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                       Vol V * MAY 2012 * Issue V
                        Meditation leads to Ultimate Flowering

Introducing various Masters & Dimensions of Spiritual Sojourn

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           MASTERS’ GRACE

              Insights II
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                     Country of Origin: Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies.
              Chief Editor/Graphics Layout & Design: Swami Anand Neelambar
                       Editorial Team: Taoshobuddha, Swami Anand Neelambar
         International Contributors: Hadhrat Maulawi Jalaluddin Ahmad Ar-Rowi, Lars Jensen

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                                                         Swami Anand
 Editorial

                                                                  You can also visit our website:
 Meditation of the Month

 The Messiah                                        \taoshobuddha9

 The Art of Dying

 Zarathustra: The Laughing Prophet

 Guida Spirituale                                   

 The Heartbeat of the Absolute

 Tantra: The Supreme Understanding
                                                        Masters’ Grace
                                                          Insights II
    i         Taoshobudhha Meditations                                               Meditation Times
Published by Taoshobuddha Meditations
         Trinidad, West indies


There are NO real questions in existence. All questions are false, unreal,
non-essential, because life is not a problem to be solved; it is a mystery to
be lived.

Only the fools go on questioning and go on thinking that some answers will
help them. No answer is going to help you; every answer will create more

You can see the whole history of philosophy: every answer has brought
thousands of unnecessary questions. It has not been an answer; it has been
a problem - EVERY answer. Not a single answer has come out of five
thousand years of philosophizing.

Philosophy is not much philosophy - it is "foolosophy." It is the domain of
the fools! Fools are great philosophers because they go on and on. They find
out a question, then an answer, then the answer brings ten questions, then
they go on and on; and the foliage becomes thicker and thicker. The
foolishness becomes deeper and deeper.

It is good that you cannot find any real questions.

Buddha is reported to have said that a meditator loses all his questions. A
moment comes when there are no questions left, and that is the moment
when you attain to wisdom -- not to answers but to wisdom.

Wisdom is not an answer; it is the unfolding of your consciousness. Not that
you come to know something, but you start experiencing life in its totality. It
is not an answer, it is an experience, and the experience goes on unfolding.
So it is not experience, it is more experiencing. It is a process, not an event.

                                                      Swami Anand Neelambar

 ii   Taoshobudhha Meditations                                         Meditation Times
                                  Meditation Times – Taoshobuddha Meditations

                          MEDITATION OF THE MONTH

      his is a very simple method but it works miraculously ― try it. And anyone can try it, there is no danger.
      The first thing is to be in an easy relaxed position. Don't struggle with the posture. You can sit in an easy
      chair and relax. The only thing is your body must be in a relaxed state.

Just close your eyes and feel all over the body. Start from the legs ― feel whether there is some tension or
not. If you feel there is some tension, do one thing: make it more tense. If you feel there is some tension in the
right leg, then make that tension as intense as possible. Bring it to a peak ― then suddenly relax so that you
can feel how the relaxation settles there. Then go all over the body just looking everywhere for some tension.

Wherever you feel the tension make it more so, because it is easy to relax when it is intense. In just a mid-
state it is very difficult because you cannot feel it. It is easy to move from one extreme to another, very easy,
because the very extreme creates the situation to move to the other. So if you feel some tensions in the face
then strain all the face muscles as much as possible, create tension and bring it to a peak. Bring it to a point
where you feel that no more is possible ― then suddenly relax. In this way see that all parts of the body, all
the limbs are relaxed.

Close your eyes and just feel the area between the two armpits: the heart area, your chest. First feel it just
between the two armpits with your total attention, total awareness. Forget the whole body, remember just
the heart area between the two armpits, the chest, and feel it filled with great peace. The moment the body is
relaxed, peace automatically happens in your heart. The heart becomes silent, relaxed, harmonious. And when
you forget the whole body and bring your attention just to the chest and consciously feel it filled with peace,
much peace will happen immediately.

Whenever you are able to feel the peace between your two armpits filling you, pervading your heart centre,
the world will look illusory. This is a sign that you have entered meditation ― when the world feels and
appears to be illusory.

Go on doing it. And it is so easy that you can go on doing it any time. Just lying on your bed at night you can do
it; just in the morning when you feel that you are now awake you can do it. Do first and then get up. Even ten
minutes will be enough. Ten minutes at night just before falling asleep, do it. Make the world unreal, and your
sleep will be so deep that you may not have slept like that before. If the world becomes unreal just before
falling asleep, dreaming will be less. Because if the world has become a dream then dreams cannot continue.
And if the world is unreal, you are totally relaxed because the reality of the world will not impinge itself upon
you, hammer on you.

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                              The Messiah







       ahlil Gibran... the very name brings so much ecstasy and joy that it is impossible to
       think of another name comparable to him. Just hearing the name, bells start ringing
       in the heart which do not belong to this world. Kahlil Gibran is pure music, a mystery
such that only poetry can sometimes grasp it, but only sometimes.

You have chosen a man who is the most beloved of this beautiful earth. Centuries have
passed; there have been great men but Kahlil Gibran is a category in himself. I cannot
conceive that even in the future, there is a possibility of another man of such deep insight
into the human heart, into the unknown that surrounds us.

He has done something impossible. He has been able to bring at least a few fragments of
the unknown into human language. He has raised human language and human

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consciousness as no other man has ever done. Through Kahlil Gibran, it seems all the
mystics, all the poets, all creative souls have joined hands and poured themselves.

Although he has been immensely successful in reaching people, still he feels it is not the
whole truth, but just a glimpse. But to see the glimpse of truth is a beginning of a
pilgrimage that leads you to the ultimate, to the absolute, to the universal.

Another beautiful man, Claude Bragdon has said about Kahlil Gibran, a few beautiful words.
He says, "His power came from some great reservoir of spiritual life, else it could not have
been so universal and so potent. But the majesty and beauty of the language with which he
clothed it were all his own."

I have always loved this statement of Bragdon, even though not agreeing with it.

One need not agree with a beautiful flower; one need not agree with the sky full of stars –
but one can still appreciate. I make a clear-cut distinction between agreement and
appreciation -- and a man is civilized if he can make the distinction. If he cannot make the
distinction, he's still living in a primitive, uncivilized state of consciousness.

I agree in a sense, because whatever Bragdon is saying is beautiful; hence, my
appreciation. But I cannot agree because whatever he is saying is simply guesswork. It is
not his own experience.

Have you noted? – he says, "His power came from some great reservoir of spirituality, of
spiritual life, else it could not have been so universal and so potent." It is rational, logical,
but it has no roots in experience. He feels that something beyond the grasp of mind has
come through Kahlil Gibran but he is not certain. And he cannot be certain, because it is not
his experience. He is immensely impressed by the beautiful language; each word is a poetry
unto itself. But he himself is unaware of that great reservoir of spirituality. He himself has
not tasted it. He has loved Kahlil Gibran but he has not lived him.

With me, the situation is totally different. Hence, there are a few things I would like to say
to you before I make my commentaries on the statements of Kahlil Gibran.

First, he is certainly a great poet, perhaps the greatest that has ever been born on the
earth, but he is not a mystic; and there is a tremendous difference between a poet and a
mystic. The poet, once in a while, suddenly finds himself in the same space as the mystic. In
those rare moments, roses shower over him. On those rare occasions, he is almost a
Gautam Buddha – but remember, I'm saying almost.

These rare moments come and go. He's not the master of those rare moments. They come
like the breeze and the fragrance and by the time you have become aware – they are gone.

A poet's genius is that he catches those moments in words. Those moments come into your
life too. They are free gifts of existence – or in other words, glimpses to provoke in you a

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search, to come to a moment when this space will become your very life, your blood, your
bones, your marrow. You will breathe it, your heart will beat it. You will never be able to
lose it, even if you want to.

The poet is for moments a mystic, and the mystic is a poet forever. But this has always
created a very difficult question, and nobody been able to solve it.

I have a humble solution. The problem has been posed again and again, thousands of times
all over the world: if the poet gets only glimpses, yet creates so much beauty, so much
poetry -- words start becoming alive the moment he touches them – why have the mystics
not been able to produce the same kind of poetry? They are twenty-four hours a day, day
and night in that creative state, but their words don't carry that beauty. Even the words of
Gautam Buddha or Jesus Christ fall very much short of the words of people like Kahlil
Gibran, Mikhail Naimy, Rabindranath Tagore. It certainly seems to be strange; because the
people who have only moments create so much and the people who have the universal
consciousness available to them, waking or sleeping... what happens? Why have they not
been able to produce Kahlil Gibrans? And nobody has answered it.

My own experience is that if a beggar finds a gold mine, he will sing and he will dance and
he will go mad with joy – but not an emperor.

A poet once in a while becomes the emperor – but only once in a while; that's why he
cannot take it for granted. But the mystic is not just for a moment merged with the
universal consciousness – he is merged. There is no way of coming back.

Those small glimpses may be translated into words, because they are only dewdrops. But
the mystic has become the ocean; hence, silence becomes his song. All words seem so
impotent, nothing seems to be capable of bringing his experience into any kind of
communication. And the ocean is so vast and he is continuously one with it; naturally, he
himself forgets that he is separate. To create, you have to be there to create.

To sing a song, you have to be there. But the mystic has become the song.

His presence is his poetry. You cannot print it, you cannot paint it, you can only drink it.

To communicate with a poet is one thing but to be in communion with a mystic is totally
different. But it is good to begin with poets, because if you are not able even to absorb
dewdrops, the ocean is not for you. Or better to say, you are not for the ocean.

To you, even the dewdrop will appear like a vast ocean.

Speaking on Kahlil Gibran is a very rare, almost impossible thing because I am not a poet. I
am poetry.

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                             Meditation Times – Taoshobuddha Meditations

I am not a painter; I am the painting. Where the painter has got lost into the painting, I
don't know.

An ancient story is: One Japanese emperor told all the painters of his country and the
neighbouring countries that he wanted a painting which looked as if it were real: "If you
have painted a door, it will not look like a painting. Everybody will be mistaken and will try
to enter it. Unless a painting is so real, I do not consider it a painting. And one who can
paint such a thing, whatever he wants... even if my whole empire is his desire, he will be

Thousands of painters came to the palace. They tried... but how can you paint a painting
which will give the exact impression of the real?

But one painter said he would paint only on one condition: While he is painting, he should
not be disturbed. No limitation of time should be imposed on him. And he does not paint on
canvasses – he will paint on a big wall inside the palace. And unless the painting is
complete, nobody is allowed to come in. The first man to see it complete will be the

The conditions were accepted. It took him almost six years. The emperor was getting old,
but he had promised not to interfere. He kept his word. After six years, the painter came
and told the emperor, "You can come."

The painter took the emperor into the room. The emperor could not believe it. It really
looked real. There were tall trees and a small winding foot path in the painting. The emperor
asked, "Where does this path go?"

The painter said, "You can walk on it...."

And believe it or not – I don't believe it, but it is so lovable – the painter entered with the
emperor to show him the path and they have not returned.

If you try to think of it as a historical, factual thing you will miss the whole point. It is a
parable. And it is absolutely true – not factual.

The real painter dissolves himself into his painting, and the real poet disappears into his
poetry. But that kind of creativity is of the mystic – and because the mystic disappears in his
creativity, he has no time even to sign his painting, or his poetry. The poets can do that,
because for a moment the window opens, they see the beyond, and the window closes.

Kahlil Gibran has written almost thirty books. THE PROPHET, which we are going to discuss,
is his first book; the remaining are rubbish. This is a strange phenomenon – what happened
to the man? When he wrote this, he was just young – twenty-one years of age. One would
have thought that now more and more would be coming. And he tried hard; for his whole

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life he was writing but nothing came even close to the beauty and the truth of THE
PROPHET. Perhaps the window never opened again.

A poet is accidentally mystic. It is just by accident... a breeze comes, you cannot produce it.
And because he became world famous – this is one book which must have been translated
in almost all the languages of the world – he tried hard to do something better, and that's
where he failed. It is unfortunate that he never came across a man who could have told him
a simple truth: "You had not tried when you created THE PROPHET, it happened. And now
you are trying to do it."

It has happened; it is not your doing. You may have been a vehicle. Something that was not
yours... just like a child is born of a mother. The mother cannot create the child, she is
simply a passage. THE PROPHET belongs to the category of a very small number of books
which are not dependent on your action, your intelligence, on you; on the contrary, they are
possible only when you are not, when you allow them to happen, when you don't stand in
the way. You are so relaxed that you don't interfere.

This is one of those rarest of books. In it, you will not find Kahlil Gibran – that's the beauty
of the book. He allowed the universe to flow through him; he is simply a medium, a
passage, just a hollow bamboo which does not hinder the flute player.

In my experience, books like THE PROPHET are holier than your so-called holy books. And
because these books are authentically holy, they have not created a religion around
themselves. They don't give you any ritual, they don't give you any discipline, they don't
give you any commandments. They simply allow you to have a glimpse of the same
experience which happened to them.

The whole experience cannot come into words, but something... perhaps not the whole rose,
but a few petals. They are enough proof that a rose exists. Your window just has to be open,
so a breeze sometimes can bring petals.

Those petals coming through a breeze into your being are really invitations of the unknown.
God is calling you for a long pilgrimage. Unless that pilgrimage is made, you will remain
meaningless, dragging somehow, but not really living. You will not have laughter in your

Kahlil Gibran avoids his own name by creating a fictitious name, Almustafa. That's the
beginning of THE PROPHET. Almustafa is the prophet.


Great truths can only be said in parables.

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Almustafa is just a fictitious name. Why is he called THE CHOSEN AND THE BELOVED ? Why
is he said to be A DAWN UNTO HIS OWN DAY ? Because he waited for twelve years....

The whole secret of Almustafa is in the waiting.

He was not in a hurry, he was not demanding, he was not asking. He was simply waiting. To
wait, one needs immense trust that whatsoever happens, it doesn't matter. If your waiting
is total, your ship one day is going to come to take you back to your origins, to the sources
of life, love, laughter.

Each seed has to learn only one thing: to wait for the right season for the spring to come.
There is nothing that the seed can do. It cannot bring the spring; spring will come on its
own accord.

And if the seed tries too much, in its very doing it may become non-receptive, closed. A
seed has simply to be open, receptive, waiting... whenever the spring comes. One thing is
certain in the heart of hearts of the seed: spring comes, because the seed has seen the
flowers all around, the whole garden.

You have seen the flowering of a Gautam Buddha but the trust has not arisen. You have
looked into my eyes, but the trust has not arisen -- still there are questions, still there are
doubts, still there is mistrust.

And ordinarily, flowers don't speak to the seeds. But I'm trying... who knows? Somebody
may hear, somebody may see, somebody may learn the art of awakening. That is the only
religion I know of.


There are times when you have to sow the seeds and there are times when you have to
reap the crop. And when Almustafa saw that the time of the year, of Ielool, had come, the
time of reaping...


It almost literally happens in this way. If you wait and wait, your trust goes on growing, and
when the trust matures in you, then you can be certain that the time has come to return to
your origins. The search for God is not the search for some goal ahead. It is the search for
the origins, it is the search for the space from where you have come.

Waiting means you are not asking, you are not desiring, you are not longing, you are not
saying that now it is enough. As your waiting deepens, you are coming closer and closer to
the origin, and the origin is at the very centre of your being.

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                             Meditation Times – Taoshobuddha Meditations

By the way, in Sanskrit, for "man" the word is purus. Purus comes from a root which means
"city" – pur. That's why you will see Kanpur, Nagpur, Jabalpur – that pur means the city.

And you are a walled city. Just in the centre of your walled city is your very origin; it is from
there that you have grown. One day you have to go back to your origins.

When you came out of your origins, you were unconscious. Religion is a return journey –
and you all have come with a return ticket. But this time, going back, you will be going fully
aware, alert, conscious. And this was the purpose of the whole pilgrimage: to complete the
circle from the unconscious to consciousness, from darkness to light, from death to eternity.
This is the whole purpose of our being here.

AND HE BEHELD HIS SHIP COMING WITH THE MIST.... And naturally, coming from the
unconscious, you will always have to pass through a period which is full of mist.

If you have had at any time the experience of chloroform, then you will understand it.
Because I had no experience of chloroform, I asked one of my friends, a very famous
doctor. He said, "What are you suggesting? Without any operation, what is the need?"

I said, "I just want to see the circle -- from consciousness to unconsciousness, from
unconsciousness to consciousness. I have seen it in myself, but I want something as an
example that I can give to people, to those who are not alert, aware and conscious."

He said, "This is against our medical practice. A strange kind of thing...."

I said, "Who is talking about medical practice? And nobody is going to know about it, don't
be afraid." He was perspiring. I said, "Don't be afraid – and if you don't do it, I am going to

He said, "Strange, this is blackmail!"

And I said, "This is not blackmail, this is whitemail! Say yes or say no."

He said, "You wait, because if you start telling people, everybody will believe it. So it is
better that you have it."

So he took me into his surgery, he gave me the chloroform and told me: "Count from one,
two, three, and go on." I went on... when I reached fifty-one, he said, "Wait! I have never
seen anybody who goes beyond seven, eight, nine at the most."

I said, "Your dose is not enough. You will have to give me at least a dose of three times

He said, "My God... but in the first place, chloroform is no longer used. And using it three
times! But I can see... the way you were repeating, and when I said, `Wait!' you

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immediately opened your eyes." So he gave me a good dose. I said, "I will consider it a
good dose only if I stop at nine."

He said, "What do you mean? You will also know that you are stopping at nine?"

I said, "I will know it and I will tell you when I have stopped. So don't try to deceive me."

He gave me a good dose, and I remember that I started going slower, deeper; the numbers
were as if they are coming from far away, and when nine came, I said, "Okay."

He said, "You are not supposed to speak while under chloroform!"

I said, "You should have said so before; I am a very obedient patient. Your dose is still not

I could feel that my numbers were getting slurred. But that is not a big thing -- after three, I
get slurred anyway. Under chloroform, I was exactly, without any mistake going up to fifty-
one. Without chloroform, I cannot go beyond three!

Five times the dose he had to give me, but it was a good experience. As you come back, you
can see the whole circle if you are alert enough. If you are not alert enough, then too, you
can feel this much: when you stopped, and when again you can remember that you had
stopped at nine. And as consciousness comes back, you can see that you have passed
through a dark tunnel.

But this is just a toy.

In the real experience also, it happens in the same way. When you are coming out of your
unconscious there will be a period which can only be called a period of mist. Everything is
unclear, surrounded by mist.


The moment he saw that the ship had arrived, was coming closer, THE GATES OF HIS
HEART WERE FLUNG OPEN. If you can wait silently, one day the guest is going to knock on
your doors; the ship is going to come. It has always come, without any exception. And the
proof and the evidence that you are not dreaming, that you are not hallucinating, is that
suddenly for the first time you will see the gates of your heart flung open.

Up to now, what you used to say – that "I am open" – was only superficial. But now the joy
of going back home is so much that the strength of the joy, the abundance of the joy, flings
all the doors of the heart open.

Your heart is a seed. When it opens it doors with joy, it becomes a flower. You have come

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                              Meditation Times – Taoshobuddha Meditations

There were many dark nights and there were many anguishes and many nightmares, but all
that is over. Your joy is so much that it spreads all over the ocean. It is oceanic. This is the
feeling that William James called "oceanic."

Only one psychologist of this century has touched just a little bit of your inner being – and
that man is not Sigmund Freud, that man is not Alfred Adler, that man is not Carl Gustav
Jung. That man is William James, whom nobody bothers about. He defined religious
experience as "oceanic." It cannot be just logical; you cannot reach to the word `oceanic'
through logic, through reason, through psychoanalysis. Unless this man had felt something
so big and vast that he could not find any word in the language....

"Oceanic" was never used before William James; he coined the word. "Ocean" is one thing;
"oceanic" is a totally different thing.


These small things are not small; they are of tremendous importance. When you are feeling
inside such an oceanic joy, it is bound to be, absolutely, that you will close your eyes,
because now there is nothing outside worth seeing. You have seen the seer. Now all that is
beautiful and all that is around you and that you have always desired pales down. It loses all
value. The eyes are bound to be closed.

So if you see the statues of Mahavira, Adinatha, Parashunyatha – you will be surprised: why
are they all with closed eyes? They have seen the outside – now they are seeing the
interiority of their being. It is qualitatively different. It is not that it is much more beautiful,
no; it is a beauty of a totally different kind.

It is so real that the people who have experienced it have also said that the world is illusory,
because they have seen something far more real than the stones and the objects and the
mountains and the stars....

These small things show the authenticity of the person. Kahlil Gibran is not just
philosophizing; otherwise, he would have forgotten about closing the eyes.


And a very significant thing:


Millions of people are praying every day, but not in the silences of their souls. Just words –
Christian words, Hindu words, Mohammedan words, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Arabic....

A prayer that consists of words is not a prayer at all. A prayer consists only of silences.

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                             Meditation Times – Taoshobuddha Meditations

And remember, he could have simply said, "And he prayed in the silence of his soul" and
you would not have thought even for a single moment. In fact, that would have been more
linguistically right: "He prayed in the silence of his soul." But it would have been existentially
wrong, because it is not one silence within you; there are layers and layers and layers of

Those who have entered, they know: there are seven layers of silences connecting to seven
centres of your body. Each centre becomes silent; hence, instead of using the singular
"silence", he has used a plural: silences.

And you will be surprised that he is the only person who has used silences. There are other
great poets, but they have always used "silence of the soul." Naturally, they are simply
repeating what they have heard from generation to generation. It is not their own

Kahlil Gibran's statement, silences of the soul shows that he has not only an intellectual
approach, a philosophical approach, a theological approach – his approach is existential. He
has drowned himself in those silences. He has seen that it is not one silence – there are
layers and layers of silences. And each silence has its own fragrance, its own taste, so you
can demarcate.


This is so profound that unless you have been on the path, it is impossible to make this
statement. After experiencing the immense joy that spreads all over the ocean, and after
entering depths of silences... a statement about sadness?

He is so authentic – and he has not edited his experience at all. It will look illogical – after
such a beautiful spiritual experience, suddenly you become concerned about sadness? But
what can he do?

And I agree with him absolutely.

After reaching peaks of joy, you will have to confront sadness.

every word. It was certainly an uphill experience, but a poet cannot remain on the sunlit
tops of the Himalayan peaks – he has to come back. And naturally, seeing so much joy...
and then the window starts closing; the flower again starts becoming a bud, the petals start
closing as if after the dance, suddenly the evening has come and there is darkness all
around. Coming from the hilltop into the dark valleys of life, A SADNESS CAME UPON HIM....

But his sadness – and the sadness of all those who have realized something; it may not be
the whole truth, it may be just a fragmentary experience. These words will relate to you not

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                            Meditation Times – Taoshobuddha Meditations

only Kahlil Gibran's experience but the experience of everyone who has ever been in such a
space and come back down to the earth.


He has seen – the ship is coming. Now you can see the human frailty, the dilemma: this
world is known; that ship is still surrounded in mist. And one never knows where it is going
to land you.

From the moment you became my fellow travellers, has not the question arisen in your
mind, time and again: "Where is this pilgrimage going to end? HOW SHALL I GO IN PEACE

As he comes closer to the earth, as he comes closer to the outer world, as he comes closer
to the flowers and the stars, a problem: HOW SHALL I GO IN PEACE... WITHOUT SORROW?
– in a ship one knows nothing about. You cannot even see the ship clearly, it is surrounded
in mist; how can you see the other shore? It is absolutely invisible. And who knows whether
there is any other shore? because nobody has ever returned from the other shore to give
you an eyewitness account.

HOW SHALL I GO IN PEACE....? – he's torn apart – AND WITHOUT SORROW?... and for
many reasons.


The world of our experiences, the world of our bodily pleasures, the world of our
mind, its flights...."How shall I leave? So much beauty on one side – which is tangible; I
can touch it, I can feel it – and I'm to leave all this for something unknown, intangible,
invisible." You can understand; putting yourself in his place, the heart will be torn apart. It
will be almost the anguish of "To be, or not to be?" because all that you are, your roots, are
here in this earth.


He's not unaware of the fact: "In this city, which is known to me... LONG WERE THE DAYS
OF PAIN... anguish, anxiety. AND LONG WERE THE NIGHTS OF ALONENESS. But still – and
this has to be understood by every meditator – because everybody has lived in this world, in
this body, perhaps for many, many lives, we have even become accustomed to pain. We will
miss it. We have become accustomed to misery. You cannot conceive of yourself without
misery, without pain, without anxiety. Then what will you be? – because all that you have
been consists of all these things. So although they are not your longings, not your desires,
the very experience of living in them for centuries and they have become your second

Kahlil Gibran gives a greater psychological insight than any psychologist of our times:

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Strange seems to be the statement – but it is not strange, it is the experience of all of you.
The same pain, the same misery – and you know that it is heavy on the heart and you are
also aware that you can drop it, but you have been too long with it. A certain friendship, a
certain love affair with the misery... otherwise, nobody is preventing you from dropping all
your miseries.

The day I decided to drop, I dropped it. I had not even gone to ask anybody, "How to drop?"
Anybody who asks how to drop misery does not want to drop it; that "how" will create more

And there are, all around the world, people who are selling misery to you. Wherever there is
a demand, there is a supply. You go to those people – "I want to drop the misery how to
drop it?"

They say, "Stand on your head!" Torture your body. This is yoga. But it takes lives to drop it
– go on standing on your head and distorting your body. It is good that people don't follow
these misery-sellers, hawkers; otherwise, they would turn the whole world into a circus. If
the whole world becomes impressed by yoga – what do you think? – everywhere you will
see such great scenes.

I have heard that when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was prime minister of India, he was very
much interested in yoga – particularly, standing on his head every day early in the morning.

One donkey – he was no ordinary donkey, remember; he was the leader of all the donkeys
of India – had gone to see him, because donkeys are not represented in the assemblies and
the parliament and they also have some rights! So he was on a deputation, thinking that
early in the morning would be good because a person is still not tired; the whole day's
problems are not there, he is fresh. And Jawaharlal was doing his shirshasana, his
headstand, in the garden of his residence. Of course, there were two policemen standing at
the gate.

The donkey first thought: "Should I ask or just go in?" He said, "If I ask there may be
trouble," and those two policemen did not care about a donkey; if he is goes inside, there is
no harm, let him go.

He went directly to where Nehru was doing his headstand. He looked into Nehru's eyes.
Nehru said, "My God! What has happened to you, why are you standing upside down?"
Nehru asked the donkey!

It is good that... otherwise you would find donkeys doing headstands and anything is
possible because in yoga....

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The moment you ask how to drop misery you know perfectly well you don't want to drop it,
because there is no reason. If you don't want to be miserable, it is so simple – don't be
miserable. I simply decided. And thirty-five years have passed; I have not been miserable –
although the whole world is trying to make me miserable. But they should remember: it is
impossible. Once I have decided, I have decided.

As I was coming out of the American jails, the jailer said to me, "Strange... people enter jail
and they look very good. When they come out they look very bad. But you are looking

I said, "Twelve days of complete rest, no problem, no disciples... no need of any security" –
I was the most secure person inside. I told him, "Even President Ronald Reagan is not so
secure. If you want him to be really secure, put him in jail! – absolute security!"

He said, "I have never seen any man... I am going to retire soon. In my whole life's
experience, you are the first man who has come out of the jail so happy."

I said, "I didn't think it would be so soon; I was planning to rest a little more."

But it was not only the jailer. My attorneys, as I came to them, said, "What happened? You
are looking far better." As I reached my residence, Vivek said, "Why don't you look so good

I said, "This is not a jail. I was practicing for twelve days because I know for certain if there
is any hell – I'm going too!"

God is not going to tolerate me. His priests are not tolerating me anywhere in the world.
Even if I somehow reach heaven, God is not going to allow me in. Perhaps they have
already passed a resolution – "This man is dangerous. If he comes this side, be alert!" But
they need not be worried, I'm not going to their side.

So I said, "These twelve days in American jails, one jail in England for one night's
experience, some experience in Greece... soon I'll be ready for a world tour! Because before
you go to hell, some practice is absolutely necessary. I never go anywhere without


What he's saying is almost what I could have said. How can I leave my body without you
all? My ship arrived a long time ago but I am not even looking at it.

He is right. Every master will feel the same way:

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                            The Art of Dying
                            Talks on Hassidism


LIFE is in living. It is not a thing, it is a process. There is no way to attain to life except by living
it, except by being alive, by flowing, streaming with it. If you are seeking the meaning of life in
some dogma, in some philosophy, in some theology, that Is the sure way to miss life and
meaning both.

Life is not somewhere waiting for you, it is happening in you. It is not in the future as a goal to
be arrived at, it is herenow, this very moment -- in your breathing, circulating in your blood,
beating in your heart. Whatsoever you are is your life, and if you start seeking meaning
somewhere else, you will miss it. Man has done that for centuries.

Concepts have become very important, explanations have become very important – and the real
has been completely forgotten. We don't look to that which is already here, we want

I have heard a very beautiful story.

Some years ago a successful American had a serious identity crisis. He sought help from
psychiatrists but nothing came of it, for there were none who could tell him the meaning of life -
- which is what he wanted to know. By and by he learned of a venerable and incredibly wise
guru who lived in a mysterious and most inaccessible region of the Himalayas. Only that guru,
he came to believe, would tell him what life meant and what his role in it ought to be. So he sold
all his worldly possessions and began his search for the all-knowing guru. He spent eight years
wandering from village to village throughout the Himalayas in an effort to find him. And then
one day he chanced upon a shepherd who told him where the guru lived and how to reach the

It took him almost a year to find him, but he eventually did. There he came upon his guru, who
was indeed venerable, in fact well over one hundred years old. The guru consented to help him,
especially when he learned of all the sacrifices the man had made towards this end.

'What can I do for you, my son?' asked the guru.

'I need to know the meaning of life,' said the man.

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To this the guru replied, without hesitation, 'Life,' he said, 'is a river without end.'

'A river without end?' said the man in a startled surprise. 'After coming all this way to find you,
all you have to tell me is that life is a river without end?'

The guru was shaken, shocked. He became very angry and he said, 'You mean it is not?'

Nobody can give you the meaning of your life. It is your life, the meaning has also to be yours.
Himalayas won't help. Nobody except you can come upon it. It is your life and it is only
accessible to you. Only in living will the mystery be revealed to you.

The first thing I would like to tell you is: don't seek it anywhere else. Don't seek it in me, don't
seek it in scriptures, don't seek it in clever explanations -- they all explain away, they don't
explain. They simply stuff your empty mind, they don't make you aware of what is. And the
more the mind is stuffed with dead knowledge, the more dull and stupid you become. Knowledge
makes people stupid; it dulls their sensitivity. It stuffs them, it becomes a weight on them, it
strengthens their ego but it does not give light and it does not show them the way. It is not

Life is already there bubbling within you. It can be contacted only there. The temple is not
outside, you are the shrine of it. So the first thing to remember if you want to know what life is,
is: never seek it without, never try to find out from somebody else. The meaning cannot be
transferred that way. The greatest Masters have never said anything about life – they have
always thrown you back upon yourself.

The second thing to remember is: once you know what life is you will know what death is. Death
is also part of the same process. Ordinarily we think death comes at the end, ordinarily we think
death is against life, ordinarily we think death is the enemy, but death is not the enemy. And if
you think of death as the enemy it simply shows that you have not been able to know what life

Death and life are two polarities of the same energy, of the same phenomenon – the tide and
the ebb, the day and the night, the summer and the winter. They are not separate and not
opposites, not contraries; they are complementaries. Death is not the end of life; in fact, it is a
completion of one life, the crescendo of one life, the climax, the finale. And once you know your
life and its process, then you understand what death is.

Death is an organic, integral part of life, and it is very friendly to life. Without it life cannot exist.
Life exists because of death; death gives the background. Death is, in fact, a process of renewal.
And death happens each moment. The moment you breathe in and the moment you breathe
out, both happen. Breathing in, life happens; breathing out, death happens. That's why when a
child is born the first thing he does is breathe in, then life starts. And when an old man is dying,
the last thing he does is breathe out, then life departs. Breathing out is death, breathing in is life
– they are like two wheels of a bullock cart. You live by breathing in as much as you live by
breathing out. The breathing out is part of breathing in. You cannot breathe in if you stop

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breathing out. You cannot live if you stop dying. The man who has understood what his life is
allows death to happen; he welcomes it. He dies each moment and each moment he is
resurrected. His cross and his resurrection are continually happening as a process. He dies to the
past each moment and he is born again and again into the future.

If you look into life you will be able to know what death is. If you understand what death is, only
then are you able to understand what life is. They are organic. Ordinarily, out of fear, we have
created a division. We think that life is good and death is bad. We think that life has to be
desired and death is to be avoided. We think somehow we have to protect ourselves against
death. This absurd idea creates endless miseries in our lives, because a person who protects
himself against death becomes incapable of living. He is the person who is afraid of exhaling,
then he cannot inhale and he is stuck. Then he simply drags; his life is no longer a flow, his life
is no longer a river.

If you really want to live you have to be ready to die. Who is afraid of death in you? Is life afraid
of death? It is not possible. How can life 4e afraid of its own integral process? Something else is
afraid in you. The ego is afraid in you. Life and death are not opposites; ego and death are
opposites. Life and death are not opposites; ego and life are opposites. Ego is against both life
and death. The ego is afraid to live and the ego is afraid to die. It is afraid to live because each
effort, each step towards life, brings death closer.

If you live you are coming closer to dying. The ego is afraid to die, hence it is afraid to live also.
The ego simply drags.

There are many people who are neither alive nor dead. This is worse than anything. A man who
is fully alive is full of death also. That is the meaning of Jesus on the cross. Jesus carrying his
own cross has not really been understood. And he says to his disciples, 'You will have to carry
your own cross.' The meaning of Jesus carrying his own cross is very simple, nothing but this:
everybody has to carry his death continuously, everybody has to die each moment, everybody
has to be on the cross because that is the only way to live fully, totally.

Whenever you come to a total moment of aliveness, suddenly you will see death there also. In
love it happens. In love, life comes to a climax – hence people are afraid of love.

I have been continuously surprised by people who come to me and say they are afraid of love.
What is the fear of love? It is because when you really love somebody your ego starts slipping
and melting. You cannot love with the ego; the ego becomes a barrier. And when you want to
drop the barrier the ego says, 'This is going to be a death. Beware!'

The death of the ego is not your death. the death of the ego is really your possibility of life. The
ego is just a dead crust around you, it has to be broken and thrown away. It comes into being
naturally -- just as when a traveller passes, dust collects on his clothes, on his body, and he has
to take a bath to get rid of the dust.

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As we move in time, dust of experiences, of knowledge, of lived life, of past, collects. That dust
becomes our ego. Accumulated, it becomes a crust around you which has to be broken and
thrown away. One has to take a bath continuously – every day, in fact every moment, so that
this crust never becomes a prison. The ego is afraid to love because in love, life comes to a
peak. But whenever there is a peak of life there is also a peak of death – they go together.

In love you die and you are reborn. The same happens when you come to meditate or to pray,
or when you come to a Master to surrender. The ego creates all sorts of difficulties,
rationalisations not to surrender:

'Think about it, brood about it, be clever about it.' When you come to a Master, again the ego
becomes suspicious, doubtful, creates anxiety, because again you are coming to life, to a flame
where death will also be as much alive as life.

Let it be remembered that death and life both become aflame together, they are never separate.
If you are very, very minimally alive, at the minimum, then you can see death and life as being
separate. The closer you come to the peak, the closer they start coming. At the very apex they
meet and become one. In love, in meditation, in trust, in prayer, wherever life becomes total,
death is there. Without death, life cannot become total.

But the ego always thinks in divisions, in dualities; it divides everything. Existence is indivisible;
it cannot be divided. You were a child, then you became young. Can you demark the line when
you became young? Can you demark the point in time where suddenly you were no longer a
child and you had become young? One day you become old. Can you demark the line when you
become old?

Processes cannot be demarked. Exactly the same happens when you are born. Can you demark
when you are born? When life really starts? Does it start when the child starts breathing -- the
doctor spanks the child and the child starts breathing? Is life born then? Or is it when the child
got into the womb, when the mother became pregnant, when the child was conceived? Does life
start then? Or, even before that? When does life start exactly?

It is a process of no ending and no beginning. It never starts. When is a person dead? Is a
person dead when the breathing stops? Many yogis have now proved on scientific grounds that
they can stop breathing and they are still alive and they can come back. So the stopping of the
breathing cannot be the end. Where does life end?

It never ends anywhere, it never begins anywhere. We are involved in eternity. We have been
here since the very beginning – if there was any beginning – and we are going to be here to the
very end, if there is going to be any end. In fact, there cannot be any beginning and there
cannot be any end. We are life – even if forms change, bodies change, minds change. What we
call life is just an identification with a certain body, with a certain mind, with a certain attitude,
and what we call death is nothing but getting out of that form, out of that body, out of that

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You change houses. If you get too identified with one house, then changing the house will be
very painful. You will think that you are dying because the old house was what you were – that
was your identity. But this doesn't happen, because you know that you are only changing the
house, you remain the same. Those who have looked within themselves, those who have found
who they are, come to know an eternal, non-ending process. Life is a process, timeless, beyond
time. Death is part of it.

Death is a continuous revival: a help to life to resurrect again and again, a help to life to get rid
of old forms, to get rid of dilapidated buildings, to get rid of old confining structures so that
again you can flow and you can again become fresh and young, and you can again become

I have heard.

A man was browsing through an antique shop near Mount Vernon and ran across a
rather ancient-looking axe.

'That's a mighty old axe you have there,' he said to the shop owner.

'Yes,' said the man, 'it once belonged to George Washington.'

'Really?' said the customer. 'It certainly stood up well.'

'Of course,' said the antique dealer, 'it has had three new handles and two new heads.'

But that's how life is – it goes on changing handles and heads; in fact, it seems that everything
goes on changing and yet something remains eternally the same. Just watch. You were a child –
what has remained of that now? - Just a memory. Your body has changed, your mind has
changed, your identity has changed. What has remained of your childhood? Nothing has
remained, just a memory. You cannot make a distinction between whether it really happened,
or you saw a dream, or you read it in a book, or somebody told you about it. Was the childhood
yours or somebody else's? Sometimes have a look at the album of old photographs. Just see,
this was you. You will not be able to believe it, you have changed so much. In fact everything
has changed – handles and heads and everything. But still, deep down, somewhere, something
remains a continuity; a witnessing remains continuous.

There is a thread, howsoever invisible. And everything goes on changing but that invisible thread
remains the same. That thread is beyond life and death. Life and death are two wings for that
which is beyond life and death. That which is beyond goes on using life and death as two wheels
of a cart, complementaries. It lives through life; it lives through death. Death and life are its
processes, like inhalation and exhalation.

But something in you is transcendental. THAT ART THOU...that which is transcendental.

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But we are too identified with the form – that creates the ego. That's what we call 'I'. Of course
the 'I' has to die many times. So it is constantly in fear, trembling, shaking, always afraid,
protecting, securing.

A Sufi mystic knocked at the door of a very rich man. He was a beggar and he wanted nothing
but enough to have a meal.

The rich man shouted at him and said, 'Nobody knows you here!'

'But I know myself,' said the dervish. 'How sad it would be if the reverse were true. If everybody
knew me but I was not aware of who I was, how sad it would be. Yes, you are right, nobody
knows me here, but I know myself.'

These are the only two situations possible, and you are in the sad situation. Everybody may
know about you -- who you are -- but you yourself are completely oblivious of your
transcendence, of your real nature, of your authentic being. This is the only sadness in life. You
can find many excuses, but the real sadness is this: you don't know who you are.

How can a person be happy not knowing who he is, not knowing from where he comes, not
knowing where he is going? A thousand and one problems arise because of this basic self-

A bunch of ants came out of the darkness of their underground nest in search of food. It was
early in the morning. The ants happened to pass by a plant whose leaves were covered with
morning dew. 'What are these?' asked one of the ants, pointing to the dew-drops. 'Where do
they come from?'

Some said, 'They come from the earth.' Others said, 'they come from the sea.'

Soon a quarrel broke out – there was a group who adhered to the sea theory, and a group who
attached themselves to the earth theory.

Only one, a wise and intelligent ant, stood alone. He said, 'Let us pause a moment and look
around for signs, for everything has an attraction towards its source. And, as it is said,
everything returns to its origin. No matter how far into the air you throw a brick it comes down
to the earth. Whatever leans towards the light, must originally be of the light.'

The ants were not totally convinced yet and were about to resume their dispute, but the sun had
come up and the dew-drops were leaving the leaves, rising, rising towards the sun and
disappearing into it.

Everything returns to its original source, has to return to its original source. If you understand
life then you understand death also. Life is a forgetfulness of the original source, and death is
again a remembrance. Life is going away from the original source, death is coming back home.
Death is not ugly, death is beautiful. But death is beautiful only for those who have lived their

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life unhindered, uninhibited. unsuppressed. Death is beautiful only for those who have lived their
life beautifully, who have not been afraid to live, who have been courageous enough to live –
who loved, who danced, who celebrated.

Death becomes the ultimate celebration if your life is a celebration. Let me tell you in this way:
whatsoever your life was, death reveals it. If you have been miserable in life, death reveals
misery. Death is a great revealer. If you have been happy in your life, death reveals happiness.
If you have lived only a life of physical comfort and physical pleasure, then of course, death is
going to be very uncomfortable and very unpleasant, because the body has to be left. The body
is just a temporary abode, a shrine in which we stay for the night and leave in the morning. It is
not your permanent abode, it is not your home.

So if you have lived just a bodily life and you have never known anything beyond the body,
death is going to be very, very ugly, unpleasant, painful. Death is going to be an anguish. But if
you have lived a little higher than the body, if you have loved music and poetry, and you have
loved, and you have looked at the flowers and the stars, and something of the non-physical has
entered into your consciousness, death will not be so bad, death will not be so painful. You can
take it with equanimity, but still it cannot be a celebration.

If you have touched something of the transcendental in yourself, if you have entered your own
nothingness at the centre – the centre of your being, where you are no more a body and no
more a mind, where physical pleasures are completely left far away and mental pleasures such
as music and poetry and literature and painting, everything, are left far away, you are simply,
just pure awareness, consciousness – then death is going to be a great celebration, a great
understanding, a great revelation.

If you have known anything of the transcendental in you, death will reveal to you the
transcendental in the universe – then death is no longer a death but a meeting with God, a date
with God.

So you can find three expressions about death in the history of human mind.

One expression is of the ordinary man who lives attached to his body, who has never known
anything greater than the pleasure of food or sex, whose whole life has been nothing but food
and sex, who has enjoyed food, has enjoyed sex, whose life has been very primitive, whose life
has been very gross, who has lived in the porch of his palace, never entered it, and who had
been thinking that this is all life is. At the moment of death he will try to cling. He will resist
death, he will fight death. Death will come as the enemy.

Hence, all over the world, in all societies, death is depicted as dark, as devilish. In India they say
that the messenger of death is very ugly – dark, black – and he comes sitting on a very big ugly
buffalo. This is the ordinary attitude. These people have missed, they have not been able to
know all the dimensions of life. They have not been able to touch the depths of life and they
have not been able to fly to the height of life. They missed the plenitude, they missed the
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Then there is a second type of expression. Poets, philosophers, have sometimes said that death
is nothing bad, death is nothing evil, it is just restful – a great rest, like sleep. This is better than
the first. At least these people have known something beyond the body, they have known
something of the mind. They have not had only food and sex, their whole life has not been only
in eating and reproducing. They have a little sophistication of the soul, they are a little more
aristocratic, more cultured. They say death is like great rest; one is tired and one goes into
death and rests. It is restful. But they too are far away from the truth.

Those who have known life in its deepest core, they say that death is God. It is not only a rest
but a resurrection, a new life, a new beginning; a new door opens.

When a Sufi mystic, Bayazid, was dying, people who had gathered around him – his disciples –
were suddenly surprised, because when the last moment came his face became radiant,
powerfully radiant. It had a beautiful aura.

Bayazid was a beautiful man, and his disciples had always felt an aura around him, but they had
not known anything like this; so radiant.

They asked, 'Bayazid, tell us what has happened to you. What is happening to you? Before you
leave us, give us your last message.'

He opened his eyes and he said, 'God is welcoming me. I am going into his embrace. Goodbye.'

He closed his eyes, his breathing stopped. But at the moment his breathing stopped there was
an explosion of light, the room became full of light, and then it disappeared.

When a person has known the transcendental in himself, death is nothing but another face of
God. Then death has a dance to it. And unless you become capable of celebrating death itself,
remember, you have missed life. The whole life is a preparation for this ultimate.

This is the meaning of this beautiful story.



His whole life had been just a preparation, a preparation to learn the secrets of dying.

All religions are nothing but a science – or an art – to teach you how to die. And the only way to
teach you how to die is to teach you how to live. They are not separate. If you know what right
living is, you will know what right dying is.

So the first thing, or the most fundamental thing is: how to live.

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Let me tell you a few things. First: your life is your life, it is nobody else's. So don't allow
yourself to be dominated by others, don't allow yourself to be dictated to by others, that is a
betrayal of life. If you allow yourself to be dictated to by others – maybe your parents, your
society, your education system – your politicians, your priests, whosoever they are – if you allow
yourself to be dominated by others you will miss your life. Because the domination comes from
outside and life is within you. They never meet.

I am not saying that you should become a no-sayer to each and everything. That too is not of
much help. There are two types of people. One is an obedient type, ready to surrender to any
and everybody. They don't have any independent soul in them; they are immature, childish,
always searching for a father-figure, for somebody to tell them what to do and what not to do.
They are not able to trust their own being. These people are the greater part of the world, the

Then there are, against these people, a small minority who reject society, who reject the values
of the society. They think they are rebellious. They are not, they are only reactionaries. Because
whether you listen to society or you reject society, if society remains in either way the
determining factor, then you are dominated by the society.

Let me tell you an anecdote.

Once Mulla Nasrudin had been away for a while and arrived back in town wearing a long beard.
His friends naturally kidded him about the beard and asked him how he happened to acquire the
fur-piece. The Mulla with the beard began to complain and curse the thing in no uncertain terms.
His friends were amazed at the way he talked and asked him why he continued to wear the
beard if he did not like it.

'I hate the blasted thing!' the Mulla told them.

'If you hate it then why don’t you shave it off and get rid of it?' one of his friends asked.

A devilish gleam shone in the eyes of the Mulla as he answered, 'Because my wife hates it too!'

But that does not make you free. The hippies, the yippies and others, they are not really
rebellious people, they are reactionaries. They have reacted against the society. A few are
obedient, a few are disobedient, but the centre of domination is the same. A few obey, a few
disobey, but nobody looks at his own soul.

A really rebellious person is one who is neither for society nor against society, who simply lives
his life according to his own understanding. Whether it goes against society or it goes with
society is not a consideration, it is irrelevant. Sometimes it may go with the society, sometimes
it may not go with the society, but that is not the point to be considered. He lives according to
his understanding, according to his small light. And I am not saying that he becomes very
egoistic about it. No, he is very humble. He knows that his light is very small, but that is all the

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light that there is. He is not adamant, he's very humble. He says, 'I may be wrong, but please
allow me to be wrong according to myself.'

That is the only way to learn. To commit mistakes is the only way to learn. To move according to
one's own understanding is the only way to grow and become mature. If you are always looking
at somebody to dictate to you, whether you obey or disobey makes no difference. If you are
looking at somebody else to dictate to you, to decide for or against, you will never be able to
know what your life is. It has to be lived, and you have to follow your own small light.

It is not always certain what to do. You are very confused. Let it be so. But find a way out of
your confusion. It is very cheap and easy to listen to others because they can hand over dead
dog mas to you, they can give you commandments – do this, don't do that. And they are very
certain about their commandments. Certainty should not be sought; understanding should be
sought. If you are seeking certainty you will become a victim of some trap or other. Don't seek
certainty, seek understanding. Certainty can be given to you cheap; anybody can give it to you.
But in the final analysis you will be a loser. You lost your life just to remain secure and certain,
and life is not certain, life is not secure.

Life is insecurity. Each moment is a move into more and more insecurity. It is a gamble. One
never knows what is going to happen. And it is beautiful that one never knows. If it was
predictable, life would not be worth living. If everything was as you would like it to be, and
everything was certain, you would not be a man at all, you would be a machine. Only for
machines is everything secure and certain.

Man lives in freedom. Freedom needs insecurity and uncertainty. A real man of intelligence is
always hesitant because he has no dogma to rely upon, to lean upon. He has to look and

Lao Tzu says, 'I am hesitant, and I move alertly in life because I don't know what is going to
happen. And I don't have any principle to follow. I have to decide every moment. I never decide
beforehand. I have to decide when the moment comes!'

Then one has to be very responsive. That's what responsibility is. Responsibility is not an
obligation, responsibility is not a duty – it is a capacity to respond. A man who wants to know
what life is has to be responsive. That is missing. Centuries of conditioning have made you more
like machines. You have lost your manhood, you have bargained for security. You are secure and
comfortable and everything has been planned by others. And they have put everything on the
map, they have measured everything. This is all absolutely foolish because life cannot be
measured, it is immeasurable. And no map is possible because life is in constant flux. Everything
goes on changing. Nothing is permanent except change. Says Heraclitus,

'You cannot step in the same river twice.'

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And the ways of life are very zig-zag. The ways of life are not like the tracks of a railway train.
No, it does not run on tracks. And that's the beauty of it, the glory of it, the poetry of it, the
music of it – that it is always a surprise.

If you are seeking for security, certainty, your eyes will become closed. And you will be less and
less surprised and you will lose the capacity to wonder. Once you lose the capacity to wonder,
you have lost religion. Religion is the opening of your wondering heart. Religion is a receptivity
for the mysterious that surrounds us.

Don't seek security; don't seek advice on how to live your life. People come to me and they say,
'Osho, tell us how we should live our life.' You are not interested in knowing what life is, you are
more interested in making a fixed pattern. You are more interested in killing life than in living it.
You want a discipline to be imposed on you.

There are, of course, priests and politicians all over the world who are ready, just sitting waiting
for you. Come to them and they are ready to impose their disciplines on you. They enjoy the
power that comes through imposing their own ideas upon others.

I'm not here for that. I am here to help you to become free. And when I say that I am here to
help you to become free, I am included. I am to help you to become free of me also. My sannyas
is a very paradoxical thing. You surrender to me in order to become free. I accept you and
initiate you into sannyas to help you to become absolutely free of every dogma, of every
scripture, of every philosophy – and I am included in it. Sannyas is as paradoxical – it should be
– as life itself is. Then it is alive.

So the first thing is: don't ask anybody how you should live your life. Life is so precious. Live it. I
am not saying that you will not make mistakes, you will. Remember only one thing – don't make
the same mistake again and again. That's enough. If you can find a new mistake every day,
make it. But don't repeat mistakes, that is foolish. A man who can find new mistakes to make
will be growing continuously – that is the only way to learn, that is the only way to come to your
own inner light.

I have heard.

One night the poet, Awhadi of Kerman (a very great Muslim poet) was sitting on his porch bent
over a vessel. Shams-e-Tabrizi, a great Sufi mystic, happened to pass by.

Shams-e-Tabrizi looked at the poet, at what he was doing. He asked the poet, 'What are you
doing?' The poet said, 'Contemplating the moon in a bowl of water.'

Shams-e-Tabrizi started laughing, with an uproarious laughter, a mad laughter. The poet started
feeling uncomfortable; a crowd gathered. And the poet said, 'What is the matter? Why are you
laughing so much? Why are you ridiculing me?'

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Shams-e-Tabrizi said, 'Unless you have broken your neck, why don't you look directly at the
moon in the sky?'

The moon is there, the full moon is there, and this poet was sitting with a bowl of water arid
looking into the bowl of water at the reflection of the moon.

Seeking truth in scriptures, seeking truth in philosophies, is looking at the reflection. If
you ask somebody else how you should live your life, you are asking for misguidance, because
that man can only talk about his own life. And never, never, are two lives the same. Whatsoever
he can say or impart to you will be about his own life – and that too only if he has lived. He may
have asked somebody else, he may have followed somebody else, he may have been an imitator
himself. Then it is a reflection of a reflection. And centuries pass and people go on reflecting the
reflection of the reflection of the reflection – and the real moon is always there in the sky waiting
for you. It is your moon, it is your sky, look directly. Be immediate about it. Why borrow my
eyes or anybody else's eyes? You have been given eyes, beautiful eyes, to see, and to see
directly. Why borrow understanding from anybody? Remember, it may be understanding to me.
but the moment you borrow it, it becomes knowledge to you – it is no more understanding.
Understanding is only that which has been experienced by the person himself. It may be
understanding for me, if I have looked at the moon, but the moment I say it to you it becomes
knowledge, it is no longer understanding. Then it is just verbal, then it is just linguistic. And
language is a lie.

Let me tell you an anecdote.

A chicken farmer, dissatisfied with the productivity of his flock, decided to use a bit of
psychology on his hens. Accordingly he purchased a gay-coloured, talking parrot and placed him
in the barnyard. Sure enough, the hens took to the handsome stranger immediately, pointed out
the best tidbits for him to eat with joyous clucks, and generally followed him around like a bevy
of teen-age girls following a new singing star sensation. To the delight of the farmer even their
egg-laying capacities improved.

The barnyard rooster, naturally jealous of being ignored by his harem, set upon the attractive
interloper, assailed him with beak and claws, pulling out one green or red feather after the
other. Whereupon the intimidated parrot cried out in trepidation, 'Desist sir! I beg of you, desist!
After all, I am only here in the capacity of a language professor!'

Many people live their life as language professors. That is the falsest kind of life. Reality needs
no language, it is available to you on a non-verbal level. The moon is there; it needs no bowl
and no water, it needs no other medium. You have just to look at it; it is a non-verbal
communication. The whole of life is available – you just have to learn how to communicate with
it non-verbally.

That's what meditation is all about – to be in a space where language does not interfere, where
learned concepts don't come in between you and the real.

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When you love a woman don't be bothered about what others have said about love, because
that is going to be an interference. You love a woman, the love is there, forget all that you have
learned about love. Forget all Kinseys, forget all Masters and Johnsons, forget all Freuds and
Jungs. Please don't become a language professor. Just love the woman and let love be there,
and let love lead you and guide you into its innermost secrets, into its mysteries. Then you will
be able to know what love is.

And what others say about meditation is meaningless. Once I came upon a book written by a
Jaina saint about meditation. It was really beautiful but there were just a few places by which I
could see that the man had never meditated himself – otherwise those places could not be
there. But they were very few and far between. The book on the whole, almost ninety-nine per
cent, was perfect. I loved the book.

Then I forgot about it. For ten years I was wandering around the country. Once in a village of
Rajasthan, that saint came to meet me. His name sounded familiar, and suddenly I remembered
the book. And I asked the saint why he had come to me. He said, 'I have come to you to know
what meditation is.' I said, 'I remember your book. I remember it very well, because it really
impressed me. Except for a few defects which showed that you have never meditated, the book
was perfectly right – ninety-nine per cent right. And now you come here to learn about
meditation. Have you never meditated?'

He looked a little embarrassed because his disciples were also there. I said, 'Be frank. Because if
you say you know meditation, then I am not going to talk about it. Then finished! You know.
There is no need. If you say to me frankly – at least be true once – if you say you have never
meditated, only then can I help you towards meditation.' It was a bargain, so he had to confess.
He said, 'Yes, I have never said it to anybody. I have read many books about meditation, all the
old scriptures. And I have been teaching people, that's why I feel embarrassed before my
disciples. I have been teaching meditation to thousands, and I have written books about it, but I
have never meditated.'

You can write books about meditation and never come across the space that meditation is. You
can become very efficient in verbalising, you can become very clever in abstraction, in
intellectual argumentativeness, and you can forget completely that all the time that you have
been involved in these intellectual activities has been a sheer wastage.

I asked the old man, 'How long have you been interested in meditation?' He said, 'My whole life.'
He was almost seventy. He said, 'When I was twenty I took sannyas, I became a Jaina monk,
and those fifty years since then I have been reading and reading and thinking about meditation.'
Fifty years of thinking and reading and writing about meditation, even guiding people into
meditation, and he has not even tasted once what meditation is!

But this is the case with millions of people. They talk about love, they know all the poetries
about love, but they have never loved. Or even if they thought they were in love, they were
never in love. That too was a 'heady' thing, it was not of the heart. People live and go on

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missing life. It needs courage. It needs courage to be realistic, it needs courage to move with
life wherever it leads, because the paths are uncharted, there exists no map. One has to go into
the unknown.

Life can be understood only if you are ready to go into the unknown. If you cling to the known,
you cling to the mind, and the mind is not life. Life is non-mental, non-intellectual, because life
is total. Your totality has to be involved in it, you cannot just think about it. Thinking about life is
not life. beware of this 'about-ism'. One goes on thinking about and about: there are people who
think about God, there are people who think about life, there are people who think about love.
There are people who think about this and that.

Mulla Nasrudin became very old and he went to his doctor. He was looking very weak so the
doctor said, 'I can say only one thing. You will have to cut your love-life to half.'

The Mulla said, 'Okay. Which half? Talking about it or thinking about it?'

That's all. Don't become a language professor, don't become a parrot. Parrots are language
professors. They live in words, concepts, theories, theologies, and life goes on passing, slipping
out of their hands. Then one day suddenly they become afraid of death. When a person is afraid
of death, know well that that person has missed life. If he has not missed life there cannot be
any fear of death. If a person has lived life, he will be ready to live death also. He will be almost
enchanted by the phenomenon of death.

When Socrates was dying he was so enchanted that his disciples could not understand what he
was feeling so happy about. One disciple, Credo, asked, 'Why are you looking so happy? We are
crying and weeping.' Socrates said, 'Why should I not be happy? I have known what life is, now
I would like to know what death is. I am at the door of a great mystery, and I am thrilled! I am
going on a great journey into the unknown. I am simply full of wonder! I cannot wait!' And
remember, Socrates was not a religious man; Socrates was not in any way a believer.

Somebody asked, 'Are you so certain that the soul will survive after death?' Socrates said, 'I
don't know.' To say, 'I don't know' takes the greatest courage in the world. It is very difficult for
the language professors to say, 'I don't know'. It is difficult for the parrots. Socrates was a very
sincere and honest man.

He said, 'I don't know.'

Then the disciple asked, 'Then why are you feeling so happy? If the soul does not survive,
then...?' Socrates said, 'I have to see. If I survive there can be no fear about it. If I don't
survive, how can there be fear? If I don't survive, I don't survive. Then where is the fear? There
is nobody there, so fear cannot exist. If I survive, I survive. There is no point in getting afraid
about it. But I don't know exactly what is going to happen. That's why I am so full of wonder
and ready to go into it. I don't know.'

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To me, this is what a religious man should be. A religious man is not a Christian, or a Hindu, or a
Buddhist, or a Mohammedan. All these are ways of knowledge. A Christian says, 'I know.' And
his knowledge comes from the Christian dogmas. The Hindu says, 'I also know.' And his
knowledge comes from the Vedas and the Gitas and his dogmas. And a Hindu is against the
Christian, because he says, If I am right, you cannot be right. If you are right, then I cannot be
right.' So there is great argument and there is much dispute and much debate and unnecessary

A religious man, a really religious man – not the so-called religious people – is one who says. 'I
don't know.' When you say 'I don't know' you are open, you are ready to learn. When you say 'I
don't know' you don't have any prejudice this way or that, you don't have any belief, you don't
have any knowledge. You have only awareness. You say, 'I am aware and I will see what
happens. I will not carry any dogma from the past.'

This is the attitude of a disciple, the attitude of one who wants to learn. And discipline simply
means learning. A disciple means a learner, one who is ready to learn, and discipline means

I am not here to teach you any dogmas; I am not imparting any knowledge to you. I am simply
helping you to see that which is. Live your life whatsoever the cost. Be ready to gamble with it.

I have heard about a business man. He was walking from his office to a restaurant for lunch
when he was stopped by a stranger who said to him, 'I don't think that you remember me, but
ten years ago I came to this city broke. I asked you for a loan and you gave me twenty dollars
because you said you were willing to take a chance to start a man on the road to success.'

The business man thought for a while and then he said. 'Yes, I remember the incident. Go on
with your story.'

'Well,' remarked the stranger, 'are you still willing to gamble?'

Life asks you the same question again and again and again: 'Are you still willing to gamble?' It is
never certain. Life has no insurance to it; it is simply an opening, a wild opening, a chaotic
opening. You can make a small house around you, secure, but then that will prove to be your
grave. Live with life.

And we have been doing that in many ways. Marriage is man-created; love is part of life. When
you create marriage around love you are creating security. You are making something which
cannot be made – love cannot be made legal. You are trying to do the impossible, and if, in that
effort, love dies, it is no wonder. You become a husband, your beloved becomes a wife. You are
no longer two alive persons, you are two functionaries. The husband has a certain function, the
wife has a certain function: they have certain duties to fulfil. Then life has ceased to flow, it is

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Watch a husband and wife. You will always see two persons frozen, sitting side by side, not
knowing what they are doing there, why they are sitting there. Maybe they have nowhere to go.

When you see love between two persons, something is flowing, moving, changing. When there is
love between two persons they live in an aura, there is a constant sharing. Their vibrations are
reaching to each other; they are broadcasting their being to each other. There is no wall
between them, they are two and yet not two – they are one also.

The husband and wife are as far away as it is possible to be, even though they may be sitting by
the side of each other. The husband never listens to what the wife is saying; he has become
deaf long ago. The wife never sees what is happening to the husband; she has become blind to
him. They take each other absolutely for granted; they have become things. They are no longer
persons because persons are always open, persons are always uncertain, persons are always
changing. Now they have a fixed role to fulfil. They died the day they got married. Since that
day they have not lived.

I'm not saying not to get married, but remember that love is the real thing. And if it dies then
marriage is worthless.

And the same is true about everything in life, about everything. Either you can live it – but then
you have to live with this hesitation, not knowing what is going to happen the next moment – or
you can make everything certain about it.

There are people who have become so certain about everything that they are never surprised.
There are people whom you cannot surprise. And I am here to deliver to you a message which is
very surprising – you will not believe it, I know. You cannot believe it, I know. I am here to tell
you something which is absolutely unbelievable – that you are gods and goddesses. You have

Let me tell you an anecdote.

Harvey Firestone, Thomas A. Edison, John Burroughs and Henry Ford stopped at a rural service
station on their way to Florida for the winter.

'We want some bulbs for our headlights,' said Ford. 'And by the way, that is Thomas Edison
sitting there in the car, and I am Henry Ford.'

The fellow at the service station did not even look up, just spat out some tobacco juice with
obvious contempt.

'And,' said Ford, 'we would like to buy a new tire if you have any Firestone tires. And that other
fellow in the car is Harvey Firestone himself.'

Still the old fellow said nothing. While he was placing the tire on the wheel, John Burroughs, with
his long white beard, stuck his head out the window and said, 'How do you do, stranger?'

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Finally the old man at the service station came alive. He glared at Burroughs and said, 'If you
tell me you are Santa Claus I will be damned if I don't crush your skull with this lug wrench.'

He could not believe that in one car Harvey Firestone, Thomas A. Edison, John Burroughs and
Henry Ford were travelling. They were all friends and they used to travel together.

When I say to you you are gods and goddesses you will not believe it because you have
completely forgotten who is travelling within you, who is sitting within you, who is listening to
me, who is looking at me. You have completely forgotten. You have been given some labels from
the outside and you have trusted those labels – your name, your religion, your country – all
bogus! It does not make any sense if you are a Hindu or a Christian or a Mohammedan if you
don't know your self. These labels make no sense at all except that they may be of a certain
utility. What sense does it make whether you are a Hindu, or a Christian, or a Mohammedan, or
an Indian, or an American, or Chinese? How does it make sense, how does it help you to know
your being? All are irrelevant -- because the being is neither Indian, nor Chinese, nor American;
and the being is neither Hindu, nor Mohammedan, nor Christian. The being is simply a pure 'is-

The pure 'is-ness' is what I call God. If you can understand your inner divinity you have
understood what life is. Otherwise you have not been able yet to decode life. This is the
message. The whole life is pointing at one thing, continuously – that you are gods. Once you
have understood it, then there is no death. Then you have learned the lesson. Then in death
gods will be returning back to their homes.



The whole life...just a training for how to go back home, how to die, how to disappear. Because
the moment you disappear, God appears in you. Your presence is God's absence; your absence
is God's presence.

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   Zarathustra: The Laughing Prophet
           Commentaries on Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus spoke Zarathustra














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      arathustra is not a philosopher. Philosophy to him is sheer wastage of time – not only of
      yours but of others' too – because philosophy is nothing but a mind game. It is not the
      way to find the truth, it is not the way to find love, it is not the way to find beauty; it only
goes on making systems of empty words.

But they have deceived millions. And they have prevented millions from going in search to find
the key to the mysteries of life. Philosophy has never transformed anyone. It gives people
swollen heads, but it does not bring a revolution in their life; no metamorphosis happens
through it. It is the greatest deception that man has been giving to himself and to others. It has
given beautiful words for people to play with. It has treated people like children; and those
who have remained playing with those words have remained children, retarded.

For example, the world of philosophy has given you their most famous word, god, which is
perhaps the most meaningless word in human language. It has not been a discovery for you, it
has not been your creation; on the contrary, the philosophers, the theologians, the priests have
convinced you that you are the creation of God.

This is the most significant point at which to begin a pilgrimage with Zarathustra. In the past
God has been accepted as the creator of all, but that very idea reduces man into a thing. Only
things can be created. If man is created by God, man has no pride, no dignity of his own – he is
just a puppet. Any moment God can change his mind and destroy humanity, and we stand
absolutely helpless. Neither have we any part in our creation, nor will we have any part in our

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If this is true, life loses all meaning. It becomes a tragedy, an imprisonment, a long drawn–out
slavery. And Zarathustra is not alone in pointing out the fact that the concept of God is against
the evolution of man: Mahavira agrees with him; Gautam Buddha agrees with him.

All these three great geniuses are in absolute agreement on one point: God cannot be allowed as
a creator of man and his consciousness. To allow him that is to destroy all meaning, significance,
freedom, love, creativity – all that gives joy and ecstasy to man is destroyed. Without God, man
is free. He has not been created, he has been evolving. You have to understand this point, that
the idea of creation and the idea of evolution are contradictory. You can't have both – creation
means no evolution.

You create something – a statue, a painting, a poem. Will your painting evolve? Will your statue
change with time? Will your poetry go on renewing itself each and every moment to keep pace
with evolution? Anything created has a full stop on it; there is no opening for evolution. That's
what the story of the creation of the world says: God created the world in six days – and there
comes the full stop.

Evolution means that the universe has always been there – constantly changing, moving,
evolving, creating new forms, better forms. It is evolution that has brought about man
and his consciousness. Evolution is religion for Zarathustra, not creation. And in evolution there
is no place for God, at least not as a creator. The only place possible for God, if you love the
word, if you want it somehow to be fitted in somewhere, the only possibility is that man's
consciousness evolves to its ultimate potential. That will be the creation of God.

Zarathustra denies God as a creator, but he is willing to accept God as the ultimate creation of
human consciousness. To avoid misunderstanding, he calls this ultimate evolution of
consciousness "the superman." Superman is his God. But he does not come at the beginning, he
comes at the very crescendo, in the end. He is not your master and your lord, he is your evolved
form, refined form. Hence another thing has to be remembered: Zarathustra cannot believe in
one God. There are millions of beings, they are all evolving, and there will be millions of gods;
because each life has the seed, the potential, to become a god.

Zarathustra brings a total revolution in the concept of God and religion. Now religion is no longer
a worship or a belief; now religion becomes the greatest creative act of man. Now religion is not
that which enslaves man, imprisons his spirit. In Zarathustra's hands religion becomes the art of
shattering all the chains, destroying all the hindrances – so that human consciousness can
become divine consciousness, so that man disappears and gives birth to the superman.

Twenty–five centuries ago this man had one of the most potential ideas: God in the beginning
makes no difference. At the most you become believers – and all beliefs are blind, all beliefs are
false. They do not help you to grow up, they only help you to kneel down like a slave before
dead statues, rotten scriptures, primitive philosophies.

Zarathustra wants to clean the whole ground completely of all that is rotten, of all that is old. He
wants your eyes to be fixed on a faraway distant star – the star that is your future, the star that

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you can become, the star that you have to become, because unless you become that distant
star, your life will not be a dance, your life will not be a song, your life will not be a celebration.

He changes the whole focus from the past to the future. You cannot do anything with the past.
That which is gone is gone – nothing can be done about it; you cannot undo it. Hence, because
humanity has believed in the past, it has remained stuck. What can you do with the past?

He changes the focus towards the future. The future is open. All the possibilities are in your
hands. You can create the superman and you can create a new humanity; you can create a
paradise on this earth. Zarathustra loves this earth too much. He is not a renouncer of the
world; he is in tremendous love with the trees, with the mountains, with the rivers, with the
flowers, with the birds, with people.

In comparison to him, all other religions are condemnatory of this beautiful planet. They want
you to think of heaven and paradise, which are only fictions. He is the first scientist as far as
religion is concerned. He wants you to be a realist – this is the only planet we have, and this is
the only time we have, and this is the only life we have. Now it is up to us what we make of it.
You can make it a beautiful song, a glorious experience, a golden ecstasy. You can be the
creators. And the greatest creation of yours will be the creation of God – the creation of the

He is not a philosopher, he is an alchemist. He does not believe in God but he believes in man.
He does not believe in any paradise but he believes in the earth. And he believes in the
tremendous potential that the earth is carrying within it, and that human beings are carrying
within themselves as seeds. They have not been growing because their minds have been looking

The philosophers, the religious priests, the theologians – they are all trying to keep you tied with
the past. That way you remain tamed. You cannot rebel; you remain always afraid of committing
a mistake, of committing a sin. You always remain obedient, because those who are obedient
will be saved, and those who are not will be thrown into hell to suffer forever. Your fear and
greed have been used to destroy you, to exploit you.

Zarathustra will not have anything to do with all these vested interests; his only concern is that
man becomes a creator of values. And rather than looking backwards, where he cannot go, he
starts looking forwards, where many dimensions are open, many doors are open – he can
choose. Slaves cannot be choosers; only masters can be choosers. Slaves can only be beggars.
All the religions have reduced humanity into beggars. They call it prayer; they call it worship –
beautiful names to hide an ugly reality.

Zarathustra wants you to be creators, not beggars. And you can be creators only if you look
forward, and you go on dropping the past and the dead. Carrying dead corpses is dangerous. To
remain surrounded with dead corpses is dangerous, because they can poison your life – they
have poisoned your life.

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Remain with the one that is going to happen and has not happened yet, and it will keep you
young and fresh. It will keep you excited, enthusiastic; it will keep you always going for a new
journey, for a new pilgrimage – because there is no end to life, there is no end to time. An
infinity of life and an infinity of time is available to you. You can create God within your own
soul. But Zarathustra's name for that God is the superman. I think it is better, because with God
there are ugly associations. Whatever you do, somehow God slips back and becomes past. It is
very difficult to put him in the future.

He is almost like a doll that is made in Japan. It is a doll of an Indian mystic Bodhidharma, who
was the founder of the great tradition of Zen. In Japan, more lovingly, his name has become
Daruma. Bodhidharma seems to be a little hard; Daruma seems to be sweeter. And they have
made Bodhidharma's statue, which are called Daruma dolls.

Their uniqueness is: you can throw the Daruma doll any way, but it will always sit back in the
lotus posture. You cannot topple it. Its top is very light and its bottom is very heavy. So
whatever you do – you can kick it, you can throw it in the air – whatever you do, Daruma always
sits back in the lotus posture.

The case with the word God is similar. It has been so misused; it has dominated the whole past
of man and destroyed all possibilities for man's evolution. You can manage to drag it, somehow,
into the future, but within a few seconds you will find it has gone back again... sitting in the
lotus posture.

It is right of Zarathustra to drop the word God. It was a fiction and we cannot relate with a
fiction in any way. But superman is not a fiction; it is your potential, it is every man's potential.
The very idea of superman makes you rich, makes you feel full, makes you feel no longer a
beggar and a worshiper. You need not go to any church or temple or mosque, because now
there is no need for any prayer. You have to be a creator, you have to transform yourself.

Religion becomes the alchemy of transformation – from a slave into a master.

Zarathustra is not to be categorized with your other philosophers; he stands aloof. And his
contribution is tremendously valuable. His contribution is so valuable that it is more than the
contribution of all your philosophers combined. They have not contributed anything; they have
been simply arguing, fighting about words, hypotheses. They have not thought that man is not
the end, that the full stop has not come yet and perhaps will never come.

Man will go on evolving. He will feel that he is coming to the full stop, but the full stop will never
come. And it is good that it will never come, because the full stop will be death. A full stop
means the grave, because now there is no future left, no evolution possible, no more creativity.
You have spent your whole potential.

I agree totally with Zarathustra that man has infinite potential, that he can go on growing to
new levels of consciousness, new levels of blissfulness, new stages of ecstasy. He goes on
becoming superman, but he is a process and not an event. Superman is also a process and not
an event.

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Zarathustra changes many words which have dominated man very destructively. He does not
want to use the word event; he wants to use the word process. He does not want to use the
word being; he wants to use the word becoming – so that there is always something more to be
attained, there is always something more to be achieved, there is always immense space for
your soul to soar high. You cannot reach to the limits of the universe, because there are no


It is unfortunate, but factual, that people will respect you if you support their superstitions, even
though by supporting their superstitions you are poisoning them. They will be very respectful to
you – they will make you a saint, they will make you a prophet, they will make you a saviour.
But don't disturb their superstitions. Their superstitions have lived with them for so long, and
they have accepted them as truth and have been very comfortable with them – because there is
no need to search for truth; they already have it. The moment you criticize their superstitions,
the whole crowd of humanity becomes antagonistic to you; they all turn into enemies to you.

I have experienced it my whole life. Thousands of people have come to me and disappeared. If
they find that some of their superstitions are fulfilled by my statements they remain with me,
but the moment they see that they were not right – I am not in support of their superstitions, on
the contrary, I am against them – they immediately become my enemies. When I was
supporting their death they were with me, they were paying great respect and reverence to me.
And when I started to be really a friend to them, a health, a wholeness, they turned into

Zarathustra is talking of the famous philosophers. Their fame depends only on one thing: not
that they have contributed anything to human growth, not that they have made this planet more
beautiful, not that life has become more joyous, not that love has become more juicy, but
because they were in absolute support of your superstitions, your beliefs, your fictions, which
are consolatory; they keep you where you are. They save you the trouble of finding the truth.
They save you the trouble of transforming yourself into a higher being.

PHILOSOPHERS! – YOU HAVE not SERVED TRUTH! Because those who have served the truth
have remained continually on the cross. The same masses which they were trying to help have
killed them, poisoned them, stoned them to death.

called you great philosophers? – there is nothing great in your philosophies. But the mobs have
made you great philosophers, great servants of the people, because you have kept them asleep;
you have not disturbed their sleep. Their superstitions are their sleep, and as long as they
remain with their superstitions they will remain retarded, undeveloped. They will remain

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something between the animal and the superman. They will remain on the bridge; they will
never move. But certainly they will pay you great reverence.

CAME TO ME FROM THEM.' Have you ever thought.... Just think of a few great names of the so–
called philosophers: Immanuel Kant, Hegel, Descartes; in India: Shankara, Ramanuja,
Nimbarka. None of them has been condemned by the masses. They crucified a poor carpenter's
son, Jesus. They poisoned Socrates, but they did not poison Plato, Aristotle....

It is strange that the names you will find in the history of philosophy are not the people who
have been crucified, are not the people who have been stoned to death. They are the people
who have been respected – and they are still respected, after centuries. And the strange thing
is, they have not contributed anything to you. The only people who have contributed anything to
you, you have crucified.

It seems that for your friends you always keep ready your cross, and for your enemies you are
always ready with your reverence. Howsoever great may be the philosophy of Immanuel Kant or
Shankara or Bradley or Bosanquet, it is simply verbal diarrhoea. These people are sick. They use
big words – and people are very impressed with big words which they don't understand.

There is only one thing they want to be certain about: that the philosophers are not saying
anything against their superstitions – they are not speaking against God, they are not speaking
against heaven or hell, they are not speaking against their holy scriptures, but on the contrary,
they are praising them. Then they don't care whether this great philosophy has been able to
change their own consciousness. And if it has not been able to change their own consciousness,
how is it going to change humanity?

But perhaps nobody wants to change. Change needs effort, and man is bone–lazy. Change
means going into the unknown, and man is a coward. He will remain in the known even if the
known is nothing but misery – at least it is known. He will never cross the boundary of the
known because, who knows? – one may get lost in the unknown. One may not be able to get
back home to the same misery, to the same wife, to the same husband, to the same anxieties
and problems.

ADVOCATE. The people don't need any advocate. They are in such misery that their whole life is
nothing but a slow death. Advocating in favour of their life is not a service to mankind. They
need people who will hammer their heads to bring some sense to them, who will destroy their
superstitions so they can start moving in search of truth, who will destroy their laziness so they
become a process, a progress, a becoming.

But certainly they don't like such people. Those who love humanity have to accept it, that they
will be hated – hated in all lands, hated by all the people. Perhaps a very few intelligent and
brave people may join hands with them in the great exploration of truth and consciousness, but

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most of the people are going to be angry at them. They have disturbed their sleep, they have
disturbed their consolations. They love their advocates.

BREAK YOUR WILL TO VENERATE. Zarathustra is saying, "If you want me to believe that you are
genuine, then the first proof I need is: you will have to break your will to venerate." Whom are
you venerating? There is nothing above human consciousness; only human consciousness
can go on transcending itself. There is nobody else you can worship, you can venerate. You can
create temples and rituals, and you can believe that somebody else is going to take care of you,
that you need not bother about any transformation.



Zarathustra is hard, but every great creator has to be hard. He calls your great philosophers
"donkeys who are carrying the people's cart" – they are in the service of the idiots. And certainly
the idiots respect them very much. If you want respectability then you should never say a single
word that goes against people's prejudices. Then you should always support them, even though
you can see that it is nonsense – but that is the way of being respectable.

Any man of dignity does not want respectability. He has his own dignity. He respects himself; he
does not need anybody else's respect. He will say whatever is true, and he will say it as clearly
as possible. Even if it hurts, he is not going to dilute it. All surgery hurts, and if a cancer has to
be removed the surgeon cannot go on supporting the idea you that you don't have any cancer.

I had a relative.... His wife came to me one day, crying, and she said, "You have to do
something. My husband will listen to nobody. He is not willing to call the doctor and let him
examine him. And everybody in the house, in the neighbourhood, feels that he is continuously
becoming weaker, looks pale; there is something wrong. But he says, `I'm perfectly healthy.
Who says that there is something wrong? Why should I call a doctor?'"

I had to go to his house. I told him, "You are absolutely right. You are at the prime of your
health. Who says you are sick?"

He smiled and he said to his family, "Look. And you are all harassing me, saying that I should go
to a doctor, or I should call a doctor."

I said, "There is no need for any doctor; you are perfectly healthy. But just to convince all these
people, you come with me to the doctor."

He could not deny me, because I was his only supporter. So he went with me to the best doctor.
On the way he said, "Is it really necessary to go? Can't we just return, from half way there? You
will have to lie – that is true."

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I said, "I cannot lie. I did not lie before those people, I told the truth. They were all saying that
you are becoming sicker every day, and every day you are becoming weaker; and I see that you
are becoming every day healthier, younger. Just to convince them, I have to get a certificate
from the doctor, so the whole problem is finished forever."

He said, "Okay."

And he had cancer. The doctor told me, "You have brought him in time; otherwise it would have
been too late."

Returning home he said to me, "This was the reason that I was not going to the doctor. I was
afraid, who knows? – the doctor may find something wrong with me. And now he has given me

I said, "He has not given you cancer, you have cancer. And now there is a possibility to cure it."
But he said to me, "I will never forgive you! You tricked me. You were lying."

I said, "That's true. I had to lie; otherwise your life was in danger." And to lie to save a life – I
don't consider it sin.

The people who are living in superstitions....All the people of the world are living in superstitions,
and all their priests and preachers and philosophers and theologians are supporting them
– they get respectability, they become great saints. But this is too inhuman. It is better to lose
all your respectability but to tell the truth to the people.

There is still time; their cancer can be removed. There is still time; the superman can arrive.

The miserable man, with all his misery, can be dropped. There is no need to cling to it. You are
clinging because nobody has told you that you have greater possibilities: higher experiences,
more joy; your life can become a constant song and a dance. You can blossom. Your life can
have fragrance instead of this disgusting anxiety, this misery, and the whole nausea that you
are carrying around yourself. And you are clinging to it because you think this is you. And the
people who support your idea, you touch their feet, you make them popes, you make them

Just for an empty respectability these people are the greatest enemies of humanity. If you enjoy
crucifying people, crucify these people! And in fact they need crucifixion. What right has the
pope to go on living? He is a representative of Jesus Christ; he should prove it by being crucified
– that is the only proof. But instead of being on the cross he keeps a golden cross dangling
around his neck with a golden chain. Jesus was not crucified on a golden cross. And the cross
was not dangling around his neck – he was dangling on the cross!

EYES – OF THE PEOPLE WHO DO NOT KNOW WHAT SPIRIT IS! Without knowing the spirit, the
very energy of your life, the very flame that you are, how can you be virtuous? You are just
following the crowd: whatsoever they believe is virtuous, you are doing. And because you follow

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their idea of virtue they make you a saint. And if you want to become a great saint, you have to
go to the very extreme of their idea of virtue.

For example, in India, the Jaina monks never take baths. That is a virtue – because they are so
averse to their bodies that they don't care that the body should be clean. Who cares? If the body
is just matter, and if a little more matter gathers on it... no harm; you are gaining a little
weight. They don't brush their teeth, because all that is considered to be showing that you still
believe in the body. To talk with them is so difficult, because their breath is so foul, their body
stinks. Every year they pluck their hair with their own hands – they cannot use any mechanical
device. Strange, a safety razor is thought to be great technology.

They are against all machines, all technology; naturally they have to pluck their hair with their
own hands. Thousands of devotees gather to see it. And I have seen people standing there, well
shaved – perhaps they shave twice a day – with tears flowing from their eyes: "What a great
saint!" They cannot follow it – they are sinners – but he is following the scriptures.

There are many monks, Jaina and Hindu, who live naked, in all the seasons. It is torturing the
body, but because they torture the body their followers believe they are attaining to self–
realization. The body no longer matters. Whether it is cold or hot summer, it makes no
difference to them; they have attained to a state of balance. To them success and failure are the
same, heat and cold are the same. They are not the same, because I have seen the monks
shivering with cold; they cannot sleep the whole night.

They are following it because in return they have been respected by millions of people. Just to
be naked is not a virtue – all the animals are naked, all the birds are naked. If to be naked is a
virtue that leads to heaven, then only man is going to be in difficulty. And I have become
worried about tailors... and particularly my seamstress, Gayan. What will happen to these
people who are making clothes, allowing people to commit as many sins as they want?

But different societies have different virtues. In the middle ages, English ladies in Britain used to
cover their dogs with clothes, because a naked dog is obscene. And if the dog comes across a
girlfriend then it will become even more difficult; then it will be absolute pornography, live! So
they used to take their dogs for a morning walk, chains in their hands, and the dogs having
strange clothes. And the poor dogs must have been thinking, "What nonsense this is, no other
dog...."You will be surprised that very high class ladies used to put cloth around the legs of
chairs, because they are called legs, and legs should not be left naked. Any stupid idea....

Unless you know your own sources of life, you are bound to follow the virtues of the crowd in
which you have accidentally found yourself.

In my house I had not tasted a tomato up to the age of eighteen, because the tomato was not
allowed in the house – it looks like meat. I tried to convince my grandmother that a poor tomato
is not meat. She said, "I know it is not meat but it looks like meat, and I don't want to have
anything that looks like meat in the house. We are vegetarians."

I said, "This too is vegetable." But while she was alive, tomatoes were not allowed.

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I had never eaten in the night, up to the age of eighteen, because to eat in the night, in the
crowd I had found myself, was a sin.

I told them, "It may have been wrong three thousand, four thousand years ago, when people
had to eat in darkness, but now... inside the house, in the night, there is more light than in the

But they would say, "Don't talk against the scriptures. Even to listen to you is a sin. The people
who wrote those scriptures were all–knowing, omniscient."

I was not a respected person in the house. Whenever a guest would be coming, they would tell
me, "You just move out. You can go anywhere."

I said, "What is the problem?"

They said, "You are an embarrassment to us. You may do something which should not be done,
you may say something which should not be said."

Other children were obedient; they were brought to the guest, introduced: "He is very obedient."
And I would come in the middle: "I am also here! – very disobedient. I thought you would love a
little variety. Everybody is obedient here; I am the only disobedient one. And I want to say to
you that I am not glad to meet you."

And my father would say, "I have been telling you that you will say something, you will do
something. Just go somewhere else!"

But I said, "I am saying my truth – I am not feeling any gladness. And I think this gentleman
will respect the truth." Calls right is right, and whatever it calls wrong is wrong.

Zarathustra is saying: YOU ARE STILL OF THE PEOPLE EVEN IN YOUR VIRTUE. Your virtue is
hypocrisy, because it is not coming out of your own spirit; it is just imitation. You are a carbon
copy. You are not your original self.

challenge and struggle. Life is striking into life – to be more, to be higher, to be awakened. Only
out of this awakening, out of this spiritual growth in you, virtues are born. But they are born
according to your own experience and understanding. They are original; and only something
original is beautiful. This is the spirit's happiness: to be original, to be always growing to new
heights, to new insights, always going into new depths, always moving to the uncharted,
untrodden path.

The spirit is an adventurer.

The crowd is like a pond; it goes nowhere.

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Its water becomes dirtier and dirtier every day, because more and more water is evaporating in
the sun. Soon the pond becomes just muddy water. Spirit is a river. It is always flowing, moving
into new lands – from the mountains, to the valleys, to the plains, till it merges into the ocean.

SACRIFICIAL BEAST – DID YOU KNOW THAT BEFORE? One is sacrificing oneself, always, for
something better to arise. One is dying only to be resurrected on a higher level. One is the
sacrifice and one is the god the sacrifice is given to. But there is a continually evolving
awareness, a crystallization of awakening. Even in sleep something in you remains alert and
awake. Right now, even when you are awake, your eyes are open, something in you is fast
asleep. Just close your eyes, and you will see dreams floating by.

BEFORE? The blind man simply believes that there is light. In fact only blind people believe. In
other words: all beliefs are blind. The moment you know something, you don't believe.

Once a German philosopher asked Raman Maharshi, "Do you believe in God?"

And he was shocked to hear the answer. Raman Maharshi said, "No, I don't believe in God."

The philosopher could not understand, because he had always thought that Raman Maharshi is a
god–realized person. What is he saying? Seeing him puzzled, Raman Maharshi laughed, and he
said, "Don't get disturbed. I don't believe in God because I know God."

Knowing is a totally different process. Believing is just its opposite. Millions of people believe in
God and millions of people in the communist countries don't believe in God. Both are in the
same boat, because neither the believers know nor the non–believers know. Knowing needs
great effort, great search. Believing or disbelieving are very cheap; you don't have to do
anything. They are all borrowed.

philosophers, "What do you know? – living in your crowd, getting fatter and fatter, being
respectable, following your own followers. Do you know that an enlightened man shall learn to
build mountains?" – mountains of consciousness, Everests of consciousness, heights that reach
to the stars.




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To Zarathustra the eagle is a great symbol. He loves two symbols: the eagle and the serpent. To
him the serpent represents wisdom and the eagle represents freedom. The eagle goes highest
into the sky; it flies across the sun.

YOU ARE NO      EAGLES – he is saying to the philosophers – SO NEITHER DO YOU KNOW THE
SPIRIT'S JOY    IN TERROR. Only the eagle knows the aloneness of the heights, the silence of the
heights, the     dangers of the heights. But without knowing dangers, one never grows.
Zarathustra's   basic teaching is:

Those who are afraid of danger are the people who don't know their immortal self. Their fear
shows their ignorance and nothing else.

making a home above great abysses… that joy belongs only to the very few courageous
souls. And according to Zarathustra, religion is not for all. It is only for the eagles; it is only for
those who are ready to live dangerously – because only they can find the truth, only they can
find the meaning of life, only they can become one day the superman.

which is tepid, lukewarm – neither hot nor cold. It knows no extremes; it moves always safely in
the middle. But those who are too much concerned about safety and security cannot be the
explorers, cannot be the discoverers. Knowledge flows deep; hence it is cold. And one has to be
capable of coming out of the tepid waters, of coming out of the lukewarm life, which is neither
life nor death, which is just a kind of vegetation, just a survival.

From the cradle to the grave, all that you are concerned with is: how to survive, how to remain
safe, how to remain secure. And where are you going? – going to the grave. All your securities
and all your safeties are leading you to the grave. Before the grave comes, have a little dance,
have a little party, sing with your heart full of joy.

Live dangerously!

The grave will come, whether you live dangerously or just lukewarm. The only difference will be:
one who has lived dangerously, one who has lived totally, intensely, he will come to know the
deathless in him. Then the grave will come, but death will not come. One who has never lived
totally, has never gone deep enough into himself, because it is ice–cold there, will also reach the
grave, but he will not know the eternal principle of life. He will simply die with tears in his eyes
because he has not been able to live his life. He has not lived, and death has come.

One who has lived totally, he celebrates death too – because death comes to him as the ultimate
challenge of the unknown. And that has been his whole life: to accept challenges from the
unknown. He will welcome death and enter death with a song and with a dance, because he
knows there is something in him which is indestructible, which knows no death.

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Wisdom is always untamed. Wisdom is always wild. Wisdom is always spontaneous.

Knowledge is a slave, tamed; knowledge is very poor. A computer cannot have wisdom; it is the
privilege only of human beings, human consciousness, to have wisdom. But then you have to be
ready for the wild, for the untamed, for the spontaneous.

People talk about freedom but people don't want freedom, because freedom brings dangers.
Slavery is comfortable – somebody else takes the responsibility for your life. But wisdom is
freedom. You never know what you are going to know the next moment; you cannot rehearse it.
It comes suddenly. But it is such a joy, such a blessing, that those who have not known the
untamed wisdom have not known anything at all.

WITH ME? He is saying to the philosophers, to the theologians, to the priests, "You cannot fare
with me, you cannot go with me into the wild, you cannot go with me into the unknown – you
are too cowardly. You don't have the spirit. And you don't know the dignity of accepting the
challenge of all that is unknown, unknowable, of all that is dark and deep."


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                           Guida Spirituale
                           Discourses on the Desiderata



         e enter today into one of the most beautiful worlds, that of a small document called the
         DESIDERATA. It is strange because it has appeared many times and disappeared many
         times; hence nobody exactly knows who wrote it. Truth has the capacity to appear
again and again; because of human stupidity it is lost again and again too.

The Desiderata seems to be one of the most ancient documents available today, but it is
copyrighted by a poet, Max Ehrmann. In his book of poems it is also given as a poem authored
by him, copyrighted in 1927 in America, although in the first edition he talks about the legend
that this small document was discovered on a plaque installed in St. Paul’s Church in Baltimore
when built in 1692, but it was lost. There is no proof any more whether it was installed as a
plaque in St. Paul’s Church or not. The legend is there; it has persisted. It seems Max Ehrmann
again had the vision of it. It came to him as a vision. He is not really its author but only a
receptacle, a medium.

This has happened to many other documents too. It happened in the case of Blavatsky’s THE
VOICE OF SILENCE: she is known as the authoress of the book, but the book is very ancient.
She discovered it in her meditations; it appeared to her.

Many parts of Friedrich Nietzsche’s THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA are also very ancient, and the
same is the case with Omar Khayyam’s RUBAIYAT. Mabel Collins’ Light on THE PATH IS of the
same category, Kahlil Gibran’s THE PROPHET also.

I have looked into all Max Ehrmann’s poems but no other poem has the same quality, not even a
single poem. If the Desiderata was written by him then many more poems of the same quality
would have flowed. It has not happened. In fact, the DESIDERATA seems to be so different
from all his poems that it is impossible to believe that it has come from the same person.

The same is true about Mabel Collins’ LIGHT ON THE PATH. These are strange documents. The
possibility is that they have always existed – again and again lost visibly, but truth manifests

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itself.... Whenever there is a vulnerable soul, a receptive person, truth again starts flowing
through him. And of course the person will think, “I am writing it.”

It is because of this fact that the Upanishads have no names of authors; nobody knows who
wrote them, because the people who received them were very alert and aware. There were
mystics, not only poets.

This is the difference between the poet and the mystic: when something happens to the mystic
he is perfectly aware that it is from the beyond, it is not from him. He is immensely glad; he
rejoices that he has been chosen as a vehicle, as a medium, but his ego cannot claim it. In fact,
you become a mystic only when you have dropped the ego. But the poet is full of the ego – not
always but ALMOST always. Once in a while, when he forgets his ego, he touches the same
world that is the mystic’s world. But the mystic lives there; the poet once in a while gets a
glimpse of it. And because his ego is not dead he immediately claims it as h& creation. But all
the ancient seers were aware of it.

The Vedas, the Bible, the Koran, the three greatest scriptures of the world, are known not to
have been written by anyone. The Vedas are known as APAURUSHEYA – not written by any
person. Certainly somebody wrote them, but they are from God, from the beyond, from some
unknown source. The mystic becomes possessed by it, he dances to its tune. He is no more
himself – he is it. The poet once in a while gets a glimpse of it, a faraway glimpse.

In Sanskrit we have two words for the poet; in no other language is it so, because no other part
of the world became alert, very alert about this fact. In Sanskrit one word is KAVI; KAVI exactly
means the poet. The other word is rishi, rishi means a mystic poet. The difference is great. The
poet has a deep aesthetic sense, he is very sensitive; he can penetrate into the very core of
things. He has a way of knowing which is not that of the scientist. He does not analyze, he
loves; his love is great, but his ego is alive. So when he looks at a roseflower he comes closer
than the scientist, because the scientist immediately starts dissecting the flower, and to dissect
something is to kin it. The very effort of knowing is an effort to kill.

Hence whatsoever science knows is about dead things. Now even scientists are becoming aware
of the fact. When blood is taken out of your body and is examined, analyzed, it is no more the
same blood as it was when it was circulating in your body. Then it was alive; then it was an
organic part of your life. Now it is not the same. It is like your hand, or your eye; when it is part
of the organic unity of your body it can see, but take the eye out – it is dead, it cannot see. It is
no more alive, it is something else: it is a corpse.

The greatest scientists are becoming aware of the fact that whatsoever we have known up to
now is basically, fundamentally wrong. We know about dead things only; the alive things we
miss. That’s why science cannot say there is something in you which is beyond the body, more
than the body. Science cannot say that you are more than the sum total of your parts, and
unless you are something more than the sum total of your parts you are not. Then you are only

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a machine – maybe very sophisticated but that does not matter. You are a computer, you don’t
have a soul; you are just a by-product, an epiphenomenon. You don’t have any awareness; you
are only behaviour.

Science reduces man to a machine – not only to an animal, remember. Those days are gone
when science used to think, like Charles Darwin and others, that man is nothing but another
animal. Now Skinner, Delgado, Pavlov, don’t say that, that man is another animal – because
there is no anima, no life, no consciousness – they say man is another machine.

Religion says man is more than the body, more than the mind, but science cannot believe it
because of its very methodology. The way it tries to know things prohibits it from going deeper
than the material, than the dead.

Hence the poet reached closer than the scientist. The poet does not dissect the flower, he fails
in love. He is immensely glad, he rejoices in the flower, ant out of that rejoicing a song is born.
But he is still far away from the mystic, the rishi. The mystic becomes one with the flower. The
observer becomes the observed; there is no distinction left.

It happened once:

Ramakrishna was crossing the Ganges in a small boat with a few of his disciples. Suddenly in the
middle of the river he started shouting, “Why are you beating me?”

The disciples were puzzled. They said, “Paramahansa Deva, what are you saying? We, and
beating you?!”

And Ramakrishna said, “Look!” He uncovered his back and there were marks on it as if
somebody had beaten him badly with a stick. Blood was oozing out.

The disciples were puzzled what had happened? And then Ramakrishna pointed to the other
shore: a few people were beating a person. When they reached the other shore they went to the
person, they uncovered his back – and the marks were exactly the same as on Ramakrishna’s
back! Without any difference, exactly the same! Ramakrishna became one with the person who
was being beaten. He was not an observer, he was not separate; he became one with the

This is the meaning of the English word “empathy.” Sympathy the poet Knows, empathy the
mystic knows. When the mystic sings it is a totally different flavour, a different beauty, because
it is not a faraway glimpse of the truth – he is inside the truth, at the very core of it.

But there are many things to be understood. The mystic may not be able to sing at all, because
he becomes so one with the truth that he may forget to sing the song. It has happened to many
mystics – they have never said anything. It is like if you ask sugar: the sugar may not be able to

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know that it is sweet; a little difference is needed to know the sweetness of the sugar. The
mystic becomes the sugar.

Once in a while the mystic is also a poet; that is a coincidence. Whenever it happens – as in the
case of Lao Tzu, Zarathustra, Mohammed – then we have something of the beyond available to
us. But a mystic is not necessarily a poet; to be a poet is a different talent. One can be a mystic
without being a poet, one can be a poet without being a mystic.

When a mystic is a poet an Upanishad is born, a Srimad Bhagavad Gita is born, a Koran comes
to the earth. But it is not always so. So many times it happens that the truth has to find the
way through the poet because the mystic is not available.

That’s what happened with this small document, the DESIDERATA. No mystic seems to be
available who can sing this song; hence Max Ehrmann is chosen to be a vehicle – but he is an
unconscious person. He thinks he is writing a poem of his own; it is not his own, it has nobody’s
signature on it. And as you enter into this small document you will understand: it cannot be from
a poet. It has the same quality as the Koran, the same quality as the Upanishads.

It is also a strange document because in such a small space it says so much. It is really made of
sutras – just a few hints. Nothing is said very solidly: just a few hints, fingers pointing to the
moon. It is so small that after Adlai Stevenson’s death in 1965 it was discovered that he had
intended to send out the DESIDERATA as a Christmas card to his friends. It can be printed on a
small card, a postcard, but it contains infinity – a dewdrop that contains all the oceans.

It can be of immense help to you on the path; hence I call it GUIDA SPIRITUALE. It begins:

Jesus used to say to his disciples again and again: If you have ears, hear. If you have eyes,
see. He says it so many times, as if he was not seeing people as having ears and eyes. And
that’s my experience too: you ALL have eyes, but very few people are capable of seeing; you
ALL have ears, but it is rare, very rare, to come across a person who is capable of hearing –
because just to hear the words is not hearing and just to see figures is not seeing. Unless you
see the meaning, the content, unless you hear the silence which is the soul of the words, you
have not heard.

One has to listen in deep silence, in deep AGNOSIA. Remember Dionysius’ word AGNOSIA: a
state of not-knowing. If you know, your very knowledge is a disturbance; you cannot hear.
That’s why pundits, scholars, are incapable of hearing: they are too full of rubbish. Their minds
are continuously chattering inside; Maybe they are reciting SHASTRAS, scriptures, but that
makes no difference; what is going on inside is of no-value.

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Unless you are absolutely silent, not even a thought stirring inside, not even a small ripple in the
lake of consciousness, you will not be able to hear. And if you cannot hear, then whatsoever
you think you hear is going to be wrong.

That’s how Jesus was misunderstood, Socrates was misunderstood, Buddha was misunderstood.
They were speaking very clearly. It is impossible to improve upon the statements on Socrates;
his statements are very clear, almost perfect, as near perfect as language can be. Buddha’s
statements are very simple; there is no complexity in them, but still misunderstanding arises.

From where does all this misunderstanding come? Why have all the great prophets,
TEERTHANKARAS, all the great enlightened Masters been misunderstood down the ages? – for
the simple reason that people cannot hear. They have ears, hence they believe they are capable
of hearing. They are not deaf, they have the instrument to hear, but behind their ears there is so
much noise and their minds are standing behind their ears to interpret what is being said, to
compare, to analyse, to argue, to doubt – they get lost in all the processes.

Just a small word, and watch your mind, what happens – not even a word, just a sound. This
airplane passing by...and watch your mind. You cannot hear it simply; you start thinking of
many things. Maybe you are reminded of your own journeys, some friend who died in a plane
crash. somebody you loved very much, and all the memories associated with the person... and
you have gone far away into the memories. And one thing leads to another – you are no more
herenow. You have not heard THE plane passing by. This plane simply triggered a process in you
– of thought, of memories, of desires. Maybe suddenly you thought, “It would be nice if I had a
plane of my own!” Or maybe you simply thought, “What a distraction! This noise is a
disturbance. I was listening so silently, and here comes this stupid airplane!”

It is not the airplane that is disturbing you; it is your own mind which is calling it stupid, a
distraction, a disturbance. If you don’t call it anything, nothing is disturbed. If you simply hear
the noise you will be surprised: it deepens your silence; it is not a distraction at all. When it
passes by you fall into a deeper valley of silence than you were in before.

Hence the first word of the DESIDERATA: HEAR THEN THE WISDOM OF THE WISE...

A strange beginning, particularly from a Western poet, from an American poet. This is how all
the Eastern sutras begin. Just a little difference is there, and that seems to be because of the
Western medium. He has not been able to relate exactly what was happening in his innermost

All the great Eastern sutras begin with NOW. “ATHATO brahma jigyasa” – the Brahma Sutras
begin this way: “Now the enquiry into the ultimate” – not THEN but NOW. The Bhakti Sutras of
Narada begin: “ATHATO BHAKTIJIGYASA – now the enquiry into the universe of devotion.” It is
never then, it is always now. In fact THEN does not exist, only NOW exists.

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THERE does not exist, only only here exists. You will never find THERE and THEN anywhere.
Wherever you go you will always .find NOW and HERE. If it had come through a mystic there
would have been no THEN, there would have been NOW.


And that makes more sense. But the logical mind functions in a different way, and when you use
a logical mind as a vehicle it interpolates something of its own: THEN, THEREFORE..... NOW is is
never part of the logical mind, now is part of the meditative mind. And Ehrmann is not a
meditator, is not a mystic, hence he has missed with that word. He says:


Just change THEN to NOW and see how the quality becomes totally different: HEAR now the
wisdom OF THE WISE... because except now there is no time and except here there is no space.
THEN and THERE are part of our noisy mind. When the noise ceases and the mind is put aside,
what is left? – just herenow.

Swami Ramtirtha used to ten a beautiful story:

There was a very great atheist and he was continuously talking against God. He had written on
the wall of his drawing-room in big golden letters: “God is nowhere.” And then a child was born
to him, and one day he was playing with the child and the child was learning language. He was
not capable OF reading such a big word – “no-where” – so he divided it in two. The child read
the sentence: “God is now-here.” “Nowhere” was too big a word; he divided it in two: “now-

It must have been a rare moment for the atheist. In fact, when you are playing with a child you
forget your seriousness, you forget your ideologies, you forget your religion, you forget your
philosophy, you forget your theology. When you are playing with a child, something of
meditativeness happens to you, hence playing with children is of great value. Playing with a
child, for a moment you become a child. And remember Jesus’ saying again and again: Unless
you are like small children you will not enter into my kingdom of God.

In that moment something happened. The child said, “God is now-here,” and the father was
taken unawares. He heard it and he was in a playful mood with the child. And you cannot
argue with a small child by saying, “There is no God.” And because he was playful, silent,
enjoying, the statement from the child became something of tremendous importance, became
very pregnant, as if God had spoken through him.

He looked at the wall for the first time. His whole life he had been looking at that sentence. It
was never: “God is now-here.” It was always: “God is nowhere.” He had never conceived that

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“nowhere” could be divided into “now-here,” that “nowhere” consists of “now-here.” He was
transformed. It became almost a satori. He was no more an atheist.

People were puzzled. They could not believe what had happened because he had been so
argumentative and he had had so many proofs against God. “What has happened?” And when
they asked him he would shrug his shoulders. He would say, “I can also understand why you
look so puzzled. I myself am puzzled. Ask this child – he has done something. Hearing this
sentence from him, something has changed in me. Looking into the eyes of the child, something
has been transformed in me. And it is not only that logically I am a different person, I am
existentially different too. Since then I have been seeing God now-here: in the wind passing
through the trees, in the rain falling on the roof, I hear his footsteps, I hear his song. The birds
sing, and I am reminded God is now-here. The sun rises, and I am reminded God is now-here.
Now it is no more question of argumentation, it has become something of my experience.

But mind is always going somewhere else. It is never now-here; it is always then-there. Mind
exists only in THEN and there. That’s why Max Ehrmann has missed. He says: HEAR THEN...
THEN looks more logical, but it is not existential. Now is existential, although very illogical –
because you cannot catch hold of NOW with logic. The moment you think you have caught hold
OF it, it is already gone, it is already past. You can be in the now, but you cannot try to
understand, to know NOW. By the time you try to continuously.

Heraclitus says: You cannot step in the same river twice. And I say to you: You cannot step in
the same river even once because when your foot touches the surface of the river, the water
underneath is rushing by. By the moment you touch a little deeper it is different water: the
surface is rushing by. By the time you reach to the rock bottom of the river so much water has
flowed by, you have not touched the same water even once!

And such is life: except change, nothing is permanent. Only change is eternal. It looks
paradoxical, that’s why I say it is illogical.


A STRANGE STATEMENT. In fact: THE WISDOM OF THE WISE...? Seems to be tautological. Of
course, wisdom can be only of the wise. What is the point of repeating it? Why say “wisdom of
the wise”? Can wisdom be of the unwise too? But there is a very subtle point to be understood:
because there are so many knowledgeable people in the world and the knowledgeable person
appears almost as if he is wise, and he is not. He speaks in the same way. The scholar who has
studied the Srimad Bhagavad Gita his whole life speaks the same language as Krishna, but when
Krishna speaks it, it is the wisdom of the wise, and when the scholar, the pundit speaks, it is not
the wisdom of the wise, it is the wisdom of the unwise. It is mere knowledge; it is not even
wisdom. How can it be wisdom?

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Remember the distinction between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is a pseudo coin.
Knowledge is easy; it can be borrowed from anybody. You can go to the university, to the
library, you can ask the knowledgeable people, and you can accumulate it. It is very cheap. You
need not go through any transformation, you need not be reborn for it. You will remain as you
are, and knowledge can be accumulated. It will be added to you, but it will not be of any value
because you will remain the same. In fact, it can even be dangerous. It will deceive others; they
will think you know. And if many people think you know, you can fall into a self-deception. You
can also start thinking, “How can so many people be wrong? If they think I know, I must know.”

I have heard a story:

A journalist died and reached heaven. St. Peter opened the door and told the journalist, “Please,
our quota for journalists is fun. We have only twelve journalists in heaven, not more than that.
Even those twelve are almost always unemployed, because there is no news. Nothing happens!”

What will happen in heaven? No riot, no rape, no politicians, no toppling of governments, no
divorces, no murder. Nothing happens there! George Bernard Shaw has defined news as: If a
dog bites a man it is not news, but if a man bites the dog then it is news. Now in heaven who is
going to bite the dog and for what? In the first place where will you find a dog in heaven? And
to find the person who will bite the dog will be almost impossible. So there is no newspaper
there, or maybe just empty sheets distributed early in the morning, and saints sit and look at
the empty paper and feel very happy that nothing has happened – good. Nothing is always
better than something.

So St. Peter said, “You please go to hell. There are thousands of journalists and hundreds of
newspapers, and there is so much news!”

But the journalist was adamant, as journalists tend to be. He said, “No. You give me at least
twenty-four hours’ time, please. And if I can convince one journalist to go to hell then one place
will be vacant, that you can give to me. Just twenty-four hours’ time, otherwise I will go to hell.”

St. Peter saw the logic of it and he said, “Okay, you can try.”

And the journalist tried. And journalists are experts in lying. Truth is not their business, truth
cannot be their business, because truth is so simple and so plain. You cannot make any story
out of it; there is nothing much in it. It is simply so. Lies are very complicated and you can make
many stories out of them, and you can go on making stones from one story to another. But in
the foundation you need a lie, not truth.

The whole art of journalism is the art of lying in such a way that people think it is true. So he
was an expert. He started spreading a rumour. The moment he entered he started saying to
people, “Have you heard that a new newspaper, a very big project, is being started in hell? The
chief editor is needed with a great salary and all facilities. Assistant editors are needed, news

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reporters are needed.” And he spread so much rumour around in twenty-four hours’ time that
when he came back to the door to ask St. Peter, “Has any journalist left for hell?” St. Peter
closed the door and said, “You get in! Now you cannot get out. All the twelve have escaped! And
we should have at least one journalist in case something some time happens. So now I cannot
allow you out.”

The journalist was mad. He said, “This is not right! This is not according to our contract; I had
asked only for twenty-four hours. I want to go to hell!”

St. Peter said, “Why? For what? – because you spread the rumour. It was all lying! You invented
it!” He said, “Yes, I invented it – but there must be something in it when twelve journalists have
believed it. There must be something in it! It may be a coincidence that I invented it and there
really is going to be the beginning of a big newspaper. I cannot stay here! When twelve people
have believed it... a great doubt has arisen in me. Maybe it was not a lie at all.”

This you can experience in your own life. Start telling a lie to a few people and when they start
believing it you will be surprised that slowly slowly you are believing it too. Hence I say that
many people live in lies knowing perfectly well that they are lies, but just because so many
people believe... how can so many people be wrong?

Once George Bernard Shaw said something and then he argued against it. He was a beautiful
man; in many ways his insights were great. He used to say that science is all wrong. The earth
does not go around the sun – the sun goes around the earth. And he was telling this to a friend.

The friend said, “What nonsense are you talking? What proof have you got? Now science has
proved it completely and I cannot believe a man like you – so intelligent, so contemporary –
believing in such nonsense, that the sun goes around the earth?”

Bernard Shaw said, “Yes, the sun goes around the earth. It has to, because Bernard Shaw lives
on the earth! MY earth cannot go around the sun.”

The man said, “But now almost the whole world, so many people, millions of people, believe that
the earth goes around the sun.”

Bernard Shaw said, “When so many people believe in a thing I always suspect it must be a lie.
Otherwise, how can so many people believe in it?”

Truth has always been in the possession of very rare people. Only once in a while is there a
person who has truth; otherwise the masses live in lies, all kinds of lies. But if they have been
propagated for centuries they become truth.

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Adolf Hitler says in his book MEIN KAMPF that the difference between a truth and a lie is only
that of time, nothing else. The truth is a lie which has been propagated for a long time; the lie is
a new truth which will become a truth finally if somebody goes on propagating it.

You believe in hell – have you ever thought it is a lie? you believe in heaven – have you ever
thought it is a lie? You believe in a thousand and one things without ever giving it a thought that
they may be lies, only lies given by others to you. Authoritative people have given them to you
so you believe them – your parents, your teachers, your priests, authoritative people, those who
have power. Such people cannot lie. In fact, such people ALWAYS lie! Their whole POWER
depends on lying. Truth is humble, not powerful. Lies become very powerful; very competitive
they are. Lies are an politicians struggling, fighting, trying to prove that “I am the truth.”

Knowledge is nothing but lies you have collected from others. Remember, unless something is
of your own experience it is a lie. Truth has to be your own authentic experience.

Buddha says, “Don’t believe because I say so; believe only when you know. Don’t believe
because it is written in the scriptures; believe it only when you know.”

And I say to you, too, if you are a real seeker of truth you will not believe in knowledge.
Knowledge is very superficial. One can talk about God without knowing anything of God, without
ever tasting anything of God. One can talk about love without ever knowing through experience
what love is. Even a blind man can talk about light and can explain to you the whole physics of
light; that does not mean that he is not blind – he is still blind. And these scholars and pundits,
ayatollahs, IMAMS, popes, they are all knowledgeable people. They PRETEND to be wise – they
are not wise.

Unless one is fully awakened, unless one’s whole being becomes awareness, unless all darkness,
all unconsciousness disappears, you are not wise. Knowledge is information, wisdom is
transformation. Hence it is meaningful:


A very significant sutra. This is how the seeker of truth begins his journey. The first thing is:
Go PLACIDLY... don’t make much fuss. Go peacefully...don’t create much dust. There is no need.

Sufis say, if you really want to pray, pray in such a way that nobody knows that you are a man
of prayer. In the middle of the night when even your wife is snoring, sit silently in the bed and
pray, and so silently that nobody comes to know….Don’t make a fuss.

The real man of prayer hides and prays, and the pseudo makes much noise about it. In fact, his
prayer is nothing but noise; he goes to the temple shouting. In India every temple has a big
bell; he rings the bell so the whole neighbourhood knows. And if there are many people in the

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temple, then his prayer becomes very long; if there is nobody he finishes quickly. What is the
point? – there is nobody to see. If there is a photographer, then see how prayerful he is, how his
face becomes divine! If the news reporters are there then he will do REAL prayer. You will see
his humbleness, his simplicity. He will fall down on the ground, he will roll on the ground, he will
cry and weep – and all are crocodile tears, because when nobody is there he does not care a bit.

I have heard about a man who used to say a prayer every night to God, just one word. He would
look at the sky and say, “Ditto!” and cover himself under his blanket and go to sleep. What is
the point of repeating the same thing again and again? Isn’t God intelligent enough to
understand “ditto”? Once some time he had prayed; now what is the point of repeating it again
and again, the same prayer? And God knows it anyway. Just to remind him that “I am praying”
he says “Ditto.”

Sufis say, pray in such a way that nobody knows. Why? For the simple reason that ego is very
cunning. It wants to brag; it wants to brag even about religion, about spirituality, about prayer,
about meditation. It wants to brag; it does not matter what it brags about. It will brag about
money, it will brag about meditation, it will brag about power, it will brag about prayer. The ego
wants to brag: “I am doing something special, something great, something extraordinary. Don’t
think that I am nobody – I am somebody!”


The world is fun of noise and haste. Why is the world so full of noise? – because each mind is
noisy, and the world consists of minds; hence there is so much noise. The whole world has
become almost a madhouse. Everybody is shouting and nobody is hearing. Everybody is talking
almost to himself; the other is only an excuse.

One psychologist was observing two of his patients; both were professors of philosophy. And
because they were both friends and hat gone mad they were put in a single cell in the
madhouse, and the psychologist was watching them. He was very much puzzled. The most
puzzling thing was that although they were absolutely insane, about one thing they were very
sane: when one was talking the other would remain silent; when the other would start speaking
the first would be silent. This is strange – two madmen! Why should they bother whether the
other is silent or not, whether he is talking or not? So he enquired.

He said, “I am very much puzzled. Why when one talks does the other become silent?”

They said, “We know how to converse. That’s how we used to do it when we were thought to be
sane – just old habit.” “It is not really that I am silent,” one man said. “Just on the surface I
have to be silent because I know the rules and regulations of conversation. Inside I am
chattering, talking, waiting for the right opportunity when this fool stops, waiting for the right
moment when he says something which I can use as an excuse and start on what I want to say
to him.”

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In fact, that’s what you all are doing. Just look at your conversations: when the other is talking
you are simply pretending to listen, just pretending to listen. Inside you are working on your
own. And then you will find a word, a sentence, a statement that you can use as a jumping-
board, and then you start talking. Your talking is nothing to do with what he has said; it has a
connection with what was going on inside you, it is a continuum inside you; he is just an excuse.

That’s why people never agree, because they never HEAR. Husbands never hear what the wife is
saying, wives never hear what the husband is saying, children never hear what the parents are
saying. Nobody hears! Everybody at the most pretends. The world is full of noise because the
world is full of insane minds.

The world can be really silent only when there are many many meditators. Only when the world
consists of a great majority of meditators will there be a profound silence, an almost tangible
silence. You can touch it, you can taste it, you can smell its perfume.

We are living out of noise and everybody is in a hurry. There is great haste, everybody is
rushing. Nobody knows where, nobody knows why – just a deep restlessness. You can’t sit; if
you sit, others won’t allow you. They will say, “Don’t just sit there, do something!” And I say to
you, “Don’t just do something, sit there!” Nothing is better than something. But people say just
the opposite; they say, “Something is better than nothing. Do something!”

One woman was saying to another woman, “I have heard that your son has become a
Rajneeshee. He meditates?”

The other woman said, “It’s better than doing nothing.”

Now the poor woman does not know what meditation is. Meditation means doing nothing!
That’s what I teach here: doing nothing, just sitting there, just being.

Why is there this hurry? Are you really trying to reach somewhere? Are you conscious about
the goal, the target?

One pilot said to the passengers, “All our engines are okay, the plane is functioning perfectly
well. There is only one bad piece of news, otherwise everything is good. The bad news is that we
have lost contact with the earth so we don’t know where we are and we don’t know where we
are going. The good news is that we are going with full speed!”

Everybody is going with full speed; that is the good news. Who cares? Who has time to think
about where he is going? When you see the whole world rushing, you start rushing. We force
children to run. That’s what our whole educational system is meant for, from the primary school
to the university. Twenty-five years we waste on every person – almost one-third of the life to
teach him to rush. Then twenty-four hours in his day it is rush hour! He is never anywhere for a
single moment. He cannot see the beauty of the trees because he cannot sit underneath the

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trees – Buddha must have known the beauty of the trees – he cannot see the beauty of the
stars, he cannot see the beauty of people. In fact, when he is in Kabul he is rushing to
Katmandu, when he is in Katmandu he is rushing to Poona, when he is in Poona he is rushing to
Goa! He is never where he is; his mind is always ahead of him, planning how to reach there. And
if you ask him, “For what?” he will say, “We will enjoy!” And he is not enjoying this moment –
how can he enjoy any other moment? He has lost all capacity to enjoy herenow; his only
enjoyment is planning, always planning, planning to enjoy.

There are people who are working their whole lives just waiting for their retirement; then they
will relax and enjoy. And they know perfectly well: six days they work in the office and wait for
the seventh day, the holiday, and hop, “Soon Sunday will come and we will relax and enjoy.”
And they cannot relax and they cannot enjoy. In fact, the holiday seems to be so long and so
boring; they have to fill it with something.

They go for a picnic. The same things that they would have eaten at home, relaxedly, now they
rush towards a picnic spot miles away to eat. And they are sitting in the grass, and ants are very
clever; they know perfectly well where the picnic spots are. Their astrologers tell them, “Go
ahead, that is the place!” And the mosquitoes, they are always there waiting for you. They say,
“Hello, so you have come!” And then quickly people finish because they have to reach home,
and they rush. And cars are going there bumper to bumper. And many more accidents happen
on Sunday than on any other day, many more deaths on the road than on any other day.
Strange! Some holiday!

And the whole city is going towards the same picnic spot, the same beach! I have seen pictures
of beaches and I cannot believe what is happening. There is not even space to walk! They are
packed – no marketplace is so packed! And all kinds of fools are there. Six hours it takes them
to reach the beach, then for one hour they lie down amidst this whole mass of fools under the
sun, and then back home... And the whole way they were quarrelling with the wife and the wife
is quarrelling with...This you can do at home more at ease, relaxed in an armchair – nag each
other, do whatsoever you want! What is the point of going to the beach? Nobody is seeing the
sea, nobody is seeing the sun. Nobody has time.

And these same people think that when they are retired they will rest – they cannot. Sixty years
of habits, how can you drop them? Impossible. They have become so deep-rooted that people
suffer more when they are retired than they have ever suffered, because nobody knows how to
rest, how to relax. This is sheer madness!

And these people go on saying beautiful things. They say, “Time is money.” They have beautiful
proverbs to drive you crazy: “Time is money, so save time.” And everybody is always looking at
his watch – as if they are missing something. They have to reach somewhere, and there too
they will do the same thing. If the train is five minutes late everybody is complaining, all are

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I had been traveling for twenty years all over this country and I was puzzled. Just if the train is
one hour late, everybody is so angry and condemning the government and the society and
everything. Why can’t you rest? If the train is one hour late it is a great opportunity. One hour is
yours! – you can rest. You have at least one excuse: “The train is late, what to do? So I rested,
relaxed.” But no, they cannot; they become more and more boiled up. They start spitting fire.

And these same people when they reach home will sit before the idiot body – TV – for five hours.
The average American is doing that for five hours per day. There is a great danger for America
through this idiot box. If you look at an idiot box for five hours it has a hypnotic effect – you are
bound to become idiotic! And only an idiot can look at a box for five hours. And they are glued
to their chairs; they cannot Ret up. I have heard they will take their food just sitting before the
TV. Not only that – they will even make love just before the TV so they can do both the things,
making love and watching the TV, because something may be missed!

Now these idiots are in the majority. And they will play cards and if you ask why they will say,
“Killing time.” One minute the train is late and they are angry, and then what do they do with
the saved time? They kill it! Going to the movie, killing time... sometimes going to see the same
picture again!

Stupidity seems to be infinite. Now what are you going for? The same picture again? But the
time has to be killed.

They will go to the Rotary Club, to the Lions Club. And all these clubs exist for people to kill
time, to meet the same fools, to say the same foolish things, to gossip about the same old
nonsense – to kill time. They will go to the restaurants, to the hotels, to the parties – to kill

And look at their faces – they are bored everywhere. Whatsoever they are doing they are bored,
obviously, because they are not into it. They are trying somehow to finish it to save time, And
then they have to kill time. Killing time, saving time, killing time, saving time.... The whole li& is
gone! And you come empty-handed into the world and you go empty-handed.


The only thing worth remembering again and again is: WHAT PEACE THERE MAY BE IN SILENCE.
Give a little time, energy, to silent moments, because only in silent moments will you know what
peace is. And the person who has tasted something of peace is rich, is immensely rich – all
others are beggars – because he starts knowing the inner kingdom of God. Peace is the door to
the inner kingdom of God. Silence helps you to know peace and peace leads you into God.

to avoid unnecessary troubles.

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DON’T COMPROMISE. don t surrender to people. That s why the DESIDERATA says AS FAR AS
POSSIBLE – without any compromise – because if you compromise with the mass mind you will
never be able to become that which you ARE HERE to become. You will remain un-grownup, you
will remain retarded. You will never come to a flowering, you will never know fruitfulness. Your
life will be barren, uncreative.


So two things have to be remembered. Don’t surrender to the mass mind; but that does not
mean continuously fight with people, that everything has to be argued about because if you do
that then you will be wasting your time in that.

Be exactly in the middle. Without compromising, avoid         unnecessary quarrels. BE ON GOOD
TERMS WITH ALL PERSONS, AS FAR AS POSSIBLE                    without selling your soul, without
compromising on any ground, without surrendering at all.      But there are many things which can
be avoided. In fact, ninety-nine percent of the problems      which create fighting, argument, can
be avoided.

The child asks you, “Daddy, can I go out and play?” and the immediate response of almost all
daddies is “No!” Now the quarrel starts. And all children know how great your patience is. They
will tramp their feet in front of you, they will go into a tantrum, they will cry, they will start
throwing their toys, tearing their books. And then finally you will say, “Go OUT and play!” This
you could have done before, you could have said yes, because there was nothing wrong. But
somehow our whole upbringing is quarrelsome, argumentative.

The wife says, “We should go to this movie,” and the husband immediately says, “No, that is not
worth going to. We should go to another.” And the husband knows perfectly well, the wife
knows perfectly well, that when the wife has spoken she HAS spoken – it has to be done. But
now before it is to be done there will be a few hours’ argumentation, nagging, and a thousand
other things will come up which could have been avoided. And finally you will see the husband
following the wife to the same movie, just hiding his tail between his legs, following the wife.
Now you are going to the same movie, so what was the whole fuss about?

It seems we never learn anything. Just watch and you will be able to cut out many unessential
things in your life. The word “desiderata” is beautiful: it means the essentials.

Mahavira has said that the most fundamental quality needed by the seeker is to know what is
essential and what is non-essential. He calls it VIVEK – discrimination – because if you don’t
know what is essential and what is non-essential you may be lost into the non-essential,
because the non-essential is ninety-nine percent and the essential is only one percent. The non-

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essential is a vast, thick jungle; once you get lost into it you may never find the essential. And
people get in every way entangled with the non-essential.

Just watch how many things can be avoided without compromising, then avoid them; how many
words can be avoided without any trouble, then avoid them, because each single word uttered
may bring some trouble for you. In fact, except words, what brings trouble to you?

You say something and the wife jumps up, and she says, “Why did you say this?” And you go on
explaining, “I didn’t mean that,” and now it is impossible to come to a conclusion. Soon there
will be a banging of the doors and throwing of the pots and pillows. And you simply uttered a
word which could have been kept inside; there was no need to utter it. Just a single word can
cause so much trouble which was not essential at all. If it is essential utter it, say it; otherwise,
avoid it.


The man who is in search of truth learns listening not only to the wise; he learns listening even
to the unwise – or the otherwise – because everybody has a story to tell and everybody has
passed through a life, and something of his life may be of tremendous help to you, may give you
an insight.

It is easier to have an insight into your own life watching others because others are like mirrors.
Every other person is a walking mirror around you. If you are capable of listening you will see
some of your own qualities reflected in them which you were not aware of directly, but via the
other you become immediately aware. You can see the stupidity of the other person more easily
than your own stupidity. But seeing his stupidity you will become aware that “These are the
things I have been doing myself. This is the foolishness that I go on and on doing myself.”

When somebody else is angry you say he is insane. It is easy to see that he is insane; it is a
momentary insanity. But how many times do you get angry? But then you are so much
involved in the anger you cannot watch it. Watching others is a way OF watching yourself, and
it is easier because you are not involved.

That’s why a very strange thing becomes possible: the psychotherapist can help his patient but
he cannot help himself, because he can see the faults of the patient very easily but he cannot
see his own faults. He can give good advice to the patient; he may not be able to follow that
advice himself.

You can watch it. Everybody is a good adviser to others; when it comes to his own life he is as
much a fool as anybody else. Much can be learned by observing, by listening, by seeing, even
from those who are ignorant – because you are also ignorant – even from those who are dull –

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because you are also not very intelligent. And this will be the beginning of intelligence, the
beginning of wisdom.

The intelligent person is one who learns from every opportunity, who never misses a single
opportunity to learn something, who makes his whole life a school, a learning, a discipline, a
search, an enquiry.

But remember not to compromise, not to surrender. As far as the essential is concerned,
beware. Even if you have to risk your life, risk it, but don’t surrender as far as the essential is
concerned. And as far as the non-essential is concerned, don’t even waste a single moment on it
– agree.

This was one of the agreements between me and my father. When I was a very small child I told
him, “Listen, I will agree to every non-essential thing. You can tell me what clothes to wear,
what shoes to wear; what to eat, what not to eat, you can tell me. But as far as any essential is
concerned, beware – I am not going to agree to it.”

And slowly he watched and he was convinced, because whenever it was a non-essential thing I
was always ready to agree with him. He would say, “Go to this college, not to that,” so, “Okay,
because to me each college is like any other college – they are all stupid so it doesn’t matter. I
will go to this college.” “Study this subject.” “Okay, because what does it matter? – economics or
politics or history or geography or philosophy or psychology, anything will do.

But as far as any essential is concerned I told him, “This is an essential point, I will not agree
with you, so you better not say anything about it because that will be an unnecessary misery for

When, I came back from the university it was a natural thing to ask whether I wanted to get
married or not. I told him, “This is an essential,” and that was the last time he enquired about
it; then he never enquired again. “If it is an essential then you have to leave it to me – I will not
compromise. I will not compromise at any cost.” He never asked again; he kept his contract.
“For non-essentials,” I told him, “you can tell me anything – I will do it.”

Any fool would come into the house and he would say, “Touch his feet,” and I would, because he
was an old fool, an old relation: “Okay, it doesn’t matter, it is just an exercise.”

Once you become very clear about what is essential and what is non-essential, things are never
so confusing as they seem. You go on fighting for non-essentials, wasting your energy and
others’ energy, and then when the question of the essential arises you don’t have any energy to
fight. And then sometimes you have to compromise on the essential.

This has been my approach:

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AS FAR AS POSSIBLE... That does not mean that I have to be absolutely on good terms. I am
on good terms with everybody, but AS FAR AS POSSIBLE. Whenever the question of the
essential arises, then it is not a question of being good or bad, it is a question of life and death.
Then I can rebel, then I can fight back, then I can sacrifice everything.

And the advice of the DESIDERATA IS of great significance to all those who want to find truth,
because the very finding needs great energy. If you become I reservoir of energy, only then is
it possible to know, to be, to come to the ultimate realization of life’s mystery.

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            The Heartbeat of the Absolute
                                       THAT IS WHOLE, AND THIS ALSO IS WHOLE.
                                   FOR ONLY THE WHOLE IS BORN OUT OF THE WHOLE;
                                   AND WHEN THE WHOLE IS TAKEN FROM THE WHOLE,
                                         BEHOLD, THE REMAINDER IS WHOLE.
                                               OM. PEACE, PEACE, PEACE.

T       he Ishavasya Upanishad begins and ends with this sutra, and in it is declared all that can ever be said. It is quite
        unique. For those who fully understand it, no more is needed; the rest of the Upanishad is for those who do not.
        Thus the peace prayer, which usually brings the Upanishad to its close, is here invoked at the end of the very first
sutra. And for those who have come to the peaks of understanding, this is the end of the Ishavasya; but for those who
are still climbing, it is only the beginning.

Part of its uniqueness lies in the clarity with which it distinguishes between the Eastern and the Western methods of
thinking and reasoning. Two schools of reasoning have flourished in the world – one in Greece, the other in India. The
Greek system of logic gave birth to the whole of Western science, while from the Indian system emerged religion. The
first and most fundamental of the differences between the two lies in the Western – Greek – method of progressing
towards a conclusion. Whenever we seek the truth of a matter, an initial inquiry will lead via research to an eventual
conclusion; first, thought and inquiry, then conclusion.

The Indian way is exactly the opposite. India affirms that what we are going to investigate is always there. It does not
take shape as a result of our inquiry, but is already present even before our investigation begins. The truth which will
become manifest was there before we were in existence. It was there before we discovered it just as much as it is there
once we have done so. Truth is not formed or constructed through our research; what research does is to bring it within
the realm of our experience. Truth is ever-present. That is why the Indian way of reasoning declares the conclusion in
the beginning, and afterwards discusses method and procedure; first conclusion, then method. The Western way puts
method first, then investigation, and finally conclusion.

One important point should be kept in mind: the Western method is very appropriate for those who look for truth by
thinking about it. This method of reasoning is like trying to find something on a dark night with the help of a small lamp.
The night is pitch black, and the light sheds its light dimly over three or four feet of ground. Only a small patch is visible,
most remains unseen; and conclusions arrived at about that which is seen will be tentative. After a while, as one
proceeds with the lamp, a little more becomes visible, and it is needed to revise or change the conclusion. As one
progresses further and further, new things continuously become visible and so the conclusion is altered again and again.

Following as it does the Greek school of logic, Western science can never reach a final conclusion. All its conclusions are
therefore tentative, temporary, and based on the knowledge acquired up to the present time. If something new is
discovered tomorrow, there will be a change in the conclusion. That is why no truth arrived at by the West is absolute. It
is not total. All its truths and conclusions are imperfect. But truth can never be imperfect or incomplete, and whatever is
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imperfect will be untruth. The conclusion we are required to alter tomorrow is in reality not the truth even today! It
simply appears to be the truth. That alone can be truth which we never need to change. So the conclusions which are
declared as truths by the West are really untruths based on the knowledge acquired so far and needing alteration
according to the knowledge obtained tomorrow.

The Indian system of reasoning is not like investigating truth with the help of a lamp. It is like investigating the dark
night in the dazzling brilliance of a lightning flash, when everything becomes visible simultaneously. Not that something
– a part – is seen now, sometime later another part, later again something more, and so on; no, the Indian way is not
like that. In the Indian system of investigation, the revelation of truth takes place all at once; everything is discovered at
one and the same time. All the roads extend to the horizon, and all – whatsoever – is seen simultaneously in the flash of
lightning. There is no scope for any change in the future because the whole has been seen.

The Western method called logic investigates truth by the process of thinking. The Indian way, which we call experience
or wisdom, discloses all things at one time like the lightning flash, with the result that truth comes out as it is, in its
totality, leaving no room for change or alteration. As a result there is no potential for change in what Buddha or
Mahavira or Krishna has said. But Western thinkers – inclined to doubt and worry – question whether what Mahavira
said twenty-five hundred years ago can still be true today. It is reasonable for them to raise such doubts; over such a
period of time we should expect twenty-five thousand changes if we have been looking for truth with a torch! New facts
will appear every day, and we will be compelled to alter or transform the old ones. But the truths declared by Mahavira,
Krishna or Buddha are revelations. They are not truths found by lamplight; they have been seen and known and
revealed in the dazzling lightning flash of a still mind – a mind devoid of thoughts. The truth which Mahavira knew was
not discovered by him step by step; otherwise he could not have known the total truth. He knew it in its totality in a
single moment.

What I want to tell you is that everything revealed in its totality through the wisdom of the East is included in this short
sutra. It is there in its totality. This is why we in India declare that the conclusion is first and the inquiry follows. The
announcement of the truth is made in the beginning, then we discuss how the truth can be known, how it has been
known, and how that can be explained. This sutra is an announcement – a proclamation. The rest of the book is not
essential for those who can comprehend the full meaning from the announcement. Nothing new will be stated in the
entire Upanishad: the truth will be retold again and again in various ways. The remainder of the book is for those who
are blind to the dazzling flash of lightning, and stubbornly insist on searching for truth with the help of a lamp. By the
light of this lamp, the truth can be picked out line by line in the Ishavasya sutra; but first the subject is presented in its
entirety in this great sutra. That is why I told you this sutra is so unique: it says everything. Now let us try to understand

It declares that the whole is born out of the whole, and yet that which remains behind is always whole; in the end the
whole is absorbed into the whole, and even then the whole increases not at all, it remains as it was before. This is a very
great antimathematical statement. P. D. Ouspensky has written a book called Tertium Organum. He was a renowned
mathematician of Russia, who in later years, as a disciple of a remarkable western master, Gurdjieff, became a mystic
himself. He was a mathematical genius, his intelligence penetrating the heights and depths of his subject.

The first statement he makes in this wonderful book is that there are only three great canons of thought in the world.
The first, entitled Organum, is by Aristotle, father of the Western science of logic. Organum means the principle of

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knowledge. The second book is by Francis Bacon and is called Novum Organum – the new principle of knowledge. And
the third one is his own book, which is called Tertium Organum – the third principle of knowledge. He follows this
statement with a short sentence that has puzzled many people: ”Before the first existed, the third was.” That is, the
third principle was already in the world before the first principle was discovered. The first book was written by Aristotle
two thousand years ago, the second by Bacon three hundred years ago, and the third one was written some forty years
ago. But Ouspensky says the third existed in the world before the first was written, even though he wrote this third book
only forty years ago. When anyone asked him the meaning of this crazy, illogical statement, he replied, ”Whatever I have
written is not written by me. It was already in existence; I have simply proclaimed it.”

The earth was under the influence of gravity before Newton was born. The earth attracted a stone before his birth in the
same way that it has done ever since. Newton did not invent the principle of gravitation, he only revealed it. He opened
what was hidden, he made known what was unknown. But gravity was already there before Newton; otherwise Newton
himself would not have been there. Newton could not have been born without gravity. Gravity can exist without him,
but he cannot exist without the earth’s gravity. It existed already but was not known in the world.

Ouspensky says his third principle existed before the first was known. It is quite a different matter that it was not
known; and perhaps it is wrong to say it was not known, because what Ouspensky has said throughout his book is
contained in this small sutra. His Tertium Organum is a very valuable book. His claim that there are only three such great
books in the world – and the third his – is not false. He does not say so out of vanity, it is a fact. His book is as important
as that. If he had not said so, his silence would have been a false humility. It is a fact, his book is that important. But
everything he says in it is there in this small sutra of the Ishavasya Upanishad.

He has tried throughout his book to prove that there are two kinds of arithmetic in this world. One is that which says
two and two are four. This is simple arithmetic which we all know, a simple calculation which verifies that if we add up
all the parts of a thing, they can never be greater than its whole. Simple arithmetic states that if we break a thing into
pieces and then add up those pieces, their sum can never exceed the whole. This is a simple, direct fact. If we change a
rupee into one hundred paise, the sum of these one hundred paise can never be more than one rupee. Can it ever be? It
is simple arithmetic that addition of parts can never be greater than the whole. But Ouspensky says there is another,
higher, mathematics, and that is the mathematics of life. In this mathematics, it is not necessary that two plus two
should equal four. At times, two and two may make five – or three. In life, he tells us, the sum of the parts sometimes
exceeds the whole. We shall have to understand this a little more clearly, because if we cannot understand it we shall
not be able to comprehend fully the significance of this first and the last sutra of the Ishavasya.

An artist paints a picture. Suppose we evaluate the cost of his materials. How much would the colours cost? Not much,
certainly. And a canvas? Again, not so much. But no great work of art, no beautiful painting, is merely a mixture of
colours added to canvas: it is something more.

A poet composes a poem, a song. All the words used in it are quite ordinary words which we use every day. Perhaps you
might meet a word or two in it which is less frequently used; even so, we know them. Yet no poem is simply a collection
of words. It is something more than the collection and arrangement of words. A person plays a sitar; the effect
produced in our hearts on hearing the notes of the sitar is not merely the impact of the sound. Something more touches

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Let us understand the phenomenon in this way. Shutting his eyes, a person touches your hand lovingly. Again, the same
person touches your hand with great frustration. The touch in both cases is the same. As far as the question of physical,
bodily touch is concerned, there is no basic difference between the two. Yet there is certainly some distinctive element
in the feel of someone touching us lovingly: the touch of one who is angry is quite different from the loving touch. And
again, when someone touches us with complete indifference we feel nothing in the touch. Yet the act of touching is the
same in all these cases. If we were to ask a physicist he would reply that the degree of pressure exerted on our hand by
another person’s touch could be measured – even the amount of heat passing from one hand into another could be
worked out. Nevertheless, all the heat, all the pressure, cannot disclose in any way whether the person who touched us
did so out of love or anger. Yet we experience the distinctions among touches that are qualitatively different. So
certainly, the touch is not merely the sum total of the heat, pressure and electrical charge conveyed in the hand: it is
something more.

Life depends on some higher mathematics. Something quite new, and full of significance, is born out of the sum total of
the parts. Something better than the sum of the parts is created. Something important is born out of even the lowliest
things. Life is not just simple arithmetic – it is a far more profound and subtle arithmetic. It is an arithmetic where
numbers become meaningless, where the rules of addition and subtraction become useless. The person who does not
know the secret of life, which lies beyond the ordinary arithmetic of life, does not understand the meaning and purpose
of life.

There are many wonders to this great sutra. It is said: WHEN THE WHOLE IS TAKEN FROM THE WHOLE, BEHOLD, THE

From the point of view of ordinary arithmetic this is absolutely incorrect. If we remove some part of a thing, the
remainder cannot be the same as it was originally. Something less will remain. If I take ten rupees from a safe
containing millions of rupees, the total will be something less. It will be less even if ten paise are taken out. The
remainder cannot be equal to the amount as it originally was. However great the fortune may be – even Solomon’s or
Kubla’s treasure – it is reduced if just ten paise are removed from it; it cannot be the same as it was before. Similarly,
however great the fortune may be, ten paise added and it is still greater. But according to this sutra the whole may be
taken from the whole – not just ten paise but the entire fortune – and still the remainder is whole.

This seems like the babbling of a madman whose knowledge of arithmetic is nil. Even a beginner knows that a thing will
be less if something is taken from it, no matter how little is taken; and if the whole is taken, there will be nothing left at
all. But this sutra declares that not just something, but the whole, remains. Those who know only the logic of the
money-box will certainly not understand this phenomenon. Understanding appears from an altogether new direction.

Does your love decrease when you give it to someone? Do you experience any shortage of love when you give it totally?
No! ’Love’ is the word we need to come to an understanding of this sutra; this is the word we shall have to use. However
much you may part with your love, what you are left with remains as much as it was originally. The act of giving it away
produces no shortage. On the contrary it grows, increasing as you give it away, entering you deeper and deeper as you
distribute it more and more. As you give it freely away, the wealth of love within you begins to grow. One who gives his
total love, freely and unconditionally, becomes the possessor of infinite love.

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Simple arithmetic can never comprehend that when the whole is taken from the whole, the remainder is whole. Only
love can find the meaning in this statement. Einstein cannot help. To seek that kind of assistance will be useless. Go
instead to Meera or Chaitanya; through them you may perhaps find your way to understanding, for this is a subject
relating to some other, unknown dimension, in which nothing decreases when given away. The only experience you
have that can enable you to understand this in a sudden flash of insight is love – and out of every one hundred, ninety-
nine of you are blind to this experience. If, having given your love, you experience a sense of loss, then know that you
have no experience of love at all. When you give your love to someone, and feel within you that something has
disappeared, then know that what you gave must have been something else. It cannot be love. It must be something
belonging to the world of dollars and pounds. It must be a measurable thing which can be valued in figures, weighed in
a balance and estimated in meters. Remember, whatever is measurable is subject to the law of diminution. Only that
which is immeasurable and unfathomable will remain the same no matter how much is taken from it.

Have you experienced that love, when it is given, diminishes? Almost everybody is familiar with it. If someone loves me, I
want that she love no one else, because my reasoning says that love divided is love diminished. So I seek to become sole
owner and possessor of her love. My demand is that the person loving me give not even a loving glance to anyone else;
such a glance is poison for me, because ”I know” that now her love for me will begin to diminish. If I cling to this notion
of the love diminishing, I need to accept that I have no idea what love is. If I had any appreciation of true love, I would
want my beloved to go out and give it freely to the whole world, because through so giving it she would come to
understand its secrets and its mysteries, and as she fell deeper and deeper into love, her love towards me, too, would be

But no, we are ignorant about higher mathematics. We live in a world of very simple mathematics where everything
diminishes through distribution; so it is quite natural that everyone should be afraid of the act of giving. The wife is
afraid of the husband giving his love to someone else, and the husband fears that his wife may fall in love with another
man. Actually, to talk about the husband or wife falling in love with someone else is beside the point, for the dilemma
already exists within the family. When the mother shows her love towards her son, her husband is jealous; and when
the father shows his love for his daughter, his wife is jealous. Tension breeds in such circumstances, for true love is
absent. That feeling which we are given to calling love is not true love.

The real test of love lies in whether it is beyond the laws of quantification. Love is immeasurable. Drop your delusion
that true love diminishes when it is shared. The stumbling block is the fact that all the other experiences available to us
are measurable. Whatever we have can be measured; our anger, our hatred, and all other feelings can be measured.

The only experience which is beyond measurement is love; and love is unknown to you. This is why you find it so hard to
understand what God is. One who understands what true love is does not worry about understanding God, because if
you know love you know God – they are part and parcel of the same arithmetic, they belong to the same dimension.
One who has understood true love will say, ”It’s all right even if I don’t know God. I have known love, it is enough. My
purpose is served – I have known! I am initiated into that higher world, that world where sharing brings no decrease,
where the things freely and abundantly given remain with the giver.”

And remember, when you feel within you a kind of love which remains whole even after it has been given in its totality,
then your need of love from others disappears, because your own love cannot increase however much love you receive.
Bear in mind that the thing which cannot be diminished through giving it away cannot be increased through receiving it.

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These phenomena happen simultaneously. So be aware also that you have no experience of love as long as you need to
demand it from others.

It is not only the children but the grownups too! – all of us demand love, and go on demanding it. Throughout our lives
we beg for love. Psychologists say there is only one problem in our lives, and that is our anxiety about how to get love
from others. All our tension, all our cares, fears and anxiety are attributable to this single dilemma; and when we can’t
find love, we search for substitutes. Throughout our lives we strive after love; we are hot on its scent, and in constant
pursuit. Why? In the hope that our stockpile of love will increase if we get it. And all this means is that we have not yet
known love, for that which increases in the getting is not love. No matter how great the amount of love received, love
will remain as it was.

So the person who understands this sutra of love fully also understands these two facts. First, however much I give of it,
my love will not diminish; and secondly, however much love I receive, the love in me will not increase. Even if the whole
ocean of love rushes into me, my love will not increase one iota, nor diminish one iota if I give it all away.


This entire universe comes out of God. It is not small – it is endless, limitless, without bounds. It has no direction, no
beginning, no end. God remains whole even though such immensity has been born out of him. And even when all this
vast universe returns into that highest totality – existence – and is once again immersed in it, God will remain whole.
There will be neither increase nor decrease in it.

Let us try to understand this phenomenon from another direction. We know the ocean: it is an experience seen and felt
by our sense organs. It can diminish, and it can be augmented. Vast as it is, it is not limitless. Rivers flow into it
continuously, and never re-emerge. The clouds of the sky go on taking up its waters and showering them back onto the
earth. There is never any deficiency of water in the sea. And yet it does diminish, for though it is vast, it is neither
endless nor limitless. The thousands of rivers flowing into it make hardly a difference of an inch in its volume, it is so
vast. It defies the imagination to conceive of the amount of water thrown into the sea every moment by great rivers like
the Brahmaputra, the Ganges, the Amazon. Yet to all appearances the sea remains the same. Day by day the sun’s rays
drain off its water, and the clouds in the sky are born out of it. In spite of all these operations the sea appears to remain
constant in volume, but it is not in actual fact in a condition of no increase or decrease. It diminishes and it increases, but
it is so vast that we know nothing of the changes.

If we turn our faces to the sky and look up into space, we encounter an experience of a different kind. Everything that
exists, exists within space. The very meaning of space is that element in which everything is contained. Space is that in
which all things are included. So take note, that space cannot exist within any other element. If we start thinking that
space must itself be contained within some other element, we have to conceive of the idea of some greater space. The
situation becomes difficult, and we are forced into the fallacy that logicians call infinite regression. This is to embark on
an endless foolishness, in which we now have to determine the nature of the greater space in which space is contained.
The question becomes endless, because forever we must now ask, ”And what is the nature of the surrounding

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No, we have to accept that everything is contained in space, and space is uncontained. Space surrounds all and is
unsurrounded. Therefore everything happens within space, but it is not added to by the happening; and though
everything within it comes to an end, space is undiminished. Space is as it is. It remains in its suchness; it remains in its
own condition. You construct a building, a magnificent palace; after a time, your palace will crumble in ruins. So palaces
that reach for the skies are reduced to earth again. Space will be unaffected; it was not lessened when you built your
palace, and it will not increase when your palace falls down. The palace is constructed within space, and will likewise
crumble within space. The events cause no difference in space. Perhaps, then, space brings us closer to existence: this I
intended to explain to you.

Space is beyond our reach, it is insubstantial: and yet, while constructing a building or making any other thing, we have
the sense of space increasing or decreasing. You cannot occupy the seat where I am sitting, because I have occupied this
space. There was space here which you could have used if I had not filled it. On one spot we can construct only one
building; we cannot raise another building on the same spot. Why? – because the building constructed by us has
consumed that space. Now if this building has consumed that space, there is a sense in which space can be said to have
decreased. We are compelled to build skyscrapers precisely because the surface space of the earth is decreasing day by
day. As the cost of land increases, so the buildings are raised higher and higher, and the land has become more
expensive because more and more of it is being occupied. So, as the available space diminishes, the buildings climb
higher and higher. Soon we will start constructing buildings underneath the ground, because there is a limit to the
height to which we can build.

We are busy filling our sky space, our atmosphere. More and more we encroach upon the sky, devouring ever more
space. So much has empty space decreased.... It is true that endless space spreads into the void on all sides. There is
really no shortage of space at all. But no other space can be created on the land on which we are sitting. Wherever
buildings stand, space is consumed. There is that much less land space available to us.

God is unbounded. God does not diminish. The ocean, so vast to us, is such a tiny drop of what God is. Yes, it is huge
compared to great rivers like the Ganges and the Brahmaputra. All their flowing into the ocean makes no visible
difference to it; and yet there is a difference, though it cannot be weighed or measured. So much greater again than our
seas and oceans is the sky; yet for us, this too has limits. To reach the concept of God needs one more jump, in which all
logic, ideas and imagination will have to be discarded.

God means existence, being – what simply is: isness is God’s attribute. Whatever we may do, it makes no difference to
his isness. Scientists have another way of stating this truth. They say, “Nothing can be destroyed.” This means that we
cannot remove anything from its isness. If we wish to destroy a piece of coal, we can turn it into ash, but that ash will
exist. We can even throw the ash into the sea; it will blend into the water and will no longer be visible, but whatever its
form now, it will still exist. We can destroy its forms, but we cannot destroy its isness. Its isness will remain for ever.
Whatever we go on doing with it, will make no difference to its isness. Isness will remain. Of course, we can alter its
shapes and forms; we can give it a thousand different shapes – we can transform it again and again – but we cannot
change what is within it. That will remain. It was wood yesterday, it is ash today. It was clay yesterday, today it is coal.
Yesterday it was coal, today it is diamond. Always, it is. Nothing makes any difference to it: it remains.

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God is the isness in all things – their being, their existence. Things may be created in any number, but there will be no
addition to that isness; they may be destroyed in any number and still there will be no reduction in that isness. It will
remain the same – unsullied, unattached and untouched.

When we draw a line on water, even though it vanishes no sooner than it is drawn, something has happened. Not even a
line as momentary as this can be drawn into existence – not even this much is possible. The sutra says that this whole
has come out of that whole. That is unknown; this is known. This which is seen has come out of that which is unseen.
This which we know has come out of that which we do not know. This which we experience has come out of that which
lies beyond our experience.

Understand this phenomenon properly. Whatever falls within our experience always comes from that which lies beyond
our experience. Whatever is seen by us emerges from that which is invisible. What we know comes from the unknown;
and whatever is familiar to us derives from that unfamiliar. If we plant a seed, a tree grows from it. If we break the seed
and crush it into pieces, there will be no tree. There will be no trace of the flowers which should have blossomed. There
will be no trace of those leaves which should have appeared. From where do they come?

They come from the invisible. They are created by the invisible. Every moment the invisible is being transformed into
the visible, and the visible is being lost into the invisible. Every moment the limitless enters into the limited and returns
every moment from it. It is just like our breathing process – breathing in and breathing out. The whole of existence is
continuously inhaling and exhaling. Those who know the secret of the breathing process of existence call it creation and
annihilation. They say the creation takes place when existence inhales, and the annihilation when existence exhales, and
between the two breaths we pass through endless lives. As existence breathes once in, then out, we go through endless
births, times without number we come and go.

Two things this sutra says. First, that the whole comes out of the whole and what remains is whole. Second, that when
the whole is absorbed into the whole, it is still whole. That whole remains always virgin, always untouched. Nothing
affects its virginity. This is a very difficult matter to understand. It is like this: a child is born, but its mother remains a
virgin. Such a story is told of Jesus and his mother, Mary. Having given birth to Jesus, Mary is called the blessed virgin.
The story prevails through those who knew and understood Jesus and Mary, and it is exactly like the birth of existence;
the whole comes out of the whole.

Christianity is unable to explain this event. Christians are baffled by the concept of the virgin birth. They are ignorant of
that arithmetic which can leave the mother a virgin after she has conceived and borne a child. They know nothing at all
of that arithmetic; they are totally ignorant about higher mathematics. Christianity is greatly puzzled. Christians ask,
”How can we explain this phenomenon? It is impossible – it is a miracle! It is absolutely impossible but it has happened,
God has shown us a miracle.”

Whatever miracle is shown by existence in this world is shown by its every moment. No miracles take place in this world
– or, to see it the other way, the happening of every moment is a miracle. All is a miracle. When a tree grows from a
seed, it is a miracle; and when a child is born from a mother’s womb, it is a miracle. No, there is nothing strange here:
this vast universe is born out of the whole, yet that from which it comes is untouched. If a mother goes so deep that she
is absorbed – in the meaning of this sutra – in the whole, then where is the difficulty in her remaining virgin after
childbirth? If a woman merges into this sutra, becoming one with it, she can become a mother and remain a virgin.

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But the seeker has to understand this sutra correctly – and I am saying this because I see your desire to attain. You want
to achieve something. The true seeker does not talk about all this: after all, what can happen by just talking? He knows
that he does not know; and in any case what can happen through just knowing? He lives it. He is conscious. Perhaps you
will understand more easily through a personal experiment than you will through my words. So experiment. Involve
yourself in a small, routine action, and be conscious all the time: It is happening – I am not doing it. Test it. See it, while
doing anything. See it while eating, see it while walking along the road, see it when you are angry with somebody. And
be aware that the thing is happening. Stand behind and be a witness to the thing happening – then you will discover the
secret of this sutra. You will hold its secret key in your hand. You will understand that something is happening outside
and you are standing behind, untouched and unconcerned. As you were before doing it, so you remain after, and the
thing happening in between comes as a dream, and passes away as a dream.

To existence, samsara – the wheel of life – is no more than a dream. If it becomes a dream to you too, then you become
inseparable from existence. I repeat: to existence, samsara is no more than a dream; and as long as samsara is more
than a dream to you, you will be less than existence. The day on which samsara becomes as a dream to you, you are
existence. You can then say, ”I am the Brahman.”

This is such a profound sutra. No one knows how many secrets are implied in it. The remainder is whole even when the
whole is taken from it. Bear both in mind – the whole remains, and the whole is taken: it goes totally, it remains total!
What does this mean? It means that every individual also is existence, in toto. Each and every individual, and each and
every atom, is total existence. It is not that an atom is partial existence – no, it is existence in toto. Because this is
unknown in our ordinary arithmetic, it is a little hard to understand.

If you have understood that the whole comes out of the whole, and still the remainder is whole, then I can tell you
more. The endless whole comes out of the whole, and still the remainder is whole. If, after one whole emerges, there is
no possibility for another whole to appear, it means that some deficiency is caused by the birth of the first whole. But if,
after the first whole emerges, the second to appear is as much the whole, and the third also – if successive wholes keep
emerging and still there is always as much potential for the emergence of wholes – then the remainder is in truth the

Therefore it is not that you are a part of existence; to say this is mistaken. Whoever says you are a part of existence is
wrong. He is again talking of lower mathematics. He is talking of that world where two and two make four. He is talking
of the world of weights and measures. I tell you, and the Upanishads tell you, and those who have ever known the truth
tell you, that you are existence in toto. This does not mean that your neighbor is not existence in toto also.

No, the fact cannot be altered. A rose blossoms on a bush – and blossoms to the full; but the totality of its blossoming
does not hinder the blossoming of its neighboring bud. Help and cooperation become possible, but there is certainly no
hindrance. A thousand roses can bloom to their fullest capacity: the totality of existence is endless totality. Out of
endless totality, endless wholes can be born. Each individual is existence in toto. Each atom is this vast universe in toto;
there is not an iota of difference between it and the whole. If there is any difference then it can never be the whole,
then there is no way to make it whole; and if it is ever going to become the whole then it is whole right now – we are
just ignorant of the fact. The deficiency is simply in our knowledge.

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Keep this sutra in mind during these days of our sadhana – our work together. Repeat to yourself, “The whole comes out
of the whole, and the remainder is whole. When the whole is absorbed in the whole, the whole still remains the whole.”
It all makes no difference! Remember this, and go on humming it within you with every breath you take. Every day its
many interpretations will be revealed in various forms and in various ways. Keep the sutra in mind, and as we go on
discovering it, keep going deeper and deeper into its meaning, and into your remembrance of it. Let these processes go
on working within you. During these seven days it is possible that at any moment something may happen – all of a
sudden this sutra may tumble from your lips, and you will feel the whole coming out of the whole, and the whole
remaining. The whole is lost in the whole and yet the whole remains the whole. There is no difference at all. All this
takes place like a dream and yet nothing really happens. All this happens like play-acting, and yet the whole remains as
undisturbed and untouched as ever.

To remember the sutra as much as you possibly can will help you. Try to live in its spirit twenty-four hours a day.

The substance of the Upanishads cannot be understood through the mind alone; it must be comprehended by living it.
This sutra is not proclaiming theories; it presents certain sadhanas, certain practices. It does not consist just of
conclusions arrived at with the help of knowledge; it proclaims experiences. When you live these experiences within
yourself – giving them birth within yourself, allowing them to enter your blood, bones, flesh and tissues, allowing them
to merge into your breathing; when you live in listening, remembering and humming them while going through your
daily routine of waking, standing, sitting and sleeping – then, and only then, will their secret, their doors, begin to open
to you.

You are given only the first announcement in this sutra. They must have been remarkable people to have said, as they
did, all there is to be said in this one sutra. It comes to an end declaring the quietening of the three forms of pain:


What relation can this sutra have to the quietening of threefold pain? Have anybody’s miseries ended by chanting
certain formulas? No, but the sage says, ”Om!” and that finishes the matter. Can all your miseries be over, can you
become free from them all by chanting this sutra?

If it is chanted in all sincerity, with full understanding, it is possible. If it is merely read from the book, it is never possible.
This is to say that if it is chanted with the attitude, ”I have already read this – I have already heard it,” then nothing is
possible. But for those who have said, ”Om!” with all their courage and daring, all problems are over. All the miseries of
people who have realized the truth are ended. All the afflictions of their body, mind and soul disappear. Such people go
beyond affliction.

You think, “There must be some significance when he says this with such ease, such confidence.” The significance is this:
whoever lives this sutra, whoever gives birth to it within himself, will experience himself free from all afflictions, because
there is only one kind of affliction, only one pain – whether on the mental, physical or spiritual level; there is only one
kind, and that is ego. ”I am doing this – this is done by ME,” is the only affliction, the only obstacle. ”This insult is
directed against me – I am abused thus....” All these happenings accumulate around this I. But when such a vast universe
makes no difference to existence, and leaves it unaffected, do I have to allow such insignificant things to affect me? Can
I not also remain untouched? Can I not stand aside and say, “The insult given was not given to me”; and, ”Whatever I did

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has been done. I have not done it.” If I become a witness to the actions that come to me and proceed from me – if I
cease to be the doer – then wonderful secrets begin to unfold.

So try to live this sutra during these seven days. While I am talking on the Ishavasya Upanishad you will hear this sutra
interpreted from various perspectives. If you just try to live according to the interpretation I have given today,
understanding will certainly come to you; not otherwise.

This is enough on the sutra. Now I shall give certain instructions regarding meditation, because tomorrow morning we
shall begin to practice meditation. The first thing to keep in mind is throughout the day to breathe as totally as possible
and, whenever you remember, to inhale as deeply as you can. Hyperoxygenate! The energy you liberate for your work
will be in direct proportion to your intake of breath. A great deal of energy lies hidden in your body. It must be aroused
and activated towards meditation; it must be channelled into meditation. So the first meditation sutra I give you is to
activate that energy. The nearest and the easiest means available to you is your breathing activity.

As soon as you wake up in the morning and come to your senses, begin to breathe deeply, sitting on your bed. When
you are walking along the road, breathe as deeply as you can. Do it slowly, don’t overexert yourself, be comfortable and
joyful – but remember, your breathing should be deep. Bear in mind all the time that it will be easier for you to go into
meditation if you take in as much oxygen as possible. The more oxygen you have in your blood, in your heart, the easier
you will find your meditation. The more you expel carbon dioxide, the easier it will be for you. The impurities decrease
as you increase the amount of oxygen in your body. It is interesting to know that the mind finds it difficult to function if
the basis of bodily impurity is removed. The opportunity for thoughts to flourish in your mind will lessen as you absorb
more fresh air; and as I told you, this will enhance the potential for sutras like this to blossom and flower within you.

So the first thing is: hyperoxygenate. Let there be an abundance of oxygen in you. Remember this throughout these
seven days. Two or three things will happen if you do this, but don’t be afraid of them. When you start breathing
deeply, your sleep will become shorter. This is not something to worry about. When sleep is deep and sound, its
duration decreases, and as you begin to breathe more deeply, the depth of your sleep will increase also. This is why
those who do hard physical work sleep so soundly at night. The depth of your sleep will increase in proportion to the
depth of your breathing, and as the depth of your sleep increases, so its duration will decrease. Do not worry about this.
If you sleep seven hours now, it will become four or five hours. Don’t be anxious about it – you will wake up in the
morning more refreshed, more joyful and healthier from these five hours’ sleep than you used to after sleeping for eight
hours. So when your sleep comes to an end in the morning – and this will begin to happen earlier if you have been
breathing deeply – you should get up immediately. Don’t miss that blissful moment of the morning; use it for

The second point to remember is that the less food you eat, and the lighter it is, the better it is for you. Reduce the
quantity as much as is comfortably possible. The pace of your meditation will be quicker and easier the less you eat.
Why is this? There are some sound reasons for it. Our bodies have certain settled habits. Meditation is not one of them;
it is new work for the body. The body has fixed associations. If the settled habits of the body are interrupted at any
point, then our body and mind can form new habits easily. Suppose you are worried, and begin to scratch your head out
of habit. Now if your hands are tied down at that time so that you cannot scratch your head, then you cannot remain
worried. This is very puzzling. You might ask, ”What is the relation between worrying and scratching?” The answer is
habit. The body holds its habits fast and functions through them.

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Eating is the most deep-rooted habit of the body; it is the deepest because no life is possible without it. Bear in mind, it
is stronger and more potent than sex. Among all the deep-rooted habits of life, the food habit is the most profound. It
begins from the first day of life and continues till the last day. The very existence of life, the body itself, depends upon it.

So, if you want to change the habits of your mind and body, then weaken their deepest habit at once. As soon as you do
this, all the fixed physical routines and arrangements of your body will be disturbed, and you will find it easier to enter
new regions, and to go in new directions with your body in this disturbed condition; otherwise you will find it more
difficult. So commit yourself as much as you can in this direction. You may choose to fast, or perhaps to eat once a day.
Do as you choose; there is no need for rules. Quietly, and at your own pace, follow the path which is easiest for you.

The third point is concentration. You have to breathe deeply twenty-four hours a day, and at the same time be aware of
your breathing. Pay attention to your breathing, and concentration will easily take place. When walking, bring
awareness to walking, bring awareness when taking a shower. Concentration can easily be achieved – even walking
along the road. In this way: breathing in, observe that the breath from without is entering within – be attentive! Keep
on observing the inhaling and also the exhaling of your breath. If you are attentive you will also be able to breathe in
deeply. If you are not attentive you will forget to watch, and your inhaling process will become shallow. If you go on
taking deep breaths you will be able to remain attentive because you will have to be attentive to do the deep breathing.
So associate meditation with breathing. While you are doing certain jobs, if you feel it is not possible to keep your
attention on your breathing, then keep your concentration on your task. For example, when you are eating your food,
concentrate fully on the act of eating. Take every mouthful with full concentration. When you are taking a shower,
concentrate on the water pouring over your body. Walking along the road, concentrate on each step you take.

Immerse yourself in concentration for twenty-four hours a day during these seven days. The meditation we shall do
here is quite separate, but I am explaining to you the background of what you should do during the rest of the time. So
practice this third point: great attention, great concentration – and especially on your breathing, because breathing is a
ceaseless, twenty-four-hours-a-day process. No one can go on eating or swimming or walking for twenty-four hours,
but breathing goes on ceaselessly, so concentration can be practiced on it all the time. Concentrate on it! Forget that
there is anything else going on in the world. Live as though only one thing is happening in the whole world, and that is
the breath coming in and the breath going out. It is enough; follow this process of the breath entering and leaving like
the beads of a rosary. Concentrate just on this.

The fourth point is sense deprivation. Three things are to be done. If you feel able to observe silence for the whole day,
then begin immediately; and if you find this hard, then be telegraphic in your speech. Understand that you are paying a
price for each word you speak. So don’t speak more than twenty words during the course of the day. Speak only when it
is absolutely necessary, when it is unavoidable – like a matter of life and death! You cannot imagine how beneficial it will
be for you to observe total silence – its value is incalculable.

So let yourself be totally silent; you will not find it hard. Keep a paper and pencil with you and if you find it absolutely
essential, write down your message and show it to someone. Remain utterly silent. Your total energy will be
accumulated within by observing silence. This energy will help you to go deeper in meditation. More than half of man’s
energy is consumed by words. So stop using words completely. To your utmost capacity, observe silence; and take great
care that nobody else’s silence is broken because of you. If yours is broken, it is your misfortune, it is your own
responsibility; but see that nobody else’s silence is broken by you. Don’t ask anyone useless questions, don’t make

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unnecessary inquiries, don’t raise useless questions, don’t try to drag anybody into conversation. Cooperate and help
others to observe silence. If somebody asks a question, signal him to keep silence. He needs reminding.

Leave aside talking absolutely for seven days. You have talked a great deal up to today, and you will do so again in seven
days’ time. But for this one week, give up talking completely. Everyone should try his best. If you can remain silent for
the whole seven days it will help you tremendously, and you will have no need for the excuse, ”I cannot meditate.” If
you follow the five guidelines I am giving you, you will have no cause for complaint. If you create problems by ignoring
these points, you only are responsible. So observe total silence, and if you cannot do this – if you are weak, if you lack
determination, if your intelligence is not strong enough – then make do with as little talking as possible. If you have
some intelligence, some willpower, some strength, some self-confidence, then observe total silence.

Silence is the first essential of a sense-deprivation program. The second is a blindfold. Make one, and begin using it from
tomorrow morning. Your eyes must be completely covered. The eyes are the door through which you go out. The more
you keep them closed, the better it will be for you. Even when you are just sitting around, keep the blindfold on,
because then you won’t see others, and the opportunity for conversation will not arise; and seeing you blindfolded,
others will not try to harass you unnecessarily. So be blind. You have already heard about observing silence; now I ask
you to be blind also.

To be silent is a kind of liberation, and to be blind is a greater and deeper liberation, because it is the eyes which make
us run outside all day long. Closing your eyes, you will have much less scope for going outwards, and the energy will start
circling within. So keep the blindfold on. While walking push it a little up, enough to see downwards, enough to see the
road four feet ahead of you. Keep the blindfold on for the whole day. If you can sleep wearing it at night, do so. Only
take it off if you find it uncomfortable. If you sleep with it on, there will be a difference in the soundness of your sleep.
Keep it on during the rest of the time you are here. When we meet here for the morning meditation, the blindfold
should remain on. Take it off for the afternoon meditation, but keep it on till you come to the meditation ground. At
night also you have to come wearing the blindfold. Once here, remove it for the duration of the night meditation.

So, when I begin to talk in the morning, remove your blindfold, and for the afternoon and the night meditations. I am
giving you these opportunities to use your eyes because having some chance to see the world outside may help your
eyes to go within; otherwise keep your eyes closed. You will be surprised how much mental tension disappears when
your eyes are kept closed. A lot of mental tension enters through the eyes, and it is eye tension which causes tension in
the brain tissues. If the eyes remained undisturbed, calm and relaxed, ninety-nine percent of mental diseases would
disappear. So make a conscientious and full use of the device.

There is no question of anyone being excused or exempted; if you try to avoid it, I am not the loser, you are. Bear in
mind that you have to remain blind for most of the time. You have to give your eyes a one-week holiday; imagine that
you have no eyes at all. After seven days you will realize how relaxed and calm your eyes can be. You would never have
imagined that so much joy could flow from their relaxation. But if during these days you choose to deceive yourself,
then I am not responsible. It all depends on you. No one is responsible for anyone else here. You can deceive yourself
or not, as you wish.

As well as a blindfold, get cottonwool to put in your ears. We wish to give the ears a rest too. If eyes, ears and speech
are shut down and rested, the result is a condition of sense deprivation. Put the cottonwool in your ears, then tie the

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blindfold over them. That way others, even if they want to, cannot disturb you in your silence. If your ears are open
someone may be tempted to talk to you. There will be no temptation if your ears are closed. Keep your ears open only
when I talk here in the morning, and at night when you go to sleep. Keep your eyes open and your ears closed during the
afternoon and night meditations.

The fifth and last instruction is the most important and essential condition of all. It is this: only people who dance and
laugh and are full of gladness and joy enter existence’s temple. No weeping people have ever gained entrance there. So
drop your melancholy and depression for these seven days. Be blissful! Laugh, dance and remain joyful. Let bliss be with
you all the time. Remain cheerful and joyous even in your routines. Be blissful while sitting or walking – be drunk with
music, mad with joy! When you are walking, do not walk as everyone walks ordinarily; walk as a seeker, as a sadhu
would walk, with a dance in your step. Don’t worry about what others may say. We have come here in order to be free
of others’ criticisms. At worst, others may take you for a maniac, a lunatic. So accept the situation right from the start;
this is the worst that can happen. Try to create a blissful and joyous atmosphere for the entire camp.

Observe silence – a silence shimmering with joy and delight, a silence dancing in mirth and merriment; silence without,
and the energy dancing within. In your delight, dance and laugh. If you feel to dance even during the afternoon silent
meditation, you can do so. Be full of joy and happiness even during the morning meditation here. If you want, if you feel
like it, even during the meditation dance and jump and laugh. If you weep, let that weeping be the outcome of your joy.
Let your tears help your bliss to flow. Keep all this in mind. If you want to sway, then sway. If you want to dance during
night meditation, then dance. If you want to swing to and fro, do it. If you want to laugh, then laugh. The vibe of joy
should be always with you.

These five things are to be practiced from tomorrow morning. So make arrangements now to get a blindfold for your
eyes and cottonwool for your ears. By sunrise tomorrow morning you will not be the same person who came here
today. This is my expectation. Do what I have said, and if you fulfill my expectation, nothing can keep you from being
able to say, ”OM. SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI! – peace, peace, peace!” when you depart from here. If, when you leave
here, your heart can utter these words, then there is no difficulty for you.

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      Tantra: The Supreme Understanding
                  Discourses on Tilopa’s Song of Mahamudra




      he experience of the ultimate is not an experience at all – because the experiencer is lost.
      And when there is no experiencer, what can be said about it? Who will say it? Who will
      relate the experience? When there is no subject, the object also disappears – the banks
disappear, only the river of experience remains. Knowledge is there, but the knower is not.

That has been the problem for all the mystics. They reach to the ultimate, but they cannot relate
it to those who are following. They cannot relate it to others who would like to have an
intellectual understanding. They have become one with it. Their whole being relates it, but no
intellectual communication is possible. They can give it to you if you are ready to receive; they
can allow it to happen in you if you also allow it, if you are receptive and open. But words won’t
do, symbols won’t help; theories and doctrines are of no use at all.

The experience is such that it is more like an experiencing than like an experience. It is a
process – and it begins, but it never ends. You enter into it, but you never possess it. It is like a
drop dropping in the ocean, or, the ocean itself dropping into the drop. It is a deep merger, it is
oneness, you simply melt away into it. Nothing is left behind, not even a trace, so who will
communicate? Who will come back to the world of the valley? Who will come back to this dark
night to tell you?

All the mystics all over the world have always felt impotent as far as communication is
concerned. Communion is possible, but communication, no. This has to be understood from the
very beginning. A communion is a totally different dimension: two hearts meet, it is a love affair.
Communication is from head to head; communion is from heart to heart, communion is a
feeling. Communication is knowledge: only words are given, only words are said, and only words
are taken and understood. And words are such: the very nature of words is so dead that nothing
alive can be related through them. Even in ordinary life, leave aside the ultimate, even in
ordinary experiencing when you have a peak moment, an ecstatic moment, when you really feel
something and become something, it becomes impossible to relate it in words.

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In my childhood I used to go early in the morning to the river. It is a small village. The river is
very very lazy, as if not flowing at all. And in the morning when the sun is not yet arisen, you
cannot see whether it is flowing, it is so lazy and silent. And in the morning when there is
nobody, the bathers have not come yet, it is tremendously silent. Even the birds are not singing
in the morning – early, no sound, just a soundlessness pervades. And the smell of the mango
trees hangs all over the river. I used to go there, to the furthest corner of the river, just to sit,
just to be there. There was no need to do anything, just being there was enough, it was such a
beautiful experience to be there. I will take a bath, I will swim, and when the sun will arise I will
go to the other shore, to the vast expanse of sand, and dry myself there under the sun, and lie
there, and sometimes even go to sleep.

When I came back my mother used to ask, “What have you been doing the whole morning?” I
will say, “Nothing,” because, actually, I had not been doing anything. And she will say, “How is
it possible? Four hours you have not been here, how is it possible that you have not been doing
anything? You must have been doing something.” And she was right, but I was also not wrong.

I was not doing anything at all. I was just being there with the river, not doing anything,
allowing things to happen. If it FELT like swimming, remember, if it FELT like swimming, I would
swim, but that was not a doing on my part, I was not forcing anything. If I felt like going into
sleep, I would go. Things were happening, but there was no doer. And my first experiences of
satori started near that river: not doing anything, simply being there, millions of things

But she would insist: “You must have been doing something.” So I would say, “Okay, I took a
bath and I dried myself in the sun,” and then she was satisfied. But I was not, because what
happened there in the river is not expressed by words: “I took a bath” – it looks so poor and
pale. Playing with the river, floating in the river, swimming in the river, was such a deep
experience. To say simply, “I took a bath,” makes no sense about it; or to just say, “I went
there, had a walk on the bank, sat there,” conveys nothing.

Even in ordinary life you feel the futility of words. And if you don’t feel the futility of words, that
shows that you have not been alive at all; that shows that you have lived very superficially. If
whatsoever you have been living can be conveyed by words, that means you have not lived at

When for the first time something starts happening which is beyond words, life has happened to
you, life has knocked at your door. And when the ultimate knocks at your door, you are simply
gone beyond words – you become dumb, you cannot say; not even a single word is formed
inside. And whatsoever you say looks so pale, so dead, so meaningless, without any
significance, that it seems that you are doing injustice to the experience that has happened to
you. Remember this, because Mahamudra is the last, the ultimate experience.

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Mahamudra means a total orgasm with the universe. If you have loved somebody, and
sometimes you have felt a melting and merging – the two are no more two; the bodies remain
separate, but something between the bodies makes a bridge, a golden bridge, and the twoness
inside disappears; one life energy vibrates on both the poles – if it has happened to you, then
only you can understand what Mahamudra is. Millions and millions times deep, millions and
millions of times high, is Mahamudra. It is a total orgasm with the whole, with the universe. It
is melting into the source of being.

And this is a song of Mahamudra. It is beautiful that Tilopa has called it a song. You can sing it,
but you cannot say it; you can dance it, but you cannot say it. It is such a deep phenomenon
that singing may convey a little tiny part of it – not what you sing, but the way you sing it.

Many mystics have simply danced after their ultimate experience; they could not do anything
else. They were saying something through their whole being and body; altogether, body, mind,
soul, everything involved in it. They were dancing; those dances were not ordinary dances. In
fact, all dancing was born because of these mystics; it was a way to relate the ecstasy, the
happiness, the bliss. Something of the unknown has penetrated into the known, something of
the beyond has come to the earth – what else can you do? You can dance it, you can sing it.
This is a song of Mahamudra.

And who will sing it? Tilopa is no more. The orgasmic feeling itself is singing. It is not a song of
Tilopa; Tilopa is no more. The experience itself is vibrating and singing. Hence, the song of
Mahamudra, the song of ecstasy, ecstasy itself singing it. Tilopa has nothing to do; Tilopa is not
there at all, Tilopa has melted. When the seeker is lost, only then the goal is achieved. Only
when the experiencer is no more, the experience is there. Seek and you will miss it – because
through your seeking the seeker will be strengthened. Don’t seek and you will find it. The very
seeking, the very effort, becomes a barrier, because the more you seek, the more the ego is
strengthened: the seeker. Do not seek.

This is the deepest message of this whole song of Mahamudra: do not seek, just remain as you
are, don’t go anywhere else. Nobody ever reaches God, nobody can because you don’t know the
address. Where will you go? Where will you find the divine? There is no map, and there is no
way, and there is nobody to say where he is. No, nobody ever reaches God. It is always the
reverse: God comes to you. Whenever you are ready, he knocks at your door; he seeks you
whenever you are ready. And the readiness is nothing but a receptivity. When you are
completely receptive there is no ego; you become a hollow temple with nobody in it.

Tilopa says in the song, become like a hollow bamboo, nothing inside. And suddenly, the
moment you are a hollow bamboo, the divine lips are on you, the hollow bamboo becomes a
flute, and the song starts – this is the song of Mahamudra. Tilopa has become a hollow bamboo,
and the divine has come, and the song has started. It is not Tilopa’s song, it is the song of the
ultimate experience itself.

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Something about Tilopa before we enter into this beautiful phenomenon. Nothing much is known
about Tilopa, because nothing in fact can be known about such persons. They don’t leave a
trace, they don’t become a part of history. They exist by the side, they are not part of the main
traffic where the whole humanity is moving; they don’t move there. The whole humanity moves
through desiring, and persons like Tilopa move into desirelessness. They simply move away from
the main traffic of humanity where history exists.

And the more away they go from the traffic, the more mythological they become. They exist like
myths, they are no more events in time. And this is as it should be, because they move beyond
time, they live beyond time – they live in the eternity. From this dimension of our common
humanity, they simply disappear, they evaporate. The moment when they are evaporating, only
that moment we remember, that much they are part of us. That’s why nothing much is known
about Tilopa, who he is.

Only this song exists. This is his gift, and the gift was given to his disciple, Naropa. These gifts
cannot be given to anybody – unless a deep love intimacy exists. One has to be capable to
receive such gifts. This song has been given to Naropa, his disciple. Before this song was given
to Naropa, Naropa was tested in millions of ways: his faith, his love and trust. When it came to
be known that there exists nothing like doubt in him, not even a tiny part of doubt, when his
heart was totally full with trust and love, then this song was given.

I am also here to sing a song, but it can be given to you only when you are ready. And your
readiness means that doubt should simply disappear from the mind. It should not be
suppressed, you should not try to defeat it, because defeated it will remain in you; suppressed,
it will remain part of your unconscious and it will go on affecting you. Don’t fight your doubting
mind, don’t suppress it. Rather, on the contrary, you simply bring more and more energy into
trust. You simply be indifferent to your doubting mind, nothing else can be done.

Indifference is the key: you simply be indifferent. It is there – accept it. Bring your energies
more and more towards trust and love – because it is the same energy which becomes doubt; it
is the same energy which becomes trust. Remain indifferent to doubt. The moment you are
indifferent your cooperation is broken, you are not feeding it – because it is through attention
that anything is fed. If you pay attention to your doubt, even if you are against it, paying
attention to it is dangerous because the very attention is the food; that is your cooperation. One
has just to be indifferent, neither for nor against: don’t be for doubt, don’t be against doubt.

So now you will have to understand three words. One word is “doubt,” another word is “belief,”
the third word is “trust” or “faith” – what in the East is known as SHRADDHA. Doubt is a
negative attitude towards anything. Whatsoever is said, first you look at it negatively. You are
against it, and you will find reasons, rationalizations how to support your “againstness.” Then
there is the mind of belief. It is just like the mind of doubt only standing upside down; there is
not much difference. This mind looks at things positively and tries to find reasons,
rationalizations how to support it, how to be for it. The mind who doubts suppresses belief; the

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mind who believes suppresses doubt – but they both are of the same stuff; the quality is not

Then there is a third mind whose doubting has simply disappeared – and when doubt
disappears, belief also disappears. Faith is not belief, it is love. Faith is not belief because it is
not half, it is total. Faith is not belief because there is no doubt in it, so how can you believe?
Faith is not a rationalization at all: neither for nor against, neither this nor that. Faith is a
trusting, a deep trusting, a love. You don’t find any rationalizations for it, it simply is so. So what
to do?

Don’t create belief against faith. Just be indifferent to belief and doubt both, and bring your
energies towards more and more love; love more, love unconditionally. Not only love me,
because that is not possible: if you love, you simply love more. If you love, you simply exist in a
more loving way – not only towards the master, but towards everything that exists around you:
towards the trees and the stones, and the sky and the earth. You, your being, your very quality
of being, becomes a love phenomenon. Then trust arises. And only in such a trust can a gift like
the song of Mahamudra be given. When Naropa was ready Tilopa gave this gift.

So remember, with a master you are not on a “headtrip.” Doubt and belief are all “head-trips.”
With a master you are on a “heart-trip.” And heart doesn’t know what doubt is, heart doesn’t
know what belief is – heart simply knows trust. Heart is just like a small child: the small child
clings to the father’s hand, and wherever the father is going the child is going, neither trusting
nor doubting; the child is undivided. Doubt is half, belief is half. A child is still total, whole; he
simply goes with the father wherever he is going. When a disciple becomes just like a child, then
only these gifts of the highest peak of consciousness can be given.

When you become the deepest valley of reception, then the highest peaks of consciousness can
be given to you. Only a valley can receive a peak. A disciple should be absolutely feminine,
receptive, like a womb. Only then such a phenomenon happens as is going to happen in this

Tilopa is the master, Naropa is the disciple, and Tilopa says:


It is beyond words and symbols, all words and all symbols. Then how can it be said? If it is really
beyond all words and symbols, then how can it be said? Is there any way then? Yes, there is a
way: if there is a Naropa there is a way; if there is really a disciple there is a way. It depends on
the disciple whether the way will be found or not.

If the disciple is so receptive that he has no mind of his own – he does not judge whether it is
right or wrong, he has no mind of his own, he has surrendered his mind to the master, he is

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simply a receptivity, an emptiness, ready to welcome whatsoever is given unconditionally – then
words and symbols are not needed, then something can be given. And you can listen to it
between the words, you can read it between the lines – then words are just an excuse. The real
thing happens just by the side of the words.

A word is just a trick, a device. The real thing follows the words like a shadow. And if you are
too much of the mind, you will listen to the words, then it cannot be communicated. But if you
are not a mind at all, then the subtle shadows that follow the words, very subtle, only the heart
can see them, invisible shadows, invisible ripples of consciousness, “vibes”... then communion
is immediately possible.

Remember this, says Tilopa:


That which cannot be said, must be said for a disciple. That which cannot be said, which is
absolutely invisible, must be made visible for the disciple. It depends not only on the master –
EVEN MORE it depends on the disciple.

Tilopa was fortunate to find a Naropa. There have been a few masters, unfortunate, who never
could find a disciple like Naropa. So whatsoever they had gained disappeared with them,
because there was nobody to receive it.

Sometimes masters have travelled thousands of miles to find a disciple. Tilopa himself went
from India to Tibet to find Naropa, to find a disciple. Tilopa wandered all over India and couldn’t
find a man of that quality, who would receive such a gift, who would appreciate such a gift, who
would be able to absorb it, to be reborn through it. And once the gift was received by Naropa,
he became totally transformed. Then Tilopa is reported to have said to Naropa, “Now you go and
find your own Naropa.”

Naropa was also fortunate in that way: he was able to find a disciple whose name was Marpa.
Marpa was also very fortunate; he was able to find a disciple whose name was Milarepa. But
then the tradition disappeared, then no more disciples of that great calibre. Many times religion
has come to the earth and disappeared; many times it will come and disappear. A religion
cannot become a church; a religion cannot become a sect. A religion depends on PERSONAL
communication, on personal communion. The religion of Tilopa existed only for four generations,
from Naropa to Milarepa; then it disappeared.

Religion is just like an oasis: the desert is vast, and sometimes in tiny parts of the desert an
oasis appears. And while it lasts, seek it; and while it is there, drink of it – and it is very very

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Jesus says many times to his disciples, “A little while more I am here. And while I am here, you
eat me, you drink me. Don’t miss this opportunity” – because then thousands of years... and a
man like Jesus may not be there. The desert is vast. The oasis sometimes appears and
disappears; because the oasis comes from the unknown it needs an anchor on this earth. If the
anchor is not there it cannot remain here. And Naropa is an anchor.

The same I would like to say to you: While I am here, a little while more, don’t miss the
opportunity. And you can miss it in trivial things: you can remain occupied with nonsense, with
mental garbage. You can go on thinking for and against – and the oasis will disappear soon. You
can think for and against later on. Right now, drink of it, because then there will be many lives
for you to think for and against, there is no hurry for it. But while it lasts, drink of it.

Once you are drunk with a Jesus or a Naropa, you are totally transformed. The transformation
is very very easy and simple, it is a natural process. All that is needed is to become a soil and
receive the seed; to become a womb and receive the seed.


It cannot be uttered, it is unutterable – but it has to be said for a Naropa. Wherever a disciple is
ready the master appears, has to appear. Wherever there is a deep need, it has to be fulfilled.
The whole existence responds to your deepest need, but the need must be there; otherwise you
can pass a Tilopa, a Buddha, a Jesus, and may not be even able to see that you passed a Jesus.

Tilopa lived in this country. Nobody listened to him – and he was ready to give the ultimate gift.
What happened? And this has happened in this country many times; there must be something
behind it. And this has happened more in this country than anywhere else, because more Tilopas
have been born here. But why does it happen that a Tilopa has to go to Tibet? Why does it
happen that a Bodhidharma has to go to China?

This country knows too much, this country has become too much of the head. That’s why it is
difficult to find a heart – the country of brahmins and pundits, the country of great knowers,
philosophers. They know all the Vedas, all the Upanishads, they can recite by memory the whole
scriptures: a country of the heads. That’s why it has been happening so many times.

Even I feel, so many times I feel it, that whenever a brahmin comes it is difficult to
communicate. A man who knows too much becomes almost impossible – because he knows
without knowing. He has gathered many concepts, theories, doctrines, scriptures. It is just a
burden on his consciousness, it is not a flowering. It has not happened to him, it is all borrowed,
and all that is borrowed is rubbish, rot – throw it as soon as you can throw it.

Only that which happens to you is true. Only that which flowers in you is true. Only that which
grows in you is true and alive. Remember it always: avoid borrowed knowledge.

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Borrowed knowledge becomes a trick of the mind: it hides ignorance – it never destroys it. And
the more you are surrounded by knowledge, deep inside at the centre, at the very root of your
being, is ignorance and darkness there. And a man of knowledge, borrowed knowledge, is
almost closed within his own knowledge; you cannot penetrate him. And it is difficult to find his
heart, he himself has lost all contact with his heart. So it is not incidental that a Tilopa has to go
to Tibet, a Bodhidharma to China: a seed has to travel so far, not finding a soil here.

Remember this, because it is easy to become too much addicted to knowledge – it is an
addiction, it is a drug. And LSD is not so dangerous, marijuana is not so dangerous. And in a
way they are similar, because marijuana gives you a glimpse of something which is not there; it
gives you a dream of something which is absolutely subjective – it gives you an hallucination.
And knowledge is also the same: it gives you an hallucination of knowing. You start feeling that
you know because you can recite the Vedas, you know because you can argue, you know
because you have a very very logical, keen mind. Don’t be a fool! Logic has never led anybody
to truth. And a rational mind is just a game. All arguments are juvenile.

Life exists without any argument, and truth needs no proofs – it needs only your heart;
not arguments, but your love, your trust, your readiness to receive.


You cannot find more significant words ever uttered. Try to understand every nuance of what
Tilopa is trying to say.


If there is something, it needs a support, it needs a reliance. But if there is nothing, emptiness,
there is no need for any support. And this is the deepest realization of all the knowers: that your
being is a non-being. To say it is a being is wrong because it is not something, it is not like
something. It is like nothing: a vast emptiness, with no boundaries to it. It is an ANATMA, a no-
self; it is not a self inside you.

All feelings of self are false. All identifications that “I am this and that” are false.

When you come to the ultimate, when you come to your deepest core, you suddenly know that
you are neither this nor that – you are no one. You are not an ego, you are just a vast
emptiness. And sometimes if you sit, close your eyes and just feel who you are – where are
you? And go deeper and you may become afraid, because the deeper you go, the deeper you
feel that you are nobody, a nothingness. That’s why people become so scared of meditation. It is
a death. It is a death of the ego – and the ego is just a false concept.

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Now physicists have come to the same truth through their scientific research deepening into the
realm of matter. What Buddha, Tilopa and Bodhidharma reached through their insight, science
has been discovering in the outside world also. Now they say there is no substance – substance
is a parallel concept of self.

A rock exists; you feel that it is very substantial. You can hit somebody’s head and blood will
come out, even the man may die; it is very substantial. But ask the physicists: they say it is a
no-substance, there is nothing in it. They say that it is just an energy phenomenon; many
energy currents crisscrossing on this rock give it a feeling of substance. Just as you draw many
lines crisscrossing on a piece of paper: where many lines cross a point, a point arises. The point
was not there; two lines crossing and a point arises: many lines crossing and a big point arises.
Is that point really there? Or just lines crossing give an illusion of a point being there?

Physicists say that energy currents crisscrossing create matter. And if you ask what are these
energy currents – they are not material, they have no weight, they are nonmaterial.
Nonmaterial lines crisscrossing give an illusion of a material thing, very substantial like a rock.

Buddha achieved this illumination twenty-five centuries before Einstein, that inside there is
nobody; only energy lines crisscrossing give you a feeling of the self. Buddha used to say that
the self is just like an onion: you peel it, one layer comes off, another layer is there. You go on
peeling, layer by layer, and what remains finally? The whole onion is peeled and you find nothing

Man is just like an onion. You peel layers of thought, feeling, and finally, what do you find? A
nothing. This nothingness needs no support. This nothingness exists by itself. That’s why
Buddha says there is no God; there is no need for a God because God is a support. And Buddha
says there is no creator because there is no need to create a nothingness. This is one of the
most difficult concepts to understand – unless you realize it.

That’s why Tilopa says:


Mahamudra is an experience of nothingness – simply you are not. And when you are not, then
who is there to suffer? Who is there to be in pain and anguish? Who is there to be depressed and
sad? And who is there to be happy and blissful? Buddha says that if you feel you are blissful you
will become again a victim of suffering, because you are still there. When you are not,
completely not, utterly not, then there is no suffering and no bliss – and this is the real bliss.
Then you cannot fall back. To attain nothingness is to attain all.

My whole effort with you is also to lead you towards nothingness, to lead you to a total vacuum.

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The first thing to understand is that the concept of self is created by the mind – there is no self
in you.

It happened: a great Buddhist, a man of enlightenment, was invited by a king to teach him. The
name of the Buddhist monk was Nagasen, and the king was a viceroy of Alexander. When
Alexander went back from India, he left Minander as his viceroy here; his Indian name is
Milanda. Milanda asked Nagasen to come and teach him. He was really interested, and he had
heard many stories about Nagasen. And many rumours had come to the court: “This is a rare
phenomenon! Rarely it happens that a man flowers, and this man has flowered. He has an
aroma of something unknown around him, a mysterious energy. He walks on the earth, but he is
not of the earth.” He became interested; he invited him.

The messenger who went to Nagasen came back very much puzzled, because Nagasen said,
“Yes, if he invites, Nagasen will come – but tell him there is no one like Nagasen. If he invites I
will come, but tell him exactly that there is no one like ’I am.’ I am no more.” The messenger
was puzzled, because if Nagasen is no more, then who will come? And Milanda was also puzzled.
He said, “This man talks in puzzles. But let him come.” And he was a Greek, this Milanda, and
the Greek mind is basically logical.

There are only two minds in the world, the Indian and the Greek. The Indian is illogical, and the
Greek is logical. The Indian moves into the dark depths, wild depths, where are no boundaries,
everything is vague, cloudy. The Greek mind walks on the logical, the straight, where everything
is defined and classified. The Greek mind moves into the known. The Indian mind moves into the
unknown, and even more into the unknowable. The Greek mind is absolutely rational; the Indian
mind is absolutely contradictory. So if you find too many contradictions in me, don’t be
bothered. It is the way... in the East contradiction is the way to relate.

Milanda said, “This man seems to be irrational, gone mad. If he is not then how can he come?
But let him come, I will see. I will prove: just by coming he is proving that he is.”

Then came Nagasen. Milanda received him at the gate and the first thing he asked, he said, “I
am puzzled: you have come and still you said that you are not.”

Nagasen said, “Still I say. So let us settle it here.”

A crowd gathered, the whole court came there, and Nagasen said, “You ask.”

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Milanda asked, “First tell me: if something is not, how can it come? In the first place it is not,
then there is no possibility of its coming – and you have come. It is simple logic that you are.”

Nagasen laughed and he said, “Look at this RATHA” – the bullock cart on which he had come. He
said, “Look at this. You call it a ratha, a cart.”

Milanda said, “Yes.”
Then he told his followers to remove the bullocks. The bullocks were removed and Nagasen
asked, “Are these bullocks the cart?” Milanda said, “Of course not.”

Then, by and by, everything from the cart was removed, every part. Wheels were removed and
he asked, “Are these wheels the cart?”

And Milanda said, “Of course not!”

When everything was removed and there was nothing, then Nagasen asked, “Where is the cart I
had come in?... and we never removed the cart, and all that we have removed you confirmed
that this is not the cart. Now where is the cart?”

Nagasen said, “Just like this Nagasen exists. Remove parts and he will disappear.” Just
crisscrossing lines of energy: remove the lines and the dot will disappear. The cart is just a
combination of parts.

You are also a combination of parts, the “I” is a combination of parts. Remove things and the “I”
will disappear. That’s why when thoughts are removed from consciousness, you cannot say “I,”
because there is no “I” – just a vacuum is left. When feelings are removed, the self disappears
completely. You are and yet not: just an absence, with no boundaries, emptiness.

This is the final attainment, this state is Mahamudra, because only in that state you can have an
orgasm with the whole. Now there is no boundary, no self exists; now there is no boundary to
you to divide.

The whole has no boundaries. You MUST become like the whole – only then there can be a
meeting, a merger. When you are empty, you are without boundaries. Suddenly you become the
whole. When you are not, you become the whole. When you are, you become an ugly ego.
When you are not, you have all the expanse of existence for your being to be.

But these are contradictions. So try to understand: become a little like Naropa, otherwise these
words and symbols will not carry anything to you. Listen to me in trust. And when I say listen
in trust, I mean I have known this. This is so. I am a witness, I bear witness for it, this is so. It
may not be possible to say it, but that doesn’t mean that it is not. It may be possible to say
something, that doesn’t mean that it is. You can say something which is not, and you may be

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incapable of saying something which is. I bear witness about it, but you will be able to
understand me only if you are a Naropa, if you listen in trust.

I am not teaching a doctrine. I would not have been at all concerned with Tilopa if this was not
my own experience also. Tilopa has said it well:


On nothing Mahamudra rests. Mahamudra, the literal word, means the great gesture, or the
ultimate gesture, the last that you can have, beyond which nothing is possible. Mahamudra rests
on nothing. You be a nothing, and then all is attained. You die, and you become a god. You
disappear, and you become the whole. Here the drop disappears, and there the ocean comes
into existence.

Don’t cling to yourself – that’s all you have been doing all your past lives: clinging, afraid that if
you don’t cling to the ego, then you look down: a bottomless abyss is there....

That’s why we cling to tiny things, really trivial, we go on clinging to them. The clinging shows
only that you are also aware of a vast emptiness inside. Something is needed to cling to, but
your clinging is your SAMSARA, is your misery. Leave yourself in the abyss. And once you leave
yourself in the abyss, you become the abyss itself. Then there is no death, because how can an
abyss die? Then there is no end to it, because how can a nothingness end? Something can end,
will have to end – only nothing can be eternal. Mahamudra rests on nothing.

Let me explain it to you through some experience that you have got. When you love a person,
you have to become a nothing. When you love a person, you have to become a no-self. That’s
why love is so difficult. And that’s why Jesus says God is like love. He knows something about
Mahamudra – because before he started teaching in Jerusalem, he has been to India. He has
been to Tibet also. He met people like Tilopa and Naropa. He remained in Buddhist monasteries.
He learned about what it is that these people call nothingness. Then he tried to translate his
whole understanding into Jewish terminology. There everything got messed up.

You cannot translate Buddhist understanding into Jewish terminology. It is impossible, because
the whole Jewish terminology depends on positive terms, and the Buddhist terminology depends
on absolutely nihilistic terms: nothingness, emptiness. But here and there in Jesus’ words there
are glimpses. He says, “God is love.” He is indicating something. What is the indication?

When you love, you have to become nobody. If you remain somebody, then love never
happens. When you love a person – even for a single moment love happens and flows between
two persons
– there are two nothingnesses, not two persons. If you have ever had any experience of love,
you can understand.

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Two lovers sitting by each other’s side, or two nothingnesses sitting together – only then the
meeting is possible because barriers are broken, boundaries thrown away. The energy can move
from here to there; there is no hindrance. And only in such a moment of deep love is orgasm

When two lovers are making love, and if they are both no-selves, nothingnesses, then orgasm
happens. Then their body energy, their whole being, loses all identity; they are no more
themselves – they have fallen into the abyss. But this can happen only for a moment: again they
regain, again they start clinging. That’s why people become afraid in love also.

In deep love people are afraid of becoming mad, or going to die – of what will happen. The
abyss opens its mouth, the whole existence yawns, and you are suddenly there and you can fall
into it. One becomes scared of love, then people remain satisfied with sex and they call their sex

Love is not sex. Sex can happen in love, it can be a part, integral part to it, but sex itself is not
love – it is a substitute. You are trying to avoid love through sex. You are giving yourself a
feeling that you are in love, and you are not moving into love. Sex is just like borrowed
knowledge: giving a feeling of knowing without knowing; giving a feeling of love and loving
without loving.

In love you are not, the other is also not: then only, suddenly, the two disappear. The same
happens in Mahamudra. Mahamudra is a total orgasm with the whole existence.

That’s why in Tantra – and Tilopa is a Tantra master – deep intercourse, orgasmic intercourse,
between lovers is also called Mahamudra, and two lovers in a deep orgasmic state are pictured
in tantric temples, in tantric books. That has become a symbol of the final orgasm.


And this is the whole method of Tilopa, and the whole method of Tantra: WITHOUT MAKING AN
EFFORT... because if you make an effort, the ego is strengthened. If you make an effort, YOU
come in.

So love is not an effort, you cannot make an effort to love. If you make an effort, there is no
love. You flow into it, you don’t make an effort, you simply allow it to happen, you don’t MAKE
an effort. It is not a doing, it is a happening: WITHOUT MAKING AN EFFORT.... And the same is
the case with the total, the final: you don’t make an effort, you simply float with it...BUT
REMAINING LOOSE AND NATURAL. This is the way, this is the very ground of Tantra.

Yoga says make an effort, and Tantra says don’t make any effort. Yoga is ego-oriented, finally it
will take the jump, but Tantra is, from the very beginning, non-ego-oriented. Yoga, in the end,

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attains to such significance, such meaning, such depth, that it says to its seeker, “Now drop the
ego” – only in the end; Tantra from the very beginning, from the very first step....

I would like to say it in this way, in such a way: where Yoga ends, Tantra starts. The highest
peak of Yoga is the beginning of Tantra – and Tantra leads you to the ultimate goal. Yoga can
prepare you for Tantra, that’s all, because the final thing is to be effortless, “loose and natural.”

What does Tilopa mean by “loose and natural”? Don’t fight with yourself, be loose. Don’t try to
make a structure around yourself of character, of morality. Don’t discipline yourself too much;
otherwise your very discipline will become the bondage. Don’t create an imprisonment around
you. Remain loose, floating, move with the situation, respond to the situation. Don’t move with a
character jacket around you, don’t move with a fixed attitude. Remain loose like water, not
fixed like ice. Remain moving and flowing; wherever the nature leads you, go. Don’t resist,
don’t try to impose anything on you, your being.

But the whole society teaches you to impose something or other: be good, be moral, be this and
that. And Tantra is absolutely beyond society, culture and civilization. It says if you are too
much cultured you will lose all that is natural, and then you will be a mechanical thing, not
floating, not flowing. So don’t force a structure around you – live moment to moment, live with
alertness. And this is a deep thing to be understood.

Why do people try to create a structure around them? So that they don’t need alertness –
because if you have no character around you, you will need to be very very aware: because
each moment the decision has to be taken. You don’t have a prefabricated decision, you don’t
have an attitude. You have to respond to the situation. Something is there, and you are
absolutely unprepared for it – you will have to be very very aware.

To avoid awareness people have created a trick, and the trick is character. Force yourself into a
certain discipline so that whether you are aware or not, the discipline will take care of you. Make
a habit of always saying the truth; make it a habit, then you need not be worried about it.
Somebody asks, you will say the truth, out of habit – but out of habit a truth is dead.

And life is not so simple. Life is a very very complex phenomenon. Sometimes a lie is needed,
and sometimes a truth can be dangerous – and one has to be aware. For example, if through
your lie somebody’s life is saved, and through your lie nobody is harmed and somebody’s life is
saved, what will you do? If you have a fixed mind that you have to be true, then you will kill a

Nothing is more valuable than life, no truth, nothing is more valuable than life. And sometimes
your truth can kill somebody’s life. What will you do? Just saving your own old pattern and
habit, your own ego that “I am a truthful man,” you will sacrifice a life – just being a truthful
man, just to be that? This is too much, you are completely mad! If a life can be saved, even if

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people think that you are a liar, what is wrong in it? Why bother too much about what people
say about you?

It is difficult! It is not so easy to create a fixed pattern because life goes on moving and
changing, and every moment there is a new situation and one has to respond to it. Respond with
full awareness, that’s all. And let the decision come out of the situation itself, not prefabricated,
not imposed. Don’t carry a built-in mind just remain loose and aware and natural.

And this is how a real religious man is; otherwise, the so-called religious persons are just dead.
They act out of their habits, they go on acting out of their habits – this is a conditioning, this is
not a freedom. Consciousness needs freedom.

Be loose: remember this word as deeply as possible. Let it penetrate you. Be loose – so in
every situation you can flow, easily, water-like; so if the water is poured into a glass, it takes the
shape of the glass. It doesn’t resist, it doesn’t say, “This is not my form.” If the water is poured
into a jar, into a jug, it takes the shape of that. It has no resistance, it is loose. Remain loose
like water.

Sometimes you will have to move south and sometimes north, you will have to change
directions; according to the situations you will have to flow. But if you know how to flow, it is
enough. The ocean is not very far away if you know how to flow.

So don’t create a pattern – and the whole society tries to create a pattern, and all the religions
try to create a pattern. Only very few enlightened persons have been courageous enough to say
the truth
– the truth that: Be loose and natural! If you are loose you will be natural, of course.

Tilopa doesn’t say, “Be moral,” he says, “Be natural.” And these are completely, diametrically
opposite dimensions. A moral man is never natural, cannot be. If he feels angry he cannot be
angry because the morality doesn’t allow it. If he feels loving he cannot be loving because the
morality is there. It is always according to the morality that he acts; it is never according to his

And I tell you: if you start moving according to moral patterns and not according to your nature,
you will never reach the state of Mahamudra, because it is a natural state, the highest peak of
being natural. I tell you: if you feel angry, be angry – but perfect awareness has to be retained.
Anger should not overpower your consciousness, that’s all.

Let anger be there, let it happen, but be fully alert to what is happening. Remain
loose, natural, aware, WATCHING what is happening. By and by, you will see many things have
simply disappeared, they don’t happen any more – and without making any effort on your part.
You never tried to kill them and they have simply disappeared.

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When one is aware, anger by and by disappears. It becomes simply stupid – not bad, remember,
because “bad” is a loaded value. It becomes simply stupid! It is not that because it is bad you
don’t move into it, it is simply foolish; it is not a sin, but simply stupid. Greed disappears, it is
stupid. Jealousy disappears, it is stupid.

Remember this valuation. In morality there is something good and something bad. In being
natural there is something wise and something stupid. A man who is natural is wise, not good. A
man who is not natural is stupid, not bad. There is nothing bad and nothing good, only wise
things and foolish things. And if you are foolish you harm yourself and others, and if you are
wise you don’t harm anybody – neither others, nor you. There is nothing like sin and there is
nothing like virtue – wisdom is all. If you want to call it virtue, call it virtue. And ignorance is
there if you want to call it sin – that is the only sin.

So how to transform your ignorance into wisdom? That is the only transformation – and you
cannot force it: it happens when you are loose and natural.


And one becomes totally free. It will be difficult in the beginning, because constantly the old
habits will be there forcing you to do something: you would like to be angry – but the old habit
simply starts a smile on your face. There are people that, whenever they smile, you can be
certain that they are angry. In their very smile they show their anger. They are hiding
something, a false smile spreads on their faces. These are the hypocrites.

A hypocrite is an unnatural man: if anger is there he will smile; if hate is there he will show love;
if he feels murderous, he will pretend compassion. A hypocrite is a perfect moralist – absolutely
artificial, a plastic flower, ugly, of no use; not a flower at all, just a pretension.

Tantra is the natural way: be loose and natural. It will be difficult because the old habits have to
be broken. It is difficult because you will have to live in a society of hypocrites. It will be difficult
because everywhere you will find a conflict with the hypocrites – but one has to go through it. It
will be arduous because there are many investments in false, artificial pretensions. You may feel
completely alone, but this will be only a passing phase. Soon others will start feeling your
authenticity. And remember, even an authentic anger is better than a pretended smile, because
at least it is authentic. And a man who cannot be authentically angry, cannot be authentic at all.
At least he is authentic, true to his being. Whatsoever is happening, you can rely on him that it
is true.

And this is my observation: that a true anger is beautiful and a false smile is ugly; and a true
hate has its own beauty, just like true love – because beauty is concerned with truth. Neither is
it concerned with hate, nor with love – beauty is of the true. Truth is beautiful in whatsoever

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form. A truly dead man is more beautiful than a falsely alive man, because at least the basic
quality is there of being true.

Mulla Nasruddin’s wife died, and the neighbours gathered, but Mulla Nasruddin was standing
there completely unaffected, as if nothing had happened. Neighbours started crying and weeping
and they said, “What are you standing there for, Nasruddin? She is dead.”

Nasruddin said, “Wait! She is such a liar – at least for three days I have to wait and see whether
it is true or not.”

Remember this – that beauty of truth, authenticity. Become more authentic and you will have a
flowering. And the more authentic you become, by and by you will feel many things are falling
away – of their own accord. You never made any effort to do it; they are falling of their own
accord. And once you know the knack of it, then you become more and more loose, more and
more natural, authentic. And, says Tilopa:


The liberation is not very far away, it is just hidden behind you. Once you are authentic and the
door is open – but you are such a liar, you are such a pretender, you are such a hypocrite, you
are so deeply false; that’s why you feel that the liberation is very very far away. It is not! For an
authentic being, liberation is just natural. It is as natural as anything.

As water flows towards the ocean, as vapour rises towards the sky, as the sun is hot and the
moon is cool, so for an authentic being is liberation. It is nothing to be bragged about. It is
nothing that you have to tell people that you have gained something.

When Lin Chi was asked, “What has happened to you? People say that you have become
enlightened,” he shrugged his shoulders and said, “Happened? Nothing. I cut wood in the forest,
and carry water to the ashram – carry water from the well, cut wood because the winter is
approaching.” He shrugged his shoulders – a very meaningful gesture.

He is saying, “Nothing has happened. What nonsense you are asking! It is natural: carrying
water from the well, cutting wood in the forest. Life is absolutely natural.” Says Lin Chi, “When I
feel sleepy, I go to sleep; and when I feel hungry, I eat. Life has become absolutely natural.”

Liberation is your being perfectly natural. Liberation is not something to be bragged about, that
you have attained something very great. It is nothing great, it is nothing extraordinary. It is
just being natural, just being yourself.

So what to do?

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Drop pretensions, drop hypocrisies, drop all that you have cultivated around your natural being
– become natural. In the beginning it will be a very very arduous thing, but only in the
beginning. Once you get attuned to it, others will also start feeling something has happened to
you, because an authentic being is such a force, such a magnetism. They will start feeling
something has happened:

“This man no more moves as part of us, he has become totally different.” And you will not be at
a loss, because only artificial things will drop.

And once the emptiness is created by throwing away artificial things, pretensions, masks, then
the natural being starts flowing. It needs space.

Be empty, loose and natural. Let that be the most fundamental principle in your life.

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