The first question:
BELOVED MASTER, WHAT AM I LOOKING FOR?
Deva Parmita, man is a search for the self - not for A self but for THE self. Man is constantly seeking the lost paradise: somewhere deep in the recesses of human beings, the nostalgia persists. We have known something that is only a far faraway memory, The memory is not even conscious; we have lost all track of it, where it is. But the fragrance goes on arising.
Hence religion is not an accidental phenomenon. It is not going to disappear from the world; no communism, no fascism can make it disappear. Religion is going to remain, because it is very essential. Unless a man surpasses humanity, unless a man becomes a Buddha, religion remains relevant. Only for a Buddha is religion irrelevant. He has arrived: now there is no need for any search.
Parmita, there are not different searches for different human beings. The search is singular, it is one, it is universal. The search is for the self, the supreme self. One wants to know, "Who am I?" because everything else is secondary. Without knowing oneself, whatsoever one is doing is pointless. Unless I know exactly who I am, my whole life is going to remain futile. It will not bring fruition, it will not bring flowering, it will not bring fulfillment.
The first step has to be that of self-knowledge. But the paradox is that if you start searching for A self you will miss THE self. By "a self" I mean the ego, the process of egoing. That is a false self: because we cannot find the true, we start creating the false, just to console ourselves. It is a substitute. But the substitute can never become the truth, and the substitute becomes a bondage.
Truth liberates. Substitutes for truth create prisons. The ego is the greatest prison that man has yet invented; you are all feeling suffocated, crushed. It is not that somebody else is doing it to you: you are the doer of it. You have taken a wrong step. Rather than searching for that which is, you have started substituting something for it - a toy, a pseudo thing. It may console you, but it cannot bring celebration to your life. And all consolation is suicidal, because while you remain consoled, time goes on slipping out of your hands.
THE self is not A self. The self is exactly a no-self: there is no idea of 'I' in it, it is universal. All ideas arise in it, but it cannot be identified with any idea that arises in it. All ideas arise in it, all ideas dissolve in it. It is the sky, the context of all contexts, it is the space in which everything happens.
But the space itself never happens - it abides, it is always there, and because it is always there, it is easy to miss it. Because it is so much there and always there, you never become aware of its presence.
It is like the air: you don't become aware of its presence. It is like the ocean that surrounds the fish:
the fish never becomes aware of it. It is like the pressure of the air: the pressure is so much, it has always been there, but you are not aware of it. It is like gravitation: it is so much, but you are not aware of it. It is like the earth rushing with great speed round and round the sun: the earth is a spaceship, but nobody is aware of it. We are aboard a spaceship, and it is going at a great speed.
Still we are not aware of it.
Awareness needs some gaps. When there are no gaps you fall asleep; you cannot remain aware.
If one has always been healthy, one will not be aware of health. Awareness needs gaps - sometimes you should not be healthy. You should fall ill, then you can have a sense of health. If there was no darkness in the world and there was only light, nobody would have ever known light; people would have missed it.
That's how we go on missing the original self - you can call it God or nirvana, it doesn't matter.
Sufis have two beautiful words. One is FANA: FANA means dissolving the ego, dissolving the false substitute. And the other word is BAQA: BAQA means the arrival, the arising, of the real self.
The real self is universal. How to find it? It is not far away, so you are not to make a long journey to it. It is so close that no journey is needed at all. It is within you. Rather than journeying, you will have to learn how to sit silently.
That's what meditation is all about - just sitting silently doing nothing. Thoughts arise: you watch.
Desires arise: you watch. But you remain the watcher. You don't become a victim of the desires and the thoughts that are arising; you remain a watcher. You remain the context of all contexts, you remain the space before which everything appears. But the space never appears before itself - it cannot, it is impossible.
The mirror cannot mirror itself, the eyes cannot see themselves. I cannot catch hold of my hand with the same hand; it is impossible.
This is the most fundamental thing to remember, Parmita. You are the watcher and never the watched, you are the observer and never the observed, you are the witness and never the witnessed.
You are pure subjectivity. You never appear as an object - how can you appear as an object in front of yourself? Whatsoever appears in front of you is not you.
Go on eliminating the contents. Go on saying, "NETI NETI, I am not this, I am not this." Go on eliminating, and a moment comes when there is nothing left to eliminate. There is pure silence: no content moves in front of you, the mirror reflects nothing. That is the moment when self-knowing arises in you. You become illumined, you are enlightened.
So these few fundamentals are to be remembered: the self is a no-self. The self is not personal, it is universal. The self is the space or context in which all "positionality" in life appears, occurs, arises.
It is the screen of life, but the screen itself never appears on the screen, it cannot. Everything else appears on it, it itself remains hidden. It is pure subjectivity.
This pure subjectivity is the ultimate goal everybody is searching for. But it seems difficult. We are so prone to become identified with the contents. So rather than searching for the real, we create something unreal, which is easy. The artificial is always easy, you can manufacture it.
Your ego is a manufactured phenomenon. And once you have manufactured the ego... How is the ego manufactured? "I am a Hindu": now you are on the way to creating an ego. "I am beautiful, I am intelligent, I am this, I am that" - you are bringing more and more bricks to make the prison called ego.
And this is what we go on doing in our whole life. Earn more money, have a bigger bank balance, and your ego will feel more grounded, more supported, more secure. Become famous: the more people know about you, the more you will think you are.
Hence the constant search for attention. If nobody pays any attention to you, you are reduced to nothing. If you move on the street and nobody says hello, people go on passing by, not even taking any note of you, suddenly you start feeling the earth disappearing underneath your feet.
What has happened? They are not feeding your ego. But people feed each other's egos, because that's how THEY can be fed. Somebody says, "How are you?" He is really saying, "Ask ME, 'How are you?'" He is simply asking for mutual gratification. And people do gratify each other; we support each other's egos: somebody praises you, you praise him in return.
That's what we call society. It depends on mutual satisfactions, and the greatest satisfaction seems to be ego-gratification.
Hence people are interested so much in politics, because politics can gratify you as nothing else can. If you become politically powerful the whole country is in your grip; the whole country has to pay attention to you. You can impose your will on people, you have power.
The power of a politician is the power of violence. Now he controls the whole mechanism of violence:
he controls the police, the government, the military, he controls everything. He can impose his will on you. That's why politicians tend to become violent sooner or later. Politicians hanker deep down for wars, because it is only in war that a politician becomes a GREAT politician. If you go through history you will see the point.
Winston Churchill would not have been such a great leader if there had been no second world war.
Neither would Adolf Hitler have been such a power if there had been no second world war, not would Mussolini. The war created the context: they were able to be as violent as possible. They were able to butcher people, to murder people, in millions.
People immediately pay attention when you are violent. If you live a peaceful life, no newspaper is going to report about you in your whole life. But if you kill somebody or you commit suicide, you will be immediately in the newspapers.
Just a few days ago, Reverend Jones committed suicide with all of his nine hundred disciples. You had never heard about this poor man before, nobody knew that there was anybody like that. Now the whole world knows.
They had lived in that commune for many years, but nobody would take any note of them. It is possible that had you taken note of them, they might not have needed to go to such an extreme, they might not have committed suicide. This is his way of making the whole world feel his presence - this is a very pathological way, ugly, but this is the same phenomenon again. People are searching for the ego: if they cannot find it through being creative, they will find it through being destructive. If they cannot find it by being a great saint, they will find it by being a great sinner.
Somebody asked George Bernard Shaw, "Where would you like to go when you die - to heaven or to hell?" He said, "It all depends."
The man said, "What do you mean, 'It all depends'?"
He said, "If I am going to be the first in heaven, then to heaven. If I am going to be second there, no.
Then it is better to be in hell but be first."
He is joking, but he is telling a truth - a truth about you, a truth about the whole humanity, the way it lives through ambition, through egoing.
Remember, the real self has nothing to do with anybody else paying attention to you. Note the difference: the false self needs others' attention to be paid to you, and the real self only needs your attention - just your attention, and that's enough.
If you turn your attention inwards, you will know the real self. If you go on seeking others' attention, you will continuously live in a false entity which is always ready to disappear if you don't feed it continuously. It has to be supported.
The ego is not an entity. It is not a noun, it is a verb. That's why I am saying it is egoing. You cannot remain satisfied with any attention paid to you, you have to ask and hanker for more. You have to go on egoing; it is only through egoing that the ego can exist. It is a process - and it is so false and its demands are so ugly! It is a lie. It demands more and more lies from you, and to gratify it you have to become utterly false. You have to become a personality.
A personality means a false phenomenon, a mask. You have to become an actor; you are no longer a real person, you are no longer authentic. You don't have any substance, you are just a shadow.
And because of this shadow there is always fear of death, because any moment this shadow can disappear.
Your bank can go bankrupt, and immediately you are gone, you are nobody. Your power can be lost, because there are other competitors pushing you. This whole life is a constant pushing and pulling, hence there is so much agony.
Do you know the root of the word agony? It comes from 'ag': ag means pushing. You are continuously being pushed, and in your turn you are pushing others; that creates agony.
The whole world lives in anguish and agony. Only the person who comes to know his real self goes beyond it and enters into the world of ecstasy. And there are the two states: agony and ecstasy.
Parmita, you are in agony, as everybody else is. And the search is for ecstasy. Remember always, your commitments, your ideologies, your so-called ultimate values, your theologies, philosophies and religions provide contexts, often valuable contexts, for individual existence. But they are not what you are.
You are not even your body. You are not your mind. You are neither black nor white, you are neither Indian nor German. You cannot be defined in any way, all definitions will fall short. You are indefinable; you are something that surpasses all definitions. You are the vast sky in which planets appear and earths appear, and sun and moon and stars - and they all disappear, and the sky remains as it has remained always. The sky knows no change. You are that unchanging sky.
Clouds come and go, you are always here.
When Raman Maharshi was dying, somebody asked, "Bhagwan, soon you will be leaving your body; where will you go?" He opened his eyes, laughed and said, "Where can I go? I have been here, I will be here. Where can I go - WHERE? There is nowhere to go. I am everywhere: I have been here and I will remain here for ever and ever."
He is saying that he has come to know his being as the sky; he is no longer a cloud.
If you really want to search for the real self, don't get attached to any commitment, to any program, to any idea. Remain unattached, flexible, fluid; don't become stagnant. Always remain in a state of unfrozenness; don't freeze. The moment you freeze, you have something ale in our hands; a cloud has arisen. Remain in a state of meltedness, don't become committed to any form or name. And then something tremendous starts happening to you: for the first time you start feeling who you are.
The feeling does not come from the outside, it arises from the inner depths of your being. It floods you. It is light, utter light, it is bliss, utter bliss. It is divine. It is another name for God.
Never become crystallized; if you become crystallized in something, you are encaged. Remain free, remain freedom. All identity creates fixation; and every fixation, every identification, is a liability. The more fixed one's identity, the less the experience of which one is capable. The point is not to lack a position, but not to be positional.
I am not saying to become unthinking. Remain intelligent, capable of thinking, but never get identified with any thought. Use the thought as a tool, as an instrument; remember that you are the master.
Not to be attached to whatever position one has at any particular moment is the beginning of self- knowledge. One IS, one experiences aliveness, to the extent to which one can transcend particular positions and can assume other viewpoints.
That's what I mean by remaining fluid, flowing. One should remain available to the present. Die to the past each moment, so that nothing about you remains fixed. Don't carry a character around yourself; all characters are armors, imprisonments.
The real man of character is characterless - you will be surprised by this. The real man of character is characterless: he has consciousness, but he has no character. He lives moment to moment.
Responsible he is, but he responds out of the moment, not out of past contexts. He carries no ready-made programs in his being. The more you have ready-made programs, the more you are an ego. When you have none - no programs, nothing ready-made in you - when each moment you are as fresh as if you are born anew, to me that is freedom. And only a free consciousness can know the true self.
This is the search, Parmita. Nothing else will ever satisfy, nothing else can ever satisfy. All are consolations - and it is better to drop them, it is better to become aware that consolations are not going to help.
This is what I call sannyas: dropping consolations, renouncing consolations - not the world but consolations - renouncing all that is false, becoming true, becoming simple, natural, spontaneous.
That's my vision of a sannyasin, the vision of total freedom.
And in those beautiful moments of total freedom, the first rays of light enter you, the first glimpses of who you are. And the grandeur of it is such, and the splendor of it is such, that you will be surprised to find that you have been carrying the kingdom of God within you and you have remained so unaware, and for so long. You will be surprised that it was possible not to know such a treasure.
Such an inexhaustible treasure is within you.
Jesus goes on repeating again and again, "The kingdom of God is within you." Call it the kingdom of God or the supreme self or nirvana or whatever you will, that is our search - everyone's, not only of human beings but of all beings. Even trees are growing towards it, even birds are searching for it, even rivers are rushing towards it. The whole existence is an adventure.
And that is the beauty of this existence. If it was not an adventure, life would be absolute boredom.
Life is a celebration because it is an adventure.
The second question:
HOW DID I GET SO LUCKY TO FALL IN THE GRACE OF YOUR LOVE IN THESE TIMES OF SUCH CONFUSION IN THE WORLD?
Prem Debal, the times of confusion and chaos are the greatest times to live in. When the society is static there is not much to live for, to live with. When a society is secure and there is no confusion and there is no chaos, then people live a dull, drab, dragging life - comfortable, convenient, stable, but not alive.
It is only in the times of chaos and confusion that great things happen, because people are loose.
They are loose, uprooted: they can search for new soils, they can search for new lands, they can search for new countries, they can search for new continents of being.
This is one of the greatest moments in the history of human consciousness. It has never been so; this is a crescendo.
Buddha said - and he seems to have detected it richly - that after each twenty-five centuries there comes a moment of great turmoil and chaos. And that is the time when the greatest number of people become enlightened.
Now twenty-five centuries have passed since Buddha. Again you are coming closer and closer to a moment where the past will lose all meaning. When the past loses ll meaning, you are free, you are untethered from the past: you can use this freedom to grow tremendously, to grow to undreamed-of heights.
But you can destroy yourself too. If you are not intelligent, the confusion, the chaos, will destroy you.
Millions will be destroyed - because of their unintelligence, not because of the chaos. They will be destroyed because they will not be able to find a secure and comfortable and convenient life, as was possible in the past. They will not be able to find where they belong. They will have to live from their own sources; they will have to be individuals, they will have to be rebels.
The society is disappearing, the family is disappearing; now it is very difficult. Unless you are capable of being an individual it is going to be difficult to live. Only individuals will survive.
Now people who have become too accustomed to slavery, accustomed to being commanded, accustomed to being ordered by somebody else - people who have become too much accustomed to father-figures - they will be in a state of insanity. But that is their fault, it is not the fault of the times. The times are beautiful, because the times of chaos are the times of revolution.
It is possible now to get out of the wheel of life and death more easily than it has been possible for twenty-five centuries since Buddha. In Buddha's time, many people became enlightened; the society was in a turmoil. Again it is happening. Great times are ahead - prepare for them.
And that's what I am trying to do here. Orthodox people cannot understand what is happening here; they have no eyes to see it and no heart to feel it. They only have old rotten values, and they go on judging me according to hose values. Those values are out of date. I am creating new people, I am creating new values, I am creating a new future. They live in the past; they cannot understand the future that I am trying to bring here to the earth.
My sannyasins don't belong to the past, they don't represent any tradition. They belong to the future:
they belong to something that is going to happen and has not yet happened. Hence there are no criteria - they cannot be judged easily, and they will be misunderstood.
I am going to be misunderstood, because people have their values, and those values come from the past. And I am trying to create a space for the future to happen.
You say: HOW DID I GET SO LUCKY TO FALL IN THE GRACE OF YOUR LOVE IN THESE TIMES OF SUCH CONFUSION IN THE WORLD?
It is not a question of luck, it is a question of intelligence. That is the only luck in the world - intelligence. And remember, everybody is born with intelligence but people don't use it, because to be intelligent is to live in danger.
The intelligent child will be a constant pain in the neck for the parents; they try to crush his intelligence. Nobody wants an intelligence child, because he creates suspicions in you, he creates doubts in you. An intelligent child asks questions you cannot answer. An intelligent child is a problem for the teachers in the school, in the college, in the university.
An intelligent person will always remain a problem, wherever he is. So the society tries in every way to destroy your intelligence.
I have heard:
The teacher told the students that they were going to play a game.
"I've got something behind my back and I'm going to describe it and you guess what it is," she said.
"I'm holding something round and red. Can someone guess?"
"An apple?" little Herbie said.
"No," said the teacher, "but it shows you were thinking. It's a cherry. Now I'm holding something round and orange. Can you tell me what it is?"
"An orange?" little Herbie said.
"No," said the teacher, "but it shows you were thinking. It's a peach."
Herbie raised his hand. "Teacher, can I play the game too?"
The teacher said, yes, and Herbie went to the back of the room, faced the rear and said, "Teacher, I'm holding something about two inches long with a red tip."
The teacher said, "Herbie!"
"No," said little Herbie, "but it shows you were thinking. It's a match."
Now, these intelligent children cannot be allowed to live! Nobody likes an intelligent person.
Hence people start playing unintelligent roles in life, because an unintelligent person is accepted everywhere. That's why millions of people have become mediocre. Nobody is born mediocre, let me remind you. God gives intelligence to everybody; just as he gives life to everybody, he gives intelligence. Intelligence is an intrinsic part of life.
Have you ever seen an unintelligent animal? Have you ever seen an unintelligent bird, an unintelligent tree? Every tree is intelligent enough to find the source of water to send out roots.
And you will be surprised, scientists are very much surprised, at how trees find places.
When a tree starts sending out its roots, sometimes it sends them hundreds of feet away in a particular direction to where water is. Now, how does it find it? The water is a hundred feet away towards the north: it does not send its roots towards the south, it sends its roots towards the north - a hundred feet away! and not only to natural water sources - sometimes it sends its roots to the pipes, corporation pipes, hundreds of feet away; it detects them. It takes YEARS for it to send out those roots. It lives, in its own way, an intelligent life.
If there is too much competition, trees grow higher; they have to. That's why in the jungles of Africa, trees grow very high. The same trees in India won't grow that high; there is no need, the competition is not so much. In thick forests if the tree remains small it will die; it will be in the shadow of other trees. It has to reach the sun: it goes on and on moving upwards.
Trees are intelligent in their own way, birds are intelligent in their own way, animals are intelligent in their own way. And so is man.
You will find the mediocre and the stupid only in human beings. I have never come across a stupid dog - I have tried - but there are millions of stupid human beings. What has happened to human beings? Intelligence is not allowed.
The whole society and the pattern of the society is against intelligence; it supports mediocre people.
Everybody is happy with a mediocre person, because whenever you are around a mediocre person he is never a problem; he is always ready to be obedient, and he always gives you a feeling that you are superior.
If people live intelligently, everybody will be lucky. If you are not lucky, it is not that God has been unfair to you, it is only because you have compromised with the society.
Debal, you could come to me because you have been courageous enough to use your intelligence.
It is not a question of luck, it is only a question of guts, courage. And these days are really beautiful, fantastic. Use these days, these times: you can soar high, higher than has ever been possible before.
Millions of people are in the situation now where enlightenment can happen. We can defeat Buddha for the first time. The times are very favorable, because there is so much chaos and so much confusion, and all the old ideologies are dead and dying of their own accord. Man is becoming free, coming out of his shell.
The third question:
BELOVED MASTER, I HAVE BEEN TO MANY GURUS BUT I HAVE NOT CHANGED A BIT. WHY?
To expect that just by being to many gurus you will be transformed is foolish. Nobody can transform you. The very idea, the very expectation that somebody else is going to transform you, keeps you unintelligent. When are you going to declare the mastery of your own being? When are you going to take the reins in your own hands? When are you going to say, "I will now live according to myself"?
And those so-called gurus you have been to will make you more and more mediocre and stupid.
They want you obedience - and only stupid people can be obedient. They will not help you to become more intelligent.
It is very rare to find a master. Out of a hundred, ninety-nine are bogus, and the one who is not bogus will demand so much from you. First he will demand intelligence - and you have completely forgotten that you have that t all in the first place. He will demand awareness.
The false gurus, the false so-called masters, provide you with better sleeping-pills. They provide you with psychological strategies to remain comfortably asleep, they give you lullabies, so that you can live a drugged life. Their methods are nothing but psychological tranquilizers, non-medicinal tranquilizers. So for a few days you feel god, you repeat a certain mantra and you feel good, and then you become fed up and you start seeing the point that it is not leading you anywhere. Then you go to another guru, he gives you some other method, for a few days again the honeymoon, and then that disappears.
But one thing you should be thankful for: it is because of all those gurus that you have come here.
And now you cannot goof off; it is impossible.
I don't give you any lullaby, I will give you electric shocks - because that is the only way you can come out of your drugged state.
Two drunks were sitting in a bar, thinking of things to do to pass the time.
"Let's play television," said one.
"Okay," said the other. "How?"
"I make believe I'm a great big TV star and you guess who I am."
"All right," said the first. "I'm five-foot-four, got blonde hair, blue eyes, I'm 38-24-36 and I'm beautiful."
The second drunk stared at him for a moment. "Never mind who you are," he said, "Kish me."
This is your state. You have to be shocked, you have to be brought to consciousness. Hence I don't provide you with any consolations - you would like them, you would love them.
So those who come here for consolations can have no understanding of what is happening here.
And you can go and on, from one school to another school, from one guru to another guru; that is not going to change you at all. It is not a question of traveling from one place to another place; you will remain that which you are. Only if you are shocked, only if somebody is there who can destroy you, who can destroy you as you are, only then will your real being come out. The unreal has become a thick foliage around you.
A Hindu can become a Christian; nothing will change. Instead of Krishna he will start torturing Christ, that's all. A Jew can become a Hindu; that will not help either. You go on changing your masks, your garments, but the change is needed somewhere deep in your being - not on the periphery but at the core.
Morgenstern lived in difficult times. Life was hard, especially if you were a Jew. So he decided to become a Roman Catholic and was baptized.
The first time he went to confession, he stole the parish priest's gold watch! But he was honest, and so he immediately confessed:
"Father, I have stolen an expensive watch and now I feel very guilty about it. I confess that what I did was immoral and totally wrong. Please, Father, may I give you the watch?"
The priest was surprised but shook his head. "No, I couldn't possibly accept it."
Morgenstern insisted. "Please, Father, I feel so guilty, won't you please accept the watch as a sign of my repentance?"
"That isn't possible, my son," said the priest, moved by Morgenstern's deep sincerity. "You must return the watch to its original owner."
"Ahh!" said Morgenstern with a deep sigh. "I've tried, Father, I swear I've tried, but I'm afraid the good man doesn't want it."
"In that case, my son," said the priest, "I see nothing wrong with your keeping the watch, and since you've now confessed, there's no need at all anymore for you to feel guilty!"
You see the Jewish mind?
You can go on changing your religion, you can go on changing your philosophy - these are really ways to avoid the real change. The real change has to happen deep down in you. You are unconscious, and the only change that is going to help is to become conscious. You are living mechanically: the only thing that can help is to live life non-mechanically. De-automatize yourself, de-hypnotize yourself.
The society has hypnotized you. The society has dulled your senses, it has poisoned you. It wants skillful efficient machines; it does not want men. It has reduced you to a machine. You are a good clerk or a good soldier or a good stationmaster or a good deputy collector - it has reduced you to something which has a utility. It has made you a commodity. It does not want your intelligence, your awareness. You will have to rebel against it.
And the gurus you have been to are nothing but agents of the same society. Hence the society respects them, hence the society supports them.
I cannot be supported by the society. It is a sheer miracle that I am existing, it is very illogical. I should not be here at all. The society does not support me, it cannot support me. In every possible way it will create - it IS creating - hindrances for my work.
Just the other day I was reading in the newspapers, one man has suggested to the government that I should be expelled from India. He must be a very religious man, because he says I am destroying religion. And he is not satisfied with just my expulsion - he then suggests my tongue should be cut out, so that I cannot speak; and my hands should also be cut off, so that I cannot write. And he thinks he is a religious man.
But that's what people have always done. They crucified Jesus, and they were thinking they were doing something very religious. They murdered the great Sufi master, al-Hillaj Mansoor, in exactly the same way. This man who has suggested this to the government may have been part of the crowd who killed Mansoor, because this was the way: his hands were cut off, his tongue was cut out, then his head was cut off. It seems the society goes on perpetuating its old stupidities. And he is thinking that he is suggesting this to protect religion, that religion is in danger - because of me, religion is in danger.
Religion is not in danger because of me, but pseudo-religion certainly is in danger. And the society needs pseudo-religions so that the real religion can be avoided, because real religion always creates trouble.
A Buddha, a Jesus, a Mansoor, a Sanai - whenever these people walk on the earth they create fire, they create revolution. They start transforming people, transforming their unconsciousness into consciousness. And then there is trouble.
It happens every day here: a couple comes here, and within seven days they have separated. Now, what has happened? And they had lived for twenty years together! For twenty years they were compromising and compromising and compromising. For twenty years they were suffering; they were miserable together. But they were carrying on somehow in a state of unconsciousness.
The moment they are here, they start meditating. They go into a few therapy groups, and they become alert and they say, what have they been doing? The man comes to see that he has never loved this woman, he has been deceiving - he has been deceiving the woman, he has been deceiving himself. The woman comes to see that she has never loved this man; this man seems to be a stranger, she does not know who he is. And why have they been living together and torturing each other? Suddenly they are awake and the marriage has gone to the dogs.
People will be afraid of such a place: their marriage may disappear, their old ways of living may be shattered. It is ultimately good that something wrong falls down and disappears, but in the beginning it is painful. Twenty years you have lived with a woman: it is difficult to unclinch yourself, it is painful, it is agony.
But if you don't stop a false relationship, you will never be in any true relationship in your life. And a true relationship is a mirror: it helps you to see your face, who you are. But only a true relationship is a mirror. A false relationship is a stone wall; you cannot be mirrored in it, it is utterly futile.
Parents are afraid; they don't want their children to come here, because I will teach them to be themselves. And if the child wants to be a musician, I will say, "Become a musician, even if you remain a beggar." And the parents wanted him to become a doctor or an engineer - now there is going to be trouble.
The child, if he becomes an engineer, will have much money, prestige, power, but he will miss his soul. He will never come to know any joy in his life; he will know misery, he will never know any rejoicing. But the parents are more interested in money and power and prestige. That's what has been told to them by their parents; this is their tradition.
Each generation goes on corrupting the new generation. Each generation goes on loading the new generation with its own diseases, illnesses and pathologies.
If you come here, I am going to unburden you of all your pathologies. And they may be very traditional and very long-respected, and your parents may have carried them for thousands of years, but I will teach you to drop all that nonsense, all that rubbish, and simply become your own being, your own self. Now, the society cannot tolerate it. The society is bound to be inimical, antagonistic towards me. This has always been so.
You must have gone to the gurus who are agents of the same rotten society. How can they help you to change? They are there to protect the society. The society gives them respect, that is how the society goes on paying them for their services.
Your teachers are in the service of the past. Your priests are in the service of the past, your politicians are in the service of the past. And I want you to become aware of the present.
If you have some courage in your heart, and you don't escape from this surgical energy-field, you will be transformed. And remember, I will not transform you, I can only create situations in which you can transform yourself. I am simply creating a field in which things can happen - they are happening. Now don't escape from here. Just a few months, and then you cannot escape!
The fourth question:
WHY ARE YOU SO MUCH AGAINST ASCETICISM? ISN'T ASCETICISM A VALID PATH TO GOD?
Path? It is a pathology. To be an ascetic simply shows that you are masochistic, that you are suicidal, that you enjoy torturing yourself. And by torturing yourself you can create a certain character, but the character will be only on the surface. It will not transform you, it will only be a pretension. It will be only a face, a facade, a camouflage.
Ascetics have existed in the world because there are suicidal people. And there is a death instinct in man - Sigmund Freud has called it "thanatos." Sigmund Freud's contribution to human growth is immense. In his early life he discovered the life-instinct - sex, eros. And then in his later life, when he was getting old, he discovered another thing - thanatos, against eros.
There are two basic instincts in man: one is to live, another is to die. Both are there. If the instinct to live is not supported, the other instinct becomes powerful. If the instinct to live is supported, if life is affirmed, then the other instinct disappears. It is the same energy - either it will flow through eros, or it will flow through thanatos. It depends on you.
The religions of the world up to now have been death-oriented. And remember, when I say "religions"
I don't include Buddhas. I don't include Bahauddin, Sanai, Attar, Mahavira, Jesus, Mohammed, no. But I include Mohammedanism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism. All the organized religions of the world have been death-oriented. And this is something unbelievable: all the original beings were life-oriented.
Buddha is utterly life-oriented, but Buddhism is death-oriented. Mohammed is life-oriented, but Mohammedanism is death-oriented. How does it happen?
Just the other day, I was saying that truth transferred from one to another becomes a lie; it goes upside down. When Buddha says something, he means something totally different than that which is understood by the blind and unconscious people. Everything goes topsy-turvy. His life-affirmation becomes death-affirmation in the disciples. This has been a constant problem. Up to now it has not been possible to transfer truth, and I don't think it will ever be possible to transfer it. Because the Buddha speaks from the peak of the Himalayas and you listen in the dark valley. By the time it reaches to you, by the time you have interpreted it, it has already gone sour, bitter; it is no more the same truth.
So all the original religious founders were life-affirmative. And all the religions that were born out of their teachings became death-oriented.
Asceticism is falling in love with death. It is a pathology, it is not a path. But people respect it, because the ascetic seems so different from you. You love food, he hates food. you love a good bath, he hates to take a bath. Jaina monks don't take baths - not only that, they don't clean their teeth either. They are against the body.
You love comforts, the ascetic loves discomfort. He is not at ease with comfort, he is at ease only when he is uncomfortable. You call it a path? It is a pathology. The man who is standing on his head, and feels comfortable only when he stands on his head, is ill, is abnormal.
All the animals laugh about it. Whenever animals see a yogi standing on his head, they laugh. They cannot believe what has happened to this man. People go on torturing their bodies, twisting their bodies.
I have heard:
Reggie owned an elephant, but the cost of feeding it was getting out of hand. Then he go an idea.
He had seen elephants lift one leg, and even two legs. Once in a circus he'd even seen an elephant lift three legs in the air and stand on just one.
So Reggie announced to the world that he'd pay ten thousand dollars to anyone who could make his elephant stand in the air on no legs. However, each person who wanted to try would have to pay a hundred dollars.
People came from near and far. They tried everything from coaxing to hypnotism, but no one could make the elephant rise up in the air.
Then one day a blue convertible drove up and a little man got out and addressed Reggie: "Is it true that you'll pay ten thousand dollars if I make your elephant get off all four legs?"
"Yes," Reggie said. "But you've got to pay one hundred dollars to try."
The little man handed Reggie a hundred-dollar bill. Then he went back to the car and took out a metal club. He walked up to the elephant and looked him in the eye. Then he walked behind the elephant and swung hard, hitting the elephant smack on the balls. The elephant let out a roar and flew up into the air.
After the little man had collected his ten thousand dollars, Reggie was very depressed. He'd only taken in eight thousand dollars and now he'd not only lost a couple of grand but still had the problem of feeding and housing the elephant.
Suddenly Reggie got another inspiration. He knew that elephants could move their heads up and down, but he had never seen one move from side to side. So he announced that he would pay ten thousand dollars to anyone who could make his elephant move his head from side to side. However, each person who wanted to try would have to pay one hundred dollars.
People came from near and far. They paid their hundred and they tried, but of course none succeeded.
Then just when things were going well, a familiar blue convertible drove up and the little man came out. He addressed Reggie: "Is it true that you'll pay me ten thousand dollars if I can make your elephant move his head from side to side?"
"Yes," said Reggie. "But you've got to pay a hundred dollars to try."
The little man handed Reggie the hundred dollars. Then he returned to his car and took out his metal club. He walked up to the elephant.
"Do you remember me?" he asked.
The elephant nodded by shaking his head up and down.
"Do you want me to do it again?"
The elephant quickly shook his head - no.
Even elephants understand it - but man is such a fool. Asceticism a path? It is a pathology.
Life has to be lived in its totality. Your energies have to flow through eros: eros is life, love is life.
And whenever your energy is flowing against love, against life, beware: you are falling astray, you are going away from God. God is life, God is eros.
Now see the point: all the ascetic people and all the ascetic schools are against love, against sex, against life, against food - against living a healthy life of rejoicing.
That's why they are so much against me - because I would like you to live fully, totally, wholly. I would like you to accept life without denying yourself anything, without feeling in any way guilty. All guilt is a cunning strategy of the priests to divert your energy from life towards death.
Why have people done it? There are reasons. The politician wants people not to love life too much - because if people love life too much then people cannot be forced to go to wars. Who wants to die? There would be no army left in the world. People have to be forced against eros, they have to be forced against life, they have to be taught to love death, respect death and feel death as sacred - only then can there be armies. And great armies are needed. The politician is against love, against life, because he needs soldiers for death, to die and to kill.
The priest also wants people not to love life. If they love life they will not bother about the temples and the churches and the mosques. And if they really love life they will find God through life - the priest will not be needed. The priest is needed only when people have gone astray from life - only then can he become the guide and can he tell them, "Now I will lead you to the right path." First they have to be helped to go astray, then the guides come.
First people have to be made ill, then you can sell medicine. Otherwise you cannot sell medicine. If everybody is healthy, who will go to the physician and who will go to the druggist? And who will be able to sell medicine to people? It will be impossible. People have to be ill, only then can factories and factories of medicine go on manufacturing new drugs.
The priest needs people to go away from life. The moment they go away from life, they go away from God. Then there is a need for the priest and the temple and the church and the organization and the organized religion. The people would like to be Christians and Hindus and Mohammedans.
Otherwise life is so tremendously satisfying - who bothers? Who cares?
Reverend Jones was able to kill nine hundred people, innocent people, for a simple reason: he was training them for death. You will be surprised to know that in Jonestown, lovemaking among the members of the sect was not allowed. Celibacy was enforced. There were hard strict rules: the people were not allowed to go outside the commune, no contact with outsiders was allowed. They were living in isolation, they were all ascetics.
And it is because of this asceticism that they were ready to commit suicide. Now people are searching for the causes. Somebody thinks that he hypnotized people, somebody thinks something else - a thousand and one reasons are being found. The simple reason is, he diverted their eros - that's all. And eros can be diverted very easily.
Down the ages, religious people have been doing the same. He did it to the logical end. Ordinarily monks die slowly; they commit a slow suicide. He went fast and quickly. But there was a tendency, an atmosphere of death. They were practising death almost every month. Every month he would call the commune together and order them to die. And they were ready. They had said yes so many times that when it was really asked they could not say no. It had become an inbuilt program.
And their life was so ugly, that's why they were ready to die.
I have always loved a certain story. An English diplomat went to see Adolf Hitler before the second world war. They were standing on the terrace of a three-storey building, talking. Just to show his power to the English diplomat, Hitler ordered one soldier to jump. The soldier immediately jumped, fell on the road and died.
The English diplomat was very much shaken. And Adolf Hitler laughed and said, "My whole country is ready to follow my orders in this way." To emphasize it more, he ordered another soldier to jump.
And before the English diplomat could prevent him, he also jumped. To make the thing absolutely clear, he ordered a third soldier - but before he could jump, the English diplomat caught hold of him and said, "Are you mad? What are you doing? Why are you so ready to leave your life?"
And the man said, "Leave me alone! You call this life?"
To be with Adolf Hitler is far worse - it is better to die. These people who committed suicide must have been living a worse life than death itself. This is the simple logic of it. And the ascetic attitude makes your life so ugly, so intolerable, that one starts thinking of death as a deliverance.
I am against ascetic attitudes, because they are ill attitudes, unhealthy, unwholesome. I am all for eros, I am all for life - because life is the temple of God, the only temple. And eros is the only way God is expressed in the world.
If you move totally into eros, into love of life, into life-affirmation, into rejoicing, you will find, deep down hidden in life, God himself. Life is his manifestation; he is the hidden source of it. Don't go away from life - going away is going away from God. Hence my sannyasins are not to renounce but to rejoice.
Now people have asked me a few questions: "Can the same thing happen here as happened in Reverend Jones' commune?"
This will be the last place in the world where it could happen, because I teach you love, I teach you life. My whole effort is to make your energy move through life totally - nothing is left. And if you move totally through life, death disappears. Even when you die, you will not see that death is happening to you - you will see only that you are changing your abode, you are changing your garments. You are on an eternal pilgrimage.
I teach you life, I teach you abundant life. This cannot happen here - I am not teaching you suicide.
It can happen in any ascetic society, in any ascetic commune. But my commune is not ascetic at all. That's why Christians are against it, and Hindus are against it, and Jainas are against it, and Mohammedans are against it, and everybody is against it - because they are all death-oriented.
And my love is unconditionally for life.
I teach you to love and to live. Death is impossible here - what to say of suicide? Even death is impossible here. If you die the way I am teaching you, if you live the way I am teaching you, you will never know death. Even dying, you will know that the flame goes on burning forever.
The last question:
INDIA IS THE ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD WHICH TALKS ABOUT CELIBACY SO MUCH AND YET EVERY FOUR SECONDS THREE CHILDREN ARE BORN IN INDIA. PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS.
Kamal Bharti, ideals create hypocrisy. and if you want to be a hypocrite, the first requirement is to have great ideals. You cannot be a hypocrite if you don't have any ideals.
For example, my sannyasins cannot be hypocrites; it is impossible. Hypocrisy is the shadow, the long shadow, of the great ideal.
India is one of the most hypocritical countries. And the reason is that great ideals are being taught to people. Those ideals remain only in their talk - life goes on in a totally diametrically opposite way.
People go on talking about truth and their life has nothing of truth in it. They go on talking about great morality, and their whole life is immoral.
You cannot find a more immoral country in the world than this country, it is impossible - because no other country preaches so many ideals. When ideals are great, you cannot fulfill them; they are so unnatural, they are so impossible. Then the only way is to go on talking about them and go on living in your own way. So you have to live a double life.
In talking, in sermonizing, Indians are great. In philosophizing, nobody can compete with them. They are great logic-choppers, hair-splitters, great masters of language. But their life is empty, hollow, and is just the opposite.
In fact, if you know the ideal of a person, just by knowing the ideal, you can know his life. Tell me what your ideal is, and I will know your life immediately. If celibacy is your ideal, then I know who you are: you are sex-obsessed. Only a sex-obsessed person has the ideal of celibacy. If you are not sex-obsessed there will be no question of celibacy. You will live your life: when sex is happening it is beautiful, when it disappears it is beautiful. Both are sacred moments.
Sex is sacred when it happens. When it disappears, that too is sacred. Both have their beauties.
When the tree blooms it has beauty, and when the tree is naked of all leaves it has a beauty. Yes, in the fall, trees have a totally different beauty, an austere beauty. Naked, without any leaves, standing against the sky, they look so meditative, so Zen-like. And then in the spring, with great foliage and many flowers, as if they are getting ready to be married - newlyweds... So much celebration, it has a beauty - the beauty of a Sufi.
The real man lives his life without any guilt. Sex appears one day and disappears one day.
Remember: anything that appears, disappears. Up to the age of fourteen, sex has not appeared.
Then suddenly one day, the spring: sex has come into life, with great joys, with great songs to be sung. If one lives it totally, then nearabout the age of forty-two it disappears one day. And the beauty of the fall, and the naked bare tree against the evening sky.
Sex has existence only from the fourteenth to the forty-second year, if things go naturally. But they don't go naturally - the priest jumps in. He starts talking about celibacy. When all that was needed was the art of love, he starts talking about celibacy. He creates guilt. Sex energy becomes repressed, goes underneath into the unconscious.
Now even at the age of eighty-two it will remain. You will remain sex-obsessed; it can't leave you now.
India is a so-called religious country. In fact countries can only be so-called religious. Only individuals can be really religious, countries can only be so-called religious. How can countries be religious? Religion is something that happens in the individual soul. Politics is that which happens in the collectivity. Religion is that which happens in your aloneness.
But great ideals go on torturing. India is very heavy-laden - great rocks are on the Indian heart. And because of those rocks the springs of life cannot flow.
So, Kamal, there is no contradiction in it. In fact there is a logical connectedness between these two things - talking of celibacy, and giving birth to three children every four seconds. The more you talk about celibacy, the more sex-obsessed you will become. If you accept sex as a natural phenomenon, you need not talk about celibacy; it comes in its own time.
Just as youth turns into old age, sex turns into celibacy. Celibacy is sex lived truly, is the fragrance of sex lived truly. Celibacy is sexuality become mature. Otherwise hypocrisy continues.
Meditate over this story.
This man was in bed with a married woman when they heard the door open. "Oh my God," she gasped. "It's my husband! Quick, hidden in the closet!"
The man hurried into the closet and closed the door. Suddenly he heard a small voice saying, "It's very dark in here."
"Who is that?" he asked.
"That's my mother out there," the small voice said. "And now I'm going to scream."
"Please don't!" the man said.
"Okay, but it'll cost you money," the boy said.
"Here's five dollars."
"I'm going to scream!" said the small voice.
"Okay, here's ten dollars!"
"I'm going to scream," the small voice said.
"Here's twenty dollars."
Finally, when the boy turned down thirty-five dollars, the man said, "All I have is forty dollars."
"I'll take it."
At last, the husband left and the man was able to get out of the closet and make a hasty exist.
That afternoon, the mother took the boy with her on a shopping trip.
"I want to get that bicycle," he said.
The mother said, "No, you can't. It costs too much money."
The boy said, "I've got forty dollars."
The mother said, "Where would you get forty dollars?"
The boy wouldn't talk, she began to berate him. He refused to respond. She slapped his face. He stood stoically. Finally, twisting his arm, she dragged him into the nearby neighborhood church and approached the parish priest. "Father, my son has forty dollars and he won't tell me where he got it.
Maybe you can find out?"
The priest nodded. He led the boy into a confessional booth. The boy sat on one side and the priest on the other. The boy said, "It's very dark here..."
And the priest said, "Now, don't you start that again!"