Chapter 4: Go with the River

Question 1



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Question 1


THAT'S FAR OUT, VIDYA. If it is really true, then it is great. If you don't understand anything, then the door is open, then there is nothing to hinder your way, to hinder your vision. It is knowledge that is obstructing. Ignorance is an opening. Ignorance is very blissful. k is knowledge that creates noise. k is knowledge that does not allow you to see. If your eyes are completely rid of knowledge, then what is there to hinder you from seeing the truth? The truth is obvious. You just need a clarity to see it. Ignorance gives that clarity.

To be consciously ignorant is to be in satori. A child is ignorant, but not conscious of his ignorance. A saint is ignorant, but is conscious of his ignorance. He knows that he knows not. That's the only difference. The child also knows not, but he does not know it. The saint knows that he knows not. His whole knowledge consists of one single thing: that there is nothing to be known and there is no possibility to know, that the whole effort towards knowledge is futile, that existence is such a mystery that it can never be reduced to knowledge.

All that we know is superficial, arbitrary. All that we know has nothing to do with reality. The reality remains untouched by our knowledge. The reality remains mysterious.

If it is really true that you have become aware of your ignorance, then there is nothing else to be sought, nothing else to attain. Relax in this ignorance. Accept this ignorance. And feel blissful.

But it may not be true. That's why I say IF it is true. It may again be just a hankering to know. Then you have not understood, then you are not at ease with your nonknowing. The question seems to be because you are worried; otherwise why a question? You are worried. Something is gnawing at your heart. You are worried that "I don't understand anything, and I have to understand." In fact, when Vidya had come, she must have thought that she knows. Now by and by I have been hammering on her, and her knowledge has disappeared. Now she is worried.

When you come to me you come full of knowledge. You come with much luggage, and that luggage has to be destroyed, burned utterly, so that you cannot find it again. When you lose your luggage you start feeling as if you are missing something. Naturally so. You have been carrying the load so long; now suddenly it is gone; you feel you are missing something. The question has arisen because of your feeling that something is being missed: "I don't know anything?" The knowledge has disappeared and ignorance has not yet been accepted.

If you don't accept ignorance, sooner or later you will attain to knowledge again, you will start gathering and hoarding. And this time you will hoard in a more subtle way so that it cannot be easily taken away from you.

Beware. These are the moments when you need a Master to say to you, "Accept and relax into this ignorance." I am not here to impart knowledge to you. I am here to take it away from you.

In one of the most ancient books in India, SHIVASUTRA, there is a tremendously significant sutra: "GYANAM BUNDHAM ""Knowledge is bondage." When there is no knowledge, a man is free. It is such a radical statement: all knowledge is bondage. The moment you know that you don't know, the bondage falls, but if you have lived in the bondage for long, you start accepting it as part of you.

If a man has lived in prison for many years with chains on his hands and on his feet and then you suddenly take away the chains -- he will not even be able to sleep in the night. He has become accustomed to them; he needs that weight, that noise. When he used to turn in the night, those chains used to make noise; now suddenly the noise will not be there. He will become awake again and again in the night: something is missing. Walking, he will feel as if he is naked: something is missing. He has become accustomed to that weight, and that's how everybody has become accustomed to the weight of knowledge. Knowledge is a bondage.

The question arises only because the acceptance has not arisen yet. You can miss this great opportunity of being ignorant.

Relax, love it, embrace it, feel one with it, and there will arise a new sort of innocence. You were innocent when you were a child. This will be a new birth and a new sort of innocence. Again you will become a child, and yet your childlike quality will not be childish; it will have a maturity in it.

Sometimes reading, sometimes listening, and particularly listening to Zen, you may start feeling, "I don't know anything." Because the Zen people are very much against knowledge, you may start clinging to the idea of not knowing. But that idea is not going to help. That idea is again part of knowledge. Listening to the Zen Masters, you may start getting attached to the very idea of not knowing. Then this idea of not knowing becomes your knowledge.

To be really in deep ignorance means you don't even have the idea of nonknowledge. You are simply innocent. The knowledge has disappeared, and nothing has appeared in its place.

Let me tell you this famous anecdote:

Traditionally Zen monasteries will only admit wandering Zen monks if they can show proof of having solved a koan..

And you can solve a koan only when you have fallen into deep ignorance, not before it, because a koan is not a puzzle. Or if it is a puzzle, then it is not an ordinary puzzle. An ordinary puzzle can be solved by the mind; if you put your mind to it you can find a way to solve it; it has a solution. A koan is such a puzzle that it has no mind solution possible; you cannot solve it. It is not a question of what you do, it is insoluble. Mind cannot give any answer to it.

For example, Zen Masters say, "Listen to the sound of one hand clapping." Now, one hand cannot clap, and unless it claps there will not be any sound, so to what are you going to listen? The mind will work out many solutions, and all will be meaningless, and the Master will send you back again and again. Again listen. Meditate. The solution will happen one day when the mind disappears. When you work hard with the mind and the mind finds no way to reach any solution, out of sheer tiredness the mind falls flat on the ground. Suddenly you are in a state of no-mind, and you hear the sound of one hand clapping.

The mind hears only the sound of two hands clapping be cause the mind lives in duality. The mind can hear only a created sound. When the mind disappears, you hear the soundless sound, what the Hindus call ANAHAT NAD. The word ANAHAT means exactly the same as what Zen people call the sound of one hand clapping. If you clash two things there is a sound that is called AHAT NAD, a sound that comes out of conflict. And there is a sound permeating existence itself -- which is not created, uncreated. When you become so silent that the mind has disappeared, disappeared with all its noise, suddenly that soundless sound is heard, that AUMKAR, that ANAHAT NAD is heard. But that happens only when the mind has gone.

Traditionally Zen monasteries will only admit wandering Zen monks if they can show proof of having solved a koan.

It seems that a monk once knocked on a monastery gate. The monk who opened the gate did not say "Hello" or "Good morning" but "Show me your original face, the face you had before your father and mother were born."...

This is a koan. And the host is asking the guest to show some sign that he can solve a koan; otherwise he is not worthy of being allowed to stay in the monastery; then he will have to go away.

... The monk who wanted a room for the night smiled, pulled a sandal off his foot and hit his questioner in the face with it. The other monk stepped back, bowed respectfully, and bade the visitor welcome. After dinner, host and guest started a conversation, and the host complimented his guest on his splendid answer.

"Do you yourself know the answer to the koan you gave me?" the guest asked.

"No," answered the host, "but I knew that your answer was right. You did not hesitate for a moment. It came out quite spontaneously. It agreed exactly with everything I have heard or read about Zen."

The guest did not say anything, and sipped his tea. Suddenly the host became suspicious. There was something in the face of his guest which he did not like.

"You DO know the answer, don't you?" he asked.

The guest began to laugh and finally rolled over the mat with mirth.

"No, reverend brother," he said, "but I too have read a lot and heard a lot about Zen."

Hearing me, there are many things you will start imagining, many things you will start believing. Beware, because those things won't help. Hearing Zen, reading Zen is not going to give you Zen. Zen is a quality that you have to attain to. It is a new vision of life and reality. It is a new penetration into the mystery of existence. It is not intellectual; it is existential. You have to throb with it, your heart has to beat with it, you have to breathe it in and out. It is not going to be just an intellectual understanding.

Listening to me, the understanding will come to you intellectually very easily because whatsoever I am saying is simple. There is nothing difficult about it. It is not very complex. I am not spinning any philosophical theories here. I am simply stating simple facts.

Now, this fact is simple that a child has an innocent clarity. And one day if you also attain consciously to that childhood -- what Jesus calls. "When you are reborn," that is rebirth -- then you will be able to see what is. But listening to me, you may start thinking, "Yes, that's right. I also don't know anything." But is it your understanding, or just a reflection of my understanding? Is it your experience, or just an imitation?

It happens -- in the presence of every Master it happens -- because man is naturally imitative. Darwin is right. Man comes from the monkeys, and is very imitative. He can imitate anything.

I have heard there was a great Master:

The Master would sit for hours alone in his cave meditating, his only companion being a favorite cat which he tied to a post in his cave during his periods of meditation. As years went by his fame spread and he soon had a number of pupils who came came to learn from him and who made him their guru or their Master. He instructed his pupils to meditate as he did. Soon each pupil could be observed meditating with a cat tied to a post by his side.

The Master died, so what did the pupils do? They had known always of one cat being tied to a post by the side of the Master. Naturally they thought the cat must have something to do with meditation. And cats are very esoteric people. The cat must have something to do with meditative energy. Somehow the cat must have been a help; otherwise why? The Master used to do it continuously. For years they had seen it. Whenever he was meditating, the cat was there tied to the post.

He had to tie the cat; otherwise the cat would disturb his meditation! The cat may jump into his lap, might like to play with him. Cats don't bother whether you are meditating or not, so the cat has to be tied to the post. But what about the disciples? They watched. And you can see only the outward; the inner remains invisible. Naturally they also tried to imitate it.

It happens. Beware of that too. Don't be imitative. Just because I am saying something, you need not repeat it. If you repeat it, it will not be helpful for your own growing understanding. Don't repeat it. Let it sink into your being. Experience it.

If I say something, there is no need to believe in it. There is no need to disbelieve either. Remain open. If I say something, then try it. Then look at the trees without any ideas whatever. Look at the birds and the sky with no knowledge. Drop language and see whether what I am saying gives you clarity. If you can drop the word "rose" and then see the rose flower, what happens? You will immediately feel a new kind of relationship arising between you and the flower. Don't even call it a flower; there is no need. Your language is not needed to support it; it exists without language. Why bring language in? Put language aside. Put aside your continuous gibberish that goes on inside the mind. Just look.

In the beginning it is difficult -- the language will come up again and again, just out of old habit -- but sooner or later it comes easily: you can remain at least for a few moments without language. Listening to the song of the birds or the murmur of the wind passing through the trees, or the river, you can remain without language for a few seconds. And in those seconds will be the proof of what I have been saying to you. Suddenly you will see as if a great darkness has disappeared and everywhere is light. You can see as if the doors of perception have been cleansed.

Ordinarily we are looking through dark curtains. The glass we are looking through is too dusty. Only fragments of reality appear, not the totality.

Experience what I am saying, don't imitate, and then this is going to happen to you: one day you will suddenly see you don't know anything. But this will be a vision, a realization. Then it is great. If it is truly happening, it is great.


Next: Chapter 4: Go with the River, Question 2


Energy Enhancement                Enlightened Texts                Zen                 The First Principle



Chapter 5






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