The pilgrimage is endless
YOU HAVE OPENED ME TO NEW HEIGHTS AND I HEAR YOU AHEAD OF TIME. I SEE THAT YOU ARE HERE AND THEN I FEEL THAT IT IS ONLY YOUR BODY THAT IS PRESENT.
WHEN YOU SPEAK OF JESUS, YOU ARE HE. WHEN YOU SPEAK OF BUDDHA, YOU ARE HE.
WHEN YOU SPEAK OF MAHAVIRA, YOU ARE HE. I SEE THAT YOU ARE ALL MASTERS.
AND WHEN YOU SPOKE OF TIME THAT DOES NOT MOVE, I HEARD AND SAW. MY HEART IS FULL.
Jivan Mary, there are heights beyond heights. Don't be contented: The spiritual search is an eternal discontentment, but it is sweet.
The more discontented you are for new heights, more heights, the more fulfilled, the more fruitful and significant becomes your every breath.
I can only show you the way, but you have to walk on it, alone - singing and dancing and always remembering that there is no place where you have to stop forever. It is good to have an overnight stop and wait for the beautiful dawn, and open your wings, because new heights are waiting for you.
The pilgrimage is endless.
This is one of the most fundamental things to understand - because all the religions have been teaching that there is a full stop; there comes a moment when you have reached and there is nowhere to go anymore. Life knows no full stop, it goes on and on. The full stop is only for those who are not courageous. Then just a little joy, a little light, a little song, suffices them.
I would like my people never to be satisfied. To be unsatisfied about worldly things is meaningless - with the worldly things you can be satisfied - but to be satisfied with spiritual growth is committing suicide. Contentment with the world and discontentment for God is the way.
It is true - if your heart is beating with my heart you will hear me ahead of time because whatever I am saying is nothing new: it is only dormant in you, asleep in you. When your heart is dancing with me, that which is asleep in you becomes awake. And the quality of awakening is the same, so you can hear me ahead of time. That is a very significant indication of coming closer and closer to the state of a devotee.
You say, "I see that You are here and then I feel that it is only Your body present. When You speak of Jesus, You are he; when You speak of Buddha, You are he; when You speak of Mahavira, You are he; I see that You are all masters."
Every master is all masters, because the message is the same. Every master is only a vehicle, a passage, but what comes through that passage belongs to existence itself. It cannot be otherwise.
The language is going to be different, the ways of expression are going to be different, but the essential core of the message is eternally the same.
It is because I feel such a deep affinity with Buddha, Mahavira, Jesus, Zarathustra, Bodhidharma, Moses, that I feel an absolute right even to criticize them. That is out of my love.
People misunderstand: they think I have criticized Jesus, I have simply corrected him. Jesus is two thousand years old. In two thousand years the very style of life has changed; the concepts, the words, the approach to reality has changed. Although the fingers are pointing to the same moon, the fingers are different. And my love for Jesus or Buddha is so great that I don't feel any difficulty in criticizing them - just like a friend can criticize you, not a stranger.
A Christian is afraid to criticize Jesus because he is a stranger, he is not a friend. He does not know that love is capable of criticizing one he loves. In fact, the more he loves, the more he is capable of criticizing.
It is true that you have heard through my voice all the masters of the past and all the masters of the future too, because whatsoever superficial changes happen make no difference to the fundamental religiousness, it remains the same. But to have understood it is certainly a great opening, the opening of the heart, a great understanding, a great light in the house that has been dark up to now.
And you say, "And when You spoke of time that does not move, I heard and saw. My heart is full."
Whenever the heart is full, everything stops: time, mind, everything comes to a stop, just like a lake which is so silent that there are no ripples anymore. It becomes almost like a mirror; and in the fullness of your heart you are also a mirror. You will be able to see the whole sky reflected in the mirror.
Rabindranath recalled a man who was of the age of his grandfather - very old. He used to come often to Rabindranath's house, and Rabindranath never felt at ease with the man because he would always ask strange questions. If you are asked those strange questions, either you have to answer them and you know you are wrong, or you have to remain silent, which feels very embarrassing.
And that old man used to laugh whether he answered or not; it did not matter. He used to say to Rabindranath, "Your answer is wrong, your no-answer is wrong. You are known to be a great poet, you are a Nobel prize-winner - and you don't know anything at all. You have written so many beautiful poems about God: Have you met him? Have you seen him?" And the man and his eyes were so penetrating that it was very difficult to deceive him.
One day Rabindranath had gone to the ocean, which was close by. In the full moon night, he saw in the ocean the reflection of the moon. The reflection was even more beautiful than the moon itself. It happens many times... your photograph may be more beautiful than you are in reality. You can be photogenic. There are many people who are photogenic - their photos come out very beautiful, but if you look at those people they are not so beautiful in reality.
When he was returning, full of the joy of the moonlight and the ocean, he saw small ponds by the side of the road. Just in the morning it had rained, and there were small pools of water, dirty, but the moon was reflected as beautifully in those dirty water pools as it was reflected in the vast ocean.
That opened his eyes to a new truth - that the moon is the moon whether you have a very beautiful mirror or a very ordinary mirror. The reality of the moon remains untouched. For the first time, he felt relaxed about the old man who had been annoying him. And rather than going to his own home, for the first time he went to the old man's house. His eyes were full of the beauty of the moon, the ocean, the small pools of water. And he said to the old man, "I have seen God."
The old man hugged him and he said, "I know. I can see it from your face, from your eyes. I can see it from the way you have come to me for the first time. Now I will not harass you; I will not come again. I have been harassing you again and again, because I knew your potential. I would be very happy if you can tell me how you found God."
Rabindranath said, "Looking at the reflection of the moon in the ocean, and then looking at the many reflections by the side, in dirty water pools. But the moon was not dirty, the reflection was not dirty; it was as beautiful as in the ocean. Just then I remembered you - because I have been irritated with you, I have been annoyed with you. I was blind. I could not see God in you. I only saw God in beautiful people, in flowers, in the moon. But I know now it does not matter who you are. To me now, you are also a reflection of God, and I am grateful to you that you went on poking me, pushing me towards this realization."
When your heart is full it becomes a mirror, it reflects that which is the truth. And if you see and understand that, time certainly stops. It is a great realization.
And it is true that I am only body - available to all that has been discovered and also to that which will ever be discovered about the inner being of man. I have surrendered myself to existence. I don't know myself what I am going to say.
Yes, just like Almustafa, I am not "speaking" anything, I am also a listener. And the one who is speaking has spoken through Mahavira, through Buddha, through Confucius, through Lao Tzu - through millions of mystics. Because the mystery is the same: that the mystic becomes a hollow bamboo and allows existence to sing its songs.
Jivan Mary, you are blessed; and you will be more and more blessed. The door has opened and the ultimate has given you a challenge, and I know you are courageous enough to move. However arduous may be the path, it is beautiful - its glory is beyond words.
SOAKING UP EVERYTHING THAT YOU GIVE TO US IN DISCOURSES, BEING TOTALLY OVERWHELMED BY YOUR GRACE AND YOUR BEAUTY - WHEN FEELING YOUR COMPASSION TEARS COME TO MY EYES, AND IT IS AS IF YOU WOULD TOUCH ALL THE WOUNDS OF MY HEART SO THAT THEY CAN HEAL.
LISTENING TO THE MUSIC OF YOUR VOICE, SLOWLY ALLOWING MYSELF TO RELAX MORE AND MORE, AND THEN THE GAPS... EVERYTHING DISAPPEARS, BECOMES SO LIGHT AND SILENT AND BRIGHT. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ENLIGHTENMENT IS, BUT IT IS WORTH GIVING MY WHOLE LIFE FOR IT.
HOW WILL I EVER BE ABLE TO EXPRESS MY GRATITUDE TO YOU, MY MOST BELOVED AND BEAUTIFUL MASTER?
Prem Turiya, I have given you the name Turiya. It is a very strange word - it simply means The Fourth.
In the East, the mystics have disappeared again and again in the fourth. They have discovered that our consciousness consists of four stages: the waking, the dreaming, the dreamless sleep and the fourth. Very strange - they have not given any name to the final stage, but a number; because any name is bound to carry a certain meaning which is confining. But a number does not confine.
It does not matter how you are going to express your gratitude. Your experience of silence and meditation, your experience of love and joy, your experience of dancing in blissfulness is more than any gratitude can be.
Gratitude cannot be expressed through words. It can be expressed only through your whole being - your eyes, your hands, your breathing, your heart; it overwhelms you completely. And it is not possible to put it into any words, so don't try that. Nobody has ever been successful in showing his gratitude in words. That's why, in the East, we have discovered different ways of showing it - the disciple touches the feet of the master. The West cannot understand it. All human beings are equal - then why should someone touch the feet...? They have not discovered many things.
When the disciple touches the feet of the master, the master touches his head and a circle of energy is created; and that circle is gratitude.
Just your being present in deep silence is enough. You are saying, "Soaking up everything that You give to us, being totally overwhelmed by Your grace and Your beauty - when feeling Your compassion, tears come to my eyes." Neither the grace is mine, nor the beauty. It all belongs - just as flowers and birds belong - to existence. Do not confine them into a cage. Let your experience of my grace or beauty become your experience of the grace of the trees and the mountains and the beauty of sunrise and sunset. Spread it all over the world. And without your being alert, it is spreading; hence, tears come to your eyes.
People ordinarily think that tears come to the eyes when you are suffering, when there is pain. Their understanding is absolutely wrong.
Tears come to people when they are in pain, when somebody dies; but they have known only one side of tears. The other side is reserved only for those few whose experience of love, grace and beauty - whose ecstasy, is so overwhelming that it cannot be expressed in any other way. Tears are the most subtle expression.
Your eyes are full of tears, a silent expression of overflowing joy. Tears express any experience that is overwhelming - whether it is pain or blissfulness, whether it is agony or ecstasy.
It is unfortunate that millions of people never know the higher and the greater side of tears. They know only the lower, the very superficial, the ordinary. In their minds, slowly, slowly tears become associated with pain and misery and anguish and anxiety, and they remain unaware that tears can also become an expression of overwhelming blessings. And unless you have known your tears as overwhelming blessings and benediction, you have missed the most beautiful experience of life.
Tears are a kind of language - silent. They don't come from your head, they come from your heart.
It is the heart which is flooded and cannot contain the experience any more and finds language impotent, inadequate. Then, suddenly the heart remembers it has got a language which does not speak, but still expresses.
Tears of joy are the language of the heart.
And you say, "And it is as if You would touch all the wounds of my heart so that they can heal." Yes, Turiya, people go on hiding their wounds; they are afraid of exposure. They do not want anybody to know their wounds. They pretend that they do not have any wounds; and the more you hide them, repress them, the bigger they become.
To be a disciple is to expose yourself, not to hide your wounds. If you can expose your wounds to love and to compassion, there is no other miracle greater than that. Love heals. Soon you will not find even a trace of the wounds, and when you are healed completely, your life becomes not a burden, not a drag, but a joy and a dance.
My own teaching is: Dance all the way to God.
People who are walking don't know that this is not the way to reach to God. He does not understand the language of walking; he understands only the language of dance and song and ecstasy. But if you are full of wounds, how can you dance and how can you laugh and how can you produce blossoms out of your being?
One of the main functions of a mystery school is to help you, to encourage you to open all your wounds. And the moment you open them to love, to compassion, to the presence of the master, they heal very quickly. And a man without wounds is a man who can be said to be whole. In fact, the whole man is the only holy man.
You say, "Listening to the music of Your voice, slowly allowing myself to relax more and more, and then the gaps... everything disappears, becomes so light and silent and bright. I have no idea what enlightenment is, but it is worth giving my whole life for it."
You cannot have any idea of enlightenment. But in the presence of one who is enlightened, you become infected. Something heart-to-heart is transferred. Something transpires in you: without having any idea what enlightenment is, you start moving towards enlightenment, almost like a magnet.
Do you think the moth knows what the flame is? But the moment the moth becomes aware of the flame it starts moving towards the flame, knowing perfectly well that the closer it comes - it becomes hotter and hotter and the danger becomes very clear - that coming too close means being consumed by the flame.
Yes, if you start feeling the beauty of enlightenment you are moving towards a flame where you will have to sacrifice your life. Because this life is not the true life; this life is just a stepping stone for the true life. The moment you are ready to sacrifice it, you will be reborn. That is the meaning of Jesus Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. It may not be historical - most probably it is not - but it is absolutely true that after crucifixion, resurrection is bound to happen. The old body, the old life, the old desires, the old greed, the old structure of your whole being is consumed, and you attain to new heights which you had not even dreamt of before.
But I repeat again: the music of my voice is not my music, neither is the voice my voice. I am simply available to existence. Whatsoever it wants to say to you, I don't hinder it, I don't edit it, I don't add anything to it. Just as in a mine you find raw gold, raw diamonds - uncut, unpolished: the same way I never polish anything. I never know what I am going to say to you. I simply allow the mine - for you to pick up all the raw diamonds. They belong to existence.
And you say, "I relax more and more and then the gaps...." Those gaps are almost inevitable. You may have heard many orators and many speakers: I am not an orator, I am not a speaker. The orator prepares what he is going to say: it is his own mind. And you will not find the orator leaving gaps; that is against the art of oratory.
One of my vice-chancellors, even though I was only a student in the university, made it a point that he should be informed whenever I was going to speak. No matter what, he would cancel all appointments and he would come and listen to me. And I asked him, "You are a great historian...."
He was a professor of history in the University of Oxford, before he became the vice-chancellor in India.
He said, "I love your gaps. Those gaps show that you are absolutely unprepared, you are not an orator. You wait for God, and if he is waiting... then what can you do? You have to wait in silence.
When he speaks, you speak; when he is silent, you are silent."
The gaps are more important than the words because the words can be distorted by the mind but not the gaps. And if you can understand the gaps, then you have understood the silent message, the silent presence of the divine.
But again I say to you, Turiya: Don't feel obliged towards me, feel obliged towards the whole existence - I am only an instrument in the hands of existence. You need not feel grateful towards me. But feel grateful towards the trees and the birds and the ocean and the mountains and the stars, because they are really speaking through me.
DANCING WITH YOU, LAUGHING WITH YOU, ENJOYING THE SHEER ECSTASY THAT YOU PROVOKE IN ME, MY MIND IS LEFT FAR, FAR BEHIND. IT IS A DELICIOUS MADNESS WHICH I ONLY ALLOW MYSELF IN YOUR PRESENCE. PLEASE TALK ABOUT HOW I CAN DISSOLVE INTO ECSTASY YET STILL LIVE IN THAT OTHER MADNESS WE CALL SOCIETY.
Devageet, it is perfectly good to be dancing and laughing with me, enjoying the sheer ecstasy - which I do not provoke in you, which arises on its own while you are in love and silence in my presence. It will appear to you as if I am provoking it. No gardener can provoke the flowers, but he can water the plant, give better manure to the plant, more care to the plant. Flowers come on their own.
The laughter that you feel and the ecstasy that you enjoy is not provoked by me. To you it will appear that it is provoked by me but I am simply present here. Just because you love me things start happening in you: it is a synchronicity.
It is true - when you are in an ecstatic mood the mind is left far behind. And it is also true that "It is a delicious madness which I only allow myself in Your presence." That is very sensible of you: don't allow this delicious madness in the marketplace. People will not understand it, they will only misunderstand it. It is one of the most profound facts to be remembered: that you need not tell your innermost secrets to everybody. Share your secrets only with those who are capable of understanding them. Misunderstood, they may even destroy something in you, because their misunderstanding is bound to affect you. One has to learn to keep secrets, just like a mother - who is pregnant for nine months - keeps the child growing within herself, not exposing it to the outside world until the child is mature and ready. A day comes when it is beyond your capacity to hide it; but then there is no problem, because nobody can distort it.
What you are calling "delicious madness" is the highest form of sanity; don't expose it to the ordinary people in their ordinary madness. They are in the majority. Your madness will be so strange to them.... They crucified Jesus for the same crime, they killed Al Hillaj Mansoor for the same crime.
They could not understand the joy, the ecstasy, the divine madness - keep it a secret in society.
And it is good, because everything grows in secrecy. You put the seed deep into the earth; you don't just put it on top of the ground. There, it will not grow, it needs privacy to grow. You put it deep into the soil where no sun rays reach, but one day, suddenly you see green sprouts coming out. The seed grows only in secrecy, in privacy.
Being with my people and with me, there is no problem; nobody is going to think you mad. In fact, everybody is going to think: When will the blissful day come that I also taste of the same divine, of the same wine, of the same madness?
But it is one of the psychological facts: to keep anything secret is very difficult, one wants to tell it to others. It is said that if you want your wife to hear you, don't say it loudly and don't say it to her.
Whisper it to somebody else and she will hear everything. If you want to spread news in the city - true or false it does not matter - just tell it to a woman.
We have in India an ancient parable: A poor woman purchased a beautiful bangle. She had been collecting money her whole life - only then was she able to purchase a golden bangle. And now there was a problem: she went around the city showing everybody her bangle, but nobody asked anything about it. It was a rich city, and to the people it was a poor bangle; why should they bother to ask about it? She was so disappointed that she came back in the evening and set her poor cottage on fire. The whole town gathered there and she was beating her chest and shouting, "I am destroyed!"
At that moment a man said, "It is very sad that your house is burning, but you have really a beautiful bangle."
She said, "If you had met me before, you could have saved my house from burning. It was so much in my heart that somebody should ask about the bangle that I could not find any other way to advertise it, so I set fire to my house. Everybody is bound to come, somebody is bound to ask. Although I have lost my house, I am perfectly released from a deep burden: somebody has appreciated my bangle. It was my whole life's effort."
It is difficult to keep your ecstasy, your joy, your madness a secret. But keep it a secret as long as possible, unless it starts overflowing, and you are helpless.
Al Hillaj Mansoor used to shout, "Ana'l haq! - I am God!" His master, Junnaid, said to him, "Ana'l haq is perfectly right. I also know I am God. But keep it a secret, because people are mad and fanatic; they will not be able to tolerate it."
Mansoor said, "I will try, but there are moments when it is not me who is shouting ?Ana'l haq!' I am just a watcher. I hear myself shouting ?Ana'l haq! - I am God!' and it is beyond me. So I will follow your advice; but I cannot promise that I will not shout it, because there are moments I cannot do anything - just in the marketplace, the madness grips me! And I try hard: the harder I try, the louder I shout ?Ana'l haq!'"
Junnaid said, "I do understand your problem, but try your best."
He tried but could not succeed. Whenever he saw people miserable, painful, dragging their lives somehow towards the grave, it was impossible not to shout, "Don't be worried! I am God and you are also God - you are just asleep. Wake up!"
But people who are asleep are not so easy to wake up. They killed Mansoor because according to Mohammedanism, anybody calling himself God is a kafir, is anti-religious. They killed their best flower.
In these fourteen centuries Mohammedanism has not produced another flower which surpasses Al Hillaj Mansoor - so innocent and so beautiful and so graceful. And he was saying simply the truth.
He said, "What can I do? I feel God within me. My life is nothing but God. He is breathing, he is beating in my heart, he is speaking. Although my master goes on preventing me - and I respect him and I understand the problem that there are fanatic people, I am putting my life at risk - but still, a moment comes when the bud has to open and become a flower."
The juices flowing in the tree force the bud to become a flower; and the god dancing within your heart - how long can you hide it? But as long as it is possible, hide it. Or if it becomes too much, go into privacy. Move into a lonely place, shout and dance and sing and be mad - but not in the marketplace. The marketplace is very dangerous for religious people; not in the temples, not in the mosque, not in the synagogues - these are the most dangerous places. Keep yourself completely silent. Best is, don't go to such places. And whenever the urge is too much there are still forests, still mountains, beaches where you are alone, and the ocean will not make any objection and the mountain will be very happy and the trees will dance with you.
Milarepa has sent me a joke. It is for Devageet.
An elderly man walked into a church and took a seat in the confessional. "Father," he said solemnly, "I am making love twice a day to a sixteen-year-old girl."
"Mr. Goldstein, you are Jewish, why are you telling me? I am a Catholic priest!"
"Not just you, Father, I am telling everyone!"
There are moments when who cares that you are a Jew and you need not go to the Catholic priest to confession? And he has not gone there for confession, he is telling everybody!
But avoid the Catholic priest and the confessional, and avoid everybody. Your secret is far greater than Milarepa's joke. Let it grow. One day you will not be able to contain it, it will explode. But let it explode on its own; as far as you are concerned, keep it secret.
I FEEL USELESS. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO ANYMORE AND WHATEVER I DO OR PLAN TO DO TURNS OUT TO BE WRONG OR USELESS. THERE IS NOTHING REALLY I WANT TO ACHIEVE, BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, WHEN I DO NOTHING AND JUST HANG OUT AND MEDITATE IT SEEMS EVERYTHING IS EASY.
THINGS AROUND ME HAPPEN BEAUTIFULLY. I FEEL TAKEN CARE OF, EVEN SPOILT SOMETIMES. CAN I JUST RELAX IN MY USELESSNESS?
Govindo, it is what I have been teaching you. Be useless, because there are millions of people who are useful! Don't destroy the variety of the useless.
You say, "I feel useless" - do you think I feel differently? You say, "I do not know what to do anymore"
- do you think I know? And you say, "And whatever I do or plan to do turns out to be wrong or useless." That is really great! "There is nothing really I want to achieve." That's what all the buddhas have been teaching: Don't be an achiever.
You say, "But on the other hand, when I do nothing and just hang out, meditate, it seems everything is easy. Things around me happen beautifully. I feel taken care of, even spoilt sometimes. Can I just relax in my uselessness?"
Absolutely. And if you relax absolutely - nature is very abundant; it has spoilt me, it will spoil you.
What else is enlightenment...? Getting spoilt, finally.