I Celebrate Myself 01

First Discourse from the series of 7 discourses - I Celebrate Myself by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

Sekito said:
“My teaching, which has come down from the ancient buddhas, is not dependent on meditation or on diligent application of any kind.
“When you attain the insight as attained by the Buddha, you realize that no-mind is buddha, and buddha is no-mind; that no-mind, buddha, sentient beings, bodhi, and klesa, are of one and the same substance while they vary in names.
“You should know that your own no-mind essence is neither subject to annihilation nor eternally subsisting, is neither pure nor defiled. It remains perfectly undisturbed and self-sufficient. The same is so with the wise and the ignorant. Your no-mind essence is not limited in its working, and is not included in the category of mind, consciousness, or thought.
“The three worlds of desire, form, and no-form, and the six paths of existence are no more than manifestations of your mind itself. They are all like the moon reflected in water, or images in the mirror. How can we speak of them as being born or as passing away?
“When you come to this understanding, you will be furnished with all the things you are in need of.”
Friends, good evening. And good news…! This evening we are starting a new series of talks: I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here.
The statement of Friedrich Nietzsche that God is dead, is only symbolic because God has never been in the first place – not even born. How can he be dead? But it was a tremendously powerful symbol to declare that God is dead.
It was a recognition that we have been worshipping a lie. And not only were we worshipping, we were being destroyed by a lie. We had been exploited by the priesthood of all the organized religions. Our dignity has been destroyed. We have been turned into puppets in the hands of a fiction.
His declaration that God is dead simply means that man is born. That is the other side of the coin. And because man is born, he brings freedom to the earth, he brings joy to the earth, he brings dignity to the earth. And he destroys all that was clinging to the ultimate lie, God – all the superstitions, heaven and hell, all theologies, all religions… All kinds of false programming of man’s being have also died with God.
Hence, I celebrate myself and I celebrate you.
Friedrich Nietzsche’s statement also includes another part: “God is dead, therefore man is free.” God was the slavery of man, he was the bondage. He was the prison that did not allow humanity to rise to its ultimate heights. He was keeping the whole of humanity reduced to subhuman beings, sinners. His death is a great moment to celebrate.
His death means man has come of age. He is no longer a child and he does not need a father figure. He can stand on his own feet. He is not a sheep, as all the religions have been telling him, and he does not need any shepherds. Jesus, Krishna, Mahavira, Mohammed, Moses… No prophets are needed, no saviors are needed, no messengers of God are needed. They were all megalomaniacs, and in the name of God they have been pushing human consciousness to the lowest levels of existence.
The death of God cleans the whole sky outside and cleans the inner world also, completely – cleans you of all the belief systems, cleans you of all prejudices, cleans you of all guilt. That is what he meant by freedom. Freedom from guilt was possible only if God was dead. And once you are free from God you have the whole sky to yourself, both inner and outer – you can open your wings in utter freedom. Without any inhibition, and without any suppression, you can live your life with joy, with song, with dance.
God not being there is a great event, the greatest event that has happened in the whole history of mankind. The absence of God gives you a certain solid presence. For the first time you are individuals, independent souls – not creatures who have been created, but individual consciousnesses which have been in existence from eternity to eternity.
This is a glorious moment for those who can understand all the implications of God’s death. They will immediately celebrate it; it gives you a new sense of direction, a new uniqueness, a new destiny. It makes you a master of your own destiny. Nobody is there to guide you, and nobody is there to dominate you, and nobody is there to give you commandments.
In Nietzsche’s statement, for the first time, man comes of age. But very few people have heard that God is dead and they are still worshipping him. They are still praying in the churches, in the temples, in the mosques. They are still holding the lie as if it is the truth. And because of that lie their whole life becomes phony. They cannot laugh, they cannot enjoy. Their only duty, propounded by all the religions, is to be masochists – torture yourself as much as you can. The more you torture yourself, the greater saint you are.
All the religions have been preaching nothing but masochism. That gives me a deep insight into God. Man has to be masochist, guilty – torturing himself, torturing and destroying his own roots in nature, going against nature, suffering all kinds of stupidities because God was a sadist. All the religions, unknowingly, are propounding a God that is a sadist. He loves humanity to suffer. He loves people to torture themselves. He does not like your laughter, he does not like your joy. He does not like your pleasure, your blissfulness, your cheerfulness. He does not like your songs, and he does not like your dances and your celebrations. He has taken away all that was beautiful on this earth. He hates the earth! He is against the earth. He is against life itself.
So what your saints have been doing all these thousands of years, in the name of God, is nothing but committing a gradual suicide. The more dead you are, the more you will find followers. The more alive you are, the religions will condemn you, the masses will condemn you, all the idiots of the world will be together to destroy you.
Joy is not acceptable. Laughter is not acceptable. A sense of humor is not part of any religion. Life has become sadness, misery, anguish, anxiety. Who is responsible for all this? The first responsibility is a fictitious God who is represented by the priesthood around the world. Millions of people in this priesthood are living on your blood. They are parasites not priests. And their whole function is to keep you miserable because only a miserable person can bow down to a fictitious God. They have been respecting, giving prestige and honor to those who were nothing but insane people.
Anybody who goes against life is insane. Life is all that we have. If you go against it, you are committing suicide. Maybe it is very slow suicide – it may take a few years for you to die. One religion, Jainism – unfortunately I have been born into that religion – even supports the idea of suicide. Other religions unconsciously support it, but Jainism is clear about it.
It preaches that if you want to commit suicide, commit it because this life is not worth living. This earth is not your home, your home is beyond the clouds. They call it santhara, but it actually means slow suicide. Whenever a man goes on santhara, he immediately becomes a great saint. Santhara is a fast unto death – no food, and in the end no water. For a healthy man to die it takes almost ninety days, and those ninety days are of immense self-torture. Jainism is simply making conscious that which every religion has as an implication.
What have all the saints of the world been doing? And what is saintly in their actions, in their behavior, in their style of life?
A man, who was worshipped very much by the Christians in Egypt, remained sitting on a high pole for twelve years! It was the ruins of an old palace, and only one pillar was standing high. It was very difficult; it was a small place to remain on for twelve years. He could not sleep, he had to tie himself to the pillar. He could not come down even to go to the toilet, so he was defecating from the pillar, pissing from the pillar – and people were worshipping him!
He must have suffered immensely just to get this honor, honor from the ignorant masses. Just to get this prestige of being a great saint, he was living in utter dirtiness, ugliness. And he dropped from the pillar only when he died. A great memorial exists in his name because he has done the greatest penance against the original sin of Adam and Eve.
Strange ways have been found to take your pride. Now, Adam and Eve have committed a sin? I don’t think they have committed any sin. They were simply provoked by God to eat from the Tree of Knowledge and from the Tree of Eternal Life. To prohibit anything is to provoke – it is a simple psychology. God could have learned much from Sigmund Freud.
In the Garden of Eden where God lived, there were millions of trees. If he had not prohibited those two trees, I don’t think that even by now we would have found them…millions of trees with beautiful fruits. We would have still been chewing grass in the Garden of Eden just like the buffaloes. If anybody committed the sin it was God himself.
And why did he prohibit his own children from eating from the Tree of Knowledge? No father would do it. Every father wants his children to be as wise as possible. Why should a father prevent his own children from eating the fruit which will make them eternal, immortal? Every father would love – even ordinary fathers on the earth would love their children to be immortals.
What kind of God was this? And if this is God – who prevents his children from becoming wise, from becoming Socrates, and Gautam Buddha, and Lao Tzu, this is not a God worth having. If he has not died by himself, then somebody has to murder him. He has tortured humanity enough.
It is a strange fact that it was the Devil who persuaded Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. He showed her why God was preventing them. He did not want anybody to be equal to him – and you call this God compassionate? And you call this God love? The Devil was far more loving, far more compassionate. In fact, he showed man the way of wisdom, the way of immortality.
God is preventing his own children because he does not want them to be wise, he does not want them to be immortal. If they are immortal and wise, then they will be equal to God and he is afraid of their equality – a very jealous God. In fact, the Old Testament declares it through God himself. God says, “I am a very jealous God.” He certainly is. He was jealous of his own children. He is not even worthy to be called a father. If the Devil had not told Eve, “You have to eat these fruits, only then will you know in your innermost being that you are also gods…”
As the story is, it makes it clear that the Devil was more in favor of human individuality, respect, dignity. God was against man from the very beginning. The whole evolution that has happened in science… Science in its very roots means knowledge. Anything that has evolved in the inner consciousness of man – the awakened ones, the enlightened ones who have come to know that life is eternal, it is a beginningless, endless festival – would not have been possible without the Devil. The Devil was the first rebellion against a dictatorial God.
And I have to tell you that the word devil is much more meaningful than the word god. God simply means nothing, but devil comes from the Sanskrit root div. From div are derived devil and day in English; in Hindustani from dev, devata, which mean divine; from div, divas, which mean daybreak, the beginning of the day, the end of the night. The Devil seems to be more divine than God. God seems to be really a very mean fellow, and it is good that he is dead, otherwise somebody would have to shoot him. It is good that he died by himself, and we had not to have his blood on our hands.
But once God is no longer there, your freedom becomes a tremendous responsibility. It should not fall down into licentiousness, it should rise into enlightenment. Freedom brings responsibility. And I want you to understand that responsibility does not mean duty, it means only the ability to respond. Ability to respond to what? – to every situation, moment to moment. You should be so aware that you can find original responses to every original situation. Nothing in existence ever repeats.
They say history repeats itself – man is an idiot. But existence never repeats itself because existence is intelligence, wisdom, eternity. History will also stop repeating once there are millions of buddhas around the world, millions of people who have the sense of being alert, aware, conscious, and who feel that they have a great responsibility moment to moment – not according to any scripture but according to everyone’s consciousness.
Freedom brings many fruits, and many flowers, and many gifts to you. The death of God is not something to be sorry and sad for. It is something to rejoice, something to dance, something to celebrate. At last man is free from guilt, man is free from a constant judgmental eye from the sky.
It is strange that the Holy Bible says, “Judge ye not,” but God does only one thing, judge. And they have also determined a day called The Judgment Day. To man it is said, “Judge ye not” – and God is continuously judging, and is going to judge finally at The Judgment Day. What kind of contradiction…?
Just today I have received a letter from a few Christians saying that the Bible says, “Judge ye not.” But I am not a Christian, and I don’t have any obligation to follow the Bible. I am not a Hindu… I am not a person who belongs to any religion, so I don’t have any obligation to follow the Holy Bible or holy Koran, or holy Bhagavadgita. All holy scriptures, as I have looked into them, are absolutely unholy.
These four or five Christians who have written a letter to me want me not to judge Christians or Catholics because the Bible says, “Judge ye not” – and they are judging me! And their Bible says, “Judge ye not.” I am not a Christian so I have no obligation to follow the Bible. They are Christians, they should not judge me. I am free to judge, and I am free to judge everybody because I don’t have any prejudice against anybody. I don’t belong to any organization, to any system of beliefs. A God who teaches people “Judge ye not” himself goes on judging – and you don’t see the contradiction?
Jesus says, “God is love,” but there seems to be no love flowing from the skies to humanity. In three thousand years we have fought five thousand wars. What kind of God is there who allows Genghis Khan to be born? Tamerlane to be born? Nadirshah to be born? These three generations of one family killed one hundred million people, and they were never defeated.
What kind of God allows President Truman to drop atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? What kind of God is allowing all the stupid politicians of the world to pile up nuclear weapons which will only prove to be a global death?
But as I told you, God is a sadist. He enjoys when you are suffering. He enjoys when you are in pain. He enjoys when you are poor. He enjoys when you are starving to death. His enjoyment is simply sick!
The word sadism comes from a French count, de Sade; he used to torture women. He was a super-rich man, a count, and had a vast territory under his control, so any beautiful woman would be dragged to his torture chamber. You all have love chambers; he had a torture chamber – that was his love chamber. As the woman entered, she could not believe what was going to happen because all over the walls were hanging different kinds of instruments of torture. He also used to carry a box, a portable torture chamber – because who knows? He may find a woman in a hotel room and he may not have his instruments.
All those instruments… First he would force the woman to be naked – not in a loving way – he would tear off her clothes, he would scratch her body, he would start beating her…and he had all those instruments. You have heard only the word screwing – he really used to use screws to make holes in the woman’s body. Unless there was blood he did not get excited. When he saw the woman in utter torture, then he was in great sexual excitement, then he would make love.
And perhaps something of de Sade exists in every masochist man. Unless there is a pillow fight, unless there is some conflict before going to bed, a man seems not to be excited. A woman who beats him, hits him, throws things at him, excites him.
The only perfect couple possible in the world would be if one partner was a sadist, and the other partner was a masochist. Masochist also comes from another count that enjoyed torturing himself. His name was Masoch; hence the word masochist. Both were imprisoned for insanity, both were found guilty; one of torturing others, and one of torturing himself.
God must be a sadist on a far bigger scale than de Sade. He is omnipotent, omnipowerful, omnipresent – everywhere. You cannot escape him; his eyes of judgment are following you day and night, twenty-four hours, wherever you are. He is threatening you that you will fall into hellfire for eternity.
Even a man like Bertrand Russell refused to be a Christian for the simple reason… He has given many other reasons, but the first reason was “I cannot accept a God who is so unjust.” In Christianity there is only one life; even if you live a life of a hundred years, as Bertrand Russell almost managed to live, a century… He counted very honestly the sins that Christians call sins – they are not sins, they are just natural experiences. They have been converted into sins to torture you. Making love to a woman is not sin, but it has become a sin. Both are feeling immensely guilty that they are doing something against God.
So he counted all those so-called sins which are not sins, but just for the argument’s sake he counted all the sins that he had committed. And he also counted all the sins that he had dreamed about, but he had not committed. Still he said, “The strictest judge cannot put me in jail for more than four and a half years, and God is going to throw me into hellfire for eternity! There seems to be no proportion.”
If you go on committing sin and don’t do anything else, just sin and sin and sin from the moment you are born till the moment you are in your grave, then too, an eternity of hellfire is not just, it is not justice.
God seems to enjoy hellfire. God seems to enjoy poisoning all your pleasures – you should not enjoy any of your senses. Different religions have different emphases, but the point is the same. Mohammedans are not allowed to listen to music. Strange. It is sin because you are enjoying a sense, your hearing. You are giving pleasure to your ears, so you are not to be allowed to listen to great music.
I cannot conceive in what way music can be a sin. But the idea is that enjoyment is sin, so whatever you can enjoy has to be condemned.
Jainism says you should not enjoy taste, you should eat without any taste. You are putting man into such a guilt. How can he avoid tasting? When it is sweet, it is sweet! When it is bitter, it is bitter! On the tongue there are sensitive buds which decide the taste. Unless you have plastic surgery and remove all the buds from your tongue, you cannot manage not to taste the food.
But they have poisoned your enjoyment. Just small enjoyments – eating your food with love and joy with friends is condemned. And it is not only one sense, but all five senses.
Gautam Buddha is against touching a woman – even touch is a sin. Touching a woman is a joy; she is warmer than you, she is more fragile than you, she is more beautiful than you. And what is wrong if touching a woman gives you joy? Joy cannot be wrong. And you are not harming anybody, you are not interfering by touching the woman against her will. She enjoys being touched; you enjoy being the toucher. Why should God come in between?
But he is always there, following you as a judge. He has become your inner conscience. Your inner conscience is false. It is created by the religions. So God does not depend only on himself, he depends on the priests to create a conscience in you. It is not consciousness, it is conscience – a false entity which continuously goes on saying to you, “This is not right. The scriptures are against… God is against… Don’t do this!” And your whole nature wants to do it.
Jaina monks are not even allowed to have a bath or a shower every day because that is enjoying the coolness of water, enjoying your body’s freshness. You can see these people are criminals. The Jaina monk is not even allowed to clean his teeth. He cannot use any toothbrush, or any toothpaste, or any mouthwash. It is so difficult to talk to a Jaina monk – his breath is so disgusting, his whole body is disgusting.
In a hot country like India you perspire, and Jaina monks have to travel on dirty, dusty paths. They cannot ride in any vehicle because that is pleasure; they have to walk. So they are walking on dusty roads in villages, and they perspire under the hot sun, blazing hot, showering fire on the earth… They become ugly, they become really tanned. Their bodies, their skin shrinks. And dust upon dust, layer upon layer…
All the religions have shared in some way or other the desire that man’s every pleasure should be poisoned. Only then, because he is miserable, will he turn toward the priest to get some advice. Make him miserable, take away all the possibilities of pleasure.
I have not come across any Indian woman who knows what orgasm is. In fact, in the Hindi language there is no word equal to orgasm. The Indian woman has never known orgasm. Even the Western woman has started to know about orgasm just thirty years ago. It was due to the research of psychologists, psychoanalysts and psychiatrists. Sigmund Freud, Havelock Ellis, Masters and Johnson opened a new door to women’s pleasure.
For centuries women did not know what orgasm was, so naturally, they were disgusted with sex. They thought that the man was simply using them because they were not getting any enjoyment out of it. But the reason was that the man had not been allowing them to have an orgasm.
In the very primitive days he must have become aware that a woman can have multiple orgasms, and a man can have only one orgasm. So a man is not competent to fulfill a woman. Either he has to call his friends, or he has to get some hormonal injections, because a woman ordinarily is capable of having six orgasms.
It is better not to let her know that she is capable of any orgasm. It can be avoided because the woman’s vagina is insensitive. It has to be insensitive because it will be giving birth to a child. If it was sensitive, the pain of the birth of a child would have immensely increased; it is insensitive and still there is pain.
So the woman’s orgasm has nothing to do with the vagina; that is just a reproductive mechanism. Her orgasm is not dependent on a man making love through the vagina – that is good for reproduction. She has a separate part, just a very small part – the clitoris – which is not in the way of man’s making love to her. Unless the man understands the physiology of the woman, which ordinarily no man understands…
Man is the only inexperienced lover in the world because neither he has any experience before marriage, nor the woman has any experience before marriage. This is a very strange world. When two people are going to live together for their whole lives, they don’t have any experience, they don’t know what to do.
The woman’s clitoris is the organ which gives her pleasure, and it is not part of her vagina. Man’s ejaculation is just two minutes or three minutes at the most. And he has to be quick because if you are committing sin, you commit it quickly. Don’t do it for too long, otherwise, remember hellfire.
Unless a man understands the physiology of a woman, which he has never bothered… Her whole body is sexually sensitive. Man’s whole body is not sexually sensitive. The man’s sexuality is very local; it is just in his sexual machinery. The woman’s whole body is sexual, and unless the man plays with her whole body and arouses her body – that is foreplay… No man wants to do it because it will take too long, and one has to be quick before God comes in. So no more foreplay.
Christians introduced the missionary position, in which the beauty is under, and the beast is on top. The poor woman has to lie down almost dead, and only then is she considered to be a lady. Only prostitutes enjoy; no woman of honor will groan or moan, or start gibberish or screaming out of joy. So she has been told to be completely dead while the man is making love. It is one-sided love. The other side is completely dead; the other side has not been aroused.
The people who understand sexology say the woman should be on top so that she has more possibility of movement, and the man should be underneath her so he can remain silent because his ejaculation happens in just two minutes! If he remains silent, he can manage twenty minutes or thirty minutes. A woman needs at least ten minutes to become aroused. This disparity is there, and it can be fulfilled only if the man understands that the woman is not just a mechanism to be used. She is also a soul, equally alive, and has all the rights to pleasure that you have.
So foreplay is needed, and the man should be underneath and the woman should be on top. The man should lie down like a lady, and the woman should be a real rascal! Only then is there a possibility that they come to orgasm at the same time. When they both start throbbing and getting out of control, that is the moment when they know what sex contains. It is not only a reproductive organ, it is also an organ of immense pleasure. And that pleasure, according to me, gives you the first glimpse of meditation because the mind stops, time stops. For those few moments there is no time, and there is no mind, you are just utterly silent and blissful.
I say it – it is my scientific approach to the subject – because there was no other way for man to find out that you enter a blissful state if there is no mind and no time. Except for sex there was no other possibility for the mind to understand that there was some way of going beyond mind, beyond time. It was certainly sex which gave the first glimpse of meditativeness. And I am being condemned all over the world because I am telling people the truth.
Nobody has come up with any other idea to explain how you have found meditation. You cannot find it by just walking on the side of the road – it is lying there and you go over and pick up meditation. Where have you found meditation? Not a single person in the whole world… And I have been discussed around the world, condemned, just because I am talking about going from sex to superconsciousness. But nobody has given any explanation why they are condemning me because of my book – which has been translated into thirty-four languages, has gone into dozens of editions, and is read by all the monks whether they are Hindu, Jaina, Christian, Buddhist. Monks are the best customers for that book.
Here there was a Jaina conference just a few months ago, and my secretary, Neelam, informed me, “It is strange. Jaina monks come and they ask for one book only, From Sex to Superconsciousness. Then they hide it in their clothes and just go silently out of the door so nobody finds them out.”
The book, From Sex to Superconsciousness, is not about sex, it is about superconsciousness. But the only possible way for man to find that there is a door, a way to go beyond his thoughts into eternal silence… Even though it lasts only one moment, that moment is eternity – everything stops. You forget all the worries, all the tension.
Have you ever heard of any man having a heart attack while he was making love? It should have happened more often if what the religions are saying were true. God would be so angry, that at least he could give a heart attack. Hellfire will be after death; right now…
But no man has died while making love because making love takes away your stress. It is stress that can give you a heart attack. It is stress that can drive you mad and insane. It is sex that keeps you sane, keeps you normal, keeps you within the boundaries of sanity. Otherwise you are going to be a pervert, and perversion does not give you the same key to superconsciousness.
Homosexuals cannot have the same experience that is possible in a heterosexual relationship. Nor can lesbians have the same orgasmic experience. But ten percent of American men have accepted that they have homosexual tendencies, and thousands of women have married women – lesbian couples. This year it is expected that forty thousand babies will be born out of lesbian couples. From where are these babies coming? From artificial insemination. Now hospitals are not only carrying a blood bank, but a semen bank. So when a lesbian couple wants a baby, the one who is ready to take the trouble for nine months gets an injection of somebody anonymous. An injection is not a joy. An injection cannot give you any orgasm. Although doctors call it “the prick,” it is not the prick.
When my personal physician, Amrito, came for the first time from England – and he is a member of the Royal College of Physicians, highly educated – he would say to me, “Now comes the prick!” Then I would start laughing, “Amrito, this is not the prick. You have been misguided.” Now he silently gives me the injection without saying anything.
These forty thousand babies will be born this year in America through injections. Now those women are completely out of the possibility of having an orgasm. And there are homosexuals all around the world, even very intelligent people.
I have chosen this title, I Celebrate Myself from one of the most important poets of America, Walt Whitman. But he was a homosexual – that’s where he goes wrong. All his poetry becomes superficial; he knows nothing about orgasmic joy. But you will be surprised to know that even a man like Socrates was a homosexual; hence he could not become a Gautam Buddha. Howsoever intelligent, and howsoever great a logician he was, his dialogues are great, but something was missing. He is not a man of great consciousness. He has become unnatural, he has gone against nature.
But religions are forcing people to go against nature. The third man in England’s hierarchy of the church… The archbishop of the Church of England is equivalent to the Polack pope. This man has only one man between him and the archbishop, and there is every possibility that this bishop will some time become the archbishop of England. He has come with the idea that celibacy simply means no heterosexual relationship, but it does not include homosexuality, it does not include masturbation, it does not include making love to an animal – sodomy, bestiality. It does not include anything. Celibacy simply prevents you from being heterosexual. Great religious leaders…!
Fifty percent of the monks in the monasteries are homosexual. And there are possibilities that places such as the monastery of Mount Athos where thousands of monks live… They have not seen any woman since they have become monks because no woman is allowed to enter – not even a six-month-old girl is allowed into the monastery. When I heard this, I thought, “Are those monks, monks or monsters?” And they have their own church state, so they have their own guards and police.
For one thousand years, no woman has ever entered the monastery. And anybody who becomes a monk in the Mount Athos monastery cannot leave again alive. Only when he is dead will his body be taken out; it is a lifelong commitment. No intelligent man can commit himself even for tomorrow. Who knows what will happen tomorrow?
That’s what I call responsibility. A man who is responsible will not commit himself to anything, will not promise anything, because who knows about tomorrow? Let tomorrow come and we will see. I will respond with my totality whatever the situation, but I cannot commit myself. I have never promised anybody anything. I have never committed myself to anything in my whole life. Let tomorrow come. One never knows, this may be my last day and I may not be there tomorrow to fulfill my promise.
Time goes on changing – I may not be the same tomorrow, you may not be the same tomorrow. Today there is great love between me and you. Tomorrow, who knows? Love disappears, not only disappears, but sometimes turns into hate.
A man of awareness lives moment to moment – that is his celebration. He enjoys everything of the world without any inhibition. Because God is dead he need not be worried. And with God, hell is dead, hellfire has been put out. With him, heaven is also dead. So don’t be greedy for heaven, and don’t be afraid of hell. Just live moment to moment with a dance, with a joy, with cheerfulness, with courage.
Encounter every situation with your total consciousness, without any guilt. Enjoy music, enjoy food, enjoy love – enjoy everything that is natural.
God has been against nature, God has been against enlightenment, and God has been against your experience of eternity. God was your enemy. It is good that he is dead.
This is the good news for this evening. Now your questions.

The first question:
I have been surrounded since my childhood by people who wanted me to believe in God and to follow his commandments.
Why are the God believers always trying to convert others?
This is a very delicate question.
You may not immediately grasp why God believers are always trying to convert others. The reason is that they have their own doubts, and by converting others they are able to repress their doubts. If they can convert many people… By converting others they are also converting themselves. When they see that a thousand people have started believing in God: “Perhaps God is. My doubt was useless.” When they see that the whole world believes in God: “The whole world cannot be wrong.” That is the argument, very ancient, as ancient as man: the whole world cannot be wrong. And I say unto you, only single individuals, rare individuals have been right. When something is believed by the whole world, remember, it is certainly going to be wrong. The masses are living like somnambulists, sleepwalkers, in utter unconsciousness. Their belief systems cannot be right.
I have told you a small story…

A journalist died, and as journalists are pushy people he knocked immediately on the Pearly Gates. He took it for granted that he was going to heaven and that he was going to have an interview with God. This would be the first interview ever.
Saint Peter opened the doors. He asked, “What do you want?”
He said, “An interview with God, and this is my card.”
But Saint Peter said, “You cannot enter heaven. Your name is not on the list. And anyway we don’t need any journalists. We have a quota: one dozen journalists, and they are already in.”
And they are useless in heaven because nothing happens, nothing sensational. All the saints are almost dead – sitting on their white clouds, playing their harps, “Alleluia! Alleluia!” Now this is going to be forever, so what news…?
George Bernard Shaw exactly defined what news is: when a dog bites a man, it is not news; when a man bites a dog, it is news.
But in Heaven, there are no dogs, only dead-as-dodo saints.
“So the newspaper started,” Saint Peter told him, “but only the first issue was published. There was no news for the second issue. So even those twelve journalists are just waiting for nothing.
“It is good you knock on the other door; that is hell, and there is always great news there. Everything that you may not have even imagined is happening because all the great intellectuals are there, all the great politicians are there, all the great criminals are there… Everybody of any importance is there. So go there.”
He said, “But being a journalist, I cannot go so easily. You will have to give me at least twenty-four hours to have a look around heaven. If I can persuade some journalist from your quota to go to hell, are you ready to accept me?”
Saint Peter said, “It doesn’t matter. If somebody is ready to go to hell, you can take his place. This is good. For twenty-four hours you can have a walk around.”
The moment he entered heaven he started spreading a lie that there was going to be a very great newspaper starting soon in hell, and a chief editor, and an associate chief editor, assistant editors, and all kinds of journalists were needed. He went on spreading the news so it reached all the twelve journalists.
After twenty-four hours he went to see Saint Peter, to inquire whether anybody had left. Saint Peter immediately closed the door and told him, “You remain here. All twelve have left.”
He said, “My God! All have gone? Then I don’t want to be here. Something must be right, otherwise I could not have convinced twelve people.”
Saint Peter said, “Are you sane or insane? You created the lie.”
He said, “I know I created the lie, but there must be something corresponding actually happening. I cannot remain here, just open the doors!”

That is the reason every religion is interested in converting people: every religion, every priest, every pope, every saint, every Ayatollah Khomeini, every shankaracharya, is deep down full of doubt because belief cannot destroy doubt. Belief can only repress doubt. A blind man can believe in light, but that does not mean he knows light. All your believers are blind people who don’t know anything about the truth. Hence the doubt is just repressed underneath the belief.
To keep one’s belief strong enough, one needs to propagate it continuously. That’s why all the religious propagandists you see are fundamentalist, almost fanatics, fascists. Have you seen the Jehovah Witnesses? They go on shouting, beating their drums, shouting whether you listen or not. They don’t look at your eyes, they just look at the ground and they go on shouting, and they go on reading passages from the Bible. People purchase their Bibles just to get rid of them.
Why are these people so interested in converting people? The psychological reason is they are afraid. Their own belief is very thin; anytime doubt may arise. Doubt is very existential. Belief is only a program that has been given by your parents, and by your priests, and by your teachers, and by your society. But it is only a program.
In the Soviet Union they are giving a different program: there is no God. Every child believes that there is no God. All communists believe there is no God.
Half of the world is communist now, so half of the world for the first time believes there is no God. It is not that they know, it is not that they have explored the outer sky, or they have explored the inner consciousness and have found that there is no God. They just have been told, just as you have been told that there is God.
Every religion tries to convert people because those who are inside the fold are full of doubt. When the fold starts growing, their doubts are settled, their belief becomes thicker, weightier: “So many people cannot be wrong.”
And have you seen this? Whenever a person moves from one religion to another religion, the new religion that he has entered gives him great respect and honor. The older religion condemns him, that he has betrayed, but the new religion gives him great honor because he has confirmed their belief: “Even people belonging to other religions are coming into our fold. Our fold must have the truth, otherwise why are people coming?”
All these missionaries all around the world bringing people to Catholicism are just making the Catholics inside the fold believe, “You are the real religion, and other religions are just so-so.”
A man of truth never tries to convert you. A man of truth conveys his experience to you. He shares his experience with you, but that does not mean that you have to agree with him. And it does not mean either that you have to disagree with him. It was his joy to share, and that’s where he is finished.
No man of truth has been ever a missionary. All missionaries are trying to convince the insiders that they are right because outsiders are coming in. All missionaries are trying to convince themselves too that their belief system must have some truth in it: “Otherwise why do people get converted?”
So that is the reason God believers are always trying to convert other people. Otherwise, conversion is interference in other people’s freedom. You can enjoy sharing whatever you have experienced with your friends, with their consent – not your beliefs but your experience. And if you have no experience, be honest, be truthful. Say, “I don’t have any experience. I have only a bunch of beliefs others have given me, which are not my experience. I am carrying borrowed knowledge, I don’t know anything on my own, hence I cannot recommend anything to you.”
What am I doing here? I am not trying to convert you to any religion, or to any cult, or to any creed. I don’t have any belief system, I don’t have any theology, I don’t have any philosophy, I don’t have any religion. What I am trying to convey is my experience of truth. If it can be of any use to you, you can use it. If you see it is not of any use to you, that’s perfectly all right. It is your freedom, I will not interfere in your freedom. I will not trespass your individuality. I respect you, I love you. How can I convert you?
So no man of truth, no man of compassion, no man of authentic experience is ever a converter. It is all those believers, who are afraid of their own doubt, who want to keep the insiders in, and go on bringing new people from outside. It helps the believers to have thicker beliefs, and thicker beliefs also make your intelligence retarded. The thicker the belief, the more retarded the intelligence. No belief helps your intelligence to grow, even though there is space enough to grow. When you go on pushing beliefs and hiding your doubt in your unconscious corners of darkness, you are crippling yourself. You are destroying your own buddhahood, you are destroying your own potential.
You could have been one of the enlightened ones, but you will remain just a Catholic, or a Hindu, or a Mohammedan. And these are all fictions, beautiful fictions. You can enjoy them as stories, as novels, but don’t call them “holy” scriptures.
Four hundred and eighty-eight pages in the Holy Bible are pure pornography. I sometimes wonder why people go on missing those four hundred and eighty-eight pages – not one page, or two pages. I told one of my friends to pick out all those pages, and he has published a book of four hundred and eighty-eight pages taken out of the Old Testament. Every passage is so obscene, so ugly, and you go on calling it the Holy Bible. Even playboys and their magazine Playboy, and the playgirls and their magazine Playgirl, and Penthouse are nothing compared to the Holy Bible.
They are nothing compared to the temples of Khajuraho in India. Even Mahatma Gandhi was so ashamed that he wanted the thirty temples of Khajuraho… They are great sculpture. Nowhere have men and women been sculpted so beautifully – but they are making love, they are utterly naked, and millions of statues in those thirty temples…
There used to be one hundred temples; seventy have been destroyed by the Mohammedans. Thirty were saved because they were hidden behind thick forest. Mahatma Gandhi wanted them to be covered with mud so nobody could see them.
You must have heard about the three famous monkeys of Mahatma Gandhi – he used to keep them on his table. Even though he is dead, they are still sitting on his table. Those three monkeys were sent from Japan by a friend. They are a beautiful piece of sculpture, but they are not complete. They came from China to Japan, and the original set used to be of four monkeys, not three.
The fourth monkey seems to have been taken by the friend out of the set, or perhaps… I suspect Mahatma Gandhi himself cut the fourth monkey out of the set. I have to describe the monkeys so you can understand why he should have cut it out – because the original set is not three.
The first monkey is keeping his hands on his ears. The second monkey is keeping his hands on his eyes. The third monkey is keeping his hands on his mouth. And the fourth monkey is missing – I know the fourth monkey. In the original set the fourth monkey was holding his hands on his genitals.
Mahatma Gandhi interpreted them – I don’t agree with his interpretation. He interpreted that the monkey who is holding his hands on the ears says, “Don’t listen to anything evil.” And the monkey who is holding his hands on the eyes says, “Don’t see anything evil.” And the third monkey who has his hands on the mouth is indicating, “Don’t say anything evil.” Now, you can understand why the fourth monkey has been dropped – in fact he should not have been dropped if Gandhi had really been a man of truth. The fourth monkey is the logical conclusion: “Hide the origin of all evil.”
But this is not my interpretation. Knowing the people, and knowing that Charles Darwin has this great idea that man has come from monkeys – and there is every possibility because your mind still functions like a monkey. My interpretation, when I went to see Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram… He was dead, but his son Ramdas was my friend, so he invited me and showed me around. It is an ugly place; Mahatma Gandhi was a great self-torturer and he forced torture on other people.
I said, “These three monkeys… Where is the fourth? – because I know the whole set.”
He said, “I have never heard about the fourth.” And he told me Mahatma Gandhi’s interpretation.
I said, “That is not right. Looking at humanity, looking into humanity’s psychology… The first monkey says, ‘Don’t listen to the truth because it will disturb all your consoling lies.’
“The second monkey says, ‘Don’t look at the truth; otherwise your God will be dead and your heaven and hell will disappear.’
“The third monkey says, ‘Don’t speak the truth, otherwise you will be condemned, crucified, poisoned, tortured by the whole crowd, the unconscious people. You will be condemned – don’t speak the truth!’
“And the missing fourth monkey says, ‘Hide your pleasures. Hide your enjoyment, don’t show it to anybody.’”
People can respect you if you are miserable, but if you are happy everybody is jealous of you.
People have been asking me why my commune failed in America. It did not fail. The reason it was destroyed by the violence of the American government was that it was such a successful experiment. Never has there been a commune in the whole history of man that was so successful.
That was the trouble. If we had failed, nobody would have bothered about us, but we succeeded. In five years we fought against the greatest power in the world – and we had no power. We were not a nation, we had no army, but we had truth on our side. The commune was destroyed because it was successful.
The fourth monkey is saying, “Keep your pleasures, your joys, hidden. Don’t let anybody know that you are a cheerful man, a blissful man, an ecstatic man, because that will destroy your very life. It is dangerous.”
And looking at humanity I can say without any doubt that my interpretation is far better than Mahatma Gandhi’s. He himself was teaching celibacy for his whole life. But he was an honest man, about that I have no doubt. His honesty is clear. Even at the age of seventy he was having nightmares about sex, and in his dreams he was ejaculating – at the age of seventy! This is a whole life of suppression. Otherwise by the time a man is forty-two, if he has lived his life joyfully, without guilt, without any God, without any religion, just naturally, flowing with nature with a deep relaxation, in a let-go, by the time he is forty-two he will become aware that these pleasures were very momentary. And now death is approaching, he has to find something more eternal.
These pleasures will have indicated the way to him, that if in a sexual orgasm, time and mind stop and you feel as if you are part of eternity… You disappear as an ego and you become simply one with the whole. It happens only for a moment, but it can happen. If you can manage to go beyond the mind and beyond time on your own – no need for a woman, no need for a man… Every man, every woman is capable of going beyond. Once you know it is possible, then you can manage it.
That’s what meditation is – just getting beyond the mind and beyond time, and you have entered eternal silence, eternal life. And once you have tasted that life, your whole existence becomes a celebration.

The second question:
Would you agree with Stendhal when he says, “God's only excuse is, that he does not exist”?
If God existed, he would have been murdered long ago. Man could not have tolerated him; he was an enemy. It is good that he does not exist, so you can go on praying – just think…
There is a story, a very ancient story…

Once God used to live just in the marketplace, but the whole day, even in the night, people were knocking on the doors and complaining about everything: “This is not the right kind of world you have created. Why is there so much sickness? If you are the creator, then why do you create bodies which are sick? Why is there old age, and why is there death?”
So people tortured him so much, the old story says, that he called a council of his angels and asked them, “I will either die out of this constant torture, or I will have to commit suicide! Can you tell me what I should do? These people don’t leave me for a single moment and their demands are such that I cannot fulfill them. One woman comes and she says, ‘Tomorrow, remember, no rain because I am trying to dry my wheat.’ And another man says, ‘Tomorrow I absolutely need rain because I am sowing my seeds.’ Now what am I to do?
“And there are millions of people shouting and angry because their desires have not been fulfilled, their prayers have not been heard.”
So the angels thought. One angel said, “It is good if you move to Everest, the highest peak of the Himalayas.”
God said, “You don’t know, but I am omniscient, I know everything – past, present, future. Soon there will be a man who will reach the highest peak of the Himalayas. And once one man has found me, there will be buses and airplanes, and all kinds of vehicles. And they will make roads and hotels, and again there will be the marketplace. You don’t understand: it will only be just a little peace for a short time. That won’t do. I will have to change my place again.”
So somebody suggested, “Why don’t you move to the moon?”
He said, “You don’t understand because you don’t know the future – just after Everest they are going to go to the moon. So I will have to change again. Show me something from where I have not to change!”
Then an old angel came close to him and whispered in his ear, “The only place man may never think of is within his own heart. You just sit there…”

He has disappeared from everywhere. Perhaps you can encounter something of divinity in your own being. In your own life you may find something which is godly. You will not find God as a person, you will find a quality, a fragrance, a presence; a certain air, a certain energy which is not yours, which belongs to the cosmos.
Stendhal is perfectly right: “God’s only excuse is that he does not exist.” That is saving him; otherwise there was no safety, no security.
Friedrich Nietzsche, in his Thus Spake Zarathustra, comes to a point where Zarathustra is coming down from his mountain cave where he has lived for many, many years. And he finds on the way an old hermit’s hut, and the hermit is praying to God. Early in the morning, as the sun is rising, the hermit is praying.
And Zarathustra murmurs to himself, “Is it possible that this old hermit has not heard that God is dead?”
When Zarathustra goes down he tells the crowd, “Have you heard the news that God is dead?” They all start laughing.
They say, “You must be insane. Living in a cave for many, many years alone has made you a crackpot.”
Nietzsche himself became mad in the last phase of his life because he declared really good news, but he could not manage to find something to replace God. He could not find the celebration of life, he could not find the experience of the living stream within. He remained in a vacuum – in a vacuum you are going to be mad.
More people go mad in the West than in the East. More people commit suicide in the West than in the East. More people murder in the West than in the East. It should be otherwise: the East is so poor that people should commit suicide, should go mad, but they don’t. What is happening?
The Western mind has come to know God is not there – an immense vacuum. And man cannot live without meaning, man cannot live without significance, man cannot live without joy. If God is dead, man has become absolutely empty, and man cannot live in emptiness.
He needs the juices of life flowing through him. He needs to blossom into a beautiful lotus. He needs to sing songs, he needs to play music. He needs all the blessings that existence makes available to you.
The Western man is more educated, is richer, hence his bodily needs are almost fulfilled. He looks at the sky and finds the sky is empty – there is no God. This understanding that there is no God, rather than becoming good news to the Western man, has become bad news. He feels accidental, unnecessary – there is no reason why he should be here.
The East knows three religions which don’t have any God – Jainism, Buddhism, Taoism – three religions which are not centered on God. And these three religions seem to be saner than the religions which have come out of Judaism – Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedanism. The three Eastern religions seem to be saner because from the very beginning there is no God. So they don’t have to look upward in the sky, they have to look inward. That is the only place they have to explore for truth.
Prayer is not the way; meditation is the way.
And those who have come to the ultimate experience of meditation – a Gautam Buddha, a Bodhidharma, a Mahakashyapa, a Mahavira, a Lao Tzu, a Chuang Tzu, a Ma Tzu, a Sekito – don’t even talk about God. That which does not exist – what is the point even to say that he does not exist? It is simply out of the question to discuss God, to discuss heaven and hell.
Hence I want you to understand that Zen has come as a flowering out of the meeting of Gautam Buddha and Lao Tzu. It is the meeting of dhamma and Tao. It is a crossbreed of Bodhidharma and Chuang Tzu. These two religions have reached to the highest peak, and they are unorganized religions. Where they have become organized they are dead. For example, in Tibet it became organized, it died. In Sri Lanka it became organized, it died.
Wherever religion becomes organized it dies because it is immediately a desire for power, a desire to dominate. It becomes politics instead of religion.
Organization destroys the individual, sacrifices the individual, and the individual is the only one who can know the highest peaks of consciousness and the depths of consciousness.
Out of the meeting of Gautam Buddha and Lao Tzu, Zen is born. Zen is neither Buddhism, nor is it Tao; it is both, just as you are both your mother and your father. You are neither – something of your father, something of your mother is flowing in you.
Zen has come to the highest point of expression. It has become almost synonymous with eternal life. Adam and Eve could not eat the fruit of eternal life, they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. They had only eaten the fruit of knowledge. But Zen gives you the other tree, the tree of eternal life.
So in this series we will be discussing Zen, as equivalent to eternal life.
God is nowhere. Life is now here. And Zen is the master key to open the doors of the mystery of life.
The sutra. Sekito said:
“My teaching, which has come down from the ancient buddhas, is not dependent on meditation or on diligent application of any kind.”
The word meditation here may give you a feeling of misunderstanding, of confusion, because in English there are three words: concentration, contemplation, meditation. None of these three words is capable of translating the Sanskrit word dhyana, which became in Buddha’s language – he used Pali, a different language from Sanskrit – jhana. And when Bodhidharma took the message to China, from jhana it became ch’ana. And when Rinzai took the message from China to Japan, from ch’an or ch’ana, it became Zen. It came closer to Buddha’s jhan or jhana.
But there is no equivalent word in English; even the word meditation gives the idea that you are meditating upon something, concentrating upon something, contemplating about something, meditating upon something – but dhyana or Zen are without any object.
Zen means you are neither contemplating, nor are you concentrating, nor are you meditating, because there is no object. You simply are – silent, no thought, no mind.
It is because of this that Sekito includes meditation also: “One does not need meditation or a diligent application of any kind to become the enlightened one.”
But for your understanding and clarity, when I use the word meditation – it is a poor word, it does not have the same quality as dhyana or Zen – I use it because there is no other word in the English language.
There is a reason why there is no other word – the West never came to the point of dhyana. It never came to the point where one simply is – neither doing anything outwardly, nor doing anything inwardly. One simply is – a pure isness, an utter silence. That brings you to your very center, and the moment you are at the very center you start growing into a buddha, into an enlightened one. Your awareness for the first time opens its petals, the way a lotus opens its petals when it is daybreak and the sun starts rising, when the night is over.
Sekito is right: no special discipline is needed. No special application of any kind is needed. No mind effort is needed – that’s what he means by meditation. What you need is just to leave everything aside. Transcend the body, the mind, the heart. Just go on transcending till you come to a point which is the end of the road. There – you simply are.
Basho says:
Sitting silently
doing nothing,
spring comes –
and the grass grows by itself.
You don’t have to do anything, you have just to sit silently doing nothing because any kind of doing is going to take you away from yourself. When you are not doing anything, the whole energy gathers inside; it is not invested anywhere. The moment you pass your mind, all the energy that was invested in thoughts is released. When you pass your heart, all the energy that was invested in your emotions, feelings, sentiments, is released.
Now you are becoming so full of energy. This abundance of energy gives you the first taste of existence, and as this energy becomes a pillar of tremendous height and depth, you have found the connection with the cosmos. You are no longer alone. In fact, you are no more, only existence is. Then existence, the cosmos, life, is a sheer dance. I teach you to be dancers. I teach you to be lovers. I am absolutely life affirmative and all your religions are life negative.
I am utterly devoted to the present moment. Don’t move into the past because that is memory; there is no relevant existence to your memory anymore. Don’t move into the future because that is only imagination.
Just remain here, and you will be surprised. If you are just now here, all thoughts disappear because all thoughts are either of the past or of the future. No thought is of the present.
The present is so pure, so clean, so clear, just an opening into the cosmos. This is Zen, and this is the key to enter life eternal. The very feel of life eternal takes all tensions, anxieties of old age, of sickness, of death, and birth away from you.
You have never been born and you will never die. It is the body that has been changing; you have been changing houses. But you are the reality, the truth. The truth is not outside you, it is at the innermost hidden center.
So Zen simply means doing nothing, just being. And in that utter silence of being, you slowly, slowly relax, and the spring comes and the grass grows by itself. You suddenly start blossoming; your eyes start having a new depth. Your gestures start having a new grace; your every act becomes sheer joy. It may be just chopping wood, it may be just carrying water from the well – it doesn’t matter.
Once you know you are not accidental to existence, once you know you are existence itself, life takes a tremendous quantum leap. You are no longer confined to the body, you are no longer confined to the small mind. You become vast and infinite, and only in this vastness and infinity can you rejoice, can you be blissful.
This vastness has become available to you because God is dead; otherwise he was occupying every place, he was watching you from every side. He was judging you continuously, poking his nose into your affairs, condemning you: “This is wrong, don’t do it.” And all his commandments were against life.
I have heard an old story…

When God made the world he went first to the Babylonians with his commandments and asked them, “Would you like to have a commandment?”
They said, “First, we would like to know what the commandment is.”
And he said, “Thou should not commit adultery.”
They said, “Forget all about it. Without adultery there is no joy in life. Just take your commandments away.”
God was very disappointed, “What kind of people are these?”
He went to the Egyptians who asked the same question.
“What are the commandments? First we have to know it before we take one” – and nobody was ready to take it.
And then he found Moses who asked the wrong question. When God said, “Would you like to have a commandment?” Moses said, “How much? How much does it cost?”
God said, “It is free.”
Moses said, “Then why one? I will have ten.”

But when God is no longer there, all his commandments disappear and all his holy scriptures disappear, and the world becomes one for the first time. No religions, no religious boundaries, no discrimination – without God, humanity is one.
Zen teaches you not only to be one with humanity, but to be one with the trees and the rivers, and the mountains and the sky and the stars. This whole universe is our being. We are just flowers of different colors giving a beautiful variety to existence. We are expressions of existence, unique expressions. That gives you pride, that gives you dignity. That gives you an intrinsic honor, a self-respect which you were not able to have if God was alive.
But the whole of humanity has not heard even yet. They are still praying to a fiction, and that fiction is making the whole humanity schizophrenic, neurotic, obscene, ugly.

Three rabbis were sitting on a park bench one evening…
They used to come to that park every evening – old rabbis. One was seventy-five, one was eighty-five, one was ninety-five – all retired.
The youngest rabbi who was seventy-five looked very sad. The second rabbi who was eighty-five asked him, “What is the matter? Why are you so sad this evening?”
He said, “What to do? I have to tell you, so that I can be unburdened. It happened that a beautiful lady was a guest in my house and when she was taking a bath, I looked through the keyhole at her beautiful proportionate body.”
Both the rabbis started laughing.
The second rabbi said, “You idiot. Everybody does that in their childhood.”
But the youngest rabbi said, “You have not heard the whole story and you have interfered. I was caught red-handed by my mother.”
Those two rabbis said, “We know. Everybody gets caught. This is nothing to be sad about.”
But the man said, “You don’t understand at all. This happened today! It is not a question of childhood.”
They said, “Then it is a serious matter.”
“But it is nothing,” the second rabbi said. “What is happening to me, you don’t know…”
His problem was that he had not made love to his wife for three days. And both the rabbis started laughing because they knew what his “love” was. At the age of eighty-five, one leg in the grave, one leg out – what was his love? They already knew, so they both laughed.
He said, “Why are you laughing?”
They said, “We are laughing at your love. Don’t be worried about it.”
His love was that he would take the hand of his wife before going to sleep, squeeze it three times, and say goodnight. That was his love.
But wives are wives, and even this much love the wife was not allowing him for three days. She would turn and say, “I have a headache; just go to sleep.”
So he said, “For three days she has had a headache. At exactly the moment I try to make love to her, she says, ‘I have a headache; just go to sleep.’”
The third, the oldest rabbi said, “You are all idiots. You don’t understand real problems. The real problem is happening to me. Just this morning when I was going to make love to my wife she started screaming, ‘Are you a sex maniac? The whole night you have been making love again and again and again.’”
So he said to his friends, “It seems I am losing my memory. I thought it was the first time.”

A repressed humanity is going to have all these problems. But who has created all these problems? Your God, your priests; they are the greatest criminals because they very piously appear to be your well-wishers, but they have destroyed everything in you.
Zen wants you to resurrect, to take hold of your life again, which you had given to somebody else to be taken care of. Be a master, and you will start blossoming flowers of beauty and blissfulness and ecstasy, and a divine drunkenness.
Sekito says:
“When you attain the insight as attained by the Buddha, you realize that no-mind is buddha…”
Just going beyond the mind, and you have become a buddha. It is such a small passage, so small a journey – perhaps a single step. But because you are not total, I tell you about three steps. I divide one step into three steps because you are hesitant to take such a jump – one step. Otherwise there is only one step: from mind to no-mind. But you hesitate to go beyond the mind, you are afraid you may go insane. That is true. If you go beyond the mind from the wrong door, you will be insane.
There are two doors to go beyond the mind: one goes below the mind, one goes beyond the mind. Both are outside the mind. If you enter from the lower door, you will be insane, and you will be lying on a psychiatrist’s couch. If you enter no-mind from the higher door, you will be a buddha. No buddha has ever suffered from any madness, any neurosis, any psychosis – nothing.
“When you attain the insight as attained by the Buddha, you realize that no-mind is buddha and buddha is no-mind…”
– they are synonymous –
…that no-mind, buddha, sentient beings, bodhi, and klesa, are of one and the same substance while they vary in names.”
Everything is made of the same stuff, the same existence, the same consciousness of no-mind; only names differ. You can call it anything – nirvana; you can call it salvation; you can call it liberation. But these are different names of the same space which accurately described is just no-mind, or beyond the mind. You appear in a space which has no limits, no boundaries, and suddenly you become aware that your being has been here since eternity, and it is going to be here forever.
This very no-mind is the buddha, and this very moment is the lotus paradise. You don’t have to go anywhere. You have to just sink inward to find the bottom of your being.
“You should know that your own no-mind essence is neither subject to annihilation nor eternally subsisting, is neither pure nor defiled.”
It is so pure that you cannot even call it pure because it is never defiled. Anything pure can be defiled, but it is so pure you cannot even call it pure. It cannot be defiled, its purity is absolute. No dust ever gathers on the mirror of your consciousness.
This makes a tremendous point. The sinner and the saint are both capable of going into no-mind because the sinner cannot defile his no-mind, the saint cannot purify it. It is always beyond duality.
It is so pure and so innocent – available to the sinner, available to the saint. Both have to go beyond their minds. The sinner has to go beyond the sinning mind, and the saint has to go beyond the saintly mind. But both have to go beyond the mind, and they reach to the same space of absolute purity. It is transcendental to all dualities; it simply is. You cannot name it, you cannot utter a single word about it.
One of the most important logicians of the West, Ludwig Wittgenstein, has written in his great work, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus… He wrote in a very strange and special style, the style that has been used in the Zen people’s sutras. He would write just in small stanzas and put numbers. Every stanza, every line was complete in itself, made a complete statement. So he would number – not the pages, but he would number the first sutra, the second sutra, the third sutra, the fourth sutra…
One of the maxims – sutra means maxim, the smallest condensed statement – I came across when I was a student says: that which cannot be said should not be said. A complete statement: if you cannot say anything about no-mind, then please don’t say anything because whatever you say will be wrong. Whatever you say will not be exactly what you wanted to say. So please don’t say anything about that which is inexpressible.
I wrote a letter to him, but he had died. His friend sent me a reply: “If he was alive he would have accepted your amendment. He was a man of tremendous honesty and he would not have thought that you were criticizing him.”
I was not criticizing. I was simply saying to him, “You are saying, ‘That which cannot be said should not be said,’ but you have said something about it. Remove this maxim. Even to say this much is saying something. That which cannot be said should not be said – you have said something about it.” Nothing can be said about the no-mind, including this sentence: nothing can be said about no-mind.
It is a pure experience – you can experience it. You can have it, you already have it. You can dance with ecstasy when you come to recognize that it has been always there, you just never looked at it. You were so occupied outside, so involved in trivia that the essential got lost. But it is there waiting.
“It remains perfectly undisturbed and self-sufficient. The same is so with the wise and the ignorant.”
The wise and the ignorant are made of the same stuff: no-mind. The ignorant have not to become wise before they enter no-mind. They can enter no-mind from the very place they are – the sinner, the ignorant, the wise, the knowledgeable. Wherever you are, your distance from no-mind is the same.
This is a grand rebellion against all religions. It does not say the sinner has first to become a saint, the immoral has first to become a moral person. Zen gives you a tremendous insight that wherever you are, whoever you are, whatever your actions, nothing can defile, nothing can disturb it. From your very space you move directly into no-mind. From different spaces you move to the same center, and you will find your being absolutely clean, utterly clean. It has never been otherwise.
“Your no-mind essence is not limited in its working, and is not included in the category of mind, consciousness, or thought.
“The three worlds of desire, form, and no-form, and the six paths of existence are no more than manifestations of your mind itself.”
All your so-called disciplines, methods, Yoga… All your prayers, are just gimmicks, projections of your own mind. Drop everything!
I am reminded of a great Catholic bishop…

He had a beautiful parrot who used to recite the entire Catholic prayer. It was a precious parrot; he was shown to all the guests, and he would recite the whole Catholic prayer. And he was such a pious, saintly parrot. He was trained – he used to have a rosary in one hand, and he would go on saying, “Alleluia, Alleluia!” Everybody was surprised that such a pious parrot…
But he looked very sad, as every saint always looks – you cannot become pious without becoming sad. Because he was looking so sad, the bishop was always worried what to do; otherwise he was absolutely normal.
One day he went to see one of the members of his congregation, a woman, who had got a parrot just that day. And the parrot owner had told her, “I don’t want to sell this parrot to you. You can take any other parrot. We have got many in our shop.” But she became so interested in the parrot – it was a very beautiful specimen.
She said, “I will pay anything, but only for this parrot.”
The man said, “I have to tell you that this parrot comes from a very ugly place. He used to be in a whorehouse so he uses four-letter words. That is why I am trying to prevent you from taking it.”
But the lady said, “I will teach him, but I will take it.” He was so beautiful looking that she thought, “If he can speak four-letter words, what is the problem? Just a little training will be needed.” But it was simply impossible. He would say anything in front of the guests, in front of the neighbors. He would shout anything – all kinds of obscene words.
So when the bishop came for his weekly visit, she told him her misery, “What to do? I have purchased this beautiful parrot…”
The bishop said, “Don’t be worried. I have a very pious, saintly parrot, who goes on continuously moving his beads on the rosary, has the entire prayer and recites it so perfectly. I will take your parrot and keep it in the same cage as my parrot. And he is such a saintly person he will teach this parrot.” So he took the parrot.
He put the parrot in the same cage, and he went in the house. As he came out, he could not believe his eyes. The saintly parrot had dropped his rosary and was sitting very close to the other parrot. And the bishop said, “What happened? Why have you dropped your rosary? And why are you not reciting Ave Maria or Alleluia?”
The parrot said, “I was praying for a woman, and I have got it. No more rosary, no more prayer. I have got such a beautiful girlfriend. Get lost!”

Your so-called saints and your so-called sinners are not much different – only their masks are different. And my experience is that your sinners are more innocent than your saints. I have seen criminals, I have seen murderers. I used to visit the jails, and then I was finally jailed in America. I lived as an insider in five jails, and I found such beautiful human beings, far more beautiful than the politicians, than the priests – utterly innocent people.
Zen gives equal opportunity to sinners and saints, to the good and to the bad, because its understanding is very clear. Its insight is so deep that the distance from no-mind is equal.
So it does not matter what kind of things you have been involved in. Whether you were doing things which people think are wrong, or whether you were doing things which people think are right – it does not matter! Those were all your mind phenomena. Just go beyond the mind. When the saint drops his mind, and the sinner drops his mind, they enter into the same space, the same buddhahood.
This is the great rebellion of Zen. And this gives you a totally different kind of religiousness. This makes you dance, live with totality, with no inhibition, with no guilt, because wherever you are, the moment you want to enter your eternal life, you can take a jump. From any point in existence, from any kind of personality, you can drop that personality and move into utter silence.
No religion has the guts, no religion has that courage – Zen is really daring. It belongs only to the lions, not to the sheep of Jesus Christ.
“They are all like the moon reflected in water, or images in the mirror.”
If a saint comes in front of a mirror, the mirror does not bother that he is a saint. A sinner comes – the mirror makes no discrimination. The sinner is equal to the saint, to the idiot, to the so-called great scholar. The mirror mirrors equally.
The no-mind is your mirror. In front of the mirror everyone is equal.
Zen gives you a totally new concept of spiritual communism. All religions are against communism, only Zen has the capacity to absorb communism. You may be an atheist, it does not matter. You may be a theist, it does not matter. The distance from no-mind is equal.
So I never ask you who you are. Whether you are an atheist, whether you are a theist – it is your business. Whether you are a communist or an anarchist – it is your business. Whether you are a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan, it does not matter. What matters to me is, whatever kind of mind you have, make it the jumping board and jump into no-mind. No-mind knows no differences, it is one cosmic whole. And to me, the man of no-mind is the only religious man. All else is just pseudo.
He is saying:
“They are all like the moon reflected in water or images in the mirror. How can we speak of them as being born or as passing away?”
You are never born, you have always been here. You have always been in the space, in the time, here and now; you will never die. Death and birth are both superficial episodes in a long eternal life – small things; they don’t matter.
“When you come to this understanding you will be furnished with all the things you are in need of.”
I have been telling you again and again that you don’t need any morality, you don’t need any discipline. But if you come to no-mind, all that you ever needed will be furnished. You will become immensely compassionate. You will have the grace which is almost not of this world. You will have love without any conditions. You will share your joy, your blessings, to all and sundry – not only to friends, but also to strangers. You will become just like a rain cloud which goes on showering without bothering whether it falls on the stones, or on the road, or on the roof, or in the field, or in the garden. When you have abundance, who cares? You simply go on sharing. Anybody who is receptive will take it, who is not receptive will not take it. But that is not your problem.
A buddha is choicelessly good. It is not that he is practicing a certain morality, following certain commandments. It is simply that he cannot do anything wrong. His consciousness, his light, is so clear that he can see exactly what is good. He knows the good is a reward in itself, not that you will have a reward in heaven. And the bad is a punishment in itself, not that you will have a punishment in hell. So there is no heaven, no hell.
Every action brings its joy or its misery. A man with clear eyes can see. And I don’t think anybody is going to choose misery, is going to choose pathology, is going to choose something ugly and obscene. If you have eyes, you will choose the most beautiful, the most glorious, the most majestic. It will come spontaneously.
Gyodai wrote a haiku:
For my sake,
do not light the lamp yet,
this evening of spring.
These small haikus are as beautiful as small dewdrops on the lotus leaves in the early morning sun. They shine more than diamonds, more than pearls.
“For my sake…” It is a beautiful spring evening. Slowly, slowly the darkness is coming. The sun is setting, the birds are returning to their trees. The fragrance of the flowers is all around. The flowers of the night are opening their petals.
Darkness has its own beauty; it is very clean, and it makes every separation disappear. Everything becomes one. Darkness has a depth which light misses. Darkness has a silence which light does not have.
So when the darkness is descending, and he can smell the night flowers opening, and the birds coming back to the trees making beautiful sounds, he says, “For my sake, do not light the lamp yet” – don’t disturb this beautiful spring evening – “this evening of spring. Let me rest, let me watch this transformation from light into darkness.
Light is very superficial, darkness has depth. Light comes and goes, darkness remains. You don’t have to bring it in; you can’t push it out. You cannot directly do anything with darkness, you can do only something with the light. You bring the light in – darkness disappears. You take the light out – darkness comes in. In fact, it never went anywhere; it was there, the light just covered it. When the light is gone, darkness is left.
Light is momentary because it depends on fuel. And fuel – even the fuel of the sun is one day going to be finished because it is giving so much light, radiating every moment. It is becoming poorer every moment. Scientists think that it will take at least four million years for the sun to die. But in the eternity of existence, four million years don’t matter.
Every day some suns are exhausted, become old, dead, finished. The physicists say they enter black holes, they disappear. And every moment, as suns are disappearing, new suns are being born. Science has not yet discovered white holes. I think if there are black holes there must be white holes. If black holes pull stars and planets and they disappear, they die, then perhaps on the other side is a white hole from which after some time of rest – maybe nine months in the womb – they come out, again born.
But nothing in existence dies. Everything goes on, and everything gets tired. There is a moment to live and there is a moment to die. But your essential being simply goes from action to no-action. And when it has again gathered energy, it is rejuvenated, it becomes fresh; it comes back again from a new womb.
Only a buddha never comes back. His death is final because he has no desire left. It is the desiring mind that takes you into another womb. A buddha, a man who has realized his no-mind, is completely empty of desires, ambitions. Now there is no need for him to enter another womb and suffer nine months in a prison. Then getting out of the prison is not a pleasure either. And the whole life again starts, the whole round. The same journey, the same youth, the same romances, the same failures, the same frustrations, and the old age, and the fear of death…
Zen’s interest is how to help you to get rid of this circle of birth and death. The only way is going beyond the mind. It is the mind that contains all your ambitions, desires, tensions, anguishes, anxieties, angst. If you get out of it, you are the awakened one. You have come to the point from where you can move into the cosmos directly. You become part of the whole, or more accurately, you become the whole.

Maneesha’s question:
In his poem, “Song of Myself,” Walt Whitman writes:
“You shall possess the good of the earth and sun… You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the specters in books….
“There was never any more inception than there is now, nor any more youth or age than there is now, and there will never be any more perfection than there is now, nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.”
Beloved Master, from the deification of a fiction to the celebration of one's self – is this not the essential difference between the old and the new man?
Maneesha, it is exactly the difference between the old man who lived under a slavery, and the new man who would have come out of the slavery of God, of churches, of religions.
The old man never really lived, he followed borrowed knowledge. He was always dictated to, dragged from this point to that point. The new man will live out of freedom, spontaneity, awareness. He will not have any scriptures, he will not have any dictators, he will not have any gods. He will be himself the ultimate consciousness. This is real growth.
And it is time, the right time! We have lived in slavery enough. Now drop it – in toto! Move into an open sky. Open your wings, the whole existence belongs to you.
The new man is going to be an emperor, in the sense that he will be the master himself. He will not allow any other master. He will not allow any other slavery. He will not allow nations, he will not allow races, he will not allow caste systems. He will not allow all kinds of religions and their superstitions. The new man will be absolutely clean and fresh and innocent like a child. And out of that innocence arises a divine being, the buddha.
The buddha is the new man.
It is time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh. Put on the light!

Jerry and Judy are sitting at breakfast one morning when Judy sighs and puts down her toast.
“Darling,” she says, “I have been thinking about that time when you were shipwrecked. All the newspapers called you a hero because you survived alone in the Indian Ocean for three months on a life raft.
“And yet I feel, darling,” continues Judy, “that you have been hiding something from me ever since. What happened?”
“Well, dear,” replies Jerry, trying not to look like Mickey Mouse, “since you have been so wonderful to me, I must confess I am hiding something from you! There was a lovely girl on that raft with me. We were on that ship together when it sank. We were the only ones that survived.”
“A-ha!” cries Judy.
“It was not like that, dear,” explains Jerry. “It is true, she was a prostitute, but she saved my life! We had no food, no water – all we had was ourselves and our will to survive.”
“I see,” snaps Judy. “So what did you do?”
Jerry takes a long drink from his coffee cup and continues. “You have to understand the conditions out there, dear. We had no food, no water. All we had was our own naked bodies.”
“You have already told me that!” interrupts Judy, sharply.
“We held each other tight,” continues Jerry. “All we had was our bodies – naked under the burning sun.”
Judy does not say a word. She just stares at him as though he is a snake.
“All right! All right!” cries Jerry, as he cracks under the strain. “You want to know the truth? We fucked! Yes! We screwed all the time! If it had not been for that wonderful girl I would never have survived. Believe me – she saved my life!”
Slowly, Judy pours herself another cup of coffee. “I don’t like it,” she says. “But I suppose I will have to live with it. But just one thing. Have you ever seen her again?”
“Just once, dear,” replies Jerry. “I met her in Las Vegas last summer at our sales convention.”
“And what was she doing?” snaps Judy, suspiciously.
“The same thing, dear,” replies Jerry. “Still saving lives!”

On the Buckingham Palace lawn one afternoon, Prince Edward – the rather dim son of Queen Elizabeth – is sitting reading Playboy magazine. He looks up at his brother, Prince Andrew, and asks, “Hey, Andy, you’ve got brains: tell me – what is a fox pass?”
Andrew thinks for a moment, and then says, “Oh, you mean, faux pas! That’s a French expression which means a social blunder.”
Edward looks at Andrew blankly. “What do you mean, ‘a social blunder’?” asks the dim prince. “Give me an example.”
“Well,” explains Prince Andrew, “remember last Sunday when the Archbishop of Canterbury came to lunch, and mother took him for a walk in the rose garden?”
“Yes, I remember,” says Edward. “What about it?”
“Just listen,” continues Andrew. “Remember the archbishop pricked his thumb on a thorn? It was bleeding a lot, so mother brought him into the palace. They went into the bathroom together, and stayed there for a long time. And when they came out, we all went for lunch. Do you remember all that, Edward?”
“Sure, I remember,” replies Edward.
“Now,” continues Andrew, “do you remember, as I was just passing the pudding to you, mother said, ‘Archbishop, is your prick still throbbing?’ And then the archbishop replied, ‘No, Your Majesty, the swelling has gone down since you massaged it in the bathroom.’
“And then the pudding flew out of my hands and spattered all over everybody, and you shouted out, ‘Shit!’ Do you remember all that?”
“Yes, I remember!” cries Edward, excitedly.
“Well,” says Prince Andrew, “when you shouted ‘Shit!’ – that was a faux pas!”

One afternoon on the little Greek island of Crete, the local theatrical group is performing the famous Greek drama, “Eat-a-Puss Rex.” Young Spiro Sphincter, an amateur Greek actor, gets a small part in the play. He only has to come onto the stage, approach a beautiful girl lying on a bed, and say the words: “I would love to kiss your lips and steal away!”
But on the opening night Sphincter is really nervous. He comes onto the stage, his knees shaking, he stumbles over to the girl in the bed, and stutters, “I would love to kiss your… I would love to kiss your…” but his mind goes blank.
He tries again.
“I would love to kiss your…”
Suddenly, someone in the back jumps up and shouts out, “Pussy!”
Instantly, Old Mrs. Acreepolis, sitting in the audience, has a severe stroke and falls over dead.
The next day at her funeral, in The Holy Orthodox Church of the Blessed Bleeding Virgin, Bishop Cretin, who has now got only three old ladies left in his flock, swears revenge: “We have got to stamp out this kind of filth!” cries Cretin. “I am going to put a stop to this moral decay!”
So that evening at the theater, Cretin is sitting at the side of the stage with a loaded shotgun on his knee and a stick of dynamite in his pocket, looking mean and menacing.
Sure enough, in the second act of the play, the young actor Sphincter comes bounding onto the stage, stumbles over to the girl in the bed, and announces, “I am going to kiss your… I am going to kiss your…” But again his mind goes blank.
There is a ripple of light laughter from the audience, and immediately Bishop Cretin jumps to his feet and cocks his gun.
“All right, everybody,” screams Cretin, “I will blow the head off the first son-of-a-bitch who says ‘Pussy’!”






Be silent, and close your eyes. Feel your bodies completely frozen. This is the right moment for turning inward.
Gather all your energy, your total consciousness, and rush toward the center of your being which is just below the navel, inside. Two inches below the navel…
Rush inside with an urgency as if this is the last moment of your life. Unless you have that urgency and intensity, you can never reach to the center. It is not far away, it is very close; it only needs intensity and a deep feeling of urgency.
Faster and faster…
Deeper and deeper…
As you are coming closer to your center, a great silence descends over you like soft rain. You can feel the coolness of it.
A little more… And suddenly you find immense peace arising from the very center of your being, surrounding you like incense.
Just a little more… And you will start feeling immensely calm, quiet, tranquil, blissful. Just one step and you are at the center. The moment you reach to the center you are almost drunk by the divine.
You disappear.
In place of you, there is sitting the image, the symbol of the Eastern awareness, enlightenment, Gautam the Buddha.
It is your very nature. Everybody is by his very birth a Gautam Buddha. Very few people go deep enough to recognize it; they remain outside their whole life. You are the most fortunate people on the earth, who are trying to reach to your innermost nature.
Being the buddha simply means being alert, aware, conscious. It means you have become only a witness. This word witness has to be remembered because this is the only quality that buddha is made of.
Witness that you are not the body.
Witness that you are not the mind – this is the way to transcend body and mind.
Witness, finally, that you are only a witness.
This is how one becomes a Gautam Buddha, the highest peak of consciousness ever achieved.
A great ecstasy arises in you – you have never known it before. You are feeling in tune with the universe; your heartbeat has become harmonious with the heartbeat of existence.

To make this witness deeper and more clear, Nivedano…


Relax… But go on remembering only one thing – that you are a witness, nothing else. This is your transcendence.
And as your witnessing deepens, you start melting into the universe as ice melts into the ocean. Gautama the Buddha Auditorium is turning into an ocean of consciousness – ten thousand buddhas have become one oceanic consciousness. We are separate on the periphery, but we are one at the center. The center is the center of everyone.
At this moment, rejoice. And gather all those fragrances that are surrounding you – the blissfulness, the ecstasy. Drink more and more from this eternal current of your life. And persuade the buddha to come with you – he is your nature, he has to come with you. He has to become your very day-to-day life; he has to express his grace in your actions, in your words, in your silences of the heart.
That day, you will feel the most blessed person in existence when you disappear and only buddha remains.
These I have called the three steps of enlightenment.
The first step, the buddha comes behind you as a presence – very solid, very tangible, you can feel it. You can feel its fragrance, you can feel its power; it fills you with great cheerfulness.
The second step, the buddha comes in front of you; you become the shadow. And slowly, slowly the shadow starts disappearing.
The third step, you are no more. Not even a shadow is left, only buddha remains – a transparent consciousness, an eternal life. Those who come to this experience are the real people who can celebrate life.
I celebrate myself. And I want you all to celebrate yourself.
Become a dance, become a song. Become a lotus, become a spring. There is no religion and there is no God to prohibit you – you are free from all superstitions, you are free from all God-oriented theologies, you are free from all rubbish that everybody in the world is carrying within himself. Throw it out so that your inner world is completely clean and ready to welcome the buddha.



Now come back. But come back as a buddha, with the same grace, the same silence, the same peace, the same blissfulness. Sit down for a few moments just to recollect the golden path that you moved on, the immense opening that happened at your very center.
You found yourself so close to existence that it started flowing in you. Its dance became your dance; its celebration became your celebration. Its immensity, its grandeur, its splendor, became your splendor.
And see, just behind you is the buddha, with all its transparency, utter silence…
This is the first step.
Soon you will be able to take the second step. You will become the shadow, and buddha will become almost your very heart, your very heartbeat.
At the third and final step you will not be any more. You will be absent and life will be present.
Then begins the celebration.
Unless life is a celebration, you have lived in vain. Unless life turns into a Gautam Buddha, you have been wasting a tremendous opportunity given to you by existence.

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