The first question
I AM DEEPLY CONVINCED THAT OUR WAY IS TO DROP THE EGO, TO COME BACK TO OUR POTENTIAL OF SENSUALITY AND EMOTIONAL SENSITIVITY, AND TO INCREASE IN TOTAL AWARENESS. I NEVERTHELESS HAVE DIFFICULTY IN COMPREHENDING THAT SPIRITUAL CREATIVITY SHOULD NOT BE AN ORIGINAL PART OF OURSELF. AGAINST THIS I REALIZE THAT THE CREATIVE SPIRIT IS HAPPENING HERE AND THAT NEW FORMS OF LIFE HAVE BEEN CREATED IN POONA. CAN WE CONSIDER THOUGHTS, IMAGES AND SPIRITUAL GUESTS, FOREIGN GUESTS, COMING TO US WITHOUT OUR MENTAL ACTIVITY - JUST AWARENESS NEEDED? I THINK THIS IDEA IS REALLY NOT EASY TO UNDERSTAND FOR THE WEST. IT SEEMS THE POINT TO JUMP, BUT IF I DID NOT FEEL A STRONG FAITH IN YOU AND READINESS FOR YOUR MESSAGE I WOULD NOT BE HERE. PLEASE BE PATIENT.
I REALLY will have to be patient! The first thing.
You say: I AM deeply convinced...
Do you understand the reason why we go on asserting such statements as "I strongly believe," "I am deeply convinced" ? The truth is just the opposite - it is a cover-up. If you know, you know; there is no question of strong belief or deep conviction. Are you convinced that the sun rises in the east, deeply convinced? You simply know it, you don't have to believe in it. Knowing needs no belief, and all believing is an effort to pretend knowledge which does not exist in the first place. Belief is pseudo knowledge.
And because deep down you feel that you don't know, this not-knowing has to be repressed. By strong beliefs you repress this state of not-knowing. By deep convictions you force your natural state of not-knowing to the unconscious layers of your mind.
A man of knowledge has no beliefs at all. He does not believe even in God, he knows, and his knowing is enough. There is no need for it to be strong - against what? Why do you need a strong conviction? - because there is a strong doubt to repress. You are divided. Look into it! I am not talking about any theory, it is a simple fact. Look underneath your convictions and you will always find undercurrents of strong doubts.
That's why believers can change their belief very easily, but they cannot allow the natural doubt to surface. The theist can become an atheist; when he was a theist he was strongly convinced of its truth, and when he becomes an atheist, he is strongly convinced again of the truth of atheism.
Kahlil Gibran has a beautiful story about it:
In a small village there were two scholars, philosophers. The village was really small and it could not contain two scholars. One was a theist, the other was an atheist - obviously, because scholars cannot agree; their only agreement is to disagree. And they were constantly quarreling, fighting, arguing - not only that, they were disturbing the peace of the town.
People were not concerned at all whether God exists or not. Who is concerned? Except for a few fools, nobody is concerned whether God exists or not; that is not a real concern of life. Real concerns are different. Love may be a real concern, fear may be a real concern. Violence may be a real concern. Death, life - these are real concerns. What has God got to do with you?
The villagers were tired, the more so because both were great logicians and the village was continuously wavering. They would become convinced of atheism, and then the atheist would come and destroy their conviction. They would become convinced of theism, and then the atheist would follow. It became a nightmarish phenomenon Finally they decided: they requested both the scholars to argue one full moon night, and the whole village would listen to their argument. And whatsoever the conclusion the whole village would follow the conclusion, "So this arguing can be stopped, so that we can be left in peace You decide whether God exists or not. You both argue and decide."
Great argument followed. It continued the whole night. It was complex, intricate, but the villagers were really interested because they were giving such beautiful arguments for and against that each moment there was a wave of change. When the atheist spoke, the whole village would feel "Now this is the end." When the theist spoke they would think, "Now, what more can there be?"
In the morning they were in for a great surprise. A great miracle happened: the theist became convinced of atheism and the atheist became convinced of theism. But the problem of the village remained the same. The whole night wasted, and there was nothing in their hands.
It is not difficult. In fact the more strongly you are convinced, the easier It iS to change your conviction - because the more strongly you are convinced, the more indications you are giving that there is a very strong doubt which needs such a strong conviction to repress it.
Soviet Russia before the revolution was one of the most theistic countries in the world. Even India is not so theistic. It was the orthodox stronghold of Christianity, very orthodox. And then, within a few years, within just five to ten years, the whole country changed from a strong conviction of theism to a strong conviction of atheism. What happened?
China was one of the most religious countries in the East under Confucius, Lao Tzu, Mencius, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu - the great heritage. And then the impact, the great impact of Buddha and Bodhidharma. Thousands of monasteries, thousands of monks, Taoist, Buddhist, Confucian, and at least five thousand years of traditional up-bringing, yet within ten years after the revolution all that disappeared. Now China is as strongly convinced of atheism as it was convinced of theism.
My feeling is that if any day this misfortune happens in India, that India becomes a communist country, it will become the most atheistic country in the world. The same people who look so religious will become anti-religious in the same way, with a vengeance, because the doubt is there deep down waiting for the right moment to assert itself.
You cannot make America atheist in the same way that you can India, for the simple reason that in America the conviction is so lukewarm it does not really matter. God is only a formality, religion is nothing but a Sunday affair, the church is not more than a club. A few people go to the Rotary Club, a few people go to the Lions Club, a few people go to the Catholic Club and a few to the Protestant Club... These are clubs where people talk sweet nothings and gossip about the society - good meeting places, nothing is wrong with it, but very lukewarm; there is no question of anything strong. Because there is no strong conviction in America, America can never become a stronghold of atheism.
That's why communism is not succeeding in America, for the simple reason that communism is an atheistic philosophy, fanatically atheistic. In fact, Karl Marx, Friederich Engels, the founders of communism, had prophesied that America would be the first communist country. They would have never thought, even in their dreams, that Russia would be the first communist country, because both were economists - they knew nothing of psychology and they knew nothing of the inner workings of the human psyche.
If they had asked me I would have told them that America is going to be the last country in the world to become communist. I would have suggested India, China, Russia - these three countries have the most potential to turn towards communism. Two have already turned, the third is getting ready - for the simple reason that five thousand years of repressed doubt has become tremendously strong.
Remember one thing: the conviction through which you repress the doubt goes on becoming weaker because its energy is being used in repressing. That which is repressed goes on becoming stronger because it is not losing any energy at all; it accumulates energy.
You say, Ilas: I AM DEEPLY CONVINCED THAT OUR WAY IS TO DROP THE EGO...
Look into your conviction and you will find a very great doubt about what you are saying. And once you find the doubt then something can be done, because the doubt is the reality. Nobody teaches you doubt. There are schools of Hindus and Mohammedans and Christians teaching you belief.
There is nobody who teaches you doubt - even communists don't teach doubt. They teach a new kind of belief - the belief in no-God.
They have their own religion. Of course Kaaba is not their holy place; it is the Kremlin. They have their own trinity. You may not call it a holy trinity, you can call it an unholy trinity. It is not God the Father, the Holy Ghost and the Son; it is Karl Marx, Friederich Engels, V. I. Lenin - the trinity, the same trinity. Karl Marx is the father, Lenin the son, and this Friederich Engels is certainly a Holy Ghost, because his whole purpose was to supply Karl Marx all his needs.
You will be surprised to know that Friederich Engels was one of the richest men, one of the greatest industrialists in Britain. Marx lived on his money his whole life because he never earned any. It is because of Friederich Engels and his capitalist money that communism has come to become a philosophy, a way of life for millions of people.
Everybody teaches belief, but doubt is natural. Hence the real Masters of the world... for example, Gautam Buddha, says to his disciples, "Don't believe just because I say it is so. Don't believe just because the holy scriptures say it is so. Don't believe because the masses believe in a certain thing.
Unless you experience, never believe in anything. Go on doubting - go on doubting to the very extreme."
Doubt is a natural, intrinsic quality of your being; it is God-given. Use it, because it has tremendous power in it. It is an instrument to discover truth.
Ilas, I will not suggest that you become deeply convinced of anything, I will suggest that you doubt and doubt totally so that you can discover truth. Doubt is not against truth, doubt is a methodology to discover truth. Doubt is not an enemy of truth but the only friend. Belief is the enemy of truth because it is belief that prevents you from discovering, from inquiring.
So the first thing I would like to suggest;to you is: drop this idea of deep convictions.
Again in the end you say:... a strong faith in you.
Forget this language; this is not the right language - at least not in this place. In this context I respect doubt, I don't respect belief, because my own experience is that through doubt people have discovered truth, and through belief people have remained ignorant their whole lives, they have never discovered truth.
But priests won't say this to you. Priests are all for belief. And if you are Strongly convinced the priest is very happy because now you can be used as a fanatic fool, now you are available to the priests to be exploited.
I am not a priest, I am just a friend. I am here to explain to you how I have discovered truth. Doubt has been my own process, my own way to reach to truth. And I would like you to become more and more sharp, intelligent. Doubt more scientifically. Just as in science doubt helps you to discover. it also helps in the inward journey.
Drop condemning doubt and praising faith, belief, convictions.
You say: I AM DEEPLY CONVINCED THAT OUR WAY IS TO DROP THE EGO...
Who is this "I am"? Who is convinced? Now this is a contradiction.
You say: I am deeply convinced that our way is to drop the ego . . .
"I am" is nothing but another name for the ego. Now you will be getting into trouble. If the ego is convinced that the only way is to drop the ego, then who is going to drop whom? And how? It will be like pulling yourself up by your own shoestrings. You will look just silly. Watch each word that you use. "I am" is nothing but the ego.
The second thing: nobody has ever been able to drop the ego because ego is not a reality that you can drop; anything to be dropped at least has to be real, substantial. Ego is just a notion, an idea.
You cannot drop it, you can only understand it. Can you drop your shadow? You can run as fast as you want but your shadow will run at the same speed, exactly the same speed.
There is a Taoist story about a man who became afraid of his shadow. He was reading a story... He was alone on a farm in a small hut, and in the deep darkness of the night, reading a story that was saying shadows are nothing but ghosts, he became so frightened that he looked at his own shadow and started running. Again he looked and the shadow was there. The natural logic was that he was not running fast enough, so he started running faster and faster. The faster he ran, the faster the shadow followed him. He became utterly exhausted and tired, so much so that he could not run anymore and just sat under the shadow of a tree. The moment he sat under the shadow of the tree, his shadow disappeared.
He was very much puzzled: he could not get rid of the shadow while he was running so fast, and now that he was simply sitting under the shade of the tree, the shadow disappeared.
This is a beautiful parable, of great significance. You cannot drop the ego. Once you start trying to drop the ego you will get in a very deep mess; you will become more and more worried and puzzled.
And this is not the way to get rid of the ego. The only way to get rid of the ego is to look at it.
First, try to find out where it is, whether it is there or not in the first place. And one who goes in never finds it; it simply disappears. Ego is just an idea, the idea of those people who have never gone in.
And they suffer because of the ego - because it is a false thing, it creates suffering. Remember, reality always creates blessings and falsity always brings misery.
Hell is the most false thing in the world - it exists not. Heaven is the only reality. We are in it right now, this very moment. We cannot be anywhere else. If you are in hell that is your creation, your fantasy, you are seeing a dream. If you are in heaven that is not your fantasy, that is not your dream, that's how things are. Heaven is the way of things.
Just look inside and try to find out, to point out where the ego is, and you will be surprised: you cannot find it anywhere. And when you cannot find it anywhere, it is gone - without dropping it.
But if you start dropping it, that will be like running to get rid of the shadow. You will become unnecessarily exhausted, unnecessarily tired, and you will start feeling very guilty because you have not been able to get rid of the ego. You will start feeling that you are a sinner, you will start condemning yourself. Your whole life will be destroyed just because of a simple mistake: that you looked out and started running, you never looked in.
Just a single experience of the inner world is enough to reveal the fact that the ego is a falsity, that we are not separate, that we are one, that we are part of one organic universe.
That oneness is the goal of all true religion. You can call that oneness moksha, nirvana, God, or whatsoever you like, but oneness of the whole existence. The trees, the rocks, the stars, the people, the animals, the birds - they are all one. It is one life manifesting in millions of ways, one ocean waving in millions of waves, but one ocean. Each single wave has no separate identity.
It is not a question of dropping the ego, Ilas, it is a question of understanding the ego. The moment you understand it, it is no more there. If you don't understand it, it is there, and you can go on doing all kinds of austerities - you can stand on your head, you can go on a long fast, you can go to the mountains, to the monasteries - but remember, your ego will become more and more subtle, more and more strong. That's why your so-called saints are more egoistic than anybody else. Even politicians cannot defeat them.
Your so-called saints are egoists for the simple reason that they are trying the hardest thing in the world, the most impossible thing in the world - going to the moon is not so difficult, going to Mount Everest is not so difficult - they are trying to get rid of the ego. And how much they are sacrificing for it: fasting for months, reading the holy scriptures the whole day, reciting the Koran, the Gita, doing all kinds of stupid rituals, worshipping gods of their own imagination! If you look at people - what they are doing - you will be surprised.
Somebody is worshipping Hanuman - a monkey god! Somebody is worshipping Ganesh - an elephant god! Human beings doing such stupid things that I have seen monkeys laughing, elephants giggling, because I have never seen a monkey worshipping the statue of a man! No monkey is so foolish, no elephant is so foolish. But man is not only worshipping statues, he worships stones, he worships trees, he worships rivers - anything. He just has to be hypnotized by tradition, by convention, by the mass, by the collective mind - he has to be hypnotized.
Millions of people go to Kaaba. Every Mohammedan has the idea deep in his mind that if he does not go to Kaaba his life will be in vain. And what is there in Kaaba? - just a black stone. But more people have kissed that black stone than any other stone. Now, in fact It is very dangerous to kiss it - it must be carrying so many germs! Millions of people down the ages, for fourteen hundred years, have been kissing the stone.
Scientists say that with a single kiss at least one hundred thousand germs are exchanged between a man and a woman; or, if you are gay, then between a man and a man. What about kissing the stone of Kaaba? - for fourteen hundred years millions of people, year in, year out, go on kissing it.
It must be the most dangerous stone in the world. But every Mohammedan has the desire to go on a hajj, on a holy pilgrimage, so that he can become a hajji, so that he iS known as a holy pilgrim - he has been to Kaaba, he has kissed the stone, the holy stone.
Either the whole existence is holy or no stone can be holy.
Hindus go to the rivers... Now scientists say that the Ganges is the most polluted river in India; it is very dangerous to take a dip in the Ganges. But who listens to the scientists? Hindus think this is the holiest river and once you take a dip in the river all your sins are washed away. And my feeling is that the scientists must be right because so many people have washed their sins in it... It is not only polluted, it is the most sinful river, because how many people have been washing their sins in it! Now even to take a dip in it is dangerous: you may wash away your sin, you may bring back somebody else's with you. It is always good to have your own, at least you are familiar with them.
Now bringing back somebody else's sin you never know what you are in for.
The only true religion is the religion of understanding, and understanding comes out of agnosia.
Never forget this beautiful word of Dionysius': agnosia, a state of not-knowing.
Ilas, I have to be patient with you only because you are so full of knowledge, so full of words. Your questions are not real inquiries, they are all intellectual, they are not existential.
You say: I AM DEEPLY CONVINCED THAT OUR WAY IS TO DROP THE EGO...
If you are deeply convinced then drop it and be finished! Then why are you carrying it? With such a deep conviction, why are you carrying the ego? Do you need more deep conviction? How much have you been able to drop of the ego with so much deep conviction? If you have not been able to drop any part of your ego then no conviction Is going to help.
And you say:... TO COME BACK TO OUR POTENTIAL OF SENSUALITY AND EMOTIONAL SENSITIVITY AND TO INCREASE IN TOTAL AWARENESS...
You have simply learned words, otherwise there is no going back ever. One cannot go back in time, one always goes forwards. One becomes a child again, but that is not going back, that is going forward.
That's why the words of Jesus are not... Remember the words. He says, "Unless you are like small children you shall not enter into my kingdom of God." He has not said, "Unless you are children,"
he says, "Unless you are like small children . . ." It is very clear that he is saying you should be a grown-up person and yet like small children. It is not children themselves who will be able to enter into the kingdom of God, but people who have passed through all the experiences of life, good and bad. sweet and bitter, who have come to a certain maturity through experience, who have lived life dangerously, who have gone astray many times and who have committed thousands of mistakes - because this is the only way, this is the only fire that crystallizes you. These people can be children again.
But this is not going back, it is going forward. It is the ultimate peak, like the snow-covered peaks of the Himalayas. It has a purity far more beautiful than children can ever have, because children are just ignorant. They are innocent because they are ignorant. Their innocence is not that valuable. It is out of ignorance, that is why they are innocent. All animals are innocent because they are ignorant.
If you want to go back, you will be ignorant and innocent. If you go forward, you will be wise and innocent. And the difference is tremendously great. With wisdom, innocence has a totally different flavor, a different beauty. With ignorance, it is nothing; sooner or later it is bound to be lost - it has to be lost. It is like the first set of teeth, they are bound to fall out, the milk teeth - they will fall out.
Then the real teeth will come. The child's innocence is only ignorance - it has to go, and the sooner it goes the better. Don't protect it and don't hope that you can go back. Going back is not going to help. That's where I differ from Primal Therapy.
It is good as an experiment to go back in your memories. You only go back in memories, you cannot go back in time. It is good to go back in your memories just to see how it was when you were just a small child. But Primal Therapy cannot help you unless you move forward in meditation. Primal Therapy may become an impetus, an inspiration, a triggering phenomenon - it may give you an insight into the beauty of the innocence that childhood was. But there was something ugly also, ignorance. Now you have to sort it out. Ignorance has to be dropped and innocence has to be increased. Ignorance can be dropped only by wisdom, by awareness. It is going forward, it is not going backward.
But you have learned beautiful words from books.
You say: I NEVERTHELESS HAVE DIFFICULTY IN COMPREHENDING THAT SPIRITUAL CREATIVITY SHOULD NOT BE AN ORIGINAL PART OF OUR SELF The original self is not a self at all, the original face is not a face at all - it is pure emptiness. There is no center in it called "self," because that is again ego coming from the back door. And out of that emptiness certainly great creativity is born, but that is not your creativity. You have nothing to do with it - you are no more there - God starts flowing through you. That's why in the East we say the Vedas are not written by man, they are apaurusheya, they are divine. Man has only recorded them; they have been revealed by God.
The same is said about the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament - God gave those Ten Commandments to Moses. Moses is not the creator, he is only a messenger. The same is said about the Koran: the Koran is not Mohammed's creation, it is not his writing; he is just a vehicle.
Yes, when you attain to an egoless emptiness great creativity happens. But one never knows what kind of creativity it will be. One cannot predict it, because it has nothing to do with you. One never knows for what God is going to choose you. He may sing a song through you, he may become a bhagavadgita, a divine song, or he may paint through you, or he may do something else. Nobody knows - nobody can know - one can only wait and allow the whole to take possession of you.
The creator is one who is possessed by the whole. Ninety-nine point nine percent of your so-called creators are not creators, they are all egoistic people. Your painters. your poets, your authors, they are very egoistic people.
These three are the most egoistic people: the saints are the first, the second are your so-called intellectuals, the intelligentsia, and the third are the poor politicians. They come third in the race because their power is very gross. The intelligent person thinks his power is more subtle, and the spiritual person thinks, of course, his power is the most supreme power.
You say: AGAINST THIS, I REALIZE THAT THE CREATIVE SPIRIT IS HAPPENING HERE, AND THAT NEW FORMS OF LIFE HAVE BEEN CREATED IN POONA.
We are not doing anything creative - we are not the doers, we are meditators. We have come together here not to do anything at all. But then things happen... Out of that nothingness many flowers bloom, blossom. And when something comes out of your nothingness, it has the signature of God on it.
You say: Can we consider thoughts, images and spirits as guests, foreign guests, coming to us without our mental activity - just awareness is needed?
Yes, that's exactly how it is. But as far as you are concerned, Ilas, I don't think you know through experience what awareness is. If you knew it there would have been no question. That too is just guesswork.
That's why you say: Can we consider thoughts, images and spirits as guests, foreign guests, coming to us without our mental activity - just awareness is needed?
Each thought comes from the outside and goes back to the outside. It is just like breath.
Teilhard de Chardin has coined a word, "noo-sphere. " Just as there is air surrounding you, atmosphere he used to say that another, subtle atmosphere is surrounding you, the noosphere.
Just as you breathe air in and out, that is a must for your body, from the noo-sphere, the thought sphere, you continuously breathe in and out - that is a must for your psychological existence. All thoughts come from the outside, and just as they come. they go. But you start claiming that "These are MY thoughts!" That's where the problem arises. If you can simply watch . . .
Buddha's method was: first watch your breathing coming in and going out. Start with breathing because that is a gross thing and can be watched more easily. Start with the most gross: watch your breathing coming in, going out.
He divided your breathing in four steps. First, the breath comes in. You just watch the breath going in, the subtle touch, your lungs being filled with it. Then there comes a moment of pause - for a split second all stops; the breath is in, nothing is moving. Watch that pause because that is the most important thing. Then another process begins: the breath starts going out. Watch it again. Then your lungs are empty, they shrink; the breath has gone out totally. Again there is a pause - for a split second all stops. Watch that too, because these two pauses are the most significant for the meditators. Then the breath starts coming in.
So these are four things: the breath coming in, the breath going out, and the two pauses at both ends. Those two pauses, when everything stops, are of tremendous silence. If you can watch those pauses, then comes the second step: start watching your thoughts. Each thought goes through the same process, the same four steps. The thought comes in, stays for a moment, goes out, and the pause. Another thought comes in, pause, the thought goes out. Start watching your thoughts.
And the third step is... Because of watching your breath and thoughts you have come to know now that you are neither thoughts nor your breath, you are the watcher, the witness. This is awareness.
This is what I call meditation. Once you have known this awareness you are unidentified with your body, with your mind. Now you experience a vastness inside you, in one sense utterly empty and in another sense overflowingly full. Because of its emptiness you will remain calm and quiet. And because of its overflowing fullness you will be creative.
But please, Ilas, don't go on guessing, thinking. Experiment, experience.
You say: I THINK THIS IDEA IS REALLY NOT EASY TO UNDERSTAND FOR THE WEST.
This is not an idea. For you this is an idea, that's the difficulty. This is not an idea at all, this is a very tangible reality - you can hold it in your hands. That's what I am here for: to help you to hold it in your hands. This awareness, this nothingness, this fullness is the most potential reality in the world.
It is the first experience of God, or godliness.
And you think it is difficult to understand for the West? Don't be worried about the West, you just be worried about yourself. What has it got to do with West and East? It has nothing to do with geography.
There have been people in the West who have experienced it. From Moses to Jesus, to Eckhart, there have been many who have experienced it. I think if somebody really counts all the Western enlightened people and all the Eastern enlightened people the number must be the same, because there is a subtle balance in existence: the East must balance the West, the West must balance the East, otherwise the balance of nature will be disturbed and nature never allows disturbance. It always keeps the balance.
In the West you have not thought much of your enlightened people, that's why many names have disappeared. In the East we have respected them very much so we have not lost a single name.
But according to the law of balance, East and West have both experienced the same quality of consciousness in the same number of people.
Don't be worried about the West. You are here, experience it.
You say: IT SEEMS THE POINT TO JUMP,...
So what are you doing? For what are you waiting? Jump! How much longer do you have to wait?
And you say:... BUT IF I DID NOT FEEL A STRONG FAITH IN YOU AND READINESS FOR YOUR MESSAGE I WOULD NOT BE HERE.
Please remember perfectly well that I don't expect any faith from you or any belief from you in me. If you are here to believe in me for some strong reasons that you call "faith," "conviction," then you are here for wrong reasons. Be here to experiment, to experience.
I am not a philosopher - I am not teaching you a certain philosophy, I am not imparting any knowledge or information to you - I am available for a totally different kind of work. You can call it transformation but not information.
The second question
WHAT WAS THE FIRST THING THAT YOU DID AFTER YOU BECAME ENLIGHTENED?
I LAUGHED, a real uproarious laugh, seeing the whole absurdity of trying to be enlightened. The whole thing is ridiculous because we are born enlightened, and to try for something that is already the case is the most absurd thing. If you already have it, you cannot achieve it; only those things can be achieved which you don't have, which are not intrinsic parts of your being. But enlightenment is your very nature.
I had struggled for it for many lives - it had been the only target for many many lives. And I had done everything that is possible to do to attain it, but I had always failed. It was bound to be so - because it cannot be an attainment. It is your nature, so how can it be your attainment? It cannot be made an ambition.
Mind is ambitious - ambitious for money, for power, for prestige. And then one day, when it gets fed up with all these extrovert activities, it becomes ambitious for enlightenment, for liberation, for nirvana, for God. But the same ambition has come back; only the object he changed. First the object was outside, now the object is inside. But your attitude, your approach has not changed; you are the same person in the same mt, in the same routine.
"The day I became enlightened" simply means the day I realized that there is nothing to achieve, there is nowhere to go, there is nothing to be done. We are already divine and we are already perfect - as we arc. No improvement is needed, no improvement at all. God never creates anybody imperfect. Even if you come across an imperfect man, you will see that his imperfection is perfect.
God never creates any imperfect thing.
I have heard about a Zen Master Bokuju who was telling this truth to his disciples, that all is perfect.
A man stood up - very old, a hunchback - and he said, "What about me? I am a hunchback. What do you say about me?" Bokuju said, "I have never seen such a perfect hunchback in my life."
When I say "the day I achieved enlightenment," I am using wrong language - because there is no other language, because our language is created by us. It consists of the words "achievement,"
"attainment," "goals," "improvement" "progress," "evolution." Our languages are not created by the enlightened people; and in fact they cannot create it even if they want to because enlightenment happens in silence. How can you bring that silence into words? And whatsoever you do, the words are going to destroy something of that silence.
Lao Tzu says: The moment truth is asserted it becomes false. There is no way to communicate truth. But language has to be used; there is no other way. So we always have to use the language with the condition that it cannot be adequate to the experience. Hence I say "the day I achieved my enlightenment." It is neither an achievement nor mine.
[At this point there was a power failure: no light, no sound.] Yes, it happens like that! Out of nowhere suddenly the darkness, suddenly the light, and you cannot do anything. You can just watch.
I laughed that day because of all my stupid ridiculous efforts to attain it. I laughed on that day at myself, and I laughed on that day at the whole of humanity, because everybody is trying to achieve, everybody is trying to reach, everybody is trying to improve.
To me it happened in a state of total relaxation - it always happens in that state. I had tried everything. And then, seeing the futility of all effort, I dropped... I dropped the whole project, I forgot all about it. For seven days I lived as ordinarily as possible.
The people I used to live with were very much surprised, because this was the first time they had seen me live just an ordinary life. Otherwise my whole life was a perfect discipline.
For two years I had lived with that family, and they had known that I would get up at three o'clock in the morning, then I would go for a long four- or five-mile walk or run, and then I would take a bath in the river. Everything was absolutely routine. Even if I had a fever or I was ill, there was no difference:
I would simply go on the same way.
They had known me to sit in meditation for hours. Up to that day I had not eaten many things. I would not drink tea, coffee, I had a strict discipline about what to eat, what not to eat. And exactly at nine o'clock I would go to bed. Even if somebody was sitting there, I would simply say "Goodbye"
and I would go to my bed. The family with whom I used to live, they would inform the person that "Now you can go. He has gone to sleep." I would not even waste a single moment in saying, "Now it is time for me to go to sleep."
When I relaxed for seven days, when I dropped the whole thing and when on the first day I drank tea in the morning and woke up at nine o'clock in the morning, the family was puzzled. They said, "What has happened?
Have you fallen?" They used to think of me as a great yogi.
One picture of those days still exists. I used to use only one single piece of cloth and that was all. In the day I would cover my body with it, in the night I would use it as a blanket to cover myself. I slept on a bamboo mat. That was my whole comfort - that blanket, that bamboo mat. I had nothing - no other possessions.
They were puzzled when I woke up at nine. They said, "Something is wrong. Are you very ill, seriously ill?"
I said, "No, I am not seriously ill. I have been ill for many years, now I am perfectly healthy. Now I will wake up only when sleep leaves me, and I will go to sleep only when sleep comes to me. I am no longer going to be a slave to the clock. I will eat whatsoever my body feels like eating, and I will drink whatsoever I feel like drinking."
They could not believe it. They said, "Can you even drink beer?" I said, "Bring it!"
That was the first day I tasted beer. They could not believe their eyes. They said, "You have completely gone down. You have become completely unspiritual. What are you doing?"
I said, "Enough is enough." And in seven days I completely forgot the whole project, and I forgot it forever.
And the seventh day it happened - it happened just out of nowhere. Suddenly all was light; and I was not doing anything, I was just sitting under a tree resting, enjoying. And when I laughed, the gardener heard the laughter. He used to think that I was a little bit crazy, but he had never seen me laugh in that way. He came running. He said, "What is the matter?"
I said, "Don't be worried. You know I am crazy - now I have gone completely crazy! I am laughing at myself. Don't feel offended. Just go to sleep."
You ask me, Ashu, What was the first thing that you did after you became enlightened?
Laughter. And that's the thing that I have been doing since then. I cannot laugh before you while telling jokes because that destroys the jokes, but I laugh through you.
Mario staggers into his favorite bar and asks for a triple scotch.
"What happened to you?" the bartender asks.
"I am fucking mad!" Mario says. "It all started late last night. We had been working late and my secretary asked me to drive her home. When I turned on the ignition of my car, the key snapped off in my hand!"
"Oh, that would sure piss me off," says the bartender.
"No, that didn't get me mad," says Mario. "We just took a cab, went up to her apartment and ate a little snack she prepared. Then she asked me if I would like to lie down with her a while."
"And then?" asks the enthralled bartender.
"Well," continues Mario, "as I unzipped my trousers my bloody fly got jammed and I couldn't get my pants off!"
"Wow! That would really get me mad!" exclaims the bartender.
"Naw... That didn't get me mad. We got into it soon enough, and there we were going at it good and strong when all of a sudden there was a key in the latch. 'Quick,' she said, 'it must be my husband.
"Now that's a real piss-off!" says the bartender.
"No," says Mario, "that's not what made me mad. I had to hide fast. In the cupboard and under the bed were obvious places, so I hung by my fingers out of the window. '
"And then?" says the bartender.
"Well, the husband bursts in and yells, 'Where is that sonofabitch hiding?' And without waiting for an answer he looks under the bed and in the cupboard and then he looks out of the window and sees me hanging by my fingers there with no clothes on."
"And then?" says the bartender.
"Well, he runs to his cupboard and pulls out a nine iron from his golf bag and with a grin on his face jumps onto the window sill and starts teeing off on my finger-tips, one by one."
"Jesus Christ! No wonder you are mad!" says the bartender.
"No! That's not why I am mad!" says Mario. "It was only when he got down to the last finger that I looked down and realized that I was only twelve inches off the ground! That's why I am mad!"