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

Chapter 6: No going back

Question 1

 

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

 

The first question:
Question 1
BELOVED MASTER,
UNIMAGINED ECSTASY, UNIMAGINED PAIN.

Yoga Sudha, it is natural. Ecstasy and great pain happen together, because it is a new birth: the joy of being born, the joy of entering into the unknown, the great adventure into God. But pain is also there, great pain: the pain of leaving the old, the familiar, the known; the pain of leaving the secure, the safe; the pain of dying -- dying as the ego. If the ecstasy is true, it is bound to happen that there will be great pain. This is one of the criteria by which to judge whether the ecstasy is true or not.
It is like uprooting a tree from its known soil and transplanting it into a new climate, into a new country. The tree will have to learn to live again from ABC; it is hard to unlearn and it is hard to learn again. There is bound to be pain. Great pain and agony precede great ecstasy. It can continue for months, for years too -- it all depends on you.
Now, don't look back. That which is gone is gone, and gone forever, never to return again. Whatsoever you do, you cannot bring it back.
The child cannot enter into the womb again, howsoever pleasant it was, comfortable, convenient, secure, safe. The child may have great nostalgia for the womb, for those beautiful, eternal nine months. Yes, I say eternal, because the child feels them as eternity, not as nine months. He has no idea of calculating time -- those long long nine months of such warmth, of such protection, of such unworried existence, of such tremendous rest and relaxation. The nostalgia hangs around. The child would like to go back to the womb, but it is not possible.
Going back is not possible at all; it is not in the nature of things. One always has to go forward. And when you look forward everything is so unfamiliar that great fear arises. One never knows where one is. One loses one's identity, one passes through a great crisis of identity. The known is no longer there to cling to, and the unknown seems to be ungraspable.
But don't look back; that which can't happen can't happen. Look forward! And don't interpret the new and the unknown as unsafe. Interpret it in terms of adventure, exploration. Interpret it as great freedom. Buddha talks again and again about freedom. It is freedom from the past, freedom from the mother, freedom from the parents, freedom from the society, freedom from the church, the state.
What I am giving to you is absolute freedom. Yes, fear can arise, but fear arises because of your interpretation. Deep down somewhere in the unconscious you still would like to go back, to close your eyes to the new sunrise. You would like to go back even though there was nothing very valuable, nothing significant, but at least one was safe. The territory was familiar; one lived surrounded by walls. We call it a prison, but you used to call it your home; and I have taken you out of your home because it was not your real home, it was only make-believe. This freedom, this ecstasy that is arising, is your real home.
Now, if you cling to the past, which is no longer possible, and you don't allow the future to happen smoothly, the pain can continue, the agony can continue, for months, for years. And you will be split: a part of you clinging to the no-more and a part of you longing for the not-yet.
Now be courageous. Take the quantum leap! Just as the snake slips out of the old skin, slip out of the old. It has fulfilled its function, it has brought you to the new. Gratefully say goodbye to it and plunge into this exploration that is becoming valuable to you. Plunge into this insecurity, into this danger, because life is where insecurity is; life is where danger is. There is no way to live totally unless you learn to live dangerously -- more danger, more aliveness; less danger, less aliveness.
And I am making peaks upon peaks available to you. This is an unending chain. You will reach one peak thinking that this is the end and now you can rest, but by the time you have rested a little bit you will become aware of a higher peak challenging you, calling you forth. A new pilgrimage starts. And this goes on and on.
Life is an eternal pilgrimage. There is no goal to it, it is a pure journey. Hence the joy of it. If there was a goal to it, that would mean a full stop to your life. Then what are you going to do? After the full stop there is nothing, nothing more. Life knows nothing of full stops. Life is a continuum, a song that never ends, a story that goes on unfolding. Each moment something new is ready to happen if you are available.
Your observation is true. You say, "Unimagined ecstasy, unimagined pain."
That's how it has always been. I don't talk much about the pain, because that will make you so afraid that you will not take the jump. I talk about ecstasy to persuade you, to seduce you into taking the jump. Once you have taken the jump you will know that there is great pain too, but that pain is a blessing in disguise. That pain is the pain the gold passes through when it goes through the fire: it purifies, it makes you more and more integrated, it gives you centering, it creates a soul in you. Without this pain there is no soul, and without this pain no ecstasy is possible. You would like to bypass the pain and reach the ecstasy, but that cannot be done.
AES DHAMMO SANANTANO: this is the law and the law has to be followed; you can't go against the law. But once you have known the ecstasy, it is worth going through all the pain. You can sacrifice everything for the ecstasy, because ecstasy is another name for God approaching closer to you. Your melting into God is what ecstasy is all about.
The word 'ecstasy' is beautiful; it simply means "standing out." Out of what? Standing out of your ego, your personality, your mind; getting out of the whole structure in which you have lived -- not only lived but with which you have become identified. Standing out of all this, just a pure witness, a watcher on the hills -- and everything is left deep down in the valley.
Drop the nostalgia. Drop this dreaming about the valley. You have lived in the valley long enough, and what have you gained? For many many lives you have lived in the valley, in all those chains, thinking that they were ornaments. Maybe they were made of silver and gold, maybe they were studded with diamonds and emeralds; but whether a chain is made of iron or gold, it makes no difference. In fact, a golden chain is far more difficult to break because you become more attached to it.
You have lived in the valley so long, for so many lives -- now try to live on the peaks. And be totally with the peaks. Forget all about the valleys, because that will be a disturbance. That disturbance is creating pain. You are looking back again and again: there is still some desire, some longing, some hope that you may get back to your old structures again.
But let me make it absolutely clear to you: there is no going back. Now you have crossed that point from where a person can still go back, so it is an exercise in futility to feel pain for something which is no more. But it will keep you occupied and you will miss the joys of the peak, the fresh air of the peak, the unpolluted atmosphere of the peak, the closeness of the sun and the clouds. Now is the time to whisper with the clouds and with the sun and the stars! It is a beautiful moment.
Decide in favor of ecstasy, and whatever pain happens through that decision, accept it with joy, with thankfulness. The more gratefully you accept it as part of growth, the sooner it will disappear -- and it will not leave even a trace on you; you will be unscratched by it. If you cling to it too long, it will leave wounds. Even if they heal, the marks will remain.
In these moments, when one passes from one stage of being to another stage of being, one is very vulnerable. In these moments one is very soft, impressionable. Don't give much attention to pain.
And that's what you have been doing for a few months. I have been watching silently. Many times I have to be just a silent watcher, because I hate to interfere. Even though I know you are in need, still I respect your freedom so much that, unless you ask, I will keep quiet, I will not say a word. I will feel great compassion for you -- I am perfectly aware of your tears and the anguish that you are passing through -- but I have been keeping myself aloof deliberately, because this is the only way to give the disciple a chance to grow.
If I go on interfering at every stage, helping, supporting, you will start depending on me too much. Then you will never be able to walk on your own feet; you will always need crutches. And I don't want to give you crutches, I don't want you to be dependent on me. The only gift that I can give to you is that of total freedom, of independence.
Hence I have been silent, waiting for the day when you would ask the question. Today you have asked the question. Now I can speak, I can share my understanding with you, but still the decision always remains with you. You can go on crying and weeping over spilled milk, or you can gather yourself and take a plunge into the new world that I have made available to you.
Don't waste time. Time is really precious, far more precious than money, far more precious than anything in the world, because it is through time that you can contact eternity. And these moments are rare: if you miss them once, you never know when they will come back again. Maybe after lives you will come across a buddha again... and there is every possibility you will repeat the same mistakes, because mind wants to repeat. Mind is repetition -- even after lives it repeats the same mistakes.

It happened once: a young prince asked Buddha to initiate him as a BHIKKHU, as a sannyasin. Buddha was a little reluctant. This was very rare -- buddhas are never reluctant, or very rarely; they are always happy if somebody is asking for initiation.
Ananda, Buddha's chief disciple, immediately became aware that Buddha was a little hesitant. He said, "Bhagwan, why are you hesitating? I have never seen you hesitate. You persuade people, you help people, you do everything possible to bring them to the way -- and this man himself is asking! And not an ordinary man -- a great prince, with great potential. If he becomes a disciple, many more will follow. Why are you hesitating?"
Buddha said to Ananda, "Because this young man has been initiated in the past by other buddhas at least seven times, and he has committed the same mistake again and again. And mind is repetitive. I know I can give him initiation, but he is bound to repeat the same mistake. But if you say so, I will initiate him. Now watch what happens."
The young man was initiated... and of course this whole dialogue with Ananda had happened in front of him, so he was very conscious not to repeat anything. But he did not remember anything of his past lives, and when you don't remember, how can you avoid repetition? If you remember, you can avoid.
He asked Buddha many times, "Please tell me, what is my mistake that I have been repeating again and again? And you say I have lived with seven other buddhas? I don't want to miss this opportunity."
Buddha said, "That won't help very much, because you have asked the sixth buddha the same question and the fifth also, and they answered. I am not going to do it. I will tell you only when the time arrives."
And the time arrived within a few days. They traveled to another city; they were staying in a small caravanserai -- ten thousand sannyasins -- there was no space. It must have been as overcrowded as it is here! Now when I look at you, I completely forget whether you are sannyasins or sardines. I have to go on reminding myself, "No, these are my sannyasins."
The older sannyasins of Buddha were given a little better space, a little more space -- they were old, senior. This young man was the latest addition to the Buddha's SANGHA -- his order; he got the place at the outermost circumference, just in the porch where people used to put their shoes. He had to sleep there. A prince, sleeping in a porch where people keep their shoes? He was very hurt.
In the night he could not sleep, for the same reasons that you suffer -- mosquitoes! They are the ancientmost enemies of meditators. If you are not meditating they will not take any notice of you; once you start meditating, they suddenly become interested in you. The blood of a meditator has a certain sweetness.
And there were mosquitoes and he was unable to sleep; and the serai was so overcrowded, and people were coming and going the whole night -- somebody was coming, somebody was leaving. How can you sleep in a porch? In the middle of the night he said, "This is stupid, this is just nonsense! I have not become a sannyasin for all this. I had a beautiful palace, every facility. Tomorrow morning I will say goodbye to Buddha."
In fact he wanted to leave at that very moment, but that would not be right. At least he had to say to Buddha, "I am finished."
But before morning, Buddha came to him and said, "Now the time has come. I can answer your question. This has happened to you again and again: you have been initiated seven times, but just for small things you always became so much disturbed that you went away. You can go -- this is your old habit. Because of this habit I was hesitant."
He had brought Ananda with him and he said, "Look! What do you say now? This man wants to leave tomorrow morning."
The young man had not said a single word. He fell at Buddha's feet. He said, "How did you come to know in the middle of the night?"
Buddha said, "That is not your business. That's what makes me a master. In the morning you want to go; you can go, but go with this awareness: that this is how you have been losing the track again and again."
The young man never left. It was difficult -- Buddha gave him many many uncomfortable situations -- but he was a man of integrity; he belonged to a very famous family, ancient, noble; he belonged to the warrior race. It was against his whole upbringing to leave the Buddha. And now that Buddha had told him what the cause had been in the past... and as meditation deepened he started remembering his past associations with other buddhas. Slowly slowly he became aware that yes, for small things he had left buddhas; for such small things he had lost the way many times.

Yes, Sudha, the pain is there, and it is not only for you; others will also pass through the pain. Many have passed through it, many will have to pass through it. Pass through it joyously. Keep your eye on the ecstasy. Don't focus yourself on the pain -- that is the wrong approach. Focus yourself on the ecstasy, and think that the pain is the price we pay for the ecstasy. Soon the pain will disappear. And the energy released from the pain will bring you to even higher realms of ecstasy, will bring you to greater altitudes of ecstasy.

Be watchful....


Next: Chapter 6: No going back, Question 2

 


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

 

Chapter 6:

 

 

 

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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