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Chapter 10: Neither this nor that

Question 1


Energy Enhancement         Enlightened Texts         Dhammapada         The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 1


The first question:

Question 1



Sunil Sethi, I am not a godman, I am simply God -- as you are, as trees are, as birds are, as rocks are. I don't belong to any category. 'Godman' is a category invented by journalists. I simply don't belong to any category. You don't belong to any category either. All categories are false. The deeper you go into yourself, the more and more you will find that you simply are -- neither this not that. The seers of the Upanishads say: neti, neti -- neither this nor that. No category is applicable.

There is a beautiful story about Buddha:

He was sitting under a tree. One astrologer approached him -- he was very puzzled, because he saw the footprints of the Buddha on the wet sand and he could not believe his eyes. All the scriptures that he had been studying his whole life had been telling him about certain signs that exist in the feet of a man who rules the world -- a chakravartin -- a ruler of all the six continents, of the whole earth. And he saw in the footprints in the wet sand on the riverbank all the symbols so clearly that he could not believe his eyes! Either all his scriptures were wrong and he was wasting his life in astrology...otherwise, how was it possible on such a hot afternoon, in such a small, dirty village, a chakravartin would come and walk barefoot, on the burning hot sand?

He followed the footprints, just in search of the man to whom these footprints belonged. He found the Buddha sitting under a tree. He was even more puzzled. The face was that of a chakravartin -- the grace, the beauty, the power, the aura -- but the man was a beggar, with a begging bowl!

The astrologer touched the feet of the Buddha and asked him, "Who are you, sir? You have puzzled me. You should be a chakravartin, a world ruler. What are you doing here, sitting under this tree? Either all my astrology books are wrong, or I am hallucinating and you are not really there."

Buddha said, "Your books are absolutely right -- but there is something which belongs to no category, not even to the category of a chakravartin. I am, but I am nobody in particular."

The astrologer said, "You are puzzling me more. How can you be without being anybody in particular? You must be a god who has come to visit the earth -- I can see it in your eyes!"

Buddha said, "I am not a god."

The astrologer said, "Then you must be a gandharva -- a celestial musician."

Buddha said, "No, I am not a gandharva either."

And the astrologer went on asking, "Then are you a king in disguise? Who are you? You can't be an animal, you can't be a tree, you can't be a rock -- who exactly are you?"

And the answer the Buddha gave is of immense importance to understand. He said, "I am just a buddha -- I am just awareness, and nothing else. I don't belong to any category. Every category is an identification and I don't have any identity."

Sunil Sethi, exactly the same is my answer: I don't belong to any category, and godman is a category. I am simply awareness. I am simply a watchfulness. And this is not something special; this is part of your innermost core, too. You are as divine as anybody else -- a Buddha, a Krishna, a Christ. You are as divine as anybody else. The highest and the lowest, all are divine, because only God exists.

This is the first thing to be remembered: that I don't belong to any category. Neither do you belong to any category. Are you a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a Christian? Are you black or white? These are things which are outside -- you are not these things. Consciousness cannot be black and cannot be white; consciousness can't have any color. Are you rich or poor? Consciousness cannot be rich or poor either. Are you a man or a woman? Consciousness is neither a man nor a woman.

Consciousness is simply consciousness! To realize this is to declare, "aham brahmasmi! -- I am God!" It is not a new category. When somebody declares "I am God!" it is not a new category, it is simply disappearing from all categories. That is exactly the meaning of the word 'God'.

When Mansoor says, "ana'l haq! -- I am the truth!" he is saying the same thing. He is saying, "I am consciousness."

I have no claim to be a godman -- I am not.

The second thing: between me and the so-called godmen there are many differences. The most basic is that I am life-affirmative and they are life-negative. I love life; they hate life. I would like you to go deeper and deeper into life; they would like you to shrink back, withdraw. They are all for renunciation, I am all for rejoicing. To me "Rejoice!" is the only message. "Renounce!" is escaping. Renouncing is committing a slow suicide. Rejoice! and rejoice tremendously. Only then will you be able to know what God is all about.

At the optimum of your being, when the intensity is total, when you are not holding anything back, when you dance with abandon, when you sing so totally that the singer disappears in the singing...when you love so infinitely that there is no lover left behind, you simply become the energy called love, then you affirm life. And life IS God.

I am life-affirmative; your so-called godmen are life-negative. And because basically life can not be negated -- you are life, how can you negate it? -- they create hypocrisy. It is bound to happen. Your so-called godmen down the ages have been creating hypocrisy. They don't allow you to be authentic. They don't allow you to be natural -- how can they allow you to be authentic? They create a division in you.

They are the root cause of all schizophrenia, and the whole of humanity suffers from schizophrenia. The differences between one person's schizophrenia and another's are only of degrees. You are split! Who has done this wrong to you? Your so-called godmen, the so-called saints, the so-called mahatmas. They are at the very root of all your misery because their very teaching is "Deny nature! Fight nature! Go against the stream; push the river!" And you are part of nature, just a wave in the river -- how can you fight with nature? Fighting, you will be defeated. If you are a sincere person, you will go mad; if you are not yet mad, that will simply show that you are not a sincere person. You say one thing and you do another.

I have heard:

A sodomist was given a room in a hotel with another man, who, the room clerk assured him, was not averse to a bout, but that for form's sake he might put up a struggle. "But don't you pay any attention to him. You go ahead -- he likes it."

Next morning, the sodomist came down and the clerk asked him how he had fared. "It was quite easy," he answered. "He put up no struggle at all."

"My God!" said the clerk, "I put you in the wrong room. That was the archbishop!"

It is bound to happen. Hypocrisy is a natural by-product of all your pseudo godmen. And they can only be pseudo! If someone has realized God, he is not a godman -- he is simply God! Why 'godman'? And he knows that not only is he God but everybody is God. When he says "I am God," he is not using the word in a comparative sense. He is not saying, "I am holier than thou." He is simply saying, "I am what you are, but I am aware and you are not aware yet." The difference is not in our qualities, in our beings, but only in our consciousness. You have the same treasure that I have, but I have stumbled upon it and you are still seeking and groping. Sooner or later you will find it. If you go on seeking, it is bound to be found -- because it is there. How long can you go on missing? Even in the deepest darkness, if you search for it you are bound to find it.

When I say I am God, I am simply declaring that the whole of humanity is divine. I am simply declaring that all human beings are divine; I am simply declaring that all that exists is divine. A godman, a so-called godman, declares that he is God and you are sinners. He creates a new kind of superiority, a new hierarchy. And his whole trade secret is to make you feel guilty. And the more guilty you feel, the more you are in his grip.

How to make you feel guilty? Just condemn natural things and it will start happening. Condemn sex -- you will have sexual desires arising and you will feel guilty. Condemn food...condemn everything that is a natural inclination in you.

The wife-swapping party is raided by the crusading minister, who plans to put an end to these goings-on. When he rings the bell, the man of the house arrives and does not seem a bit embarrassed.

The minister says, "I was told you had a party here tonight."

"We do," says the man. "We are playing guessing games right now. The women are blindfolded trying to guess the men's names by feeling their pricks. You ought to come on in, Reverend, your name has been guessed eight times already!"

The whole priesthood down the ages has proved only one thing: that you cannot fight against nature. Although there is a way to surpass it -- but the way does not go against it; it goes through it.

That is my first and most fundamental difference: I affirm life as it is. That does not mean that there is no growth possible beyond life -- there is immense possibility of growth -- but all growth has to be founded on a deep, passionate love of life. It is only through experiencing life that transcendence happens.

I would like you to go beyond sex, but I don't condemn sex. Sex is a natural desire, and is good in its own place. But one should not stop with it; it is only a beginning, a glimpse -- a glimpse of the beyond. In deep sexual orgasm, you become aware for the first time of something which is not of the ego, of something which is not of the mind, of something which is not of time. In deep orgasm, mind, time, all disappear; the whole world stops for a moment. For a moment you are no longer part of the material world; you are just a pure space.

But this is only a glimpse -- and at great cost. You should move ahead. You should seek and search for ways and means so that this glimpse becomes your very state. That's what I call realization, enlightenment. An enlightened person is in a state of orgasmic joy twenty-four hours a day. What the sexual person attains only once in a while, with great effort, the spiritual man attains without any effort and without any wastage. The spiritual man simply lives there; on those ultimate peaks is his abode. You only see those peaks from thousands of miles away.

I am not against sex, because sex is the first window into spiritual existence. I am not against food, because I am not against any enjoyment. There are all kinds of experiences that you will come across through enjoying things -- food, love, music, dance, is only through enjoying all these things that you will, slowly slowly, become aware of the invisible.

It is because of this that the Upanishads say: annam brahma -- food is God. A tremendously significant statement: food, and God? made synonymous? -- annam Brahma. Food is God? What are they saying? These people knew, they knew what they were saying -- the taste of food is the taste of God. The taste of any joy is the taste of God -- howsoever far away, howsoever much a reflection.

The moon reflected in the lake is still a reflection of the moon, although you will not find it in the lake. If you jump in the lake you will only disturb the reflection and you will not find the moon there. The reflection is not the moon, the reflection reflects the moon. And if you are a little intelligent you will not jump into the lake, you will look up into the sky where the real moon is.

God is reflected when you enjoy food. God is reflected when you enjoy sex. God is reflected in a thousand and one lakes of life. Take the key from the reflection; take the indication, the clue, and start moving to the original.

That's my fundamental difference. I am not against life or anything that life implies -- neither sex nor food, neither the body nor bodily pleasures. I am not averse to comfort, I am not against luxuries either.

Just the other day there was a question. Somebody has asked -- he must be a newcomer and an Indian -- he has asked, "Are you not a hypocrite? Why do you live in luxury?" He does not know the meaning of the word 'hypocrite'. I may be the only person in the world who is not a hypocrite.

A hypocrite is one who says one thing and does another. A hypocrite is one whose inner and outer lives are different -- not only different but diametrically opposite. I am not against luxury, so why should I be a hypocrite? I am not against comfort -- I am not a masochist, that's all. I don't believe in torturing myself or anybody else. I don't believe in torture.

I would like the whole earth to live in luxury. Certainly, I know that today that is not the case. The whole earth is not even getting the minimum necessities of life. But I am not going to torture myself just because of that, because that is not going to help them either. If there are one thousand people in misery, there will be one thousand and one people in misery -- that's all.

I don't believe in misery. And I am not living a double life. My life is very simple -- simple in the sense that it has a kind of integrity. I am doing what I am saying. I believe in luxury; to me, religion is the highest form of luxury. If I cannot make everybody live in luxury, at least I can manage to live in it myself. Otherwise people will say to me, "Physician, first heal thyself."

But these so-called godmen, they all live in luxury and they are all against luxury. These are hypocrites! They talk about poverty and the spirituality of poverty, and they all live in luxury -- they are hypocrites.

I hate poverty! I don't respect poverty, I don't appreciate poverty. It is out of stupidity that people are poor; it is out of superstitious minds that people are poor. People need not be poor. It is because of thousands of years of teaching that poverty has something spiritual in it that people are poor.

A very famous German thinker, Count Keyserling, came to India. He wrote a diary while he was traveling in India. In his diary he notes many significant things. One thing he wrote was, "I became aware, visiting India, about two things. One: that to be poor is to be spiritual; and the other: that to be ill, starved, ugly, is to be holy."

I am not teaching these things. I would like my whole commune to live in as much comfort as possible. The commune has to become a model -- a model for the whole world. My sannyasins are to live in every possible joy: physical, psychological, spiritual. The joys of the body and the joys of the mind and the joys of the spirit -- all have to be lived in such a harmony that the fourth man is born out of that harmony.

That's why I say: Be scientific, be aesthetic, and be religious. Out of these three dimensions, out of the meeting of these three rivers, the fourth will be created. And the fourth is my way.

Any kind of unnatural approach towards life creates complexities, creates pathologies. It does not make people sane; it drives them insane.

Patient in psychiatrist's office: "Doctor, you have got to help me. I keep dreaming about food, continually dreaming about food."

Doctor: "Don't you ever dream about girls?"

Patient: "Yes, but I keep pouring ketchup over them."

Now, if you make somebody feel guilty about his food -- that's what so-called religious people are doing -- then he will start dreaming about food. And to eat is healthy, nourishing, good; to dream about it is ugly and pathological. Dreaming about food simply says that you are somehow depriving your body of what it needs.

Who dreams about food? Only a person who represses his desire for food. You can try it: fast for one day and then see what happens.... The whole day you will think about food; from everywhere the mind will come again and again to the idea of food. And in the night you are bound to dream about food.

Repress sex and you will dream about sex. Repress anything and you start becoming pathological. A really healthy man has no dreams -- he has nothing to dream about. He lives each moment totally; he never represses anything. Hence his unconscious remains utterly empty and clean. Repress, and your unconscious becomes cluttered with unnecessary furniture. And in dreams you are bound to face your unconscious. You have to face it; in deep sleep you have to pass through it. It creates a turmoil throughout your whole life.

I am life-affirmative. I am in tremendous love with life, and that's my teaching. The so-called godmen are all against life; they are creating a pathological humanity.

Secondly, they are all otherworldly; I am this-worldly. Not that I don't believe in the other world -- there is no question of believing in it; I know it is -- but one need not worry about it. Worrying is not going to help. The other world is going to be born out of this world. Make this life beautiful, live this life as sensitively as possible, and the other will be born out of it. It will be far more beautiful than this if you can make this beautiful.

Buddha says just in the first sutras that if this life is beautiful, the other is going to be even more beautiful. But if you think of the other life, if you project about the other life, if you dream about the other life, life after death, you will make this life so ugly, so ill at ease, that the other will become more ugly.

You need not think of the tomorrow, the today is enough unto itself. Live this day with such joy and ecstasy...from where is the tomorrow going to come? It will be born out of this ecstasy, it will be more ecstatic. And then you have the key -- the key that unlocks all the doors of life.

Live the moment! I believe in the moment. Those godmen, they talk about the other life, life after death, heaven and hell -- all that is absolutely unnecessary. People are already much too puzzled; don't puzzle them any more.

My teaching is very simple, to the point: live moment to moment, dying to the past, not projecting any future...enjoying the silence, the joy, the beauty, of this moment. And out of this, that will be born. It comes of its own accord. As Buddha says: Just as the shadow follows you, the future follows you. If your present is ugly, the future is going to be hell; if your present is beautiful, the future is going to be paradise.

Thirdly, up to now, these so-called godmen have been dividing humanity into Hindus and Christians and Mohammedans and Jainas and Sikhs and Parsis...there are three hundred religions on the earth and at least three thousand sects within those three hundred religions. These godmen have been creating hatred amongst people. They talk about love, but they create the context in which only war happens. Religions have been fighting with each other, destroying each other, murdering each other, butchering each other. More blood has been shed in the name of religion than in the name of anything else. Not even politics is so criminal as your so-called religions.

Now, all your godmen are either Hindus or Mohammedans or Christians. I am neither a Hindu nor a Christian -- I am nobody. And I help people to become nobodies. I help people to become unburdened of all this nonsense. It is enough to be -- there is no need to be a Mohammedan or a Hindu or a Christian. There is no need to go to any temple, mosque or church. The whole existence is their temple, and the trees are continuously in worship, and the clouds are in prayer, and the mountains are in meditation...just start looking around.

Look rightly! Look without belief in your eyes, look without prejudices, and you will find God. You cannot miss him because he is everywhere! He is not like a target that you can miss; hit anywhere and you will find him, because he is everywhere. It is impossible to miss him. All that you need is an innocent heart. But a Hindu cannot be innocent, a Mohammedan cannot be innocent. He is full of garbage: full of theories, theologies, full of borrowed knowledge -- that's what I call garbage.

I am not saying that Mohammed is not right, I am not saying that Buddha is not right; otherwise, why should I speak on Buddha, on Mohammed, on Christ? They are true, but their truth cannot be your truth -- you will have to find it on your own. Truth cannot be borrowed, truth is untransferable; it never becomes part of your heritage. You have to seek and search on your own; it has always to be individual.

My truth is my truth. It's my experience. I can talk about it, I can sing songs in its praise, I can dance it. I can show you my ecstasy -- but still, that which has been experienced remains unexpressed. No scripture has been able to express it. All scriptures are efforts to express, but all efforts have failed: truth is inexpressible.

The scriptures simply show the compassion of the people who attained, but they don't prove that the compassion has succeeded in expressing the truth.

Rabindranath was dying and somebody said to him, "You should be happy and glad and thankful to God -- you are the greatest poet the earth has ever known. You have written six thousand poems; nobody else has done that. Even Shelley, who is thought to be the greatest poet in the West, has written only two thousand songs. You are thrice great!"

But tears started rolling down from Rabindranath's eyes. The man was puzzled; he could not figure out why Rabindranath was crying. He said, "Why are you crying? Feel thankful to God! He has fulfilled your life. You have attained all that one aspires to attain."

Rabindranath said, "I have not attained anything! Those six thousand songs are proof of my failure." Listen attentively. Rabindranath says, "Those six thousand songs are proofs of my failure. I was trying to say something, but I have not been able to say it. Each time I tried, I failed. I tried again and again and again, six thousand times I tried, and I have failed. The song that I had come to sing is still unsung. I am taking it with me."

That is the case with a Buddha, a Mohammed, a Zarathustra -- with all those who have known. You cannot be a believer and religious together. If you want to be religious, you have to drop all beliefs. That is my third basic difference.

I teach you to be religious, but not believers. You have to be inquirers, explorers. You cannot take things for granted: because so many people say it, then it must be true. Truth has to become your own experience -- you have to be a witness to it. And the moment you are a witness to it, you will not be able to say that you are a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian. These are all philosophies, guesswork, theologies, logic, calculation, cleverness -- but the experience is missing.

My whole approach is existential, experiential. I am not giving you any dogma; I am not trying to give you a certain doctrine. On the contrary, I am trying to take all doctrines away. I would like you to be utterly empty of doctrines and beliefs and prejudices.

In that emptiness you are God -- as much as I am, as much as Buddha is. That emptiness opens the doors to your divinity.

I am not a godman. I am as ordinary as you are, as everybody else is; as ordinary or as extraordinary -- it means the same. I am not superior to anybody and I am not inferior to anybody. Nobody is superior and nobody is inferior. We belong to one reality -- how can we be inferior and superior?

Next: Chapter 10: Neither this nor that, Question 2

    Energy Enhancement         Enlightened Texts         Dhammapada         The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 1     



















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