A Concession to the Gods

Fri, 16 June 1977 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 1
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
Short Title:
Audio Available:
Video Available:
87 mins

The first question:


Precisely because of that. Not knowing, they don't hesitate; not knowing, they have nothing to say really, so they can go on spinning; not knowing, they can use language more perfectly. If you know, language is always a barrier; rather than a help it is a hindrance. When you know, you have to be constantly aware because whatsoever you are saying is not that which you know -- there is great distance between the two. Sometimes that which you say goes directly opposite to that which you know.

A blind man can talk very easily about light, there is no problem. He has no experience to put into words. Words are empty, so he can go on throwing them out. Of course, he can talk only to another blind man -- no man with eyes will be deceived. People who are not enlightened can go on talking to people who are not enlightened... the blind can lead the blind. And, of course, they can argue as well.

Truth is not arguable, truth is not provable. There is no way to prove it, there is no way to logically propose it -- it is at the most a seduction. You can seduce a person towards truth but you cannot convince him. Truth is very paradoxical, absurd. A man who does not know what truth is, is more logical, because that which disturbs all logic has not happened yet.

You can talk more easily about love if you have not loved. If you have loved then you will find a difficulty at each step. How to express it? How to say the unsayable? The experience is ineffable; it is so vast it cannot be contained in small words. No container can contain it.

The man who knows, hesitates. Lao Tzu says, 'Everybody seems to be very certain except me.' He says, 'I hesitate as a man who, coming to an ice-bound river, stands on the bank, thinks twice -- and then walks very, very carefully. Everybody is walking so confidently.'

Blindness is very confident because it cannot see anything; you can walk into a wall with tremendous confidence. Because he sees things, a man who has eyes cannot walk with as much confidence as a blind man.

All great mystics are unconvincing. By the very nature of things they have to be. You can find a thousand and one flaws in their statements -- and they themselves know that the flaws are there. For them it was just a necessary evil to speak. They had to speak. They would have avoided it if it had been possible.

When Buddha became enlightened he remained silent for seven days... this is a beautiful story from the Buddhist scriptures. The gods in heaven became very much worried. It happens rarely that a man becomes a Buddha and even more rarely that a man becomes not only a Buddha but capable of being a Master also -- this is even more rare. Many people become Buddhas but only a few of them become Masters. The others remain silent. When they have attained, they fall into deep silence.

This man, Gautam Siddhartha, had become enlightened and he had all the capacities to become one of the greatest Masters in the world. The gods were right. We know what happened -- he became one of the greatest Masters in the world. In fact, no other Master is comparable. More people attained to enlightenment through him than anybody else. It seems difficult to surpass him.

The gods were right. They came down to the earth and they went to see Buddha who was sitting under his Bodhi tree. They argued with him and they tried to persuade him that he had to speak. They challenged his compassion. Aud Buddha said, 'I have been thinking about it myself but it seems futile. Firstly, if I speak, nobody will understand. Secondly, whatsoever I speak will not be the truth, will not be the hundred per cent truth. It will be untrue in many ways -- because that which I have known cannot be reduced to a linguistic form. It is formless. I have got the taste of it but to assert it seems impossible.

And even if I try and even if I succeed, who is going to understand it? They will not understand. I know perfectly well that they will not understand because if, when I was ignorant, somebody had talked to me in the way that I would be talking to them, I myself would not have understood. It will look absurd. It is absurd. So why bother? I will keep quiet and disappear into the great nothingness.'

Then the gods thought about it, brooded over it, and they said, 'But there are a few who will understand. There are always a few, very few, but they will understand. Yes, if you speak to ten thousand people maybe only one will understand -- but even for that one you have to speak.'

And Buddha said, 'That one will become enlightened even without my speaking. One who is alert enough to understand me will be able sooner or later to reach by himself, so why bother?'

The gods were at a loss. Now what to say to this man? They brooded again. Throughout the whole night they thought and meditated and in the morning they came again and said, 'You are right, but still you have to speak because there are a few who are just on the verge. If you don't speak they will not understand, they will not move. If you speak, they will move. You are right, there are a few who will move on their own -- but just think of this: if out of one million people even one is standing at the boundary and will not take courage to move without you? why not speak for him? If even one man becomes enlightened out of your whole life's effort, it is worth it.'

And Buddha had to concede to the gods. He spoke.

He was so reluctant, he was so resistant.

Yes, it is difficult to speak when you know, and it is very easy to speak when you don't know what you are speaking about. Then the brain goes on functioning like a mechanism, like a robot. It is a tape. To relay information is easy; to relay wisdom is very arduous.

That's why the people who are not enlightened can go on talking with so much apparent inside knowledge.

Enlightenment is neither inside nor outside. All inside-outside division happens before enlightenment. When enlightenment happens there is nothing inside, nothing outside. In fact, when enlightenment happens there is nothing; ignorance and nothing...

enlightenment. The day you become enlightened the whole existence becomes enlightened with you -- at least, your existence. Your vision of the existence becomes enlightened.

Inside knowledge is again fabrication -- all knowledge is fabrication. Man has been- satisfying himself with knowledge. There is a hunger, a deep thirst, a great search to know God, to know truth, but it seems to be so difficult to reach it that we satisfy ourselves with knowledge. If somebody gives us knowledge we hold it, we cherish it, we keep it inside. Down the centuries that knowledge has by and by become very intricate, very complex, very esoteric. Enlightenment is very simple, childlike; knowledge is very complex. It has to be. It is a cunning invention of man.

When you listen to an enlightened person he is stating simple truths, he is stating very simple truths; he is not talking about great philosophies. He is very factual. In fact, he is not talking about anything; he is simply indicating it. Says Buddha, 'Buddhas only show the path, they don't talk about the goal.' You have to walk -- and walking, one day it happens to you. Only on the day that it happens to you will you be able to know that all knowledge is a fabrication out of cunning and clever minds and all understanding is very simple, childlike, very primitive.

The second question:


It looks exactly like Zen but it is not and cannot be.

Bergson is a philosopher, a great philosopher, but he has no experience. He talks about intuition, talks profoundly and goes into its very intricate depth, but all that he says comes through the intellect. Even his talk about intuition is intellectual. You can talk from the head about the heart -- remember that possibility. You can think that you are feeling but it will just be thinking. Man is so subtle and such a deceiver. You can talk from the head about the heart, you can think about feelings, you can be very logical about love.

Bergson had great appeal because he was talking about intuition. He was anti-intellect.

But all that he says is intellectual. The intuition is not his experience.

Zen insists on existential experience. You will find many things which appear to be like Zen but you will never find anything that is REALLY like Zen. It may be apparently so, but intrinsically it is not. On the surface it may be so, yes, the container may be the same -- but the content is absolutely different.

William Barrett recalls that a friend of his went to see Martin Heidegger, the great German philosopher. When he went to see him Martin Heidegger was reading one of Suzuki's books. The friend naturally enquired about his interest in Suzuki and Zen, and the philosopher said, 'If I understand this man correctly this is what I have been. trying to say in all my writings.'

But Martin Heidegger is again thinking, philosophising, theorising. He is a great philosopher -- just like Bergson, even more fundamental than Bergson, very profound in his writings, depths upon depths open -- but he is far away from any satori or samadhi, he is far away from any enlightenment.

And sometimes he will behave as foolishly as any ordinary human being. When Adolf Hitler became very, very powerful Heidegger became one of his supporters. A Buddha supporting Adolf Hitler? Impossible! This Martin Heidegger became a fascist. He behaved like an ordinary man with no understanding and no insight.

These are the moments when you see it is very easy to talk about great things, but to show your understanding in your day-to-day life.... How wondrous to carry fuel, how wondrous to draw water -- into small things that understanding has to penetrate. Your ordinary life has to become luminous, your every moment has to become a light unto itself.

All that profundity was meaningless, proved futile, was not really there. He was as much a fanatic German as any other German. The others can be forgiven but not Martin Heidegger.

It happened exactly like that here. Indira Gandhi was slowly, slowly turning into a dictator and Acharya Vinoba Bhave was supporting her. He was interpreting her dictatorship as a great experiment in discipline: a great age had started, the age of discipline.

You can interpret dictatorship as discipline very easily, and in this, Vinoba Bhave showed his insight -- he had none.

Remember, you have to watch people's being, not what they philosophise about.

Philosophies don't go anywhere, they are just verbal games in the mind.

On his deathbed Carl Gustav Jung was reading a book by Charles Luk: CH'AN AND ZEN TEACHINGS. It was the last book he read, it was the book he died with. Before his death he expressly asked his secretary to write to the author, Charles Luk, and to tell him that he was very enthusiastic. He said, 'Tell Charles Luk that when I read what Hsu Yun said I felt as if I myself could have said exactly that. It was just it.'

But again this was just an intellectual understanding. Jung was not a meditator. He was a great analyst, a great observer of the human mind, a great explorer into myth, into the unconscious, but he was not a meditator at all. In fact, he avoided all kinds of meditation; deep down he was afraid of meditation.

When he came to India, Raman Maharshi was alive but Jung would not go to see him.

Many people told him, 'You are a searcher into the depth of human beings and here is a man whom we call Bhagwan. As you have come to India you go to him, otherwise you will miss a Buddha. You go and you look into him, have a little taste of his air, of what light he lives in. You think about Buddha, you think about Lao Tzu, you think about Christ -- why not go to Raman Maharshi?'

But he avoided him. He went to see the Taj Mahal but would not go to see Raman.

My feeling is that if Buddha had been alive he would not have gone to see even Buddha.

Or if Jesus had been alive he would not have gone to see him. Why? What was the fear?

It was a deep fear; he was afraid of the East itself In the West he had been propounding that the West should not learn Eastern ways such as yoga, tantra, Zen. Throughout his whole life he had been propounding that the West should not learn Eastern ways because the Western mind is totally different, the orientation is different -- Eastern ideas could disturb the whole Western psyche.

He never meditated. And he was very afraid of death. Not only of death, he was even very afraid of a dead body. He wanted to go to Egypt to see the ancient mummies -- that was a long-time desire of his. At least seven times he booked a flight and seven times he cancelled it. Once, the last time, he even went to the airport, but he finally came back. He had become afraid even of seeing ancient dead bodies -- because that reminded him of his own death, that reminded him of what was going to happen to his body. It created great anxiety.

Now this man could read about Zen, could even be convinced about its truth, could even feel intellectually en rapport with it, could even say 'I felt I could have said exactly what Hsu Yun said. This is it.' But Hsu Yun's statement 'This is it' is an existential statement and if Carl Gustav Jung says it, it will be a philosophical statement, it will be like a blind man talking about light.

These are logicians. They are very, very rational people but not very reasonable.

Remember, to be rational does not mean that you are reasonable. The very fact that a rational person is rational means he cannot be reasonable -- because to be reasonable means to allow space to be unreasonable also. To be reasonable means to accept the paradox of life. To be reasonable means not to ask only for life -- death is also there, accept it. And don't think only of God -- the Devil is also there, accept him. And light is there and so is darkness -- accept both.

A reasonable man is a great acceptance, a great receptivity. He does not carry any prejudice in his mind; he does not have any pre-suppositions in his mind. His mind is open, utterly open. A rational man is not so open. He is clever in logic -- but logic is a man-made thing, logic is manufactured by us. Logic is only half of our brain, the other half remains starved.

I am not saying that the other half is meditation, remember. One half is logic, the other half is illogic. When you go beyond both, when you transcend both, there is meditation.

Remember, thinking is not meditation, neither is feeling. Thinking is half, feeling is half.

When thinking and feeling disappear into one unity, they are not. Now you cannot call them thinking or feeling, they have transcended both, they are something more than both, something new has been born. The whole is not the sum total of its parts. When the whole is born, the parts disappear into something new, something absolutely new.

Here in the world of transcendence, two plus two is five, not four. In the ordinary world, two plus two is four; in the world of meditation, wholeness, totality, two plus two is five, never four -- because the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Something new arises.

When you put the clock together, the 'tick' arises. When you take the parts apart, the 'tick'

disappears. That 'tick' is the transcendental thing, that 'tick' is life, that 'tick' is meditation, that 'tick' ultimately is God.

Logic cannot give you that 'tick'. Logic is a prostitute -- always remember. Logic can go with anybody -- anybody who is ready to pay. Logic is sophistry. You can use logic for God, you can use the same logic against God. You can use logic for meditation and you can use the same logic against meditation. Logic has no love, logic has no sincerity.

Logic is very insincere.

In Greek philosophy there was a long time when the Sophists prevailed. They were real logicians, they were pure logicians, liars. They said, 'We don't say what truth is. You tell me what truth is and we can prove it,' And if your antagonist came to them and said, 'This is the truth and I will pay you more,' they would prove that also.

Listen to this small anecdote.

G. E. Chesterton is credited with the story of the wily bandit who was finally captured by the king's troopers. The king, a man fond of games and riddles and a very, very well- known logician, posed this problem to the bandit, 'You may make one statement. If you tell the truth in it you will be shot, if you lie you will be hanged.'

Now this is what is called a dilemma!

The king said, 'If you tell the truth in it you will be shot. Make one statement, a single statement. If you lie you will be hanged.'

And the bandit confounded him -- because he was also a logician -- with this reply, 'I am going to be hanged.'

Do you get it? If it is true, it is difficult because the king has said, 'If you tell the truth in it you will be shot.' If it is true that he is going to be hanged, he would have to be shot -- but then his statement becomes untrue. If it is untrue, if it is a lie -- because the king has said, 'If you lie you will be hanged' -- if it is untrue then he has to be hanged. But then it becomes a truth.

Logic is such. It is a game. Never depend on logic, never rely on philosophy. Man's excessive reliance on logic and philosophy has destroyed all possibilities of religion.

Religion is more than logic, more than philosophy.

Zen is pure religion, It is an experience. It is an invitation to fall into existence, to dance with existence -- that's what medita-tion is. For a moment you disappear, you become part of this great dance. For a moment you are no longer yourself, you become the self of the whole. Yes, in the beginning it is only for a moment that a ray enters and the darkness disappears and you are in the dance -- in the same dance as the stars and the planets and the sun and the moon, in the same dance in which seasons move and spring comes and flowers bloom. For a single moment you enter the same dance. Then by and by you become more and more aware of the possibility that you can slip into it more and more.

Then you become more slippery, then again and again you slip into it, more and more.

Then one day you start abiding in it. Then you are no more and for the first time you are.

Never be deceived by Bergson or Martin Heidegger or Carl Gustav Jung.

The third question:


For survival.

A child is helpless, he cannot survive on his own. This helplessness has been exploited for centuries. We have oppressed children as we have oppressed nobody else. Yes, labourers have been oppressed, but not as much; yes, women have been oppressed, but not as much as children. Children are the longest oppressed class of people and it seems very difficult to make them free of parents. It seems almost impossible.

The child is so fragile he cannot exist on his own. You Can exploit this. You can force the child to learn anything you want him to -- that's what B. F. Skinner goes on doing in his lab. He teaches pigeons to play ping-pong, but the trick is the same: reward and punishment. If they play they are rewarded; if they don't play, if they are reluctant, they are punished. If they make a right move they are rewarded, given food; if they make a wrong move they are given an electric shock. Even pigeons start learning ping-pong.

That's what has always been done in the circus. You can go and see. Even lions, beautiful lions, are caged, and elephants are moving according the whip of the ring-master. They have been starved and then they are rewarded -- punished and rewarded -- This is the whole trick.

What you do in the circus with the animals you go on doing with your children. But you do it very unconsciously because it has been done to you; this is the only way you know how to train and bring up children. This is what you call 'bringing up'. In fact, it is bringing down, it is forcing them into a lower existence rather than bringing them up to a higher existence. These are all Skinnerian tricks and techniques -- because of them we voluntarily start repressing ourselves and adopt crippling defense mechanisms.

A child does not know what is right and what is wrong. We teach him. We teach him according to our mind. The same thing may be right in Tibet and wrong in India; the same thing may be right in your house and wrong in your neighbour's house. But you force it onto the child: this is right, you have to do it. The child gets approval when he does it and gets disapproval when he does not do it. When he follows you, you are happy and you pat the child; when he does not follow you, you are angry and you torture the child, you beat the child, you starve the child, you don't give your love to him.

Naturally the child starts understanding that his survival is at stake. If he listens to this mother and this father all is okay; if not, they will kill him. And what can the child do?

How can he assert himself against these powerful people? They loom large. They are huge and very big and very powerful and they can do anything.

By the time the child becomes powerful he is already conditioned. Then the conditioning has gone so deep in him that now there is no need for the father and mother to follow him. The inner conditioning, what they call the conscience, will go on torturing him.

For example, if the child starts playing with his genitals -- which is a joy to children, a natural joy, because the child's body is very sensitive -- it is not sexual at all in the sense that you use sexuality. The child is really very, very alive and naturally when the child is alive his genitals are more alive than other parts of the body. That is where life energy accumulates -- it is the most sensitive part. Touching and playing with the genitals the child feels tremendously happy -- but you are afraid. It is your problem. You start being afraid that he is masturbating or something. It is nothing. It is sheer joy at playing with one's body. It is not masturbation or anything, it is loving one's body.

It is your guilt, your fear. Somebody may see that your son is doing this and what will they think of how you are bringing up your children? Make them civilised. Teach them something. So you stop it, you shout at the child. You say 'Stop!' again and again and again. And by and by the conscience arises. Stop, stop, stop -- it goes deeper, deeper, deeper, and becomes an unconscious part of the child.

Now there is no need for you. When he starts playing with his genitals something from the inside will say 'Stop!' And he will become afraid -- maybe the father is looking or the mother is looking -- and he will feel guilty. And then we teach him that there is a God Father who is always looking, everywhere, even in the bathroom. He goes on looking everywhere.

This concept of God cripples. Then you are not free even in your bathroom. Nowhere are you free. That omnipotent God follows you like a detective wherever you are. When you are making love to a woman he is standing there. He won't allow you. He is a super- policeman -- in addition to the conscience that the parents have created.

That's why Buddha says that unless you kill your parents you will never become free.

Killing the parents means killing the voice of the parent inside you, killing the conscience inside you, dropping these nonsense ideas and starting to live your own life according to your own consciousness. Remember, consciousness has to be more and conscience has to be less. By and by conscience has to disappear completely and pure consciousness has to be lived.

Consciousness is the law -- let consciousness be the only law. Then whatsoever you feel, it is your life. You have to decide. It is nobody else's life; nobody else has any right to decide.

I am not saying that you will always be doing right -- sometimes you will do wrong. But that too is part of your freedom and part of your growth. Many times you will go astray but that is perfectly all right -- going astray is a way of coming back home. A person who never goes astray never comes home, he is already dead. A person who never does anything wrong never enjoys doing anything right. He is just a slave. A mental slavery is created.

A human child is dependent on his parents for a long time -- at least twenty-one to twenty-five years. It is a long time, one third of his whole life. For one third of his whole life he is being conditioned. Just think -- twenty-five years of conditioning! Anything can be forced on him.

And once you learn these tricks it is very difficult to forget them. That's why it is so difficult to take a jump into reality, that's why it is so difficult to become a sannyasin.

Sannyas just means taking a jump out of the social structure around you, taking a drastic step -- because you cannot get out of it slowly, slowly. You take a quantum leap, you risk all. You simply get out of it as if the house is on fire -- it is on fire -- and you start living your life. Of course, in the beginning it will be very, very shaky, you will tremble many times because naturally you will be against your parents, you will be against the society.

Society is your parents' writ large; your parents were nothing but agents of this society. It is all a conspiracy -- the parents, the teachers, the policeman, the magistrate, the president -- it is all a conspiracy, they are all together. And they are all holding the future of all children.

Once you have learned, unlearning becomes very difficult because after twenty-five years of constant repetition you are completely hypnotised. A de-hypnosis is needed; you have to drop all this conditioning.

Yes, it is simply survival, the need to survive. The child wants to live, that's why. He starts compromising. He bargains. Anybody will bargain when there is a question of life and death. If you are dying in a desert and somebody has water and you are thirsty and you are dying, he can ask any price. He can say 'Crawl and kiss my feet' and you will crawl and kiss his feet. He can manage anything, he can force anything upon you. That's what we have done up to now with children.

I'm not saying that you should go and kill your father and mother. They were victims just as you are victims. They were victims of their society, of their parents. And those parents were again victims in their own turn -- it is a long, vicious chain.

So I am not saying make your parents feel guilty. Feel compassion for them also because they are in the same boat as you are. In fact, you are in a far better situation -- at least you have beard that something different is possible, at least there is a slight opening of the door, at least there is a little awareness that you can act out of it. That was not possible for your parents because they went to a church, they went to a temple, they went to the Pope, they went to the SHANKARACHARYA -- and you have come to me. That is the difference.

The church, the Pope, is in the service of society; Jesus was not, remember. Jesus was not a church, I am not a church, Buddha was not a church. When Buddha was alive and people went to him, they were fortunate. When Buddhism became a church it started serving society. Once religion starts serving society, once religion becomes an establishment, it is no longer religion, it is politics. The church, the temple, the mosque, are in the service of the society. Mohammed was not, neither was the ADI SHANKARACHARYA, the original SHANKARACHARYA -- but these SHANKARACHARYAS of Puri and others are in the service of society.

Just a few days ago a doctor wrote a letter to me from Poona. Somehow he persuaded one of the SHANKARACHARYAS -- there are four SHANKARACHARYAS, for four directions; I don't know which one he persuaded -- he persuaded one of the SHANKARACHARYAS to come to see me. Of course, he must have come very reluctantly. But the doctor must have been powerful. The SHANKARACHARYA must have been staying at the doctor's house so somehow the doctor managed it.

He brought him to the gate, and while the doctor was talking to Sant, the SHANKARACHARYA saw a sannyasin come by holding hands with another sannyasin -- a man and a woman -- very lovingly walking by. And he became furious and he said, 'Take me away from here immediately. What is going on? What is this? Is this religion?'

War is okay, war is religion, but love is not okay. If two persons are killing each other it is perfectly okay -- it may be a 'JIHAD', it may be a religious war -- but if two persons are kissing each other, impossible! This cannot be tolerated!

He said, 'Immediately take me away from here. I don't want to see this man. Look at what his disciples are doing. They will destroy the whole 'society!'

Precisely! That is what we are trying to do.We want to destructure it. And I am all for love and all against war.

In the scriptures war is praised but love is never praised -- because war is in the service of society and love is not in the service of society. Love is the most dangerous thing, love is the most rebellious thing. Lovers become anti-social -- you can watch it. If two persons are in love they look into each other and they forget the whole world. They are anti- social. Love in itself is anti-social. They are so absorbed in each other that they don't bother about anything else. They will not go to the polling station to vote -- who bothers?

They will not go to listen to the prime minister. They will not even bother to read the newspaper. It is the same, the same crap every day. They will use that time in singing, dancing, loving -- or they will simply sit and look at the stars.

Their eyes are full of a totally different kind of energy, a different quality of energy. They are no longer here in this world, they have been transported.

Love has always been dangerous for society, so society has killed it; in subtle ways it has destroyed it. And it has left man completely loveless. This loveless man is very easily forced, he can be forced into anything. You can easily make a loveless person afraid.

Watch the mechanism: if you are in love nobody can make you afraid. Love has a fearlessness to it. But if you are not in love you are already in fear; without love there is only death and nothing else. Only love transcends death, only love is immortal -- everything else on this earth is mortal.

That SHANKARACHARYA became very, very angry. This anger shows many things.

First, he must be very sexually repressed. Otherwise why get angry when a man holds the hand of a woman? She is not your woman. Why get angry? What has it to do with you?

And what is wrong in it? This is repressed sexuality. He must have become afraid inside himself, it is his own obsession. The young man had touched his obsession.

These people are in the service of the establishment and naturally the establishment helps them in every way. It is bound to. People like me cannot be helped by the establishment.

We are not in conspiracy with them. In fact, that they allow us to live is a miracle. It must be because now it is very difficult to kill a person in the way that they crucified Jesus or poisoned Socrates.

Man has grown a little bit, man's consciousness has become a little more alert, man is more aware. This is the twentieth century. But they do all they can to hinder and to obstruct.

WHY DO WE VOLUNTARILY REPRESS OURSELVES AND ADOPT CRIPPLING DEFENSE MECHANISMS? It is not voluntary. It looks as if it is voluntary because by the time you become alert it is almost inside your blood and bones. But it is not voluntary, no child ever learns anything voluntarily -- it is forced, it is violent.

You can watch any child. Every child resists, every child fights to the very end, every child creates trouble for the parents, every child tries hard this way and that to escape from this crippling mechanism. But finally the parents get hold of him, because they are more powerful. It is simply a question of the powerful and the powerless.

And so it is not unnatural that when children are grown-up they start taking revenge on the parents. That reaction is natural. It is very difficult to forgive your parents -- that's why all societies teach you to respect them. If you cannot forgive them at least respect them; if you cannot love them, at Least respect them. But that respect is formal, bogus.

Deep down you remain angry.

If what I am saying is heard, if what I am saying becomes prevalent in the world some day, then children will really love their parents, then children will be really in tune with their parents because the parents will not be enemies to them, they will be friends.

The fourth question:


Let go.

Life reveals itself most plainly when you don't clutch at it, when you don't cling to it, when you don't hoard, when you are not a miser, when you are loose and ready to lose, when your fist is not closed, when your hand is open.

Life reveals itself most plainly when you do not clutch at it -- either with your feelings or with your thoughts. Touch and go -- that is the secret, the whole secret, the whole art.

Everything kept goes stale -- everything, I say. Hoard and you kill it, hoard and it stinks.

The reason is that whatever is momentous, living and moving, is momentary. By hoarding you want to make it permanent.

You love a woman, you love a man -- and you want to possess it, you want it to be permanent. It can be eternal but it cannot be permanent. Understand it. Try to understand it. It is momentary but if you live the moment in a total let-go, it is eternal. A moment lived totally in a relaxed state of mind is eternity. But you don't live in the moment and you don't know what eternity is, so you want to make it permanent, you want it to last for tomorrow also, for the day-after-tomorrow, for the coming year and maybe the coming life. You want to hoard it.

These three words are very important: momentary, permanent, eternal. In ordinary dictionaries the meaning of eternal seems to be forever and forever. That is wrong. That is not the meaning of eternal, that is the meaning of permanent. Then permanence becomes eternity. It is not. Eternity is not a duration, eternity is the depth in the moment.

Eternity is part of the momentary, it is not against the momentary -- the permanent is against the momentary. If you go deep into the moment, drop into the momentary, dissolve totally and utterly into it, you have a taste of eternity. Each moment lived totally and relaxedly is eternity lived. Eternity is always present; now is part of eternity, not part of time.

Let go -- as a leaf goes with the stream.

Basho sings:




A tremendous statement. This is the beauty of Zen people -- you will not find it anywhere else. This is something unique to Zen. Ordinarily religious preachers and priests will be saying that life is fleeting, life is going by, life is slipping by. They create a desire in you to hoard, they create a greed in you. And they create a greed for the other world: heaven, paradise, nirvana, whatsoever it is. This life is fleeting. Before it goes, use this time and hoard something in the other world -- some virtue, some PUNYA.

Says Basho:




And, same guy:








Let this sentence sink into you: ITS SHORT COMPLETE LIFE. Short but complete. The morning glory is loved very much by Zen people and the reason is that it opens in the morning and by the evening it is gone. In the morning it was there, so beautiful, so authentic, so real, and by the evening the flower has faded, dropped into the earth, ready to disappear.

The morning glory is an exact symbol for life .When the morning glory blooms, in that small life, in that short span, it is complete, it is total. It lacks nothing. Those few moments are enough. Eternity is touched.

You live for seventy years but you don't live. A hoarder never lives, a miser never lives.


Dogen said to his Master, I have experienced the dropping of the body and the mind.'

Master Nayojo exclaimed, 'Then for what are you waiting now? Drop this too.'

There was a slight hesitation on Dogen's part; he could not understand. So the Master hit him hard on the head -- and Dogen laughed. He got it. He prostrated himself before his Master and the Master said, 'That is dropping dropped.'

'That is dropping dropped.' This is utter relaxation, this is utter let-go. Even nirvana is dropped, even God is dropped, even spirituality is dropped, even meditation is dropped.

Meditation is perfect when meditation is dropped. You have arrived when you have even forgotten about enlightenment. This is total relaxation; this is let-go.

Just before he passed away, at the age of sixty, Bashui sat up in the lotus posture and to those gathered around him said, 'Don't be misled. Look directly. What is this?' He repeated this very loudly again, and then again, and then laughed, relaxed, collapsed and died.

He is showing utter relaxation to his disciples -- this is let-go. 'Don't be misled. Look directly. What is this?' The Master is dying. They must have become very alert. They thought he was going to die but suddenly he sat up in a lotus posture. This was unexpected. They may have been dozing but now they could not doze any more.What was he doing, this old man? Then he shouted really loud three times. 'Look directly.

Don't be misled. What is this?' And laughed, relaxed, collapsed and died.

Dying in such a relaxed way and living in such a relaxed way is what Zen is -- the whole secret, the whole art.

The sixth question:



Never heard of any.

The seventh question:


Because right now you are not yourself. If I wake you up somebody else may be awakened.

Listen to this anecdote.

A travelling salesman in a big Southern city is looking for a hotel in which to spend the night. It is dusk and he has had a hard day and every hotel he tries is full. He walks and walks and finally in desperation tries one down in the slums which has a sign over the door: 'For Coloureds only'.

The manager refuses him saying 'Yeah, we got de room but we ain't going to rent to no white honky bastard.'

The guy leaves, walks for miles, but can't find a single hotel with a room so he gets an idea; He buys a tin of black shoe polish, goes into a men's room and applies it liberally to his hands and face. Then he goes back to the hotel and says, 'Hey brother, you gots any rooms?'

The manager gives him a room and he falls into a grateful exhausted sleep after having told the manager to be sure to wake him promptly at six as he has a plane to catch at seven.

In the morning there is a rap on the door and the manager sticks his head in saying, 'Get up, get up, it is quarter to seven. I done forgot to wake you.'

The guy grabs his suitcase, scrambles into a taxi, curses all the way to the airport and arrives with three minutes to spare. He grabs his boarding pass and heads for the gate only to be stopped by the stewardess who cries, 'No niggers on this plane!'

'But I am not a nigger! I am not a nigger!' yells the man. 'Look I will show you.' And he dashes to the men's room and frantically scrubs his hands and face. But the black won't come off. He scrubs and scrubs and then, looking in the mirror, he suddenly moans, 'Oh, my God! They must have woken up the wrong man!'

So wait a little. Everything in its right moment. Don't be in a hurry and don't be impatient.

It has happened many times that a man is accidentally wakened up. Then he goes mad, he is bound to go mad. He will not be able to absorb that much. Sometimes it has happened.

There are many people around the world, even at this moment, who are mad because they stumbled upon something which they were not yet ready to absorb. Sufis know about them.

In India they are called MASTAS, mad people -- very beautiful people but very disoriented. The world is gone, the old nightmare is no more, but the dawn has not happened either. The night is over and the morning has not come and they are just hanging in-between in a kind of limbo.

A right season and a right moment -- the Master has to be looking constantly for when the right moment comes. Only then it is possible, otherwise your nervous system will not be able to absorb it. It will be too much of an explosion, it will throw you into bits.

Unless awakening happens into integration, it is meaningless. Just being awake is not going to help, it has to become an integration too. You should be awake and you should become centred too. If your awakening shatters you and you fall into pieces and you lose your togetherness it will not be of much help, it will not be of any value.

In fact, the old stage is better because then you could have struggled, you could have tried -- now you cannot even try.

One of the great Masters of this century, Meher Baba, worked for these mad people for many years. He travelled all over India. That was one of the rarest of works any Master has ever done -- to go in search of these mad people. They cannot do anything on their own now, they have lost all reason. They cannot do anything on their own. Their ego is shattered but the egolessness has not arrived yet. They are simply in a negative state, not knowing who they are, not knowing where they are, not knowing what they are doing.

Meher Baba travelled all over India, from one village to another village, searching for these people -- and he found many and helped many. Only a Master can help these people because they are completely and utterly helpless; they are like children. You have to feed them. They will be eating there and they will defecate there, in the same place. They will lie down there and go to sleep. They don't know what is what. Either they have to be pulled back to the normal so that they can start their journey again or some Master has to go and help them and try to pull them up. But things become difficult, more complicated.

Never be impatient. Trust life. Go. in deep trust. Everything is bound to happen whenever the right moment comes. There is no need to hanker for it.

The eighth question:


The question is from Neeravo.

There is no need to elaborate. You heard absolutely rightly. That's how it is. It is a simple fact.

We go on projecting, we go on seeing things which we want to see. We never allow reality to be as it is. We never allow that which is to be mirrored in us. We go on carrying thoughts, desires, ideas, and we project them.

And in love that happens more because in love you are almost on a psychedelic trip. Love is psychedelic; some kind of inner LSD is released, some hormones are released, some chemical things change inside you. You are affected by those chemical changes and you start seeing things. You become a visionary, a dreamer. And the person you fall in love with may not have anything to do with it. He may be just a screen. But then you are bound for trouble.

In love that happens with such unconsciousness that it creates misery -- that's why there is so much misery in the world. Before love can really happen one has to become very, very meditative. One has to become so alert that there is no longer any cloud in the eyes and you can see persons as they are.

But before you can see persons as they are you will have to see yourself as you are. The first step has to be taken in self-awareness, self-remembering -- only then will you not project. And when the projector stops working, functioning, you see the person as he is.

Then there is never frustration -- because you already know. You see the person through and through. If you decide to be with him it is your decision, knowingly done, deliberately done, consciously taken. You know what is going to happen. All is mirrored in you. Then there is no frustration.

Frustration is out of expectation; expectation is our projection. All kinds of love frustrate unless love is based in meditation.

The ninth question:


All trips are head trips. Trips as such are of the head. The heart goes nowhere, it knows no journey, no pilgrimage. It is simply herenow.

When all trips dissolve, you reach. Trips take you away, away from the reality that is. So wherever you are going, you are going with the help of the head. The head is the horse.

Wherever you want to go -- to Delhi or to Washington or to heaven, it does not matter -- the head is the horse, it takes you everywhere. It takes you everywhere except that place where you are. If you want to be there where you are you have to kill this horse, you have to slay this horse, you have to be a murderer of the mind.

You have to be without a head. Head dropped, mind no longer functioning, where can you go? You are herenow, and that's what God is, what nirvana is.

The tenth question:


This is a really nasty question! I love you all right but I cannot like you because I cannot dislike you.

Like and dislike are part of a dual mind, part of duality -- when one chooses. Like and dislike are part of choice. I don't choose. I love you but I cannot say I like you because I cannot say I dislike anybody. Like and dislike go together. If I have to like somebody I will have to dislike somebody too, there will always be a price.

The question is from Rakesh. If I love Rakesh I will have no trouble with anybody else, I can love all, I can love the whole of existence. Loving Rakesh is non-competitive; loving Rakesh I do not have to deny anybody else from my love. Love is so vast it can contain all.

But 'like' is very narrow. If I like Rakesh I will have to dislike Big Prem -- because it is difficult to choose the husband and wife both. No, I don't like, I don't dislike. I love you, certainly I love you.

The eleventh question:






The question is from Satprem.



This is the truth. WHAT IS, IS. That's all that is meant by truth.




A dog thinks a tree is a toilet!

And the last question:


Whenever I am serious know well I am joking and whenever I am joking know well I am serious.

I joke only because the thing is so serious that it is the only way to say it. Otherwise it will be too hard, it will hit too hard. And I am not violent.

Yes, I can understand your trouble. I confuse you.

Abraham Lincoln used to tell this joke about himself. He was known as the buffoon president in America in his day.

Two Amish ladies were talking. 'Who do you think will win the war?' asked the first. 'The South,' replied her friend. 'Why?' 'Because I hear Jefferson Davis is a praying man 'But old Abraham is a praying man too.' 'Yes. But the Lord will think old Abe is joking.'

Yes, that is my trouble with God too. Sometimes I cannot even convince God that I am serious, so what about you? It is natural.

But I give you this pointer: whenever I am joking you can be certain I must be serious and whenever I am serious you can be certain I must be joking.

Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 1

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