Man Is A Born In Tao

Fri, 20 October 1974 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Osho - Tao - When the Shoe Fits
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
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Needs can be fulfilled, but desires cannot be. Desire is a need gone mad. Needs are simple, they come from nature; desires are very complex they don't come from nature. They are created by the mind. Needs are moment to moment, they are created out of life itself. Desires are not moment to moment, they are always for the future. They are not created by life itself, they are projected by the mind. Desires are projections, they are not really needs. This is the first thing to be understood, and the deeper you understand, the better. What is desire? It is movement of the mind into the future.

Need belongs to this moment - if you are hungry it is a need, and has to be fulfilled. and it can be fulfilled. There's no problem about it. If you are thirsty, you are thirsty here and now, you have to seek water. It should be fulfilled - so it is a life need. But desires are not like that. You desire to be the president of a country. It is not a need, it is an ambition, it is an ego projection into the future. Or you desire heaven - that too is in the future; or you desire God - that too is in the future. Remember, needs are always here and now - they are existential. And desires are never here and now - they are non-existential. They are just mental, in the mind. And they cannot be fulfilled because their very nature is to move into the future.

They are just like the horizon you see. It seems that just nearby somewhere the earth meets the sky. It is so apparent! You can walk there! But you could go on walking forever and ever, and the distance will remain the same; always somewhere ahead the earth will be meeting the sky. But you will never reach that place, that point where the earth meets the sky. They never meet. This is just an appearance, what Hindus call MAYA: it appears, but it is not so. It appears if you are standing at a distance. The nearer you come the more you realise that it is not so. The horizon moves further ahead, and the distance between you and it always remains the same.

The distance between you and your desire always remains the same. How can you fulfill it? If you desire ten thousand rupees, you may get them some day. But by the time you get them, the desire will have gone ten thousand times ahead again. You have one thousand rupees; the desire will ask for ten thousand. Now you have ten thousand; the desire will ask for one hundred thousand. The distance remains the same. You may have one hundred thousand - it makes no difference. Ten times again, the desire will remain the same.

Needs are simple. They can be fulfilled. You feel hungry and you eat; you feel thirsty and you drink; you feel sleepy, you go to bed.

Desires are very cunning and complex. You are frustrated, but not because of needs. You are frustrated because of desires. And if desires take too much of your energy you will be unable to fulfill your needs also, because who is there to fulfill them? You are moving into the future; you are thinking of the future; your mind is dreaming. Who is there to fulfill ordinary needs of the day? You are not there. And you would like to remain hungry but reach the horizon. You would like to postpone needs so that the whole energy moves towards the desire. But in the end, you find that the desire is not fulfilled, and because needs have been neglected, in the end you are just a ruin. And the time that is lost cannot be regained; you cannot go back.

There is a story told of one old wise man, whose name was Mencius. He was a follower of Confucius and he died when he was very, very old. Somebody asked him: If you were given life again, how will you start it? Said Mencius: I will pay more attention to my needs and less attention to my desires.

And this realisation will come to you also. But it always comes very late and then life is no more in your hands. If you were given life again....

Needs are beautiful; desires are ugly. Needs are bodily; desires are psychological. But look at your so-called saints and sages: they always condemn your needs and always help your desires to be projected. They say: What are you doing? Just eating? Sleeping? Wasting your life? Try to reach heaven! Heaven is the ultimate desire. Paradise is waiting for you, and you are wasting your life on ordinary things - just vegetating. Stand up and run, because there is not much time left! Reach!

Knock at the door of heaven! Reach God! But don't stand there!

They always condemn your needs and they always help your desires. That's why the world has become so ugly - everybody is full of desires and nobody's needs are fulfilled. That which can be fulfilled is neglected and that which cannot be fulfilled is being fed. This is the misery of man.

Chuang Tzu is for needs. Fulfill them and don't ask for desires. Simply drop the very idea, because there is no future, only the present exists. And how beautiful it is! when you feel hungry, you eat - there is no future. And when you are so much into eating it becomes a paradise unto itself. That's what Jesus says: Don't think of the morrow. Look at the lilies of the field, they don't accumulate, they don't think, they are not worried about the future. They flower here and now. Look at the blooming lilies - the tomorrow will take care of itself.

You just be here and now. This moment is enough, don't ask for more. This is the real sage - the one who lives in the moment, for whom this moment is enough. He is fulfilled. There is no heaven for him, he is heaven himself. There is no God for him, he has become divine himself. This will be very difficult, because whatsoever I am saying is against many centuries of teaching and poisoning.

Eat when you feel hungry, and in that moment make eating a celebration. Celebrate! Because who knows, next time you may not be there. The hunger may not be there, nor this beautiful bread.

Thirst may not be there - nor may this river be there. Drink it! Let yourself be here so concentrated that time stops; because time is not moving - your mind moves. If you are in this moment, totally concentrated, enjoying it with your total being, time stops. There is no movement of time, there is no horizon and no running after it. But everybody is in a hurry to reach the horizon.

It happened that Mulla Nasrudin entered a hospital. The surgeon who was going to operate said to him: Here we believe in speed, and we don't waste any time. After the operation, on the very first day you have to walk for five minutes in the room; the next day, for half an hour, outside the hospital; the third day, a long walk of one hour. Here we don't waste time. Life is short and time is money. It has to be saved. Mulla Nasrudin said: Just one question - do you mind if I lie down for the operation?

Everybody is in a hurry. Where are you going in such a hurry? Have you ever seen somebody reaching anywhere? Have you heard of anybody who has ever reached anywhere through hurry, through impatience, through speed? We have heard about a few people who reached by stopping but we have never heard of anybody who reached by running. Buddha stopped and reached. Jesus stopped and reached. Chuang Tzu stopped and reached. You carry the goal within you, there is nowhere else to go. But desire leads you to distant lands, to distant times, to distant points in space.

And the more you are desirous, the more you are in a hurry, the more you go on missing yourself - frustrated, tattered, you are just a ruin before you die.

But in that ruin the desire is still there. You have gathered a whole life of experiences of desire, and your mind says: You failed because you didn't make enough effort. Look, others have succeeded.

Look at the neighbours. They have succeeded, but you have failed because you didn't run fast enough. Next time be ready.

You gather all this attitude in a seed, then you are born again, and the whole vicious circle starts again. Where are you going? Is there anywhere to go? And even if you reach somewhere you will still be yourself. Even if you are made a president this very moment, of this country or some other country, do you think anything will change? You will remain the same - the same frustrated being, the same ambitious being, with the same tension, the same anguish, the same nightmares.

Mulla Nasrudin once knocked at his psychiatrist's door. Said the psychiatrist: What is the matter now? Mulla Nasrudin said: I'm having a nightmare, it recurs every night. Help me! I cannot sleep, it has become a heavy burden on my head. Something has to be done now! He was really in trouble, his eyes were sore and his whole body looked as if he had not slept for many, many months.

The psychiatrist became concerned. He said: Tell me, tell me about the nightmare. What is it?

Said Nasrudin: Every night I have a dream, a horrible dream. The dream is that I am on my own with twelve beautiful women. The psychiatrist said: I don't see the point. What is horrible about it?

Twelve beautiful women, and you are on your own with them, what is horrible about that? Nasrudin said: Have you ever tried loving twelve women? Alone? On an island? But you are loving twelve thousand women - every desire is a woman. And your whole life has become a nightmare: so many desires, so many horizons, so many things to be reached before life is lost. That's why you are in such a hurry - you cannot be anywhere. You go on running and running and running until you simply fall into the arms of death. Death is the end of your whole effort.

Remember, the first thing is that needs are beautiful. And this is the difference between other sages, so-called sages, and Chuang Tzu - needs are beautiful, desires are ugly. The distinction is: need comes from the body and the desire is created by the mind. Happier are animals, the birds, the trees, because they have got no mind to desire; they are happy wherever they are. They live and they die, but they are never in anguish, the tension is not there. This is the first thing to be remembered - the distinction, the clear-cut distinction, between desire and needs. And accept needs, nothing is wrong with them, but drop desires - everything is wrong with them, because they don't allow you to be here and now. And that is the only existence possible. There is no other existence.

Bloom like lilies in the field, sing like birds in the trees, be wild like wild animals!

And don't listen to the poisoners, enjoy simple bodily needs. How many needs have you got? One needs food, one needs water, one needs shade, one needs a loving heart - that's all. And if there were not so many desires, the whole world would become a garden of Eden this very moment.

Because of desires we cannot pay attention to simple needs. And look... even animals can fulfill their needs but man cannot fulfill his needs. Why is man poor? Not because the earth is poor but because man is mad, he puts more energy into desires. Reaching the moon seems to be more important than feeding the poor. What is the use of reaching the moon? What will you do?

But this is the whole trend of the mind. With the money America has wasted in reaching the moon the whole of Asia could have been fed, all the backward countries could have been developed. And what have you gained by reaching the moon? The American flag is now on the moon - this is the gain. And there is nobody to even see it! And now other planets are the target. The moon has been conquered - now other planets have to be conquered. Why this moon-madness? Why this lunatic craziness?

This word 'lunatic' is very good. It comes form 'luna', the moon. A madman is always moon mad, struck by the moon; the moon has always been the goal of all the mad people. For the first time they have achieved the goal, they have reached the moon. But what have they gained out of it?

When you have reached the moon, the goal shifts ahead, the horizon goes ahead. Now you have to reach another planet - and then another planet. Why so much wastage of energy and life? And the so called religions go on condemning your needs. This has become their slogan - not to enjoy is to be religious. 'eat drink and be merry' is their condemnation. Whenever they want to condemn anybody, they will say: He believes in 'eat, drink and be merry.' But Chuang Tzu says: Eat, drink and be merry. If you can be totally in it, you have achieved the Tao, nothing more is needed. Be simple, allow nature, and don't force nature in any direction. Don't become a soldier, a fighter, a warrior with life. Surrender to life and let life happen through you. That is the first thing.

The second thing: everybody is in search of security. But then you are in search of an impossibility.

And whenever you seek an impossibility, you meet frustration. It is not possible, it is not the nature of things to be secure. Insecurity is the very soul of life. Insecurity is the very taste: as the sea tastes salty, so anywhere you taste life it tastes insecure. Only death is secure. Life has to be insecure because of its very nature. Why?

Whenever a thing is alive it is changing; only a dead thing never changes. Whenever there is change there is insecurity. What does change mean? A change means moving from the known into the unknown. And the base of all insecurity is that you want to cling to the known.

Look at it in this way: a child is in the womb of the mother. If it wants to be secure it is better to cling to the womb and not come out. Can you get a more secure situation, a more secure position, than being in the womb forever and ever?

There is no responsibility for the child - no job, no office, no problem to solve. Everything is solved automatically. The child has not even to breathe on his own, the mother breathes for him. The child's heart beats through the heart-beat of the mother, the mother's blood goes on feeding the child. He is perfectly in heaven. Can you think of a better heaven than the womb - comfortable, asleep, not even a dream flickers in, in a silent sleep? And then comes the birth! And psychologists say that birth is very traumatic because the child is thrown out, uprooted from his security. A convenient home, the most comfortable.... We have not been able to create anything like it. No noise enters; it is as if the world does not exist at all. The child has not to make any choice and be divided; there is no training, no conditioning. He simply enjoys himself as if he is the very centre of the world.

And then suddenly comes the birth. It is traumatic, insecurity comes into existence for the child for the first time. Now he has to breathe; now he has to cry when he feels hungry, when he feels thirsty, when he feels uncomfortable. He has to make his own arrangements and he has to start being worried. If the mother is not there he is worried. He is wet, he cries and cries and nobody listens. Now comes tension, insecurity; he is always afraid the mother may leave him. And the mother always goes on threatening: Listen to me, otherwise I will leave you. Mothers even threaten the child: Listen, follow, otherwise I will die. This is a threat! The child trembles to his very roots. He has to follow, he has to make arrangements, he has to become false and to wear masks. He has to play roles - even if he does not feel like smiling, if the mother comes, he has to smile. He has to become a politician and to take care how others feel about him, otherwise he will feel insecure.

Now he will never be as secure as in the womb. What should he do? Should he cling to the womb?

And it seems that the child does cling, he does not want to come out. Many times the help of a doctor is needed to bring the child out - his whole being clings. He resists; he wants to be there as he is, the known. And can you think of anything more unknown, more strange for the child than the world? He opens his eyes and everything is strange, there are sounds all around. He becomes scared. And he will grow, and as he grows, more insecurity grows. Sooner or later he will be sent to school - now even the home is no more his base. And every child resists. You cannot find a child who is happy to go to school - unless the home is a hell. No child wants to go to school, he resists, he clings to the mother, to the house, because now he is being pushed into another birth - he is being thrown out of the home. And then he will start clinging to the school.

If you go to the university and look, and feel the pulse of the students, nobody wants to leave the university.

There are many cases of people unconsciously making arrangements to fail again and again, because the university is again security. The father cares, he sends money, and you simply live like a prince. Still the world has not entered, but the whole world is pulling you into insecurity and sooner or later you will have to be thrown out of the university. It is not accidental that all over the world people call the university 'the Mother'. It is meaningful. It is the mother - you are still a child, and the society is taking care of you. But still, every day you are moving more and more into insecurity.

Mother love has a security. The mother will love you whether you love her or not. It is a one-way traffic, she will love you naturally. But now you will have to seek a woman who will not love you naturally. You will have tO love her. If you need love you will have to give love. With a mother it was different, everything was taken for granted. But with another woman, it is not going to be so; you will have to earn your love with this woman, that's why there is a constant fight. A man wants his wife to be just like his mother. But why should she be a mother to him? She is not a mother, she is a wife.

And she is in the same situation - she wants the man, the husband, to be her father.

What is the meaning of it?

A mother's love is unconditional. It is given to you, she shares. A father's love is unconditional - just because you are his child, he loves you, there is no need to earn it. But when you move into the world you have to earn a husband's love, a wife's love. And any moment it can be withdrawn. Fear, insecurity.... Hence marriage has come into existence because lovers are so insecure they want legal sanction. So the government protects them, the society protects them. Otherwise what would be the need for marriage? If love is really there, you need not get married. Why? There is a fear that the love may be here today but who knows about tomorrow? And if love goes, then what will you do? Who will you fall back on? The law, the court, the government - they become the securities.

Then you can go to the court and you can demand love.

Every society makes divorce as difficult as possible, marriage as easy as possible. This seems absurd, it should be just the opposite - marriage should be made as difficult as possible. Because two persons are moving in an unknown world; let them wait, watch, think, brood, meditate. Give them time. To my mind it seems that at least three years should be allowed before the court allows anybody to marry. And I think that then nobody would get married! Three years! Impossible! After the honeymoon everything is over. Then people cling because of the law and the security and the problems that will come if they get separated. Children have come, now marriage becomes a responsibility, not a bliss, not ecstasy.

And society is always happy if you are worried and not in ecstasy, because an ecstatic man cannot be exploited. Only a worried man can be exploited; only a worried man can be made into a slave.

An ecstatic man can never be a slave, he is too dangerous for society. He is rebellious, he does not need society - that is what an ecstatic being means. He alone is enough. And if he doesn't need society, then society cannot force things on him. Society wants you to be worried, ill at ease, then you will depend on it. Then you will go to the court and you will look towards the magistrate as if he were some god. Then the government, the state, the policemen, all become important, because you are worried. But if you are ecstatic.... Lovers can forget them, but not married people. Lovers can forget the policeman, he is not needed at all. Their love is enough, but when love goes, then the policeman is needed to keep them united. A policeman is needed - now he will create trouble if you separate. And just to avoid that trouble, people go on living together.

Life is dangerous, but that is the beauty of it - it is insecure, because insecurity is the very nature of movement, aliveness, vitality. The more dead you are, the more secure. When you are in your grave there will be no danger. What can happen to you anymore? Nothing! Nobody can harm you when you are dead. But when you are alive, you are vulnerable, you can be harmed. But I tell you, that is the beauty of life.

A flower in the morning cannot believe that by the evening it will be gone. But that is the beauty of it - in the morning it is so glorious, so magnificent, an emperor, and by the evening it is gone. Just think of a flower made of stone or plastic - it remains. It remains; it will never fade. But whenever something never fades it means it never bloomed. Marraige is a plastic flower, love is the real flower - in the morning it blooms, by the evening it hag gone. A marriage continues, it has a permanency about it. But in this impermanent world how can anything real be permanent?

Everything real will have to exist moment to moment. And there is insecurity; any moment it can disappear. The flower that blooms will fade; the sun that has arisen will set. Everything will change.

But if you are too afraid of insecurity then you will make arrangements. And with those arrangements, you will kill everything - a wife is a dead beloved, a husband is a murdered lover. Then things are settled, now there is no problem. But then the whole life drags.

I'm not saying that love cannot be eternal - it can be. But insecurity is its nature; you cannot make it permanent. Remember! You have to move moment to moment. If it fades, you have to accept it; if it goes on blooming, you enjoy it. It depends. But you cannot be secure about it. How can you be secure about the future? Who knows whether you will be there or not? If even about yourself you cannot be secure, what about your love?

But you go on promising and you don't know what you are doing. When you love a person, you feel that you will love him forever and ever. This is a feeling of this moment; don't make it a promise. Just say: This moment, I feel that I will love you forever and ever, but I don't know how I will feel about the next moment. Nobody can say anything about the next moment, nobody can promise. If you promise, you live in a plastic world. A promise cannot be given. And this is the truth, the honesty of love it will not promise. But everybody wants the promise just to be secure; and the more afraid you are, the more promise you require. That's why women want more promises than men, they are more afraid, they feel naturally more insecure. They would like to make everything permanent, only then will they move a step. And then you go on giving false promises which cannot be fulfilled. Every promise is broken. And with every promise your heart is broken and the other's heart is broken. And with every promise disappearing life becomes futile and meaningless; the poetry is lost, it becomes a flat prose, a legal phenomenon. You come and make love to your wife, and it becomes a legal thing, you have to do it, it is not spontaneous. You have to kiss your child, it is not spontaneous, you have to do it, it is a duty.

And duty is the ugliest thing, I tell you. Love is the most beautiful; duty is the ugliest.

Love is an unknown phenomenon, you cannot manipulate it. Duty is a social by product. Now the wife can say: You have to love me; this is your duty, and you promised! And you know that you promised. Then what can you do? If the love has disappeared, or at this moment you don't feel like loving, or this night you don't feel like making love, what to do? Just to keep the promise of the past you have to be false and act. So you say: Okay, yes, I promised. What will you do? Can you promise love on demand? Is it possible? Has it ever happened? Can you produce love?

You cannot, but you can pretend. that pretending will become more and more settled because spontaneity is not allowed. And then everybody feels cheated, because a pretended love cannot fulfill. Everybody knows it is pretended, you can see through it. You make all the movements of love, but love is not there. It is just like a yoga exercise: the movements are there, the gestures are there, but heart is not there. You are somewhere else, on duty or on demand, but you also feel: Yes, I promised.

And I tell you that the promise may have been absolutely right, but every promise is for the moment.

You cannot promise that you will be there tomorrow. How can you promise that your love will be there? You can say only that this is the feeling for this moment: Forever and forever I will love you, hut this is a momentary feeling - if things disappear the next moment, what can I do? But security creates the problem - in everything you need security, that's why everything has become false.

Life is insecure! let this truth penetrate deeper and deeper in you. Let it become a seed deep in your heart - life is insecure. It is its nature and nothing can be done about it - all that you do will be poisonous. You can only kill. And the more secure you feel, the more dead you will be. Look at people who are really secure with wealth, prestige, castles around them - you can see they are dead. Just see their faces, the eyes look as if they are made of stone. Their faces look like masks, 'persona'; their gestures are automatic, they are not in them, they are encaged and not flowing - frozen and unmoving. They are not like rivers dancing, running, towards the sea. They are dead dull ponds, not moving anywhere, not flowing anywhere.

Every moment you have to face the unknown. This is the insecurity: the past is no more and the future has still to come into being. The future is unpredictable, every moment you are at the door of the unpredictable. This has to be welcomed. Every moment the unknown is the guest.

In India we have a very beautiful word for guest, no other language has that word. It is ATITHI. It means: one who comes without giving any previous information, one who comes without giving any date that he is coming. ATITHI means 'without date'; he has no date with you, he simply comes and knocks at the door. But we who are so mad and obsessed about security, we have even killed guests. If a guest comes he has first to inform you and ask for permission to come - because you have to make room for him and you have to make arrangements. Nobody can just suddenly knock at your door.

In the West, the guest has completely disappeared; even if he comes, he stays in a hotel. The guest is no more because the West is more obsessed with security than the East. Of course, because of that obsession they have accumulated more wealth, more securities, more bank balances.

Everything is insured, but the man is dead. Now no ATITHI, now no stranger knocks at your door, the unknown has stopped coming to you. Everything has become known so you move in a vicious circle of the known. From one known you go to another known, from that known to another, and then you say: Why has life got no meaning?

Meaning comes from the unknown, from the stranger, from the unpredictable that suddenly knocks at your door - a flower that suddenly blooms and you never expected it; a friend that suddenly happens to be on the street and you never waited; a love that blooms suddenly and you were not even aware that this was going to happen, you had not even imagined, not even dreamed. Then life has meaning. Then life has a dance. Then every step is happy because it is not a step filled with duty, it is a step moving into the unknown. The river is going towards the sea.

Insecurity is the nature of Tao. Don't make securities - otherwise you are cutting yourself off from nature, from Tao. And the more secure you are, the further away you will be. Move into the unknown and let the unknown have its own way. Don't force it, don't push the river, allow it to flow, and never promise a rose garden to anybody. And when you love, be authentic and true. When you love, be authentic and true, and say only, 'At this moment I feel this, when the next moment comes I will tell you'... as if this moment is the whole of life. And I tell you, if you are so loving at this moment then the next moment you will be more loving, because the next moment is born out of this moment. But that is not a promise, not an insurance. If you have loved so totally in this moment you will love even more totally in the next. It looks absurd - how can totality be more? But it happens.

Life is absurd. If you have loved totally and authentically and truly and bloomed in this moment, why fear the next moment? You will bloom. Even if this flower fades, another flower will come. Don't be bothered with this flower. Life goes on blooming into this flower, into that one, sometimes on this tree, sometimes on another. But life continues, flowers fade. It means that form fades but the formless goes on moving. So why bother? But you are bothered because you are missing this moment, that is why you are afraid of the next moment. This moment you have not loved; that is why you are making securities for another moment. This moment you have not lived; that is why you are so scared of the unknown. You are making securities for how to live in the next moment. And this is a vicious circle because you will be there with all your habits, patterns, with all dead routines you will be there. You kill this moment and you km the next also.

Forget the future! Live in the present and be so totally in it that whatever comes out of this totality will be a blessing. Even if the flower fades it will be beautiful. Have you really observed a flower fading? It is beautiful. It has a sadness about it but who told you that sadness is not beautiful. Who says that only laughter is beautiful? I tell you that laughter is shallow if there is no sadness in it. And sadness is dead if there is not a smile in it. They are not opposites, they enrich each other.

When you laugh with a deep sadness, the laughter has a depth. And when your sadness smiles, your sadness has an ecstasy to it. And life is not divided in compartments; life is adverse to all compartments. It is your mind that creates air tight compartments. Life is overflowing - it does not know the difference between birth and death; it does not know the difference between blooming and fading; it does not know the difference between sunset and sunrise. It moves within these two polarities. These are the two banks and the river goes on flowing just in between them.

Don't be worried about the future. Live this moment so totally that the next moment comes out of it golden. It will take care of itself. That is what Jesus says - don't think of the morrow, tomorrow will take care of itself. You need not be worried about it.

Life is insecure, and if you can live in insecurity, that is the only security possible. The man who can live in insecurity is happy because he is the only one who is secure, secure in the arms of life itself. His security is not man-made; his security is that of Tao, of the ultimate nature itself. Life takes care of you - why are you so worried about taking care of yourself? Why cut yourself off from life?

Why uproot yourself from life Life feeds you, life breathes in you, life lives in you. Why be so much concerned about yourself? A person who is too concerned about himself is a householder; a person who is not concerned about himself is a sannyasin, one who says: Life takes care of me. This is what I mean by sannyas. It is not a renunciation of life, it is a renunciation of the ego concern. It is not renouncing life, it is renouncing the worry, the concern, the too great an identification, the too great a pushing of the river - that is what it is renouncing. The river moves by itself, you need not push. The river has brought you up to this moment, to this shore, and the river will bring you up to many other shores. Why be worried? Birds are not worried, trees are not worried. And man is the most conscious being, why should he worry? If the Tao takes care of a rock, if the Tao takes care of a river, if the Tao takes care of a tree, why do you doubt that life will take care of you? You are the supreme most flowering of life at this moment. Life is bound to take care of you more than anything else. Life is more concerned with you because more is at stake with you - you are a challenge. Life is becoming conscious through you; life is becoming more and more aware through you. You are reaching a peak - life is trying to reach a peak through you. So life will take care. To allow life and not to be concerned with your ego and yourself is renunciation. To me it is SANNYAS.

My SANNYAS is totally different; it is not the old concept at all. The old concept was to leave life, renounce life, the old concept was just the opposite of mine - it was to be very concerned with oneself, you had to take care of yourself, you had to care about meditation, your yoga, you had to care about your SADHANA, and you had to take care to see that you reached God before anybody else did. My SANNYAS is just the opposite. I say that you need not worry - you will reach, but you will not reach through worrying. You need not even make an effort. Be effortless. Let your whole life be a let-go and you will reach. Life takes care. In your own hands you are in dangerous hands; in Tao's hands, you are in the hands of a mother - the ultimate mother.

Now listen to these words:


Chuang Tzu says that as fishes are born in water, so man is born in Tao. The water takes care of fishes, the Tao takes care of you. You are fishes in Tao, nature - you can call it God. Chuang Tzu never uses that word deliberately, knowingly, because it has been overloaded with so much nonsense. He simply uses Tao - a more neutral word. The Vedas use the word RIT - RIT means Tao, nature. Man is born in Tao, that is why we cannot feel it. Fishes cannot feel water, they know it too deeply because they have been born in it. They have lived with it so much that there has never been a separation. The fishes never know what water is. They move in it, they live in it, they die in it, they come into it and disappear in it, but they don't know what water is.

It is said that once a young fish became very worried because she had heard so much about the ocean and she wanted to know what the ocean was. She went from one wise fish to another wise fish. She searched for a master, a guru. There were many - fishes have their own masters and gurus. They said many things, because when you go to a guru even if he does not know, he has to say something just to save his gurudom. They said many things about the ocean but the fish was not satisfied because she wanted a taste of it.

One guru said: It is very far away and it is difficult to reach; only rarely does somebody reach the ocean. Don't be foolish. One has to prepare for it for millions of lives. It is not an ordinary thing, it is a great task. First purify yourself and do these ASANAS - one part of the eight fold path of Patanjali.

Somebody was a Buddhist, he said: This won't help. Move on the path of Buddha, the eight disciplines of Buddha will help - first become purified absolutely, no impurity left, and then only will you be allowed to see the ocean. Then somebody else said: In the Kaliyuga, this present age, only the chanting of the name of Ram will help. Chant Ram, Ram, Ram - only by his grace one reaches.

And the fish was always in the ocean. She searched and searched, consulted many scriptures, consulted many doctrines, doctrinaires, doctors, visited many ashrams, but, reaching nowhere, she got more and more frustrated. Where was the ocean? It became an obsession. Then one day she met a fish, a very ordinary fish - he must have been like Chuang Tzu, just ordinary. Nobody ever thought that this fish could be a guru, just living an ordinary fish-life. This fish said: Don't be mad, don't be foolish. You are already in the ocean. What you see all around is the ocean. It is not very distant, it is near, that is why you cannot see it. Because to see a thing a distance is needed; to have a perspective, space is needed. It is so near you cannot see it; it is outside you, it is within you, you are nothing but a wave in the ocean - a part of it, a concentration of its energy.

But the seeker didn't believe. The seeker said: You seem to be going mad. I have visited many masters and they all say it is very distant. First one has to purify, do yoga asanas, cultivate discipline, character, morality, be religious, go through many rituals - and then after millions of lives it happens.

And if one does reach the ocean, that too is through the grace of God.

But Chuang Tzu is true. The ocean is all around you. You are in it, you cannot be otherwise. How can you live if God is not breathing in you? Who is breathing in you? Who moves into your blood?

Who digests your food? Who dreams distant dreams in you? Who gives birth to poetry and love?

Who beats in your heart with the beat of the unknown? Who is the music in your life? How can it be possible that God is distant If God is distant and far away, how can you be here? How can you exist? It is not possible, because God is life and you are a crystallization of life itself.

You are God - maybe miniatures, but you are Gods. And I don't say that someday in the future you will be like Gods; I say here, this very moment, you are. Whether you know or you know not, it makes no difference - you are Gods. The otherwise is not possible. It may take millions of lives to realise this but that was not because the distance was vast, but because you behaved foolishly; it was not because you were impure, but because you were ignorant. No discipline is needed except awareness - just becoming aware of the near and the close, just becoming aware of that which is already touching your skin, of that which is throbbing in the heart, of that which is flowing in your blood stream - just becoming aware of the close and the near. And to come to the close you have to live in the moment, because if you are in the future you have gone into the distance. Then you are on a far off journey and God is here, you have already left him behind.

Says Chuang Tzu:


Needs - yes; desires - no. If a fish becomes a politician, no. But they are not so foolish as to become politicians. Fishes are not as foolish as man. They simply live, they enjoy, they eat, drink and are merry. They dance. They are so grateful for the littlest pond that has been given to them.

They delight in it. Look at the fishes in a pond Jumping, delighting, running hither and thither. It seems there is no goal for them, no ambition, their needs are fulfilled. When they are tired, they move into the shadow in pond and pool. They rest. When energy comes they move and dance and float and swim; when they are tired again, they move into the shadow and rest. Their life is a rhythm between rest and action.

You have lost the rhythm. You act but there is no rest. You go to the shop but you never come back home - even if you come, the shop comes in your head. You never seek a shadow in the pond, in the pool. That is all that meditation is - to seek the pond, the shadow. That is all that prayer is - to move from activity into inactivity. That is all that religion is about.

Action.... You have moved too much, you have lost the balance, now be inactive so the balance is regained. Be active, but don't forget that inactivity is needed as much as action. Because action is to move into the world, inactivity is to move inwards. It is just like the rhythm of anything else. In the day you are awake, in the night you sleep. It is a rhythm. In the day you are conscious, in the night you become unconscious. You eat and then you have to fast for a few hours. Again, hunger comes and you eat, then again you have to fast for a few hours. If you simply go on eating you will go mad and if you simply go on fasting you will be dead. A rhythm is needed. A rhythm of the opposites is the most secret key of life.

Always remember the opposite. But the mind says: Why the opposite? What is the need? Why be contradictory? If you can be awake then be awake. Why go to sleep? There are a few scientists who go on thinking that if they can save man from sleep then more life will be saved. They say: If you are going to live for ninety years, thirty years will be lost in sleep this is too much of a waste.

Scientists are more wise than Tao - too much of a waste, and your mind will also say: Yes, if thirty years can be saved, life will be much more enriched. But I tell you you will become just mad. If your thirty years of sleep are lost you may be awake for ninety years, but you will be maniacs. The world will be a nightmare. Just think of a man who has not slept for ninety years. It will be impossible to live with such a man because he will never relax, he will be tense and tense and tense. The whole world will become a madhouse - it is already!

A rhythm is needed - you have to be awake and you have to move into sleep. And sleep is not an opposite in life? It is opposite only in logic. Because when you sleep deeply you become capable of more activity and more awareness in the morning. If last night you slept beautifully, deeply, you enjoyed it, you relaxed completely into it, you forgot yourself totally, then this morning you will arise completely reborn, fresh, full of energy to move into action again. And if you have been acting the whole day with tremendous energy, not luke warm, really active, then you will have a better sleep again. Action done totally brings relaxation; relaxation done totally brings more action. Life is enriched through the opposites. But logic believes that opposites never meet. And because of logical thinking, the whole West has become imbalanced.

It always goes on cutting sleep out because it says you enjoy only when you are awake; in sleep there is no enjoyment, so go on pushing your wakefulness deep into the night. So in the West when they go to sleep, half the night has been passed in dancing, eating, meeting friends, discussing, arguing, gossiping, clubs, hotels, theatres. As much as you can be awake, be awake, and push wakefulness deep into the night. And they push it so much that when they go to bed, they go always half-heartedly. Because it seems that if it had been possible to be awake the whole night they would have enjoyed more - they could have visited one more theatre, had a few dances more, met a few more friends; or they might have accumulated more money, gambled a little more. Always they go to bed half-heartedly and then they complain that there is insomnia - they cannot sleep.

Deep down you don't want to sleep.

I have never seen an insomniac who really wants to sleep. If he wants it, sleep will be there. He does not want it. Deep down he wants an active life, completely active, no rest. Because through rest you cannot earn money, that is the problem. Through rest you cannot win elections, through rest the shop will not become bigger, through rest what can you achieve? Rest cannot fulfill ambition - ambition needs action. Desires need action; politics, money, everything needs action. Sleep is sheer wastage. If your mind is obsessed with desires you go half-heartedly to bed, as if it is a compulsion - and then you feel you cannot sleep. Half hearted, you create resistance. And because you have moved too much into desire, action, they continue in the mind. The body wants to go to sleep, but the mind continues being active.

Just the other day a man came and he said: When I meditate, thoughts continue. How to stop them? So I told him how to. Then he said: But I love thinking. Then why try to stop it? And he said:

Because of those thoughts I cannot go to sleep, and I cannot relax. But still I love thinking.

This is the problem. You love thinking because thinking can become instrumental in achieving something: you can become a great thinker, or, through thinking, you can become a great leader.

Through sleeping have you ever heard of anybody becoming a great leader? They all condemn sleep, they all condemn laziness. They all condemn people who simply enjoy life and are not too active - they call them hobos or bums, vagabonds, and condemn them. But have you ever observed the fact that the world has never suffered from any lazy man? Because no lazy man can become a Hitler, no lazy man can become a Nixon, no lazy man can become a Mao, a Ghengis Khan, a Napoleon. No lazy man can become active. Action has brought all the wars. Action is the most mischievious thing in the world. But still we go on saying that action is needed - because everybody is ambitious. If you drop ambition you will become lazy and active in proportion. Then your life will be a rhythm. You will move to this and then you will move to the other, and inside you will balance yourself - in the day active, in the night asleep. Action and meditation should be together. That is why I never suggest to anybody that they move to the Himalayas and renounce the world. Because then they will be simply lazy and sleeping - again imbalance. Be in the world, but when you come to your home, really come to your home; leave the office, leave it behind, and don't carry the files in your head. When you are inactive, enjoy inactivity, and when you are active, enjoy activity - and let the body feel and move according to Tao not according to your mind.



Deep down within you are the roots. You are like a tree: half of the tree is open on the earth, half of the tree is hidden deep in the earth, in the darkness of the earth. There are the roots. Flowers flower. You can see them, but they flower because of the roots which you cannot see. Invisible are the roots, visible are the flowers.

Let your actions be your flowers, visible, but let your inaction be your roots, the invisible. And keep a balance: the higher the tree goes in the sky, the deeper the roots have to reach. Small trees have small roots; big trees will have big roots. And it is always proportionate: if the tree goes fifty feet high, the roots go fifty feet down. The same should be for you - move into action, but then move into inaction every day. Make it a rhythm, a harmony.


In inactivity you dissolve into the ocean, the fish becomes the ocean. in sleep who are you? The ego is there no more, the fish has dissolved. in deep sleep, where are you? You don't occupy any space, you have become one with existence. The same happens in deep meditation.

Hindus have said that deep meditation is just like deep sleep with only one difference: you are alert in meditation and not alert in sleep. In deep meditation, when you seek the cool shadow, you are alert, inactive, but conscious. You know where you are moving. You know that the whole being is settling. You know that it is as if a dead leaf falls from the tree, moves toward the earth, floats a little in the wind, then by and by settles on the earth and falls into deep sleep.

When you move towards meditation from the world of activity, you are falling like a dead leaf or a feather of a bird. There will be a few shakings, waverings on the breeze, here and there you will move, and by and by you go deeper until you settle on the earth. You have reached the root and everything settles. Then there is no worry, no thought, no world no you - only that which is, remains.

That is Tao. Then enriched, rejuvenated, you come back to the world, and by and by it becomes as easy as coming out of your house and going in. It becomes that easy. When you want to, be active, but remember that this activity should follow your bodily need, not your mental desire. Become active when energy is flowing and you feel the energy has to be used - because energy needs action, energy delights in action. If you cannot do anything, at least dance. And remember, energy needs action. If you suppress energy then you will become aggresive - don't suppress energy. This is one of the deepest problems for modern man. Primitive man needed much energy for his day-to- day life. Going for a hunt needed much energy - eight hours running in the forest fighting with the animals, then by the end of the evening you might be able to get your food, and that too was not certain - much energy was needed for ordinary day to day affairs.

Now everything is done by machines, technology has relieved you of much work. What to do? You become aggressive, you fight, you get angry. Without any reason or rhyme, you become angry - suddenly you flare up. Everybody knows that this is foolish, even you in your cooler moments know that that was foolish. But why did you flare up unnecessarily? The excuse was not enough. The real reason is not that there was some situation; the real reason is you have so much energy, so much petrol overflowing, inflammable, that any moment it can be active. That is why after anger you feel relaxed, after anger you feel a little well-being coming to you.

For the modern man this is going to be so - that is why I insist on active meditations, not silent meditations. Because your energy needs acting out, it needs catharsis. You have too much energy with no action for the energy. And rich food is available and food creates more energy. It is a fuel.

This age is the most well-fed age in the whole of history. And there is no work. Even if you go to the office or the shop or somewhere else, the work is mental, not physical. Mental work is not enough.

Man is physically a hunter. He needs much activity to be relaxed. So choose, but according to your bodily needs. Don't force the body, don't compel it; just feel the body and what it needs. If it needs action then go for a run, go swimming, go for a long walk, or, if you cannot do anything, dance.

Meditate and be active - let the energy flow. You melt into existence through action. And when the energy is gone and you relax, then be silent. Find a cool spot in the pond and relax there. Action can lead you to Tao; inaction can also lead you to Tao.

.... Because there is nothing else than Tao. If you become aware through action you will also meet him. Action is pouring your energy into the Tao, and in inaction Tao pours energy back into you.

Look... it is like this. This river flows into the ocean, pours itself into the ocean. This is action. Then the ocean becomes clouds, moves toward the Himalayas, pours down in rains again, fills the river.

This is inaction. Now the river is not doing anything - now the ocean is doing something.

In action you give; in inaction you recieve - and a balance is needed. And the more you give, the more you will receive, because the emptier you are, the more you will be able to receive. A small river will receive little, a big river will receive much. When the Ganges pours herself into the ocean, the ocean has to return the same Ganges - again and again it happens. In action you share, you give, you overflow. Be delighted. Be happy. Be dancing while you give. And then there is inaction, and the Tao pours into you.

And if you go dancing, the Tao also comes dancing. God always comes to you the same way you go to him. If when you sit silently you feel sad, it means that in action you were not happy. You gave, but you gave grudgingly. If you gave really happily, then when you feel silent, and sit silently, you will feel much bliss. But it will depend. And remember this... people come to me and say: If we sit silently everything becomes sad and we feel very depressed. That shows that when you are giving, you give grudgingly, you don't give whole-heartedly. God comes to you the same way you go to him. And it cannot be otherwise. Because God is just the returning - if you reach him dancing, he reaches you dancing. If you are acting as if you are a martyr, if you go to the office saying, 'It is because of duty. The wife and the children are there, and I have to, and I am waiting just to get retired...' then God will come the same way to you. It will be a duty for him to knock at your door.

He will say, 'I have to' - then he will come crucified. But if you go dancing in your life, he will come with a flute.

Remember this - God is a response. It is a resounding of your being. If you go to the hills and you say something, the hills resound with it. The whole existence resounds in you. Whatsoever you do will be returned to you; this is the law of karma. It is not a question of details: you have insulted somebody so the same man is going to insult you in some life. Don't be foolish! Don't be silly!

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-- Moshe Dayan Defense Minister of Israel 1967-1974,
   encouraging the transfer of Gaza strip refugees to Jordan.
   (from Noam Chomsky's Deterring Democracy, 1992, p.434,
   quoted in Nur Masalha's A Land Without A People, 1997 p.92).