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Christianity: The Deadliest Poison and Zen: The Antidote to All Poisons
Chapter 3: The sword and the lotus
Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Christianity The Antidote to All Poisons
One sannyasin has asked that his parents, and particularly his mother, harass him very much while he is meditating. She says to him, "Why are you wasting your time sitting here, doing nothing? Who are you bluffing by closing your eyes? It is better to read the Bible, or go to the church and pray to God, or do some virtuous actions. This -- what you call meditation -- is simply selfishness."
The sannyasin has asked me, "What is your answer?"
It has many implications to be understood.
First, in one's unconsciousness one cannot do any virtuous act. Virtue comes out of deep meditation. Virtue is a flower of your realization that you are eternal, immortal, that you are divine. Sharing that divineness is virtue. There is no other virtue in existence.
But all the religions, particularly Christianity, go on emphasizing, "Do virtuous acts. Don't sit silently, it is selfish."
I have to ask, first: when you succeed as a rich man nobody says to you that it is selfish. Everybody praises you: that is great. When you succeed as a politician and become a president or a prime minister nobody says it is selfish, everybody praises you.
Thirty million dollars are being spent celebrating President Bush's success. Success is not selfish -- do you see the point? -- being super-rich is not selfish, creating materials for destruction of the world is not selfish, accumulating nuclear weapons is not selfish ....
And what is your virtue? Is it unmotivated? Are you not being virtuous doing service to the poor, or the sick, or the orphans, in order to get into paradise with all its pleasures? It is simply business. Who says it is virtue?
I am reminded of an ancient Chinese parable ....
There used to happen in the capital of China every year a festival. Millions of people gathered -- the fair lasted for one month -- and even the emperor used to come to inaugurate it. But in those days, in China, the water wells were not protected by walls. In darkness one could easily fall into a well, because there was no wall as a protection.
A man fell into a well. It was getting dark and his eyesight was not good, he was almost blind. He shouted for help, but with millions of people there was so much noise -- who is going to hear him?
A Confucian monk passed by the side of the well and he heard the noise of the man asking for help, to be taken out of the well. The Confucian monk said to him, "Don't be worried. Our master, Confucius, has written in his books that every water well should have walls, and I am going to create a tremendous uproar in the country!"
The poor man said, "By the time you create the great uproar in the whole country and all the wells start having protecting walls, I will be dead. Just think of me first!"
The monk said, "Individuals don't matter, what matters is society." That is the Confucian idea. That is the idea of all socialists, that the individual does not matter.
The reason for China becoming communist -- nobody has explored the reason why India has not become communist -- is Confucius. For twenty-five centuries Confucius had been held in tremendous respect, so when Karl Marx became available to the Chinese, it fitted very well with the Confucian idea: the individual does not matter, what matters is the society.
The Confucian monk said to the man, "Anyway, any day you are going to die, so why not now? I cannot waste my time! I am going to create the revolution that will bring walls to every well in the whole country. Think of your children!" And the man went away.
The man in the well thought, "Strange ... I am dying here, and that idiot is going to create a revolution!"
A Buddhist monk passed by. He looked in the well. The man said, "Buddha has taught compassion. You should save me, I am dying! And it is getting darker and colder."
The Buddhist monk said, "Be patient. It is because of your past lives' evil acts that you have fallen into the well. Millions of people are here, and nobody else has fallen into the well. You must have committed very evil acts -- murder, rape. It is better to clear the account.
"And Buddha has also said, `Never interfere into anybody's life!' Just forgive me, I cannot interfere into your life. If I pull you out, you will fall again, because your punishment for the evil acts of the past life is not complete -- so what is the point? Just die and be reborn, fresh, without any past evil acts hanging around you."
The man was so amazed, "These people are religious people?" And the Buddhist monk went away.
This is the logical consequence of Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna. All the Indian philosophies teach it.
You will not believe it .... One of the Jaina sects, Terapanth, whose head is Acharya Tulsi, has seventeen hundred monks and three times more nuns. It is one of the very strongest folds; very rich, super-rich people belong to that sect.
The original man who created the sect separate from mainstream Jainism, his basic point was that if somebody is drowning you should not interfere. That is the logical consequence of believing in the past life and evil acts and their punishment. If somebody is hungry, you should not interfere. If somebody is thirsty, you should not even tell him the way to the river.
And, moreover, interfering in nature's course will create bad karmas for you. For example, if you pull a man out from the well, and tomorrow he commits a murder, do you think you are also responsible for it or not?
Logically, it seems to be perfectly right. If you had not saved the man, he would not have committed the murder. You are fifty percent responsible: you saved him, he committed the murder. Now you will have to suffer for saving the man. Whatsoever he does from now onwards, you will be responsible -- for his whole life. You have unnecessarily disturbed his finishing of the punishment, and you have created on the other hand evil acts for which you will suffer in your future life.
The statement, the philosophy, is logical, but absolutely against life. Is logic more important than life?
And as far as I am concerned, every act brings its punishment just as a shadow. You don't have to suffer in your future life. Right now you murder; why should nature wait that long for punishment? You put your hand in the fire ....
I have told this to Acharya Tulsi -- and he has been angry with me since then, speaking every kind of lie against me. The reason is personal, because I told him, before fifty thousand people, "Your whole philosophy is absolutely ugly and obscene. You put your hand into the fire right now, and let us see whether your hand burns now or in the future life!"
He had nothing to say. And his own people -- those fifty thousand were his own people -- they laughed and they clapped. That hurt him very much.
Action brings its reaction immediately, it follows without any gap. Why should there be such a long gap? But the reason is ... You see right now all kinds of mean people being successful. How do you explain it? -- all kinds of cunning people being prime ministers, becoming presidents, becoming super-rich right now, just by sheer squeezing people's blood! How do you explain it?
The religions have been saving the vested interests. They had to find some way, and this was a good strategy: nobody is making you poor, you are suffering from your past life's acts, evil acts. And the rich? -- they are enjoying their past life's good acts, virtuous acts.
Do you see the cunningness of the argument? Neither do you know anything about your past life, nor do you know anything about your future life. Your real problem is dissolved into smoke, so thick a smoke that you cannot see beyond it.
The Buddhist monk moved on from the well, and he was followed by a Christian missionary. The Christian missionary was carrying a bucket and a long rope. He immediately threw the rope and the bucket into the well, and pulled the man out.
The man said, "You are the only religious man."
The Christian missionary said, "In fact, I should be grateful to you, because unless you fall in the well I cannot earn virtue. I am against the Confucian idea that every well should have a wall. Then nobody will be falling in! -- and for whom am I carrying the bucket and the rope? No walls are needed; otherwise, all virtue, all morality, all service will disappear from the world."
Bertrand Russell has made a very important statement: "If there is no poverty, there will be no religion. Whom are you going to serve?"
If there is no death, all churches, all religions will become absolutely useless, invalid, out of date. They are surviving because of poverty, because of death, because of disease, because of orphans. That's why they are all against birth control -- because birth control can destroy all poverty, and all the orphans can be stopped from coming into the world.
What will happen to poor Mother Teresa? Who will give her a Nobel Prize?
Orphans are absolutely needed, otherwise Mother Teresas will disappear. Poverty is needed, that's why they go on continuously being against all birth control methods. It has nothing to do with God -- they need the poor people, because their religion teaches them that if you serve the poor, if you open hospitals for the poor, if you open schools for the poor, you are earning a great bank balance in paradise.
This is not unselfishness. Who says it is unselfish? It is more selfish than anything else you can find in the world -- a motivation to exploit poor people, people who have fallen into the well, people who are dying, people who are sick, people who are orphans. You are taking great advantage.
All religions say that you will have great pleasures in heaven; beautiful women will be available to all the saints who have done virtuous acts. Strange ... Here you talk about celibacy, and in all the paradises of all the religions, celibacy is no longer applicable. Do you see the contradiction?
If a man has been celibate here for sixty, seventy years, he will become habitually a celibate. Then he goes into heaven and finds beautiful girls .... They remain always at the age sixteen; through eternity, they have never grown up. They don't perspire, they don't need any deodorant; their breath does not smell, they don't need any mouthwash. It seems they are made of plastic. No perspiration? -- do you know the meaning of it?
If you paint your whole body, leaving only your nose to breathe, paint it thickly so that all the pores in your skin are completely closed, you will die within three hours. Just your nose is not enough. Every pore in your skin is breathing, in and out. Your whole body is a breathing system.
Perspiration is a protection. You will die without perspiration. The function of the perspiration is to keep your inner temperature always the same. If you start getting hotter inside -- and the span is very small, twelve degrees, from about ninety-eight to one hundred and ten -- if there is no perspiration and there is a hot sun, how are you going to keep your temperature at ninety-eight perpetually?
The perspiration helps you. It distracts the heat from entering into your body. It distracts it in a beautiful way: it cheats and deceives the sun. It gets the rays engaged in evaporating the perspiration. So the more heat is there, the more you will perspire. The heat is taken up in evaporating that perspiration, and not letting it in. If you let in that much heat, you will burst immediately. By the time you reach one hundred and five, you will fall into a coma; by the time you reach one hundred and ten, you will become a beloved of God!
Stupid ideas! And if in heaven you are going to give people beautiful girls ... In the Mohammedan heaven even beautiful boys are available for homosexuals, because they should not be deprived -- and most of the saints are homosexual, perverted; some provision has to be made for them in paradise.
The women are called houris, and the homosexual boys -- beautiful boys, they always remain young, no mustache, no beard, so the saints can exploit them for their sexuality -- they are called gilme. Strange ... Here you condemn sex, and there you make available not only heterosexuality, you make available homosexuality.
And there are rivers flowing of just pure French wine. Get drunk, get drowned, swim, take a bath in it. And here? -- religions condemn all pleasures. Here you have to be a self-torturer.
All religions are exploiting your tremendous greed, in the name of virtue, in the name of unselfishness.
As a fundamental principal, I want you to remember that an unconscious man cannot act without motivation, and motivation is selfishness, whatever you do.
I used to live in a city, teaching in the university, and a beautiful marble temple was being made there. For years I used to pass it on the road. Nine years I lived in that city, and the temple was just coming up, coming up, because they wanted to make something rare. Some super-rich man's father had died and it was his memorial.
I had no idea about it, so one day I stopped my car and went inside where hundreds of marble workers were working. I asked the chief, "For what is this temple being raised?"
A man of great intelligence, he did not take me to the statue of Krishna which was placed in the middle of the temple. I was thinking he would take me to the statue, saying that the temple is being created for Krishna -- but he took me behind the temple.
I said, "Where are you taking me?"
He said, "To the right place."
There was a big marble slab with the writing: "This temple is created by so-and-so in the memory of his great spiritual father."
He said, "For this stone the whole temple is being created. Krishna is just an excuse."
The unconscious mind cannot do anything without motivation. What will I get? And religions promise that in the future life, when he reaches to the pearly gates, Saint Peter will be standing there with all the angels singing "Alleluia!", playing on their harps in your welcome. It seems to be worthwhile to give something in charity, to do some virtuous act.
Unless an act is done without any motivation, it cannot be unselfish.
I want you to understand that except meditation there is no act which is unselfish, because it is only meditation which is going to dissolve your self, which is going to dissolve you into the whole. And once you are no more, whatever you do is going to be without motivation. Virtue comes out of a person who has become one with existence.
Meditation is the door.
Meditation is the only unselfish act.
But it appears that people who are engaged in meditation are just thinking of themselves, not bothering about the whole of humanity. Absolute nonsense!
The people who are engaged in meditation are the only people who will find a place where there is no self, and all selfishness disappears. Then their whole life, their whole love, their whole compassion will be unmotivated. Whatever they will do will be virtuous, because virtue can come only out of a conscious mind, an absolutely conscious mind.
In the conscious mind, totally conscious, there is not a single shadow of self. The totally conscious mind becomes qualitatively different from your unconscious mind. Hence it has been called no-mind, just to show the difference, otherwise you will get confused.
Mind is what you have. No-mind is the search of meditation. And from no-mind blossom flowers of unselfishness, of love, of compassion, of sharing.
I repeat Basho, the great Zen master, and one of the greatest poets of the world: "Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself."
This sitting silently is not avoiding life. Sitting silently is searching for life, the very source of life. And the moment you have found the source, everything grows by itself, just like when spring comes, the grass grows by itself.
Virtue, truth, compassion, love -- everything you can conceive of arises out of meditation, and there is no other source for it. They do not arise from prayers, because prayers are addressed to a fictitious God, who does not exist.
It happened in America: a poor man ... his wife was dying, and he had no money to purchase medicine or call a doctor, or have her admitted to a hospital.
In desperation he thought of a great idea: "Why not write a letter to God, just for fifty dollars, not much. And for a God who is almighty, omnipotent -- everywhere present, omnipresent; omniscient, knowing everything, past, present, future -- he must know that my wife is dying and I need fifty dollars right now."
So he wrote a small card saying, "You know everything, you are all-knowing; I don't have to say it to you. I need fifty dollars for my wife who is almost on the verge of death. Send it to me by telegram."
But then he was at a loss: What is the address of God? That he had completely forgotten in his anxiety and misery. When he turned over the postcard, the address had to be written.
He said, "My God! Nobody knows his address. Whom to ask? When you don't know the address, the only way is to send it `Care of the Postmaster General.'" So he wrote: "To God the Almighty, c/o Postmaster General of America."
The letter reached the Postmaster General. He read it, and he said, "What an innocent man, and what great trust! Because he does not know the address, he has sent it care of me. I don't know the address of God myself!"
I don't think anybody has ever known his address. Before he went on holiday after creating the world in six days, he did not leave any address with Adam and Eve: "Go on giving it to your children, from generation to generation. They will know where God is, and whenever it is needed you can write." He simply disappeared. Nothing has been heard about him since then.
So the Postmaster General asked all his colleagues, "Why shouldn't we collect fifty dollars and send them to this poor man?" So they made a collection, but they could manage to collect only forty-five dollars, not fifty. So he said, "Even forty-five will be helpful right now." He immediately sent it by telegram.
The poor man received the telegram and the forty-five dollars. He looked up towards heaven and he said, "Almighty God, next time don't send it through the Postmaster General! That son-of-a-bitch has taken his commission -- five dollars! Send it to me directly! You are present everywhere, why not hand it to me directly? If you don't want to do it face to face, you can drop it on my roof very easily. It is not a problem for you. You have created the whole world, you can create fifty dollars, although they will be fake!" But there was no reply.
So again he wrote another letter, thanking God: "You have sent me fifty dollars, but that son-of-a-bitch, the Postmaster General of America, has taken his commission, five dollars, from a poor man whose wife is dying!"
And again it had to be sent "Care of the Postmaster General of America."
When the Postmaster General received this letter, he said, "My God! We helped him with forty-five dollars and he is calling me a son-of-bitch!"
In Surat, in India, there exists one of the richest Mohammedan cults. The Aga Khan is the head priest of that cult. The cult is called Khoja. Here, just by the side of the river on the other bank, there is an Aga Khan palace.
The Aga Khan is one of the richest men in the world. He has palaces in every great city all over the world, in all the hill stations, on all the beautiful beaches.
And how has he become so rich? What is his strategy? The strategy is: if somebody dies, in the dead person's memory you send him the money, and the money will be sent into your account in paradise. Millions of dollars he accumulates, and the blind believers think that the money is reaching into their bank accounts.
I was staying with a friend in Surat, who is a Khoja, a follower of the Aga Khan. I asked him, "Your father has died. How much money have you sent?"
He said, "Three lakh rupees."
I asked, "Have you got the bank account number?"
He said, "The account number?"
I said, "When you reach to paradise, how will you find which is your bank account where the money is deposited?"
He said, "That's right."
And I said, "You are a well-educated man, a doctor, and you could not think of a simple thing? You could not see how the Aga Khan goes on throwing money all around the world? From where does this money come? From which account?"
The Aga Khan's hobby is racehorses. He is the greatest bidder all over the world, and wherever there is a race meeting, he immediately rushes to that place. This palace here has been made because Poona has a race meeting every year, a great competition. All these houses you see belonged once to all the maharajahs of India, because while the horseracing was going on, all the maharajahs were here. That's why this is a protected area.
Now the maharajahs have disappeared, it is not much of a joy. Ordinary people are going to the race course, and the Aga Khan no longer comes here. He has informed me that if I want the palace he is ready to sell.
There is another sect I have come across which is even more stupid. At least this money reaches to the Aga Khan, it does not go further -- but that cult puts the money in the coffin. Your father dies, you put ten lakh rupees into the coffin, and it goes into the graveyard.
Again, I was a guest in a house with a friend, who was a professor and had been my colleague. I said, "You also think that money will enter into heaven with your father's soul?"
He said, "Yes. My whole religion believes it; so many people cannot be wrong."
This argument I have heard so many times that I have made my own argument: If there are so many people agreed on something, they must be wrong! So many people cannot be right. Right belongs to very rare people; crowds cannot be right, they cannot have the truth.
So I said, "We shall do one thing. Tonight we will go and dig your father's grave!"
He said, "What?! But that is criminal."
I said, "I will do it, you just stand by, just to see whether those rupees that you have put are still there, or your father has taken them."
He said, "But if anybody comes to know ..."
I said, "You are an educated man; it is a simple experiment to expose your belief. And I am ready to take all the blame!"
So I dragged him in the night to the graveyard of their religion, and I had to dig -- that was the first and the last time I have done any digging! -- and I pulled the coffin out. It was stinking of the dead body -- only bones had remained, everything else had gone rotten -- and I said, "Look, those notes are here. You are an idiot, and your whole religion is stupid! Take these notes!"
There was a moment of grave silence. I said, "You take them or I will take them!" He immediately took them out, and I said, "Now you do the remaining work, you have taken the money! I am going. You push the coffin in, put in the mud, cover it, do whatever you want -- but I have proved absolutely that your whole religion is stupid! And you think this is a virtuous act? You are being conned by your priests!"
What is selfish in meditation? Just because you are sitting alone, closing your eyes, going inwards to find out the very source of your existence, is it selfish?
By the time you find your authentic source of life, your self will have disappeared like a dewdrop in the early morning sun. You will come out without a self, just as a pure presence. Out of this pure presence radiates all that is virtuous.
Without meditation there is no virtue; there cannot be any virtue! And when I say anything like this, I say it with absolute authority, and I challenge every religion of the world to prove that unconscious people, sleepy people, can do any act without motivation.
Selfishness means motivation, you are thinking of some reward. An unselfish act means with no motivation, you are not thinking of any reward. You are doing it out of your abundance. You have too much, you are a rain cloud, you have to shower.
And the more you share, the more starts coming to you. It is almost like a well of water: the more you draw the water, fresh water is coming into the well from all directions. If you become afraid that "If we take out the water, that much water is gone," it is better to keep the well closed.
It happened once ... Kahlil Gibran has a beautiful story.
In an ancient village there were two wells. One was in the palace, which was not available for anybody else than the royal family, and the other well was in the marketplace, which was available for everybody else except the royal family.
But one day a witch came into the town, and she chanted some gibberish and threw something inside the well. People watched but they could not understand what was happening. But by the time the sun was setting, everybody had drunk water from the well -- except the royal family -- and everybody had gone mad. The whole capital was mad, from the smallest child to the oldest man -- except the king and the queen and the prince.
And a strange thing happened .... The whole crowd gathered around the palace and they started shouting that the king has gone mad. They were all mad, obviously, and they all agreed on the point that "The king does not seem to be the same as we are."
The king immediately asked his prime minister what to do. "Even our armies have gone mad. They are all dancing and they are asking, `Come out of the palace! We will choose a new king who is sane just like us!'"
The prime minister was very old, an ancient wise man. He told the king, "The only way is to run from the back door. I will keep them engaged at the front door, telling them that `I am bringing the king, he is getting ready.' You run to the well that they have been drinking the water from. Drink the water -- you, your wife, your son -- and you all get drunk. Unless you are mad this crowd is going to kill you!"
The advice was absolutely correct. The king and his family ran from the back door, drank quickly the water of the well that the witch had changed with a certain alchemical phenomenon. They did not come to the back door, they came dancing and rejoicing to the front gate, and the crowd was very happy that their king had become sane.
That night there was a great festival in the capital. "Our king, our queen, our future king -- all have become sane!"
The crowd is living so unconsciously. You cannot expect from this crowd any act of virtue, any act of unselfishness. It is simply not possible. It is categorically impossible. First comes meditation, then everything else follows.
So when your parents or your priests tell you that you are doing a selfish act, tell them clearly that you are the only one who is going to drop the self, and there will be no selfishness left, and out of that state virtue will follow -- "not from your prayers, not from your Bible or your Koran or your Gita, not from your teachings, but from my own exploration into whether there is a self."
The self is a shadow of unconsciousness, of darkness, of blindness. It has never been found by those who have entered deeper into themselves.
Just a few days ago there were twenty-one Christian missionaries here. They have been at a seminary for seven years in Poona. Poona is one of the centers for creating missionaries for the whole of Asia.
For seven years they were not allowed by their principal even to come close to the ashram. That day when their course was finished, and they were ready to leave to their places, they did not miss at least one chance to hear me. And they have come here, but they must have been very much puzzled. I could see it on their faces: their seven years of seminary training was erased within three hours!
To one sannyasin they said, "Everything seems to be good, but your master is taking only the negative side of religion and condemning it. There are many beautiful things that religion has done to humanity, and he is not taking them."
Now I am going to talk about "all the beautiful things that religion has done to humanity."
By the way, the same person quoted what seems on the surface a beautiful sentence: "It is better to give than to receive." Ordinarily you will agree with it -- it is better to give than to receive ....
I don't agree with it.
Why is it better to give? -- because it enhances your ego. You are the giver, you are higher, your hand is upper. Why is it good to give? You are reducing the other man's dignity, you are making him a beggar, you are insulting him. You are not really giving, you are rejoicing in your ego being bigger and bigger. The more you give, the bigger ego you will have, the more respect, the more prestige, the more honor.
What is good in giving? It is a sin, because it enhances your ego.
And what is not good in receiving? In fact, the receiver has not to be obliged to you; he is unburdening you, you have to be obliged to him. That is authentic spirituality. You give, and you touch the feet of the person to whom you have given, to thank him that he received your gift and did not reject it. He could have rejected it, and you would have been insulted -- but he received it.
I say to you that these kinds of statements, which look very good if you don't have a sharp intelligence to go deeper into them, are all over, in all the scriptures of the world. And anyway, if it is better to give than to receive, then who is going to receive? Everybody is going to give -- it is better to give -- but to whom? Everybody will reject, because it is better to give than to receive.
"Why are you insulting me?", everybody will ask you. "Do you want to insult me, humiliate me by giving me just a few coins? Throw away those coins in the river and get lost!"
Gautam Buddha is far more right. He has made it very clear to his sannyasins and to his lay-disciples. Because the sannyasins will be going to beg their food one time a day from the lay-disciples, he has made it clear to his lay-disciples, "Don't feel that you are great because you are giving. Remember the humbleness of the other person who is receiving. So first you give the food, then you touch the feet of the person who has received the food, and you give some other gift as your gratefulness."
So two words are used: giving is called bhiksha, and when somebody has received bhiksha, then you have to be grateful to him. The second word is dakshina; to show your gratefulness, you present something else, a shawl -- the winter is coming -- or a new set of clothes. An old set of clothes you can preserve as a memory from a man of meditation; something of his meditation must have touched those clothes.
When you pass through a rose garden, you may not touch the roses, but some fragrance is caught by your clothes. If a man has been meditating -- and if by chance you come across an enlightened person -- having his clothes in your house, your house becomes a holy temple. His clothes have been receiving radiation continuously, of a different world, vibrations .... So give him a new set of clothes, his old set is torn, too old. This will be your gratitude.
So Buddha's statement will be, "It is better to receive than to give." The giver is a poor man, he has nothing else than money.
I was in Jaipur, one of the most beautiful cities of India. The man who was making Jaipur, Maharajah Jai Singh -- it is named after him -- the British government dethroned him and put his son as the king. The reason was that he was creating Jaipur, a totally new city. His idea was to have a better city than Paris, and certainly whatever he had built before he was dethroned has a tremendous beauty.
The whole city is made of one single-colored stone, red stone. All the houses are similar. No city in India has such wide roads -- wide roads, and by the side of the roads, pavements with the same red stone, covered pavements for people to walk. Nobody need walk on the road; the road is for the vehicles. People have to walk on the pavement. But on the pavement you are in shadow; you can walk in cool shade in the summer, you can walk in the rains. You don't have any need of an umbrella in Jaipur. And all the shops, for miles and miles, are just exactly the same.
The British government became worried that his capital would look better than New Delhi, better than London, better than Paris. It was not a crime; he was creating a beautiful city, he should have been helped -- but this is not the way of the world.
I was lecturing in Jaipur, and the richest man of Jaipur was Sohanlal Dugar. He was so rich, he was far richer than the king. In creating Jaipur, the king had borrowed much money from Sohanlal Dugar. Nobody knew how much money that man had, because he had no books.
He told me, "I don't have any books, so I don't pay any income tax. Nobody knows how much I have." And then I found out where his books were. He had written them in his bathroom on the walls, in a language which is no more used, old Rajasthani. It is very difficult to read, and those were short notes; you could even read them, but you would not be able to figure out what they meant. He was the only man who knew.
He had come with me to the meeting in his beautiful limousine, and he heard me for the first time. After the meeting, he had come to take me -- but before taking me to the car, he poured almost ten thousand rupees at my feet. He said, "You have to accept them!"
I said, "But I don't need them right now. You can keep them on my behalf. Whenever I need them I will inform you, `Send me the money.'"
He said, "That cannot be done -- because I am a gambler. Today I have, tomorrow I may not have."
He was one of the greatest gamblers you can conceive of. He was known as the Silver King of India. Once he purchased all the silver available in India, and raised the rates so high, and then started selling slowly from different places at a high rate. He accumulated millions and millions of rupees. And that was his strategy: to purchase anything wholesale from all over the country, and then automatically the price would go ten, twenty times higher. Then he would start releasing it very slowly in different places, so the prices don't fall.
He said, "Today I have, tomorrow I may not have, so I cannot take that responsibility. You have to accept them right now."
Seeing that I was not interested in accepting the money, because I don't have even pockets to keep it, so where to keep it? -- just to carry ten thousand rupees in my hands? ... I don't have anything: no pockets, no wallet, no bag, just a robe without any pockets. And I have lived without pockets, because my hands are always in other people's pockets. Why bother? -- there are so many millions of pockets around, what is the need of having separate pockets? I believe in one humanity!
So I told him, "It will be very difficult for me. Tonight I am leaving, and ten thousand rupees will be sitting by the side of my couch in the train. Anybody can take them; I cannot just remain watching them."
He said, "Listen ..." He had tears in his eyes, and he was an old man, more than seventy. He said, "Listen, just look at my tears. I am a poor man, because I don't have anything except money."
I have not forgotten his statement, I have not forgotten his tears. I have nothing to say to such a man who says, "I am so poor, I have nothing but money, and if you reject money you reject me. Please don't reject me. It will become a wound in me. Nobody has ever rejected me!"
So I said, "Okay. For your sake I take the money." I gave half the money to the organization that had arranged the meeting and had been arranging meetings for me for years, and the other half I gave to Jaipur's library to purchase more and more agnostic literature, which is neither theist nor atheist, but purely of those who are inquirers, seekers.
He came with me to leave me on the railway station. He said, "I am so happy that you accepted, although you gave it away -- but that is not my problem. It was your money, you have given it. You have accepted it, so I am at ease. I have never felt so happy. You have made me so blissed out, I am grateful to you. Just one promise I want ..."
I said, "You are now getting greedy!"
He said, "I am greedy, otherwise why should I collect so much money? Just one promise ..."
I said, "Let me first hear it."
He said, "No. Do you want me to cry again?"
I said, "No, I don't want that. Granted ... your wish is granted. Just tell me what is the idea behind it."
He said, "Just one thing: whenever you come to Jaipur or to Calcutta, you have to inform me, and you have to stay with me -- I live sometimes in Jaipur and for longer periods in Calcutta -- you have to be with me. When are you coming again to Jaipur?"
I said, "I will be coming after three months."
He said, "Promise that you will stay with me?"
I said, "Promised."
He said, "Great. That means at least three months I am going to live."
I said, "That is a great idea!"
"For three months no force can kill me. I have to survive three months, at least, and then I will take another promise."
And while he lived I had to stay with him in Jaipur and I had to stay with him in Calcutta. I had to inform him continuously that I was coming here, I was coming there -- "so you be there!" And he used to come immediately from wherever he was to receive me in Calcutta or in Jaipur. And he would always give me a send-off with the words, "One promise ...? Because," he said, "I am living on your promises. I cannot die if I know that after three months you are going to be my guest."
But the way he said, "I am the poorest man in the world because I don't have anything else than money. If you reject the money, you reject me. Don't do that to an old man, the wound may be fatal" -- this is far greater than this Christian statement: "It is better to give than to receive."
I have a friend in Jabalpur, who is the richest man in that state, and the biggest manufacturer of beedies in the whole world. He used to come here, he used to come to my camps, and then he became a minister. Then he started becoming afraid of me. All politicians are afraid of me -- and I am not even going to touch them; they are untouchables to me! They are unnecessarily afraid.
But I can understand their fear. Anybody coming to me will lose his votes. The public, the crowd, is not going to support him if they see him entering the Gateless Gate. Since he became a minister he disappeared. Otherwise he used to travel with me ....
Once, traveling in an air-conditioned coach, he told me his heart, which was troubling him very much. He had been seeing me for years and he had never told me. People don't want to share their misery, they hide it. They cover their wounds, and by covering the wounds they create cancers.
But sometimes it happens, particularly in railway trains or in airplanes, people become more intimate. Strange ... even with strangers, you don't know who the person is -- the next station he will get down and perhaps you will never see him again -- and you start telling him your most secret things you have not told even your wife, not even your mistress!
He told me, "I have been suffering from one thing, and I cannot find any solution. Perhaps you can be of some help."
I said, "Open your heart, just let me see the wound. Tell me what the problem is."
He said, "The problem is that I was born in a poor family, then I was adopted by a super-rich family because they had no son. I was a faraway relative, but seeing possibilities they adopted me, they educated me. Now they are dead, and I am the sole owner of a great empire. Because I have so much money, I have raised my old family also to be very rich, my brothers, my cousin-brothers, my friends. The people I knew I have helped as much as possible. Whatever they wanted ... they all have beautiful cars, they all have beautiful houses, they have beautiful businesses, very prosperous, because I have so much.
"But one thing is strange: they are all against me. Even if I am sick, nobody comes to see me. It hurts me very much. I have done everything in my power to help them and they have all turned their backs on me."
I said, "It is not a difficult problem. It is very simple. Have you ever received anything from them?"
He said, "No, I don't need to."
I said, "That is not the problem. By giving to them, you have insulted them. You don't understand the subtle psychology. By giving to them -- always giving, a one-way traffic -- you have never allowed simple things. You could have asked one of your friends to whom you have given millions of rupees, `I was passing by the side of your house and I saw such beautiful roses. Can you bring a few to me? I will be so grateful.' And immediately that man would have become your friend. He can also give something to you. He can be equal.
"When you were sick, you could have phoned anybody whom you have helped: `I am feeling very sick and I have been remembering you so much. You must be busy, but find just five minutes to come and sit by my side. One never knows whether I will survive or not ....' That man would have come, putting everything aside, and would have felt immensely friendly towards you because you remembered him, you called him in your deepest moment of need -- only him and nobody else. He would have felt so gratified.
"But you have never done that. Just giving and giving and giving is insulting and humiliating. Your ego, your pride -- this is your unconsciousness. You thought you were doing great service to your friends and family and acquaintances, but why have they all become your enemies if the service was so great? They have seen in your eyes that you give, but you give from a very high superiority. They are all inferiors, receivers."
He said, "I never thought about it."
I said, "This is the state of the whole of humanity -- the unconscious humanity. They never understand that receiving is far greater, it needs a far greater heart than giving. Anybody can give. For receiving you need such a consciousness that cannot be humiliated. You need such greatness of being that `Who can insult me?'"
I disagree absolutely with this good Christian teaching: "It is better to give than to receive." And I will take one by one now what they call their good principles.
I have not seen a single thing done by the religions which has been good for humanity.
One Christian monk told to a sannyasin, "Your master speaks from bitterness, not from love."
It is true -- but he is wrong.
I speak with great love for all those women, millions of women, who have been burnt alive by the popes. With great love I speak for those women -- but I cannot speak without bitterness for all these popes who have been nothing but murderers.
More people have been killed by religions than by wars. Political wars are number two; more people have been killed by religious wars, crusades, jihads. Mohammedans killing Christians, Christians killing Mohammedans, Christians killing Jews, Hindus killing Mohammedans, Mohammedans killing Hindus, Hindus killing Buddhists ... The whole history of religion is so bloody that I don't see why I should not be bitter against these criminals.
Yes, I am speaking with great love for the victims, but I cannot speak with love for the murderers in the name of God -- pious murderers, virtuous murderers. Yes, I am bitter -- because I see the crime that religions have been committing against humanity. I speak with love for humanity, but I cannot be in favor of the criminals.
My situation is simple and clear. With whoever has harmed humanity, I am bitter; and whoever has been harmed, I am full of love for him. For all those women you called witches and burned them alive, I have tremendous love. For all those people you killed because they were Mohammedans, they were Jews, I have tremendous love and respect -- but not for the criminals.
For the criminals I am a sword, and for the victims I am a lotus. I am both together. In one hand I have a sword, in the other hand I have a lotus flower. Everybody according to what he deserves.
So I say his statement is right, but he is wrong. Do you understand what I mean? The statement is right because I am speaking with love on the one hand, and on the other hand I am speaking with great bitterness for all those people who have been preventing human evolution towards buddhahood. I cannot forgive them, neither can I forget them.
And these people should look at Jesus, then they will understand me more clearly. When he overturned the tables of the moneychangers in the great temple of the Jews in Jerusalem, and started beating them and throwing them out of the temple, was it out of love or bitterness?
When he called his own mother ... She was waiting outside the crowd; she had not seen him for years because he had been traveling to the East. He had been to India, to Ladakh and Tibet. That's why where he has been for seventeen years is completely missing in the Bible. And he lived only thirty-three years; there is one instance when he was thirteen, and then the story jumps suddenly to thirty -- and he lived only thirty-three years. Where have those seventeen years disappeared to? What was he doing and where has he been? Christianity has no answer.
His mother had not seen him for years. When she heard that he was speaking in a nearby village, she rushed there, the poor old woman, and a man in the crowd shouted to Jesus, "Your mother is waiting outside the crowd. She wants to come close to you and to see you."
Jesus' statement has to be remembered. He said, "Tell that woman" -- he did not even use the word `mother' -- "Tell that woman there is nobody who is my mother, who is my father, on this earth. My father lives in heaven." And he did not see her, and he did not call her close. Was it love?
He talks about loving your enemies and he could not love even his own mother. And he talks about loving your neighbors, which is far more difficult than loving your enemies. Enemies are far away, who cares -- but neighbors ... Mere talk!
People think that what he preached he practiced. That is wrong.
One day he was very hungry because a village had turned his gang out without giving them any food or even water, and they had been traveling for three days. Then they came to a fig tree, and you can see the insanity of the man -- not only anger but insanity, pure insanity: he cursed the fig tree.
"Did not you know that the only begotten son of God was coming towards you? Where are your fruits?" -- and it was not the season for the fig tree. The poor fig tree, what can she do? And he is cursing a tree, and this man talks about loving your enemies and even your neighbors! Was he not cursing out of bitterness and out of madness? Was it love?
I am a very straightforward man. I have people I cannot love, I know they are poisonous; I will be bitter against them. They are very few, but they have been exploiting and distracting humanity onto wrong paths.
I have all my love for those who have suffered, who have been oppressed, who have been exploited -- but I cannot love the priests, I cannot love the politicians, I cannot love the exploiters and the oppressors.
I am absolutely clear, and I want you also to be absolutely clear. Meditation brings such clarity that you know what is a thorn and what is a rose. Only a blind man can be mistaken, thinking of the thorn as the rose and the rose as the thorn. When you have eyes, you know what is a thorn and that it has to be avoided, and what is a rose, and that it has to be loved.
As Yakusan says: Isness is my business.
Now the sutra:
OUR BELOVED MASTER,
YAKUSAN TALKED WITH MEIKEI OSHO AND LATER TOLD UNGAN: "MEIKEI WAS ONCE A GOVERNMENT SUPERINTENDENT IN HIS PAST LIFE."
UNGAN ASKED, "OSHO" -- Osho is a word of honor, of tremendous honor, of infinite honor -- "OSHO, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE IN YOUR PAST LIVES?"
If you can see other people's past lives that you say Meikei was once a government superintendent in his past life ... I want to know, Ungan says, "When you can see other people's past lives, you must be seeing your own past lives.
"OSHO, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE IN YOUR PAST LIVES?"
YAKUSAN REPLIED, "BEING AFRAID AND SHAKY, WITH HUNDREDS OF UGLINESSES AND THOUSANDS OF CLUMSINESSES, I SOMEHOW HAVE MANAGED TO LIVE LIVES."
So true, so truthful -- this is what comes out of meditation.
I have heard of many people in India and outside India who have remembered their past lives, but strangely enough, somebody in his past life was Alexander the Great, somebody in his past life was Ivan the Terrible, somebody in his past life was Napoleon Bonaparte. It seems in his past lives everybody has been some great historical figure, and it is strange to see that the Alexander the Great is a beggar today. One goes on evolving: from Alexander the Great you will become a greater Alexander -- but you are a beggar.
I have been going around the country for twenty years continuously and I have come across at least half a dozen cases of people who remember their past life. Somebody has been a Krishna, somebody has been a Rama. It seems everybody in his past life has been a great historical figure -- the founder of a religion.
These are all imaginations. These are all people's wishfulfillments, and people's unconscious minds are such that they can supply any idea to console you. If you are very inferior in this life, it is hurting. You are not rich, you are not beautiful, you are not a great celebrity; you are just nobody. It hurts. It starts hurting so much that the unconscious mind creates an imagination, a projection that "Don't be worried, in the past life you were Cleopatra -- the most beautiful woman ever born. You have enjoyed it, now let others enjoy. Don't suffer, just remember your past life.
"You have been Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Nadirshah -- these were the people who were never defeated in their whole life. You have lived so much, now let others have little bits of victories. A football player -- you should not be jealous of a football player because thousands of people think of him as a hero. You have been Alexander the Great. Don't be bothered by Sophia Loren -- she is nothing, just a wretched woman -- you have been Cleopatra!"
This gives great consolation. One feels, "That's perfectly right. I have already enjoyed. Other people also need some chances." It helps you to forget your inferiority.
But a man like Yakusan will not say that. He says exactly what he has seen in all his past lives: "BEING AFRAID AND SHAKY, WITH HUNDREDS OF UGLINESSES AND THOUSANDS OF CLUMSINESSES, I SOMEHOW HAVE MANAGED TO LIVE LIVES."
Only a master, only a man who is fully awakened can see so clearly. Nothing has to be hidden, there is no need to hide. He has reached to the highest peak of consciousness from where he can see far away, thousands of lives, very clearly. Not a single instance of any projection, of any imagination, of any wishfulfillment; just a simple, factual, actual truthfulness. Everybody is shaky.
When the Christian monks went out of the door, Narendra was watching. Two or three were Westerners, the others were Indians. The Westerners were very shaky. The Indians are converted Christians. They are not converted because they feel Christianity is a better religion than Hinduism; deep down they know Hinduism is far superior. It is because of poverty, need for more education, to be somebody in life, that they have converted to Christianity.
Narendra was puzzled: "Why are all the Indians feeling happy?" There were eighteen, they were all happy, and they told Narendra, "Thank you, and we will be coming again and again!"
The three Westerners immediately rushed to the bus and were feeling very shaky and trembling, because they are not converted Christians, they are born Christians. They think Christianity is their religion. Those eighteen converted ones know perfectly well that they were born Hindus and that Hinduism is their religion, but for economic reasons they have created this Christian personality around themselves.
When the pope came to India he had to make concessions for Indian Christians. Never had such concessions been made before ... because poor Indians, just because of poverty and starvation, had become Christians. But their whole programming is Hindu, so when they go inside the church they burn incense, they bring flowers and coconuts to the poor Jesus Christ who is hanging on the cross. You don't bring flowers; it will be very embarrassing to offer a garland and coconuts -- and they are breaking coconuts under the feet of Jesus Christ and bringing sweets, just the way they have done to the Hindu gods.
At first the pope was very much shocked that this is happening, but then he saw that most of the Christians come from the lowest strata of Hinduism and it is difficult to change their upbringing. Somebody has become a Christian at the age of fifty; now, fifty years upbringing and he cannot conceive, "Why not coconuts? -- all gods love them; why not sweets? -- all gods love them!"
You just look at the Hindu gods -- for example Ganesha, who is the most cherished god all over India, and for a strange reason. Just look at his belly! He goes on eating sweets and sweets. His belly has become so big, I don't think he can see his own legs!
Ganesha is worshipped, and every businessman begins his books when the new year starts ... the first line has to be written: "Shree Ganeshaja namah -- victory to the god Ganesha." Why? Because in the ancient scriptures, Ganesha was a very mischievous god. He enjoyed teasing people, disturbing their ceremonies, disturbing their worship. People were afraid that if he comes, everything will be topsy turvy. The only way was to start worshipping him.
He was a rascal, but to bring the rascal down to the earth, to some gentlemanliness, they started worshipping him. His name has to be taken first in every ceremony -- in every marriage, in every festival, everywhere. First you have to remember him, otherwise he will disturb. Because of his rascaliness he has become the chief god of the Hindus -- and he loves sweets ....
He should have been born in America -- with an inbuilt fridge rather than a belly! His belly is big enough to have a fridge inside, so take the food from the inside and put it in the mouth, and it goes back into the fridge! That would have been perfectly scientific!
In the second world war, it happened ... A man was shot in his neck. His throat was cut; now he could not drink anything or eat anything. Because of the fear of poisoning spreading, the doctors had to cut the whole throat out. That door to the belly was closed.
Now they had to make a new door, so they made a hole in his belly, at the side, and fixed a plastic pump so that he had to put everything into the plastic pump, and from there it went into the belly.
But the man was very frustrated. What is the point of putting ice cream into the tube? You don't have any taste of it. It does not matter what you are pouring into it, it doesn't have any taste. So finally the doctors had to suggest to him, "First you put the ice cream in your mouth, chew it, enjoy the taste, and then vomit it into the tube." And the poor fellow had to do that!
So I am not talking off the wall!
UNGAN LATER REPEATED THIS TO DOGO, another master, WHO COMMENTED: "IT IS A GOOD STORY, BUT ONE QUESTION IS MISSING."
"WHAT, MAY I ASK?" INQUIRED UNGAN.
DOGO SAID, IN THE MANNER OF LITERARY, SCHOLARLY CHINESE: "HOW DID YOU BECOME LIKE THAT?
"If you have been in all your past lives, AFRAID AND SHAKY, WITH HUNDREDS OF UGLINESSES AND THOUSANDS OF CLUMSINESSES ... how have you become a buddha now? Where is the bridge?"
That question remains to be answered. Certainly Dogo is pointing to an immensely important fact: "If this is your whole past, how did you become a buddha?" Yakusan was a buddha, an awakened master.
"But if only this is your past, then how out of this past did you manage to blossom into a buddha?" This past has no potentiality .... Dogo asked a very pertinent question.
Ungan took the question to Yakusan. He himself had not thought about it, but Dogo had pointed out rightly that there is a missing link. "You should have asked the question: How have you become like this? Your past is absolutely contradictory. Out of this past a buddha cannot be born."
UNGAN TOOK THE QUESTION TO YAKUSAN, USING THE SAME SCHOLARLY CHINESE.
YAKUSAN ANSWERED, "I NEVER OPEN ANY BOOKS."
He is saying, "I never tell any secrets. I NEVER OPEN ANY BOOKS. I have told you my miserable past which can be told, which can be managed in language. But the secret of how I became a buddha cannot be expressed in language. It is a closed book, it is a secret. You have to find it within yourself."
That is my link also, and that is the link of every buddha. Don't ask about it, it is a mystery. You just enter into yourself and you will find how one becomes a buddha, how a lotus flower comes out of dirty mud.
Dirty mud I could talk about, but about the beauty of the lotus I am helpless. I cannot say anything about it. I cannot open the book. You will have to face the lotus yourself and see how out of dirty mud a lotus arises -- the most beautiful flower in the whole world.
Yakusan talked only about the dirty mud. "I accept that one thing is missing, and Dogo is right, but that thing you can find only by going in. The moment you find yourself becoming a lotus flower out of the mud, you will know my secret too. But as far as I am concerned, I never open any books, any secrets, any mysteries."
In fact, nobody can do it. But he said it in a very beautiful way.
In our meditations we are trying to find the same missing link. I call it witnessing; hence my continuous emphasis on witnessing. That is the missing link. Once you are a witness, suddenly, out of the mud, the dirty mud, centuries old, a lotus flower bursts with a fragrance which is almost not of this world, but something that belongs to the beyond.
Yakusan is right. Nobody can say exactly what it is. No explanation is ever complete, only experience ...
ON ANOTHER OCCASION, YAKUSAN ASKED UNGAN, "A HORSE HAS HORNS; CAN YOU SEE THEM?"
Now, no horse has horns -- you know it. But this is the world of Zen, where strange things happen.
YAKUSAN ASKED UNGAN, "A HORSE HAS HORNS; CAN YOU SEE THEM?"
Ungan replied -- just a masterly reply -- "IF IT HAS, THERE IS NO NEED TO SEE. If you say it has horns, there is no need to say. I trust."
But Yakusan was far greater a master than Ungan:
"THAT HORSE IS OF THE BEST QUALITY," ADDED YAKUSAN.
UNGAN REPLIED, "IF THAT IS SO, I WILL TAKE IT."
A strange dialogue. But I would like you to know that everybody who is unconscious has horns -- horse or man, it does not matter. Your anger, your violence, your rage, your tendency to destroy -- that is what is represented by horns.
So when Yakusan said, "A HORSE HAS HORNS," he was saying that "A horse is here which is very violent, very furious, very terrible."
Ungan understood the symbol; that is why he said, "IF IT HAS, THERE IS NO NEED TO SEE."
And in fact, nobody can see your horns, although everybody has them. You only depict horns on the head of the devil, but everybody has horns -- in his violence, in his anger, in his murderous possibilities, in his destructiveness.
Yakusan said, "THAT HORSE IS OF THE BEST QUALITY."
In fact, if you have a horse which is really wild, furious, violent, it is a great horse in war. It will trample thousands of people. You have just to rush towards the army of the enemy .... In the past, the horse was the only nuclear weapon.
So Yakusan said, "THAT HORSE IS OF THE BEST QUALITY."
UNGAN REPLIED, "IF THAT IS SO, I WILL TAKE IT."
This whole dialogue is not what it appears. It is a dialogue about your unconsciousness, out of which all that is violent, all that is destructive, all that is ugly, arises. Your unconscious has horns. In other words, your unconscious is the only devil; there is no other devil anywhere else.
But when Yakusan said, "THAT HORSE IS OF THE BEST QUALITY ..." Your unconsciousness has two possibilities: if it remains unconscious, it is destructive, dangerous to you and to others. But if you bring light to it, if it turns into consciousness, that is its other possibility. Then it has the best quality in the world. You become a buddha.
That's why Ungan said, "IF THAT IS SO -- that it is of the best quality -- I WILL TAKE IT. I am ready to become a buddha."
It would have been difficult for you to enter into this dialogue. You would have thought, "It seems to be absurd!" It is not. These people are meditative people, who have been meditating for years. They understand the symbols, they understand the deeper psychology, the parapsychology and beyond psychology, so their dialogues are not ordinary dialogues.
Even the dialogues of Socrates are ordinary; ordinary not in the sense that you will be able to understand them, but ordinary in the sense that they are only logical dialogues -- very refined logic, very sharp, and very complicated, but after all, that is the function of the mind. Socrates could not reach to the function of no-mind. He was unaware of the Eastern search.
There were contemporaries of Socrates who had reached the East, like Pythagoras. Pythagoras became a buddha. Socrates had every possibility, but he remained confined in the mind. He went on sharpening the sword of logic. He cuts very fine arguments, he is very convincing, but as far as awakening is concerned, he is as fast asleep as anyone else.
His contemporary, Pythagoras, moved from Athens to Alexandria, and from Alexandria to India. It was the time when Buddha was alive, when Mahavira was alive, when six other great thinkers of the same quality as Gautam Buddha were alive, all in the small state of Bihar. And Pythagoras traveled to Bihar, met all the great enlightened people.
He was young, but he reached to India at the right time, just as you have reached to India at the right time.
WHO SHALL HALT THE SWAN
IN ITS FLIGHT?
OR LIFE IN ITS FLOW?
I have been telling you: everything is moving so fast -- and there is nobody who is capable of preventing a swan in its flight.
The great swans live deep in the Himalayas, in the highest lake in the world, Mansarovar. Mansarovar remains frozen for nine months of the year, you can drive a car on it. It is a lake miles and miles long, but the snow becomes hard as stone.
The swans leave -- they have to leave because there is no water to drink, no fish to eat, they cannot penetrate the thick layer of hard snow -- and three thousand miles they fly over the Himalayas and come to small lakes, rivers, around North India. It is a very mysterious phenomenon.
In those nine months ... nature has such balance, such harmony, that those nine months are the months for their mating also. So they mate and they lay the eggs, but before the eggs open and their children come out, nine months are over. Now Mansarovar will be melting. They fly again, leaving the eggs in the plains of North India, a three-thousand-mile flight -- thousands and thousands of swans disappearing into the Himalayas.
The miracle is, when the parents are gone, then the eggs open and those small swans immediately start moving towards Mansarovar. They don't have any map, no guide, no parents to tell them which is exactly the same route the parents have taken for millions of years. Every year the miracle happens: those small swans start flying three thousand miles high above the Himalayan peaks where the snow has never melted since eternity, and they take the same route and they reach to the same Mansarovar lake.
And people think nature has no intelligence!
Nature has tremendous wisdom, just we have forgotten to listen to it. The only way for you to listen to nature is by going deeper into yourself, because there are roots which are spread into existence. Those roots still understand the language of existence.
Far away from the roots, you are hung up in the head. You don't know anything about the wisdom of existence. That's why you ask questions which are not needed at all. You need only one thing: to find a connecting link with existence, and all questions disappear.
My new symbol is going to be a flying swan.
WHO SHALL HALT THE SWAN IN ITS FLIGHT OR LIFE IN ITS FLOW? -- but people try hard.
Just look at women ...! They halt again and again, although life goes on, it does not listen. A sixteen-year-old woman will take almost three years to become seventeen, and as the age grows the gap becomes bigger. Never ask a woman her age. Always tell a woman, "You look very young!"
Even if the woman has one foot in the grave and another foot in the church, still you have to say, "You look so young, so fresh, so radiant" -- and even an old, dying woman will have a blush of youth on her face! Sometimes I think perhaps even a dead woman, if persuaded rightly, will start blushing -- I just think, I have not tried! -- but there is every possibility of it being true.
At the age of thirty-six -- that is the finding of the psychologists -- women stop, because now this is very dangerous. To go beyond thirty-six ... it will take almost four years to become thirty-seven! Now things are dangerous ahead. A woman becomes forty with great difficulty, great reluctance, because the dangerous time is coming when people will start telling her, "You look much younger!"
Nobody tells that to a young woman, there is no point. A young woman is young. Whenever somebody tells you, "You are looking very young," take it for granted -- Avirbhava! -- that you have gone beyond; people are being very nice to you. People try ... but nobody succeeds.
One has to become old, and when you are becoming old reluctantly, old age becomes ugly. When you are becoming old joyously, old age has a beauty of its own, a grandeur of its own, a ripeness, a maturity, a centering. Young people have nothing compared to the experienced, who have lived life and who know it is all just a game.
The moment a person comes to the point where the whole life is just a game, his old age is so beautiful, so graceful; no young person can be compared to it. His white hairs will look like white snow -- just on the highest peak of the mountains. He will die with joy. He has lived his life, now he is entering into a new phase -- death. He will not be reluctant.
If he was not reluctant for old age, he will not be reluctant for death. If he accepted old age joyously, he will accept death also dancingly. He will go with death dancing.
Next: Chapter 3: The sword and the lotus, Question 2
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