From Darkness to Light 19

Nineteenth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Darkness to Light by Osho.
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You have said that right and wrong are determined by each society. Is there no universal right and wrong?
There is no possibility of any division between right and wrong on the highest level of universal consciousnesses, for the simple reason that there are no divisions at all. It is one.
In the East, those who have attained universal consciousness are not even willing to say that it is one, because “one” implies two, three, four – the whole infinity of numbers; one is only the beginning. Hence they have used a very strange concept. They say in universal consciousness there is not-two; it is non-dual. To avoid the implications of one they have used a negative: not-two.
The concepts of right and wrong are local, social, cultural. In every society, in different times they had to change their concepts continuously because circumstances change, climates change; then naturally, something that was right becomes wrong, something that was wrong becomes right: Let us take a few examples.
Mohammed married nine women, and he made it a rule for every Mohammedan to marry at least four women. Not to marry four was falling below the Mohammedan concept of right; marrying more was good. A strange thing it appears to us, but it was really right in Mohammed’s time – that was the proportion between men and women in Arabia: four women, one man. The reason for this strange proportion was because men were continually fighting and killing each other, and it was thought unmanly to kill a woman. So women were surviving and men were dying.
When in a society there are four women to one man there is bound to be trouble, great trouble: only one woman is going to get a husband. The other three women are going to sabotage the marriage in every possible way. They will become prostitutes, and there will be so much jealousy and so much conflict…. To avoid this, Mohammed made a moral rule – but it is applicable only in that circumstance.
Now, Mohammedans marrying several wives in other countries are simply stupid, because circumstances have changed. Now even in Arabia the proportion is equal: one man to one woman. It seems that once a certain rule is accepted, people become so much addicted to it they completely forget in what circumstance the rule was made.
It was perfectly okay in Mahavira’s time in India to allow millions of sannyasins to be celibate. It was something not only moral but, they thought, spiritual too. But if you look into the mechanism of the concept it becomes very clear.
In Mahavira’s time women were fewer, men were more. The reason was that many tribes in India in those days used to kill girls when they were born, just to avoid the trouble of raising them and then getting them married. It was such a trouble, because girls could be married only if you gave enough money, land with the girl to the man whom she was going to marry – unless the girl was exceptionally beautiful, which was rarely the case. And people were so poor, they could not afford to have one dozen girls. It was simply impossible for them to manage.
You cannot blame them for killing the girls. It was better than leaving them beggars on the streets, or having them become prostitutes. It was better, but then the problem arose that there were fewer women, more men; hence celibacy was not objected to – on the contrary, it was praised. But if you look into it, there was nothing spiritual in it, nothing moral in it; it was simply certain circumstances….
They wanted many men to remain unmarried. How to manage it? Unless you give celibacy a certain prestige, a higher status than marriage; unless you put it on a holier pedestal, it is impossible for people to remain unmarried. You can’t just say to them, “Women are fewer, men are more; simply look at the figures and remain unmarried. Just do a little service to society.”
You cannot hope that people will be ready to do such a service to society. No, you have to give them some incentive; celibacy was given an incentive. Only the celibate ones would reach heaven. The married people were worldly, ordinary; the celibate ones were other-worldly, spiritual. They were respected, given great honor, worshipped almost like gods.
That continues even today, although the situation has changed. Now in India the proportion is exactly the same. If you allow nature, if you don’t interfere with nature, nature always goes on keeping its balance in every way; it never loses balance. Balance is something very fundamental to existence – in every dimension.
When one hundred girls are born, there are one hundred and ten boys born at the same time, because boys are not so strong as far as resistance against sickness is concerned. Girls are stronger, not in a muscular way but in a very different way. They are more resistant to sickness, to disease, to death.
All over the world it is the same proportion, one hundred and ten boys to one hundred girls, because one hundred girls are going to survive up to the marriageable age, but ten boys will go down the drain. By the time they are marriageable the balance will be regained.
You will be surprised to know that in wartime when many more men die because they go to the front, to the war, naturally the proportion of women becomes higher. But in these two world wars it has been discovered that the birthrate also changes. Nature, in a strange way, keeps the balance. In wartime and after war for a few years fewer girls are born, more boys are born. Afterward, the balance is established again, the same proportion – one hundred girls, one hundred and ten boys.
Celibacy was preached by Buddha, Mahavira, Shankara – all the great teachers of India; and the reason was that it looked right and nobody objected to it because it was serving the society in a very subtle way. But today it is not true.
I said to the Jaina monks, Buddhist bhikkhus, and Hindu sages: “Now celibacy should not be given the same respect; now it is dangerous to go on praising celibacy, because the more you praise celibacy, the more women will remain unmarried. What are they going to do? What is going to happen to their biological instinct? You are forcing them to find some perverted way, something ugly, in the name of your celibacy.”
They said, “We have never thought about celibacy in this way, that it is a social condition.”
I said, “Whether you have thought about it in that way or not, all rights and all wrongs are social by-products.” For example, of all the people in the world only India, a very small minority, is vegetarian, for the simple reason that if the whole world becomes vegetarian we cannot support the existing population; it is impossible. Only very small groups can become vegetarian; the majority will remain non-vegetarian, has to remain non-vegetarian.
Even the small group that becomes vegetarian has to be given great incentives. You are not doing something great, you are just eating vegetables. So what! Eat well, enjoy. I don’t think that just by eating grass you are attaining some spiritual quality, that you will reach paradise just on that merit. That is not something great – but something great is needed to make people go on eating grass their whole life.
If you simply say that it is just an aesthetic value – that’s what I say. My people are vegetarian, but not for any religious or spiritual reason. I am absolutely existential, factual. My people are vegetarian for an aesthetic reason. I cannot conceive somebody eating meat, somebody destroying life for his taste, killing millions of animals every day.
I once met a man, an African, who himself was not a cannibal – but in Africa there are a few small tribes of cannibals still in existence. The tribes go on becoming smaller and smaller because they go on eating their own people. They will disappear.
This man was caught by a cannibal tribe and they were going to eat him. But he happened to have so much money – he told them, “I can give you much money if you spare me.” The money was so much, those poor cannibals could not resist the temptation; they said, “Okay, we can spare you, but we cannot trust you; the money has to arrive first. Our man will go with your letter. The money has to be here and then we will release you.”
So he had to stay three days with them, and while he was with them he had to eat what they were eating; he became a cannibal for three days, because that was the only food. He told me, “I have never tasted anything so delicious. Although I was feeling bad, the food was delicious.” And he inquired of those people, “You eat man – what kind of man, what age of man is most delicious?”
They said, “Small children are the best.” They served him the meat of a small child. And he told me, “Although I don’t want to be known as a cannibal, it is true what they said. I have tasted it.” He was a rich man, had toured the world almost a dozen times, knew many languages, had many industries around the world. He said, “I have to confess that it is true. I have eaten everything that man eats around the globe, the best, but nothing is comparable to the food cannibals eat.”
Now, how can you teach the cannibals not to eat man? They say, “Then you give us something better to eat.” You don’t have anything better to give them, so they have remained cannibals. One tribe was three thousand in number just at the beginning of this century; now they are only three hundred. They have eaten all the rest. If anybody commits a mistake it is enough; they are in search of people who are doing something wrong so they can eat them.
I have heard about a Christian missionary who was trying to change the minds of cannibals, trying to convert them to Christianity. But before you can convert them you have to meet them. So he went to meet them, but those people said, “You just go on saying whatsoever you want to – we are preparing the place to cook you.”
He said, “But I have come to convert you. Have you ever tasted Christianity?”
They said, “No – for the first time we will be tasting! When you are cooked, for the first time we will be tasting Christianity.”
Nobody has been able to convert them and have them drop this cannibalism. Just for the taste, people are eating other people, their own people. People are eating animals; that is not very different – life is life. But I know that it is impossible to keep the whole population of the world on a vegetarian diet unless science helps and provides new ways, means and methods; then it is possible. But the problem is how to convince people that eating non-vegetarian foods is ugly?
People are not so sensitive to beauty, aesthetics, art; they are greedy. They can be ready if you tell them, “You will reach paradise if you drop eating this food; the food that you are eating is going to prevent you from finding eternal bliss.” You have to give them something so big that their desire for taste becomes so small that just out of greed they are ready to change. That’s what religions have been doing.
In India two religions have tried vegetarianism. One is Jainism, which has tried fanatically; the ultimate result was that Jainism remained a small community. The Jaina monk cannot even go outside India to teach because who is going to provide him with vegetarian food? He cannot eat anything non-vegetarian – and the whole world is non-vegetarian. Hence Jainism remained confined to India. Only a few – I think two or three Jaina monks, very daring people – risked their lives and reached to Egypt.
This is the only case in the whole of history – when three Jaina monks tried to contact the outside world. And we know about these three Jaina monks through Pythagoras, because Pythagoras was going to India through Egypt. He met these three Jaina monks in Egypt; he refers to them as Zenosophists. That seems to be a perfectly right translation for a Jaina philosopher – Zenosophist.
It cannot be anybody else because the description was of a Jaina monk. They were nude, and they ate only vegetables and fruits. It was very difficult for them to get food every day because they had to beg – the Jaina monk lives on begging. Sometimes some kind people would provide for them because they would say, “We cannot eat anything else.” So there is only one reference in Pythagoras, that he met three Jaina monks in Egypt; otherwise Jainas have never crossed the boundaries of India, for the simple reason, who is going to provide them with food? How are they going to live?
Buddhists also taught vegetarianism, but when they crossed India’s borders they all became non-vegetarian; they had to, there was no other way to survive.
A small section of Hindus, the highest class of Hindus, brahmins, are vegetarians – but not all brahmins. Kashmiri brahmins are non-vegetarians because they live in a community of Mohammedans: ninety-two percent Mohammedans, eight percent Hindus. It is very difficult for them to survive. They have to be in a certain harmony with the community where they are living. It is such a vast majority, and they have to depend on them for everything. If the Mohammedans simply boycott them they will die.
In Bengal the brahmins don’t eat any meat, but they eat fish, because in Bengal it is difficult to survive without eating fish; fish is the main food – fish and rice. In South India the brahmins eat fish because of the same problem: without fish the food is not enough.
So I cannot say that vegetarianism is something universally right. I am absolutely a non-fanatic person. About nothing am I fanatic. I try to see all the aspects of a thing, and I am utterly liberal, human. I don’t try to make any principle more valuable than humanity itself.
Nothing is above man.
Nothing should be above man.
So all these concepts of right and wrong are social, climatic. For example, in Tibet…. The holy book of the Tibetans says that one bath per year is absolutely necessary. In Tibet even that is a difficult job, and many must be trying to avoid it – even that one bath per year.
In India a person takes two baths every day, and there are people who take three baths every day; I myself used to take three baths every day. When a Tibetan monk was a guest with me, he could not believe it. He said, “You are wasting your whole life in taking baths! Morning, evening, and at night before you go to bed – three times! In Tibet once a year is enough.”
I said, “I know,” because one of my friends, a professor, Doctor Rajbali Pandey, was studying translations from Sanskrit into Tibetan. He was a scholar of Tibetan and Sanskrit, so he was working on this. He went to Tibet. I told him – he was a brahmin – “You are going to be in trouble.” And he was a very orthodox brahmin too: early in the morning, five o’clock, a cold bath; then the prayer, the religious ritual – only then can you take a cup of tea.
He went and came back. He remained only one day in Tibet, although it took him three months coming and going because he had to travel just on horseback. Three months he traveled just to stay one day in Tibet!
I said, “What happened?”
He said, “Even one bath early in the morning, five o’clock, was such an experience that I said, it is better that I leave sooner, because I cannot go against my rules. My dying father took my promise that I would follow all the orthodox rules of my family – that five o’clock bath is the beginning of the day, and that will kill me!”
In Tibet, people don’t change their clothes for years, because there is no dust, no perspiration. The air is as clean as you can imagine. It is the highest country as far as altitude is concerned. It lives in the purest air; no contamination. It is not L.A.! So there is no need either for a bath every day. But the difficulty is that my friend insisted on continuing his idea, which was a by-product of an Indian milieu where there is so much dust and so much perspiration that it is perfectly right to have two baths – one in the morning, one in the evening. And if you can afford it, then three.
This Tibetan guest who was staying with me would not change his clothes.
I said, “You will drive me mad! You stink. This is India, it is not Tibet.”
And their clothes…it is not just one dress, it is layers of dresses – four, five, six, seven layers of dresses. And he wouldn’t take a bath because only one bath is required by his religion. To take a bath every day was going against his religion.
I said, “Nonsense! Your religion simply says you should take one bath at least every year; it does not prohibit you from taking two baths or three baths in a year; it says nothing about it.”
He said, “Because it says nothing about it, that simply means that we are not supposed to do such a thing; otherwise those sages would have said so.”
I said, “Those sages never came to India! And if you want to stay with me you will have to take two baths every day; otherwise get lost!” He preferred to get lost rather than change. People take their local, geographical, social ideas spiritually, which is nonsense.
There is nothing universally right, there is nothing universally wrong. And you should be very clear about it: everything is very relative, relative to many things.
A conscious man tries to change according to the changing situations, conditions, geographies. He should live consciously, not according to fixed rules. He should live in freedom.
You are asking, is there something universally right and wrong?
The man who comes to know the universal, the man who becomes so awakened that he is no longer part of any geography, any body, any mind, he is just pure awareness…. In that state there is nothing right, nothing wrong.
The man of that state will also have to function on lower levels. Hungry, he will have to eat; thirsty, he will have to drink. He will have to live in some kind of society, with some kind of people. The awakened man is very adjustable, infinitely adjustable, because for him there is nothing that prevents him from adjusting. He is free from all conditions, all barriers. The only thing is for him to see what is applicable in this particular case. He does not live according to principles. Only idiots live according to principles, only unconscious people need principles.
It is just like the staff of a blind man. The blind man needs the staff just to grope his way because he does not have eyes. But when you have eyes you can drop the staff.
I have heard – I don’t know whether it is true or not, but it certainly is significant – Jesus cured a blind man who had come with his staff. He was cured, he could see; he thanked Jesus and started going away, still carrying his staff.
Jesus said, “At least leave the staff now with me – you have got your eyes.”
The blind man said, “But without the staff it will be very difficult to find the way.” He had no idea yet – his eyes were so new, he had no idea that now the staff was not needed.
Sariputta, one of Gautam Buddha’s disciples, became enlightened while Buddha was alive, and still continued to follow the old principles that were given to him before his enlightenment. Buddha had to call him and say, “Sariputta, are you mad or something? Now that you are enlightened you don’t need to follow those principles which were given to you when you were unconscious; you can drop them.”
But Sariputta was really a genius, of the same quality as Gautam Buddha. He said, “Master, you are right, I can drop them; but I am not dropping them, for the simple reason that there are millions of unconscious people around me. Seeing me drop them, they will all start dropping them. What about them? To me it is not a problem at all – I am accustomed to all those principles, they are no trouble to me. I know now dropping them makes no difference; carrying them also makes no difference. It is kind of you to bring it to my notice but I was aware of it.”
Buddha conceded the next morning in his discourse to his ten thousand sannyasins: “Sariputta is right. Not that I was wrong – I was worried that after enlightenment, why was he carrying those principles that were given as a substitute for enlightenment? Now he need not carry them, he can simply drop them. He can live now in total freedom on his own. He can live spontaneously.
“So I was concerned and called him, but he has brought something significant to my notice, and I would like you all to remember that what he has said is right. He can drop them, but he is not dropping them out of compassion for all those who are unconscious. Seeing Sariputta dropping them they will think, ‘There is no problem: if Sariputta can drop them, we can drop them.’
“They don’t know that Sariputta is now one of the awakened ones and they are not. So I support Sariputta and I want you to remember this: when you become enlightened, remember all those souls around you who are groping in the dark. Drop anything that is not going to harm the people around you, and with other things there is no problem for you: out of your freedom you can choose to follow them if it is going to help anybody anywhere.”
Sariputta used to go to spread the word of Buddha but wherever he was, five times a day he would bow down in the direction where Buddha was dwelling and he would do his gachchhamis: Buddham sharanam gachchhami ‘I go to the feet of the awakened one.’
Many times he was asked, “Now you are yourself awakened, there is no need for you to go to the feet of another awakened one.”
Sariputta said, “I know there is no need for me, but for you there is need. I am doing this gachchhami not for myself but for you. If I stop it, that will be enough excuse for you to stop. And secondly, I am awakened because of that man; without him I don’t think that in this life it would have happened.
“If you ask him he will say, ‘I have nothing to do with it, because nobody can make anybody else awakened – it is all Sariputta’s own doing.’ And he is right; he has not forced me to be awakened. But just his presence was enough to bring me out of my dreams, nightmares, my sleep. He was not doing anything.”
The master is only a catalytic agent, just like the sunrise in the morning – the birds all around start singing. Not that the sun comes to each bird’s nest and knocks on the door or presses the buzzer and says, “It is time now – get up and sing!”
The flowers start opening, releasing their fragrance – not that they are being told, “It is morning and you have to do it”; the very presence of the sun is a catalytic agent. The sun is not doing anything, but millions of things are happening just by its presence.
The master is exactly that – a catalytic agent. He does nothing, but millions of things happen around him.
They happen because of him but are not caused by him – and the difference is great.
Those things…the people to whom they happen may feel gratitude, are going to feel gratitude, but the master cannot expect gratitude from anybody. It is impossible even to think of it, because he has not done anything. He has not done it, but it has happened to you; and it has happened to you because of him.
From your side gratitude is perfectly right, but from his side to request it, to expect it, is absolutely wrong. Then he is not a master in fact. Then what has happened to you must have happened for some other reason, you were mistaken. Yes, many times it has happened that the master was not a real master but still the disciple became awakened.
A beautiful story is told about Marpa…a Tibetan story. He was with his master – who was not a master at all, just a con man, cheating people, gullible people. Marpa was so innocent that he surrendered himself to this hocus-pocus man. His surrender was total, there was no doubt in his mind; he was just like a small child.
Within just a few days all the other disciples became very angry with Marpa. They told the master, “This man is dangerous; he seems to be a magician of some kind, because he is doing things which are not supposed to be done. He walks on water, he flies from the top of one mountain to the top of another mountain!”
The master said, “This cannot be done, this is against nature. Call Marpa.”
Marpa was called and asked, “How are you doing these things? Are you a magician?”
He said, “No, I do it just by using your name. I take your name and I say, ‘My beloved master, let me pass over this river by walking,’ and I walk! It is just the glory or your name.”
The master was in great difficulty: now what to do? But a natural idea came to his mind: “If he can walk on water taking my name, I can walk, of course, without any doubt.” He tried – and drowned immediately. That man was not authentic, but what had happened to Marpa was authentic. His trust was so total – the transformation came through trust. But naturally he misunderstood and thought that it was coming through the master.
So it has happened many times that there have been wrong masters and right disciples. Vice versa always happens: right masters, wrong disciples! That is universal, that is not something special. But this is possible because the real thing is going to happen inside the disciple; anything can trigger it. The master’s presence triggers it.
And once you have a taste of the universal consciousness, you immediately know there is nothing right, nothing wrong. Hence it has been one of the greatest problems down the centuries – no great masters are similar in their life patterns.
You cannot find people more different from each other than religious masters, because they live out of freedom, knowing nothing is wrong and nothing is right.
I am reminded of a story about Kabir. Kabir was a poor man, a great master. His wife and his son were both in constant trouble because of this strange father, because every day in the morning devotees would come in hundreds. Kabir would sing his songs, would dance. He was not literate, he never gave any sermon, but he danced; he sang – simple songs but of tremendous beauty, of immense depth – and he danced. And the whole gathering sang and danced with him.
And it continued for hours. Then it would be lunchtime and then he would ask everybody, “Please don’t go – first share your poor master’s lunch.” And the wife and the son were in trouble: from where to get food for so many people every day? It was difficult to manage even for the three of them.
The son was also a unique person who became in his own right one day a master. But he was totally different from Kabir, they never agreed on any point. Kabir was so fed up with Kamal that he wrote, “Just because Kamal is born to me, my whole heritage is finished. This son cannot carry the treasures that I am going to give to him.” – because Kamal had his own ways, not agreeing on any point.
Kamal called all this singing and dancing nonsense. He said, “Just sitting silently it can happen – why unnecessarily make so much noise and disturb the neighbors? And I don’t see that for hours you have to dance. In old age…and because of you, other people, old people, are also dancing and getting tired.” He never participated in any dance, he never participated in singing. He said, “There is no need: silence is enough of a song. And sitting silently I know a far more beautiful dance than what you do here.”
A point came that when, again and again they asked Kabir, “You stop requesting people to stay for lunch. We have borrowed from everybody in the town. Now nobody is ready to give us anything because they say, ‘How are you going to return it?’ Now we don’t have anything in the house; you have to stop.”
Kabir said, “That is impossible, because after the dance and the song and such a beautiful rejoicing, not to offer food to people who come to my house for lunch…. No, I cannot do that. Find some way. What kind of son are you? Can’t you just find some way?”
Kamal said, “Now the only way is that I become a thief.”
Kabir said, “Great! Why did you never think of it before?”
This is universal consciousness. Even stealing is not wrong. Even the people who follow Kabir in India – he has a small religion, very small – don’t mention this story. When I was speaking to his followers and I mentioned the story, the high priest whispered in my ear, “Please don’t tell that story because it puts us in great trouble – Kabir saying that stealing is a great idea.”
But Kamal was really an extraordinary man. That’s the meaning of the word kamal. Kamal means extra-ordinary, exceptional. He was not going to be stopped just by Kabir’s outrageous saying: “Great!” He said, “Okay, tonight I go, but you will have to come with me. I will try my best – you try to help me. At least I can bring things out of the house; you can carry them from outside the house to our place. This much you can do.”
Kabir said, “Perfectly good!” So they went into a rich man’s house. From the back Kamal made a hole in the wall, and Kabir was sitting outside, slowly singing his song.
Kamal said, “This is strange. You just stop that song. We are now thieves, we are not saints here.”
Kabir said, “We are the same wherever we are – it doesn’t matter what you are doing. You just do your work and let me do mine. When you bring things, I will carry them. I am old; otherwise I would have come in with you.” So Kamal went in. Still he carried the logic to its very end. He brought things, from the hole – he dropped them outside and told his father, “These are the things….”
He was half leaning out of the hole telling him, “These are the things – you take them.” At that moment the people in the house, the servants, woke up. All this was going on – the breaking of the wall and somebody singing – and when Kamal went inside, Kabir completely forgot where he was. He started dancing and singing so loudly that the people were awakened.
They came and they caught hold of the legs of Kamal – because he was half inside. The story is very strange, cannot be factual. Kamal said, “Father, you take those things. I am caught – those people are holding my legs. You have put me in enough trouble, this is the last – good-bye! Now I am going to be finished in jail.”
Kabir said, “Jail? There is no need to be finished in a jail. I have brought a knife with me.”
Kamal said, “What do you mean?”
He said, “I will cut off your head and take it with me. Nobody will ever know who was the thief!”
Kamal could not believe it. He was thinking that he was carrying the logic to its very end – but this old guy was carrying the logic to the very end! But Kamal was really a man of guts: he said, “Okay, cut off my head.” He was still hoping that this was not going to happen, but Kabir cut off Kamal’s head, and took home the head and the things that Kamal had dropped.
The poor people pulled Kamal in. They found the head missing, and they said, “Now this is a problem. Who is this man?”
One servant said, “As far as I know, I think this is Kabir’s son, Kamal, and the voice that I heard which wakened me was Kabir’s. He must have been outside. But this is strange that he should participate in such an act – he is such a great sage. And his own son…and it seems he has cut off his head and taken it away!”
This servant used to go once in a while into Kabir’s congregation, the devotional meeting that used to happen every morning. He said to the rich man, “Do one thing: tomorrow morning, when Kabir and his followers go to the Ganges to take their morning bath before they start singing and dancing, just on the crossroads hang this body.”
The rich man who owned the house said, “But what is this going to do?” The servant said, “You simply do this – there is no harm,” and the body was hung at the crossroad. As Kabir came dancing, singing, after the bath, Kamal immediately raised his hand and said, “Stop all this nonsense!”
That’s how he was recognized as Kamal – certainly kamal! And they asked Kabir, “Do you recognize him?”
He said, “Of course, because his head is in my house; I cut it off myself.”
The rich man could not believe it. He said, “But you are supposed to be a saint.”
Kabir said, “Not supposed to be – I am! If I was only ‘supposed to be’ a saint then I would not have participated in this act of stealing. And I would not have murdered my own son if I were only ‘supposed to be’ a saint. I am really a saint, and at my peak of consciousness, nothing matters.
“Your money is not your money, so what is wrong in taking it away? Nothing belongs to anybody, so what is wrong in stealing? And this son was going to die sooner or later, so what is wrong in cutting off his head? Death is bound to happen. In my consciousness there is nothing right, nothing wrong.”
The followers of Kabir deny the story. Perhaps after five hundred years I was the first man to start telling it around India, and the followers of Kabir were very angry. They said, “We knew that something like that was there but it has not been written in our records, and nobody ever repeats it because it seems to be so strange – stealing, killing, Kabir participating in it…. What will happen to right and wrong?”
I said to them, “You have to understand that right and wrong belong to the dark valleys of life. They don’t belong to the sunlit peaks of consciousness. Yes, this story is dangerous and difficult and harmful in the dark valleys, but who is insisting that you remain in the dark valleys? Come to the sunlit peaks.
“This is the message of the story: why live in a world which is divided between wrong and right? Why not move to a world of oneness, where nothing is right and nothing is wrong?”
The man of universal consciousness does not follow any principle, but whatsoever he does is right, and whatsoever he avoids is wrong. That is for those who are in the valley. They can try to figure out that what the man of pure consciousness does, that is right; and what he avoids, that is wrong.
He avoids that only for you; for him there is nothing to be avoided. It is just out of compassion that he avoids anything; otherwise for him everything is very simple, undivided, one.
I can understand your question. In your life you will be facing every moment the choice of what to do, what not to do. In the dark world where humanity lives, each moment is a moment of decision: what to do, what not to do. And the trouble is, whatever you do proves to be wrong. Whatever you do you have to repent, for the simple reason that existence is one and undivided. In your unconsciousness you divide it in two, right and wrong. Your division is arbitrary. So what you think is right you do and what you think is wrong you don’t do.
But the wrong is an indivisible part of the right, so sooner or later it will take revenge. You will start feeling guilty about why you did this and not that, why you chose this and not that – perhaps that was right….
In your wavering state you are bound to think, “Perhaps that was right which I have not done.” You can’t be certain about your doing because you are not yet certain of your being.
Being comes first, and once being is realized, all doing is right: it does not matter what you do. But in the dark valleys of unconsciousness, doing is first – and that is your problem.
One thing is right this moment; the next moment the same thing is not right. Then you are split continuously. Yesterday you did something thinking it was right; today you found it was not. Now it cannot be undone, it will hang over you your whole life. And don’t think that if you have done the other thing, things would have been different – no, not at all.
I have seen people who are married and are suffering and continually thinking that if they had chosen to remain unmarried, that would have been right. And I know people who have remained unmarried and are continually worried: perhaps they are missing the real joys of life – it would have been better if they had married. People who have children are constantly harassed by the children. Those who don’t have children are constantly harassed because they don’t have children; they are missing something.
It seems in this world you cannot be in the right place, whatever you do. Whichever way you go you always reach the wrong spot. It looks very strange and weird but it is not, it is very mathematical. Because you are wrong, wherever you go, whatever you do, turns out to be wrong. You cannot do right remaining the way you are.
So my emphasis is not on action. All the religions in the world emphasize action: do the right action.
First be, and then the right action follows of its own accord.

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