Real is for Always
The first question:
WOULD YOU TALK ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DISILLUSIONMENT AND CELEBRATION. I'M FEELING A STRANGE MIXTURE OF THE TWO - A DYING AND A COMING TO LIFE AT THE SAME TIME.
Venu Gopal, mind lives in illusions. And to live in illusions is to be miserable, because they cannot be fulfilled. You can go on hoping but you will always be moving into a mirage. The moment you reach the place you were hoping for, the mirage will disappear, you will be in utter despair. Out of your despair you will again hope.
Hope is just an effort to keep oneself alive somehow. You will again create illusion. And this is how the whole game goes on: you are in despair, out of despair you create an illusion. Out of illusion more despair is created, and out of more despair, more illusions. And one goes on from despair to illusion, from illusion to despair. No energy is left to celebrate. You are in a constant tension between despair and hope. Your life becomes nothing but a tension between that which is and that which should be.
You cannot feel being, you remain engrossed in becoming. Becoming is misery, being is celebration.
Celebration is not because some desire is fulfilled - no desire is ever fulfilled. Desire as such cannot be fulfilled. Desire is only a way to avoid the present moment. Desire creates the future and takes you far away. Desire is a drug. It keeps you stoned, it does not allow you to see the reality - that which is herenow.
Celebration means: dropping this whole trip of becoming and just being here. When becoming disappears, all the smoke of becoming disappears, there is the flame of being. And that very flame is celebration.
Celebration is without any cause. Celebration is simply because we are. We are made out of the stuff called celebration. That's our natural state: to celebrate - as natural as it is for the trees to bloom, for birds to sing, for rivers to flow to the ocean. Celebration is a natural state. It has nothing to do with your desires and their fulfilment, with your hopes and their fulfilment; it is already the case.
But to see the celebration that is already happening at the deepest core of your being you will have to drop becoming, you will have to understand the futility of becoming.
So something tremendously beautiful is happening, Gopal. Allow it.
Yes, it is exactly so. When you are utterly disillusioned and you don't create any more illusions - that is what I mean by utterly disillusioned.. . Disillusionment comes many times in everybody's life, but out of disillusion you again create new illusions. You cannot live without illusions; it has become a habit, a habit of many lives. You cannot live in the reality as it is, you want it to be something else - you are always wanting it to be something else. And reality has no obligation to anybody to change itself. And it is good that it doesn't bother about your desires, otherwise there will be chaos because there are so many people desiring, projecting.
Reality remains as it is, utterly unaffected by what you desire. It never takes any notice of your desires. But once you are absolutely disillusioned... and by 'absolute disillusionment' I mean you no longer create any more illusions, you simply remain with it - even if it is despair, you remain with it.
You remain in it, you accept it. The moment you accept despair, it starts disappearing, because it can exist only as a shadow of hope; it cannot exist on its own. You cannot just be in despair without any illusion, that is impossible - it is as impossible as if there were just a shadow walking on the road. If you walk there will be a shadow, but the shadow cannot walk alone. Despair is a shadow of illusion. If you are utterly disillusioned, despair starts disappearing. And a new being, a fresh being, a resurrection, a celebration arises in you.
Aniruddha has written a question saying that when he came here he was thinking about me as vast, special, extraordinary. Now he says, 'Living here with you for so many days, you appear ordinary, just as any other man. So what is the fuss all about?'
I have no obligation to fulfil your demands. I am just as I am, utterly ordinary. Reality is ordinary. The rose is a rose is a rose. The rock is a rock, the river is a river. Reality is absolutely ordinary, utterly ordinary. I am an ordinary man. Then what is the difference between you and me? The difference is: I celebrate my ordinariness, you don't celebrate it. That is where the difference is. I welcome it, I am utterly blissful with it; you are not. I am a being, you are a becoming. There is the difference. Not that I am special and you are ordinary - that is utter nonsense - if I am special then everybody is special, if you are ordinary, then I am ordinary. We belong to the same reality. I am utterly ordinary.
But the difference is that I am celebrating it. I have no grudge, I have no complaint, I am not trying to become somebody that I am not. I have accepted myself in absoluteness - not even a single thing do I want to change. In this relaxation, in this acceptance, celebration has started happening to me.
Now Aniruddha says he is in a difficulty. He has created his difficulty himself. I have never told anybody that I am special. That was your idea, your projection. And, in fact, why was Aniruddha thinking that I am special? Deep down he wants to be special, that's why he stayed here, seeing that 'Here is a special man, so there must be some secrets to being special. Learn from this man so you can also become special, so you are no longer ordinary.'
People have such condemnation for the ordinary. I have tremendous respect for it because the ordinary is the real. God is the most ordinary thing in existence - has to be. How can he be special?
- compared to what, compared to whom? He alone is, he cannot be special. He can only be ordinary, as ordinary as the rose and the peacock and the eagle, and the river and the rock and the cloud.
But Aniruddha must have had a desire deep down to become special. People search for Masters in order to become special. People search for Masters out of their ego desires. The very search is an ego trip. Then, naturally, one day you will be disillusioned. That was your illusion; I have nothing to do with it. If you project something on me, how am I supposed to be responsible for it? You project; sooner or later your projection will fall down. In fact, I will help in every way so that it is broken, shattered, so that you can see me as I am, so that one day you can see yourself too as you are.
My whole teaching is: drop all these stupid efforts to become special, extraordinary. Just enjoy reality as it is wherever you are, whosoever you are. Celebrate it. This I call prayer, this I call being religious: celebrating one's being. It is a gift from God. Just to be is more than you can ask for. Just to be is the greatest miracle. What more of a miracle can happen?
Venu Gopal, something tremendously beautiful is on the way. Don't create any more illusions again.
The mind will try. Don't listen to the mind. Remain disillusioned. It will be a kind of dying, because you have lived up to now through illusions. That has been your nourishment. You will feel like dying.
But die; and with this death a new life will arise in you, you will be resurrected. Let this be a death - and a total death. Don't die in a lukewarm way, die totally, wholly. Allow this death to happen, and the next moment, out of this death, some new life arises that you have not seen and that has been always within you - but you were not available to And to Aniruddha also I would like to say: It is very good, Aniruddha. Now you are seeing my reality.
I am an ordinary man, and I am here to make you ordinary also. I am here to help you come out of your ego trips. I am here to help you to celebrate this immense ordinariness. Only then are you grateful to God.
What are you trying to do? - trying to become somebody else, trying to decorate yourself? But all those decorations will be falsifications. You can never be anybody else, you can only be yourself.
There is no way for the rose flower to become a lotus. There is no way for the lotus to become a rose flower. You can only be yourself. If you allow it, there will be celebration, because there will be no possibility of misery. And the energy that becomes misery becomes celebration. If you don't allow it to move into becoming misery, what else will you do? It is the same energy that cries in you - it can become laughter. It is the same energy that becomes hate in you, sour, bitter - it becomes love. It is the same energy that can become destruction - it becomes creation. The energy is not different. When you are engaged in an ego trip of becoming somebody special, then your whole life will be nothing but a long tragedy.
What is the difference between Alexander and a Buddha? Alexander wants to be special, wants to possess the whole world, wants to be unique. And Buddha? - Buddha simply wants to be himself.
There is no need to go anywhere, there is no need to become at all. No future is needed. No time is required. Buddha can be this very moment what he wants to be because he already is that. But for Alexander, even millions of lives will not be enough. His journey will remain incomplete; he will never be able to bring it to a conclusion. It is a vicious circle. He will be frustrated again and again, and out of frustration he will create bigger illusions, stronger illusions. He will need bigger illusions and stronger illusions.
It is like a drug, I say again. If you take a drug, any drug, sooner or later you become accustomed to it. Then you need more quantities of it, stronger doses of it, and so on and so forth. Small illusions won't do; Once you have become accustomed to them, you will need greater illusions.
This is how people become mad. A madman is one whose illusions have gone completely contrary to reality. Now he lives only in his illusions - there are not even intervals when he sees reality as it is, not even moments of truth. He simply lives in his illusions. He is a madman. And what others are may be a lesser madness, but the madness is there. The difference is only of degree, quantity, but not of quality. Unless you are ready to relax into your being as you are, you are not sane.
I am ordinary, and I say to you Bud&a is ordinary. And I say to you all the Buddhas have always been ordinary. That is their specialness, because in this world nobody wants to be ordinary. That is their extraordinariness, because they are people who have chosen to be ordinary. That is their humbleness. Jesus says, 'Blessed are the meek for theirs is the kingdom of God.' By 'meek' he means exactly this: to be just what God has meant you to be; not to aspire to anything at all; to live in a relaxed state.
It is good, Aniruddha, that your illusion is broken. Thank me for it. Feel grateful for it, that I have not supported your illusion at all. If you carried it for so many months it was just your work. I was not a support to it.
But his question shows that now he thinks I am ordinary the problem is arising for him again. Then what is he doing here? Then he should go again to somebody else who is extraordinary. Now will be the decisive moment for him. If, seeing that I am ordinary, he understands the beauty of being ordinary, celebration will start. If he is feeling frustrated - as if I had deceived him, as if I had been pretending to be extraordinary and now he has found that I am not - then he will have new illusions.
He will project his desires onto somebody else. He will find another screen and again he will be frustrated. And he will need bigger and bigger doses, and sooner or later he will be a victim of somebody who is there to exploit people, who is there to pretend according to your illusion.
That's why I am so much against Satya Sai Baba. He is trying to help your projections. That is my criticism of his effort. He tries to go with your projections. He is not an independent man, he depends on you. You project and he will try to fulfil your projections - at least he will pretend that you are in the close vicinity of a special man who can do miracles, who can make things appear from nowhere.
Now Aniruddha can become a victim of a man like Satya Sai Baba because then he will think this is special; no ordinary man can do it. That's true, but ordinary magicians ARE doing it. But these tricks are very dangerous. They are very subtle in their exploitation. Aniruddha can easily become a victim of any charlatan, of any deceiver. Now will be the decisive moment for him. He will have to decide either to live with this man who is ordinary and drop all desire for extraordinariness and all projections and to become ordinary himself and let celebration happen, or he will have to project his illusions somewhere else.
And then you can go on and on. That's how you have been going on for centuries. For so many lives you have been going on and on. You simply change your screen, but you don't drop your projection.
You carry your projector and your whole film of hopes, dreams, desires. You just become frustrated with the screen - 'This screen is not right' - so you find another screen. When are you going to drop the projector and the film? When are you going to burn the whole ego trip? In that very moment death has happened, and resurrection.
Venu Gopal, you say, 'I'm feeling a strange mixture of the two - a dying and a coming to life at the same time.'
That's how it will happen in the beginning: you will die a little bit and you will be born a little bit. Learn a lesson from it: die totally so that you can be born totally. And then you know that each moment one has to die so that each moment one again becomes fresh, young - is born. This can happen each moment, and a true life consists of death-resurrection, death-resurrection. Each moment it happens, each moment one has to die to the past. Only then does the present become available and there is celebration, and there is great joy, and there is great flowering. The Golden Flower blooms if you are ready to die to the past, if you are utterly in the present. And you can be utterly in the present only if you have no desire to be anywhere else in the future, if you have no desire to be somebody else. This I call enlightenment.
The second question:
WHY IS LOVE SO ESSENTIAL FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH?
Love and awareness is the highest form of polarity - just like man/woman, life/death, darkness/light, summer/winter, outer/ inner, yin/yang, the body and the soul, the creation and the creator. Love and awareness is the highest form of polarity, the last polarity, at which transcendence happens.
Love needs two. It is a relationship, it is outgoing, it is energy moving outwards. There is an object:
the beloved. The object becomes more important than yourself. Your joy is in the object. If your beloved is happy, you are happy; you become part of the object. There is a kind of dependence, and the other is needed. Without the other you will feel lonely.
Awareness is just being with yourself in utter aloneness, just being alert. It is not a relationship, the other is not needed at all. It is not outgoing, it is ingoing.
Love is the movement of the light out of your being. Awareness is the reverse movement, the backward movement of the light to the source again, returning to the source. This is what Jesus calls repentance - not in the sense of repentance, but in the sense of returning to the source.
Patanjali calls it PRATYAHARA, coming back home, Mahavir calls it PRATIKRAMAN, coming back to oneself; the circle is complete. THE SECRET OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER IS based, totally based, on this backward movement of your energy. But the backward movement is possible only if you have moved forward. You have to go into love, you have to relate in order to come to yourself. It looks paradoxical.
The child has to get lost into the world to become a child again. The innocence has to go into all the turmoil of cunningness and calculation to become really innocent again. A child is innocent, but his innocence is that of ignorance. A saint is also innocent, but his innocence is not of ignorance but of experience, of ripeness, of maturity. He is again innocent, but that again has great importance - he cannot be distracted from his innocence anymore. The child is bound to get distracted: every Adam has to leave the Garden of Eden, the world of innocence. Every Adam has to go into the world, into the mud of it, because only there will you mature, will you ripen. Only there will you learn, only there will you see in contrast the beauty of innocence, will you understand the splendour of innocence.
The day you have learned the beauty of innocence, you have become aware of it, you will have come back home.
The Adam cannot become Christ if he does not leave paradise; he will remain a child. Adam means outward movement, Christ means inward movement. Adam means love, Christ means awareness.
The circle is complete. The difference between Adam and Christ is only that of direction. Adam is going extrovertedly, and the same person, when he turns back and becomes introverted, is Christ.
Adam is the potential Christ, Christ is the actualized Adam.
Love is very essential. You have to lose yourself to gain yourself. Love is the only possibility of losing yourself totally. When you are lost totally, then you will be able to remember what you have done.
It is like a fish which has always lived in the ocean. It will never become aware of the ocean and the benediction of it. It has to be caught in a net, a fisherman has to come to take it out, throw it on the shore. Only on the shore, in the hot sun, will it remember for the first time. Although it lived for years in the ocean, it was oblivious, completely oblivious, of the ocean. Now the thirst, the heat, makes it mindful of the ocean. A great longing arises to go back to the ocean. It makes every effort to jump back into the ocean.
That is the state of a seeker: thirsty to be back at the original source. And if this fish can enter the ocean again... can't you imagine the celebration! And the fish has lived in the ocean forever but there was no celebration. Now there is the possibility of celebration. Now it will feel so delighted, so blessed.
Love is a must for spiritual growth. And, moreover, love functions as a mirror. It is very difficult to know yourself unless you have looked at your face in the eyes of someone who loves you. Just as you have to look into the mirror to see your physical face, you have to look in the mirror of love to see your spiritual face. Love is a spiritual mirror. It nourishes you, it integrates you, it makes you ready for the inner journey, it reminds you of your original face.
In moments of deep love there are glimpses of the original face, although those glimpses are coming as reflections. Just as on a full moon night you see the moon reflected in the lake, in the silent lake, so love functions as a lake. The moon reflected in the lake is the beginning of the search for the real moon. If you have never seen the moon reflected in the lake you may never search for the real moon. You will go again and again into the lake to search for the moon because in the beginning you will think, 'This is where the real moon is, somewhere deep down at the bottom of the lake.' You will dive again and again and you will come up empty-handed; you will not find the moon there.
Then one day it will dawn on you that maybe this moon is just a reflection. That is a great insight.
Then you can look upwards. Then where is the moon if this is a reflection? If it is a reflection you have to look in the opposite direction. The reflection was there, deep in the lake - the real must be somewhere above the lake. For the first time you look upwards and the journey has started.
Love gives you glimpses of meditation, reflections of the moon in the lake - although they are reflections, not true. So love can never satisfy you. In fact, love will make you more and more dissatisfied, discontented. Love will make you more and more aware of what is possible, but it will not deliver the goods. It will frustrate you; and only in deep frustration - the possibility of turning back to your own being. Only lovers know the joy of meditation. Those who have never loved and have never been frustrated in love, those who have never dived into the lake of love in search of the moon and are never frustrated, will never look up to the real moon in the sky; they will never become aware of it.
The person who loves is bound to become religious sooner or later. But the person who does not love - the politician, for example, who cannot love any person, he loves only power - will never become religious. Or the person who is obsessed with money, who loves only money, who knows only one love - love of money, will never become religious. It will be very difficult for him for so many reasons. Money can be possessed; you can have money and you can possess it. It is easy to possess money, it is difficult to possess a beloved - impossible, in fact. You will try to possess, but how can you possess a living person? The living person will resist in every way, will fight to the last.
Nobody wants to lose their freedom.
Love is not as valuable as freedom is. Love is a great value, but not higher than freedom. So one would like to be loving, but one would not like to be imprisoned by love. Hence, sooner or later you become frustrated. You try to possess, and the more you try to possess, the more impossible love becomes and the more the other starts going away from you. The less you possess, the closer you feel to the other. If you don't possess at all, if there is freedom flowing between the lovers, there is great love.
Firstly, the effort to possess a person is bound to fail: in that frustration you will be thrown back on yourself. Secondly, if you have learned not to possess the person, if you have learned that freedom is a higher value than love, a far more superior value than love, then sooner or later you will see:
freedom will bring you to yourself, freedom will become your awareness, meditation.
Freedom is another aspect of meditation. Either start with freedom and you will become aware, or start with awareness and you will become free. They go together. Love is a kind of subtle bondage - they go together - but it is an essential experience, very essential for maturity.
There is a beautiful definition of realness through love in Margery William's beautiful book THE VELVETEEN RABBIT.
'What is REAL?' asked the Rabbit one day. 'Does it mean having that buzz inside of you, and a stick-out handle?'
'REAL isn't how you were made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become REAL.
'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.
'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are REAL, you don't mind being hurt.'
'Does it happen all at once like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?'
'It doesn't happen all at once.' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are REAL, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are REAL, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand... Once you are REAL, you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.'
Love makes you real; otherwise you remain just a fantasy, a dream, with no substance in it. Love gives you substance, love gives you integrity, loves makes you centred. But it is only half of the journey; the other half has to be completed in meditation, in awareness. But love prepares you for the other half. Love is the beginning half and awareness is the ending half. Between these two you attain to God. Between love and awareness, between these two banks, the river of being flows.
Don't avoid love. Go through it, with all its pains. Yes, it hurts, but if you are in love it doesn't matter.
In fact, all those hurts strengthen you. Sometimes it really hurts badly, terribly, but all those wounds are necessary to provoke you, to challenge you, to make you less sleepy. All those dangerous situations are necessary to make you alert. Love prepares the ground, and in the soil of love the seed of meditation can grow - and only in the soil of love.
So those who escape from the world out of fear will never attain to meditation. They can sit in the Himalayan caves for lives together, they will not attain to meditation. It is not possible - they have not earned it. First it has to be earned in the world; first they have to prepare the soil. And it is only love that prepares the soil.
Hence my insistence for my sannyasins not to renounce the world. Be in it, take its challenge, accept its dangers, its hurts, wounds. Go through it. Don't avoid it, don't try to find a short-cut because there is none. It is a struggle, it is arduous, it is an uphill task, but that is how one reaches the peak.
And the joy will be more, far more, than if you were dropped on the peak by a helicopter, because you will have reached there ungrown; you will not be able to enjoy it. Just think of the difference...
You try hard to reach Everest. It is so dangerous - every possibility of dying on the way, every possibility of never reaching to the peak; hazardous, dangerous; death waiting for you at each step; so many traps and so many possibilities of being defeated rather than being successful. Out of one hundred possibilities there is only one possibility that you may reach. But the closer you come to the peak, the higher the joy rises in you. Your spirit soars high. You earn it; it is not free. And the more you have paid for it, the more you will enjoy it. Then think: you can be dropped from a helicopter on the top. You will stand on the top and you will just look silly, stupid - what are you doing here?
Within five minutes you will be finished, you will say, 'So I have seen it! There is nothing much here!'
The journey creates the goal. The goal is not sitting there at the end of the journey, the journey creates it at each step. The journey is the goal. The journey and the goal are not separate, they are not two things. The end and the means are not two things. The end is spread over all the way; all the means contain the end in them.
So never miss any opportunity of living, of being alive, of being responsible, of being committed, of getting involved. Don't be a coward. Face life, encounter it. And then slowly slowly something inside you will crystallize.
Yes, it takes time. The Skin Horse is right: 'Generally, by the time you are REAL, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are REAL, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand... Once you are REAL, you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.' It is forever.
But one has to earn it. Let me repeat it: in life you cannot get anything free. And if you do get it, it is useless. You have to pay, and the more you pay for it the more you will get out of it. If you can risk your whole life in love, great will be your attainment. Love will send you back to yourself; it will give you a few reflections of meditation. The first glimpses of meditation happen in love. And then a great desire arises in you to attain to those glimpses, not only as glimpses but as states, so that you can live in those states forever and forever. Love gives you the taste of meditation.
A loving orgasmic experience is the first experience of SAMADHI, of ecstasy. It will make you more thirsty. Now you will know what is possible and now you cannot be satisfied with the mundane. The sacred has penetrated you, the sacred has reached your heart. God has touched your heart, you have felt that touch. Now you would like to live in that moment forever, you would like that moment to become your whole life. It does become - and unless it becomes man remains discontented.
Love on the one hand will give you great joy and on the other hand will give you a thirst for eternal joy.
The third question:
WHY DO YOU LIVE LIKE A KING?
Why not? I am an old Jew! You know Jews - if you ask them a question, they answer it with another question.
There is a famous story about a king. He had many Jews in his court because they were rich people, but he was very annoyed by their habit. Whenever he asked anything, they would answer it with another question. He became so tired, so irritated that he asked his Grand Vizier, 'What to do about these people? They cannot be thrown out of the court, but they annoy me very much.
Whenever I ask something they always answer with another question.'
The Vizier said, 'It will be good if we ask the rabbi. Call the rabbi. He is a wise old man, he will help us and he will be able to explain to us what is the cause of this Jewish habit.'
So the rabbi was called and the king asked the rabbi, 'Why do you Jews always answer a question with another question?' And the rabbi said, 'Why not?'
You ask me, 'Why do you live like a king?'
There are four possibilities after you become enlightened. The first possibility Nanak and Marcus Aurelius followed. They were born as kings; after they became enlightened they remained kings.
The second possibility Jesus and Kabir followed. They were born as beggars, after they became enlightened they remained beggars.
The third possibility was followed by Mahavir and the Buddha: they were born as kings; when they became enlightened they remained beggars.
Then, I thought, for a change... I was born as a beggar; I decided to live as a king. That is the fourth possibility and there is no other, so I am finishing the last. Somebody had to do it, otherwise history would remain incomplete.
One Zen Master was dying. Just before he breathed his last he opened his eyes and asked his disciples, 'Please help me to find an alternative way to die.'
They asked, 'What kind of question is this?'
He said, 'Should I die lying down or sitting or standing? Have you ever heard of anybody dying sitting?'
They said, 'Yes, we have heard. Many people, particularly Buddhist monks - they sit in a SIDDHASAN in the full lotus posture and die. We have heard of many dying in a sitting posture.'
'Have you ever heard,' the Master asked, 'of anybody dying standing?'
They said, 'It is very rare, but we have heard one story that once a Master died standing.'
Then he said, 'Then no other alternative is left. I will die standing on my head.'
And he died - standing on his head. Somebody has to fulfil it. All alternatives have to be tried.
The fifth question:
MY QUESTION CONCERNS THE QUANTUM LEAP. HOW TO JUMP, WHERE TO JUMP, AND WHO OR WHAT IS DOING THE JUMPING?
Jamia, the meaning of the quantum leap is that you find nobody there inside you who can jump.
You find no place where you can jump and you find no means to jump. That is the meaning of a quantum leap. The quantum leap is not a leap, it is a disappearance. The quantum leap is utter discontinuity with the past. If it is continuous it is just a leap, not quantum. That is the meaning of the word 'quantum'.
You have been somebody up to now; if you do something, then you will remain continuous with the past because the doer will be the past. If you ask how to take the quantum leap, who will use the methodology? The old, the past, the mind, the accumulated mind will use the methodology. But how will you become new? It is the old trying to become new. You may have new clothes, a new face, new varnish, but you will remain the same; you continue.
A quantum leap is a moment of understanding that the past is no more there, that it is just a memory, just a figment of imagination now; it has no reality. If the past is no more there, who are you? - because you consist only of your past.
Krishnamurti says, 'The process of thought creates the thinker.' And he is right - it is not vice versa.
Ordinarily you think, 'I am a thinker, hence the process of thought.' It is not so. There is no thinker in you but only a process of thought. And when you think about the whole process of thought and you take it together, the thinker is born.
The thinker is not there. Let thoughts disappear, and as thoughts disappear, the thinker will disappear. If there is no thought, there is no thinker inside. So 'thinker' is nothing but another name for the whole thought continuum.
If you can understand this - that the past is just nothing but thoughts - suddenly a great emptiness will arise in you, a great abyss. You are not, nobody is there inside. This is what Buddha calls ANATTA, no-self, no ego. In that moment when you cannot find yourself, the quantum leap has happened.
The Emperor Wu of China asked Bodhidharma, 'My mind remainS very tense, in anxiety. I am always feeling restless, uneasy. I never find any peace of mind. Help me, sir.'
Bodhidharma looked into his eyes. And that was not an ordinary look - Bodhidharma was a very ferocious Master. The king was a very brave man, had fought in many battles and won, but he started trembling when Bodhidharma looked into his eyes.
And he said, 'Okay, come tomorrow, early in the morning at four o'clock, and bring your mind to me and I will put it at ease forever.'
When the king was going down the steps, Bodhidharma shouted again, 'Listen, don't forget to bring your mind! Come at four o'clock and bring your mind. And I am going to put it at ease forever!'
The king was a little puzzled. 'What does he mean, "Bring the mind, don't forget"? Can I come without the mind too? I and my mind are the same. This man looks mad! And the way he looked at me... those ferocious eyes... And he looks murderous too! And going alone, early in the morning at four o'clock when it is dark, to this madman... and one never knows what he will do, how he will treat me.'
But he could not sleep. Many times he decided not to go, but there was a great attraction too, something like a great magnetic pull. The man was ferocious, but there was great love in his eyes too. Both were there - his eyes were like swords and also like lotuses. He could not resist. He said, 'I have to take this risk.' And at four o'clock he had to go.
Bodhidharma was waiting with his big staff. He told the king, 'Sit in front of me. And where is your mind? I told you to bring it with you!'
And the king said, 'What nonsense are you talking about? If I am here, so is my mind. Mind is something inside me. How can I forget it? How can I "bring" it?'
Bodhidharma said, 'So, one thing is certain: that mind is inside. So close your eyes and go inside and try to find it. And whenever you catch it, just tell me and I will put it at rest forever. But first it has to be caught, only then can I treat it.' The king closed his eyes. The whole thing was stupid, but there was nowhere to go now - it had to be done. He closed his eyes. And the Master was sitting there with his staff - and he might beat or he might hit, so it was no ordinary situation. He could not go to sleep. He had not slept the whole night - he had been thinking of whether to come or not to come... And the presence of the Master and the silence of the forest and the darkness of the night and the whole weird situation: that this man could even cut his head... He became very alert. The danger was such that he became very attentive. For the first time in his life he looked inside himself - what the book, THE SECRET OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, calls 'turning the light inwards'. For the first time he looked inside, he searched inside. He really searched, sincerely he searched. And the more he searched, the more aware he became that there is no mind, there is nobody inside. It is an empty house; we had only believed in it. We have accepted others' belief about the soul, the self, the ego. We never looked at it, we never checked it. And the more he found that there is nobody to be found, the more happy, joyous, he became. His face relaxed; a great grace surrounded him. Hours passed, but for him there was no question of time at all. He was sitting and sitting, and enjoying this blissfulness that he was tasting for the first time in his life.
Something immensely delightful was descending on him.
Then the sun started rising, and with the first rays of the sun, Bodhidharma said to him, 'Sir, it is time enough! Now open your eyes. Have you found yourself inside or not?'
And the king opened his eyes, looked at the Master, saw the beauty, saw that the ferociousness was out of compassion, saw the love, bowed down, touched the feet of the Master and said, 'You have put it at rest forever. It is not there. Now I know that I was creating an unnecessary fuss about something which doesn't exist at all.'
This is the quantum leap. Searching inside you find you are not. Then there is no question of 'how' and no question of 'where'. It has already happened.
Jamia, I would like to tell you: just close your eyes for a few hours every day, become as alert as Emperor Wu became, remember me just in front of you with a sword in my hand, ready to cut you at any moment if you fall asleep, and go in. And, one day the quantum leap. You will know only when it has happened. You don't do it, it is nothing of your doing, it is a happening. You can't do it because you are the hindrance - how can you do it? There is nowhere to jump, nobody to jump, no method to jump. When all these three things have been realized, it has happened.
Then one lives as an emptiness, utterly empty and yet utterly full.
The sixth question:
I DESIRE TO BECOME A SANNYASIN, BUT AT THE VERY IDEA A GREAT FEAR GRIPS MY HEART. IT IS SO NEW. AND, MOREOVER, I HAD NOT COME HERE TO BECOME A DISCIPLE, I HAD JUST COME TO SEE A FRIEND WHO IS A SANNYASIN.
But you are caught, you are trapped! Now it will be very difficult to escape. It is always difficult to choose the new, but only those live who choose the new. To choose the old is to choose death, not life. To choose the familiar is to remain in the prison of the familiar, to choose the known is to avoid really the unknown that is knocking on the door. To choose the known is to reject God, because God is always unknown - not only unknown, but unknowable.
God is always fresh, as fresh as the dewdrops. God is always utterly new, unfamiliar, unmapped, unscheduled, uncalculated. God comes only as the unknown. And if you become afraid, if you shrink back, then you have to live in your so-called dark hole.
What is your past that you cling to? What is there to cling to, except that it is familiar? It is all misery, it is all tragedy. But people even cling to miseries if they are familiar, if they look friendly. Even if health is knocking on your door, you don't listen to the knock, you cling to your tuberculosis, to your cancer, because it is familiar; you have lived with it so long. It looks almost like a betrayal to leave it and become healthy.
That is why people are clinging to miseries. Even when opportunities arise when miseries can be dropped and the celebration can start, they continue to cling to the misery. They persist in it, they insist on it. Even if it drops they catch hold of it again and again. If one misery disappears, they create a similar misery immediately. They don't even give a little interval for joy to enter in their being.
But remember, only those live who choose the new. Life means readiness to go into the uncalculated, unscheduled. Life means to be ready always to listen to the challenge that comes from the unknown source. It is dangerous, but to live is dangerous. The most secure and safe place in the world is the grave - there, nothing ever happens.
In a small village where Mulla Nasrudin lives, the Municipal Committee was thinking of creating a wall around the graveyard. Mulla Nasrudin was also a member of the Committee. He stood up, and he said, 'There is no need.'
The whole Committee looked puzzled, because everybody was in favour of making a wall around the graveyard. People don't want to see graves and people don't want to see death. People don't want to become aware that death is. That's why graveyards are made outside the town, far away.
When you have to go there, only then do you go there; otherwise it is better to avoid.
The village had grown bigger and the graveyard that used to be outside the town was no longer outside the town - the town had grown and spread. So the whole Committee was agreeing. But Mulla said, 'There is no need.'
And the president asked, 'Why do you say that there is no need?'
He said, 'For two reasons. One: those who are outside - they don't want to go in so they don't need any wall to prevent them. And, two: those who are inside - they cannot come out. So what is the point of making a wall? The wall is needed only to prevent either those who are in from coming out or to prevent those who are out from coming in. Those who are out, they don't want to go in; they go only in utter helplessness. When they have to go, when they have to be carried by four persons, then they go. And once they are in they cannot come out - nobody has ever heard of anybody coming out. It is pointless!'
The grave is the most safe and secure place in the world, because nothing new will ever happen there.
Remember it: don't become a grave.
Sannyas is new for you, and you did not come here to become a sannyasin... Do you think all those who are sannyasins here came to become sannyasins? They have been caught unawares!
Before they could escape I caught hold of their hearts. You are also caught now. If you escape, you escape at your own risk. You will repent forever and you will feel sorry forever, because there was an opportunity of being transformed, an opportunity to learn the ways of let-go, an opportunity of falling into your own being, resting into your own being, an opportunity to bloom. But you became afraid because it
Meditate on these lines of Robert Frost.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both, And be one traveller, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, And because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that, the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference.
Always choose the new, the less travelled by. Always choose the unknown, the less travelled by.
'And that has made all the difference.'
Life grows only by choosing challenges. Life grows only by going into the storms. Life grows only by risking, gambling.
Sannyas needs courage. The old sannyas was not so dangerous. People think my sannyas is easier than the old, ancient idea of sannyas. They are utterly wrong. The old sannyas was very simple because it expected - not only expected but demanded - that you renounce the world. It was simple. You went into a monastery; you lived there, undisturbed, undistracted by the world.
Meditation became your whole life with no distractions. It was a monotonous life.
The word 'monastery' and 'monotony' come from the same root. So does the word 'monk'. Life was settled, monotonous, repetitive, the same, and the world was left far behind. It was easy.
My sannyas is far more complex. You have to live in the market-place and yet live as if you were living in a monastery. You have to accept all the distractions of life and yet remain undistracted. You have to be in the world and not be of it.
I have thrown a great challenge to you. The old concept of sannyas was not challenging enough. It was very appealing to the cowards, to the escapists - those who were weary of life, those who were tired of life, those who were incapable of life, those who were feeling somehow incompetent, inferior.
It became very attractive to the inferior, the untalented, the unintelligent.
If you go to the Himalayas or into a monastery and look at the monks, you will be surprised: one thing you are bound to find is that their faces show no signs of intelligence, their eyes don't shine with any light from the beyond. They look dull, insipid, stupid, unintelligent, incompetent. They have escaped from life.
It is life that gives you sharpness, otherwise your sword will never be sharp. It is the struggle in life that provokes all the springs of your talents to come to the surface. You have to be intelligent to survive. In the monastery you are protected by the monastery, by the sect, by the church. You need not make any effort to survive. Food is given, clothes are given, and you just have to do some prayer, some chanting, and you have to repeat, parrot-like, the words of others. Naturally, if one becomes unintelligent there is no wonder in it. It will be a wonder if somebody becomes intelligent there, because all the opportunities for intelligence have been prevented - because they are the same opportunities which are opportunities for distraction too.
Distraction is an opportunity. You can be distracted - that is for you to decide - or you can remain undistracted, then it will give you centring, crystallization.
My sannyas is the most complicated phenomenon that has ever happened on the earth because I don't say to you leave the world, I say live in it, indulge in it, love it, enjoy it, go as deeply as possible so your intelligence is sharpened, your life provoked, your dormant sources of energies become dynamic, flowing. And yet, keep yourself centred in your being - a watcher on the hills. Remain an actor and let the life be just a drama where you are fulfilling a certain role. But don't get identified with the role. Remember continuously that this is a role - that you are a carpenter or a doctor or an engineer or a teacher, husband, wife, mother, father, son - that these are all roles, and the earth is a great stage and a great drama is on. God is the author of it and the director of it, and you are just actors, participating. When the curtain falls your roles will disappear. You will again be just a pure being. You will not be the role that you had played.
The world has to be transformed into an opportunity to remember yourself, for self-remembering.
Hence sannyas is arduous. And I know that everybody hesitates before they take the jump, but if the desire has arisen, if the longing is there, don't kill it, because that will be suicidal. Experiment with it, explore this new dimension. You have lived one way - what is the point of going on repeating it again and again? Live this new style too. Who knows? - you may come across God on this way.
Who knows? - fulfilment may await you on this path.
The last question:
WHY DO I LOVE, THEN HATE AND THEN SHOW INDIFFERENCE TO THE SAME PERSON?
Tushara, you don't know yet what love is. You don't know yet that many other things masquerade as love, play tricks on you - many things. Yes, sometimes even hate can have the mask of love; sometimes sheer sexuality pretends to be love. And this must be so.
You say, 'Why do I love, then hate and then show indifference to the same person?'
You have not loved yet; it is just a sexual appetite in you. And I call it appetite knowingly. When you are hungry you are interested in food. The aroma coming from Vrindavan attracts you; everything else becomes unimportant. You find yourself moving towards Vrindavan. Once you have eaten, all interest in food disappears; and if you have eaten too much, you even become repelled by food. If you have eaten too much, more than was needed, you feel nauseous - a sickness arising in you.
And when you are satiated with food, you can pass by Vrindavan; you don't smell the aromas. You can go on thinking a thousand and one thoughts and you can remain indifferent to food.
Your love is nothing but sexual appetite. That's why first you feel attracted, in 'great love'. That attraction you call love. Just as people say they love ice cream, that's the way you love people. But how long can you love ice cream? You can eat, but how much?
Once I stayed with a family in Bombay. The people are beautiful people, but they have a strange idea of how to serve a guest. Because I was staying there, they invited many people; they gave a feast.
And then the four brothers started forcing each guest to eat more and more. They actually started physically forcing food into people's mouths, and people were saying, 'No!' looking very aghast and puzzled, 'What is happening?' And there were four persons on each guest!
I asked, 'What is the matter? What are you doing? If they don't want to eat, leave them to themselves!'
They said, 'But this is our tradition. In our family, unless the guest starts fighting, we have to... otherwise we have not been real hosts.'
And this was their idea of being a real host! Unless the guest starts fighting... And that actually happened. When the guest... how long can you suffer? There is a limit! The body is not infinite and the stomach has a limit. And the guests started shouting. And they were very happy because they had been good hosts.
First, YOU THINK YOU are in love, Tushara. But that is not love - just a physical appetite, a bodily phenomenon, a chemical phenomenon - nothing to do with love.
Love is a very different thing. It has not necessarily anything to do with sex. Sex may be a part of it, may not be a part of it. You can be in love with a person without any sexual relationship. That's what we call friendship. It has disappeared from the world. Now friendship has almost disappeared from the world because we know only one kind of love, which is sexual. A non-sexual love has become non-existent. In fact, that IS love. Friendship is a deeper love than sexual relationship because friendship gives and asks nothing in return.
Sexual relationship is mutual exploitation: you are exploiting the other's body and he or she is exploiting your body. Both are using each other. But just to say it is pure sex looks ugly so we call it love. It will be very good if you call it simple sex; it will be true, sincere and there will be no problem arising, because then you will know it is appetite. You are fulfilled one moment and then, if the other goes on demanding and you go on playing the game, there will be hate, because you will be repulsed. And sooner or later you will become indifferent, because you have explored the other's body and he has explored your body. Now there is no more to it; the territories are known. Now there is no more intrigue, no more mystery to go into. You are finished. Indifference arises.
Tushara, what you call love is just sex. Call it sex, don't call it love. And it will be good to call it sex because then you know it is sex. There is no need to pretend. If you don't pretend, it will not turn into hate. If you pretend that it is love and it is not, sooner or later you will see it is turning into hate.
If you don't pretend, if you call it simply sex, you will be grateful to the other, you will not hate the other. And it will never become indifference; you will always feel thankful.
But calling it by a big name, 'love', creates the whole trouble. Then the problem arises - why does it turn into hate? Love never turns into hate. Love goes on becoming more and more love. Love ultimately becomes prayer and God.
But this is not love. The first thing - my suggestion - is: call it simple, pure sex. And there is nothing wrong in pure, simple sex; it is natural. There is no need to hide it behind the beautiful word 'love'.
There is no need to create a cloud of romance around it. Be simple, be true, sincere. If this is done, half the work is done. Then one day you will be able to see the difference. One day you will fall in love and you will see it is not just physiological, chemical attraction, but something higher, something superior - two vibes falling in tune, two spirits feeling close, two beings feeling harmonious.
My own words are: if two bodies are feeling attracted to each other, it is sex; if two minds are feeling attracted to each other, it is love; if two souls are feeling attracted to each other, it is prayer. And prayer is the highest form. Sex is the lowest form. Don't think of the lower as the higher; otherwise you remain misguided.
A man and woman had been going together for some time and finally she agreed to go to bed with him. While going to his apartment, they passed some swank shops. The woman admired some expensive Italian shoes.
'Don't worry, baby, I'll get them for you,' he said. Then she saw a real Parisian dress.
'Don't worry, baby, I'll get that for you, too.' Finally, a mink coat caught her eye.
'Don't worry, baby, I'll get that coat for you.'
They finally got to the apartment, made love, and in leaving, again passed the shops.
'There is the coat you are going to buy me,' she said. 'Come on away from there,' he snapped.
'Oh, and there is the dress.'
'Come on away from there,' was again the reply. Finally she saw the shoes and pointed them out.
Again he responded, 'Come on away from there.' She began to cry and sobbed, 'I don't understand.
Before we made love, you promised me all those things. Now, just two hours later, you are breaking your promises.'
'Baby, it's like this. When I am hard, I am soft, but when I am soft, I am hard.'