This too will pass
The first question:
IN SPITE OF DREADFUL POLITICAL CATASTROPHES, POLITICAL ACTION SEEMS TO BE THE ONLY MEANS TO FIGHT AGAINST INJUSTICE IN THE WORLD.
DOES THE SEARCH YOU ARE INSPIRING EXCLUDE POLITICAL ACTION?
Jean-Francois Held, I am in love with life in its totality. My love excludes nothing; it includes all. Yes, political action too is included in it. That's the worst thing to include, but I can't help it! But everything that is included in my vision of life is included with a difference.
In the past, man has lived without awareness in all the aspects of life. He has loved without awareness and failed in it, and love has brought only misery and nothing else.
He has done all kinds of things in the past, but everything has proved a hell. So has been the case with political action.
Each revolution turns into antirevolution. It is time we should understand how this happens, why this happens at all - that each revolution, each struggle against injustice, finally turns into injustice itself, becomes antirevolutionary.
In this century it has happened again and again - I am not talking about a faraway past.
It happened in Russia, it happened in China. It is going to happen if we continue to function in the same old way. Unawareness cannot bring more than that.
When you are powerless, it is easy to fight against injustice; the moment you become powerful, you forget all about injustice. Then repressed desires to dominate assert themselves. Then your unconscious takes over, and you start doing the same things that were done before by the enemies against whom you had been struggling. You had staked your very life for it!
Lord Acton says that power corrupts. It is true only in a sense, and in another sense it is absolutely untrue. It is true if you look at the surface of things: power certainly corrupts, whosoever becomes powerful becomes corrupted. Factually it is true, but if you dive deep into the phenomenon then it is not true.
Power does not corrupt: it is the corrupted people who become attracted towards power. It is the people who would like to do things which they cannot do while they are not in power. The moment they are in power, their whole repressed mind asserts itself.
Now there is nothing to bar them, nothing to prevent them; they have the power. Power does not corrupt them, it only brings their corruption to the surface. Corruption was there as a seed; now it has sprouted. The power has proved only the right season for it to sprout. Power is only the spring for the poisonous flowers of corruption and injustice in their being.
Power is not the cause of corruption, but only the opportunity for its expression. Hence I say: basically, fundamentally, Lord Acton is wrong.
Who becomes interested in politics? Yes, with beautiful slogans people go into it, but what happens to those people? Joseph Stalin was fighting against the injustice of the czar. What happened? He himself became the greatest czar the world has ever known, worse than Ivan the Terrible! Hitler used to talk about socialism. He had named his party the Nationalist Socialist Party. What happened to socialism when he came into power? All that disappeared.
The same thing had happened in India. Mahatma Gandhi and his followers were talking about nonviolence, love, peace - all the great values cherished down the ages.
And when power came he escaped. Mahatma Gandhi himself escaped because he became aware that if he took power in his hands he would no longer be the mahatma, the sage. And the followers who came into power were all proved as corrupted as anywhere else - and they were all good people before they were in power, great servants of the people. They had sacrificed much. They were not bad people in any way; in every possible way they were good people. But even good people turn into bad people - that is something fundamental to be understood.
I would like my sannyasins to live life in its totality, but with an absolute condition, categorical condition: and that condition is awareness, meditation. Go first deep into meditation, so you can cleanse your unconscious of all poisonous seeds, so there is nothing to be corrupted and there is nothing inside you which power can bring forth.
And then do whatsoever you feel like doing.
If you want to become a painter, become a painter. Your painting will have a difference; it won't be like Picasso. Picasso's paintings are insane - he IS insane! In fact, if he had been prevented from painting he would have been in a madhouse. Through his paintings he is catharting, throwing out his insanity onto the canvas, getting rid of it.
Yes, he feels better - it is a kind of vomiting! After vomiting you feel better, but what about others who look at your vomit! But the world is so stupid that if Picasso vomits, people say, "What a great painting - something never seen before, something unique!"
Vincent van Gogh really went insane, had to be hospitalized for one year, and then he committed suicide. And he was not more than thirty-seven. Now, what kind of paintings had this man been doing? Certainly he had the art, the skill, but the art and the skill were in the hands of a madman, suicidal. Watching his paintings you will feel restless, uneasy. Keep a Picasso painting in your bedroom and you will have nightmares!
A meditator can become a painter, but then something totally different will come out of him - something of the beyond, because he will be capable to receive God. He can become a dancer; his dance will have a new quality to it: it will allow the divine to be expressed. He can become a musician... or he can go into political action, but his political action will be rooted in meditation. Hence there will be no fear of a Joseph Stalin or Adolf Hitler or Mao Zedong coming out of it; that is impossible.
I don't tell anybody to go in a certain direction; I leave my disciples totally free. I simply teach them meditation. I teach them being more alert, more aware, and then it is up to them. Whatsoever their natural potential is they will find it, but it is going to be with awareness. Then there is no danger.
Jean-Francois Held, I am not against political action - I am not against anything. I am not life-negative; I affirm life, I am in absolute love with life!
And of course, when millions of people are on the earth, there is going to be some kind of politics or other. Politics cannot just disappear. It will be like dissolving the police, the post office, the railway - it will create a chaos.
And I am not an anarchist and I am not in favor of chaos. I want the world to be more beautiful, more harmonious, more of a cosmos than of a chaos. Sometimes I praise chaos, only in order to destroy that which is rotten. I praise destructiveness also, only in order to create. Yes, sometimes I am very negative - I am against conventions, conformities, traditions - only to make you free so that you can create new visions, new worlds, so that you need not remain imprisoned with the past, so that you can have a future and a present. But I am not destructive. My whole effort is to help you to be creative.
A few people out of my sannyasins are bound to go into political action, but I will allow them only when they have fulfilled the basic condition: when they are more alert, aware, when their inner being is full of light. Then do whatsoever you want to do - you can't bring harm to the world. You will bring something good, something beautiful; you will be a blessing to the world. Without it, without that awareness, even if you do something good, it is going to turn into something harmful.
Just a few days ago, Mother Teresa of Calcutta had received the Nobel Prize. Now this is something utterly stupid! The Nobel Prize Award Committee has never done anything so foolish before - but on the surface it looks beautiful. It is being praised all over the world, that they have done something great.
J. Krishnamurti has not received a Nobel Prize - and he is one of those rare human beings, those few of the buddhas, who are really laying the foundation for world peace.
And Mother Teresa has received the Nobel Prize for world peace. Now, I don't understand what she has done for world peace! George Gurdjieff didn't receive a Nobel Prize, and he was working hard to transform the inner core of human beings; Raman Maharshi didn't receive the Nobel Prize - because their work is invisible: their work is that of bringing more consciousness to people. When you bring bread to people it is visible, when you bring clothes to people it is visible, when you bring medicines to people it is visible. When you bring God to people, it is absolutely invisible.
Mother Teresa is doing something good on the surface only: serving the poor of Calcutta, the ill, the diseased, the old, the orphans, the widows, the lepers, the crippled, the blind. It is so obvious that she is doing something good! But basically what she is doing is consoling these people. And giving consolation to the poor, to the blind, to the lepers, to the orphans, is an antirevolutionary act. To console them means to help them remain adjusted with the society that exists, to remain attuned with the status quo.
What she is doing is antirevolutionary. But the governments are happy, the rich people are happy, the powerful people are happy, because she is really NOT serving the blind and the poor. She is serving the vested interests, she is serving the priests and the politicians and the powers; she is helping them to remain in their power. She is making, creating, an atmosphere in which the old can continue.
In India no revolution has ever happened against the powerful, the rich, the wealthy, for the simple reason that it is a so-called religious country; there are so many consolers.
Fifty lakhs of Hindu monks consoling people, giving them explanations why they are poor, why they are blind, why they are crippled: because of their past karmas! They have done something bad in their past lives, hence they are suffering. "Suffer silently, don't react," they go and teach these people, "because if you react, if you do something again, again you will suffer in your next life. Don't miss this opportunity, let the accounts be closed. This time behave in a good way!" And of course, to be a revolutionary is not something good! Be obedient - that is good - don't be disobedient.
Disobedience is evil, it is sin. The Christians call it the original sin.
What was the sin of Adam and Eve? - just because they had disobeyed God. There seems to be not much of a sin in it. Eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge is not a sin. Why should it be called the original sin? It is called the original sin because they disobeyed. To disobey is the greatest sin in the eyes of the priests.
For ten thousand years in India these priests and the monks have been teaching people, "Be obedient to the system that is in power. Don't disobey; otherwise you will suffer in your future." Hence no revolution has happened, and these monks and priests are praised very much.
Now Christian missionaries are doing the same all over the world: serving the poor, the crippled. They are telling these poor people, "Suffer silently - it may be a test for you that God has created. You have to pass through this fire, only then will you become pure gold." Christian missionaries are antirevolutionary.
And why are they serving these poor people? - because of greed! They want to get to paradise, and the only way to get to paradise is through service. Now sometimes I wonder what will happen if there is nobody who is crippled, blind, poor; what will happen to the Christian missionaries? How will they reach paradise? The very ladder will disappear! They will miss the boat, there will be no possibility to go to the other shore. These Christian missionaries would like the poverty to continue, they would like these poor people to remain on the earth. The more poor there are, the more opportunities to serve, and of course, more people can get to heaven.
Giving the Nobel Prize to Mother Teresa is giving the Nobel Prize to antirevolutionary acts.
But that's how it has always been happening: you praise those people who somehow confirm the old, the dead, who help the society to remain as it is.
My work is invisible. In fact, I am teaching you, in an indirect way, the greatest revolution possible. I am teaching you rebellion, and this rebellion is multidimensional:
wherever you will go, this rebellion will have its impact. If you go into poetry you will write rebellious poetry. If you go into music you will create a new kind of music. If you dance, your dance will have a different flavor. And if you go into politics, you will change the whole face of political action itself.
Jean-Francois Held, I am not against political action, but the way it has been up to now is utterly meaningless. Hence on the surface, nobody can see that I am involved in any political activity, nobody can see that I am involved in any kind of worldly activity.
I am teaching people to sit silently, watch their thoughts, get out of their minds. The stupid revolutionary will think that I am against political action, that I am a reactionary.
Just the reverse is the case. Out of his stupidity - although he may talk about revolution - what he is going to do is going to be reactionary. He will drag the society backwards.
I am not doing anything that can be called political, social: I am not for social reform or political action. At least on the surface I look like an escapist and I am helping people to escape. Yes, I am helping people to escape to themselves.
Escape from all kinds of unintelligent activities. First sharpen your intelligence. Let a great joy arise in you. Become more watchful, so much so that not even a corner in your being is dark anymore. Let your unconscious be transformed into consciousness.
Then do whatsoever you want to do. Then if you want to go to hell, go with my blessings, because you will be able to transform hell itself.
It is not that meditators go to heaven, no: wherever they go they are in heaven and whatsoever they do is divine. But this is such a new approach that it will take time to be understood. I am using such a different language that it is natural that I will be misunderstood.
A beatnik ran through a red light. The cop pulled him over and said, "Did you not see the red light?"
The beatnik replied, "Like, man, I did not even see the house!"
There are different languages!
As Harry was shaving one morning he called out, "You know, sweetheart, I don't seem to get along too well with the other fellows at the office."
There was no response.
"Darling, the boys treat me like I am a little odd."
There was still no response.
He put the razor away and started to comb his hair.
"Lovey, the boys seem to think that I am queer."
Still getting no reply he finally shouted, "For heaven's sake, John, aren't you listening?"
I am talking one language, and people are accustomed to a totally different language.
Unless you meditate you will not be able to understand what is happening here, what I am saying and what I am doing.
Three men, English, Arabian and American, were standing on a street corner in Casablanca, when a spectacular oriental beauty walked haughtily by them.
"By Jove!" exclaimed the Englishman.
"By Allah!" sighed the Arabian.
"By tomorrow night!" said the American.
The second question:
TO MANY PEOPLE IN THE WEST, THE MASTER/DISCIPLE RELATIONSHIP IS OUTSIDE THEIR EXPERIENCE. WHAT DOES IT INVOLVE?
Chris Lister, Allen Jewhurst, Lesley Rogers, the East has contributed a few tremendously significant things to human consciousness. One of those beautiful things is the phenomenon of the master/disciple relationship. It is an Eastern contribution; just as science is a Western phenomenon, mysticism is Eastern. Science is extrovert, mysticism is introvert. Science is trying to know the objective reality, and mysticism is an exploration of the subjective reality, of the interiority of your own being.
In the world of science the teacher/student relationship exists, because science can be taught - hence the teacher/ student relationship. But religion, mysticism, cannot be taught, it can only be caught. Hence in mysticism there is no relationship like the teacher/student relationship. A totally different kind of relationship exists: the master/disciple. The differences are tremendous, the differences are great.
Between a student and a teacher, doubt is the method. The teacher is there to help your doubts disappear, he is there to answer your questions; he is there to inform you, make you more knowledgeable. The student is there with all his questions, curiosities, doubts.
In fact, the more intelligent he is, the more doubtful he will be. The best student is full of doubts, and the best teacher is one who helps the student with new answers, new knowledge, so that his doubts can be disposed of. Science uses doubt as the method; that's its fundamental method of inquiry.
In the world of religion just the opposite is the case: trust is the method, not doubt; love is the method, not logic; surrender is the method, not conquest of knowledge. The student, when he comes from the university, comes with great ego because he has accumulated much knowledge, he has learned much. But the disciple, when he comes from the master, comes as a nobody, egoless. He no longer exists as a separate entity from existence. He has not learned anything; on the contrary, he has unlearned whatsoever he used to know before.
A great philosopher had come to see Raman Maharshi - a German philosopher. He asked Raman, "I have come from far far away, to learn much from you."
Raman laughed and he said, "Your journey has been an exercise in futility.
Unnecessarily you traveled to me, because I am not here to teach you anything - if you have come to learn, you have come to the wrong place - I help people to UNlearn!"
The master helps you to UNlearn. The master helps you to become innocent again, childlike.
Jesus says: Unless you are like a child, unless you are reborn, you shall not enter into my kingdom of God. He is speaking an Eastern language. Jesus traveled to India; whatsoever he taught later on, he had imbibed that spirit in this country. In fact, it was one of the reasons that he was crucified. It was one of the basic reasons why his people could not understand him: he was bringing a totally new language, a new approach, a new vision.
The East has always been the source. Pythagoras came to the East, Jesus came to the East... and whatsoever the West has ever come to know about master-and-discipleship has been experienced through the East, directly or indirectly.
The master/disciple relationship is a love affair, the greatest love affair possible. The disciple surrenders his ego to the master. He bows down. He says: BUDDHAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI - I bow down to the buddha, I surrender to the buddha, I take shelter at your feet. The moment he drops his ego he becomes part of the being of the master.
And the master is no more there as a person, he is only a presence. And when two presences meet, the greatest orgasmic experience happens, the greatest ecstasy. That ecstasy is the goal of the master-and-disciple relationship. That ecstasy has been happening for centuries in a very mysterious way: the master says nothing about it, the disciple hears nothing about it, but sitting by the side of the master, silently waiting, patiently, prayerfully, one day the synchronicity.... One day, suddenly, the disciple starts breathing with the master. His heartbeat is no longer separate from the master's heartbeat. They disappear as two and become one.
That experience of oneness with the master is the opening of the door of the temple of God.
The third question:
WHAT IS PLATONIC LOVE?
Krishna Deva, love is simply love. It can't be Platonic or Hegelian or Kantian - love is simply love! Platonic love is another name for homosexuality. Plato seems to be the first person who believed in homosexuality. Many must have practiced it before him, but he is the first proponent of it.
The Greek idea of beauty was not that of feminine beauty - but male beauty. You must have seen in the museums Greek painting, sculpture, and you must have observed: you never come across the paintings of a nude woman or statues of nude women. No, it is always man.
Platonic love is just a good name for homosexuality. It is better to call it what it actually is rather than giving it a beautiful label.
But love is neither homosexual nor heterosexual. Love is simply love! In fact, love has nothing to do with the object. Love is a state of your consciousness when you are joyous, when there is a dance in your being. Something starts vibrating, radiating, from your center; something starts pulsating around you. It starts reaching people: it can reach women, it can reach men, it can reach rocks and trees and stars.
When I am talking about love, I am talking about THIS love: a love that is not a relationship but a state of being. Always remember: whenever I use the word 'love' I use it as a state of being, not as a relationship. Relationship is only a very minor aspect of it. But your idea of love is basically that of relationship, as if that is all.
Relationship is needed only because you can't be alone, because you are not yet capable of meditation. Hence, meditation is a MUST before you can really love. One should be capable of being alone, utterly alone, and yet tremendously blissful. Then you can love.
Then your love is no more a need but a sharing, no more a necessity. You will not become dependent on the people you love. You will share - and sharing is beautiful.
But what ordinarily happens in the world is: you don't have love, the person you think you love has no love in his being either, and both are asking for love from each other.
Two beggars begging each other! Hence, the fight, the conflict, the continuous quarrel between the lovers - on trivia, on immaterial things, on stupid things! - but they go on quarreling.
The basic quarrel is that the husband thinks he is not getting what is his right to get, the wife thinks she is not getting what is her right to get. The wife thinks she has been deceived and the husband also thinks that he has been deceived. Where is the love?
Nobody bothers to give, everybody wants to get. And when everybody is after getting, nobody gets it. And everybody feels at a loss, empty, tense.
The basic foundation is missing, and you have started making the temple without the foundation. It is going to fall and collapse any moment. And you know how many times your love has collapsed, and still you go on doing the same thing again and again.
You live in such unawareness! You don't see what you have been doing to your life and to others' lives. You go on mechanically, robotlike, repeating the old pattern, knowing perfectly well you have done this before. And you know what has always been the outcome, and deep down you are also alert that it is going to happen the same way again - because there is no difference. You are preparing for the same conclusion, the same collapse.
If you can learn anything from the failure of love, then that thing is: become more aware, become more meditative. And by meditation I mean the capacity to be joyous alone. Very rare people are capable of being blissful for no reason at all - just sitting silently and blissful! Others will think them mad, because the idea of happiness is that it has to come from somebody else. You meet a beautiful woman and you are happy or you meet a beautiful man and you are happy. Sitting silently in your room and so blissful, so blissed out? You must be crazy or something! People will suspect that you are on a drug, stoned.
Yes, meditation is the ultimate LSD! It is releasing your own psychedelic powers. It is releasing your own imprisoned splendor. And you become so joyous, such a celebration arises in your being, that you need not have any relationship. Still you can relate with people... and that's the difference between relating and relationship.
Relationship is a thing: you cling to it. Relating is a flow, a movement, a process. You meet a person, you are loving, because you have so much love to give - and the more you give, the more you have. Once you have understood this strange arithmetic of love:
that the more you give, the more you have.... This is just against the economic laws that operate in the outside world. Once you have known that, if you want to have more love and more joy, you give and share, then you simply share. And whosoever allows you to share your joy with him or with her, you feel grateful to him or her. But it is not a relationship; it is a riverlike flow.
The river passes by the side of a tree, saying hello, nourishing the tree, giving water to the tree... and it moves on, dances on. It does not cling to the tree. And the tree does not say, "Where are you going? We are married! And before you can leave me you will need a divorce, at least a separation! Where are you going? And if you were to leave me, why had you danced so beautifully around me? Why in the first place did you nourish me?" No, the tree showers its flowers onto the river in deep gratefulness, and the river moves on. The wind comes and dances around the tree and moves on. And the tree gives its fragrance to the wind.
This is relating. If humanity is ever going to become grown-up, mature, this will be the way of love: people meeting, sharing, moving, a nonpossessive quality, a nondominating quality. Otherwise love becomes a power trip.
Don't be worried, Krishna Deva, about what platonic love is. Meditate on: what is love?
Mrs. Green and her neighbor, Mrs. Kenyon, were having a chat one day.
"Mrs. Green," said Mrs. Kenyon, "maybe it is none of my business, but after all we have been friends a long time and I am concerned about your reputation. You are divorced, that's true, but people are talking about you. It just does not look right when an eighteen-year-old boy comes every night and visits you till such a late hour."
"Well," Mrs. Green smiled, "don't worry about it. It is purely a platonic relationship."
"How can it be platonic?" Mrs. Kenyon asked.
"Well," said Mrs. Green, "it is play for him and it is tonic for me!"
That's what platonic love is: play for one, tonic for the other! More than that I don't know anything about it!
The fourth question:
I AM A BUSINESSMAN. CAN I ALSO MEDITATE AND BECOME A SANNYASIN?
Ram Prasad, one has to do something in life. Somebody is a carpenter and somebody is a king, and somebody is a businessman and somebody is a warrior. These are ways of livelihood, these are ways of getting bread and butter, a shelter. They can't change your inner being. Whether you are a warrior or a businessman does not make any difference:
one has chosen one way to earn his livelihood, the other has chosen something else.
Meditation is life, not livelihood. It has nothing to do with what you do; it has everything to do with what you are. Yes, business should not enter into your being, that is true. If your being also has become businesslike, then it is difficult to meditate and impossible to be a sannyasin... because if your being has become businesslike, then you have become too calculative. And a calculative person is a cowardly person: he thinks too much, he cannot take any jumps.
And meditation is a jump: from the head to the heart, and ultimately from the heart to the being. You will be going deeper and deeper, where calculations will have to be left behind, where all logic becomes irrelevant. You cannot carry your cleverness there.
In fact, cleverness is not true intelligence either; cleverness is a poor substitute for intelligence. People who are not intelligent learn how to be clever. People who are intelligent need not be clever; they are innocent, they need not be cunning. They function out of a state of not-knowing.
If you are a businessman, that's okay. If Jesus can become a meditator and a sannyasin, and ultimately a christ, a buddha... and he was the son of a carpenter, helping his father, bringing wood, cutting wood. If a carpenter's son can become a buddha, why not you?
Kabir was a weaver. He continued his work his whole life; even after his enlightenment he was still weaving; he loved it! Many times his disciples asked him, prayed to him with tears in their eyes, that "You need not work anymore - we are here to take care of you! So many disciples, why go on in your old age spinning, weaving?"
And Kabir would say, "But do you know for whom I am weaving, for whom I am spinning? For God! - because everyone is now a god to me. It is my way of prayer."
If Kabir can become a buddha and still remain a weaver, why can't you?
But business should not enter into your being. Business should be just an outside thing, just one of the ways of livelihood. When you close your shop, forget all about your business. When you come home, don't carry the shop in your head. When you are home with your wife, with your children, don't be a businessman. That is ugly: that means your being is becoming colored by your doing. Doing is a superficial thing. The being should remain transcendental to your doing and you should always be capable of putting your doing aside and entering into the world of your being. That's what meditation is all about.
A marriage broker was trying to arrange a match between a businessman and a beautiful young girl. But the businessman was very cagey. "Before I buy goods," the businessman said, "I look over samples, and before I get married I must also have a sample."
"But good heavens, man, you can't ask a respectable girl for a thing like that!" the broker replied.
"Sorry," insisted the other, "I am strictly business and I want it done in my way or not at all."
The broker went off in despair to talk with the girl. "I have got you a fine fellow," he said, "with lots of money. But strictly business he is, and he don't do nothing blind. He must have a sample."
"Listen," said the girl. "I am as smart in business as he is. Samples I won't give him - references I will!"
If you are THAT kind of businessman, Ram Prasad, then it is going to be difficult to meditate and impossible to be a sannyasin.
But you have come here, you have been listening to me; even the desire to become a sannyasin has arisen in you. That is a good indication that business has not yet poisoned your soul totally. A part of you is still available for love, a part of you is still available for God. A part of you is still not businesslike - otherwise you would not be here.
Businesslike people can't come to me; it is impossible for them to have any communion with me. They can't understand a single word uttered here - and what to say about the silence that is present here? They live in a totally different world, in a very mundane world.
It was quite a swanky bar in the best part of town. The new arrival ordered a bottle of beer. Paying with a dollar bill, he was surprised when the young bartender gave him ninety cents change. When questioned about it the bartender said that a dime was all he was charging.
The customer, being hungry and pleased with the apparently low prices of the place, ordered a ham and cheese sandwich on rye.
"That will be fifteen cents," said the barkeeper.
The customer's eyes widened: "I can't understand. How can you sell stuff so low?" he asked.
"Listen, buddy," said the bartender, "I just work here. I am not the boss. He is upstairs with my wife and I am doing the same thing to him down here!"
There is a certain mind which functions always in a businesslike way; in every dimension of life he is always a businessman. If you are that kind of businessman, then this is not the place for you.
This is the place for gamblers. This is the place for people who can risk - who can risk all for nothing. Yes, exactly all for nothing, because meditation will bring you to nothingness. But those who arrive at the nothingness of meditation, immediately become aware that they have arrived at the fullness of God, too. Nothingness of you is the fullness of God, it is the other aspect. YOU become nothing, and suddenly a great plenitude descends in you - you are overflowing with God. By becoming nothing you become spacious, you become a host to the great guest.
But if you are continuously calculating you cannot become nothing. How can you drop all for being nothing? You will always be calculating: you will move cautiously.
Then this is not the place for you. Then you go to some old, traditional, pseudo teachers.
They will console you. They will tell you that you can remain a businessman and still can open a bank account in paradise. Be charitable, give some charity: donate to the poor; donate to the temple, or the church, or the synagogue; to the hospital; to the school - and you will be rewarded in your afterlife. Just do virtuous things which you can afford. If you exploit people, you can always give a portion back to them.
I have heard:
In a church the priest was telling the people, "The building is getting very old and we need money."
Nobody responded - all businessmen! Everybody was looking at each other; everybody was waiting and expecting that somebody would be foolish enough.
And then a woman stood up - the prostitute of the town! - and she said, "I donate ten thousand dollars to the church."
The priest could not believe his ears, his eyes! For a moment he was in shock, and then he said, "But I cannot accept your money - I cannot accept any wrong money."
One businessman stood up and said, "You don't worry, that is our money! It is only coming via her - you can accept it!"
You can donate a little bit to the church, to some charitable institution, you can give some money to the poor people. These are the consolations. And a place for you will be reserved in heaven.
Don't be such a fool - heaven is not so cheap. In fact, there is no place like heaven anywhere; it is something inside you. No charity can lead you there, but if you reach there your whole life becomes a charity; that is a totally different phenomenon. If you reach there, your whole life becomes compassion.
Remain a businessman, but for a few hours forget all about it. I am not here to tell you to escape from your ordinary life. I am here to tell you the ways and the means, the alchemy, to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Be a businessman in your shop and don't be a businessman at your home. And sometimes for a few hours forget even the home, the family, the wife, the children. For a few hours just be alone with yourself. Sink deeper and deeper into your own being. Enjoy yourself, love yourself.
And slowly slowly, you will become aware, a great joy is welling up, with no cause from the outside world, uncaused from the outside. It is your own flavor, it is your own flowering. This is meditation.
Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself. Sit silently, doing nothing, and wait for the spring. It comes, it always comes, and when it comes, the grass grows by itself. You will see great joy arising in you for no reason at all. Then share it, then give it to people! Then your charity will be inner. Then it will not be just a means to attain to some goal; then it will have intrinsic value.
And once you have become a meditator, sannyas is not far away! My sannyas particularly is nothing but living in the ordinary world, but living in such a way that you are not possessed by it; remaining transcendental, remaining in the world and yet a little above it. That is sannyas.
It is not the old sannyas, Ram Prasad: in that you have to escape from your wife, your children, your business, and go to the Himalayas. That kind of thing has not worked at all. Many went to the Himalayas, but they carried their stupid minds with them. The Himalayas have not been of any help to them; on the contrary, they have destroyed the beauty of the Himalayas, that's all. How can the Himalayas help you? You can leave the world, but you cannot leave your mind here. The mind will go with you; it is inside you. And wherever you are, your same mind will create the same kind of world around you.
A great mystic was dying. He called his disciple, the chief disciple. The disciple rejoiced very much that the master is calling him. There is a great crowd and he is calling only him; he must be giving some secret key that he has not given to anybody up to now.
"This is the way he is choosing me as his successor!" He came close.
The master said, "I have only one thing to tell you. I didn't listen to my master - he had also told me when he was dying, but I was just a fool and I didn't listen, and I didn't even understand what he meant. But I am telling you from my own experience he is right, although it had looked very absurd when he said it to me."
The disciple asked, "What is it? Please tell me. I will try to follow it word by word."
The master said, "It is a very simple thing: never, never in your life keep a cat in your house!" And before the disciple could have asked why, the master died!
Now he was at a loss - what a stupid kind of thing! And now whom to ask? He inquired of some old people in the village, "Is there any clue to this message? There must be something mysterious in this!"
One old man said, "Yes, I know, because his master - your master's master - had also told him, 'Never, never keep a cat in your house!' but he didn't listen. I know the whole story."
The disciple said, "Please tell me so I can understand. What is the secret hidden behind it? I want it to be decoded for me so I can follow it."
The old man laughed. He said, "It is a simple thing, it is not absurd. Your master's master had given him a great message, but he never inquired, 'What is the meaning of it?' You are at least intelligent enough to inquire about it. He simply forgot about it.
Your master was young when the message was given; he used to live in the forest. He had only just two clothes with him; that was all that he possessed. But there were big rats in the house and they would destroy his clothes, and again and again he would have to ask the villagers for new clothes.
"The villagers said, 'Why don't you keep a cat? You just keep a cat and the cat will eat the rats and there will be no problem. Otherwise - we are poor people - how can we go on supplying you new clothes every month?'
"It was so logical that he asked somebody for a cat. He got a cat, but then the problems started. The cat certainly saved his clothes, but the cat needed milk because once the rats were finished the cat was starving. And the poor man could not meditate because the cat was always there, crying, weeping, going round and round and round him.
"He went to the villagers and they said, 'This is a difficult thing - now we will have to supply milk for you. We can give you a cow. You be finished, you keep the cow. You can drink, and your cat can also survive. That way you need not come every day for your food either.'
"The idea was perfectly right. He took the cow... now the world started. That's how the world starts. The cow needed grass, and the people said, 'We will come in the coming holidays and we will clear the forest, prepare the ground. You start growing a little wheat, other things, and leave a part for the grass.'
"And the villagers came according to their promise. They cleared the forest, they cleaned the soil, they planted wheat. But now it was such a problem: you have to water.... And the whole day the poor man was engaged in looking after the field. No time to meditate, no time to read the scriptures!
"He again went to the villagers. He said, 'I am getting deeper and deeper into difficulties. Now the question is, when to meditate - no time is left.'
"They said, 'You wait. One woman has just become a widow, and she is young and we are afraid that she will tempt the young people in the town. You please take her with you. And she is healthy enough - she will take care of your field, the cow, the cat, and she will prepare food for you, and she is very religious too. And don't be worried, she will not disturb you.'
"That's how things move to their logical conclusion. Now from the cat, how far the man had moved!
"And the woman came and she started looking after him, and he was very happy for a few days. And she would massage his feet... and slowly slowly, what was going to happen happened: they got married. And when you get married in India, at least one dozen children - one dozen is the minimum! So all meditation, all sannyas, disappeared.
"He remembered only when he was dying. He remembered again that when HIS master was dying he had told him, 'Beware of the cats.' That's why he has told you. Now you be aware of the cats! Just one step in the wrong direction and you have to go the wrong way; and your mind is with you wherever you go."
I have moved in the Himalayas. Once I was in a deep part of the Himalayas with two of my friends. We entered an empty cave; it was so beautiful that we stayed the night there.
In the morning a monk came and he said, "Get out! This is MY cave!"
I said, "How can this cave be yours? I don't see - this is a natural cave. You don't claim it, you can't claim it - you have not made it. And you have renounced the world, your house, your wife, your children, your money, and everything, and now you are claiming, 'This is MY cave - you get out of it!' This is nobody's cave!"
He was very angry. He said, "You don't know me - I am a dangerous man! I can't leave it to you. I have been living in this cave for thirteen years!"
We provoked him as much as we could and he was all fire, ready to fight, ready to kill!
And then I said to him, "Wait - we will leave. We were just provoking you to show you that thirteen years have passed, but you have the same mind. Now this cave is 'yours', because you have lived here thirteen years so it is yours. You had not brought it with your birth and you will not take it away when you die. And we are not going to stay here forever, just an overnight stay. We are just travelers, we are not monks. I have just come to see how many stupid people are living in these parts - and you seem to be the tops!"
You can leave the world... you will be the same. You will again create the same world, because you carry the blueprint in your mind. It is not a question of leaving the world, it is a question of changing the mind, renouncing the mind. That's what meditation is and that's what sannyas is.
The last question:
WHAT IS UNAWARENESS?
Dinkar, to be in the mind, to be identified with the mind, is unawareness. To think that "I am the mind," is unawareness.
To know that mind is only a mechanism just as the body is, to know that the mind is separate.... The night comes, the morning comes: you don't get identified with the night.
You don't say, "I am night," you don't say, "I am morning." The night comes, the morning comes, the day comes, again the night comes; the wheel goes on moving, but you remain alert that you are not these things. The same is the case with the mind.
Anger comes, but you forget - you become anger. Greed comes, you forget - you become greed. Hate comes, you forget - you become hate. This is unawareness.
Awareness is watching that the mind is full of greed, full of anger, full of hate or full of lust, but you are simply a watcher. Then you can see greed arising, becoming a great, dark cloud, then dispersing - and you remain untouched. How long can it remain?
Your anger is momentary, your greed is momentary, your lust is momentary. Just watch a little and you will be surprised: it comes and it goes. And you are remaining there unaffected, cool, calm.
A great king asked a Sufi mystic to give him something in writing - a sutra, a small maxim which would help him in every possible situation, good, bad, which would help him in success, in failure, in life, in death.
The Sufi gave him his ring and told him, "There is a message. Whenever you are really in need, in a real emergency, just open the ring, take up the diamond, and inside you will find the message - but not out of curiosity, only when there is real danger which you cannot face on your own and you need me, you can see the message."
Many times the king became curious what is in there, but he resisted his temptation: he had given his promise, his word. He was a man of his word.
After ten years he was attacked and defeated. He ran away into the forest, into the mountains, and the enemy was following him. He could hear the horses coming closer and closer - it was death coming closer. They would kill him! But he was going as fast as he could on his horse. Tired he was, tired was his horse; wounded he was, wounded was his horse.
And then suddenly he came to a cul-de-sac. The way ended; there was an abyss. And there was no possibility of turning back because the enemy was closing in, at every moment coming closer. He could not take the jump into the abyss; that was sure death.
Except for waiting there was nothing to do.
Suddenly he remembered the ring. He opened the ring, removed the diamond. Inside there was a piece of paper; on the piece of paper just a simple, single sentence: "This too will pass away." And suddenly a great calmness descended on him: "This too will pass away."
And it happened exactly like that. He was hearing those noises coming closer; by and by he started hearing them going farther away. They had taken a wrong turn. He had passed a crossroad, they must have moved on some other road. Then he gathered his armies, fought the enemies again, won back his kingdom. He was received with great joy, garlanded, flowers showered, the whole capitol decorated for his welcome.
Suddenly he felt great ego arising in him. Again he remembered the message, "This too will pass away," and the ego disappeared. And all those garlands and all that welcome became just a child's play. In failure it helped, in success it helped.
That became his meditation, that became his mantra. So whatsoever would come he would repeat deep down - not verbally, but the feeling would be there in his heart - "This too will pass away."
If you can remember it, then whatsoever comes into your mind you remain simply a witness: "This too will pass away." That witnessing is awareness - but we are identified.
We become greed, we become anger, we become lust. Whatsoever comes in front of our consciousness, we become identified with it. It is as foolish as when it happens to very small children.
Have you tried it? Just put a mirror before a very small child. He will look in the mirror very surprised, with wide open eyes he will look: "Who is this fellow?" He will try to catch hold, but he cannot catch hold of the person. And then, if the child is intelligent, he will try to go to the back of the mirror: "Maybe the child is hiding behind the mirror."
He is not yet aware that it is only a mirror; there is no reality.
Mind is only a mirror: it reflects the clouds of the world, it reflects all that happens around in the world. Somebody insults and there is anger - it is a reflection. Somebody beautiful passes by and it reflects - it is lust. And you immediately become identified with it.
Keep a little distance... and slowly slowly, you will find that the distance goes on growing. One day the mind is so far far away, it does not affect you at all.
This is coming home, this is buddhahood. AES DHAMMO SANANTANO: this is the inexhaustible law of life. If you can be a witness you will be able to pass through a great transformation: you will know your real self.
The old maid sat stroking the head of her pet tomcat and worrying about what she had missed all her life, when all at once, a fairy appeared with her wand and told the old maid she was ready to give her any three wishes she might make. The fairy asked that she not get excited but take her time and decide on her wants carefully.
Her first wish was that she might have a beautiful body. The wand was waved and her wish granted. When she examined the result in the mirror, her second wish was immediate: that she be given clothing to drape this wonderful figure. Her wish was again fulfilled with racks of beautiful clothes made to fit perfectly.
When asked for the third wish, she said she wanted a man.
Said the fairy, "You have a beautiful cat there. How about making a man out of him for you?"
That was entirely agreeable, and the tomcat became a man. The old maid was very happy. When asked if she were entirely satisfied, she said she was. Then the fairy asked the man if he were entirely satisfied. "Yes," said he, "but she won't be."
"She forgot about that trip to the veterinarian!"
You go on doing things, unaware of what you are doing. You go on asking for things, unaware what you are asking for. If all your desires are fulfilled you will be the most miserable man in the world; it is good that they are not fulfilled.
The really religious person never asks anything from God. He says, "Thy will be done, thy kingdom come. Because what can I ask out of my unawareness? Whatsoever I ask is going to be wrong." He asks only one thing: "Thy will be done."
Be meditative, be prayerful. Remember these two sutras: "This too will pass away" - that will help you to meditate - and the second sutra, "Thy will be done"; that will help you to be prayerful. And when meditation and prayer meet, you are at the highest peak of consciousness possible.
Enough for today.
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 6