I Celebrate Myself 07

Seventh 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.

One day, Sekito announced to everybody that the next day they would weed the grass in front of the Buddha Hall. The following day, all the monks gathered with sickles in their hands, but only Tanka came with a tray filled with water. Before coming there he had washed his hair, but it was not yet shaven. Now he kneeled down in front of Sekito, and seeing him, Sekito laughed, and shaved Tanka’s head. As the master usually did, Sekito gave Tanka some specific commandments, but as he did so, Tanka walked away covering his ears with his hands.
Tanka then left for Kosei to see Ma Tzu. Arriving at the monastery, he went into the hall and, climbing on the statue of Manjushri, sat there. The other monks were astonished and told Ma Tzu, who came in, looked at him and said, “My son is Tennen.”
Tanka came down, made a bow and said, “Thank you for giving me a dharma name.”
Ma Tzu then asked, “Where do you come from?”
Tanka said, “I come from Sekito.”
Ma Tzu said, “The path on the stonehead is slippery. Did you fall over?”
Tanka replied, “If I had fallen over, I wouldn’t have come here.”

Friends, first the questions.
The first question:
It seems that never has any God-oriented religion been more anachronistic than it is today; yet curiously, Christianity at least seems to be blooming. Born-again Christians, Jesus freaks, and fundamentalist Christians are rife.
Are we seeing the phenomenon you have described when something is about to die? You have compared it to a candle going out, having a last, final spurt of energy before it splutters into extinction.
It is exactly what has happened. Not only is Christianity going out of existence, all religions as such are already out of date. They are living a posthumous life.
Whatever they have been teaching to humanity has been found to be criminal. Their God is a fiction, a lie. They have all been telling people to be truthful, and they are teaching lies about heaven and hell and God. They have made the whole of humanity hypocritical.
The misery that you see all over the earth is created by your religions. Once you make a man feel guilty, he cannot enjoy life, he cannot rejoice in existence. You have cut his roots, the very roots that nourish his joy, his blissfulness.
All the religions have been against humanity. They are bound to go into extinction. The sooner they disappear from the earth the better. Man needs to sing with the birds, to dance with the trees. Man needs to rise to the heights of a Gautam Buddha.
The religions have not been helping the evolution of consciousness; on the contrary, they are the greatest obstacles. Religion has become a business in the hands of the priests. And certainly an authentic religiousness has nothing to do with business. It has something to do with your blossoming, it has something to do with your initiation into eternity, into truth, into beauty, into good.
Religiousness has no way to make humanity spiritually a slave – but that’s what religions have done. Everybody is enslaved, oppressed, exploited, and everybody is being poisoned by the religions, forced to be unnatural. The moment you force somebody to be unnatural you are committing the greatest crime against existence.
All the religions, God-oriented or not God-oriented, have been teaching man to renounce life. They are anti life, they are against everything that can make you a whole person. Not only physically, not only psychologically, but spiritually too. They have been cutting you into pieces and they have been trying for centuries, insistently, to enforce the idea of renouncement. This is not a right approach to existence.
The moment you start renouncing, you start shrinking. Rather than growing, rather than becoming vaster and infinite, you start shrinking into yourself. You lose all interest in existence, in love, because you are told to torture yourself. Renunciation from the world is another name for self-torture. And how can you expect a man who is torturing himself to dance? How can you expect him to be ecstatic? He is committing a slow suicide.
God-oriented religions and not-God-oriented religions are both going to disappear. Religion is an individual matter; it has nothing to do with collectivity. It is not a social phenomenon, it is very private, absolutely private, your innermost affair. Even love is not so private because at least two persons are involved in it. In meditation, nobody is involved – only you are. It is absolutely individualistic.
I teach you to be individuals. Never belong to any organization, never belong to any holy scriptures, churches, temples. Never belong to any monastery. This whole existence is available for you – rejoice in it, celebrate in it.
No religion teaches celebration; they teach celibacy! I am absolutely against celibacy and all for celebration. I am making every effort to bring a new approach toward life which the past humanity has missed – a new freedom, a new sky to open your wings. All religions have been cutting your wings, putting you into cages and making you believe that this is all that life is. There was a reason for them to do this. Unless you take away people’s individuality and destroy their wings and their freedom and cut their roots of nourishment, you cannot enslave them. It is impossible to create armies and wars; it is impossible to make millions of people suffer in poverty – they would have revolted long ago. But religions are keeping them subdued by the fear of God, by the fear of punishment in hell, and by the greed that if you follow their commandments you will be immensely rewarded.
I have told you about this man Salman Rushdie. Ordinarily, the way Ayatollah Khomeini and the other religious leaders of Iran have behaved, people would think is very strange from a religious man. I want to tell you it is not – this is what religions have been doing for centuries.
Mohammed himself carried a sword his whole life, killing people, and he has given the name Islam to his religion, which means peace! On his sword, “Peace is my message” was written in letters of gold – on the sword!
Ayatollah Khomeini is behaving exactly like all the religious leaders. It is absolutely irreligious behavior, but Ayatollah Khomeini is not the only one responsible for it, he is simply a representative of the whole past history of religions: killing, murder, crusades, fights over strange things.
Christians, Mohammedans and Jews have been fighting over a strange idea which can be shared very easily: that Jerusalem is the holy city. So what is wrong? All three religions can enjoy going to Jerusalem. But they have been fighting. Jews have been claiming, “It is our holy city.” And Christians of course were saying, “It is our holy city because Jesus was crucified here.” And Jews are saying it is their holy city because the most ancient Jewish temple used to exist in Jerusalem. There is still the great wall where Jews weep, cry – that is their prayer, in front of an ancient wall. You will find hundreds of Jews every day standing in front of the wall or kneeling down in front of the wall. It is their holy city.
And then came the Mohammedans and with a strange fiction they have made it their holy city. The fiction is that Mohammed went to heaven sitting on his horse, and just on the way to heaven he stopped for a rest in Jerusalem. Now, I cannot conceive how Jerusalem comes on the way to heaven. It does not exist somewhere in the clouds.
So the rock on which he had rested for a few minutes before ascending to heaven is the holy rock, and because the holy rock is in Jerusalem, Mohammedans have been claiming, “It is our holy city.” And all three religions have been fighting and killing for hundreds and thousands of years. I cannot understand why they cannot all share the holy city – they can all go and worship. But the very claim that it is theirs is absolutely nonreligious.
A religious person has no possessiveness. These are not religious people, they belong only to pseudo-religious organizations. And they are doing everything wrong in the name of God. That gives a sanctity to their immoral acts.
Ayatollah Khomeini’s death sentence on four persons was absolutely immoral, absolutely unspiritual. And then another ayatollah came and declared that he would give 2.6 million dollars to the person who brings the head of Salman Rushdie to Iran.
I was hoping Salman Rushdie would prove to be a man of integrity – he did not. He has started falling from integrity, from individuality. Today he has sent to Ayatollah Khomeini: “I can feel that I have hurt so many people’s religious feelings…” Yesterday, Ayatollah Khomeini said that if Rushdie asks for forgiveness and is ready to receive a penance, then he can save his life. Otherwise there is no way.
This statement is not accurately speaking an apology, but just a recognition that he had unconsciously hurt the feelings of thousands of Mohammedans and that he would be more careful in the future. But he was not aware that Ayatollah Khomeini is not a sane man. He rejected the statement, and said again on the radio, “Rushdie has not apologized and we reject whatever he has said.”
Now Salman Rushdie has started falling. Soon he will have to apologize and after apologizing, Ayatollah Khomeini will ask him to do penance. “Come to Kaaba and fast for one month…” Salman Rushdie has taken a wrong move. This is how people have been kept imprisoned out of fear.
I was hoping that a man of the intelligence of Salman Rushdie would prefer death to apologizing. He has not committed any sin and he has not done anything wrong. I was hoping that he would put Ayatollah Khomeini in a corner. He should ask him, “On what grounds are you saying that I have committed anything against Islam? Tell me exactly the reason that you are asking for an apology, or giving me the sentence of death.” And that would have exposed Ayatollah Khomeini because none of these ayatollahs have given a reason.
Rushdie simply stated a historical fact, that a few of the verses which Mohammed wrote in an earlier version of the Koran he dropped later on, saying that he had been inspired by the Devil to write these verses. Now, this is a historical fact, it is not Salman Rushdie’s imagination. Why should he ask forgiveness?
He should have said, “Give me the reasons,” and he would have put these fanatics into a corner because they cannot say what really is the problem. I want you to understand it because that will give you an insight into the murderous instinct of all the religions. This does not make any sense because it is a well-established fact, accepted by Mohammedan scholars for centuries, that a few verses have been dropped. And the statement of Mohammed is well-known to those who have ever studied the Koran and the history of Islam. So they cannot really say these are the verses that are creating trouble because then the question immediately arises that they are historical facts.

For the same reason, Galileo was called by the pope because he had written that it is not the sun that goes around the earth; on the contrary, it is the earth that goes around the sun. But the Bible states the commonsense view. Just as we see the sun rising in the morning and going around from the east to the west, setting, so it appears that the sun is going around the earth.
This is a commonsense view, but the question that Galileo had asked the pope was, “Why are you are so afraid of a truth? I have been experimenting; this is my whole life’s work. And even if I withdraw the sentence that you are wanting me to withdraw, neither the earth is going to change its course, nor the sun, because they don’t read my books. The earth will go on circling the sun. But why are you afraid?” Galileo had asked, and he had cornered the pope: “Either you prove that I am wrong on scientific grounds… It is not a religious matter at all. What has religion to do with whether the sun goes around the earth or the earth goes around the sun? It has nothing to do with any spirituality, it is a scientific area. If anybody can prove anything scientifically against me, then of course I will withdraw. But why are you afraid?”
Cornered in this way, the pope had to accept that the real problem was: “We are not concerned whether the earth goes around, or the sun. Our concern is that even if one sentence in the Bible is found to be wrong, the whole credibility of the Bible goes. Then it is not a work of God. God is infallible, God cannot commit such a mistake. He made the earth, he made the sun, and he does not know who goes around.
“The point is that one sentence proved wrong will create doubt about the whole authenticity of the Bible, so we cannot allow you to create this doubt in people’s minds.”
Galileo was very old, almost on his deathbed. He had been dragged from his deathbed to the court of the pope. He said, “I don’t want to get into any unnecessary trouble. I am already dying. So I will cancel the sentence.” And he must have been a man of a great sense of humor. He canceled the sentence. But in a footnote he wrote, “Although I am canceling this sentence, the fact is that the earth goes around the sun. They are not going to listen to me; they don’t follow any religion and they are not Christians.”

Certainly the earth is not Christian, neither is the sun Christian. And certainly whoever wrote the Bible is not omniscient, is not infallible.
Hundreds of facts have been found in these three hundred years after Galileo which go against the Bible, which go against the Koran, which go against the Vedas, which go against every religious scripture in the world. All these holy scriptures are full of common sense, not of any scientific inquiry, nor of any spiritual inquiry.
It is so strange to read the holy scriptures. They look such rubbish that even newspapers seem to be more important. And if God is writing, or his special messengers are writing these scriptures, they cannot be counted sane.
My whole understanding is that all these prophets and messiahs and avatars and tirthankaras – the founders of all the religions – are basically megalomaniacs, great egoists. This is the greatest ego in the world, that you are related with God in a manner nobody else is related.
That’s why Jesus excludes the idea that there is another son, another brother to him, or another sister. God has only one begotten son and that is Jesus Christ. Why does Mohammed close the doors: “I am the last prophet of God; now there will be no more prophets coming. So the holy Koran is the final message from God; no correction can be made in it”… But he himself corrected it and he himself accepted that he was inspired by the Devil.
Religions have been repressing truths, and now it is time that the truth should be declared, freedom should be declared, individuality should be declared. Man has lived under slavery long enough. The night has been too long; a new dawn is needed. A new man is needed, a new humanity is needed, and that humanity necessarily needs all these so-called religions to disappear from the earth.
They are taking their last breaths, so your question is exactly right. The same is the case with a candle going out – having a last final spurt of energy before it splutters into extinction.
This happens to man also. Physicians have been observing for centuries that before death, a person becomes perfectly healthy; all his diseases disappear. And they could not understand: “What is happening?” He is going to die, the logical thing would be that his diseases become more dangerous because they are going to kill him. But at the last moment all diseases disappear.
It is the last spurt of energy. Before going into darkness, the candle flares up. Physicians have often been deceived by this flaring up of energy; they think they have cured the person. And by the time they have reached home, the phone rings to say that the man is dead. They were thinking they had cured him because everything becomes normal before death. The man is making his last effort – of course unconsciously – to remain alive. He is for the first time being total, so all the energy is gathered. That gathering of the energy gives a false appearance of health, as if he is cured.
All these religions are gathering their whole energy – the last flare-up of life before they disappear forever with their God, with their priests, with their monks, with their churches, with their holy scriptures. That day will be the greatest day in the history of man. Man will become free.
Hence I say that the days for celebration are coming closer. Get ready!
Celibacy is no longer scientific; we have to fill up the gap with celebration. Renunciation is no longer logical, rational; we have to fill the gap with rejoicing. That is the reason so-called religious people are against me; they can see what I am saying destroys their lies and their fictions and their consolations. This destruction they call “Having their religious feelings hurt.”
Just today, a man has asked the government of India, “Just as you have banned Salman Rushdie’s book, why don’t you ban Osho’s books which are far more dangerous?” It is true, they are far more dangerous. Rushdie has not done anything and is unnecessarily being harassed. If you harass me, it will be absolutely right because I am stating things against every religion.
But to ask the government to ban my books is to accept defeat. Why can’t you argue with me? Why can’t you bring a dialogue into existence? If you think your religious ideology is right, I am ready for any challenge to discuss it. Why are you afraid? In a cultured society, in a democratic nation it is against the constitution to take away anybody’s freedom of speech. I am ready to confront anybody – Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian, Jaina, Buddhist. Whoever they are, I am ready to confront them, but because they don’t have any way to answer my questions they immediately take the course of asking the government.
The Indian government is secular, it has no way to defend any religion or anybody’s religious feelings. And it is barbarous to ask the government; it simply shows you are primitive and you don’t know how to behave in a civilized way.
If Ayatollah Khomeini was a civilized, sane man, he would have asked Rushdie, “Are you ready for an argument?” To declare a death sentence… And Mohammedan criminals, professional murderers have already entered Britain from different Mohammedan countries. Even Pakistan has sent people. I was shocked because the father of the woman who is now the president of Pakistan, Bhutto, was sentenced to death for no reason at all. He was the most prominent person in Pakistan, the most influential person. Because of him, the man who was in power – he was a military general, it was a military dictatorship – was afraid to call elections, so he was tolerating and making excuses and postponing. But how long can you postpone? People were asking again and again, “Why are elections not happening?” And the reason was that Bhutto was alive. He used to be the president of the country and this was a takeover by the army, by force. Bhutto had to be killed before the elections.
So they brought all kinds of imaginary crimes that he had not committed. He was a well educated man, and he was not a fanatic. They killed him. No appeal was granted to him; he could not appeal to the president for mercy. It was against Pakistan’s constitution, against Pakistan’s law, but General Zia, who was in power, was not a man of any influence in the public. He had come into power by force and violence because he was the commander-in-chief of all the forces – the navy, the air force, and the army.
It was just luck that a few days ago, General Zia, with his seventy-four most intimate people from all the armies, had an accident, an airplane accident, and all seventy-five people died.
This woman is General Zia’s enemy and has been fighting from Britain, trying to get into Pakistan. And General Zia was not allowing her; people would have sympathy for her because her father had been killed illegally, unconstitutionally. But when Zia was dead, she immediately rushed to Pakistan and she has been elected. Now she is the president – a young woman, well educated, but she is doing the same stupidity as Zia did. Zia killed her father without any reason or rhyme, simply because he was the most impressive person in the country and Zia could not stand against him and win the elections. That was the reason.
Now, I was thinking that this woman would behave in a different way – she has been educated in Britain, just as her father was educated in Britain. Firstly, she is a woman and has more heart than any man. Secondly, her father has been killed. She should reconsider the very desire for killing people. And now she has sent a death squad to Britain, professional murderers, to kill Rushdie and the other three persons who are involved in the publication of the book.
It seems people don’t learn at all. That’s why history goes on repeating. The repetition of history simply shows that people don’t learn at all. Otherwise, there is no reason for history to repeat – if you learn, you only commit a mistake once, not twice. That’s what learning means: commit as many mistakes as you want, but only commit each mistake once. Committing mistakes is not bad, it is the only way of learning; you have to commit mistakes. If you don’t commit mistakes, you cannot find the way from this darkness that surrounds the earth. But don’t commit the same mistake, otherwise you will be in a vicious circle.
Committing the same mistake again simply shows you are unconscious, you are not behaving consciously. Now, this woman, Bhutto’s daughter, is doing the same as Zia was doing. And the man, Rushdie, has not done anything wrong. But he seems to be a coward. And because of these cowards these insane people have been in power.
I am ready for any argument with anybody because I know their whole religious belief is absolutely unfounded. They cannot prove God, they cannot prove heaven, they cannot prove hell. They cannot prove that God created the world because there is no witness. How have you found it? Who told you? Obviously there cannot have been any witness when God created the world. If there was a witness, the world was already there. It is intrinsically rational to accept that there cannot be any witness – because there was no world. From where will the witness come? So God cannot have a witness; then how have these people come to know? From whom?
Their whole idea is based on the lie of God. I always strike at the very foundation, I don’t bother about the branches and the leaves. I cut the very roots. And they cannot defend because they don’t have any foundation to their temple.

I once went to see a temple near Indore which is very rare. The temple was in a very small village. It is a Jaina temple and the Jainas have the mythology that the temple has fallen from heaven. It does not look very heavenly…
And it fell because the gods – Jainism does not believe in God, it believes in gods – and the devils were fighting about who should own the temple, and the fight was going on just above the clouds. So they became so engaged in fighting that they lost control of the temple and the temple fell near the village.
The only reason they could manage this mythology was that the temple has no foundation. You can put a thin wire underneath and you can go around the whole temple. The wire goes through to the other side. Then two persons can take the wire and go around the whole temple – it is a round temple, it has no foundation at all.
So this has given the idea that it must have fallen; how can you make a temple without a foundation?
It can be made, there is not much problem in it. It is a small temple, and just some architect’s imagination to make something absolutely new… He had raised this temple without any foundation.
But when I went to see the temple – a few friends had accompanied me from Indore, they were all amazed… They said, “Perhaps the mythology is true.”
I said, “You are idiots! No temple has any foundation. No church has any foundation. No belief system has any foundation. This temple is a proof!”

Humanity requires a totally different approach. We should discuss. Why is there so much fear about discussing? The fear is valid – they know they cannot win. All their religions are slipping out of their hands; they cannot win, they are fighting a losing battle. If they are men of intelligence, it is better that they come out of the temples and churches and monasteries and declare their independence.
My whole effort is to give you freedom from all chains, from all prisons, so that you can celebrate life.
Friedrich Nietzsche’s statement, “God is dead; hence man is free”… But free for what? That, he had no idea of. That’s why he went insane. God was dead and God had been the consolation. Now the consolation is gone and there is a vacuum. If you leave the vacuum, the whole of humanity is going to be mad.
Great intellectuals in the West have committed suicide or gone mad. In fact it has become almost a criterion: if you don’t go mad or you don’t commit suicide you are not much of an intellectual! The greatest intellectuals have gone mad, have suffered suicide, because they could not find how to live without God. Without heaven and hell, how to live? They suddenly saw their future was complete darkness, death. To live for death…? Without God they lost all reason for living.
My whole effort is that before your God is taken away – and it is going to be taken away because it has no foundation in truth – you should learn the art of living. You should learn the art of celebration so you never suffer the vacuum which creates insanity and all kinds of neurosis, psychosis.
Even the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud… He did not believe in God; he said that God is a father fixation – and his analysis is correct, intellectually correct. That’s why you call God “the Father” and that’s why you call even the Catholic priest “father” – who has no wife, no children! What kind of father…? At least God has only one begotten son, something to brag about. But these Catholic priests, unless they have illegitimate children, cannot claim to be called fathers. It is very strange – what kind of father…?
Sigmund Freud is right that the child grows up with the idea that the father is his security. He is so powerful to the small child, seems to be all-powerful, he can do anything. But as he grows he finds that the father is not all-powerful. His security starts disappearing, he starts feeling insecure, unsafe.
Sigmund Freud’s analysis was that this fear of losing security and safety has been the cause of creating a Father God far away in the sky, who never dies, who is always there to protect you. He is compassionate – Jesus says, “God is love.” He will be very loving and very compassionate, so you need not be worried about anything. All that you have to do is to believe in God.
But once this God is found to be dead, as Nietzsche found, we are carrying a corpse, God is dead… Nietzsche was not aware that he himself was going to get into trouble because his own make up was of a father-fixation psychology. Now, he found that the father – even the ultimate father – is dead. These temporary fathers go on dying, it is okay. “Daddy” has been always dead, nothing much in it. But the eternal God… To find him dead is such a shock that although Friedrich Nietzsche wrote it, after writing it he immediately went mad.
The moment he concluded Thus Spake Zarathustra, where he states this sentence that “God is dead and man is free,” he started behaving strangely. And finally his friends, and particularly his sister who was taking care of him, had to put him into a madhouse.
He could not find the alternative. “God is dead and man is free” – but free for what? That he does not say at all in the whole book. And just to be free is not enough. Free from something is not enough, you have to be free for something. So there are two sides of freedom – from and for. You can be free from God, but if you don’t have any freedom for, you will go mad. That consolation has been very ancient and very deep rooted; it will kill you. You cannot live in insecurity, you need an immediate alternative – freedom for.
Freedom for celebration, freedom for meditation, freedom for rejoicing, freedom for dancing – because God is dead. Now there is nobody above you and you are ultimately free from any spiritual slavery. Now you can dance without any guilt. You can love without any guilt. You can live as abundantly as possible. There is nobody to dominate you, and there is nobody to send you commandments, and there is nobody to frighten you with hellfire, and there is nobody to provoke your greed for heavenly pleasures.
Sigmund Freud analyzed from a different angle, psychoanalysis. But he found himself in the same trouble as Nietzsche. He never went mad, but almost touched the boundaries. Because God was no longer there, death became the only thing that man is moving toward. He became so much afraid of death – God was a security, he would be there to welcome you after death. Now there is no one, now once you enter this tunnel of death there is no way out. He became so afraid that even the word death was prohibited. He had hundreds of disciples, he created the whole movement of psychoanalysis, and it was prohibited in his presence ever to mention the word death. It was so frightening that the moment somebody mentioned death he would fall into a fit and start foaming from the mouth.
And this is your great psychoanalyst. But he was suffering from the same problem. God was the security. He psychoanalyzed people and found that there is no God, it is just an invention of a sick mind. Logically right… But what about himself?
You will be surprised to know that Sigmund Freud founded psychoanalysis, but he himself was never psychoanalyzed because he refused to be. He was asked again and again by his disciples who had become well-known psychoanalysts. They said, “It will be good if you yourself get psychoanalyzed. Now we are ready, you have prepared us so we know the whole technique. And we would like to look into your dreams. It will be an immense treasure to find out the dreams of the man who found dream analysis.”
He refused. And the reason he refused was he was afraid; he was boiling with the same repressed desires as you are boiling. It would be a great threat to his whole movement if people came to know his dreams. They would be as sexual, as criminal, as anybody’s – maybe more. Why was he afraid? He knew his dreams.
And that shows that the man was not well psychologically, although he was the founder of psychoanalysis. And this goes on and on. Psychoanalysts themselves are the most highly vulnerable group of people to become insane. They go on psychoanalyzing each other, but that does not bring sanity, that brings only normal insanity.
The whole of humanity is normally insane – a few people become abnormally insane; they go beyond the border of common sense. But the difference between your insane and the so-called sane is only of degrees. Perhaps you are ninety-nine degrees and the other person has gone to one hundred and one – past that line. And all that psychoanalysis is to bring him back to the ninety-nine degree of insanity. One hundred and one degrees is dangerous.
The whole of psychoanalysis and all kinds of other schools that have developed – analytical psychology, or psychosynthesis, Assagioli, Carl Gustav Jung, Adler, and then there is a long line of people who are inventing their own therapies – are as sick as anybody. Your priests are as ignorant as anybody, your psychoanalysts are more in danger than you are because they know there is no God. Your philosophers, your giants of intellect are more in danger than the retarded people. The retarded people don’t worry at all; they don’t know that God is dead. They have not heard it yet.
But sooner or later they are going to hear it. How long can it remain a secret? The priests have been keeping it a secret too long, and now they are themselves becoming aware that there is no God, as they used to believe. So they are inventing new Gods – a last flare-up of energy before the candle goes out and it becomes dark.
My effort is not an ordinary religious sermonizing. My effort is that before this candle goes out, you should have your inner light ready, so you don’t fall into darkness, that you don’t go mad. I want you to consciously drop God, to consciously drop all lies and fictions in the name of religion, and start the other side. First, freedom from, and then the other side, freedom for – freedom for celebration, freedom for rejoicing.
Now there is no longer any point in renouncing. Nobody is going to reward you; don’t unnecessarily torture yourself. The whole sky is open for the first time; just open your wings and enjoy this freedom.
Very few people are capable of enjoying this freedom because they don’t know how to dance. They have become crippled. They don’t know how to sing, they don’t know how to love. People say to each other, “I love you” – but just ask them, “What do you mean?” They will shrug their shoulders and they will say, “I don’t know… What is love?” Their love is just a fiction.
You cannot love anybody unless you know yourself. You are not there – who is going to love? You cannot love anybody unless love starts like a flood and starts overflowing you. First you must have love, then you can share it.
But do you have love? It is a by-product of meditation. Only people who have meditated deeply know what love is, and then there is no question of “falling” in love. Then comes the rising in love, you go higher and higher; your love becomes your religion, your love becomes your very existence.
I teach you love, not renunciation. I teach you celebration, not celibacy. I teach you to be natural, to be existential. Then you will find yourself being very creative in some dimension or other, and you will not be suffering from a vacuum.
Celebration has to fill up your vacuum, otherwise the whole of humanity is going to suffer badly. These religions are dead. Sooner or later everybody is going to recognize the fact and then there will be an immense vacuum which God used to fill. It was a lie, but it was a great consolation that there was somebody who was caring for you, who was your security. Even in death you need not be worried – beyond death is paradise.
But now there is no paradise, no God. Nobody is waiting for you beyond death. You will be going alone. You have to learn how to be alone. You have to learn how to rejoice to be alone. You have to learn how to dance – alone; there is no need for spectators. And there is no need even for partners. You can dance alone the way a rose dances in the wind, in the air, in the sun, in the rain. Do you think the rose is waiting for spectators or for partners?
Meditation gives you deep insight into your aloneness. And remember the difference: aloneness is not loneliness. If you don’t learn aloneness, you will feel yourself very lonely. God no more, all consolation gone, no paradise after death… Suddenly you feel accidental, not wanted by existence, not needed by any God. You don’t have any purpose, you don’t have any meaning. Suddenly your whole personality which was supported by lies, falls down. This is what brings neurosis, breakdown.
Unless you learn meditation, you cannot change your breakdown into a breakthrough. The whole alchemy of meditation is to change breakdown into breakthrough, to teach you freedom for.
Freedom from is simply clearing the ground, creating a dancing hall, removing all Gods and temples who are cluttering the whole space. You cannot dance in a church, where everywhere you see all around Jesus crucified with a long face – and you can celebrate this situation?

A small boy was found doing homework for the first time. His parents were surprised because he never did it.
They asked, “What is the matter? We have been telling you to do homework and you never listen – what happened?”
He said, “The new school…”
They had changed him from his old school because they had changed neighborhood, so he had to go to a new school. The new school was a convent school and the little boy said to his parents, “In this school they have one Jew named Jesus, crucified everywhere – and I am the only other Jew in the whole school! So I have to do homework and everything they say. I do it immediately because I don’t want to be crucified!”

He is being very sensible and very rational. He is only the second Jew… He is just number two – one has been already crucified. Maybe he was not doing his homework or something…
You cannot dance when Jesus is crucified. When all your Gods are watching you, you cannot love. It is loving in a crowd of Gods, who will be all pointing their Saint Finger toward you: “You are committing a crime!”
You have to throw away all these Gods. They are all man made, so there is no need to be worried; they are our creation. We have invented beautiful lies to console ourselves, so we are absolutely capable of throwing them away; nobody can prevent you.
But you have to learn, side by side: as you are clearing the ground, start singing a tune. Start moving your legs; get out of the crippledness of centuries. It is not only Jesus who was crucified – all those who believe in Jesus are living a crucified life, crippled. Of course Jesus cannot dance! That would have been a real miracle, if he had danced on the cross. He could not even laugh – that would have been a real miracle. But he is so sad that perhaps he is having second thoughts…
He shouted at God, with anger, “Have you forsaken me?” because he was waiting for six hours, and not a single white cloud. The whole sky was blue, as far he could see. There was no sign of God coming.
At least he could have sent some saints – if he was not coming, then servants would do. But somebody should have been there! Six hours he has been on the cross, waiting and waiting, and looking all around, and finally finding, “It seems that I have lived in a false consolation.” He died in sadness.
That sadness pervades every church. And that sadness has become ingrained all over the world. Not only among the Christians – because Christianity is the biggest religion in the world; half of the earth is Christian – other religions have been immensely influenced by Christianity without their knowing it.
For example, a man like Mahatma Gandhi. I have looked very carefully and I have found that he was ninety percent Christian, nine percent Jaina, one percent Hindu – and he was born a Hindu. What happened? In his life, three times he was just on the verge of being converted into Christianity. His wife just made such a fuss that he stopped. He said, “Okay, wait…” It was the wife who prevented him from becoming Christian. Many wives are doing a great job! She would start beating her chest and crying, “We are Hindu, and what are you doing?” She would make such a scene that neighbors would gather and they would say, “This is not good. She is right – why are you becoming a Christian?”
But he was influenced, and this is happening all over. You can see how Christianity is influencing other religions – because they serve the poor, every religion starts serving the poor. Otherwise they will not look so religious as the Christians. The Christians are taking care of the orphans, so Hindus have to open orphanages, otherwise their religion will look a little unconcerned about suffering people. So they open hospitals, which they have never done in the past. They have been in existence thousands of years before Christ and they have never made hospitals, they have never served the poor. They have told the poor, “You are suffering from your evil acts of the past life, so there is nothing to be done. Just finish it! Get cleared out.”
But Christianity has been a tremendous influence. It has poisoned almost the whole of humanity, made them sad and miserable.
So once you start feeling a vacuum, your sanity is at risk. Before the vacuum comes, I want you to learn how to fill it with beautiful songs and flowers and ecstasy, and a divine drunkenness and a festivity.
The only art of life is to transform it into a celebration.

The second question I have already answered. It is:
Is it because of God that society created madhouses?
Of course! Without God there is no need for madhouses. The pagans who don’t have any God never go mad. Animals never go mad – I mean animals in wildlife. Animals in a zoo of course go mad because they are living among insane human beings. In a zoo, they start being influenced by human beings; only in a zoo do they start behaving unnaturally. Only in a zoo has it been found that animals turn into homosexuals because they can’t find a female animal.
A zoo has to be studied very carefully – your monasteries are zoos where you cannot find a woman; your nunneries are zoos where you cannot find a man. Then women turn into lesbians and men turn into homosexuals.
You can see all the perversions in a zoo. In a zoo, animals go mad – but only in a zoo. It seems that human insanity is infectious. But in the wild, in the forest, no animal has been ever found insane – utterly intelligent, utterly sensitive, alert, completely alert. Because they don’t have God, they don’t need any madhouses.
God creates guilt. Guilt creates unnatural behavior. Unnatural behavior leads you into the madhouse. It is a very cunning device. Priests and psychoanalysts are in a deep conspiracy without perhaps knowing it. The priest creates the mad, and the psychoanalysts try to cure them. And back they go to the church!
People are moving between the church and the couch of the psychoanalyst, and they don’t understand the secret conspiracy.

The third question:
Could it be that the word God in ancient times, before the priests, was used by people to explain the unexplainable, the divine existence, the nature of being, the buddha?
Before the priest there was no God – not even the word. God and priests come simultaneously. In fact, the priest needs to come in first; then he brings God in. God cannot exist without priests.
There was no God before the priests. People were just pagans; they loved life, they rejoiced in life. They had no idea of heaven or hell. This earth was enough, this life was too much; they lived moment to moment. In fact, they had no idea of calendar and time because they had no watches and no calendars. They had no idea when the year ends and when the year begins. They had no idea how many days are in a week, how many days are in a month, how many months there are in a year. All these things came very late.
If you had gone to the real, the original, people on the earth they were the happiest people ever. They simply lived without fear, without greed. They loved nature. Everything was mysterious, miraculous. A sunrise again and they danced; a full moon again and the whole night they danced to abandon. They had no God and they had no madhouse; they had no priests and no psychoanalysts. They had not heard about the Buddha, yet they were all buddhas. But very natural buddhas, not philosophizing about it, so they never used words like inexpressible, “…unexplainable, the divine existence, the nature of being, the buddha.” All this nonsense comes afterward!
When the priests came, they took the power in their hands and declared, “We represent God.” It took a little longer for the priests to invent God and slowly, slowly refine it. And they are still refining and trying to deceive humanity, even into the future. That was what Paul Tillich was doing – trying to improve on the image of God: “If God has failed as someone far away there, beyond, perhaps we should change his place.”
That shows that it is our idea that he is there: “We should change our idea. That idea has failed; it worked long enough. Now put God into the depths. Not faraway there, but faraway there.” But it is always far away because they cannot put it close by. Close by, you will see this is not God. So it has to be far away – either way, this side or that side. But “far away” has to be there between you and him, an unbridgeable distance so you never can come to see him and take a close-up photograph.
No photograph exists because nobody has ever been close to God to take a photograph.
Priests have been trying to improve the image so it appeals again to the newer generations, but now they cannot manage it. Once it is declared God is dead, you may go on giving him artificial breathing, but everybody knows he is on artificial breathing. Just switch off and the fellow is gone.
A little biographical note before the sutras:
As a young man, Tanka Tennen first studied Confucianism.
Confucius seems to be a giant in creating confusion! He has confused the whole of China for centuries. He has no God, but he substitutes God with morality and he makes so much of moral preachings that people have to live in a tight space, almost imprisoned. He became a great influence over China.
He was a great intellectual, no doubt, but he never looked beyond intellect. So whatever he says is just rationalization, creating more convenient societies. Etiquette, morality, behavior, are all based on creating a better society. It is because of Confucius that China easily became communist, although Confucius lived twenty-five centuries ago, a contemporary of Gautam Buddha and Lao Tzu and Socrates.
China’s conversion to Communism is strange because it was a poor country, it did not have a capitalist class to exploit. It was still feudal, with landlords; it was an agricultural society. It has not come to technology yet.
Marx failed in all his prophecies. He is the greatest failure as a prophet. He never said that Russia would become communist, or China would become communist, no. He could not conceive of it because these countries were not even capitalist; Communism can only come, according to him, after capitalism has developed to its climax and society is completely divided between the proletariat, the have-nots, and the bourgeois, the haves – a clear-cut distinction. Naturally the haves will be in the minority and the have-nots will have a tremendous majority.
In his Communist Manifesto the last line is: “Proletariat of the whole world unite. You have nothing to lose except your chains.” When you have nothing to lose, revolution is possible. But if you have something to lose, you cannot become part of a revolution; there is danger, you may not get anything. And what you have got may get lost – it may also be taken away.
The revolutions of China and Russia were never conceived of. Not even for a single moment did it come to Karl Marx’s mind that they would become the first communists – vast countries, together almost half of the world.
China became communist because of Confucius, because Confucius was absolutely materialist. No God, no heaven, no hell; you come from nothingness and you go to nothingness. There is no life before birth, and there is no life after death. So all that you have got are these seventy, eighty, ninety, perhaps one hundred years. Make the most of it. His whole teaching is of a materialist morality because you are not alone, you are living in a society; you have to take care that you don’t trespass other people.
His whole idea is ethical, not religious. He managed to lay the foundation of the Chinese mind, and Karl Marx immediately got a completely ready-made foundation: materialist, atheist, believing only in this life, no eternal being, no eternal life. That was the reason China easily became communist. Confucius had done almost half the work.
But he was a well-known teacher, so people used to go to him as a great scholar. Even the emperors used to send their sons to learn how to be utterly moral. That would give an ego – he created ego. He believed in strengthening your ego, polishing your ego; giving it prestige, an image that would be respectable in society. But he had nothing of religiousness in him.
So when this young man, Tanka Tennen, first studied Confucianism… He had gone there in search of something essential, not outward behavior. One day he was on his way to the city, frustrated with Confucius; all that Confucius was saying was about social behavior. He was the first behavioral psychologist.
One day he was on his way to the city when he came across a man of Zen, who asked where he was going.
Tanka replied, “I am going for the government service examination.”
That was the most respected, prestigious profession, being a student of Confucius, he would be accepted for any high post. The very recommendation that he had been with Confucius, was grounds enough that he was the right man.
The Zen man said, “Master Ma Tzu is working in Kosei county. That is the place for choosing buddhas – you must go there.”
Rather than going into government service, at least give it a try. Ma Tzu is very close by, where buddhas are blossoming. You can go to the government service any time – but Ma Tzu may not be available. Such a great master is so close by, just working in Kosei county. You must go there.
Suddenly, the hidden desire that had led him to Confucius… And Confucius had completely changed his search for truth. He used to say, “There is only behavior – good behavior, bad behavior – there is no truth to be found. Don’t waste your time.” So he overpowered the young man, convinced him that the best thing is, “You are intelligent, you go into government service. And with my recommendation you will be immediately accepted.”
Suddenly a hidden seed surfaced. Because of this man of Zen… A man of Zen simply means a man who has become a buddha but who is not a master. He knows the truth, but he has no way of conveying it. He is a mystic in his own right, but he is not a master; he is not articulate enough to convey to you the inexpressible in a device. He does not know how to transmit the lamp. That type of mystic is simply called in Zen, “a man of Zen.” He is as experienced as any buddha, but he is not a master; he knows the truth, but he has not the way to lead others to it. But his personality will be luminous, his eyes will have a different quality, his gestures will have a different grace.
So when this man of Zen met the young man and told Tanka, “Master Ma Tzu is working in Kosei county; that is the place for choosing buddhas – you must go there,” without any hesitation, without thinking again that he was going to become a government officer and that he has suddenly moved on a different path altogether, Tanka went to Kosei. He did not even answer the man, “I am going.”
Such a deep search must have been hidden, and forced deeply into the unconscious by Confucius. It suddenly surfaced. Seeing this man was enough: “The path is toward Ma Tzu.” If this man, who is not a master, has an aura of mystery around him, an energy, a charisma, then what about Ma Tzu? Without saying anything to the man…
Tanka went to Kosei right away. When he saw Ma Tzu, the master pulled Tanka’s head toward him and looked at him – into his eyes – face to face, for a long time. Then Ma Tzu said, “Sekito of Mount Nangaku will be your master.”
He was looking into this young man’s eyes – what kind of potential has he? Who will be the right master for him? Should I accept him? Will it be quicker with me or with Sekito?
And you can see the non-competitive world of Zen. He saw in the young man’s eyes that Sekito would be a far more suitable master for him than he would. So he told him, “Sekito of Mount Nangaku will be your master.”
Seeing Ma Tzu, he could see the difference between a man of Zen and a master of Zen. A man of Zen is a small flame; a master of Zen is the whole forest afire.
And when Ma Tzu looked into his eyes, he was also looking into the eyes of Ma Tzu. He could see the compassion, the great love. It is out of compassion and love that Ma Tzu tells him, “Go to Sekito. That will be quicker; here it will take a little longer. Why waste time?” And he was so impressed by Ma Tzu that he immediately followed his advice.
So Tanka went to Mount Nangaku. When he saw Sekito, Sekito said to Tanka, “Go and work in the rice-polishing room.”
It almost always happens in Zen monasteries that when a new initiate comes in, the master witnesses what will be right for him in the beginning, even as he enters the room – the way he walks, the way he sits. He has to be trained according to his potential. No Zen master ever imposes himself on anybody. Sekito, looking at him, felt that he first needed to learn waiting. He said, “Go and work in the rice-polishing room.”
Tanka made a bow and left for the dormitory. He worked in the kitchen for three years.
He never went again to ask Sekito, “How long do I have to polish rice?”
A Zen master creates such a tremendous trust. It is not belief – belief is in theories, theologies. Trust is a personal intimacy, a feeling: “He understands me; that’s enough. Now whenever the time is ripe he will call me.”
People have waited not only three years but thirty years, polishing rice.
Once it happened…

A man was polishing rice for thirty years, and the master had told him, “Unless I call you, you should not come. You are not to attend the scholarly discussions in the monastery, you are not to read the scriptures. You simply polish rice from the morning till late in the night. There are ten thousand monks, and you have to take care of the rice.”
So for thirty years the man completely forgot thinking – because what is the need of thinking when you are just polishing rice every day for thirty years? Almost half of his life had gone into polishing rice. And it is such a simple process that you don’t need any mind, you don’t need any thinking. He had been prohibited from going to the discourses, going to the sermons, going to the discussions of the monks, told not to read scriptures. He had been prevented completely from anything that could create a mind. He had been given a simple task that was going to uncreate the mind. Whatever mind he had got would be uncreated.
These people were of great strength, integrity. Just to wait for thirty years, without any complaint, without even seeing the master again… And because the master had said, “This is the only thing you have to do.” The man was not even talking to any other monk. People had completely forgotten about him.
He lived in a small hut by the side of the kitchen. In the morning he would enter the kitchen; late in the night he would fall back into the hut, go to sleep. This was a simple process. In thirty years’ time there was no mind.
And an incident happened. The master was getting old and, seeing that his death was coming close, he informed the ten thousand monks – excluding the one who was just polishing the rice – “If anybody wants to be my successor, he should come in the night and write on my door just the essence, the very essence of Zen.”
There were great scholars, and the whole monastery knew who was the most scholarly person; perhaps he would be chosen. That scholarly person, when the master had gone to sleep, stole very silently so that nobody would find who had written it. He was even afraid; he knew the master. You could not deceive him, that was certain. And he himself knew that he knew nothing of Zen as far as experience was concerned, although he could make a scholarly statement. But that old fellow was not going to be deceived by scholarship.
He wrote a beautiful statement on the door, very silently so that the master did not wake up: “Zen is nothing but getting out of the mind, and the beyond opens its doors.” But he did not sign it, afraid, and very cautious – “If he finds it right, I will stand up and say I have written it. If he finds it wrong, I will simply sit silently.” That old fellow used to beat the disciples.
In the morning, when the master opened the door and saw the sentence, he said, “Who is the idiot who has written this?” And there was no answer from the ten thousand monks.
So he washed it off and said, “Don’t destroy my door! Unless you know… I can die without a successor, but I will not have any scholar to be my successor.”
Of course the statement was perfectly good, you could not improve on it: “Zen is going beyond the mind.” It could not be condensed more clearly and accurately. But masters have their own ways of finding…
Two monks simply passed by the rice polisher. People did not even know his name, they simply called him the rice polisher. They did not consider him even a monk; he had never told anybody that he had been initiated, and nobody ever bothered about him, what his name was. He never came to the discourses, he never came to meditations, he never came to scholarly discussions. And the whole campus was agog with all kinds of philosophical discussions; when scriptures were read, sutras from Gautam Buddha were read, he never went. What kind of man…? Just doing one thing; people had completely forgotten for how many years he had been doing it.
Two men were just passing by, discussing, “The sentence was perfectly right, but this old fellow is very strange. How did he manage to find out that it is a scholarly statement, not existential, not experiential?”
For the first time the rice-polisher monk laughed. In thirty years that was the first expression. Those two monks looked at him, and they said, “Why have you laughed? We have never seen you laughing…”
He said, “I laughed because whoever wrote that must be an idiot!”
They said, “Exactly – these were the words of the master! Can you write something better?”
He said, “I don’t know how to write. I have forgotten. In thirty years the little bit I knew how to write, I have forgotten. And anyway who wants to be the successor?”
They were shocked, “This man is strange. Thirty years completely silent, and suddenly exploding…”
In the middle of the night the master came to the rice-polisher and he said, “Can you improve upon it?”
The rice-polisher monk said, “There is no mind; how are you going to go beyond it? And there is no beyond – all is here and now. One has to go nowhere, not even beyond mind. Mind is a fiction, and the people have created another fiction of going beyond the mind. But forgive me. I don’t want to be your successor. I am so happy. You are such a great man, you gave me such a meditative job…”
The master said, “You will have to accept my successorship because there is nobody else whom I can trust. They are all filled up with scholarship and all kinds of knowledge. You are the right person and I have been waiting for these thirty years to see if perhaps you would be the successor. This waiting proved to me absolutely that you must have experienced something that is keeping you centered, without any worry, no tension. You have not even uttered a single word to anybody; you just do your job and go to sleep. But one thing: these scholars and these ambitious people will create trouble for you. So I have brought my robe and my staff and my cap” – these are the things that the successor gets from the master – “So take this robe, this staff, and this cap.” He put it on the rice-polisher monk’s head, and told him to escape from the monastery as quickly as possible.
“Just go deeper into the mountains. Those who need will reach you. But beware! If anybody finds it out from this monastery, they are going to kill you. They will not accept a rice-polisher monk as their master.”
So the poor fellow took the robe, the staff, and escaped. But while he was escaping from the gate, the gatekeeper saw him with the robe and with the hat and the staff of the master. So he immediately informed all the ambitious monks who were trying, working out how to improve, “Now stop! The man has been chosen.”
They said, “Who is the man?”
He said, “Do you remember a man who came thirty years ago and never spoke for thirty years? The rice-polisher? I saw him just going out of the gate with the master’s staff and cap on his head, and he was carrying the robe in his hand and running!”
So, many ambitious people took their swords and rushed toward the way the guard had told them. And they soon found that poor rice polisher, surrounded him with their swords, and told him, “Give the robe. You don’t know a single word about Zen.”
The poor man laughed. He said, “Do you think there is a word that one has to know before he knows Zen?”
They were shocked. It was true, but still their ambition… They could not accept him. But he said, “There is no problem. Keep your swords in their sheath, there is no need to be worried. This is the cap” – he threw the cap on the ground – “And this is the robe, and this is the staff. If you can take it, take it.”
But although they were ambitious, they had a certain sensibility, living with the master so long. How could they take it? If the master had given it to him, then it would be absolutely wrong. And they knew that they knew not, and this fellow seemed to know. It did not matter that he was a rice-polisher.
So they touched his feet and said, “We were wrong. We were just ambitious. Please come back.”
He said, “But I don’t want to be the successor. I had refused, but the old man was so insistent. Please take all these things. Whoever wants to be the successor, he can. I am going to the mountains.”
They said, “No, you have to come back.”
He became the successor.

Zen is a very strange path. No scholarship is needed, no knowledge is needed. What is needed is an immense silence, and waiting, watching. Whenever the time is ripe, existence pours all its mysteries into you.
So for thirty years he worked in the kitchen.
Now the sutra:
One day, Sekito announced to everybody that the next day they would weed the grass in front of the Buddha Hall. The following day, all the monks gathered with sickles in their hands, but only Tanka came with a tray filled with water. Before coming there he had washed his hair, but it was not yet shaven. Now he kneeled down in front of Sekito, and seeing him, Sekito laughed, and shaved Tanka’s head. As the master usually did, Sekito gave Tanka some specific commandments, but as he did so, Tanka walked away covering his ears with his hands.
He was giving the gesture: “I don’t need any knowledge, I know it. Don’t fill my ears with nonsense. Don’t fill my ears with words. I have come to experience the wordless.” That gesture shows that Tanka had arrived.
Tanka then left for Kosei to see Ma Tzu. Arriving at the monastery…
It was Ma Tzu who had sent him to Sekito; now he had completed the job. He got his head shaved after he had completed the job. Ordinarily, when one becomes a monk his head is shaved. But because he was told immediately to go to the kitchen and work there… In those three years just waiting and watching and being aware, he realized his very nature. That very nature is the buddha, so now was the right time to be initiated. Before it, it would have been a formal initiation. Now it was going to be authentic initiation. And that’s why, when he bowed down in front of the master, Sekito laughed – “This fellow is really clever! He has not even shaved his head for these three years. He was waiting for the moment when he would be really worthy of initiation.”
He shaved his head, and as every master does after shaving the head – that is the initiation process – he gave him a few commandments. But as he gave the commandments: Tanka walked away, covering his ears with his hands. He was showing absolutely to Sekito: “You don’t have to teach me anything. You have put me in the device and I have come to the space where no teaching is needed.”
Tanka then left for Kosei to see Ma Tzu because he was his original master, who had looked into his eyes and directed him to the right place where he could become quickly a buddha. He needed to show his gratitude, to show what he had attained and get his recognition.
Arriving at the monastery he went into the hall and, climbing on the statue of Manjushri, sat there.
Manjushri is one of Gautam Buddha’s very important enlightened disciples. He chose the statue of Manjushri – there must have been other statues, of Sariputra, of Mahakashyapa, of Maudgalyan, other disciples who had become enlightened when Gautam Buddha was alive. So they are the original forces. He had chosen Manjushri for a particular reason. I have to tell you a little bit about Manjushri.
Manjushri was always sitting under a tree, the same tree. He never asked a question to Gautam Buddha, never read any scriptures. Every day he would come whenever Gautam Buddha was talking, in the morning, in the evening. He would sit under the tree with his eyes closed. And everybody was wondering why he did not ask anything.
One morning, as Buddha came, Manjushri was sitting under his tree. Suddenly, flowers from the tree started falling over Manjushri. The tree must have been blossoming with hundreds of flowers and they were showering like rain. Buddha told all the ten thousand disciples to look at what was happening. All looked – they could not believe their eyes. Why were all the flowers suddenly falling on Manjushri’s head, his body, his lap? He was almost covered with flowers.
Gautam Buddha declared: “Manjushri has become enlightened. Even the tree is giving him recognition. Existence is celebrating.”
And Manjushri had arrived without asking a question, without getting an answer – just waiting silently. Nature was celebrating. One of nature’s ambitions was fulfilled: again a man had become a buddha, had reached to the ultimate consciousness.
Tanka certainly chose the statue of Manjushri to sit upon:
The other monks were astonished and told Ma Tzu, who came in, looked at him and said, “My son is Tennen.”
In Chinese, tennen means natural. That was the very quality of Manjushri. He had become attuned with nature. Just sitting with that tree, he had become almost one with it. So when he became enlightened, the tree could not resist the temptation to shower all the flowers – not a single flower was left on the tree. All the flowers had showered.
So Manjushri’s enlightenment is called natural, spontaneous enlightenment, with no method, with no device. Tennen means natural, and when Ma Tzu saw Tennen sitting on the statue of Manjushri… All the disciples of Ma Tzu were stunned, they could not believe how this man was behaving. But Ma Tzu could see: the man had changed. It was no longer the same man whose eyes he had looked into. He simply said, “My son is Tennen.” My son is just natural, a natural buddha.
Tanka came down, made a bow and said, “Thank you for giving me a dharma name.”
He accepted that word tennen as his dharma name, his sannyas name. Since that time he started calling himself Tanka Tennen. Tanka, the natural one.
Ma Tzu then asked, “Where do you come from?”
Tanka said, “I come from Sekito.”
Ma Tzu said, “The path on the stonehead is slippery. Did you fall over?”
Tanka replied, “If I had fallen over, I would not have come here.”
I would have waited. I have not fallen over, I have risen above.
That’s why he was sitting on the head of Manjushri – declaring, “I am another Manjushri and I have not fallen over; otherwise I would not be here. I would not have come to show my face to you again without becoming a buddha.”
This man, Tanka Tennen, became a master in his own right. But his whole teaching was just to be natural.
That’s my whole teaching: just be natural. Nature is dhamma, nature is Tao, nature is Zen. And the moment you are natural, flowers will shower over you. The moment you are natural, not only will you celebrate and dance, the whole existence around you will dance and celebrate.
Hakuin wrote:
Your singing-and-dancing
is none other than the voice of dharma.
Your celebration, your singing-and-dancing… is none other than your very nature. And this nature has been crippled by your so-called religions – your God, your priests, your theologians.
Zen is a rebellion against all religion. It is all for religiousness, but not for religion. Religiousness is a totally different phenomenon than religion. Religion is a doctrine, a creed, a cult, an organization. Religiousness is simply a quality that naturally blossoms in you. You have just to go deep down into yourself to find the seed of the buddha that exists at the very center of your being.
All our meditations are concerned only with one thing: how to take you to the seed where the buddha is hidden, just as flowers are hidden in a seed. And once you have reached the center, the seed starts growing.
Then, becoming a buddha is not a faraway phenomenon. You have started becoming a buddha, you have started on the path which brings the transformation. Right now you are all bodhisattvas, buddhas in essence, in seed. If you can find the center of your being, you have found the very center of existence.
Just finding it, something immediately starts growing in you – a huge buddha suddenly surfaces. You disappear. You are completely gone into the ocean, just like a dewdrop. You are no more, only life is – dancing, celebrating.

Maneesha’s question:
Nietzsche suggests that man only searches for truth because he presupposes that truth is a consolation, a cure. But, he says, perhaps truth, “Exists only for souls which are at once powerful and harmless, and full of joy and peace… Just as it will no doubt be only such souls as these that will be capable of seeking truth.”
Do you agree with him?
Maneesha, I absolutely agree because what he is saying is absolutely true. But it does not suit the lips of Friedrich Nietzsche. It would be perfectly right if a Gautam Buddha said it.
You have to understand the difference. Friedrich Nietzsche is only an intellectual; he came to this conclusion as a logical conclusion. He has stumbled almost on the right thing, but it is stumbling in the dark. A Buddha does not stumble in the dark, he is living in an immense luminosity.
So what he is saying is right, but the man who is saying it is not right. I agree with the statement, I don’t agree with Friedrich Nietzsche.
It will be a little difficult for you: the distinction is very delicate. His statement is correct, but it is not his experience. He himself was not a man of joy – very sad. He was not a man who could dance or sing; that was far below him. He was a serious philosopher. Philosophers don’t dance. They look at the dancers as stupid: “What are you doing?”
But even without a clear-cut experience, Nietzsche is a rare phenomenon. Buddhas have always been saying that, but a man who is not enlightened has stumbled unconsciously upon a truth that is not his experience, but only a logical conclusion.
It is perfectly right that the majority of people who search for truth are searching for truth because they presuppose that truth is going to be a consolation, a cure. They are sick people. Their old consolation has gone away: God is dead. Now they are seeking for truth in place of God, so they can be again consoled.
Prayer is dead, so they are searching for meditation. Perhaps meditation can be the substitute. But these are the people who will not find it.
He says truth, “Exists only for souls which are at once powerful and harmless, and full of joy and peace…” He was not full of joy or full of peace; he was one of the most tense persons who has ever walked on the earth. And finally he had to be admitted into a madhouse. His anxiety became so serious that to keep him in the house was dangerous; he had to be handed over into a mad asylum.
But what he was saying is perfectly right. Only a man of peace, silence, joy, a man who is capable of singing and dancing, a man who is capable of celebrating, is the man who is capable of seeking and finding the truth.
I am trying in every possible way to make you nonserious, nontense. Laugh, dance, sing, celebrate, because the nonserious are the people who will find immense power arising in themselves which is now dormant. These are the people who will have power, but will not harm anybody with their power. Their power will be a blessing to the world. It will not be the power that destroys, it will be the power that creates. These will be the creators.
And these will be the people who know. These will be the people who have disappeared in joy, in dance, and are no more. Only a consciousness, a pure consciousness remains. That pure consciousness we have called the awakened consciousness, the enlightened consciousness; we have called it samadhi or satori. Gautam Buddha is just a name, representative of this ultimate blossoming.
It is time to be nonserious! Time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh…

Martha Grumble and Mildred Mousebreath, two middle-aged housewives, are sharing confidences over a cup of coffee.
“I don’t know what to do about my husband anymore,” sniffs Martha. “He never comes home until three in the morning.”
“Oh dear!” sighs Mildred. “My husband used to be like that – but not anymore.”
“Really?” asks Martha. “What made him change?”
“What made him change, my dear,” says Mildred, smiling, “is that every time he crept through the door at three o’clock in the morning, I would sweetly call out, ‘Is that you, Raymond?’”
“Is that all there is to it?” asks Martha.
“That’s right!” explains Mildred.
“But I don’t understand,” says Martha. “Why would that stop him?”
“Simple,” explains Mildred. “Because his name is Sidney.”

Jack Jerk stays out late one night and comes home at three o’clock in the morning. He walks into the bedroom and finds his wife Jill Jerk lying awake, naked, in the bed.
“Where the hell have you been until three in the morning?” screams Jill, furiously.
Ignoring her, Jack takes off his coat and opens the bedroom closet. To his amazement, he finds a naked man crouching on the floor.
“Who the hell is this guy?” shouts Jack.
Jill sits up in bed and cries, “Don’t change the subject!”

It is a sunny morning on Cape Catastrophe beach, and Prunella Polygon, a very homely-looking girl, is rambling along daydreaming. She stumbles and trips over a bottle lying in the sand, and nearly faints when the top of the bottle flies off and, “Poof!” – a genie pops out.
The genie stretches and yawns and then looks at Prunella and announces, “Ah! I am forever in your debt, young lady. You have freed me from a prison of a thousand years. Ask anything and I will fulfill your desire.”
Prunella Polygon cannot believe her good luck and does not hesitate.
“I want a figure like Sophia Loren,” she says, “and a smile like Raquel Welch, and hair like Bridgette Bardot and tits like Samantha Fox. And eyes like Elizabeth Taylor and an ass like Marilyn Monroe.”
The genie takes a long look at Prunella and says, “Honey, please put me back in the bottle.”






Be silent…
Close your eyes… And feel your body to be completely frozen.
This is the right moment to turn in.
Gather all your energy and with a total consciousness, rush toward your center of being. The center of your being is just two inches below the navel, inside your body.
All that you need is an urgency, as if it is going to be the last moment of your life. With great urgency and intensity, rush toward the center.
Faster and faster…
Deeper and deeper…
As you are coming close to your center, a great silence descends over you just like soft rain. You can feel it. You can feel the coolness of it.
A little more deep, a little closer to the center and a tremendous peace arises in you, overwhelming you. As you are coming closer, suddenly there arises a luminosity: your whole being becomes light.
Now step into the very center. And you start feeling drunk with the divine. This is what is called ecstasy. Out of this ecstasy is all celebration.
Centered in your very being, you are no more. You have come to the seed – the bodhisattva has dissolved into the buddha.
The face of Gautam Buddha is the original face of every human being. The only quality Gautam Buddha has is witnessing.
Witness that you are not the body.
Witness that you are not the mind.
And finally, witness that you are only a witness. This pure witness – sakshin – is your ultimate freedom. It is your enlightenment, it is your liberation.
It is entering into the eternal dance of life. It is because of this that I say again and again, I celebrate. To me, life is celebration. Existence is celebration.
Witness the eternal dance that is happening inside you. This dance has to become your very flavor, your very fragrance. And invisible flowers are showering over you. You cannot celebrate alone, existence participates from all dimensions. Nature rejoices when anyone comes to the very center of being. A part of nature has become awakened.

To make this witnessing deeper, Nivedano…


Be in a let-go.
This is the peace, the joy, the silence, the power that is harmless, that is creative. This is what Nietzsche has stumbled on in his darkness and blindness. But you are going with open eyes to the very heartbeat of the universe.
The whole universe except the so-called religions is in immense celebration every moment – in the birds, in the trees, in the rivers; in the oceans, in the mountains, in the stars. All around you there is nothing but celebration. You have to participate in it. Throw out all the barriers. They are only fictitious, and reality has immense power.
Witnessing will do the job. Witnessing is another name for meditation.
At this moment, Gautama the Buddha Auditorium is becoming an ocean of consciousness. Ten thousand buddhas are melting like ice in the ocean – no waves, no ripples, absolute silence.
Remember, enlightenment has three steps.
The first is that the buddha you are experiencing within you follows behind you like a shadow. It is your very nature, your dhamma. It is your tennen.
The second step, after experiencing the buddha behind you, his warmth, his love, his truth, his compassion, his divine drunkenness… You slowly become his shadow. He comes in front of you – that is the second step.
Your shadow starts slowly, slowly disappearing. As you melt into the buddha – that is the third and final step – you are no more.
Only the buddha is – you are no more.
Only an enlightened awareness is – you are no more.
Only life is celebrating. A sheer dance of joy… A song that has no words in it, a music without any sound.
Eternity in your hands. You become one with the cosmic whole.
I celebrate myself. I hope soon you will be able to say the same: “I celebrate myself.”
Before Nivedano calls you, collect all these experiences. You have to bring them to your day-to-day life. The grace, the beauty, the truth, the honesty, the intensity of living – and the witnessing has to be your very breath, your heartbeat.
Persuade the buddha – he is your nature; you have never requested it, you have never welcomed it. That’s why it has been there hiding in the very center of your being.
Help it to come along with you. It is bound to come. It has come thousands of times, to thousands of buddhas. It is every living being’s birthright. Just ask him to come along with you and he will transform your whole life – in every gesture, in every word, in every silence you will find his presence, his light.



Come back… But come as a buddha, full of joy. A great serenity, a pure silence… Sit down for a few moments just to recollect, to remind yourself of the golden path that you have followed inward, and the silent, peaceful space that you have encountered.
You have seen your original face, the face of the buddha.
Feel the presence of the buddha behind you – the warmth, the coolness, together; the power and humbleness together. The silence – utter egolessness and yet a tremendous dignity. This is what makes one celebrate life.
There cannot be anything more than existence is already. Just participate in the dance. Celebrate to your abandon, and all the mysteries and all the secrets of existence and life will be opened unto you.
It is my promise. It is the promise of all the buddhas, past, present, future.

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