Lao-tse is the most useful in the present state of the world
QUESTION: WHAT IS THE FORE-SIGHT AND WHAT ARE THE HOPES THAT HAVE INSTIGATED YOU TO RESURRECT THE 2,500 YEAR OLD RELIGIOUS TEACHINGS OF LAO TZU?
Bhagwan Sri: Whatever Lao Tzu has said is 2,500 years old. But in a way, it is as fresh as the morning dew. It is new because it has never been put into practice. It is new because the spirit of man has not taken a single step in its direction. The road is absolutely untouched, virgin. It is old because of the fact that Lao Tzu gave news of this path, 2,500 years ago. It is new because his news was not heeded up to now. Today as never before, it has become an urgent necessity to take heed of his message.
Man has made use of the masculine-mind and seen the results. Our history of the last 2,000 years, is the history of the experiment of the masculine mind. In 2,500 years, we have made use of logic, struggle, violence, aggression and conquering ambitions. Man became more and more miserable day by day. Whatever we desired to attain, we did not attain. Whatever we had, we lost. This was the result of this experiment. We were unsuccessful.
When Lao Tzu spoke, the masculine-consciousness had not attained such a failure. Therefore Lao Tzu was not heeded. It would be better to say that Lao Tzu was born 2,500 years be-fore his time.
This was his mistake. He should have been born today. Today he would have been heeded. It was as if the illness was not born and the healer came first. Then if he talks of the medicine, no one bothers to hear him, for the illness was not there, the cure of which he was suggesting.
Now the illness has been born within these 2,500 years, and its cure is Lao Tzu alone. The experiment With the masculine-mind has failed. It has led us virtually to the door of total war. There seems to be no way ahead. Either the human race will come to an end or man will have to walk on a different path. Therefore it is useful to rediscover Lao Tzu. Lao Tzu can be elected to lead the world today - he has to be. If man wants to save himself, the qualities of the Female-Consciousness will have to be established or else there is no hope of survival of the human race.
Man has failed to create a world on the basis of the masculine consciousness; but deeper than the male, is the element of female. We could not create life by neglecting this female element. We have turned the world into a big madhouse. We could not make the world into one family. If the woman is not the centre, a house becomes a lunatic asylum. A woman at the centre is useful to absorb a thousand types of tensions. If woman is at the centre of our culture, she would be capable of dissolving a thousand kinds of tension. We shall have to make the Female-Consciousness the foundation of our culture. The time has now come when we shall have to make a decision within the next thirty to forty years. Therefore I thought it proper to speak on Lao Tzu.
Verily, Lao Tzu appears contrary today. Man is very complex and Lao Tzu talks of simplicity. Man is very arrogant and egoistic and Lao Tzu talks of humility. Man is eager to scale all heights, reach the moon and the stars and Lao Tzu talks of the rule of descending into valleys and abysses. Man wants to be first and Lao Tzu says there is no way of attaining the bliss of existence except by being the very last! So it would seem that in such a contrary Age, who is going to listen to Lao Tzu?
But let me tell you, when you reach one extreme, we are ready to change to the other. We have reached the end of complexity, now there is nothing beyond this, and now the opposite can come within our understanding. If a man has toiled all day and is exhausted, then only can he understand the meaning of sleep. Sleep is the opposite of labour but if a person is not tired then what happens?
And this is what happens usually. Those who have the wherewithal do not need to toil in the day.
then they complain they cannot sleep at night. They however think they are entitled to more rest but they are wrong for relaxation comes only to him who has toiled sufficiently.
Heavy labour alone becomes the means to deep relaxation and this in turn recreates the energy to engage in work again.
Existence is like the stream that flows between the banks of the two opposites.
We have lived long enough on the bank of the masculine-consciousness. The time has now come for us to cross over to the opposite bank of female consciousness. By doing so, we can strike a balance and create the right conditions. The time is ripe for change. Therefore I do not think on the lines, that we being intricately complex, how will we understand Lao Tzu? Rather, I feel we have reached the peak of complexity. So much, so that anything beyond this point will be beyond our understanding. Now we have reached a stage where we can only understand the language of relaxation. Man actually has reached the point where the male consciousness has manifested itself in its fullness. It has reached its maximum from where there is nothing further ahead. It has reached the point of saturation. When the tension is complete the point of relaxation is reached. If a man keeps running and running and running, he finally falls and stops. Have you ever thought what is the final destination of a race? It is nothing else than a fall. It ends in the opposite.
Lao Tzu can now be worked upon. In his own time the world could not understand him for the people of these times, were not so intricately complex for Lao Tzu to be their Physician. People were not so distressed and confounded as to understand him. People had not as yet been initiated into the world of competition. No one was hankering for the front position so as to understand the sutra of being the last. Now however, we stand in the front. In Lao Tzu's time people did not have such abundance of wealth so as to understand the joy of being penniless. Now so much of wealth has collected in the world that poverty can now seem a freedom.
One incident in the life of Confucius comes to my mind. He was passing through a village when he saw a man and his son, harnessed to the water-wheel, drawing water from the well. Confucius was shocked. He went up to the old man and said, "Do you not know that now people use horses or bullocks to draw water from the well? In the capital there are also machines that do this work." The old man said, "Please speak softly lest my son hears you. Come after some time." Confucius was more perplexed now but be returned after some time, for he was curious to know. The old man was lying under a tree. "I am well aware of the fact that horses and bullocks are used now a days to draw water from the well," he told Confucius. "I also know I can save my son's time and energy by using a horse but what shall I do with the unused energy of my son? I have no other use for it. Please let your horses and machines remain in your towns. Do not bring them here."
But this news of machines could not be stopped from spreading. By and by it spread all over the country and man was replaced by machines. The old man was a follower of Lao Tzu. But it was Confucius who won this time. Now, however, it is Lao Tzu's turn to win, for wherever the machines have taken over completely, this question arises afresh. What is Man to do with the time on his hands? What is he to do with the unused energy? That time and energy that is not made use of constructively, is bound to be misused for energy has got to be made of. As Paul Sartre says:
"You can choose but you cannot choose not choosing." Energy will have to be used constructively or destructively.
For 2,500 years, Lao Tzu's statement lay buried like seeds, waiting for the right moment to sprout.
The right moment is now at hand. Now we understand what he means when he says - that constructive methods for utilisation of man's energies, should first be evolved before introducing mechanisation. His atman should attain such heights and become so vast that he can be trusted with an atom bomb. Otherwise, the atom bomb in the hands of a small man, is bound to be dangerous.
Power is dangerous in the hands of ignorant people. It is better if an ignorant person remains powerless for then he can cause no harm by misusing his strength.
Lao Tzu can now be understood for now we have tread the whole long way and seen for ourselves that Lao Tzu was right when he said that this way ultimately ends only in sickness and sorrow.
Therefore, I have selected to speak on Lao Tzu's 2,500 year old teachings, which are absolutely virgin, so to say, for they have never been worked upon. This I do with the hope that perhaps man will now be willing to hear him. I say 'perhaps', because I know that many a time we are ready to die rather than change ourselves. Death seems easier than a change. Therefore I say perhaps man may be willing to try out Lao Tzu. I am not absolutely sure; for we may readily accept death as that can be taken as martyrdom, whereas bringing about a change within ourselves, is a blow to the ego.
We hardly take a step forward, when the fear of what others might say grips us.
Mulla Nasruddin set out one night from his house. He was drunk - dead drunk. The night was dark, the road was deserted. There was no one to bear witness to his drunkenness except an electric pole. He looked at it and said to himself "I must take care not to knock against this pole." But that is exactly what happened. When a man tries to save himself from something, he lands himself straight into it, for his whole attention is directed towards the very thing he tries to avoid. He kept looking at the pole in order not to miss it and his legs invariably moved in the same direction as his eyes. He dashed against the pole and fell. He got up and took a few steps backwards, his eyes still fixed on the pole. It is quite possible, he was not very attentive for it in simple logic to concentrate fully on the object that is to be avoided. Now his whole attention was focused on the pole. The road vanished completely from his sight. He went straight towards it and dashed again.
He got up once more, his head reeling with pain. He was at a loss - tears came to his eyes. But he did not give up. He tried once again. Now the road was broad, he could have crossed it from another side but he did not. He again went in the same direction. This time his head knocked against the pole, so that he suddenly saw a number of poles whirling before his eyes. He was terrified. Now he invoked Allah and made a last bid to cross the road but alas, once again he dashed into the pole!
When he fell for the fourth time he called out, "Oh God, there is no way to get out of this place! It looks as if I am surrounded on all sides by electric-poles! Wherever I go, there is an electric-pole!"
Actually, he was going nowhere. He was going in one direction and to the same place again and again. There was only one pole and even a blind man could have passed without knocking against it but this man with two eyes, who was however not in his senses, could not make it.
We all are people with eyes - but unconscious! Lao Tzu calls our worst narcosis - the ego. Lao Tzu says, "Ego is our stupor for it prevents us from being realistic towards this world." It implants its own projections over everything and prevents us from seeing the world as it is. We all see the world as our ego shows us, we all think what our ego forces us to think and we never try to know facts as they are. Only he is capable of knowing Reality, whose projector of the ego is completely gone.
ONE FRIEND HAS ASKED, "EGO IS ALSO CREATED BY NATURE THEN WHY SHOULD IT BE REMOVED?"
Lao Tzu does not tell us to remove the ego, nor does he deny the fact that it is given to us by nature.
All illnesses also, are born out of nature. Whatever is in creation, is born out of nature. Lao Tzu only says this: that if you cling to the malady that is ego, you will suffer. If you want to suffer then go ahead and cling to it!
But man is strange! He clings to the ego and craves for bliss! Then, Lao Tzu says, you are doing wrong. If a man wants to die, he can take poison. Poison also is created by nature; but if the man is willing to take poison because it is nature's creation and is yet unwilling to die, then it is difficult. Lao Tzu says that if you want to die, take the poison and die. If you do not want to die, then do not take the poison. The happening of death is natural, the taking of poison is also natural but the decision is in your hands - to die or not to die.
Ego is a natural phenomenon. If a man wants to undergo the suffering, the hell thereof, he is free to do so. If he does not want to, he may not. It is in the hands of a man whether to allow or not to allow the seed of the ego to become a tree. Lao Tzu does not talk of removing the ego. He says if you do not want to suffer, you will have to stand apart from the ego. If you wish to undergo suffering, you may increase your ego. We however, are contradictory. We desire that which is never attained through the ego and at the same time we do not want to lose the ego. In this uncertainty and suspense our lives are filled with misery.
ANOTHER FRIEND HAS ASKED THAT: SAINTS HAVE ALWAYS TALKED ABOUT TRANSCENDENCE, OF GOING UPWARDS, WHEREAS LAO TZU TALKS OF GOING DOWNWARDS - WHY?
Lao Tzu talks of going downwards for no one can go upwards without having gone downwards.
Those who have talked of going upwards have talked of the goal and not of the means. When Lao Tzu talks of going downwards, he talks of the method, the means. If you want to go upwards, you will have to go downwards. This seems contradictory. Nietzsche has said that the tree that wishes to go high up in the skies, must send its roots deeper down in the soil below. If the tree wished to grow higher without going deeper into the soil, that cannot be; for without going further down, there is no way to go up.
Says Lao Tzu, "if you wish to go up you shall have to make arrangements to go down." Forget all about going up, leave it to nature. You let your roots go deep within the soil and nature will make your flowers bloom high up in the sky. You have not to worry about it at all, for the slightest worry weakens the roots. Concentrate all your efforts on the roots and the flowers will bloom of themselves. Where there ae roots there are bound to be flowers. The stronger the roots the bigger and more fragrant are the flowers.
Lao Tzu says, "Find the lowest place, as the water finds; and your peaks will come to you by themselves." Become the lake and you will find yourself transformed into Mt. Gourishankar. You give up all endeavour to become Gourishankar for the rule according to Lao Tzu is: He who wishes to go up, is sent down, but he who is willing to go down finds no competitors to wrestle for his heights.
Please understand his formula.
The trouble is, that some rules are contrary and they evade our understanding for we believe in straight logic. That is the male mind. We do not know that life does not believe in straight logic. It believes in the inverse logic. We believe in straight logic - just as a man who walks on a highway - straight road!
In life however, there are no highways. Life's ways are like the mountain paths. All its paths are covered with mist and cloud One moment I feel, if I go straight on one path, I shall reach the moon that I see right in front of me but very soon I find I have lost my way, the moon is now behind me!
Life's ways are circular, never straight. Nothing is straight but we believe in a straight way.
For example: now if someone tells you, he goes for a walk each morning and it gives him joy so you also set out the next morning in search of this joy. Then you will only come back tired and vexed.
The reason is, your mind will always be on the look-out for that joy, that pleasure and it will never be in the act of walking, which then becomes a laboured task. You are out to seek joy and as soon as it is achieved you have done with walking and you will want to go back home. You have been constrained to walk. If the joy was available sitting at home, you would never have walked. You walked just because someone said it was blissful to walk, You will come back and say that man was a liar. There is no pleasure in walking for you walked four miles and there was no sign of joy anywhere! But he who said this did not say wrong.
Walking is a pleasure but only for him whose mind is on walking and not on pleasure. When all the attention is on walking the joy thereof is a by-product. When a person is so lost in walking that the walker fades and only the act of walking remains then the flower of bliss blooms.
Life is misty. If you feel that you will achieve happiness by loving someone, you will never be happy.
Although there is joy in loving but this joy is for him only who drowns himself in love and does not worry about the bliss. He who desires bliss from love, does love but his attention is all on the bliss thereof. Then he finds himself holding the beloved's hand but does not find bliss in it. He will never find it also. And yet those who say there is bliss in love are absolutely correct. Actually love and bliss are not correlated. There is no causal link between them. It is not as if you heat water and it turns to vapour.
The deeper you go into existence, the lesser the causality becomes; and the more spontaneous and natural are the results attained. All that is deep and profound in life is the outcome of natural and spontaneous results.
You go to hear music. You sit upright, with full concentration determined to enjoy the music to the fullest - you never will. You will only tire yourself. Relax, close your eyes, forget all about enjoyment, just drown yourself in the music. If you thus get enrapt in the melody, you will be filled with bliss. The flower of bliss does not blossom in tension but in complete relaxation, those who become concerned about the attainment, can never relax.
Therefore Lao Tzu says: "You do not worry about the top, you become like water. Come down to the lowest abyss." The heights are invariably attained and so he does not talk about them at all. That is the natural outcome and does not need to be discussed. Yet, we are contrary people. We will listen to Lao Tzu only because he assures us of reaching up if we go down. So we set out confident that this is pure mathematics. We first make quite sure that if we go down, we shall rise up but then we go down but never rise up for that is not in the hands of anyone. It does not rest in the hands of the sadhaka. There is no guarantee and where a person starts with this guarantee, the happening never takes place. It is necessary to understand this inverse logic of life.
People come to me and say: "I desire peace." I tell them, "Forget all about peace and begin to meditate." But then they ask, "If I meditate, will I get peace?" I tell them again to concentrate on meditation and forget about peace but they keep on asking. Then I tell them, "You have tried all these years to attain peace. You have been after peace for so long and yet it has eluded you. Now you forget about peace and just meditate." But again they ask, "By forgetting all about tranquility, will it be attained?" So the matter ends where it was.
It is said that when Mulla Nasruddin was 100 years old he suddenly became so very contented, so very blissful that people were astonished; for it was difficult to come across a man more discontented than the Mulla. He used to complain about almost everything. They all gathered round him and asked, "Mulla, this is a miracle! You of all people have become so serene! We could never have imagined. What is the secret?"
Nasruddin replied, "Ninety-nine years I spent striving for peace. This year I have decided to live with my restlessness. I have decided to give up all thought of tranquility. I tried for ninety-nine years and I failed. Now I have abandoned the idea and I find I have become peaceful!"
He who is prepared to live with non-tranquility, finds nothing wanting in his tranquility. He who is willing to suffer, who can snatch the happiness of such a one? And he who volunteers to descend to the lowermost abyss, no one has the power to snatch the heights he reaches. He who is prepared to be nothing finds himself to be everything, and he who is ready to annihilate himself, finds that all the wealth of the divine is his. Lao Tzu talks of this sutra. That does not mean he tells you to go downwards. He says there is only one way to ascend and that is you be ready and willing to be the last.
ONE FRIEND SAYS, "LAO TZU HAS TALKED OF THE PROFUNDITY OF THE FEMALE- CONSCIOUSNESS BUT NO TIRTHANKAR, OR AVATAR OR PAIGAMBARA (PROPHET) OR A JESUS OR A BUDDHA OR A MAHAVIRA OR A KRISHNA IS BORN OUT OF A FEMALE- CONSCIOUSNESS. IF THE FEMALE-CONSCIOUSNESS IS SO SUPERLATIVE, ALL RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD SHOULD HAVE BEEN THEREOF. ALL RELIGIONS HAVE HOWEVER ORIGINATED FROM MAN. WHY?"
This definitely requires to be understood.
There is a reason to this. Everything that is born in this world, is a result of the male and female relationship. In the birth of a child, the role of the male is accidental. His contribution is momentary, but he is the initiator. The birth of the child begins through him.
All things in this world are born this way. You will be surprised to know that even though Mahavira, Jesus and Buddha give rise to a religion, it was because of the women it was absorbed by the people. It is the women who first absorb it, develop it and spread it. This could never have occurred to you. Go to a temple, a mosque, a church, whom do you find there? Man is missing. If he is there it is only out of fear of his wife. All churches and temples run on women. Man gives rise to a religion but it is women who look after it, protect it and help it to develop.
Psychologists say, "No religion can last on earth if women are not initiated into it." No religion can survive, if it finds no womb to nurture it.
Do you know that for every man initiated by Mahavira. he initiated four women? There were 13,000 Bhikshus and Sannyasins whereas there were 40,000 Sannyasinis. Jesus was crucified by men but the one who brought him down from the cross was a woman - and she was a prostitute! When all his male disciples ran away, there were three women who stood by his dead body. He breathed his last before these three women. All his male-disciples forsook him, but these women never left his side. They also faced the danger of death but they stood by him till the very last. The birth is given by man - what is biological is also psychological - but all religions are nurtured in the womb of women. If you understand this, you shall not complain.
Even today if religion exists on this earth, it is entirely due to women and not because of men. It is the women who keep religion alive.
The initiation of all creation, is the male, but he cannot provide a womb. And by merely initiating, no life is born; it is only when a life finds the protection of the womb, that it is born. The hormones, the blood and all the rest comes from the woman's body. This does not occur to us. Protection, development, security are all part of the Female-Consciousness. The initiation, the commencement, is part of male-consciousness but man is bored soon after and he starts on something else. If Mahavira is reborn, one thing is certain: he will never talk of the Jain religion again. He will give birth to some other religion. Man is always eager to give birth to something new. Woman is always eager to conserve and protect the old. In a way, nature balances and stabilizes creation through these two.
It is not enough just to give birth to something. It also needs to be protected, to be nurtured in order to grow or else there will be no sense in giving birth to anything.
Therefore, if a man has really a masculine-mind, he is always Progressive. If a woman has the correct Female-Mind, she is traditional.
To be traditional means only this - to take care of that which is born and progressiveness means to give birth to that which is yet unborn. Now what is the use of giving birth if there is no one to love and care afterwards? Then there can only be abortion. Left to man, there would be no births for as soon as the process of birth starts, he loses all interest and seeks fresh interests. The actual beginning of life is taken care of by the woman. The male-mind and the female-mind are the two wheels of a cart. Therefore woman gave birth to no religion but they are the ones who have absorbed and spread them.
One friend asks: "Do all wise men develop the Female-Consciousness?"
Definitely. This does not mean they become effeminateT
OUR FRIEND HAS FURTHER ASKED, "THEN HOW IS IT THAT MOHAMMED EVEN AFTER ATTAINING REALISATION WENT OUT WITH SWORD IN HAND?"
Verily he went. But do you know what was engraved on his sword? "This sword shall never rise except in the cause of peace." Do you know the meaning of the word Islam? It means peace. If Mohammed had to raise the sword, it was not because of himself but because of the conditions around him. Even when his sword is lifted against someone, it is not out of wrath or aggression or violence but out of sheer compassion.
Mohammed has been understood very little. He is one of those few men who have been badly treated in this world. His sword has a lot to do with this misconduct of the world. But I say the sword in Mohammed's hand did the same work as a knife in the hands of a surgeon.
It is also very necessary at times that such a person has to lift the sword but this is beyond our imagination; and there is no need also to indulge in this imagination for the heart of Mohammed was tender than the tenderest of hearts. The conditions around this tender heart were such, that if this heart has to do something, it needs must take up the sword.
This however had a bad effect, not because of Mohammed but because of those who followed him.
Their pleasure and interest was only in wielding the sword. They created turmoil and confusion and earned a bad name for Mohammed. They even distorted and maimed Islam. Mohammed wields the sword for it was necessary.
Krishna offers his help in battle and instigates a battle for it was necessary. Actually we have to understand the matter of choice in this world. We break everything into two - black and white.
There is nothing black or white in actuality. Everything is grey and there are degrees of this colour - some things are a bit more dark, a bit less dark and something a bit more light or a bit less light.
Whenever we pass judgment that this is right or this is wrong, we forget that we are not talking with regard to life. Mohammed picks up the sword because if he does not, it would have been worse.
Understand this well. It was the lesser evil that Mohammed should take up the sword for swords were bound to clash and if he did not set out to fight out his cause on the battle-front, the greater evil would have its day. The conditions around him, constrained Mohammed to fight.
Krishna exhorts Arjuna to fight not that Krishna was eager for battle. No one could be of a greater female-consciousness than Krishna. This is why his pictures are so effeminate. No one, neither Buddha nor Jesus nor Mahavira has been depicted in this manner. His clothes, his ornaments, his hair, his dancing and singing and this man with such an effeminate mind, exhorts Arjuna, the great warrior, to fight! Arjuna was about to run away from the battle-field. Then where was the need for Krishna to urge him to fight?
Krishna could see clearly that the evil that was to be, was bound to be and it would be enacted by very many evil hands. Arjuna was the best of the lot so it was better that this evil was finished off by his hands. The war was bound to be for many of them were thirsty for each other's blood.
Sometimes I wonder whether Gita would ever have come into being if Krishna had been on Bhima's chariot! Bhima would have been so eager to battle that he would have urged him to drive faster into the enemy lines. It is also quite possible that Krishna might have denounced the battle. Arjuna is the one who understands his duty. He has proved his goodness by offering to step out of battle. Krishna was certain that a sword in the hand of such a one could never do evil. In fact, the truth is, that a sword can only be trusted in the hands of a good man. Generally however, it is the evil man who has the sword. The good man throws down the sword and the bad man picks it up. Thus inadvertently, the good man becomes the cause of all the evil in the world.
When we have to choose, then the option is not between something good and something bad. It is rather between less bad and more bad. All choice in life is thus. The choice is not between nectar and poison, it is between less poison and more poison. We have to choose the lesser poison; that is the choice of nectar. Mohammed and Krishna choose the lesser evil. Their situations are different.
Just think: If Krishna had died before Mahabharata it could never have occurred in our wildest imagination that he would instigate a war! If Buddha had lived another twenty years and if a situation akin to Mahabharata had developed, we cannot imagine Buddha ever giving his assent!
Our perspective is limited. We see only that which has happened. We cannot see what would have been. Had Krishna died before, the Mahabharata, we could never have imagined that this man who played the flute, who frolicked with the Gopis, who was so filled with tenderness and love, could give a message for war thus! To my mind, there is no other religious book in the world that gives a greater impetus for war than the Gita.
But the male-mind is not the reason here. The mind that gives the call to battle is a completely female-receptive-mind. But the situation in which this receptive mind that is completely filled with God, finds itself, directs him to plunge whole-heartedly in the act of war. Whatever his God-satiated mind directs, Krishna carries out whole-heartedly as the call of the Divine.
The sword that is raised in Mohammed's hand, is the sword that is raised in the cause of the Divine.
Mohammed is not at all aggressive. This does not however mean that he did not gather aggressive people around him; but for that the responsibility was not Mohammed's nor for that matter, anybody else's.
It is difficult to find a more fearless person than Mahavira but nobody could imagine that those who gathered round him would be the weakest and most cowardly of people! But it happened so for they found a shield in him. Life is very strange. Mahavira talked of non-violence and he also said that non-violence can result only in a mind that is freed from fear. But the fearful man thought this religion of non-violence was suitable for him. In this religion there were no fights - We shall kill no one and no one will kill us. To this fearful man, non-violence seemed the supreme religion. This was not because he believed non-violence to be the highest of religions but because he thought if all the world accepted non-violence, he would be able to live without fear. So all the weak and cowardly people collected behind Mahavira.
So it is not accidental that those who followed Mahavira were a class of impotent people, who have constricted themselves from all sides in life, who have just been mere baniyas (shop-keepers) all these 2,500 years. What is the reason?
These people found great safety in this business. This was the only business that entailed no strife, no quarrel. He creates nothing, goes no where. He does the work of a go-between. He keeps himself in the middle. Nobody could have dreamt that such spineless people could gather round such a fearless personality like Mahavira - who are capable of being just shop-keepers. Can any inner-potential awaken in this work of shop-keeping? But this seemed comfortable work for a fearful man. Strange - such people should be the followers of Mahavira!
Mohammed was incredibly compassionate and it was entirely out of compassion that he picked up the sword. If his compassion was even a little less, he would never had lifted the sword. But barbaric, blood-thirsty people, when they saw his raised sword, gathered round him. They were happy to see this meeting of sword and religion! Now no one could accuse them of killing. Now they would kill in the name of religion. So all the mid-Asian barbarian sects of the Tartars, the Huns and the Turks embraced Islam. The reason was only this that the sword was for the first time lifted out of its condemned place and elevated to the level of a temple. They all stood behind the sword and they trampled the whole world beneath their feet.
The influence of Islam today in the world is not on account of Mohammed. The number of Mohammedans is not on account of Mohammed but on account of the barbarians after him. They trampled the whole world but they destroyed Islam along with it. The religion that was started in the name of peace became a religion of non-peace and violence. But Mohammed cannot be held responsible for this. What could Mohammed do? What could Mahavira do? Mahavira could never have thought that a line of cowards will form behind him!
The logic of life is very strange. You can never say anything about it. There is one more rule of logic, which will help you to understand Lao Tzu, and that is: You are always attracted and influenced by the opposite. As it happens in sex, so it happens in everything else. You are always attracted towards someone who is just the opposite of you. This is a very dangerous thing but this is what happens.
Mahavira, is braver than the bravest. Therefore he was given the name, 'Mahavira'. His actual name was Vardhman. His courage had no equal - this is a fact. That the most cowardly of people would become his followers, is something that cannot be imagined! But so it is - always. Only the cowards are attracted by courage. The brave are never attracted by courage; and why should they be? If he is brave, so what? But the coward will find the fulfillment of his dreams. He would like to be as brave but he cannot be. He has found his ideal. Now at least he can touch his feet! He can praise him, hail him!
This then becomes their ideal for within them hides the man who is absolutely the opposite. Now such people gather and they create difficulties. It always happens so. We are attracted by the opposite. The reason why we are attracted is just the opposite of what we are. Later on these influenced people form organisations and sects. Then they will change all the text of the Master's statements and re-interpret them according to what suits them. Then everything becomes different - very different.
If we keep in mind this trend of history we may perhaps be able to warn Man to be careful where he steps. The psychologists today say that when a man is attracted towards a woman, he is attracted by those qualities in her which he does not possess. The woman is also attracted by the same reason. We are influenced by that which we do not have and never by what we have; for that we have already. The greater the contrast of qualities, the greater the attraction; the greater the romance. After marriage however, these very contradicting and opposite qualities are the basis of all dissensions. This is the difficulty.
Therefore psychologists say that the greater the love before marriage, the greater the calamity it leads to afterwards, Love means the attraction of the opposites. The hardest of men is attracted to the most delicate of women; but when these two stay together, they have nothing in common. Then the trouble starts. A very intellectual man can never be attracted towards an intellectual woman. He will find a woman who has not a trace of intelligence. But then the difficulty starts; for when they are together there is no communication between the two!
Now nobody can be blamed for this. All the trouble is because of the rule of the opposites in life. We are attracted by the opposite but we cannot live with the opposite. So our ultimate trouble is: We cannot live with the one to whom we are attracted and we are never influenced or attracted by one with whom we live. Therefore people of olden times were very clever. They said. "Marry one, love another." Do not try to do both these together. Marry a person with whom you can live and love the one to whom you are attracted.
Now the thinkers of America feel that if America is to be saved, this ancient cunning will have to be resorted to again. The Americans believed that one should marry the person we love. This is a wonderful thing but it cannot be, for love always happens between opposites and you cannot live with the opposite. Then the very qualities that attracted, become the cause of dissension and you find it impossible to adjust yourself.
As it happens between husband and wife, so it happens between the Guru and the disciple. This also is a great romance! People come attracted by the opposite, then find it difficult to stay. Therefore it is very difficult to live with a live Guru. A dead Guru poses no problems for in his non-presence you can do what you like.
Now Jesus has said "If a person strikes you on one cheek, offer him the other," but the number of people that have been killed in the name of Christianity is unthinkable! What is the reason? How could such people gather round a person like Jesus? Wicked people gathered round him, who killed people in order to teach them that if a person strikes you on your right cheek, offer him the left. They killed thousands of people with the excuse of spreading the message of Jesus.
Such contradictions take place. So Mohammed or Krishna are not aggressive. As soon as the Ocean of Perception opens before one like Mohammed or Krishna, the door to the Female- Consciousness opens within them. The meaning of Female-Consciousness is only this that in that moment a person is not aggressive towards Existence, rather, he becomes receptive towards the currents of Existence. He becomes a womb and is ready to contain Existence within himself.
He begins to accept and stops all resistance. His state becomes one of total acceptability. This willingness, total willingness is the characteristic of the Female-Consciousness.
One last question: One friend has asked a small question.
THE QUESTION IS: CAN THE COMMON MAN ACQUIRE THE CAPABILITY OF EGOLESSNESS?
From his question it seems it is not possible for an ordinary person, whereas the fact is, it is very difficult for an un-ordinary person to attain egolessness. The very meaning of un-ordinary is egoistic.
But it is not attained by the ordinary ordinary. It is attained by the extraordinary ordinary. The ordinary ordinary, I call him, who is looked upon as ordinary generally but who does not consider himself ordinary. The extraordinarily ordinary I call him who even though the world looks upon him as extraordinary, considers himself to be ordinary.
I travelled all over the country for 10-12 years and met thousands of people. Many of them would come and tell me that what I said would not be understood by ordinary people. I would then ask the person if he understood and he invariably said he did but he was sure the ordinary man would not. I would then tell him that it was years that I had been going about and not once has the ordinary man come along who would say he did not understand, that he was an ordinary person. I would ask him to bring the ordinary man so that I may see him!
No man considers himself ordinary. Everyone considers himself extraordinary. This is Ego. If man knows and accepts himself to be ordinary, Ego will leave him. All men are ordinary.
All men are ordinary, no one is extraordinary. Only one person can be termed extraordinary - the one who becomes aware or his ordinariness. Our mind refuses to believe that we are ordinary. In a thousand ways we try to assure ourselves that there is no one like us, there never can be. We never try to explain to ourselves, how we reached this conclusion. What is the qualification, what is so special, so distinctive about us? Nothing - but the mind refuses to believe for as soon as I accept this fact, the journey upwards stops.
There is a reason behind my considering myself extraordinary. When I consider myself extraordinary then my place, my position and surroundings all become unworthy of me. My rightful place is above and not where I am. The world does not know this and creates barricades or else I would reach the place where I belong. I shall not rest content till I reach my rightful place. But I shall never attain this rightful place for the simple reason that wherever I reach, that place will become ordinary and my extraordinary place will shift yet further up! Ego can rise only when it believes that its place is further up and not down. This is the chemistry of the flight of the ego.
Lao Tzu says that if you were to know for certain and accept the fact that you are ordinary you are nobody. nothing, you will not try to rise up as soon as the thought of ordinariness spreads over the mind. You will begin to feel that perhaps you are not worthy of the place you are standing upon, perhaps you are committing an excess. You then begin to step back and back till you reach a place where you can go no further back. You will reach a place that no one wants to occupy, where there is no one to be jealous of your position and no one to push you out of it. Lao Tzu says, "Then that very day you attain the extraordinary life."
If God is not attained by even such a one who has become so humble then all talk of God is nothing but trash. If even such a person who has become so empty does not behold perfection then perfection can never be beheld. Do not think how an ordinary person can attempt to become egoless. Every man is ordinary and every man can do it. But each of us is under the illusion that he is extraordinary. This illusion has to be broken.
And Lao Tzu does not exhort you to break this illusion. He only says if you do not break it, you shall suffer. You do not want to suffer but you take good care of your maladies lest they leave you. Then you suffer and then you go about wailing how miserable you are! We are not prepared to leave the things that trouble us. The knot of the ego is the root cause of all our woes. To know oneself as the most ordinary of ordinaries is the cure of all ills.
Try out this experiment. Become ordinary for twenty-four hours. Let only one thought be within you for those twenty-four hours that I am an ordinary person. I am nothing. After these twenty-four hours you will never want to be extraordinary again. The glimpse of bliss that you will get in this ordinariness would be one beyond your imagination. This glimpse is always available to us but we are so stiff with our arrogance of being extraordinary, special! How can we experience this flash of joy when we sit with all the doors and windows closed? Get down from your throne. The mystery of life cannot be unfolded on the gilded throne of the ego. What is attained on the ordinary rough and dusty path of humility can never be attained on the gilded peaks of the ego.
Enough for today.