The first question:
Sambuddha, you are a Buddha from the very beginning, as everybody else is. Buddhahood is the source and the goal. You are a Buddha from the very beginning, and you will remain a Buddha to the very end. The only question is of recognizing it, not of realizing it. Real, it is already; real it is. Realization is not the question, but recognition, a turning in. That is the meaning of the word 'conversion': turning upon oneself.
Consciousness is continuously engaged by objects. It moves outwards. Its engagement, its commitment, is to the without. When you disengage it from the without and allow it to fall within itself the recognition arises. Then you start tasting your being for the first time. You have been tasting the other for millions of your lives, and the other only keeps you occupied; nothing else ever happens. The other only keeps you engaged with toys. And as you are engaged with the other, the other is engaged with you - because you are the other for him or her.
To look at the other and forget oneself is ignorance. To remember oneself and forget the other is awakening. And once you have become awakened to yourself, recognized your Buddhahood, then you can look outside too. Then never again is the other to be found. If you have come to know who you are, the other disappears in that very knowledge.
This is the paradoxical nature of self-recognition: when you recognize the self, the self disappears, and with the self, the other. The other cannot exist without the self. I-thou exists as a pair. They are not two words, it is a pair-word. You cannot separate them. You go on looking at the other; in the shadow the I is created. And you remain engaged with the other, and you go on falling into new traps, new games. The other is the world.
But you are too concerned with turning on. You are turned on by the other. You become excited with the other, you want to explore the other; hence you continue moving always in the other and remain unrecognized, remain unremembered, remain unaware. Buddhahood is nothing but becoming engaged with oneself. And once you know who you are the I disappears, and with the disappearance of the I, the you, thou, the other, disappears. Then it is all one. There is nothing in and nothing out. That is what is called enlightenment.
You ask me, "AM I A RESTLESS, CONFUSED BUDDHA AND ONLY NEED TO ACCEPT RIGHT NOW THE PECULIAR NATURE OF MY BUDDHAHOOD...?"
Everybody is restless, everybody is confused. The confusion is coming from your engagement with the other; the other confuses you. The restlessness is there because you are too excited by the other. It will remain, but it does not destroy your Buddhahood. Your potential remains untouched by it. It is only on the surface, on the periphery. These winds blow only on the periphery, they create ripples on the periphery, but in your deepest depth you remain untouched, unmoved. Not even a small ripple arises there... that is the center of the cyclone.
Start looking in. Even for a few moments, just forget the other. Slowly, slowly the knack is found.
There is no art to it, otherwise I would have taught it to you. It cannot be taught, you have to grope for it. But groping, one arrives, that's certain - because many have arrived. I have arrived, you can arrive.
And you cannot follow somebody else because everybody arrives in his own way, because everybody is so unique and different from any other.
Start groping. That groping is meditation. Close your eyes to the other. You have seen the Buddha- statues - Buddha is sitting with closed eyes. Those closed eyes are simply symbolic, symbolic that he's not engaged with the other, that he is not exploring the other any more. He wants to do first things first. He wants to explore this subjectivity: who is this within me? And unless this is found, all else is futile. If I don't know who I am, I will never know who the other is. If I can't experience myself, how can I experience the other? The other is far away. If I am not sensitive enough to feel my own heartbeat, how am I going to feel the heart-beat of the other? And that's what you have been trying, and failing, and trying again, and hoping, and being frustrated again and again. It is an old rut; you go on moving in it. It is a vicious circle.
Start groping inwards. Whenever you are alone - and manage sometimes to be alone, it is not good always to remain crowded - find your own place sometimes and just close your eyes. That is symbolic: close yourself to the world.
Now this has to be understood, because the contemporary mind is too worried with how to open itself, how to remain open to others. In itself it is a beautiful understanding, but you can go to the extreme very easily - and that's what the mind always does.
In the past the religions have taught you to become closed; that was one extreme. To come out of it the modern trends are to open up, to become open to others. Now you can forget completely how to close - and both are dangerous. First you suffered from Christianity, now you can suffer from modern humanistic growth psychologies. One needs a balance, one needs freedom. One needs to be capable of doing whatsoever one wants. Sometimes you need to open - that is love. Love is opening up to the other. And sometimes you need to close up to the whole world and the whole existence - that is meditation. And the man is really a grown-up man who can do it at will. Neither does his closing to the world prevent him from opening up to the world, nor does his opening up become a fixed, paralyzed gesture where he cannot close.
You have to be just like your eyes - they continuously blink. If your eyes become focused and can't blink, that will not be healthy. And if your eyes become closed and can't open, that will not be healthy either. I would like you to remember this balance always, because mind always moves to the extreme. Either it closes completely and becomes a Christian monk, moves to a monastery and forgets the whole world and simply starts shrinking and dying - it is committing suicide - or, you become a groupie, you start moving from one group to another, opening up again and again, and your whole effort becomes how to open up, how to remain open. And you become very miserable when you can't open up. If you go on working at that, soon you will become fixed. Your apertures will be open but then you will not be able to close.
The Christian monk became incapable of love. And the people who become too occupied with the modern effort for opening will become incapable of meditation. And both are needed. Both are polarities.
In love, you connect with the other; in meditation, you connect with yourself. Both are enrichening.
Unless a love is based in deep meditation, it will be superficial. It will never be intimate, it will not have any profundity. It will not bring bliss to you; it will bring only agonies, it will never bring ecstasy.
The love has to be based on meditation. And a meditation that is against love, anti-love, will be a dry desert, a wasteland. No flower will ever bloom there.
And humanity has tried both and failed in both. But they have been tried separately, as antagonistic to each other. Never in the history of man have meditation and love been tried together - as two wings of a bird, opposite and yet complementary.
That's my basic work here: I would like you to be loving, open, and I would like you also to be meditative and closed. Closing/opening should be like exhalation/inhalation, blinking of the eyes.
Closing/opening should be like the beat of the heart: between two beats there is a gap. In that gap the heart stops, again beats, again stops. The beat and the stop - your life should be a music, the sound and the silence.
Sound alone makes only noise. It has to keep balance with silence. The higher the music is, the more silence it contains. It contains silence through sound. It is paradoxical. All that is great is paradoxical. And if you really want to come to the peak of human consciousness, you will have to be paradoxical.
Meditate/love, breathe in/breathe out, open up/close in - these things will become slowly, slowly, very natural. And don't be obsessed by anything, and slowly, slowly you will come to recognize who you are. You are a Buddha.
And remember, Buddhas come in all shapes and all sizes. Don't make an image of a Buddha.
Gautam the Buddha was only one form of Buddhahood. You are not to be like Gautam the Buddha; you will be a Buddha in your own way. Your Buddhahood will have its own taste, its own form, its own being. You are not going to be a second-hand copy. You are not going to be a carbon, you will be original.
That is the beauty of life - that everybody here is original. God never duplicates, He creates each human being anew.
You ask, "AM I A RESTLESS, CONFUSED BUDDHA AND ONLY NEED TO ACCEPT RIGHT NOW THE PECULIAR NATURE OF MY BUDDHAHOOD...?"
You have to accept all that is. You have to accept all that you are, because only through acceptance does restlessness disappear. Only through acceptance does one start cooling down. One becomes more collected and centered. When you accept, tensions are dropped. In acceptance is relaxation.
In relaxation it is possible to turn in, and in relaxation it is possible to turn out. Both become smooth.
Easy is the flow. You can go out and meet the other, and you can come back and meet with yourself.
One day you will be surprised to find that the one who is in and the one who is out are not two. And when you go out, you go to your own outside, and when you go in, you go to your own inside. That 'in' and 'out' are sides of you.
This whole existence is a universe - that is the meaning of the word 'universe': it is unity. It is not a multi-verse, it is a uni-verse. But that universe will be revealed to you only at the very peak of meditation and love.
Accept whosoever you are and wherever you are. That does not mean to get stuck there. Accept, and through acceptance the flow arises and you start moving. But the movement is not through rejection. The movement does not come because there is a goal to be achieved, the movement comes because there is so much energy that the energy moves on its own. Just watch the Ganges coming from the Himalayas - do you think the Ganges is really searching for the ocean? That is utterly wrong. The Ganges has no idea of the ocean, it is not searching for any ocean. It reaches to the ocean - that is another matter - but it is not motivated to search for the ocean. Then what is happening? Why is it moving? It is not moving TOWARDS the ocean, it is simply moving because so much energy can't be contained. It is moving out of so much overflowing energy.
See the difference, the difference is great. A man can move in two ways. One is through motivation:
something has to be achieved THERE, in future. There is a goal. Then you pull yourself together and you start dragging yourself towards the goal. Your life will be a life of misery. There is another kind of movement - the true movement - which has no motive in it, but you are so full of energy that you have to move.
"Energy is movement, and energy is delight," says William Blake. Yes, it is, because movement is delight, movement is dance. You start moving because there is so much energy and the energy starts flowing. One day you arrive, but that arrival has not been a goal. That arrival has never been pre-planned, you had never thought about it. The Ganges reaches to the ocean, but the Ganges was not trying to reach to the ocean. The Ganges was simply delighting in its energy. And out of that delight, the movement, out of that overflowing energy... the movement.
Accept yourself. In that acceptance you start conserving energy. This is the mechanism: when you accept yourself you don't fight. In fight, energy is dissipated. When you accept yourself totally as you are, all fight, all friction dissolves; energy is preserved. You start becoming a great reservoir.
You start becoming a great streaming, flowing energy. And soon you will see you are moving, and that movement has beauty, because you are not moving to any particular goal - God, nirvana, enlightenment, Buddhahood, no. You are simply moving because you cannot contain yourself; it is too much, it can't be contained. You have to move! In fact, you are not doing anything in moving, the movement is happening to you. Out of sheer energy, the movement is growing in you.
Meditate over the difference between these two. In the first there is tension, desire, planning, future. The present is missed, the present is rejected. There is choice, because there are so many possibilities and you have to choose one possibility. There is anxiety and anguish - who knows whether you have chosen the right thing or the wrong? Who knows whether God exists or not?
And there is doubt and suspicion and fear. And because of that goal you go on missing the whole journey. You can't enjoy the birds singing, you can't enjoy the trees by the side of the road; you are focused on the goal. You don't have energy enough to waste. You become a miser, you don't look at anything. You simply go on rushing - and with great fear and trembling inside: you may be moving in the wrong direction, you may be following a wrong person, you may be following just a fiction; it may not exist at all. And you are staking your whole life! That's why your so-called saints look so sad, no song in their lives, no dance, non-celebrating. Crying and weeping, they go on dragging themselves towards something they have heard from others. And they can't be really trusting; it is impossible. Trust arises only out of experience. They can, at the most, believe. And belief is always based in doubt, remains in doubt. Belief is an effort to cover up doubt. And the doubt will arise again and again, and many times your saints will go astray.
There is no devil to tempt them; no devil exists. All those temptations that have been felt by your so-called saints come from their own innermost core - the repressed being, the suppressed doubt, the suppressed desire. They are fearful people. You have heard about saints who are so wise that they can talk with the trees and the birds, but they are so afraid to commune with human beings; who go in search of lepers to kiss them but can't touch a beautiful woman. You see the stupidity of it? They are ready to kiss the leper. Why are they afraid of a woman? And what kind of saintlihood is this, what kind of holiness? It is not whole.
There is fear with the woman; they have repressed that part. In fact, to repress that part they go and kiss the leper. They are afraid of beauty, they search for ugliness. They are afraid of the attraction of the body, they search for the repulsive body. It is not out of love that your saints have been kissing the lepers. It is just to feel repulsed by the body so that they can repress their desire for the beautiful body. This is sheer nonsense. And these people CAN'T arrive. They have not even started, how can they arrive? The journey has not even begun.
I teach you another kind of journey - not the journey motivated by any goal, but the journey emerging out of too much energy, a journey in which each moment will be joyful because you are not worried about any goal. And the beauty and the paradox is: when you are not worried about the goal and you enjoy each moment that you live, you arrive at the goal. And when you can't enjoy the journey you never arrive at the goal, because all those moments that you lived on the Way and enjoyed, gathered together.... Those moments gathered together make you capable of the ultimate joy of seeing the truth revealed.
Accept yourself, relax with yourself, enjoy yourself, love yourself. You are good, you are beautiful.
Let this feeling arise in you and you will find all friction has disappeared. Conflict is no longer there, you are not fighting. And the energy that is saved is too much. Soon you will find you have become a great reservoir, you are ready to move. In fact, you CAN'T stay any longer, the energy starts moving on its own accord. It reaches to the ocean, it CERTAINLY reaches to the ocean, but it reaches because of too much, of overflowing being.
You are a Buddha. Respect yourself, and the Buddhahood will start changing. You are a restless Buddha? Soon you will become a restful Buddha. But Buddhahood is there whether you are restless or restful. Right now you are a confused Buddha, then you will be a clear Buddha, but Buddhahood remains there. Buddhahood is such that it cannot be taken away by your restlessness or your confusion. Right now you may be an ignorant Buddha, then you will be a wise Buddha, but Buddhahood remains the same.
So I declare you Buddhas right now! Through this declaration you will arrive, and your Buddhahood will become more and more serene, calm and quiet. More and more beauty will arise within your being, more and more splendor.
Yes, you are an imprisoned splendor that has to be released, freed.
The second question:
Will Schutz, the mind lives out of fictions. The mind is nourished by fictions - ordinary or occult.
The mind always hankers for beautiful stories. The mind lives through lies. The mind is afraid of the truth but is a great lover of lies. To satisfy the mind, down through the ages, thousands of lies have been invented. When one lie becomes too old, rotten, it is dropped and a new lie is invented. Your so-called scriptures are full of such lies. Man is very inventive. But all inventions of this kind prevent you from seeing the truth, and your energy becomes engaged in a futile dimension.
You ask me, "IS THE EARTH HOLLOW?"
Even if it is it does not matter. Why be worried about it? Why waste your time for it? There are far more significant things waiting to be done. Put your priorities right. The better question, the far more significant question, would be: Is man hollow? And yes, man is hollow.
You ask, "IS THERE AN ADVANCED CIVILIZATION LIVING THERE?"
Yes, I say there is an advanced being living INSIDE YOU. You are hollow, and in the innermost core of your being, God is living. The highest is living in you; why bother about the earth? Even if people are living they can't be much different from the people who are living on the surface. Are you not yet fed-up with these people? Maybe they have three eyes and four ears and six hands, but what difference does it make?
You ask, "IS THERE A SUN AT THE CENTER?"
The sun is at YOUR very center. That's what I am calling Buddha - the light.
You ask me, "DO THESE... MAKE PERIODIC JOURNEYS THROUGH TUNNELS TO SPECIFIC PLACES AND TELL THE SECRETS?"
Yes. Many times from your innermost core messages come to your superficial-most consciousness.
Many times secrets are revealed to you from the center to the circumference. But rather than searching for these, you become interested in whether the earth is hollow? Whether there is a sun inside? Whether it is populated? Is there an advanced civilization? And these fictions go on keeping people engaged. There are thousands of books written about such subjects. And controversies go on raging down the centuries, and people go on fighting, arguing, philosophizing, speculating, proving. And all is futile!
Beware of the mind's tendency to invent lies, to support lies. That is mind's way of protecting itself against truth.
Truth has not to be invented. You cannot invent truth, you can only make yourself available to it.
Truth is already there, truth is already the case. If you are silent, if you have dropped your fictions, if you have dropped all lies, if you are naked, in that nudity and in that silence truth is revealed. And truth liberates.
Get out of all these stories! And I am not saying that they are true or not true: I'm not saying anything about them. I'm not for or against. I'm simply saying they are irrelevant. It does not matter. It is childish to be interested in such things. It is good for children - they need fiction and they need fairy tales - but it is not good for grown-up people.
The most important thing for an intelligent person is to know who he is. Everything depends on that. Without knowing it, all knowledge is gibberish. Without knowing it, you have lived but you lived in vain. Without knowing it, you miss the whole opportunity of life. Life is an opportunity to know yourself, it is a challenge to know yourself, it provokes you to know yourself. But we create some other curiosities, and we become so engaged with those curiosities that we forget the real question.
And there are thousands of questions which are not real, and you can be lost in that crowd.
And the real question is a single question, one question: Who am I? Drop all other questions! Put your total energy into one question: Who am I? Let this question sink to the very innermost core of your being - in the hollow of your body, to the supreme consciousness within you, to the sun within you. Devote as much time as possible to this one single question. The whole of religion depends on it. Religion is nothing but the answer to this single question: Who am I? It is not concerned with God. It is not concerned with heaven and hell, it is not concerned with past lives and future lives, it is not concerned with reincarnation and the theory of karma. Real religion has only a single purpose, a single target: Who am I?
And don't dissipate your energy in such curiosities. Even if people are there, even if you come to know that people are there and UFO'S come from the hollow of the earth, it won't change you. It won't help you in any way.
Go into the mystery that you are, penetrate that mystery. Let that become your only work in life.
Knowing it, all is known. Being it, you have arrived.
The third question:
Sucheta, you don't know the usefulness of the useless. In fact, the useful is only useful insofar as it has a certain utility. But the useless has no limitation to it.
What is the use of a roseflower? No use, but life would be very empty without roseflowers. What is the use of laughter? It is not a commodity, it does not feed people. If you are hungry it will not help.
If you are ill it will not help, it is not medicine. If you are fighting with somebody it will not help, it is not an atom bomb. Of what use is laughter? That's why the people who look at life with the eyes of a utilitarian don't laugh. They don't love, because what use is love? To them it is wastage, a wastage of energy, time, life. To them it is stupid because it is useless. They earn money rather than falling in love, because money is useful. Love has no utility, but love has grandeur and splendor. And without love what is life?
Of what utility is meditation? Sometimes people come to me and they ask, "What will we get out of meditation?" They are thinking of getting some profit, they want some result. They want to be very certain, because they will be putting so much energy into it - what are they going to get out of it?
And I say to them, "You are not going to get anything out of it."
Meditation is not a means to some end, it is an end unto itself - that's why it has no utility.
What utility is there in poetry? That's why in the countries where people become too money-minded poetry starts disappearing. Have you watched it happening in America? Politicians, rich people, businessmen - they live long; poets die very soon. It is a strange statistic: poets, novelists, painters, peter out very soon. By the time they are forty they start petering out. Politicians remain young and vital long enough.
It was not so in ancient Greece. In ancient Greece poets, philosophers, mystics lived very long.
In India, in the past, yogis and meditators lived very long, but now that is not the case any more.
Politicians and actors in India live long. And actors retain their youth more than anybody else, and politicians go on remaining healthy very long. You can see Morarji Desai. What could be the reason behind it? It is not what he says. He says that he drinks his own urine; that's why he is so healthy and young. That is all nonsense! It is politics. Politics is respected now. Whatsoever is respected, whatsoever people pay attention to, becomes so important, so ego-fulfilling, that one can live just out of that ego-fulfillment. One can remain vital.
Now this is a known fact: that when people retire, they die soon. What happens? They start feeling useless. Somebody was going perfectly well, and now he is sixty and he retires. And he was healthy and he was never ill, and everything was good. He was a commissioner or a collector and people were respectful towards him, and he was honored and respected, and he was doing some useful work. Now suddenly he is retired, all his utility is gone. He is no longer a commodity. He suddenly feels he is useless. He suddenly finds that he has no excuse to live any more. For what? Nobody thinks about him any more. Even his own family people simply neglect him, ignore him. He becomes part of the junk. Slowly, slowly he starts shrinking. He starts feeling, "Now only death can relieve me of this uselessness."
That's why in America poets and novelists die young. Poetry is not respected. Where money is respected, poetry can't be respected. Money is useful; of what use is poetry? When somebody becomes a poet his family feels very sad.
A man was saying to me.... After many years he had come to see me, and I asked him how things were going: "How is your eldest son?" He said, with such sadness, "He has become a poet." As if he had died! "And what about the second?" He said, "He does not earn anything either." Te first has become a poet and the second does not earn anything either; both are useless.
We measure people by their utility. We reduce people into commodities. And I'm not saying don't do anything useful. I'm saying do useful things, but remember the real and the greatest experience of life and ecstasy comes out of doing something useless. It comes through poetry, it comes through painting, it comes through love, it comes through meditation. The greatest joy floods you only when you are capable of doing something useless, useless in worldly eyes. Because it can't be reduced into a commodity, that's why they call it useless.
Now if you invent something, a gadget, you can patent it and you can earn money out of it. But if you write a beautiful poem you can't earn any money out of it; it is just wastage. People say, "What are you doing? Why are you wasting your life?" But writing poetry - if you really have been into it - is a great joy in itself; nothing else is needed, you are already rewarded. No other extrinsic reward is going to make any difference to you. The reward is inward, intrinsic; it arises out of the activity.
Writing poetry, painting, or playing on the flute - they are not utilities.
Now this is a sad phenomenon - that even in India politicians and actors live long. In the past, meditators used to live long, because people knew the use of uselessness. Now politicians live long. Why? - because politicians seem to be useful people. If a politician comes into town the whole crowd gathers. If a poet comes, nobody goes. Who bothers about a poet? Who thinks that he is special? Who cares? And naturally the poet also starts thinking deep down in himself, "I am useless, I am doing something which is not right. I am guilty, I am a burden on the earth."
Morarji Desai is healthy at the age of eighty-two, eighty-three, not because he drinks his urine but because in India this calamity has happened: that only the politician is respected. The mystic is no longer respected, the meditator is no longer respected. In fact, a strange phenomenon is happening:
it is very difficult to find an American who does not meditate. It is as difficult as it is difficult to find an Indian who meditates. Meditation is useless activity.
But people are very clever in finding rationalizations. Now Morarji says that he is healthy because he drinks his urine.
It reminds me of a story....
A man became one hundred years old, he completed a century. Newspaper reporters came, and the TV people and the radio people came to have an interview. And they asked him, "What is the secret? How could you live so long? And you are still so healthy and so young looking. You don't look more than fifty."
The man was very happy and he said, "There is a secret - I never ate meat in my life, I never drank any intoxicating beverages in my life, I never smoked, and I never befooled with women. That's my secret." And they were all impressed. They were just writing the interview, and then suddenly by the side of the room somebody fell and laughed loudly and screamed.
So they asked, "What is the matter? What happened?"
And the man said, "Don't be worried about it. That is my dad. He is drunk again and befooling with the maid."
And they asked, "How old is he?"
And he said, "He is one hundred and twenty."
You can always find why you have lived long, how you have lived long: you ate this, you did that yoga exercise. But the real phenomenon is simply different. If you are enjoying what you do, if you are respecting what you do - useful, useless - if you see that your life has a meaning, you will live long, because it is through the feeling of being meaningful that one lives long.
In different societies different kinds of people live long. In a primitive society the magician lives long, because he is the most respected person. And I call that society the highest and the most civilized - that is my criterion of calling a society civilized - where a poet, a painter, a musician, a meditator, a lover, lives long. That is the highest kind of society. Why? - because the uselessness is respected.
There is a story about Lao Tzu.
He went into the mountains with his disciples. They went into a forest where all the trees were being cut. Thousands of people were cutting the trees, the whole forest was being destroyed. But there was one big tree, so big that one thousand people could have sat underneath it, in its shade. Its foliage was great, it was a huge tree! They had never come across such a tree, and nobody was cutting it!
So Lao Tzu said to his disciples, "Go and inquire. They have destroyed the whole forest. Why have they not cut this tree?"
And the disciples went and inquired of people, and the people said, "That tree is useless! First, its wood is such that you can't make anything out of it - no furniture can be made out of it. Secondly, its wood is such that you cannot use it even as a fuel - it creates so much smoke, and such a bitter smoke, that people start weeping and crying, tears start rolling down their cheeks. Its leaves are so bitter that no animal is ready to eat them. It is a useless tree! That's why it has not been cut."
When they came back Lao Tzu laughed and he said, "Look! I have been teaching you always the use of uselessness! Now see the beauty of this tree - it is saved because it is useless." Lao Tzu said to his disciples, "If you want to be saved, be useless. Otherwise you will be cut sooner or later.
Never become useful, otherwise you will be in trouble. Be useless like this tree and you will live long and your foliage will be great."
Lao Tzu has something immensely important in that message. That's my own experience too:
remain in your deepest core. Use is only on the surface. Yes, one has to do something for a livelihood, to have a shelter, to have food. One has to do something, that's okay; but don't think that is your life. Livelihood is not your life. And the standard of living is not the standard of life. A standard of living comes from usefulness, through useful activities, and a standard of life arises out of USELESS activities - music, poetry, painting, meditation, love.
So Sucheta, don't be worried. I will need all kinds of people around here - useful, useless. I will need all kinds of people here. I would like to make this commune the richest commune. And utility can never make a commune very rich - materially, of course, but not spiritually. So, if you feel useless don't be worried. I will use your uselessness too. I will make you a huge tree with great foliage. And the people who are engaged in useful activities, they will also need sometimes to rest under the tree, in the shade. We will need poets and painters and musicians. We will need all kinds of crazy people here, so Sucheta, don't be worried.
The fourth question:
Ashoka, who told you? Somebody must be creating rumors. I don't have a beard; you have to look at me again. In fact, the right question would have been: Why DON'T you have a beard?
That has been one of the koans in Zen.
Bodhidharma had a great beard, and Zen people, Zen Masters, give their disciples this koan to meditate on: Why does Bodhidharma have no beard?
Now they beat their heads, because Bodhidharma's picture is given also, with the same koan to meditate on, and the picture is there with that great beard. He had a really great beard, his whole face was covered. That's why he was known in China as a 'barbarian Buddha'.
The Chinese don't have big beards, they have tiny goat-like beards. Bodhidharma was very strange there. The Chinese have only a few hairs really. You can count them on your fingers... not much of a beard. So Bodhidharma must have looked like a barbarian.
The picture was given. The picture had to be hung in the meditation cell, and you had to look at the picture and think about this problem: Why does Bodhidharma have no beard?
Do the same with me too: hang a picture and think "Why does Osho have no beard?" and great revelations will happen through it. It will be difficult, but a moment will come when you will see that Osho has no beard. That is satori! - when the visible disappears and the invisible appears.
How can I have a beard? - the beard belongs to the body. You are not your body, you are the consciousness that hovers in and around. It can't have any beard.
The fifth question:
Prita, do what I say to you, don't do what I do! - because then you will get into trouble. That day will also come when you will be able to do what I do. But wait, have a little patience.
You ask me, "YOU SAY NOT TO CONVERT ANYONE OR SAY YOU HAVE FOUND IT. WHAT ABOUT YOU, OSHO?"
The question is relevant, because that's what I go on doing. But that appears to you as conversion.
It is not conversion, it is seduction. It has no logic in it. Conversion has to be logical. The difference is great.
Somebody comes and asks me, "What is sannyas?" and I say, "I don't know. Become a sannyasin."
And something happens and he becomes a sannyasin. Now will you call it conversion? I have not even given any rationale for it, I have not argued. This is seduction, pure and simple. This is infection, not conversion.
I am contagious. If the man is available, if he can just be with me for a few seconds, he starts getting crazy. It is not conversion. He simply falls in love. He starts feeling to be with me, whatsoever it is.
He does not care what it is.
Christian missionaries do the work they call conversion. That is conversion: they argue, they prove, they bring books to you, and they force it inside that Christianity is the only way if you want to be saved. They make you frightened, afraid. For that they have created hell, the hellfire and the eternal punishment there and the rewards in paradise.... They make you afraid of hell, and only they can save you, and they make you very greedy for paradise, and only they can deliver the goods, nobody else. And they prove in a thousand and one ways that Jesus is the only Master. That is conversion.
What I do is not conversion. What Jesus did was not conversion, it was seduction. What Buddha did was not conversion, it was seduction, pure and simple. Just to be with a Jesus is to fall in love.
It is impossible not to fall in love with such a beautiful man.
A letter has been found written by Pontius Pilate to the Roman emperor, in which he says, "This man is so beautiful that I am feeling guilty." In fact, Pontius Pilate had fallen in love with Jesus. The moment he asked, "What is truth?" and Jesus remained silent, without saying anything, he fell in love. That silence overwhelmed him. In that letter he writes....
That letter is kept in the Vatican; they don't release it, they don't publish it because that will have great impact on the story that they have been telling the people.
The letter says, "I have fallen in love with this man. This man is so beautiful that I have never seen such a graceful person. He can't do any harm, that is impossible. I have heard him talk with people. I have watched him closely. I have been in crowds, hiding myself, to see what is happening to people.
And I have always come back overwhelmed. He is a magician. Just by being with him something starts happening. He is not of this earth."
These are the words of Pontius Pilate.
If you are in close contact with Jesus, how can you remain untouched, unmoved? That movement happens in your energy. So from outside it may appear to you that I go on converting people into orange people. That is not true, or only very superficially true. I have not converted anybody. I am available. If you are available, the thing happens on its own accord.
"YOU SAY NOT TO CONVERT ANYBODY OR SAY YOU HAVE FOUND IT."
Yes, I say don't say that you have found it, because if you say that, it simply means you have not found it. But I understand your puzzle. Because I say I have found it, so the problem arises in your mind whether I have found it or not? - because I say I have found it. Again from the outside it is one thing, from the inside it is another.
I am not saying that I have found it, IT is saying! And there is a great difference. When you say you have found it, you have not found it. When IT says, and you are simply helpless and you cannot do anything about it, IT asserts - remember, IT, not you - when your enlightenment says, not you, when your inner light starts declaring itself, what. can you do? Where are you? You are no more there, so you cannot even prevent it. Listen attentively: you cannot declare it, you cannot prevent it from being declared. When I say to you don't say it, I am simply saying wait for when IT says. If you say it, it will be false; then you have not found it. But a day comes when suddenly you find that IT declares inside you. And the difference is so clear. It comes from such an innermost core, and your mind is just on the surface. Your mind becomes an audience - it simply hears it being declared, it has no part in it. But that is an inner phenomenon. Unless you have experienced it, it will not be possible for you to understand it.
But there are parallel experiences which can be of help. You say to a woman "I love you", and you don't love. You are simply interested in having a night with her, you just want to hop in bed with her.
You say "I love you"; you don't mean anything. It is just a way, a mannerism. It is gentlemanly to say it, it is polite to start that way; a little introduction is needed. You cannot just jump into the bed without an introduction... the woman may get angry. She may start calling the police, or the crowd may gather and you may be beaten. You are just persuading her. You say "I love you", but you know it is not coming from the heart. It is just in the head, cerebral.
Then one day you really fall in love with a woman, and the difference is clear, loud. Now the whole heart is saying "I am in love " You are not saying it, the heart is saying it. You are not there at all, you as the mind. The mind is a listener now; the heart says "I am in love."But the difference is such that only you can know when you are formal and when you are true.
If you declare that you have found the truth, then it will be wrong. But if IT declares, then there is no problem. What can you do about it? Even if you want to prevent it, you cannot prevent it.
It happened in the case of Mansoor, one of the greatest Sufis, Al-Hillaj Mansoor. One day, sitting silently before his Master - his Master was also a great mystic, Junaid - he simply declared "Ana-el Haqq! I am God! I am Truth!"
The Master said, "Keep quiet! Don't say it. Keep it inside you. You are not supposed to say it. You know perfectly well that we exist in a Mohammedan country, we are Mohammedans. If people come to hear it, they will kill you."
Mansoor kept it for a few seconds, and then declared again, "Ana-el Haqq! I am God!"
The Master said, "Mansoor, have you heard me or not?"
Mansoor said, "I have heard you, but IT declares. Now death or no death, IT declares. I have been trying, Master. I have been trying whatsoever you have said, but IT declares." And those passionate eyes, and that ecstatic energy; and Junaid knew perfectly well that he could not be prevented. So he said, "You had better go for a pilgrimage. Go to Kaaba. But keep it to yourself. Try, contain it!
Don't allow it out. There will be danger." He went to Kaaba.
That has been one of the most ancient traditions in the Sufis - that when somebody comes to declare it, he is sent to Kaaba. The journey cools him, his ecstasy becomes cooler and cooler and cooler. And the impact of Kaaba... because that stone is not just a stone. In fact, no stone is just a stone, and certainly that stone in Kaaba is not just a stone! It is the rarest stone in the world because millions who have known God have kissed it. No other stone like that exists. Millions who have known God have kissed it. That stone has a different vibe, no other stone has that pulsation.
So it is an ancient tradition in the Sufis that when somebody declares, he has to go and kiss the stone. By kissing that stone something happens. So many declarations, the whole stone crying and shouting "I am God", that your own small voice is lost - it cools. Then you know that so many have known; there is nothing to declare. Millions have known, "I am not new, I am not the first one there.
I am not a pioneer."
Mansoor was sent, but he could not reach because in the middle he was caught. He was declaring.
Even when he was going alone, suddenly it would happen and he would declare. He was caught, brought to the court, was killed.
But even when he was being killed he was declaring. It is not right to say that HE was declaring; IT was declaring through him.
When you have come to know it, if IT declares, good. Sometimes it declares, sometimes it. does not declare. In the case of Junaid it didn't declare, it simply remained there. It depends. Junaid was capable of remaining silent. But with Mansoor it was uncontainable. But one thing has to be remembered: you are not to declare it - that must be kept in mind, continuously in mind. If you declare, you have done something false, you have committed a sacrilege.
You ask me, "YOU SAY NOT TO CONVERT ANYONE OR SAY YOU HAVE FOUND IT. WHAT ABOUT YOU, OSHO?"
I am crazy. You leave me alone. Do what I tell you to do, don't do what I do. You will have to wait for that moment. That moment will come, and when it comes it is such a liberation. But if you start pretending before it comes, you will be preventing it; then it will never come. It never comes to pretenders.
And you ask, "WHAT ABOUT WANTING MY BELOVED TO BECOME A SANNYASIN?
Prita.... I can understand. When you are enjoying something, something like sannyas, you would like it to be shared by your beloved. Who would not like that? But there is a danger: don't go and become aggressive, otherwise you will do exactly the opposite of what you wanted to do. Nobody wants to be pulled, manipulated. Nobody wants to be dominated - certainly not men. No man wants to be a follower of his woman; the ego is very strong.
The male ego is very aggressive. That is one of the greatest experiences woman should have learned by now. I know people, couples....
The man had been drinking for thirty years and destroying his health, and knew it. But he could not stop it because the wife had been against it. I told the wife, "You drop fighting. You simply allow him; not only allow him, you do whatsoever he wants. Help him drink. When he comes home, ask him 'Would you like to have some drink?' "
She said, "What are you saying? Thirty years I have tried, and he has not stopped! Now I am to help him to drink?"
I said, "You just try. Maybe it is you who have prevented him. He could have stopped, because I know him. He loves me, he comes to me, and he says to me and he cries; he says, 'I know that this is wrong. I am destroying myself, my family, everything.' "
And the wife said, "I know too that he loves you, because whenever he is too drunk he simply talks like you. But it is too much! In the night at two o'clock he will start delivering a sermon. And for exactly ninety minutes! And he repeats it word for word."
But the wife listened to me and stopped saying to the man.... It was hard for her, because she had also been, for thirty years, in the old habit of nagging. The husband was puzzled. He could not believe that the wife was bringing alcohol for him, serving it. He came to me after one week. He said, "What have you done to my wife? It is strange, but suddenly I am feeling that now the time has come to drop it."
The male ego.... You are against smoking and your husband will smoke. You are against this and he will do that. He has to protect himself. He's so afraid of you - that if he does not protect, you will eat him, you will absorb him. He's afraid because he knows you have the capacity to absorb him. Once, he had lived in a woman's womb, and he's very afraid. Somehow he has escaped from the clutches of the mother who was saying, "Do this, don't do that. Be like this, don't be like that." Somehow he has escaped. And I say 'somehow' because nobody really ever escapes from the mother, very rarely. When you escape you become enlightened. The mother goes on following, and then you find a wife, and the wife starts mothering you. And he becomes afraid that now again the same thing is beginning, and the wife starts nagging, "Don't do this, do that." And she starts guiding - about small things, about great things, about everything - and she does it out of love! That love is not suspected, but one loves one's freedom too.
You ask me, "WHAT ABOUT WANTING MY BELOVED TO BECOME A SANNYASIN?"
Wanting is okay, but keep it inside yourself. Don't you start nagging him, otherwise I will miss one sannyasin! You simply let him be. You be a sannyasin, you enjoy your sannyas, you become more loving, you become more silent, you become more ecstatic, and leave him alone. Never even say a single time, "You also become a sannyasin." Let him think himself. Let him feel you, what has happened to you. Let him see; he has eyes. If you are transformed by becoming a sannyasin, he will start feeling that something has to be done now. If he can see that some flowers are blooming in you, the fragrance will transform him - not you, but the fragrance. And when the fragrance transforms there is no resistance, because the fragrance comes so invisibly, so silently, so noiselessly. And nobody can resist it because nobody knows when it has entered into their being, remember it.
If you want your beloved to become a sannyasin, you simply let him see what has happened to you.
Let him see your dance and celebration. If that transforms him, good, but don't become a Christian missionary. Don't start pounding on him, don't start arguing with him. Don't start manipulating, controlling him, otherwise you will create resistance. And if resistance is created, then it becomes more and more difficult. Even if some day he becomes a sannyasin just because you have been nagging too much and he wants to be free of the nagging and just decides that it is okay - "Become a sannyasin and keep this woman's mouth shut" - then he will be just a sannyasin from the outside.
He will resist me.
So this has to be remembered not only by Prita but by everybody else: we love, and naturally we want to share, but love has to be alert, aware. And this is the awareness that has to be kept alive: never encroach on anybody's freedom, never encroach on anybody's space. Love, but keep distance. Love, but remain alone and let the other be alone. If you can allow the other freedom to be alone, then your love is aware. If you start encroaching on the other, if you start possessing the other, if you start manipulating and dominating the other, if you start monopolizing the other, directing the other, then you are destroying your love. Your love is unconscious, and unconsciousness is always a poison. Love dies because of unconsciousness.
That's why so many people love, but still love doesn't seem to happen. So many people go on falling in love and falling out of it. Nobody remains there. Why do people fall out of it? - because of the unconscious, because of the mechanical habits. Avoid that. If your love is deep enough and your joy of sannyas is true, that will do, that will transform him.
The last question:
Karuna, you are becoming closer every moment, and there is no how to it. Once the 'how' comes in, you will start getting farther away. There are things which can be done, and there are things which can only be allowed.
Coming closer to me is not something that you can do. Nothing can be done about it. You can only allow, you can let it happen. It is a WEI-WU-WEI; it is action through inaction. Don't ask how.
And I know the question arises naturally, because the closer you come, the more close you would like to be. But you cannot do anything about it. If you do anything, you will become hard. Doing, ego becomes frozen. Non-doing, you melt, and in melting you come close to me. The moment you start doing something you are again back, the ego is back. And the ego can only take you farther away.
It is happening already. I have been watching you; you are coming closer every moment.
You say, "I GIVE YOU MY HANDS."
In fact, I have taken them already, and I have not even asked your permission. I never ask, I steal.
You will be surprised to know that in India we have one thousand names for God, and the most beautiful out of all those one thousand names is HARE. HARE means the thief.
I don't ask your permission. I don't even knock at your door. I don't say, "May I come in sir?" Or "May I come in madam?" I simply enter. You come to know about me later on, when the harm is already done, when there is no point of return, when you have already crossed the border from where escape becomes impossible.
The ancient Egyptian tradition says the Master chooses the disciple, not vice versa. And I say to you that this is true, absolutely true. When you choose me that is only a secondary phenomenon. I have already chosen you. If I have not chosen you, you will not choose me. If I have chosen you, only then will you choose me. Your choice is really nothing but a recognition that you have been chosen.
I have taken Karuna's hands already, without her knowing. Excuse me.
And the second thing is also true: now I am taking her head.
And the third thing that Karuna is not yet aware of is that finally I have to take your being. 'Head' means your thinking, 'hand' means your action. But you are beyond both. You are being. And when your being has merged with my being, when your emptiness has become part of my emptiness, when my emptiness has become part of your emptiness, when these two zeros have become one, then the work is complete. But it is happening.
That is the basic thing to understand here: sannyas is your declaration that you will not prevent, that's all, that you will keep your doors open, that if I come you will not say no, that if I start taking things from you, you will not create any hindrance, that you will be happy that I have chosen something from you - your hands, your head, your being.
The disciple has to disappear in the Master; only then does the Master disappear into the disciple.
There comes a moment when the disciple is no more there, just as the Master has never been there.
'Master' means an emptiness, and you are coming closer and closer to the emptiness. There is no way that you can do it, because if you do something, that doing will not allow you to become empty.
Doing will fill you. Non-doing helps you to become empty.
Enjoy, dance. Whatsoever is happening, feel grateful for it. Much more is on the way, much more every day, much more every moment. This is a non-ending journey into bliss.