This disappearance is anatta

Fri, 20 February 1989 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Language of Existence
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pm in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium
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It is time, ripe time for a Zen manifesto.

The Western intelligentsia have become acquainted with Zen, have also fallen in love with Zen, but they are still trying to approach Zen from the mind. They have not yet come to the understanding that Zen has nothing to do with mind.

Its tremendous job is to get you out of the prison of mind. It is not an intellectual philosophy; it is not a philosophy at all. Nor is it a religion, because it has no fictions and no lies, no consolations. It is a lion's roar. And the greatest thing that Zen has brought into the world is freedom from oneself.

All the religions have been talking about dropping your ego - but it is a very weird phenomenon:

they want you to drop your ego, and the ego is just a shadow of God. God is the ego of the universe, and the ego is your personality. Just as God is the very center of existence according to religions, your ego is the center of your mind, of your personality. They have all been talking about dropping the ego, but it cannot be dropped unless God is dropped. You cannot drop a shadow or a reflection unless the source of its manifestation is destroyed.

So religions have been saying continuously, for centuries, that you should get rid of the ego - but for wrong reasons. They have been asking you to drop your ego so you can surrender to God, so you can surrender to the priests, so you can surrender to any kind of nonsense, any kind of theology, superstition, belief system.

But you cannot drop the ego if it is a reflection of God. God is a lie, out there in the universe, and ego is a lie within your mind. Your mind is simply reflecting a bigger lie according to its size.

Religions put humanity in a great dilemma: they went on praising God, and they went on condemning the ego. So people were in a very split state, in a schizophrenic space. They tried hard to drop the ego, but the harder they tried, the harder it became to drop it - because who was going to drop it?

The ego was trying to drop itself. That's an impossibility. So even in the humblest so-called religious people, the ego becomes very subtle, but it is not dropped. You can see it in the eyes of your saints.

One of my sannyasins went to see U.G. Krishnamurti, and because he argued with him, U.G. Krishnamurti immediately became angry. And these people like U.G. Krishnamurti are telling people to drop anger, to drop greed, to drop the ego. But if you provoke them... Their whole religion is just skindeep. Inside is hiding a very pious ego, and when ego becomes pious it becomes poisonous.

It is more dangerous because you become absolutely unaware of it, it goes so deep down in the unconscious.

U.G. Krishnamurti lived with J. Krishnamurti for twelve years, and he never mentions his name.

If somebody brings up J. Krishnamurti's name, he immediately condemns J. Krishnamurti - and whatever he is saying is just an imitation of J. Krishnamurti, paraphrasing. The reason he cannot accept the fact that he has been with J. Krishnamurti for twelve years is very simple. The moment he accepts it, then you can compare his statements with J. Krishnamurti's, and you will find they are simply paraphrasing. He is repeating, imitating, he knows nothing.

These people have been around in the world all the time. They have tried whatever the religions have been telling them, but their effort cannot remove the shadow. If there is a shadow of the bamboos, you cannot remove the bamboo shadows unless you remove the bamboos. You cannot directly remove the shadows; they are a by-product. If the bamboos remain there, the shadows are going to remain there. They can become very subtle.

I have heard a story about a fox coming out of the cave where she used to live....

Early in the morning, as the sun was rising behind her, her shadow was very long. She said, "My God! I am this big? I will need almost a camel for my breakfast!" And she started searching for a camel for her breakfast.

But the fox could not manage to find a camel. It was just the middle of the day and the sun was over the head of the fox. The fox was feeling very hungry. She had another look at the shadow, and the shadow had disappeared.

It had not disappeared, it had just gone underneath the fox. As long as the fox was there, the shadow was going to be there - but now it was absolutely invisible to the fox. Everybody else could see it, but the fox could not see it; it had just gone underneath the fox.

That's what happens to so-called religious people. They force their shadows, their egos, their anger, their greed, their ambitions, into the unconscious. But in the unconscious these things are still there, and far more dangerous because you are not aware of them. You think they have disappeared.

Before my sannyasin started arguing with U.G. Krishnamurti, he was just a great saint, so silent, so peaceful. As the argument began, he was afraid to be caught, he could not answer the questions, and anger suddenly arose. He may not have been aware of that anger, but my sannyasin helped him! He wanted to get rid of the sannyasin.

It is U.G. Krishnamurti who is not an authentic or sincere man - but you can fall into the trap because he is repeating beautiful phrases. His memory is good, and his intellect is good, but this is the shadow.

Even the original man, J. Krishnamurti, used to become very angry just seeing my sannyasins. I had told my sannyasins everywhere that wherever J. Krishnamurti speaks, you just sit in the front row.

At that time sannyasins were wearing red clothes, they had the mala with my photo in the locket, so they were absolutely recognizable.

The moment J. Krishnamurti would see my sannyasins all around, he would forget on what subject he was going to speak. He would start condemning me, and condemning sannyas. This man was talking for his whole life about awareness, and he had forgotten the subject completely. And it was not only once... because my sannyasins were everywhere. Wherever he was going to speak - in London, in San Francisco, in Bombay, in New Delhi, in Madras - wherever he was going to speak, my sannyasins were there just in the front rows.

He was so allergic to me that the moment he would see the sannyasins he would lose all control.

At some times he even started beating his head saying, "Why do you come here? I am against sannyas." And I had told my people, "Laugh joyously! Make him as angry as possible! That will bring out the original man which is hiding behind." He could not even understand why this was happening everywhere, that he was being distracted. He would start condemning me, condemning sannyas, and become almost neurotic.

Seeing my sannyasins laughing was almost like putting more fuel on the fire, and he would become more and more angry. He could not understand why these people didn't feel offended, but on the contrary, they were laughing. His whole time would be taken up by the sannyasins.

It is very easy to talk about beautiful things, to have an intellectual grasp. Krishnamurti had been forced by the theologians of a particular brand, the Theosophical Society. It was a worldwide organization in the beginning of this century, and it was preparing J. Krishnamurti to be a world teacher.

Nobody can prepare anybody to be a world teacher; anything that has been prepared is going to be false. They almost tortured him in the name of discipline. They got hold of him at the age of nine, and from that moment he was not allowed to move in the world, he was not allowed to go into society. He was continuously hammered with scriptures. Early in the morning at three o'clock, he had to get up, take a cold bath, and be ready for the theosophists, the leaders of the movement, who would recite Sanskrit scriptures, Tibetan scriptures, Zen scriptures. And he was almost asleep - a nine-year-old child... And this went on up to his twenty-fifth year.

They managed to create a certain personality - you can only create a personality - and they had the hope that they had succeeded in creating a world teacher. Now he was writing beautiful poems, beautiful articles which were published by a section of the Theosophical Society which had been created especially for J. Krishnamurti. The organization was called the Star of the East, and they used to publish magazines, periodicals, literature, all about Krishnamurti, creating the atmosphere around the world to receive him as a world teacher.

But it was all forced from the outside. J. Krishnamurti had no realization, but he was intelligent enough to grasp slowly all the scriptures. He was honest also; U.G. Krishnamurti is not even honest.

Finally, when they thought that he was ready, they called a world conference in Holland - which used to be their great world center. Six thousand leaders of the theosophical movement from all the countries gathered to receive J. Krishnamurti and declare that he was the world teacher.

He came onto the stage.... And it was in a very historical moment of honesty that he said, "I am not a world teacher." It was a shock to the whole theosophical movement. It shattered the whole movement. But he had become completely familiar with all the great literature of mysticism. He dissolved the organization, the Star of the East, which had been specially created for him, and he left the Theosophical Society, and lived his whole life in reaction.

He was a giant in intelligence. The reaction was against all those people who had forced him to do things which were not coming naturally to him. He was not allowed to be natural at all. He was not allowed to meet any girls, he was not allowed to mix with ordinary people. He was not allowed to enter into any ordinary school or college, but had only private tutors, so that he could be proved to the world a superior being, as if he were coming directly as a messiah from God.

And obviously, if he had been dishonest, he could have told the world, "I am a world teacher." He was ready for it; intellectually his memory was completely programmed. But because everything was imposed, it also created deep down in him a rebellion. He knew nothing of what he was talking about, of what he was writing. He knew nothing.

One of his best books is AT THE FEET OF THE MASTER. That was published when he was just thirteen or fourteen years old, just to prove that even at the age of fourteen he could produce such a great book. It was not written by him; it was written by a man called Leadbeater. Leadbeater was one of his tutors, and a very profound scholar of Eastern religions.

I have looked into all the Theosophical Society's literature of that time to find out the style, to whose style that book fits. Leadbeater had already written many books, showing great intelligence and scholarship. The book that was published in J. Krishnamurti's name was written by him, and perhaps polished by others. J. Krishnamurti did not even remember when he had written that book.

When he left the theosophical movement, he was asked, "What about the book, AT THE FEET OF THE MASTER, which has become a worldwide bestseller?" It is a beautiful book. But he said, "I don't know. I don't remember having written it."

He was honest, but because all these things were imposed on him, there was a constant reaction, rebellion, and he lived in that reaction his whole life. The theosophical movement destroyed the man. He might have become a Gautam Buddha - he had every possibility - but because of this reaction, he fought those dead tutors, those dead Theosophical Society leaders, Annie Besant, Leadbeater, and others, his whole life. He was fighting with those shadows his whole life - against masters, against mystics, against scriptures - but it was not coming as a revelation, it was coming as a reaction.

His whole life was wasted by the theosophical movement. If they had allowed him to grow naturally, there would have been a possibility; the man had the potential of being a Gautam Buddha. But they destroyed him, and he could not get rid of them. Those shadows he lived with in his early childhood became so ingrained that he was fighting against them. He lived in a negativity, and one cannot live in a negativity and be nourished and blossom into a lotus flower.

So even J. Krishnamurti was not enlightened, and U.G. Krishnamurti is a shadow of an unenlightened intellectual giant. U.G. Krishnamurti is not even an intellectual giant, but he goes on preaching the same words, the same language, and tries to hide the fact.

Just the other day I saw an article about him in a newspaper. He was asked by the interviewer, "When and where did you become enlightened?" And his answer was, "I don't know when and where."

Enlightenment does not happen in time or in space. "When" and "where" are time and space. It happens when you are nowhere, no one. It happens when there is eternity, no time. But his answer may impress many people - people are very gullible.

I am taking his case for a particular reason - because the whole of the Western intelligentsia has become immensely interested in Zen, but their interest remains intellectual. They have written great books, and we will be discussing in this manifesto almost everyone who has written books on Zen.

My effort is to make you really clear that all these intellectuals may have written very beautiful books... I appreciate their scholarship, I appreciate their articulateness of expression, but they are not men of Zen, to say nothing of masters of Zen. Hence this manifesto is absolutely needed to make the whole world clear that Zen is not a mind affair. It is a no-mind space.

I told you that all the religions are saying, "Drop the ego." Zen goes beyond the ego and beyond the self. Except Zen, no religion has come to the point of going beyond the self, beyond the atman, beyond your spirit, beyond your individuality. It is absolutely a single man's contribution to human consciousness - Gautam the Buddha's.

Zen is the ultimate flowering. Slowly, slowly improving the image of Gautam the Buddha, each master has contributed something, a new dimension to it. Gautam Buddha is the only person in the whole history of mankind who said, "Just dropping the ego will not help. It can be easily dropped if you drop God." He dropped God, the ego disappeared. The moon disappeared. The reflection disappeared. He went away from the mirror, the mirror was empty. His reflection in the mirror disappeared. He had been fighting with the reflection.

I have heard about an ugly woman....

She was so neurotic about mirrors - because only mirrors made her aware that she was ugly.

Otherwise, without mirrors, as far as she was concerned, she was beautiful. Wherever she would see a mirror - even in somebody else's house - she would immediately break it. The reason was that mirrors made her look ugly.

Those poor mirrors had nothing to do with her ugliness. She was ugly, but she was forcing the responsibility on the mirrors, fighting with the mirrors.

That is the essence of all your religions: fighting with the mirrors, with the shadows, trying to drop the ego without dropping God. The ego is just a reflection of a lie in the small pond of your mind.

Gautam Buddha dropped the idea of God, and was amazed that as God disappeared, the ego disappeared. It was just a reflection of God. Hence my effort to remove God. Without removing God you cannot remove the ego. It is the shadow, in the small pond of your mind, of the ultimate lie. Then, as the ego disappeared with God, Buddha came to understand that even self has to disappear.

There are religions who have God, ego, and the self: Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedanism, Hinduism. And there are religions which don't have God - Taoism, Buddhism, Jainism - but they have the self. Because they don't have God, the ego disappears on its own. Now their whole effort is how to make their self pure, pious. Now a different kind of effort starts.

Buddha is the only man who said, "If there is no God and there is no ego, the self is also arbitrary, artificial. As you go deeper in your interiority, you suddenly find yourself disappearing into the oceanic consciousness. There is no self as such. You are no more, only existence is.

Hence, I call Zen essentially freedom from oneself. You have heard about other freedoms, but freedom from oneself is the ultimate freedom - not to be, and allow the existence to express itself in all its spontaneity and grandeur. But it is existence, not you, not me. It is life itself dancing, not you, not me.

That is the Zen Manifesto: freedom from oneself.

And only Zen has refined, in these twenty-five centuries, methods, devices to make you aware that you are not, that you are only arbitrary, just an idea.

As you go beyond the mind, even the idea of "I am" disappears. When the "I" also disappears and you start feeling a deep involvement in existence, with no boundaries, then only has Zen blossomed in you. In fact, that is the state, the space of the awakened consciousness. But it has no "I" at the center, no atman, no self.

To make it clear to you... Socrates says, "Know thyself." Gautam Buddha says, "Know - just know, and you will not find thyself." Enter deeper into your awareness, and the deeper you go, your self starts melting. Perhaps that is the reason why none of the religions except Zen have tried meditation - because meditation will destroy God, will destroy the ego, will destroy the self. It will leave you in absolute nothingness. It is just the mind which makes you afraid about nothingness.

I receive questions almost every day, "Why are we afraid of nothingness?"

You are afraid because you don't know nothingness. And you are afraid only because you figure out intellectually, "What is the point? If in meditation you have to disappear, then it is better to remain in the mind." At least you are - maybe illusory, maybe just an idea, but at least you are. What is the point of making all this effortless effort just to disappear into nothingness?

The mind simply makes you beware of going beyond the boundaries of the mind, because beyond the boundaries of the mind you will be no more. That will be the ultimate death.

A Gautam Buddha dies ultimately, you die only temporarily. Just maybe a few minutes, a few seconds, and you enter into another womb. Some idiots are always making love around the world, twenty-four hours, and you don't have to travel far away, just in the neighborhood. Around the clock millions of couples are making love, so whichever is the closest couple, here you die and there you are born. The gap is very small.

But an enlightened man, a man who has come to know his nothingness, his no-selfness, his anatta, simply disappears into the cosmos.

Mind is afraid, and it seems logical, obvious: What is the point? Why should one do such a thing in which he disappears?

Gautam Buddha was asked again and again, "You are a strange fellow. We came here to realize our self, and your meditation is to UNrealize our self."

Socrates was just a great genius, but confined to the mind: "Know thyself." There is no self to be known. That is the Zen Manifesto to the world. There is nothing to know. You have just to be one with the whole. And there is no need to be afraid....

Just think for a moment: When you were not born, was there any anxiety, any worry, any angst? You were not there, there was no problem. You are the problem, the beginning of the problem, and then as you grow, more and more problems.... But before your birth, was there any problem?

Zen masters continuously ask the newcomers, "Where have you been before your father was born?"

An absurd question, but of immense significance. They are asking you, "If you were not, there was no problem. So what is the worry?" If your death becomes the ultimate death and all boundaries disappear, you will not be there, but the existence will be there. The dance will be there, the dancer will not be there. The song will be there, but the singer will not be there.

This is only possible to experience by falling deeper, beyond the mind, to the very depth of your being, to the very source of life from where your life is flowing. Suddenly you realize the image of yourself was arbitrary. You are imageless, you are infinite. You were living in a cage. The moment you realize your sources are infinite, suddenly the cage disappears and you can open your wings into the blue sky and disappear. This disappearance is anatta, this disappearance is freedom from oneself. But this is possible not through intellect, it is possible only through meditation. Zen is another name for meditation.

Hundreds of beautiful books have appeared in the West since a very strange man, D.T. Suzuki, introduced Zen to the West. He did a pioneer job, but he was not a Zen master, or even a man of Zen. He was a great scholar, and his impact spread through all the countries to the intelligentsia.

He immediately had a great appeal.

As the old religions are crumbling, particularly in the West... Christianity is just a name, the empire is crumbling. They are trying to hold onto it, but it is not possible. It is falling apart and a vacuum is growing every day, bigger and bigger, like an abysmal depth which creates nausea.

Jean-Paul Sartre's book, NAUSEA, is very significant. Once you see the bottomless pit, this meaningless life - that you are utterly arbitrary, unnecessary, accidental - you lose all dignity. And for what are you waiting? - there is nothing to wait for, only death. This creates a great anxiety: "We are worthless... nobody needs us... existence is care-less."

At that very moment D.T. Suzuki appeared on the horizon in the West. He was the first man to talk about Zen in the Western universities, colleges, and he attracted immensely the intelligent people, because they had lost faith in God, they had lost faith in the Holy Bible, they had lost faith in the pope.

Just today, almost a dozen German bishops have come together to make a declaration that the pope is going beyond his limits, that his continuous preaching against birth control is bringing humanity to a point where half of the world is going to die from starvation; the pope should not be listened to anymore.

Now, this is pure rebellion. These one dozen bishops in Germany have formed a committee, and they are collecting more and more bishops to rebel against the pope, and they are declaring that he is not infallible. The whole of history shows that the popes and archbishops are fallible. So this whole idea of the pope being infallible was making him an absolute dictator. Now it is intolerable.

The beginning of this century was the start of a boiling up of energy against all old religions, particularly in the rich countries of the West. Poor countries don't have time; they don't have even food enough, no nourishment. Their whole time is involved in getting food, clothing, in getting a shelter. They can't discuss the great problems of life, they can't even conceive of them. The question is food, not God!

That's why it is so easy to convert poor people to Christianity - just by providing food, just by providing shelter, service. But they are not converted to Christianity. They are simply not concerned about God. They are not concerned about any system of belief, their basic thing is that they are hungry and starving!

When you are hungry and starving you don't think of God, you don't think of hell and heaven. The first thing you think about is where to get some bread and butter. And if anybody gives you bread and butter with the condition that you have to be a Catholic, you will agree, rather than die of starvation.

So poor countries are becoming more and more Catholic, more and more Christian. But in the West itself, Christianity is losing its hold. Not more than twenty-five percent of people attend the churches.

Seventy-five percent of people are completely disappointed. Those twenty-five percent are mostly women, and they go for a particular reason: that is the only place where you can gossip and meet all the other women, and see who has got better clothes, better fur coats, better jewelry, a better car.

The church is the only club where the women are accepted. All other clubs are boys' clubs, where old boys talk about women but don't allow women in.

Even at parties, as the dinner is complete, the women retire to a separate room and leave the boys alone. The boys will be drinking and shouting and fighting, and talking all kinds of nonsense which they cannot say in front of women because they feel a little embarrassed. So the women retire. And this is good, because the women have their own gossiping: who is falling in love with whom. Let the boys do their work, the old girls are doing their work.

The church is the only place in which all the religions have allowed women to gather; otherwise they are boycotted from every other social congregation. They cannot be members of many organizations, many clubs; they are all male-oriented. The woman's area, her territory, is the home.

She has to be confined in that territory. So the church has been the only outlet; they wait for Sunday.

So these twenty-five percent are women. A few men may be there who cannot leave their wives alone out of fear, and a few men may be there to find a new girlfriend. But this has nothing to do with religion.

D.T. Suzuki appeared in the West with a new approach to existence. He appealed to people because he was a man of great scholarship, profound scholarship, and he brought to the Western mind a totally new concept of religion. But it remained a concept, it remained an argument in the mind; it never went deeper than that.

A parallel exists in China. Before Bodhidharma appeared in China, China was already converted to Buddhism. Bodhidharma went there fourteen hundred years ago, but Gautam Buddha's philosophy and religion had reached China two thousand years ago, six hundred years before Bodhidharma went there. In those six hundred years scholars had converted the whole of China to Buddhism.

In those days it was very easy to convert the whole country. You simply converted the emperor, and then his whole court got converted, then his whole army got converted, then his whole bureaucracy got converted. And when the emperor and the whole bureaucracy and the army, and all the so-called wise people of the emperor's court were converted, the masses simply followed.

The masses have never decided anything for themselves. They simply look at the people who proclaim themselves great, in power, in intelligence, in riches. If these people are converted, the masses simply follow.

So in those six hundred years, thousands of Buddhist scholars reached to China, and they converted China - the emperors, the governors. But it was not the true message of Gautam Buddha yet.

Although China had become Buddhist, Buddha had not yet appeared.

Bodhidharma was sent by his master, who was a woman. She said, "Scholars have prepared the way, now you go. You are immensely needed there." Bodhidharma was the first buddha to enter China, and he brought a totally different vision, not of the mind but of no-mind.

The West is absolutely ready for a Zen manifesto. Intellectually, D.T. Suzuki, Alan Watts, and many others - we will be discussing each one - have prepared the road. Now only a Bodhidharma is needed, a Gautam Buddha is needed, or a Mahakashyapa - someone whose Zen is not just a philosophy but an actual experience of no-self, an actual experience of entering into nothingness.

And once you enter into nothingness, you will be surprised that it is nothing to be afraid of. This is your real home. Now you can celebrate, because there is nothing more than this mystery. That nothingness opens all the doors. As long as you are confined by the self, the very idea of separation from existence keeps you miserable.

You have to find ways - and these ways can be found easily only when you have somebody who has already traveled the path, who knows that nothingness is not something empty. By disappearing, you are not really disappearing, you are becoming the whole. From this side, it looks like you are disappearing; from that side, it looks like you are becoming the whole. Just ask a dewdrop.

I have told you about Kabir....

When he first entered into this nothingness, he immediately wrote a beautiful poem, in which comes the sentence, "The dewdrop has fallen into the ocean." His own sentences are very beautiful:

HERAT HERAT HEY SAKHI, RAHYA KABIR HERAYI - "O, my friend, my beloved, I had gone to search, to seek myself, but something strange has happened. Rather than finding myself, I have disappeared just like a dewdrop disappearing in the ocean."

BUNDA SAMANI SAMUNDA MEN SO KAT HERI JAYI - "The dewdrop has disappeared in the ocean. Now how can you find the dewdrop again?"

That was his first experience. Then he became more and more aware of the ocean, and forgot all about the dewdrop. Before dying he called his son, Kamal. He was certainly rightly named by Kabir.

Kamal means a miracle - and the son of Kabir was certainly a miracle. He called Kamal and said to him, "I am going to leave my body soon. Before I leave, you have to correct one of my poems. Just a little change...

"I have written, BUNDA SAMANI SAMUNDA MEN - the dewdrop has entered into the ocean. You have to change it. Just reverse it. SAMUNDA SAMANA BUNDA MEN - the ocean has disappeared into the dewdrop - because now I know from the other side.

"My first experience was from this shore; now I am talking from the further shore, the beyond. Now I know the dewdrop has not fallen into the ocean, it is the ocean that has fallen into the dewdrop."

Kamal said to him, "I have always suspected that line. I can show you my copy." And he showed Kabir. He had crossed out that line.

Kabir said, "You are really a kamal. You are a miracle. You came to know it before me." The line was crossed out.

Kamal said, "I was suspicious from the very beginning, that this is the statement of a beginner, the first statement when he comes to see the nothingness. But when he becomes nothingness, this statement will be absolutely wrong. So now that you have come to your senses, just before dying, I can rejoice that you are no longer just a beginner, you have become part of the whole." Then he wrote the new line: the ocean has fallen into the dewdrop.

I said to you that Kabir had named his only son "Kamal," a miracle, because the young man was certainly not an ordinary man. At one point, even Kabir was angry with him, because he used to raise questions which even Kabir could not answer. And this was always happening when thousands of Kabir's followers would be there. His own son would stand up and make him feel very embarrassed because he was not able to answer the question.

One day he was very angry - it must have happened before his enlightenment - and he said to Kamal, "BUDA VANSH KABIR KA - my family ends with me, Kamal!"

He means the same by "my family" as what Zen people call their heritage, their family, their masters.

They are not talking about their parents.

Kabir said, "My family ends with me. I cannot trust you."

Kamal said, "If you cannot trust me, you cannot trust yourself. But because you have disowned me by making this statement, I will not be staying in your cottage. I am going to make a small hut just next to you, so when gullible people come to you and they are going back home, I can deprogram them." And he remained just in front of Kabir's house, and because everybody knew he was Kabir's son, before leaving Kabir they would go to pay tribute to his son also.

Even the emperor of Varanasi was a devotee of Kabir. Kabir was a poor man, a weaver. The emperor of Varanasi asked one day, when he had not seen Kamal for a few days - he was coming almost every day to listen to Kabir, and he saw that Kamal was missing - he asked Kabir, "Where is Kamal?"

Kabir said, "It is a sad story. I was just angry, and I told him that my family ends with me, and he immediately left, saying, 'If your family ends with you, I no longer belong to your family.' He remains outside, just in front, disturbing my disciples. He is a pain in the neck! Now he has gone outside, so I cannot even say anything. He just sits there."

The emperor of Kashi said - Kashi is the older name of Varanasi - "I would go and see him, but what is your problem with him?"

Kabir said, "Thousands of problems. People come with money, diamonds, emeralds, and all kinds of valuable things, and I don't need them, so I refuse them. And he is just sitting by my side, and he tells those people, 'Okay, if he is refusing, bring them to me. Anyway it doesn't look good that you have come to offer and you are going rejected. Offer them to me.'

"So I reject, and he goes on collecting. And I told him that this is not right, but he said, 'You think about yourself. I know on my own accord what is right and what is wrong. Don't tell me! I am not your disciple, I am your son.'"

So the emperor said, "Don't be worried, I will go and see and check." So he brought with him a very big diamond, and he told Kamal, "I have brought this most valuable diamond in the country as an offering to you."

He said, "You can put it into the bamboos of the roof of my hut. If somebody does not take it away, it will remain there. Once in a while I can see that I have got the most valuable stone in my hut. I don't have much decoration here."

The emperor thought, "Kabir seems to be right, he is very clever and cunning. He is not taking it, but he is telling me, 'Just put it there. If somebody does not take it away, I will enjoy seeing it.' And as I go out he will take it, that is certain." So the emperor stayed away for one week, did not come.

After one week he came, and he asked Kamal, "Where is that diamond?"

Kamal said, "If somebody has taken it, then it will not be in the roof; otherwise it is bound to be in the roof. You have put it there yourself, so you can find it easily. I had no opportunity to look at it. I am looking inwards and your diamond is outside."

The emperor said, "Great!" And he looked and found the diamond exactly where he had put it in the roof.

He told Kabir, "You are in a misunderstanding. Your son is really a miracle. I was thinking that he was cheating me, deceiving me, but he has not even looked at the diamond, to say nothing of touching it. He said to me, 'If anybody has taken it, then I don't know, because I am looking inwards.

Anybody can take it. There is no guard on the hut, there is no door. And sometimes I have to go to the Ganges to take a bath, and anybody can take it. So if it is still there, you will find it.' And I have found it; it was there. He has not even looked at it. So your whole idea is wrong. Your idea that he is interested in wealth is absolutely wrong."

Finally, Kabir had to go to the hut and ask Kamal, "Forgive me, come back. I was wrong. You were just trying to test me, whether I get angry or not - and I certainly got angry. I thought it was your greed."

Kamal said, "I am your blood, your bones, your very marrow. How could you ever think that I should be greedy? You became angry, and you exposed yourself, that all your teaching not to be angry, not to be greedy, is just superficial.

"It is not your concern. If I am taking things, why are you interested? There must be some greed in you. Just as anger came up, your greed may come up any moment. If there was no greed in you, you would have simply witnessed that Kamal is taking things, that's all. It is Kamal's business to take care of his own being, it is not your business. I'm not your disciple. I am a master on my own authority."

And Kabir looked into himself and agreed with Kamal: "Perhaps you are right. My being interested and being angry that you are gathering money shows my greed, not your greed, shows my anger, not your anger. And you left so joyously, touching my feet, saying, 'If you say your family ends with yourself, then a new family starts with me, just after you.'"

So Kamal was persuaded back into the family. He was the successor of Kabir, a far greater man, far more aware, alert, far more conscious. But strangely, it is Kabir who is remembered. He has an organized religion following him - KABIR PANTH, "Path of Kabir." Kamal has nothing. He never created any following. Although hundreds of people listened to him, he remained only a friend. He helped them, shared his light with them, but never gave any discipline, any commandments, any principles to be followed.

Once you know meditation, you don't have to follow anybody. You have your own eyes open, and you have your light just ahead of you showing the path, and all that is right and all that is good happens choicelessly. It is not that you are doing it, you cannot do otherwise.

For six hundred years in China, Buddhism was only an intellectual exercise, good gymnastics. But as Bodhidharma entered China, he changed the whole idea about Zen. People were talking about Zen as if it was another philosophy, which it is not; as if it is another religion, which it is not. It is a rebellion against mind, and all your religions and philosophies are part of the mind.

This is the only rebellion against mind, against self, the only rebellion of withdrawing all the limits that imprison you and taking a quantum leap into nothingness. But this nothingness is very alive. It is life, it is existence. It is not a hypothesis. And when you take the jump, the first experience is that you are disappearing. The last experience is, you have become the whole.

A few questions.

Question 1:

The first question:


They are feeling a great vacuum, and they want to fill the vacuum. You cannot live with a vacuum.

The vacuum is empty, and out of that emptiness, life becomes sad, serious.

All the religions have been filling your vacuum with lies. Now those lies are exposed. Science has done much in exposing those lies, and great meditators, mystics, have done tremendous work around the world in exposing all the lies of religions.

The contemporary man stands in a strange position: the old has fallen, it was a deception, and the new has not yet arrived. So there is a gap, an interval, and the Western intelligentsia is trying to find something which will not be again a lie, which will not just give you consolation, but which will transform you, which will be a deep revolution in your very being.

Zen certainly is the right approach towards existence, the ultimate truth. Without believing in anything, without being a follower or a believer, you simply enter into your own interiority, and you are entering into the immense nothingness of the whole. But it is the same nothingness from where you had come and to where you are going again.

When the source and the goal become one, you will have a great celebration. In that celebration you will not be, but the whole existence will be participating. The trees will be showering flowers, and the birds will be singing songs, and the oceans and the rivers will all be rejoicing.

The whole existence becomes your home the moment your heart melts into the universal heart.

That is where Zen is happening. In that melting into the universe you are back to the original source, fresh, eternal, timeless, spacious. The only thing needed is freedom from the self. That is the very essence of Zen.

You have heard about many freedoms: political freedom, psychological freedom, economic freedom - there are many kinds of freedom. But the ultimate freedom is Zen, freedom from yourself. That is not to be accepted as a belief, that has to be experienced. Only then you know. It is a taste. Anybody can describe that sugar is sweet, but if you have not tasted sugar, you hear the word 'sweet' but you don't understand what it is. The only way is for somebody to force some sweetness into your mouth.

The master's function in Zen is to force nothingness into your experience, or in other words, to bring you to your own nothingness. The master devises methods, and when they become old and routine he drops them, finds new methods, new ways.

But it has been twenty-five centuries since Gautam Buddha gave a lotus flower to Mahakashyapa, without a single word, and told his congregation, "What I could say I have told you. What I cannot say - although I want to, but it is simply not possible - I am transferring to Mahakashyapa." That lotus flower was just a symbol: unless you open up like a lotus flower in the early morning sun when the dewdrops are shining like pearls on the lotus leaves... It is a silent transmission of the lamp.

Nothing is said.

Mahakashyapa came for the first time close to Buddha, took the lotus flower, touched his feet, went back and sat silently under his tree. Mahakashyapa is the first patriarch of Zen. So the lineage of Zen, the family of Zen, is a branch, a very silent branch of Buddhism. They love Gautam Buddha, because Zen really originated in his disappearance. He transferred it to Mahakashyapa, and then it was the responsibility of Mahakashyapa to go on finding people to whom he could transfer it.

So since that moment, twenty-five centuries ago, it has been transferred without any arbitrary means, without any language, from master to disciple; from one who has come home to one who is just wandering around but cannot find the way.

The master functions as a friend. He holds your hand and takes you on the right path, helps you to open your eyes, helps you to be capable of transcending the mind. That's when your third eye opens, when you start looking inwards. Once you are looking inwards, the master's work is finished.

Now it is up to you.

You can travel that small gap between your mind and no-mind in a single moment of tremendous intensity and urgency. Or you can travel slowly, hesitantly, stopping, being afraid that you are losing grip of your mind, you are losing grip of your individuality, that all boundaries are disappearing. What are you doing? You may think for a moment, "This may bring a breakdown, you may not be able to come back to the mind again. And who knows what is going to happen ahead? Things are disappearing..."

If you pay too much attention to the things that are disappearing you may stop out of fear. The master goes on focusing your mind on things that are happening, not on things that are disappearing. He goes on forcing you to look at the blissfulness, look at the silence that is descending on you. Look at the peace, look at the joy, look at the ecstasy. He is continuously emphasizing that which is happening, not that which is going away - the anxiety, the despair, the angst, the anguish, he is not allowing you even to take note of them. What is disappearing is not worth keeping. Just go on looking at what is appearing out of nothingness.

So you gather courage, you become more daring. You know that nothing is going to be wrong. With every single inch of movement, something greater is happening. And finally, as you enter the very source of your being, the center of your being, the whole universe falls upon you, just as Kabir said before he died: "The whole ocean has fallen into the dewdrop."

Once you have experienced this beautitude, this ecstasy, this divine drunkenness, who cares about individuality? Who cares about the self? What has the self given to you except anxiety, except hell? And this nothingness is so pure, without boundaries. For the first time you find the infinity, the eternity, and all the mysteries of existence are suddenly opening their doors to you. And they go on opening... door after door....

There is no end to this journey, it is an endless pilgrimage. You are always arriving and arriving and arriving, but you never arrive. But each moment you are going deeper into bliss, deeper into ecstasy, deeper into truth, and there is no full stop.

The Zen Manifesto is absolutely needed, because all old religions are falling apart, and before they fall apart and humanity goes completely bananas, Zen has to be spread wide around the whole earth. Before the old house falls down, you have to create a new house.

And this time don't commit the same mistake. You have been living in a house which was not there; hence you were suffering rain, winter, sun, because the house was only an imagination. This time really enter into your original home, not into any man-made temple, any man-made religion. Enter into your own existence. Why be continuously a carbon copy?

This time is very valuable. You are born in a very fortunate moment, when the old has lost its validity, its proof, when the old is simply hanging around you because you are not courageous enough to get out of the prison. Otherwise the doors are open - in fact, there have never been any doors, because the house you are living in is completely imaginary. Your gods are imaginary, your priests are imaginary, your holy scriptures are imaginary.

This time don't commit the same mistake. This time humanity has to take a quantum leap from the old rotten lies to the fresh, eternally fresh truth.

This is the Manifesto of Zen.

Question 2:

The second question:




His statement is rationally beautiful. You should seize Zen with your bare, naked hands, with no gloves on. He means by that that you should enter into the world of Zen without any beliefs, without any security, without any safety, without any gloves. You should enter into Zen with naked hands, with nudity.

But his statement is still intellectual. He was neither a master of Zen nor even a man of Zen. If he had been a master of Zen, he could not have said it. A master of Zen cannot say that Zen must be seized. It is not a question of seizing Zen. This is the old language of the mind, of "conquering nature." Now it becomes conquering Zen.

Zen is your reality. Whom are you going to seize? Whom are you going to conquer? You ARE Zen.

And what does he mean by "with bare hands"? Hands will not reach there, bare or with gloves on. Hands symbolize the movement outwards, they always point towards the outside. All your senses open to the outside, they are all extrovert. Your ears hear the sound that is coming from the outside, your eyes see colors, light that is coming from the outside, your hand goes on grabbing - that is outside you. None of your senses can reach to the inside. For the inside there is a different sensitivity, the third eye. There are no hands.

Just between your two eyebrows, exactly in the middle, is the place which can look inwards. When you are with closed eyes, trying to look inwards, rushing towards your center, you are hitting on the third eye continuously. Because it has not been opened for centuries, it has forgotten how to open.

Hence, every day meditation... and one day suddenly you will find the eye has opened, and the whole path is clean and clear. You have simply to walk to the center.

Now there are no hands, and there is no question of conquering. It is your nature. The very idea that Zen must be seized creates a duality: you are the person who is going to seize Zen, and Zen is something other than you. It creates a duality. That's what gives me a clear-cut idea whether the man is just intellectual or has the experience. I have my clear-cut criteria how to know that a man is talking only from the mind. Howsoever clever D.T. Suzuki may be, I say unto you that he is not a master, he is still living in duality.

Mind is dual, it always divides things into polar opposites: the conqueror and the conquered, the observer and the observed, the object and the subject, the day and the night. It goes on dividing things which are not divided. Neither is the day divided from the night, nor is birth divided from death.

They are one energy. But mind goes on dividing everything into polarities, opposites. Nothing is opposite in existence; every contradiction is only apparent. Deep down all contradictions are meeting together.

So when somebody says, "Seize, conquer," he is still talking in the language of the mind and is still being violent. His words show it.

Zen has to be neither the object nor the subject. It is a transcendental experience. Duality of all kinds is transcended: the observer and the observed become one, the knower and the known become one. So it is not a question of conquering or seizing, it is a question of relaxing into yourself.

It is not a fight or a war, it is pure resting, sinking into your rest deeply. And as you sink deeper and deeper you find you are melting. The moment you come to oneness with existence, you have arrived to your nature. It can be possible only through relaxation, through rest.

Suzuki's statement is rational, but not existential, and Zen is the only existential approach in the whole world.

A little biographical note:


You know the meaning of Tennen; it means "absolutely natural."

Zen is your nature; whether you know it or not does not make any difference. If you know you will not stumble unnecessarily, you will not go on falling into the same ditches again and again. If you know, you will walk like a man with eyes. If you don't know, you will walk with eyes, but closed. Your whole life you will suffer unnecessary misery, tension, anxiety. But there is no difference as far as your inner nature is concerned. You are a buddha all the time - sleeping, waking, whether you know it or not. If you know, life becomes a bliss. If you don't know, life becomes a misery.

So it is simply you. If you are ready to sink deep within yourself, being in deep rest... It is not a victory, it is just remembering that buddhahood is your nature, it is your dhamma.




Only a man of immense insight, only a man who knows his buddhahood, can burn a statue of Buddha in the night. The night was so cold, the real buddha was suffering from cold, and the unreal buddha was enthroned, so he took one of the statues - it was a wooden statue - and he burned it and was quite happy.

In the morning, when the monks of the temple found that he had burned a statue of Buddha, obviously they were very angry. "What kind of man are you? We thought you were a Zen master, and you have destroyed one of our most valuable Buddhas. What was the purpose?"

He said, "The night was very cold." He was simply showing those monks, "You have forgotten your buddha nature and you are worshipping statues made by man. Buddhas are worshipping statues of wood or stone or marble - this is absurd! What kind of spiritual sleep are you suffering from? Have you completely forgotten who you are?"

So he said, "It was a cold night, and the buddha was feeling the cold very much. A false buddha was just sitting there. I burned the statue; it was just wood." To make it completely clear, he said, "I was trying to find Buddha's bones."

In the world of the Buddha, the bones of a buddha are called flowers. When a buddha has awakened, even his bones are no longer bones, so they are not referred to as bones, they are referred to as flowers. Slowly, slowly it has become widespread in India that now everybody's bones, when somebody dies...

In India the body has to be burned on a funeral pyre, and on the third day, when the fire has completely cooled down and the body is completely burned, the relatives and the friends go to the burning place to collect the "flowers." That is the expression. They are going to collect the bones.

Those bones have to be dissolved either into a river or into the ocean for eternal rest - but they are not referred to as bones.

The first time it was Gautam Buddha's bones which were referred to as flowers. How can you say Gautam Buddha's bones are just bones? In that body lived the foremost awakened man; in that body radiated the splendor, the bliss arising from nowhere. It is because of this that Buddha has said, "This very body the buddha, and this very earth the lotus paradise."

When you know your nothingness, it radiates. Even from your bones, your eyes, your skin, everything takes a new grace, a new grandeur, a new majesty. Your words become golden, your silence becomes so precious - a song without sounds. Even when the buddha walks, his body is expressing his buddhahood. If the buddha looks into your eyes, his eyes are expressing the ultimate truth. Whether he says anything or not, he is continuously diffusing a certain energy all around him.

He is a radiator, a radiation of the ultimate bliss.

So naturally, if a man like Gautam Buddha became enlightened when he was forty-two years old, and lived for forty years afterwards - for forty years continuously the Buddha was inside these bones and the flesh and the skin - how is it possible that all these bones and skin will not be affected by this tremendous metamorphosis? Hence came the expression, "flowers."

The man who translated it has forgotten. He simply says that Tanka Tennen said, "I had to burn the statue so I could take Gautam Buddha's BONES" - not flowers. But everything changes with your change of consciousness. Everything becomes tremendously beautiful.

This was just to provoke those monks so they were cornered. Immediately, the high priest of the temple must have said, "HOW COULD A WOODEN STATUE HAVE BONES?" How could a wooden statue have flowers?

Tanka had made his point. He is saying that a wooden statue is not a buddha; it has not even the bones, it has not even the flowers of Buddha. It is simply wood, cut in a certain shape. You have given the shape to the wood, but you cannot make it a buddha.

Once the monks were cornered, Tanka said, "THEN WHY HAVE YOU CHASTISED ME?" Then why are you angry at me?

There are many versions of this story. The version that I love - and I don't know whether it is in the scriptures or not - I don't know from where I got it, but I am absolutely certain that is the right version.

It was not in the morning that Tanka Tennen was found, it was in the middle of the night when the priests saw a fire burning in the temple, because they were sleeping in the temple. The high priest came running: "Are you mad or something? What are you doing? You have burned one of my most valuable Buddhas!"

Then Tanka took his staff - and the Buddha was almost burned - and he started looking for flowers with his staff in the ashes of the Buddha. The high priest said, "What are you doing?"

He said, "I am looking for Buddha's flowers. I have heard that Buddha has bones, and those bones turn into flowers. I am looking for those flowers."

The high priest laughed. He said, "You are certainly insane. It was just a wooden statue, it was not a buddha!"

And Tanka Tennen said, "Aha! So it was not the Buddha! And the night is still long and very cold, and you have so many wooden statues; just bring one or two more."

The high priest said, "You are a very dangerous fellow! I cannot allow you to stay in the temple." And he forced Tanka Tennen outside the temple in the middle of the night.

It was cold winter, icy cold, and Tanka Tennen said, "What are you doing? You are my high priest, and you are throwing me out. Just to keep your wooden statues safe, you are throwing the buddha out!"

But the high priest did not listen, he just pushed him out and closed the doors.

And in the morning when he opened the doors, Tanka Tennen was sitting by the side of the road by a milestone. He had collected a few wildflowers, and he had put those wildflowers on the milestone, and he was sitting there reciting a beautiful mantra that the disciples of Buddha used to recite before him: Buddham sharanam gachchhami - I go to the feet of the buddha; Sangham sharanam gachchhami - I go to the feet of those who are the commune of the awakened one; Dhammam sharanam gachchhami - I go to the feet of the ultimate truth.

The priest said, "Listen, you burned my Buddha - that was an insane act. Now you are doing even more mad behavior. This is a milestone, not a Buddha, and you have put flowers on it, and you are going to the feet of this milestone!"

Tanka Tennen said, "It is the same, just an excuse. You have wooden statues as an excuse, I have this stone. Hidden in it there is a stone Buddha. If some sculptor takes out all the unnecessary pieces, a Buddha will appear. Any excuse will do. I burned one of your excuses and you were so angry. This is just the same as your wooden statue; and neither does this stone have Buddha's bones.

"I was simply wanting, in the early morning sun, with this beautiful breeze, and flowers fragrant all around, and the birds chirping and making their joyful sounds... I have to show my gratitude to the man who is the source of my family. Without him, perhaps, there would not have been so many enlightened people.

"Gautam Buddha started a new chapter in the consciousness of humanity. Obviously, I go to his feet, and I go to the truth that he revealed, and I go to the feet of those who became enlightened because of his sharing the enlightenment. I would not have been the light that I am right now if Buddha had not transferred to Mahakashyapa that which cannot be said in a lotus flower. I am showing my gratitude to the greatest man in the history of mankind who has risen above mind."

This, I know, is the right story. If you don't find it in the scriptures, correct them. Wherever you find those scriptures, correct them, because they do not show exactly Tanka Tennen's approach; they are very poor. I love riches - and the real richness comes from your awareness, your consciousness.

In this way, Tanka Tennen was trying to make all those priests and monks aware: "What are you doing? You have forgotten the real thing, and you are worshipping statues. Any stone will do, because in every stone the Buddha is hidden."

I remember one story about Michelangelo....

He was passing by the market where marble was sold, and he saw a big piece of marble in front of a shop. He asked the owner, "How much will it cost?"

The owner said, "Nothing, because it has been there for ten years and nobody has even asked about it. I don't have space in my shop, so I have thrown it out on the other side of the road. You can take it, it will give me space to put a few other rocks. This rock seems to be absolutely absurd, of no use."

So Michelangelo took that rock, and after a year he invited the owner of the shop, "Now you can come and see. Your rock has blossomed." And it was Michelangelo's greatest work of art - which has been destroyed just a few years ago by a madman. It was a statue of Jesus Christ. His mother, Mary, has taken the body of Jesus Christ from the cross. Jesus is lying almost naked in her lap, and she is looking at his face. It was one of the most beautiful statues in the world.

The shop owner could not believe his eyes. He said, "How did you manage it?"

He said, "It was not me. When I passed by the side of the rock, Jesus called to me, 'I am lying down in this rock. Just remove the unnecessary parts and I will be revealed.'

"And as I looked at the rock, I could see Jesus in the lap of his mother by the side of the cross. It looked strange, because this statue was hidden inside it - the cross, Jesus lying in the lap of his mother, and Mariam. So it looked a very strange type of rock. But I have just done a little work of chipping away unnecessary parts, and you can see the miracle that has happened."

That statue was in the Vatican, and just a few years ago - perhaps ten years ago - a madman with a hammer just went in and broke the heads of Jesus and Mariam, and destroyed that beautiful statue, the like of which may not be made again, because Michelangelos don't happen that often.

That man was caught, but it was too late. And in the court he said, "I am not a Michelangelo so I cannot create, but I can destroy. And I wanted my name to become history, I wanted to see my picture in all the newspapers on the front page. I have succeeded in it, and I am ready for any punishment."

The judge was at a loss what to say to this man. He had destroyed one of the most precious things, one of the most beautiful works of art, just to have his photograph in the newspapers on the front page, and his name in history: "Michelangelo created it, and this man destroyed it." He was ready...

he said, "I am ready even to go to the gallows. It doesn't matter."

If you have eyes like Michelangelo, then every stone becomes something that ordinary people cannot see. Only a Michelangelo can penetrate just like an X-ray deep into the stone, and it can become a Jesus, it can become a Buddha.

Tanka Tennen was saying, "What is the need of all those statues when the real buddha was feeling the immense cold of the night? You pushed me out. And this has been the story of all the religions.

They push the buddha out and they worship Buddha's statues."

The sutra:



Tenjiku is another master. When he was asked about the burning of the statue of Buddha by Tanka Tennen, he replied, "There is nothing wrong." He didn't say it directly, he simply said, "WHEN IT IS COLD WE GATHER AROUND THE HEARTH BY THE FIRE."



He is not saying it is right or wrong - that is the way of Zen, not to decide right or wrong - he is simply saying, "Every Zen master behaves spontaneously. When it is hot he goes into the shade of a bamboo forest; when it is cold he burns wood." He is not mentioning at all whether Tanka Tennen has done anything wrong. He is simply saying, "Everybody who is aware functions spontaneously.

Finding no other wood, Tanka Tennen found the wooden statue of Buddha. There is nothing wrong in it. When it is cold one needs fire, and when it is hot one needs shade."

Zen is absolutely natural. You should function according to your nature, and out of your spontaneity should come your response.


That reminds me.... Perhaps little Siddhartha is still here, or maybe he has gone. When he first came, many many years ago, he was a small child, very small, maybe three years old or four years old. I can see exactly the moment he came to me.

He had brought a small rug, and he came as if he was a grown-up. Perhaps Maneesha will remember, she was present. He unrolled the rug like the Zen disciples do, and he touched my feet. All those who were present started laughing. This little boy was doing a real thing, which is not expected from such a little boy. He touched my feet with great gratefulness, with grace, and then sat down on his rug.

That's why I gave him the name Siddhartha. Siddhartha was Gautam Buddha's name given by his father. It is as beautiful as Buddha. It means one who has arrived: Siddhartha, one who has found the meaning, one who has found the significance of existence.

Just now he has been here for almost one month. I don't know whether he is still here or not. Now he has come with a girlfriend, has become very grown-up. It was reported to me by Anando that when he entered the gate after so many years, he had tears in his eyes. He must have remembered the first day he had come to me, almost twenty years ago.

He was such a lovely child.... His mother reported to me, "It is very difficult to find where he is, because he goes with everybody. He has such a great friendship with all the sannyasins" - and he was a little child.

He used to ask anybody, "Just give me ten rupees. I am going to see the movie." And it was not only one-sided; if somebody was in need of money, he would bring the money from others and give it to the person, saying, "Keep it, but remember, whenever I need it... Pay whenever you can."

So people used to ask Siddhartha, "Can you manage twenty rupees?" He would immediately go. He had the whole commune as his friends, and nobody could refuse him, he was so lovely, so innocent.

With those tears he must have remembered the first day he had come.

Still he is innocent, and he is growing well on his own. His father has died. He is in a very good art school, learning acting. I was happy when he informed me that he is learning acting. Actors can be meditators very easily, because they are always acting somebody else's role, so they can witness also that it is not their identity. They may become Jesus Christ in a film, but they know they are not Jesus Christ. So to recognize that their performance is not their being, is very easy.

To me, acting is one of the best professions for meditators, because it will teach you that your identity can change every day. An actor is moving from one film to another. In one film he is one thing, in another film he is something else, in a third film he is somebody else. So slowly, slowly he can become aware - if he knows the art of becoming aware - that all these identities come and go. And finally, he can recognize that his own personality is nothing but an act taught by his parents, and the priests, and the politicians, and the professors.

All these people are creating a certain personality around you which is not your real being; it is just for convenience's sake. They are creating a social being out of a spiritual being. A social being is an ordinary thing. Your spiritual being is vast and immense.


Certainly he was a very important man, the emperor's Zen master.

WHEN TANKA UNROLLED HIS ZAZEN RUG, NAN-YO SAID, "THERE'S NO NEED, because that rug is spread only by disciples, and you are already a master. You don't have to do it."

Tanka Tennen was doing it just out of respect, because this man Nan-yo was very old, the emperor's master, and Tanka Tennen was a young man, although he had become enlightened. This is the Eastern way of always being respectful to the elders... because it used to be a part of natural growth. If a man lives naturally, then just as he becomes sexually mature at the age of fourteen, he will become capable of going out of sexual, biological bondage by the age forty-two - if he lives very naturally. And by the time he gets out of the control of biology, it is very easy for him to get out of the mind.

The ancient calculation is that by the age of forty-nine, a man can meditate easily, without any effort.

The only condition is that he has lived without repressive religions, gods and priests. If he has lived just like a simple, natural human being, without any inhibition, without any guilt, then at the age of forty-two he gets out of the biological control.

Your sex is your bondage; it is a biological bondage. Don't fight against it. If you fight against it, you will not be out even at the age of eighty, or ninety. You will not be out of it at any point. Even when you are dying, your last thought will be about sex.

It has been calculated that every man thinks at least once about sex in three minutes, and every woman thinks about sex once every seven minutes. That is a disparity. That is why men look more sex-oriented than women. The difference is not much - three minutes or seven minutes is not much of a thing. The man has to wait only for four minutes. In that four minutes the woman can have the headache and take two aspirins, and she will be ready!

Your religions are responsible for keeping you in the bondage of sex by teaching you celibacy.

Celibacy is a perversion of your nature. I want you to be absolutely natural: when it is time for sex, it is time for sex. Then you will be out of it by the age of forty-two, just simply out, with no question of making any effort to be celibate. Whenever you make any effort it is against nature. Nature does not allow any effort; it wants you to be utterly relaxed with it, and then it goes on doing things to you.

By the time you are forty-nine you are really mature, and you have passed seven years without the bondage of sex.

One of the best novelists of this century, Kazantzakis, who wrote ZORBA THE GREEK, also wrote a book about Jesus, THE LAST TEMPTATION. Jesus was only thirty-three... and I agree with Kazantzakis that on the cross came the last temptation.

On that hot summer day, he was hanging on the cross. Do you think he was thinking about God? He started having a dream about Mary Magdalena, a fantasy that, "Perhaps if I had lived differently, and I had loved Mary Magdalena, and I had not got into this trip, I would not be hanging on this cross..."

In THE LAST TEMPTATION, Kazantzakis depicts this whole dream. Because of this dream he was expelled from the Greek Orthodox church. His book was banned all around the world, because everywhere Christians were protesting against it: "This is too much!" When the film was made into a movie, everywhere there were great demonstrations against the movie. And Kazantzakis, one of the best novelists of this century, lived in utter misery and trouble, because the church had condemned him, expelled him.

He is dead, but just now my sannyasin, Amrito, who knows his wife in Greece, has been to see her.

She asked her, "Would you like to become part of this sannyas movement?"

She said, "I would love to, but I am afraid. I have suffered so much because of my husband's suffering, the utter condemnation everywhere - and he had not done anything wrong."

I absolutely support him; his insight is clear. It's absolutely natural that a man of thirty-three hanged on the cross is bound to think, "My God! What have I done? If I had lived a different life with a beautiful woman who always wanted to live with me... I was trying to tell her, 'Get away! You are a temptation, get away!'" At the last moment the temptation must have come to him.

I can say with absolute authority that Kazantzakis is right. It is absolutely natural to remember Mary Magdalena, one of the most beautiful women, whom he had been denying. That was unnatural.

And when God failed to do any miracle, he certainly would have thought, "It would have been right for me to have a wife, children, and live naturally. I unnecessarily went onto this number of being the only begotten son of God, and there seems to be no God at all!" Six hours on the cross are enough to bring anybody to his senses.

Now there is a movement amongst the intelligentsia of Europe that Kazantzakis should be accepted by the church again, posthumously. But the church is absolutely adamant: that man cannot be accepted back as a Christian, he has done immense harm to the image of Jesus Christ.

To me, he has done immense good to the image of Jesus Christ. He is saying that Jesus Christ was not a pervert, he was a natural human being. He has given more respect to Jesus Christ than anyone else, because of this dream.

His wife said, "I am simply afraid. Your master is continuously in trouble, is going to be in trouble, and I have suffered too much and I am old, too old. I would have loved to, but my whole life I suffered because my husband wrote ZORBA THE GREEK and the church was angry. Then he wrote THE LAST TEMPTATION, and the whole world was protesting, burning his books - and now they are banning the film."

Religions have done such harm that it is almost unbelievable - and they are still doing it.

In the East, particularly when religions were not organized, when religion was a freedom, an individual affair, people were very natural, and they came to celibacy naturally. When celibacy comes naturally it has a totally different flavor. There is no suppression, there are no sexual dreams, there is no question. And by the time you come to the age of fifty...

In India, the age of fifty is called "getting ready for the forest" - vanprastha. By the time you are fifty your children will be coming back from their schools, colleges, universities; now they will take care of your business. You can look now towards the forest.

Perhaps you will have to wait for a few days to teach your children the practical aspects of life. They have been in the universities, and they don't know anything about practical life. They have been meditating, they have been learning, they have been with great seers, and they are coming utterly innocent about the practical aspects of the world. So perhaps for twenty-five years... That was the Indian calculation: twenty-five years for education, twenty-five years for living as a householder, twenty-five years preparing to go to the Himalayas or to go to the forests, twenty-five years - the last twenty-five years - absolutely devoted to meditation. If life is one hundred years, then it was divided absolutely naturally into four parts.

By the time one is seventy-five he should retire into the forest. Now it is time to prepare for death, for another journey, for another experience. Life has passed away. Because of this, more respect was shown to the older man - and he was worthy of it. If he had lived naturally, he was worthy of it.


He was an old man. He could recognize Tanka Tennen immediately.

Only the enlightened person can recognize another enlightened being. There is no other way.

The unenlightened cannot recognize the enlightened. The enlightened can recognize both the unenlightened and the enlightened. The higher can recognize the lower, but the lower cannot recognize the higher, because the higher has both the experience of the lower and of the higher.

The lower has only the experience of the lower; he does not know anything beyond it.

But the difficulty is that the lower, the masses who have never known anything of the higher - they decide things. They decide who is enlightened, who is not enlightened. It is so hilarious....

One newspaper from Indore has written an editorial, and asked its readers to vote whether I am enlightened or not. So I have informed Chaitanya Keerti to write to them, "How many of your readers are enlightened? And first you should think about yourself: Are you enlightened? Can you recognize an enlightened person without being enlightened?" But this kind of stupidity goes on and on.

The people who had the experience were naturally respected by the younger generation, because they knew all the parts of life; they had been through all the stages, and they had passed beyond.

Now they have become again innocent like a child; they are getting ready to enter again into existence.

But Nan-yo immediately said, "THERE IS NO NEED. You are as enlightened as I am. You are as much a master as I am. Here, age does not matter. Here, time is of no account."


These are the ways of Zen. Unless you understand their symbology, their whole metaphoric language, you will miss the point.

TANKA TOOK A FEW STEPS BACKWARD. What does it show? He is saying, "I have gone deep into myself. You are right." Taking a few steps backward means going inwards.

NAN-YO SAID, "THAT'S RIGHT. You have gone really deep."

AT THIS, TANKA TOOK A FEW STEPS FORWARD - just to check on the master, what he says.

NAN-YO SAID, "THAT'S NOT RIGHT." Taking a few steps forward is going outward; taking a few steps backward is going inward. Backward and inward are equivalent, forward and outward are equivalent.



He has paid the tribute: "I had come to see whether you are really as great as everyone says, and I have found you are simply the right man to be the master of the emperor himself."

On each point, Nan-yo proved right. When he was trying to unroll his rug, he stopped him, "There is no need." Then he took a few steps backward, and Nan-yo immediately said, "That is right."



TANKA WALKED AROUND NAN-YO.... Walking around Nan-yo is a symbol of great respect - making the circle complete: going from the source, and coming back again to the source as a goal.

By making this circle complete, he expressed, "You are entirely enlightened, completely enlightened.

I have nothing to ask, nothing to say." He simply left, with no word, no question. Those symbols were enough.


It used to be very common - enlightenment. It used to be very common to find such a man as Tanka Tennen, but those golden days are far away, and people are now so lazy that they will not even take a few steps backward, inward.


He was so young, and he had already expressed his immense clarity and his enlightenment. After thirty years, when he becomes a ripened being and his circle is complete - it has already begun to move towards completion - he said, "Thirty years from now, this man will be one of the greatest masters ever known. It will be very difficult to get hold of this fellow."

It is in deep respect and love that old Nan-yo recognized, not only his enlightenment, but also recognized that it is not far away... only thirty years and he will be a perfect buddha. Then it will be very difficult to get hold of this fellow.

Hyakusai wrote:



That is the way for everyone who is going deeper into meditation. It seems you are going deeper into meditation, but simultaneously something in you is going higher towards the stars. It is happening simultaneously. The roots go deeper and the tree goes higher.

In your meditation you are creating roots deep into your sources. When the nourishment is available your consciousness will start moving towards the stars - a pillar of light going towards the beyond.

"First frost. My way lies northeast facing the stars."

A man of meditation, wherever he goes, is always moving towards the stars, because he is always moving towards the very source of nourishment. Once he gets his roots fixed into the earth, then there is no problem. Wherever he is, he is moving higher and higher like a Cedar of Lebanon. Those ancient trees - hundreds, thousands of years old, are standing, still growing towards the stars. The beauty of those trees is simply a reminder that the same is the way for human consciousness:

deeper into the earth, higher into the sky.

Question 3:

Maneesha's question:



I have just told you, D.T. Suzuki is still in the mind; hence the division. Even seeing becomes of two kinds.



You are watching a tree. The tree is different from you, this is one kind of seeing.




In the first place, Zen is not a thought. In the second place, the act of pure seeing cannot be called at all an "act of pure seeing." What are you seeing? For seeing to be seeing, you need an object.

The meditator goes beyond the object and beyond the subject, beyond the first Chinese character, "k'an," which signifies duality - the seer and the seen, the knower and the known - and the second character, "chien," which signifies the pure act of seeing. But the very word 'seeing' means something is there, otherwise how can you see? What can you see? If there is nothing, seeing disappears, being appears.

Hence I will not agree with D.T. Suzuki at all. These two kinds of seeing are just mind, logic, rationality, but not meditation, not Zen. Zen is going beyond the seeing and beyond the seen. It is going into being - just being, utterly silent, at ease with existence.

There is no duality, and there is no oneness either - you have to understand it - because if there is no duality, you cannot call it oneness. "One" suggests immediately the two; hence Gautam Buddha does not use the word 'oneness'. He uses the word advaita, not twoness. It makes a great difference.

When you say one, immediately you are reminded of two. How can one exist without two and three and four and five and six and seven...? One is a digit; it is just below two. If one exists, then thousands of numbers will follow, or millions, or trillions. There is no end to it. If you have started on one, you are on a long journey without end.

To avoid this, a roundabout way has been found: not to say "oneness with existence" but to say "not twoness." It exactly means oneness, but to say that in language creates the difficulty. Without two, how can there be one? So don't say "one," just say, "not two." The one is understood, it has not to be said. It is the inexpressible. But by saying "not two," you have indicated towards it. A simple gesture - without making any noise about it, you have hinted at it. It is a pure hint.

Suzuki misses the point. The revolutionary step is not Zen thought, but Zen experience. That experience is of "not twoness." There is no seer and no seen, but just being.

It is time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh.

Put the lights on! I love to see my people laughing. I am absolutely against seriousness, but unfortunately I have to discuss serious things. But it is good to make you first serious, then laughter comes more easily. Then it gives a great relaxation.

Little Albert comes running into the village store and races up to the counter. "Hey, mister," he cries to old Jock, the owner. "My dad was fixing the roof when the ladder slipped from under him! Now he is hanging by his fingers from an upstairs window ledge!"

"Well, son," says old Jock, "you have come to the wrong place! You want the police station across the road - and hurry!"

"No," says Albert, "you don't understand. I want some more film for my camera!"

One Sunday morning at the Loony Tunes Funny Farm, old Father Fungus is the guest preacher in the lunatic asylum's small chapel. He is ranting and raving in the pulpit, screaming all about damnation and hellfire, God's sweet love and the nocturnal emissions of the Holy Ghost, when suddenly, Mad Melvin jumps up out of his seat, raises both arms high in the air and shouts, "Bullshit! Do we have to listen to this idiot?" Then Mad Melvin smiles and sits back down.

There is pindrop silence. Father Fungus is extremely embarrassed, and turns to the hospital director Doctor Dumshit.

"Oh dear!" stammers the priest. "Shall I stop speaking?"

"No need for that, Father," sighs Dumshit, yawning. "It won't happen again. Mad Melvin only makes a true statement once every seven years."

Two famous music lovers, Cardinal Catsass and Pope the Polack, are sipping wine and having an intimate chat in the pope's private Vatican chambers. "Did you know," says Catsass, confiding in the old papal fruitcake, "that I have a very special musical friend?"

"Really?" says the pope.

"Yes," continues Catsass. "I treat her just like a guitar - I finger the top and play the bottom and get beautiful music!"

"Well," says Pope the Polack, "I must confess that I have a very special musical friend, too."

"Really?" exclaims Catsass.

"Yes," continues the Polack pope. "I treat mine more like a pop record. I place her on the deck and we make beautiful music. And then three minutes later, I turn her over!"


(Drumbeat) (Gibberish) Nivedano...

(Drumbeat) Be silent...

Close your eyes... and feel your body to be completely frozen.

This is the right moment to look inwards.

Gather your energies and your total consciousness, and rush towards your very center of being. It is just below the navel, exactly two inches below, inside you.

But only those will succeed who rush with an urgency and intensity, as if this is the last moment of life. You have to make it now or never.

Faster and faster... Deeper and deeper...

You are coming closer to the center of your being.

A great silence is descending over you like soft rain. You can feel the coolness. With you, the whole night has become silent.

A little closer to your center, and a great peace surrounds you, engulfs you. You are drowned in it. It is the peace that mystics have called "the peace that passeth understanding."

A little closer... and blossoms, flowers start showering over you, of bliss, of ecstasy. You are starting to feel like a drunk - but this is not an ordinary drunkenness, it is divine drunkenness. And only in this divine drunkenness can you take the last step. Enter into your center.

This is the opening into the beyond, this is the place where you are joined with the cosmos. You will meet here your original face. The face of Gautam the Buddha has been accepted in the East as a symbol of everybody's original face.

Meeting the buddha is a very strange experience, because you start disappearing, fading away. And as you fade away, the buddha becomes more and more solid and strong. It is your very essential being.

The only quality the buddha has is witnessing. You have to get more and more attuned with this quality, because only this quality can bring your buddha from the center to the circumference. He can become your whole life. He is the ultimate dance.

Gautam the Buddha is the Zen Manifesto.

Witnessing, you start disappearing.

That's what I have called freedom from the self.

Witness that you are not the body.

Witness that you are not the mind.

Witness that you are only a witness, and everything starts settling.

To make this witnessing more clear and deeper, Nivedano...

(Drumbeat) Relax...

It is only a question of relaxing, it is not an effort. It is just falling deep into your own depth, resting at the very center of your life source.

This life source, this juice that is flowing all around you, will start a tremendous metamorphosis within you. You will feel you are melting, melting, melting...

Gautama the Buddha Auditorium is becoming an ocean of consciousness. Ten thousand buddhas have disappeared into one oceanic experience.

This is the Zen Manifesto: freedom from oneself.

Gather all these experiences, the grace, the beauty, the truth, the blissfulness. You have to bring them with you. They have to become your day-to-day life. I don't teach any other morality. I teach spontaneity, and the morality follows like a shadow. And because it comes from your very sources you never feel you are being commanded, you never feel you are being dominated, you never feel you are being a slave, you never feel you are being a sheep. You start being a lion.

Your morality, your response to existence becomes a lion's roar.

The beauty and the power - and the power that is harmless...

The love that simply overflows you, unconditional, just a gift, a blessing to the whole existence...

And a grace that changes not only your consciousness but even your body.

Your gestures become so meaningful, so significant, so beautiful - like roses.

Your eyes become like stars.

Your heart starts beating in tune with the universal heart.

This synchronicity is the Zen Manifesto.

And don't forget to persuade Gautam Buddha to come with you.

These are the three steps of enlightenment....

The first, Gautam Buddha comes behind you just as a shadow - but the shadow is not dark, it is luminous. There is no person in it but only presence, a tremendous presence. It is warm, you feel for the first time loved by existence itself. It is calm and cool at the same time. That's the miracle of Zen.

On the second step, you become the shadow. Your shadow is certainly dark; it is false, it has been your prison. Gautam Buddha comes in front. It is a great revolution, because your shadow immediately starts disappearing.

And the third step comes spontaneously in: freedom from oneself. You are no more, only existence is, life is, awareness is.

All these are represented by the presence of Gautam the Buddha. He was the first man in history to bring this breakthrough, to turn the horizontal consciousness into a vertical consciousness. Your roots go deep into the earth, and your branches and your flowers blossom into the sky.

This is meeting with the universe, merging into existence. A great celebration arises, and not only in you, the whole existence participates.


(Drumbeat) Come back... but come back as Gautam the Buddha, with the same grace, the same beauty, the same silence, the same divine drunkenness, and sit for a few moments to remind yourself of the golden path you have traveled, the beautiful, the blissful, the ecstatic experience of reaching to the center of your being, which opens into the cosmos.

Zen is nothing but an opening into the cosmos.

You disappear, only existence remains.

This is the ultimate freedom: freedom from oneself.

This freedom becomes a great celebration. You dance with the stars, you dance with the ocean, you dance with the trees, you dance under the sky, under the stars. Suddenly the whole cosmos has become your home. You are not a foreigner, you are not a stranger, you are not an outsider. You belong to this existence. This existence belongs to you.

This is the revolution that Zen brings to humanity. This is Zen's great contribution to the world.

It is the right time for you to start celebrating life, dancing in deep synchronicity with existence - and spread this fire of Zen around the world. This is the only possibility to save humanity from committing suicide.

Okay, Maneesha?

Yes, Osho.

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"... the new Bolshevist orthodoxy of Stalin is
probably more dangerous to Europe in the long run than the more
spectacular methods of Trotsky and the more vocal methods of
Zinoviev in the heyday of the Third International. I say more
dangerous... and more formidable, because a more practical
conception than the old Trotskyist idea... It is just the growth
of this Stalinist conception which has made possible the
continuance, on an ever-increasing scale, of the secret
relationship between 'Red' Russia and 'White' Germany."

(The Russian Face of Germany, C.F. Melville, pp. 169-170;
The Rulers of Russia, Denis Fahey, pp. 20-21)