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This is the Queen; Cleopatra

Fourth Question



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Question 4


Yes. Mind has a very deep-rooted disease I call the disease of O.D: overdose; overdoing. Remain alert for this disease of O.D. You can do anything too much, and then, that which was going to be beneficial will become harmful.

Food is good, it is vitality, but you can eat too much, then it becomes poisonous. You can die by overeating -- in fact, medical researchers say that people die more of overeating than of starvation. Newspapers go on reporting that a few people have died somewhere because of starvation, they never report how many people are dying by overeating -- that should be reported first. Always, more people are dying through overeating.

A man can live for three months without eating anything at all. But you overeat for even three weeks, and you cannot survive. You try. For three days eat as much as you can....

It happened, Mulla Nasrudin and a disciple went for a visit to Mecca. In the manner of travelling dervishes they would present themselves at the doors of large houses and food would be handed to them, and also water. Whenever they ate Nasrudin would eat as much as he could, then lie down to sleep, but the disciple had a curious habit: he would eat a little, shake himself, then eat some more. One day Nasrudin said, What do you do? Tell me the secret. Am I not your Master? The disciple said, Well Master, I find if I eat a little, then drink some water, then settle it all by shaking, I can hold more. It is just like a box -- you settle, things settle.... Nasrudin took off his sandal and hit him hard on the head, and said, You fool! How dare you conceal such a valuable secret from me! To think of the amount of food I have wasted by not being able to eat it! I knew the limit of eating was farther ahead because the limit of eating after all is bursting. And I never knew this trick. You have been hiding such a great secret, and now I feel so miserable -- how much food I have missed!

Remember the disease of O.D. It kills in many ways. Overeating, overloving, can kill you. Many people come to me -- they are overdoing sex. They are killing themselves. Or overeating, they are killing themselves.

Yes, and you can do over-meditation also. The mind always likes to do something to the extreme. Mind is the extremist, it never wants to be in the middle, because to be in the middle is to be without mind. Be exactly in the middle, and there is no mind. When you move to the extreme, mind enters. The further away you go from the centre, the more mind comes in and takes possession of you. Either eat too much or fast too much, and mind will be there; that's why I am neither in favour of eating too much nor in favour of fasting. Just be in the middle. Right eating, exactly balanced -- and always remember in everything to be balanced.

You can overdo meditation, and then you will be exhausted rather than being resurrected through it and revived and revitalized and rejuvenated; you will feel exhausted. And then you will go to the other extreme and you will say: It is nothing, this meditation is nothing, I must stop, I am dying because of it. You are not dying because of it, you are dying because of overdoing.

So how to know that THIS is the middle? Difficult, very difficult, one needs to be very very conscious, only then one knows.

When you eat, where is the middle? The middle is, when you are still feeling a little hungry, just a little hungry, and you know that now if you eat you will feel heavy. Just THERE -- stop. If you eat four chapattis and then you feel heavy, then three chapattis -- the right thing is to stop there. Three fourths of your stomach should be full, one fourth empty. That is the right thing because -- give a little space for the food to move, to be transformed, to be changed into blood; give a little space! Food needs a little space in the stomach.

If you are meditating, and you feel you are doing too much catharsis, catharsis will become a very very exhausting phenomenon.

You are crying in meditation; cry up to the moment when you start feeling that now you are losing energy, you are feeling weaker. If you cry more you will be simply exhausted and nothing else. Stop. Always stop when you feel that the energy is being lost, not regained.

If catharsis is real, necessary, then through catharsis you will feel unburdened, you will feel light, you will feel as if you can fly; but if you go on doing it more and more, thinking that more will be more helpful, then soon you will find that you are simply exhausted, dead, you cannot move.

One has to watch it. There cannot be a fixed rule for everybody because everybody's body has a different quality, different energy, different quantity of energy; one has to watch oneself.

If you are sleeping less than necessary then the whole day you will feel sleepy. If you are sleeping more than necessary then also, the whole day you will feel dull, not sleepy but dull. There is an exact moment; if you get up at that moment you will feel fresh the whole day -- neither sleepy nor dull. And you have to search out that moment for yourself because nobody else's moment will do.

That's how all scriptures become useless. If somewhere it is said: Get up early in the morning at five o'clock, it may have suited the man who has written this, it may not suit you. And then you can get up at five, and suffer. And then you will think, I am a sinner; because of past karmas this is happening, otherwise my Master would not have said five -- the exact time.

In Vinoba's ashram they get up at three o'clock. Many suffer. Then they sleep the whole day, or if they are not allowed to sleep they feel sleepy, they cannot be conscious, they move as if fast asleep, somnambulists.

It suits Vinoba. It does not mean it is going to suit everybody. It suits him because his food is such, more sleep is not needed. He takes only curd, he almost lives on curd. Even milk needs to be digested, curd is almost digested. Milk first goes in the body and becomes curd, and then -- curd is almost a digested food.

And he eats very little because he has ulcers, chronic ulcers, so it suits him. But his followers also take curd; if they don't have ulcers -- they will have. Foolish. They will simply create more acidity in their stomachs. And then he gets up at three o'clock because he cannot sleep more than that. They all get up at three o'clock. Then the whole ashram feels sleepy the whole day.... I have been there, I have seen those people's faces -- somnambulists, as if in hypnosis.

How can they become more alert and aware and how can they meditate? Find out your own rhythm -- everybody has his own rhythm, and your rhythm is as different as your fingerprints. Just as your thumbprint is different from everyone else's in the world, in exactly the same way everything is unique with every individual -- you have your own rhythm about everything.

I have worked on many people, and this has been my understanding: everyone is so different that no fixed rule can be applied. Only flexible understanding, that's all.

And you have to find your own rhythm. About catharsis also, try to find your own rhythm. This should be the criterion: if catharsis is exhausting, then you are overdoing it. if it is not overdone you will feel very very beautiful, light, after it -- as if gravitation is no longer functioning. You will walk as if you are dancing, your step will have a dance to it -- and that is a feeling you have to find out. If you work well, alert, within three months you can find every rhythm about yourself: when you should go to sleep, when you should get up... you have to create your own yoga.

Don't follow anybody else's rhythm, otherwise you will be in difficulty. And you will never be healthy.


Next: Chapter 8, This is the Queen; Cleopatra, Fifth Question


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Chapter 8






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