The Third Morning
Date: Fri, 6 June 1964 00:00:00 GMT
I am unable to give you the truth. If anyone says he is capable of giving it to you, you can be certain he has begun by giving you an untruth. No one has the capacity to give the truth. This is no comment on the capacity of the giver, it only shows that truth is a living thing. It is not an inanimate object that can be given or taken away. It is a living experience one must obtain by oneself.
Dead objects can be transferred from one person to another, but not experiences. Can I transfer to you the love, the experience of love that I have had? Can I give you the beauty and the music I have encountered? How I wish I could give you the joy I have experienced in such an extraordinary way in this ordinary-looking body of mine! But there is not way to do so. I feel restless and tormented about it but I can do nothing. This is such helplessness!
A friend of mine was born blind. How I wished I could transfer my sight to him but it wasn't possible.
Perhaps one day it may be possible because eyes are parts of the body and may be capable of being transplanted. But the sight that sees the truth can never be transferred no matter how strongly one might wish it. It belongs to the soul, not to the body.
Whatever is achieved in the world of the self is only achieved through self-effort. In the world of the soul, no debt, no borrowing, no depending on others is possible. Nobody can walk there on borrowed legs. There is no refuge there apart from one's self. To attain to truth you must be your own refuge. This is the inescapable condition.
It is because of this that I said I am incapable of giving you the truth. Only words can be communicated, words that are lifeless and dead - and the truth always remains behind. And this communication of words is not real communicating at all. That which is alive - their meaning, their soul, the experience that is their essence - does not go with them. They are like empty cartridges, like bullets without gunpowder. They are like dead bodies, corpses. They can only be a burden to you; they can never liberate you. With words you only carry the corpse of truth. There is no heartbeat of truth in a corpse.
As I said, truth cannot be given. But I can be of some assistance in helping you set down this load you are carrying on your back. It is a burden you have been carrying for ages and it has become very heavy, unbearable. You must be freed from this burden of words. Just as a traveler becomes covered with dust while walking along the road it is natural that the dust of words and thoughts gathers on one during the journey through life. But you have to brush this dust off.
Words are dead things; they are not the truth. Nobody's words are the truth. Do not collect them.
Collecting them is harmful. The pilgrimage to truth cannot be made carrying this weight. Just as a climber must lay down his pack before scaling a mountain to seek the heights, one who has embarked on the journey to truth had better lay down the burden of words. Only a consciousness free of words is able to attain the lofty heights of truth.
I teach only one kind of non-possessiveness, the non-possession of words and thought. Their dead weight is making your journey very difficult. Chuang Tzu has said, "The net is for catching fish. Catch the fish and throw away the net." But we are such bad fishermen that we have become entangled in the nets and have forgotten about the fish. Look on your heads. You are carrying boats on your heads nad you have forgotten you are to sail in them.
Words are symbols. They are sign-pointers. They themselves are not the truth. Understand the significance of the signs and then throw them away. Collecting signs is no different from collecting corpses.
Words are like fingers pointing to the moon. A man who concentrates all his attention on the fingers misses the moon. The fingers serve their purpose if they lead you away from them. But on the contrary, they draw you to themselves, then they become not only useless but truly harmful.
Haven't the words you have learned about truth become a source of misfortune to you already?
Have they not separated you from one another, man from man? Aren't all the stupidities and cruelties perpetrated in the name of religion because of words? Aren't all those sects known as the various religions just based on the differences of words?
Truth is one and can only be one, but words are many, just like the moon is one while the fingers pointing to her may be a thousand and one. Those who have held on to one or more of the countless words that point to the truth are responsible for the many religious sects. These religions have not arisen from truth but from words. Truth is one. Religion too is one. Those who discard words attain to this religion alone and to this truth alone. It is without equal.
Therefore I don't want to add to your burden of words by more talk. You are already breaking down under this heavy load of words. I see clearly that your necks are bent under their weight.
Those who have known the truth do not open their mouths at all. Their lips are sealed. Not a word is to be heard from them. Aren't they saying enough this way? Aren't they suggesting that truth lies in silence, that silence itself is truth? But we are unable to understand their language. We cannot understand anything without words. Our understanding is limited to words and so they speak to us through the medium of words. They tell us in words about that which cannot be communicated in words. It is their compassion that leads them to attempt this impossible feat, and because of our ignorance we try to catch hold of their every word. Words coupled with ignorance form a sect - and once again we are deprived of truth and true religion is as distant from us as ever.
You must rise above words. Only then will you know what is behind the words. Words only fill our memories. Knowledge does not come from them. And please don't mistake memory for knowledge.
Know once and for all that memory is nothing more than a record of the past. It is learning, not knowledge.
Someone asked Ramana Maharshi what he should do to know the truth. He replied, "Forget everything that you know." If only you could forget all you know! Out of this forgetting would emerge the innocence and simplicity in which the truth and the self are known.
When words and thoughts formed out of words do not crowd your consciousness light finds and entry at that free moment. It shines through and you attain to knowledge. You have to open the windows and doors of consciousness. And the walls now surrounding the consciousness have to be pulled down as well. Then you will encounter the light that is your true nature. In truth, to meet the sky one has to become like the sky - empty, free, boundless. Thoughts do not allow this to happen. They surround you like clouds. These clouds must be dispersed. How can I then spread more clouds of thought over your mind?
What I am telling you, what I want to tell you but am unable to do is not a thought or an idea as such - it is an experience, a direct realization. Were it simply a thought I wanted to communicate I could have communicated it to you - and had the experience been of the outside world, some word or other would have communicated it. But this experience is not of the outside world. It is the experience of one who experiences everything. It is the knowledge of the knower. And there lies the difficulty.
In accepted knowledge, the knower and the known are separate, the seer and the seen are distinct, but in the realization of the self they are not separate. There, the knower, the known and knowledge are all one. And so here, words become quite useless. They are not meant to be used in this context. To use them like this is to stretch them beyond their capacity, beyond their potentiality. No wonder they become crippled and lifeless in this tug-of-war. And although they give an indication of the body, of the outer form of truth, they cannot touch the heart of truth. The truth will be known only when words are not present.
How can words express the truth? That which is attained in a state of thoughtlessness cannot be held earthbound by thought. Is there a way to tie down the sky? and can we call it the sky if it can be tied down? But why don't we think of truth in this way? Is truth any less boundless or infinite than the sky?
If the sky were packed in bundles and put on sale in the market nobody would come forward to buy.
But we do try to purchase truth! Truth, God amd moksha are all on sale in the market. And the vendors are not to blame. They only supply the demands of the buyers. And as long as there are buyers, as long as there are customers for truth it won't be possible to close down the shops that offer ready-made truth. All the organizations and all the sects operated in the name of religion have turned into shops. you buy ready-made truth in them. Not only are ready-made clothes available in the market, ready-made truth is also on sale there. I cannot give you ready-made truth. Ready-made truth simply does not exist.
I remember a story. A guru, a teacher, once asked a disciple a question about truth. The latter replied and the guru said, "Yes, that is right." The next day the guru asked the same question. The disciple said he had already replied to it on the previous day. The guru asked him to answer once again. The disciple repeated what he had said the previous day, whereupon the guru said, "No! No!"
The disciple was surprised and said to his guru, "Yesterday you said 'Yes, that is right', so how is it you say 'no' today?" do you know what the guru answered? He said, "Yesterday it was 'yes', today it is 'no'."
What is the point of this story? do you get it? The point is that the disciple's answer had become stereotyped, it was imprisoned in a fixed pattern. It had lost its life; it was dead. It had become a part of the memory. it was no9t knowledge. Our memories are full f such dead answers and that which lives cannot surface because of all the corpses.
My friends, you have to awaken experience, not memory. Memory is a dead weight; experience is living liberation. It is impossible to conceive the experience of truth beforehand. Truth cannot be imprisoned by any terminology or by any rigid definition perpetrated by some philosophy, religion or ideology. We must not expect the truth to conform to any ideology or to any school of thought. Any effort to confine it to any pattern will be futile.
It is not that we have to imprison truth, but on the contrary, that we have to liberate ourselves. The way to truth is not to confine it, the way is to discover ourselves. Do not imprison truth; unshackle yourself. This is the only way to attain. The realization of truth is only possible through experience.
It cannot be known by any other means than self-realization or self-experience. Experience and experience alone is the deciding factor.
Once I was by a waterfall. I drank its water and found it to be sweet. This also applies to truth. Drink and know. It has a kind of taste you can only know by drinking it.
Truth is not a product of your knowledge. It is not one of your creations. You do not manufacture it.
Nobody does; nobody can. It is already there. You can't buy it anywhere, it is already there. The moment you open your eyes it becomes visible; the moment you shut them it becomes invisible. It is just like light. You don't have to buy it. You just have to open your eyes and then the truth emerges in all its innocence, in its perfect purity, in the fulness of its being - and it transforms you. For this to be possible it is essential you do not deform yourself with worn-out and borrowed thoughts and that you do not accept the leftovers of others. You must know that life has no room for stale or dead things.
What then shall I say to you? I shall not speak about truth. Then what shall I speak about? I shall speak to you about how truth may be known. I shall not speak to you about light but will tell you how you can open your eyes and see the light. I won't say what I am seeing but I will say how I am seeing it. That alone can be told. And it is to your great good fortune that at least this much can be said without harmful effects.
Religion, true religion, does not concern itself with the doctrine of truth, but rather with the method of knowing truth. Therefore I shall not say anything about truth. I do not want to unveil it before you see it yourself. I wish to take you to the place where you can know it yourself, to the point where you can have a look at it, to that boiling point where your ignorance will evaporate and you will encounter the flame of the fire that is your self.
Now let us talk about that process. Those who aspire to walk along the path to truth find two doors open to them: one of them is thinking about truth; the other, following a sadhana for attainment of truth. One is the path of logic; the other, of yoga. One is the way of contemplation of the truth; the other, the way of discipline leading to its attainment. But in my view, there is only one door. To me the other does not exist, it simply appears to. This other door is just an illusion.
The path of thinking about truth is not a real path. It is a false and illusory door and because of it many get lost. Through the door of thought, by thinking about truth, you will never get anywhere.
This way leads you astray without a doubt, but it does not take you anywhere either, not to any destination as such. Even after walking along this path for a very long time you will find you are standing int he very same place at which you started. It is only a beginning; there is no end to it.
And the beginning of a walk that has no end can only be a dream.
Thinking about the truth, what will you do? How will you think about the truth? You cannot think about something that is not known. How will a thought think about the unknown? Its scope is only in the realm of the known. Thinking can pose problems, it cannot solve them. Anyone who pursues thinking will find himself lost in chaos and his mind will end up in a kind of madness. That many a thinker went crazy is no accident. This is the culmination of thinking, its ultimate destination. The way of thinking is not a way to attain truth at all.
Shall I tell you a story, a wonderful story?
Once upon a time a man set out in search of the end of the world. After a long journey, after an almost endless pilgrimage he arrived at a temple where the words "This is the end of the world" were written. He was very surprised and couldn't believe what he saw there. He continued on and within a short time reached the place where the world came to an end. A deep abyss lay before him, fathomless, empty. He looked down into it. There was absolutely nothing there. His breath came in gasps and his head began to reel. He turned and ran. And never again did he return to look at the abyss.
This is a story about the end of thinking. If we think about the truth we will continue thinking and thinking and thinking and we will reach a point where further thinking becomes impossible. This is the end of thinking. There will be a space, an abysmally deep emptiness in front of us and our minds will refuse to take one more step.
Such a moment comes in the process of thought if we carry thinking through to the end. It is inevitable. And if you still feel there is something more to think about, take it from me that you have not yet reached the end. When there is nothing more to think about, absolutely nothing, and no further step is possible, know that the end is real, that you have arrived at the temple where the world ends.
If the man who reached the end fo the world had asked me what to do, can you imagine what advice I would have given him? I would not have advised him to run away. I would have told him that since he had journeyed so far it would be better to take one more step, the last and the most important step. I would have asked him to jump boldly into the abyss, into the empty space, into the void before him. I would have told him that only this one last step was necessary, and I would have asked him to keep in mind that where the world ends the kingdom of God begins.
There is no point more important than the point where the world ends because it is the point where the realm of god begins. The vision of God begins when thinking comes to an end. Where thinking ends truth is realized. You have to let thought go and jump into thoughtlessness. From words you must jump into the void, into emptiness. This is the way. This is bravery. This is penance. This is sadhana.
If at this point you see a vision of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha, be aware that you are still thinking.
if you see Mahavira, Buddha or Krishna, be aware that you are still dreaming dreams. Then you have not reached the real end. The true end is the one where there is nothing to be thought of, nothing to be seen, nothing to be known. Only your emptiness remains. In fact, you are not there either. Only the void, nothingness, is there.
You are standing at the end of the world. Your mind will want to go back. it will want to do so with all its might. At this moment courage is needed and you have to take one more step. One more step, one jump is enough. And everything is transformed. Then there is no more thinking. Then there is realization. And then you know.
You know when you drop all knowing; you see when you give up all looking. And when you cease to be in every way, then for the first time you really are. Sadhana is a jump into the valley of death.
But that is the only way to realize immortality. it is not thinking, but a jump out of thinking that is necessary. And that jump out of thinking is meditation. Every day I say this very thing. Thoughts are the waves on the ocean of consciousness. They are like transient bubbles, disappearing almost before they are formed. They indicate a troubled and agitated surface, but what is to be found in them is not to be found in the depths below. Staying with the bubbles and the waves is remaining in shallow water. All thoughts are shallow. No thought can be deep, just as there cannot be waves in the depths of the sea. Waves are possible only on the surface and thoughts too are just the play on the surface of consciousness. The ocean is not in the waves, the waves are in the ocean. There cannot be any waves without an ocean but there can be an ocean without waves. There cannot be any thoughts without consciousness but there can be consciousness without thoughts.
Consciousness is the source, the spring. If you wish to know it you must go beyond the waves. You must transcend the waves. You can't just keep sitting on the seashore. Kabir has said, "I went in search, but foolishly kept sitting on the shore." Please don't sit on the shore like Kabir. You have to go beyond the shore. The shore is only there so you can jump into the sea.
And it is also possible that a man may not remain standing on the shore but will remain floating on the waves. In my view, this is the shore as well. Whatever stops you from diving in and drowning is the shore. People swimming in thought are like this. They are under the illusion they have left the shore but in actual fact they haven't. To fathom the sea they also have to leave the waves behind.
When Mahavira passed away, he left a message for his beloved disciple Gautama who was absent at the time. He said, "Tell Gautama that he has crossed the river quite nicely, but ask him why he is now holding fast to the shore. Tell him to leave that behind as well." To what shore was Mahavira referring? I am also speaking fo the same shore. It is the shore of thinking; it is the shore of one who is swimming in thoughts.
Truth is attained by diving, not by swimming. Swimming happens on the surface; diving takes you to the unfathomable depths. You have to plunge from the shore of thoughts into the depths of the void.
There is a lovely couplet from Bihar: "Those half-drowned got fully-drowned; those fully-drowned crossed the ocean."
What do you intend to do then? If you want to cross the ocean, then the courage to drown yourself is an absolute necessity. I teach you the very act of drowning yourself so that you can cross the ocean, so that you can be what you really are.