SINCE, IN TRUTH, BONDAGE AND FREEDOM ARE RELATIVE,
THESE WORDS ARE ONLY FOR THOSE TERRIFIED WITH THE UNIVERSE. THIS UNIVERSE
IS A REFLECTION OF MINDS. AS YOU SEE MANY SUNS IN WATER FROM ONE SUN,
SO SEE BONDAGE AND LIBERATION.
This is a very deep technique, one of the deepest,
and only very rare minds have tried it. Zen is based on this technique.
This technique is saying a very difficult thing -- difficult to comprehend,
not difficult to experience. But first comprehension is needed.
This sutra says that the world and NIRVANA are not two things, they
are one; that heaven and hell are not two things, they are one; and
that bondage and liberation are not two things, they are one. It is
difficult because we can only conceive of something easily if it is
in terms of polar opposites.
We say that this world is bondage, so how to get out of this world
and be liberated? Then liberation is something which is opposite,
which is not bondage. But this sutra says that both are the same --
liberation and bondage -- and unless you are freed from both you are
not freed. Bondage binds, and liberation also. Bondage is a slavery,
and liberation is also.
Try to understand this. Look at a person who is trying to go beyond
bondage. What is he doing? He leaves his home, he leaves his family,
he leaves the riches, he leaves the things of the world, he leaves
society just to get out of bondage, out of the fetters of the world.
Then he creates new fetters for himself. Those fetters are negative.
I have seen one saint who cannot touch money. He is respected -- he
is bound to be respected by those who are mad after money. He has
moved to the other pole. If you put money in his hand, he will throw
it as if there were some poison or as if you have put some scorpion
in his hand. He will throw it and he will become scared. A subtle
trembling comes to his body. What is happening? He has been fighting
with money. He must have been a greedy man -- too much greed. Only
then can he move to this extreme. He may have been too much obsessed
with money. He is still obsessed, but now in the reverse direction.
However, the obsession is still there.
I have seen one sannyasin who cannot look at any female face. He becomes
afraid. He will always look down, he will never look up if some woman
is there. What is the problem? He must have been too much sexual,
obsessed with sex. He is still obsessed, but then he was running after
this woman or that and now he is running from women -- from this one
and that. But he is still obsessed with women. Whether he is running
after or running from, his obsession remains. He thinks that now he
is liberated from women, but this is a new bondage. You cannot become
liberated by reaction. The thing you go against will bind you negatively;
you cannot escape it. If someone is against the world and for liberation,
he cannot be liberated; he will remain in the world. The attitude
of being against is a bondage.
This sutra is very deep, it says "SINCE IN TRUTH, BONDAGE AND
FREEDOM ARE RELATED..." They are not opposite, they are relative.
What is freedom? You say, "Not bondage." And what is bondage?
You say, "Not freedom." You can define them by each other.
They are just like hot and cold, not opposite. What is hot and what
is cold? They are just degrees of the same phenomenon -- degrees of
temperature -- but the phenomenon is the same, and they are relative.
If there is in one bucket cold water and in another there is hot water
and you put in both your hands -- one hand in the hot and one in the
cold -- what will you feel? A difference of degrees.
And if at first you cool down both your hands on ice and then you
put both your hands into the hot and the cold water, what will happen?
Now again you will feel a difference. Your cold hand will now feel
more hot in the hot water than it felt before. And if your other hand
has become cold, much colder than the cold water, then that water
will now look hot; you will not feel it as cool. It is relative. There
are only degrees of difference, but the phenomenon is the same.
Tantra says that bondage and liberation, SANSARA and MOKSHA, are not
two things, but a relative phenomenon -- of the same thing. So tantra
is unique. Tantra says that you have to be liberated not only from
bondage; you have to be liberated from MOKSHA also. Unless you are
liberated from both, you are not Liberated.
So the first thing: don't try to go against anything because you will
move to something which belongs to it. It looks opposite, but it is
not. Don't move from sex to BRAHMACHARYA. If you are trying to move
from sex to BRAHMACHARYA, your BRAHMACHARYA will be nothing but sexuality.
Don't move from greed to no-greed because that no-greed will again
be a subtle greed. That is why if a tradition teaches to be non- greedy,
it gives you some profit motive in it.
I was staying with a saint, and he told his followers, "If you
leave greed you will get much in the other world. If you leave greed,
you will gain much in the other world!" Those who are greedy,
greedy for the other world, will be influenced by this. They may be
motivated, and they will be ready to leave many things to gain. But
the motive to gain remains; otherwise how can a greedy man move toward
non-greed? Some motive must be there which fulfills his greed deeply.
So don't create opposite poles. All opposites are related; they are
degrees of the same phenomenon. If you become aware of this, you will
say that both poles are the same. If you can feel this, that both
poles are the same, and if this feeling deepens, you will be liberated
from both. Then you are neither for SANSARA nor for MOKSHA. Really,
then you are not asking for anything; you have stopped asking. In
that stopping, you are liberated. In that feeling that everything
is the same, the future will have dropped. Where can you move now?
Sex and BRAHMACHARYA both are the same, so where is one to move? And
if greed and non-greed are the same and violence and nonviolence are
the same, where has one to move?
There is nowhere to move. Then movement ceases; there is no future.
You cannot desire anything because all desires will be the same; the
difference will be just of degrees. What can you desire? Sometimes
I ask people -- when they come to me, I ask them -- "What do
you really desire?" Their desire is based in them as they are.
If they are greedy, they desire nongreed; if they are sexual, obsessed
with sex, they desire BRAHMACHARYA, how to be beyond sex, because
they are miserable in their sex.
But this desire for BRAHMACHARYA is based, rooted, in their sexuality.
They ask, "How to get out of this world?" The world is too
much on them, they are too much burdened and they are clinging too
much, because the world cannot burden you unless you cling to it.
The burden is in your head -- not because of the burden, but because
of you, you are carrying it. And they are carrying the whole world;
then they get burdened. And in this experience of misery there arises
a new desire for the opposite, so then they start hankering for the
They were running after money, so now they run after meditation. They
were running after something in this world; now they are running after
something in that world. But the running remains, and the running
is the problem. The object is irrelevant. Desire is the problem. What
you desire is meaningless. You desire, that is the problem, and you
go on changing objects. Today you desire A, tomorrow you desire B,
and you think you are changing. Then the day after tomorrow you desire
C, and you think you are transformed. BUT you are the same. You desired
A, you desired B, you desired C, and A-B-C are not you. You desire
-- that is you, and that remains the same. You desire bondage, then
you get frustrated, fed up; then you desire liberation. You desire,
and desire is the bondage.
So you cannot desire liberation. Desire is bondage, so you cannot
desire liberation. When desire ceases, liberation is. That is why
this sutra says, "IN TRUTH, BONDAGE AND FREEDOM ARE RELATIVE."
So don't become obsessed with the opposite.
"These words are only for those terrified with the universe."
These words of bondage and freedom are for those who are terrified
with the universe.
"THIS UNIVERSE IS THE REFLECTION OF MINDS." Whatsoever you
see in this universe is a reflection. If it looks like bondage, it
means it is your reflection. If it looks like liberation, again it
is your reflection.
"AS YOU SEE MANY SUNS IN WATER FROM ONE SUN, SO SEE BONDAGE AND
LIBERATION." The sun rises, and there are many ponds -- dirty
and pure, big and small, beautiful and ugly -- and one sun reflects
in many ponds. One who goes on counting the reflections will think
that there are many, many suns. One who looks not into the reflections
but to the reality will see one. The world, as you look at it, reflects
you. If you are sexual, the whole world seems sexual. If you are a
thief, the whole world seems to be in the same profession.
Once Mulla Nasruddin and his wife were fishing, and the place
was restricted; only license holders could fish there. Suddenly a
policeman appeared, so Mulla's wife said, "Mulla, you have the
license so you run away. Meanwhile, I will escape."
Mulla started running. He ran and ran and ran, and the policeman followed.
Of course, Mulla left the wife there, and the policeman followed him.
Mulla ran and ran until he felt that now his heart would explode.
But by that time the policeman caught hold of him. The policeman was
also perspiring, and he said, "Where is your license?" So
Mulla produced his papers. The policeman looked at them and they were
okay. So he said, "Why are you running, Nasruddin? Why did you
Nasruddin said, "I am going to a doctor, and he says after every
meal to run for half a mile."
The policeman said, "Okay, but you saw me running after you,
chasing you, yelling, so why didn't you stop?"
Nasruddin said, "I thought that maybe you go to the same doctor."
is logical; it is what is happening. Whatsoever you see all around
you is more a reflection of you than of any real thing there. You
look at yourself mirrored everywhere. The moment you change, the reflection
changes. The moment you become totally silent, the whole world becomes
silent. The world is not a bondage: bondage is a reflection. And the
world is not liberation; liberation is again a reflection.
A Buddha finds the whole world in NIRVANA. A Krishna finds the whole
world celebrating in ecstasy, in bliss; there is no misery. But tantra
says that whatsoever you see is a reflection unless all seeing disappears
and only the mirror is seen with nothing reflected in it. That is
If something is seen, it is just a reflection. Truth is one; many
can only be reflections. Once this is understood -- not theoretically,
but existentially, through experience -- you are liberated, liberated
from both bondage and liberation.
Naropa, when he became enlightened, was asked by someone, "Have
you achieved liberation now?"
Naropa said, "Yes and no both. Yes, I am not in bondage, and
no because that liberation was also a reflection of bondage. I thought
about it because of bondage."
Look at it in this way: you are ill then you long for health.
That longing for health is part of your illness. If you are really
healthy, you will not long for health. How will you? If you are really
healthy, where is the longing? What is the need? If you are really
healthy, you never feel that you are healthy. Only ill, diseased persons
feel that they are healthy. What is the need? How can you feel that
you are healthy? If you are born healthy and you have never been ill,
will you be able to feel your health? Health is there, but it cannot
be felt. It can be felt only through contrast, through the opposite.
Only through the opposite are things felt. If you are ill, you can
feel health -- and if you are feeling health, remember, you are still
So Naropa says, "Yes and no both. `Yes' because there is no bondage
now, but with the bondage liberation has also disappeared; that is
why `No'. It was part of it. Now I am beyond both -- neither in bondage
nor in liberation."
make religion a search, a desire. Don't make MOKSHA, Liberation, NIRVANA,
an object of desiring. It happens when there is no desiring.