From Misery to Enlightenment 06

Sixth Discourse from the series of 29 discourses - From Misery to Enlightenment by Osho.
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Did you drift away on many points yesterday?
I am constantly drifting away every day. It is something in the very nature of things I am talking about. I cannot help it. With each word spoken, I have so many dimensions available; I have to choose one. Which one I choose makes no difference, the others are left. And then there is no way of coming back to them because each new word will be bringing new implications. So you have to go on reminding me – don’t feel shy about it.
I am reminded of a story because I told you about reminding me…. That’s how I go on drifting! Now what do you say, should I tell it or…? Because if I tell it, then I have gone again. If I don’t tell, then too…. It is better to tell it. Whenever it is a question of doing something or not doing something, it is better to do it.
In a small church, the priest was very much annoyed, disturbed, irritated by an old man who was the most respected member of the congregation. He was the richest man of the town; he had donated so much to the church, and he was always donating to all kinds charities. Of course, he was sitting in front every Sunday, and even before the priest would start speaking he would start dozing away. And if he was only sleeping while the priest was speaking, it would not have been such a big problem. The real problem was, the moment he went to sleep he would start snoring so loudly – and the church was so small and the congregation was so small, there was no loudspeaker even.
And he was snoring just in front of the priest.
But the old man used to come with a young child, his grandson. The priest thought of an idea. After the service was over, he took the little boy aside, and told him, “I will give you half a dollar per Sunday if you go on keeping your old man awake. All that you have to do is, the moment he snores you push him and wake him up.”
He said, “Done – in advance?”
The priest said, “You are as smart as your old man – in advance.”
The little boy said, “In advance – I don’t believe in people. You give me half a dollar and you see: next Sunday I will not let him sleep or snore.”
The next Sunday was really a beautiful day because the boy did not allow his grandfather to sleep or to snore. But the old man was very angry with the boy. After the sermon he said, “What happened to you? Why did you go on waking me up? – you disturbed my whole day. In fact, this is the only time when I sleep, and sleep well. In the night I don’t have that good a sleep – so many thoughts and so many problems…. And here, listening to that idiot – the same sermon, the same monotonous voice – it gives me such a good sleep. I have tried all medicines and nothing works like him.
“What happened to you? You have always been sitting silently, but today you went on poking me and waking me up.”
His grandson said, “Business is business.”
The old man asked, “What business?”
He said, “The priest has given me half a dollar in advance and today I am going to take another half dollar for the next one, because I believe in payment in advance.”
The old man said, “Don’t be worried: I will give you one dollar, and I will give it in advance.” The boy took one dollar from the old man and the old man said, “You just sit silently as you used to sit before and don’t disturb me. It is not costly; this good sleep for one dollar I can afford.”
The priest was very puzzled. The next Sunday, many times he looked at the boy and even indicated to him to do something, but the boy simply said, No, and the old man went on snoring. He really snored better than ever because one Sunday he had missed – just compensation.
After the service, the priest called the boy and said, “You are a cheat. You took the advance payment but still you were sitting silently; and that old man went on snoring and disturbing my sermon and everybody else. Nobody could listen because of his snoring.”
The boy said, “Business is business.”
The priest said, “What business?”
He said, “The old man has given me one dollar in advance, and he is going to give me one dollar per Sunday. If you are interested, then the rate will be higher now.”
The priest said, “I am a poor priest, I cannot compete with that old man, because how much can I give to you? He will always be giving more. It is better I should talk to the old man.”
He went to the old man and he said, “This boy is cheating us both. It is better to be clear about it: you are disturbing my sermon.”
The old man said, “Your sermon is just meaningless – you are disturbing my sleep. Which is more costly? – your sermon or my sleep. I wait seven days for your sermon in church on Sunday mornings. This makes me refreshed. And you are trying to sabotage it through my own grandchild. And as far as I am concerned, I am going to sleep.”
The priest said, “You can sleep, we have no objection; in fact many other people sleep also. But they have also objected, not to your sleep but your snoring because that wakes them up. And you have such a great snore.”
The old man said, “I can’t help it, because when I am asleep what can I do about snoring? If I am awake I can stop it, but when I am awake it doesn’t happen – it happens only when I am asleep. But you can’t expect an asleep man to do something about snoring. I am helpless. So please continue as we have continued before.”
I am also helpless. I know perfectly well that many things are being left out, but there is no other way. This is the problem of language. Language is linear, and existence is multidimensional. If I were only a thinker I would not be drifting at all because thinking is linear, just like language. Thinking is in language, in words. So the words move in a row – it can be miles long but it is linear.
But existence is multidimensional. From each point…as if it is a sun with millions of rays moving toward infinity. Each ray can lead you to infinity, but if you choose one, of course you have to leave others; and you can choose only one. You cannot even ride on two horses, what to say about two dimensions? You cannot ride on two boats, what to say about two dimensions? – because they are going to diverge more and more, more and more; as you go further, there will be an infinite unbridgeable gap between them. At the source they are one. From there you can choose any one, but once you have chosen a line then others are dropped.
I have been drifting my whole life. You have to be alert. And if you can remind me that somewhere I have drifted, I can catch hold of a dimension that has been left behind. But you should not expect that I will stop drifting, because in catching hold of the other dimension, again I will be leaving many more.
On each step there is a problem of choosing, because I am an existential person, I am not a thinker. It is not a logical syllogism that I am propounding to you. It is my experience that I am trying to share with you – and experience is so vast that I can only show you a little part of it. But you are always welcome to remind me. Yes, I remember I had drifted on many points; perhaps a few I can manage to catch back again.
One was religion – religion at the lowest level of mankind, the instinctive level. All primitive tribes, aboriginals, are still living under that first kind of religion, which theologians call “magic.”
It believes that if you sacrifice to a god, if you do a certain ritual, a certain dance, a certain prayer, then the god is satisfied with you and reward will be coming. For example, when it is not raining – these are the problems of primitive people – when it is not raining, what will the primitive tribe do? It will arrange a ritual, perhaps a sacrifice of a living human being – their god is very bloodthirsty. Or, if the tribe has evolved a little, then instead of a man it will choose an animal. If the tribe has evolved a little more then it will choose not even an animal, not even a man, but something similar.
Now, for example, in India they break a coconut. The coconut is very similar to the skull of a man. It has a little beard, a mustache, two eyes, a little nose. In fact, in Hindi the skull is called khopri and the narial ‘a coconut’ is called khopra. The similarity is so much that both have the same name. Breaking a skull was the ritual originally, but now it would be criminal. They have found a good substitute, a coconut, but the idea is the same.
They think whatever makes them feel pleasure also makes their god feel pleasure in the same way. A naked, beautiful girl will be placed before the god, all kinds of foods will be prepared and placed before the god, and they will go into a mad dance: it is a way of pleasing the god.
God is displeased, that’s why rains are not coming. If he is pleased, rains will be coming – and rains, sooner or later, do come; then their ritual is proved valid, the rains have come. Once in a while it happens that rains don’t come at all. Then the god is really very badly displeased and needs more sacrifice, more ritual.
This is the lowest kind of religion – call it magic-religion – the belief that just by chanting a few words, doing a few actions, you can change the course of existence. It is simply stupid. Existence has no need of your sacrifices, existence has no need of your dances – and nothing reaches to existence. But the instinctive man, the primitive man, cannot do more than that. That is the limit of his understanding.
That primitive man has not died completely, even in so-called civilized people. You also think in the same logic. You don’t sacrifice somebody, but even civilized people, cultured, educated people, when they are in a difficulty, immediately their primitive man comes up. Your wife is sick and the doctors say, “All that we could do, we have done. Now only a miracle can save her.” Even the doctor is becoming primitive.
He is telling you, “Only a miracle, only something magical…. Medicine has failed, science had failed; whatever we could do, we have done. Now if she is saved it will be through the grace of God or the grace of a saint, so now you go to the temple, to the mosque, to the synagogue, to the church, or go to some priest or go to some sage.” The doctor has fallen into primitive religion.
And the man, of course, is absolutely willing to go anywhere, to do anything, because he wants to save his wife. This is not the time for him to think over philosophical matters – whether it is right or wrong, whether it is primitive or civilized, whether it is stupid or intelligent. This is not the time. He runs! He had never been to a saint but now he goes and falls at his feet and prays, “Save my wife!”
The primitive man is still within you because the unconscious is still within you. The primitive man disappears only with the disappearance of the unconscious. When your unconscious and conscious become one, your whole mind becomes consciousness; then there is no way to fall back to the primitive man. Otherwise, nine times more than the civilized man is the primitive man inside you. Any time your conscious mind starts failing, your intellect starts failing, you fall into the mumbo-jumbo of the primitive.
Religion of the intellect – the second category, the higher category – is pseudo-religion. Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Mohammedanism – these are all products of the intellect. They are not magico-religious. They have theologies: they have thought about existence, its creation, why it has been created; how one can get out of this wheel of life and birth. They have been thinking about it, pondering over it for thousands of years, and each religion has developed a theology.
The word theology means logic about God. It is a contradiction in terms. God is not a logical proposition: you cannot prove it by logic, you cannot disprove it by logic. Logic is utterly irrelevant to God. But pseudo-religions cannot do more than that, they can only think about. And they have great imagination to portray God. Their scriptures say God created man in his own image. The reality is just the reverse: man creates God in his own image. That’s why there are so many gods – because there are so many men, so many races, so many different faces – eyes, nose…so many different kinds.
You cannot think of a Negro inventing a white god. You may not have thought about why your devil looks like a Negro, why your devil is black. The Negro’s god will be black; and of course the devil has to be pure white. And the white man has proved devilish enough. The Negroes have not only an argument in favor of it, but history also, giving all the evidences of what the white man has done to the colored people of the world. It must have been the greatest evil that has happened in history.
How can a Chinese think of God in any other way than as a Chinese? When Marco Polo went to China, he was the first Western man to reach China. China was under the great empire of Kublai Khan, son of Genghis Khan. Perhaps Kublai was one of the greatest emperors in the world because he ruled over all China, middle Asia, the Far East.
When Marco Polo reached China, he wanted an audience. Kublai Khan was a man of great intelligence. His prime minister said, “A man who looks like a monkey wants to see you. It will be absolutely unprecedented – no emperor has ever given audience to a monkey.” A white man looked like a monkey to them.
Kublai Khan said, “No need to be worried. If he can speak he cannot be absolutely a monkey; there is something human. You bring him in.” And he became interested in Marco Polo. Marco Polo was a very intelligent young man, and he became very intimate with Kublai Khan. When he came back to Europe he reported to the pope, “In China they worship a different God, who looks like a Chinese, and they think of us Europeans as monkeys.”
To us they look a little strange. They have a very little beard – a few hairs, you can count them – flat noses, very outstanding cheekbones. You cannot think of a more ugly face – but they think that is beauty. A man or a woman who does not have those outstanding cheekbones will find it hard to get married; so would a man with a nose that is typical of the Aryan races: Indians, Germans, English, French, Scandinavians, Dutch, Russians…. These are all one race, and to them a pointed nose, a long nose, is thought to be beautiful. But in China that is ugly; and they cannot make their God ugly.
Marco Polo said, “This makes me think that perhaps we are all imagining about God. Nobody knows how he looks.”
The pope was very angry and he said, “You must be imagining things. You are creating a fiction so that you can be thought of as a great explorer of a new land. I cannot believe that anything bigger than Christianity exists anywhere.”
Marco Polo said, “Buddhism is far bigger; it has millions of monks, thousands of temples and monasteries. Beside it your Christianity is nothing.” But he was alone. What proof did he have? He had brought a few things which were taken away from him and burned to destroy the evidence.
This is the pseudo-religious mind. The pseudo-religious mind believes in its own imagination, in its own thinking, and is afraid of anything that goes against it or is even a little different from it. Otherwise, religions would not have been fighting for thousands of years.
This is something strange: all religions teach love, and all religions end in hatred. All religions teach the brotherhood of man, but they only create enemies of each other.
All religions teach that every man has a potential right to reach God, but practically they say: Only our religion is the true religion. Yes, every man can reach God but he has to reach through our way: Unless you follow Jesus Christ you have no chance. But the same is said by Krishna: “If you surrender to me, leaving everything aside, I will take care of you, you need not worry.” And the same is true about all other religions. They seem to be competing shopkeepers – everybody is trying to sell his thing: his holy book, his messiah, his god.
Pseudo-religion is always basically afraid, because deep down the pseudo-religious person knows that it is only his imagination, he has no actual experience. He himself is not convinced; hence, he needs to convince others. He goes on sending missionaries to other countries to convince, convert more and more people into Christianity, into Mohammedanism. Why? Why this great urge to convert? Psychologically it is of tremendous importance to understand.
The person who wants to convert anybody is a person who is suspicious of his truth. He is really trying, by converting people, to convince himself that he is right. If he can convert so many people that gives him enough support: “So many people cannot be fools. I may be a fool but so many people cannot be fools. Such intelligent people…and they have come to believe in my belief My belief is bound to be true.”
Christianity seems to be the most bogus of all religions because it is more interested in converting people than any other religion. In fact, Judaism and Hinduism, which are the two ancientmost religions, are not interested in converting anybody. You have to understand the psychology of it.
Why are Jews not interested in sending missionaries and converting people to Judaism? A Jew is born, not converted. Have you seen any converted Jew anywhere? It is simply absurd. Jews will not take anybody through conversion. If God has not made you a Jew then there is no other way; they are the chosen people of God. By converting all kinds of rubbish, can you improve upon God’s choice? If God has not made you a Jew that means that you are not meant to be a Jew; you are already rejected. So for thousands of years they have never thought about converting people into Jews.
The Hindus have the same idea – that they are the only people to whom God has chosen to give the first holy book in the world. Certainly their Rig Veda is the ancientmost scripture in the world and certainly it is the scripture of the most ancient religion. They have four castes: the brahmin, the priest; the kshatriya, the warrior; the vaishya, the business man; and the sudra, the untouchable. Now, it was a problem: how could they convert anybody? And in which caste were they going to put him?
Hinduism is not one piece, it is four castes. The brahmin is the highest. You cannot convert anybody into a brahmin. He represents God, hence the name. The name of God in India is Brahma, and brahmin means one chosen by Brahma, appointed by God himself. There is no way for anybody to become a brahmin. It is decided by birth, because birth is decided by God, it is not in man’s hands to decide such things.
Now, the kshatriya also will not allow anybody in. He is the second most important, and it is a traditional thing for him to be a warrior; just anybody – X, Y, Z – cannot be a warrior. It needs a long tradition, training. You have to have the blood of a warrior, you cannot be converted.
The only people who can absorb you are the untouchables. The business people are the third, but they are higher than the untouchables. Only the untouchables can absorb you, but without the permission of the brahmin they cannot do anything. Conversion – such a religious phenomenon – is beyond their capacity. They are outcasts themselves.
Hindus and Jews are born so. That’s why both these religions are the most egoistic. Naturally, other religions have to rely on conversions, otherwise from where are they going to get their customers, their clients? God has made Jews, God has made Hindus; now the whole world is divided into two chosen people of God. From where is Jesus going to get his people? From where is Buddha going to get his people? They had to depend on conversion. From where is Mohammed going to get Mohammedans?
These are latecomers. The old shops have credibility; they are already established, and established by God himself. These others are newcomers in the market. Naturally they have to attract clients from the old shops; otherwise no customer is going to come to them. And they have to create new allurements, cheaper prices, better reward. And you can see that….
The god of the Jews is a very tough guy. But the god of Christians is pure love. You don’t know…it is such a simple mathematics: the god of the Jews can be a tough guy, but Jesus has to convert people, so he has to create a better image of God, more polished, more refined, more humane, so he can make the Jewish god outdated.
Whom is he going to convert? Rich people certainly are not going to be converted because they are already established, respectable, on the highest level of the society. They are not going to follow a vagabond. They are not going to become a laughingstock – for what? Hence all those beatitudes of Jesus: “Blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the kingdom of God…” because you can only get hold of the poor. The poor are already angry, jealous of the rich, and here comes a man who says, “My God is love. And my God allows only poor people in heaven; rich people have no place there.”
This is simple business tactics – nothing profound in it. But nobody has bothered to watch how new religions have tried to pull customers from the old shops to their own shop. They are all in favor of the poor. Strange – Jews don’t have a single statement in which the rich are condemned and the poor are raised high just because of their poverty. Jews have not a single statement in which poverty is something sacred; Hindus also don’t.
The rich man, according to Hinduism, is rich because he has been religious, virtuous, in his past lives. It is a reward from God. And the poor man is poor because he has been evil, unreligious, in his past lives. He has been punished for it. Poverty is a punishment, richness is a reward. Hindus or Jews, who are established already – why should they bother about the poor and the downtrodden? But Buddha, Jesus, Mahavira, Mohammed – their whole interest is in the poor, the downtrodden.
It is a simple thing: these are the people who can be converted, these are the people who are vulnerable. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain. For example, if a sudra becomes a follower of Buddha, immediately he is no longer untouchable. If a sudra becomes a Christian he is no longer untouchable. This is a very strange world.
I had a friend who was the principal of a theological college in Jabalpur, Principal Mackwan. I was saying this thing to him – “Why are you Christians interested only in the poor?”
He said, “Please come to my house” – I was sitting in his office. He said, “My house is just behind the college; come to my house; I want to show you something.”
He showed me an old man and woman’s picture. They were certainly beggars, in rags, dirty; you could even see it in their faces – so hungry. You could see that all their lives they had suffered; it was written in the lines on their forehead. He said, “Can you recognize who these are?”
I said, “How can I recognize them? – I have never seen these people, but they look like beggars.”
He said, “They were beggars. He is my father, she is my mother. And not only were they beggars, they were sudras, untouchables. They became converted, in their old age, to Christianity because they were so old, tired of begging; and now they were concerned about their children – particularly this boy who is now principal of Leonard Theological College. What would happen to him if they died? He would also become a beggar.”
Because they were sick they entered a Christian hospital, because no other hospital will take poor people and give them free medicine, food, care, doctors. So they entered, they had to enter, a Christian hospital. And there the whole methodology is: with the medicine to go on giving as much of The Bible as possible; with each injection a little Bible. With food, the doctor talks about it, the nurse talks about it; the priest comes every day to inquire about their health, how they are.
For the first time they felt that they were human beings. Nobody had ever asked them about their health. They were treated like dogs, not like human beings. And had they remained Hindus they would have died like dogs, dying on the street corner. You don’t know, because that is not the way in the West. In the West, dogs have a better death, a better life, because any dog who is not owned by somebody is to be killed. The dog has to be owned by somebody, a collar proclaiming the ownership. But in the East you cannot kill anybody. There may be a dog spreading sickness and disease, but you cannot kill it – killing is sin.
It happened…. I am drifting – just remember!
In Lucknow there is a temple of Hanuman, the monkey god. Strangely enough that temple is surrounded by big trees, and all the trees are full of monkeys – you will never see so many monkeys together. Perhaps it is for the simple reason that whatsoever is offered to the monkey god those monkeys eat, so by and by they have become permanent residents there. And the temple has such fame that people come to it from far and wide, from faraway places because it is thought that whatever you wish there it will be fulfilled. So they wish something and they take the oath before the monkey god that: “If our wish is fulfilled then we are going to bring fifty-one rupees worth of sweets” – or anything they want to bring, or whatsoever they can afford.
So every day so much food is being offered – and it is not anything to do with the monkey god. If a hundred people come to ask, at least one-third of them – just by simple arithmetical rules – one-third of them are going to get their wishes fulfilled. Even if they had not come they would not have been losers, but now they believe that the wish has been fulfilled because of the monkey god. The two-thirds whose wishes have not been fulfilled have moved to some other temple – naturally, because this monkey god does not seem to be kind toward them.
You cannot ask any reason or anything, but it is sure that your wish is not fulfilled, so you move to some other temple. And there are hundreds of temples in India with wish-fulfilling trees. You just go and ask…and you just have to give a small bribe. But the one-third of the people whose wishes have been fulfilled…. And what kind of wishes people make: “That my son passes in his matriculation examination; or “That my son gets the job he has applied for”; or “That my daughter gets a husband because I don’t have much money to give”; or “My wife is sick, please make her healthy again”…just simple, mundane, human trivia.
They are not asking for some miracles, “That when I pass through the ocean it should separate like it did for Moses.” Then they would know whether the monkey god can do anything or not. But that your son passes his matriculation…and thousands of people are passing matriculation without the help of the monkey god. In fact the monkey god was not a matriculate himself! And even if he does the examination, he is not going to pass; you cannot hope he will pass.
But these people feel that their wishes are fulfilled so they bring…. So monkeys have slowly gathered – the whole road, on both sides, is full of monkeys. And for a strange reason, monkeys and dogs are all against uniforms. Perhaps in their past lives they have been revolutionaries: any kind of uniform – postmen in India have a uniform, the policeman has a uniform, the army, the sannyasins…. Anybody in a uniform, and dogs and, monkeys are against them.
Perhaps seeing so many people in different clothes different styles, and then suddenly seeing somebody in uniform, they feel a danger: “This man does not look like a man, something is wrong somewhere”…and they are on the attack. It is not the discovery of Machiavelli that attack is the best way to defend, that if you want to defend yourself, then attack. Don’t wait for the other party to attack, because then you will be already late in defending. Don’t give them that chance.
So monkeys and dogs attack uniformed people. It is simply my feeling that they are afraid; these people look a little strange, not just like other human beings. Millions of human beings are there, and they are not attacking them. And they don’t attack these people either if they are not in uniform; they attack the uniform. The uniform gives them some idea that something is fishy about this man.
So it started at the temple that the monkeys began to attack policemen, postmen, army people…and the monkeys were in thousands. Perhaps somebody had triggered their anger; nobody knows how it started, because they have been there for hundreds of years, many generations. The temple is very ancient and they had never done this, but just ten years ago, one day suddenly a riot broke out between monkeys and all uniformed people.
It became very dangerous because so many monkeys…even one monkey is enough for you to freak out, but when many monkeys, hundreds, are just roaming on the road…. The road was blocked, nobody was passing on the road. It was a main road, so Lucknow was divided into two parts; the monkeys wouldn’t allow anybody to cross.
It became a question in the assembly of the state of Uttar Pradesh – Lucknow is the capital – that “these monkeys have to be shot. They have disturbed the peace of the capital. People cannot go to the other side, people cannot come to this side. Offices are closed because many people live on that side; many offices are on that side and people live on this side. Somebody who had gone to that side for some work had been detained, he could not come back here. Something has to be done immediately.”
One man stood up and he said, “If a single monkey is shot then there is going to be great bloodshed, be cause the monkey is a Hindu god: you are shooting a Hindu god. It will not be tolerated.” He was a Hindu chauvinist belonging to a Hindu chauvinist party. And although the whole parliament was privately in favor of their being shot – what else could be done? – the resolution had to fail because they knew that what this man was saying was going to happen. Immediately there would be a massacre.
And that’s what they want: all politicians want some trouble somewhere, because only then are they needed. If everything goes right, if there is no news, nothing is going wrong, the politicians start feeling lost.
I have not been in India for four years now. Now the journalists are missing me. Strange people! – they were all against me; when I was there, they were all against me. They were writing against me, not even bothering whether it was true or untrue; ninety percent of it was absolutely untrue. They were writing it but it was news, sellable news. Now they are missing me because the news that they were making around me they cannot make any longer, and there is nobody to replace me.
Journalists, politicians – these types of people are in search of some spot which can become dangerous, some man who can prove dangerous, some situation which can become a problem. Then they will all try to make it a problem as quickly as possible.
The resolution could not pass; for almost two weeks the road remained blocked. Monkeys don’t have long memories; they must have forgotten and they cooled down slowly slowly. First the devotees started coming with sweets and offering the sweet to the monkey god, and then the traffic started again….
But you cannot kill. You cannot kill dogs; killing is not allowed. But these religions have been killing each other. They cannot kill a dog, they cannot kill a monkey, but they can kill a man. That is very strange. I have been asking Hindus, Mohammedans, “You cannot kill animals but you can kill men without any problem, as if man has no life?” No, the thing is business. Man can be converted to be a Mohammedan – a dog cannot be. Dogs are beyond the reach of your preachers and missionaries.
Professor Mackwan told me, “This is my father and mother. They would have died like dogs and the municipal truck would have thrown them out of the city with all the garbage that it carries every day, because there is nobody to carry a beggar to the funeral pyre. Who bothers about a beggar? Beggars are not men, not human beings.”
And then he took me to another picture of his daughter and his son-in-law. I was looking at three generations: the father and mother, almost below human beings; Mackwan, who has gained status and is now in a very respectable post, highly salaried. Now brahmins come and shake hands with him, not knowing at all that he is the son of two beggars who were sudras. I know his daughter, one of the most beautiful women I have seen; she is married to an American.
Looking at the three generations…such a change. You cannot connect the daughter with the grandmother and how can you connect the son-in-law with her grandfather? There seems to be no bridge. The son-in-law is a well-known scholar, professor – six months teaching in India, six months teaching in America. Saroj, the daughter herself is a professor. They are all well-educated; the son is a principal. They have moved in a completely different direction by being converted to Christianity. I could not object. I said, “Your father and mother did well.”
Hindus and Jews are established. Christians, Mohammedans, Buddhists are not established. They try to convert people; but in their conversion, deep down what is going on? The established religion has a past to support, thousands of years of past, which means millions of people have been on the path; you are not alone. But when you follow Jesus you know only that this guy has got these fantastic ideas. Who knows? – you are following a fool or really a son of God? He can be either this or that; there is no third alternative. Either he is a perfect idiot….
In fact Fyodor Dostoevsky has written a book, The Idiot; that is the title of his book. But the idiot, the character, is almost Jesus-like: very innocent, simple, who has never done any harm to anybody. In fact, he is better than Jesus. But Dostoevsky has titled the book The Idiot.
Jesus needs converted people. He himself may be feeling shaky about what he is saying and about whether it is true or not. In fact, why did he want Jews to accept him, his messiah-hood? Why was he so insistent that they had to crucify him? He must have nagged them, tortured them with the idea. They must have got so fed up that they decided, “This man won’t leave us in peace – he has to be crucified, otherwise he will go on torturing us.”
And he was getting more and more fanatic. He started calling the great temple of the Jews, “my Father’s house,” and “…I have come to clean my Father’s house.” And he really wanted to clean it of all the priests and all the rabbis: What is the need of all these people when the only begotten son is there? He
I had become a nuisance. He must have been thinking in some silent moment, “Perhaps I am just mad. I have not been able to convince a single rabbi.”
In fact, I have never tried to convert anybody, but there are a few rabbi sannyasins. That is strange! And not ordinary rabbis, famous rabbis. And I have not been in any way trying to convert anybody because I don’t have any doubt. Why should I bother about converting anybody? I don’t have to convince myself that I am right. I am!
If not even a single person is with me, I will be as right as I am now. My rightness does not grow with the growing number of people around me does not increase with the increasing number of people around me. My rightness is from my experience.
Jesus seems to be worried, and all Christians have carried his sickness in their minds. They are all worried. I cannot think that the pope really believes that he represents God, it is impossible – unless you are mad, then everything is possible.
Pseudo-religions are continually trying to convert people or they are so ancient that the question of conversion had never arisen. They are the beginners; from the very beginning they caught hold of the customers. Because of this idea of converting people there are constant fights, crusades, jihads, holy wars.
And pseudo-religions go on creating more and more theology; nobody reads it. I have never seen in my life anybody reading a theological book. I have visited hundreds of libraries but I have never seen anybody, in any library, reading a theological book. I have looked into university libraries and government libraries and asked the librarians one question, “I would like to know whether any book from the theological section is taken out by people?”
They said, “You are the first person to inquire about it. The theological section? – nobody bothers. People are interested only in novels. Who is going to bore himself with a theological book?” One took me to the theological section. That was the only section where you could see that all the books were untouched by human hands, so clean.
Hundreds of theologians continually creating more and more books…. For what? – because the basic questions have not been answered yet. They go on improving upon the books, but whatsoever they do, the fundamental questions remain at the same place, because intellect has no answer for them.
A simple thing has not occurred to them, that if in five or ten thousand years of theological thinking you have not been able to demolish a single question, now it is time to stop: perhaps you are not moving in the right direction.
Religion in the second stage of consciousness, of the conscious mind, intellect, is theology. I call it pseudo-religion – just words about truth, God, love, but no experience to support it.
When religion reaches the third, the highest peak, then only is it religiousness.
So the first I call magico-religious
The second I call pseudo-religion.
And the third I call religiousness.
Then it is a quality, then it has no adjective to it.
Then it has no tradition.
Then it has no scripture, then it has no theology.
Then the origin is not in the past.
And paradise is not in the future.
Then both are within you.
Then you have a fresh experience, and that experience will express itself in lovingness, friendliness, compassion.
This religion will not bother about God:
Its concern will be compassion.
This religiousness will not bother about heaven and hell.
Its concern will be how to share its blissfulness.
This religion is not interested at all in converting you to believe certain dogmas; its only interest is to say to you, “I have found it. If you are interested, I can share my experience. There is no condition that you, have to accept it, there is no condition that you have to believe me. It is simply my joy to share it with you. Then it is for your consideration whether you want to do something with it or not. Either way I am happy and grateful that you allowed me to share something so intimate.”
A religious man, functioning from the highest point of consciousness intuition is just like the fragrance of a flower.
There is no question of your being converted. Even if nobody passes by the side of the rose, the fragrance will still be spreading around, moving…somewhere, somebody may get it. And even if nobody gets it, it doesn’t matter; it is simply natural for the flower to explode into fragrance.
I was explaining to you how happiness appears. At the instinct level it was pleasure, I told you yesterday. At the intellect level it was joy. But I drifted and forgot the last – what happens at the level of the intuition. There, happiness is blissfulness.
Pleasure is momentary, very momentary. In a split second it is gone. It only leaves a memory. You never catch hold of it when it is there – it comes so quickly, and goes so quickly, and you are not that swift.
I have seen a painting – but just keep reminding me…. It was one of the most beautiful paintings, but very strange. It was the painting of a man whose hair had grown all over his face, and his skull was completely bald, with no hair. I thought, “This seems to be a strange painting.”
I inquired about the painter, who was present at the exhibition. He came and I asked him, “What kind of painting is this?”
He said, “This is a painting of time.” I said, “That makes sense.”
He said, “But will you please tell me what sense it makes to you, because I have made it but it makes no sense to me. The idea just came to me and I made it, but I don’t have any…. If somebody asks what it means I simply say, ‘It is time,’ and people just stop asking and move on. You are the only one who says it makes sense.”
I said, “Yes, it makes sense because time you can catch only when it has not come, from the front. By the time it has passed behind you it is a clean-shaven head; you cannot catch hold of it. It is just gone.”
He said, “This is great! Can you someday spare time and come to my studio, because there are many paintings which I don’t know the meaning of. Perhaps you can make some sense of them – because now this makes sense: You can catch hold of time before it, comes.” But how can you really catch it before it comes? It has not come, you cannot catch it. And when it is gone it is just a skull, so clean-shaven there is nothing to catch; your hand just slips.
That’s what pleasure is. You are waiting and waiting and waiting…and it is gone! You were just waiting, and now it is a memory. Pleasure is momentary, very momentary. Joy is much profounder, much deeper. You can enjoy a beautiful song for years. And each time you can go on stepping deeper into yourself.
One song I have with me, sung by some Nirmala Devi. All my life, around India, I have been inquiring about the woman because I want her other songs too. But I have not been able to find who the woman is, where she disappeared. And I have no memory either of who sent me this tape. People go on sending me tapes; whenever I have time, I listen. This song remained with me in Pune for seven years but I never listened to it. I had never heard of the name, so whenever I came across the name and the tape I simply put it away; someday I would…. Nirmala Devi – nobody had ever heard the name.
Here, one day, I thought, “The woman has waited too long, and perhaps she has something. There is no harm – let me listen.” Her singing is something tremendously beautiful. Since then I have not missed a single day of listening to it. And each time I listen there is something more to it, a new layer, a new meaning – not only in the words but in the voice, its subtle nuances.
The song is simple but profound, immensely profound. She is singing a song which means, “Just let me get ready….” She is talking to death. It is understood, it is not said in the song, but she is saying to death, “Just wait a little. Let me sing my last song.”
This very idea, to say to death, “Just wait a little, and let me sing my last song…. I have lived in sadness and sorrow so long. Let me dance a little before I join you. I have been crying and weeping; my whole sari is soaked with my tears. Just wait a little. Let me at least dry my sari, let me at least regain, remember, recall my smile. Just a little…so that I can get ready. I would not like to go with you in this sad miserable condition. I would like to go with you dancing, smiling, singing.” A simple song, but her voice, the ups and downs of her voice, the beautiful turnings of her voice give it so much beauty, color and depth.
Happiness at the second level is joy. Pleasure you cannot share with anybody. It is something so tiny, so fleeting, so small, there is no question of sharing; but joy you can share. At the third level, happiness becomes bliss. Joy you have to share; blissfulness you need not share – it simply surrounds you. Whoever is courageous enough to come close to you will have it.
Bliss is not something that you have to do anything about; it is already there around you, it is your milieu.
The blissful person – you can call him the awakened, the enlightened, you can give any name…the blissful person is simply showering his bliss continuously.
Whoever is thirsty can drink of it.
It is not a question of his making an effort to share:
He is blissfulness itself.
Just be with him in close intimacy, and you will have the taste of it, the silence of it, the beauty of it.
And one thing finally you have to remember:
The highest always contains the lower.
The highest is not against the lower. It is all-comprehensive.
What you have known in pleasure, you will know in bliss – but, ancient scriptures say, one thousandfold. I cannot say that, because that sounds as if the difference is only of quantity. The difference is of quality. But whoever has written that, that bliss is one thousandfold the pleasure of sexual orgasm, was trying. He failed in what he was saying, but he was trying just to give an idea of what you are missing. No, it is not even ten thousandfold, or one hundred thousandfold. It is simply so different…but the flavor of pleasure is there, contained in it. The higher always contains the lower; the lower cannot contain the higher
Just draw a small circle – that is pleasure. Draw a bigger circle around it – that is joy. Draw another, bigger circle around it – that is bliss. It contains joy, it contains pleasure, and much more, which is inexpressible but not inexperienceable.
I may not be able to say it to you, but I can pour it into you; you just have to allow me.
All depends on your vulnerability, defenselessness. All depends on your love, trust, courage to open your heart.
You all have been brought up in such a way that you have become defensive, continually defensive…always afraid somebody is going to cheat you, somebody is going to kill you, somebody is going to mistreat you, humiliate you. And in a way you are right, because this is what has been happening to everybody in society. You have to be always on guard.
But if you meet a master, then don’t be on your guard. That is the secret of being with a master.
Don’t be on your guard. Let the guard go on a long, long leave! Unguarded, open, defenseless…And it is going to happen. Nobody can prevent it.

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