Chapter 5: Follow No One but Yourself,

Question 5



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Question 5


Timid people, people who are afraid, would do well to keep away from Krishna. But your question is relevant.

Not only Krishna, no one should be followed, It is not that you will degrade yourself if you follow Krishna, you will degrade yourself if you follow anybody. Every kind of following, imitation, is degrading and destructive. But we raise this question of degradation especially in regard to Krishna. We don't raise such a question with regard to Mahavira, Buddha and Rama. No one will say that you will debase yourself if you follow Rama. So why do they raise this question only in regard to Krishna? We encourage our children to follow Rama, but when it comes to following Krishna we tell them to beware. Why?

We are afraid. We are a frightened people. We are utterly lacking in courage. And hence this question.

I say to you, all following is degrading; all imitation is debasing. The moment you imitate someone, whosoever he is, you destroy yourself. Neither Krishna nor anyone else is worth imitating. Certainly people like Krishna, Buddha and Christ should be considered, studied and rightly understood. All the awakened people have to be considered.

When we come to consider Buddha it is not that difficult. Nor do we find any difficulty in considering Christ. The real difficulty arises when we come to consider Krishna. Why? It is so because the life of Buddha or Mahavira or Christ is such that it fits in with our philosophical matrices; Buddha. Mahavira and Christ can be accommodated in our systems of thought. Discipline is their way of life, there are certain norms, principles they don't transgress. On the other hand, Krishna's life does not fit in with our systems of thought, because it transcends every norm, every limitation, every discipline, every constraint. Krishna's life is simply illimitable.

No matter how lofty it is, our every thought is limited, finite, so when we come to consider Krishna we soon reach the end of our tether, and Krishna remains unending and incomprehensible. We cannot transgress our limitations; we find it dangerous to do so -- whereas Krishna knows no limits, he is infinite. So Krishna is always ahead of us, beyond and beyond.

But I say, we should consider Krishna all the more just because he is illimitable, because he is vast and immense. In my view he alone should be considered and thought over who can take you to a space where consideration comes to an end, where all thought ceases. One who can take you beyond thought and concept, beyond word and image, who can show you something which is without end, which is eternal, which is inexpressible, is alone worthy of consideration. If you walk with Krishna, you will have to walk endlessly. His journey has no destination, or should I say, for him journeying itself is his destination. But on your part you would like to reach somewhere and rest. But Krishna would say, "We have to go farther and still farther."

Thought, thinking, is not the ultimate, it is only the beginning. A moment should come in the life of each one of you when you can transcend thought, when you can go beyond words and images. But he alone can take you beyond thought who is capable of shaking and shocking your thought, your way of thinking. He alone can lead you into the beyond who refuses to be contained in your thought, who, in spite of your efforts, blows all of your thought systems, who transcends them.

Consider everybody, but follow no one -- not even Krishna, Buddha and Christ. You have to follow only one person, and that is you. Understand everybody and follow yourself, follow your intrinsic nature. If you want to imitate, imitate yourself and no one else.

Why is it that such a question is raised only in the context of Krishna? It is obviously out of fear; we are afraid of Krishna. But why? We are afraid, because we have all lived lives of utter suppression. It is not much of a life, it is a bundle of suppressions and repressions. There is no openness in our life; it is utterly inhibited and blocked. That is why we are afraid of Krishna. We are afraid that even if we think of him all that we have suppressed will begin to pop up and surface. We are afraid lest our suppressive logic, our philosophy of suppression is weakened and the wall that we have built around us, all our defenses, will begin to crumble and fall apart. We fear that if we come in contact with Krishna all our imprisoned feelings and emotions will cry for an outlet to express themselves.

The fear is inner; the anxiety is psychological. But Krishna cannot be held responsible for it; the responsibility is ours. We have utterly misbehaved with ourselves; we have mistreated ourselves all down the road of life. We have constantly suppressed ourselves, our lives. We have always lived tepid and fragmented lives. We have never tried to know and accept ourselves. We have hardly lived our lives.

Our life is like a sitting room, a drawing room in our house. We decorate our sitting room, furnish it, keep it clean, very spick and span, and leave the rest of the house in a mess. This sitting room is very different from the rest of the house. If you happen to visit someone's sitting room, don't take it for his house. He does not eat here or sleep here; here he only receives his guests. This room is made as a showpiece to create a good impression on others. His house is where he lives, eats, grumbles, quarrels and fights, where he is himself. The sitting room is just a cover, a mask to deceive others. It is not his house, his real life.

Every one of us is wearing a mask to hide what we really are and to show what we are not. That is not our real face; our real life is hidden, suppressed deep down in our unconscious, so much so that we are ourselves unaware of it. We have ceased to take care of it; we have forgotten it.

We are afraid of our suppressions and repressions hidden in the basement of our minds. We are afraid even to look at them. It means we are like one who has forgotten the rest of his house and is confined to his sitting room alone. The rest of the house is a heap of rubbish, and he is afraid to enter it. It is no wonder our lives have become shallow and superficial, shadowy and shady.

This is the reason for our fear of Krishna.

Krishna does not have a separate sitting room; he has turned his whole house into a sitting room and lives all over. He receives his guests in every corner of his house and takes them all over. Krishna's whole life is an open book; there is nothing he needs to cover and hide. Whatever is, is. He does not deny anything; he does not suppress anything: he does not fight with his life. He accepts his life totally.

So it is natural that we are afraid of Krishna, we who are so suppressive and secretive. We have rejected and repressed ninety-nine percent of our life and buried it deep in the darkness of the unconscious. We barely live one percent of what we call life. But the rejected and repressed part is always clamoring and knocking at the door and pushing to come out and live in the open. All that we have repressed is constantly struggling to express and assert itself, every day it expresses itself in our dreams and daydreams and in many other ways. We do everything to push it back, but the more we thwart it the more it asserts itself. All our life is spent in fighting with our own repressed emotions and desires and cravings. Man is against himself. He is wasting his life in fighting against himself, because he courts defeat after defeat and ultimately ends up in smoke.

For this very reason we are afraid of Krishna, who has no facades, who has no masks whatsoever, who is open-ended, who does not suppress anything, who has nothing to hide, who accepts life totally, who accepts its sunshine and its darkness together. We fear that, coming in contact with such a man, our repressed souls will rise in revolt against us and overwhelm us. We fear that, coming close to him, we will cease to be what we are -- pseudo entities, false homo sapiens.

But even this fear deserves to be considered and understood rightly. This fear is there not because of Krishna, but because of us, because of the way we have lived up to now. A man who is open, simple and clean and who has lived a natural life will not be afraid of Krishna. If he has not suppressed anything in his life, he will never fear Krishna. Then there is no reason to fear him. So we have to understand our own fear and why we fear. If we have fears it simply means we are ill at ease with ourselves, it means we are diseased, we are neurotic. And we have to make efforts to change this condition, to be totally free of fear.

It is therefore essential that we come in contact with Krishna and know him intimately. We need him more than anyone else. But we say we are already in contact with lofty thoughts. We read the teachings of Buddha, who says, "Shun anger." We read the sayings of Christ, who says, "Love thine enemy." But remember, these lofty ideas and thoughts that we repeat every day do nothing but help us suppress our selves, alienate ourselves from ourselves. But we are afraid of Krishna. Why?

If you are afraid of Krishna, so far so good. It means that Krishna is going to be of great help to you. He will help you to uncover, to expose yourselves, to understand yourselves and to make you once again natural and simple. Don't resist him; don't run away from him. Let him come into your life. Let him encounter you. In this encounter you have not to imitate him, you have only to understand him. And understanding him you will understand yourself. In the course of your encounter with Krishna you will come to encounter yourself, you will come to know who you are, what you are. Maybe you will come to know you are what Krishna is, what God is.

A friend came to me the other day and said, "Do you believe that Krishna had sixteen thousand wives?"

I told him, "Leave Krishna aside, think of yourself. Can you be satisfied with less than sixteen thousand women?"

He was a little startled and said, "What do you mean?"

I said, "Whether Krishna had sixteen thousand wives or not is not that important. What is important to know is that every man longs to have that large number of women, that less than that won't do. And if I come to know for sure that Krishna had sixteen thousand wives, the man in me will immediately assert himself and begin to demand them too. And we are afraid of that man inside us, imprisoned in us. But it is no good fearing him and running away from him. He has to be encountered. He has to be known and understood."

We will discuss it further tomorrow. Now prepare for meditation.


Next: Chapter 6: Nudity and Clothing Should go Together, Question 1


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Chapter 5






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