Selfishness: The only Unselfishness

Fri, 4 September 1975 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 6
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
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Question 1


Love is the most selfish thing in the world. Love is basically love of oneself. If you love yourself, only then can you love somebody else. If you don't love yourself, to love anybody else is almost impossible. The quality of love has to grow within you, only then can the fragrance reach to somebody else. If you don't love yourself you can only pretend that you love others. Your love will be pseudo, false, a deception. In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred this is what is happening -- because humanity has been debarred, conditioned. Every child has been conditioned not to love himself but to love others. That is impossible. That cannot happen; that is not the way things are. Every child has been taught not to be selfish, and that's the only way of being.

If you are not selfish you will not be altruistic, remember. If you are not selfish you will not be unselfish, remember. Only a very deeply selfish person can be unselfish. But this has to be understood because it looks like a paradox.

What is the meaning of being selfish? The first basic thing is to be self-centered.

The second basic thing is always to look for one's blissfulness. If you are self- centered you will be selfish whatsoever you do. You may go and serve people, but you will do it only because you enjoy it, because you love doing it, you feel happy and blissful doing it. You feel yourself doing it. You are not doing any duty; you are not serving humanity. You are not a great martyr; you are not sacrificing. These are all nonsensical terms. You are simply being happy in your own way. It feels good to you: you go to the hospital and serve the ill people there, or you go to the poor and serve them. But you love it. It is how you grow.

Deep down you feel blissful and silent, happy about yourself.

A self-centered person is always seeking his happiness. And this is the beauty of it: that the more you seek your happiness, the more you will help others to be happy. Because that is the only way to be happy in the world. If everybody else around you is unhappy, you cannot be happy, because man is not an island. He is part of the vast continent. If you want to be happy you will have to help others who surround you to be happy. Only then -- and only then -- can you be happy.

You have to create the atmosphere of happiness around you. If everybody is miserable, how can you be happy? You will be affected. You are not a stone. You are a very delicate being, very sensitive. If everybody is miserable around you, their misery will affect you. Misery is as infectious as any disease. Blissfulness is also infectious as any disease. If you help others to be happy, in the end you help yourself to be happy. A person who is deeply interested in his happiness is always interested in others' happiness also -- but not for them. Deep down he is interested in himself, that's why he helps. If in the world everybody is taught to be selfish, the whole world will be happy. There will be no possibility for misery.

If you want to be healthy you cannot live amongst people who are ill. How can you be healthy? It will be impossible. It is against the law. You have to help others to be healthy. In health your health becomes possible.

Teach everybody to be selfish; unselfishness grows out of it. Unselfishness is ultimately selfishness. It may look unselfish in the beginning, but finally it fulfills you. And then happiness can be multiplied: as many as are the people around you that are happy, that much happiness goes on falling on you. You can become superbly happy.

But never forget about yourself -- you have been taught.... Politicians, priests have been doing that, because that is the only way in the world for politicians and priests to be. If you are miserable, priests will be needed. If you are ill, unhappy, politicians will be needed. If you are unruly, only then rulers are needed. If you are ill, only then doctors are needed. Politicians want you to be disorderly; otherwise on whom will they impose the order? Through your disorder they become the rulers; and they teach you to be unselfish. They teach you to sacrifice yourself for the country, for the god, for the religion -- Islam, Hinduism -- for the Koran, the Geeta, for the Bible -- any word will do -- but sacrifice yourself. If you are sacrificed, the priest remains happy, the politician remains happy.

Priests and politicians are in a deep conspiracy -- maybe they are unconscious, not aware what they are doing, but they don't want you to be happy. One thing, they don't want you to be happy. Whenever they see that you are becoming happy, they become alert. Then you are a danger to them, their society, their established world -- you are dangerous. A happy person is the most dangerous person in the world. He can prove to be subversive -- because a happy person is a free person, and a happy person doesn't bother about wars, Vietnams, Israel.

For a happy person these things look neurotic, foolish.

A happy person is so happy, he wants to be left alone to be happy. He wants his own privacy to be preserved. He wants to live with the flowers and the poetry and the music. Why should he bother to go to the wars, be killed and kill others?

Why should he be murderous and suicidal? Only unselfish people can do that, because they have never known the bliss that is possible to them. They have never had any experience: what it is to be, what it is to celebrate. They have never danced. They have never breathed life. They have not known any divine glimpse; all those glimpses come from deep happiness, from deep satiety, contentment.

An unselfish person is uprooted, uncentered. He is in deep neurosis. He is against nature; he cannot be healthy and whole. He is fighting against the current of life, being, existence: he is trying to be unselfish. He cannot be unselfish -- because only a selfish person can be unselfish. When you have happiness you can share it; when you don't have, how can you share it? To share, in the first place one must have it. An unselfish person is always serious, deep down ill, in anguish. He has missed his own life.

And remember, whenever you miss your life you become murderous, suicidal.

Whenever a person lives in misery, he would like to destroy. Misery is destructive; happiness creative. There is only one creativity, and that is of blissfulness, cheerfulness, delight. When you are delighted you want to create something, maybe a toy for children, maybe a poem, maybe a painting -- something. Whenever you are too delighted in life, how to express it? You create something -- something or other. But when you are miserable you want to crush and destroy something. You would like to become a politician, you would like to become a soldier -- you would like to create some situation in which you can be destructive.

That's why every now and then war erupts somewhere on the earth. It is a great disease. And all politicians go on talking about peace. They prepare for war; they talk for peace. In fact they say, "We are preparing for war to preserve peace."

Most irrational. If you are preparing for war, how can you preserve peace? To preserve peace one should prepare for peace.

That's why the new generation all over the world is a great danger to the establishment. They are interested only in being happy. They are interested in love, they are interested in meditation, they are interested in music, dance....

Politicians have become very alert all over the world. The new generation is not interested in politics -- rightist or leftist. No, they are not interested at all. They are not communists; they don't belong to any ism.

A happy person belongs to himself. Why should he belong to any organization?

That is the way of an unhappy person: to belong to some organization, to belong to some crowd. Because he has no roots within himself, he does not belong -- and that gives him a very, very deep anxiety: he should belong. He creates a substitute belonging. He goes and becomes part of a political party, of a revolutionary party, or anything -- a religion. Now he feels he belongs: a crowd is there in which he is rooted.

One should be rooted in oneself because the way from oneself moves deep down to God, to existence. If you belong to a crowd you belong to an impasse; from there no further growth is possible. There comes the end, a cul-de-sac.

But politicians depend on your sacrifice. They don't want you to be happy; they don't want your smiles, your laughter. They want you to be miserable, so miserable that you become destructive, angry, in a rage. Then you can be used; for their ends you can be used. They teach you to be unselfish, they teach you to be martyrs, they teach you, "Sacrifice your life for others" -- and they are teaching the same thing to others also. It seems a big, foolish, game.

I don't teach you to be unselfish because I know if you are selfish you will be unselfish automatically, spontaneously. If you are not selfish you have missed yourself; now you cannot be in contact with anybody else -- the basic contact is missing. The first step has been missed.

Forget about the world and the society and the utopias and Karl Marx. Forget about all this. You are just here for a few years to be. Enjoy, delight, be happy, dance, and love; and out of your love and dancing, out of your deep selfishness will start an overflowing of energy. You will be able to share with others.

Love, I say, is one of the most selfish things. If you want a still deeper selfish thing then comes meditation, prayer. If you want a still more selfish thing then comes God. You cannot be related to God through somebody else; there is no via media. With God you have to be face to face, immediate, without any media. You alone in your superb aloneness will encounter that supreme experience.

I teach selfishness, but if you understand my selfishness you will understand all that is beautiful, all that is unselfish.

Question 2


If you are aware of yourself you become aware of others. How can it be otherwise? If you are not aware of yourself, how can you be aware of others?

Awareness first must happen within you. The light must be lighted there first.

The flame must arise within you; only then can the light spread and envelop others. You live in darkness, unawareness -- how can you be aware of others?

You go on thinking, you dream -- you are not aware of others.

The husband may say, "I am aware of my wife and her feelings." Simply not possible, because the husband is not aware of himself. He lives in deep darkness and unconsciousness. He does not know from where his anger comes, he does not know from where love arises, he does not know from where comes this existence, flowing. He is not aware of himself -- and that is the closest thing you can be aware of -- and he says, "I am aware of my wife and her feelings."

Foolishness. He may be thinking, dreaming that he is aware. Everybody lives surrounded in his own dreams; and hidden behind the dreams, one's own projections, one goes on thinking: "I am aware."

Ask the wife; she says, "He is never aware of me." The wife thinks she is aware of her husband, his needs; but those needs that she thinks she is aware of are not her husband's needs. That's what she thinks are his needs. The conflict continues, and both are aware and both feel for each other and both are careful about each other.

Nobody can be careful about anybody else unless one has learned the lesson first in the deeper, inner core of his being. First be careful about yourself. That is the nearest, closest point. Learn awareness there; then you will be aware of others.

Then for the first time you will not project. You will not interpret; you will look directly. You will look at the other as he is, not as you would like him to be or as you think him to be. Then you will look at reality.

When dreams drop from your eyes and your eyes are not full of dreams, only then can you be aware. Otherwise your eyes are cloudy; many clouds and much smoke exist there. You look, but you look from behind screens, and those screens pervert everything that you see. They distort. They don't mirror; they project.

When your dreams have disappeared and you are alert -- alert, aware, mindful -- then your eyes become like the eyes of a camera. You simply see that which is; you don't project. You don't do anything to the reality; you simply allow the reality to be revealed. Your eyes are simple, innocent passages. They simply look.

Right now, as you are, you can't look. Your eyes are filled already with prejudice, ideas, conceptions, beliefs. You cannot look. Your eyes are not empty enough to Look.

How can you be aware of others? Only a Buddha is aware, one who has awakened within himself. But a Buddha is a very selfish man, a Mahavir is a selfish man, a Patanjali, absolutely selfish -- but they help millions. They become a benediction to millions. All those who are in need and in search can use their light. But they are lighted. That is the meaning of enlightenment: their flame is burning. You can partake of it. You can light your own inner flame through it.

You can become a participant.

Awareness has to be learned within. When you awake inside yourself you awake to the whole world, to the whole existence. Suddenly shrouds fall. Suddenly your eyes are no longer filled... empty, receptive, naked. You see. You don't project, you don't interpret. You have nothing to project. You have become just space, an inner emptiness.

Question 3


Hope is one of the greatest barriers because through hope dreams are created, through hope future is created, through hope time exists. When I say become hopeless, I mean be here and now. If you hope, you have moved away from the herenow.

You postpone life through hope: you say, "Tomorrow I will live, when everything is put right." When everything exists as you would like it to exist, when you have enough riches, power, money, prestige -- then you will live. And you hope tomorrow it is going to be there. If not tomorrow then the day after tomorrow. If not this year then next year. And if not in this life then in the next life. In the East hope has been extended to its very logical end: thousands of lives waiting for you in the future. This is a trick of the mind. Once you allow the mind to hope, he has tripped you.

Life is only in this moment. Life has no other tense -- it has only one tense: the present. Past is memory; it is not part of existence. It has gone; it is no longer there. Just imprints on the mind are carried, scratches in memory. Future does not exist; it has not come yet. Only this moment, this narrow moment, this small, atomic moment exists. If you have to live you have to live in this. If you want to miss life then you can live in hope.

When I say "hopeless" you can misunderstand me, because by "hopeless" you always mean: when some hope fails, you become hopeless. But when I use the word "hopeless" I am not meaning that some hope has failed: I am saying all hope, hope as such, has failed. Then you become really hopeless, and that is a beautiful moment. It is not a depressed state of affairs. It is not that you are sad.

You have felt hopeless many times -- one hope fails. You were in love and the woman betrayed, or the man betrayed -- one hope failed. But there are other women, other men; the hope can exist. It can search, seek; it can create new illusions. One illusion has failed -- but you have not become disillusioned. You move on one path. There comes an end to it, there is nothing further, an abyss faces you: one path has failed, but there are millions of paths. Life is a labyrinth; you can move in other paths. You have not really become hopeless.

A man becomes hopeless when he faces the whole life in its totality and sees that there is nowhere to go, nothing to dream, nothing to hope for. In that hopelessness there is no sadness. One simply realizes the truth of life as it is. Not that life has failed! One simply realizes: "My hoping has failed." And life does not allow anybody's hopes. It does not follow anybody's hopes; it does not fulfill anybody's dreams. Life has not failed; only your hoping mind has failed. The mind stops functioning. For a moment it seems a disaster, everything collapses; but if you can live with this disaster, suddenly a new life arises in you -- fresh, young, of this moment.

That life belongs to here-now. It does not move anywhere else. It has no motivation in it; it is, in a way, desireless. Not that it doesn't enjoy -- only it enjoys. When there is no desire, your whole energy becomes delight. You throb with happiness. You start participating in the celebration that is continuously going on; it is a continuum.

You were missing it only because you were dreaming. You were not part of it because you had created your private hopes. You had become an "idiot": "idiot" means one who has private hopes. One who is not moving with the whole, who is trying to move alone in his own way, who is trying to put his will against the whole -- he is the idiot. The root of the word "idiot" means private. Hopes are private; life is universal. Hopes are individual. Existence does not belong to any individual. All individuals belong to existence.

Have you observed that your dreams are the most private things in the world?

You cannot even invite a friend. You cannot even invite your beloved in your dreams. You have to be alone there. Why are dreams thought to be unreal?

Because they are private. You cannot call anybody else to become a witness to your dreams, that is impossible.

I have heard that one Pharaoh of Egypt, who was a little eccentric, as kings are almost always, a little neurotic -- one day he dreamed and he saw one of his ministers in his dream. He was very angry. The next day he had an order proclaimed all over the kingdom that nobody is allowed to enter in his dreams.

This is trespassing; and if somebody is found trespassing, entering in his dreams, he will be immediately killed. And many persons were killed later on because they entered in his dreams.

Your dreams are yours -- nobody can enter. And if somebody enters, it is you dreaming; not that he has entered. Dreams are private, absolutely private. That's why they are unreal. Anything private is going to be unreal. The reality is universal. I can see the trees, you can also see the trees, but my dream-trees only I can see. I cannot ask you to come and become a witness. That's why in the morning I myself feel it was just a dream, not real.

Your hopes are your hopes. When you become hopeless.... When I say "become hopeless," "drop all hopes," what I am saying is: let the whole hope; don't create private desires. Otherwise you will always be in misery, always be in frustration.

Your hopes will never be fulfilled, because the whole has its own design. The whole has its own planning; the whole has its own destiny. The river is going towards the sea: and every drop in the river dreaming of going somewhere else.

How can that be fulfilled? The river will reach to the ocean. Those drops will suffer frustration because they will not reach to the destination that they were dreaming of.

A wise man is nothing but the drop who does not dream a private dream. An enlightened man is the man who flows with the whole, with the river. He says, "Wherever you are going, I am also going there. And why should I worry? The river is flowing; it must be going somewhere. That is not my worry." The drop drops its worry: that is the moment of hopelessness, desirelessness. In that moment the drop has become the river. In that moment, basically, the drop has become the ocean. In that moment the drop has become the whole.

"Does to be hopeless include being hopeless about you?" Yes. If you hope, if you create hopes around me, you are creating your dreams. I am not a party to them.

It has to be remembered: I am not a party to them. You may be creating your dreams and desires, that is for you to decide. If you create you will be frustrated.

If you don't create you start floating with me. That's what surrender means, that's what to be a disciple means: to float with the Master. If I say, "Drop hopes," you drop; you float with me. If you have your private hopes then remember -- when you are frustrated don't blame me. I am not responsible.

Otherwise this seems to be very easy: you come hoping from the world where you have been frustrated, then you start hoping around me -- desiring, dreaming, around me. I become an excuse for you to hope again. Then you start desiring again the same desires -- now, with my help. No, I don't help in that way. I help only if you want to become desireless, if you want to drop all hopes, if you want to drop yourself, the ego. That's the only way I can help. I am not here to fulfill anybody's desires and hopes. Drop them before frustration takes over; otherwise you will be unnecessarily angry at me. Remain alert about it; otherwise you will feel that I wasted your time, I destroyed your energy. If you don't reach your private goals, of course, you will never be able to forgive me; but I am not a party to it.

If you are ready to float with me.... I am floating with the whole. If you are ready to float with me you will learn the way how to float with the whole. Then you can forget about me. A Master has to be dropped, finally. A Master, at the most, can be a door; he is not the goal. You pass through him, and you forgive and forget him. You move with the whole. Near a Master, in the presence of a Master, you learn the knack of floating with the whole.

Yes, I am included. When I teach you hopelessness I am included in it. Don't hope about me, around me. I will never be a party to your private dreams, to your idiotikis.

"How is growth possible without this hope?" Growth is possible only without hope. You have not grown up because you have been hoping. You have remained children, childish. A child is allowed to dream -- he is ignorant -- to hope, to create future. He is foolish. When maturity happens dreams have to be dropped; or, you drop the dreams, and maturity happens. What is maturity?

Maturity is to see the reality. Do not live in wish fulfillments.

Even religious, so-called religious, people live in dreams: they think of paradise for themselves and hell for others. Dreams... good dreams for themselves and nightmares for others. They are also childish.

Growth is possible only when there is no hope. Why? Because the same energy that moves in hopes has to be converted. The same energy has to be released for growth. That's why all Buddhas say, "Don't desire." Not because they are against desiring, no -- because they are for growth and the energy has to be released, freed from desires. Only then can it become inner growth.

Growth is in the present and desiring is in the future -- they never meet. You grow here and now, never tomorrow. The trees are growing now and you are thinking to grow tomorrow. The growth is always here-now. At this very moment growth is happening if it is happening at all. If it is not happening at this moment, how can it happen the next moment? From where will it come? Out of the blue? This moment will become the foundation for the next. Today will become the foundation for tomorrow. This life will become the foundation for the next life. If growth has been happening this moment, the next moment will take over; and you will start the next moment from that point, from that stage, that state and plane where this moment leaves you. That is the only way to grow.

This moment is the only moment to grow.

Have you watched that in the whole world -- plants, birds, animals, mountains -- only one moment, this moment, exists; and they are growing? Only man thinks of the future, and that's how growth stops. The more you think of the future, the less is the possibility to grow. Growth is coming to terms with the reality that is happening this moment. And there is no other reality.

"How is growth possible without this hope?" Growth is possible only without hope.

I understand your problem. You are saying, "If we don't hope then we will not hope about growth also. Then how will growth happen if we don't hope and don't desire?" Growth does not need your hoping, your desiring. Growth needs your understanding; growth needs your awareness. Awareness is enough. If you are aware in this moment to whatsoever is happening, that awareness becomes the sun, and the tree of your being grows. That awareness becomes the water, the rain; and the tree of your being grows. That awareness becomes the food, the nutrition. That awareness is all that is needed for growth. A man grows because of awareness, not because of hopes.

Question 4


A Master is a catalytic agent: he does not work, but the work happens through him. He's not the doer but just the situation where things happen. Do you think the sun rises and starts working on so many millions of trees?... comes to every flower, persuades it to open?... comes to every bud and forces it to open?... comes to every root, nourishes it? No. The sun may not even be aware, but trees grow, buds open, flowers start throwing their fragrance, the birds start singing -- the whole world is awake. How does the sun function? Is the sun a doer?

I have heard a very old story that once Darkness went to God and said, "Enough is enough. I have not committed any crime -- not that I know -- so why does your Sun go on chasing me? Continuously, day after day, for millions of years it has been happening. I have come to complain. And I have not done anything wrong to the Sun. Why is he so against me?"

Even God had to concede: "This is true. Why should he be after you?" The Sun was called, and God inquired, "Why are you so much against Darkness? What do you go on chasing her for?"

The Sun said, "I never heard anything about Darkness. What do you mean? I have never encountered her. I don't even know her! Chasing is out of the question. I am not even acquainted. Nobody has even introduced me. Please call her before me so I can see who this person Darkness is, and then I will remember and will not chase her."

It is said even the omnipotent God could not do that, to bring Darkness before the Sun. So the case is pending in the files, and God is brooding over a way so that Sun and Darkness can be face to face in the court. But it doesn't seem that he will be able to find a way because when the Sun is there, Darkness is not there. It is not that the Sun is chasing or doing something: the very presence.

A Master is a catalytic agent. This word "catalytic" has to be understood very deeply. In science they have discovered catalytic agents. A catalytic agent is an agent which is absolutely needed for some change, chemical change for example, but the catalytic agent itself is not an ingredient in the change. Just the presence is needed. For example, oxygen and hydrogen meet and water is created, but electricity is needed just as a catalytic agent. If electricity is not present then hydrogen and oxygen don't meet; and electricity plays no part -- just the presence. Without the presence it doesn't happen; and electricity plays no part in it. It doesn't enter in any way into the new combination. It simply remains there.

A catalytic agent is a scientific term, but beautiful.

A Master does not have to do anything; he is not a doer. Just his presence -- if you allow his presence. That depends on the disciple. And to be a disciple only means this much: that you allow, that you let go, that you become receptive -- that you no longer create any obstacles for the presence to function. It doesn't work anything. The very presence functions... something starts happening. If the disciple allows, something starts happening.

The disciple will feel grateful towards the Master because without him it was almost impossible, but the Master always knows that he has not done anything.

So if you go to the Master and say, "You have done so much," he will say, "It is God's grace. I have not done anything." If a Master says, "I have done something," he is not a Master at all, because the very "I" shows that he is not a Master. He cannot be a catalytic agent to you. He thinks he is a doer; and a doer cannot be a catalytic agent.

A Master is just a presence, an encompassing present... Like a cloud he surrounds you. If you allow him, he enters to the deepest core of your being. Not that he enters! You simply allow... it happens. And in that moment when the disciple is allowing and the Master is present: a chemical change, better to call it alchemical, mutation -- the disciple also disappears, the same way as the Master has disappeared. The ego is no longer there. The disciple has also become a nondoer. Now he can function as a presence to others. He can be a Master.

Sariputta, one of Buddha's disciples, one day entered into Buddha and allowed Buddha to enter in him. He became enlightened. Immediately, Buddha said, "Now, Sariputta, no need to hang around me. Now go. Go to the farthest corners of the country. Many people are thirsty. Now you have the water to quench their thirst." Sariputta looked around. What has happened? He said, "What are you talking about? Don't send me anywhere." Buddha said, "You are not aware what has happened. Now you don't need my presence. Now you yourself can become a presence to others: the thing has happened. I have not done it, you have not done it, and the thing has happened."

If the disciple is too much of a doer it will not happen. If the Master is too much of a doer he is not a Master. When the disciple is ready to open -- and the Master is a Master -- the thing happens. It is grace. It simply happens without anybody's doings. That's why we in India have called it prasad, grace. Suddenly, God becomes available; suddenly, God functions.

That's why I say that I do not work on people, and still I accept disciples.

Question 5


Of course. A Master is nothing but a womb: through him you are reborn. You die in him; you die with him. The Master is the cross and the resurrection. That is the meaning of Jesus' story: in him you die, and through him you are reborn. The Master is a womb.

One womb is the mother's womb; another womb is the Master's womb. The mother sends you into the world, the Master sends you beyond it. The Master is a mother.

Question 6


It is symbolic: that I am useless like my napkin. I don't believe in utility. Utility belongs to the world, to the marketplace. I believe in nonutilitarian things: a flower. What is the utility of a flower? What is the use? It is absolutely useless; and hence beautiful, absolutely beautiful.

Life to me is not purposive; there is no purpose in it. If there was purpose life could not be so beautiful. Purpose always creates ugliness. Purpose gives you commodities, not ecstasies. Purpose gives you factories, not temples. Life is not a factory; it is a temple. What is the use of a temple?

In the East, every village has a temple, at least one. More, then it is too good; otherwise one. Even a very, very poor village. When Westerners came for the first time to the East they could not believe the phenomenon, because the villages are so poor. They don't have proper houses, just huts, you can call them houses in name only; but they have a beautiful temple in their town. Their homes don't have stone walls, just bamboo, but their god has beautiful marble walls, marble floors. A small temple, but beautiful. They couldn't believe -- when you live in such poverty, what is the use of making such a beautiful temple?

In the East we have always believed in uselessness. One can live in a house; it is a utility. God is not living there; he can live without the temple. Even if the temple

is not existing, nothing will be lacking in the world. The world is not enriched by the temple. It is enriched by a factory, by a hospital, by a school -- not by a temple. A temple is simply useless. So when communists took over in Russia, they destroyed all the temples, all the churches -- they converted them into factories, schools, hospitals, this and that -- because a communist believes in utility. He does not believe in flowers. He does not believe in stars. He does not believe in poetries. He believes in prose, logical syllogisms.

I believe in poetry. I don't bother a bit about logic; I'm absolutely illogical. And I have known life's beauty through illogic, through irrationality. Through the heart, I have seen the temple of life; and I tell you, if you go on searching for God in your factories you will never find him. If you go on searching for your God in the hospitals and schools you will miss him for ever and ever, because God is not a purpose. In India we don't even call this world his creation -- we call it his leela, play. Play is purposeless; it is not even a game. He simply goes on playing hide- and-seek with himself, with no purpose to attain. It is sheer delight to be. The value is intrinsic. The value is not in the end; the value is in you.

You are right: why do I always carry a napkin with me, absolutely purposeless?

Even I don't know why, but I carry it. It is a symbol... illogical.

Question 7


If you have really become quite useless, you have attained; now there is nothing to attain. And if you have really become quite useless, you will not bother about your financial situation. Whenever somebody becomes quite useless, the whole takes care. Still, something of the world of utility must be clinging to your mind; hence the question arises. If you have really become useless then you don't worry about it: whether the next moment you exist or not can't be a worry to you if you have really become useless.

Why do you bother? If the whole needs you for his hide-and-seek, for his play, he will take care. That's why Jesus goes on saying to his disciples, "Look at the lilies in the field: they toil not, they are not worried about the morrow -- and they are more beautiful than King Solomon ever was in all his glory." He goes on saying, "Think not of the morrow."

Once you are really useless you surrender to the divine; and if you are surrendered you will not ask, "Shall I just live on other people's expenses?" Then who is the other? Then there is nobody who is the other. Then your pockets are others' pockets and others' pockets are your pockets. The other exists because of the ego -- because I exist, that's why the other exists. If I am not there then who is the other?

I have been living on other people's expenses for years; and I don't even thank them. Because what is the point to thank oneself? It will look foolish. This is the way I am enjoying, and if the whole wills me to be here I will be here. If he does not will me, that I am not needed at all, he will take me away. It is his worry.

And if he wants me to be here he will put in somebody's mind the idea to donate something to me. That's for him to decide. And if you give something to me, he has to thank you. Why should I thank you? I don't come in between. I have never thanked anybody, because that looks foolish.

I go on doing whatsoever I enjoy. If they are benefited by it, they need not feel obligated. This is my joy. I go on talking to you; this is my joy. Not that I am trying to help you -- this is the way I enjoy myself. If you go on helping me that is your joy. Somehow I fulfill your need; you fulfill my needs. Finished. There is no point in talking about who is grateful to whom.

It is one whole. The feeling that the other exists is because you exist. If you disappear, the other disappears.

And, then, the next moment is not the point to be worried about. This moment is enough. This moment is enough unto itself.

Question 8


There is no need. It is self-explanatory. If you are neurotic, drugs will give you a glimpse of health, of oneness. If you are split then drugs will give you a dream of being one, undivided. But if you meditate you really become one; then to take drugs won't help. If you meditate then the reality of oneness is realized; then the dream will not be of any use. In fact, then to take drugs will be destructive: through them you will feel split.

That's why I go on saying: people who are in search of drugs are really in search of meditation -- searching for something in a wrong direction. Their search is perfectly right, their direction wrong. I am not against them, because they are the seekers. The urge has arisen in them, but they are moving in a wrong direction.

They can be brought to the right direction.

More people are needed to help them to meditate. No government, no state can suppress them, that's impossible. The more they will be suppressed, the more they will feel attracted towards drugs. The more they will become neurotic, the more there will be need for drugs. Only more temples, more meditations around the world, more people meditating will be of help. Once you meditate you have moved in the right direction -- sooner or later, drugs will fall by themselves. No need to drop them; they will drop.

It is just as if you are carrying stones, colored stones, and then suddenly I give you real diamonds. Will you go on carrying those colored stones in your hands?

Will there be any effort on your part to drop them? You will simply drop them: hands will open and they will drop because now diamonds are available. And now if you want to carry those stones you will have to drop the diamonds.

No need to explain. It is self-explanatory.

Question 9


A gossip-creating animal.

Aristotle has defined man as a rational being. Man is not rational; and it is good that he is not. Man is ninety-nine per cent irrational; and it is good that he is because through irrationality all that is beautiful and lovely exists. Through reason, mathematics; through irreason, poetry. Through reason, science; through irreason, religion. Through reason the market, the money, the rupees, the dollars; through irreason love, singing, dancing. No, it is good that man is not a rational being. Man is irrational.

Many definitions have been tried. I would like to say man is a gossip-creating animal. He creates myths -- all myths are gossips, puranas. He creates religions, myths, stories about existence. Since the very beginning of humanity man has been creating beautiful mythology. He creates God. He creates that God created the world; and he creates beautiful myths. He weaves, goes on weaving newer and newer myths around and around. Man is a myth-creating animal; and life will be absolutely boring if there is no myth around it.

That is the trouble for the modern age: all the old myths have been dropped.

Foolish rationalists argued too much against them. They have been dropped because if you argue against a myth, the myth is indefensible. It cannot defend itself. It is very vulnerable; it is very delicate. If you start fighting with it you will destroy it, but by destroying it you will destroy something beautiful in the human heart. It is not the myth, myth is just symbolic -- deep are the roots in the heart. If you kill the myth you kill the heart.

Now, all over the world, those same rationalists who killed all the myths feel that now there is no meaning in life, no poetry, no reason to be happy, no cause to celebrate. All festivity has disappeared. Without a myth the world will be just a marketplace; all temples will disappear. Without myth all relationships will be bargains; there will be no love in them. Without myth you will be alone in vast emptiness.

Unless you are enlightened you cannot live that way; otherwise you will feel meaningless, and deep anxiety will arise and anguish will enter into your being.

You will start committing suicide. You will start finding some way or other --

drugs, alcohol, sex, anything -- to drown yourself so you can forget yourself because life seems to be meaningless.

Myth gives meaning. Myth is nothing but a beautiful gossip, but it helps you to live. Unless you become so capable of living without any gossiping, it helps you to travel, to journey in the world. It gives a human atmosphere around you; otherwise the world is very stony. Just think: Indians go to the rivers, to the Ganges -- they worship. That is a myth; otherwise the Ganges is just a river. But through a myth the Ganges becomes the mother, and when a Hindu goes to the Ganges it is a tremendous delight to him.

The stone in Mecca, the stone of Kaaba, is nothing but a stone. It is a cube stone, that's why it is called ka'bah: ka'bah means cube. But you cannot know how a Muslim feels when he goes to Kaaba. Tremendous energy arises. Not that Kaaba is doing something -- nothing, just a myth. When he kisses the stone, he is not walking on the earth; he has moved in another world, of poetry. When he walks around the Kaaba, he is walking around God himself. All over the world Muslims pray; their direction is towards the Kaaba. The direction differs: somebody praying in England will be looking at Kaaba; somebody praying in India will be looking at Kaaba; somebody praying in Egypt will be looking at Kaaba. Five times a day the Mohammedans pray all over the world, encircle the whole world, and they look at the Kaaba -- the Kaaba becomes the very center of the world. A myth, a beautiful myth. In that moment the whole world is surrounded by a poetry.

Man gives meaning to existence; that's what a myth is all about. Man is a gossip- creating animal. Small gossips, just about the neighborhood, about the neighbor's wife; and big gossips, cosmic, about God. But man enjoys it.

I love one story; I must have told it many times. It is a Jewish story: In a certain town, many years ago, many centuries ago, one rabbi existed.

Whenever there was some difficulty in the town, he would go to the forest, do some sacrifice, pray, follow a ritual, and tell God, "Avert that calamity. Save us."

And the town was always saved.

The rabbi died; another man became the rabbi. The town was in difficulty; the people gathered. The rabbi went to the forest, but he could not find the place. He did not know it. So he said to God, "I don't know the exact place where the old rabbi used to pray to you, but that doesn't matter. You know the place, so I will pray from here." The trouble never came to the town. People were happy.

Then this rabbi died; another rabbi followed. Again the town was in some trouble, some calamity. People gathered. He went to the forest, but he said to God, "I don't know exactly where the place is, I don't know the ritual. I only know the prayer. So please, you are all-knowing, so don't stick to the details.

Listen to me...." And he said whatsoever he wanted to say. The calamity was avoided.

Then he also died; another rabbi followed. The town gathered, there was some trouble, some disease was spreading, and they said, "Go to the forest; it has always been done. Ancient rabbis have always been going there."

He was sitting in his armchair. He said, "What is the need to go there? He can hear from here. And I don't know." So he looked at the skies and said, "Listen. I don't know the place, I don't know the ritual -- I don't even know the prayer. I know the whole story: how the first rabbi used to go, how the second rabbi used to go, how the third, how the fourth.... I will tell you the story -- and I know you love stories. Please, listen to the story and avoid the trouble."

And he told the whole story about the ancient rabbis. And it is said God loved the story so much that the town was saved.

He must love stories so much; he is a creator of myths himself. He must love stories. He is the first, who created the whole gossip.

Yes, life is a gossip, a momentary gossip in the eternal silence of existence, and man is a gossip-creating animal. Unless you become a god you will have to love gossiping: you will love stories of Rama and Seeta, of the mahabharata; you will love Greek, Roman, Chinese stories. Millions of them exist -- all beautiful.

If you don't bring logic to them, they can reveal inner doors; they can open inner mysteries. If you bring logic to them, doors are closed; then that temple is not for you. Love stories. When you love them they open their mysteries. And much is hidden in them: all that humanity has found has been hidden in the parables.

That's why Jesus goes on talking in parables, Buddha goes on talking in stories.

They all loved gossiping.

Question 10


A Master is always acting; a Master is a perfect actor. He does not take life seriously. He does not take life as a worry, anxiety. It is a play. He is angry... he is acting. He is laughing... he is acting. A Master can only act, because he is not a doer. Whatsoever he does should be taken as acting; and if you cling too much to the acting you will miss the Master.

Forget his anger and forget his laughter. Look behind the anger and the laughter, and there you will find the old man. Neither laughing nor angry nor crying nor talking -- there you will find him in total silence. There you will find the Buddha: in deep tranquillity, in infinite calmness, not even a flicker of thought. Otherwise the Master is always on the stage.

But don't be deceived by the Master. Go on watching. Don't listen to his words; otherwise you will never be able to see him. Listen to his silence. Listen when there is a gap between two words. Read him between two lines. Don't pay much attention to what he says, what he does; only pay attention to what he is.

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Mulla Nasrudin stood quietly at the bedside of his dying father.

"Please, my boy," whispered the old man,
"always remember that wealth does not bring happiness."

"YES, FATHER," said Nasrudin,