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Dhammapada-Buddhism-Buddha

THE DHAMMAPADA: THE WAY OF THE BUDDHA, VOL. 6

Chapter 4: This too will pass

Question 4

 

Energy Enhancement         Enlightened Texts         Dhammapada         The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 6

 

The fourth question:
Question 4
BELOVED MASTER,
I AM A BUSINESSMAN. CAN I ALSO MEDITATE AND BECOME A SANNYASIN?

Ram Prasad, one has to do something in life. Somebody is a carpenter and somebody is a king, and somebody is a businessman and somebody is a warrior. These are ways of livelihood, these are ways of getting bread and butter, a shelter. They can't change your inner being. Whether you are a warrior or a businessman does not make any difference: one has chosen one way to earn his livelihood, the other has chosen something else.
Meditation is life, not livelihood. It has nothing to do with what you do; it has everything to do with what you are. Yes, business should not enter into your being, that is true. If your being also has become businesslike, then it is difficult to meditate and impossible to be a sannyasin... because if your being has become businesslike, then you have become too calculative. And a calculative person is a cowardly person: he thinks too much, he cannot take any jumps.
And meditation is a jump: from the head to the heart, and ultimately from the heart to the being. You will be going deeper and deeper, where calculations will have to be left behind, where all logic becomes irrelevant. You cannot carry your cleverness there.
In fact, cleverness is not true intelligence either; cleverness is a poor substitute for intelligence. People who are not intelligent learn how to be clever. People who are intelligent need not be clever; they are innocent, they need not be cunning. They function out of a state of not-knowing.
If you are a businessman, that's okay. If Jesus can become a meditator and a sannyasin, and ultimately a christ, a buddha... and he was the son of a carpenter, helping his father, bringing wood, cutting wood. If a carpenter's son can become a buddha, why not you?
Kabir was a weaver. He continued his work his whole life; even after his enlightenment he was still weaving; he loved it! Many times his disciples asked him, prayed to him with tears in their eyes, that "You need not work anymore -- we are here to take care of you! So many disciples, why go on in your old age spinning, weaving?"
And Kabir would say, "But do you know for whom I am weaving, for whom I am spinning? For God! -- because everyone is now a god to me. It is my way of prayer."
If Kabir can become a buddha and still remain a weaver, why can't you?
But business should not enter into your being. Business should be just an outside thing, just one of the ways of livelihood. When you close your shop, forget all about your business. When you come home, don't carry the shop in your head. When you are home with your wife, with your children, don't be a businessman. That is ugly: that means your being is becoming colored by your doing. Doing is a superficial thing. The being should remain transcendental to your doing and you should always be capable of putting your doing aside and entering into the world of your being. That's what meditation is all about.

A marriage broker was trying to arrange a match between a businessman and a beautiful young girl. But the businessman was very cagey. "Before I buy goods," the businessman said, "I look over samples, and before I get married I must also have a sample."
"But good heavens, man, you can't ask a respectable girl for a thing like that!" the broker replied.
"Sorry," insisted the other, "I am strictly business and I want it done in my way or not at all."
The broker went off in despair to talk with the girl. "I have got you a fine fellow," he said, "with lots of money. But strictly business he is, and he don't do nothing blind. He must have a sample."
"Listen," said the girl. "I am as smart in business as he is. Samples I won't give him -- references I will!"

If you are THAT kind of businessman, Ram Prasad, then it is going to be difficult to meditate and impossible to be a sannyasin.
But you have come here, you have been listening to me; even the desire to become a sannyasin has arisen in you. That is a good indication that business has not yet poisoned your soul totally. A part of you is still available for love, a part of you is still available for God. A part of you is still not businesslike -- otherwise you would not be here.
Businesslike people can't come to me; it is impossible for them to have any communion with me. They can't understand a single word uttered here -- and what to say about the silence that is present here? They live in a totally different world, in a very mundane world.

It was quite a swanky bar in the best part of town. The new arrival ordered a bottle of beer. Paying with a dollar bill, he was surprised when the young bartender gave him ninety cents change. When questioned about it the bartender said that a dime was all he was charging.
The customer, being hungry and pleased with the apparently low prices of the place, ordered a ham and cheese sandwich on rye.
"That will be fifteen cents," said the barkeeper.
The customer's eyes widened: "I can't understand. How can you sell stuff so low?" he asked.
"Listen, buddy," said the bartender, "I just work here. I am not the boss. He is upstairs with my wife and I am doing the same thing to him down here!"

There is a certain mind which functions always in a businesslike way; in every dimension of life he is always a businessman. If you are that kind of businessman, then this is not the place for you.
This is the place for gamblers. This is the place for people who can risk -- who can risk all for nothing. Yes, exactly all for nothing, because meditation will bring you to nothingness. But those who arrive at the nothingness of meditation, immediately become aware that they have arrived at the fullness of God, too. Nothingness of you is the fullness of God, it is the other aspect. YOU become nothing, and suddenly a great plenitude descends in you -- you are overflowing with God. By becoming nothing you become spacious, you become a host to the great guest.
But if you are continuously calculating you cannot become nothing. How can you drop all for being nothing? You will always be calculating: you will move cautiously.
Then this is not the place for you. Then you go to some old, traditional, pseudo teachers. They will console you. They will tell you that you can remain a businessman and still can open a bank account in paradise. Be charitable, give some charity: donate to the poor; donate to the temple, or the church, or the synagogue; to the hospital; to the school -- and you will be rewarded in your afterlife. Just do virtuous things which you can afford. If you exploit people, you can always give a portion back to them.

I have heard:
In a church the priest was telling the people, "The building is getting very old and we need money."
Nobody responded -- all businessmen! Everybody was looking at each other; everybody was waiting and expecting that somebody would be foolish enough.
And then a woman stood up -- the prostitute of the town! -- and she said, "I donate ten thousand dollars to the church."
The priest could not believe his ears, his eyes! For a moment he was in shock, and then he said, "But I cannot accept your money -- I cannot accept any wrong money."
One businessman stood up and said, "You don't worry, that is our money! It is only coming via her -- you can accept it!"

You can donate a little bit to the church, to some charitable institution, you can give some money to the poor people. These are the consolations. And a place for you will be reserved in heaven.
Don't be such a fool -- heaven is not so cheap. In fact, there is no place like heaven anywhere; it is something inside you. No charity can lead you there, but if you reach there your whole life becomes a charity; that is a totally different phenomenon. If you reach there, your whole life becomes compassion.
Remain a businessman, but for a few hours forget all about it. I am not here to tell you to escape from your ordinary life. I am here to tell you the ways and the means, the alchemy, to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Be a businessman in your shop and don't be a businessman at your home. And sometimes for a few hours forget even the home, the family, the wife, the children. For a few hours just be alone with yourself. Sink deeper and deeper into your own being. Enjoy yourself, love yourself.

And slowly slowly, you will become aware, a great joy is welling up, with no cause from the outside world, uncaused from the outside. It is your own flavor, it is your own flowering. This is meditation.
Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself. Sit silently, doing nothing, and wait for the spring. It comes, it always comes, and when it comes, the grass grows by itself. You will see great joy arising in you for no reason at all. Then share it, then give it to people! Then your charity will be inner. Then it will not be just a means to attain to some goal; then it will have intrinsic value.
And once you have become a meditator, sannyas is not far away! My sannyas particularly is nothing but living in the ordinary world, but living in such a way that you are not possessed by it; remaining transcendental, remaining in the world and yet a little above it. That is sannyas.
It is not the old sannyas, Ram Prasad: in that you have to escape from your wife, your children, your business, and go to the Himalayas. That kind of thing has not worked at all. Many went to the Himalayas, but they carried their stupid minds with them. The Himalayas have not been of any help to them; on the contrary, they have destroyed the beauty of the Himalayas, that's all. How can the Himalayas help you? You can leave the world, but you cannot leave your mind here. The mind will go with you; it is inside you. And wherever you are, your same mind will create the same kind of world around you.

A great mystic was dying. He called his disciple, the chief disciple. The disciple rejoiced very much that the master is calling him. There is a great crowd and he is calling only him; he must be giving some secret key that he has not given to anybody up to now. "This is the way he is choosing me as his successor!" He came close.
The master said, "I have only one thing to tell you. I didn't listen to my master -- he had also told me when he was dying, but I was just a fool and I didn't listen, and I didn't even understand what he meant. But I am telling you from my own experience he is right, although it had looked very absurd when he said it to me."
The disciple asked, "What is it? Please tell me. I will try to follow it word by word."
The master said, "It is a very simple thing: never, never in your life keep a cat in your house!" And before the disciple could have asked why, the master died!
Now he was at a loss -- what a stupid kind of thing! And now whom to ask? He inquired of some old people in the village, "Is there any clue to this message? There must be something mysterious in this!"
One old man said, "Yes, I know, because his master -- your master's master -- had also told him, 'Never, never keep a cat in your house!' but he didn't listen. I know the whole story."
The disciple said, "Please tell me so I can understand. What is the secret hidden behind it? I want it to be decoded for me so I can follow it."
The old man laughed. He said, "It is a simple thing, it is not absurd. Your master's master had given him a great message, but he never inquired, 'What is the meaning of it?' You are at least intelligent enough to inquire about it. He simply forgot about it. Your master was young when the message was given; he used to live in the forest. He had only just two clothes with him; that was all that he possessed. But there were big rats in the house and they would destroy his clothes, and again and again he would have to ask the villagers for new clothes.
"The villagers said, 'Why don't you keep a cat? You just keep a cat and the cat will eat the rats and there will be no problem. Otherwise -- we are poor people -- how can we go on supplying you new clothes every month?'
"It was so logical that he asked somebody for a cat. He got a cat, but then the problems started. The cat certainly saved his clothes, but the cat needed milk because once the rats were finished the cat was starving. And the poor man could not meditate because the cat was always there, crying, weeping, going round and round and round him.
"He went to the villagers and they said, 'This is a difficult thing -- now we will have to supply milk for you. We can give you a cow. You be finished, you keep the cow. You can drink, and your cat can also survive. That way you need not come every day for your food either.'
"The idea was perfectly right. He took the cow... now the world started. That's how the world starts. The cow needed grass, and the people said, 'We will come in the coming holidays and we will clear the forest, prepare the ground. You start growing a little wheat, other things, and leave a part for the grass.'
"And the villagers came according to their promise. They cleared the forest, they cleaned the soil, they planted wheat. But now it was such a problem: you have to water.... And the whole day the poor man was engaged in looking after the field. No time to meditate, no time to read the scriptures!
"He again went to the villagers. He said, 'I am getting deeper and deeper into difficulties. Now the question is, when to meditate -- no time is left.'
"They said, 'You wait. One woman has just become a widow, and she is young and we are afraid that she will tempt the young people in the town. You please take her with you. And she is healthy enough -- she will take care of your field, the cow, the cat, and she will prepare food for you, and she is very religious too. And don't be worried, she will not disturb you.'
"That's how things move to their logical conclusion. Now from the cat, how far the man had moved!
"And the woman came and she started looking after him, and he was very happy for a few days. And she would massage his feet... and slowly slowly, what was going to happen happened: they got married. And when you get married in India, at least one dozen children -- one dozen is the minimum! So all meditation, all sannyas, disappeared.
"He remembered only when he was dying. He remembered again that when HIS master was dying he had told him, 'Beware of the cats.' That's why he has told you. Now you be aware of the cats! Just one step in the wrong direction and you have to go the wrong way; and your mind is with you wherever you go."

I have moved in the Himalayas. Once I was in a deep part of the Himalayas with two of my friends. We entered an empty cave; it was so beautiful that we stayed the night there.
In the morning a monk came and he said, "Get out! This is MY cave!"
I said, "How can this cave be yours? I don't see -- this is a natural cave. You don't claim it, you can't claim it -- you have not made it. And you have renounced the world, your house, your wife, your children, your money, and everything, and now you are claiming, 'This is MY cave -- you get out of it!' This is nobody's cave!"
He was very angry. He said, "You don't know me -- I am a dangerous man! I can't leave it to you. I have been living in this cave for thirteen years!"
We provoked him as much as we could and he was all fire, ready to fight, ready to kill! And then I said to him, "Wait -- we will leave. We were just provoking you to show you that thirteen years have passed, but you have the same mind. Now this cave is 'yours', because you have lived here thirteen years so it is yours. You had not brought it with your birth and you will not take it away when you die. And we are not going to stay here forever, just an overnight stay. We are just travelers, we are not monks. I have just come to see how many stupid people are living in these parts -- and you seem to be the tops!"

You can leave the world... you will be the same. You will again create the same world, because you carry the blueprint in your mind. It is not a question of leaving the world, it is a question of changing the mind, renouncing the mind. That's what meditation is and that's what sannyas is.


Next: Chapter 4: This too will pass, Question 5

 


    Energy Enhancement         Enlightened Texts         Dhammapada         The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 6  

 

Chapter 4:

   

 

ENERGY

ENHANCEMENT MEDITATION

MEDITATION HEAD

 HOME PAGE

 

GAIN ENERGY APPRENTICE LEVEL1

THE ENERGY BLOCKAGE REMOVAL PROCESS

LEVEL2

THE KARMA CLEARING PROCESS APPRENTICE LEVEL3

MASTERY OF  RELATIONSHIPS TANTRA APPRENTICE LEVEL4

 

STUDENTS EXPERIENCES  2005 AND 2006

 

MORE STUDENTS EXPERIENCES

 - FIFTY FULL TESTIMONIALS

2003 COURSE

 
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