The first question:
MIND LIVES IN THE DUALITY of the positive and the negative. It lives like a pendulum, moving from yes to no, from no to yes. It cannot live in the absolute yes, it cannot live in the absolute no.
Absolute yes means now there is no possibility for the pendulum to move anywhere. Absolute no also means the same: no space for the mind to play games. Anything absolute is a death for the mind.
There are two possibilities of killing the mind, of transcending the mind: either absolute yes or absolute no. The Upanishads have used the first possibility, absolute yes, and Buddha has used the second possibility, absolute no. But look deeply and you will find they are not different, they are bridged by the same phenomenon - absoluteness. Anything absolute becomes the grave of the mind; it needs duality to exist.
That's why you are so afraid of the absolute negative, because in the absolute you start disappearing. You are your mind. Of course, there is something more in you than your mind, but you are not aware of it. And as you start disappearing, fear arises, confusion arises; one is scared, one wants to cling to whatsoever is available to cling to.
It is because of this miracle of the absolute that God has been synonymous with the absolute. God means the absolute. Either say absolute yes and your mind disappears, or say absolute no and your mind disappears.
Why has Buddha chosen to say absolute no, why not absolute yes? For a certain reason: with the absolute yes there is one danger. The danger is that you may not understand the absoluteness of the yes; you may still go on thinking that it is your old positivity. With the absolute no that danger is not possible. With the absolute no, death seems so clear that you cannot miss it - hence the confusion.
This confusion is good. Don't try to escape from it, go deeper into it. Soon it will become a chaos - not just confusion but chaos. When all that you have known about yourself is shattered, when all that you have believed in has evaporated, when all that you were identified with has slipped out of your hands - the very earth beneath you is no longer available, you are falling and falling into a bottomless abyss - that is chaos. And only out of chaos are stars born. Out of chaos is creativity.
You ask: How can I be accepting or even creative with this?
There is no question of accepting because every acceptance means that deep down there is rejection. Otherwise, why the question of acceptance? Why in the first place do you think of accepting? You must be rejecting somewhere.
I don't accept life because I don't reject it in the first place. It is simply there, neither rejected nor accepted. It is so. Buddha calls it tathata, suchness.
A man came to Buddha and asked, "What should we do with death? Should we accept it?"
Buddha said, "There is no question of accepting or rejecting. Death is! It is so. Such is the nature of things: they are born one day, one day they die."
Why do you think of rejecting or accepting? If you try to accept, that simply means a kind of repression. First you must have rejected; you must be still rejecting and you are covering up your rejection with acceptance. Deep down you are angry and on the surface you are smiling, you are all smiles. Deep down you are sad; on the surface you are laughing and trying to hide the fact not only from others but from yourself too.
Friedrich Nietzsche has said, "I laugh because I am afraid that if I don't laugh I will start crying and weeping. I go on laughing just to avoid the possibility of crying and weeping. I don't want to cry and weep. I want to forget that there are tears in me."
But this is just a cover-up; this laughter is not true. This is not the laughter of the Buddhas - it can't be. It is the desperate effort of a split mind. This is schizophrenia: one part wants to cry, another part is trying to hide it. You are in conflict. But we are brought up in conflict, we have learned how to live in conflict - this has become our very life style. It is not a question of accepting.
True acceptance is not an acceptance at all. You will be surprised by my statement: true acceptance is not an acceptance at all. True acceptance is absence of rejection and acceptance. One simply knows that this is how things are - the suchness of things, tathata.
Hence one of the beautiful names of Buddha: Tathagata. The Buddhist scriptures always use the word tathagata for Buddha: one who lives in suchness, neither rejecting nor accepting, simply seeing whatsoever is the case, only reflecting.
And you ask me: How is creativity possible out of this absolute negativity? You don't know anything about creativity. Creativity comes only out of total negation, it comes out of absolute emptiness. The whole world has come out of nothingness and the whole world will one day move into nothingness.
Now the scientists have stumbled upon one of the most important discoveries ever: the discovery of the black hole. They say there are a few spots in existence, which can be called black holes, where if anything comes close it is sucked in by the black hole and it disappears, it becomes nothing.
But this is only half the story; the other half has still to be discovered. I can predict it will be discovered soon: the white hole, the other side of the black hole, from which things start coming out of nothingness. Existence goes into rest, then nothingness prevails. When the rest is over, existence again becomes active, manifest; then creativity prevails. Creativity comes out of nothingness.
The more you are a nobody, the more you know that there is no ego in you, the more creativity will flow through you. You will become a vehicle, you will become a passage. Songs will pour out of you - and music and love and joy. And whatsoever you touch will be transformed into gold, and whatsoever you say will have something poetic in it, and whatsoever you do will have grace, will have something divine about it, something sacred and holy.
Creativity is nothing that you have to do; you are the barrier - it is because of you that creativity is prevented. Make way. Don't stand in between. Move yourself away and let your void, your inner void, face existence. And the inner void will reflect the existence and, out of that reflection, creativity is born.
But I am not talking about ordinary creativity: that you compose a poem or you paint a small painting or you sculpt. These things can be done without being creative; all that you need to know is the art, the technique of doing them. Out of one hundred so-called creators it is very rare to find even one or two who are real creators; ninety-nine percent are only composers, not creators. They know how to put words together, they are clever, they are cunning, they are crafty; what they are doing is not creativity. They are putting things together - maybe in new arrangements, but there is nothing original.
The original always comes from an egoless state, it always comes when you are absent. When you are absent, consciousness is present, God is present. And then something miraculous starts happening, not by you but through you. It gives you a great feeling of humbleness and gratitude.
So don't be worried about absolute negativity; that is one of the most beautiful spaces to be in. One can be in that space through absolute positivity also, but there is a danger: your mind can play tricks with the absolute positive. But it cannot play tricks with the absolute negative. With the absolute positive it can still hope to remain in some way or other; the positive seems to be sheltering, safe.
Hence, except with Gautam the Buddha, every other religion has used the positive. It is only Buddha who has used the negative. But you must know that more people have become enlightened through Gautam Buddha's approach than through all the other approaches put together for the simple reason that with the absolute negative there is no safety, no shelter at all for the mind, for the ego. It is total death.
That's why you are confused. I am happy that you are confused. I will be more happy if your confusion becomes a chaos. I will be still more happy if you disappear into a black hole, because then the only thing possible is that you will come out of a white hole. You will be resurrected.
Crucifixion is the way of resurrection. Death is the way of being reborn.
The second question:
SATORI IS EXACTLY YOUR ORDINARY NATURE; it is not anything special. Hence there is no question of attaining it - it is already the case. You are in it, you have just forgotten. You have become too occupied with the outside world. You have forgotten your own kingdom, you have forgotten your own treasure, you have forgotten yourself. You have become too concerned with others. You are too much in the world and you don't give any time, any space for your inner nature to have a dialogue with you, to whisper a few things to you. You have become artificial.
You have created a false ego because nobody can live without a center. You have forgotten your real center, and nobody can live without a center, so you have created a false center as a substitute.
That's the ego. Ego simply means living with a false center.
Satori is dropping the false, entering into the real; just being yourself, your natural self, your ordinary self.
The word "ordinary" has to be remembered because the mind is not interested in the ordinary at all; it wants to be extraordinary, it wants to be special. It is through being special that the ego survives.
It is constantly striving to be more special, more special. It wants to be more rich, more powerful, more respectable; it is ambitious. Hence the word "ordinary" has no appeal for the mind. And that is the beauty of the word "ordinary" - because it has no appeal for the mind.
Mind is an achiever and the ordinary need not be achieved; it is already the case. The extraordinary has to be achieved, the extraordinary becomes the goal. It is far away; you have to make all kinds of efforts, you have to struggle for it, you have to fight for it because there are so many competitors.
To be ordinary... and there is no competition at all. You can just be ordinary, nobody has any objection. People will simply feel sorry for you that you have dropped out of the competitive race.
One competitor less - they will feel good but sorry for you. They will say, "Poor fellow! What happened to him? Why did he have to drop out?" The dropouts are not respectable people.
Buddha is a dropout. All real Masters are dropouts. To be a sannyasin means to be a dropout. To drop out of the rat race is to drop in, because when you are in the race you cannot enter in. When you are no longer in the race there is nowhere to go. You start moving inwards because life is a flow:
if there is no outer direction it takes the inner direction. If the goal is not there far away in the future, then you start moving into your nature in the present. That is satori.
Satori is very ordinary. Satori means your nature. You have come with it; it is your original face - all other faces are masks.
What is the root of your misery? The root is your ambition, desiring. One wants to be this and that, one wants to possess this and that, one wants to be somebody, one wants to be significant.
Yoka says: Cut the root... only then are you a disciple. And the moment you cut the root - not the branches, not the leaves - you attain the ultimate truth. The ultimate truth is not far away; it is the immediate truth, it is your truth, it is your very being.
Most people do not recognize the perfect jewel, the jewel of supreme wisdom, satori. It is hidden in the secret place of Tathagata, awaiting its discovery.
It is to live in your suchness; it is hidden in your suchness. Whatsoever you are, live in it. Don't create any conflict, don't live through the ideal. Don't be an idealist, just be natural.
But everybody is being taught to be an idealist: "Become a Jesus" or "Become a Buddha" or "Become a Krishna." Nobody tells you just to be yourself! Why should you be a Jesus? One Jesus is enough and one Jesus is beautiful - he enriches the existence. Many Jesuses just carrying crosses, and wherever you go you meet them... It won't look beautiful, it won't add to the beauty of existence; it will make the whole world ugly. Wherever you go you meet a Mahavira standing naked....
It is because of this that God never creates the same person again. He never repeats; he is original.
He always creates a new person. You have never been before, and there is no one who is like you, and there will never be anybody else like you again. In the whole of eternity you alone are just like you. Look at the beauty of it and the glory of it and the respect that God has shown to you! What more respectability do you need? See the uniqueness of yourself. There is no need to be unique; you are already unique, just as everybody else is unique. You are unique in your ordinariness, in your suchness.
It has not to be created, it is already there; you just have to discover it. Go in and discover it! It is waiting and waiting. And centuries have passed and many many lives have passed, and you have become addicted to extroversion. You never move in.
The first step towards satori is meditation. Satori is the ultimate experience of meditation when meditation is fulfilled, when meditation has reached to its ultimate flowering .
The world that you have created through your mind is illusory, but there is another world which is not your creation. When your mind disappears you discover that world: the world of suchness. That is a totally different experience. No words can describe it. Thousands of mystics have tried to describe it, but nobody has ever been able and nobody will ever be able to describe it. It is so mysterious, it is so beautiful that all words fall short. No poetry reaches to its level, no music even touches its feet.
The moment you have put your mind aside - mind means ambition, the ego trip of being this and that - the moment you have put the whole mind aside, a great light explodes in you and you are enlightened. This is satori. It does not come from the outside: you are not delivered by somebody else, you are delivered by your own being, by your own nature.
That is possible only by practicing zazen... Satori is possible only by practicing zazen. Zazen means:
You are simply relaxing into your own being, not doing anything at all. It is not a question of doing, it is simply a question of being. You go on relaxing into your being. A moment comes when you are in your utter purity, in your utter simplicity, in your utter innocence. That is satori.
Zazen is a beautiful word. It simply means just sitting - not even doing meditation. In fact, you cannot do meditation. Meditation is just sitting silently; it is not a question of doing. If you are doing something you are disturbing your meditation.
Somebody is chanting a mantra; he is disturbing his meditation. Somebody is focusing on something; he is disturbing his meditation. Somebody is concentrating, somebody is praying, somebody is thinking of God: they are disturbing their meditation. All these are the doings of the mind, and if the doing continues the mind continues. Stop doing, and where is the mind? When the doing disappears, mind disappears. And the disappearance of the mind is satori.
It is beyond speculation, says Yoka. You cannot think about it, you can only experience it. It is the ultimate experience, and the immediate experience, too, of truth, of beauty, of love, of bliss, of God, of nirvana.
The third question:
IT IS NOT A QUESTION of your believing or not believing it; such is the case. What can I do? Sex is stupid. I feel sorry for you, but I have to tell the truth some day or other. Yes, I have been telling you, "From sex to superconsciousness," and you have been very happy - you only hear "from sex,"
you don't hear "to superconsciousness."
And this is the case with those who are against me and with those who are in favor of me - the same.
Man is almost the same; friends and enemies are not very different. I am being misunderstood by the opponents, and that is understandable, but I am also being misunderstood by the followers; that is not understandable at all. The opponents can be forgiven, but the followers cannot be forgiven.
Because I said, "Sex is stupid," many angry questions have come to me. One of my sannyasins, Maya, has written to me: "You have some nerve to say that sex is stupid!" She must have felt hurt.
And I can understand: when you are living in a certain way you don't want it to be described as stupid. Nobody wants to be called stupid. It is not over the question of sex that you are disturbed, it is your life. If it is stupid and you are living it, then you are being stupid. That hurts. But I have to say it even if it hurts because that is the only way to make you aware that there is something more in life, something higher, something greater, something far more blissful, far more orgasmic.
Sex is only a beginning but not the end. And nothing is wrong if you take it as a beginning; if you start clinging to it, then things start going wrong. If I say anything against homosexuality, immediately the homosexuals start writing to me. If I say anything against anything, there are people who will start writing. If it hurts your ego, then you are immediately ready to defend - not only to defend but to attack.
Yogesh, whatsoever you are doing is going to be stupid because unless something comes out of meditation it remains stupid. It is not only a question of sex. The way you eat is stupid, the things that you eat are stupid, not for any other reason than the simple reason that whatsoever you are doing is being done without any awareness. Stupidity is sleep. Stupidity is unintelligence.
Just watch people - what they are doing, what kinds of things they are doing. And whatsoever they are doing they are doing with the feeling that this is the right thing to do, that this is the most intelligent thing to do.
Abby, a well-stacked coed, was undressing when her roommate, Jean, said, "Do you know there is the impression of a large M on your stomach?"
"My fiance is in town this weekend," confided Abby, "and he likes to make love with his football-letter sweater on."
"Which school does he attend, Michigan or Minnesota?" questioned Jean.
"Neither," giggled Abby, "he goes to Wisconsin."
But tell her fiance that this is stupid and he will hit you on the head!
An ugly-looking little Italian guy always succeeded in picking up the best-looking girls in his favorite bar every night. The other guys in the car just couldn't understand how such a creep could be so irresistible to women.
One night they asked the bartender, "The guy's scoring so much - what is his secret?"
"Well," said the bartender, "I don't know if the guy's hung, but he's the only guy who comes in here who can lick his eyebrows with his tongue."
But nobody can tell the guy, "You are stupid."
Whatsoever you are doing seems to be the most intelligent thing in the world to do. Whatsoever space you are in seems to be the right space. Everybody else may be wrong, but not you. You have to become aware of this phenomenon; this is one of the greatest illusions of humanity. You have to be watchful. You have to learn to see that, yes, there are many things that you are doing which are stupid. How can it be otherwise? You are not meditative.
Yogesh, you are not a Buddha, you are not awakened. How is it possible that you can do something which is not stupid? So whatsoever you are doing is bound to be stupid - it is out of unawareness.
You go on doing things, not exactly knowing why. How did you learn them? From whom did you learn them? Why did you learn them? There are millions of stupid people just like you, and you go on imitating them, you go on learning things from them.
Sex is one of the greatest intoxicants. It is in your very biology. It releases a certain drug in your very bloodstream and you become possessed; you are no longer in your senses, you don't know what you are doing. You are being forced to do it. Some unknown force - call it nature, biology, chemistry, hormones - whatsoever you want to call it - some unknown force, XYZ, forces you to do something.
In your saner moments you also know that this is stupid: "What was I doing, and why? And what have I gained out of it?" And you know those saner moments also.
That's why, after making love, many women will cry and weep, for the simple reason that the whole thing seems to be so meaningless. Why? It may be a titillation for the moment, but the same titillation again and again is a repetition; you are not reaching anywhere. And the man immediately goes to sleep after making love, for the simple reason that he wants to avoid the saner moment so he need not think about it. And by the morning he will have forgotten all about it.
After making love, at least for one hour sit in zazen and you will see what I am saying. You will understand what I mean when I say sex is stupid. After making love make it a point to sit in zazen for one hour just watching what has happened. Were you the master of it or just a slave? If you were the master of it, then it is not stupid. If you were a slave, it is stupid, because by repeating it you are making your slavery more and more strong, you are feeding your slavery.
Yogesh, it is only through meditation that you will be able to understand what I have been telling you.
It is not a question to be decided by argument, it can only be decided by your own meditation, your own understanding, your own awareness.
The fourth question:
I DO FEEL FOR YOU! Vipassana is really serious! Buddha invented it so that you can pass through hell on this earth and you need not go to the real hell. It is a process of cleansing you of all your past karmas. Better finish it! It is a torture because you don't know how to sit silently for so long. Your mind goes on thousands of trips. Sitting, sitting, sitting.... You feel sleepy and that is not allowed.
And if you start dozing, a hit comes on your head - a really good hit to bring you back to your senses! You cannot escape either because I go on praising vipassana so much, saying that without vipassana there is no satori, no enlightenment.
So you say, "Okay, somehow I will pass through it. It is only a question of a few days. And one thing is certain: that many have survived, so there is no danger to life." Yes, your knees hurt and your body aches and you feel very restless and you are not allowed to move; you have to sit just like a Buddha-statue, doing a very stupid thing - watching your breath. Now what kind of thing is this for an intelligent man to do? And thousands of doubts arise: "What are you doing? Such a nice guy, sitting and watching your breath?" You would have made love to your girlfriend, you would have done a thousand and one things. And delicious foods appear . . . and it looks far better to sit in the Blue Diamond than to sit in zazen! "Why am I sitting here? What am I doing here?"
The mind goes on questioning you and there really seems to be no escape because it is all voluntary; nobody has forced you. Not only that - you have to pay for it! Have you ever heard of anybody paying to suffer in hell? But when you have to pay for it, then you think it is worth the suffering.
Mulla Nasruddin was saying that when he came to India for the first time, he was feeling very hungry.
As he entered through the Himalayas he came across a man selling some strange fruit, very red, very beautiful. He asked the price. The man said, "Just two paise for the whole bucketful." So he purchased the whole bucket and then he started eating it - and it was fire! Tears were rolling down.
And a man was watching and he said, 'What are you doing? This is not a fruit. You will kill yourself !
This is a medicinal herb; it has to be taken only in very small amounts for particular diseases. What are you doing? You will go mad!"
He said, "Whatsoever happens, happens, but since I have paid two paise for it, I have to eat it!"
And he said, "I went on crying and tears went on flowing, but I finished it. I ate the whole bucketful of that nasty thing!"
When you pay, then you cannot escape. And we don't leave any loopholes; we make every effort so that nobody can escape.
The man was in jail for rape, murder, kidnapping and blackmail.
The lawyer said, "I found a loophole in your case. According to Abramovitz vs. Arcaro, January 6, 1911: Book III, Section II, page 6, paragraph 13, I think I've got the answer. Don't worry, I'll get you out. Just leave it to me. Now I'm leaving for Washington on Monday and I'll be back Friday.
Meanwhile - try to escape!"
We don't leave any loopholes in the first place. There is no possibility to escape either, because whenever somebody escapes from Vipassana I send him back again. Vipassana has to be suffered for the simple reason that it makes you encounter yourself, it forces you to encounter yourself - your fidgetiness, your restlessness, your ugliness, your madness. It forces you to see all the rubbish that you are carrying within yourself. And that is one of the most essential steps to go beyond.
If you want to go beyond anything, first you have to encounter it. Without encountering it there is no transcendence. There is no shortcut, there is no way of bypassing it.
It is not that Buddha is a sadist and he is trying to torture you; he is simply making you aware of what you are. And you can never become aware if you remain occupied in your day-to-day business, in your day-today engagements. You are so engaged from morning till night that you don't have any time, any space to look within, to feel yourself, to see who you are, where you are, what you are doing.
Vipassana forces you - there is nowhere to go. You have to watch your breath, you have to look at your thoughts day in, day out.
After the seventh day, something starts settling. If you persist, if you persevere, if you are patient enough, your body learns to settle, your mind learns to settle, your breathing becomes calm and cool, almost invisible. But you can feel that something has changed; the climate is different: you are not fidgety, you are not restless. And suddenly, as if the sun had risen, all that neurotic fight disappears. The hell is over. A great peace descends on you, the silence that comes after the storm and everything seems to be clean, very clean, spotlessly pure, innocent, as if a layer of dust has disappeared from your consciousness. Your consciousness seems to be transparent. You can see for the first time the green, the red, the gold of the trees. You can hear for the first time the song of the birds - as if something which was in your ears blocking them and something which was in your eyes like a curtain has disappeared. Suddenly you feel light, very light.
It is said: Angels fly because they take themselves lightly. You suddenly feel like light, so full of light and so light, that you can fly, almost fly. Gravitation has disappeared. You have entered into a different world: the world of grace.
And then, Sundardas, you will know a different quality of laughter arising in you. It will not be painted on the lips, it will be coming from your depth. And you will be laughing for no reason at all; you will be laughter. That is Zen laughter - unmotivated, out of sheer joy, out of sheer delight, out of sheer insight into things.
Yes, you need a beautiful joke!
After a day of long discussions at the World Religions Conference in Geneva, Rabbi Zuckerman found himself seated at the same dinner table as Father O alley.
The rabbi was partaking of koshered veal, while the priest was cutting into a thick slice of ham.
"Would ya like to try some of this ham, Rabbi?" asked the priest. "It's really good!"
"Ach, no," replied Rabbi Zuckerman, "it is against our religion."
"Ah, but it's so delicious! Are ya sure ya wouldn't like a taste?"
"Thank you, no," said the rabbi. "Since the time of Abraham, the flesh of the swine has been regarded as unclean by our people, and pork in all its forms is forbidden to us."
"Ah! Ya don't know what you're missin', Rabbi," said the priest, shoving down another mouthful of ham.
"Ach! But you have not tasted the gefiltefish that my wife makes, Father. How about your wife, Father? Is she a good cook?"
"Ah... well, Rabbi, that I cannot say, for I am not married."
"Not married? So what do you do for a screw?"
"For a... what?
"I mean - where do you get your sex?"
"Sex?!" said the priest. "Alas, Rabbi, in my religion it is forbidden unto us, the servants of Our Lord, to partake of the ways of the flesh."
"You mean - you've never had sex?" asked the rabbi. "No, I have not!" replied the priest. "Oho! You ought to try it... it's better than pork!"
The fifth question:
I AM NOT AN EXPERT ON ITALY. I have not even tasted spaghetti!
My first Italian sannyasin, Veet Sandeh, once prepared spaghetti for me, but it smelled so awful - it smelled just like the Italians! - that I could not eat it. And Veet Sandeh was one of the most perfect Italians. I don't think she has ever taken a bath in her whole life!
So I don't really know whether anything beautiful has ever come out of Italy or not, but I can tell you what the experts say. They say that two things have come out of Italy, two beautiful things, but both are possessed by Sophia Loren.
The sixth question:
ARE YOU CONFESSING or bragging? The world is very big and what do you know about the whole world? It is impossible to be first in anything; not even in greed can you be the first, because people are moving in circles. Nobody is the first. Don't become so concerned with your greed and don't feel guilty either. Everybody is greedy.
Unless you know that you are deathless you will remain greedy; greed comes because of death. You may never have thought about it, but greed exists because we are afraid of death. Because death is there we want to have as much of life as possible; we are greedy. We want to eat more, we want to have as many women or men as possible, we want to have as much money as possible, because death is there. "Soon everything will be finished, so before it happens have all that is possible, don't miss a thing." That's how greed arises. Greed is nothing but fear of death. Greed is out of fear; it is the fearful person who becomes greedy.
The really fearless person is not greedy at all; he shares. He is not possessive, he is very happy to give. He goes on giving whatsoever he has; he goes on giving for the sheer joy of giving.
You will remain greedy, Kamal, unless you experience your eternity: that death is not going to make any dent in you, that death is not going to make any change in you, that death is only of the body, your consciousness continues. Your consciousness is the only eternal phenomenon. Everything else changes, but not your consciousness. But you don't know anything about consciousness, hence the greed.
All the religions of the world have been teaching, "Don't be greedy," but that has not made any difference. That has made people greedy for the other world, that's all. That has made people greedy for heaven and heavenly joys, that's all. But that has not changed their greed; it has even increased their greed. I don't tell you not to be greedy. I say be conscious, be more conscious, and you will be surprised: as your consciousness grows, greed starts disappearing. Like dead leaves it starts falling; it leaves no trace behind.
Skolnik, the Scarsdale skinflint, awoke one morning to find that during the night his wife had died.
After one glance at the stark form lying there beside him, he leaped out of bed and ran into the hall.
"Daisy," he called down to the maid in the kitchen "come to the foot of the stairs, quick!"
'Yes," she cried. "What is it?"
"Only one egg for breakfast this morning!"
Can you beat that?
When the Internal Revenue Service hauled him in and wanted to know why he claimed his mother as an exemption in spite of the fact that she had been dead for five years, Bernstein said, "Oh, but Mom is still very much alive in my heart."
A Jewish couple went to a shopping center and left their child and carriage with the other carriages in front of the place. After shopping, they started for home. A few blocks later, the wife turned to her husband, who was wheeling the carriage, and cried in panic, "That's not our child!"
"Shut up your big mouth!" he replied. "This is a better carriage."
People are living in greed. Kamal, it will be difficult to be the first! Even to be aware that you are greedy is a good sign: it is a beginning, a good beginning, if you become aware of it. And remember, don't become guilty about it because that is a way of losing your awareness again. Don't start repenting of it because repenting means you are thinking about the past, which is no more.
Don't start trying to be non-greedy because whatsoever you do will be greed-even the effort to be nongreedy will only be rooted in greed. One can become so greedy about being non-greedy!
I have seen people who have become so greedy about being non-greedy that they go on and on renouncing this and that. Their greed has taken a new turn: it is standing upside down, it is doing a sirshasan, a headstand. Now they are greedy about non-greed; non-greed has become their possession, their money, their power. Now they are respected for their non-greed. They were respected first for their money; now they are respected for renouncing the money. Now they go on renouncing as much as they can - to the fullest extreme. They can renounce clothes, they can stand naked. They can renounce everything, but deep down the greed is there, they are still greedy. It is simply greed and nothing else. Now they are hoping that they will be rewarded in paradise - a great reward is waiting for them.
So don't try to become non-greedy. A greedy person cannot do anything about greed. And that's so about other things also. An angry person trying to be nonangry is not going to change his being. A violent person trying to be non-violent will still remain violent; his violence will now take subtle forms.
The only thing that is possible is to be conscious of your greed. And I am not saying that you will be rewarded in paradise, I am not saying anything about the future. I am simply saying that if you become aware of greed it disappears. And when it disappears, life is bliss here and now - not in the future, not as a reward.
Greed cripples you, anger cripples you, violence cripples you. When they all disappear.... And they all disappear through one method. A single method is enough - meditation is enough. All the diseases disappear through taking a single medicine.
The words "medicine" and "meditation" come from the same root. Meditation is the ultimate medicine: it cures you of all ills.
Remember Yoka again. He says: Don't cut the branches, cut the root.
Unconsciousness is the root, Kamal. Cut the root, be conscious, and then, herenow, you are a new person. Herenow, your life is transformed, you become luminous, you radiate bliss, you radiate benediction, you become paradise.
Wherever a man of awareness moves there is paradise. You cannot send a man of bliss, of awareness, of meditation, of satori, to hell, because if he reaches hell hell will be paradise for him. And you cannot send an unconscious man into paradise because wherever he is he will find his hell. If it is not there he will invent his hell - his unconsciousness will project his hell.
Reduced to a simple principle, the whole philosophy of all the awakened ones is: Unconsciousness is hell, consciousness is heaven.
The seventh question Question 7 OSHO, I WAS BORN ON FEBRUARY 29TH, HENCE MY BIRTHDAY COMES ONLY ONCE IN FOUR YEARS. IS THERE SOME SIGNIFICANCE IN IT?
JANUARY OR FEBRUARY OR MARCH February 28th or 29th - these are all arbitrary. These are our imposed ideas. Existence knows nothing of February, March. Even if you were born on April 1st there is no significance in it! You will not be a bigger fool than you are, you will be the same. What significance can February 29th have? But people want some significance.
I have heard about only one accident that has happened on February 29th: that is the birth of Morarji Desai.
Zoo keeper to tourists: "In this cage we see the leopard. This animal has one black spot for every day of the year."
Old lady: "What about a leap year?"
Zoo keeper, thinking fast: "Ah yes - behold, madam, I lift his tail thus - behold the 29th of February!"
And the last question:
WHAT DISCOURSES? You call this yakkety-yak discourse? Discourse is a serious phenomenon!
Discourse is something religious, holy, sacred. It is delivered in churches, temples. This place is not a church. This place belongs to the drunkards - it is a pub! What discourse? I have never delivered any discourse. Yes, I gossip, that is true, but there is no gospel in it and there is no art, no secret in it. It is very simple - my method is very simple.
A great emperor was passing through a village. He was one of the most famous warriors of those days and he was a lover of archery. He loved the people who were perfect archers. Passing through the village he saw on many trees, lampposts, and garden fences, arrows sticking exactly in the middle of circles - exactly in the middle, at the centers, of circles. So many arrows everywhere... he was surprised.
He asked, "Who is this man? I have never seen such a perfect archer! His aim is perfect, he never misses, not even by a fragment of an inch. The arrow always goes exactly into the center. Each target is a proof of it." He stopped his chariot, he called the people of the village. He said, "Who is this man?"
And they all laughed and said, "Don't be worried about him. He is a madman!"
He said, "What do you mean by madman? He may be mad, but he is the greatest archer I have seen."
They said, "It is nothing to do with archery. He knows nothing about archery."
The king said, "But then it is a puzzle. How does he manage?"
They said, "It is simple. First he shoots the arrow at the tree and then he goes and makes a circle around it!"
That's exactly my method. It is simple! Hence you can ask anything. Whatsoever I want to say, I say it. First I shoot the arrow and then I draw a circle around it - just as a finishing touch!
A parish priest was having a few words with his bishop and in the course of conversation said, "It's all right for you, my Lord. When you prepare a sermon you can deliver it to several churches in the diocese, but I have to give two new sermons every Sunday."
The bishop replied, "You should be able to give a sermon on almost any subject at a moment's notice, as I can."
"I'll take you up on that," said the parson. "You come to my church next Sunday and I will put you to the test."
The bishop agreed and in due course went to the pulpit to find a card with the one word "constipation"
written on it. Without hesitation he started, "And Moses took two tablets and went out onto the mountain side."