The Eternal Play of Existence
HE KNOWS IT WHO KNOWS IT NOT, AND HE KNOWS IT NOT WHO KNOWS IT. TO THE MAN OF TRUE KNOWLEDGE IT IS THE UNKNOWN, WHILE TO THE IGNORANT IT IS THE KNOWN.
INDEED, HE ATTAINS IMMORTALITY WHO REALIZES IT IN AND THROUGH EVERY BODH - PULSATION OF KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS. THROUGH THE ATMAN HE OBTAINS STRENGTH AND VIGOR AND THROUGH ITS KNOWLEDGE, IMMORTALITY.
FOR ONE WHO REALIZES IT HERE, IN THIS WORLD, THERE IS TRUE LIFE. FOR ONE WHO DOES NOT SO REALIZE IT, GREAT IS THE LOSS. DISCOVERING THE ATMAN IN EVERY SINGLE BEING, THE WISE ONES, DYING TO THIS WORLD OF SENSE-EXPERIENCE, BECOME IMMORTAL.
Knowledge of the Brahman is impossible but knowing is possible. Knowledge and knowing are basically different. A very subtle difference has to be understood. Knowing is always in the present, knowledge is of the past. Whenever you say, "I have known," it means that the experience has become past, it has become part of your memory. When you say, "I am in a process of knowing," the experience is still continuing; you are still in the experience. It is not part of your memory. Your being is still involved in it.
As far as the world is concerned, the knowing stops. It becomes knowledge. That accumulated knowledge is known as science. Whatsoever man has known becomes science. Science is knowledge. Religion never becomes science because religion is an eternally continuing process of knowing. You never come to a point where you can say, "I have known." The Brahman never becomes the past; it is always the present. The ultimate cannot be reduced to the past; it cannot be reduced to knowledge. It is always a riverlike flow of knowing.
So you cannot say you have experienced God because that means it is a past thing. It means you have transcended it - that you have already experienced and gone beyond. You cannot go beyond God, so you can never say meaningfully that you have known, that you have experienced. You cannot put him into the past; he cannot be made part of your memory. You can be in a process of experiencing but it is never experience; it is always experiencing. A lived process is never a dead memory.
It is just like this: you cannot say, "I have breathed." You are breathing. Breathing cannot become past. If it becomes the past you will be no more. There will be no one to say that he breathed.
Breathing is always a continuous process. You are always breathing - it is in the present. You cannot say, "I have lived," because then who are you? You are life, but you cannot say, "I have lived."
Life is a continuous process. It is always here and now in this very moment. The ultimate means the ultimate life, the ultimate breathing, the ultimate experiencing, the ultimate knowing.
So the first thing to be understood is that the Brahman cannot be reduced to knowledge. So whosoever says, "I have known," the Upanishads say is ignorant. He is insensitive to the great mystery of life. Whosoever says that he has known has not known. He may have known through the scriptures; he may have known through others; he may have gathered information. But he has not known, because one who knows will know that God can never be reduced to knowledge. He remains a process.
God is not a thing. A thing can be known. God is a process. A thing means something which has stopped. A process means something that goes on and on and on. In the ordinary mind we always think of God as a thing. God is not a thing, it is a flow, a continuum. It goes on eternally, never stops, never can stop. Nonstopping is the very nature of it, so how can you know a process? The moment you say, "I have known," you have stopped - and the process goes on. You have stopped in your knowledge and the process goes on: you are lost, your contact is lost. Now you are no longer in touch with the process.
You will have to move with the process. You cannot stop. Stopping is not possible with the divine.
You can stop but the divine cannot stop. And when you stop and the river goes on, you have lost contact with it; you are no more in living touch.
So those who say that they have known have lost contact. Really, they have not known. They have gathered information. Intellectually they have conceived of something but they have not lived, because one who lives will come to know this is a river, eternally going on and on. You have to flow with it. A single moment of stopping and the contact is lost. You can never say, "I have known." You can only say, "I am knowing."
Knowing is an open thing; knowledge is closed; knowledge has come to a full stop. Knowing is a growing thing, it grows. So knowledge is dead, it has already stopped. It is not breathing now, the blood is not flowing in it; the heart has stopped beating, it is dead. Knowledge is a corpse and if you carry knowledge you are carrying a corpse, a dead body. That is why pundits, scholars, those who think they know, are dead men. Even sinners have entered the divine, but it is unheard of that any pundit has ever entered the divine. A sinner can enter, but a man who is knowledgeable, who thinks he knows, cannot enter.
In the eyes of the Upanishads the real sin is knowledge, because that is the only barrier. But it is very subtle, and you have to understand the meaning. Knowing is allowed; knowledge is not allowed.
Move with the divine moment to moment, alive, in touch, open. Do not say, "I have known." Simply say that, "I am aware, experiencing, knowing. Everything is open, and I do not know what is going to be revealed the next moment, so I cannot close, I cannot say that now it is finished and the end has come." There is no last chapter, there is no last page. The scripture is endless. You cannot close it and every moment something new is revealed because the divine or God or Brahman is every moment new, fresh, young. Only we get old, and we get old because of knowledge.
It is not simply the body which gets old. The body will get old but your consciousness need not get old. If it gets old, it means that you have gathered knowledge. Then the weight of knowledge makes you old. Otherwise your eyes will remain innocent, virgin. You will be open, and that openness is virginity. You will be seeking and searching. You will be inquiring and meditating and contemplating.
You will be always ready for the new to happen because it is happening every moment. God is never old. If God is old then some day he will have to die because oldness leads to death.
The Brahman is always young, evergreen. Oldness is not known there, that is why there is no death to it. Existence is always green, alive, pulsating. With knowledge you become old. The moment you say, "I have known," you have stopped knowing. You think that you have experienced and the experiencing stops. From that moment on you are not growing. You are a dead seed.
The Upanishads believe in knowing, not in knowledge. What is this knowing? And what is the process of knowing? With knowledge you gather the past. In knowing you disperse it - you go on dispersing it. Whatsoever is known must be thrown away so that you are open again to know anew.
You must die to the past; only then can you be alive to the present.
We all live in the past - that which is no more, that which has gone, that which is dead. We live in that past; that is why we are so dead. Life is always in the present and mind is always in the past; that is why mind cannot know life. There can be no meeting ground. There is no common ground where mind can meet life. Hence, the Upanishads are against mind.
Mind is always the memory - that which you have lived, that which is past, that which is no more.
Mind is just the past dust gathered upon you. Throw it away. Wash it away so that you are fresh, young, and you can meet the present, the ever young - the ever young Brahman.
In knowing, the past has to be constantly renounced. This is the basic renunciation. Die to the past so that you can be alive in the present. You cannot do both. If you are alive in the past, then you will be dead in the present. If you want to be alive in the present, be dead to the past. Each moment go on throwing the past dust. Do not allow it to gather. Go on renouncing it, go on throwing it. It is of no use. You have already used it, now it is just a dead shell. The bird has flown away from it. Do not go on collecting dead shells. They will become the imprisonment; they will hamper you. They will become so weighty that they will not allow you to move.
To me, a sannyasin, one who has renounced, means not that he has re-nounced wealth, not that he has renounced his house, not that he has renounced family, but one who has renounced the past - because that is the basic wealth. That is your family; you go on living with the dead.
I have heard once it happened that Jesus was passing. It was just morning and the sun was about to rise, and he saw a fisherman throwing his net on the lake. So he spoke to that fisherman. He came near him and told him, "Why are you wasting your life just catching fishes? Follow me and I will show you how to catch the kingdom of God in your net."
The fisherman looked back. There was a different type of light in the eyes of Jesus. The man was hypnotized. He threw down his net and followed Jesus. But just as they were passing out of the village a man came running and asked the fisherman, "Where are you going? Your father has died."
His father was ill, very old. Any moment it was expected that he would die.
So the fisherman said to Jesus, "Jesus, allow me a few days so that I can go back and pay my respects to the old man who is dead and do all that is needed and expected from a son."
Jesus said, "You need not go. The dead will bury the dead." To Jesus the whole village was dead.
So he said, "They will bury the dead; you need not worry about it."
Why did Jesus say that the dead will bury the dead? Because all those who live in the past, they are dead. Only those who live in the present are alive. Life means the present, the here and now.
It is a very fleeting moment. You can catch it only when you are totally unburdened; otherwise you will miss. If your mind is moving toward the past you will miss the fleeting moment of life. It is so momentary, it is so fleeting, that if you are attached to the past you will go on missing it.
And this is happening. Even when you are not thinking of the past, you are thinking of the past reflected in the future. But you are never in the present, that much is certain. Either you are in the past which is no more, or in the future which is yet to be. Both are not, both are nonexistential. One is dead and one is not yet born. And whatsoever you think of the future is just a reflected past, a projected past, because what can you think of the future? You can think of the tomorrow only in terms of the yesterday because you do not know any other language.
You loved someone yesterday, now you think to love him tomorrow. It is going to be just the past again repeated with some modification. And those modifications also come from past experience.
Nothing new can be projected into the future. Only the past can be projected. So you move like a shuttle between the past and the future, and in this constant movement the fleeting present, that which is life, is missed. And only through life can you enter the Brahman.
The Upanishads say do not be attached to knowledge, do not be attached to memory, do not be attached to the past. Go on dying to it so that you are ever young, fresh, virgin. Again and again you are open. No past becomes an imprisonment around you. You always move on and leave the dead shells to the past.
The sutra says:
HE KNOWS IT WHO KNOWS IT NOT....
He who has not made it a knowledge - only he knows it who is still in the process of knowing, who is still searching and inquiring, who is still not closed, who is still going onward, still flowing. And this is going to be eternally so. No one ever reaches the goal; no one can reach the goal. Life really has no goal. It is just an eternal play - beginningless, endless. Man creates the goal. Why?
Man creates the goal because then he can be at ease. The goal is achieved and now you can relax.
Now you can be dead; now you are not needed. Life really has no goal. It is just an eternal play - beginningless, endless. Man creates the goal. Life has no goal. It creates many goals, but those goals are just temporary. Every goal is just a means to a further goal, and ultimately there is no goal; otherwise the Brahman would have stopped at any time, because the goal must have been reached.
Existence has been existing beginninglessly. Any time it would have happened that the goal was achieved, the goal would have stopped. It has not happened so; it will never happen. 'Goal' is a human creation. Life is goal-less; that is why it is eternal. If there is a goal then life cannot be eternal, because when the goal is achieved life is dead. All goals are just temporary. When you can realize this you have realized the Brahman - the purposeless energy moving goal-lessly, moving everywhere but not moving to somewhere, moving toward nowhere. The movement is beautiful in itself; it is blissful in itself. The bliss is not somewhere in the goal, it is here and now, just in the movement, just in the pulsation of being alive.
When you look at a Buddha sitting under a bodhi tree, or you look at a Jesus on the cross, or you look at Mahavira standing under the skies, a question must arise in your mind about what they are doing. It cannot be conceived that Buddha would be thinking about some business - he has no business. He is not thinking about his family - there is no family. He is not thinking about the future - what can he think about the future? What is a Buddha doing under a bodhi tree? He is not doing anything. He simply is. The very happening of life, the breathing in and out, the very pulsation of being alive, is blissful. He is not doing anything else. He is simply in bliss.
But whenever you think about bliss, you always think as if bliss is something which he possesses in his hand. It is not something, it is just a way of existing - the right way of existing. There is no past and no future. Just under the bodhi tree... THIS very moment, the Buddha is simply alive. The heart is beating, the breath is coming in and out, the blood is circulating, and everything is alive, pulsating.
He is not moving anywhere, he simply IS. In this isness is bliss.
Hence, the emphasis continuously that when you do not desire you will be blissful. Why? - because desire leads you somewhere else. Desire does not allow you to be here. Desire says go on somewhere else; the goal is there in the future. Desire creates the future and forces you toward the future. When you are nondesiring, when there is no desire, you are here and now. You are under the bodhi tree, you have become a buddha.
A buddha means a state of consciousness - a state of consciousness which is not going anywhere to achieve any goal. Because of this realization, Buddha said, "There is no God." Just because he was so compassionate toward you he said there is no God, because if he says that God is then you will make a desire out of him. You will want to achieve him. You would like to reach God, you would like to know God, so you will create a desire.
So Buddha says there is no God, so drop all spiritual desire. Not that there is no God, but he says this just to help you drop all desiring and all future. Otherwise you go on changing the future.
Sometimes the desire is worldly, sometimes it becomes spiritual, but the desiring remains the same.
Buddha says there is no MOKSHA; there is no state of total freedom somewhere in heaven. There is no moksha. Not that there is no moksha, but he says this just to help you; otherwise you will start desiring moksha, the liberated state - and desiring is the bondage. So when you desire moksha, liberation, you are still in bondage. He says this just to help you to drop all desiring so that you can be here and now.
People go on coming to Buddha and they ask, "What will happen when we die?"
Buddha says, "Nothing will happen. You will simply die."
They are asking him to create a future even beyond death. They are not satisfied; this much future is not enough. They want some more future beyond death so that they can project their minds more and then they can desire and they can plan what to do after death. They go on insisting. In every village where Buddha moves they go on insisting, "What will happen to an enlightened one, to YOU when you die?"
Buddha says, "Nothing will happen. I will simply die. As the flame of a lamp ceases to be, I will cease."
They are not satisfied; they feel uneasy. They say, "But where will the flame go? Will it meet the Brahman? Will it become cosmic? What will happen to the enlightened soul?"
Buddha is hard. He says, "Nothing. Just a flame is put out. Do you ask where the flame has gone?
No one asks where the flame has gone because everyone knows it has just ceased."
The word nirvana means cessation of the flame. He never uses the word moksha, he never uses the word heaven, he never talks about paradise, he never uses any word that can create future. He simply says nirvana. Nirvana means that the flame ceases to be. Do not ask what happens, "Why?
Does the flame really cease to be?" It never ceases to be but just through his compassion he is telling a lie because the truth will create a desire in you.
If he says there will be bliss - SATCHITANANDA - if he says there will be bliss, existence, and consciousness, or if he says there will be a kingdom of God, then a desire will be created. And if the desire is there, there is not going to be any kingdom of God. Cessation of desire will bring you here and now. There is no possibility to move in the future; you are thrown back to the present. And once you are thrown back to the present you are in paradise. You will be in the divine, you will become one with the Brahman.
The Upanishads say:
HE KNOWS IT WHO KNOWS IT NOT.
Do not create any memory; do not help to create the past. Go on dropping it. You have used it, why go on carrying it? Do not make it a knowledge.
People come to me and they say, "Yesterday the meditation was just wonderful." You have become nonmeditative because of yesterday's meditation. Now that man will go on looking for yesterday to be repeated today. He will wait. He will not be meditating; he will not be totally in it. Part of his mind will be looking backwards to see when that will happen again - and it will not happen. His mind was totally in the moment; now it is not. Now he is looking backwards; he has brought in a new thing.
Now the situation is not the same. He is not totally in it; he is expecting a result. It will not happen and then he will come to me and say, "What has gone wrong? Yesterday it happened but today it didn't happen and I am feeling very frustrated."
The mechanism is simple. Yesterday it could happen because you had no past about it. Remember, you had no past about it, no expectation about it. You couldn't project any future because you didn't know anything. You were ignorant, so it happened. You were simple, innocent, in the moment - just doing it without having any expectation for a result because the result was unknown.
Now it is known. It has happened, it has become the past. Now it is your knowledge. Now this knowledge will become the barrier. Now you can do whatsoever you like but it is not going to happen. Knowledge becomes the barrier; the past becomes the barrier to the present. So if it happened yesterday, forget it. Drop that yesterday.
Remember one thing more: you will be frustrated if it is not happening. And you will be frustrated even if it is going to happen because it is just going to be a repetition. You will get fed up. You will get fed up even with your meditation if it goes on repeating, being the same. Drop the past because if the past is there it is not going to happen. And even if sometimes it happens, it is just going to be a repetition of the past and you will get bored. In both ways the past goes on interfering with the present.
Why do you feel it is a repetition? You feel it is a repetition because you go on comparing with the past. If you drop the past, it is always new; it is never a repetition. Repetition means you are constantly comparing it with the past experience. Drop the past completely and you will be opened to the present. Then whatsoever happens will be new and you will never get bored.
Everyone is bored because of this nonsense of bringing in the past again and again. You kissed your beloved yesterday and now you kiss again and you compare. The very beauty of the kiss is gone because it is just a repetition. Sooner or later you will get fed up. Sooner or later you would like to escape from your beloved. She will look like an enemy because now she has become a situation where everything looks like a repetition. Forget the past. It is killing you. It is killing your love, it is killing your life, it is killing every possibility. Drop the past. Do not make it a knowledge. Be fresh again and again. Every moment move and do not carry the past.
HE KNOWS IT WHO KNOWS IT NOT AND HE KNOWS IT NOT WHO KNOWS IT who says that "I know." This is the indication that he has stopped knowing. Knowledge is complete; the book is closed. This man is dead. A dead man cannot be in contact with a live force.
TO THE MAN OF TRUE KNOWLEDGE IT IS THE UNKNOWN, WHILE TO THE IGNORANT IT IS THE KNOWN.
Go anywhere on the earth: there are churches, temples, GURUDWARAS, mosques. Everyone is worshipping there; the whole earth seems to be religious. Everyone 'knows' about God and life is such a misery, such a suffering. Everyone 'knows' about God - not only knows: everyone argues about him.
There are two types of ignorant people: one who says God is and they argue for him, and another who says God is not and they argue against. But both believe that they know. Theists, atheists, both believe that they know. In one thing they both agree - that they have knowledge. Not only this: they try to prove that they have the true knowledge.
The Upanishads say that only ignorant people can claim that they know - that the divine has become known; that the mystery is solved; that now there is no mystery but a theory, a philosophy, a scripture; that now there is no mystery and everything is known. Only ignorant people can do this. They can kill the mystery by asserting that the ultimate is known. Those who are wise will insist that the mystery remains a mystery. Even if you come to face it, encounter it, even if you come to meet it, the mystery is not solved. On the contrary, it is deepened more. It becomes more mysterious, it goes on becoming more and more mysterious. The more you know, the more it becomes unknown.
This is the mystery of religious knowing. The more you know it, the more it becomes unknown - the more you feel how impossible it is to know, how difficult it is to know. The more you know the impossibility of this, the more you become aware of your incapacity, your helplessness, your ignorance. The more and more God becomes unknown - then the nearer you approach. And when someone really enters the divine, he comes to know that it is unknowable - not only unknown. Then he comes to realize that there is no possibility to know. What does it mean? It means there is no possibility to be finished with it. It is going to be an eternal concern. You cannot be finished with it! You cannot say, "Now I will drop this religious inquiry, I can drop this religiousness. The thing is finished." No, it cannot be finished.
People come to me and they go on asking, "When will it happen that the search ceases, that we reach, that the ultimate happens?" They are in such a hurry! It is not going to end anywhere, remember. It is NOT going to end. This quest is eternal. You will go on growing. You will go on growing into deeper awareness, into deeper bliss. But still, something always remains hidden, and you go on uncovering it. But it is never uncovered completely; it cannot be so. This is how the very nature of the ultimate reality is.
But teachers go on saying, "Do not worry. Sooner or later you will reach." I myself go on saying it.
People come to me and they say, "We have been meditating for so long. When will it happen?" I say, "Wait! Soon it will happen." But these are all lies. If I say that it is not going to happen ever, you will simply drop the whole effort; you will feel hopeless. So I will go on saying that it is going to happen.
It is happening already but it is not going to happen in such a way that the journey ends. And one day you yourself will become aware of the beauty of this non-ending process, and you will realize what an ugly question you were asking. You were asking how to end all this. The very question is ugly and absurd. You do not know but what you are asking is against yourself - because if it ends, you end with it. If there is no search, nothing to be revealed, nothing to be loved, nothing to be known, nothing to be entered, how can you be? If you were in such a state, you would want to commit suicide.
Bertrand Russell has somewhere joked. He said, "I cannot believe in the Hindu conception of liberation - of moksha - because," he says, "in moksha, the Hindu conception of liberation, you will be freed of everything: nothing is to be done, nothing will happen. You will be sitting and sitting and sitting under bodhi trees, and nothing will happen because everything has ceased." So Russell says, "That will be too much. It will become a burden, and the liberation will become a new type of bondage. Everyone will get fed up, and everyone will start praying: Send us back to the earth or even to hell. Even hell will be better because there will be something there to be done, there will be some news. But in moksha there will be no news, no events, no happenings. Just think: eternally no happenings, no movement - what type of moksha will this be?"
Really, when Hindus talk about this moksha, or Jainas talk about this moksha, it does not mean that such a moksha exists or such a state exists. This is just to help you, because YOU cannot conceive of the eternal process. So they say, "Yes, do not be worried. Sooner or later everything will stop and then you will not have to do anything." But you do not know what type of misery this will be. This will be more miserable than the earth is.
Moksha is not a static thing. It is a dynamic process. And moksha is not some geographical place.
It is a way of looking at things, it is an attitude. If you can be alive moment to moment, you will never ask when all this is going to finish. The very question shows that you are not alive and you are not enjoying life as it is. If you enjoy life, you will not ask when it is going to end, you will not ask when you are going to be freed of it. Then you are already free. In the very enjoyment the freedom has come. Whether it ends or not is not a concern at all. If it ends it is good. If it doesn't end it is also good. Then you accept it totally.
The sutra says:
TO THE MAN OF TRUE KNOWLEDGE IT IS THE UNKNOWN, WHILE TO THE IGNORANT IT IS THE KNOWN.
This seems contradictory. It is only ignorance which can claim such a thing. And the more stupid the mind, then the more arrogant will be the claim, the more dogmatic will be the claim.
But even that dogmatic claim may impress you. There are religious fanatics all over the world who go on claiming. And their claims impress people because just by their aggression, their dogmatism, their absolute definiteness, you are overpowered. You think this man must have achieved because he is claiming so boldly. You are so uncertain about yourself that anyone, any stupid man, can claim anything with certainty and you will be impressed. But remember this: only for ignorance does such certainty exist. A man who is wise cannot be dogmatically certain. He cannot assert anything absolutely; he cannot assert anything in an imperative way.
For example, Mahavira: if you ask him anything he will look very uncertain. He is not, but he is a wise man. If you ask him, "Is there God?" he will say, "Maybe, maybe not." This is the mind that doesn't claim - because if he says, "He is," it becomes a claim; and if he says, "He is not," it still becomes a claim. He says, "Maybe, perhaps." SYAD is his word - perhaps, maybe.
You will not be impressed by him. That is why such a great man was born and there are so few followers; Jainas are not more than thirty LAKHS. Twenty-five centuries have passed. Even if one Adam and Eve were converted by Mahavira they would have created such a number. Only three million people in twenty-five centuries - and they too are Jainas only by birth, because to be a Jaina means to be in the attitude of perhaps, maybe.
Why does Mahavira go on saying maybe, whatsoever you ask? Even if you ask if there is a soul, he says, "Maybe, maybe not." Why this insistence? Because he never claims knowledge and he allows everything to remain unknown - that is why the insistence on maybe because then things remain unknown, uncertain, vague, and you can inquire. When everything is certain, inquiry ceases. If he says, "Yes - there is a God, there is soul, there is bliss," inquiry has stopped.
Now what can you do? Either you can follow him or not follow him but he says, "Maybe." He leaves everything open. That is the meaning of syad: everything is open. He doesn't force anything upon you. He doesn't say yes dogmatically, he doesn't say no, because his aggression may impress itself upon you. Just listening to him may become fatal to you. And Mahavira is such a person that you will be impressed, you will be magnetized just listening to him. If he says, "There is," it may become a knowledge to you. You will go on believing that there is, and that will be destructive. To create knowledge is to be destructive.
But only those who are very sensitive can understand Mahavira. Those who are insensitive, ignorant, stupid, will think, "This man doesn't know. Our village pundit is better. At least he says, 'Yes, God is, and I can prove it. I can give you proofs from literature - from the Vedas, the Upanishads.
I can argue that God is and I can convince you.' And this man says, 'Maybe.' What does it mean?
Has he known or not?" People go on asking Mahavira, "If you have known, then why not say yes?
Or if you have come to know that there is no God, then why not say no? Be clear!"
Why do you ask for clarity? You ask for clarity so that you can follow blindly. You ask for clarity so that nothing is left for you to work out. You are lazy, so you ask for clarity. Mahavira will not give you clarity. Really, whenever you come across such a person as Mahavira he will create more confusion in you because out of confusion inquiry is born. Out of certainty comes only ignorance.
This sutra says that it - the ultimate - is the unknown to the wise, to those who know, WHILE TO THE IGNORANT IT IS THE KNOWN. Don't be too certain. Remain uncertain. Uncertainty means fluidity; uncertainty means every alternative is possible. You are not a fixed entity. The future is not going to be just a repetition of the past. Something new is possible every moment. Remain vague.
Do not insist on consistencies. Even if there is apparently a contradiction, do not try to choose in haste. Wait, weigh, and even in the contradiction try to find something which joins the two opposites.
That third thing will be nearer to truth than any polarity.
The whole emphasis is to remain in a state of receptivity for the unknown to happen to you. Be sensitive, fluid, impressionable, as if some guest is to come and you are waiting. The door is open.
Even the breeze passing through the trees or the breeze passing through the dead leaves... you jump to the door. The guest may have come; you are alert.
The guest has not come yet. You are simply waiting. In this alertness, one comes to know the ultimate core of reality. The guest never comes really. He is always coming, he is always coming - coming and coming and coming. He is always nearer and nearer and nearer, closer and closer, but he never really comes. You always remain in waiting. This waiting is beautiful. It is bliss - if you can wait. But then you need a very sensitive mind. Mediocre, stupid minds won't be of any help there.
A stupid mind will say, "Now come in; otherwise I am going to close the door and rest. I have waited long."
There is one poem by Rabindranath Tagore, one of the most beautiful ever written. The poem is known as "The King of the Night." There is one temple, a big temple, with hundreds of priests to serve the deity there. One night it happens that the chief priest has a dream. He dreams that the king, the deity, has appeared to him and says, "Tonight I am coming." He awakes feeling very disturbed. He is very worried about whether this dream is just a dream or a vision: "Is this just dreaming, my mind dreaming? Or is it really an intimation? Is the deity, the god of the temple, really to come? Or is it just my own imagination?"
He is afraid to tell the others because they will think he has gone mad. They will say, "The deity has never come. We have always been worshipping the stone deity since the temple was built and he has never come. You have been dreaming. You have fallen prey to your own imagination." But then he is afraid also that if he doesn't speak up and suddenly the deity comes and they are not prepared to receive, then what will happen? So he thinks it is better to be foolish and speak.
So in the morning he gathers all the priests and he says, "The deity has appeared in a dream and says this night he is coming: 'Wait and be ready to receive me.' "
They all start laughing, and they say, "This is a dream. Do not believe in dreams; do not be foolish.
If the news spreads, then the people will laugh if the deity doesn't come."
So they decide that they should not tell anybody but they should prepare just in case. So they clean the whole temple. They prepare everything. But they know that this is just a dream, so it is halfhearted, it is just in case. They do everything - but it is not with love, it is not with waiting. They already know this is a dream. The dream has not opened them. They are knowers and they know the history: it has never happened. They know the scriptures and they are great scholars, so they say, "It has never happened and it is not going to happen."
Scholars always think that the future is just the past repeated again and again, it is never new. But still, in order not to take a chance they prepare. They clean, they decorate; much food is prepared for the coming god. But they know that this is for them also. This is for them ONLY; the god is not coming. So their hearts are not ready, only the temple is ready. And when the hearts are not ready, what can a temple do? So they wait. Night falls, it becomes dark. The road is dead, no one is moving, everyone around has gone to sleep.
Then they say, "It is enough. We have waited long just for a dream. We are foolish. Now we must eat the food that we have prepared. The whole day has been an unnecessary fast." So they eat and they enjoy, and then they fall asleep. They are tired from the whole day's work of cleaning and decoration, so they fall asleep.
Just at midnight they hear in their sleep that a chariot is coming near the temple. The noise comes; one priest hears it and he says, "It seems the king, the god, has come. I hear the wheels of the chariot making noise."
Somebody else says, "Do not be stupid and do not disturb our sleep. We have been waiting too long; it is enough. Now do not disturb." So they fall asleep again. Then someone hears footsteps.
Someone is coming up the steps of the temple - the temple has many steps.
Someone again says, half asleep, "It seems the king has come. Someone is coming up to the door - and the very sound of the feet is so qualitatively different that it cannot be that of a man."
But then the chief priest himself says, "Do not be foolish! Do not disturb us the whole night. We have been working the whole day. If he had to come he should have come by the evening. No need - it has never been heard that he comes at midnight."
Then someone knocks at the door and someone hears again that someone is knocking on the door.
Then a priest becomes absolutely mad and says, "Stop completely! This is nothing but a breeze striking on the door." So they sleep.
In the morning they all weep and cry and scream because the chariot had come. There are marks on the road, and the god had come up to the temple. On the steps in the dust there are footprints.
But now nothing can be done. The moment, the opportunity, is lost.
This is the whole situation. Really, he is always coming, his chariot is always near the door. He is knocking continuously but you are closed. Be open - that is the basic message of the Upanishads.
Do not be knowledgeable. Do not cling to the past, to the history, to the memory. Be open and wait for the unknown to happen. And whenever it happens do not try to make it known. Whatsoever happens, throw it away and be ready again. Something new will happen again. The Brahman remains unknown continuously.
INDEED, HE ATTAINS IMMORTALITY WHO REALIZES IT IN AND THROUGH EVERY BODH - PULSATION OF KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS.
No knowledge is ultimate. Every knowledge is just a pulsation - just a pulsation, a vibration. Do not make any vibration the ultimate. In deep meditation you will come to feel a great silence: this is just a pulsation. Do not think this is Brahman. Brahman is always more. Whatsoever happens, he is always more. Do not identify any happening with the Brahman; otherwise you will stop.
In meditation, many times a deep bliss will happen to you; you will be washed away. But do not say this is the Brahman because the moment you say this is Brahman you are closed. It is just a pulsation of BODH, just a pulsation of knowing, just a pulsation of consciousness, but just a wave.
Never make any wave the ocean. Remember, when you make a wave the ocean it has become knowledge; then you are closed. Let every wave be just a wave and wait for the ocean.
And remember, the ocean never comes; it is always the waves which are coming. The ocean comes through the waves, but it is always the waves which are coming. The ocean never comes. So do not fix yourself and do not say this wave is the ocean. The moment you say it you are closed.
Many people have reached deep ecstasies and then they stop because then they say, "This is Brahman; the ultimate has been achieved." Remember, it is never achieved. It is simply achievable but never achieved; approachable but never approached.
The journey remains and it is beautiful that the journey remains. Whatsoever knowing comes to you, the Upanishads say that it is just a pulsation of knowledge and awareness. And if you can feel this pulsation of knowledge and awareness, you will attain immortality. Why? You become mortal, you become prone to death, because you cling to the dead - the dead past. If you do not cling to the past there is no death for you, it cannot happen. The body will disappear but that is not death. It becomes a death because you have become too much obsessed with the body - because you have lived in the body in the past.
One person has lived a hundred years in his body. In that hundred years' experience of living in the body he has become obsessed with the body. Now he thinks that he is the body. This hundred years of routine, habit, has created this false notion that he is the body. That is why he feels that death is coming.
Children are less afraid of death than old men. Why? - because they are still new to the body. It has not become their experience and knowledge. They are fresh. Children can play with snakes without any fear. They can play with poison, they can move in any danger. They are not afraid. Why? - because they are still fresh to this new abode. They are not clinging to it too much. It has not yet become a past. But sooner or later, when they have lived in it for many years, they will cling to it.
Then they will be afraid. Then they will become afraid of death because in death the body will die and they have come to feel that they are the body.
A person who lives moment to moment, who goes on dying to the past, is never attached to anything.
Attachment comes from the accumulated past. If you can be unattached to the past every moment, then you are always fresh, young, just born. You pulsate with life and that pulsation gives you immortality. You are immortal, only unaware of the fact.
INDEED, HE ATTAINS IMMORTALITY WHO REALIZES IT IN AND THROUGH EVERY BODH.
THROUGH THE ATMAN HE OBTAINS STRENGTH AND VIGOR, AND THROUGH ITS KNOWLEDGE, IMMORTALITY.
The more you know life, the inner life, the atman, then the more you know that you are immortal.
There is not going to be any death: you are deathless.
FOR ONE WHO REALIZES IT HERE, IN THIS WORLD, THERE IS TRUE LIFE.
So do not hanker after any other life; do not hanker for something to happen after death. If it cannot happen here it will not happen ever. If it can happen it can happen here and now. This earth, this life is the present. Do not condemn it for another life. There is no other life. Life is always HERE; life is always in this moment. Do not postpone it because through postponing you may miss the opportunity.
FOR ONE WHO REALIZES IT HERE THERE IS TRUE LIFE. FOR ONE WHO DOES NOT SO REALIZE IT, GREAT IS THE LOSS. DISCOVERING THE ATMAN IN EVERY SINGLE BEING, THE WISE ONES, DYING TO THIS WORLD OF SENSE-EXPERIENCE, BECOME IMMORTAL.
Go on dying to the past, and you will not have any world around you with which you are attached, obsessed. Dying to the past, you die to this world. Remember, this world is created through your experience; it IS your experience. Dying to experience, you are so young that you do not create any world around you. The real world is not the problem - the world around your mind is the problem.
I have heard: once it happened that a house was on fire. The master of the house was weeping, crying, and beating his chest. His whole life was destroyed. Then suddenly a man came and said, "Why are you weeping? Don't you know? Your son has settled yesterday; the house has been sold."
The tears disappeared and the man even started smiling. He said, "Is it so?" The house was still burning but now his inner house was not burning. This house was not the problem, but an inner attachment.
Then the son came and said, "Yes, we were just going to settle but it is not settled yet."
The man's tears started flowing. He was weeping and beating his chest but the house was completely unaware of what was happening to this man. Within minutes everything changes - the inner world changes. If the house were not his, then he would not have any problem. The problem was not the house but that "the house is mine." That 'mine' creates the inner world.
If you go on throwing the past away, then nothing is yours. Then nothing is your possession; you always remain without any possession. That is what sannyas is. Not that you will not use a house, not that you will not use clothes, not that you will not live in this world - but nothing will be your possession. The world of the inner mind disappears. Then the real world is beautiful. All ugliness is projected by your mind, by the dead past; then life becomes ugly.
With the living present, life is just beautiful and blissful.