The Law Of Grace
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF EXISTENCE?
MEANING IS A HUMAN INVENTION. There is no meaning in existence itself, it is beyond meaning.
It is not meaningless either because a thing can be meaningless only if it is possible for it to have meaning. Meaning and meaninglessness are two sides of the same coin. As far as existence is concerned meaning is totally irrelevant, so is meaninglessness.
For centuries man has been imposing meaning on existence because it needs guts to live joyously without meaning. It needs real intelligence to live in ecstasy without any meaning at all. The crowds don't have that much intelligence, they need some excuse. Howsoever false the excuse is it does not matter - even a false excuse is good enough for them to live for. But they are absolutely in need of a meaning. It is man's need that imposes meaning on existence. The more immature a man is the more his need for meaning. As he becomes mature the need becomes less.
When man really comes of age there is no need for meaning at all. One simply lives, for no other reason; one lives for life's sake. Then existence is not a means to something else, it is beautiful as it is; it is not fulfilling any purpose. In fact, it is because it is not fulfilling any purpose that it is so beautiful, so utterly beautiful. It has no utility, it is not full of commodities, it is full of poetry. What meaning does a poem have, what purpose? What meaning does a rose flower have, what purpose?
What is the meaning of a night full of stars? And what is the meaning of love? What is the meaning of all that you are surrounded by? There is no meaning in it. And if you are in need of meaning, then you will project. Then existence becomes just a screen and you project your meaning on it.
For centuries humanity has done that and because of it now we are suffering tremendously. Now man has become more mature; he is not as childish as he was before and he can see that all those projections are nothing but projections. All the meanings are collapsing and now a great chaos is created by the collapsing meanings which we have believed in for thousands of years. A great meaninglessness is felt all over the world.
All modern thinkers from Soren Kierkegaard to Martin Heidegger are concerned with one single question and that question is the question of meaning. And all are convinced that there is no meaning in life. But then why live? Naturally, inevitably, the second question arises: If there is no meaning then why live? Then why not commit suicide?
Marcel used to say that the only significant philosophical question is suicide. Why go on living when there is no meaning? It is sheer cowardice to live when there is no meaning. And Marcel has some relevance in the context of the whole human history of thought, philosophy, religion. All the values are disappearing and man wants anything to cling to. Because the old gods have failed, man is inventing new gods.
It is difficult now to believe in the Christian trinity: God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Ghost.
It is almost impossible for any contemporary person to believe in this nonsense. But when this belief disappears a vacuum is felt; you start missing something. You cannot continue in the old belief and you cannot tolerate the emptiness that is left behind. Then something has to be substituted - anything will do. And then there are many substitutes.
Communists have provided their own unholy trinity: Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Lenin. You see the point? The Christian trinity was all male, the communist trinity is also all male. There was no woman in the Christian trinity, there is no woman in the communist trinity. It is a replica, exactly the same. Many theologians have tried to bring Christ's mother Mary into the trinity from the back door, but they have all failed. For centuries, again and again, the effort has been made, but it has not succeeded. And the same has happened with the communist trinity. Stalin tried to become one of the parts, but the magic number of three cannot be disturbed. So while he was alive he imposed himself, he became one; the trinity was no more a trinity, it started consisting of four persons. The moment he died the fourth was dropped. Even his grave was removed from the close proximity of Lenin's grave; they could not even tolerate his dead body there.
Mao Tse Tung tried in China to enter into the trinity; the day he died he was removed.
When old gods fail a great vacuum is felt. It is not accidental that in this century Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and people like them became so powerful. Their power was not their own, their power existed in the vacuum that was left in the human heart because of the old values disappearing.
And man has lived for so long with a certain meaning in life that he has become incapable of living without meaning. Either commit suicide or invent a new meaning.
My own approach is totally different. There is no need to commit suicide; that is sheer stupidity.
There is no need to invent any new meaning; that is falling back, that is regressive, that is again becoming immature. It is a great opportunity that is knocking on your doors. Humanity as a whole has come to a certain point of growth from which a quantum leap is possible. Man can start living without any meaning and still live beautifully, still with tremendous joy.
That was one of the greatest contributions of Gautam the Buddha. He has not been understood yet, but now his time has come. He came a little too early - twenty-five centuries before his time - but he speaks like a contemporary. Jesus speaks the old language, the language which children can understand. And so is the case with many others - with Moses, with Mohammed. But Buddha speaks the language of maturity. He says there is no meaning in life and there is no need for any meaning. Drop the hankering and don't try to fill this vacuum. This vacuum is good, it is healthy.
Abide in this emptiness, rejoice in this emptiness! Don't go on stuffing it with unnecessary things.
It has a purity - this emptiness which is being felt now by many more people than it was ever felt before. Only once in a while has a man like Buddha felt that all ideals are false, imaginary inventions - toys to play with, to keep children engaged so they don't create mischief.
Temples, churches, mosques, gurudwaras, these are places to keep children engaged so they don't create any trouble, so they don't create any mischief. These are sedatives so that you go on sleeping; these are sleeping pills, tranquilizers which help you to remain nonviolent, to remain non-destructive, to remain peace- fully sleepy; otherwise there is danger. You cannot be trusted, you cannot be allowed freedom.
These are your bondages. These are prisons which you think of as temples; they are not temples.
And the gods you worship are not gods; they are just play-things to keep you occupied, to keep you afraid, to keep you frightened, to keep you greedy. They don't transform you; their whole function is to serve the status quo, to serve the vested interests of the society.
Buddha says: The inner emptiness is so beautiful, don't stuff it with junk, leave it as it is. And that's what meditation is all about, that's what Zen is. It means living out of emptiness, asking nothing from life, living moment to moment for no other reason, just enjoying being alive. It is more than you can ask for! What more meaning do you need? Is breathing not enough? Is this chirping of the birds not enough? Is the green and the red and the gold of the trees not enough? Is this vast existence with all its splendor not enough? You want some meaning?
THE MOON RISES ABOVE THE RIVER. ON THE BANK THE WIND PLAYS SOFTLY IN THE PINES ALL NIGHT LONG, PURE AND CALM. WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THAT SERENITY?
LOOK ON THE BUDDHA'S PRECEPTS OF NATURE. WINTER AND AUTUMN MISTS, DEW, CLOUDS, SPRING MISTS ARE THE TRUE ROBE WHICH COVERS OUR BODY.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THAT SERENITY?
There is no meaning at all, but ]et me remind you again, I am not saying life is meaningless. You are so much obsessed with meaning that the moment I say there is no meaning, immediately you conclude the opposite. Immediately something inside you says, "So there is no meaning in life, that means life is meaningless?" I am not saying life is meaningless, I am simply saying meaning is absolutely irrelevant. Life is more than meaning, far more. Machines have meaning, flowers don't have meaning; meaning means utility. A car has meaning because it serves a certain purpose. A railway train has meaning, an airplane has meaning; they are utilitarian. But what is the meaning of a beautiful sunset and the clouds turning all the colors of the rainbow? What is the meaning of it?
What is the meaning of a rainbow?
Can't you see things just as they are? Can't you just be a mirror without projecting any meaning?
If you can be just a mirror, there is no meaning and no meaninglessness. You rise above both, you rise above duality, and then there is great serenity.
THE MOON RISES ABOVE THE RIVER. ON THE BANK THE WIND PLAYS SOFTLY IN THE PINES ALL NIGHT LONG, PURE AND CALM. WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THAT SERENITY?
And realize it this very moment! Don't think about it. If you think, you have already gone astray. A single thought and you are as far away from the truth as you can be. Just see it! I am not preaching a certain ideology to you, I am not imparting any information, I am not concerned with any creed, I am simply sharing my vision. Just for a moment, look through my eyes. For a moment, feel through my heart. Let your heartbeats be rhythmic with my heartbeats. That is satsang. That is communion with the Master. For a moment, breathe with me. For a moment disappear, for a moment don't think, for a moment forget that you are. Then only will you be able to understand. Seeing is understanding; it is not a question of thinking.
And once you are freed from meaning and meaninglessness you are freed from all the prisons of beliefs, ideologies, scriptures - Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian, Jaina. You are suddenly out of all the prisons; for the first time you are under the sky. When you are utterly empty, just as the sky is outside you, infinite, so there is a sky within you as infinite as the outer one. And when you are not asking for any meaning, both these skies meet, merge into oneness. That experience is God. God is not a person, that experience is God.
The second question:
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND JOKES ABOUT AUSSIES: THEY ARE SO LUKEWARM, SO BORING, SO NICE, THEY NEVER OFFEND ANYONE. THERE IS NO CHARACTER TO POKE FUN AT. HAVE YOU NOTICED?
IN A CERTAIN WAY YOU ARE RIGHT: they are lukewarm and they are nice. And certainly lukewarm people are boring; to be interesting you need a certain intensity. Nice people are boring. You can have nice people around only for a little while, you cannot live with nice people for long: they will kill you with boredom. They don't have any spice in them, they don't have any salt, they don't have any taste at all - they are tasteless. In that sense you are right. But that is enough to create many jokes.
In fact, that is a perfectly beautiful jumping board, Prabhu Maya!
An Englishman decided that he wanted to become Irish. After much research he discovered that the only way to become truly Irish was to have half his brain removed. He managed to find a surgeon who would operate, but during the operation the doctor made a dreadful mistake and removed his entire brain.
When the man woke up, the doctor said, "I'm very sorry, I've made a mistake. Instead of taking half your brain, I removed it all!"
To which the patient replied, "No worries, cobber!"
He had become an Australian!
A young Australian got married.
"Look, son," said his father. "When you are alone tonight with your bride, take her clothes off, take your clothes off, put your hand on her belly and say,'I love you, darling!'"
"Yes, pa," said the young man.
When the feast was over he took his eager bride to the room, dimmed the lights, stripped off all her clothes, sat naked by her side, laid his hand on her stomach and said, "I love you, darling!"
"Ah, lower, lower!" groaned the girl, patting his hand.
"Mm," says the Aussie (lower), "I love you, I love you!"
The third question:
PLEASE TALK ABOUT SURRENDER AND OBEDIENCE.
ON THE SURFACE they appear alike, but they are polar opposites. One who is surrendered need not be obedient; obedience is needed only if there is no surrender. You will be a little puzzled because you have been told and taught and conditioned that obedience and surrender are synonymous. Obedience means you are not surrendered, so you are forced to be obedient - there is ego inside you which you are repressing, hence obedience is needed. In the army obedience is needed, obedience has to be enforced. Those who are obedient have to be rewarded and those who are not obedient have to be punished. Slowly slowly everybody becomes obedient.
This is just a conditioned reflex. This is what they do with rats in psychology labs, this is how they train the rats. Psychologists don't think there is any difference between rats and man, and about ninety-nine point nine percent of people they are right, there is not much difference.
Only once in a while a Socrates, a Zarathustra, a Lao Tzu, a Buddha may not fit their idea, but they never come across such people. And even if they do come across a Buddha they will not be able to persuade Buddha to come to their lab so that they can experiment on him. They can get hold of rats, they can get hold of monkeys, they can purchase ordinary human beings who are ready to be experimented upon if they are paid well. And anything can be taught to you.
For example, now Skinner and company propose that there is no need to tell people that smoking is bad or dangerous to their health, there is no need to tell them that it is a sin, immoral; all that is needed is to give them a few electric shocks. Whenever the urge to smoke arises in them, the moment they take out a cigarette from the packet, give them an electric shock so that a shiver goes down their spine. Soon just the idea of smoking a cigarette will be enough - there will be no need to give them electric shocks - they will get the shock; the cigarette will drop from their hands. Slowly slowly even the urge will disappear.
They say, "We can condition a man in whatsoever way you want. There is no need to follow these very long, old, rotten tracks of moral preaching and teaching which still have no effect. Nobody is afraid of them." Who is afraid of hell now? Maybe in the beginning it was like an electric shock, but now people have become accustomed to it, they have become adjusted to the shock, now hell is not a shock at all. If somebody says to you, "Don't smoke cigarettes - you will go to hell!" it is no shock to you. But five thousand years ago it was enough to give you a shock. The idea was the same:
make people frightened.
Modern technology makes it easier; they have found short cuts. And they think that there is no difference between rats and man because rats learn the same way. Punish them and they will stop doing a certain thing, reward them and they will start doing it again and again. That is the way to create obedience. That's how it is created in the army, that's how it is created in the scouts, that's how it is created in the police. That's how it is imposed on the whole society.
Surrender is a totally different phenomenon. Surrender means you are in deep love and a great trust has arisen in you - such trust that there is no question of repressing yourself.
You are sannyasins here. I have nothing to reward you with; in fact, you have to go through all kinds of difficulties here. You come from far better, far more advanced countries, you have had beautiful homes, you have lived more comfortably, with all the luxuries, with all the gadgets that science has made available. You would have never thought that you would have to suffer this nightmare in Poona - this heat, mosquitoes, rats, cockroaches. In the West many things have disappeared, but here you have to live in very primitive conditions. You have to live almost two thousand years back.
I am not offering you any reward, I am not promising you any paradise either, because I say drop the very idea of the future, live in the moment. And to live in the moment and in Poona... it is arduous, it is difficult.
Then why are you here? I don't promise you anything at all. You are here just out of sheer love - you have fallen in love with me. It is not a question of obedience. You are not drilled to be obedient, you are not conditioned in any way to be obedient.
Just the other day Prem Zareen asked a question: "Osho, you say,'I give freedom to my sannyasins.' Is this applicable to sannyas, too?"
She means: is she free to drop sannyas? Yes, Zareen, I give you total freedom. Total means total, without any exception.
If you have taken sannyas out of love, then there is no question of dropping it. If sannyas has really happened, then how can you drop it? It is not something that you have put upon yourself, it is something that has grown in you. Just as you cannot drop your heart, how can you drop your sannyas? If it is your heart you cannot drop it. From my side yes, absolutely yes. I give you total freedom - there is no question about it - you are free to drop sannyas. It was your freedom to be a sannyasin, it is your freedom not to be a sannyasin. But the whole question hangs on something very deep: if sannyas has happened out of a love affair then it is impossible to drop it even though the freedom is available. But if you have taken sannyas for some other, ulterior motives then of course it can be dropped. And then it is better to drop it because it has not happened in the first place. Why carry an unnecessary burden?
In short, if sannyas has happened you cannot drop it; if you can drop it, it had not happened in the very first place and then you must drop it. Not only do I give you freedom to drop it, I will help you to drop it because I am not in favor of you being burdened by anything that is not growing in you.
You are already too burdened, Zareen. A thousand and one things have been imposed upon you. I will be the last person to make your life more of a burden.
Sannyas is not like an arranged marriage, it is a love affair. In a love affair there is no question of divorce because we are never married, so the question of divorce does not arise at all. And if love is authentic, if love is really there, it is forever, there is no end to it. It begins but it never ends. Hence I can give you total freedom because I am not imposing any obedience on you. Where obedience is imposed freedom cannot be given, because if you give freedom then obedience will disappear.
Here trust is happening, surrender is happening, love is happening. From your side, trust, surrender; from my side, freedom. From the disciple's side, surrender, and from the Master's side, freedom.
Where this freedom and surrender meet there is communion, there is satsang. It is not a question of obedience.
When I say something to you and you do it, you do it out of your love, not because it is an order and you have to do it. There is no question of forcing yourself to do it. In obedience you are doing it even against yourself, even in spite of yourself. In surrender the ego is no longer there to resist; the ego is absent.
When I move my hand, what is happening? Is the hand obeying me or is the hand totally surrendered to me? The hand is totally surrendered to me; there is no question of obeying me. The hand no longer exists as a separate entity.
Zareen, in sannyas the disciple disappears, becomes part of the Master. He becomes his hands, his eyes.
Ramakrishna was dying. He had cancer of the throat, and in his last days it became impossible for him even to drink water.
Vivekananda said to him, "Bhagwan, can't you ask God to do you just a little favor? If you simply ask God that at least you should be allowed to eat and drink it is bound to happen. It is becoming too great a suffering for your body - and not only for your body but for us all. We cannot eat because we know you cannot eat. It has become impossible for us to drink because we know you cannot drink.
How can we drink? So if you don't care about yourself, okay, but think of us - we are also suffering.
Just for our sake close your eyes and say to God,'Do me just a small favor.'"
Ramakrishna closed his eyes, opened them and started laughing. He said, "You fool! If I listen to your advice God will laugh at me. I asked him...." That was his way. He had not asked - there is nobody to ask - that was his way. He would not hurt Vivekananda. He closed his eyes, he may have even moved his lips to show Vivekananda that he was praying to God. And then he opened his eyes and he said, "God laughed at me and he said,'Ramakrishna, you are listening to these fools? You follow their advice? Are they your disciples or are you their disciple? Who is who? You have eaten with this throat for so many years - can't you now eat and drink with the throats of your disciples?' " And Ramakrishna said, "Vivekananda, his argument appeals to me. So stop torturing yourself, suffering, because now that I have lost my throat, I have to depend on your throats. Eat as much as you can - a little more than usual, because a part of it has to go to me. Drink a little more than usual because there will be my share, too. So eat, drink and rejoice, because God has said,'Ramakrishna, you can eat through your disciples' bodies. Why depend on this body? And this body is gone and rotten!' "
There is a certain invisible unity, an organic unity, between the Master and the disciple.
Zareen, one is free, absolutely free with me. If one wants to drop sannyas one should not think twice, one should simply drop it and forget all about it. If it can be dropped it should be dropped; if it cannot be dropped, only then is it worthwhile. I give you total freedom. But if surrender is there, there is not going to be any difference; in fact, total freedom will make your surrender easier. When there is somebody to impose something upon you, a natural resistance arises. It is very natural. If I am here to impose something upon you and to make you obedient, then you will resist; then it is just human. But I am not imposing anything.
That is the beauty of this commune. That is something unique that is not happening anywhere else in the world. Everywhere obedience is being imposed in subtle ways or not even in such subtle ways, either directly or indirectly: "Do this, don't do that." People are being treated like slaves, with no respect.
I respect you. I love you far more than you can ever love me, I respect you far more than you can ever respect me, because whatsoever you can do will be limited and whatsoever I can do will be unlimited.
Your so-called gurus and your pseudo Masters all depend on your obedience; they force it upon you.
And you are willing for the simple reason that when somebody is there to impose something upon you he becomes a father figure for you. He takes the responsibility - you need not feel responsible for yourself. You need to depend on somebody and you have to pay the price for that Then they go on ordering you about as if you were small children.
A little boy went to the school for the first time and the teacher asked, "What is your name?"
He said, "Johnny Don't."
The teacher said, "I have never heard such a name before - Johnny Don't?"
He said, "That's my name. Whatsoever I do, my mother shouts,'Johnny, don't!' my father shouts'Johnny, don't!' Wherever I go somebody or other immediately says,'Johnny, don't!' So I assume that this is my name. This must be my name."
And because from the very beginning your father, your mother, your parents, your teachers, your priests are all teaching you, "Do this, don't do that," they all create a certain obedience in you. You become addicted to obedience; it is a drug.
So when you come to me you would like.... People go on asking me - I never answer their questions - they go on asking me, "Give us detailed instructions what we should do and what we should not.
We want clear instructions from you." I give you clarity not clear instructions, because my instructions may be right today and tomorrow they may not be right. My instructions may be a hindrance to your growth tomorrow because nobody knows about tomorrow - it is unpredictable. So I give you clarity so that you can find your own way of life today and tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Wherever you are, if you have clarity, you will be able to find your way.
I give you total freedom. I share my light with you, I share my joy with you, I share my freedom with you. I don't want to become in any way a father figure for you. Always remember me only as a friend.
You ask me, Mahasatva: PLEASE TALK ABOUT SURRENDER AND OBEDIENCE.
Surrender happens through love, trust, egolessness; surrender means surrendering the ego.
Obedience is a cultivation of the ego, of pruning the ego here and there, of bringing it into a certain shape, into a certain form so that it can co-exist with the society, so that it can coexist with the already established order of things. Obedience is in the service of the past, surrender is not in the service of anybody else.
Surrender is simply becoming free of your ego. And the moment you are free of the ego, your life starts growing wings. Ego is heavy; it is like a rock hanging around your neck. It goes on keeping you tethered to the earth, it gravitates towards the earth. Once the ego is dropped, suddenly you start rising upwards: your life becomes a tremendous upward movement, you are uplifted. Surrender makes you weightless; it allows you to go against gravitation. Another law of life starts functioning:
the law of grace.
There are two laws. Science knows one law: the law of gravitation, that everything falls downwards.
Religion knows another law: that everything rises upwards if you are ready to drop the ego.
It is said about a Hassid mystic, Zusya - who could have been a Zen Master, who could have been a Sufi.... In fact, enlightened people don't belong to any tradition. They are born somewhere - one has to be born somewhere, you cannot be born everywhere.... So it was a coincidence that he was born a Jew in the Hassidic tradition. But he was a strange Hassid. Hassids are strange, but he was the strangest; he was very unpredictable.
I at least come here and tell you a joke so that you can laugh. He was far more strange: he would simply come here and start laughing! Not even a joke! Hassids love beautiful jokes and stories.
So once he was asked, "Zusya, what kind of Hassid are you? At least tell some jokes, some stories.
You simply come and start laughing!"
He said, "I am saving all my jokes for God because I don't have anything else. I don't know how to pray, I don't know any scriptures; I am saving some beautiful jokes for him. And when Zusya dies you will see!"
And it actually happened. When he died there was great thunder and people said, "He has arrived, and God is laughing!"
Zusya was staying in a house, in a disciple's house. The family was a little worried about the man because his ways were strange - he might do anything. In the middle of the night he might start laughing, he might wake up the neighbors, he might create a scene. So they put him in the basement and locked the door for the night so that at least they could rest and the neighbors could rest.
In the middle of the night suddenly they heard laughter from the terrace! They could not believe it!
They rushed out and Zusya was rolling about on the roof laughing! They said, "Zusya, what is the matter?"
He said, "That's why I am laughing! I was sleeping in the basement; suddenly I started rising upwards!"
But he was simply making it clear that there is another law which does not believe in locks and does not believe in falling downwards. His actual words were, "Suddenly I found myself rising upwards."
That is the law of grace: surrender, and suddenly you are in a totally different law; your gestalt changes, you start rising upwards. And there is great laughter in you and the whole existence laughs with you.
There is no question of obedience here. "Obedience" is an ugly word.
The fourth question:
PLEASE TELL A BRITISH LADY A BRITISH LADY JOKE FOR THOSE OF US LEARNING TO LAUGH AT OURSELVES!
HALF WAY THROUGH her world cruise the English lady attended the ship's ball, became slightly intoxicated by champagne and ended up sleeping with a good-looking Italian steward. But the very next day when the steward approached her on the quarter-deck, the English lady cut him dead.
"Hey, contessa mia," said the steward, "donna you remember the good times we had last-a night?"
The English lady looked up briefly from her game of bridge. "In the circles in which I move, young man," she said crisply, "sleeping with someone does not constitute an introduction!"
The fifth question:
I AM ALWAYS WORRIED ABOUT WHAT OTHERS ARE THINKING ABOUT ME. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
THERE IS NO NEED to do anything, because I know about those others - they are constantly worried about what you are thinking about them!
The sixth question:
OSHO, IS IT TRUE THAT THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH?
Rudresh, yes because the rest of us will escape to the stars!
The seventh question:
OSHO, WHO ARE THE MOST NOISY WHILE MAKING LOVE?
TWO SKELETONS on a tin roof!
The eighth question:
OSHO, GURDJIEFF HAD A BEAUTIFUL WATERPIPE AND DID NOT HATE CIGARETTES EITHER. ALL HIS LIFE BAAL SHEM HAD A CLAY PIPE IN HIS MOUTH. DOES SMOKING REALLY HAVE TO DROP? AND IF SO, HOW COME THE ONLY TEMPLE IN THE ASHRAM IS THE SMOKING TEMPLE?
MY WHOLE EFFORT HERE is to transform the mundane into the sacred. It is an alchemical school:
we change base metals into gold. That's why the smoking place is called a temple; that is the only temple we have.
I am not against smoking. I don't smoke myself because now there is so much smoke in the air that one need not bother carrying a clay pipe or a waterpipe in one's hand; just ordinary air is enough - it is so polluted.
In fact, ecologists say that it is a wonder how man is surviving because just fifty years ago scientists used to think that if air became as polluted as it has become today in New York, in Bombay, in Calcutta, in London, then people will die. But man has a tremendous capacity to adjust to any situation. Where so many cars are moving and trains are moving and planes are moving and there are factories and so much smoke, there is no need to carry a private pipe anymore; you simply breathe air and you are smoking!
I am a lazy person; Gurdjieff was not a lazy person, that's why he used to carry his beautiful waterpipe. And in Baal Shem's days the air was not so polluted. If you wanted some smoke to go in your lungs you had to make private arrangements! Now it is universal.
And I am not against it because at the most it can kill you a little earlier. So what? If you don't live eighty years and only live seventy-eight, does it matter? In fact, the world is so overcrowded that everybody will be happy that you are gone. Do you know how much we celebrate when somebody goes? We don't celebrate anything like that! A little space is created.
So, Anando, you can smoke as much as you want. "Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die."
You can go a little quicker! And in these days of speed when everything is going faster and faster, this is old-fashioned just to go on dying in a healthy way, to go on lingering and lingering. Health is the longest route! But finally you have to reach the grave, and when shortcuts are available the wise people always choose the shortcuts. So don't be worried.
In the new commune we are going to make many temples and we are really going to make them beautiful temples, because when somebody is in such a hurry we should make every arrangement that we can, we should give him all the help that we can. We will make beautiful temples, well- decorated, comfortable, luxurious, so you can rest and smoke to your heart's content.
If you are living in an unconscious way it makes no difference whether you live to seventy, eighty, ninety, a hundred; it does not matter. Living consciously even for a single moment is enough.
My whole effort here is to help you to become conscious. Even if for a single moment in your whole life you become absolutely conscious you will not be coming back. You are well-gone. Then you are really gone into the universal source.
That is one of the names of Buddha: Sugata. Sugata means well-gone - one who has really gone and will not be coming back.
And if you are conscious then it is up to you to decide whether you would like to live a little longer or little less; nobody else should decide it for you. And how can anybody else decide?
Morarji Desai's government was trying to impose prohibition on the whole of the country - and eighty percent of his cabinet ministers were drunkards! And he himself was worse than all of them - he was drinking his own urine! I would rather drink wine. If one has to choose between wine and urine, wine seems to be far more aesthetic - and it is far more vegetarian, too! Urine seems to be an animal food. And just think of the whole passage it comes along, the long journey it takes... now the second step after that is not very far away!
When Indira became Prime Minister I was wondering why she was not moving into the Prime Minister's house, she took two months to move in. I inquired, "What is the matter?" And I was informed that she was changing all the tiles in the bathrooms because... who knows what he was doing inside the bathroom? And the whole house was being almost renovated. Everything had to be cleaned, all the utensils had to be removed. Who knows what he was doing? And in his bathrooms all that was found were different kinds of enemas. Two months it took to change the whole house - it must have been stinking!
I am not against smoking or even against drinking. Once in a while it is really beautiful to drink.
There is no need to be so superhuman - be human!
That's what I love more in Jesus than I love in Mahavira or Buddha. Buddha and Mahavira are too abstract, almost inhuman; Jesus is very human. He drinks and he eats and he loves feasting. And late in the night they eat and drink and they gossip.
The new commune is not going to be a commune of ascetics - ascetics are pathological people. My sannyasins are not ascetics, my sannyasins love life. Of course, when you live consciously it is up to you to decide. If you want to drink a little beer once in a while there is nothing wrong with it, but the decision comes through your own awareness. If you don't want to drink there is no need.
In fact, I don't drink for the simple reason that just soda water gives me enough intoxication, so there is no need to mix it with whiskey. Why waste whiskey? I keep it for others. Whenever Paritosh celebrates his birthday I send him a bottle of whiskey or brandy. Whenever somebody brings brandy I keep it because Paritosh will need it soon, his birthday will be coming! For me, just soda is enough.
The last question:
PLEASE, JUST ONE JOKE MORE ABOUT THE BLOW JOB PHENOMENON.
MUKTANANDA... sorry, Paramahansa Muktananda... I mean, you son of a bitch! Are you mad or something? Why are you obsessed with this great phenomenon? But if you want, it is okay!
George Stearman was a legendary businessman, a great success in America. He began as an IBM salesman of typewriters and within ten years his sales and executive leadership was so outstanding that he became sales director for all office products and small computers for a nine-state area from Texas to California. When Xerox expanded into computers he was lured away to their corporate headquarters outside New York and within ten years of record achievement he was national sales director for Xerox. With a position on the executive committee all he lacked before the presidency was a seat on the board of directors.
He had a beautiful wife and three children in college and a house in Darien, Connecticut, that looked like Mount Vernon. Then, on Christmas Eve, when the other chief executives had all gone off to the Bahamas, Florida or Aspen for the holidays, George went into the office to get his year-end pay check with the expected large bonus. When he opened his pay check, instead of a big bonus he had a check for severence pay. He was fired.
George felt totally destroyed but made it home after a few martinis. When he opened the door, there was a note on the Christmas tree that said: "George, I've had it. I want a divorce. The children and I are gone!"
Blindly he went back to the city, got himself thoroughly drunk, took the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building and was about to jump off when he felt a small tug on his pants leg. He looked back - there stood Santa Claus.
George said, "Santa, get lost! Get away! I've lost everything! My job is on the rocks and my wife and children have left me!"
Santa replied, "Wait, George, I'll give you two wishes if you give me one."
"Okay," said George, "I want my wife and kids."
"No problem," said Santa, "in two days they will be back."
"Great!" exclaimed George. "What about my job?"
"Well," said Santa, "there has been a power play. You just wait until New Year and you will be the director of Xerox."
"Wow!" said George, "That's great! And what can I do for you?"
"Well," said Santa, unzipping his fly, "my wish is for you to give me a blow job."
"What!" screamed George. "I'm forty-five years old and I've never done a thing like that!"
"Well," said Santa, "a deal is a deal!"
After George had finished, Santa zipped up his fly. Looking up George saw tears streaming down Santa's face. "What's wrong?" he asked.
Santa looked down at George and said, "It is rather touching to find a forty-year-old man still believing in Santa Claus!"