From Darkness to Light 16

Sixteenth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Darkness to Light by Osho.
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What is the goal of life? Why is there a desire to continue to live forever?
There is no goal of life, for the simple reason that life is its own goal. The goal is intrinsic, not something outside; not there, far away, but herenow, in this very moment.
The very idea of goal is future-oriented.
The moment you start living for a goal you stop living in the present, in the immediate. The goal becomes more important. Tomorrow becomes more important, and you have to sacrifice today for tomorrow; and the trouble is, tomorrow never comes, has never come, is not going to come ever.
But you go on sacrificing your today – which is your only treasure, which is all that you have got.
You risk that which you have for that which is only a mind desire.
But the society, culture, civilization, religions – they have all conditioned the mind of human beings to live for ideals, goals, to go on sacrificing the real for some imaginary paradise, future life, eternity, God. All these names mean only one thing: Don’t live now.
All the cultures and all the civilizations and all the religions are against the “now” – and now is the only reality.
Wherever you are, whenever you are, it is always now. Except “now” there is nothing existential.
The word goal is very dangerous. It is suicidal to have a goal. Without your awareness you are being sacrificed for something which is never going to happen.
Life in itself is enough – it needs no goals.
That’s why there is this urge, this desire, this tremendous lust to live and to live forever. It has nothing to do with you; it is your very life. This is not being taught to you; you are born with this desire. This desire is your gift from existence itself.
If you listen to this desire and if you stop listening to all kinds of religious nonsense, you will be a new man, really alive. Yes, life has a tremendous power, and it wants to expand. It wants to live as intensely and totally as possible.
And this is not going to happen some other day. If it is going to happen it can happen only now:
Now or never.
But it is not happening now because your minds are tethered to some future goal: you have to achieve heaven and you have to achieve the realization of God. All bogus words, meaningless jargon, but because they have been repeated so often for thousand of years it sounds as if those words have some content in them.
You cannot find a more hollow word than God – with no content in it at all, with no meaning in it at all.
When I was reading the book, Waiting For Godot, I thought perhaps Godot is a German word for God. I asked Haridas; Haridas said, “No, Godot is not German for god; the German is Gott.”
I said, “My God! that is even worse. Godot is far better!”
But Godot or God or Gott, one thing is certain, you are never going to get it. And these Germans are thinking they have gott! Nobody has ever found God.
People have been lying, and in the name of God lying becomes easier because the name of God becomes a protective umbrella.
In the court you have to take the oath in the name of God – this world is certainly insane – in the name of the greatest lie. The oath is being taken all over the world, in all the courts: “I am going to speak truth.”
When I was in a court I simply refused; I said, “I can take the oath in anybody’s name – in the name of the furniture, in the name of electricity – but I cannot take the oath in the name of God because God is the greatest lie. And you are making me tell a lie at the very beginning.”
But people are conditioned to live for hypothetical things. It is a strategy of all those people who want to exploit you.
The priest cannot exploit you if God is not the goal of life.
The politician cannot exploit you if the classless society is not the goal of life.
If democracy, freedom, if these are not the goals of life then how is the politician going to manipulate you? You simply say, “My goal is to live, and to live joyously, and to live today – because tomorrow is uncertain. It may come, it may not come; and I am not a gambler. And life is so valuable that I cannot postpone it.”
If the whole of humanity decides to live herenow then the second thing will disappear: the desire to live forever.
Let me explain it to you, why there is this second thing, to live forever. It is because you are missing life, you are not living it. You are thirsty for it, you are hungry for it, you are starved. Naturally, in this starving, hungry and thirsty state, life starts thinking of living forever – because for what is not happening today you have to create a tomorrow.
And you see that it is not happening. Even tomorrows come and go; tomorrows go on becoming yesterdays and it is not happening, not happening. Childhood becomes youth, youth becomes old age – and it has not happened.
When I was a small child, one of my father’s friends was very loving toward me. He was a very well-known scholar, and I used to ask him all kinds of questions because my father used to refer me to him: “You ask Pandit Dada.” Pandit means a great scholar, dada means big brother. He was older than my father so he used to call him dada; he was known all over the area as Pandit Dada.
So I would ask him all kinds of questions, and essentially his answer was always the same: “When you become a little older then you will know; you are too young.”
I said, “Remember, because one day I am going to become older. How long can you deceive me? I know that you don’t have the answer. If you have the answer, please give me the answer. Whether I understand or not, that is my problem, not your problem. Your problem is to give me the answer. Even if it takes years for me to understand it, I will wait, but please give me the answer.”
He would say, “You will not understand – you just wait. First you have to be at least mature.”
I said, “Okay.”
Every year I went on asking the same question. I went from the school to the college, but whenever I would come in the holidays to my home, I would repeat the questions; and now he started becoming shaky. I said, “Now how long do I have to wait?”
I graduated from the university; I won the gold medal for the whole state. I came to him and said, “Now what do you want? I have come first class – first in the whole state – in my postgraduation. Is the time right?”
He said to me, “Please forgive me, I was lying all the time. But you are stubborn! I have done this to many people; they forget. They become so much involved in so many things – who bothers about childhood questions? “You are strange – the same questions you go on persisting in year after year, and I have been hoping that you will forget, but it doesn’t seem to happen.”
I said, “Now you tell me the truth: Do you have any answers? – because now you are almost beyond eighty; death is not far away. Do you have the answers?”
He said, “I don’t have any answers. I have been deceiving myself by deceiving others. People believed in me, and because so many people believed in me I started believing in myself.”
It is a reciprocal thing. When so many people believe in you, it results in a very strange conclusion: you start believing in yourself, for the simple reason that if you are not right, then how can so many people believe in you?
Each leader needs thousands of people in order to be convinced that he is a capable leader. Just take the followers away and you will see the leader disappearing; you will see just an ordinary person – perhaps below average or retarded. But when thousands of people are behind you, believing that you have eyes – they are all blind – you start believing that you have eyes because so many people believe in you.
You forget completely that you don’t know. And these people go on conditioning other people. Parents go on giving their diseases as an inheritance to their children, teachers to their students, professors to their scholars.
I was continually insisting to my teachers, to my professors, to my vice-chancellors, “I don’t want a bookish answer. That I can find in the library, I don’t need you for that. I want your personal experience. Have you experienced anything that you can go on teaching?”
And I have seen their embarrassed faces, their empty eyes, their empty souls. Yes, they are full of rubbish, all kinds of doctrines, creeds, cults. If you want them to give you a sermon then they can give you a sermon, a beautiful sermon, on the ultimate goal of life.
And the truth is, life is only immediate; there is nothing ultimate.
But the vested interests cannot live without the ultimate.
They have to convince you to sacrifice your life for some imaginary idea.
The idea can be democracy, the idea can be communism, the idea can be fascism, the idea can be Christianity, the idea can be Hinduism; it does not matter. But something far away…. All along the way you have to go on sacrificing that which is real for something unreal; and in the end comes death, no goal.
Because of this situation – that you have been told to sacrifice your life – there is a hunger for eternal life. Otherwise each single moment is so blissful – who cares to live forever? For what?
If this moment is fulfilled, if you are contented, you don’t need even a next moment. If it comes, good; if it does not come, even better – because you have lived, you have tasted the nectar of life. Now what more can the next moment give to you?
You have squeezed the juice of life so totally, you have not left anything for the moment that is going to follow. Yes, you will live it too; you will squeeze again, you will have another drink, but the desire for life to continue forever will disappear absolutely.
Only poor people think of riches. A rich man never thinks of riches, a rich man is really bored with riches. It is the hungry person who thinks of food, dreams of food. When you are well fed, nourished, can you have a dream about food? That’s impossible, it is not even psychologically probable.
People are dreaming of sex because their sex is being repressed by the priests, by all the religions. Naturally the repressed sex becomes their dream. They start a vicarious kind of satisfaction. What they cannot have in real life at least they can dream about in their sleep.
Sigmund Freud discovered one of the very fundamental things about the human mind: that you cannot believe a human being when he is awake, but you can believe him when he is asleep. Strange! You can believe in his dream but you cannot believe what he says, because what he says is only parrot-like. He has been told what to say. All the preachers are telling him what to say. He knows all the beautiful words. But in his dreams his truth comes up; his conscious mind goes to sleep and his unconscious starts asserting itself. That is more real.
Hence the psychologist, the psychoanalyst, has to look into your dreams. You are not reliable. You are so deeply conditioned to become a hypocrite, you may be saying things without ever thinking that you are lying. You may be thinking you are telling the truth, but that does not matter, your belief is not the question; your dream has to support it.
You will be surprised to know, there are aboriginals in the world still – I have lived with a few aboriginal tribes in India – and they don’t dream. Sigmund Freud missed a tremendous thing. He should have visited these aboriginals who are not conditioned by civilization, education, culture, religion, who are still living a primitive life.
They don’t dream. I have asked so many people, and they say no. Yes, once in a while a person dreams, but then that person becomes a prophet. His dream always proves to be true. His dream is a vision, not a dream.
Now, my secretary has just informed me from Australia, the day she reached Australia the chief of the Australian aboriginals came to see her. She asked, “But how did you come to know that…? I have not informed anybody, I have come on a personal visit.”
He said, “I have not come to meet you, I had a vision that Osho or somebody very close to him is coming to Australia. I don’t know who the person is, but this vision was so strong that I had to come and inquire if Osho comes, where he will be. That’s why I have come to the commune of the sannyasins. And if you have come, then my vision was right.”
And when he was told that she is Osho’s secretary, he said, “That’s perfectly good, because my vision was of Osho or someone very intimate with him coming. And I have come from the aboriginals to welcome you.”
He said, “I have been trying to read Osho’s books. I’m not very educated but it seems language does not matter: I understand what he is saying. He wants people to become again aboriginals – innocent, childlike, again reclaiming what you have been forced in every way to lose.”
You have been forced to lose your life.
Life has been condemned in every possible way by all the religions; and when everybody is condemning life – the whole world is full of condemners – what can a small child do? He becomes impressed by all this condemnation.
Just look at the story of the beginning of the world. God said to Adam and Eve, “Don’t eat from the tree of knowledge, and don’t eat from the tree of life.”
He had prohibited two trees. Both are the most significant things in life: wisdom and life – and God denies both. Then you can go on eating all kinds of grass and whatsoever you want. He does not say, “Don’t eat marijuana, don’t drink alcohol.” No, He is not interested in that. Adam and Eve can smoke grass, that is allowed; can make wine from grapes, that is allowed.
Only two things are not allowed: they should not become knowers, they should remain ignorant; and they should not live, they should go on postponing life. And because they disobeyed and ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge…they could not manage to eat the second tree’s fruit, they were caught. After eating the fruit of knowledge they were speeding fast toward the tree of life but they were prevented immediately.
It is natural: anyone who has awareness, consciousness – which are the qualities of wisdom – his first thing will be to go deeper into life, to taste it as much as possible, to connect himself with its center, to be drowned in the mystery of life.
The story does not say it, but the story is not complete. I say to you, they were rushing immediately, because it is absolutely logical: after eating the fruit of knowledge they were rushing toward the tree of life. And that’s why it was so easy for God to catch hold of them; otherwise, in the Garden of Eden there were so many millions of trees, where would He have found them? It would have taken eternity to search: rather than man searching for God, God would have been still searching for man, for where he is.
But I know how things would have happened – they are not told in the story. God, coming to know that they have eaten the fruit of knowledge, must have rushed immediately to the tree of life and waited there knowing that they must be coming. It is such simple logic, no Aristotle is needed.
And certainly they were caught there. Both were rushing, naked, rejoicing, because for the first time their eyes were open. For the first time they were human beings; before this they were only animals among other animals…and God threw them out of the Garden of Eden. Since then, man has been longing for life, more life.
But the priests who represent the God that has driven you out of the Garden of Eden – the popes, the imams, the shankaracharyas, the rabbis, they all represent the same guy.
Strangely enough, nobody says that that guy was your first enemy. On the contrary, they say it was the poor serpent who convinced Eve, “You are being foolish by not eating from the tree of knowledge. God is jealous; He is afraid that if you eat from the tree of knowledge you will become knowledge. And He is afraid that if you eat from the tree of life you will be just like God. Then who is going to worship Him? He is jealous, afraid – that’s why He has prevented you.”
This serpent was humanity’s first friend – but he is condemned. The friend is called the devil, and the enemy is called God. Strange are the ways of the human mind! You should thank the serpent! It is just because of the serpent that you have become what you have become. It is because of disobedience to God that you have attained a certain dignity, a pride of being human, a certain integrity, a certain individuality.
So instead of thanking God, change the phrase. Rather than saying, “Thank God!” say, “Thank the serpent!” It is just due to his courtesy; otherwise why should he have bothered about you? He must have been a very compassionate fellow.
Disobedience is the foundation of a real religious man – disobedience to all priests, to all politicians, to all vested interests.
Only then can you throw the conditioning away. And the moment you are no longer conditioned, you will not ask what the goal of life is. Your whole question will go through a revolution. You will ask, How can I live more totally? How can I drown myself utterly in life? – because life is the goal of everything; hence there can be no goal for life. But you are starved, and except for death there seems to be nothing; life is slipping out of your hands and death is coming closer every moment. You cannot dodge death.
I am reminded of a story, a very famous Sufi story. A king dreamed that a black shadow appeared – even in his dream he freaked out! He said, “Who are you and what is the purpose of being in my dream?”
The shadow said, “I am your death, and tomorrow at sunset we have to meet. I just came to inform you, because you are a busy man. Ordinarily I don’t go to inform people, but you are a king, you are very special, a V.V.I.P. I am afraid perhaps you may not meet me at the right place, you may be engaged somewhere else; then what am I to do? You have to meet me at the right place, right time, remember!”
And before the king could ask, “Where is the right place?”, out of fear his sleep was broken; the shadow disappeared. The time was known, the right time – sunset tomorrow – but where was the place? He tried many times to close his eyes and find the shadow to ask, “Where is the place where I am supposed to meet you?” Not that he wanted to meet death; he wanted to know the place so he could avoid it. But in this whole world, where was that place?
But you cannot continue a dream – this is the difficulty. Once it is broken, however hard you close your eyes, you cannot continue the same dream again.
The king became so afraid that in the middle of the night he called all his wise men, his astrologers, his priests, palmists, prophets, and he said, “You decide where the right place is so I can avoid it.” And they all started looking into their ancient scriptures. Morning came and the sun started rising; and once the sun started rising, the king became more and more afraid, because sunset is the end of sunrise. Sunrise is the beginning of sunset. When there is sunrise, sunset is not far away.
The sun had started moving toward sunset already and those people had not reached any conclusion; on the contrary, they were quarreling so much, arguing about each word of the scriptures. The king said, “I am not interested in your scriptures; you simply tell me where that place is exactly so I can avoid it.”
They said, “Wait. This is not a simple question and we have to consult ancient scriptures. We have to find some precedent, and we have to come to an agreement. The astrologer is saying something, the priest is saying something else. If we give you fifteen answers, what help are they going to be? So let us come to one conclusion.”
The king’s old servant was standing by his side. He whispered in his ear, “I am an old man, and I am not supposed to interfere in this great conference of big shots; I am just a poor servant. But I am old, I am just the same age as your father, and I have brought you up from your very childhood. Just listen to me: these people will never come to any conclusion.
“These people have been arguing for centuries and they have never come to any conclusion. Two philosophers never agree, two prophets never agree, two astrologers never agree. Disagreement is their business, they live on disagreement. So don’t wait. Time is very short. If you listen to me, just take your best horse – and you have such beautiful horses – take the best and run away from this place. At least one thing is certain: you should not be here in this palace, in this city, in this kingdom of yours. You escape anywhere.”
The idea was striking. The king said, “You are right, because these people are not going to settle it before sunset.” He escaped. He took his best horse, and by the evening, when the sun was just going to set, he had crossed the borders of his kingdom and entered another kingdom. He was so happy that he had escaped. Now it was not going to be possible for death to find him.
To rest for the night he went into a garden. He was thanking his horse, because the horse had done really a miraculous job. The whole day he had been running so fast – even the king had never seen him run so fast. He didn’t wait to drink water, he didn’t wait even for a single moment’s rest…as if he understood the urgency.
The king was thanking him, saying, “You saved me. I thank you and I love you and I will reward you. Tomorrow when we go back to the kingdom you will be received with just the same honor as me.”
At that very moment the sun set, and a hand…the king felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked back: it was the old dark shadow he had seen in the night.
The shadow laughed and said, “You should not thank the horse; I should thank the horse. This is the place where I was waiting, and I was wondering whether your horse was going to make it or not. But he did make it. You have really the rarest horse in the world! You have come to the right point at the right time.”
Whatever you are doing you will reach at the right time in the right place to meet death.
Your life is not life because you are not living. So why do you call it life? At least be clear about the meaning of words. Why do you call it life? You are not living, you are simply dying – you have been dying since you were born. Since that moment you have not been doing anything but dying…coming closer and closer to the right place, to the right moment, to meet your death.
Your life is nothing but a slow death.
And who has done this to you? – all your benefactors, the do-gooders, your prophets, your messiahs, your incarnations of God. These are the people who have changed your life into a slow death, and they have been very clever in doing it. A very simple strategy has been used: they say your life is a punishment.
Christians say you are born in original sin. Now, how can you have life? – you are just a sinner. Hence the only way to get to real life is to stop this life which is nothing but sin. Who are your saints? The people who are living at the minimum, they are your saints; the less they are living, the greater they are.
That’s why you never worship a contemporary saint. No, for you, only a dead saint is a real saint. A contemporary saint? – suspicious! You can’t believe in him unless he is not living at all. He may be living in his dreams; he may be living a double life, showing one thing, being something else. You know perfectly well that you are living in the same split way.
Now, just the other day I was reading a news story that one Christian sect has decided that anybody who declares himself a homosexual should not be initiated as a priest. Now what does it mean? It simply means that you have not to declare yourself homosexual and you can be ordained as a priest. No other problem in it!
And in fact homosexuality is a by-product of the monasteries; it is a religious phenomenon. It is truly very religious because in monasteries you have gathered men in one place; no woman can enter there. Women you have gathered in another place; no man can enter there. You have created the situation for homosexuality.
Now these men are not idiots. They will find some way for their biological urge to be fulfilled. That is simple intelligence: if you can’t have one thing to eat you will have to eat something else, you will have to find something. If you can’t have a woman, then what are you supposed to do? You will have a man. If you are a woman and you can’t have a man, then you will have a woman.
Monks in these monasteries were the first homosexuals in the world. Women in these nunneries were the first lesbians in the world. And these people are worried about ordaining…that if a homosexual is ordained…. And why suddenly? – because ten years ago the same sect had declared that everybody is equally acceptable. Anybody who wanted to be ordained as a priest had the right to be ordained as a priest; they forgot to exclude homosexuals. But now after ten years they recognized that some amendment is needed.
Repress anything and it will come up from some other side.
Life is condemned, sex is condemned, having a desire to live comfortably is condemned. To enjoy anything – food, clothes – is condemned. This is cutting your life. Piece by piece life is taken away from you.
In Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram every day at lunch and supper, a certain sauce was served. It was made of a tree called neem, which is the bitterest tree in the whole world: just eat one leaf of it and for hours you will not think of anything else. It is just the bitterest thing. But according to Indian medicine it has more medicinal properties than any other herb, any other tree, any other leaf. Nothing is close to it, it has the most significant medicinal properties.
So Gandhi had five principles for his disciples. One of the principles was tastelessness. Of course he found neem perfectly good. And neem is grown all over India in every town, every city, every village; in fact every house is supposed to have a neem tree, because in Indian medicine the idea is that having a neem tree in the house purifies the air.
I don’t know…because I don’t believe in any kind of nonsense. I have seen people living surrounded by neem trees suffering from all kinds of diseases, so how can I believe that it has medicinal properties? You can have neem anywhere.
Gandhi was the first in the whole history of humanity to make a chutney, a sauce, out of neem leaves, to destroy the taste of food. It was served; and he was not a man like me….
I don’t know where you eat, what you eat; I have never been to your restaurant, to your canteen – and I never will be. But Gandhi was just the opposite type of man. He would sit with all his disciples so he could keep an eye on what they were eating. He was almost like a detective, following and seeing if everybody was taking the neem sauce or not, because people were tricky. They might try to hide or….
One American writer, Louis Fisher, was writing a biography of Gandhi. He went to see him, to live with him for three weeks, to see his ashram with his own eyes. Of course he was a guest, so Gandhi took him with him for lunch, and Fisher was honored to sit by the side of Gandhi. And then came a cup of neem sauce.
He said, “What is this green thing?”
Gandhi said, “This is the best thing in the whole world: the more of it you eat, the healthier and longer you live. I am going to live for one hundred and twenty-five years because of this sauce.”
Fisher was impressed. He tasted it and he said, “My God! If I have to eat this then I don’t want to live one hundred and twenty-five years, because who is going to suffer it for one hundred and twenty-five years? Then I would like to die – the sooner the better.”
But Gandhi was very insistent. He said, “One gets accustomed. If people get accustomed to smoking cigarettes, cigars…. Certainly for the first time when you smoke it is not a pleasant experience. People start drinking all kinds of things – coffee for the first time is not something fantastic. So don’t be worried: in three weeks I will train you – you just go on.”
Louis Fisher could not deny this old sage, by whom he was already impressed; that’s why he had come to write the biography of this man. He could not be disobeyed, but to destroy all of the food…. He thought it better to drink it in one gulp and then enjoy the food, rather than eating them together…. Because an Indian chutney, the sauce, has to be eaten with food; you mix it with bread, with vegetables. You have to eat it, but that destroys the whole thing.
He was more scientific; he said, “It is better in one gulp, and then enjoy the food.” But he never knew that Gandhi was a businessman, he was a Jew. In India the baniya, the businessman, is called the Jew; he is equally cunning, clever. Gandhi was a baniya by his very birth, and he never changed. He remained a baniya, a Jew, his whole life.
When Fisher drank, Gandhi asked the cook, “Bring another cup. Look how much he liked it! – and first he was saying that it is so bitter!”
Now Fisher said, “This won’t work.” One cup he had swallowed somehow; it was all poison. Now the second cup was available. He said, “I will take it only in the end – first let me finish the food; otherwise the third cup will come.” This is the principle of tastelessness. You destroy the taste; otherwise you are enjoying the food.
I was a guest in Gandhi’s ashram. There were so many mosquitoes in the ashram, more mosquitoes than Gandhians. Gandhians were only twenty, mosquitoes must have been twenty million, and just for twenty Gandhians, twenty million mosquitoes…! It is asceticism. And the mosquito net was not allowed in the ashram, it was prohibited; nobody could bring a mosquito net.
Gandhi had his own inventions – I don’t know who gave him the idea that he was a scientist. He continued his whole life inventing all kinds of silly things. He invented the idea that if you paint your face and hands with kerosene oil then mosquitoes won’t bite you – of course, because even mosquitoes are more intelligent. They will not come to the stinking face of a man – because when you paint your face and your hands with kerosene oil….
I told his son, Ramdas, who was my friend, I asked him, “Ramdas, I cannot survive here, I am going; I cannot remain here in the night.”
He said, “Why?”
I said, “This kerosene! If mosquitoes can’t come, how can I sleep? – the smell will be coming to me too. And if even mosquitoes are not so idiotic…. Just forgive me.”
Those twenty poor people were sleeping there with kerosene painted on their face. Sleep was difficult. I inquired…next morning I came back and inquired. They said, “It is difficult, but sooner or later in spite of all the smell, sleep has to come. One day you may go on tossing and turning, next day you may go on tossing and turning…. In the day, sleep is prohibited because that is luxury.”
I said, “If that is luxury, then in the day also I cannot be here. I have to sleep two hours in the day.”
Ramdas said, “This is difficult, because if you sleep here in the day and my father comes to know, of course you won’t be in trouble but I will be in trouble.”
I said, “No need of anybody to be troubled, I simply will go. This is not the place for me. In the day you cannot sleep; in the night those mosquitoes and the kerosene oil will not allow you to sleep.”
This is religious discipline – and this is nothing. If you look in the history of Christian monasteries, Jaina monasteries, Buddhist monasteries, Hindu monasteries you will be simply surprised: it is unbelievable that human beings have been treated in such an inhuman way – in the name of religion. All kinds of stupidities….
A Jaina monk eats only one time a day. He cannot use any kind of utensil – a cup or a plate, no – he has to use only his hands. So whatsoever can come into his two hands, cupped, that’s his whole meal for twenty-four hours. And how much can you hold in your two hands? And he has to eat like an animal because he cannot use his hands; they are holding the food.
The less you live, the more you cut your life, the greater saint you are. The real sages sleep only three hours; sleeping six hours, seven hours, is luxury. It is simply nature, it is not luxury.
It is good that these idiots cannot sermonize to the children in their mothers’ wombs – because they sleep twenty-four hours; they are the greatest sinners in the world. Then out of the womb the child sleeps for twenty-two hours, twenty hours, eighteen hours. That is his biological necessity. In his sleep he grows; his body functions perfectly for growth. And as you become mature, sleep comes to a point…the average is seven hours, but each individual has a different personality, different needs.
Somebody may need eight hours, somebody may need six hours; seven hours is average. And there is no average man on the earth, remember. Average is only in arithmetic, it does not exist in reality. So a person who sleeps eight hours is thought to be a sinner.
Once a young man was brought to me. He was a disciple of a very world-famous sage of India, Swami Shivananda of Rishikesh. Many American fools were interested in Shivananda. In fact, unless you are a fool you cannot be interested in Swami Shivananda. He was a rare being. This young man was brought to me by his father and mother because he was going nuts. Shivananda had told him that three hours’ sleep is enough, more than three hours is a sin: sleep only three hours. So he was sleeping three hours.
Now, a young man needs at least seven hours, average. He may need eight, he may need nine, it depends. But three hours? – impossible. Now, three hours he was sleeping, so the whole day he was feeling sleepy. That is a proof that you are a very dark soul. The word in Indian spirituality is tamasik. Your whole soul is full of darkness, that’s why you are feeling sleepy the whole day; otherwise the day is to be awake.
Now, first you tell a person to sleep three hours in the night; then in the day of course he will feel sleepy. Then his soul is tamasik, full of darkness. Naturally he is going to ask, “What am I to do?” It was suggested that he should change his food; his food must be tamasik. Out of his food, darkness is being produced. He should only live on milk and stop all other food. So he started living only on milk.
Now, it is a simple understanding that except for man no animal in the whole world, after a certain age, drinks milk. All mammals in the beginning live on milk – but only in the beginning. Once they are able to eat solid food, milk is dropped. Milk is for children, it is not for mature beings. It is only man who goes on using milk. That keeps him retarded.
So that boy started drinking milk. Now, it was not enough: he started feeling weak, sick. He inquired again. Shivananda said, “These are all symptoms of your past lives in which you have been committing so many sins, and you have to repent for everything. Now, you start a japa, transcendental meditation. You continue chanting inside, ‘Ram…Ram…Ram…’“ – the name of the Hindu god – “while walking, eating. Whatever you are doing, even talking with somebody, inside you continue, ‘Ram…Ram…Ram….’“
You are not to say it loudly; inside there is to be a continuity. And it becomes possible. If you continue then slowly, slowly you can do other work and you can continue. It is a robot-like, mechanical thing: “Ram…Ram…Ram”; it goes on inside. That is thought to be a great achievement. In fact that is simply making the person schizophrenic, splitting him in two. He is doing one thing, and inside he is doing, “Ram…Ram…Ram….” He is in two.
This boy’s father told me, “Something has to be done because he walks on the street – the truckdriver is honking his horn and he does not listen, he goes on walking ahead of the truck. Someday he will be killed!”
I asked the boy, “What is the matter?”
He said, “Because I am continuously concentrating inside with ‘Ram,’ slowly, slowly that sound, ‘Ram,’ has become so loud in me that I don’t hear anything else. Perhaps a truckdriver was honking the horn but I didn’t hear.” If you are so full inside of your own noise…. You also know many times when you are in a very brooding mood, you may not hear a thing that is going on.
Now this man was continuously in such a state, and his father and mother said, “We are in such trouble. At three o’clock in the night he gets up and starts chanting, ‘Ram…Ram….’ We cannot sleep. He is going nuts – he is driving us also nuts!”
And the boy said, “That is not three o’clock in the night; that is brahmamuhurt.” In India three o’clock in the night is known as the hour of God. All sagely people wake up at three o’clock. “And I am not disturbing anybody, I am simply practicing something sacred; and these people are disturbing me, they are committing sin. Just the way I have committed sin in my past life and I am suffering now, they will suffer in their future life.”
It was so difficult to convince him. I had to keep him with me in my house for four weeks. I told the parents, “Leave him with me, because it will take time. He has been badly damaged, he needs great repair – you leave him with me. And don’t be worried about me, I will not go nuts – I am already! You just forget about it. After four weeks I will bring your child back to you.”
It took four weeks continually hammering him to bring him back to earth. And when he came back to earth, it was almost as if he had been dead and come alive again. He said, “Now I can see what was happening. It was a nightmare!”
But he might have lived in that nightmare and would have become a great sage. All your sages are living in nightmares, and they are preaching to you also to follow them.
Their whole effort is to cut your life as much as possible.
It helps the politician if you are less alive, because then you are less rebellious, more obedient, more conventional, more traditional – you are not a danger.
It helps the priest if you are less alive – for the same reasons.
If you are really alive then you are a danger to everybody, everybody who tries to exploit you, everybody who is a parasite on you. You are going to fight tooth and nail. You would rather die than live like a slave, because even death for a fully alive person is not death; it is the culmination of life. Even dying he goes on living intensely and totally. He is not afraid of death, he is not afraid of anything.
That is what makes all the vested interests afraid of the living person. They have found a very subtle strategy, and the strategy is to give you a goal for your life, that you have to become somebody.
You are already that which existence wanted you to be.
You are not to become anybody.
But they go on saying you have to become Jesus Christ. Why? If Jesus Christ was not to become me, why should I become Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ should be Jesus Christ, I should be myself. But what are all the Christians doing? – trying to imitate Jesus Christ, trying in some way to become Jesus Christ. Hindus are trying to become Krishna; Buddhists are trying to become Buddha. Strange! Nobody is worrying about himself; everybody is trying to become somebody else. That cuts your life completely. Hence I say,
Life has no goal because life is its own goal.
Drop all goals.
Drop the very idea of future.
Forget completely that there is going to be a tomorrow. Collect yourself from every dimension and direction. Be concentrated herenow, and in that single moment you will be able to know life in its eternity. Then the hunger for living, and living forever, will not be there.
Tasting life in a single moment makes you aware that life is eternal. There is no need to desire it, it is already eternal. Death is only an episode which happens many times – perhaps millions of times – but life continues. Death is only a changeover from one house to another house.
Right now there is a case in India in a court, a very beautiful case. A young man – must be nearabout twenty-two or twenty-four – killed an old man of about eighty. The old man was a door-to-door salesman. And there was no enmity between the two; what to say of enmity – they were not even introduced to each other, they were not acquainted with each other, and the young man killed the eighty-year-old man.
In the court the young man said, “In my past life I was the dog of this old man, and he tortured me very much, so much so that finally through his torture I was killed. This was simple revenge. I don’t deny that I have killed him.”
He said, “I can produce evidence” – and he produced two eyewitnesses who said that exactly twenty-four years earlier that old man had a dog; he tortured the dog and the dog was killed through his torture. That coincides with the age of the young man. And they said that it is simple: without any enmity with the old man, without any reason…. They were asked if there was any reason, if there was any conflict, any quarrel: no quarrel, no reason, nothing – suddenly he killed that man. That made it even more solid a case; perhaps it had something to do with his past life.
The judge is puzzled what to do with this man, because if he has just been killed himself, now to punish him, to kill him again, would be too much. In fact the criminal was the old man who was dead, who could be punished. To leave this man unpunished is also dangerous, because then every murderer will start saying, “In my past life…” and might even produce evidence, because evidence is not difficult to find, particularly in India. You bribe anybody and anybody will give evidence.
Perhaps these two witnesses were just paid. Perhaps there was no dog. If these two persons lived in the neighborhood of the man and they knew the old man their whole life, they could say, “We are eyewitnesses: he tortured the dog, he killed the dog.” The age coincides, and the young man had had no problem with the old man. And from the old man’s side nobody has come to say there was any conflict, any antagonism; no proof has been found of any antagonism. Certainly the judge is in a difficulty.
Vivek was asking me, “What would you have done?”
I have not told her what I would have done because I cannot say many things just for the reason that the whole world is full of bigots about everything. Otherwise it is very simple. It has nothing to do with the judge; the man should be given to a hypnotist. The young man should be deeply hypnotized so that he goes below his conscious mind and comes to the unconscious – and then he should be asked. And the truth will be out, because the unconscious mind cannot lie.
That is one great thing about the unconscious mind: it cannot lie. And if the hypnotist is really skillful, he can take the person even deeper than the unconscious, to the collective unconscious. Then everything is crystal-clear, pure truth. It is not a question to be decided in a court; the judge has nothing to do with it.
Whatever he decides will be wrong. I can say it before he decides: whatever he decides will be wrong unless he decides to give that young man to a great hypnotist. And things can be very easily found – the unconscious carries all your past lives and their memories. If there has been such a thing, the unconscious will reveal it, will tell it to you clearly.
Perhaps the man may start barking when he is unconscious. He may make the bark of a dog who is being tortured, and that will be enough proof. Dogs cannot talk, but they can bark, which will be a better proof than talking. If that man in deep hypnosis starts barking, and starts showing all indications of being tortured, of being killed, that will be enough proof of the innocence of the man. He has done nothing. He should be released with honor. But perhaps this will not happen, because people all around the world are so much against hypnotism – which is a very accurate science.
They are so afraid of hypnotism; they think it is something magical, something dangerous, something evil. It is neither evil nor dangerous; it is a simple, deliberate way of putting a man’s conscious mind to sleep and allowing the unconscious to speak. It is going to be, in the future, one of the greatest sciences ever.
But if you are not living now, you will hanker for eternal life.
The last thing I would like to say about it is: you will be born again and again for the simple reason that you are not living. Your desire, which Buddha calls trishna, lust for life, will continue till you live life totally, fully, feel blessed to be alive. Once you are satisfied to your heart’s content, then there is no more getting into another body again.
This is what we call nirvana.
This is what we call moksha.
This is what we call ultimate freedom from all imprisonment.
The body is an imprisonment. Consciousness can be without the body, but because of the desire to live, the consciousness is dragged again and again into a body.
Once you have lived…. And that’s my effort here in my commune, that you should live totally, unafraid. There is no sin, there is no hell, there is no evil: there are only politicians and priests who have to be avoided.
Live totally!
Of course that does not mean to interfere in other people’s lives. A man who knows how to live also feels a tremendous responsibility for other people to live. And when you are living with people, the more nobody is interfered with, the more space there will be for everybody to live. So, remember one thing: don’t interfere in anybody’s life and don’t let anybody interfere in your life either.
This is what makes you my sannyasin.
Live, and let others live – fully.
Help, share, and the desire to live forever will disappear. Then this death will be your last episode, then there will be no more coming back to the body. Then you are free of all imprisonment – and that freedom is life in its utter purity, at its highest peak.
Life itself is its own goal – the goal is intrinsic.
But just listening to me or repeating my words is of no help.
If you understand me then forget my words:
Remember the spirit.
And be totally dedicated to that spirit.
And you will be surprised that even a single moment can give you so much that all the paradises of all the religions become pale compared to it.

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