He Exults In His Creation

Fri, 9 December 1974 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Osho - The True Name, Vol 2
Chapter #:
am in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
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Man is helpless - but only as long as he is away from God. Man is weak, miserable, lowly - but only as long as he is away from God. Our distance from Him is the cause of our wretchedness; the further we move away from Him the more meaningless life becomes.

Many recent thinkers in the Western world feel that life is meaningless, that there is no motive behind our living, nor is there any destiny or order. It is a long story of meaninglessness, uselessness. It is a 'tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing'.

This feeling is bound to exist. Look at your own life - how much noise and fuss over nothing! You engage in great projects. You never walk, you run; but have you ever asked yourself, "Where am I going?" After all the running you find yourself exactly where you started at your birth; you haven't gained even a grain of sand. If you look at your hands, they are empty. The treasure chest may be full, but you must leave it behind; you are empty. All the dreams of fulfillment turned out to be untrue.

No matter how much you acquire of this world, at death it falls away from you. And what falls away is never yours even though it belongs to you. Those who took refuge and solace in worldly goods built their palaces on sand; they are bound to fall. How long can you delude yourself? Someday you will wake up, someday you will ponder and realize: I walked so long and so far and so much, but reached nowhere.

Your condition is like the ox at the oil mill. How much he walks! Round and round he goes all day.

There is so much noise around him as oil is being extracted. After a day's work he is at the same place as when he started in the morning, and the next day is exactly the same. And so it goes.

Your life is like that of the ox. You may cleverly try to hide it by painting it in different hues, but you are aware of the quality of your heart - a beggar's bowl that is forever asking and never gets filled.

The further from God man is the more beggarly and wretched his inside state. The filling only comes when you are with Him.

We are not only distant from Him, but, even worse, we are opposed to Him. Whatever we do is contrary. Distance is of no concern if we are with Him, for then transformation takes place immediately.

If a man swims against the current, trying to go towards its source, he is not far from the river, but against it. And the irony is, the more you fight the river, the more you realize that it is not your enemy.

It is not hostile to you. It follows its course, hurrying along to meet the sea, and has nothing to do with you. Whether you sink or swim is none of its concern. It is you who have made an enemy of the river. It is because of you alone that you find enemies everywhere in this world. When do you find the time to live? All your time is spent trying to save yourself from your supposed enemies.

Life away from God is bound to be meaningless - if not full of misery. It becomes like a nightmare, and you want to awaken but you cannot. You feel somebody sitting on your chest, and your arms are powerless to push him away; or someone is trying to shove you down a mountain and you have no way to save yourself. You try to move your hands but you cannot. You want to open your eyes, but you cannot. You want to shout, but you cannot. This is a nightmare.

Everyone removed from God is in a dream state. Those who are opposed to the flow of existence are in a nightmare. Examine your own life and you will find that such is the condition. The eyes do not open, the hands do not move, the load on the chest does not lessen - and yet you live! Then your life can be nothing but one long tale of woe.

Kierkegaard, Sartre, Marcel, Heidegger, and other great thinkers of the West describe life as anguish and anxiety with no way to be freed from it. They are right to a very great extent. Life as it is generally led is a torment.

But we also know of another kind of life - that of Nanak, Kabir, Buddha, Krishna, Christ. Their lives are just the opposite of ours: where we are weighed down with harassment, their lives are a veritable dance. Where nothing echoes within us except strains of pain and sorrow, their inner self reverberates with music. Whereas we walk as if we have heavy chains around our feet, their step is light; they walk with a spring. While a look at us conveys the fruits of great sin, their appearance glows with the blessings of the divine.

There is another way of living, and the key is to live not away from, but near to God, to live not against His order but in conformity with it. He whose life flows with the law undergoes a change.

You may not necessarily struggle against God, but your ego pushes you - it says the more you fight and struggle, the greater you become.

But the joke of the whole thing is, just the opposite happens: the more you win, the less you become.

You may find a big heart in a poor man, but not in a rich man; his heart gets smaller with every gain.

A poor man may give in charity, the rich man loses his courage to give. A poor man is capable of love, but there is no music of love and cheer within a rich man; and of course, prayer and God are unheard of where he is concerned. He is barely capable of ordinary animal love. The more wealth you amass the narrower your heart gets. It is a contradiction. The internal space gets more and more constricted and you find yourself always anxious and worried about your possessions.

Nanak says, in the realm of grace power is the expression, yet His compassion is attained only when you genuinely feel absolutely helpless. Not a hint of cunning can remain; the helplessness must be total. By merely saying, "I am helpless," nothing happens. The feeling must enter deep inside, penetrating the core of your heart, pervading every atom of your being. Not mere lip service but a feeling from your heart, it should be evident in your tears. It must permeate your every word, and echo even when there are no words. In your every action should ring the message to Him: I am helpless, O Lord! I am helpless!

What can you do? You can neither do anything nor undo anything. Your actions have brought to pass only what should not have happened; you cannot accomplish anything.

There is a saying in English that is similar in many other languages: Man proposes, God disposes!

Nothing can be more erroneous. It is just the other way around - God proposes and man disposes!

God gives opportunities and proposals, and man refuses them, denies them. God wants to give everything to man.

Existence is waiting to be looted at your hands, but your doors are shut. This existence wants to shower its bounty on you, but alas, your pots are turned upside down. This existence wants to enter you, but out of sheer fright you have not allowed so much as a crack to open to receive it. And you have so filled yourself with junk that even if it enters there is no space for it. You have left no place befitting Him within you.

His grace is attained only when you are utterly helpless, rudderless. The total experience of this helplessness is shame. Then you are ashamed even to say I. Then you wonder on what grounds you can claim I am? On what basis can I say that I am capable of doing something?

But our lives tell the opposite story. You have failed in all your ventures. All your efforts ended in vain, turned to nothing. All the fortresses you built fell into ruins and yet still you have not come to your senses, but hold on to doing. As long as this persists shame cannot enter into you, and Nanak says, "Shame is prayer." As long as you say, "I know," you will not bow down. Does a scholar ever bow down? His head never bends. He may bend his body but his head stands stiff in arrogance.

There is a well known event that the Sufis use for teaching. Two friends studied together throughout their school career. When they finished school and went their separate ways, one became a powerful king and the other a fakir. So it was destined! The king lived in the royal palace; the fakir roamed naked from town to town. The king was famous, the fakir no less so.

Once it happened that the fakir came to the king's capital. Since he was a childhood friend the king made suitable arrangements for his welcome; he had the whole town lit with lamps and the streets strewn with flowers.

As the fakir was proceeding towards the town he met some travelers who said, "What an egoist the king is! He has made all these arrangements just to show you his magnificence. He has lamps lit not only in every house but all along the streets. The whole town looks like the Festival of Lights.

He has covered the steps you are to climb with sheets of gold inlaid with precious stones. He wants to show you that you are but a naked fakir while he revels in his glory." The fakir said, "We shall see his arrogance."

The day arrived for the fakir to visit his old friend. All the people went to receive him at the gates to the town. The king was also there. He looked at his friend and was dumbstruck. It was not the rainy season but the fakir's legs were smeared with muck right up to his knees! But it would have been embarrassing to ask him about it in front of so many people. When he crossed the glittering steps and entered the palace, the fakir sat on the priceless carpet spread especially in his honor - and dirtied it!

Then the king finally asked him. "Friend, there was no rain anywhere, and it is not the rainy season, then how come your legs are covered with mire?"

The fakir replied, "If you wanted to show off your wealth, I wanted to show off my poverty to you."

The king laughed and said, "Then come, brother, let us embrace, for neither of us has gotten anywhere. We are just where we were when we left school."

Wealth can fill you with arrogance, and so can renunciation. So arrogance is the only obstruction.

Once arrogance is obliterated, shame is what remains.

Nanak says the He who is filled with shame gets showered with God's grace. Shame and modesty is worthiness. As long as you are arrogant you do not need Him, and how can you achieve what you do not need? You have never really called Him, wanted Him, needed Him. If ever you called Him it was for other things: when the child was ill, or you had a case in court - but never just for Himself!

Until you call Him just for Himself, all your prayers are false for your prayer has nothing to do with divinity. You want something of the world - perhaps you might get it from God.

A wealthy man was dying. He called his priest and asked him, "If I were to donate one hundred million rupees to your temple, would I get a place in heaven?" This was a natural question from a man who always thought in terms of wealth.

The priest answered, "There is no harm in trying, though I cannot promise anything. I have never heard of anyone booking his seat in heaven this way. Since your wealth is going to be left anyway, why not try?"

If you have acquired anything through wealth, the feeling always remains in your mind somewhere that worship or meditation can also be attained this way. Wealth is gained by ego, by ambition; whereas worship, prayer, meditation are attained through shame. God is attained only when all ambitions fall, when you find yourself utterly useless, when nothing you do turns out correct. At the moment that you are absolutely helpless and incapable of doing anything, His grace showers.

Not only the ego of doing, but the ego of knowing, must also fall. That you know the four Vedas by heart, or the Koran, or that no one is more adept at the Bible - all this knowledge will keep you from His grace. 'I know', which is the statement of your knowledge, is a subtle form of doing. Your doing and your knowing are two sides of your ego. Both must fall.

Have you ever asked yourself in full awareness what you know? You do not even know the stone that lies outside your house and yet you claim to know God? You haven't been able to know a flower fully yet.

The English poet, Tennyson, said: If I were to know the smallest flower fully, I would know what God and man is. You will have known everything if you have known the mystery of a flower opening, since it contains all existence. If you have understood and recognized the beauty of one single flower, you have discovered and understood the beauty of all existence. If you penetrate the truth within the flower, what is left? He who has known the drop knows the ocean, for qualitatively they are one.

Whatever is in the ocean is contained in the drop. It is a small edition of the ocean. He who knows a single atom knows all.

But what do we know? Whatever information we have is stale, borrowed, belonging to others. It is alien, handed down to you from thousands of hands. If thousands of people have worn the same pair of shoes, you will not be ready to step into them. But this is how your knowledge is. You have not put your feet but your head into such shoes. All your knowledge is borrowed and alien. You read the books, but cannot even be sure if the person is talking from his personal experience or hearsay.

I am told: A certain film actress was very clever. When she removed her jewels each night she left a note next to them, saying: "These are fake jewels. The real ones are in the bank vault." One morning she got up and found them gone. On the table was a note, "I took the fake jewels, for I am a sham thief. The real one is in jail."

Are you sure that the one whose words you are taking in, whose knowledge you are imbibing, is authentic? You have no way to find out. You have no criterion to judge the true from the false. The only real test is when you have your own experience, but then you have no further need to listen to anyone else.

This is the trouble. When gold is at hand we do not have the touchstone; when we have the touchstone there is no need to test the gold. But as long as you are able to test, you need the touchstone very badly. You cover your knowledge with borrowed knowledge, and this strengthens the spine of your ego. 'I know' creates the arrogance and pride that is the hindrance. When there is neither knowledge nor action, you are no more; both your props have fallen, and the castle is razed to the ground. This state where the castle has fallen into ruins is what Nanak calls shame. When shame becomes intense, crystallized, His grace begins to pour. Your shame, His grace: these two are correlated. Shame is like a hollow in the ground and His grace is like the lifegiving rains. It also rains on the mountains, but the water slips off into the valleys below that are low, hollow and empty.

His grace pours on all and you can either be a valley and receive it or a mountain and allow it to flow off.

Nanak says, for Him no one is high, no one is low; no one is worthy, no one is unworthy. He showers His grace on all. There are some like valleys who are filled and blessed, whereas others are like towering mountains, so filled with themselves that there is no place to hold His grace.

Be like the valley, the hollows in the ground, and you shall attain Nanak's shame. Once shame forms and the hollow takes shape, since His grace is always pouring, you will become a lake of knowledge and awareness. Your very way of being will change. You shall no more be as you are now. The hollow contains only God. Then you are no longer helpless; in fact no one is stronger than you.



No sooner does a person attain to shame than grace begins to rain on him, and the wretched pauper becomes a king. Saints have said, "Through His grace the lame cross mountains, the blind begin to see, and the deaf begin to hear."

The saints are not talking of the ordinary lame and blind; they are talking about you. As long as you are filled with arrogance your ears remain deaf, your eyes remain blind and your heart will be stone; it will be insensitive and register nothing. Till you are almost as good as dead, the flame of your light will be flickering unsteadily, as if the oil is running out. Your flame will lack the luster. There will be no urgency or intensity or depth of sensitivity in your life to awaken your heart, so that it does not beat with a dull thud as if half dead.

Your life should be like a river in spate; not only are you full yourself but you wish to give to others since you have so much. Within you should be a magnificence, a fragrance. The more of it you spread, the more it grows, and you possess life's infinite source.

This happens with grace. It is paradoxical, which is why the words of the saints appear mysterious.

They are simple, artless, but nonetheless mystifying, for they seem to be saying the reverse of things: Die so that you can live; lose yourself in order to be worthy of attaining; or, be no more and the elixir of existence is yours.

You keep saving yourself, therefore you are nothing. The more you hold onto yourself, the more miserable and wretched and meaningless you will be. The more you save yourself, the more shall you wonder. These are paradoxical statements that are not immediately understood, for they are contrary to our logic. It says, "If you want to be, save yourself." The saints say, "If you want to be, lose yourself. Did the saviour save even Himself?"

Our logic says, "What if we die?" So we cling all the harder to life. But the saint says, "He who clutches harder to life, his death stands at the door long before his time!" Those who accepted death, welcomed it and went to encounter it found the nectar. They found that death was only a mask behind which the nectar was hidden. You run because of fear and deny yourself the nectar.

When you embrace death you find the nectar. The characteristic of that aspect of life which is compassion and grace is power.

The fourth book of Carlos Castaneda is called Tales of Power. It deals precisely with Nanak's fourth realm. As soon as the rays of His compassion descend on you, you attain infinite power. You become capable of untold power; you touch mud and it becomes gold. Before, it was different:

you touched gold and it turned into mud, because then you were. Now wherever you look you see heaven. Before this wherever you turned was hell; wherever your feet fell, the place became inauspicious; whatever you did turned poisonous, even your love turned to hate, your friends turned foes. All this happened because you yourself were wrong. You were going against God so the results were contrary. Because of your own self, the results were unfavorable.

Now you are no more and everything is possible. Now your very shadow holds magic. Wherever your eyes look the gates of heaven will open. Wherever you go, whatever you do, the very air in that place will change. The people who gather around you will be affected by your glory; it will permeate them.

Therefore, Nanak insists on the company of the saints. He says to seek out saints and holy men, for they are the same ones who have attained the source of power. Their company is elevating, glorious. Sitting next to them....

Energy or power is active and infectious. Remember, well-being and health are equally infectious.

Not only does evil enter you through others, but also goodness enters you and flows to others. You feel a freshness in the company of a fresh person. Sit a little with stale, sad, half-dead people, and their drawn faces will so affect you that you depart a different person - sad, ready to cry like them.

Sit with laughing, gay people and even if you have been sad, their joy will begin to infect you. Man is not different from or separated from man. From within we are all connected and flow into each other.

Nanak stresses a great deal the company of holy men and saints. He says, "How will your efforts help? Instead, stay next to those who have attained His support, and through them His hands will touch you too! Through them the fragrant air will reach your heart. "When a person passes through a garden the fragrance of flowers catches onto his clothes. When a person passes a Buddha, knowingly or unwittingly, the fragrance of his buddhahood permeates his clothes. He no longer can remain where he was; somehow he is a changed person.

The company of saints is invaluable. To establish contact with God is difficult for the simple reason that you have no idea whatsoever of Him. The saint is His symbol; you can discover his name and address and find him easily, but where will you seek God? Saint means someone in whom God has crystallized - where his rays are so intense, and the heat so terrible! A saint intensifies God within him in much the same way as we concentrate the rays of the sun through a lens. God is in you too but he is more sparse, less concentrated; His rays do not set fire to you. There is only a lukewarmness that somehow gives you life. The saint is full of fire. He is fire! You are bound to feel the heat when you sit next to him. Something within you will also begin to burn and be destroyed.

The day you attain His grace you begin to gain strength. But remember, that strength is not yours.

If you become arrogant with it you will lose it, and in all likelihood tumble right to the bottom. For the subtle ego follows you till the end. It is the last thing to fall. It follows you like a shadow; you hear neither its footsteps nor its voice, and because it walks behind you, you cannot see it.

Just as the body has its shadow, the mind's shadow is the ego. That is why there are stories that the person who attains God loses his shadow. By this don't assume that the physical shadow is lost, for this shadow is bound to last as long as the body endures. It is the internal shadow of the mind, the ego, that is lost. Then, he performs all actions required of him in life, but no shadow forms within; his mind has become transparent. It no longer exists.

Remember, don't be under the impression that you will become strong and powerful. His grace and compassion will rain on you - when you are not. That is all the power you will be capable of. You will become a medium, which is an important word. The flute produces notes which do not belong to it, but to the player. The flute is merely a medium. What is special about the flute, its excellence, lies in the fact that it is hollow. The hollowness allows for the notes to flow. The day that God's grace begins to pour on you, you become like the flute.

Kabir said: I am only a bamboo tube. The songs are all His. It is He who sings. I am only the medium, an instrument. And the instrument is such that I am absolutely hollow, like a bamboo.

There is nothing within me.

POWER IS THE EXPRESSION IN THE REALM OF GRACE; The ultimate energy is expressed here. He who attains His grace attains this intense magnetism.

You are drawn towards him. You try to stop yourself but cannot, for some magnificent attraction binds you to him in spite of all your efforts.



When the moment arrives in a person's life he becomes a Mahavir, a great warrior. When we depend on our own self we are miserable paupers; when we attain His support we become a Mahavir. All energy is His, everything is His. We have only to step aside and give way to this energy.


AND IN ITS GLORY ALSO SEETA ABIDES, These utterances must be entered into in depth. A person within whom His power descends is bathed in and invested with a double energy: Rama descends into him, and also Seeta. These are important symbols. If only Rama descends the person would remain incomplete. He will gain the male energy, but, being incomplete, it is violent. It will lack the glory of the feminine energy, its gentleness, its beauty, its mildness. Rama is only complete together with Seeta.

The feminine energy is a different dimension of the same energy, which gives it equilibrium, and maintains the balance. If there is male energy alone, a Hitler will be born who can do nothing but destroy, for he has not the feminine energy for balance. The female energy is a creative energy; it is the mother, the giver of birth. It is joined to the root source of existence; it is mild and gentle. The power of this energy is compassion, affection. This energy is not like the sun but cool like the moon.

It is an energy, yet it is cool. And where the sun and the moon become one, where hardness and mildness unite, where violence and humility meet, there both Rama and Seeta are.

This is a very deep discovery of Hindu thought that is beyond the understanding of many; Christians, Muslims, Jains and Buddhists have all been incapable of understanding its depth. The Jains cannot accept Rama as God because Seeta comes in the way. What kind of a God has a female with him?

Their contention is that God should be unattached. So for them Mahavir is God, for there is no hint of a woman - even in the far distance.

The Jains have carried this affair so far as to deny that Mahavir had a wife or that he had children; they changed his whole life history. The fact is that he was married and had a daughter. It is mentioned in the Jain shastras that the girl was married and Mahavir had a son-in-law. But the Jains erased this portion of his life for it went against their concept of God. How can he have a child? To think of Mahavir going into sex was unbearable to contemplate, so they changed the whole story and made him stand absolutely alone.

We can see the violence in Mahavir but not tenderness. If one side of life is missing, Jain thought cannot get very far. It did not give rise to any culture or civilization, but remained only an ideology.

You cannot find even one town in which only this ideology prevails, for if a town contained only Jains who would be the cobbler? Who would be a sweeper or cut hair? That is not part of their culture.

They are crippled and have to depend on others. They follow a mere ideology.

And the most deep-rooted reason behind their being crippled is denying the feminine element. The Jain religion does not ever allow for a woman to attain enlightenment. She will have to be born as a man first, then only can she go to heaven. Women must take orders from men. They are granted no equality in Jainism.

And you will be surprised to know the reason: a man attains celibacy, but even if a woman practices abstinence she cannot be truly celibate because her menstrual flow will continue according to the law of nature. For them a person cannot be liberated until celibacy is fully attained.

The Jains found it difficult to understand Rama and impossible to understand Krishna with all his girl friends. The Buddhist could not understand. And Islam and Christianity were also certainly far removed from it; they couldn't understand either.

The Hindu thought is very deep. It says that energy has two facets; one manifests as male, the other as female. It is not important whether male or female, but the important fact is that the energy balance itself by being both male and female. The male alone has violence, not gentleness. All qualities of gentleness are feminine; even words describing them bear the feminine gender in Hindi, like compassion, affection, kindness, pity - as it should be.

When man reaches the supreme state there is a unity within him of the male and female. He is violent and he is also mild, gentle. The sun and the moon combine within him: he is full of fire and cool as moonbeams. When these two facets are integrated, the Supreme Man becomes manifest.

This supreme state is beyond both man and woman for it is the union of both their energies. In them is born the One, but only when they are completely and fully drowned in each other.

Therefore, the sutra of Nanak says that Rama alone is not enough:



Then it is impossible to describe the form. You can discuss the form of a man and you can discuss the form of a woman, but where Rama and Seeta merge into one, discussion becomes difficult, for opposite qualities have merged into another. If you say one thing about it now, the opposite is also present.

In Japan there is a statue of the Buddha in which the right half of the face is of Buddha. The hand on this side carries a burning flame whose light falls on the very gentle, beautiful, tender face, which is feminine in all its qualities. The other hand carries a sword whose glare falls on the left half of Buddha's face. Though the face is the same, the expression is not of Buddha but of Arjuna, a warrior.

The samurais, who are the warrior class, worship this image. The image can be said to be half Buddha and half Arjuna. The male and female have been integrated into one.

Nietzsche has criticized Buddha and called him effeminate. There is some truth in it, for in Buddha manifests completely the form of the female. The male energy of Buddha is not characterized, for Budddha had attained to such depths of tranquility: he had become cool as the moon, and the sun was lost.

The Hindu makes a point to stand Seeta with Rama, Radha with Krishna. When the name is spoken it is always 'Seetaram' and 'Radhakrishna'. Because the woman is the giver of life, she is the first and the man is placed second. Violence is second; compassion is first. When there is untapped violence hidden behind compassion its beauty is boundless. And when the energy lies hidden behind affection, how is one to express it? If there is cold fire, how is one to describe it? Where the opposites meet, expression becomes impossible. THOSE IN WHOSE HEART RAMA ABIDES NEVER DIE NOR CAN BE CHEATED.


There is no death for him in whom Rama abides, in whose heart God dwells and whose heart is overfilled with him. Understand that death is only for you; there is no death for God. Waves are formed and destroyed, but the ocean is forever. As long as you identify with the waves you will die, for the wave considers itself as separate and is sure to die. Therefore, we are frightened of death.

Your identity will die. You have made wrong connections. If you join yourself to God, to Rama, then where is death? Therefore the wise man dies before death; he breaks all his connections, separating himself from all identities. He knows he is neither the body nor the mind; both these will die. He knows he is not the ego, which is also sure to die. It is destructible; it is a small form that has appeared like a wave. No matter how beautiful the wave may be, no matter how high it may rise and boast of touching the skies, the very next moment it begins to drop into oblivion. In youth all waves boast of touching the skies. Ask the same people in their old age!

I have heard: A fox set out for food early one morning. The sun was just rising behind the hills and she found her shadow stretched long before her. Seeing her shadow she thought: "Today it seems I shall need a camel for breakfast, for see how big I have become; look at my shadow!" The poor fox had no other gauge with which to measure herself except the shadow.

She kept looking for a camel. By now it was midafternoon and the sun was high overhead. She was feeling faint with hunger for there was no camel in sight. Suddenly she looked down and her shadow was so small as to hardly be there at all. "Now I can do with even an ant!" the poor hungry fox cried.

In youth the wave is at its peak; therefore youth is foolish. The West put its faith in youth and suffered, and that suffering is increasing by leaps and bounds. The Orient never trusted youth or gave it a place of importance, for it would be like giving importance to foolishness. Youth is the peak of the wave, the longest shadow. In the length of the shadow you see all kinds of dreams. What doesn't each of us dream of becoming? The East has venerated old age, for then the shadow contracts to almost nothing, and if old age does not awaken you and make you aware of the ego, then when will you awaken? If you awaken in young age, your life is filled with glory. If you do not awaken even in old age you are the greatest of fools. In youth your not awakening can be forgiven; not so in old age.

As soon as a person begins to observe life with awareness, he discovers that his relationships were of the wrong kind: they were all physical. The cells of the body change completely every seven years yet you continue to exist. One day in the mother's womb you were so small that you could be seen only under the microscope; that too was your body. Then one day, when you die, your relatives will make a small bundle of your remains and throw you in the Ganges; that too is your body! How many ups and downs have you seen in between these two events? If you identify yourself with this body then you will tremble and fear death. Therefore a wise man dies before death - by his own hands.

There is that incident in Nanak's life when his disciples found him at the burning grounds. He said, "I thought it better to come here on my own feet than on the shoulders of others, and if someday I have to come here it is best that I know the place well. There is no better place than this for meditation.

Have no fear for me." And he sent his disciples back. He is saying that death is the meditation; there is no other. If you concentrate and meditate on death, by and by death departs. The top layers of death vanish and the hidden nectar comes into view. The wave is lost but the ocean is found.

Buddha would send his monks to the burial grounds. He told them: "Watch people burn. Observe the bones turning into ashes, the smoke rising from the skin, the flowers from the pyre. See the dead man's own people breaking his skull. Those whom he trusted all his life didn't take a moment longer than necessary to prepare him for the last rites. Watch all of this if you wish to reach buddhahood.

All those who promised never to part, cry for a few days and then begin again their normal lives.

When all are gone and the corpse is left alone, watch it, observe it quietly. This is what is going to happen to you, if not today, then tomorrow or the day after." So Buddha always insisted that his disciples go to the burning ghat so they could observe it and begin to die consciously; then only do the practices come easier.

For three months, day and night, the monk had to watch death. There was death and death and death.... Death was getting more and more intense. He would begin to see death everywhere, all around him. Everything would seem to be burning; and yet he would sense a point of awareness within him that could not burn. Flames cannot touch consciousness. Flame has nothing to do with it. The monk returns more conscious, more aware; then he breaks his old connections. Only then would Buddha say, "Now it is possible."

There was a fakir by the name of Ebrahim. He was once a king, then he became a Sufi fakir. He used to stay on the outskirts of his own former kingdom. Whenever travelers came to him asking the way to the town, he would say, "Go left." People would walk a mile or two and find themselves at the burning ground. They would turn back very angry with the fakir, and then take the other road to find the town.

When he saw them again Ebrahim would say to them, "I too used to live there. I have now come to understand that it is not a living place but a dying place; every person there is awaiting death.

Would you call death's waiting room a living place, a habitation? Would you call it a settlement where people go one by one and never return, where even the very colony one day will be no more? What people call the burning ground is a place where you settle once forever. Now that I would call a real habitation."

Our settlements are death grounds, and our burial grounds are the last of our habitations. A sage dies before death; an ignorant person clings to life, making every effort to survive even with his last breath. A wise man dies but once, but a fool dies several deaths. Until you learn this lesson you will have to die again and again.

Death is an education. It is like a child failing in school who is returned to the same grade. If he fails again and again he remains in the same grade until he learns. In the same way death is a great education. Until you learn to recognize the nectar you will have to come again and again.

A singer was giving a performance. The hall resounded with applause and shouts of, "Encore!

Encore!" He sang again. Again they shouted, "Encore!". This went on eight times. His throat became sore, and he could no longer sing. He told the audience, "I am glad that you enjoyed it with such enthusiasm, but now I can sing no more." One man got up and shouted, "Who enjoyed your song? You are a rotten singer but until you sing correctly we won't leave you."

The cycle of death and birth is God's request to you to sing properly. It is part of your training and you have to pass through it. He who understands this breaks his identity with death.

Nanak says that those with Rama in their hearts can neither die nor be cheated. And here you are!

No matter how clever you are, how efficient, how cunning, you are bound to be cheated; for no one except yourself is cheating you. No one else can rob you; it is impossible, but you have become attached in such a wrong manner that the other can rob you. Your vision is so filled with illusions that all around you see only enemies - everyone seems out to steal from you.

Sri Ramakrishna used to tell this story: There was a kite that found a piece of meat. She held it in her talons and flew away, but it was her bad luck that there were many kites out flying in the skies hunting for food. They saw the piece of red flesh and began to chase her. They swooped down on her, pricking her with their beaks. She tried her best to hold onto the piece of flesh, but there were too many kites and she was badly wounded. They had plucked so many of her wing feathers she could hardly fly. Ultimately she let go of the food in her mouth. No sooner did she do this than all the other kites left her. She flew to the branch of a tree and sat there quietly.

Ramakrishna would say, "From the day I saw this happening I let go of my piece of flesh! Now I have no enemies. Actually I had no enemies before; it was the piece of flesh that was causing all the trouble."

As long as you hold onto wealth, someone is bound to be your enemy; as long as you hold onto your flesh others will not leave you in peace. In truth there are no enemies, only you catch hold of the wrong things. Whenever you grasp hold of something, even your fried will seem an enemy.

Mulla Nasruddin's wife was very angry. She was into a senseless tirade against Mulla. He, poor man, stood quietly with both hands in his pants pockets, as men usually do. After she had said all she wanted to say, and even more, she shouted at him, "And stop this nonsense! I see you clenching your fists at me inside your pockets!" The poor man was just keeping quiet to save his own skin.

If you are angry, fists appear everywhere, gripped and taut. It was only natural that Mulla's wife saw fists in his pockets. In fact your eyes create these illusions for you. If you are holding a piece of meat like the kite, and you have the same understanding as you have now, you are bound to be cheated.

The piece of flesh is the body; as long as you hold onto the body you are bound to be cheated.

There is no way to save yourself no matter how clever you are.

Kabir says,"Your efficiency has no value - not a tuppence. You hold the lamp of consciousness in your hand, yet you fall into the well."

You are bound to be cheated, for you yourself make the arrangements: you establish wrong contacts and false relationships. And he who relates himself to the wrong, to the false, determinedly arranges to get himself cheated. If you hold onto the piece of flesh the kites are bound to swoop.



These are the four divisions of the path of the journey. first, in the 'Realm of Religion', there is nature. In 'Knowledge' there is the awakening to nature - to be aware and conscious of things as they are. In 'Shame' it is to be modest, understanding your condition you become humble, helpless, zero. The fourth is to allow His compassion and grace to shower on you without any obstacles.

These four are the divisions of the journey. The fifth is the destination, and that is: Truth. In the Realm of Truth abides the formless, God. That is the destination.

He creates the creation and exalts it with His vision. Here the path ends. Now there is no more need to divide it into any divisions. When His grace fills you completely, you are fully bathed; then you have nothing left to call your own. You drown and flow away in the ocean of divinity. You seek:

Where am I? Where am I? You have no idea where you have disappeared. You have no knowledge of your own self, of where you are, though you are completely aware. You seek here, you seek there, and find it is He and He alone that is everywhere; you are nowhere, you are zero. When this knowledge becomes crystallized you become a mere medium - no more.

In the Realm of Grace, you will be only a medium, a flute, for the songs are His. Then this too vanishes and even the flute is no more. Only He is there. There is now no one to say even as much as: "You, you, you!"For as long as this knowledge remains, a little of yourself also remains.







An important thing to keep in mind, as Nanak stresses time and again, is that God has not stood apart or removed Himself from His creation after creating it, nor is He in any way opposed to it, nor has He forgotten it. God's work of creation goes on every minute, eternally. Actually, creation is God's way of being. He creates and creates and creates, and He is always interested in whatever He creates.

This is very significant. We tell the seeker not to be attached to anything in order to attain God, but God Himself is not unattached or uninvolved. If He were so, the process of creation would stop; everything would come to a halt. Now what is this? As soon as you become one with God a new kind of involvement arises, a new interest, where there is no difference between attachment and nonattachment, where there is neither desire nor desirelessness, where there is neither enchantment nor otherwise. All differences fall away.

God creates with full interest and desire, yet He is desireless, uninvolved. How will you be able to understand this paradox? Nanak says it is as difficult as 'chewing on iron'. God creates, so His interest is natural, His involvement is natural; but it is not a blind involvement as we have with our desires. In His involvement there is no possessiveness, no ownership. He creates you and frees you, and lets you loose. This is why you can wander, commit sin, do evil. He does not bind you in chains to keep you away from evil. He has His relationship with you, all right, but He does not stand in the way of your freedom. It is not that He is against you, yet you are completely independent. This is rather complex.

When a mother is attached to her son, this attachment kills his freedom, for she is always saying:

Don't go here, don't go there. Don't do this, don't do that, and a thousand other don'ts. She smothers him with her love, but kills him nevertheless. She doesn't give him enough independence to allow him to stand on his own two feet or gain some experience of life; in this manner she cripples the child. He will never become mature as long as he is under his mother's protection; even when she dies, her hold over her son will continue as before and he will find it difficult, if not impossible, to love another woman. He knows only one love, his mother. Anyone else would be sinful. The mother was interested in the child, but it was blind infatuation.

A relationship with open eyes protects you, and at the same time does not destroy your freedom.

It sometimes obstructs with a view to making you worthy of going ahead. It makes you strong. It supports you today and withdraws the support little by little so that you may be able to stand on your own tomorrow. It does not lend the support in order to make a cripple of you.

Then there is another kind of mother: if she is told that her attachment to her child is harmful, she draws back completely and removes all restraint from the child. Now total nonrestraint is not the same as giving freedom to your child. If it is a boy he may go to prostitutes, take drugs, gamble, steal, murder. The mother has given him full freedom to do as he pleases; she has become indifferent to her child. first she cared so much, but her caring was blind; now there is negligence and indifference, which is equally blind. The balance lies between the two.

This balance is the characteristic of God. It is His very nature. His attitude towards His creation is:

He protects you so that you may be independent, and gives you independence so that one day you may be able to surrender. These are two apparent contradictions. He gives you the opportunity to go far away, for if you do not go far how will you come close? He gives you license to wander, for if you do not wander how will you gain experience? He gives you a chance to fall, for if you do not fall how will you learn to protect yourself?

And yet He protects you and follows you. His eye watches everywhere; His shadow is everywhere; He envelops you from all sides. No matter how far from Him you go, still He is beside you, so close that whenever you need Him you have only to turn and there He is - available to you that very moment.

There is the well known couplet: "In the mirror of my heart is the picture of my beloved. I have only to bend a little to get a glimpse of Him."

No matter how far you go, He is always behind you, following you. He causes you no interference, no matter what path you tread. He does not even stop you from going wrong, if that's where you are heading. He allows you to be wrong if you so wish, and in His tender love He does not remove His energy from you, but waits. He awaits your pleasure. He hopes that one day you will return and when you do - ah, what joy, what ecstasy he feels!


This is certainly so, for there all contradictions are laid to rest, and become one.

I have studied the lives of many people and find that we can move towards any extreme and do all kinds of things, but all extremes can be very dangerous.

I know a very possessive husband who follows his wife not just as a shadow, but like a ghost. When he is in the office he is always worried; perhaps his wife is laughing with someone and having a good time. He would leave his work and pay surprise visits home just to check on her. He cannot bear her talking and laughing with others without him. He firmly believes in the descriptions of the wife given by Kalidas, the famous Indian poet. In one of his best known poems he describes a wife so pining away from a fifteen-day absence from her beloved, that she 'wilts away and becomes like a skeleton' and then she describes it all in messages sent to him with the clouds.

This constant siege from all sides has filled the wife with boredom and subtle hatred. Theirs had been a marriage of love. They had been very much in love. I could see that, and I knew them for a long time. But when the husbands love became so excessive, his hands no longer formed a garland around her neck, but became a noose. It is not diamonds and gold alone that bind; such love could also be fatal. The wife's love began to diminish and she began dreaming of being freed from her husband. The more independent she tried to become, the more restrictions he created for her.

I explained to the husband that this was madness, that he was killing his wife's love for him with his own hands. Love also wants freedom and a chance to breath. Love needs a little distance, a little aloneness, some time to oneself. I advised him, "Don't be after her so much or you will kill her love for you. Then you will have only yourself to blame."

After a great deal of discussion the husband began to see some sense in it, but then he began to disregard her completely. Now even if he saw her in bed with another man, it would make no difference to him. He says he has given up his possessiveness. He says, "Now I have nothing to do with her. She can do what she pleases. I am in no way connected with her now." The only type of connection he knows is a noose.

This is a natural human trait. If full freedom is given as in the West, it tends to become total indifference, or we set up such a complete subjugation that it can strangle. This is what is happening in the East.

To say anything about God is as good as 'chewing on iron', so difficult is it. He is both: He gives you full freedom, but His love is not an iota less on account of this. He leaves you free, which is the only genuine love.. There is no conflict between His love and the freedom He gives you; He does not stop you even if your feet go astray, but waits patiently for you to return. When you retrace your steps and the prodigal comes home - oh the joy, the celebration!

Nanak says: He worries about you and thinks of you. He rejoices in you. He does not stand apart, unaffected; His nonattachment is filled with a deep essential affection. He is far and yet He is near.

He has left you to do as you please, and yet His eye is always on you. He has never, never left you.

He always stands besides you. Your sorrow and anguish touch Him; your joy and happiness fill Him with cheer. You are not a stranger in this universe; it is your house. You are not alone in this world.

God is always with you.

This assurance and comfort has deep meaning for the devotee; otherwise there is nothing. If you put aside the thought of God, the world stands untouched, unconcerned beside you; it does not bother what you do or what you do not do, whether you live or whether you die. Let the storm take you; there is no one to care.

But for the devotee there is great assurance and solace in the feeling that 'someone is waiting for me'. When you return home you will not find it empty; when you return inwards to your own nature you will find God awaiting you. Not only will you find Him waiting, but you will be enchanted by all the arrangements for the celebration He has made in your house.

A story that Jesus told time and again is well worth understanding. A rich man had two sons. One boy turned into a vagabond. When he came of age he demanded his half share, which he took and left for the city, for the village offered no means of spending his money: there were no gambling houses, no taverns, no prostitutes. He lost every penny he had in these pursuits and become a roadside beggar. The father was keeping track of him. When he heard of his son's destitution, he was very unhappy. He knew that it was useless to try to bring him back by force, for that might take him farther away. He could only wait, hoping that when his son began to see things in their right perspective he would return on his own.

The elder son remained at home. He worked hard and had doubled the remaining inheritance. He plowed the fields and tended the vineyards, working from morning to night.

Then one day it occurred to the beggar son: "I shall die this way. I still have a home. My father is alive and I can count on his love. He gave me an opportunity to learn for myself what is right and what is wrong, so I am sure his compassion will not fail me now and he will take me back to his heart. I have full confidence in him."

One day he sent word to his father that he was coming home. The father arranged a grand reception.

He had lambs butchered and the best of everything prepared, for his son was coming home. He decorated the whole village with flowers and invited everybody in the village.

The elder brother was in the fields. Someone went to him and said, "It is so injust! You have served your father faithfully your whole life and have doubled and trebled his assets. You have never gone against his wishes, yet he never arranged such a grand reception in your honor. Now your brother who squandered his inheritance on wine, women and song is returning, and look at what your father is doing for him. It is rank injustice."

The elder brother also felt it was unfair. He returned home saddened and downhearted. He saw the lamps and the flowers set out in his brother's honor and could bear it no longer. He went to his father and said, "I have served you and obeyed you my whole life, but you have never prepared a feast in my honor. Today this prodigal son of yours returns home and look how much you have done to receive him. I can't believe my eyes."

The father replied, "Son, you have always been near me. You never went astray, so there was no need to welcome you. You are always with me and welcome every moment. You are so close to my heart, but this boy who went astray, who wandered and ruined himself, and for whom I spent so many anxious, sleepless nights, he is returning and needs to be welcomed. You gave me no cause for worry; instead I have always been happy and pleased with you, so there is no need to express excessive happiness in your case."

When the prodigal returns a magnificent reception is called for. Jesus would say: Good people, holy men and saints, are like the elder brother; those who have gone stray, sinned, committed crimes, are like the younger brother. Jesus made this a wonderful beginning for his spiritual teachings and because of this, the Jews turned against him. For the Jews believe that he who sins is punished by God; whereas Jesus has said He will welcome him when he returns for He loves him. Do as much wrong as you please, you cannot remove yourself from His heart. You may show your back to Him but He will wait. He is the Father of all.

We have a very deep connection with existence, and existence feels pleased - so the Hindus have known from time immemorial. That is why it is said that when a person attains buddhahood flowers bloom out of season. Flowers open when Buddha passes by, whatever the season, for existence is filled with bliss at that moment.

This is what Nanak is saying, that He is so filled with joy and dances in ecstasy whenever the prodigal returns. This is the union of freedom and love. Do what you will, you cannot displease Him.

His love for you is much deeper than anything you might do. But His attachment is not like yours. He doesn't chain you by the neck. God is not a prison; God is love and freedom. It is difficult to explain, for they appear so contrary, for when you love a person you take away his freedom, and when you give freedom you say goodbye to love.

Where affection and nonaffection both are, where desire and desirelessness both are, where all contradictions unite, there is the great confluence.


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"When one lives in contact with the functionaries who
are serving the Bolshevik Government, one feature strikes the
attention, which, is almost all of them are Jews. I am not at
all antiSemitic; but I must state what strikes the eye:
everywhere in Petrograd, Moscow, in the provincial districts;
the commissariats; the district offices; in Smolny, in the
Soviets, I have met nothing but Jews and again Jews...

The more one studies the revolution the more one is convinced
that Bolshevism is a Jewish movement which can be explained by
the special conditions in which the Jewish people were placed
in Russia."