Joshu The Lions Roar 05

Fifth Discourse from the series of 8 discourses - Joshu The Lions Roar by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

A monk put the question to Joshu: “I have heard that you said that when the universe is destroyed the buddha nature will not be destroyed. What is this ‘nature’?”
Joshu responded by saying, “The four elements and the five components.”
The monk asked again, “These are the very things that will be destroyed; what is this ‘nature’?”
Joshu said, “It is the four elements and the five components.”
Once, a monk was saying farewell to Joshu, who asked him, “Where are you going?”
The monk replied, “All over the place, to learn Buddhism.”
Holding up his mosquito-flapper, Joshu instructed the monk, “Do not stay where the buddha is! Pass quickly through a place where there is no buddha! Do not make a mistake and bring up Buddhism to anyone for three thousand leagues!”
The monk said, “In that case I won’t go!” To which Joshu responded, “Farewell! Farewell!”
Maneesha, these immensely important dialogues have remained obscure even in Zen circles because only a master, only a buddha, can give a right interpretation. Anybody else commenting on them is bound to fall far away from the right.
These sutras are not written by intellect; they do not follow rationality, they are not logical in any way. They are responses. And to find the response you need to have the same experience. That’s why they have remained in existence, but uncommented upon. This small anecdote will explain it to you.
A monk put the question to Joshu: “I have heard that you said that when the universe is destroyed the buddha nature will not be destroyed. What is this ‘nature’?”
The question is absolutely rational and right. But the answer needs a tremendous insight to understand.
Joshu responded by saying, “The four elements and the five components.”
According to Buddhist mythology, existence consists of Four Elements and Five Components. Now this is an absurd answer to the question because these are the very things the world is constituted of. And the questioner is asking, “When the world is destroyed, you say the Buddha nature remains. What is that nature?” Joshu simply says, “Four elements and five components.”
The monk asked again, “These are the very things that will be destroyed; what is this ‘nature’ that will not be destroyed?”
Joshu said, “It is the four elements and the five components.”
Again the same answer. Now it becomes very absurd as far as reason is concerned, but what Joshu is saying is hidden behind the words. He is saying, “The witness who knows these Five Components and Four Elements.” He does not use the word witness, because no word is really capable of explaining the witness. So rather than using the word, he again repeats: “The world may be destroyed but the witness will remain. Up to now you have not even witnessed the Four Elements and Five Components. If you go inward you will witness these Four Elements and Five Components, and the one that is witnessing is the buddha nature – about which nothing can be said.”
The limit of language comes with Four Elements and Five Components. Beyond that is an open sky of witnessing, just a pure awareness. You can have it, but you cannot say anything about it. That’s why Joshu does not say it. He again and again reminds the person, “Language ends with Four Elements and Five Components. What can I do? This is the last milestone; beyond this, what remains is the buddha nature.”
This is the way of Zen, not to say things to their completion. This has to be understood; it is a very important methodology. Not to say everything means to give an opportunity to the listener to complete it. All answers are incomplete. The master has only given you a direction: go in the direction of Four Elements and Five Components. By the time you reach the limit, you will know what is going to remain.
This way, if somebody is trying to understand Zen intellectually he will fail. It is not an answer to the question but something more than the answer. It is indicating the very reality. Joshu is saying that you, as a witness, will remain. The buddha nature is not something far away – your very consciousness is buddha nature. And your consciousness can witness these things which constitute the world. The world will end but the mirror will remain, mirroring nothing.
But he does not say anything about witnessing, about the mirror. He leaves it to the person’s meditativeness. The person has to find the answer himself. This is not a school or a college or a university.
Zen is an opportunity for anybody to rise in consciousness and awareness. The master’s function is not to supply the answer. If the master supplies the answer, he is your enemy. The master can only give you the line to follow; your experience will be the answer. This way of dialogue has never existed anywhere else in the world.
Once, a monk was saying farewell to Joshu, who asked him, “Where are you going?”
The monk replied, “All over the place, to learn Buddhism.”
Holding up his mosquito-flapper, Joshu instructed the monk, “Do not stay where the buddha is!”
A strange suggestion…because the monk seems to be stupid not to see Joshu, a living buddha, before him. Obviously, Joshu does not want to say, “Remain here! I am the buddha you are searching for.” On the contrary, he says:
“Do not stay where the buddha is. Pass quickly through a place where there is no buddha!”
Because where there is no buddha, what is the point? Pass quickly and don’t stay where a buddha is.
Now, he is not leaving any place to go, because these are the only two places: either the Buddha will be there or the Buddha will not be there.
“Do not make a mistake and bring up Buddhism to anyone for three thousand leagues!”
He is saying, “As far as you can go – three thousands leagues – do not make a mistake and bring up buddhism to anyone, because you don’t have it.” So his three suggestions are, first: don’t become a missionary, because it is not your experience. That which is not yours, don’t repeat it to people like a parrot. Only your experience of ultimate, eternal consciousness enables you to point others toward the same route. You cannot teach Buddhism, because Buddhism is not a philosophy, it is a living experience. So if you have lived it, help others to join in living it. Share your life, your love, your compassion, your meditation, but don’t teach principles. Buddhism is not interested in principles.
And second, don’t stay in a place where there is no buddha, because what will you gain in a place where there is no buddha? You can gain some insight only by the side of an awakened one. You can start moving toward your center if you see someone who has reached the center, and you see the glory and the beauty and the majesty of the person. Otherwise there is no evidence that anybody has ever reached to the ultimate.

Once a great logician of Bengal, Keshav Chandra, went to see Ramakrishna. Keshav Chandra was a very great scholar, and he had founded a religion also. So he was the founder of a religion, he had thousands of followers. But he was always amazed: “Why do people go to this stupid, uneducated Ramakrishna?”
Keshav Chandra lived in Calcutta, and just a few miles away from Calcutta is Dakshineshwar where Ramakrishna lived. Thousands of people would go there. Keshav Chandra could not believe it: “What has that man got?” Finally he decided to go and put the man right.
Ramakrishna’s followers were very much disturbed, worried, because Ramakrishna does not know any reason, any logic. He is just like a child, so innocent, and Keshav Chandra is known nationwide as a logician, philosopher. What will Ramakrishna do in a discussion with him?
They were worried that it was going to be a very critical moment. But Ramakrishna said, “Why are you worried? It is good that he is coming.” Ramakrishna waited. Keshav Chandra came with many followers. He was determined to finish this man forever so that no followers would gather there at Dakshineshwar.
Ramakrishna danced in welcome when Keshav Chandra arrived. Keshav Chandra became a little shaky: “This is not a man to discuss with; he seems to be crazy.” Ramakrishna hugged Keshav Chandra and said, “I have been waiting for so long! Now, start the dialogue to finish me.”
There was utter silence. Even Keshav Chandra could not say anything: from where to start? Ramakrishna said, “You start from anywhere. Whatever you want to say, say it. I will love it!”
Keshav Chandra was an atheist, he did not believe in God. So it was obvious that he should start by saying, “There is no God. What is your opinion?”
Ramakrishna said, “It is not a question of opinion. If a man of your knowledge says there is no God, how can I deny it? But to me you are a proof, an evidence, that existence is not without consciousness. Such beautiful logical acumen! From where does it come? That very source is God, you are the proof. But if you say there is no God, I will agree with you absolutely.”
Keshav Chandra had debated with many people, he was a supreme court attorney, and he found himself completely voiceless before a man who had studied only the first two primary classes and had no knowledge of anything. But the way Ramakrishna said, “If you say so, I trust you. You are such a great rational being you must have known whether God is or not. I am uneducated; all that I know is to sing songs and dance and play music. I can do all this without God, but God is a good excuse. Otherwise it looks crazy. If I go into a house and start dancing and singing, it looks crazy, but in a temple it looks very devotional. God is a good excuse. Have you ever danced in a temple? We have here a beautiful temple…”
Keshav Chandra had never thought that dance would come into an argument. And it looked appealing, because the man was so sincere. Ramakrishna said, “If you, a man of great intelligence, say to me, who is an uneducated man, I will believe it; I will drop all gods. Just say it to me, that you have explored the whole universe and found no God.”
Keshav Chandra could not say that. Nobody has explored the whole universe. But without exploring the whole universe, how can you be so decisive that there is no God? Keshav Chandra said, “I cannot say that I have explored the whole universe. Naturally, my statement that there is no God is not valid. But what about you?”
Ramakrishna said, “About me? I have danced with him, I have loved him. I have threatened him; there have been times we have not been on talking terms. I sometimes close and lock the door of the temple and keep him hungry for days. But then I start feeling compassion for the poor fellow. I open the door, I bring food for him, and he is so nice that he has not said a single word to me.”
And he told Keshav Chandra, “One day it happened that there was a sword hanging by the side of the Mother Goddess in the temple of Dakshineshwar. I told the Mother Goddess, ‘If you don’t appear to me today I am going to cut off my head.’ I took the sword from Mother Goddess’ hand and I danced from morning till evening. I told her, ‘As the sun is setting, if you don’t show yourself to me, remember: you will be responsible for my murder.’”
And as the sun was setting – he danced the whole day – a great crowd silently watched this strange man. He had danced from morning till evening singing songs of praise, and as the sun was setting, suddenly the sword he was going to use fell from his hand. He fell unconscious for six days.
After six days he opened his eyes and he said, “I have not asked that you should come into my deep unconscious. I wanted to see you clearly, in consciousness. I wanted witnesses from the crowd. But you played a trick!” And tears were flowing from his eyes and he said, “But now the world looks very pale. Take me back to the same space where I had gone. You took away the sword and now you have created more trouble for me, because now I can compare the tremendous beauty of the inner world and the tremendous poverty of the outer world. Just take me in.”
He said to Keshav Chandra, “Have you ever done anything to go in?”
Keshav Chandra said, “I touch your feet. And please forgive me that I have come to argue with you. You are not a man to be argued with; you are the proof. If there can be a proof of God, you are the proof. You cannot be argued about.”
Keshav Chandra’s followers could not understand what was happening, because he was the founder of their religion, an atheistic religion. And he is touching the feet of a man he used to call an idiot.
Ramakrishna used to send messages to Keshav Chandra: “Sometimes, once in a while come back again just to finish me.”
Keshav Chandra said, “You have finished me!” He renounced being the head and founder of his religion. He said, “I could not argue with an uneducated man. He had some experience, and I could see that I was absolutely empty and he was so full, so full of joy. I had discussed with many scholars…but the way he received me, dancing, and hugged me. And whenever I argued something he would again stand up and say, ‘Good, very good!’ He never used a single word against me. On the contrary, he said, ‘If you say, I can join your religion, because to me you are also part of God.’”

Any consciousness is an argument that existence is conscious. That is the whole meaning of God. It is not that God is a person somewhere. God is spread all over the place, in the trees, in the mountains, in the rivers, in the birds, in men, in stones. Everywhere, there is a possibility of consciousness.
This whole consciousness in its totality you can call by any name. You can call it the truth, you can call it nirvana, you can call it God, it does not matter. One thing is certain, that existence is not unconscious; existence is not unintelligent.
These dialogues of Zen trust in the person, that “if we show him a line, his intelligence will not stay with what we have said but will follow the indication.” To the monk who was going to take Buddhism to people, Joshu said, “Please don’t do such a thing. You cannot share something with others which you don’t have. First have it. And never stay in a place where there is no buddha because that will be a sheer wastage of time. And don’t stay in a place where there is a buddha because that will transform you. You will not be anymore what you are.”
Listening to this, the man understood quickly. He must have been a very intelligent, understanding man. He must have looked at Joshu again and found the buddha, just present in front of him.
The monk said, “In that case I won’t go!
I am going to remain here.”
To which Joshu responded, “Farewell! Farewell!”
Just go wherever you want to go. Why are you changing your mind? I have not asked you to stay here.
He wants a clear-cut response from the man that he has recognized the buddhahood of Joshu.
So these are very strange dialogues. They are not like Socratic dialogues. Much that is important is left out of the dialogue and much that is absolutely non-essential is talked about. The essential is left by the corner to be understood.
One has to be very conscious with a Zen master; otherwise one can live with a Zen master and miss. The master cannot give you anything directly. There is no direct way of expressing the truth. The master can give only situations. Now, this is a situation: “Don’t stay where a buddha is and don’t stay where a buddha is not.” Now Joshu is putting the monk in a dilemma – then where to stay? He is not leaving him any place to stay.
Obviously he looked again at Joshu with a more conscious, alert mind. And he saw, “I was wrong in going away. This is the place where I should remain.” So he said immediately, “In that case I won’t go.” Jokingly, Joshu responded, “Farewell! Farewell!”
But the monk remained with Joshu. How can you leave such a master? It is impossible, first, to find a master like Joshu. And second, it is impossible to leave him. He will manage a trap for you, and once you are trapped in a master’s hand, your buddhahood is not far away. The very meeting with the master is the beginning of your growing into a buddha.
A Zen poet, Isho, wrote:
Before the window,
slender, jade-colored bamboos sing
when the cool rains fall,
with a rustling sound.
Their feathery green
intruding at my desk,
they know there is
no purer hidden spot than this.
Around the world people have written poems, mostly devoted to man and woman and their love. A few are devoted to the beauty of nature. But Zen is not in the same category as other poetry. It is simply a meditative mind, just watching what is happening around. And he sees beauty all around. The splendor of existence is so much that he feels to make a note in his book. Before the window…you have to visualize. Just visualize the window:
Before the window,
slender, jade-colored bamboos sing
when the cool rains fall,
with a rustling sound.
Their feathery green
intruding at my desk,
they know there is
no purer, hidden spot than this.
Poor Isho lived in a hut near the bamboos, and the falling leaves are running into his hut, under his desk. He says:
they know there is
no purer, hidden spot than this.
Zen wants you to know that even the leaves falling from the trees have a consciousness of their own. Nothing is unconscious. There are different ways of being conscious, but we are living in an ocean of consciousness. Millions are the aspects…so that we cannot understand exactly what the bamboos are doing.
Now in Mukta’s pond, two beautiful snow-white swans have come, flown from England. Great visitors! And every night when I come and go, I cannot resist looking at them. They look so meditative, the whole day doing zazen…because they don’t have any rented bicycle, they don’t have to go to any movie. They are so silent that if you sit by the side of Mukta’s pond you will become silent, seeing their silence. They just don’t do anything – simply exist, no philosophical argument.
Seeing those swans I remember that in India, the man of self-realization is also called paramahansa. Hansa means swan and paramahansa means the great swan. Every day seeing them, I could understand: they look so buddhalike, just enjoying being – no work, no job, no strike, no lock-out, no interest in the whole world around them; they don’t have anything.
But with their coming, the pond has become a temple. They are meditating day and night. What is happening inside them is difficult for us to know, but something must be happening inside them. They are such beautiful people. It must be in a different dimension, so we never crisscross each other, but in the same direction there must be other people, other birds.
There were ducks also – now, ducks are small; they became afraid when the swans came. So the ducks were in a very great trouble for a few days because the peacocks peck them on the head, so they cannot come out of the pond. And in the pond, two big swans are there – so unfamiliar, one does not know what they will do. So the ducks were hiding in the bushes. But slowly slowly some communication is certainly happening, because the ducks are coming closer…and yesterday Avesh informed me that they have entered the water with the swans. In silence, something has grown, a friendship. Nothing has been said, nothing has been heard, but something must have transpired between them.
Either the swans must have told them, “Come on, don’t be worried,” or the ducks must have asked, “Can we come in?” Something is bound to have happened, because suddenly it cannot be. But it is outside the area of our intelligence.
That is the very effort of Zen poems – to bring to your consciousness that the whole of existence is conscious. Different colors and different nuances and different ways, but the man who has reached the highest peak can see that nothing in the world is without a living force, without a potentiality that can grow one day into a buddha.
Buddha himself has told about one of his past lives. He was an elephant. One night the forest suddenly caught fire. The fire was going so wild, and animals were running to find some way out. The elephant was also running, because the fire was tremendous. Just to take rest, he stood under a tree which was not yet burning. As he was settling to stand there, a small rabbit just came under one of his feet which was up. Now it was difficult for the elephant to put his foot down; the poor fellow will die. So he tried hard to remain standing on three feet, but an elephant’s weight….
Buddha says that because of that compassion the elephant remained standing, he could not put his foot down. The fire surrounded the whole place. He risked his life as long as he could save the rabbit, and then the fire burned both of them. Buddha says, “I was that elephant and I earned my buddhahood by being compassionate.”
Now all over the world, in the birds, in the animals, something is happening. It is not a dead world. Everybody is trying to move to higher peaks. This idea of evolution is totally different from Darwin’s evolution. Darwin’s evolution looks very stupid, because we don’t see any animal changing into any other animal. For millions of years there is no record that somebody has seen a monkey suddenly going to the tailor’s shop to say that, “I have changed my mind, I want to be a man. Now prepare the dress, made to order.” Neither is any other animal changing into another species. That idea of Darwin is absolutely absurd.
But the East has a different concept. The same evolution is happening – in every animal something is evolving. At a certain point when the animal dies, he will be born on a higher scale. Up to now, man is the highest scale that millions of animals have reached. Among human beings, the buddhas are the highest peaks.
These small poems are just to remind you that even fallen leaves in the rain and in the storm are rushing toward poor Isho’s hut and his writing table, and hiding under the table. And he says:
they know there is
no purer, hidden spot than this.
Otherwise they would not have come here.
This understanding that the whole existence is alive, conscious, makes your whole behavior different. Then you don’t think of hunting animals, because they are your brothers. A little backward, a little uneducated, a little primitive, but killing them, you are killing future buddhas. Hence, the experience of all the buddhas has terminated in a very loving and compassionate relationship with existence. Not even a tree has to be cut. It is alive; it may have a different kind of consciousness. Don’t wound it, don’t hurt it, because every wound and hurt that you do will have effects on you, your own evolution.

Maneesha has asked:
The terror and the relief of having a master who promises to hit “just for the joy of it”! Is this what Zen is? – When rationality, right and wrong fly out the window, the mind is on hold, and all one can offer is one's self?
Maneesha, that’s exactly what Zen is. There are hundreds of cases on record, when a master has called a certain disciple even in the middle of the night and told him, “Let me hit you.”
And the disciple said, “But for what?”
The master said, “Because by morning you are going to become enlightened and then I will not be able to hit you. And it is such a joy to hit!”
The master enjoyed hitting and the disciples enjoyed being hit. It is a very loving gesture, the hit was not hurting.
Somebody has brought me a Zen staff. It is made of bamboo, and the bamboo is cut in such a way that howsoever hard you hit, it makes only sound, not much hurt. I have put it with Anando, so when Zen Master Stonehead Niskriya comes back he can have this really authentic Zen stick from Korea. However you hit, it makes a good noise. It seems as if somebody’s head is broken!
But Zen is a very playful religion. It has made even hitting a joyful play. There is no other religion in the world which allows playfulness and laughter and life and love. Zen allows total freedom in all the aspects of life.
Zen has transformed almost impossible things into very loving gestures. For example Zen wrestlers – you will see them fighting, but not with any anger, enmity, or any desire to win over the other. That is the whole training, playful: who wins is not the point. Who plays perfectly consciously is the point. So if you don’t know, you may not understand what is happening.
When the two Zen wrestlers come onto the ground, first they bow down to each other, because everybody is a buddha. Before fighting starts, the buddha has to be recognized. And you cannot be angry with a buddha, you cannot hurt the buddha. Both are meditative – while they are wrestling you will not be able to see, but you can see the grace, you can see the silence. You can’t see violence in their eyes.
And the master who is going to judge, does not declare a man the winner in the same way it is declared all over the world. You will be surprised: sometimes the man who wins is not accepted by the master as a winner because he lost his meditativeness. And the defeated one gets the trophy because he remained conscious all the time: even in his defeat, he has won.
Now, fighting is transformed into meditation. Archery is transformed into meditation, swordsmanship is transformed into meditation. Zen has done miracles, because nobody has ever thought that swordsmanship can be a meditative art.
And when there are two meditators of equal consciousness, nobody wins. The fight can continue for hours and days, but nobody wins because both have equal meditativeness – the same depth, the same height, the same love, the same compassion. Nobody is in any way inferior to the other, and only the inferior is going to be defeated.
So most of the time archers, swordsmen, wrestlers, are declared to be equal. Nobody wins, nobody is defeated. Compared to this, Western boxing looks barbarous. The whole effort is violent, bloody. There is no respect for the other partner, nor any compassion. Every effort is an ambition to win by any means possible, right or wrong.
Zen has created a totally different approach to everything. If the world understands Zen, it will be a different world. It is certainly the most alchemical process.
So when I said to you, Maneesha, that I will hit you just for the joy of it, remember that the joy is not only my joy. It has to be your joy also; only then it takes the great quantum leap. Then the master and disciple are simply playing with each other. Nobody is higher and nobody is lower.
And the master calling in the middle of the night shows his insight, that tomorrow morning his disciple is going to become enlightened. He is just on the verge. After that, it won’t be right to hit him. And it is such a hilarious job! So he sends his attendant – “Bring him quickly!”
He is meditating. He says, “What is the purpose, in the middle of the night?”
The attendant says, “I don’t know, I have just seen him holding his stick. So I think he wants to hit you. Other than that, there is no purpose in the middle of the night.”
The disciple rushes immediately. If he wants to hit, it is a special privilege – otherwise, who cares? In the middle of the night, the old man is waiting to hit you – what more kindness, what more compassion!
When the disciple reached, the master said, “Aha! So you have come. You don’t know but I know…. Come closer. This is the last hit, because early in the morning as the sun rises you will be enlightened. After that, even if you ask me to hit you I will not be able to hit a buddha. That’s why I had to call you urgently.”
The disciple touched the feet of the master, and the master gave him a good hit, and both laughed. And in the morning the disciple became enlightened. There are not one but hundreds of cases on record. It is sheer playfulness. It is not to harm you, it is just to announce to the disciple that, “Tomorrow morning you are going to become enlightened. And obviously, we have enjoyed for years: you have come and I have hit you. This is the last hit – it is a memorable hit. Remember: this hit declares that the light is going to come soon and the night is just about to be over.”
Strange methods, and strange people, and perhaps the most beautiful development of a small religious stream. It could never become a crowd religion. It could not be a Catholic religion; six hundred million people will not be able to understand it. It is a religion of only the chosen few, because it needs great heart and great intelligence which very few possess.
I am introducing you to Zen for a simple purpose: all other religions have destroyed your laughter, destroyed your smiles, destroyed your creativity – destroyed even the sense of humor. And life without a sense of humor is not much of a life.

Now comes Sardar Gurudayal Singh. He is the most religious person around here. I don’t think that if he dies Saint Peter will allow him in heaven. Just because of his laughter, Saint Peter will immediately close the doors: “You don’t belong here, just go the other side. All your fellows are there.”
I always think that nothing can be worse than reaching heaven. Such deadly people you will find there, rotten, skeletons, doing all kinds of stupid things. You cannot live with a saint even for twenty-four hours, and to live for eternity surrounded only by saints….

I have told you about a Munich porter who was a good happy fellow, just lying down in the gutter because he drank too much beer. Some mistake happened – in every bureaucracy some mistake is always possible – so the devils who had come to take him, took him to heaven. There, the judgment was to be given where this man should go: Should he remain in heaven or be sent to hell? Saint Peter looked into his files and found that this man had to be in heaven.
The man was continuously saying, “Just let me go! I have my duty at the station, I am a porter.” But nobody listened to him. He said, “It is not my time to come into heaven – I have not even finished my beer!” But they forced him, drunk…they gave him a harp. He said, “What am I supposed to do?”
They said, “Here, nothing is done. Everybody has a cloud. Sit on the cloud, float, have a harp, and sing hallelujah.”
He said, “It is strange. I am not that sort of person, I have never gone to church in my whole life. What kind of misfortune has fallen over me?” But he was forced to sit on a cloud, and told, “Sing hallelujah!”
The poor fellow had to sing – half drunk, half asleep – and there were thousands of clouds floating like small boats, and every saint was doing the same thing, “hallelujah.” So the poor porter also said, “hallelujah, hallelujah” and in between he would say, “You son of a bitch!”
God heard that. He thought, “It seems a wrong person has entered. What kind of hallelujah? Two times he says ‘hallelujah’ and then he says, ‘you son of a bitch!’” God inquired of Peter, “Look into the files better; it seems you have brought a wrong person here.” And it was found that yes, he was a wrong person, so take him back.
He was very happy. He thanked Saint Peter, “I will never forget this kindness. Just let me go to my pub! And I am perfectly happy. Don’t send any messengers again. I am the happiest person at the Munich station. I don’t want this singing of hallelujah and harp and sitting on a cloud. It looks so stupid.”
He was brought back, left in the gutter from where they had caught him. Looking around, finding familiar situation, he said, “My god, what kind of a nightmare was that?”

Sardar Gurudayal Singh cannot enter heaven, they won’t allow him. They don’t allow any intelligent man there. Laughter is a sin, and anyway you cannot joke with saints.

Paddy is drinking a few beers in the pub, and he has a worried look on his face.
“What is the matter?” asks his friend, Seamus.
Paddy drinks down his beer and says, “I am totally afraid to go near the highway, day or night.”
“Why?” asks Seamus, sipping his beer.
“Well,” replies Paddy, “my wife just escaped with a truck driver, and every time I hear a horn I’m afraid he is bringing her back!”

One day in English class at Horowitz High School in LA, Tom Robbins, the famous author, comes to lecture the class on creative writing.
After discussing how to write a short story, he says, “Okay, for a successful short story, there are four essential ingredients: religion, sex, politicians, and mystery. And it should be concise and to the point.”
“No problem!” shouts Bobby Babblebrain, Boris’s young punk son, from the back of the room. And he scribbles something on a scrap of paper. He hands it to Tom. On it is written:
A Short Story.
“Jesus Christ!” screams Nancy Reagan. “I’m pregnant again. I wonder who the hell did it this time?”

A black couple, Luther and Ruby, and their seven-year-old kid Samson, are having a hard time living in New York.
Luther has heard that if you swim across the Mississippi River, and make it alive, you turn white. So they pack up and drive to Mississippi.
They are standing on the banks of the mighty river, and they can hardly see the other side. The water is very rough, and the current incredibly strong. Samson, the kid, seeing his parents’ hesitation, cries bravely, “I’ll go first!” and he jumps into the river.
Little Samson is swept along, but manages to struggle his way to the other side. As he steps out of the water, he looks down and sees that he has turned lily white.
Seeing her boy’s success, Ruby jumps in next and is nearly drowned. But with incredible effort, she makes it to the other side – as a white woman. Samson and Ruby wave to Luther to come across, so Luther jumps into the raging river. He gets halfway across, and then Ruby and Samson hear shouting and cries for help. Then there is silence.
Ruby is about to jump in to try and save Luther, when Samson takes her by the hand and says, “Don’t worry, Mom – it’s only a nigger!”






Be silent, close your eyes. Feel your body to be completely frozen.
Now look inward, collecting your whole consciousness. Try to reach to the center of your being. You live on the circumference. It is not far away – just a great urgency is needed, as if this is your last moment of life. You have to reach to the center of your being; otherwise you will never know the taste of eternity.
Just at the very center you are the buddha, the awakened one.
Thousands of flowers start showering on you.
The whole existence rejoices in your silence.
For the first time you are not an island but part of the whole continent, of the whole cosmos.
This moment, when your boundaries disappear, is the most valuable moment. The Buddha Auditorium becomes suddenly a lake of consciousness without any ripples. Ten thousand buddhas simply become one.
This oneness is eternal, immortal, the origin of everything.
Everything changes. Only your witnessing buddha remains unchanging. It is the very center of the cyclone.

To make it more clear, Nivedano…


Relax. But remain alert, a witness of your body, of your mind, and all that is happening in this moment within you.
The silence, the peace, the bliss…
As you go deeper, the splendor becomes more and more rich. As you go deeper, life becomes a mystery, a miracle of immense significance. And a deep gratitude arises, just for the sake of all that existence has done for you. It is not a prayer, it is a thankfulness.

The evening was beautiful on its own. But your witnessing, your consciousness, has added thousands of stars to its beauty. Gather as much of the experience as you can, because you have to bring it to the circumference, to your actual life. It has to become a twenty-four-hour, round-the-clock experience. Slowly slowly, the circumference and the center come closer. One day the circumference disappears into the center: you have attained perfect buddhahood.



Come back, but now come a little more alert, a little more of a buddha, a little more loving, a little more graceful. Sit down for a few moments just to recollect the path you have gone in, and the path that you have come out. It is the same path, the golden path.
You have to live your experience in your life, in your activity, in your gestures, in your relations with people. Remember you are a buddha, and you have to behave like a buddha, and you will find great transforming forces entering into your life.
The whole existence becomes supportive – supportive to your metamorphosis.

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