God is Dead Now Zen is 01

First Discourse from the series of 7 discourses - God is Dead Now Zen is by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

On their first meeting, Seigen asked Sekito, “Where do you come from?” and Sekito replied, “I come from Sokei.”
Seigen held up a whisk and said, “Did you find this over there?”
Sekito replied, “No, not only was it not over there, but it was also not in the Westland.”
Seigen asked, “You reached the Westland, didn’t you?” to which Sekito replied, “If I had reached, I could have found it.”
Seigen said, “Not yet enough – speak further.”
Sekito replied, “You should also speak from your side. How is it you urge only me?”
Seigen said, “There’s no problem for me in answering you, but nobody would agree with it.” Seigen continued, “When you were at Sokei, what did you get there?”
Sekito replied, “Even before going to Sokei, I hadn’t lost a thing.”
Then Sekito asked, “When you were in Sokei, did you know yourself?”
Seigen said, “How about you? Do you know me now?”
Sekito answered, “Yes, I do. How can I know you any further?” He continued, “Osho, since you left Sokei, how long have you been staying here?”
Seigen replied, “I do not know either. And you, when did you leave Sokei?”
Sekito said, “I don’t come from Sokei.”
Seigen responded, “All right – now I know where you come from.”
Sekito said, “Osho, you are a great one – do not waste time.”
Friends, a new series of talks begins today: God Is Dead, Now Zen Is the Only Living Truth. The series is dedicated to Friedrich Nietzsche, who was the first man in the history of mankind to declare, “God is dead, therefore man is free.”
It was a tremendous statement; its implications are many. First I would like to discuss Nietzsche’s statement.
All the religions believe that God created the world and also mankind. But if you are created by someone, you are only a puppet, you don’t have your own soul. And if you are created by somebody, he can uncreate you any moment. He neither asked you whether you wanted to be created, nor is he going to ask you, “Do you want to be uncreated?”
God is the greatest dictator if you accept the fiction that he created the world and also created mankind. If God is a reality, then man is a slave, a puppet. All the strings are in his hands, even man’s life. Then there is no question of any enlightenment. Then there is no question of there being any Gautama the Buddha, because there is no freedom at all. He pulls the strings, you dance; he pulls the strings, you cry; he pulls the strings, you start murders, suicide, war. You are just a puppet and he is the puppeteer.
Then there is no question of sin or virtue, no question of sinners and saints. Nothing is good and nothing is bad because you are only a puppet. A puppet cannot be responsible for its actions. Responsibility belongs to someone who has the freedom to act. Either God or freedom can exist. Both cannot exist together. That is the basic implication of Friedrich Nietzsche’s statement: “God is dead, therefore man is free.”
No theologian, no founder of religions thought about this, that if you accept God as the creator, you are destroying the whole dignity of consciousness, of freedom, of love. You are taking all responsibility from man, and you are taking all his freedom away. You are reducing the whole of existence to just the whim of a strange fellow called God.
But Nietzsche’s statement is bound to be only one side of the coin. He is perfectly right, but only about one side of the coin. He has made a very significant and meaningful statement, but he has forgotten one thing, which was bound to happen because his statement is based on rationality, logic and intellect. It is not based on meditation.
Man is free, but free for what? If there is no God and man is free, that will simply mean man is now capable of doing anything, good or bad; there is nobody to judge him, nobody to forgive him. This freedom will be simply licentiousness.
There comes the other side. You remove God and you leave man utterly empty. Of course, you declare his freedom, but to what purpose? How is he going to use his freedom creatively, responsibly? How is he going to prevent freedom being reduced to licentiousness?
Friedrich Nietzsche was not aware of meditation. That is the other side of the coin. Man is free, and his freedom can only be a joy and a blessing to him if he is rooted in meditation. Remove God – that is perfectly okay, he has been the greatest danger to human freedom – but give man also some meaning and significance, some creativity, some receptivity, some path to find his eternal existence. Zen is the other side of the coin.
Zen does not have any God, that’s its beauty. But it has a tremendous science to transform your consciousness, to bring so much awareness to you that you cannot commit evil. It is not a commandment from outside. It comes from your innermost being. Once you know your center of being, once you know you are one with the cosmos – and the cosmos has never been created, it has been there always and always, and will be there always and always, from eternity to eternity – once you know your luminous being, your hidden Gautam Buddha, it is impossible to do anything wrong, it is impossible to do anything evil, it is impossible to do any sin.
Friedrich Nietzsche became almost insane in the last phase of his life. He was hospitalized, kept in a mad asylum. Nobody bothered about what had happened to such a great giant. He had concluded, “God is dead,” but it is a negative conclusion. He became empty, his freedom was meaningless. There was no joy in it because it was only freedom from God, but for what? Freedom has two sides: from and for. The other side was missing. That drove him insane.
Emptiness always drives people insane. You need some grounding, you need some centering, you need some relationship with existence. God being dead, all your relationship with existence is finished. God being dead, you are left alone without roots. A tree cannot live without roots, nor can you.
God was nonexistential, but it was a good consolation. It used to fill people’s interior, although it was a lie. But even a lie, repeated thousands and thousands of times for millennia, becomes almost a truth. God has been a great consolation to people in their fear, in their dread, in their awareness of old age and death and the beyond – the unknown darkness. God has been a tremendous consolation, although it was a lie. Lies can console you. You have to understand it. In fact, lies are sweeter than the truth.
Gautam Buddha is reported to have said: “Truth is bitter in the beginning, sweet in the end, and lies are sweet in the beginning, bitter in the end” – when they are exposed. Then comes a tremendous bitterness, that you have been deceived by all your parents, by all your teachers, by all your priests, by all your so-called leaders. You have been continuously deceived. That frustration brings a great distrust in everybody. “Nobody is worthy of trust.” It creates a vacuum.
So Nietzsche was not insane in this last phase of his life, it was the very conclusion of his negative approach. An intellect can only be negative, it can argue and criticize and be sarcastic, but it cannot give you any nourishment. Nietzsche could get no nourishment from a negative standpoint, so he lost his God and he lost his consolation. He became free just to be mad.
And it is not only Friedrich Nietzsche, so it cannot be said that it was just an accident. Many intellectual giants find themselves in mad asylums or commit suicide because nobody can live in a negative darkness. One needs light and a positive, affirmative experience of truth. Nietzsche demolished the lie and created a vacuum in himself and in others who followed him.
If deep down you feel a vacuum, utter emptiness with no meaning, it is because of Friedrich Nietzsche. A whole philosophy has grown in the West. Nietzsche is the founder of a very negative approach to life.
Søren Kierkegaard and Jean-Paul Sartre and Marcel, Jaspers, and Martin Heidegger – all the great giants of the first half of the twentieth century – were talking only about meaninglessness, anguish, suffering, anxiety, dread, fear, angst. In the West, this philosophy has been called existentialism. It is not. It is simply nonexistentialism. It destroys everything that has consoled you.
I agree with the destruction because what was consoling man were only lies. God, heaven, hell – all were fictions created to console man. It is good they are destroyed, but you are leaving man in an utter vacuum. Out of that vacuum existentialism is born, that’s why it talks only about meaninglessness: “Life has no meaning.” It talks about no significance: “You are just an accident. Whether you are here or not does not matter at all to existence.” And these people call their philosophy existentialism. They should call it accidentalism. You are not needed; just by accident, on the margin, somehow you have popped up. God was making you a puppet, and these philosophers from Nietzsche to Jean-Paul Sartre are making you accidental.
And there is a tremendous need in man’s being to be related to existence. He needs roots in existence, because only when the roots go deep into existence will he blossom into a buddha, will he blossom into millions of flowers, will his life not be meaningless. Then his life will be tremendously overflowing with meaning, significance, blissfulness; his life will be simply a celebration. But the conclusion of the so-called existentialists is that you are unnecessary, that your life has no meaning, no significance. Existence is not in need of you at all.
So I want to complete Friedrich Nietzsche’s work; it is incomplete. It will lead the whole of humanity to madness – not only Friedrich Nietzsche, but the whole of humanity. Without God, you are certainly free – but for what? You are left with empty hands. You had empty hands before also, because the hands that looked full were full of lies. Now you are absolutely aware that the hands are empty and there is nowhere to go.

I have heard about a very famous atheist. He died, and his wife brought the best clothes, best shoes, before he was put in the coffin – the best tie, the costliest possible. She wanted to give him a good farewell, a good send-off. He was dressed as he had never dressed in his whole life.
And then friends came, and neighbors came. And one woman said, “Wow! He’s all dressed up and nowhere to go!”

Because he was an atheist: he did not believe in God, he did not believe in heaven, he did not believe in hell. Nowhere to go, and completely well-dressed! But this is the situation any negative philosophy is going to leave the whole of mankind in: well-dressed, ready to go, but nowhere to go. This situation creates insanity.
It was not an accident that Friedrich Nietzsche became insane, it was the outcome of his negative philosophy. Hence, I call this series, God is Dead, Now Zen is the Only Living Truth.
I absolutely agree with Friedrich Nietzsche as far as God is concerned, but I want to complete his statement, which he could not do. He was not an awakened being, he was not an enlightened being.
Gautam Buddha also does not have a God, nor does Mahavira have a God, but they never went mad. All the Zen masters and all the great Tao masters – Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu – nobody went mad, and they don’t have any God. They don’t have any hell or heaven. What is the difference? Why did Gautam Buddha not go mad? And it is not only Gautam Buddha. In twenty-five centuries hundreds of his people have become enlightened, and they don’t even talk about God. They don’t even say that there is no God because there is no point. They are not atheists. I am not an atheist, neither am I a theist. God simply is not there, so there is no question of atheism or theism.
But I am not mad. You are my witnesses. It does not create a vacuum in me; on the contrary, there being no God, I have gained the dignity of an individual who is free – free to become a buddha. That is the ultimate goal of freedom. Unless your freedom becomes your very flowering of awareness, and the experience of freedom leads you into eternity, leads you into the roots, into the cosmos and existence, you are going to be mad. Your life will be meaningless, with no significance. Whatever you do does not matter.
Existence, according to the so-called existentialists who are all following Friedrich Nietzsche, the founder, is absolutely unintelligent. They have taken away God, so they think – according to their logic it seems apparently true – that if there is no God, existence also becomes dead, with no intelligence, with no life. God used to be the life, God used to be the consciousness; God used to be the very meaning, the very salt of our being. When God is no longer there, this whole existence becomes soulless, life becomes just a by-product of matter. So when you die, everything will die, nothing will remain. And there is no question of being good or bad. Existence is absolutely indifferent, it does not care about you. God used to care about you. Once God is removed, a great strangeness starts happening between you and existence. There is no relationship, existence does not care, cannot care because it is not conscious anymore. It is no longer an intelligent universe, it is simply dead matter, just as you are. And the life that you know is only a by-product.
A by-product disappears immediately when the elements that were creating it separate. For example, some religions believe that man is made of five elements: earth, air, fire, water, sky. Once these five elements are together, life is produced as a by-product. When these five elements separate in death, life disappears.
To make it clear to you…

In the beginning when you learn to ride a bicycle, you fall many times. I have also learned, but I did not fall while learning because first I watched the learners – and why they fall. They fall because they don’t have confidence. To be on two wheels you need tremendous balance, and if you hesitate… It is just like walking on a tightrope. If you hesitate, just for a moment, those two wheels cannot keep you up on your seat. And those two wheels can remain in balance only at a certain speed, and the learner is bound to move slowly. Obviously, it seems to be rational if you are a learner, you should not go with great speed.
I watched all my friends learning to bicycle, and they always said, “Why don’t you learn?”
I said, “I am watching first. I am watching why you fall, and why after a few days you stop falling.”
And once I got the point, the first time I went as fast as possible! All my friends were puzzled. They said, “We have never seen a learner go that fast. A learner is bound to fall a few times, then he learns how to balance.”
I said, “I have been watching and I got the clue. The clue is you are not confident, not alert that a certain speed is needed to keep the bicycle moving. You cannot stop it and sit on top of it without falling, a certain momentum is needed. So you have to go on pedaling.”
Once I knew exactly what the problem was, I simply went so fast that my whole village wondered, “What will happen to him because he does not know…and he is going with such speed!”
It was difficult for me to stop because I was concerned that if I stopped, the cycle was going to fall. So I had to go to a place where there was a huge bodhi tree near the railway station, almost three miles from my house. For three miles I rushed so fast that people gave way, stood aside. They said, “This is absolute madness!”
But my madness had a method in it. I was going directly to that tree because I knew it had become hollow. So I rode my bicycle into the hollow tree so that the front wheel was inside the tree. Then I could stop, there was no problem of falling.
One villager who was working in his field saw this. He asked me, “This is strange. If there is no tree like this one, how are you going to stop?”
I said, “Now I have learned how to stop, because I just did it; I will not need a tree anymore. But this was my first experience. I had not seen those people stopping, I had seen them falling. I had no experience of stopping, that’s why I was racing so fast to reach the bodhi tree.” One part of it had become completely hollow, and it was a huge tree so I knew that that would be the right place to put my wheel inside for the tree to hold it.

But once I had stopped, I had learned how to stop.
When it came to learning to drive… Majid will be surprised that the name of the man who was teaching me driving was also Majid. He was a Mohammedan. He was one of the best drivers in the city, and he loved me very much. In fact, he chose my first car. So he told me, “I will teach you.”
I said, “I don’t like to be taught. Just drive slowly so I can see and watch.”
He said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “I learn only by watching. I don’t want any teacher – ever!”
He said, “But it is dangerous. A bicycle was okay. At the most you could have hurt yourself or somebody else – but not much. But a car is a dangerous thing.”
I said, “I am a dangerous man. Just drive slowly and tell me everything about where is the pedal, where is the accelerator, where is the brake. Just tell me. And then slowly move, and I will be walking by your side, just watching what you are doing.”
He said, “If you want it this way, I can do it, but I am very much afraid. If you do the same thing with the car as you have done with the bicycle…”
I said, “That’s why I am trying to watch more closely.”
And once I got the idea I told him to get out. And I really did the same thing as I had done with the bicycle. I went so fast, and Majid, my teacher, was running behind me, shouting, “Not that fast!” But I knew: once I know it… And in that city there were no limits on speed. On Indian streets you cannot go beyond fifty-five. There is no need to put a board in each place that the speed limit is fifty-five miles per hour. You cannot go above fifty-five anyway.
But that poor fellow was very much afraid. He came running… He used to participate in races. He was a champion of the state, and there was every possibility that he would become the champion of the whole of India, and perhaps someday he would have participated in the Olympics. He was a very tall man, perhaps seven feet, with long legs. He tried hard to follow me, but soon I disappeared from his vision.
When I came back, he was praying – he was a Mohammedan – under a tree, praying to God for my safety. And when I stopped by his side – so close that he jumped, he forgot all about the prayer – I said, “Don’t be worried. I have learned the whole thing. What were you doing here?”
He said, “I followed you, but soon you disappeared. Then I thought, ‘The only thing is to pray to God to help him, because he knows nothing about driving. He is sitting in the driver’s seat for the first time, and he has gone nobody knows where.’ How did you turn? Where did you turn back?”
I said, “I had no idea how to turn because you were just moving straight and I was walking by your side. I had no idea, so I had to go around the city. I had no idea how to turn, what signals to give, because you had not given me any signals. But I managed. I went around the whole city so fast that the traffic simply gave way. And I came back.”
And he said, “Khuda hafiz.” It means, “God saved you.”
I said, “Don’t bring God in.”

Once you know that a certain balance is needed between the negative and the positive, then you have your roots in existence. It is one extreme to believe in God. It is another extreme not to believe in God. You have to be just in the middle, absolutely balanced.
Atheism becomes irrelevant, theism becomes irrelevant. But your balancing brings a new light, a new joy, a new blissfulness to you, a new intelligence which is not of the mind. That intelligence which is not of the mind makes you aware that the whole existence is tremendously intelligent. It is not only alive, it has sensitivity, it has intelligence.
Once you know your inner being is balanced and silent and peaceful, suddenly doors that have been closed by your thoughts simply open, and the whole existence becomes clear to you. You are not accidental. Existence needs you. Without you, something will be missing in existence and nobody can replace it.
That’s what gives you dignity, that the whole existence will miss you. The stars and sun and moon; the trees, the birds the earth – everything in the universe will feel a small place is vacant which cannot be filled by anybody except you. This gives you a tremendous joy, a fulfillment that you are related to existence and existence cares for you. Once you are clean and clear, you can see tremendous love falling on you from all dimensions.
You are the highest evolution of existence, intelligence, and it is dependent on you. If you grow higher than the mind and its intelligence, toward no-mind and its intelligence, existence is going to celebrate: one man has again reached to the ultimate peak; one part of existence has suddenly risen to the highest possibilities of the intrinsic potential in everybody.
There is a parable that the day Gautam Buddha became enlightened, the tree under which he had become enlightened, suddenly started moving without any wind. He was amazed because there was no wind, no other tree around was moving, not even a single leaf was moving. But the tree under which he was sitting was moving as if it was dancing. It does not have legs, it is so rooted in the earth, but it can at least show its joy.
It is a very strange phenomenon that certain chemicals which make you intelligent, which give you a better mind, are found in the bodhi tree in greater amounts than in any other tree. So it is not just a coincidence that the tree under which Gautam Buddha became enlightened is still called according to his name. Bodhi means enlightenment. And scientists have found that the tree has more intelligence than any other tree in the world. It has that chemical in such overflow.
When Manjushree, one of Gautam Buddha’s closest disciples, became enlightened, the story is that the tree under which he was sitting suddenly started showering flowers – and it was not the season for the tree to bring forth flowers.
It may be just a parable. But these parables indicate that we are not separate from existence, that our joy will be shared even by the trees, even by the rocks, that our enlightenment will be a festival for the whole of existence.
It is meditation that fulfills your inner being and takes away the vacuum that used to be filled by a great lie – God. And many lies have grown around him.
If you remain with the negative, you are going to be insane sooner or later because you have lost all contact with existence, you have lost every meaning, every possibility of finding meaning. You have certainly dropped lies, which is good, but that is not enough to find the truth.
Drop the lies and make some effort to go inward to find the truth. That is the whole science of Zen. That’s why I have entitled the series, God Is Dead, Now Zen Is the Only Living Truth. If God is dead and you don’t come close to the experience of Zen, you will become insane. Your sanity depends now only on Zen; that is the only way to find the truth. Then you are absolutely related with existence and you are no longer a puppet, you are a master.
And a man who knows his relation, his deep relation with existence, cannot commit anything against existence, against life. It is simply impossible. He can only pour as much blissfulness, as much benediction, as much grace as you are ready to receive. But his sources are inexhaustible. When you have found your inexhaustible sources of life and its ecstasy, then it does not matter whether you have a God or not. It does not matter whether there is a hell or a heaven. It does not matter at all.
So, when religious people read Zen, they are simply puzzled because it is not talking about anything they have been taught from the very beginning. It is talking about strange dialogues which have nothing – no place for God, no place for paradise, no place for hell. It is a scientific religion. Its search is not based on belief; its search is based on experience. Just as science is objectively based on experiment, Zen is based subjectively on experience. One science goes outward, another science goes inward.
Nietzsche has no idea how to go inward. The West has been a wrong place for people like Friedrich Nietzsche. If he had been in the East, he would have been a far greater master, a man of absolute sanity. He would have been in the same category, in the same family, as the buddhas.
But unfortunately the West has not learned the lesson even now. It goes on working so hard on the objects. Even one tenth of our energy will be enough to find the inner truth.

Even an Albert Einstein dies in deep frustration… The frustration was so great that before he died he was asked, “If you are born again, what are you going to be?”
He said, “Never again a physicist. Rather, I would like to be a plumber.”

The greatest physicist the world has known dies in such frustration that he does not want anything to do with physics, anything to do with science. He wants a simple job, just like a plumber.
But even that is not going to help. If physics has not helped, if mathematics has not helped, if such a great intelligence as Albert Einstein dies in frustration, being a plumber is not going to help. Still you are outside. A scientist may be too deeply involved, a plumber may not be that much involved, but he is still working outside. Being a plumber is not going to give him what he needs. He needs the silence of meditation. From that silence flowers meaning, significance, a tremendous joy that you are not accidental.
I say to you that what I am teaching you is authentic existentialism, and what in the West is thought to be existentialism is only accidentalism. I am teaching you how to come in contact with existence, how to find out where you are connected, wired with existence. From where are you getting your life moment to moment? From where is your intelligence coming? If existence is unintelligent, how can you be intelligent? Where will you get it from?
When you see the roseflowers blossoming, have you ever thought that all this color, all this softness, all this beauty was hidden somewhere in the seed? But the seed alone was not enough to become a rose; it needed the support of existence – that is the soil, the water, the sun. Then the seed disappeared into the soil and the rosebush started growing. Now it needs air, it needs water, it needs the earth, it needs the sun, it needs the moon. All these together transform the seed which was almost like a dead piece of stone. Suddenly, a transformation, a metamorphosis.
These roses: these colors, this beauty, this fragrance, cannot come from them unless existence has them already. It may be hidden, it may be covered in a seed, but anything that happens means it was there already, maybe as a potential.
You have intelligence…

I have told you the story of Ramakrishna and Keshav Chandra Sen. Keshav Chandra was one of the most intelligent people of his time. He founded a religion just on his intellectual philosophy, Brahma Samaj, “The Society for God.” He had hundreds and thousands of intelligent people, a very intelligent group, as his followers. And he was puzzled that this uneducated Ramakrishna, who had not even completed the primary school… In India, primary school, that is the lowest school, is for four years, and he has done only two years, only half. Why were thousands of people going to this idiot? That was what was in Keshav Chandra Sen’s mind.
Finally he decided he had to go and defeat this man – because he could not think that this man would be able not to be defeated by argument. It was impossible for Keshav Chandra’s mind to think of that. “This idiot from a small village is collecting thousands of people every day! From far and wide people are coming to see him and touch his feet.”
Keshav Chandra and his followers informed Ramakrishna: “I am coming on such and such a day to challenge you on every point in which you believe. Be ready!”
Ramakrishna’s followers were very much afraid. They knew Keshav Chandra was a great logician: poor Ramakrishna would not be able to answer anything. But Ramakrishna was very joyful. He danced. He said, “I have been waiting all this time. When Keshav Chandra comes, that will be a day of great joy.”
His disciples said, “What are you saying? That will be a day of great sadness because you cannot argue with him.”
Ramakrishna said, “Wait! Who is going to argue with him? I don’t need to argue. Let him come!”
But his disciples were shaky, very shaky, very much afraid that their master was going to be defeated, completely crushed. They knew Keshav Chandra. In that century, there was no parallel to Keshav Chandra’s intelligence in this country.
And Keshav Chandra came, with one hundred of his topmost disciples to see the argument, the debate, the challenge. And when Keshav Chandra came, Ramakrishna was standing on the road to receive him, far away from the temple where he used to live. He hugged Keshav Chandra. Keshav Chandra felt a little embarrassed, and that embarrassment went on growing.
Ramakrishna took Keshav Chandra’s hand in his hand and took him inside. He said, “I have been waiting and waiting for years. Why did you not come before?”
Keshav Chandra thought, “He seems to be a strange man, seems not to be afraid at all.” He said, “Do you understand? I have come here for a discussion.”
Ramakrishna said, “Of course.”
So they sat near the temple by the side of the Ganges, a beautiful place under a tree.
And Ramakrishna said, “Start!”
So Keshav Chandra asked him, “What do you say about God?”
Ramakrishna said, “Have I to say anything about God? Can’t you see God in my eyes?”
Keshav Chandra looked a little puzzled. “What kind of argument is this?”
And Ramakrishna said, “Can’t you feel God in my hand? Come closer, boy.”
And Keshav Chandra said, “What kind of argument…?”
He had been in many debates, he had defeated many great scholars, and this villager… In Hindi the word for idiot is ganwar, but it actually means the villager. Gaon means village, and ganwar means from the village. But ganwar is used as stupid, retarded, idiot.
Ramakrishna said, “If you cannot understand the language of my eyes, if you cannot understand the energy of my hand, then you are enough of a proof that existence is intelligent. From where have you got your intelligence?”
This was a grand argument. He was saying, “If you have got this great intelligence – and I know you are a great, intelligent person, I have always loved you – tell me from where it comes. If existence is without intelligence, you cannot get it – from where? You are the proof that existence is intelligent, and that is what I mean by God. To me, God is not somebody sitting on a cloud. To me, God simply means existence is not unintelligent. It is an intelligent universe, and we belong and we are needed. It rejoices in our rejoicings, it celebrates our celebrations, it dances with our dance. Have you seen my dance?” And he started dancing.
Keshav Chandra said, “What to do!”
But he danced so beautifully. He was a good dancer, because he used to dance in the temple sometimes from morning till evening – no coffee break! He would dance and dance till he fell on the ground.
So he started dancing with such joy and such grace that suddenly there was a transformation in Keshav Chandra. He forgot all his logic. He saw the beauty of this man, he saw the splendor of this man, he saw a joy which he had never felt.
All that intellect, all those arguments were just superficial. Inside there was utter emptiness. This man was so overflowing. He touched the feet of Ramakrishna and said, “Forgive me. I was absolutely wrong about you. I know nothing, and I have been just philosophizing. You know everything, and you are not saying a single word.”
Ramakrishna said, “I will forgive you only on one condition.”
Keshav Chandra said, “Any condition from your side. I am ready.”
Ramakrishna said, “The condition is that once in a while you have to come to discuss with me, to debate with me, to challenge me.”
This is the way of a mystic.
Keshav Chandra was completely finished. He became a totally different man; he started to come every day. Soon his disciples deserted him: “He has gone mad. That madman infected him so much. There was only one madman, now there are two. He is also dancing with him!”
But Keshav Chandra, who had been a sad man – grudging, complaining about everything because he was living in a negative space –suddenly blossomed. Flowers came to his being, a new fragrance. He forgot all logic. This man helped him have a taste of something that is beyond mind.

Zen is the method to go beyond mind. So we will be discussing God and Zen together. God has to be negated, and Zen has to be planted the deepest in your being. The lie has to be destroyed and the truth has to be revealed. That’s why I have chosen God and Zen together. God is a lie, Zen is a truth.

The first question:
Is God really dead? The very idea of his death creates intense anxiety, fear, dread, and anguish.
The way I look at things, God has never been there, so how can he be dead? He was never born in the first place.
It was invented by the priests, and it was invented for exactly these reasons: because man was in anxiety, man was in fear, man was in dread, man was in anguish. When there was no light, no fire – just think of those days of humanity – with wild animals all around, and the dark night, the intense cold, no clothes, and the wild animals searching for their food in the night, and people were hiding in their caves, sitting on the trees just to avoid them. In the day, at least they could see that a lion was approaching, they could make some effort to escape. But in the night, they were completely in the hands of the wild animals.
And then they found that a time comes… People become old for no reason, and one day somebody dies. They could not understand what was happening. This man was talking, breathing, walking, was perfectly okay. Suddenly he was no longer breathing, he was no longer talking. It was such a shock to the primitive man that death became a taboo: don’t talk about it. Even talking about it created fear, fear that sooner or later you would be standing in the same queue – and the queue is becoming smaller and smaller every moment. Somebody dies and you come closer to death; another dies, you come even closer to death.
Even to talk about death became a taboo, and not only to ordinary primitive people, even to the most sophisticated. The founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, could not tolerate the word death. No one was allowed to mention the word in front of him, because just the mention of the word death and he would fall into a fit, he would become unconscious and start foaming. Such was the fear of the man who founded psychoanalysis.

Once Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung, another great psychoanalyst, were traveling together from Europe to America to deliver lectures on psychoanalysis to many universities. And on the deck of the ship, Carl Gustav Jung mentioned death. Immediately Sigmund Freud fell on the ground.
And that was the reason Sigmund Freud expelled Jung from the psychoanalytic movement and he had to found another school. He called it analytical psychology. Just a different name, but it is the same process. But the reason for his expulsion was the mention of death.

Two things have been taboos in the world, and those two things are two polarities of the same energy. One is sex, which has been taboo, “Don’t talk about it,” another is death which is taboo, “Don’t talk about it.” And both are connected: in the beginning is sex, in the end is death. It is sex that brings death in.
Only one animal does not die, that is the amoeba. And you know that perfectly well because Pune is so full of amoebas. I have chosen this place specially because amoebas are immortal beings. And their immortality depends on the fact that they are not sexual beings; they are not the by-product of sex, so there is no death. Sex and death are absolutely connected. Just try to understand.
Sex brings you into life, and life finally ends in death. Sex is the beginning, death is the end. In between is what you call life.
The amoeba is a non-sexual animal, the only celibate monk in the whole world. It reproduces in a very different way. God must be immensely happy, if he’s there, with the amoebas. They are all saints. They simply go on eating and becoming fatter and fatter, and at a certain point they divide into two. When one amoeba becomes so fat that it becomes impossible for him to move he divides in two.
This is a different way of reproduction. But because there is no sex involved, there is no male, no female. Both the amoebas start eating again. Soon they will be fat enough to divide again. So they create by a very mathematical method. There is no death. An amoeba never dies – unless murdered. He can live from eternity to eternity if medical science does not murder him. But their immortality is because they are not the by-product of sex. Any animal which is born of sex is going to die, he cannot be immortal in the body.
So these two things have been taboos in the world: sex and death. Both have been kept hidden.
Nobody talks about sex. I have been condemned all around the world, simply because I talk about every taboo without any inhibition, because I want you to know everything about life from sex to death. Only then can you rise beyond sex and death. In your understanding you can start approaching something which is beyond sex and beyond death. That is your eternity, that is your life energy, pure energy.
By sex your body is born, not you. By death your body dies, not you. So it is absolutely unnecessary to make those taboos. Religions have a great investment in creating anxiety, fear, dread and anguish in you. And nature was already producing it.
Religions, and particularly the priests all over the world, whatever their denomination, have exploited man’s fear, have given him God – a fiction, a lie, but at least it temporarily covers the wound. “Don’t be afraid, God is taking care of you. Don’t be in any dread or anxiety, there is God, and everything is okay. All that you have to do is believe in God and believe in the representative of God, the priest, and believe in the holy scripture that God has sent to the world. All that you have to do is to believe.” And this belief has been covering your anxiety, fear, dread, anguish.
So when you hear that God is dead, the very idea of his death creates intense anxiety. That means your wound has been uncovered. But a covered wound is not a healed wound. In fact, for the healing process it has to be uncovered. Only then, in the sun’s rays, in the open air, will it start healing. A wound should never be covered because in covering it you start forgetting about it. You want to forget about it. Once it is covered, not only do others not see it, you yourself don’t see it. And under the cover it goes on becoming a cancer.
Every wound has to be healed, not covered. Covering is not the way. God was the cover, that’s why the very concept that God is dead creates fear. Whatever comes to your mind – intense anxiety, fear, dread, and anguish – these were the things the priests were covering with the word God. But by their covering, they have stopped man’s evolution toward buddhahood, they have stopped man’s healing process, they have stopped man’s search for truth. A lie was handed to you as truth. Naturally you need not search for truth, you have it already.
It is absolutely necessary that God should be dead. But I want you to know my understanding. It was good of Friedrich Nietzsche to declare God dead. I declare that he has never been born. It is a created fiction, an invention, not a discovery. Do you understand the difference between invention and discovery? A discovery is about truth, an invention is manufactured by you. It is man-manufactured fiction.
Certainly it has given consolation, but consolation is not the right thing. Consolation is opium. It keeps you unaware of the reality, and life is flowing past you so quickly – seventy years will be gone soon.
Anybody who gives you a belief system is your enemy because the belief system becomes the barrier for your eyes: you cannot see the truth. The very desire to find the truth disappears.
But if all the belief systems are taken away from you, in the beginning it is certainly bitter. I know that the fear and anxiety which you have been suppressing for millennia but which are there, very alive, will surface immediately. No God can destroy them. Only the search for truth and the experience of truth – not a belief – is capable of healing all your wounds, of making you a whole being. And the whole person is the holy person to me.
If God is removed and you start feeling fear and dread, and anxiety and anguish, that simply indicates God was not the medicine. It was just a trick to keep your eyes closed. It was a blinding strategy to keep you in darkness, and to keep you hoping that beyond death there is paradise. Why beyond death? It is because you are afraid of death, so the priest creates a paradise beyond death just to take away your fear. But it is not taken away, it is only repressed in your unconscious. And the deeper it is repressed the more difficult it is to get rid of it.
So I want to destroy all your belief systems, all your theologies, all your religions. I want to open all your wounds so they can be healed. The real medicine is not a belief system; the real medicine is meditation.
Do you know that both the words come from the same root: medicine and meditation? Medicine heals the body, meditation heals your soul. But their function is the same – healing.
Once you drop God, you are certainly free. But in this freedom you will be filled with anxiety, fear, dread, anguish. Unless you start moving inward to find your authentic being, your original face, your buddha, you will be trembling, your whole life will be destroyed. You may become insane the way Friedrich Nietzsche became insane.
And he is not the only person who became insane. There are many philosophers who have committed suicide because they found there is nothing in life, and they never looked inward. Because they found there is no meaning, no sense, “Why go on living?”
One of the great novels, perhaps the greatest novel in all the languages, is Fyodor Dostoevsky’s, The Brothers Karamazov. It is far more important to read than the holy Bible, or holy Koran, or holy Gita, or all three combined. The Brothers Karamazov has such a deep insight into everything. But Fyodor Dostoevsky went mad.
He created the greatest novels in the world, but he himself lived a very miserable, very sad, very afraid life. He was not a man of joy, but he had tremendous intellectual insight into every problem that man is bound to face. He has tackled all the problems. The Brothers Karamazov is such a big novel that nowadays nobody reads it; people like just to watch the television. It is perhaps nearabout one thousand pages – and with intense argument.

The youngest brother – there are three brothers – is very pious, believing, God-fearing. He wants to become a monk and move to a monastery. The second brother is absolutely against God, absolutely against religion, and in a discussion with his younger brother they are continuously discussing all these problems. He says, “If I ever meet God, the first thing I am going to do is to give him the ticket back, and tell him, ‘Keep it. I don’t want your life. It is meaningless. Just show me the way out. I don’t want to be in the world. I just want to get out of existence; death seems to me to be more peaceful than your so-called life. Just take the ticket back. I don’t want to travel in this train. And you never asked me. It is against me, you have forced me on this train, and now I am suffering unnecessarily. I had no freedom of choice. Why did you give me birth?’”
That’s what he says he is going to ask if he meets God: “On what grounds did you give me birth? Without my permission you created me. Now this is perfect slavery. And, without asking me, one day you will kill me. You have planted every kind of sickness in me, you have planted every kind of sin in me. I am condemned, and you are the reason.”
Who has planted sex in you? It must be God, who created man and who told Adam and Eve to go into the world and multiply: “Create as many children as you can.” Obviously he has made them sexual, and he created the couple.
Ivan Karamazov, the atheist brother, says, “If I find him…” and who knows, he may still be living and Friedrich Nietzsche may be wrong, “…then I am going to kill him. I will be the first to make the whole of humanity free from this dictator who on the one hand implants sex, violence, anger, greed, ambition – all kinds of poisons – in man, and on the other hand, his representatives go on hammering you that, ‘Sex is sin, you should be celibate.’ Strange!”
George Gurdjieff used to say, “All religions are against God.” There is meaning in his statement. He was not a man to make any statement without a deep, intense understanding. When he says all religions are against God, he is saying God gives you sex and religions teach you celibacy. What do they mean? God gives you greed and religions teach you no greed. God gives you violence and religions teach you no violence. God gives you anger and religions say no anger. It is such a clear-cut argument, that all religions are against God.
Ivan Karamazov said, “If I meet him anywhere I am going to kill him, but before killing him I am going to ask all these questions.”
The whole novel is a tremendous argument. The third brother is not their real brother. He is born of a woman who was not the wife of their father, who was only a servant. So the third brother is kept almost out of the eyes of society, so he remains retarded. He is almost like an animal: he eats, drinks, and lives in a dark place in the vast palace of the Karamazovs. Certainly his life is absolutely meaningless.
And Ivan Karamazov said, “Think about our cousin-brother, illegitimate, who God also created. What is the meaning of his life? He cannot even come out in the sun, in the air. Our father keeps him shut in darkness. Nobody ever comes to see him, nobody ever comes to greet him. Nobody is his friend in this whole earth. He knows nobody else. He cannot speak well because he has never spoken to anybody. His whole life is just like an animal: eating, drinking, sleeping; eating, drinking, sleeping… He will never know any woman, he will never know any love. What will happen to his sex instinct?”
It is a very intense argument about all the problems human beings will face, any intelligent man is going to face. Ivan is bringing all those problems: “What do you say? What does your God say about my cousin-brother? What is his meaning? Why has he created him this way? If anybody is responsible, he is responsible, and I am going to take revenge. Just let me find him! And I hope,” Ivan Karamazov says, “that Nietzsche is not right, that he is not dead. Otherwise I will miss the chance to murder him. I want to murder him so that the whole of humanity becomes freed from him.”

But once you make humanity free, freedom for what? For fear? For death? For suicide? For murder? For theft? Freedom for what?

One of the existentialist novels says that a young man is brought before a court because he has killed a stranger on the beach. He has not even seen his face. The stranger was sitting looking at the sunset and this man came from behind, pushed a knife into his back and killed him. And he has not seen who he was.
It was a very strange case. You don’t kill like that unless you have some enmity, some anger, some revengefulness. But they were not even known to each other, they were not even friends. You can kill friends – and friends are killing each other – but he was not even a friend, what to say about an enemy, because you can make somebody an enemy only if you make him first your friend. That step is necessary: first friend, then enemy. You cannot make somebody an enemy directly. Some acquaintance, some friendship is needed to become an enemy.
The court was at a loss. The judge asked the man, “Why did you kill a stranger whose face you had not seen, whose name you did not know?”
The man said, “It does not matter. I was feeling so bored I wanted to do something, something that would get my photograph in all the newspapers. It has come; I feel a little less bored. And anyway there is no meaning in life. What was that idiot doing? What was he going to do if I had not killed him? Just repeat the same things that he has done already many times. So what is the fuss? Why have I been brought into the court?”
The magistrate seems absolutely puzzled. There is no eyewitness except this man himself who says, “I have killed that man, but without witnesses you cannot punish me. I may be lying – who knows? – but there are no witnesses.”
Then circumstantial witnesses are brought into the court. One neighbor said, “This man is strange. His mother died on a Sunday, and when he was informed he said, ‘I always knew that woman would only create trouble. On Sunday – it is a holiday! Couldn’t she die on Saturday or Friday? But I knew perfectly well from the very beginning that that woman, who has been a torture my whole life, was going to destroy one of my holidays. And it has come true.’” And when asked, “Why are you feeling so angry?” he said, “I am feeling angry because I have purchased two tickets, one for my girlfriend and one for myself, and we were going to the movies, and this woman could have died any other day. What is the point of dying on a Sunday? I don’t understand at all. But I know her mind.”
Another man came and said, “He buried his mother and then he was dancing in a disco that very evening with a very young, beautiful woman. And when asked, ‘Your mother has died just this morning. It does not look right that you should dance in the evening in the disco,’ he said, ‘What do you mean? Now every time I will dance it will be after the death of my mother, so what does it matter whether it is twelve hours, six hours, twelve days, fifteen days, five years? It will always be after the death of my mother. So when I look at the facts, do you want me never to dance because my mother has died?’”
He is absolutely logical, but inhuman.
So these witnesses went on saying about him: “This man is strange. He can do anything, without relevance.”
But the man said, “I don’t see any relevance in life itself. What is the crime in killing a man? I am simply freeing him from bondage. I am not committing a sin, I am not committing a crime. I am simply helping a man who was too cowardly to commit suicide.”

A negative philosophy will bring these results. A negative philosophy basically will lead humanity into madness, and its ultimate conclusion can only be to commit suicide.

A great negative philosopher of Greece, Zeno, actually preached his whole life that suicide is the only way out. And you will be surprised, thousands of his disciples committed suicide because he was a very convincing man.
And he lived up to the age of ninety. When asked, just before his death, “It is a very strange thing, thousands of young people have committed suicide because of your philosophizing: ‘Life is meaningless, of no significance. It is cowardice that people are living. They cannot gather courage enough to take a jump and be finished. Don’t be a coward. Only suicide can prove that you are not a coward.’”
He was very convincing. It seems convincing if somebody says to you, “Only suicide can prove that you are not a coward; otherwise what is the point of living? What have you done up to now? You have lived half of life. What is the result? What is the outcome? You will live the same way the remaining half, and will die like an animal. At least have the dignity to commit suicide!”
That man was saying that birth was not in your hands, but at least don’t let death also be your master. Be master of your death, commit suicide! His arguments are very profound. He was saying, “You were helpless as far as birth was concerned. You could not do anything, it had to happen. But about death there is a possibility: either you die like an animal, or you commit suicide like a man. Suicide gives the dignity to man that he is free to choose his death.” And he convinced many young people and they committed suicide.
Just before he died, at the last moment, somebody asked him, “Thousands of people have committed suicide according to your philosophizing and argumentation, why have you not committed suicide? Why have you lived a long life? You are ninety.”
The man said, “I had to live, just to teach my philosophy. It was a burden, but out of compassion I had to live. Otherwise, who was going to teach it? The only right approach toward life is death. I have suffered my whole life. You call me long-living: I have suffered my whole life, I have dropped my own dignity by not committing suicide because I had to take care of my fellow citizens, particularly my disciples. Now I am perfectly happy that they have all committed suicide. Now I can die in peace, I have done my work.”

Negative philosophy is going to bring such conclusions. Zen is the only living alternative, positive alternative, because it gives you a sense of direction, a sense of fulfillment, a sense of eternity, and a sense of going beyond birth, death, body, and being one with this beautiful existence which is immensely intelligent.

The second question:
Is it possible for man to live without God?
Yes. In fact, it is only possible for man to live without God. A man with God does not live, he hesitates on every point of living, he is just half-hearted.
He is making love and worried about hell. Now, how can he love a woman when the Bible goes on saying that the woman is the gateway to hell? And he is making love, and he is thinking about the Bible and the sermon on Sunday that says: “The woman is the gateway to hell. What are you doing?” So neither can he love, nor can he live without love. God has put man in a very schizophrenic state, half-hearted in everything.
You are earning money, and on the other hand you know that it is a sin, you are greedy. If you don’t earn money you are starving, and the whole nature makes starvation repellent to you, forces you to earn something to feed yourself. Nature pulls one way, God and his representative pull you the other way. You are in a strange position.
In Hindi we have a beautiful proverb. In India donkeys are used by the washerman to carry clothes to the river. And then, after washing, he again puts the clothes on the donkey and takes them to every house from where he has collected them in the morning. So the proverb is: “Your life is just like a washerman’s donkey.” Neither is he ever at the house nor ever at the river: always in between, going from the house to the river, going from the river to the house.
“The washerman’s donkey” simply means schizophrenia. You are always half in every act, but because the whole humanity is schizophrenic you don’t realize it. You love, but you hate the same person you love. Who has created this hate? Because this is the woman you love, and this woman is going to be the gateway to hell, you are bound to hate her too. So you love and you hate. You make friends in the evening; by the morning you become enemies. You go on moving away and you go on coming together. This goes on continuously – the washerman’s donkey.
You are asking, “Is it possible for man to live without God?” It is only possible to live totally, to live meditatively, to live fully without God.
Sigmund Freud’s statement is worth remembering. He worked on sex his whole life because “sex was the root of all the problems.” But he never understood that it is not sex that is the problem, it is the suppression of sex that is the problem. The priest is the problem, the God is the problem, the holy scriptures are the problem. Sex is not the problem.
Sex is such a simple thing. All the animals are enjoying sex, and none of them goes to the psychoanalyst’s couch. I have never met any animal going to the psychiatrist because he is feeling schizophrenic. They are all living and enjoying. There is no problem.
The pagans lived very joyously before religions, particularly Christianity, destroyed them from the earth. They had no idea of any sin. They loved women, they danced, they drank, they played music. Their whole life was sheer joy.
Sigmund Freud has one statement which I was going to tell you: “The priests cannot destroy sex.” But they have succeeded in poisoning it. They could not succeed in destroying sex, otherwise there would have been no humanity. Sex is there, but they have destroyed the joy in it, they have made it a great sin. So you are committing the sin, and you think the woman is the cause.
The reality is totally different: it is God. But God is only a fiction so he cannot do anything. The priest is the representative, is the spokesman of God – who goes on creating all kinds of guilt feelings in you. Those guilt feelings don’t allow you to live: everything is wrong, everything is a sin.
So to your question, “Is it possible for man to live without God?” I say unto you, it is only possible for man to live if he is without God. But this is only half. The fictitious God has to be replaced by an actual experience of truth in meditation; otherwise you will go insane.

The third question:
All the religions are based on God. Their morality, their commandments, their prayers, their saintliness – everything points toward God, and you say that God is dead. Then what will happen to all these great things that are dependent on the concept of God?
All those things that are dependent on the concept of God are bogus. Hypocrites are created by all those things. Your morality is not real: it is imposed out of fear, or out of greed. A true morality arises only in a meditator’s consciousness. It is not something imported from the outside, it is something arising in your very being. It is spontaneous. And when morality is spontaneous, it is a joy, it is simply sharing your compassion and love.
All the qualities which are dependent on God will disappear with God disappearing. They are very superficial.
You all have back doors. At the front door you are one person, at the back door you are a different person. Have you ever watched it? At the front door you are a great Catholic, so religious, so pious, so prayerful, that anybody can think you were a saint. But this is only in your sitting room. From the back door you are only as human beings are supposed to be, with all their instincts, with all their sex, with all their greed, with all their anger. Just look at your God itself. Different religions have different ideas, but all ideas prove one thing: that God is the original sinner.
The Hindu God created woman and became infatuated with his own daughter. And the woman became afraid, so she became a cow and God became a bull. She rushed away and became somebody else, and God followed her. That’s how all the species have been created by Hindu theology: it was God following the woman into different forms. The created being was always the female, God was always the male. That’s why there are so many millions of species. The woman may have become a female mosquito, God became a male mosquito…but he went on and on, perhaps he is still going on.
Do you think this God is a moral god? And the same is true about all gods of all religions. The Jewish God says in the Old Testament, “I am a very jealous God. I am not the one who is going to forgive you, I am a very angry God. You should not worship anybody else except me. And remember I am your father, not your uncle.” What kind of God? – jealous, worried that you may worship another god. And finally he says, “I am your father, remember; I am not your uncle” – because uncles are always nicer people than fathers.
A German Catholic theology professor, Uta Ranke-Heinemann, recently made the following comment: “The majority of Catholic bishops in the US are sexually disturbed. We must assume that German bishops will soon be calling a commission to see if they are sexually disturbed also.” The Bamberg church historian, professor George Denzler, stated: “The pope is responsible for a very painful, very terrible sexual morality.”
And a German Protestant pastor, Helga Frisch, said, “When celibacy was introduced in the tenth century, the priests killed the pope’s ambassador and threatened to murder the archbishop. I am amazed that priests today don’t resort to similar tactics.”
There is a morality which is imposed from the outside which is never in tune with your heart. And there is a morality that comes from within you: it is always in tune with your heart and in tune with the heart of the universe. That is authentic morality.
I don’t give you any discipline, any morality. I simply give you a clarity of vision. Out of that clarity whatsoever comes is good, is divine, is moral.
Now the sutra…
A little biographical note:

Sekito Kisen was born in China in 700 and was to die ninety years later. Known also as Shih-Tou, Sekito was a contemporary of Ma Tzu. But where the latter was part of what was to become the Rinzai line of Chinese Zen, Sekito was in the Soto line.

These are the two lineages of Zen: Rinzai Zen and Soto Zen. Both are the same, they just come from different masters. There is nothing basically different.
But there have been so many masters, it is really amazing that there are only two lines. There could have been a thousand lines, but Zen is only given to the disciple if he is ready. Sometimes the master never finds a single man who can carry the lineage, so that line is simply finished, comes to a full stop.
So, many, many masters have lived, and their line will go for two generations, three generations, and then it will stop – because it is not a question of following, it is a question of a direct transfer between the master and the disciple. Unless the master chooses to transfer, that line is broken.
Only two lines are living still. One is Rinzai Zen – we have talked about almost all the masters of the Rinzai Zen sect. This Sekito Kisen belongs to the Soto line. You will not see any difference. There cannot be any difference between two enlightened people.

It is said that between Ma Tzu and Sekito, Zen took flight.

Ma Tzu was a very strange master – you already know about him. He walked just like an animal on all fours, never stood up on his legs – not that there was any problem, not that he was a hunchback. He just walked on all fours because he said that is the most relaxed position. It is, because man is standing almost against nature. No animal stands on two legs, because when you stand on two legs your heart has to pump against gravitation toward the head. This cuts your life in half.
You could live one hundred and forty years if you walked like Ma Tzu. But please don’t do it because what will you do living a hundred and forty years? When you are walking like an animal, your blood flow is horizontal, and you are not putting extra stress on the heart. Ma Tzu would have never had a heart attack; that would have been impossible. No animal ever has a heart attack; it is only man because he has gone against nature.
He used to walk on all fours. That is the whole theory of Charles Darwin, of evolution: that man once was an animal. What kind of animal? Maybe there are differences, but one thing is certain: at one time he used to walk on four legs. There were no heart attacks! Just see how healthy animals are – except in a zoo; in a zoo they become more human. See the animals in the wild…
Just nearby, a few hundred miles away, there is a beautiful lake, Tadoba. It is a forest reserve: a very big forest surrounding the lake with only one government rest house. I used to go there many times. Whenever I was passing by, I would stay in that rest house for at least one or two days. It was so lonely, so utterly silent, and the forest is full of thousands of deer.
Every evening when the sun sets and darkness descends, thousands and thousands, line upon line of deer will come to the lake. You just have to sit and watch. In the dark night their eyes look like burning candles, thousands of candles moving around the lake. The whole night the scene continues. You get tired, because there are so many deer; they go on coming, go on coming. It is such a beautiful experience.
But one thing I wondered… They are all alike. Nobody is fat, nobody is thin, nobody seems to be sick, hospitalized. They are so full of life and energy. You cannot beat a deer if you run by his side. No winner in the Olympic races can run the way a deer can run because he has such thin legs and such a proportionate body. And he jumps big hedges without any trouble. And his running is a beauty to see. Just the deer’s muscles, their movement, is so healthy that man looks almost sick.
This was the trouble that arose by standing up. Your life has been shortened, your heart is continuously under stress because it has to pump against gravitation. It was not made for that.
So Ma Tzu was a very strange man, perhaps there has never been another man so strange. A unique master in himself, he walked on all fours and always looked like a tiger. Whenever he looked at somebody, people started trembling deeply. He was a dangerous man. He was very healthy, he was bound to be, he was almost like a bull. Just the horns were missing, otherwise…
Between Ma Tzu on one side, Rinzai Zen, and Sekito on the other side, Soto Zen, Zen took great flights. Both were very powerful people, great masters.

As a young boy, Sekito took a stand against an old custom of sacrificing a bull as a means to placate evil spirits; he made a habit of destroying the shrines devoted to such spirits, and would release bulls from their enclosures so they could escape.
At the age of twelve, Sekito met master Eno. Eno predicted that Sekito would follow the dharma, and advised him to become a monk and go to master Seigen. After Eno left his body, Sekito went to Seigen.

This is just a small biographical note about Sekito.
Now begins the sutra:
On their first meeting, Seigen asked Sekito, “Where do you come from?” and Sekito replied, “I come from Sokei.”
…Where Eno, his old master lived, who has sent him to Seigen because his death was imminent, and who said, “I will not be able to see your enlightenment, but you are bound to be enlightened. Just go to Seigen.”
This is the beauty of Zen, no competition at all. The whole thing is that everybody should become enlightened. Where he becomes enlightened is not important. Who is the master who makes him enlightened is not important. Seeing death coming, Eno said to Sekito, “You are bound to become enlightened, but my death is very close by. It is better you go to Seigen.” And Seigen was his competitor.
Eno lived in Sokei. So when Seigen asked, “Where do you come from?” Sekito replied, “I come from Sokei.” In other words he is saying, “I am coming from Eno, your competitor master. He has sent me here.”
Seigen held up a whisk and said, “Did you find this over there?”
Sekito replied, “No, not only was it not over there, but it was also not in the Westland.”
The Westland in Japan is India. “What you are asking me for was not in Sokei, it was not even in India where Gautam Buddha was born and where Mahakashyapa started the Zen tradition. What is it that was not even with Buddha or with Mahakashyapa or with Bodhidharma?”
Seigen asked, “You reached the Westland, didn’t you?” to which Sekito replied, “If I had reached, I could have found it.”
“Only I was missing, otherwise it was everywhere. It was not there because I did not go there.” He is talking about his own being. It was inside him, not in Sokei, and not even in India.
This is a great dialogue. He is saying, “If I had gone there, it would have been there. It is within me.” But he is not directly indicating that it is within him. That is the way of Zen dialogues – nothing direct, everything very indirect. And you have to catch the knack of following the indirect indications of what they mean.
Seigen said, “Not yet enough – speak further.”
Seigen is testing Sekito: whether to accept him as a disciple. Certainly he must be a man of tremendous possibilities, otherwise Eno – his competitor master – would not have sent him to him.
The competition between masters is a very strange phenomenon.

There is an ancient story in India that there were two sweet shops. They were competitors to each other and were always quarreling because the street was small – as in the past all the streets were very small. Just sitting in their shops they could talk to each other, and there were always arguments.
One day things came to such a head that they started throwing sweets at each other. A whole crowd gathered, and they were jumping and catching the sweets and enjoying. The fight went on till both their shops were completely empty. And the whole city enjoyed it because they got all the sweets.

This story is told to indicate that when two masters fight it is just throwing sweets at each other. The disciples enjoy it. All of their disciples, both sides, eat the sweets that the masters are throwing at each other.
The competitor masters were not enemies. They were using different methods, but they were working for the same truth from different angles. When Eno thought that his death was coming close, he could not see anyone better then Seigen, even though Seigen was his lifelong competitor. That was immaterial: he is the best man, Eno knows him. His whole life they have been fighting and arguing, dialogue upon dialogue, pulling each other’s legs. And they lived close enough, not far away.
Seigen said, “Not yet enough – speak further.” You have not said enough. You are very intelligent – just speak a little more.
Sekito replied, “You should also speak from your side. How is it you urge only me?”
“You know perfectly well where I am coming from. I come from Eno – you were equal competitors; neither could defeat the other – and I am his best disciple. So don’t just ask me to speak; you have to speak from your side too. I represent my master here. He has sent me. I owe everything to my master. So it is not going to be a one-sided dialogue. You also have to say something.”
This is a beautiful illustration that even disciples have a dignity. Although he has come to be a disciple to Seigen, that does not mean one has to lose one’s dignity, one’s individuality; that one has to surrender. No master would like a man who has no dignity. This proves that the man has his own integrity.
Seigen said, “There’s no problem for me in answering you, but nobody would agree with it.” Seigen continued, “When you were at Sokei, what did you get there?”
He has just made very significant statement without making it look important. He is saying, “There is no problem for me in answering you, but nobody would agree with it.” If a master really speaks his mind, if he really speaks that which is beyond the mind, nobody is going to agree with him – only a few masters, and they are very few, very rare.
And he said to Sekito, “You will not agree with it. You are not yet enlightened. You are not yet in that space. You can intellectually argue with me but you cannot understand my answers. Remember, I am ready to answer any question you have, but nobody is going to agree. At least you are not going to agree. Perhaps your master would have agreed, but it is very rare to find another enlightened man to talk with me – where agreement is possible beyond intellect. So it is better, rather than me saying anything, that you tell me. What did you get when you were at Sokei with Eno? What have you got?”
Sekito replied, “Even before going to Sokei…”
…and this is a very beautiful statement; very deep and profound.
Sekito replied, “Even before going to Sokei, I had not lost a thing.”
So there is no question of getting anything from Eno, I have everything within me.

A great thinker, Martin Buber, a Jewish philosopher, was on his deathbed – this is just a few years back – and the rabbi came and said to him, “Have you made peace with God?”
Martin Buber’s last words… He opened his eyes and he said to the rabbi, “I have never quarreled with him. What question is there of making peace with God?”
And he died.

That’s what Sekito is saying: “Even before going to Sokei, I had not lost a thing” so there was no question of getting anything there. “I am carrying everything within me.”
Then Sekito asked, “When you were in Sokei, did you know yourself?”
Because of his statement that he had not lost anything even before he went to Eno, to his place in Sokei, Sekito asked:
“When you were in Sokei, did you know yourself?”
Seigen said, “How about you? Do you know me now?”
Sekito answered, “Yes, I do. How can I know you any further?” He continued, “Osho, since you left Sokei, how long have you been staying here?”
Seigen replied, “I do not know either. And you, when did you leave Sokei?”
Sekito said, “I don’t come from Sokei.”
He has changed his statement completely. First he said he came from Sokei. That was just a superficial answer to ‘From where do you come?’” Now things are getting deeper. Sekito said, “I don’t come from Sokei.” He means that he is coming from eternity. Sokei was just one of the stops on the way; he has not come from Sokei, he’s coming from eternity. There have been many stops; Sokei was one of the stops.
Seigen responded, “Alright – now I know where you come from.”
Sekito said, “Osho, you are a great one – do not waste time.”
He was saying, “You are unnecessarily wasting time in checking me – whether I am of any worth or not – but before you accept me as a disciple, I have accepted you as a master.” That’s why he has suddenly started calling him Osho. He is saying whether you accept me as a disciple or not does not matter. I have accepted you as my master. “Osho, you are a great one – do not waste time.” – “Let us begin the real work.”
That is the honest seeker’s response. Don’t waste time in this dialogue and answering and questioning. Just let us begin the real work. And the real work is following the inner path to your very center.
Taneda wrote:
Searching for what?
I walk in the wind.
He is saying, “I don’t know what I am searching for. How can I know before I have found it? Truth is just a word. How can I say what I am searching for before I have found it? You cannot say what you are searching for.”
This is a very strange but beautiful statement. He is saying before you find the truth, you cannot even say you are searching for truth. You are simply searching, you don’t know for what, because if you had known, there would have been no need to search. So you are just groping.
Taneda is perfectly right. A seeker is simply groping in the dark, hoping some way must be there. Existence cannot be so cruel.
“Searching for what? I walk in the wind.” I am just flying everywhere, walking in the wind. But I don’t know what I am searching for. I will know only when I have found it.
He is saying anybody who is searching for something is believing in something before he has found it, and that is wrong. That’s what all the religions are doing, creating beliefs before people have even found anything. Before they have known anything they have been turned into believers, into faithful ones, and their whole search has been destroyed.
I don’t tell you what you are searching for. I simply show you the way. I simply insist, “Go on, go on, go on.” You are bound to find it because it is there somewhere inside you. If you search deep enough, with urgency and totality, you are bound to find it. And you will know only by finding what you were searching for. This is a totally different, diametrically opposite standpoint from all the belief systems of the world.

A question from Maneesha:
Is not the fantasy of an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God simply a covert expression of man's will to power?
Maneesha, it is both. First, it is a deep fear of life and death, a fear of ignorance, a fear of not knowing oneself. But out of this fear also arises a desire for power. In fact, the desire for power is always based on an inferiority complex.
That’s why I say all politicians and all so-called great religious leaders are suffering from an inferiority complex. That inferiority complex is a torture to them. They want to be on some great pedestal with great power. That power will help them to get temporary relief from their inferiority complex. Now they know they are known worldwide, now that millions of people are following them, how can they be inferior? They can convince themselves: “If I have so much power, how can I be inferior?” But it does not matter whether you have power or not. Your inferiority cannot be dissolved by power, it can only be covered by it.
So on the one hand God is covering fear, dread, death, and on the other hand to be a believer in a God who is omnipotent, all-powerful, omnipresent, omniscient, all-knowing, to have belief in such a God helps you somehow to be identified with the God. You are a Christian, you identify yourself with Christ – and he is the son of God. You have come very close as far as a relationship is concerned. You believe in Krishna and he is the reincarnation of this God, the perfect reincarnation. Believing in him you have come very close to power. You may not have power, but you believe in a person who has power. So it is also a longing for power. But why do you want power? – because you feel weak, you feel powerless, you feel inferior.
So religions create inferiority, they create fear, they create greed, and out of this creation you are ready to accept a God as all-knowing, everywhere-present, all-powerful. And you are so close to him in your faith, in your belief, in your prayer that you are also sharing some of God’s power. You become a mini-god. But it is all psychological sickness, and God is not the cure.
It is time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh – laughter is a better cure than God.

It is little Albert’s first day at school, and as soon as his mother brings him to the classroom and leaves, Albert bursts into tears.
Despite the combined efforts of Miss Mammary, his teacher, Mr. Smelly, the principal, Miss Needle, the school nurse and even Leroy, the janitor, Albert just goes on crying and crying. Finally, just before lunchtime, Miss Mammary gets fed up.
“For heaven’s sake, child,” she shouts. “Just shut up! It is lunchtime now, and in a couple more hours you will go home and see your mommy again!”
At once, Albert stops crying.
“Jesus Christ!” he exclaims. “I thought I had to stay here until I was sixteen!”

Paddy and Seamus are walking home from the pub through the park one day, in deep, philosophical discussion. For over an hour, they have been talking about whether God Almighty rules over their lives or not, when Paddy gets fed up and says, “Ah, God can’t tell me what to do – I am going to the beach for a holiday!”
“You mean,” replies Seamus, “that you are going to the beach – God willing?”
“No!” snaps Paddy, stubbornly. “I am going to the beach, God willing or not!” But just at that moment, there is a loud crash of thunder in the sky. Seamus covers his head in fear, and falls to the ground.
When he opens his eyes again, he looks around, and finds that Paddy has been changed into a slimy, green frog.
For seven weeks, Paddy, the frog, is forced to live in the park pond, and every day Seamus brings a handful of dead flies for him to eat.
Finally, after his penance is completed, Paddy is changed back into his old self. He immediately walks home and begins packing his bags.
“Hey, Paddy!” cries Seamus, with surprise. “My God, you are back! But where are you going now?”
“Like I said,” shouts Paddy, “I am going to the beach!”
“You mean,” replies Seamus, “that you are going to the beach – God willing?”
“No!” shouts Paddy, furiously. “I am going to the beach or I am going back to that goddamn frog pond!”

Sir Loin Salami, the chief executive of Sir Loin Pork Sausages Incorporated, calls his clerk, Muffin Snuffler, into the office. “Let us get straight to the point, Snuffler,” snaps Sir Loin. “Your work has been lousy lately. You are late every day and your accounting errors are ridiculous. You have been working for me for fifteen years, Snuffler, but recently you don’t seem to know a pork sausage from a bunch of bananas!”
“Well, sir,” replies Muffin, “I have tried not to let it affect my work, but things have been going very badly for me at home.”
“Oh, I am sorry to hear that, Snuffler,” apologizes Sir Loin. “I hope I am not interfering, but if you tell me what is on your mind, perhaps I can help?”
“That’s very kind of you, sir,” sniffles Muffin. “You see, I have been married for two years, and about six weeks ago my wife started to nag me constantly. You know: Nag! Nag! Nag! I just don’t know what to do. She is driving me nuts.”
“Ah,” cries Sir Loin. “I am sure that I can help you. You see, Snuffler, women need to feel that they are wanted. You have probably been neglecting her needs. For example, when I get home from work, I embrace my wife, kiss her passionately, remove her clothing piece by piece and carry her upstairs to bed.”
“That sounds great!” cries Muffin.
“It is, Snuffler,” replies Sir Loin. “Why don’t you give it a try? Take the afternoon off; she won’t be expecting you, and the element of surprise will make it even better!”
“That is really kind of you, sir,” says Muffin. “What is your address?”






Be silent, close your eyes, and feel your body to be completely frozen.
This is the right moment to go in. Gather your life forces – your totality is needed – and rush toward your very center of being with absolute consciousness, and with an urgency that this moment could be your last moment on the earth. Only such urgency can bring you to the deepest center of your being.
Rush faster and faster, deeper and deeper.
As you are coming closer to the center, a great silence descends over you, almost like soft, cool rain. You can feel it, it is tangible.
A little closer and you find all around you flowers of peace blossoming.
A little more… And a great ecstasy makes you drunk with the divine.
Just one step more and you are at the very center of your being. For the first time you see your original face. Your original face is the face of the buddha.
I use the word buddha as a symbol of total awakening, of absolute enlightenment. A great luminosity will surround you, a strange light that you have never seen before.
The only quality you have to remember at this moment is witnessing. That constitutes the buddha’s whole being.
Witness that you are not the body.
Witness that you are not the mind.
Witness that you are only the witness.

To make this witnessing deeper, Nivedano…


Let go, but keep remembering you are a buddha. The buddha consists only of one energy, and that energy is witnessing.
At this moment you start melting like ice in the ocean. Gautama the Buddha Auditorium is becoming an ocean of consciousness. Ten thousand buddhas are disappearing into the ocean.
All separation is illusory, only oneness is the truth.
You must be the most blessed people on the earth, because everybody is worried about trivia. You are searching for the ultimate, the eternal, and you are very close to it.
A great blissfulness settles in your very center, flowers start showering on you. The whole existence is rejoicing with you.
Gather all these experiences. You have to bring them to your day-to-day ordinary life – the peace, the serenity, the silence, the ecstasy, the music, the dance. Your life has to become a constant ceremony. Only then are you whole.
And don’t forget to persuade the buddha to come a little closer. He has come very close. It is your nature.
These are the three steps of meditation.
First, the buddha comes behind you like a shadow, but very solid and golden, with great splendor, and creating a new atmosphere around you, of benediction, of compassion, of bliss.
Second step: you become the shadow and the buddha is ahead of you, and your shadow is slowly, slowly disappearing.
The third step: you have disappeared into the buddha, and only the buddha is there, you are not. When this happens you are at the highest peak of existence, you have come home, you have arrived.
Now there is nowhere to go. You become one with existence itself.
That’s why I call my philosophy more authentically existential than the negative philosophies of the West. I am trying to bring the West and the East together.
My whole effort is to make man richer, outward and inward, in a tremendous balance. This balance is Zen.
And remember: God is dead, and now Zen is the only living truth.
You are the pioneers of a new age, of a new man, of a new humanity!
Before Nivedano calls you back, persuade the buddha because this is the fundamental step. He has to become your shadow.



Come back…but come back as a buddha, with the same grace, with the same silence, radiating the same joy.
Sit for a few seconds, just to remember the golden path you have traveled, and the experience of the beyond that has come so close, the mystery of your inner world, the space infinite, the time eternal.
And feel the presence of the buddha behind you.
This makes Friedrich Nietzsche’s statement complete. Without Zen it is incomplete and will drive people insane. With Zen it becomes complete and will drive people to the uttermost sanity possible to human beings.

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