The field of awakening

Fri, 13 June 1987 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Rebel
Chapter #:
am in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
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Question 1:





Prem Anna, it is true that the suffering and misery of the world is enormous; and at the same time the world is so beautiful, so divine. What is creating this contradiction? The contradiction does not exist in the world itself, the contradiction exists in man's mind. Man has introduced misery and suffering in the world; otherwise the world was absolutely innocent. And why does the mind introduce so much misery and suffering? There are reasons that need to be understood.

Mind has been trained slowly slowly, for millennia, to be more efficient, to be more competitive, to be more ambitious. These things look very innocent in themselves, but they have produced as a by- product the whole misery and suffering that you see around you. All our cultures, religions, political ideologies and, more importantly, our educational systems are based on a fundamental principle and that is, how to be more successful than others.

all this. But the moment you start struggling for success, which has almost become the very aim of life, you are creating suffering all around.

Your ambitions are not so innocent - because they give you inclinations to be richer than others, to be more powerful than others, to be more prestigious than others.... The whole thing is based on comparison with the others.

And to be rich you need an ocean of poverty around you; otherwise you cannot be successful as a rich man. The poverty of millions is an absolute necessity. To be successful in gaining power, you have to destroy millions of people - their pride, their dignity, their very humanity. You have to reduce them into different kinds of slavery - economic, political, psychological, spiritual. Only then can you be in power.

You have to keep the world constantly in a state of war, either cold or hot. Adolf Hitler, in his autobiography, had many insights. One of his great insights is that the great men of history are produced only in times of war; peace produces nothing. It is almost a truism; just think of all the great heroes of history. They are produced by war, not by peace. In times of peace you enjoy life, you relax; in times of war the people who are cunning, clever, and who are ready to use any means to be victorious become great leaders. Their paths to leadership are through the blood of millions.

Among the trees there is no great tree; all trees are simply beautiful trees. The smaller and the bigger don't compare themselves, and they don't suffer from any inferiority complex or superiority complex. It is only man who suffers from these complexes, because his ideal is success. Everything has to be rated on the criterion of success. If you are successful, whatever you have done is right.

Success makes everything right. And if you fail, then whatever you have done becomes wrong - as if success and failure are the only criteria of human values.

But this is what our education goes on teaching... our education is immensely destructive. In the name of education, it is mis-education. It needs to be completely changed and transformed. Things like ambition, success, comparison, have to be completely taken out of the human mind - and it is possible. Rather than teaching these ugly things, education should give people better ways of life, how to live more totally and more intensely; better ways of loving, better ways of beautifying existence - without any comparison with others - just for your sheer contentment.

Love, sing, dance - not as a competitor, but as a man who wants to share his joy, his songs and his dances with his fellow human beings. Whatever you have - and every human being has something unique to contribute to the world....

But your education teaches you to imitate, your religions teach you to imitate. Nobody says to you:

"Just be yourself - that's where your paradise lies." They go on saying to you, "Follow this, imitate that." They give you ideals: "Become a Gautam Buddha, or a Jesus Christ." But never, even by mistake, do they say to you, "Just be yourself; relax and enjoy your being, and bring your potential to its maximum unfoldment."

You will not be a Buddha, you cannot be a Buddha. But there is no need of too many Buddhas - one is enough, more than enough. You have to be yourself.... But the whole society condemns you. You are not worthy as you are; your work lies in betraying yourself. And the man who betrays himself is bound to suffer his whole life. He has committed the greatest sin, perhaps the only sin there is.

There is no God to betray, there is no religious doctrine to betray - they are all fictions. The only reality you can betray is your own being. By betraying yourself, you lose self-respect; and once a man loses self-respect, he lives like a wound that goes on hurting more and more as times passes.

So you are right: the world is beautiful, the songs of the birds are beautiful, the trees and the flowers and the rain, the oceans and the mountains. They are all immensely beautiful for the simple reason that they are themselves. Only man has brought an ugly state of affairs into the world by comparison, by competition, by the idea of success; by imitation, by condemning oneself and praising somebody else.

I teach you to have a pride of your own. It is not ego, because you are not declaring it in comparison to anybody else. Ego is a comparison, pride is simply self-respect - a sense of dignity that existence needs you, and that you have to fulfill the hopes of existence; that you have to be yourself, not at the minimum, but at the maximum; that you have to bring all the flowers to blossom - your flowers. They may be marigolds, they may be roses, they may be lotuses - it does not matter. What matters is that they should come to a blossoming. Your life should become a spring, a continuous celebration.

You are asking me: "I have done so much over the years, and tried so hard, and that now it is time to relax and wait." Anything that is hard, anything that is tiring, anything that seems to be a burden and you want to get rid of it, was in the first place unnatural.

You went against nature. You went against the current of life itself - that's why things became so hard. If you had gone with the river, without struggling to go against its flow, you would have enjoyed the coolness of the river, the aliveness of the river, the trees on the banks, the sunrises, the sunsets, beautiful days, beautiful nights full of stars. Your life would have been naturally relaxed and in a state of let-go.

Those so many years that you tried so hard just show your ignorance, and nothing else. You don't understand that nature is very relaxed; the moment you become unnatural tensions arise in you, anxieties, anguish. And you may be anxious and tense for very good reasons - to remove misery from the world, to remove wars from the world, to remove all suffering from the world - very good intentions.

But remember, the way to hell is paved with good intentions... just good intentions won't help.

What helps is a deep understanding of the relaxedness of existence, and to be in tune with it. And then you would have done much, without tiring yourself.

Now you want to relax and wait! What will you do about all those habits of fighting and being hard at work? They won't allow you to relax easily, they have become your second nature. It is easy to learn wrong things. It is very difficult to get rid of them for the simple reason that they enter into your very blood, into your bones, into your marrow - they become almost part of you.

Relaxation should be the simplest thing in the world - but it is the hardest. Not that it is hard, but because people are so much habituated to making hard effort that if you tell them to relax, not to do anything, just to wait... it sounds simple, but they cannot just wait. They will do something, they have to do something. It is now almost a kind of possession - they are possessed by a certain structure of life.

But it is not too late. If you are going for relaxation, patience, and waiting - just don't waste time.

That is the way of life. You had gone astray, you have come back to the easy, and the easy is the right; to the simple, and the simple is the right.

And you are asking me: "Beloved Master, did I really do enough?"

You have done too much! You should not have done anything at all, because that is not the way to change. Relaxation will bring a transformation in you, and once you are a transformed being you become almost like a flame, which can share its fire with other unlit flames. It will attract, without your effort, those who are thirsty for light. It will attract those who have been missing all the joys of life, all the beauties of life; who have been wasting their time and energy in unnecessary effort.

Great things happen not by your doings, but when you are just waiting with open doors - spontaneously, on their own accord. Once you have learned the secret of spontaneity - and that the existence is over-compassionate, abundant with love, with joy, overflowing with all that you have been searching - once you stop running here and there, the whole existence becomes available to you.

You have really not only done too much, you seem to have some pride about it. And what is the result? How much less miserable is the world? How much less suffering is in the world? How much have your efforts beautified it, made it a more pleasant place? Forget the world.... What has it done to you? Your efforts, hard efforts - what have they done for you? How much more mature are you, more centered, more joyous, more at ease with life? How much have you known yourself? How much have you penetrated into the mysteries of your being? What is your total gain? Just being tired and exhausted.... And perhaps your hard work may have proved dangerous to many people, without your knowledge.

I have heard: in a Sunday school the teacher was reminding the small boys and girls, "I had told you last week to never let any day pass without doing a good act."

The Sunday before she had been preaching about service to humanity, doing good acts: "Because that is the only way for you to become spiritual, virtuous, religious, valuable in the eyes of God."

One small boy had said, "I understand what you are saying but I would like some specific instances.

What should I do that would be considered as a 'good act'?"

And just as an example she had told the students, "For example, an old woman wants to go to the other side of the street. It is rush hour, perhaps she is blind - then you have to help her, and take her to the other side. And this will be a virtuous, a good act."

So she asked them, "Have you done any good acts in the last week?" One boy waved his hands, then another, and then another. Only three boys out of the whole class. She was very angry that the whole week has passed and only three boys had done good acts. But she wanted to know what they had done.

So she asked the first boy, and he said, "I have done exactly what you told us: I helped a blind old woman to cross the road from one side to the other. It was really difficult, very hard."

The teacher could not understand why it should be so difficult, but perhaps the traffic was too much.

She asked the other boy.

He said, "I also helped an old blind woman to cross the road; it was really the hardest thing I have done in my life." The teacher could not think that both these boys could find two blind women, but it could be a coincidence. She asked the third.

He said, "I have done the same. I helped an old woman to cross from one side to another side; and I want to tell you, that I am not going to do such good acts again. It was really hard."

The teacher said, "I am amazed! How could you find three blind women?"

They said, "Who is saying three? It was only one blind woman; we all three were helping her to cross and it was hard because she did not want to go. She started beating us with her walking-stick, but we were determined to do some good act. Although we got beaten, we managed to force her to the other side. And she was shouting madly that, 'I don't want to go to the other side.' But we wanted to do it just to have a taste of good acts. Enough is enough, we will never do such a thing again. Our bones are still hurting."

So you may have been doing hard, tiring work for the upliftment of humanity, for the betterment of humanity. But has it helped in any way? Or has it gone down the drain even more? It is good that you have decided to relax.

Relax. Don't help blind women to cross the road; they will find their way.

The people who are insisting on serving you don't take any care whether you want to be served or not. While I used to travel around the country I was troubled so many times, I could not believe that people are so utterly unconscious about what they are doing.

One night, just in the middle of the night, my train was standing in Rajasthan at Chittaurgarh railway junction. I was alone in my compartment, and a man entered and started massaging my feet. I said, "I am not in any need of massage; and don't disturb my sleep, it will be very kind of you."

He said, "I had been trying hard to reach you when you were giving a meditation camp in Udaipur, but your secretaries and others wouldn't let me in. And I have decided that I will serve you in some way or other. I have come up to Chittaurgarh just to find you alone. You can go to sleep, but I am going to massage."

I said, "When you are massaging, how I can sleep?"

He said, "That is your problem."

And I had to suffer his massage for one hour continuously, because the train remains for one hour at Chittaurgarh. Seeing no other possibility, that that man is determined to do some good act, I had to suffer it.

It has happened so many times, in different ways. I was traveling from Calcutta to Varanasi. I had a fever; I was utterly tired - seven days camp in Calcutta. I simply wanted to take some medicine and go to sleep, and a man entered. I asked, "What do you want?"

He said, "I don't want anything. I will just sit on the floor; I always wanted to sit by your feet, and now I have got the chance."

I said, "Listen, I am having fever and I want to go to sleep, and your presence will be a disturbance to me." But he wouldn't listen.

In India, the idea is that spiritual people don't suffer from fever, they don't need to sleep, they don't need to rest. They should be available twenty-four hours a day, to all kinds of idiots. And this is not only uneducated people. One afternoon, when I was sleeping in Jaipur, suddenly I saw that somebody is walking on the roof. And then he pulled out a tile and looked at me. I said, "What are you doing there?"

He said, "Nothing... I have never seen you from very close. There are always fifty thousand people in your meetings, and I'm so far away that I cannot see your face. You can rest, you can go to sleep - but I will wait here."

But the gardener of the bungalow had seen the man, so he came rushing in, forcing him to get down.

I inquired of the gardener, "Do you know this man?"

He said, "I know him. He is a government official, well-educated."

But in India, it is thought to be that just darshan, seeing the saint, is earning great virtue. What happens to the saint is not the question - that is his problem. Now how can you rest and sleep if somebody is sitting just on your head, looking at you?

You have done enough, more than enough. Now have mercy on yourself and on others. Relax - you have come to a very good conclusion. You cannot help the world more than by relaxing.

Auntie Ann died at the ripe old age of ninety-two. She had outlived a total of eight husbands. At her funeral one of the nephews remarked, "At last they are together again."

"Together?" asked a family friend. "Which husband are you referring to?"

"I am not referring to a husband," came the reply. "I am referring to her legs."

A woman who has worn out eight husbands, she has done enough. It is time to relax.

Question 2:




Paripurna, the moments that you pass here are bound to have a different quality to them. You are surrounded by people who are all here to be silent, to be peaceful, to be loving. In one word, they are here to taste something of meditation. And when so many people are relaxing into the silences of their hearts, moving away from their minds, their past, their future, and are just remaining in the present, it creates a certain energy sphere, a certain vibe, a tidal wave that you cannot see.

But if you are here, you will certainly be affected by the energy generated by so many people's silences. You will be having flowers showered on you, which are not visible. So many people, peaceful and loving; so many people no longer interested in the past, which is no more... who are just here and now, not imagining and projecting about the future, which is not yet.

Only the present moment is the real. Past is a fiction, just a memory; future is a fiction, just an imagination. When so many people are living in the real, they create a space in which you can easily find yourself also relaxed, silent, loving.

This is the purpose of the whole gathering of seekers of the mysteries of existence. Without knowing, they are all helping each other. Without making any effort to help, their very being becomes a magnetic pull. I call this field the Buddhafield, the field of awakening.

It is because of this that you feel totally different - not trapped in your old patterns. But this should not become an addiction, it should be only a place of learning an art. And then go back home into the marketplace, and carry the fragrance that you have gathered here.

In the beginning you will find it difficult; but slowly slowly it becomes so much part of you that, wherever you go, you will find it exactly the same as you find it here. If it becomes an addiction - that only here you feel good and great, rejoicing and peaceful, and not in the world... that is not my approach.

That has been the approach for thousands of years of all the religions. That's why they all created monasteries. They all created an atmosphere of renouncing the world; because what they gain, what they experience in the monasteries, in the mountains, in the gatherings of fellow seekers, they lose the moment they enter into the marketplace. So they thought that it is the marketplace which destroys their valuable experiences. Their conclusion was absolutely wrong.

It is not the marketplace; it is their own not-yet well-crystallized beings that become affected when they come to the world. I want the world to be your very test. I am not in favor of renouncing the world. I'm in absolute favor of going out of the world for a few months, enjoying the peace, the silence of the forests, of the mountains, of gatherings like this; and then you go back to the marketplace - because that is where the real test is.

If you can maintain your peace, your silence, your love, and the world cannot disturb you, then you have really achieved something. Otherwise you were simply being pulled by a certain magnetic field, but it was not becoming a transformation in your being.

So my suggestion is: whenever you feel that you are losing the track, this communion will remain available. You can come back, you can get recharged. But the real test is in the world, the final decision will be there.

One day you will find that nothing can disturb you, nothing can take away your peace, nothing can stir your silence, nothing can destroy your blissfulness. Then it has become something... part of your own growth. Your being is crystallized, it has itself become a magnet.

Others will start feeling in your presence a certain freshness, a certain fragrance, a certain newness.

Your presence will become an invocation and an invitation to them, that what they are is not their wholeness; they can still grow, they can still become more, richer, juicier. Life can have more significance. It need not be just a drag from the cradle to the grave; it can also be a dance. And unless life is a dance, you don't know anything about the divine.

Only your dance, to the extent that the dancer disappears and only the dance remains, will give you your first glimpse of godliness in existence. But remember always: you are not to get addicted to me, or to the people here - they are constantly changing.

Come, refresh yourself, your memories - but go back into the world. This way you are not only crystallizing your being, you are also helping the world. Sending you into the world is sending a message into the world, because there may be others who are also thirsty. Seeing you, and your thirst quenched, they may also be fortunate enough to come here and be here.

Question 3:



Prem Anna, the question you have asked reminds me of Leo Tolstoy, one of the greatest novelists the world has ever known. Strangely, one of his most famous novels, ANNA KARENINA... just your name. He was dying, and he had an old aunt who was a very religious person in an orthodox way.

Leo Tolstoy was a genuine spiritual being, but in a very rebellious way. He never went to church, he never bothered about priests; and the aunt was always worried. She thought that he was an atheist.

And when he was dying, the doctor said, "It is only a question of a few minutes - or at the most one hour."

The aunt came close to Leo Tolstoy, whispered in his ear, "Now you have never listened to me, but at this moment make peace with God."

Leo Tolstoy opened his eyes and said, "But I have never been in any conflict with him. The very idea of making peace with God is strange to me because I have never quarreled with him; in fact we have never met."

You are asking, "Please, is there a way to make peace with men?" You are asking as a woman.

The first thing is to make peace with yourself. If you are peaceful, understanding, it is not difficult to make peace with men. In fact the man is always praying, "How to make peace with women?" After the whole day's work he comes home tired, hoping for a few moments of peace, but they are not in his fate. The woman is full of energy; remaining inside the house she's boiling up, gathering so much energy the whole day, that she is waiting... let that guy come home. And as the man enters the house, immediately some problem or other arises.

Every man feels tortured by women, and every woman feels tortured by men. This is strange, that millions of years have passed, men and women have had to live together, and they have not yet come to a certain understanding. Something seems to be basically wrong.

The story is the same from the very beginning... it has not changed.

As Adam wandered about the Garden of Eden, he noticed two birds up in a tree. They were snuggled together, billing and cooing.

Adam called the Lord, "What are the two birds doing in the trees?"

"They are making love," said the Lord.

A little while later, Adam wandered into the fields and saw a bull and a cow together.

Adam called the Lord, "Lord, what is going on with that bull and cow?"

"They are making love, Adam," said the Lord.

"How come I don't have anyone to make love with?" asked Adam.

So the Lord said, "We will change that. When you awake tomorrow things will be different."

So Adam lay down beneath the olive tree and fell asleep. When he awoke, there was Eve next to him.

Adam jumped up, grabbed her hand, and said, "Come with me. Let us go into the bushes."

And so they went. But a few moments later Adam stumbled out, looking very dejected, and called to the Lord, "Lord, what is a headache?"

The story is so old - from the very beginning. The reasons I see... first, is that men and women cannot live in peace unless they live in freedom. Marriage is an imprisonment, it is heavy on both.

Men and women can live peacefully only as friends, not as husband and wife. Every relationship is a bondage. But to make it possible, the woman has to be financially independent, educationally equal to men. Politically, socially, in every way, she needs the equal opportunity to grow.

To me, this is women's liberation; and also man's liberation. They both are enslaved by each other. Hence they are continuously fighting; you cannot love somebody who's enslaving you, you cannot love somebody who has taken away all your freedom. You are going to take revenge with a vengeance.

The woman has her own ways of taking revenge... the headache is one of the techniques. Whenever the man wants to make love to her either she's tired, or she's not in the mood - most commonly she has a headache. Headache is such a thing, you don't have to prove it. Even a physician has just to believe your word; he cannot make any judgment whether you are really suffering from a headache or not.

But this is a natural consequence. The woman feels that she's being used just as an object, a sexual object; that she is not being respected as a human being. In China, for centuries it has been believed that the woman is without a soul. Hence in Chinese law, if a husband kills his wife it is not a crime because if she has no soul she is just furniture. And if the owner can destroy his chair he can destroy his wife. And for centuries women were sold in the marketplaces just like any other commodity.

The whole history of man is so ugly, and what man has done with women is simply obscene; and naturally, the woman had no other way than to nag the husband, to torture him in different ways, burn his food, give him tea when it has become cold.

I have heard: a man entered into a restaurant, and before entering he read on the board in front of the restaurant, "Here you will find yourself almost as if you are in your own home. We serve people the way they should be served." A waitress came with the menu.

The man ordered, "A few burned chappatis."

The waitress said, "Burned?"

He said, "Just listen to my order. Some tasteless vegetables, uncooked. Things like that."

The waitress thought that this man is insane, but what to do? She went and prepared his strange order, and she placed everything in front of him and asked him, "Are you satisfied?"

He said, "One thing more. Sit in front of me, and while I'm eating, you nag me."

The woman said, "This is strange. I'm a waitress here."

He said, "Whoever you are - but in front it is written, 'You will find our services just like in your home.'

Call the manager! Otherwise, sit in front of me and nag me. I want to feel at home."

The woman has been taking revenge - which cannot be condemned; because the sole responsibility goes to man who has taken her social freedom, who has taken her opportunities for education, opportunities for financial equality. He has deprived her completely, and imprisoned her in the home.

The home is no more a home, but a prison.

There can be peace between men and women, but we will have to change the whole past that has been our heritage. No marriage, because life cannot be lived through contracts. No marriage, because love is enough. Law is not needed, law cannot be above love. Love should be the only decisive factor, whether people want to live together or not. The children should be possessed by the commune so that the burden of children is no more a problem; and now, people have to live together just because of children.

An old couple - the husband was ninety-five years old and the wife ninety-two - went to court for a divorce. The magistrate could not believe his ears, and could not believe his eyes either.

He said, "Divorce! How long have you been married?"

They said, "Must be eighty years."

"So why have you waited so long for a divorce?"

The old man said, "We waited. We had to wait till all our children were dead. Now that they are all finished, we want freedom. Because of the children we have suffered each other for eighty years."

Children should be a part of the commune, the responsibility of the commune; and men and women should live like friends as long as they want to live together. And the day they feel things are becoming bitter, it is time to move... with no grudge, with no complaint; but only with gratitude for all those beautiful moments that they have given to each other in the days they were together.

It is not only possible, it is going to happen; because men and women cannot suffer anymore.

This century will see the end of the old, rotten structures, and the beginning of a new man, a new humanity.

Okay, Maneesha?

Yes, Beloved Master.

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