True wisdom

From:
Osho
Date:
Fri, 19 October 1975 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The True Sage
Chapter #:
9
Location:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
N.A.
Short Title:
N.A.
Audio Available:
N.A.
Video Available:
N.A.
Length:
N.A.

ONE DAY THE RABBI OF ZANS WAS STANDING AT THE WINDOW AND LOOKING OUT INTO
THE STREET. SEEING A PASSER-BY, HE KNOCKED ON THE WINDOW PANE AND SIGNED TO
THE MAN TO COME INTO THE HOUSE.

WHEN THE STRANGER ENTERED THE ROOM, RABBI HAYYIM ASKED HIM: - 'TELL ME, IF
YOU FOUND A PURSE OF DUCATS, WOULD YOU RETURN IT TO ITS OWNER?' 'RABBI,' SAID
THE MAN, 'IF I KNEW THE OWNER I SHOULD RETURN THE PURSE WITHOUGH A MOMENT'S
DELAY.' 'YOU ARE A FOOL,' SAID THE RABBI OF ZANS.

THEN HE RESUMED HIS POSITION AT THE WINDOW, CALLED ANOTHER PASSER-BY, AND
PUT THE SAME QUESTION TO HIM. 'I AM NOT SUCH A FOOL AS TO GIVE UP A PURSE FULL
OF MONEY THAT HAS COME MY WAY,' SAID THE MAN. 'YOU'RE A BAD LOT,' SAID THE RABBI
OF ZANS, AND CALLED IN A THIRD MAN.

HE REPLIED: - 'RABBI, HOW CAN I KNOW - ON WHAT RUNG I SHALL BE WHEN I FIND THE
PURSE, OR WHETHER I SHALL SUCCEED IN FENDING OFF THE EVIL URGE? PERHAPS IT
WILL GET THE BETTER OF ME, AND I SHALL APPROPRIATE WHAT BELONGS TO ANOTHER.

BUT PERHAPS GOD, BLESSED BE HE, WILL HELP ME TO RIGHT IT, AND IN THAT CASE,
I SHALL RETURN WHAT I HAVE FOUND TO ITS RIGHTFUL OWNER.' 'THOSE ARE GOOD
WORDS,' CRIED THE ZADDICK. 'YOU ARE A TRUE SAGE.'

MAN is a machine. He is born, lives, loves, dies - but not as a man; he is born, lives, loves, dies just like a machine. He is not conscious.

Everything happens; man is not the doer. He has no will of his own. But he believes that he is the doer, he believes that he has a will-power, a will of his own. He believes that he IS. This is the greatest stupidity possible, the base of all ignorance. Because of this belief, he never becomes aware of the true situation.

Man, ordinarily, is only in two states: asleep, with closed eyes; and asleep, with open eyes. And continuously, an undercurrent of dreaming goes on.

To say: 'I am' is not true in the ordinary state of humanity, because there are many 'I's' within you.

You don't have a single 'I'; you don't have a single center of reference. One mood comes and goes; another mood comes and goes. And with each mood, a separate 'I' dominates you.

When you are angry, it is not the same 'I' as it was when you were in love. A totally different personality takes possession of you - and many times you have suspected. Many times you have been angry and have said: 'In spite of me, I was angry.' What do you mean when you say: 'In spite of me?' Then who was angry? You have suspected rightly that the 'I' which you are ordinarily identified with was not in power. Somebody else dominated you - a vagrant 'I', a vagabond 'I', an unusual 'I'.

Just a few days before, a sannyasin came to me. She was very happy that she had fallen in love and that she had found a lover. She was ecstatic. And she asked if I would give her a Tantra technique so that she could move into deeper orgasmic states of love.

I looked into her and I said: 'Wait for seven days. Next time you come, bring your lover with you.'

She came back after a week, but she said: 'We have quarreled and separated.'

So I asked: 'What about the Tantra technique? I am ready to give it to you.'

She said: 'But now I have no lover.' And she was so sad and so depressed - and not even suspecting what had happened.

When you fall in love, you believe that - you think something permanent has happened in your being. When you are sad, then you believe that that is true. You are such a great believer. You never suspect for a single moment that these are moods, and they pass just as clouds pass in the sky, and they go on flowing just like a river flows.

Nothing is permanent in you. How can you say: 'I am'? That will be a falsity. To assert 'I am' is to say a lie. You cannot say that; you are many 'I's '. There are a thousand and one egos within you - a crowd, a multiplicity. You are poly-psychic. You are just like a wheel. Think of a moving wheel of a bullock cart: one spoke comes up; then it goes down. Another comes up; that too is on the way down. And the wheel goes on moving. Every moment a different spoke comes up. You are like a wheel - you go on moving. And many spokes are there which you call 'I's'. When one 'I' comes up, you get identified with it.

When you are angry you don't see that anger is like a cloud surrounding you. You become one with it. The mood takes total possession of you; you are possessed by it. Then it is not good to say: 'I am angry.' It would be better to say: 'I am anger.'

When love possesses you, you become love. Don't say: 'I am in love.' YOU ARE love. You get so identified with the mood that your separate identity, your separate being, is no more there. And this goes on continuously from the moment you are born to the moment you die.

You become young and you think you ARE young. And you know that the body is changing every moment. Then you become old and you think: 'I am old.' In youth you were jubilant that you were young, full of energy. In old age you are sad and depressed, because now the energy has gone. While alive, you think you are the body, and when death comes, then you say: 'I am dying.'

Whatsoever happens, you become identified with it.

This is the state of affairs of a humanity which is fast asleep. That's why it cannot be said that you are man yet; you are a mechanism. The man will be born within you when you become conscious of the whole mechanism - and yet don't get identified.

You can see anger coming, you can see anger all around you, and yet you remain a watcher on the hill. You go on seeing.... A cloud has come. There is a fog all around - but you remain separate.

You know well: 'I am the knower and not the known.' You know well: 'I am the witness and not the witnessed.' You know well that infinite distance exists between you and that which surrounds you. It may be touching you, but infinite distance exists - because the known can never touch the knower, the seen can never touch the seer. The seer transcends; the seer is the very transcendence.

Just a few days before, I was telling you that there are three ordinary types of man. Man number one is identified with his body. Man number two is identified with his feelings, emotions. Man number three is identified with his mind, thinking, thoughts. And all the three are asleep. Their sleep may be different. One sleeps in the body; another sleeps in the emotions; the third sleeps in his thoughts.

But the sleep is the same: the quality is of unconsciousness, stupor.

Then there is the fourth man, man number four. He becomes alert. He watches his body, but is not identified with it. He uses his body, but is never lost in it. He Remains aloof, detached, distant.

He uses his feelings; many times he is surrounded by his feelings, but he is never overpowered.

He remains separate. Thoughts are there; the mind goes on functioning and creating thoughts, but man number four remains alert. Body, mind, heart - they all function. They function even better than they function in you because there is no disturbance from the innermost being; the; innermost being remains aloof. This is man number four.

Man number four is what I mean by a sannyasin there is no need to go anywhere; wherever you are, become aware. And there and then sannyas starts functioning. It is not a question of changing places; it is a question of changing the inner attitude. You remain in the body, but you know now that you are not the body. And once number four is there, man is born.

You are born only with a potentiality to be a man; you are not born as a man. You are only born with the capacity to become a man; you may become, you may not become. You can miss the whole point. You can go round and round, and never reach and penetrate the center of your being. But if awareness arises and you become watchful, man is born.

Hindus have called this state DWIJ, the state of the twice-born. The first birth is through the parents, the mother and father. he second birth is through awareness - and that is the real birth. The first birth will culminate in death; the second birth never culminates in death. c,O the first birth is a birth in name only; in fact, it is a way to death. The day you were born was the day you have been dying ever since. One day, the whole process will be completed. So your birth was nothing but entry into death. You may take seventy or eighty years to reach, but you have been walking towards death every moment of your life.

Only when you are twice-born, DWIJ, only when the next birth has happened, and man number four is born within you, suddenly, you know there is no death.

Death exists only with identification. If you are identified with the body, you will die. The body is not you; it has to be left some day. You cannot remain in it forever and forever. It is a passing phase; it;s just a milestone, not the goal. You can rest a little while under the shade of a tree, but one has to go.

You can get identified with the emotions, but then there will be death - and you know it. The body dies once in seventy years; the emotions die every day, every moment. You love a person and then there is death. Or, you don't love, the mood has gone - and you feel a subtle death happening. You were friendly with a person; now the friendliness has disappeared - a death. Every moment you die in your emotions.

And thoughts are even faster in dying. You cannot keep a single thought for a few seconds in your mind; it will try to escape. Try it - just try to keep one single thought for a few minutes. It will not be there; it is already gone. It is trying to escape.

The mind is dying continuously every moment. The heart is dying continuously every hour. The body is also dying continuously, but a continuity remains for seventy, eighty years. These three are the identifications.

The fourth consciousness arises when you are not identified.

One thing more about this.... There are four ways to reach God. One is: to make an effort through the body to reach; that's what hatha yogis have been doing. It is not a true way. Something can be achieved through it - because finally the body also belongs to God - but it is not your totality.

Gurdjieff has called this'the way of the fakir'.

You can see many fakirs in India. You may be impressed by their attainments; they attain to certain powers. For example, you can come across a fakir who has been standing continuously, for ten, twenty years. He has never allowed his body to rest - to sit down or to sleep. He has been standing.

Even if he has to sleep, he sleeps standing. Now his body has become almost rigid, paralyzed. Now it cannot move; the flexibility is lost. But you will see certain powers in him because he has attained to the lowest kind of will; to stand for ten years continuously needs will.

Just try for ten days and you will know. Just try for ten hours and you will know. Just try for ten minutes - not moving, just standing - and you will know. A thousand and one problems arise. The mind says:'What are you doing? Drop this whole nonsense. Everybody is enjoying and what are you doing?just standing like a fool?'

Ten years, not moving, and a very low kind of will concerned with the body happens. It is very materialistic, but a will arises. The man attains to a certain crystallization. He can do a few things:

he can heal. He can touch your body and a healing power will be possible through his body to flow towards you. He can bless; he can curse. And whatsoever he says will come to pass. Because a man who has remained standing for ten year, has attained to an intensity. If he says something, those words become very potential and powerful. They are atomic; they carry energy. If he curses you, the curse is going to happen. If he blesses you, the blessing will be there.

But this man himself will remain on a very low rung of being. If you look into his eyes you will not see intelligence; he will be a stupid type of saint. Nothing of the higher, but a crystallization of the lower will be there. You can feel certain powerful vibrations around him, not of intelligence, not of awareness, not of meditation - but of concentration. He can live a long time - a hundred or two hundred years will not be very difficult for him, because his body will follow him. Whatsoever he wants to do with the body, he can do. But it is nothing of the spiritual; it is nothing of the religious. If you try through the body, you are trying the lowest possibility within you.

If a fakir is fortunate, then he may get the guidance of a Master who can pull him out of his body.

Otherwise he will die, deep in his body. And next life, everything will be lost again.

Unless something is attained in consciousness, it cannot be permanent because the body will change. Whatsoever you have attained with this body will be lost with the next. You may be a Mohammed Ali, but you cannot carry the body to the next birth; this body will be left here. You may be a beautiful man; you may be a beautiful woman, a Cleopatra - but this body has to be left here.

All that has been attained through the body and with the body will be lost.

Unless the fakir is fortunate enough to come under the guidance of a Master, he cannot be pulled out of his body.

In India, it has been one of the compassions of the Masters.... You must have heard, there are ancient stories that in India Masters used to travel all around the country On the surface, it looked as if they were great intellectuals: a Shankaracharya, a Ramanuja, a Vallabha, a Nimbark, a Buddha, a Mahavir. On the surface it looked as if they were going to convert people. That was just a superficial thing. Deep down, they were doing many things. One of the most important things was to go from town to town to look after fakirs - because those fakirs could not come to you. They were so deep- rooted in their bodies; they had lost all intelligence. They were not bad people; they were ignorant, but powerful. If their power could be released, they could suddenly jump to a higher rung of their being.

Meher Baba, in this age, did such a work. He travelled all around the country for years. just looking after fakirs. Wherever he would hear that a fakir is, he would go - to bring him out of his stupor. A fakir is a good man, a very good man - but ignorant.

Then there is the second. Gurdjieff has called it 'the way of the monk'. You can call it the way of the devotee, BHAKTI MARG. The first is hatha yoga; the second is BHAKTI MARG - the way of the monk.

The way of the monk is to get to the divine through feelings, prayers, crying, weeping - in a deep love and affection, in a deep thirst to move towards God. But this type of man gets involved in the emotions. He achieves a greater state, A higher stage than the first, the fakir - but still he is caught.

Somebody is needed to bring him out of that also.

Then there is the third way: the way of the yogi. He works through the intellect, he works through thinking. It is the way of the philosopher, the intellectual. He attains still a higher stage, but then he gets caught.

All three get caught!

Only the fourth goes beyond, and is never caught. That's why Gurdjieff has called his path 'the fourth way'. And it is significant to understand, because the Hassidic path is also the fourth way.

Hassidism, the Hassidic approach also belongs to the fourth. Body, feeling, mind - all have to be transcended. One has to become just alert - alert of all that happens within and without. The only key for the fourth way is to be mindful, to be aware, to witness, to see into things - and not to get identified.

Now listen to this story. This is a beautiful story; it belongs to the fourth way.

ONE DAY THE RABBI OF ZANS WAS STANDING AT THE WINDOW AND LOOKING OUT INTO THE STREET. SEEING A PASSERBY, HE KNOCKED ON THE WINDOW PANE AND SIGNED TO THE MAN TO COME INTO THE HOUSE.

WHEN THE STRANGER ENTERED THE ROOM, RABBI HAYYIM ASKED HIM: 'TELL ME, IF YOU FOUND A PURSE FULL OF DUCATS, WOULD YOU RETURN IT TO ITS OWNER?'

A very simple question, but not so simple. The man was, deceived by the simplicity.

'TELL ME, IF YOU FOUND A PURSE FULL OF DUCATS, WOULD YOU RETURN IT TO ITS OWNER?'

The man must have thought that the rabbi was asking a moral question; that's how he was deceived.

The rabbi was not asking a moral question.

A really religious man is never bothered about morality, because morality is nothing but a game. One has to play the rules of the game because one has to live with many people. Morality exists because you have to relate to so many people. It has nothing to do with your essence; it has something to do with your relations.

For example, if you are alone on the earth, and you find a purse full of ducats and gold and money, will it be immoral to keep it? Then the question of morality or immorality does not arise.

If you are alone on the earth, can you be a thief? It is impossible - because to steal, you need somebody else to be there. To rob, you need somebody else to be there. If you are alone on the earth, you cannot be a thief, you cannot be a robber.

If you are alone on the earth, can you lie? It is impossible. To whom will you lie? To lie, somebody else is needed.

Morality is always in relationship. And religion is something that you do with your aloneness.

So the rabbi is not asking a moral question; he is asking a very important, significant question about your inner being.

He asked: 'TELL ME, IF YOU FOUND A PURSE FULL OF DUCATS, WOULD YOU RETURN IT TO ITS OWNER?'

The formulation is moralistic; that's how the man was deceived.

He said: 'RABBI, IF I KNEW THE OWNER I SHOULD RETURN THE PURSE WITHOUT A MOMENT'S DELAY.'

That's how everybody is. If it is a theoretical question, there is no problem: you are always moral. In theory, everybody is moral. The question arises only when a thing becomes really real. Sometimes, you even become immoral in theory.

I used to know a man in my village - he was a doctor, but he had failed as a doctor. His practice was not good at all; he was always poor. His whole personality was such that nobody would think that he was a doctor. A doctor has to look like a doctor; his appearance is significant. He was a very tiny man, ill-looking.

Sometimes I would send somebody to him, but the people would think that he was not the doctor but the compounder. And they would ask: 'Mr. compounder, where is the doctor?' Of course, he would get very angry.

It was certain that it was difficult for him to succeed as a doctor, so he used to waste his time on crossword puzzles. And he was always enthusiastic that 'this time' he was going to get one lakh rupees, two lakh rupees, three lakh rupees.... Every month it happened, and when the contest was over, he would forget about it and start working on new crossword puzzles.

One day I was just joking with him. I said: 'Look. You have been working so hard. At least for one year I have been watching you - and you have not won any prize. It seems it is not in your fate. Do one thing: join my fate with you.'

He said: 'How can it be joined?'

I said: 'Do one thing. How much will you donate to me? If you get one lakh rupees, how much will you donate to me?'

He started thinking. He was a poor man. He closed his eyes and he said: 'Okay. Fifty percent.' It was hard to say fifty percent; it was too much - fifty thousand rupees.

I said: 'Okay. Agreed. Now it is certain; go ahead. Now my fate also is aligned with you. You are going to get it.'

In the night, near about twelve o'clock, he knocked at my door, and he said: 'Listen, fifty thousand is too much - I cannot sleep. It seems that this time it is going to happen, and you have hooked me. It seems you have some idea that this time it is going to happen. It is not a question of your fate being aligned with me; it seems that you have some suspicion that it is going to happen. And I am also absolutely certain that it is going to happen this time. Please, fifty thousand will be too much.'

So I said: 'Okay, you suggest how much.'

He said: 'Ten thousand will do.'

I could see that even ten thousand was too much. He was a poor man who had never had ten thousand rupees; it was too much. I said: 'Okay. That will do.'

Next morning he was back again, very depressed - feeling a little ashamed also. He said: 'Please forgive me. Excuse me. But I thought and thought and thought.... I am a poor man, you know.... Ten thousand is too much.' He has not yet got anything! This is just in his dream.

I said: 'Then what do you propose?'

He said: 'This time, let me have it completely. NEXT time, whenever I will get it again, whatsoever you say, I will give you. This time it seems so certain.'

I said: 'Okay. You have it. But don't complain to me later on because now I am no more aligned with your fate.'

Then he became afraid. By the evening he was back. He said: 'Just as a token, you can have one rupee, so that you are with me. Otherwise, I have become afraid that maybe I am not going to get it.'

The mind is so greedy; you don't know the greed. When you are-in thinking, just imagining, you become absolutely moralistic. Everybody is good. You have been angry, and then you repent. And in repentance, everybody is perfectly beautiful. And you say: 'Never again will I do this.' But you don't know what you are saying. You don't know that this is what you have been saying your whole life. Every time you have been angry, you have repented and you have said: 'Never again!' Then it happens again and again and again - and you have not been even watchful enough to see the whole absurdity of it.

If you are REALLY aware, you will drop repentance because you know the foolishness of it. You have repented many times. Nothing happens, One man was here.... He was a very angry man; he was continuously angry. He told me: 'I don't want God. I don't want any meditation. Just bring me out of my angry state. I repent, but nothing happens; and I have taken all sorts of vows, but nothing happens. What to do?'

I told him: 'Do one thing. First, renounce repentance - that from now onwards, you will never repent.

Be angry, but never repent about it.'

He asked: 'How is that going to help? - because even repentance has not been of any help. If I don't repent, I may become even more angry.'

I said: 'You leave it to me. First leave repentance.'

After a week he was back, and he said: 'It is impossible. I cannot leave repentance. Whenever I become angry, it follows like a shadow. It is automatic.'

The whole point to see is: you don't have any will. The whole point to see is: you have not been alert about yourself. You don't know who you are I All your promises are going to be false, because you don't know who is the one who is promising. How can you promise? How can you fulfill the promise?

One mood promises, and by the time fulfillment comes, that mood is no more there; some other mood is prevalent. And the other mood has not even heard about the first mood.

In the evening you decide: 'Tomorrow morning, at four o'clock, I am going to get up. And this time, I am really going to get up!' But you don't know the mood that will be there at four o'clock in the morning. This is evening; this is not four o'clock in the morning. You can easily believe that you have a will. Next morning at four o'clock, somebody within you says: 'What nonsense. This is time to get up? It is so cold and it is raining... and it is so beautiful to sleep. Have a little more sleep, you are not feeling rested.' You have completely forgotten your promise. You turn over and have a good rest. In the morning, when you are taking your tea, now you are repenting, now you are condemning yourself: 'What type of man am I? I had decided to get up at four; why did I change my mind?' Now that is a third state, a third rung, a third spoke on top. You may again decide to get up at four o'clock, because in the morning it is so easy to decide. But again the thing will change. And you have been doing this continuously for your whole life and you have not become aware yet!

The Rabbi said: 'TELL ME, IF YOU FOUND A PURSE FULL OF DUCATS WOULD YOU RETURN IT TO ITS OWNER?'

A theoretical question; nothing is at stake. You have not found the purse, and you don't know about yourself at all.

The man said: 'RABBI, IF YOU KNEW THE OWNER I SHOULD RETURN THE PURSE WITHOUT A MOMENT'S DELAY.'

As if the question is only of knowing the owner. The man said: 'If I knew the owner, I would return it immediately. But if I don't know the owner, then it may take a little time to find the owner.'

In Mulla Nasruddin's town, this is the tradition: if somebody finds something, he has to go into the market and loudly shout three times: 'I have found this thing.' If it doesn't belong to anybody - he can claim it, and it is his.

One day Mulla found a diamond. He went to the marketplace; he shouted thrice, then came back home. His wife said: 'Where have you been?'

He said: 'I have found a diamond. And the tradition says that one has to go to the marketplace.

That's why I have been there.'

His wife said: 'Is this the time to go? - in the mid of the night when everybody is fast asleep? Did you really shout three times?'

Nasruddin said:'Yes, I shouted, but very slowly. In fact, I could not hear it myself. I mumbled, because a beggar was sleeping there - and I was afraid that he may jump and claim it. But I have followed the rule; now there is no trouble. We can have this diamond.'

'RABBI,' SAID THE MAN, 'IF I KNEW THE OWNER I SHOULD RETURN THE PURSE WITHOUT A MOMENT'S DELAY.'

Just think - that's what you might have said. Nothing is at stake; there is no purse, nothing. You can be so cheaply moral. And this man is saying: 'If I knew the owner, there would be no trouble. I would go immediately and give it to him. If there was some delay, it would only be because the owner was not known - not because of me.'

Just think about it; put yourself in the place of that man Would not the same answer have been yours? Nothing is at stake. And the rabbi would feel very good and blessed that you are a moral man.

'YOU ARE A FOOL,' SAID THE RABBI.

But why call such a moralistic man a fool? Why does the rabbi say: 'YOU ARE A FOOL'?

The rabbi is saying: 'You are not aware what you are saying; you are not aware of yourself. Your whole life has passed, and you don't know anything about your own being: the greed hidden behind, the possessiveness, the ambition, the ego, the lust. You are a fool.'

Who is a fool? - he who is not aware of himself.

THEN HE RESUMED HIS POSITION AT THE WINDOW, CALLED ANOTHER PASSERBY, AND PUT THE SAME QUESTION TO HIM. 'I AM NOT SUCH A FOOL, AS TO GIVE UP A PURSE FULL OF MONEY THAT HAS COME MY WAY,' SAID THE MAN.

The second man says: 'I am not a fool.' But his definition of foolishness is totally different than the definition of the rabbi. And sometimes words deceive, because they are the same. The rabbi said to the first man: 'You are a fool because you are unaware of yourself.'

The second man says: 'I AM NOT SUCH A FOOL, AS TO GIVE UP A PURSE FULL OF MONEY THAT HAS COME MY WAY.'

Now, for this second man, foolishness has a totally different dimension and meaning. He says:

'When you come across money, if you are wise, you will escape with it immediately so that nobody comes to know about it.'

He is saying: 'I am not a fool. I am not a simpleton. And I am not deceived by all this moralistic nonsense that you must give it to the owner, that if it doesn't belong to you it is not yours, that you will suffer in hell. Or, if you give it, you will be rewarded in heaven. I am not a fool.'

The second man is an ordinary worldly man, but in a way, better than the first - because whatsoever he is, he knows it. At least he has a little glimpse of his own being, and he knows: 'I am not a fool.'

He is a cunning man, clever, calculating.

The first was a simpleton. The first was just like the second. If the real situation was there, the first would behave just as the second would behave - but the first believes that he is a moral man.

This is the difference between your so-called religious people and irreligious people. This is the only difference.

The religious man goes to the temple, to the church, to the mosque. He prays, talks about God, carries scriptures, rituals - and looks very religious. But whenever there is an actual situation, he behaves as irreligiously as anybody else - sometimes even more.

Just look - India is a good example. The whole country thinks it is religious. In fact, India thinks it is the only country which is religious. They go on bragging about it. They think that they are the religious leaders of the world and that the whole world should come and bow down to them. They think that they should guide the whole world as far as religion, God, spirituality, is concerned. But if you look into their lives you will not find more materialistic people anywhere else.

This is my observation: that people coming from the West are less materialistic than people who live in India. On the surface, they may look materialistic, they may not have any pretensions about being religious, but they are less materialistic. They cling less to things.

Indians are simply mad; they cling to money, to a house, to things. And, at the same time, they go on pretending and bragging that they are religious people: they don't believe in matter; they believe in God. They go on saying the whole world is illusion, but you cannot get a single pai out of them; it is impossible. Why has this happened?

These are the two types. The first type is the image of the Indian. The second type is the image of the westerner. The westerner knows that he is not a fool; if he gets the money, he will take it - it is simple. The Indian will say: 'No, I will not touch it.' But deep down he has already started to plan what to do if he gets the money. On the surface, one thing; deep down, another thing. That's the only difference between your so-called moral people and immoral people. The moral people are hypocrites.

'I AM NOT SUCH A FOOL, AS TO GIVE UP A PURSE FULL OF MONEY THAT HAS COME MY WAY.'

In a way, the second man is more sincere because he says the truth: 'I am not such a fool. I am not going to give that purse to anybody. If it has come my way, it is mine. And I am going to have it.' Maybe this looks immoral, but it is more sincere. And finally, sincerity helps, not morality. At least this man knows his cunningness!

The first man is absolutely unaware of his cunningness. He believes in his innocence. When you believe in your innocence and you are not innocent, you are in great danger, you are a fool. Because you are believing in something which is not there.

It is bet!ter to be a plain worldly man than to be a religious hypocrite. It is good to be sincere - even if your sincerity reveals things which are not good. Because once you know, you can transcend them.

If you don't know, they hide behind you; your enemies are just in your unconscious - and they can grab you any moment. To know the enemy is better than not to know, because then something can be done.

'YOU ARE A BAD LOT,' SAID THE RABBI, AND CALLED IN A THIRD MAN.

He said, 'You ARE A BAD LOT.' But he didn't say: 'You are a fool.' You are not good - that's true - but you are not a fool. The first man is not good, and he is a fool also, because he does not know his own inner cunningness. The rabbi called in a third man and asked the same question.

The third man replied: 'RABBI, HOW CAN I KNOW ON WHAT RUNG I SHALL BE WHEN I FIND THE PURSE...?' This man is really aware of the whole situation. He says he cannot promise.

He knows himself, he knows his own deceiver, he knows his own cunningness, he knows his evil moments, he knows the inner conflict that will arise when the purse is found. He's really aware.

'RABBI, HOW CAN I KNOW ON WHAT RUNG I SHALL BE WHEN I FIND THE PURSE...?'

'I may be in a religious mood; I may not be. Because moods happen, and I am not the master. I have no will of my own. A certain mood possesses me, and then I behave accordingly; I am a machine.

What can I promise? How can I promise? You are asking me an absurd question.'

'HOW CAN I KNOW ON WHAT RUNG I SHALL BE WHEN I FIND THE PURSE OR WHETHER I SHALL SUCCEED IN FENDING OFF THE EVIL URGE?'

'I know my evil urge also. And I don't know! - maybe the evil urge will be too much and I won't be able to succeed in fending it off. Maybe the urge won't be so great - but I cannot say what will happen; it is unpredictable. I know my past: many times similar things have happened and the evil urge was very strong and I could not be victorious; I had to give up.'

'PERHAPS IT WILL GET THE BETTER OF ME, AND I SHALL APPROPRIATE WHAT BELONGS TO ANOTHER.'

Now is not the question; it is a theoretical question. But this man makes it real.

The question is not about the purse; the question is about your own awareness. Are you aware?

What will you do? One who is aware will know well that nothing can be said.

The first was absolutely unaware. The second was aware, but identified with his cunningness. The third was aware, but not identified with his evil urge. This is to be understood.

The first is in absolute unconsciousness. The second is a little awake, but he has not used his awareness to go beyond; rather, he has used his awareness to become cunning. He is identified with his evil urge. He says: 'I am not a fool.' What is he saying? He is saying: 'I am clever and cunning, not a fool.' He is identified with cunningness. The third man is not identified with either. He says: 'I don't know. Nothing certain can be said.'

'PERHAPS IT WILL GET THE BETTER OF MC, AND I SHALL APPROPRIATE WHAT BELONGS TO ANOTHER. BUT PERHAPS GOD... - and this is the point to be understood, the very center of this storY - BUT PERHAPS GOD, BLESSED BE HE, WILL HELP ME TO FIGHT IT...'

'I know myself. Alone I cannot fight; alone I will be defeated. It is possible only through His grace. If I am left alone, there is every possibility I will be defeated by the evil urge. I know myself. I know my strength. It is nothing.'

It is good if the question is theoretical. But when the practical problem arises, he knows himself: 'I have been defeated many times when I was alone.'

'BUT PERHAPS GOD, BLESSED BE HE, WILL HELP ME TO FIGHT IT, AND IN THAT CASE I SHALL RETURN WHAT I HAVE FOUND TO ITS RIGHTFUL OWNER.'

What is he saying? He is saying: 'Only if God helps, then I will return it; otherwise, not.' What he is saying is this: 'If I return it, I have not returned it - God has returned it. If it happens at all, it will happen through Him, not through me.'

This is the quality of a religious man. Even his virtues are not his. Even with his virtues, he is not identified. Even his virtues are through Him - His grace, His gift. Because otherwise, your virtues will become your ego. And whenever a virtue becomes an ego, you have already committed the sin.

Then it is no more virtuous. It is already corrupted and poisoned.

'BUT PERHAPS GOD, BLESSED BE HE, WILL HELP ME TO FIGHT IT, AND IN THAT CASE I SHALL RETURN WHAT I HAVE FOUND TO ITS RIGHTFUL OWNER.'

'THOSE ARE GOOD WORDS,' CRIED THE ZADDIK. 'YOU ARE A TRUE SAGE.'

The fourth state of consciousness: he is not identified anywhere, not even with virtues.

Bodhidharma travelled from India to China. The emperor came to see him. He touched Bodhidharma's feet and said: 'I have made so many temples, so many Buddhist ashramas, and millions of bhikkhus, Buddhist sannyasins, are fed by me, supported by me. I have changed the whole country into a Buddhist world. All these virtues - what do you think, sir? Am I going to gain through them? What will be the benefit? What will be the award?'

Bodhidharma looked at this Emperor Wu and said: 'You will fall into the seventh hell.'

The emperor could not believe it because all other monks, so-called saints, were all saying: 'You are earning such virtue, PUNYA, that you are going to be received into the ultimate nirvana.' And this man says: 'seventh hell.' Emperor Wu said: 'Have you gone mad? What are you saying? Are you aware?'

Bodhidharma said: 'I am aware what I am saying. And you can rely on me - you will go to the seventh hell.'

'But why?' the emperor cried. 'I have not done anything wrong.'

Bodhidharma said: 'It is not a question of doing wrong or right. The question is of the very ego, that you have done something. Thank God, thank the Buddha; blessed be His name. It is through His grace something has happened. Don't be the doer; please don't come in - because the ego has to go to hell, and if you are egoistic, you will have to follow it. You are not going to hell, but the ego has to go to hell. And if you are identified with it, you will have to go. Nothing can be done about it. No virtue can save it.'

'THOSE ARE GOOD WORDS,' CRIED THE ZADDIK. 'YOU ARE A TRUE SAGE.'

And who is the untrue sage? - he who thinks that he has been doing so many virtuous acts, so many austerities, fasting, chanting; who thinks that he has been living a religious life, and thanks himself: 'It is me.' He is the untrue sage.

The true sage always feels that whatsoever happens, happens through His grace. He does not come in anywhere. The true sage is based in awareness, rooted in awareness. And this is what awareness should bring to you: that you will not promise.

Who can promise? You will not say with certainty: 'I am going to do this or that.' You will say:

'Nothing can be said. I know myself, how fragile my will is, how weak my crystallization is. I am a crowd; I have many "I's".' One 'I' may promise, but by the time the actual moment comes to fulfill it, another 'I' may be dominant. Then you become a liar.

I have seen lovers promising each other that they will love each other forever and forever. And not knowing anything about the next moment Not knowing anything - what do they mean by 'forever and forever'? If they are a little alert, they will say: 'It feels in this moment, it is a truth of this moment, in this mood, that I will love you forever and forever. But nobody knows about the next moment.' That's why lovers always prove to be deceivers to each other. In the end they think that they have been cheated. They have both promised things which they cannot deliver.

A man asked Buddha: 'Sir, give me some guidance. I would like to serve humanity.' Buddha looked deeply within him; the man must have felt very uneasy because Buddha went on looking and looking.

The man started perspiring, and he said: 'Sir, what are you doing? If you can give me some hints, please give them. Otherwise, why are you staring in my eyes?'

Buddha said: 'I was looking whether you ARE or not. And you ARE NOT. Who will serve humanity?!

You don't exist at all! You are a momentary bubble. You only have a momentary existence - king for the moment, enthroned for the moment. Next moment you will be gone and somebody else will be the king. Who will serve humanity? It will be good if you first try to find out where you are, who you are. First be! And then there is no need to ask me. Because whenever one IS, compassion flows; if you ARE, compassion follows. To BE is the only thing that has to be done! How can you BE if you go on being deceived by your own egos, desires, moods, thoughts, feelings?'

The zaddik is right. He says: 'You are a true sage because you have simply stated the truth. You are not trying in any way to deceive me or yourself. You simply stated: "I cannot believe in myself. I have believed in the past and the belief proved wrong. I know my lust; the evil urge can be very strong and I may not be able to fend for myself. The only hope is, if God, blessed be His name, helps me. I am corruptible; only if the source which is incorruptible helps me.... I am cunning; only if the source which is innocent, virgin, helps me, showers on me - then only is there hope.'

It happened: One of the greatest women who ever lived - Saint Theresa - was going to build a church. And she was a poor woman. The whole town gathered, and she talked ecstatically: 'A great church has to be built here on this spot.'

The people said: 'Good. Your dreams are good, but from where is the money to come?'

Saint Theresa pulled two small coins from her bag, and said: 'Don't be afraid. Money I have got.'

There were just two small coins!

So the people laughed and said: 'We always knew that you are a little too innocent. These two small coins - you cannot purchase even a brick! - and you are thinking to make a great church?'

Theresa laughed and said: 'Yes, my hands are small, my coins are small. But you don't see: God is with me. Two small coins plus God - everything is possible.'

And on that spot stands a great church - one of the most beautiful. Two small coins plus God.

God means infinity. God means all.

'Blessed be His name,' said the man. 'I cannot promise anything on my own, but if He wills, then everything is possible. 1 may be very small and the evil urge may be very great, but if He helps, then there is no problem. My small strength is nothing. In fact - plus all - that will do.'

Said the zaddik: 'YOU ARE A TRUE SAGE.'

So, the true sage has to begin from the fourth state of mind: that is consciousness. Then the door opens. Once you attain to the fourth, God is available to you and you are available to God. Then the door opens. Up to the third, the door is closed. And you can do only one thing to become aware.

Up to the third, you cannot do anything. beyond the fourth, you need not do anything. This has to be remembered.

Up to the third, you are unconscious and you cannot do anything; your life is mechanical. Beyond the fourth, you need not do anything; God is available, He starts doing. Then you ride on His Tide.

He takes you.

So the only thing that can be done and that should be done is to become more and more aware and alert and conscious.

Walk, but make walking a meditation; walk knowingly Breathe, but let your breathing become a constant meditation; breathe knowingly. The breath going in: watch it. The breath going out: watch it. Eat, but eat with full awareness. Take a bite, chew it, but go on watching. Let the watcher be there in every moment, whatsoever you are doing.

Going to sleep? - lie down on the bed and watch. Falling into sleep - go on watching, go on watching. Many times in the beginning you will be lost and the watching will disappear and sleep will take possession of you. One day by and by you will see sleep taking possession, but your awareness is still there. And when you can see your sleep, you have seen the whole situation of humanity. Then by and by sleep takes possession, but you are still alert. Deep down somewhere, a flame goes on burning. The night may be dark all around, but the flame goes on burning. The whole night you sleep, and still you are not asleep. That's the meaning of Krishna's saying to Arjuna in the Geeta: YA NISHA SARVABHUTAYAM TASYAM JAGRITI SAMYAMi - that which is a night to all, even there, the yogi, the SAMYAMI, one who has become a master of oneself, remains alert, awake.

The body sleeps, the heart sleeps, the mind sleeps - but you remain alert because you are nothing else but alertness. Everything else is a false identification. Awareness is your nature. The body is your abode. The mind is your computer. Awareness;s you, is your very being.

SATCHITANAND has been our definition of the ultimate truth. We have used three words: SAT, CHIT, ANAND. SAT means true, truth, being. CHIT means consciousness - aware, alert. ANAND means bliss. Be - and the only way to be;s to be aware. And once you are aware, bliss follows.

SATCHITANAND IS your innermost core of being. And it is nothing to be attained; it is already there.

It has only to be discovered, uncovered. It is your hidden treasure.

The zaddik is right because the man is alert. The first ray of alertness has penetrated his being. He has become the true sage.

I would like you to become sages; I would not like you to become saints. Saints are virtuous people, good people. They belong to the first category: those who have been trying to be good, moral, virtuous, righteous, pious. I would not like you to be saints; I would like you to be sages.

To be a sage has nothing to do with morality, virtue. I'm not saying that a sage is not virtuous; I'm saying he is not concerned with it. It follows as a consequence; he has not been practicing it. A practiced virtue is not a virtue at all; a practiced virtue is just on the outside, painted. You may have practiced it so hard. that it has created a crust around you, but deep down you remain the same.

The saint is against the sinner; the sinner is against the saint. The first man can become a saint, the second man can become a sinner, the third man can become a sage.

A sinner is one who is identified with his bad qualities, with his evil urge. A saint is one who is identified with his good urge; he is virtuous, pious. And a sage is one who is not identified. The sinner thinks himself to be the devil incarnate. He thinks in terms of sinning more and more; he thinks that this is his cleverness. The saint thinks that his cleverness is to practice virtue, to become innocent - not to do anything that is bad. Then he gets more and more identified with good.

A sage is not identified at all. A sage is a state of non-identification - neither this nor that, NETI NETI. He says: 'I am neither this bank nor that; rather, I am the river. I am neither the saint nor the sinner, neither good nor bad.'

Sinners live in a sort of hell, and saints imagine themselves in a sort of heaven. And the sage? - for him it is moksha, for him it is the absolute freedom. He is freed from all duality. The secret key, and the only key, is awareness.

For awareness you need not go to the Himalayas; you need not go anywhere. Your life gives you enough opportunities to be aware. Somebody insults you - listen to it in full awareness. And you will be surprised - the insult is no more an insult. You may even smile. It does not hurt; it hurts only when received in unawareness. Somebody praises and appreciates you - listen with alertness.

And then nobody can persuade you to do foolish things. Nobody can bribe you; flattery becomes impossible. You will smile at the whole nonsense.

Listen. Watch. Be aware. And by and by a different quality of being arises in you which is neither the body nor the feelings nor the thoughts. A different pillar of flame starts gathering within you and becomes more and more crystallized. As this awareness becomes crystallized, for the first time you will feel more and more that you are - the feeling of being. And then moods will become more and more irrelevant. They will come and go, but you will remain unperturbed. The climate will change around you, but you will remain unchanged. Whatsoever happens on the outside will not in any way change you within. The within remains absolutely pure and uncorrupted.

I will tell you one story.

One German thinker, Herrigel, was in Japan. He was sitting with his friends and he had invited his Master for dinner. Suddenly there was an earthquake. They were sitting on the seventh storey of the building. The whole building started shaking and everybody started running down the stairs. There was chaos.

Herrigel himself ran towards the door; it was automatic. Nobody thinks about what to do in such situations; everybody behaves like a robot. That is the meaning: man is a machine.

But suddenly, he remembered at the door.. because there was such a crowd and he couldn't find the way... so he remembered for a single moment: 'What happened to the Master whom I have called?'

He looked back. The Master was sitting in his chair in the same way, but now he had closed his eyes. Not a ripple of fear on his face, not a ripple of disturbance - as if nothing had happened. The presence of the Master was so magnetic... the uncorrupted presence, the aroma that surrounded him, the climate that he had created around, the space in which he lived that moment... that Herrigel said: 'I was magnetized. I don't know what happened. I simply came back and sat by the side of the Master. By his side I felt absolutely secure as if nothing could happen.'

The earthquake came and went. The Master opened his eyes and started to talk from the same place where he had had to stop because of the earthquake.

Herrigel said: 'I have completely forgotten what you were saying before. It seems centuries have passed... and I am completely disoriented. Please. Now I am not in a situation to understand what you are saying. Let us continue sometime later; let me get settled. But one thing I would like to ask:

when we were all running away, why didn't you move?'

The Master said: 'I also moved, but I moved in a different direction: withinwards. You were running without; I was also running, but within. Because I know - without, there is no shelter. The earthquake was all around - where were you running? Just running cannot help. I entered into my being. And THERE, no earthquake has ever penetrated. I moved to a space within myself where no disturbance ever penetrates, where silence is absolute, stillness ultimate. I also ran. I also sought a shelter. But in the right direction.'

If you are trying to be aware, you are moving in the right direction. Sooner or later you will become the true sage.

Don't try to practice virtue. Practice only one thing: awareness. Virtue follows it, just as a shadow follows you. Virtue is a consequence. Once you enter into your own being and become rooted there, centered there, all happens - because all the doors are open. God is open to you and you are open to God.

Let me repeat again: up to the third stage, you cannot do anything because you are not. Beyond the fourth, you need not do because God's grace has become available. You do only the fourth.

Please be aware - and you will be entering into the temple. Let me repeat the whole story again.

ONE DAY THE RABBI OF ZANS WAS SITTING AT THE WINDOW AND LOOKING OUT INTO THE STREET. SEEING A PASSERBY, HE KNOCKED ON THE WINDOW PANE AND SIGNED TO THE MAN TO COME INTO THE HOUSE.

WHEN THE STRANGER ENTERED THE ROOM, RABBI HAYYIM ASKED HIM: 'TELL ME, IF YOU FOUND A PURSE FULL OF DUCATS, WOULD YOU RETURN IT TO ITS OWNER?' 'RABBI,' SAID THE MAN, 'IF I KNEW THE OWNER I SHOULD RETURN THE PURSE WITHOUT A MOMENT'S DELAY.' 'YOU ARE A FOOL,' SAID THE RABBI OF ZANS.

THEN HE RESUMED HIS POSITION AT THE WINDOW, CALLED ANOTHER PASSERBY, AND PUT THE SAME QUESTION TO HIM. 'I AM NOT SUCH A FOOL AS TO GIVE UP A PURSE FULL OF MONEY THAT HAS COME MY WAY,' SAID THE MAN. 'YOU ARE A BAD LOT,' SAID THE RABBI OF ZANS, AND CALLED IN A THIRD MAN.

HE REPLIED: 'RABBI, HOW CAN I KNOW ON WHAT RUNG I SHALL BE WHEN I FIND THE PURSE, OR WHETHER I SHALL SUCCEED IN FENDING OFF THE EVIL URGE? PERHAPS IT WILL GET THE BETTER OF ME, AND I SHALL APPROPRIATE WHAT BELONGS TO ANOTHER.

BUT PERHAPS GOD, BLESSED BE HE, WILL HELP ME TO FIGHT IT, AND IN THAT CASE I SHALL RETURN WHAT I HAVE FOUND TO ITS RIGHTFUL OWNER.' 'THOSE ARE GOOD WORDS,' CRIED THE ZADDIK. 'YOU ARE A TRUE SAGE.'

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