ONCE, a Hassidic mystic, Joseph Jacov, was asked: 'What is the difference between a rabbi and a zaddik?' A rabbi is the ordinary priest, belongs to the organized religion, the church, the synagogue, the temple. And a zaddik is a rebellious master, does not belong to any organization - only belongs to himself.
The rabbi is a teacher, the zaddik is a Master. The teacher teaches, but has not gone through the transformation himself. The zaddik is also a teacher but he teaches by his life, by his very being - what we call in India 'satguru'. The enlightened Master is 'zaddik' in Hassidic terms.
So somebody asked Joseph Jacov: 'What is the difference between a rabbi and zaddik?'
The Master said: 'The zaddik remembers, and the rabbi knows.'
The rabbi knows much but doesn't remember himself. He is lost in his knowledge. He may be a great scholar, he may be very efficient as far as scriptures are concerned. But a zaddik remembers I He may not know much, or may know - but that is irrelevant. He remembers - he remembers himself. And that remembering is the difference.
It was difficult for the inquirer to understand, so he said: 'Please explain it to me in a little more detail.' The Hassid told him a story.
He said that once it happened: a prince by his wrong behaviour enraged his father. And the way the prince was behaving was so uncourtly, so unkingly, that the father had to banish him out of the kingdom.
But the father was thinking that he would repent and that he would ask forgiveness and that he would come back. But the prince simply disappeared. He never tried in any way to contact his father. He never showed any desire to come back to the palace. It appeared as if he had been simply waiting - how to escape the kingdom and how to escape the palace and the father.
He wandered around the kingdom and found a group of drunkards, gamblers, prostitutes - all sorts of evil-doing was going on. He became part of it. Not only did he become a member - by and by, he became the leader. Of course, he was a prince and he had the charisma of becoming a leader.
Many years passed. The father was getting older and older, and he was worried, worried for the welfare of his only son. Seeing that death is approaching, he sent one of his most clever ministers to bring the son back.
The minister went in a beautiful golden chariot with many servants, almost a regiment following him.
A great golden tent was fixed outside the village. He sent a messenger to this prince but he himself didn't bother to turn up. The minister remained outside the village; it was below him to go inside the village. A poor village, and it was absolutely inconceivable for him to enter the black hole where the prince was living with all those dirty people. The minister tried to contact the prince but the communication was not possible - the distance was vast. He failed and came back.
Then another, a more courageous man, was sent. He was courageous and he had understood the failure why the first messenger, the first minister could not communicate.
So he didn't go there like a minister; he went like a peasant in ordinary clothes, with no servants.
He simply went and mixed with the group. He became friendly, but by and by, he himself started to love that freedom. The palace was like a prison; there was no freedom. But here everybody was absolutely free, totally free. Nobody was creating any hindrance for anybody, everybody was allowed to be himself. They were drunkards, but they were beautiful people. They were gamblers, but they were beautiful people. He also failed because he himself never turned up to report back to the king.
The king was very much worried. Now the thing was becoming unmanageable. He asked a third minister, who was not only courageous, but wise also - and that was going to be the last effort.
The third minister asked for a three months leave - to prepare himself. Only then could he go. The king asked: 'What are you going to prepare?'
He said: 'To remember myself.'
Three months leave was granted. He went to a zaddik, to a Master, to become more mindful. The way the first minister had behaved was absolutely useless; communication was not possible. The second had done better, but he had also failed because he could not remember himself. So he said to the Master: 'Help me, so that I can remember myself and can remember that I come from the palace on a certain duty to be fulfilled.' Three months he meditated, a method of self-remembering - what Buddha calls 'mindfulness'. Then he went.
He also behaved like the second. He went like a peasant, in ordinary clothes - not only like a peasant, he went like a drunkard. But he was pretending, he was not really drunk. He lived with the group, he enjoyed their company, he pretended to drink, he pretended to gamble - he even pretended to fall in love with a prostitute. But that was all pretension - he was acting. And continuously, as an undercurrent, he was remembering himself: 'Who am I? Why have I come here? For what?' He was watching himself, he was a witness. Of course he succeeded.
The Hassid mystic said to the inquirer: 'He was a zaddik.'
The first man was a rabbi, a teacher. You are drowning in the river, he stands on the bank, gives you good advice, but he never jumps in the river to save you. He cannot save himself. He is afraid to come in the river. He does not know the art of swimming, the art of self-remembering.
He is not courageous. He clings to the bank, he clings to a far-away place, secure, sure of his own state, of his own safety. He talks beautifully, he can tell you everything about swimming, but he cannot jump and save you. He himself does not know how to swim. He is a rabbi, a teacher.
You can find these types of teachers all over the world - good as far as their advice goes, nothing more. Their advice is borrowed; they have not come to that advice through their own experience. It is not knowing, it is knowledge. They have not gone through it, they have not been transformed by it. It is not their own, it has not arisen out of their consciousness. They are not crystallized beings.
Their minds are full of knowledge, their hearts are completely empty.
The other man was courageous, but his courage was more than his wisdom. He was himself drowned. So remember, when you jump into a river to save someone, don't forget that the first necessity is that you know swimming.
It happened once: I was sitting on a river bank. A man was drowning, so I ran to jump, but before I could reach the bank, another man who was standing on the bank, jumped. So I prevented myself. I was almost on the brink to jump; I prevented myself. Somebody else had already jumped. But then I became aware that the other man started drowning. He created more trouble for me. I had to jump and save both.
I asked the other man: 'What happened? Why did you jump?'
He said: 'I completely forgot! The man was drowning and I became so attentive to it that just the desire to save him, and I completely forgot that I don't know swimming.'
You can forget. In any intense moment you can be hypnotized. The other was courageous, but not wise enough. You can find the second type of teacher also. So don't just be impressed by the courage, because courage alone cannot help.
The third type of teacher is a zaddik. He knows from his own experience what the first type knows only as a borrowed knowledge. He is courageous like the second, he takes the risk, but he is wise also. He remembers himself To remember oneself is the whole art and science of religion. You can condense all religion into one word: 'self-remembering'.
Before we start to go deep into what self-remembering is, it is a must, it is an absolute requirement that we should understand the unconsciousness in which you live - the sleep.
Ordinarily, you think you are perfectly awake. That's a misconception. Only a Buddha, a Baal Shem, a Moses, a Mahavir, are awake. You are completely asleep. I can hear your snoring right now; you are fast asleep. Just because you can open your eyes, don't claim that you are awake. Just that is not enough for being awake.
For example, a man is in a coma. He breathes, but because he breathes, can you say that he is alive? He is almost vegetating. Just by breathing, nobody is alive, and just by opening your eyes, you are not awake. Even a drunkard walking on the street moves with open eyes. Can you say that he is awake? He is not awake at all. Awareness is an inner quality of consciousness; it has nothing to do with closed or open eyes.
Krishna in the Gita says: 'When the whole world is fast asleep, then too the yogi is awake' - 'YA NISHA SARVABHUTAYAM TASYAM JAGRATI SAMYAMI.' When the whole world is under dark sleep, when the whole world has its night, the yogi is still awake. That doesn't mean that the yogi never sleeps, no. He sleeps, but only his eyes are closed. His body sleeps but he is alert and aware.
Deep down a current of self-remembering runs. He is fast asleep as far as the body is concerned, but the witnessing self remains alert. Like an inner light it goes on burning.
One who remembers is not asleep even when he is fast asleep. And one who does not know how to remember oneself is not awake even though the eyes are open. You are moving in the market, doing your job, your work, coming back home, fighting, loving, hating, eating, sleeping, doing all sorts of things - but the whole thing is happening as if you are a robot. Everything is mechanical; you are not doing it. You are not alert when you are doing it. It is just happening and you are behaving like a mechanism.
Watch any mood: somebody insults and you are angry. Is there a gap between the insult and the anger? Is there a gap when you meditate, whether to be angry or not?whether it is worth it to be angry or not? Or maybe what the man is saying is right and it is not an insult, but simply a statement of fact.
Do you give a little time to think about the whole situation, or do you simply react? You react. There is no gap, no interval. Insult... anger... they happen as if somebody puts on the light. Switch on.
And the light has no freedom. When you switch it on, the bulb cannot say: 'Right now, I am not in the mood. I will have a little rest. You can go on switching on; I don't feel to be lighted now.' No, the light cannot say anything. You switch on, it has to be on. You switch off, it has to go off.
Is your anger just like that? Somebody smiles and you smile. Is your smile just a reaction? Or is it a response? A response is not a reaction, and a reaction is not a response.
What is the difference between a reaction and a response?
A reaction is automatic; it is built-in. Somebody smiles; you smile. Somebody is angry; you become angry. The other creates it. You simply react.
A response is conscious. The other may be angry, but you decide whether to be angry or not, Buddha was passing a village. A few people who were against him gathered and they insulted him very deeply. He listened silently, very patiently. In fact, because of his patience, the people started becoming restless. They started feeling uncomfortable, because if you insult a man and he listens as if it is music, something is wrong. What is happening? They started looking at each other.
Then one person asked Buddha: 'What is the matter? Don't you understand what we are saying?'
Buddha said: 'Because I can understand, that's why I am so silent. Had you come ten years before, then I would have jumped on you. Then there was no understanding. Now I understand. And for your foolishness, I cannot punish myself. It is for you to decide to insult or not, but it is my freedom to take it or not. You cannot force your insults on me. I simply refuse them; they are not worth it. You can take them back home; I refuse to take them.'
The people were bewildered. They couldn't understand what the matter was. They said: 'Please explain to us.'
He said: 'Sit down and listen to me. In the last village I just passed, people had come with sweets and garlands but my stomach was full, so I told them: "I won't be able to eat anything. Please take your gifts back and give them to the other people in the town as prasad - my gift to the people of the town." What do you think they did?'
Somebody said: 'They would have gone into the village and distributed the sweets.'
Buddha said: 'Now listen - what will you do? You come with insults and I say that my stomach is full, and I am not going to take these. Now, poor people, unfortunate people, what will you do? You will have to go and distribute them in the village.'
Buddha is responding. You react. He simply laughed. And the thing that he said is very beautiful.
He said: 'For your foolishness I cannot punish myself. You can be foolish; that is your freedom. But why should I punish myself? Once I take your insult, I start punishing myself.'
When you are angry, you punish yourself for the other's fault. Reaction is unaware.
Response is a fully alert phenomenon. But you cannot just move from reaction to response. It is not a decision. Between the two, self-remembering is needed, awareness is needed. Otherwise, before you have known, you have reacted.
Somebody insults you, and before you have known, you are already angry. The anger has entered in. It is such a subtle phenomenon. Very deep awareness is needed, remembering is needed.
Buddha used to teach his disciples to walk, but to walk with mindfulness. Walking, know that you are walking. Not that you have to verbalize and repeat inside: 'I am walking.' If you repeat that, you are not aware. Just have the feeling of being aware. Walk, with awareness. Eat, with awareness.
Breathe, with awareness.
The breath goes in; let it be mirrored in your being that the breath is going in. The breath goes out; let it be mirrored in your being that the breath is going out. And you will feel such tremendous silence descending on you. If you can see the breath going in and going out, going in and going out, this is the deepest mantra that has ever been invented.
There is no need to repeat: Aum, aum... Ram, Ram... because a great natural mantra is continuously going on - breathing in, breathing out. No need to create an artificial mantra. Just watch the breath. And by watching it, a great mutation happens. The mutation is: if you walk, and watch walking, you will see - the walking is there, but the walker has disappeared. You eat, eating is there, but the eater has disappeared.
The ego is nothing but condensed unawareness. When you become aware by and by that condensed unawareness we call 'ego' disappears. Just as if you bring a lamp into the room - and the darkness disappears. Awareness is the lamp, the lamp we were talking about the first day.
Be a lamp unto yourself.
In somebody else's light, for a few moments you can feel happy, alive, but then you have to depart, because nobody else's path can be your path.
Kindle your own flame. Enlighten your own being. In that light the first thing that disappears is ego because ego is nothing else - remember it - but layers and layers of unawareness.
Watch.... Walking. Eating. Going to bed. Lying down. Falling into sleep. Go on watching. Just the watching, and all restlessness disappears and you feel a tranquility surrounding you - a calm, a silence. The quality of this silence is very very different than ordinary quiet. Sometimes you feel quiet.... For example, this morning: the trees are silent, no wind blowing, birds silent, resting - a quiet. But this is a quiet, this is not a silence.
Silence is something inside; quiet is something outside. Quiet depends on conditions outside; silence is unconditional. So don't mistake quiet for silence, because if you mistake quiet for silence - and millions have done that.... People go to the Himalayas to find silence. They can find quiet but not silence. The Himalayas are perfectly quiet, but whenever you will come back to the world again you will find the quiet has disappeared.
Silence is something you can rely upon. It is within you. Quiet is something which depends on conditions, which does not depend on you. You can never be a master of quiet - but there is no need. If you know silence, wherever you move, your silence fills the space. Now you know the inner secret of it.
Quiet is possible through scientific technology - silence, never. Quiet is possible in an air- conditioned room, sound-proof. You can be more quiet than in the Himalayas, but that quiet won't help much. You will feel fed-up with it, you will hanker to go out. you will feel very restless.
John Cage reports in his book SILENCE that in Harvard University they have made an absolutely sound-proof room for certain scientific experimentation.
Cage entered - the greatest sound-proof room in the whole world. It was absolute quiet, but suddenly he started hearing two noises. He was worried, because he had heard that this place was absolutely sound-proof. So he asked the technician: 'What is the matter?'
The technician laughed. He said: 'These sounds are within you. The first sound is just your mind functioning inside, the nervous system. And the second sound is nothing but your blood running through the body, the blood circulation.'
Cage said: 'But I have never heard these sounds before.'
The technician said: 'You never heard because there were so many sounds outside. Now it is absolute quiet. No sound at all. That's why you hear the inner mechanism functioning, the brain continuously working, millions of nerves continuously working, and the blood circulation continuously going on - just like a stream flowing.'
Cage said: 'Quiet won't do. Silence is needed.'
Even in the quietest room, your inner turmoil will be there. You will hear your own thoughts, you will hear your own body functioning, you will hear your own heartbeats.
Silence is something of the beyond, unconditional. It happens only when you remember. If you can remember yourself while doing millions of things, ordinary things: digging a hole in the garden, watering the trees, talking to somebody, listening to somebody.... Just go on being watchful.
Whatsoever happens should be mirrored by you.
Remember one thing: you are not to verbalize it, because by verbalizing you will miss the beauty.
You can say: 'I am walking. This is my left foot moving, this is my right foot, the breath is going in, the breath is going out.' If you start verbalizing inside then you will be filled by your own noise again.
Just watch the breath going in; don't think about it. Just see it, feel it. Move inwards with it. Then the breath stops for a second. Then remain in quiet silence for that second - nothing moving, no movement. In that state of no movement you are the nearest to God that you ever can be.
Then the breath starts moving out. Move out. Then again, outside, for a single second, the breath stops. Then watch. In that stopping, again, you are closest to God.
Make it a rhythm. Then no other meditation is needed. Just this remembering will bring you to your own treasure.
Ordinarily, we live in sleep. We are all somnambulists - walking, doing things in sleep. Sometimes, catch yourself moving in sleep, and then you will know what it means.
You are just walking on the road, a thousand and one thoughts coming inside the mind. You are walking like a robot, not aware where you are going, what you are doing, why you are going, what is happening in the body, what trees you have passed, not aware that the wind is blowing. No, you are not feeling anything. The flower is sending its scent; it has not reached you. The world is beautiful; you are unaware. You are lost deep in your thoughts, but yet you are moving.
Give a jerk to yourself. For a moment become aware. Look at the whole situation and suddenly you will see the difference between ordinary sleeping life and the life of a Buddha. For a single moment you become a Buddha. When you are aware, for a single moment you become a Buddha. The whole quality of a Buddha comes to you. And the taste of it will create a deep desire to attain to it as an eternal state of your being.
Make yourself more and more aware, and use all sorts of situations. There is no need to go beyond the world, no need to go outside the market. Wherever you are, use all situations to awaken yourself.
And every situation can be used.
That's why Hassids are not against the world, they are not in favour of renunciation, they don't leave the world. They live in the world in an ordinary way, and they use all sorts of situations to make themselves more and more aware and alert.
Use all situations, because all situations can be used.
Now listen to this beautiful story.
IN ROPTCHITZ, THE TOWN WHERE RABBI NAFTALI LIVED, IT WAS THE CUSTOM FOR RICH PEOPLE WHOSE HOUSES STOOD ISOLATED, OR AT THE FAR END OF TOWN, TO HIRE MEN TO WATCH OVER THEIR PROPERTY BY NIGHT. LATE ONE EVENING, WHEN RABBI NAFTALI WAS SKIRTING THE WOODS WHICH CIRCLED THE CITY, HE MET SUCH A WATCHMAN WALKING UP AND DOWN. 'FOR WHOM ARE YOU WORKING?' HE ASKED.
A simple question, but a simple question can become a very deep one. A simple situation, but a simple situation can be used to awaken yourself. The mundane is the sacred also; it is the ordinary and the extraordinary also. In the matter is hidden the immaterial. The only thing is to know the secret: how to use it.
'FOR WHOM ARE YOU WORKING?' HE ASKED.
A simple question. A formal question. But it became an insight. Every moment can become a door.
THE MAN TOLD HIM, AND THEN INQUIRED IN HIS TURN: 'AND FOR WHOM ARE YOU WORKING, RABBI?'
Because the rabbi was also walking on the same road, the watchman thought that maybe he is also working as a watchman for somebody.
'AND FOR WHOM ARE YOU WORKING, RABBI?'
An ordinary question again. But sometimes, if you are in the right mood, in tune, a very ordinary thing can become a message from the divine.
THE WORDS STRUCK THE ZADDIK LIKE A SHAFT. 'I AM NOT WORKING FOR ANYBODY JUST YET,' HE BARELY MANAGED TO SAY.
A very alert man in a way. Otherwise, he could have said: 'I am working for God.' A rabbi, an ordinary teacher would have said that and would not have meant anything by it. This rabbi - a sincere man, a true man.
The question became very significant: 'AND FOR WHOM ARE YOU WORKING, RABBI?' 'I AM NOT WORKING FOR ANYBODY JUST YET,' HE BARELY MANAGED TO SAY.
How can you say you are working for God? He is not working for any other rich man. He is a man of God, a priest, a rabbi - but no ordinary priest - he is alert.
'I AM NOT WORKING FOR ANYBODY JUST YET.'
Very difficult to say - and much more difficult for a rabbi to say, because ordinarily a priest in the temple goes on thinking and saying that he works for God without knowing what he is saying, what he is asserting. Ordinarily, priests don't hesitate.
Remember, only a very sincere person hesitates. Fools, stupid people, hypocrites - they are all very certain, they never hesitate. They are stubbornly certain, they are always absolutely certain.
Only a very very intelligent being... and by intelligence I don't mean intellect; by intelligence I mean understanding. I don't mean a trained intellectual. By intelligence, I mean the radiance of understanding. An intelligent being always hesitates because life is such a tremendous mystery.
How can you be certain about anything?
Lao Tzu says: 'When others are absolutely certain, I am the only confused one.' Lao Tzu, a man absolutely enlightened, says: 'While others are sane, I look mad.' He says: 'I walk, but I hesitate, as someone walking in a winter stream. I walk, but I am afraid, as if someone surrounded by enemies.
But others - they simply don't bother at all. They look absolutely certain.'
The quality of hesitating shows a very delicate mind. He cannot assert, even in ordinary talk, formal talk, anything which is not really true. How can a man who has not yet known God say: 'I am working for God'? That would be profane, that would be sacrilegious.
'I AM NOT WORKING FOR ANYBODY JUST YET.'
What Naftali is saying is this: 'I am no more working for anybody in this world. The goals of this world are lost, and the goals of the other world are not yet clear. I am in a transition. Here, nothing seems to be significant, and there, my eyes are yet closed.'
He's saying: 'I'm not working for any ambition in this world. And the other world? - it is yet far away.
I am on the way. I have left the old and I have not entered the new. I am just in the middle of the bridge. The old bank is lost forever, the new bank is hidden in mist. I am not working for anybody just yet.'
There comes a moment in every meditator's life when the world is meaningless and God has not yet become meaningful. That is the greatest, most dangerous point to cross over, because the mind tends to fall back - because at least something was significant and one was occupied.
Now the old occupation is gone and the new does not seem to happen. One is in a limbo, one hangs in the middle. That is the point where patience is needed, infinite patience is needed. And that's the point where a Master can be helpful - to persuade you not to fall back, because the mind will have a tendency to do so. A thousand and one temptations will be there to fall back on - because what nonsense are you doing? The old life you have left, but at least in it there was some meaning.
If not meaning, at least some occupation, some business to do. At least one did not feel empty.
Maybe things were not eternal, meaningful, maybe they were temporary, temporal, momentary - but at least some meaning was there, some content was there. That too is gone. And the eternal seems nowhere to enter in.
This gap is an absolute necessity. Unless the mind comes to a state where it is no more thinking of the past, falling back to the past, the new cannot happen. The temptation of the past shows a deep bondage with the past. When the temptation is also gone and you remain in the vacuum, not hurrying, not in any haste, then you allow the emptiness to settle. Suddenly the eternal enters. You have become the temple.
Many are here who have been meditating long, who have come to this state. Then their minds will say. 'Go back home. Escape from this man. You have not gained anything. On the contrary, you have lost much. Your old identity gone, your old name gone, your old image, not anywhere to be found. And the new? - the new has not happened. Will it ever happen?' The mind is afraid, scared.
Is it going to happen or not? Or have you come to a dead end?
It happens only when you have settled in the vacuum. The whole comes only when you have settled in emptiness. For the whole to descend, absolute emptiness is needed. Even a slight clinging, a slight temptation for the past, is a hindrance.
'I AM NOT WORKING FOR ANYBODY JUST YET,' HE BARELY MANAGED TO SAY.
A really sincere man.
THEN HE WALKED UP AND DOWN BESIDE THE MAN FOR A LONG TIME.
What was he doing? - he must have been brooding. What has happened?
This man, an ordinary watchman - he can at least say that he is working for somebody.
Naftali says: 'I'm a religious man, a priest, a rabbi, and I cannot even say that much. At least this watchman is engaged, occupied, doing something significant. It may not be significant but he believes he is doing some significant work. And I, a religious man, can barely manage to say that I am not working for anybody just yet.'
HE WALKED UP AND DOWN BESIDE THE MAN FOR A LONG TIME - brooding, contemplating, meditating. 'WILL YOU BE MY SERVANT?' HE FINALLY ASKED.
'I SHOULD LIKE TO,' THE MAN REPLIED, 'BUT WHAT WOULD BE MY DUTIES?'
'TO REMIND ME,' SAID RABBI NAFTALI.
'TO REMIND ME' - that the world is lost, but that God is not yet attained. 'TO REMIND ME' - that the material has disappeared, and the immaterial has not materialized yet. 'TO REMIND ME' - that the known is no more meaningful, and the unknown is far away. 'TO REMIND ME' - that I should not forget this. To make me alert again and again. To strike the note within me so that I don't fall asleep.
A beautiful story, very meaningful, and it can become a part of your inner treasure. Let it become, because there are many situations in which you need to be reminded. You fall asleep again and again. It is natural, because sleep is the way of least resistance.
It is convenient to fall asleep; it is uncomfortable to awaken. And your sleep may have many investments in it. Sometimes, in deep sleep, you have beautiful dreams, and when you awaken, all dreams disappear and the naked reality has to be faced. There is a temptation to remain asleep, not to face the reality. And, you can create beautiful dreams.
That's all we do in the world: make a beautiful house, a dream in marble. But still a dream. Sooner or later you have to leave it. No house can be a home here. All houses will have to be left behind - at the most, a night's rest. In the morning we have to go, so don't cling too much.
The world can be at the most a SARAYA, a DHARMASHALA, a resting place for the night. In the morning we go. Don't cling to it, don't get attached to it. Don't think the dream is real. Let it be reminded to you again and again that this is a dream.
Every temptation is there to think it is reality, because when the dream is beautiful, who wants to think that it is a dream? Of course, when the dream becomes nightmarish, you start thinking that it must be a dream. That's why great anguish and pain sometimes trigger spirituality.
Your wife has died and you loved her, you loved her tremendously. Now you are left alone. It is not only that your beloved has died, something deep inside you also died with her because you were so much involved with her. You had penetrated into each other's being, you had become parts of each other, members of each other. Now she is dead. It is not only that somebody outside you is dead; something of the heart within you is also dead. You will miss many beats, you will never be so alive again. Maybe in this situation the shock can trigger an awakening.
So misfortunes are not always misfortunes; sometimes they prove blessings, great blessings. And the blessings that you think are blessings may be nothing but narcotics, may be nothing but drugs.
Beautiful dreams are drugs. They help you to sleep. Maybe you call them tranquilizers.
Misery is not always misery. DUKKHA, anguish, agony, can become a door to ecstasy. Let me say it: 'Blessed are those who are unfortunate enough to know anguish, blessed are those who are in anguish because they can be awakened.'
Use your anguish as a force to awaken yourself - because when you are comfortable, you tend to sleep. When you are uncomfortable, the possibility to awaken is greater.
Continuously go on remembering that the world that you are in is a momentary phenomenon. It is just a dewdrop on a grass leaf. Any moment, a breeze passes by and the drop slips and is gone forever. The world is a dewdrop on a grass leaf. This is what Mahavir has said: 'A dewdrop on a grass leaf.' Any moment... it is slipping already, you are dying already. It is not that somewhere in the future, one day, you will die. Don't try to deceive yourself. You have been dying from the very day you have been born. The first breath was already amidst death. You have been dying continuously.
Seventy years, eighty years, a hundred years you may take to die completely, but every moment you are dying. The dewdrop is slipping. Any moment it is gone.
Just a few days ago, I was talking about a woman saint, Sahajo. She says: 'JAGAT TARAIYA BHOR KI' - the world is just like the last star in the morning. Go on looking. Just a moment before it was there, and a moment after, it is not there. The last star in the morning, disappearing, disappearing, continuously disappearing.
Remember that the world is a dream. What is the definition of a dream? A dream is that which is, but which is not going to be forever. A dream was not before, and will not be later on. Between two non-existences, a fragment of a moment, and it seems real. 'Existence between two non-existences' is the definition of a dream. And what is the definition of a reality? - existence, existence, existence.
Past, present, future - existence.
Dream: non-existence in the past, non-existence in the future. Just in the present, existence.
How can existence be between two non-existences? - impossible. You must be deluded. You must have projected it, it must be a projection, a wish-fulfillment. It is not there; the screen is empty. The story is within you; the projector is hidden in your mind and you go on projecting. You live in a dream and a dream needs sleep. That's why I say: 'You are fast asleep; I can hear you snoring.'
When I talk about sleep I mean metaphysical, not the ordinary sleep that you go into at night. That is sleep with closed eyes, and in the day you sleep with open eyes. Only eyes open and closed; that is the only difference between your day and your night.
Have you ever observed the fact that in the night you completely forget your day life absolutely? In fact, in the morning you may remember something of the night dream, but in the night you never remember anything of your day life - nothing at all.
What does it mean? It means even dreams are a little truer. You can remember. When you awake in the morning you can remember the night dreams for a few seconds. Their reality goes deeper in you.
But in the night when you fall asleep, not for even a few seconds do you remember your day life - who you are - a president of a country, a prime minister, a beggar or a nobody. You don't remember at all. Even your name is forgotten. Are you a husband or not? A father or not? Everything is forgotten. Rich or poor, everything forgotten.
Chuang Tzu says that once he dreamt that he had become a butterfly. Then in the morning he was very much puzzled because a suspicion arose in his heart that if Chuang Tzu can become a butterfly in the night, in a dream, the vice versa is also possible: the butterfly may be dreaming that now she has become Chuang Tzu. If Chuang Tzu can become a butterfly in a dream. why can't a butterfly become a Chuang Tzu in her dream?
All dreams, whether Chuang Tzu dreams that he has become a butterfly, or a butterfly dreams that she has become Chuang Tzu - all are dreams.
All becoming is dreaming; becoming as such is dreaming. When you awake, you come to being; becoming disappears. Then you don't become anything. Neither Chuang Tzu becomes a butterfly nor the butterfly becomes Chuang Tzu. When you come to being you suddenly realize that there is no Chuang Tzu and no butterfly. Only one God exists and He is neither. He is beyond.
THEN HE WALKED UP AND DOWN BESIDE THE MAN FOR A LONG TIME. 'WILL YOU BE MY SERVANT?' HE FINALLY ASKED.
'I SHOULD LIKE TO,' THE MAN REPLIED, 'BUT WHAT WOULD BE MY DUTIES?'
'TO REMIND ME,' SAID RABBI NAFTALI.
It will be difficult for you to find a man who can constantly remind you. But the story is simply symbolic, it is a parable. You can make your mind the servant to remind you. The mind can become the watchman.
Just the other day there was a question: 'Can the mind be used in any way for the spiritual awakening?' Yes. It HAS to be used. It can be used and it has to be used. The mind has to be made a servant to remind you.
Ordinarily, the mind has become the master and you have become the servant. If the mind has become the master - and you have become the servant, this is the state OF sleep.
If the mind becomes the servant and you become the master, you are on the way to awakening.
Then the mind reminds you. What is meditation? Meditation is an effort to use the mind to remind yourself. Meditation is also a function of the mind, but the relationship is totally different. You are the master; the mind becomes the servant. Use the mind as the servant, and mind is beautiful. Let the mind become the master and everything goes ugly.
The man of the world lives in an ugly state. The mind is the master and he himself is the servant.
The sannyasin, the other-worldly man, just reverses the situation. Everything is the same but the order is changed. Now the mind is the servant and he himself becomes the master. Then he uses his mind to remind himself. And a moment comes when there will be no need to be reminded. Then awareness has become natural, a flowing phenomenon. Then you can relieve the mind, the mind can be retired.
So three states: mind, the master - ninety-nine percent of people are in that state; then, mind the servant - very rarely, few people, the seekers, those who are on the path; and then, the mind with no function now, retired, because awakening has become natural - the state of a Buddha.
Use your mind as the servant and continuously remember that the mind has to be retired one day.
When the mind is retired completely, the world disappears. Then there is no coming back to the world. That's what Hindus call: 'the stopping of the cycle of birth and death'. When one is absolutely awakened, that awareness has no birth and no death. It is eternity.
Use the mind. Step on the mind, let it be a stepping-stone. Just the order has to be changed.
I will tell you one story. It happened that a man was in search and he came upon a man on the path who said: 'There is a well-hidden in the caves. Go there and ask a question. If you sincerely ask, the well replies. It is a miracle only known to great adepts.'
The man searched. It was difficult to reach to the well, but somehow he reached. Leaning down in the well, he asked: 'What is life?'
No reply came. The well only echoed. He repeated his question, and the well repeated: 'What is life?' But the man was really sincere, so he continued. It is said for three days, day and night, he asked again and again: 'What is life?' - and the well only resounded his own voice. But he was not tired - he continued.
If you work with the mind for many many days, years, the mind will not give you the key; it will simply resound you. But a sincere seeker goes on and on and on; he is not tired.
After three days it is said the well realized that the man was sincere and that he was not going to go.
So the well said: 'Okay, I will tell you what life is. Go to the town nearby. Visit the first three shops and come back and report.'
The man was puzzled because what type of answer was this? But, 'Okay, if the well says it has to be done...' He went to the town and visited the first three shops, but he was even more puzzled and bewildered. There was nothing.
In the first shop there were a few people working with some metal pieces. He went into the next shop; a few other people were there, and they were preparing some strings. Into the third shop he went; it was a carpenter's shop, and people were working with wood. He said to himself: 'This is life?'
He went back to the well and said: 'What do you mean? I went there, I visited. This is my report, but I don't see the point.'
The well said: 'Now, I have shown you the path. You travel it. Someday you will see the point. I have indicated the way, now you go on it.'
The seeker was simply angry and said: 'This has been a deception! What have I gained by asking this well for three days continuously? What have I gained by putting my heart with such sincerity before the well? This has been a deception. I have not gained anything.' Frustrated, he went away.
After many years of wandering he came near a garden one day. It was a moon night, a full moon night, and somebody was playing a sitar. He was enchanted. The magic worked. As if pulled by a magnet, he came into the garden. He didn't ask permission. He went up to the player and the man was deep in his meditation, playing on the sitar. He sat there he listened. In the moonlight he looked at the man, the instrument. He had never seen that instrument before.
Suddenly, he realized that those carpenters were working on things like this. They were preparing sitars. And the people who were working on metal - those pieces were also on the sitar. And the strings.
Suddenly, as if the clouds disappeared and there was a breakthrough, he started dancing. The musician became aware; he stopped the music. But now nobody can stop the dance of the seeker.
The musician asked: 'What is the matter? What has happened to you?'
The man said: 'I have understood. Life has everything. Just a new combination is needed. I looked into three shops. Everything was there, but there was no sitar. Everything was separate. An order was needed; everything was in chaos. Everything as there; whatsoever was needed was there. Just a synthesis, just a unity was needed - and such beautiful music comes out of it. Life has everything - now I have understood. Just a new order is needed.'
You have everything that you need. God never sends anybody as a beggar into the world. Everybody is born an emperor but lives like a beggar, not knowing how to arrange things.
Mind should be the servant, consciousness should be the master - and then the instrument is ready, and then a great music is possible.
And there comes a moment when the instrument is not needed at all. It is said that whenever a musician becomes perfect he throws the sitar because then it is useless, because then the inner music has come in. The outer sitar just helped to move withinwards. Whenever an archer is perfect, he throws the bow. Then there is no need for it. Whenever there is perfection, it becomes unconditional First make the sitar of your life and then be able to retire the mind completely. Then you have gone beyond the circle of birth and death. And that's what God is.
That's what this beautiful story is saying: 'TO REMIND ME' - so that I don't fall again and again a victim of the old pattern: mind, the master; and myself, the servant. 'TO REMIND ME' - that I am the master.