Nowhere to go

Fri, 18 May 1986 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Path of the Mystic
Chapter #:
am in Punta Del Este, Uruguay
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Question 1:




It is a great time, because it is a time of test - a test of your trust, your love. Silently waiting is what I have been teaching my whole life. Don't desire, but wait.

These are two very significant dimensions. When you desire, you are aggressive - wanting to catch hold of something. In the ordinary world desire is the way because so many people are competing, struggling for the same thing. Moreover, the outside world is the world of quantity. It is not inexhaustible; everything outside is exhaustible. You cannot wait, because while you are waiting others may grab the whole thing.

The inner world is totally different. There, a desire is a disturbance, an obstacle, because in the inner world you are alone - no question of competition. Nobody else is trying to go ahead of you, nobody is pulling your legs from behind.

And the inner world is so delicate that if you are aggressive, you will destroy it. It is like being aggressive to a roseflower. You may get it, but it will not be the same roseflower that you had seen dancing in the wind, in the rain, in the sun. It will be something dead... just a corpse, a memory, and nothing more.

The inner reality is even more delicate. The very desire is enough to prevent you from getting it; hence a totally different approach is needed: that is, of silent awaiting.

The guest comes.

The host just has to be patient.

And in the subjective field of consciousness, there is nothing to grab. It is not a quantity, it is a quality. If you are silently waiting - with no desire, no expectation - there comes one moment when your silence is so total and your waiting is so unpolluted that the doors open. You are taken into your own, innermost shrine. That has been my teaching.

And this is a good opportunity to give a chance to silent waiting. While you were with me you were so filled with me, with my presence, with my words, that you never thought about waiting: I was available. Now I can be available not from the outside but only from the inside. And that is a great meeting, of utter fulfillment, of absolute joy. So don't make it a despair, don't fall into anguish. Don't feel that you are far away from me.

You are far away only when you are not silent. You are far away only when waiting is not there; otherwise you are very close to me. Wherever you are, the silence will join you with me; and your waiting will prepare the whole ground for the meeting, which is nonphysical, nonspatial, nontemporal.

Use this opportunity. And remember always that whatever happens has to be used as an opportunity.

There is no situation in the world which cannot be used as an opportunity.

You feel sad that you are far away; that is a natural reaction, but not a very alert use of the opportunity. Don't waste it in sadness; otherwise despair becomes almost a cancer of the soul.

I have been with you long enough; it is time for you to see whether you can be with me even in my absence. If you can be with me in my absence, with the same celebration - however difficult it may seem in the beginning - you will find a tremendous fulfillment. And the absence will no longer be an absence; you will be filled with my presence wherever you are. It is a question of a certain rhythm; otherwise two persons can sit together touching each other's body and may be as far apart as distant stars. You can be in a crowd and still be alone.

So the question is not of physical closeness, the question is of understanding what happens in the presence of a master. Your heart starts beating in the same tune as your master's heart. Your being starts having the same song of silence as the master's being always has. These are the ingredients that bring you close to him. If you can manage these two things... you may be on another planet, it will not make any difference. It has nothing to do with distance.

You have been so long with me, you know perfectly well what happens to you in my presence.

Just give it a chance: close your eyes, sit silently, awaiting the same happening. And you will be surprised that I am not needed to be there physically. Your heart can beat in the same rhythm - you are acquainted with it. Your being can be silent at the same depth - you are well experienced in it.

And then there is no distance. Then you are not lonely. You are alone - but this aloneness has a beauty, a freedom, a deep integrity and centering.

So wherever you are, the politicians of the world will make it more and more difficult for you to reach to me. It will not be so easy. I will be making every effort that I remain available to you, but those politicians are not aware that even if they can prevent my physical presence, they cannot prevent the experience of my presence in my people. That is beyond their power.

In China, Lao Tzu - a great master - has been dead for twenty-five centuries now, but a small stream of followers has remained. They don't refer to Lao Tzu in the past tense, but in the present tense.

To them Lao Tzu cannot be past because they can still feel the rhythm, the silence, the beauty, the peace. What more is needed?

Ramakrishna died. In India, whenever a husband dies his wife has to break her bangles, take off all her ornaments, shave her head completely, use only white saris - a lifelong mourning, a lifelong despair, a lifelong loneliness starts. But when Ramakrishna died - and it was just in the past century - his wife, Sharda, refused to follow the ten-thousand-year-old tradition.

She said, "Ramakrishna cannot die - at least for me. He may have died for you; to me it is impossible because to me his physical body became irrelevant long ago. His presence and the experience, the fragrance, have become a reality - and they are still with me. And until they leave me I am not going to break my bangles or cut my hair or do anything, because to me he is still alive."

People thought that she had gone mad: "The shock seems to be too much - not a single tear."

Even when Ramakrishna's body was taken to the burning place she did not come out of the home.

She was preparing food for Ramakrishna. The man was dead - his body had been carried to the crematorium - and she was preparing food because it was his lunch time.

And somebody told her, "Sharda, are you mad! They have taken his body away."

She laughed and she said, "They have taken his body but they have not taken his presence; that has become part of my being. And I am not mad. In fact by dying he has given me an opportunity to know whether his teaching has entered my heart or not."

She lived for many years afterwards, and every day there was the same routine: twice a day she would prepare food, and - as the old Hindu wife sits by the side of the husband while he is eating, fanning him - she would fan an empty seat. Ramakrishna was not there - at least for those who can see only the physical. And she would talk and gossip about what has happened in the neighborhood.

She would give all the news the way she always used to give. In the evening, again the meal. At night she would prepare his bed, take care of the mosquito net so that not even a single mosquito was inside, touch his feet - which were only visible for her, for nobody else - put the light off and go to sleep.

And in the morning in the same way as she used to wake him up, she would come and say, "Paramahansadeva, get up; it is time. Your disciples are gathering outside and you have to prepare - take a bath, a cup of tea." Slowly slowly the people who were more of the heart, not of the mind, started feeling that there was no symptom of madness in Sharda. On the contrary... but because of Ramakrishna they had never thought about her; she was always behind.

But now Ramakrishna was gone, and she was the oldest companion. They started asking her advice, and her advice was so perfect on every matter that it was impossible for her to be mad.

But as far as Ramakrishna was concerned, she continued to feel his presence to the last breath of her life. Before dying... that was the only time that she started crying. Somebody said, "You didn't cry when Ramakrishna died. Why are you crying?"

She said, "I am crying because now who will take care, who will prepare the food? Nobody knows what he likes, what he does not like. Who will make his bed? And the place is so full of mosquitoes that if the mosquito net is not put rightly, if just a small place is available for mosquitoes to enter, the old man will suffer the whole night - and I am dying. I will not be here. And you all think he is dead, so I cannot rely on you."

Now this is the approach of a silent, waiting heart. Even death cannot make any difference, any distance.

So sannyasins who are far away all over the world need not miss me. It is up to them - just they will have to change their attitudes.

And this is a good opportunity to change their attitudes. While I am still here, if they can start feeling my presence all around the world, then no country can prevent my presence entering into their lands. No country, no power can prevent me from coming into your heart.

Their power is very limited. It may be very big, but it is very limited: it is material. And your capacity is far bigger, tremendously big: it is spiritual. What is needed is just to be aware of it and to use it.

Once you taste the beauty of it, you will be thankful to all the politicians who have been desperately creating walls between me and my people.

I have become a nightmare to them - and I have not done any harm to anybody. But perhaps their suspicion is right. They suspect that I have the potential to attract all the youth of the world - to change their approaches towards life, their attitudes towards life, which will cut off their vested interests absolutely. That much they understand - hence all this harassment.

But you need not be worried about their harassment. They know only one way of connecting with a person; you know something more - a deeper way, an invisible way. Most probably, once in a while you will be able to come to see me and be with me. But even if that becomes difficult - they will try hard to make it difficult - it doesn't matter.

I am available to you wherever you are.

I am with you wherever you are.

Just remain vulnerable, open, receptive.

Question 2:



This is Cliff. You don't have a closet at all - forget about skeletons! You are a poor man; you cannot afford a closet. These are the luxuries of rich people, to have closets and skeletons in them.

You are simple, innocent. You don't need; and even if you need, you cannot afford. You are fortunate.

Question 3:





People fight not without reason. Each fight, deep down, is a clash between ambitions, a struggle to achieve the same thing the other is also trying to achieve.

Ambition is the source of all fight, all wars.

My people have no ambition. They are not struggling to get anywhere on the ladder of ambition.

They are not competitors with each other for anything. So this is a totally different kind of group, where people are not together to fight either amongst themselves or to fight with some other group.

In India it happened... when India became free I was very young, but I used to talk with my father continuously about all kinds of things. My whole family was involved in the freedom struggle; they all have been to jail, they all have suffered. My uncles could not complete their education because just in the middle of the year they were caught and put in jail. After three years they came out, but then it was too late to join again.

I told my father, "To me it seems to be a fallacy that if Mohammedans get a separate land and Hindus get a separate land, and the country is divided... the principle being proposed is that then there will be no fight; otherwise, they are continuously fighting, killing each other."

And he said, "The proposal seems to be sane. If they have their own countries, what is the need to fight?"

I said, "The need to fight is far deeper. If Hindus and Mohammedans are separated, then you will see the Mohammedans are fighting amongst themselves."

There were three problems... Mohammedanism has two sects, Shias and Sunnis, and they are as deadly against each other as they are against any other religion. They kill each other. For fourteen centuries they have been killing each other over a small difference - whether Mohammed appointed his son as his successor or his son-in-law. One party believes that the son-in-law was appointed.

Now no records exist. The other party thinks the son was appointed as the successor, but they don't have any record either. My feeling is that Mohammed died without making anybody a successor.

And these two persons, the son-in-law and the son, became ambitious to have the same power, and Mohammedanism got split into two. And they are still fighting over who was the real authentic successor.

But what is the matter? Are you mad? You believe in the same philosophy, right or wrong; you believe in the same morality. And now it does not matter. The son is dead long ago; the son-in-law is also dead.

But those two factions continued growing more and more distant from each other, because the son- in-law appointed his successor, the son appointed his successor. So now there are two successions going on side by side.

Mohammedans were not fighting in India before the division because they had to be together to fight the Hindus. I told my father, "Once they are alone the first thing will be Shia-Sunni fights. And the second thing will be... they are asking a very strange and stupid thing: that half of Pakistan will be on one side of the country, the eastern part, and the other half will be on the other side of the country, the western part - because these were the heavily Mohammedan population areas.

"So Pakistan will be divided by one thousand miles into two separate fragments. The eastern fragment is Bengali-speaking; they are Mohammedans, but they speak Bengali. The western section speaks Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi. And soon there is going to be conflict between those people on the question of language, and the Bengalis are going to separate because they are a minority. They can never become the real rulers of Pakistan. It will always be the Punjabis who will rule - and that the Bengalis cannot tolerate.

"This will be the situation in Pakistan, and in India the situation will be very much multiplied.

Hindus were not fighting amongst themselves because they had to fight with Mohammedans. Once Mohammedans are gone the Gujarati will fight with the Maharashtrian" - and they fought. They killed each other, over a small thing.

Bombay city is really made by Gujaratis, and Gujarati-speaking Parsees. They are the richest people... all the industry and everything. But the labor is Maharashtrian. So the majority of the population is Maharashtrian; they speak Marathi, they don't speak Gujarati. So in Bombay there were constant riots between Marathi and Gujarati-speaking people. They were fighting over whether Bombay should remain in Maharashtra or be in Gujarat, because those provinces were going to become separate.

And everywhere there were many fights, because once the main fight has been dropped, where will your fighting instinct go? If you want unity you need somebody to fight - a common enemy is needed to remain united. If there is no common enemy you will start fighting amongst yourselves, about small things, meaningless things.

Now they are fighting in India. Punjab wants to be separate, an independent country. Bengal has become independent of Pakistan. Thousands of people were killed, but finally they have become an independent nation.

South India wants to be separated from North India, because North India is Hindi-speaking and South India has nothing to do with Hindi; they have their own languages. You will be surprised to know that Hindi is closer to English, Swedish, Swiss, Italian, German - all European languages - because they are all sister languages. They are all born out of one source language, Sanskrit. In German at least thirty percent of the words are from Sanskrit. In one small European language, Lithuanian, seventy percent are Sanskrit words - it beats even Hindi; it is closer to Sanskrit. But in South India the languages have nothing to do with Sanskrit; their origins are totally different.

So now they are fighting that they will not allow Hindi to become the national language, because it is not their language. They are willing for English to remain the national language, which only two percent of the people understand.

Now what a ridiculous situation! A language which two percent of the people understand becomes the national language, and a language that is understood by more than half of India cannot be accepted because the other half is against it.

In South India there have been riots between Hindi-speaking and non-Hindi-speaking people. Trains have been burned. In the south you cannot have a signboard on your shop in Hindi. Your shop will be burned along with the signboard. You cannot speak Hindi even if the other person knows it. He will not give any sign that he understands Hindi; he will speak his own language.

Fighting is an animal instinct. People simply find excuses to fight. But there is always something as a goal.

Now all the languages - and there are thirty languages in India - all want to be national languages.

It is impossible. Forty years have passed, and they have not come to any conclusion. They will never come to any, because any language they choose, twenty-nine languages are against it; the majority is always against the chosen language. The chosen language may have the majority, but twenty-nine languages are together immediately - as soon as you choose one language they are ready to fight.

For English they are ready, because it is nobody's language. It is as foreign to one language as to another language. But a foreign language that in three hundred years of British rule in India could not penetrate more than two percent... it is impossible for it to become a national language. Ninety- eight percent of the people don't understand anything of it. And all these thirty language groups have dropped English from their school courses. So in the coming generation there will not be even two percent; the percentage will be falling to less and less. These are the old British-trained people who make up the two percent.

But if, by some miracle, you can make some language the national language then there are other problems. As soon as you solve one problem, people raise another problem.

Nobody had ever conceived that Sikhs and Hindus would ever fight. It is a very strange situation: in one family the father may be Sikh and the son may be Hindu. To be a Sikh was not conceived as a separate religion, just a separate approach. The husband may be Sikh, the wife may be Hindu; the wife may be Sikh, the husband may be Hindu. Nobody had thought that such a mixture could fight, and now they are fighting and killing people in thousands.

The Sikhs want absolutely no relationship with Hindus - and they're all Hindus. Any Hindu can become a Sikh with a five minute ceremony, and any Sikh can become a Hindu by just shaving his beard - there is nothing else that prevents him from being a Hindu.

They worship the same Nanak, they read the same book of Nanak, they go to the same gurudwara - their temple. Hindus go, Sikhs go. The only difference is that both believe in the first master, Nanak, but Sikhs believe in nine more. Hindus don't believe in the other nine. That's the only difference, there is no other difference. And Nanak has made the whole foundation, so whether you believe in those nine or not does not matter. Your belief system is the same.

But there is some animal in man which wants to fight on any excuse.

So it is certainly possible... anybody who does not know my people will be amazed that these people don't fight. We are not fighting anybody outside, we are not fighting within ourselves. There is no reason to, because our whole world is the world of inner consciousness where no question of competition arises. You are alone. You can grow as much as you want; the other can grow as much as he wants. There is no conflict of interest.

And because each sannyasin is connected to me... it is not a religion where you are connected with a certain system of beliefs. Then problems can arise - just a different interpretation, just a small problem and a faction separates and becomes antagonistic.

We don't have any belief system. So if you believe in the holy ghost nobody bothers, it is your joy.

Just remember, people are known by the company they keep! But nobody is disturbed by it.

Everybody is trying to grow individually. There is no organization, so there are no vested interests of an organization.

You are connected to me individually. Your connection with each other is simply because you are connected with me. And because you are being in tune with me, suddenly you find anybody in tune with me is also in tune with you - because he is also trying to be in tune with me. We are trying to create a harmonious whole, without making any direct effort to make it. It is just a by-product.

So anybody from outside is bound to be surprised - watching you for a few days - that nobody fights. We don't have energy for fighting. We have many valuable treasures, and we put our total energy into the search for them. So who cares about small things?

In Mahatma Gandhi's ashram tea was prohibited. You could not drink tea. You could not smoke, you could not play cards, you could not do this, you could not do that - small things. And he forced people to do these things.

Because somebody just likes a cup of tea in the morning, he would have to hide - close the doors and prepare a cup of tea. And others would be watching and trying to find out why he closes the doors in the morning, why he is keeping a stove in his room. And when he is out somebody may search and find some tea leaves. And he is exposed and brought before Gandhi as a criminal - that he has been hiding tea leaves. Every morning he has been closing his doors, and one knows not what he was doing with the tea. What can you do with tea? At the most you can drink tea! What else can you do?

And slowly there were factions - somebody else was also doing it - and those who were in favor of tea would become a party: "Alone we cannot exist, we have to fight." Those who were smokers would become a party.

And what would Gandhi do? He was a masochistic person. He would not punish those people, he would go on a fast unto death. Why? - because those people are drinking tea!

But why are you going on a fast unto death? His logic was, "There must be something still incomplete in my being a master; otherwise, how can it happen that my disciples disobey me? So to purify myself, I am going on a fast unto death till I am purified. I am not going to stop my fast."

And naturally, the poor people who are drinking tea or smoking cigarettes would think, "Now his death will be on our heads," so they would go and they would say, "We bow down to you and we promise that we will never look at tea; we will never touch a cigarette - smoking is far away - but please stop this fast unto death."

And he would harass the whole ashram for three or four days. And from all over India wires and telegrams would come - "This is stupid that disciples should do such a thing; they should give an apology." And they were giving apologies the whole day. From morning to evening they were sitting there saying, "Forgive us! This is the last time - never again I will see tea! But stop this fast." And finally, after three or four days he would stop the fast. But he had tortured them, he had condemned them all over the whole country.

Love was prohibited. His own secretary, a very talented man... Many people have written on Gandhi, but the two books that Pyarelal has written are just the best. They are big volumes; perhaps each volume is twelve hundred pages. Pyarelal fell in love.

Now, love is not something that you can prevent. One comes to know only when one has fallen. It is not that it comes with a signal ahead that, "Beware! I am coming! If you are a Gandhian, escape!" It comes so slowly that you never know you are falling in love. One day, suddenly you become aware, "My God, I have fallen in love." Now that was the greatest crime.

Pyarelal was his secretary... but he was turned out of the ashram in a very disgraceful way, and condemned all over India - for nothing, because he had fallen in love with a young woman. They both were young, and there was nothing wrong in it.

Then his own son, Devadas, fell in love, and that was even more of a problem for Gandhi. Certainly he is impure: his own son falling in love! Devadas fell in love with the daughter of another great Indian leader, Rajagopalachari. And the daughter was pregnant, so throwing them out was not the right thing; they had to be married, and they were not of the same caste. And Gandhi, who was saying his whole life that castes should disappear, there should be no castes - now he was disturbed that his son is going to be married to someone of a different caste.

Rajagopalachari was of the same age as Mahatma Gandhi, and he became the first governor- general of India after Mountbatten left. But Gandhi was the most cunning politician.

Rajagopalachari was not a follower of Gandhi - although he was in the party of Gandhi - but he was of the same age and had his own standing. In South India he was supreme, so Gandhi could not make rules for him. Rajagopalachari would come to visit his daughter and he would drink tea and he would smoke in the ashram - and then Gandhi would not go on a fast.

Somebody asked, "Why don't you fast unto death now?"

He said, "He is not my disciple. I am not concerned with him. And when he leaves we will clean the room" - and cleaning the room meant whitewashing the wall, putting cow dung on the floor. Cow dung is the purest thing: it purifies every sin! And what sins? - just drinking tea and smoking a cigar.

But Gandhi could not prevent Rajagopalachari because he was now a relative, of the same standing, and politically he was also very powerful. But he took revenge with that man by making him the first governor-general.

Everybody thought that Gandhi was being partial, making his own relative, his son's father-in-law, the first governor-general, while there were more important, intelligent people more devoted to the freedom of the country. They thought that Gandhi was being partial, but politics is such an affair that you never know the whole story unless it comes to its end.

Gandhi made Rajagopalachari the first governor-general knowingly so that he could not become the first prime minister, because that would be the real power. This was simply a transfer period of fifteen days. What could he do in fifteen days? It was just a transitory period. Britain was leaving, Mountbatten had to turn over his duties to somebody, and the Congress Party had not decided yet who was going to be the prime minister, who was going to be the deputy prime minister.

The post of governor-general was going to be finished! - because the governor-general was the representative of the British government. Mountbatten was in a hurry and Gandhi managed Rajagopalachari... Rajagopalachari was happy that he is the first - and the last - governor-general of the British empire, but he was befooled because now he could not be the prime minister. Gandhi wanted to avoid him.

Now he was the governor-general and he had to give the oath to the prime minister, to other cabinet people. He was out of the running - he was finished! Once he had given the oath to these people, to the president of India and everybody, after fifteen days he was back in South India.

But politicians can fall so low in dignity. Seeing that he had been cheated, badly cheated - otherwise he would have been the president or the prime minister... Just to be the first and last governor- general for fifteen days means nothing. He was ready to become the chief minister of a province in the south, Madras. He became the chief minister of Madras, and he agreed to it after being the governor-general of all of India. Such is the lust for power. Now that there was no chance of being the president or the prime minister - and he was very old - he was ready to become the chief minister of a small province.

In Gandhi's ashram there was a continuous fight going on amongst the people. I know it intimately because I knew one of Gandhi's sons, Ramdas, very closely. So once in a while when I was passing near his ashram I would meet him, or if I was nearby he would come to meet me. Gandhi was dead then.

Ramdas said that it was not a joy to live in the ashram because Gandhi had been too strict about trivia. He wanted to control everybody in every possible way. He was talking of freedom and creating slavery in his own ashram.

But this has been the way of all the religions, of all the religious saints. They create slavery for themselves, and then they have the right to create slavery in their disciples - and on such small matters that one wonders about these people. Were they concerned with human growth, with consciousness, or were they just concerned about how many sets of clothes you have? If you have more than three, it is a sin. And at what time do you get up? If you don't get up at four o'clock in the morning, it is a sin. What time you go to sleep? If you don't go to sleep before nine, you are committing a sin. What are you eating? In every possible way...

And then naturally cliques will develop. People will find ways to manage. A few people want to play cards. There is nothing harmful in it. They are not gambling, there is no money at stake - just playing cards. But they have to hide to play cards, and if they are caught, then they will be condemned by the whole country.

Gandhi managed in such a way that what was done did not remain only in the ashram, the whole country condemned them.

I am a totally different person. I want you to be absolutely free. I want you to do everything according to your own conscience, your own consciousness.

There is nothing to be kept hidden. You can expose yourself without at all feeling that you will be condemned for it - because condemnation means that people will remain closed, they will not open up.

So this is a totally new experiment in the whole history of man, where freedom really means freedom - freedom to be yourself - because I cannot see how, unless you are yourself, you can trust me. If I am preventing you from being yourself I am creating a wall between me and you. I want you to be yourself, to do whatever feels right to your consciousness. Except for your consciousness, nobody is going to decide about it.

I have never thought in terms of punishment; the very idea does not exist in my vocabulary. I have always thought of how I can reward you for being so silent, so alert. And I have nothing to reward you with except my blessings. So with my blessings - under the whole sky, wherever you are - just feel that you are close to me. Get into the same space in which you get when you are close to me.

It is a question of a knack. It is not something that you have to force. Just watch carefully what happens when you are close to me. Then try it in different situations, and it will start happening away from me.

And in this way - and this is the only way possible now, because if all the ugly political forces want me to be isolated from my people... and all these great powers have proved cowards, criminals. So the only way left is that whenever it is possible and you can manage, you be with me; otherwise I will be with you. Just allow me. Just have a little space in your heart for me.

And one never knows that blessings come in disguise. There were many sannyasins who were useless. There were a few who were harmful. And I am not a person to say no to anybody. It hurts me, however wrong the person may be. I have never rejected anybody, and I will never reject anybody. Whatever he has done - even against me - I will not mention it.

But this has been a good opportunity to see the real faces behind the masks. So those who were harmful are exposed; those who were useless will be lost. And only the chosen few - for whom I am living, and for whom I will die - will be left with me.

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(Jewish Playwright Israel Cohen, A Radical Program For The
Twentieth Century.

Also entered into the Congressional Record on June 7, 1957,
by Rep. Thomas Abernathy).