The first question:
SEEING IS A STATE OF NO-MIND a state of no-thought, a state of pure awareness, when you simply reflect that which is without any interference, any judgment, any like, any dislike; when you don't say a thing about it, you just function like a mirror.
That's why Buddha says, "If you want to see, see at once," because if you start thinking you have already missed. Seeing at once means don't bring the mind in. Mind brings time, mind brings future, mind brings past. Mind starts comparing whether it is right or wrong. It compares with the old prejudices - with the Gita, with the Koran, with the Bible, with all your conditionings - or it starts projecting itself into the future, into the world of desires: "If I believe in this what am I going to attain?
What will be the achievement?" The moment the mind comes in it brings the whole world of the past and the future. Suddenly you are in a turmoil. Memories are there, desires are there, and that which was said to you is lost in the turmoil, in the noise.
Buddha says: See it right now! Not even a single moment's thinking.
Thinking means missing.
Hence this has been Buddha's constant practice: whenever a new seeker came to him asking questions, inquiring about truth, God, after-life, he would always say, "Wait, don't be in a hurry. Just sit by my side for at least two years not asking anything. If you really want to be answered, then forget all your questions for two years. If you don't want to be answered, then I am ready to answer right now. But you are not ready to listen. Your very question is coming out of an inner insanity.
There are a thousand and one questions inside asking for attention. While I am answering your question you will be preparing a new question to be asked; you won't be listening to me. So if you really want to be answered, wait for two years. Sit silently by my side not asking, simply watching what is happening here.
"Much will transpire in these two years: you will see many people flowering. You will see all kinds of people coming to me: the curious ones who come empty-handed and go empty-handed, the real seekers who come empty-handed but never go empty-handed - they stay, they remain with me till they are fulfilled. You will see the slow ones who take a very long long time, a gradual process, and you will see the quick ones, the intelligent ones who understand immediately. Simply watch.
Walk with me from one village to another village, sit with me under this tree and that tree, imbibe my spirit, feel my silence, look into my eyes, watch the way I walk, watch the way I sit. Simply watch for two years and forget all your questions, don't formulate any questions, and after two years, if you can fulfil this condition, you will be allowed to ask and I will answer you. And I promise you that whatsoever the question is it will be solved, whatsoever your thirst is it will be quenched."
One great philosopher, Maulingaputta, had come, and he was asking great philosophical questions, of course. Buddha listened - he was very famous, he was well-known all over the country. He had not come alone, he had come with five hundred of his own disciples. They were sitting behind him.
Buddha listened patiently. For one hour he was asking this question and that - very complicated questions, complex questions, subtle questions. Then he said, "I have asked so many questions, but you have not answered." Buddha said, "My way of answering is that you will have to wait for two years with me These are the questions you have asked of many people. Have you asked them or not before asking me?"
Maulingaputta said, "That's true. I have asked Mahavira and he immediately answered. I have asked Sanjay Vilethiputta" - he was another famous teacher of those days-"and he immediately answered. I have asked Ajit Keshkambli" - he was a very skeptical philosopher"and he was very much interested in my questions. And I have asked so many others. We have been traveling all over the country."
Buddha said, "You have asked so many people and they have all answered, but have you got the answers? If you have got the answers, then why waste my time?"
Maulingaputta said, "They have answered, but I have not got the answers yet. My questions remain the same untouched. Their answers have not satisfied me."
Then Buddha said, "I can also answer right now as they have answered - it will not satisfy you either.
Now you have to decide. If you really are interested then risk two years' time and sit silently by my side."
Maulingaputta waited for two years, but before he said, "Yes, I am ready to wait," one of Buddha's great disciples, Manjushri, started laughing. Maulingaputta said, "Why is this man laughing like mad?"
Buddha said, "He is not mad - he is my first disciple who has become enlightened. And I know why he is laughing - you can ask him yourself."
Maulingaputta asked Manjushri, "Why are you laughing?"
He said, "I am laughing because this Gautam Buddha is tricky! He tricked me the same way.
Listening to what he is saying to you I remembered my own journey to him. Twenty years have passed; suddenly I remembered - I had completely forgotten - that these were my questions too.
It is as if history is repeating itself. And it is strange that I came with five hundred disciples of my own just as you have come, and I asked Buddha and the same reply was given to me: Wait for two years.' I waited for two years, and I am laughing! I would like to say this to you as a warning: if you want to ask this man, ask right now, because after two years you will not ask and he will not answer."
Buddha said, "I will be ready to answer, but if you yourself refuse to ask, what can I do? My promise will stand - I am a man of my word."
And the story happened the same way that Manjushri had predicted. Two years passed-.
Maulingaputta had completely forgotten, because who remembers time when one is with a man like Buddha?
You remember time only when you are miserable; when you are blissful, time is forgotten. Time depends.... If you are very miserable then one hour appears as if many days have passed. If you are blissful, then many days appear as if just a few moments have passed. And if you are totally blissful then time stops, then time disappears, evaporates; then there is no time anymore. Then you simply live beyond time.
Two years passed. Maulingaputta had forgotten, but Buddha reminded him. Suddenly one day he said, "Maulingaputta, two years have passed. It is time now that you should ask your questions. And I am ready to answer."
And Maulingaputta laughed. Buddha said, "You are laughing like mad! What has happened? Do you remember Manjushri's laughter that day?"
Maulingaputta said, "My questions have fallen. I have nothing to ask. I have become utterly silent.
You have not answered and yet you have answered."
This is the true answer. The real Master kills your questions in such a subtle way that you never become aware of it; without any bloodshed he goes on destroying your questions. Slowly slowly, by and by, you become aware of the absurdity of all your questions. Slowly slowly you become aware of the utter mystery of life. Life is not a problem and it cannot be reduced to questions and there is no answer for it. It is a mystery, unanswerable, insoluble. You have to live it, you have to taste it, you have to experience it. And it is experienced in silence.
Hence meditation contains all the answers because meditation is the art of getting beyond the mind.
Once the mind has gone with all its chattering, you are able to see, seeing happens. And seeing is transformation. When you can see that which is, your whole life is transformed. You cannot live now against existence; it is impossible. You start living in harmony with existence.
Knowing, seeing, how can you go against the ultimate law of life? Nobody is so foolish. You go against it because you are not aware of it. When you are aware of it you simply become a harmonious part of it; you fall into the organic unity of existence, you disappear as an ego - the dewdrop disappears into the ocean and becomes the ocean. And that is fulfilment, and that is contentment, and that is the ultimate bliss, nirvana.
The second question:
SLEEP IS VERY HELPFUL. Enlightenment is very close to sleep. Patanjali has exactly defined samadhi as sleep with only one little difference: that it is conscious sleep. The body sleeps, the mind sleeps, but something far more deep in you remains awake - at the very center of your being, a flame of awareness. So deep sleep is nothing to be worried about. That is very good. And these discourses are meant for that! Just keep a little alert deep inside. If you don't listen to my discourse, that is not to be worried about; just remain a little alert inside. And if my discourse can help you to fall into a deep sleep, at least something is happening, you are on the right track. Just a little deeper....
And if you eat lots of chocolate and ice cream it's perfectly good because you may not be coming again, so be finished with it. Eat as much chocolate and ice cream as you want because on the farther shore there is no ice cream, no chocolate - and I am telling you from my experience! Do you know how miserable I feel? Now I repent - why didn't I eat chocolate and ice cream and all kinds of things? But when I was as asleep as you are, Deeksha was not around!
And there is no need to be worried that you are a German girl. If you had been a California girl, then there would be trouble. Germans are one-pointed people; they go like arrows, direct to the point, they don't go zig-zag. That is not their way. Once they have decided something then they follow it to the very end - whatsoever happens. They don't look here and there, they don't look backwards.
That's why I have such a soft spot for German people. That's perfectly okay. Just Californians are in a difficulty.
A Californian bumper sticker: WARNING: I BRAKE FOR HALLUCINATIONS.
As far as enlightenment is concerned one has to beware only of hallucinations, because one can hallucinate that one has become enlightened. Many Californians ARE hallucinating. Now there are as many enlightened people in California as there have ever been anywhere in the world. In the whole history of humanity there have not been so many enlightened people as you will find everywhere in California. Almost in every house you will find enlightened people! Anybody can hallucinate. So I am perfectly happy that you are a German girl.
The only problem is that you are fooling around with an Indian swami. I have to ask you two questions, Gayano. Is by any chance this Indian swami called Paramahansa Muktananda? Then avoid this fellow! And he is trying to hide his name, remember it. He is not telling people his name.
Now everybody is inquiring about him, "Who is this Paramahansa Muktananda?" Fooling around is okay, but avoid this fellow because with him there is no possibility of enlightenment at all. I have known people who have become enlightened and just by being with this man they have become unenlightened again!
How will you recognize him? He goes on laughing like Jimmy Carter! So you have to watch that.
And now because I am saying it, he may try to hide even that, so you can watch him in the night when he sleeps because then he completely forgets, naturally. He has the face, the same diplomatic face, the same stupid face as Jimmy Carter.
Mrs Carter went for a checkup at the dentist's.
"How is the mouth?" asked the dentist.
"Ah, he is away playing golf this weekend," she replied.
Otherwise everything is going well, Gayano. If you can be aware of this Paramahansa Muktananda, then all is perfectly okay with you. I can guarantee your enlightenment.
The third question:
YOU ARE NOT AWARE of your own heart, that s all. You were thinking that it was not coming out of your heart - it must have come out of your heart, otherwise what has happened would have been impossible. Many people are not aware of their heart for the simple reason that our whole society, culture, education, condition us to bypass the heart; they want us to reach the head as quickly as possible. They try to find a shortcut, and the heart is left on the side. Your energies become completely oblivious of the fact that there is a heart beating inside you. And the physiologists go on saying to you that your heart is nothing but a part of your physiology. Yes, they are right. The heart has two aspects: its outer aspect is part of physiology, its inner aspect is part of your spirituality. The physiologists are concerned only with the outer aspect, but the inner goes on working. Even though you are not aware of it it works continuously in you; it goes on influencing your life in many ways.
That's why many times you feel something has happened which you never wanted to happen. You fall in love with a woman; your mind says, "It is simply madness. What am I doing?" It seems so irrational - it does not appeal to your mind and your reason. Still, something deeper than the mind is pulling you; you cannot resist it. You fall in love in spite of all your rationality, your mind, your scientific training, your thinking. And the mind goes on saying, "What foolishness you are doing! This is not right! You should not do it." It can find a thousand and one excuses not to do it. But something far more powerful, far more intrinsic, far deeper is working, and the mind feels almost impotent. Then mind is very clever - it never accepts its defeat - it Says, "Okay, let's try."
That's what happened with you. Your mind says to you, "As I'm fucked up anyway I might as well try sannyas." Something deep was stirred, but the mind won't accept it because it does not want to accept that there is anything deeper than it. It won't accept its defeat.
I have heard about Mulla Nasruddin. He was going on his donkey very fast; the donkey was almost running. And the people asked, "Nasruddin, where are you going?" He was passing through the marketplace.
He said, "Don't ask me, ask the donkey!"
They said, "This is strange!"
Nasruddin said, "There is nothing strange. This donkey is so stubborn that whenever I try to direct him he gives me such a fight - he won't go that way. So when I am alone on the road I beat him and I take him to the place where I want to go, but in a marketplace people gather and a crowd starts laughing at me:'Your own donkey and you are not the master of it!' And the more he sees the crowd the more stubborn he becomes. So I have learned one lesson: that when passing through the marketplace I simply go wherever he is going. Outside the town I will see to the fool, but in the marketplace I allow him to lead me. That at least gives a false impression to the whole town that I am the master!"
That's the way of the mind.
Mulla Nasruddin was telling his son, "Sit silently don't make noise!"
But the son was not listening. The more he was telling him to sit silently, not to make noise and to obey his father, the more rebellious the child was being.
Finally Nasruddin said, "Okay, now disobey me and let me see how you can disobey this order!
Disobey me - this is my order! And now let me see how you can disobey me."
This is the strategy of the mind; the mind knows. First it tries to overpower the heart; if it cannot, then it says to itself, "Let us try - what is wrong with it? We have tried so many things."
But, Uli, something deep down of which you are not clearly aware was pulling you into sannyas. It is a magnetic force. Certainly you are in it in spite of your mind, but not in spite of your heart, otherwise what has happened would not have happened at all.
You say: BUT THE VERY DAY AFTER DARSHAN EVERYTHING CHANGED.
That shows that the heart bloomed, flowered. For the first time something of the heart has been heard. For the first time you have given it a chance. For the first time you have listened to love rather than logic. For the first time you have been a little poetic rather than just a thinker. For the first time you have put aside all your arithmetic and you have taken a jump into something mysterious, incalculable. For the first time you have not been calculative.
You say: NOW I FEEL YOU IN MY HEART STRONGER AND STRONGER.
The seed must have been there, but you cannot see the seed. When it starts sprouting, then you can see it. When leaves start coming out of the soil, then it becomes visible. But without the seed the leaves cannot come. Now you are seeing the leaves; retrospectively they are proof enough that there must have been a seed. You were unaware of it; now those leaves are making you aware of it.
Not only leaves but buds and small flowers are on the way.
That's the miracle of the heart: the heart simply helps to get rid of those problems that the mind cannot solve. The mind goes on and on moving in circles. The heart simply takes a jump out of those circles and suddenly has transcended those problems which have always tortured you.
Suddenly you see that they are irrelevant, that there is no need to solve them, that there is no need even to bother about them, that they are not your concern, they don't belong to you - as if a person has come out of sleep and the problems that he was facing in his dreams evaporate, are suddenly no longer relevant. That's what has happened, Uli.
Now you say: EVEN SOME OLD PROBLEMS JUST DISAPPEARED. HOW COULD THE WRONG MOMENT PROVE TO BE THE RIGHT ONE?
It simply proves it was not the wrong moment; it was the right moment, but you were just not aware of it. Now you are aware of it. Now move consciously deeper into it. If unconsciously so much has happened, if just by groping in the dark so much has happened, there if you start moving consciously, immense is the possibility of your growth, great is the hope. Greater flowers are waiting. The spring has come, you have seen the first blossoms; now soon all the trees will be blossoming. Your whole being will become a fragrance.
But drop that idea that you have moved out of a wrong decision; it was not wrong. Your mind was thinking that it was wrong, but your heart knew far better. The heart always knows better than the mind.
The fourth question:
WHETHER YOU SPEAK one language or one dozen languages makes no difference - it is the same mind. All those languages will be speaking the same mind. If a madman speaks Persian, do you think it will be different than when he speaks English or French or German? A madman is a madman; in any language he will be mad.
An enlightened person is an enlightened person; in any language he will be enlightened. Whether he speaks or not he remains the same. Of course, four languages will make it a little more complicated, but the basic problem is the same. Your mind is one, your mind's disease is one. You can express that disease in four languages, that's all; but only the expression will be different, the root can't be different.
When Johnny Fuckerfaster went to school one day, the teacher decided to review the alphabet. She told her students, "I'll name a letter of the alphabet and you tell me a word that begins with that letter.
We'll start with A."
Johnny Fuckerfaster raised his hand shouting, "I know, I know!"
The teacher knew Johnny had a dirty mind and thought to herself, "He'll say'asshole' and embarrass the class." So she called on another student who answered, "Apple." The teacher called out the letter "B" and again Johnny raised his hand furiously and yelled, "Please, me, call on me, I know!" The teacher imagined he would say "bastard," so she asked another child for the answer. He replied, "Boy." The teacher continued through the alphabet until she got to the letter "R." By this time Johnny was jumping up and down in his seat and making such a commotion she could no longer avoid him.
"What dirty word could he possibly make with'R'?" she thought. None came to mind so she called on Johnny.
"Rat..." he said. The teacher breathed an enormous sigh of relief, then smiled and said, "Very good, Johnny! "
Then Johnny added, "... and it had a fucking tail that long and took a shit on the floor!"
You can't avoid your mind; it will find its way. Any language will do - four languages or forty languages. Yes, it is a little more complicated, Shraddes, but mind is capable, so capable that one staggers to think of its potential.
The people who understand, who have worked on the inner mechanism of mind, say that a single human mind can contain all the libraries of the world; its capacity is almost infinite. But if you are a fool, even if you know all that is written, even if you become a walking Encyclopaedia Britannica, it won't make much difference; you will remain a fool. Of course, your foolishness will now be a little more decorated foolishness. That's what scholars are: decorated fools with great degrees, certificates, diplomas. They can pretend that they know - and they can pretend more logically than anybody else because they are well-informed - but deep down there is just the same darkness, the same unconsciousness.
You say: WHAT DO YOU SAY TO A MIND WHICH GOES ON THINKING IN FOUR DIFFERENT LANGUAGES?
It is the same - thinking is the same, the disease is the same. And the remedy is not different:
meditation can help you to get rid of one language, it can help you to get rid of four languages or four hundred languages. Meditation gets you into a space where mind is left behind with all its knowledge. Suddenly you start functioning from a state of not-knowing, from innocence. And that innocence is beautiful and that innocence is fragrant. That innocence is the essential religion.
The fifth question:
ONE IS AFRAID OF DEATH because one is unaware of what life is. If you know what life is, the fear of death disappears of its own accord. The question is not of death at all, the question is of life.
Because we don't know what life is, hence we are afraid that it is going to end one day. We have not even lived. How can you live without knowing what it is? You have neither lived nor loved; you have simply been dragging, vegetating. And you know that one thing is certain: death is coming closer every day, every moment, hence the fear. The fear is natural because death will close the door forever. And without ever knowing what life was you will be taken away. You were given an opportunity, a great opportunity, and you missed it.
You go on postponing for tomorrow. You say, "Tomorrow I am going to live." But simultaneously, side by side, there is a fear: you know, "Tomorrow, who knows? Tomorrow maybe death will come, then what?" And you have postponed life for tomorrow and there is no more tomorrow - then what? Then fear arises. And you don't know how to live right now. Nobody tells you how to live right now.
The preachers, the politicians, the parents, they all tell you about the tomorrows. When you are a child they tell you, "When you are a young man then you will know what life is." When you are a young man they say, "You are young fools - youth is foolishness. When you are old, then you will understand." And when you are old they say, "You are finished. Now there is nothing left. You are like a used cartridge." This is a strange world!
In my childhood, as it happens in every child's life, I used to ask all the elders available thousands of questions. It almost became a torture for them because my questions were embarrassing to them.
So the easiest way was: "You are too young. Wait."
One of my father's friends was known in the whole town as a sage. With my father I used to go to him and I used to torture him the most. And he would always say, "Wait. You are too young and your questions are too complicated. When you are a little more grown-up, then you will be able to understand."
I asked him, "You please give me in writing what year I will be grown up. Then I will ask you these questions. Because this is a tricky thing: whenever I ask - I have been asking for at least five years - you always say the same thing: When you grow up....' You can go on saying this to me again and again! You just write it down on paper and sign it."
I saw his hand was shaking. I said, "Why is your hand shaking? Why are you afraid? If you know at what age a person becomes able to understand, write it. And if you say at twenty I will ask at twenty-one - I will give you one year more!"
So he wrote, "Twenty-one years."
So I said, "Okay, I will come only after I am twenty-two."
He must have thought, "At least the problem is solved for the time being. Who knows? After he is twenty-two...?" I must have been at that time nearabout fourteen.
When I became exactly twenty-two I arrived, and I arrived with a crowd - I had gathered many people. I said, "You come with me," And I had his signed letter. I said, "This is your letter. Now answer!n He said, "You are such a nuisance! Why have you gathered all these people?"
I said, "Just to witness that you have been cheating me. And not only you have been cheating me, this has been going on all over the world. Every elderly person is cheating young people, telling them'Tomorrow' - and the tomorrow never comes. Now I am twenty-two years old and you have written twenty-one. I have given you one year more just in case I am not intelligent enough and I take a little longer time to grow up. But now I am not going to leave, I will be here. I want all my questions to be answered." He said, "To tell you the truth, I don't know anything. And please don't ask me again. Forgive me. You are right - I have been Lying to you."
"Why did you lie to a child?" I asked him. "How could you lie to a child who was asking out of such innocence, who trusted you? - and you deceived him! You don't know whether God exists or not and you were telling me that God exists and that I would be able to understand later on. And I knew that very moment that even you didn't understand. You don't know anything about God, you are just repeating like a parrot."
But this is the situation: teachers don't know, professors don't know, priests don't know. Without knowing, they go on pretending that they know. And the whole strategy consists of a single trick:
go on postponing. "You will also know when the time is ripe." Of course it is never ripe - you never grow up. And by the time you are old enough you have to save your own face, so you start saying the same things to your children.
If you love your children, if you love your younger brothers, sisters, never tell lies to them. And your whole religion consists of lies! Be truthful, tell them, "I don't know and I am searching." Don't postpone it for tomorrow.
Our whole life is a postponement, hence the fear of death: "I have not known yet and death is coming."
It is not you alone, Chinmayo, who is afraid of death.
You ask: WHY AM I SO MUCH AFRAID OF DEATH?
Everybody is afraid of death for the simple reason that we have not tasted of life yet. The man who knows what life is is never afraid of death; he welcomes death. Whenever death comes he hugs death, he embraces death, he welcomes death, he receives death as a guest. To the man who has not known what life is, death is an enemy; and to the man who knows what life is, death is the ultimate crescendo of life.
But everybody is afraid of death; that too is contagious. Your parents are afraid of death, your neighbors are afraid of death. Small children start getting infected by this constant fear all around.
Everybody is afraid of death. People don't even want to talk about death.
There have been only two taboos in the world: sex and death. It is very strange why sex and death have been the two taboos not to be talked about, to be avoided. They are deeply connected. Sex represents life because all life arises out of sex, and death represents the end. And both have been taboo - don't talk about sex and don't talk about death.
And there have been only two types of cultures in the world. One category consists of the cultures for whom sex is taboo. They can talk about death, in fact they talk too much about death. For example, in India, listen to the mahatmas, to the saints, and you will find it. Nobody talks about sex, everybody talks about death - to frighten you, to create fear in you, because out of fear you can be enslaved, out of fear you can be forced to be religious, out of fear you can be forced to bow down to some stupid idea of God, to some stupid idol of God. People are worshipping anything!
Just put a stone in front of your house, paint it red, and just wait on the side and see. Within an hour somebody is going to pass and will bow down to it, thinking it is Hanumanji. Somebody else will come and will put two flowers there and somebody else will follow with a coconut. And this is the beginning of a temple! Soon you will find that a temple has arisen there.
People are so afraid, they are ready to bow down to any nonsense, to any stupidity.
We call religious people "God-fearing." In fact, a religious person is never God-fearing; he is God- loving certainly, but never God-fearing. Fear has no place in a religious man's life - love and only love. And where love exists, fear disappears; and where fear exists, love has no possibility to grow.
In a society like India, death is not taboo. Indian scriptures are full of very detailed descriptions of death. They describe with gusto how ugly death is. They describe your body in such ugly, disgusting ways that you will be surprised at these people - why are they so interested, so obsessed with all that is disgusting and nauseating? - for the simple reason that they want you to become so afraid of life, so antagonistic to life, so negative to life.... They destroy your love for life, your affirmation of life by talking about death, by making death as big as possible and as dark as possible by depicting death in all the ugliest colors.
And then there are societies.... For example, Christianity for centuries has been a society, a culture against sex; sex is the taboo. "Don't talk about sex." Hence the idea - a sheer nonsense idea - that Jesus is born of a virgin mother. They have to create this fiction because how can Jesus, a man of such purity, come out of sexuality? Such purity coming out of such impurity? Impossible, illogical! A lotus coming out of mud? Impossible! But, in fact, all lotuses come out of mud.
Jesus is born as naturally as you are born - he is not a freak! He is not abnormal. And this whole nonsense about the Holy Ghost, that the Holy Ghost makes Mary pregnant.... Now ghosts are making love!
Hamid guards near my room. Just outside the curtain he stands there with a big staff. One day I asked, "Hamid, have you seen the Holy Ghost or not?"
He said, "Holy Ghost?"
"Yes," I said, "some day he will come, so be alert - because if the Holy Ghost does not come to visit me, then where will he go?"
And one day Rajen was standing there and I told him, "Keep your staff in your hand, otherwise the Holy Ghost may use the staff against you! Rather than this staff being a protection, he will hit your head with your own staff!"
Since then he has left his staff somewhere; I don't see his staff anymore. Maybe afraid.... Sometimes you are not so attentive, and keeping your staff in your hand the whole time... sometimes one has to relax too. Even guards have to go to sleep! And the Holy Ghost comes and finds the staff and hits him on the head! And if the Holy Ghost can make a woman pregnant, what can he not do? He can do anything - he can even make a man pregnant! Anything is possible; with the Holy Ghost nothing is impossible.
Sex is a taboo for Christianity: "Don't talk about sex!"
Now, after Sigmund Freud, the first taboo is broken; sex is no more a taboo. We have shifted to another taboo; now death has become the taboo. Now don't talk about death. It seems as if man needs some taboo or other. The Victorian society was a society rooted in the taboo of sex. Now the modern society, Western society, is rooted in the taboo of death. Don't talk about death at all, forget all about death as if it does not happen - at least it does not happen to you, at least it has not happened to you up to now, so why bother about it? Forget all about it.
When a man dies in the West now, there are experts to decorate the man. He may never have looked so beautiful as he looks after death-painted and his cheeks so red as if he had just come from a three months vacation in Florida! And so healthy, as if he had just been exercising and were now doing shravasan - the death posture - not really dead. The pretension has to be created that he is not dead. And even on the gravestone it is written: "He is not dead, he is only asleep."
And in all the languages we say... whenever somebody dies nobody says that he is simply dead.
We say "He has gone to God. He has become beloved of God. God has chosen him and called him. He has gone to the other world. He has become heavenly."
One man was saying to the other, his friend, "My wife is just divine."
And the other said, "But my wife is still alive!"
You talk about people's divinity, etcetera, when they are dead.
There was a great conflict between Voltaire and Rousseau; their whole lives they were quarreling.
Voltaire died; somebody informed Rousseau that Voltaire had died. He said, "Really? He was a great man - provided that he is really dead!" If he is not dead then he will withdraw his words. Alive, they are enemies; dead, "He was a great man." So he makes a condition: provided that he is really dead, he was a great man.
Once a man dies, nobody speaks against him, nobody says anything against him. He becomes suddenly a saint, suddenly great. His place will never be filled again, his place will always remain empty. The world will always miss him; he was so essential. And nobody had taken any notice while he was alive. These are tricks - tricks to keep death away, to shut the doors, to forget all about death.
A real humanity will not have any taboos: no taboo about sex, no taboo about death. Life should be lived in its totality, and death is part of life. One should live totally and one should die totally.
And that's my message to my sannyasins, Chinmayo.
You ask: WHY AM I SO MUCH AFRAID OF DEATH?
Because you are not yet living totally. Live totally and the fear of death will disappear. And you are not alone; everybody is in the same boat.
It was a typical British Men's Club: pipe smoke hanging in the air, thick leather chairs, carved oak panels.
The old retired colonel was recounting his daring exploits in Africa. "Nearly lost me life to a black- maned lion once!"
"Oh, really, sir?" said a young officer, feigning interest. "Do tell about it."
"Well, fella me lad, there I was striding through the thickest part of the Congo jungle with my faithful gunbearer, Umbogo, when across a small clearing I saw the biggest lion you have ever seen. Cool as a cucumber sandwich, I took my trusty rifle from Umbogo, took aim, and pulled the trigger.'Click' - the damn thing was a dud. Unperturbed, I handed back the dud and took a second rifle.'Click' - another dud. By this time Umbogo had gone and I thought I had better get going, too. I ran as fast as I could, but in no time the beast was close behind. I could feel his breath down the back of my neck and I knew he was about to pounce; but just as he was about to, he slipped. This gave me my chance and I ran as fast as I could. But he was soon there again - breath down the back of my neck, about to pounce, and again he slipped. This happened three times, and the third time I managed to get into the jolly old Land Rover and get away."
"How amazing, sir," said the young officer. "I am sure that if that had been me I would have messed my pants."
"Messed your pants?!" bellowed the old colonel. "What do you think the lion was slipping on?"
The sixth question:
I JUST TELL a few really good jokes to myself and then laugh loudly and roll on the ground. I know no other better exercise! You can ask Vivek - once in a while she catches me rolling on the ground!
Just the other day I was telling these jokes to myself:
Richard Nixon was suspicious of some of the politicians surrounding him, thinking there was a conspiracy developing against him.
So he gathered together his closest aides and they went to a small village somewhere in the Alps to investigate the problem.
On the second morning Nixon opened the blinds to his bedroom window, and there in the snow someone had pissed: "Nixon is an asshole." Disturbed by this, Nixon set his smartest forensic scientists to work to find the culprit.
After forty-eight hours they reported back to him.'We have bad news," they said. "We've analyzed the urine and found that it came from Henry Kissinger."
"Oh no!" said Nixon.
"But there is even worse news to come, sir. We've also discovered it is Mrs Nixon's handwriting!"
Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, a catholic priest and a hippie were riding in a small airplane when the landing gear fell off.
The panic-stricken pilot rushed out of the cockpit. "I'm sorry, boys, this plane's not going to make it.
There are only four parachutes and as I'm the captain I get one."
He grabbed a parachute and jumped out.
Richard Nixon stood up and said, "I'm the President; the nation needs me - sorry, gentlemen...." He grabbed a parachute and jumped.
Henry Kissinger jumped up shouting, "I'm the smartest man in the world! The world cannot afford such a sacrifice!" He grabbed a parachute and jumped out.
The priest spoke next: "My son, you are still young - you take the last one!"
"Don't worry, father," the hippie said. "There is a parachute for each of us - 'the smartest man in the world' just grabbed my backpack and jumped with it!"
The last question:
MAN WHILE HE IS UNCONSCIOUS lives only in coincidences; his life consists of only coincidences and nothing else. The unconscious life is an accidental life.
Only the conscious man goes beyond the accidental and enters into the intrinsic. The conscious man transcends coincidences. Without being totally conscious you are a victim of all kinds of unknown forces that surround you. You don't know why things are happening to you, why you have done this and why not that, why you have chosen this and why not that.
When I passed my matriculation and went to university I wanted to fill in my form, but I had no fountain pen with me. So I asked the next student who was filling in his form, "Will you be kind enough to give me your fountain pen so that I can fill in my form?"
He was very happy and willing. He said, "First you fill in your form."
I filled in my form. I said, "Why did you want me to fill in my form first?"
He said, "Because I cannot decide what subjects to take." He looked at my form and whatsoever subjects I had taken he filled in the same subjects.
I said, "Are you mad or something?"
He said, "It does not matter. It is all the same to me. Whether I read philosophy or politics or economics is all the same to me. I had to copy somebody's form; you are as good as anybody." He said, "In fact, I have been passing all my examinations by copying other people's answers. I don't know how I have passed the matriculation. "
Now this man is now a professor of philosophy. What will you call it? Just a coincidence, accidental.
I might have been just a few minutes late that day and he would have never been a professor of philosophy. I may have had a fountain pen; he would have never been a professor of philosophy. He may have copied from somebody else; then he would have been a professor of politics or economics or who knows what.
One Jewish novelist writes: "My father was traveling in a train; the train was late. It arrived in the middle of the night somewhere in Russia." He was hungry and cold; it was a cold Russian night, snow was falling. He rushed to find out whether he could get some coffee or something hot to drink.
The woman who owned the restaurant was just closing. He pleaded, he said, "Just five minutes.
Give me two cups of coffee - I am tired and I am hungry. And if you can give me something to eat I will be grateful."
The woman opened the door again - she was just going to lock up - poured coffee, gave him something to eat. And of course they started talking, and the woman asked from where he was coming - the usual conversation with a stranger - "And where are you going to stay?" And the woman said, "It is good that you arrived right in time because now the taxis have all left - the train was so late. And we were not hoping - from this train nobody ever comes. So please come in my car and I will drive you wherever you want."
The man said, "I don't know where to go. You tell me some good hotel."
The woman said, "Hotels there are but no good hotel. And they will all be closed. It will be better if you come with me and rest at my place. In the morning you can find the hotel."
And the man, of course, very gratefully agreed. And this is how the story begins. They fall in love...
and then you can develop the whole story yourself.
Now this Jewish novelist says: "If the train had not been late I would not have been born at all. If the train was a little more late I would have missed again, I would not have been born. If the woman had been a little hardhearted and had refused to open the restaurant again, I would not have been born at all. If the woman had left my father at some hotel, the story would have ended then and there. But he stayed with the woman; the woman was a widow. In the morning she invited him for breakfast, and one thing led to another.
This is how ordinary life is.
Prem Doug, unconscious man lives in coincidences; he is accidental.
Vidhana has written to me: "Osho, I would like you to know that sometimes meditation can be very dangerous. I was doing a visualization technique: imagining I was a tree. I was imagining what kind of roots I had, what color and texture I was, which kind of leaves I had, and there I was swaying in the breeze... when suddenly a dog came trotting along and pissed on my leg."
Now Vidhana thinks the dog knows that he is visualizing, that he is thinking he is a tree. The dog must have been as mad as you are, otherwise dogs don't get so easily deceived - very difficult to deceive dogs!
It is said when Columbus saw, after three months, the leaves, green leaves floating in the ocean, he was tremendously happy. But his biographers say that was nothing, you should have seen his dog!
He was jumping! For three months.... Think of the dog, poor dog - no tree. That is celibacy! If the dog were an Indian he would have been a mahatma!
A black man, an Arab and a Jew are walking together in the desert. Suddenly a horrible witch appears in front of them, riding a dragon. As they beg for their lives, the witch softens.
"Okay," she says, "if the length of your pricks, added together, measures exactly one meter, I'll spare your lives."
The black man takes his prick out - seventy-five centimeters. The Arab measures his prick - twenty- four and a half centimeters. With trembling hands, the Jew takes off his trousers and what a relief - exactly half a centimeter. As they happily part from the witch, the black brags, "Ah, you are lucky you had a black with you - seventy-five centimeters!"
"Nonsense," says the Arab. "It was my prick, the gift of Allah, that saved us!"
"That's what you think!" says the Jew.'What would have happened if she hadn't turned me on?"