The absolute host
OUR BELOVED MASTER,
EMPTINESS IS A NAME FOR NOTHINGNESS, A NAME FOR UNGRASPABILITY, A NAME FOR MOUNTAINS, RIVERS, THE WHOLE EARTH. IT IS ALSO CALLED THE REAL FORM. IN THE GREEN OF THE PINES, THE TWIST OF THE BRAMBLES, THERE IS NO GOING OR COMING.
IN THE RED OF THE FLOWERS AND THE WHITE OF THE SNOW, THERE IS NO BIRTH AND NO DEATH.
JOY, ANGER, LOVE, PLEASURE - THESE ARE BEGINNINGLESS AND ENDLESS DELUSION. ENLIGHTENMENT, PRACTICE, REALIZATION - THESE ARE INEXHAUSTIBLE AND BOUNDLESS. THUS, EMPTINESS IS THE NAME FOR NOTHING ELSE; ALL THINGS ARE THE REAL FORM. IN ALL WORLDS, IN ALL DIRECTIONS, THERE IS NO SECOND, NO THIRD.
THEREFORE, IN THE FUNDAMENTAL VEHICLE THERE IS NO DELUSION OR ENLIGHTENMENT, NO PRACTICE OR REALIZATION. EVEN TO SPEAK OF PRACTICE AND REALIZATION IS A RELATIVE VIEW.
IN OUR SCHOOL, FROM THE FIRST ENTRY, THIS POINT SHOULD BE PRACTICED WHETHER SITTING, LYING DOWN, OR WALKING AROUND. WHEN SLEEPING, JUST SLEEPING, THERE IS NO PAST OR FUTURE. WHEN YOU AWAKEN, THERE IS NO SLEEP EITHER. THIS IS CALLED THE ABSOLUTE HOST.
Maneesha, Ryusui is pointing to a very fundamental question which Gautam Buddha raised for the first time in human history.
The question is, is enlightenment something to be achieved, desired, longed for? If so, then there must be practices, disciplines, rituals, and the whole paraphernalia. And millions of people have gone astray in search of enlightenment. Buddha is the first human being who has said that everything is absolutely arbitrary because you need not go anywhere. Enlightenment is your very nature.
It is consciousness that you are built with; this house, this body is not you. And this mind also is not you. And there is not much problem to stand aside and watch the mind and its functioning, to stand aside and watch the gestures of the body. This watcher is your reality, your truth. It is already here, so don't go in search somewhere else. Whenever, wherever you find it, you will always find it here and now. Now is the time and here is the space. If you can be now here, you are a Gautam Buddha.
I have heard a small story about a man who was a great atheist. The whole day he was arguing against religion, against all kinds of superstitions. He had written in his sitting room in big letters:
GOD IS NOWHERE.
Then a small child was born to him.
One day the small child was looking at the writing. He was just learning to write, learning the alphabet, so he could not manage to read GOD IS NOWHERE; on the contrary, he read: GOD IS NOW HERE - nowhere can be divided into two.
The father heard it and was amazed. He had never thought about it, that 'nowhere' consists of 'now' and 'here'.
The small child changed the man's whole approach; he started thinking about now and here. And he was puzzled... because he has never been now; his mind has been wandering in the past or in the future, but never now, never in the present.
Mind has no relationship with the present.
This moment, if you are here, the mind is no more.
Mind needs the past as memory, and mind needs the future as projection. Without future and past, the mind cannot exist. And the present is so small, just a split second. In the present, there is no work for the mind to do - either it can do some work for the future or some work for the past, but it is absolutely impotent as far as the present is concerned.
The father had defeated many philosophers, but this small child changed his whole life because he started to be here, and to be now, and he found a new area opening within himself.
That area is meditation.
Meditation means no mind - no past, no future, no present... just eternity, a pure mirror which reflects the whole and is not scratched by anything. Just as the sky is not scratched by the clouds moving, or the sun rising, or the full-moon night, the sky remains unscratched.
You have heard the Zen haiku about the shadows of the bamboos... sweeping the temple steps, but they don't make any noise.
The moon in the sky is reflected in the smallest pond but it does not disturb the pond. It does not create even a single ripple. And the miracle is, neither does the pond want the moon to reflect nor does the moon want to be reflected. But existence manages spontaneously a beautiful phenomenon - a single moon being reflected all over the earth.
In rivers, in oceans, in ponds, in lakes, in streams ... even in a single dewdrop on a lotus leaf, the full moon is reflected as fully as in the biggest ocean.
But everything is happening so silently on its own accord.
In existence there is no effort, there is no intention. Everything is very relaxed and at ease.
Gautam Buddha was the first man to say that anybody who is searching for himself is a fool. The very search is preventing you from finding. Don't search! Don't go anywhere, just sit down and close your eyes and be within. Forget all about past and future, forget the body and the mind - you are the host. This is only a house, a temporary caravanserai; by the morning you will have to go on. The caravan continues from one serai to another serai, so don't get attached to the caravanserai where you happen to be right now, in this moment.
Detached, aloof, just watching... and the mind disappears.
Mind is your attachment with the body and through the body with the world and all its greed, anger, love, hate, jealousy. The whole world is a projection of your mind, in which you live in suffering and misery - or once in a while a little joy, a little pleasure, but very superficial, not even skin deep.
But behind all this scene is hiding your buddha, your awareness, your pure consciousness - unclouded, unscratched, from eternity to eternity.
To realize this is the greatest experience in the world.
But all the religions have been driving people astray, searching for gods which don't exist, praying before gods they have never met. No prayer has been responded to, but all the religions are combined in a conspiracy to take you away from yourself. These are the ways.... God is far away; self-realization is going to be through arduous practices, disciplines. Everybody cannot afford it.
Nobody has that much time, nobody has that much capacity for self-torture. Nobody is so much a masochist that he can become a saint.
Naturally, the ultimate outcome is the present-day humanity: everybody has lost his way to himself.
And it is a single step - just turning in. It is not a finding, it is not a discovery, it is not an invention. It is simply a remembrance.
You can forget it, you can remember it. These are the only two things you can do about your nature, about your intrinsic consciousness.
But between the two there is not much difference; the difference between sleep and waking is the only difference. And one who is awake today was asleep yesterday; one who is asleep today may become awake tomorrow, so it is only a question of timing. It is only a question of your decision, when to recognize. As far as buddhahood is concerned, it is waiting there since eternity to eternity.
Whether you recognize it or not, it does not matter.
If you recognize it, all your actions will change. Your world view will change. Mind will not be any more a master to you, but will be a very good and very efficient servant, a good bio-computer. But first the master has to be recognized; then the mind and the body function according to the wisdom of the master.
Ryusui is a great master. He's saying:
EMPTINESS IS A NAME FOR NOTHINGNESS.
In the dictionaries and encyclopedias you will find emptiness having a negative connotation.
In the experience of the meditator, emptiness is not negative. It is simply that your room is full of furniture. Have you ever thought about it, that room means space? You take out all the furniture - what is left behind? Ordinarily, anybody will say that now the room is empty.
Buddha was the first person to say that now the room is really a room, empty of any thing, just itself.
All the junk has been removed. Emptiness in Buddha's conception is a very positive - the most positive - quality.
Buddha introduced many original viewpoints to the world; this is one of his original contributions.
Emptiness and nothingness don't really mean what you ordinarily mean by them. Emptiness simply means the pure, unclouded sky of your consciousness. And nothingness simply means 'no-thingness'. Just put a hyphen and then you will see the change that happens: no-thingness.
Your consciousness is not a thing, it is not an object. It is always a subjectivity. You cannot put it before yourself and examine it.
That is the problem before the scientist: he cannot recognize consciousness because he cannot make consciousness an object of examination. He cannot dissect it. He cannot find of what it is constituted. He cannot pull it apart and look deeper into it, because consciousness is not a thing. It is 'no-thing' - but it is. It is pure 'isness'.
As your mind ceases thinking and you become detached from your body, a tremendous silence descends over you and a luminous being is revealed which I'm calling the buddha.
The buddha simply means the awakened one. Everyone has the potential. Very few have realized it, but everybody has the potential. If you don't realize, nobody is responsible for it except you. And it is so close....
But this is the difficulty: when things are very obvious we tend to forget them. We can see far away but we cannot see inwards.
In fact our whole education, our culture, our civilization, prepares us to be someone in the world, to have some great achievement. No culture teaches its children that "You don't have to become anybody, you just go in and find out who you are." And unless we find a culture, an educational system in the world which helps people to find their buddhahood, we will remain barbarians.
EMPTINESS IS A NAME FOR NOTHINGNESS, A NAME FOR UNGRASPABILITY, A NAME FOR MOUNTAINS, RIVERS, THE WHOLE EARTH.
I would like to say, the whole universe is utterly empty - but this emptiness is not negative.
Now even physicists have come to understand.... New stars are born every day; old stars die every day. One can ask, from where do the new stars come...? As far as God is concerned, he started creation six thousand years ago and he did his job in six days. The seventh day he went on holiday and since then he has not been seen anywhere. Such a long holiday! One thing is certain: that the world he created must have been created in six days because it is such a mess. You cannot create a better world in six days.
I have heard that when Henry Ford died he encountered God - it is just a rumor, I cannot authorize you to spread it. God asked Henry Ford, "You are a great, intelligent man; you have made such great cars. What do you think of my creation?"
Henry Ford said, "Just bullshit! Your creation..."
God said, "You should behave like a Christian! This is not good to use such words. And what is wrong with the world?"
He said, "Everything is wrong! For example, man has no reverse gear. He cannot go back into childhood, come back again young, go forward and become old and then come back again. An ordinary, intelligent person can understand that a reverse gear would have been of great help. And you have put man's pleasure-point in such an ugly and dirty place - between two exhaust pipes!
And you think yourself a great creator... and anyway, where have you been all this time?"
But I don't know - this is a gossip.
I don't want to hurt anybody's religious feelings.
As far as physics is concerned, all the great stars come out of nothing, and all the great stars die and disappear into nothingness again. For the first time, modern physics has confirmed Gautam Buddha's idea that everything is nothing. Sometimes it takes a form and sometimes it disappears into the ocean of existence.
Just like the waves in the ocean - in the full moon night they become so tidal... and then they disappear. Just throw a small pebble in a silent lake, and it will create circles upon circles, and again those circles will disappear and the lake will be silent.
We are made of the stuff 'nothingness'.
Nothingness is not nothingness, as it is usually understood; nothingness is the womb of everything.
It gives birth to everything and ultimately it goes back to its womb.
Hence, birth and death both prove only one thing: that existence consists only of nothingness. Birth and death are simply ripples.
He's saying, this is A NAME FOR UNGRASPABILITY, A NAME FOR MOUNTAINS, RIVERS, THE WHOLE EARTH. And I'm adding - this will not do - it is the name for the whole universe, the universe that we have come to know through our scientific instruments, and the universe that we are not yet acquainted with, and the universe that we will never be acquainted with because it is infinite.
There are no boundaries; all is like soap bubbles in a vast ocean. Our great stars, our planets, our suns, our solar systems... just soap bubbles. They may remain here for millions or trillions of years, it does not matter.
In the eternity of existence, four million light years are just a small second.
IT IS ALSO CALLED THE REAL FORM.
Nothingness is the real form because it is the only form that never changes. Everything comes and goes, only nothingness remains.
IN THE GREEN OF THE PINES, THE TWIST OF THE BRAMBLES, THERE IS NO GOING OR COMING. IN THE RED OF THE FLOWERS AND THE WHITE OF THE SNOW, THERE IS NO BIRTH AND NO DEATH.
JOY, ANGER, LOVE, PLEASURE - THESE ARE BEGINNINGLESS AND ENDLESS DELUSION.
By calling them 'delusion' he does not mean that they are condemned. That is a misconception which even followers of Buddha go on carrying. It is simply a description of their nature.
For example, in a movie you know that on the screen there is nothing but light and shadow, a game between light and shadow projected on an empty screen. But you enjoy the drama, you enjoy the movie, the story. You will find people crying when there is a tragedy; you will find people laughing, forgetting completely that the screen is empty.
That's exactly what Buddha is saying: he is saying existence is an empty screen. On this screen many figures arise, many dramas, many tragedies, many comedies. But remember always, these are all soap bubbles. He's not saying that you have to renounce it. What is there to renounce? One does not renounce soap bubbles... one does not renounce delusions. One simply understands that a delusion is a delusion and that is the end of it.
The people who have renounced the world are going against Gautam Buddha. They should be forced to answer the question, "If the world is an illusion, where are you going? And if the world is an illusion, what is the point of renouncing it?" Why not be a little more playful? Why not be a little more non-serious?
The existence is absolutely non-serious. It is so playful - otherwise what is the need of so many flowers? It is so abundantly joyful, it goes on creating thousands of species of flowers, birds and animals and stars. It is an unending play.
And where can you go? Wherever you go it is the world; you will simply get caught in a new delusion - that you have renounced the world.
This idea of renunciation is a great disease. What have you renounced? - in the first place there was nothing to renounce, only to understand. Buddhism is not supposed to be renunciation, it is supposed to be understanding. Just know what is momentary, delusory, and play the game - follow the rules. Just don't be idiots.
In the Russian revolution, in 1917, when the Czar was overthrown and Lenin and his Communist Party came into power, a woman started walking in the middle of the road.
The traffic policeman told the woman, "Keep following the route."
The woman said, "Now we are free."
The policeman laughed. He said, "You are free, but that does not mean that you have to disturb the traffic. If everybody is free in the traffic, most of them will never reach their homes! The whole road will become a long graveyard."
That woman must have been Indian. You can see the Indian traffic. I always wonder, how do people survive? I myself never go out. Just the traffic is enough to prevent anybody from going out of their homes. Everybody is going in every direction. This is revolution!
A man of understanding follows the rules of the game, knowing perfectly well that these rules are just rules; they are not truths. They can be changed.
In America, you have to drive on one side, in India you have to drive on another side. It does not matter which side you choose, but you have to choose one side. Otherwise, there is going to be a chaos.
Knowing that JOY, ANGER, LOVE, PLEASURE - THESE ARE BEGINNINGLESS AND ENDLESS DELUSION does not mean you have to renounce them. I want you to know that you have to rejoice in them, knowing perfectly that they are a movie on an empty screen. There is no need to renounce the movie. And what are you going to gain by renouncing the movie? Just wasting your ticket...
ENLIGHTENMENT, PRACTICE, REALIZATION - THESE ARE INEXHAUSTIBLE AND BOUNDLESS.
So don't think that because one day you became silent and found a deep blissful state within you, your work is finished. It is simply homework. Now the work begins, because you have tasted your inner space. You can go as deep as you want. Even the Pacific is not so deep as your consciousness is. Your heart is connected with the universal heart. Certainly, the journey is inexhaustible.
One does not just become enlightened; one goes on becoming enlightened every day, more and more. There comes no point which can be called the full stop. Yes, on the way you can have a few places of rest, commas, semi-colons, but never the full stop! The full stop does not exist.
THUS, EMPTINESS IS THE NAME FOR NOTHING ELSE; ALL THINGS ARE THE REAL FORM.
All things are empty.
IN ALL WORLDS, IN ALL DIRECTIONS, THERE IS NO SECOND, NO THIRD.
It is one whole, the whole existence, and we are not separate from it. We are rooted in it. We cannot exist for a single moment without our roots in existence. Those roots are not visible, but we are breathing - these are our roots. Each pore of the body is breathing - these are our roots. They don't show. You don't even realize that your whole body is breathing, breathing the cosmos. If, leaving aside your nose, your whole body is thickly painted so that you cannot breathe from your body, you will be dead within three hours. The nose alone will not be enough. It is the main root, but all these branches, thousands of branches, of roots, are spread into the cosmos.
THEREFORE, IN THE FUNDAMENTAL VEHICLE THERE IS NO DELUSION OR ENLIGHTENMENT, NO PRACTICE OR REALIZATION. EVEN TO SPEAK OF PRACTICE AND REALIZATION IS A RELATIVE VIEW.
In the Western world the concept of relativity was introduced by Albert Einstein, but in the East it is at least ten thousand years old. Of course Albert Einstein used it in a particular sense, but the concept of relativity has been an accepted concept in the East for centuries.
Everything is relative.
So when one man is unenlightened and another man is enlightened, the difference is only relative.
It is not absolute. The man who is asleep can wake up any moment; you just have to throw some cold water into his eyes.
That's what happened to Chuang Tzu.
One morning he woke up - a cold winter morning. He was sitting in his bed, wrapping his body with his blanket, very sad.
He was not a man of sadness. In fact, in the world history of philosophy and consciousness, Chuang Tzu is a unique person, so absurd and so rational together.... He was a very playful man. His disciples had never found him so serious. They asked him, "What is the matter? Are you sick or something?"
He said, "The problem is so big, I don't think you will be able to solve it. But anyway, I will tell you the problem; perhaps somebody can solve it. The problem is, while asleep, in my dream, I became a butterfly."
The disciples laughed.
They said, "Don't unnecessarily make a fuss about it. In dreams everything happens. Who cares?"
Chuang Tzu said, "You don't understand the implications! If Chuang Tzu can become a butterfly in the dream, then what is the problem? - the butterfly may have gone to sleep and be dreaming of being Chuang Tzu. Now the problem is: Who am I? A butterfly dreaming herself as Chuang Tzu?
And if I can dream myself as Chuang Tzu, there is no reason that the butterfly cannot dream!"
The disciples said, "It is beyond our comprehension. This is... we never thought about it. We have become many things in our dreams, and we never bothered."
Then his chief disciple, Lieh Tzu, who had gone to another village to preach, came back.
The disciples were waiting for him....
They said, "Our master is very sad, and his problem seems to be without any solution."
Lieh Tzu asked what was the problem and the disciples said, "This is the problem: he does not move from his bed. He said, 'First I have to solve this; only then I can move.'"
Lieh Tzu went to the well and pulled out ice cold water in a bucket.
The disciples asked, "What are you doing?"
He said, "You just wait."
And he went and poured the whole bucket over Chuang Tzu!
Chuang Tzu jumped out of the bed. Lieh Tzu said, "Have I to go again and bring another bucket, or is the problem solved?"
Chuang Tzu said, "It is solved! Don't go - it is too cold! You idiot, where have you been? If by chance it had been the butterfly who was dreaming, you would have killed her. Be a little sensible!"
But this is the only difference: you are asleep. A buddha becomes awakened. The difference is not categorical, the difference is relative - you can also become awakened.
Hence, Buddha does not proclaim any superiority over those who are still asleep. It is their freedom:
if they want to sleep they can sleep, life after life. But one day they will have to become tired and bored with sleeping. One day they will jump out of the bed and say "Enough!"
That much is the difference.
So there is not a question of following any practice or even speaking of realization because there is not much difference, and the difference that exists is relative.
IN OUR SCHOOL, FROM THE FIRST ENTRY, THIS POINT SHOULD BE PRACTICED WHETHER SITTING, LYING DOWN, OR WALKING AROUND. WHEN ASLEEP, JUST SLEEPING, THERE IS NO PAST OR FUTURE. WHEN YOU AWAKEN, THERE IS NO SLEEP EITHER.
THIS IS CALLED THE ABSOLUTE HOST.
If you have found your buddha within, you have found the absolute host, which never goes anywhere, which simply remains now and here.
Mitsuhiro wrote a haiku:
BEWARE OF GNAWING THE IDEOGRAM OF NOTHINGNESS:
YOUR TEETH WILL CRACK.
SWALLOW IT WHOLE...
... Don't chew it. He's saying: don't think, just swallow it whole. Thinking about this great matter is bound to crack your teeth. Your mind is not capable; it is not meant to think about the absolute.
All the philosophers are wrong in the sense that they are trying, through mind, to figure out something about the fundamental, the absolute - the ultimate. They don't understand that mind is an arbitrary functioning of the body.
It has come to this stage because you have to deal with reality, and the consciousness cannot deal with reality; it is simply a mirror. It can reflect; more than that it cannot do.
The body has to create an arbitrary mind to function in the world. Its function is not to think about the absolute - how can it think about the absolute that it has not known? At the most it can become a parrot: it can repeat scriptures but those scriptures will not be its own realization.
And unless something is your own realization, it is just an unnecessary burden.
... AND YOU HAVE A TREASURE BEYOND THE HOPE OF BUDDHA AND THE MIND.
THE EAST BREEZE FONDLES THE HORSE'S EARS:
HOW SWEET THE SMELL OF PLUM.
Zen is very poetic, it says things not in syllogisms but in poetry. It is symbolic.
Socrates or Plato or Aristotle will talk in syllogisms, in logic. Their statements will be rational. Zen speaks through poetry. Its statements are indirect indications, fingers pointing to the moon - but the finger is not the moon.
Another Zen poet says, you simply must be empty, empty of everything:
SIMPLY YOU MUST EMPTY "IS" OF MEANING, AND NOT TAKE "IS NOT" AS REAL.
Isness is your reality, just pure isness, unnamed, with no boundaries, with no limits.
But be so empty that the whole sky of your consciousness is without clouds. In that emptiness grows the ultimate understanding - what Buddha calls the Lotus Paradise. In that emptiness you become one with the cosmic soul.
And without this realization your life is worthless.
A poem by Sozan:
A ROOTLESS TREE, YELLOW LEAVES SCATTERING.
BEYOND THE BLUE - CLOUDLESS, STAINLESS.
Just a description... I will repeat:
A ROOTLESS TREE...
The sky has no roots anywhere.
... YELLOW LEAVES SCATTERING.
BEYOND THE BLUE - CLOUDLESS, STAINLESS.
This beyondness is your nature, this beyondness is your buddha. Once found, you have found the host.
A question from Maneesha:
OUR BELOVED MASTER,
CAN ONLY THE EYES OF ENLIGHTENMENT SEE EMPTINESS?
Maneesha, these are only different ways of saying the same thing - emptiness, enlightenment, the eyes of enlightenment, the wisdom of enlightenment, the illumination of enlightenment. These are only different ways of talking about the ultimate realization within. It is so vast that it can be described in a thousand and one ways.
But this is certainly true: that without the eyes of enlightenment you cannot see emptiness. In fact they both happen together, simultaneously, the emptiness and enlightenment. They are not two things.
And another question from Professor Schneider-Wessling. He has asked an immensely important question. His son is a sannyasin already, and the professor is sitting just in front of me. He is also a member of our World Academy for Creative Science, Arts and Consciousness. Now take care of him, so he returns back to Germany as a sannyasin... secretly. There is no need to proclaim it to the public. Just keep it a secret!
He was worried whether to ask this question or not, because it might disturb the series of lectures on Zen.
Professor, as far as I am concerned, nothing disturbs. You can ask any question and it immediately fits into my series! You will see.
His question is:
WHY DID THE MIND DEVELOP IN A DESTRUCTIVE DIRECTION?
Man has lived almost four million years on this planet. In these four million years most of the time there were dark nights without fire, wild animals, danger all around, and every moment full of fear.
Out of this fear and danger man has had to create a certain capacity to survive.
You may have observed that man's child is the weakest child in the world. He needs care for years until it is possible for him to stand on his own. The mother was continuously afraid for the child: in the deep forest - all the wild animals were in search of food just as man was in search of food. That was the basic search for millions of years - food. And even today, for millions of people, that is the basic search.
Mind developed as a survival measure - how to hide yourself, how to find caves, how to make caves? How to live in darkness without being harmed, how to live in trees? It has been a difficult time for millions of years.
And man's child is so weak against any animal. You cannot fight hence you had to invent weapons as a substitute. You don't have the claws of a tiger, you need something as a substitute. You don't have the teeth of the lion or the crocodile; you needed to be inventive enough so that you were not too close. Because even if you had a knife in your hands - which was very difficult, the early knives were made of stone... even if you had a knife in your hand and a lion came, most probably you would tremble with fear and the knife would fall down! Just the roar of the lion and you would be frozen; you would not know what to do now.
I have heard... a man with his wife and his mother-in-law had gone hunting. Suddenly they heard from a nearby cave the mother-in-law shouting, "Help! Help!" The wife was sitting on a tree and she saw that a lion was there, so she asked her husband, who was underneath the tree with his gun, "My mother is in trouble - a lion is facing her. Do something!"
The husband said, "The lion got into trouble himself - why should I do anything? Your mother-in-law is enough! She finished me, she will finish the lion. Now it is his problem, not my problem."
Man had to invent arrows so that he could be far away from the wild animals and still kill them. Slowly slowly other weapons came. All these weapons came because of the helplessness of man.
When he found fire, then he was safer. When he discovered gunpowder, first in China, he became even more safe. Perhaps the Chinese became civilized before anybody else for the simple reason that they finished off the wild animals, and in finishing the wild animals a great fear, a constant fear and danger, disappeared.
But the mind remained, the mind that has been created through millions of years. It is still afraid of darkness, although you know there is no need to be afraid of darkness. But the mind does not know that times have changed; millions of years' habit still continues. The mind does not know, the mind is blind.
One professor, a vice-chancellor of Varanasi University, Professor Rajnath Pandey, was staying with me, and he was very much against the way I grow trees around my house. I said, "Why are you so much against them?"
He said, "These trees are enemies! If you don't go on cutting them, if you don't go on keeping them away, sooner or later your house will be a ruin and the trees will have overtaken it."
Man has been fighting with trees. We don't think in that way now, but he was right, he was a man of history. I had never thought of it but he was right, that trees have killed man. We had to destroy trees to create towns, villages, and we had to destroy trees because they were hiding wild animals.
Man has passed through such a struggle for survival that he cannot forget those habits. So even though now we don't have wild animals to attack, we are preparing nuclear weapons. We don't have any reason to fight, but we are cultivating more and more arms just out of old animal habit.
Everybody knows that the Third World War is impossible, simply because the Third World War will destroy everybody. Nobody is going to be the winner and nobody is going to be the loser. All will be finished, the whole planet will be a graveyard.
The whole joy of fighting is in being victorious - but there will be no victory, what is the point? It is absolutely clear. Just now there are only five countries with nuclear weapons, but by the end of this century there will be twenty-five countries with nuclear weapons. One cannot understand... for what? Already we have enough nuclear weapons to destroy this earth seven hundred times.
And only one man in the whole history, Jesus Christ, got resurrected. I don't think that he will get resurrected seven hundred times. People even suspect that he was not resurrected this one time; he never died. Because here in India, in Kashmir, we have the graves of both Jesus and Moses.
And a village exists in Kashmir named after Jesus, Pahalgam, because Jesus used to call himself 'the shepherd', who had come to save the sheep. Pahalgam, in Kashmiri means the shepherd, the village of the shepherd. Strangely enough, when they were escaping from Egypt, Moses had come to Kashmir in search of the lost tribe.
It took forty years of searching for great Moses to find Israel, and Jews will never forgive him. In forty years, such a long journey through the whole desert of Saudi Arabia - by the time he reached Jerusalem almost three-quarters of the original people who had come with him had died. And my own feeling is that he never found Israel. He had to say to his people... he himself was eighty years old, tired, utterly tired... he declared Jerusalem to be the holy place they were searching for.
I don't see that Jerusalem has anything holy in it.
And Jews will never forgive Moses because he passed by all the oil lands, which are now really the richest countries in the world. If he had stopped in Saudi Arabia, or in Iran... But one tribe just got lost in the desert. Declaring Jerusalem was just hiding his failure.
And Moses put new people in charge, who were not acquainted with him at all, because two-thirds of the original people had died. The third generation was just entering its youth and they had no respect, just as no young people have ever had respect for the older generation. This generation gap is not a new thing. Moses found an excuse: "I have to go. You manage things, I am going to search for the lost tribe." The lost tribe had reached Kashmir, and Kashmir certainly looks like paradise.
When the first great mogul, Babur, came to India, seeing Kashmir he could not believe it. People coming from the desert, seeing so much greenery, so many flowers, so many streams, such pure crystal-clear water, such beauty, eternal snows on the mountains... That lost tribe had really found paradise! So Moses remained there with his people. Kashmiris are basically Jewish; you can look at their noses....
You know the nose of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru; he was a Kashmiri. You know the nose of Indira Gandhi; she was a Kashmiri. And Jesus, you should remember always, was never a Christian. He was born a Jew, he lived a Jew, he proclaimed himself as a Jewish prophet - that was his sin. He died as a Jew, but he died here in India. I have been to his grave.
It is a strange coincidence that the graves of Moses and Jesus are in the same village. And the couple, the family who takes care of those two graves are still Jews. Mohammedans converted the whole of Kashmir to Mohammedanism, but they left that one family out of respect for Moses and Jesus.
It seems that Jesus never died on the cross. The Jewish cross is such that it takes hours to kill a young man, and Jesus was only thirty-three. A man who is healthy and young, the Jewish cross will kill him in forty-eight hours. It is the slowest process of killing a person. Just by nailing his hands and his feet to the posts... the blood oozes slowly, slowly. It takes forty-eight hours.
And there was a conspiracy between the followers of Jesus and Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, that he should be put on the cross on Friday, as late as possible. So the whole process was delayed. First he had an interview with Pontius Pilate, and then Jesus was forced to carry his cross, a heavy cross; he fell three times on the road. And the place chosen for the cross was a hillock, so in every way they tried to postpone the time. The crucifixion happened nearabout two o'clock, and Jews stop working on Friday evening. All work has to be stopped by sunset on Friday because Saturday is their sabbath, their holy day.
So Jesus had to be brought down from the cross; he was still alive. He may have been in a coma, but he was not dead. And he was put in a cave, but the people who were guarding the cave were Roman soldiers, not Jews. They allowed him to escape. His friends took him out. It was dangerous to remain in Judea, and it was dangerous to go back to Judea when he was healed.
The news had already reached that there was a place in India where Moses had gone, and had found the lost tribe and died. Jesus thought, "That is the only place where I will be at home."
He traveled to Kashmir and he lived a long life, one hundred and twelve years. That is all written on his grave in Hebrew. In India, nobody knows Hebrew.
But the world powers are collecting nuclear weapons for ordinary people who only die once; they never resurrect.
Only here do they resurrect - every night!
There are enough nuclear weapons. But it is out of fear - the mind is still the old mind repeating old fears, dangers - that if you stop making nuclear weapons, the enemy is not going to stop. And the enemy is also thinking in the same terms; every country is thinking in the same terms. So seventy percent of the world's wealth, production, genius, everything, is devoted to a war which is never going to happen. Just by making it so total, you have made it out of date.
Professor, the mind had to develop in a destructive direction just to save itself. But now it is no longer needed. Now the destructive energy has to be transformed into a creative energy. And a mind that can create destructive weapons like atom bombs and hydrogen bombs, and destroy cities like Hiroshima and Nagasaki within seconds.... And today the bombs that were thrown on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are - in comparison to American and Soviet nuclear missiles - child's play, just toys.
We have gone far in these forty years: we can destroy ourselves within ten minutes.
This totality is a great blessing in disguise. This means, now we have to find ways to protect ourselves from our mind's fear, to protect ourselves from our own weapons. Now there is no enemy to be killed; now the world war, if it happens at all, will be suicide.
We have to save ourselves from our own minds. This mind was created for a certain reason: to save us from the animals. For centuries we were in danger; now we are in danger from our own destructive weapons.
This is a great moment in the history of mankind, and perhaps in the whole history of the universe, because we only suspect that there are some planets where life may exist, but there is no certain proof. It may be that only on this earth has life come to such a point that a few people have become buddhas, a few people have come to know the universal secret of life. To destroy it is so idiotic, is so against the universe!
The only way is to find something within you which can overpower your mind. Otherwise the mind knows nothing else except destruction; that was the function it was created for. It is not its fault, but it is continuously afraid for no reason at all. Sometimes it knows that there is no reason to be afraid; then it starts asking, "Why is there no reason to be afraid?"
Mind knows only one language - that is of fear, danger, and how to survive and make yourself safe against an antagonistic universe.
Even a great man like Bertrand Russell wrote a book, CONQUEST OF NATURE. The same fear of the mind - we have to conquer. This idea has to be changed. The idea should be that now we have to rejoice in nature, we have to find the mysteries and secrets of nature, and we have to go beyond mind. This artifact is not our nature.
That's what we are doing in meditation.
Meditation is finding something in you that is superior to the mind. Only then can the mind be prevented from destroying humanity and this beautiful planet. It was perfectly okay to be destructive up to now, but now the situation and the context is totally different.
Somebody asked Albert Einstein, "What do you think about the Third World War?"
He said, "I cannot say anything about the Third World War, but I can say something about the Fourth World War."
The questioner was puzzled. He said, "If you don't know about the third, how can you know about the fourth?"
Albert Einstein said, "The fourth will never happen; that much can be said. If we just let the third happen... finished."
Look at the past of the mind: Genghis Khan killed thirty million people, alone. His successor, Tamerlane, killed forty million people. We don't know the exact numbers for Nadir Shah, but we know about Adolf Hitler; he killed thirty million. And now we are ready to kill five billion human beings, not to say anything about millions of birds, millions of animals, millions of trees - because the Third World War will be an end to all life on this planet. It is not just human beings who will be killed, it is going to be a loss to the whole universe.
Scientists say that there are perhaps five hundred planets where some kind of life exists, but it is all guesswork. No certainty, no communication has been possible up to now. All we know is that in this vast infinity we are the only people alive with a potentiality of becoming eternal, of becoming immortal. In every possible way this earth should be saved - from our minds.
The only way I can see is meditation.
Up to now, mind has been our survival. From now onwards only meditation can be our survival because meditation means going beyond mind, searching for something in your consciousness which is higher than your mind, which can dictate to the mind, which can rearrange the mind. Mind is just a bio-computer; it needs new data, that's all. Instead of fear it can learn to love; instead of being in danger it can start enjoying the eternity of its life source.
There is no death. Only forms change, life continues on and on.
This is what we are trying to do here. This is what all the buddhas of the past have been doing, but in the past they were not so relevant. Today the situation is different: today either you listen to the buddha or you commit suicide. There is no other choice - meditation or suicide, global suicide. That is the simple alternative, there is no third way.
In Gautam Buddha's time there was not much difficulty - small wars, a few people killed, there was no harm. But now the destructive mind has brought us to a situation where we have to re-code the mind for construction, for creation. And if the mind can be so destructive, it can be transformed in the same way to great creativity, with the same energy. Energy is neutral: you can put it in the service of death or you can put it in the service of life.
Our effort here is to put our minds, our bodies, in the service of life - in creativity, in music, in poetry, in dance. Great is the moment when we can change the mind, feed it with new information. And the same mind that brings nuclear weapons can bring great joys, plenty of food, better clothes, more health, longer life, less disease; it can eliminate old age completely.
And the moment is ripe because nobody who is a little bit intelligent can be in favor of a third world war; only a few retarded politicians - and even they cannot openly say that they are in favor of a third world war. But their preparation continues. That preparation is dangerous, dangerous in many ways, because a third world war may happen accidentally: the weapons have become so sophisticated that just a push of a button....
Just a few days ago I was telling you about a Soviet nuclear base which had a map of the whole world in the office showing the distance and the time, how much time it would take for its nuclear weapons to reach to this land or that land. The map also had push-buttons on it and a janitor, seeing that too much dust had gathered on the board, was dusting it. The professor in charge came in. He said, "You idiot, what are you doing?"
He said, "I am simply dusting, there is too much dust..."
He said, "Do you see? Where is England? You have dusted it off!"
He had pushed the button.
But I don't think we would like to be dusted off in this way. It is now time.... No greater question has ever been asked, and there has never been such a parting of the ways. Those who want to commit suicide can commit suicide on their own, but they cannot be allowed to destroy the whole world!
Professor Wessling, your question absolutely fits with the Zen series, because Zen is a search for no-mind, or a cosmic mind, beyond the human mind.
Before we enter into our inner being, our every-evening meditation... I don't want Professor Wessling to understand that we are serious people. We are very non-serious. We are absolutely playful; whatever happens we will sing and dance to the very last moment.
On his first trip out of Poland, Kabloski finds himself sitting next to a priest in the plane. He has never seen a priest before, and asks, "Why do you wear your collar back to front?"
"Because I am a father," replies the priest, smiling.
"Funny," says Kabloski, "I'm a father too!"
"Ah!" says the priest, "but I am a father to hundreds of people."
"Really?" says Kabloski, thinking for a moment. "In that case," he continues, "shouldn't you wear your pants back to front?"
Little Rufus has been playing in the woods all day. Suddenly, he realizes that he is lost and that it is late. He hunts around for a way out, but finally gives up. Kneeling on the ground, he holds out his hands.
"Please, God," Rufus prays, "I am lost. Please show me the way out of here."
Just then a little bird flies overhead and drops a load of shit on his outstretched hands. Little Rufus examines it closely and then goes back to praying.
"Oh! Please, God!" he says. "I really am lost, so don't hand me that shit!"
"I locked my husband out of the house last week for playing around with other women," sobs young Mrs. Bedspring in the confession box. "And now he wants me to take him back. What should I do, Father?"
"You must take him back," replies Father Fungus, patting her hand through the curtain. "It is your Christian duty. But first," Fungus continues, tightening his grip, "how would you like to get even with the bastard!"
An Englishman, a Frenchman and a Russian Jew are discussing the meaning of true happiness.
"Coming home from work to a loving wife with a gin and tonic," spouts the Englishman.
"Ah, you English!" says the Frenchman. "Real happiness is meeting a cute little girl who spends the night with you. She entertains you and then leaves you quietly and with no regrets."
The Russian Jew is sitting, thinking.
"True happiness," he says, "I experienced a few years ago. In the middle of the night the KGB knocked on my door and shouted: 'Herman Fingel! You are under arrest!'"
The Englishman and the Frenchman look at him in alarm.
"Yes!" says the Russian Jew, smiling happily. "And I shouted back: 'Herman Fingel lives upstairs!'"
Be silent, close your eyes.
Feel your body to be completely frozen.
Collect your consciousness, your life energy inwards.
Close all the doors and all the windows.
Just be in, concentrated.
Find the center of your life, because that is also the center of the universe.
Finding it is the greatest blessing that man has ever experienced.
Finding it you are a buddha, this very moment.
To be a buddha is not a discipline, it is not a practice.
It is simply a remembrance.
Just a little ice-cold water on your eyes...
And this moment will become your life's greatest moment.
Drink from your inner being as much light, as much delight as you are capable of.
Let it sink into every cell and nerve of your being.
See the body as dead, there, far away from you and the mind is also part of it, a mechanism; you are just a watcher.
A simple watchfulness and you reach to the beyond.
You transcend life and death, you transcend duality.
You come to feel the eternity, the immortality, your cosmic wholeness. You are not just a part, you are the cosmos.
That is the meaning of being a buddha.
This is the host we were talking about.
Everything else changes, this host remains always now and here.
This is your nothingness, this is your emptiness, just pure space.
And out of this pure space arise all kinds of creativity all songs, all joys, all dances. Only this experience, if it becomes like a wildfire around the world, can save humanity from itself.
Come back - silently, gracefully,
without any hurry.
Keep hold of the consciousness and the experience you have reached, because you have to keep it like an undercurrent, twenty-four hours so that every act reflects your consciousness, your compassion, your love, your meditation.
It is not something to be done for a few minutes and be finished with.
It is something that has to become your very breathing, your very heartbeat.
Only then there is a possibility for a future humanity, for a new man whose mind will not be destructive, whose earth will not be divided into nations, whose whole energy will be devoted to making life as rich, as blissful, as peaceful, as loving, as the poets have always dreamed of, and only a few mystics have experienced.
Meditation is the way in, it is the way to wake up the master who can control the mind, who can chain the mind, who can use the mind in the service of greater values of truth and beauty and love and joy.
Yes, Beloved Master.
Can we celebrate the ten thousand buddhas?
Yes, Beloved Master.