no way to contradict it.
Astrologers say that ninety thousand years ago, there was a certain constellation of the stars which has never happened again, and that constellation of stars is described in the RIG VEDA, the most ancient book on the earth. It is not possible to describe it unless people have observed it, and the description is in such detail.... Only now, recently, astrologers have been able to describe it, and they were surprised that the description is exactly the same. Now this is some kind of evidence that you cannot contradict. Perhaps Hinduism is ninety thousand years old.
Jainism has even a longer life, because the first founder of Jainism, Adinatha, is mentioned with great reverence in the RIG VEDA. You don't understand people like Adinatha when they are alive, when they are contemporaries, because they are always ahead of their time - so much ahead that it is their destiny to be misunderstood, condemned. Appreciation is not for them, at least in their lifetime. Perhaps after three hundred years, four hundred years, they may be found right, and the whole mass of humanity may be found wrong.
If Adinatha, belonging to a different religion, founder of a different religion, is so respectfully remembered by the RIG VEDA, it can mean only one thing: he was not a contemporary, he had already become a legend. He must have lived at least five hundred years before. Perhaps Jainism is the world's most ancient religion.
Naturally, these religions have worked in depth on every human problem. All three religions born outside of India - Christianity, Judaism, and Mohammedanism - believe in only one life. That shows they have not explored life in its totality, before birth and after death. Their span is very small - this very life. There is a frame to their vision; they are looking from a window.
It is only recently that a few painters have started painting, and they don't put any frame on it. First, they were thought mad... without a frame, there have never been any paintings. But their argument is immensely valid, meaningful. They say, "Life has no frame; it goes on and on. How can we put a frame on our paintings? They represent life, they represent reality."
But the religions who have looked only at this life are very shallow, and for them death is a tremendous fear - for the simple reason that with death, everything ends. After death there is only the judgment day.
Nobody from these religions has ever inquired about what was before life. Has life come out of nothingness? It is not possible. Before life.... There have been lives from the very beginning, if there was any beginning - otherwise, always. And after death, nothing ends; the caravan of life continues - in different forms, in different bodies - until it reaches to the ocean, until it comes to the understanding of universal existence.
Then there is no need for having a small body with consciousness encaged in it; then you can live as pure consciousness, part of the whole. You will sing in the birds, and you will blossom in the flowers, and you will descend in the rain. You will be the earth, and you will be the sky, and you will be the stars, and you will be all.
Once that understanding arises in you, you have attained to freedom - freedom from the cage which you have been changing for millions of years. For the first time, you are on your wings, in the open sky.
All the three religions born in India - Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism - differ on everything except on one thing. They have been arguing on every point, and the exceptional point is the agreement that life is eternal; there is no judgment day, and this small life is nothing but just a small link in a long procession.
Hence, in the East, there has not been fear of death. And when there is no fear of death, a very strange phenomenon happens: you start living totally - because death is half of your being.
If you are afraid of death, you cannot live totally. Your life will always be under the shadow of death; it can come any moment, and you are helpless - nothing can be done about it. It comes without giving you any advance notice, it comes as a guest.
I am using the word "guest" because that is the word used by the ancient scriptures in the East; but in Sanskrit, which is the original language, the mother language of all the languages of advanced countries, the equivalent to guest is atithi. Its meaning is, "one who comes without telling you the date in advance." Tithi means date, atithi means "one who suddenly comes without even telling you the date."
The guest has not that quality - particularly the modern guest, who informs you ahead of time to see whether you will be available or not. And then, too, he comes and stays in a hotel. In the East it is inconceivable that your guest should stay in a hotel. It is simply uncivilized.
To use the word atithi for death is immensely significant. You cannot do anything about it; you know it only when it has happened. And only those who are very fortunate have known it when it has happened; most people, out of fear, become unconscious. Nature has a built-in system. There is a limit to tolerance; beyond that, you will fall unconscious, you cannot tolerate it.
The surgeon knows perfectly well that if you are doing surgery, the person cannot be left conscious; the pain is going to be unbearable. Hence, anesthesia has to be given, or chloroform, or something so that the person becomes unconscious; then you can do for hours whatever you want to do with his body - cut his limbs, remove his kidneys, any cancerous growth. Sometimes an operation may take six hours. If the man were alert and awake and conscious, you may succeed in the operation, but the man will die; it is intolerable. Hence nature has made it an inbuilt process, that the moment anything becomes intolerable, you fall into unconsciousness.
It happened only once... the King of Varanasi, in India, just in this century, had to go through an operation. The operation was going to take at least two hours. His stomach had to be opened and some growth that may turn into cancer any moment had to be removed. But the king was a very proud man. He said, "The operation you can do; but chloroform, or any kind of anesthesia, I will not take. I also want to watch it."
The doctor said, "This is never done, and if you die, then we will be the murderers."
He said, "I can write down that it is my will, and nobody else is responsible for it, because I know I am not going to die."
There was great discussion between the doctors, and doctors were called from all over the world - the king was a very important person. They said, "He is asking a strange thing, no patient asks such things; but if we deny it, he is not going to have the operation. Either way he will be killed. If the operation is not done, then the sick growth in his stomach is going to kill him any moment; so it is better to take the risk, don't give him anesthesia. At the most he can die - anyway he is going to die, but there is a chance... perhaps he can manage.
He was a great meditator. He said, "I will simply meditate. The moment I meditate, I forget all about my body, I forget all about the world, I become pure consciousness; and I don't think your instruments can touch it or harm it."
The operation was done. The surgeons were trembling because they were doing something that should not be done, but there was no other alternative. And the king simply went into meditation.
Two hours passed; the operation was successful. Then he opened his eyes, and he said, "Even death will not disturb me, because I belong to eternal life. It is not a hypothesis to me, it is my experience." And he had given a perfect example of his experience.
The West is very much afraid of death for the simple reason that it is a dead-end street. After it, only one thing can happen: that is the judgment day - and one cannot conceive of how it can happen. In one day, millions and millions of people who have died down the ages will be awakened by God from their graves - they are sleeping. The crowd will be so big; half of them will be women, screaming, and everybody is bound to look for his relatives, friends, wives, husbands.... The crowd will be so immense, and God is going to give judgment to each individual. It cannot happen in twenty-four hours. It is simply out of the question.
Only Hindus and the Eastern religions burn their bodies when somebody dies, because there is no question - he has moved into another house. Now these ruins, this skeleton, need not be preserved.
But Mohammedans, Christians, and Jews preserve the body. Egyptians were the most absurd. They not only preserved the body, they put an enormous quantity of food also, because the poor fellow will need food, and who knows when that judgment day is going to come. If a king died, almost fifty to sixty people who were alive were buried with him - servants, body guards, wives - because that man cannot be left alone.
I used to live in a place near a Mohammedan graveyard, and one day a notice was served to me by the collector, saying, "You cannot do your meditations there, because Mohammedans are very much annoyed."
I said, "Why should Mohammedans be annoyed?" I went to see the collector. I said, "I don't see the point."
He said, "I am a Mohammedan, I can explain the point to you. Your meditation place is near a Mohammedan graveyard, and you have a meditation in which one chants the mantra, Hoo! Hoo!
Hoo! - that is a Sufi mantra, a short form of Allah-hoo - and those Mohammedans who are lying in the graveyard have started rising up, thinking that the judgment day has come."
I said, "My God! I have never seen anybody."
"You will not see... but the Mohammedans are very much irritated. You stop it! You are disturbing their dead people; soon the whole city will be full of ghosts, and you will be responsible. Either you change your mantra, or you change your place."
Hundreds of people shouting, "Hoo! Hoo!" - those dead people think judgment day has come, so they get up out of the grave; and once somebody is out of the grave, naturally he does not want to go back in it. Many graves are empty... where are the people? It is strange, but this is the idea of only one life.
They don't say anything about where you come from - it is a very unscientific attitude. Your birth brings life, but from where? Your death takes life away, but where does it go?
The Eastern search has been very profound, because they were concentrated only on one thing.
That's why in the East, science has not developed, technology has not developed, because all the geniuses of the East were concerned with only one thing: to discover the mystery of life and death.
And they found death is only a change of clothes, of bodies, of houses - but nothing dies. Before birth you were here, after death you will be here.
Hence, in the East, death is not a fear. The fear is that you should make your life more conscious - you should not get lost in the ordinary trivia of life, you should become more alert, more meditative, so that when death comes, you can have a higher form of expression.
Each death should take you to a higher stage; and the ultimate stage is God, or the universal spirit.
THEN ALMITRA SPOKE, SAYING, WE WOULD ASK NOW OF DEATH.
AND HE SAID:
YOU WOULD KNOW THE SECRET OF DEATH.
There is no problem in it: YOU WOULD KNOW THE SECRET OF DEATH.
BUT HOW SHALL YOU FIND IT UNLESS YOU SEEK IT IN THE HEART OF LIFE?
It is growing within you; there is no need to seek death. All that is needed is to seek the very heart of your life, and there you will find death also, the shadow of your life. You cannot catch hold of a shadow, but if you catch hold of the man whose shadow it is, you have caught the shadow also - but directly there is no way.
I have heard about a drunkard whose wife was tired of him. Every day there was quarrel. Finally, she said, "It is better, because you don't listen, that you also have a key, so whenever you want to come back home... no need to disturb my sleep. Every night, not only do you disturb me, you disturb the whole neighborhood." So he was given the key. He came home; he tried hard to open the lock, but his hands were trembling - he was completely drunk. So the key would not go into the lock.
A policeman standing on the road said, "Can I help you?"
He said, "It will be great if you can just stop this house from trembling. I have never seen how much this house trembles, so I go on missing the lock."
The policeman laughed, and he opened the door. The man went in, but on the way home he had been fighting with another drunkard, and the other drunkard had hit him, scratched his face, so there was blood in many places. He thought, "Although I have got the key and I can go to sleep silently, these spots will show in the morning, and the fight will begin." So he went into the bathroom to put some ointment on his wounds and scratches. He looked in the mirror, and he put the ointment on his wounds and scratches, and was very happy and satisfied. As he entered the room he was afraid his wife may get disturbed, so he was trying to be very silent, but a drunkard... he stumbled on the table, he stumbled on the door.
Finally his wife said, "Who is it?"
So he remembered. He simply went near his wife's bed, and with his tongue started licking her feet - that's what her dog used to do.
So the wife said, "Okay, okay."
She thought it was the dog. He slipped into the bed, very satisfied that the policeman had helped - which is very rare. If he had not caught hold of the house, there would have been no possibility to open the door. Everything had gone very smoothly. Finally, the dog helped.
In the morning, his wife came out of the bathroom screaming. She said, "Who has disturbed my mirror?"
"Your mirror? Why should anybody disturb your mirror? Let me see."
And then he saw that he had not put the ointment on his face, he had put the ointment on the mirror, because there he saw the face, there he saw the scratches - naturally.
People are living a lie - just as unconsciously as a drunk. They don't know who they are, they have never been inside themselves, they have never bothered about what this life is.
Kahlil Gibran says: but how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life? A very pregnant statement. Death does not come from outside; it grows within you, with your life, simultaneously.
THE OWL WHOSE NIGHT-BOUND EYES ARE BLIND UNTO THE DAY CANNOT UNVEIL THE MYSTERY OF LIGHT.
Although all over there is light, the owl cannot open his eyes. He has very sensitive eyes; he can open them only in darkness - the light is much too dazzling. It is a constant problem; if you listen to the owls talking to other birds, they have never agreed on one point - which is day and which is night? The owls say, "That which you know as night is day, and that which you call day is night." And the owl is not wrong; it is his experience. Although all over there is light, that cannot help unless you open your eyes. You are full of life, and full of death too; but unless you turn inwards and see what you have been carrying all along, you will only be concerned.... Somebody has died; you will be reminded of your own death, and fear comes. Nobody has died. It is an outsider's view.
You have to become an insider - within yourself - to find the secret of life.
In finding the secret of life, you will also find the secret of death, because there are not two secrets; it is one secret with two aspects.
Death does not kill you, it serves you. It helps you to get rid of an old rotten body, to move into a fresh, younger body. There is nothing to be sad about, to be afraid about; you are simply changing house... going into a better house. Your whole concern should be to live with intensity, totality and awareness, so that you can become alert to the great secret of life and death. It is really not exact to say life and death; better will be to say the secret of "lifedeath" - not even a hyphen between the two; they are one.
IF YOU WOULD INDEED BEHOLD THE SPIRIT OF DEATH, OPEN YOUR HEART WIDE UNTO THE BODY OF LIFE.
If you really want to know what death is, the spirit of death...open your heart wide unto the body of life. Forget about death, because perhaps the very word will not allow you to see the truth. Fear blinds; it is a prejudice gathered in ignorance, so better forget about death; you simply open yourself to the life of your body. In that very understanding of life, you will be surprised - you have understood death too.
FOR LIFE AND DEATH ARE ONE, EVEN AS THE RIVER AND THE SEA ARE ONE.
IN THE DEPTH OF YOUR HOPES AND DESIRES LIES YOUR SILENT KNOWLEDGE OF THE BEYOND....
IN THE DEPTH OF YOUR HOPES AND DESIRES....
You cannot see clearly, because you are so full of expectations, hopes, desires. Your eyes are covered with many layers of dust: you need a deep cleansing of your eyes. That's what meditation is.
Let the thoughts disappear, the hopes disappear, the desires disappear. Then you have a clarity, then your eyes are perfect mirrors. Only then, in that silent state of your vision, will you know the secrets of the beyond.
AND LIKE SEEDS DREAMING BENEATH THE SNOW YOUR HEART DREAMS OF SPRING.
TRUST THE DREAMS, FOR IN THEM IS HIDDEN THE GATE TO ETERNITY.
Here it has to be remembered that the dreams Kahlil Gibran is talking about are not the dreams that Sigmund Freud has been talking about in so many books. Working on those dreams, Sigmund Freud came to know only sick people. Sick people have sick dreams; their dreams are nothing but repressed desires. And this is the greatest mistake of Sigmund Freud, that he thought that these dreams represent all dreams.
Naturally, people who have a certain disease will go to a doctor, and only that kind of person will go to a doctor; and the doctor will come continually in contact with one kind of person having a certain disease - he's an expert in that disease. He can conclude that the whole of humanity suffers from the same disease, because he has never come across any exception. This is a logical fallacy, and even men like Sigmund Freud, Carl Gustav Jung, Alfred Adler, and other psychologists, psychoanalysts, analytical psychologists - and they have many schools now - treat a small minority of people as if it is a representative sample of the whole of humanity.
Kahlil Gibran is talking about the dreams of those who have no repression. Poor Sigmund Freud never came across such a person - naturally, why should they go to Sigmund Freud? People who have sick dreams - nightmares which make your life almost insane - these are the people who will go to Sigmund Freud.
But there are people like Kahlil Gibran who have nothing repressed, but deep...like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
All the poets have been dreamers, but they are not sick; they don't need any psychoanalysts. Their dreams are their treasures, they don't want to get rid of them. Their dreams are seeds; when spring comes, there will be many flowers in their being. This is the second category which Sigmund Freud and other psychoanalysts have missed. That's why their psychology remains very fragmentary - it is not the whole truth.
And there is also a third type of man, like Gautam Buddha, who does not dream - neither sick dreams, nor healthy dreams. His sleep is so sound, so silent that not even a dream disturbs it.
Psychology will become a perfect science if it understands all these three kinds of people: people who have sick dreams, people who have healthy dreams, and people who don't have any dreams, who have gone beyond all hopes, all desires - who have arrived home.
YOUR FEAR OF DEATH IS BUT THE TREMBLING OF THE SHEPHERD WHEN HE STANDS BEFORE THE KING WHOSE HAND IS TO BE LAID UPON HIM IN HONOUR.
IS THE SHEPHERD NOT JOYFUL BENEATH HIS TREMBLING....
He's trembling because he's a poor shepherd - just standing before the king is enough for him to tremble. But beneath his trembling, he's joyful because he has been chosen to be blessed by the king, and the king will put his hand on his head.
IS THE SHEPHERD NOT JOYFUL BENEATH HIS TREMBLING, THAT HE SHALL WEAR THE MARK OF THE KING?
YET IS HE NOT MORE MINDFUL OF HIS TREMBLING?
The joy is hidden beneath the trembling, the fear. The fear of death is exactly like that. For those who are alert, they will know that there is a fear of losing all your friends, of losing your beloved, of losing your children, of losing the world that you loved so much, of losing the trees and the mountains, and moving into an unknown space alone... so there is a trembling.
But there is also a great joy, because the unknown is a challenge. The unknown is a call for adventure, for a new life, for new friends, for new beloveds, for a new world of which you cannot even dream.
FOR WHAT IS IT TO DIE BUT TO STAND NAKED IN THE WIND AND TO MELT INTO THE SUN?
For what is it to die, but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? Your body will melt, will merge into the earth; all the elements of your body will go to their sources. Only your pure consciousness - invisible, but eternal - will go with you: you are it. Everything else will melt away.
Don't be afraid of this melting, because this is certainly an end of a life, but it is also a beginning of a better life. Life is continuously evolving, and this is the only way to evolve.
AND WHAT IS IT TO CEASE BREATHING BUT TO FREE THE BREATH FROM ITS RESTLESS TIDES...?
You are not breathing.... Even medical science is not able to define death. All that they know is the symptoms - the man stops breathing, the heart stops beating, the pulse is no longer there. These are symptoms, because consciousness does not need breathing, neither does it need the heartbeat, nor the pulse.
There was one man, Brahmayogi, who used to die for ten minutes. His whole life, he trained for only one thing. He used to be a doctor, but he was not satisfied with the definition of death, because he was well versed in the ancient tradition which talks of consciousness; medical science has no idea of consciousness, so he stopped his profession, and he started practicing how to breath less, and less, and less, and less; and a moment comes when breathing stops.
He became capable of deceiving any doctor for ten minutes. He traveled all over the world, to all great universities, medical colleges, and he had certificates from prominent physicians of the world declaring that he was dead; then after ten minutes, slowly he would start breathing and the pulse would come back, and the heartbeat would come back. Just a single man proved that what you call death is just the death of the body, but not of the being. And if you have disciplined yourself, you can deceive any doctor.
Brahmayogi did a great service. But such people are never taken seriously; it is thought perhaps they are exceptions. And even after his death, medical science goes on defining death with the symptoms. Every doctor should be trained in the same discipline that Brahmayogi went through - it is a simple discipline, it just takes a long time.
There are signs that show that the day is not far off when medical science will change this idea of death. In America, there are at least ten dead bodies of very superrich people waiting in a very deep-frozen state, because their physicians have said, "It will not take more than ten years, and we will be able to revive your breathing and your pulse and your heartbeat." It is very costly to keep those dead bodies from deteriorating, so they are deeply frozen, as if fast asleep, waiting for the moment when medical science will help them to be back again in life. I don't think they are very intelligent people, because the ten-year gap will be such a big gap; they will not be able to understand anything that is happening.
Already there is a generation gap; what about those ten people, who will be brought back to life after ten years, when everything will have changed. Neither will they will be able to communicate with others, nor will others be able to communicate with them. They will be, at the most, museum pieces.
But there is no need; they have been delayed unnecessarily for ten years. If they had died naturally, by the time science comes to discover the methods, they would have been born again as children, ten years old, in a better body, a younger body, with a future. These old people, even if they come back, will be so rotten, that they can be used only to make children afraid. What other use will they have?
But such is the lust for life. They have deposited enough money that their bodies can be taken care of. They could not trust their sons, their families to take care of their bodies, and they have wasted millions of dollars. And what will you do with them? They will be living dead, walking around, making everybody afraid!
It is not very intelligent of those people. The experiment could have been done just as they do all the experiments on animals; the methodology would be the same. But once you are old it is better, that just as the snake drops its old skin every year and moves out of it, so, every life, when your body is becoming useless - you cannot dance, you cannot sing, you cannot play - consciousness slips out of the body into a new body, into a new womb, to be again fresh, to be again young.
AND WHAT IS IT TO CEASE BREATHING BUT TO FREE THE BREATH FROM ITS RESTLESS TIDES, THAT IT MAY RISE AND EXPAND AND SEEK GOD UNENCUMBERED?
The ceasing of breathing is a freedom. Breathing is the link between your body and soul. The moment the breathing ceases, your soul can be free from the body, unencumbered, and expand and seek God, the universal spirit. Each death is an opportunity; either you expand and become one with the universe, or you go into another body - if you have not learned the lesson yet.
Life is a school. You have to come back if you have not learned the lesson. If you have learned it, you need not come back to any cage, to any imprisonment; you can expand your consciousness to the whole existence.
This is the very search of religion: how to free yourself from all your fetters, and allow yourself to be all over this infinite and eternal existence.
ONLY WHEN YOU DRINK FROM THE RIVER OF SILENCE SHALL YOU INDEED SING.
You can sing without ever knowing silence, but your song will be superficial, contentless, meaningless.
If you have drunk from the river of silence, I call it meditation.
Then a song arises from you which is not yours. Then you are only a vehicle, and the song belongs to the whole universe. Then the song has depth, is bottomless, and has height, which you can go on climbing and climbing for eternity.
And when you have reached the mountain top.... Remember this statement:
AND WHEN YOU HAVE REACHED THE MOUNTAIN TOP, THEN YOU SHALL BEGIN TO CLIMB.
People think that when you are in the valley, you have to climb to the mountain top, but real climbing begins from the mountain top. When you have become one with the universe, then your real life begins - your real dance, your real song, your real ecstasy.
AND WHEN THE EARTH SHALL CLAIM YOUR LIMBS, THEN SHALL YOU TRULY DANCE.
When your body has gone back to the earth, then only are you beyond the grip of gravitation, and your real dance starts.
All that is beautiful and great is within you - but imprisoned. You are an imprisoned splendor. Just come out of your prisons, and your splendor will show you that you were God asleep; now you are God awake.
There is no ONE God - that is a fascist idea, a Nazi conception. Every being has the capacity to become a God. Buddhism and Jainism believe in the infinity of numbers of Gods, there is no way of counting them; even the trees are only a little more deeply asleep, but they are also dreaming to change their body. The birds and the animals... they are also dreaming to move ahead. Everything that is alive has a hidden seed of becoming divine.
To me, this is the only true democracy possible; otherwise the idea of one God is dangerous, very dangerous. It is His will to create the world - why did He not create it before? Christians think God created the world only four thousand years before Jesus Christ; that means the world is only six thousand years old. This is so stupid - what was God doing all the time before that, for the whole eternity? And what was his motivation, suddenly, that he created the whole world? He is a whimsical despot; any day he may destroy it. If He can create it for no reason at all, He can destroy it without any reason, without any justification.
That's why I again and again say Friedrich Nietzsche is right when he says, "God is dead, and man is free." If God is alive, then man can never be free; then he is just a puppet, created out of mud. The English word "human" comes from "humus" - "humus" means "mud." The Arabic word "agni" also means "coming from mud." Only the Sanskrit word for man, "manushya," does not come from mud, it comes from consciousness; and consciousness cannot be created, neither can it be destroyed.
The idea of one God is very dangerous. But every religion thinks there is only one God, and that is, of course, their God.
After the second world war, two generals - one English and one German - were sitting in a restaurant and talking.
The German said, "It is strange, we were so powerful and yet we got defeated."
The English general laughed. He said, "You were powerful, but one thing was missing, and that was prayer. We started fighting every day with prayer to God."
The German said, "You must be kidding; we also started our fight every day with prayer."
The English general said, "That's okay, but God does not understand German! He is a bonafide British."
This idea of one God is very dangerous. Jews think Hebrew is His language, Hindus think Sanskrit is His language, Mohammedans think Arabic is his language. One God, one language, one prophet, one holy scripture.... This idea of one means only you are right, and everybody else is wrong.
I want you to be very clear about it. God is not one; wherever there is life, there is God. God is manifesting Himself in as many possible ways as you can conceive, and everybody is moving upwards to realize the fact that "I have been carrying in my womb the seed of being a God."
The whole of life is divine, and all beings are divine. Nobody has created them, and nobody can destroy them. We have always been here, and we will always be here; the forms may be different - the forms don't matter. What matters is our awareness.