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OSHO Dhammapada-Buddhism-Buddha

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

Chapter 9: Entering the stream

 

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

 

DO NOT LIVE IN THE WORLD
IN DISTRACTION AND FALSE DREAMS,
OUTSIDE THE LAW.

ARISE AND WATCH.
FOLLOW THE WAY JOYFULLY
THROUGH THIS WORLD AND BEYOND.

FOLLOW THE WAY OF VIRTUE.
FOLLOW THE WAY JOYFULLY
THROUGH THIS WORLD AND ON BEYOND!

FOR CONSIDER THE WORLD --
A BUBBLE, A MIRAGE.
SEE THE WORLD AS IT IS,
AND DEATH SHALL OVERLOOK YOU.

COME, CONSIDER THE WORLD,
A PAINTED CHARIOT FOR KINGS,
A TRAP FOR FOOLS.
BUT HE WHO SEES GOES FREE.

AS THE MOON SLIPS FROM BEHIND A CLOUD
AND SHINES,
SO THE MASTER COMES OUT FROM BEHIND HIS IGNORANCE
AND SHINES.

THIS WORLD IS IN DARKNESS.
HOW FEW HAVE EYES TO SEE!
HOW FEW THE BIRDS
WHO ESCAPE THE NET AND FLY TO HEAVEN!

SWANS RISE AND FLY TOWARDS THE SUN.
WHAT MAGIC!
SO DO THE PURE CONQUER THE ARMIES OF ILLUSION
AND RISE AND FLY.

IF YOU SCOFF AT HEAVEN
AND VIOLATE THE LAW,
IF YOUR WORDS ARE LIES,
WHERE WILL YOUR MISCHIEF END?

THE FOOL LAUGHS AT GENEROSITY.
THE MISER CANNOT ENTER HEAVEN.
BUT THE MASTER FINDS JOY IN GIVING
AND HAPPINESS IS HIS REWARD.

AND MORE --
FOR GREATER THAN ALL THE JOYS
OF HEAVEN AND OF EARTH,
GREATER STILL THAN DOMINION
OVER ALL THE WORLDS,
IS THE JOY OF REACHING THE STREAM.

The first sutra:

DO NOT LIVE IN THE WORLD
IN DISTRACTION AND FALSE DREAMS,
OUTSIDE THE LAW.

It is one of the most misinterpreted sutras of Buddha. For centuries the Buddhists have believed that Buddha is saying, "Renounce the world," that Buddha is against the world, that he is a life-denyer, that he would like everybody to become an escapist. But that is not the meaning of the sutra; the sutra has a totally different meaning.
The sutra says: DO NOT LIVE IN THE WORLD IN DISTRACTION AND FALSE DREAMS, OUTSIDE THE LAW. It does not say: Do not live in the world. It says: live in the world, but do not live in distraction and false dreams. Live in the world, but do not live outside the eternal law of life and existence. Live in the world, but be not of it. Live in the world, but do not let the world live in you.
If it had been understood the way I understand it, the whole history of Buddhism would have been totally different, and not only the history of Buddhism but the whole face of humanity would have been totally different. Because the sutra was understood as AGAINST the world, the Buddhists became life-negative. They became more interested in dying than in living. They became more interested in suicide -- slow suicide, gradual suicide. Suicide became their goal. This is a perversion -- a perversion of a great master and his great words.
The words are clear: DO NOT LIVE IN THE WORLD IN DISTRACTION AND FALSE DREAMS, OUTSIDE THE LAW. Live in the world without distraction, without dreams, and in communion with the law. His expression is a little negative. His expression is always a little negative, for a certain reason. Rather than speaking in an affirmative way, Buddha always says the same thing in a negative way. The reason is that when you affirm something it becomes so definite, so solid, that people tend to follow it blindly; hence Buddha uses the negative expression. That way he gives you freedom to analyze, to meditate, to find out on your own. He never says what is, he always says what is not; he defines through the negative. It is a beautiful device for those who can understand, but for those who cannot understand, it is a dangerous device because they will become victims of negativity.
And Buddha had to choose the negative way of expression, because for centuries before him religion was always expressed in the affirmative way, and the affirmative way had become a burden on people's being. He changed the whole religious expression. He would not say: God is; he would only say: You become absolutely empty and then see what is. This is just indicating a way very vaguely, so you cannot cling to it. Otherwise people are clingers: they will fall upon anything and they will possess it.
Buddha is elusive, you cannot catch hold of him. He says: Be empty and see. He says: Let there be no mind and then see. He never defines exactly what will happen when there is no mind. He knows that if he says what will happen when there is no mind, you will start desiring it. And to desire it is never to achieve it, because desiring is a process of the mind.
For example, if Buddha says, just like the Upanishads say, that when there is no mind there will be great bliss... now listening to this, a great desire for bliss is bound to arise. But desire is mind, even the desire for bliss. If, just like the Upanishads, Buddha says: If you drop the mind you will find God, freedom, absolute freedom -- immediately the desire enters from the back door: "How to find this eternity, this deathlessness, this joy, this God? How to attain to paradise?"
Now it will be impossible to drop the mind. The mind has taken a new form, a new desire, new garments, but it is the same old mind. First it was desiring money, power, prestige; now it desires God, samadhi, enlightenment, bliss, truth, freedom. The objects have changed -- but the mind is not in the objects; the mind is in the process of desiring.
Hence Buddha never gives you any object to desire; he takes away all objects. This can be done only through VIA NEGATIVA. And he leaves you in an emptiness... but that emptiness is not real emptiness. Just the contrary: it is fullness, it is plenitude, it is overflowing with bliss, with God, with love. But Buddha will never say that, about that he is very conscious -- because for centuries the affirmative has been a distraction for people.
Millions of people in the East have become desirous of the other world, the other shore -- so much so that the very desire for the other shore became their hindrance. To destroy that hindrance, to remove that obstacle, Buddha uses the negative way.
But man is such a fool! The masters move very cautiously, they take every step very cautiously, because man is such a fool. They take every precaution not even to use any word which can be misinterpreted -- but all words can be misinterpreted! Man is so unconscious that to expect that he will understand rightly is to expect too much from him. He is bound to misunderstand; in unconsciousness, misunderstanding is the only possibility.
The Upanishads were right, but they were misunderstood because of their affirmative approach. People became very indulgent: "If life is God, then indulge in God as much as possible!" This is a logical conclusion: "If existence is God, then eat, drink and be merry! If to be is to be divine, then enjoy life, then let your life be a merry-go-round. All is divine. The Upanishads say: SARVAM KHALVIDAM BRAHMA -- all is God. If all is God, then why not accumulate as much money as you can? -- because money is God!"
You see how our unconscious mind goes on distorting: "If all is God, then why not have more power, more prestige? Then why not go on great ego trips? If all is God, then ego too is God!" The Upanishads say: AHAM BRAHMASMI -- I am God. And when it is heard in deep unconsciousness, we understand the Upanishads are saying the ego is God, because to us 'I' and 'ego' are synonymous. The Upanishads are misunderstood because of their affirmation, their total affirmation.
And Buddha is misunderstood because of his negation, total negation. He moved the pendulum to the other extreme; just to avoid the pitfalls that he had seen on the path of affirmation he moved to the other extreme. He used only negative expressions. DO NOT LIVE IN THE WORLD IN DISTRACTION AND FALSE DREAMS, OUTSIDE THE LAW. He could have said, in a more positive way: LIVE in the world, without distractions, without dreams. LIVE in the world, in accordance with the ultimate law. AES DHAMMO SANANTANO -- LIVE in accordance with the eternal law. But that is not his choice. He had seen the affirmative becoming an imprisonment and it was a necessity to destroy the affirmative. You can destroy the affirmative, and for the time being, while the master is alive, people will understand his negative approach because he is there to explain it to you. But when he is gone, then? The negative becomes your imprisonment.
Hindu sannyasins are caught in the affirmative and Buddhist BHIKKHUS are caught in the negative.
My effort here is to help you understand both, and to understand your capacity to misunderstand. And be alert; otherwise each word is going to create something else, something that was never meant.

A performing octopus could play the piano, the zither, and the piccolo. His trainer wanted him to add the bagpipes to his accomplishments, so he placed the Scottish instrument in the octopus' room. Hours passed, but no bagpipe music was heard.
The trainer was disturbed. The next morning he anxiously asked the eight-tentacled creature, "Have you learned to play that thing yet?"
"PLAY it?" replied the octopus. "I have been trying to LAY it all night!"

The octopus can be forgiven -- YOU cannot be forgiven. But men behave in the same way, as unconsciously as possible. Even if they become conscious sometimes, their consciousness is also mixed with unconsciousness. Even if they are alert, their alertness is not pure. Even if they are watchful, their watchfulness has something wrong in it.

McBride and Kavanaugh were in a cafeteria sitting near the WATCH YOUR HAT AND OVERCOAT sign. McBride kept turning every minute, nearly choking on his food, to look at his overcoat.
Kavanaugh continued eating, paying no attention to his own coat on the hook. But McBride's constant twisting began to irritate him. "You dope!" he said. "Stop watching our overcoats!"
"I am just watching mine," said McBride. "Yours has been gone for half an hour!"

Man's state is that of a mess, of chaos! Great work is needed to make you really alert. And the first sutra is the beginning of that great work: DO NOT LIVE IN THE WORLD IN DISTRACTION AND FALSE DREAMS....
Your mind is continuously creating distractions. Just watch your mind, and you will understand what Buddha is saying. It never allows you to sit silently even for a few moments. If you sit silently it says, "Why not listen to the radio? The newspaper must have come, your post may have arrived. Why not go to the movie? Why not watch TV?" If you are in the shop your mind says, "Go home, rest -- you are tired." If you are at home your mind says, "What you are doing here, wasting your time? Go to the shop -- you could have earned something!"
The mind never allows you to be where you are, it never allows you to see things as they are. It is always taking you somewhere else, either into the past or into the future; it never allows you to be in the present. Either it drags you into memories -- which are nothing but footprints on the sands of time -- or it drags you into the future: great projections, great expectations, desires, goals.... And you become so much involved with them -- as if they have some reality! And the reality is slipping out of your hands while you are engaged in all these trips into the past, into the future.
The mind never allows you and will never allow you to see that which is; it always takes you to that which is not.

Edith was complaining to her friend, Rose, that her husband never showed any interest in making love. He would just sit every night and watch television. Rose suggested that she make herself more appealing and somehow tantalize him.
So the next night Edith put on her most bewitching perfume and dressed herself in nothing but shoes, hat, gloves, and handbag. She went into the living room and casually strolled around. Her husband kept his eyes glued on the TV set. She coughed, and he finally looked up at her.
"Oh, are you going out?" he asked.
"Of course!" she said sarcastically.
"Great," he replied, "because I was hoping you could mail this letter for me."

He is not there. He is not seeing the woman, he is not seeing that she is naked. He is not there at all! Nobody is -- everybody is somewhere else.
It is said by the ancient Sufis that God wants to meet you, and wherever he thinks you should be he comes, but he never finds you there. You are always somewhere else. He comes in the present -- you are in the past, you are in the future. He knows only one time: now, and only one place: here. But you are never here and you are never now; you are always there and you are always then. The meeting is impossible. He knows no other time than the present and no other place than this. He lives in thisness, suchness. Buddha's word is TATHATA -- he lives in suchness, tathata.
One of the names of Buddha is TATHAGATA -- one who lives in suchness, one who has become free from all the distractions of the mind. And the miracle is that the mind consists only of distraction, so once you are free of all distractions there is no mind left. In the present there is no mind. In the present there is only consciousness, awareness, watchfulness.
Live in the world, but not through the mind. Don't let the past or the future stand between you and reality. And if you can manage the state of no-mind even for a few moments -- that's what meditation is all about -- you will be surprised: suddenly you are in rhythm with existence. You will know what Buddha calls AES DHAMMO SANANTANO -- the eternal law. You will pulsate with it, vibrate with it. You will be just a wave in the great ocean of the law. You will be in such attunement, in such at-onement, in such deep harmony and accord, that the whole sky will start showering flowers on you, the whole existence will rejoice with you.
This is paradise: paradise is the state of no-mind. Buddha calls it the lotus paradise, because your consciousness opens up like a lotus in the early morning sun and there is great fragrance, great beauty, and there is great grace.
But remember, he does not mean renounce the world, as all the commentators down the ages have said. He is saying: Renounce the mind -- MIND is the world! Renounce distractions and renounce dreams -- because if you live in dreams you cannot see the reality. Your eyes are covered with the dust of dreams, layer upon layer. There are dreams and dreams and dreams, and you are surrounded by so many dreams that you cannot see what reality is. And your priests go on helping you to create new dreams, your psychologists go on helping you to create new dreams. If they take away one dream they immediately replace it with another.
This is the whole foundation of the science of hypnosis: man can be persuaded to believe in something absolutely false. Hypnosis shows the capacity of man to fall into such dreams, into such unrealities that on the surface it looks unbelievable.
Have you seen a hypnotist perform? If he says to a person, "You are not a man but a dog," the man believes it -- if he has been hypnotized rightly, if he has been hypnotized into deep sleep. Hypnosis means created sleep, deliberately created sleep. If he has been hypnotized rightly and told that he is not a man but a dog, he starts barking like a dog! He may never have done it before, but he can do it immediately. He believes it, and the moment you believe something you become it. Of course, your belief is false and your becoming is false.
Psychologists are becoming aware that almost ninety percent of diseases are only beliefs. My own understanding is that as they go deeper into it, they will find that almost ninety-nine percent of diseases are beliefs. Maybe it was a real disease the first time, but then you started believing in it, you started projecting it, you started repeating it, rehearsing it, practicing it. And slowly slowly, it became a reality for you.
Go into an insane asylum sometime and watch people. They are the same people as you, just a little ahead of you -- the difference is only of degrees. You may be below the boiling point, maybe ninety-nine degrees, and they may have gone beyond -- one hundred and one degrees -- just a two-degree difference or a one-degree difference.
Insane people go on living in their own worlds; they create their own worlds, they believe in their own worlds. They believe in them so much that you cannot pull them out of their dreams. Their dreams have become realities -- that is their insanity.

I have heard about one man who became mad and started thinking that he had died. Now the whole psychological department of that mental institute was after him to pull him out of the idea that he was dead. It was a challenge for them, it was also something new -- they had never come across such a case.
They tried everything but it was impossible, because mad people may be mad but they are as logical as you are. They have their own logic, their own rationality; they have a great capacity to rationalize everything that they are doing.
Finally, a great psychologist was called from the outside to help. The great psychologist came; he talked to the man and he asked him one single question. He asked, "Do you believe that dead men can bleed?"
He said, "No, never! How can dead men bleed? Once one is dead... it is impossible for a corpse to bleed."
Then the psychologist said, "Come along with me!" He took him to the mirror; he pricked his hand with a sharp instrument -- blood started coming out. He said, "Look! So this proves that you are still alive!"
The madman laughed and he said, "This only proves that my statement was wrong -- dead men DO bleed!"

It becomes so impossible to pull them out! And the same is the case with you. As far as buddhas are concerned, the same is the case with you. To pull you outside your minds, to help you to climb out of your dreams -- it is really difficult.
Hypnosis tries one method, but that is not the method of the buddhas. It gives you another dream, maybe a better one -- a little more sophisticated, a little less dangerous, less harmful, more beneficial -- but a dream is still a dream. Whether you dream of poison or of nectar does not really make much difference; at least it makes no difference to the man who has become awakened.
Ordinarily it will make a difference: a man who believes that he is drinking poison will always remain ill; the man who thinks that he is drinking nectar will always look healthy, joyful. Yes, in the ordinary way there is a difference. Hence hypnosis has a limited utility: if you cannot be pulled out of your dreams, at least you can be helped to move from nightmares to sweet dreams. That's the function of hypnosis.

After being troubled with recurring headaches for which her doctor could not find the cause, Jean decided to consult a hypnotist. Amazingly enough, after two treatments the headaches disappeared. Her husband, Ben, was intrigued and asked how the cure had been effected.
Jean said, "Well, all I had to do was to put my hand over my forehead and repeat several times, 'I have no headache, I have no headache.'"
Some months later Ben was aware that he was losing interest in the physical side of marriage and decided to consult the same hypnotist for help. He did so, and the result was amazing.
Jean was ecstatic and asked how it had been accomplished, but Ben refused to tell her. Finally one night, Jean noticed that Ben was staying in the bathroom for an inordinate length of time before coming to bed.
She tiptoed to the bathroom door and peeped through the keyhole. He had one hand over his forehead and his lips were moving. Putting her ear to the keyhole, she heard him murmuring, "She is not my wife, she is not my wife...."

Now, this is creating a new conditioning. You are going from one prison into another -- maybe a better prison with more facilities, but a prison is a prison, after all. And the buddhas want you to be free of all prisons.
DO NOT LIVE IN THE WORLD IN DISTRACTION AND FALSE DREAMS, OUTSIDE THE LAW.

ARISE AND WATCH.
FOLLOW THE WAY JOYFULLY
THROUGH THIS WORLD AND BEYOND.

You can see how Buddha has been misunderstood. You will not find Buddhist bhikkhus joyful, not at all. They are very sad, somber, living almost hopelessly, in despair. They can't find anything to be joyful about, because from the very beginning they have gone on a wrong track.
Buddha says: ARISE AND WATCH. How to get out of the mind and its distractions and dreams? ARISE AND WATCH. Wake up and watch! Watch your mind -- what it goes on doing to you, how it plays games with you, how it goes on and on creating new illusions, new hopes for you. Buddha is not saying become hopeless, he is not saying fall into despair -- because that is again a mind strategy: the despair, the anguish, the anxiety.
Escape is again a mind game. You are worldly; the mind says, "There is nothing in the world. Listen to the buddhas. Escape from the world, go to the Himalayan caves, and everything will be perfectly right. In this world nothing can ever be right." Now the mind is giving you a new projection, a new project.
Buddha says: Don't follow the mind -- detach yourself from the mind. See the mind separate from yourself: playing around, creating new games -- alluring ones, enchanting ones in which you can be caught again.
FOLLOW THE WAY JOYFULLY.... And if you are really following the awakened ones you will follow joyfully, because a man without distractions and dreams is naturally joyful. Not that he has something to be joyful about, not that he has attained great money, power, prestige, or the power to do miracles -- the power to walk on water and cure the blind people and help the dead to be alive again. No, he has no reason to be joyful. But just because all the distractions of the mind have disappeared, the energy involved in the distractions is released -- that energy is joy.
William Blake is right. He says: Energy is delight. William Blake has many beautiful insights. He is one of the greatest poets the West has produced. Just a few steps more and he would have been an enlightened person. These two poets -- Walt Whitman and William Blake -- they could have been RISHIS, seers. Just a few steps, maybe only one step, a little jump... but they had come very close to the boundary of realization.
William Blake says: Energy is delight. He is right -- this is a great revelation. It can't be said without experiencing it somehow, in howsoever small a measure.
Your joy is always caused from the outside. You have won a lottery and you are joyful; you have purchased a house that, for many years, you have been longing for -- and you are happy; you have found the woman that you had desired and you are happy. But these are momentary happinesses. After two or three days the house will be old, and after a few days the woman will look ordinary. How long can one remain interested in a woman or in a man? Because these are superficial attractions, sooner or later the reality will be revealed.

The Nazi leader, Goring, was seated next to a fine blonde Aryan FRAULEIN at a very important state dinner. During dessert he began feeling her leg under the table. As his hand moved up her thigh he heard a hoarse masculine whisper, "Don't be surprised when you get to my balls -- I am Secret Agent X-7."

What things appear to be from the outside is one thing; what you will find inside is totally different. You may have fallen in love with a secret agent! Everybody is in for a surprise.
When you fall in love with a woman, she is a totally different kind of person. When you are married to her, to your surprise, she is no longer the same person. Sometimes you suspect: what has happened? Has she deceived you? But she is also in the same situation. She is worried: where has that beautiful man disappeared to?
There are old stories of frogs becoming beautiful princes. In my own experience just the opposite happens: you bring home beautiful princes and overnight, in the morning, you find there is a frog! Princes disappear and become frogs -- all princes, unconditionally. Those stories have some truth in them. If frogs can become princes, why not vice versa? Nobody has ever seen a frog becoming a prince, and everybody has seen many princes becoming frogs!
ARISE AND WATCH. The essential core of Buddha's message is awareness, mindfulness. Look at your own mind. Don't get involved with it, remain unidentified. That's what he means when he says: Watch. And as you watch you will become more and more awake and your life will start having a new kind of joy, which has nothing to do with the outside; it wells up within your being.
FOLLOW THE WAY JOYFULLY.... If you are rightly following the way of the awakened ones -- Jesus, Buddha, Mahavira, Mohammed, it does not make any difference -- then one sure sign is that you will be joyful for no reason at all. You will be just joyful, naturally. If that thing is missing, remember, you have misunderstood. You have gone onto some wrong track, you have misinterpreted.
FOLLOW THE WAY JOYFULLY THROUGH THIS WORLD AND BEYOND. And look at the Buddhist bhikkhus -- they are miserable! I have known many, I have known very famous ones -- miserable! There is no dance in their feet and no song in their hearts. They are deserts: nothing grows in their being, nothing is green in their life. I have never come across a Buddhist monk who has flowers in his heart, lotuses blooming, birds singing -- nothing of the sort, just an empty desert.
And the reason is, Buddha's negative expression has become his way of life; he has become caught in negativity. How can he be joyous? Joy does not fit with his interpretation of Buddha. And the words are so clear -- but you read only that which you want to read and you see only that which you want to see. You don't read, you don't see that which goes against your prejudices. Such clear words, and yet great misunderstanding has arisen.
Buddhist monks are the saddest people in the world -- long faces. It is bound to happen because they have become escapists.
And Buddha says: FOLLOW THE WAY JOYFULLY THROUGH THIS WORLD AND BEYOND. He does not forget this world. He says: THROUGH THIS WORLD.... If he is in favor of renouncing the world, then what is the point of saying: THROUGH THIS WORLD...? He is not saying renounce the world: renounce the mind and the world is renounced. You live in the world and yet you remain untouched by it. And a great joy arises in you, a great laughter, a great love. And you will be able to carry this love, this joy, this dance, to the other shore, because it is something that is happening inside you; it is not dependent on outside causes, it is not caused by anything.
Remember, one of the fundamentals of life is: that which depends on outside causes will be taken away from you sooner or later. At least one thing is absolutely certain: you will not be able to carry it with you into death. But that which is independent of outside causes, that which is caused in the innermost core of your being, in your own interiority, nobody can take it away. You cannot be robbed of it, it cannot be stolen -- even death cannot destroy it.
The body will be destroyed, but not the song. The body will be gone, but not the dance. The dance, the song, the joy, will move into the universal song, into the universal joy, into the universal ocean of consciousness, of truth, of godliness.

FOLLOW THE WAY OF VIRTUE.
FOLLOW THE WAY JOYFULLY.

He repeats it again, because he wants to emphasize it. He must be alert that his way of expressing things negatively could create a great misunderstanding. People could become sad, and the moment you are sad you have fallen out of tune with existence.
FOLLOW THE WAY OF VIRTUE. And what is the way of virtue for Buddha? He does not give any details, he does not give you ten commandments. He gives you the eleventh commandment, and the eleventh is enough. If you fulfill the eleventh then you can forget all about the ten, because in following that one, the eleventh, all ten are contained.
That eleventh commandment is meditation. Meditate. That is what is missing in the Jewish-Christian ten commandments: nothing is said about meditation. Everything else is included in them; those are consequences, not causes. That cause is missing. Virtue without meditation is an imposition, a forced imposition. Virtue without meditation is repressive. Virtue without meditation is pseudo. Virtue without meditation is just a facade: you can deceive others, but how can you deceive yourself?
With meditation there arises a totally different kind of virtue: a natural virtue, a spontaneous virtue. Whenever Buddha says: FOLLOW THE WAY OF VIRTUE, he means meditate: arise, awake, watch. These are his words for meditation because if you are alert you cannot do anything that is wrong. Not that you will have to prevent yourself from doing it; even if you want to do it you cannot. Sin becomes impossible if you are alert. Then virtue is the only possibility. Then whatsoever you do is virtuous.
Out of meditation the flowers of virtue arise, bloom. Their fragrance is released to the winds, into the infinity of existence. Buddha gives you only one commandment: awareness. You can call it meditation, you can call it watchfulness. His own word is SAMMASATI -- RIGHT awareness. He insists each time he mentions awareness that it should be of the right kind, because he knows there is a possibility of a wrong kind of awareness too.
What is wrong awareness? People can be aware of others' acts, of others' faults: they can be very keenly aware -- in fact they are. It is so easy to see everybody else's faults in the world. That is a wrong kind of awareness; that is not your business at all. Who are you and why should you be worried?
Right awareness is awareness of one's own being in its totality: all that is good and all that is bad. But as you become aware, the bad starts disappearing -- just as when you bring light into the room, the darkness disappears. When light is in the room, darkness cannot exist there. Sin is darkness, forgetfulness, unconsciousness.

FOR CONSIDER THE WORLD --
A BUBBLE, A MIRAGE.
SEE THE WORLD AS IT IS,
AND DEATH SHALL OVERLOOK YOU.

One thing which is unique to Buddha is that that he never says "Believe." He never says, "You simply have to follow what I am saying." No, that is not his approach. He is very much against believing. He invites you to consider. He says: FOR CONSIDER THE WORLD -- A BUBBLE, A MIRAGE. He says: Not because I am saying it is it a bubble, a mirage, do you have to believe it. You consider it yourself. If it is a truth, your consideration will show it to you. What is the point, what is the need, of believing?
Religious priests go on telling people: Believe there is God. Believe there is paradise. Believe that your good acts will be rewarded and your bad acts will be punished, that there is heaven and hell -- believe! No priest ever says "Consider." No priest ever wants you to be independent. Only a buddha, an awakened one, can say to you "Consider" -- because he respects you. He knows you are deeply asleep, but your sleep is full of the potential of waking up. Today you are asleep, tomorrow you may be awake. Today you are not a buddha, tomorrow you may be a buddha. Your potential is there. You can go on neglecting it for lives together, but one day or another it is going to happen.
A buddha has tremendous respect for people; hence he can never say "Believe." Belief means that the person who is saying it has no respect for you, he does not trust your intelligence enough. Buddha trusts your intelligence. He provokes it, he challenges it, he invites you. It is an invitation.
CONSIDER THE WORLD -- A BUBBLE, A MIRAGE. He says: I considered it and I found it only a bubble, a mirage, a deception, an illusion. I have lived in the illusion, believing that it was true. You are also living in the illusion believing that it is true, but consider. Give it a little more time. See a little more intensely, concentratedly. Try to penetrate its secret, and you will be surprised: just a pinprick and the bubble is gone, just a little more alertness and there is no mirage... it disappears.

Gurdjieff, one of the buddhas of this century, used to give a certain meditation to his disciples which is very significant. He used to say to his disciples, "If you can remember in a dream that 'This is a dream,' then you are on the very threshold of transformation."
But it is very difficult to remember in a dream that it is a dream. When you are in a dream you believe that it is the truth. And every night you are in a dream, and every morning you come back and you see and you know that it was all false. And again when you fall asleep the dream is there and you start believing in it again, as if you never learned anything. But how to remember?
He created a small device. He would give this device to a few advanced disciples: that in the daytime... because you cannot do anything while you are asleep and in a dream. The preparation has to be done in the daytime; then you have a little bit of awareness. He used to tell them, "As many times as you can manage -- brushing your teeth in the morning -- just put your left hand on your head and say, 'This is all dream.' Walking on the street, put your left hand again on your head and say, 'This is all dream.' Let your left hand and the putting of it on your head become associated with the idea that 'This is all dream.'
"Repeated many times, whenever you put your left hand on your head, immediately the idea will come: 'This is all dream.' Or whenever you say, 'This is all dream,' automatically your left hand will go on your head. This has to be practiced for at least three to nine months in the daytime.
"And then," Gurdjieff used to say, "one day suddenly in a dream you will see it happen: the dream is there, and you put your hand on your head, your left hand, and suddenly you say, 'This is all dream.' And the moment you say it the dream disappears, you are fully awake. The dream cannot exist if you know that it is a dream."

And that is a great experience when it happens -- you can try it. When it really happens, that one night your hand goes to your head while you are asleep, while you are dreaming, and suddenly the idea comes that "This is all dream...." And you are immediately fully awake and you find your hand on your head. It has become so associated; it is like a conditioned reflex. But one thing has become clear: if you can remember, "This is all dream," the dream disappears. The dream can only disappear by your remembering that this is a dream; reality cannot disappear. You can go on remembering, "This is all dream," but you know all the time this is not so. Philosophically you can go on repeating, "This is all dream," and you can be very cunning philosophically.

Once it happened:
A great philosopher came to the court of a king. He said, "This whole world is a dream."
The king was a crazy type of person; he said, "Then wait."
He had a mad elephant. He told his whole court to watch. The mad elephant was brought into the courtyard of the palace and the poor philosopher was left alone with the mad elephant. The mad elephant started chasing him, and the philosopher started crying, "Save me! He will kill me -- save me!" He was crying and weeping. And the mad elephant took him and threw him at least thirty feet away. He fell on the ground -- so many bones fractured -- crying and weeping.
Then he was brought back to the court and the king said, "What now? What do you say about the elephant? Is that too a dream, MAYA, illusion?"
But philosophers are cunning people. He said, "Yes, it was a dream -- a bad dream, a nightmare."
And the king said, "What about the fractures?"
He said, "That too is a dream."
"Then why were you crying?"
He said, "I was crying in the dream, and I was crying and shouting -- I remember perfectly well -- 'Save me!' But it was all a dream."

Now this is cunningness -- but man can find cunning rationalizations for everything. The philosopher knows it was not a dream: the elephant was far too real, and he was shaken, afraid, and death was so close that he had forgotten all his philosophy. But back again in the safe court and the mad elephant gone, although he was fractured all over and it was painful, his philosophy was back again, his ego was back.
Reality is reality -- you cannot make it disappear by remembering that it is a dream. But if something is a dream, just by remembering that it is a dream, it disappears.
Buddha says: FOR CONSIDER THE WORLD.... What world? Does he mean the rocks and the mountains and the rivers and the stars? No, not at all. He means the world that you have been creating in your mind -- your mind world is a bubble, a mirage.

SEE THE WORLD AS IT IS,
AND DEATH SHALL OVERLOOK YOU.

If you can see the truth as it is, without your mind coming in between, you will not die; death will be impotent in encountering you. Death will come, but it can't take anything away from you, because you have already dropped all those dreams which death can destroy. Death can destroy only the mind. Consider it. Death cannot destroy your body, death cannot destroy your soul; death can only destroy the mind. The mind is a mirage, but the man who has dropped his mind himself, voluntarily... nothing is left for death to destroy.

COME, CONSIDER THE WORLD,
A PAINTED CHARIOT FOR KINGS,
A TRAP FOR FOOLS.

Buddha calls those people kings who have intelligence, understanding. He does not call a person a king who has much money, a great kingdom -- no. Buddha calls a man a king, an emperor, who has conquered himself, who has conquered his foolishness, his unconsciousness, who has been able to dissipate all illusions. He is the real king: he has entered into the kingdom of God. Again he invites: COME, CONSIDER THE WORLD, A PAINTED CHARIOT FOR KINGS....
As far as kings are concerned, the knowers are concerned, the wise ones are concerned, it is just a painted chariot; it is not a real chariot. It is just a painting. But a painting can be done so beautifully -- the painting can be three-dimensional -- that it can give you all the appearances of being real. But a painting is a painting, it is not real. It is real as a painting, but it is not the chariot. It cannot take you anywhere, you cannot ride in it.
The world is A PAINTED CHARIOT FOR KINGS, A TRAP FOR FOOLS. It is because of our unintelligence, unawareness, that we become trapped in it.

The seventy-year-old groom and the twenty-five-year-old bride caused raised eyebrows when they checked in at a hotel. Next morning, he came down early into the dining room, and ordered ham and eggs. From his smile and twinkling eyes, it was obvious that he was extremely happy.
After a while the bride came down. Her face was drawn, voice weak, complexion pale. She ordered toast and coffee. The waitress said, "Honey, I don't understand a young bride looking worn out, with an old man for a husband."
"He double-crossed me," replied the young bride. "He told me he had saved up for sixty years, and I thought he was talking about money!"

Beware of your mind! It can give you great illusions. It can make things appear as they are not and it can help you to see things as they are not. The mind is very inventive. The mind has only one power -- that of dreaming. In the daytime it dreams -- then it dreams through words, language; and in the night it dreams -- then it dreams in pictures.
And there are two types of people: a few people dream in black and white and a few people dream in technicolor. The people who dream in technicolor can become poets, painters, sculptors; they can be very artistic. They need not depend on drugs; their minds supply mescaline and LSD. Their body chemistry is enough to create psychedelic trips for them. But there are other people who only dream in black and white. Those people are scientists, businessmen, bankers -- calculative people -- mathematicians. But whether you dream in black and white or in color it does not matter -- a dream is a dream.
Beware of dreams! And watch your dreams day in, day out, because they are continuously there. You can watch them, and by watching them you will become unidentified with them, you will become a mirror reflecting them. And this brings great freedom. Freedom from dreams is freedom from the world.
COME, CONSIDER THE WORLD, A PAINTED CHARIOT FOR KINGS, A TRAP FOR FOOLS. It is the same world: for the meditators, for the kings, it is a painted chariot. Buddha is not saying anything against the world -- simply describing its truth. And for the fools it is a trap. It depends on you.

They had been married that afternoon in Minneapolis and journeyed to the city of Saint Paul, where they had a room at a downtown hotel. Night had fallen. The bride had already donned the beautiful silken nightie reserved for this occasion and was lounging voluptuously upon the bed. For over an hour now, the groom, still fully dressed, had been gazing out the open window into the darkness.
Impatiently Gladys addressed him: "Why don't you undress, dear, and come to bed?"
"Never mind me," he replied. "Go ahead and go to sleep. My mother told me this would be the most wonderful night I would ever see, and I don't want to miss a single minute of it!"

Now, how are you going to interpret the buddhas? In the world of your unconsciousness everything is distorted. You impose your ideas, you color, you distort. You manage to believe in whatsoever you want to believe; otherwise it is a simple fact.
If you look at the world, if you look at yourself, if you look at people, if you look at your life, your past, it will not be very difficult to find that ninety-nine percent of it is just dreaming; only one percent is true. And because of this ninety-nine percent of dreaming you are not able to find that one percent. And only that one percent is substantial, all else is shadow. That one percent is truth, all else is untruth. That one percent can save you, can become the boat to the other shore.

AS THE MOON SLIPS FROM BEHIND A CLOUD
AND SHINES,
SO THE MASTER COMES OUT FROM BEHIND HIS IGNORANCE
AND SHINES.

What is Buddha's idea of ignorance? -- not the lack of information but the lack of attentiveness. This sutra also has created great trouble, because the Buddhist bhikkhu thinks that to come out of ignorance he has to become very knowledgeable. So he ponders over the scriptures for years, he goes on repeating scriptures upon scriptures... and there are many scriptures. In fact, Buddhism is the richest religion in that sense.
Buddhism has nearly sixty thousand scriptures. Christianity is very poor -- just the Bible; Mohammedanism is very poor -- just the Koran. Buddhism has so many scriptures that one can go on wasting many lives pondering over them. And yet that is not Buddha's meaning.
When he says: ... THE MASTER COMES OUT FROM BEHIND HIS IGNORANCE AND SHINES, he is saying, it is not a question of gaining more information, it is a question of becoming more conscious, more alert, more attentive. But these people -- the pundits, the scholars -- they can always find reasons, proofs, arguments, to support themselves. All their arguments are stupid!

Once I was staying with a Buddhist monk. He was reading LANKAVATAR SUTRA, one of the very famous Buddhist scriptures. I asked him how long he had been reading it.
He said, "For twenty years this has been my everyday practice. I cannot live without it; this is my food, my nourishment. This is my soul."
I asked him, "But you don't seem yet to have become a buddha. I don't see light in your eyes, any silence around you. I can't smell any fragrance. Twenty years you have been trying to dispel ignorance by knowledge! And LANKAVATAR SUTRA is a beautiful scripture, but it is like a painted lamp: you can go on worshipping the painted lamp for twenty years or twenty centuries -- it is not going to dispel darkness. A real lamp is needed. One has to become conscious inside."
But he started arguing, giving so many reasons. His first argument was this... which is absurd to all outsiders, but this is how it happens. The insiders think this is a great argument. He had two disciples with him. They said, "Right! This is a beautiful argument!"
The first sutra says that those who read this sutra are bound to become liberated. He said, "Look! The sutra itself says that 'Those who read this sutra are bound to become liberated!'"
I said, "This is foolish! It is like...."

I have heard:
Mulla Nasruddin one day declared in the marketplace, "My wife is the most beautiful woman in the world." People gathered; they knew his woman, his wife, perfectly well -- she was an ordinary, homely woman -- and here he is declaring that she is the most beautiful woman in the world.
They said, "Mulla, who has given you this information?"
He said, "Who else? -- my wife herself! Just last night she told me."

Now, quoting the sutra itself in its favor... scholars are cunning people. In Indian scriptures this is always done: first they will praise the book, so much so that they say if you read it once you will be liberated; even a single word of it heard is enough for liberation. Now they are persuading your greed, seducing your greed! They will relate old stories saying, "One man who heard this sutra on his deathbed went directly to heaven. Another, who was ill, heard this sutra and became healthy. Another, who was poor, heard this sutra and became rich. This sutra is so precious that it gives both in this world and the other!"
Every sutra, every scripture, starts this way. This is nothing but salesmanship and rationalization.

The husband wired home that he had been able to wind up his business trip a day early and would be home on Thursday. When he walked into his apartment, however, he found his wife in bed with another man.
Furious, he picked up his bag and stormed out. He met his mother-in-law on the street, told her what had happened, and announced that he was filing suit for divorce in the morning.
"Give my daughter a chance to explain before you take any action," the older woman pleaded. Reluctantly he agreed.
An hour later, his mother-in-law phoned the husband at his club. "I knew my daughter would have an explanation," she said, with a note of triumph in her voice. "She did not receive your telegram!"

The mind is very cunning. Unless you are really watchful you are bound to be trapped by it.

THIS WORLD IS IN DARKNESS.
HOW FEW HAVE EYES TO SEE!
HOW FEW THE BIRDS
WHO ESCAPE THE NET AND FLY TO HEAVEN!

Very rare! It is very rare to find a man who has eyes to see, and very rare is the man who has got back his wings and can fly to the ultimate.
THIS WORLD IS IN DARKNESS -- and the darkness is created by our unconsciousness. It is not part of the world, it is projected by us.
HOW FEW HAVE EYES TO SEE! It is really very rare; hence in the old days people used to travel far and wide to seek somebody who had eyes. They would knock on many doors before they came upon the right door. They would listen to many teachers before they found a master. And once they had found a master, that was the end of their journey. Then they would become involved, committed; then they would devote their whole life and their whole energy to the work.
Again something like that is happening in the world: people have started looking for masters. And when you look for masters, remember, out of one hundred, ninety-nine will be false. And the false will appeal to you more than the real one, because the false will speak your language and the false will try to convince you, to argue. The false will quote scriptures, the false will console you. They will try to convince you, they will give you beliefs. And the real is going to be hard.
Many people knocked on George Gurdjieff's door, and then escaped from the man because he seemed to be so cruel. He was immensely compassionate, but because of his compassion he had to be hard; otherwise people could not be awakened.
When you want to wake a man up, you don't go to sing a lullaby by his side. You have to shake him, you have to throw ice-cold water into his eyes -- and of course it looks cruel. He may be having sweet dreams, and you are throwing cold water into his eyes!
A real master is hard. A real master is always watching for the right moment to hit you, to hammer you. And he is trying to find the weakest point in you so that you can be exposed easily -- exposed to yourself -- because if you are not alert to your own weaknesses, to your own limitations, you cannot grow.
A real master gives you growth, gives you wings, but takes away many things. He takes away all the rocks hanging around your neck, although you think they are diamonds, great diamonds. He takes your chains away, although you think they are your securities. He takes away all your conceptions, beliefs -- and you think those beliefs and conceptions are great knowledge; you have been bragging about them. He takes away many things from you which you have always cherished and thought were great treasures. He looks hard. And he gives you something of which you have had no taste up to now. He gives you something very unknown and takes away all that is known to you. He looks cruel.
Many people come to me. Very few courageous ones are going to stay with me. The cowards will escape. They will find many rationalizations.

One coward wrote a letter to me yesterday. I will not tell you his name, because he is new and it is not right to hit him so hard immediately! He wrote a long letter saying, "You talk about freedom, you talk about love, you talk about how to get rid of churches, beliefs, rituals. I want to become a sannyasin, but I don't want to wear orange, because this is a ritual and this is again a bondage. This is again fettering me, this is again a chain."
He does not know what it is, because one can know sannyas only by entering into it. No outsider can know what it is, and no insider can explain it to the outsider. It is not explainable. No lover can explain about love to somebody who has never loved. No man who has eyes can explain to the blind man what light is.
What he is really trying to do is to protect his ego, but he is not aware of that. Sannyas is dropping your ego. Yes, by dropping your ego you become free. Freedom means egolessness.
"And the orange clothes and the mala and meditation," he says, "these are the three fetters you are giving to your sannyasins." These are not fetters; these are just indications from the sannyasin that he is ready to take the plunge into the unknown. A simple gesture that he belongs to me, a simple gesture that now, if I want to do something to him, he is ready.
Orange has no other meaning. It is just a statement from your side that you are even ready to look crazy for me, that's all! It is a love affair, and if you are not even capable of looking crazy for me, then it will be difficult -- because later on more and more surrender will be needed.
And ultimately, when you drop your mind, it will look like insanity. In the beginning it looks like insanity; ultimately it proves to be the only sanity in the world. But that is only later on, when the mind is dropped.
Now the mala around your neck with my picture -- it makes you look silly! It is not a fetter, it is simply your readiness. You say, "Okay, if you say this has to be done, I am ready to do it."
And if you think even meditation is a chain, a prison, then why do you want to become a sannyasin at all? The man seems to be very clever in his foolishness. A long letter... and he concludes the letter saying, "If whatsoever I say is right you need not answer. If what I say is wrong, then too there is no need to answer."
Then why write it to me? Why waste my time? Reading the whole letter! If it is right, please don't write to me; if it is wrong, what is the need of writing to me? If you know already that you are right, there is no need to be here, and if you know that you are wrong, then take a jump! Then seek and search for that which is right.
Yes, I am all for freedom, but by freedom I don't mean what you mean. You mean freedom of your ego and I mean freedom FROM the ego. That's how things go on being continuously distorted.

SWANS RISE AND FLY TOWARDS THE SUN.
WHAT MAGIC!
SO DO THE PURE CONQUER THE ARMIES OF ILLUSION
AND RISE AND FLY.

Be ready! Kabir's statement is worth remembering. He says: HANSA UR CHAL VA DESH: O great swan, let us fly to our real land.
The swan is a symbol of purity in the East, because it is so white. And the swan is also the symbol of purity because it lives in the deepest mountains in the Himalayas, it drinks the purest of water.
There is a lake in the Himalayas, Mansarovar. It must be the most pure water in the world, because the air is absolutely unpolluted. Rarely does a man reach there. Very rarely, once every few years, a man reaches there; the journey is long, arduous, dangerous. Swans live on that lake. Only when it is too cold and the lake becomes frozen do they come to the plains; otherwise they remain there, that is their original land. Once the winter is gone, they start flying back to the Himalayas.
The swan is a symbol that this world is not our home, this muddy pool of water is not our real home. We belong to some other world: the world of the Himalayas, of virgin peaks, of the purest of lakes. We belong to Mansarovar. Don't forget. Don't become too much involved in the muddy water of this pool. Remember, go on remembering, your real home.
Buddha also uses the same symbol: SWANS RISE AND FLY TOWARDS THE SUN. WHAT MAGIC! SO DO THE PURE CONQUER THE ARMIES OF ILLUSION AND RISE AND FLY.

IF YOU SCOFF AT HEAVEN
AND VIOLATE THE LAW,
IF YOUR WORDS ARE LIES,
WHERE WILL YOUR MISCHIEF END?

Beware of yourself!

THE FOOL LAUGHS AT GENEROSITY.
THE MISER CANNOT ENTER HEAVEN.
BUT THE MASTER FINDS JOY IN GIVING
AND HAPPINESS IS HIS REWARD.

Don't be a miser! Share your love, share your joy, share your dance. This is the way of my sannyasins, and this is what Buddha wanted, but his followers never followed him.

AND MORE --
FOR GREATER THAN ALL THE JOYS
OF HEAVEN AND OF EARTH,
GREATER STILL THAN DOMINION
OVER ALL THE WORLDS,
IS THE JOY OF REACHING THE STREAM.

That is a Buddhist expression: REACHING THE STREAM. Buddha says: Coming to a master is reaching the stream, getting involved with the master is entering the stream. And once you have entered the stream you can relax, you can go with the stream. The stream is already going to the ocean.
Be part of a master and your journey, your real journey, has started. Now you are on your way towards the ultimate ocean, the ocean of joy, of peace, of silence, of truth. What other religions call God, Buddha calls nirvana: the ocean of enlightenment.

Enough for today.


 

Next: Chapter 10: This mad, mad game, Question 1

 


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