Choice is hell

Fri, 22 April 1976 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 9
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
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Question 1


Floating is a totally new way of life. You are accustomed to fight; you are accustomed to swim upstream. The ego feels nourished if you fight with something. If you don't fight, the ego simply evaporates. It is very essential for the existence of the ego to continue fighting. This way or that, in worldly matters or in spiritual matters, but go on fighting. Fight with others or fight with oneself, but continue the fight. The people you call worldly are fighting with others; and the people you call spiritual are fighting with themselves. But the basic thing remains the same.

The real vision arises only when you stop fighting. Then you start disappearing because without fight the ego cannot exist for a single moment. It needs constant pedaling. It is just like a bicycle. If you stop pedaling, it ha s to fall; it cannot continue for long - maybe a little while because of the past momentum. But your cooperation is needed for the ego, to keep it alive, and the cooperation is through fight, resistance.

When I say to you to float I mean that you are such a small, tiny part of the cosmos it is absolutely absurd to fight with it. With whom are you fighting? All fight is basically against God, because he surrounds you. If you are trying to go upcurrent, you are trying to go against God. If he is flowing downwards to the ocean, go with him.

Once you start floating with the river, you will have a totally different quality arising in you. Something of the beyond will descend. You will not be there; you will become just an emptiness - tremendous emptiness, a receptivity. When you fight you shrink, when you fight you become small, when you fight you become hard. When you don't fight - you surrender, you open, like a lotus opening its petals - then you receive. Unafraid you start moving, moving with life, moving with the river.

The question is: "You tell me to float, but I am afraid if I float I will drown." It is good if you drown because only the ego can be drowned, not you. When you are fighting, in fact the ego is fighting with your innermost core. You will drown. But by that drowning, for the first time you will be able to float, for the first time you will be. Choose and you choose the ego. Be choiceless, let life choose for you, and you become egoless. Choose and you always choose hell. Choice is hell. Don't choose. Let this prayer of Jesus resound in your hearts, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done." Let him do for you.

Drop yourself, drown yourself. Disappear from that plane of being. And then suddenly you are no longer human; you are superhuman. Your whole life will become a life of beatitude. Let me tell you one anecdote.

One unfortunate soul arrived at the doors of hell and was interviewed by old Nick himself "Which group would you like to join?" he asked with a leer.

"What do you mean - group?" asked the new arrival.

"You see," said the devil, "we have all sorts of torments here, and we allow people to choose their own. We believe in democracy, and we are not dictatorial - and there is no emergency going on. It is for you to choose. It is for eternity, remember one thing - mind this - so you must choose carefully. I will take you on a tour."

So the devil took him through hell. One group was wallowing in slime and being perpetually eaten by maggots, another group was constantly being prodded with red-hot tridents, another group was being stretched on racks, etc., etc., and the new arrival was feeling very despondent.

Then the devil led him to one group in which all the inhabitants were standing up to their waists in a particularly evil-smelling cesspit and drinking cups of tea.

"This does not look too bad," he thought to himself, "I will choose this group," he said to the devil.

"You are sure?" asked Satan. "Remember, you can't change your mind, and it is forever and forever and forever."

"No, I am quite sure - this will do me," said the newly damned.

"Very well," said the devil, "in you go."

And just as the wretched soul jumped into the pit, a whistle blew and a voice called out:

"All right, everybody! Tea break's over - stand on your heads!"

If you choose you choose hell. Choice is hell. That's how you have created your hell all around you - by choosing. When you choose you don't allow God to choose for you.

Krishnamurti goes on insisting for choicelessness. That is just one end of the whole story.

The other end is: if you arc choiceless God chooses for you. That is only half of the story - become choiceless - just the beginning. The moment you are choiceless life continues.

You will not be there - life will continue. And you are nothing but a hell. Once you don't stand between you and God he chooses. He has been always choosing for you. There is a proverb which says, "Man proposes and God disposes." The reality is just the opposite:

"God proposes and man goes on disposing."

Once you have felt that beatitude of nonchoosing and floating with him, you will never choose again. Because whenever you choose you choose hell, and whatsoever you choose you choose hell.

So I would like you to drown - drown with my blessings.

When Jesus says that those who cling to themselves will lose themselves, and those who are ready to lose will gain, he means exactly the same thing. When Sufis say, "Die before your death, and then you will become deathless," they mean the same.

The death of the ego happens only through surrender. People come to me and they ask, "How not to be egoistic?" But you cannot do anything to be nonegoistic. Whatsoever you will do will make you again egoistic. You can try, discipline the ego, but you cannot be nonegoistic because whatsoever you do enhances the ego. The moment you become a doer, in whatsoever way.... You may try to be humble, but if it is your humbleness, practiced, disciplined by you, then deep down in your humbleness the ego will remain crowned, and it will go on saying, "Look. How humble I am."

I have heard about one man who went to see Adler, the great psychologist who coined the word "inferiority complex." The man was psychoanalyzed. After a few months and much effort, Adler told him, "Now you are cured." The man said, "Yes, I also feel that I am cured. Now I am the one who has the most beautiful inferiority complex in the world - the best inferiority complex in the world."

Inferiority complex, and the most beautiful and the best? It is possible; it happens every day. You can become egoistic about the inferiority complex also. You can have-a superiority complex about an inferiority complex also. Man is so ridiculous.

G3 to religious people and see their faces. They show all signs of humbleness, but you will have to go a little deeper, deeper than their skin, to know them. Deep down the ego is very happy, feeling that "Nobody is more humble than me." If you say to a religious man, "I have found a man who is more humble than you," he will be hurt. He will feel insulted, it is impossible, nobody can be more humble than him. But that is the whole effort of the ego - nobody has a better house than me, nobody has a better car than me, nobody has a better face than me, nobody has better knowledge than me. In that comparison and feeling better is the ego.

You cannot do anything to change it. You can simply see the point that nothing is needed on your part. And once you drop it - or rather it will be better to say: once in your deep understanding it drops - you are open to life. Then life starts flowing through you, like a cool breeze in an open room. You are like a windowless room: all doors,-windows closed, no ray of light enters in you, no new breeze passes through you. You are caved in within yourself, closed. And of course if you start feeling suffocated it is natural.

But I know it is difficult to allow yourself to drown. It takes time. Just a few glimpses will be needed. Sometimes float, don't swim, and just feel the river taking you over.

Sometimes just sit in the garden, don't choose. Don't say what is beautiful, what is ugly.

Don't divide, just be there present to everything. Sometimes move in the marketplace, not saying, not condemning, not appreciating. In many ways learn how just to be, without any evaluation. Because the moment you evaluate you have chosen. The moment you say this is good, you are saying, "I would like to have it." The moment you say this is bad, you say, "I don't want it; I would not like to have it." The moment you say this woman is beautiful, you have desired. The moment you say this woman is ugly, you have already felt repulsion. You are already caught in the duality of good and bad, beautiful and ugly; and the choice has entered in you.

Subtle are the ways of the ego. One has to be very alert.

And once you know - once even for a single moment the ego is not there, you are not creating it - suddenly all doors open, and from everywhere, from all directions, life rushes towards you. That rush is very fragile. If you are not alert you will not be able to see it, you will not be able to feel it. God's touch is very delicate. Great sensitivity is needed to feel it.

Just the other day I was reading a small poem of Huub Oosterhuis.

God does not send us his word

like a great torrent of water

raging in tempest and flood

sweeping us blindly along

but like a glimpse of the sun

or a green branch in the winter,

rain falling softly on earth:

this is how God comes to us. "

... rain falling softly on earth: this is how God comes to us."

In deep surrender, sensitivity, awareness, suddenly you are full of something which you had never known before. It has always been there, but you were too gross to know it. It has always been there, but you were too occupied in fighting, in the ways of the ego, that you couldn't look back and feel it. It was always there, but you were not present. It was always waiting for you, but you had forgotten how to come back home. Dropping the ego is the way back home.

So drown yourself. That's the whole art I am teaching you here. If I am teaching anything, I am teaching you death, because I know only through death is resurrection.

Question 2




You will always feel confused if you lean on somebody else because then the understanding will not be yours, and understanding cannot be borrowed. So you can befool yourself a little while. Again and again the reality will erupt and you will feel confused. So the only way to avoid confusion is not-rationalization. The only way to avoid confusion is to stand on your own feet, to be alert, to be aware. Don't postpone awareness. Whenever you start leaning on somebody, you are avoiding awareness - and you have been taught and conditioned for it from the very beginning. The parents, the peers, the society, the educationists, the politicians, they all go on trying to condition you in such a way that you always depend on others. Then you can be manipulated, then you can be dominated. Then you can be exploited and oppressed, then you can be reduced to being a slave. You lose your freedom.

This conditioning is there. When you come to me you come with that conditioning, of course; there is no other way. And immediately your mind starts functioning from your conditioning: you start leaning on me. But I am not going to allow you that. I will push you again and again, throw you again and again to yourself. Because I would like you to stand on your own understanding. Then it will be something of the permanent, then you will never be confused.

Confusion comes in.... I say something to you, you start believing in it - but it is not your vision, it is not your perception. Tomorrow in life something happens and you are in a difficulty. The difficulty arises because you have learned by rote - you have memorized me. Now you will try to respond through this borrowed understanding. Life changes every moment. My understanding of this moment will not be of any help to you the next moment. My understanding of this moment cannot be made a permanent reference. And if you take it verbally, intellectually, mentally, and you carry it with you, you will again and again be confused; because life will always sabotage your so-called understanding.

Life trusts only real understanding. Real means your own, authentic, that arises from you.

I am not here to give you knowledge, I am not here to give you theories. That's what has been done for centuries, and man has remained as ignorant as ever. I am here to make you alert to the fact that hidden behind you, within you, is a source of light. Tap that source. Let that light bum bright within you. And then you have something alive. Then whatsoever problems come in life, you will not tackle them from your past knowledge.

You will tackle them in the present. You will face them with your present understanding.

Whatsoever I say will a]ways become past. The moment I have said, the moment you have heard, it has already gone into the past. And life goes on changing; it is a constant movement. It knows no stopping, it knows no rest.

Again and again you will feel confused.

And with me also there is a problem. The next moment you will ask the same question, and I will never answer the same again. Because I respond. I don't answer, I don't remember my old answers - I respond. Your question is there, I am here, I respond again. And if you go on collecting my answers: not only confused, you will become mad.

Because you will not find any harmony in them, any consistency in them. They are inconsistent. What can I do. Life is inconsistent. If I am to be true to life, I have to remain inconsistent in my statements. If I want to be true to my statements, then I betray life.

And I would like to remain true to life. I can betray my past, but I cannot betray the present. I can go against my statements, but I cannot go against the present life, this moment.

So confusion will arise. Some day I will say something, and I will say something else some other day. If you compare, if you try to make a consistent whole out of my statements, you are going to be in trouble, in deep trouble. Don't do that. You just listen to me. And don't learn my answer; learn my response. Don't be bothered with what I say.

See the way I say it. See the way I respond to a situation, to a question. The answer is not important, but my alive response is.

And if you can learn the alive response, you become responsible. My meaning of the word "responsibility" is totally different from the dictionary meaning. In the dictionary responsibility seems something like a duty, a commitment, as if you are responsible to somebody else. The word is almost dirty. The mother goes on saying to the child, "You are responsible to me, remember." The father goes on saying to the son, "You are responsible to me, remember." The society goes on saying to the individuals, "You are responsible to us, to the society, remember." And your so-called images of God, they also go on telling people, "You are responsible to us... to me."

When I use the word "responsibility" I mean your aliveness, responding aliveness. You are not responsible to anybody else except your own being, this moment. You are responsible to be responsible. To respond with an open heart, with vulnerability. Not with closed fists but with open hands. Not hiding and holding something. Opening yourself completely, in deep trust with life. Not trying to be clever and cunning. Then you float with life moment to moment... your response will change because life is changing.

Sometimes it is hot and you cannot sit outside in the sun and you would need a shelter.

Sometimes it is too cold and you cannot sit under the shelter and you would like to sit under the sun. But nobody is going to say to you that you look very inconsistent: "The other day you were sitting in the shelter, and now you are sitting under the sun? Be consistent! Choose! If you want to sit in the sun, then sit consistently in the sun." You will laugh at this absurdity, but this is what people have expected of you in life.

Everything is changing around you. Don't get fixed ideas; otherwise you will be confused. And don't listen to what others say; listen to your own heart. I have heard:

What mankind had feared for generations finally happened: a nuclear reaction ran out of control and the entire globe exploded, killing every living thing in it.

Naturally, at the Pearly Gates there was terrible confusion, what with so many souls arriving at the same time, so St. Peter decided to try and sort out the grades by putting up various notices behind which the appropriate souls could form queues.

One sign read Bosses Only, and another read Men Who Were Under Their Wives'

Thumbs. Behind the Bosses Only sign was one solitary soul, whereas under the other sign was a queue stretching right to the Milky Way.

St. Peter, curious, said to the solitary soul, "How is it that you are the only one here?"

"I don't know - the wife told me to stand here," was the reply.

Sometimes it is the wife, sometimes it is the husband, sometimes it is the father, sometimes the mother - sometimes the guru. Somebody is telling you to stand here, and you don't know why. Make sure why you are standing there.

Listen. It is a little complex. Even if you decide to follow somebody, listen to your heart, as to whether you want to follow. I am not saying don't follow anybody, because if your heart says follow, then what will you do? But listen to the heart, feel your own feeling first because ultimately you are responsible to your heart. Everything else is secondary; you are primary. You are the center of your world.

If you choose to follow me or if you choose to be initiated by me, if you choose to surrender to me, feel first your own feeling. Otherwise you will again and again be confused, and again and again you will start thinking, "What am I doing here?" You will start thinking, "Why have I taken sannyas? Why?" Don't take it because somebody else is saying to. Feel it. Then the confusion will never arise. Then it cannot arise; then there is no question of confusion.

Confusion is a wrong functioning. If you function from your center, confusion never arises. If you function from somebody else's center, the confusion is bound to arise continuously - and people are functioning from others' understandings, from advisers, experts. They are living through them. People have completely left their lives in others' hands.

Feel it, wait for the feeling to arise. Be patient, don't be in a hurry. And if you have felt your feeling well, then you will have a deep root, and that root will make you strong, and that root will not allow any confusion to settle around you.

Question 3


Now you create a problem for me. The question is as if somebody comes and asks, "What is yellowness?" or "What is this color yellow?" There are yellow Flowers, there are yellow old leaves, there is the yellow gold sun, and a thousand and one things which are yellow; but have you ever seen yellowness? Yellow things you have seen; yellowness one never comes across, cannot come across.

There are problems and problems, but you never know what is the problem; then the question is abstract. There is nothing like "the problem." There are problems because a problem is a conflict within you. You must be having two minds within you; then the problem arises. You don't know where to go, this way or that; then the problem arises.

The problem is a question of your duality: you feel to do this, and you also feel to do that, and the problem arises. But if you are one, there is no problem. You simply move.

Whenever you ask an abstract question, like "What is a problem?" or "What is yellowness?" or "What is love?" it becomes difficult.

St. Augustine has said, "I know what time is, but when people ask me, "What is time?"

suddenly I lose all track. "Everybody knows what time is, but if somebody asks what it is, exactly, you will be in difficulty. You can show what the time is, but what is time, just pure, abstract?

But I understand why this problem has arisen. There are a few people who are so confused, they cannot even decide what the problem is. They are so confused, standing on such a crossroad, that to decide what the solution is is far away - they have not even decided what the problem is. There are many, because you have lost contact with your feeling, your existential heart. So even the problem has to be supplied by somebody else, not only the solution. You are asking me that I should tell you what your problem is. Not only do you depend on me for the solution, you depend on me for the problem also. But this is how it has been done in the past.

When people come to me I can immediately see whether their problem is theirs or they have borrowed it. If a Christian comes he brings a problem which no Hindu can ever bring. When a Jew comes he brings a problem no Christian can ever bring. When a Jain comes he brings a totally different problem which no Hindu can ever bring. What happens? These problems cannot be life problems because life problems cannot be Jewish, Hindu, Christian, Jain. Life problems are simply life problems. These problems are theological; they have been taught. They have been taught the problems also - what to ask.

Very cunning people have been exploiting humanity. First they teach you what to ask, and then they have the answer also. If you ask the right question, they will supply the right answer. And both are bogus because the question has been taught by them and then you ask. And they teach you only questions which they can answer. So the game goes on very well, perfectly well.

If you go to a Jain monk and you have not been taught by Jains what questions to ask, you will create trouble. You will create embarrassment there because you will ask questions to which the tradition - their tradition - does not supply the solutions. If you ask a Jain why God created the world, he will be puzzled because in his theology there is no God. In his theology there has never been anything created. The world has existed forever and forever and forever. Creation has never been there. So if you ask why God created the world, your question is totally absurd for a Jain because there is no God and there is no creation; the world has continued. The word "creation" does not exist in Jain language because creation implies the existence of a creator; and there is no creation, so how can the creator be there? The world is, but it is not a creation. It is eternal, uncreated; it has remained always there.

Never ask a theological question, because that is borrowed. Find out existential questions.

Find out where your difficulty is. Find out where your shoe pinches. Find out your own problems.

And your problem may not be another's, so the other may not agree that this is a problem.

Problems are individual; they are not a universal phenomenon. My problem is my problem; your problem is your problem. They are as different as your thumbprints, and they have to be.

When I see that people are asking borrowed problems, they don't have your signature on them, and then they are futile - not worth even asking, not worth answering. Your problem should have your signature on it. It should come out of your life, out of the struggle, challenge, response, out of your own confrontation.

I have heard:

So finally the marriage broker induced Cohen to meet this girl. After all she was alleged to be beautiful, talented, educated, young, and with pots of money.

Cohen met her, liked her, married her.

A day later he finds the marriage broker and rages: "Some dirty trick you played on me, eh? She admits herself that she had slept with half the men in Poona."'

"So? After all, how big is Poona?" said the agent.

Your problem is not the agent's problem. Your problem is yours, nobody else's.

Remember that if a problem is individual it can be solved because it is true. If you have borrowed it from tradition, society, somebody else, it can never be answered because in the first place it was not your problem. It is as if you have learned a disease from someone.

Just the other night I was reading that in a famous physician's office there is a notice especially for ladies, saying, please don't talk about your diseases and symptoms to other ladies - don't exchange symptoms - because that confuses the doctor. Ladies waiting for the doctor are bound to talk, and bound to be impressed by others' symptoms. And certainly that confuses the doctor because he cannot know what is what.

There are people who get diseases through advertisements of medicines in the newspapers. I have heard about one man who in the mid of the night rang up his doctor.

The doctor was of course angry, in the middle of the night, his sleep broken. He took the phone; he said, "What is the matter?" and the man started describing his disease. The doctor said, "Cut it short, I have also read the article in the news magazine. Cut it short."

People learn their diseases from magazines. Just watch your mind. It is so imitative that it can be impress:d by others' problems, and you can get so suggestible that you start thinking this is your problem. Then there is no way to solve it, because in the first place it is not a problem to you.

This is my observation: that if a problem is real it can be solved. That is my definition of a problem: that it can be solved. If it cannot be solved then it is not a problem. A disease is a disease if it can be cured. All diseases are curable, at least theoretically curable; but if you don't have the disease, then you have an incurable disease. Then nobody can help; then it is just in your mind. No medicine can be of any help to you.

So the first thing to understand about a problem is that it should be existential, not theological, speculative, philosophical. It should be psychological rather than being philosophical, and it should come out of confrontation with life.

Ninety percent of your problems arise because you are caught in dead thoughts, and you cling to those thoughts. When a situation arises which doesn't fit with your-thought, the problem arises - and you want to try changing the situation rather than changing the thought. If you come across a situation which doesn't fit with yom ideology, you struggle hard to change the situation rather than to change the ideology. Then the problem arises.

Always be ready to change your mind because life cannot be changed just because of your ideologies. And we have learned ways how to look at life, how to interpret life, and we become fixated in certain routines.

Let me tell you one anecdote.

A mousy little man used to be very frightened of his boss. One day he told a fellow worker that he was sick.

His friend said, "Why don't you go home?"

"Oh, I couldn't do that!"

"Why not? Don't be silly, he will never know. He is not even here today."

Finally the man was convinced and went home.

When he got there, he looked in the window - and there was his boss, kissing and hugging his wife. So he ran all the way back to the office. "A fine friend you are!" he said to his pal. "I nearly got caught."

Just an old pattern of thought. The situation was totally different. He could have caught the boss, but just the old idea that always the boss has been catching him.

Watch life and don't be addicted to your mind. Ninety percent of your problems will disappear simply without any bother. Ten percent of your problems will remain, they are existential; and they are needed to be there because you have to grow through them. If they are dropped you will not grow. The conflict is needed. The pain is needed. The suffering is needed. Because that will make you crystallized, that will make you more aware. And if you can transcend it you will have earned the bliss that comes after one has transcended a problem.

It is just like mountaineering. You are going up, uphill, tired, perspiring, breathing is difficult, seems impossible to reach the top; and then you reach the top and you lie down under the sky and you rest and you are relaxed and you are happy that you decided to climb. But only after a hard climb. You can reach that top by a helicopter, but then you have not earned it. So a man who reaches to the top by the helicopter and the man who moves on his feet reach to different peaks. They never reach to the same peak. Your means change your end. The man who has dropped by helicopter will enjoy it a little; he will say, "Yes, it is beautiful." But his enjoyment will be like a man who is completely stuffed with food and then a delicious plate comes before him; he says, "Good," he can smell it a little, but he is so stuffed he has no appetite. And just by his side there is another man who is hungry.

To reach to the top one needs to have the appetite also; and that appetite grows while you are climbing. You become more and more hungry, you become more and more tired, you become more and more ready... and when you reach to the top you rest. You have earned it.

In life you cannot get anything unearned. And if you try to be clever with life, you will miss many opportunities.

So drop those problems which are not yours. Drop those problems which you have learned from others. Drop those problems which arise because of your fixed ideologies.

Be fluid, move. Die each moment to the past and be born again so you don't carry any ideology, any fixed attitude towards life, and you are always open and available, responding. Then only those problems will be there which are needed, which are part of your growth.

As I see, there are people who are living just routine lives; they are not true lives, just making empty gestures. Their problems are also empty, meaningless. Somebody comes and asks, "Is there a God?" The problem is empty. How are you concerned with a God?

You have not even known yourself yet. Start from the beginning, begin from the beginning. You have not even known the knower. You have not even known what this awareness is within you. And you are asking about God? You are asking about the absolute awareness, the ultimate awareness, and you have not even learned that awareness which has already been given to you as a gift. You have not Learned about the flower that is in your hand, and you ask about ultimate flowering? Foolish.

Forget all about God. Right now, enter into your being and see what God has given to you, what the whole has given to you. And if you can learn it, more doors will be opened for you. The more you learn, the more mysteries open. And God is the ultimate mystery - - when you have learned everything else and nothing remains to be learned and you have passed through all the turmoils, anxieties, anguishes of life, only then. God is the last gift; you have to earn it.

Don't ask questions which are irrelevant to you.

And don't live a routine life of empty gestures. People go to the church - empty gesture.

They never wanted to go there; then why are you going? Because everybody else is going, because it is a social formality, because people think good if you go to the church, because it gives you a certain respectability. These people would not have gone to Jesus, but they go to the church. Church is respectable; Jesus was never. To go to Jesus was difficult. To go to Jesus was to put your respectability at stake.

You are here. You have to put your respectability at stake because you arc not going to gain any respectability by coming tO me. You may lose, but you cannot gain. It cannot be formal because who bothers to stake so much for a formal thing? It can only be of the heart.

People do their prayer, it has to be done: empty gesture. No love in their hearts, no gratitude in their hearts, and they go on doing prayer. Then problems arise which are useless.

Do only that for which you have feeling.

I have heard:

A former railway worker, aged eighty, had his home by the railway line. He was retired.

He used to count the wagons on every goods train that passed. There was no need, but old habit. One Sunday at a family picnic, his son noticed that he was ignoring a passing train and asked, "Why, why are you not counting the wagons?"

Answered the old man, "I don't work on Sundays."

Watch your life. Make it truer, authentic, real. Don't move through empty gestures; otherwise your questions will be empty. They will look like problems, but they will not be real problems.

Now what is the difference between a real problem and a pseudoproblem? A psseudoproblem is that which can be solved yet nothing is solved. And a real problem is that which, even if it is not solved, the very effort to solve it solves much. In the very effort you become more alert, more knowing, more understanding. You come to know much about yourself that was never known before.

A problem is an opportunity to face yourself, to go on a pilgrimage inside your being. A problem is a door. Use it to enter into your own being.

So this is my answer: a problem is an opportunity to grow. A problem is a gift of God, a challenge from the divine. Face it, find out ways how to transcend it, how to go above it, and you will be tremendously benefited.

Question 4


When I say don't make a mistake twice, I am not saying to evaluate, to judge, to compare.

I am saying to see - when you are making a mistake see it so totally that you see that it is a mistake. In that very seeing it is dropped; you will never be able to repeat it.

For example, if you put your hand in the fire and it is burned. Next time when you will be near fire, will you do an Aristotelean syllogism, that this too is a fire, all fires bum, therefore I have not to put my hand in it? Are you going to compare with the past eXperienCe? Are you going to evaluate? If you are doing that, then you cannot avoid committing the mistake again because then the mind will say, "Maybe this fire is different. And who knows, the fire may have changed its way of life. It may not behave the same this time. Maybe it was angry that time, and this time it is not angry. And who knows?"

The mind who evaluates, judges, compares, is already showing that it has not understood the point. Otherwise what is the need of evaluation, Comparison? If you have seen a fact, the very fact is enough. You will avoid the fire.

So when you are passing through experiences, remain alert, don't be deaf and blind. I am not saying to look back. I am saying just look right now, wherever you are, and if it is a mistake, it will be dropped on its own accord. Knowing a mistake as a mistake, it drops.

If it is not dropping on its own, that simply shows you have not yet known totally that it is a mistake. Somewhere or other the illusion continues that it is not.

People come and say to me, "We know anger is bad, and we know it is poisonous, and we know it is destructive to ourselves, but what to do? We go on being angry." What are they saying? They are saying that they have heard people say that anger is bad, they have read in the scriptures that anger is poisonous; but they have not known themselves. Otherwise finished.

Socrates has said, "Knowledge is virtue" A great dictum. He says to know is to be. Once you have known this is a wall and not a door, you are not going to knock your head against it again and again. Once you have known it is a wall, then you search for the door. Once you have found the door, you always pass through the door. It is not a question of again and again thinking about the past experiences, comparing, deciding, concluding.

I have heard:

A deaf priest was hearing confessions, when a man came into the box, dropped onto his knees and said, "Oh, Father, I have done a terrible thing. I have murdered my mother."

"What?" said the old priest, cupping his hand to his ear.

"I have murdered my mother!" said the penitent, rather louder.

"What is that? Speak up," ordered the man of God.

"I have murdered my mother!!!" roared the poor distraught sinner.

"Ah," said the priest, "how many times?"

A deaf person is a deaf person, a blind person is a blind person. If you don't listen to experience, if you are deaf to your experience, then you will go on repeating the same, again and again and again. In fact to say that you are repeating is not right: you are doing it again, as a new thing - because the last time you missed. It is not a repetition.

This is my understanding: that no mistake is ever repeated once you have understood it as a mistake. If you repeat it, it simply shows you are doing it fresh, because the past has not entered in your consciousness yet. You are doing it for the first time again; but it is not a repetition. If you have understood it, then it cannot be repeated. Understanding is alchemical; it transforms you.

So I am not telling you to become very clever, calculating, and always thinking what is good and what is bad and what to do and what not to do, what is moral, what is immoral - - I am not saying that. I am simply saying to you: from wherever you are passing, pass with full alertness, so nothing that is wrong is repeated again.

This is the beauty of awareness: that which is right is enhanced through it; that that which is wrong is destroyed through it. Awareness functions as life energy to good and as death energy to bad. Awareness functions as a blessing to good and as a curse to bad. If you ask me my definition of sin, this is my definition: that which can be done with full awareness is not sin; that which cannot be done with full awareness is sin. Or that which can only be done in unawareness is sin, and that which can only be done in awareness is virtue. So forget about sin and virtue. Remember awareness, that's all.

The whole point of evolution is between awareness, unawareness. Become more aware and less unaware. Bring your energy to be more aflame with awareness, that's all.

Question 5


I take one thing very seriously - jokes I take very seriously. And you must have watched it: I never laugh when I tell a joke. I really take it seriously. Except a joke there is nothing serious in the world.

Question 6




I have done it before. It didn't work. Mulla Nasrudin is a leader of leaders. He cannot be put in a group as a participant; his ego won't allow it. I had asked him. He said, "Okay, you can make me a leader." I gave him an opportunity, a three-day group; and all the fools and all the wise guys gathered to participate. Because Mulla Nasrudin has appeal for both. Those who are fools, they think him a fool. Those who are wise, they think him a wise man. He is tricky, or his is just a border case - he stands on both the sides. He can be interpreted as a foolish man; he can be interpreted as one of the most wise ever.

He stood before the group and he said, "Do you know what I am going to teach you?"

Of course everybody said, "How can we know? We don't know."

He said, "If you don't even know that, that much, I am not going to teach, because you are not worth it."

He left. The next day I persuaded him again. He again went there and asked the participants, "Do you know what I am going to teach?"

Now they had learned a little, so they said, "Yes, we know."

He said, "Then what is the point? If you know, you know," and he left.

I persuaded him the third day again. He stood there; he asked, "Do you know what I am going to teach?"

Now the people had learned a little more; they said, "Yes. Half of us know and half of us don't know."

He said, "Perfectly good. So those who know, tell those who don't know. What is the point of my being here?"

Mulla Nasrudin is a very, very old Sufi device. Whether this man ever existed or not is not certain. He may have existed, he may not have existed. There are many countries who claim him. kan claims him; they have a tomb in Iran of Mulla Nasrudin. Soviet Russia also claims him. There are other countries, they also claim. Almost the whole Middle East claims that he belonged to us. And there are many places where they say here his body is buried.

He may have existed, may not have existed, but his impact has been tremendous.

Whatsoever he has done, or whatsoever is depicted as done by him is very, very meaningful even in this anecdote, in which he asks, "Do you know what I am going to say to you?" Everybody said, "No," but nobody was silent. "No" comes easily; to be an atheist is very easy. But it is difficult if you have a no attitude, then it is difficult to teach you. The next day everybody said, "Yes," because they were too greedy to listen to what he wants to say. Their yes was out of greed, and greed can never be satisfied. And Mulla said, "If you know already, then what is the point?" The third day they tried to prove more cunning and clever. They said we have tried two alternatives, now try the third, the only remaining one: "Half of us know and half of us don't know." Now they were trying to fix Mulla in his place, but you cannot fix him. He is almost like mercury; he slips out of your hands. He said, "Perfectly good. When half of you know and half don't, then those who know can tell those who don't know. But what is the need of me here? Why waste my time?"

First they said no, nobody was silent; then they said yes, but nobody was silent; then they said yes and no both, but nobody was silent.

He came back to me and he said, "These people cannot be taught because only people who are silent can be taught."

Silence is disciplehood. If you come here already knowing, you cannot be taught. If you come here with a no attitude, the atheistic attitude, with doubt and skepticism, you cannot be taught. Or if you say that a little I know and a little I don't know, then too you cannot be taught. You are being clever. Because these three attitudes - of the no sayer, of the yes sayer, and of one who is trying to travel on both the boats, who is trying to eat the cake and have it also, the cunning - these are the three types of persons in the world which are incapable of understanding.

Only one who is silent, one who answers by his silence and open heart can be taught.

This is the meaning of this anecdote.

Read Mulla Nasrudin as much as you can and try to understand him. He can be a great blessing to you because he teaches through humor. Each of his anecdotes is pregnant with tremendous meaning, but you will have to uncover it. That's why I say there are people who think him a fool. They simply read an anecdote and they laugh and they are finished.

They think it is just a joke. It is not. No joke is just a joke. If you are wise you will look into it, exactly what is happening. And once you catch the glimpse of the inside meaning of it, you will be tremendously happy. You will become alert to a new dimension.

Mulla Nasrudin is now read in the Western countries also, but people are missing. They think these are just jokes. They are not. They are a device to teach you the sacred-most through humor. And it can be taught only through humor - only through humor because only humor can relax you, and God can be known only in deep relaxation. When you laugh you disappear as an ego. When the laughter is really authentic, a belly laughter, when your whole body throbs with his orgasmic energy, when the laughter spreads on all of your being, when you are simply lost in it, you are open to God.

Serious people have never reached to God. They cannot. God won't take that risk.

Hmm?... they will bore him to death.

A small child was brought to the church for the first time. He looked at people's faces - long, sad, serious. The whole thing looked as if somebody had died. Back home the mother asked, "How did you feel?"

He said, "I must say the truth. I felt as God must have been feeling there."

The mother said, "What do you mean?"

He said, "God must be bored, seeing those long faces. And, Mom, do those same people come every Sunday?"

"Hmm, of course, the same people. There are a few who have been coming there for forty, fifty years."

The boy became very, very sad; he said, "Think of God. The same serious people every Sunday, the same faces. He must be bored to death."

You reach God through laughter. I teach you laughter. You reach God dancing, singing, in joy, in jubilation, celebration. Learn laughter.

And while you are laughing, watch what is happening inside you. Otherwise you will miss the whole beauty of it. While you are laughing see how suddenly the ego is not there. See how the mind has stopped for a single moment. For a split moment the mind is not there - there is no thought. When you laugh deeply there is no thought.

Laughter is meditative... and medicinal. For the physical body it is medicinal; for the spiritual it is "meditational."

I would like Mulla Nasrudin to start a group, but seems difficult. He is a difficult man.

Question 7






When I say come, follow me, I am not saying to come and follow my knowledge. When I say come, follow me, I am saying to you come and follow me in the sense of my nonknowledge. When I say come, follow me, I am asking you to come towards the unknown. I am inviting you to come to the unknowable. When I say come, follow me, I am not saying come, follow me - because I am not. I am inviting you into a tremendous emptiness.

Once you enter the door, you will neither find me nor you. You will find something totally different. That's what people have called God.

And I know sometimes you will be able to feel my fragrance and sometimes it will be lost because there are moods when you will be close to me and there are moods when you will be far, far away. When you are close you will have the fragrance; when you are far away you will miss it. So try to feel those moods when you feel close to me, and remain in those moods more and more, relax in those moods more and more.

It is not a question of physical space between me and you. It is a question of spiritual space. If while laughing you feel close to me and the fragrance suddenly fills your nostrils and your being, then learn to laugh more. If you feel the fragrance is felt only when you are here, just looking at me, and with no stirring of thoughts, then learn to drop thoughts more and more. Whatsoever your feeling, become more and more available to that certain mood, and my fragrance will become your fragrance. Because it is neither mine nor yours. It is God's.

Question 8







It is from Anand Urmila.

It is true, it is so. The more you will drink me, the more thirsty you will become. Because I am not going to make you content. I am going to make you more and more discontent because if you become contented with me, then you will never reach God.

I am here to create more thirst. I am here to make you more hungry. So one day you are just thirst, just hunger, pure hunger. In that moment you explode and disappear and God is found. If you become contented with me I will be yom enemy not your friend, because then you will cling to me and my answers.

I am at the most a door. Pass through me; don't cling to me. The journey starts with me; it doesn't end with me.

And I know you must be feeling sad, but become alert to yom sadness and don't get identified with it. It is there, hanging around you, but it is not you. Use that opportunity also to become more aware, more a witness. And if you can become a witness of yom sadness, the sadness will disappear. And if you can become aware of yom sadness and you can help it to disappear through awareness, wherever you go I will be coming with you.

There may not be any need to come back to the source because in your witnessing you will remain close to me wherever you are. You will be close to the source.

The source is not something outside you. And when you really listen to me it is not listening to somebody who is outside you. It is listening to somebody who is inside you.

It is listening to yom own inner voice. When you fall in love with me, in fact what has happened is you have fallen in love with yourself for the first time.

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