Only nothing is
THE BUDDHA SAID:
THE HOMELESS SHRAMANA CUTS OFF THE PASSIONS, FREES HIMSELF OF ATTACHMENTS, UNDERSTANDS THE SOURCE OF HIS OWN MIND, PENETRATES THE DEEPEST DOCTRINE OF BUDDHA, AND COMPREHENDS THE DHAMMA, WHICH IS IMMATERIAL.
HE HAS NO PREJUDICE IN HIS HEART. HE HAS NOTHING TO HANKER AFTER. HE IS NOT HAMPERED BY THE THOUGHT OF THE WAY NOR IS HE ENTANGLED IN KARMA. NO PREJUDICE, NO COMPULSION, NO DISCIPLINE, NO ENLIGHTENMENT AND NO GOING UP THROUGH THE GRADES AND YET IN POSSESSION OF ALL HONOURS IN ITSELF. THIS IS CALLED THE WAY.
THE BUDDHA SAID.
THOSE WHO SHAVING THEIR HEADS AND FACES BECOME SHRAMANAS AND WHO RECEIVE INSTRUCTION IN THE WAY SHOULD SURRENDER ALL WORLDLY POSSESSIONS AND BE CONTENTED WITH WHATEVER THEY OBTAIN BY BEGGING. ONE MEAL A DAY AND ONE LODGING UNDER A TREE AND NEITHER SHOULD BE REPEATED, FOR WHAT MAKES ONE STUPID AND IRRATIONAL IS ATTACHMENTS AND THE PASSIONS.
THE BUDDHA SAID:
THERE ARE TEN THINGS CONSIDERED GOOD BY ALL BEINGS, AND TEN THINGS EVIL. THREE OF THEM DEPEND UPON THE BODY, FOUR UPON THE MOUTH, AND THREE UPON THOUGHT.
THREE EVIL DEEDS DEPENDING UPON THE BODY ARE: KILLING, STEALING, AND COMMITTING ADULTERY. THE FOUR DEPENDING UPON THE MOUTH ARE: SLANDERING, CURSING, LYING AND FLATTERY. THE THREE DEPENDING UPON THOUGHT ARE: ENVY, ANGER AND INFATUATION. ALL THESE THINGS ARE AGAINST THE HOLY WAY, AND THEREFORE THEY ARE EVIL. WHEN THESE EVILS ARE NOT DONE, THERE ARE TEN GOOD DEEDS.
THE FIRST THING: Buddha emphasizes very much the idea of a homeless wandereR - the idea of homelessness. It need not be taken literally, but the idea is tremendously significant. If you build a house, if you build a home around you, you are doing something which is not possible in the nature of things.
Because this life is a flux, this life is not more than momentary. This life is not stable, not permanent - here we are only for a few moments. Death is approaching continuously; we are dying every moment while we are living.
To make this place, this space, a home, is absurd. The home is not possible here.
The home is possible only in eternity. Time cannot be made a home, and if you try to make a home here then you will be constantly in misery, because you will be fighting against nature; you will be going against what Buddha calls dhamma.
Dhamma simply means tao, the way things are. If you want to make a dream permanent, you will suffer, because dream as such cannot be permanent. Its very nature is to be non-permanent. In fact, even to repeat the same dream again is difficult. The dream is illusory, you cannot live in it forever.
To think of a permanent life here on this shore, the shore of time, is stupid. If you are a little intelligent, if you are a little aware and if you can see all around you what is happening.... You were not here one day, and you will not be here one day again. How can you make a home here? You can stay here as if one stays overnight in a serai - when the morning comes you have to go.
Yes, you can pitch tents here, but you cannot make a home. You can have shelter, but you should not become attached to it. You should not call it 'my', 'mine'. The moment you call anything 'mine', you are falling into stupidity. Nothing belongs to you, nothing can belong to you.
One is a homeless wanderer in the very nature of things. Time is impermanent.
Time means the temporary. Time cannot have any eternal home in it. To make a home in time is to make a house on the sands, or to make a signature in water - you go on making it; it goes on disappearing.
Buddha says to understand this homelessness is to become a sannyasin. There is no necessity that you leave the home. You can leave if you feel good that way. If it fits with your nature you can leave the home, you can literally become a wanderer, but that is not a must. You can remain in the home, but it is no more a home for you. You know you don't possess it. You may be using it for a while, but tomorrow you have to go.
So don't make a home anywhere, not even in the body - because that body is also continuously disappearing. If you don't make a home anywhere then you are a sannyasin in spirit - and a sannyasin is never miserable. Because misery comes out of attachment. When your attachments are not fulfilled as you wanted them to be, when your expectations are not fulfilled, frustration arises.
Frustration is a by-product.
If you don't expect, nobody can frustrate you. If you don't want to make a home here, even death cannot frighten you. Nothing can frighten you. If you don't cling to anything, how can you be made miserable? Your clinging creates misery, because you want to cling and in the very nature of things, things are changing; you cannot cling. They are slipping constantly out of your hands. There is no way to cling to them.
You cling to the wife, you cling to the husband, to the children, to the parents, to the friends. You cling to persons, to things, and everything is in a constant flux.
You are trying to hold a river in your arms and the river is flowing fast; it is rushing towards some unknown goal - you are frustrated.
The wife falls in love with somebody else - you are frustrated. The husband escapes - you are frustrated. The child dies - you are frustrated. The bank fails, goes bankrupt - you are frustrated. The body becomes ill, weak, death starts knocking at the door - you are frustrated. But these frustrations are because of your expectations. You are responsible for them.
If you understand that this place is not a home and you are a homeless wanderer here, a stranger in an unknown land; you have to leave, you have to go... if you have penetrated that point, if you have understood it, then you don't make a home anywhere. You become a homeless wanderer, a parivrajaka. You may even literally become so; it depends on you. You may really become a wanderer, or spiritually you may become a wanderer.
My own emphasis is not to become literally a wanderer, because what is the point? Buddha's emphasis was not so; let it be clear to you. Buddha has not said what to do, whether to follow him literally or not. Millions followed him literally - they dropped out of their homes, out of their families; they really became bhikkhus wandering all over the country, begging. I don't insist on that.
If really you understand then there is no need to do it in such a factual way.
Because to me it appears that when a person does not understand the idea completely, only then he literally becomes a wanderer; otherwise there is no need. You can be in the home, you can be with your wife and your children, and yet remain alert that nothing belongs to you; remain alert that you don't fall into attachments; remain alert that if things change you are ready to accept the change, that you will not weep for the spilt milk, that you will not cry, that you will not go crazy and mad.
To me this seems to be more significant than really becoming a wanderer, because that is easier. And if there is no home and if you don't possess anything, then how can you renounce? The very idea of renouncing it makes it clear that somewhere deep in the unconscious you thought that you possessed it, because you can renounce only something which you possess.
How can you renounce? Your wife is not yours - how can you renounce? Your children are not yours - how can you renounce? They don't belong to you, so where is the point to renounce then? You can simply understand that they don't belong to you; that we are strangers - we have met on the way, or we have stayed under the same tree for a few days, but we are strangers.
Understanding it deep in your awareness is enough. My emphasis is to become a spiritual wanderer. There is no need to drag the body like a beggar; just let your spirit be that of a wanderer, and that is enough. Don't create bondage for your spirit.
THE BUDDHA SAID:
THE HOMELESS SHRAMANA CUTS OFF THE PASSIONS...
Passions are our dreams. Passions are our dreams of the future, desires of the future, desires of how things should be. Deep down we are always discontent; whatsoever is, is not satisfying. We are continuously weaving dreams to change things - to make a better house, to have a better wife, to have a better education, to have more money, to have this, to have that. We are continuously thinking in terms of how to make life better. We go on living in the future which is not.
Living in the future is a dream because it exists not. Living in the future is based on a deep discontent with the present.
So two things have to be understood about passions. One, whatsoever we have we cling to it. Look at the paradox: whatsoever we have we cling to it and still we are not satisfied with it. We are miserable with it, so we desire to modify it, to decorate it, to make it better. We continuously cling to that which we have and we continuously desire for that which we don't have. And between these two we are crushed. And this will be so always and always. It was so yesterday, it is so today, it is going to be so tomorrow... your whole life.
Whatsoever you will have you will cling to it so that nobody can take it away, and still you will be miserable with it and you will hope that someday things will be better. A man who lives in passion, in desire, lives a futile life - always miserable, always dreaming. Miserable with reality and dreaming unreal things.
I have heard:
'How many fish have you caught?' a passerby asked old Mulla Nasrudin who was fishing off the end of the pier.
'Well,' said the old Mulla thoughtfully, 'if I catch this one that is nibbling at my bait and two more, I will have three.'
He has nothing....
This is how human mind goes on dreaming. Our life is short, very short, and our dreams are immense.
Seamus and Bridget met on Rockaway beach. As they stretched out together on a blanket under the boardwalk, Seamus whispered huskily, 'Bridget, I love you.'
'But,' protested Bridget, 'we have only just met!'
'I know,' replied Seamus, 'but I am only here for the weekend.'
But everybody is here only for the weekend. Life is really very short. How is love possible? How can you make a home here? How can you possess anything?
Everything is continuously disappearing. You are chasing shadows.
THE HOMELESS SHRAMANA CUTS OFF THE PASSIONS, FREES HIMSELF OF ATTACHMENTS...
By attachments he means relationships that really don't exist, only you believe that they exist. You are a husband - you believe that a certain relationship exists between you and your wife, but it is just a belief. Have you not observed the fact that even living with a woman for forty, fifty years, she remains a stranger, and you remain a stranger to her?
Down the centuries, men have been trying to understand the woman, the mind, the feminine mind - but man has not been able to understand it yet. The woman has been trying to understand the mind of man, yet it remains a mystery. And man and woman have lived together for centuries.
Observe it. How can you relate to anybody? The other remains out of your grasp.
The other remains other... unreachable. You may touch the periphery and the other may even pretend that yes, you have related, but we remain alone.
Relationship is just a make-believe. It helps, it helps in a way. It allows us to feel that we are not alone. It makes life a little more comfortable, but that comfort is illusory. The other remains the other, and there is no way to penetrate the mystery of the other. We ARE alone.
When Buddha says, THE HOMELESS SHRAMANA FREES HIMSELF OF ALL ATTACHMENTS, he means he comes to see that attachment is not possible here.
Attachment is impossible, relationship is impossible. All relationship is just an absurd effort, because you cannot reach the other, you cannot touch the center of the other's being. And unless you have touched the center, how can you relate?
You don't know the other's soul, you only know the body, actions, attitudes - they are just on the periphery. We meet on the periphery.
That is the misery of relationship. We remain on the periphery and we continuously believe our hope, our desire, that someday the relationship will really happen and center will meet to the center, the heart will meet to the heart...
that we will dissolve - but it never happens. It cannot happen.
To become aware of this very disturbing reality is difficult because it takes the very ground from underneath your feet. You are left so lonely that you again start believing in old dreams, relationship, this and that. You again start creating bridges, but you never succeed, have never succeeded. Not that your effort is not enough, not that your skill is not enough, but because in the very nature of things, attachment is an impossibility. You are trying to do something which reality does not allow.
Your aloneness is eternal. Buddha says to understand this aloneness and to remain true to it is the meaning of dropping attachments. Not that you escape from the world, but simply all attachments drop, bridges drop. And this is the beauty - that when all attachments drop, you become more understanding, and your life with others becomes more peaceful... because you don't hope, you don't hope for the impossible, you don't expect. Whatsoever happens you feel grateful and whatsoever does not happen you know it cannot happen. You become, in a deeper way, very accepting. You don't force reality according to your desires.
You start learning how to let go, how to be one and harmonious with the reality itself.
... UNDERSTANDS THE SOURCE OF HIS OWN MIND, PENETRATES THE DEEPEST DOCTRINE OF BUDDHA...
What is THE DEEPEST DOCTRINE OF BUDDHA? Buddha's greatest message is the message of no-self, anatta - that is his deepest doctrine. That you have to understand. First he says don't make a home here, then he says don't be attached, then he says look into yourself; you are not.
First he says the world is illusory, don't make a home here. Then he says attachments are just dreams, drop all attachments from your mind. And then he comes to his deepest doctrine. The doctrine is: now look inside, you are not.
You can exist only with the home, with the possessions, with the relationships.
The 'I' is nothing but a combination of all these dreams, a cumulative effect.
Dreams of possessing things, dreams of possessing people - relationships, attachment, love, passion, dreams of future - all these accumulate and become the ego. When you drop all these, suddenly you disappear, and in your disappearance the law starts functioning in its truest way. That is what the Buddha calls the dhamma, the tao, the ultimate law.
So there are three layers of the ego. First layer, the world - your house, your car, your bank balance. Second, attachments - your relationships, your affairs, your children, wife, husband, friends, enemies. And the deepest layer, you. And these all are joined together. If you really want to get rid of your ego, you will have to move in a very scientific way. That's what Buddha is doing.
First, no home; second, no relationships; third, no self. If you do the two first things, the preliminary things, the third happens automatically - you look inside and you are not there. And when you see that you are not there - there is no entity inside, no substantial entity, you cannot call yourself 'I' - you are freed.
This is what liberation is in the buddhist way. This is what nirvana is.
The word nirvana means cessation of the self, arising of a no-self, emptiness... the zero experience. Nothing is, only nothing is.
Then how can you be disturbed? because now there is nobody to be disturbed.
Then how can you die? because now there is nobody to die. How can you be born? because now there is nobody to be born. This nobodyness is tremendously beautiful. It is opening and opening, space and space, with no boundaries.
This is Buddha's concept of reality. It is very difficult to understand. We can understand that ego can be dropped - but the soul? Then we go on in a subtle way still remaining an egoist. Then we call it the soul, the atman. Buddha is very consistent. He says any idea of yourself, that you can be in some way, is egoistic.
Let me try to explain it to you through modern physics, because modern physics has also come to the same point. Ask the modern scientist. He says the maner only appears, it is not. If you go deeper in the maner, only emptiness. It is nothing but emptiness. If you analyse the maner, if you divide the atom, then it disappears. At the ultimate core only emptiness remains... only space, pure space.
The same analysis Buddha did with self. What scientists have been doing with matter, Buddha did with mind. And both agree that if analysis goes deep enough, then there is no substance left, all substance disappears. Non-existence is left.
Buddha could not survive in India. India is the oldest country in the world which has believed in the self, the atman. The Upanishads, the Vedas, from Patanjali to Mahavira, everybody has believed in the self. They were all against the ego, but they never dared to say that the self is also nothing but a trick of the ego. Buddha dared to assert the ultimate truth.
While he was alive, people could tolerate. His presence was such a powerful presence, his presence was so convincing that they could not deny, they could not say that what he is saying is against human mind, absolutely against human mind. They may have discussed here and there; sometimes a few people came to discuss with him also - 'What are you saying? Then what is the point of being liberated if nobody remains? We hope for liberation so that we will be liberated.'
Buddha's emphasis is that you will never be liberated, because until and unless you die there is no liberation. Liberation is from the self, the self is not liberated.
Liberation is from the self itself.
But his presence was very convincing; whatsoever he was saying must be true.
His existence was a proof. The grace that has happened to him, the harmony that was surrounding him, the luminousness that was following him wherever he walked, moved... the glow. People were puzzled - because this man was saying that there is no self, only tremendous emptiness inside. They could not deny.
But by the time Buddha had gone, they started criticizing, arguing; they started denying. Only five hundred years after Buddha left his body, Buddhism was uprooted from India. People could not believe in such a drastic attitude. Nothing is, the world is illusory, attachments are stupid, and in the final analysis you are not. Then what is the point?
If everything is a dream and even the self is a dream, then why should we go into it? Let it be a dream - at least something is there. Why should we make so much effort, so many arduous efforts to achieve just to nothingness?
But you have to understand. What Buddha calls nothingness is nothingness from your side. He says nothing remains - nothing of your world, nothing of your relationship, nothing of you, but he is not saying that nothing remains. He is saying nothing remains from your side, and that which remains cannot be expressed. That which is left, there is no way to express it to you, no way to communicate it. Because in whatsoever way it is communicated, it will be misunderstood.
If Buddha says, 'Yes, the atman, the self exists, but the self is a non-ego state,' you may nod your head that yes, we understand. But you don't understand, because the very idea of self carries something of the ego in it: 'I am'. Howsoever pure, but the 'I' remains. Your idea of atman, self, supreme self, Self with a capital S, is nothing but a transfigured ego.
Mulla Nasrudin and the local priest were always fighting and arguing and eventually they finished up in the court. After listening to evidence from both sides, the magistrate said, 'I feel sure that this can be settled amicably. Shake hands with each other and say something for good will.'
The priest shook Nasrudin's hand and said, 'I wish for you what you wish for me.'
'See, Your Honour,' said the Mulla, 'he is starting it again.'
He has not said anything, he has simply said, 'I wish for you what you wish for me.' But Mulla knows well what he wishes for him. He says, 'See, Your Honour, he is starting it again.' Whatsoever is said to you will be coloured by you.
Buddha remained very pure; he wouldn't allow you to corrupt. He wouldn't give you even a hint. He simply denied totally, absolutely. He said whatsoever you know disappears - your world, your love, your attachments, your things, your relationships, you. You are the center, your world is your periphery. They all disappear together. It is not possible that you can be saved when your world is lost. When the periphery, the circumference is lost, the center is also lost. They go together. When the elephant moves, the tail of the elephant also moves with it.
When your whole world drops, you also drop with it; you are part of it, an organic part of that dream.
But let me remind you - don't misunderstand Buddha. He was very logical not to say anything about that which remains. He said, 'Come and experience it.' He said, 'Don't force me to relate it to you linguistically. Let it be existential experience.'
You disappear but in a way for the first time you appear. But this appearance is something so totally different from all your experiences that there is no way to relate it. Whatsoever will be said will be wrong, because you will interpret it in your own way.
THE HOMELESS SHRAMANA CUTS OFF THE PASSIONS, FREES HIMSELF OF ATTACHMENTS, UNDERSTANDS THE SOURCE OF HIS OWN MIND, PENETRATES THE DEEPEST DOCTRINE OF BUDDHA, AND COMPREHENDS THE DHAMMA WHICH IS IMMATERIAL.
This much Buddha allows - that there is a dhamma, a natural law, which is immaterial. He will not say spiritual; he simply says WHICH IS IMMATERIAL.
What is this dhamma? What is this law?
It will be easy if you understand Lao Tzu's concept of tao, or if you understand the vedic concept of rita. There must be something like a law which holds everything together. The changing seasons, the moving stars... the whole universe goes on so smoothly; it must have a certain law.
The difference has to be understood. Jews, Christians, Mohammedans, Hindus, call that law 'god'; they personify it. Buddha is not ready to do it. He says to personify god is to destroy the whole beauty of it, because that is anthropomorphic, anthropocentric attitude. Man thinks as if god is just like man - magnified, quantitatively millions of times bigger, but still, like man.
Buddha says god is not a person. That's why he never uses the word 'god'. He says dhamma, the law. God is not a person but just a force, immaterial force. Its nature is more like law than like a person. That's why in Buddhism, prayer does not exist.
You cannot pray to a law; it will be pointless. You cannot pray to the law of gravitation, can you? It will be meaningless. The law cannot listen to your prayer. You can follow the law, and you can be in happy harmony with the law.
Or, you can disobey the law and you can suffer. But there is no point in praying to the law.
If you go against gravitation you may break a few of your bones, you may have a few fractures. If you follow the law of gravitation, you can avoid the fractures - but what is the point of praying? Sitting before the icon and praying to the Lord - - 'I am going for a journey, help me' - it is absurd.
Buddha says the universe runs according to a law, not according to a person. His attitude is scientific. Because, he says, a person can be whimsical. You can pray to god and you can persuade him, but that is dangerous. Somebody who is not praying to god may not be able to persuade him and god may become prejudiced - a person is always capable of prejudice.
And that's what all the religions say - that if you pray, he will save you, if you pray you will not be miserable, if you don't pray you will be thrown into hell.
To think in these terms about god is very human, but very unscientific. That means god loves your flattery, your prayers. So if you are a praying person and you go regularly to the church, to the temple, and you read the Gita and the Bible, you recite Koran, then he will help you; otherwise he will be very annoyed by you. If you say, 'I don't believe in god,' he will be very angry at you.
Buddha says this is stupid. God is not a person. You cannot annoy him and you cannot buttress him, you cannot flatter him. You cannot persuade him to your own way. Whether you believe in him or not, that doesn't matter. A law exists beyond your belief. If you follow it, you are happy. If you don't follow it, you become unhappy.
Look at the austere beauty of the concept of law. Then the whole question is of a discipline, not of prayer. Understand the law and be in harmony with it, don't be in a conflict with it, that's all. No need for a temple, no need for a mosque, no need to pray. Just follow your understanding.
Buddha says that whenever you are miserable it is just an indication that you have gone against the law, you have disobeyed the law. Whenever you are in misery, just understand one thing; watch, observe, analyse your situation, diagnose it - you must be going somewhere against the law, you must be in conflict with the law. Buddha says it is not that the law is punishing you; no, that is foolish - how can a law punish you? You are punishing yourself by being against the law. If you go with the law, it is not that the law is awarding you - how can the law award you? If you go with it, you are awarding yourself. The whole responsibility is yours - obey or disobey.
If you obey, you live in heaven. If you disobey, you live in hell. Hell is a state of your own mind when you are antagonistic to the law, and heaven is also a state of your own mind when you are in harmony.
HE HAS NO PREJUDICE IN HIS HEART.
Buddha says one who understands the law HAS NO PREJUDICE IN HIS HEART. HE HAS NOTHING TO HANKER AFTER. HE IS NOT HAMPERED BY THE THOUGHT OF THE WAY, NOR IS HE ENTANGLED IN KARMA. NO PREJUDICE, NO COMPULSION, NO DISCIPLINE, NO ENLIGHTENMENT, AND NO GOING UP THROUGH THE GRADES, AND YET IN POSSESSION OF ALL HONOURS IN ITSELF - THIS IS CALLED THE WAY.
This is a very revolutionary statement. You cannot come across such a statement in Krishna's assertions, or Jesus' assertions, or Mohammed's. This is tremendously revolutionary.
Buddha says a real man of understanding does not even hanker for enlightenment. Because even to desire enlightenment is to desire, and desire is misery. Whether you desire money or you desire satori, whether you desire some person or you desire enlightenment, whether you desire prestige, power, respectability, or you desire dhyana, samadhi, meditation, enlightenment, desire as such is the same; the nature of desire is the same. Desire means desire, and desire brings misery. What you desire is irrelevant - you desire, that's enough to make you miserable.
Desire means you have moved away from reality, you have moved away from that which is.
Desire means you have fallen into the trap of a dream.
Desire means you are not herenow, you have gone somewhere in the future.
Non-desire is enlightenment, so how can you desire enlightenment? If you desire enlightenment your very desire prevents its happening. You cannot desire enlightenment. You can only understand the nature of desire, and in the light of understanding, desire disappears - as you bring a lamp into a dark room, darkness disappears.
Desire is darkness. When you light a candle of understanding, desire disappears.
And when there is no desire, there is enlightenment. That's what enlightenment is.
Try to understand this; this is one of the things you will need very much. It is very easy to change the object of your desire from worldly things to otherworldly things.
I was in a certain town. I had gone for an evening walk. Just when I was approaching the garden a woman came to me and gave me a booklet. On the booklet there was a beautiful garden on the cover page and a beautiful bungalow by the side of a spring. Tall trees and far in the background snow peaks. I looked inside. Inside, I was surprised to see it was a propaganda pamphlet by some christian community. In the pamphlet it said, 'If you want to have a beautiful house in the garden of god, then follow Jesus. If in the other world you want such a beautiful house then follow Jesus.'
Now this type of attitude seems to be very worldly, but this has been so. Except Buddha's attitude, all other religions are in some way or other asking you not to drop desire, but asking you to change the object of desire. That is the difference.
They say, 'Don't desire worldly things, desire heavenly things. Don't desire money, desire god.'
Now you can see the difference, the revolutionary change. Buddha says simply don't desire. It is not a question of what you desire. If you desire you will remain in misery. Don't desire, that's all. Be desireless, that's all. And when you are desireless you are calm and quiet and collected. When you are desireless ego disappears, when you are desireless misery disappears, and when you are desireless you fall in tune with the law.
Your desire is always a conflict with the law. Your desire simply says that you are not satisfied with what is given to you. You ask for more or you ask for something else. A desireless person simply says, 'Whatsoever is, is. Whatsoever is happening is happening. I accept it and I go with it. I have no other mind. If this is what is happening, I will simply delight in it. I will enjoy it. I will be with it.'
This is what I call surrender. Surrendering means non-desiring.
HE IS NOT HAMPERED BY THE THOUGHT OF THE WAY.
If you are desiring god, paradise... in fact the very word 'paradise' means a walled garden... if you are desiring some beautiful palaces in the other world, then even the way, the path, the religion, the Bible, the Koran, the Gita, they will hamper you, they will burden you - because a desiring mind is always disturbed, always wavering, always thinking whether it is going to happen or not, always doubting whether it has ever happened to anybody.
'Am I foolish in desiring it? Does it really exist? Does it exist, the other world? the god? the happiness? the paradise? or is it just a myth, a story for children, for people who need toys?' And then even the way becomes a tension, because he uses everything as a means to reach to some end.
Buddha says the man of understanding is not even hampered by the thought of the way, because he is not going anywhere, so there is no point of any way. He is simply here. When you are going somewhere you need a way. When you understand, you simply enjoy being here. This moment is enough. There is nowhere to go, so what is the point of a way, a path, means? There is no end, no goal, nowhere to go.
That's my emphasis also. There is nowhere to go. Just be here. Just be here as totally as possible. Don't allow your mind to go anywhere. And in that moment when you are not going anywhere, everything falls into silence. Experience it.
You can experience it right now, listening to me - if you are not going anywhere.
You can listen to me in two ways. One way is of the mind, of the desire. You can listen to me in order to find out some clue so that you can become enlightened; to find out some clue so that you can enter into the palace of god; to find out some key. Then you will be uneasy, restless.
And you can listen to me without any idea of going anywhere. You can simply listen to me, you can just be here with me. In that silence when you are just here, delighting with me, listening to me as one listens to a waterfall, as one listens to birds chirping in the trees, as one listens to the wind blowing in the pines - just listening for no reason - then in that moment you are in tune with tao, you are in tune with dhamma, you are in tune with the universe.
The universe is going somewhere; you fall in tune with it, you move with the river. Then you don't push the river. Then you don't have any other goal than the goal of the whole.
... NOR IS HE ENTANGLED IN KARMA.
A man who understands has nothing to do, he has just to be. His being is all his action. His action is his delight, he enjoys it. You ask a painter. If the painter is a real painter, then he enjoys painting, not that there is some result to it. There may not be, there may be; that is irrelevant.
Somebody asked Van Gogh, 'What is your best painting?' He was painting something. He said, 'This one - that which I am doing right now.' People were worried why Van Gogh was painting at all because his paintings were not selling. Not a single painting was sold while he was alive. And he was dying, starving himself, because he had only enough money to live. Each week his brother was giving him a certain amount of money, enough just to survive. So for three days he would eat, and for four days he would fast every week to save money for colours, brushes, canvases - and they were not selling at all. People used to think that he was mad, but he was tremendously happy... starving and happy. What was his happiness? The very act of painting.
Remember, an action becomes a karma, a bondage, if you have some end, if you are going somewhere through it. If your action is just your delight - like children playing, making sand castles, enjoying, no goal to their activity, just playing, intrinsic play in the very activity - then there is no karma, then there is no bondage. Then each action brings more and more freedom.
... NO PREJUDICE, NO COMPULSION, NO DISCIPLINE.
A man of understanding need not discipline himself. His understanding is his discipline. You need discipline because your understanding is not enough.
People come to me... just the other night somebody was there. He wrote a letter to me that he knows what is right but he goes on doing what is wrong. He knows what is wrong, still he goes on doing it. 'So how to change it,Osho?' he writes.
Now if you really know what is right, how can you do wrong? Somewhere your knowledge must be borrowed, it cannot be yours. If you really know what is wrong, how can you do it? It is impossible. If you do, that simply shows you don't know.
Socrates used to say, 'Knowledge is virtue.' If you know something, it starts happening. But the knowledge must be real, and by real I mean it must be yours, it must have come through your own life, it must be an essence of your own experience. It should not be borrowed, it should not be academic, it should not be scriptural, it should not be just information. It should be your own experience, authentically lived. Then you cannot go against it, there is no way.
How can you pass through a wall knowing that it is a wall? You go through the door. You never come to me and say, 'I know, Osho, where the door is, but still I first try to go through the wall. It always hits my head. What to do now?' If you know where the door is you pass through it. If you say you know and still you try to go through the wall, that simply shows you don't know. You may have heard, somebody else may have told you, but you don't trust. Your action shows what you know. Your action is the only proof of your knowledge, nothing else.
Buddha says no discipline is needed if understanding is there. Understanding brings its own discipline - intrinsic, inner.
There are two sorts of discipline, as there are two sorts of knowledge. If knowledge comes from without, then you have to enforce discipline on yourself.
If knowledge springs, wells up from within, then there is no need to enforce any discipline. Discipline comes as a shadow to it; it follows.
... NO DISCIPLINE, NO ENLIGHTENMENT, AND NO GOING UP THROUGH THE GRADES.
And Buddha says there are no grades. People are there who come and say to me, 'I am advanced but still not yet attained.' They want from me a certificate also, so that I can give them an indication of how far they are advanced, on what grade they are.
Buddha says in fact there are no gradations. There are only two types of people - enlightened and unenlightened. There is no in between. It is not that a few people are there who are just in the middle. Either you are alive or you are dead, there is no in between. Either you know or you don't; there is no in between.
Grades don't exist.
All grades are tricks of the ego. The ego says, 'Yes, I am not yet enlightened, but I am far advanced. Just ninety-nine degrees. One degree more and I will be enlightened. I am not far behind - far advanced.' Drop all that nonsense. If you are not enlightened you are simply not enlightened.
All unenlightened people are the same and all enlightened people are also the same. The difference is just as if you are sleeping and somebody is sitting by your side fully alert and aware. This is the only difference. If you are awake, you are awake. You cannot say, 'I am just in between.' There is no state like that. If you are asleep, you are asleep; if you are awake, you are awake.
And the difference is small and yet tremendous. A man fully alert sitting awake and a man snoring by the side - both are the same human beings, same consciousnesses, but one is in deep darkness, lost, oblivious of itself; another luminous, alive, attained to its own inner flame.
If something happens then they both will react in different ways. The alert person is bound to react in a different way. His reaction will be a response; he will respond, knowing well what he is doing. If the sleepy person reacts, his reaction will be a mechanical reaction, not knowing what he is doing.
... NO DISCIPLINE, NO ENLIGHTENMENT, NO GOING UP THROUGH THE GRADES, AND YET IN POSSESSION OF ALL HONOURS IN ITSELF - THIS IS CALLED THE WAY.
Buddha says if you surrender the ego, if you surrender yourself, you come in a harmony with the law and everything starts happening on its own. You have but to surrender. If you are ready to disappear, you will be full of the law and the law will take care.
Have you watched it? If you trust the river you can float. The moment you lose the trust you start drowning. If you trust, the river takes you in her hands. If you become afraid you start drowning. That's why dead bodies start floating on the surface of the river, because dead bodies cannot doubt. Dead bodies cannot be afraid.
Alive, the same persons went down into the river and drowned. When dead, they surface, they start floating on the surface. Now it is very difficult for the river to drown them - no river has been able to up to now. No river can drown a dead body. Alive, what happens? What happens? The dead man must be knowing some secret. The secret is, he cannot doubt.
You must have heard the beautiful parable in Jesus' life - that his disciples are crossing the lake of Galilee and he is left behind and he says, 'I will be coming soon. I have to say my prayers.' And then the disciples are very much puzzled - he is coming walking on the lake. They are afraid, frightened, scared. They think it must be some evil force. How can he walk?
And then one disciple says, 'Master, is it really you?' Jesus says, 'Yes.' Then the disciple says, 'Then if you can walk, why can't I, your disciple?' Jesus says, 'You can also walk - come!' And the disciple comes and he walks a few steps, and he's surprised that he is walking - but then doubt arises. He says, 'What is happening? This is unbelievable.'
The moment he thinks, 'This is unbelievable. Am I in a dream, or some trick of the devil, or what is happening?' he starts drowning. And Jesus says, 'You, you of little faith! Why did you doubt? And you have walked a few steps and you know that it has happened; then too you doubt it?'
Whether this story happened in this way or not is not the point. But I also know; you can try. If you trust the river, just relax in the river and you will float. Then the doubt will arise, the same doubt that came to Jesus' disciple: 'What is happening? How is it possible? I'm not drowning' - and immediately you will start drowning.
The difference between a swimmer and a non-swimmer is not much. The swimmer has learned how to trust; the non-swimmer has not yet learned how to trust. Both are the same. When the non-swimmer falls into the river, doubt arises.
He starts feeling afraid - the river is going to drown him. And of course then the river drowns him. But he is drowning himself in his own doubt. The river is not doing anything. The swimmer knows the river, the ways of the river, and he has been with the river many times and he trusts; he simply floats, he is not afraid.
Life is exactly the same.
AND YET IN POSSESSION OF ALL HONOURS IN ITSELF - THIS IS CALLED THE WAY.
The man of understanding is in a total let-go. He allows the law to function. If you want old religious language, non-buddhist language, you can call it surrender to god. Then the devotee says, 'Now I am no more, only you are. I am just a flute on your lips, a hollow bamboo. You sing; the song will be yours, I will be just a passage.' This is old religious language.
Buddha is not happy with the old language. Buddha is not happy with the poets'
language. Buddha likes the scientific language more. He talks the same way as Albert Einstein, or Newton, or Edison. He talks about the law. Now it is for you to decide. The difference is only of language, but the basic thing is letting go, a total surrender.
THE BUDDHA SAID:
THOSE WHO SHAVING THEIR HEADS AND FACES BECOME SHRAMANAS AND WHO RECEIVE INSTRUCTIONS IN THE WAY, SHOULD SURRENDER ALL WORLDLY POSSESSIONS AND BE CONTENTED WITH WHATEVER THEY OBTAIN BY BEGGING.
ONE MEAL A DAY, AND ONE LODGING UNDER A TREE, AND NEITHER SHOULD BE REPEATED, FOR WHAT MAKES ONE STUPID AND IRRATIONAL IS ATTACHMENTS AND THE PASSIONS.
THOSE WHO SHAVING THEIR HEADS AND FACES BECOME SHRAMANAS...
Just as I insist for ochre robes, a mala around your neck, Buddha insisted for his sannyasins to shave their heads, their faces. These are just gestures, don't take them literally. They are just gestures, indications that you are ready to surrender.
They don't have any other meaning. The only meaning is that you are ready to go with Buddha.
When you take sannyas, when you are initiated in sannyas, you are simply saying yes to me. You are saying, 'Yes, Osho, I am coming with you. Even if you say to do something mad, I'm ready to do it.'
Now this is something mad - wearing orange. What is the point of it? But this is just a gesture that you are ready even to become a laughing stock; even if people think it is ridiculous, you are ready to go. You are ready to be ridiculous, but you are prepared to go with me, whatsoever the cost. It is just a surrendering gesture.
Buddha used to say that a shramana should live in insecurity. That's why he said become beggars. Again, don't take it literally. Try to understand the spirit of it.
He says you cannot possess anything, it is impossible to possess anything. Life is insecurity and there is no way to become secure. Death is coming and will destroy all your securities. So don't be bothered. Even if you are a beggar, be happy, be a beggar happily. There is no point in worrying too much about your security. Understand the insecurity of life, accept it - in that very acceptance you become secure.
And Buddha used to say:... ONE MEAL A DAY AND ONE LODGING UNDER A TREE AND NEITHER SHOULD BE REPEATED.
Because Buddha says that if you repeat a certain thing again and again, it becomes a habit, a mechanical habit. And when you become mechanical you lose awareness. So don't repeat. Go on changing the situation, so in every situation you have to be alert. Go on changing the town. Don't beg from the same door again and don't sleep under the same tree again. These are just devices so that you have to remain alert.
Have you watched it? If you move into a new house, for a few days you feel very uneasy. By and by you become accustomed to the new house and then you become at home. It takes a little time: between three days and three weeks, a person becomes at home in the new house. Then the house has become a habit.
Buddha says before that happens, move. Not even under the same tree sleep twice, otherwise there is a tendency in the mind to claim.
Beggars also claim. A beggar sits under a tree and begs. Then he will not allow any other beggars to sit there. He will say, 'Go somewhere else. This is my tree!'
Beggars have their dominions. A beggar comes to beg in this neighbourhood; he will not allow other beggars to come here, he will fight - this territory is his. You may not know, but you belong to his territory. He will not allow other beggars to enter here.
Buddha says don't allow the mind to become lazy, don't allow the mind to become mechanical. Remain alert, moving. Don't become stagnant, go on moving. Because one becomes stupid and irrational if attachment and passions are allowed. If you become attached you become stupid, you lose intelligence.
The more secure you are, the more stupid you become. That's why it rarely happens that intelligent people come from rich families... very rarely. Because they are so secure, they have no challenges in life, they have all that they need - why bother? You cannot find rich people very sharp. They are almost always a little dull - a sort of stupor, dragging. Comfortably dragging, conveniently dragging, dragging in Rolls Royces - but dragging, dull. Life seems to have no challenge because there is no insecurity.
Buddha used it as a device: become insecure so you become sharp. A beggar has to be very sharp and intelligent - he has nothing. He has to live moment to moment. That's why Buddha insisted for his sannyasins to become beggars. He called them bhikkhus. Bhikkhu means a beggar. It was just a reversal. In India sannyasins have always been known as swamis - swami means a master.
Exactly, the word 'swami' means 'lord'. Buddha changed the whole thing. He called his sannyasins bhikkhus, beggars. But he brought a new dimension, a new meaning, a new challenge.
He said live moment to moment. Having nothing, you will never be secure - and you will never be stupid. Have you watched? When you have money, you become lethargic. When you don't have money you become alert. If suddenly all is lost you will become very alert. If you have to keep yourself alive by begging, you cannot be certain about the tomorrow. Nobody knows what is going to happen,.whether you will be able to get something or not, whether you will be able to find somebody to give you something or not; you don't know. Tomorrow is not settled... uncertain. In uncertainty, in insecurity, your intelligence becomes more and more sharp. You become more brilliant.
THE BUDDHA SAID:
THERE ARE TEN THINGS CONSIDERED GOOD BY ALL BEINGS, AND TEN THINGS EVIL.
What are they?
THREE OF THEM DEPEND UPON THE BODY, FOUR UPON THE MOUTH, AND THREE UPON THOUGHT.
THREE EVIL DEEDS DEPENDING UPON THE BODY ARE: KILLING, STEALING, AND COMMITTING ADULTERY. THE FOUR DEPENDING UPON THE MOUTH ARE: SLANDERING, CURSING, LYING AND FLATTERY. THE THREE DEPENDING UPON THOUGHT ARE: ENVY, ANGER AND INFATUATION. ALL THESE THINGS ARE AGAINST THE HOLY WAY, AND THEREFORE THEY ARE EVIL.
Look at the difference. Buddha says they are against the holy way. If you do these ten things you will be miserable, you will be continuously in pain, anxiety, anguish. It is difficult for a man to be violent and not be miserable. If you kill somebody you will remain in misery. Before you kill you will be in misery, when you kill you will be in misery, and after you have killed you will be in misery.
Destructiveness cannot bring happiness; destruction is against the law of creation.
The law of creation is to be creative. So Buddha says if you are destructive you will be miserable. If you are envious, infatuated, competitive, ambitious, jealous, possessive, you will be in misery. The only criterion to know what is wrong is:
whatsoever makes you miserable.
Now this is a very different attitude. Not that god says, 'Don't do this'; not that there are ten commandments.... Buddha also says there are ten things to be avoided, but not that there is a despot, somebody dictating, somebody like Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin sitting there on a golden throne in the heaven and dictating, 'Do this and don't do that.' There is nobody. It is for you to decide.
Buddha gives you just a criterion: whatsoever brings misery is wrong. He does not say it is a sin. Look for the emphasis. He says it is simply wrong - just as two plus two are not five. If you make two plus two five, nobody will say that you have committed a sin. It is simply wrong, a mistake.
In buddhist terminology there is nothing like sin; only mistakes, errors. There is no condemnation. You can correct the error, you can correct the mistake. It is simple. You can put two plus two as four, the moment you understand.
ALL THESE THINGS ARE AGAINST THE HOLY WAY AND THEREFORE THEY ARE EVIL.
There is no other reason for them to be evil: simply because they create misery for you. In fact, you create it by following them. If you don't want to be miserable, then avoid these things.
WHEN THESE EVILS ARE NOT DONE, THERE ARE TEN GOOD DEEDS.
And this is very significant. Listen to this sentence again:
WHEN THESE EVILS ARE NOT DONE, THERE ARE TEN GOOD DEEDS.
Buddha does not talk about the good deeds. He says if you don't do these ten, you will be in harmony with the whole, with the law, and whatsoever will be happening will be good.
Good is not that which one needs to do. Good is when you are not a doer; when you are in a let-go with the whole, moving with the law, with the river, good happens. Good is not an act. Now there is no sin, only errors. And there is no virtue, no punya, only good deeds happening when you have surrendered yourself.
So Buddha says avoid the bad deeds, the evil things. He is not saying practise the good ones, he is simply saying avoid the wrong and you will come in tune with the whole, you will become harmonious with the law, and then whatsoever happens is good.
Good is like health. Don't be ill, then you are healthy. Just avoid illness, that's all, and you will be healthy. If you go to the doctor and you ask him what the definition of health is, he will not be able to define it. He will say, 'I don't know. I can simply diagnose your illness. I can prescribe a medicine for the illness. When the illness has disappeared you will be healthy and then you can know what health is.'
The same is the Buddha's attitude. Buddha used to call himself a physician, a vaidya, a doctor. He used to say of himself, 'I am just a doctor, a physician. You come to me, I diagnose your disease, I prescribe medicine. When diseases have disappeared, whatsoever is left, that presence is health.'
WHEN THESE EVILS ARE NOT DONE, THERE ARE TEN GOOD DEEDS.
So he is not giving you a positive discipline to be followed, just a negative understanding. Just try to understand, so that the error is not committed, so that you become harmonious with the whole.
Harmony is happiness, and harmony is heaven. And harmony happens only when you are in tune with the whole. To be with the whole is to be holy.