It is not only impossible to talk seriously about it - it is impossible to talk about it at all. Seriously is not the question. Just to talk about it is impossible because then talk implies language.
Language has a pattern, language itself is an ideology. To use language is to fall into the trap of it.
Language has a logic, a system, a substratum. Once you talk about something, you have entered into the world of ideology.
But to talk is a necessary evil. It has to be tolerated. I would like not to talk; I would like to convey and commune directly without language, but then it will not reach you. The silence will not be understood.
So I have to use language, knowing well that this is a necessary evil, knowing well that you have to transcend it, knowing well that that which is worth saying cannot be said in it, knowing well that the moment you utter a truth the very uttering falsifies it. But before you become capable of understanding silence, that communion from heart to heart has to happen.
So I talk to help you towards silence. By my talking you will not understand silence, but by my talk you may have a taste, a fragrance. By my talk you may be able to listen to the silence that is bound to be there between two words, the silence that is bound to be there between two sentences.
Whatsoever I say is not important; the gap between is important. Don't pay too much attention to what I say. The words are like two banks of the river; the banks are not the river - don't get too attached to the banks. They won't quench your thirst. Forget the banks; just look in between. The gap, the silence between two words is the river. That's what I am trying to convey to you.
I know you listen to the words, you don't listen to the silence. The gestalt has to be changed. But one day it happens. If you go on listening, one day it happens. Suddenly, one day, unaware, you are caught. Suddenly, for the first time, words are no more important, but the being that I am touches you. The ears go on listening to the words but the heart is moving in some unknown direction.
It cannot be planned to happen, but it happens. That's why in the East SATSANG has been praised so much. SATSANG means to be with a Master. When he speaks, to be with him. When he sits, to be with him. When he looks at you, to be with him. When he does not look at you, then also, to be with him - just to have a feeling flow between the one who knows and the one who is seeking. One day something tunes in - and that day is unpredictable; nothing can be done about it. The more you do anything about it the more you will be missing it.
So just go on listening to my words, but by and by shift your emphasis to the silent gaps. Sometimes I am not saying anything. Sometimes I just look at you. There exactly, precisely there, is the message.
And if you listen to that message, it is not ideology. It is not even anti-ideology! Because if something is anti-ideological, it is again an ideology. To be anti is to be in the world of the idea.
I am not against ideology. How can I commit that sin? I am beyond, not against. Ideology, anti- ideology - both are left in the valley. I have moved to a different world, a peak which is beyond.
And I am not teaching you anti-ideology. I am not teaching you anything that belongs to the world of concepts and ideas. I am teaching you 'me'! I am teaching you a way of being, a different quality of existence.
Listen to my words. But don't only listen to my words - shift. One day you will understand even THAT which cannot be said through words.
Even through words there may be glimpses. Once you can feel my silence, my words will take another significance. Then they will not be just words, just sounds - no. Then they become a flowering. It is a very difficult job: to talk about silence.
In Zen they say it is like selling water by the river. The river is flowing, but you are blind and I have to sell water. And, of course, you pay for it - and the river is absolutely free. It is like watering the garden when the rain is falling. Or, as in old Indian scriptures it is said: 'It is putting legs on a snake to help him walk!' Foolish, stupid - because the snake walks perfectly well without any legs. In fact, legs will hinder. But what to do? The snake goes on saying: 'Help me.' Or as it is said in old Taoist scriptures: 'To talk about truth is as if to put a hat on a man who is already wearing one.' To put another hat on top of the hat - useless.
So what am I doing here? I am just giving you patience, the capacity to wait, watch. It is an effort to be with me; in the beginning it is like an effort, but one day suddenly it happens and it is no more an effort. Effortlessly you are here. Then you understand me - whether I say something or not. Then you will understand me - whether I am here in this chair or not, whether I am in this body or not.
But before that happens, that supreme flowering of your silence, I have to go on beating the bush, around and around.
And the second thing about the first question: I am not a serious man. I look like one but the appearance is deceptive. I'm not a serious man; I'm absolutely non-serious - and that is the only way the enlightened consciousness can be.
Seriousness is mundane, it is of the marketplace. You find it in the churches - in fact, too much - because your churches are nothing but part of the marketplace, part of the world of commodities.
I have heard one Jewish joke: a Jew came to the synagogue with a dead cat, and he asked the rabbi if he could bury it in the Jewish burial ground. The rabbi was aghast, horrified. He said: 'What!
You, a good Jew, and asking your rabbi to bury a dirty, dead cat in the holy grounds? No I Never I Certainly not I Absolutely not!' The man stood up and said: 'Then I will not be able to give you the ten thousand pounds the cat has left in the will.'
Suddenly the rabbi jumped, and he said: 'Wait Don't try to go out. You fool! Why didn't you tell me before that the cat was a Jew?'
Your synagogues, your churches, your temples - they belong to the marketplace; they have to be serious.
The world is too serious, and it has to be because death always hangs over. You may avoid, you may not look at it, but in the world, death is always around. You have to be serious. Even if you laugh, your laughter has tears within it. Even if you smile, your smile is not total; it is painted, forced.
It is not an inner flow and glow. No, it is not.
In the marketplace you have learned too much seriousness. Then your churches become serious.
Your gods cannot smile.
Christians say Jesus never laughed - looks absolutely foolish, the whole idea. Jesus never laughed?
Then who will laugh? If even Jesus cannot laugh, then laughter becomes a sheer impossibility. In fact, ONLY he must have laughed; only he can laugh, and enjoy it. In India we don't take the world seriously. We call it God's LEELA, God's play; a joke at the most, a story, a drama - told beautifully, but nothing serious about it.
I am not serious, and whatsoever I am saying I am saying in a very non-serious mood. Of course, I am sincere, but not serious. Whatsoever I am saying, I really want to convey it to you, but if it is not conveyed I don't feel frustrated. If it is conveyed I don't feel proud. If I fail utterly or if I succeed absolutely - both are the same. That's why I say I'm not serious.
You may be here seriously, but by and by I will persuade you not to be serious, because seriousness is the shadow of the ego. Without the ego you can't be serious. Simply without the ego, seriousness disappears, because without the ego, death disappears. Only the ego has died - not you. You have never died; you have never been born. You have been eternally here, and you will be eternally here.
You are part of this whole existence. You cannot be separated from it.
Sometimes you may have been in the trees, you may have been a tree. Sometimes in the birds, and you may have been a bird. And sometimes a rock, and sometimes a stream falling from the Himalayas. Millions of ways. Millions of forms. Millions of names. Yes, you have existed in many many ways. It was never that you were not; it will be never that you will not be. The form changes; the formless goes on and on and on.
There is nothing to be serious about. But the ego is afraid, apprehensive. Death is coming. The ego is a weight. The ego cannot laugh.
My whole effort is to create such a deep laughter in you that the laughter remains but you disappear.
The dance remains but the dancer disappears. Then life is tremendously beautiful - and only then life is beautiful.
So don't think about me like other religious people who are very serious. If they are serious they cannot be religious: that is my criterion. If your saints cannot laugh, they may be suppressed sinners at the most. Because a suppressed person cannot laugh, he is always afraid. With laughter many other things may escape. He has to suppress everything: the anger, the sex, the greed, the hatred, the love. Now he cannot allow only laughter to escape. And this is a deep secret: either you are totally expressive or you are not. You cannot be partially expressive.
Your so-called saints have to suppress themselves totally. And to me, a saint is one who has no suppression in his being. When he laughs, he laughs. His whole being is involved - ripples of laughter.
Remember this - and this will be very very meaningful to remember in reference to Hassidism.
Hassidism has created the greatest tradition of laughing saints; that is one of the most beautiful contributions of Hassidism.
A Hassidic sage is not one who has renounced the world. He lives in the world, because to renounce it looks too serious. He does not go away from the marketplace - he goes above. He lives where you live, but he lives in a different way. He exists by your side, but simultaneously exists somewhere else. He has joined the SANSAR, the world - and sannyas, the renunciation.
When I give sannyas to you, I am doing a Hassidic work. I don't tell you to move to the Himalayas because that would be a choice, and a choice is always serious - because you would have to leave something, you would have to cut a part of your being, you would have to cripple yourself.
When you choose you move in a certain direction - then the whole is not accepted. If you live in the world, then you reject renunciation, sannyas, then you reject meditation. You say: 'They are not for us. We are worldly people.' Then one day you get fed up with the world, you leave the world. Now you are afraid to come into the world. Now you say: 'We are unworldly people. We live outside the world!' But in both the cases, you remain half-hearted, you are never total.
A Hassidic sage is total. He lives in the world, he lives as ordinarily as everybody else. He has no madness, no megalomania about his extraordinariness. A Hassidic rabbi is absolutely ordinary - and that is his extraordinariness. He has no need to show it. He is!
There are other saints who have a need to show that they are special. That very need shows that deep down they are very ordinary, because this is part of the ordinary mind: to be always in need, always expecting, always wanting people to feel and think that you are not ordinary. This is a very ordinary need. Only somebody who is really extraordinary can be ordinary - because he has no need to convince others: 'I am special.'
Once I was travelling in a train. In my compartment three persons were also there. They talked about a thousand and one things. The journey was long and they needed to be occupied. Then their talk drifted towards the subject of happiness.
One of them was a very rich man and he said: 'I am happy because I have attained all the riches that I need. I have succeeded, I have arrived.' I looked at the man's face - no sign of any arrival, a sort of nervousness. In fact, the way he was saying it - with such confidence - was nothing but to hide a deep nervousness. I could see he was trembling inside like a leaf in a strong wind. He was pretending. He said: 'I have attained to happiness.' But his eyes were desert-like, no happiness, no greenery. He was almost a dead person, shrunken, wasted.
The other man belonged to a political party and he said: 'I am also happy because the party needs me. Without me, they cannot win the coming election. I am needed. That's my happiness.'
One thinks that because he has accumulated much riches, he is happy. What have riches to do with happiness? Riches are outside; happiness is an inner flowering. A poor man can be happy; it has no intrinsic relationship with poverty or riches. A beggar like Buddha can be happy. And a man who says he is happy because he has attained to many riches is just befooling himself, pretending.
The other man said: 'I am happy because I am needed.' A certain significance comes to you when you are needed. You think you are essential to somebody, to some political organization, to some religious sect. But a man who is happy is not dependent on others. If the political party can find a better man than this, or a worse man than this - which is the same in politics - then he will feel frustrated. Happiness never feels frustrated. If it does, it is not happiness - it is a covering of the reality by a false notion.
Then there was one woman. She said that she was also happy. She had five children, beautiful persons, all growing. Her hopes were fulfilled in them. And her husband loved her deeply; he had always remained faithful to her. The woman must have been beautiful when she was younger. Now near about fifty, just a skeleton, a memory - a memory of the past. Eyes shrunken. The whole life gone. Death approaching. She was clinging to the children; they would fulfill her hopes. She could not fulfill herself so now they would fulfill; now she would live though their ambitions.
Happiness never lives though anybody else. It needs nobody; it is enough unto itself. And she insisted that her husband had been faithful to her, but I could see that whatsoever she was saying she didn't believe it - her eyes were showing something else. In fact, whenever you say that your husband is faithful, you are suspicious. Or you say that your wife is faithful - the doubt has entered.
Because faith does not know about doubt and does not know about faith. If faith is true faith, then you don't know it. Otherwise, the worm of doubt is deep down somewhere, eating it.
Then they all turned towards me. They said: 'What about you?'
I told them: 'I have never tried to be happy and I don't belong to any organization, religious or otherwise. Nobody needs me, and if somebody needs me, that may be HIS problem - it is not mine.
I don't need to be needed; that's not my need. And as far as success goes, I am a failure - my hands are absolutely empty. And the very language is alien to me - in terms of faith - because to talk about faith is to hide doubt. In fact, I have never been deeply interested in happiness, because I am already happy. I just am happy. There is no cause to it!'
If there is a cause of happiness, you are ready to be unhappy any moment. You are just on the verge because a cause can disappear. Then the happiness will disappear. Unless you are just happy for no visible or invisible cause, unless you are just happy - unreasonably, irrationally, illogically, madly - you are not happy.
And a happy person cannot be serious. An unhappy person is serious because he is missing something. He is seeking and searching, always tense, moving, going somewhere - waiting for Godot. That is the nature of an unhappy person.
I have arrived so deeply that I don't even feel the arrival. In fact I had never departed. I'm not serious.
Appearances may be deceptive. You may not find me laughing, but that is only because when you are very serious then you need laughter also. When you are simply happy, seriousness disappears, laughter disappears.
Your laughter is medicinal. You are too serious. You need to laugh.
It may be that Jesus never laughed, but the way Christians interpret it is wrong. I can conceive that he never laughed. It is possible because he was a laughter. He was laughing so deeply and so continuously. It was not an event, it was a process. It was not something that happens and then dissolves. It was ongoing.
If you are REALLY happy, there is no need to laugh and there is no need to weep. Both will disappear.
I am not serious, I am just celebrating. And when I talk to you, I am not giving you an idealogy, a philosophy, a religion - no. I simply want to share my celebration. Shift from the words to silence.
Don't listen to my words; listen to me. There, precisely there, is the message.
There will be no need then. If you know the question, the answer is found. The problem is not with the answer; the problem is with the question. You don't know the right question - that's why you go on and on, seeking and searching. And the right answer never happens. It cannot happen because you have missed the very beginning. The first step has gone wrong.
One needs to find the right question - your question The question should not be of somebody else, it should not be borrowed. You should not resound another's question. You should not repeat.
You are so imitative that even about questions, you repeat others, you reflect others. How can your search be true? And how can you achieve? Impossible - when the search itself is imitative. Ask YOUR question!
My whole effort here is to help you to ask the right question, the fundamental, the question of your being, of your innermost core.
And they are not many - remember. The basic question is absolutely one. That's why the basic answer is absolutely one. You can ask a thousand and one wrong questions; you cannot ask more than one right question - because that right question will have all the questions in it. It will be the essence of all your anxiety, of all your anguish.
And that question is not going to be theological; it is going to be existential. It will not come by reading. It will not come by going to the universities. It will come if you start encountering yourself.
If you start looking with your own being - it will come then. It is already there. You have brought it with you. It is YOU, a seed inside.
And when you have found the right question.... That's what I help to find, not the right answer. That I leave to foolish people. Then you can go to the priests; they have right answers. You can go to the professors; they have right answers. I have only the right question.
Once the right question is there, you need not seek the answer because the right question itself carries its answer. They are always together. Once you can ask a true, authentic question that comes from your being and not from the mind, immediately you will be surprised. Following the question comes your answer. It has to be so.
If the question is yours, how can anybody else's answer quench it? The thirst is yours - nobody else's water is going to quench it. You have to go deep within yourself Find the question and you have already found the answer.
But that is very difficult and arduous because you are in a hurry and you say: 'When you have the answer, please give it to us. When you have the answer, why force us to go and inquire for the question first?' You would like it readymade. That's not possible. That's how you have been deceived and how you have been deceiving yourself. That's how religions are born - Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Jainism.
Mahavir found his question and he found his answer. Then people gathered around, greedy people who had not even looked into their questioning, who had not even inquired. Seeing the possibility that this man had found the answer, they gathered around. They started clinging to the answer. It is absolutely absurd. You can make that answer a part of your memory but it won't help.
Let me tell you a story. It happened: a certain man was fascinated by the river that flowed by his village. And he wanted to go downstream, to the very end - to see where the river fell into the ocean.
Of course, he started studying old scriptures to find if anybody had ever gone down the river. Many people had gone. In many centuries many people were fascinated. But he was puzzled because their answers differed. He could not believe it.
One answer said that the river was straight. But another said something else: that after five miles the river takes a turn to the right, and another said that after exactly five miles the river takes a turn to the left.
Seeing much confusion in scriptures, he started meeting people. Maybe somebody is alive who had gone down the river. Many people pretended because it feels so good to advise. To become a guru is such a deep desire in everybody and it feels good to the ego. Everybody becomes a wiseman whenever it is a question to advise somebody else. In his whole life he may have proved a fool, but whenever somebody else is in difficulty he becomes a wiseman with plenty of advice. Of course, nobody takes it and it is good that nobody takes anybody's advice. So, many advisers and pretenders were in the town. He visited them. He was even more confused because everybody had his own idea.
He gathered much material. He planned a map. On paper everything looked perfectly beautiful; on paper it is always so. That's how every scripture is beautiful - Gita, Koran, Talmud - on paper.
And he dropped all contradictory things; he made a consistent whole of the whole thing. Now, this consistent river was just a mental concept. Then he was very happy with the plan, with the map, so he started moving down the river.
Immediately problems started arising because he had planned to move after five miles to the left - but the river wouldn't follow the map. He was puzzled and he was afraid. Now the whole effort to gather wisdom had been futile - and the river wouldn't listen. No river listens to your maps. He became so worried about moving into the unknown - dangers may be ahead. But he had to move with the river. If the river cannot move with the map, what to do? You have to move with the river.
He couldn't sleep the whole night.
Next morning he was waiting for a village on the bank of the river. It never turned up. He was hungry.
Now he was at a loss. What to do?
Were all those scriptures false? - no, they were not false. But the river is a river; it changes its course. Sometimes a village may have existed; villages exist and disappear. The river goes on changing its course. Sometimes it may have turned towards the left; now it turns towards the right.
Rivers are not logical, not consistent. They are simply alive. One never knows.
He was hungry, puzzled. The map looked absolutely absurd. What to do? The river was creating trouble.
Silently alone, floating on the river, he started to meditate: what to do? Scriptures have not helped, advise has been useless - what to do now? He started meditating. Suddenly a realization arose:
'The river is not creating the trouble; my maps are. The river is not creating any trouble. The river is not even aware that I am here. And the river cannot be inimical to me.'
He threw the maps in the river. The trouble stopped. Now he started floating with the river, with no expectations. He was never frustrated again.
If you float with the river of life, you will come to find your question and you will come to find your answer.
But the trouble is you have already found the answer. You have maps, scriptures, advice - and many fakers who go on advising you. They feel good in advising. You are just a victim, an excuse. They want to advise. They are not concerned with your need. They don't look at you. They have a fixed idea.
Go to a Christian; he has a fixed idea of God. Even rivers don't move in a fixed way - how can you have a fixed idea of God? He is the river of consciousness. Maybe somewhere in the past somebody had known the river in a certain way. It is no longer in the same place. Says old Heraclitus: 'You cannot step in the same river twice.' The river is always floating and changing and flowing. Always moving. The river does not have a fixed route.
Life is free. Life is freedom. God is absolutely a freedom. You cannot have any fixed attitudes, fixed ideas. If you have, then you will be in trouble, and you will think that God is putting you in trouble.
No - just throw your scriptures into the river. Move with the river and everything is beautiful.
Forget the answers if you want to find your question. You are so surrounded by the answers that it is almost impossible in this confusion and crowd to find the right question - and the right question is the key.
I don't give you any answer. If you have come to me for any answer, you have come to the wrong person. I don't give you any maps of consciousness, no. I don't give you any concept of God.
I simply give you a thirst, an intense thirst. I bring urgency to your thirst to know your authentic question. Then everything takes care of itself.
The answer follows the question. There is no doubt about it. It has always been so. That is the very nature of it. First seek the question and the answer will follow. But you try to be cunning. You say: 'Why bother about the question? Answers are available. And cheap at that! And advisers are always there.' So why bother about your own inquiry? But if the inquiry is not yours, the fulfillment is not going to be yours.
Answers won't help. You need a different state of consciousness. Only a different state of consciousness can become the answer. Through questioning you start changing. Question everything and don't become a prey to easy answers. Go on questioning, go on to the very end, so that your whole questioning quest becomes one-pointed, concentrated. It goes like an arrow into the heart, penetrates deep. It is painful, but nothing can be achieved without pain. Suffering is part of growth. You are seeking comfort. Then you borrow answers. Then don't come to me because I will force you, throw you into the abyss of your own being.
In the beginning it will look like death, in the beginning it will look like nothingness. But if you are courageous, soon the eternal ground appears. For the first time you are at home. It is just like the pain of birth: a child has to pass through the birth trauma, has to come out of the womb. You are in the womb of the mind right now. Meditation is nothing but coming out of the womb of the mind - from thought to thoughtlessness, from unconsciousness to consciousness, from borrowed, imitative being to authenticity.
Yes, I help you to find the question. But there is no need then to find the answer; it happens simultaneously, not even a single second's gap. The answer is not separate from the question. The question IS the answer. The very inquiry IS the realization. The very seeking IS the goal.
Grace is not something that happens sometimes and does not happen other times; grace is always happening. It is the very nature of existence. The existence is grace-full.
But sometimes you get it and sometimes you miss it. The rain is falling; sometimes you are showered, sometimes not. But the rain is continuously falling, So something has to be searched within you. Sometimes you are sheltered against it.
Grace is the very nature of existence. And ego is the shelter. You protect yourself, even against grace. Unknowingly, you create defense measures around you, you create an armour. The grace is available but you become unavailable - that's why rarely it seems to happen.
Whenever you are not defending.... You are sitting, just early morning, the sun has not risen. You look at the sky, the new sun is just coming up. Everything is silent, peaceful. A new life arising.
A new day is born. You become part of this infinite whole happening around you. You are not a watcher, not an onlooker. You participate in the mystery. It is not that the sun is rising and you are looking at it, no. You and the sun have become one. Then you are unprotected. Then the wall disappears. Then it is not an armour. Then it is not that the sun is rising there, very far away, and you are sitting here, no.
The 'here' and 'there' disappear. It is one whole. Then you have forgotten yourself. In that forgetfulness you are no more an island - you have become part of the continent. No barriers - suddenly you are filled with grace, suddenly you are no more miserable, suddenly there is no darkness. Everything is beautiful. You can bless everything. In this moment you can have only one feeling arising out of your heart: a deep gratefulness, a deep gratitude. Just to be is perfect; just to breathe is great. Just to be alive in this moment, you are fulfilled.
Sometimes it happens sitting by a human being you love: a woman, a man, a child - sitting silently, not doing anything in particular, because doing is always a sort of occupation through which you go on protecting yourself. Not even talking! When you are deep in love you would like to sit in silence.
Lovers don't talk much. They convey, they commune. A subtle communication starts happening.
They know each other so deeply that even gestures are understood. Words are not needed. In fact, words look jarring; they create a disturbance, the resonance is disturbed by them. They sit silently and suddenly there is grace - something which is bigger than both surrounds them. A cloud of virgin bliss surrounds them. They are encompassed. They are not two, the twoness has disappeared. They are completely oblivious of their separateness. Time stops. There is grace.
Again they start talking, again the egos enter - they are protected and grace is lost.
Yes, all that is beautiful, all that is true and good happens though grace; it never happens through effort. All efforts are tiny. What can you do? We are so tiny, so atomic - what can we do? So limited - what can we do? If we try by our own effort to be happy, we will be getting more and more unhappy. That's what is happening all over the world - everybody trying to be happy. The more you try, the more unhappy you become. Your whole effort seems to be wasted. Not only wasted - your whole effort seems to be bringing results that are just the contrary: you want to be happy and you become unhappy.
I have heard about an old man. He was one of the unhappiest men in the world. The whole village was tired, because he was always grumpy and complaining and always in a bad mood, always sour.
And the more he advanced in age, the more acidic he became, the more poisonous his words.
People avoided him because he was so unhappy that he became infectious. To not be unhappy with him would have been offensive to him. He created unhappiness in others also.
But one day, his eightieth birthday, suddenly the whole village could not believe it - a rumour spread like fire: 'The old man is happy today, not complaining, even smiling, and his whole face has changed.'
The whole village gathered and they asked: 'What is the secret? What has happened to you?'
The old man said: 'Nothing. I tried to be happy for eighty years and I could not be - so I thought it is better to go without happiness. I tried hard to be happy and I could not be happy so I said that now it is enough - eighty years wasted - now I will do without happiness. That's why I'm happy.'
This happens. This is what is happening all over the world. Try hard and you become unhappy. The more you try, the more frustration it brings.
Ask the awakened, all those who have known say: 'Ask for happiness and you will be unhappy.'
Accept unhappiness, and suddenly you are happy - because the effort is no longer there - and grace is always available. Though your effort you push it away. Don't push it.
You are the greatest enemies of yourself, and you know it well: that whenever it has happened that you had a moment of happiness, it was not because of you. You know it, but your ego won't concede to it.
You know it, that suddenly one day a bird started singing in the grove and everything became silent within you. You listened to it, and for a moment there was no misery, no hell - the paradise regained.
It was nothing on your part. The bird was singing - you simply listened. In that listening, you were passive; no effort was there.
What do you have to do? - the bird was singing, the grove was green. For a moment you became passive, feminine - not doing anything. Suddenly it was there. It has always been there. You just have to stop.
Says Lao Tzu: 'Seek and you will miss. Don't seek and it is already there.' The treasure that you are seeking is within you. All seeking is futile.
Just look at the facticity of it. Existence is celebrating! It is a celebration I It is already dancing - in every leaf, in every stream, in every rock, and in every star - it is always dancing. And you are invited. Otherwise you would not have been here. You are accepted; otherwise you would not have been here.
But you resist. You are trying something, you are trying to do the impossible: to become happy. An unhappy man cannot become happy, but the unhappy man goes on trying to be happy. Drop the whole nonsense!
People come to me and they ask me how to be happy. I say: 'If you ask how, you will never be. Just be! - there is no how to it.' The'how' is the problem. How to be happy? - what a nonsense question!
Be happy - why ask how? There is no science of happiness. Notwithstanding what American books say, there is no science of happiness.
All Dale Carnegies are just mediocre - but they sell. Next to the Bible, Dale Carnegie sells the most; he is a good salesman. He knows that everybody wants to be happy. He knows that everybody wants to be successful. He knows that everybody wants to find love. He fulfills the desire. He gives you the 'how'. He gives you books like: HOW TO SUCCEED, HOW TO WIN FRIENDS, HOW TO BE RICH.
But I tell you there is no 'how'. The 'how' is the trouble. You already know too many techniques to be happy; that's what is creating the mess. Drop it. Remember that old man, the eightieth birthday, and how he decided to go without happiness. Can you be unhappy if you decide to go without happiness? Who can make you unhappy then? And how? Suddenly, unhappiness becomes impossible. Unhappiness is a by-product of the desire to be happy. Frustration is a by-product of the desire to succeed. A state of defeated, bored, wearied being, is but a by-product of ambition.
This has to be simply looked into, there is nothing else to do. Just see the fact of it, and the VERY seeing frees you. Jesus says: 'Truth liberates.' I agree - absolutely right. Truth liberates. Just see the fact of it - that this is how you have been creating your unhappiness. If you want to create more unhappiness, try to be more happy and you will succeed. Just see the facticity of it. Just watch how you become unhappy. Have you ever been unhappy when you were not expecting anything? When you don't expect, you are simply happy. Happiness is natural; unhappiness is earned. Unhappiness needs much effort; happiness is simply the case.
Yes, everything that is really worthwhile always happens through grace. When I say 'grace' I don't mean any theological principle. I don't mean that there is a God sitting on top of the roof, watching you: that those who prove to be good-guys will be happy and grace will shower on them and for bad-guys there is hell. Because of your foolishness you even make your God appear foolish.
There is nobody sitting on top of the roof, grace is just the nature of existence. Nobody is giving it to you, pouring it on you. It is not an award that it is given to saints because they prove to be good-guys.
Nobody is preventing it from reaching you because you are a sinner and you never listened to the right counsel of the priests, churches, organized religions, because you proved rebellious. Nobody is giving and nobody is preventing.
Grace is existential. It is simply there. It is part of life. Nobody gives it, but you can get it. Nobody prevents it from reaching you but you can prevent it.
It depends on you. It is not a question of praising God and praying to him: 'Be grace-full to us.' It is simply a question that if you don't create an armour around yourself, it reaches. The armour can be of a sinner or the armour can be of a saint. This last thing has to be understood because the armour can be of gold or the armour can be of steel. The question is: if you are armoured, grace will not reach you.
A good man has an ego - of course, very pious, holy, sacred. A religious man is a pious egoist. He says: 'I have done so many fasts, I have been donating so much money towards philanthropic ends - for hospitals, for poor people, for this and that, and I have made so many churches and temples, and I have created so many charitable trusts, and I pray every day, and I have not committed a single sin' - a pride, a deep ego. Now he will not be available to grace.
A sinner also creates his own armour. He says: 'I don't bother about anybody else. I live my own idea. I am against the society.' He is rebellious, he commits sins just to enhance his ego so he can say: 'I am I. I don't bother about anybody.' Now he is also creating an ego, a steel ego. The religious man has a golden ego. But steel or gold doesn't make any difference.
Whom do I call 'the true sage'? The true sage is one who has no armour, who has no shelter, who is not protected by anything.
A true sage is one who is open to existence to flow through him - open to the winds, open to the sun, open to the stars.
A true sage is a deep emptiness. Everything passes through him, nothing is hindered. Then every moment is grace. And every moment is eternity. And every moment is God. And then God is not something separate from you; it is your innermost core.
No! Never! Because I don't do anything. If you feel my love, it is not because I love you; it is because I AM love. So you can feel it, but I have nothing to do with it.
It is just like when a flower opens and the fragrance spreads. Not that the flower is doing anything to spread it, not that there is any effort on the flower's part to spread it, not that because you were passing by the side, the flower threw its fragrance towards you, no. Even if nobody was passing the fragrance would be floating around the empty path. It would fill the empty path It is not directed; there is no effort. It simply is; the flower has bloomed. Nothing to do. When the flower blooms, fragrance spreads. When you attain to your innermost being, love spreads. Love is the fragrance.
What YOU call love is not love. What you call love may be many more things, but it is not love. It may be sex. It may be greed. It may be loneliness. It may be dependence. It may be possessiveness. It may be many more things - but it is not love.
Love is non-possessive. Love has nothing to do with somebody else, it is your state of being. Love is not a relationship. A relationship is possible but it is not relationship. A relationship can exist but it is not confined to it. It is beyond it. It is more than that.
Love is a state of being. When it is a relationship, it cannot be love - because the two exist. And when two egos are there, there is bound to be constant conflict. So what you call love is a constant struggle. Sometimes it happens that when you are tired you don't fight, but again you are ready and again you fight.
Rarely it happens that love flows. Otherwise, almost all the time it is an ego-trip. You are trying to manipulate the other; the other is trying to manipulate you. You are trying to possess the other; the other is trying to possess you. It is politics; it is not love. It is the power-game. Hence, so much misery out of love. If it was love, the world would have been a heaven - it is not. In fact, you cannot find any hell which is more hellish than this world. And how has it become such a hell? - with good intention.
You talk about love and something else which is poisonous is hidden behind it. You talk about the love of the motherland - and just deep imperialism, a deep disease of nationalism is hidden behind it. You talk about the love of the family and nothing but the hate of others' families is hidden behind it. You are together in a family because to fight alone with other families will be difficult. You are together as Indians, because separately, it will be difficult to fight with the Pakistanis. And the same is with Pakistan. And with China. And America. And Russia. And the same is with the whole world.
You are in such a state that you cannot love. When you come and ask me about love, I always feel it is such an impossible thing to talk about because you mean something else, and I mean something else We can go on talking for ages and there will be no meeting, no conversation because you have labelled something as'love' which is not love.
Remove that label. Look at what it contains, look deeply at what it contains: hatred, anger, greed, jealousy, ambition, lust for power, destructiveness. No, I don't love you that way. And I don't love you in any other way. Because love, to me, cannot be a doing. You cannot make an effort towards it; love cannot be done. You can be love, but you cannot do it. And then love has tremendous beauty and a stillness, a silence. And then love becomes prayer. Then there is no need to go to any other temple; the state of love is THE temple.
And the Hassidic sages have been in favour of this love. They have loved the world. They have loved the ordinary world with an extraordinary love. They have lived in the world, bloomed. They have never escaped. Thy were husbands, fathers. They lived very ordinarily.
Sometimes I see that people who renounce the world are very deep egoists. Their renouncing the world is really a deep failure of their love. They have failed to love, and because they failed to love, the world became miserable. But they think the WORLD is miserable. They think they are.Unhappy because of the others.
A husband leaves the wife and goes to the Himalayas. He thinks that because of the wife he was in trouble, misery. This is absolutely wrong. He was in trouble and misery because he was not in the state of love. In the state of love, nobody can create misery for you. That is impossible.
A man who has known love remains blissful - unconditionally. Whatsoever happens is irrelevant to his state of being. You can kill him but you cannot make him miserable. You can throw him in an imprisonment but you cannot make him miserable. His freedom remains total. His freedom remains untouched, uncorrupted.
Nothing is wrong in snoring; it is as holy as anything else. And nothing is wrong in the body. Never think in terms of duality - that you are not the body, that you are separate, that you are different.
Never think in terms of duality. The body is also you - your outermost garment. It is through the body that you touch existence. From the outside you touch God through the body. From the inside you touch the same God through consciousness. But it is all the same, out or in.
But the so-called religions have created a division, a split. They have been telling you that you are not the body. Because they have been against the world, they have been against the body.
I am not against the world and I am not against the body. Let the body be healthy. Let the body be beautiful. Let the body be graceful. Because only in a graceful body will a graceful consciousness become possible. Only in a healthy body will inner health become possible. Only in a peaceful, silent, relaxed body will a relaxed consciousness happen. Remember that, and there is no division.
It is the same wave going out and coming in. It is just like breathing, going out and coming in. It is just like the blinking of the eye, opening and closing. Out and in. Opening and closing. In-breathing and out-breathing. They are two aspects of you, two wings. So don't be worried. The first thing to remember: the body is holy.
The second thing to remember: if you feel that by doing meditations, your awareness is becoming less and less, then only one thing is certain: whatsoever you have been thinking to be awareness was not awareness. Otherwise it increases.
How can it lessen? How can it decrease? Whatsoever you thought of as awareness, consciousness must have been self-consciousness, not Consciousness. It must have been ego-consciousness.
Now it is decreasing. It is good. It should be so. It is exactly on the right track. Self-consciousness will be lost; only then consciousness arises.
Self-consciousness is ill-consciousness. People are self-conscious. The difference between the two is very subtle.
We are sitting here. You come into the auditorium. You can come with awareness; you can come with self-consciousness. Awareness means you come with an inner light, you move fully alert.
Each step is taken in awareness - the walking, the coming, the sitting - everything is done in full awareness. It is beautiful. That's how a Buddha walks.
But when you are self-conscious, there is no light inside. You are just alert of other people; they are there. So you shrink. you walk with a tense effort because others are there. What will they say?
How will they say? How will they react to your presence? What will be their opinion? That's what happens.
You can talk well, you talk the whole day, but if suddenly you are put near the mike and you have to address a meeting of a thousand people, suddenly you start stuttering, perspiring - a nervousness happens. You lose control. What is happening? Y ou are too self-conscious. You are too aware of what others will think. Self-consciousness is an ill state of affairs.
If you are aware, you speak with awareness. But the awareness comes from the inward being. It flows from the inner being towards others. Self-consciousness comes from others' eyes towards you. It is fear of others. Awareness and self-consciousness are totally different.
So if meditation brings you to the feeling that your awareness is decreasing, it simply shows that you misunderstood self-consciousness for awareness. It is good. Let it go. It will not be a loss; it is just losing a disease.
Soon, when it has gone, your energy will be transformed. The same energy will be released from the confines of self-consciousness. It will be available now. You will be more alert.
Alert - life becomes graceful. Self-conscious - life becomes misery. Alert - you attain to your being.
Self-conscious - you go on seeking others' opinions, their praise.
The ego is always afraid of others because it has to depend on their opinions - on what they say.
If they say you are beautiful, you are beautiful. If they say you are ugly, your ego is shattered. If they say you are good, saintly, you are good and saintly. If they say you are a sinner, the ego is shattered. Self-awareness or self-consciousness is a very tense thing, always afraid. It depends on others' opinions.
And the whole thing is very paradoxical: others are afraid of you; you are afraid They are self- conscious because of you; you are self-conscious because of them. You help each others' illness.
A person who is aware has no self in it.
In the light of awareness there is no flame of the self. It is simply light with no source. He moves, lives gracefully. He does not bother what others say about him. Whether they think him a saint or a sinner is all the same to him. He knows who is - HE IS.
And he knows so absolutely that there is no need to ask for others' opinions.