Ecstasy is now - why wait?
WHAT IS RENUNCIATION? WHAT IS ITS PLACE IN YOUR RELIGION?
THE idea of renunciation is one of the fundamentals of all pseudo-religions. Its phenomenology has to be understood very deeply.
All the religions have been preaching a division between this world and that world which is beyond death - between the soul and the body. The body belongs to this world, the soul belongs to that world; hence if you want to achieve the world beyond death, which is eternal.... and the happiness there is unending, the happiness here is not worth calling happiness; it is momentary, it is dream stuff. It comes, and even before you have been able to grasp it, it is gone. It is illusory, it is a kind of mirage in the desert.
When you are far away you see a lake of water. You are thirsty and great hope arises in you. And the lake is absolutely real as far as you can see, because the only proof of its reality, that water is there, is that the trees are being reflected in the water. If there is a mountain by the side, the mountain is reflected in the lake, the sun is reflected in the lake. What more. proof do you need? Without water these reflections cannot happen. You rush with great hope, but as you come nearer, you find the lake is receding; the distance between you and the lake remains the same.
It was just an illusion created by sunrays reflected back from the hot desert sand. When sunrays are reflected back, they move like waves, and their movement from far away creates the illusion of
water. And in their wave-like movement they attain the quality of reflecting things; they become just like a mirror. That is one half of the mirage.
The other half is in your thirst. If you were not thirsty, perhaps you would have been able to detect, to find out that it was a mirage. You have seen mirages before; you know that mirages can appear almost as if they are real - but your thirst is there. The physical phenomenon of the returning rays of the sun gives half the reality to the mirage. The other, and the far more important half, is contributed by you and your thirst. You want to believe that it is true. Even if somebody was there trying to prove that it was not real, you would feel angry with this man: you are thirsty and the water is there and he is trying to prove that the water is illusory. He does not know what thirst means! - perhaps he is not thirsty. There is no way to convince a thirsty man that what he is seeing is not the real thing. All that you see is not necessarily real. Appearance does not mean reality.
The religions have been saying for millions of years to people, that the happiness in this world is of the same nature as a mirage in the desert. That's why you are never capable of catching hold of it.
You never get hold of happiness in your fist; it comes and goes. You can feel it like a breeze, but by the time you become aware that it is here, it is already gone. Perhaps it is more unreal than the mirage. A mirage at least has some reality - the reflected sunrays contribute half, and your thirst, the other half But in your so-called happiness of this world, you are contributing one hundred percent.
There is nothing else there which contributes anything.
And you know it. Today one woman is so beautiful to you that you can say Cleopatra was nothing before her. She seems to be the most beautiful woman in the world. Not only today - you cannot conceive that there could have been any woman more beautiful ever, or could be in the future. You are projecting, because the same woman to others is nothing; and the same woman tomorrow will be nothing to you too. And then you will be surprised, shocked - what happened? What happened to the woman? Nothing has happened to the woman - she is the same person - something has happened to you.
Yesterday you were thirsty - there was lust being projected. Today the lust is fulfilled; now there is no biological projection. The woman is an ordinary woman and the happiness that you got was just out of your projection - you created the whole game. The woman at the most played the part of an inactive participant; she allowed you to project yourself upon her. Perhaps she was also projecting her mind upon you so it was a projection from both sides. Sooner or later it is going to disappear because projections cannot last, once their basic cause is missing.
The basic cause is in your biology; and biology doesn't bother about love and poetry and romance, or anything - biology means business!
Biology is not interested in foreplay and afterplay; they are a sheer wastage. Biology is interested in reproduction.
Once biology has done its work, it withdraws; the projection disappears. Then you are standing there, the same woman is standing there - but nothing is anymore the same. Where has the happiness disappeared?
You were feeling just as if you were on the top of Everest, and you have fallen to the depths of the Pacific. The woman deceived you and the woman thinks you deceived her; and you both try to
dump on each other. Nobody has deceived, both have been deceived by biology. But biology is not somebody outside you, it is intrinsic to your body. You are a projection of two other biologies, those of your father, your mother; and they were a projection of two other biologies - it is a continuum, a river-like flow.
The religions tried to exploit this fundamental truth. It is true that romance and poetry... and the so-called love affair is just a shadow of biology. So it is not very difficult: a certain injection with certain hormones can create all the poetry right now, all the romance.... Another injection - and you fall into the Pacific! Now we know a man can become a woman, a woman can become a man; just a little change of hormones, just a little change of chemistry.
Religions exploited this simple truth. It is true, but rather than explaining it to you, they exploited it.
They said, "This is the momentary happiness. Don't run after it; you are wasting your time. The real world is beyond death." Why beyond death? Because death will destroy all your biology, physiology, chemistry; everything that is material, death will take away. Only the spiritual will be left behind and the spiritual knows the eternal. The material, the physical knows only the momentary.
It appeared very logical; the first part is true, but the second part is fictitious. Yes, it is true that moments of happiness in this life are very fleeting, but that does not mean that there is another life beyond death where these moments become eternal. There is no evidence for it. At least these moments are there, are experienced by everyone. Howsoever small and fleeting, they exist. Nobody can deny their existence. You can say they are made of the same stuff as dreams are made of - but still they are there. Even dreams have a reality of their own. They are there, they affect you; and when something affects you it becomes real.
For example, you are hungry. The whole day you have not been able to eat anything; you are tired, you fall asleep. Now, the body is hungry and wants food. The mind creates a beautiful dream that you are a guest in a great feast. The mind is serving you because if the mind is not going to create the dream, your sleep will be disturbed - the hunger is there. Somehow you have to be convinced that you are eating, that you are not hungry. Your sleep remains undisturbed. The dream is doing something real. How can something unreal do something real? It is not possible - but a dream has its own existence. Yes, it is different from a rock, but so is a rose flower different from a rock. The dream is even more different; but it affects you, it affects your life, it affects your lifestyle - and those changes are real.
So, one thing to be remembered: in this life there are momentary pleasures, fleeting experiences of happiness, sudden explosions of joy - but you cannot catch hold of them.
You cannot keep them in your safe deposit. You cannot make them permanent. Just because you cannot make them permanent, religions exploited you. It was a very cunning strategy. You want to make them permanent; your deepest desire is to remain happy for ever, not to know pain, sadness, anguish - ever. Just always to be in paradise - that is your desire.
The religions exploited this. They said, "There is such a place, but you cannot get anything without paying for it." It looks perfectly mathematical, economical. The religions started teaching that you sacrifice this life if you want to attain the permanent world of paradise that is beyond death. And it is very cheap, because what you are sacrificing are just momentary fleeting experiences that happen once in a while.
If you collect all your moments of happiness in your seventy years of life, perhaps you may not get even seven moments which you can be absolutely certain were of the nature of ecstasy.
In seventy years of life, not even seven moments? Then what have you been doing here? - torturing yourself and others? Yes, you cannot find even seven moments, because the nature of those moments is such that when they are there, they take you over totally, they possess you - yes, that is the right word - they possess you completely. But when they are gone, they dispossess you as completely as they had possessed you, so only a memory is left. And how long can you live on the memory which proved so deceptive?
After a few days you start doubting whether it happened or were you just imagining? Because in your whole life's experience that moment is so contradictory: years pass, then one moment perhaps....
And that too is not in your hands; when and where it is going to happen, you cannot decide. So there are years of dragging, and a certain moment which has remained just a memory.... Slowly, slowly, even the smoke of memory starts disappearing.
So even if you ask a man of seventy years old, he cannot say that there are even seven moments.
And as you become older, there is less and less possibility of those moments. There is more and more disillusionment, more and more disappointment. In the future there is only death and darkness, and in the past nothing but deception.
The religions had a beautiful space through which to exploit you - and they did well all over the world.
For thousands of years they have found the greatest business - greater than anybody else's: they have been selling you paradise, and almost for nothing.
All they ask is: "Renounce this momentary life and the eternal world of ecstasy is yours."
Hence renunciation became a foundational belief: the more you renounce, the more you become worthy; and the more you can be certain that you are coming closer. So people have tried to renounce everything.
Mahavira was going to be the king. His father was old, and he was continually asking Mahavira, "Now let me retire. I am tired; and you are ready, young, well-educated - I am perfectly satisfied.
Where can I find a better son than you? Just be ready to relieve me."
But Mahavira had other ideas. While he was being educated by the priests, the monks, they had poisoned his mind. They had told him that if he could renounce the kingdom, "Then the kingdom of God is yours." The greater the renunciation, the greater, of course, will be the reward. That's why the twenty-four great Masters of the Jainas are all kings.
I have been asking the Jaina monks, "What is the secret of this? Was there nobody else in the country who could attain, become a great Master? - a warrior, a brahmin, a scholar, anybody - why only kings?" They don't have any answer. I used to tell them, "I am not asking you for the answer because I have the answer. I am just asking you the question so that you start thinking about it."
The answer is simple: because they renounced the kingdom, the greatest reward has to be theirs.
A poor man can renounce whatsoever he has - but what has he? He cannot become a tirthankara, the suprememost Master. Even in paradise he will be living somewhere outside the town. He won't get in because they will ask him, "What have you renounced? In the first place what have you got to renounce?"
So of course the kings will be very close to the palace of God; then will come the richest, the super- rich people; then the middle class people; then the lowest strata and then will come those who had nothing to renounce - they were already without anything. In fact they should be by the side of God already because they don't have anything. But they will be outside the boundary lines of paradise; they will not be able to show what their bank balance is in the other world.
All the Hindu avataras are kings: Rama, Krishna... Buddha is a king. It is strange that these people are drawn only from kings, but if you understand the structure, the strategy of the priest, it is clear:
they have renounced the most, naturally they are promised the most. Nobody knows whether they get anything after death or not, but the idea became so ingrained for the simple reason that it has a grain of truth in it: in this life everything is momentary.
To me, nothing is wrong if it is momentary. In fact, because it is momentary it is so exciting, so ecstatic. Make it permanent, and it will be dead.
In the morning, the rose flower opens up, so fresh, with fresh dewdrops still on its petals, so fragrant.
You cannot conceive that just by the evening these petals will be falling into dust, and the rose will disappear.
You would like it to remain permanent, but then you need a plastic flower; a real flower won't do.
A real flower has to be momentary. To be real it has to be momentary; only plastic things can be permanent.
Plastic is a new discovery. It was not known to Buddha, Mahavira, Mohammed, Jesus, but I can say to you that paradise must be made of plastic.
If there is any paradise, it cannot be anything but plastic, because plastic has the quality of not dying, it is deathless.
Now scientists are worried - particularly the environmentalists are very worried - because plastic is so cheap that you go on disposing of it. Glass was not so cheap; you were saving the bottles or returning the bottles and getting your deposit back. Plastic is so cheap that everything made of plastic is disposable: use it once and dispose of it. But you don't know where it is going. It is getting collected in the oceans, in the riverbeds, in the lakes under the earth, and there is no way for nature to dissolve it because nature is not prepared, was not made to absorb plastic.
If God has made this world, he certainly is not all-knowing. At least one thing he did not know: that plastic was going to happen one day. He has not made anything in nature, any chemicals, which can dissolve plastic, so plastic goes on accumulating. Soon it will have accumulated so much that it will destroy the fertility of the earth, it will poison the waters. Nothing can destroy it, and it will destroy everything.
In the Hindu paradise, the apsaras - how to translate the word apsara? - they are callgirls for those great sages who live in paradise. Of course, they need callgirls. Those callgirls, those apsaras, are the most beautiful; it has to be so. They remain always young - that gives me the clue that they are plastic. They are stuck at the age of sixteen; for millions of years they remain just sixteen. Because in the Indian mind sixteen is the most mature age for a woman, they remain at sixteen.
Apsaras don't perspire; neither Mahavira nor Buddha nor Jesus nor Mohammed had any idea of deodorants, so the only thing they could conceive of was that those girls who serve the sages should not perspire. But only if your body is made of plastic will you not perspire; otherwise, perspiration is absolutely necessary. And those girls will not get old, will not die.
Nothing dies in paradise, nothing gets old, nothing changes; it must be an utterly boring place. Can you imagine the boredom - where everything remains the same every day? There is no need for any newspaper there. I have heard that only once was one newspaper published - one edition, on one day - and it flopped because after that nothing happened! It described everything in the first edition; that was the last edition also.
This desire for permanency is somehow sick; but it was there, so the religious firms - yes, I call them firms - Christian, Hindus, Mohammedans, they did great business for centuries. They are still doing it... and their business can never end, for the simple reason that they sell invisible commodities.
They take visible things from you and they give you invisible things which you have to believe in.
I am reminded of a story. A king had conquered the whole world and he was very restless - now, what to do? He was thinking that once he had conquered the whole world he would rest. He had never thought that he would be so restless, he had never been so restless. While fighting, continuously invading, going on and on - because there is always some place to go, some enemy to destroy, some country to conquer - there was no space, no time to be restless; he was so occupied.
But now he had conquered the whole world, he was utterly restless - what to do now?
A con man heard about this situation. He came to the palace, asked for an audience with the king and said, "I have the remedy for restlessness." Immediately he was taken inside, because all the physicians had failed. The king could not sleep, could not sit, was walking back and forth and was worried continually. He was asking, "What to do now? Isn't there another world? Find out! We will conquer it.
This con man came into the court before the king, and he said, "Don't be worried. You are the first man who has conquered the whole world. You are worthy to receive the clothes of God himself - and I can manage it."
This was a great idea. The king became immediately interested. He said, "You start working. God's own clothes...! Have they ever before come on the earth?"
The man said, "Never, because nobody has been worthy of them. You are the first man. So for the first time, from paradise, I will bring the clothes for you."
The king said, "Every preparation should be made... and how much will the cost be?"
The man said, "They are beyond cost; still, millions of rupees will be needed - but it is nothing."
The king said, "Don't be worried, money is not a question at all. But don't try to deceive me."
The man said, "There is no question of deception. I will be staying in your palace and you can put your army around the palace. I will be working here; of course, my room has not to be opened until I give a knock from the inside. You can lock it from the outside so you can be completely satisfied that I cannot escape. But whatsoever money I ask, you have to go on sending to the person whose name I give you. It will take not more than three weeks." And in three weeks he withdrew millions of rupees. He was sending a name every day - morning, afternoon, night - immediately! Urgent!
The king knew that the work was such... and the man could not deceive him. Where could he go?because he was locked in. And certainly he didn't escape. After three weeks he knocked on the door, the door was opened. He came out with a huge beautiful box. He had gone into the room with the box, saying, "I will have to take the box with me for the clothes I have to bring you." Not to be deceived, the king had opened the box to see whether he was carrying some clothes in it, inside. It was empty, there was no deception; the box was given back to him.
And now the con man came out and said, "The box will be opened in the court before all the wise, the learned, the generals, the queen, the king, the prince, the princess - everybody has to be present because this is a unique occasion."
The man must have been really courageous - con men always are. He called the king, "Come close, here. I will open the box. Give me your turban. I will put it in the box, because this is how I have been instructed: first, I put your turban in, then take out the turban which God has given, and give it to you. You put it on yourself. One thing more," he declared to the court, "these clothes are divine, so only those who are born really from their own fathers will be able to see them. Those who are bastards, they will miss out. I cannot do anything. This is the condition."
But everybody said, "There is no problem in it. We are born of our fathers."
The king's turban went in, and the con man's empty hand came out, and he said to the king, "Look at the beauty of the turban!" His hand was empty but the whole court started clapping, and everybody was trying to outdo the other, shouting that such a beautiful thing had never been seen.
Now the king thought, "If I say his hand is empty then I am the only bastard and all these bastards are really born of their fathers. So it is better to keep quiet." In fact, this was the situation with everybody. They all saw his hand was empty, but who would come out and be condemned when everybody else was seeing something there? They started suspecting, "Perhaps I am a bastard, so better keep quiet. What is the point of becoming unnecessarily condemned by all the people?" So they started shouting more loudly in praise of its beauty.
The king put the turban, which was not there, on his head. But it was not only the turban; by and by, other clothes started disappearing. At last, only his underwear was left. The king thought for a moment: "Now what to do?" But it was too late to turn back. "If I have seen the turban and I have seen the coat and I have seen the shirt, then why can't I see the underwear? Now it is better to see it. There is no way to go back. This man...!"
The man was holding the invisible underwear in his hands, and was showing them, "Look how many diamonds are on the underwear!"
The whole court was applauding, saying, "Such an experience has never happened in the whole history of man."
The king's underwear also went in. But that con man was something! He said, "When I was coming, God said to me,'These clothes are going into the world for the first time, so tell the king from me that when he wears these clothes he has to go in a procession round the whole capital, so all the people can see. Otherwise, those poor people will never be able to see them.' The chariot is ready - you please come on."
Now, with each step it was difficult to go back. The king started thinking, "It would have been better if I had stopped the whole thing with the turban - but now it is too late. If I say I am naked.... But the whole court is applauding."
And they started saying, "Yes sir, this is right; if God has asked, it has to be done. And that is the right welcome for the clothes."
The streets were packed with people because the rumor had gone far and wide that God's clothes were coming. And the king agreed. Naked, he stood on his chariot, and before him the man was announcing, "These clothes will be seen only by those who are born of their own fathers."
So everybody saw them, except a small child who had come with his father. Sitting on his father's shoulders, he said, "Da" - Da means daddy - "the king appears to be naked."
His father said, "You idiot, keep quiet! When you Grow up, then you will be able to see those clothes.
It needs a certain maturity; just a child like you cannot see the clothes. Keep quiet if you want to see. I was not willing from the very beginning to bring you here."
But the child could not resist; again and again he said, "But I see him clearly, naked." The father had to escape with the child out of the crowd, because if others heard him, it would have meant that the child, was not his but somebody else's.
With invisible commodities it is very easy to exploit people, to force them to do things against themselves - and that's what renunciation is.
It is con-manship, done by the priest in the name of God, truth, moksha, nirvana.
Their names may be different, but the priest is the greatest con man in the world. Other con men are just small criminals. Of what can they cheat you? But the priest, the prophet, the messiah, the avatar, the tirthankara - these are the super con men.
They have sold things which nobody has seen, which nobody is ever going to see. Not a single witness exists.
Nobody has returned from death and said, "Yes, there is eternal beauty, eternal joy, eternal silence, eternal peace."
The business goes on because nobody can contradict it. If you contradict it, you are wrong, because the whole world believes in it.
But there was a certain truth which they tried to fix into their strategy of exploitation: in life everything is momentary. But nothing is wrong in it; it has to be so. If it were otherwise, life would have been intolerable.
Things change, and it is good that they change, otherwise they would be dead. Change keeps them alive.
You are changing continuously. Do you remember on what day you jumped from childhood and you became a young man, or from youth you became an old man? You cannot draw the line between when you were a child, when you were adolescent, when you became a young man, when you became middle-aged, when you became old. Can you draw a line? No, every moment you are changing. It is an ongoing process.
Since you were conceived, you have been changing. In your mother's womb those nine months you changed so much; in ninety years of your life you will not change so much. If you are shown pictures of your nine months' life in your mother's womb you will not recognize that they are your pictures.
Or do you think that you can recognize them? You have changed completely, and you are changing every moment - and not only you, everything around you is changing. All the stars are moving and changing. Every day some star dies and disappears - it may have been here for millions of years - another star is born. Every day that is going on.
Life is a flux, a movement, a continuum.
There is nothing wrong in it. Enjoy that moment which comes and goes.
Drink out of it as much as you can because it is fleeting - so don't waste time thinking. Don't start thinking that it is fleeting! Don't be bothered about what will happen tomorrow, whether this will be with you or not; and don't think of yesterdays.
While it lasts, squeeze the whole juice out of it, drink of it completely.
Then who cares whether it goes away or if it remains? If it remains we will be drinking it. If it goes, good, we will be drinking some other moment.
Why should you insist that this moment remain permanent? How do you know that better moments are not coming? Just a moment before you would not have thought of this moment. And who knows - when this moment goes, something better may be on the way. In fact, it is on the way, because if you have drowned yourself in this moment totally, you have learned something of tremendous importance. You will be using that in the coming moment. Each moment your maturity is growing.
Each moment you are becoming more and more centered, more and more in the moment, more and more aware, more and more alert, more and more capable of living.
So who cares about death? We will enjoy it when we die. Death will also be a moment in life.
Death is not the end of life, but only a moment of transformation, because nothing can die. You cannot destroy anything, it only changes shapes, forms.
Now science is capable of destroying Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the whole world... but not really. It cannot destroy a single piece of stone. It cannot destroy it totally, it cannot annihilate it; it will still be there. You can break it into pieces but those pieces will be there. You can heat it as much as if you have brought the sun itself under it; it will melt, but it will be there. Yes, you can change the form, but there is no way to throw it out of existence.
Nothing dies, nothing is born.
Birth simply means that the form that you were was not this form, but some other form, so you cannot recognize it.
You cannot recognize even pictures of you in your mother's womb. If I show you a picture of your past life, are you going to recognize it? Forget about the mother's womb, you may not be able to recognize the picture of when you were three months old, six months old, nine months old.
Continuously, everything goes on changing.
Death is a great transformation.
You ask what is the place of renunciation in my religion. Before I answer you, there is one thing more to be noted: this idea of renunciation became so deeprooted in the whole of humanity that even the people who have denied the existence of life after death have also used the same logic. The logic became almost universal.
For example, in India there was a school of atheists called charvakas. The word charvaka is worth understanding. Their enemies - and all the religions are enemies of Charvakas - have burned all their books so not a single book of the Charvakas is available. All that we know is from the scriptures of Hindus, Jainas and Buddhists criticizing Charvakas. So we can guess something of what those people were saying, but we cannot be absolutely certain. And these are all religious people, and they destroyed the Charvakas' scriptures. Perhaps they have killed many of them also, because today there is not a single Charvaka in India. And all the scriptures are so much against the Charvakas that it seems they must have been a tremendous force once. Otherwise why criticize them when there is nobody who follows the philosophy?
All three religions were continually hammering and arguing against the Charvakas. It must have been a very popular philosophy. And in fact, it is still a powerful philosophy all over the world, but because people are hypocrites, they don't recognize it. Just listen to their philosophy and you will see that out of one hundred people, ninety-nine point nine percent are Charvakas. They may be Christians, they may be Hindus, they may be Mohammedans, it doesn't matter; these are just their masks.
So the enemy scriptures describe the meaning of the word charvaka: eat, drink, and be merry. In the enemy scriptures chanaka means one who believes in eating, eating, eating - through all the senses. I cannot say that any Charvakas have said it, but it is possible. The enemy scriptures quote Charvakas as saying, "Even if you have to borrow money, don't be worried, but drink, eat, be merry.
Go on borrowing money, because after death neither are you there to pay, nor is there anybody else to ask you,'What about my money?' Everything is finished with death, so don't be bothered by these
priests telling you that you will suffer for your karmas. You enjoy yourself in every possible way. Don't miss enjoyment. This is the only world."
This is the meaning given by the enemies, but in one enemy scripture - it must have been a very liberal person who wrote it - it says that this is the meaning given by the enemies, by us. But Charvakas themselves have a different meaning of their name. It means one who has a sweet philosophy - that meaning is possible from the same word - one who speaks words of honey. And certainly they do speak words of honey. But they also are trapped in the same logic.
The religious people say, "Renounce this world if you want to enjoy that world." And Charvakas say, "Renounce that world if you want to rejoice in this one." But the logic is the same. They have taken it from different angles, but both are asking you to renounce one for the other. Charvakas say renounce the other world; there is no God, no nirvana, no paradise - renounce it. This is all there is - so enjoy it.
Epicurus in Greece had the same philosophy and got caught up in the same logic. Even Karl Marx is caught up in the same logic: there is no other world. The first effort is to deny the other world, only then can you enjoy this world. So first demolish the other world: there is no God, no paradise, no heaven, nothing. There is no soul to survive; with your body everything dies. You are nothing but your body, your chemistry, your biology, your physiology, all together - a byproduct of all these things. It is just like the clock goes on working - it does not mean there is a soul which is moving the hands. Just take the pieces apart and you won't find any soul, just a certain arrangement of the parts. Arrange it again, and it starts ticking.
Karl Marx says, "Consciousness is only a byproduct, it has no independent existence." So when the body dies, consciousness disappears. Why this insistence on denying the other world? - for the simple reason that unless you deny the other, you will not be able to enjoy this.
But please see my point of view which is totally different from all these people - the religious, the anti-religious, the theist, the atheist. I don't belong to any of them.
I say to you that life continues to exist, but there is no need to call it the other world. It is the same world, the same continuity.
The Ganges comes out of the Himalayas; it is just a small rivulet. As it descends, other waterfalls, other rivulets go on joining it; it goes on becoming bigger and bigger and bigger. When it comes out of the Himalayas it is a vast river. You cannot conceive that it is the same river. You can see from where it arises. Because Hindus love the cow as the mother, they have made the origin of the Ganges a stone cow's face. The Ganges falls through the face; it is so small, so tiny.
By the time the Ganges reaches Benares, you cannot believe its size. And when it reaches near Calcutta to meet the ocean, it becomes almost oceanic itself. Standing there, you cannot decide which is the ocean; it is so vast. It falls into the ocean, then too it remains. Where can it go? Yes, it is no more a river - perhaps some water may evaporate into the clouds, some water may become ice and move towards the arctic - but it will remain, nothing is lost.
So I don't say that you have to renounce anything: this world for that, or that world for this. You have not to renounce at all. You have to live!
You have to live intensely and totally, wherever you are, whatever you are.
And if you enjoy this time, this space, this opportunity that is available to you, to its totality, you will be certainly moving to a higher consciousness. You will be gaining, learning, understanding, becoming more aware. Life will continue. It will depend on your awareness what form it takes, higher or lower; whether it moves towards more anguish or more ecstasy - but it depends on this moment. So I am not saying to renounce this world.
So I am a strange man in a way because I am against the religions. Religious people in India have been writing against me in books and articles - and communists have been writing books and articles against me too.
Once I was traveling, and the president of India's communist party, S.A. Dange, was also with me in the compartment. His son-in-law had just written a book against me. He asked me, "Have you seen the book my son-in-law has written against you?"
I said, "I am so much involved in living that I don't care who is writing what about me. And anybody who is writing about me must be a fool because he is wasting his time writing about me. He should live! Or even if he wants to write, he should write something about himself And why should I read his crap? He may be your son-in-law, so you can read it - i'm not interested." He was ready to give me the book. I said, "Throw it out of the window, because so many books have been written against me, I cannot waste my time." I told him, "Just for your information, it is strange but religious people write against me and anti-religious people, communists, also write against me. This has never happened before."
But the reason is that I am trying to give you a totally new viewpoint which goes against all the old logic. They are both partners in the same game, and I am trying to destroy their whole game - the whole logic.
They both believe that one world has to be renounced; which one is another matter. But on one point they agree: one world has to be renounced. The religions say this for that; the communists say that for this - that is the only disagreement between them. But the basic logic is similar: you can have only one world. And I say: Why can't we have both? I don't see any conflict; I am having both! And my experience is that the more you have of this, the more you will have of that, because you will become more experienced.
If there is a paradise, then one thing is certain: your monks will not be able to enjoy it there. What will they enjoy? The whole of their life they were denouncing women, condemning women, and there they will find beautiful callgirls. They will be so nervous that many of them will have heart attacks.
Here they are renouncing: you should not eat food with taste, taste is an attachment to food - and there they will be served the most tasteful food. They will be vomiting! Their whole life experience will be against it.
Only my people can enjoy paradise fully.
Neither the religious people can enjoy it - because they have destroyed and crippled themselves and their capacity to enjoy - nor the communists, because they will not open their eyes. They have
denied the existence of anything after death. They will keep their eyes closed to remain convinced that there is nothing; otherwise their whole life's philosophy is proved wrong. It is better to keep your eyes closed. That's what people do: if anything goes against you, any fact, you try to avoid that fact - it is disturbing. Communists will go blind because they cannot accept the idea that Karl Marx is wrong and DAS KAPITAL is wrong.
And the religious people will be the most troubled people in paradise; everywhere they will find difficulty. Perhaps there are divisions in paradise, as it seems.... Mohammedans' paradise seems to be different from the Hindus, from the Christians, from the Jainas - perhaps different zones are allotted to different kinds of people.
In the Mohammedan paradise there are rivers of wine. You drink as much as you want; swim, jump, drown yourself, whatsoever you want to do. But here, don't touch wine. Now, this seems to be very illogical. Here these people should be trained for such a great experience or they will simply die! Sitting on the bank of a river where champagne is flowing, they cannot drink because of their past habits, their whole life's training and discipline. And there is no description of any river which has water; in Mohammedan paradise all the rivers are wine. Why? When you can drink wine, why bother about water? So either they will die of thirst, or they will start drinking in spite of themselves.
They will be really in a mess. Many of them will go mad: that what kind of reward is this? This is punishment!
Only my people will be able to swim in any zone. In the Mohammedan zone they will not be worried, they will enjoy it. They will fit anywhere because they haven't any fixed routine of living, a fixed style of living.
All that I am teaching them is to remain flexible, free, open, available to new experiences, to new explorations.
So my people are not going to remain in one zone. They are going to use all the zones and enjoy all the sights of paradise; nobody can prevent them.
You can have both worlds - so why cripple people?
Make this life an experience, a school, a learning, a discipline, because something unknown is going to open up after death and you have to be ready in every possible way.
So don't miss any opportunity of living. Who knows what kind of life you are going to have after death?
I do not give you a fixed idea, because if I give you a fixed idea, I am your enemy; I make you a fixed person, inflexible, rigid, dead.
Be flexible, so you can move in any dimension that becomes available.
In my religion there is no place for renunciation.
The Sanskrit word for renunciation is now sannyas, because renunciation became so important that the very word sannyas was used for it. But I have given it a new meaning. The people who have
called sannyas renunciation, meant by sannyas "the right way of renouncing life". By sannyas, I mean "the right way of living life.
The word sannyas can mean both. When it can mean the right way of living, why cripple people, cut their life, destroy their naturalness, their spontaneity? Why not help them to have as many aspects to their life as possible, as many dimensions open to them as possible?
My sannyasin is multidimensional.
The whole of life is yours. Love it, live it to the fullest. That's the only way to get ready for death.
Then you can live death too, to its fullest; and it is one of the most beautiful experiences. There is nothing comparable to the death experience in life, except deep meditation.
So those who know meditation, they know something of death - that's the only way to know before dying.
If I am saying there is no more significant experience in life than death, I am saying it, not because I have died and come back to tell you, but because I know that in meditation you move into the same space as death - because in meditation you are no more your physiology, no more your biology, no more your chemistry, no more your psychology. All those are left far away.
You come to your innermost center where there is only pure awareness. That pure awareness will be with you when you die because that cannot be taken away. All these other things which can be taken away, we take away with our own hands in meditation.
So meditation is an experience of death in life.
And it is so beautiful, so indescribably beautiful that only one thing can be said about death: it must be that experience multiplied by millions.
The experience of meditation multiplied by millions is the experience of death.
And when you pass on you simply leave your form behind. You are absolutely intact, and for the first time out of the prison of physiology, biology, psychology.
All the walls are broken and you are free.
For the first time you can open your wings to the existential.