The perfect swimmer

From:
Osho
Date:
Fri, 15 October 1975 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The True Sage
Chapter #:
5
Location:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
N.A.
Short Title:
N.A.
Audio Available:
N.A.
Video Available:
N.A.
Length:
N.A.

WHEN THE SON OF THE RABBI OF LENSHNO WAS A BOY HE SAW RABBI VITZHAK OF
VORKI, PRAYING. FULL OF AMAZEMENT, HE CAME RUNNING TO HIS FATHER AND ASKED
HOW IT WAS POSSIBLE FOR SUCH A ZADDICK TO PRAY QUIETLY AND SIMPLY, WITHOUT
GIVING ANY SIGN OF ECSTASY.

HIS FATHER ANSWERED:

'A POOR SWIMMER HAS TO THRASH AROUND IN ORDER TO STAY UP IN THE WATER.

THE PERFECT SWIMMER RESTS ON THE TIDE AND IT CARRIES HIM.'

THERE is one very ancient tale. If you listen well, you will find yourself also in it. But if you only hear it, you will laugh at it and forget it.

Sometimes you simply laugh to forget a thing, to hide a thing. Many times I have observed that you laugh just to hide your tears. You laugh, because if you don't laugh, it will be too much, too heavy.

Laughter is a way of avoiding a thing. So please, listen to it as deeply as you can.

I know hearing is simple, and listening is very difficult. You hear it and you think that you have listened to it. Hearing is just mechanical.

When you listen with perfect awareness, then listening becomes possible. Hearing is just like eating without tasting. You can fill the belly, but deep down, the hunger remains. The body may be satisfied, even overloaded, but the subtle hunger remains - because it can be satisfied only when you become capable of taste. But to taste a thing is to be aware, alert.

Listen to it - the story is one of the most wonderful I have ever come across. It is a Hassidic story.

It says that there was a very great city. It appeared great to those who lived in it. In fact, it was not bigger than a small saucer. The houses of the city were skyscrapers. And the people who were the dwellers - they claimed that their house tops almost touched the sky. But to those who were not deluded, the height of the city looked not more than that of an onion.

In that city, people of ten cities were assembled - millions of people. But to those who could count, there were only three fools in that city, not a single person more.

The first fool was a great thinker; he was a great system-maker, a metaphysician - almost an Aristotle. He could talk about anything. You could ask him, and he had readymade answers. It was spread in the town, the rumour was in the town that he was the greatest seer.

Of course, he was absolutely blind. He could not see the Himalayas just in front of his eyes, but he could count the legs of the ants crawling on the moon. And he was absolutely blind - but he was a logic-chopper.

He saw things which nobody had ever seen: God, angels, heaven and hell. He was very condemnatory of the mundane world which could be seen. He was always appreciating the unseen, which he only could see and nobody else could see.

The second man used to hear the music of the spheres. He used to hear the dancing atoms, the harmony of existence - but he was stone-deaf.

And the third fool, the third man, was absolutely naked. He had nothing. He was the poorest man who had ever existed - except that he had a sword which he always carried on guard. He was always afraid, he was paranoid - afraid that somebody was going to rob him someday. Of course, he had nothing.

They all conferred because there was a rumour that their city was in a deep crisis. All the three fools who were thought to be very wise were asked to go deep into the phenomenon: Is it true that the city is in danger? Some crisis is coming? Some future catastrophe?

The blind man looked into the far horizon and said: 'Yes. I can see thousands of soldiers of the enemy country coming. I cannot only see them, I can count how many there are. I can see to which race and to which religion they belong.'

The deaf man listened silently, brooded, and said: 'Yes. I can hear what they are saying, and I can also hear what they are not saying and hiding in their hearts.'

The beggar jumped, the third fool jumped, took his sword in his hand, and said: 'I am afraid. They are going to rob us.'

This is your story. Think about it. Move around and around and penetrate deeper into it. This is the story of man.

Man is always pretending that which he is not; that's a way of hiding oneself. The ugly man tries to look beautiful. The man who is in anguish tries to look happy. The man who does not know anything tries to prove that he knows all. This is how it goes on and on. And unless you become aware of these three fools within you, you will never become a sage. To go beyond the three fools, one becomes the true sage.

Try to stick to the fact; don't try to hide it in a fiction. Fictions are easy, cheap; one need not do anything, one can simply imagine - and imagination is a way of auto-hypnosis. If you go on continuously repeating something, you will start feeling that you have that thing.

What have you got in this world? What do you possess? You don't possess even yourself. Then why are you so afraid That somebody is going to rob you?

People come to me and they say: 'We cannot trust because we are afraid.'

I ask them: 'Why are you afraid? What have you got?'

They say: 'If we trust, somebody may deceive us'the third fool.

What have you got? Empty-handed you come. Empty-handed you go. And just in between, between and betwixt, the foolishness that you possess something.

That is the meaning of Jesus when he says that even camels can pass through the eye of a needle, but a rich man will not be able to enter into the kingdom of God. What does he mean by rich man?

- he means one who has nothing and thinks that he has.

Everybody is poor. Empty-handed we come. Empty-handed we go. All ideas of richness are fictions.

By a rich man Jesus doesn't mean those who have on this earth. Nobody has anything. The poor are poor; the rich are also poor - sometimes even poorer than the poor, because they are more deluded that they have something.

If YOU have something, Jesus is right: a camel can pass through the eye of a needle, but you will not be able to pass through the kingdom of God. The doors will be closed. It is not for fools.

And the very idea that you possess something is foolish. And once the idea settles in, then you try to protect it, then everybody else becomes the enemy - because everybody else is trying to snatch that which you have. In the first place you don't have anything.

The more you protect, the more others think that you must be having something. Otherwise, why are you protecting so much? They are running after you, thinking that you must have something.

Seeing that they are running after you, you think there is danger and that protection is needed. This is how the vicious circles goes on.

Nobody has anything in this world. Once you realize this, all fear disappears. Once you realize this, you have become a sannyasin. Not that you leave your houses, and your wife, and children, and the world and move to a mountain top - no. Those who are running to the mountain tops - they still think that they are leaving something that they had. That is the very foolishness.

First you were deluded that you have; now you are deluded that you have renounce - but the basic hypnosis still exists. First you continuously counted your money - how much you have. Now you will be counting how much you have renounced. But renunciation is nothing but the other side of the bank balance, the other side of the river, of the market.

A man who knows has nothing to renounce, because a man who knows and comes to understand his situation, knows that he has nothing. How can you renounce? What can you renounce? Your hands are empty. And suddenly - you are moving in a different space. The possession, the renunciation - both have become irrelevant.

There are persons who come to me. I can see that I am in front of them and they cannot see me.

But they say they have visions, spiritual visions. Beautiful colours float in their minds. Kundalini arises, the snake-power, the serpent-power. It rushes towards the last chakra.

I am in front of them and I can see they are blind; they can't see me. Their kundalini is arising, and they have tremendous light in their third eye. And they have come, so that I can confirm: 'Yes, that's so.'

If I say: 'Yes, that's so,' they are very happy and fulfilled. If I say: 'No,' they are very angry. They become my enemies. And they cannot see me - but they can count the legs of the ants crawling on the moon. They are stone-blind. To hide their blindness, they create many fictions around themselves.

A man came to me. He said: 'Just as it happened in Mohammed's life, it is happening in my life. I receive messages in the night. God Himself, Allah - He gives me messages. But the trouble is that in the morning, I always forget what the message was.' It happened in Ahmedabad.

I told him: 'Do one thing. Keep a pad and a pencil just near your bed, and while you go to sleep, continuously go on remembering that whenever God reveals anything, your sleep will be immediately broken, and you will be able to write. And write it, whatsoever it is.'

He said: 'These messages are tremendous truths. They can transform the whole world. The trouble is - I always forget in the morning.'

So I said: 'You do it - and whatsoever it is, you bring it.'

Next day he came. He was very much worried and sad, and depressed, and frustrated. I said: 'What happened?' He said: 'I cannot believe what happened. Whatsoever you have said, I have followed.

I went on remembering while I was falling asleep that whenever the message is delivered, I will be able to get up immediately and write the message down. And it happened as you said.'

'But then,' I said,'why are you so sad?'

He said: 'But the message makes me very sad.'

'What was the message?'

He was feeling a little embarrassed. The message was: 'Live a little hot. Sip a Gold Spot.' The advertisement board was just in front OF his house. He must have been passing and...

So he said: 'Please don't say this to anybody, because I am very much frustrated. How did it happen? Is it some kind of joke God is playing on me?'

Your dreams are bound to be your dreams: 'Live a little hot. Sip a Gold Spot.' They cannot go beyond it! Your visions are your visions; they cannot be more than you. Your experiences are your experiences. They are bound to be below you; they cannot be beyond you. Your kundalini is going to be your kundalini; it cannot be a Buddha's kundalini.

Ninety-nine percent is the possibility that you have been imagining. Man is so poor, he imagines in millions of ways to convince himself: 'I am rich.'

If you have not been able to attain to the worldly things, then you start attaining to the non-worldly things. If you don't have a bank balance here on the earth, then you have a bank balance there in heaven - but you have a bank balance.

Remember always: your mind is stupid. Mind as such is tupidity. Mind cannot be intelligence.

Intelligence happens only when the mind has gone. Intelligence is not the function of the mind; it is the function of the whole. Mind is stupid, repetitive. It cannot know the unknown, it can only go on repeating the known - 'Live a little hot. Sip a Gold Spot.' Continuously looking at the advertisement board, it has become settled.

If you are born a Hindu, your kundalini will rise. If you are born a Jain, never - because Jain scriptures don't advertise for kundalini. If you are a Christian, you will see Christ and the cross. But if you are a Hindu, Christ never bothers to come on your path. And the cross - never. You will see Krishna playing on the flute, because Krishna is advertised and Christ is not advertised.

All your spiritual experiences are nothing but conditionings that the society has given to you. Don't rely too much on them, because death will force you to realize the fact that you lived a fictitious life - the opportunity lost.

Become aware that you have nothing. Once you feel that you have nothing, fear disappears, because fear is always part of the feeling that you possess something which can be lost - hence fear.

When you realize the fact that you don't know anything, that you are blind, that you cannot see....

All that you have been seeing is your own projection. You create it and you see it. You are the director in the drama that you call your life. And you are the story-writer also. And you are the actor.

And you are all that is happening. And you are the audience. There is nobody else. You are looking at it. You are creating it. You are directing it. You are playing a role in it.

Once this is seen - and this can be seen in a flash of light, just by listening to me rightly, it can be seen - then the whole drama disappears. This is what Hindus call MAYA, the world that you have created around yourself, which is not real, which is not there - your own creation.

When it drops, then for the first time, you are not blind; your eyes open. Then you see that which is.

Don't go on listening to distant harmonies, and the music of the spheres, and the dancing steps of the atoms. Don't befool yourself. As it is, you have already befooled yourself too long. No more. It is enough! Say: 'It is enough' - because unless you are freed from your wrong notions of eyes, and ears, and riches, the right cannot become available to you.

To be freed from the wrong is to be available to the right. To be freed from the false is to be on the path of that which is real.

And remember this trick of the mind: that the mind creates the opposite. If you are angry, you have a polite smile on your face. The mind creates the opposite. If you are afraid, you have fearlessness showing on the face. If you are full of hatred, you go on trying so many love affairs.

It is said about Lord Byron that he fell in love with hundreds of women. Looks like a great lover, a Don Juan - but he is not. He must have been too full of hatred. He could not love anybody.

When you cannot love anybody, when the love is not flowing, you go on moving with new partners just to create an illusion that you are a great lover - you love so many people. One love is enough!

If it is really love it can satisfy you so deeply, it can make you so contented, such infinite tranquility can happen through it, there is no need for anything else. But when it is not there, then you move from one to another.

I was reading a drama. The drama belongs to the category that they now call 'Absurd Drama'. The curtain rises. The actors are there, sitting in a restaurant. There are a few people. The waiters are serving. And the people are eating, enjoying food, talking - saying how beautiful it is. But in fact, nothing is happening. The waiters are only doing the movements; they are not bringing food. And the eaters are only doing the movements of eating, they are not eating food.

But everybody is afraid: 'If I say that there is no food, then the whole restaurant, so many people, will think me mad.'

Everybody is eating, but on nobody's plate is there any food. People are putting the food in the mouth, biting, chewing, eating, AND enjoying, and telling about it, how beautiful it is. You have to follow; otherwise, you will be the only one who is mad, who has gone mad, insane.

And everybody is in the same situation: afraid to say that there is no food, and that the waiters are bringing only empty plates, and that the people are eating nothing - just empty movements of the hands and the mouth. Not only that - the people are describing how tasteful it is, how delicious it is.

You will be mad if you say anything. It is better not to say. Save your sanity and go home.

Everybody moves out of the restaurant, talking about the food. But everybody is hungry. And everybody seems tired. When you make empty movements, you are bound to be tired. Everybody seems wearied of life, almost dead - but still talking about the food.

This is the situation about love. You fall in love, you do the movements, but love is not there, real food is not there. You simply do the movements that lovers are expected to do. And not only that - then you say: 'How beautiful l' You know deep down that there is nothing, nothing is happening. But if you say that nothing is happening, you will be found to be wrong.

The whole world lives in dreams. If you want to live with them, you have to be a part. You say: 'Yes.

So beautiful' - but then you are wearied and tired. And the whole life seems like a long boredom, non-ending.. And again and again, the same routine you follow. And again and again, you come to the same frustration.

Look! Is not this your life? The mind will say: 'No, this is not my life; it may be of others.' But that is the way of the mind to protect oneself.'Others may be fools; I'm not.'

The wise man thinks in a different way. Says Lao Tzu: 'Everybody seems to be very very wise; I am the only idiot here.' The wise man looks like an idiot.

Let me tell you a Hassidic tale. It happened: from Poland, a group of Jews were migrating to America. In old Jewish communities, it has always been so: there was always a village sage, and there was always a village idiot - to balance things.

And Jews are very balancing. It has to be balanced that way. If the village has a sage, the village needs an idiot also. Otherwise, who will balance? The sage may create too much wisdom; it may become indigestible. He may become too heavy with his advice, he may create too much seriousness around. An idiot is needed - to bring balance to things.

Rarely, but sometimes it also happened that it was the same man - the sage and the idiot. Then the sage flowers perfectly, because then the village is not balanced; the man HIMSELF is balanced.

And it was such a case in this story.

The village idiot, or you can call him the village sage - his name was Yosel. He was also migrating with the whole community.

After the third day, there was a great storm. Life was in danger. The ship would be sinking any moment. It was chaos - the captain shouting orders, the sailors lowering the lifeboats, children crying, women screaming, and all the passengers milling around the deck in deep confusion, afraid.

It was great pandemonium. Only Yosel was amused. He was watching everybody, smiling. He was entertained by the whole situation.

An old man of the village scolded Yosel: 'This is too much. The ship is sinking I What are you doing?

Amusing yourself?'

Yosel said: 'Why are you getting so excited, Uncle? Does the ship belong to you?' This can be the statement of an idiot, this can be the statement of a sage. It can be both. It IS both.

There is a point where the sage and the idiot meet, where the sage looks like the idiot, where the idiot looks like the sage - because opposites merge and a single synthesis is attained.

A sage has nothing to defend; he can afford to be an idiot. You cannot afford to be an idiot because you know you ARE an idiot, and you have to defend it by your so-called wisdom.

What I am saying is: you always create the opposite. You are not one, you are a multitude, a crowd.

Whatsoever you feel inside, you try to pretend just the opposite so that no one comes to know your inner poverty, your inner stupidity. If you are stupid, you study scriptures. You can find many stupid people studying the Torah, the Bible, the Gita, the Koran - hiding their stupidity.

It happened: one day, a man knocked at Naftali's house. Naftali opened the door and, as was his custom, he asked: 'Why have you come?'

The man said: 'I have come to study with you.'

Naftali closed the door and he said: 'Go somewhere else. I am not a teacher. You can find somebody else who can teach you scriptures.'

'Why?' Naftali's wife asked. 'Why have you denied that man? He looked like a sincere seeker.'

Naftali said: 'People who are interested in studying scriptures are almost always stupid. They want to hide.'

Another day, another man knocked. Naftali opened the door and he asked: 'Why are you here?

What do you want from me?'

The man said: 'I have come to be near you, to learn how to serve humanity.'

Naftali said: 'Go away. You have knocked on the wrong door.'

The wife was very much puzzled. She said: 'He was not asking to study scriptures. He seems to be a great social reformer or something like that. He wanted to serve humanity. Such a pure, pious mind - why have you refused him?'

Naftali said: 'Those who don't know themselves - they cannot serve anybody else. All their service finally becomes a mischief.'

Social reformers are mischievous people unless they know themselves. How can you serve anybody? And how can you serve humanity? You have not served that small being that is within you. Light it first - then try to light others' lives. If you are dark within, and you go and start helping others, you will not help, you will harm - because who is there to help?

Another day, another man knocked. Naftali opened the door and asked: 'Why have you come here?'

The man said: 'I am very stupid. Can you help me a little to get rid of it?'

Naftali kissed the man and said: 'Welcome. I am waiting for you.'

This is the first step towards wisdom: to realize that you are not wise, to realize that no trick of hiding it is going to help.

One who realizes that he is ignorant is already on the path. One who realizes that he is poor is already on the path of the Kingdom of God, the real treasure. One who realizes that he is blind - his eyes are already opening. One who realizes that he is deaf will sooner or later become capable of listening. And then he will know the music, the music of existence.

Don't try to create the opposite. Rather, know the innermost quality of your being. Don't hide it; open it to the sky.

If you hide it, you help it - because in darkness it grows, and becomes bigger and bigger, and takes infinite proportions. Open it to the light and the sky and the air and it dies - because it cannot live in light.

Ignorance is like the roots of a tree: if you bring them out, they die. In the light they cannot survive.

They are the dwellers of darkness; in the pure air they cannot survive. But if you hide, then you help them grow.

Remember this: whatsoever you feel inside, don't try to hide it, because it can be hidden only by the opposite. And then you will always be divided, and you will never become one, and you will never be a harmony. And only the innermost harmony can know the outermost harmony. That's the meaning:

only the soul can know God. Soul means: inner harmony attained. God means: you have become available to God and God has became available to you.

Now, this small anecdote - very significant.

THE PERFECT SWIMMER WHEN THE SON OF THE RABBI OF LENTSHNO WAS A BOY, HE SAW RABBI VITZHAK OF VORKI, PRAYING. FULL OF AMAZEMENT, HE CAME RUNNING TO HIS FATHER AND ASKED HOW IT WAS POSSIBLE FOR SUCH A ZADDIK TO PRAY SO QUIETLY AND SIMPLY, WITHOUT GIVING ANY SIGN OF ECSTASY.

One of the most delicate and significant points to be remembered: agony becomes ecstasy. If you are in deep agony, then the same energy which was agony will become ecstasy when you meditate.

You will dance with ecstasy, but that is not the last point - because even in your dance, something of your agony will be present. The ultimate dance happens only when even dancing stops.

You have seen Mira dancing, Chaitanya dancing; nobody has seen Buddha dancing, Mahavir dancing. Mira and Chaitanya have reached almost to the goal, but one step more is needed.

They were unhappy; now they are happy. They have transcended unhappiness. Now they are in happiness - but that too has to be transcended. Because if you continue to be in happiness, unhappiness will follow like a shadow.

Dualities go together. If you are dancing, sooner or later, you will fall in agony again - because the energy is the same. It was anguish within. You were hiding it; it was like a wound. Now you have expressed it - the same energy released, and you are dancing. But you have not gone beyond.

Dancing is good, but it is allowed only up to the steps of the temple, not inside. Nobody reaches God without dancing; nobody reaches God with dancing. One has to dance, so that the agony is transformed, but agony transformed is still agony. It has become beautiful, it has lost its poison, but still, it is of the same category.

For example, I tell you a joke. You laugh, but your laughter has something of your sadness in it; it is bound to be so. You are sad for twenty-four hours. You laugh out of your sadness. In fact, you laugh because of the sadness, because it becomes too much. One has to release. It becomes such a tension, a built-up tension - you have to release. You laugh loudly - good, therapeutic, but nothing spiritual. Good, medicinal, but medicine has to be dropped when you are really healthy.

If you have to keep your medicine continuously with you, then something of the illness is still lingering on. When the disease. has completely gone, you throw the medicine also. When the pain has gone, what is the point of carrying pleasure? When the suffering is no more, what is the point of celebrating? Then your whole being is a celebration, then you don't celebrate. Then your whole being is a laughter, then you don't laugh.

The perfection of laughter is almost like no laughter. And the perfection of happiness has nothing of happiness in it, because if something of happiness is still there, you can watch - just by the corner, unhappiness is waiting for you. Any moment it can jump, and possess you.

A happy person can become unhappy. You cannot make a Buddha unhappy because he is no more happy; he is beyond the clutches of duality. The child was worried, because the zaddik, a Master, meditating - and not in any ecstasy?

Hassidic disciples are very ecstatic people; they dance, they sing, they enjoy. Delight is their prayer, and it should be so, because there is no other way to express your thankfulness, your gratefulness to God. Delight, dance, tears of joy; that is the only prayer possible.

WHEN THE SON OF THE RABBI OF LENTSHNO WAS A BOY, HE SAW RABBI VITZHAK OF VORKI, PRAYING.

The boy must have seen many Hassidic disciples, dancing, full of tears of joy, weeping, crying, embracing each other, in deep gratitude, in deep remembrance of God. The boy must have seen that when people meditate, they celebrate.

FULL OF AMAZEMENT, HE CAME RUNNING TO HIS FATHER AND ASKED HOW IT WAS POSSIBLE FOR SUCH A ZADDIK, such a great Master TO PRAY QUIETLY AND SIMPLY, WITHOUT GIVING ANY SIGN OF ECSTASY.

He does not seem to be happy, he does not seem to be celebrating - not a single expression around him of ecstasy. How is it possible? And he is such a great Master. The child must have heard many things about the zaddik - that he has attained. He is asking: 'What is he doing? In his silence, ecstasy is not happening. Something is lacking.' This is the childish attitude.

If you bring a child to Buddha, he will think-something is lacking. But if you bring the child to Chaitanya, he will know that everything is there, that nothing is lacking. Chaitanya is dancing, drums are beating. He is ecstatic, intoxicated - he is not of this world. He is lost somewhere into the unknown. Any child will be able to recognize that something has happened.

To be with a Buddha is to be mature. Chaitanya can be followed even by children. That is what is happening to Hare Krishna people - childish, immature. But they think that this is how one attains.

Nothing is wrong in dancing - remember. But one should remember: dancing, ecstasy, is just outside the temple. Inside, everything has to become silent; your very being has to dissolve. Who will dance there? You are no more.

HIS FATHER ANSWERED: 'A POOR SWIMMER HAS TO THRASH AROUND IN ORDER TO STAY UP IN THE WATER. THE PERFECT SWIMMER RESTS ON THE TIDE AND IT CARRIES HIM.'

Mira dancing, Chaitanya dancing - something still imperfect, not perfect swimmers yet. Learning, reaching, reaching nearer every day - but if you are still swimming, you are afraid of the river, you have not accepted it. If you are still swimming, your swing has moved to the other extreme, but has not attained to the middle point where everything stops.

Mind moves from one polarity to another. You are angry; then you feel compassion. You are full of hate; then you feel love. Watch it I Whenever you are hateful, suddenly, in the wake, a very loving, caring attitude follows.

All lovers know it: whenever they fight, are angry, and there has been a conflict, a clash of personalities, in the wake, a very deep love follows. The greatest peaks that lovers attain are all always after the fight, because when you are fighting, you are moving in one direction - just like the pendulum of an old clock. It moves to the left, goes to the very extreme. Apparently it is going to the left, but deep down it is earning momentum, gaining momentum to go to the right. Then from that same energy it will go to the right. When it goes to the right, you will see it is going to the right, but it is again gaining momentum to go to the left.

When you are angry, you are gaining momentum to love. When you are in love, you are gaining momentum to be angry. This is how the pendulum of the mind goes on.

So Mira has moved from the world. The agony of the world has gone - the ecstasy of God has happened. But this is also movement.

Buddha is just standing in the middle. The clock has stopped, the time has stopped, the movement has stopped, the pendulum moves no more. There is no tick, tock - absolute silence.

You will be impressed more by Mira and Chaitanya and you will not be impressed so much by a Buddha, because Buddha will be too beyond you.

You can understand Mira. She may be opposite, but the language is the same. You are in agony; she is in ecstasy - but the language is the same. What is ecstasy? - not agony. What is agony? - not ecstasy. The language is the same. You can understand.

And you can be greedy about it, and you can cherish an idea, a hope that someday you will also be able to dance like Mira. What beauty, what happiness, what ecstasy - but the language is the same!

And remember, you can understand only that for which you have a language, a common language.

It happened: a religious man, a very simple, sincere, authentic man was invited to a town. The man who was arranging for his lectures in the town was a politician. He had always been arranging tours of politicians, presidents, prime ministers, ministers, chief ministers, this and that. He was the best convener in the town, so people persuaded him: 'You do this also.'

The religious man was absolutely unknown to the politician, the convener. He had heard his name, he knew about him, but still, he had never been in contact with any religious man.

Politics has nothing to do with religion, and if it has to do something with religion, it is itself politics, it is not religion. They are diametrically opposite goals. A politician cannot be religious; a religious man cannot be political. Because a religious man cannot be ambitious.

The religious man was to come and he was also apprehensive, because the town was new and the man was unknown. So he telegrammed before he came: 'Arrange a room in the circuit house - silent, vegetarian food, cow's milk, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.'

He arrived. Everything was arranged. Everything was as he had wanted. He was happy. Then he went into the bathroom to wash his face because he was tired from the journey. But immediately he came back very puzzled, because in the bathroom he saw three beautiful women - but still, they were ugly; they looked like prostitutes. He came back and he asked the politician: 'What is the matter? Who are these three women?' The politician said: 'Who are these three women? - the three etceteras! Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.'

The religious man was aghast, he couldn't believe it.'What do you mean? I have never come to understand that etcetera means-a woman.'

The politician said: 'You don't know the language of the politicians. I have always been arranging for them, and this is a code word: etcetera. If they write one etcetera, one woman; if they write two, two; if they write three, three.'

You understand a particular language. You can understand Chaitanya and Mira - however far away they may be, because your agony can understand the language of ecstasy. In fact, agony is seeking ecstasy constantly.

The child could not understand. A great zaddik, praying quietly and simply, without giving any sign of ecstasy - not dancing, not swaying, tears not flowing. By his face, you cannot say what he is doing.

In fact, when you are really in prayer, you are not doing anything at all. Prayer has nothing to do with doing, it is simply being. Being in the presence of God is prayer. Feeling the presence of God is prayer. Dissolving yourself in Him is prayer. Agony will take you away. Ecstasy will also keep you away. Remember this.

Ecstasy is better than agony, but both exist around the subtle ego. When you are lost, who can be ecstatic? - you are no more there, The child could not understand. A child can never understand, because a child can understand tears, happiness - the language of immaturity.

Many times, Hare Krishna people come to me, and I see such immature minds. But they think this is all: jumping on the streets, singing 'Hare Krishna, Hare Ram...' Of course, it gives a sort of excitement, and a sort of intoxication. It is alcoholic, but it is not the goal. The goal is absolute silence. Such tranquility, that there is nothing else in it. Pure tranquility.

The child could not understand. And the child within you will also be unable to understand.

HIS FATHER ANSWERED: 'A POOR SWIMMER HAS TO THRASH AROUND IN ORDER TO STAY UP IN THE WATER.'

So don't think that is swimming. It is just a poor swimmer, just a beginner. He thrashes around, throws his hands. Don't think that is swimming; that is just learning.

When a swimmer has become really perfect, attuned, he knows that now there is no need to swim.

He can trust the river. He can leave all thrashing, because that thrashing is still a fight, a sort of struggle - trying to conquer the river.

'A PERFECT SWIMMER RESTS ON THE TIDE AND IT CARRIES HIM.'

A perfect meditator rests on the tide of God, and it carries him. He does not do anything, because with doing, the ego remains. With non-doing, it disappears. He is not in agony, he is not in ecstasy.

All that we can understand, the ordinary language, has become useless.

That's why, when you ask a Buddha: 'What have you attained?' - he keeps quiet, he does not answer. Because whatsoever he will say will be misunderstood 'etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.' You have your language, a code language. Whatsoever he says will be misunderstood. If he says: 'I am ecstatic,' what will you understand? You will understand that he is not in agony. If he says: 'I am happy,' you will say: 'Right. So he is no more unhappy. That's what I need to be. That's my greed also, my hope also.' Your desire will be provoked. And the happiness of a Buddha comes only when you become desireless. Whatsoever a Buddha says is bound to be misunderstood.

Lao Tzu says: 'When people don't understand me, I know well, I have said something true. When they understand, then I know well that something has gone wrong.'

'Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera....' You have your own language. Buddhahood has its own language. It is neither of agony nor of ecstasy; it is of a deep let-go. Let-go is the language of a Buddha.

'A PERFECT SWIMMER RESTS ON THE TIDE AND IT CARRIES HIM.'

I was reading the life of Rabbi Leib. Somebody asked him: 'You lived with your Master, your zaddik, for twelve years. What were you studying there? What were you observing? Twelve years is a long time - almost a whole life. Have you been studying the scriptures?'

Rabbi Leib said: 'No. I was not there with my zaddik to study the Torah. was there to watch my zaddik, my Master. To watch him - how he unlaces his felt shoes, how he laces them again. It took twelve years to watch simple movements, because each of his movements was meditation: the way he breathes, the way he stands up, the way he sits down, the way he sleeps.... It is such a mystery that it took me twelve years - first to forget my own language which was a barrier, to clean my mind completely of all that I know. And then, by and by, glimpses started coming lo me. Then, by and by, clouds separated and I could see my Master.'

If you can see your Master, you have seen meditation incarnate. It is not a question of doing; the being has to be watched.

The rabbi of Lentshno was right, the child's father was right, because he had attained to maturity.

Drop the child within you - become mature, alert. Watch - that your language should not distort what I say. Always look to what I mean. You will be the only barrier in it.

If you listen through your mind, you hear me, but you don't listen to me. If you put aside your mind, and look at me, you listen to me. Right listening is the door. Through right listening, right seeing will become possible. Through right seeing, the right world of riches becomes available.

Those three fools are within your minds. By and by, drop them. Don't protect your mind because your mind is the enemy. And that's what you have been doing continuously: you go on protecting it.

Surrender it. There is no need to thrash around.

'A POOR SWIMMER HAS TO THRASH AROUND IN ORDER TO STAY UP IN THE WATER.'

Here you are with me, with a tide. Relax. Let go - and allow the tide to carry you. This is what sannyas is: a deep let-go with someone who has arrived.

Don't be a poor swimmer. You have thrashed around too much already. You are so tired - and the tide is available.

Trust the river, and the river will take you to the ocean - and there is no other way to reach to the ocean. Fight, and you will lose. Surrender, and in your surrender is the victory.

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(Jewish Daily Bulletin, 7/27/1935)