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OSHO Dhammapada-Buddhism-Buddha

THE DHAMMAPADA: THE WAY OF THE BUDDHA, VOL. 5

Chapter 5: Love knows nothing of duty

 

Energy Enhancement         Enlightened Texts         Dhammapada         The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 5

 

LOVE YOURSELF AND WATCH --
TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS.

FIRST ESTABLISH YOURSELF IN THE WAY,
THEN TEACH,
AND SO DEFEAT SORROW.

TO STRAIGHTEN THE CROOKED
YOU MUST FIRST DO A HARDER THING --
STRAIGHTEN YOURSELF.

YOU ARE YOUR ONLY MASTER.
WHO ELSE?
SUBDUE YOURSELF,
AND DISCOVER YOUR MASTER.

WILLFULLY YOU HAVE FED
YOUR OWN MISCHIEF.
SOON IT WILL CRUSH YOU
AS THE DIAMOND CRUSHES STONE.

BY YOUR OWN FOLLY
YOU WILL BE BROUGHT AS LOW
AS YOUR WORST ENEMY WISHES.
SO THE CREEPER CHOKES THE TREE.

HOW HARD IT IS TO SERVE YOURSELF,
HOW EASY TO LOSE YOURSELF
IN MISCHIEF AND FOLLY.

THE KATTHAKA REED DIES WHEN IT BEARS FRUIT.
SO THE FOOL,
SCORNING THE TEACHINGS OF THE AWAKENED,
SPURNING THOSE WHO FOLLOW THE LAW,
PERISHES WHEN HIS FOLLY FLOWERS.

We begin with one of the most profound sutras of Gautama the Buddha:

LOVE YOURSELF....

Just the opposite has been taught to you by all the traditions of the world, all the civilizations, all the cultures, all the churches. They say: Love others, don't love yourself. And there is a certain cunning strategy behind their teaching.
Love is the nourishment for the soul. Just as food is to the body, so love is to the soul. Without food the body is weak, without love the soul is weak. And no state, no church, no vested interest, has ever wanted people to have strong souls, because a person with spiritual energy is bound to be rebellious.
Love makes you rebellious, revolutionary. Love gives you wings to soar high. Love gives you insight into things, so that nobody can deceive you, exploit you, oppress you. And the priests and the politicians survive only on your blood -- they survive only on exploitation. They are parasites, all the priests and all the politicians.
To make you spiritually weak they have found a sure method, one hundred percent guaranteed, and that is to teach you not to love yourself -- because if a man cannot love himself he cannot love anybody else either. The teaching is very tricky. They say: Love others -- because they know if you cannot love yourself you cannot love at all. But they go on saying:Love others, love humanity, love God, love nature, love your wife, your husband, your children, your parents, but don't love yourself -- because to love oneself is selfish according to them.
And they condemn self-love as they condemn nothing else -- and they have made their teaching look very logical. They say: If you love yourself you will become an egoist, if you love yourself you will become narcissistic. It is not true. A man who loves himself finds that there is no ego in him. It is by loving others without loving yourself, trying to love others, that the ego arises.
The missionaries, the social reformers, the social servants, have the greatest egos in the world -- naturally, because they think themselves to be superior human beings. They are not ordinary -- ordinary people love themselves -- they love others, they love great ideals, they love God. And all their love is false, because all their love is without any roots.
A man who loves himself takes the first step towards real love.
It is like throwing a pebble into a silent lake: the first circular ripples will arise around the pebble, very close to the pebble, naturally -- where else can they arise? And then they will go on spreading; they will reach the farthest shore. If you stop those ripples arising close to the pebble, there will be no other ripples at all. Then you cannot hope to create ripples reaching to the farthest shores; it is impossible.
And the priests and the politicians became aware of the phenomenon: stop people loving themselves and you have destroyed their capacity to love. Now whatsoever they think is love will be only pseudo. It may be duty, but not love -- and duty is a four-letter dirty word. Parents are fulfilling their duties towards their children, and then in return children will fulfill their duties towards their parents. The wife is dutiful towards her husband and the husband is dutiful towards his wife. Where is love?
Love knows nothing of duty. Duty is a burden, a formality. Love is a joy, a sharing; love is informal. The lover never feels that he has done enough; the lover always feels that more was possible. The lover never feels, "I have obliged the other." On the contrary, he feels, "Because my love has been received, I am obliged. The other has obliged me by receiving my gift, by not rejecting it." The man of duty thinks, "I am higher, spiritual, extraordinary. Look how I serve people!"
These servants of the people are the most pseudo people in the world, and the most mischievous too. If we can get rid of the public servants, humanity will be unburdened, will feel very light, will be able to dance again, sing again.
But for centuries your roots have been cut, poisoned. You have been made afraid of ever being in love with yourself, which is the first step of love and the first experience. A man who loves himself respects himself, and a man who loves himself and respects himself respects others too, because he knows, "Just as I am, so are others. Just as I enjoy love, respect, dignity, so do others." He becomes aware that we are not different; as far as the fundamentals are concerned, we are one. We are under the same law: AES DHAMMO SANANTANO.
Buddha says: We live under the same eternal law. In the details we may be a little bit different from each other -- which brings variety, which is beautiful -- but in the foundations we are part of one nature.
The man who loves himself enjoys the love so much, becomes so blissful, that the love starts overflowing, it starts reaching others. It HAS to reach! If you live love, you have to share it. You cannot go on loving yourself forever, because one thing will become absolutely clear to you: that if loving one person, yourself, is so tremendously ecstatic and beautiful, how much more ecstasy is waiting for you if you start sharing your love with many many people!
Slowly the ripples start reaching farther and farther. You love other people, then you start loving animals, birds, trees, rocks. You can fill the whole universe with your love. A single person is enough to fill the whole universe with love, just as a single pebble can fill the whole lake with ripples -- a small pebble.
Only a Buddha can say: LOVE YOURSELF.... No priest, no politician, can agree with it, because this is destroying their whole edifice, their whole structure of exploitation. If a man is not allowed to love himself, his spirit, his soul, becomes weaker and weaker every day. His body may grow but he has no inner growth, because he has no inner nourishment. He remains a body almost without a soul or with only a potentiality, a possibility, of a soul. The soul remains a seed, and it will remain a seed if you cannot find the right soil of love for it. And you will not find it if you follow the stupid idea: "Don't love yourself."
I also teach my sannyasins to love themselves first; it has nothing to do with ego. In fact, love is such a light that the darkness of the ego cannot exist in it at all. If you love others, if your love is focused on others, you will live in darkness.
Turn your light towards yourself first, become a light unto yourself first. Let the light dispel your inner darkness, your inner weakness. Let love make you a tremendous power, a spiritual force. And once your soul is powerful you know you are not going to die, you are immortal, you are eternal.
Love gives you the first insight into eternity; love is the only experience that transcends time. That's why lovers are not afraid of death: love knows no death. A single moment of love is more than a whole eternity. But love has to begin from the very beginning. Love has to start with this first step: LOVE YOURSELF....
Don't condemn yourself. You have been condemned so much, and you have accepted all that condemnation. Now you go on doing harm to yourself. Nobody thinks himself worthy enough, nobody thinks himself a beautiful creation of God; nobody thinks that he is needed at all.
These are poisonous ideas, but you have been poisoned. You have been poisoned with your mother's milk -- and this has been your whole past. Humanity has lived under a dark dark cloud of self-condemnation. If you condemn yourself, how can you grow? How can you ever become mature? And if you condemn yourself, how can you worship existence? If you cannot worship existence in you, you will become incapable of worshipping existence in others; it will be impossible. You can become part of the whole only if you have great respect for the God that resides within you.
You are a host, God is your guest. By loving yourself you will know this: that God has chosen you to be a vehicle. In choosing you to be a vehicle he has already respected you, loved you. In creating you he has shown his love for you. He has not made you accidentally; he has made you with a certain destiny, with a certain potential, with a certain glory that you have to attain. Yes, God has created man in his own image.
Man has to become a god. Unless man becomes a god there is going to be no fulfillment, no contentment. But how can you become a god? Your priests say that you are a sinner. Your priests say that you are doomed, that you are bound to go to hell. And they make you very much afraid of loving yourself.
This is their trick: to cut the very root of love. And they are very cunning people, the most cunning profession in the world is that of the priest; then he says: Love others. Now it is going to be plastic, synthetic, a pretension, a performance.
They say: Now love humanity, your mother country, your motherland, life, existence, God. Big words, but utterly meaningless. Have you ever come across humanity? You always come across human beings -- and you have condemned the first human being that you came across, that is you. You have not respected yourself, not loved yourself. Now your whole life will be wasted in condemning others.
That's why people are such great fault-finders. They find fault with themselves -- how can they avoid finding the same faults in others? In fact, they will find them and they will magnify them, they will make them as big as possible. That seems to be the only saving device; somehow, to save face, you have to do it. That's why there is so much criticism and such a lack of love.
I say this is one of the most profound sutras of Buddha, and only an awakened person can give you such an insight.
He says: LOVE YOURSELF.... This can become the foundation of a radical transformation. Don't be afraid of loving yourself. Love totally, and you will be surprised: the day you can get rid of all self-condemnation, self-disrespect, the day you can get rid of the idea of original sin, the day you can think of yourself as worthy and loved by God, will be a day of great blessing. From that day onwards you will start seeing people in their true light, and you will have compassion. And it will not be a cultivated compassion; it will be a natural, spontaneous flow.
And a person who loves himself can easily become meditative, because meditation means being with yourself. If you hate yourself -- as you do, as you have been told to do, and you have been following it religiously -- if you hate yourself, how can you be with yourself? And meditation is nothing but enjoying your beautiful aloneness, celebrating yourself; that's what meditation is all about.
Meditation is not a relationship; the other is not needed at all, one is enough unto oneself. One is bathed in one's own glory, bathed in one's own light. One is simply joyous because one is alive, because one is.
The greatest miracle in the world is that you are, that I am. To BE is the greatest miracle, and meditation opens the doors of this great miracle. But only a man who loves himself can meditate; otherwise you are always escaping from yourself, avoiding yourself. Who wants to look at an ugly face and who wants to penetrate into an ugly being? Who wants to go deep into one's own mud, into one's own darkness? Who wants to enter into the hell that you think you are? You want to keep this whole thing covered up with beautiful flowers and you want always to escape from yourself.
Hence people are seeking company continuously. They can't be with themselves; they want to be with others. People are seeking any type of company; if they can avoid the company of themselves anything will do. They will sit in a movie house for three hours seeing something utterly stupid. They will read a detective novel for hours, wasting their time. They will read the same newspaper again and again just to keep themselves engaged. They will play cards and chess just to kill time -- as if they have too much time!
We don't have too much time; we don't have time enough to grow, to be, to rejoice. But this is one of the basic problems created by a wrong upbringing: you avoid yourself.
People are sitting before their TV's glued to their chairs, for four, five, even six hours. The average American is watching TV five hours per day, and this disease is going to spread all over the world. And what are you seeing and what are you getting? Burning your eyes... because TV is the first thing in the world in which you have to look at the very source of the light. Ordinarily you never look at the light itself -- you look at lighted objects. You don't look at the sun; you look at the rose -- the sun is shining on the rose. You look at the green trees, you look at people's faces. You don't look at the electric bulb itself; you look at the painting on the wall. You will not be able to see the painting if the light is not there, but you don't look directly at the source of light because that burns the very delicate mechanism of your eye.
Now in TV you are looking directly at the source of the light. A movie is far better than TV, because at least you are not looking directly at the source of light. TV is creating so many diseases, now they are suspecting that even cancer may be one of those diseases caused by TV. And a few more new diseases are bound to be discovered soon, because the generation that is looking at TV for five, six hours per day is growing up.
But this has always been so; even if the TV were not there, there are other things. The problem is the same: how to avoid oneself, because one feels so ugly. And who has made you so ugly? -- your so-called religious people, your popes, your SHANKARACHARYAS. They are responsible for distorting your faces and they have succeeded. They have made everybody ugly.
Each child is born beautiful, and then we start distorting his beauty, crippling him in many ways, paralyzing him in many ways, distorting his proportion, making him unbalanced. Sooner or later he becomes so disgusted with himself that he is ready to be with anybody. He may go to a prostitute just to avoid himself.
LOVE YOURSELF..., says Buddha. And this can transform the whole world. It can destroy the whole ugly past. It can herald a new age, it can be the beginning of a new humanity.
Hence my insistence on love -- but love begins with you yourself, then it can go on spreading. It goes on spreading of its own accord; you need not do anything to spread it.
LOVE YOURSELF..., says Buddha. And then immediately he adds: AND WATCH.... That is meditation, that is Buddha's name for meditation. But the first requirement is to love yourself, and then watch. If you don't love yourself and start watching, you may feel like committing suicide.
Many Buddhists feel like committing suicide because they don't pay attention to the first part of the sutra, they immediately jump to the second: watch yourself. In fact, I have never come across a single commentary on THE DHAMMAPADA, on these sutras of the Buddha, which has paid any attention to the first part: LOVE YOURSELF.
Socrates says: Know thyself, Buddha says: Love thyself. And Buddha is far more true, because unless you love yourself you will never know yourself -- knowing comes only later on, love prepares the ground. Love is the possibility of knowing oneself, love is the right way to know oneself.

I was staying once with a Buddhist monk, Jagdish Kashyap; he is now dead. He was a good man. We were talking about THE DHAMMAPADA and we came across this sutra, and he started talking about watching, as if he had not read the first part at all. No traditional Buddhist ever pays any attention to the first part; he simply bypasses it.
I said to Bhikshu Jagdish Kashyap, "Wait! You are overlooking something very essential. Watching is the second step and you are making it the first step, and it cannot be the first step."
Then he read the sutra again and he said with mystified eyes, "I have been reading THE DHAMMAPADA my whole life and I must have read this sutra millions of times -- it is my everyday morning prayer to go through THE DHAMMAPADA, I can repeat it simply from memory, but I have never thought that 'Love yourself' is the first part of meditation and watching is the second part."

And this is the case with millions of Buddhists all over the world, and this is the case with neo-Buddhists also -- because in the West Buddhism is now spreading.
The time for Buddha has come in the West. Now the West is ready to understand Buddha, and the same mistake is being made there too. Nobody thinks that "Love yourself" has to be the foundation of knowing yourself, of watching yourself... because unless you love yourself you cannot face yourself, you will avoid. Your watching may itself be a way of avoiding yourself.
First:

LOVE YOURSELF AND WATCH --
TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS.

Create loving energy around yourself. Love your body, love your mind. Love your whole mechanism, your whole organism. By "love" is meant: accept it as it is, don't try to repress. We repress only when we hate something, we repress only when we are against something. Don't repress, because if you repress, how are you going to watch? And we cannot look eye-to-eye at the enemy; we can look only in the eyes of our beloved. If you are not a lover of yourself you will not be able to look into your own eyes, into your own face, into your own reality.
Watching is meditation, Buddha's name for meditation. 'Watch' is Buddha's watchword. He says: Be aware, be alert, don't be unconscious. Don't behave in a sleepy way. Don't go on functioning like a machine, like a robot. That's how people are functioning.

Mike had just moved into his apartment and decided he should get acquainted with his across-the-hall neighbor. When the door was opened he was delightfully surprised to see a beautiful young blonde bulging out of a skimpy see-through negligee.
Mike looked her squarely in the eye and ad-libbed: "Hi! I am your new sugar across the hall -- can I borrow a cup of neighbor?"

People ARE living unconsciously: they are not aware of what they are saying, what they are doing -- they are not watchful. People go on guessing, not seeing; they don't have any insight, they can't have. Insight arises only through great watchfulness: then you can see even with closed eyes. Right now you can't see even with open eyes. You guess, you infer, you impose, you project.

Grace lay on the psychiatrist's couch.
"Close your eyes and relax," said the shrink, "and I will try an experiment."
He took a leather key case from his pocket, flipped it open and shook the keys. "What did that sound remind you of?" he asked.
"Sex," she whispered.
Then he closed his key case and touched it to the girl's upturned palm. Her body stiffened.
"And that?" asked the psychiatrist.
"Sex," Grace murmured nervously.
"Now open your eyes," instructed the doctor, "and tell me why what I did was sexually evocative to you."
Hesitantly, her eyelids flickered open. Grace saw the key case in the psychiatrist's hand and blushed scarlet.
"Well -- er -- to begin with," she stammered, "I thought that first sound was your zipper opening...."

Your mind is constantly projecting -- projecting itself. Your mind is constantly interfering with reality, giving it a color, shape and form which is not its own. Your mind never allows you to see that which is; it allows you to see only that which it WANTS to see.
Just twenty years ago, scientists used to think that our eyes, ears, nose and our other senses, AND the mind, were nothing but openings to reality, bridges to reality. But within twenty years -- the last twenty years -- the whole understanding has changed. Now they say our senses and the mind are not really openings to reality but guards against it. Only two percent of reality ever gets through these guards into you; ninety-eight percent of reality is kept outside. And the two percent that reaches you and your being is no longer the same; it has to pass through so many barriers, it has to conform to so many mind things, that by the time it reaches you it is no longer itself.
Meditation means putting the mind aside so that it no longer interferes with reality and you can see things as they are. Why does the mind interfere at all? -- because the mind is created by society. It is society's agent within you; it is not in your service, remember! It is your mind but it is not in your service; it is in a conspiracy against you. It has been conditioned by society; society has implanted many things in it. It is YOUR mind, but it no longer functions as a servant to you; it functions as a servant to society.
If you are a Christian then it functions as an agent of the Christian church, if you are a Hindu then your mind is Hindu, if you are a Buddhist your mind is Buddhist. And reality is neither Christian nor Hindu nor Buddhist; reality is simply as it is. And you have to put these minds aside: the communist mind, the fascist mind, the Catholic mind, the Protestant mind....
There are three thousand religions on the earth -- big religions and small religions and very small sects and sects within sects -- three thousand in all. So there exist three thousand minds, types of mind -- and reality is one, and God is one, and truth is one!
Meditation means: put the mind aside and watch. The first step -- LOVE YOURSELF -- will help you tremendously. By loving yourself you will have destroyed much that society has implanted within you. You will have become freer from the society and its conditioning.
And the second step is: watch -- just watch. Buddha does not say what has to be watched -- everything! Walking, watch your walking. Eating, watch your eating. Taking a shower, watch the water, the cold water falling on you, the touch of the water, the coldness, the shiver that goes through your spine -- watch everything, TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS.
A moment finally comes when you can watch even your sleep. That is the ultimate in watching. The body goes to sleep and there is still a watcher awake, silently watching the body fast asleep. That is the ultimate in watching. Right now just the opposite is the case: your BODY is awake but you are asleep. Then YOU will be awake and your body will be asleep. The body needs rest but your consciousness needs no sleep. Your consciousness IS consciousness; it is alertness, that is its very nature.
The body tires because the body lives under the law of gravitation; it is gravitation that makes you tired. That's why running fast you will be tired soon, going upstairs you will be tired soon, because the gravitation pulls you downwards. In fact, to stand is tiring, to sit is tiring. When you lie down flat, horizontal, only then is there a little rest for the body, because now you are in tune with the law of gravitation. When you are standing, vertical, you are against the law; the blood is going towards the head, against the law, the heart has to pump hard.
So when you have a heart attack the doctors suggest a long rest period: just lie down horizontal -- Snoopy-style! That will keep you in tune with gravitation, otherwise gravitation is tiring. But consciousness does not function under the law of gravitation; hence it never gets tired. Gravitation has no power over consciousness; it is not a rock, it has no weight. It functions under a totally different law: the law of grace, or, as it is known in the East, the law of levitation. Gravitation means pulling downwards, levitation means pulling upwards. The body is continuously being pulled downwards. That's why finally it will have to lie down in the grave; that will be the real rest for it -- dust unto dust. The body has returned back to its source, the turmoil has ceased, now there is no conflict. The atoms of your body will have real rest only in the grave.
The soul soars higher and higher. As you become more watchful you start having wings -- then the whole sky is yours. Man is a meeting of the earth and the sky, of body and soul.

FIRST ESTABLISH YOURSELF IN THE WAY,
THEN TEACH,
AND SO DEFEAT SORROW.

Each sutra is pregnant with great meaning. First Buddha says: LOVE YOURSELF AND WATCH.... And immediately he reminds his disciples: FIRST ESTABLISH YOURSELF IN THE WAY....
He says: Mind you, don't start teaching what I am telling you. The mind plays so many games, and the ultimate game is the game of becoming a teacher. It is difficult, arduous, to transform yourself; it is very easy to teach others. It is difficult to be a disciple, it is very easy to be a teacher -- because the disciple has to surrender and the teacher can keep all his ego. In fact, he can have more ego because so many people are surrendering to him. Unless he has become established in the way -- that means he has attained to love and to watchfulness -- unless he has come to that clarity of consciousness which makes one a buddha, he should not teach.
FIRST ESTABLISH YOURSELF IN THE WAY, THEN TEACH, AND SO DEFEAT SORROW. Otherwise this happens: listening to a buddha, his beautiful teachings, you become so full of the teachings that a great desire arises to teach others. You forget completely that first you have to practice before you can preach. That's how it is happening all over the world.

Once I was taken to a Christian college, one of the biggest in India, where they create missionaries, ministers, priests, etcetera. I was a little puzzled: how can you create priests, ministers, missionaries in a college? That is impossible. The principal was very much interested in me; he invited me. He said, "Come and see!"
It was a six-year course, and I looked around the college, a big campus -- seven hundred people were getting ready to become priests, preachers, teachers -- I looked around, went into many classes, and what I saw was really hilarious. It was so ridiculous.
In one class the teacher was telling the students, "When you give this sermon, this is how you have to stand, and when you come to this point, this is how you have to raise your hand, these are the gestures you make, this is how you have to close you eyes -- as if you have gone into a deep deep meditation...." As if -- don't forget the "as if." They were learning like actors.
In Poona there is a film institute where they prepare actors; that I can understand -- acting can be taught. Even there I have never heard that film institutes have created great actors, but one can understand that acting can be taught, even though great actors have not been created by film institutes. Even there it fails.
Actors are also born like poets, because acting is poetry, it is art; you have to have an inborn spirit. Not everybody can be an actor, because one has to get so much involved in the act, so deeply involved, that one forgets that one is separate. One has to lose one's identity in the acting, one has to become one's part; one has to forget everything about oneself. This is no ordinary feat. One can think that acting can be taught -- but how can you teach people to become masters?
Taking leave of the principal I told him one story:
"I have heard -- it must have happened in some college like yours -- the teacher was telling the students, 'When you talk about paradise, heaven, smile a heavenly smile, your eyes full of joy and light, and look upwards towards heaven. And for a moment become silent and just let people see how joyous, full of light and joy you are.'
"A student raised his hand and he said, 'That's right, but when we are talking about hell, what to do?'
"The teacher said, 'Then just as you are will do -- just stand as you are. You need not do anything else, just be yourself, that's all, and that will show them what hell is.'"
Teaching people to become masters is such an absurdity. Jesus did not learn in any college. It is fortunate that such colleges did not exist in those days; otherwise they might have destroyed Jesus. Buddha never went to any religious institution to learn. Religion has to be lived, because that is the only way to learn it.

Buddha says: AND SO DEFEAT SORROW.
Love, watch, become an enlightened person -- then teaching will be simple, then it will start flowing from you. You will be teaching by your walk, by your sitting, by your silence, by your talking. You will be continuously teaching in every possible way.
To live with a master is to be constantly showered by his teaching. Whatsoever he is doing, his way of doing has a totally different fragrance: it is IN the world but not OF the world.

TO STRAIGHTEN THE CROOKED
YOU MUST FIRST DO A HARDER THING --
STRAIGHTEN YOURSELF.

It is easy to look at people's faults. One loves to see people's faults, because that helps and strengthens your ego: "I am far superior." It is very difficult to see one's own faults; only a man who loves himself can see them.
Don't listen to others, what they say about you. See yourself, who you are, where you are, what your faults are. And the miracle is: seeing a fault through your own awareness dissolves it. You need not make any effort to dissolve it; the very awareness is enough. It starts melting like ice in the hot sun. But it is very difficult to see one's own faults, because you never look at yourself; you are constantly extroverted, looking at others.

The shapely new stenographer gave a piece of paper to the company auditor, saying, "Here is that report you wanted, Mr. Berry."
"My name is Mr. Perry!" he corrected. "You must have been talking to the head bookkeeper who can't pronounce his P's right. Did he say anything about me?"
"Only that when it comes to meaningless details, you are a regular brick!"

It is certainly difficult, because you have to turn your whole consciousness towards yourself. And we have become so extroverted, we have been MADE so extrovert, that introversion seems to be almost impossible. We are paralyzed; we can look only at others. Even if we want to look at ourselves we have to look in a mirror. Then the image in the mirror becomes the other.
One has to learn to look at oneself with closed eyes, to watch silently. And don't carry any a priori prejudices. Many people have told you, "These are your faults." Don't carry those ideas within you, otherwise you will find them -- because thought is very inventive. Put aside all that has been told about you. Remember only one thing: unless you know it on your own authority, it has no value, no meaning. So go without any prejudice -- for or against. Just go in total openness and see. And if you love and if you know how to watch, you will come across the most mysterious phenomenon: seeing a fault is dissolving it. That is Buddha's great secret: knowing that you are doing something wrong is enough; you can't do it anymore.
Socrates says: Knowledge is virtue. He can be understood only in the light of Buddha. He was misunderstood very much in Greece, because Greece has produced great philosophers but not great buddhas. There are only four names from Greece which can be counted among the buddhas: Socrates, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Plotinus. And there are thousands of names of great philosophers. The Greek tragedy is that there are so many philosophers and so few buddhas.
Socrates was saying something immensely valuable, but it was out of context. There was no atmosphere in which it could be understood. He was speaking the truth: knowledge is virtue. If you KNOW something is wrong it disappears; if you know something is right you start behaving accordingly.
That's what Jesus means when he says: Truth liberates. It is enough to know the truth, and liberation happens of its own accord. It is not that first you have to know and then you have to practice. Knowing is enough: it transforms your conscience, and once conscience is transformed, your character follows suit like a shadow.

YOU ARE YOUR ONLY MASTER.
WHO ELSE?
SUBDUE YOURSELF,
AND DISCOVER YOUR MASTER.

Buddha says the outer master is nothing but a reflection of the inner. To be with an outer master is for a certain purpose -- so that the inner master starts getting synchronized with the outer. The outer is just a provocation, a challenge, but the real function of the master is to help you discover your own master.
The real master never makes dependents of his followers and disciples; he helps them to be independent, to be free. He never gives them a certain pattern of life; he only gives them hints of how to attain light of their own. He helps them to be themselves; he does not impose his personality on his disciples.
This is the criterion by which to judge whether the master is real or pseudo. If somebody is trying to impose his personality on you, his ideas on you, his character on you, his morality on you, his principles on you, beware! Avoid such a man as quickly as possible. He is dangerous, he is destructive. He may look very loving to you, but his love is poisonous. He may be very sweet, but his sweetness is nothing but sugarcoated poison.
The real master is one who helps you to be yourself, who helps you to be free -- even free of himself.
The Zen people say: If you meet the Buddha on the way, kill him! And they worship Buddha, and still they say: If you meet the Buddha on the way, kill him! They are simply saying what Buddha himself has said. Buddha insisted his whole life: Don't follow -- understand. Imbibe my spirit, but don't follow my character. You will have your own character, which is going to be unique, because there has never been another individual who is like you and no other individual will ever be who can be like you. You are unique.
Don't become imitators. But that's what happens: people become parrots. They repeat what their masters say, they imitate how their masters live.

Reid was very fond of his male parrot. The parrot had become despondent and after all sorts of experiments to snap him out of it, Reid decided that his feathered friend needed some sex.
Reid found a beautiful female parrot in a pet shop and paid fifty dollars to have his bird serviced.
The female was delivered to Reid's house and placed in the male parrot's cage. Instantly the male let out a terrifying scream and began tearing the female's feathers out.
"What are you doing?" screeched the female.
"For fifty bucks, baby," shouted the male, "I want you nude!"

He may be simply imitating his master! Don't be a parrot, don't imitate. Be authentic to yourself, be true to yourself.
YOU ARE YOUR ONLY MASTER. WHO ELSE? SUBDUE YOURSELF. When Buddha says, SUBDUE YOURSELF, he does not mean repress yourself. The translation is not exactly what he means. And there is a difficulty in translating him, because Buddha uses the word 'self' in the sense of ego. He is not a believer in the self. He says any sense of self is nothing but a subtle form of ego.
And when he says, "Subdue yourself," he simply means: look deeply into the idea of your ego -- and it will be gone, it will disappear. It is a false phenomenon. The idea that "I am separate from existence," is a false idea, totally false. It needs only a right perception and it will be dissolved. And the moment ego disappears, you can discover your own master.
When the ego is not there, who is there? -- a pure consciousness, a pure awareness, with no center to it, with no content either. There are no thoughts and no center, just a pure consciousness -- a consciousness without any center and without any circumference. That consciousness is nirvana, enlightenment; you have come to your own master. From then onward you need not ask anybody. Even if you want to ask you cannot: all questions have evaporated, all problems have evaporated.
This state of no-problem, no-question, is the state of bliss, of peace, of truth, of freedom.

WILLFULLY YOU HAVE FED
YOUR OWN MISCHIEF.
SOON IT WILL CRUSH YOU
AS THE DIAMOND CRUSHES STONE.

And remember: whatsoever you have been doing, nobody else is responsible for it. WILLFULLY YOU HAVE FED YOUR OWN MISCHIEF. It is your own will, it is out of your own choice, that you have been doing things which are finally destructive to you. In the beginning they may not appear so; in the end you will come to know that you have killed yourself, poisoned yourself, slowly slowly. And because it was such a slow process, you could not become aware. To become aware of slow processes, great watchfulness is needed.

I have heard about an experiment:
A scientist threw a frog into boiling water. Naturally the frog immediately jumped out of the water -- instantly, he didn't lose a single moment; it was a question of life and death. He really jumped high, as he had never jumped before.
Then the scientist put the frog into another bucket of water of the same temperature as the frog's body. The frog was very happy, was resting at the bottom. And then the scientist started heating the water so slowly that it took twenty-four hours for the water to come to the boiling-point. The frog never jumped out of it. He could not become aware -- the process was so slow, the increase in heat was so slow that it needed a buddha's awareness. You can't expect it from a frog -- you can't expect it from people!
The frog died. The water was boiling, the frog was boiling, but he wouldn't jump out of it. Twenty-four hours was enough; he became accustomed to the slow increase. It was warming up so slowly that he could never discriminate that the water was being heated up.

That's what is happening in your life: you go on doing mischief, you go on doing wrong things, in the hope that by wrong means you can reach the right end. This is one of the great fallacies, a universal fallacy, that means and ends are not joined together, that wrong means can help you to reach a right end. The fallacy is so prevalent that nobody thinks of it as a fallacy.
It is impossible to reach the right end by wrong means. Wrong means are bound to lead you to wrong ends, but then it is too late. By the time you reach, it is too late -- the process cannot be reversed. The whole time has been wasted -- and you may have become accustomed meanwhile to wrong means. You may go on perpetuating those wrong means your whole life. Others may say that this is wrong and you may even agree with them intellectually, but intellectual agreement never brings any change. Unless you existentially feel, "Something is wrong and I am poisoning myself," you will not be able to snap out of it.
And we are so clever at rationalizations that we go on doing mischief, thinking that it is not mischief, convincing ourselves that this is not mischief. And we are so skillful with words, with logic, with arguments, that we can prove to others, "This is not mischief, I am doing something great."
Joseph Stalin killed millions of people in Russia, and with a very clean conscience; he was never disturbed that he was killing millions of people. In fact, no other person has killed so many people. But he was working for the great idea of equality, communism, a classless society. Those ideas are great, but they are simply IDEAS and just for ideas, abstract ideas, abstractions, he was killing real people.
And the people who were killed were not rich people, they were poor people -- poor people who were very much attached to their small pieces of land; they did not want the land to become collective. They were killed. And the beauty is -- or the irony -- that Stalin was thinking he was killing them for their own sake, because "Unless the land belongs to the state, unless a dictatorship of the proletariat is ushered in, the poor people cannot be helped." And it was the poor people who were too attached to their small things!
In Russia there were not many rich people. It was almost like India; very few rich people, and ninety-eight percent poor people. But poor people have their own attachments -- more so because they don't have much -- a small piece of land, an old cow, a bullock cart, a few hens. And they are very much afraid because this is all they have.

There is a story told:
A communist was asking a farmer, "Do you believe in communism or not?"
He said, "Yes, I believe in communism!"
The communist leader asked, "If you had two cars, would you give one to somebody who had none?"
He said, "Yes, absolutely yes!"
"And if you had two houses, would you be willing to give one house to somebody who had none?"
He said, "Absolutely!"
And then the communist leader asked, "If you had two cows, would you give one to the person who had none?"
He said, "No, absolutely no!"
The communist leader said, "But this seems to be absurd -- up to now you are saying, 'Yes, yes, yes!' Why suddenly no?"
He said, "I don't have two cars, I don't have two houses -- but I have two cows!"
When you don't have, what is the problem? You can give everything when you don't have it. You can give the moon, you can give the sun to anybody who wants them, but when it comes to real problems then it is difficult.
Poor people were killed, but Joseph Stalin slept well. He was never disturbed because "I am killing so many people." And the communist ideology was also a good rationalization for him, because communism believes there is no soul: consciousness is only a by-product of matter, an epiphenomenon. So when you kill a person you are not killing anybody -- there is nobody inside; a man is just matter.
This was a great help for the murderer, Joseph Stalin. If there is nobody inside, you are not committing any crime, and when YOU die YOU will die: there is not going to be any afterlife and there is not going to be any Judgment Day.
People can create philosophies, rationalizations, arguments, for doing all kinds of mischief. And people are ready to believe anything that helps them to continue as they are.

Holding a butterfly in his palm, Basil walked into a cocktail lounge.
"See this butterfly?" he shouted. "If somebody will tell me how much this butterfly weighs, I will bestow all my charm on him."
"Shut up, you bum," shouted a man at the bar. "It weighs a hundred pounds."
"Ah, sweetheart, you win!"

If you want to do something, then anything can be accepted if it helps your desire, your wishes.

Lars came home early one afternoon and found his wife lying naked on the bed breathing heavily.
"June, what is the matter?" he asked.
"I think I am having a heart attack," she gasped.
Quickly, Lars rushed downstairs to phone a doctor when his son came rushing in and exclaimed, "Daddy! There is a naked man in the front closet!"
Lars opened the closet door and found his best friend cowering there.
"For God's sake, Emil!" screamed Lars. "June is having a heart attack and here you are sneaking around scaring the children!"

When you want to believe in anything, you can invent all kinds of ideas. Watch how you defend your mischief, how you defend your wrongs, your faults.

BY YOUR OWN FOLLY
YOU WILL BE BROUGHT AS LOW
AS YOUR WORST ENEMY WISHES.
SO THE CREEPER CHOKES THE TREE.

When the creeper starts moving up a tree, the tree feels very good; it is very ego-fulfilling that the creeper needs the tree. Whenever you are needed you feel good. The tree knows, "I am strong and the creeper has to depend on me." The tree wants the creepers, more and more creepers, to go round and round the tree, to have its support. It may think it is doing a great public service, or it may think that it is a great lover and the creepers are beloveds. Creepers are female and the trees are all male chauvinists! But sooner or later the creepers are going to suffocate the tree, to choke the tree -- but then it will be too late.
Beware, be watchful of every step: TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS. Don't lose a single moment in unawareness, because in unawareness you are bound to do some mischief -- and all mischief is going to rebound on you, sooner or later.

Morgan, aged eighty-six, was talking to his doctor. "About four weeks ago," he said, "I picked up an eighteen-year-old girl, took her to a motel, and we made love all night. Three weeks ago, I met a twenty-year-old, double-parked in front of her house, and we did it for three hours. Just last week, I grabbed a seventeen-year-old, took her to the park and we have been making love for six straight days."
"My goodness!" gasped the doctor. "Picking up all these strange girls, I hope you are using some precautions."
"Oh, sure," said the old man. "I give them a phony name and address."

Eighty-six years old, remember! And what precautions is he taking? He is giving a phony name and a phony address.
If you have persisted in your follies your whole life, even dying you will die full of your follies. Hence, don't postpone till tomorrow -- one never knows whether tomorrow will come or not. Start being watchful from this very moment.

HOW HARD IT IS TO SERVE YOURSELF,
HOW EASY TO LOSE YOURSELF
IN MISCHIEF AND FOLLY.

HOW HARD IT IS TO SERVE YOURSELF.... What does Buddha mean by it? He means how hard it is to be aware -- because that is the only true service to yourself. Unless you love yourself immensely you will not go on that arduous journey of being watchful. You can be watchful only if you love yourself so tremendously that you don't want to commit any folly, any mischief, that you don't want to bring any misery on yourself.
Be selfish -- because if you are selfish you will be altruistic. First get rooted into your own being, and then you will be of help to others. But you have been told that if you are selfish that is bad. "Be unselfish, be altruistic! Help others, serve others, and forget yourself!"

A mother was telling her small boy, "It is our duty to serve others. God has made you to serve others."
The boy thought for a moment and then said, "I can understand that -- that God has made me to serve others -- but why has God made others? To serve me? But this seems to be ridiculous! He makes me to serve others, makes others to serve me? Why can't I serve myself and they serve themselves? It will be more simple, less complicated."

You have been told to serve others -- and you serve them, but what service can you do for them? In the name of service you do all kinds of wrong things to people. You are bound to do wrong things because you are not alert enough....

THE KATTHAKA REED DIES WHEN IT BEARS FRUIT.

There is a certain reed, the KATTHAKA reed, in India, which dies when it bears fruit.

SO THE FOOL,
SCORNING THE TEACHINGS OF THE AWAKENED,
SPURNING THOSE WHO FOLLOW THE LAW,
PERISHES WHEN HIS FOLLY FLOWERS.

It takes a little time for the seed to grow and become a sprout, and the sprout to grow and become a tree. And the tree also takes time, the right season, to grow flowers, and then fruits come. It takes time. When you sow the seeds you don't see the flowers or the fruits.
Be watchful when you are sowing your seeds, because once sown you will have to suffer the consequences. Whatsoever you sow you will have to reap. It is just that the time gap creates illusions in people's minds. They think they can escape, that they can sow wrong seeds and reap the right crops. That is impossible -- that is against the eternal law.
And these are the people -- "the fools" Buddha calls them -- who scorn the teachings of the awakened, who laugh and ridicule the buddhas, because the buddhas seem to be enemies to them. They know that if buddhas are right then their whole life is wrong, and that is too much for them to accept. They know that if buddhas are right then they are utterly stupid, utterly idiotic, and that is too much for their egos to accept, too humiliating. Hence it is better to crucify a Jesus, poison a Socrates, stone a Buddha, than to listen to them.
SCORNING THE TEACHINGS OF THE AWAKENED, SPURNING THOSE WHO FOLLOW THE LAW.... And those who listen to the buddhas and follow the law, the ultimate law of life -- the law of love and the law of meditation -- those who follow, they are being laughed at. People ridicule them. People think that they are mad, insane. People try in every possible way to pull them away from the right path, because their very presence hurts them.
When a single person starts meditating, all the nonmeditators are against him. He is doing something which raises questions about their life-style, and if by meditation he becomes more peaceful and more blissful, then of course they become more and more suspicious of their life-style, more and more doubtful -- and nobody wants to live in doubt. And it is easier to kill the person, to destroy the person, than to destroy your doubts. It is easier to remove the buddha, to murder the buddha, than to become conscious.
Christians have never been able to explain why Jesus was crucified, and they have found all kinds of wrong interpretations. They think he was being crucified for the sins of humanity. Utterly stupid! If you commit a sin, YOU will suffer. Why Jesus Christ? Why this poor man? What has he done? Christians say Jesus was crucified because Adam and Eve committed the original sin. Why not crucify Adam and Eve? What has this poor carpenter's son done? He is utterly innocent, he has not committed any sin.
And then they say -- and they have to find new, and more, explanations, because no explanation satisfies -- he has chosen to be crucified himself, as a sacrifice to save humanity. But humanity is not saved yet, two thousand years have passed. So one thing is certain: his sacrifice was futile.
But all these explanations are wrong. The real thing is that a man who is enlightened is bound to be crucified, killed, murdered, by those who have invested deeply in unconsciousness.
Buddha reminds you that you can scorn the teachings of the awakened and spurn those who follow the law, but remember: THE KATTHAKA REED DIES WHEN IT BEARS FRUIT. SO THE FOOL... PERISHES WHEN HIS FOLLY FLOWERS. It will not be too long. Soon you will see the fruits of your own actions and then you will cry and weep, but then it will be too late.
Beware! And do two simple things -- in fact simple, but they look arduous, because we have been brought up with absolutely wrong conditionings. The first is: LOVE YOURSELF. And the second is: WATCH -- TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS.

Enough for today.


Next: Chapter 6: Christ: the last Christian, Question 1

 


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