From Death to Deathlessness 20

Twentieth Discourse from the series of 40 discourses - From Death to Deathlessness by Osho.
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The scientific vision of objective reality and the subjective experience of existence seem to be two completely separate and unbridgeable dimensions. Is this because of the nature of things, or is it only an illusion of our mind?
The scientific approach to existence and the religious approach have been in the past separate and unbridgeable. The reason was the insistence of old religions on superstitions, belief systems, denial of inquiry and doubt. In fact, there is nothing unbridgeable between science and religion, and there is no separation either. But religion insisted on belief – science cannot accept that.
Belief is covering up your ignorance. It never reveals to you the truth; it only gives you certain dogmas, creeds, and you can create an illusion of knowledge through them. But that knowledge is nothing but a delusion.
Anything based on belief is bogus.
Because religions insisted continuously on belief, and the basic method of science is doubt, the separation happened. And it became unbridgeable. It is unbridgeable if religion does not arise and face the challenge of doubt.
The whole responsibility of the religions has been to keep these two as two.
In my vision, there is only science, with two dimensions. One dimension approaches the outside reality, the other dimension approaches the interior reality. One is objective, the other is subjective. Their methods are not different, their conclusions are not different. Both start from doubt.
Doubt has been condemned so much that you have forgotten the beauty of it, you have forgotten the richness of it.
The child is born not with any belief, but he is born with a very curious, doubting, skeptical consciousness. Doubt is natural, belief is unnatural.
Belief is imposed by the parents, society, the educational systems, religions. All these people are in the service of ignorance, and they have served ignorance for thousands of years. They have kept humanity in darkness, and there was a reason for it: if humanity is in darkness, knows nothing of reality, then it can be exploited easily, enslaved easily, deceived easily, kept poor, dependent. All these things were involved.
The old religions were not concerned with truth. They talked about it, but their concern was how to keep people away from truth. And up to now they have succeeded. But now those religions are all on their deathbed and the sooner they die the better.
Why do you need a belief in the first place? You don’t believe in a roseflower. Nobody asks you, “Do you believe in a roseflower?” You will simply laugh, you will say, “The question of belief does not arise; I know the roseflower.”
Knowledge needs no belief.
But the blind man believes in light, has to; he has no eyes. You will be surprised that the blind man not only believes in light, he also believes in darkness. Ordinarily, people think that a blind man must be living in darkness. That is not true, because to see darkness you need eyes. Without eyes you can neither see light nor can you see darkness. Darkness and light are not two things, but two poles of one reality.
You can define darkness as less light, you can define light as less darkness; the difference is of degree. Our eyes have a certain capacity – very limited. All our senses are very limited. Below that limit you cannot see, above that limit you cannot see. For example, right now thousands of radio waves are passing, but you cannot hear them. You have to use a radio; a mechanism which is more sensitive than your ear can catch those sounds which you cannot catch. The same is true about all the senses.
The blind man is forced to believe in light, is forced to believe in darkness. And his belief keeps him blind. If he was not given the belief, and if he was told that he is blind and needs his eyes to be cured, that he does not need a philosophy, he needs a physician – perhaps he would be able to see. And the moment he sees light, the question of belief does not arise: he knows it.
Any belief indicates your ignorance, your blindness, but gives you a false sense – as if you know.
Just a few days ago the American Scouts leaders rejected one of their best scouts – a fourteen-year-old child, the topmost among all other scouts, winner of many prizes. They were promoting him to a higher post, and he had to fill in a form.
This is one of the basic beliefs of the Scouts: God exists. The boy refused. He said, “I don’t know. And unless I know, how can I say God exists? You are forcing me to lie.”
In the twentieth century in America, the boy is thrown out of the Scouts because he does not believe in God! I don’t see the point. What does God have to do with the Scouts? And why should this be a fundamental for every scout?
I hope that the parents of the child take the case to the court. And if they cannot, then we are ready to take the case to the court for the child, because it is simply inhuman. He was the best cadet, and just a stupid thing…. And on that ground also he is more right than all the leaders of the Scouts who have determined their constitution.
All that he said was, “I don’t know. How can I can say God exists or not? First I have to know.”
Knowledge is punished.
Inquiry is punished.
Darkness, blindness, obedience, are rewarded.
The case must be decided by the Supreme Court of America in the favor of that little boy who has asserted the very birthright of man: to inquire and to find.
And the clause about God, should be removed from the Scouts’ principles.
In the first place God has nothing to do with the Scouts. The Scouts have nothing to do with God. This is an unnecessary hypothesis imposed on children. But behind this whole facade are your politicians, your religious leaders. In a very roundabout way they are forcing on small children the idea of God.
They are afraid, they are very much frightened of inquiry. Why one should be afraid of inquiry? – the answer is clear. He knows perfectly well that it is only a belief. If you inquire deeply, you are not going to find God. If God is a reality, then all the religions should insist on inquiry.
I insist: inquire, meditate, go deeper into yourself. You will find a tremendous reality, but not God. You will find consciousness in its ultimate flowering, eternal. But you will not find an old man with a long beard – and the beard must be by this time really long, miles long; for centuries he has been sitting there. You will not find God.
All religions are frightened of inquiry – that’s why the separation happened. And all the religions have been against science, because sooner or later science is going to prove – it has proved already-that its method of doubt brings you closer to reality. It opens secrets of life; it makes you really intelligent, alert, knowing what the truth is.
But science up to now has remained concerned only with the objective world that surrounds you.
I condemn the religions because they have kept humanity in darkness.
And I condemn the scientists because they are doing such a stupid thing: they are aware of everything, and inquiring about everything in the world except themselves.
The scientist in his lab is the only person who is left out of inquiry. Everything else he inquires about and inquires deeply, without any prejudice. But he forgets who the inquirer is. And is there any inquiry possible without an inquirer? Is there any possibility of observing objective reality without an observer? And that’s what science has been doing for three hundred years.
The religions are criminal, but science has also to take the burden of that crime – not that big, because science is only three hundred years old. But science cannot say anything about the subjective world for or against, because it has not inquired.
Religions have to disappear completely – they are a kind of cancer on the human soul – and science has to extend its inquiry, make it complete. It is only half. You are just looking at the object and forgetting the person who is looking at it.
Science has to grow a new dimension that goes inward. Doubt will be the method for both, so there is no question of bridging. Doubt is the center. From that center you can move into objective reality – that’s what science has been doing up to now. You can move from the same doubt into your interiority, which science has not done up to now. It is guilty of that. And because science was not doing it, it left the subjective world in the hands of religions.
Religions pretend to inquire into the subjective world, the world of consciousness; but it is a pretension, because it starts with a belief. Once you believe in a thing your inquiry is finished. You have already destroyed the question, you have killed the quest. From belief you cannot move into investigation.
Every inquiry, either objective or subjective, needs an open mind – and doubt gives you that tremendous quality of an open mind. Remember – because there is a possibility to be confused – doubt does not mean disbelief, because disbelief is again belief standing on its head.
Karl Marx and his followers, the communists, say there is no God. This is their belief. Neither Karl Marx nor Lenin nor any other communist has ever bothered to inquire whether God really does not exist. They have accepted it in the same way as Christians and Hindus and Mohammedans and Jews have accepted that there is a God.
I don’t make any distinction between the atheist and the theist; they are traveling in the same boat. I don’t make any distinction between a Christian, a Hindu, and a communist.
On the surface there seems to be a great distinction. The communist does not believe in God; religions believe in God. That is very superficial; if you look just a little bit deeper, scratch just a little bit, you will be surprised: belief is as ignorant as disbelief. Both have accepted without any inquiry. Hence I say communism is an atheist religion.
Mohammedans have their Mecca, Jews have their Jerusalem, communists have their Kremlin. And it is very amusing to see a picture of the Kremlin – it looks like a church! Perhaps it was a church before the revolution. It is not made by communists, certainly. It may have been the biggest church in Soviet Russia. They have captured it and they have made it their central office. But the architecture shows simply that it is a church.
Not only the architecture of the Kremlin but the minds of people who are dominating from the Kremlin are exactly the same as the popes, as Ayatollah Khomeinis, as the shankaracharyas – no difference! On the fundamentals they agree. Communists believe in Das Kapital, Christians believe in the Bible, but where is the difference? Those books are different, but the person who believes, the mind who believes, is the same.
Because science has denied – strangely – the very existence of the scientist, it goes on playing games with white rats, experimenting. Strange…why not black rats? There too, the color difference. The Negro rat is bound to be stupid – that is their idea – and the white rat is very intelligent.
I have been to many universities in India, lecturing to the students, to the professors, and I have visited many scientific labs in India. I have always asked them, “Why? At least in India you should not experiment with white rats. Let them experiment in England, in America, but in India…!” And the scientists had no answer to why they are experimenting on the white rat. Just imitators. Strangely, they work on rats, they work on monkeys…from India thousands of monkeys are exported every day to all parts of the world for scientific experimentation.
Hindus are very angry in India, because to them the monkey is a god, and to export their god for scientific experimentation is certainly unacceptable. But India is poor; the government consists of Hindus – they are against exporting the monkeys, but they get such a good price. And they don’t have much to export; they cannot fulfill their own needs.
Monkeys are there in millions, and they serve no purpose. On the contrary, they destroy crops, they destroy fruits, vegetables. Of course, they have to eat too. But there is a movement in India by fanatic Hindus that this export should be stopped.
The scientist goes on working on rats, on monkeys, on everything in the world. He has reached to the molecules, to the atoms, to the electrons. But in all this search, he has forgotten one thing: that he exists too. Without him, the lab is meaningless.
Who is experimenting? Certainly there is a consciousness, a certain awareness, a certain entity with the capacity to observe. This is such a simple fact; but for three hundred years science has not accepted this simple fact.
I find them guilty because, if they had accepted this fact and made it a scientific inquiry, religions would have died long ago. If religions are still in existence science has to accept the responsibility.
To me the very word science explains my approach. Science means knowing. Any knowledge, any knowing, needs three things: an object to know, a subject to know it, and between the subject and the object arises knowing.
If man is not on the earth, trees will be there, rose bushes will be there, but they will not know that they are rose bushes. The clouds will come, but nobody will know that this is the rainy season. The sun will rise, but there will be no sunrise because there will be nobody to describe it.
A knower is the most valuable phenomenon in existence and, because science denied it, religion had absolute freedom to go on insisting on all the old beliefs.
My work is to help all the religions die peacefully.
The area that they have been occupying should be occupied by science. We can keep two names: science for objective reality and religion for subjective reality. But there is no need for two names. It is better to have one name – science – with two dimensions: one moving outward, one moving inward.
Scientific method starts with doubt. It goes on doubting till it comes to a point where doubt is impossible. When it faces reality, doubt falls.
Religions have been repressing doubt. I have not come across a single religious leader who does not have, deep down in him, doubt still alive. All his beliefs may have repressed it, but they cannot destroy it.
You can look into your own mind. You believe in God, but don’t you have a doubt about it? In fact, if you don’t have a doubt, why should you believe? You don’t have the disease, then why are you carrying the whole load of medicines? The belief proves the existence of doubt; and the belief remains only on the surface; it pushes, forces the doubt deeper into your unconscious. But it cannot destroy doubt.
Belief has no power, it is impotent.
Doubt is immense energy.
Belief is already something dead, a corpse. You can carry the corpse as long as you want, but remember, the corpse is an unnecessary burden on you. Soon you will start stinking just like the corpse. And finally the corpse is going to make you also a corpse. It is not good to keep company with the dead. It is dangerous.
Belief has to disappear from all languages. Doubt should be enthroned. Belief should be dethroned.
Doubt immediately bridges the objective and the subjective. They are two poles of the same reality, and doubt is the bridge.
Why do I praise doubt so much? – because it leads you into inquiry, it raises questions, it takes you into new adventures. It never allows you to remain ignorant. It goes on and on moving till you have found the light.
People have asked me again and again, “Do you believe in this? Do you believe in that?” And I have been telling them that this is a nonsense question.
Either I know something or I don’t know.
Belief has no place in my being anywhere.
If I don’t know, then I will try to know – that’s what doubt is, that’s what inquiry is. And if I know, then there is no need to believe; I know it on my own authority. Why should I believe in Jesus Christ or Gautam Buddha? There is no need.
But the strange thing is, Jesus Christ goes on believing in the old prophets. He has no experience of his own. God is his faith, it is not his experience. Mohammed believes in God.
I am simply surprised that these people never thought that belief simply proves you are ignorant, you don’t know. You are simply carrying borrowed knowledge from others. Perhaps they were also carrying borrowed knowledge from somebody else. You cannot find the original source from where the belief arose. It arose, certainly, because it exists all over the world. There must be something in human psychology that has given birth to it.
First, man’s ego does not want to accept ignorance. It wants to pretend to know; and it is very easy too to believe and become a knower.
There is a story in the Upanishads, which contains a few very beautiful existential statements about life.
There was an old seeker of truth; his name was Uddalak. His son was Shvetketu. He sent his son to well-known masters in the country to learn everything that is possible to learn.
The son was learning with one master, then another master. And when he acquired all that was available, with great pride he came back home to say to his father, “I have fulfilled the task.”
Uddalak looked from his window and saw that his son was coming with many scriptures. And he could also see the proud look, the proud walk.
Shvetketu came in and told his father, “I have done it!”
Uddalak must have been a man like me. He asked him, “Have you known yourself?”
Shvetketu said, “But nowhere in all the schools I have been was this part of the syllabus. No – I know everything about medicine, I know everything about language, grammar; I know everything that is taught there. But to know oneself? Even the question is not raised.”
Uddalak said, “Burn those scriptures and go back. Find out who you are, because if you don’t know yourself, what is the value of all the knowledge that you are burdened with? You have missed the central point.”
Shvetketu was very much hurt and shocked, because he had come with so much pride, thinking that his father was going to reward him. Instead, he is condemned, utterly condemned: “You wasted so many of your years. Go back!” Uddalak did not allow him even to rest.
Shvetketu went to the greatest master that he had come across in his search for learning, and told him, “My father has demolished me completely! And he has sent me back for a single thing. He says unless you know yourself, all your knowledge is useless.”
When your own house is in darkness, what is the point of knowing that the whole world is full of stars and light? The light is needed first in your own house.
That master said, “I was afraid of this, because I know your father; in our youth we have been disciples of the same master. I was afraid that this was going to happen. You were going with so much pride, and I know your father – he is not interested in borrowed knowledge. He wants to know himself. He is not interested in beliefs. His only effort all his life has been to come to a certainty, to an experience which is not borrowed, which is his own, authentically his own. I was afraid that this was going to happen to you.”
Shvetketu asked, “Then what am I supposed to do?”
The master said, “All that I knew, I have taught you. As far as knowing oneself, I am as ignorant as you are.
“But I can suggest one thing. I have got one hundred cows in the ashram. You take these cows into the hills, and when they have become one thousand, giving birth to calves…. You remain in the mountains, you forget all knowledge that you have learned. In fact you will not need it there; the cows are not interested in any kind of knowledge. You will not even encounter another human being. Language will not be needed. Grammar and all the subtleties of grammar will be useless.”
Shvetketu asked, “But how is this going to help me to know myself?”
The master said, “You simply go. Help the cows to grow. Take them to fresher fields deeper into the mountains, and wait till they are one thousand. Then you can come. And everything else we will discuss afterward.”
Masters have their own devices. As far as I understand this story, I know the man knew – but it could not be told. He created a situation, a device.
Shvetketu went to the mountains. For a few days the mind went on with all the knowledge that it had gathered, but what use was it? The cows were just munching grass, and Shvetketu was sitting among those one hundred cows waiting for the time when they will become one thousand…. Days passed, months passed. And the story is really beautiful, because Shvetketu forgot everything: knowledge, language, arithmetic. There was no need…by and by everything became useless.
He almost became as innocent as a cow. What else to do? A man is known by his company. Now, if you live for years among cows, just listening to their munching the grass…. He was sitting under the tree taking care of them. They became one thousand.
And here is a beautiful point: one cow spoke to Shvetketu and said, “We have become one thousand, now it is time to get back home. It seems you have forgotten counting too!” And really he had forgotten.
He brought those cows back to the master’s house. Other disciples were also amazed with this experiment. It looked so strange – that to know oneself one has to take one hundred cows into the mountains and wait and wait till they become one thousand!
The disciples looked: the cows were coming. They rushed to the master in the house, and they said, “One thousand cows are coming.”
The master said, “No, one thousand and one.”
The disciple said, “But you had asked for one thousand.”
He said, “Yes, I had, but what about Shvetketu?” He was coming just in the middle of the cows, so innocent, so utterly childlike.
The disciples of the master were very excited, because the master had promised, “When Shvetketu comes, then everything will be discussed. For the time being you do this, and ask the question later.”
Shvetketu came, handed over the cows to the master, and said, “Now can I go? My father must be getting very old, and I don’t want him to die disappointed in me.”
The master said, “But what about those other things we were going to discuss afterward?”
Shvetketu laughed. He said, “Forget all about it! Living with cows, slowly, slowly…there was no other excitement, entertainment. Waiting under trees, sitting under trees doing nothing, slowly, slowly a silence started happening on its own accord. I was not meditating, but meditation was happening to me. And a moment came when all my thoughts disappeared, all my feelings disappeared – just a pure is-ness remained.
“I could not even say, ‘I am,’ because there was no I. Then I knew that the whole grammar was wrong. I does not exist. All that I can express is that I felt and experienced a certain am-ness; not “I am,” but am-ness, a deep existential experience. Now I know what my father wanted me to know, and there is nothing to discuss.”
The master said, “I knew it. If you had come and started asking the same question again, that would mean the device had failed. With my blessings you can go to your father.”
He came back home. The father was really very old; he was waiting for the son. He could see again from the window, and this is what he was expecting – Shvetketu, so humble, so simple; no scriptures, just coming like a cool breeze.
He came into the house. You could expect that he would have declared, “Now I have fulfilled your desire.” No, he simply touched his father’s feet, kissed his father’s feet, tears flowing from his eyes.
The father said, “So, it has happened. Now I can die peacefully. I have fulfilled my duty; I am not leaving behind me an ignorant man full of rubbish knowledge. I am leaving behind me a pure space, a being, alert, aware, knowing himself – which is the greatest knowing in the world.”
Science should open the doors of devices which religions have been keeping closed.
There is a vast universe outside you – infinite. You can go on and on exploring it, there is no end. But there is a bigger universe within you, and so close – just within you! And you can go on exploring it. You will come to know who you are, but that is not the end: that experience goes on deepening infinitely.
A man can be both, and that will be the total man. I have defined the new man in many ways, from different angles.
Let this also be included in the definition of the new man: he will be complete, entire, acquainted with the outside world, acquainted with the inside world.
And the moment you know both, you know they are not two; it is the same energy extending into two polarities. One becomes the object, the other becomes the subject. I would like to call it the science of the inner. And whatever is known as science today, I will call the science of the outer.
But the inner and the outer are two sides of the same coin. The outer cannot exist without the inner, the inner cannot exist without the outer. So there is no separation and there is no question of bridging.
The question has arisen in you because you are thinking of a science which is half and you are thinking of bogus religions, which depend on belief and not on inquiry.
My sannyasins have to be inquirers.
And it should be your only responsibility: to know yourself.
You have been taught so many responsibilities, but not this one. You have been told to be responsible to your parents, to your wife, to your husband, to your children, to the nation, to the church, to humanity, to God. The list is almost endless. But the most fundamental responsibility is not in that list.
I would like to burn that whole list!
You are not responsible to any nation, to any church, to any God.
You are responsible only for one thing, and that is self-knowledge.
And the miracle is, if you can fulfill this responsibility, you will be able to fulfill many responsibilities without any effort.
A man who knows himself will be really loving to his children, to his wife, to his friends. His love will have a totally different flavor. It will not be a mixture of hate, anger, jealousy, lust, love.
If you look at your love you will find it is so many things. And in those so many things your love is polluted, because many of them are against love. Jealousy cannot be part of love. Hate, anger, possessiveness, cannot be part of love.
Love knows no jealousy.
Love knows no possessiveness; on the contrary, love gives freedom.
It is so simple. If I love a person, I will give him absolute freedom. If love cannot give absolute freedom, then who is going to give it? If I see the person whom I love being happy with somebody else, I will be happy in his happiness. Love cannot be jealous, it can only be happy. It knows only one taste, the taste of happiness.
In fulfilling this one responsibility, you will not be resentful of your father, of your mother. Everybody is, because every child has been disciplined against his will, has been forced to go to the school….
When I was in my primary school, my house was very close to the school. So when the school bell would ring, that was the time for me to go into the bathroom. My whole family would be knocking on the door, and I would remain silent, not answering anything.
It was a daily routine that the headmaster used to come to pick me up, because I was not going on my own. He would come, and my father would say, “What to do? Stop ringing the school bell, because the moment you ring it he immediately goes into the bathroom and closes the door. And then it is absolutely pointless because whatever you say he does not answer.”
Finally, the school decided not to ring the bell. The headmaster used to come first to catch hold of me – and then the bell was rung for all the other children.
Every child has to be forced to do many things for his own sake. I am grateful to the headmaster. He was really generous – just for a single student he changed the whole routine of the school.
I am grateful to my parents, their patience with me: the whole family standing before the bathroom and persuading me, “Come out! If you don’t want to go to school, there is no need. We will ask the headmaster to give you leave for today.” But I remained silent.
And I am also grateful because those moments of silence have given me so much. Everybody was shouting and running around – amid that cyclone I was the center, just simply sitting under the shower and enjoying it.
Every child is bound to have some resentment, some repressed anger. But the moment you know yourself, all resentment melts away, all anger disappears, because for the first time you have eyes to see things that you were not able to see before. Now you can see that if your father was dragging you to school he was not against you, he was not your enemy. If he was asking you to come back home, not to go on wandering in the middle of the night, he was not against you; he was taking every care.
In the village where I was born there was a colony of potters, and the potters in India carry their pots on donkeys. That is the only thing in India donkeys are used for. The colony was just near my house and there were so many beautiful donkeys, but they were engaged in carrying things the whole day. They only were free in the night and I was also free, so I would catch hold of a donkey.
Nobody rides on a donkey in India because donkeys are thought to be something untouchable. Riding on a donkey… My whole family was embarrassed because neighbors were telling them, “We have seen your son sitting on a donkey going toward the market. Don’t let him in till he goes to the river and takes a bath.”
My father used to persuade me, “We can arrange to buy a horse for you if you are so interested in riding.”
I said, “I am not interested in horses at all, my interest is in donkeys. They are very philosophical people, unpredictable. A donkey may stop at any point, and whatever you do he will not move. You cannot figure out why he has stopped. And against the common knowledge that donkeys are idiots, my experience is that they are very cunning, clever politicians.”
My father said, “Do you want to write a thesis on donkeys, or what?”
I said, “I can write one, because my experience with donkeys is perhaps more than anybody else’s.”
Riding on a donkey is a difficult job – riding on a horse is not. Donkeys are so cunning they will never go in the middle of the road. They will always go left or right, rubbing your leg against the side of a wall. Naturally, you will jump off. It was so difficult to keep them in the middle of the road – either left or right, but they will never be in the middle.
So I told my father, “Donkeys are rightists, leftists, but they are not Buddhist.” Buddha used to teach his disciples, “Follow the middle way.” Donkeys are the only people Buddha has not been able to convince.
And I don’t think that they are stupid people, because when nobody is riding them, they walk in the middle. They are clever, and on a hot day you can see them standing under a tree. The very face of a donkey is philosophic, as if they are brooding upon great things. Just look at the face of a donkey, and you will always feel that he is thinking too much.
Finally, my family decided that I should not be allowed to enter the kitchen, “Because we don’t know exactly whether you have been riding on a donkey or not.” So I was always sitting outside the kitchen; I was not allowed to enter the kitchen, particularly my grandmother would not… I was an outcast.
Naturally one feels against these people; they are disturbing all your joys. Things in which you are interested, they are not interested; and things in which they are interested, you don’t see any point.
For example, I asked my father, “Why should I read history? Why should I read geography? What is the point of knowing that Ashoka ruled India at a certain time? I don’t see the point. I am not going to rule India, I am not going back to meet Ashoka. He never bothered about me, and I have to read about him!
“And geography – what have I to do with Constantinople? Timbuktu? I am never going there! This is my promise,” I told my father. “I am never going to Constantinople or Timbuktu, so why should I bother about their geography, where they are?”
He said, “Don’t you argue, you simply do what every other child is doing.”
I said, “I will do it, because you are forcing me. But remember that you are creating anger in me, resentfulness. I am helpless, I am weak, I am small. You can do anything, but remember: one day you will be old and I will be young; you will be weak and I will be strong. That day we will settle – and you know my memory is not bad.”
He used to hit his head and say, “What to do with you?! You are a trouble, a continuous pain in the neck. But still, I respect your honesty. No child will say this to his father, ‘In your old age we will settle the account!’ You are honest.”
It is bound to happen. The child wants to eat only ice cream, but the parents know that you will get sick. They have to force you to eat things which nourish you. Now, ice cream is just junk! It tastes good, but taste is not the point.
The moment you come to your own being, a revolution happens in your vision.
Your resentment becomes gratitude.
You even start feeling grateful to your enemies, because whatsoever you are they have also contributed to it. Without them, you would have been somebody else.
Your whole outlook about life goes through a radical change. You start feeling new responsibilities – not as something to be done, not as duty to be fulfilled, but as a joy to do.
My grandfather loved me so much, but about one thing we never agreed. That was that he would do everything for me, but in the night when he would be going to sleep, he wanted me to massage his feet. And that….
I said, “Everything you do for me you can stop, but this massaging your feet I am not going to do. I have never massaged anybody, and I have never allowed anybody to massage me. I am simply against it.”
He would say, “I do everything for you: I protect you from your father, I protect you from your mother, I protect you from your teachers, I protect you from the neighbors – otherwise you would be continuously beaten. And still you cannot do a small thing for me?”
I said, “That is not a small thing. It is a question of principle.”
But after my enlightenment, the first thing I did was massage his feet. He said, “What are you doing?”
I said, “Just please forgive me – I never knew how old you are, how hard you work. Your feet must be hurting. Perhaps you cannot sleep unless somebody gives them a massage.”
“But,” he said, “it was against your principle.”
I said, “That is true, but the man whose principle it was against is no longer alive. He has died with all his principles, with all his ideas. Now you are facing a totally new man. And don’t think that I am doing it as a duty, I simply want to do it out of my happiness.”
And it became such a problem for him. He said, “You will always remain a problem – old or new. Before, you were against massage; now you don’t let me sleep! You go on massaging, and I am saying ‘Stop!’ Now I am falling asleep and you go on massaging. That keeps me awake!”
I said, “That is your problem, but all those twenty-one years that I have refused, I have to compensate for. And you are getting old, any day you may kick the bucket; I don’t want to remain in any kind of debt. So whether you can sleep or not, that is your problem. Learn to sleep! And I am going to compensate completely for twenty-one years of denial.”
He would call my father and say, “Take your son away from here! Now he says he is enlightened – perhaps he is enlightened, but his creating troubles for others continues.”
I said, “Yes, in an enlightened way I will continue. I cannot drop things I have loved. I will do them, but in an enlightened way.”
Since then, I have never done anything out of a sense of duty, out of feeling a responsibility, that it is expected from me. But I have done everything out of my happiness. I have done everything that I felt was coming out of my own sense of love, compassion.
Why am I talking to you? Why have I created a whole worldwide movement of sannyas?
I could have lived silently and peacefully without any trouble from Wasco County, without being in this Big Muddy Ranch. I could have lived somewhere in Kashmir, in the Himalayas, without any trouble.
I have taken on so many troubles unnecessarily.
I have never been in Germany, but there are cases pending in the courts against me. Strange world! I have only flown over Germany. I cannot conceive how, flying over Germany, thousands of feet above, I may have done some wrong so that arrest warrants are waiting for me.
I have never had any bank account, because I always spend the money before I get it. I am very optimistic about it: it will be coming, spend it! So there was no question of having a bank account. But just now, I have been informed that some government agency from America has opened a bank account in Switzerland in my name with my signature – just to put a case against me.
Now, my signature is public. Anybody who knows a little art can copy my signature, it is not private property. I have signed one million names for sannyasins – you can get my signature anywhere, and it is very easy to open an account in my name.
This is a strange world. I was thinking I am the poorest man, but now I have a Swiss bank account! I hope they put a few billion dollars in it, because when you are so generous, then be really generous!
I have lived for these three decades just out of pure love. I have suffered, but without any complaint. Attempts on my life have been made, but I don’t have any grudge against those people who wanted to kill me. I can understand – I have the right vision, I can see. Those people were feeling offended because I was continuously destroying their belief systems, destroying their traditions, their conventions.
I was doing that out of love.
I wanted them to be free from all kinds of garbage that centuries have poured into their being. But they did not think it was garbage, they thought it was treasure. Naturally they were offended and they wanted to kill me, because if this man remains alive, he is going to destroy many people’s treasures. I can understand.
Religions teach you to forgive. I say that is not the right thing to do. To forgive means first you have be offended; otherwise, why are you forgiving?
I have never forgiven anybody, for the simple reason that I have never been offended by anybody. I understand their situation, their problem. I can see deep down in them. They are not doing harm for harm’s sake; they are doing it to save their religion, their culture, their civilization. And of course everybody has a right to save his religion, culture, civilization.
Out of self-realization a great understanding arises. There is no need to forgive. There is no need to make an effort to love your enemy.
I don’t agree with Jesus. He says, “Love your enemy,” but to love your enemy, first you have to accept him as your enemy. My understanding makes the enemy disappear. Whom am I supposed to love now? – the enemy is not there.
Jesus says, “Love your neighbor.” I find myself absolutely alone in this whole crowded world. Nobody is my neighbor, because nobody can trespass my being, nor can I trespass anybody’s being. Every man is an island in himself. I cannot accept the idea that you have to love your neighbor.
And why does Jesus say that? – because nobody loves their neighbors; neighbors are really the worst enemies. Everybody hates the neighbors, is jealous of the neighbors – thinks they are enjoying, are rich, have this, have that – and feels miserable comparing himself with them, feels competitive. And how can you love someone you feel competitive with?
It is a cutthroat, competitive world. Everybody is trying to cut your throat. You may be trying to take the money from somebody else’s pocket, forgetting that somebody else is taking your money from your pocket.
Once George Bernard Shaw was asked, “Can a man just live relaxed, with both of his hands in his pockets?”
Bernard Shaw said, “Yes, but the pockets must be of others. The hands, of course, will be mine, but the pockets must be of others. And then one can live relaxed – there is no problem.”
I love you.
And it is not that I am obliging you.
You need not be even thankful for my love, because my love is its own reward. Instead of you being obliged, I am obliged that you accepted my love and did not reject it. You could have rejected it, you have the right.
Once I knew myself, I knew a totally different meaning of responsibility. It is not a question of duty: it is a question of sharing. You have so much love and so much bliss, you would like to share it.
So I teach only one responsibility, and that is toward yourself. Everything else will follow on its own accord without any effort on your part. And when things happen effortlessly, they have a tremendous beauty to them.
When you love somebody because she is beautiful, your love is not much. Tomorrow the woman will become old, tomorrow she may fall sick, tomorrow she may become ugly. Perhaps an operation has to be done on her nose – what will happen to your love? It was her beautiful nose that had provoked your love. Now that nose is gone, your love will disappear. The woman will become a burden to you.
No, when out of your self-realization love comes, it is not dependent on the object of love. It has nothing to do with the person’s beauty or intelligence or any other talent. You are full of love and you want to share it. And whoever is ready to receive it, you are thankful to the person. It is a gift, and it has no cause in the person to whom you are giving it. You are giving it out of your fullness; you are overflowing.
When your responsibilities are just an overflow of your experience of your being, of your center, of your eternal life, then they have a totally different quality.
I repeat again: I teach you only one responsibility. I have been condemned for that all over the world; they say that I am teaching people selfishness. In a way it is right, but not in the sense they are using the word selfishness. But I am certainly teaching you responsibility toward yourself – if that is selfishness, I accept it as selfishness. But it is not against altruism.
The moment you know your self in its totality, for the first time you will be able to be altruistic, compassionate, loving, kind, helpful. Not that service is your motto….
I used to go to Rotary Clubs to give talks to them, and they had on the table: “Service is our motto.” The first thing I used to do was to throw that off the table. When I did it for the first time, a very beautiful man who was the president of the Rotary Club…. He was a friend of mine and also my doctor, the best doctor in the city. He had invited me, and when I threw that board from the table, he could not believe it.
He said, “What are you doing?”
I said to him, “I am making a place to sit, because I will speak sitting on the table, not standing; that is not my way” – before I started using a chair, I was sitting on tables. “So don’t be worried, I am making space for myself to sit.” And then while I was talking, I made it clear that I am not only making a place for myself to sit, I am making a place for myself to be responsible to myself.
Service should not be a motto. Service should be a sharing, a rejoicing.
You will not serve anybody for any motive – not that by service you will reach heaven, not that by service you will become a saint. If your service is a means to some end, it is simply business, it is not service. And what a bargain! – just serving a few sick people, you will enjoy paradise for eternity. It is almost a lottery!
No, my vision is you share your joy, you share your love, you share your blissfulness. If in that sharing somebody is served, helped – it is not an end, there was no motive. You have enjoyed it already.
When your actions become rewards in themselves, you are really a man alive, awakened.
Science has to accept that it has been neglecting the most important part of existence: human consciousness. And once science starts moving into man’s interiority, religions will start disappearing on their own accord. They will become meaningless.
When knowledge is available, who is going to believe?
When experience is available, who is going to read it in a Bible, in a Koran?
When you have food available to eat, I don’t think you will choose a book on cookery and read it. That you can do later on, or perhaps you may not need to do it.
You have within you the secret key, and now it is science’s responsibility to help you to find the key.
My religion is scientific. That’s why we don’t have any belief system. We have methods, just as science has methods. They explore objects by their methods; we explore our consciousness by our methods.
Our methods are called meditations.
They are absolutely scientific.
No prayer is scientific, because first you have to believe in a God. And only then can you pray, because a prayer has to be addressed.
Meditation is not to be addressed to anybody; it is just a method of digging within yourself.
And you are there! – there is no need to believe that you are. In fact, even if you want to deny, you cannot deny yourself. The very denial will prove your existence.
This is the only thing which is undeniable. Everything else can be denied. Perhaps it is a mirage in the desert, perhaps it is a dream, perhaps you are hallucinating, perhaps you are hypnotized and you are seeing things which are not there.
Everything in the world can be denied, except you.
You are the most fundamental reality – undeniable, indubitable.
And finding it is a scientific experience.
In the coming world, the new humanity, the new man will not have to bother about how to bridge religion and science, how to bring them closer, how to stop them fighting and destroying each other-there is no need.
We are creating a science with the same methodology as all other sciences are created. Once we have established meditation as a scientific method – which is not difficult, everybody can do it…. It does not need a big lab – you are the lab! And nothing else is needed: no tubes and no stoves and no chemicals – nothing is needed.
Everything that you need to know yourself is provided for from your very birth. Just a little one hundred and eighty degree turn….

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