The luxury of God

Fifth Question



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Question 5


Whoever told you that I am straightforward? While listening to me you may get that impression. Think and meditate on it later on: you will find me more baffling than Jesus. At least he is consistent!

And never ask such questions because these questions show that you are sitting as a judge. Why did Jesus do this or that? If you cannot leave even Jesus out of your judgement, how will you be able to leave out anybody else? Why can't you accept things as they are? " Why is this flower white and not red?" -- is it not a foolish question? This flower is red, that flower is white -- why?

A small child was walking with D. H. Lawrence in a garden and the child asked, "Why are the trees green?"

D. H. Lawrence looked at the child and said, "They are green because they are green!"

Jesus is Jesus, I am me. Jesus is not there to follow me, nor am I there to follow him. And it is good that everybody is unique, otherwise life would be a boredom, a monotony. But people are foolish -- they go on co *ming to me and asking me: "Why did Buddha say this, why did Mahavir never say this?" But Mahavir is Mahavir, Buddha is Buddha. The Ganges flows towards the east and the Narmada goes on flowing towards the west -- what to do? If all the rivers were flowing towards the east, do you think the world would be better? Just think of a world with four thousand million Buddhas -- can you think of anything m ore boring? They would start committing suicide: wherever you went you would meet your replica, wherever you would look it would be as if you were always looking in the mirror -- only people exactly alike.

No, it is good that everybody is unique. Why do you hanker after such things? Jesus is-beautiful in his parables; without parables he would not be beautiful, without parables something would be missing. He is one of the most beautiful storytellers.

And of course the beauty of a parable is that it baffles the reason. But you are childish: you think that a story is perfect when the story gives you the conclusion, the motto. You are just like schoolchildren who can't be satisfied unless the story comes to a conclusion, and unless there is an exact mathematical conclusion to it. Then they are satisfied, but then the story is dead. A perfectly concluded story is dead.

A parable tries to show something, not to say it. It indicates very indirectly; the conclusion has to be supplied by you. It leaves a gap, it gives you some space to find out the conclusion. A parable is creative. When a story is totally complete (like two plus two equals four) then it gives no scope for your imagination, no scope for your meditation. Then it is simply mathematical. It is no longer poetic, it is dead.

You would like for somebody to say absolutely, exactly, what he means, but that which is the ultimate meaning cannot be shown to you. The ultimate meaning is always going to be indirect, indicated -- said and yet not said. You feel a vague something, but it is never concrete. If it becomes concrete, it is of this world. If it remains vague, and you follow it and you try to find out the clue, in the very effort to find the clue you rise above it -- you have already entered into another world.

A parable is not an ordinary story: it is symbolic, it is creative. If you listen to it, if you try to understand it, your understanding will become greater than it was before you heard it. An ordinary story remains below your understanding; you can understand it perfectly because it has nothing beyond it. Parables are of the beyond: one step within your mind, one step without -- another step beyond. It is a persuasion.

Jesus constantly talks in parables. He really wants to baffle you because he is talking about something which is ineffable, elusive -- mysterium. He is talking about the mysterious. Gaps have to be left for you to fill. Parables should be like puzzles which challenge you, and through the challenge, you grow.

And never compare: Why is Jesus like this? The trees are green because they are green. Jesus is just Jesus-like, and he is not like anybody else.

That is what I have been continuously insisting for you to be also: just be yourself, never be anybody else. Never be a Christian, never be a Hindu, never be a Jain, because then you are following a pattern and you will miss your soul. The soul is yours -- individual, unique -- and the pattern is public, collective, social. Never try to be somebody else. Just try to find out who you are and allow it, accept it, welcome it, delight in it, relish it, so that it is nourished, so that it grows. Through you, God is trying to become somebody He has never tried before.

God is not repetitive; His creativity is infinite. He never drives the same model again -- He is not a Henry Ford. He is absolutely inventive; every day He goes on trying the new, the fresh. He never bothers to repeat a model again, He always goes on improving. He is a great innovator. That's what creativity is. So don't try to become a Jesus -- because then God won't receive you.

One Hassid was dying. His name was Josiah. Somebody asked him, "Have you prayed to God, have you made your peace with God? Are you certain that Moses will be a witness to you? "

Josiah looked at the questioner and said, "I am not worried about Moses because when I am facing God I know perfectly well that He will not ask me, 'Josiah, why were you not a Moses?' He will ask me. 'Josiah, why were you not a Josiah?' So I am worried about myself. Stop talking nonsense! Moses -- what am I to do with Moses? My whole life has been wasted in it. Now I am dying and I am facing the real question that He will ask me: 'Were you a Josiah or not? I made you to be somebody special, somebody unique. Did you achieve that peak or not? Have you missed the opportunity?'"

God will certainly ask you. "Were you able to become yourself?" No other question can be asked.

Don't ask such questions: "Why did Jesus constantly talk in obscure parables?" He loves it that way! And a parable has to be obscure, dim, candle-lit. Too bright a light kills a parable; too much analysis kills. It is poetry.

"Was this a deliberate technique?" You can never go beyond the technique, you are too obsessed with the technique. Everything becomes a technique to you. This is the way Jesus is, it is not a question of technique. He is not following a certain technique -- he is not a follower of Dale Carnegie, he has never read the book HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE. He is not following a technique, he was not an American.

In America, everything has become a technique. Even if you want to make love you go and learn the technique. Can you imagine a more unfortunate day for humanity? Even animals don't ask. They know perfectly well how to make love, they don't go to a school to learn the technique. But in America, everything has become a technique. How to be friendly -- even that has to be learned. Is man so completely lost that even friendship has to be learned?

People come to me and I go on saying to them, "Laugh!" They ask me how to laugh. How to laugh? -- learn from Swami Sardar Gurudayal, he is a perfect master! But I have come across the rumor that people don't allow him to laugh. They say, "Our meditation is disturbed." Because of laughter your meditation is disturbed? Then it is not worth anything.

You have to learn everything. I think sooner or later you will have to learn how to breathe. It is possible because you follow many other things in the same way. You have to ask how to sleep, how to relax. They were natural one day, just like breathing. Go and ask a primitive: he will simply laugh if you ask, "How do you go so deeply into sleep?"

He will say, "What a foolish question! I simply put my head down and go to sleep. There is no HOW to it."

But you will say, "Still, there must be a trick because I try hard and nothing happens. You must be knowing a secret which you are hiding."

He is not hiding anything; that's how it happens. He simply puts down his head and goes to sleep. There is no gap between these two states.

One day or another, man is going to ask how to breathe and then, if you say, 'You just breathe; there is no HOW to it," he will not believe you. How to love, how to live, how to laugh, how to be happy -- these are all simple things, no HOW is needed. These are natural things, they are not techniques.

This is how Jesus is. He loves the way he says his parables. He loves it! He knows he has an intrinsic knack of telling parables.

A parable is not arithmetic. It should not be too clear, otherwise the point is lost. It should be a persuasion, it should not be an advertisement. It should not argue because then the point is lost -- then why not argue, why say a parable? It should not give proofs, it should only supply hints; and that, too, not completely. Just a few hints so that your being is challenged, you become alert.

I have heard about Chuang Tzu that he was talking to his disciples and many of them were fast asleep, as disciples are. It must have been late at night and they were tired, and Chuang Tzu was saying difficult things that were beyond them. When something is beyond you, it seems better to rest and sleep than to bother with it.

Suddenly Chuang Tzu became aware that many of the disciples were fast asleep and it was useless. They were even snoring and disturbing him. So he told a parable. He said: "Once it happened that a man had a donkey and he was travelling on a pilgrimage towards some holy place. But he was very poor, and it came to pass that he was hungry. No money was left, so he sold the donkey, on which he was riding, to another traveller who was rich. But the next afternoon, when the sun was very hot, the first owner rested in the shadow by the side of the donkey.

"The second owner said, 'This is not good. You have sold the donkey.'

"The first owner said, 'I have sold the donkey, but not the shadow.' "

Everybody became alert -- nobody was asleep, nobody was snoring. When you talk about donkeys, donkeys hear it immediately! Chuang Tzu said, "I am finished with the story. Now I come to my point."

But they all said, "Wait! Please finish the story."

Chuang Tzu said, "It was a parable, not a story. You are more interested in donkeys than you are in me".

Now everybody was throbbing with excitement: "What happened? Then what happened?" -- but Chuang Tzu left it there, he never completed it. It was not meant to be completed, it was just an indication that the human mind is more interested in stupidities than in higher values and higher things, more interested in foolish things.

But I loved it. It was beautiful of him. He brought all the stupid minds to a certain point -- to an indication, to a hint.

Jesus talks in parables for many reasons. But those reasons are not techniques. You can think about them, but they are not techniques. It simply happened naturally to him, he was a good storyteller.

But you can think about the reasons he talked in parables. The first: great things can be said if you create a drama around them. If you say them without the drama they fall flat. That's why stories have a tendency to live, to live forever and ever. The Vedas may disappear, but RAMAYANA, the story of Ram, will not disappear. It is a story; it will be preserved. The Upanishads may disappear, but the parables of Jesus will remain. They hang around you, they become a climate.

You never forget a beautiful story. It is just like -- if you sing a beautiful song, you will remember it better than if it was prose. If it is poetry, it is remembered well. Somehow it fits with the deepest quality of your mind. If it is a parable, if there is a drama in it, it has a tendency to cling to you. It will come again and again and again; it will become an inner climate.

Bare principles are soon forgotten. And in the days of jesus, books were not written. All that Jesus was saying was recorded many, many years afterwards. For those many, many years it was just in the memory of the people who had heard him.

A parable can be remembered well. You will forget what I say, but you will never forget the parables, the anecdotes, the jokes. You may forget Mahavir and Moses, but you will not forget Mulla Nasrudin. Mahavir is too far away; Mulla is your neighbor. Mahavir may be somewhere in MOKSHA, Mulla is just within you. He is you; you can recognize yourself in him.

So there may be reasons, but don't be bothered about them. It is Jesus' way, and it is good that he never tried anybody else's way.

In Judaism there were Prophets, great prophets: Jeremiah, Ezekiel.... They had their own way. Even John the Baptist never used any parable.

This has to be understood. Prophets are something special to Judaism. They don't exist anywhere else. Mystics are everywhere: Buddha is a mystic, not a prophet; Mahavir is a mystic, not a prophet. A mystic is one who has attained to God; a prophet is one to whom God has come. It exists only in Judaism -- the concept of prophets -- because only in Judaism does God seek man. In all other religions, man seeks God.

When man seeks God and finds Him, he is a mystic. When God seeks man and finds him, he is a prophet. When man comes to God he is a mystic; when God comes to man he is a prophet. When the drop drops into the ocean he is a mystic. When the ocean drops into the drop then he is a prophet.

A prophet is a very mad and fiery man. Of course, he has to be: the ocean has come to him. Jeremiah, Ezekiel, John the Baptist -- they are prophets, mad people, mad people of God. They speak fire, they don't talk in parables. Their sentences are acidic; they will burn you.

They cannot soothe you. Buddha is very soothing, Krishna is just like a lullaby that surrounds you, soothes you, consoles you, heals you. A prophet simply burns you with an unknown desire, makes you mad.

Jesus is both a prophet and a mystic, one who has come to God and one to whom God has also come. Sometimes he talks like John the Baptist and sometimes he talks like Krishna. Sometimes he soothes and sometimes he wounds. He is a very deep balancing phenomenon: a prophet and a mystic both. That's why you will find in him a synthesis. You will find in him all that is in Judaism -- all that is beautiful and great -- and you will find in him all that is beautiful in Krishna, Buddha, Mahavir; Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism.

Jesus is a culmination point, as if all the religions of the world meet in him and reach to a crescendo. He talks sometimes as a prophet: he invokes, provokes -- he calls you. But that is not his only quality. He soothes; he says parables; he consoles; he gives you a lullaby. He wakes you, and he helps you to sleep. But that is the way he is. All explanations are explanations after the fact, remember. The basic thing is that this is the way he is, and no other way is possible for him.

Socrates was poisoned. The court decided that he should be murdered, but the people loved him very much -- even in the court almost half of them were in favor of him. So they gave him an opportunity. They told him, "If you stop talking about the truth, if you keep quiet, you can be pardoned and your death can be avoided."

Socrates said, "That will be impossible. That will be more deathly than death, because to talk about truth is the only way I know to be. It will be worse than death. So please kill me, because if you leave me and you say I have to keep quiet, it will be impossible. That's not the way I am.

"To talk about truth is the only business I know -- the ONLY business I know. It is the only way I am. I cannot promise that I will stop talking truth because even if I stop, even in my silence only truth will be spoken. So I cannot promise that. You better kill me" -- and he was killed.

This is very meaningful. A Socrates is a Socrates. A Socrates is a Socrates, and there is no other way. All explanations are explanations AFTER. But don't be bothered about them. Love if you can -- and if you cannot love Jesus, forget about him and find somebody else you can love. Don't be bothered about explanations and reasonings and proofs.

Only love will help you to understand, nothing else. When you love a person -- whosoever he is: Jesus or Krishna -- when you love a person, you immediately understand that that's the way he is. Then you don't want him to be otherwise. Love never wants to change anybody. Love accepts, understands.


Next: Chapter 6, The luxury of God, The sixth question


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