Chapter 3: True Life

Question 3



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The third question

Question 3


V.D. Sangvai,

THREE words will have to be understood. One is "religion," or "spirituality," the second is "morality" and the third is "legality." Religiousness or spirituality has no moral ideas; it is beyond moral and immoral, it is beyond right and wrong. It has no conscience; it lives out of pure consciousness. There is a tremendous awareness, and one acts out of that awareness. Whenever some action arises out of awareness it is inevitably good.

But man lives in unawareness. Man's whole life is full of unawareness; he is almost like a robot. He sees and yet he sees not, he hears and yet he hears not. He is, but only in a literal sense, not really, not like a Buddha or a Christ or a Zarathustra or like Dionysius, Pythagoras, Heraclitus. No, he does not exist with that intensity, with that awareness.

Hence morality becomes almost a necessity; it is a substitute. When you can't get the real thing then it is better to have something unreal than not having anything at all, because man needs a certain code of behavior. If it flows out of awareness then there is no problem.

In England the rain was falling non-stop for days and the Thames was overflowing its banks.

The butler of an English lord comes into the library where Milord is enjoying his drink and reading his newspaper in front of the fireplace.

"Milord," he announces, "the Thames is flooding the street! "

Milord very calmly answers, "Thank you, Jeeves!"

After a few minutes the butler comes in again and announces, "Sir, the Thames has reached to the front door! "

"Very well, thank you, Jeeves," replies Milord without raising his eyes from the newspaper.

After half an hour Jeeves knocks at the door, opens it and standing aside announces: "Milord, the Thames!"

This is the way people are -- just living in a thick cloud of unconsciousness. Their life is not that of light but of darkness, and out of this darkness, confusion, smoke, what can you expect? They are bound to do something foolish, something wrong.

Unless everyone becomes a Buddha there will remain a need for some kind of morality. Morality is not something great; it is a poor substitute for religion. If you can be religious then there is no need for morality.

My emphasis here is on religion, not on morality, because I have seen the utter failure of morality. It HAS been in a way utilitarian -- it has helped people to live somehow with each other, not cutting each other's throats very violently. They cut, but they cut in indirect ways and they cut by degrees, not suddenly, and they cut in sophisticated ways. First they give you tranquilizers or drugs to make you unconscious so you don't feel much pain.

All political ideologies and religious ideologies are nothing but non-medicinal tranquilizers. The whole purpose is to make you live in sleep so you can be exploited, oppressed, enslaved, and still you will not be aware of what is happening to you.

Karl Marx is right in that sense, that "religion is the opium of the people." But by religion he means Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism. He was not aware of the religion I am talking about, the religion of the Buddhas. He was talking about the organized, institutionalized religion. He was not talking about the alive experience of the enlightened ones. Because that is not an opium, that is just the opposite of it -- it is full awareness.


There is a difference between religious and moral standards. Religion means you live out of your consciousness. Morality means you live according to the highest standards the society has Imposed upon you; it is not according to your own light. It is the maximum potential, the hope of the society that has been imposed on you. And the legal standard is the minimum.

The moral standard is the maximum, the highest expectation of the society, and the legal standard is the minimum expectation. "At least you should fulfill the legal. If you cannot rise up to the moral, then please fulfill the legal." The legal is the lowest limit and the moral is the highest limit, hence the difference. The difference is there.

There are many immoral things which have nothing to do with law. You may be doing many immoral things, but you cannot be caught legally because legality consists of the minimum, the lowest limit.

It is said that the good teacher is one who is able to explain what he is saying to the most stupid student in his class. If the most stupid one can understand him, then of course all the others will understand. Law thinks of the most stupid person, the most inhuman person, the one who is very close to the animal. Morality thinks of the most intelligent, the most human. Hence the difference between the two, and the difference will remain.

And I have reminded you of a third thing also: the spiritual standard. That is the highest, the transcendental, beyond which nothing exists. The Buddhas live according to the ultimate, the saints live according to the moral and the so-called citizens live according to the legal. These are the three categories of human beings.

It will be the most evolved society when there is only one standard, but that is only a hope. When there is only one standard, the spiritual, then there will be no need for any law, no need for any morality, no need for the state, for the magistrate, for the police, for the military. Almost ninety percent of our energy is wasted in this whole arrangement. If man can live according to his own light -- and that is possible only if he reaches to his innermost core through meditation -- then all this criminal wastage nf energy can be stopped. The earth can become paradise itself, because if one hundred percent energy can become available to creativity, to alt, to science, to music, to painting, to poetry, we can create for the first time a real society of human beings.

Right now the human being only LOOKS like a human being; deep down he is nothing but an animal masquerading as a human being. His humanity is not even skin-deep: just scratch him a little and immediately the animal comes out. The human being that we are living with, that we have lived hitherto, is concerned with such trivia that it can only prove his mediocrity; it cannot give us any hint of his intelligence.

Man goes on arguing about great things, but goes on living in a totally different way. His thoughts are very great; his life is very.immature. In fact, he creates all those great thoughts to cover up his immaturity.

Four colleagues from the philosophy department of a university went to play golf. On the first tee they found a foursome of psychologists just about to tee off.

One of the philosophers quipped, "You fellows must really have a terrible time trying to play golf while you psych each other out!"

"At least we don't argue," one of the psychologists replied, "about whether or not the ball is really there!"

Our philosophers, our psychologists, our theologians, have remained abstract, talking about great things just to escape from the ugly reality.

My effort here is to help you to become aware of the ugly reality because to be aware of it will change its ugliness into beauty. Awareness is a miracle. Otherwise people go on in a long process of hair-splitting and they call it philosophy and they call it religion, metaphysics, spirituality. And they remain concerned with such stupid things.

In the Middle Ages in European countries the great the great theologians were concerned about a problem you will laugh at. And they worked on it for hundreds of years and thousands of books were written on it. "How many angels can dance on the point of a single needle?" It was a GREAT philosophical problem. You will laugh, but they were very serious about it.

You are serious about many things others will laugh at, your children will laugh at. Drop all philosophical, all abstract wastage of your intelligence. Become concerned with the truth.

The truth is: man is not even legal, what to say about moral? And if he is not even legal or moral he cannot understand religion. Religion remains still for the chosen few, for the courageous, for the intelligent.

And the so-called moralists, the puritans, are not really moral people, remember. H.G. Wells has said, "Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." And he is right. The so-called moral people are not really moral; they are living a double life: on the surface moral, but in reality as immoral as anybody else or even more. Maybe their morality is there to hide their illegal activities. And everyone seems to be in the same boat. From the lowest laborer to the man who holds the highest post, the prime minister or the president of a country, it seems all are in the same boat.

Richard Nixon was a great man till he was caught. Now Jimmy Carter is getting into the same trap. His brother has been caught -- he has taken millions of dollars illegally from a country; he was lobbying for that country. And just the other day his son was caught doing the same thing, and also his sister. So now you can wait for the news -- any day his wife! And finally you will find that he was at the center of it all. And he must be at the center of it all; without him all this could not happen. So just as Nixon fell down from the world of being a great man through Watergate, Jimmy Carter is falling every day through "Billygate"! His whole smile has gone. In the beginning you could have counted his teeth; now that whole smile has disappeared.

It seems a man is moral only till he is caught. So the difference between the moral and the immoral is only that of being caught or not.

I had a very beautiful teacher in my high school days. He was a Mohammedan, a very loving person, and he was the seniormost teacher in the school, so he used to be the superintendent of all the examinations. And I loved the man for many things. The one thing that I loved him very much for was that before every examination he would come to us and would declare, "I am not against copying, stealing from others, bringing books in -- I am not against it at all. But if you are caught, then you will be punished! So, mind you, you should not be caught. Once you are caught, then I cannot forgive you, but if you can manage then with all my blessings you can do it!"

And then he would say, "I will give you five minutes to think. If you have brought any notes, any books, anything, and you want to surrender them you can surrender them within five minutes. Or, if you decide otherwise, go ahead. But remember, if you are caught then you will not find a greater enemy than me. But I am not telling you not to do these things. I am simply telling you that I am here to punish you if you are caught."

I loved him. And many people would start taking out their notes and their books and they would surrender them. "This man is dangerous -- he is telling a truth! " But from him I learned my first lesson about what is moral and what is immoral. The difference is not much.

Sangvai is an additional judge in Poona, so naturally the question has arisen in him:


In fact, to hold anybody guilty is wrong in itself. The guilty person is not guilty; he has been brought up in a guilt-ridden society. He is not totally responsible for it. To punish him is criminal.

Once Lao Tzu was made a magistrate. The Emperor of China, thinking him the wisest man of the country, persuaded him to become a magistrate, the highest magistrate of the country. But only one case was enough and he had to be dismissed, because in the first case it became clear to the Emperor and to everybody else that Lao Tzu was dangerous, because he gave six months' jail to a man who had been caught stealing red handed -- and he also gave six months' jail to the person in whose house he had been stealing! Nobody could understand what was the matter.

The Emperor called him: "Are you mad or something? Why have you punished the man who has been robbed of his money?"

Lao Tzu said, "That man has accumulated so much that it is natural that he will be robbed. He should be thankful that he is not murdered! In fact, I am not fair in giving them both a similar kind of punishment. The rich man needs a harder punishment than the poor man who is a thief, because the first crime has been committed by the rich man, not by the poor man. The poor man has done a secondary thing; his crime is secondary, it is not that important. "

If in a society people accumulate wealth, then a few people are bound to steal, are bound to become thieves out of necessity. Nobody is really guilty. The whole structure of the society is guilty, and the structure needs to be changed. But we punish individuals and we go on perpetuating the same structure which creates these crimes.

A radical change is needed. And even if you want to change the individual, punishment is not the way. He should not be made to feel guilty. In fact, he should be sent for psychological treatment; he needs treatment. He needs a little more awareness, a little more lovingness; he needs a little more meditativeness. Sending him for a few months to jail or for a few years to jail is not going to help; it will simply confirm him as a criminal.

In five years of living in jail, what is he going to learn? He will find there master thieves, murderers and all kinds of criminals, and they will teach him the art -- in which he must have been lacking, otherwise why should he have been caught? He will come out of the jail more skillful in doing the same crime or maybe even bigger crimes.

I am against ALL punishment, I am against ALL imprisonment. Prisons should be transformed into hospitals, and people should be sent to centers of meditation where they can gain a little more awareness, a little more lovingness, a little more meditativeness. They should not be changed or punished or beaten -- these are ugly ways of taking revenge. This is not justice, this is social revenge! The society is vengeful towards the person because the person has not followed the society.

This whole society is rotten and all its systems are rotten. This whole society needs to be changed from the very roots. Its legal system, its political system, its so-called religious system -- they are all rotten, they are all wounds full of pus. The society needs a surgical operation.

And that's what we are trying to do here. Naturally, people are going to be against me, because what they have been thinking are very important things, what they have thought are great things, I am telling you are just junk, just stupidities.

An English lord visits his doctor. He neatly hangs up his umbrella and his bowler. Then he takes off his jacket, his shirt and his trousers, folding them very neatly and putting them on a chair. He then takes off his shoes and puts them straight under the chair. Then he takes off his underpants, folds them and puts them on the chair.

Standing at attention in front of the doctor he calmly tells him, "Well, as you can see, doctor, my left testicle hangs lower than my right one."

Smiling, the doctor replies, "Oh, but that is perfectly normal. You have nothing to worry about!"

"Oh, I'm not worrying, doctor," replies the man, "but don't you think it is a bit untidy?"

These are the people... completely asleep, snoring. They have to be awakened. They have to be shaken out of their habits. They have to be given a new birth.

Hence I say we don't need a better man, we need a new man. Betterment has gone on for centuries and nothing has happened. Now we don't need any better man -- enough is enough! Now we want a totally new man, discontinuous with the past. We want to begin again as if we are Adam and Eve, just now expelled from the Garden of Eden.

I want to start afresh, and it is always easier to make a new house rather than to renovate an old one. And this old house has been renovated so many times, and you go on renovating it, supporting it from this side and that, and it goes on collapsing. It goes on and on, again and again. Still you are not fed up with it. You want to go on living in it -- even if your life is in danger. And that's how it is.

Humanity has come to a stage where if we continue in the old ways, man is finished. There is only one hope: if we can start a new man from ABC, then only can humanity survive on the earth, otherwise not.


Next: Chapter 3: True Life, Question 4


Energy Enhancement                Enlightened Texts               Christianity                Theologia Mystica



Chapter 3






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