From Misery to Enlightenment 22

TwentySecond Discourse from the series of 29 discourses - From Misery to Enlightenment by Osho.
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Exactly how do you not do it?
The easiest thing in the world is always the most difficult. For the simple reason that it is easy, it becomes difficult.
This is not a puzzle but the simple logic of the ego. You will have to understand that logic. The logic of the ego is that if you try to do the difficult, only then are you proving the ego’s existence. If you succeed in doing the difficult, then you have attained to the ego. If you can reach to the impossible, then of course you are the greatest man in the history of humanity.
People have been trying to reach to the highest peak in the Himalayas for hundreds of years. Hundreds of mountaineers died but the effort continued. From almost every country of the world young people went on going there because Everest, the highest peak of the Himalayas and the highest peak in the whole world, remained a challenge to the human ego. It remained unconquered.
But there was no gain. If you reach the peak of Everest and look all around you will simply feel silly there is nothing to gain. No shopping place, not even somebody to say hello to…. It is absolutely deserted eternal ice which has never melted. And the peak is so small that even just two people together cannot stand on it.
What can you do there? It took years for Edmund Hillary and Tensing to reach – and how long did they stay there? Not more than five minutes. Even five minutes would have seemed like five ages, because everything freezes there, even time. And after five minutes, the descent back to the earth, where people are waving, waiting, shouting – hilarious that man has conquered the unconquerable. But what is the gain?
You cannot see any gain outwardly, but there is a certain gain – that’s what I’m calling the logic of the ego: Edmund Hillary becomes history. Now nobody can take his place; nobody can again be the first man to conquer Everest. Anybody who comes will be second, third, fourth – but that glory of being the first is a great nourishment to the ego.
The first man walking on the moon, the first man orbiting around the moon…. I have met that Russian Yuri Gagarin, who was the first in the whole history of man to orbit so close to the moon. Without him it would have been impossible to step on the moon. He prepared the ground. He watched and planned from close quarters what had to be done to land on the moon. He became world famous.
He had come to India on invitation, and even Indian fools…. One expects from Indian fools a little more sense, because they are the oldest, ancientmost fools; they should have learned a little bit. But fools are simply fools – modern, ancient, Indian, American. They don’t belong to any caste, to any nation. They are almost, in that way, enlightened.
I have never seen Indians so mad! Millions gathered to see Yuri Gagarin in New Delhi. They have never gathered to see a sage, a saint, a mahatma, in the same way. So much curiosity!
Yuri Gagarin must have felt a thousandfold bigger than he was. When I met him I asked him, “What have you gained as far as you are concerned, personally? I am not talking about the scientific progress – that you have brought all the material that will help the first man to land – that’s okay. What have you gained personally?”
He said, “I have never thought about it, but your question is right. I have certainly gained something personally. I have become world famous and I have not done anything. I cannot show you that ‘this is my achievement.’ But I understand your question and I can see where you are pointing.
“Yes, it is true: I am no longer the same Yuri Gagarin I used to be. I was an ordinary, simple man. I have never imagined myself being received by millions and with such tremendous joy that I feel that only now am I living; before I was dead.”
I said, “This feeling is not from the awareness that you are, because your consciousness has remained the same. This sense of a new birth is coming from your ego; your ego is tremendously gratified, strengthened. That is your ‘gain.’ But according to those who know that is your loss.”
What is gain to the ego is loss to the soul.
What is a blessing to the ego is a curse to the soul.
What seems to be of tremendous importance to the ego is just sheer stupidity to the innermost core of your being.
The logic of the ego is that it is never interested in the simple things, because if you say, “I can breathe!” that is not going to bring crowds to welcome you, to say, “Teertha, you are great! Your name will remain immortal because you breathe.”
Nobody is going to say this to you and if anybody does, you will think he is taunting you, that he is not appreciating you – because breathing is so easy. You need not even do it; it goes on by itself. It is not your doing, so how can you be strengthened by it? On the contrary, you are its doing: without breathing you would be nowhere.
Breathing is far deeper than your ego, far more essential than your ego, and far more existential than your ego. Ego cannot do anything. Ego is a superficial thing – just a soap bubble floating on the surface of the river. It knows nothing about the depths. Breathing belongs to your deepest part. That’s why even when you are fast asleep, it continues. It has no need of your being awake even.
I once went to see a woman who for nine months was in a coma, but breathing perfectly, even in a nine-month-long coma; not for a single moment in nine months had she been awake. And the doctors were saying she could remain in that state for at least three years before she died, and she would not wake. But she is alive. She is breathing so peacefully; perhaps she had never breathed that peacefully ever, before this coma happened!
So many disturbances are there, but for her now there is no disturbance. She can’t hear, she can’t see, she can’t think – but breathing continues. Breathing is so natural that ego cannot proclaim itself the doer; hence it is none of its interest.
Do you see the problem? The most important, the most essential, is not even interesting to the ego; it is not at all concerned about breathing. The people who became concerned about breathing were the people who became aware of a certain truth – that if you go on doing difficult things, ego is never going to leave you, because each difficult step taken becomes a strengthening to the ego, and the stronger the ego is, the farther away you are from yourself.
Your ego is the distance between you, the real, and you, the unreal. The bigger the ego, the bigger the distance; the lesser the distance, the lesser the ego. If there is no distance at all, ego disappears, and in that disappearance appears the one that you are.
As far as I am concerned this is the most significant discovery in the whole history of discoveries.
I don’t consider the discovery of atomic energy, nuclear weapons, or anything else, more important than the discovery that if you can become aware of even a simple, natural process like breathing, ego disappears.
You need not drop the ego.
If you try to drop it, you cannot drop it:
Who is going to drop it?
That which is dropped is not your ego. The dropper will say within you, “Look, I have dropped the ego now I am a humble man, egoless, spiritual, holy.” The dropped is nothing; the dropper is the problem.
So you cannot do, in fact, anything to come to the point of non-doing.
It is so simple. The question is relevant but the answer is very simple. Looking at the question you will think it is going to be difficult; it is not so. If you try to do something to achieve non-doing then you are getting into a mess.
It is just like a dog trying to catch its tail; and once in a while every dog tries that yoga exercise. It is beautiful to watch a dog doing yoga – the yoga of catching its own tail. You can see the embarrassment, the failure: gathering his energy again, taking a better jump, finding solutions to approach it – because the moment he jumps, for some unknown reason the tail jumps also! The faster he tries, the faster the tail moves.
Now, the poor dog cannot see that the tail is joined to him; there is no way for him to catch hold of it There is no need either; it is already part of him, he is already in possession of it. What is he trying to do? trying to possess something which he possesses already? trying to get something which has never been away from him?
Whether he catches hold of it or not, it is always with him; wherever he goes it is always with him. He cannot even run away from it so there is no point in catching hold of it. Even if he wants to escape from it, it is impossible.
Perhaps a few dogs who believe in renunciation – and there are all kinds of dogs – seeing this continual failure to catch hold, to get possession of the tail, may have come to the conclusion that this whole business of possessing a tail is illusory, it is maya. “Don’t waste your time; just renounce it and escape as far away as you can – into the caves, into the monasteries – far away in the Himalayas where not even a trace of this tail is found. Then you will be free. Dispossess it!”
That’s the whole thinking of a man who is renouncing wealth, renouncing his wife, his children, and escaping. But he is not aware. You can see that the dog’s tail is attached to him; and wherever the dog goes, the tail will go. If you look a little deeper you can see: if the husband is renouncing his wife, children, possessions, is he doing anything different?
In the first place, why did he get married? There must be something in him which needed a wife. The wife is not there outside, the wife is some inner need in him. There must be some inner need in him which wanted all these possessions; otherwise why did he collect them in the first place? There must be some intrinsic necessity for wanting children; otherwise, who was forcing him?,
In fact the whole world is trying, all the governments are trying: “Use birth control methods.” Nobody is listening. It is not that people don’t understand what you are saying, not that they can’t see the crowds growing in such proportions that soon this earth is going to die – not because of a nuclear war, but out of sheer starvation.
But there must be something, so essential a need, that makes a person want children. And these are your inner psychic needs. The tail of a dog can be operated on – it is not such a big problem – but no surgery can help your needs. They are more deeply rooted in you than the tail of the dog. That it is just an outer thing which can be removed, at no special loss to the dog. But your needs from which you are escaping will be with you wherever you go.
I have been moving around all kinds of renunciates. Once I was in Rishikesh in the Himalayas and I was sitting under a tree, a very beautiful tree. It was a hot, sunny afternoon, and the tree was so cool, the shadow of it, that although I had to go I lingered a little longer there.
One old Hindu monk came and said, “What are you doing here, under my tree?”
I said, “Your tree? You have renounced the whole world and this tree is yours? I don’t see your signboard or…. How can you prove this tree is yours?”
He said, “There is no need to prove it; everybody around here knows. For thirty years I have been sitting underneath it.”
I said, “You may have been sitting for thirty years, the tree has been here even before that; now I am sitting under it and the tree will remain. The tree has no concern with you or me; the tree has no idea who is its owner. You just get lost!”
He said, “What are you saying? You have been here for just a few hours and you become the possessor, and I have been here for thirty years.”
I said, “I am not going to possess the tree, I will be moving soon; but not in this way. You will have to apologize to the tree. You have not purchased it, you have not planted it, you have not watered it. On what grounds have you become its possessor? – just because you have been here for thirty years bothering the tree day and night?
“You owe something to the tree, the tree owes nothing to you. The tree has been kind to you, and you have become the possessor of it! And this ‘possessing’ is what you had left behind. Nothing has been left behind.
“You are even ready, right now, here, to fight with me. Thirty years before you would have been fighting for a house, for a small piece of land: ‘This is my wife, this is my house, this is my religion, this is my country….’
“Now all that has become concentrated on this poor tree. Your whole possessiveness has become concentrated on this poor tree. It does not matter whether you possess a whole kingdom or just a small tree; possessiveness has nothing to do with quantity, it is an attitude.”
I told him, “You are an old renunciate, you must have heard the famous story of an ancient king. A great sage told one of his disciples to go to the court of the king and be there for a few days as his last lesson. Before the sage could declare him graduated he had to go to the kings court and be there for a few days.
“‘If this is what the master wants….’ The young man went. He thought, ‘Perhaps the king is a great sage; he must be greater than my own master, if my master sends everybody to him for the last lesson and the last test.
“‘Strange, that a sage who has renounced everything should send his disciples to a man who has not renounced anything, who is just an ordinary power-hungry man, continually trying to conquer other countries; an imperialist, so attached to things that he does not bother even about killing thousands of people. And am being sent to him? There must be some secret in it.’
“He went there. It was evening time, and he was brought immediately before the king. It was time for the king to drink, and the women, beautiful women had come to dance. His court was now going to celebrate the evening.
“Seeing all this, the young renunciate was terribly shocked, and he said to the king, ‘I had come to stay for a few days but I cannot stay here for a few minutes even. I cannot think why my master has sent me to this hell!’
“The king said, ‘If your master has sent you, there must be some reason. And don’t be so judgmental so quickly. What are you going to lose in two or three days’ time? And remember, this is your last test. Without my approval you can remain there in your master’s house your whole life, but you will never be declared graduated. So it is better you come to your senses; remain here for three days. You have not been sent here to judge me; you have been sent here to be judged by me.’
“Now, this was too much: this man was going to judge him, who had renounced everything! But what to do? He was in a fix. If he goes back, the master will be unhappy. And if this is going to be the case, that he will have to finally come here, then it is better to pass these three days somehow and get the clearance from this arrogant man.
“The king said, ‘You are cooling down and coming to your senses. First take a good bath that I have had prepared for you, because the message of your arrival had come to me. But don’t be worried: in youth everybody is too quick to judge. It takes a little experience not to judge, not to judge superficially at least. And you have not seen anything.
“‘Be here for three days, watch, see. And your whole life is there in which you can judge – no problem – but first get my clearance. So first think of my judgment and move accordingly, so that you can get a favorable judgment from me; otherwise you will have to come here again and again and again, your whole life. So you go and take a bath – I have arranged everything.’
“The young man had never been in the bath of a king; he had never seen such a beautiful place. Naked women were there to massage him…. He said, ‘My God, the test is finished; in three days this man is going to kill me!’ And before he could say anything – in fact he was on the point of a nervous breakdown: he had escaped from women and here he finds naked women. He had never seen such beautiful women before, and they were going to massage him!
“But before he could say anything – in fact he found he had lost his voice, he could not speak. He could only say, ‘Aaaahh!’ – nothing much. And those women started undressing him. Before he could do anything, he was standing naked; those four women took possession of him completely and put him into the bathtub, which was full of rose water.”
In India, kings and very rich people take baths in rose water. In the night, hundreds of roses will be put in the bathtub so their fragrance is caught by the water. Then in the morning the petals are removed, so you don’t see any roses but you are surrounded by a cloud of rose fragrance.
“He had never in his whole life seen anything so luxurious. The bathtub was made of gold; precious oils were poured on his body and he was massaged. And he was dying to escape somehow from there, but he was feeling completely paralyzed too.
“And then the king invited him to a feast of things that he had never tasted before. He had always been reading, ‘Discipline yourself to tastelessness’ – and here was such tasteful, delicious food! Just the aroma, the flavor, was enough to make you feel hungry.
“The king said, ‘Sit down and eat – and remember your discipline of tastelessness. What was the point in your master’s house where the food was tasteless anyway? If you could remember tastelessness there, do you think that was because of some discipline? It was tasteless; any idiot would have felt tastelessness. Now feel tastelessness.’
“The young man saw the difficulty but saw the point also. ‘And by the way,’ the king said, ‘how was the bath? Were the women nice to you? – because they are the best out of all the massagers. I think you must be feeling satisfied.’
“He said, ‘Satisfied! I am just somehow trying to get through the three days – if I can survive, but I don’t have much hope. This is the first evening; three days seem like three lives to me. And now this food! I will not forget it my whole life – and I have to be a renunciate! And those beautiful women – I will not forget them. What kind of test is this? You are giving me all the experiences against which I have been prepared for all these years.’
“Then came the wine, and the king offered him some himself. The young man said, ‘This is too much – because wine is prohibited in my master’s house.’
“The king said, ‘This is not your master’s house, this is your examiner’s palace. If you want clearance, be alert and do what I say. Your master has told you not to be unconscious. Don’t be unconscious; drink and remain conscious. What is the point of remaining conscious without drinking? Anybody can do that; everybody is doing that.
“‘You drink, and drink to your heart’s content, because never again will you get the chance. And I tell you, consciousness has nothing to do with it: I will be drinking with you; in fact I have been drinking the whole evening – can you say I am unconscious? So drink!’
“He had to drink. And then the king took him…. He was falling all apart, not knowing what was happening – the intoxication, the women, the food, the beautiful clothes that were given to him after the bath…. And then the king took him to the guest-house where he was to stay. He could not believe it: he thought he must have come to heaven – alcohol gives many people the idea of heaven.”
Perhaps that’s why all the religions are against alcohol, because if alcohol can satisfy your desire for heaven…. Who would bother to go to the churches and to the temples and to the ashrams, and do all kinds of strange things when heaven is possible through the simple process of drinking alcohol?
“The young man thought he must be in heaven; he forgot completely that he had come to be examined. The king showed him his bed, and the moment the young man lay down he saw a naked sword hanging by a thin thread just above him. All intoxication disappeared; suddenly he found that he was not in heaven. That sword…. Death can bring anybody back to earth from anywhere!
“He asked the king, ‘Why is this sword hanging here?’
“The king said, ‘This is hanging here to keep you conscious. This is your room – now, go to sleep. And if, by God’s grace, both of us survive till tomorrow morning, we will meet again.’
“The young man said, ‘Nothing is going to happen to you, you will survive; the question is about me. Even with God’s help I don’t think this thin thread can hold this heavy, naked sword hanging over me; it is going to fall any moment. Just a little breeze is enough, and I am finished!’
“The king said, ‘Don’t be worried. If you are finished off – your master must have been telling you about reincarnation – you will be reincarnated – a rebirth. And whatever you have learned will go with you. So don’t miss these last moments. Perhaps it may fall – I cannot guarantee anything. It is up to you, what you make of these moments. Remain conscious, and if you die in consciousness, nothing can be better than that.’
“But the young man said, ‘I don’t want to die. I have come here just to get the clearance, and you are just clearing me away from life itself!’
“The king said, ‘This is the way one gets the clearance. You go to sleep: whatever is going to happen is going to happen – that’s your master’s teaching. That’s what Hindus say: even a leaf does not move without God’s will, so how can a sword kill you without God’s will? And with His will, sword or no sword, you will be killed.
“‘So just go to sleep, the way I go to sleep. Over you there is only one naked sword hanging; over me there are thousands of naked swords hanging. And soon you will hear my snores from the other room.’
“The young man could not sleep the whole night; the whole night he heard the king snoring. In the morning the king came into his room. The young man was fully awake, lying, just looking at the sword; there was nothing else in the whole world except the sword.
“The king said, ‘I am going to take a bath’ – just behind his palace was the sacred Hindu river, the Ganges. Come along with me for the morning walk, and a little swim in the river.’ They went there. The man had nothing except a small langoti.
A langoti is just a small piece of cloth, a very mini mini underwear without any stitches or any sewing done on it. You have just to put a thread around your waist and stick one end of it in the front and the other end at the back, and the mini mini underwear is ready.
No tailoring is needed; you can make it any time anywhere. And that’s what the Hindu monk is supposed to wear, because stitching is a complicated affair; you will have to accept somebody’s help, you may need money – and all these things have to be avoided.
The Hindu monk tries to avoid as much as possible. He has the barest necessities: a begging bowl – which is not made of metal; it is made of a coconut cut in two pieces, and the hard shell of the coconut becomes the begging bowl. You can attach a small string to it to hold in your hand. The same way you make your mini mini underwear, you make your begging bowl.
And a staff – one wonders why a staff. It is because of the Indian dogs. There are so many, and they are particularly against all kinds of uniformed people. Although the monk’s is not much of a uniform, still it is a uniform because all the Hindu monks are the same, with their begging bowls, that mini mini underwear, the staff – and all naked.
Dogs feel suspicious of uniforms; they think that something somewhere is wrong. And perhaps they are right, because the army uses uniforms, the police use uniforms, postmen use uniforms – and the monks use uniforms. It seems all the wrong kinds of people are in uniforms. So the staff is absolutely necessary to keep the dogs away.
So I said to the old Hindu monk, “So these were the three things that the young man had brought with him, the langoti, begging bowl and staff. In the morning he went off with these three things again because he felt embarrassed in all those valuable clothes, robes that the king had offered.
“He said, ‘In the palace I can use them but not outside. If somebody sees me in these robes it will be very embarrassing for me and for you, so let me have my uniform.
“The king said, ‘That is up to you.’ So the king went in his royal clothes and the monk in his uniform. They both put their clothes on the bank of the Ganges and entered the water. While they were taking their bath the monk shouted to the king, ‘Your palace is on fire!’
“The king said, ‘I saw it before you did, but there is nothing to be worried about. Now what can be done? It is on fire, but nothing happens without God’s will so don t be worried; you just take your bath.’ “The young man said, ‘What are you saying! At least I have to save my uniform that is lying just by the side of the palace’ and he ran out of the water to save his uniform. The palace was burning, the king’s clothes were there, but he was worried about his uniform!
“The king took his bath. The palace was completely finished – it had been burned on his orders. The monk was continuously shaking and trembling, and he was saying, ‘It is such a great loss. How many millions of rupees…!’
“But the king said, ‘Don’t be worried; that has nothing to do with you. Your things are safe.’
“The young man said, ‘All my things are perfectly safe.’
“The king said, ‘That’s enough for you – you should be worried about your things: these are your possessions, this is your kingdom. But I don’t care if my whole kingdom burns down; it doesn’t matter – because before when I was not here, the world was here and the kingdom was here. One day I will not be here again and the world will continue. I am here just as a visitor, a watcher. Why should I get too involved?
“‘But you have to remember that you have not been able to renounce anything; you have not yet become a watcher. You could not even watch my house on fire. If your uniform – which is not much of a uniform – had been on fire I think you would have gone mad! You are already in a state of madness because of so much loss…. But what has it to do with you?
“‘And you were shocked seeing me drinking, but you don’t know that even while drinking I am a watcher. You were shocked seeing me surrounded by beautiful women; even looking at their dance I am only a watcher. But you are not a watcher at all. Now make up for it within two days. The time is short, very short. Be a watcher, because before I give you the clearance that, yes, you can graduate, you will have to prove that you have become a watcher.’
“He said, ‘How have I to prove it?’
“The king said, ‘Today just go on trying it on everything. Everything is managed in such a way that it will help you to watch. Just watch. Don’t try to escape, don’t try to repress, don’t try to fight, don’t try to avoid: just watch, let things happen.’
“And on the last day, the last test was that there was going to be a beautiful dance. This young man was given a cup full of oil – so full that if he just moved a little, the oil would spill. The dancers were in a circle – all naked women dancing – and the king was sitting in the middle. And the man, the poor young man holding that precious bowl full of oil, was told ‘Even if a single drop of the oil falls, you have failed.’
“Now there was so much temptation to look to the side at what was happening – so many beautiful women dancing! But from that bowl, just a single drop…just a single moment of unwatchfulness…. He passed by the women, went around them – and as he was going around, slowly slowly watchfulness settled in him. He forgot all about the dance; there was only the ‘now,’ the oil, and watchfulness….”
Watchfulness is a simple thing.
But it has no ego fulfillment.
Meditation is the same.
These are different names – watchfulness, witnessing, meditation, awareness, alertness – different names for a single phenomenon; and all these happen when you are in a state of not – doing. And that is the question: how to do that non-doing?
If you ask how, you have missed the point, because “how” means doing – and you are asking me, “Tell us to do something so that we can attain non-doing.”
If you go to any religious priest he will tell you what to do, and just by telling you what to do he proves that he knows nothing.

I can only explain to you that doing is not going to help. You will have to understand that no doing is going to help. In that very understanding, non-doing happens.
Non-doing is a happening.
It is nothing on your part, that you can claim, “I have done it, I have achieved it.” You can only say, “When I was not there it happened. Because I have always been there it was not happening.”
Don’t ask what has to be done.
Leo Tolstoy, one of Russia’s wisest men of this century, has written a book, What Then Must We Do? – and this was one of the books that changed Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi into Mahatma Gandhi.
Mahatma Gandhi declared three persons his master. The first was Leo Tolstoy, the second was Henry Thoreau, and the third was Emerson. All three were fanatic Christians.
It is a very strange thing that Gandhi was influenced by these three fanatic Christians. Gandhi did something immeasurably harmful to India: he sabotaged the Eastern religious understanding by mixing it, unconsciously with fanatic Christian ideas. He was influenced by these people, and he started interpreting Eastern religions according to these ideas.
There were many times in his life when he thought to become a Christian. It would have been far better if he had become a Christian. At least he would not have been able to contaminate Eastern thought with things which are far lower.
But his politics prevented him, because if he had become a Christian he would have lost his Hindu following. To keep the Hindu following he remained a Hindu, but his mind was already Christian; he had no understanding of Eastern thought.
He was educated in England and then he was working in South Africa, again under a British government. And his contact was only with Christian missionaries. One of the very famous Christian missionaries of those days, C.F. Andrews, was Gandhi’s greatest friend. But he could not become Christian because once he was a Christian all Hindus would have dropped him completely, immediately.
His son, Haridas Gandhi, just in rebellion against his father – because that father was really too much of a father, really a dangerous father…. He wanted to mold you completely according to his ideas. I have a soft corner for Haridas Gandhi, his son, because Haridas wanted to go to school; but Mahatma Gandhi would not allow him because he thought the whole educational system was corrupted.
It is true that it is corrupted, but what is the alternative? To remain uneducated? Before you create a better education system there is no other to go to; it is a necessary evil. So be cautious, be careful – but to prevent children from going to school….
You will be surprised: all Gandhi’s children remained uneducated except for Haridas, because he escaped from the home. You will have thousands of cases where children have escaped from home because their fathers wanted them to be educated, but this is a single case where a son escaped from home because he wanted to be educated and his father was absolutely against any kind of education.
Gandhi was so angry. He was talking so much of non-violence and love and compassion but he had nothing of it; he was so angry. And what crime had the son committed? – he became a matriculate. And Haridas was thinking that once he is a matriculate, his father will be angry and shout and may even beat him; but how long can this go on? – things will change. But Gandhi was not an easy father.
He declared that Haridas could not enter his house; he disowned Haridas as a son. Haridas had guts. He said, “Okay, I am going to become a Mohammedan, because my father goes on saying that Hindus and Mohammedans are all brothers; that the Koran and the Gita and The Bible all give the same message; that there is the one God called by so many names – so let us see.”
He became Mohammedan, and Gandhi was so angry that he told his wife, “I don’t want to see the face of this boy again.” When Haridas heard it he said, “But Hindus, Mohammedans, Christians, are all brothers, and all these books have the same message. What has happened?”
From Haridas he changed his name to Abdullah. His new name was Haji Abdullah Gandhi. Haji is equivalent to Mahatma. He went to Mecca to do haj. Haj is a pilgrimage; you go to Mecca, the place where Mohammedanism was founded and where Mohammed created the first mosque.
It is absolutely necessary for every Mohammedan to go on a haj; haj means holy pilgrimage. If you don’t, you are not a real, authentic Mohammedan. And one who goes is called haji; he has become a saint. Just by going to Mecca and moving seven times around the stone, you become a sage.
Abdullah is simply a translation of Haridas in Arabic. Haridas means servant of God; that is exactly the meaning of Abd-allah. Allah means God, abd means servant: Abdullah. And Haridas asked to keep it exactly the same. Haji means mahatma, Abdullah means Haridas – and “Gandhi” he kept because “Gandhi” has nothing to do with Hinduism.
In India there is a strange convention: your profession by and by becomes your surname. Gandhi simply means one who sells perfume. Somebody among his forefathers may have been a perfume-seller. Gandh means perfume, so gandhi means one who sells perfume. It has nothing to do with Hinduism; there are Parsi Gandhis – that’s why Indira was also Gandhi.
She had no relationship to Mahatma Gandhi. She was married to a Parsi, Feroze Gandhi; she was not even married to a Hindu. Feroze’s parents must have been selling perfume. Perfume has nothing to do with any religion – anybody can sell perfume – but when you sell perfume in India, slowly slowly you will become a Gandhi. That’s how Indian surnames are. Your business, your profession, slowly slowly gets you fixed. So Abdullah kept “Gandhi” because that has nothing to do with Hinduism.
Only once, in a railway station in Katni, did Mahatma Gandhi and Abdullah Gandhi cross paths. Gandhi was traveling in the train, and Abdullah was going to catch the train from Katni. Hundreds of people had come to see Gandhi and hundreds of people, Mohammedans, had come to give a send-off to Haji Abdullah Gandhi, because they had made him a saint – just in opposition to Gandhi.
That Gandhi’s own son did not believe in Hinduism and thought of Mohammedanism as higher, as a true religion, was a great boost to their ego. So they were shouting slogans in praise of Haji Abdullah Gandhi: “Long live Haji Abdullah Gandhi!”
When their procession passed by the side of Gandhi’s compartment – he was standing facing the crowd – he turned his back. He would not look at his son’s face – and this man is talking about compassion, kindness, love, non-violence! And not only that, his wife was, after all, a mother. She wanted at least to have two words with Haridas, but Gandhi stopped her. He said, “Choose. If you say a single word to Haridas, you also go with him.”
This is the way of the ego. Kasturba, his wife, remained silent, crying tears, but she could not say a single word. Abdullah stopped there, seeing his father’s back. Everything was said: looking at his mother’s face covered with tears he thought it better not to say anything, not to create any trouble for the old woman; he passed on by.
The day Gandhi was assassinated…. Haridas was the right person to put fire to Gandhi’s body but he was ignored – and he was no longer a Hindu. He followed the whole procession, he was present there when Gandhi’s body was burned, but nobody even recognized him, not even his brothers.
One of Gandhi’s sons, Ramdas, was very friendly to me. I asked Ramdas, “Now your father is dead, what is creating a wall between you and Haridas? If it is only a question of ego, of who should approach whom, then I can manage something, because I know Haridas. And as far as I understand Haridas is a man of tremendous courage – fighting with a steel-hearted father, a hypocrite, who was not a mahatma, who could not be a mahatma.
“Haridas had simply given a challenge to your father: ‘If you say that every religion is the same, then why so much fuss about my becoming a Mohammedan? And you have been continually thinking of becoming a Christian; if your son has become a Mohammedan what is wrong in it?’
Ramdas said, “I can understand, but for his whole life my father was telling us, ‘Never treat Haridas as your brother,’ and now that my father is dead I would feel guilty if I went against his will. But you are right.”
I said, “I can bring Haridas, because he has never been against anybody – neither Mahatma Gandhi, nor you nor his mother nor other brothers. He was just showing a simple fact to Gandhi, but ‘what you teach is not your reality; what you say is not what you live.’”
But this is the way of the ego. It says one thing, and lives just the opposite. It can even pretend to be its own opposite: it can pretend to be humble. And that’s where the question leads.
If you ask me what to do to attain non-doing…. Nothing has to be done to attain non-doing. Non-doing is not an attainment, it is simply your nature. When you are not doing anything, it is there.
If somebody is running in this room and he asks, “What can I do so that I can stop running, so that I can also sit just like you?” what are you going to say to this man? Running is an act; sitting is not an act. You are not to do something to sit, you have simply to stop running; don’t run! Or if you find it impossible to stop, then the other way, the only other way is to run as long as you can, and sooner or later you will fall down. How long can you run?
So there are only two types of non-doers in the world: one who by sheer understanding relaxes and finds the state of non-doing, of peace, of silence; and the other type, who will go thousands of miles, torture themselves in every possible way, do yoga exercises, stand on their head and fast, starve, renounce, repress, pray, go into the monasteries and do all kinds of stupid things. And finally, simply by being tired, exhausted, they sit down – and suddenly it is there.
Perhaps they may think it has come because of all their doing. That is not the case – it has come in spite of all their doing. Otherwise, they are such practiced doers that it was possible they might have continued still, because the more you run, the better your running becomes.
There is no end to it: you go on becoming more and more skillful, more and more articulate, more and more crafty. You go on finding new ways. You get fed up with one thing, then you move to another; you get fed up, you move to another. And there are millions of things available in the world for you to do.
But for non-doing, nothing is available, no method.
You have simply to understand the nature of non-doing.
Don’t ask an absurd question. Just try to understand that by doing, your ego will be fulfilled. Whatever you do – you do prayer, you do fasting, you go to the church, you become a monk – whatever you do, doing is food for the ego, and ego is the barrier between you and existence, between you and your reality.
Don’t do anything.
Why can’t you just live without doing all this nonsense?
Eat when you feel hungry.
Drink when you feel thirsty.
Go to sleep when you feel sleepy.
Get up when you feel awake.
And just forget everything else!
Just do the small things that are needed.
Live a simple, ordinary life.
And you will find it.
Jesus says: “Seek and ye shall find.”
I say to you: “Seek and ye shall never find.”
Jesus says: “Ask and it shall be given to you.”
I say to you: “Ask and it shall never be given to you.”
Jesus says: “Knock and the door shall be opened unto you.”
I say: “Knock and the door shall never be opened unto you.”
In fact there is no need to knock:
The doors are open.
Just get in!

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