Come Follow Yourself Vol 01 07

Seventh Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - Come Follow Yourself Vol 01 by Osho.
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Matthew 9

9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, “Follow me.” And he arose, and followed him.

10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.

11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, “Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?”

12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.”

13 “But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Luke 9

23 And he said to them all, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

24 “For whoever will save his life shall lose it: but whoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”

25 “For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?”
Religion is basically, essentially, a rebellion. It is not conformity, it is not belonging to any organization, society, church because all belonging comes out of fear, and religion is freedom. There is fear in being alone. One likes to belong to a nation, to a church, to a society because when you belong to the crowd, you forget your loneliness. It does not disappear, but you become oblivious to it. You deceive yourself, you create a dream around you – as if you are not alone. You remain alone all the same. This is just an intoxicant.
Religion is not an intoxicant, it does not give you unconsciousness. It gives you awareness, and awareness is rebellious. When you become aware, you cannot belong to any society, to any nation, to any church because when you become aware, you become aware of the austere beauty of aloneness. You become aware of the music that is continuously happening within your soul. But you have never allowed yourself to be alone to hear it, to be in rapport with it, to be one with it.
Religion is not conformity because all conformity is mechanical. You do certain things because you are expected to do them. You do them because you have to live with people and you have to follow their rules. You do them because you have been conditioned to do them: you go to church, you go to the temple, you pray, you follow rituals. But everything is empty; unless your heart is in it, everything is dead and mechanical. You may do everything exactly as it is prescribed, with no error, it may be perfect – but then too it is dead.
I have heard that President Kennedy had to sign so many letters, autographs and personalized pictures that a small mechanism was invented for him. The machine used to sign for him, and the signature was so perfect that no expert was able to say which was mechanical and which was true – not even President Kennedy himself was able to say which was false and which was true. Malcolm Muggeridge reports that when Kennedy was killed they forgot to turn the machine off, so it continued. The President continued to sign personalized letters even when he was dead. A mechanism is a mechanism.
You become a Christian. Then you become a mechanism: you go on behaving as if you really loved Christ, but “as if” has to be remembered. You become a Buddhist. You go on behaving as if you follow Buddha, but “as if” has not to be forgotten. Your signature may be perfect, but it is coming out of a dead mechanism.
Religion is not conformity. Conformity is between the individual and the past, and religion is something between the individual and the present. Poetry is something between the individual and the future. Conformity means to conform with those people who are no longer there, the dead – to conform with Moses, with Mahavira. Now to conform with Jesus is a dead thing; you are conforming with the past. If you relate to the present, it is totally different. It revolutionizes you, it gives you a rebirth.
Conformity is between the individual and the society. Religion is something between the individual and existence itself. Society is our creation. God created Adam, not humanity; God created Eve, not humanity. God creates individuals; humanity is our fiction. But the fiction can take possession of you and you can forget the real and you can cling to the fiction. I know people who want to love humanity and they cannot love a human being. Where is humanity and how are you going to love humanity? You can only make empty gestures in the air. Humanity is nowhere. Wherever you come across it, you will come across real, concrete human beings. Humanity is an abstraction, a mere word. It has no reality in it: a soap bubble, nothing more. You can only come across real human beings. To love a real human being is very difficult, but to love humanity is very easy. It is almost as if you love nobody. To love humanity is equal to loving nobody. Then there is no problem, no difficulty.
Religion is something that happens between you and the concrete existence. It is not about fictions. Also, religion is not about tradition. Tradition belongs to time; religion belongs to eternity. To move into religion, you have to move in the eternal now. Religion has no history. There the West has to learn something from the East.
In the East we have never bothered about history. The reason? The reason is simple. All history is about time, that which happens in time is recorded in history. History is a dead book. We have never bothered about history because religion belongs to eternity: you cannot record it as an event; it is an eternal process. You can only record the essential fact of it, the essential truth of it, not the ripples that are made in the river of time. That’s why if you go to a Jaina temple and see the twenty-four tirthankaras, you will be confused about who is who. They all look alike, you will not be able to make any sense out of it. Why do these twenty-four tirthankaras of the Jainas all look alike? They cannot be alike; they existed in different ages, they were different individuals. But we have not bothered about events in time.
A body is an event in time. The difference in bodies is past history. But the innermost being, which is in eternity, is the same within me, within you, within everybody. The form differs, but the innermost center is the same. Those twenty-four tirthankaras in the Jaina temples say something about the innermost being. That’s why they have been sculpted to be similar. Look at Buddha; he also looks like Mahavira, there is no difference. They are not facts, they are truths. Religion is not concerned about facts, it is concerned about truth.
Facts can be learned from books – truth, never. If you become too involved with facts, your eyes will be clouded and confused and you will not be able to know the truth. Beware of facts, they can lead you astray. Sort out the truth, always try to find the truth; don’t be bothered too much about facts. Facts are irrelevant. That which changes is the fact and that which remains always the same is the truth. Your body is a fact: one day you were a child, now you are a young man or an old man; one day you were born, one day you will die. The body changes, but the “you” who abides in the body, who has made it a temporary abode, that “you” is eternal. That is the truth: it is formless, it has no qualities. It is immortal, it is eternity.
Religion is not a tradition, so you cannot borrow religion. You will have to risk yourself, you will have to earn it. You will have to stake your life for it. That is the only way there is. You cannot get it cheap; if you want to get it cheap, you will get a counterfeit.
Religion is not consolation. It is, on the contrary, a challenge: God challenges man, God haunts man, God goes on crying, “Return! Enthrone me.” He will not leave you at rest. He will go on knocking at your doors, he will go on creating storms in your being, in your spirit. He will go on stirring you. He will not allow you to settle for less. Unless you attain the ultimate, you will not be allowed to rest. Religion is a challenge, it is a great storm. It is like death; it is not a consolation.
The so-called religions, the organized religions, are consolations. They console you, they hide your wounds. They don’t stir you, they don’t call and invoke you. They don’t ask you to be adventurous, they don’t ask you to be daring, they don’t attract you to move in a dangerous life. They are like lubricants.
In a society with so many people, you need lubricants around you so that there is not so much conflict. You can move easily, movement is not very difficult, and you don’t rub against the neighbor. No conflict arises; the lubricant goes on flowing around you. You go to church as a lubricant. It helps, it helps in a social way. It is a formality: filled full, you become respectable. It is just like becoming a member of the Rotary Club, it is respectable, it helps. You become a member of a church, that too helps. You become a member of a religion, that too helps. People think you are religious, and when people believe you are, you can deceive them more easily. When you have a garb around you that you are religious, you have a potential weapon with you. Your religion is a consolation to yourself and a respectability. In fact it is politics, diplomacy – part of your struggle to survive, part of your ambition, part of the whole politics of the ego. It is power politics.
These things have to be remembered when you try to understand Jesus. And religion is also not morality. Morality, again, is just the rules of the game. Those who want to play the game of the society have to follow the rules of it, just like when you play cards you have to follow certain rules. Not that those rules have any ultimacy about them, not that they come from God. You create the game, you create the rules, you follow the rules. But if you want to play, you have to follow the rules.
Morality has nothing ultimate in it. That’s why every society has its own morality, every culture has its own morality. One thing can be moral in India and can be immoral in America; another thing can be moral in America and may be immoral in India. If morality is really real, then it cannot differ.
In India, to divorce a woman or a man is immoral. It is not thought to be good. Once you are married you have to live with your partner. But in America, if you live with a woman you don’t love, it will be thought immoral. If you don’t love, then it is immoral to sleep with that woman. Only love, only a deep love allows you to be with the woman. Otherwise leave her. Don’t deceive her, don’t waste her life.
Morality is a game; it changes. From society to society, age to age, period to period, it goes on changing. It depends, it has nothing ultimate about it. But religion is ultimate. It has nothing to do with America or India. It has something to do with a new consciousness within the individual. It is a sunrise in the individual, it is a new being arising and expanding in the individual. You have a new look, you have new eyes through it. You can see the old problems, but they disappear. Not that they are solved; they simply disappear, they dissolve. With a new eye, they cannot be there. You have a new vision, a new dimension. These things have to be remembered because when a Jesus, a man like Jesus comes, these things become the problem.
I have heard an Arabian proverb. It says: “Show a man too many camels’ bones or show them to him too often, and he will not be able to recognize a camel when he comes across a live one.”
“Show a man camels’ bones too many times, or too often,” and the Arabian saying says, “that man will not be able to recognize a camel when he comes across a live one.” This happens when a Jesus comes to the world. You have seen so many phony priests, you have seen so many hocus-pocus preachers, you have seen so many scholars not knowing anything but creating much fuss about it, that when a Jesus comes you cannot recognize him. Whenever a Jesus or a Buddha comes, it becomes almost impossible to recognize him. For the majority, it is almost impossible. Only a few rare beings who have some potentiality, or who are a little alert, only they can have a few glimpses.
To recognize a Jesus is a great achievement because that means you have a certain consciousness which can relate to Jesus. You have a certain quality which can relate to Jesus: you are already on the way to becoming a Jesus yourself. You can only recognize that which you already have within you opening, flowering. It may be just a bud, but you can recognize a little bit, your eyes are not completely closed.
There are priests who are pretenders. To them, religion is a trade. It is a livelihood, not their life. To Jesus, religion is life; to the rabbis, to the priests, it is a livelihood. Then there are scholars who go on talking about nothing – and they can talk so much, they are so articulate, that you will never be able to recognize the fact that deep within they are empty.
I have heard about an international competition…

A competition was arranged, essays were invited from many countries. The subject of the competition was “The Elephant.” The Englishman immediately went to South Africa with cameras and a group of followers, and he investigated the whole thing. He came back after six months and wrote a book: well printed and illustrated. The title of the book was Hunting the Elephant in South Africa.
The Frenchman never went anywhere. Every day he simply went to visit the elephant house in the zoo in Paris. After two, three weeks he started to write a book – a very carelessly printed book, not even hardcover, just a paperback. The title of the book was The Love Life of the Elephant.
The Indian, who had been appointed by the Indian Government, was a man who had never seen an elephant because he had always remained in the Himalayas. He was a great yogi and poet and Sanskrit scholar. He never even went to the zoo. He wrote a big book, a great treatise. The title was The Divine Elephant. It was written in the form of poetry and he quoted great Sanskrit books from the Vedas up to Sri Aurobindo. Anybody who read the book had the impression that this man had never seen an elephant. He was a poet, he may have seen one in his dreams. He talked about the elephant which was seen by Buddha’s mother before he was conceived: mythology, a white elephant.
And last of all, the Germans. They appointed six professors of philosophy to write the book. They went to all the museums and libraries all over the world to study everything that was written about the elephant. They never went to see any elephant or any zoo – just museums and libraries. They searched all over, they took almost six years, and they wrote a book – twelve volumes, almost an Encyclopedia Britannica. The title of the book was A Short Introduction to the Study of the Elephant. Professors of philosophy – what do they have to do with elephants? And that too, a short introduction: a prolegomenon. It was not even about the elephant! It was just an introduction to the study of the elephant.

When a Jesus comes, you are already too much in the know. You have read the books, you have listened to the scholars, you have listened to the priests, you are too full of ideas, and when Jesus or a man like Jesus comes, you simply cannot recognize him. The live animal is there, and you have become too addicted to the dead bones. To recognize Jesus means you will have to put aside all that you know already.
Jesus was not murdered by bad men, he was not murdered by criminals; he was murdered by very respectable rabbis. In fact religious people killed him. Religion is never in danger from irreligious people because they don’t bother about it. Religion is always a danger to the so-called religious because their whole life is at stake. If Jesus is right, then all the rabbis are wrong. If Jesus is right, then the whole tradition is wrong. If Jesus is right, then7 the whole Church is wrong.
Everybody stands against Jesus. Jesus is always alone, very alone. You cannot understand his aloneness. Whatever you know about aloneness is a physical aloneness. Sometimes no one is in the house, the house is dark and you are alone. The electricity has also gone so you cannot turn on the light, you cannot turn on the radio or the TV. You are suddenly thrown into aloneness. But this is a physical sense of aloneness. You don’t know what Jesus feels.
He is spiritually alone, amidst strangers where it is so difficult to find a friend who will recognize you. He goes on looking into each and everybody he meets on the path, penetrating, gazing deep into the eyes. Nobody recognizes him, nobody understands him. Rather, people misunderstand him. They are ready to jump into misunderstanding, but nobody is ready in any way to understand him.
Whenever there is a religious being, the so-called religious are all against him. They would like to kill him immediately so the danger is avoided and their security again becomes certain.
Remember, he was killed by very good people. It is still the same. Go around Pune and ask the so-called good people. You will always find them against me; they have to be, their whole way of life is in danger. They are afraid to even listen to me because, who knows? A truth may strike home. They won’t come near me, they won’t read my books; they cannot take that much risk. They always have opinions of their own.
One day, it happened that I witnessed a beautiful scene…

A man was talking to Mulla Nasruddin. The man said, “Why are you so miserly and so stingy toward your wife?”
Mulla said, “You must have heard something wrong about me because as far as I know, I am generally a very generous man.”
The man became angry because whenever you challenge somebody’s opinion, he becomes angry. He became angry and he said, “Stop defending yourself. Everybody in the whole town knows that you are too hard on your wife. Even for day-to-day expenses she has to beg you like a beggar. And stop defending yourself. Everybody knows it!”
Nasruddin said, “Okay, if you are so angry, I will not defend myself. But can I say one thing, just one thing?”
The man said loudly, “What?”
Nasruddin said, “That I am not married.”
Since that day that man has been against Nasruddin. Once I met him and I told him that since Mulla Nasruddin is not married, the whole thing is baseless. “Your whole argument is baseless. Why are you angry?”
He said, “It makes no difference, it is only a question of time. Wait, sooner or later he will be married and then I will be right! I am still telling the truth. It is only a question of time. Wait, my opinion cannot be wrong.”

People cling to their opinions – baseless, but still they cling. The more baseless the opinion, the more people cling to it. If it is based on right grounds there is no need to cling; it is true in itself. When it is baseless, your clinging is needed because only your clinging can become the base. Remember always if you know something is true, you never get angry if somebody contradicts it. You get angry in the same proportion as you know it is not true. Anger shows that you have just a mere opinion, no knowledge.
People were very much against Jesus because he was ruining all their edifices. They were thinking their houses were built on rocks, and just his presence showed them that their houses were built on sand, they were already falling. They jumped on him, they killed him. He was not killed by the political powers, he was killed by the pseudo-religious powers, by the priests.
This is my understanding: if religion has disappeared in the world today, it is not because of science – no; it is not because of atheists – no; it is not because of rationalists – no. It is because of pseudo religion. There is too much pseudo religion and it is so bogus, phony, that only people who are phony can be interested in religion. People who have even an iota of reality will go against it, they will rebel.
Real people have always been rebellious because reality wants to assert its being, to express its freedom. Real people are not slaves. Remember this, then we will enter the sentences.
And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, “Follow me.” And he arose, and followed him.
The whole thing seems to be a little unreal. The world has changed so much it looks more like drama than real life. Jesus comes and says to a man who is sitting in the customs, working there – maybe a clerk or somebody – he simply looks at him and says: “Follow me.” And he arose, and followed him. It looks like a drama, not reality because the reality that we know today is absolutely different. The world has changed, the human mind has changed.
For these past three centuries the human mind has been trained to doubt. Before Jesus, for centuries continuously, the human mind lived on trust, lived on the simplicity of the heart. People’s eyes were clear. This Matthew, an ordinary man, must have looked into Jesus’ eyes – the way he walked, the presence that he brought with himself, the penetrating look that stirred the heart – he touched something deep.
It rarely happens today. I come across so many people, but rarely do I see a person so open that whatever I say simply reaches the heart and becomes a seed immediately, with no time wasted. Otherwise, people are protecting. They come to me and they say they would like to surrender, they would like to follow me, but I see a great armor around them: very subtle, but they are protecting from everywhere. They won’t allow any space for me to enter them. If I try too hard, then they become too protective. They go on saying that they would like to relax and let go; their mouths say something, their bodies show something else. Their thoughts are something, but their reality is just contradictory.
People were simple in Jesus’ time. They must have just looked, and when Jesus said: “Follow me” they simply followed. It was natural. When these gospels were written, those who were writing the gospels were not aware that someday these things would look fictitious. It was so natural in those days that the gospel writers could not imagine that someday the thing would look false, would not sound real. It is happening now all over the world.
Move with Buddha: a different quality of humanity surrounds him…

Prasanjita, a king, came to see Buddha. He was Buddha’s father’s friend – both were kings – and when he heard that his friend’s son had renounced the world, he was very worried. When Buddha came to his capital town, Prasanjita went to see him and to persuade him.
He said to Buddha, “What have you done? If you are not happy with your father, come and live in my palace. Get married to my daughter, I have only one daughter, and this kingdom will be yours. But don’t move around like a beggar. It hurts: you are the only son of your father. What are you doing? Both these kingdoms will be yours. Come to my home.”
Buddha looked into Prasanjita’s eyes and said, “Just one question. Have you attained any happiness through your kingdom? Just say yes or no. If you say yes, I follow you. If you say no, then you have to follow me.”
Prasanjita fell to Buddha’s feet and said, “No. I renounce. Initiate me. I leave all this.” A very different quality of immediacy.

The same thing happened to me, the same:

One of my father’s friends was a lawyer, a very cunning lawyer. When I came home from the university, of course my parents were worried. They wanted me to get married and settle, but they didn’t want to say it directly to me. They knew that to say it directly would be like interfering in my life, and they are very nonaggressive, silent, simple. So they thought about their friend and they asked the friend to come.
He came with all his arguments ready; he was a lawyer. He said, “If I convince you that marriage is a must, will you get married?”
I said, “Of course. But if you cannot, then are you ready to leave your wife and children?”
The man had not thought of that; he said, “Then I will have to think.”
He never came back. The quality of the mind had changed; otherwise there was an opportunity for him, an opening of the sky. I waited and waited, but he never came. He became afraid because everybody knows that life as you have lived it has not given you anything. But one needs courage to say that because just in saying that, a deep renunciation happens. You have already moved on another path once you realize the fact that life as you have lived it has been futile, fruitless, irrelevant.

Saith Jesus unto him: “Follow me.” And he arose, and followed him. What a beautiful world, what a beautiful consciousness. You can have that consciousness, and through it everything becomes possible, even the impossible becomes possible.
Try. Drop the doubts because whenever you doubt you are destructive. Doubt is destructive; trust is creative. Doubt kills, doubt is poison. Trust gives you life, life abundant, infinite life, because when you trust you relax.
In trust there is no fear, in trust there is no need to defend, in trust there is no struggle. You let go, you flow with the river. You don’t even swim, the river takes you to the ocean. It is already going to the ocean. You fight unnecessarily, and through fight you destroy your energy. Through fight you get frustrated, and through fight the whole opportunity is lost in which you could have danced, in which you could have celebrated. The same energy becomes a struggle; the same energy can become surrender.
And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
This has to be understood. It is a very delicate point that whenever a man like Jesus is on the earth, sinners recognize him before your so-called righteous people because sinners have nothing to lose except their sins. Sinners don’t have opinionated minds; they don’t have theologies and scriptures. Sinners have a sense that their lives have been futile, sinners have an urgency to repent and return. But the so-called respectable people – trustees of temples and churches, mayors, politicians, leaders, pundits, scholars – have much to lose and no urgency of being, no intensity to transform themselves, no desire in fact. They are dull and dead. Sinners are more alive than your so-called saints, and sinners are more courageous than your so-called saints. To come near, to come close to Jesus needs courage.
Have you watched that your so-called saints are not really religious, but simply people who are afraid? Afraid of hell, afraid of God’s punishment – or greedy, greedy and ambitious to achieve heaven: the award and blessings of God. But they are not truly religious. When you are truly religious you don’t bother about hell and heaven, you don’t bother about anything. This very moment you are so deeply in heaven, who bothers about the heaven which comes after death?
Sinners are more courageous, they risk. And: …behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
And when the Pharisees saw it…
– the respectable people, the righteous –
…they said unto his disciples, “Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?”
Their minds are always concerned with such foolish things: with whom you are eating, with whom you are sitting. They don’t look directly into Jesus; they are more interested in with whom he is sitting. He is sitting with sinners – now that is their problem. Jesus does not create any ripple in their being, but the sinners create anxiety. How can they come and sit with this master?
Sinners are there. The condemned people for whom they have invented hell are sitting there. Your so-called saints won’t allow those sinners to be so close – never. They would not like to be in their company at all. Why? Why are your saints so afraid of sinners? They are afraid of their own inner fear, afraid that if they are with sinners it is more possible that the sinners will convert them than the possibility of the sinners being converted by the saints. They are afraid. They are afraid of their own sinner inside them. That’s why there is the fear of the sinner outside. Always remember that whatever you say ultimately refers to you, not to anything else. If you are afraid to go to a place where drunkards gather together, it shows simply that you have a certain tendency toward alcohol, intoxicants, and you are afraid. Otherwise why fear? You can be at ease there. Nobody can corrupt you except yourself.
…they said unto his disciples… This too has to be remembered: they didn’t say it to him. I know those Pharisees who are around. They will say it to you, they will not come to say it to me. They say it to the disciples because to come to Jesus to say it is dangerous. The man may hypnotize you, it is risky – just talk to the disciples. Such impotent people have become so important; they hold all the key posts in the world, they hold all the power, and they are absolutely impotent. They are not even ready to come and face Jesus.
“Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?” – as if sinners are not human beings. And as if these people themselves are not sinners. Who is there who can say, “I am not a sinner”? To be here in this world is to be somehow or other involved in sin. Nobody can claim otherwise.
When the whole humanity is involved in sin, how can you be out of it? You are part. If sin is happening somewhere, I am part of it because I am part of humanity. I create the climate – maybe a very tiny part of it, but I also create the climate. A Vietnam happens: I am part of it; I am the sinner. How can I think of myself as out of it? Whatever any human being is doing anywhere, he is part of me and I am part of him. We are members of each other.
A real saint always feels humble because he knows that he is also a sinner. Only a false saint feels proud and thinks that he is above. Nobody is above. If there is any God, he must be part of your sin also. And he knows it because he is involved in you. He beats in your heart, he breathes in you, and if you commit sin, he is a part of it. Only so-called saints – dummies, not real – can think otherwise and be proud.
But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.”
He simply said, “Those who are sick need the physician. I am the physician, so the sick people have come to me.” It should be the criterion: around a saint, sinners will gather together. This should be the criterion. If you see a saint and only respectable people are around him, he is no saint at all. The physician is false because whenever a great physician comes into the world, people who are ill are bound to rush to him. They are bound to crowd the man because their need is there. They want to be whole and healed, and the physician has come.
“They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” But the reverse is not true, remember. A sinner needs a saint, but if you think that you don’t need a saint, it does not mean that you are not a sinner. A sick man seeks a physician and there is no need for a healthy man to seek a physician, but just by not seeking a physician, don’t deceive yourself that you are healthy. Remember that the reverse is not true. That’s why in the next sentence Jesus says:
“But go ye and learn what that meaneth…”
He said, “This is the truth: sinners are bound to seek me and sick people are bound to come to me. I am a physician of their soul. Those who are healthy, I am not for them; they need not come. “But go ye and learn what that meaneth…” It is not simple. Go and meditate over it. You may be ill yourself and you need me, but you have just been thinking that you are not ill.”
The greatest illness that can happen to a man is that when he is ill, he thinks that he is not ill. Then nobody can cure him, then no medicine will help him. Then the physician may be next door, but the man will die uncured. This is the greatest misfortune that can befall a man: to be sick and think himself healthy.
“But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice…”
This is one of the most significant sayings that Jesus has ever uttered. This is his whole secret: “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice…” Mahavira is not so merciful, Mohammed not so merciful, even the compassionate Buddha is not so merciful as Jesus, because they all say that you will have to sacrifice, you will have to change your ways and you will have to account for your past karmas.
In India we have talked about compassion long enough, but we have continuously been talking about karma. One has to keep all accounts, and whatever bad deeds you have done you will have to cancel them by good deeds. You will have to come to a balance, only then can the accounts be closed. This is what Jesus means by sacrifice.
He says: “I will have mercy…” This is his key secret. What does he mean when he says: “I will have mercy…”? He means that it is almost impossible for you to cancel all the bad karmas that you have committed because the whole thing is tremendous, vast. Millions of lives you have been doing things and all that you have done has been wrong, has to be wrong, because you have been unconscious. How can you do anything good while unconscious? You have done millions of things, but all are wrong.
While one is asleep one cannot do anything that is good. Virtue is impossible in unconsciousness, only sin is possible. Unconsciousness is the source of sin. You have done so many sins that it seems almost impossible. How will you get out of this? The very effort doesn’t seem probable, the very effort seems hopeless. Jesus says, “Mercy will do it.” “Just surrender to me,” Jesus says, “and I will have mercy.” What does he mean? He simply means: “If you can trust me and trust that you have been forgiven, you are forgiven,” because all those karmas have been committed in an unconscious sleep. You are not responsible for them.
This is the key message of Jesus: man is not responsible unless he is alert. It is as if a child has committed a sin. No court will punish the child because they will say the child doesn’t know, he has done it unaware. He had no intention of doing it, it has simply happened, he is not responsible. Or a madman has committed a crime, murdered somebody. The court, once it is proved that the man is mad, has to forgive because a madman cannot be responsible. Or a drunkard has done something and it is proved that he was drunk, absolutely drunk. You can, at the most, punish him for his drinking. You cannot punish him for the act.
Jesus says, “I have come. I will have mercy…” It does not mean that it is up to Jesus to forgive you, remember. That has been a mistake. Christians have been thinking that since Jesus is the only begotten son of God, and he is merciful, there is no need to do anything. Just pray to him, confess your sin. He is merciful, he will forgive you.
In fact Jesus is just an excuse. He is saying this: if you become alert and become aware that you were unconscious in whatever you have been doing up to now, hitherto, the very awareness that you were unconscious, the very realization, forgives, becomes the forgiveness. Not that Jesus is doing anything.
It is just like when I promise you that if you surrender to me, I will transform you. There is no promise and I am not going to do anything. You surrender, that’s all, and the transformation happens. But it will be difficult for you to surrender if there is nobody to surrender to. Then you will say, “To whom do I surrender?” It will be almost impossible, absurd. Just surrendering, without anybody there to surrender to? You will feel yourself absurd. What are you doing? Somebody is needed to surrender to. That is just an excuse.
When I say, “I promise I will transform you,” I am not going to do anything because nobody can transform you. But if you surrender, in the very effort when you surrender, the ego is surrendered and transformation happens because the ego is the only barrier. It is because of the ego that you are not changing, it is because of the ego that your heart is burdened by a rock and you are not throbbing well. Once the rock is put away…
You have become so addicted to the rock that you say, “Unless I find some golden lotus feet I am not going to surrender this rock.” So I say, “Okay, let my feet be the excuse.” You have become so addicted to the rock that you think that unless you find lotus feet, golden feet, unless you find a god, you are not going to surrender because the rock is very valuable. It is because of your foolishness that I have to play god. So I say, “Okay, let me be the god. But please surrender your rock so your heart starts throbbing well, so you start feeling, loving, being.”
When Jesus says, “I will have mercy…,” he is saying the same thing. He is saying, “I am here to forgive you. Just surrender. Come follow me,” and:
“…I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
This is tremendously beautiful. Every time a Buddha, a Jesus or a Krishna happens, this is what they come for.
“…I am not come to call the righteous…” In the first place, they never listen to the call. The righteous are dead people; they are deaf, they are too full of their own noise. They are so certain about their virtues: they don’t have any earth to stand on but in their beliefs, in their imagination, they think that they are standing on a well-founded ground. They have no foundation; their edifice is just as if a child has made a house of playing cards. A little breeze and the house will be gone, but they believe in it. The house exists only in their imagination.
In the first place, they will not listen to the call. In the second place, if you insist too much they will get angry. In the third place, if you are stubborn as Jesus was, they will kill you. And in the fourth place, when you are dead they will worship you. This is how things go.
“…for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” In fact, to realize that you are a sinner is already a transformation. The moment you recognize that you are a sinner, you have repented. There is no other repentance.
Look at it in this way. In the night you are fast asleep and dreaming. If you realize that you are dreaming, what does it mean? It means that now you are no longer asleep. Once you become aware that you are dreaming, you are awake. Once you become aware that you are asleep, you are no longer asleep – finished. The sleep has already left you.
To remain a sinner one needs to continuously think to himself that he is not a sinner, he is a virtuous man. To hide the sin, one needs the confidence that one is righteous, not a sinner. Sometimes the people who call themselves righteous think that even if they sin sometimes it is just to protect their virtue, to protect their righteousness.
It happened…

India and Pakistan were at war and everybody was in a war mood. Even Jaina saints were in a war mood. At least they shouldn’t have been: they have been preaching nonviolence for centuries. But I came across the news that Acharya Tulsi, one of the greatest Jaina munis, had given his blessings to the war. What did he say?
He said it was “to protect the country of nonviolence. Even if violence has to be done, it has to be done – to protect the country of Buddha, Mahavira, Gandhi.”

Do you see the trick? Nonviolence has to be protected by violence. One has to go to war so that peace reigns. I have to kill you because I love you; I am doing it for your sake.
A man who thinks he is a sinner has already surrendered. He realizes the fact: “I am a sinner and I have done nothing else except sin and sin. It is not that sometimes I have committed a sin. Rather on the contrary, I am a sinner. It is not a question of actions; it is a continuity of unconsciousness. I am a sinner and whether I have done something wrong or not is irrelevant. Sometimes I don’t do anything wrong, but still I am a sinner.”
“The sinner” is a quality of unconsciousness. It has nothing to do with actions. You may not have done anything wrong for twenty-four hours – you may have remained in the house, fasting, sitting silently, meditating; you have not done anything wrong – but still you remain a sinner. If you are unconscious, you are a sinner.
Your being a sinner is not the result of the sins you have committed. Your being a sinner is simply a state of unconsciousness. You are not a sinner because you do sins. You do sins because you are a sinner. It is a continuity of unconsciousness – a continuum, without any gap. Once you realize this, the very realization is an awakening. The morning has come, it has knocked on the door of your home; you are aware. Yet awareness is fragile, very delicate: you can fall asleep again – yes, that is a possibility – but still you are aware. You can use this moment and come out of the bed.
“…for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

And he said to them all, “If any man will come after me – if any man will come after me – let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
“If any man will come after me… If you have decided to come after me, then this is what you have to do.” This is the discipline, the only discipline Jesus ever gave: “…let him deny himself…” When you come to a man like Jesus, you have to drop your own ideas and the ego. You have to completely drop your own decisions because only if you drop your ideas, decisions, ego, can Jesus penetrate you. Soon you will not need Jesus. Once you have dropped your ego, things will start happening to you on your own. But as a first step: “…let him deny himself…”
Look. You can come to me and surrender. But it is possible that the surrender may be your idea. Then it is no longer a surrender. The surrender is surrender when it is my idea, not yours. If it is your idea, then it is not surrender; you are following your idea.
It happens every day. Somebody comes here and I ask him, “Would you like to move into sannyas?” He says, “Wait, I have to think about it.” I say to him, “If you think about it, then it will be your sannyas, not mine.”
Then you think and you come to a conclusion, but it is your ego thinking and coming to a conclusion. Then you take sannyas, but you have missed the opportunity. The opportunity was there when I had asked you to take a jump. Had you taken it without any consideration on your part, that would have been a repentance, a turning, a conversion. If you think, it’s okay – but it is simply okay, nothing more. You have come in, it is your idea you are following. There is no surrender in it. Deny yourself.
And the second thing: “…and take up his cross daily…” A life with Jesus is a life moment to moment. It is not planning for the future. It has no plan; it is spontaneous. One has to live moment to moment “…and take up his cross daily…”
Why a cross? – because surrender is death. Why a cross? – because surrender is pain. Why a cross? – because surrender is suffering. Your whole ego will suffer and burn. Your ideas, your past, your personality, will be on fire continuously. Hence the cross. The cross is a symbol of death. And until you die, nothing is possible; until you die, the resurrection is not possible.
“…Let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily…” This has to be done daily, every morning. You cannot think: “Yes, I have surrendered once. It is finished.” It is not so easy. You will have to surrender a million times. You will have to surrender every moment because the mind is very cunning. It will try to reclaim you. If you think that you have surrendered once and it is finished, the mind will recapture you. It has to be done every moment until you are completely dead and a new entity has arisen, until a new man is born within you, until you are no longer continuous with the past: a breakthrough has happened.
You will know it because you will not recognize yourself. Who are you? You will not be able to see how you were connected with the past. You will recognize only one thing – that there has been a sudden gap. The line broke, the past disappeared, and something new entered you which has nothing to do with the past, which is not at all connected with it. The religious man is not a modified man, the religious man is not a decorated man. The religious man has nothing to do with the past. He is absolutely new.
“For whoever will save his life shall lose it…”
Don’t cling to the ego…
“For whoever will save his life shall lose it: but whoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”
Lose it and you will have it, cling to it and you will lose it. Looks paradoxical, but it is a simple truth. The seed dies in the soil and becomes a great tree. But the seed can cling to its own self, go on protecting itself and defending itself because for the seed it looks like death. The seed will never be able to see the plant, so it is death.
You will never be able to see the man I am talking about, so it is a perfect death. You cannot imagine that man because if you can imagine that man, it will be your continuity. You cannot hope about that man because if it is your hope, then your hope will be the bridge. No, you are completely in the dark about that new man. That’s why trust is needed.
I cannot prove it to you, I cannot argue about it because the more I argue about it and prove it to you, the more it will become impossible for you. If you become convinced, then the barrier is perfect because your conviction will be your conviction. And the new will come only when you have gone totally. All your convictions, ideologies, arguments, proofs: you are gone, wholesale – and only absence is left. In that absence, the heavens open and the spirit of God descends like a dove, lights on you.
“…but whoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” Why does Jesus insist: …for my sake…? Look at the problem: if you are going to die completely, and a new man is going to come only when you are no more, then who will be the bridge between you and the new? Who will be the bridge? You cannot be the bridge otherwise the new will not be new; it will be just a modified old.
There the master becomes the bridge. He says, “Die silently. I am there to look after you. Move into death; I will take care of the new coming into you. Don’t be worried, relax: …for my sake…”
That’s why religion will never become a philosophy, will never become a theology. It will never be based on arguments; it cannot be, the very nature of it forbids it. It will remain a trust. If you trust me, you can die easily without fear. You know I am there, you love me and you know that I love you, so why fear?
It happened…

A young man recently married was going on his honeymoon. He was a samurai, a Japanese warrior. They were going on a boat to an island when suddenly a storm came. The boat was small and the storm was tremendously terrible, and there was every possibility that they would be drowned. The wife became very afraid, started trembling. But she looked at the samurai, her husband. He was sitting silently as if nothing was happening, and they were in the throes of death! And any moment the boat would be gone under the sea.
The woman said, “What are you doing? Why are you sitting like a statue?”
The samurai pulled his sword out of its sheath. The wife could not believe it, what was he doing? And he put his naked sword just near the throat of the wife. She started laughing, and he said, “Why are you laughing? The sword is so near your throat – just a little move and your head will go.”
The wife said, “But it is in your hands, so there is no problem. The sword is dangerous, but it is in your hands.”
The samurai put his sword back and said, “The storm is in my God’s hands. The storm is dangerous, but it is in the hands of somebody whom I love and who loves me. That’s why I am unafraid.”

When the sword is in your master’s hand and he is going to kill you, if you trust him, only then will you die peacefully, lovingly, gracefully. And out of that grace – and out of that peace, and out of that love – you will create the possibility where the new arrives. If you die afraid, the new will not arrive. You will simply die. That’s why Jesus says: “…for my sake… let me be the bridge.”
“For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?”
Remember, you can gain the whole world and lose yourself as people have been doing all over the world throughout time: gaining the world and losing themselves. Then one day they suddenly find that all they have gained is not theirs. Empty-handed they come; empty-handed they go. Nothing belongs to them. Then anguish takes over.
“For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?” The only way to be really intelligent in the world is first to gain yourself. Even if the whole world is to be lost, it is worth it. If you gain your own being, your own soul, your own innermost core, and the whole world is lost, it is worth it. To gain that innermost core you will not only have to lose the world, you will have to lose the idea of yourself because that is the innermost barrier, the ego. The ego is a false identity. Not knowing who you are, you go on thinking that you are somebody. That somebody, the false identity, is the ego. And unless the false goes, the true cannot enter.
Let the false go and the true is ready. Repent, return, answer; the kingdom of God is at hand.
Enough for today.

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