THERE are religions - Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism - and many more. But they are religions, not THE religion. They are the reflections of the moon in many kinds of minds. They are not the real moon.
The moon is one but it can be reflected in millions of lakes. Reflections differ, but the reflected is one.
Mind is a mirror. When religion is reflected through the mind a Hinduism is born, or a Mohammedanism or a Judaism.
When the religion is not a reflected one, when one comes face to face with reality without any mind whatsoever, when there is no mind between you and the truth, then there is born THE religion.
Hassidism is THE religion. Sufism is THE religion. Zen is THE religion. They differ only in names; otherwise they are all the same. Their language is different but not their content. They all have looked at the moon, but they call it different names. Obviously, that is natural. But they have not been looking at the reflections. They don't believe in creeds, ideologies, scriptures, dogmas, doctrines. They know the truth, and when you know the truth there is no need of scriptures.
You carry the scripture on your head when the truth is not known. Theories are substitutes, dead.
Truth is always alive, eternally alive. It cannot be confined in words; the message is wordless.
And you cannot come to it by somebody else because whenever there is a medium, it becomes a reflection. When your own mind creates a reflection, what about other minds through which you come to know it?
One has to come in immediate contact, direct, heart to heart. Nothing should be allowed between the two: your heart and the heart of reality. They should respond in a deep resonance. They should meet and mingle and merge and there should not even be a curtain of words, knowledge, concepts.
Only then, you know what religion is.
Hassidism is religion, Judaism is just a reflection. Or you can say the same thing in other words:
Judaism is just the periphery and Hassidism is the core - the very core, the living soul, the very center.
Buddhism is the periphery, Zen is the core. Islam is the periphery, Sufism is the core.
And the core is one; peripheries are millions. On one center you can draw many concentric circles.
You can go on drawing them; the center remains one.
We will be talking about Hassidism. Before we enter into the spirit of it, a few remarks are needed as an introduction.
Whenever the problem arises of how to talk about THE religion, it becomes very difficult because whatsoever you say about it is always going to be less than the truth. Whatsoever you say about it is always going to be a reflection. It can indicate; it cannot explain. It can show but it cannot say. So from where to begin, to indicate, to show?
I would like to start with Samuel Beckett's beautiful play, WAITING FOR GODOT. It is absurd - as absurd as life is - but the very absurdity of life, if understood deeply, becomes an indication towards something which is beyond and meaningful.
That which is beyond you is meaningful. And only the beyond is meaningful. That which is beyond mind is meaningful.
WAITING FOR GODOT can be a good beginning for Hassidism, Zen, or Sufism - a very indirect indication. Because to say something direct about such intimate, deep phenomena is to violate them. So be cautious, move slowly. It is holy ground. The curtain rises: two vagabonds are sitting and waiting for Godot. Who is this Godot? They don't know; nobody knows. Even Samuel Beckett, when once asked: 'Who is this Godot?' said: 'If I had known, I would have said so in the play itself.'
Nobody knows. This is a Zen gesture.
The word Godot sounds like God. That is significant. Who knows God? Who has ever known? Who can say? Who can claim that he knows? All knowledge is foolish and one who claims that he knows God is simply stupid. Godot sounds like God, the unknown. It may be all, it may be nothing. They are waiting for Godot.
When they don't know who this God is, then why are they waiting? Because if you don't wait for something you fall into the inner emptiness. If you are not waiting for something to happen, you have to face your inner vacuum, the inner nothingness. And it;s scary, it is death-like. To avoid it, to escape from it, one projects a dream in the future; that's how future time is created.
Future is not part of time, it is part of mind. Time is always present. It is never past, never future. It is always now. Mind creates future because then one can avoid the'now'. One can look ahead into the clouds, wait for something and pretend that something is going to happen - and nothing happens.
One of the most basic truths about human life is that nothing ever happens. Millions of things seem to happen but nothing ever happens.
One goes on waiting and waiting and waiting: waiting for Godot. Who is this Godot? Nobody knows.
But still one has to project to avoid one's inner emptiness.
There is a Hassidic saying that man is made of dust and returns to dust. Dust unto dust. Between and betwixt, a drink comes handy. It's really beautiful: made of dust, falls one day back unto dust.
Between and betwixt, a drink comes handy.
That drink is the desire, the projection, the ambition, the future, the imagination. Otherwise, suddenly you will become aware that you are just dust and nothing else. Hoping for the future, waiting for the future, the dust has a dream around it. It partakes of the glory of the dream; it illuminates. Through the dream you feel you are somebody. And dreaming costs nothing, so you can dream. Beggars can dream to be emperors; there is no law against;t. To avoid being, a dream of becoming is projected.
Those two vagabonds are the whole humanity personified. Man is a vagabond. From where do you come? - you can't say. Where are you going? - you can't answer. Where are you right now, this moment? - at the most you can shrug your shoulders. Man is a vagabond, a wanderer, with no home in the past, with no home in the future - a wanderer on a continuous wandering, endless.
Beckett is right: those two vagabonds are the whole humanity.
But to create a dream, one is not enough; two are needed. Because one will be less than enough.
The other's help is needed.
That's why those who want to get out of dreams try to remain alone, start becoming silent. They meditate, move to the Himalayas. They try to be alone. Because when you are alone it is difficult.
By and by, again and again, you are thrown back to your reality. The prop is not there, the excuse is not there; the other is needed.
That's why whenever somebody falls in love, suddenly, dreams explode in the being. The other is there; now you can dream together and you can help each other to avoid oneself. That's why there is so much need for love: it is a dream need.
Alone, it is very difficult to dream. Again and again the dream is broken and you are thrown to the bare naked reality, the emptiness. A lover is needed: somebody to cling to, somebody to look to, somebody to share with, somebody who will patch the gaps, who will bring you out of yourself so that you don't come face to face with your naked reality.
Two vagabonds are sitting. The curtain rises. They are waiting for Godot. They don't ask each other: 'Who is this Godot anyhow, anyway?' Because to ask will be dangerous. They both know deep down that they are waiting for nobody.
It is dangerous, risky, to ask who Godot is. To raise the very question will be dangerous, the dream will be shattered. They are afraid so they don't ask. One question they avoid continuously: 'Who is this Godot?' That is the basic question which should be asked the very first moment one becomes aware. You are waiting for Godot: ask who this Godot is!
But they are touchy about it, they talk about many other things. They say: 'When is he coming? Are you certain he will keep his promise this time? Yesterday he deceived. The day before yesterday he never came. And today also, the promised time is passing by and he seems not to be coming.' They look again and again at the road; the road is empty.
But they never ask the basic question. They never ask: 'Who is this Godot?' They never ask: 'When did he promise you to come? Where did you meet him? How do you know he exists?' No, they never touch that.
This is how all worldly people live: they never ask the basic questions. It is risky, it is absolutely dangerous. One has to hide. One has to pretend that one knows the basic questions; one goes on always asking secondary questions.
Remember, when you come to me it rarely happens that anybody asks a primary question. And if I try to bring you to the primary, you become scared. You ask futile things which can be answered, but even if answered, you are not going to gain anything because they are not basic.
It is as if your house is on fire and you ask: 'Who has planted these trees?' The question may look relevant, it can be answered, but what will be the outcome of it? Ask the fundamental.
The house is on fire; you have to do something. But they never ask. Again and again they say:
'This day is again passing and he has not come.' And they help each other: 'He must be coming, he must be delayed. There are a thousand and one hazards, but he is a man you can rely upon. He is reliable.' And this 'he' is simply empty.
One day more has passed and he is not coming and they get fed-up and start saying: 'Now it is enough. Enough is enough' They are going to leave, they cannot wait anymore - but they never leave.
Next day again they are there, sitting in the same place, waiting for Godot And yesterday they had decided, very vehemently they had decided that now they will leave, that it is finished. One cannot wait for the whole life.'If he is coming, it's okay; if he is not coming, that too is okay.'
Why don't they leave? They again and again say that they are leaving. The problem is: where to go? You can leave but where to go? Wherever you go, you will again wait for Godot. A change of place won't help.
You can come to India. You can be in England. Or in America. Or you can go to Japan - but what will be the outcome? You will be waiting for Godot. Japan, England, India - it is the same. The change of geography won't help.
That's why, whenever humanity is in deep turmoil, people become travellers. They go from one country to another. They are always on the go. They are always going somewhere. They are not reaching anywhere, but they are always going somewhere. In fact they are not going anywhere, they are only escaping the place where they are.
If they are in America they are going to India. If they are in India they are going to Japan. If they are in Japan they are going to Nepal. They are not going anywhere! They are simply trying to escape from the place where they are. But everywhere they remain the same. Nothing happens. Because geography has nothing to do with it.
In a way, those vagabonds are truer, more honest. They decide in an angry mood. They curse, they swear, and they say: 'Now enough! Tomorrow morning we are not going to be here, waiting for Godot. We will leave.'
Tomorrow again, the sun rises and they are in the same place, and waiting. And again, asking when he is coming. They have completely forgotten that last night they had decided to leave. But where to go? There is nowhere to go: this is a second basic truth about humanity.
First, nothing ever happens. Things appear to happen, but you remain the same. Look into your being - has anything ever happened there? You were a child and you dreamed a lot, and then you became young and you still dreamed a lot. Then you became old and you still dreamed. You dreamed about the riches of this world; now maybe you are dreaming about the riches of another world. But has anything ever happened to you? And don't be scared - because if you are scared you start asking secondary questions.
Religion is to ask the fundamental question, the very basic question, and to ask it courageously is very significant because in the very asking you are coming nearer to the center.
The second truth: you have been going and going and going from one place to another, from one mood to another, from one plane to another, from one level to another level. You are not reaching anywhere.
Have you reached any place? Can you say that you have arrived anywhere? It is always a departure; an arrival never happens. Trains are always leaving, planes are always leaving, people are ready in their waiting rooms. Always departure - never arriving anywhere. The whole absurdity of it. But you never ask these two basic questions.
And then the third automatically bubbles up: Who are you? Because it is not really meaningful to ask who Godot is. That is your creation; your gods are your creations. Forget what the Bible says - that God created man in his own image. It is just the reverse: man created God in his own image. It is Godot. It is your creation. It is your dream.
Somehow to feel that you are significant, meaningful, you have created a God in the skies. God has not created the world, God has not created man. Man has created the whole concept.
A real religion, an authentic religion, does not ask who God is. It asks: 'Who am I?' I have to fall upon my basic source. There, and there only - the revelation. Jesus, Buddha or Baal Shem Tov - they ask the fundamental questions.
The second thing to understand about fundamental questioning is: fundamental questions have no answers. The question is itself the answer If you ask it authentically, in the very asking it is answered.
It is not that you ask: 'Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?'... and one day you come to know that you are a, b, c, d.... No - you never come to know a, b, c, d. By and by, the more you ask it, the deeper it goes. One day, suddenly, the question disappears. You are standing face-to-face with your own being, you are open to your being. The question has disappeared and there is no answer.
Take it as a criterion: if a question can be answered, it is not fundamental. If, by asking, a question disappears - it is fundamental. And in the very disappearance you have arrived, and for the first time something happens. For the first time you are no more the same. Godot has not come, but waiting disappears. You don't wait, you have arrived. And once you have arrived the quality of your being is totally different. Then you can celebrate.
How can you celebrate when you have not arrived? You are sad, miserable. How can you dance when the goal is very far away? - so distant that there seems to be no possibility that you will ever be capable of reaching it. How can you be happy? How can you enjoy? How can joy happen to you?
You are still on the way. The seed is still a seed and the flower is far away. No, it is not possible.
When the seed becomes the flower there is joy, there is delight.
Once you understand who you are, once you go deep into your emptiness and are not scared, once you accept the inner death and you are not trying to escape through dreams and projections, once you accept that you are dust unto dust and between these two happenings there is nothing but a deep emptiness, you have arrived at what Buddha calls 'nirvana'. And this is what Hassids call 'God'! It is not your Godot.
Jews have insisted always that the name of God should not be uttered, because once you utter it you falsify it. It is not utterable; it is inexpressible. You can contain it in your heart but you cannot relate it. You can become it but you cannot express it.
And Jews are perfectly right in their feeling about it. God is not a being; it is a phenomenon - so vast, so infinite, that no word can contain it. Only the infinite heart can contain it. Only the infinite inner emptiness can contain it.
When you enter within yourself, you will feel you are entering into a space where you are going to be lost - just as a drop of water entering into the ocean is lost. You will be lost: that is the fear. That is why you become afraid of death and you start dreaming - future, projections.
Entry into your being is always like death. It is a crucifixion. It is a cross. But if you are courageous enough.... And cowards can never become religious. Only very rare courageous souls who can take the risk of being lost, arrive. You have to pay for it and nothing less will do. You have to lose yourself to gain it.
Once you are ready to enter into the emptiness, suddenly the fear disappears. The same energy becomes a celebration. You can dance, because that which appeared as emptiness was an interpretation of the mind. It was not empty. It was so full that the mind could not understand the fullness of it!
Mind is impotent. Mind is negative. Mind is empty. It understands the language of emptiness. If something is very full then mind cannot understand it. It is just like you have lived in darkness for your whole life. Then suddenly you are brought out into the sunlight and your eyes go blind. It is so dazzling, the light is so much. You cannot open your eyes. You see darkness. Standing before the sun you are standing in darkness.
You have lived up to now with the mind. Mind means future. Mind means that which is not. Mind means dream, appearance, illusion, maya. Maya means a magical world. You create your own world and you live in it. You create your hallucinations and you live in it, Your hell and your heaven - all are mental.
Once you enter into your inner being the mind cannot understand. It is totally unaware of the new language, the new territory. It is absolutely unknown to it. The mind cannot cope with it. It simply goes empty; the thing is too much. The light is so bright and dazzling - the mind goes empty and blank. You become afraid and you escape. Then you create a false god, a Godot.
A Godot is a false god. It may be wealth. It may be prestige and power. It may be politics. It may be ego. It may be a god in heaven. But it is all Godot. You created it. You don't know what is. Not knowing what is, you create your own dream around it.
Authentic religion is an inquiry into what is. Inauthentic religion is inventive. Authentic religion is a discovery. Inauthentic religion is an invention. Mind invents. And mind is the barrier. And once the mind invents, it creates great philosophies: Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism.
All the great mystics - Hassids, Zen Masters, Sufis - they are rebellious. They have to be. A religious man is a rebellious man - there is no other way. Religion and rebellion are two aspects of the same coin.
There are religions of Godots: churches, mosques, temples, organized around a creed, organized because of the fear of man, organized because of the mind escaping from inner emptiness.
Doctrines, dogmas, to fill you. These are all barriers.
A Jesus, a Buddha, or a Baal Shem Tov are by necessity rebellious. I don't call them revolutionaries; I call them rebellious - and the difference has to be understood well.
A revolutionary is one who wants to change the society, who wants to change the government, who wants to change the structure - economical, political, religious. A revolutionary is not spiritual. He is not concerned with his own change. He thinks if others change then everything will be perfectly okay. A revolutionary lives in an illusion. All revolutions have failed, failed utterly. And ultimately a revolution cannot succeed. The very attitude is wrongly oriented: it is an effort to change the other.
A rebellious man is not concerned wiSh the structure of the society, state, government, no. He is concerned with his own being. He is individual. Revolutionaries make parties. A rebellious man is alone; he is his own revolution. Wherever he moves, a revolution moves around him. His very being is a transforming force.
A Jesus, a Buddha, a Zarathustra - these are rebellious people. They have changed their own being, they have arrived. Even if you watch them from the outside you can see the serenity, the calm, the subtle joy - the way they breathe, the way they move. You can watch, you can feel, you can hear the sound that surrounds them - the subtle ripples of their inner calm. If you open yourself it will be reaching you. A rebellion has happened - the state of being is totally new. The old is dead and the new is born. This is the meaning of the story of Jesus' crucifixion AND resurrection. It is a metaphor. Don't try to find history in it. Once you take metaphors as history, you are behaving very foolishly. It is a beautiful, poetic metaphor. Christ is crucified and on the third day he is resurrected.
A new life - immortal now, eternal now.
If you move withinwards and come across the inner emptiness, you will die. And there will be a gap.
The three days are symbolic. There will be a gap. You will lie dead for three days just like Jesus in the cave. Just a passage is needed so the old can disappear completely. Remember - completely, totally - not even a single fragment of it should remain, because that can poison the new.
That's why a gap is needed: so the old is completely gone and the new enters. There is no continuity in them. There is no continuity at all. This is a discontinuity. Jesus, the son of Joseph and Mary, died and then after three days Christ revived - the Son of God, the new.
Ordinary religion is a pseudo phenomenon. Beware of it You can study and while you study you may feel good. While you study, you may forget yourself. You can get into subtle theories and there may be a certain intellectual enjoyment, an intellectual delight. You can move into rituals and there may be a certain intoxication in it.
If you repeat a mantra continuously you will feel intoxicated. It is creating an inner alcohol through sound. Or you can move into drugs; then you change your chemistry, and for a few moments you attain to a height which is false, which is not a real height because you have not grown towards it.
The chemistry has pushed you.
This has to be understood well: the chemistry of the body can be changed in many ways. It can be changed by drugs: LSD, marijuana, and others. It can be changed by old methods, by too much oxygen in the body. You can inhale too much oxygen; it will change your chemistry. If you fast, it changes your chemistry. Even by standing on your head, it changes your chemistry because the blood now circulates more in the brain.
You can change the chemistry in many ways. Drugs are the latest. But all these methods are also drugs which change your chemistry. They may be better than psychedelics, but still the same.
By rituals, by study, by belief, by auto-hypnosis, you can attain to a few glimpses which will be false - as if you are fast asleep, and in a dream you see the sun rising. In a dream the sun is not real, the whole phenomenon is hallucinatory. When you awake it is a dark night.
The false religion, the church, the organization, they have always been supplying intoxicants, drugs.
They may be against the modern drugs, but they are not against drugs. They are always for the old; the old is always better for them.
I am against all drugs, old and new. I am even against yoga - because that too is a way to change the chemistry. Then what to do? - because unless you attend to your own growth, this story will remain true. I will read it.
TO WALK WITH ONE'S OWN LIGHT A YOUNG RABBI COMPLAINED TO THE RABBI OF RIZHYN: 'DURING THE HOURS WHEN I DEVOTE MYSELF TO MY STUDIES, I FEEL LIFE AND LIGHT, BUT THE MOMENT I STOP STUDYING, IT IS ALL GONE. WHAT SHALL I DO?'
It is possible. If you listen to me, it may happen. Listening to me you may sometimes feel light and life, because even listening changes the chemistry of the body. Listening to my voice, the rhythm, continuously, attentively alert, your body chemistry is being changed. You go on looking at me; a subtle hypnosis happens. You go on listening to me; your own thinking stops. You feel life. You feel light. But don't depend on it. And don't take it as something that you have achieved.
I ask people: 'Which meditation is suiting you more?' Many of them say: 'The morning lecture.
When we listen to you, that meditation goes deepest.' But that is a sort of hypnosis. Beware! This may have happened to the young rabbi.
'DURING THE HOURS WHEN I DEVOTE MYSELF TO MY STUDIES, I FEEL LIFE AND LIGHT, BUT THE MOMENT I STOP STUDYING, IT IS ALL GONE.'
When you leave this hall and you move on your own, how long will be the deep meditation that you felt with me? It will be gone. Before you have reached to the gate it is no more with you - and it is good that it is gone. Otherwise you will remain always illusioned.
It is good that you cannot carry it home. It is good that you cannot depend on it. Otherwise, you are SUCH that you will make a treasure of it, and you will forget that this is not your own.
Unless religion is your own, it has not happened. And this is one of the greatest things to be continuously remembered, because there is every tendency in the mind to forget it - because it is so cheap and easy.
Listening to me, reading the Gita, or the Talmud, or the Bible, you are taken out of your mind. A foreign element has been functioning on you. Maybe the foreign element is Jesus, Buddha, or me - but somebody outside you has been pulling you up. Once he is not there, you are thrown back to your reality. And almost always it happens that you fall back even deeper than before.
It is just as if you are passing down a road. The night is dark and a car passes by. For a moment, a strong light; the headlight of the car dazzles your eyes. Then the car is gone. The darkness is even darker than it was before.
Listening to me, reading the Gita, the Koran, the Talmud, a car passes by with strong headlights.
You are dazzled for a moment, you are taken out of the vast dark night that is surrounding you. But when the car has gone by, when the Buddha passes, when Jesus passes, suddenly you are in a deeper darkness than before.
By the way, I would like you to know that in India the greatest number of mystics have been born.
That's why India is in so much darkness. So many people dazzled the mind - a Buddha, a Mahavir, a Krishna - thousands of them, a great procession, again and again. And they enchanted people; people became hypnotized. And when they passed, people fell into a darker night than ever before.
Go and watch the Indian mind: you will not find a more rotten thin anywhere in the world. It is completely rotten to the roots. And the reason is: so much light and not that much capacity to absorb it - because the capacity to absorb light comes only when you have grown.
Don't look at the sun; you can burn your retina. One has to learn it, and by learning, I mean one has to become capable. The eyes have to become stronger and stronger and stronge - and then you can look at the sun and it will be helpful, it can be tremendously helpful.
Now even scientists agree that the third eye center... they have their own scientific names - that doesn't matter - some gland, pineal or something, that feeds on light.
If you look at a lamp, a flame, your third eye starts functioning. It feeds on light. That's why it is difficult to sleep in the day, because the light is there and the third eye goes on functioning and trembling. That's why it is difficult to sleep in the night when the light is on. You would like darkness; otherwise the third eye goes on functioning - and the third eye's function is consciousness. Hence the Hindu methods of TRATAK, of looking at a flame. If you look at a flame for a long time, for a few months, one hour every day, your third eye starts functioning perfectly. You become more alert, more light-filled.
The word TRATAK comes from a root which means tears. So you have to look at the flame until tears start flowing from the eyes. Go on staring, unblinking, and the third eye will start vibrating. But don't look at the sun! One has to come by and by to the sun. If one can look at the sun for thirty or forty minutes without burning his retina, immediate enlightenment is possible, because the third eye feeds on the light.
When you look at me, suddenly there is a little light inside. You listen to me, you become attentive.
When you become attentive your third eye becomes focused. You look at me, you watch me, or you read a book... not an ordinary book - a book which has come from a man who has attained: a Torah.
Thousands of years have passed, but the man who uttered those words or wrote those words, if he had known... a certain vibration still continues. You become attentive, you feel light, and whenever you feel light you feel life. This combination has to be remembered. Whenever you feel dead you will feel dark. Whenever you feel life you will feel light.
There is a saying of Jesus: 'Come follow me. My burden is light.' Ordinarily, Christians have been interpreting it: 'My burden is not heavy' - that's not true. When Jesus says: 'My burden is light,' he simply means LIGHT. He does not mean 'not heavy'. 'Come follow me. My burden is light.' 'That is the only burden I carry: the light.'
And light has no weight. That's why the secondary meaning: 'not heavy'. Light has no weight. It is the most weightless thing in the world, the most immaterial matter. And whenever you feel light within, suddenly you feel an upsurge of life energy.
The young rabbi said: 'DURING THE HOURS WHEN I DEVOTE MYSELF TO MY STUDIES, I FEEL LIFE AND LIGHT, BUT THE MOMENT I STOP STUDYING, IT IS ALL GONE. WHAT SHALL I DO?'
THE RABBI OF KIZHYN REPLIED: 'THAT IS JUST AS WHEN A MAN WALKS THROUGH THE WOODS ON A DARK NIGHT, AND FOR A TIME ANOTHER MAN ACCOMPANIES HIM WHO HAS A LAMP, BUT AT THE CROSSROADS THEY PART AND THE FIRST MUST GROPE HIS WAY ON ALONE. BUT IF A MAN CARRIES HIS OWN LIGHT WITH HIM, HE NEED NOT BE AFRAID OF ANY DARKNESS.'
I meet you on the road; I have a lamp. Suddenly, you are no more in the dark. But the lamp is mine.
Soon we will depart, because your way is your way and mine is mine. And each individual has an individual way to reach to his destiny. For a while you forget all about darkness. My light functions for me as well as for you. But soon the moment comes when we have to part. I follow my way; you go on your own. Now again you will have to grope in the darkness and the darkness will be darker than before.
So don't depend on another's light. It is even better you grope in darkness - but let the darkness be yours! Somebody else's light is not good; even one's own darkness is better. At least it is one's own, at least it is your reality. And if you live in your own darkness, even the darkness will become less and less dark. You will be able to grope. You will learn the art, you will not fall.
Blind people don't fall. Try walking with closed eyes; you will be in difficulty. Even a hundred feet you cannot walk but the blind man can walk the whole distance. The blindness is his. With closed eyes, you are borrowing blindness. It is not yours. Even darkness of one's own;s good. One's own errors are better than other people's virtues, remember this - because the mind is always tempted to imitate, to borrow. But that which is significant cannot be borrowed. No, you cannot enter the kingdom of God with borrowed money; there is no way. You cannot bribe the guards because there are no guards and you cannot enter from a thief's door because there are no doors.
You have to walk and through walking create your path. Ready-made paths are not available. That's what the false religion goes on teaching to people: 'Come. Here is a super-highway. Be a Christian and you need not worry. Then we take all the burden, then WE are responsible.'
Jesus says: 'Be yourself.' The Pope of the Vatican says: 'Follow Christianity.' All Christianity is against Christ, all churches are against religion. They are the citadels of anti-religion and anti- Christ, because those who have known have emphasized that you should be yourself. There is no other way of being. All else is false, dishonest, insincere, imitation, ugly. The only beauty possible is to be yourself, to be yourself in such purity and innocence that nothing foreign enters in you.
Walk in your own darkness - because through walking, groping, by and by, you will find your own light also. When you have your darkness the light is not very far away. When the night is dark, the morning is close - just reaching.
Once you become dependent on borrowed light, you are lost. Darkness;s never so dangerous as borrowed light. Knowing is good, but knowledge is not good. Knowing is yours, knowledge is others.
'THAT IS JUST AS WHEN A MAN WALKS THROUGH THE WOODS ON A DARK NIGHT, AND FOR A TIME ANOTHER MAN ACCOMPANIES HIM WHO HAS A LAMP, BUT AT THE CROSSROADS THEY PART AND THE FIRST MUST GROPE HIS WAY ON ALONE.'
Buddha was dying. He walked for forty years with a lamp and thousands followed him. Now he was going to die.
One day in the morning he said: 'This is my last day. If you have something to ask, you can ask.'
The moment had come, the crossroad had come; now he would go on his own way.
Suddenly, infinite darkness surrounded everybody. Ananda, Buddha's chief disciple, started crying like a child - beating his heart, tears coming down - almost mad.
Buddha said: 'What are you doing, Anand?'
Anand said: 'What will we do now? You were here, we followed in your light. Everything was safe and secure. We have completely forgotten that darkness exists. Following you, everything was light.
Forty years, and now you are leaving - and you are leaving us in total darkness. We were better before we met you because at least we were attuned to darkness; now that timing is also lost. Don't leave us in darkness! We could not attain to enlightenment while you were here; now what will happen when you are gone? We are lost forever.' He started crying and weeping again.
Buddha said: 'Listen. Forty years you walked in my light and you could not attain to your own light.
Do you think if I am alive forty years more, you will attain to your own light? Even four thousand or four million years? The more you walk in a borrowed light, the more you imitate, the more you will lose. It is better I should go.'
The last words on Buddha's lips were: 'Be a light unto yourself.' He died with this uttering: 'Be a light unto yourself' - 'APPO DEEPO BHAVA.'
The story is beautiful. The next day Ananda became enlightened. He could not become enlightened for forty Years and he loved Buddha tremendously; he had almost become a shadow of him and he could not attain. The borrowed light: he relied too much on it.
And it was so beautiful, and so effortlessly available - who bothers about anything else? And within twenty-four hours he became enlightened. What happened?
Twenty-four hours of deep crying and facing the darkness, and the reality, and one's own helplessness. Those twenty-four hours must have been so long for him. It was the darkest period - painful, deep anguish and agony. He passed that hell. It is said that for twenty-four hours he was Lying down under a tree as if dead, the whole body shaking, tears continuously flowing. People thought that he had gone mad or that he wouldn't be able to survive without Buddha.
But after twenty-four hours he was a totally different man. He opened his eyes and people could not believe it - those eyes had the same glimmer as Buddha's eyes. His body had the same beauty, the same fragrance. He walked like Buddha. He had attained to his own light.
THE RABBI OF RIZHYN REPLIED: 'BUT IF A MAN CARRIES HIS OWN LIGHT WITH HIM, HC NEED NOT BE AFRAID OF ANY DARKNESS.'
The whole world need not be filled with light for you to walk - just your own heart. A little flame, and that's enough, because that will light enough of a path for you to walk. Nobody walks more than one step at a time. A small flame in the heart of awareness, mindfulness, DHYANA, meditation. A little flame and that's enough. It lights your path a little. Then you walk, then again the light goes further.
Says Lao Tzu: 'By taking one step at a time one can walk ten thousand miles.' And God is not that far away.
Godot is very far away. You will never reach him. You will have to wait and wait and wait. It is a waiting, Godot is a waiting, infinite - because it is just imagination. It is not there, it is just like the horizon. It appears, just a few miles away, that the sky is meeting the earth.
You think: 'A few hours journey and I will reach the horizon.' You will never reach. The earth never meets the sky anywhere. You can go around the earth again and again, you can encircle it millions of times; you will never come across the horizon. And it will always be there, just ahead of you, waiting for you.
Godot is a horizon; it is a waiting. It fills your emptiness, deceives you. That is the only deception.
But God is not far away. God is exactly where you are right now!
In the Upanishads there is a saying: 'God is far and God is near also.' If I am to translate this, I will say: 'Godot is far. God is always near.' He is here-now.
Right this moment who surrounds you? Right this moment who throbs within you? Right this moment who is talking to you? And who is listening to it?
God is life, God is this oceanic energy. Somewhere it is a tree and a flower and somewhere a stream and a song. Somewhere a bird. Somewhere a rock. Somewhere you and somewhere me.
William Blake was asked once: 'Who is God?' He said: 'Jesus, you, and me,'
All is God. God is just a name for all. God is not someone sitting there, the supreme-most manager or something like that. God is all. You are in it. He is in you. God is near. Only a little flame, a little light inside is needed. Then you live for the first time. Otherwise you simply desire, you never live.
You simply hope to live somewhere, sometime, when Godot comes.
Living is possible only in this moment because there is no other moment. And when I am saying these things, don't start thinking about them, because thinking is a process and leads you into the future.
Listen to me and realize it. It is not a question of thinking. I am not talking about any hypothesis; I am simply telling you a fact. I am not giving you a doctrine; I am just indicating what is the case. You need not think about it You can listen to it, and if you have listened to it well, attentively, immediate is the realization of it.
You will lose track again and again because it will be my light, but once you know that light is possible, you become confident that your light is also possible. If it can happen to this man, why not to you?
My bones are just like yours, my blood just like yours, my flesh just like yours. I am as much dust as you. And this dust will fall unto dust as your dust is going to fall. If something of the beyond has become possible to this man, you can be confident. There is no need to hesitate. You can also take the jump. With me in these days, while you will be with me, I will try to walk with you with my light.
Remember, delight in it, but don't depend on it. Read the Torah, read the Bible, delight. They are really beautiful, but don't depend. Delight, so that your own urge, your own desire, takes an urgency, an intensity to arrive, to arrive where you already are. It is not going somewhere else, it is being there where you are.
Religion is not a goal; it is a revelation. Religion is not a desire; it is a reality. Just a little turning is needed and I say: 'Just a little' - and everything becomes possible. Life becomes possible.
Otherwise you will live empty and waiting.
Don't be the vagabonds of Samuel Beckett's play, WAITING FOR GODOT. As it is you have already waited long. Now be finished with it!
Start living! Why wait? For whom are you waiting? Who is this Godot anyhow?
This moment, the whole existence crosses you. This moment, all that is in this existence culminates in you. This moment you are a crescendo. Delight in it. If you can understand that you are the goal then it will be very simple to understand this small anecdote - very significant and penetrating.
You are the goal. You are the way. You are the light. You are the whole. That is the meaning when we say: 'You are holy.'
If you have come to me, remember, let me be just an encouragement, an encouragement to lead you to yourself. Allow me and help me so that I can throw you back to your own innermost being.
That is the meaning of a Master. A Master helps you to be yourself.
I have no pattern to give you, no values, no morality. I have only freedom to give to you so that you can flower and you can become a lotus, And life eternal.