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Christianity: The Deadliest Poison and Zen: The Antidote to All Poisons
Chapter 2: Service with a smile
Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Christianity The Antidote to All Poisons
One sannyasin has asked me:
CANNOT WE DISAGREE WITH YOU? CANNOT WE CRITICIZE YOU?
A significant question for everyone.
This is not a debating club. Neither your agreement is needed, nor your disagreement. What is needed is your right hearing. If you hear rightly, it will be decisive. Agreement is just a mind thing, and disagreement is also the same. Neither of them is going to help you. What is going to help you is to experiment, to experience, but that comes only when you have heard me.
The greatest difficulty is to hear rightly, to hear silently. If you are thinking to agree or disagree, then you cannot hear me. Your prejudices are there functioning as a curtain, they will distort everything.
I don't ask you to agree with me, and I don't ask you to disagree with me. Our whole approach is beyond the mind.
You have to learn how to listen, how to be silent and let your silence decide. Let your no-mind decide. And I know that your no-mind will be in absolute synchronicity with what I am saying to you. I will not use the word agreement -- that word belongs to the mind -- nor disagreement. They are two polarities of the mind -- positive/negative, theist/atheist, believer/nonbeliever.
I am trying to approach your no-mind, where it is never a question of choice. No-mind functions choicelessly. Once I have approached the no-mind, if you have allowed me, putting your prejudices aside, you won't have to agree or disagree, you will find an immense synchronicity. You will be in absolute harmony with me. And only that harmony can help your evolution.
What will you do with agreement? Just a belief will be created, and I am against all beliefs. What will you do with your disagreement? Your prejudice will remain, and your prejudice is your problem. You will remain within the boundaries of your past upbringing, your programming by the family, by the school, by the society, by the church.
This is not an intellectual discussing club; this is a place for seekers. It is a totally different phenomenon than you will come across anywhere else around the world. Here, we are searching to find a deep harmony. If you can be harmonious with me -- it is not agreement -- you are one with me. Agreement needs two. If you can be harmonious with me, I can transfer much that cannot be said. And only that which cannot be said is going to help your growth.
The other night, those Christian monks were here. They behaved in a very mannerly way, but they said at the gate when asked by Narendra ... one man told him, "I like everything, and I have been doing Dynamic and Kundalini Meditation for four and a half months, and I have been immensely helped in dropping my tensions, my mind stress. But then I felt suddenly, something is missing ...." And what is missing? -- service, service to the poor.
Now this is his upbringing, continuous Christian teaching, which becomes a barrier. Although he meditated here with me, I don't think he was hearing me.
You cannot serve anybody unless you have found yourself. Who are you to serve? Your service will be dangerous. You are in absolute darkness and unconsciousness. Out of your unconsciousness any action is going to be harmful.
Let us contemplate a little more about this word `service'.
All the religions have been serving the poor for thousands of years, and poverty goes on growing. Is this authentic service? Then in thousands of years poverty should have disappeared. In fact, you are feeding poverty.
Real service will be that the poor should be told that "You are being exploited, and you have to revolt against the vested interests." Unless the poor understand that their poverty is caused by a few people who are exploiting them, sucking their blood ... It is not caused by your past lives and bad acts, it is caused by the social system which depends on exploitation.
The religions have to be made aware of the fact that they have been doing this service for centuries. What is the result? -- because a tree is known by the fruit; if the fruit is rotten, the tree is not worth much. Service seems to be a beautiful word to hide an exploiting social structure. It appears so good -- serving the poor -- it seems a great virtue.
But why are the poor there in the first place? Who has made them poor?
On the one hand you go on serving the poor and converting them into Catholics. The service is not in the service of the poor, the service is to increase the power of the Catholic church. You go on finding orphans and converting them. How have Catholics increased to six hundred million? -- by serving the poor. The service is motivated.
If you are really interested in destroying poverty you will look into the roots. You treat only symptoms. Giving food to the poor, or clothes to the poor ... how is it going to help? It will only keep them at survival level, and it will allow the vested interests to continue exploiting them. You see the vicious circle?
The capitalists go on donating to the church. The church goes on helping the poor at least to live, because laborers and slaves are needed. Even slaves were fed by their masters. That was not service. If you don't feed your horse, if you don't feed your cow, you will lose much money. If you don't feed the poor, the capitalist will disappear. Who is going to work for him? Whom is he going to exploit?
So it is a very cunning game. The rich man goes on donating a small portion of his exploitation to the church. The church goes on bringing up the orphans, aboriginals, poor people, to the survival level. They are needed alive, because without them the whole system will collapse.
So on the one hand, the capitalist goes on giving money in charity; on the other hand, he goes on exploiting the poor. And between the two, the priest has his own percentage -- he is a mediator -- so he is living beautifully. Millions of missionaries are there around the world, but they are serving the exploiters in the name of service.
I don't want to be in this vicious game.
I want poverty to be completely removed.
There should be no person who needs service.
A society that needs service is sick.
But its prejudice about service has prevented it from hearing me.
I am reminded of a case in Jesus' life. Most probably it is simply mythology. Not most probably -- it is certainly mythology.
Jesus brings Lazarus back from death. Now, the question is: is Lazarus going to live forever? He will die again -- so Jesus has given him two deaths instead of one. The arithmetic is absolutely clear. He will suffer poverty, and one day he will die again.
But I don't think this happened, because if it were true, why could Jesus not perform any miracle on the cross?
On the cross he became angry with God. He shouted, "Have you forsaken me?" He felt utterly helpless. This man who used to raise the dead, who used to walk on water, could not fly with the cross? It is absolutely inconsistent. With the man's miracles, he could not manage any miracle on the cross?
And that was the place where he was expected ... Then the Jews would have accepted him as their last prophet. He was put on the cross as a test, that "If you are really the son of God, now let us see. If you really walk on water, if you really raise the dead to life again, then we will put you on the cross and see what miracles you can do, or God can do on your behalf."
Nothing happened. He shouted at the clouds; there was no God. But what is the need of God if a man walks on water, feeds people -- thousands of people -- with one loaf of bread, wakes up the dead? There was no need to call for God. He could have flown away with the cross, and that would have proved absolutely without doubt to the Jews that he was their last prophet, he was the only begotten son of God. His helplessness on the cross shows that all the stories of miracles are simply invented -- because no contemporary source even mentions Jesus' name.
Can you think that a man who walks on water, a man who raises dead people back to life, a man who restores the eyes of the blind, the limbs of the crippled just by his touch, was not able even to carry the cross up the hill? Three times he fell -- the cross was too heavy -- and three times they gave him a good beating to get up again and carry the cross. And this is the prophet, the only begotten son of God!
With Jesus the idea of service has come into existence: serve the poor. But why? In fact, logically, he said, "Blessed are the poor, for they shall inherit the kingdom of God." If that is true, make more people poor. The rich people cannot enter into paradise. A camel can pass through the eye of a needle, but a rich man cannot enter into the gate of paradise. If that is the case, why serve the poor? If anybody needs service, it is the rich. Steal their money, make them poor, so they can inherit the kingdom of God.
Poverty is perfectly right, according to Jesus' own statements. It is good to be poor -- according to Jesus -- it is great to be poor.
I hate poverty! And I hate Jesus for making such statements, consoling the poor and protecting the rich. It seems that Jesus is on the side of the poor ... and what help has he given to the poor? And what help has Christianity given to the poor?
Even in Christian countries there is immense poverty. Even in the richest country, America, there are three million people on the streets; in this cold winter they are dying. What are the Christians doing for those people? And they are Christians, but nobody is interested in them. They are already Christians, they will inherit the kingdom of God.
And America goes on sending missionaries around the world to help the poor. Strange ... They cannot help their own poor because they are already Christian. So that is the criterion: service is meant to convert poor people, because just bread and butter and clothes and medicine will purchase them.
Mohammedans used to do the conversion in a different way, a very short cut -- by the sword. Either be a Mohammedan, or the sword is going to cut off your head. Because the Koran says, "The more you convert people to Mohammedanism, the more virtuous you are -- and only Mohammedans will be saved," so they are cutting off your head in service. They were trying hard to make you a Mohammedan, because that is the only way to reach to God -- and you refused. "It is better for you to die than be a Hindu, a Christian, a Jew. Be born again and we will see. If not in this life, then in another life, you will be converted to Mohammedanism."
Their way was short, just a simple sword hanging over your neck. And they converted many; they are the second greatest religion. Christians have the most people, and the second most are Mohammedans.
Christianity persuades people with a little sophistication. Mohammedans were absolutely in a hurry. Christians take time: they adopt orphans, they find leftover children in Calcutta. They bring them up, they give them education -- but all for the purpose of increasing the power of Christianity. The whole earth has to be turned into a Christian world; then only people will be saved.
Even if it is true that Jesus walked on water, what is the point of it when boats are available? It is simply stupid. What is divine in it? Even if he had managed to raise Lazarus from the dead ... then nothing more is heard about Lazarus, only that story is there. What happened to Lazarus? He must have lived in misery and poverty, and would have died in sickness, disease, old age. What is the point of your service?
A similar case will help you to understand.
A woman's husband died. She was young, had only one child. She wanted to commit sati, she wanted to jump in the funeral pyre with her husband, but this small child prevented her. She had to live for this small child.
But then the small child died; now it was too much. She went almost insane, asking people, "Is there any physician anywhere who can make my child alive again? I was living only for him, now my whole life is simply dark."
In India you cannot marry again, and particularly in those days it was absolutely impossible. A woman cannot marry again. Man's possessiveness is such that "Even if I die ... you suffer, but you should not marry anyone." Such jealousy -- and this is called the "Indian heritage" by Mr. Rajiv Gandhi.
It happened that Buddha was coming to the town, so people said, "We don't know any physician, but Buddha is coming. That is a great chance. You take the child to Buddha, and tell him that you were living for this child, and the child has died, `and you are such a great enlightened person, call him back to life! Have mercy on me!'"
So she went to Buddha. She put the dead body of the child at Buddha's feet, and she said, "Call him back to life. You know all the secrets of life, you have attained to the ultimate peak of existence. Can't you do a small miracle for a poor woman?"
Buddha said, "I will do it, but there is a condition."
She said, "I will fulfill any condition."
Buddha said, "Settled. The condition is: you go around the town and, from a house where nobody has ever died, bring a few mustard seeds." That village was cultivating mustard seeds, so Buddha told her, "Just go around ..."
The woman could not understand the strategy. She went to one house, and they said, "A few mustard seeds? We can bring a few bullock carts full of mustard seeds if Buddha can bring your son back to life. But our mustard seeds will not be of any help, because not one, but thousands have died in our family. Since eternity we have been here. We have seen our great-grandfather dying, we have seen our great-grandmother dying, we have seen our grandfather dying, grandmother dying. We have seen so many deaths in our family. These mustard seeds are useless. Buddha's condition is, `from a house where nobody has ever died.'"
It was a small village, and she went to every house. Everybody was ready: "How many seeds do you want?" But the condition was impossible because "so many people have died in our family."
By the evening she became aware of the fact, and of the strategy of Gautam Buddha. She understood that whoever is born is going to die, "so what is the point of getting the child back again? He will die again. It is better for you yourself to seek the eternal, which is never born and never dies."
By the evening she came back empty-handed. Buddha asked, "Where are the mustard seeds?"
She laughed. In the morning she had come crying; now she laughed, and she said, "You tricked me! Everybody who is born is going to die. There is no family, not in this village, nor in the whole world, where nobody has died. So I don't want my son to be brought again back to life -- what is the point? After a few days, or a few months, or a few years, he will have to die again. And all these years he will live in misery, in all kinds of anguish and anxiety. Your compassion is great that you did not bring him back to life!
"Forget about the child. Initiate me into the art of meditation, so that I can go into the land, the space of immortality, where birth and death have never happened."
Buddha said, "You are a very intelligent woman. You understood the point."
I call this a miracle, not Jesus' waking up Lazarus. I don't call that a miracle. Apparently that looks like a miracle, but appearance is not the reality. I call Buddha's strategy a miracle. Everybody is going to die, there is no point ... One has to get out of birth and death.
Buddha initiated the woman, and she became one of the enlightened ones among Buddha's disciples. Her urgency was such ... she knew that "My husband has died, my child has died, and now it is my number. Any moment and I will be a victim of death, so there is not much time. I don't know at what moment death is coming, so I have to be totally involved in the search, in what Buddha is telling me to do: `Go inwards. Go to the very center of your being, and you will be beyond birth and death.'"
This I call an authentic miracle: cutting the problem from the very roots.
I am serving, but my service is very subtle. I am serving by waking up people to their innermost being. That is the only miracle I consider of any worth.
And I am serving the poor by not deceiving them that "You will inherit the kingdom of God." I am constantly saying to the world that the poor are our creation. Those who are giving charity to the churches, they should stop exploitation. Charity won't help. What charity are they giving?
It is a very cunning device. They are not giving a single rupee. They are earning so much, and income taxes go on becoming more and more as your income increases. There comes a point when you have to pay one hundred percent income tax, and if you go on increasing your income, you may have to pay one hundred and twenty-five percent, one hundred and fifty percent; you have to pay to the government more than you have earned. So this device helps after the point you feel it is good to pay to the government. Ten percent, fifteen percent, okay; when it comes to the point of paying one hundred percent, it is better to give in charity rather than giving it to the government. It is people's money: if they had not given it to charity, they would have had to give it to the government.
So on the exploitation of people they are securing their bank balance in paradise. It is not their money; nobody gives his own money. In fact, all rich people all over the world have many charity trusts of their own.
Just here, in India, Tata is one of the richest people, amongst the three richest families. He has a great charity trust worth forty crore rupees, and he goes on pouring money into the trust. It is the people's money, it should go to the government, but he siphons off the money.
Every rich person around the world is doing the same. Give it to the church, or make your own trust. Open a school in the memory of your father. Open a hospital and become a great man of charity in the memory of your dead mother. At least there will be the name of your mother, there will be your name, that you have made it in your mother's memory. And this is the money that is making people poor.
The church is made happy by receiving charity.
When I was arrested in America and without any reason they, in their minds, harassed me -- I was not harassed, I enjoyed the whole trip. I saw the other side of the world which I would never have seen -- twelve days being a guest of President Ronald Reagan!
They dragged me from one jail to another. I covered almost half of America traveling in the government airplane. I passed over a city, and I loved the lights of that city. I have been telling Anando that when we have more houses -- and soon we will have, because more people are going to come, and we have to make arrangements for them -- then we will make our own street lights.
I passed over a city called Salt Lake City. It is a city whose founder was killed just as they wanted to kill me, because we were also creating a city, and far bigger than Salt Lake City. We had one hundred and twenty-six square miles in our hands; we could have made three New Yorks or three San Franciscos!
Salt Lake City was made by a special cult of the Christians which separated from the Vatican. They are called the Mormons. I don't agree with them, but I love their city.
Their founder was murdered by the American government, shot dead -- but Mormons were Christians after all, so they could not kill all the Mormons. They are the most intelligent people in the whole Christian fold, and they have this city, Salt Lake City. Ninety-eight percent of the people in that city are Mormons, and they have a special arrangement ....
Every day, every Mormon around the world should send one dollar to their capital, Salt Lake City. So they receive one million dollars every day, and that's how they are enlarging their city in such a beautiful way. Such great planning and architecture! Roads for the future! Six cars can move abreast, at least, and a road runs just in the middle of the city straight across the whole city, so wide. And from that road, not as it happens in old cities ...
It was a different world then, because the vehicles were different. Now, in all the cities of the world, roads meet directly with the main road; that is dangerous. Most of the accidents are caused because roads meet directly, and from both sides, neither this side nor that side can see who is coming on the other road, the main road. If they are both moving at speed, then a clash is bound to happen. And when a clash happens between two cars ... it is never just between two cars, it is at least between eight cars, because the cars are moving bumper-to-bumper.
In Salt Lake City they have made a futuristic plan. The roads do not meet directly, but first the small road runs by the side of the big road for almost half a mile, so the main-road traffic knows perfectly that one car is moving by the side, and then it merges slowly slowly into the main road, not directly.
They are the most intelligent people, and they have put such beautiful green and blue lights all over the city that I forgot for a moment that my hands were handcuffed, that my feet were in chains, that my waist was surrounded by a very thick chain. And my hands were not only handcuffed, they were fixed with the chain surrounding my waist so I could not even wave my hand to friends. Even walking was difficult, because they made the chains too tight on the feet.
When I saw the beautiful Salt Lake City underneath me in the night, I forgot completely. Everything is fresh and new; they have changed everything that used to be in the old cities. Their lighting has consideration for people's eyes; it is blue, it is green, it is soft. It is not dangerous and hazardous for people's eyes. Their roads -- you can move at as great a speed as you want, not fifty-five miles per hour!
Have you ever considered ...?
I have been caught twice in America speeding, because I cannot drive at fifty-five miles per hour when the car is made to go one hundred and forty miles per hour! Do you see the inconsistency of the governments? You make the car to go a hundred and forty miles per hour, and you make the rule that nobody can go faster than fifty-five. Then why do you create these cars? -- just let them go fifty-five miles per hour. There is no need to make any law, there is no need to put signs on every crossroads that you should not go beyond fifty-five. And you are allowing car factories to create cars which are meant to go one hundred and forty miles per hour ....
What kind of intelligence is ruling the world?
I was moving as fast as the car could go, and when I was stopped by the police, the cops, they said, "You are going beyond the speed limit."
I said, "Look at my speedometer. I cannot move beyond the speedometer."
They said, "We are not concerned with your speedometer. Don't you see the sign boards?"
I said, "When I am driving I look ahead! And when a person is moving at one hundred and forty miles per hour, do you want him to look sideways?"
They said, "You are a strange person."
I said, "Ask your government that all factories should create cars which go only fifty-five miles per hour. There will be no question of so many cops on the road. I listen to my engine, not to your signs!"
They talked with each other, "What should we do?" They gave me a ticket, that I had to be present in court.
I said, "It is better I don't appear in the court; otherwise your judges will be embarrassed just as you are embarrassed. So my attorney will deal with it. It is not much of a matter -- fifty dollars."
And exactly fifty dollars I was fined.
I said, "That does not matter. Once in a while you can catch me. And why bother the court? -- I can give you fifty dollars on the spot. But my speed will remain according to my speedometer!"
Then I made arrangements for one car ahead of me, one car behind me. And I had made arrangements ... There are mechanical devices which give you a signal when the cops are around. I continued to move at my speed!
Only in Salt Lake City you can move freely ... or in Germany. Adolf Hitler will be remembered in history for making the greatest road, for the first time, on which you can drive at any speed you want.
Rather than increasing the roads, making better roads, you prevent people from speeding. And unless the car moves beyond one hundred, you don't have the feeling of a great ecstasy: you are almost flying!
In fact, Japanese scientists have discovered that if four hundred miles per hour is allowed, the car will rise one foot above the ground. That will be a real joy, because then there will be no bumps, no stones, you will be almost flying like a plane, just one foot above the ground.
Japan has in fact invented a railway train .... But Japan has not enough land, because that railway train moves at four hundred miles per hour, one foot above the tracks. It can't stop at every station -- and Japan has only the possibility of having two stations: one from where it starts and one where it stops, the beginning and the end ... the alpha and the omega!
The sannyasin also wanted to know whether he is allowed to criticize me.
I have no control over you, but any criticism is going to be against you, not against me. It is not going to harm me at all. The whole world is criticizing me, and I am not even touched; there is no question of being harmed!
So you can criticize, but remember it will harm you. Your criticism will take you away from me. Your criticism will create a wall between me and you, and a bridge is needed, not a wall.
You can criticize so many things .... The whole past of humanity is available for you to criticize, and the whole world is there to criticize me. Why bother to criticize me? You are here not to criticize, you are here to find out the truth. Criticism is very easy. Understanding needs intelligence, criticism does not.
I have told you the story by the great Russian novelist Turgenev, THE FOOL.
In a village there was a poor man who was thought by everybody to be an idiot, and because everybody told him that "You are an idiot," he also started believing it. What to do? -- if everybody is saying it, everybody cannot be wrong. So he had accepted the idea that "I am an idiot."
He would open his mouth and immediately somebody would say, "Stop! You are an idiot, you don't know anything. Keep quiet!" But it was hurting him very much.
A sage was passing by the village. He went to the sage, he told his miserable story. The sage said, "Don't be worried, my son, it is a very simple problem. All you have to do is this: whenever somebody says something ... don't say anything from your side; just watch others saying things.
"When somebody says, `Look what a beautiful sunset!', then you criticize. You ask, `What is beauty? Why do you call this sunset beautiful? I don't see any beauty. Where is beauty?' Just remain consistently criticizing. If anybody says, `Look at that woman! How beautiful!', then criticize: `What is beautiful in that woman? Just a skeleton covered with flesh in a bag of skin? What do you mean? What is beauty? That stinking woman? Just open her up!'"
God was not very clever, otherwise he would have made us with zips! You can open the zip and look inside, and that will be enough. All beauty will be finished. You will run away so fast you won't look backwards. What happened to the beautiful woman? or the beautiful man? Inside you are just bones, blood, flesh. What is beauty?
That sage said, "Remember one thing: don't make any statement on your side, otherwise they will criticize. You just for one month persist in criticizing. Just move around the town, and anybody saying ANYthing ...
"Somebody says, `Service to the poor is good.' Ask them, `What is good? Why are there poor? What do you mean by service?'"
If death is the end, then what is the difference between the saint and the sinner? Both will die and be finished. There will be no account taken that this is a saint, don't destroy him; this is a sinner. If death is the end, as the materialists believe, then there is no question of being saintly or evil. It is all the same. Death equalizes everybody.
For one month he practiced what the sage had said. The whole town was amazed how intelligent he had become. "What has happened? What a miracle! Nobody can answer his questions!" They started saying about him that he is no more an idiot, he has become a sage.
After one month the sage came back. He called the young man, and he said, "Are things okay?"
The young man said, "Great! Things are not just okay, but absolutely great! You have given me such a secret. I have criticized everybody -- the priests, the professors, the poets, the scholars -- and they are all defeated. Now they have changed their idea; they think that some miracle has happened to me: `His whole personality has changed, he is no more an idiot. He is the most intelligent man, a wise man we should be proud of.'"
The sage said, "That's good. Now keep it up. Don't make any statement on your own, just go on criticizing."
Criticizing is so simple. It does not need any skill, any art, any intelligence. What will you gain by criticizing me? You will simply lose me.
I am not preventing you, I am simply making things clear to you. Are you here to learn criticism, argument, logic? Or are you here to learn the art of going beyond the mind? It is your freedom. You can choose the mind, or you can choose meditation.
This place is for meditation.
If you choose the mind, this is not your place. Perhaps in some future life ... maybe you will become more mature and understand the futility of all criticism, all agreement, all disagreement. They are all mind-fucking! You have to go beyond it.
OUR BELOVED MASTER,
THERE WAS A MONK WHO HAD STAYED WITH YAKUSAN FOR THREE YEARS AND SERVED AS THE HEAD COOK. ONCE, YAKUSAN ASKED HIM, "HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN HERE?"
"THREE YEARS," THE MONK REPLIED.
"I DON'T KNOW YOUR FACE AT ALL," SAID YAKUSAN.
THE MONK DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT YAKUSAN MEANT,
AND, OUT OF RESENTMENT, LEFT THE MONASTERY.
The master was too compassionate on him -- but he missed the point, the poor monk.
Yakusan has asked him, "HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN HERE?" He is not asking how many years, his emphasis is on the point of here: "How long have you been here?"
In Zen, language takes a totally different nuance. The master is asking, "How long have you been in the time which is called now, in the space which is called here? How long have you been here?" He is not asking how many years you have spent here.
Perhaps the man had not even touched the space called here, the time called now. So he said, "THREE YEARS." That was factual, he had been in the monastery as a cook for three years -- but that was not the question.
Yakusan was not interested how many years he had been in the monastery; he was interested that "Have you touched the point here, or not? Have you learned the art of being here, or not?"
To be here and now, you have to be in meditation, beyond mind. Then suddenly all time disappears, you are in eternity. The very present moment becomes eternal. That was the question.
When a master asks anything, it is never an ordinary thing. The words may be ordinary, but you have to listen very carefully: Where is his emphasis? Why is he asking suddenly?
And because the monk said, "Three years," the master saw that he could not understand even a simple statement in the world of Zen. That's why he said, "I DON'T KNOW YOUR FACE AT ALL."
Again, he gave another opportunity to the person. "Have you discovered your original face? -- because I don't see it. I see the persona, the personality, but I don't see your original being, your original face. I DON'T KNOW YOUR FACE AT ALL." And he was the cook, and the master was seeing him every day, because he was serving his food. So it had nothing to do with factuality, it had something to do with absolute truth.
Yakusan was saying, "You don't know how to be here, you don't know how to be in the now. That means you don't know who you are. That means you have not looked inwards, behind the personality, into your original face."
The original face is the face of the buddha.
The original face is the face you had before your father was born.
The original face is the face you have had since eternity, and you will have till eternity. It is your very being, it is your very life source.
But instead of understanding the master's compassion, the monk did not understand what he meant, and he felt resentment: "What kind of man is this? I have been serving food to him for three years, and he says he has not seen my face." He thought, "It is very insulting, humiliating." Out of resentment he left the monastery.
So many poor people -- poor in the spirit -- by chance, by accident, come across a master, but they are bound to miss.
For three years the master has not asked him anything. He gave him enough time. Three years is thought to be enough time for anyone to get into the center.
It is a very strange phenomenon, and perhaps you may have observed it. If you move your house, it takes three days to be at rest in the new house.
Gautam Buddha and Mahavira, two great awakened people, did not allow their monks to stay in one place more than three days, because if you stay more than three days friendships arise, you can fall in love, you can start loving the place, you can start loving the food that you are getting in the place. You can become acquainted, you are no more a stranger. It takes three days for a stranger to be absorbed by the masses. So Buddha and Mahavira were in absolute agreement on the point that no sannyasin should stay in one place more than three days; three days is the limit. After the third day he should leave, so no attachments, no possessiveness, arise.
It is my experience that it takes three years for the laziest person. To those who are faster, it can happen in three seconds, but even to the laziest, if he goes on meditating, in three years he will find his original face. That is a finding of thousands of meditators.
So after three years -- the man had been with the master, he had been cooking, he had been listening to the master's discourses -- it was time to ask him: "HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN HERE?"
He understood how long but he forgot the word `here'. The emphasis was not on how long, the emphasis was on `here'. But out of compassion a master gives as many chances as possible. He asked another question.
"I DON'T KNOW YOUR FACE AT ALL -- and you say you have been here for three years. Where is your face?"
Now the man became resentful. He is standing before the master, and what kind of madman is this? -- he is asking, "Where is your face?" He is asking about your original face -- not this face that is reflected in the mirror, but a face that is reflected in the heart of the master.
The master knows when he encounters his disciple whether his heart reflects his original face or not. The original face is your consciousness, your witnessing, your buddha.
But this is the poverty of humanity, that you may come across -- which is very rare -- a master, and you will misunderstand and misinterpret, and what was compassion may look to you like humiliation, insult, and you may leave the master with resentment, with anger.
Being with a master one has to be very patient and one has to listen correctly. One has to watch where the emphasis is. The master has no concern how many years you have been here. What is he going to do with counting the years? Certainly he is not asking about the years; he is asking about this moment.
Are you here?
Factually you all seem to be here, but if your mind is wandering somewhere else, then in truth you are not here.
This face that you see in the mirror is not your original face. The original face is only a symbolic word. It does not mean `face'; inside there is no face. It simply means your originality, your individuality, your essential consciousness, your very nature of being a buddha. That is your original face. It is a metaphor.
I am talking about these anecdotes not for the sake of the anecdotes. I am talking about these anecdotes for you to become aware:
You are with a master.
You have to listen rightly.
You have to listen silently.
No agreement is needed, no disagreement is needed, no criticism is needed. Just listening peacefully, a synchronicity arises. Suddenly you feel a merger, a meeting -- so deep a meeting that you don't know who is who, who is the disciple and who is the master.
It happened to Chuang Tzu, a great master, perhaps one of the very rarest ones ....
His disciple Lieh Tzu one day came and sat on the seat of the master. Then came Chuang Tzu and sat on the floor. The gathering of hundreds of monks could not believe what was happening. The master is sitting on the floor, a disciple is sitting on his seat!
The master said to the head monk, "Ring the bell for discourse" -- and Lieh Tzu gave the discourse.
The master, Chuang Tzu, clapped and said, "Perfectly right. From now onwards I don't have to come. You take my seat. You are my successor."
Zen is such a unique phenomenon. There is no question of inferiority or superiority. The master is not offended. He could see the face of Lieh Tzu for the first time. The original face has arisen, the buddha is awakened, that's why he has taken the seat. It does not matter. When the buddha has arisen in a disciple, the master can retire.
Chuang Tzu never came back again to the assembly hall. Lieh Tzu continued.
I have told you another story about Chuang Tzu and Lieh Tzu. It is worth remembering again in this context.
One day Chuang Tzu woke up in the morning .... It was after this incident that I told you about. Although he was not coming to the assembly hall, his disciples were missing him. Lieh Tzu had become awakened, but he was not of the same quality. He was still new, he was not so articulate. He had entered into buddhahood just now, while Chuang Tzu had been living in that state for many many years.
So the disciples would listen to Lieh Tzu but would still go to Chuang Tzu's room just to touch his feet or just to sit by his side.
One morning Chuang Tzu woke up and almost a dozen disciples were there, because he was late. It had never happened before. "Is he sick?" He was getting old, so they were concerned. But he woke up and he called the disciples in.
He said, "I am in a difficulty, that's why I am late. Do you promise to help me to get out of the difficulty?"
They said, "We will do anything. Even if our life is needed, it is in your hands. Just tell us."
He said, "No, it is not a question of taking your life. In the night I dreamt that I had become a butterfly."
All the disciples laughed. They said, "This is not a problem. We all dream of many things. A butterfly? -- now you are awake, there is no question ... it is finished. The dream is no more."
Chuang Tzu said, "No, it is not finished. Now it starts -- the question. If Chuang Tzu can dream in his sleep that he has become a butterfly, cannot the butterfly in her sleep dream that she is Chuang Tzu? Now who am I? -- a butterfly dreaming of being Chuang Tzu or am I really Chuang Tzu? That is the problem."
It is absolutely right. If you can dream about being a butterfly, what is wrong in a butterfly dreaming about being you?
The disciples looked at each other. What to do? -- this is nonsense, but you cannot tell the master that this is nonsense. He is making out of this nonsense a very sensible question.
They said, "If you cannot solve it, you cannot expect us unenlightened, unconscious people to solve it."
He said, "Ring the bell and call the whole monastery."
There were at least fifteen hundred monks, and they came running. What has happened? -- because it was very rare: the bell was rung always in the assembly hall, not in the cottage of the master.
They all surrounded him. Those twelve disciples told them, "Our master is in a difficulty." First they all laughed. The twelve said, "Don't laugh. We also laughed, but he is really very sad, very serious. We have never seen him so serious. He is not a serious man at all but his question seemed to be relevant as we pondered over it. It looks absolutely right to wonder."
Fifteen hundred monks looked at each other. There was a great silence. Lieh Tzu was not present, he had gone to the city for some work. He came back right at this time. The gathering of the monks allowed him to enter.
He said, "What is the problem? Why are you gathered here?"
They told him the problem. He did not enter into the cottage, he went outside. As he was going out, the monks said, "Where are you going? You are needed, you have to help the master."
He said, "I am going to help him."
He went to the well. It was a cold winter morning, and he pulled out ice-cold water in a bucket and went into the cottage and poured the whole bucket on Chuang Tzu.
Chuang Tzu jumped out of the bed. He said, "Wait! The problem is solved! I am Chuang Tzu. But where have you been? If you had not come here I would have remained in my bed the rest of my life. Where have you been?"
Lieh Tzu said, "Are you awake, or do I have to bring another bucket?"
Chuang Tzu said, "No, there is no need for another bucket. One bucket is enough to prove that I am not a butterfly. The butterfly would have died! I am certainly Chuang Tzu. Just tell all the monks, `Don't be worried, the problem is solved.'
"But you should not be so strange -- bringing such cold water! At least you could have warmed the water. I am an old man. You don't understand .... I was just waiting for you, to see whether you could solve it or not. You are really my successor. You have rightly taken my seat. Don't be worried, slowly slowly you will learn and I will manage many situations for you to learn."
This was one of the situations.
The master functions in different ways on different people. Different masters are creating different devices, but all for the sake of finding the truth.
Never get resentful, never be angry, never feel insulted. The master never means to humiliate anyone. He wants everyone to be elevated to the ultimate status of a Gautam Buddha.
ANOTHER MONK ONCE SAID TO YAKUSAN, "I HAVE A DOUBT. PLEASE, MASTER, CLEAR IT AWAY."
YAKUSAN SAID, "THEN COME TO ME AT THE REGULAR DISCOURSE."
THAT NIGHT, SEATED FOR DISCOURSE, YAKUSAN ADDRESSED THE ASSEMBLY OF MONKS IN FRONT OF HIM, SAYING, "TONIGHT A MONK WILL CLEAR HIS DOUBT AWAY. WHERE ARE YOU? COME UP HERE!"
He is telling the same monk who had asked him in the morning, "I HAVE A DOUBT. PLEASE, MASTER, CLEAR IT AWAY."
Yakusan is so certain of clearing it away that without clearing it he is telling the assembly, "TONIGHT A MONK WILL CLEAR HIS DOUBT AWAY. WHERE ARE YOU? COME UP HERE!"
THE MONK AROSE AND CAME FORWARD. NO SOONER HAD HE REACHED THE MASTER THAN YAKUSAN KNOCKED HIM DOWN AND IMMEDIATELY RETURNED TO HIS ROOM.
The doubt is cleared, the ego is shattered. Returning to the room has been a symbol in Zen almost since Bodhidharma. It means: doubt is part of the mind; I have shattered it. I am returning to my room, you return to your own inner shrine.
From different angles, for different kinds of people, the master manages. He has only two hands, but he functions almost like thousands of hands. He has only two eyes, but functions like thousands of eyes.
TODAY OF ALL DAYS
WHEN NO ONE IS HERE.
Shohaku was meditating for many months on a koan: What is the sound of one hand clapping?
Now, one hand clapping cannot make any sound. The very word clapping means two things are needed. Two hands can clap (THE MASTER CLAPS HIS HANDS), but one hand ... These are called koans. They are not puzzles that you can solve, they are unsolvable. You can dis-solve them, but you cannot solve them. Meditation dissolves them.
So for months he had been meditating, and every once in a while he would hear something -- a cool breeze passing through the pine trees making a subtle sound and music -- and he would think, "Perhaps this is it."
He would run to the master, but before he had uttered a word, the master would just close the door in his face and shout from inside, "Go back and meditate. This is not the sound!"
Shohaku would think, "What is the matter? I have not even said anything and he has refused already!"
But the master is right, because no answer can be right. There is no question, so whatever he brings is wrong, till he stops bringing. Many times the master would slap him. When he would say, "This is the sound I have heard: bamboos cracking," the master would say, "Go back."
And this day it happened!
CUCKOO CALLING ... At another time he may have run to the master saying to him, "It is the call of the cuckoo, the sound of the cuckoo."
But today it was different. CUCKOO CALLING TODAY OF ALL DAYS WHEN NO ONE IS HERE.
He has dissolved his mind, and with the mind the koan is dissolved. There is no question to be solved. He is no more here.
He did not run to the master, but the master in the middle of the night suddenly ran towards Shohaku, when the cuckoo was still calling. The master was waiting that he may come, but he has not come. That means he has dissolved the question.
The master reached to Shohaku, who was sitting silently, and the cuckoo was still calling ... and Shohaku was so silent and so peaceful, surrounded by such serenity.
The master shook him. Shohaku opened his eyes, didn't say a single word, just touched the feet of the master.
The master said, "So you have heard! Come on, now you can stay with me in my cottage. I have been looking towards you with great hope. All those slaps -- you know I am old and it hurts my hand more than your face. All those beatings ... and you don't understand that my hand hurts the whole night! You are young. I am in a hurry. My death is very close. Before my death I wanted ...
"You have dissolved the koan, the sound of one hand clapping. Today it happened of all days: the cuckoo is calling ... but now I can see you are no more there. Your mind is silent, your ego is gone. A peace, a great peace, a tremendous transformation from mind to no-mind has happened. I declare you my successor."
Shohaku's master died the next day. He was hanging around just hoping and waiting and hitting hard for Shohaku to understand. He had many disciples, but Shohaku was the most promising because he had taken every hit with great gratitude, bowing down, touching his feet, with never a single resentment, never anger, never a feeling of humiliation, never a feeling of frustration that "For months together I have been coming and coming and coming and he goes on rejecting. Even though he does not hear my answer, already he rejects it before I have opened my mouth. Now I know, no answer was going to be the answer. Only no-mind could be the answer. No-mind is the sound of one hand clapping."
TODAY OF ALL DAYS
WHEN NO ONE IS HERE.
Next: Chapter 2: Service with a smile, Question 2
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