As below, so above

Fri, 7 June 1987 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Rebel
Chapter #:
pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
Archive Code:
Short Title:
Audio Available:
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Question 1:




Indivar, learn not to listen to your mind, it always leads you astray. Its advice is always categorically poisonous. Rise above your mind; only from that height can you see clearly. To be in the mind is to be in the clouds. Just a little higher and the sky is clean; you can see the farthest stars.

Your heart was understanding absolutely and exactly what the situation was. Immediately your mind started interfering and saying, "No, this is just greed and exhibitionism." It is neither greed nor exhibitionism, because both are part of the ego. And I have not hit you, but the ego which is pretending to be you. It will try to protect itself in every way. But once you start understanding the language of the heart, the subtle nuances of your innermost being, the ego becomes powerless, loses its domination over you.

You are asking, "Is there a right way to expose oneself to a master?" Every way is right as far as exposing yourself is concerned. Expose in any way - but expose! Open your windows and doors, become vulnerable. All ways of opening are right, and all ways of closing yourself are wrong. There is no right way of closing, and there is no wrong way of exposing.

I have heard that you went to every person who had been bowing down his head in love, in trust and gratitude, and offered your apology. That makes you an authentic sannyasin. Any pseudo-sannyasin would have escaped and started creating lies and rumors and allegations against me. But instead of doing that, you went to sannyasins to offer your apology.

You proved your mettle, you proved your dignity, you proved your understanding; and you proved that you are courageous enough to be humble, courageous enough to put your ego aside. Now let this incident not become just a memory, a faraway remembrance. Let this become your moment to moment understanding, becoming deeper, becoming clearer. And it will bring you immense blessings.

Just a little bit of understanding can bring a tremendous revolution in your life. All seeds are small - the trees may grow high, almost touching the stars, but the seeds are very small. This is just a seed that has fallen into your heart; now allow it to grow. Give nourishment to it, support it, remove all hindrances in its path; and a small seed, which seems to be nothing special in this moment, may bring thousands of flowers.

Just a little waiting, just a little patience for the spring to come... it always comes. We miss it if we don't have any seeds in our heart - spring comes and goes, nothing blossoms in us. If we have seeds in our heart, then the coming of the spring is understood by every cell and fiber of our being, and the blossoming of our potential becomes a reality forever. The inner spring only comes - it never goes.

"Dear Mother," wrote Paddy to his old, old mother. "I am sending some pills that a witch doctor gave me, and if you take one it will take years off your life."

Paddy came home a few weeks later, and there was a beautiful young woman outside his house, rocking a pram in which a baby lay sucking a bottle. "Where is my mother?" asked Paddy.

"Don't be silly," said the woman, "I am your mother. And those pills were marvelous."

"Imagine that," said Paddy. "Only one pill - and what is more, you were able to have a baby."

"Are you crazy?" cried the woman. "That is not a baby. That is your father. He took two."

Greed can be dangerous; but there has been no greed, only a misunderstanding. There has not really been greed or exhibitionism. But mind will always use that strategy: whenever you are moving in the right way, the mind will suggest that something is wrong. And the strangest thing about mind is, when you are going wrong it will remain silent; it will not say anything at all. Take it as a criterion:

when mind says that something is wrong, do it. When mind says something is right, don't do it.

That's how one gets free from the fetters of the mind.

Question 2:



Dhyan Om, it is not what Zarathustra calls "The cruel honesty," it is a very mild form. But if you insist on being a nut, I may have to use cruel honesty too. But your nut has to be broken.

You are asking, "Is sincerity a high value in life?" It is the highest value in life. A life which is not sincere is not worth living at all. A life which is not sincere is fake - it is pseudo; you are playing a role in which your heart is absent, you are saying things which you don't mean. You are living as if on somebody else's behalf. And you call it life! Sincerity and life are synonymous.

You are also asking me, "Did I get the joke? Can you give me the right number to phone? Do I need to be sent to Goa, or can you and this beautiful commune forgive me, so I can start afresh?"

The first thing - you could not get the joke, neither could Latifa get it. You were both discussing it and you could not come to a conclusion about what it means.

I had told you beforehand that Latifa will not get it - that is her German heritage. If she were capable of getting the joke she would not be with you either. The very fact that she is with you is enough proof that she is also a hard German - you may be a hard coconut, it does not matter.

There is no need to be worried about the joke. Just start listening more attentively. One misses a joke only when one is not listening attentively, because the moment of understanding a joke is a very small moment. You may have heard the whole joke, but just before the punch line there is a small turning. The turning is so small, delicate and subtle, that if you miss it you cannot connect the punch line with the rest of the joke that you have heard - and then you are at a loss.

A joke is a beautiful method to check on your awareness - whether you are simply hearing, or listening too. There is no need to have a phone number. I can give you the right phone number - even to God - but there is no need to bother anybody.

Just listen to the tape again or see the video again. However hard a coconut you may be, there must be some juice inside. You will get it. And it is one of the mysteries of jokes that they cannot be explained - once you explain a joke, it is no longer a joke. Its whole beauty lies in simple and immediate understanding. No explanation can help; an explanation can only destroy the whole joke.

And I am here; I will tell you as many jokes as you want till you learn to get it.

There is no need either to go to Goa. Why harass people in Goa? Harass my people; they are accustomed to all kinds of nuts. And anyway, in India, the coconut is thought to be a very religious, sacred fruit. It is offered to God; there is no other offering which is better than a coconut.

So be here, harass my people - particularly Latifa, because she has to learn how to go beyond love and how to go beyond relationships. Unless you are related to nuts, it is very difficult to go beyond. It is only the great nuts who have helped people to go beyond all relationships, renounce all relationships, learn to meditate, and just be alone.

You are absolutely needed here. First help Latifa. When you see that she has gone beyond, then there are other people waiting in a queue. And the more people you enlighten, the more is your virtue. You may not become enlightened yourself, but you are a great public servant. And as far as forgiving you is concerned, there is no need to mention it. You are already forgiven.

And you are asking, "... so I can start afresh" - that sounds a little dangerous. What do you mean by starting afresh? Simply drop being a coconut! There is no need to start the same thing afresh. A fresh coconut or an old coconut, they are not much different; there is no generation gap. At least in coconuts there is no conflict, they are very traditional fellows. So please, don't start afresh, just stop being a coconut. And don't go anywhere else. Remain here so that I can go on hitting you. Sooner or later the understanding will dawn upon you that you are a human being, not a coconut.

A very simple joke for you, so simple that if you miss it, then be ready for a great hit that will break your skull completely.

A lion is walking down a jungle path and comes across a monkey. "Who is the king of the jungle?"

he asks.

"You are," replies the monkey.

"That's right," says the lion and walks on.

He soon encounters a giraffe. "Who is the king of the jungle?" he asks.

"You are," says the giraffe, bowing down his head.

Finally the lion approaches an elephant. "Who is the king of the jungle?" he asks.

The elephant wraps his trunk around the lion, lifts him up, and hurls him against a coconut tree.

After a few moments, the lion recovers, gets up, shakes the dust off, staggers back to the elephant and says, "Just because you don't know the answer, there is no need to get pissed off!"

Question 3:



Bhai Mehta, the dacoits and the Vikings are not rebels at all, they are part of a criminal society. Your so-called kings and emperors are great dacoits; the dacoits operate on a smaller scale, but they belong to the same category.

The society depends on exploitation, oppression. A few people do it in an orderly way, a few people do it in a disorderly way, but their basic act is not different. A few people do it legally because they are intelligent and clever enough to use the law in their favor; and a few people who are not so clever and not so intelligent simply do the same thing but without using the law in their favor. They are condemned, but they are not rebels. They are part of this whole criminal situation that has remained prevalent from the very beginning of humanity till today.

Hence the question whether they are negative or positive does not arise - they are not rebels in the first place. They accept the society, they accept its so-called justice, they accept its law. When they are caught they themselves feel that they are criminals, that they have done something against the rules of the game.

But who makes the rules of the game? - bigger dacoits and bigger Vikings. Who are these people:

Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Nadirshah, Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Ivan the Terrible, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Ronald Reagan... Do you call them dacoits, Vikings, or not? Just because they are clever enough to befool the masses, clever enough to dominate nations.... Napoleon Bonaparte used to say, "My word is the law." All these people, whether they say it or not, know perfectly well that they decide the rules of the game.

Anybody who does not play the game according to their rules becomes a criminal. But he is not a rebel; he is simply not well-educated, he is simply not well-cultured. He does not know how to be a successful hypocrite. He may be a simple human being, but he also has ambitions. And he does not know that he can fulfill his ambitions by the ordinary pathways to success - he is not that intelligent.

He finds a shortcut: he becomes a dacoit, he becomes a thief, he becomes a Viking. These are shortcuts to power, to fulfill ambitions, to be successful, to be rich, to be powerful.

The descendants of these dacoits - if these dacoits were big enough, great enough - became kings, queens and royal families. All the royal blood around the world belongs to the dacoits and the Vikings. You just have to go back to their forefathers, and you will find that in the beginning they were criminals who managed to be successful in controlling money, land, people.

The rebel is simply against the whole game, not against the rules. He is rebelling against the game itself. He is saying that the game itself is criminal, that this society is not yet civilized, not yet cultured - it is still barbarous.

You are also asking, "Are they born that way or made, turned into rebels?" The first thing I have cancelled - they are not rebels. But whoever they are, they are born that way. They bring the seeds with their birth.

The latest research in biochemistry is immensely revealing. It says that to punish a criminal is simply unscientific, inhuman. The criminal is the way he is, not because of his own will, it is his chemistry - he has inherited it. It is his hormones, his biology; it is his physiology, about which he cannot do anything. He is simply a victim of unconscious forces of nature. The more research that is being done about murderers, about rapists, about dacoits, the more it is becoming clear that they are born that way and punishment is not going to change them.

History is a witness that all our systems of punishment have utterly failed; they have never reformed any individual. On the contrary, our jails have become universities of crime where novices enter, amateurs enter, and come out seasoned criminals - well-qualified graduates under great criminal teachers inside the jail. You are sending amateurs to live with very experienced criminals.

In the jails, the whole atmosphere says one thing: to commit a crime is not crime, but to be caught is a crime. So learn the art of how to commit a crime without being caught, and then there is no question of your being a criminal.

The research categorically proves that our whole system of justice is a system of injustice, and that our whole idea of reforming people through punishment is absurd and stupid. It is not well founded on either reason or science.

What is needed is that the man who is found committing some act against humanity has to be hospitalized or sent to the psychiatrist. He needs compassion and he needs treatment, not punishment. Punishment is a revenge by the society because he is not following your rules, because he is going against the crowd, because he is creating his own law.

All law enforcement authorities continuously insist, "Don't take the law into your own hands." And who has given them the authority to take the law into their own hands? Just because the crowd is with them... and the crowd consists of cowards, weaklings. The crowd wants to protect itself against the strong people; it joins hands and then it becomes a tremendous force.

The dacoits are really strong people, men with great pride. Your judges, your generals cannot face them individually. They are powerful because the crowd of cowards is behind them, because the armies are with them, because all the weapons and arms, jails, police forces and national guards are with them. So even cowardly judges are capable of sentencing a strong, proud man, who had the guts not to play the game according to your rules. He wanted to play according to his own rules.

But he is not against the game; that has to be remembered.

The rebel is against the very game itself - this game of exploitation, this operation of reducing millions of people into slavery, millions of people into poverty; collecting all the money into a few hands.

Just the other day somebody was telling me that there are only fifteen rich people in the whole of India. And the population of India right now is nine hundred million. In nine hundred million people, only fifteen people are rich! These are the real dacoits! These are the Vikings, these are the criminals!

But they are respectable. They will be awarded prizes from the president, because whatever they have done, they have done according to the rules. They are clever enough to find loopholes in the law; they can hire the best legal experts to find the loopholes and to use those loopholes. They have enough money to purchase the politicians; they have money to purchase the judges. Particularly in this country, every government official is for sale - you just have to find the right price.

In my childhood I used to hear that slavery had ended. Later on I discovered that this is a fiction.

Slavery is absolutely in existence because you can purchase any man - even the president of the country or the prime minister of the country. You just have to know the right price and the right agent.

Everybody is for sale in the marketplace, if not openly, then from the back door.

The rebel is one who simply sees the ugliness of this whole game. He wants to disconnect himself from the whole human past. He longs to create a new way of life where there will be no exploitation, where there will be no poor and no rich, where there will be no money as a means of exchange. He wants a world where there will be nobody superior and nobody inferior; where finally there will be no need of any government, no need of any judges, any courts, armies, and nations.

If a person is sick - somebody is a thief and is caught stealing - he needs the compassion of all.

He has to be taken to the right person who can help change his chemistry, to give an injection of the right hormones to bring him into balance. All the rapists around the world will know, all the murderers will know, that if they are feeling a desire to murder - before that desire becomes too much and they become possessed by it, they have to go to the right experts: "Just please examine me. What is wrong with my chemistry, what is wrong with my body, what is wrong with my mind? I am feeling a tremendous urge to murder."

Rapists have been found to have more male hormones than other human beings. Those hormones possess them, and whatever they do is done almost in madness. It is not their crime, they are born with it.

In fact, in a right kind of civilized society, every child should be checked from the very beginning, to see if he is balanced in every possible way. As he moves from class to class each year, he should be checked to see that everything is in balance. By the time he comes out of the university, he will have a balanced style of life. That will be true culture. You can expect him to always behave in a human way. The idea of murder or dacoity or suicide or rape will simply not arise in his mind. Now these are established scientific facts - I am not proposing a philosophy.

Abhay Mehta, I am sorry I could not agree with anything that you have asked, because your whole question is based on misunderstanding.

When George Moore, the Irish author, was eighty, he was asked how he managed to have lived such a long life. "I believe," he said, "that it is due to the fact that I never smoked, drank or touched a girl until I was ten years of age."

The doctor told Hymie Goldberg that he would need a slight operation. "Would you like a local anesthetic?" he asked.

"Hang the expense," said Goldberg. "Get the best, use imported... what do you mean by local anesthetic?"

It is very easy to misunderstand in many, many ways, particularly my idea about the rebel, because my rebel is not a revolutionary in the old sense. He is not a political being. He is against all ugly politics and there is no other kind in existence - there has never been.

My rebel is not a political being, because all revolutions have failed. To change society by changing its government has not been a successful idea because people who reach to power, rather than changing the society, are changed by power. It has happened so often that you cannot simply ignore it as an exception; it is the rule.

Here in India, we have seen this country struggle for freedom and sacrifice its best people - like Bhagat Singh and Subhash Bose - thousands, with a great dream that freedom would bring happiness to the people. The hope could not be denied because the revolution was led by Mahatma Gandhi, a man who was thought to be a saint, worshipped almost like a god.

The freedom came, and the people whom Gandhi had trained, who looked so innocent, so pure, so simple... It created great hope in the masses that if power came to these people it would not corrupt them - these people who pray every day, these people who live in poverty, these people whose lives are an example for millions to follow.

The freedom came, and the power came into the hands of Mahatma Gandhi's followers, who were all mini-saints - and power corrupted them all.

Instead of freedom, there has only been a frustration. And the frustration has deepened every day; the night has become darker and darker. The question is being raised in every heart: "Is this the freedom for which thousands of people fought and died? Is this the freedom for which we all dreamed, and hoped would bring joy and celebration to the people?"

It has not brought anything. It has simply made more misery, more poverty, more immorality, more corrupt bureaucracy, more ugly politicians. It is a strange kind of revolution, but all the revolutions have done the same.

The rebel is not a revolutionary; he doesn't believe in changing the society by changing the government. He believes in changing individuals, in changing himself, and spreading the flame from individual to individual. It seems to be a long way, but perhaps there is no shortcut.

Unless individuals change, they cannot change the government and they cannot change the society.

We have tried many times - in the Soviet Union, in France, in China, in India - to bring the change from above; it does not come.

The rebel believes in changing from the very roots.

His fight is not only political, his fight is multidimensional. He has to fight all rotten traditions, he has to fight all superstitious religions, he has to fight all dirty politics, he has to fight ugly systems of education.

He has to create a new man: meditative, silent, loving, understanding, intelligent, and spread it like a wildfire. He has hope and trust that people have lived for such a long, long time in misery, that it is time to bring the transformation. It will not come from above, it will come from below.

Question 4:




Prem Ratna, first, understanding is never of the mind; understanding is always from the beyond.

Mind is only a mechanism. It is, in fact, in scientific terms, a biocomputer. A computer can function very efficiently, but first you have to feed it with all the information that you want; then you can ask any question concerning the information that you have already implanted in it. But you cannot ask a new question; the computer will be absolutely at a loss. It is only a memory, it is not intelligence.

Mind is a biocomputer - and very complicated. In fact, scientists say that the greatest computers that exist today in the world are not comparable to the biocomputer in an ordinary, average human being.

An intelligent man's mind is capable of containing all the information that is in all the libraries of the world - it is almost infinite. But it has no intelligence of its own; it is a memory system. You feed it certain information, it will keep it on record. Whenever you want, it will supply it.

Intelligence is of the being. Hence, a man of meditation becomes a man of understanding. He may not be very informative, he may not be very knowledgeable, but his responses will show great intelligence and great understanding in small but new situations.

I have heard about a Zen master... The emperor of Japan had gone to see him. He always wanted to ask a question to a man who is thought to be enlightened, and this master was well known as an enlightened man. The emperor, with great courtesy, bowed down and asked the master, "I have come with a question: Is there a hell? Is there a heaven? - or are they simply fictions created by the priests?"

The Zen master looked into the eyes of the emperor and said, "You idiot! You doubt the wisdom of the ages? You should first learn how to behave with an enlightened man. This is not the way of asking a question!"

The emperor could not believe... nobody in his life had ever called him an idiot; and he had not done anything he could even rationalize as supporting the absurd outburst of the Zen master. He was a great samurai, a warrior, and he could not tolerate this abusive language and this insult. And he was no ordinary man, he was the emperor of the whole country. He pulled out his sword - and the master sat there. He was just going to hit and cut off his head, when the master laughed and said, "Here opens the doors of hell!"

Suddenly he stopped, seeing the meaning of the master - he has answered his question. But the master is not a knowledgeable man, he believes more in actual situations. He has created the situation to show him the way to hell.

The emperor started putting his sword back into its sheath, and the master said, "Here opens the door to heaven!"

There was great silence for a moment and the master said, "Have you another question? Have I answered you rightly?"

The emperor touched his feet and said, "I have asked the same question to many great scholars, learned professors, and they have tried to explain - they quoted ancient scriptures, they gave arguments in support of, or against. But nobody convinced me. You have not said a single word in support of heaven or hell, and you have dissolved my question."

The master said, "No question can be answered, only understanding can be provoked, and I provoked your understanding. For a moment you were not in your mind. Remember that space.

Bring that space again and again, because that is the space from where understanding flows."

Meditation is the source of understanding. Mind is a collection of information and knowledge.

Secondly, Prem Ratna, you are asking, "How is it that when attempting to phrase a question, everything falls short?"... Because all questions can be framed only through the mind, by the mind, in language.

But the authentic questions arise in your being, in silence, like whisperings without words; and the mind is incapable of translating them into words. So when you are feeling a question, you know what you want to ask; but the moment you start writing it, you suddenly feel that what you have written falls very short - it is not the same question that you were feeling.

It is not only with you, it is with everyone; it is not only today, it has always been so and will always remain so. No question can be justified by your inner consciousness because whatever arises there is beyond language, beyond mind, beyond their capacities.

Naturally you will ask, "Then what to do?" You will have to learn to ask in silence, and you will have to learn to listen in silence. Neither have you to ask it, nor have I to answer it.

And you will receive the answer.

And the question will disappear.

So all that you have to do is to deepen the silences of your heart, to go more and more towards meditation; away from mind, away from language, away from words. And if in deep silence there is a quivering of question, I am here. You need not ask it - I will answer it.

I may not answer through words, but I will find a way... perhaps through a gesture, or perhaps just looking into your eyes, or perhaps just being silent for a moment. But I will answer it. You just have to ask it in silence, without words.

How will you know that I have answered? You will know because it will no longer be there - the question will disappear. You won't get any answer as such, but the question will be gone.

The function of the master is not to go on answering you, the function of the master is to create a situation in which all your questions dissolve and you are left without questions.

That beautiful space without questions is the answer. I'm saying the answer for all your millions of questions.

And thirdly, you are asking, "Can the mind and the heart really work together?" They can work together, but it is one of the greatest arts - you will have to learn a certain discipline. As they are, they are far away from each other; they speak different languages. Mind speaks in words, in thoughts; heart speaks in feelings, moods, but no words. But there is a certain art in bringing them together, in making a bridge - and then they can function in harmony.

What I am calling the silences of your heart will create the bridge. Meditation will be the bridge between your mind and your heart. On the one side it will be able to communicate with the mind, on the other side it will be able to communicate with the heart. It will be a translator between two centers within you which don't speak the same language.

But it is a very subtle art, and very few people have been able to attain to it: a few poets, a few musicians, a few mystics. Musicians have been the closest because they use music instead of language. It can express the language; it can also express the feeling and the mood. It can join the heart and the mind. The poet speaks through language, but what he says comes from the heart; he speaks his heart through the mind.

These are great disciplines, but the easiest way - because that will open other doors too - is meditation. Just becoming silent, utterly silent, you will find mind and heart coming closer. In the silence, there is a communion. The mind speaks not, the heart says nothing, but they are both overwhelmed by the understanding of meditation and they start functioning in a harmony. But remember, whether through music or poetry or dance or meditation, the art is very subtle.

I'm reminded of a story.... Three of Japan's greatest swordsmen stand poised for a competition to begin. An enormous crowd has gathered for the event. Emperor Wu nods his head and an attendant releases a fly from a small container. Whoosh! Quicker than the human eye, the sword of the first samurai neatly splits the fly into two parts. The crowd roars its approval. Another nod from the emperor and a second fly is released. Whoosh! Whoosh! The second samurai has hardly moved, but before him lies the fly, cut cleanly into four pieces. The crowd gasps in disbelief.

Wu studies the third samurai for a long moment, then nods to the attendant who releases another fly.

The third samurai makes an impressive flourish with his sword, but the fly can still be heard buzzing around. He resumes his stance as the fly buzzes off into the morning sky. Laughter and giggling ripple through the crowd.

Emperor Wu thinks he's being mocked and made into a laughingstock. He's furious. "I will have your head for this, you insolent samurai. That fly got away."

"I know," smiles the samurai wiping his sword, "but he will never make love again."

Okay, Maneesha?

Yes, Beloved Master.

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"Our fight against Germany must be carried to the
limit of what is possible. Israel has been attacked. Let us,
therefore, defend Israel! Against the awakened Germany, we put
an awakened Israel. And the world will defend us."

-- Jewish author Pierre Creange in his book
   Epitres aux Juifs, 1938